Aphrodesiacs for Valentine’s Day, Romantic Dining in NYC, Musings from Mom & Dad

“Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” ~Steve Jobs

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie — it’s amore.” ~Dean Martin

Ah,  love.  And pizza.  And love of pizza.   When I was a bright-eyed kid, my Dad made pizza for a living when he wasn’t working in “construction.”  Fellow Brooklynites will get the quotations joke.   While in grade school, I waited up for him for three reasons.  One, he brought home the next day’s New York Post and Daily News.  I loved feeling like I knew what was going in the world while everyone was sleeping.  Yes, New York was the WORLD.  Two, he always brought home large fresh pizza pies and three, quality time with Dad talking about  news and pizza.  So naturally, I associate pizza with love.

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...
Image via Wikipedia

Turns out, pizza made Reader’s Digest list of Top 10 Love-Foods for Valentine’s Day.  Saying “Love Foods” the way Don Cornelius would say, “Soul Train” in his honor today.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, aphrodisiacs are based in “folklore, not fact.”  Still, people continue to believe in the love-inducing effects of certain foods, herbs and extracts.

Some say if you believe something, you’re halfway there.  Ah, the placebo effect.  None of these attract a mate, but if you already have one, they may help improve  your love life.

                                 “Love each other.” ~Nonna Angelina

Discovery Health listed some of these:

  • Asparagus: The vitamin E in this vegetable is said to stimulate sex hormones.
  • Chili peppers: Some researchers say that eating hot peppers makes us release endorphins, which might lead to “other things.”
  • Chocolate: This favorite for Valentine’s Day contains phenylethylamine, one of the chemicals your body produces naturally when you’re in love (see The Chemistry of Love).
  • Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which reportedly increased the production of testosterone. Testosterone increases libido for both sexes.

Others include Ginkgo, Spanish fly (dead beetle parts) and Damiana.

Back to pizza.  READER’S DIGEST also compiled a list of sexy foods to boost your libido.  This one includes pizza pizza. Lots of ’em are yummy, so enjoy!   The first 6 are in my favorite snacks.  The link that follows it describes the health benefits of each.

  1. WATERMELON
  2. SPANISH OLIVES
  3. STRAWBERRIES
  4. CHERRIES
  5. ARTICHOKES
  6. CHAI TEA
  7. PROMEGRANATES
  8. PIZZA
  9. WHIPPED CREAM
  10. STEAK
Reader's Digest
Image via Wikipedia
 
CLICK BELOW FOR READER’S DIGEST LIST with HEALTH REASONS to ENJOY THESE FOODS:

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-more-aphrodisiacs-for-valentines-day/

Reader’s Digest Magazine: Only $4.00 per Year! (livingrichwithcoupons.com)

 

You could stay in with your  love and one of the yummy items on the list above OR if you’re in NYC you can check out these special 2012 NYC Valentine’s Day deals and prix fixe menus OR do both.

By , About.com Guide

 

1. 21 Club

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at New York’s landmark ’21’ Club, where the romantic upstairs dining room has been the site of numerous wedding proposals. For Valentine’s Day 2011, ‘21’ is serving a sumptuous three-course dinner, including a Veuve Clicquot champagne toast, for $125 per person.

(We had Rush’s book signing at 21 Club and I found it a tad stuffy.  Although, it may have been in  a different room than the dining room they speak of)

 
 

2. Agave

Enjoy a laid-back Southwestern Valentine’s Day at Agave with a special three-course menu and a premium tequila tasting for $120 per couple.

3. Aureole

For Valentine’s Day 2011, Aureole is serving a sumptuous five-course, prix-fixe dinner featuring foie gras and lobster for $175 per person ($100 wine pairing supplement). While there are certainly more affordable Valentine’s Day options, Aureole is a great choice for a special occasion splurge.

4. Bouley

The legendary Chef David Bouley is offering a six-course tasting menu for $195 per person ($295 with wine pairings) this Valentine’s Day. You can also take your Valentine to lunch at Bouley for just $36 per person for the tasting menu.

