Saturday, January 28, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings at Trump Inauguration

Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Inauguration
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang at the swearing-in ceremony of the nation’s 45th president, Donald J. Trump, just before noon on January 20, 2017. According to a Choir press release, the 215-member choir were dressed in crème-colored coats with matching turtleneck sweaters accented with red-plaid scarves. Conducted by music director Mack Wilberg, they sang his inspiring arrangement of “America, the Beautiful.”

The Choir was accompanied by “The President’s Own®” United States Marine Band® led by director Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig. The United States Marine Band®, founded in 1798 by an act of Congress, is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization today. This celebrated band performed with the Choir in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on the September 21, 2014 broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. (Watch “The Armed Forces Medley” and “Let Freedom Ring.”)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed for U. S. presidents of both parties in many settings, including six previous presidential inaugurals. The previous inaugural performances have included swearing-in ceremonies, appearances in the inaugural parade and at the inaugural opening ceremony as well as at a devotional program. The Choir’s participation in these events is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics, but rather a demonstration of its support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power. The 2017 participation in the swearing-in ceremony of the 45th president is the Choir’s seventh inaugural performance.

“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U.S. presidents," said Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. "Singing the music of America is one of the things we do best. We were honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our newest president."

Because of space limitations on the platform at the U.S. Capitol, the normally 360-voice Choir was limited to having just 215 members perform.  Because so many more Choir members volunteered to sing than the number required, Choir leaders used a random selection process to choose those who would travel to Washington DC to perform.

For more coverage about the Choir’s performance at the 58th inaugural and for detailed information about the Choir’s previous inaugural performances, see the following:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dirtiest Things You Touch Every Day

Time Magazine lists the 5 germiest places in the home

The toilet seat is not the dirtiest place in the home, says University Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, because we tend to wash that often.

Gerba suggests other places in the home need more care than they are getting. 

1. Towels should be changed out or washed every two days.

“Most people don’t wash their hands properly,” he says. When you towel off you’re rubbing bacteria into an ideal growing environment. 

Photo by Freya Willemoes-Wissing

2.  Toothbrush holders can contain a lot of germs because people don't clean them.

A 2011 report from the public health organization NSF International found 27% of toothbrush holders were home to Coliform bacteria—a sickness-causing family of microorganism that includes Salmonella and E. coli.

3. In the kitchen, the sponge used for washing and cutting board also attract bacteria.

The sponge may be the dirtiest place in the home, says Gerba. The NSF study found that 75% of home dish sponges and rags contained Coliform.
He recommends a dish cleaning brush that can be thrown into the dishwasher every day. Cutting boards should be thoroughly scrubbed or put into the dishwasher, too. 
4. Cellphones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. 
"When's the last time you cleaned your cellphone?" asked Gerba. Studies show that one in six phones is contaminated with fecal matter. Wiping daily with a disinfectant cloth will help prevent bacteria buildup. 
 5. Outside the home, shopping carts can be havens for germs. 
“Almost 100% of them are home to E. coli because people are constantly touching the handles after holding raw food products,” Gerba explains. He also says reusable grocery bags can be dirty because they are seldom washed. 
Use wipes at the store or bring your own to clean shopping cart handles and areas where little children may sit.  
Many other everyday items should be added to the list, like shoelaces, purses, keys, and keyboards. Regular house cleaning should also include door knobs, handles, and other places that are frequently touched by many people. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Madison, Boise among best cities

2017’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle  

WalletHub Study

With "lose weight and get fit" being both the No. 1 most popular and No. 1 most commonly broken New Year's resolution and the level of inactivity among Americans aged 6 and older decreasing from 28.3 percent in 2014 to 27.7 percent in 2015, the personal-finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at 2017's Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle.

To identify the cities that encourage balancing a healthy diet with ample physical activity, WalletHub's analysts compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 30 key metrics. The data set ranges from "average monthly fitness-club fee" to "bike score" to "share of physically inactive residents."

Boise skyline (BluFox Images)

 Best vs. Worst

Orlando, Fla., has the most sporting-goods stores per 100,000 residents, 85.3, which is 40 times more than in Greensboro, N.C., the city with the fewest at 2.1.

Scottsdale, Ariz., has the most public golf courses per 1 million residents, 127.5, which is 90 times more than in New York, the city with the fewest at 1.4.

