Archive for September, 2015

Move over carrots: other key nutrients for healthy vision

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Move over carrots and beta-carotene, there are other foods and nutrients that appeal to eye health. Dr. Michael Roizen, author and co-founder of RealAge.com, provides a brief tutorial on the best nutrients for eye health.

Lutein and zeaxanthin – The same survey found that less than half of Americans (41 percent) are familiar with lutein and only 6 percent of Americans are familiar with the nutrient zeaxanthin. Of the 600 known carotenoids, these are the only two that are found in the retina of the eye.
 
 Eat dark leafy greens (like spinach) and eggs and you’re on your way to incorporating lutein and zeaxanthin into your daily diet. While there is no established recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for lutein and zeaxanthin, the American Optometric Association recommends 10 mg per day of lutein and 2 mg per day of zeaxanthin.
 
 The recently published AREDS 2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2) was launched to determine whether a combination of key nutrients – including vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and omega-3s – can further reduce the risk of progression from the common dry macular degeneration to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Secondary analysis showed that the group receiving lutein and zeaxanthin versus those not taking lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 9 percent risk reduction for progression to advanced AMD.
 
 DHA and EPA omega-3s – DHA omega-3, found in fatty fish, fish oil and algae (the fish get it from algae—they don’t make it themselves), is a major structural fat in the retina of your eye (and in your brain). It plays an important role in infant visual development, in visual function throughout life, and in eyesight and memory support with aging.
 
 The LUTEGA study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology showed that supplementation of lutein, zeaxanthin, DHA and EPA omega-3s result in increased concentrations of these nutrients in plasma and a significant improvement in the optical density of the macular pigment in 172 individuals with “dry” AMD.
 
 Vitamin E – This essential vitamin, found in oils, wheat germ and peanuts, is an antioxidant that supports eye health. It may be difficult to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin E through diet alone – 15 mg/day for anyone older than 14. For example, to get 15 mg of vitamin E, you would need to eat one cup of peanuts that comes with about 827 calories.
 
 You can also get this vitamin in foods such as spinach, salmon and walnuts. But, if you’re not eating foods rich in these nutrients on a daily basis, consider adding supplements specifically formulated for eye health. Some of these supplements include Ocuvite, i-Caps and Centrum Specialist Vision. Check with your physician before starting any supplement program.

Roizen’s quick tips on how you can help support the health of your eyes include:

1. Avoid smoke, including second-hand smoke;
 2. Wear UV protective sunglasses;
 3. Take in 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin every day;
 4. Get 900 mg of DHA omega-3 a day.

Tips to make the most out of summer

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015


No matter what your summer plans are, everyone is looking to have a great time with friends and family. Keep the summer exciting with new activities and snacks. Trying new adventures in good company makes for lasting memories.

 
Stacy Keibler, actress and television personality, stays active all summer long and knows how important it is to enjoy every moment. No matter what she is doing, she knows that summer is about feeling great, having fun and staying healthy.
Below are some fabulous tips from Stacy on how to spice up your summer.

 
* “Fashion is a huge part of living up the summer. Whether I’m on a boat or taking a stroll, I always stay classy and feminine. My favorite classic pieces for the summer are a pair of neutral sandals and a great fedora or Panama hat, but you will definitely find me rocking some new trends like printed or colored denim and a great low-wasted flowing skirt. I’m going to have so much fun with my summer outfits.”

 
* “Traveling is a big part of my summer but it can be draining at times. That’s why I keep snacks on hand to keep my energy up. You can usually find alkaline water, raw nuts and my new favorite snack, New York Style Mini Bagel Crisps, in my purse. My new snack is a perfect little bite that helps me get through a long flight or drive.”

 
* “To stay in shape, I try to work out five days a week for an hour to an hour and a half. My workout routine changes daily and I love to challenge myself with new exercises. I love the feeling after working out knowing that I have done something good for myself and my health. Once you start your routine, you won’t want to stop.”

 
* “Summer is also a great time to adapt favorite recipes with healthier options. I love to cook and make recipes healthier by substituting things. I eat well and make sure to have three healthy meals throughout the day with two snacks in between. My favorite summer meal is grilled chicken with steamed or roasted veggies or salad with lots of fresh raw veggies and chicken. My favorite summer snack is Roasted Garlic New York Style Original Bagel Crisps. Bagel Crisps also make for a quick and delicious appetizer for guests when paired with creamy cheeses like, brie and goat cheese.”

