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Mandometer for Healthier Eating

mandoA new Swedish method is teaching those with eating disorders how to start to eat sensibly again. A recent study has found that 75% of the patients who are treated using this method, called Manometer, were free of issues one year later.  The Manometer teaches patients to re-learn normal eating habits with a feedback device that is attached to a scale.

The Mandometer food scale is then attached to a computer which informs the patient about how much he should be eating. The person puts their plate on the scale with the food they plan to eat. As the patient is eating, the computer tells the person how fast they are eating and the patient inputs how full she is feeling during the meal. The goal is to finish the meal in 15 minutes.

The ultimate goal of the tool is to retrain the patient’s brain and to have them eating in a normal way within three or four months.

A study done on this tool that was published in the American Psychological Associations’ journal Behavioral Neuroscience found that 75% of the patients were free of symptoms within 12.5 months. Only 10% of patients were seen to relapse over a five year period.

As Per Södersten, professor of behavioural neuroendocrinology at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Neurobiology, said, “This follow-up on 18 years of work show that treatment on a neurobiological base is effective.”

The device can apparently be used in the reverse as well, teaching heavy people to slow down when they eat.

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Finding the Perfect Vacation Spot: Switzerland

Saas-FeeWith Spring upon us, it’s time to start thinking about summer vacation spots. Ironically, it could also be time to think about next winter, as ski resorts fill up incredibly quickly and reserving half a year in advance is always recommended. Switzerland is filled with gorgeous ski locations and summer fun destinations. Here are a few recommendations of the thousands that are available:

The Arosa Kulm: This is a five star hotel and one of the oldest and most traditional in Arosa. Its location can’t be beat as it’s next to the south slope at the exit of the village. In the winter, cable cars and ski lifts right nearby will lead skiers to the slopes. In the summer, the Weisshorn cable railway and the Hornli Express will bring you to locations for amazing walks that are free for hotel guests.

Saas-Fee: Marnin Michaels and Melissa Kaplan own an apartment in a ski chalet in this beautiful small village. It’s the perfect get-away for anyone who wants to ski and hike without the hustle and bustle of a larger town.  The town gets about 95 inches of snowfall a year and the village focuses on pedestrians by limiting traffic. As writer Jessica Steinberg explains in her New York Times article about their chalet,

“Working with an Italian architect from Visp, the neighboring town, they ripped out most of the inner walls to create a comfortable living room, a dining area that seats eight and a small but efficient kitchen that easily fits two cooks. They decided to keep the beams and the original doors but installed lighter-colored parquet floors throughout most of the apartment and added under-floor heating in the tiled bathrooms.” Certainly, this would be a home away from home in Switzerland.

Berghaus Bort: This stunning location could be the perfect compromise between a large hotel and an apartment rental. With only nine rooms, it’s quaint enough to feel cozy and yet large enough to have the many amenities that a visitor might seek. It includes restaurants, a swimming pool, bars, a spa, a sauna, a gym, and nightclubs. Certainly, while not as cozy or private as Marnin Michael’s location, it’s a great way to enjoy skiing and hiking without being in a large hotel.

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Pain Managemet in Pregnancy: Dr. Harvey Finkelstein

Pain Management PregnancyPain management in pregnancy is more complex than pain management in other cases. Though pregnant women often experience various aches and pains, managing this discomfort with the help of medication can be challenging for several reasons. One, the health and development of the fetus may be influenced by the drugs, and two, pregnant women’s bodies absorb and process medications differently than non-pregnant patients.

Experts such as Harvey Finkelstein are familiar with the potential risks associated with common pain management medications, and are equipped to help mothers-to-be manage their various pregnancy pains with minimal risk to themselves and their fetuses. The most commonly used pain medications in pregnancy include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, opioids, benzodiazepines, steroids, antidepressants, local anesthetics and anticonvulsants. Also used are migraine medications such as caffeine, sumatriptan, beta blockers and ergot alkaloids.

There are also a number of alternative techniques to manage pain during pregnancy. Many women find that ice or hot water bottles can effectively relieve and reduce muscle and joint pain, as can massage, light activity, pregnancy yoga or Pilates and various other exercises and stretches. Some women are also able to take a more psychological approach to pain management by learning about the causes of different sensations and understanding their importance throughout their pregnancy. Some aches and pains can even help a woman prepare herself and her body for labor and post-partum discomfort.

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This Day in History: The Typewritten Presidential Letter

It was 125 years ago today that one of the first type written letters left the White House. In February of 1880, the White House received a Fairbanks and Company Improved Number Two Typewriter. While Presidents Hayes, Garfield, Arthur and Cleveland all ignored this machine, President Benjamin Harrison gave it a room. The typewriter shared two small rooms with a telephone and a telegraph and they had their own operator, Miss Alice Sanger.

The letter that President Harrison wrote on April 4th, 1889, and that is in the Shapell Manuscript Foundation collection, is the earliest known example of a presidential typewritten letter. The President sent the letter to a book bindery owner in Philadelphia to thank him for the gift of an olive wood box which he has made for the new President. Interestingly, while the typewriter was a great invention, it was a difficult one for historians who want to capture the penmanship of the presidents. As the typewriter became used more and more, the presidential autograph’s letter became virtually obsolete.

