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Are you always hungry? 8 reasons you can’t stop eating

<p>Can't understand why you're always feeling so hungry? Chances are you're not getting enough sleep, you're spending too much time on Facebook and you're not drinking enough water.</p> <p><strong>You went to bed too late</strong></p> <p>Skimp on sleep and you mess with your hunger hormones: ghrelin surges, leaving you feeling hungry, and leptin (which helps you feel full) sinks. Sleep loss also appears to boost blood levels of a chemical that makes eating more pleasurable – similar, believe it or not, to the effects of marijuana, according to a small, recent study from the University of Chicago. Participants who slept only about four hours at night (instead of a healthier 7.5 hours) couldn’t resist what the researchers called ‘highly palatable, rewarding foods fit for the munchies, like cookies, candy, and chips – even though they had a big meal two hours before. Your goal, starting tonight: seven to nine hours of shut-eye.</p> <p><strong>You opt for the short stack instead of the omelette</strong></p> <p>And almost every time, not long enough after your last syrup-slathered bite, your stomach is grumbling and you’re left wondering how that’s even possible. Oh, but it is: researchers at the University of Missouri found women who ate a high-protein sausage and egg breakfast felt less hungry and fuller throughout the morning, and even ate fewer kilojoules at lunch, compared to women who had a low-protein plate of pancakes and syrup in the morning, or skipped breakfast altogether. And speaking of bypassing breakfast, try not to: in another study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), results showed eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, reduced brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behaviour, compared to breakfast-skippers. “Protein can fight off cravings and increase satiety at meals,” says dietician Angela Ginn-Meadow, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.</p> <p><strong>You only eat low-fat this and fat-free that</strong></p> <p>Those processed foods aren’t necessarily better for you: some have extra sugar, others more salt, and many might not even save you kilojoules. But we digress. You’re right to try and avoid trans fats, and not go crazy on the saturated versions. But you can (and should) make room for a little heart-healthy unsaturated fat in your diet, because similar to protein and filling fibre, it can also help you feel full: “Fats slow stomach emptying, as well as trigger satiety hormones,” says registered dietitian Cynthia Sass<em>.</em> All fats, including the healthy fats in olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados, are high in kilojoules, so stick to proper portions. The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults limit fat to 20 to 35 per cent of total daily kilojoules. </p> <p><strong>You need water</strong></p> <p>Those pangs of hunger may actually be your body telling you you’re thirsty, says Ginn-Meadow, who serves as senior education coordinator for University of Maryland Centre for Diabetes &amp; Endocrinology. So before grabbing a snack from the pantry, sip some water or have a cup of tea and wait a little to see if your cravings pass. Staying well-hydrated may also help you manage your appetite and weight, according to a study from the University of Illinois. Scientists studied the dietary habits of more than 18,300 adults and found the majority of people who upped their daily water intake by one, two, or three cups cut up to 850 daily kilojoules, as well as reduced their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.</p> <p><strong>You sweat all the small stuff</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been that person mindlessly munching through a bag of chips while frantically trying to meet a deadline, or spooning ice cream from the container after getting into a fight with a friend. But when you’re stressed out all the time, cortisol hormone levels remain high, which then trigger hunger hormones. “Also, chronically elevated cortisol produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels, and is also tied to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes,” adds Sass. “In this state, when blood glucose is high, but insulin isn’t functioning normally, hunger is increased, because the body thinks the cells are being starved.”</p> <p><strong>You (still) eat white bread</strong></p> <p>You have absolutely heard the advice to switch to whole grain versions: they contain fibre, so they are more filling; they contain more nutrients, so they’re healthier for you; and they are a good source of complex carbohydrates – the kind that take longer to digest, so blood sugar rises more slowly and steadily. Refined grains – found in that white bread you insist on using, as well as white rice and many sugar, white-flour foods like biscuits and crackers – have been stripped of their fibre and cause blood sugar levels to spike, then plunge, leaving you hankering for more bread, or another biscuit or three, soon after. “Essentially when your blood sugar drops it signals a need for fuel, even if kilojoules have just been stored,” explains Sass. Another reason to break the white-bread habit: researchers tracked the eating habits and weight of more than 9200 Spanish university graduates for an average of five years, and found those who only ate white bread were more likely to become overweight or obese than those who favoured whole grain bread.</p> <p><strong>You wait too long between meals</strong></p> <p>Four to five hours apart is about right. If it’s going to be closer to six hours, have a small snack in between, says Ginn-Meadow. “Eating on time allows you to better recognise hunger and satiety cues,” she says; “it also lets your body completely digest complex carbs and protein, which can help maintain a healthy metabolism.” Just make sure your meals are balanced with nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and lean protein.</p> <p><strong>Your social feeds are filled with food pics</strong></p> <p>You scroll through shot after shot of the gorgeous birthday cupcakes your sister-in-law Instagrammed. You know she totally did not bake them herself, and yet your stomach is still grumbling. There’s a reason, according to a scientific review published in the journal <em>Brain and Cognition</em>. Researchers say when we see an attractive image of food, blood rushes to the parts of our brain associated with taste. So even if we’re not physically hungry, we want to eat.</p> <p><em>Written by Teresa Dumain. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/always-hungry-8-reasons-you-cant-stop-eating?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Top three health and fitness trends to try

<p>Well, what better place to find out than at the annual Australian Health &amp; Fitness Expo which was held in Melbourne this April.</p> <p>Hundreds of new products and services were on display, all with the promise to make your life healthier, happier and more enjoyable. We did the research for you and here are the top three trends to keep an eye on.</p> <p><strong>Clean eating</strong><br />From snacks to cereal to supplements, judging by the impressive range of products on display at the expo, the list of additives and artificial sugars is fast diminishing. There’s a strong trend towards using wholefoods such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit to curb the cravings and help you with mindful snacking and if you’re keen to go gluten free there’s a lot more in store for you as well.</p> <p>If you’ve been struggling to find a natural protein supplement, you’re in luck too. <br />Protein powders, which you can shake with water and drink as a mini meal, are being introduced in a more natural form, sweetened with stevia, which is derived from the stevia plant instead of aspartame and other artificial sugars.</p> <p><strong>HIIT &amp; mixed method training</strong><br />One of the huge trends in fitness is functional or mixed method training. This simply refers to combining various types of exercises which strengthens different parts of the body all at the same time, creating a strong foundation for the functional movements our body is exposed to in our everyday lives. It’s a very time efficient way to train and using props like resistance bands, free weights and plyometrics (think frog jumps) makes for a very effective total body workout.</p> <p>Another stable hit in the fitness world is HIIT (high intensity interval training). HIIT is superior when it comes to fat burning and can be modified to suit any fitness level. The basics are go as hard as you can for 30 sec or 1 min then recover and repeat.</p> <p>You can perform HIIT on a spin bike, while running, skipping etc. An example of this drift is the introduction of 30 min indoor walking classes where participants step on to an indoor walker (looks like a cross trainer but it isn’t) and switches between intensity and pace while being directed by an instructor and some good tunes. Indoor walking is a low impact type of training and could soon be coming to a gym near you. Watch the video!</p> <p><strong>Gadget heaven</strong><br />It was gadgets galore at the health &amp; fitness expo this year with trackers and devices monitoring your health and fitness and using apps to make sense of the data collected.</p> <p>One of the things that caught our attention was a pair of pants. Now, perhaps you can’t describe pants as a gadget but this range of clothing is practically magical and deserves a spot on the list.</p> <p>The clothing fabric is made with a special fibre technology called Celliant® which is infused with minerals that when activated by your body heat turns into an infrared light. Your body heat is therefore re-used as infrared light which aids in blood circulation and improves oxygenation of tissue.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/exercise/top-three-health-and-fitness-trends-to-try.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Spots to never skip when spring cleaning

