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The call came. A friend died. It was unexpected. Our friend had been living with cancer for several years but was managing well. We’re not sure what happened. There was an accident.  A head injury. Clots formed. After release from the hospital, all seemed fine. Then pain, clots, more treatment. All seemed to improve, until cardiac arrest stopped him in his tracks. Gone in a moment. A family left behind to pick up the pieces.

I am haunted by the sequence of how it came to be; the what ifs roll through my head at night. There may be many factors involved in my friend’s death; cancer treatment compromises the body in every way. A traumatic accident is a hammer to the nail. But still.

I was shaken again- yet again– with the recent synagogue shooting in California. A woman was murdered in front of her husband and daughter in a house of faith. Fear for the growing hate creeping around the world and the sudden violence leave us on edge. It’s another reminder that life can change in an instant.

I am reminded again that every moment counts. Petty grievances that seem important today mean nothing on a short leash of time. Be less wistful about what could have been and more wishful about what can be and pursue those dreams. Those who lost their lives will probably remind you to stop bemoaning lost opportunities. Create new ones while you have the time, ability and resources.

Don’t let others’ criticisms and judgments stand in the way of you pursuing your goals and dreams. They may be envious which is not your problem. Stick to your guns; hold your head high and trot on with confidence.

Never fret about growing old. You have been given the gift of more time. How lucky you are!

Life can turn on a dime; treasure each day. Time is priceless.

nikhil-kumar-231465-unsplash- cherry blossoms.jpg

The post When a Moment Counts, You Learn To Count Every Moment appeared first on Melanie Young.

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Every day I receive dozens of emails from people and businesses I don’t know. I wonder, where did everyone I know go, and who are all these other people?

I sign up for newsletters to stay in touch and enter contests to win trips. I sign up for one-time webinars to learn new things. I friend people who seem interesting online. But sometimes it gets to be too much.  One contest submission to win a trip becomes a barrage of notices and ads. One webinar becomes a weekly entreaty to sign up for a class series or purchase coaching sessions. One weekly newsletter becomes daily notices from sponsors.

I’ve been funneled. In a nutshell, “funnel” is a term to grow a business through online sales tactics and techniques that pique your interest, encourage you to sign up and then draw you in, hopefully to entice you spend money on a product or service. It may be good for a business, but it is annoying.

Have You Become Click-Bait?

It’s the same with pop-up ads on the internet. If you search for something, which I do often as a writer researching stories, you become click bait for ads. Just because I research subjects for articles I have written and radio show topics I have covered, I’ve been hit with ads on sexual aids, stubborn belly fat, wrinkle creams, arthritis drugs, legal aid, retirement homes and numerous insurance policies, financial and technical support services. The worst was being put on the mailing list for “porn hub” because I wrote about sexuality and menopause and intimacy issues after cancer.

I didn’t sign up for any of this, but they found me anyway.

Or maybe I was just unaware that I did. That’s because just about every contest you enter, newsletter, webinar, free class, free sample and special offer coming your way has a back-end way of signing you up for more, including being part of a database that, potentially, may be resold to and shared with others. Always read the fine print and disclosures because you enter and click. If you feel you’ve been baited, delete or unsubscribe as soon as you can. I had not done this with any regularity, and my email inbox this week became so full it stopped working. I had to delete and/or archive thousands of emails.

Talk about the reality check being in the email!

So, the moral of this story is: Think before you sign up, submit and enter anything online and be stingy with the information you provide to protect your privacy and your sanity.

 Quick tips:

Avoid checking small boxes agreeing to receive sponsor/advertiser mailing or other terms without reading the fine print.

Set up a dedicated email address for newsletters and offers and anything that is potentially either and clean it out regularly.

Every day, erase emails you do not want or intend to read and unsubscribe at the bottom if you never want to receive them.

If you do not want the person sending you the email to know you are unsubscribing (and potential ask you why), mark the email as junk and it will end up in that file to delete later.

The post I Didn’t Sign Up for This appeared first on Melanie Young.

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Someone I know professionally who whose work requires her to travel to beautiful places recently commented that she wished people would refrain from saying “I’m jealous” when someone shares good news.

She wrote, “Jealousy is not something to be proud of. It is an emotion that we all wrestle with but when the word jealousy is uttered in response to someone’s achievement, it makes the moment very uncomfortable. As if somehow that person is not deserving and what they have should really be yours. Expressing jealousy isn’t a compliment or expression of support.”

