Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for January 2011

by Health.com, on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:09am PST

Take heart with berries, beans, and other healthy fare.

Oatmeal
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.

Salmon
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

“Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant,” says cardiologist  Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.

Health.com: 20 healthy salmon recipes

Avocado
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.

“Avocados are awesome,” says Dr. Sinatra. “They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.”

Health.com: 8 avocado recipes besides guacamole

Olive oil
Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.

Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they’re the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.

Nuts
Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet, says Dr. Sinatra. “And like olive oil, they are a great source of healthy fat.”

Health.com: 8 super nuts

 

Berries
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

“Blackberries and blueberries are especially great,” says Sinatra. “But all berries are great for your vascular health.”

Legumes
Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Spinach
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.

But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost.  The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.

Health.com: What can you make with fresh baby spinach?

Flaxseed Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.

Soy
Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it’s still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

Health.com: Supplements for cholesterol: What works?

Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/the-10-best-foods-for-your-heart-2441820/

by Health.com, on Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:14pm PST

Eating a diet packed with the right kind of carbs is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.

When we talk about the right kind of carbs, we mean Resistant Starch. Hundreds of studies conducted at respected universities and research centers have shown Resistant Starch—such as grains, beans, and legumes—helps you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energized and less stressed, and lower cholesterol.

Sound too good to be true? Here are eight evidence-based reasons you must get carbs back in your life if you are ever to achieve that coveted sleek, slim look.

Eating carbs makes you thin for life
A recent multi-center study found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams.

That’s the equivalent of several stuffed baked potatoes (a food we bet you’ve been afraid to eat for decades).

Most low-carb diets limit you to fewer than 30% of total calories from carbs and sometimes contain as few as 30 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Carbs fill you up
Many carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. They’re even more filling than protein or fat. These special carbs fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of foods, triggering a sensation of fullness in both your brain and your belly.

Research done at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that consuming Resistant Starch in one meal caused study participants to consume 10% fewer calories (roughly 150 to 200 calories for the average woman) during the next day, because they felt less hungry.

Carbs curb your hunger
According to researchers, when dieters are taken off a low-carb diet and shifted them to an approach that includes generous amounts of fiber and Resistant Starch foods, something wonderful happens: Within two days, the dieters’ cravings go away.

The fiber and Resistant Starch fills them up and satisfies them while allowing them to eat the foods they crave. These good-news carbs also raise levels of satiety hormones that tell the brain to flip a switch that stifles hunger and turns up metabolism.

Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes
The right mix of carbs is the best way to control blood sugar and keep diabetes at bay. In one study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Center at the USDA, participants who consumed a diet rich in high Resistant Starch foods were able to lower their post-meal blood sugar and insulin response by up to 38%.

Eat the carbs you want, but you need to combine them so that they don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. Instead of eating white rice, switch to brown and combine it with beans, corn, or other high Resistant Starch foods that keep your blood sugar more balanced than low-carb diets.

Carbs speed up metabolism
Carbs high in Resistant Starch speed up your metabolism and your body’s other natural fat burners. As Resistant Starch moves though your digestive system, it releases fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially in your belly.

These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass—and that stokes your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster. Researchers set out to fatten up two groups of rats, feeding one group food that was low in Resistant Starch.

A second group was fed Resistant Starch-packed food. The rats fed the low Resistant Starch chow gained fat while losing muscle mass. Rats that ate the high Resistant Starch meals preserved their muscle mass, keeping their metabolism moving.

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Carbs blast belly fat
Carbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same number of calories are consumed.

When scientists fed rats a diet rich in Resistant Starch, it increased the activity of fat-burning enzymes and decreased the activity of fat-storing enzymes. This means that the belly-fat cells were less likely to soak up and store calories as fat.

Carbs keep you satisfied
Carbs keep you satisfied longer than other foods. Here’s why: Your brain acts like a computerized fuel gauge that directs you to fill up whenever it notices that its gas tank (stomach) is empty

Foods high in Resistant Starch flip on every single fullness trigger in the body. They release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

By increasing your consumption of filling foods and releasing satiety hormones, you’ll minimize your hunger and cravings.

