Sunday, February 22, 2015

Job Posting - HR Manager (Part-Time)

Heal Your Gut to Reduce Inflammation

Greek philosopher Hippocrates stated over 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”—and it appears that he may have been right. We’ve written before about how your gut bacteria can affect your weight, lifespan, and even your attitude.
Now, new research has revealed that gut health may also affect the inflammation and joint pain associated with arthritis.
Arthritis and its various forms has always been a fairly mysterious condition. An autoimmune disease, it can strike at any age, and wreak havoc on bones, joints, cartilage, and even organs in some cases. Now, thanks to several recent studies which have found a link between arthritis and gut microbes, we may be beginning to understand the origin of this painful disease, which for many can be literally crippling.
Two recent studies out of New York University have demonstrated a clear link between arthritis and gut health. The first, published in 2013, showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients were far more likely to have a strain of bacteria called Prevotella copri in their intestines than those that did not have the disease.

The second was a 2014 study by the same author, and found that patients with psoriatic arthritis—another kind of autoimmune joint disease—had significantly fewer strains of beneficial gut bacteria than those not affected.
While this research on the connection between gut health and arthritis is certainly ground-breaking, it’s not the only condition that’s receiving attention from researchers who are studying the way that the microbiome—the collection of bacteria in our gut—affects our health.
Microbiome researchers are beginning to study all autoimmune-related conditions, as they suspect that the rise in these conditions in recent years is at least partly due to changes in the bacteria we’re exposed to through our hyper-sanitized environment, diet changes, and of course, antibiotic use.
NYU microbiologist Martin Blaser puts it this way: “Our microbiome has changed significantly over the past century, and especially over the past 50 years… We’re losing microbes with each generation; they are going extinct. These changes have consequences.”
Microbiome research has already linked gut health to asthma, arthritis, acne, allergies, autism, IBS, obesity, ADD, depression, anxiety, Hashimoto’s, lupus and certain cancers, among other conditions. The best thing we can do in light of this increasing evidence, even if we are not currently suffering from any of these conditions, is to maintain the health of our gut, or nurture and heal it if necessary.
To support a healthy gut environment:
  • Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary
  • Add probiotic foods to your regular diet, such as sauerkraut, kefir, Greek yogurt, kimchi, and some types of pickles
  • Avoid sugar, which certain harmful bacteria thrive on
  • Stay away from antibacterial soaps and cleaning products whenever possible
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to affect the microbiome negatively
-The Alternative Daily

Eating Healthy Snacks During International Travel

Foreign travel doesn't mean your healthy eating habits have to take a hiatus. Some advance planning and sensible choices can make all the difference.

Like many people who follow a healthy diet, you probably don’t want your international travel plans to mean that you’ll have to resort to standard junk food or unsafe food choices. Some common sense and a little research and preparation ahead of time can help keep your diet varied and you safe and well while you’re abroad.

Finding Healthy Snacks and Meals
If you’re concerned about choosing healthy snacks and foods while traveling, following these tips can help:

·         Look for foods you eat at home. Stick to simple, fresh, and natural foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Fresh fruits are still a great alternative to caloric junk food for healthy noshing; you just need to choose wisely and prepare them correctly. It’s a good idea, for instance, to wash all produce thoroughly in bottled water and, for added protection, remove any peel or skin.

·         Cook your own food. If you're nervous about the way your food will be prepared, for either sanitary or dietary reasons, cooking it yourself is an easy way to take control of what you're eating, even during international travel. By buying fresh products at a grocery store, you will have control over how your food is prepared and will know that it's both safe and healthy to eat. Some hotel rooms, inns, or hostels may have a kitchen area where you can prepare your own food. If this is something you're interested in, inquire about the cooking accommodations before you book your reservation.
David Lytle, editorial director for, also suggests considering options beyond hotels — a rental apartment, where you can cook healthy snacks and meals in the kitchen might be a good fit for you and your fellow travelers, and in some cases it can even save you money. 

·         Do some research in advance. If you are a health-conscious eater and want to stay away from junk food or high-fat foods, do a little research before your trip and ask for local recommendations. That's how Pamela Melton, vice president and director of operations at Marketing Resources Inc. in Elmhurst, Ill., manages to maintain a healthy diet during the international junkets her job often requires.

