Tag Archive: health


Teen Lives Without a Heart

Fourteen-year-old D’Zhana Simmons was in need of a transplant due to her abnormally large heart. When it came time for her surgery, the new organ failed to function properly and doctors were left with no choice but to remove it. Because this series of events was not anticipated, doctors did not have another heart available for Simmons. Because she was weakened from the surgery, they had to come up with a solution fast.

They decided to take two artifical pumps and use them to keep blood flowing in Simmons’ body for almost four months. Usually when an artifical heart is used to sustain a patient, the patient’s own heart is left in the body. But this was not the case for Simmons. For 118 days, she lived without a heart and solely on the pumps. Finally when a heart arrived, she received a successful transplant.

D'Zhana Simmons speaks about heart transplant

Advertisements

1. HAVE SEX ON A PLANE.
Normally, this kind of thing should be written by someone who has actually had sex on an airplane. But I have never had sex on an airplane, and I have come to the realization that I’m going to be okay. If I find out I have a rare blood disorder that will kill me in four days, I’m not going to sit around wishing I’d bent some woman over the sink 30,000 feet above Halifax. Well, not for more than like five seconds, anyway. Sex in public places is fun. (Like on trains.) But being expected to have sex on a commercial jetliner at some point in your life kind of takes the fun out of it. You’re just coaxing your girlfriend into the lavatory so you don’t feel like a loser the next time someone asks you if you’re in the Mile High Club. It’s one of many stupid things we weakly accept as a metric of manhood. It’s uncomfortable enough to even sit on an airplane, let alone grapple with complex anatomical physics near a vacuum-flush toilet.—Devin Friedman

2. TAME A WILD HORSE.

3. GO TO GRACELAND.

4. JOIN A FOOD CO-OP.
I know, I know. The prices are great. The vegetables are stunningly fresh—carrots brighter than highway cones, lettuce as crisp as Doritos. I know that a local food co-op is a good community business, one that supports small farmers instead of scary agribusinesses, like the big corporate supermarkets do. But I don’t have to mop the big corporate supermarket. To join my local food co-op, I have to put in a couple of unpaid hours a month, and I don’t want to do it. Not because I’m afraid of hard labor; I just don’t want to become one of those food—co-op people—you know, the folks who know too much about coffee-bean production and get a little righteous about shiitake mushrooms. I’ll stick to the big corporate supermarket, where what I don’t know may, in fact, kill me, but at least I don’t have to punch in.—Jason Gay

5. COME TO TERMS WITH YOUR ANGER.

6. GET A MOWHAWK.
I didn’t feel sick exactly, but nervous and spacey, as Damien, the haircut guy, shaved half my head. He sensed my confidence caving and boosted me up, said it would look great. He had a Mohawk, too, so obviously he liked them. “It looks very professional,” he said when he finished.

I walked outside, diaper bag over my shoulder, eating a free lollipop, and pushing the baby in the stroller. I could feel the air dancing on my skull, like a thick layer of cold cream cheese. It was Saturday night on 18th Street, and the sidewalk was packed, and I wanted to get home. I was 41 years old, I had a Mohawk, and I wanted my hair back.

That next morning, walking outside to my car, I couldn’t breathe. I moved frozenly, praying nobody would connect this head with me. My neighbor, a geriatric physician, his all-knowing, all-nosy wife, and their kids pulled up in their van. I went back inside and canceled my adjustment at the chiropractor. I couldn’t do it. Look at me. I’m ridiculous.

It has been a week now, and I’m shaving it off soon. It took me four days just to show the nanny, Blanca, who spends six hours a day in my house. I wore a corduroy ski hat until I couldn’t stand it anymore, and then called out from around the corner, with my head showing, and warned her not to be afraid. She laughed and said I needed an earring, so I figured nobody cared.

I guess there was a time, maybe around 1973, maybe in London, when the Mohawk stood for defiance. My senior year in high school, the toughest jocks on the lacrosse team gave themselves Mohawks, and ever since I’ve thought of it as an act of intensity and testicular showmanship. But in the twenty years since high school, I’ve come to see hairdos like this one as an admission of utter defeat, and I’ve come to hate people who walk around with overt hair or self-mutilation statements; I think, Hey, idiot, try getting attention from some real accomplishment. I’m not looking at you. But maybe the reason I ended up with this on my head is that I feel that defeat, too, a little bit more lately. I’ve had my ups and downs.

I guess in these past six days, walking to the grocery store, watching the faces of old men as I join them in the YMCA Jacuzzi, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the act of elective self-destruction. Now when I see the heavily tattooed arms of a waiter, I feel a twinge of recognition. It’s a sign, but not of defiance, or of defeat. There’s something about exposing the flanks of your head while the top stays hairy as a way to confess your suffering. Like scars from a real suicide attempt, it’s an admission of desperation and fragility, except that this, thank God, grows out in a few weeks.

