The Great American Smokeout – Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking (Tell us how you quit the habit)



Thursday is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout and it’s another opportunity for smokers to give up the habit once and for all.

The Smokeout encourages people to quit or make a plan to quit.

Don’t quit quitting. It’s never to late to stop. Maybe you’ve said these phases to yourself and just need a little more support to finally quit smoking for good.

Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking can be hard, so a good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Five steps can help.

  1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support. Try SmokefreeTEXT for 24/7 help on your mobile phone.
  3. Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Surprised? Those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    • Drink water.
    • Take a walk or ride your bike.
    • Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
    • Call or text a friend.
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.

Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.

Eat more Oatmeal!!! – The many benefits of eating Oatmeal



Helps control weight.

Let’s face it, we could all use some help at times, but did you ever think oatmeal could help control your weight? It’s true! According to a research study published in the October 2009 issue of “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research” a compound in oatmeal known as β-glucan reduces appetite by increasing the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.

Reduces blood pressure.

We all know that heart disease is a major problem in North America and throughout the world. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication to lower blood pressure!

Reduces cholesterol.

Have you ever heard of soluble fiber? Well, compared to other grains, oats actually have the highest portion of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your intestinal tract trap substances associated with blood cholesterol.  Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who eat just 3 g of soluble fiber per day can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 23% (remember that one cup of oats yields 4 g)!

Lowers risk of colon cancer.

Cancer of the colon is horrible and can be very painful. One study, pooled by researchers in Britain and the Netherlands, published evidence that there was a link between people who ate a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. This study also covered nearly 2 million people and specifically found that for every additional 10 grams of fiber in someone’s diet, there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer!

Stabilizes blood sugar.

What does this mean? We have all experienced a “sugar crash”/ “mid morning slump” after a big meal or sugary breakfast; well, with oatmeal, this doesn’t happen as much. As a result of oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content, its sugar is released more slowly into the blood stream (aka, it has a low glycemic index). It’s important to note that steel cut oats will have more of an effect on stabilizing your blood sugar than instant oats, because they are less processed and thus have more soluble fiber. Another added bonus, is because it takes longer to digest, you will feel full longer

Athletic performance.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how beneficial oatmeal was in giving me energy before my swimming practices while on the National Team for my town. Oatmeal, is a great carbohydrate and protein source, providing calories and energy for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.

Helps you sleep.

Our society has ingrained in us that oatmeal is a breakfast food, although it is also a wise choice before bedtime. In fact, the Scottish recommend a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get you feeling nice and sleepy.

Why is oatmeal good before bed? Well, oats actually contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain and help you sleep, according to Dr.Oz. Furthermore, oatmeal contains many vitamins, including B6, which is a co-factor that also aids in the production of more serotonin in the brain.

Credit: Life Hack

Happy National Kick Butts Day!!! – What are you doing to kick the habit?



Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.

On Kick Butts Day, teachers, youth leaders and health advocates organize events to:

  1. Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community;
  2. Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free; and
  3. Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.

Kick Butts Day is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The first Kick Butts Day was held in 1996.


The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.

We work to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. To achieve our mission, we:

  1. Promote public policies proven to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. These include higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, well-funded tobacco prevention and stop-smoking programs, and tough regulation of tobacco products and marketing.
  2. Expose and counter tobacco industry efforts to market to children and mislead the public.
  3. Strengthen tobacco control efforts in the United States and worldwide by providing support and information to our many partners.
  4. Mobilize organizations and individuals to join the fight against tobacco.
  5. Empower a tobacco-free generation by fostering youth leadership and activism.
  6. Inform the public, policy makers and the media about tobacco’s devastating consequences and the effectiveness of the policies we support.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that accepts no government or tobacco industry funding. We rely on contributions from individuals, philanthropic foundations, corporations and other non-profit organizations.

Get more information from Kick Butts Day

Survival of the Fittest – List of common Chemicals that are making you Fat & Depressed



We’ve all heard that if we eat too many calories, we’ll get fat. But there’s more to it: it’s not just the calories, but the chemicals, in our food that contribute to obesity.

Some of these chemicals — called “obesogens” — trigger our bodies to store fat even though we might be restricting calories. The effects are complex: some of these chemicals increase the number of fat cells, others expand the size of fat cells and still others influence appetite, cravings, fullness and how well the body burns calories. In addition to obesogens, other synthetic food ingredients have been shown to help us pack on the pounds and leave us feeling depressed, even when when we think we’re eating healthy.

To stop feeling that way, here are the top five chemicals to avoid in food.

