Healthy living

11 Facts About Healthy Living |

A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. When we look after our physical health, we feel better too – fitter, more relaxed and better able to cope with things. This is especially important when you have a mental illness.

There are lots of ways of being healthy that feel good as well as doing you good.

Benefits of healthy living

What you gain by living more healthily includes:

  • feeling better mentally – regular exercise can lift your mood and help you feel better
  • saving money – eating junk food, smoking, and drinking sugary drinks or alcohol are all expensive habits
  • fewer health problems – living a healthier lifestyle means a lower risk of developing many illnesses
  • taking control of your life – getting healthy helps you feel in control of your life.

Getting healthy

‘Healthy living’ means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and introducing habits that improve your health. It can be difficult to change old habits, but there are steps you can take to become healthier. An important first step is identifying less healthy habits and learning new, positive ones to replace them, such as:

  • eating healthy foods and balanced meals
  • sleeping well and managing stress
  • practicing safe sex, drinking alcohol responsibly and not abusing drugs
  • being physically active
  • staying connected with others
  • being aware of any health risks related to your illness and its treatment, and working with your doctor to monitor these and then take action
  • taking responsibility for your overall health including having regular check-ups for your eyes and teeth.

How to develop positive health habits

2020 Healthy Living During Extraordinary Times

The key to developing positive habits that you are more likely to keep is to:

Start slowly

Change just one thing at a time  see the benefits that can come from eating more balanced meals or, exercising more or quitting smoking

Make small changes – an achievable change is more likely to become a habit you keep.

Go slowly – making a change gradually can be easier than all at once.

Build on what you already do – for example, if you enjoy walking, try extending your usual route by a manageable amount. 

Remember, increasing or adding even one new health behaviour can make a big difference to your health.

Work around challenges

There are things you can do to manage any extra challenges related to your illness and it’s treatment – such as drowsiness, sugar cravings or lack of motivation. Steps you can take include:

  • organise daily activities around side-effects of medication, for example, if you are drowsy in the morning, organise exercise for the afternoon.
  • discuss things with your doctor – there may be another medication you can try, or ask for referral to a specialist such as a dietitian or psychologist for expert advice.

Staying healthy

Being healthy is about more than getting fit and feeling better, it’s about staying that way too. Tips to help you stay motivated include:

  • schedule regular check ups with your doctor to monitor your progress and for that extra push you may need to keep going.
  • reward yourself – feel good about developing healthier habits by rewarding yourself with something nice.
  • overcome slip-ups – if you slip-up, be realistic and start again.

Finding Support

Heart-Healthy Living | NHLBI, NIH

There are lots of ways to get the support you need to help stay healthy. An important step is finding a good GP (general practitioner) you are comfortable discussing your health with. Seeing the same GP each time means you can work together to manage your health and organise check-ups as needed.

Having someone else as a ‘support person’ can make all the difference in keeping up healthy habits. Talk with your friends, family, mental health program or case worker. Don’t forget other services in your area that you can draw on too.…

4 key principles of web design

If you’ve ever researched web design principles, you’re probably more than familiar with the following attitude: “Web design is just so easy these days. With lightning-fast internet speed and sophisticated browsers, designers hardly have to deal with any of the restrictions that shaped the early days of the web. A website is, more than ever, a designer’s canvas.”

This may be true enough from the perspective of someone already comfortable with the basics, but if phrases like “CSS responsive grid system” and “Google Web Fonts” are alien to you, then jumping into the supposedly “oh-so-easy” world of web design may still seem a daunting proposition.

In recognition of this, we put together a truly basic set of web design basics with the beginner in mind. Of course, it’s never a bad idea to review the fundamentals, even if you consider yourself a wiz.

1. Grid systems

Manuscript via; New York Times grid overlay via Design O’ Blog

Since the invention of the codex in the 1st century, the grid has determined how we read. Thousands of variations, involving different arrangements of rows and columns, have emerged over time.

Think of the way text and images are arranged in books, newspapers and magazines. These are the systems that were more or less directly carried over onto the web, and they work. Word to the wise: many a designer has attempted to avoid the grid in the name of “creativity”; many such websites go unread.

In a world where people are as, if not more likely to browse the web on phones and tablets than on traditional computers, the issue of “responsive design”—designs that translate to smaller screen sizes in a smooth and intentional manner—is also paramount.

responsive-ready grid system
Profound Grid is an example of a compatible, responsive-ready grid system

To make our lives easier, a huge number of pre-fabricated grid systems have emerged which are responsive, compatible with major coding languages, and generally free to download.

