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The lunch break is a very valuable part of the workday. Unfortunately, most of us don't take it seriously. Research shows an astonishing 65 percent of working Americans tend to eat lunch at their desks, in front of screens. Or worse, many sometimes skip the meal altogether. It's time to stop wasting that precious time and make it work for you instead. We turned to six health and fitness experts to ask what they eat and how they spend their midday meals. Not only are their lunchtime habits healthier, their breaks are also linked withboosts in overall productivity. How's that for a little motivation? Below, take a look athow healthy people utilize their lunch hour -- delicious recipes included. 1. They prepare their lunches beforehand.   "Lunch is one of my favorite parts of the day. I try to take my lunch outside so that I can get some fresh air and stretch my legs. Food-wise, I like to prep my lunches on the weekends, so that it's easy to make during the week. My go-to is a Buddha bowl of sorts because I love mixing flavors and textures. This usually includes a whole grain, a lean meat, tons of veggies and toppings galore." -- Lee Hersh, founder of Fit Foodie Finds 2. They avoid heavy meals that will make them feel sluggish. "I like my lunches to be very clean, full of fruits, veggies and lean protein. I don't want something super heavy that will leave me feeling sluggish when I'm back at my desk. I need something fresh and fulfilling enough to give me lots of energy for my intense day." -- Cassey Ho, YouTube fitness guru and founder of Blogilates What's for lunch? A green wrap "because it's full of veggies and tastes delicious with hummus." Get the recipe here. BLOGILATESCassey Ho's homemade green dream wrap. 3. They make it a point to get away from their desk. "The most important thing I do during my lunch break to keep myself healthy is to take a walk. I get one in every day, no matter what. Some days the walk might be as short as 10 minutes, depending on how busy I am, but getting out even briefly always refreshes and rejuvenates me for the rest of the day." -- Anne Mauney,registered dietician and founder of fANNEtastic Food   What's for lunch? A big grain salad bowl, which includes a carb such as rice or quinoa, vegetables, protein and a healthy fat like avocado, nuts or cheese. Then the bowl is topped with dressing. Get Mauney's Mexican quinoa salad bowl recipe here. FANNETASTIC FOODVegan Mexican quinoa salad recipe by fANNEtastic Food. 4. They fit in a full workout. "During my lunch break I usually work out for about 30 to 45 minutes, no matter how jammed my schedule is. I normally go for a run or I do one of my own workouts that I post on Instagram. They are short and effective workouts that can be done anywhere." -- Will Arrufat, Nike trainer and certified personal trainer To read full article Click Here Credit Carla Herreria     Sponsored By:  
It seems we're a nation of insomniacs. Nearly half of Americans suffer from at least occasional sleeplessness, and 22% experience it every (or almost every) night, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). But what if all it took to improve your zzz's was a few changes in your eating habits? The definitely scientific answer isn't quite there yet — NSF chairman Christopher Drake, Ph.D. is careful to point out that there's not a lot of data out there on how and what you eat might encourage sleep. That said, nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, R.D., says there's evidence that adding the following foods to your daily repertoire could help. 1. Protein-rich foods Turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, and milk may help you board the sleepy train, says Middleberg. Tryptophan, an amino acid (amino acids = building blocks of proteins) that these foods contain, helps release the hormones serotonin and melatonin, which in turn helps regulate circadian rhythms. By eating these foods combined with carbs (see below) throughout your day, you'll prime your body for that melatonin rush in the evening, typically around 9 p.m., and set yourself up for a better night's sleep. RELATED: 25 Ways to Sleep Better 2. Whole grains "Who doesn't love a pro-carb tip?" Middleberg says. Whole grains help convert our friend tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin, so they should accompany your protein. "It can be a good idea to include a fistful of brown rice, squash, or legumes, or a baked potato with your dinner," says Middleberg. Plus, these complex carbs are a good source of Vitamin B, which may also help with sleep. 3. Tart cherries Nicknamed "natural Lunesta," tart cherries are high in melatonin and may help tryptophan cross the blood-brain barrier to stimulate your body to produce more of its own melatonin. Middleberg suggests snacking on thawed-out frozen cherries in the evening. 