Quick Hits

posted by Jay - 

New research suggests that young kids with smartphones are more likely to not only be bullied, but to be bullies themselves.  Of children between the third and fifth grades, 9.5%  reported being the victims of cyberbullying, but that number was much greater for those who had a phone.  Children between third and fifth grades with phones were also more likely to be cyberbullies themselves.

Source: The Daily Mail


“USA Today” has set out to debunk the most common myths and urban legends about Halloween.  Common Halloween myths include:

  • People are poisoning the candy – Every generation of kids has heard the tale of poison candy, or even better, ones with razor blades stuck in them. But the truth is, such instances of adults trying to harm kids with their candy are far from common. Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, notes that as far back as 1958 there haven’t been any reports of a kid killed or seriously injured from trick or treating candy. There was one case in 1974 but it was a child’s father, not a stranger, who put cyanide in the candy. Still, it won’t hurt to check your child’s take at the end of the night. 
  • It’s open season on black cats – A common myth is that animal shelters won’t allow black cats to be adopted over Halloween out of fear they will be tortured or sacrificed. While that was once true, and some shelters may still do it, such concerns were bigger in the 80s and 90s due to the fear of satanic cults. In general most shelters have abandoned the practice.
  • Halloween is all about Satan - While a lot of people believe Halloween is about Satan worship, that’s probably not at all true. There’s no definite answer regarding the real roots of the holiday. Some scholars suggest it could be rooted in the Celtic holiday Samhain, which believed to be about communing with the dead, but folks stopped celebrating that before “Satanism” was popular. It’s more commonly believed that Halloween is derived from the Catholics’ “All Hallow’s Eve, which is the evening before All Saints' Day, and two nights before All Souls Day.
  • It’s all about pumpkins – While it wouldn’t be Halloween without carving jack o’ lanterns out of pumpkins, the original ones were actually carved out of turnips and had a candle inside to represent a soul trapped in purgatory.
  • The Legend of Sleep Hallow” is a Halloween story – While Washington Irving’s classic is often associated with Halloween, the book actually has nothing to do with the holiday. Not only is Halloween not mentioned in the book, it wasn’t even celebrated with Irving wrote it. 

Source: USA Today


When you decide to start eating healthier, it can be overwhelming to completely change your diet all at once. But if you start making little tweaks to the way you eat it can have a big impact. Here are some healthy swaps you can make that will make a big difference in your health.

  • Drinking more water - Most of us don’t drink enough, but we should because according to one study, staying hydrated can improve mood, boost energy levels and help you focus.
  • Eat a side salad - Ideally, we should be eating half a plate’s worth of veggies at most meals, but that doesn’t always happen, so a small salad is a good substitute. Include colorful vegetables since they contain nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you full, slow glucose absorption and promote gut health.
  • Sprinkle on seeds - Hemp, chia, and flax seeds all add fiber, protein, and omega-3s.
  • Snack on nuts - Almonds are a super nutritious snack you can keep in your bag for a healthy snack on the run.
  • Ditch the sugary drinks - Cutting back on sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. That means giving up sodas, juices, sweet tea, and your afternoon frappuccino, which all probably contain more sugar than you should have in a day.
  • Add protein to your breakfast - The more protein you eat in the morning, the more satisfied you feel all day - which means less snacking.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter - The unsaturated plant-based fat in olive oil is good for heart health.
  • Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream - They taste a lot alike, but Greek yogurt has more nutrients, including protein and vitamin D.
  • Swap out refined grains for whole grains - So swap white rice for brown rice, eat whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta, and whole grain bread instead of white bread.
  • Stay away from processed foods - Food that comes in a box tends to have more sugar, chemicals, additives, chemicals and fake ingredients - so eating real, whole foods is much better for your health.

Source: Bustle


It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re happy to report that the mortality rate for breast cancer has fallen by 38% in the last 25 years, according to the American Cancer Society. Treatment and diagnosis have improved and we’ve also learned more about key risk factors. Here’s the latest advice for lowering your risk of breast cancer.

  • HIIT it twice a week - Cut your risk of breast cancer by 17% with High-intensity workouts. “Vigorous exercise reduces body fat, which lowers estrogen levels and decreases the risk of developing an estrogen-sensitive cancer,” says Carmen Calfa, a breast medical oncologist. Working out also reduces inflammation and it only takes 75 minutes a week of high-intensity exercise to lower your risk.
  • Choose containers carefully - BPA is a chemical in hard plastics, like food containers and reusable water bottles but it’s been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a study in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Some BPA-free plastics contain other questionable things, so you’re better off using stainless steel or glass containers for food when you can.
  • Eat the right dairy - New findings from Roswell Park Cancer Institute show women who eat three or four servings of yogurt a week have a 39% lower risk of breast cancer. The study also finds that women who eat more than that amount of hard cheese, like cheddar, have a 53% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts say more research is needed before they make a blanket recommendation, but keep eating the yogurt - which is good for your gut health - and watch your cheese intake.
  • Say yes to soy - There’s been some confusion about soy in the past, but now research says soy is okay. And get this - a Tufts University study of women with breast cancer finds that soy foods are linked with better chances of survival. So bring on the edamame.

Source: Shape


There’s not much scarier than putting your child behind the wheel and teaching them to drive. Okay, they’re not children when they drive, but they’re still your baby. So when that time comes, here are some phrases you should try not to say, even when your knuckles are white and you’re desperately trying to brake from the passenger seat floorboard.

“Are you trying to kill us?” - Sure, it’s a nerve-wracking experience having your teen behind the wheel, but you’re trying to build up their confidence as a driver and those comments will make them embarrassed or flustered. Stay calm, be supportive and when they do something dangerous, follow up by asking, “Tell me how you handled that situation back there.”

“You’re going to get a speeding ticket if you don’t slow down” - You may be right, but instead of being a know-it-all, correct them with a question like, “What’s the speed limit here?” This will teach them to be aware and help them make the choice to slow down.

“Turn left now” - Don’t give last minute directions while your teen is still sharpening their reflexes. Try to give advanced warning, like “We’ll be turning left on the next block.”

“Right” - Do you mean turn right? You might confuse your new driver with this, so use words like “correct,” “yep,” and “you betcha” instead. Hey, this is about being clear, not cool.

Source: PureWow

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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