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A New Way Selfies Make You Hate Yourself | Care2 Healthy Living

Have you ever used a filter on a Snapchat or Instagram selfie? You know, the ones that make you look like a cute little puppy, a flower-crowned princess, or a gorgeous, clear-skinned bombshell? Have you ever thought to yourself, “If only I could look this way in real life…” and let out a long, heavy sigh? You might be surprised to hear that this kind of thinking is becoming more and more common. In fact, it’s even leading people to seek out plastic surgery. Our selfies are making us increasingly unhappy with the way we look.

It’s called Snapchat Dysmorphia, and it’s no joke.

There has been a huge increase in the number of people requesting surgical intervention in order to look more like they do when they use a Snapchat filter. The rise of these ‘flawless’ social media filters, is warping our standards of beauty. We are striving to achieve a look that is utterly unrealistic in day-to-day life, and it’s making us sick.

According to recent statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted to improve how they looked in selfies in 2017, which is a 13 percent increase from 2016.

And it is only getting worse.

The more we are confronted with our own image, thanks to dating apps, social media, and technology in general, the more we are going to obsess about how we look.

How to Take Back Your Selfie Control

It’s really not worth going under the knife and getting your face altered to look better—especially if it’s just for a selfie. If you find yourself nitpicking certain elements of your face, skin, or complexion, try these more wholesome tactics instead.

Sincere smile.

Stop taking selfies all the time.

It’s just not healthy to see yourself that much. At no time in human history have we ever been bombarded with our own reflection as much as we are right now, and it is hurting our mental wellness. Plus, studies have shown that constantly taking selfies takes you out of the moment and actually changes how you remember precious memories.

We’re actually more likely to remember them from a third-person perspective, rather than first-person. According to Vox, “77 percent of Americans now own smartphones, and many rely on them for memory support.”

Memory requires a span of attention, which smartphones notoriously soak up. The selfie begins to function as the external memory, but your brain gets disoriented when it sees a picture of yourself inside a memory that it has stored.

Seek out help.

According to research on social media selfies published in JAMA, body dysmorphia is on the spectrum of obsessive compulsive disorders. If your perceived flaws are constantly nagging at you and fostering insecurity, you should absolutely seek out the support of a therapist before even considering plastic surgery.

Body dysmorphic disorders can lead to serious depression and the development of potentially life-threatening eating disorders. And, at the very least, they can make every photograph and every stroll past a reflective surface a moment of living hell.

Find some support to get relief from the self-loathing and self-deprecation and learn to be nicer to yourself. You deserve it.

Know that you are beautiful.

Seriously. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL exactly as you are. You are real. You are authentic. You are natural. Embrace your awesome self.

Beauty is 95 percent confidence, so stop being afraid to be you and just allow yourself to live within your own skin. You’ll be astounded at what a difference it makes in your self-perception and the perception of others, no plastic surgery required.

And above all else, remember that selfie filters are DISTORTIONS of reality. Even if you don’t use filters, you’re looking at a mirror image of yourself, which is unrealistic and a little off-looking to begin with.

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Healthy Living: Giving Meaningful Service

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VIDEO: Quality of life measures take healthy living ‘beyond HbA1c’

BALTIMORE — In this video exclusive, Endocrine Today Diabetes in Real Life columnist Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, FAADE, talks with Paul Madden, MEd, managing director of diabetes, science and medicine for the American Diabetes Association, about measures of success for diabetes interventions “beyond HbA1c.”

“Everybody knows there’s so much more to a life with diabetes than your average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months,” Madden told Endocrine Today. Instead, quality of life issues, such as mental health and productivity measures, must be considered when assessing a healthy life with diabetes, he said. The American Diabetes Association is partnering with mental health and social worker organizations to ensure those professionals have an understanding of diabetes.

Watch the video for more.

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Talanoa session spreads healthy living message

More than fifty villagers from Safata District, turned up at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session, held at the Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish. 

Coordinated by the Classmates Class of ’81, the initiative aimed to inform and educate people in the rural areas on the causes of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and the various types of cancers, and more importantly, ways to avoid them through healthy living.

Dr. Evangeline Reyes, who is currently one of the resident physicians at the Leulumoega Tuai District Hospital, conducted a presentation and through illustrations explained why the various health problems occur. 

Translating was Registered Nurse Patosina Tugaga who was assisted by the Lotofaga, Safata C.C.C.S. pastor’s wife, Lisa Perelini who used to be a Registered Nurse.

Rev. Feata Perelini said the participants were from various Christian denominations in the five villages of Safata District – Nuusuatia, Lotofaga, Vaie’e, Sa’anapu and Sataoa. 

Also present was C.C.C.S. Sa’anapu-uta pastor, Rev. Denny Epati, and retired C.C.C.S. pastor Rev. Alafau Amani.

During the Talanoa Session, Rev. Alafau Amani shared his journey to recovery after being bedridden because of excruciating pain in his legs and chest.

He recalled that the doctor he saw at the hospital advised him to consult Matuaileoo Environment Trust Inc. (M.E.T.I.), a non-governmental organisation which focuses on the environment, health, farming and education.


  • Participants at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session at Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish.
  • Participants at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session at Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish.


<!– Participants at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session at Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish. –>

Participants at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session at Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish.

Participants at the Alcohol and Cancer Free Talanoa Session at Lotofaga, Safata Congregational Christian Church Parish.

At M.E.T.I., he was introduced to a meat-free diet which also prohibited fish, milk and eggs.

“It was hard but I really wanted to be healthy, so I stuck with it,” he recalled.

Two weeks later, his weight dropped from 130 kilos to 112kilos!

“It was very encouraging and I kept at it,” he said, “and now I am walking and working in my plantation!” 

Several participants commented that after Dr. Reyes’ presentation on the various diseases caused by excessive eating of unhealthy food, they will watch what they eat.

“This has been a very enlightening programme and the message is quite clear to me,” said Egele Andrews. 

“We are what we eat. So if we eat healthy food, we will be healthy! So it’s entirely up to us if we want to be healthy! It’s like the program’s motto, ‘Healthy Self, Heal Thyself.’”

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12 Cholesterol-Lowering Recipes

High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease and other lifestyle diseases. Before you reach for the meds, talk to your doctor about trying to alter your diet instead. These cholesterol-lowering recipes can help!

How I Lowered My Cholesterol with Diet Alone

When I was 25, I went in for a routine physical and learned that my cholesterol was shockingly high: in the upper-200s. This actually wasn’t the first time a doctor had flagged my cholesterol levels. High cholesterol runs in my family, and it’s something that I have dealt with on and off since childhood.

At this appointment, though, the doctor suggested putting me on statins. For the rest of my life. Did I mention that I was 25?

That suggestion seemed wild to me, so I pushed back, asking if I could have some time to address the issue with diet, rather than pills. I was pescatarian back then and decided to cut out eggs and dairy and cut back on eating fried foods. I eventually eliminated fish, as well, going 100 percent vegan.

At my three-month followup, my cholesterol was in the normal range, and 14 years later, it remains that way.

Of course, my success is only one case. While there is evidence that changing your diet can help get cholesterol under control, you should definitely be working with your doctor, getting regular cholesterol tests to make sure that things are improving.

12 Cholesterol-Lowering Recipes

If you want to try to control your cholesterol with diet, it can seem daunting, especially if you eat the Standard American Diet or tend to center your plate on meat in general. These cholesterol-lowering recipes are meant to jumpstart your journey to heart-healthy eating.

Cholesterol-Lowering Recipes

A plant-based diet was my key to lower cholesterol, and it turns out there are specific plant-based foods that are cholesterol-lowering powerhouses. These recipes incorporate those foods deliciously!

Instant Pot Baba Ghanoush

1. Pressure Cooker Baba Ghanoush

This flavorful eggplant dip is great for snacking with your favorite veggies. It’s a healthy spread to use in sandwiches and wraps. Eggplant is a great source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. You may be worried about the teaspoon of salt in this recipe, but don’t panic! The salt helps “sweat” the eggplant, removing its bitterness. Once that process is done, you rinse the salt away. Be as thorough as you can, so you’ll end up with a low-salt dip.

2. Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oatmeal

Oats are also packed with soluble fiber, so this is a great way to sneak in some fiber goodness first thing in the morning. Instead of refined sugar, this recipe gets its sweetness from bananas, which bring even more fiber to the table.

3. Roasted Eggplant and Barley Salad

Packed with veggies, fiber-rich whole grains and heart-healthy olive oil, this cholesterol-lowering recipe works great as a side dish or an entree. Just omit the feta cheese or use homemade vegan feta. This salad also delicious the next day, so bring those leftovers for lunch!

4. Kidney Bean Curry

Beans are also packed with soluble fiber, making them excellent at keeping cholesterol in check. Serve this flavorful curry over your favorite whole grain for even more cholesterol-lowering power.

Whole Roasted Okra is simple to prepare and requires very little active cooking time. Roasting turns okra into a tender, tasty side dish without the stringiness that you associate with boiled okra.

5. Whole Roasted Okra

Unlike boiled okra, roasted okra isn’t slimy. But it is rich in soluble fiber, making it excellent at lowering cholesterol. Serve this up as a side dish with your favorite plant-based proteins. It would be lovely alongside the kidney bean curry listed above.

6. Oil-Free Sage and Walnut Pesto

Not only have nuts been proven to lower cholesterol by about five percent (if you eat two ounces per day), but they are also delicious. This oil-free, plant-based pesto is perfect tossed with whole grain pasta or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps.

7. Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is one of my favorite cold-weather dishes. It can be a meal on its own, or you can serve it with your favorite whole grain and a side of veggies. Like kidney beans, black beans are rich in soluble fiber.

Fermented Almond Farmers Cheese

8. Fermented Almond Farmers 

Think that cutting dairy means no cheese? No way! Vegan cheese has come a long way, baby, and this almond-based cheese is living proof. What a delicious way to get that two-ounce serving of nuts into your diet!

9. Cashew Queso

I told you that cheese wasn’t off the table! This cashew-based queso is kid- and omnivore-approved and a great source of cholesterol-lowering nuts, olive oil and even some sneaky veggies. Serve it up as a dip with baked tortilla chips and veggies, use it as a spread for sandwiches or dollop it onto your next taco or burrito bowl.

10. Cinnamon-Apple Steel Cut Oats

Your pressure cooker makes fiber-packed steel cut oats in record time. On top of the oats, this recipe is sweetened with apples, which are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering pectin. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use this guide to translate the directions to the stovetop.

Packed lunches are easy with a container of homemade Chickpea Salad in the fridge. This recipe makes enough for three chickpea salad sandwiches - that's a lot of lunches sorted!

11. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This recipe combines beans with the pectin-packed power of grapes! If you aren’t wild about buying vegan mayo, you can try this tofu-based vegan mayo instead. Tofu and other whole soy foods also have cholesterol-lowering benefits.

12. Sesame-Coated Tofu with Spicy Broccoli

Like I mentioned above, soy has also been shown to lower cholesterol, and this healthy tofu recipe is a great way to get more soy into your day. Worried that soy is bad for your health? Don’t! Dr. Holly Wilson does a great job busting the soy myths that the meat and dairy industries have been feeding us for decades.

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Healthy Living: Fishing for Clues

When it comes to diabetes, diet, exercise and medication can help some people avoid dangerous complications, but experts say there’s still a lot to learn.

In Healthy Living, see how researchers at Harvard Medical School are looking in a very unlikely place to improve human health.

Riddle says the cavefish in her lab have normal life expectancies, despite having high glucose levels and insulin resistance. 

Many of the fish have been in the lab for up to 15 years.



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Eat Well Play Hard focuses on healthy living

A family looks at the animal exhibits by the Great Swamp Conservancy at Eat Well Play Hard at the Oneida Rec Center on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.

A family looks at the animal exhibits by the Great Swamp Conservancy at Eat Well Play Hard at the Oneida Rec Center on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.
Leah McDonald – Oneida Daily Dispatch

Oneida, N.Y. Despite the rainy weather forcing a location change, healthy living took center stage Friday at the fourth annual Eat Well Play Hard in Oneida.

Several community organizations set up booths at the Oneida Rec Center, handing out an assortment of healthy snacks, fresh produce, and even bike helmets to encourage healthy lifestyles for Oneida area families.

“It’s all about healthy living and physical activity,” said Terri Welcher, Eat Well Play Hard coordinator for Oneida Healthcare. Originally sponsored by the Madison County Department of Health through a grant, Oneida Healthcare took over the operation after Welcher approached Oneida Healthcare CEO Gene Morreale to keep the event going once the grant money ran out.

Welcher said the community seems to “really enjoy” Eat Well Play Hard, in part because it gives children a chance to play games while parents can learn tips to keep their families healthy. “It’s a great day to come out and just enjoy a bunch of things,” she said.

Jerome Cooper, originally from Syracuse but who lives in Oneida, brought his daughter Aszaria, 12, and their friend Keith, 6, on Friday. He used to bring Aszaria when she was younger, and was taking the opportunity to bring Keith, since he was often bedridden.

“It gives the kids something to do and gets the parents out,” he said. “Our community needs more activities to get parents out with their kids.”

Kathy Mariano, from Oneida, has been bringing her children for years. “They have a lot of fun every year,” she said, as 5-year-old son Noah fished for prizes and 1-year-old Lily explored the Rec Center.

She said one of the best parts of the event was that everything was free, including a bag lunch and bike helmets. “There’s a lot of people who can’t afford things in Oneida,” so having an event like Friday’s helped the community, she said.

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Healthy Living: Fishing for Clues – 9 & 10 News

When it comes to diabetes, diet, exercise and medication can help some people avoid dangerous complications, but experts say there’s still a lot to learn.

In Healthy Living, see how researchers at Harvard Medical School are looking in a very unlikely place to improve human health.

Riddle says the cavefish in her lab have normal life expectancies, despite having high glucose levels and insulin resistance. 

Many of the fish have been in the lab for up to 15 years.



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Office for the Aging introduces Healthy Living workshops for fall


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LOWVILLE — Exercise has no age limit, and the Lewis County Office for the Aging is going to prove that with their “Healthy Living” workshops this fall.

The organization wants to promote health in the elders of the area through the workshops by giving them the support they need to exercise, teaching better nutrition and ways to talk to doctors about their health.

Exercise can help our aging community feel better, become rejuvenated with energy and potentially find relief from aches and pains.

The workshops are free of charge and will be held Sept. 17 and 24, as well as Oct. 1, 15, 22 and 29. To reserve a spot, call the Office for the Aging at 315-376-5316, Ext. 5.

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Healthy Living: Cool thinking and summer heat

As Canadians, it is a requirement of citizenship to regularly vocalize our dissatisfaction with current weather conditions.

During a punishingly hot summer month, we pine for the comfort and relief of cooler weather, then, in the cold wet months, we travel across continents on airplanes, packed like sardines in an aluminum can, to squint and sweat in the sun.

For most of this summer, the grass has not been greener on either side of the fence. In fact, it is more the colour of yellowish straw and sitting dangerously on the edge of combustion. The grass on the ground has been as dry as a sun-bleached bone.  

However, the expression, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” is often used to describe our impulse to want things just outside our reach. Always feeling unsatisfied, like having a thirst that can never be quite quenched, can be an uncomfortable state of mind and, potentially, an unhealthy and self-defeating thought pattern.

Is feeling a constant, insatiable need an unavoidable aspect of human nature or can we consciously influence the feeling and replace it with a more positive one?

A couple thousand years ago, Roman poet Ovid wrote, “The harvest is always more fruitful in another man’s field.” Always wanting more is definitely not completely exclusive to our current hyper-consumer and high-tech reality.

Although it might not be totally unique to current culture, things have definitely intensified since Ovid wrote poetry for his audience of fellow Romans. The omnipresent nature of corporate advertisement has made everywhere we look a constant multisensory reminder that there are more things to desire and people to envy.

Partially, there is a human instinct to want things continuously better from generation to generation. Reproduction is about getting our genes into the next generation safely and securely. But, as an example, turning life-sustaining water into a salable commodity for profit cannot be explained by evolutionary biology.

There must be ways to have more control over feelings of constant discontentment.

One of the core teachings of Buddhism is that we suffer mostly because of unchecked personal craving and desire. Most of us do not have enough time in the day to meditate our way out of feeling envy or desire, but I have found just being aware of this belief is a step in the right direction.

Like self-awareness of destructive and life-threatening behaviours and thoughts with serious addiction, simple and non-critical awareness could be the first step to attaining control over negative feelings related to insatiable wants.

Also, gratitude can help refocus our thoughts for the things we have in our lives instead of what we perceive to be lacking. It’s easier said than done, for sure.

Eventually, it rains and the grass on both sides of the fence turns lush green and starts to grow annoyingly fast. Until then, we can put on a big hat, lots of sunblock and appreciate how not having to cut the dehydrated lawn provides more time to enjoy the sunny moment.

Robert Skender is a Powell River freelance writer and health commentator.

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