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New research suggests that the popular keto diet may help ward off influenza infection.

The study from Yale University, published November 15 in the journal Science Immunology, discovered that mice fed a ketogenic diet (low in carbohydrates but high in fat with moderate protein) were better able to fight off the flu compared with mice given foods that were high in carbs.

This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection, said the co-senior author Vishwa Deep Dixit, PhD, a doctor of veterinary medicine and a professor of comparative medicine and immunology at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, in a statement.

A ketogenic eating plan helps people shed pounds by drastically limiting the intake of carbohydrates (such as breads, pastas, and sweets), while increasing the consumption of meats, dairy, fats, and nonstarchy vegetables.

The diet puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the liver breaks down fat into an energy source called ketones, which fuel the body in the absence of glucose.

This type of eating plan has been shown to help maintain blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. There is also some evidence, such as a study in Federal Practitioner from February 2017, that a keto diet may improve tumor response in cancer patients.

Another study, out of the University of California in Davis in 2017, found that mice on a high-fat diet had a 13 percent longer life span compared with mice on a high-carb diet.

In the latest study, Dr. Dixit and his collaborators observed that the ketogenic diet blocked the formation of inflammasomes, which are immune system activators that can cause harmful immune system responses.

Seeing this response, the scientists set out to test how the diet might affect the flu virus.

The researchers fed a group of mice infected with influenza a keto diet containing less than 1 percent carbs. Another group of infected mice received a standard diet with 58 percent carbs.

The ketogenic diet spurred the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung; but the high-carbohydrate diet did not. An increase in mucus helps capture and eliminate the flu virus from the system, according to researchers.

The researchers also found that the keto diet provided no protection against the influenza virus in mice specially bred without these gamma delta T cells. This confirmed that these cells play a critical role in warding off flu.

We have no idea yet why the gamma delta T cells appear to become activated by the keto diet. This is something well be pursuing in the future, says Emily Goldberg, PhD, a postdoctoral associate at the Yale School of Medicine who collaborated on the research.

A high-carb diet tends to stimulate inflammatory markers which inhibit immune function, says Jan Rystrom, RD, a certified diabetes educator at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, who was not involved in the Yale study. This could be the mechanism that the low-carb diet addresses.

On the other hand, some dietitians and medical experts believe that a low-carb diet can compromise the immune system. A lack of carbs may lead to a lack of energy and weaken a persons health overall. There is also evidence that a keto diet can be harmful to the gut microbiome, which is essential to overall well-being.

Rystrom points out that keto diets can have a lot of variation, and ones that are more plant-forward are likely to promote a healthier gut microbiota.

Generally speaking, it is true that the immune system should require increased glucose utilization to mount an effective immune response against infection, says Dr. Goldberg. Its important to keep in mind that there is still glucose availability, albeit very limited, even during a keto diet.

Although Rystrom suggests that the Yale study supports the anti-inflammatory effect of nutritional ketosis, she adds that a keto diet certainly would not be a first line treatment [for flu].

William Schaffner, MD, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, has not seen significant data connecting diet with flu protection.

Its a very intriguing study, says Dr. Schaffner. If we can learn more about how the body fights flu, we can get smarter about how to treat influenza and perhaps prevent it.

He notes that there is some evidence that obesity may lead to a weaker response to flu vaccine, so that may be an indication of how diet could affect flu protection.

Research is needed in humans, however, to validate that the keto diet can effectively protect against the flu.

People are not the same as mice. Thirty thousand to 40,000 people die in the United States each year from influenza, says Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Theres no substitute for protection better than a flu shot!

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Can the Keto Diet Help Fight the Flu? - Everyday Health

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Coconut water and guava are considered great for managing high blood sugar.


A good diet can make a world of difference in bringing relief from chronic health issues like diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas are unable to produce sufficient insulin, due to which, blood sugar is left unchecked and is unable to get stored in the cells. This may lead to sudden rise in the blood sugar level. Diabetes also poses the risk of other diseases, including cardiovascular problems and obesity. Medications and diet work in tandem to manage the condition effectively, hence, it is important to include diabetes-friendly foods and drinks in your diet. As we are now smack-dab into the winter season, it's even better to consume seasonal foods to get the most out of them till they last.

Coconut water is an all-seasons star drink that comes with a range of health benefits. This recipe adds the goodness of winter-special fruit guava to coconut water to make a delicious, healthy drink that may also help in managing diabetes.

This miracle water is considered great for people dealing with high blood sugar. It is revered for its high electrolytes content that supports the pH balance of the body and boosts its metabolic functioning. Coconut water is naturally sweet and packs a good amount of fibre and proteins. It is low-calorie, cholesterol-free and also hydrating.

(Also Read:Drink This 3-Ingredient Coconut Water Juice To Boost Your Immunity)

Coconut water is packed with electrolytes

Guava has a low glycaemic index (GI), which is a must-have quality in foods for a diabetes diet. The fruit is digested gradually, which avoids immediate spike in blood sugar. It is low in calories and sodium, and rich is fibre and potassium, making it perfect for regulating high blood sugar.

(Also Read:This Guava Salad May Help Keep Your Sugar Under Control)

Coconut water in itself is a delightful drink. Add to it, the mildly sweet and amazingly soft fruit of guava, and you get a naturally sweet, soul-stirring drink. You don't need to add any harmful refined sugar.Method of preparation:Grind guava to its pulp and pass it through a sieve to separate its seeds. Add the pulp to equal part or more of coconut water and give it a good stir. In one glass of coconut water and guava pulp drink, add juice of half a lemon and half teaspoon grated ginger. Also add 6-7 finely chopped basil leaves to add in a dash of herby freshness.This drink is so delicious that you might want to have it every day. But, since coconut water also contains some fructose, it would be better to consult your doctor before consuming too much of it. Nevertheless, you can always enjoy this lip-smacking coconut and guava drink in moderation on your diabetes diet.