<p><strong>Never, ever skip these spots when spring cleaning</strong></p> <p>Washing windows and scheduling a carpet cleaning may be a good start to spring cleaning, but your home isn’t white-glove test clean if you neglect these areas.</p> <p><strong>The underside of chairs and tables</strong></p> <p>You’re probably not going to find gum stuck to the table (at least we hope not) but the underside of tables and chairs deserve some attention. “This is an often overlooked spot that gets grimy and gross as people pull their chairs up to the table with their dirty hands,” says professional organiser, Jamie Novak, author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Keep-This-Toss-That-Unclutter/dp/1621452158/?tag=readerwp-20"><strong><em>Keep This, Toss That</em></strong></a>. If you have young children, you have an additional reason to clean: chances are there are probably bits of food and streaks of tomato sauce on the underside of the table. Curious kids may be tempted to pick at the underside of the table and put the dried-up food in their mouth.</p> <p><strong>Sconces, chandeliers and other lighting</strong></p> <p>Is your eyesight getting bad or is your room really that dim? Although we usually dust the fan blades, we often neglect the actual globes and lamp shades of lighting fixtures. “At first glance, these may not seem dusty, but once you wipe one you will see a noticeable difference,” says Novak. Remove the globes and wash in soapy water, rinse and air dry. Dust the inside of a lampshade and then wash with soapy water in the sink. Rinse and let air dry.</p> <p><strong>Splashback</strong></p> <p>The area behind your kitchen sink, stove or prep area largely goes unnoticed because we focus more attention on the benchtop areas where we can clearly see the messy surface. Over time, the splatters and grease can accumulate quite a build-up, Novak says. “A quick wipe and it may be very noticeable just how dirty the area has become.” Don’t forget about your bathroom splashback area and the sneaky grime build-up area behind the tap. An old toothbrush will get into the crevices around the base of the tap and handles.</p> <p><strong>Small appliances</strong></p> <p>According to Novak, small appliances are something we shouldn’t miss during spring cleaning. Can openers, toasters, kettles and coffee machines are our daily culinary heroes of the kitchen and all that constant use takes a toll. We either put them away dirty or leave them exposed to the grease and food splatters. Empty the crumb trays in the toaster and clean can openers to prevent food contamination.</p> <p><strong>Washer and dryer</strong></p> <p>Your clothes may smell clean, but according to Anna Caricari, the laundry room is constantly accumulating dust. “Rust and mould can also grow quickly because of the use of water and chemicals,” says Caricari. If your washing machine isn’t smelling so fresh, wipe down around the barrel and compartments. For top loaders, fill the washing machine with hot water and pour 2 cups of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Cycle through a wash and rinse. For front loaders, mix the above ingredients and add 1/4 cup water to make a detergent and place into the detergent tray.</p> <p>Don’t forget the dryer vents, which when plugged contain flammable material. Always remove the lint after each cycle.</p> <p><strong>Under the bathroom and kitchen sink</strong></p> <p>We may open those cabinets on a daily basis but usually just reach for the stuff in the front. Do we know what’s lurking in the back? Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator says we should definitely put these on our spring-cleaning checklist. The only way we will know if there is a leak or water damage is to have a clear and clean view. “You may have a problematic leak that is causing unhealthy mould or staining, which can lead to much greater problems,” says Weitz.</p> <p><em>Written by Lisa Marie Conklin. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/spots-to-never-ever-skip-when-spring-cleaning?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> , </em></span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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“I feel cheated”: Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s emotional first interview on life without beloved husband John

<p>Australian TV legend Kerri-Anne Kennerley has revealed candid details about the death of her husband John, admitting she feels “angry” and “cheated”.</p> <p>John passed away in February at the age of 75, almost three years after an accident at Coffs Harbour golf course in March 2016 left him a quadriplegic.</p> <p>Sitting down with<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/women-of-the-future/the-weekly/kerri-anne-kennerley-husband-58500" target="_blank"><em>The Australian Women’s Weekly</em></a>, Kerri-Anne spoke about life without John and also revealed the heartbreaking question John asked her while he was fighting for his life in hospital.</p> <p>“I feel cheated, not just for myself and my loss but also for John and the life that he should have continued to live,” said Kerri-Anne.</p> <p>In an emotional interview, the 66-year-old said she believed her husband would live a long life as his father lived to 100 years old.</p> <p>“So, anger, as a word, doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel,” she said.</p> <p>Speaking to the publication, the<span> </span><em>Studio 10</em><span> </span>panelist revealed the question John asked her after he struggled to recover following a major surgery.</p> <p>The operation was meant to give him the ability to breathe more easily, but after he woke up in his hospital bed, John had seemingly given up hope.</p> <p>“I watched as he slowly mouthed the words, ‘How hard do you want to me to try?’,” said Kerri-Anne.</p> <p>She admitted that it was “difficult” to hear the words come out of her husband’s mouth, and till today, it affects her when she thinks about it.</p> <p>Kerri-Anne now keeps John’s ashes in an urn on his bedside table, right next to his favourite tobacco pipes. A fitting memorial for a man who made an impact on her life.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the life Kerri-Anne and John shared together. </p>

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Don’t let hearing loss turn to social loss

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Music lover and ballroom dancer Louise Bartlett considers herself outgoing and open-minded, so when hearing difficulties started to hold her back in social settings, she became frustrated and angry.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At parties and luncheons, she noticed she was the only person in the room struggling to maintain a conversation. If there were a lot of people talking around her, she often couldn’t understand what someone was saying, even if they were standing face-to-face.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Still, she continued to dismiss the problem and its pernicious effects. At the time, she was only in her 40s and mistakenly believed it had nothing to do with her “exceptional” hearing abilities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time she was 50, her denial had turned into discomfort. She struggled to maintain a dialogue with someone standing close to her but time after time, she shrugged off the issue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It got to the point where Louise was constantly asking people to repeat themselves — to no avail — resulting in her pretending to follow the conversation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead of seeking treatment, Louise developed “strategies” to cope with the social faux pas, yet this left her feeling more isolated and frustrated. “I would cup my ear to capture more noise,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If friends wanted to get together, I made a point of seeing them solo.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t long before the problem trickled down into her family life as well. “My husband and my daughter used to complain that I would turn on the TV too loud. I thought they were being precious. The sound on the new TV just wasn’t as good as the old TV,” she thought to herself rather unconvincingly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These were strategies I adopted to cope with noisy social situations. But it wasn’t fun and at best I was only picking up every third word … it was all so gradual that I just didn’t connect the dots. All the signs were there, I just didn’t look at them.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So for years, Louise’s hearing loss was left untreated. But losing the joy of music was the final straw.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From a young age, music played a central role in Louise’s life — from playing the piano and singing in the school choir, to becoming the first female rock DJ at her university’s radio station, to her new passion, ballroom and Latin dance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Creating and hearing the richness of notes in their infinite possibilities was the ultimate in creative expression. Listening to music ranging from classical to rock, it brought a light to my soul,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it came to dance, Louise was learning new steps but hearing loss was holding her back. “Dance involves the ability to count and dance to the beat of the music. I really wanted to learn to dance in the full sense of the word — to use my body to express all the stories to the music,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like many musicians and music lovers, Louise suspected that her hearing loss was caused by overexposure to loud noises over the years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2014, German researchers conducted the largest study into noise-induced hearing loss in musicians, which involved 2,227 professional musicians. They found that the musicians were four times more likely to report a new noise-induced hearing loss compared to the general population, and 57 per cent more likely to experience tinnitus — a condition that causes frequent ringing or buzzing in the ears. The researchers suggested increasing awareness of loud music while rehearsing and protecting the ears with in-ear devices as possible solutions to the long-term risks of loud music in performers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But what about Louise and others like her who had already been left with irreversible damage? She could continue to “cope” with the problem and risk missing out on the activities she loved, or overcome her fears and stubbornness, and seek treatment. Eventually, Louise chose the latter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After visiting a Blamey Saunders clinic to trial a range of hearing aids, Louise explored her options and to her surprise, found a hearing aid that was designed with music lovers in mind. Thanks to the tailored settings, Louise’s hearing aids captured the sound quality of each musical note and for the first time in a long time, she could hear a live symphony or listen to music on the radio with full richness and texture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I cannot dance without them on. I can hear music how it’s supposed to be,” said Louise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“At the dance competitions, we don’t know what song is about to come on so I have to be able to hear and dance to the music rather than dancing to cues in the music,” added Louise, who practices dance two to three hours every day, and competes roughly once every six weeks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For Louise, the most valuable feature of the hearing aid is the unique IHearYou® technology, which allows her to adjust the sound, clarity and volume when she is performing, using the app on her smartphone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“During competitions, I can’t be running around with a laptop. That’s a cumbersome item and I don’t have time when I’m on the dance floor. Sometimes I’ve just got my lipstick, phone and a bottle of water. It’s very easy and unobtrusive to use my smart phone to make the adjustments during dance breaks. I can do it on the spot wherever I am. It looks like I’m just using my smart phone,” Louise said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I might bring out the bass a little if I need to hear the beat a bit more, and compare it back to the original. I can also adjust the volume, because sometimes the music can blare out of those speakers.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Louise says the app is simple and anyone who has a smartphone can use it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The ease of doing this is what makes it so special. There’s not a huge learning curve and you don’t have to spend a lot of time working out how to do it. It’s self-explanatory. I can just adjust the settings and get on with it.”</span></p> <p><strong>FAST FACTS</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">One in six Australians experience hearing loss</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Approximately 37 per cent of all hearing loss cases in Australia are caused by exposure to excessive noise, according to an Access Economics report</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people delay treating hearing loss for an average of seven years</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Three in four people who need hearing aids do not use them</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">If left untreated hearing loss can lead to:</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fatigue and embarrassment</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Irritability and anger</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Isolation and loneliness</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Personal safety problems</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Impaired memory and learning ability</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reduced psychological health</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blamey Saunders bionic ear technology and smart hearing aids</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blamey Saunders hears was founded by Dr Elaine Saunders and Professor Peter</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blamey to remove obstacles to good hearing health. Their innovations have already helped improve the lives of thousands of Australians.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Blamey’s inventions are used in their hearing aids as well as in the bionic ear, with the proven technology designed to make sound audible and comfortable for the listener. The adaptive amplifier technology in their hearing aids has been tested in clinical trials and was preferred by the majority of users, when compared to the compression technology used in most conventional hearing aids. It adapts to keep sound comfortable without distortion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want quick and useful feedback about your hearing? Take a free online hearing test to get an accurate report of your hearing condition. Simply enter your details and an expert will contact you to give you the best advice.</span></p> <p><strong>Government support</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You may be eligible to access a range of hearing services under the government’s Hearing Services Program. This may include hearing assessments, advice and support, hearing rehabilitation programs, and more. To find out if you’re eligible visit hearingservices.gov.au.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Mahsa Fratantoni. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/dont-let-hearing-loss-turn-to-social-loss.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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5 tricky family members and how to deal with them

