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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Watermelon Tricks

Food for Tought : National Banana Lover's Month

If you’re a fan of bananas, then your day is about to get better. August is National Banana Lovers Month , meaning it’s time to celebrate all the health benefits of your favorite yellow fruit.
You may already know that bananas are stocked with potassiuma medium one has 422 milligrams of the mineral or 12% of the recommended daily value, according to the USDA. It also has a solid 3 grams of filling fiber and nearly 20% of your daily value for both vitamins C and B6. Plus, they’re great to add to healthy smoothies. If that’s not enough, here are five other ways bananas can make your life better:

They can sub in for sports drinks

Bananas could give sports drinks a run for their money. A study published in PLoS ONE analyzed the blood samples of 14 trained cyclists, who were given either a cup of carbohydrate drink or half a banana to consume every 15 minutes during a simulated 2.5- to 3-hour road race. Researchers found that performance was the same for both, but bananas come with added benefits. "They pack more nutrients than sports drinks and have a healthier blend of natural sugars with bonus antioxidants," says Health‘s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. And if you’re low on key electrolytes like potassium that help regulate nerve and muscle function, you might suffer from muscle cramps. So grabbing a banana to replace what you sweat out during an intense workout isn’t a bad idea.

They may boost your metabolism

Bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a starch found in carbohydrate-rich foods that may help you slim down. Your body digests Resistant Starch slowly (it literally "resists" the process), making it a natural appetite suppressant because you feel fuller longer. RS also encourages your liver to switch to fat burning mode. The Health‘s GarbLovers Diet recommends eating 10 to 15 grams daily. A medium, slightly green banana has 12.5 grams of RS, but even ripe bananas have almost 5 grams.

They can help keep blood pressure in check

Another upside to the high potassium content in bananas: it may help regulate blood pressure. The more potassium you consume, the more sodium that can exit your body, according to the American Heart Association. That’s because the mineral acts like a natural diuretic. "It triggers the kidneys to release excess sodium and fluid the body is holding onto," Sass says. Lower blood pressure is great news for your heart: It means the muscle won’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout your body. It doesn’t hurt either that a diet with potassium-rich foods was found to cut the risk of a stroke by 21% and may also lower your risk for heart disease.

They’re good for your gut bacteria

You’ve probably heard of probiotics, the "good" bacteria that aid digestion and are found in certain foods like yogurt. Well, there’s also such a thing as prebiotics, and bananas happen to be a great source of them. Prebiotics are actually carbohydrates that can't be digested by the human body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Still, they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy gut. "Prebiotics supply food for probiotics," Sass says. "So they help the ‘good’ probiotic bacteria grow." Bananas aren’t the only food that will help you get your fill of prebiotics: You’ll also find them in raisins, asparagus, onions, and garlic.

They can ease stomach troubles

Bananas can help with several tummy issues. The 3.1 grams of fiber you’ll find in a medium banana is split into two different types: soluble and insoluble, which can help ease digestion and relieve constipation, respectively. Bananas could even aid recovery after a bout of diarrhea, when fluid loss depletes levels of key electrolytes like potassium, Sass says. That’s not all. "Bananas neutralize the acidity in the stomach and coat the lining to reduce irritation," Sass says. So they are thought to help fight heartburn and stomach ulcers, too.
             Words of   Wisdom :

There were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.

I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

A proud grandpoppa      G.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am a single  mother of  four  and  my  15-year-old  is out of  control . He lives with my  mother, has  been arrested  twice  in the past year  and is  currently  on probation for  a year. My  mother  does  not  discipline  him nor  does  she  make  him do  any chores . He is  hanging  out  with the  wrong  crowd   and every time  he  gets into trouble  I am the one to the  rescue . I am  getting tired  because I have  three other  children that  need  my attention . I need  my  mom to help raise  my son  because I really need  help  with him . Please  help .
Confused  and  Worried  Mom
Dear  Confused  and  Worried  Mom ,
You have  gotten yourself  into an unmanageable situation  for which  you are responsible  . After  all, you are the  mom to all these  children  . Since  your  mother  is not providing  enough guidance based  on  your  son's  needs,  you have  to make  a shift . Find  out  if  your  mother  would  feel more comfortable  helping  you take  care  of one or two of  your younger  children . She obviously cannot handle or discipline your son. Perhaps  the other children are less volatile  and would be  easier  for her  to manage.
I recommend that you talk honestly  with your  mother  about  your  predicament . And then bring  your  son home  so that you can actively  parent  him .  That is what he has needed all along. Use every moment  that  you can  to talk to  him  about his  choices  and encourage  him to make  smarter  ones . Do your  best  to get him into activities  that will keep him off  the streets  and away  from bad  influences . He needs emotional support and a firm guiding hand from his mother. Don't be shy about getting help from a professional who specializes in juvenile counseling. Ask your family doctor to refer you to one.

