Friday, June 23, 2017

Casting Call: 5- and 6-year-olds

Urgent Casting Nationwide!!!

We are in search of adorable and outgoing 5 and 6 year olds with a SOUTHERN ACCENT for a fun new TV show!

We are also looking for:

5 and 6 year olds:
- with glasses
- with red hair
- that live on a farm
- with accents

Email at

Don't forget to include...

1. Your name
2. Name of your child
3. Your child's date of birth
4. A few pictures of your child
5. And lastly, tell us what makes your child special.


Carnation Breakfast Essentials Drink Mix

Amazing Apps: Qualify for X Games with Podium Skate App

For the first time, amateur skateboarders can qualify to compete in the Skateboard Street Amateur competition at X Games by using the Podium Skate app. Amateur skateboarders from around the world can upload footage of their best skateboard skills for a chance to win a spot to compete at X Games. The videos will be scored by users and ranked by professional judges to determine the three qualifiers for X Games Minneapolis, July 13-16.

The judges’ top three selections from the Podium Skate app will compete against the X Games Austin 2016 medalists in the Skateboard Street Ams Final on Saturday, July 15 at 5 p.m. CT.

Submissions will be accepted now through June 29, 2017

To download the app, go to App Store or Google Play. For complete details on the Podium Skate App at X Games Minneapolis, click here.

To qualify for X Games, users upload one 30-second clip that includes their best footage. All submissions will be scored and ranked by Podium app users. From there, the top submissions will then be judged by a panel of pro judges and the top three submissions will be officially qualified to the finals at X Games Minneapolis.

Website Spotlight: Financial Gym

Did you know women control 14 trillion in assets, and yet fewer than 2 in 10 feel prepared to make wise financial decisions?

So basically women are our household CFO's, but they don't feel secure about the financial decisions they're making. 

Why should they? They didn't get a formal financial education and marketing wouldn't be so effective if it didn't work like the charming beast it is - distracting us from what's most meaningful in life: human connection, new experiences and feeling zen inside. 

The Financial Gym, a company that's flipping the financial advising industry on it's head. An industry that's been focused on men, targeting men and built by men has finally been rethought by a woman with 17 years in financial services - usually as the only woman in the room. Industry veteran, Shannon McLay, founded the Financial Gym to empower women to get their assets in shape.
Check out more details about the Financial Gym HERE.

Healthy Habits: Financial Stress and Pregnancy

Stress can affect a woman during pregnancy. Yet now studies are showing that one of the largest stress factors for many pregnant woman is worry about having the financial means to provide adequate health care, food, and security for the newborn. This stress is leading many women to give birth to underweight babies. How serious of an issue is this? What can be done to alleviate this potential health risk?

I had a chance to interview Dr. Renee Allen, a leading OB/GYN, to learn more.

What is emotional eating vs. physical hunger?

            Have you ever found yourself reaching for the bag of greasy potato chips, box of donuts or that pint of ice cream after a very stressful day at work, school or with your family?
            Emotional eating or stress eating is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to fill immediate or chronic emotional needs, rather than to fill your stomach. It  is eating - urgently and instantly, as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. It has a numbing, softening effect on our unwanted feelings, and takes our attention away from them - momentarily. Emotional eating is when you find yourself eating as a response to stress and/or for reasons other than satisfying actual physical hunger.
            Physical hunger is eating in response to a physiological need to eat for energy to fuel your body to make it through the day. Your body will give you gradual cues that it needs to refuel (stomach grumbling, headache, feeling weak or tired).
            When you are physically hungry, almost any food sounds good—including healthy stuff like vegetables. Very rarely, however do you make healthy choices with emotional hunger - instead emotional eaters tend to often crave high-calorie or high-carbohydrate foods that have minimal nutritional value and that provides an instant rush.
            Emotional hunger can be very powerful (emotionally and physically), so it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. Emotional eating is an unhealthy cycle of trying to fill an emotional need with food. It can become a coping mechanism and as such, a never-ending cycle that never fulfills or satisfies over the long-term. Eating may feel good in the immediate moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still present. The problem is that  you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you consumed.When left untreated, emotional eating can lead to overeating and eventually cause obesity, problems with weight loss, and even lead to food addiction.

What is the physiological basis for emotional eating?