5. Bun Soho

This fabulous Grand Street Vietnamese spot is serving up a four-course prix-fixe menu with specialty cocktail and dessert for just $45 per couple. It’s the most affordable Valentine’s Day deal we found in Manhattan for the second year running.

6. Bryant Park Grill

At Bryant Park Grill, Valentine’s Day specials include the seafood raw bar for two, romantic cocktails (Budding Romance for Two features raspberry vodka and an edible orchid), and a complimentary box of hand made truffles. The regular menu is also available.

7. Chez Josephine

Chez Josephine, the restaurant inspired by the legendary Josephine Baker, offers a romantic setting complete with red velvet walls and chandeliers. Pianist/vocalist Christ Curtis will serenade diners as they enjoy a prix-fixe menu of French American bistro favorites for $75 per person.

8. COMMERCE

Enjoy incredible food in this historic Greenwich Village space. The three-course Valentine’s Day menu  offers options for $69-$98 per person (depending on entree choice).

 

9. Gentleman Farmer

Make it an intimate local Valentine’s Day at Gentleman Farmer on the Lower East Side. This cozy 20-seat restaurant serves a menu that combines traditional French cuisine with fresh local ingredients. The Valentine’s Day 2011 prix-fixe menu is $55 for three courses.

10. Guantanamera

Make it a Cuban Valentine’s Day with a three-course dinner, live music, and hand-rolled cigars for $69 per person.

If you want to impress someone special, choosing the right restaurant can make all the difference. These restaurants offer romantic atmosphere, as well quality food and service that are sure to impress — whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or another special occasion.
 
(Some of the following seem like nothing special when you’re  a local. Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe don’t seem particularly romantic to me.  The Sea Grill gets lots of tourists.)
 
More Romance in New York City:
 
 
 

1. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern Dining RoomPhoto by Ellen Silverman, used with permission
Danny Meyer’s restaurants are reknowned for impeccable service, and Gramercy Tavern is no different. Serving creative American fare, Gramercy Tavern is the perfect place for a perfect meal, from start to finish. Reservations suggested, though the tavern area has reduced prices and a no-reservation policy.Gramercy Tavern Basics:
42 E. 20th St.
Between Broadway and Park Ave. So.
212-477-0777
 

2. Union Square Cafe

Union Square CafePhoto by Nathan Rawlinson, used with permission.
Another Danny Meyer destination, Union Square Cafe offers great service and delicious fare in a comfortable setting. Union Square Cafe is friendly to vegetarians. Reservations suggested, though the bar area offers you an in without a reservation.Union Square Cafe Basics:
21 E. 16th St.
Between Fifth Ave. and Union Sq. West
212-243-4020

3. One If By Land, Two If By Sea

One If By Land, Two If By SeaPhoto Courtesy of One If By Land, Two If By Sea, used with permission
Often considered the most romantic restaurant in New York City, One if By Land, TIBS is housed in a former carriage house that features nightly live piano music and working fireplaces. Exposed brick and dim lighting make this a great destination for a romantic evening.One If By Land, Two If By Sea:
17 Barrow St.
Between 7th Ave. S. & W. 4th St.
212-228-0822

4. Balthazar

I must admit, I’m a bit prejudiced, since Balthazar is where I went for dinner after I got engaged, but if being transported to a bustling Parisian bistro is your idea of romance, this is the perfect destination. Steak frites are fabulous, as is the onion goat cheese tart.Balthazar Basics:
80 Spring St.
Between Crosby & Broadway.
212-965-1785

5. Daniel

If you really want to dazzle your date, Daniel is among New York City’s most impressive restaurants, with prices to match. Decor reflects Daniel Boulud’s appreciation for Italian Renaissance design, but the menu features creative French cuisine. 3 Course Prix-Fixe $96.Daniel Basics:
60 E. 65th St.
Between Park and Madison Aves.
212-288-0033

6. Blue Hill

With an annual Valentine’s Day tradition of serving a “hands-free” meal, Blue Hill offers an off-beat take on your typical romantic evening. Serving American cuisine, Blue Hill builds a menu focused on seasonally available produce from the Hudson Valley.Blue Hill Basics:
75 Washington Pl.
Between Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St.
212-539-1776.