Some popular ones are 960.gsSimple Grid and Golden Grid System, but the list of good options is truly enormous, with some being more complex than others. Here’s a good article from WebDesignerDepot to get you started.

Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous or feel your project demands a truly unique solution, then by all means, create your own.

2. Visual hierarchy

The Build conference website puts hierarchy principles to use

We recently wrote a full article on this subject, so we’ll be brief here. Basically, it’s a known fact that in most cultures, people read left-to-right and top-down. However, it is also a known fact that, within these parameters, reading behavior follows a much more complex set of rules. This is especially true on the internet where people actually “scan” pages much more than they “read” them.

Good web pages are built in response to these measured reading patterns by placing important elements, like the logo, call to action or a key image, along the axes that the reader is expected to scan. These conventionally take either an “F” or a “Z” shape.

F-pattern demonstration
F-pattern demonstration via Nielsen Norman Group

Beyond that, visual hierarchy is about signaling to readers what should be read first and what should be read next. After page placement, this may involve strategies like font size, spacing, direction and typeface pairing, as well as the use of color highlights.

3. Web-safe fonts

Open Sans
Open Sans is a nice web font from Google Web Fonts

In 2014, the term “web-safe fonts” already feels like something of an anachronism. Back in the early days of the internet, browsers supported a very limited number of fonts—typically just ones that were already installed in users’ word processing software—and if you deviated from these, some visitors would just wind up seeing random symbols.

Today, it is still true that certain fonts are supported by most browsers while others fonts are not, but the number of web-safe options has exploded thanks to the adoption of what is known as @font-face embedding in most modern browsers. Indeed, many designers complain of having too much to choose from.

Fee-based font services include TypekitWebINK and Fontspring. You can find nice free fonts, too, if you do a little searching through free services like Google Web Fonts. Here is a recent roundup of nice free web fonts by CreativeBloq.

Google Web Fonts
Arvo is another nice font from Google Web Fonts

Now that you know where to look, there are just a few general rules to keep in mind:

  • Serif fonts are for headlines
    In web design, serif fonts are always reserved for headlines, because at smaller sizes they become hard to read. Body text should generally be sans-serif.
  • Keep fonts minimal
    To reduce clutter, keep the number of different fonts on a website to a minimum. Two or three at the most. Check out our recent article on smart font pairing for more information.
  • Don’t take up too much space
    Remember that some font files can be pretty enormous, and this could potentially slow the load time of a website.

4. Images and colors

Hype! is bold, yet monochrome

The principles of image and color placement are not especially unique to web design, so we won’t go into too much depth here. The main maxim to keep is: don’t overdo it.

For colors:

  • Keep your color palette minimal
    Like fonts, just stick to 2 or 3. They should

Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2: Can vaccine boosters stop its spread?

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is more transmissible than preexisting variants, and it has rapidly become the dominant variant in several countries, including India and the United Kingdom. Some reports suggest that existing COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective in preventing infection with Delta. Can additional booster shots help?

Can vaccine boosters help keep the Delta variant at bay? Here’s what we know so far. Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Over the past few months, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has spread widely in countries around the world, becoming the dominant variant in many places.

Its rapid spread has recently led countries, such as Australia, to reinforce strict lockdowns, as emerging dataTrusted Source suggest the variant is more infectious than preexisting ones, such as the Beta variant, and that it may be able to bypass existing COVID-19 vaccines in some cases.

Prof. Sir Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which has contributed to the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, has even commented that, in his opinion, the highly transmissible Delta variant has made achieving herd immunity an impossibility.

“The Delta variant will still infect people who have been vaccinated. And that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated at some point will meet the virus […], and we don’t have anything that will [completely] stop that transmission,” he told The Guardian.

Additionally, recent data have also suggested the immunity provided by COVID-19 vaccines fades considerably over time, which also means vaccinated individuals become more susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2.

However, some scientists and pharmaceutical companies argue that offering an additional booster shot of some of the most widely authorized COVID-19 vaccines could provide an effective way to keep the Delta variant at bay.

But what does the evidence say so far, and how are countries worldwide responding to the notion of incorporating additional booster shots in their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns?

