As Americans think about eating for a healthy heart, many feel they’re forced to choose between a healthy diet and their love of beef. But, contrary to some misinformation on this topic, you can have both. Learn more by reading the full Medium article here.
A growing number of health-conscious consumers are pursuing a keto lifestyle and products in their pursuit of health benefits, weight loss and improved performance. If you’re considering a keto diet but not sure where to begin, these tips can help get you on the right track.
A Keto-Friendly Approach to Weight Loss
(Family Features) A growing number of health-conscious consumers are pursuing a keto lifestyle and products in their pursuit of health benefits, weight loss and improved performance.
If you’re considering a keto diet but not sure where to begin, these tips can help get you on the right track:
South Beach Diet
Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires and other emergency situations are all too common these days and can impact nearly everyone, making it important to have a plan. This is particularly true for older people and people with disabilities.
Preparing an Emergency Plan for Your Unique Needs
(Family Features) Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires and other emergency situations are all too common these days. In fact, about 4 out of 5 Americans live in counties hit by weather events since 2007, according to disaster declaration data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That illustrates how these events can impact nearly everyone and the importance of having a plan.
This is particularly true for older people and people with disabilities. Health issues, mobility concerns and use of assistive devices can create additional challenges during emergencies. However, there are simple steps everyone can take to prepare now for what may come later.
Learn more about preparedness at acl.gov/programs/emergency-preparedness.
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Administration for Community Living
Behind the label: Decoding certifications in the shopping aisle
(BPT) - When we visit the grocery store, we’ve become accustomed to a dizzying array of options. There are labels touting everything from food safety to environmental and ethical standards. Making the best decision for your family, your health and the good of the planet is important, but how can you possibly keep track of what all these labels really mean?
Voting with your wallet
Today’s wired world allows us to be more conscious of the impacts of our choices than ever before. Shopping isn’t just about putting food on the table. It’s a daily opportunity to support the kind of world we want to live in. Our actions and what we choose to buy can impact not only the planet’s future, but our social economy as well.
A 2017 study by Cone Communications reported that 60 percent of Americans believe businesses can be key drivers for social and environmental change. Whether it’s phasing out plastic bags and straws or carrying more ethically traded products, businesses are showing consumers that they are listening.
Businesses aren’t doing this just because you asked; they’re doing it because it’s the right thing. Many of them are putting their values on full display in the form of labels that make it easier for you to navigate the shopping aisle.
“As shoppers we are often in a hurry, so much so that we might not even be aware of how quickly we make a decision. That’s where clear labeling can help,” said Rebecca Walker Reczek, professor of marketing at Ohio State University. “Without it you’d need to research each product and the time can add up.”
The truth behind the labels
So what gives? Are organic and natural the same thing? Does a green label mean it’s better for the environment? What does "fair trade" really mean? These are just some of the questions many consumers are asking when they make their way down the grocery aisle.
Most of us are aware of those little labels on our food, but we often don’t understand what they mean. Like any choice, the key is education. To shop in accordance with our values, we must understand what the label stands for and how it’s been verified. And yes — verification matters.
Marketing savvy and great design can create convincing packaging and badges that represent a company’s promise, but often they aren’t based on rigorous standards.
On the other hand, certification labels mean that an independent organization has audited and checked that a company is following a standard set of rules — whether it’s fair trade, responsible fishing, GMO avoidance or better treatment of workers.
For example, the USDA organic label means that an independent organization has audited the farmer to make sure they abide by national organic standards. On the other hand, the term ‘natural’ has no set definition or standards. Neither the FDA nor the USDA has set rules for this term. Pure, natural, green, direct trade — all these terms conjure an image, but are not audited and don’t refer to any established standard. Essentially, they are just words.
A guide to the goods
Everyone has a right to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Look to these certifications to guide your next shopping trip:
* Fairtrade — The Fairtrade certification ensures safe and fair working conditions, prohibits child labor and provides farmers and workers with a fairer price or better wages. Fairtrade products originate in developing and least developed countries where farmers and workers are often marginalized.
Where found: Coffee, chocolate, bananas, sugar, avocados, tea and more
* MSC Certified — By choosing seafood with the MSC blue fish label you are supporting independently certified sustainable fisheries. Their good management practices help ensure fish stocks and habitats are healthy and fishing community livelihoods are secure.
Where found: Wild caught fish and seafood, fish oil supplements, pet food
* Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured — The EFI-certified label indicates that the workers who harvested your food are treated with respect, compensated fairly and engaged to identify problems that impact the safety of your food.