And it will be gone soon. But even now, I’ll still forget I have it on my head until I catch my reflection. Then I’ll examine the peach fuzz on the sides and the rooster tail on top, and I’ll smile, the way you smile when you see a homeless person, passed out on the sidewalk, by some chicken bones, in a great Hawaiian shirt.—Matthew Klam

7. ATTEND BURNING MAN.

8. UNDERSTAND THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY.

9. DELIVER A BABY WHILE TRAPPED IN AN ELEVATOR.

10. BE A DRUG MULE.
There are tons of neat things about working for drug dealers: You don’t have to pay taxes, you never have to wake up before noon, and you can pretty much wear whatever you want. But I’ve worked for drug dealers, and honestly, most of the time it’s a drag. Though you do little more than wait around while other people talk and talk and talk on the phone, those people on the phone can be kind of uptight. In fact, they’re dicks. The pay’s okay, but it often comes in the form of white powder that disappears in a single, fuzzy twenty-four-hour period. And while it made me feel like a badass, I’m not really sure I’d recommend it. The thrill is short-lived, and all you’re left with is the pathetic little story about the time you were young and stupid enough to fly with a brick of coke in your carry-on. And do you really want to be the guy who’s still telling that story when he’s 53?—Alden Gunn

11. CHANGE YOUR OWN OIL.

12. REMEMBER WHICH ONE’S MONTANA.

13. BIG-WAVE SURFING.
Small-wave surfing’s fun, too.

14. CERAMICS!

15. DROP ACID.

16. MEMORIZE THE U.S. PRESIDENTS IN ORDER.

17. GROW A MUSTACHE.
Irony has its limits. And when irony takes the form of bushy hair that grows on your upper lip, it can become quite a nuisance. It’s not the maintenance so much—the brushing and the trimming and having to carefully shave around it. It’s the sight of your hairy, stupid self in the bathroom mirror every morning. (Do you know what it’s like waking up with a hangover and a mustache?) There’s also the shame you feel when you see an old girlfriend or colleague. And the persistent urge you feel to inform every new person that you meet that, hey, you know, the mustache—it’s really just a goof. A lark. Zany, right? After a few weeks, it isn’t the mustache that you loathe, it’s just you. Silly, vain, unfuckable you. But irony, in this particular form, can do more than inspire deep self-hatred. Sometimes it can stink—like six hours after you’ve eaten some organic yogurt or slurped a half-dozen Malpeques. And the beauty part is, you’re the only one who has to smell it.—Mark Healy

18. HAVE A KID.
Kids will change your life. But what if you don’t want your life changed? What if you like having the freedom to, say, jet to South Beach for the weekend? Which would be great, of course, but it would mean you’d have to skip that dinner party and pass on the chance to spend the evening with four other parent-age couples as they go on and on and on about nannies, and school districts, and poopie!, and how last night one father slept only two hours (seriously, dude, two hours!) because little Max had the worst ear infection. Is it selfish not to bring another child into the world, care for him, and give him a quality life? Maybe. But there are plenty of charitable things you can do with your time. And I imagine Marc Jacobs will get by without selling one more $200 cashmere toddler sweater.—Reid Bixler

19. SWIM WITH SHARKS.
My fiancée and I were in Australia, and she wanted to “swim with sharks.” I, of course, said hell no. Jews don’t swim with sharks. She begged and pleaded and obliquely questioned my masculinity, so I relented. But we didn’t do it the way she wanted to—which was in a shark cage in the open ocean. We did it my way, in a shark tank up on land. I figured I’d rather they be captive in my world than the other way around. And the sharks weren’t the kind with scary names like great white or hammerhead. No, these sharks were nurse sharks. And that’s because they might as well wear little white skirts to work. They don’t eat people. In fact, they were completely nonchalant. So, after our jaunt with the nurses didn’t quite ignite my ex, she decided she wanted the great whites in the open ocean. She actually said, “Isn’t that something you want to do before you die?” I answered, “The list of things I have to do before I die doesn’t include things that might actually precipitate my death.” So I called off the wedding.—Michael Seitzman

20. VIDEOTAPE YOURSELF HAVING SEX.
So you want to join the classy, classy ranks of people like Tommy Lee, Paris Hilton, and Colin Farrell? Hold up. Did you ever stare at a television and blurt out, “Why would the Nazis film their atrocities?” Or “Why didn’t Nixon just burn those tapes?” Do you see a pattern here?

You’re probably thinking that the production values will be, at worst, like third-rate porn. Wrong. Your videotape will have no zooms, no pans, and no movement whatsoever. Have you ever been turned on by a convenience-store surveillance video? Because that’s what you’re working on. You’re working on one of those, and you’re nude.

If that’s not reason enough, there’s the Discussion. It goes a little like this:

“I think I should keep the tape, because I’ll be more careful with it.”

“You? I’m more reliable!”

“Why is this even an issue? Are you planning on us not being together in the future? I want to break up.”

