Superfast Summer Recipes

May 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on Superfast Summer Recipes | Posted in Lifestyle

Celebrate the season with these 20-minute recipes using the freshest produce.

34 Healthy Dinner Recipes Anyone Can Make

May 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on 34 Healthy Dinner Recipes Anyone Can Make | Posted in Lifestyle

For some, “cooking” means boiling water for instant ramen. For others, the mere thought of turning on a stove sends them running to the phone to order takeout.

If you fall into either group, you’re in the right place. Sure, making your own meals—and healthy ones to boot—can seem like a lot of work, but rest assured, it’s nowhere near as difficult as you think. Plus, it’s often much cheaper than ordering in or going out.

To help you get started, we found 34 quick and healthy meals from around the web that keep the equipment and clean-up to a minimum (no fancy blenders or food processors needed!).

20 Quick Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeks

May 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on 20 Quick Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeks | Posted in Lifestyle

Getting dinner on the table during the week can be a feat even in the best of times. Making that happen when you’re juggling a busy schedule can feel almost impossible. You’re certainly not alone on that one; we’ve been there, too.

Luckily there’s a solid dinner solution, and it doesn’t involve takeout, cereal, or random grazing through the pantry. These 20 meals are just what you need in your back pocket when you want a satisfying dinner, but are short on time and energy.

How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health

February 21st, 2017 | Comments Off on How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health | Posted in Lifestyle

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Music is an art, entertainment, pleasure, and … medicine for the soul and body. Music is one of the few activities that involves using the whole brain. It is intrinsic to all cultures and has surprising benefits not only for learning language, improving memory and focusing attention, but also for physical coordination and development.

Not all types of music have favourable effects. Music can be distracting if it’s too loud or too jarring, or if it competes for our attention with what we’re trying to do. But for the most part, exposure to classic music has beneficial effects:

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‘The Power Of Music’ To Affect The Brain

February 21st, 2017 | Comments Off on ‘The Power Of Music’ To Affect The Brain | Posted in Lifestyle

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Science all but confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music. Studies also suggest that someday music may even help patients heal from Parkinson’s disease or a stroke.

In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes explores how music affects different groups of people and how it could play a role in health care.

Mannes tracked the human relationship with music over the course of a life span. She tells NPR’s Neal Conan that studies show that infants prefer “consonant intervals, the smooth-sounding ones that sound nice to our Western ears in a chord, as opposed to a jarring combination of notes.”

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7 Ways Music Affects the Body: Here’s How Science Says Sound Moves Us

February 21st, 2017 | Comments Off on 7 Ways Music Affects the Body: Here’s How Science Says Sound Moves Us | Posted in Lifestyle

shutterstock_499943026If the scope of research on the psychological and physiological impacts of music is any indication, much is known — and yet unknown — about how music affects the human mind and body. “By better understanding what music is and where it comes from, we may be able to better understand our motives, fears, desires, memories and even communication in the broadest sense,” writes neuroscientist, musician and author Daniel J. Levitin in his 2007 book This Is Your Brain on Music.

“Is music listening more along the lines of eating when you’re hungry, and thus satisfying an urge?” he asks in the book. “Or is it more like seeing a beautiful sunset or getting a backrub, which triggers sensory pleasure systems in the brain?” The truth is that the experience of listening to music wildly varies. Yet, in recent years, scientists have made huge advances in understanding how the human brain processes music and how sound affects not just the mind but the body at large.

Here are seven things science has made clear:

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5 Ways Music Improves Our Health

February 21st, 2017 | Comments Off on 5 Ways Music Improves Our Health | Posted in Lifestyle

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When I gave birth to my first-born, I listened to CDs of classical music in the hospital. I figured that music would help calm me and distract me from the pain.

You might use music to distract yourself from painful or stressful situations, too. Or perhaps you’ve listened to music while studying or working out, hoping to up your performance. Though you may sense that music helps you feel better somehow, only recently has science begun to figure out why that is.

Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music heightens positive emotion through the reward centers of our brain, stimulating hits of dopamine that can make us feel good or even elated. Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brain — in fact, almost no brain center is left untouched — suggesting more widespread effects and potential uses for music.

Music’s neurological reach, and its historic role in healing and cultural rituals, has led researchers to consider ways music may improve our health and wellbeing. In particular, researchers have looked for applications in healthcare — for example, helping patients during post-surgery recovery or improving outcomes for people with Alzheimer’s. In some cases, music’s positive impacts on health have been more powerful than medication.

Here are five ways that music seems to impact our health and wellbeing.

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To Achieve Happiness, Don’t Confuse Pleasure with Fulfillment

November 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on To Achieve Happiness, Don’t Confuse Pleasure with Fulfillment | Posted in Lifestyle
The easiest way to waste decades of your life is to mistake pleasure for fulfillment.
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Pleasure lives in the realm of now. It’s made of feeling and emotion, which are both very important, but predictably unstable. It’s impossible to base a meaningful life solely on the pursuit of pleasure.

At the extreme end of pleasure: over-eating, over-sleeping, chronic masturbation and sex addiction, television, benders, cocaine and ice cream (the verdict is still out here). Push the button, get the stimulus. Constant stimulation to dull the pain, anxiety and existential uncertainty of being a human in society.

It feels good to feel good. So why not try to feel good all the time? Pass the mint chocolate chip, please.

Fulfillment is concerned with your highest vision for the future. It doesn’t equate pain or discomfort today with pain or discomfort tomorrow. It assumes that the best is always yet to come. Those looking for fulfillment out of life will do things that aren’t fun now, to reap massive rewards later.