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are some of the most common ‘types’ of tricky relatives – and how to deal with them before your next family gathering implodes. Essential reading before the festive season!</span></p> <p><strong>1. The Loudmouth</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Every family has an opinionated loudmouth who likes to stir the pot – be it touching on red-button topics (‘Got a boyfriend yet, Emily?’), or revealing family secrets (like the fact that Cousin Hannah recently left her husband for another woman). You don’t have to engage, says psychologist Jacqui Manning, but if the Loudmouth is upsetting other family members, jump in and swiftly change the subject. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Saying ‘Kate! I’ve been dying to ask how your new business is going’ can divert the flow,” she suggests. “In the case of gossip, say something like, ‘Tim, that’s not common knowledge and I know Hannah wouldn’t like us discussing her situation, so let’s move on please’.”</span></p> <p><strong>2. The Radical One</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Radical family members are easy to spot; they’re the ones who show a sudden interest in extreme politics, a religion you feel is positively cult-like, or the anti-vaxer’s movement. Manning says first and foremost, you need to remember that you're a) not going to convert your family to your way of thinking and b) the family party isn’t the time to try.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Robust debates are fine, but if you sense it’s turning nasty, head things off at the pass by announcing a kids’ performance, or by saying calmly, ‘Let’s agree to disagree – who’s for Monopoly?’ If you’ve got a situation where some family members are anti-vaxers and others have a newborn, you might need to speak to both and suggest separate gatherings,” she says. “It’s not ideal, but it’s not forever – and it may help preserve the peace.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. The Sarcastic One</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While sarcastic family members can be amusing, if you’re the target, their comments can feel downright mean sometimes. A sincere response can often throw a sarcastic person off their game, but there are other strategies too, says Manning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You can try and let sarcasm flow over you without getting ruffled, but if you’re finding it hurtful, choose a quiet moment to say something like, ‘Those comments of yours upset me. Any chance you could try and phrase things a different way?’ That way, your family member will hopefully think twice before they speak.</span></p> <p><strong>4. The Negative One</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Negativity can manifest in a variety of ways – from being hypercritical to constantly blaming and complaining. Even if you don’t see the person a lot, their energy can be toxic and a downer when you do, says Manning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“How to cope? As much as possible I’d try and keep it light – for example: ‘Save that for the complaints department, grandpa, I believe they re-open in the new year’, pick a seat far away from cranky old Aunt Miriam, or take regular time outs. You're not going to change their nature, and you should try and preserve your own energy so you can still enjoy the family gathering rather than counting the minutes until it’s over!”</span></p> <p><strong>5. The Lazy One</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seemingly guilt-free, with an amazing ability to avoid helping whatsoever, a lazybones will never be seen handing around food, cooking or even just bringing a bottle of wine to a gathering (perish the thought). Instead, they’ll turn up, take-take-take, and leave behind a butt-sized indentation in the couch. While infuriating, this is one of those times to practise acceptance and realise you just can’t change people, says Manning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You could try getting them involved by giving them a direct request - e.g. ‘Can you please hand around this plate?’, but I wouldn’t waste too much time or energy hoping they’ll reform and become super helpful,’ she says. “That said, I wouldn’t pander to them either; if they're hungry you can let them sort themselves out!’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/5-tricky-family-members.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p>

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"Crying kind of pain": Olivia Newton-John opens up on heartbreaking cancer battle

<p>Olivia Newton-John is not afraid of a good fight and she has proven this again when opening up about battling cancer for the third time. </p> <p>The 71-year-old star took TV host of American breakfast show<span> </span>CBS This Morning,<span> </span>Gayle King, on a tour of her California ranch where viewers got to see her the actress’ miniature horses and her extensive collection of marijuana plants. </p> <p>The marijuana is aiding Newton-John through her health issues. </p> <p>The actress was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, on the same day as her father’s death. </p> <p>Cancer spread to her back in 2013, then again two years ago. </p> <p>However, this time she is facing a more intense battle as the disease is stage 4 and she said the pain can be horrific. </p> <p>"Crying kind of pain,” Newton-John explained. “Tears pain."</p> <p>The<span> </span>Grease<span> </span>star says she has never felt victimised by her diagnosis. </p> <p>“I don’t discuss prognosis, because if they give you a percentage or ‘this many women get this and live this long,’ you can create that and make it happen. I know what the statistics are, but I put them away. I’m going to live longer than that,” she told King. “I’ve made that decision.”</p> <p>Back in August, Newton-John told<span> </span>Entertainment Tonight<span> </span>she felt healthy. </p> <p>"I just want everyone to know, I'm here, I'm doing great.</p> <p>“I'm doing really well and I'm really healthy."</p> <p>While she has had some physical setbacks, the beloved Australian icon says she is focussed on being strong. </p> <p>"It was a challenging year because I broke my sacrum and I had to learn to walk again and everything.</p> <p>“But I am strong and I am back and I'm feeling good and loving every minute."</p>

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How to get to know your date

<p>How to get to know your date: Read here for six unique date ideas that’ll help reveal more about how your date really ticks:</p> <p>Do you want to really get to know someone? Choosing activities that reveal character might be a sneaky way of getting to know someone, but that’s not a bad thing.</p> <p>“It can be hard at all ages to get to know someone’s character and intentions, so there’s no harm in choosing activities that [reveal both who they are] and whether they have similar interests to you,” says dating blogger and presenter Renee Blansky from <a href="http://thedatingdirectory.co/">The Dating Directory</a>.<br />So read on for six unique date ideas that’ll help reveal more about how your date really ticks.<br /><strong>1. Playing a competitive board game</strong><br />Setting up the Scrabble board may suggest an evening of fun is ahead… but it’s actually a great way to scrutinise your date’s behaviour under pressure. Does he or she make up words and insist they’re in the dictionary? Frown when you get a triple word score? Turn the board over in a fit of rage when it’s clear you’ve won the game? If you’re still talking at the end, there’s a good chance you’re suited.</p> <p><strong>2. Meeting your family</strong></p> <p>Some of us dread the big family introductions, knowing how tricky it can be. But putting your date under a little social pressure can offer deep insight into how they handle social situations. Will they cope with tough questions – or crash and burn? Do they just ‘get’ your grumpy octogenarian dad and know how to make him laugh? You’ll soon know if your date is a good fit.<br /><br /><strong>3. Going to a museum or art gallery</strong><br />Just posing this as an option will give you insight as to whether you’re compatible (eye-rolling from your date is probably not a good sign). However, it’s at the museum or gallery that you’ll figure out something deeper: whether you can talk to the person. Do they point out interesting things about the artefacts or artworks? Does the date kick-start other more intellectual conversations? It’s a great way to see a) how smart your date is and b) whether you connect over arts and culture.</p> <p><strong>4. Volunteering for an afternoon</strong></p> <p>A good test of someone’s character is how they treat the waitress in a café, but suggesting you go volunteering at, say, a soup kitchen takes this experiment one step further and offers insight into how your date sees his or herself in regards to others who might be less fortunate. Do they act friendly and warm, or standoffish and superior? Do you get a sense they’re humble, or just out for themselves? You’ll soon know if your date’s the type of person who’ll drive you crazy.</p> <p><strong>5. Doing a shark dive</strong></p> <p>Normally, staring death in the face wouldn’t be a great sell for a date, but getting suited up and plunging in the shark tank of the Manly Aquarium is more of a bonding experience than you’d realise. And if your date freaks out and tries to hide behind you while one of the massive Grey Nurse sharks bears down on you with chomping teeth, you’ll realise pretty quick that they perhaps might not have your back out of the tank, either. (For the record, those sharks are really well fed.)</p> <p><strong>6. Trying indoor rock climbing</strong></p> <p>It’s the ultimate trust sport – you’re climbing up a big wall and you’re tied to your date, who’s standing on the floor below manning the ropes and making sure you don’t go ‘splat’. This is definitely a date that’ll take you out of your comfort zone, challenge you and help you see if you work well as a team. The guaranteed adrenalin rush can also boost attraction, so if you’re not feeling it after this, you probably never will!</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-to-get-to-know-your-date.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Why we all need glasses as we age

