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Archive for December, 2010

11 Ways to Drink Green

11 Ways to Drink Green

Staying health-conscious—and even green—doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to drinking. From the difference between organic and biodynamic wine, to açai alcohol and green gin, rum, and more, find out what you need to know about sipping sustainably.

Whether you prefer red or white, how to make sure your wine is green:

Pour Organic:
Don’t be swayed by a label that says a wine is made with natural ingredients—it doesn’t mean your choice is organic. A wine can receive the USDA’s organic label if it falls under one of two classifications: 100 Percent Organic Wine (which means its made of 100% organic certified grapes, with no sulfites, nitrates, or other non-organic ingredients added), or Organic, Made with Organic Grapes (which means 95% of the wine has to come from organic grapes, with no added sulfites).

Sip SIP-Certified Wine:
Sustainability in Practice is a certification Program that provides a verifiable method to authenticate a vineyard’s attention to integrated farming practices—a commitment to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and economic viability—that was developed by the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable winegrowing since 1994. For a list of SIP-certified wines, go to sipthegoodlife.org.

Drink Biodynamic:
Biodynamic farming views farms and vineyards as self-sustaining ecosystems, and in addition to being USDA-certified organic, biodynamic vineyards also can’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and implement sustainable farming practices like energy- and water-saving techniques. For a list of biodynamic wines, check out vinography.com.

Screw Up:
Aluminum screwtops require less materials and are recyclable—so consider screwtop over corked wine.

Think Inside the Box:
It may remind you of your college days, but boxed wine has come a long way, baby. Check out organic options like Yellow+Blue Wine (ybwines.com)—their motto, “Drink Well. Do Good.” is certainly easy to get behind, and Y+B—made with 100% organic hand-picked grapes and packaged in eco-friendly Tetra Pak packaging—is the only carbon-neutral wine importer in the U.S.

 Image via flickr.com/wickenden

What Makes Alcohol Organic?
To be USDA-certified as an organic alcohol, the spirit must be made of ingredients grown on certified organic farms and processed in a certified organic distillery with no pesticides or fertilizers on the grains and no nitrogen or other chemicals in the distilling process.

Add Organic Flavor:
Square One Vodka is USDA-certified organic made from organically grown American rye from North Dakota and distilled using water from the Teton Mountains, plus, it’s infused with a bold blend of 8 organic botanicals: pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel. Find Square One at squareoneorganicspirits.com.

Discover Açai Alcohol:
Antioxidant rich, VeeV is the world’s first açai spirit, made from wildly harvested Brazilian açai berries and organic winter wheat grain. VeeV also donates $1 for every bottle sold to Sambazon’s Sustainable Açai Project.  And though it’s not USDA-certified organic, VeeV is certified carbon neutral by Climate Clean LLC, making them the first U.S. alcohol company to completely offset the carbon footprint of their business activities. Find VeeV at veevlife.com.

Order a Round of Rum:

Papagayo Rum is the world’s first organic rum, and is produced by more than 800 families receiving fair wages, education and support from the Fair Trade Association. And with a long list of accolades, like medals in both the 2007 and 2006 International Wine & Spirits Competition, you can be sure that Papagayo does good and tastes good.

Recycle the Bottle:
Not only is Vodka 14 (vodka14.com) USDA-certified organic—it’s made from Rocky Mountain spring water and organic grain—but the bottle is entirely recyclable, too. The bottle’s design is baked on, not make from plastic, and in addition to a recyclable cork, even Vodka 14’s safety seal is made from PETG, an environmentally sound and recyclable plastic.

Make Your Dirty Martini a Little Cleaner:
Add your two olives to Juniper Green Gin (junipergreen.org), the world’s first organic dry gin. Produced at a London distillery using organic grains and organic botanicals, Juniper Green Gin is USDA-certified organic in America, and certified organic by the British Soil Association in the UK. Another option, Bluecoat gin (bluecoatgin.com) uses organic juniper berries, with no additives and all natural, organic botanicals.

Diana Vilibert is a freelance lifestyle, dating, and sex writer living in New York City. You can also find her at www.diana-vilibert.com.

