When I first saw the movie trailer for The Host, which is touted to be the next epic love story from the creator of Twilight Stephanie Meyer, I had to admit I was intrigued, though not because I am a fan of her vampire saga. I never liked Twilight and couldn’t get past chapter 2. I only watched the first movie out of curiosity and I’m glad I missed out on the sequels. If I had to watch a movie at the theaters, I’d want it to be something worth watching, like Argo.
Back to The Host, my interest was piqued because of Saoirse Ronan, who is a terrific actress and Max Irons (son of Jeremy Irons) who you gotta admit, is pretty easy on the eyes. Jake Abel, the other guy who completes the love triangle isn’t so bad looking, too. I wondered whether Saoirse and the two guys would be good enough to pull off a plot by Meyer. Will their acting be good enough for the audience to forget the lacking plot? Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t seem to think so, with the movie scoring only a dismal 10% on the tomatometer.
With this rating, I don’t think I will be watching The Host. But you have to admit that the trailer looks intriguing.
How many times have you craved for something sweet but you have to tell yourself no because it’s not good for your health. But much to our desire, and humans as we are, our cravings for the sweet tastes of life will never be suppressed. But you really don’t have to feel guilty about it. There are so many low fat dessert recipes that you can try, each offering you the chance to satiate your palate without adding an inch to your waist. Check out our top health and figure-friendly recipes that you and your family won’t stop from wanting.
Low Fat Mango Fool
This sweet and delectable meal will surely make any meal complete. For the ingredients, prepare the following: 150 g low-fat ricotta cheese, half cup low-fat vanilla custard, 2 pieces ripe mangoes (then peeled and chopped), 10 pieces almond bread.
Here’s how you do it. Using a food processor, process your ricotta until it turns thick and creamy. Then, add custard and combine. Transfer it to a huge bowl. Then, process the mango and set aside a third of its cup while combining the rest with the ricotta mixture. Transfer mango-ricotta mixtures to four pieces 1-cup size glasses. Keep cool inside the refrigerator and serve with almond bread.
Luscious Sticky Toffee Pudding
Who says puddings have to be sinful? This figure-friendly version of the old-time favorite is so full of dates and maple syrup that you can’t have enough of this.
For the ingredients, prepare 175g dried dates, 150 ml maple syrup, 2 tbsp vanilla extract, 2 pieces eggs (separate the white from the yolk), 85 g self-raising flour, 0% Greek yogurt .
Here’s how you do it: Preheat the oven to 180 C. In a pan, combine dates and 175ml water together then let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture into the food processor. Add 6-8 tbsp maple syrup, then the vanilla extract, and then blend until mixture turns smooth.
Transfer the mixture into another bowl then add the egg yolks. Add the flour next. Whisk the egg whites until they turn stiff, folding it into the date mixture. Pour in a tablespoon maple syrup on top of the pudding moulds then add the mixture. Cover each using the foil, stand in an ovenproof dish and pour in hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cook for 1 hour and wait until the skewer stuck into the center emerges comes out clean.
Frozen Peach Pie Filling
This yummy and sweet dessert will definitely leave you breathless and wanting for more. Prepare 3 cups of sliced peaches, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp tapioca, a dash of nutmeg. Place sliced peaches in a bowl with sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, and nutmeg. Toss until evenly coated and sugar is mostly dissolved.
Place the peaches into a 9-inch foil-lined pie plate. Layer it with another piece of foil and freeze to prevent the peaches from losing their color. Once peaches are frozen solid, take peaches from the pie plate, but don’t take it from the foil. Transfer it to a ziplocked plastic bag. Line a pie plate with prepared crust and place frozen peaches on top. Set the oven at 450 degrees F then bake the mixture on the bottom rack for about 20 minutes. Set the oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for another 30 or until the mixture is warm.
About the author. Manilyn Moreno is the Online Marketing and Content Manager for a catering software company. She is also an event planner and specializes in outdoor events. She loves to cook, bake, travel, meditate, and exercise.
There are several things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick such as eating healthy food, exercising, and proper hand washing. However, things won’t always go your way. Catching a cold is a fact of life. When this happens, all your attention should be geared toward getting your health back. So, call in sick and try the following
Image courtesy of flickr.com Creative Commons-licensed
Catch up on your sleep
Most people don’t get enough sleep each night. Being sick gives you the chance to get as much sleep as you can so you can get back to your feet. Sleep until you feel fully rested and take an afternoon nap to boost your energy. You don’t have to worry about what others think about your extended stay in bed this time around.