About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

This is Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News newsletter about how influencers are battling for your attention. You can sign up here.

Emily Schuman is an OG blogger. In 2008, she started her fashion and lifestyle blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, as a way to document the things she loved. She quickly became one of the most recognizable and influential personalities in the lifestyle blogosphere and quit her job in media to run her site full-time. In 2010, she designed a bag with Coach and now has a line at Nordstrom. She has written two coffee-table books and her website has a full-time staff of 10, besides Emily and her husband Geoff. In the golden age of blogging, she was an A-lister.

The online landscape is very different now than it was in 2008. Influencers are the new bloggers, and everything is on social media. While Emily and her blogging peers grew their audience through lengthy posts, sometimes multiple times a day, now all it takes is an iPhone and photos with captions to become a fashion influencer. The bar for entry is much lower, and the competition is much fiercer. Bloggers like Emily have had to convert their audiences to new platforms to remain relevant. Not that Emily has been unsuccessful in many ways she is the model example of this. She has more than half a million Instagram followers and her brand is chugging along just fine.

There are bound to be hiccups, though. And this week, Emily had a big one when she did an #ad for a new at-home company called P.volve. P.volve offers streaming classes and unique fitness equipment to go along with its low-impact training method. One piece of equipment is the p.ball, a rubber ball attached to a band that fits between your legs for glute and thigh work.

Last week, Emily uploaded a video of herself using the p.ball during a at-home workout. The caption read: Luckily wasn't feeling too intimidated when the only other members of my @pvolve workout class were my cats. #ad.

Emily immediately got completely read for filth by her followers for the ad, which you can watch here. They had two main gripes. The first is that Emily has many times written about how she doesnt really exercise. She has explained in blogs that she has a somewhat complicated relationship with fitness and has said she remains slim due to her naturally athletic build and a naturally fast metabolism, along with dabbling in intermittent fasting. So followers felt that Emily suddenly shilling an exercise product was extremely inauthentic, a mortal sin for bloggers and influencers.

Come on Emily!! Im sorry but this is SO ridiculous. It is soooooo off brand and unauthentic. It comes off like all you care about is making money, no matter the cost or how it comes off, wrote one.

The second gripe: They thought the video was just plain weird and awkward. Some of the commenters trolled her. (Maam this is the olive

I see both sides here. On the one hand, I understand it can be frustrating to follow someone for years and watch them seemingly sell out with inauthentic ads for money. Fans highly value the authenticity of influencers: It builds the trust that allows their recommendations to be taken seriously. Also, I think this is a microcosm of a growing trend of frustration about how ridiculous some ads on Instagram are becoming.

On the other hand, it has to be incredibly difficult to build your brand around your life and maintain that brand authentically for more than a decade while simultaneously remaining relevant from a business standpoint. The competition for #ads is incredibly tough, and Id imagine it is hard to ensure sponcon is also perfectly on-brand all of the time. I bet it has been harder for Emily to jump from blogging to Instagram influencing than we think. We reached out to Emily for comment.

I think we can all agree, though, we are all lucky we have never had to film ourselves doing as awkward a workout as the p.ball machine, and then post it to 500,000+ people.


If social media helped convince people to go vegan, its now creating a bit of an identity crisis especially for the people who were at the forefront of pushing the cause.

In 2019, famous vegan bloggers have either been outed or have come forward to say theyre no longer vegan. And the fallout has been explosive and difficult for their followers. Many seem to understand that people can change their diets for health reasons, but others feel flat-out duped.

In the case of Yovana Rawvana Mendoza, earlier this year, she was caught eating meat in her private life as she was still proselytizing and profiting off a vegan diet on her YouTube channel. Her fans understandably had trouble with this.

For others, its more complicated. Alyse Parker is a lifestyle influencer who became well-known at one point for advocating an all-plant diet and making exercise videos. She recently came out not only as a meat-eater she announced that shes on an all-meat diet.

The Carnivore Diet first came into my awareness when a close friend shared with me all of the benefits that he was experiencing by eating this way, Alyse wrote. She also said she woke up the next morning feeling more mentally clear, focused, wholesome, and healthy than I had felt in years.

The responses to her newfound carnivore diet was a mess. Some fans congratulated her, told her she was brave, voiced their support, and others were...profoundly mad. And took it very personally.

When I reached out and DMd with two commenters who voiced their anger, they explained exactly what upset them so much about Alyses changed diet: Both of them said she directly influenced their own decisions to go vegan.

Nicole Zach, a 20-year-old who lives in Santiago, Chile, told me Alyse was an inspiration to her, and after watching her videos, she then started a successful vegan lifestyle.

When she announced she was eating meat again I couldnt believe it, Nicole said. She used to be so devoted to veganism.

Nicoles issue, as a fan or, er, former fan was how extreme Alyse seemed to have jumped from one ship to another. And that she fears because she was so effectively convinced to change her lifestyle, that this might influence others the same way.

She can do whatever she wants of course, I just hope this change of diet and lifestyle doesnt affect others. I would hate to see some of Alyses followers getting confused and considering eating animals again, she said.

Another fan named Haley told me shes been following the influencer since 2014. Up until [Alyses latest Instagram post] I would still reference her and be proud that she inspired me, said Haley. However, now I feel as though I listened to a hypocrite.

Haley said she grew skeptical about Alyses motivations after seeing her do a complete 180 about her lifestyle choices.