Preliminary data suggest booster effectiveness

While published data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine boosters against the Delta variant are not yet available, some of the pharmaceutical companies that produce and distribute COVID-19 vaccines have announced that recent clinical trials support this perspective.

According to Pfizer’s 2021 second-quarter earnings report, receiving an additional booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine after having had the initial two doses increases the amount of Delta variant antibodies fivefold in 18-to-55-year-olds and 11-fold in 65–85-year-olds.

In answer to queries from Medical News Today, a Pfizer spokesperson explained that this “conclusion is based on initial data from the ongoing booster trial of a third dose of the current BNT162b2 vaccine and laboratory tests.”

“The booster trial builds on the phase 1/2/3 trial and is part of the companies’ clinical development strategy to determine the effectiveness of a third dose against evolving variants,” they noted, adding that Pfizer “expect[s] to publish more definitive data about the analysis in the coming weeks.”

This third dose would be identical to the two doses of the currently authorized Pfizer vaccine. However, the company is also investigating how an “updated” vaccine dose, altered to target the Delta variant specifically, would fare.

A Pfizer spokesperson told MNT:

“The ongoing booster trial is evaluating the safety and tolerability of the current BNT162b2 vaccine. While we believe a third dose of BNT162b2 has the potential to preserve the highest levels of protective efficacy against all currently known variants, including Delta, we are remaining vigilant and are also developing an updated version of the vaccine that targets the full spike protein of the Delta variant. The first batch of the mRNA for the trial has already been manufactured, and we anticipate the clinical studies to begin in August, subject to regulatory approvals.”

Moderna has also said that an additional booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine would be able to keep the Delta variant at bay.

The company made this announcement, initially, in its own second-quarter financial report, which states that “[r]obust antibody responses have been observed from existing Moderna booster candidates against COVID-19 in phase 2 studies.”

“In a phase 2 study, vaccination with 50 [micrograms] of three different Moderna mRNA booster candidates induced robust antibody responses […] against important variants of concern, including Gamma (P.1); Beta (B.1.351); and Delta (B.1.617.2),” the report also states.

The three boosters under investigation included their currently authorized shot, as well as two more experimental candidates.

According to Moderna’s report, the levels of neutralizing antibody generated after the third booster shot were similar to those registered after two 100 microgram doses of their currently authorized vaccine.

Are booster shots already authorized?

Following these findings, both Pfizer and Moderna have been seeking authorization for their respective booster shots from countries that have already authorized their main COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the distribution of third booster shots of both the Pfizer and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — but only for those who are immunocompromised, and therefore at higher risk of infection with emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Israel has also recently authorized the distribution of third shots of the Pfizer vaccine, which is now available to “people over 50, healthcare workers, people with severe risk factors for the coronavirus, [and] prisoners and wardens.”

While the United Kingdom has not yet authorized additional booster shots, unofficial reports indicate it has ordered millions of extra doses for a …

8 tips for healthy eating

Tips for healthy eating

These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.

You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It’s recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).

Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer calories.

1. Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.

Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these types of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

Vibrational Food to Nourish Your Body

It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept to mealtimes) is 30g.

A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.

3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.

Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish.

Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease. 

Oily fish include:

  • salmon
  • trout
  • herring
  • sardines
  • pilchards
  • mackerel

Non-oily fish include:

  • haddock
  • plaice
  • coley
  • cod
  • tuna
  • skate
  • hake

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.

Find out more about fish and shellfish

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Saturated fat

You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating.

There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:

  • fatty cuts of meat
  • sausages
  • butter
  • hard cheese
  • cream
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • lard
  • pies

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.

For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.

When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.


Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.

This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.

Free sugars are found in many foods, such as:

  • sugary fizzy drinks
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries and puddings
  • sweets and chocolate
  • alcoholic drinks

Food labels can help. Use them to check how much sugar foods contain.

More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high …

COVID-19, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Memory Loss: What We Know

COVID-19 May Accelerate Alzheimer's and Other Cognitive Issues
  • Researchers are learning more about how COVID-19 may impact memory.
  • In one study1 in 10 patients have been reporting memory problems after mild cases of COVID-19 that did not require hospitalization, even 8 months after disease.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 but presented with cognitive decline are more likely to be in poorer physical health and have low O2 saturation in their blood.
  • COVID-19 may heighten the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and COVID-19 can cause an increase in blood-based molecular biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

COVID-19’s immediate physical effects have been vastly studied, but much remains a mystery regarding long-term complications.