Eat the food you like
If you’re not on a restricted diet, being sick is a great time to enjoy the food you don’t usually eat. You don’t need to stick to your calorie count if you’re feeling under the weather. Of course, you’ll need to consume some super foods like fruits and vegetables to aid in your recovery. Sneaking in some treats can always lift your mood.
Take your mind off your work even just for one day. Your body is going to need all its energy reserves to facilitate healing. Don’t push yourself too much. Just sit back and relax. Order in your favorite food instead of preparing them yourself. Don’t worry about cleaning after yourself for a couple of days. Just spend your day lying around watching your favorite shows, listen to music, or read a book.
Do the things you love
Being sick is a great time to the things you’re familiar and comfortable with. Trying new things might cause excitement and stress which can prevent you from getting proper rest. Read your favorite book, watch your favorite movie, and listen to the music you grew up with.
Wearing the wrong set of clothes can make you feel uncomfortable and delay the healing process. If it’s raining or snowing outside, protect yourself from the cold by wearing layers, sleeves, a scarf, a hat, gloves, and closed shoes. During the warmer season, wear a light, long sleeve shirt to protect yourself against the allergens floating around.
Drink Herbal Tea
A cup of warm herbal tea can help relieve flu and cold symptoms. Teas such as peppermint or verbana can help you stay properly hydrated and prevent your mouth from becoming too dry. You can also add lemon to your tea to improve your immune system.
Take a hot bath
A hot bath helps soothe the aches that comes with being sick. The warm water and steam helps improve circulation, relieves congestion, and eases sinus pressure; making you feel better.
Spend some time alone
Sick days are a great opportunity to spend some “me” time. Having company may be stressful. You can take this opportunity to meditate and reflect on your goals. If you get sick quite often, find out how you can prevent getting sick in the future. Being alone also helps prevent spreading microbes to other people.
This article was contributed by VISTA Health Solutions. For more information visit www.nyhealthinsurer.com
I’m getting sick of Facebook baby announcements. It seems every second day an old school friend is announcing the birth of bouncing baby Betty, waiting for the obligatory 7,000 likes and ‘ohh she’s sooooo precious!’ comments before settling back into their old routine of posting lol cats and photos of the eggs their chicken laid that morning. While we’re on the topic- enough already of the chicken photos. They’re chickens!
It’s getting hard to tell one baby from another now. Privately, I’ve started calling Facebook ‘Babybook’. My Facebook, Twitter, and just about every other social media outlet has become an avalanche of generic looking baby pictures. I imagine that all those babies will grow generically old together and I’ll be seeing Facebook pictures of their twenty-first and graduation together as well.
With the birth of my second daughter imminent, I’m wondering if there isn’t a more special, personal way to herald her arrival into the world. Something that won’t appear momentarily in a newsfeed and then fade away almost immediately, to be replaced by pictures of instagrammed meals. I did Facebook albums for my first child, but I think I’m over that now. More importantly, I’d like my new baby to be seen by all my nearest and dearest friends, not just the one’s who are on Facebook. The Peepsakes website has provided me with the perfect solution. My Grandma isn’t on Facebook, but I’m sure she’ll want to see pictures of her newborn great grand daughter.
Personalized websites, built using a variety of templates, are simple to establish for even the most tech-phobic among us. The beauty is that you can protect it, just like of Facebook, and choose who sees it and what you want to share, so it doesn’t have to be open to the public unless you want it to be. There are so many extras that can be added should you wish to do so. Friends and relatives who wish to access your page simply send you a request which you then approve or deny by issuing them with a password. Your pictures can stay up for as long as you want them to.
These websites are ideal not only for the birth of a new baby, but for weddings, parties, travel diaries- anything you wish. You don’t have to stick to a pre-determined template, or have your pictures compete with everyone else’s to be seen, because they belong to their own website destination. It’s a great way to publish your personal photographs, and it’s a fantastic organisational tool for any kind of event, as you can micromanage your guest list, and your RSVPs with things like any dietary requirements or allergies those guests may have, and update people if there any changes to times, dates, or venues. It’s like your own private social media, accessible by as many or as few people as you like.
Ivy Delfin is a Copywriter working with Peepsakes where you can create a website devoted to your event like a wedding or arrival of a new baby. When Ivy’s not writing content she enjoys swimming, cooking and walking her Great Dane.
Your girlfriends have asked you out for a night of drinking, eating, and singing at a local karaoke bar. While you want to go because you know it will be a good time, it scares you to think that they may make you get up in front of everyone to sing. Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one that has this fear, and you won’t be the last. The good news is that you can overcome this fear with the following tips.
