Blake Lively Just Revealed Her 2017 Eating And Exercise Plan

Blake Lively is kicking off her new year’s resolution early! The 29-year-old shared her diet and workout on Instagram, revealing she’s following a healthy meal delivery program and working out with a trainer.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNpAlsQg3O6/

The mother-of-two gave birth just two months ago and has set herself a goal, “I WILL fit into my jeans again gall darnet,” Lively posted on Instagram. “This is not an ad. This is me getting it up for healthy food,” she wrote.

Lively went on a diet after giving birth to her first daughter, James, because she had to film in a bikini for her starring role in The Shallows just eight months later. “I did no gluten and no soy,” she said on Australia’s Kyle and Jackie O Show. “Once you remove soy, you realize you’re eating no processed foods. So that’s basically what I did. No processed foods and then working out.”

“[It] seems like, ‘Oh, that’s really easy to cut that out,’ but then you realize, there’s soy in everything,” she said. “Like, everything you eat, there’s soy in it. Even if it’s healthy, whole foods organic stuff, there’s always soy in it.” The 28-year-old even challenged the hosts to attempt the restrictive diet. “Just try no soy and no gluten and watch how hard that is,” Lively said. Still, she was able to strike a balance. “I was still able to have sugar and all of those things. It’s all in moderation. You just have a balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables. And it wasn’t the worst. Like, I was eating rice and sushi.”

Muffins, though, were out of the question, including the delicious fresh baked goods from The Shallows set. “That was the hardest part,” she said. “They were making these fresh muffins every morning—those jack*sses. They smelled so good!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNh_aUfgTqd/

This article was originally published by InStyle Australia.

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One Of Australia's Biggest Bloggers Has Spoken Out About Prenatal Depression

Australian fashion blogger Tuula Vintage AKA Jessica Stein just announced she’s seven months pregnant in a very intimate Instagram post.

Almost 12 years ago, Stein was in a car accident that left her injured to the point where she had to learn how to walk again. It took her years to recover, and she used the idea of travelling as an incentive to keep going.

Now she is a famous fashion blogger, with over two million followers on Instagram, and has travelled all over the world.

But she recently opened up about her pregnancy, which has been a new step for her on her journey to recovery.

She took to Instagram to share the post, writing about her experience so far.

“Our little miracle… Seven months of wild waves with this man of my dreams keeping my head above water. I’ve always dreamed of being a mother, but never knew if I could be. I experienced multiple pelvic and internal injuries after being hit by a car at 16 with ongoing pain and limitations, and was warned of what might never come to be. I’ve always wanted to adopt (as my incredible mum was) and my partner and I had been talking about it again just before this unexpected miracle happened.

Our little miracle… Seven months of wild waves with this man of my dreams keeping my head above water. I’ve always dreamed of being a mother, but never knew if I could be. I experienced multiple pelvic and internal injuries after being hit by a car at 16 with ongoing pain and limitations, and was warned of what might never come to be. I’ve always wanted to adopt (as my incredible mum was) and my partner and I had been talking about it again just before this unexpected miracle happened. With my personal history and high value of privacy I hope everyone can understand that I would not have shared this online if I didn’t feel the need to talk about the highs and lows that so many experience with challenging pregnancies. I have been struggling with antenatal depression and hope that speaking out might just help heal myself, and someone else too. At our 20 week scan they noticed the lack of amniotic fluid that I had unknowingly been leaking due to my old bladder injury and was diagnosed with PPROM (broken waters). With pre-labour symptoms and anticipating a very, very early arrival I was admitted to hospital in Sydney on bed rest once viable at 24 weeks. I don’t know the words to describe how hopeless I felt… not being able to control my own body, provide for my baby or see hope that we would make it through. Despite my partner being a rock of support and positivity, I have found these last few months to be some of the loneliest of my life. Just days ago we experienced our first true moment of excitement and relief that things will be okay; that we have a little warrior who is beating all of the odds. I have been allowed home for the first time since late last year and the cloud of anxiety is slowly lifting. Thank you to the doctors, midwives and hospitals who have gone above and beyond for us, including all of the women I met while sharing hospital rooms learning about each other’s journeys. We are so grateful to have come this far and be in this position that so many can only dream to reach. We aren’t in the complete clear but know that nothing ever really is. For now we are going to lay low and enjoy every extra week of waiting to meet our miracle…

A post shared by Jessica Stein (@tuulavintage) on

She went on to say that while the pregnancy has been a physical struggle, it has also been a mental struggle for her.