Considering much of her product and basis of her career is on health and helping the environment, I do not think she has a care for anything besides herself, Haley said.

Both Haley and Nicole said they remain vegan and are happy about their decisions theyre just let down by someone who they once saw as a heroic figure.

Ive reached out to Alyse, but did not immediately hear back.

Its always a sad reality to face when youre empowered by a message, but disappointed by the messenger. And someone you almost viewed as superhuman now continues to show you theyre...just human. And that they might loosely wield their power of influence. However, it sounds like going vegan is a decision Alyses followers are now actively making for themselves, independently, and thats pretty great.

Until next time plant yourself at home this weekend, or go meat someone out. Do whatever the hell you wanna do.


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How Fans Are Handling Their Favorite Influencer Going From Vegan To An All-Carnivore Diet - BuzzFeed News

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

Fenugreek leaves are loaded with many health benefits

Winter is here and it is the time when you will see methi leaves everywhere. Fenugreek seeds are widely used for cooking and also associated with many health benefits. Similarly, fresh fenugreek leaves are also good for health and loaded with health benefits. These leaves are commonly available during the winter season. From methi parathas to methi saag it is widely used for cooking during the winter season. If you also see the market loaded with fenugreek leaves then you must grab one and try different recipes with it. Here are some impressive health benefits of methi leaves which you cannot afford to miss.

Here's another winter food that can be a part of your winter weight loss diet. Methi leaves can help in weight loss. Both fenugreek seeds and leaves can help in weight loss. These leaves are high in fiber and other essential nutrients. Fibre can keep you full for longer and make you eat less. These leaves will also provide you other essential nutrients as well.

Weight loss: Fenugreek leaves are loaded with fibre which can help in weight lossPhoto Credit: iStock

Poor cholesterol is harmful for your health in many ways. These leaves have powerful properties that can help you manage cholesterol. You can add fenugreek leaves to your diet in various ways for better cholesterol. You can also manage poor cholesterol with other healthy practices like regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Also read:Did You Know How Fenugreek Leaves Can Benefit You? Know The Amazing Health Benefits

Methi leaves are also good for diabetics. It can help in controlling and preventing diabetes. It can help in controlling blood sugar levels effectively. If you are a diabetic you can add fenugreek leaves to your diet along with other precautions to manage diabetes. A healthy diet and lifestyle can help in managing blood sugar levels effectively.

Also read:Bet You Didn't Know These Benefits Of Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek leaves are also good for your skin health. The presence of anti-oxidant and many essential vitamins can help you fight skin issues. You can both add it to your diet or make a paste to apply it on your skin. It is also good for your hair. You can also use fenugreek seeds for application in different ways for both hair and skin.

Methi leaves can also help you fight skin issuesPhoto Credit: iStock

Methi helps in digestion and keeps many digestive issues at bay. High presence of fiber will also improve bowel movement. It may also help you prevent heartburn and acid reflux.

Also read:Gut Health: 4 Simple Dietary Changes To Improve Your Gut Health

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

There are more than a million people who have Type 1 diabetes, and they're expected to live at least 10 years less than Americans without it.

In fact, there are only 90 diabetics who have lived more than 70 years.

But one man crushed that goal 15 years ago and is telling others how they can do it too.

Eighty-five-year-old Don Ray can't remember a life without diabetes.

As a child, Don could not go to gym class. He couldn't play sports. He couldn't even play hide and seek.

"Because if you were to hide, and they can't find you and you have an insulin reaction or a hypoglycemia, you might really be in trouble because they will never find you," Don explains.

He was told he wouldn't live past his 30s. But eventually he got tired of hearing, "You can't, you can't, you can't."

"I would go to gym class when I started school in kindergarten and first grade, and I'd sit in the chair in gym class and I'd watch these kids, and I knew I could do this, cause I just knew I could do this," Don says.

Don and his dad started playing catch, and that turned into 20 years of playing football and 30 years of baseball.

And he did it because "he followed the rules," according to Betul Hatipoglu, MD, at the Cleveland Clinic.

What rules? First make sure your blood sugar is in check: between 80 and 130 milligrams. If it's too low, eat some carbs, but don't forget to check while working out.

"If they are going to exercise for an hour, they have to check it in 30 minutes again to make sure they are still in the safe zone," Hatipoglu says.

But don't take too much insulin before your meal or before your workout.

"So if you are going to exercise after lunch, for lunch you take less insulin so it is safer for you," Hatipoglu says.

And if you're working out after dinner, be careful as well. You don't want any overnight complications.

"If you take care of the disease, the disease will take care of you, and you can if you take care of yourself," Hatipoglu explains.

Nowadays, there are nearly 140,000 people diagnosed with diabetes each year in the U.S. alone. But in 30 years, an expected five million Americans will be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.


BACKGROUND: Glucose is a critical source of energy for your brain, muscles, and tissues. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and this triggers the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts as a "key" that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood. Your body can't function or perform properly if it doesn't produce enough insulin to effectively manage glucose. This is what produces the symptoms of diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications by damaging blood vessels and organs. It also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease. Nutrition and exercise help manage diabetes, but it's also important to track blood glucose levels. Treatment may include taking insulin or other medications. (Source:

COPING WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES: People who have had type 1 diabetes for a long time may develop what's called "diabetes burnout." This can happen when you start to feel burdened by the disease. A good support system is essential to coping with type 1 diabetes. Spending time with friends and family or talking with someone you trust are ways to manage diabetes distress, which can include stress and anxiety. Taking good care of yourself can reduce diabetes stress and help you cope with the condition. Making sure to eat well, exercise, and learn how to monitor blood sugar levels are important. Getting enough sleep each night and taking time to relax and enjoy life are also very important. There are resources available to help you manage type 1 diabetes such as apps designed to count carbs, watch blood sugar levels, and track progress with diet and exercise. The more you know about your condition, the better prepared you'll be at taking care of yourself. Your doctor can also recommend books about type 1 diabetes. (Source:

NEW DISCOVERY FOR DIABETES: Matthias Hebrok, PhD, director of the UCSF diabetes center, and Gopika Nair, PhD, have discovered how to transform human stem cells into healthy, insulin producing beta cells. "We can now generate insulin-producing cells that look and act a lot like the pancreatic beta cells you and I have in our bodies. This is a critical step towards our goal of creating cells that could be transplanted into patients with diabetes," said Dr. Hebrok. For the longest time, scientists could only produce cells at an immature stage that were unable to respond to blood sugar levels and secrete insulin properly. The team discovered that mimicking the "islet" formation of cells in the pancreas helped the cells mature. These cells were then transplanted into mice and found that they were fully functional, producing insulin and responding to changes in blood sugar levels. Dr. Hebrok's team is already in collaboration with various colleagues to make these cells transplantable into patients. (Source:

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85-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes shatters expectations - WNDU-TV

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

As final exams approach, tensions riseas students try to balance their already complex lives with studying. Knowingthe effects of stress, and especially the difference between effective andineffective coping mechanisms, is essential to handling the exam season in themost healthy and productive way possible. Dr. Judith Andersen, a healthpsychologist and an associate professor of psychology at UTM, provides valuableinsight into how stress impacts the body and the mind, and how to use onesphysiology to not only optimize studying, but to train oneself to remain calmthroughout the last few weeks of the semester.

Stress, atfirst glance, is both emotionally and mentally taxing. It is also present invarious situations with each part of that stress taking some of yourresources. These cases of acute stress, such as when waiting in a long line atTim Hortons or missing the bus Shuttle Bus, can be usually managed with ahealthy diet and enough sleep which restore ones resources. However, as examseason is more demanding than day-to-day life, there is a higher level ofrecovering required to return to a regular functioning state. When restorativemeasures are not adequately satisfied, the exhaustion of the bodys resourcesbecome apparent. When we start to get burned out, you may notice that youdont have as much energy in the morning as you had before [even with a goodnights sleep.] Your night of sleep didnt completely recover your reserves.This depletion can significantly impact physical and mental health.

In small doses, the stress response is not harmful. However, the bodys reaction to stress is observable when acute exposure turns into chronic stress and the necessary recovery conditions are not met. The human stress responsemore commonly known as the fight-or-flight response is characterized by high cortisol levels, high blood pressure, and poor immune function. From an evolutionary perspective, these effects are necessary to enable an individual to run really fast or temporarily enhance their muscles to fight off a predator. When one remains in a state of stress, the stress responses begin to influence the growth and development of the bodys natural structure and defenses. Andersen describes the difference between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system: Your parasympathetic system is that rest and digestthats when youre sleeping, even when youre relaxing, or just doing something thats enjoyable and not arousing. The parasympathetic state is essential to keeping your body in a healthy state. It is in [the parasympathetic] state that your immune system works the best. You can digest things [and] youre excreting growth hormone. All of those things [are] need[ed] to keep yourself healthy and build those long-term reserves. If the sympathetic nervous system is constantly activated, the body does not get the chance to replenish itself and prepare for the next acute stress situation.

Towards the end of the fall semester, itseems as if many individuals are sick with the common cold or other viruses.While vaccinations are recommended, Andersen mentions that immunization doesnot work as well if youre highly stressed, because your immune system isalready busy trying to deal with the stress. At a microbiological level, thebody cannot make antibodies to this virus because its busy trying to handlethe acute stress youre dealing with at the moment and also trying to recoverfrom the built-up chronic stress. It is a good precautionary measure to getvaccinated before the tidal wave of exam season sweeps by so that the body doesnot have to handle with the added stressor of a virus.

Stress does not only negatively impact ones immune system. It also drains mental resources. The stress response is very autonomic and instinctual. It is kind of this brain stem process [and] not our higher order thinking, Andersen describes. When responding to stress, the sympathetic state does not allow higher order thinking to take precedence over survival. In the case of an exam, when youre sitting down to think at a test, youre going to have all these physical reactions, and your mind is not going to be focused. This is problematic when one considers the immense amount of higher order thinking required at a university level.

To prevent and minimize ones stressresponse, Andersen describes a technique she teaches to police and otheremergency personnel who have been able to effectively reduce their stressresponse and reactivate their parasympathetic network during high stresssituations. The simple technique is known as the one breath reset.

Youre going to take a really deep breath,and hold it for just a second at the top of the breath. Youre going to exhalevery slowly, but youre pushing the breath out through pursed lips, Andersenexplains. The technique lowers heart rate and allows the body to optimize theoxygen being spread throughout the brain and body. The increase in oxygen flowmanual[ly] override[s] the stress response system and as the body begins tocalm down, the parasympathetic network reactivates and one can carry outregular brain functions again.

Another way to lower stress is to break uplong sessions of studying with a quick cardiovascular workout such as a quickten to twenty minute power walk or a jog for regular runners. If space is anissue, Andersen recommends doing jumping jacks. The one breath reset techniqueis optimal in cases of acute stress and when exercise is not an option such aswhen you first sit down at an exam and read the first few questions. Andersenwarns that you need to have learned the information in the first place, inorder to recall it under stress. This means breaking up studying into sessionsthroughout the week and avoiding cramming the last few hours before.

