Quick Hits

posted by Jay - 

"US News & World Report" has ranked the best diets for 2018 and there’s not just one winner. After all, finding a healthy diet isn't just about about weight loss - they're about overall health, too (at least they should be). As the folks at the magazine see it, their “analysis puts hard numbers on the common-sense belief that no diet is ideal for everybody.”  In the end, the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet tied for number one as the Best Overall.

Since there’s no one diet that will suit everybody equally, experts say you ought to ask yourself a few questions to help identify the right fit for you: Is it too restrictive? And, how long can I stay on it? Bottom line - don't do anything you can't live with forever. Changing your eating habits is about a lifestyle change (that is, if you want to lose and keep that winter layer gone).

For a complete list of ranking diets click HERE.

The Best Diets Overall - 2018

  • #1 DASH Diet (tie)
  • #1 Mediterranean Diet (tie)
  • #3 The Flexitarian Diet
  • #4 Weight Watchers Diet
  • #5 MIND Diet (tie)
  • #5 TLC Diet (tie)
  • #5 Volumetrics Diet
  • #8 Mayo Clinic Diet
  • #9 Ornish Diet
  • #10 The Fertility Diet (tie)
  • #10 Vegetarian Diet (tie)

Source: U.S. News & World Report


According to one expert, the best time of day to workout is right after waking up. Personal trainer Keith McNiven says “by starting the day right you are more likely to stick to your fitness goal — and see results.”

According to McNiven, sticking to your fitness goals isn’t the only reason working out early can be beneficial, in fact, he says you build more muscle in the morning as well.

And with family obligations and lots of distractions that accumulate during the day, working out right after you wake up can guarantee you don’t forfeit your workout for other commitments.

Here are the top five reason’s McNiven lists as benefits for working out right after the alarm goes off, or after that first cup of coffee.

  1. You’ll build muscle faster: “In the early hours of the day, levels of vital hormones — like testosterone — that build muscle mass are higher. By exercising in the morning, you can take advantage of this,” McNiven says.
  1. Boost metabolism: “All other things being equal, working out in the morning will help to boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for the rest of the day,” according to McNiven.
  1. It’s quieter: It might sound like an obvious one, but the earlier you get to the gym the less likely you are to fight the crowds.
  1. You can dodge distractions: Fast forward to after work, and you will be less motivated, fatigued, or tempted to go with the work gang for a drink, distracted by a sick child, or an overdue report for work or school. McNiven says “if you’ve already completed your workout, you can simply roll with whatever obstacles come up later in the evening without feeling bad that you missed the other day.”
  1. Quality time: Lastly, McNiven says “nothing is more important than family. Which is why slicing off a small segment, like you can in the morning, is usually better than in the evening, when you have to fight rush hour, navigate a crowded gym, get home to shower, and allot whatever time is left to your family.”

Source: New York Post


It's been cold for the past few weeks in Northwest Arkansas, obviously. What may not be so obvious are things you shouldn’t leave in the car in freezing temperatures.

In these subzero temps check out the following items you don’t want to leave in the car under any circumstance:

  1. Cellphones - Apple advises against storing the iPhone or iPad at temperatures below negative-four degrees, and they shouldn't be operated at temperatures lower than 32-degrees. Similarly, Samsung phones and other electronics issue the same advisory. “Lithium-ion batteries popular in cellphones are the most vulnerable component to cold,” USA TODAY reports. They should work fine once they warm back up, but repeated exposure could cause problems.
  2. Soda or beer – Water expands when it freezes and for canned liquids that means they can explode. “The freeze temperature for Coca-Cola is 30-degrees, and the temperature for beer that's 5% alcohol by volume is 27-degrees (higher-alcohol beers freeze at lower temperatures),” NJ.com reported.
  3. Musical Instruments – When objects freeze, they contract which can cause tuning issues and more serious damage like cracking. "Damage can be done when an instrument shrinks as a result of the cold air. If your instrument is made of real wood, the cold air can cause cracking, which is very expensive to repair. Sometimes they are broken beyond repair," according toThe Real School of Music.
  4. Eggs – Eggs shouldn’t be allowed to freeze in their shells. If this happens, throw away any cracked ones. You can thaw cracked ones in the refrigerator right before use. "These can be hard cooked successfully, but other uses may be limited. That's because freezing causes the yolk to become thick and syrupy so it will not flow like an unfrozen yolk or blend very well with the egg white or other ingredients," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.
  5. Canned Foods – Same as the soda or beer, water expands when it freezes causing the can to crack open, spoiling the contents. "If the product doesn't look and/or smell normal, throw it out. DO NOT TASTE IT! If the seams have rusted or burst, throw the cans out immediately, wrapping the burst can in plastic and disposing the food where no one, including animals can get it," according to the USDA.