The letter showcased by the Shapell Manuscript Foundation says,

“Charles F. Heller, Esq.,
Philadelphia, Penna.

My Dear Sir: -

I take pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of your favor of the 2nd inst. and also of the box made of olive wood. I beg to express my appreciation of this finely executed specimen of your workmanship, and of the friendly spirit which prompted you to make and send it to me.

Very truly yours,

BENJAMIN HARRISON”

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Cat Cafe Opens in London

Lady Dinah'sA new café recently opened in London, combining coffee and feline passions to create a brand new atmosphere. The new venue has proven so popular it is already booked through June. Called Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, the café allows visitors to enjoy a cappuccino or latte while winding down with some of the location’s resident cats.

Anna Kogan, investment banker and co-owner of the café, explained: “The idea is you can come have a peaceful lunch or high tea and be surrounded by cats. If you’re lucky one of them will fall asleep on your lap.”

The café opened its doors on March 1st after being partially funded by a campaign that raised more than $181,100 in less than two months. More than 3,000 online bookings were made within hours of the café’s launch.

“I thought that it would be really really cool to just hang out with loads and loads of cats,” said recent patron Christy McCormick. “They’re really fluffy and cute and… I really like cats. They’re great.”

The café has 11 cats, and features vintage-themed décor. There is a 5-pound entrance fee and a two-hour turnaround time for patrons.

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Photography Tips for Spring

Spring has sprung, and while some enjoy documenting the dark, mysterious scenes of winter, many amateur photographers feel more confident in the bright, colorful, sunny days of spring and summer. Whether you are snapping photos with your phone or working with professional equipment, expert advice can always come in handy.

One great tip for photography anywhere is the rule of thirds. Many amateur photographers place the subject of their image directly in the center- an approach that is relatively easy but rarely creates the depth and personality that a photograph can express. Instead, try the rule of thirds by imagining a tic-tac-toe grid over your image. The four points where the lines intersect are called “points of power” by photographers, because they lend depth, interest and definition to a finished photograph. Place the focal points of your images on one of these intersections points to give your final products an immediate touch-up.

Another great way to add drama to your photographs is by filling the entire frame with your subject. Take this image by Chris Gamel, for example:

Elephant Close-Up: Thomson Safaris

Elephant Close-Up: Thomson Safaris

The elephant’s face takes up the entire image, and in doing so allows the viewer to connect with both the subject and the photographer behind it. Gamel explains: “As she approached, I asked myself what it was that captured my interest. The answer was obvious- an elephant was walking directly towards me… The result is an image with impact that reflects my personal experience.”

Gamel suggests: “Ask yourself what you are taking a picture of. The fewer words you use to answer that question, the better. Once you have identified your subject, fill the image frame with it. Usually, this means getting closer. Fascinated by the dexterity of a local artist’s hands- get closer. Want to capture the look of joy on your child’s face just before she zip-lines through the rainforest- get closer.”

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Taylor Swift No. 1 “Money Maker” in 2013

Taylor Swift has won the Grammy award seven times since she launched her musical career in 2006, and she is the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Now, Swift has topped the list of the music industry’s highest earners in 2013, having made nearly $40 million dollars with sales of her 2012 album ‘Red’ as well as her six-month Red tour across the United States.

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Multivitamins: What You Should Know

vitaminsMany people turn to vitamin supplements to ensure that they get the appropriate daily dose of substances like iron, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics.

Before you get swept away in this convenient trend, there are a few things you should know, however. Woman’s Day Magazine offers the following 10 facts about multivitamins:

  • Consider temperature and storage requirements. Supplements that contain oils or probiotics should be refrigerated to prevent them from becoming exposed to too much heat, light and oxygen.
  • Different medications may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Aspirin or birth control effect the body’s vitamin C levels, for example, and a boost in intake may be necessary.
  • Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin which the body often struggles to absorb. Contrary to popular belief, a synthetic type is better than naturally-derived folate in this case.
  • If you are a vegetarian, or don’t eat much meat during the week, you may want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement. This is a crucial substance that supports the body’s blood supply and nervous system, and is found mainly in animal products. Though some dark green vegetables, such as spinach, have B12, the plant form is not well-absorbed by the human body.
  • Be careful not to get too extreme. Vitamins are good for you, but large doses can effect digestion, moods and even the liver. Do your research, and maybe even consult with an expert.
  • Iron can be dangerous in large doses- if your multivitamin contains iron, make sure to take only the recommended amount each day. If you are pregnant or anemic, a doctor can recommend the appropriate dose for your needs.
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, so take them with a bit of fatty food to maximize their benefits. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, include B and C.
  • Prescription medications may interact with certain vitamins, or deplete your body’s stores. Discuss the possibility with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do your research when you buy your vitamins, as labels can be misleading. The FDA regulates vitamin supplements like food, and not like medications.
  • Vitamin supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. Your daily routine and dietary habits will have a much stronger impact on your health than your multivitamin can.
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