“With my personal history and high value of privacy I hope everyone can understand that I would not have shared this online if I didn’t feel the need to talk about the highs and lows that so many experience with challenging pregnancies. I have been struggling with antenatal depression and hope that speaking out might just help heal myself, and someone else too.

“At our 20 week scan they noticed the lack of amniotic fluid that I had unknowingly been leaking due to my old bladder injury and was diagnosed with PPROM (broken waters). With pre-labour symptoms and anticipating a very, very early arrival I was admitted to hospital in Sydney on bed rest once viable at 24 weeks. I don’t know the words to describe how hopeless I felt… not being able to control my own body, provide for my baby or see hope that we would make it through. Despite my partner being a rock of support and positivity, I have found these last few months to be some of the loneliest of my life.

“Just days ago we experienced our first true moment of excitement and relief that things will be okay; that we have a little warrior who is beating all of the odds. I have been allowed home for the first time since late last year and the cloud of anxiety is slowly lifting. Thank you to the doctors, midwives and hospitals who have gone above and beyond for us, including all of the women I met while sharing hospital rooms learning about each other’s journeys. We are so grateful to have come this far and be in this position that so many can only dream to reach. We aren’t in the complete clear but know that nothing ever really is. For now we are going to lay low and enjoy every extra week of waiting to meet our miracle…”

The couple are notoriously private – Stein does not tag or name her partner in her post.

She recently posted this beautiful shot by Lake Wanaka in New Zealand captioned, “You will always be the love I call home.”

You will always be the love I call home. ✨

A post shared by Jessica Stein (@tuulavintage) on

Antenatal depression affects up to one in ten women in Australia.

Symptoms can include:

• Panic attacks (a racing heart, palpitations, shortness of breath, shaking or feeling physically ‘detached’ from your surroundings)

• Persistent, generalised worry, often focused on fears for the health or wellbeing of the baby

• The development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours

• Abrupt mood swings

• Feeling constantly sad, low, or crying for no obvious reason

If you or someone you know is experiencing antenatal depression, you can call the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Association National Helpline on 1300 726 306.

This article was originally published by Marie Claire.

Thankful.

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Kelly Clarkson Just OWNED This Troll Who Called Her Fat

Kelly Clarkson is a talented singer, loving wife, mom of two and stepmom to two more, and all-around badass human. And a recent interaction she had with a hater on Twitter just made us love her all the more.

RELATED: How These Best Friends Responded To Body Shamers Made Them Insta Famous

In honour of the 4th of July, Kelly tweeted Tuesday “Thank [you to] every person in service [for] protecting all of us and cheers to every person who fought for us to experience freedom & independence.”

RELATED: How Ricki-Lee Shutdown Body Shamers

Most people responded to her tweet by sharing stories of family members or loved ones in the armed forces, or thanking Kelly for her support and recognition. But one particular troll, somehow offended by Kelly’s tweet, decided to simply reply with “you’re fat.” (The tweet appears to have since been deleted.) And the Grammy winner had the most incredible response.

Kelly’s fans loved the whole exchange, responding with hilarious GIFs and more outpourings of support for the singer.

Kelly clearly couldn’t care less what a random stranger thinks about her weight—although she’s sadly used to these types of comments about her body. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres back in 2015, Clarkson addressed the body criticism she’d received from British TV personality Katie Hopkins, who wanted to know “what happened” to Kelly’s body and wondered, “Did she eat all of her backing singers?”

“I love how people think that’s new,” Kelly said about the comments. “Like, welcome to the past 13 years!” She added that she was considered “the biggest girl” when she competed on American Idol in 2002. “We are who we are, whatever size,” she said.

You tell it, Kelly.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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Things Nutritionists Eat When They Really Don't Feel Like Cooking

Let’s face it. As much as you love experimenting in the kitchen, some nights you just don’t want to cook. Whether it’s because you’ve had a long day or it’s too hot to turn on the oven, the last thing you want is to be in the kitchen.

On those nights, how do you make sure you’re still making healthy choices instead of calling for take-out or a frozen dinner?

Registered dietitian Mary Ellen Phipps says that the key to those just-don’t-wanna-cook days is planning ahead. “Prep some staples about once a week,” she says. “Roast a couple pans of veggies. Hard boil some eggs. Sauté some onions and garlic. You can then add these to salads, yogurt bowls, and sweet potatoes.”