Carbs make you feel good about you!
“Dieters feel so empowered once they lose weight on carbs. For the first time, they are able to lose weight by eating in a balanced manner, without cutting out entire food groups,” says Sari Greaves, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/8-reasons-carbs-help-you-lose-weight-2442968/


The Top 5 Healthiest Fat-Burning Foods
(some may surprise you!)

If you want to lose body fat faster, try incorporating these 5 healthy super-foods into your diet & regular meal plans.

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author – The Truth about Six Pack Abs

1. Grass-fed beef or bison (NOT your typical grocery store beef!) – I know most people think that red meat is unhealthy for you, but that’s because they don’t understand how the health of the animal affects how healthy the meat is for consumption.  Keep this in mind — “an unhealthy animal provides unhealthy meat, but a healthy animal provides healthy meat”.

Typical beef or bison that you see at the grocery store is raised on grains such as corn and soybeans. Soy and corn are NOT the natural diet of cattle or bison, and therefore changes the chemical balance of fats and other nutrients in the beef or bison.  Grain-fed beef and bison is typically WAY too high in omega-6 fatty acids and WAY too low in omega-3 fatty acids.

On the other hand, grass-fed beef from cattle and buffalo (or bison) that were raised on the type of natural foods that they were meant to eat in nature (grass and other forage), have much higher levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (that most people already eat way too much of) compared to grain fed beef or bison.

Grass fed meats also typically contain up to 3 times the Vitamin E as in grain fed meats.

Not only that, but grass-fed meat from healthy cattle or bison also contain a special healthy fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in MUCH higher levels than grain-fed meat.  CLA has been proven in scientific studies in recent years to help in burning fat and building lean muscle (which can help you lose weight!).  These benefits are on top of the fact that grass-fed meats are some of the highest quality proteins that you can possibly eat… and this also aids in burning fat and building lean muscle.

Grass-fed meats are a little harder to find, but just ask your butcher or find a specialty grocery store and they usually have cuts available.  I’ve also found a good site to order grass-fed meats online – http://healthygrassfed.2ya.com

2.  Avocodos – Even though these are typically thought of as a “fatty food”, it’s all healthy fats!  Not only is this fruit super-high in mono-unsaturated fat, but also chock full of vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants.

Also, I think guacamole (mashed avocados with garlic, onion, tomato, pepper, etc) is one of the most delicious toppings ever created, and you can be happy to know that it’s also one of the healthiest toppings you can use on your foods.  Try sliced avocados or guacamole on sandwiches, burgers, scrambled eggs or omelets, in salads, or as a side to just about any meal.

The quality dose of healthy fats and other nutrition you get from avocados helps your body to maintain proper levels of hormones that help with fat loss and muscle building.  Also, since avocados are an extremely satiating food, eating them helps to reduce your appetite in the hours after your meal.  Say goodbye to junk food cravings and bring on that lean body!

3.  Whole Eggs, including the yolk (not just egg whites) – Most people know that eggs are one of the highest quality sources of protein.  However, most people don’t know that the egg yolks are the healthiest part of the egg… that’s where almost all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found in eggs.

Egg Yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids.  Also, the protein of whole eggs is more bio-available than egg whites alone due to a more balanced amino acid profile that the yolks help to build.

Just make sure to choose free-range organic eggs instead of normal grocery store eggs.  Similar to the grass-fed beef scenerio, the nutrient content of the eggs and the balance between healthy omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (in excess) is controlled by the diet of the chickens.

Chickens that are allowed to roam free outside and eat a more natural diet will give you healthier, more nutrient-rich eggs with a healthier fat balance compared with your typical grocery store eggs (that came from chickens fed nothing but soy and corn and crowded inside “egg factories” all day long).

4.  Nuts:  Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Macadamia, etc —  Yes, this is yet another “fatty food” that can actually help you burn fat!  Although nuts are generally between 75-90% fat in terms of a ratio of fat calories to total calories, this is another type of food that is all healthy fats, along with high levels of nutrition such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Nuts are also a good source of fiber and protein, which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in weight loss.