Where found: Fresh fruits and vegetables
* Non-GMO Project Verified — The Non-GMO Project Standard is North America’s most rigorous and reliable standard for GMO avoidance, set apart by its transparency, trustworthiness, ongoing testing and third-party status. The best way to avoid consuming GMOs is to look for the butterfly.
Where found: Dairy and meat products, fruit and vegetables, snack foods, vitamins and supplements, oils and more
Food is a basic necessity, but it is also a conscious choice shaped by our values and our lifestyle. Shop your values on your next shopping trip. To learn more about these certifications and continue the conversation, visit www.fairtr.de/TruthBehindLabels.
With the health of the oceans closely tied to the health of the environment, marine life and humans, making choices that help reduce ocean pollution is one way to make an impact. These tips are a few ways you can help protect the environment.
5 Tips to Help Reduce Litter and Protect the Oceans
(Family Features) The tide of environmental studies showing the harmful effects of litter and mismanaged waste on oceans are seemingly everywhere. For example, 8 million metric tons of plastics wind up in streams, rivers and waterways each year, according to research published in “Science.”
According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic product consumption is predicted to double over the next 10 years. With the health of the oceans closely tied to the health of the environment, marine life and humans, making choices that help reduce ocean pollution is one way to make an impact. In fact, research from the Plastic Free July Foundation shows that more than six in 10 people refuse plastic shopping bags, avoid pre-packed fruit and vegetables, pick up litter and avoid buying water in plastic bottles.
“Mismanaged packaging waste is a threat to our oceans and the overall health of our planet,” said Lynn Bragg, president of the Glass Packaging Institute. “We can all make a difference by changing the type of food and beverage packaging we buy, opting for reusable and refillable containers, following local recycling guidelines and helping keep beaches and waterways clean.”
These tips from the Glass Packaging Institute are just a few ways to contribute:
Find out more about the benefits of choosing and reusing glass packaging to help reduce ocean pollution at upgradetoglass.com.
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Glass Packaging Institute
Balancing work and life is no small proposition, and when things heat up, it can be easy to let your normal self-care habits slide. While a busy lifestyle may not allow for luxurious weekly trips to the spa to rejuvenate, you can still steal moments to promote the wellbeing of your mind and body.
5 Ways to Give Your Body a Boost Inside and Out
(Family Features) Balancing work and life is no small proposition, and when things heat up, it can be easy to let your normal self-care habits slide. While a busy lifestyle may not allow for luxurious weekly trips to the spa to rejuvenate, you can still steal moments to promote the wellbeing of your mind and body.
Wake up with water. Staying properly hydrated is an important way to keep your body in top condition. Proper hydration can help keep all your body’s systems functioning like a well-lubricated machine. Some studies have even shown that starting the day with a cold glass of water can help jumpstart your metabolism and curb cravings. Carry water with you throughout the day so you can sip whenever the urge hits you and aim for at least 64 ounces a day.
Take care of your skin. Hydration is important for your skin. Bring the bliss of a spa experience into your shower with a body wash like Softsoap Hydra Bliss Hydrating Body Wash, which is crafted with rejuvenating scents like Coconut Water and Blueberry or Cucumber Water and Mint. These formulas help retain your skin's natural moisture, which can leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Follow up with a moisturizing lotion to leave skin silky and soft all day long.
Make drive time your zen time. Instead of using your morning commute to run through your to-do list and mentally prepare for your work day, give yourself permission to let those duties wait until you reach your desk. Instead, take a mental boost by listening to some of your favorite music or enjoying an audiobook.
Eat for energy. Food has one true purpose: fueling the body. At mealtime, put your wellbeing first and load up on foods that deliver nutrition your body needs. Look for proteins, a moderate amount of carbs and essentials like fiber that promote good digestion. Avoid feeling deprived by allowing yourself to enjoy occasional treats, but generally avoid unnecessary calories and sugary snacks.
Wash away your worries. After a rough day, there are few things like a warm shower or bath to help wash it all away. Allow soothing aromas to envelop your senses as you lather your skin for a relaxing clean. Experience the essence of serenity with an option like Softsoap Pure Zen Relaxing Body Wash. Choose from tranquil scents of Rosewater and Lotus Flower or Jasmine and Watermint for a relaxing sensory experience.
Explore more ways to take better care of your body inside and out at softsoap.com.
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