View Older News »

News

Rent vs. own: Which is right for you?

(BPT) – If you’re thinking of buying your first home, you’ve probably wrestled with the decision to rent or own your home — and for good reason.

Owning a home is a big commitment. With it comes a lot of responsibility and a long-term financial relationship.

But which is right for you? To answer that, let’s lean into the facts.

The improving housing market

Good news! Since the depths of the recession, the housing market has made a heroic comeback. That can be attributed to a number of factors, including a drop in unemployment and a stronger economy.

But as the housing market has recovered, it has experienced some growing pains. With a sharp increase in demand, housing supplies are being strained. This means, among other things, that prices are going up.

For families and individuals still recovering financially, finding affordable housing options can be difficult. This applies to home sales and rentals.

Making the decision

With rental and sales markets heading toward record highs, the decision falls back to what is best for you. Specifically, what is financially feasible.

Let’s look at the basic numbers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median gross rent paid from 2012 to 2016 was $949 monthly. Compare that with the median selected monthly owner costs with a mortgage, which was $1,491 over the same time period.

Then there are utilities. The median monthly electricity cost for renters in 2015 was $82, with owners paying $117. For piped gas, the median amount renters pay monthly is $42, while owners pay $58.

For renters, it is wise to carry renter’s insurance. Some landlords will also charge maintenance and other fees. Utility costs will also vary depending on the quality of the structure and materials used as well as size of the rental space.

Homeowners will pay property taxes, insurance and an estimated $500 annually for routine maintenance, according to the Census Bureau.

The benefits of homeownership

At a glance, it may seem that renting is the lower cost option. But there are certain benefits to homeownership that may offset the additional regular costs. According to the Tax Policy Center, the primary benefit to owning a home is imputed rental income. Simply put, making a monthly payment on a home that you own is like paying rent to yourself.

While that money is not taxed, it comes with another benefit — potential tax deductions. When you file your federal taxes, you may be able to deduct a portion of the mortgage interest you pay. Talk to a tax professional for more information on the expenses you can deduct and the limits for those deductions.

Beyond the numbers

Homeownership provides a variety of benefits beyond the numbers. For many people, a home is the largest investment they will ever make. The upgrades, work and care put into the home that you own can add value to your investment. It also adds a sense of pride knowing that it is yours.

“Having a place to call your own, a place to return to at the end of the day, makes life better,” said Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. President Eric Hamilton. “You can see it from the moment they make the decision — that sense of pride. It’s a life-changing event and a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc., 500 Alcoa Trail, Maryville, TN 37804, 865-380-3000, NMLS #1561, (http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), AZ Lic. #BK-0902616, Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license, GA Residential Mortgage (Lic. #6911), Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee, Licensed by the NH Banking Department, MT Lic. #1561, Licensed by PA Dept. of Banking.

Debunking home ownership myths for millennials

(BPT) – We’ve all been told, that owning a home is part of the American dream. It’s the biggest and most rewarding investment many people will make in their lives. Instead of paying rent every month and having nothing to show for it, paying a monthly mortgage builds equity and wealth.

While most know the benefits of owning a home, for many millennials and young people, it can seem like a distant prospect. In fact, while 52 percent of millennials say they no longer want to pay rent, only 18 percent think they can afford a new home, according to a recent survey conducted by loanDepot.

What is the source of this disparity? There are many reasons, but part of the problem is a vast majority of young people think there is only one way to buy a home, or that certain strict criteria has to be met to qualify for a loan.

There are many myths surrounding home ownership. Let’s break some of them down.

Misconceptions about the down payment

Many believe a down payment is the biggest obstacle that stands between them and home ownership. The accepted wisdom is that 20 percent of the home’s value is needed to make the down payment. This can be a rather substantial sum. Of those surveyed, 63 percent of people think they can’t afford a down payment; 43 percent believe poor credit history would prevent them from entering the housing market and 38 percent worry that too much existing debt would prevent them from doing so.

The truth is, a down payment can be as little as 10, 5, or even 3 percent. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to access these loan options. Rather than simply doing an online search, you should take a few minutes to explore your options and talk to a loan expert at loanDepot to fully explore what kinds of mortgages are available.

Student loans don’t have to be a barrier

One of the biggest sources of financial stress for millennials is the amount of student debt they carry. The effects of this debt can be paralyzing, and many believe they first need to pay off their loans before they can even think about owning a home.

The good news is that Fannie Mae recently announced several policy changes designed to help those with student debt qualify for home loans. Other lenders, like loanDepot, have special programs designed to help those with specific types of student loans, or even 40-year mortgage loan programs that have a 10-year interest-only initial repayment period, which can help borrowers tackle their student loan debt while they make lower mortgage payments.

Streamline the process with technology

So where do you start? How can home seekers find the loan that’s right for them?

Many millennials think getting a mortgage is a complicated maze. But with loanDepot’s proprietary digital lending platform, future homeowners have access to a web-based consumer portal that provides a fully digital mortgage loan application experience. With these features, as well as access to licensed loan consultants in 180+ retail locations, homebuyers have the ability to explore options they may have never thought existed, and to find the home loan that fits their budget to buy the home of their dreams.

Dermatologist debunks top 5 skincare misconceptions

(BPT) – Figuring out what’s best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion.

“When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider,” says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology. “Clogged pores, acne and other common issues can be a result of age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. I often hear about common misconceptions that cause otherwise well-meaning people to make mistakes that trigger larger skincare problems.”

To help people better understand skincare and take control of their daily regimen, Dr. Lortscher shares the top misconceptions about skincare and acne.

Misconception: Exercise and sweat can cause acne.

Fact: Sweating while exercising doesn’t cause acne. The eccrine glands produce sweat and the sebaceous glands produce oil — so revving up the sweat glands doesn’t actually turn on the oil glands involved in acne breakouts. The truth is sweating and humidity can aggravate breakouts by giving the bacteria on the skin a better environment to grow.

Cleansing is key post-workout, but keep in mind vigorously cleansing your skin can also be a source of friction that aggravates acne. The best strategy is to splash comfortable-temperature water on your face and neck, then pat dry gently.

Misconception: Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.

Fact: Many people have heard that chocolate and junk food are the worst foods for your skin, but modern science hasn’t found a direct link between acne and oily foods.

Diets are like acne treatments: highly individual. That’s not to say your eating habits can’t affect your skin. Eating simple carbs and sugar raises your blood sugar levels, causing your body to produce excess insulin, in turn stimulating oil production and leading to more inflammation and increased acne severity.

Misconception: DIY skincare and home remedies are good for your skin.

Fact: The DIY craze has extended to skincare routines, giving people ample ways to create their own remedies at home. However, it’s wise to be careful about the ingredients applied to your skin.

Some people try baking soda as a cost-effective scrub or mask. Baking soda is pH 9 and the pH of the skin is 4.5-5 or so. Therefore, scrubbing your face with a baking soda paste can be harsh and disturb your skin’s natural barrier, leading to red, raw and sensitive skin and leaving it susceptible to breakout.

Others suggest lemon juice as a home remedy for acne but it can cause significant dryness, redness and irritation. Lemon juice may have an exfoliating effect on the most superficial dead skin cells, but there are better ways to treat your acne.

If you’re fed up with DIY remedies and over-the-counter products just haven’t worked for you, you have options. Try custom prescription skincare like Curology, a service that gets you expert dermatology care from the comfort of your home. Just take a few photos and a skin quiz to get a prescription formula customized to your individual needs.

Misconception: You can make your pores smaller.

Fact: Most people want smaller pores, but in reality, you can’t change the size or force them “open” or “closed.”

Pore size is genetic; you can’t shrink them or make pores go away. To keep large pores from worsening, treat acne breakouts, don’t pick and use sun protection. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, which is the support structure surrounding the pores, so pores do appear larger as you age.

Misconception: You only need to wear sunscreen on sunny days.

Fact: It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or cloudy; if you plan to spend time outdoors, wear sunscreen daily. It is estimated that damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun is responsible for up to 80 percent of skin aging.

SPF is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Senior guest? How to prepare your home for older visitors

How to host a senior guest in your home with success

(BPT) – Whether it’s for a special occasion or just because, hosting an older adult in your home can be a wonderful experience with lots of memory-making potential. However, for a safe and successful visit, you may want to make a few adjustments to your home before they arrive to make it more senior-friendly.

“Spending time with aging parents or grandparents is a wonderful experience for all generations,” says Sara Terry, Brookdale Senior Living’s senior vice president of resident and family engagement. “Creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere is the job of any good host and that is no different when entertaining seniors. Considering older adults’ varying mobility and comfort levels, there are a few adjustments you can make to your home to meet their needs.”

Whether your guest is staying short- or long-term, Terry offers these six tips to help you transform your home into a more senior-friendly environment so you can focus on what matters most: making memories with your entire family.

Outdoors

The walkways to many homes are cracked or uneven, which is a risk factor for falls. Make sure the pathway is cleared and easy to see, shovel show in the winter and sweep leaves in the fall. Stairs can be tricky to maneuver as well. If possible, add a ramp that leads to your door. If there are stairs, install handrails on each side. Entryways divided by a threshold can be tricky for someone with mobility issues. Eliminate this common tripping hazard when seniors visit.

Clutter

The easiest thing you can do is remove clutter (especially on the floor) to allow sufficient space for senior guests who may be in a wheelchair to maneuver around rooms. Remove or tape down all cords. Rugs may look nice but they are a leading tripping hazard. Remove all accent rugs from your home, and in areas like the entryway where you must have mats, make sure they are secured with non-slip material.

Light

Seniors need more light than you do in your home, particularly in notoriously dim areas such as entryways, hallways and staircases. Replace existing soft light bulbs with brighter or higher wattage ones and add motion-sensor lights to bathrooms. Adding night lights throughout your home is an easy addition that helps seniors see better, especially at night or on darker winter days.

Stairs

Ideally, a senior won’t have to navigate stairs, but if you have some in your home, you can make the space safer by having railings on both sides. Railings should be at least 1.5 inches in diameter to accommodate seniors with limited dexterity and aging grips. What’s more, help each stair be more visible by using contrast strips (available at your local hardware store).

Bathrooms

Make bathrooms safer by adding well-placed grab bars next to the toilet and in bathing spaces. In the shower or tub, add non-slip strips and a shower seat for comfort and ease of use. For guests who are staying awhile, consider adding a handheld, adjustable-height showerhead. Finally, set the hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees as to avoid unintended burns.

Room selection

Whether your loved one is staying one night, one month or more, selecting the right room will increase their comfort and safety. One-level living is key, so if possible use a room on the main floor with easy access to the bathroom, kitchen and living room. Furniture, including the bed and chairs, should be at a good height (neither too low nor too high) to be easily used. Knobs can be difficult, so consider replacing round door handles with lever handles.

“In addition to these tips, I recommend having a conversation with your loved one before their stay,” says Terry. “Talk to them about what will make them feel at home in your home. What’s most important is enjoying your visit to the fullest and spending valuable time together.”

Resolve to get more shut-eye? here are 4 sleep hacks to help

(BPT) – As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, millions of people vow to eat better, work out more and lead a healthier life.

But something is missing from this equation. While eating well and getting exercise are extremely important, too often people neglect the keystone of good health: sleep.

While few people like daily workout routines or kale salad, most everyone loves sleep. And a good night’s sleep loves you, too: It boosts mental and physical well-being.

With today’s stressful, highly caffeinated, screen-addicted lifestyles, millions of Americans do not get enough sleep. There are many reasons for this. A look at the 2017 Sleep in Review study by Sleep Number suggests that sleeping habits are highly individualized and need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

A look at the numbers

This year, more than 30 percent of Americans reported they slept worse than in 2016.

A big culprit here is television. Nearly half of all respondents said that television often cuts into their sleep. In fact, 24 percent of millennials and 14 percent of all Americans report that binge watching before bed prevents them from getting enough rest.

Nearly 70 percent say worry and responsibility are preventing them from getting the sleep they need. A racing mind keeps many Americans from getting rest, particularly among Gen Xers. Worries about taking care of others — aging parents or young children — can often lead to neglecting yourself.

However, putting your own self-care first is often the best way to care for others. Those who sleep well say they have a healthy balance of taking time for themselves and helping others that need them (39 percent versus 26 percent). Of course, if you’re having difficulty sleeping, this might sound easier said than done.

How do you get there? How do you achieve that wonderful, restorative eight hours of sleep?

There’s not one right way to do this, but according to the survey, there are several habits good sleepers have:

* Ditch the device: Forty-six percent of self-described “good sleepers” never or rarely bring a device to bed.

* Have a laugh: Those who sleep well are more likely to watch a comedy before going to sleep.

* Keep it cool: Forty-five percent say that cooling down the bedroom temperature is the No. 1 thing they do to improve sleep.

* Stay tidy: Those who make their bed every morning are less likely to struggle with sleep.

A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between having a wonderful or a horrible day. More and more Americans are realizing this. Over half (54 percent) of those surveyed are making “improving the quality of their sleep” one of their New Year’s resolutions, which is up 30 percentage points from 2014.

An individualized path to better sleep

In the past five years, millions of people have embraced software and technology that tracks their eating and exercise habits. These small devices give an individualized report that allows people to monitor their activity and adjust in a way that promotes good habits and health. Similarly, Sleep Number’s SleepIQ technology(R) tracks your sleeping habits, and in the morning, it gives you a personalized report on how you slept, offering insights on how you might improve your sleeping habits.

Sleep is so individualized, and there’s no one right way to do it. The more you know about how you’re sleeping, the more you can learn what adjustments you should make to sleep better. Learn more about the latest in sleep tracking and adjustable comfort at sleepnumber.com.

Escape with 2018’s top trending color

Escape with 2018’s most in-demand color

(BPT) – Whether you’ve been a loyalist to the same shade of green for the last decade or if you’re an evolving follower of trends whose color choices have shifted over the years, the trending color of 2018 is sure to surprise and intrigue you. Indeed, black is back. But how was this classic shade named the trending color of the year? While many assume the choice is random, trending colors are based on many influencers, but where do they really begin? Trending colors arise from consumer preferences, which are formed by societal influences, such as politics, economics, lifestyle and overall sentiment. We as a society hold the power of prompting new color trends based on our ever-changing attitudes, ideas and actions.

Dee Schlotter, senior color marketing manager for PPG, a leader in paint and color, understands the path to determining each year’s top trending color. Schlotter and more than 20 PPG color stylists from around the world meet annually at the company’s Global Color Trends Workshop. “Our team of global color experts assess societal and cultural influences to forecast what colors will be popular in home decor, consumer goods, automotive and even airplanes for the upcoming year,” Schlotter says. “We also look at what’s happening in society, and the state of people’s emotions because of current events. All of this information helps us predict what colors will truly resonate with people in the coming year, especially when it comes to the paint in their homes.”

2018 finds its color of the year in a reflection of people’s daily lives and their need to find an escape.

‘Black’ to basics

“The PPG Paints brand’s 2018 Color of the Year is Black Flame (PPG1043-7). It offers the silencing impact of black with the possibility and hopefulness of indigo seen in the color’s undertone,” says Schlotter.

Schlotter adds that black will be very popular in 2018 because it offers a break from an often chaotic and over-worked world. “With society facing overstimulation and a need to take refuge, the color black offers a comforting retreat, and a chance to start new and get back to the basics,” she says. “Black Flame represents that necessary void and the need for nothingness that helps us recharge, making it a timeless and classic color in home decor.”

A palette of options

While going darker can seem intimidating at first, incorporating black into your existing decor is a lot easier than you think.

Many people mistakenly believe that all blacks are the same. However, black, like any other color, is available in a wide array of shades. For example, Glidden paint’s 2018 Color of the Year, Deep Onyx (00NN 07/000), is a deep and rich black that encourages a less-is-more attitude when applying to home decor, while Black Magic (OL116), the 2018 Color of the Year for Olympic paints, is more glamorous and looks great as a statement color for walls. And, if you’re looking for some darker inspiration outdoors, Olympic stain’s Maximum product in a Cinder semi-transparent stain color (905) is a great complement to Black Magic when applied to exterior surfaces like doors, window trims and shutters.

Any of these black hues can be a defining piece in your decor while providing you with the mental escape you need. Schlotter adds that capitalizing on this year’s color trend isn’t solely about the color itself, but what you pair it with. Consider some of her other tips and tricks, including:

* Pairing the PPG Paints brand’s Black Flame with Millennial orange-pinks, teals and warm gray or mocha browns for an enveloping, rich look and feel.

* Feeling a bit more daring? Make an impactful statement with black by applying it from floor to ceiling on an accent wall or in an entire room. Completing the look with lighter elements and furnishings will make the decor stand out, because the dark walls will highlight artwork and accessories while providing depth and character, creating a perfect space for respite and conversation.

* To keep a space more fresh and modern, consider pairing a black hue with whites, matte finishes or light-grain wood finishes.

“Outside of paint, reinvented versions of the classic black hue are showing up in key design elements — from faucets, to matte black appliances, to black veined granite countertops, black windows and marble floors,” says Schlotter. “The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to adding this misunderstood neutral in the home.”

The hidden dangers of oversharing on social media

(BPT) – Locking doors and windows and leaving a light on used to deter criminals from breaking into homes when you were away on vacation, but our obsession with sharing photos and experiences in real time on social media has created a whole new security risk for travelers. According to Mercury Insurance, burglaries involving social media have become all too common these days.

“Instead of looking for physical signs that a home is unoccupied, burglars can simply scan Instagram posts, monitor Twitter feeds and check Facebook for signs that someone isn’t home. Posted photos can also show them exactly what to look for when they break in,” says Mercury Insurance Vice President of Claims Kevin Quinn. “Oversharing on social media is commonplace and built-in smartphone features like geotagging, which share the user’s exact location when they post, are only making things easier for thieves.”

One example is a Mercury claimant who took his family on vacation to Cancun, Mexico. The family was very active on social media, publicizing their upcoming vacation and continuing to post updates throughout the trip. Thieves used this information to break into the claimant’s home and steal nearly $200,000 worth of personal property, along with a Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway. Many of the items stolen were pictured on the family’s social media accounts, so the thieves knew exactly what to target.

“It’s important to make sure no one in your family is posting your travel plans. Facebook posts checking into restaurants or Instagram photos of your family’s vacation blatantly advertise that you’re away from home and put your property at risk,” adds Quinn.

Quinn offers the following social media tips to consider before taking off on your vacation:

* Never share photos of your belongings. Be careful about displaying any expensive belongings on social media that might entice thieves. Steer clear of posting pictures of expensive jewelry, cash, designer clothing and accessories, and electronics.

* Don’t tag your location. Disable the geotagging feature on your smartphone and resist the urge to check in at locations while you’re away.

* Avoid uploading photos during your vacation. Wait until you’re home to share your family’s trip.

* Be selective about what and with whom you share. Limit your following or friend base on your personal accounts and adjust your privacy settings so that others have a limited view of your profiles. You never know if a friend of a friend is looking at your photos or other posts.

* Never announce your vacation plans on your social media channels. If you plan to go out of town, consider having a neighbor check on your home, or hiring a trusted friend or family member to housesit.

* Verify friend requests. It’s easy for people to pretend to be someone they’re not online, so don’t get “catfished.” Be wary of connecting with people you don’t know.

* Power down your PC. Disable the internet connection to cut off access to any personal information stored on your computer, because unattended machines are easy marks for hackers.

“Live in the moment and enjoy your time with your family. The purpose of vacation is to relax, recharge and experience things in person, not just on a screen. Save the photo sharing and status updates for when you return home — it could make the difference between whether you need to file an insurance claim after your well-deserved time away or not,” adds Quinn.

Feeling fatigued? 3 ways women can boost iron intake

(BPT) – If you’re a woman who feels like you’re constantly fighting fatigue, there could be a physical reason for that sluggishness.

In the US, 1 in 10 women, between 12 and 49 years old, are dealing with the results of low iron, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and that can easily lead to extra fatigue and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), particularly affecting menstruating women, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes (especially women) and recent blood donors.

“Many women have low iron levels and simply don’t know it,” reports Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, herbal medicine and dietary supplementation, and author of National Geographic’s “Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More.” “Iron is absolutely critical to some of our most basic functions, like energy production, oxygen circulation and healthy brain function.”

The good news is, low iron stores can be easy to correct. Scientists at Mayo Clinic suggest the following remedies:

* Eat more foods rich in iron; these include meat, eggs, soybeans, seafood, beans, peas, peanuts, dark-green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, oatmeal and/or iron-fortified breads, cereals and pastas.

* In conjunction with high-iron foods, eat foods high in vitamin C that promote iron absorption. This group includes citrus fruits and juices, melons, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, leafy greens, peppers and tomatoes.

* After talking to your doctor, choose an iron-boosting supplement that doesn’t cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Blood Builder, made by MegaFood using nutrients with farm-fresh whole foods, is clinically proven to increase iron stores in women without upsetting your stomach and digestive tract. To support healthy red blood cell production and iron bioavailability, Blood Builder also includes food state folate, B12 and vitamin C delivered through Uncle Matt’s Organic whole oranges.

In addition to fatigue, the most common symptom of low iron, symptoms can also include muscle weakness upon exertion; heart palpitations; pale skin; decreased focus; occasional sadness and/or an inability to stay warm.

Seeking more information about addressing an iron deficiency? Learn more at BloodBuilder.com.

5 Physician-approved nutrition tips to look and feel your best.

(BPT) – Looking and feeling your best go hand in hand. When you take charge of your well-being, you’ll feel healthier inside and out. Small efforts every day add up to a big impact.

“By taking specific steps each day, you can optimize your beauty hormones,” says Dr. Shelena Lalji, founder of Dr. Shel Wellness & Aesthetic Center and medical advisor to Douglas Laboratories. “These hormones help boost your overall appearance. Features like your skin, hair and nails suddenly look stronger, younger and more radiant than ever.”

Dr. Shel says the following five steps can help jump-start your beauty hormones so you can look your best whether you’re in your 20s or 60s:

Step 1: Follow a plant-based paleo eating plan.

Your diet directly affects how you feel on the inside and how you look on the outside. Cut out dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol to reduce inflammation internally and externally. Boost your intake of fresh organic produce, striving for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A simple rule is, the more variety of colors you eat, the more nutrients your body receives.

Step 2: Balance your hormones through supplementation.*

Talk with your health care practitioner about adding nutritional supplements that can help support beauty hormones and skin health.* Some of Dr. Shel’s favorites include:

Ultra HNS, a blend of high dose biotin, methylfolate, vitamin C, zinc and Cynatine(R) HNS, a patented, solubilized keratin for the health of hair, nails and skin. Cynatine(R) HNS has demonstrated that it can improve the strength, brightness and appearance of hair, nails and skin, as well as reduce hair loss associated with washing.*

Skin Nourish, a special skin nutrient blend containing polyphenolic compounds from grape seed, superoxide dismutase (SOD) from melon, vitamin C and zinc which are primary and secondary antioxidants that support the appearance of radiant skin color, contrast and integrity.*

Skin Protect, a clinically studied combination of the antioxidants carnosic acid, lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene to promote smooth, healthy skin from the inside out, while helping to protect from damage caused by UV sunlight exposure and environmental stresses.*

Hydrolyzed Collagen Plus, a unique formulation for skin and joint health. Collagen peptides with hyaluronic acid and co-factors support the appearance of healthy skin by promoting collagen production, skin elasticity and hydration, while lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.*

Finally, daily probiotics and vitamin C support overall well-being while supporting a healthy immune system.* Learn more at www.douglaslabs.com/HealthyAging.

Step 3: Identify and avoid food sensitivities.

You’re likely sensitive to some foods and don’t even know it. Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. Does cheese make you feel sluggish? Does processed food make you feel bloated? To learn more, ask your doctor about running an allergy and food-sensitivity test. Then make adjustments to your nutrition as needed. If a test is not readily available, begin by cutting out processed foods including sugar, gluten and dairy.

Step 4: Focus on daily detoxification activities.

Start each day with a cup of room-temperature water with lemon to eliminate toxins from the liver and balance the body’s PH levels and get alkalinized. Exercising each day also supports detoxification, getting the heart pumping and organs working to flush pollutants that come from daily exposure.

Step 5: Keep calm.

Stress impacts cortisol levels, suppresses the immune system and causes hormonal imbalance. Plus, it affects your overall happiness. Fortunately, managing stress is in your control. Simple deep breathing techniques and daily meditation can help you feel centered and in control. In addition, make adequate time for rest and sleep each night (at least 7 to 8 hours per night) so your body can heal and recharge. Your cortisol will start balancing out.

“Transforming your health both inside and out will boost your self-confidence so you feel your best,” says Dr. Shel. “From smart supplements to daily detox, you’ll look amazing no matter your age.”

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Preparing for a Party? Try these 4 tips.

(BPT) – It’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.
Plan ahead
Set aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simple appetizers to the main entree. Grocery shopping apps allow the family to share and build lists together – which can help avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Also, try to identify dishes that can be prepared in advance so more time can be spent away from the kitchen when guests arrive.
Maximize storage and counter space
Optimize counter space by designing small stations for easy access to the necessities. A coffee bar “nook” complete with cups and mugs can help kick-start a busy day. Storage near the fridge should be stocked with foil and containers, ideal for packing up leftovers after a large party. Reserve the island counter for meal prep and the cabinets below for serving ware and glassware storage.
Keep all staples in arm’s reach
Cooking can be made simple by organizing the essentials. Keep similar tools together, such as bakeware and cookie sheets in one drawer, and pantry staples in another. Spices and herbs should be alphabetized and stored near the stovetop to effortlessly add flavor. For those with design in mind, opt for open shelves to showcase dishes and small kitchen accessories, such as succulents and cookbooks, while keeping everything within reach.
Simplify kitchen cleanup
Cleaning is often the most time-intensive chore in the kitchen, but if designed right, can be a breeze for home entertainers and kids alike. The Delta Foundry Kitchen Faucet offers laser-like precision to contain splatter, meaning less soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping.

View Older News »