In terms of dealing with stress on along-term basis, Andersen advises maintaining a healthy diet and a stable sleepschedule. She recommends avoiding eating foods that provide a temporary boostin energy such as sugar or caffeine since you will crash, which distract[s]from your cognition. [Sugar and caffeine] create cravings in your brain and canmake you more tired. Instead, she recommends eating fiber [which] breaks downthe sugar evenly as it digests and give you sustained energy. Fiber is foundin vegetables, whole grains, and lentils. A proper diet ensures that the bodyhas the essential resources it needs. In terms of sleep, that is the time inwhich your body consolidates and encodes the information that youve learnedduring the day. Without sleep, the body needs to use more resources to remainawake which prevents one from learning.

All in all, it is important to recognize theeffects of stress to facilitate proper maintenance. Listening to your body andknowing what it needs and when it needs it will allow you to prepare and repairso that you are in the best shape to handle the upcoming exam season. When indoubt, step away from the notes, take a deep breath, perform a quick exercise,and then power through.

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How to effectively prepare for finals - The Medium

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

At the Duke Energy Convention Center in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio, vegetation management professionals from 44 utilities, 44 states and six countries shared strategies, expressed concerns and discussed possible solutions at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference.

The event, which was hosted by the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) and the Arbor Day Foundation, had more than 850 attendees, which far surpassed the 500 registrations mark last year in Omaha.

It was the largest crowd we have ever had, and I am blown away by the attendance, said Philip Charlton, executive director of the UAA. It is a good indicator, and it said a lot of our industry and the value of what we do as vegetation managers. Our work is critical, and there is no margin for error. It is good to see people out learning how to do their jobs better.

Prior to the start of the conference, attendees could register for two different workshops. Iris Caldwell, P.E., a research engineer at the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her planning committee organized a Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group Meeting. Also, attendees could register for the Women in Vegetation Management Workshop, which was organized by Sara Sankowich, a past UAA president, and the Women in Vegetation Management committee. Anne Marie Moran of National Grid, Josiane Bonneau of Wildlife Habitat Council and Jennifer Arkett, who retired from Duquesne Light Company, were the featured speakers. The UAA honored Arkett, a past UAA president, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference for her valuable contributions to the industry and Lindsey Boyle of PG&E with the Rising Star Award.

During the event, the attendees had the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by attending the sessions and learn about new products by meeting with 66 exhibitors during the trade show. Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said he was humbled by the size of this years Trees & Utilities conference.

I remember some of the first ones in the 1990s in Nebraska City, Nebraska, he said. We are continuing to learn, share and continue the peer-to-peer connections in the vegetation management industry.

Focus on Stewardship and Sustainability

With environmental stewardship as a focus of the UAAs strategic plan, Trees & Utilities conference co-located with the meeting of the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group. This network of professionals from the electric, gas, rail and road industries work with industry leaders, government agencies, academia and non-profit partners to promote the conservation of habitats along rights-of-way and other managed lands.

The workshop kicked off on Monday morning with a pollinator habitat field demonstration and hands-on training on the Ohio Department of Transportations right of way followed by a visit to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to learn about pollinator initiatives. The next day, the group met at the convention center, where they learned how to advance pollinator habitats on working lands.

During the Trees & Utilities conference, several of the sessions were also devoted to sustainability. For example, Josiane Bonneau of the Wildlife Habitat Council delivered a presentation on nature-based solutions for a resilient right of way, and Jarod Cassada from Oklahoma Gas & Electric shared his utilitys approach to promoting habitat and sustainable vegetation. In addition, John Goodfellow of BioCompliance Consulting presented a session on the cost efficiency of IVM, while Lori Nordstrom from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service educated the attendees about regulatory mechanisms for promoting habitat on ROWs. Roy van Houten of Wetland Studies and Solutions and Ronan Mason of TC Energy Corporation focused on integrated habitat management.

The Rights-of-Way Stewardship Council also honored those utilities who are applying integrated vegetation management practices, including AltaLink, Arizona Public Service, Bonneville Power Administration, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Vermont Electric Power Co.

In addition,the UAA recognized organizations whose support through membership, sponsorship, active committee volunteerism, and many other means have been quantified and recognized with the Partners in Excellence Award. The Arbor Day Foundation, whose goal is to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, recognized the Tree Line USA utilities. Lambe said now is the time for utilities to get involved.

Utilities need to work together to plant and care for trees, Lambe said.

Overcoming the Workforce Challenge

Sustainability was not the only topic addressed. Workforce management was one of the key topics at the 2019 Trees & Utilities conference. In the United States, workers are often certified after 18 months of on-the-job training, Charlton said. The UAA, however, is working on an apprenticeship program in which the workers learn about best practices, health and safety during the first six months before they move into the contractor workforce.

During the Trees & Utilities conference, the attendees voiced their concerns about labor recruitment and retention during the Thursday morning sessions. Sankowich and Emily Kramer of ComEd shared the results from a vendor survey from the Utility Vegetation Managers Summit in May 2019. The UAA sent out a survey to 27 vendors from different regions and received responses from different parts of the country.

In their Utility Impacts on Workforce Retention session, Sankowich said recruiting and retaining workers is a huge issue facing the industry.

Most of our workforce is employed by contractors, and we spent a lot of time preparing to understand how utilities could impact workforce retention, Sankowich said.

The survey asked the respondents to rank the common reasons that employees are leaving the industry. The desire for travel and the opportunity for higher pay in an industry that is not as physically taxing ranked first, followed by more stability and advancement opportunities. To stabilize the workforce and reduce attrition, contractors stated that utilities can allow for cost-of-living increases, offer continuous contracts and base wage minimums. While the respondents stated in the poll that three years was the ideal contract length to retain employees, the attendees at the Trees & Utilities conference participating in a live poll said that five years was more preferable.

