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“I watch the tv and I cry”: Erin Molan shares emotional letter from young boy heart stricken over bushfires

<p>TV presenter Erin Molan has shared an absolutely beautiful piece of fan mail she received via social media, to the world.</p> <p>The heart-warming letter revealed a young Australian boy by the name of Ryder who is going to make a worthwhile donation in response to the bushfires that are currently plaguing the nation.</p> <p>The anonymous child had said his family were willing to donate their new campervan they had purchased for themselves to those impacted by the fires, and also mentioned his own personal donation.</p> <p>"What a beautiful soul. Received this msg tonight from a beautiful boy called Ryder. My faith in this beautiful country is greater than ever after the outpouring of support for those affected by fires," Molan tweeted.</p> <p>“Dear Mrs Molan,” the letter began.</p> <p>“My dad brought us a camper van about 1 y ago. I would like to donate it to the fire people. It does not have registered, but we did get it checked and they said it’s fine.</p> <p>“All we need is a truck to take it to the peoples. Dad said it’s fine but need your help to give it to them. I’m ok with not using it to go on holiday.”</p> <p>The post continued: “Just just get upset to see the people crying and have nowhere to live.</p> <p>“I watch the tv and I cry that there is no where for the homeless. I have also been through my room and wanted to give my toys and clothing for the little kids too.</p> <p>“I have saved $56.70 from doing house jobs around the house to (sic).”</p> <p>The heart-warming letter from the young boy received over 272 likes on Twitter and a flood of support from users online.</p> <p>The post has since been deleted by Molan who mistakenly left a part of the anonymous child’s details uncovered.</p> <p>Donations continue to pour into comedian Celeste Barber's DIY Facebook fundraiser, which last week hit an astonishing $50 million dollars.</p>

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You’re not the only one feeling helpless: Eco-anxiety can reach far beyond bushfire communities

<p>You’re scrolling through your phone and transfixed by yet more images of streets reduced to burnt debris, injured wildlife, and maps showing the scale of the fires continuing to burn. On the television in the background, a woman who has lost her home breaks down, while news of another life lost flashes across the screen.</p> <p>You can’t bear to watch anymore, but at the same time, you can’t tear yourself away. Sound familiar?</p> <p>We’ve now been confronted with these tragic images and stories for months. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the bushfires, it’s completely normal to feel sad, helpless, and even anxious.</p> <p>Beyond despairing about the devastation so many Australians are facing, some of these emotions are likely to be symptoms of “<a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5">eco-anxiety</a>”.</p> <p><strong>If you’re feeling down, you’re not alone</strong></p> <p>Research on <a href="https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/black-saturday-the-hidden-costs">previous bushfire disasters</a> shows people directly affected are more likely to suffer mental health consequences than those who have not been directly affected.</p> <p>After Black Saturday, about one in five people living in highly affected communities experienced persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or psychological distress.</p> <p>Recognising this as a critical issue, the Australian government has announced funding to deliver <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/emergency-health-management/bushfire-information-and-support/australian-government-mental-health-response-to-bushfire-trauma">mental health support</a> to affected people and communities.</p> <p>Government of Victoria</p> <p>But living in an unaffected area doesn’t mean you’re immune. In addition to contending with rolling images and stories of devastation, we’ve seen flow-on effects of the bushfires reach far beyond affected areas.</p> <p>For example, schools and workplaces have been closed, people have been forced to cancel their summer holidays, and sports matches and community events have been called off. This disruption to normal activities can result in uncertainty and distress, particularly for children and young people.</p> <p><strong>What is eco-anxiety?</strong></p> <p>Distress around the current fires may be compounded by – and intertwined with – a pervasive sense of fear and anxiety in relation to climate change-related events.</p> <p>The American Psychological Association defines <a href="https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf">eco-anxiety</a> as “a chronic fear of environmental doom”.</p> <p>While concern and anxiety around climate change are normal, eco-anxiety describes a state of being overwhelmed by the sheer scale, complexity and seriousness of the problems we’re facing. It can be accompanied by guilt for personal contributions to the problem.</p> <p>The Australian bushfires may have signalled a “tipping point” for many people who held a passive attitude towards climate change, and even many who have held a more active view of climate denialism. In the face of current circumstances, the crisis of climate change now becomes almost impossible to ignore.</p> <p>While eco-anxiety is not a diagnosable mental disorder, it can have significant impacts on a person’s well-being.</p> <p>Whether you think you’re suffering from eco-anxiety or more general stress and depression about the bushfires, here are some things you can do.</p> <p><strong>We’re pretty resilient, but support helps</strong></p> <p>We’re now living with the environmental consequences of a changing climate, and this requires people to adapt. Fortunately, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0004867417714337">most of us are innately resilient</a>and are able to overcome stress and losses and to live with uncertainty.</p> <p>We can enhance this resilience by connecting with friends and family and positively engaging in our communities. Making healthy choices around things like diet, exercise and sleep can also help.</p> <p>Further, supporting those who are vulnerable has benefits for both the person giving and receiving assistance. For example, parents have a critical role in listening to their children’s concerns and providing appropriate guidance.</p> <p><strong>Become part of the solution</strong></p> <p>Seeking to reduce your own carbon footprint can help alleviate feelings of guilt and helplessness – in addition to the positive difference these small actions make to the environment.</p> <p>This might include walking, cycling and taking public transport to get around, and making sustainability a factor in day-to-day decisions like what you buy and what you eat.</p> <p>Joining one of the many groups advocating for the environment also provides a voice for people concerned about the changing climate.</p> <p>Finally, there are many ways you can provide assistance to bushfire relief efforts. The generosity shown by Australians and others internationally has provided a sense of hope at a time when many are facing enormous hardship.</p> <p><strong>Seeking professional help</strong></p> <p>Some people, particularly those living with unrelated psychological distress, will find it harder to adapt to increased stress. Where their emotional resources are already depleted, it becomes more difficult to accommodate change.</p> <p>Although we don’t yet have research on this, it’s likely people with pre-existing mental health problems will be more vulnerable to eco-anxiety.</p> <p>If this is you, it’s worthwhile seeking professional help if you feel your mental health is deteriorating at this time.</p> <p>Whether or not you have a pre-existing mental health disorder, if you’re feeling depressed or anxious to a degree it’s affecting your work, education or social functioning, you should seek advice from a health professional.</p> <p>Evidence-based psychological interventions like cognitive behavioural therapy <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23870719">reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression</a>, improving mental health and well-being.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Fiona Charlson and James Graham Scott. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/youre-not-the-only-one-feeling-helpless-eco-anxiety-can-reach-far-beyond-bushfire-communities-129453"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Pete Evans’ most dangerous health claims

