Posted Dec 16, 2014
Written by Natalie Laseter
Does holiday shopping overwhelm you? Commercials, catalogs, and malls stocked with holiday merchandise—it’s hard to select the perfect gift with so many options available to you. Let our selection of magazines (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) help you find something special for everyone on your gift list. Each year, magazine editors compile a list of the best products for their holiday gift guides—and we’re providing our top 10 favorites below.
1. Get your holiday gift ideas from the best gift giver we know—Oprah! The talk show queen samples hundreds of products to bring you Oprah’s Favorite Things, featured in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine. For a one-of-a-kind surprise, FrameMinted.com creates thoughtful, heart-shape collages from pictures of your friends or family. Or consider giving a holiday tin of the “part graham cracker, part toffee bark,” Oprah calls, “buttery, crunchy, addictive deliciousness."
2. Martha Stewart, another famous insider to everything luxe, celebrates American-made craftsmanship with her holiday gift guide. From handmade jewelry and home goods to handcrafted heirloom toys and dolls, Martha Stewart Living covers gifts for men, women, and children. And with specialty treats from businesses including Blake Hill Preserves and TruBee Honey, you can shop local without leaving home.
3. Fashionistas trust Glamour magazine for stylish trends year-round, so why not consult their pages and become a sartorial Santa. Glamour’s gift guide includes options for every price range and interest. Cozy, chic faux-shearling slippers from TOMS make cold winter days warmer. Plus, your purchase ensures a child in need receives a new pair of shoes. If your favorite girl loves sampling new cosmetics, give her the best of beauty with Sephora Favorite Superstars. This 12-piece set contains makeup, fragrance, and skin care essentials from brands including Benefit, Nars, and Urban Decay.
4. Pamper your man with suede shoes, cocktails, and cologne—all from Details magazine’s masculine holiday gift guide. Boost his Mad Men image with 500 cocktail recipes from Death & Company, a popular New York City bar. Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection adds to his allure with six irresistible fragrance options he can throw in his briefcase at a moment’s notice.
5. The world traveler in your life will appreciate Condé Nast Traveler’s eclectic gift guide. Perfect for the bath or beach, Turkish Pestemal towels from Poketo, Turkey, are a luxurious yet practical stocking stuffer. Add a tube of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment for the beauty lover on your list. Made from fermented papaya, this Australian product protects skin and heals blemishes.
6. Outside magazine contains gifts your rugged, thrill-seeking friends will love. The Klecker Knives Klax Lumberjack is better than your average Swiss Army knife. This versatile utility knife includes a detachable ax head, five wrench sizes, a bottle opener, and a ruler. For days spent skiing or hiking, the Stanley Coffee System gives adventurers fuel to keep going. The one-liter system includes a tiny French press, an integrated water pot, and two cups.
7. If your music-loving teens spend the holidays hidden beneath headphones, consult Rolling Stone magazine for gifts that will rock their world. Complete their concert poster collection with psychedelic ’60s- and ’70s-era reproductions from Wolfgang’s Vault. Vinyl lovers will rejoice at the sound of the warm, rich tones produced by the affordable U-Turn Audio Orbit Turntable.
8. Your marathon-running mother can stay fit and fashionable with Fitness magazine’s health-conscious gift guide. Burn off those holiday calories with a Tory Burch for Fitbit bracelet or pendant necklace that tracks daily activity. A haute look for hitting the gym, Nike’s Victory Bag offers spacious storage to keep shoes and clothes separate from other workout necessities.
9. All About Beer magazine suggests giving beer enthusiasts a holiday gift pack from their favorite brewery. You can pair it with the perfect meal using recipes from The American Craft Beer Cookbook. For apartment-dwelling home brewers with limited space, Box Brew Kits offers a small-scale solution. Available in one to three gallons, each rustic wooden kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and inventive recipes.
10. Tech-gurus tested the latest devices for Wired magazine’s gadget-filled gift guide. Take beautiful filter-free photos with your phone using 18-mm wide-angle and 60-mm telephoto lenses from Moment Lens. Or capture the imagination of anyone who’s a big kid at heart with the reasonably priced Parrot Rolling Spider Drone. Large wheels protect the drone from falls and the tilt-sensing app keeps its flight stable.
Find something for everyone on your holiday list. Browse the wide variety of magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Dec 4, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
I don’t know about you, but as of lately I’m beginning to feel like there are too many generalizations on what we should and should not eat. The studies out there appear to be all over the place. And when you truly apply the scientific method to dietary studies I would think that there are just way too many unknowns among the participants to make an actual definitive scientific correlation.