Nuts also help to maintain good levels of fat burning hormones in your body as well as helping to control appetite and cravings so that you essentially eat less calories overall, even though you’re consuming a high-fat food.  My favorite healthy nuts are pecans, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, and by eating them in variety, you help to broaden the types of vitamins and minerals and also the balance of polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fats you obtain.

Try to find raw nuts instead of roasted nuts if you can, as it helps to maintain the quality and nutritional content of the healthy fats that you will eat.

Also, try to broaden your horizons beyond the typical peanut butter that most people eat, and try almond butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet.

5.  Berries – including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even the “exotic” Goji berry: Berries are a powerhouse of nutrition… packed with vitamins and minerals, and also some of the best sources of antioxidants of any food in existance.  Berries also pack a healthy dose of fiber, which slows your carbohydrate absorption and digestion and controls your blood sugar levels to help prevent insulin spikes (which can stimulate fat gain).

Get creative and mix up your berry intake by using the basics — blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries… but also get adventurous and give a more “exotic” berry a try, such as Goji berries (which are one of the most nutrient-dense and highest protein berries on the planet).

I like to add berries to my yogurt and cottage cheese mixtures, as well as oatmeal or oat bran, salads, or just taking a bag of mixed berries and mixed nuts with me for the day as a mid-day healthy snack!

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the healthiest fat-burning foods you can possibly eat.  I could list a ton more, but wanted to give you my favorites for now!

http://www.truthaboutabs.com/fat-burning-foods.html

Erica Sandberg, On Wednesday January 26, 2011, 1:00 am EST

It’s amazing how often we blindly hand over our credit cards and numbers to so many people and businesses. Why? We trust them! The problem is, however, that sometimes we’d be better off holding back and taking a more discretionary approach. Certain individuals and companies should be off limits. To keep safeguard your credit, avoid giving the following folks unlimited access to your account.

1. Your darling child. Whether you have a PC, smart phone or iPad, chances are high that your kid has become quite the gaming pro. She begs for your password and soon your bill swells. It happens, and the damage can be extreme. In January 2011, a 7-year old in British Columbia was on an iPod and found an app called Touch Pets – Dogs 2. An hour’s worth of play ran up $852, which was charged to the credit card her parents had on file with iTunes. “Trust can’t come without education and maturity,” says Jan Ruskin, spokeswoman for Creative Wealth International, a financial literacy product company. And clearly a child can’t be expected to read and understand fine print.

2. Callers investigating a credit card scam. The man on the phone sounds both professional and deadly serious. He’s with the police or credit card company, and he says that your account has been compromised . To confirm your identity, he needs you to read off your card’s numbers. The catch: He’s the thief. “No responsible agency will work this way,” says Los Angeles-based security expert Chris McGoey. It’s easy to fall for this scam because very often the caller knows a few facts about you. “They’ll get a hold of people from a list — religious, political, etc. The story sounds plausible,” says McGoey. To ensure all is well, though, hang up and call the number on the back of your card.

3. Loved ones. You’d think you could rely on your best bud to never do you wrong, right? Well, not necessarily. Sometimes it’s those closest to us who abscond with our credit information. A 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report found at least 13 percent of all identity theft is perpetrated by friends, neighbors and other close acquaintances. Lend a pal your card or leave statements in plain view and you could be exposing yourself to trouble.

4. The hired help. It may save you time to hand over your Home Depot card to a contractor, or give your Visa to the nanny so they can buy supplies, but that’s giving strangers way too much access. They might be the most upstanding people in the world, but you should still order your own stuff. The only people who should ever charge on your card besides you are other co-signers and authorized users.

5. Virus protection heroes. Get online and see a warning message that your computer has a virus needing immediate attention? Use extreme caution when purchasing new protection software. “Don’t trust anyone who tries to scare you into downloading software to fix your PC that’s supposed to have a virus,” warns Robert Siciliano McAfee, a consultant and identity theft expert. “This is scareware, and it will mess up your operating system, and your card will be charged more than once.”

6. The disappearing waiter. Anytime your plastic is swept away by another person, you have reason for pause. Unfortunately, some restaurant staff may be especially dangerous. “Many skimming networks operate using wait staff,” warns Steve Rhode of GetOutOfDebt.org. “They will pay $50 or more for credit card information that can be swiped off your card using a small electronic device that reads the magnetic strip on the card. Skimming only takes two seconds.” While you can’t always control where they take the card, it’s important to check your receipts and statements immediately.