7. Savoy

This warmly lit restaurant feels more like a country inn — complete with a roaring fire in the colder months. Dine on fine American cuisine and if you’d really like to impress, reserve for the chef’s special menu.Savoy Basics:
70 Prince St.
Between Crosby and Lafayette Sts.
212-219-8570

8. The Sea Grill

Overlooking the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, The Sea Grill is a great choice for a romantic evening, assuming your date likes seafood. From oysters and clams to herb crusted skate, the menu offerings reflect a range of seafood options all well prepared and very fresh.The Sea Grill Basics:
19 W. 49th St.
Between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
212-332-7610

If it’s the perfect view that makes you feel romantic, you can do no better than The River Cafe on Brooklyn’s waterfront. Featuring delicious food combined with professional, attentive service, The River Cafe is well worth leaving Manhattan for the food alone, but the view of downtown Manhattan makes this an irresistable choice.The River Cafe Basics:
1 Water Street, Brooklyn
718-522-5200

10. The Place

This West Village restaurant offers all of the romance of New York’s finest restaurants, but with a more affordable price tag. The menu features both American and pan-European cuisine.The Place Basics:
310 W. 4th St.
Between Bank and W. 12th Sts.
212-924-2711

If anyone had a personal great experience at any restaurants listed –please let me know in comments.

More Romantic New York City

MUSINGS FROM MOM & DAD

 
MOM:      Love isn’t about getting roses or going to restaurants.
ME:          What is it?
MOM:      I don’t know.  Ask your father. (married 50 years and she doesn’t know)
 
ME:          Dad, Mommy said to ask you what is love?
DAD:       She’s crazy.
ME:          Well, what is it?
DAD:        What?
ME:           Love.  Amore!!!
DAD:       When you want to be with one person so you can be crazy together.
ME:           Brilliant.
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, Mom gave me a beautiful answer when I asked her once before. I always ask them that question.  If they have an epiphany, I want to be the first to know.  Mom said love was about two people who want to grow a garden together, water it every day, watch it grow, thorns and all.  Something like that. I wrote it down somewhere.
 
 
 
 
Post note:  If you’re single and alone on Valentine’s Day — you can’t go wrong with the pizza.     One of the few things you can still find for one dollar a slice.  Pizza = Love.   😀
 

Link below to find .99 cents pizza anywhere in NYC or click on City/State to find elsewhere:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”                      ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
 
 
 

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10 Metabolism Boosting Foods

Image

This great article from Sheri Strykowski about metabolism boosting foods and how to increase metabolism that is sure to have you nodding your head in agreement but there are a few that will probably be new to you as well.

 How to Increase Metabolism

1. Water! A new study seems to indicate that drinking water actually speeds up weight loss and is a great way how to increase metabolism. Researchers in Germany found that subjects of the study increased their metabolic rates (the rate at which calories are burned) by 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that banishes bloat as it flushes out sodium and toxins. Drinking enough water will also help keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger. So drink up! Make sure that you are starting your day with a big big glass of water and drink throughout the day not just all at one time.

 2. Green Tea! Studies show that green tea extracts boost metabolism and may aid in weight loss. This mood-enhancing tea has also been reported to contain anti-cancer properties and help prevent heart disease. It’s also a trendy drink among weight-conscious celebrities. You may Have already seen my green tea articles but this may be one really fantastic herb and it tastes nice too!