<p><span>Pete Evans has recently caught flak for <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/leave-vaccinations-alone-pete-evans-condemned-over-links-to-anti-vaccine-movement">promoting the work of prominent anti-vaxxer Robert F Kennedy</a>.</span></p> <p><span>This is not the first health-related controversy that Evans has had. Over the years, the celebrity chef has been criticised for spreading misinformation. Evans, who has no qualifications in medicine or nutrition, has been accused of endangering the lives of his fans by giving unscientific dietary and medical advice through his books, media appearances and social media pages.</span></p> <p><span>Here are some of his health claims, busted by experts and medical professionals.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Claim: Dairy removes calcium from bones</span></strong></p> <p><span>In a 2016 Facebook Q&amp;A session, the <em>My Kitchen Rules </em>judge advised a woman with osteoporosis to remove dairy from her diet. He said he would “strongly suggest removing dairy … as calcium from dairy can remove the calcium from your bones”, and that “most doctors do not know this information”.</span></p> <p><span>Evans was quoting old data which said calcium might be acidic and caused bone resorption, said Professor Peter Ebeling, medical director of Osteoporosis Australia and head of medicine at Monash University.</span></p> <p><span>“We know that’s not true … He’s absolutely wrong in this regard,” Dr Ebeling told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-29/pete-evans-slammed-for-advice-to-osteoporosis-sufferer/7793572">ABC</a></em>. “It is important to get calcium from your diet. Dairy products are the richest sources of calcium in our diet.”</span></p> <p><span>Other healthy sources of calcium include nuts, sardines and green leafy vegetables.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Claim: Sunscreen is toxic</span></strong></p> <p><span>Evans has claimed that sunscreen is full of “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-11/pete-evans-says-sunscreen-is-poisonous/7585050">poisonous chemicals</a>” and said he does not use any sun protection. “The silly thing is people put on normal chemical sunscreen then lay out in the sun for hours on end and think that they are safe because they have covered themselves in poisonous chemicals, which is a recipe for disaster as we are witnessing these days,” he said. He has also advocated <a href="https://www.pedestrian.tv/health/pete-evans-stare-at-the-sun/">staring into the sun or sungazing</a>, which could lead to <a href="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/08/why-staring-at-the-sun-makes-your-eyes-taste-like-burning/">UV damage, macular degeneration and permanent blindness</a>.</span></p> <p><span>The Therapeutic Goods Association, which regulates sunscreens sold in Australia, confirmed that nano-sized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide particles commonly found in the products do not penetrate the skin and are unlikely to “<a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/literature-review-safety-titanium-dioxide-and-zinc-oxide-nanoparticles-sunscreens">cause harm when used as ingredients in sunscreens</a>”.</span></p> <p><span>Cancer Council Australia has slammed Evans’ statement as <a href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2016/07/10/pete-evans-sunscreen/">“irresponsible” and “dangerous”.</a> “Australia is the world’s skin cancer capital, yet skin cancer is the most preventable of all common cancer types,” Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia wrote on <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/mondays-medical-myth-were-not-getting-enough-sun-10205">The Conversation</a></em>. “Sun protection can reduce your risk of skin cancer at any age.” </span></p> <p><span>A <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071157/">comprehensive study</a> monitoring 1,600 adults in Queensland found that people regularly applying sunscreen developed significantly fewer squamous cell carninomas over four-and-a-half years, and half as many melanomas as those not applying sunscreen over ten years. Sunscreen users were also found to develop.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Claim: Bone broth is an alternative to breast milk</span></strong></p> <p><span>Evans co-authored the e-cookbook <em>Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way For New Mums, Babies and Toddlers</em>, which included a recommendation to feed infants bone broth as a baby formula. The recipe, titled “Baby Building Broth”, uses chicken bones, liver and apple cider vinegar among others to create a “homemade formula” which he claimed could be given for babies up to six months of age “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/27/ama-accuses-pete-evans-of-endangering-lives-with-unscientific-health-advice">who can’t take human milk</a>”.</span></p> <p><span>Professor Heather Yeatman of the Public Health Association warned that the formula could be dangerous for babies. “There appears to be recommendations not to use either breast milk or an approved infant formula, but to provide other foods to infants under six months of age and that really is a big health risk,” she told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-12/paleo-diet-cookbook-for-babies-under-investigation-pete-evans/6309452">ABC</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>Dietitians pointed out that the recipe contained 10 times <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/aug/17/paleo-diet-pete-evans-controversial-baby-broth-never-hurt-anyone">the maximum safe daily intake of vitamin A for infants</a>, and consumption could lead to overdose.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Claim: Drinking water with fluoride during pregnancy lowers the baby’s IQ</span></strong></p> <p><span>The chef claimed that fluoride is a “neurotoxin” and a “major contributor for thyroid, brain and degenerative diseases”. He also advised his fans to protect their dental health by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/paleochefpeteevans/posts/i-will-say-it-again-and-again-fluoride-must-not-be-added-to-our-water-supplyever/2467815513311820/">converting to a paleo diet</a> instead. He claimed to have been consuming fluoride-free water for nearly 30 years.</span></p> <p><span>In Australia, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/pete-evans-provides-evidence-for-his-fluoride-claims-20170329-gv8naf.html">water fluoridation began in the 1956</a>. Sydney and Melbourne have been fluoridated since 1968 and 1977 respectively.</span></p> <p><span>The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) analysis of over 60 years of scientific research and 3,000 studies has confirmed that adding fluoride to public drinking water supplies is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/14/fluoride-in-water-safe-tooth-decay-iq-cancer">a safe and effective measure for preventing tooth decay</a>, reducing the incidence in children, teenagers and adults by 26 to 44 per cent. </span></p> <p><span>It also found that fluoridated water consumption had no link with IQ, cognitive function, cancer, mortality and Down’s syndrome. The <a href="https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/dentalfluoridation">Department of Health</a> also stated there was no evidence that water fluoridation at Australian levels is associated with thyroid dysfunction.</span></p> <p><span>“By preventing tooth decay and all of its associated pain and suffering, community water fluoridation saves money both for individuals, including dental treatments and time off work or school, and the healthcare system,” NHMRC fluoride reference group member Professor Clive Wright told <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/14/fluoride-in-water-safe-tooth-decay-iq-cancer">The Guardian</a></em>.</span></p>

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What you should do before bed so you get ahead in life

<p><strong>Make a prioritised to-do list</strong></p> <p>Writing out a to-do list each night is a great way to streamline your morning and get you off to a good start, but you can supercharge your to-do list by making one little tweak, according to Jeff Petro, CEO of Cool Beauty Consulting. “Each night, I draft a to-do list for the next morning, and then I prioritise the top three items that must get done,” he says. “This keeps me focused on what’s really important without getting side-tracked by smaller tasks.” And resist the urge to mark everything as a top priority. Sticking to just three will help keep you from getting overwhelmed, and you’ll still feel like you’ve accomplished a lot at the end of the day.</p> <p><strong>Take some deep breaths</strong></p> <p>Bedtime meditation has a slew of powerful health benefits, including better sleep – so it’s no surprise that it’s a habit practised not just by CEOs but also professional athletes, celebrities, scientists and other people at the top of their fields. But it’s all too easy to forget or to brush off at the end of a long day, which is why Keith Cushner, CEO of Tuck, keeps his meditation practical and simple. “I spend 10 to 20 minutes using one of a few different meditation techniques, including guided meditations and breathing exercises on my own,” he says. “Using apps like Headspace and Buddhify make it easy. I just have to follow the directions.”</p> <p><strong>Spend one-on-one time with their partner</strong></p> <p>Raise your hand if you’ve ever laid in bed with your partner, playing on your phones or watching movies, side-by-side but not interacting? (That’s everyone, right?) You’ll sleep better and have a better relationship if you follow the lead of Rachel Pedersen, CEO of the Viral Touch. “Every night before bed, I make sure to have a little flirty time with my husband,” she says. This could mean talking about your day, snuggling, or any other activity (ahem) that helps you bond. “This keeps us connected daily throughout the challenges of our work and personal lives,” she adds.</p> <p><strong>Use a smart plug to shut off all screens</strong></p> <p> “I shut down my phone, laptop, TV and tablet at least two hours before bed, which is tough when you have a lot to do or are in the habit of checking email and other notifications,” says Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building Hero. “My pro tip for making the no-screens effort easier: I have my Wi-Fi router connected to a smart plug that shuts off at 10pm and turns itself back on at 8am when I wake up. When the Wi-Fi stops, so does my access to the Internet.”</p> <p><strong>Block out all noise and light</strong></p> <p>You never realise how loud your refrigerator is or how bright your neighbour’s porch light is until you’re trying to fall asleep. Eliminate these distractions simply by using ear plugs and a sleep mask, like Alexis does. “This combination is, of course, helpful for blocking out light and noise, but I find it helpful even in quiet dark rooms,” he explains. “Putting the sleep mask on feels like a trigger to go to sleep, and I usually fall asleep within five minutes or so.”</p> <p><em>Written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/16-things-ceos-always-do-before-bed?pages=2">Reader’s Digest.</a> 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>