In particular, scientists are scrambling to understand the disease’s long-term effects on neuropsychological health.

Neurological signs of COVID-19, both short and long term, may include symptoms such as the loss of smell and taste and cognitive and attention deficits, known as “brain fog.”

And now, new research shows how COVID-19 continues to affect the brain long after recovery and how some symptoms may be precursors to more serious health problems in the future.

Here is a roundup of the latest studies and newest research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) on COVID-19 and its neurocognitive effects.

Memory problems 8 months after disease

As part of a Norwegian study published in the JAMA Network OpenTrusted Source, scientists reached out to more than 53,000 participants between Feb. 1 and April 15, 2020. These adults included those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, those who tested negative, and a sizeable number of untested individuals to represent the general population.

Over 13,000 participants responded to the questionnaire sent out by Arne Søraas, PhD, from Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and his colleagues and around 9,000 followed up.

The mean age of participants was 47, and 66 percent of the participants were women.

Søraas and his team found that more than 1 in 10 patients reported memory loss 8 months after testing positive.

At least 41 percent of those who reported having memory problems months after infection said their overall health had also worsened over the past year.

Of those who tested positive 8 months after infection, approximately 11 percent reported memory loss, and 12 percent had problems concentrating.

Those who tested positive were twice as likely to report cognitive problems.

They also reported more memory problems than those who tested negative or the untested population.

In addition, more than 50 percent of patients experienced persistent fatigue, with 20 percent saying this limited their work and general life activities.

The symptoms reported relatively equally by the three groups were feeling depressed, having less energy, or having pain.

“Self-reported memory problems are also a risk factor for later mild cognitive impairment or dementia,” they said.

Although the self-reported nature of memory problems may not present a 100 percent accurate picture, past studies have listed them as a risk factor for developing dementia or mild cognitive impairment later in life.

The findings, according to the authors, suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may negatively impact memory even 8 months after having a mild case of the disease, and this can be associated with a worsening of health and Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), the medical term coined for long COVID in expert circles.

Finding a link between long COVID-19 and an impact on cognition

Meanwhile, new research reported at the virtual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021 in Denver found links between COVID-19 and persistent cognitive deficits.

One of the most significant initial findings presented at AAIC 2021 was from a Greece and Argentina consortium, which suggested that:

  • Older adults frequently experience lasting cognitive impairment, including persistent lack of smell, after recovering from COVID-19.

The other key findings were:

  • COVID-19 patients presenting with neurological symptoms are likely to have biological markers in their blood that indicate brain injury, neuroinflammation, and Alzheimer’s.
  • Individuals who experience cognitive decline after COVID-19 are more likely to have low blood oxygen levels after short periods of physical exertion as well as be in an overall poorer physical condition.

“These new data point to disturbing trends showing COVID-19 infections leading to lasting cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s symptoms,” Heather M. Snyder, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association vice president of medical and scientific relations, said in a statement.

“With more than 190 million cases and nearly 4 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has devastated the entire world. It is imperative that we continue to study what this virus is doing to our bodies and brains.”
– Heather M. Snyder, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association VP of medical and scientific relations

Link between cognitive impairment and loss of smell

Another study analyzed 300 older adult Amerindians from Argentina who had COVID-19, 3 and 6 months after initial infection.

Over half of the patients showed persistent problems with forgetfulness. At the same time, 1 in 4 had additional problems with cognition, including issues with language and executive dysfunction, such as difficulty organizing, misplacing items, and not being able to deal with frustration.

These setbacks, the research found, were associated with persistent problems in the smell function but not with the severity of the original COVID-19 disease.

“We’re starting to see clear connections between COVID-19 and problems with cognition months after infection,” said Dr. Gabriel de Erausquin of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Long School of Medicine.

“It’s imperative we continue to study this population, and others around the world, for …

When in Doubt, Shout It Out! 8 Drug-Free Ways to Battle Anxiety

Between work, bills, family, and trying to stay healthy, the everyday pressures of life can turn you into an anxious mess. Maybe you were an anxious child who grew into an anxious adult, or maybe you developed anxiety later in life. Regardless of when symptoms began, it’s possible that your mind is in overdrive, and you’re always waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under you.

You’re not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. Like so many others looking for relief, you may have turned to medication for help. Although antianxiety drugs can ease your anxiety, the serenity can come with a price tag in the form of side effects. Trouble sleeping, decreased libido, jumpiness, and increased hunger are some of the most common inconveniences of treating anxiety with drugs.