3. Soup! Eat less and burn fat faster by having a bowl of soup as an appetizer or a snack. According to a Penn State University study, soup is a super appetite suppressant because it’s made up of a hunger-satisfying combination of liquids and solids. In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch. Women who had chicken and rice soup as a snack consumed a n average of 100 fewer calories than those in the study who opted for a chicken and rice casserole or the casserole and a glass of water. I used to joke that soup is not a meal but it really dies fill you for very few calories and remember that when you eat a food with a lot of taste it really will satisfy.

4. Grapefruit! The grapefruit diet is not a myth. Researchers at Scripps Clinic found that participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal in a 12-week period lost an average of 3.6 pounds. The study indicates that the unique chemical properties in this vitamin C-packed citrus fruit reduce insulin levels, which promotes weight loss and boost metabolism. NOTE: If you are taking medication, check with your doctor about any potentially adverse interactions with grapefruit. Grapefruit, because of the soft peel is a nice alternative to an apple of orange and study after study of the last 30 years has shown that it can really help burn fat.

5. Apples and Pears! Overweight women who ate the equivalent of three small apples or pears a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruit to their diet, according to re searchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Fruit eaters also ate fewer calories overall. So next time you need to satisfy a sugar craving, reach for this low-calorie, high-fiber snack. You’ll feel full longer and eat less.

6. Broccoli! Study after study links calcium and weight loss. Broccoli is not only high in calcium, but also loaded with vitamin C, which boosts calcium absorption. This member of the nutritious cabbage family also has plenty of vitamin A, folate and fiber. And, at just 20-calories per cup, this weight-loss superfood not only fights fat but also contains powerful phytochemicals that boost your immunity and protect against disease.

7. Low-Fat Yogurt! Dairy products can boost weight loss efforts, according to a study in the April issue of Obesity Research. People on a reduced-calorie diet who included three to four servings of dairy foods lost significantly more weight than those who ate a low-dairy diet containing the same number of calories. Low-fat yogurt is a rich source of weight-loss-friendly calcium, providing about 450 mg (about half the recommended daily allowance for women ages 19-50) per 8-ounce serving, as well as 12 grams of protein. As far as superfood go Yogurt is right there. It includes calcium, protein and a ton of other nutrients as well as good bacteria and probiotics for you digestive tract.

8. Lean Turkey! Rev up your fat-burning engine with this bodybuilder favorite. Countless studies have shown that protein can help boost metabolism, lose fat and build lean muscle tissue so you burn more calories. A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless lean turkey breast weighs in at 120 calories and provides 26 grams of appetite-curbing protein, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat. With the price of chicken going up and up these days Turkey has become a great alternative. Remember that Turkey is a little tougher than chicken and the taste is a little different but it is not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas anymore.

9. Oatmeal! This heart-healthy favorite ranks high on the good carb list, because it’s a good source of cholesterol-fighting, fat-soluble fiber (7 grams per 3/4-cup serving) that keeps you full and provides you with the energy you need to make the most of your workouts. Just be sure to choose steel cut or rolled oats, not instant oatmeal, to get your full dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber. For many years now Pro Bodybuilders have relied on Oatmeal as a staple of their breakfast, it is amazingly high in nutrients.

10. Hot Peppers! Eating hot peppers can speed up and boost metabolism and cool your cravings, researchers at Laval University in Canada found. Here’s why: Capsaicin (a chemical found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers) temporarily stimulates your body to release more stress hormones, which speeds up your metabolism and causes you to burn more calories.

Here’s how these 10 fat-blasting superstars help you lose weight and how to increase metabolism.

How to Increase MetabolismEach of these healthy weight-loss boosters fills you up and keeps you full longer on fewer calories.

How to Increase MetabolismWater-rich fresh fruits, veggies and soup dilute the calories in your food and allow you to eat more without breaking the calorie bank.

How to Increase MetabolismHigh-fiber fruit, vegetables and nutritious whole grains keep your digestive system on track and steady insulin levels, which prevents fat storage.

How to Increase MetabolismLean meat boosts metabolism and burns calories because it take more energy to digest than other foods.