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The essential guide to a deeper and better sleep

<p>You’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. You pour your last cup of coffee for the day approximately five minutes after you get up in the morning, and your bedtime routine is so calming, it could put a wired four year old into a coma. You banish worries by writing them down in a special notebook you keep by the bed, right next to your warm milk and drug-free, homeopathic, fragrance-based sleep aids. So why do you still find yourself staring at the ceiling?</p> <p>It’s time to listen to what some unexpected experts have to say. Their jobs don’t necessarily include long hours in a laboratory studying sleep problems, but what they know about a multitude of other irritants – stomach ills and back pain and windows in need of shades – just might put you out for the night.</p> <p><strong>Learn to share</strong></p> <p> “If you like a firmer mattress and [your partner] likes a softer one, you don’t have to compromise. Get two singles, push them together, and use king sheets. Or you can buy a strap that attaches the mattresses to each other.”</p> <p><em>Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics</em></p> <p>“One of the biggest disrupters of sleep is the pulling and tugging of sheets and blankets. I tell couples that each person should have a sheet and blanket. If you pull a big comforter or duvet over the top when you make the bed, you really can’t tell. Couples call me after I suggest that and say, ‘Wow – you changed our marriage.’”</p> <p><em>Chiropractor and sleep expert Robert Oexman</em></p> <p><strong>Go to bed angry</strong></p> <p> “The classic line is that you shouldn’t go to bed angry, but that’s sometimes impossible. If you’re lying in the same bed but mentally throwing darts at each other, go to sleep on the couch.”</p> <p><em>Psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber</em></p> <p><strong>Nod off with the right scent</strong></p> <p> “My research has found that any new smell, even one associated with relaxation, such as lavender, can make you feel more alert and vigilant. You’re better off with a scent that makes you feel safe and comfortable. There really is something to cuddling up with your spouse’s undershirt.”</p> <p>Pamela Dalton, odour-perception expert and sensory psychologist</p> <p><strong>Be smart about allergies</strong></p> <p>“Pillows and bed coverings advertised as ‘hypoallergenic’ aren’t necessarily worth buying. That just means a product is made out of a substance you can’t be allergic to, not that it prevents allergies. Instead, get dustmite-proof covers for your pillow, mattress, and box spring.”</p> <p><em>Allergist Dr Jacqueline Eghari-Sabet</em></p> <p><strong>Heat up to keep your cool</strong></p> <p> “A hot bath will increase your skin temperature, which eventually decreases your core body temperature. Do the same thing for yourself that you’d do for a young child – make sure you take a bath a half hour or so before bed time.”</p> <p><em>Robert Oexman</em></p> <p><strong>Tamp down hot flashes</strong></p> <p> “If you wake up with hot flashes, of course you should keep the room cool and wear layered sleep clothing. But also keep a glass of ice water by the bed; sipping it will help lower your body temperature so you can get back to sleep.”</p> <p><em>Dr Becky Wang-Cheng, coeditor of Menopause</em></p> <p><strong>Reduce use of technology</strong></p> <p> “The cooler white and blue light emitted by a computer monitor stimulates brain activity and makes it difficult for your brain to wind down. Download the software at stereopsis.com/flux. It gradually dims your screen at sundown, shifting your monitor’s colours to warmer red hues.”</p> <p><em>Time-management coach Colin Grey</em></p> <p>“Watching TV at night may seem relaxing, but it beams light into your eyes, which is an ‘alert’ signal for the brain. Read a book before bed instead.”</p> <p><em>Psychiatrist Dr Tara Brass</em></p> <p><strong>Avoid ‘anti-sleeping’ pills containing caffeine</strong></p> <p> “A lot of people take bedtime pain relievers that contain caffeine and don’t even realise it. Check the label: caffeine is always listed as an active ingredient.”</p> <p>Jan Engle, professor of pharmacy</p> <p>“An oral decongestant might help you breathe better, but it can increase your heart rate, which makes it hard to sleep. A nasal decongestant can rev you up too. At night, try a saline spray or wash instead.”</p> <p><em>Pharmacist Eric Alvarez</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/the-essential-guide-to-a-deeper-sleep">Reader’s Digest.</a> 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></p>

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“Leave vaccinations alone”: Pete Evans condemned over links to anti-vaccine movement

<p>Controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans has been condemned for promoting the work of an anti-vaccination campaigner and his organisation.</p> <p>On Saturday, the <em>My Kitchen Rules </em>judge took to Instagram to share a picture of him with Robert F Kennedy Jr, nephew of former US president John F Kennedy and founder of anti-vaccine lobby group Children’s Health Defense.</p> <p>In the post, Evans tagged the account of the group and said he learned “more about the important work [Kennedy Jr] is doing for our planet and for the coming generations”.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JtN9PBE8_/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JtN9PBE8_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Great to spend some time with @robertfkennedyjr and learning more about the important work he is doing for our planet and for the coming generations. ✌️❤️ @waterkeeperalliance @childrenshealthdefense</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/chefpeteevans/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Pete Evans</a> (@chefpeteevans) on Jan 10, 2020 at 11:56am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Harry Nespolon said Evans should “stick to talking about ‘activated almonds’ and leave vaccinations alone”.</p> <p>“Vaccinations save lives and it is intensely frustrating that individuals like Pete Evans are trying so hard to cause so much harm,” Dr Nespolon told <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/celebrity-chef-pete-evans-sparks-fury-for-dangerous-selfie-with-antivaccination-voice/news-story/4198eefc2a479c02916cc4e3c846c3e9">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“Vaccines are one of the great success stories of modern medicine but the rise of the anti-vaxxer trend has eroded some of these gains and lead to needless death and suffering.</p> <p>“Robert F Kennedy is not doing ‘important work’ for coming generations; he is perpetuating dangerous, anti-scientific myths which are causing tremendous harm in countries including the United States and Australia.”</p> <p>Dr Nespolon said the chef should be careful due to his influence as a celebrity and TV star. “I hope that he rethinks the company he keeps and books an appointment with his local GP to learn about the damage he is doing promoting the ‘Children’s Health Defense’,” he said.</p> <p>This is not the first time Evans has received criticism for spreading misinformation about vaccinations. Last year, the Australian Medical Association’s president Dr Tony Bartone slammed Evans for spreading unproven medical advice after the chef promoted an anti-vaccination podcast on his Facebook page.</p> <p>“When it comes to cooking, Pete Evans might be an expert, but his misinformation about vaccination is a recipe for disaster,” Dr Bartone said in a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/14/doctors-warns-pete-evans-to-stick-to-cooking-after-sharing-anti-vaxx-podcast">statement</a>.</p> <p>“He should leave the medical advice to the experts and keep quiet about matters he has no skills, experience or expertise in.”</p> <p>Evans has also been accused of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/27/ama-accuses-pete-evans-of-endangering-lives-with-unscientific-health-advice">putting his fans’ health in danger</a> with his unscientific advice on fluoride, calcium, diet and sunscreen.</p>

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5 things CEOs always do before bed