10 Tips For Reinventing Yourself

10 Tips For Reinventing Yourself

10 Tips For Reinventing Yourself

After three months of a book tour for What’s Up Down There? that sells me to the world as the “Girlfriend Gynecologist,” I’m officially hanging up my white coat and giving away my speculums to shift my practice from a medical practice to a pure coaching practice. My mother thinks I’m crazy, but bless her heart, she said, “Honey, if you’re happy, then I’m happy.” And I’m blissful. Gleeful. Bubbling over with pink sparkly joy. I can hardly contain myself.

Plate o’ Love (side of Medicine)

For years, I’ve been telling people that I practice love with a little bit of medicine on the side. Lately, the medicine part has felt like more and more of a distraction. The details of lab tests, Pap smears, and prescriptions seem so secondary to what I’m really good at–the LOVE. Recently, as much as I’ve loved my medical practice at the Owning Pink Center, I’ve found myself feeling like some heeby-jeeby bug-like creature that longs to shed the last sleeve of the white coat skin I’ve been trying to escape for years now so I can fully unfurl my wings and FLY.

Letting go of this gigantic defining factor in my life–releasing my identity as “DOCTOR’–feels like lifting an elephant off my chest. I feel light as pixie dust, and with this lightness, I feel like I can do anything, like I can continue to reinvent my outer life so it better matches my inner life.

Since 90% of my medical practice has been coaching women to live fuller, more vital lives by owning all the facets of what makes them whole–their creativity, their spirituality, their health, their sexuality, their relationships, and the very purpose of their lives- it feels like a natural reinvention. I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve just been calling it something else.

Each unpeeling of the onion of ME gets me one layer closer to the essential heart of who I really am, and the more I unpeel the onion, the more blissful I feel, the more authentic I am, the more whole I become.

Do you long to do the same? Here are some tips I learned along the way.

10 Tips For Reinventing Yourself

  1. Don’t put yourself in a box or let anyone else put you in one. Avoid the temptation to limit yourself to a “niche” that is too narrow for all of who you are. Keep yourself expansive.
  2. Remember that life is not a one way street. Reinventing yourself doesn’t mean you can’t drive two ways on the road of your life.
  3. Hold onto your childhood dreams. It’s never too late to live your truth and let your freak flag fly. Let your dreams be limitless.
  4. Send your inner critic to time out. Don’t judge who you really are.
  5. Avoid worrying about what “everybody” thinks. After all, most of the time, “everybody” boils down to only a few key people whose opinions may not be the best guiding forces in your life.
  6. Trust your inner guidance over even your wisest mentors. Check in with your body. Listen to your gut and your heart. YOU know best.
  7. Resist the temptation to let fear rule your decisions. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  8. Don’t rely on labels to define you. Your purest definition comes from within–and nobody can ever take that away from you, no matter how you reinvent yourself.
  9. Surround yourself with other people who fearlessly reinvent themselves. Let them blow pixie dust beneath your wings while you return the favor. Butterflies love flying companions.
  10. Be ALL YOU, ALL THE TIME while you’re considering your reinvention. Switching one false mask for another merely covers your truth with another façade. Unveil the beauty that is YOU without apology.

What about you? What layers of the onion do you long to unpeel? How would you reinvent yourself if you took fear and judgment out of the equation?

Hey, if a doctor can take off her white coat after twelve years of education and ten years of practice to be more of who she really longs to be, we as beings evolving together can do ANYTHING.

*     *     *     *

Need guidance as you reinvent yourself? Let Lissa Rankin help you catalyze the kind of change that will take you deeper into the joy of living an authentic life. For more about Lissa’s coaching or to make an appointment, click here.

Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, founder of Owning Pink, and author of the forthcoming What’s Up Down There: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin’s Press, September 2010).

7 Organic Cocktail Recipes

7 Organic Cocktail Recipes

Drink green with these organic cocktail recipes made with eco-friendly spirits.

Botanical Lemon Drop

2 oz. Square One Botanical Vodka

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz. organic agave nectar

1/2 bar spoon of Absinthe

Pour absinthe into a chilled cocktail glass, swirl to coat the glass and shake out excess. Pour all other ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake hard and strain.  Garnish with lemon twist.