 
* “It’s a good idea to always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. Usually, if you are having fun the people around you will too, so make the best of every situation. My favorite summertime activity is anything outdoors. Always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. My motto has always been carpe diem.”

 
Remember, you can make or break your summer, so go out and show off your best outfit and create unforgettable memories. To help you have fun this summer, New York Style is offering one winner a once-in-a-lifetime red carpet event for a mini taste of the VIP life. Visit www.Facebook.com/NewYorkStyleSnack for rules and how to enter.

Renewing your commitment to fitness? September is the new January

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

“There is a sense of new beginnings on all fronts when school starts,” says Jenna Murphy, a 42-year-old mom from Maple Grove, Minn. “This fall I want to improve my flexibility through yoga. I also plan on trying ballet bar fitness as well as kettle bells.”
While January is the traditional time when many people consider starting healthy habits, they don’t always see those changes through to the end of the year. “The new year creates more emotion and motivation to start change,” explains Jason Stella, a master personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company. “The problem with this motivation is that once the media hype and emotional high is gone, so is the belief in achieving the goal.”
Even if you have a good start in January and keep your resolve through the summer, come fall – with its endless procession of holidays – even the most dedicated can stop making fitness a priority.
Instead of thinking, “I’ll start over in January,” use these three Rs to make September a time to renew your fitness goals.
Reassess: Consider what you have accomplished so far and what new action you need to take to stay on course with your goals. In addition, evaluate your schedule. How can you fit fitness in with activities and obligations that start in the fall while staying motivated with fewer daylight hours? Fitness centers often create new schedules this time of year. Learn something new by way of a new exercise class or sport, or find a nutrition or health education seminar to attend.
Reconnect: Find ways to re-establish that emotional high toward your goals and keep the momentum going. One way to do this is to sign up for an event that will complement your health and fitness goals, or help you achieve them. “An event can be a 10K, a triathlon, half-marathon or more extreme events like the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race or Alpha Showdown,” Stella says. “This keeps motivation high throughout the year and helps people stay on track with the kind of lifestyle behaviors that lead to achieving their desired goals.” Accomplishing these events also leads to more confidence, he adds, which perpetuates the goal-setting, goal-achieving cycle.
Reassert: Change your mindset from making a resolution to making a commitment. “A personal commitment is much more powerful than a resolution, which is often thrust upon us by outside expectations,” Stella says. A resolution is deciding to do or not do something; a commitment is a promise or obligation. “Think about the personal responsibility between the two. When people ‘promise’ or make an ‘obligation’ it puts their credibility on the line, and maintaining one’s credibility has a huge impact on motivation.”
Murphy, who is a member of the Life Time Fitness in Maple Grove, Minn., says she is no longer in school, but having a personal trainer provides a great education. “Four years ago, having never done anything athletic my whole life, the best decision I have ever made was to work with a personal trainer from the start. She is always introducing me to new workouts and showing me I can do things I never thought I could. That’s very empowering and affirming to me.”

Party-planning tips to make a happy host

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

As your celebration plans rev up, follow these simple steps to ensure your party-prep is both fun and effortless:

* Go with what you know. Sure, sampling new dishes can be fun and you can introduce a few unfamiliar dishes to your party menu. But for sure-fire success, stick with what guests know and love – and do the familiar with flare. Familiar, traditional and simple are just fine, as long as what you’re serving – hors d’oeuvres to dessert – is palate-pleasing.

* Plan one show-stopping experience for your party guests. Host a wine tasting event by pairing your favorite varietals with a selection of premium dark chocolates, like Lindt EXCELLENCE dark chocolate diamonds. Individually wrapped and available in four distinct flavors, these chocolates lend themselves to an array of wine pairings. Try serving Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt with a Pinot Noir or EXCELLENCE Intense Orange with a Chardonnay. -

* Make prep manageable. If you’re rushing to do everything the night before or the day of the party, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – and make mistakes. Look for ways to minimize day-of prep, such as making and freezing a batch of appetizers the week before, or tackling house-cleaning bit by bit over the few days leading up to the event. The day before, take care of set-up by placing decorations and arranging furniture to facilitate conversation and a clear path to the food table.