<p><strong>Start tomorrow right – tonight!</strong></p> <p>Anyone who has ever had to help a child with a school project at midnight or found themselves binge-watching Netflix until the wee hours of the morning knows that what you do at bedtime can have a huge impact on how the next day goes. Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health, yet for too many of us, sleep is the first thing that’s sacrificed when life gets crazy. The second thing to go? Good bedtime habits. Even CEOs have to fight this temptation, but some of them have figured out how to do it successfully and consistently. We asked them to share the surprisingly simple night time tricks that help them have a happy, productive day.</p> <p><strong>Set an alarm for bedtime instead of wake time</strong></p> <p>Half the battle of getting a good night’s sleep is getting yourself to bed on time. Douglas Smith, CEO of True Nutrition, has discovered a great hack for making sure he’s consistent with his bedtime. “Most people set an alarm for waking up, but I’ve discovered it should be the other way around,” he says. “I set my alarm for 30 minutes before I should be in bed, and I stick to it. This helps me get to sleep at the same time every night. Once my body adjusted to it, I’ve found that I sleep better and I don’t even need an alarm to wake up. I wake up on my own, feeling well-rested.”</p> <p><strong>Use a light-filtering app</strong></p> <p>Blue light from screens interferes with your natural circadian rhythms, tricking your brain into thinking it’s morning instead of bedtime. Jason McCarthy, CEO of DigiNo, combats this by using apps that moderate the light from device screens. “I use the F.lux app. It gradually decreases the brightness and white light from the screen as bedtime draws closer,” he says. “This leads to much healthier and easier sleep. Plus, it reminds me not to keep working too late!”</p> <p><strong>Sip some vinegar and honey</strong></p> <p>Have trouble falling asleep? McCarthy swears by this bedtime tip courtesy of Tim Ferriss’ <em>The 4-Hour Workweek</em>. “He recommends drinking hot water with a spoonful of organic apple cider vinegar and natural honey as a sleep aid,” McCarthy explains. “No matter how busy my mind is from a stressful day at work, this drink manages to knock me out for a soothing sleep within 20 minutes. And it tastes better than you think it will!”</p> <p><strong>Utilise a “mail butler”</strong></p> <p>Managing email can feel like a full-time job for anyone, CEO or otherwise. And going to bed with a full inbox can make it hard to sleep, thanks to constant notifications or worries about missed items. This is why Billy Goldberg, CEO of the Buckeye Group, swears by Mailbutler, an extension for your email that automates certain tasks. “After dinner but before bedtime, I tidy up my inbox and get it down to zero. I use Mailbutler to ‘snooze’ emails and remind me of them at a set time in the future when I’ll need the information or need to follow up with someone,” he explains. “I use the extra time to hang out with my teenage daughters if they are into me at that moment.”</p> <p><strong>Have a nutritious bedtime snack</strong></p> <p>It’s hard to sleep if your stomach is grumbling, but a full tummy can also cause insomnia. In fact, overeating is one of the common mistakes insomniacs make. For Goldberg, the perfect compromise is a small snack high in fibre and healthy fats. “This may sound strange, but eating a spoonful of almond butter right before bed is the key to getting a good night’s sleep,” Goldberg says. “I wake up energised, and my blood sugar is maintained. Honestly, it’s been a game-changer for me!”</p> <p><strong>Pack a gym bag</strong></p> <p>Exercise can help improve your mood, increase your energy and even make you more creative, helping to set you up for a productive day. The only downside is that it can be hard to remember all of that when you’re dragging yourself out of a warm bed before the sun’s even up. For Joyce Shulman, CEO of Macaroni Kid, the trick is to prep the night before. “I set out my clothes for my morning workout in the bathroom, so when I get up at 5 am., I have no decisions to make – I just do it,” she says. “I also set up my coffee the night before because, well, coffee.”</p> <p><em>Written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/16-things-ceos-always-do-before-bed?slide=all"> Reader’s Digest</a>. 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></p>

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Lisa Curry rushed to hospital with terrifying health scare

<p>Lisa Curry hasn’t had the easiest start to 2020 as the former Olympian was rushed to hospital on New Year’s Day after suffering from a severely swollen throat.</p> <p>Taking to Instagram to share the news, the 57-year-old wrote candidly about her most recent health scare as she posted a photo of her on a hospital bed surrounded by medical equipment.</p> <p>“My goal for the year was to slow the heck down … before I even got a chance to slow down, I ended up here in a Melbourne hospital,” she captioned the image.</p> <p>“New Year’s Day lovely lunch with friends, go home for a nana nap, woke up unable to breathe … my throat and tongue swollen and so scary not to be able to get a proper breath,” she added.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7DRSkUhMdy/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7DRSkUhMdy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">My goal for the year was to slow the heck down ... before I even got a chance to slow down, I ended up here in a Melbourne hospital. New Years Day lovely lunch with friends, go home for a nana nap, woke up unable to breathe... my throat and tongue swollen and so scary not to be able to get a proper breath. Came home, and still sick.😷🤒🤧 We only tend to slow down when we are FORCED to. When we feel ok, we keep pushing and pushing. I’m quite allergic to things in the air and plants but really have no idea why it happened?? Immune system down plus too much stress... Only starting to feel a little human today. Stay strong everyone and remember to rest.</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/lisacurry/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Lisa Curry AO</a> (@lisacurry) on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:57pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Lisa said that the entire experience was a harsh reminder as to why she needed to look after herself.</p> <p>“We only tend to slow down when we are FORCED to. When we feel ok, we keep pushing and pushing,” she wrote.</p> <p>While she admitted that she’s yet to find out what caused the swelling, she explained that she is “quite allergic” to things in the air and plants.</p> <p>“But really have no idea why it happened?? Immune system down plus too much stress,” she told her followers.</p> <p>The three-time Olympic swimming champ is mother to Morgan, Jaimi and Jett with ex-husband Grant Kenny.</p>

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How do magpies detect worms and other food underground?

<p><strong>How do magpies detect worms and other food sources underground? I often see them look or listen, then rapidly hop across the ground and start digging with their beak and extract a worm or bug from the earth – Catherine, age 10, Perth.</strong></p> <p>You have posed a very good question.</p> <p>Foraging for food can involve sight, hearing and even smell. In almost all cases learning is involved. Magpies are ground foragers, setting one foot before the other looking for food while walking, called <a href="http://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7677/" title="Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird">walk-foraging</a>. It looks like this:</p> <p>Finding food on the ground, such as beetles and other insects, is not as easy as it may sound. The ground can be uneven and covered with leaves, grasses and rocks. Insects may be hiding, camouflaged, or staying so still it is hard for a magpie to notice them.</p> <p>Detecting a small object on the ground requires keen vision and experience, to discriminate between the parts that are important and those that are not.</p> <p>Magpie eyes, as for most birds, are on the side of the head (humans and other birds of prey, by contrast, have eyes that face forward).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305806/original/file-20191209-90592-eed4d5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305806/original/file-20191209-90592-eed4d5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">A magpie’s eyes are at the side of its head and it can only see something with both eyes if that is straight in front of the bird.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock/Webb Photography</span></span></em></p> <p>To see a small area in front of them, close to the ground, birds use both eyes together (scientists call this binocular vision). But birds mostly see via the eyes looking out to the side (which is called monocular vision).</p> <p>This picture gives you an idea of what a magpie can see with its left eye, what it can see with its right eye and what area it can see with both eyes working together (binocular vision).</p> <p>You asked about underground foraging. Some of that foraging can also be done by sight. Worms, for instance, may leave a small mound (called a cast) on the surface and, to the experienced bird, this indicates that a worm is just below.</p> <p>Magpies can also go a huge step further. They can identify big scarab larvae underground without any visual help at all.</p> <p>Scarab larvae look like grubs. They munch on grassroots and can kill entire grazing fields. Once they transform into beetles (commonly called Christmas beetles) they can do even more damage by eating all the leaves off eucalyptus trees.</p> <p>Here is the secret: magpies have such good hearing, they can hear the very faint sound of grass roots being chewed.</p> <p>We know this from <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347281801121" title="Localization of soil dwelling scarab larvae by the black-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham)">experiments</a> using small speakers under the soil playing back recorded sounds of scarab beetle larvae. Magpies located the speaker every time and dug it up.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>So how do they do it? Several movements are involved.</p> <p>To make certain that a jab with its beak will hit the exact spot where the juicy grub is, the magpie first walks slowly and scans the ground. It then stops and looks closely at the ground – seemingly with both eyes working together.</p> <p>Then, holding absolutely still, the magpie turns its head so the left side of the head and ear is close to the ground for a final confirming <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318003665_Audition_and_Hemispheric_Specialization_in_Songbirds_and_New_Evidence_from_Australian_Magpies">listen</a>.</p> <p>Finally, the bird straightens up, then executes a powerful jab into the ground before retrieving the grub.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305292/original/file-20191205-70133-1fvy04l.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305292/original/file-20191205-70133-1fvy04l.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">An Australian magpie digging for food gets a grub.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australian_Magpie_Digging_Grub.jpg" class="source">Wikimedia/Toby Hudson</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-SA</a></span></p> <p>That is very clever of the magpies. Very few animals can extract food they can’t see. Only great apes and humans were thought to have this ability. Clever magpies indeed. And farmers love them for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347281801121" title="Localization of soil dwelling scarab larvae by the black-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham)">keeping a major pest under control</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gisela-kaplan-2401">Gisela Kaplan</a>, Emeritus Professor in Animal Behaviour, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-magpies-detect-worms-and-other-food-underground-125713">original article</a>.</em></p>

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8 expert-approved home remedies for back pain

<p>Back pain is one of the most common complaints that bring patients into doctors’ offices. Although you should always see a doctor if your pain is severe, there are ways to relieve back pain at home.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: cold</strong></p> <p>Icing is key when you are experiencing lower back soreness and/or pain, shares Dr Jennifer L. Solomon. “It is also critical post-exercise to reduce inflammation and promote pain control.”  If you are experiencing radiating pain into the lower extremities, continue to ice the lower back rather than the legs, she says.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: heat</strong></p> <p>Heat should be your go-to after a weekend warrior move gone wrong, such as over-aggressive mulching in your garden or an injury from moving furniture, says orthopaedic spine surgeon, Dr Justin J. Park. “Strains and pulls respond better to heat.” Heat helps to ease the strained muscle and reduce tension and can help to increase range of motion and reduce pain.  Don’t let the heating pad get too hot and don’t use it for more than an hour or so at a time.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: over-the-counter medications</strong></p> <p>Other back pain remedies that work fast are over-the-counter pain medication, Dr Park says.  Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is really not recommended for muscular strains and sprains. If you’ve hurt your back, the best remedy is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, or NSAID. Common NSAIDs include Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). These medications help to stem the tide of the blood flow to the area to reduce pain. By keeping inflammation low, your pain is decreased, and you are better able to move.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: rest</strong></p> <p>Rest is vital when you are trying to relieve back pain naturally. “We aren’t talking about bed rest though,” Dr Park says. Take two or three days off from your usual activities such as going to the gym, which could make the pain worse and lead to further injury of the musculature of the back.  But gentle stretching and light walking should be okay, he adds. In fact, exercise is thought to be beneficial in terms of preventing and relieving chronic low back pain. For example, a 2018 review of randomised controlled trials, which was published in the <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em>, found that people who exercised had a 33 per cent lower risk of back pain than those who did not. And in people who did get lower back pain, exercise reduced the severity and disability associated with it. The researchers recommended strengthening with either stretching or aerobic exercise 2 to 3 days per week.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: muscle creams and patches</strong></p> <p>Another way to cure back pain at home is to use muscle creams and patches. Many different companies make these products. The medication in the patch or cream works to “confuse” the nerve endings in your back muscles. By making them feel hot or cold, they are distracted from the pain of the muscle tissue. In addition, the heat from these patches goes a long way toward soothing the muscles that have been strained or sprained. Large patches are probably more convenient, but creams may work better if your muscles are strained higher up on the back, to the side, or over a large area.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: try a rub</strong></p> <p>There are a host of over-the-counter and prescription pain relieving gels, Dr Park says.  “Over-the-counter rubs provide relief, and prescription strength anti-inflammatory creams are great for people who can’t tolerate taking them by mouth,” he says. Ask a loved one to massage the cream into your back if you can’t reach the sore spot.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: know when to call in the doctor</strong></p> <p>Self-treating with home remedies for back pain makes sense to a point, says Dr Park. “Give it a week or two but if after a few weeks, your pain is not getting better, getting worse or is severe at night, see a doctor to find out what else may help.”</p> <p><em>Written by Lynda Lampert. This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/back/8-expert-approved-home-remedies-for-back-pain?slide=all">Reader’s Digest.</a> 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>

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Princess Mary pens powerful letter to Scott Morrison about horrific Aussie bushfires

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Aussie favourite Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has expressed her condolences to Australian families who have lost everything due to the bushfires ravaging the country.</p> <p>Mary, who was born in Tasmania, said that she was “proud” of her Australian heritage and expressed her “deepest sympathy” to those who had lost their homes.</p> <p>The 47-year-old wrote the letter of support to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as she has been following the disaster from her home in Denmark.</p> <p>"In this time of great hardship caused by the ruthless bush fires, my husband [Crown Prince Frederik] and I would like to convey our warmest wishes to the Australian people as we enter a new year," Crown Princess Mary wrote in the letter, released by the Danish royal family.</p> <p>"Our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and our deepest sympathy to the many families who have lost their homes - their livelihoods.</p> <p>"When the immediate crisis subsides and people can begin to return from where they have fled, our thoughts and concerns will remain with the affected local communities, as it will undoubtedly take great efforts and time for them to rebuild what has been lost.</p> <p>"The courage and unyielding efforts of the volunteer firefighters have our deepest respect and admiration.</p> <p>"Following from afar, it makes me proud of my Australian heritage to witness the strong sense of community and the Australian spirit of 'never giving up' in the face of such devastation and adversity."</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/B67_r-Vg2J7/?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/B67_r-Vg2J7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by DET DANSKE KONGEHUS (@detdanskekongehus)</a> on Jan 5, 2020 at 4:08am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Cooler weather and rain has given firefighters a chance to catch their breath as 139 fires continue to burn across the state of NSW. The RFS, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-06/sydney-news-monday-morning-briefing/11843022" target="_blank"><em>ABC</em></a><span> </span>have said that at least 60 properties were lost across the state this weekend, but that number is set to rise. RFS volunteers have been pushed to their absolute limits as they try valiantly to stop the bushfires from impacting more families and taking their homes due to the blazes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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Prince William and Duchess Kate launch global prize to “repair the Earth”

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle the world’s biggest climate issues.</p> <p>Prince William and Kate launched the Earthshot Prize on New Year’s Eve, pledging a “decade of action to repair the Earth.”</p> <p>It is being hailed as “the most prestigious environment prize in history.”</p> <p>Prince William said: “The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve”.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vCzi4lF0X/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vCzi4lF0X/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">"The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. • Remember the awe inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the moon. • People can achieve great things. And the next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests - a decade of action to repair the Earth.” • Led by Prince William and a global alliance, the @EarthshotPrize will inspire the the planet’s greatest problem solvers to solve Earth’s greatest problems: the emergencies facing our natural world. Take a look at our previous post to see the launch film, and follow @EarthshotPrize to stay updated. Photo 📷 by The Duchess of Cambridge, taken at a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range, situated in the Chitral District of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province.</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Dec 31, 2019 at 3:25am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Earthshot Prize will be awarded five times each year between 2021 and 2030, to those individuals or organisations that manage to come up with effective solutions to environmental problems.</p> <p>Kensington Palace shared a photo of the Duke of Cambridge, which was taken by the Duchess, at a melting glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range during their recent tour of Pakistan.</p> <p>It was posted alongside a video message narrated by naturalist Sir David Attenborough who said the prize would go to “visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challengers of our time” warning “we can no longer take life as we know it for granted.”</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6u_5AyFJqU/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6u_5AyFJqU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Who is ready to lead as we make the 2020s a decade of action to repair our planet? Introducing the @EarthshotPrize 🌍 the most prestigious environment prize in history. Led by Prince William and a global alliance, the Earthshot Prize will inspire the the planet’s greatest problem solvers to solve Earth’s greatest problems: the emergencies facing our natural world. Follow @EarthshotPrize to find out more and see the full launch film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Dec 31, 2019 at 3:00am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Hillary Clinton has also backed the prize, tweeting: “With Australia on fire and the Arctic in meltdown, it’s clear we’re in a climate emergency. I’m proud to support @EarthshotPrize from @KensingtonRoyal, a new effort to inspire Earth’s greatest problem solvers to repair the natural world.”</p> <p>A number of challenges will be announced in the upcoming months, aimed at finding at least 50 solutions to the “world’s greatest problems” including “climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution, and fresh water”.</p> <p>The prize is being led by Prince William and multiple others from around the world including philanthropists and organisations.</p>

