Good News: Message In A Bottle From Heaven

 

A dozen years ago, a 10-year-old girl named Sidonie wrote a message on a scrap of paper, placed it in a ginger-ale bottle and launched it into the waters off Long Island. Clean-up workers just found that bottle with debris from Superstorm Sandy.  The note had a phone number on it, so they called it and got Mimi, Sidonie’s mother.  Mimi just burst into tears when she heard that they found it, because Sidonie had died in a tragic accident a couple years ago.  Read more about Mimi’s healing and this miraculous message in a bottle here.

Study: Diet Soda Increases the Risk of Diabetes. Why Do We Still Drink This Stuff?

Hi, I’m Bekah, and I’m a Diet Coke addict. Yes, I’ve always heard it’s bad for me, but the reasons people gave me as to WHY it was bad were so vague. Well, I just found out that it can increase my risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 33%. That’s not something to mess with! If you’re an addict like me, you might want to take the time to read up on how Diet soda IS bad for you here.

Tips For Tricky Stains

Hey, it’s Bekah. Being newly married means taking on new challenges, like my husband’s work shirts that get greasy from tools and machine parts. It’s always nice to have a little refresher on some of life’s trickier stains. You can check out 10 ways to get rid of those stains here.

Tips to Help You Avoid Age-Inappropriate Ads on Game Day

From CommonSenseMedia.org

With certain advertisers already promising more-risqué commercials this year, it’s important to understand what you can do to help filter the messages your kids might be hearing during the “Big Game” this Sunday:

  • Kids under 7 may not understand that an ad’s purpose is to sell them a product rather than entertain them. You can point out that the ads they see during the Big Game are really meant for grown-ups. Ask them what they think the ads are selling. Sometimes, they won’t even know. And hit the mute button for alcohol ads or spots with violent content. Neither is age appropriate.
  • Share some facts. The food and beverage industry spends more than $10 billion targeting children and youths through TV ads, coupons, contests, public relations promotions, and packaging. And 80 percent of the TV commercials are for fast food, candy, cereal and toys.
  • Give your kids some ad-proofing decoder tips: Ask them who they think created the ad and why they’re sending the messages they are. Who makes money from the ads? What tricks do your kids think the advertisers used to make them want to buy the products being promoted? Does an ad use a favorite celebrity? Does it have some feelings associated with the product—like happiness? What isn’t the ad telling them?
  • Distinguish fantasy from reality. How many calories are in that jumbo burger and soda and those extra-large fries?
  • If your kids are too young to understand the ad, hit the mute button. As a parent, you know best, so anything that feels uncomfortable, you may have to have a conversation you weren’t expecting. If your kids are old enough to talk about the issues, make sure that they’re learning about your perspective and values from you, not getting secondhand opinions from the media or kids on the playground.

Four (Natural) Ways to Relieve Congestion

A stuffy nose is one of the most annoying side-effects of catching a cold. It can feel like it lasts for days, and let’s be honest, who has time for meds that cause drowsiness? If you’re stuck with a raw nose, here are four natural ways to help relieve congestion.

The Real Reason You’re Always Cold

Hey it’s Bekah, and being newly married comes with a lot of adjustments. One adjustment I wasn’t ready for was my warm-blooded husband’s thermostat adjustment! If you live with a heat-grinch like I do, or if you find yourself still shivering under multiple blankets, there might be a bigger problem! Did you know that getting some much-needed beauty rest could even warm you up? You can check out more reasons you might be cold this winter here.

The 6 Healthiest Berries for Women’s Hearts

Berries are bright, flavorful and sweet super fruits that have a long list of health benefits. These colorful fruits are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer. And their health benefits just keep getting sweeter!

A recent study in the journal Circulation suggests that sprinkling just a few more blueberries in your yogurt or blending strawberries into your morning smoothie may help reduce heart attack risk.

Here are the top six berries for women’s health.

Blackberries

These tasty berries are rich in polyphenols, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease and even cancer. They contain high amounts of fiber compared to other types of fruit: One cup has about 7 grams of fiber. (The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 to 35 grams.) What’s more, they’re rich in vitamin C and contain a bit of iron, calcium and vitamin A, too. Bake them in a pie, spread them in a jam on whole-grain toast, or just eat them by the handful!

Blueberries

Eating blueberries may help your memory, and they have high levels of compounds that help widen arteries, which helps blood to flow smoothly. Rich in antioxidants, blueberries are also low fat, free of saturated fat, and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. No wonder they’re linked to a lower risk of heart attack!

Strawberries

Strawberries are heart-healthy and packed with vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is a nutrient that’s suspected (but not proven) to help protect your heart. Like blueberries, they contain compounds that help widen the arteries, which may prevent plaque buildup. Another benefit? They whiten your teeth naturally!

Raspberries

These sweet berries are rich in heart healthy fiber; just half a cup delivers 4 grams. You also get 25% of your recommended intake for vitamin C and manganese too. Raspberries are low in fat and have high levels of polyphenols, which help reduce heart disease risk. Try to sneak these into your diet whenever you can.

Acai Berries

When it comes to antioxidants, this Brazilian fruit smashes rivals like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The berries are a good source of fiber, but are tart. Mixing them in smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt helps temper the bitterness.

Cranberries

These tart little berries are popular around the holidays, but given the health benefits (especially for women), you should try to eat them year-round. Among other benefits, cranberries may increase HDL, or good cholesterol, and may also help prevent urinary tract infections, so they are a win-win!

This article originally appeared on Health.com

A Crowd-Pleasing 8-Layer Dip for Big Game Sunday

From Everyday Food, I found this amazing recipe for the “Big Game” on Feb. 3rd. Don’t forget when you serve this up that tonight is the last night to register for our Super Mom contest!

8-Layer Dip

Ingredients
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar (2 ounces)
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced small
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 scallions, chopped
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions
1) In a medium bowl, combine beans, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper.

2) Transfer to a serving dish. Top with sour cream, cheese, chiles, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and scallions.

3) Serve with tortilla chips.

Why Men Are Babies When They’re Sick

OK, I admit it. When I get sick, which isn’t very often, I act like a big baby. I want to be taken care of. Why is that? See what Holly Corbett from REDBOOK has to say about it.

Does it annoy you that a measly cold is enough to turn your guy into a whining, moaning child while you’re expected to carry on with your daily routine despite having the sniffles? Well, we hate to say it, but maybe it isn’t just an excuse: half of guys describe a common cold as “the flu,” and upgrade headaches to migraine status, according to The Engage Mutual survey. Moreover, women report that 57 percent of men seek attention and sympathy when sick, and that two-thirds of men whine and complain. Before you exclaim that real pain is birthing an eight-pound baby, check out these mental and physical factors that may make men more likely to exaggerate their illnesses.

Women may be better able to battle germs
There may be actual science behind the stereotype that a man makes a cold sound life-threatening, while a woman simply rolls with the aches. Women are better able to fight off complications from injury and infection, according to a study in BioEssays. Researchers believe it has something to do with MicroRNAs, which are linked to immune function and produced by the X chromosome, of which women have two. Since men have only one X chromosome, and the Y chromosome may not share the same immunity-boosting MicroRNAs, females may be the tougher sex after all.

Men want their mommies
Not to get all Freudian on you, but your gender could trigger his deep-rooted childhood desires to have his mom take care of him when he’s under the weather. “Most of my female patients complain that their husbands drive them nuts by wanting their wives to take on the role of mom,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine. We’re not suggesting you go out and buy him footie pajamas, but cooking up homemade chicken soup like his mom used to make could score you major brownie points.

Women may have built up more immunity
If you’re the primary caregiver to the children, you’ve probably naturally developed more immunity from colds and flu thanks to the little buggers. “Daycare centers are germ cesspools,” says Dr. Minkin. “So if you’re responsible for dropping off and picking up the kids from school or daycare, your husband may not have been as exposed to those germs to have developed an immunity, and therefore may be harder hit when he does get sick.”

Guys go to the doctor less
Guys may actually need you to be their personal nurse, since studies show that men between the ages of 20 and 40 are much less likely than women to a visit a doctor, and that women have more contact with the healthcare system in general. “Guys are afraid of the doctor, and when they do get sick they dramatize it,” says Dr. Minkin. “Plus, women visit their gynecologists once or twice a year, where they’ll be encouraged to get a flu shot if they’re trying to get pregnant or have young kids. There’s no male equivalent to gynecologist so less men get the protection of a flu shot.”

The jury’s still out on this oft-cited reason

You might be thinking the obvious – that the ability to bear children is what has turned us into Superwomen. But there’s little out there studying the pain-pregnancy link and what is out there is pretty mixed. Some research finds that when it comes to pain sensors in our brain, women and men are more alike then different. But other MDs still feel there’s reason to speculate. One small study discovered that women deal with extreme pain better than men, says Dr. Minkin. She surmises this may be because even though the sexes feel pain the same way, men devote their energy to fearing the experience whereas women direct theirs toward finding ways to cope.

Healthy Baking: Surprising Butter Substitutes

Baking calms the mind and feeds the soul, but all that buttery goodness can pack on the pounds. If looking to make healthier baked goods, omitting some or all of the butter from your favorite recipes greatly reduce the amount of calories, fat, and cholesterol in your sweet treats. Here are some great substitutes.