Eco Mojito

2 ounces VeeV Acai Spirit

3/4 ounces agave nectar

4 lime wedges

6 mint leaves

Club soda

Tear mint leaves and drop into shaker. Shake all ingredients with ice and transfer into a rock glass. Top with club soda and stir well.

Mountain Blueberry 14

3 ounces of Vodka 14

2 ounces of organic blueberry nectar

Splash of organic balsamic vinegar

Squeeze of fresh organic lime juice

Grind of black pepper

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini or cosmo glass.

 
Wicked Dirty Martini 14

3 ounces of Vodka 14 with ice.

1 tablespoon of olive brine

Black pepper

Pimento stuffed olive

Shake vodka with ice. Add up to a tablespoon of olive brine, to taste, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a generous skewer of pimento stuffed olives and finish with a generous coarse grind of fresh black pepper.

Bluecoat Tom Collins

2 ounces Bluecoat American Dry Gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
3 ounce club soda
1 slice orange

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the Bluecoat, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the orange slice.

4 Copas Organic Margarita

2 oz. 4 Copas Organic Blanco Tequila

1.5 oz. Organic Lime Juice

1 oz. Organic 4 Copas Blue Agave Nectar

Splash of club soda

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Fill glass with ice strain the mixture over fresh ice, garnish with lime and serve.

Strawberry Basil Spritzer

2 oz. Square One Organic Vodka

3 strawberries

2 basil leaves

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. agave nectar

Club soda

Muddle strawberries and basil in a mixing glass.  Add other ingredients except club soda. Shake briefly with ice.  Strain into tall Collins glass filled with ice and layered with a few slices of strawberry and basil chiffonade.  Top with club soda.  Serve with a straw. (Credit: Allison Evanow)

(Remember there are also Organic Wines!  A favorite of Leesa’s is Vida Organica Malbec from Argentina found at www.WholeFoods.com)

Diana Vilibert is a freelance lifestyle, dating, and sex writer living in New York City. You can also find her at www.diana-vilibert.com

Observation is the key!

Observation is the key!
 

Many of you are familiar with the stories and movies about Sherlock Holmes.  His reported insight and brilliance are legendary.  He was once asked by his assistant how he was able to see so many things that other people missed.  Holmes answered, “It’s elementary, Watson!”  In other words, Sherlock Holmes indicated that he was able to see things that other people missed simply because he paid closer attention and observed what was taking place around him.  The same can be true of us.
 
Recently I came across an article that caught my attention.  It was about how many fruits and vegetables not only resemble human body parts, but also contain nutrients that nourish those same body parts.  I don’t know if you have ever seen this information or not, but it is without a doubt, one of the most fascinating things I have ever read!  It reminded me once again of the power of observation because I cannot believe that I have lived my entire life without noticing the resemblance!  Let me share an abbreviated few of these with you.
 
Carrots – The pupil, iris, and radiating lines of the human eye are mimicked in a slice of carrot.  Science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to, and function of, the eyes.  Carrots have also been found to help protect one’s vision – especially night vision.
 
Tomatoes – The sliced red tomato has four chambers, characteristics shared with the human heart.  All the research shows that the tomato is the pure heart and blood food.  Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and more.  Tomato juice can also reduce the tendency toward blood clotting.
 
Grapes – Grapes hang in a cluster that has the same shape as a heart.  Each grape looks like a blood cell and research today indicates that grapes also promote heart and blood health.  The stronger the color of the grape, the higher is the concentration of phytonutrients.  Grapes prevent heart disease and reduce platelet clumping and harmful blood clots.
 
Walnuts – A walnut looks like a miniature brain with a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrum and lower cerebellum.  The nut even has wrinkles or folds just like the neo-cortex of the brain.  We now know that walnuts help develop over three dozen neuron-transmitters for brain food.  Research suggests that walnuts may reduce the risks of (or at least delay) the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  The high concentration of omega-3 fats in walnuts promotes healthy brain function as well.
 
Kidney Beans – Kidney beans, which are shaped just like human kidneys, actually help heal and maintain kidney function.  They provide nutrients that are helpful in detoxifying the body.
 
Celery – With its bone-like appearance, celery is rich in silicon and Vitamin K, which are needed for healthy joints and bones.
 