4. Nuts and seeds Nuts, seeds, and nut butters contain both tryptophan and magnesium, which may have a calming effect. Eaten just before bed, they may help you get to sleep faster. "But keep it to an ounce!" says Middleberg. "Overeating will upset your stomach, making it tougher to drift off." 5. Warm drinks Sipping on a comforting pre-bedtime cup of herbal tea, such as chamomile, a cup of warm water with lemon, or warm milk helps reduce tension before bed to prep your body for sleep, says Middleberg. One thing to avoid drinking, however, is alcohol, a depressant. "It will help you to doze off," confirms Drake. "But once metabolized, alcohol disrupts and fragments sleep." He notes that you may not recognize these brief awakenings, but they dramatically affect sleep quality.   To see full story Click Here  Credit Amy Roberts
Have you ever tried to stop yourself from doing something, but were unable to summon up the willpower? A new study finds your brain might be working against your best intentions, and scientists think they might know what could help you unlock your better self.   We've all seen it happen. Some well-intentioned co-worker stops at the bakery and brings the most delicious looking doughnuts to your meeting. Intellectually, you know doughnuts are among the foods you are not supposed to eat. They sit in front of you and they smell delicious. It's like they're calling out your name. By the end of the meeting, you have sliced off a piece of the German chocolate. OK, maybe two. Then, a slice of the cinnamon twist, and a slice of the red velvet. You may even have tried the salted caramel bacon, and you don't even really like bacon.   What happened? Blame that Bad Idea Bear of a brain of yours, or more precisely, a chemical in it called dopamine. It's the one your brain releases when you experience or anticipate pleasure or a reward, and it's likely what talked you into having another bite (and another, and another).   To test this, scientists at Johns Hopkins University recruited 20 healthy people and put them in a brain scanner so they could observe what happened in their brain as they made choices. They asked the volunteers to identify objects on a computer screen. On the first day of the experiment, they were asked to pick out the red and green items. When the volunteer picked a green shape they got a quarter. When they found a red object, they earned $1.50. They did hundreds of these trials. The next day, they were put in the PET scanner again and as the scientists watched what happened in their brains, they asked participants to identify a particular shape, which came in a variety of colors. This time, there was no reward when they got the shape right and the color didn't matter. But when a red or green object appeared on the screen, even if it wasn't the object they were looking for, the volunteers were drawn to it. Dopamine flooded the part of their brains that controls attention. To read full story Click Here Credit CNN Jen Christensen
In “I’ve Seen The Future Of Healthcare. I Like What I See,” I noted ZOOM+ had a radically different approach to emergency rooms. Now that ZOOM+ is also a health plan, it’s logical that they would go after one of the biggest areas of unnecessary and expensive care—the ER. Rather than viewing it as a profit engine, they simply view their ER as one of the important pieces of the puzzle in building the Kaiser Permanente for the 21st century . This new approach implicitly addresses the Quadruple Aim more effectively than any other ER I’ve seen or heard about. I expect this approach to ERs will be a new component of the Health Rosetta that raises the bar on the under-performing status quo. As you visit their facilities or see the pictures in this article, I’m struck with the thought that if Steve Jobs was creating a clinic or an ER, ZOOM+ is what he would have created. The radical simplicity of this and the Transparent Medical Network that was highlighted in “The Silver Bullet To Solving Healthcare’s Most Vexing Problem” are the two most straightforward ways I’ve seen to slay the healthcare cost beast. One could imagine how next generation health plans such as Alignment Healthcare, CareMore, Clover Health, Humana’s Medicare Advantage (where they partner with ChenMed and Iora Health) and Oscar would employ these two strategies. Not only does it save money, it also would serve a “ billboard” for these new brands. There aren’t many “try before you buy” options available to healthcare. This would be one. [Disclosure: As I've disclosed many times, the Health Rosetta is a non-commercial open-source project that provides a reference model for how purchasers of healthcare should procure health services. In my role as managing partner of Healthfundr, a seed stage venture fund, we invest in companies adhering to precepts of the Health Rosetta.]   In the earlier piece, I summarized what ZOOM+ is doing with their ZOOM+ Super ER concept that is meant to radically reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. Unlike many new freestanding ER concepts that do little to positively impact the Quadruple Aim, it’s clear that the ZOOM+ Super concept is designed to be pleasant for the board-certified ER docs. This naturally leads to a better patient experience, which in turn helps improve outcomes. The byproduct is an approach that clearly lowers overall healthcare spending. That stands in stark contrast to many freestanding ERs where there has been quite a bit of abuse. To read full story Click Here Credit Dave Chase
