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Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday calorie countdown: Save 1,000 calories

The typical American gobbles down a whopping 3,000 calories at a holiday feast. While you can't work that off—it would require walking about 30 miles—you can make a few small changes to cut out 1,000 calories from your meal.

Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Drumstick Leg On Paper Plate free creative commons
  • Volunteer to make the mashed sweet potatoes and season them with cinnamon or ginger instead of topping with butter and marshmallows. Saves 120 calories.
  • Try not to take a huge helping of turkey (or ham)—4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards) is enough. Dark meat lovers should swap some for white meat. And if you must have a piece with skin, have just one. Saves 250 calories.
  • Pass on the roll basket (and get extra credit for that pat of butter you won't be eating). Saves 190 calories.
  • Healthy holiday tip: Prepare in Advance—On days you know you'll be having a big meal, eat a light breakfast like fresh fruit and whole-grain toast.
  • Instead of smothering your plate with gravy, stick to about 3 tablespoons. Saves 110 calories.
  • Cut the sugar in yoru favorite cake recipe by a third. You won't even taste the difference. Saves 80 calories.
  • Fill up beforehand by drinking a big glass of water—studies show you'll eat less. Saves 75 calories.
  • Enjoy the pie, but forget the crust—that's where most of the calories comes from. Saves 175 calories.
  • Healthy holiday tip: Bounce back—Three to five servings of broccoli, kale or arugula the day after a big meal helps flush out toxins from meats and processed foods.
Article from Family Circle, December 2010

Bedbugs: How to prevent them from invading your home

Bedbugs are showing up in cities and small towns across the country. Though the pests don't carry diseases, they may bite you while you sleep, causing itchy, red welts. To keep them at bay, inspect any pre-owned furniture before bringing it home, and when staying in hotels, place your luggage on racks or in dressers instead of on the bed or floor. At home, regularly check all of your mattresses and box springs (especially along the seams) for tiny brown, purple, or black spots, which are bedbug droppings. If you suspect you have an infestation, call a pest control agency immediately.

Article from Family Circle, December 2010

The best way to cure a cold

Woman on her cell phone. Come down with a case of the sniffles? Get plenty of rest, sip chicken soup...and call your mom for some TLC. According to recent research from the University of Wisconsin, people who received empathy got over a cold a day earlier than those who didn't. "Kindness may be more effective for treating sickness than zinc, vitamin C, and even anti-viral drugs," says study author David Rakel, M.D. "That  may be because it helps relieve stress and boost the immune system." So put down that medicine—and pick up the phone!

Article from Shape Magazine, November 2010

Secure your home for the holidays

Bortusk Criminal Swag by bixentro, on Flickr The winter holidays are an active time for thieves who prey on houses that might stand empty for days. If you plan to spend some time away from home, your house should appear as if you could return at any minute. Here are tips to deter intruders.
  • Burgler-proof your home. Lock gates to the backyard with a padlock; install motion-sensitive lights on the porch or in the backyard; and keep plants trimmed away from windows and doors so thieve don't have a place to hide.
  • Put your interior lights on timers so they go on at an appropriate time in the morning, off during the day, and on again in the evening, to make it look like you're coming and going at normal times.
  • Park a car in the driveway to give the impression you're home. Give a neighbor a key and ask him to move the car every now and then.
  • Have neighbors pick up your newspaper and mail, or stop delivery for the duration of your trip.
Even if you take every precaution your house could still be burglarized. Before you leave, make sure your insurance policy is up to date. Secure valuable items, such as family heirlooms and irreplaceable documents, as well as files or photos on your computer.

Article from Orange County Westways, November/December 2010