As for the nuclear option—showing such a tape to anyone else or releasing it into the permanent indictment that is the Internet—just put that out of your mind. Really, you might as well drive to her workplace, shoot her and everyone else you see, then take your own life. Actually, it’s my long-held theory that amateur sex videos are the direct cause of most office murders, but the FBI has ignored me for many years on this score, and shame on them. Though I guess that’s a story for another day.

(Special to Wendy H.: I destroyed that tape. I totally did.)—Marshall Sella

21. SAIL AROUND CAPE HORN.

22. ROAD-TRIP ON THE PCH OR OTHER SIMILARLY ICONIC ROUTES.
The Pacific Coast highway? Beautiful. And clogged with douche bags in rented Mustang convertibles. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a parking lot in the summer. And then there’s that old travel-magazine staple: the Mississippi Delta. Southern delicacies! Authentic juke joints! Binge drinkers in Duke hats eating $45 crawfish! Just like Robert Johnson did.—Josh Dean

23. MANAGE A HEDGE FUND.

24. RUN A MARATHON.
It’s supposed to be pretty amazing to finish a marathon—once the nausea and chills are gone and the blood has stopped leaking from various orifices. And to those who do it, we say: Bravo. But a man should not consider himself deficient just because he’s never run 26.2 miles on the same day. Obsessed people are meant to run marathons; the rest of us are meant to run for a half hour and drink a light beer. And not only does training for a long-distance race overtake your life, but it also may benefit you less than simply hitting a treadmill a few times a week would. So the next time you feel guilty, recite these facts:

• Jim Fixx, the author of The Complete Book of Running, who did more than anyone else to popularize jogging in America, died at 52, in midstride, of a massive heart attack.

• Of 488 runners studied at the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13 percent developed hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition caused by drinking too much water.

• To quote the Harvard Health Letter, “Long distance running can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.” That’s not to mention the bleeding nipples.—Nate Penn

25. BANG A HILTON SISTER.

26. EAT A BLOWFISH.

27. EAT SHEEP TESTICLES.
Or any other testicles, really.

28. RIDE A MOTORCYCLE ACROSS A CURRENT OR FORMER COMMUNIST COUNTRY.
You always say you want to ride across a country on your chopper before it’s all over, preferably a really romantic kind of place, maybe Vietnam, possibly Cuba, definitely someplace that used to have a politburo. But before you fasten your leather helmet’s chin strap, consider the following question. Have you ever ridden your bike on anything but nice, smooth, First World blacktop? Because in, say, Cuba, the roads will leave you bruised and battered. You will go days without an Arby’s or even a Cracker Barrel. On a good day, you’ll perhaps get to poop over a hole in the floor of a shack. I once drove across much of Russia, and it was horrible—exciting and sort of thrilling in its peril, yes, but even in a country with abundant concrete and toilets that flush, the journey was harrowing, and nearly fatal to my vehicle. And that was an SUV.—Josh Dean

29. JOIN A REVOLUTIONARY PARTY.

30. LEARN HOW TO DRIVE A STICK SHIFT.
Every girlfriend I’ve ever had has the same two complaints about me: I’m not totally in touch with my feelings, and I can’t drive a stick shift. I’m still working on the former, but I’m giving up on the latter. Because, seriously: Who cares? People tell you that a manual transmission makes you feel more in control of the car, more “at one” with the machine. I’m sure that’s a neat sensation in a Bugatti. But I don’t need to be more “at one” with a piece-of-shit Subaru. Not knowing how to drive a stick shift is one of those things that seem like a big deal when you’re young but turn out to be pretty meaningless when you’re older. Like trigonometry or Christmas.—Jason Gay

31. BLOG.
Your audience at the company cafeteria is bigger than what you’ll have on the Internet.

32. BOMB THE HAHNENKAMM.
The hahnenkamm’s streif, the infamous Austrian downhill ski run, opens with a forty-five-degree fall and features a life-threatening 180-degree turn. Even snow-grooming machines can’t traverse its angles. Oh, and the maintenance crews spray the whole mountain down with cold water, turning it into a giant luge. It’s the ski run perhaps most famous for its tendency to nearly kill people. And that makes it really attractive to more than a few ding-dongs out to prove their willingness to be killed.—Mickey Rapkin

33. STOP WORKING FOR THE MAN.
Everyday you drag your ass to work in your monkey suit and get served up a big, steaming pile of humiliation by your boss. And what do you do? You eat it. It’s like The Matrix, man! It’s like you’re a zombie, an automaton with the psycho-emotional breadth of Keanu Reeves! And that ain’t you, man! You’re a free spirit! You know everything would change if you could just tell the boss to fuck off. And sure, there may be some truth to that. Especially if your job is marketing cigarettes to teenagers. But for most people, quitting sets you free for five or six days max. Then you’re like: What happens if I get a cavity? Or: Hey, I like flat-screen TVs. Just remember how much you enjoy talking shit about your coworkers. And fantasizing about quitting. Why would you give that up?—Devin Friedman

34. FIND THE VILLAGE IN IRELAND WHERE YOUR GREAT-GRANDFATHER WAS BORN.

35. READ ‘ULYSSES.’

36. MARDI GRAS.

37. RENOVATE YOUR HOUSE.
A couple of things occurred to me in fairly quick succession as I was changing a light fixture in my kitchen, taking down this extraordinarily ugly fake Tiffany stained-glass hanging shade the size of an SUV tire and putting in its place a little $20 track-lighting job from Ikea. I was standing on a stool, one whose seat spun around, balancing the very heavy fruit shade on one outstretched arm and reaching up with the other to disconnect the knot of wires exploding out of the ceiling.

Here’s what occurred to me: (1) I’d forgotten to turn the power off at the fuse box down in my basement. (2) I had no idea which wires were hot. (3) My wife and kids were out and wouldn’t be back anytime soon. (4) It was impossible to get off the spinning stool without either falling or dropping the monstrous fruit shade, which would shatter all over the kitchen floor, or both.

So I stood there on top of a spinning bar stool, holding a thirty-pound lampshade and staring up into the maw in my ceiling long enough for my legs and lower back to cramp and for me to make a plan that when the time came, I would toss the fake Tiffany fruit shade forward and leap backward so that while I broke some bones, at least I wouldn’t also get impaled by a shard of stained glass.

Eventually, my wife came home, and I called an electrician.

You read about people who don’t know jack about home repair taking on a renovation by themselves, and there’s always some lesson about how with each humbling experience they learn something they didn’t know before about who they are and how they connected to their home in some profound ways that men in the modern world have lost touch with.

It’s all a load of crap. I’m not joking when I say that things with the fruit lamp could’ve gotten very ugly very quickly. Multiply that little scenario by a jillion and you have a rough idea of what it’s like to actually renovate your own place.

If you’re anything like me, accept that there are skills you’re just never going to have. So you’re good with books or computers or numbers but not with tools? Stay away from the tools. The man you think is lurking inside of you, waiting for some belt sander to reveal him to the world, he’s full of shit, and chances are he’ll end up in the ER. Or living in a really crappily renovated home, wishing he hadn’t been such a macho-romantic jackass.—Joel Lovell

38. FLY AN AIRPLANE.

39. TAKE THAT ITALIAN-COOKING CLASS IN TUSCANY.

40. CATCH AND RELEASE A MARLIN.

41. SPELUNK.

 

42. RUN WITH THE BULLS.
Sometimes it’s the fate of a good writer to bear the blame for what he inspires a bunch of idiots to do. Hunter S. Thompson is on the hook for a generation convinced it’s charming to be a drug-addicted asshole. Jack Kerouac spawned a million annoying vagabonds. And then, of course, there’s Ernest Hemingway, who has to answer not only for reams of bad, muscular prose but also for turning the San Fermín festival, celebrated in the town of Pamplona, Spain, into a three-minute institutionalized rite of passage, offering a frisson of real danger to the proceedings without being automatically fatal. It’s worth remembering, though, that courting death is not, ipso facto, cool. If there were a contest in Toledo where you drank a bottle of Drano and saw what happened, would you be proud to tell stories about it over dinner?—Brett Martin

43. BE LADY GODIVA.
people always say you have to ride a horse bareback, on a beach, with your long hair flowing behind you, naked, before you die. But you don’t have to do that. I would say that there’s a whole category of stuff you shouldn’t do naked, and riding a horse is at the top of the list.

If you’re a man, you shouldn’t even walk around naked. If you’re a woman, fine, although for women who think men are whiners, try having your tits attached to your pussy and have them swinging between your legs. Walking naked for a man is tricky enough, depending on how low his balls hang. Jogging naked can give you a headache very quickly. Jogging is to horseback riding as ice-skating is to ice hockey.

Maybe you admire horses. Horses are fine to sit on while they stand still. But as soon as that horse starts stepping forward, you’re like, “Maybe it’s the pants. My ass hurts. I’m getting pinched nuts.” Now imagine no shiny padded-leather saddle. No stirrups to help you lift your balls up when the horse bounces. Because as soon as you get out of the walk, into the trot, the canter, the gallop, you’d better know what you’re doing, and even if you do, you don’t want to do it with your hair flowing behind you, freely blowing in the seaborne air.—Matthew Klam

44. CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO.
If you end up doing it, please don’t talk to us about it for more than ten minutes.