            It is thought that the increase in the hormone cortisol, that is one of the body's  many responses to stress, is similar to the medication prednisone in its effects.  Both tend to trigger the body's stress (fight or flight) response, including increased heart and breathing rate, blood flow to muscles, and visual acuity. Another part of the body’s stress response often includes increased appetite to supply the body with the fuel it needs to fight or flee This increased appetite may result in cravings for junk or high-calorie foods. People who have been subjected to chronic rather than momentary stress (like job stress, family stress or abuse) are at risk for having chronically high levels of cortisol circulating in their bodies, which may contribute to developing chronic emotional-eating patterns.  

Identify your triggers and hotspots

You need to identify what feeling, places or situations push you to an emotional state of needing to eat to calm down or feel better? What are your comfort foods? It should be noted that not all emotional eating is linked to negative emotions. Some women also will emotionally eat to express positive feelings like happiness, love or pride too
Some common triggers are:
Childhood habit
Boredom or feelings of worthlessness
Social Influences or Peer pressure
Relationship Conflicts
Health Problems

Whatever are your personal identified triggers, the  unhealthy cycle remains the same - these emotions drive you to overeat or make poor eating choice not out of hunger, you feel guilty about your eating choices, the emotional triggers return, and the guilt returns. 

Release the emotions by Acceptance and Emotional Grounding  and Centering
            The key to ending this pattern is to not abandon yourself when your emotions go awry, but instead to invite them in, center and allow yourself to feel your emotions. Substitute the negatives emotional drivers for  positive alternative behaviors.
            Identify and name the emotion (anger, sadness, guilt) and allow yourself the privilege of being worthy of embodying these emotions. Recognize that these emotions are valid and have a right to be expressed - in a healthy manner. These negative emotions are just as important as your positive emotions for laying of the foundation for your overall psychological health and well-being. Accept the negative emotion and try to figure out what these emotions want from you. What thoughts are they influencing in creation?  Find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally, aside from eating. Center yourself by mediating and focusing on only the raw emotion, identifying what led to it, what actions/consequence can dissipate it. Mediation and other relaxation techniques is a powerful tool to manage stress and therefore decrease emotional eating. It also has the even more lasting beneficial effects on health, even decreasing high blood pressure and heart rate.
Substitute the negatives emotional drivers for the positive alternative behaviors

            Through listening to your emotions, you’ll discover what it is you truly want, and can create new strategies for deeper satisfaction.
            It’s not enough to understand the cycle of emotional eating or even to understand your triggers, although that’s a huge first step. You need alternatives to food that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment. If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone you love and who always makes you feel better, play with your beautiful dog or cat. If you’re bored, read a good book or explore the outdoors.
Eat Well, Live Well

Make pleasure a priority in your life!
Make it a priority to eat the highest quality and most delicious foods. Sit down and savor every bite. Recognize the sensation of satiation and learn not to when to stop eating.  Explore and be adventurous in creating mouth-watering, well-balanced satisfying food, which will help to decrease the likelihood of you making alternative food choices of poorer quality. Make it a priority to
the most delicious healthy food that you can find in healthy portions
But do not just limit to your experiences surrounding food.

Take relaxing bubble baths, get massages, smell the flowers on long lazy walks,  exercise regularly and do exciting things. Give your body other ways to experience feeling good, aside from eating

Seek The Support You Need

            Seeking out help to overcome powerful emotions and triggers leading to emotional eating is also essential in overcoming this issue. Your toolbox to overcome emotional eating should include:
            Call a friend as a sounding board during times of stress
            Journaling/blogging your feelings at the moment
            Joining a group or meet up such as Overeaters Anonymous for additional support
            Mental-health professionals and therapy many times is underrated as a powerful tool in assessing and treating emotional eating

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Healthy Habits: Adjust Summer Diet To Meet Your Body’s Needs

