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Calories Count with That Favorite Beverage

6 oz rum & Diet Coke 65 calories
5 oz wine (red or white) 120  calories
12 oz light beer 100-145 calories
8 oz champagne 170-180 calories
10 oz margarita 550 calories

Gift Idea for Foodies... or Those Who Love To Eat Out!

$1 from each purchase goes to Common Threads, which teaches low-income Chicago kids how to cook healthy, affordable meals.


Stephanie Izard

Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks.


No More Chicken Nuggets!

Local restaurants serve up healthy kids meals!


Read this before you eat another apple, or microwave popcorn or.....

canned tomatoes and more....


Cool Your Nuts

Nuts should be refrigerated to avoid oxidation.  If you don''t keep your nuts cool, they may turn rancid.

Are You a Lip Balm Addict?

According to Dr. Oz, you are a lip balm addict if you....
use it 3x or more a day, have more than one tube of lip balm, use if after sex.  Look for lip balms made with shea butter, lanolin, and/or coconut oil.


Sign up for a free account and get familiar with a new domestic wine every day.  Users can buy a variety of wines directly from wineries, many of whom never get their products to store shelves. 


Chicago's Downtown Farmstand

Midwest-grown foods and other locally produced edibles. 
66 E. Randolph


Your mom was right about Aloe Vera

Did you know this about your skin?  You might want to change your skin-care products!

Your skin cannot absorb water and most products on the market are water-based!  Aloe easily absorbs into the skin and is a natural anti-inflammatory which works to heal, restore and protect. 

The products are 100% pharmaceutical grade.  Find out more..... www.treSkinRx.com

Easy Breathing for Stress Relief

Dr Andrew Weil suggests the 4-7-8 technique.  Breath in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7 and exhale for a count of 8 (Inhale through nose, exhale through mouth)  Do this 4 times.
This helps slow your heart rate, lowers blood pressure and improves digestion.

Another Reason to Give Up Drinking Pop

A recent study showed that nearly half of soda-fountain drinks contain a type of bacteria found in feces.  EEEW!  Pick a bottled bev instead!

Cut That Sodium!

2.5 oz Rice-A-Roni has 1,240 mg of sodium!  Try quinoa or couscous instead!  http://www.healthywithhart.com/body/eat-it/

New to Being Healthy?!


Meditation Helps Heal Fractures

Meditation may help speed the healing of fractures.Injured people who meditated twice a day for 3 weeks built new bone faster than those who didn''t go ''om.''  Try it:  place your hands on your abdomen, feeling your diaphragm expand and contract as you breathe.  Repeat for at least 7 minutes a day.

Lower Stress with Omega-3s!

Omega-3 fatty acids can lower your stress levels, says Ohio State Univ scientists.  When people popped fish oil supps daily for 12 weeks, their enxiety levels dropped by 20%.  Omega-3s may reduce stress-promoting inflammation.  Take a 2.5 gram capsule every day.

At-Home Skin Exfoliating Scrub

Sugar scrubs are more gentle than other scrubs, and they exfoliate without damaging your skin – keeping it smooth and moisturized. 1 cup brown sugar1/3 cup almond oil1 tsp liquid vitamin E1 tsp vanilla extract Combine ingredients, adding in sugar last. Use in the shower and apply in a circular motion.

100% Recyclable Flip-Flops

Flip-Flops that are earth-friendly AND good for your feet!http://www.okabashi.com/

What''s the Deal with Chia?

Here''s what you''ll get: calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.  Sprinkle seed into salads, mix them into yogurt, or blend them into your post-workout shakes.  (Just make sure you don''t get any stuck in your teeth)

Saving Ginger

To prevent fresh ginger from spoiling too soon, keep unpeeled ginger in a resealable plastic bag with all the air pressed out.  And don''t bother with a vegetable peeler when it comes to peeling fresh ginger, use the edge of a spoon to quickly scrape away the skin.

