Posts tagged with "tips"

Banana illustration by Mina Tocalini

3 Quarantine Nutrition Hacks

Are your clothes fitting more tightly on you than what you are comfortable with these days? If you indulged in “The Quarantine Diet” of added sugar, refined carbohydrates and more sugar, you are not alone. There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. There are memes about Zoom meetings in pajamas. We’ve seen the jokes about annoyed pets who are ready for their owners to get back into the office. The most popular subject…drum roll, please… has been COVID weight gain, or “The Quarantine 15.” With some of us gaining upwards of 10 to 15 pounds at this point, these particular memes aren’t quite so funny anymore.

While some things are more difficult to control, like job loss, financial dips or getting sick, take advantage of the variables you do have control over. One of the easiest things you can master right now is your nutritional health. Making healthier food choices is more important than ever as we are collectively less active these days. Many places in the U.S. still have closed gyms and workout facilities, and home workouts aren’t for everyone. That leaves a lot of us with a perfect storm of weight gain, too little movement and too much snacking at home.

Life has disrupted us in a major way, and yet, there are still things we can do to reverse some of the damage. At 360 Magazine, we have rounded up 3 strategies from Los Angeles Nutrition Coach Natasha Maxwell to help get you back on track if the quarantine weight gain has claimed you as a victim. Nobody knows when COVID-19 lockdowns will end. If this is going to be the “new normal,” you will have to reincorporate the healthy habits from your old life into this new one. If you are totally new to nutritional habit building (the food choices practiced consistently in your daily life), these tips are still a great help. Stick with us through the end for a bonus summer recipe!

How to Reclaim Your Body during Quarantine:

  1. Drink More Water!: This one is often overlooked as a weight management tool although it is as equally as important as the food choices we make. According to Natasha, “As a nutrition coach, I cannot express the number of times I encounter new clients who scoff at the amount of water I suggest. That number should be at least half of your body weight; in the summer I recommend upwards of 100 ounces. Yes, that’s right, 100 ounces minimum. The lack of sufficient water is harmful to your body and can affect it in a number of ways including salty food cravings, waste buildup and digestion problems. That waste buildup can mimic true weight gain, also known as “water weight”. Bloating from dehydration is no fun either and is likely the reason that it’s sometimes hard to button your pants.” As Natasha stated: Drink your water, please!
  2. Be mindful of your sugar intake this summer!: What comes to mind when you envision summertime treats? Maybe it’s popsicles, banana pudding or key lime pie. These are all fine in moderation, but too much sugar can lead to weight gain and excess puffiness. For those looking to lose weight from our extended stay indoors, we will have to keep track of our sugar intake, even when lounging happily by the pool. Some ways around overindulging in sweets include substituting fruits for other sweets, avoiding sodas and packaged fruit juice and being more mindful of limiting foods with labels listing corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, etc.
  3.  Seek out new and healthier recipes!: The likelihood of entertaining guests during summer or being invited to someone else’s party or backyard BBQ is relatively high. Either way, food will be high on the list of priorities. Think produce, lean meats and fewer refined snacks when debating over a menu. Natasha especially urges the consumption of produce. Fresh vegetables and fruit are higher in water content, and an ample water supply can come in handy when you’re feeling a little dehydrated from the heat! Sliced cucumbers and carrots with a homemade dip are a win. Seafood and lean poultry options on the grill with veggies are also a great combo. For plant-based options, think stuffed pepper recipes, veggie hummus wraps and rainbow-colored salads with incredible ingredients and flavor. Who said healthy recipes can’t be tasty, too?

This pandemic is stressful and has affected us in a multitude of ways. Emotional eating is understandable, given our current circumstances. We don’t have to be rigid around everything we eat, but being more aware of what we are indulging in and how often is the key to weight maintenance and weight loss. Make a plan for your nutritional habits and find the balance that works best for you. We wish you luck!

As promised, here’s that bonus recipe you’ve been waiting on. It’s Summer Ceviche!

Let us know what you think with a comment down below!

Miyagi – Japan’s Most Relaxing Vacation

Geothermal wonders that rejuvenate the body and mind, Japan’s onsens (naturally occuring hot springs) are a must for any traveler, and Miyagi Prefecture has no shortage of them. With many dotted throughout Miyagi’s diverse terrain, each onsen provides a unique experience with different water sources producing baths of different temperatures, mineral content, texture and more. As these onsens are often located in the mountains, by the ocean and in forests, they provide a great place for travelers to practice the tradition of toji, extended stays at onsens to recuperate from illness or overexertion. Below is a sample of Miyagi’s best onsens for travelers to dream of relaxing in once travel restrictions are lifted.

