Travel to Greece: Soaking in the Splendors of Santorini

21/08/2017 helen 0

Now that the weekend was behind us and we had experienced city life in Athens, it was time to spend a week soaking in the splendors of Santorini. My first trip to Greece with my sister N and daughter A was about to get even better.

We packed our bags and headed for the Athens airport for a short flight aboard Aegean Air to Santorini. (Note 1: You can also take a ferry to Santorini, which is less expensive, but a friend recommended flying as a quicker, calmer option. Note 2: It is cheaper to book your luggage fee online before you get to the airport.) 

Upon landing, our transport was waiting to drive us to Nicoletta’s Loukia Cave House, our Airbnb booking, high up on the hill in Oia. Oia is one of the most popular and picturesque villages on Santorini and is at the northern tip of the 15-mile-long main island.

The Loukia Cave House was perfect for the three of us and could have accommodated up to six. The house had everything we needed for seven glorious days in Oia—comfortable beds, hot water for showers (as long as you remembered to turn the hot water on before you showered), a kitchen for cooking, a patio for sunbathing and daily maid service.

One BIG thing to remember in Santorini is that toilet paper must not be thrown in the toilet—it must go in the trash. The sewer system throughout the island is not very advanced. That’s why you need the daily maid service. Got it?

Exploring Oia
Not wanting to stay inside while the sun was shining, we lathered on sunscreen, put on our hats and visors and ventured out to explore Oia. Despite the crowds of tourists from multiple cruise ships, we found our way to the town center to scope out the shops and restaurants and bask in our spectacular surroundings.

According to travel writer Rick Steves, “Santorini is one of the Mediterranean’s most dramatic islands: a flooded caldera (a collapsed volcanic crater) with a long, steep, multicolored arc of cliffs, thrusting up a thousand feet above sea level.… Perched along the ridgeline is a gaggle of perfectly placed whitewashed villages punctuated with azure domes that make this, undeniably, one of Greece’s most scenic spots.” 

 

It was so beautiful that I wished I could have put my iPhone on autopilot so it would have been ready to point and click at a moment’s notice. “Ooh, ah, ooh, ah, it’s so breathtaking,” I’d find myself constantly saying. I also wished I had a wide-angle lens to capture the breadth of visual impact. (This is why, dear readers, you must book a trip and go see Santorini close up.)

Greek Food at Its Best
Did I say I love Greek food? 

I do. I do. 

And dine on Greek food, we did, we did. 

Our first lunch was at Lotza, close to the entrance to the village, with a gorgeous caldera view. We shared Greek salad, spanakopita and shrimp saganaki, along with spicy feta dip and crusty bread.

Thankfully, A had made our dinner reservations in advance of arrival. “We’re going to Laokasti,” said A. “It has a very good rating on TripAdvisor.” We enjoyed grilled octopus to start, and I ordered a traditional roasted lamb shank and potato dish for my entree. Yum, yum, yum!

Hiking From Fira to Oia
On Tuesday, after a restful night and Greek coffee for breakfast, we hopped on the local bus to Fira, the capital of Santorini. One of the popular things to do is to hike between the two villages—either from Oia to Fira or, as we did, from Fira to Oia. The views are amazing.
 

I will tell you that this three- to four-hour hike (yes, I said three to four hours) is not for the faint of heart. Go early morning to avoid the heat. And bring lots and lots and lots of water. And wear hiking boots or shoes or sneakers that have a good grip. 

Leaving Fira at 11 in the morning (not as early as we should have left), the hike seemed like it would be long but not too demanding. There were cobblestone streets with a defined path. It was the second half—through the mountains—where the terrain got more uneven and dusty and the sun heated up.

Having finished our water bottles, we stopped at the donkey stand at the midway mark to fill our backpacks with more liquids. Should we climb on a donkey and let it carry us the rest of the way to Oia? No, no, no. We were three adventurers—or so we thought.

Our feet were tired. Our clothes were drenched with sweat. Would we make it back to Oia? We were high up on the cliffside—there was no turning back. With about four miles completed and only one to go, we huffed and we puffed.

We huffed and we puffed some more. 

We huffed and we puffed a whole lot more. 

The clock struck 14:00 (2 p.m.), and we reached Oia.

We did it! Yes, we did it! 

Exhausted and ready for lunch, we thoroughly enjoyed Greek salad, fried zucchini and tzatziki at Cafe Flora.

More to Come
“Once you set foot on the island you will never want to leave,” said Nicoletta’s daughter Christina. She was right. Tomorrow and later in the week we would unlock more Santorini secrets, including a food and wine tour around the island, a day trip to the black beach, and a sunset catamaran cruise on the Aegean Sea.
 

P.S. In case you missed my earlier posts about Athens, check them out below:

My First Trip to Greece: The Amazing Old World of Athens
My First Trip to Greece: Climbing to the Top of the Acropolis

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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There’s a reason Santorini has been described as one of Greece’s most scenic spots. Travel along with writer Judy Freedman to see the sights.
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There’s a reason Santorini has been described as one of Greece’s most scenic spots. Travel along with writer Judy Freedman to see the sights.

