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Photos: Men's costumes for 2016

Video: Horse pulls wakeboarder across ditch in Florida

A man from Palatka posted an Instagram video of himself being pulled by a horse on a wakeboard.

In the video that has over 14 million views to date, Jett Counts is seen shredding some water in a ditch while being pulled by a galloping horse. 

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After the horse, ridden by Counts' brother, reaches full speed, Counts said "How fast we going?" to the person riding in the car recording the film.

The man replied, "20!"

Posted by Jody Coe on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Officer drives grieving man 100 miles to be with family after sister's death

An Ohio law enforcement official is making headlines for his heartwarming act of kindness for a grieving man who had just learned about his sister's death.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>At 3am I got a phone call stating that my sister had been killed in a car accident due to some young dumb punk! I haven'...Posted by Mark E Ross on Sunday, September 25, 2016

>> See the viral Facebook post

According to "Inside Edition," Mark Ross found early Sunday that his teenage sister had died in a car crash. Ross, who doesn't have a car, asked an acquaintance to drive him from Indiana to Detroit to be with his family. 

"Of course we were speeding, trying to get back to Detroit," Ross wrote in a Facebook post that has been shared nearly 85,000 times. "And we got pulled over in Ohio."

Unfortunately, the driver had a suspended license and "ended up getting locked up," Ross told "Inside Edition." The car was towed.

Ross was worried that he'd go to jail, too, because of an outstanding petty warrant in Wayne County, Michigan, but officials there refused to pick him up because of the distance, Ross wrote on Facebook.

>> Read more trending stories

"I explained to the officer that my sister had died and that I needed to get to my mother ASAP," Ross wrote. "I broke down crying, and he saw the sincerity in my cry. He reaches over and began praying over me and my family."

That officer, identified as Sgt. David Robison of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, drove Ross 100 miles to Detroit, Ross said.

"Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy," Ross wrote on Facebook. "He gave me hope."

Read more here.

GreatistYou Confessions: Jasmine's Story

We asked our GreatistYou contestants to reflect on their six-week journeys. Jasmine set out to complete the Whole30 program and practice more self-love. Here's how she did it. When GreatistYou came along, I was pretty excited about the idea of building healthy habits. In high school—and even college—I enjoyed working out. But in college I found I was only exercising to balance out my unhealthy diet. It's not that I dreaded working out exactly, but I had turned running into a way for me to burn calories fast. It was no longer something I enjoyed. The first week of Whole30 was hard because I was just trying to gauge my energy levels, but by the second week I was ready to work out more. I started focusing on that idea of self-love and treating my body in a healthy way. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think that's partially because I didn't count days until the challenge was almost over. With Whole30 you're also not supposed to weigh yourself, because counting things numerically is not a healthy way to think about lifestyle changes. I also didn't want to view Whole30 as a punishment or limitation. Instead I saw it as a new way of looking at food and thinking about what I'm eating. I was very secure in the idea that this healthy lifestyle is something I want. At times it was hard because my parents weren't just going to jump on a new diet. But when people see you making lifestyle changes or doing something a little bit healthier, they start to do it too. My sister became my workout partner. And soon, my mom started eating Whole30 foods. She would let me cook for her; she would try out my "experiments," as she called them. Or if I hung out with a friend and I was eating fruits and veggies, they would say, "Let me have some of what you're eating," instead of filling up something like barbecue. Toward the end of GreatistYou, I was honestly eating really well, but the last week, I was on a cruise—and it was super hard. I had already finished the diet, but it was so difficult to eat good foods. I had read there would be fruits and vegetables onboard, but they weren't good. I had to go out of my way to find things. I would go to the salad bar, and then go to another restaurant and ask them to put meat on it, because that meat was less oily than the meats I found in the cafeteria. I didn't expect it to be that tough. But something I really appreciated was having people I could talk to. It's so helpful to have a support system when you're trying to accomplish new goals—especially fitness goals—because you're changing habits you've had for such a long time. You can check out Jasmine's entire six-week journey on Instagram. Or catch up on all the GreatistYou action here.