The Perfect Bag

Store your daily essentials in one of these hand-loomed workshop/CoOp bags.  With every handbag sold, a 6-or 12-month supply of hygeine products will be given to a woman or girl who has been displaced from her home in Guatemala.  Plus, the Chicago-based co-op - started by Pilsen mom Leslie Thomas - guarantees the women creating the bags earn a fair wage.  www.theworkshopcoop.com 

Why Are You Craving Chips?

The craving: Potato chips The reason: Low thyroid function (your body might be deficient in iodine, a mineral found in salt), low adrenal function or an iron deficiency.The better pick: This mass-market chip contains less sodium than most and no MSG. From the book, Unjunk Your Junk Food

Sugar is the #1 Ingredient in BBQ Sauce!?

Just 2 T. of a typical BBQ sauce has more sugar than a Reese''s Peanut Butter Cup.  Try www.cavemanbob.com

How to Add Chia to Your Diet

*1 T. chia seeds stirred into 3 T. water will replace one egg as a thickener in puddings and baked goods.*Sprinkle on salads, in smoothies, on cereal.*Soaked seeds make an interesting drink when mixed w/a citrus juice.

The pool giving you dull, brittle hair?

Pour a 20 oz bottle of club soda over damp strands, massage it into your hair and scalp for one minute, then shampoo and condition as usual.  The sodium helps remove buildup for added shine.

Burn Calories

You burn more calories digesting protein than fats or carbs.

Favorite New Websites

www.naturebox.com  Healthy snacks sent to you monthly
www.zemasfoods.com Highland Park mom started Gluten-Free online biz
www.smartkitchen.com Online Cooking School

A Whiff of This Makes You Smarter

A whiff of rosemary may be a brain booster.  When people took math tests in a room filled with the aroma of rosemary, they scored better than those in an unscented room.  A rosemary compound may speed up neural connections.

Ice Tea Jugs

Cold-brew ice tea jugs you can take on the go.  Perfect for summer!$27  www.poketo.com

Salmon: Fresh or Farmed?

When buying salmon, it is important to know its origins: when it comes to protecting the environment, farmed fish is not a better option than wild-caught fish. Fish farming is resource- and energy-intensive (it takes several pounds of feed fish to produce one pound of farmed fish) and does not protect dwindling wild stock; and farmed salmon is likely to contain residues of pesticides, antibiotics and other synthetic compounds used to control diseases that occur when fish are crowded together in pens. Farmed salmon also has less flavor and protein and more fat than wild salmon, and its ratio of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids may not be as favorable. I suggest you choose wild-caught salmon, especially from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) - they are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. If wild-caught salmon is cost-prohibitive, canned salmon (choose products containing salmon from wild, not farmed, sources) is a good alternative.

Why Rice Cakes Are Not Healthy

Rice cakes, while blandly low in calories, are made from processed white rice, which is high in blood-sugar spiking carbohydrates. Plus, many come with flavorings that are loaded with sugar and salt. So even if your net calories are low, munching on these nutrient-void disks is about as healthy (and tasty) as eating Styrofoam packing peanuts.

A Better Way to Brown Bag It

Recipes and tips to wean kids off ''fast food'' lunches."What Are You Doing For Lunch?" by Mona Meighan Ed.D.

What Produce Labels Mean

Four-digit number: conventionally grownFive digits, starting with 8: genetically modifiedFive digits, starting with 9: organic

An Alternative to Storing in Plastic

Abeego is the original reusable food storage, handcrafted with an authentic blend of beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil infused into fabric made of hemp and cotton.Abeego is slightly adhesive and malleable at room temperature and stiffens when cool; holding the form you create. The fluid and air resistant natural coating keeps food fresh and is easy to clean.http://www.abeego.ca/#!shop

Cell Phone Safety Tip

Avoid cellphone radiation at bedtime.... Put phone on Airplane Mode when you go to bed. 