  1. Growth Hormones & Antibiotics

Several drugs, growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics are routinely given to conventionally raised animals to fatten them up on less food. Residues from some of these drugs have been found in meat samples, so you very well could be eating these growth-promoting drugs every time you eat a steak. These drugs are believed to contribute to the obesity epidemic and are poorly regulated in the U.S.

How to avoid: Choose only certified organic grass-fed meat and dairy products (preferably local). Treatment with growth hormones and growth-promoting antibiotics isn’t permitted in organically grown animals. As an added benefit, organic grass-fed beef has been shown to contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may actually help you lose weight.

  1. Artificial & Natural Flavors

All of the chemicals that make processed food taste good — monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial flavors and natural flavors — are just cheap replacements for the real thing and can cause you to eat more than you would otherwise.

With the innocuous-sounding term “natural flavors,” companies can put whatever they want in your food that’s generally recognized as safe, including naturally occurring glutamate bi-products like MSG, known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food.

How to avoid: Steer clear of processed foods, particularly those that have artificial flavors, natural flavors, monosodium glutamate or other “processed free glutamic acid” additives like autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins.

  1. Artificial Sweeteners

Think you’re going to lose weight by switching from regular soda to diet? Think again. Researchers have discovered that artificial sweeteners like those in Diet Coke, can affect gut bacteria, leading to more weight gain. If that isn’t bad enough, the artificial sweetener Aspartame has been linked to mood swings and depression.

How to avoid: Don’t eat anything with artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin) in the ingredient list. Limit your sugar intake overall, but choose unrefined sweeteners such as coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, raw honey and dried fruits such as dates.

  1. Pesticides

Out of all the common pesticides Americans are regularly exposed to, the majority of them are “endocrine disruptors“, making them obesogens. Even in tiny amounts, endocrine disruptors have the ability to disrupt major weight controlling hormones (catecholamines), interfere with the natural hormone systems that regulate metabolism and lead to weight gain.

How to avoid: Minimize your exposure to pesticides by choosing certified organic produce and products. (Synthetic pesticides are prohibited in organic farming.) If organic isn’t available, choose fresh produce that’s on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15″ list of produce with the least pesticide residue.

  1. Plastics

Whether it’s a bottle of salad dressing or container of leftovers, most of us are exposed to plastics on a daily basis. Many of these plastics contain substances such as phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA), known endocrine disruptors that have beendirectly linked to increased fat storage. These chemicals have the ability to leach into food and have infiltrated our society so much that they’ve been found 93% of urine samples tested in America.

How to avoid: Choose your water bottles, storage containers, straws and eating utensils wisely, and stock up on those made from glass or stainless steel instead of plastic. Glass jars make an affordable option for storing food.

Credit: Mind Body Green

Sunday Funday!!! – Happy National Vodka Day – How to make Skittles Vodka Recipe


Happy National Lemon Juice Day – Benefits of Lemon Juice



Health Benefits of Lemon

Various health benefits of lemon are explained below:

Indigestion and Constipation: Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and constipation. Add a few drops of lemon on your dish (take care, as lemon does not go well with milk), and it will aid in digestion.

Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fevers by increasing perspiration.

Dental Care: Lemon juice is also frequently used in dental care. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the area of a toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain.

Weight Loss: If a person drinks lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can help reduce body weight.

Respiratory Disorders: Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack. Lemon, as a rich rich source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with more long-term respiratory disorders.

Skin Care: Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. Lemon juice can be applied to reduce the pain of sun burn, and it helps to ease the pain from bee stings as well. Lemon juice can be applied on the skin for the treatment of acne and eczema. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin.

Credit: Organic Facts

Happy National Watermelon Day!!! – The Amazing Health Benefits of Watermelon



Summer is the time to indulge in fresh, succulent juicy melon when they are in season and deliver an array of nutrients, vitamin and minerals. It is also incredibly hydrating (up to 92% water!) and is naturally low-fat. Make this melon a part of your daily diet and you will reap amazing benefits that range from improving cardiovascular health to nourishing your eyes and revving up your immune system. Read on to discover 8 amazing health benefits of watermelon!

Cardiovascular & Bone Health

The lycopene in watermelon is especially important for our cardiovascular health and is now being recognized as an important factor in promoting bone health. Consuming large amounts of watermelon has also been correlated with improved cardiovascular function because it improves blood flow via vasodilation (relaxation of blood pressure). Dietary lycopene (from foods like watermelon or tomatoes) reduces oxidative stress which normally reduces the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (the two major bone cells involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis) – this means stronger bones for those consuming lycopene-rich foods. Watermelon is also rich in potassium which helps to retain calcium in your body, resulting in stronger bones and joints.