Healthy Relationships: Be Truthful

Tell The Truth Now Or Be Forced To Later

by Guest Author, Armen

You get the choice every so often to tell the truth or go an alternate route and speak dishonestly. Sometimes, dishonesty is great in the short term, possibly as short as a few milliseconds. What you might want to remember for the next time this choice comes up is that you can speak the truth now or be forced into doing so in a tougher condition at a future time.

The goal here is not to try to convince you to be more honest outright, but to point out the consequences of not being honest.

Dishonesty Represents Fear

One key point is that dishonesty is a sign of fear. Someone who had no fear would have no reason to be dishonest, because they wouldn’t be alleviating a short-term fear through it. Not only is it a signal of fear, your fear increases once the dishonesty has been shown, as you now have an added fear of someone finding out. If you want to get someone to start a cycle that will cause them huge problems in the future, try to convince them to lie about something. If your influence causes it to occur, you will have given them the seed of fear, which, unless they clear up quickly, will grow and hold them back from any substantial action.

You Will Know You Lied

When you don’t tell the truth at the first opportunity, and end up prevaricating, which is a quality word that means ‘lying’, the first person to know you lied is you. Then, you end up thinking about why you lied. This leads to feelings of disappointment, knowing that you viewed your interests and health as less valuable than that of appeasing the other person or people you were dishonest to. When you lie to someone, you are giving your power to them. It is like handing it over. If you lie to someone who doesn’t have your best intent in mind, and they find out, they will be quite glad because it represents weakness on your part.

Now You Try To Keep It Going

Once a lie is completed, you now have to use a certain percentage of your thinking capacity to maintain it. It stays in your mind, while all the other people you interact with don’t even know it is using up some of your cognitive ability. An item like this is one of the things that separates the results between a first-tier and second-tier individual of the same ability. While you might be equal to someone else, when it comes time to take action or show your ability, you may be 15% less able to do so due to a lie or two that is using up your energy. This then causes you to lose out to the other person, which further exacerbates your anguish in relation to the lie.

A Truth Tipping Point Is Reached

As this process continues, you may end up creating reason after reason to continue the deception. Each one adds on another percentage of thinking ability that is consumed maintaining your self-image in the face of continued demands. At a certain point, which might be called the tipping point, although that term is usually reserved for a cross into good territory, the lies take up more of your ability than you can handle to maintain your image. It is here that you switch to a fight-or-flight response. This is where your mind says that you have to release the truth because the cons now outweigh the pros of maintaining the deception, because you will soon break, and the truth will be released anyway. Once this point is hit, the truth comes out directly or indirectly, and the original consequences, plus added consequences from all the deception, show up to be responded to.

Lying versus telling the truth is another example of short-term thinking versus long-term thinking. Here are some examples of what lying says to the world:

  • I am too weak to deal with the consequences of the truth
  • I think only in the short-term
  • I am not interested in success
  • I am fine with having bigger problems down the road

Successful People Know This

This also relates to why it is a pleasure to work with successful people. When you do so, you can be nearly 100% sure that they won’t lie to you, because they would not risk their success with such a mistake. They know one lie could be their downfall, so what you get from them is likely unadulterated thoughts from their stream of consciousness. This influences you to do the same.

Lying Versus “Truth Postponement”

Back to the original point, you have to remember that the choice is not whether you tell the truth or lie, but whether you tell the truth now or get forced into it in a tough way at a later time or date. Keeping that in mind as what the actual choice is makes ‘lying’ slightly less appealing. ‘Lying’ could have a new meaning of “truth postponement”.

Lying By Omission Leaves Others Unable To Help You

I almost forgot to add in this about lying by omission. This type of lying is even worse than active lying because, at least in active lying, the person on the other end might help compel you to come clean and speak the truth later on. When you lie by omission, the other person usually has no idea you even left something out. They are then not able to provide some sort of corrective pressure on you. While this is usually described as the less damaging type of lying, which it is with respect to the person being lied to, it is more damaging to you. One way to think about it is that there is nothing you can say that is so bad that not saying it outweighs saying it in the long-term.