* End the evening on a high note. Give your guests something to savor and enjoy on the way home by offering each a parting favor. Individually wrapped treats such as the premium Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate diamonds say “sophistication” and “’til we meet again” far better than a hasty hug at the door. Consider placing the individually wrapped chocolate in small mesh bags tied with colored silk ribbons. Place the bags on a decorative tray by the door at the end of your night to ensure that every guest leaves your party with a memorable token.

Celebrations should be fun for everyone – the hosts as well as the guests. You can maximize your party enjoyment and create a memorable event for guests by keeping things simple, planning ahead and serving familiar favorites with flare and fun.

Ask the Pharmacist: Controlling asthma during allergy season

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015



“We know that most asthmatics – more than half, actually – do not take their asthma medication properly, and that is leaving their condition uncontrolled and increasing their risk for an ER visit due to an asthma attack,” says Paul Reyes, Express Scripts pharmacist and host of the Ask the Pharmacist radio series. “The biggest mistake asthma patients make is stopping their therapy when they feel better, not realizing that their condition will worsen if they don’t use their mediation as prescribed.”

Asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation in the airways and lungs that makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing, which often occurs at night or early in the morning. Many factors can inflame an asthma patient’s airways, including infections, pollutants, weather changes and external allergens such as pollen, pet dander, cigarette smoke or dust mites. Studies show that 70 to 80 percent of asthma patients have seasonal allergies, thus increasing their risk for an asthma attack during peak allergy season.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. Of the 25 million Americans who have asthma, 7 million are children, with lower income children being at particularly high risk. A number of environmental factors, including living in an urban area, have been shown to contribute to the prevalence of asthma.

Reyes offers some important tips for preventing and controlling asthma attacks:

* Know the triggers: Keep a journal of substances that cause symptoms, or ask your doctor about a test to discover which allergens affect you. Knowing what your triggers are and, whenever possible, avoiding them, can reduce symptoms and risk of an attack. If seasonal allergens are affecting you, talk to your doctor about adding a seasonal allergy medication to your asthma therapy regimen.-

* Understand your therapy: Asthma therapy can be complicated and difficult to maintain, and often includes different types of mediations each with unique instructions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure how to use your medications. They can help you understand how medications work, and if you use an inhaler, how to use it properly. Also, keep your child informed about the basics of his or her condition and work with the child to make sure he or she knows how to use the medication and what should be done in the event of an emergency.-

* Take as directed: Follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist and do not stop therapy without consulting your physician first. If you are feeling better and are not experiencing symptoms, that means your medication is working and you need to continue using it as prescribed. Set reminders so you don’t forget to take your medication. If a home-delivery pharmacy is an option, this can help ensure an adequate supply of medication is always on hand.

* Care for kids: If your children are enrolled in school or daycare, make sure their caregivers are provided with detailed instructions on how your children’s asthma medication works and when they need to take it. If your child spends time away from home with family or friends, make sure that he or she continues to take the medication as prescribed. Asthma symptoms often become more pronounced in the early morning or late at night, so consistency will help your child stay on track with his or her medications and reduce the risk of an attack.

For more resources and information, visit Express Scripts’ Healthcare Insights blog at lab.express-scripts.com.

Anthony Bourdain talks last meal on earth, advice for restaurateurs; old-school cocktails

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

(BPT) – TV’s best-fed hedonist, Anthony Bourdain, is keeping busy these days with his hit travel series “Parts Unknown,” his publishing career and an upcoming appearance at this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Love him or hate him, Bourdain is the biggest, baddest food dude on the planet. The self-proclaimed “chef slacker” shares his advice for restaurateurs and new chefs, and talks about his desired last meal on Earth and love of old-school cocktails.

Q. You have 24 hours left on Earth: Where would you go, and what would you eat?

A. “Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. I would sit down in front of the greatest sushi master that I’ve ever met and eat whatever he puts down in front of me. That would probably take about 22 minutes, if past experiences are my guide. I’ve had it before, and it’s one of the greatest meals of my life. If I’m going to be shot in the back of the head after a meal, that would be a good way to go.”

Q. You’ve made it well-known that you started in the restaurant industry by washing dishes. What’s one piece of advice that you wish you could tell your former self about the restaurant industry?