<p>Changes in your eyesight can creep up on you. One day everything might be fine – perhaps your phone screen seems to be getting smaller, and your arms might be getting shorter – but nothing to worry about.</p> <p>And then, you might be enjoying an evening in a dimly lit restaurant with a group of friends and suddenly the menu seems incredibly hard to read. And it’s not just you. Take a look around the table and realise that everyone is squinting at the menu and/or holding it at arms’ length.</p> <p>Yes, it happens to all of us, usually sometime in our 40s, as our eyesight seems to deteriorate. Indeed, there is nothing more satisfying than watching the Academy Awards and seeing your favourite movie star resort to their glasses while reading the teleprompter. It seems not all parts of ageing can be solved with cosmetic surgery.</p> <p>This condition, called presbyopia, is a gradual, age-related loss of the eyes’ ability to focus actively on nearby objects. Simply put, your lens inside your eye is not as flexible as it once was. Colloquially, it’s when your arms seem to get shorter.</p> <p><a href="http://www.optometry.org.au/">Optometry Australia’s</a> resident optometrist, Luke Arundel says that presbyopia is extremely common – “because pretty much everyone over 40 has it”.</p> <p>“It’s a misunderstood, very prevalent and very important condition,” he says. It’s also why prescription glasses are a big business for the over 40s.</p> <p>Presbyopia is a Greek word meaning ‘old eye’ and is a progressive condition. “To some extent, presbyopia starts the day we are born,” says Arundel. “We are slowly getting changes in the lens, inside our eyes. It’s just around that 40 to 45 window when it’s actually starting to become noticeable or having a functional effect on us.”</p> <p>And, while it seems that there can be a variation in ages at which the condition becomes noticeable, Arundel says that’s more to do with your lifestyle.</p> <p> “Sometimes it is a bit related to what you are doing with your eyes,” he says. “If you are in an occupation where you are very much near-based, looking at things up close all day, you will notice it earlier than if you are a gardener, or something that is more distance-based.</p> <p>“The condition is changing at the same rate, it’s just that it’s more noticeable for you, depending on what visual tasks you are doing day to day.”</p> <p>Arundel also says that he notices that men often ignore the condition for longer than women. “I think they just hope it goes away,” he says, laughing.</p> <p>Other factors also can play a part in the early onset of presbyopia, including if you have spent more time outdoors or been (or are) a smoker.</p> <p>Arundel agrees that the almost ubiquitous use of smartphones by people of all ages has added to the awareness of presbyopia. Trying to read a small screen is a particular challenge for the over 40s (even if you have changed the settings to the largest-sized font). In previous decades, you might have got away with the condition for longer.</p> <p>“For us from a technical point of view, or from the vision science point of view, it comes down to working distance… how close you hold something,” he says. “And the reality is we hold our phones at about 30cm. The closer you hold it, the more you need help.</p> <p>“With the onset of presbyopia, the more people hold things further away because they are unable to focus on things up close and that lens is unable to change its shape to let them change focus on things up close and that’s where it does become harder with the mobile phones.</p> <p>The most common solution to the condition is what are commonly called ‘reading’ glasses and Arundel is quick to point out that glasses will not hurt your eyes. It is not possible to treat presbyopia by surgery.</p> <p>“One of the really common misconceptions is that if you get glasses, it will make your eyes worse,” says Arundel. “The reality is that your eyes change regardless and getting glasses is not going to make your eyes better, it’s not going to make them worse; it’s just going to make you see clearly.”</p> <p>Glasses should have a prescription calculated for the distance at which you do your close tasks. This generally makes near objects clear but distant objects blurry. Sadly, this also means that if you have a pair of spectacles just for reading, you will not be able to watch television while wearing them.</p> <p>You can also get bifocals, which are special lenses that have a prescription for distance vision in the top half of the lens and the prescription for near vision (reading) in the lower half. Another form of glasses is 'look-overs' (half-glasses). Other options include the use of trifocals, progressive lenses and some special contact lens prescriptions.</p> <p>Optometry Australia recommends having your eyes examined every two to three years to review your prescription and your general eye health. If you experience vision problems within two or three years of your previous examination, you should make a review appointment with your optometrist.</p> <p><em>Written by Lynne Testoni. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/why-we-all-need-glasses-as-we-age.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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"It was too late": Home and Away star Lynne McGranger recalls Belinda Emmett thinking her cancer was "just a cyst"

<p><em>Home and Away</em><span> </span>icon Lynne McGranger has opened up about the tragic death of her co-star Belinda Emmett in 2006.</p> <p>McGranger appeared on<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://7plus.com.au/the-all-new-monty-ladies-night" target="_blank">The All New Monty: Ladies Night</a><span> </span></em>on Sunday night to raise awareness of breast cancer.</p> <p>During her emotional speech, she revealed that when Belinda first found a lump in her breast, she thought it was just a cyst.</p> <p>"I would be absolutely honoured [to do the show] and I have to tell you why," the 66-year-old actress said in the clip.</p> <p>"I worked with Belinda Emmett. She was 23 at the time, and I clearly remember we were talking about about breast cancer.</p> <p>"I remember her sitting in the makeup chair [saying] 'I've got a little lump'."</p> <p>McGranger continued telling her story through tears.</p> <p>"And we all went... [gasps]. And she said, 'Oh, no, look. It'll be just a cyst.'</p> <p>"And I think we hounded her enough, over the weeks and months that followed. And she did get it seen to, but of course, as we know, it was too late.</p> <p>"It was so sad. We all know somebody," she said.</p> <p>Belinda was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, when she was 24.</p> <p>In 2001, she was diagnosed with secondary cancer in her spine and tragically passed away six years later in 2006.</p>

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Why bone broth is the secret to anti-ageing

<p>From gut-healing to help with IBS, to anti-ageing and alleviating osteoarthritis, bone broth is a magical brew loaded with essential minerals, amino acids, protein, collagen, fats, and gelatine – making it one of nature’s ultimate superfoods.</p> <p>An ancient tradition is being rediscovered as a secret weapon for better health and faster recovery. Locked away inside a humble bone or joint is a wealth of essential nutrients and minerals, anti-inflammatory gut-healing properties, and good fats. All in a form the body can easily absorb. The key is in the long cooking and in using bones from grass-fed, organic, and free-range or wild animals.</p> <p>The best broth will be left simmering for 24 to 72 hours in order to extract maximum goodness from inside the bones. The long simmer allows the marrow to be cooked down and the minerals to be released. It’s worth the effort though. This powerful beverage has been shown to:</p> <ul> <li>Reduce inflammation</li> <li>Improve your digestion, adrenals, bones, and teeth</li> <li>Promote healthy joints, tendons, ligaments</li> <li>Improve the function of your immune system</li> <li>Reduce wrinkles, banish cellulite, and improve skin quality – the collagen literally keeps you youthful</li> </ul> <p>In centuries gone by, people kept a pot of broth constantly simmering over the fire or stove. It was continually added to and eaten from throughout the day as an easy snack or meal. As well as being great for health, it was also respectful of the planet and of animals as it uses the whole of the animal.</p> <p>Sadly, modern life has lost this dietary healing habit but now bone broth is enjoying a renaissance. According to Therapeutic Chef Neha Jamani of <u><a href="http://www.thesacredkitchen.org/">The Sacred Kitchen</a></u>, the main benefits of regularly consuming broth are as follows:</p> <p><strong>Minerals and amino acids</strong></p> <p>Bone broth is extremely high minerals and amino acids. Bones from land animals are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Fish and seafood broth are rich stores of iodine. This helps protect a sluggish thyroid, which is a major cause of weight gain, thinning hair and loss of energy.</p> <p>The mineral content from the bones is drawn out into the water. Smaller bones such as chicken and fish can entirely dissolve in the broth. Some of the star amino acids in bone broth include glutamine, glycine, proline and alanine.</p> <p><strong>Gut healing</strong></p> <p>Bone broth helps heal the digestive track and helps prevent the inflammation that leads to ageing and auto-immune conditions. It is a rich source of glycine, which stimulates the production of stomach acid to aid digestion. Glycine is also an important component of bile acid, which is necessary for the digestion of fat in the small intestine and also helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.</p> <p>Glutamine is another amino acid found in both broths. A natural remedy for leaky gut syndrome, which is believed to be the root of many common autoimmune disorders, glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall and helps the villi of the small intestine to heal and grow, which is also important for people suffering from malabsorption.</p> <p><strong>Joint health</strong></p> <p>Broth helps strengthen our skeletal system. The collagen in broth supports our bones, tendons, ligaments, and other flexible tissues. Another benefit of bone broth comes from glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a family of carbohydrates in bones and connective tissues that show positive effects on reducing joint pain and treating osteoarthritis. Broth gives our bones strength and our joints cushioning and resilience.</p> <p><strong>Anti-ageing</strong></p> <p>Collagen is the glue that holds the body together. It supports the skin and internal organs. Collagen also helps our skin retain its youthful firmness and elasticity, and protects it against ageing and wrinkling. In nature, collagen is found in the skin, bones and joints of the animal. Cooking the bones breaks down the collagen to make it more easily digestible. This is called gelatine.</p> <p>Collagen production in the body slows down with age and ill health. Drinking bone broth is a good way to supplement the body with a natural form of collagen.</p> <p><strong>How to make your own bone broth</strong></p> <p>Inspired to make your own bone broth? Good on you! This recipe can be used as a base for homemade soups, stews or sauces; you can sauté fresh vegetables, meat or fish with it, or just enjoy a warm cup as it is as your daily dose of health. Here’s how!</p> <p><em>Prep time: 15 minutes</em></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>5kg to 2kg bones</li> <li>Water to cover bones and vegetables in a pot</li> <li>2 T apple cider vinegar</li> <li>1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped </li> <li>1½ cups chopped carrots</li> <li>1½ cups chopped leeks or celery or fennel</li> <li>3 bay leaves</li> <li>3-5 sprigs fresh rosemary</li> <li>6 cloves garlic</li> <li>1 T black peppercorns</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong><em><br />Cook up a delicious and healthy bone broth tonight with this great recipe</em></p> <p><strong>1. Get your bones</strong></p> <p>First, use bones from free-range and grass-fed animals only. What kind of bones? Pretty much anything. From cattle there are short ribs or oxtails, knuckle or neck bones. Or use a ham bone, a lamb shank, leftover turkey bones, a chicken carcass, or a fish skeleton with the head and eyes. Bones from wild animals are the best as they’ve eaten a diet that’s appropriate for their digestive systems (as opposed to the unfortunate cows who are forced to eat corn). Mix different types of bone if you want. For example, put a pork bone, chicken carcass or fish skeleton in the same pot. </p> <p>As far as quantity, just use whatever you can easily put into a pot and cover with water along with a few vegetables such as carrots, onion, leeks, or celery. As a guide though, about 1.5kg to 2kg should do it.</p> <p><strong>2. Roast your bones</strong></p> <p>This is optional but it can make the broth much tastier, especially if you’re using the bigger beef bones. Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) and roast the bones on an oven tray for about 30 to 40 minutes. Turn over about halfway. Alternatively, use the carcass leftover from a chicken you roasted for dinner or a whole fish you baked, poached or roasted.</p> <p><strong>3. Soak in Apple Cider Vinegar</strong></p> <p>Once the bones are roasted, place them in a large pot and cover with water. Add two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and leave to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The ACV helps draw the nutrients from the bones.</p> <p><strong>4. Add vegetables and flavouring</strong></p> <p>Roughly chop the vegetables and add to the pot along with any herbs and spices you want to add. For example, you could add sea salt, bay leaves, rosemary and garlic or nothing at all. Bring the water to a rolling boil and then lower to a simmer.</p> <p><strong>5. Simmer and skim</strong></p> <p>For the first couple of hours, skim any foamy layer that develops on the top and discard. The better quality the bones, the less foam there will be.</p> <p><strong>6. Simmer some more</strong></p> <p>As a guide, if you’re using large bones, simmer for 48 hours. For chicken bone broth, simmer for 24 hours and for fish broth, simmer for eight hours. There are no rules though, use your senses to tell when it’s ‘done’. Keeping the simmer for 24 hours can be tricky if you want to leave the house and are concerned about fire risk. An option is to use a purpose-built slow cooker or to put the pot in the oven on a very low heat.</p> <p><strong>7. Cool and strain</strong></p> <p>When the cooking is finished, let the mixture cool slightly then use a sieve to strain it. Discard all the bones and vegetables. All you want is the liquid. Transfer the broth to an airtight container and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. This will cause the fat to rise to the top and solidify.</p> <p><strong>8. Discard excess fat</strong></p> <p>This is optional because this fat is good for you but if you think there’s too much, scrape excess fat off the top. You can discard this or use it in some other way, for example, cooking roast potatoes or feeding birds in winter. With the excess fat removed, you’ll be left with a gelatinous bone broth. If it’s not gelatinous, you probably didn’t simmer the bones for long enough. Never mind, next time. It’s a learning process. You can still drink this broth.</p> <p><strong>9. Store or drink</strong></p> <p>Store your broth in one or more airtight glass jars or freeze until ready to use. When ready to use, warm the broth over a low heat to bring it back to a liquid. Drink as it is or use as a base for soup, stews, sauces. Another idea is to add sea vegetables and some miso.</p> <p><strong>Top tip</strong></p> <p>Want to make your broth even better for your health? To kick it up a notch, add a teaspoon of turmeric to your warm bowl of broth along with a pinch of two of sea salt and a tablespoon of grass-fed, organic unsalted butter.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/why-bone-broth-is-a-secret-weapon-for-anti-ageing.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Should you renovate or redecorate?