"I always ask the hotel staff to recommend restaurants that have healthy options and that may offer menus in English," Melton says. "I also tend to stick with what I know and order chicken or beef." Melton says she usually looks up words she needs to know to communicate her dietary needs before she leaves and writes them down or brings along a dictionary for reference. When it comes to eating healthy, she says, "It is pretty easy to learn the words for these foods in any language."
On the Menu: Food Safety

While you do need to be concerned about food safety during international travel, a little common sense can help you steer clear of unsanitary foods. "For eating healthy in countries where the water quality may be questionable, I stick to produce that has a thick skin," says Melton. "Oranges and bananas are good examples. Cooked vegetables are usually safe, but I use caution when buying or ordering raw produce.”

Eating healthy and safe foods during international travel is absolutely possible, Lytle confirms. "For any sort of travel, it is just a matter of doing some preparation," he says. "Often where people make a mistake is eating fresh produce in a country when it hasn't been properly washed first. You have to be aware of the country's rules and health regulations."

Here are a few key food safety suggestions to follow:

·         Make sure food is thoroughly cooked. Avoid anything that looks like it hasn't been cooked all the way through or isn't served steaming hot.

·         Use only bottled water. If you're going to a location that may have water quality issues, opt for bottled water and beverages and skip the ice, which is usually made from tap water. Also, remember to use bottled water when brushing your teeth.

·         Eat at reputable restaurants. Resist the tempting fare offered by vendors or at kiosks on the street — street vendors may not be as conscious about sanitation as restaurants are. For restaurants that cater successfully to foreign travelers, ask your hotel for recommendations or research them before your trip.

·         Practice seafood safety. If you aren't sure about local sanitation regulations, steer clear of raw or undercooked seafood during international travel.

·         Think twice about dairy. Don’t eat or drink any unpasteurized dairy products. You should also be cautious about pasteurized milk as foreign processing methods can differ from those in the United States.

·         Stick to fruits with peels. Don't eat fruits that are already peeled, and for further protection, make sure to remove the peel yourself.

While there aren't any international signs and symbols that make food labels easy to understand across the world, finding the foods you want is possible with a little research and a translation dictionary on hand. If you stick to reputable restaurants and large grocery stores, you should be able to find fresh and familiar foods as well as a variety of healthy snacks to help you maintain your regular good eating habits while you’re traveling abroad.

Jewish Family & Children Services - Needs Your Prom Gown

Jewish Family & Children Services is requesting donations of prom gowns and accessories to teens enrolled in the Elect Program (program with the SDP serving pregnant and parenting teens).  

If you or someone you know has a gently used evening prom gown, dress, and/or accessories to donate, please deliver during business hours M-F; 9am - 4:45pm.

JFCS Progress Plaza Office
1501 North Broad Street,
Suite 14
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Questions? Contact: Melissa Blackson, 267-256-2053
The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2014

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Natural Solutions

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Fight the Flu with Natural Solutions...
Flu season isn't over yet. In fact it is in full swing, but that doesn't mean you can't take precaution to protect yourself, loved ones and even strangers from catching the bug. The mayo clinic suggests washing your hands. (Thorough and frequent hand-washing is the best way to prevent many common infections. Scrub your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren't readily available.) Contain your coughs and sneezes. (Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inner crook of your elbow.) And also to avoid crowds. (Flu spreads easily wherever people congregate — in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection.) But let's not forgot other ways to help fight off the flu. Read more with Natural Solutions.
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Beat the Cold & Flu This Season
Here it is again, the cold and flu season when we all head indoors to share our sneezes and viruses. It's time to get serious about preventing illness, and that means caring for our personal air filter: the nose. Viruses are the worst seasonal offenders, and colds are the most common virus we pass around. But the influenza virus is so much worse than a cold. Most folks do not really understand the difference between these two illnesses, yet the difference can be deadly.
The Common Cold & That Dreaded Flu Virus
Here it is again, the cold and flu season when we all head indoors to share our sneezes and viruses. It's time to get serious about preventing illness, and that means caring for our personal air filter: the nose. Viruses are the worst seasonal offenders, and colds are the most common virus we pass around. But the influenza virus is so much worse than a cold. Most folks do not really understand the difference between these two illnesses, yet the difference can be deadly. Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by the influenza virus. This is a specific respiratory virus quite different than the cold virus. The entire respiratory tract —including the nose, throat, and lungs—becomes infected. The illness is severe and can be life-threatening; children, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions are at greatest risk for complications.
Immunity Superstars: The 10 Best Foods to Fight Off Colds and Flu
Diet is a crucial piece of the immunity puzzle. "Eating the right foods helps your immune system function optimally and makes you more resistant to infection," says Jennifer Johnson, ND, clinical professor at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Here are the 10 powerhouse foods that will help you stay strong and sniffle-free all winter.
Garlic Grilled Asparagus
Garlic is something that can help to fight off the flu, so why not mix it with asparagus and the grill? It's amazing! Click here for more information.

BenePHilly - Valuable Benefits

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Taking a Daily Multivitamin

Although we live in the land of plenty — and for the most part overeat — there are some critical vitamins that Americans tend to be short on, especially women. These include calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin D. Despite trying to eat well, we may not get all the nutrients we need, so taking a daily multivitamin is a good idea. More difficult than the decision of whether to take a multivitamin, though, is which one to take. How do you make that decision? It can be difficult, given the aisles of choices that face us today. Here are some guidelines to help you find a good multivitamin that will provide you with the safety net you're looking for:

Select a trustworthy manufacturer. Look for the USP stamp on the label. The United States Pharmacopeia is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that tests supplements — if the manufacturer requests it and pays for it — to verify that the pills contain what the label says they do. The USP acts as a quality control check on the ingredients.
Beware of hollow promises. Don't make choices based on the claims on the label — words like "Energy Pak," "Performance Enhancer," and "Stress Control" have no science to back them up.
Search for a vitamin with most of your daily needs. Look for a vitamin with 100 percent of the daily value for the following vitamins: vitamins A, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, B12, C, D, E, and folic acid.
Take calcium separately. Because calcium is bulky, you can't get the daily value in a single tablet or capsule. Take a calcium supplement if you're not getting enough from your diet instead of trying to make up for it with two or more multivitamins a day
Watch out for missing ingredients. Some multivitamins are short on some vitamins and minerals — check for brands with at least some of the daily value amount of chromium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin K. Note however, if you take blood thinners, vitamin K could be a problem (which is why a lot of multivitamins don't contain vitamin K); ask your doctor if you can take it and how much is optimum for you.
Remember that more is not better. Too much of a good thing can cause harm: High amounts of vitamins in supplements plus what you get in food can put you over the safe limit. There are several vitamins that you can go overboard on: vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Beware of mega-amounts — several fold beyond the daily value — in supplements.
Take your age and gender into account. The amount of iron you need depends on both. Men and postmenopausal women need only around 8 mg a day, while premenopausal women (who are still menstruating) need 18 mg a day. Going with one of the age formulas — under or over 50 — is a good idea.

Why Baby Boomers Need More Vitamins
Finally, don't expect a multivitamin to be a miracle pill. Your daily diet should be the main source of your nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Be sure to eat a wholesome diet of plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and good fats (such as those found in olive oil, nuts, and cold-water fish like salmon and tuna).

Suck on These 5 Things to Fight Inflammation, Bacteria & Viruses

We talk a lot about the benefits of eating healthy foods… but sucking them?? Yup! Sucking is just another delivery method for the nutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds found in certain superfoods and herbs, and enjoying them this way has its specific perks.
For one, sucking on a food creates a slow-release effect, so instead of getting all those nutrients at once, they trickle into your body as you suck. Depending on the food, herb, or spice you are sucking, this may also help to curb cravings when you’re hankering for a snack, as well as freshening your breath or even soothing a sore throat. The following are five foods to consider sucking on, and why.
Honeysuckle Many of us remember pinching those small yellow and white honeysuckle blossoms and sucking out the nectar when we were kids. However, did you know that these flowers have been an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries?

One of the properties attributed to honeysuckle is potent anti-inflammatory activity, hence its reputation as a “cooling” herb. It has also traditionally been used to help prevent and remedy colds, fevers, and flus, and is known to freshen breath. It is also linked to ameliorating respiratory symptoms. For these reasons, sucking on a few honeysuckle blossoms could get your mouth feeling fresh and ready for that big date, or help alleviate the swelling of a canker or other mouth sore. It might even help keep that nasty cold at bay.
To suck: If you have access to a bunch of blossoms, suck a few when you pass by! Otherwise, you can purchase a honeysuckle nectar – just make sure it is organic, with no additives, from a source you trust. You can add a few drops onto an ice cube that’s been frozen onto a popsicle stick, and enjoy.
Ginger Ginger, that spicy rhizome often called a root, is great to suck on for a variety of reasons. First of all, it has been found to be highly anti-inflammatory, and is also tied to pain relief. Therefore, if you have any dental pain… ginger to the rescue! This rhizome is probably most famous for its ability to soothe digestive distress.
Sucking on some ginger when on a road trip can help to keep motion sickness at bay, and can also calm a bad case of the burps. Ginger also has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, and may help prevent a wide range of seasonal and chronic illnesses.
To suck: Simply peel a slice of organic ginger (start with a small chunk), and pop it into your mouth! If you like, you can chew and swallow the ginger when you’re done sucking it, but be warned that it will be pungent.
Garlic For pathogen-busting powers and detoxification, it doesn’t get much better than garlic. This fragrant bulb contains a compound known as allicin, which has been linked to destroying foodborne microbes. It is also known as a highly effective broad spectrum antimicrobial agent with 39 different anti-fungal, bacterial, parasitic and viral agents.
On top of that, garlic has also been found to help stabilize blood sugar and blood pressure, and may even help reduce cancer risk. Sucking on garlic is a great idea if you feel a bug coming on, have eaten a food you suspect may not have been handled properly, or just want to turbo-charge your immune system.
To suck: You can simply suck on a clove of raw garlic, or, to make it more enjoyable (and to add even more health benefits), soak a clove, or a slice of a clove, in raw, local honey. Along with tasting great, this combo may help to soothe an inflamed throat. After sucking, chew and swallow the garlic, and follow with a sprig of fresh mint or parsley to freshen your breath.
Cinnamon Cinnamon sticks isolated on white backgroundProbably the most obvious reason to suck on cinnamon is the resulting fresh breath. However, cinnamon does more than just mask mouth odor – due to its potent antimicrobial properties, it helps to kill bacteria that lead to plaque, thus aiding in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, cinnamon has been linked to improving circulation, lowering blood pressure, and helping to prevent heart attack and stroke.
It also has some exciting benefits for diabetics, and those with pre-diabetes. A body of research has linked cinnamon with lowering blood sugar levels, and with improving insulin sensitivity.
On top of that, the scent alone of cinnamon is linked to improving cognitive abilities – and if you’re sucking on it, you’ll get a lot of the aroma! The delicious flavor of this spice can also help to beat unhealthy food cravings if you suck on it instead.
To suck: Couldn’t be simpler – just grab a cinnamon stick, and pop one end into your mouth. Kind of like a cylindrical lollipop.
Hemp lollipops If you are legally able to in your area, why not enjoy a delicious and healthy hemp lollipop? No, they won’t get you high, but they will provide some protein, skin and hair-nourishing vitamin E, and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s have been linked to protecting heart and brain health, as well as to alleviating depression and boosting mood. If you’re in a funk, breaking out a hemp lollipop instead of reaching for an unhealthy food fix can both get some flavor on your palate, and may help dissolve the blues faster.
To suck: Head to your local organic market for some lollipops – be sure to only get organic ones made without sugar or additives from a source you trust, and make sure the hemp oil itself is of the highest quality.
Alternatively, you can make your own, just be sure to find a recipe which does not use sugar or corn syrup. Hard candy? Cough drops? Breath mints? Who needs ‘em, when you’ve got these five superfoods!
-The Alternative Daily

7 Reasons to Find Your Inner Quiet Place

We live in a chaotic world that constantly exposes us to sounds, sights, and smells that can overwhelm us mentally, physically and emotionally. We suffer from overstimulation that manifests itself in feelings of anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fear, and more.
Now, more than ever, we need to learn to find our inner quiet place. The following are seven reasons why the search for yours is so important.

1. Relieve your depression and anxiety
Research by Johns Hopkins revealed that 30-40 minutes of daily mindful meditation provided an equal amount of relief from the symptoms of depression and anxiety as has been shown in other research from antidepressant medications. 2. Decrease inflammatory pain
In a study done by the University of Wisconsin, researchers concluded that mindfulness meditation techniques seemed to be more effective in providing relief of inflammatory symptoms than other wellness activities.
3. Increase awareness of yourself
Through the practice of meditation, individuals are able to reflect on their emotions, memories, and behaviors from an objective perspective. For many, this allows them to better understand their thoughts and actions when responding to other people or circumstances.
4. Achieve a peaceful state of mind
Using MRI scans, it has been scientifically demonstrated that 20 minutes of focused meditation can alter brain waves from a state of arousal to a state of deep relaxation. This conversion from aroused alpha waves to relaxed theta waves clearly shows that the regular practice of meditation can bring you into a calm and peaceful state of mind.
5. Expand your mind (literally)
A study from UCLA revealed that spending regular, consistent periods of time in silence, and allowing the mind to rest, actually improved the “folds” of the cortex, which increases its ability to cognitively process information.
6. Start your creative process
A large part of the creative process is a beginning stage called “incubation.” This incubation is where all our ideas and inspirations can come together and blossom into sparks of creative genius. All that is required for this state to flourish is quiet time to disconnect from the demands of life, which often drain our creative energy.
7. Improve the quality of your sleep
yogaAccording to research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, learning deep relaxation techniques during daytime meditation was shown to improve the quality of sleep at night. The participants of the study all struggled with chronic primary insomnia, which is believed to be the result of a constant state of hyperarousal.
However, all the subjects who used meditation had marked improvement in their total sleep time, total wake time, sleep efficiency, sleep quality and depression.
Mindful meditation can be practiced on a regular basis with ease. Incorporating it into your regular daily schedule will likely go far to improve many, if not all, areas of your life. Give it a try and see for yourself.
-The Alternative Daily

Health Club Etiquette 101

When working out at a health club or gym, keep in mind some basic rules of common courtesy.

You may be in your exercise zone when you're running, stepping, or pumping iron at the gym, but remember that you're sharing equipment and space with others, which means good manners are mandatory.
At the Health Club: Essential Etiquette
Most gyms and health clubs have rules that they ask patrons to follow, and they're often posted in visible areas so they're easy to remember. Gym rules are put in place to remind people to be polite and considerate of other gym members, and for general health and sanitation purposes.
There are some rules that you'll find at most gyms, and general ways to be considerate when you're working out with others at the gym:
Hot Flashes? Prescreen for a Research Study
  • Your appearance. Some gyms and health clubs may have rules about certain apparel; for instance, women may not be allowed to work out in only a sports bra without a shirt over it, and men may not be allowed to go topless. Also, be sure to wear proper footwear, and always wear socks to help absorb sweat and odor. Make sure that you're dressed appropriately and safely for your workout.
  • Your hygiene. Be considerate of those around you and be sure to put on deodorant before you work out. But don't load up on heavy perfumes or colognes — some scents can be offensive or distracting to others, and may cause problems for those with asthma or allergies.
  • Using machines. There are often limits on how long you can use a machine in a health club, particularly at busy times. Pay attention to those limits and respect them. There are probably other people waiting to use that machine, but you can always come back to it later and take another turn.
  • Take turns. Someone may be waiting in line to use a machine, or some people may have an order in which they do machines per their workout routine. Before you get on a machine, it's polite to check with people standing around to make sure they weren't planning on using that machine next.
  • Your mom doesn't work there. Clean up after yourself! If you've sweated all over a machine, wipe it down with a towel or sanitary wipes if the gym offers them for cleaning machines. Wipe down the handles, the seat, the back — anything that you've touched, particularly if it's gotten sweaty.
  • Put away workout equipment. When you've finished using equipment such as dumbbells, stability balls, and mats, put them back where they belongs so others can find them easily.
  • Leave your cell phone at home. You go to the gym to work out, relieve stress, and relax, right? So do all the others there; they didn't come to listen to your phone conversation. So keep the cell phone turned off and stowed away, and save the conversations until you’ve walked out the door.
  • Be quiet. Many people like to focus on their workouts, which can be difficult to do if the person on the machine beside them has their headphones blaring or is carrying on a loud conversation. Keep your voice and your music low, and be mindful of not disturbing other exercisers.
At the Health Club: Running Into Rudeness
When you're careful to follow the rules and health club etiquette but run into people who don’t, talk to them about it. If you approach the person calmly and considerately, you'll often get a polite response. If she's still rude and difficult to deal with, it's probably time to get a manager or other staff member at the gym to deal with the situation.
You want to enjoy a workout without distractions or dealing with inconsiderate people. Just take a little extra time to be sure you do the same for others.

5 Fail-Proof Ways to Beat Anxiety and Nervousness

Whether triggered by a public speaking engagement or a first date, feelings of anxiety and nervousness can be downright crippling to those who experience them. They may even make you want to back down and cancel your date, interview, or appointment.
Although we can’t stop these feelings from arising, there are some tricks we can use to overcome them when they do show up. Here are five ways to overcome those awful feelings of anxiety and nervousness!

1. Be prepared
Preparing thoroughly ahead of time will make whatever situation you’re confronting seem more manageable. If you’re giving a speech, write it and practice delivering it in front of family members, a colleague, or a friend. If you’re going on a date, plan what you will wear and how long you want to take to get ready. You can even think of potential topics to discuss and questions to ask! Being well prepared will make you feel more confident and less nervous in any situation, as you’ll feel more able to anticipate what’s coming.
2. Visualize yourself succeeding
Imagining the bad things that are going to happen is what makes us feel nervous and anxious in the first place. Put this stressful reel of images to an end by visualizing yourself succeeding instead!
To do this, find a relaxed position—you can be seated or lying down. Imagine the scenario unfolding exactly as you like from beginning to end. Feel how in control you are of the entire situation. You can do this once before the event, or if it’s a big occasion, every day the week leading up to it!
3. Talk to someone you trust
Sometimes, we just can’t bring ourselves out of our own anxiety, negativity, or nervousness. When this happens, the objective perspective of someone we trust can be of immense help. Share your feelings with a best friend, spouse, or family member. Being outside the situation, they may be able to help you see how unfounded your fears probably are.
4. Take deep breaths
If you find your worries about the situation carrying you away and making it difficult for you to calmly focus on the present situation at hand, then take some time to yourself before the big event to practice deep breathing.
Find a spot where you can close your eyes, be alone, and turn your attention to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply through your nose, feeling your belly rise on your inhalation and fall on your exhalation. Do this 10 times, or until you feel calmer and more focused.
5. Let yourself feel excited!
nervousStudies have shown that some of that nervous energy can actually help you perform better if you can harness it, feel positive, and focus it on the task at hand. If you’re giving a speech, focus on how that energy will allow you to deliver it enthusiastically and energetically. If you’re preparing for an interview, realize that your energy will show how excited you are about the job.
If you’re getting ready for a date and you feel nervous, that’s good too! It probably means you’re actually interested in the person. Find positive ways to channel your nervous energy, and you’ll automatically feel more excited and prepared.
Next time you feel like your nervous energy is getting the best of you, remember that you don’t need to cancel anything or retreat inside yourself. Simply prepare thoroughly, visualize your success, acknowledge your nervousness—and then turn it into excitement! You’ll do great!
-The Alternative Daily

21 Creative Ways to Show You Care on a Dime

For Valentines Day and every day, let someone know they are loved. Remember, actions speak louder than words. If you’re unsure where to start, you can begin by giving the gift of your time.
In the end, it is not about giving extravagant or costly gifts. It is all about love and your actions of love. Check out the following 21 ways to say “I love you” – aside from actually saying it!

1. Make breakfast. Cook up some pancakes in the shape of hearts, and serve them to your sweetheart in bed.
2. Message in a bottle. Write sweet love notes, roll them up, put them in a bottle, and place the bottle where your sweetheart is sure to find it. 3. Draw a bath for your special someone. Add some bubbles, light some candles and play some soft music. Oh, and don’t forget a glass of wine.
4. Send sweet, loving texts at random times throughout the day.
5. Give a back rub. After a long, stressful day, give your love a relaxing back rub and don’t expect one in return.
6. Leave a sweet note on the bathroom mirror. It will be the first thing they see in the morning.
7. Go on a picnic. Pack up a basket with their favorite food, a bottle of wine and a blanket.
8. Turn off all electronics. That means everything, including the phone. Spend some uninterrupted time with each other.
9. Create a romantic dinner at home. Pull out all the stops. Plan the meal together and get dressed up. After dinner, play some romantic music and dance in your living room.
10. Watch a romantic movie like “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Casablanca,” or “The Way We Were.” Put in your DVD, push play and get some snuggle time.
11. Fill a bag with kisses. Write down every kind of kiss you can think of… a kiss on the cheek, a passionate kiss, a peck… on little pieces of paper and put them in a bag. At random times during the day, have your loved one pull one out – then give them whatever kiss is written on the paper.
12. Make a list detailing some of the things you love about your sweetheart and why you are thankful for them. Show them the list over a candlelit dinner.
13. Learn how to say “I love you” in different languages. Whisper them in your sweetheart’s ear throughout the day.
14. Set the ringtone on their phone to a romantic song…”I Will Always Love You,” “Because You Loved Me, ” or any of their favorites. When you call them, think of the smile it will bring to their face.
15. Set the screensaver on your love’s computer, so when they turn it on, “I Love You” pops up.
16. Create a gushy, romantic card and mail it to them the day before Valentine’s Day.
valentines317. Make a mixtape. It could be of their favorite songs, or romantic songs. Either way, you can’t go wrong with music.
18. Give them a book of coupons that can be redeemed at any time. The coupons can be for a back rub, doing the dishes, extra cuddle time… use you imagination.
19. Design a photo collage of your time together. Look through your old photos and create a visual display of the progression of the time you’ve been together.
20. Make a heart shaped cake and write “I Love You” on top in icing.
21. Spend the day doing nothing, but do it together. No housework, yard work, answering phones, emails… nothing. Do nothing but enjoy each others company.
Don’t ever underestimate the power and importance of simple acts of kindness, and simple expressions of love. The giving of your personal time is more valuable than any flowers or chocolate. Give your Valentine the gift of you.
Make this your best Valentine’s Day ever, and who knows? Maybe you and your partner will soon begin making every day Valentine’s Day!
-The Alternative Daily

Job Posting - Assistant Director-Wellness @ YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties

The YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties is looking to fill the position of Assistant Director - Wellness. The job description is attached.
Interested candidates may contact:

John Garofalo, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Vice President, Human Resources
302 Commerce Square Blvd., Burlington, NJ 08016|

What's My Child Thinking? February 24

For Tickets: 
Call 215.448.1200 
Connect With Us!

The Franklin Institute and leading experts from the Greater Philadelphia area present the next installment in a series of six conversations about neuroscience and society and explore topics as widespread as adolescent brain development, the influence of stress and emotions on decision-making, Alzheimer's disease, and the various ways in which addiction affects the brain.

 Learn more about the series. 

7:00---8:30 pm 

Did you know that your brain physically changes every time you learn something? When you are young, the brain grows and changes most rapidly as you learn everything for the first time. Yet key functions of planning and self-control only develop late in adolescence. Armed with the knowledge of  how the young brain develops, how can we nurture our children today to ensure their success in the future?  Join experts from the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania to explore how the brain develops----from infancy to adolescence----and discuss how this knowledge can be used to inform and improve education. 
Rebecca Ichord, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology  
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 

Frances Jensen, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Neurology  
University of Pennsylvania
Trustee, The Franklin Institute
David Meketon
School Liaison and Research Coordinator
Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania
Let's Talk About Your Brain: Conversations about Neuroscience and Society events are supported in part by the
Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.   
 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103  |  215.448.1200 

What You May Not Know About Beets: The Nutritious Root Veggie

Beets are amazing vegetables, and there are so many things to know about them. Read on to discover 12 fun facts about this interesting food.
Beets actually date back to prehistoric times, when they grew along the coastlines of North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
  • The red part of the vegetable, the root, was not eaten back in ancient times. The greens on top were the sole part of the beet consumed.
  • The whole beet is nutritious: the root and the greens.
  • Beets are part of the caryophyllales family, which also includes spinach and kale.
  • Beet greens are high in vitamin C.
  • Drinking beet juice can help lower your cholesterol.
  • Beets are filled with vitamins, antioxidants, folate, iron, and fiber. They also contain potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Beets come in an array of colors: red, yellow, white, and striped. However, red beets are the most nutritious.
  • Beet juice can be used as a dye for clothing and coloring eggs.
Beetroot Juice
  • The ancient Romans used beets as an aphrodisiac. This may make sense, because beets contain boron, which has been directly linked to sex hormones.
  • Beets help to cleanse the body of toxins, and are even linked to potentially preventing various forms of cancer.
Beets are a wonderful, nutritious, and delicious vegetable. If they’re not a regular part of your meals yet, they certainly should be! -The Alternative Daily