Why We Screw Things Up When Life Is Good

Have you ever heard of the Oscar Curse? Neither had I until I read an article about how many actors' careers are plagued after winning the golden statuette. What!? Wouldn’t logic dictate otherwise? Curious, I Googled around and found many other articles, everywhere from Vogue to the New York Post, confirming this theory. (Halle Berry and Adrien Brody are two often-cited examples.) How can this be? After more research, I made a connection to a popular self-help theory: Self-sabotage is most common when life is at its best. In The Big Leap, best-selling author Gay Hendricks calls this the “upper-limit problem.” We do something—entirely subconsciously—that cools our bliss and halts our forward trajectory. What this means is we only feel comfortable with things going really well in our lives for a certain period of time. When we hit our set threshold of happiness, something inside of us says, You don’t deserve to be this happy, and we do something—entirely subconsciously—that cools our bliss and halts our forward trajectory. Here are a few common examples: A successful entrepreneur sells a company at profit and then announces he’s getting a divorce. A woman falls in love and gets married but experiences drama with family or close friends. A politician finally hits career milestone and then binges on drugs or alcohol, or has an affair. This isn't intentional. Most people don't mean to screw things up on purpose. But sometimes, our sneaky, fundamental human fears get in the way. Hendricks says this type of self-sabotage is rooted in four hidden barriers that prevent us from fully enjoying success. Feeling fundamentally flawed: This belief tells you to play it safe because you don’t deserve to be rich/happy/successful. This way, if you fail at something, you fail small. Disloyalty and abandonment: This belief prevents you from reaching your full potential because it causes you to feel disloyal to your roots. Guilt over leaving behind people from your past or—despite being successful—failing to meet the expectations of your parents causes you hit the brakes and hold yourself back. Believing success brings a bigger burden: Whenever you have a positive breakthrough, the feeling that your success is a burden upon others dampens it. The crime of outshining: This barrier is common among gifted and talented children and continues into adulthood. Innate skills are accompanied by a feeling of, “Don’t shine too much—you’ll make other people feel bad or look bad.” Do any of these feel familiar? Do you ever experience guilt for “doing better” than your parents, outshining a sibling or friend, or feel scared when things are going too well because deep down you may not “deserve it”? Knowledge of these fundamental fears allows us to help release their power over us. Next time life is going swimmingly for you, but suddenly the upper-limit problem creeps up, ask yourself: How am I getting in my own way right now? How much love/success/happiness am I willing to let myself experience? What harmful belief(s) can I release in this moment? This theory of the upper-limit problem has manifested in my own life more than once (now that I am aware of it). When my business is going great, I realize that I tend to initiate fights with my husband. Whenever I get great news, I tend to overindulge—in partying, shopping, or eating sugary stuff. Now, I'm able to recognize the feeling of This is too good to be true—it can't last! and the inner pull to bring myself back to a familiar emotional set point of good instead of great. I try to identify my self-sabotaging tendencies as evidence of things going right, not wrong, in my life. This can provide a huge sense of relief! Where can you increase your happiness tolerance right now? What part of your life can benefit from you kicking off the artificial lid of how good things can be? Understanding that we have limited ourselves can release a new energy in us. We view opportunities differently. We can see the present moment more clearly. We allow (and welcome) the flow of good feelings more fully. Transcending your upper limits is possible. You can choose an upward spiral. Your very own big leap awaits. Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Her new book, What If It Does Work Out?, is available on Amazon now. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!