Unknowns among dietary study participants include undiagnosed genetic problems, fudged/omitted meal journal entries, hormonal changes, environmental factors, pre-existing vitamin deficiencies, and stress levels. And we can't forget media exaggeration, bandwagon effect, and conflict of interest issues where many "scientific studies" (at least many meant for the mainstream media) are usually paid for by businesses who have more interest in selling you something. Don’t believe it? It’s actually pretty easy these days to insert a biased article into the 24 hour media cycle.
The January 2015 issue of Consumer Reports has two very interesting articles on gluten and rice. I tend to agree with their assessment on gluten. As for their take on rice, I still need to do more research to form my opinion as I did not realize it was a problem.
Let’s talk about gluten first.
Gluten has gotten a bad rap over the past decade, but that is to be expected...how in the world could we have a brand new diet come out every one to two years if we didn’t have a new food martyred publically on a regular basis? Don’t get me wrong there are food allergies and real diseases like celiac disease, but for the general public...your own diet is way too customized to your genetics and lifestyle habits to be generalized to just one culprit. The article on pages 37-40 from the January 2015 issue of Consumer Reports finds that those gluten-free foods you are eating are probably doing more harm than good.
One of the big things they point out is when the gluten protein is removed; the manufacturer has to fill in that gap with something. This is where they use increased fats and sugars to fill in that gap. Nobody likes "diet foods" that taste like cardboard. Okay, you say...I switched to rice, no big deal. I thought the same thing. It’s no big deal if you don’t mind ingesting heavy metals.
The rice plant is great at filtering water of the heavy metal arsenic. Unfortunately, when absorbed into the plant arsenic isn’t broken down into anything so some of that arsenic ends up in the grain which we consume. That article on rice is found on pages 41-42. The rice article does state that you can eat alternatives like quinoa, buckwheat, and millet. According to the infographic on page 41, brown rice is higher in arsenic as well as rice from Texas. Basmati rice from California is low.
Wow, it feels like we can’t win...doesn’t it?
Now before you get depressed and feel like you can’t enjoy anything this holiday season. Maybe it’s best if we take all this kind of dietary news with a grain of salt. The key to a better diet is reducing stress and learning to listen to your body’s intuition to see what is really causing you to be overweight or just feel out of sorts. More than likely, your body is out of whack from too much stress and anxiety.
Try taking these next holidays to avoid TV news, relax, meditate/pray, live in the moment and find gratitude for the things in life that give you peace. Once you are "de-stressed" begin listening to what your body is telling you it needs and do that. Make this an ongoing habit and you will find you feel healthier and happier each day. You’ll find that your body will crave the foods that help bring you back into balance and help filter out the unhealthy metals, bacteria and viruses it doesn’t need.
You can always find more quality food articles like this in each issue of Consumer Reports magazine, but we’ve got some shopping to do this holiday season. So make sure you are gifting the best for your friends and family by adding a subscription to Consumer Reports into your own stocking this year.
Posted Dec 3, 2014
Here are the current EBSCO office hours during the 2014-2015 holidays.
December 22 (Monday)– 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CST
December 23 (Tuesday) – 8:00 am to 2:30 pm CST
December 24 (Wednesday) – Closed
December 25 (Thursday) – Closed
December 26 (Friday)– Closed
December 29 (Monday) – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CST
December 30 (Tuesday) – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CST
December 31 (Wednesday) – 8:00 am to 2:30 pm CST
January 1 (Thursday) – Closed
January 2 (Friday) – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CST
Happy Holidays to all our customers we appreciate your business this year!
Posted Dec 1, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
Being from the mid-west, from my perspective, the holidays during December isn't the holidays without sprinkles…and cheese…and chocolate. This is exactly why the December issue of Food Network magazine caught my eye. Brightly decorated green and red Christmas glazed sugar cookies on a bed of sparkling sugar sprinkles takes me back to my childhood. But when I opened to pages 102-103 it reminded me of the more difficult choices I have to make as an adult!
That choice is cheese or chocolate....fondue?
Surprisingly, when the Food Network surveyed its devoted foodie fans back in September; cheese fondue won at 71%. Now let’s be real here; the demographic for this off the cuff poll must have been pretty small. I mean who really has fondue all that often? It’s a pain to set up and clean up...so I would think that most people’s exposure to the melty goodness is only at a restaurant and even those are really hard to find.
I think I would have chosen cheese also; I’m more of a salty fan myself. Plus every time I see melted cheese this cheesy 80’s commercial echoes in my head. You’re welcome.