Weakness And Lies

Weakness, lies, and unsuccessfulness go very well together. They each lead to one another, and you generally want to avoid all three. Most people would see all three of these items as negatives. Weakness may seem to be more of a vague term, but it is the general feeling that arises from a problem being unsolved for the time being, leading to the mind having to expend energy trying to solve it, leaving it less capable to deal with new issues. Lies are quickly identified, and unsuccessfulness represents failure not in the sense of trying and failing, but either not trying or not understanding the plot.

Weakness Leads To Problems

Presenting yourself in a weak fashion, so as not to upset or bother anyone, is sure to bring problems your way. The minute you act like a doormat, people will treat you as such. Various problems arise when you try to ingratiate yourself with others by acting subserviently or similar. When you give in to others demands to make a situation less tense, they remember that and use it again the next time around. It isn’t because they want to be spiteful, but that their mind sees a shortcut in your weakness, and so it doesn’t make sense to not use it.

Lies Waste Your Time

A lie by definition has to be maintained to stay a lie. Once it is revealed, it is no longer a lie, and no longer leads to problems. Until that point, it is a false setting that has to be protected in its not being known. It takes loads of time and effort to make sure it doesn’t show up here or there, and this time and effort can’t be regained. The longer a lie is maintained, the more time you end up losing.

Keep This Trio Out Of Your Days

This combo of items that aren’t positive are to be avoided as a package. Remember that one leads to another, and they tend to originate from wanting to appease others. That will help in avoiding the circular effect.

When you are asked a direct question give a truthful (and always respectful) answer.  You owe that to your fellow human beings and yourself.

Related:

Telling Lies Can Affect Your Health

The Mind Body Connection

Our nervous systems are connected to our immune systems so it makes sense that our brain and our emotions can send out messages that affect our health. To put it simply, your body responds to the way you think. When we think happy thoughts our bodies produce endorphins; hormones that make us feel good. Those chemicals also contribute to a stronger, healthier immune system. Conversely, when we are worried, anxious or generally stressed out, our bodies produce different kinds of hormones such ascortisol, and norepinephrine.

Cortisol increases blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. Norepinephrine kick starts the “flight or fight” response meaning our heart rate accelerates and our blood pressure goes up.

Modern medical doctors as well as holistic practitioners agree that a person who lies continuously will eventually face anxiety, depression, physical illness and even psychological illness.

Source: Saundra Dalton-Smith M.D, author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves.
Telling Lies Can Affect Your Health

Why Do We Lie?

Psychologists tell us that we lie because we are fearful of the consequences of telling the truth. Guilt bears a heavy burden on those who live into it, so people lie to avoid looking stupid, or incompetent, or so someone won’t get angry at them.

There are other reasons why people lie. People are afraid of being punished. They may feel embarrassed, they may loose face, status, or they might not get what they want, as many liars lie to manipulate people.

 
Liars think they are protecting themselves, but that kind of  payoffobliterates the meager benefits listed above and it can be devastating to one’s health and happiness.

First off, it takes a lot more effort to tell a lie than to tell the truth. 

To be a believable liar, you have to live into the lie, which often means believing in the lie yourself. Deluding yourself is stressful work because it’s a lot easier to remember the truth than it is to remember details of a lie. If you’re questioned about the situation that led to the lie, you have to stick with it even if someone challenges your lie with proof that you’re lying. It takes a smooth operator to gloss over every challenge and it takes a sharp memory to defend every lie with conviction. Even the most convincing liar constantly worries that his or her lies will be exposed. It’s that kind of anxiety that brings on ulcers, headaches, sleepless nights and paranoia.

Lying is not only an anti-social behavior, liars often become anti-social themselves. If they hang around people they’ve lied to, they begin to dislike those people. They may even blame them for their problems. It’s no wonder that lies can ruin work relationships, marriages and friendships. If you’re caught in a lie, your credibility drops to zero. Without credibility or friends it’s easy to understand why liars are prone to self-criticism and depression.