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How Aussie pensioners can get free hearing aids

<p>Aussie pensioners are doing it especially tough right now. The rising cost of living is hitting hard, leading many to make sacrifices to try to save money. However, thanks to this new service, <strong>pensioners can save without missing the benefits of having a quality, modern hearing aid</strong>.</p> <p>Thanks to the Australian Government Hearing Services Program, <strong>pensioners are entitled to free hearing aids</strong>. And it’s never been easier to have your hearing assessed and compare hearing aids with the help of a trained audiologist thanks to <span><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/form/step0-edm/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=hac-january&amp;utm_content=aussie-pensioners-free-ha&amp;utm_term=in-text"><strong>HearingAidComparison.com.au</strong></a></span>.</p> <p><strong>This service makes it so simple to find an affordable hearing aid, there’s no need to leave your hearing loss untreated</strong>. All you have to do is answer a few basic questions and a local audiologist will contact you to arrange a free hearing assessment. After your assessment they will work with you to find out exactly which subsidies you’re eligible for and <strong>how much you could save</strong>.</p> <p><strong><span>Here’s How You Do It:</span></strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your <strong>state below.</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare hearing aids in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/form/step0-edm/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=hac-january&amp;utm_content=aussie-pensioners-free-ha&amp;utm_term=widget" target="_blank"><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833565/hearing-aids-1-1280x326.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4f47196b7f204bc48983bb31deeb5460" /></a></p> <p>If you often <u>struggle to understand what people are telling you</u>, find it difficult to <u>work out which direction sounds are coming from</u> or have trouble <u>hearing when you’re on the phone</u> you could benefit from our free service.</p> <p>Many pensioners are surprised at how far modern hearing aid technology has come. Hearing aids are now designed to integrate seamlessly with your everyday life, with some being invisible to the naked eye and connecting with your smart devices at home.</p> <p>According to the Hearing Care Industry Association, only one in five Australians who could benefit from a hearing aid are actually using one. <strong>That’s four out of five Aussies who are living with hearing loss that could potentially be treated.</strong></p> <p><span><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/form/step0-edm/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=hac-january&amp;utm_content=aussie-pensioners-free-ha&amp;utm_term=in-text"><strong>HearingAidComparison.com.au</strong></a></span> gives you all the tools you need to get a great device at an affordable price. Rather than having to track down information by yourself and potentially missing out on your rebate, you get experts working for you to save you money.</p> <p>If you think you could benefit from a new hearing aid and want to know your options, <span><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/form/step0-edm/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=hac-january&amp;utm_content=aussie-pensioners-free-ha&amp;utm_term=in-text"><strong>schedule your free hearing test today</strong></a></span>. The first step to better hearing is only a few clicks away.</p> <p><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/form/step0-edm/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_campaign=hac-january&amp;utm_content=aussie-pensioners-free-ha&amp;utm_term=in-text"><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833580/hearing-aids-5-au-map.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/00d6d26e8ac14bb084b4a3b1eb889bba" /></a></p> <p><em>This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.</em></p>

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Teachers saved student’s life after highly venomous snake bite

<p><span>Teachers of a Victorian primary school have been credited with saving the life of a 12-year-old student who was bitten twice by one of the world’s most venomous snakes.</span></p> <p><span>Deakin Hawke from West Gippsland was on a week-long school excursion to Canberra in October when he was attacked by an eastern brown snake, considered <a href="https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2012/07/australias-10-most-dangerous-snakes/">the world’s second most toxic land snake</a>.</span></p> <p><span>Within ten minutes of being bitten in the leg, the boy collapsed and stopped breathing.</span></p> <p><span>Teacher Candie Ell If-Williams told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/teachers-quick-thinking-saves-student-after-deadly-snake-bite-on-school-camp-c-601494">Sunrise</a> </em>that she “went into autopilot” and applied a pressure immobilisation bandage to the leg to slow the venom from spreading while another began CPR. </span></p> <p><span>School principal Brad Wheller said he also took a photo of the snake for identification. “That’s when we made a call to 000,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>Hawke was rushed to a hospital and made a full recovery. Natalie Sindrey of St John Ambulance said the 12-year-old might not have survived had it not been for the first aid medical treatment from his teachers.</span></p> <p><span>“Straight after the bite they did an amazing job at doing the resuscitation, which is what they needed to do to keep him alive,” Sindrey told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/teachers-save-students-life-after-deadly-snake-bite-during-camp-032807885.html">Sunrise</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>According to <a href="https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/about-the-rfds/stories/outback-survival-snakes-and-snakebites/">Royal Flying Doctor Service</a>, there are around 3,000 snakebites in Australia every year, with 550 hospitalisations.</span></p> <p><span>“Snakebite first aid can be very effective if done quickly,” the organisation said. “Bandage and immobilise the bite area and dial 000 for help immediately.”</span></p>

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"That is the most incredibly generous thing to do for me": Olivia Newton-John blown away by fan's gesture

<p>Olivia Newton-John has been left stunned after the leather jacket that she wore in Grease was purchased at an auction and returned to her.</p> <p>The jacket was bought at auction for $243,000 and the anonymous buyer has now handed it back.</p> <p>He said: "It should not sit in a billionaire's closet for country-club bragging rights."</p> <p>"The odds of beating a recurring cancer using the newest emerging therapies is a thousandfold greater than someone appearing out of the blue, buying your most famous and cherished icon, and returning it to you."</p> <p>A tearful Newton-John, 71, was in shock once she realised what was in the bright pink gift wrapped box</p> <p>"Are you serious?" she said before giving the man a huge hug. "That is the sweetest thing."</p> <p>"That is the most incredibly generous thing to do for me. I'm so grateful and I'm just blown away."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJuliensAuctions%2Fvideos%2F810667592737412%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="308" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>The buyer of the jacket wanted to remain anonymous, but Julien’s Auction House said that he is a doctor and a medical technology entrepreneur.</p> <p>The black leather jacket was worn in the final scenes of the 1978 film where she and John Travolta perform, You’re the One That I Want and We Go Together.</p> <p>The skin-tight pants from the outfit were sold separately for more than double their estimate and together, the jacket and pants raised $405,700 for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research and Wellness Centre in Australia.</p> <p>"You're the best, you're the best! I'm so grateful," Newton-John said, while hugging the jacket and then the buyer. "This is the most beautiful present, but mainly it's your heart that I'm grateful for."</p> <p>The anonymous man asked if she would put the jacket on display in the cancer centre.</p> <p>"Yes, it was always my dream to do that, so yes!" Newton-John said, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/olivia-newton-john-grease-jacket-gift-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p> <p>The auction sold off more than 500 items from John’s career, including costumes, awards, jewellery and other iconic outfits.</p> <p>The sale raised a total of $2.4 million, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.juliensauctions.com/about-auction?id=294" target="_blank">auction house</a>.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see what was sold in the auction.</p>

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What to do with your Christmas leftovers?