Reflective pond at Tenshukaku Gardens (©Visit Miyagi)

One of the more popular onsen towns due to its proximity to Miyagi Prefecture’s capital Sendai, Akiu Onsen is tucked in the region’s mountains. The town features about a dozen hot spring hotels located along the scenic Natorigawa River with many offering day use of their hot spring baths. Nearby, Tenshukaku Gardens is home to its own onsen, known as Ichitaro no Yu. After strolling through the traditional Edo-style garden, guests can warm up in the hot spring with a view of Mount Osawa. Lucky bathers may even get to catch a glimpse of kamoshika, a rare Japanese goat-antelope often seen roaming on the mountainside. While the onsen’s water will leave skin soft and silky, Akiu Onsen water is also said to improve quality of sleep, circulation and reduce stress levels.

Sakunami Onsen is located deeper into the mountains and the train ride to this town passes through thick pine and maple tree forests with views of the Hirosegawa River below. This onsen town was often visited by weary monks, members of the shogunate and the shogun himself centuries ago as the water was said to treat a variety of illnesses. After cleansing their mind and body at the onsens on the rocky banks of the river, travelers can opt to hike one of the many trails or take a day trip to the Nikka Whiskey Miyagikyo Distillery.

Naruko Onsen’s diverse hot spring water makes for a rich experience (© JNTO)

Known as one of the “Three Most Scenic Spots of Japan,” Matsushima Bay has its own onsens facing towards the bay with views of countless small islands

Several hotels near the bay have their own natural onsen facilities and staying the night is highly recommended. Guests should make their way out to the open-air baths during the night to see thousands of stars light up the bay. For early birds, the baths are also an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. While Naruko Onsen can be a little hard to get to as it’s hidden away in the hills of northwestern Miyagi, the trip is worth it. Naruko Onsen boasts one of the richest onsen experiences anywhere as the town has eight of the ten types of hot spring water found in Japan. Additionally, the town has more than 400 different springs providing an almost endless variety of bathing facilities. Naruko Onsen also has a wide range of ryokans from traditional inns to luxurious private baths.

The Miyagi Onsen Experience: Watch HERE

For more information on Miyagi Prefecture’s onsens, travelers are encouraged to use the website’s Trip Organizer which has plenty of resources and travel tips. Travelers can also watch this short video highlighting experiences at onsen towns in the prefecture.

Covid and health illustration

Tips for Thriving During a Pandemic

By Michael Ungar, Ph.D.

“While there is much to be worried about during this pandemic, it is also an opportunity to build resilience individually and as a family.

Jessica and Faizal have been married for eight years. On the outside, their lives looked good before the pandemic. Jessica owned a small chain of salons, Faizal was an accountant in a large international firm. When they weren’t working, they travelled or golfed. They had one child, and though Faizal wanted a larger family, Jessica was hesitant to become trapped in the role of mother. Then COVID-19 happened. Jessica’s salons closed, and Faizal’s firm was hinting there’d be no bonuses this year. Without the distraction of work or travel, the couple’s relationship sputtered, and both were secretly speaking with divorce lawyers.

Like any crisis, this pandemic has forced us to examine our relationships and our values. It has stripped the veneer from dysfunctional patterns of coping. We are questioning the sanity of long hours at work or our penchant for living with high levels of household debt. While that reflection can make it seem our life is spiralling out of control, this pandemic is also forcing people to reconsider the things they need to be resilient, not just now, but in the future too.

As tragic as Jessica and Faizal’s lives may seem, the real tragedy is that they hadn’t put in place the personal, social or economic resources they needed for resilience. Resilience is most often described as our personal capacity to bounce back from hardship, and likened to thinking positive thoughts, or persevering under stress (the term ‘grit’ is common). The science of resilience, however, says something quite different. While rugged individuals can cope when their lives are stable, paychecks steady, and family conflict low, people with plenty of resources do much better when times get tough. Jessica might not have been able to control the pandemic, or its impact on her business, but she might have been able to put aside a rainy day fund. Faizal couldn’t have anticipated his loss of annual income either, but he might have invested more energy in his home life as a hedge against the emotional toll a future crisis would have on him and his family.

While research on the pandemic is now being done everywhere, there is plenty of evidence from studies of resilience during natural disasters which shows that most of us are poorly prepared for a major change. As we wait for a vaccine to become widely available and we can open up our economies without risking the lives of those with a compromised immune system, there are steps we can take to thrive during this difficult time.