 Don’t Worry About Choosing the Truth

If you are tempted to lie, relax. Remember that the repercussions of telling the truth are really much easier on the mind and body than are the repercussions of telling a lie. There are a lot of benefits in choosing to tell the truth, including saving your sanity and physical health.

Simply by saying you’re sorry (if you did something wrong) and offering to make up for your error may end the ordeal quickly and you won’t be plagued with having to constantly substantiate the charade of the lie.

Simply by telling the truth about an embarrassing situation and taking responsibility for your actions can win you respect and perhaps even the support of others.

You’ll also gain a reputation for being an honest person. True, you may be known for making mistakes, but honesty is still the best policy and you’ll avoid that stomach ulcer.

People may just become more truthful to you and that has lots of advantages. You’ll worry less about whether others are telling you lies.

By being a truthful person, you’ll become more persuasive. People will trust you more. It’s ironic, but truthful people get more of what they want in life and if you get what you want you have less to stress about.

By being truthful, you’ll sleep better, eat healthier and consequently, you’ll look better.

To Stay Healthy, Stay Honest

Remember, whether you call them fibs, white lies, or exaggerations, if it isn’t the whole truth..it’s a lie.

We don’t often realize that something as simple as the words we chose, can make us ill, but it’s true. Lies will eventually eat you alive; the truth will support and nourish your mind, body and spirit.

So don’t jeopardize your mental and physical well-being by letting fear rule your actions and choice of words. Lies will enslave you…and as the saying goes, “The truth will set you free”.

First Non-Invasive Imaging to Detect Brain Tumors

Diagnostic Brain Tumor Test Could Revolutionize Care of Patients with Low-Grade Gliomas

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed what they believe to be the first clinical application of a new imaging technique to diagnose brain tumors. The unique test could preclude the need for surgery in patients whose tumors are located in areas of the brain too dangerous to biopsy.

This new magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technique provides a definitive diagnosis of cancer based on imaging of a protein associated with a mutated gene found in 80 percent of low- and intermediate-grade gliomas. Presence of the mutation also means a better prognosis.

“To our knowledge, this is the only direct metabolic consequence of a genetic mutation in a cancer cell that can be identified through noninvasive imaging,” said Dr. Elizabeth Maher, associate professor of internal medicine and neurology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, available online in Nature Medicine. “This is a major breakthrough for brain tumor patients.”

UT Southwestern researchers developed the test by modifying the settings of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to track the protein’s levels. The data acquisition and analysis procedure was developed by study lead author Dr. Changho Choi, associate professor of the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC) and radiology. Previous research linked high levels of this protein to the mutation, and UT Southwestern researchers already had been working on MRS of gliomas to find tumor biomarkers.

“Our next step is to make this testing procedure widely available as part of routine MRIs for brain tumors. It doesn’t require any injections or special equipment,” said Dr. Maher, medical director of UT Southwestern’s neuro-oncology program.

To substantiate the test as a diagnostic tool, biopsy samples from 30 glioma patients enrolled in the UT Southwestern clinical trial were analyzed; half had the mutation and expected high levels of the protein. MRS imaging of these patients had been done before surgery and predicted, with 100 percent accuracy, which patients had the mutation.

For Thomas Smith of Grand Prairie, the test helped determine the best time to begin chemotherapy. When an MRS scan showed a sharp rise in the 25-year-old’s protein levels, this indicated to his health care team that his tumor was moving from dormancy to rapid growth.

“We treated him with chemotherapy and his protein levels came down,” Dr. Maher said.

Before participating in the study, Mr. Smith had tumor removal surgery in 2007. Because part of the tumor could not be safely removed, however, he continued to suffer seizures and had other neurological problems. Since chemotherapy, his symptoms have diminished.