Jealousy is a powerful emotion but not a positive one. Its primary definition in my trusty Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.” Jealousy can drive you to say or do something thoughtless, like saying, “I’m jealous” when someone is sharing good news.

The little green monster attacks all of us at some point.

All of us have experienced feelings of envy. You may envy someone for her achievements and spirited life, her exotic traveling, her beautiful family, or how she looks or ages well. Maybe she appears to live her life with what appears to be little stress, or maybe she appears to have it all – and you feel a twinge of “Why can’t that be my life?”

But the reality is, everyone lives a complicated life in some way or another. No one “has it all” without giving something up to try to attain it. Life is give and take. It’s just some people prefer to share their happy occasions and joys in life and keep their trials and frustrations to themselves.

Fit into your own life rather than size yourself up to others.

Rather than feeling envious about how other people live, be appreciative for what you have. If you want more or desire a new direction, write down your goals and really, make a plan and go for it. But don’t size up your life by how others are living theirs. Life, like a diet, is not one-size-fits-all.

Back to “I’m jealous.” Hopefully you’re not. Banish this statement from your vocabulary. Be sensitive to both your feelings and to others and how you express yourself.  Words can be interpreted in many ways. Instead, when someone shares good news or photos of where they’ve been or where they’re going, say something like, “How wonderful for you!” or “I’m happy for you” or “Enjoy!”

Being green is a good thing when it comes to protecting the earth and eating your vegetables. Being green with envy is not your best color.

Focus on having a greener life instead. Weed your emotional garden. Plant Green Envy flowers instead -Green-Envy-Echinacea.©-Sagegardenherbs-Dreamstime

The post When Green Is Not Your Best Color appeared first on Melanie Young.

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The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has debunked the theory that following an alkaline diet can improve your health and reduce your risk for cancer, stating, “What you eat can have a profound affect on your cancer risk, but the acidity or alkalinity of foods is not important. Instead, focus on making dietary choices that can truly affect your risk.” The AICR has launched a campaign to hep bust common myths and present science-based facts about cancer prevention. (link)

As the recipient of numerous publicists’ pitches on the benefits of an alkaline diet, risks of high acid in your system and how to achieve a PH-balanced system, I thought about all the people wasting money on products making claims that may or may not be sufficiently scientifically substantiated.

And it made me wonder about drinking vinegar since I’ve been following a steady regimen of consuming a morning glass of water with apple cider vinegar for quite some time to boost my metabolism and – supposedly- balance my PH. However, one of my radio show guests, Dr. Shilpa Ravella, a gastroenterologist at Columbia University Medical Center, told me the body naturally balances its PH and doesn’t need any help.

“Detox” drink made of water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. But does it really, “detox?”  Photo: Dreamstime

So what’s PHact from PHiction?

Drinking vinegar for your health is nothing new. According to a 2006 scientific report by the National Institute of Health, “Based on the writings of US medical practitioners dating to the 18th century, many ailments, from dropsy to poison ivy, croup and stomachache, were treated with vinegar…vinegar ‘teas” were commonly consumed by diabetics to help manage their chronic ailment.”

Many vouch for drinking a morning glass of water laced with apple cider vinegar to boost your metabolism and hydrate your system, aid digestion and help with acid reflux, improve your skin and blood circulation, help you absorb nutrients better and help you manage/lose weight.

The aforementioned NIH study also reported, “Vinegars are also a dietary source of polyphenols, compounds synthesized by plants to defend against oxidative stress. Ingestion of polyphenols in humans enhances invivo antioxidant protection and reduces cancer risk.”

There is also some theory that ingesting vinegar can help lower glucose levels in the bloodstream, and reverse prediabetes; however, the report concludes by stating, “Whether vinegar is a useful adjunct therapy for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes has yet to be determined.”

The cancer reduction theory arises because some scientific theories report cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. However, this does not mean you need to start drinking more glasses of vinegar water. Like everything else you ingest, you can overdo it.

There are also negative side effects from drinking too much vinegar due to its main compound, acetic acid. These include hoarseness in the throat, dental erosion and weakened tooth enamel, lower potassium and inflammation of the esophagus and stomach lining. For Type 2 diabetics, a significant drop in blood sugar level could trigger hypoglycemia and seizures. And anyone taking prescription medicines should discuss drinking vinegar on a regular basis with their physician and nutrition specialist.