7 Intoxicatingly Good Recipes Made Better With Beer

When it starts to get chilly, we pass on the white wine and head straight for the beer list. But it's not all about what we can sip on. When Oktoberfest is in full swing—and by night we're already a few pints in—we sometimes choose to pour the beer right into our meal instead. Here are seven recipes (that call for a hefty pour) that we have on tap this month. 1. Tomato-Basil Beer Bread The cold, hard truth of bread-making: It’s not actually that hard, if you use the right recipe. This wildly simple spelt-based loaf includes fresh basil and a hefty pour of brew. Try going off-book by adding whole-grain mustard and sharp cheddar, or garlic and tangy feta. 2. Baked Beer-Battered Onion Rings Just because it’s beer-battered doesn’t mean it’s deep-fried. Dip thickly sliced, sweet yellow onions into a mixture of flour, panko breadcrumbs, spices, and lots of hoppy pale ale. Bake until golden and serve with your favorite dipping sauces. If you’re a real champ, throw a few on that frozen veggie burger you’re about to make for dinner. 3. Watermelon Shandy Even if you don’t like drinking beer, we bet you’d like this “watermelemonade” shandy. While typical shandies are beer mixed with lemonade or fizzy lemon soda, this one has a refreshing twist with help from our favorite melon. Mix fresh watermelon juice (purée cubed watermelon in the blender and strain) and lemonade in a tall glass, then pour in a cold wheat beer. 4. Beer Cheese Soup Beer cheese is pretty much exactly what its name suggests—and when used as a dip, makes a German pretzel taste roughly a million times better. Typically full of cream, this less stomach-clutch-and-moan-inducing beer cheese soup calls for vegetable stock to thin out the rich cheese and pale ale. To make matters better, the bisque takes just 15 minutes to put together. 5. Chocolate Stout Cake Chocolate and beer cake. Whiskey frosting. We’ll just wipe away our tears of joy and head to the kitchen. This vegan cake may not have eggs or butter, but once you pour in the frothy, dark stout, you’ll forget all about dairy. Cut a thick slice and maybe pour another glass of beer. PS. Don’t be intimidated by sucanat: It’s just a variety of unprocessed cane sugar. 6. Beer-Braised Pork Roast Having people over for Oktoberfest? Balsamic and beer-braised pork needs just 10 minutes of prep time, then slowly cooks for three hours in a dutch oven. It’s the perfect starter recipe for those who don’t cook a lot of meat; there’s really no way to mess this one up. 7. Beer-Marinated Chicken We always want to impress our friends (and ourselves) by making beer-can chicken, but sometimes time isn’t on our side. These quick beer-marinated drumsticks and thighs—or breasts for non-bone fans)—may look a bit less exciting than the full bird resting atop a can, but it tastes just as good. And isn’t that what really matters?

8 Tips for Deciphering Diet Claims

Though food is supposed to be one of life's simple pleasures, few things cause more angst and confusion. It's no wonder why. We're constantly being told which foods we should eat to be healthy, which diets we should follow to be skinny, which preparation methods we should use to be safe, and which chemicals and contaminants in food we should shun to avoid illness. It's enough to give anyone indigestion. If you're confused about what to believe, you've come to the right place. In "Coffee Is Good for You," I'll give you the bottom line on an array of popular diet and nutrition claims in a quick, easily digestible way. Research about diet and health rarely yields the equivalent of DNA evidence, which provides incontrovertible proof. All types of studies come with caveats. However, if interpreted properly, a body of research can allow us to make sound judgments about how believable a claim is. Trying to make sense of the seemingly endless stream of food and nutrition claims can be overwhelming. Remembering the following 8 rules will make the task easier and allow you to stay focused on what’s really important:

  1. Don’t fixate on particular foods. Be wary of lists of miraculous “superfoods” you must eat or “toxic” foods you should never touch. Rather than worrying about squeezing one food or another into your diet, focus on your overall eating patterns, which should include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, legumes, and good fats, and limited amounts of refined carbohydrates, junk food, red meat, and trans fats.  
  2. Look beyond narrow categories like carbs and calories. Many diet books and seals of approval on foods emphasize one or two factors, such as the calorie or carbohydrate count, while giving short shrift to other important things, like fiber, sodium, or trans fat. The fact that a hamburger is lower in calories than a salad doesn’t necessarily make it a better option. Likewise, just because fruit punch or cereal has added vitamins doesn’t mean it’s healthful. What’s important is the overall nutritional profile. You can get this from comprehensive food- scoring systems such as NuVal, which ranks the healthfulness of foods based on more than 30 factors.  
  3. Forget about fad diets. A plethora of weight- loss plans promise to melt away pounds quickly and easily. But in the long run, they rarely work. About 95 percent of dieters eventually regain lost weight. Instead of searching for the secret to skinniness, which doesn’t exist, try to eat more healthfully and be mindful of how much you’re consuming. Combined with exercise, this approach can prevent weight gain and, over time, lead to weight loss. And unlike dieting, it’s something you can stick with long term.  
  4. Recognize the limits of vitamin pills. While vitamin and mineral supplements can help make up for deficiencies of nutrients, they generally don’t live up to their billing when it comes to preventing disease, boosting energy, or improving your overall health. Supplements pack far less nutritional punch than food, which contains multiple nutrients that interact with one another and with other foods in a variety of complex ways. As a result, vitamin pills can’t compensate for an unhealthful diet. And they can cause harm if you take too much of certain nutrients.  
  5. Ignore health claims on food packages and in ads. A few such claims, such as those related to sodium and high blood pressure, are officially approved by the FDA, but most aren’t. They fall under a loophole that allows companies to use sneaky language like “helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels” or “helps support a healthy immune system.” Because these phrases don’t explicitly say that the food prevents or treats disease— even though that’s what any normal person would infer—manufacturers don’t have to provide any evidence. What’s more, there are no strict definitions for frequently used terms such as all natural, low sugar, and made with whole grains or real fruit. Because it’s virtually impossible to distinguish between legitimate and misleading claims by manufacturers, the best approach is to disregard them all and get your information from the Nutrition Facts panel on the package.  
  6. Verify emails before forwarding them. The vast majority of emails about food and nutrition are half truths or outright hoaxes. If someone forwards you an email claiming, for example, that canola oil is toxic or that asparagus cures cancer, assume it’s not true, no matter how scientific it sounds. Check it out with a reputable source like Snopes. com or Urbanlegends. about. com. Forwarding unconfirmed claims only adds to the hype, misinformation, and confusion.  
  7. Don’t be influenced by just one study. When you encounter news reports about the latest study, don’t jump to conclusions based on that alone. Remember that it’s just one piece of a puzzle. What matters is the big picture— what scientists call the totality of the evidence. For a credible overview of the science, check out online sources such as the Nutrition Source from Harvard School of Public Health, or newsletters such as Nutrition Action Healthletter, the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, and the Berkeley Wellness Letter. Or go to www. pubmed. gov and look up the research yourself.  
  8. Enjoy eating! As I said at the beginning of this book, all the admonitions about which foods we should and shouldn’t consume can make eating a stressful chore. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Using science as your guide, focus on the claims with the greatest credibility and relevance, and tune out the rest. That way, you’ll feel less overwhelmed. While following sound nutrition advice is important for good health, it need not spoil your dinner. Bon appétit!
   Adapted with permission from "Coffee is Good for You" by Robert J. Davis, PhD, by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012 by Robert J. Davis, PhD, MPH. Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1725

Break Out of Your Food Rut!

