Archive for December, 2012

Get more sleep to lose weight or get up early to work out? And other health dilemmas for women

I ran across this semi-interesting slide show of women’s health dilemmas on The Huffington Post’s Health page. The best questions are below but click the link to see more.

Are you better to get enough sleep to help you lose weight or would that time be better spent in the gym?

“The advice: Sam Sugar, MD, says this comes up all the time at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, where he’s the director of sleep services, and where twice-daily exercise is part of the program. Sugar points out that the scientific literature is extremely clear about the dangers of sleep loss. “Even one night of short-changed sleep can be bad for your health,” he says, and excessive sleeplessness can result in increases in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar — as well as weight gain. Missing one or even two workouts doesn’t have the same magnitude of negative effects. At the minimum, Sugar recommends getting six and a half to eight hours of sleep every night, while squeezing in …

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Could you live on $33 for food for a week? What would you buy?

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey, spent last week living on food stamps. He had $33 for food for the week.

Some people think it’s a publicity stunt because he announced he is considering running for governor. However, I think it is still a legitimate question. Could you live off of $33 for a week of food, and what would you buy?

Here is how Booker did it, and I don’t think he chose very wisely.

From Yahoo News:

“Booker’s experiment, launched Dec. 4, got off to a rocky start when he spent most of his $33 budget on several cans of beans, a large bottle of olive oil, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and bags of salad. Posting a picture of his food for the week on Instagram, he admitted he could have spent his money better.”

” ‘I am regretting not thinking through some of my food choices for the week. In hindsight, investing more of my SNAP budget in eggs, and perhaps some coffee might have helped me later in the week. I am growing concerned about running out …

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Have a naughty child? Forget coal, call in Krampus!

Is your child naugty enough to get a visit from Krampus? AP Images

Is your child naughty enough to get a visit from Krampus? AP Images

Forget about giving coal or switches to naughty children, apparently according to Austrian tradition you can call in a guy much, much scarier to set them straight.

Meet Krampus – the scary horned goat-like demon that visits naughty kids.


“Krampus is St. Nick’s evil side. He is the punishment for naughty children. According to lore, he shows up in town with birch branch switches in one hand, sometimes chains in the other. He, like his jolly counterpart St. Nick, also carries a sack, but his intention is to use it to drag bad children to hell, or at least to his dark lair….”

“In Austria and other parts of Europe, the tradition in which Santa’s evil helper roamed the village was once held somewhat exclusively on Dec. 5, the day before the Feast of St. Nicholas:”

“Originally, Krampus had just the one day. A few men in each town dress up in furs, heavy boots, and a ghoulish mask topped with …

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Will your kids keep you from dying young?

Two new studies show that men and women who have children are less likely to die young.

One study from Denmark looked at men and women with biological children as well as those who adopted. The study, which was written about on WebMD, found that:

“Parenthood apparently decreased the risk of early death. Mothers with a biological child were four times less likely to die an early death than childless women.”

“Fathers with a biological child were two times less likely to die an early death than childless men.”

“Men who adopted were nearly half as likely to die early as men who had no children.”

For women, the effect of adoption on longevity was not significant, Esben Agerbo, PhD, associate professor at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, said.

For the methodology and details on the study then please click here.

However the scientist says that it is just a link and does not prove cause and effect.

He can only speculate as to why parenthood may increase …

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What books do you just suffer through reading to your kids?

For some reason my 5-year-old LOVES the Rainbow Magic Special Edition Fairy books – such as “Shannon the Ocean Fairy,” and I absolutely hate these books. This particular book was all about fairies and goblins in water rescuing pearls. The girl’s poor grandmother has no idea where she is, and it’s just so poorly written.

The Fairy books are mostly long chapter books (like 160 pages) and she loves to check them out from the school library even though she cannot read them yet. (She can read but not 160-page chapter books.) So that means we get to read them to her.  Now I don’t mind reading to my kids. They have all three been read to plenty but these books are just awful.

The book was overdue because none of us wanted to read it to her. (I kept trying to get Rose to read it to her, but she wouldn’t bite.) So just to get the book returned the school library I read her more than 50 pages of it last night before bed. She was thrilled. I was miserable. By the last 20 …

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Dads driving more buying decisions — including Christmas presents!