I like drinking vinegar every morning because sometimes the taste of water is just boring, and I prefer tangy over sweet. I also pour a little drinking vinegar- or balsamic vinegar- in my morning cup of plain Greek yogurt as a non-sugary flavoring. As a drinking beverage, it is a far better option than sugary sodas, and I have found a few flavored drinking vinegars on the market that I really like. They have become popular on the cocktail circuit as mixers.

I haven’t seen any improvement in my skin, weight or well-being. However, I have been experiencing chronic hoarseness and throat gurgle since my recent bout of laryngitis in February. This is making me start to wonder if I am consuming too much vinegar coupled with the amount of wine I taste for a living. I am checking with my medical practitioner and managing my own consumption in the meantime to see what happens.

So, is drinking apple cider vinegar water- other forms of drinking of drinking vinegar “good for you?” As with anything, consume in moderation and weigh all health claims carefully. Some can be PHony sales pitches.

And if in doubt, just stick with using vinegar in your salad dressing instead.

PhotographerL Jez Timms (Unsplash)

Want more info?

Listen to my Fearless Fabulous You podcasts with

Board-Certified Gastroenterologist Dr. Shilpa Ravella  (link)


and Alice Bender, American Institute of Cancer Research link

The post Is Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Really That Good for You? appeared first on Melanie Young.

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I am pitched on a range of products and protocols that are intended to be good for you. They claim to improve your health and well-being. I keep an open mind, but I always peer into the science behind the statements. I question, “How does this work for women of all ages and backgrounds and when does it not appropriate for someone?”

I’ve been schooled in the “not one diet fits all” theory of healthy eating. There are general guidelines to follow: eat more plants, leaner protein, and better fats; consume less sugar and simple carbohydrates; avoid processed foods; drink alcohol in moderation and practice healthy hydration. But how and when you eat can be as important as what you eat.

Recently I spent time with a friend who practices intermittent fasting which involves stretching the time between meals, ideally 16 hours and as little as 12 if it feels too intense.  For example, you finish breakfast at eight in the morning; eat dinner at 7 and then breakfast at eight the next morning.

Illustration 132520750 © Leyasw – Dreamstime.com

Integrative medicine specialist, Dr. Frank Lipman, writes in his book, How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life “that intermittent fasting “lets your body enter a prolonged ‘fasting state’ and signals your body to burn fat that is stored on the body. It also allows your body to experience a longer-than-normal period of low insulin in the blood. This tells your body to burn energy and keep your insulin level low, which is a powerful reset and the opposite of what happens with a constant stream of food.” Dr. Lipman also underscores that intermittent fasting “is not a promise of sudden weight loss. It’s about reducing the hormones to return to more regulated functioning as part of longer term weight loss protocol. ” He noted that intermittent fasting should be practiced one or two days a week for basic preventative measures.


It all sounds good, but following my friend’s schedule going without food all day, made me dizzy, foggy, fatigued and very cranky by 1:30 p.m. Intermittent fasting may be beneficial for some, but my body clock needs food at certain times of the day to keep ticking.

Maybe what make sense in theory doesn’t make sense for me personally. The same may apply to you.

I feel the same way about other health-related activities that may be good for many, but not all. Crossfit and weight lifting may strengthen your body, but some people (including me) may have physical limitations. Intensive face and body scrubs and peels may leave your skin soft and smooth, but they leave my sensitive skin red and scorched.

The same goes with supplements. Some may be beneficial, but you have to consider your personal health and factors such as whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have a history of certain types of cancer, diabetes, a heart condition or other major illness, are in menopause or planning to have children, etc.  Some supplements can interact with prescription medications, and we know almost all prescription medications have some type of side effects.

Before making any extreme changes to how you eat and what you ingest, consider your age and health history and consult with a specialist first. If s/he recommends any supplement for a condition you have, ask how long you need to stay on it and correct dosages, how it interacts with foods or medications you are taking and any short-and-long term side effects. And question whether you need it at all. Pills do not replace healthy habits.

To sum it up: Not everything that is considered “good” for you is necessarily “right” for You  Everyone is different. That’s why I urge caution when trying the latest diet trend, supplement, ingestible powder, or elixir without doing your homework. You could be wasting your money or, potentially, hurting your health and not improving it.

