Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Key to Losing Weight Successfully

Eating heart-healthy, low-calorie foods and exercising is the key to losing weight regardless of levels of protein, fat or carbohydrates, a new study has found.

Weight: A Mid-life Crisis

Overweight patients cast a shadow at a weight reduction clinic. A new study has found that eating heart-healthy, low-calorie foods and exercising is the key to losing weight regardless of levels of protein, fat or carbohydrates.

The research, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, seems to argue against blanket use of diets that do not necessarily limit calories but call for eating certain foods such as vegetables or proteins, at the expense of others.

The NIH study of 811 volunteers, 38 percent of them men and 62 percent women, aged 30-70 and either overweight or obese, looked at diets that have been popular in the United States in recent years, even as the number of obese Americans has soared.

The "Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (POUNDS LOST) study found similar weight loss after six months and two years among participants assigned to four diets that differed in their proportions of these three major nutrients," said researchers.

"The diets were low or high in total fat (20 or 40 percent of calories) with average or high protein (15 or 25 percent of calories). Carbohydrate content ranged from 35 to 65 percent of calories.

"The diets all used the same calorie reduction goals and were heart-healthy low in saturated fat and cholesterol while high in dietary fibre," said researchers, whose study is published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Participants lost an average 13 pounds (5.9 kilos) at six months and maintained a nine-pound (four-kilo) loss at two years.

"These results show that, as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight," said Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, director at NHLBI.

"This provides people who need to lose weight with the flexibility to choose an approach that they're most likely to sustain: one that is most suited to their personal preferences and health needs," she stressed.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

5 Musts for Couples to Stay Happy

A survey asked happy couples across the United States to tell about relationship-strengthening solutions they've developed. Try your hand at incorporating a few into your daily life and maybe you can be as ridiculously, embarrassingly, revoltingly happy in relationship as they are.

Daily Habit #1: Talk to Each Other

Happily married couples typically say their relationships work better when they can sit down and gab one-on-one, like thinking, feeling adults. But who's got time for that? Actually, anybody who sleeps at night, if you follow the lead of Julie and Thom and their nightly visits to their "igloo."

"It all started one winter night years ago, when Julie had had a really bad day," says Thom, 33, a marketing director in Columbus, Ohio. "We were huddled under the covers of our bed, and Julie was describing how all the people who made her day miserable were 'bad polar bears' and how she didn't want any of the bad polar bears coming into the bedroom and how the bed was our refuge from them. You realize how embarrassing it is to admit this, right? Anyway, that's when we started calling the bed the igloo."

"The igloo is a place to retreat to," says Julie, 31. "It's our little sanctuary; only nice things happen in the igloo."

Eventually Julie and Thom began holding a powwow in the igloo at the end of every day, making a nightly excursion that Julie says has become a vital part of their five-year relationship.

"It's funny, because I always thought that when you lived with somebody, you'd automatically know everything that was going on," she says. "But we find that if we don't take that time to connect with each other, it's really easy for life to get in the way. The igloo offers one of the few times in the day where there's not a whole heck of a lot else going on, so you're able to focus on each other in a deeper way."

Daily Habit #2: Flirt

Most couples realize that getting intimate every night isn't possible, let alone a worthy goal. Indeed, a 1994 University of Chicago survey of Americans' physical intimacy habits found that only about a third of adults have physical intimacy more than once a week.

That doesn't mean, though, that you can't at least talk sensually every day, and that's the approach that Ed and Stephanie have taken in the more than six years they've been together.

"It's funny," says Ed, a 33-year-old San Francisco cab driver, "because we know plenty of couples who fight, a lot, about how often they have physical intimacy. The wife's upset because all he ever wants to do is get intimate. But this has never really been a problem with us, and I think it has a lot do with the fact that we're always talking sensually to each other."

"Absolutely," says Stephanie, a 32-year-old massage therapist. "We're always complimenting each other, tossing out fantasies, telling each other we're appealing. He gets to feel like he can have sensual feelings, and I feel like I don't have to have physical intimacy all the time to appear attractive.

Let's put it this way: The way I see it, physical intimacy is like chocolate cake. After five days of eating chocolate cake, even chocolate cake doesn't taste that great."

"Right," Ed says, "but after five days of talking about chocolate cake, that cake tastes really good."

Daily Habit #3: Get Stupid Together

Bob and Angie are ashamed to admit that the daily ritual that brings such joy to their 12-year marriage is none other than reality TV. That's right. They lived and died with "Survivor." They've adopted "Big Brother." "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" They do.

"Honestly, I think we just need to be dumb for a while," says Bob, 37, a shoe designer for Reebok in Boston. "We're both very into our careers. And when you're at work, with any job there's going to be a certain amount of professional stress. You like to come home sometimes and, for that lousy hour or whatever, kick back and relax."