Sweet Potato – A sweet potato resembles the pancreas and has a low glycemic index count, which is beneficial for diabetics. 
 
Onions – Sliced onions bear a resemblance to skin cells and contain quercetin.  Studies have shown that when treated with a combination of quercetin and ultra-sound at 20 kHz for one minute, skin and prostate cancer cells show 90% mortality within 48 hours with no visible affect on normal cells.
 
Olives – Olives look very much like ovaries and may help reduce hot flashes in women going through menopause.  And, research indicates that olive oil may reduce ovarian cancer by 30%. 
 
Citrus fruits – Oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits have been compared to the appearance of female mammary glands.  These fruits contain nutrients that are helpful in the fight against breast cancer.
 
Figs and avocados -Well, I just don’t feel brave enough to go into this in a Tip, but let me encourage you males to eat lots of figs and you females, lots of avocados.  It will work wonders for your marriage!  I think you get the idea of what I’m trying to communicate.
 
Who would have ever thought that all of these fruits and vegetables could have such a profound effect on different parts of our bodies?  Yet, I believe they were designed to look like the part of the human body that they are able to help.
 
Now, I am no Sherlock Holmes, but I certainly know that I am able to observe more than I do if I will just open my eyes and pay attention.  I have begun to include more of these nutrient-rich foods in my diet and it has already had an effect on me for the better.  I am always looking for ways to make my life healthier and more productive.  Since I believe that you are the kind of person that feels the same way that I do about life, I thought you would be interested in this information as well.
 
Let me encourage you to be more like Sherlock Holmes in your approach to life by being more observant.  Now, let’s finish this year in style and have a great new year together! 
 
(By the way, pass the figs and avocados!)
 
 
Tip:  Observation is the key!
 

Have a great week!  God bless you!
Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.
Personality Insights, Inc.

Copyright 2010 Personality Insights, Inc.  Reprinted with permission. You may subscribe to the  “Tip of the Week” for free at http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

Are You Eating MSG Without Knowing It?

Are You Eating MSG Without Knowing It?

MSG by any other name would still be as harmful.  This nervous system toxin masquerades in many other food additives that also contain MSG.  According to board-certified neurosurgeon Russel Blaylock, MD, author of Excitotoxins:  The Taste that Kills, here are some of the many names for this harmful toxin so you know what to look for on food labels:

Additives that always contain MSG:

-Monosodium glutamate (that’s the full name for MSG)

-Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

-Hydrolyzed protein

-Hydrolyzed plant protein

-Plant protein extract

-Sodium caseinate

-Calcium caseinate

-Yeast extract

-Textured protein

-Autolyzed yeast

-Hydrolyzed oat flour

Additives that frequently contain MSG:

-Malt extract

-Malt Flavoring

-Bouillon

-Broth

-Stock

-Flavoring

-Natural Flavoring

-Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring

-Seasoning

-Spices

Additives that sometimes contain MSG

-Carrageenan

-Enzymes

-Soy Protein Concentrate

-Soy Protein Isolate

-Whey Protein Isolate

Next time you’re buying packaged foods, be sure to take this list with you to avoid harmful neurotoxins that could be affecting your health.

by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, is an international best-selling and seven-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Phytozyme Cure and HealthSmart News. Learn more at www.DrMichelleCook.com.

20 Gifts to Feel Good About…Ideas for Green Fashionistas, Animal Lovers, Eco Enthusiasts

20 Gifts to Feel Good About

Still need gifts? We got you covered!

Here are our best suggestions for Green Fashionistas, Animal Lovers, Eco Enthusiasts, and Gifted Gardeners.

Green Fashionista

1. Apparel and jewelry from Nest
Nest is a nonprofit that empowers female artists around the world. Browse their beautiful products here. Watch the Nest overview video here.

Baeta Earrings, made by Nest loan-recipients in Rwanda – $15.00

2. PACT underwear
This underwear definitely makes an impact. When you buy a pair, you are supporting organic cotton farmers, responsible labor practices, and various non-profits. Each purchase supports a partnered non-profit such as EarthSpark, Oceana, or 862 National. 

Get 25 percent off your purchase by entering the discount code 25percentcare2 at checkout. Free shipping on orders with three or more pairs. From $16 (before discount).

3. Tote bag or clutch from Ties that Matter
Ties that Matter takes old ties and repurposes them into fashionable purses, bags and pillows. Price: From $16.

Animal Lovers

1. Life DVD set
The Life series includes incredible footage of some of the amazing creatures that inhabit the planet. 3,000 days of filming, 70 different cameramen, 4 discs. $39.99
Watch these two clips from the Discovery series:
Beautiful Bird Mating Dance
Bowerbird Treasures

2. Buffalo Babysitter
Who wouldn’t want to babysit a buffalo? When baby buffalo roam outside Yellowstone park in search of fresh grass, they are often hazed by government agents and are subject to mistreatment. Your gift helps protect these beautiful creatures. Your recipient will receive a personalized card or e-card when you purchase this or other NRDC gifts. $15.

 Animal Companions

1. Sweetie Pie Treats
Dog treats that meet all the standards: healthy, tasty, and sustainable. Made from anti-oxidant filled sweet potatoes and free-range chicken, these treats seem to be a favorite of dogs. Feel good about your purchase — a portion of Bark Stix profits support Greyhound rescue and adoption groups. $8.95

2. Hemp Dog Bones
These 100 percent Eco-Friendly Stuffed Hemp Bone Toys consist of a hemp canvas shell and are stuffed with recycled poly-cotton, making them an enjoyable chew toy for your pet. Soft, yet firm, these bones are perfect for tugging, throwing, chewing and snuggling. $8.95

3. EcoChoices EcoAnimal also has a variety of toys made out of post-consumer recycled materials, such as the squeaky turtle posted below.

Squeaky Turtle Toy produced from 85% post-consumer recycled materials – $13.95

4. Zogoflex Dog Toys
Zogoflex differs from other plastics typically used in dog toys in that it’s engineered to be recyclable and is made from an FDA-approved material that is safe and non-toxic. Now if Spot gnaws up his Zogoflex frisbee, his owner can send the broken remainders back to West Paw Design, where they’ll be ground down, made into a new toy of the owner’s choosing, and returned at no extra cost. From $8.50

5. Cool Hemp Dog Collars
The cutest dog collars ever, adjustable and made of hemp. $20.

6. Green Cat Collars
Give the gift of a soft (not nylon) and eco-friendly collar to your cat–try organic cotton, hemp, recycled cotton or bamboo. $5-$13.

Eco Enthusiasts

1. eco.love Wine
eco.love Wine tastes as good as it looks. The gorgeous bottles and delicious varieties make them an ideal gift. The wine is created with sustainable practices and is carboNZero Certified; choose from three varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. $16.99.

2. Reusable Water Bottles

  • love bottles are a creative way to send love and sustainability to your gift recipient. This company offers reusable glass water bottles that you can write on, decorate, and use as a message board for sending positive messages out to the world.
  • Kleen Kanteen makes stainless steel bottles that come in just about every color you can imagine. Under $20.
  • Bobble Water has the look and weight of plastic water bottles, but they are reusable, filtered, and BPA free. Under $10.

 3. Reusable Bags Reusable bags are always a great gift. Don’t forget about different-sized bags for various purposes.

  • Reuseit.com has a line of cleverly designed canvas bags that send clear messages about their disposable counterparts. Made with Fair Labor and Fair Wages, Reuseit.com products are backed by the reuseit™ Lifetime Guarantee.
Recycled Cotton Lunch Bag from Reuseit.com – $11.95
  • esse offers chic and sustainable reusable bags in all sizes (their smaller bag made with mesh fabric is perfect for produce!). Win a complete esse shopping set by leaving a comment on the article here.

4. Going Green action plan For an unconventional (and very green) gift, Going Green Today provides a customized, tailored, and very effective, action plan that will help your gift recipient save money and carbon emissions. $47.  

5. CSA Membership How could you go wrong with fresh produce delivered right to your recipient’s door? The gift that keeps on giving… and supports local farmers! Price: Varies.

Gardeners

 1. Oasis Garden from VivaTerra Everyone could use some green in their space. Give the green gift of a plant that doesn’t need a lot of water and is long-lasting and low-maintenance.  

2. Recycled Wood Beehouse from Terrain Made from reclaimed fir wood, this charming wooden home will keep Mason bees near your garden pollinating your flowers and plants. Mason bees are excellent pollinators and are less likely to sting you!  

3. A membership to the local botanic garden or arboretum  

4. A basket filled with gardening tools, gloves, and seeds

by Healthy & Green Living Editors

Estrogen Power: What Women Do Better Than Men

Estrogen Power: What Women Do Better Than Men

Ask any woman what she can do better than a man, and she’ll likely tell you “everything.” But do women really have special abilities that men don’t? Yes, they do. Not only are women able to perform the obvious biological feats of childbearing and breastfeeding, but they excel in other, less maternally inclined areas as well.

Precision and Penmanship
Women tend to have neater handwriting than men. There’s a fundamental difference in how our brains develop that explains why Jane traces neat block letters while Bobby covers the page in chicken scratch.

According to writer Kristin Kane in Parenting magazine, during the early school years, when children are learning to form the letters of the alphabet, the nerve fibers that control fine motor skills in boys’ brains typically haven’t matured as much as they have in girls’ brains. At that age, girls are better able to learn penmanship than their male classmates.

Of course, boys’ brains catch up eventually and their handwriting improves, but most men tend to write less neatly than women. That’s due to both biological and social factors. Women typically have more nerve connections between both sides of their brains to help with precision, and neat handwriting has become associated with femininity.

Healthier Diets, Longer Lives
Christie Griffin writes that women have certain health advantages over men. We tend to maintain healthier diets, have stronger immune systems, and, perhaps as a result, enjoy longer lives.

A University of Minnesota survey of more than fourteen thousand people revealed that female subjects chose far healthier foods than their male peers. While the male participants selected frozen pizza and red meat to fill their bellies, the women selected fruits and vegetables, which have more nutritional value and are lower in calories. We may go for chocolate once in a while, but overall, we’re pretty healthy.

And even without all the disease-fighting vitamins and nutrients we get from our fruits and veggies, women tend to get sick less often than men because we have stronger immune systems. According to a McGill University study, estrogen helps women fight infections because it confronts a certain enzyme that often hinders the body’s first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.

So it’s no surprise that among the world’s population of those who are over one hundred years old, 85 percent are women, according to the New England Centenarian Study. Griffin also writes that in general, women continue to live five to ten years longer than men do.

Smarter Investors, Better Managers
Wall Street may still be a boys’ club, but women are better with finances, according to Griffin. She argues that women, not men, are the best at making investment decisions and managing money.

Griffin cites a study of one hundred thousand portfolios in which the women’s investment returns outperformed the men’s by 18 percent to 11 percent. The authors of the study concluded that their results might have been due to women’s general tendency to be more cautious with their investments and to think longer-term. Such a conclusion defies the archetype of the testosterone-driven Wall Street trader.

Griffin also argues that women make better executives and managers because “they are better listeners, mentors, problem solvers, and multitaskers than their male counterparts.” She quotes management expert Jay Forte from a Daily News article: “Women are better connectors than men and more astute about knowing how to activate passion in their employees.” Forte adds that this intuitive management is especially important in what is now a “service-oriented economy.”

Whether Forte’s theory is correct or whether some other factor is at play, women are certainly having a much better time in this economy. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80 percent of those who have lost their jobs since December 2007 are men. That may be simply because male-dominated fields, like finance, have been hit the hardest, or it may be because women are, in Griffin’s words, “recession-proof.”

Not Better, Just Different
These three abilities–precision, living a healthy lifestyle, and managing money and business well–are just some of the advantages women have over men. Sorting out our gender differences isn’t really about competition, though; it’s about learning to complement each other as partners. Men and women can’t ever be equals, in the sense that we won’t ever be the same biologically. But we can strive to understand and appreciate each other’s talents when it comes to dividing labor. Let us handle the money, guys. We’ll call you if there are any leaky faucets to fix.

By Molly Mann, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

Women Who Rise to the Top

Women Who Rise to the Top

Do you ever wonder how career women at the “O” (CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO) level of jobs in the US reach success and still manage their significant home and family responsibilities? Have they cloned themselves? Have they found a way to create more hours in a day or more days in a week? Or have they just done what most of us can do: maximize the leadership traits we already have within us?