 

45. TAKE A YEAR OFF.

46. GAZE UPON THE RUINS OF POMPEII.
I once spent a week in Pompeii, and I don’t remember a single fresco. Or the mosaic of Alexander’s conquest over Darius in the House of Faun. This is what I mostly remember about Pompeii: dogs. Big, stray dogs. Everywhere. With overgrown coats and gnarly premolars. I also remember the transvestite hookers who humped wildly in cars parked in my hotel’s lot. Which to me isn’t something a man needs to see before he dies.—Greg Veis

47. SEE MICHELANGELO’S DAVID.
There are great works of art, and then there are the “Things to Do” masterpieces—those works of art so mired in their own fame they’re more like a Brad Pitt sighting than a cultural experience. The Mona Lisa. The Last Supper.Monet, that prominent freshman-dorm-room decorator. And it’s perhaps David—available in paperweight, refrigerator magnet, or boxer-shorts form—that is the worst offender. Seeing him in person won’t change your life. You won’t immediately toss your BlackBerry in the Arno, and dedicate your life to aesthetic pursuits. Here’s what will happen: You’ll wait in line for three hours (there’s no EZ Pass for culture, my friend) with pretentious Boston College art-history majors. And then the moment of truth: You stand in front of the seventeen-foot-tall David wondering, What does everyone else get that I don’t? The answer for most of those people is: nothing. They’re just here because that’s what you’re supposed to do in Florence. Maybe it’d be different if you weren’t expecting so much, but we’ll never know.—Danielle Pergament

48. SWIM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL.
Just take the Chunnel train. It’s fast and dark and a little scary. And you can eat good sandwiches and drink wine while you do it.

49. STOP LYING.
I can’t be trusted. Not everything I say—even to my wife or my kids—is true. Which is just another way of saying that I lie. I don’t feel bad about this, really, and you shouldn’t, either. (Because you lie, too.) The wee, harmless fib—I’m not talking here about matters of life, death, or infidelity—is an elemental part of human interaction. It allows you to show (feigned) interest, to (falsely) flatter, to express (disingenuous) gratitude—all of which are not only necessary but good. Without these kinds of lies, we’d never leave the house. Life would feel unsafe, grim, a little too realistic. If I give someone a birthday present, for example, and that person doesn’t like it, I’d much prefer that he’d smile and keep that shit to himself. It’s the people who won’t or can’t bring themselves to lie that you really have to watch out for. Ever had a friend who—in the thrall of recovery, sudden religiosity, or a New Year’s resolution gone haywire—announces that he will, from this day forward, refrain from ever lying again? And have you also noticed how insufferable that person then becomes in the month or two—about as long as these things tend to last—that he devotes himself to Truth? Taking the white lie off the table doesn’t always make you more noble or pure; sometimes it makes you the biggest asshole at the party.—Andy Ward

50. FOLLOW A LIST IN A MAGAZINE.

Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/humor/200609/50-things-not-to-do-before-you-die-bucket-list#ixzz1wNN4NM3I

Everything would also work for homosexual couples…

No. 1 Exercise together
University of Texas researchers found that vigorous exercise activates a woman’s sympathetic nervous system, which is also activated during sexual arousal. So both her body and her brain are in the mood.

No. 2 Use a vibrator
In her 2009 study Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H., found that vibrators are linked to positive sexual function, such as desire and ease of orgasm.

No. 3 Use lube
A 2011 study from Indiana University linked lube use with greater sexual pleasure and comfort.

No. 4 Mindfulness
Women are more likely than men to be distracted while having sex. Canadian research found that by focusing on the sights, sounds, and feelings of sex, women have greater desire and arousal.

No. 5 Coital Alignment Technique
This position—the man shifts forward to press the base of his penis against her clitoris—can make it easier for her to have an orgasm.

No. 6 Cuddle, kiss, touch
But don’t have sex. According to Kinsey Institute research, women often think kissing means he’s looking for sex. Removing that pressure leads to greater relationship satisfaction for men.

No. 7 Do something new together
Novelty sparks hormones in the brain similar to those released when you were falling in love, concluded a study at SUNY-Stony Brook.

No. 8 Do chores together
Women bear the brunt of household chores. And in study after study, women have said that they find it a turn-on when their partner pitches in to help.

No. 9 Multitask in bed
A national survey from Indiana University found that doing at least four or five sexual acts at each session was a strong predictor of orgasm. That could mean they just spent more time having sex—or that variety is exciting. Our opinion: Do your own research.

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/cures-common-sex/page/4?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-MensHealth-_-Content-Sex-_-9curessexlife#ixzz1w9ivaAUL