Or as Angie, 36, a marketing executive, says, "Life is serious enough, isn't it? Sometimes you need to do something stupid. And if you can't be stupid with your husband, who can you be stupid with?"

Daily Habit #4: Declare Your Independence

So hold on, then: Is domestic joy found in partners smothering each other in obsessive daily rituals?

Hardly. In fact, Tessina says that sleepwalking through a series of hollow routines (although probably an apt description of your day job) is worse for your relationship than having no routines at all. The solution, she says, is to also make a daily habit of getting away from each other.

The point, naturally, is not to make space for each other in that I-can't-wait-to-get-away-from-you sort of way but to pursue your own hobbies and interests. It's a distinction that Joe tried hard to make to Lori during their delicate pre-engagement negotiations four years ago.

These days, Lori and Joe are practically poster children for the power of independence. Joe, who works for a nonprofit agency, spends his nights taking painting classes, building youth centers, and recording his guitar sessions. Lori, a college professor, spends hers directing community-theater musicals and indulging in trashy movies on cable television, a passion that Joe (go figure) doesn't seem to share.

"It all brings a freshness to our relationship because we both continue to grow as people," Joe says.

Daily Habit #5: Share a Spiritual Moment

In another University of Chicago survey, this one of married couples, 75 percent of the Americans who pray with their spouses reported that their marriages are "very happy" (compared to 57 percent of those who don't). Those who pray together are also more likely to say they respect each other and discuss their relationship together.
Not to say that prayer is a cure for all that ails you. But whether they're talking about a simple grace at dinnertime or some soul-searching meditation, couples routinely say that a shared spiritual life helps keep them close. And as Doug and Beth say, even couples who are on different sides of the theological fence can benefit from praying together daily.

"We have been married for seven years, but praying together is something we didn't start doing until about a year ago," says Doug, a 32-year-old Salt Lake City biochemist. "In the past, whenever we faced big decisions, we'd have discussion after discussion about them, but we'd never really come to a resolution."

"I soon found that praying together brings out a real sense of selflessness and humility," Doug says. "When you're praying for each other, not yourself, you're focused together and speaking from the heart on a whole different level. I would never have predicted this for us, but it really works."

"As bad as any problem may seem at that moment," agrees Beth, "prayer always helps us see beyond it. It doesn't have to be a long-drawn-out scripture reading, just a few minutes a day. When we pray, it brings another level of honesty to our conversations. I think it's the most intimate thing you can do with another person."

Now they pray together every night, once the "urchins" are in bed, which puts them in the company of the 32 percent of American married couples who say they pray together regularly. It also puts them in the company of Julie and Thom, when the other couple isn't holed up in their igloo, of course.

"It's pretty short and not at all scripted," says Julie about their giving thanks before each meal. "We just join hands and let it rip. Whether we're asking for forgiveness or giving thanks, saying it out loud holds a lot of power.

"Besides, regardless of religion or spiritual preference, I think that most marriages require a ton of faith," Julie sums up. "You've got to believe that somehow the two of you are going to make it through things. You've got to believe that you're being blessed with this person. And even if the power we feel just comes from the strength of our love, even if we don't believe that it's God who is helping us, I still think that it's good to acknowledge that there's a force between the two of us that's helping us out."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Smart Things About Sleeping Late (and waking up late)

Now here's the dosier to that oft-stated notion "early to bed and early to rise makes Juan a smart guy." And I won't argue, coz this is a product of research, until another research says otherwise.
Here are 3 smart things about it:

1. You may need more sleep than you think.

Research by Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders Center found that people who slept eight hours and then claimed they were "well rested" actually performed better and were more alert if they slept another two hours. That figures. Until the invention of the lightbulb (damn you, Edison!), the average person slumbered 10 hours a night.

2. Night owls are more creative.

Artists, writers, and coders typically fire on all cylinders by crashing near dawn and awakening at the crack of noon. In one study, "evening people" almost universally slam-dunked a standardized creativity test. Their early-bird brethren struggled for passing scores.

3. Rising early is stressful.

The stress hormone cortisol peaks in your blood around 7 am. So if you get up then, you may experience tension. Grab some extra Zs! You'll wake up feeling less like tense than usual.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wonder of numbers, mystery of God

Why is 12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111, and 123456789 x 9 + 10 = 1111111111? Also, why is 987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888, and 9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888? Why is there such order in numbers and in the universe?

