NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!
Well, a new year is officially upon us. I have to admit I love to make a New Year’s resolution list — 5 a.m. workouts, no more fast food (ever!), reading a book a week … I have really wanted to do it. But if you’re like me, you know how the story ends. That extra hour or two of sleep feels so good, not much is better than a classic Chick-fil-A sandwich, and I’ll get back to finishing that book as soon as we catch up on what’s on the DVR! While reading through the slew of ‘new year, new you’ articles recently, I found one in particular quite amusing. Below you will find the list of 16 resolution ideas that are actually easy to keep while still having a great year, with just a few creative liberties of my own. 1) Power off. In a world that’s so connected, take a few minutes to shut down from texts, emails, tweets, and Facebook notifications. Try a phone shutdown after 9 p.m. and even during dinner! 2) Take the stairs. Your thighs will thank you, and it does make you look and feel much fitter to be striding up a set of stairs instead of waiting on the elevator! 3) Set a very simple fitness target and hit it! This probably isn’t the year that training for a marathon fits into your schedule. But doing the next 5K? You bet! 4) Stop buying soda. We all know it’s bad for us. So, save your teeth and waist from the sugar and pad your wallet a little more in the process. 5) Smile at strangers. You never know when someone else is having a bad day, and a smile can go a long way. Studies also show that people can increase their own happiness by smiling more!
6) Don’t read opinion pieces you know you won’t agree with. No matter your thoughts on politics, make an effort to quit reading articles you know you disagree with, which will only annoy, anger, or irritate you. 7) Pick up a cheap hobby (and don’t be afraid to be terrible at it). You don’t have to buy loads of biking, hiking, or team sport activity items to try something new. Start small and basic.
8) Cook something once per week. Make something from scratch weekly.
9) Be nicer to yourself. We are often our own biggest critics and cynics. Ease up on yourself in the new year!
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germs, the dirty sock adornment served more as a reminder for the healthy to steer clear of their feverish neighbors. You’re Hot Then You’re Cold This holistic approach supposedly clears nasal congestion for a restful night’s sleep. Simply soak your feet in warm water until they’re hot and pink. While you’re sitting, let a pair of socks rest in a bowl of ice water. Wring them out, then pull them over your warm feet. Immediately add another layer of dry socks and hop into bed! HAVE A TICKLE IN YOUR THROAT? 2 Strange Cold Remedies for the Winter Season
The cruel winds of winter swirl just outside your window as you stoke the fire and curl up in the armchair nearby, eager to finally start that Agatha Christie novel. But as you stir your tea and pull on a pair of socks, you feel a slight tickle in your throat. Frantic, you reach for your trusty onion necklace… Yes, it’s as strange as it sounds. Among the countless cold remedies in the world, there are some that involve onion necklaces and others that require powdered frog skin. But most of the time, these superstitions do little or nothing to combat your infections. Take these two sock remedies, for instance. A Dirty Lard Scarf Some home-remedy enthusiasts encourage infected friends to grease their necks with chicken fat. After their skin is sufficiently coated, the afflicted wrap their necks with dirty socks, and warm and a little sticky, sweat out their germs.
But Does It Work?
Maybe! This approach is a standard practice in hydrotherapy. Your body is surprised by the sudden change in temperature and increases its circulation rate. This could help clear your nasal passages and jump-start your immune system. In the end, whether you’re experimenting with socks or just taking another dose of Nyquil, it’s important to fight your cold when it arrives. Get adequate sleep, drink plenty of fluids, and enjoy some chicken noodle soup. Your body will thank you!
But Does It Work?
Probably not. This remedy surfaced in England before drugs and vaccines eliminated contagious illnesses like diphtheria. While sweating does help rid the body of unwanted bacteria and
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10) Sort out your sock drawer. If it has holes, is still missing its match, or the elastic went out years ago, toss it, make some space, and feel more organized for having done so. 11) Change up your hairdo . Sometimes a new cut from a new stylist can make you feel like a new person. A risk in the hair department will grow back, and your normal look is still waiting for you in case it all goes wrong. 12) Call people. In such a text- and email-heavy society, our relationships can easily suffer. Make an effort to have an actual conversation sometimes. 13) Write a new to-do list daily. If you do it, great! If you couldn’t get to it all, there’s always a tomorrow list. 14) Don’t start another show series that you won’t finish. It doesn’t really get going until the second season, according to your sister. Don’t put yourself through it. Find something that interests you now!
15) Have a Facebook cull. Don’t be afraid to unfollow that page or friend who fills your page with recipes or quizzes or questionable news articles hourly. Clean it up and feel better already.
16) Floss daily. Okay, I added this to the list. But trust me, it will soon feel good!
I hope you found the above list entertaining, even if you choose not to adopt any of it as your own. I wish each and every one of you all a very happy new year full of health, wellness, and prosperity! –Dr. Jones
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Who doesn’t want a beautiful, white smile? If a wedding or a high school reunion is on the horizon, whitening your teeth is likely a top priority. The internet is full of seemingly miraculous and inexpensive do-it-yourself life hacks that promise to improve your smile. But before you jump on the BuzzFeed bandwagon, let us save you some regret. Be sure to avoid these “amazing,” but actually harmful, DIY whitening tricks. Charcoal Not to be mistaken for the bricks you toss on the barbecue, activated charcoal has the uncanny ability to absorb toxins. Found in everything from hand soap to face masks, charcoal even made its way into toothpaste. But in reality, dentists warn against scrubbing the black stuff all over your teeth. While activated charcoal may be able to whiten your teeth to some degree, the abrasive substance can easily damage your teeth and gums, leading to enamel deterioration and tooth erosion. Strawberries Many beauty blogs recommend using strawberries to whiten teeth. Ran Kwon, a teeth-whitening researcher at the University of Iowa, DIY Whitening Tricks? DANGEROUS ARE YOU USING THESE
decided to put the claim to the test. In her research, Kwon determined that while brushing with a strawberry mixture might remove superficial debris and plaque, it has no real whitening effect. In fact, the malic and citric acid found in strawberries actually erodes teeth and can reduce surface hardness by up to 10 percent. Whitening Toothpaste Yes, even “official” home whitening methods can cause more harm than good. Whitening toothpaste erases extrinsic stains and discoloration caused by tea, wine, coffee, smoking, and other bad oral habits. However, whitening toothpaste works by literally scrubbing away the stains with tiny abrasive particles. In addition to the stains, this toothpaste also scratches off your enamel. And once your enamel is gone, it doesn’t grow back. So, what are you supposed to do if you’re longing for a brighter set of pearly whites? Talk to your dentist! They’ll recommend in- office and over-the-counter treatments that can help whiten your teeth without destroying them in the process.
There’s nothing like curling up under a blanket with a warm mug and a novel that finally came out in paperback. Break out the slow cooker and let the sweet aroma waft through your living room as your start Chapter 1. SLOW COOKER RASPBERRY WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
• 2 tablespoons powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 4 tablespoons raspberry liqueur or syrup
• 1 cup white chocolate chips • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk • 2 cups heavy cream, divided • 3 cups milk (any variety)
1. In a slow cooker, combine white chocolate chips, condensed milk, 1 cup cream, and milk. Cover and heat on low about 2 hours. 2. In a large bowl, mix remaining 1 cup cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. 3. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip until stiff peaks form. 4. Serve mugs of hot chocolate with about 1 tablespoon of raspberry liqueur or syrup to taste and a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe inspired by SlowCookerGourmet.net.
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New Year, New You! PAGE1
Can Chicken Fat Cure Your Cold? PAGE2 The Dangers of DIY Whitening Warm Up With Some Hot Cocoa PAGE3
The Time Is Right for Nicaragua PAGE4
ESCAPE TO NICARAGUA The Country That Has Something For Everyone
After the hectic holiday season, many of us feel like we need another vacation just to unwind. Luckily, January and February are two of the best months to travel. Flight prices plummet and crowds thin out after the Christmas rush. If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter weather, there’s no better place to visit this season than Nicaragua, the “Central American country that has it all,” as Condé Nast Traveler puts it. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforests surrounding the Río San Juan or get lost in the quirky-yet-beautiful architecture of Granada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical wonderland. One must-see destination is the Cerro Negro volcano. Just a baby at 150 years old, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the region. It only takes about an hour to scale its smoking, black gravel surface, and the verdant forests surrounding the peak are a sight to behold. Adventurous travelers can board down the side, reaching ludicrous speeds as they teeter and try not to fall. In fact, it’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the country without seeing an “I boarded a volcano” T-shirt.
If relaxing on a pearlescent beach is more your speed, take a short boat trip out to the Corn Islands. There, you can amble around the small towns bordering the shockingly blue Pacific, visit a number of laid-back seafood restaurants, get scuba certified for a fraction of the price anywhere else in the world, or just read your book as you swing in a hammock by the waves. You can also visit the gorgeous, alabaster Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in “new” Léon. The biggest church in all of Central America, this unique Baroque and neoclassicist structure was built in 1814. Visitors can climb onto its roof (as long as they don’t wear shoes) and bask in the view of surrounding volcanoes (including Cerro Negro). If you’re planning on heading to Nicaragua, it’s best to do it soon. Neighbor Costa Rica often overflows with tourists, and instead of wading through the crowds there, many travelers are catching on to what Nicaragua has to offer.
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