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Work Life Balance

November 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on Work Life Balance | Posted in Lifestyle
shutterstock_292543157With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests, it’s no surprise that more than one in four Americans describe themselves as “super stressed.” And that’s not balanced—or healthy.

In our rush to “get it all done” at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships.

Over time, stress also weakens our immune systems, and makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments from colds to backaches to heart disease. The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack. That statistic alone is enough to raise your blood pressure!

While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word: balance. Not only is achieving a healthy work/life balance an attainable goal but workers and businesses alike see the rewards. When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.

Here are a few practical steps we can all take to loosen the grip that stress has on us and win back the balance in our lives. Read on and reap the benefits.

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7 Habits Of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance

November 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on 7 Habits Of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance | Posted in Lifestyle

According to a recent study published by the American Sociological Review, 70% of American workers struggle with finding a work-life system that works for them. For many in the workforce, achieving any type of work-life balance, can seem like a myth, especially when technology has made us accessible around the clock. Time free from workplace obligations seems to becoming ever more elusive.

Despite these realities, there are those that have managed to have carved out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of their work. Here are some of the tools they practice:

THEY MAKE DELIBERATE CHOICES ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT IN LIFE

Instead of just letting life happen, people who achieve work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. They talk to their partners, spouses, and others who are important in their lives, and come up with a road map of what is important to them, how they want to spend their time, and commit to following their path.

THEY REGULARLY COMMUNICATE ABOUT WHAT’S WORKING AND WHAT ISN’T

Work-life balance going off the rails is usually a result of letting things slide as opposed to any kind of intentional choice. People who are good at staying on track make a conscious choice to continually talk to the important people in their lives about what is working or not, and make decisions to change direction if needed. While life happens and situations change, they avoid ending up in a place they didn’t want to be due to drifting along.

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How to Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance

November 3rd, 2016 | Comments Off on How to Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance | Posted in Lifestyle
Creating a work-life balance is an attitude and not time divided evenly between one’s professional and personal life. Our lives have picked up pace and definitions of work and life are evolving at different speeds for different people. We have created many avenues of expression and experience. Work is not merely a means of livelihood anymore. We live our interests, express our personalities and define our identities through work.

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On the other hand, our personal life has also evolved in many dimensions. Self-growth, pursuing one’s interest beyond the working profiles, quality time with family, aligning your timelines with theirs, developing a healthy social life etc. are few life decisions we are faced with on an everyday basis.

There are few questions we face every day: –

  • Can we keep professional and personal life separate?
  • What is quality time with oneself and one’s family?
  • Can we strike a balance between the two worlds that exist parallelly?

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Five Tips for Great Photos With Your Cell Phone

August 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on Five Tips for Great Photos With Your Cell Phone | Posted in Lifestyle
shutterstock_102149002These days, everyone seems to snap candid photos with their mobile phone, and the pocket sized do-everything devices threaten to replace point-and-shoots entirely. I wrote some tips for using camera phones back when they were just starting to get popular, but the technology has improved a lot in the last four years.

This week, let’s take a fresh look at how to get the best photos with your phone.

1. Choose Your Subjects Wisely

Even though some cell phones now offer as many megapixels as traditional point-and-shoot cameras (see “Sony Ericsson, Samsung Duke It Out for Megapixel Supremacy” for evidence), not every scene is a great choice for your camera phone. I see a lot of people trying to take pictures of the stage at concerts, for example. I’m sad to say that pretty much all they will get is a dark frame with a blur of bright light in the middle.

Camera phones might have improved in the last few years, but you’ll still get the best results when you shoot stationary or slow-moving subjects in well-lit locations.

Does that mean you shouldn’t bother trying to take pictures in dark rooms or at that rock show? Of course not–there’s no extra expense, and you’re carrying your phone around anyway. Take lots of pictures; just don’t expect miracles.

2. Keep the Phone Steady

Have you noticed that you get more blurry photos with your camera phone than with your usual camera? It’s not your imagination. The shutter speed is slower, and you very likely have no ability to vary the exposure settings. So for best results, you’ll want to take a deep breath and then let out a slow, steady exhale as you gently trigger the phone’s shutter release. Hold the phone as still as you can, with both hands if possible. It’s not hard, but it does take some practice.

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How to Take Good Pictures With Your Phone: 17 Tips & Tricks to Try

August 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on How to Take Good Pictures With Your Phone: 17 Tips & Tricks to Try | Posted in Lifestyle

In order to take a great photo, you used to have to buy a fancy camera and editing software for your desktop computer. Then, you had to invest some serious time and energy into learning how to use them.

Thanks to smartphones and editing apps, we can now take high quality photos and edit them without any bells and whistles.

But taking a great photo on your smartphone is not as simple as pointing and shooting. There are plenty of bad smartphone photos out there — I’m sure you’ve seen one or two of them.

So, what’s the secret to taking great pictures with your smartphone? Turns out there are a few of them. Check out these tips below to improve your smartphone photography game. (And once you have the photo-taking part down, read this post to see the best photo editing apps for mobile.)

17 Tips for Taking Pictures With Your Smartphone

1) Turn on gridlines to line up your shot.

One of the easiest and best ways to improve the photos you take on your mobile device is by turning on gridlines so you can properly set up your shot. It superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera app that are based on the “rule of thirds” — one of the most well-known principles of photographic composition.

The rule of thirds says to break an image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total. The theory is that if you place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your photo will be more balanced and will enable your viewer to interact with the image more naturally.

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