Phipps also recommends keeping shelf-stable options on hand like wild-caught canned tuna, all-natural peanut butter, yoghurt, and high-quality condiments.

And, to make sure that whatever you do throw together keeps you full, make sure to include a couple of key items. “Always aim to get in some lean protein, carbs, veggies, and healthy fats with your meal to help keep you satisfied,” says registered dietitian Alanna Waldron.

We asked Phipps, Waldron, and a few other nutritionists for their go-to lazy meals. Here are seven ideas—one for every day of the week!

TUNA SALAD

“Tuna salad is as easy as mixing some stuff up in a bowl,” says Phipps. Typically, she combines a can of wild-caught tuna with avocado-oil mayonnaise and a big handful of broccoli, kale, or Brussels sprout slaw.

“You can even add in some smashed avocado and then season with onion powder, salt, and pepper,” she says. Or swap the tuna for canned salmon and you get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Voila! You have a protein and fiber-rich meal.

PEANUT ASIAN RICE BOWL

While you may think that convenience or ready-to-eat food aren’t the best options, there are some healthy choices out there. This peanut Asian rice bowl is case and point. “It’s ready in 10 minutes and uses items from the freezer and pantry,” says registered dietitian Judy Barbe like pre-cooked rice, frozen vegetables, and a spicy peanut sauce. Talk about super easy when you aren’t in the mood to make something from scratch.

CATCH-ALL SALAD

One of the easiest meals are catch-all salads , says Lauren Manganiello, R.D.N. “This is the perfect healthy yet lazy meal because you can literally add anything you have on hand to a salad including leftovers, nuts and seeds, canned items such as beans or tuna, and fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables,” she says. “It’s a great way to be creative as well as get some variety in the sometimes-boring salad.” Manganiello likes to top hers with a simple maple-dijon vinaigrette.

EGG SCRAMBLES

What’s an easier dinner than scrambled eggs? Waldron mixes hers with sautéed greens (kale, spinach, or whatever she has on hand), garbanzo beans, and any leftover roasted veggies. “Everything cooks up in one pan and is highly satisfying,” she says. Craving more toppings? Try adding avocado, hummus, or salsa.

SALMON ZUCCHINI LINGUINI

This salmon-zucchini linguini makes an easy last-minute meal. “I love this because it uses canned salmon, a nutrient-packed ingredient you can keep on the shelf in case of emergency,” says Barbe. Barbe also says canned fish offers the same health benefits, like omega-3 fatty acids, as fresh fish. If you’re not a zucchini fan, you can always sub it out for another veggie.

SWEET POTATO BOWL

One of Phipps’ go-to meals is a sweet potato bowl. She steams a sweet potato in the microwave (put it in a glass dish with a lid and microwave for six to seven minutes) and tops it with an egg, and green veggies (frozen works great). Sometimes she adds some bacon, too. Easy peasy.

AVOCADO TOAST

Everyone loves avocado toast, and for good reason. You can top it any way you want, it’s filling, and it feels like you’re indulging. Plus, what’s easier than toasting some bread? “Top toast with mashed avocado, fried egg, and/or smoked salmon with sea salt and black pepper,” says Waldron. “I will usually pair this with sautéed greens.”

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Tone Zone

Tone Zone

Take a giant step back with your right leg, landing with toes turned out. Sink into a lunge until left thigh is parallel to floor, then lower the dumbbells and your torso until the weights are on either side of your left ankle. Click for next step.

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Tone Zone

Straighten left leg without locking your knee and stand up, bringing your right leg forward so your legs are together. At the same time, press the dumbbells overhead with your palms facing each other. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on other side. That’s one set. Do two sets, resting for 30 seconds between set.

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PLANK WITH FRONT RAISE Works: shoulders and core

Grab a pair of 2 to 4kg dumbbells and get in plank position with your hands on the weights directly below your shoulders and your palms facing each other. Click for next step.

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Tone Zone

Brace your abs and, keeping your left arm straight, raise it in front of you to shoulder height. Return to plank, then repeat with your right arm. That’s one rep; do 12 to 15. Complete three sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

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SUMO SQUAT AND CRUNCH Works: arms, core and entire lower body

Standing with legs wider than shoulder-width apart, hold a medicine ball in front of you. Squat until your thighs are almost parallel to floor. Click for next step.

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Tone Zone

Keeping right knee bent and rotating the hip so your inner thigh faces forward, stand up on your left leg and lift your right leg out until your knee is past your hip. At the same time, circle the ball clockwise until it’s above your right shoulder and crunch your upper body to the right. Return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side. That’s one set. Do three, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

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TAKE A WALK Works: triceps and core

Place a Bosu on the floor and sit on the dome’s centre. Place your palms on the ball alongside your hips with your fingertips facing forward, and place your heels on the floor about 50cm from the base of the Bosu. Straighten your arms and lift your hips off the ball. Click for next step.

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Tone Zone

Lift both your right hand and your left foot a few centimetres. Hold for one second, then lower and repeat with the other hand and foot. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15 to 20, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

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TEST THE WATER Works: biceps and entire lower body

Grab a pair of 3 to 5kg dumbbells and stand on a 30 to 60cm-high step with your feet together and your arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Lift your right foot off the bench . Click for next step.

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Tone Zone

Squat down about 10cm. Press back up and curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15, then repeat on the other side. Rest for 30 seconds between sets.

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UNILATERAL DEADLIFT WITH ARM ROW Works: core, back, glutes and hamstrings

Grab a pair of 3 to 6kg dumbbells and stand with your arms at your sides. Place your right toe on the floor about 50cm behind you.

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Tone Zone

Bend forward from the hips. Keeping your right leg straight, raise it off the floor until your body forms a T shape and your arms hang straight down from your shoulders.

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Tone Zone

Row the dumbbells toward your ribs until your elbows pass your torso. Lower the dumbbells and return to start. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side. That’s one set. Do two, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

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This Might Be The Next Trend In Boosting Gut Health

“Gut health” has officially joined the the likes of kale, quinoa and cross fit.

But unlike some wellness fads, this seriously buzzed-about term has plenty of science backing up its importance in promoting many facets of mental and physical well being.

And while most of us are content with boosting our stomach’s good bacteria by way of sauerkraut, yoghurt and kombucha, one Silicon Valley biotech start-up has plans to add breast milk to our prebiotic repertoire.  

Yep, you read that right.

Breast milk is widely renowned for its immune boosting benefits and infection fighting antibodies, and Sugarlogix is looking to isolate the sugars that give breast milk these unique capabilities.

The company’s CEO, Kulika Chomvong, told Gizmodo that these sugars – which have also been found to feed the microbiome in babies’ tums – could be turned into an easily consumable prebiotic pill.

“We were interested in prebiotics and we realised that the best type of prebiotics exist in nature, and that’s in human breast milk,” Kulika Chomvong told Gizmodo.

“This is the very first time adults can really harness the power of breast milk. We wanted to find the very first food for the gut that we ever received as babies, and that’s breastmilk.”

However, experts say that more research is needed into whether this new “superfood” would actually benefit adults.   

“Based on emerging research, human milk oligosaccharides seem to be main drivers in shaping the developing infant gut microbiome, with potential short- and long-term consequences for human health and disease,” researcher Lars Bode told Gizmodo.

“Overall, [there is] a lot of potential in both infants and adults, but a lot more work is needed to substantiate and confirm claims.”

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This Britney Spears Workout Montage Is All The Motivation You Need Today

Britney Spears is known for being fit, but she doesn’t pretend her body gets that way without any work. The singer regularly posts fitness videos on Instagram—and her latest one is nothing short of amazing.

In an epic video montage, Britney demonstrates a slew of workouts from different days.

“Had a couple of weeks off… ha!!” she captioned the video. “Well, not really… been keeping my body strong and motivating myself every day!! There’s nothing like mommy and workout time, the beautiful outdoors, and flipping into gear.”

To start things off, Britney lifts weights outside in a sports bra and shorts (to highlight her ridiculous abs, obvi). After some yoga moves, the pop star goes totally next-level—she does a freaking backflip before moving back to lifting weights!

In case that’s not impressive enough, next she’s inside a gym, doing high kicks like they’re nothing, lat pulldowns, more weights, and arm weights while doing step-ups (we’re getting tired just talking about it). Oh yeah, and then she does a perfectly straight handstand up against a wall in a bikini top—because, why not?

RELATED: The Killer Core Workout That’ll Get You Abs Like Britney Spears

To top it all off, Britney reveals her flexibility by casually lifting a straightened leg over her head, throws in a few more yoga moves, and works her triceps. And that’s how it’s done, Britney-style.

Naturally, fans loved her workout marathon. “Get it, gurl,” one wrote. “Damn, Britney, you go hard,” another said.

While Britney clearly doesn’t slack at the gym, she also keeps it real when it comes to workout motivation struggles. Last month, fans freaked over this post:

😂😂😂😂

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

But Britney’s latest Instagram has a great message: The whole point of working out is to be healthy and strong. And, if you’re ready to work, you’ll look and feel amazing, too.

 This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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'I Started Eating 600 More Calories Per Day And It Totally Changed My Body'

Three months after having my second child, I decided it was time to get back into shape. At 82kgs, I had put on over 18kgs since before my pregnancy; I found myself binge eating just to get through the sleepless nights.

So I decided to cut calories and start running, which I had never done before. With my new routine, I started to see changes on the scale, but I felt miserable. I didn’t enjoy running very much, and I was starving all the time on my 1,200-calorie-a-day diet—but I thought ramping up my cardio and lowering my calories was the only way to lose weight. Plus, it was technically working.

THE CHANGE

When I hit 63kgs, I was back to my more ideal weight but was completely unhappy with the way I looked. I had lost a lot of body fat, but I was still wobbly—I was, as some people call it, “skinny fat.”

My husband, who works out religiously, convinced me to go to the gym with him. I had never been to a gym before in my life, but I agreed to go and just test a few of the weight machines. I was so nervous. I felt very intimidated and thought everyone was going to be looking at me, judging me for not knowing what I was doing.

But when I got in there, I realized that everyone was doing their own thing and didn’t really take much notice of me. I tried a few machines and, to my surprise, liked it. I liked feeling sore, I wanted to tone up and get stronger, and I liked lifting more than I liked doing cardio—so I signed up and soon started going to the gym on my own.

RELATED: THIS Is How To Change Your Cardio Routine If You Want To Lose 5kg

Soon, I got the bug and was heading to the gym four times a week, but I was still pretty unsure of how to do most exercises. I would spend my evenings when the kids were in bed looking through YouTube and Instagram videos for workout ideas, and then I’d copy those routines at the gym. To my luck, I made a friend in the gym who knew a lot more than me, so I started training with her. She taught me a lot about proper form and, over time, it helped me become knowledgeable about what to do on my own.

THE WORKOUTS

In the beginning, I was following up my weight training with an hour of cardio. I wasn’t that strong and didn’t know exactly what I was doing, so I would just do the exercises on low weight and practice my form.

After learning more about technique, I started doing just 30 minutes of LISS(low-intensity steady state) cardio after lifting weights. I liked doing cardio after my weights so I could use up the energy from my pre-workout meal on lifting, and then burn off the rest during a cardio portion. I usually started with heavy compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts, and then moved on to isolation exercises. I put a lot of focus and effort into my glutes, cranking out exercises like squats, deadlifts, glute bridges, hip thrusts, and using the hip-abduction machine. But I’d also deliberately mix up every single session to keep my muscles shocked and growing.

After a few months of training, I started to see noticeable differences in my muscles as they began to grow and tighten.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Your Butt Isn’t Changing No Matter How Much You Work Out 

My workouts now: Tuesday is legs/glutes, Wednesday is back/arms, Thursday is legs/glutes and Friday is shoulders. Sometimes this changes depending on my kids’ schedules, but that’s my usual routine. 

THE FOOD

One of the biggest factors contributing to my success was ditching my 1,200-calorie diet. It was a struggle to get my head around eating all those extra calories since I didn’t want to put weight back on, but I just had to trust the process and forget about the scales. I discovered that the more food I fed my body, the more the muscles would grow, so I kept upping my calorie and protein intake until I was consuming 2,000 calories per day—and this is when I started to see the real progress, especially in my glutes, the area I focused a lot of effort on. 

One thing I wish I had known from the beginning is that weight lifting increases your metabolism, which burns body fat faster—I put myself through such a miserable time with under-eating and doing hours of cardio and home HIIT workouts, when what I really needed to be doing was lifting. 

Now, I still eat 2,000 calories per day over five smaller meals. I eat every three hours starting at 9 a.m. and make sure each meal contains a ton of protein, adding up to at least 150 grams a day to help my muscles repair and build. I track my macros to make sure I am getting the right amount of protein, but I am not too strict about it. If I am hungry and I want a snack, then I have one. I listen to what my body needs, and what it wants—there aren’t any foods I will never eat. On the weekends, I allow myself treats; if I want chocolate then I will eat it, but I just try not to binge, and instead indulge in moderation.

THE DIFFERENCE

I’ll be honest: My original goal was always to look better, which I thought meant weighing less. But now, at 68kgs, I weigh 5kgs more than when I did during my cardio-only days. 

Along the way, I’ve also learned working out is about so much more than how you look. I have found happiness in fitness; it’s an escape and a therapy. I’ve also found a ton of inspiration and motivation in the Instagram community. I reply to every single message and comment because the fitness industry is all about encouragement and inspiring others to better their lives.

My life has completely changed since I started lifting. I feel strong, I feel sexy, I feel so confident. Before I hated my husband looking at me when I was getting undressed, and now I am like a completely different person. Fitness isn’t just about changing your body, it changes your mind too. I love my body now. It’s in no way perfect—I still have stretch marks and cellulite. I had two kids, after all. But I love the new curves that weightlifting has created for me.

KIM’S NUMBER-ONE TIP

Weight lifting will not give you a manly body. It sculpts and builds your muscles and gives you a beautiful, curvy figure. Most importantly, though, it makes you so much stronger physically and mentally.

As told to Rachael Shultz. 

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.

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The Science Behind Why You Hate Coriander So Much

It’s no secret that coriander is g-damn divisive. Love it, or hate it, you’re bound to have a strong opinion about whether or not it’s perfectly acceptable to pepper your plate with it.  

And for years, we’ve merely speculated about why the leafy green herb causes so many to turn up their noses. But now, we finally have a definitive answer: it’s hard-wired into our genes.

RELATED: Research Shows That Women Prefer The Scent Of Men Who Eat Lots Of This

“We have smell receptors in our nose that are responsible for identifying volatile compounds in the atmosphere, including volatile compounds released from potential foods,” explains Professor Russell Keast, a specialist in sensory and food science at Deakin University. 

“Sense of smell is highly variable between people, so what I experience may not be what you experience, and this can be due to quantity, type and natural variations with smell receptors.”

“It’s these receptors that determine what we taste when we eat coriander,” Keast continues.  “Depending on your smell receptors, you may experience a soap-like flavour, rather than the herby flavour others experience.”

Your hatred for the herb could also have been determined by your exposure to it during childhood.

“This is common to different cultures, or flavour principles of a region,” Keast adds. “For example, many Australians have problems with the intensity of fish sauce, yet South-East Asian populations find it an integral part of their flavouring.”

The bad news? If you’re not already a fan, you’re unlikely to come around to the taste. 

“If somebody has the genetic receptor variant and is experiencing high levels of bitterness, having repeated exposure to that food isn’t necessarily going to teach the likening of that food,” Keast concludes.

Case closed.  

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4 Tricks To Falling Asleep Everyone Needs To Try

You know about no lattes before bed and ditching the 3am phone checks, but there are some sleep-boosters that may surprise you. Snooze on with this lot.

1. Pack prebiotics

Treat your gut to rest up. According to a paper in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, a diet including prebiotics (compounds that fuel your good bacteria, found in foods like artichoke, cashews, lentils and even unripe banana) could equal more non-rapid eye movement sleep, aka the restorative kind.

2. Find meaning

Having purpose and a reason to get out of bed each morning can lead to sounder Zs, report Northwestern University scientists. Sussing out your life’s meaning is a pretty big to-do list task – start by thinking about your values so you can always come back to and appreciate them. Actually ask yourself what’s important to you. “Usually the answer is about family, spending time in nature or pursuing a creative thing that fulfills us,” says Anna Brones, author of Lagom: Balanced Living, The Swedish Way.

3. Try valerian

Not a Game of Thrones character, but a plant known as a natural sleep aid. “Valerian is used in herbal medicine to help relieve nervousness – it has calming properties,” says Antoinette-Louise Barnado, technical manager of innovation at Swisse – the wellness brand took Women’s Health to the Netherlands where it sources valerian to use in products. “The way [it’s believed to] work is by acting on one of the neurotransmitters that’s responsible for helping us go to sleep.” While reviews are mixed, one study in the German journal Psychopharmakotherapie found that insomnia improved after 28 days of popping valerian, compared to a placebo. (Side note: talk to your doc before taking it if you’re on antidepressants.)

4. Be an early bird

A study in Sleep Health discovered that people who enjoyed the most light in the morning – between 8am and noon – also fell asleep more quickly at night and had fewer sleep disturbances than those who were exposed to low levels of light first thing. Best excuse to take an early lunch outside. Night night!

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