Practice at Home
If you practice singing at home, you can adjust the way you sing. Adjust your pitch to a level that you like as you sing. Practice many different songs, so you can see which types you can sing decently enough.
Choose Songs You Can Sing
As you practice, write down the songs that you like to sing, and you don’t believe you sing badly. Memorize the titles of these songs because when a DJ asks what you’d like to sing, you can blurt out the ones that you know you can do.
Sing in Front of a Small Crowd
Singing in front of loved ones can be easier to deal with than singing in front of strangers. Ask loved ones to listen to you sing, so you can get used to singing in front of a group. Ask them if there is anything you should change with the way you stand, dance, or sing.
Imagine Singing in Front of a Crowd
The mind is a powerful thing. If you imagine singing in front of a crowd and doing it well, you can actually lower your anxiety level. So, basically, it’s like practicing in front of crowd without actually doing it.
Think About the Worst that Could Happen
When people go to a karaoke bar, they go to have a good time with friends and listen to people sing. If you aren’t a good singer, people won’t boo you out. They will likely go back to speaking with the friends they came to the bar with to pass the time.
Have Fun with It
No one expects you to be the next American Idol or to be a rock star, so don’t act like this is an audition. Get up there, start singing, and don’t forget to laugh a little when you mess up. It’s okay, no one is perfect, and no one expects you to be either.
Don’t Go Alone
If your friends pressure you to sing, don’t think you have to go alone. Grab a friend, and make her come with you. That way you can let her take over parts of the song that you just can’t manage to make your vocal chords do.
Enjoy Your Girls’ Night Out
Now that you have some tips, you can put them to good use, so you can go out with your girlfriends without hesitation. Before you know it, you’ll be up in front of everyone belting out your favorite song, and having one of the best times of your life.
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? Reflect. Mine was during freshman year of college. I decided to take a girl out to dinner. It was zero degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of saying, “It’s too cold. We’ll do this another time,” I insisted it would be fine. It wasn’t. After that night, we never spoke again.
Because of this, I have a few dating deal breakers.
1. Remember, remember the cold of December.
2. She uses a knife and fork to eat a Coney Dog or, heaven forbid, pizza.
3. No first date dinners.
In my case, the first two “rules” act as reminders. Firstly, there’s no need to wander aimlessly in the cold—just because you’re from the north doesn’t mean everybody can handle backbreaking wind. Secondly, I don’t want to feel ashamed for picking up, folding, and brushing the cheese off of my slice. I also don’t want to be embarrassed of the chili stains on my jeans from a delicious Coney Dog.
- Within fifteen minutes of a first date, men will decide if a second date is in the cards. For women, it takes about an hour.
- If a guy hasn’t gotten in touch within 24 hours after a date, the odds of a second date are 1 in 8.
- 41% of women would rather give up dating than chocolate.
- It takes 37% of men longer than an hour to plan a date.
- 40 million Americans use online dating services.
First Dates in the City
Because I live in NYC—but this really applies to any city—there are thousands (yes, thousands!) of atypical date ideas at your fingertips. Too often men rely on the “dinner date” or a standard coffee because of, maybe, fear of trying something new or fear of embarrassment. What to do? Embrace the shame. Instead of the local Italian joint, try a classic NYC dance class.
It takes 86% of men longer than thirty minutes to plan a date, with 37% of them taking longer than an hour. I’m talking about time and effort generally wasted. If a man gets so far as to plan a date, one in seven women refuse a date if they don’t like the activity planned—I’m looking at you coffee date.
Why do I hate the dinner date? They’re stale—pun intended. I’ll give you some science. Dopamine is the love drug. Things that trigger heavy dopamine releases include bananas, your favorite song, or fun activities. Would you rather take your date to the fruit stand or a tango? The more dopamine released, the stronger the attraction. Wine and cheese doesn’t sound so appetizing anymore, right?
I’m not a dating expert, a Hitch. From past experiences, I’ve noticed that different works, throwing a woman out of her comfort zone has proved effective more often than not. Plus, it provides excellent conversation, giving you an instant connection. In the case of the dance class, it initiates some physical contact—25% of people believe this contact is very effective.
Of course, I’m not saying that you should always take a woman dancing. Cooking classes, ice skating, or even, provided you two are artsy, painting classes offer alternative, memorable dates.
As a guy, I’m trying to be memorable, to stick out above the other guys you’re either seeing or have seen previously. Of course, the most important part of dating is to have fun.
Make good choices, now.
This guest post is written by Tom Burson.
Romantic at hearts, the wordbarista gals dish out on their ideal Valentine’s Date.