  1. Put more effort into your relationships. Our individual resilience depends on the security of our relationships with others, including our family, friends and colleagues. The more we pay attention to the needs of others, the more they will pay attention to ours.
  2. Keep your days structured and maintain healthy routines. As the days go on and we struggle with change, one way to maintain good mental and physical health is to impose structure and accomplish the things we should accomplish. Structure and routine are a great way to make our lives feel predictable and increase our feelings of hope for the future.
  3. Get your finances in order. Thinking positive thoughts and being optimistic is easier when our finances are less stressed. If you have been accumulating debt, it is time to reconsider priorities and ask yourself, “Do I want to live with this much pressure?” and “What do I really need to feel happy?”
  4. Find new and powerful identities. As the pandemic continues and we spend less time at our places of business, it is important that we find new ways of showing others the things that are special about us. This is the time to explore hobbies, develop new talents, and share with others the things we like to do.
  5. Look for the spaces and places where you feel you belong. Making a contribution to the welfare of others pays a dividend in goodwill. It also makes us feel like we are part of a community, family, or workplace. The more we feel like we belong, the less likely we are to experience depression or anxiety.

Each of these steps has been shown to help people weather a crisis. For Jessica and Faizal, becoming more resilient has meant putting down their smartphones and eating dinners together as a family. It has meant asking each other for help, first with cutting up credit cards, then with making it possible for each of them to take time every day to exercise and be with family and friends. Jessica used to try to squeeze a walk in between running home to make dinner. Now she asks Faizal to cook dinner so she can spend some time looking after her own needs. If it works, she may even agree to having a second child as the family’s new pattern of caring for one another won’t mean all the responsibility for that decision falls on her shoulders.

Faizal, meanwhile, is taking control of the family’s bank account and rethinking where they live. A large home in the suburbs may bring with it some benefits, but it has also made the family vulnerable and placed them too far in debt. Change is coming, of that he’s sure. The couple are no longer seeking marriage counseling to break up. Now they’re seeing a life coach, together, to rebuild their family and their lives.

The pandemic is taking its toll, but like other disasters, it is causing many of us to rethink what we value and change the world around us so we can come back stronger.”

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a Family Therapist and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University. His latest best-selling book is Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. More about Dr. Ungar: www.michaelungar.com

Kupah James, 360 MAGAZINE, fitness, illustration, Allison Christensen

Kupah James Tips

Born in Boston Massachusetts, raised by a single parent and baby sister, I didn’t have many material things, but mother instilled important values and love. After college graduation, I began my own Luxury Dj company, “Klass Universal Entertainment.” In 2015, I moved to LA in pursuit of fitness and entertainment. Most recently, I became the creator of “BodyWeight BootKAMP,” a mix of upper and lower exercises with a balance of core for a total body workout in 45min.

Top 5: Explore new friendships and teammates who uplift and motivate you; this can be a key factor in pushing yourself forward. Remove any and all toxic friends who always seem to have that negative perspective but swear that they are just trying to “help”…. NEXT….

Treat yourself: Feeling confident in what you wear can change your whole mood! Who doesn’t want to feel good in what we put on? A little retail therapy never hurt nobody. 2XU and Rhone are two brands I use a lot and they are unisex, so we got both Men and Women gear.

Discover and Recover: (A day off is not a day lost): Stretching is key. Taking the time to give your body the TLC it deserves will only help you get better the next time you strap up. Our bodies are our temples and we must invest and take care of them. Mobility helps in lots of ways, aside from just working out. The looser our bodies feel, the easier it is to #MakeMoves

Personal/Virtual Trainer: Sometimes we need that extra push. A personal trainer can be a great motivator, provide support, and hold you accountable for those really hard days. Still nervous from COVID-19, there is an abundance of Virtual trainers (I’m one of them) who would be happy to get you moving around.

AM vs. PM: Regardless of when you “like” to work out, challenge your mind and body into reversing your routine (if possible). You might discover something new about yourself. Like your routine so much you don’t want to change? All good – add a smaller work out to the beginning or end of your day just to balance it out.

What’s for Dinner: You are what you eat, eat a Dorito, feel like a Dorito. Spice it up, be creative, allow for mistakes, and practice makes perfect. Pro tip: Nutrition is just as important, if not more, as your fitness regimen. Don’t pity yourself with self-guilt and seek a balance.

Monthly challenge: Within a challenge, you are committing to a goal. Use every day to inch towards that goal, so make it fun and playful. Fitness doesn’t have to be boring or lack motivation. Grab a friend and take on a challenge, make deals, and have an award system that celebrates the winners, yet still provides a feeling of success for your teammates (aka LOSERS).

Fitness tracker (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc): If buying clothes (refer to Tip 2) doesn’t get your heart rate up enough, add a Fitness Tracker to that cart before checking out. Apple Watch is a great way to track your progress and your friends at the same time. You can compete for 7 days and chase awards daily, monthly, etc. Get in the Game

Physical Alarm clock: Taking it back to the old school days. Not a ton of money but a good investment. Place it somewhere you have to get out of bed in order to shut it off. Bodies can become robots when that lovely alarm clock goes off and snooze feels way too good. Having it out of reach forces you to get up and turn it off, and while you’re up, you might as well get some steps in.

