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The Smoothie Diet – Smoothies For Weight Loss And Incredible Health

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Weight Loss Peruvian Recipe

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Created by Collective: & Tis the Season for Fabulously Festive DIYs

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Get your kids feeling festive with a craft just for them — Along Abbey Road
Spell out your Holiday spirit with easy tinsel letters — A Bubbly Life
DIY winter wonderland snowglobe — Home.Made.Interest
Get creative with a stress-relieving craft — Our Southern Home
Boho chic ornaments for your stylish tree — Kristi Murphy
10 budget friendly Christmas DIY’s to delight your guests — Twelve O Eight
Rustic decor will make you feel oh so cozy! — Mom 4 Real
Spread Holiday joy with welcoming DIY decor — Sugar Bee Crafts

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Here’s What LSD Does To the Brain

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What exactly happens to the brain on psychedelic drugs? A small new study, published in the journal Current Biology, peeked inside the brains of 15 people during an acid trip and found brain-scan backup for a popular drug cliche: that the tripper feels at one with the universe.

Fifteen healthy people, who were experienced users of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, came twice to a lab in London. (LSD is illegal in the UK, but it’s possible to use it in research with special permissions.) Once, they were injected with a small amount of LSD (75 micrograms); the other time they received a saline placebo. After an hour, to let the effects settle in, they got into an fMRI brain scanner, which captured images of what went on in their brains.

The researchers asked the people to rate their mood changes—getting answers like “I’m tripping like crazy” or “nothing is happening”—their visual distortions and their intensity of ego dissolution: a loss of self-identity and sense of connection to the environment outside of oneself that reportedly happens to people when they take LSD, which is illegal in the United States. “You don’t recognize yourself as a separate being from the universe,” says study co-author Enzo Tagliazucchi, a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. “It feels, in a way, like transferring the consciousness from within your body to the outside world; the focus is in the objects that surround you rather than inside.” Tagliazucchi and the team wondered if they could find some changes in the brain related to this feeling of ego dissolution.

When they looked at the regions of the brain involved in introspection, or thinking about oneself, and sensory areas that perceive the outside world, they found that these networks were communicating more intensely than usual. “When we measured the brains of subjects who were really blown away by LSD, who had a really strong feeling of ego dissolution, they were also the ones who had the strongest increase in communication between the network of regions in charge of introspection and the network of regions in charge of perceiving the external world,” Tagliazucchi says.

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Can a Wearable Fitness Device Predict Your Heart Attack?

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The tech industry has trumpeted the promise of wearable fitness and health devices to improve care by empowering patients with a critical resource: data. But turning a stream of information into predictions of outcomes isn’t an easy task. And there are still a number of significant obstacles before this sort of tech can get us to a point where, say, a Fitbit or Jawbone-like device can accurately assess someone’s risk of a heart attack.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute; John Carlson, president of medical solutions at Flex FLEX -0.90% ; Dr. David Rhew, chief medical officer and health care head at Samsung Electronics America; and Dr. Dave Albert, the founder and chief medical officer at AliveCor, were among the featured guests during a breakfast discussion at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference on Wednesday. And they grappled with the regulatory and technological obstacles to developing the kind of products and services that might tell someone that they’re at imminent risk of a catastrophic heart-related incident.

Part of the problem is that current technology available to consumers only picks up on heart rhythms. That can be useful from a personalized standpoint, but it’s not the same as actually predicting an arterial problem. And it certainly doesn’t give Americans all the information (and, more importantly, the medical context) that they need to make the right decisions about their medical care when it comes to anticipating a disastrous heart problem.

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“There’s no wearable that’s likely going to provide that,” said Topol. There’s just too much uncertainty and fluctuation among available consumer devices, which would have to go through the intensive Food and Drug Administration medical-device clearance process before they could actually provide more information to caregivers. The exact genetic and biological warning signs of a brewing heart attack also aren’t totally clear yet.

But Topol expressed hope that, regulatory snags aside, the technology will eventually get there — as long as firms can collect enough relevant data about the exact biological risk factors and warning signs for a heart attack or a stroke.

This presents its own problem, as Flex’s Carlson and AliveCor’s Albert pointed out. Creating a consumer product like Fitbit isn’t the same as developing an FDA-cleared medical device. The latter proposition is far more cumbersome and even more expensive.

Click here for more from the Brainstorm Health conference.

Gaining FDA clearance “takes the development cycle from six months to three years,” said Carlson. Albert added that becoming an FDA-cleared device involves following a host of manufacturing rules that can gum up the works, and that there are legitimate risks to allowing this sort of tech (especially when it comes to things like “predicting” heart attacks) to run wild.

“There will always be false positives and false negatives,” said Albert. “And those results can influence patients behavior and incur, at the very least, a financial and emotional toll on them if they act on it.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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This Is the Compelling Science Behind Fitness Trackers

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I wear a fitness tracker that monitors how many steps I take each day. Ask me why, and I’ll tell you I’m not quite sure. Push me, and I’ll say it’s fun. It sort of appeals to my sense of achievement to know if I hit my Fitbit-suggested target every day of 10,000 steps.

My dichotomous enjoyment/ambivalence isn’t unusual. The companies making the trackers claim that counting your steps leads to better health. But as a user the evidence feels shaky. Stacey Burr, vice-president of wearable sports electronics for the German sneaker maker Adidas, makes a powerful argument that such nitpicking misses the point. How to use the collected information is “the next frontier,” she says. “Right now it’s about how to get people moving more and to stay with it.”

The data backs up Burr’s assertion. Just 1% of the U.S. population engages in regular vigorous exercise, she says. Seventy percent is “inactive,” a description that applies to an appallingly high percentage of children. View fitness trackers from that perspective, and the focus shifts from ‘what does this information mean?’ to ‘just getting inactive people moving is a good thing.’

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Burr, a founder of a sensor-based clothing business called Textronix that Adidas bought, spoke Wednesday at a lunch panel on “The Exercise Cure: The High-Tech Science of Fitness” at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego. She says a huge opportunity for combating childhood obesity is teaching kids to be active. School systems have begun experimenting with heart-rate monitors, for example, that kids wear during gym class. Grades are based on minutes of elevated heart-rate activity, and baseline measurements can shift for children of different athletic abilities. Burr says educators have found correlations between more activity and better attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.

Yes, there’s a commercial angle here. Adidas ADDYY -6.07% has released a wrist-based heart-rate monitor for kids called Zone. It’ll be good for kids if the product succeeds.

Maybe this fitness-tracker thing really is about more than fun.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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Why an $80 Artificial Knee Outruns a $1,000 Version

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Contrary to what many people may believe, it’s not war or landmines that are the primary causes of amputations in impoverished countries.

In places like Kenya or India, amputations are often the result of more commonplace and unfortunate incidents, like automobile accidents or train mishaps involving businesspeople on their commutes to work.

Each year, tens of thousands of people in low-income nations suffer amputations, explained Dr. Krista Donaldson, CEO of medical device non-profit D-Rev, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego Wednesday.

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Modern prosthetic limbs are often expensive, she said, with some devices costing upward of $1,000, making it hard for struggling medical clinics to afford them. And even when those devices are donated to clinics operating in impoverished nations, frequently those devices go unused, and the clinics are unable to perform the maintenance required to keep them functional.

“Most medical devices are designed for places like here, not low-income clinics,” Donaldson said in reference to clinics in wealthy nations that can more easily afford and maintain the prosthetics. D-Rev created more affordable prosthetic limbs to help amputees worldwide who don’t have access to the medical devices.

For instance, Donaldson showed off a recently developed artificial knee that costs $80 and contains the organization’s custom technology such as an embedded spring that helps amputees move the artificial leg forward as they walk.

The artificial knee was also designed to accommodate uneven terrain and rocky roads, unlike other devices built with smoother, paved surfaces in mind.

Currently, the knee is being used in 17 countries, but she hopes to bring it many more nations over the next three-to-five years.

For more from Brainstorm Health, click here.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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How to Start a Gratitude Habit in 21 Days

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Why give thanks? Plain and simple, feeling grateful is good for us. Research shows that counting your blessings has many benefits, from better sleep to reduced depression. “It helps you connect to others and be more optimistic and less likely to ruminate over the negative,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Cementing the habit takes minimal effort. Follow this 21-day path to more appreciative living. 

Week 1: Notice the good

“Gratitude isn’t one-size-fits-all,” says sociologist and happiness expert Christine Carter, PhD. These tips help you be thankful in a way that makes sense for you. 

Think in threes: Start off each morning by identifying three things you’re grateful for (your kids, your comfy bedsheets, your cute toes—anything). Try not to repeat things, advises Carter, and get more specific and detailed as you go: “For a daily gratitude practice to really be effective, there needs to be novelty so you don’t just get on autopilot,” she says. 

Choose your weapon: For some, journaling about the three good things works; others may prefer sharing them with a friend via text or using the voice recorder on their smartphone. 

Talk the talk: The most grateful people have learned to use language that emphasizes gifts, blessings, fortune, and abundance, says gratitude expert Robert Emmons, PhD. “Less grateful people are preoccupied with burdens, deprivations, entitlements, and complaints,” he explains. Instead of saying, “Ugh, I cannot believe I had to wait so long to get a day off,” try, “What an opportunity this free time is.”

RELATED: How You Answer This Question Says a Lot About Your Happiness

Week 2: Go beyond yourself

Improve how you dish out thanks toward your loved ones and community, still keeping in mind the gratitude guidelines from week one. 

Upgrade “thanks”: Express appreciation to someone every day this week, being super specific. "Thank you for taking care of the kids while I was away on business" is much more powerful than "Thanks for everything this weekend."

Pen a letter: Write a heartfelt note to a mentor, family member, or friend detailing how he or she has impacted your life in a positive way. If possible, read it aloud in person, or schedule a video chat session to share it.

Be of service: "Most people end up feeling extra grateful for their own blessings when they give back in some way," says Simon-Thomas. Find a volunteering opportunity that interests you and schedule time to participate.

RELATED: 22 Ways to Get Happy Now

Week 3: Think outside the box

Now it’s all about seeing good fortune everywhere. 

Look for unexpected heroes: Don’t journal just about people who’ve helped you, says Emmons, but also about those who’ve been there for your loved ones. When you list your three good things this week, call out these indirect joy bringers (like the caretaker who assists your ailing mom, the teacher who is endlessly patient with your child or the great guy about to marry your BFF).

Find silver linings: Write down three less-than-perfect experiences and consider how they actually benefited you. Perhaps quitting a bad job opened the door to a new opportunity. Or maybe you’re thankful that an ex was brave enough to end your relationship when you both knew it wasn’t working anymore.

Take it to the office: "The workplace is one of the places gratitude is lacking the most," says Simon-Thomas. Show a boss, peer, or intern some appreciation this week. Don’t be surprised if the good vibes come back to you. Gratitude often has a boomerang effect.

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Healthy raw vegie salad recipe

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Looking for healthy lunch ideas? This raw vegie salad is such an easy and tasty way to introduce raw vegetables into your diet on a daily basis. 

Eating raw vegetables means that you’re receiving the full nutrient potential of that vegetable, as nothing is lost through the cooking process. Needless to say, selecting seasonal organic produce is ideal for this, but don’t be too worried about following the recipe to the letter – use anything you like from your crisper.

Ingredients

¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
¼ small red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large beetroot, julienned
½ zucchini, finely sliced
½ red onion, finely sliced
½ granny smith apple, julienned
3 radishes, finely sliced
1 handful of snow peas, strings removed, sliced in half lengthways
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, cut in half
Salt flakes and freshly ground peppe
r4 tbsp birdseed mix (chia seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds or whatever you have in the pantry)
2 tbsp roughly chopped salted cashews

Lemon dressing

75 ml good-quality olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons
Salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Method

To make the lemon dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste.

Add the lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, zucchini, onion, apple, radish, snow peas and parsley to a large bowl. Add the lemon dressing to taste and, using your hands, carefully toss.

Hit the back of each pomegranate half with a wooden spoon so that the juicy seeds pop out onto the salad. Season and gently toss.

Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle the seed mix and cashews over the top before serving.

This recipe originally appeared in nourish magazine.

Want more healthy lunch ideas? Try this pumpkin and feta chicken salad.

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Stuck on a Problem? Let Your Mind Wander, Researchers Say

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There’s a reason some people say they get their best ideas when they're running. A new study from researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that a clear mind—free of too much chatter—is a more creative one. 

In three different experiments, about 20 people completed the same free association task. (They had to quickly name the first thing that popped into their head after they heard a series of target words.) But in each experiment, the researchers manipulated the "cognitive load" of the participants with various additional tasks. For example, some people were asked to remember a string of two digits (a low cognitive load), while others had to alphabetize the first three letters of each target word (a high cognitive load). 

RELATED: 12 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Now!

What the researchers found was that the participants with lower cognitive loads gave more creative responses. “When you reduce mental [stress], people have a greater tendency to avoid the ‘obvious solution’ and instead access unique thoughts in their mind,” study co-author and PhD student Shira Baror explained in an email to Health. In other words, when your brain is quieter, it can afford to "put aside its stored, immediate, well-earned associations and take a more interesting path of more original associations." 

The study's findings are in line with prior research, says Jonathan Schooler, PhD, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2012 he led a study that showed the benefits of letting your mind slow down and wander: His team's work suggested that when you're trying to solve a problem, you may get the best creative boost from engaging in a non-demanding task. Think taking a shower, doing light chores—or you know, going for a good sweaty run.

RELATED: How Exercise Makes You More Creative

In fact, that's exactly what Baror suggests when you're stuck in a rut. "Ruminating on the same problem, especially when you're under stress or tension, will not yield creative solutions." Instead, she says, literally walk away, and give your mind the chance to make those seemingly random, unexpected turns that lead to breakthroughs.

 

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