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.

Came Down With A Cold or Flu? Eat These Foods

A balanced diet can boost your immune system and help prevent you from getting sick, but if you happen to catch a cold, or worse, the flu, a healthy diet is essential in helping you recover faster. Here are the foods you should be eating when you’re sick.

  • Beverages – Lots of Them: You may not feel like eating solid foods, but make sure to take in plenty of fluids. All-natural ginger ale and peppermint or ginger tea are good choices if you have an upset stomach, and electrolyte-infused beverages are a good option if you’ve been visiting the bathroom a lot. Real fruit juices like OJ, grapefruit, and apple cider will offer calories and nutrients to help feelings of dizziness from not eating, but if you have a stuffy nose, choose hot liquids such as tea with lemon or our apple cider vinegar brew.
    Some other options: Green tea supports the immune system, and if you add a little honey, it will also coat your scratchy throat. Cold-pressed green juice is an easy way to get a huge amount of needed cold-busting nutrients.
  • Easily Digestible Protein: Getting enough protein is important whether you are sick or healthy, because it strengthens your body. Since your stomach may not be up for digesting a steak, and you probably don’t have the energy to cook an elaborate meal, choose easily digestible proteins that take little or no time to prepare such as eggs, tofu, or chicken
  • Flavonoids in Citrus Fruits: Even though vitamin C may not shorten the duration of your illness, don’t ditch citrus fruits altogether. The soft white skin found on oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes contains flavonoids, which increase immune system activity.
  • Infection-Fighting Glutathione: Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to fight infection. It’s found in red, pulpy watermelon and also cruciferous veggies like broccoli, collard greens, kale, and cabbage.
  • Soup and Broth: Clear broths like miso, chicken or veggie broth, and beef bouillon will keep you hydrated and are easy to digest if you don’t have much of an appetite. If you are feeling hungry, soups that contain chunks of veggies, whole grains like barley, and some kind of lean protein will also offer added vitamins and nutrients. The hot liquids do double duty by warming the body from chills and also opening up sinus passages to relieve congestion.
  • Foods Rich in B6 and B12: Vitamins B6 and B12 are healing nutrients, so get your fill of fish, milk, nutritional yeast, fortified soy milk and cereals, potatoes, spinach, and turkey while you’re under the weather.
  • Yogurt: In a German study, the probiotics in yogurt were found to shorten colds and flu by almost two days. Choose ones that contain the bacterial strains Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri, since these two are the ones linked to improving immune response. Greek yogurt is a great option since it also contains at least 10 grams of protein per serving.

From FitSugar.com

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.

20 Homemade Valentine Ideas

There’s something magical about a kitchen table covered in glitter, glue, and hearts made from paper doilies. The valentines of the store-bought variety have become so commercial. They’re more about characters, and less about extending a gift of friendship. This year, why not spend an afternoon crafting and creating with your kids, making truly unique and special valentines for their friends at school?! Have fun making valentines as you make MEMORIES with your kids! Here are 20 ideas to get you started.