Virtual or (in-person) class: Double down on which version works for you OR try the other way. Not everyone likes one or the other and you have the right to choose. Just be open-minded to other ways of keeping the body guessing. You never know, you might even use muscles you didn’t know you had and we all know how much fun that is, NOT

Follow Kupah.

Parenting Tips During COVID-19

While this summer may look different than you and your family imagined, it can still be a happy, healthy time for growth and positive development. The Children and Screens network of experts is here to help you have the best summer possible with tips for managing summertime with your children and tweens on- and off-screens.

Read on for details, and be sure to tune in to the next “Ask The Experts” interactive webinar series brought to you by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development this coming Friday, June 5th, at noon EDT, when an esteemed panel of experts will talk about how to navigate this unique summer with your school-aged children and teens and answer your questions via Zoom. RSVP here.

The workshop will be moderated by Dr. David Hill, a national authority on Child Development, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • FIND A BALANCE
    Kids thrive in environments that help regulate their sensory systems—sight, sound, touch, hearing, taste, smell, vestibular, and proprioceptive, among others—because it makes them feel calm and ready to learn. Understand that kids may be using media devices to help regulate sensation when ordinary supports like playgrounds and resource rooms are unavailable. Instead of viewing media use as inherently problematic, work with your child to explore other environments, inside and out, that support their sensory regulation so that media use is just one of many options available to them.         

 -Kristen Harrison, Professor of Communication and Media, University of Michigan

  • KIDS PITCH IN
    Parents need help around the house, and children need variety, so take this summer as an opportunity to show your kids how to pitch in. Cooking, cleaning the car, watering the plants – these all give your child a sense of purpose and new skills they’ll need as they grow up. Plus, it provides a welcome hand for overburdened parents and guardians!                                                                                                           

-Susan Tapert, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, UC San Diego.

  • KEEP IN TOUCH
    As your child progresses from early to middle childhood, peer interactions become even more important. Peer relationships help children develop important skills like cooperation, conflict resolution, emotional management, perspective taking, creativity, and identity presentation. Even if your family is social distancing, encourage your child to engage with other kids. This can be through video chat (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Skype), online games (e.g., Minecraft, Roblox), walkie-talkies, or even talking across fences or through windows. Children need social interactions, and peers are important social partners. Even if parks and camps are limited or closed, social interactions should still be encouraged, and the thoughtful use of technology can help facilitate them.                       

 -Stephanie M. Reich, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine.

  • GO OUTSIDE
    Strangely enough, stay-at-home orders seem to have reminded people how important it is to get outdoors. Being outside is generally regarded as safe, so long as basic public health guidelines are still observed. Playing in nature promotes curiosity, initiative, and creativity, and it’s a great way to take a break from the screen. The Children in Nature Network (CINN) provides resources for parents and guardians who want to promote exploration and unstructured play in backyards, parks, and other wild spaces during the pandemic. With many local and state parks starting to open back up, families can take advantage of this opportunity to instill a lifelong interest in nature.           

-Jayson Seaman, Associate Professor of Outdoor Leadership and Management, University of
New Hampshire.

  • ENCOURAGE EXPLORATION
    It is important to remember that learning happens through interaction with our environment. We learn through what we do. Letting children come up with ideas important to them, avoiding prescribed activities, taking time, and being patient provides space for creativity to emerge. Whatever the activity – whether a walk in the woods, drawing a picture, experimenting with a recipe or what might seem like just fooling around- letting kids, particularly young ones explore in unstructured ways helps them understand their world and cultivate deeper interest.                 

-Stephen Uzzo, Chief Scientist, New York Hall of Science and Adjunct Professor, Teaching and Learning, New York Institute of Technology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • EXPECT AN ADJUSTMENT PERIOD
    Your child has been using screens to fend off boredom, but that’s not all. Screens are an easy way to distract ourselves from all those uncomfortable feelings during a pandemic: Disappointment. Sadness. Anxiety. Fear. Annoyance. Anger. So be sure to build in antidotes, like daily roughhousing, to help kids work through emotions. And you can expect a certain amount of volatility from your child as they begin spending less time with screens, so ratchet up your patience level. But after this transitional time period, you’ll see your child becoming less irritable and aggressive. You’ll notice more initiative, self-discipline and focus when they play. And best of all, you’ll see your child developing their inner life and discovering who they are by playing, learning and engaging with the world, instead of losing themselves to a screen.             

-Laura Markham, Editor of Ahaparenting.com, Author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start  Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

  • USE YOUR TOOLS
    Families can find a great tool to help them have a screen-use discussion with their kids by checking out the interactive Family Media Use Plan
    at HealthyChildren.org. Not sure how much time your kids really have? Would it help to have some visuals? It’s all there!   

-David L Hill, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • DETOX FROM SCREENS
    Consider setting aside a full day (perhaps Saturday or Sunday) as screen-free time. If you can’t commit to a day, at least try a designated evening. This regular break allows children to do a “screen detox” and creates a void to be filled with other activities. Not a bad routine for the whole family to do together.   

