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Grab Bag Breast Video Ever:

Now HERE is a community service message we can all pay close attention to… really…. try to ACTUALLY LISTEN to what these guys have to say:

Breast Video Ever

Many thanks to Carolyn M. for sending this to me

Grab Bag Teach Dream:

12 minutes of absolutely inspiring teaching by a model human being:

Many thanks to Jo Ann N. for sharing this with me

Grab Bag Rollin’ With The Homies:

Lifestyle blogger extraordinaire Slim Paley (her blog is permanently linked under “Favorite Blogs” on the right side of this page) is in the running for Apartment Therapy’s Best Home Design & Inspiration Blog.

If you haven’t seen Slim Paley, enjoy! Gorgeous, inspirational, eye opening, globe trotting… this site has it all. From fashion to home design to REALLY DECADENT things to eat, Slim hits the fashionable nail on the head every time. Click on the AMAZING roses below to enter Slim’s world:

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To vote, please go here, register in 2 seconds (Apartment Therapy is a GREAT site, by the way) and vote for Slim in this first round… top vote getters move on to the finals. Go, Slim, go!

Grab Bag Stem Cell Youth:

Gotta love the brains at UC Berkeley! Go Bears!

Aging

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, represents a major advance in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind aging while providing new hope for the development of targeted treatments for age-related degenerative diseases…..

….Researchers were able to turn back the molecular clock by infusing the blood stem cells of old mice with a longevity gene and rejuvenating the aged stem cells’ regenerative potential. The findings were published online on Jan. 31, in the journal Cell Reports…..

….over the past 10 to 20 years, there have been breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of aging. Instead of an uncontrolled, random process, aging is now considered highly regulated as development, opening it up to possible manipulation.

Read the whole Science Daily article here.

Grab Bag Fitness Myth Busters:

From Zen to Fitness, a great fitness blog, comes Sargeant Michael Volkin‘s myth busters:

Busted! 5 Fitness and Health Tips That May Make You Cry

1- Myth: The more ab exercises I do, the skinnier my waist will be.

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BUSTED: Doing stomach exercises can strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it won’t burn body fat to give you that 6-pack you’re after.  If you want your ab muscles to show, you need to either be naturally skinny or embrace a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins with a decent helping of healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.

2- Myth:My diet includes diet soda, it’s zero calories so it has to be good for me. 

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BUSTED: According to a recent University of Texas study, drinking just two or more cans a day accelerated waistline expansion by 500%. The artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake. In other words, your body is being tricked into thinking it’s ingesting sugar, so you crave more food and as a result, eat more food than you would have without drinking the soda.

3- Myth:By working out, I can convert fat into muscle.

fat-v-muscle

BUSTED: You cannot convert fat into muscle as they are completely different.  In fact, when working out it is best to focus on either losing fat or gaining muscle.   In order to gain muscle, you have to eat more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.

4- Myth:Cardio is more important for fat loss than weight lifting.

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BUSTED: You will definitely burn calories completing a cardio workout, but to lose weight your primary concern should be muscle loss.  Muscles make it easier for your body to prevent fat gain.  Your body will burn more calories maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. In other words, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn each day.  The less muscle you have the lower your metabolism.  A great weight loss program should focus on (in this order) your caloric intake, weight training and then cardio.

 5- Myth:Stretching before a workout prevents injury and increased my performance.

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BUSTED: I know, you grew up stretching before a workout or sporting event because your coach or parents told you it was beneficial.  You were probably told that stretching prevents injury, when in fact, the opposite is true.  Recent studies show that stretching before a workout will weaken the muscle by up to 30%.  By elongating your muscles before strenuous exercise you actually may be increasing the risk of injury. Instead of stretching before a workout, get your blood flowing through your muscles with some low impact cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stretching after a workout is great and still proves to be beneficial.

Grab Bag Antioxidant Superstars:

anthocyanins

Here’s some really good news…. huge group (93,600 women… nurses, actually) followed for a long-term study (18 years)… showed that consuming blueberries or strawberries 3 or more times a week reduced risk of heart attacks by 32%. That’s THIRTY TWO PER CENT, just by poppin’ berries in your pie hole at least 3 times a week.

The science behind the news lies in the FLAVANOIDS in the berries… in particular the anthocyanins so plentiful in purple, blue and red foods.

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Other good choices include blackberries, cherries, black currants, grapes, red wine, eggplant, plums and raspberries.

Oh, by the way… go organic, OK? If fresh is prohibitive, Costco sells bags of organic frozen blueberries… and frozen is just as good… sometimes better… than fresh.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Auditory and visual skills come in to play as you are asked to match an animal’s sound with its picture:

THE SQUEAKING MOUSE

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

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Grab Bag Global Hide n’ Seek:

I’ve got a secret.

There is a treasure hunt of EPIC proportions going on… right now…. all over the world... and right where you live…hidden in plain sight. You can start by just finding the millions of hidden treasures, but soon you’ll be hiding your own for others to find.


This is a great way to explore areas when traveling, get to know your own neighborhood better, and entertain kids of all ages (including you).

Geocaching (pronounced Geo-cashing) is here and begging you to play, my friends. For years, people have been hiding small containers of varying goodies and posting the location (in longitude and latitude coordinates) on the internet for you (yes, you!) to find.

Recently, with the proliferation of portable and affordable GPS units like the Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom devices so many use in their cars, playing this game has become wildly popular.