5 Things Happy People Do

All of us have the ability to be hard-hearted. Life brings pain and trauma, and our ability to love and be vulnerable becomes compromised. Physically, our upper spines round, our pecs become too tight, and metaphysically our heart chakras become imbalanced. So why are some people perpetuallyhappy and successful in life? They obviously have pitfalls and struggles too. Here are five tips to help you stay smiling.
1.  Happy people are resilient. 
Life knocks everyone down, but staying down only leads to misery. Have your day of wallowing and then get up, dust off, and try again.
2. Happy people are open. 
Being hurt makes you never want to feel pain again, but if you want to be happily successful in life you have to open yourself up to new opportunities—and the chance to get hurt again.
3. Happy people know sadness is temporary. 
Viewing the snowstorms—and occasional blizzards—that we all go through in life as showers before the sun shines is a must. Yoga teaches us balance. Call it yin and yang, light and dark, because whatever you choose the meaning is the same. Unfortunately, we all have to experience negativity in life. How you deal with it is where the true challenge lies.
4. Happy people choose to be happy. 
Here’s another thing my physical yoga practice teaches me—how I react to stress on my mat is a choice. I can be angry and frustrated or I can choose to lighten up and take it one breath at a time. Sometimes that’s all you can do in life off of your mat as well—smile, breathe and choose to see the world as a generally good place that occasionally flat-out stinks.
5. Happy people fake it. 
When I was waitressing, I had to put on a smile and be kind even if I just had a terrible fight or some other personal distress in my life. The way I looked at it was that for all I know, this could be someone’s special anniversary or birthday and who am I to spoil it when my job is to bring these people food and a good experience? That carried over into the realization that misery doesn’t have to love company, and that sometimes simply pretending to be happy makes you feel better. I’m not suggesting that you hide your feelings—I’m big on communication and sharing. What I am suggesting is simple—sometimes you have to fake it to make it.
Happiness doesn’t have to be some pie-in-the-sky dream that we only see in movies, but the thing is that we often have to work at it. We see these happy, successful people and assume that they are “born that way” or “lucky.” The reality, though, is that like most wonderful things in life, happiness is mindset that for many of us takes—wait for it—practice. Learning that we have the ability, more often than not, to deal with a situation in more than one way is liberating because it gives us some semblance of control over things that we have no control over. So when life hands you lemons, try making some kick-butt limoncello—and try choosing to be happy during the process. I think that’s step one.

Watercress

Your new favorite source of antioxidants.

About to hit the weights? First munch on some watercress. The dark, leafy green can protect against the DNA damage from a tough workout, according to a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Watercress is packed with antioxidants, which snatch up DNA-damaging free radicals.

While all non-processed foods contain antioxidants, some have more than others. But certain foods, like spinach, blueberries, and tea, hog all the antioxidant-packing glory. No more. We dug into the research to discover these 10 surprising superfoods. (For more delicious ways to instantly upgrade your health, read the 10 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating.)

1. Watercress: This leafy green, a member of the cabbage family, has a light, peppery flavor.
Why it’s healthy: One cup of watercress has just 4 calories, but it’s loaded with vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains lutein and zexanthin, two antioxidants that are beneficial for eye health.
How to eat it: Swap watercress for the lettuce on your next sandwich, or toss a bowl of the leaves with goat cheese, toasted pistachios, and your favorite vinaigrette.

2. Vanilla Beans: Growing off climbing vanilla orchid plants, these fruits have a famously sweet fragrance and flavor.
Why they’re healthy: These little beans pack big phenolic compounds, which work as potent antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammation agents.
How to eat them: Drink them. Combine 1.5 cups pear juice, 6 oz. vodka, and seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean. Shake it all up, pour it over ice, and start sipping. (Learn how to make more great drink recipes in one minute or less.)

3. Cocoa Powder: The commercial name for cocoa solids, it’s the low-fat component of the cacao bean.
Why it’s healthy: It contains several minerals including calcium, magnesium, and sodium, and can contain up to 10 percent of its weight in flavanoids, which may prevent heart disease and stroke.
How to eat it: Make a mole sauce with unsweetened cocoa powder or add a small amount (a little goes a long way) to savory sauces.

4. Sorghum: This gluten-free grain is similar in taste and texture to wheat berries.
Why it’s healthy: With 70 percent starch—and a good chunk of protein—it’s a solid energy source. What’s more, it lowers cholesterol and packs B-complex vitamins.
How to eat it: Try it in your Tabbouleh salad instead of bulgur wheat, or sub sorghum syrup for honey in any recipe. (Is Gluten Making You Fat? Find out the truth about this hot controversy.)

5. Raisins: We assume you know what a raisin is.
Why they’re healthy: While dark raisins pack anthocyanins that provide the same carb boost as an energy gel, all are a top source of boron, which helps to build and keep strong bones.
How to eat them: Kick your oatmeal up a notch by sprinkling a handful of raisins on top.

 

6. Ginger Root: The horizontal stem of the ginger plant, it has a slightly hot, citrus-like taste.
Why it’s healthy: Nine compounds found in ginger can improve your gastrointestinal function. Even better, the plant eases muscle pain associated with exercise.
How to eat it: Grate a little fresh ginger root on anything from your stir-fry to your morning mimosa.

7. Kidney Beans: Also known as chili beans or red beans, they have a dark red skin and curvy shape (hence their name.)
Why they’re healthy: A quarter cup of red kidney beans has more than 6,000 antioxidants, plus 3 grams of cholesterol-fighting fiber. What’s more, they pack plenty of muscle-boosting protein.
How to eat them: Mash them up and mix them into ground beef when making hamburger patties. Or go the southern route by whipping up beans and rice.