The weather’s not the only thing that heats up in summer. So do our bodies, which makes this time of year a great time to transition to a healthier diet. If we aren’t careful, foods we eat during the summer can affect our bodies and digestion through Thanksgiving and beyond, says Dr. John Douillard, a leader in the natural health field and author of Eat Wheat (
Douillard recommends we adopt a summer diet consisting of foods that are sweet, bitter, cold and oily – such as salads, steamed vegetables, fruits and coconut oil.
He also recommends that we not shy away from foods that contain Gluten, such as wheat. According to a pair of recent Harvard studies, going gluten-free increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“To attain optimal health, it’s critical to eat the right foods during summer so that we don’t experience problems like constipation in November, sleep concerns in December, depression in January, a cold or flu in February,” says Douillard.
Douillard offers some tips on what to avoid and what foods to eat in the summer months:
• Incorporate wheat into your diet. Fiber and carbohydrates in grains like wheat, feed healthy immunity boosting microbes in the gut. Douillard recommends eating wheat in the summer because it can decrease the risk of chronic diseases. But he also recommends doing so in moderation because fall-harvested wheat is in-season and much easier to digest.   
• Save the warm soups, stews and heavy foods for winter. It might be tough to resist a hearty stew, but the microbes in our bodies in winter are geared toward keeping us warm. As we move into warm weather months, the body has transitioned to microbes that facilitate fat burning, weight loss and renewed energy. In the summer go for lighter fare such as fruits, leafy greens, beans and cucumbers. 
• Hot, spicy foods don’t mix with summer. If you like spicy foods better get them on the table during the spring when the body is transitioning from the winter. Once summer rolls around it’s best to avoid hot and spicy foods; which include coffee, red meat and eggs – all of which can put undue stress on organs such as the prostate, liver, stomach and small intestines. 
• Eat the chicken, not the egg. While eggs are considered a warm food that should be avoided during summer months, chicken is considered a cool food. A 2016 study found that men who ate chicken four times a week had a 17 percent less chance of getting prostate cancer, compared to men who ate poultry less than twice a month. 
• Drink water before meals. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body, especially during the summer. Water is the best way to stay hydrated, but it’s best to drink water 15-30 minutes before a meal. Drinking it during a meal will drown out stomach acid, which breaks down hard to digest proteins.
“If you are curious about the food you should be eating, go ahead and give it a little taste,” says Douillard. “If it has two of the three summer tastes – sweet, bitter or astringent – it is balancing and should be prepared in a way that is cool, heavy or oily.”
About Dr. John Douillard
Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, author of Eat Wheat (, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural heath, Ayurveda and sports medicine, and is author of six previous health books. He is the creator of, the leading Ayurveda health and wellness resource on the internet. Douillard also is the former Director of Player Development and nutrition counselor for the New Jersey Nets NBA team. He has been a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and has been featured in Woman’s World magazine, Huffington Post, Yoga Journal and dozens of other national publications.

Website Spotlight: Simple Dollar Credit Card Review

The team of experts at The Simple Dollar created a review, "Best Business Credit Cards of 2017," that makes it easier to view and navigate valuable information about the best current offers available. The Simple Dollar’s review covers things to consider when choosing the card and our own verdict as well as how to maximize the benefits of each card. Their guide is unique because it offers a credit card directory that allows readers to filter through their options to find the best card for their business.

Smart Safety: Travelers Take Heed - Wildlife Poses Dangers For Those Unawar

As the summer travel season begins, many tourists head to outdoor destinations that bring them into contact with wildlife they don't normally encounter back home.
Locals might be aware of a problem with alligators, bears, or lions, but if there are no warnings posted, someone from out of town may not know they’re potentially in danger.
One woman, Susan Mattern, learned this through painful experience. She witnessed a mountain lion attack her 5-year old daughter in a local Southern California park.
“The lion came out of nowhere,” she says. “As we stood in the ankle-deep stream, I glimpsed behind me a blur of matted fur, short round ears, a long tail. And then they were gone ¬¬– that fast – the mountain lion and my daughter.”
Mattern detailed the attack in a book, “Out of the Lions Den,” (, which also recounts her daughter's recovery and the long legal battles afterwards. Mattern’s faith as a former Catholic nun was severely tested.
Mattern has some tips for tourists heading to outdoor destinations:
• Research the area before you go. Just like you read about the interesting sights, research the local wildlife. Ask locals, check news outlets for any recent wildlife attacks. And know what to expect in the outdoor areas you'll be visiting.
• Don't go hiking or camping alone. But if you do, make sure someone knows exactly where you are going, and when you will return.
• Small children and animals are simply prey for any large predator. If the animal is hungry or defending its young, it will attack. Don't let your children run ahead on trails or get out of sight.
• Always carry protection with you, such as bear spray, or a sturdy walking stick.
“There are a few things the experts still say that just aren't true.” Mattern says.  “One is, ‘If you see a lion, make yourself look tall and threatening – make lots of noise.’  That's good advice if you actually see the lion. But in reality, as anyone who has watched their own pet cat sneak up on a bird, the attack will almost always come from behind, stealthily and quietly. You will never even see it.