Keep fresh ginger in the freezer, makes it easy to grate and it will never go bad.

Avoid Bagels for Breakfast!

Bagels (and any other simple, processed, white carb) very quickly turn to sugar.  That big sugar party causes your body to shut down, fast and hard, and you crash, and then you get hungry.

"Cheating" Tip

Eat at least 3 oz of protein before you ''cheat'' on a diet. It helps slow down the rate that your blood sugar spikes.  Eat protein first to minimize the effects of those ''cheats''. 

My fav packaged kale chips!

alive & radiant foods Kale Krunch (Quite Cheesy flavor)http://shop.kaiafoods.com/

CFL''s Leaking UV Rays?

Researchers examined 10 CFL''s and found that all had cracks in their phosphor coating.  That lets harmful UV rays leak out, potentially damaging skin cells if you''re too close.  Use a lamp shade to filter the light and keep lamps 2 or 3 feet away from you.

Why You Should Stop Using Antibacterial Hand Soap

Animal studies link triclosan, the most common anti-bacterial ingredient in hand soaps, with impaired heart, muscle, and endocrine function, according to the EWG.

Your Best Oatmeal

Using cold water when making oatmeal makes it creamier!

Check Your Beauty Products

The average woman uses 9 personal care products per day and each product has on average 14 phthalates (chemicals).  They are also found in many baby products/toys.  How to spot phthalates in a product?  www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/phthalates-47020418

Cell Phone Safety

Although there''s no definitive proof yet, studies show a link between cell-phone radiation and headaches, sleeplessness, reproductive-health issues, and brain tumors, according to the Univ of Calif, Berkeley.  Experts are urging the government to conduct more research but they suggest to play it safe in the meantime.  Before going to bed, place your phone at least two feet from your body, turn off WiFi, or shut the phone off altogether.

Healthy Eating Too Tough?

52% of people say it''s easier to do their taxes than figure out how to eat healthfully! (Int''l Food Info Council Foundation)  Try this.....  www.HealthywithHart.com 

The Latest on Cell Phone Dangers

Saw this on Dr. Oz. Please watch - especially if your kids are using cell phones. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/are-cellphones-dangerous-your-health

Good Fat, Bad Fat

Fats to.... Avoid: Trans fats (margarine, processed foods) Limit: Saturated fats (butter, whole milk, cream cheese made from whole milk, fatty meats, unskinned poultry, coconut oil) Limit:  Omega 6 fats (sunflower, safflower, corn, and soy oils, as well as foods made from them) Enjoy: Monounsaturated fats (olives, avocados, nuts, and oils made from them) Enjoy:  Omega-3 fats (oily, coldwater fish, salmon, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts)  

Are You Eating Your Apple Alone?

"So many people think that an apple or orange (alone) is a healthy snack," writes Cheryl Forberg, R.D in an email to HuffPost. "While they are both great, they are so much better with protein (add a mozzarella cheese stick, a few slices turkey or almond butter on your sliced apple)."

Which Nuts Are Best?

Walnuts! English walnuts (the most widely available) have the most omega-3 fats (2,565 milligrams).  One oz (14 halves) contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein and are packed with copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.  They are also high in antioxidants including melatonin, which helps you sleep.

Sugar = Wrinkles!

When you consume sugars, they are converted to glucose in your body and enter the bloodstream, where they then search out and attach to skin proteins. Once attached, they form new molecules called advanced-glycation end products, or AGEs. What does that have to do with your face? The more sugar consumed, the more AGEs you create, and these AGEs mess with your body’s collagen and elastin, which help maintain your skin’s firmness and elasticity. In short: too much sugar leads to sagging, wrinkled skin.

For Better Sleep

Take 300 mg of magnesium 30 minutes before bed for better sleep

Do nitric oxide supplements really help pack on muscle?