7. The “helpful” debt collector. If you owe money to a collection agency, you might be asked to enter into a payment plan or settlement agreement using your credit card. Don’t do it, says Sonya Smith Valentine, attorney and author of “How to Have a Love Affair with Your Credit Report.” “If you are working out a deal on past due debt with a debt collector, send a money order,” she suggests. “Some debt collectors will charge your card for the whole amount that you owe, not just the amount they agreed to settle the debt for.”

8. You. According to Carrie Coghill, director of consumer education for FreeScore.com , the person you might want to be most wary of may be reflected in the mirror. “Even the smartest people do the dumbest things,” Coghill says. She cites examples of those who consolidate debts on low interest rate cards, but don’t pay attention to the special rate time frame and get hit with super high APRs, and millionaires who overextend themselves because they must have the latest things. So look inward, cardholder: If you can’t trust yourself to stay out of debt, purge your wallet of plastic.

While casting suspicious glares at everyone is unnecessary, being careful can prevent common credit problems. Monitor your financial affairs too. “The bottom line is the best deterrent against credit card fraud and abuse is for you to monitor your monthly statements and check your consolidated credit report twice a year,” says Rhode.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/8-people-trust-credit-card-creditcards-1745829924.html?x=0


AN APPLE A DAY By Tyrone M. Reyes, M.D.

Control your cholesterol.” You’ve probably heard that before, especially if you have some form of heart disease. And while you might know a little about cholesterol — some kinds are good and some are bad, and having too much is definitely not good — you’re not always clear on what the commotion is all about.

So what exactly is cholesterol and how does it work? Why is too much bad for you? Does lowering it really help your heart? These are good questions that are asked not only by patients but by doctors as well. Although quite a bit is known about cholesterol and its relationship with heart disease, much is still uncertain and doctors suspect that the relationship may be more complicated than previously believed.

Here’s what’s known and what’s not about cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all of your body cells. Its normal function is to help form and maintain cell membranes, and to protect and insulate nerve fibers. Cholesterol is also involved in the formation of sex hormones, such as estrogen, and the production of bile salts, which help you digest fats.

Your liver produces most of the cholesterol in your body — and all the cholesterol you need. But you can also get cholesterol from foods of animal origin, such as red meat and eggs. Even cholesterol-free foods that are high in saturated fats can contribute to an increase in blood levels of cholesterol. In fact, foods high in saturated fats appear to be one of the main causes of high cholesterol levels.

Good and bad cholesterol

Cholesterol is carried in your blood attached to proteins. This cholesterol-protein package is called lipoprotein. There are two main types of lipoproteins.

• Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Low-density lipoproteins transport cholesterol throughout your body, delivering cholesterol to different tissues and organs. When the cells have all the cholesterol they need, they reduce the number of receptors, or gateways, for cholesterol to enter. As a result, cholesterol contained in the LDL particles (LDL cholesterol) starts to build up in your blood stream.

Over time, circulating LDL cholesterol undergoes chemical changes (becomes oxidized) and also reduces in size. These smaller particles more easily enter the blood vessel wall and start to build up under the vessel lining. Deposits of LDL cholesterol particles in vessel walls are called plaques and can lead to inflammation, bleeding into the area, and calcium buildup (calcification). Eventually, the buildup of plaques can start to crowd the space within the blood vessel and obstruct the blood flow. This process of plaque accumulation is called atherosclerosis.

When atherosclerosis affects the arteries leading to your heart (coronary arteries), you may have chest pain and other symptoms of coronary artery disease. If plaques tear or rupture, a blood clot may form — blocking the flow of blood or breaking free and plugging an artery downstream. If blood flow to part of the heart stops, you’ll have a heart attack. If blood flow to your brain stops, a stroke occurs. This is why LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol.

An optimal level of LDL cholesterol is less than 100 milligrams (mg, a measure of weight) per deciliter of blood (dL, a measure of volume) — a little less than half a cup. LDL levels of 130-158 mg/dL are considered “borderline high,” 160-189 mg/dL are “high,” and 190 mg/dL and above are “very high.”

• High-density lipoprotein (HDL). Rather than deliver cholesterol to cells, high-density lipoproteins leave the liver with very little cholesterol, pick up excess cholesterol on their route through the bloodstream and take it back to your liver. The liver excretes this cholesterol into the bile and out of your body through your bowels. Because HDL particles remove excess cholesterol from your body, they are considered protective. That’s why HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol (see diagram on Page D-1).

You want higher levels of HDL, ideally 60 mg/dL or greater, according to the US National Heart, Lung, Blood Institutes (NHLBI) National Cholesterol Education Program.

Your “lipoprotein or lipid profile” test, done after a nine to 12-hour fast, will also provide information about triglycerides, another form of fat in your blood. (Watch out for a separate article on triglycerides next month.) Fasting triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL are considered “borderline high,” and 200 mg/dL or more are “high.”

The quest for lower cholesterol

Originally, scientists thought the main contributor to LDL cholesterol was, logically enough, the cholesterol found in foods, such as meat and eggs. It turns out, however, that only some dietary cholesterol find their way into the bloodstream as serum cholesterol. It’s still a good idea though, especially if you’re at risk for heart disease, to limit intake to less than 300 mg per day. For individuals either with or at high risk of heart disease, the NHLBI’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet calls for consuming less than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. (One egg, for comparison, contains about 175 mg.)

Today, most experts believe the chief LDL cholesterol culprit is saturated fat — found in high amounts in animal products such as meats, full-fat dairy, and butter. Although the connection between saturated fat intake and heart disease risk remains the subject of study, scientists call for limiting saturated fat intake to less than seven percent of your total calories. Switching from saturated to mono or polysaturated fats has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease (An Apple a Day, New Facts on Fats, October 12, 2010).

You should also avoid trans fats, found in the partially hydrogenated oils used in some baked goods and packaged products, which raise LDL cholesterol. Since these findings about the effects of trans fats, however, they’re much less commonly used than saturated fat.

What about total fat intake? The emphasis has shifted from reducing the quantity of fats of all kinds in your diet to improving the quality of fats. Experts recommend consuming no more than 25 percent to 35 percent of your total calories from fats.

Another dietary change you can try is increasing consumption of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol-containing bile and helps carry it out of your body — this is the science behind oat-cereal’s claim to lower cholesterol.

Other steps you can take to control cholesterol, according to the NHLBI’s National Cholesterol Education Program, include losing weight if you’re overweight and getting regular physical activity. Getting 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week can help lower LDL and raise HDL; it’s particularly important if you’re overweight and have high triglyceride or low HDL levels.

Overall, according to the NHLBI, the following diet and lifestyle changes can put a big dent in your LDL numbers:

• Reduce saturated fat to less than seven percent of calories: eight to 10 percent LDL reduction.

• Decrease dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg/day: three to five percent reduction.

• Add five to 10 grams/day of soluble fiber: three to five percent reduction.

• Lose 10 pounds if overweight: five to eight percent reduction.

• If dietary and lifestyle changes aren’t enough, medications are available to help lower LDL levels further. Statins are some of the most popular and effective drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol. These drugs work by directly preventing the formation of cholesterol in the liver. Studies show that statins not only lower LDL cholesterol but also reduce your risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Other cholesterol-lowering medications are available too, such as resins, fibrates, the B vitamin niacin, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

Taking control of your cholesterol with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes can lower your LDL numbers by as much as 20-30 percent, while increasing your HDL count. Even if you’re taking statins or similar drugs, you can still do more to improve your cholesterol and protect your heart.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=649001&publicationSubCategoryId=80

by Kimberly Palmer
Monday, January 10, 2011

Job security might be out, but freelance, contract, and temporary work is in, which makes it easier than ever to moonlight as a graphic designer while you spend your days as a public relations rep. Slimmer staffs mean companies often need the extra help, and new websites offer free tools that match potential employers with workers. And earning extra money beyond your steady paycheck, if you’re lucky enough to have one, can provide a big boost to your financial security.