-Daniel G. Shapiro, M.D., Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

  • FAMILY FUN WITH MEDIA
    When you do watch media, make it a family affair. We know from research that when children and caregivers watch screens together, children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing. So, bring out the popcorn and have a special movie night, or designate some time during the day when you can sit down and watch educational media together to help make it a positive experience for kids. Children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing if you direct them to specific content (“Elmo is red”) and make it relatable (“that car is blue, we have a blue car too!”).  For older children, you can get them talking or thinking about what’s on the screen by asking engaging, open ended questions (“The dragon seems upset, why do you think that is?”). When family screen time is over, try to engage children in offline activities that get them playing or moving, to help keep their brains and bodies healthy.             

-Sheri Madigan, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development, Associate Professor, University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

“Just as resources have been recently prioritized to the transition from work to home,” says Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, “for the foreseeable future, parents need to explore new avenues and adapt their child-rearing techniques to best serve their children’s needs in an uncertain and challenging milieu. It is a lot of ask, especially with fewer outside resources, less time, near constant change, circumscribed opportunities and, on top of it, the constant allure of screen time for everyone, but the payoff is worth the extra effort. We are here to support parents in coping with the new reality.”

Parenting Tips

Summer is fast approaching, and while that usually means barbecues, beach days, and family vacations, this summer promises to be very different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. States around the country are slowly beginning to open back up, but everyday life is still far from being back to normal, which means parents will need to get more creative than ever to keep their young children healthy, happy, and mentally stimulated in the days and months ahead.

As part of our ongoing series aimed at helping parents navigate these uncertain times, Children and Screens teamed up once again with some of the top experts in the fields of parenting, education, and child psychology to bring you some new tips for the summer season that will help you make the most of this critical time in your child’s development. Read on for details, and be sure to tune in to the next installment of Children and Screens “Ask The Experts” interactive webinar series this coming Wednesday, June 3rd, at noon EDT, when an esteemed panel of experts will talk about how to navigate summer with your toddler while observing social distancing and answer your questions via Zoom. Moderated by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, Director of Temple University’s Infant Language Laboratory and Professor of Psychology.

STOP, DROP, AND PLAY

Parents are the first and most influential teachers a child will ever have, but more than that, they’re also first responders during this pandemic. Play is medicine for young children, so be sure to stop and drop what you’re doing regularly for short bouts of play. – Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy

TELL ME A STORY

With some prompting and support, you can help your child develop their language and storytelling skills while spending quality time together. Take photos and videos next time your child is playing with puppets or stuffed animals, building with blocks, or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Later, you can review the photos or videos together and invite your child to tell a story about what was happening in the town they built with their blocks, or what they drew with the chalk, or how they used the hose to fill up the plastic pool. – Katie Paciga, Associate Professor of Education, Columbia College Chicago

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

Most children delight in letting their imagination run wild. Give them the ‘driving seat” and belt up for a pretend adventure to the jungle, the Egyptian desert, the North Pole, or even the moon. Turn a room upside-down to create “caves” and let the fun begin! – Claire Hughes, Professor of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

GET CREATIVE

Kids get the most out of play when they can use materials like sand, water, paint, playdough, dress-ups, markers and paper, generic animals and people, and building materials like blocks. That’s because these items encourage children to tell their own stories and invite them to incorporate their own feelings, imaginations, and experiences as they play. Media-based and defined toys overly influence how children play, which edges out kids’ needs and ideas, dampens their creativity, and minimizes the benefits of high quality play. – Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., Professor Emerita Lesley University, co-founder Defending the Early Years

MAKE THE MOST OF MEALTIME

Children who engage in more conversations at home are better at processing language, which is essential for learning. Mealtimes are an excellent opportunity to talk with your kids, so try to put all devices aside at the table and focus on conversation. You can talk about something fun you did together recently, discuss plans for a future event, ask your child questions about how they’re feeling, share interesting facts you recently learned, or see if they have any questions for you. – Meredith Rowe, Saul Zaentz Professor of Early Learning and Development, Harvard University Graduate School ofEducation

FRESH AIR & FACETIME

We all need fresh air, and kids especially need to run and jump and build those bones. If you have children who are reluctant to go outside, tell them you’re going to make a video together to send to a family member who’s far away. Ask them to tell you about what they’re doing and get them talking. Using this medium to solicit language from children accomplishes three things: it gets them outside and exercising, it invites them to narrate their activities, and it makes a far-away grandparent, aunt, or uncle very happy! When your children talk about what they’re doing, they’re improving their language development, especially when you ask them to clarify what they mean. – Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education at the University of Delaware

NURTURE IN NATURE

Outdoor time is great for parents and kids alike. The evidence is clear that nature-based experiences contribute to relaxation, reduced stress, and overall health and well-being. Playing outdoors stimulates children’s creativity, self-confidence, and resilience. Time together in nature also helps make shared memories and strengthens family ties. Wherever you live, look for ways to get outside with your children in order to learn, play, explore, and adventure. From birdwatching to growing a garden, making mud pies to having a picnic, nearby nature isan endless source of healthy and healing connections. – Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO Emerita, Children & Nature Network

Handling an Unexpected Divorce

What to do when facing an unexpected divorce?