Think of it this way: Would you get a haircut or change the color without consulting with your stylist to address your complexion type, hair texture, face shape and maintenance? Would you invest in a financial plan without finding a trusted adviser to evaluate your current situation and long-term goals? So why would you spend money trying diets, pills and products that you read about without consulting a health and wellness specialist to see if they are both good for you and right for you?

Fearless Fabulous You! airs Wednesdays, live at 12 noon EST on W4WN- The Women 4 Women Network and is permanently podcast to iHeart, free iHeart App, iTunes and other major podcast platforms. Make healthier choices for a happier You!

Dr. Frank Lipman joined me on Fearless Fabulous You! February 27 on  W4WN.com

Here is the link to the show on iHeart.com

Or click this image to listen:

Buy Dr. Frank Lipman’s book, “How To Be Well” on Amazon. Click here:

The post Just Because It’s Good for You Doesn’t Mean It’s Right for You appeared first on Melanie Young.

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I like savory breakfasts. I’m not talking about bacon, sausage and eggs. I like vegetables for breakfast- sautéed mushrooms and spinach with a poached or hard boiled egg, roasted beets in my Greek yogurt, warmed-up leftover vegetables over toast, or kale or spinach smoothies with berries. I even like a cup of vegetable soup for breakfast.

My physician recently informed me my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are slightly elevated. I know this means further editing to my diet, moving more and keeping stress levels in check. The start of the day is a great place to start.

Various studies have shown the benefits of eating a wholesome breakfast. Quoting from this report from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago “Why you should eat breakfast:

Advantages of eating in the a.m.

  • Having a lower BMI
  • Consuming less fat through the day
  • Meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Having higher daily calcium intake
  • Having higher daily fiber intake
  • Having better performance (memory and attention) (for school-aged children)

Disadvantages of missing a morning meal

  • More likely to be overweight
  • Less likely to meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
  • More likely to consume unhealthy snacks

Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables, depending on their age and gender. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations (LINK).

How about a morning cup of cucumber soup?  © Imelnyk| Dreamstime.com

One way ensure you’re consuming enough vegetables is to start the day eating them at breakfast. Many of you may already be eating fruit in the morning with your yogurt, cereal and smoothies, but why not add vegetables? I am frustrated when I travel to find most American hotels and restaurants offer breakfast options that are loaded with sugary cereals, breads and yogurt and sausage, bacon and cheese egg dishes. Some hotels breakfast bars offer fresh fruit and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, but why not offer more vegetable options or even an entire salad?

Here are a few ways to add vegetables to your breakfast.

Add vegetables to unsweetened plain yogurt or whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal, millet and buckwheat (all gluten-free). Examples:

  • Chopped walnuts, celery and apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon and flaxseed
  • Chopped beets with a dabble of horseradish
  • Chopped cucumbers and radishes with a dabble of tahini and dill
  • Sliced strawberries and/or roasted cherry tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Add leftover dinner vegetables or salad to a blender with a cup of nonfat plain yogurt or vegetable broth to make a savory smoothie. Add apple, frozen or fresh blueberries or banana if you want a touch of sweetness.

Add avocado, cooked spinach, carrots and eggs to a bowl of whole grains.

Make cold cucumber soup and sliced cucumber/yogurt/hummus sandwiches.

Other whole grain recipes can be found here.

Vegetables mixed with yogurt- © Irina Kryvasheina | Dreamstime.com

Eating a wholesome breakfast can help boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. These are especially important to keep your energy level strong, your weight in check and help your overall health and well-bring.

Why wait until lunch or dinner to eat your vegetables?

If you have savory breakfast tips to share, please post at Facebook.com/fearlessfabulousmelanie

Egg and avocado over oatmeal –  © Elena Veselova | Dreamstime.com

Vegetables in Your Cakes- Why Not?

We all know many kids and adults balk at eating vegetables. That’s why I was taken by Ysanne Spevack’s book, “Vegetable Cakes: The most fun way to five a day!” (Lorenz Books) which features creative recipes for incorporating vegetables into cakes, pies, cookies and muffins.


Carrot cake seems obvious, but how about cauliflower, chocolate and coconut cake; tomato and almond cake; or lavender spinach cupcakes? Ysanne (who is known by her nickname, Meena) tested and retested to perfect her creative recipes. All provide helpful charts noting which are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and vegan.