Dear  Maxy ,
I don't like my friend's boyfriend because we were involved romantically, briefly, several years ago ago and it  did not end well . She  keeps  gushing  about  him  and telling  me intimate details of their  relationship and sex life . I'm happy that she's  happy and I would  love to hear  all about  their  romance  if the  guy  was  anyone  else . Is there  any way  that I can  indicate  that I don't  want to hear  all of the  details  without  coming off  as unsupportive  or  jealous ?
Hard to Cosign
Dear Hard  to Cosign,
First of  all,  you do not have  to listen to  intimate  details of  anyone's sex life, even if the person is  your  best friend . Certain  information should be very private and most people keep it that way. I am going to assume  that your  friend  does  not  know that you once dated  this  guy . You do not  necessarily  have to tell her, especially  since it is long  over . You  most certainly, should  not spoil  her  fun either, by being  a Debbie  Downer . You can  change the  subject when she  goes  into details, making  it impossible  for  her to go on recounting intimacies. If she does not pick up on your hints, you may have to directly tell her that  you  do  not want  to hear so much detail . It is usually the best way and  if she is a real friend, it won't affect your relationship.

Dear  Maxy,
We are  perplexed  as to  the actions of our  grown children . We are  not  perfect parents, but  consider  ourselves  to have  been pretty  good . Our  kids  grew up in a nice home where their  friends were welcome  and they were  involved  in church  and extracurricular  activities . Now that  they have their  own homes, my  wife  and I continue to help by  babysitting  and  lending  a hand  when needed .  But  as  we find  ourselves  aging  and occasionally  needing  help  from them, no help is forthcoming . Why ? What  makes adult  children  tune out the needs of aging  parents ? We  feel hurt  by their  lack of  caring,
Confused  Mom and  Dad
Dear Mom and Dad,
Have  you asked  your  children  for  specific  help ? Sometimes  parents  expect  the  children  to know  what they  need, but the  kids can be oblivious. They go on assuming  their parents  are as  competent  and capable  as they always  have  been . Also, some  parents  expect  children, who have family obligations of their own,  to do chores that consume many weekends, rightly belonging to their own kids.  And often, the parents  are perfectly  able to hire someone to do the work. Kids can come to resent this attitude of entitlement.
So, please  be direct . Say, ( for example )"we  are  finding  it  difficult  to change the  light  bulbs in our  house  because  we are unsteady on the  step-ladder  . Could  you come by one  day this week  and take  care of it  for us ? We'd truly  appreciate  it."  If you are specific,  kids will generally, gladly comply when asked .

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Five Star Nursing Homes...Not all They are Cracked up to Be

In 2011, Ken Chandler brought his elderly mother to a nursing home that had Medicare’s seal of approval, a five-star rating. After a series of troubling events there, Mr. Chandler now feels misled.

A Six Year Old's Philosophy on Life

There is always a special connection between children and animals that adults may never understand.

Perhaps it's their innocence


                                                  Maybe it's their ability to love...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Obama is just Not Comedy Material...According to 'Saturday Night Live' Writer

At last, we know the reason why comedy writers don’t make fun of President Obama much.
It turns out the man is completely unmockable.
We learn this from Jim Downey, the longtime “Saturday Night Live” specialist in political japery. “If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,’” the writer says in the expanded new edition of the “SNL” oral history book, “Live from New York.”
“It’s like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled,” Downey says. “There’s not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature. [Al] Gore had all these ‘handles,’ so did Bush, Clinton and Sarah Palin, and even Hillary had them. But with Obama, it was the phenomenon — less about him and more about the effect he had on other people and the way he changed their behavior. So that’s the way I wrote him.”

In a new book, “Politics Is a Joke!” three academics tabulated 100,000 jokes told by late-night comics over the last 20 years. They found that in 2008 only 6% of the jokes were about Obama (Palin attracted as many jokes in four months as he did all year). And those jokes had a tendency to be about as barbed as cotton candy.
In every presidential campaign since 1992, the researchers found, comedians aimed more jokes at Republicans than they did at Democrats. Overall, twice as many barbs flew at the GOP.

Now that he has retired from the show and gained a little perspective, Downey comments in “Live from New York,” “I have to say, that the last couple seasons of the show were the only two in the show’s history where we were totally like every other comedy show: basically, an arm of the Hollywood Democratic establishment. . . . We just stopped doing anything which could even be misinterpreted as a criticism of Obama.”

Although Mr Obama is far from being flawless, I have indeed noticed a distinct lack of mockery aimed at him. It is an interesting phenomenon in light of the amazing amount of comedy material and one-liners aimed at previous presidents. What is it about Obama? Anyone have a clue?