What's for dinner? What are you eating for breakfast or lunch tomorrow? If you aren't feeling excited about your meals, or if your kids are complaining about eating chicken again, you may be in a food rut.   It happens easily; between work obligations, social plans, and kids' soccer practices, we tend to fall back on easy-to-prepare staple meals that don’t require much thought or effort. And for some of us, cooking doesn’t come easily or isn’t a pleasure, so we rely on a handful of recipes we can confidently prepare.   While it's wonderful to have a few go-to meals you can rely on in a pinch, it can get old when you rely on the same meals too often. And that lack of excitement about what's on your plate could lead you to reach for additional snacks or sweets to bring more pleasure back to your eating—which can be a problem if you're trying to manage your weight or eat healthier.   We recently asked SparkPeople members if they were stuck in a diet rut, and we were surprised by how many people replied. Member CHOUBROU summed it up this way: ''The food rut is my biggest problem! I fall into it because eating the same go-to meals is convenient and easy. But eventually I get tired of eating the same thing, and that leads me to the temptation of eating out more, eating more frozen/processed meals, etc.''   SparkPeople member KALENSMOMMY5 asked for help: ''One of the main reasons I fall off the healthy eating wagon is that I get caught in a major food rut! As I am a full-time working single mom to a toddler, I have very limited time to cook, so I end up buying the same grab-and-go foods week after week. The unhealthy choices start to look more and more attractive as I get more bored with my standard foods. Help would be much appreciated!''   Lots of folks told us they’ve hit the wall, cooking-wise. What’s more, they shared great advice on how you can break boring food habits, no matter what causes them.   5 Signs You're Stuck in a Food Rut (and What to Do about It)   Sign #1: You Don’t Enjoy Cooking For many folks, getting dinner on the table is a chore, not a pleasure. If you don’t love to cook, or you’re not confident in your culinary skills, then it's normal to feel like you're in a food rut for awhile—at least until you develop a few basic meals that you can prepare quickly and easily. Here’s how:

  • First, think about what you enjoy eating. Sandwiches? Burritos? Breakfast for dinner? Salads? Consider how you can make those into healthy dinner options.  
  • Settle on three to five things you like, and find simple recipes for those meals. SparkRecipes is a great resource for quick and healthy meal ideas.  
  • Get comfortable with the basics. Once you’ve mastered an essential technique like sautéing boneless chicken breasts, then you can move on to experiment with different sauces or add-ins to change things up over time and prevent yourself from getting bored.  
  • Accept that you don’t love to cook, but don’t let that be your excuse for not eating healthy. If you master a few basic recipes, you’ll gain confidence—and you’ll be making a commitment to yourself.
Sign #2: You’re On Auto-Pilot Even accomplished home cooks tend to get stuck in a rut preparing the same go-to dinners over and over. Katie, a mother of two, posted: ''[My son] calls me on my food ruts—I know I've got problems when my garbage disposal of a kid complains about what I'm cooking.''   Like many folks who commented on our question about food habits, Katie says she refers to cooking magazines (her favorite is Food and Wine) for inspiration when she’s stuck in a routine. Cooking Light magazine and the books ''Cook This, Not That'' by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, and ''Fast Food My Way'' by Chef Jacques Pepin were also recommended as great resources for quick and healthy meals.   David posted about different ways to find culinary inspiration: ''I realize [I’m in a food rut] when I’m on auto-pilot preparing a meal that usually gives me joy to cook. I break it up by shopping somewhere new for groceries, or getting a new cooking gadget, or sharpening my knives or getting a new spice.''   A simple strategy for busting out of the auto-pilot cooking rut is to find alternate ways to prepare those go-to meals—in particular, look to different ethnic cuisines for interesting takes on your standards. If spaghetti with meat sauce is in your repertoire, try linguine with spicy shrimp sauce instead. Not feeling that leftover chicken? Turn it into something new, like a tostada. Sometimes simply swapping a few ingredients within a go-to recipe can give you a whole new flavor and make your meals interesting again. Same with sides: If you're always steaming broccoli or brown rice, experiment with other healthy veggies or whole grains such as whole-wheat couscous, millet or quinoa instead.   Sign #3: You Always Eat the Same Meals This food rut often shows up at the start of the day, when we’re so busy getting out the door that we neglect a healthy breakfast, or we choose convenience foods over healthy ones. SparkPeople member LINDSAYHENNIGAN commented that she found herself eating high-fiber breakfast cereal every day: ''I got too focused on how much fiber they added, and failed to notice the 40 grams of sugar I was consuming each morning. My trainer caught it, and switched me over to bread with 2 or less grams of sugar with peanut butter, and I feel so much better.''   SparkPeople member FLUTTEROFSTARS, a vegetarian, shared a bunch of great ideas she enjoys to start her day: ''I’m fighting to get out of my food rut! I’ve been 'Sparking' for two months now, and have come up with several winning mini-meals.'' Some of her favorites include:
  • Salad with Morningstar veggie crumbles and low-fat cheddar cheese
  • Omelets with frozen vegetable blend
  • Greek yogurt with strawberries and flaxseed
  • The ''one-minute microwave muffin'' recipes for breakfast sandwiches from SparkRecipes
We all go through busy periods in our lives—a hectic few weeks at work, an extra-busy sports season—and getting a healthy dinner on the table every evening is even more challenging. Creating a weekly meal plan and then shopping for all the ingredients you’ll need helps avoid the food rut. When you know in the morning what you’re making for dinner that night, you can avoid grabbing quick and not-so-healthy items on that emergency trip to the grocery.  And planning dinners that can be repurposed into lunches avoids brown-bag boredom.   Sign #4: You’re Bored with Brown Bagging We’ll congratulate you for committing to bringing a healthy lunch instead of heading to the nearest fast food joint. But the contents of your brown bag need an overhaul if you’re stuck in the PB&J or turkey sandwich routine day in and day out.   Turning dinner into lunch is a great way to vary your midday meal, especially if you plan ahead and prepare extra food in the evening for the next day’s (or week’s) lunchbox. A dinner of grilled steak and veggies can become a lunchtime salad, and a pasta supper easily transforms into a chilled pasta salad a day later.   SparkPeople member FELIFISH26 posted: ''I usually eat the same boring thing for lunch (half a turkey sandwich on sandwich thin bread, cottage cheese, low-fat chips). BLAH, right?! After awhile your taste buds start to get used to it all, and I could probably be eating cardboard and not know the difference!'' She solved her lunch dilemma by combining some cooked chicken from dinner the night before with fresh pico de gallo that she made with chopped tomato, onion and cilantro. New lunch idea: chicken tacos.   Sign #5: You’re Stuck on ''Diet-Safe'' Foods Several SparkPeople members commented that their commitment to weight loss means they have a limited number of meal options that meet their calorie limits. Member STACYD16 wrote, ''I do believe that I'm in a food rut. I eat the same things daily because I know their caloric contents. I do have a cheat day about once a week that I really enjoy—and I thought that would throw me off, but it has really helped. I realized my issue is more portion control vs. the actual foods that I eat.''   While eating within a calorie range can be a challenge, portion control can help. You can also search for specific recipes within a certain calorie range by using the Advanced Search on SparkRecipes.com. So if you want slow-cooker dinners that contain fewer than 400 calories, simply edit your search options and voila! You'll be surprised just how many delicious and easy meals you can find within your calorie range for any meal.   When All Else Fails: Embrace the Rut Here’s one final strategy for breaking out of your food rut—know that you’ll get into one. Steve posted about exactly that: ''Another thing I'll do is the mid-week ‘king's food’ omelet—where, no matter what, I'll cook an omelet using the leftovers of previous meals. This does two things: It creates interesting flavors with combos I’d normally never think of, and it motivates me to cook good stuff early in the week because it's potential omelet fodder.''   Just as you can't expect perfection when it comes to eating within your calorie range, losing two pounds per week, or exercising as much as you'd like, you can't expect to be perfect in the kitchen, either—or to love every bite you eat. Accept that we all go through ruts with our food. But instead of allowing it to throw you off track, use it as a sign to change things up and find creative ways to make your food fun and delicious again. And remember, this (food rut) too, shall pass!   Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1759

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