<p>We all get a little tired of our decor occasionally, but have you ever found yourself procrastinating about whether you should redecorate, or go the whole hog and renovate? Obviously renovating can involve serious costs and commitment, but redecorating can make a dramatic improvement without anywhere near the cost. Ultimately, you should think firstly about how the market will respond to your property when you come to sell. What will the next owner want?</p> <p><strong>Don’t overcapitalise</strong> <br />You’ve heard that before but very few people can differentiate between what they like and what the market values. The key here is to ask opinions, but not just of your friends and family. A real estate agent or building information centre can help give you a realistic view of how best to improve your home, without overcapitalising.</p> <p>If you live in a suburban property with an aging kitchen, bathroom and décor, and you’re not confident you could manage the process of renovating to achieve a modern style, you might be best placed to redecorate - with a view to preparing your home for sale to a renovator or developer, rather than attempt a renovation yourself.</p> <p>If you’ve noticed that local builders are demolishing homes like yours and replacing them with brand new ones, that’s probably a sign that there’s little value in renovating your kitchens and bathrooms. Your property may lack the street appeal that the market is now looking for, so you’d be risking overcapitalising by only addressing the interior.</p> <p>In circumstances like these, setting a budget for minor redecorating would be the better course of action. By re-painting some rooms, or even just a single wall in a room, you can brighten your home’s interior, improve its value, and give it a fresh lease on life - until the time comes to sell.</p> <p><strong>Consider your home’s long-term suitability</strong> <br />If you still love your home’s location and believe it will suit you for the long-term, then definitely consider renovating. Many kitchen companies provide a complete service, from design through to installation, and you might be surprised how creative they can be when it comes to planning better, more space efficient designs.</p> <p>Oftentimes, a modern kitchen can be installed without the need for structural alterations to your home, which improves functionality while adding value and appeal. Just remember, neutral colours and quality brand name appliances add the most value and desirability when selling.</p> <p>If you’re really lucky and your kitchen is already well designed, just replacing the doors, bench tops and appliances might be the most cost-effective solution. Likewise, with a well-designed bathroom, you may be able to refresh its appearance with new taps and fixtures, some strategic colour changes with towels and mats, and perhaps a new bench top.</p> <p><strong>Floorcoverings</strong> <br />Wooden floors are really popular these days so if your carpets are stained, smelly, getting threadbare, or you still have shag-pile, why not rip them up and polish the floors? Find an inconspicuous spot, like the corner of a room or inside a cupboard, and then pull up some carpet to see what lies beneath. Even ordinary pine flooring can achieve the extraordinary with some stain and a polish.</p> <p><strong>Ambient light</strong> <br />If a dark room or corridor is getting you down, investigate the broad range of clever skylight solutions now available. You’d be amazed how much natural light can be ducted to a room now, without the significant expense and building work that was once required.</p> <p>Modern LED lighting even makes it possible to cost-effectively light a challenging area without running up large power bills. A visit to a lighting centre will leave you buzzing with options you might not have thought even existed.</p> <p><strong>Don’t forget the big picture</strong> <br />In the end, the decision to redecorate or renovate should be made in the context of the longer-term suitability of your home and your financial circumstances. There’s no need to rush is so talk it over with friends and family, develop some ideas, and get some quotes. Then, ask a real estate agent for an appraisal and discuss your renovation or redecoration plans with them. Again, seek several opinions and you’ll receive a range of different thoughts and opinions. This will help you arrive at a fully informed decision.</p> <p><em>Written by Stewart Bunn. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/should-you-renovate-or-redecorate.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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The power of positive ageing