While things between you and your spouse may not have been perfect, you weren’t expecting to be served with divorce papers, now what?

New York divorce attorney, Leslie Montanile has advice for those in this situation;

  1. Identify the paperwork

    First, do not panic. Look at the papers and see if your spouse filed with a Summons and Complaint or just a Summons with Notice, regardless look at the end of the document served or on the face of the summons to see if your spouse is represented by an attorney or if he/she is representing themselves – this is called Pro Se.

    If there is a law firm identified, you will want to immediately find your own lawyer as you typically only have 20 days to respond to the Complaint – this is called filing an Answer.  If you are not able to find a lawyer in that time frame, don’t worry.  You can respond by going to the Court website listed on the document and find the Answer form (usually there are directions on the Court website to do this on your own) once you find a lawyer, they can amend the answer you filed, if necessary.

    If there is only a Summons with Notice, you will want to file a demand for Complaint from your spouse, which should also be done within the 20-day time frame. It is essential to respond in either case so that your spouse is not awarded a default judgment (for your failure to respond) for divorce.

  2. Manage your finances.

    Next, if you have a joint bank account with your spouse you will want to go to the bank and take out your share, usually 50%, should you withdraw more you may have to give that back to your spouse at a later date. Open a new bank account at a different bank and consider getting a safety deposit box for relevant documents and other valuables you may have.

    If you receive your bills electronically, change your passwords.  If you receive your mail at home, then perhaps you want to consider getting a P.O. Box that comes with a street address.

    Collect all of your financial information as soon as possible; mortgage payments, tax returns, utility bills, credit card debt, cars, insurance, etc. If done electronically, make sure to print out statements from each item in case your spouse changes the passwords.

  3. Protect your privacy.

    Set up a new e-mail account to use exclusively with your lawyer. Do not use your cell phone as a weapon of self-destruction – refrain from texting anything about your relationship to anyone. Text messages can be revealed during a divorce action, so think twice before your hit send. Stay off of ALL social media, especially if you have children. Anything you put on social media can be used in a divorce action, and while you may think it is harmless, it is often not construed that way. Social media will still be around when your divorce is finalized.

Finally, take a deep breath and look towards your future- if your spouse did not respect you enough to inform you of their desire to end your marriage, then, in the long run, you will be better off without them and know that you will find love again with the right partner.

Find more information about Leslie here.

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California Poison Control Offers Rattlesnake Bite Prevention Tips  

By Dr. Rais Vohra

At California Poison Control System (CPCS), we want to remind residents that with warmer spring weather, rattlesnakes are more likely to be found on hiking trails and sunning in rural areas. Most bites occur between the months of April and October. Even baby rattlesnakes possess dangerous venom as soon as they hatch. 

This weekend, we received three calls about rattlesnake bites, a higher number per weekend than usual. About 300 cases are reported to CPCS annually in California, with additional other cases managed by physicians and hospitals. 

While the odds of being bitten by a rattlesnake are small compared to other environmental injuries, residents can follow precautions outdoors that can minimize the chance of being bitten. For example, children are naturally curious and may look into open pipes or under rocks, or kick loose brush and bushes where snakes may sometimes lie quietly. Children need to be carefully supervised outside, especially in wooded and desert areas where snakes tend to live.  Rattlesnakes do not always make a rattling sound, so someone can be standing next to a rattlesnake and not even know it. 

Some rattlesnake bite prevention tips include: 

  • Wear boots and long pants when hiking.
  • Stay on trails when hiking, away from underbrush and tall weeds.
  • Do not touch or disturb a snake, even if it appears dead. 
  • Carefully inspect logs or rocks before sitting on them.
  • Never hike alone in remote areas. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency. Calling for help if alone is not an option, as cellphones do not always work in remote areas.
  • Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone.

The symptoms of a rattlesnake bite may include extreme pain and swelling at the location of the bite; excessive bleeding; nausea; swelling in the mouth and throat making it difficult to breathe; lightheadedness; drooling; and even collapse, shock and death in rare cases.  If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, immediate medical attention is critical. Severe or even life-threatening symptoms may occur within minutes after the bite, or in other cases may begin after couple of hours. In either event, your best bet is to get to a hospital as soon as you can.  