Meena Ysanne, author of “Vegetable Cakes”

She also has a fascinating dual career as both a celebrated musician and composer and edible gardener and cookbook author. In her musical arena, Ysanne has toured and recording with many well-known artists, including The Smashing Pumpkins, Elton John, Michael Stipe and Christina Perri. In her food world, she’s written 13 cookbooks including her first, The Organic Cookbook. She is co-author of “The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook.”

Info: www.ilovestrings.com  www.yntegrity.com

Cauliflower, chocolate and coconut cake from “Vegetable Cakes”

Listen to Fearless Fabulous You with Meena Ysanne here. Click this link or the image below:

Spinach Lavender Cupcakes from Vegetable Cakes”

The post Vegetables for breakfast. Why not? appeared first on Melanie Young.

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I like savory breakfasts. I’m not talking about bacon, sausage and eggs. I like vegetables for breakfast- sautéed mushrooms and spinach with a poached or hard boiled egg, roasted beets in my Greek yogurt, warmed-up leftover vegetables over toast, or kale or spinach smoothies with berries. I even like a cup of vegetable soup for breakfast.

My physician recently informed me my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are slightly elevated. I know this means further editing to my diet, moving more and keeping stress levels in check. The start of the day is a great place to start.

Various studies have shown the benefits of eating a wholesome breakfast. Quoting from this report from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago “Why you should eat breakfast:

Advantages of eating in the a.m.

  • Having a lower BMI
  • Consuming less fat through the day
  • Meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Having higher daily calcium intake
  • Having higher daily fiber intake
  • Having better performance (memory and attention) (for school-aged children)

Disadvantages of missing a morning meal

  • More likely to be overweight
  • Less likely to meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
  • More likely to consume unhealthy snacks

Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables, depending on their age and gender. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations (LINK).

How about a morning cup of cucumber soup?  © Imelnyk| Dreamstime.com

One way ensure you’re consuming enough vegetables is to start the day eating them at breakfast. Many of you may already be eating fruit in the morning with your yogurt, cereal and smoothies, but why not add vegetables? I am frustrated when I travel to find most American hotels and restaurants offer breakfast options that are loaded with sugary cereals, breads and yogurt and sausage, bacon and cheese egg dishes. Some hotels breakfast bars offer fresh fruit and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, but why not offer more vegetable options or even an entire salad?

Here are a few ways to add vegetables to your breakfast.

Add vegetables to unsweetened plain yogurt or whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal, millet and buckwheat (all gluten-free). Examples:

  • Chopped walnuts, celery and apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon and flaxseed
  • Chopped beets with a dabble of horseradish
  • Chopped cucumbers and radishes with a dabble of tahini and dill
  • Sliced strawberries and/or roasted cherry tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Add leftover dinner vegetables or salad to a blender with a cup of nonfat plain yogurt or vegetable broth to make a savory smoothie. Add apple, frozen or fresh blueberries or banana if you want a touch of sweetness.

Add avocado, cooked spinach, carrots and eggs to a bowl of whole grains.

Make cold cucumber soup and sliced cucumber/yogurt/hummus sandwiches.

Other whole grain recipes can be found here.

Vegetables mixed with yogurt- © Irina Kryvasheina | Dreamstime.com

Eating a wholesome breakfast can help boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. These are especially important to keep your energy level strong, your weight in check and help your overall health and well-bring.

Why wait until lunch or dinner to eat your vegetables?

If you have savory breakfast tips to share, please post at Facebook.com/fearlessfabulousmelanie

Egg and avocado over oatmeal –  © Elena Veselova | Dreamstime.com

Vegetables in Your Cakes- Why Not?

We all know many kids and adults balk at eating vegetables. That’s why I was taken by Ysanne Spevack’s book, “Vegetable Cakes: The most fun way to five a day!” (Lorenz Books) which features creative recipes for incorporating vegetables into cakes, pies, cookies and muffins.


Carrot cake seems obvious, but how about cauliflower, chocolate and coconut cake; tomato and almond cake; or lavender spinach cupcakes? Ysanne (who is known by her nickname, Meena) tested and retested to perfect her creative recipes. All provide helpful charts noting which are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and vegan.

