Why Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be to Eat More Fiber

(NewsUSA) – The start of a new year is a great time to check in with yourself and think about how you want to improve for the year ahead. But unfortunately, many New Year’s resolutions aren’t realistic and wind up lasting just two to three weeks. Here’s a resolution that’s easy to stick to and can also make a big difference in your overall health and wellness: eat more fiber.Fiber can play an important role in reaching your health and wellness goals in 2019. It’s probably best known for its ability to help keep your digestive system moving, but there are other benefits as well – like helping to promote a feeling of fullness.Even with fiber’s well-known health benefits, nine out of 10 Americans aren’t getting enough in their daily diet, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2015-2016. Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN thinks she knows why."Fiber can be confusing," Harris-Pincus explains. "I think many people have experienced tummy trouble when they ate too much fiber and it overwhelmed their digestive system. With a simple strategy of introducing fiber slowly, they can receive all the health benefits without any discomfort."The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women get 25 grams and men get 38 grams of fiber every day, but most only average 15 grams. Instead of aiming for 25-38 grams on day one, Harris-Pincus has some tips on how you can make this resolution stick:* Only increase your fiber intake by three to five grams each day. That way, you give your body time to adjust.* Mix in high-fiber foods with your regular diet. As you’re ramping up your fiber intake, start by adding fiber to foods you already eat. It could be as simple as adding a high-fiber cereal to a yogurt parfait or adding nuts and berries to your salad.* Drink more water. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids to help carry the fiber through your body. By eating more fiber and drinking more water, you’re helping your digestive system do its job more efficiently.* Find a great-tasting fiber you love. Instead of viewing fiber as a chore, or something you "have to" eat, find a high-fiber option that you can look forward to eating."I think everyone has this idea of fiber as bland and boring," Harris-Pincus says. "But what people don’t realize is that there are tons of great-tasting, high-fiber foods. The easiest place to start is with your morning cereal."Fiber One recently introduced a new fiber-rich cereal that, well, doesn’t taste like a fiber-rich cereal. Fiber One Strawberries and Vanilla Clusters is made with real strawberries and sweet vanilla clusters, but still contains 35 percent of the Daily Value of fiber in every one-cup serving. No pills, nothing to stir, just real food that makes fiber something you can enjoy eating.And for when you’re ready to increase your fiber intake even more, Fiber One Honey Clusters has 40 percent of the Daily Value of fiber, and Fiber One Original Bran has 55 percent.Beyond cereal, Harris-Pincus recommends eating whole fruits and vegetables, leaving the skin on things like apples and potatoes. Beans and legumes are another excellent source of fiber, so don’t shy away from the black beans in your fajitas. For easy snacks, popcorn is another fiber-rich option with four grams of fiber in just three cups of popcorn."Fiber really is overlooked, which is a shame because it can be this great-tasting, powerhouse nutrient," Harris-Pincus explains. "New Year’s resolutions are usually all about cutting calories or increasing protein, when in reality fiber can do all these amazing things for your body. You just have to start eating more of it to realize the benefits." 

Millennials Seek Mindfulness as a Fix for Their High Stress Levels

(NewsUSA) – Call them "Generation Stressed." Millions of Americans just made their New Year’s resolutions, and – while eliminating stress tops the list for many of them – it’s especially important to Millennials. Nearly half of them say they’re stressed all the time over everything from money to work, according to a recent survey, and even spending time around "anxious" people can set them off. That same survey also found that Millennials are overwhelmingly looking for an easy solution.One possible answer? Incorporating Japanese Green Tea into one’s daily routine, since it naturally contains the amino acid L-theanine that can help elevate moods and calm worried minds. (Hey, it’s steeped in Zen tradition.)See the full-sized image here to also learn which hours stress Millennials out most. 

School Choice: A Lightbulb Moment

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Most teachers will tell you that there is nothing more exciting than seeing the “lightbulb moment,” when, suddenly, everything clicks and a student understands a new concept.
And most parents will tell you that seeing their children develop a “spark of inspiration” about a new subject, topic, or interest can be incredibly heartwarming and encouraging.
The idea of school choice combines the need for more “lightbulb moments” and “sparks of inspiration” in our country.
Simply put: school choice gives students the opportunity to attend schools that meet their learning styles and encourage their interests at the same time, making them more likely to be successful in school and in life.
During National School Choice Week (Jan. 20-26), we celebrate the importance of opportunity in education, raising awareness of all different types of schools that are available to American families.
We recognize that every child is unique, and that a one-size-fits-all approach to education doesn’t properly serve students of all stripes, from all backgrounds, with every type of need, passion, and skillset.
One student might thrive in a traditional public school while another student might find her passion at a magnet school, a charter school, a private or parochial school, a virtual school, or through homeschooling.
School choice doesn’t mean elevating one school, sector, or program above another. Instead, it is about matching students with learning environments that meet their individual needs – and about providing the highest-quality education to the next generation.
If you are searching for a new or different school for your child – so that you can see more of those “lightbulb moments” and “sparks of inspiration” in your household – January is the time to start your school search.
Many school and scholarship applications will be due soon, so it’s a great opportunity to attend school open houses and fairs and find out what school is best for your child. In fact, more than 40,500 events and activities are planned during National School Choice Week, and you can learn more at www.schoolchoiceweek.com.

School Choice Opens Doors

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – We are just weeks away from the nation’s largest annual celebration of opportunity in education. That celebration is called National School Choice Week, and it is taking place in every neighborhood and community, through 40,594 independently-planned events and activities.
At open houses, school fairs, coffeehouse meetups, rallies, and more, millions of Americans – students, parents, teachers, school leaders, small business owners, elected officials, and individuals – are gathering to raise awareness of the importance of opportunity in education and the doors that it opens.
At its heart, that is what school choice is all about: opening doors.
For families, school choice opens doors to different types of schools, making it more likely that students can find education settings that inspire them to succeed and be happy.
These options include traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, virtual schools, and home schools. All of these choices are important, and all of these doors should be opened, because every child is unique. A school that works for one student may not work for another.
And school choice continues to open doors for students after they graduate.
With a strong K-12 education, students are more likely to be successful in college, in a vocational program, and in their careers.
In my eight years as President of National School Choice Week, I have witnessed story after story of children finding opportunities they never thought possible, precisely because of school choice.
I have seen students attend college and go on to graduate with masters’ degrees, even though their parents hadn’t finished high school.
I’ve seen students with special needs find a setting where they’ve thrived. I’ve seen students who discovered their passions, escaped bullying, and grew in confidence.
And that’s what makes school choice – and National School Choice Week – so exciting.
Everyone can be a part of this celebration.
So whether you’re looking for a school for your child and want to learn more about your options during the Week, or whether you take time to get informed about all the choices available in your area and share that awareness with others, you’re helping the children in your neighborhood.
Above all, I hope you will use National School Choice Week to open doors, for your family or for other families. The next generation will thank you.
Start today by visiting schoolchoiceweek.com.

If You’re Buying or Selling A Home, These Four Insider Tips Can Help

Chances are, if you’ve been in the market for a home, you’ve been outbid at least once. Or maybe you’re a homeowner who can barely get a nibble from a potential buyer? Yes, it seems as if the real estate market is tricky for both buyers and sellers these days.

“Rising demand among millennials, full employment, and the strong economy have bumped against limited inventory,” the Washington Post reports, “which fuels price increases.” So what to do? Read on to find out some of the best insider tips.

Caring for A Long-Distance Senior Loved One

(NewsUSA) – Long-distance caregiving for a parent or senior loved one is a difficult reality for many adults.A study by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, finds that 23 percent of American adults currently care for an older relative who lives more than an hour away.Providing care from a distance can be stressful. But if relocating closer to a loved one is not an option, Home Instead recommends the following tips to make providing long-distance care a little easier:1. Establish open communication – When visiting your loved one, make time to meet the individuals who are part of his or her everyday life. Whether that’s a physician or caregiver, it’s important to get to know those involved in the daily care of a loved one.2. Be observant – Do your loved ones avoid answering specific questions about their health? Have they stopped participating in their usual activities? Are they unaware of current events or forgotten important dates? These may be warning signs that they need additional care or help around the house.3. Be prepared – Create a list of your older adult’s medical issues/medications, doctor’s names, and legal documents in case you need to access them from afar during an emergency.4. Spend quality time during visits – It’s easy to get wrapped up in caregiving responsibilities.When you visit, set aside time with your loved one to participate in activities unrelated to caregiving. Go see a movie together, plan a visit to see other family members, go for a walk or simply relax at home.5. Get to know neighbors and friends – Get to know your loved one’s neighbors and identify one or two trustworthy individuals who can check in and give you occasional updates.6. Learn more about caregiving – Find support to help you become a better caregiver.For example, Home Instead Senior Care offers resources that can help family members provide better care and learn skills, such as how to safely move someone from a bed to a chair, how to help someone bathe, and how to prevent and treat bed sores, as well as basic first aid.Family members looking for additional resources and support relating to long-distance caregiving can visit caregiverstress.com or find a local Home Instead Senior Care office by going to www.homeinstead.com/state

Don’t Make These Mistakes after A Collision

(NewsUSA) – In the U.S. alone, there are 10 million car accidents every year, and the tense moments following a car accident, even a minor one, can be scary and stressful for everyone involved.Drivers and passengers can feel confused and unsure of what to do. Even the most experienced and seasoned drivers can make basic mistakes after they have been involved in a traumatic event.Simple, avoidable mistakes could cost you time and money, or lead to personal, medical and legal issues.Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid after a collision:* Fleeing the scene: Leaving the scene of an accident could land you in serious legal trouble. You may be in shock, but the most important thing to do is stay where you are.Check on your passengers, and once you exit your vehicle, check with the other driver involved in the accident.Try to remain calm and wait for law enforcement to arrive on the scene. If it is safe to do so, use your cell phone to take photos of your vehicle to document the damage that resulted from the accident while you wait for police.* Not reporting the accident:Even if it’s just a minor collision, always report the accident to the police. Never let someone convince you to avoid calling the police.If you decide to make a claim with your insurance company later on, or if you decide to pursue a legal claim, not reporting the accident could hurt your case.* Exchanging too much information: Do not share your driver’s license or who was at fault with the other driver; however, share this information with the police along with your current insurance.Always exchange contact information with the other driver, get contact info from any witnesses, and obtain full insurance details from other drivers involved in the accident.Make sure accurate information is included in the police report, and ask for a copy of the report to edit any incorrect information.* Failing to get medical advice: You may think that you were lucky enough to escape injury, but you should always get a medical checkup after a car accident, especially if you hit your head.Remember, only a medical professional can rule out possible head trauma and other serious injuries.* Having your vehicle repaired at just any shop: You might have to make a decision on-the-spot as to where to have your vehicle repaired. Don’t make a panicked decision when it comes to your safety.Visit www.goldclass.com to find a Gold Class shop that has collision repair professionals with up-to-date training contributing to complete, safe and quality repairs. 

How to Keep Your Health in Check This Holiday Season

(NewsUSA) – The holidays are known for taking a toll on our bodies . Between the chilly temperatures, onset of flu season and the overabundance of sweet treats at every turn, it’s easy for physical health to fall to the wayside.And, with the excitement of the holidays many forget to take into account the emotional and mental toll that the winter season’s stressors can have on our overall wellness.One way to manage and keep track of your health during this time of year is through wearable devices and engaging with wellness programs, which may offer members a way to earn rewards with healthy activities. Through apps like Go365 by Humana, which is available to employers and groups across the country, rewards can be redeemed to purchase e-gift cards, fitness devices, apparel, charitable donations and product discounts.As the holidays kick into full gear, it’s important to prioritize your health so you can start 2019 off in health and happiness. Below are our top three tips to help you stay well this winter.1. Stay current on your exams, screenings and vaccinations. Ask your doctor what exams and vaccinations you need and when to get them – and make time to do so. A rewards program can help incentivize and drive you to stay up-to-date on these important appointments. In addition to getting your screenings and vaccines, wash your hands often to help avoid the spread of germs.2. Manage stress. Support your mental health through exercises that help relieve anxiety and worry, such as mindfulness, meditation and journaling. Many wellness rewards apps offer personalized meditation, mindfulness experiences and journaling exercises, which are designed to help improve your mental and emotional well-being.3. Eat well and stay active. It’s easy to overindulge during the holidays, but try to limit unhealthy foods as best you can: eating nutrient-rich foods can help you manage your energy levels and boost your mood.And don’t forget to stay active throughout the holiday season. Step challenges with family and friends can help you stay on track and connect socially with others who are working towards the same goal.The holidays are a perfect time of year to enjoy time with friends and loved ones. But they are also a great time to celebrate and protect your well-being. Improving and maintaining your health is a journey, and Humana and Go365 aim to support members in reaching their goals, no matter the time of year.To learn more about how Go365 guides individuals on their journey toward better well-being, go to go365.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook.

Ease Gift-Giving Anxiety with This Simple Tip: Ask a Bookseller

(NewsUSA) – Between the planning, gift-buying and parties, the holidays can be a stressful time.In fact, holiday stress is so pervasive that the American Psychological Association has a full resource center dedicated to the topic. In a section called Dealing with the pressure of gift-giving, the Association gives recommendations ranging from taking care of yourself with rest and relaxation to keeping a holiday to-do list.And even though many people do keep a list of those they need to get gifts for, there’s still anxiety that goes along with that, for good reason.According to a survey by Barnes & Noble of nearly 1,000 of its booksellers, customers in their stores have the hardest time shopping for people they don’t know well, like co-workers, distant relatives, and friends’ children.As hard as it may be to shop for others, there is an often-overlooked resource: the store associates you see every time you go shopping.This survey found that it usually takes less than 10 minutes for a Barnes & Noble bookseller to match a shopper with the perfect book.Case in point – we asked four Barnes & Noble booksellers to make a gift recommendation based on just a little bit of information about the recipient.* For the thrill-seeker: Buying for someone who is always looking for the next good page-turner? Barnes & Noble bookseller Bill Gibson recommends James Patterson’s latest, Target: Alex Cross."This thriller keeps you moving, and as always with any James Patterson book, there’s a twist that boggles your mind," Gibson says.* For the lit-lover: Barnes & Noble bookseller Jennifer Welsh knows a thing or two about books, being an avid reader of fiction. What is her recommendation for a great, but thought-provoking read this holiday season?"Fans of Barbara Kingsolver have been waiting years for her next work of fiction, and newly released Unsheltered is everything they’ve been waiting for – a smart read that combines history, science, and politics with family dysfunction," Welsh says. "Barnes & Noble is offering an exclusive version of Unsheltered, where Kingsolver shares her historical research and inspirations for this novel, as well as a provocative essay on the challenges we all face in the future."* For the Harry Potter fans: Have a niece or nephew who loves all things Harry Potter? Bookseller Renata Borka can point you to the latest Harry Potter books and accessories."We have an amazing assortment of everything Harry Potter – books, wands, LEGO products," Borka says. "For your Harry Potter fan, we are the place to shop."* For the political junkie: For people who love politics, bookseller Carlos Morales points to a new book by acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership: In Turbulent Times.According to Morales, "this is the perfect gift for the history buff. For someone who is a fan of Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals or Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, this is a great follow-up."In the end, the holidays may always be a little stressful. Asking for help can go a long way in easing the burden. 

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – One might not think that someone with no arms and no legs could swim, much less scuba dive, but with the help of one non-profit organization based in the Chicagoland area, children, veterans and people of all abilities around the world can benefit from zero gravity and scuba therapy.
The Downers Grove-based Diveheart Foundation has been serving individuals with everything from spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries to those on the autism spectrum and with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since 2001, this 501 C3, volunteer-driven charity has done everything from helping to facilitate cutting-edge scuba therapy research with university medical centers around the country to launching a leading international adaptive scuba training program for scuba instructors, dive buddies and adaptive divers (Diveheart refers to people with disabilities as adaptive divers, not handicapped or disabled divers).
“It’s not about scuba diving,” according to Tinamarie Hernandez, Diveheart Executive Director.
“Diveheart’s ultimate goal is to take the unrealized human potential that exists with individuals with disabilities and create a paradigm shift in their lives,” she says.
“We take Chris in the wheelchair and help him or her become Chris the scuba diver. Now Chris is no longer defined by his or her disability,” she adds.
“Diveheart then helps direct them to activities like coral reef restoration, marine biology and oceanography, giving them focus, purpose and helping them to feel valued while they are learning to become good stewards of the environment.”
Diveheart’s free scuba experience programs reach from coast to coast in the U.S. and are replicated by Diveheart teams as far away as Malaysia.
Researchers from around the country have found that the benefits of scuba therapy and zero gravity underwater range from relief of symptoms caused by post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to increased focus and a sense of well-being in those with developmental disabilities.
Researchers have also discovered that there are big benefits in going deep because the body produces an extra output of serotonin once divers reach 66 feet underwater. However, those with developmental and physical disabilities can benefit from the very first pool session.
Diveheart’s ultimate goal is to secure funding to build a deep warm-water research and training facility so that the benefits of scuba therapy can be replicated in a safe, confined, warm-water environment.
More information on Diveheart and scuba therapy can be found at www.diveheart.org