To find out some of the skills that these top career women have that help them reach success, I have looked at the work of Diane Halpern and Fanny Cheung, both university professors and researchers in the field of women’s leadership. I’m happy to share my interview with Diane, which demonstrates that you can increase your own success by using the same strategies these women leaders use.

Joanne: In the study you and Fanny conducted with 62 women at the top of their professions, you found that women leaders seem to use a more relational leadership style which includes more open communication and the sharing of information. Can you tell us how that is good for business performance?

Diane: The women leaders in our study value team work. Leadership is about the group and not the individual. They attend more to interpersonal relationships and communication that are consistent with what is called a “transformational style of leadership.” Transformational leaders motivate and stimulate the team in a democratic and non-hierarchical system. There is more sharing of information. Research shows that transformational leadership is more effective at all levels of the organization. Research also finds that businesses with a larger number of women in top management have better financial performance.

Joanne: In your study, as well as in other studies of women leaders, you confirmed that these women considered themselves experts at multitasking. Can you tell us some of the ways these career women multitask and how they consider it a strategy for success?

Diane: The top women leaders have heavy responsibilities both at work and in the family. Since they are short on time, they have to manage their time carefully. One strategy to save time is to do multiple activities at the same time. Some tasks that are routine require less attention and can be combined with other tasks. Our study shows that there are overlapping work-family domains and, therefore, that tasks in these work and family domains can occupy the same time and space. For example, women leaders may read their work papers at home at the same time when the children are reading their story books; they may bring their families along on some business trips; they may bring food home after a business dinner so there is no need to cook when they get home. In this way, they manage to find more time to fulfill their multiple roles.

Joanne: One of the hallmarks of female leadership is that women emphasize empowering others. Please share with us the importance of this leadership skill. Where do you think these women leaders learn the skill of empowering?

Diane: The women leaders recognize the benefits of formal or informal mentoring they have received in their family and at work in building up their self-efficacy, confidence and work skills. In turn, many of them emphasize the importance of mentoring for their female subordinates. Empowering others is also consistent with the transformational style of leadership mentioned above.

Joanne: Your research also shows that top career women give up the idea of being superwomen. What are some of the things they do to shed the impossible task of being the perfect wife and mom?

iane: Being a superwoman is a stereotype that many career women impose on themselves. They hold stereotypical beliefs of what being a successful mother/wife and a successful career woman should be. Some of the things our group of women leaders did was to redefine what a good mother is and what a good leader is and then recognize that the two can be compatible. To help remove the unnecessary guilt that women create within themselves, they can learn from the positive experiences and outcomes of our group of successful women leaders and from research that shows that the quality of parenting is not affected by the employment status of the mother.

The good news for women is that we have natural tendencies for many of the specific leadership skills that are incredibly important in today’s business world. Our job is to identify those skills and then become purposeful in sharpening them to become more effective and successful — both at home and at work.

For more information about the work of Diane Halpern and Fanny Cheung, and to learn about their valuable contributions to working women, please check out their websites:

Fanny Cheung

Diane Halpern

Diane has won many awards for her teaching and research, including the Outstanding Professor Award from the Western Psychological Association, the American Psychological Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Distinguished Career Award for Contributions to Education given by the American Psychological Association, the Silver Medal Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the California State University’s State-Wide Outstanding Professor Award. Diane was president of the American Psychological Association in 2004 and is a past president of the Society for Teaching of Psychology and the Society for General Psychology. In addition to Women at the Top, she has authored and coauthored many books. Her most recent books include the newly revised 4th edition of “Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities,” and the edited book, “Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline.”

by Joanne Stern 

Joanne Stern, PhD, is a psychotherapist with a private practice emphasizing counseling with families, parents, couples and teens. She’s a teacher, consultant, speaker, and expert guest on parenting and family topics, including communication, discipline, self-esteem, addictions, eating disorders, grief, and loss. In her work with kids, she addresses a variety of childhood disorders, including attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and depression. 

Dr. Stern is dedicated to helping individuals, couples, families, and groups learn, heal, change, and grow in their relationships with one another.