To read the complete list, click HERE!

Source: USA Today


The way you spend your morning can affect your whole day, so why not start off right? Here are some things to incorporate into your usual morning routine for a more positive day. They might just help you keep some of your New Year’s resolutions, too.

  • Wake up early so you can wake up slowly - Stop hitting snooze and then rushing to make it out the door on time. Waking up earlier gives you more time to lie around, exercise - if that’s your thing, get ready, and even make breakfast without being rushed.
  • Keep your phone on airplane mode in the morning - If you’re not already sleeping with your phone on airplane mode, you should be. And leave it set there until you’re finished with your morning routine so you’re not distracted by emails, texts, and such until you’re ready to handle them.
  • Do you - Since you’re up early and aren’t stressed out by your phone, you have time to take care of you. Drink hot lemon water, meditate, stretch, use your gratitude journal, go for a walk, or any other wellness practice that makes you happy in the morning.
  • Set your intentions - Think about your ideas, goals, and actions for the day.
  • Commit to a happier commute - Your attitude about your commute makes a big difference. Instead of flipping through radio stations searching for a good song to ease the pain of traffic, spend your drive calling friends and family to catch up, or listen to an entertaining podcast, or a funny morning show. You’ll arrive at work more relaxed and in a better mindset to start your day, and that makes everything feel better.

Source: The Thirty


We all know the golden rule of “treat others how you want to be treated,” but it can be hard to get that to sink in with our kids when they’re bickering with their siblings. But

the mom who runs a popular parenting blog and Facebook page called Beyond Momming recently shared her trick to getting her kids to think before they fight and her clever idea is now going viral.

The mama says she gave daughters a brand-new piece of paper and told them to write down how they want others to treat them. When they finished, she asked them to trade papers and read each other’s lists. But then came the brilliant part. Roy told the girls to say, “I don’t care!” and crumple up her sister’s feelings.

Roy explained to her shocked girls that “when you do mean, hateful, or hurtful things to other people, it’s the same as taking their feelings and crumpling them up.” Then she asked her kids to “fix it” by smoothing the papers out, to symbolize an apology. The girls saw that it’s not so easy to “fix” things, no matter how much they tried to smooth the paper out, there were still wrinkles that would never go away, just like pain that will be there after an apology.

The mom took it further and talked to her daughters about what would happen if they tried to smooth the paper out too many times. “It will rip,” one of them said. And Roy explained that people can eventually break, too, when pushed too far or hurt too much. What a great way to teach such a valuable life lesson.

Source: The Stir


Now that we’ve gotten through our overindulgent holiday season, it’s time to take a turn toward healthier eating in the new year. But we’re not talking about diets or detoxing here, we’re focusing on easy switches we can make to our existing diets. Forget the “can’t have” list and try to make these healthy swaps instead.

  • Swap regular meat for grass-fed, organic meat - Go for quality over quantity here. Try your local butcher out and eat grass-fed, organic meat to get less saturated fat, fewer calories, and higher levels of omega-3s, along with more nutrients like vitamin E, iron and zinc.
  • Swap store-bought dressing for homemade - Say no to all those preservatives, sugar, and ingredients you can’t pronounce in bottled salad dressing and make your own with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
  • Swap pasta for zoodles - Eat fewer carbs and still enjoy your favorite pasta dishes by trading out the regular noodles for “zoodles” made with zucchini. They have the same consistency, go well with the same toppings and sauces, and give you way more nutrients.
  • Swap your mains with your sides - Let veggies be the star of your meal instead of just a side dish.
  • Swap margarine for butter - Nothing beats the taste of the real thing and good-quality butter has vitamins A, D, & K, along with something called CLA that’s been shown to help lower body fat percentage.
  • Swap your snacks - Raw, unsalted nuts are your new go-to snacks. They’re packed with healthy fats, all kinds of nutrients, and plenty of protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.

Source: Cosmopolitan UK

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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