According to Mike Roussell, Ph.D., nitric oxide supps main ingredient, arginine, can''t be absorbed efficiently in supplement form.  Instead he recommends, citrulline, an amino acid that speeds into your system, after which is converted into arginine.  As your arginine levels rise, your body produces more nitric oxide, which in turn dilates your blood vessels to help speed muscle growth and recorvery time.

Strain the Fat!

Red-skinned grapes and cranberry juice strain the fat out of your arteries.  Instead of having fat build up in your blood vessels, these foods improve your cells'' abillity to absorb the fat and use it for energy production.  Drink a glass of cranberry juice 3x a week or eat 1 cup of grapes per day to unclog your arteries.  (Wonder if drinking wine would have same effect?!)

Iron Overload

Another reason to stop eating processed foods:Processed food products like cereals and white breads are "fortified'' with iron. The iron they use in these products is inorganic iron, not much different than rust and it is far more dangerous than the iron in meat.

Perfect Pasta!

Add salt, not oil, to your pasta cooking water. Salt adds flavor, but oil prevents sauce from adhering to pasta.

Natural Insect Repellent

Instead of using DEET, a pesticide toxic to the nervous system, stay safe from hungry mosquitoes with lemon eucalyptus oil.  A study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found it protects just as effectively as DEET and for 5 1/2 hours - 2 1/2x longer than DEET.Look for repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or the active ingredient p-menthane-3,8-diol.  Repel.com

Fruit is Best When Eaten Alone

When we eat fruit with other foods, it cannot pass through our bodies quickly.  So it rots and ferments in our stomach (causing burping, bloating, heartburn).  Fruit is best when eaten alone, on an empty stomach because it is so easily and quickly digested.  Wait 30 minutes before eating anything else.

Inhale to Excel

From the Univ of Illinois - Chgo:  Students who meditated before a lecture did better on a quiz probably because they were more focused on the content.  Just sitting quietly for three minutes can put you in the zone.

An Apple a Day

Red Delicious have the highest concentration of polyphenols.  And refrigerating them maintains a higher concentration of polyphenols than room temp apples.

Steel-Cut vs Quick Oats

There''s no truth to the popular claim that steel-cut oats are better for you than rolled or quick oats (unless it''s an instant variety loaded with added sugars and chemicals), according to Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D.  The myth originated from the notion that processing the whole-grain oat-called a groat-by rolling it or flattening it removes the bran and a lot of the fiber.  Less processing does make steel-cut oats chewier and may slightly dampen the effect the carbs have on your blood sugar, but that effect is slight.

Avoid Commercial Yogurt

Avoid commercial yogurt from the grocery store, as these are laden with sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria—the exact opposite of what you’re looking for.


Farm-fresh ingredients are making their way into lotions, washes, oils, and soaps.  Look for them at farmer''s markets or in stores.  farmaesthetics.com naturopathica.com

Label Reading

If you can''t pronounce ingredients, don''t eat them.

Watch Out for the Meat You Eat

According to a new CDC report, antibiotics used in livestock plays a role in antibiotic resistance and “should be phased out”; 22 percent of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is in fact linked to food

Beware of the Air Freshener

Fragrances not only trigger asthma but, the researchers say, have been shown to mimic estrogen, and can make breast cancer cells grow in laboratory tests.  (Same with dryer sheets!)

Surprising Ways You May Be Aging Your Skin

Excessive Exercise Too Much Sugar Too Little Fat Skimping on Sleep Get the story...... http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/4-surprising-ways-may-aging-skin-194400704.html

Natural Teeth Whiteners

Apples, raisins, strawberries and water (increase saliva which cleans your teeth and helps remove stains)Pineapple for the bromelain (effective ingredient in stain-removing toothpaste)Cheese for the calcium and phosphorus which keep teeth strong, protein protects tooth enamel & lactic acid is protective against tooth decay.