Following the summit, the UAA launched a workforce retention task force to understand the issues faced by utility line clearance contractor workers. They learned that they want respect from their own company as well as the utility company and the utility line workers, and rather than being called tree trimmers, they prefer the term, arborists.

Jordan Jozak of Tree Care of New York, LLC, the chair of the workforce retention task force, said the UAA is also working on ways to encourage more education and training in the vegetation management industry. So far, 80 people have already agreed to help with the effort, and the association is looking for more volunteers.

In addition, they discovered the importance of partnering with schools to recruit potential candidates. For example, New Brunswick Power in Canada started a program with the College of Forest Technology to build credibility and improve safety. The two-year program, which cost $20,000 per student, received 40 applicants, and 76 percent graduated. All of the graduates were hired by NB Power, and they worked for both in-house crews and contractors, which resulted in two new crews who were certified as utility arborists.

One panel focused on recruiting new workers was well as retaining employees in the vegetation management industry. Kelly Clapper, who has been in the business for 38 years, said he has a strategy to fix the problem, and he needs every utility and contractor to help him with this team effort to see results. Over the last five years, he said 54.4% of the workers in the vegetation management industry voluntarily left their positions.

As a utility person, I would be scared to death, said Clapper of JAFLO Trees. I dont see where the labor is going to come from. It is going to affect safety, and costs are going to go up.

After his career in the industry, he said its his turn to give back and to help start training schools throughout the country for arborists. He said to recruit new applicants, line contractors and utilities can turn to graduating high school students and military veterans. He proposed securing federal grants to start the program.

I see everyone talking about it, but I dont think we are doing enough, he said. We have to train and keep the people in the industry, and once they get a year of training, we can guarantee them jobs.

To keep workers within the vegetation management industry, companies need to focus on human performance, said Alex Konopka of Portland General Electric.

This work will always be done by people, and a human will be behind a chainsaw, joystick or helicopter, Konopka said.

Another panelist, Sara Dreiser of the Davey Resource Group, said that at her company, a lot of the employees were eager for growth, and as such, she works on developing training and mentorship programs.

While wages are a part of the puzzle, you also need to give them a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose, and they will stick with your company, Dreiser said. You also need to give them intensive training when you bring them into the workforce.

Editors Note: To see a photo gallery from the conference, visit

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

RENTON, Wash. Ever since Seattle selected Rashaad Penny 27th overall in 2018, part of running back coach Chad Mortons job has been keeping his unit together.

At the time Penny was selected, Seattle had a pair of former late-round picks in Mike Davis and Chris Carson who had strong cases for being Seattles lead running back in the upcoming season. In came a first-rounder who would presumably take their carries. Instead, Carson and Davis were the top ball carriers on one of the best run games in the league. This year, with Davis departing in free agency, Carson presumed the lead role, while Penny played sparingly in relief. There was no one-two punch like coach Pete Carroll and Morton hoped for, just one bruiser of a lead back on pace for another fringe Pro Bowl season.

But regardless of whos carrying the load, Morton has always been encouraged by the camaraderie in the running back room. There are no egos. Just a room full of hyper-competitive...

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

WEATHER forecasters are warning that the UK could be face a 40-day freeze as an Arctic blast brings frost and snow to Britain.

And as temperatures plummet to well below zero, the chill could put our health at risk.


In fact, the cold winter weather can have an impact on all parts of the body - including, yep, your private parts.

And on a more serious note cold weather also means you're more likely to suffer from serious conditions such as a heart attack or blood clots.

Here, we take you through the main health dangers that can be triggered by cold weather...

People exposed to cold weather are more likely to suffer a heart attack, a recent study revealed.

Researchers from Sweden from Lund University in Sweden foundthat the average number of heart attacks per day was significantly higher when the weather as cold compared to when the weather was warm.

On a day-to-day basis it translated to fourmore heart attacks per day when the average temperature was below zero.

It is thought the risk of heart attacks is higher incold weather because the body responds to feeling chilly by restricting superficial blood vessels.

This decreases how warm the skin is and increases blood flow through the arteries.

The body also begins to shiver and your heart rate increases to keep you warm.

But these responses can add extra stress on your heart.

Women are likely to suffer more with vaginal dryness during the winter months, according to Mary Burke, a former NHS midwife and senior clinical nurse at the London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic.

"Dry autumn and winter air depletes moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated and cracked, and out sinuses parched," she said.

While its an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter drought mode during this time

And while its an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter drought mode during this time, too.

When we spend a lot of time in air conditioned rooms, or with the heating on, were living in air which carries very little moisture.

And the dryness we experience can often extend to every inch of our bodies - including our most private regions."

Sudden changes in temperature cause thermal stress for the body - which has to work harder to maintain its constant temperature.

In particular, research has shown this makes it more likely for people to suffer fromdangerous blood clots during winter.

Study authors, from a hospital in Nice, France, suggested that respiratory tract infections more common in winter might make patients more vulnerable to blood clots.

They also suggested that chilly weather might make the blood vessels constrict, making it more likely that blood clots will form.

With winter comes warm coats, oversized scarfs...and the flu.

Coming down with a cold or flu is almost unavoidable in the colder months, with flu season tendingto start in mid-November then peaking in mid-January to March.

Professor Robert Dingwall, a flu expert at Nottingham Trent University told The Sun Online:

"The flu circulates more easily in the winter.

Our general immune levels are a bit lower because of the lack of sunlight, and we are spending more time indoors

"Our general immune levels are a bit lower because of the lack of sunlight, and we are spending more time indoors which makes it easier for bugs to get passed around."