<p>After a huge Christmas lunch or dinner, most of us don't even want to think about eating or cooking the next day! But, as we all know hunger will once again catch up with us and if you have some leftovers, we've got some tasty and easy recipe ideas below, that will help you use up your leftover meats and vegetables.  </p> <p><strong>Speedy spicy turkey &amp; ham fried rice</strong></p> <p>Let's face it - the last thing you want to do on Boxing Day is cook more. This super fast egg-fried rice makes is the perfect dish for using up some of your leftover ham and turkey. And if you're really thinking in advance, why not cook the rice the day before? Recipe <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/884647/speedy-spicy-turkey-rice">here</a></p> <p><strong>Chicken and Mango noodle salad</strong></p> <p>Take the heat out of summer with this low fuss, no cook chicken salad. It can be made without mangos, but if you have any leftover from your Christmas feast, they add a nice, sweet kick to the dish. Recipe<a href="http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/28522/chicken+and+mango+noodle+salad?ref=collections,christmas-leftovers"> here </a></p> <p><strong>Roast vegetable slice</strong></p> <p>A light and easy dinner meal if you're looking to use up leftover roast vegetables - and if you happen to be looking after the grandkids it's a great way to get them to eat vegetables too! Recipe <a href="http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/roast-vegetable-slice-L6678.html">here </a>. </p> <p><strong>Christmas Club Sandwich </strong></p> <p>Make a scrumptious cafe style sandwich filled with leftover roast meat, stuffing and salad for an easy-peasy lunch time filler.<strong> </strong>Recipe <a href="http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/508899/christmas-club-sandwich">here </a></p> <p><strong>Pytt y panna (little pieces in a pan)</strong></p> <p>This fabulous recipe is from Jamie Oliver and is an easy, brilliant every day dish, perfect for when you have leftover meats and vegetables. All you need is a frying pan and some oil and viola! Your next meal is served. <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/pytt-y-panna-little-pieces-in-a-pan/">Recipe here.</a></p> <p><strong>Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak <br /><br /></strong>Christmas leftovers are perfect for this English dish. You'll need leftover vegetables including carrots and potatoes and the great thing about this recipe is it holds the same amount of calories as a large blueberry muffin - but is far more nutritious!<a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/boxing-day-bubble-and-squeak/"> Find the recipe here. </a></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/what-to-do-with-your-christmas-leftovers.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How to make Jamie Oliver's bay salt prawn skewers with summer veg

<p>Time to prepare 25 mins | Serves 4</p> <p>Warmer weather brings memories of sun, seafood and barbeques - so why not combine them all? This recipe from Jamie Oliver puts a yummy twist on the good ol' shrimp. The bay salt flavour is unconventional but that's what makes this BBQ prawn recipe taste so delicious.</p> <p>Recipe from <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes">jamieoliver.com/recipes</a></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>20 raw king prawns, from sustainable sources (ask your fishmonger), peeled and black veins removed</li> <li>4 small courgettes</li> <li>10 bay leaves</li> <li>1 tablespoon sea salt</li> <li>3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil</li> <li>Juice of ½ lemon</li> <li>2 large handfuls freshly podded peas</li> <li>2 large handfuls freshly podded broad beans</li> <li>1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked\</li> <li>A few chive flowers, optional</li> <li>Sea salt</li> <li>Freshly ground black pepper</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. First of all, get your barbecue good and hot. If you're using wooden skewers, soak four of them in some cold water for 10 minutes, so they don't burn when you put them on the barbie later. Thread 5 prawns on to each skewer, make sure you poke through the fat and the thin part of each prawn. Slice the courgettes into ribbons with a speed peeler or a mandolin.</p> <p>2. To make the bay salt, crumble the bay leaves into a pestle and mortar and add the salt. Bash up the bay leaves until you have a vibrant green salt and all the bay leaves have broken down and released their natural oils.</p> <p>3. Sprinkle each of the prawn kebabs with a good pinch of the bay salt. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and pat and rub everything in. Place the skewers on the hot barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side. Fill the rest of the barbecue with the courgette slices – as they are so thin, they'll only need cooking on one side. After 2 minutes, turn over the skewers and cook for a further 2 minutes while you start taking off the courgettes.</p> <p>4. Pour 3 tablespoons of good olive oil into a large bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the peas, broad beans and grilled courgettes. Tear over the mint leaves and the chive flowers, if using. Season with a little salt and pepper and gently mix everything together.</p> <p>5. Serve the vegetables in a big bowl in the middle of the table with the skewers on a wooden board next to it. Perfect light, healthy summer eating.</p> <p><strong>Tips </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/seafood-recipes/bay-salt-prawn-skewers-with-summer-veg/"><em>Jamie says</em>: </a>The combination of bay leaves and prawns is quite an unconventional one, but I think it's a winner. This recipe will make enough for a decent batch of bay salt – you can use it instead of normal salt. You won't need as much as you would normally use though, as the bay gives it extra flavour. Bay salt is great if sprinkled over a shoulder of lamb, a chicken or a piece of pork before roasting. You can keep it in a container for a couple of months if you dry it out first.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/bay-salt-prawn-skewers-with-summer-veg.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Why social interaction improves your health as you age

<p>Social isolation is an increasingly prevalent problem in Australia today. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that one-quarter of people over the age of 65 live alone. This figure is expected to rise by at least 52 per cent by 2021.</p> <p>Living alone can leave older Australians vulnerable. A recent report on the effects of social isolation by The Council on the Ageing (COTA) found that chronic loneliness can create a persistent self-reinforcing loop of negative thoughts, sensations and behaviours that can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.</p> <p>A review of how social isolation can affect our physical health was carried out by The Journal of Primary Prevention in 2012. The review found social isolation to be associated with increased risk factors for stroke, heart disease, dementia, falls and chronic mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.</p> <p>Those that are socially isolated were also found to be four to five times more likely to require hospitalisation.</p> <p>On the other hand, studies show that people who are socially active as they age have better psychological and physical health and increased quality of life.<br /><br />A review of 148 different studies shows that people who have strong social relationships have a 50 per cent better chance of surviving chronic health conditions than people with little or no social interaction. <br /><br />Counsellor and psychotherapist, Dr Karen Phillip, says interacting with others is an innate human need that can help older people stay healthier and live for longer in their own homes.<br /><br />“We are social creatures. We are designed to connect with others, to share our feelings and opinions. Social interaction stimulates our brains, it gives us the opportunity to stay mentally active because we’re using our brains and to stay physically active because it forces us to get out and do things and remain independent,” says Phillip. <br /><br />Here Dr Phillip shares her top tips to staying socially engaged and making full use of the powerful psychological and physiological benefits that being socially active bestows. <br /><br /><strong>Five ways to invigorate your social life as you get older</strong></p> <p><strong>Tip 1: Connect with social media</strong><br />Learning how to use social media can open up a world of social possibilities where we can connect with people who share our views, opinions and feelings, says Phillip. <br /><br />“Older people who use social media have improved brain function and better physical and emotional outcomes,” she says. Phillip recommends asking a carer or a family member to show you how to use Skype, Facebook or Instagram to connect with the world around you from the safety and privacy of your own home.<br /><br /><strong>Tip 2: Volunteer and share your knowledge or experience</strong><br />As an ‘elder of the tribe’, you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can share by connecting with your local community. “Chances are you have a skill, trade, or knowledge and can offer advice or undertake other helpful activities that will prove invaluable to your community,” says Phillip. <br /><br /><strong>Tip 3: Join a seniors group</strong> <br />No matter whether you’re into sport, religion or have a hobby, there is bound to be a senior citizen’s group that would consider itself very lucky to have you as an active member, says Phillip.</p> <p><strong>Tip 4: See a psychotherapist</strong><br />The right psychotherapist can be your emotional rock, but also a practical help too, says Phillip. “Not only will they work you through the issue of loneliness, they can also become your case worker helping you connect with senior citizen’s groups and community groups and helping you connect with your family or a doctor,” says Phillip. <br /><br /><strong>Tip 5: Connect face to face in your own home</strong><br />Carers and community groups can often make house calls and this can sometimes make all the difference for people who are immobile or suffering from illness, says Phillip. “We are better off with face-to-face interaction when we can get it,” says Phillip. She recommends some form of social interaction every day for the best results. “All positive social interaction is beneficial no matter how small, even as small as a quick coffee with a friend,” she says.<br /><br /></p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/why-social-interaction-improves-your-health-as-you-age.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How adapting 4 easy self-defence tips can keep you safer