A plant-based ointment recipe pulled from a 1,000-year-old manuscript is spiking excitement about what historical knowledge and traditional remedies can do to defuse the antibiotic crisis. At the same time, it’s highlighting how difficult it can be to move any compound—natural or synthetic, ancient or modern—from the lab bench to where it might do the most good. You might have seen coverage of this: At the annual conference of the British Society for General Microbiology last week, a team of researchers from the University of Nottingham in England and Texas Tech University in the United States presented the results of their attempt to translate and manufacture an ointment described in a medieval manuscript held at the British Library. (The abstract doesn’t seem to be online, except within the conference program, so I snipped it and uploaded it to my Scribd account here.) The text, called Bald’s Leechbook, is in Anglo-Saxon; you can think of it as one of the earliest medical textbooks written in the West. The recipe is presented as a remedy for styes, pustular infections of an eyelash follicle that, in the pre-antibiotic era—and the 10th century was definitely pre-antibiotics—could cause blindness or even death if the infection spread to the nearby brain. It specifies garlic, leek, onion, honey, and bile from the digestive system of a slaughtered cow, and describes in detail how the potion should be made, by boiling up a solution in a brass vessel and fermenting it. And, apparently, it works. The UK arm of the team translated the recipe, concocted it, and conducted initial tests on bacteria on culture plates. The US side tested it on infected tissue harvested from lab mice. In both settings, the potion killed MRSA, drug-resistant staph—and killed at higher rates than vancomycin, a last-ditch drug that medicine reserves for serious infections with that superbug. “We were really surprised, and I was surprised,” Christina Lee, PhD, a medieval scholar on the team, confessed by phone. “I have always held up the idea of the pragmatic Middle Ages, that they had knowledge and method, but I was not sure whether that would hold up.”   To read full story Click Here Credit Maryn McKenna  
An outbreak at a Pennsylvania hospital in late 2012 should have been an early warning that a reusable medical scope was spreading deadly infections and nearly impossible to disinfect. But staff at the federal Food and Drug Administration lost the report, one of multiple missteps that allowed doctors and hospitals to continue using the scope for three more years even as dozens of patients were sickened. The missing paperwork, revealed in a recent Senate inquiry, underscores the serious shortcomings in the antiquated national database used to monitor the safety of medical devices, which even the FDA has long admitted is flawed. But the fix called for by the Senate investigators — the speedy implementation of a new system already a decade in the making — has hit a roadblock put up by two powerful opponents who say an essential part of the safety upgrade will cost too much. Patients may now have to wait another decade for the new system, a delay that could lead to more patient deaths. "We need to build a better system to find these problems more quickly," said Dr. Josh Rising, director of healthcare programs at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Further postponement, he said, "could compromise the safety of millions of Americans." The device known as a duodenoscope is only the most recent example of a risky medical device that was used in tens of thousands of patients before regulators finally pinpointed a deadly problem in its design. Regulators did not warn hospitals about its risks until after The Times reported an outbreak at UCLA that killed three patients.   To read full story Click Here Credit Melody Petersen 
Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice.    Do you take the traditional path with human medical staff, including doctors and nurses, where long-term trials have shown a 90% chance that they will save your child’s life?   Or do you choose the robotic track, in the factory-like wing of the hospital, tended to by technical specialists and an array of robots, but where similar long-term trials have shown that your child has a 95% chance of survival?   Most rational people would opt for the course of action that is more likely to save their child. But are we really ready to let machines take over from a human in delivering patient care?   Of course, machines will not always get it right. But like autopilots in aircraft, and the driverless cars that are just around the corner, medical robots do not need to be perfect, they just have to be better than humans.   So how long before robots are shown to perform better than humans at surgery and other patient care? It may be sooner, or it may be later, but it will happen one day.   But what does this mean for our hospitals? Are the new hospitals being built now ready for a robotic future? Are we planning for large-scale role changes for the humans in our future robotic factory-like hospitals?   To read full article Click Here   
Doctors train for years in order to be able to correctly diagnose cancer - but could they soon be replaced by pigeons?   Well, no. Obviously not.   However, scientists have now discovered that pigeons are surprisingly adept when it comes to spotting cancerous cells.   In a study led by Professor Richard Levenson of the University of California, pigeons were shown microscope images of breast tissue, and then rewarded with food if if they correctly pecked a coloured button that corresponded to either cancerous or healthy tissue.      In 15 daily sessions, each an hour long, the pigeons got the right answer 85 per cent of the time - with accuracy levels increased to 99 per cent when responses from a panel of four pigeons were pooled.   In their introduction to the study, Pigeons as Trainable Observers of Pathology and Radiology Breast Cancer Images, researchers said: "Although pigeons are unlikely to be called upon to offer clinical diagnostic support, it does seem quite possible that their discriminative abilities may be turned to a useful purpose."   To read full story Click Here   Credit Adam Boult
Red meat has been linked to cancer for decades, with research suggesting that eating large amounts of pork, beef or lamb raises the risk of deadly tumours. But for the first time scientists think they know what is causing the effect. The body, it seems, views red meat as a foreign invader and sparks a toxic immune response. Researchers have always been puzzled about how other mammals could eat a diet high in red meat without any adverse health consequences. Now they have discovered that pork, beef and lamb contains a sugar which is naturally produced by other carnivores but not humans. It means that when humans eat red meat, the body triggers an immune response to the foreign sugar, producing antibodies which spark inflammation, and eventually cancer. In other carnivores the immune system does not kick in, because the sugar – called Neu5Gc – is already in the body. Scientists at the University of California proved that mice which were genetically engineered so they did not produce Neu5Gc naturally developed tumours when they were fed the sugar. "This is the first time we have directly shown that mimicking the exact situation in humans increases spontaneous cancers in mice,” said Dr Ajit Varki, Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California. "The final proof in humans will be much harder to come by. "This work may also help explain potential connections of red meat consumption to other diseases exacerbated by chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.   To read full story Click Here Credit Sarah Knapton, Science Editor   
We are increasingly aware of the tremendous geographical variation in health care—in utilization, prices, and the growing role of local market power that arises from consolidation. The idea behind the Healthy Marketplace Index, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), was to develop a concise way to compare health care markets in different places, somewhat in the spirit of the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program, also funded by the RWJF. The goal was to come up with timely measures that reflected important attributes of health care markets—such as prices, efficiency, and provider consolidation.   The thought was that this would be interesting to employers and other stakeholders, such as local civic and political leaders, and would hopefully contribute to efforts to improve competitiveness in local health care markets. We knew when embarking on this project that employers consider population health and health care costs to be very important aspects when deciding where to locate their businesses. The results demonstrated how complex an endeavor managing health and costs can be because of the complexities of health care markets.   The danger inherent in any project that attempts to create an index or ranking system is that there is a tendency to sacrifice accuracy for simplicity, resulting in measures that either minimize differences or overemphasize them, thereby distorting true comparisons in the name of creating something that is easy to comprehend or perhaps grabs headlines.   To read full story Click Here


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