Your best protection against the nasty bug is theflu vaccine,but eating the right foods can also help protect you and your family.

The cold chill and central heating systems often causeeczemato flare up during the winter season.

Dermatologist Dr Daniel Glass atThe Dermatology Clinic London says: "Eczema in the winter is incredibly common, with many people finding that their skin will flare up more frequently or get worse during the colder months, as the cold biting winds and central heating systems continuously dry out their skin.

"Their eczema may be further irritated by taking hot baths or showers, which will in turn strip the skin of its natural oils.

"Bundling up in woollies to ward off the cold may also irritate the skin and exacerbate symptoms, so try to layer up in cotton clothing which is often kinder and softer on the skin.

"Keeping the skin well moisturised is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the eczema flaring up."

Most people have noticed they can no longer fit into their skinny jeans comfortably over the winter months.

In particular, craving warming comfort foods and rich, carbohydrate-heavy meals in the chilly weather can lead to winter weight gain.

And, on top of this, many people feel unmotivated to exercise in the cold outdoor weather.

Five ways to speed up fat loss this winter

1. Focus on portion size

Stick to certain serving sizes, such as a "tennis ball sized" portion of pasta, rice, noodles or couscous. and one handful of breakfast cereal.

2. Avoid fatty toppings

Watch what you eat starchy carbs with, serving them with butter, cream, fatty meat and cheese wont help you shape up.

3. Hit the gym

A calorie controlled diet and exercise in tandem is the best way to reduce body fat.

4. Snack wisely

Choose your snack food wisely - even healthy looking snacks, like reduced fat biscuits, cereal bars, yogurt, cereals etc. might seem like virtuous choices, but not all are created equally.

5. Sleep for longer

Getting an extra hour of sleep alters your metabolism so your body can process food effectively.

A recent study also revealed that our cells store more fat when we are not exposed to sunshine.

"When the suns blue light wavelengths the light we can see with our eye penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell," explained Peter Light, senior author of the Scientific Reportsstudy.

Because the sun is rarely out during winter, it means our bodies are more likely to store fat; "contributing to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter," one of the other study authors, Dr Charles A. Allard, noted.

Thewinter bluesarent just in your head.

As the days shorten, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - which causes them to have a persistent low mood and feelings of despair, worthlessness and lethargy.

The exact cause of SAD isn't fully understood, but it's often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days.

The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the production of hormones including melatonin and serotonin.

These hormones affect your mood, appetite and sleep.

For kids and adults,asthmais normally a lot harder to control during the winter months.

This is because the cold, dry air canirritate airwavesand cause the muscles inside to spasm.

Chilly weather, colds and flu, chest infections and mould are more common and can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks

Emma Rubach, Head of Health Advice atAsthma UK, says: "Winter can be a dangerous time for people with asthma in the UK as chilly weather, colds and flu, chest infections and mould are more common and can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.

"They cause airways to become inflamed, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and struggling to breathe.

"Make sure you carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times and keep taking their regular preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed.

SKIN AGONY I slept in mittens to stop clawing skin after getting addiction to eczema cream

CHILLING DIAGNOSIS Dad, 49, who went to GP with runny nose diagnosed with terminal cancer

SEXUAL HEALING I lost 10st because being fat meant I could only do one sex position

GAME ON Playing Xbox helped me lose 10st after getting so big I could barely walk

SICK LEAVE My fear of vomiting made me too scared to leave the house & left me in hospital

CHECK UP Think youve got the flu? 6 ways to know if youre too sick to go to work


DEBORAH JAMES Cancer's made me a tree hugger & it's worked wonders for my mental health


CHEESED OFF I had to tape eye open after brain tumour - which docs said was cheese allergy

COLD TRUTH Needing to pee more when its cold can be sign of deadly condition, docs warn

"The simple scarf could also save your life.

"Do a 'scarfie - wrapping a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to help warm up the air before they breathe it in, as cold air is another asthma attack trigger.

"It could also be helpful to stick to indoor activities when the weather is particularly cold."

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From winter vagina to heart attacks and bad skin the 8 health dangers of cold weather - The Sun

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively

The skeleton of NMNH 221086, sometimes referred to as Dan, resides in a steel cabinet in a dimly lit storage room at the Smithsonians Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland. The skeleton is a male Grevys zebra (Equus greyvi) that was born in the kingdom of Abyssinia (now northern Ethiopia) in the early 20th century. In 1904, Abyssinias King Menelik presented the four-year-old zebra as a gift to President Theodore Roosevelt. Dan was soon transported to Americathe first chapter in a strange journey that holds some important lessons for human history.

With technology and geopolitics changing at a faster and faster pace, the late 19th and early 20th century saw people, plants and animals moving between continents like never before, including the colonial and imperialist expansions of the western world into Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Before motorized vehicles, much of this expansion was powered by hoofbeatshorses were not only transportation, but also still played a key role in military infrastructure, agriculture, industry and communication.

However, some areas of the world, such as equatorial Africa, were hostile environments for horses. This region, known for its notorious tsetse flies and parasitic diseases like trypanosomiasis, presented extreme biological barriers to large livestockleaving many dead nearly on arrival to low-latitude portions of the continent.

Against this backdrop, some western eyes turned to the zebra. With immense physical strength and stamina, the zebra by comparison to the horse and other equine brethren, is well-adapted to African climates and the continents fatal diseases.

As Western interests in Africa and other challenging climates for livestock transport expanded, these traits raised questions about whether zebras might be domesticated. Arriving in the U.S., Dan quickly became the focus of a government program that sought to domesticate the zebra by cross-breeding the animals with domestic horses and donkeys.