The following steps are important for any rattlesnake bite:   

  • Get immediate medical attention.
  • Do not apply ice, do not use a tourniquet or constricting band, do not try to suck out the venom, and do not use any device to cut or slice the bite site.
  • Keep calm, do not run and keep the affected extremity elevated during transport to a medical facility.
  • Do not call the local hospitals to see if they have anti-venom, just go ASAP.

By the way, many veterinarians now carry rattlesnake anti-venom and rattlesnake vaccines for dogs and other pets that are bitten. Contact a veterinarian for more information.

Dr. Rais Vohra is Medical Director for the Fresno/Madera Division of CPCS.

Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Wine barrels, wine tasting, carr winery, santa barbara, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Beginner’s Guide to Tasting Wine

By Pallavi Gupta

Learning about wine for beginners don’t need a degree in rocket science. Otherwise, it would be so dull, lol! Life would sack big time! So, all you need is a good tongue and maybe a nose…just kidding. There are plenty of self-proclaimed wine professionals and enthusiasts who create wine tasting terms and descriptions to credit or discredit one particular grape, that a layman like us finds it hard to understand. For first-time wine tasters, don’t worry about complicated wine tasting vocabulary. The good thing is that you can simplify the whole process by having fun with an open mind while tasting wine. To expand your wine-tasting knowledge, all you need is a little effort and focus. 

Now let’s put on your wine tasting gear (if there is such a thing) and dive into the world of wine tasting to find out what makes a good wine, using these simple wine tasting tips for beginners. 

Now for the juicy part of wine tasting, let’s talk about the three different types of wines available for tasting.

To simplify things, let’s talk about wine color as an essential wine guide to achieve excellent wine-tasting results. Generally, there are three distinctive colors; red, white, and rose. Reds are what make my day if you ask me. But that’s just me. Here’s an elaborate on each type :

  • Red wines – these are made from dingy colored grapes. They have bolder, pleasant tastes than the white or rose wines.  You can serve this wine at your room temperature with either starchy foods, cured meat, or even your usual meatballs. 
  • White wines – these are made with green grapes, which gives them a yellowish color. They are served chilled due to their soft, lighter, and fruitier flavor. You can enjoy them with your favorite seafood, fruit, desserts, and also salads. 
  • Roses – when you blend the red and the green grapes, this is what you will get. You try this type of wine with anything either chilled or at room temperature. 

Now, talking about varietals. 

Varietals are the actual kind of grape that is used to make the wine. Each varietal has a unique flavor and smell which changes annually. Some of the well-known wine varietals for each wine color include:

  • Reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah.
  • Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, and Sauvignon Blanc. 
  • Rose: There is no particular varietal to speak of as most of the rose wines are blends. 

To adequately sample how great a wine is, you need to incorporate all your five senses. Yes, that’s true!

Take a Good Look: 

Just like food, your eyes have to initiate the wine tasting process. Just like a beautiful woman too….lol The color of wine speaks volumes about the quality of the wine, especially in red wine tasting guide. Holding out a glass of wine and tilting it a bit of a white surface, allows you to get the depth of color. At this point, you will notice the depth of color by swirling the wine glass gently and observing it closely. If the beverage moves around like water, it means that the wine is lighter and fresh with less alcohol content. A syrupy wine shows that it is more full-bodied and is potentially has higher alcohol content. Whites, indeed, can vary in color, which can give you an idea of the quality of the grape.

The older the wine, the darker will be the color. It’s due to its natural aromas that tend to separate slightly over time. Newer wines, on the other hand, are more uniform in color. The last thing you need to observe in your wine is bubbles. Bubbles are quite evident in Champagne or sparkling wine. It is fascinating to see them floating on top of your wine glass as you enjoy its excellent aroma. Unwanted bubbles mean that the wine has gone bad and needs to be tossed. 

Swirl the Wine:

Wine swirling allows you to establish its texture. To follow this, carefully swirl your wine in the glass by holding the base on a smooth surface. Slowly move your glass in close circles on the table, as you gradually increase the speed for the wine to slide up along the inner surface of the glass. Continue for a few more swirls. It isn’t mandatory to swirl wine on top of a table. You can also hold the stem and circularly move the wine glass. Essentially, the benefit of wine swirling is to allow air to mix the wine to get its aroma, also displaying your love for the wine.

Smell the Wine:

As I said, you need a nose to suck all the aroma out of your wine…lol. Before the tasting, there’s the smelling part. If you master the art of wine smell, it will make it easier for you to establish the kind of wine before tasting it. You can gather lots of information from the smell, and it’s quite pertinent. If you get the smell of rotten egg or boiled cabbage, it means that reduction was used to make the wine. Alternatively, if you get the smell of toffee or honey, it means that oxidation is undertaken in the process of winemaking. 