8. Coffee: America really does run on Dunkin’: Good old Joe is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet.
Why it’s healthy: A cup of java—both caffeinated and decaf—contains a host of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, which prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol. (Learn Which Is Best: Coffee or Tea?)
How to drink it: Espresso, Americano—order whatever you like. Just take it easy on the sugar and whip.

9. Barley: A major cereal, its small, oval-shaped grains are fun for more than feeding livestock.
Why it’s healthy: This fiber jackpot lowers your cholesterol and carries a heap of nutrients including molybdenum, folate, and manganese. It might even boost your brainpower.
How to eat it: For a grain, this thing is pretty darn versatile. Add it to soup, use it for risotto, or sprinkle it on salad for an extra crunch.

10. Eggs: How many times can we say it? Eating eggs does not raise your risk for heart problems.
Why they’re healthy: Where do we start? Whole eggs contain more vitamins and minerals per calorie than pretty much any food. They’re also one of the best sources of choline, a chemical your body needs to break down fat for energy.
How to eat them: However you want. Serve them scrambled, sunnyside up, poached, or hard-boiled, and enjoy. (For new ideas, discover The Healthiest, Tastiest Egg Recipes known to man!)

To watch videos: http://news.menshealth.com/3-things-toddlers-can-teach-you-about-fitness/2012/05/08/?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-MensHealth-_-Content-MHNews-_-FitnessLessonsfromKids

Scaling an indoor climbing wall is no easy feat.  It involves nearly every muscle in your body. Think about it: Your fingers and forearms contract to grip the inch-thick overhangs, your core stabilizes to fight against falling back, your lats work to pull you up, and your glutes, quadriceps, and calves activate to push off the wall.

So when we saw this little man speedily scramble up the walland make it look like child’s play, we couldn’t believe it.

Your first thought might be, “I sure hope he doesn’t fall.”  But your second thought is probably, “That kid can climb!”

Now, we’re not condoning parents taking their 22-month-old child to an indoor climbing wall or that anyone climbs without the proper safety equipment. But we are showing this video to prove a point: Human beings come into this world ready to move. Ready to run, climb, jump. Your body moves certain ways because it’s designed to move like that. As we grow older, however, we teach ourselves bad habits. We sit behind desks all day or we try to move our body in ways it shouldn’t move. (Cue the sore muscles and aching backs. Before cashing in the prescription, try these 6 smart ways to beat pain.)

“Babies are mobile. They have to learn stability. But as adults, we become stable. We need to learn how to become mobile again,”  explained Gray Cook, P.T., at a recent Perform Better Seminar at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Sure, they can’t talk. Heck, they can’t even dress themselves. But babies can move better than any of us. Forget the experts and pros—here are 3 fitness tips from babies.

HOW TO SQUAT

When done correctly, a squat is one of the most effective muscle-builders there is. It trains a lot of muscles, particularly big ones like your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, and burns more calories per rep than almost any other exercise. The problem is, many guys do it wrong.

Ever watch a toddler drop to pick up a toy from the floor, though?  A tot keeps his weight on his heels. His lower back stays naturally arched. The tops of his thighs go parallel to the floor or lower. His torso remains upright. It’s the perfect execution of the squat—and he doesn’t even think twice about doing it.

You can train your body to move like this again. Behold the goblet squat. Holding a dumbbell in front of your chest—like a goblet—forces your upper body to stay rigid. That means your lower body has to do most of the heavy lifting and your torso has to stay upright as you push your hips back and and glutes down. (Check out even more tips on how to master the squat.)

 

HOW TO REFRESH YOUR WORKOUT

At a certain age, you stop playing. Gone are the days you swung from monkey bars or ran through sprinklers or sped a bicycle around the neighborhood. Instead, you’re lucky to find the time to work out. If you do make it to the gym, it’s usually a race against the clock to finish.

But who says you can’t sweat and smile? Fitness expert Jeremy Frisch, U.S.A.W., owner of Achieve Performance Training, went to the playground with his daughter and came away a new exercise idea. He watched her crawl and roll in one movement, and realized it was a great total-body exercise. Frisch named it the Swiper, after a character on his daughter’s favorite show, Dora The Explorer.

Recharge your tired routine and start playing again.  “Most people who are unfamiliar with these movements will look uncomfortable and  uncoordinated,” says Frisch. “But training shouldn’t always be comfortable and familiar.” That’s because you’ll ask your body to move in ways it hasn’t moved in forever, challenging your muscles and shocking your metabolic system. Plus, swipers are super fun, so your mind and body won’t want to stop—no matter how challenging it gets. (Love swipers? Here’s another great total-body move that melts fat.)

 

HOW TO DEADLIFT

Men’s Health Executive Editor and former Fitness Director Adam Campbell has taught many fellow MH staffers how to deadlift at the gym (this editor included). For such a simple exercise—picking up something heavy and putting it back down—there sure are a lot of things that can go wrong with technique.