Madison, Wis., has the most fitness trainers and aerobics instructors per 100,000 residents, 156.15, which is 6.8 times more than in Bakersfield, Calif., the city with the fewest at 23.10.

Scottsdale, Ariz., has the most fitness centers per 100,000 residents, 229.48, which is 37.7 times more than in Greensboro, N.C., the city with the fewest at 6.08.

Madison, Wis., has the most park playgrounds per 100,000 residents, 71.98, which is 14.1 times more than in Hialeah, Fla., the city with the fewest at 5.11.

To view the full report and your city's rank, please visit:

Mineral Therapy for Arthritis

Montana son creates "Medicine Springs Mineral Therapy" to help his mother with arthritis

"Medicine Springs Mineral Therapy" was spawned from a necessity.
Brandon Price's mother Brenda had painful arthritis and could not close her hands. On a vacation, Brenda was sitting in a geothermal mineral hot spring and noticed she could close her hands and the pain was gone.

It wasn't a cure, but provided welcome relief.

Excited about how these natural mineral springs provided relief, she mentioned on her return that she wished she could put that water in her hot tub and bathtub.

As a former high school science teacher in Brandon thought this was something he could do. Based in Helena, Montana, Brandon and his wife, Julie, took chemical analysis of the most healing natural springs to be found around in the world, removed the water, separated the compounds, isolated the reactions, and packaged it.

They believe this is an opportunity to help others the way this helped Brandon's mom. They didn't intend to sell originally, but after giving it away—at Race for the Cure and to several Wounded Warriors—and seeing the results, they knew they needed others to try it.

Mineral packs by Medicine Springs are formulated to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint and muscle pain, various skin ailments (like eczema, psoriasis, and acne), or those who are athletic—really anyone who wants to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a hot soak or bath.

The minerals in the hot springs they selected came from around the world, including Alaska, Canada, Costa Rica, Iceland, Japan, Montana, Peru, and Wyoming.

These mineral packs mimic the chemical makeup of some of the world's most famous 'healing springs' found around the world, including Bicarbonates, Boron, Calcium, Lithium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, and Sulfur.

You can see a short video with Brandon and Julie talking about Medicine Springs at

A short video can be seen at

A little background on The Grommet:

The Grommet ( is a product launch platform that helps amplify innovative consumer products from Makers, inventors and small businesses to a community of nearly 3 million supporters and early-adopters. 
Every weekday they launch at least one new product.

Our goal is to improve the way consumer products are launched, discovered, shared, and bought.

Since 2008, Co-founder & CEO Jules Pieri and Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer Joanne Domeniconi have launched more than 2,200 products in 16 categories, many of which have become household names, including FitBit, Food Should Taste Good, GoldieBlox, IdeaPaint, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, OtterBox, SimpliSafe, SodaStream, S'well, and many others.

Their Discovery Team of eight are constantly seeking and discovering innovative products. Although they consider thousands of products each year, only 3% of them are ultimately launched.

And with each launch, The Grommet tells the story behind the product, producing our own editorial, video, and product photography.

The Grommet also helps people shop by Personal Values, including Made in the USA, Underrepresented Entrepreneurs, Sustainable Living, Social Enterprises, Handcrafted, Independent Makers, Crowdfunded, Tech & Innovation, Philanthropy, and our newest category, Made for a Lifetime.

Lastly, affiliates of Rakuten Affiliate Network (formerly Linkshare) can market on their sites new products and receive a percentage of sales on The Grommet by referring traffic. Here is a link:


Alcohol Impact on Body

10 Lesser Known Ways Booze Impacts Your Body
 We all know that alcohol wreaks havoc on the liver and sends kidneys into overdrive. We also know that after a night of libations the next morning is often met with a dull headache and at times nausea. While moderate consumption of alcohol can offer health benefits, the happy hour or weekend partiers who binge drink may see negative effects. Dr. Christopher Calapai, an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, who has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers, offers some sobering facts and 10 lesser knows ways booze impacts your body.

1. Hair thinning, shedding and loss.
When you drink excessively (more than 3 drinks within a 3 hour period) there's an elevation of estrogen in the body and a decrease of zinc. "A rise in estrogen leads to the hair loss and then the drop in zinc plus folic acid levels compromise healthy hair growth and maintenance," explains Dr. Calapai.

2. Voice loss, or changes.
Ever lose your voice after a night out of partying? Typically shouting over loud music and second hand cigarette smoke gets the blame. "What people don't realize is that alcohol can cause dehydration leading to a dry throat and some constriction of the vocal chords. You really want to drink water in between cocktails," advises Dr. Calapai. 

3. Cuts and bruises take longer to heal.
In 2014, a study published by researchers from the Loyola University Healthcare System showed that binge drinking reduces bacteria fighting white blood cells and hinders the production of a special protein that attracts them. White blood cells are essential for wound healing. Dr. Calapai says to pay attention to how you heal. "A simple cut should be gone within a day or two and a bruise should be fading within 3-5 days. If you're drinking 10 or more drinks in one week you'll connect the dots to delayed healing."

4. Chronic colds.
This is more evidence of a compromised immune system. If you typically kick a sore throat with some warm tea, chicken soup and a good night's sleep; after binge drinking that same sore throat may escalate into strep throat. When the white blood cell count is low you may feel like your always battling a cold. "It's so important to drink water and add vitamin E, C, zinc, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet to boost white blood cells and rid that run down feeling."

5. Always sleepy.
Alcohol causes disruptions to REM sleep, which sets in about 90 minutes after falling asleep and is the time for cellular turnover and restoration to the body. "You need the solid REM level sleep. When you don't get it you lose the ability to concentrate and will feel that mid day lag. People attribute the sluggish feeling to being out late thinking they slept deeply but they fail to reach that optimal REM state."

6.  Cystic Pimples and More Breakouts
Binging on booze or even consistent alcohol consumption over time, especially of sugary drinks with sodas and mixers, will cause insulin levels to spike. When insulin spikes you produce more sebum, which can trigger oiliness in skin. "Once you have high sebum production happening pores get clogged and that's when the breakouts start to happen. Want to notice a significant change to your skin's texture and clarity? Try cutting alcohol out! Even limiting alcohol intake to once weekly, 3 drinks maximum will help," suggests Dr. Calapai.

7. Chapped Cracked Lips
Dehydration is top cause of cracked lips. Alcohol dehydrates us and for many this leads to chapped, dry chapped lips. When you drink your system rids the body of water and for many with dry skin the lips feel tight and tingly. When alcohol hits the lips it has a drying effect on them. "Keep in mind that the ethanol found in alcoholic beverages can trigger lip ulcers which can linger for weeks. After a night of drinking try switching to 3 days of only drinking water, no sodas and no juices. You'll notice your lips and skin get back to a better color and texture.

8. Fuzzy eyesight!
When you drink you interfere with the way key vitamins are absorbed by the liver. Many of those vitamins are necessary to maintain eye health and eyesight. "If you're deficient in vitamin B-1 eyesight can become weak and eye muscles can even experience paralysis. Other eye issues to be mindful of related to alcohol are permanent blurred vision because the eye muscle coordination gets weak. This is due to a slow down in communication between neurotransmitters in the brain and a delay in signals to the eye muscle," explains Dr. Calapai.

9. Facial redness.
Alcohol increases blood flow leading to getting red in the cheeks and nose. This is even more obviously seen in people who have fair complexions. There are tiny blood vessels at the surface of the skin and excessive alcohol dilates them. This is when you see broken capillaries on the face that look like red spider legs. "Once capillaries are broken you'll need to see a dermatologist for a laser treatment which can be expensive," warns Dr. Calapai. "Lysine, vitamin C, gapeseed oil are all things that you can use at home that may help," he continues.

10. Memory loss.
Ever notice how after a weekend of partying you may lose your keys misplace your credit card and forget key details on a work assignment. That spacey, forgetfulness is due to shrinking brain mass. "When you mess with neurotransmitters you're messing with cognitive function which includes memory. Alcohol throws off brain chemistry in the hippocampus, a key spot in the brain helping us formulate memories. If you're noticing blackouts where you forget leaving a party, how you got home or other details of the timeline, that's a sign you're drinking too much or too quickly," cautions Dr. Calapai.

While it's certainly ok to enjoy a cocktail, a beer or some wine, too much takes a toll.

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike TysonMickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham's, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Pressure Cooker Meals: Chicken down-in Rice

By Melanie

Preparation time 20 minutes
Calories per serving 400-530

This recipe is originally from Barbados. Cooked in a pressure cooker it takes half the time. It adapts well to individual tastes. I added a little more salt just before I ate my dinner and my husband added Louisiana Hot Sauce.

6 chicken legs (frozen) (or a whole chicken if you choose)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 cups of chicken stock plus one added cup of water
2 cups of uncooked basmati rice
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 sprigs of parsley
1/2 teaspoon of thyme

Pre-season the chicken with salt and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, allowing it to stand at room temperature for an hour. Transfer the chicken to the pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of uncooked (rinsed) basmati rice to the chicken in the pressure cooker and add stock and an extra cup of water. Add remaining lime juice and spices. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Add extra minutes if you are cooking a whole chicken.

To make the sauce:
3 tablespoons of butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 8-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To make the onion and tomato sauce, melt butter in a saucepan, Saute onions then add tomatoes, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

To serve, make a bed of rice on a plate, arrange chicken on top, and cover with sauce, Serves 6 to 8. 

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Toxic Chemicals Crackdown

New Report Shows Big Retailers Cracking Down on Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products But Others Remain Serious Laggards

Report Reveals Significant Improvements to Chemical Policies at Target, CVS and Best Buy

Washington, DC – Today, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families released a new report, "Who's Minding the Store? -- A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals," the first major evaluation of the United States' largest retailers' safer chemicals programs.  The investigation revealed that while some leading retailers are making significant progress to move the market away from toxic chemicals, other top retailers remain serious laggards. Major U.S. retailers earned grades ranging from B for good progress to F for failing to develop and make public even basic safer chemical policies.  The average grade was a D+, indicating a significant need for improvement by retailers to meet rising consumer demand for safer products.

Of the eleven retailers evaluated, three retail leaders are setting the pace for the entire sector by making meaningful progress toward safer chemicals and products. Walmart, Target, and CVS Health received the highest grades and have developed and made public the most robust safer chemical management programs during the past three years. Meanwhile, other large retailers remain serious laggards. Amazon, Costco, and Albertsons all earned failing grades.  Amazon received the lowest grade of any retailer evaluated, accruing only 7.5 out of 130 possible points.  Meanwhile, Amazon's market share is rapidly growing and the company is projected to soon be the biggest retailer of apparel and electronics in the U.S. 

Retailers were graded on a scale of 0 to 130 points, and a corresponding letter grading scale was developed to match the points. Grades were assigned based on publicly available information concerning retailer policies and self-reported information concerning retailer practices. We also reached out to retailers, giving them an opportunity to review their draft score and provide additional information. Below is a full list of the retailers with their letter and corresponding number grades, ranked from the highest to the lowest graded companies:

1. Walmart Stores (Walmart and Sam's Club):  B (78.5 points)
2. Target: B (76.5)
3. CVS Health: C (53)
4. Best Buy: C- (41)
5. The Home Depot: D+ (35.5)
6. Lowe's: D (29.5)
7. Walgreens: D (29.5)
8. Kroger: D- (15.5)
9. Albertsons: F (12.5)
10. Costco: F (9.5)
11. Amazon: F (7.5)

The report card reveals for the first time significant improvements made to Target's chemical policy over the past year.  The company: 1) Added cosmetics to the categories of products covered by its policy; 2) Expanded the list of chemicals subject to its policy to include chemicals banned in cosmetics in the European Union and Canada; 3) Significantly improved its evaluation of suppliers' transparency practices, particularly a new way for Target to evaluate fragrance ingredients against its restricted substance list; and 4) Added new criteria pushing suppliers to publicly disclose their fragrance palette, allergens in fragrance, and nanomaterials.

The report card also reveals for the first time that CVS Health has become the first pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project.  Additionally, CVS Health has pledged to publicly disclose its restricted list of chemicals in 2017.  Best Buy also disclosed it is developing a safer chemicals policy, restricted substance list, and manufacturing restricted substance list, to drive harmful chemicals out of electronics.

In addition, SCHF provided recommendations for retailers including developing public written safer chemical policies, reducing and eliminating toxic chemicals, embracing "radical transparency," and requiring reputable third-party safer chemicals standards such as "Safer Choice" and "Made Safe" aimed at promoting healthier products.

Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and report co-author said, "As the holiday shopping season approaches, consumers should pay close attention to how big retailers are tackling toxic chemicals.  Our new report found that some giant retailers like Walmart, Target, and CVS are taking meaningful and concrete steps to systematically drive toxic chemicals out of products.  However, too many others like Amazon, Costco, Albertsons and Kroger have failed to make public even basic safer chemical policies. The eleven retailers we evaluated have combinedsales of over one trillion dollars, a market power that can transform the toxic chemical economy."

Mike Belliveau, Executive Director of Environmental Health Strategy and Senior Advisor to Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and report co-author, said, "Big retailers are on the frontline of consumer discontent with product safety.  Parents are more aware than ever that our chemical safety system is badly broken.  When out shopping, no one should have to worry that the shampoo, lotions, cleaners, clothing, shoes, or home electronics contain toxic ingredients that could harm their family's health.  Retailers must send a stronger signal up their supply chains - no more toxic ingredients. And consumers should use this report card to decide which retailers to patronize.  Where would you rather shop, at a retailer that scores a B or the retailer with a red F for failure to ensure their safety of their products?" 
For more information go to:
For interviews with Mike Schade, please contact CJ Frogozo at or 310 570 2622

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Book Honors Gone-But-Not-Forgotten Family Members

My Dad, My Dog: Love, Loss, Healing & Hope Collide, as Heartwarming Memoir Honors Memory of Author's Gone-But-Not-Forgotten Family Members.

Written from the heart and life of Sheila Hermel, 'My Dad, My Dog' is a truly profound and emotive memoir; a recollection of memories that encapsulates the beautiful impact and love afforded by Hermel's late father and dog. It's a unique personal story that transcends literature to compel readers to consider just how important their own loved ones are.

Sherman Oaks, CA – Sheila Hermel has a brave and empowering view on losing a loved one, in the belief that they never truly die. Hermel thinks about her late father and dog every single hour and, while they're no longer around in a physical sense, their love, influence and memories will never die.
In a wholly-unique and beautiful new memoir, Hermel remembers them both in what can only be described as a moving and uplifting recollection of memories. There really isn't anything else on the market quite like 'My Dad, My Dog'.

It's always difficult to accept that when someone you love dies, they're actually gone from your life forever. But in truth, once you really get used to their supposed absence, you come to find out that they're only really "gone" in the physical sense... That's how I feel about my dad and my dog. Although they're no longer in my sight, they live on, still, inside my heart. Both were beyond special, and mattered so much to me. Writing this story is just one way that I intend to keep their memory alive. The world gave me an amazing gift in the form of my dad...and he later gave me an amazing gift in the form of my dog... Come on in and let me introduce them.

"Everyone who met my dad and my dog were left with a positive and long-lasting impression," explains the author. "Their love knew no boundaries and, even though they're no longer with us in a physical sense, they're both always a topic of conversation and inspiration for those of us left behind. I see no better way to honor them than with a book."

Continuing, "But the story goes above and beyond their own lives, to encapsulate humanity at its deepest level. Love and loss are two of the Universe's most powerful forces that, ironically and unfortunately, lay at extreme opposite ends of a scale. Still, they're emotions we're all going to contend with, and my book provides a neutral exploring ground to unravel them. There's so much heart and soul in this book; it will appeal to anyone."

With the volume's demand expected to increase, interested readers are urged to secure their copies without delay.

'My Dad, My Dog', from J&S Publishing, is available now from Amazon.

About the Author:

Sheila Hermel has always enjoyed making creative use of the written word, be it poetry in her younger years, or letters, invitations, speeches, etc. for friends and family later on. She has also penned professional business letters and the like during her career in the legal industry. It is her sincere belief that the right words can encompass the very essence of one's being. A proud mother of three, Sheila lives in Southern California with her husband Jerry.

Best Health Insurance Companies Survey Publishes 2017's Best Health Insurance Companies for Baby Boomers

Nov. 28, 2016 (Foster City, CA) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was ranked the top health insurance company for Baby Boomers in a new survey conducted by

Respondents to the survey between the ages of 51 and 69 gave ratings based on the following insurance company factors: customer service, claims handling, value for price, plan to renew, and would recommend.
  • First place: BCBS of Michigan
    • Overall score: 90.8
    • Value for price: 4.75
    • Customer service: 4.75
    • Claims processing: 4.5
    • Plan to renew: 80%
    • Would recommend: 90%
  • Second place: Blue Shield of California
    • Overall score: 90.7
    • Value for price: 4.75
    • Customer service: 4.25
    • Claims processing: 4.5
    • Plan to renew: 94%
    • Would recommend: 93%
  • Third place: Independence Blue Cross
    • Overall score: 90.6
    • Value for price: 4.75
    • Customer service: 4.25
    • Claims processing: 4.75
    • Plan to renew: 88%
    • Would recommend: 90%
The results of the Baby Boomer survey echoed those found in the general study in which regional insurers lead in the overall satisfaction results. Baby Boomers favored Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates this year, which were all strong in the "value for price" category. Members of this demographic become eligible for Medicare at 65, and since opinion of the program is generally favorable, companies may have received a boost from Medicare-enrolled members.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was number two in the general survey, but came in first with Baby Boomers. Blue Shield of California was second, and Philadelphia-based insurer Independence Blue Cross came in third. Independence Blue Cross, or IBX as it's known, is one of these 38 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield licensees and covers the specific counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
"The Baby Boomers are a group at a particular age where health claims are going to increase," says Jennifer Shelton, managing editor of  "Unlike Millennials, these are people who are likely using their networks and dealing with claims on a fairly regular basis. In a notoriously difficult industry to navigate, I'm glad to see such high overall scores."
See scores and rankings for all 15 health insurance companies in the general survey.'s Best Heath Insurance Company survey removes the guesswork from finding the best companies in the industry. Not only can you compare five of the most important factors when choosing your carrier, but now you can sort companies by your priorities, like age or location, and immediately have your own top three from which to get and compare quotes.
For more details on the survey, including company scores and rankings across categories, please see the full feature on

Methodology commissioned Op4G to survey more than 3,700 insurance customers nationwide in June 2016. The survey collected customer ratings for 15 leading companies in the health category. Only current customers of the insurers on our lists were surveyed, and the survey was not open to the general public on the website.

Health insurers were ranked according to a weighted 5-point measurement of the following factors: customer service, claims processing, value for price, would recommend and would renew. Weighted measurements were derived from surveyed policyholders' rank of prioritization of these factors.
The A.M. Best ratings, discounts and coverage options noted in the survey do not affect the scores, but are provided as a supplementary resource. makes these ratings freely available via this site. The views and opinions expressed by users do not reflect the views and opinions of expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the ratings.

About provides a comprehensive array of information on auto insurance, home insurance, health insurance, and life insurance. The site offers an extensive library of originally authored insurance articles and decision-making tools that are not available from any other single source, including its extensive car insurance discounts tool. For more information, please visit
Twitter: @InsureCom

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Friday, January 06, 2017

New Year's Resolution "fad" diets and tips to achieve weight loss goals

new years resolution statistics

2017 is here, and most of us are looking at the New Year as a fresh start, a new beginning that includes thinking about your New Year's resolution. Research shows that only about 9 percent of people actually achieve their New Year's goals. After the holiday tradition of over-indulgence, people often set out to rid their cabinets of junk food, hit the gym and start fresh.  But while most start out the New Year with the best of intentions, they often employ the worst of strategies - tackling the problem too aggressively, with overly restrictive "fad" diets, or exercise regimes that they can't commit to, and soon give up their efforts.

Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, think about a few small changes that you're confident you can make right away, even today. That way you'll build on each small success – and rebuild a healthier and better diet, step by step.  A few small changes over the course of the day really can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your diet.

The following tips are provided by Dr. John Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Chief Health & Nutrition Officer at Herbalife.
  • First, don't call it a diet, because diets are restrictive. Create specific and achievable goals and resolutions. Remember, this is a lifestyle change that can lead to sustainable, lasting results, not a "fad" diet.
  • Make little lifestyle changes- it takes three weeks to make a habit, add fruits and vegetables to every meal, go for a walk, take the stairs instead if elevator, park your car further from the door and walk.  For example, just ditching soda in favor of water at one meal, can cut at least 150 calories and about 10 teaspoons of sugar out of your day.
  • Take action.  Weight management is a result of balanced nutrition and exercise.  Remember that you need to supply your muscles with protein and other nutrients that are important to your workout recovery.
  • Balanced nutrition that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins will help maintain energy and curb appetite.  Many people find that an easy way to jump start their diet is to replace two meals with a meal replacement shake or bar, like Herbalife® Formula 1, then have a calorie-controlled, healthy entrée as their third meal, with extra veggies and salad on the side.

About Dr. Agwunobi
Dr. John Agwunobi is the Chief Health & Nutrition Officer for Herbalife and brings an accomplished background and a wealth of experience as a physician, a public health official and a global executive. From 2005-2007, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During his term, he was responsible for disease prevention and health promotion. He oversaw the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, and numerous other public health offices and programs. At Herbalife, he is responsible for the company's nutrition philosophy and ensuring nutrition science is integrated into nutrition training and product education for Herbalife Independent Distributors. He works closely with Herbalife scientists and Ph.D.s to provide leadership and support to the Herbalife Nutrition Institute and the company's expert advisory boards.

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Vegan Recipe Swaps for 'New Year, New You'

2017 could be the year "veganism" goes mainstream - already over 16 million people in the U.S. eat zero animal products and many more are adding non-dairy to their diets. According to a survey from Califia Farms and Berrycart, 56% of omnivores consume plant-powered alternative dairy beverages, like almond milk, several times a week, with nearly one in four (23%) consuming them every day.

According to a recent survey by the Nutrition Business Journal:
  • 13% of consumers associate vegan products with cleaner ingredients

  • 12% eat vegan for weight loss

  • 11% cite environmental responsibilities

  • 8%  embrace a vegan lifestyle because of social responsibility

For your 'New Year, New You' stories, consider vegan swap out recipes and a great place to start is brunch

  • High calorie, stodgy pancakes– RECIPE SWAP: Fluffy and light Almondmilk flap jacks  - Check out this recipe that uses Almondmilk to whip up stacks of delicious vegan pancakesVegan Brunch Swap Out Recipes:

  • Overly sweet and heavy Chocolate Chip Waffles - RECIPE SWAP: Chocolate Chip Waffles – Waffles are the ultimate comfort food, and this is a vegan recipe with a mocha twist, from Clean Food, Dirty City's recipe which includes Nitro Cold Brew Mocha.

  • Too Rich Puddings - RECIPE SWAP: Up your pudding game and have the brunch crowd leave happy and fulfilled with a turmeric spiced vanilla chai pudding desert from Shine Organic made with Vanilla Almondmilk.

New Year's Resolutions!

2016 was filled with touring, radio visits, charity campaigns and more for Shari Rowe.  Here is a recap of her year and a look into 2017! 

Opened for Three Dog Night at the West Valley Fair and Music Festival in Phoenix, Arizona
Toured Poland and played 13 gigs in 10 days. Check out article about Poland tour in Country Music News International by clicking here!
CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee - signing booth in Fan Fair X in the Music City Center and performed with Uncle Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty
Released "Take That Shot" to Country Radio (see more below!)

Shari "lights it up blue" for Autism Awareness. Check out article from Digital Journal by clicking here!
Red Note Foundation Celebrity Ambassador. View article on All Access by clicking here!
Shari Performed at the Red Note Foundation's 4th Annual Benefit Concert.  Read about the concert and orchestra on Nashville Music Guide by clicking here!
During the holiday season, Shari began her #TakeThatShot Kindness Challenge Campaign.  Learn more by scrolling down! 

Shari Rowe's newest single, "Take That Shot," released on September 19, in conjunction with her Good Morning Arizona live interview and performance.  The song was recorded/produced by The Rukkus Room, a Grammy award-winning studio whose credits include Taylor Swift, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore.  Since the release of "Take That Shot," Shari has visited radio stations across the US, has appeared on AZTV's Sandy & Friends as well as multiple newspapers, has received spectacular reviews and is climbing the country charts! 

During the holiday season, Shari began her #TakeThatShot Kindness Challenge on Social Media.  One of the first press outlets to begin the campaign was Crank It Country.  Through this challenge, Shari hopes to encourage fans to take the message of her song to heart, be brave, and show a random act of kindness.  By taking a photo of your act and posting it on social media, using the hashtag #TakeThatShot and tagging 10 friends, the challenge is passed along! Keep sharing the kindness! For more information on the campaign, read the Ammoland article by clicking here, or watch Shari's promo video below.  

HERE'S TO 2017!
Already this year, Shari Rowe's #TakeThatShot Kindness Challenge has grown! This is a challenge Shari hopes to grow throughout the year and it is a perfect New Year's Resolution.  Shari is also gearing up for her on air interview and performance on The Morning Blend on January 12 on Tucson, Arizona's ABC's Channel 9.  
Stay Updated on Shari Rowe and her exciting 2017!