“My ideal Valentines date would be a romantic candle light dinner in front of white sand beaches in Greece. If Greece is too expensive, I’d settle for a dinner in a classy restaurant and then we’ll walk back home hand in hand.”
“My ideal date would be a really comfy couch, a 42” TV screen or larger (I like ‘em big!), and extended versions of great movies that have decent special effects and awesome storylines. For grub, essential food groups like potato chips, sodas, pizzas, and candy bars must be well-represented. Company is optional, and he/she should be able to provide witty and entertaining commentary.”
“Surprise me to dinner. Take me to an empty bowling center – with the lights down and candles all around. Prepare a table in the middle of the alley. The table has flowers, a well-prepared meal, and chocolate eclairs. The music plays… “just the way you look tonight.” You ask me to dance. We slow dance. You look into my eyes and we talk, we smile, we laugh… just like we did on the first date.”
“Like any typical girly girl, I would love to receive flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day. But what would make this day even more perfect would be a candlelight dinner at home with homecooked meal from the number one man in my life.”
“My ideal date eh? hmmm.. I wanna ride in a hot air balloon then watch the sparkling stars in the dark sky. We will wear our parachutes then skydive while holding each other’s hand. Upon landing on the ground, we are gonna seal the experience with a kiss. Isn’t that romantic? Nah, I’m just kidding! I just have a simple idea for a Valentine date. Me and my honey will just stay at home, cuddle each other on the couch and watch a very romantic film – Exorcism of Emily Rose – just kidding! but it would do. It’s either I’m gonna cook for him or we will order pizza with lots and lots of cheese. The venue does not really matter to me, as long as I am in the arms of the person who stole my heart.”
Stop for a moment and try to remember what you thought about before going to work morning. Then think about how you felt. What were you thinking? What were you saying to yourself?
Whether it’s about unpaid bills, an argument with your loved ones, mediating family conflicts, a worrisome health problem, deadlines or traffic jams, stress is a part of everyday life. Even in the absence of obviously stressful situations our inner critic can make us miserable and stressed through negative thoughts.
According to the American Institute for Stress, stress is responsible for 75 to 90 percent of doctor visits in America. Common illness these days are stress-induced. Everybody talks about doing something about it eventually, but few people seem to deal with the problem directly and bring it under control. This is not about how to manage your life to the point of eliminating stress, rather how to respond to it and to minimize the degree to which you experience it. Your job is to decide which is best and start using them.
1. Get Physical and Breathe Easily
Even a daily walk can relieve stress, combine this with breathing exercises. Physical activity pumps up feel good endorphins. “Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly,” says Robert Cooper, Ph.D., the San Francisco coauthor of The Power of 5 (Rodale Press, 1996), a book of five-second and five-minute health tips.
2. Nourish and Recharge Your Body
A healthy diet and a good quality & amount of sleep can counter the impacts of stress by strengthening up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
3. Identify Your Stressors
Stress is our biological response to the pressures in life. On a piece of paper list the situations or people that were bringing pressure and evaluate the extent to which those pressures impact you. Identify the stressors which you may be able to change and the one you can’t.
4. Get Support
Reinforcements in the form of professional therapy or counseling can help you identify sources of stress and learn how to cope. Having a conversation with a friend, a family member or a financial expert can also help you look for solutions to your financial problems that you may be overlooking.
5. Limit Contact with Stress-producing People
Limit your relationships with others who drain your energy. There’s no need to be argumentative or confrontational, it makes sense to steer clear whenever possible. Stop trying to please everyone all the time, learn when to say NO.
6. Maintain a Positive Outlook
Having a positive attitude minimizes the effects of stress. It is also directly related to how our bodies respond to diseases. Take time to appreciate the positive things in your life, including your own qualities. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good.
7. Harness the Power of Laughter and a Hearty Hug
Laughter cools down your stress response through your heart rate and blood pressure, producing a relaxed feeling. Laughter, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, is the best medicine. Hugs are also good for your heart; they help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, so make it a point to hug someone today!
8. Resolve Conflicts
If it is possible, try to settle issues in a harmonious way. There are few things I personally find more stress generating than unresolved conflicts. It consumes my thoughts and keeps my adrenaline on high alert. Some people try to confront offenses and misunderstandings right away. But not all people feel this way. Stay open-minded and always seek first to understand the other person’s behavior rather than justifying your own. If you need to apologize to someone, and it will not make the situation worse, then find time to do so.
This guest post was contributed by VISTA Health Solutions. For more information visit www.nyhealthinsurer.com