“And the saying, ‘Animals are more afraid of you than you are of them.’ Not in our case.”
Mattern points out that people are encroaching on wildlife's habitat.
“Animals are protective of their territory and can attack before you know what's happening,” she says. “People have to be protected, and even though cities and counties should warn people if there is danger, that doesn't always happen.”
In her daughter’s case, she says, it took a lengthy lawsuit and trial before the county where the attack happened even put up warning signs in its parks.
“Remember, in spite of all the amazing programs on TV showing the majesty and beauty of these creatures – bears, alligators, mountain lions, snakes, elk, wolves, bison – they are wild creatures,” Mattern says. “They are not your cute dog or domesticated cat, eager to be petted and fed, or approached for a great photo-op. They are unpredictable and sometimes very dangerous.
“If you do see wildlife, leave it alone in its own natural environment. Let them be the wild creatures they are.”
About Susan Mattern
Susan Mattern, author of “Out of the Lion’s Den” (, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and was a nun for six years before moving to California, where she met and married her husband, Don. They have two children, David and Laura. In 1986, Laura was attacked by a mountain lion in an Orange County park, and the family spent years helping her recover and fighting the county in court.


Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore

Healthy Habits: Food-Safe BBQ

 The Fourth of July is almost here and that means parades, fireworks and outdoor cooking! Whether its barbeque, grilling or picnics nearly 80% of Americans will be hosting or attending some type of outdoor cookout. However, while grilling outdoors all day long is one of the best parts of Fourth of July parties, the warm weather can bring an increased risk of foodborne illness, as bacteria in food multiply faster at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.

Stop Foodborne Illness, a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens, wants you to be prepared for not only a fun, food-safe holiday, but for a whole summer of grilling. According to Forbes, 75% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker and 63% of them use their grill or smoker year-round while the hard core grill masters and pit bosses, 43% of adult grill/smoker owners in the U.S., use them at least once a month through winter.

Whatever your grilling season of choice, brush up on Stop Foodborne Illness’ food safety practices and tips, from preparation to post-party clean up, before you head outside.

Before You Cook
Food safety starts at the grocery store. Be sure to keep raw meat as far away as possible from other food items in the cart. When bagging items, keep meat juices from dripping on produce and other groceries by wrapping meats and poultry in separate plastic bags.

Keep in mind that meat, poultry, and other perishable items should be the last to go into your grocery cart and the first to go in your fridge. Bring a cooler with ice when transporting raw meat and poultry home, especially on hot days over 90°F.

During Preparation
When preparing meat for the grill, make two batches of sauce, one in which to marinate raw meat and another to baste cooked meat. Do not place cooked meat in the sauce that was used to marinate the raw meat. Remember to always marinate food in the fridge.

Grill meat to a safe internal temperature. Using a meat thermometer is the only way to know if meat is fully cooked—don’t guess!  Check the temperature at the thickest part of the meat, and sanitize the point in between readings.

Safe Internal Temperatures:
  • Burgers/ground meat (except poultry) to 160°F (72°C)
  • Chicken and Poultry (including ground, like turkey burgers) to 165°F (74°C)
  • Whole cuts of meat including pork to 145°F (63°C), with a 3-minute rest time before serving
  • Fish and Shellfish to 145°F (63°C)

Use separate utensils and dishes for raw and cooked food. Do not serve cooked food on platters that were used to transport raw food to the grill unless they have been washed thoroughly with soap and hot water. The same is true for spatulas, tongs and other utensils.

After the Meal
When the temperature outside is 90°F (or higher), perishable foods not eaten within one hour should be thrown away. On cooler (under 90°F) days, perishable foods not eaten within two hours should be tossed out. Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers and go enjoy the fireworks show.

To learn more visit and save the date for Stop Foodborne Illness’ August Benefit, held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 23 at Dovetail Brewery (1800 W. Belle Plaine, Chicago, IL; 773-683-1414). Bring a pal or the whole crew and enjoy delicious snacks and craft beer for a good cause. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional.