Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Sweet or dry? Wine choice reveals your personality

June 25, 2010


A taste for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay or a liking for Merlot or Shiraz can indicate more than just a preference in wines. It could also reveal personality traits.

New research showed that drinkers who preferred a sweet taste in wine were more likely to be impulsive while those who chose dry varieties had greater openness.

 According to the Australian researchers, participants with a sweet taste preference were significantly higher in impulsiveness than their dry preference counterparts.

 Researcher for Sheffield Hallam University added that apart from impulsiveness and openness, no other personality trait was significantly different between the two groups.

“There is some support for the notion that sweet preference develops early in humans and thus could drive the development of impulsiveness,” said the researchers

They tested the wine preference of 45 people from Sheffield in South Yorkshire and divided them into two groups — those who liked sweet or dry wine.

 Each group was also given personality tests to evaluate their impulsiveness, empathy, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The researchers said there is some evidence that a preference for sweet tastes fluctuates throughout life. It seems to be heightened during childhood and then declines in late adolescence.

 Source: Reuters


Easy recipes for a balanced breakfast and lunch

June 21, 2010


With people showing increased interest in what they are eating nowadays, it is more important than ever to be able to find recipes that are both easy to make, are nutritionally balanced, and taste good, too. There are always easy recipes to find for dinner, but breakfast and lunch are often overlooked. Here are a few favourites to make that are both tasty and healthy.

Hearty and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Banana-Berry Smoothie

This is a great recipes because it is quick and you can take it on the go. It will make two delicious servings, which contain fruit along with soy protein and fiber.


  • 1-1/4 cups orange juice, with calcium
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2 ice cubes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, optional


Mix banana, orange juice, tofu, and crushed ice in a kitchen blender; cover and blend till smooth with a little froth on the top. Sweeten to taste with sugar (or honey). Serve immediately.

Triple B Pancakes


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, sliced in half


  1. Add all ingredients (except the blueberries) into a medium mixing bowl. Mix with a wire whisk until well blended.
  2. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Cook on a griddle with a low-fat cooking spray.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

Pleasing Lunches that are Low in Fat

Lunch is often overlooked as an important meal of the day. Because of this, the menus and recipes for this meal are sometimes rather sparse. Here are a few healthy and tasty lunch time recipes.

Greek Tofu Salad

This is a quick salad that can be made into a meal. Add your favorite low-fat beverage, and you will be definitely be satisfied.


  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Mix together the feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives, lemon juice, oil, and oregano in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the tofu and mash together all ingredients until well blended.
  3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and add tomato, cucumbers, and parsley.
  6. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired, by lightly sprinkling on top of the salad.

Italian Lunch Omelet

This is an omelet with an Italian twist. It is wonderful with almost any combination of herbs. Try dill, parsley, or even marjoram, and you won’t be disappointed.


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ricotta


  1. Place onion and 1/4 cup water in a small nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Cover and cook the onion until it is slightly softened (about 2 minutes). Uncover and continue to cook until the water is completely evaporated (about 1 to 2 minutes). Drizzle in oil and stir until onion is covered. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to brown (1 or 2 additional minutes).
  2. Add the egg substitute until the egg starts to set (about 20 seconds). Continue to cook, lifting the edges so the uncooked part of the egg is allow to flow underneath until it is almost set (30 seconds more).
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, herbs over the frittata then spoon cheese on the top. Lift up an edge of the frittata so that you can drizzle the rest of the 1 tablespoon of water under it. Now cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot (2 minutes). Use a non-stick spatula to slide out the frittata and serve.

From start to finish it take about 10 minutes.

Healthy cooking should not be just a dinner option. If you truly want to watch your nutritional intake and keep yourself healthy, you need to include breakfast and lunch recipes in the routine. It’s fun to try new recipes, and places like and make it easier.

Read more at Suite101: Easy Recipes for Healthy Cooking

Will a glass of red wine keep tooth decay at bay?

June 1, 2010

For those who value their super-bright smile, it has always been the drink to avoid. But red wine could actually be good for your teeth, scientists have claimed.

They have found it contains chemicals that could ward off decay by stopping harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth.

The findings, due to be published in the journal Food Chemistry, suggest a daily glass of red could help to keep teeth healthy and reduce the need for fillings.

In contrast, a recent study showed white wine could damage dental health because its high acid content erodes the enamel that coats the surface of a tooth.

Red wine, when drunk in moderation, is already thought to have a protective effect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.

But in recent years, scientists have also been investigating whether it could help to prevent dental decay. Last year, a team of U.S. researchers discovered that chemicals found in large quantities in the discarded seeds and skins of grapes pressed to make wine blocked the ability of corrosive bacteria to bind with tooth enamel.

Red more on:

Enjoy your wine and food- regardless of the paring rules

May 26, 2010

Some food and wine connoisseurs have made food and wine pairing so rigid that they are missing the point completely. Traditionally, certain wines are recommended to be served with certain dishes. The “rules” state that red wine will complement red meat, while white wine is recommended with fish or fowl.

Some people who are not huge fans of white wine, instead, prefer a Pinot Noir – which is a light-bodied red wine – with salmon or fish. If someone does not particularly enjoy red wine, you simply can’t force them to pair a Cabernet with steak.

New food and wine pairings are all about bending the rules to suit your palate. For example, uniquely South African Pinotage with medium body is also delicious served with seafood such as salmon.

The only “rule” to remember is to match the wine intensity or body with the flavour of the food so that the wine does not overpower the food, or vice versa. Even a so-called untrained palate seeks what it likes – trust your tastebuds and mix and match until you find something that you enjoy.

Rules? You know what to do them! Wine is simply something that must be enjoyed – regardless of perfect pairings.


Moderate wine drinkers have healthier lifestyles

May 20, 2010

Moderate wine drinkers have a healthier lifestyle than teetotallers, according to a surprising new study.

This is because those who enjoyed a few glasses of wine a day tended to take more exercise, have a higher social status and suffer from less stress, according to researchers

Researchers from the Public Assistance Hospitals in Paris looked at nearly 150,000 people and concluded those who enjoyed low or moderate intake of alcohol tended to exercise more, have higher social status and suffer from less stress compared to people who never touched a drop or drank to excess.

The volunteers included more than 97,000 men and 52,000 women. Researchers split them up into five groups that consisted of no alcohol consumption, low alcohol consumption, moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers and former drinkers.

The results showed those who drank moderately were more likely to have lower cardiovascular disease risk, heart rate, stress, depression and body mass index (BMI).

“Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status, and this could be a key reason for improved health  in these subjects,” study author, Dr. Boris Hansel said.

Moderate drinkers also scored higher on health measures such as respiratory function and physical activity.


Laughter and red wine: The key to longevity

May 17, 2010

Two separate research groups have released findings that might confirm what you may know: Laughter and red wine and a handful of walnuts or peanuts are the best longevity, disease-fighting and anti-aging secrets out there.

Reports from the Montefiore Einstein Cancerdefine Center at Montefiore Hospital are that they have been using ‘strength through laughter’ therapy to cure patients for the last five years.

During the laughter therapy session, the patients crack each other up and laugh to forget their own illness; they also use good film comedies, books and stand-up specials during the session.

The American Cancer Society and other medical experts say that laughter is the best therapy to reduce tension and relax the body. It lowers the blood pressure, reduces stress hormones define and increases muscle flexion.  Many medical experts laud laughter’s unique internal organ massage benefits.

To add to this, Harvard researchers have made claims they have a critical key to unlock the secret of aging. The Harvard studies showed that resveratrol also found in the crust of peanuts and walnuts, in grapes, peanut butter, pistachios and other foods seemed to ward off the effect of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscles.


The recipe for balance

April 29, 2010

Balance for life is like an old family recipe handed down from generation to generation, yet it was never written down.

Balance for life takes some “eye balling.” It takes trying different things, building upon successes and learning from mistakes. It takes a few, standard, ingredients like self-confidence, assertiveness, delegation, and personal insight. Each of these individual ingredients relies upon the other and improves itself as well as the others the more you work on each individual one.

Sounds confusing doesn’t it? It just implies that to create balance for life you need some self-confidence to be assertive, you need assertiveness skills to delegate, and personal insight to know when to stand up for yourself, and when to delegate, in doing all of that you begin to feel more self-confident which in the end creates a more balanced life.


How to Create a Better Work/Life Balance?

April 19, 2010

We lead busy lives with much less time for ourselves than our parents had. The global Credit Crunch and the resulting recession have only made matters worse. The demands on our time are multiple and competing. We’re torn between our priorities. It’s a lose-lose situation and it greatly diminishes our capacity to enjoy life.

Work monopolises our time. With all the electronic interruptions in our lives; work intrudes into our personal life more than ever. It’s impossible to get out to a social event without checking email on your Blackberry every five minutes. One of the first steps to finding balance in your life is to reduce, or remove those intrusions from our personal time.

Set boundaries, if you cannot do your job within working hours, there is a problem and you need to address that. If you commonly work beyond those hours, it will impact on your personal life. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but you must do something about it.

The key comes from time-managing your work-life balance. If you know you have to work late, make it a particular goal to spend time doing something with your loved ones at the weekend. If you stay late at work tonight, then plan a day out with your family on Sunday. If you have to go away for business, then when you return, you should take your partner out to dinner. Any social events that take your mind away from work will help you to return to work refreshed and replenished. It’s not just about spending more time at home; your resting time makes you more effective at work too. It’s all a matter of balance.

Kim Rix suggests that you replace any time you take away from your personal life with something meaningful. Don’t just crash in front of the television at the end of the day! Organise some way to spend that precious time. In our business life, we plan, we organise, and we take action. When questioned by psychologists, people said that they felt happiest when they had an activity, whether it was at work or home. So if you want to enjoy your home life more, activities and events are core to finding balance.

You’ll never be stuck for ideas; there are always plenty of engaging events happening in your local area, you just need to know where to look. Whether you prefer attending an engaging social event such as a fine dining in great company or a stimulating evening at the theatre, you return to work reinvigorated by the personal investment into your social life.

The balance between a satisfying career and a gratifying home life is vital to personal happiness. To do so:

– Jealously guard your private time

– Turn off electronic distractions such as phones and laptops

– Don’t spend your free time vegetating in front of the television

– Invest time in structured social events and activities

– Get a good night’s sleep.

Following these simple tips will help you to enjoy a healthy work-life balance that reduces stress and rewards us personally and professionally.


The elements of a Well-Balanced Lifestyle

April 8, 2010

Modern life is at an extremely fast pace and it is sometimes difficult to live a well balanced life. Some life coaches say  you must make time to look holistically at your lifestyle to strive towards a balanced lifestyle.

A Well-Balanced Lifestyle and Healthy Life Habits Should Include:

  • Balancing your schedule between work, rest, and play
  • Enjoying fresh air and sunshine
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Regular exercise
  • Quality time with family and friends
  • Regular medical check-ups with your doctor
  • Time spent having fun and learning new things
  • Recreational activities, sports, and hobbies
  • Down time to rest, rejuvenate, and recharge your batteries
  • And whatever your religious beliefs…time to strengthen your faith and renew your spirit

Read more…

Wine, chocolate sharpen brain performance

April 6, 2010

Good news for chocolate, wine and tea lovers as consuming the three delights daily actually helps improve your cognitive performance.

Researchers in Norway and the Oxford University studied the relation between cognitive performance and the intake of three common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine and tea) on 2,031 older people aged between 70 and 74.

Participants filled in information about their habitual food intake and underwent a battery of cognitive tests.

Those who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not. The team reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition.

The latest findings seem to support the theory, although the researchers caution that more research would be needed to prove that it was flavonoids, rather than some other aspect of the foods studied, that made the difference. The effect was most pronounced for wine.