Month: December 2018

Tips and Suggestions for Holidays/Information Share

Indulging Without Overindulging
Relax. You won’t gain 10 pounds. It’s a misconception that you’ll need to go up a pant size in January. The average person gains only about a pound during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That’s no excuse to eat with abandon, though. (After all, gaining one pound every year can add up in the long run.) But a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology notes that people who had an attitude of forgiveness and self-compassion after one high-calorie setback were less likely to give up and keep bingeing. So if you lose control with a dish of chocolate truffles, don’t think, I’ve blown it. Might as well move on to the eggnog. Just forgive yourself for the truffles.

Don’t skip meals. It seems logical: Forgo lunch; leave more room for pigs in blankets at the office party later. But arriving starved may result in overeating, and drinking on an empty stomach will give you a quicker buzz, which is more likely to lead to mindless munching. Eat normally during the day, and be strategic at the buffet. Don’t bother with things you don’t absolutely love. Splurge on something special (hint: It’s not those cubes of Cheddar), then stop.

Count your bites. “A lot of appetizers are about 60 calories a bite,” says Karen Diaz, a registered dietitian in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Just five bites is around 300 calories. “That’s about half of what you might eat for dinner,” says Diaz. Keep a mental tab—or fill a small plate, once—so you don’t go overboard.

Turn down Aunt Jan’s pie. “It’s better to sit with a little guilt than to overeat just to please loved ones,” says Diaz. If you can’t say no to Jan’s face, try “Maybe later,” then hope she forgets.

Give yourself a break from the gym. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of people who exercise regularly is lower in December than at any other time of the year. So don’t beat yourself up—you’re not the only one who’s too busy for Spinning class. But try to stay active in other ways. Speed-walking with shopping bags counts. So does cleaning, says Mark Macdonald, the author of Body Confidence ($27, amazon.com). Add some toning by tightening your core muscles as you vacuum or reach for scattered toys (imagine trying to get your belly button to touch your spine). And most important: Get back into your regular exercise routine once the holidays end.

Weigh yourself every day. Or try on a pair of snug-fitting jeans to gauge those subtle ups and…OK, just ups. The point isn’t to get obsessive and berate yourself over every ounce gained; it’s to prevent yourself from completely letting go of good habits. “Breaking the rhythm of healthy behaviors that you’ve built up is the real danger. You don’t want to have to start from scratch on January 1,” says Macdonald.

Drinking Responsibly
Practice moderation (really). Drinking too much may not just mean a terrible hangover. Around this time of year, doctors report seeing a spike in erratic heartbeats—dubbed “holiday heart syndrome.” It is more common among people who usually aren’t heavy drinkers but drink in excess for a short time. “Alcohol may be toxic to enough cardiac cells that it disrupts the coordination required to maintain a normal heart rate,” says Kenneth Mukamal, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. “Women should have no more than three drinks on any occasion and seven per week,” says Michael Weaver, an associate professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, in Richmond. “So a woman can have up to three drinks in a night and go out two nights, but that’s it for the week—or else the chances of problems go way up.”

Keep it on the rocks. Melting ice dilutes a cocktail and creates more liquid. So order your drink on the rocks to try to avoid a quick buzz—and to sip longer before a refill. Use soda water as a mixer for liquor (a cocktail with liquor and club soda is only about 100 calories), and don’t be ashamed to add ice cubes to bubbly. In France, it’s called a piscine. Très chic.

Put a cork in it early. Alcohol may help you to conk out quickly; the problem comes when it starts to wear off. The period in which your body is metabolizing the alcohol is when sleep is disrupted. You may wake up frequently in the middle of the night (even if you don’t remember doing so) and miss out on restorative rest. The best strategy is to allow time for the alcohol levels in your body to drop before going to sleep; at the very least, retire your flute several hours before bedtime.

A to ZZZs of Sleep Deprivation
Don’t let late nights make you fat. “People who sleep less over time tend to be heavier,” says Lawrence Epstein, the chief medical officer of the Sleep Health Centers, in Brighton, Massachusetts. But it doesn’t take long for the cycle to start. “If you pull one all-nighter or miss a few hours each night over a week, your body releases hormones that prompt eating and weight gain,” says Epstein.

Use the weekend to catch up. Most of us have sleep debt: the difference between the number of hours we need every night (which varies per person) and how many we get. If you feel best after seven hours a night and you get five for three nights in a row during a busy week, you have a sleep debt of six hours (two missing hours for three nights). Erasing that debt requires you to get six extra hours over the course of a few days, but they don’t have to be consecutive, says Epstein. David F. Dinges, Ph.D., the chief of the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, conducted a study in which participants were restricted to about four hours of sleep for five consecutive nights, then allowed to sleep for 10 hours or more on the sixth night. The researchers found that after the recovery night, participants regained some of their previous levels of alertness and ability to concentrate. So while you should focus on eliminating your sleep debt completely, just one good snooze (a few hours more than you normally need) can give you a fresher start.

Watch out for hidden caffeine. Think hot cocoa is a soothing way to end a winter’s night? Hold on to your marshmallows. Chocolate, even the powdered kind, contains caffeine, as do many over-the-counter pain medicines that you might pop at night to get a head start on a hangover. Excedrin Extra-Strength Caplets, for example, contain 65 milligrams of caffeine; by comparison, the average cup of coffee contains 50 to 100.

Skip the sliders. Foods that are high in fat or protein require your body to work harder at digestion. When your body is busy breaking down mini hamburgers, your sleep is more likely to be hampered. Watch the clock; an early cocktail party is the perfect time to snack on something more substantial. As the night wears on, taper off. Or, if you’re still hungry, have some complex carbohydrates, like whole-wheat crackers or a handful of crudités.

Beating the Blues
Don’t assume that this is the most depressing time of the year. Contrary to popular belief, depression isn’t more common during the holidays. In fact, suicide rates in the United States are actually lowest in December, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This may be a result of more social interaction, which has been found to enhance happiness,” says Caroline Adams Miller, the author of Creating Your Best Life ($20, amazon.com). But that doesn’t mean that you’re immune to the holiday blues, especially when you’re missing a family member or stressed-out by the in-laws. Make plans with friends if your family is far away—or, on the flip side, opt out of events if your schedule is overwhelming. “You don’t have to be a type E personality—everything to everyone,” says Ronald Nathan, a psychologist in Albany.

Consider a supplement. Is there a magic pill that will cure the blues? Of course not. But some research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may relieve depression; other research has found that vitamin D may improve mood. Add a daily supplement of omega-3 or vitamin D to your diet. Or increase your intake of vitamin D–fortified milk or foods rich in omega-3s, such as fish, flaxseed, and walnuts.

Take Facebook with a grain of salt. You’ve seen the status updates: “Hope Santa can find us in ARUBA!” or “Mmm, homemade cider, kids making cookies, life is good.” And you know what? Those people have bad days, too. Remember: Most people put their best self forward on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t compare your life with those dreamy-sounding posts.

Make plans for January. “If you have social events coming up with people you like, you’ll be upbeat about what’s to come,” says Alison Ratner, a clinical social worker in Atlanta. Plan a weekend getaway or an Oscar-nominated–movie marathon. Or, ahem, if you did gain that holiday pound, might we suggest a jogging club? Happy New Year!

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Pictures of Christmas

Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843.


The Queen’s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, published in the Illustrated London News, 1848, and republished in Godey’s Lady’s Book, Philadelphia, December 1850


 

The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas, (1686), published after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England


 

 

 


A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand


 

 

 

The Christmas Visit. Postcard, c.1910

 

 


Map of countries where Christmas is not a formal public holiday either on December 24-25 or January 6-7


A typical Neapolitan presepe or presepio, or Nativity scene. Local crèches are renowned for their ornate decorations and symbolic figurines, often mirroring daily life.


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17 Free Writing Contests With Cash Prizes (Up to $25,000)/SHARE

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

https://www.dwdmail.com/studio/link.php?M=1758821&N=1837&L=7966&F=H
1. Nelson Algren Literary Awards: $3,500 Short Story Prize (Submission Guidelines)
One of the year’s best short story contests has arrived. It’s the Nelson Algren Literary Awards, hosted by the Chicago Tribune. The prize? $3,500 USD. There is absolutely no entry free. Writers can submit their stories starting November 15th, 2017. (Sadly, it is only open to residents of the United States.) Stories should be 8,000… Keep reading…
2. $450 for Holiday Stories
Cricket Magazine, often referred to as The New Yorker for Children, is seeking submissions of writing on the topic “Home for the Holidays.” They’re asking for historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry, crafts, and recipes about holidays around the world and in the U.S. They pay up to twenty five cents per word. Most short stories they… Keep reading…
3. $200 for Short Stories and Essays
The Masters Reviews bills itself as a “Platform for Emerging Writers.” They publish short stories and narrative non-fiction. One key point: They want writing from writers who are not yet established. That means, “any new and emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length. You must not… Keep reading…
4. 10 Blogs and Magazines that Pay Writers (Up to $200)
As part of our weekly roundup of paid writing opportunities, here are ten publishers that pay writers. A wide variety of topics is coveed, including graphic design, roleplaying games, virtual reality, and travel. We’ve found payment information and submission guidelines for all of these publishers, though keep in mind that payment rates are not set… Keep reading…
5. 99 Magazines & Blogs that Pay Writers for Essays
Dear Writers, Here is a huge list of publishers that pay for personal essays — including essays, photographic essays, memoir, and narrative non-fiction. We’ve researched the payment rates for these publishers, and found links directly to their submission guidelines pages. You won’t find a more comprehensive list anywhere else on the internet. Sincerely, Jacob Jans… Keep reading…
6. 10 Calls for Submissions: Up to $750 for Short Stories
Some of these fiction markets pay up to $150, and some pay more, up to approximately $750. Some of these also accept poetry and non-fiction. They are either open for submissions now or will open soon. Some deadlines are approaching quickly. — S. Kalekar Escape Artists: PodCastle They want quality fantasy fiction, and publish both… Keep reading…

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Cheesy Hawaiian Dip/Recipe Share

Recipe Image

What You Need

36 servings
1 loaf Hawaiian round bread(1-lb.)
1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
1/3 cup chopped red onions
1 pkg. (8 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham, chopped
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained

 

Let’s Make It
1
Heat oven to 350ºF.
2
Cut slice from top of bread loaf; remove center of loaf, leaving 1-inch-thick shell. Cut removed bread into bite-size pieces; cover and set aside for later use. Place bread shell on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until lightly toasted. Cool slightly.
3
Mix VELVEETA, tomatoes and onions in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 5 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted, stirring after 3 min. Stir in ham and pineapple. Pour into bread shell.
4
Serve with reserved bread pieces and assorted fresh vegetable dippers.

Kitchen Tips
Substitute
Prepare using 2% Milk VELVEETA.
Creative Leftovers
Refrigerate any leftover dip. Reheat and use as a cheesy sauce for hot baked potatoes or steamed broccoli florets.

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