A. “I was a very happy dishwasher! I just wanted to be part of it. I didn’t want to necessarily rule the world. I made a lot of decisions along the way where I chose to have fun rather than to excel. I chose to be a chef rather than the student of a really talented first-rate chef. I made a conscious decision not be the best that I can be. I was pretty set in my ways about the kinds of kitchens that I felt comfortable in and wanted to work in, and that was not conducive to me ever becoming a Michelin-starred chef. I think that the greatest lesson I ever learned in the restaurant business (and I learned it early) was: Show up on time. Whatever work, whatever commitment, you have, always show up on time to show the people who you work with the respect that you can at least do that.”

Q. Which chefs are most exciting to you now that you could see establishing future partnerships within your publishing career?

A. “For the chefs that I’ve published and hope to publish, it’s not just about the food. It’s people who are doing interesting things and who have an interesting story and point of view. The recent chef books I would have loved to publish would be Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir (Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef) of The Joe Beef Guys. There are real voices there of people who are saying something new and interesting to create a whole world and mindset that explains the food. Generally speaking, I look for someone who has a powerful voice and can explain why they cook the way that they cook in a personal and dynamic way. Roy Choi’s book is coming out soon, and I think that he will be a good example of that.”

Q. What’s the best advice that you have for restaurateurs facing the challenges of today?

A. “Today’s restaurants need to have a concise vision of what they are good at and what they have to offer that is different from the guy across the street. Restaurateurs need to speak in a strong confident voice, saying, ‘I might not be good at some things, but I’m good at this, and this is what I’m going to do.’ I think the days of trying to be everything to everybody are over now. We have an empowered chef class now and a much more curious, daring and younger dining public. I think the future is going to be chefs who speak with a coherent, concise voice with a real identity. Own that this is what I do. More of like in Asia where you have the roast duck guy and the chicken and rice guy.”

Q. What do you look for in your favorite cocktail?-

A. “I am a big fan of cocktails, but if takes you more than 10 minutes to make it, there’s a problem. I’m an old-school guy: Give me a good Manhattan, old fashioned, or the perfect Negroni with the finest gin, vermouth and campari with maybe a slightly toasted almond zest, and I’m a happy guy. I think the standard for me is, is the drink that I’m about to make with bourbon better than bourbon?”

Just the right size: How to shop online

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Still, the concern that stops many people from pushing their virtual shopping basket to check out is sizing. To learn how to order just the right size when shopping online for clothes, follow this advice from fashion school pros in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Measure yourself
“It may seem simple, but invest in a measuring tape,” says Claude Brown, academic director of the Fashion Design and the Fashion Marketing & Management programs at The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. “It costs less than five bucks, and will make all the difference when finding your right size online.”
Sizing can vary widely from brand to brand notes Brown, who also designs his own collection of dresses and sportswear. So if you are trying a new and unfamiliar brand, a key first step is to measure your waist, hips, bust and inseam.
Retailer sites will often have measuring guides that describe where and how to measure. Two measuring tips from Geetika Gupta, an instructor at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco who teaches courses in both fashion design and fashion marketing, is to always measure over undergarments and allow the tape to roughly skim the body, not sag or cut in.
Read charts and descriptions
Gupta, who runs her own fashion design and wholesaling business, also advises to take a close look at the size charts of the brand you are browsing. “With your measurements in hand you can figure out where you generally fit into a brand’s size ranges. Then what you want to do is read the garment description and look for keywords based on fit.” she says. Indicator words such as “high-waisted” or “boy fit” can help you decide if an item might be the right shape or style for your body, and better align with your fit preferences, which are very personal.
Brown also cautions that you can’t just rely on photos either. One of the reasons clothes can look perfect on the models is because sometimes a garment is clipped, pinned or taped to the body to look just so.
Look for low-cost shipping
Online shopping features like a live chat, virtual shopping assistants and runway videos are occasionally available, but with your measurements and new-found product knowledge, can be less applicable. Some retailer websites offer to adjust the inseam before they ship your order, which can be worthwhile, says Gupta. “However, beware the quality from mass customization websites where you enter your measurements to receive customized pieces of clothing,” she warns. 
“In general, dresses, skirts and blouses can be easier to assess size and fit,” Gupta says. “I also look for sites with free or low-cost return shipping and like to order two sizes of the same item so I can try both on.” She does this until she is familiar with a brand and how it fits her. 
To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu.