Monday, April 16

Live Healthy *

Eat a more satisfying breakfast.
Instead of running out of the house with a cup of coffee, take 10 minutes to eat breakfast. Your best bet? Jazz up ordinary oatmeal by topping it with antioxidant-rich raspberries or blueberries (use frozen if you can't find fresh) and 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, which contains mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, possible safeguards against hypertension and heart disease. Not only will you feel full until lunchtime, but you'll get almost half the fiber you need each day in a single meal.

Just say no.
Resist the people-pleasing urge that plagues most women (and often leaves us angry and resentful) and politely turn down someone's request today. Whether you decline to take on the lion's share of a group project at work or to watch your neighbor's kids, "adding one no a day reduces the anxiety and stress that come from being overcommitted, overscheduled and overwhelmed," explains Rutgers University social psychologist Susan Newman, Ph.D., author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It -- and Mean It (McGraw-Hill, 2006).

Snack at the vending machine.
Sounds surprising, right? It turns out that you're better off getting treats -- healthy or not -- out of the vending machine than out of a stash in your desk. According to research from Cornell University, people who kept a dish of chocolates on their desks ate almost twice as many as they did when they had to walk to reach the candy. Keep tempting sweets out of sight and you'll be more likely to hit the vending machine (or refrigerator) only when you're truly craving something.

Switch your salt for a healthy heart.
Trading in your regular salt for a low-sodium, potassium-enriched substitute -- also called "light salt" -- may decrease your risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent, according to a study of nearly 2,000 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Adding more potassium to your diet (present in bananas, orange juice, beans and potatoes) and trimming sodium can help regulate blood pressure, says study co-author Wen-Harn Pan, M.D. Another way to slash sodium intake: Swap herbs and spices for salt when seasoning dishes.

Prevent period pain without over-the-counter drugs.
Skip the ibuprofen, and relax. Take a walk, do some yoga or indulge in a juicy novel during the first two weeks of your cycle to keep monthly cramps at bay. Research in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that high stress levels can double your period pain.


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