The good news is that popping pills isn’t the only way to get your fears and nerves under control. Here are eight simple and effective ways to battle anxiety without medication.

1. Shout it out

Talking to a trusted friend is one way to cope with anxiety. But there’s something even better than talking: screaming at the top of your lungs. As a kid, you were probably taught not to shout and told to use your “inside voice.” But as an adult, you can make your own rules. So if you’re dealing with pent-up frustrations and anxiety, let it out.

This doesn’t mean putting fear in others so they feel on edge like you. We’re talking about a healthy release of emotions in a controlled environment. The more you fight anxiety, the more overwhelming it can become. Instead, embrace anxiety as a part of your life, and then let it go. Scream at the top of your lungs, punch a pillow, stomp your feet, or pound your chest. Do whatever helps you get it out! One Los Angeles-based yoga teacher even developed a class called Tantrum Yoga that encourages yogis to try these unconventional methods as a way to release emotion that “gets stuck in our bodies and could turn into stress, disease, etc.”

2. Get moving

Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when your mind’s in overdrive. You may worry about post-workout soreness and being unable to walk or sit for the next two days. Or your mind might go to the worst-case scenario and you fear overexerting yourself and having a heart attack. But in reality, exercise is one of the best natural antianxiety solutions.

Physical activity raises endorphins and serotonin levels to help you feel better emotionally. And when you feel better on the inside, your entire outlook improves. And because your brain can’t equally focus on two things at once, exercise can also take your mind off your problems. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity three to five days a week. Don’t think you have to struggle through a painful workout. Any type of movement is good, so put on your favorite jam and move around the house. Or grab a mat and break out into your favorite yoga poses.

3. Break up with caffeine

A cup of coffee, chocolate, or an ice-cold Coke might help you feel better. But if caffeine is your go-to drug of choice, your anxiety could worsen.

Caffeine gives the nervous system a jolt, which can boost energy levels. But when under pressure, this nervous energy can induce an anxiety attack. Now, the idea of giving up your favorite caffeinated beverage might raise your heart rate and induce anxiety as you read this, but you don’t have to stop cold turkey or give up caffeine completely. It’s all about moderation.

Rather than four cups of coffee a day, scale back to one or two normal-sized cups a day —normal as in 8 ounces, not 16 or 32 ounces. Give it a test run and see how you feel. As you wean yourself, slowly introduce other beverages into your diet such as decaffeinated herbal tea, which can calm your mind and nerves.

4. Give yourself a bedtime

With your busy schedule, there’s no time for sleep, right? Some workaholics brag about only needing three or four hours of sleep a night, as if to say, “I’m more determined and committed than everyone else.” But no matter what you might tell yourself, you’re not a robot. Humans need sleep to function properly, so unless you beamed in from some nearby planet, this also applies to you.

Whether you deal with insomnia, purposely limit your amount of sleep, or you’re a self-professed night owl, chronic sleep deprivation makes you susceptible to anxiety. Do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Develop a bedtime routine to read a book or do something relaxing before bed. The better prepared you are to get a good night’s sleep, the better quality of sleep you’ll have, which leads to a better morning as well.

5. Feel OK saying no

Your plate is only so big, and if you overwhelm yourself with everyone else’s personal problems, your anxiety will also worsen. We’ve all heard the adage, “There’s more happiness in giving than receiving.” But nowhere in this sentence does it say you should sit back …

7 tips to live a happier life

Mature man laughing during meditation class

Do you wake up feeling sluggish most mornings? Have caffeinated beverages become a necessity to help power you through the day? If this sounds familiar, it’s time to ditch the quick fixes you rely on, and develop an energy management plan. Getting started may seem daunting, but soon you’ll be energized to keep going once you reap the benefits of a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle.

What is energy management?

Think of your energy as a limited resource, like money in an account. You begin the day with a certain amount to spend, which varies from person to person based on factors, such as age, sleep, stress levels, medical conditions and lifestyle. Throughout your day, multiple transactions (activities) occur as you withdraw energy from and deposit energy into your account. While you may not always have control over activities that deplete your energy, you can take steps to deposit more energy into your account.