7 Preboarding Secrets for Healthy Flying

7 Preboarding Secrets for Healthy Flying

1. Use the airport restroom. Even airport bathrooms are cleaner than the ones on planes, so go before you get on board. That way you reduce toilet trips and better avoid germs during the flight.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly. Use lots of soap and hot water. Then hold a paper towel as protection when you turn off the water, so you don’t have to touch the tap.

3. Buy a big bottle of water. Now that you’ve gotten through security, go get a big bottle, start guzzling, and bring it with you on the plane.

4. Moisturize your nose. Use a saline nasal spray to irrigate and moisturize the mucous membranes inside your nose. Some frequent fliers also swear by applying a bit of Neosporin or Vaseline to the insides of the nostrils. This is an old tip for preventing nosebleeds, but it can work to protect against dry cabin air as well.

5. Eat yogurt. According to some nutrition research, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt have a protective effect on your immune system. One study found that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt reduced susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria may kick the immune system into high gear to fight off viruses.

6. Remove contact lenses before you fly. If you don’t like to wear your lenses while you fly, plan to remove them ahead of time in the airport bathroom. Touching your eyes is one of the primary means of transmission for cold and flu viruses, which can make their way through the tear ducts to the nasopharynx — the “sweet spot” for cold viruses, where nasal passages meet the mouth at the back of the throat. Avoid touching your eyes with germy hands by washing hands first, then removing lenses before you fly.

7. Take immune-boosting supplements. There’s still little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of supplements such as vitamin C, Airborne, echinacea, and zinc lozenges. In fact, Airborne was recently required to settle a lawsuit for falsely making such claims. But it’s also true that with the exception of Zicam, a zinc supplement that’s been accused of damaging users’ sense of smell, there’s little harm that can come from arming your immune system with extra nutrients. Vitamin C is the least supported by science at this point; echinacea and the other herbal ingredients in Airborne have the most likelihood of being proven effective. (Leesa recommends Chews4Health, an all natural immune system enhancer! ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com senior editor

Caring.com was created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet, our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better decisions, save time, and feel more supported. Caring.com provides the practical information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need during this challenging time.

The Nutrient that’s Effective for Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease

Nutrient Effective for Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease

More and more research is stacking up on the healing properties of resveratrol.  Primarily found in grapes and blueberries, this powerful plant nutrient has been found to be an effective antioxidant that protects against free radical damage that is linked to many types of diseases.  It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

The best place to get resveratrol is www.chews4health.com/Leesa!  Chews4Health offers the highest absorption which means it is the most effective! 

It has even been shown to allow blood to flow better through the blood vessels, giving it excellent potential with high blood pressure and heart disease.  Studies at the University of Switzerland proved resveratrol’s brain-protecting ability.  They found that resveratrol mopped up brain-damaging plaques and free radicals, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.  So powerful is this important nutrient that it has even been referred to a “Reverse-it-all” by many health practitioners.

In numerous studies, resveratrol has had a positive effect on cancer.  In another study, scientists identified resveratrol as a nutrient that activated the human gene for survival and longevity.  Research also shows that resveratrol protects the skin from damaging UVB rays of the sun, thereby protecting it against skin cancer.  What’s more, this potent nutrient has even been shown to protect the body against radiation therapy when used as an adjunct to radiation treatment of cancer.

Resveratrol works as an anti-inflammatory, which may be one of the reasons it may be effective for heart disease.  In research, resveratrol demonstrated the ability to improve the dilation of blood vessels, which may allow blood to flow more easily through blood vessels.  It has also been shown to relax the walls of the blood vessels, making their diameter larger, thereby lowering blood pressure (when it is high), and allowing a higher volume of blood to flow through all areas of the body, delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. As a potent antioxidant, it supports the cells and organs in eliminating uric acid and other toxins from the body, thereby supporting muscle recovery for athletes.

You can obtain resveratrol primarily from red or purple grapes and blueberries.  While red wine is a good source of this phytonutrient, its alcohol content can be damaging to brain cells and the liver, and can disrupt women’s delicate hormonal balance.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM.

 by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, BSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, is an international best-selling and seven-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Phytozyme Cure and HealthSmart News. Learn more at www.DrMichelleCook.com.

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