Gluten-Free Waffles

waffles

It’s true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for various reasons, including its ability to fight obesity and diabetes. This gluten-free waffle recipe is a fun and nutritious morning option, with no added sugar and a good amount of protein and fiber to keep you full until lunch. Top with fruit or compote and create endless flavor combinations.  Get the recipe.

How to Use Vastu in Your Home and Office

vastu-home

Cowritten by Michael and Robin Mastro

In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that we are made of five elements, Earth, fire, water, air and space, vibrating in harmony with large energy sources such as the sun and moon. When we are living in harmony with this energy, we thrive. When we are not, we struggle and suffer in a multitude of ways. Read more  »

We Drugged 3 Women and Had Them Drive: What We All Learned

blurred vision while driving

Becky, Diane and Paula of Boca Raton, Florida, must be true-blue Dr. Oz fans – and good sports – because when we asked them if they were willing to take undisclosed over-the-counter medications and then drive on a test track and simulator for us, all three said yes! Oh, and did we mention we were going to videotape the entire thing and put the results on national television? They still said yes! Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Health Goals, Sitting and Exercising With Friends

Motivating partners help you reach your goals. It can be tough to stay motivated to follow your New Year’s resolutions when the going gets tough, but your significant other may be your best motivator. “Researchers found that married or cohabiting couples with a ‘healthier’ partner are more likely to change than those with an unhealthy partner. The study also revealed that having a partner who was making healthy changes at the same time was even more powerful.” The researchers examined a group of people mostly over 50 who were looking to quit smoking, lose weight and get fit. “17 percent of the smokers kicked the habit, 44 percent of inactive participants became newly active, and 15 percent of overweight men and women lost sat least of 5% of their initial weight. Those who were smokers were more likely to quit if they lived with someone who had always been cigarette-free. Similarly, those who weren’t physically active were more likely to start if they lived with someone who was already active. On every measure of health that was tracked, all of those who started off unhealthy were much more likely to make a positive change if their similarly unhealthy partner made a healthy lifestyle change.” (CBS)

Being active doesn’t make up for sitting all day. While getting out and exercising may help lower your risk of a variety of diseases, it doesn’t make up for being inactive all day. “Those who engage in regular physical activity but still spend a large proportion of their day in sedentary activity were found, on average, to be 30% less likely to die of any cause in a given period than were those who get little to no exercise. But even those who punctuate a long day of sitting with a vigorous workout were estimated to be 16% more likely to die of any cause in a given time than were those who do not sit for long.” The risk seemed to hold even if sitting all day didn’t make you heavier. “The amount of time spent sitting was found to drive up health risks independently of other factors that would often contribute to poor health and which might also be linked to sedentary behavior, such as smoking, age and obesity. That suggests, for example, that although long hours spent sitting might indeed contribute to weight gain, it is probably harmful even if it doesn’t make you obese.” The authors recommend “getting up from your desk for one to three minutes every half-hour or so and move around. While watching TV, stand or exercise during the advertisements.” (LA Times)

Working out with a walking group brings major benefits. Regular social walks with friends may not seem like intense exercise, but the benefits those walks bring seem to be big according to new research. “The research team analyzed 42 studies across 14 countries and found that people who were part of walking groups showed significantly lower blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, cholesterol levels and even depression scores compared with their levels before they embarked on group walks. They also had better lung capacity — a good indicator of fitness — and were able to walk farther. These weren’t hard and grueling hikes, either. The vast majority, 75%, weren’t even strenuous enough to count as moderate physical activity, yet the health effects were clear.” The social aspect of walking was key to the success of the activity. “Those who were part of walking groups also had low levels of dropout — about three-quarters stuck with it — a finding the authors credit to the presence of other people. Even if you don’t join to make friends, being able to clear your mind and follow the leader is enjoyable and fulfilling.” (TIME)

Stress Is Making You Less Empathetic

stressed woman at desk

When you’re under the gun at home or at work, it can be hard to find time for others’ feelings. But don’t be so hard on yourself; there might be a biological reason for your response. New research published this week has found that stress hormones play a pivotal role in how empathetic we are and has revealed that the mechanism isn’t unique to humans.