Follow these 7 tips to increase your energy and live a happier, healthier, more productive life:

A Happier Lifestyle: 4 Ways For Living Happier Every Day

1. Eat nourishing food.

We all know that wholesome food is the crux for well-being, but it’s common to regard healthy eating primarily as a tool for weight loss. However, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains is what you need for optimal energy. After all, you really are what you eat to some extent. Consume a variety of foods from all the food groups to get a range of nutrients to energize you throughout the day. Opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, especially nutrient-dense dark, leafy greens and broccoli, as well as orange vegetables, including carrots and sweet potatoes. There are many types of fish and legumes to choose from for healthy protein options. Aim to eat 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice or pasta daily.

2. Sleep seven to eight hours a night.

Getting more sleep seems to be a healthy habit many people need to improve on. We already know that we need at least seven hours of shut-eye each night, so what prevents us from getting it? Think about how you can improve your biggest sleep disruptors and know this: Sleep deprivation can perpetuate serious health conditions, as well as negatively affect your mood, motivation and energy levels. Prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a successful, energized day.

3. Keep company with good people.

Maximize the amount of time that you spend with people you enjoy being around. Connecting with others who radiate positivity and have similar interests will excite and energize you. On the flip side, people you don’t relate to or who have negative outlooks, complain often or make poor choices will only drain your energy account. Be selective in the company you keep.

4. Avoid news overdose.

The news is an important way to stay connected to what’s happening in the world. It can be educational, entertaining and even uplifting. Unfortunately, the news too frequently is bombarded with stories of suffering. These stories can skew your view of the world and cause you to focus on your worst fears instead of recognizing the good that surrounds you. You can’t avoid these stories altogether, but try to minimize your exposure when you can, especially during trying times.

5. Get regular exercise.

Do you find yourself feeling lethargic halfway through the day? Have you ever gotten winded by simple everyday duties, such as grocery shopping or household chores? Contrary to what you might believe, getting the 150 minutes of weekly activity recommended by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans can add to your energy account and not subtract from it. How? Exercise relieves stress and tension, strengthens muscles and boosts endurance, which helps your body to work more efficiently during other physical tasks or activities.

6. Do something meaningful each day.

What do you feel passionate about? Do you have a special talent that you’d like to practice more often or share with others? Do something you enjoy every day, even if it’s something as simple as cooking a healthy meal or listening to your favorite song. Putting effort into the things that matter most to you will help you utilize and reserve your energy in ways that will bring out the best in you.

7. Think good thoughts for others.

Maintaining a compassionate mindset is another way to conserve energy. One example of practicing this way of thinking is called kind attention. For example, try to make eye contact with a stranger and smile, while thinking “I wish you well.” This positive act can, instead, keep you from judging that person. Judging others can cause us to place judgment on ourselves, and that type of negative internal dialogue can be exhausting.

You’ll feel better with each step you take toward this important self-care investment.

Here are a few simple activities that will help you become more mindful of caring for yourself:

Monitor your energy.

Take your energy “temperature” at various points throughout the day, assigning it a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest energy level. Pay attention to the details of your day so you can identify the people or events that impact you the most.

Make incremental changes.

Once you are aware of some of the people …

10 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Adults

  1. Eat a variety of foods
  2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates
  3. Replace saturated with unsaturated fat
  4. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
  5. Reduce salt and sugar intake
  6. Eat regularly, control the portion size
  7. Drink plenty of fluids
  8. Maintain a healthy body weight
  9. Get on the move, make it a habit!
  10. Start now! And keep changing gradually.

1. Eat a variety of foods 

The 29 Different Types of Food (Epic Food Categorization Resource) - Home  Stratosphere

For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!

  • A high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner.
  • After a large meat portion at dinner, perhaps fish should be the next day’s choice?

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2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates

Foods rich in Carbohydrates that you must eat - HealthifyMe Blog

About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fibre intake.

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3. Replace saturated with unsaturated fat

Weighty Matters: Yes, Current Evidence Still Suggests That Replacing  Saturated Fat With Unsaturated Fat Is Good For You

Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:

  • We should limit the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin), and completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
  • Eating fish 2-3 times a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will contribute to our right intake of unsaturated fats.
  • When cooking, we should boil, steam or bake, rather than frying, remove the fatty part of meat, use vegetable oils.

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4. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables

20 Incredible Facts About Eating Fruits And Vegetables That You Probably  Didn't Know

Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitaminsminerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.