Wine smells can be broken down into three categories, which are:

  • Type of Grape: Now that you all know about different grapes, judging the type of grape used to make the wine would be quite easy. You may feel herbal, fruity, or even floral aromas.
  • Baseline Flavours: These are the secondary kinds of flavors used to make a particular wine. You can smell of yogurt, bread, cheese rind, or sour cream. 
  • Over Time-lapse: These aromas culminate over time and can vary from mushroom, tobacco, leather, vanilla, or cloves smells. You may get confused at first, but this won’t deny you the pleasure of tasting wine.

Tasting the wine:

To taste the wine, take a small sip first and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds. You can even slosh it around like mouthwash for the wine to reach the entire mouth. It may sound grouse, but no, it’s not! If it gives the right results, it’s worth it. Another technique that requires a bit of practice is drawing a small amount of air into the mouth and over the wine. Follow this without dribbling. It allows the aroma up into the nasal passages in the back of the throat for you to smell the wine again.

  • Your nose is a perfect tool to give you accurate clues about the wine. The taste should complement the smell and not contradict it. You should ask yourself whether the smell advertised correctly what the mouth consumed. You will find out that the nose is more accurate than your taste buds once you’ve tasted the wine. 
  • Your Wine can be either sweet or sour like aspirin, mostly it depends. For a higher alcohol content or riper wine, the texture will be stronger towards the red color. Usually, In red wine, the presence of tannins also affects the composition of the wine. 
  • The freshness of wine comes from its acidity. To enhance the sharpness of the wine, odorless acids are infused at the winery. You will know your wine is acidic if your mouth waters. 

To conclude the wine tasting process, you can either swallow or spit the wine out. What you need to observe is how long the taste stays in your mouth. For a bottle of great wine, the flavor will remain in your mouth for long. 

Reaching your conclusion

After going through all the swirling, smelling, and tasting of wine, you would have probably concluded the type of wine you like or what doesn’t make your day. Think about the overall impression of the wine aftertaste. There are various questions you will need to ask and answer yourself according to the experience you had throughout the wine tasting process. Was the taste strong or quickly fade later on? Did the smell marry the flavor in your palate? Were you be able to distinguish between the various components like fruit, acidity, alcohol, and tannins. 

To relish a heavenly wine taste, all the components need to complement each other and find harmony from your nose to your palate. All that matters is you had that feeling of eternal bliss while tasting wine for the first time. At the end of your tasting, you can always write down funny wine tasting notes to describe your sensations, subjective comments, or perceptions. 

10 facts about Anxiety Disorder

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry. He offers these 10 facts about anxiety disorders:

1. There’s a difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder:

Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time. It quite often presents itself when we are feeling scared, stressed or worried and that’s normal anxiety. People with a true anxiety disorder experience both psychological and physiological symptoms on a regular basis, and in many cases, it can be debilitating.

2. Anxiety disorders encompass a number of psychiatric conditions:

An anxiety disorder is not just someone who experiences excessive worry. A number of psychiatric conditions makeup anxiety disorders including: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

3. Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder:

Anxiety disorders are not just reserved for people who tend to worry a lot. Anyone can develop an anxiety disorder because there are a number of factors that come into play including your environment, upbringing, genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain.

4. Anxiety symptoms aren’t always obvious:

Most people think of excessive worry and stress as symptoms of anxiety. That is true, but there are also other symptoms that you may not associate with anxiety such as racing thoughts, chest pains, difficulty breathing, irritability, loss of appetite, headaches, trouble sleeping and increased heart rate.

5. Anxiety disorders can be managed:

Many anxiety disorders bring about very unpleasant body sensations. Although they can be quite scary and even uncomfortable, it is possible to learn to control them and lead a very successful and fulfilling life despite your condition.

6. Treatment should be started as soon as possible:

Like any medical condition, the sooner you can start treatment for an anxiety disorder, the better. The longer it goes without getting help, the more severe your condition can become. There are many great treatment options available including medication, therapy, alternative treatments and self-help options.

7. There’s no reason to suffer:

Millions of people have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. But unfortunately, so many more are silently suffering. Men in particular have a tough time seeking treatment due to the fear of being labeled weak or being seen as less of a man. There is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.

8. There is an upside to anxiety:

For all the negative things we hear about anxiety, there is some good that comes from it. Chances are you are more cautious, very compassionate, kind, a good listener, and think before you act. In fact, whether you realize it or not, many of the characteristics that you may not like about yourself make you more attractive to others.

9. Too much anxiety can affect your health:

In the short term, there’s nothing dangerous about the physical sensations of anxiety. However, in the long run, if left untreated, anxiety disorders can take a toll on the body and lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, GI problems and other psychiatric conditions.

10. We must continue to erase the stigma:

In recent years, anxiety and mental illness as a whole has become more accepted by society. However, it is still not on the same level as more physical illnesses. The responsibility is on all of us to erase the stigma and be more accepting of those who struggle with their mental health.