Reduces Body Fat

The citrulline in watermelon has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. Citrulline is an amino acid which converts into arginine with help from the kidneys. When our bodies absorb citrulline it can take the step of converting into arginine if so required. Citrulline, when consumed, has the ability to (through a series of steps) block the activity of TNAP (tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase) which makes our fat cells create less fat, and thus helps prevent over-accumulation of body fat.

Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Support

Watermelon is rich in phenolic compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids. The carotenoid lycopene in watermelon is particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation and neutralizing free radicals. The tripterpenoid cucurbitacin E is also present in watermelon, which provides anti-inflammatory support by blocking activity of cyclo-oxygenase enzymes which normally lead to increased inflammatory support. Make sure you pick ripe watermelons, because they contain higher amounts of these beneficial phenolic compounds.

Diuretic & Kidney Support

Watermelon is a natural diuretic which helps increase the flow of urine, but does not strain the kidneys (unlike alcohol and caffeine). Watermelons helps the liver process ammonia (waste from protein digestion) which eases strain on the kidneys while getting rid of excess fluids.

Muscle & Nerve Support

Rich in potassium, watermelon is a great natural electrolyte and thus helps regulate the action of nerves and muscles in our body. Potassium determines the degree and frequency with which our muscles contract, and controls the excitation of nerves in our body.


Watermelons have an alkaline-forming effect in the body when fully ripe. Eating lots of alkaline-forming foods (fresh, ripe, fruit and vegetables) can help reduce your risk of developing disease and illness caused by a high-acid diet (namely, meat, eggs and dairy).

Improves Eye Health

Watermelon is a wonderful source of beta-carotene (that rich red hue of watermelon = beta carotene) which is converted in the body to vitamin A. It helps produce the pigments in the retina of the eye and protects against age-related macular degeneration as well as prevents night blindness. Vitamin A also maintains healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes.

Immune Support, Wound Healing & Prevents Cell Damage

The vitamin C content in watermelon is astoundingly high. Vitamin C is great at improving our immune system by maintaining the redox integrity of cells and thereby protecting them from reactive oxygen species (which damages our cells and DNA). The role of vitamin C in healing wounds has also been observed in numerous studies because it is essential to the formation of new connective tissue. The enzymes involved in forming collagen (the main component of wound healing) cannot function without vitamin C. If you are suffering from any slow-healing wounds, up your intake of vitamin C heavy fruit!


Happy National Scotch Day!!! – Ron Burgundy’s favorite drink!


National Scotch Day is celebrated annually on July 27th.

Scotch whisky, often simply called Scotch, is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made in a manner specified by law.

All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century. Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt Scotch whisky, single grain Scotch whisky, blended malt Scotch whisky (formerly called “vatted malt” or “pure malt”), blended grain Scotch whisky, and blended Scotch whisky.

All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Any age statement on a bottle of Scotch whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed-age whisky.

Credit: National Calendar

Don’t DRINK & DRIVE – $20 Off Your 1st Ride for Lyft


Get Lyft, the most welcoming, affordable, and memorable ride in town.



Happy National Daiquiri Day!!! – What’s your favorite Daiquiri flavor?



It’s National Daiquiri Day! The daiquiri is a rum-based cocktail invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox. Legend has it that Cox created the first daiquiri in the early 1900s after he ran out of gin at a small bar in Santiago, Cuba. 

The original daiquiri recipe called for white rum, lime juice, and sugar. According to another legend, Ernest Hemingway inspired the creation of the frozen variety at El Floridita in Havana in the 1940s. The bartender’s name was Constantino Ribalaigua and he is often considered the true creator of the daiquiri. Today, there are dozens of daiquiri flavors and varieties!

Credit: Punchbowl

Don’t DRINK & DRIVE – $20 Off Your 1st Ride for Lyft


Get Lyft, the most welcoming, affordable, and memorable ride in town.

Happy Tapioca Day!!! – How to make TAPIOCA from scratch?



Tapioca Day is dedicated the starch that is extracted from Manioc, otherwise known as ‘Cassava’. This plant is most commonly known as the source of the translucent beads in Tapioca pudding. But while this is the most commonly known use of this substance, it has cultural significance around the world. It’s origins can be found in Brazil, where the cassava plant is called the mandioca, and it’s extracted starch is called Tapioca.

One little known fact about the Tapioca starch, is that when it’s extracted from the green branched variety of the plant, it is the source of a potent cyanide based poison, and must be processed to remove this before it becomes edible. Once this process is completed it is processed in different ways, which produces the spheres, flakes, or sticks.