<p>Taking on a few simple concepts to help protect yourself will help you feel confident in every area of your life. Start today!</p> <p>Most of us think of learning self-defence to fight off an actual attack. However, there is much more to it than that. If you think about it, it is much easier to deal with an attack before it actually happens by preparing a safety strategy.</p> <p>Almost all people who fall victim to an attack, say they ‘felt’ that something was wrong sometimes long before anything really happened. Trust your feelings and act on them. And always put safely before ‘being polite’. Self-defence has a huge amount to do with confidence, assertiveness and taking action. The more you apply these principles in everyday life, the safer and happier you will be.</p> <p><strong>Tip 1: ABC of healthy habits</strong><br />a) When you are walking to your car have your mobile phone in your hand but don’t be on the phone speaking with someone or browsing the internet. Don't be paranoid or distracted, just be aware.</p> <ol> <li>b) Get into the habit of carrying your car and house keys in your hand so you can get inside quickly. And you can also use it as a ‘weapon' if needed.</li> <li>c) If you are feeling overly tired then give yourself a night off and stay in.</li> <li>d) If you come across someone in need who you don’t know then don’t feel embarrassed to keep your car door locked and instead phone for immediate assistance.</li> <li>e) Keep financial matters private and consider having a trusted locksmith install a deadbolt lock. Review your home safety and ensure there are no easily accessible points in your home such as windows.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Tip 2: Create a safety plan</strong><br />Start by thinking about easy ways you can stay safe such as taking the main street home in well-lit areas instead of the short cut. Or it may mean that you have someone pick you up after a night out or get a cab. Confidence is important so consider taking a short self defence course or taking up a regular exercise habit to strengthen you physically. Light weights are a great option. Speak to your health professional.</p> <p>It is important to remember that most people who are on the attack don't actually want to struggle. They don't want to fight. They want an easy ‘victim’. If you look like you'll put up a fight, in most cases, they will look elsewhere. Confidence, or the way you carry yourself is your first line of defence against an attack.</p> <p><strong>Tip 3: Trust your intuition</strong><br />We all have a very reliable ‘inbuilt alarm system’ that warns you of danger. It will tell you if you should be wary of your co-workers inappropriate remarks, or if they are harmless. To some degree it will let you know if it is safe to walk down this path or if you should consider crossing the street at the lights where there are plenty of people around. It tells you this by the way you feel. We all have it, but many of us have learned to override it because we learned to be ‘nice’ and we don’t want to be paranoid for seemingly no reason. It’s called intuition.</p> <p>An intuition is a feeling such as a hunch, a suspicion or even fear. It is a subconscious warning signal that tells us to investigate further, but without the logic or reasons behind it. It is there for a reason so don’t discard it blindly because someone ‘seems’ nice superficially.</p> <p>The huge benefit of an intuition is, that it gives us the opportunity to deal with a situation before it really becomes dangerous. Therefore, if you get a hunch that something is wrong, don’t just hope for the best, do something and protect yourself.</p> <p><strong>Tip 4: Put your safety ahead of ‘being polite’</strong><br />You need to be willing to make it clear that you are not a victim, that you will stand up for yourself and if necessary fight. If someone approaches you and you have a bad feeling about them you need to stand your ground. The earlier and the more convincingly you do this, the easier this will be. Don’t be embarrassed to get as loud and aggressive as you have to be or to get help from a helpful stranger. This still gives you a chance to defuse the situation early.</p> <p>Written by Otto Heutling. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/how-adapting-4-easy-self-defence-tips-can-keep-you-safer.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></p>

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Love the second time round

<p>The heart wants what it wants, wrote Emily Dickinson in 1862. And it seems the hermit-like poet is still right a century and a half later: the heart wants what it wants even when it’s older and creakier and a bit battle-scarred to boot.</p> <p>Challenges to love the second time around could be numerous. The jaded singletons in your social set may be genuinely aghast over your hot-to-trot new romance. Your ex may be quietly heartbroken (or exultant). And your kids might say you’re bonkers (but probably from a terror that you’ll get married again and, in a fit of lust and folly, redistribute their inheritance).</p> <p>But outspoken kids and battle-scarred hearts aside, there are LOTS of great things about falling in love the second time around.</p> <p>Firstly, there’s probably a high chance that a hairy divorce has brought you here. Statistics show the over 50s are serving each other papers like nobody’s business (and while it IS nobody’s business, there’s something to be said for not living out the final 30-40 years of your life in a crappy marriage). Even so, the Big D has a way of upending your existence and identity for a while so the fact you’ve found new love after this cataclysmic life event is cause for the popping of at least a few champagne corks.</p> <p>Secondly, you’re older and wiser and probably a curious mixture of caution and wild abandon. Life has thrown you some curve balls and half a century-plus of wisdom means you can still be incredibly prudent about what you do, how fast you move, where you live… while also deciding a trip across the Nullarbor in a rickety old campervan with your new paramour for company is the best idea ever. Love the second time around is all about that. Ridiculous fun, with a side dish of caution. (No trip across the Nullarbor would be possible without your expensive satellite phone, after all.)</p> <p>Thirdly, the whole kids thing. There is no whole kids thing! You can actually have a love affair that, going forward, is all about the two of you. Travel and dinners and sleep-ins and me-me-me-me time.</p> <p>Of course, the exception to the rule may be any existing adult kids you have and their irritating failure to launch, but look on the bright side: with a new lover you’ll hopefully have access to two houses and somewhere to escape to if necessary. (If you’re both plagued by kids who refuse to leave home, suggest the young’uns all bunk in together at one house while you love birds take the other one.)</p> <p>Fourth, you’re old enough and ugly enough to have the whole ‘who am I and what makes me happy’ questions sussed, which imbues any love affair with a delicious simplicity.</p> <p>Your answers to said questions may boil down to your hatred of structured travel where everyone wears name tags and matching khakis; the knowledge that small talk bores you silly and the fact that your gammy knee dictates sex must take place in a comfy bed rather than in the shower / on a hardwood floor / kitchen table / back of the car.</p> <p>The great news is, you’re not afraid to speak up about these things for fear of being labelled a bore. You are who you are, you couldn’t give a rats’ what anyone thinks, and it’s amazingly peaceful not having to pretend.</p> <p>Your new love will have to accept you – warts, gammy knee and all. (He or she no doubt has a similar list of non-negotiables and lumps and bumps requiring unconditional acceptance.)</p> <p>Yep, love the second time around has a lot going for it. It may be a little creakier, but it’s also probably a little simpler and a totally different kind of fun.</p> <p>So if you’re in (or on) the market for it, ignore the naysayers and let it happen. You never know – it could end up being the best 30-40 years of your whole damn life.</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/in-praise-of/in-praise-of-love-the-second-time-around.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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