I said surprisingly earlier because you would have thought that chocolate won since you almost can’t go to a wedding these days without tripping over a chocolate fountain. A fondue pot is essentially the same thing just without the extra novelty. Ah, chocolate covered pineapple and oranges are my favs.
So which is it for you...Cheese or Chocolate? Tell us down in the comments below.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of this month’s Food Network magazine as this particular issue is over a half-inch thick with holiday recipes that will make your friends and family rave. But do yourself a favor so you don’t miss out next year, renew or add a new subscription to Food Network. You won’t be disappointed.
Posted Nov 26, 2014
Written by Natalie Laseter
Growing a full moustache this winter isn’t just about keeping your face warm. It’s also about raising awareness and research funds for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. Not to be confused with No-Shave November, this worldwide charity event established by The Movember Foundation encourages both men and women to participate in everything from 5ks to galas that support the cause. In the spirit of Movember, we’ve compiled a list of progressive health tips from men’s magazines (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) to help you live a healthier, happier life.
1. Rid your home of toxins. Chemicals and cancer—a strong association exists between these two words. And our homes may be the place we most frequently encounter these deadly toxins. This month, Men’s Journal helps you lead a chemical-free lifestyle. Ditching chemical cleansers, storing food in metal or glass containers instead of plastic, and avoiding synthetic fragrances are just a few ways to reduce endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) called phthalates that lower testosterone levels in men.
2. Add probiotics to your diet. Want to fight obesity, reduce anxiety, and restore balance in your gut? Probiotics may be the answer. While many companies have targeted women as the group that gains the most from probiotics, these live organisms offer substantial health benefits for men. And they may do more than just regulate digestive health. Men’s Fitness shows you how to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet with wide variety of options, including yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh.
3. Kill off colds. It’s that time of year when everyone around the office is coughing and sneezing. But you don’t have to join them. Men’s Health outlines 26 lifestyle changes for fighting off the common cold. Meditation doesn’t just restore peace of mind—the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that people who meditate take 76% fewer sick days. Already suffering from a sinus infection? Exercise helps relieve nasal discomfort by stimulating the production of epinephrine—a hormone that constricts the blood vessels around your mucous membranes.
4. Don’t mix your foods. Details magazine explores the latest diet craze—food combining. Adherents claim that mixing certain foods leads to bloating, low energy, and weight gain, while other food pairings actually boost your metabolism. A few of their rules: 1) don’t mix proteins with fats, 2) don’t eat fruits with other foods, and 3) refrain from drinking liquids 15 minutes before your meal. The science behind the diet? Controlling the production of enzymes that inhibit or aid the digestive process.
Support the health of the men in your life. Subscribe to men’s magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Nov 6, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
This past week I finally got over a nasty sinus infection. I know, I know...TMI?? Anyway, I believe it was probably the result of the horrendous ragweed bloom we had this year. I felt it coming on, but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do. Although, I will say it is more than likely my fault, since I’m pretty sure I started the neti pot a little too late.
Honestly though, I dragged my feet because it can be such a pain to prepare the neti. Twice a day, I have to nuke 2 cups of water for 2 minutes to kill any brain eating amoeba just to be safe. Then I make my own wash mixture by grinding together kosher salt, baking soda, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and a touch of zinc in a crucible. Finally I get around to the actual (somewhat gross) neti pot procedure…but then have to wait for the water to cool to no hotter than 110 degrees.
Whew...that’s a lot of work, but it does work if you do it twice a day; once in the morning and once at night before bed. After starting the neti, I got over the sinus infection within about 3 days, but had trouble kicking the tickling cough from the bacteria in my throat for another six days. I don’t yet have a decent cough remedy. I think you can use licorice extract, but I didn’t have any this time around. Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments and I will be eternally grateful? :-)
It wasn’t a cold/flu virus because I didn’t have a sore throat or fever. However, we are coming into that season and if you didn’t get the shot or don’t like the shot, according to Dr. Oz in his December 2014 issue there are alternatives. The time right before you getting full-blown sick you can implement a preemptive strike to help lessen the symptoms of the oncoming viral train about to plow you down.
I didn’t know this, but there is actually a name for that time when you get the scratchy throat, sneezing, headache and stuffy nose, it is call the "prodrome." This is your opportunity when fighting back has the greatest effect. Below are the four tools the article mentions...suggested by doctors.
- Chicken soup (includes recipe...looks good too)
I have tried Echinacea, but with limited results...it doesn’t seem to work if you have a sinus infection. Zinc does appear to help, but you MUST take it with food. They suggest 75mg, but that seems a little high to me. I usually take 30mg with 2mg of copper to balance it out. Do not take zinc if you have been experiencing hyperthyroidism...it will rev up your thyroid.