I was going to write a post for today about how we have decided that Michael is going to be in charge of buying the kids Christmas presents this year, and apparently we have stumbled into a nationwide trend of dad doing more of the shopping.

From The New York Times:

“Consumer surveys show that men are increasingly making the buying decisions for families, reflecting the growth in two-income households and those in which the women work and the men stay home. One-fifth of fathers with preschool-age children and working wives said they were the primary caretaker in 2010, according to the latest Census Bureau data. And 37.6 percent of working wives earned more than their husbands in 2011, up from 30.7 percent 10 years earlier. “

“ ‘Kids are going to grow up with dads that give them baths and drive them to soccer and are cutting up oranges for team snacks,’ said Liz Ross, president for North America of BPN, part of the IPG Mediabrands holding company, which recently …

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What the best laptops for kids? What do you know about the Chromebooks?

We are considering buying the kids collectively a laptop for Christmas, and I am looking for suggestions for durable and fast models with lots of memory that won’t break the bank.

Our home computer that the kids use every day for homework and games is a desktop PC and is at least six years old. It has seen better days. It’s pretty slow bringing stuff up and random music will just cut on for some reason and we can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

Michael has a work computer and I have a work computer. On occasion, we let the kids on our work computers, but we try not to because we don’t want them downloading crazy things or spilling food or drinks on the keyboards.

The main computer I am interested in is the Google Chromebook laptop. It’s been running around $250 at Best Buy, which is the right price if it actually has enough memory, power and speed to do all things they want it to do. I don’t remember seeing a place for a CD/DVD so I’m not sure what is up …

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Jessica Simpson: Did you lose all the baby weight between close pregnancies?

US Weekly is reporting that Jessica Simpson’s Weight Watchers deal is in jeopardy if she is really pregnant again just seven months after giving birth to her daughter.

From the US Weekly website:

“In the Dec. 17 issue of Us Weekly (on stands Friday), a source says execs are livid that their new spokeswoman, 32, got pregnant just seven months after welcoming daughter Maxwell. “They’re furious at Jessica,” says the source of the star, who has a $4 million deal to shed to the pounds.”

“The source adds, “She was already on thin ice with them since she didn’t lose enough for a the first ad, when they had to shoot from the waist up.’”

“As a result, Simpson’s second campaign — celebrating a 70-pound loss — may not air. “They don’t think it can run,” the source explains. “No one wants to hear about a pregnant woman dieting.” (A Simpson pal counters that the ads will see the light of day: “It was Weight Watchers’ idea to shoot her from the waist up the first …

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Should kids be allowed to stand, hover, bounce while working at school?

A recent New York Times story discusses how bad sitting all day at a desk can be for people and the trend toward active work stations, such as a desk that raises and lowers and desks on top of slowly-moving tread mill, to combat this problem. So I’m wondering if active workstations are better for adults wouldn’t they be better for children too.

From The New York Times:

“But a closer look at the accumulating research on sitting reveals something more intriguing, and disturbing: the health hazards of sitting for long stretches are significant even for people who are quite active when they’re not sitting down. That point was reiterated recently in two studies, published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine and in Diabetologia, a journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. “

“Suppose you stick to a five-times-a-week gym regimen, as I do, and have put in a lifetime of hard cardio exercise, and have a resting heart rate that’s a significant …

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Kate Middleton hospitalized with extreme morning sickness: How bad was yours?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had to announce their pregnancy a little bit early because Kate had to be hospitalized for extreme morning sickness.

From Good Morning America via Yahoo News: (Here is a link to today’s story.)

“Hyperemesis gravidarum, the reason newly pregnant Kate Middleton is in the hospital, is a rare but acute morning sickness that results in weight loss and accounts for about 2 percent of all morning sickness, doctors say. “

“The condition is sometimes associated with women having twins, experts said. “

“Women diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum have lost 5 percent of their pre-pregnancy weight, or 10 pounds, said Dr. Ashley Roman, a professor and OB/GYN at New York University Langone Medical Center. “

I posted several stories about the pregnancy and her morning sickness on the AJC Momania Facebook page, and one woman wrote on our FB page yesterday that Kate should “suck it up.”

While I do think a lot of moms do suck it up, but in this …

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