Now it’s even easier to participate, as there is a Geocache app for the iPhone/iPod Touch:


Different caches have different purposes. Some hold small items to share, as long as you leave something else in it’s place. Others have small tokens that you are encouraged to take and move to another cache… sometimes half way around the world! Whatever the task, you record all discoveries and movements back on the internet, thus creating a global log (a glog?) of the treasures.

The number of caches to be found is astounding. This map below shows all the caches registered and available for discovery in the North Lake Tahoe area:



And lest you think this is merely a rural diversion, look below at the treasures just waiting to be discovered in San Francisco:



There are simple rules to the game, and all can be quickly learned here by clicking below on this Getting Started page at Geocaching.com. So get going…. Ponce de Leon’s got nothin’ on you….

Grab Bag Berry Interesting News:


Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thanks to dedicated reader Roxanna S., I was directed to a recent study showing that the proteins in milk likely interfere with the absorption of the powerful phenols found in blue (and other) berries. So, I guess we best pair berries with non-dairy partners…. like almond milk on your berry-laden cereal.

Why bother? From what I have read over the last few years in food science, the goodies in berries are well worth maximizing their absorption. Kinda like maxing out your 401K when your employer is willing to match you.

I tend to have a 4:00PM snack of berries and yogurt… I might be looking at breaking up those lovers and rematching each with other things.

Grab Bag Get the “Skin”ny:

Marie Veronique, natural cosmetics maven extraordinaire, makes amazing skin care products (see link in the right column), and gives great advice on how best to treat your body’s biggest organ.

Marie’s products and advice not only yield healthy skin, but GREAT skin as well… my neck in particular has IMPROVED (since when does THAT happen??) in the last few years since using these and other chem-free products.

Of note…. MV has revamped the entire line, dropped the price of a few items, and really stepped up the website. Looks great. Above all, I remain absolutely committed to many of her products, and find her approach and integrity rare and admirable. Her advice bears weight, and I share some with you here…


The following is lifted from her blog:

Skin Food Rules

1. Here is the major rule from which all else follows. Look at the ingredients, not the claims. There’s very little that can’t be said about a product, but the ingredients are its fingerprint. Here are some things to watch for when you read an ingredients list.

2. If you have allergies: Fragrance aka “parfum” is the number one cause of allergic dermatitis. Be aware that “unscented” can be translated as “this product contains a masking fragrance.” Look for “fragrance-free,” particularly if you have sensitivities.

3. Shopping for an anti-aging product: Studies show that ascorbic acid is crucial for both repairing existing UV damage and building new collagen. Since Vitamin C oxidizes rapidly in liquid Vitamin C serums should be avoided. The color guide is, if it’s clear it’s okay, but when it starts turning yellow, orange or brown it’s time to throw it away!

4. To exfoliate or not to exfoliate: Abrasives can eliminate precancerous cells with regular use. The rule here is to use gentle scrubs, avoiding those that contain irregularly shaped kernels that may tear skin.

5. Glycolic vs lactic acid: lactic acid is less irritating to the skin than glycolic acid. It also has humectant properties and assists in skin lightening. If you like AHAs stick with lactic acid, and especially avoid “sunscreens” containing glycolic acid.

6. Chemical sunscreens vs physical sunblocks: about 15% of the population will break out from some ingredient in a chemical sunscreen. For a large number of reasons your safest choice in sunscreen ingredients is zinc oxide, preferably non-nanosized.

7. For skin lightening: avoid hydroquinone. Look for natural ingredients that help lighten skin gradually over time, such as: ascorbic acid, licorice root, paper mulberry, uva ursi, kojic acid.

Note from LK: Hydroquinone is known to have a backlash or rebound effect on some patients, where it initially fades the dark spots, only to have them return with more intensity once you stop using the product 😦

8. For vegans: in case you were wondering, lactic acid is derived from a fermentation process using beet sugar and is vegan. However, there is an ingredient which shows up frequently in skin care products that you should be aware of –stearic acid. Used as an emulsifier, its source can be either animal or vegetable.

9. To alleviate dry skin: Most skin creams are made up of water and wax, with a little oil thrown in. Water and waxes can be more drying than emollient, since the inappropriately named “cream” sits on the surface of the skin. Look for hydrators that contain more oil than water or wax, since what the skin needs in order to protect itself, heals itself and retain moisture, is oil.

10. For acne: every skin needs oil. If you are using treatments which dry out your skin rebalance with an oil blend at night. Some good oils for acne-prone skin: pumpkin seed oil (high in zinc), sea buckthorn and red raspberry oil (anti-microbial).

Grab Bag “Uh oh” Moment:

Maybe you resemble this remark. I know I do. And I admit that I paused for a moment and considered editorial discretion in NOT including this information because, well, it pertains directly to me 😦

But that would be childish and hypocritical, two things I suppose I should shy away from. So, here it is in a nutshell:

Don’t get enough sleep and you run a significantly increased risk of breast cancer.

Image: Shaun Dovey / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There. I said it.

I wish I could now come forth with a bunch of caveats, criticizing the amount of participants or the length of the time participants were tracked. But here is a summary of the details of the study, published in the British Journal of Cancer:

A team of scientists at Japan’s Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine analyzed the lifestyle habits over eight years of nearly 24,000 women ages 40 to 79. The women who slept six hours or less a night on a regular basis were 62 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who slept seven hours.

Many thanks (?) to kind and sleepless reader Carolyn M. who, like me, suffers the slings and arrows of  2:00 AM reading. We both now know that we MUST…. never be Japanese??

I’m going to take a nap now.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

WHEEL IT

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

A random trifecta of smiles….

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