Meena Ysanne, author of “Vegetable Cakes”

She also has a fascinating dual career as both a celebrated musician and composer and edible gardener and cookbook author. In her musical arena, Ysanne has toured and recording with many well-known artists, including The Smashing Pumpkins, Elton John, Michael Stipe and Christina Perri. In her food world, she’s written 13 cookbooks including her first, The Organic Cookbook. She is co-author of “The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook.”

Info: www.ilovestrings.com  www.yntegrity.com

Cauliflower, chocolate and coconut cake from “Vegetable Cakes”

Spinach Lavender Cupcakes from “Vegetable Cakes”

The post Vegetables for breakfast. Why not? appeared first on Melanie Young.

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I am pitched on a range of products and protocols that are intended to improve your health and well-being. I keep an open mind, but I always peer into the science behind the statements. I question, “How does this work for women of all ages and backgrounds and when does it not appropriate for someone?”

I’ve been schooled in the “not one diet fits all” theory of healthy eating. There are general guidelines to follow: eat more plants, leaner protein, and better fats; consume less sugar and simple carbohydrates; avoid processed foods; drink alcohol in moderation and practice healthy hydration. But how and when you eat can be as important as what you eat.

Recently I spent time with a friend who practices intermittent fasting which involves stretching the time between meals, ideally 16 hours and as little as 12 if it feels too intense.  For example, you finish breakfast at eight in the morning; eat dinner at 7 and then breakfast at eight the next morning.

Illustration 132520750 © Leyasw – Dreamstime.com

Integrative medicine specialist, Dr. Frank Lipman, writes in his book, How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life
that intermittent fasting “lets your body enter a prolonged ‘fasting state’ and signals your body to burn fat that is stored on the body. It also allows your body to experience a longer-than-normal period of low insulin in the blood. This tells your body to burn energy and keep your insulin level low, which is a powerful reset and the opposite of what happens with a constant stream of food.”

Dr. Lipman also underscores that intermittent fasting “is not a promise of sudden weight loss. It’s about reducing the hormones to return to more regulated functioning as part of longer term weight loss protocol. ” He noted that intermittent fasting should be practiced one or two days a week for basic preventative measures.

It all sounds good, but following my friend’s schedule going without food all day, made me dizzy, foggy, fatigued and very cranky by 1:30 p.m. Intermittent fasting may be beneficial for some, but my body clock needs food at certain times of the day to keep ticking.

Maybe what make sense in theory doesn’t make sense for me personally. The same may apply to you.

I feel the same way about other health-related activities that may be good for many, but not all. Crossfit and weight lifting may strengthen your body, but some people (including me) may have physical limitations. Intensive face and body scrubs and peels may leave your skin soft and smooth, but they leave my sensitive skin red and scorched.

The same goes with supplements. Some may be beneficial, but you have to consider your personal health and factors such as whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have a history of certain types of cancer, diabetes, a heart condition or other major illness, are in menopause or planning to have children, etc.  Some supplements can interact with prescription medications, and we know almost all prescription medications have some type of side effects.

Before making any extreme changes to how you eat and what you ingest, consider your age and health history and consult with a specialist first. If s/he recommends any supplement for a condition you have, ask how long you need to stay on it and correct dosages, how it interacts with foods or medications you are taking and any short-and-long term side effects. And question whether you need it at all. Pills do not replace healthy habits.

To sum it up: Not everything that is considered “good” for you is necessarily “right” for You  Everyone is different. That’s why I urge caution when trying the latest diet trend, supplement, ingestible powder, or elixir without doing your homework. You could be wasting your money or, potentially, hurting your health and not improving it.

Think of it this way: Would you get a haircut or change the color without consulting with your stylist to address your complexion type, hair texture, face shape and maintenance? Would you invest in a financial plan without finding a trusted adviser to evaluate your current situation and long-term goals? So why would you spend money trying diets, pills and products that you read about without consulting a health and wellness specialist to see if they are right for you?

Hear more from Dr. Frank Lipman on Fearless Fabulous You! Wednesday, February 27, 12 noon EST on W4WN.com.


Buy this book now on Amazon. Click here:

The post Just Because Something’s Good for You Doesn’t Mean It’s Right for You appeared first on Melanie Young.

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This is a love note to all the single ladies. I was once among you for many years. Sometimes I feel among you again. My husband travels quite a bit to drink wine in far-off locales.

There are many joys of solitude that I have rediscovered when David is away. Some of them apply to the joys of solo travel as well.