Playful Beluga

A trip to the aquarium is usually a chance for children to watch sea animals go about their own business, oblivious to outside observers. In this video, a beluga whale turns the tables as it teases two startled kids, pressing its mouth against the glass panel dividing them.
Watch their brilliant reaction as the mischievous mammal then turns his back on the pair, pretending to have forgotten about them, only to turn around and startle them again and again.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doggy Pool Pawty

The dog days of summer might be nearing an end, but that doesn't mean it's time to cancel the pool parties just yet — or should be say "pool pawties"?
Earlier this week, some happy canines at Lucky Puppy, a cage-free Maybee, Michigan doggy daycare centre, splish-splashed the day away in the centre's brand-new bone-shaped in-ground pool.

When they're not swimming laps and playing water polo, the dogs have a three-acre playground to run around in, and another seven acres of nature trails to explore. (We want to go to there.)

Food for Thought: Kids Eat Right Month

August is Kids Eat Right Month. Getting kids to eat the way they should and be active can be a very difficult part of parenting. Here are a few tips to help your child get started on the path to eating right:

Get active. Kids need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous active play every day. They do not usually get this at school, so making time for exercise and play after school is important. Get active as a family.

Enjoy meals together. Kids learn how to eat healthy by being involved in all the steps of the cooking process. Get kids involved in planning, preparing and cooking healthy meals together.

Make sure kids are eating breakfast. Making sure children have routine mealtimes helps set them up for a lifetime of good habits. Skipping breakfast has been correlated with obesity.

Teach children all foods can fit within a healthy diet. Exercise moderation in portions and the availability of high-fat, high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
Words of Wisdom
Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jessica Alba's Transformation

Jessica Alba hasn’t always been a red carpet darling.

Back in 2005, when the US actress was promoting the first Sin City installment, she made some rather questionable fashion choices.

Cue awkward fashion faux pas.

When bad fashion happens to good people [Rex]
When bad fashion happens to good people [Rex]However second time around, the mum-of-two has absolutely killed it on the Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For promo trail.

From colour-clashing combos and waist-cinching dresses to urban streetwear and old Hollywood glam, Jess has looked flawless as she’s promoted the film’s sequel over the past couple of weeks.

We reckon she might even nab the crown of the best-dressed actress of the year.

Let’s kick things off way back when (well, the end of last month) when she rocked up at Comic-Con in this striking ensemble…

1 Not afraid to flash her abs in a Tanya Taylor crop top and printed Zimmerman skirt at San Diego San Diego Comic-Con on July 26.

[Rex]This outfit, coupled with the side-plait hairstyle and copper-toned smokey eyes, just screams ‘attitude’. Talk about making a statement.

2 Colour-blocking a striped Houghton crop-top with Louboutin tote bag and Kotur heels – but it’s the tangerine Osman skirt that takes this look into best-dressed territory.

Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 5 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 5 [Rex]See? It’s not only red carpet fashion that she nails – her street style is just as effortless.

3 Channeling a ‘70s vibe in a relaxed Alice + Olivia blouse with high-waisted Max Mara flared trousers and strappy wedges.

Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 5 [Rex]Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 5 [Rex]It’s not a look you’d associate her with but somehow she makes it work.

4 Looking gorgeous in a plunging Antonio Beradi dress with metallic Brian Atwood heels on the streets of New York.

Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 12 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 12 [Rex]She kept the dress the focal point of the look with a slicked-back hairstyle and glossy pink lips.

5 Working autumn’s hottest trends a season early in a burgundy Katharine Kidd midi skirt and black satin bustier.

Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 13 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 13 [Rex]The addition of the blazer is not only practical but completes the fashion-forward look. LOVE.

6 Smouldering in a teal Chris Gelinas bodice with high-waisted trousers and a printed clutch for Watch What Happens Live in New York.

[Rex]This would be our go-to dinner date look. If we had a body like Jessica Alba’s.

7 Keeping things simple in skinny jeans and a tuxedo jacket leaving a hotel in the Big Apple.

Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 13 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in New York on Aug 13 [Rex]We would literally be in pyjama bottoms by now.

8 Proving that she can work an edgier look in leather trousers and a fisherman jumper for a stint on Sirius XM Radio.

Jessica Alba in leaving Sirius XM in New York on Aug 14 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in leaving Sirius XM in New York on Aug 14 [Rex]Kanye would be proud.

9 Drum roll please! Showing us all how it’s done in a satin Zac Posen frock with metallic Giuseppe Zanotti heels for the film’s world premiere in LA.

Jessica Alba in LA on Aug 19 [Rex]
Jessica Alba in LA on Aug 19 [Rex]Yeah, she nailed it.

PS. If you want it all in one place (for style inspiration reasons, obviously), here it is…

That's more like it [Rex]
That's more like it [Rex]Bravo, Jessica, bravo.
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, starring Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Eva Green, is out in the UK on 25th August.