So imagine Campbell’s surprise when he watched his 2-year-old daughter deadlift a water cooler—with perfect form. She was a natural. Turns out, the proper deadlift pattern is ingrained in us from birth. Somewhere along the way, though, we stop doing it correctly. Why? Well, deadlifts work wonders on your body, but they go against the number one rule of the weight room: Don’t lift with your back. That’s because the deadlift requires a collaborative effort from lots of muscles, including those in your lower back. In order to protect our backs, we change our form or avoid the lift altogether.

You lift heavy things—lopsided grocery bags, unruly kids, overflowing laundry baskets—almost every day, so make this classic, total-body exercise a staple in your workout. Watch this video to learn how to deadlift safely and effectively like Campbell’s daughter. (Interested in more ways to build a massive back? Try our latest workout,  the V-Shape Shortcut.)

 

Skin Saving Tips

The consequences of sunburn linger long after your skin peals and the redness subsides. “Skin cancer rates grew 400 percent among men between 18 and 39 in the last 40 years,” says Mona Gohara, M.D. and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. One reason: People aren’t using sunscreen properly. Most people apply only 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount—one ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

More from MensHealth.com: Sunscreen: You’re Applying it Wrong.

Now that you know how much sunscreen to sport, check out five more ways to prevent and spot skin cancer, courtesy of Dr. Gohara.

Wear Sunscreen During Your Commute
Cancer-causing ultraviolet rays can penetrate the windows of your car, home, or office. A University of Washington study even found that cancer is more common on the left side of Americans, presumably due to sun exposure while driving.  Apply a light, broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher on your face, arms and hands, before hitting the road and visit skincancer.org to learn about UV-blocking film for your car windows.

Take a Siesta
The early bird…doesn’t get skin cancer. That is, if he goes inside during the afternoon. Mow the lawn, go for a jog, or shoot hoops in the morning. And don’t even think about lying on your porch in the afternoon. “Sunbathing in the afternoon increases your risk of skin cancer by 5 times,” says Dr. Gohara. Not only is the sun weaker in the A.M., the body produces higher levels of a protein that protects against sun damage, scientists say.

Undress with the Lady in Your Life 
Ask your partner to look in those hard-to-see areas, like your back, scalp, and ears. “Melanoma on the back is particularly common in men because they often go shirtless in the summer—and forget to reapply sunscreen,” says Dr. Gohara. Already found questionable moles? (Click here to see what they look like.) Make sure to take the next step and see your dermatologist.

Wrap it Up
Protecting yourself from STDs might also prevent skin cancer. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is transmitted by skin to skin, or skin to mouth contact, can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a nonmelanoma cancer. Do you really need another reason to use protection? (Yes, every time you have sex.)

Map Your Moles
If you have a lot of moles, find a dermatologist that offers mole mapping; special software—combined with full body photography—that helps doctors detect minor changes in skin lesions, so you can take care of sketchy spots before they turn cancerous.

Don’t stop there, follow @MensHealthStyle and check out our ASME award winning Skin Cancer Center for more ways to detect, prevent, and treat skin cancer.

—Kiera Aaron

Read more at Men’s Health: http://blogs.menshealth.com/style-news/skin-saving-tips/2012/05/03/#ixzz1tvLoUqoy

image

I made grilled hamburgers with steamed asparagus. On the hamburgers I’ve got some onion and mushroom relish along with romaine lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and few spritz of WishBone Ranch Spritzer. I can’t wait to dig in. I hope your dinner is as delish!

Workout of The Day

Weighted hands and toes to the ceiling crunches. Don’t try and do too much weight. I use an extra 15 lbs. bring legs up like a leg lift along with your hands at the same time. Literally try and fold your body in half flexing your abs the whole time.

Get Moving
Exercise unleashes dopamine, the feel-good chemical, but did you know that it can also trigger testosterone production? Head outdoors and get to work. Hit the beach for a game of volleyball, take a surf lesson, or if you see a cutie in mid-game, join her: A recent study found that working out can help her orgasm. (Read The Testosterone Transformation and unleash your most powerful hormone to build muscle, lose fat, and last longer in bed!)

Hit the Books
That California sextress on the beach with a book in her hand isn’t just sweating it out in the sun—she’s putting her brain to work. “Explorers could be reading everything that Shakespeare wrote, and then watching all of his plays,” Fisher says. Remember how you secretly enjoyed reading Faulkner in college? Pick up a few of his books. A University of California-Davis study found that women prefer smart men when it comes to one-night stands.

Be Spontaneous
The folks in Lubbock, Texas—who scored lowest on the survey—had a high population of what Fisher calls “builders”: the cautious, traditional, conventional type. “This type of person generally has higher levels of serotonin in the brain which can lower sex drive,” she says. While you don’t have to go jump off the nearest cliff, seeking adventure certainly isn’t going tohurt your libido.

%d bloggers like this: