Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Ick Factor

Something new to worry about — with an easy fix.

According to a microbiologist, we should be washing all our towels after three uses, max.  That’s because damp towels are breeding grounds for bacteria, which we’ll then transfer to our bodies. Yuck, right?

The solution: sniff your towel. If it stays damp too long it will develop an odor, which is your cue to wash it, pronto.

bathroom bathtub ceramic clean

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Good News Monday: Where’s The Beef?

Did you ever wonder what “sustainably produced beef” actually means? According to the World Wildlife Fund, there’s a big difference between cattle ranching where the intact grassland ecosystem is compatible with grazing — such as the Northern Great Plains in the US — and in parts of the world where forests are converted to pasture.

Costco to the rescue! Collaborating with the WWF, ranchers and others, the Northern Great Plains Sustainable Beef Pilot Project — now, there’s a mouthful — is working towards greater transparency so that consumers will know just what they’re eating and understand its environmental impact.

Dare I say the “steaks” are high?

selective focus photography of beef steak with sauce

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Good News Monday: Polar Bear Patrol

No, the bears aren’t on patrol… although that would be something to see! Picture a group of polar bears armed with walkie-talkies, alerting each other to salmon sightings, thin ice, and the nearest watering hole (aka, cool bar).

Nope, this is actually something serious. As summer ice continues to shrink due to climate change, polar bears are staying on land for longer periods of time.  This is dangerous to both humans and the animals who are killed in self-defense.

In Wales, Alaska, a patrol started in 2016 actively protects both bears and people using deterrents such as noisemakers, better lighting, and warning plans when bears enter communities.  The WWF is actively  helping other Alaskan villages launch similar programs.

nature couple love heart

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Good News Monday: Saving While Shopping

I should undoubtedly shop less and spend less, but sometimes there is simply something I want to acquire.  And I don’t want to pay a penny more than necessary.

That’s where ShopTagr comes in.

Having recently discovered this app, I find it an easy way to track an item I’m interested in to see if/when it’s going on sale or coming back in stock.

Once you’ve downloaded the ShopTagr app, their icon will also automatically pop on when you’re shopping — whether or not it’s on your saved list — showing coupons you can use.

Overall reviews for the app are good, although the above link shows some negative feedback from a Safari user.  I use Chrome as my browser and have not had any issues so far, knock wood… (hmmm, possibly a new myrtlewood salad set?)

banking business checklist commerce

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…But Liquor is Quicker

Anyone else remember the saying, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker”? The expression is a quote from American poet Ogden Nash’s 1931 poem, “Reflections on Ice Breaking”.  It also appeared in the 1971 movie, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”.

In honor of Halloween, I’m sharing the following.  My commentary below in red.

HOW TO QUIT CANDY AFTER HALLOWEEN

Weaning yourself off the good stuff once and for all.

By: Noah Lehava

There were tons of reasons Halloween was the best holiday as kids. One, you got to walk around all night in a ridiculous outfit, holding big bags that strangers would just throw full-sized candy bars into. Two, you’d have a cache of Starburst and Reese’s to last you weeks (or months, if you had a parent moderator). Three, your metabolism (and energy) and general lack of nutritional knowledge meant the guilt of stuffing your face with one last mini Snickers before bed didn’t exist. But alas, we’re adults now, which means we know that eating piles of candy isn’t actually all that good for us. That’s not to say we’re expecting you to avoid itty-bitty bags of sugary stuff all Halloween week long (that’s a thing, right?). But the struggle to quit sugar post-indulgence is real. Which is why we’ve come up with a few ways to wean yourself off the good stuff (in the palate sense).

GO FOR THE COMBO

This technique is what we like to call step one of the recovery process. When you really just want to pile M&Ms into your mouth until your stomach hurts, instead, eat or drink something healthy, like a green tea and vegetable-loaded salad for lunch, then finish it off with a bite of candy. You’ll be full from the nutrition-packed meal, but have just enough sugar-coated chocolate on your palate to satisfy a craving.

To go one step further, try drinking a combination of 1 part orange juice to 7 parts water.  There’s just enough sweetness to satisfy cravings, and the water fills you up. This is also great to have in the morning — often what we think is hunger is actually thirst, especially after fasting all night while we’re sleeping. You might not even crave those pancakes!

THE SWAP-OUT

We all know that the really bad stuff in candy is the added sugar (and, OK, there’s other stuff in there, but let’s not get too technical). But good sugar, fructose, by way of fruit, is an easy way to crush cravings, plus you’ll be filling up on the extra stuff in fruit like water, fiber, and, you know, actual nutrients.

Sugar is sugar. It’s generally better to avoid it, and satisfy the urge for sweetness with carrots, red or yellow peppers, etc. Experts suggest that it’s best to eat fruit with your meal rather than in-between.  And choose whole fruit, not juice.

SNACK

Not on candy! Waiting too long between meals and the impending hunger that comes with that will have you reaching into the plastic pumpkin every ten minutes. Eating regularly throughout the day keeps your blood sugar level stable—aka no crazy, irrational cravings.

Disagree! True hunger is actually a good thing — it tells you that your body needs sustenance. If you eat a satisfying meal (eg lunch) that includes lean protein, you should not be physically hungry for around 5 hours.  What we think of as mid-morning or mid-afternoon “hunger” is often anxiety, boredom, or another emotion.  Rather than eating, do something to distract yourself, such as taking a short walk. The brain can’t hold on to cravings for very long.

If it’s late afternoon, and you know you won’t be having dinner for a few hours and are starting to feel real hunger, try eating a handful of nuts (slowly) to help avoid temptation. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t resist an occasional peanut butter cup.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, dear readers!

light landscape sky sunset

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Good News Monday: O+ is A+

Well, technically it’s Wednesday, but it’s been a hectic few days.  Any day of the week, though, this is an uplifting story:

At the annual O+ Festival (named for the most common blood type) in Kingston, New York in October, musicians and artists trade murals, performances and more for access to a free artists’ clinic that offers everything from dental, nurse and doctor consults to therapy and chiropractic sessions.

Many artists are underinsured, and can’t afford expensive dental or medical care. While they get the help they need, the community benefits from this lively and joyful event. That’s music to everyone’s ears!

close up photo of drum set

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