Energy-Draining Foods

Energy-draining foods to avoid are bagels, muffins, cereal, soda, fruit smoothies and fruit juice, sweetened yogurt, potato chips, and sandwiches

Before You Ever Buy Bread Again!

Remember to always choose bread that is made with real certified organic ingredients.  The wheat that is used to make most bread is heavily sprayed with pesticides and by choosing certified organic products you will avoid exposure to GMOs.

Which Foods Are Giving You Wrinkles?

What you put in your grocery cart can  put you on the fast track to fine lines, says Harold Lancer, M.D., author of the book Younger.  High-glycemic foods (sweets, white starches like rice, pasta, and potatoes) can attack and destroy proteins - including collagen and elastin - that keep the skin plump and young-looking.  Instead, pick whole grains, cucumbers, cherries, asparagus, broccoli, and grapefruit.

Step Away from the White Stuff

Loading up on sugar may strain your heart, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests.  People who took in about 20% of their calories from added sugars were 38% more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate less than 10%.

Nuts & Chocolate = Mental Longevity?

Compounds called plant sterols may help protect against Alzheimer''s, German research reveals.  Mice on a diet enriched with stigmasterol - a plant sterol found in dark chocolate and many tree nuts, had 62% fewer Alzheimer''s-related brain proteins than mice that consumed no stigmasterol.

Losing Your Hair?

Hair LossWhen you don''t get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs from your diet, it can cause your hair to fall out. For instance, too little protein in your diet can damage healthy hair, and inhibit your body''s ability to build new hair follicles, which can cause noticeable hair loss after about two to three months of a protein-deficient diet. Very strict weight-loss diets can also cause noticeable hair loss, which commonly occurs about three months after losing 15 pounds or more of body weight.

Juice Cleanses Not for Healthy Weight Loss

MYTH: Juice Cleanses Help You Eliminate Toxins"People think juice cleanses are a good way to detox the body," says McDaniel. "But I remind my clients that you have a built-in detox organ, the liver, and it''s very good at what it does." It probably won''t harm you if you go on a juice cleanse for a day or so, but as a way to lose weight, it''s not such a good idea since it deprives you of proteins and fats and may lead to muscle loss.

Choosing Coconut Oil

Choosing unrefined, or "virgin" coconut oil will provide the most benefits since processing practices can negate its favorable properties.

Dry Skin Help

Our skin is naturally acidic to protect against bacteria.  Many soaps are alkaline, though, so they strip away protective oils.  To avoid dry, cracked hands, look for a soap that''s pH balanced or one that lists lactic acid or glycolic acid among the first half of its ingredients.

Safflower Oil for Dry Skin!

Safflower oil lubricates the skin, creating a barrier that prevents water from leaving your skin. Thus locking in moisture for glowing skin. The oil can soften dry areas, smooth rough patches, and even improve both the texture and tone of your skin.It''s also one of the best (and most inexpensive) sources of linoleic acid, which may be a secret weapon in preventing acne.

DIY Body Scrub

Mix 1 C sugar, 1/4 c organic honey and 1/4 c OJ (OJ will melt a bit of the sugar but that''s ok)  When showering, using a loofah, rub each area that you would like to exfoliate for approx 30 seconds in a circular motion.


Burn more calories

Stand up whenever you can.  Standing burns 1 1/2 times more calories than sitting does.


Wine To Try

They sing and make a great petite sirah!  Train named their wine Drops of Jupiter.  Check it out along with their new Wine Club!

Health Tip

Avoid These Soaps

 Do not use anti-bacterial soaps or anti-bacterial solutions that contain Triclosan. (Bacteria can become resistant after prolonged exposure to Triclosan. Triclosan can also break down into dangerous chloroform in city waste systems.)

Look Good

Don''t forget!

When applying moisturizer to your face, don''t forget the glabella (the space between your eyebrows) and your neck.  You''ll thank me later.... like WAY later when you''re in your 40''s, instead of wishing someone would''ve told you back in your 20''s!

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