Research has been done showing that both mice and humans display empathy toward others. While we’ve known for a long time that our feelings are influenced by the emotions of those around us, the case might seem less obvious of for mice. But past research has revealed that mice appear to experience pain more intensely when a familiar partner is also experiencing pain. Read more  »

How to Make a Healthy Change Stick

healthy-woman

What do Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, and the Wright brothers have in common? They failed. Then, they tried again. Are previous failed resolutions keeping you from aiming for change this year?

Resolutions often fail because the date alone is the only impetus. Let this year be different. Identify and build upon the true reasons you want to grow, they’re the fuel for your change. Sure, January can be the spark plug, but focus on that fuel. Ready? Start your 2015 adventure now. Read more  »

Mind-Body Therapies to Ease Insomnia

insomnia

Insomnia can be a frustrating cycle of sleeplessness to break. For many people, insomnia leads not only to daytime fatigue, sleepiness and irritability, but also to anxiety about sleep itself. Feeling stress about one’s ability to sleep can make falling asleep even more difficult. This kind of negative thinking about sleep is common among people with insomnia and is a part of the cycle that can feel most debilitating. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Lavender, Social Media and Heart Disease

Lavender may make you more giving. We all prefer some smells over others, but new research suggests that certain scents may change the way you behave. “The researchers set up a trust game in a room misted with one of two aromas: lavender, which is considered soothing, and peppermint, which is associated with alertness and energy. The researchers put a few drops of essential oils, diffused by a candle, in the room before the 90 young adults in the study came in to play. The trust game is a test that measures levels of trust. One person (the “trustor”) gets money, and they can keep it or give any amount of it to the other person. If they give, the cash received triples and the person who just got a cash infusion gets to decide whether to share it with the original trustor. Without being told about any change in scent, when people smelled lavender, they gave significantly more money than when they had sniffed peppermint or nothing at all.” The researchers think the effect has to do with the way our sense of smell is linked to part of the brain that control trust. The calming effect of lavender may boost activity in those regions of the brain. (TIME)

Social media use doesn’t increase stress. You’ve probably had pundits say that you wouldn’t be so stressed if you weren’t constantly following what was happening on social media. But research released this week shows that probably isn’t true. “Heavy users of the Internet and social media do not have higher levels of stress, and women who use Twitter, email and photo sharing show less stress than women who do not use them.” The study found that women were also more stressed than men and the authors think social media may serve as a way for women to deal with this increased stress. “The electronic tools may provide women with a low-demand and easily accessible coping mechanism that is not experienced or taken advantage of by men.” But the type of information on social media mattered. “A woman with an average number of Facebook friends is aware of 13 percent more stressful events among her closest ties than those who use social media less. A typical male Facebook user knows of 8 percent more stressful events. Awareness of stress in others’ lives can be a significant contributor to people’s own stress.” (Reuters)

Healthy living makes a big difference in heart disease.  Lifestyle has long been known to influence heart health, but results from a 20-year study focused on women have found that effect can be dramatic. “Women who led a healthy lifestyle in their young adult years were 92 percent less likely than those who didn’t to develop heart disease by middle age. U.S. researchers followed thousands of women starting in their 20s and 30s and found those with healthy diet and exercise habits, who didn’t smoke, were also 66 percent less likely to have any heart risk factors like diabetes or hypertension by the time they were in their 40s and 50s. The results suggest that more than 70 percent of heart attacks in younger women could potentially be prevented by changes in lifestyle.” While those who did everything right had the lowest risk, the researchers pointed out that adding even one or two changes can drop your risk in the long term. The key is starting early rather than waiting until it’s too late. “Once you develop a risk factor it’s not too late to start improving your lifestyle and trying to get things going in right direction. This is a disease process that develops over time and you may look and feel healthy now but we worry about your risk in the future.” (Fox)

How Fruits and Vegetables Protect Your Bones

green vegetablesBone health is a serious concern for all ages, but especially for the aging population where fractures can be life-threatening. Bone health is often thought of in terms of density, because how dense your bones are reflects how strong your bones are. Stronger bones are less likely to break in old age. Bone density peaks in a person’s early 30s and then starts to decline. How fast this decline happens varies based on health, diet, lifestyle and genetic factors. For example, menopause leads to an increased loss of bone density, so hitting it early means more bone loss than someone who hits it late. Lifting weights strengthens bones and leads to a slower loss of bone than in those who don’t lift weights. Read more  »