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5. Reduce salt and sugar intake

The Facts on Heart Disease, Sodium, and Sugar - Cardiovascular Health  Center - Everyday Health

A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are different ways to reduce salt in the diet:

  • When shopping, we could choose products with lower sodium content.
  • When cooking, salt can be substituted with spices, increasing the variety of flavours and tastes.
  • When eating, it helps not to have salt at the table, or at least not to add salt before tasting.

Sugar provides sweetness and an attractive taste, but sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy and are best enjoyed in moderation, as an occasional treat. We could use fruits instead, even to sweeten our foods and drinks.

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6. Eat regularly, control the portion size

Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.

Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too many calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.

  • Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
  • Some reasonable serving sizes are: 100 g of meat; one medium piece of fruit; half a cup of raw pasta.
  • Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
  • Packaged foods, with calorie values on the pack, could aid portion control.
  • If eating out, we could share a portion with a friend.

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7. Drink plenty of fluids

Doctors: Rethink advice to "drink plenty of fluids" when sick - CBS News

Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks, can all be okay – from time to time.

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8. Maintain a healthy body weight

Body Weight Scale Png | Transparent PNG Download #479108 - Vippng

The right weight for each us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.

Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend the energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!

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9. Get on the move, make it a habit!

Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges …

Transparent wood is coming, and it could make an energy-efficient alternative to glass

Transparent wood is coming, and it could make an energy-efficient  alternative to glass

Wood is an ancient material humans have been using for millions of years, for the construction of housing, ships, and as a source of fuel for burning. It’s also a renewable source, and one way to capture excess carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere. Today, the main component of wood – cellulose – is produced annually at 20 times the volume of steel.

One thing you wouldn’t use wood for is making windows. Instead we rely on glass and plastic, which are transparent and, when toughened, can give structural support. But buildings lose a lot of heat through glass, and while light can bring some heat through the material, it’s not a good insulator. This is why we need double glazing. Wood, on the other hand, is highly insulating but it’s not transparent. Usually.

In recent years, materials scientists have been experimenting with making wood transparent. Making wood see-through, and retaining its high mechanical properties, would provide a good alternative to glass from a sustainable and renewable source. Previous methods of doing this were highly energy-intensive and used harmful chemicals, but a new study has shown a way to make wood transparent without using huge amounts of energy in the process.

Seeing through wood

Wood’s lack of transparency comes from the combination of its two main components, cellulose and lignin. The lignin absorbs light, and the presence of chromophores – light activated compounds – in the material makes the wood look brown. The fibres in the wood, which mainly comprise cellulose, are hollow tube-like structures. The air in these hollow tubes scatters light, further reducing the material’s transparency.

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Previous work on making wood transparent has involved removing the lignin completely from the structure and replacing it with a resin material. The removal of lignin requires a lot of environmentally harmful chemicals, and it also considerably reduces the mechanical properties of the material. makes it weaker.

The new study, by researchers at the University of Maryland, demonstrates how to make wood transparent using a simple chemical – hydrogen peroxide – commonly used to bleach hair. This chemical modifies the chromophores, changing their structure so they no longer act to absorb light and colour the wood.

A sunny pine forest with logs in the foreground.
Removing a component of wood, called lignin, can make it see-through. Shutterstock/Krasula

The chemical can be brushed onto the wood, and then activated using light to produce a brilliant white material – blond wood if you like. The chemical reaction of wood with hydrogen peroxide is well known. It’s the basis for bleaching wood pulp used for paper making – one of the reasons why paper is brilliant white.

The other reason paper is white is because pores or holes in its structure scatter light, just like the hollow cellulose fibres in wood. Filling these fibres with resin reduces that scattering, allowing light to pass through the wood and making it transparent, while retaining its original mechanical properties.

Wooden windows

This is a very exciting development that uses well-known chemical reactions of hydrogen peroxide with lignin. The approach could also be applied to large pieces of material, leading to production of transparent building materials offering a real potential to replace glass.

Because the chemical is brushed onto the wood, there might be opportunities for decorative effects to be added to the material. This could make panels of material popular for indoor applications, while also offering additional insulation.