Lazing around the house or resort during these holidays? It’s a good time to ponder the beauty of mathematics, and of God our Creator, the sum of all wonders, as shared in this PowerPoint presentation. Credits to Wonderful World:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

12 x 8 + 2 = 98

123 x 8 + 3 = 987

1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876

12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765

123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654

1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543

12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432

123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

Then this:

1 x 9 + 2 = 11

12 x 9 + 3 = 111

123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

123456789 x 9 + 10 = 1111111111

And this:

9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Brilliant, isn’t it? So awed was Einstein about the nature of numbers and of the universe that he gushed: “God reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists.” Intelligent Design was for the physicist basic proof that there is a God. (Reprinted)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Financial Management Tips

In these times of global financial crisis and talks of recession it is wise that we should be conscious of our money habits. Recession or not, our financial habits are something that we should take a second look on. Little money mismanagement can hurt us, without us even being conscious about it… until it’s too late.

Here are just some of the suggestions to make us become more money-wise:

1. Live Below Your Means

Before you take your next frapuccino on your favorite coffee shop, think again, can you really afford that lifestyle? Stall the upgrading of your cellphone to the latest model when your present handset is doing just fine. More shoes? Really now, were you able to wear all the shoes that you already have?

These little “luxuries” are what’s hurting us the most. If we can learn to discipline ourselves and differentiate the necessities from the luxuries, we might do well on our finances.

2. Save For the Rainy Days

It cannot be overemphasized. Learning how to save can make the big difference from financial ruin to a financially fit individual. Even if you start small, say just a P50 a week, what’s important is you get to start the habit of saving. Once you get to earn more, you can increase the amount of money you save.

3. Live the Simple Life

Learn how to do away with the material things and just live with the basic necessities. Don’t be too materialistic. The habit of keeping up with the Joneses isn’t healthy and may hurt your finances terribly in the long run.

4. Don’t Believe Those Get-rich-quick Schemes

One weakness that helps scammers make their jobs easier is the inherent greed in every individual. The promise of earning high returns with a quick investment can easily lure you to part with your hard-earned money. But before you do that, remember the saying, “When something seems too good to be true, it’s because it is.”

5. Pay Your Debts

If you can avoid them in the first place, do so. But once you availed of a loan, be sure to meet your due dates and pay your debts. Aside from a clean credit reputation, you can save a lot from the interests and penalties that you might pay if you failed on your obligations.

As a rule of thumb, start paying off the ones with the higher interests.
These are just some of the suggestions that we can do to check our money habits. Of course, getting financial education and having a plan can help us manage our finances better.

The coming Year (2009) would be a perfect time to correct all our bad spending habits and take control of our finances. (Source: Pinoy Business)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bill Gates - the Billionnaire: How did it all started?

The most influential and probably the richest person in the world now is always good to be discussed. Bill Gates. Let’s go back to his past and learn again how this person position himself in the world now. The leading actor in the world economy.

Like any other teenagers that are hooked in computer games, Bill Gates spends most of his time handling and working with the computer (although during those times, computers are not that good as compared to what we have now). He was a bit dissatisfied with the computer and system his school, Lakeside School in Seattle, offers his students. The system that they were using was Teletype link.

Aside from him, there’s this another guy who were also dissatisfied with the primitive characteristics of the computer they were using at school. So he and Bill (age 15) decided to be partners for a business. The teenagers gain a profit of $20,000 because of their development of Traf-O-Data that measures the traffic flow in their city.

Bill later entered Harvard in 1973. He never had a realization of performing well until 1974, when Allen showed him a magazine that contains the article about the invention of the world’s first microcomputer. To their enthusiasm and love for computers, they called MITS (the company) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and told them that they have the best software that will fit their new microcomputer. The company immediately says yes, that obliges them to put up their lies into reality.

Then came BASIC, the system that fits MITS and the reason why Bill dropped out of Harvard and join his buddy Allen to work in Albuquerque. To cut it short, they developed more system (MS DOS) for IBM and obtained more money, moved their company to Seattle and work hard. And later, obliges computer industries, to make sure that in producing computers their software must also come into package, and thus increasing the sales of their business. And until now, their business is such a boom, the Microsoft.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A New Technology Locks Your Laptop When Stolen

It's an old story but I'll say it again: Stolen laptops are the no. 1 computer crime in the world, though they don't get anywhere close to the amount of press that identity thieves and NORAD hackers do.

But preventing physical theft is a surprisingly difficult challenge, and even the most dedicated security enthusiast can't prevent every mugging, or every rental car trunk from being jimmied open during a quick bite of lunch. Meanwhile, electronic security measures like encryption and biometrics have terrible uptake levels. Other solutions, like LoJack for Laptops, can be helpful in recovering lost hardware, but by then any sensitive data on the device will have likely fallen into the wrong hands.

Enter a new solution from Lenovo, the ThinkPad people: Using a text message sent via the cellular network to disable a notebook when a user discovers it's gone missing. It works just like a standard text message: A 3G cellular chip in the laptop is always listening for the kill signal, and when it arrives, the laptop immediately becomes unusable. If the laptop is off at the time, it goes into lockdown the next time it's booted. No data on the laptop is destroyed, but a password is required to make the notebook functional again.