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

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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.

Alkaline-forming

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!

Credit: http://livelovefruit.com/

Motivation Monday- If Special Olympics Athlete Chevi Peters can do it, then you can too!!!

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Not expected to live past the age of 2, Special Olympics world champion powerlifter Chevi Peters has found his true strength.

According to ESPN, here once was this 90-pound weakling with scars on top of his scars. Liver transplant, kidney transplant, strokes, brain surgery — you name it, he’d been in the O.R. for it. He always told people he was a jock underneath it all, but at 5-foot-2 with no discernible muscle, nobody ever took him seriously. In his dreams, he was a firefighter, a ladies’ man, a halfback, an Adonis. But those dreams couldn’t possibly come true, not when he was stiff-legged, the butt of jokes. Odds were that he’d never see the world, that he’d end up right where he started: as a wisp of a man in a mile-long southeast Kansas town.

Chevi Peters tried all his life not to succumb to the hopelessness. Along with bagging ice at the local convenience store, that was his job — to laugh everything off, to hang in, hang in, hang in. In other words, he had to flip the switch. Even if he felt weak because of his 38 operations or inadequate because of his crooked teeth or melancholy because of his parents’ divorce, he decided he could never show it. Flipping the switch meant smiling when he felt lonely or people-pleasing when he felt ostracized. He pulled this off for 20-something years — a minor miracle — until, one August night in 2008, he climbed into his car and decided to drive it into oncoming traffic.

Check out the rest of article @ http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/13323549/powerlifting-saved-special-olympics-athlete-chevi-peters-coach-john-lair

Photo Credit: (Miriam Bribiesca/ Daily Bruin senior staff)

See the video of this motivating and touching story below

Knowledge is Power – Keep it Simple

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Happy National Cheesecake Day!!! – Bacon and Pecan Chesecake Recipe

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Ingredients 
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
1 pound Kunzler thick sliced bacon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 shortbread cookies
2 egg whites
4 tablespoon brown sugar
melted chocolate for drizzling

Directions

  • Crust – Put 1/2 of the pecans in a food processor and pulse 6 times. Add shortbread cookies and pulse until crumbly. Add 1/2 bacon and pulse. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan.
  • Topping – Chop pecans finely, mix with leftover bacon and put on parchment paper. Whip egg whites until frothy, add brown sugar and pour over top of the bacon / pecan mixture. Bake in 250 degree oven for 10 minutes, allow to cool.
  • Cake – Beat cream cheese with 1 cup sugar until mixed. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Pour over crust and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until set. Chill in refrigerator. After cool, crumble topping over cheesecake and drizzle with chocolate.

Credit: Kunzler

Epic Fail of the Week – This is what happens when you park in the Handicap spot when you’re not Handicapped

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That’s what happens when you park in a handicap spot in Brazil –

Canal BOOM decided to address the issue of handicap parking abuse with a light-hearted prank and covered one illegally parked car with a bunch of Post-It notes.

Do you think it was a great idea to teach the abusive park a lesson? What would you’ve done if you were the guy getting pranked?

Forget Me Not – Vincent Van Gogh (March 1853 – 29 July 1890)

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Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist painter. He was a Dutch artist whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. His output includes portraits, self portraits, landscapes and still lifes of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. He drew as a child but did not paint until his late twenties; he completed many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints.

Van Gogh was born to upper middle class parents and spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers. He traveled between The Hague, London and Paris, after which he taught in England at Isleworth and Ramsgate. He was deeply religious as a younger man and aspired to be a pastor. From 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium, where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885 he painted The Potato Eaters, considered his first major work. His palette then consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later paintings. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later, he moved to the south of France and was influenced by the strong sunlight he found there. His paintings grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888.

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After years of anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died aged 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been widely debated by art historians. Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence wrought through illness. His late paintings show an artist at the height of his abilities, completely in control, and according to art critic Robert Hughes, “longing for concision and grace”

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The Truth Hurts – Enuff Z’Nuff

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Leader of the Pack – Don’t listen to the Naysayers – Rules of Success (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

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Satanic Temple shows off their Goat-Headed statue in Detroit – How do you feel about it? Is it too much?

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According to Fox News, a crowd of several hundred gathered Saturday night to see Detroit’s newest resident: A 9-foot, 2,000-pound statue of a goat-headed occult idol named Baphomet.

The Satanic Temple unveiled the bronze figure to an estimated 700 attendees at an undisclosed location. The group’s initial venue canceled after local religious groups protested.

The group’s approach to secrecy with the second venue led to little opposition on Saturday, Director of the Detroit Satanic Temple chapter and national spokeswoman Jex Blackmore told Fox News.

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“Protesters arrived for a short time at our first ticketing location, but retreated after only about 30 minutes,” Blackmore said. “One woman attempted to block the event entrance and was removed by the police in cooperation with the building’s owner. “

The statue will now be stored out of public view until the Temple can find it a permanent home. The group hopes to display it at the Arkansas State Capitol, next to a monument of the Ten Commandments.

Photo Credit: Fox News

The Simpsons – Donut Hell

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

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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

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