Further work needs to be done to optimize the reaction with the wood and to incorporate it into an industrially automated process. But one day, in the future, you might be sitting in a home or working in a building with wooden windows.…

Supplier Food Safety Program in the Food Chain

A Critical Issue for the Philippine Food Industry

US FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Program – Impact on suppliers

Managing Food Safety Along the Supply Chain | Food Logistics

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in the United States in 2011, covers the most extensive reforms of the U.S. food safety laws to ensure that the food supply chain is safe and secure. It involves a shift in focus from responding to food contamination events to prevention-based controls for all food manufacturing processes. FSMA empha­sizes that the food industry has the pri­mary responsibility to produce safe food, but calls for the government to develop a new framework for regulatory oversight, Integrated government food safety efforts, and public-private collaboration. FSMA’s main themes focus on (a) Prevention, (b) Inspections, Compliance, and Response, (c) Import Safety, and (d) Enhanced Part­nership. FSMA requires that food facilities implement Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) to ensure that hazards are identified and addressed from farm to table.

Transportation Plates Image By Boguslaw Sliwinski from
Supplier Food Safety Assurance Program (SFSAP)1
An effective SFSA program should include:

A supplier approval program for ingre­dients, packaging, and other services or supplies that may affect food safety;
A reliable and approved supplier list that includes supplier performance evaluations;
Requesting and maintaining (where possible) on file a Letter of Continuing Guarantee from each supplier;
Incoming material specifications (if necessary, ask suppliers for input on the facility’s incoming product specifications) to ensure that incoming materials meet required or agreed upon specifications;
Incoming product and release protocol (e.g. based on Certificate of Analysis or internal testing) for the facility’s receiving department (part of Prerequisite
Program on receiving and shipping);

A written specification change proce­dure to organize and record all changes; and alternative plans for buying from “non-approved” sources in emergencies
US FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Program – Impact on suppliers

Food Safety | Pilothouse Advisors

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in the United States in 2011, covers the most extensive reforms of the U.S. food safety laws to ensure that the food supply chain is safe and secure. It involves a shift in focus from responding to food contamination events to prevention-based controls for all food manufacturing processes. FSMA empha­sizes that the food industry has the pri­mary responsibility to produce safe food, but calls for government to develop a new framework for regulatory oversight,

Integrated government food safety efforts, and public-private collaboration. FSMA’s main themes focus on (a) Prevention, (b) Inspections, Compliance, and Response, (c) Import Safety, and (d) Enhanced Part­nership. FSMA requires that food facilities implement Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) to ensure that hazards are identified and addressed from farm-to-table.

  • Improved Capacity to Prevent Food Safety Problems (Sections 101-116),
  • Improved Capacity to Detect Hazards and Respond to Food Safety Problems (Sections 201-211), and
  • Improved Safety of Imported Food (Sections 301-307).

Details of these sections and miscella­neous items are found in the US FDA website (

Not covered in FSMA are facilities under the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other existing food safety regulations involving seafood, fishery products, low acid canning, and juices subjected to HACCP.

FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

Improved Safety of Imported Food sections include provisions for expanded oversight of imports, authority to require certification to US Standards, and a voluntary program for expedited import procedures. FSMA specifies that food importers for human and animals would be required to develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP. An importer is the U.S. owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the United States. This applies to most entities that import food into the United States from abroad including domestic facilities and food brokers. Among other items, importers are required to conduct reviews and risk verification of the imported goods, and third-party auditing of foreign food processors. An importer would be required to develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP that provides “adequate assurances” that its foreign supplier is producing the food in compliance with processes and procedures that provide “at least the same level of public health protection” as the US FDA’s standards.

The foreign supplier must also demonstrate that it is producing the food in compliance with the adulteration and allergen-labelling requirements of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. Record keeping should be maintained to diligently track and keep records of the mentioned activities including background checks for each product needed for import status compliance.

Key Features for Importers and Foreign Suppliers

US FDA has proposed two options for foreign suppliers to verify the safety of their products. (1) The importer is responsible for conducting or obtaining information on onsite auditing of the foreign supplier, if the latter controls the hazard at its establishment; (2) The importer needs to decide a verification procedure for all the hazards that the supplier controls themselves.

Global Food Supply Chain - Challenges and Opportunities for the Food Supply  Chain

US FDA’s new key import authorities and mandates include:

Importer accountability: Importers have an explicit responsibility to verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure safe food.
Third Party Certification: An established program through which qualified third parties can certify that foreign food facilities comply with U.S. food safety standards. This certification may be used to facilitate the entry of imports.
Certification for high-risk foods: US FDA has the authority to require that high-risk imported foods be accompanied by a credible third party certification, or other assurance of compliance as a condition of entry into the U.S.…