Here are seven ways to make extra money off the new economy in 2011:

Launch a Brand
When Kimberly Seals-Allers, former senior editor at Essence magazine, was expecting her first child, she discovered that black women face higher risks during childbirth and pregnancy. “I realized we were a special group, and I wanted to write a book about everything in black women’s lives. Not just pregnancy, but money, men, and myths in our community. [I wanted] to create a new way forward.”

Her first book, “The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy,” turned into a series as well as an online magazine, maternity line, and consultancy. Seals-Allers also licensed use of the Mocha Manual name to create an instructional DVD sold at Walmart and supermarkets.

Start a Blog
The anonymous blogger behind Lazy Man and Money defies his site’s name. He works about 14 hours a day on weekdays and then puts in nine hours on Saturday and Sunday. But his hard work is paying off — his blog earns him enough to support his lifestyle; back in 2008, he estimated his annual earnings at around $30,000. But it’s tough for part-time bloggers with full-time jobs to keep up with all the demands of a lucrative blog. “There’s simply a lot more [to do] than what the average reader sees,” he says.

Even if the blog itself doesn’t generate a six-figure salary, it can lead to other money-making opportunities, such as consulting or speaking gigs. Silicon Valley Blogger at The Digerati Life has carved out a successful niche as the expert on personal finance and technology in Silicon Valley. While she says she didn’t earn much during the first six months of her blog’s life, she received her first $100 check from Google AdSense shortly after that point, when she was getting around 600 unique visitors a day. She now earns money from her blog-related consulting, as well.

[Industries With the Biggest Boosts in Hiring]

Sell Your Skills
Whether your expertise lies in social networking, editing, or web development, several new websites can help you find potential clients willing to pay you for your work. Elance.com, Odesk.com, and Guru.com make it easy to advertise your skills and find work, which you can do from the comfort of your home at all hours of the night. To get started, explore the websites to see what might be a good fit. You can also stick with a more traditional approach and use Craigslist.org, which allows users to post advertising for their services, ranging from household labor to music lessons.

Sell a Wacky Service
For those interested in a more unusual approach, the innovative website fiverr.com allows users to sell (and buy) services for $5. Current offerings include sketching a stylized portrait, writing a name on a grain of rice, and digitally restoring a photograph. It’s one of the trendiest ways to make a quick buck for the internet-savvy; dozens of videos, websites, and blogs offer advice on how best to earn money off the site. The best advice? Since you’re only going to make $5 a pop, sell a service that you can do easily and quickly.

Talk and Teach
Colleges, organizations, and companies are constantly on the lookout for new experts that can inspire an audience. If you’ve built up an expertise on a subject, perhaps through your blog, then consider branching out with some speaking gigs. Offer to talk for free at first to build up your reputation, and then a speakers’ bureau can help connect you to paying gigs (for a cut of your fee).

[Resolutions That Will Save You Money]

Design T-Shirts
Companies such as CafePress.com allow people to design and sell their T-shirts for a cut of the profits. According to the company’s website, some users earn over $100,000 a year. But it’s not always easy: Jen Goode, who earns enough through CafePress to pay her mortgage each month, found success after a year and a half of long, sometimes 16-hour days. Her time is spent creating designs and then uploading them. She has uploaded about 2,500 designs, many of which are cartoon oriented, including the popular penguin series. For her, she says, the secret has been to make many different images that are steady sellers, as opposed to creating one or two megahits. Now, she says she doesn’t need to put as much time into her shop because she has such a large inventory of designs.

Sell Other People’s Products
Make-up companies such as Avon and Mary Kay are always looking for new sales representatives, as are other companies such as kitchen products seller Pampered Chef. “If you don’t have to make a big investment to get into it, it’s probably not a bad idea,” says Marcia Brixey, author of “The Money Therapist.” But she warns people to stay away from businesses that require sellers to make significant up-front purchases that they might not be able to unload.

 

The bottom line: The new economy offers plenty of creative ways to earn extra money; to find the best fit for you, consider your skills, lifestyle, and ambitions.

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/111747/ways-to-make-extra-money-in-2011?mod=oneclick


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