Here are a few:

You can eat what you want and when you want. Dinner does not have to be on the table at a certain time. You can eat dessert for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and there is no one to question what eating.

You can soak in a tub with a book without anyone knocking on the door to check in, slather on a thick face mask without anyone trying to take your photo, and try the latest beauty tips using honey, coffee grounds, yogurt and whatever else is in your refrigerator or pantry without third party comments.

You can work at night without anyone saying, “you need to come to bed” and, if you work alone at home, you can slip away and take a nap without anyone knowing.

You can call a gal pal and have a long conversation over a glass of wine without looking at the clock.

You can quietly shop online, or step out and do some shopping without anyone asking, “What are you buying?You can dance around the house and sing at the top of your lungs to the songs that make you happy wearing whatever you want or nothing at all, and no one is watching (except maybe your dog or cat who thinks you are amazing and offers no opinions).

You can binge watch all your favorite TV shows and snack on popcorn in bed, or just turn off the lights and enjoy a quiet night without anyone snoring or kicking you on their sleep.

You can take yourself out to a restaurant and sit at the bars and strike up conversations with fellow diners, or you can bring a book and read. No obligations.

You can wear the same thing for days. No one notices or cares.

You can plan you day your way without having to check in with anyone. Or just get in the car and drive off for a day of exploring.

I’m not knocking companionship or marriage, kids or family. I just want to underscore the rare gift of having all the time to yourself. Enjoy it and don’t regret it or waste it.

The post The Joy of Solitude appeared first on Melanie Young.

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Fab Bites!

My husband, David, and I are on the receiving end of food and drink products occasionally. I am always looking for those that are healthy or have an interested back story. Starting this month, I am adding a once-a month roundup of what we’ve tried, liked and recommend.

A Non-Dairy Treat: My/Mo Mochi Cashew Cream Frozen Dessert.

Mochi is an Asian frozen treat consisting of sticky sweet rice dough wrapped around a filling, more like a glutinous frozen bon bon.  My/Mo is a non-dairy vegan mochi whose filling is made with frozen cashew cream. It is gluten-free and kosher. One pop-in-your-mouth mochi ball is 100 calories and 14 grams of sugar (so eat just one for your treat).  I was partial to strawberry. There is also vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel. Note, there is a dairy version, also.

Gluten-free granola: GrandyOats 

We both liked GrandyOats “Coconola,” all-natural toasted coconut-based, grain-free granola made in Maine with all-natural ingredients and using solar power. The founders are Aaron Anker and Nat Peirce who met in college in New Hampshire,  share a love for VW buses, and decided to ditch the corporate life after graduation.

GrandyOats is also certified-paleo

We tried a few variations and liked all of them, but Original Coconola and Chocolate Chunk Coconola were my favorites. Certified-organic, certified gluten-free, non-GMO verified and kosher. 150 calories per serving (1/4 cup). Be careful. You’ll want more!

A Versatile Drinking Vinegar: Olitalia 

I am always look for alternative ways to add a touch of sweetness to my morning yogurt or add flavor to my plain water without added sugar. Believe it or not, I turn to aged balsamic vinegar which can taste slightly and sweetly oxidized. You must try fresh strawberries drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar!

I add a little balsamic vinegar when I saute cherry tomatoes and spinach or when I’m roasting Brussels sprouts. I also like to mix balsamic vinegar into my overnight oats and add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, granola or nuts and dried fruit.

We’ve discovered many uses for Olitalia fruit-enhanced aged balsamic vinegar from Modena (home to the best balsamic vinegars in Italy). Olitalia bills itself as a “drinking vinegar,” an alternative to adding apple cider vinegar to your water in the morning, or in a mocktail. It offers the same probiotic benefits for digestive aid and it is a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamins B2 and B3, and rich in biophenols and natural antioxidants. We add a tablespoon of Olitalia to our drinking water, but we really love it in our Greek yogurt!

Olitalia drinking vinegar comes in three flavors: blueberry, cherry and pomegranate. We tried and recommend cherry.

Disclosure:

This is not a paid sponsored post. From time to time David and I receive free products to try. We don’t guarantee coverage and choose to write about what we like. We do include affiliate links to Amazon and make a very small amount of money if you decide to buy the products through the links. I also write, on occasion, sponsored posts and will always disclose this when I do.
 

The post Fab Foods- We Tried. We Tested. We Liked. appeared first on Melanie Young.

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