It didnt go well. Dan was unruly, known for attacking his caretakers, and uncooperative with efforts to cross-breed with other equids. A 1913 summary of the program, published in The American Breeders Magazine, describes how Dan refused the mares brought to him. Dan was said to have a positive aversion to his horse counterparts, and when one was let loose in his paddock, he rushed at the mare, and would undoubtedly have killed her had he not been driven back into his stall. He did, however, ultimately mate successfully with a number of jennies (female donkeys).

Other zebras were brought in to supplement the program, and crossed with southwestern burros (feral donkeys) to produce zebra-ass hybrids with a more suitable and less dangerous temperament. Jennies were also used to collect material, and perform artificial inseminations of female horses. Unfortunately, these second-generation animals showed little inclination to work as riding or draft animals, and were also infertile so that producing another generation required repeating the cross-breeding process from scratch.

After its many trials and tribulations, the program eventually ran out of funding and enthusiasm. The zebra domestication program proved to be an absolute failure.

Dan was sent to the Smithsonians National Zoological Park, where he lived out his days until his death on December 14, 1919. His remains became a part of the scientific collections at the Smithsonian, where they this year mark their 100-year anniversary.

After Dans death, the dream of an American domestic zebra died as well.

But why were some animals domesticated, and others not? This zebras tale may actually hold important clues into the deep history of horse and animal domestication. A similar process of capture and experimentation with animal breeding, captivity and use must have played out countless times over human history. However, in the end only a handful of large animalsamong them horses, donkeys, llamas, camels and reindeerwere successfully domesticated (meaning that after generations of breeding, they become dependent on humans for their upkeep) for use in transport, while other hooved animals like the zebra, the moose, the elk and the deer remain undomesticated.

Scientists have long considered the earliest horse domestication took place among an ancient population of animals from Botai, Kazakhstanthese were believed to be the first ancestors of the domestic horse (E. caballus) and the first to be managed, ridden and domesticated. But in 2018, research by geneticist Ludovic Orlando and his team showed that the Botai animals were not the ancestors of modern domestic horses, but rather of todays Przewalskis horse (Equus przewalskii), a closely related sister species that has never, in later periods, seen use as a domesticate.

About 5,500 years ago, the people of Botai subsisted almost completely on these horses. Their tools were made from horse bones. Archaeological evidence suggests the horses were part of ritual burials. They may have even kept them for milk.

However, the domestication of the Przewalskis horseif it can be called domesticationdid not last across the centuries and Equus przewalskii returned to the wild, while Equus caballus proliferated across the globe as a highly successful domesticated animal.

The strange 20th century efforts to domesticate the zebra offer a plausible explanation: perhaps, like their striped cousins, Przewalskis horses were too unruly to justify a sustained, multigenerational process of captive breeding.

The zebra was not a complete failure as a domestic animal. While few zebras were effectively trained for riding, many did find their way into transport infrastructure as members of driving teams in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anecdotal accounts suggest that the animals were more effectively controlled in team harnesses, particularly when they could be paired with more docile mules to mitigate their wild behavior.

Its successes may be even more instructive in understanding the earliest horse domestication. A major lingering mystery is that, beginning with their first appearance in archaeological sites or ancient records, there is, in fact, very little evidence of horses being used for riding. From the frozen steppes of ancient Russian and Kazakhstan, to the sandy ruins of ancient Egypt, or the royal tombs of central China, the first horses are nearly always found in teams, usually with chariots.

If the first domestic horses were behaviorally similar to the zebradisagreeable, violent, and dangerouspulling carts may have been the only practical form of transportation available to ancient horsemen. In this scenario, it might have taken centuries of breeding and coexistence between human and horses before behavior, knowledge and technology reached a point where riding on horseback was safe and reliable.

Sorting out these possibilities will take many lifetimes of work, but fittingly, Dan and others like him may still have an important role to play in finding the answers. Without historical records, and with few other kinds of artifacts available from crucial time periods, of the most useful data sets for studying domestication come from the study of the animals bones themselvesa discipline known as archaeozoology.

Over recent decades, a growing number of researchers have sought clues to the domestication process in the skeletal remains of ancient horses. Robin Bendrey, a professor at the University of Edinburgh is one of these researchers. To find answers in ancient bones, Robin and his colleagues spend countless hours studying the skeletons of modern horses, donkeys, zebras and other equids with well-documented histories and life experiences.

The study of modern skeletons of animals with known life histories is crucial, he says, Because it allows us to understand the different factors that influence skeletal variation and abnormality. We can then use these comparative data to investigate pathology in archaeological remains and make robust interpretations about past human-animal relationships. By looking at bones of individual animals, Bendrey and others have been able to trace skeletal features linked to human activity, like bridling or riding, that can be used to trace the process of domestication in assemblages of ancient bone.

Today, Dans skeleton preserves a number of interesting clues into his life that may help future researchers understand domestication. While the skeleton of a wild equid is usually relatively free of major problems, Dans teeth are worn irregularlya common issue in animals that were feed an artificial diet rather than gritty natural forage. Dans skull also shows several kinds of damage from a harness or a muzzle. This includes warping of the thin plates above his nasal cavity, new bone growth in on the front margins of the nasal bones, and wearing away of the nasal bones thin from a bridle/halter noseband. By documenting issues like these in modern natural history collections, archaeozoologists can expand their analytical toolkit for identifying domestic animals, and understand how they were fed, bridled and harnessed, or otherwise used by early people in the deep past.

William Taylor is a specialist in the study of archaeozoology and horse domestication. He serves as assistant professor and curator of archaeology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. He was assisted on this story by Seth Clark as part of his 3D Fossil Digitization Internship at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

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Dec 7th, 2019 | Filed under Diet Effectively
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