Travel to Greece: Soaking in the Splendors of Santorini

21/08/2017 helen 0

Now that the weekend was behind us and we had experienced city life in Athens, it was time to spend a week soaking in the splendors of Santorini. My first trip to Greece with my sister N and daughter A was about to get even better.

We packed our bags and headed for the Athens airport for a short flight aboard Aegean Air to Santorini. (Note 1: You can also take a ferry to Santorini, which is less expensive, but a friend recommended flying as a quicker, calmer option. Note 2: It is cheaper to book your luggage fee online before you get to the airport.) 

Upon landing, our transport was waiting to drive us to Nicoletta’s Loukia Cave House, our Airbnb booking, high up on the hill in Oia. Oia is one of the most popular and picturesque villages on Santorini and is at the northern tip of the 15-mile-long main island.

The Loukia Cave House was perfect for the three of us and could have accommodated up to six. The house had everything we needed for seven glorious days in Oia—comfortable beds, hot water for showers (as long as you remembered to turn the hot water on before you showered), a kitchen for cooking, a patio for sunbathing and daily maid service.

One BIG thing to remember in Santorini is that toilet paper must not be thrown in the toilet—it must go in the trash. The sewer system throughout the island is not very advanced. That’s why you need the daily maid service. Got it?

Exploring Oia
Not wanting to stay inside while the sun was shining, we lathered on sunscreen, put on our hats and visors and ventured out to explore Oia. Despite the crowds of tourists from multiple cruise ships, we found our way to the town center to scope out the shops and restaurants and bask in our spectacular surroundings.

According to travel writer Rick Steves, “Santorini is one of the Mediterranean’s most dramatic islands: a flooded caldera (a collapsed volcanic crater) with a long, steep, multicolored arc of cliffs, thrusting up a thousand feet above sea level.… Perched along the ridgeline is a gaggle of perfectly placed whitewashed villages punctuated with azure domes that make this, undeniably, one of Greece’s most scenic spots.” 

 

It was so beautiful that I wished I could have put my iPhone on autopilot so it would have been ready to point and click at a moment’s notice. “Ooh, ah, ooh, ah, it’s so breathtaking,” I’d find myself constantly saying. I also wished I had a wide-angle lens to capture the breadth of visual impact. (This is why, dear readers, you must book a trip and go see Santorini close up.)

Greek Food at Its Best
Did I say I love Greek food? 

I do. I do. 

And dine on Greek food, we did, we did. 

Our first lunch was at Lotza, close to the entrance to the village, with a gorgeous caldera view. We shared Greek salad, spanakopita and shrimp saganaki, along with spicy feta dip and crusty bread.

Thankfully, A had made our dinner reservations in advance of arrival. “We’re going to Laokasti,” said A. “It has a very good rating on TripAdvisor.” We enjoyed grilled octopus to start, and I ordered a traditional roasted lamb shank and potato dish for my entree. Yum, yum, yum!

Hiking From Fira to Oia
On Tuesday, after a restful night and Greek coffee for breakfast, we hopped on the local bus to Fira, the capital of Santorini. One of the popular things to do is to hike between the two villages—either from Oia to Fira or, as we did, from Fira to Oia. The views are amazing.
 

I will tell you that this three- to four-hour hike (yes, I said three to four hours) is not for the faint of heart. Go early morning to avoid the heat. And bring lots and lots and lots of water. And wear hiking boots or shoes or sneakers that have a good grip. 

Leaving Fira at 11 in the morning (not as early as we should have left), the hike seemed like it would be long but not too demanding. There were cobblestone streets with a defined path. It was the second half—through the mountains—where the terrain got more uneven and dusty and the sun heated up.

Having finished our water bottles, we stopped at the donkey stand at the midway mark to fill our backpacks with more liquids. Should we climb on a donkey and let it carry us the rest of the way to Oia? No, no, no. We were three adventurers—or so we thought.

Our feet were tired. Our clothes were drenched with sweat. Would we make it back to Oia? We were high up on the cliffside—there was no turning back. With about four miles completed and only one to go, we huffed and we puffed.

We huffed and we puffed some more. 

We huffed and we puffed a whole lot more. 

The clock struck 14:00 (2 p.m.), and we reached Oia.

We did it! Yes, we did it! 

Exhausted and ready for lunch, we thoroughly enjoyed Greek salad, fried zucchini and tzatziki at Cafe Flora.

More to Come
“Once you set foot on the island you will never want to leave,” said Nicoletta’s daughter Christina. She was right. Tomorrow and later in the week we would unlock more Santorini secrets, including a food and wine tour around the island, a day trip to the black beach, and a sunset catamaran cruise on the Aegean Sea.
 

P.S. In case you missed my earlier posts about Athens, check them out below:

My First Trip to Greece: The Amazing Old World of Athens
My First Trip to Greece: Climbing to the Top of the Acropolis

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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There’s a reason Santorini has been described as one of Greece’s most scenic spots. Travel along with writer Judy Freedman to see the sights.
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There’s a reason Santorini has been described as one of Greece’s most scenic spots. Travel along with writer Judy Freedman to see the sights.

What to Do When Your Partner Is Addicted to Porn

18/08/2017 helen 0

Not much is known about addiction to pornography—not the numbers of people affected or  even the precise definition. There just isn’t a body of research surrounding the issue.

“There is a real dearth of good, evidence-based therapeutic literature,” says Dr. Valerie Voon, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of Cambridge in this article.

The relatively recent advent of the Internet has revolutionized the world of porn, serving up raw, unfiltered, hard-core and nonstop stimulation. The result is a cohort of (mostly) men who have become addicted and desensitized to the dopamine rush of a constant barrage of online porn. 

Occasional porn consumption is common, but therapists and doctors are seeing more relationship and sexual performance difficulties among heavy porn users—behavior that looks a lot like addiction.

Discovering that your partner uses porn addictively is a crushing, confusing experience. Women compare it to the betrayal of discovering an affair, except that the “other woman” is a computer screen that is available 24/7 and that doesn’t look or act like a normal woman.

A partner’s initial response is often denial: Is it really so bad? Doesn’t everyone view porn sometimes? Is this normal?

The morality or “normalcy” of porn use is a different conversation, but when a partner becomes secretive and withdrawn, when he can’t stop the behavior even at work or, as one woman discovered, during a weekend visit to her parents, when porn use creates difficulty in real-life sexual performance, when it causes pain and conflict, then it’s an addiction and it isn’t normal.

Porn addiction is socially anathema—people don’t talk about it or easily admit to having a problem with it. Support groups for partners of porn addicts are rare. And research-driven treatment for porn users themselves is also rare. The most common treatment is called a “reboot,” in which porn users are counseled to stop masturbating to online porn until their brain chemistry and ability to engage in real-life sex is regained, which may take months.

The behavior of porn addicts is similar to that of other addicts. They minimize their porn consumption or outright lie about it. They may accuse the partner of causing the problem. They withdraw and hide what they’re doing. They may gaslight—a newly vogue term that refers to undermining the partner’s grasp on reality by lying, evading, bullying and blaming.

This dynamic is devastating and toxic. Partners of porn addicts are often recognized as having symptoms of trauma, much like post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The non-porn–using partner may try to control the “addict’s access to porn through anger, snooping, crying, guilt tactics, threatening, shaming and blaming the addict. This destructive behavior was once considered co-dependent, but those of us who work with partners of porn addicts now view these actions as symptoms of trauma,” writes Mari A Lee, sex addiction therapist and coauthor of Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

As with any addiction, the path to recovery is difficult and riddled with relapse. The harrowing challenge to a partner of a porn addict is to maintain her own integrity and emotional health while offering her partner forgiveness and the space and support to manage his recovery, if he so chooses.

Women who’ve been there say:

  •  This isn’t about you. Your partner’s behavior has nothing to do with how you look, how much you weigh or your performance in bed. Don’t take the blame. “Porn addiction is not about [the non-addicted partner’s] worth or value, it is not even about sex; instead, porn addiction is about soothing pain,” writes Lee.
  • “You did not cause it. You cannot change it, and you cannot control it.”
  •  Try not to let your partner’s addiction take over your life or consume your thoughts. Set goals. Stay active. Stay healthy.
  •  Try to find support—a therapist, a group, a trusted friend.
  •  Respond to your partner with as much compassion and forgiveness as you can muster without being sucked into the addiction. 

A partner’s addiction may be one of the most painful and difficult knuckle sandwiches that life can smack you with. It attacks the very foundation of trust, security and intimacy that a relationship is built on.

However, there is hope, both for your own healing and the recovery of your partner. “When each person makes the choice to end the destructive dance of addiction, blame, shame and hurt, and instead chooses to move toward healing and recovery—miracles can happen and relationships can heal,” writes Lee.  

Barb DePree, MD, has been a gynecologist for 30 years, specializing in menopause care for the past 10. Dr. DePree was named the Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year in 2013 by the North American Menopause Society. The award particularly recognized the outreach, communication and education she does through MiddlesexMD, a website she founded and where this blog first appeared. She also is director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, Holland, Michigan.

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When someone becomes addicted to pornography, it affects real-life relationships and can be very painful and difficult to deal with.

What to Do When Your Partner Is Addicted to Porn

18/08/2017 helen 0

Not much is known about addiction to pornography—not the numbers of people affected or  even the precise definition. There just isn’t a body of research surrounding the issue.

“There is a real dearth of good, evidence-based therapeutic literature,” says Dr. Valerie Voon, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of Cambridge in this article.

The relatively recent advent of the Internet has revolutionized the world of porn, serving up raw, unfiltered, hard-core and nonstop stimulation. The result is a cohort of (mostly) men who have become addicted and desensitized to the dopamine rush of a constant barrage of online porn. 

Occasional porn consumption is common, but therapists and doctors are seeing more relationship and sexual performance difficulties among heavy porn users—behavior that looks a lot like addiction.

Discovering that your partner uses porn addictively is a crushing, confusing experience. Women compare it to the betrayal of discovering an affair, except that the “other woman” is a computer screen that is available 24/7 and that doesn’t look or act like a normal woman.

A partner’s initial response is often denial: Is it really so bad? Doesn’t everyone view porn sometimes? Is this normal?

The morality or “normalcy” of porn use is a different conversation, but when a partner becomes secretive and withdrawn, when he can’t stop the behavior even at work or, as one woman discovered, during a weekend visit to her parents, when porn use creates difficulty in real-life sexual performance, when it causes pain and conflict, then it’s an addiction and it isn’t normal.

Porn addiction is socially anathema—people don’t talk about it or easily admit to having a problem with it. Support groups for partners of porn addicts are rare. And research-driven treatment for porn users themselves is also rare. The most common treatment is called a “reboot,” in which porn users are counseled to stop masturbating to online porn until their brain chemistry and ability to engage in real-life sex is regained, which may take months.

The behavior of porn addicts is similar to that of other addicts. They minimize their porn consumption or outright lie about it. They may accuse the partner of causing the problem. They withdraw and hide what they’re doing. They may gaslight—a newly vogue term that refers to undermining the partner’s grasp on reality by lying, evading, bullying and blaming.

This dynamic is devastating and toxic. Partners of porn addicts are often recognized as having symptoms of trauma, much like post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The non-porn–using partner may try to control the “addict’s access to porn through anger, snooping, crying, guilt tactics, threatening, shaming and blaming the addict. This destructive behavior was once considered co-dependent, but those of us who work with partners of porn addicts now view these actions as symptoms of trauma,” writes Mari A Lee, sex addiction therapist and coauthor of Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

As with any addiction, the path to recovery is difficult and riddled with relapse. The harrowing challenge to a partner of a porn addict is to maintain her own integrity and emotional health while offering her partner forgiveness and the space and support to manage his recovery, if he so chooses.

Women who’ve been there say:

  •  This isn’t about you. Your partner’s behavior has nothing to do with how you look, how much you weigh or your performance in bed. Don’t take the blame. “Porn addiction is not about [the non-addicted partner’s] worth or value, it is not even about sex; instead, porn addiction is about soothing pain,” writes Lee.
  • “You did not cause it. You cannot change it, and you cannot control it.”
  •  Try not to let your partner’s addiction take over your life or consume your thoughts. Set goals. Stay active. Stay healthy.
  •  Try to find support—a therapist, a group, a trusted friend.
  •  Respond to your partner with as much compassion and forgiveness as you can muster without being sucked into the addiction. 

A partner’s addiction may be one of the most painful and difficult knuckle sandwiches that life can smack you with. It attacks the very foundation of trust, security and intimacy that a relationship is built on.

However, there is hope, both for your own healing and the recovery of your partner. “When each person makes the choice to end the destructive dance of addiction, blame, shame and hurt, and instead chooses to move toward healing and recovery—miracles can happen and relationships can heal,” writes Lee.  

Barb DePree, MD, has been a gynecologist for 30 years, specializing in menopause care for the past 10. Dr. DePree was named the Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year in 2013 by the North American Menopause Society. The award particularly recognized the outreach, communication and education she does through MiddlesexMD, a website she founded and where this blog first appeared. She also is director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, Holland, Michigan.

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When someone becomes addicted to pornography, it affects real-life relationships and can be very painful and difficult to deal with.
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When someone becomes addicted to pornography, it affects real-life relationships and can be very painful and difficult to deal with.

What to Do When Your Partner Is Addicted to Porn

18/08/2017 helen 0

Not much is known about addiction to pornography—not the numbers of people affected or  even the precise definition. There just isn’t a body of research surrounding the issue.

“There is a real dearth of good, evidence-based therapeutic literature,” says Dr. Valerie Voon, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of Cambridge in this article.

The relatively recent advent of the Internet has revolutionized the world of porn, serving up raw, unfiltered, hard-core and nonstop stimulation. The result is a cohort of (mostly) men who have become addicted and desensitized to the dopamine rush of a constant barrage of online porn. 

Occasional porn consumption is common, but therapists and doctors are seeing more relationship and sexual performance difficulties among heavy porn users—behavior that looks a lot like addiction.

Discovering that your partner uses porn addictively is a crushing, confusing experience. Women compare it to the betrayal of discovering an affair, except that the “other woman” is a computer screen that is available 24/7 and that doesn’t look or act like a normal woman.

A partner’s initial response is often denial: Is it really so bad? Doesn’t everyone view porn sometimes? Is this normal?

The morality or “normalcy” of porn use is a different conversation, but when a partner becomes secretive and withdrawn, when he can’t stop the behavior even at work or, as one woman discovered, during a weekend visit to her parents, when porn use creates difficulty in real-life sexual performance, when it causes pain and conflict, then it’s an addiction and it isn’t normal.

Porn addiction is socially anathema—people don’t talk about it or easily admit to having a problem with it. Support groups for partners of porn addicts are rare. And research-driven treatment for porn users themselves is also rare. The most common treatment is called a “reboot,” in which porn users are counseled to stop masturbating to online porn until their brain chemistry and ability to engage in real-life sex is regained, which may take months.

The behavior of porn addicts is similar to that of other addicts. They minimize their porn consumption or outright lie about it. They may accuse the partner of causing the problem. They withdraw and hide what they’re doing. They may gaslight—a newly vogue term that refers to undermining the partner’s grasp on reality by lying, evading, bullying and blaming.

This dynamic is devastating and toxic. Partners of porn addicts are often recognized as having symptoms of trauma, much like post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The non-porn–using partner may try to control the “addict’s access to porn through anger, snooping, crying, guilt tactics, threatening, shaming and blaming the addict. This destructive behavior was once considered co-dependent, but those of us who work with partners of porn addicts now view these actions as symptoms of trauma,” writes Mari A Lee, sex addiction therapist and coauthor of Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

As with any addiction, the path to recovery is difficult and riddled with relapse. The harrowing challenge to a partner of a porn addict is to maintain her own integrity and emotional health while offering her partner forgiveness and the space and support to manage his recovery, if he so chooses.

Women who’ve been there say:

  •  This isn’t about you. Your partner’s behavior has nothing to do with how you look, how much you weigh or your performance in bed. Don’t take the blame. “Porn addiction is not about [the non-addicted partner’s] worth or value, it is not even about sex; instead, porn addiction is about soothing pain,” writes Lee.
  • “You did not cause it. You cannot change it, and you cannot control it.”
  •  Try not to let your partner’s addiction take over your life or consume your thoughts. Set goals. Stay active. Stay healthy.
  •  Try to find support—a therapist, a group, a trusted friend.
  •  Respond to your partner with as much compassion and forgiveness as you can muster without being sucked into the addiction. 

A partner’s addiction may be one of the most painful and difficult knuckle sandwiches that life can smack you with. It attacks the very foundation of trust, security and intimacy that a relationship is built on.

However, there is hope, both for your own healing and the recovery of your partner. “When each person makes the choice to end the destructive dance of addiction, blame, shame and hurt, and instead chooses to move toward healing and recovery—miracles can happen and relationships can heal,” writes Lee.  

Barb DePree, MD, has been a gynecologist for 30 years, specializing in menopause care for the past 10. Dr. DePree was named the Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year in 2013 by the North American Menopause Society. The award particularly recognized the outreach, communication and education she does through MiddlesexMD, a website she founded and where this blog first appeared. She also is director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, Holland, Michigan.

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Kids Who Skip Breakfast Miss Out on Vital Nutrients

17/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Mom was right—eating breakfast really is important.

Without it, kids may not get recommended amounts of nutrients, British researchers suggest.

“This study provides evidence that breakfast is key for parents to ensure that their children are getting the nutrition they need,” said senior study author Gerda Pot, a lecturer in nutritional sciences at King’s College London.

Try these 9 Easy On-the-Go Breakfast Recipes.

The researchers used food diaries to track the diets of more than 800 children aged 4 to 10 and nearly 900 kids aged 11 to 18. Their food intake was tracked from 2008 to 2012. The researchers compared levels of key nutrients that the kids ate to British nutrition guidelines

For the study, breakfast was defined as more than 100 calories of food between 6 and 9 a.m. Although the study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, the researchers did find that breakfast skippers had lower levels of nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron and iodine.

For example, nearly a third of those who skipped breakfast didn’t meet the minimum recommended intake of iron, compared to about 4 percent of those who ate breakfast. Almost 20 percent of breakfast skippers didn’t meet calcium guidelines, compared to 3 percent of those who had breakfast.

The researchers found that about 7 percent of 4- to 10-year-olds missed breakfast every day, compared to more than a quarter of the older kids. The researchers suspect this difference is because parents have more say in what the younger kids are eating.

Learn how to fix these 10 Common Breakfast Mistakes.

“Further studies that investigate specific foods and dietary quality would help to identify if the differences are due to the different types of breakfast being eaten by different age groups, as well as provide more insight into the impact of breakfast on dietary quality overall,” Pot said in a King’s College news release.

The study was published Aug. 16 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

SOURCE: King’s College London, press release, Aug. 16, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Kids who skip breakfast may not get recommended amounts of nutrients such as calcium and iron, British researchers suggest.

Kids Who Skip Breakfast Miss Out on Vital Nutrients

17/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Mom was right—eating breakfast really is important.

Without it, kids may not get recommended amounts of nutrients, British researchers suggest.

“This study provides evidence that breakfast is key for parents to ensure that their children are getting the nutrition they need,” said senior study author Gerda Pot, a lecturer in nutritional sciences at King’s College London.

Try these 9 Easy On-the-Go Breakfast Recipes.

The researchers used food diaries to track the diets of more than 800 children aged 4 to 10 and nearly 900 kids aged 11 to 18. Their food intake was tracked from 2008 to 2012. The researchers compared levels of key nutrients that the kids ate to British nutrition guidelines

For the study, breakfast was defined as more than 100 calories of food between 6 and 9 a.m. Although the study wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, the researchers did find that breakfast skippers had lower levels of nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron and iodine.

For example, nearly a third of those who skipped breakfast didn’t meet the minimum recommended intake of iron, compared to about 4 percent of those who ate breakfast. Almost 20 percent of breakfast skippers didn’t meet calcium guidelines, compared to 3 percent of those who had breakfast.

The researchers found that about 7 percent of 4- to 10-year-olds missed breakfast every day, compared to more than a quarter of the older kids. The researchers suspect this difference is because parents have more say in what the younger kids are eating.

Learn how to fix these 10 Common Breakfast Mistakes.

“Further studies that investigate specific foods and dietary quality would help to identify if the differences are due to the different types of breakfast being eaten by different age groups, as well as provide more insight into the impact of breakfast on dietary quality overall,” Pot said in a King’s College news release.

The study was published Aug. 16 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

SOURCE: King’s College London, press release, Aug. 16, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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A Fun Fashionista Day at The Met Costume Exhibition

12/08/2017 helen 0

Being a fashionista at heart (although I now wear yoga leggings most days), I so look forward to my yearly visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Costume Exhibition with my BFF J and BFF N. It is a high point of the summer. This year was no exception. The exhibition was a feast for the eyes and I can’t wait to share my photos.

Are you ready for a visual extravaganza?

The 2017 “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition features the Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, who designs under the label Comme des Garçons. Kawakubo is in her mid-70s today and is a true artist. The exhibition is mesmerizing with clothes artfully displayed atop and inside geometrically arranged white display cases and cylinders.

Are you ready to be transformed by fashion as art?

“Her fashions not only stand apart from the genealogy of clothing but also resist definition and confound interpretation. They can be read as Zen koans or riddles devised to baffle, bemuse, and bewilder,” notes the printed guide. “At the center of her work are the koan mu (emptiness) and the related notion of ma (space), which coexist in the concept of the ‘in-between.'”

Are you ready to channel your inner fashionista?

We followed the map around the exhibition, which led us on a path through nine expressions of Kawakubo’s ‘in-betweenness’: Absence/Presence; Design/Not Design; Fashion/Antifashion; Model/Multiple; High/Low; Then/Now; Self/Other; Object/Subject; and Clothes/Not Clothes.

The duality of the designs reminded me of my yoga studies and the duality and equanimity we try to create with yoga poses. In fact, it was so Zen in the exhibition hall at times I wished I could have put down a mat and done yoga among the clothes. (I wonder if The Met would like to have me host a Kawakubo yoga session. Maybe I should ask them.)

Are you ready for my Insta-worthy Kawakubo photos?

Ooh, ahh, ooh, ahh! 

Drumroll please! 

1. Absence/Presence: “My clothes and the species they inhabit are inseparable—they are one and the same. They convey the same vision, the same message and the same sense of values.”  Rei Kawakubo (2017).

 

5.2 High/Low: “There’s value in bad taste.” Rei Kawakubo (2008).

7. Self/Other: From Kawakubo’s Cubism spring/summer 2007 collection.

7.3.4 Child/Adult: “Focuses on ensembles that not only challenge the rules of age-appropriate dressing but also engage the concept of kawaii (cuteness)—a key aspect of Japanese popular culture.” This pink floral dress features an oversize stuffed teddy bear camouflaged within frills. (Spring/summer 2014).

8. Object/Subject: These Body Meets Dress—Dress Meets Body dresses and coats are padded with goose down. Spring/summer 1997.

9.1 Form/Function: “Personally, I don’t care about function at all … When I hear ‘Where could you wear that?’ or ‘It’s not very wearable,’ or ‘Who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.” Kawakubo 2009 and 2014

9.4 War/Peace: From the Blood and Roses 2015 Collection. “Roses and Blood appear in both literal and abstract form, and both are represented through the color palette—poppy red.”

9.4 War/Peace: From the Flowering Clothes Collection, autumn/winter 1996-97.

9.7 Order/Chaos: Collection 18th-Century Punk. “The clothes conflate the pneumatic structures and hyperbolic silhouettes of the 1700s with the leitmotifs of 1970s punk.” Autumn/winter 2016-17.

Did you like the photos? Which outfit would you wear? Leave a comment and LMK. (Personally, I would like to try on the red gingham with the goose down humps. Rihanna wore one of the dresses from the Punk Collection at the 2017 Met Gala.)

If you are a fashionista like me and want to be inspired by the entire exhibition I encourage you to take a trip to The Met, where Rei Kawakubo designs are on display through September 4. Or go to this link, scroll down the page to The Met video, and watch the video narrated by Met Costume Institute Curator Andrew Bolton.

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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Costume exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a study in the duality of design—and a feast for the eyes.

A Fun Fashionista Day at The Met Costume Exhibition

12/08/2017 helen 0

Being a fashionista at heart (although I now wear yoga leggings most days), I so look forward to my yearly visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Costume Exhibition with my BFF J and BFF N. It is a high point of the summer. This year was no exception. The exhibition was a feast for the eyes and I can’t wait to share my photos.

Are you ready for a visual extravaganza?

The 2017 “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition features the Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, who designs under the label Comme des Garçons. Kawakubo is in her mid-70s today and is a true artist. The exhibition is mesmerizing with clothes artfully displayed atop and inside geometrically arranged white display cases and cylinders.

Are you ready to be transformed by fashion as art?

“Her fashions not only stand apart from the genealogy of clothing but also resist definition and confound interpretation. They can be read as Zen koans or riddles devised to baffle, bemuse, and bewilder,” notes the printed guide. “At the center of her work are the koan mu (emptiness) and the related notion of ma (space), which coexist in the concept of the ‘in-between.'”

Are you ready to channel your inner fashionista?

We followed the map around the exhibition, which led us on a path through nine expressions of Kawakubo’s ‘in-betweenness’: Absence/Presence; Design/Not Design; Fashion/Antifashion; Model/Multiple; High/Low; Then/Now; Self/Other; Object/Subject; and Clothes/Not Clothes.

The duality of the designs reminded me of my yoga studies and the duality and equanimity we try to create with yoga poses. In fact, it was so Zen in the exhibition hall at times I wished I could have put down a mat and done yoga among the clothes. (I wonder if The Met would like to have me host a Kawakubo yoga session. Maybe I should ask them.)

Are you ready for my Insta-worthy Kawakubo photos?

Ooh, ahh, ooh, ahh! 

Drumroll please! 

1. Absence/Presence: “My clothes and the species they inhabit are inseparable—they are one and the same. They convey the same vision, the same message and the same sense of values.”  Rei Kawakubo (2017).

 

5.2 High/Low: “There’s value in bad taste.” Rei Kawakubo (2008).

7. Self/Other: From Kawakubo’s Cubism spring/summer 2007 collection.

7.3.4 Child/Adult: “Focuses on ensembles that not only challenge the rules of age-appropriate dressing but also engage the concept of kawaii (cuteness)—a key aspect of Japanese popular culture.” This pink floral dress features an oversize stuffed teddy bear camouflaged within frills. (Spring/summer 2014).

8. Object/Subject: These Body Meets Dress—Dress Meets Body dresses and coats are padded with goose down. Spring/summer 1997.

9.1 Form/Function: “Personally, I don’t care about function at all … When I hear ‘Where could you wear that?’ or ‘It’s not very wearable,’ or ‘Who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone missed the point.” Kawakubo 2009 and 2014

9.4 War/Peace: From the Blood and Roses 2015 Collection. “Roses and Blood appear in both literal and abstract form, and both are represented through the color palette—poppy red.”

9.4 War/Peace: From the Flowering Clothes Collection, autumn/winter 1996-97.

9.7 Order/Chaos: Collection 18th-Century Punk. “The clothes conflate the pneumatic structures and hyperbolic silhouettes of the 1700s with the leitmotifs of 1970s punk.” Autumn/winter 2016-17.

Did you like the photos? Which outfit would you wear? Leave a comment and LMK. (Personally, I would like to try on the red gingham with the goose down humps. Rihanna wore one of the dresses from the Punk Collection at the 2017 Met Gala.)

If you are a fashionista like me and want to be inspired by the entire exhibition I encourage you to take a trip to The Met, where Rei Kawakubo designs are on display through September 4. Or go to this link, scroll down the page to The Met video, and watch the video narrated by Met Costume Institute Curator Andrew Bolton.

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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How Safe and Effective Is Your Sunscreen?

12/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News)—It may be easier than ever to find sunscreen with all the right stuff, but be sure to read the label or you could still get burned.

Most sunscreens sold at major U.S. retailers and their websites now offer broad-spectrum protection, are water-resistant and have an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends, a new study found.

But more than a third of sunscreens sold by several of the nation’s largest retailers fell short. Forty-one percent of sunscreens did not meet all three recommendations, researchers from the University of Miami and University of Michigan reported.

Tanning and bronzing products, in particular, tended to be lacking, the researchers said.

In a follow-up to a 2014 study, the researchers checked more than 470 sunscreens available at big pharmacy websites to see if they met the AAD guidelines.

“Even in just three years, we’ve seen pretty impressive improvement,” said Dr. Matilda Nicholas, a board-certified dermatologist at Duke Health in Durham, N.C. “But I think there’s still confusion, based on what my patients ask me.”

The study found:

  • More than 8 out of 10 sunscreens sold at two chains have the recommended SPF of 30 or higher.
  • More than 9 out of 10 products checked give broad-spectrum protection, meaning they block both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply and is thought to cause more skin aging. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. Both cause skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States, affecting 1 in 5 Americans, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
  • More than three-quarters of sunscreens evaluated are water-resistant for 40 to 80 minutes.
  • In all, about 70 percent of products met all three AAD recommendations. As with the 2014 study, tanning and bronzing products were far less likely to do so.

“We had hypothesized that not much would have changed, but there were some positive results and hopefully, we will continue to move in the right direction,” said study corresponding author Dr. Ariel Eva Eber, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

She said the availability of more products with broad-spectrum protection was especially positive.

“It’s the one thing that maybe a general person would not understand about,” Eber said. “They hear about SPF and water resistance, but if someone just went aimlessly to pick sunscreen off a shelf, they’d probably end up with one with broad-spectrum coverage, and that’s encouraging.”

Alex Webb of Hillsborough, N.C., spends a lot of time outdoors. He hikes, hunts and fishes and works part-time for a construction company. Like many baby boomers, he had some bad sunburns as a kid, boosting his skin cancer risk. So he tries to be careful.

“When I’m out in the sun, I apply sunscreen, wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses,” said Webb, 64. “I also have a couple of SPF long sleeve shirts of thin material for hot weather. I look for some shade and take an umbrella for the beach.”

He’s also extra careful at the shore, mindful that the reflection from water and sand “seems to make you burn quicker.”

That’s savvy strategy, according to Duke’s Nicholas, who noted many people seem confused about sun protection. She suspects it’s because there are so many different sunscreens—from lotions to foams to sprays.

Her No. 1 recommendation: Look for a product containing zinc oxide.

The same ingredient in diaper creams, zinc oxide blocks both UVA and UVB rays, Nicholas said. For kids and adults who sweat or swim a lot, zinc oxide sticks are easy to use. Products containing titanium dioxide are also effective sunblockers, she added.

“If you choose zinc oxide 30 SPF or higher, it’d be pretty hard to go wrong. But I remind my patients that no sunscreen will work if you don’t use it,” Nicholas said.

And, she added, don’t be stingy. Most people use too little product. A golf-ball-sized glob will provide head-to-toe coverage for most, and it should be reapplied every two hours—at least.

If you’re swimming or sweating a lot, reapply every 40 to 80 minutes as directed on the label. Products designed for wet skin can be slathered on without toweling off, and different formulas have different feels, Nicholas said. Choose one that offers good protection and has a feel you like.

Be wary of so-called “natural” products with herbal ingredients, she advised, and compare product labels. Products marketed for infants often have ingredients identical to others but may cost more.

The safest strategy is also the cheapest.

“It’s hard for people to hear this, but sometimes it’s just best to seek shade in the middle of the day,” Nicholas said. “In the summer, it’s really challenging to completely protect yourself.”

The study was published as a letter in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

SOURCES: Ariel Eva Eber, M.D., University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Matilda Nicholas, M.D., Ph.D., dermatologist, Duke Health, and associate professor, dermatology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Alex Webb, outdoorsman/construction worker, Hillsborough, N.C.; August 2017, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

10/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) — New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.

That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.

“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.

“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.

When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.

“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”

Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.

The study was published Aug. 10 in the journal Current Biology.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Aug. 10, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

10/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) — New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.

That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.

“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.

“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.

When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.

“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”

Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.

The study was published Aug. 10 in the journal Current Biology.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Aug. 10, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Trick the Brain

10/08/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) — New research may help explain the reported link between the use of artificial sweeteners and diabetes, scientists say.

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.

That means that a sweet-tasting, lower-calorie drink can trigger a greater metabolic response than a drink with higher calories, they said.

“A calorie is not a calorie,” explained senior author Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry.

“The assumption that more calories trigger greater metabolic and brain response is wrong. Calories are only half of the equation; sweet taste perception is the other half,” Small said in a university news release.

When a “mismatch” occurs, the brain’s reward circuits don’t register that calories have been consumed, the researchers said. Many processed foods have such mismatches, such as yogurt with low-calorie sweeteners.

“Our bodies evolved to efficiently use the energy sources available in nature,” Small said. “Our modern food environment is characterized by energy sources our bodies have never seen before.”

Small and her colleagues said the study may help explain the link between some artificial sweeteners and diabetes discovered in previous research. The topic remains controversial, however, and experts agree more research needs to be done.

The study was published Aug. 10 in the journal Current Biology.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Aug. 10, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

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