<p>Jennifer Gale, 56, remembers the moments just before her very first triathlon, a sport she took up at age 50 after her kids had moved out of home. “It was dark and it was raining. I had only just learnt how to ride a bike. I remember standing on the beach and thinking to myself ‘Oh my God, I wonder what other grandmothers are doing on a dark Sunday morning at 5:30am?’”</p> <p>However, Gale pushed through to the end of the race and now says it was “one of the most amazing and exhilarating” things she has ever done. “I can’t describe it,” she says. “It was like winning an Academy Award and it drove me to do many more.”</p> <p>Having been a non-rider and non-swimmer just six years ago, Gale is now a health and wellness coach and has launched her own virtual business <u><a href="https://www.facebook.com/fitfabnfiftyplus">Fit N Fifty +</a></u>, which focuses on helping women 50+ to be fit, active and healthy. She also presents her own Fit N Fifty + iTunes podcasts and is the author of the book <em>Fit Fab and Fifty +: Your guide to living actively for the rest of your life,</em> to be released in March 2017.</p> <p>For Charmaine Roth, 60, it was the completion of a post graduate diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy in her late 40s - and then opening her <a href="http://charmaineroth.com.au/">professional practice</a> in Sydney that she remembers as one of her greatest life achievements as a mature age person.</p> <p>“When I got my diploma I was so thrilled,” says Roth. “I did a lot better in it than in my university degree and I was so proud. I was also so happy to be able to be a good role model to my son and to show my daughters that there is life after children for a woman. That you can do it,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Think of the positives</strong> <br />Gale’s first triathlon and Roth’s academic achievement were more than just personal victories, they were the first steps in life transitions that saw them trade jobs they no longer wanted and roles as full time parents, for lives where they were fit, healthy, and in new stimulating professions. Both women also have more time for their social lives and more freedom than they have ever had before.<br /><br />Many older Australians have made similar changes to their lives, reinventing themselves when the children move out of home - it’s a phenomenon that positive psychology expert and founder of The Happiness Institute, Dr Timothy Sharp, calls ‘positive ageing’.</p> <p>“There are enormous benefits to positive ageing and it’s important to think of the positives when you’re going through this life transition,” says Dr Sharp, author of the book <em>Live Happier, Live Longer</em>. “If you keep physically fit, and active, look after your diet, get enough sleep, and keep socially active you will literally live longer. But more importantly you will live better,” he says.</p> <p>“What we’re seeing now is whole generations living incredibly active lives. We see people in their 60s, 70s and 80s still working, volunteering, travelling the world, running marathons and doing all sorts of amazing things unheard of in my grandfather’s day.”</p> <p><em>Dr Sharp, also known as Dr Happy, shares how he values his mind</em></p> <p>So what makes someone want to revamp their life in their golden years? For some, Dr Sharp points out, it’s just a continuation of what they’ve already been doing. But for others there is an epiphany moment that brings about a whole life change.</p> <p>For Gale, the epiphany came as she was driving to the hospital to visit her sick husband. At that time she was working as CEO of a hospital in the public healthcare sector, a prestigious position that demanded great sacrifices in her professional and personal lives.</p> <p>“As I was driving down the freeway I started to think about my life, what I’d done and all of the things that I wanted to do and still hadn’t done. I made some big decisions about how I was going to be in my work and my work life balance – I was way out of balance,” says Gale.</p> <p>“All my life I’d been working and being responsible and looking after other people and all of a sudden I realised that life could go very quickly, it could be taken away from you and that if I wanted to do something I probably should do it now. Because there might not be another year or two years,” says Gale.</p> <p>Gale set a goal for herself to learn how to ride a bike and found herself a swimming coach at the local swimming pool. But training was not without challenges, the hardest of which was changing deeply rooted preconceptions about her role as a wife and mother of four children.</p> <p>“The hardest thing for me was letting go of all those societal expectations that had been placed on me as a younger woman, that to spend any time on yourself was actually really selfish,” says Gale.</p> <p>Roth had a similar battle with feelings of self-doubt. “I remember thinking at the time ‘Are you mad? How are you going to write essays? What if you fail? And how are you going to open your own practice when your life isn’t perfect either?”’ she says.</p> <p>Both women also had to deal with adjusting to new routines after years of schedules geared towards meeting the needs of a busy family. Says Roth: “I was with my daughter and I said to her ‘I have to get home by 4pm’ because that was when the kids would come home and I’d be getting the family meal ready and she said to me, ‘Why do you have to be home by 4pm now, mum?’ And I said, ‘You are absolutely right, I don’t!”’ says Roth.</p> <p><strong>Plan for success</strong><br />What both Gale and Roth did successfully, was plan for their futures and it’s this planning that Dr Sharp stresses is one of the most powerful techniques people can use to help them deal with the difficult physical, emotional and social transition that people find themselves going through when the kids leave home.</p> <p>“The more we plan, the more likely we are to have positive outcomes,” says Dr Sharp. “So the people who do cope better tend to have planned ahead and they know what they need to do differently,” he says.</p> <p>As part of the planning process Dr Sharp recommends finding more time to do the things you want to do. “It might be sports, it might be hobbies such as music or painting, going to the theatre or joining a book club – find something you like whether it be social activities, recreational activities work, or volunteering, because it’s people who engage in these sorts of activities that tend to cope better with a sense of loss,” says Dr Sharp.</p> <p><strong>Use your social networks</strong><br />As well as planning, both Roth and Gale used their social networks, another powerful tool to help them cope with the transition to a new life. Gale relied on her husband to help teach her to ride and her family were her own private cheer squad for some of her triathlons.</p> <p>Roth says she received much support and encouragement from her family while she was studying and after receiving her diploma she carried out volunteer work to “help me get over the hump of ‘Who do I think I am helping other people?’” she says.</p> <p><strong>Have realistic expectations</strong><br />Dr Sharp cautions about having unrealistic expectations about changing one’s life. According to Dr Sharp, it’s important to realise that despite happier outcomes experienced by people pursuing positive ageing strategies, there are still the normal ups and downs of life and may even be an element of loss and grief. It can also take months or years to bring about changes in one’s life particularly if you are starting off learning a new skill or a new hobby.</p> <p>But the good news is “if you’re doing the right thing and taking the steps and heading in the right direction, you will almost certainly experience the benefits and those benefits will increase over time,” says Dr Sharp.</p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/the-power-of-positive-ageing.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Is snoring ruining your marriage?

<p>Snoring can wreak havoc on the happiest of unions, and when you’re over 50, the battle for some decent shut-eye can be fiercer than ever. Banishing your beloved to the ‘snore room’ – or opting for separate bedrooms altogether – is nothing new. In fact, in the US where one in four couples sleep in different rooms, studies show dual master bedrooms are becoming a popular request when couples build a home!</p> <p>Marital discord aside, that high-decibel wheezing and snuffling can also be a sign of serious health problems. So it’s worth getting checked out and looking into the treatments available, which can really offer hope.</p> <p><strong>What causes snoring and how common is it?<br /></strong>It’s thought that around half of the population over 50 snore to some degree – and in the general population it’s mostly blokes. That is, until women hit menopause, then they catch up in the snoring stakes (and sleep apnea statistics, too) due to hormone changes.</p> <p>That said, the common causes of snoring can’t be discounted – such as drinking booze before bed, having a cold, sinus or hayfever; or simply being unlucky with your facial structure, says Dr Grant Wilson, director of the UC Sleep Clinic, Faculty of Health at Canberra University.</p> <p>“People who are a normal weight or even skinny can be surprised to learn that they snore, but it's usually due to the size and the position of the jaw, which sits back a bit, crowding the airways,” he explains.</p> <p><strong>Why do we hesitate to treat snoring?<br /></strong>There are many reasons we opt not to treat snoring – from worrying treatments will be expensive and ineffective, to thinking we don’t have a problem in the first place! There’s a definite social stigma around snoring, say Dr Wilson.</p> <p>“Snoring is almost like a dirty word between some couples,” he adds. “A lot of men for example, when told they snore, almost take it as a sign of weakness – and then that can set up a kind of [marital stand-off] where the person won’t do anything about it.”</p> <p>A snorer often won’t be motivated to see help until they have a scary wake-up call in regards to their health. “Or, they might go on a fishing trip with a mate who comments on how badly they snore, and they decide to do something about it.”</p> <p><strong>Could your snoring add up to sleep apnea?<br /></strong>While evidence suggests snoring <em>per se</em> isn’t dangerous, it can be a marker of other health conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you’ve got OSA, it can be serious, raising your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly heart attacks and stroke.</p> <p>To find out if you have it (and how severe it is), a sleep investigation is key – and these are often done at home rather than in an unfamiliar sleep lab. You use a kit complete with wired patches stuck onto your skin that transmit data to the sleep lab.</p> <p>“While you’re sleeping, the lab can monitor everything from your breathing to your brain activity, plus detailed measures of your breathing to see what's really going on and whether you have sleep apnea,” explains Dr Wilson.</p> <p><strong>Types of snoring treatments available<br /></strong>While there aren’t any ‘foolproof’ methods for treating snoring, many things work well – including losing weight if you need to, say experts. You could also try…</p> <p><strong>Snoring strips and dilators:</strong> “Results vary but they can work for snoring. There’s Mute, which goes into the nose and dilates the nostrils, or ProVent, which acts like a one-way valve over your nostril.” Costs: from $20 for Mute, $130 for a month’s supply of ProVent.</p> <p><strong>Positional therapy</strong>: “These devices help train you to lie on your side. The Night Shift Sleep Positioner is worn around the neck, and the BuzzPod is strapped around the chest. Both vibrate if you try to sleep on your back.” Costs range from around $380 per device.</p> <p><strong>Mandibular advancement splint (MAS)</strong>: “These are used in the defense forces and are the main treatment for snoring. You put the splint into your mouth before you go to sleep and it works by bringing the tongue and jaw forward. They need to be made by a dentist but spend the money on a good one – a cheap splint may be uncomfortable and could pull your teeth out of alignment.” Costs: from $700 to $2000.</p> <p><strong>Surgical treatments</strong>: “There are a range of procedures done on the palate, or you take the tonsils out. You can even reduce the size of the tongue substantially, and relatively painlessly without affecting your taste or speech. The treatments on the palate are quite painful and it takes about three weeks to recover. A good surgeon will ‘trim’ the palate; do a sort of a tuck on it.” Costs: Talk to your GP.</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/is-snoring-ruining-your-marriage.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Duchess Kate is pretty in polka dots on visit to children’s centre

<p>The Duchess of Cambridge has stepped out Autumn ready at a surprise engagement at the Sunshine House Children and Young People’s Health and Development Centre in London.</p> <p>Opting for a long-sleeved polka dot blouse, which she paired with cropped, wide-legged trousers, the mother-of-three looked picture perfect in her chic attire.</p> <p>Her new hair colour, which she debuted earlier this month while dropping Princess Charlotte off on her first day of school, was styled in her signature blowout.</p> <p>According to Kensington Palace, Kate visited Sunshine House to learn more about the Southwark Family Nurse Partnership National unit, a program in which “parents are partnered with a specially trained family nurse, who visits them regularly from early pregnancy until their child is two.”</p> <p>The 37-year-old met with the team at Sunshine House, which supports young mothers and parents. And her visit was specifically to “further her research and engagement with the Early Years sector,” said Kensington Palace.</p> <p>Recently, Kate has started to focus her attention of supporting families, mothers and young children.</p> <p>The Duchess has a “really strong interest therefore in how you can support mothers and fathers in the earliest months of life of a child and during pregnancy in order to make sure that brain architecture was well supported,” Kate Stanley, the Director or Strategy for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to<span> </span><em>People<span> </span></em>magazine.</p> <p>“And a real compassion about the challenges of that and desire to understand the experiences of the families that some of the people around the table work with.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Kate’s chic ensemble.</p>

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10 easy steps to improve your health

<p>Congrats on wanting to lead a healthier life. The world is your oyster so why not enjoy it for as long as you possibly can!</p> <p>With so many popular opinions on what a healthy diet is, it can be hard to separate fact from fad. <br />Let’s get down to basics and look at the top 10 tips that will grant you a better quality of life.</p> <p><strong>1. Hydrate</strong><br />Did you know the human body is 80% water? – so it’s no surprise we need to replenish this magical liquid throughout the day. Drink 2-3 Litres a day and even more if it’s hot outside. If you find it difficult to remember to drink then have a big glass immediately when you awake in the morning and carry around a bottle of filtered water with you wherever you go throughout the day.  </p> <p><strong>2. Eat good fats</strong><br />Eating fat won’t make you fat but choose the healthy fats such as egg yolk, avocado, nuts, seeds, <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-series-the-mediterranean-diet.aspx">cold pressed olive oil</a>, nut butter and coconut oil which is great for cooking too. A good rule of thumb is to never overheat cooking oils and always go for the local pasture-raised chicken eggs. Also, some moderation is required for eating nuts due to their caloric density so settle for a handful of unsalted, unroasted nuts a day if you can. Have you considered <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-series-why-you-should-eat-like-a-caveman.aspx">eating like a caveman</a>?</p> <p><strong>3. Stay away from soft drinks and sweetened fruit juices</strong><br />The PH value in coke is 3 – not far from the PH value of battery acid which is 0. Therefore, it's no wonder that soft drinks create an acidic environment in your body making it easier for inflammations to set in. Chronic inflammation is the leading cause of many lifestyle diseases of the 21st century. So, think again before reaching for that refreshing beverage.</p> <p><strong>4. Fruit</strong> <br />It's nature’s medicine, full of antioxidants and cleansing for the body. The key to weight management is to go for <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/pick-the-right-fruit-for-better-health.aspx">fruits with a low glycaemic index</a> such as berries, apples, pears and grapefruit. A few serves a day will suffice. Choose organic with fruits that have a large edible surface area then you can be less strict with plants that have inedible skin like bananas and melons. </p> <p><strong>5. Exercise</strong><br />Exercise can transform your life providing a <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/top-tips-for-overcoming-the-blues.aspx">brighter outlook</a> for the future to come. Adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week live longer than those who don't. <br />Whether it’s in the gym or a walk along the beach, it all ads sand to the hourglass. Here are some ideas on how to <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/exercise/make-fitness-fun.aspx">make fitness fun</a>. </p> <p><strong>6. Sleep</strong><br />You may not want to sleep your life away but plenty of quality sleep can in fact prolong your life and will add to the quality of your waking hours as well. <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/are-you-cheating-yourself-of-sleep.aspx">A good night’s sleep</a> has a tremendous impact on your overall health and wellbeing. If you are having sleeping difficulties, talk to your GP or pharmacist. There will be a solution for you.</p> <p><strong>7. Vegetables </strong><br />Forget about your meat, potato and peas. Instead, think fresh! Eat a large variety of veggies, either raw or keep the cooking process to a minimum to preserve the life giving nutrients. Consuming vegetables helps promote alkalinity in your body, boosting immune function and reducing inflammation in the body.</p> <p><strong>8. Fun </strong><br />Being social, caring for other humans and having a good old laugh is potion for the soul. <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/volunteering-holds-the-key-to-self-fulfillment.aspx">Have you considered volunteering?</a></p> <p><strong>9. Supplements </strong> <br />Are you missing out on crucial nutrients? Due to preferences or intolerences you may be missing out on key vitamins and minerals. Multivitamin, Fish oil, spirulina, pro biotics or protein supplements. Consult your GP or local pharmacist. </p> <p><strong>10. Sensible indulgences </strong> <br />We all strive for balance in our lives and the 80/20 rule may help you. Make superior food choices 80% of the time and enjoy sensible indulgences for the remaining 20. Good quality red wine and <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/flourless-orange-chocolate-cake.aspx">dark chocolate</a> with min 75% cacao offer numerous health benefits, making them superior choices. Best news you’ve heard all day right!<br /><br />Now, go on and use these tips in your daily life and reap the benefits of a more vibrant and vital body.</p> <p><em>Republished by <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/10-steps-to-improve-your-health.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Fifi Box returns to work with an “astonishing” twist

<p>Radio host Fifi Box has received praises from fellow mums after returning to the airwaves while tending to motherly duties at the same time.</p> <p>The 42-year-old returned to her Fox FM Melbourne breakfast show <em>Fifi, Fev &amp; Byron</em> on Monday morning after giving birth to second daughter Daisy Belle Box in June.</p> <p>During a segment, the mother-of-two – who was working from home – told her co-hosts Brendan Fevola and Byron Cooke that she needed to be excused for a moment.</p> <p>“Hang on guys, continue the conversation without me. I’ll be back in a second,” Box said.</p> <p>She came back with Daisy in her arms and began breastfeeding her daughter, before carrying on with the show.</p> <p>“It’s a mother’s right to do that. Daisy is very hungry obviously, starving,” Cooke said.</p> <p>Box later posted a video of the segment on Instagram with the caption: “Multi-tasking at work involves breastfeeding.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2dml9OgDuf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2dml9OgDuf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Fifi Box (@fifi_box)</a> on Sep 15, 2019 at 11:48pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The video has gained more than 68,000 views, with mothers commending Box’s “amazing” move.</p> <p>“Fifi Box, you astonishing creature! Keeping an infant alive, quiet, fed and happy AND performing on breakfast radio, all on about two minutes sleep,” wrote Zoe Foster Blake.</p> <p>“You’re amazing Fifi. Working mothers are amazing,” another added.</p> <p>Others also praised Fox for supporting Box in her work following the pregnancy.</p> <p>“I’ve seen this three times now and think it’s brilliant, you work with two super men, you are a trooper and well done to Fox for being such a flexible employer, so many companies could learn from this 2 minute video. I salute you Fifi,” one commented.</p> <p>“What a fabulous team and workplace culture,” one wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2cxw6WA0JO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2cxw6WA0JO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Fifi Box (@fifi_box)</a> on Sep 15, 2019 at 4:05pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>On Wednesday, Box said she was “overwhelmed” by the supportive messages.</p> <p>“I’ve been so lucky because everyone here at Fox, including you two, have been so supportive and making this so easy for me,” she told Cooke and Fevola.</p> <p>“I wanted to thank all the people that wrote messages of support and in particular what I was interested in was how people were so amazed at how great Fox was.”</p> <p>Box said she was saddened to hear stories from other mothers who had not received the same support from their workplaces. “It got me thinking, I feel for women particularly who work at companies or who have jobs where they’re not necessarily supported,” she said.</p>

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Waleed Aly pays tribute to late colleague

<p><em>The Project </em>co-host Waleed Aly has led the tributes to a former colleague who died from a cardiac arrest at the age of 29.</p> <p>During the Tuesday night episode, Aly announced that former producer Carla Bellomarino died on Saturday morning.</p> <p>“Devastated to say that Carla passed away in the early hours of Saturday after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest,” he said.</p> <p>“She was a massive part of our team. It’s just about impossible to summarise Carla for you.”</p> <p>Aly described Bellomarino as a “go-getter” who was “going to dominate the television industry” and a “genuine pleasure” to work with.</p> <p>Aly extended Network Ten’s condolences to Bellomarino’s parents and her twin sister Lucy.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Sending all our love to Carla's family right now. Words can't describe how much we will miss you Carla! Love from everyone at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> &lt;3 <a href="https://t.co/K0UsKSBPpo">pic.twitter.com/K0UsKSBPpo</a></p> — The Project (@theprojecttv) <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1173882600995401728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Colleagues and friends from the broadcasting industry have taken to social media to honour the late producer.</p> <p>“I worked with her many years at 9 and she, as you said, was lively, fun and just incredible at what she did. Will be so sadly missed,” <em>The Block </em>judge Shaynna Blaze wrote on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Thank you so much for your beautiful words about Carla. I worked with her many years at 9 and she as you said was lively, fun and just incredible at what she did. Will be so sadly missed.</p> — Shaynna Blaze (@ShaynnaBlaze) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShaynnaBlaze/status/1173884313814761472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 17, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Aside from <em>The Project</em>, Bellomarino had also worked for <em>Chris &amp; Julia's Sunday Night Takeaway</em>, the ABC’s <em>Tonightly with Tom Ballard</em>, and Channel Nine’s <em>The Block</em> and <em>Reno Rumble</em>.</p>

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7 steps to a lighter and brighter you