“I did six rounds of chemo, every six weeks,” Mr. Smith said. “My seizures stopped and all my symptoms improved. I am only on anti-seizure medication now.”

Notes about this brain cancer research article

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study included Sandeep Ganji, a doctorate student in radiological sciences; Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, assistant professor of pediatrics and with the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development; Dr. Kimmo Hatanpaa, associate professor of pathology; Dr. Dinesh Rakheja, assistant professor of pathology; Dr. Zoltan Kovacs, assistant professor in the AIRC; Drs. Xiao-Li Yang and Tomoyuki Mashimo, both senior research scientists in internal medicine; Dr. Jack Raisanen, professor of pathology; Dr. Isaac Marin-Valencia, resident in pediatrics; Dr. Juan Pascual, assistant professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics, pediatrics, and physiology; Dr. Christopher Madden, associate professor of neurological surgery; Dr. Bruce Mickey, professor of neurological surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, and radiation oncology; Dr. Craig Malloy, professor in the AIRC and of internal medicine and radiology; and Dr. Robert Bachoo, assistant professor in neurology and neurotherapeutics, and internal medicine.

Funding: The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and financial support from the Annette G. Strauss Center for Neuro-oncology at UT Southwestern.

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Contact: Debbie Bolles – The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Source: The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center press release
Original Research: Abstract for “2-hydroxyglutarate detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in IDH-mutated patients with gliomas” by Changho Choi, Sandeep K Ganji, Ralph J DeBerardinis, Kimmo J Hatanpaa, Dinesh Rakheja, Zoltan Kovacs, Xiao-Li Yang, Tomoyuki Mashimo, Jack M Raisanen, Isaac Marin-Valencia, Juan M Pascual, Christopher J Madden, Bruce E Mickey, Craig M Malloy, Robert M Bachoo and Elizabeth A Maher from Nature Medicine

 Also See Link Below: Novel Drug Makes Brain Tumors Glow Hot Pink

Related Neuroscience Articles

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It’s a Snug World with Snug Science

Catching a cold lowers your immune system if you’re old or young.  So, I’m a big fan of quality products that keep you toasty warm and healthy in frigid air.

My Mom used to dress us in these when we were kids.  Snowstorms in Brooklyn were brutal.  Glad to see they’re still around to keep babies warm in Winter.  I love that they grow with your baby up to 4-years-old.  Take a look:   It’s a Snug World with Snug Science – Includes a Chance to Win!.

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

 

Water: How much should you drink every day?

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

By Mayo Clinic staff

How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

   

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

What about the advice to drink eight glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.

Factors that influence water needs

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
 
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
 
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
 
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.
 

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

Although it’s a great idea to keep water within reach at all times, you don’t need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated

Generally if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or light yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you.

To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s also a good idea to:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
 

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

Question:

Alkaline water: Better than plain water?

Is alkaline water better for you than plain water?

Answer:

from Mayo Clinic Nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

For most people, plain water is best.

Alkaline water has a higher pH level than does tap water. Some proponents say that alkaline water can neutralize acid in your bloodstream, boost your energy level and metabolism, and help your body absorb nutrients more effectively. Others say that alkaline water can help you resist disease and slow the aging process. However, researchers haven’t verified these claims.

Some research does suggest that alkaline water may slow bone loss, but further study is needed to determine if the positive effects can be maintained over the long term or influence bone mineral density overall.

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Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation. According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island.

The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.

Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare. Love looked around with hope.

Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could you please take me in your boat?”

“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver. There is no place for you.”

A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.”

Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get soiled with your muddy feet.”

Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”

When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about anyone.

Love was growing restless and dejected. Just then somebody called out, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous, but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.

On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge, do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to help?”

Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.”

“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your true greatness and what you are capable of. Only love can bring peace and great happiness in this world.”

“The important message is that when we are Prosperous, we overlook Love. When we feel Important, we forget Love. Even in Happiness and Sorrow we forget Love.

Only with Time do we realize the importance of Love.