<p>There’s a lot of science behind how feeding your brain leads to improved mental wellbeing. This includes the ability to enhance your mood and concentration, naturally improve learning and memory capacity, as well as aid in weight loss over time — if you need to lose weight. Here is a summary of seven ways to do just that.</p> <p><strong>1. Sweat, sleep, sex and stress — what they mean to your brain</strong></p> <p>More and more research is revealing that when we take care of our bodies through exercise, when we reduce and manage our stress levels and surround ourselves with loving and supportive relationships, we help our brain to stay healthy for as long as possible.</p> <p>Add great sleep and the pleasure of sex to this mix, and our brains have the opportunity to work efficiently, and provide us with the support we need to remain calm, happy and productive in our busy lives.</p> <p>Our brains respond to these positive activities, and the reduction of stress, by becoming more robust at the cellular level, thereby enhancing neuronal functioning.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Becoming more physically active, reducing your stress levels naturally and improving your relationships, along with getting more restorative sleep and boosting your sex life.</p> <p><strong>2. What food intolerances do to your brain</strong></p> <p>Specific foods are more likely to cause a brain reaction — and addiction — than others, and knowing which ones they are, and removing them from our diet, can improve our brain function.</p> <p>In addition, optimal digestive health is critically important for our busy brains and by ensuring ideal digestion and absorption are maintained, we can improve our brain’s ability to function optimally.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Removing the foods that you may be intolerant to, such as gluten and/or dairy, among others, and improving gut function, both of which directly impact mental health.</p> <p><strong>3. Why food additives are bad for your brain</strong></p> <p>Modern food processing uses a vast quantity of additives to ensure shelf stability, and also removes compounds, such as fibre, which are important for optimal health. Unfortunately, the majority of the additives used in processed food are not tested in combination, so their safety is questionable, especially with regard to brain function.</p> <p>In addition, a number of additives pose a direct threat to brain cells, and removing them from our diet is critically important for brain health. Heavy metals and other toxic compounds found in many household cleaning products and pesticides also pose a threat to our delicate brains.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods that haven’t visited a factory before you buy them, such as colourful fresh produce and whole, gluten-free grains and legumes; making your own salad dressings and sauces; and avoiding additives in the minimally processed foods you might eat, such as rice cakes or crackers.</p> <p><strong>4. The vitamins and minerals your brain needs</strong></p> <p>Vitamins and minerals are crucially important for optimum brain health because the brain uses them to generate energy, make neurotransmitters, and ensure membrane flexibility and permeability, among many other activities.</p> <p>These nutrients have specific roles to play in the brain, and modern diets, as well as very restrictive diets, can irreparably compromise brain development, growth and maintenance.</p> <p>Antioxidants in whole, unprocessed foods also support great brain health by quenching free-radical activity and the dangers it poses to brain health. In addition, pure, clean water is required to ensure optimal brain function, because dehydration has a direct and immediate effect on the brain’s ability to function.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Eating a large variety of seasonal, colourful fresh fruit and vegetables as well as sprouts, and whole, gluten-free grains, legumes and nuts and seeds, while supplementing wisely with nutrients, according to your specific needs.</p> <p><strong>5. </strong><strong>Protein and communication in your brain</strong></p> <p>Neurotransmitters are tiny compounds that brain cells use to communicate with each other; they are made from the building blocks of protein, amino acids, along with other nutrients, that our diets need to provide.</p> <p>Mood-altering substances, from coffee to antidepressants, impact these neurotransmitters. Although many people believe that animal products and protein powders are the best sources of protein, they may come with risks to optimum brain function.</p> <p>Poor digestion and inadequate liver function also impact the body’s ability to make these messengers with ease.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Eating a variety of gluten-free grains, such as quinoa and millet, along with legumes, sprouts, nuts and seeds. If you choose to eat animal products they should be organic, and all animal flesh should be both organic and grass fed. Most fish in the ocean live in contaminated seawater, so wild-caught fish is the best option, but it should not be relied on to supply the brain’s requirement for protein.</p> <p><strong>6. Stable energy for your brain</strong></p> <p>Carbohydrates are the brain’s primary source of fuel, and although there are different forms of carbohydrates, the brain prefers unprocessed, nutrient-dense, high-fibre forms rather than quick-release types that negatively impact blood glucose.</p> <p>Coffee provides a temporary solution to a tired brain, artificial sweeteners come with their own dangers, while refined sugars contribute to general physical and cognitive ageing.</p> <p>Ensuring all meals (and snacks) contain unrefined carbohydrates will deliver a steady supply of glucose to keep the brain fuelled, along with the ability to sustain an even mood, and focused thinking.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Whole, unprocessed, fibre-rich carbohydrates such as leafy greens, brassicas (cruciferous vegetables), coloured root vegetables, gluten-free grains and legumes along with fresh fruit and berries.</p> <p><strong>7. The foundation fats for your brain</strong></p> <p>Fats and oils are one of the most misunderstood topics in nutrition, and with the dry weight of the brain being 60 per cent fat, it is a very important issue to grasp fully. Although the body can make both saturated and monounsaturated fats, it cannot make polyunsaturated fats, which comprise 20–25 per cent of the brain’s 60 per cent fat.</p> <p>Unfortunately most people eat too many damaged fats and are therefore not getting enough of the right fats to ensure their brain is working optimally. Additionally, cooking with the wrong fats leads to the consumption of more damaged fats. Research has shown that the consumption of the right fats can improve brain development and overall function.</p> <p><strong>What you need to focus on:</strong> Cold-pressed, organic oils stored in dark glass bottles. Coconut oil and butter are good sources of saturated fats; extra-virgin, single-origin olive oil is a good choice of monounsaturated fats; and a balanced blend of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats (EFAs) is best as the source of polyunsaturated fats.</p> <p><em>This is an edited extract from 'Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook' by Delia McCabe (RRP $34.99), available from <a href="https://exislepublishing.com/product/feed-brain-cookbook/">www.exislepublishing.com</a> and wherever good books are sold.</em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/7-ways-to-improve-your-brain-health.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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6 ways to keep your mind sharp

<p>Just like working a muscle in your body, the mind can be trained to work faster, smarter and harder. Here are some fun and easy ways - backed by science - to keep your mind active.</p> <p><strong>1. Salsa, salsa, salsa!</strong></p> <p>We all love a boogie every now and then, but did you know that dancing improves both brain and motor function? In one study examining the role of dance on cognitive ability, researchers found that people who have a history of dancing (16 years or more) have better reaction times, steadiness, posture and balance compared to those who have never danced. But even if it’s been years since you last went dancing it’s not too late to start seeing benefits. Other studies have shown that people who take up dancing for just six months can improve attention, memory and verbal fluency—that is, the ability to process and produce words. <br />Try this: For a dance-inspired workout, try Zumba, a fitness dance program set to a high-energy Latin beat. For group and couples dances classes, enquire at your local community college. Or try Tai Chi, group exercise classes (especially set to music), or simply play your favourite tunes on your iPod next time you go for a walk or light jog.</p> <p><strong>2. Get nutty</strong></p> <p>Nuts are more than just a great protein source. In a study involving more than 7,000 people aged 55-80 years, researchers showed that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet with 30g of mixed nuts per day had improved memory and cognitive function. Consultant dietitian, Dr Kellie Bilinski, says mixed nuts are an ideal source of protein and Omega-3, which is important for brain health. “Almonds and walnuts are ideal, but it’s important to eat nuts as part of a balanced diet,” says Dr Bilinski.</p> <p>Try this: the recommended serving is 30g of nuts, which is around 10 walnuts or almonds, every other day. Dr Bilinski advises to opt for mixed nuts, as each will have varying amounts of Omega-3 and fat content.</p> <p><strong>3. Eat fish twice weekly</strong></p> <p>Regular consumption of fish has long been proven to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, but it can also slow down the effects of age-related cognitive decline. Dr Bilinski says fish has an anti-inflammatory effect that is linked to improved brain health. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults should aim to consume 2-2.5 serves of protein per day, which may include fish every other day.</p> <p>Try this: For heart and brain health, try to eat fish, especially salmon or trout, 2-3 times per week. Don’t eat fish? Then try sprinkling a tablespoon of linseed on your salads, breakfast cereals, or look for cereals that include this supplement.</p> <p><strong>4. Play trivia</strong></p> <p>Novel activities like playing trivia or board games are not only simple and fun ways to flex your brain muscles, but they promote the use of executive function skills, which are the mental processes that allow us to focus attention, recall instructions and multi-task successfully. In one study published in the journal Neurology, scientists found that people who play board games, for example, had a lower risk of cognitive impairment. While another study – a meta-analysis published in the journal Ageing Research Reviews – discovered that group activities, as opposed to those performed in individual settings, were more likely to boost memory and subjective cognitive performance.<br /><br />Try this: Grab a few mates and head to your local pub for Trivia Night! Prefer to stay in? Challenge friends and family to a round of scrabble, chess or Trivial Pursuit. Or why not try downloading some multi-player games, like Words with Friends, to play next time you’re with the kids or grandkids?</p> <p><strong>5. Learn a new skill</strong></p> <p>"When you are inside your comfort zone you may be outside of the enhancement zone,” says research scientist, Denise Park. His findings published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that people who learned a high-level skill, such as photography, for a continuous period displayed better cognitive functioning compared to those who took up less demanding or familiar skills, such as listening to classical music. But this doesn’t mean everyday activities like reading and writing should be overlooked. In fact, recent research published in the journal Neurology found that bookworms are better at preserving memory across their lifetime and can reduce the rate of cognitive decline by 32 per cent.</p> <p>Try this: It’s never too late to master a new skill. Flex your brain muscles by learning a new language, practicing your favourite instrument or taking up a photography class. Investigate Open Colleges Australia or SEEK Learning for TAFE courses in your area.</p> <p><strong>6. Stay active</strong></p> <p>After a few weeks of regular physical activity, new cells and blood vessels in the brain start to grow, and inflammation and insulin resistance are reduced. As a result our ability to think, move and retain memory is greatly improved. And according to a group of Canadian research scientists, regular aerobic workouts are more effective in boosting verbal memory and learning than strength, resistance or balance training, While no one knows exactly which aerobic exercise yields the greatest results, experts at Harvard Medical School say walking or any other form of workout that gets your heart pumping is the best way to nourish your body and mind.</p> <p>Try this: Incorporate at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise, such as a brisk walking, swimming, stair climbing or dancing, most days of the week.</p> <p><em>Written by Mahsa Fratantoni. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/six-ways-to-keep-your-mind-sharp.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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