Now, I have not tried Elderberry. The article mentions it helps with nasal congestion and is an anti-viral. This is one I believe I will try next time around. According to the reviews on Amazon, there are a lot of satisfied customers using black elderberry syrup. Interesting...and at $22, it seems like a good deal since you can’t use $10 antibiotics to fight a cold/flu virus.
The chicken soup looks pretty good, I like that they included jalapeno. Spicy foods do help with sinuses. I ate hot wings one night while dealing with the crud and it cleared me up for a few good hours.
So if you find yourself holed up in the bed and down for the count, don’t forget to look for more healthy ideas in your copy of Dr. Oz, The Good Life magazine. I would love to hear some of your tips to fight a cold/flu naturally; write them in the comments below.
Posted Nov 3, 2014
Written by Shawn Pearson
November 1 was Dia de los Muertos, so to celebrate let’s talk about the almost dead.
I’ve always been fascinated by Near Death Experiences or NDE’s. Not that I am morbid or actually want to experience one, but the stories you hear after the fact are interesting to say the least. The October issue of Psychology Today has an intriguing article about the subject. Is an NDE a hallucination or Nature’s biochemical trick to easy the stress of death...or could it be a true expansion of consciousness into another dimension?
Many of the experiences witnessed by people who "cross over" are similar in their description, the tunnel of light, long dead relatives welcoming their transition and out of body excursions from a 3rd person perspective. Coincidentally I was flipping through the channels the other day and got sucked into watching the TV show "I Survived...Beyond & Back." All the stories had examples similar to what is mentioned in the article...but the one thing the article and the show seem to avoid was the miraculous recoveries that people make after "dying" for a few minutes to a couple hours.
Why is that?
Is that being of light or relative telling them that they have to go back and that they will heal their own self giving them a pep talk? I’m not so sure. If you get a chance read the story by Anita Moorjani called "Dying to Be Me." Near the end of Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma she became unresponsive, experienced an out of body near death experience (similarly reported by others) then miraculously scans showed she was cancer free within 2 days after her death. Normal medicine will tell you this is not possible, chemotherapy just doesn’t work that fast.
Is our consciousness much more mysterious?
As with most things I become interested in, this book intrigued me so much I began consuming all I could on the subject, even going as far to read the more fringe literature from authors like Dr. Eban Alexander, Brian Weiss MD, and Michael Newton Ph.D. And yes, I even read "Heaven is for Real," but while the main message was comforting, I found it a little too religiously slanted for my taste and since the NDE happened to a child relaying information with limited vocabulary and life experience, I didn’t consider it as strong.
The book by Dr. Alexander was interesting, as well as the Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Weiss. However, the two books I found that piqued my interest most were Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton. The concept he puts forth is well outside the rational borders and hypnosis is still considered to have some credibility concerns. I did enjoy the multitude of stories. And honestly I feel it gave me a new perspective when looking at my life and a better feeling when contemplating the end of my story here on planet Earth.
Do you know someone with a near death experience? I would love to hear their story. See this is what I love about Psychology Today, every issue does a great job of cranking those wheels inside your head. Learn more about the science of being human with your subscription…if you don’t have it already, I promise you are missing out on a great magazine.
Posted Nov 1, 2014
As your family gathers around the table, the aroma of roasted turkey fills the house. Everyone partakes in a decadent meal that leaves them warm and satisfied, ready for an afternoon nap. If achieving an idyllic, Rockwell-esque feast seems out of reach this Thanksgiving, think again. Rely on food magazines (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) for delicious Turkey Day recipes you can easily prepare in no time!
1. Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends--don’t let the kitchen keep you from them. Ina Garten, best known as the Barefoot Contessa, puts together a sumptuous spread of make-ahead Thanksgiving food for this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine. From roast turkey and gravy to goat cheese mashed potatoes, every dish can be refrigerated then reheated the day of your event.
Become a gourmet chef in minutes with holiday recipes from Bon Appétit. Easily cook a hearty, flavorful stuffing in six simple steps. All you need is stale bread, chorizo, and a few grocery store staples for a stuffing recipe that merits rave reviews. For a quick side dish, try crisp Jerusalem artichokes, which have a sweet yet nutty taste when browned.
Serve a dish from every region with Taste of Home’s cover story, "Turkey Day, USA!" Originating in the Midwest, the scalloped sweet corn casserole incorporates Rice Krispies, cubed bread, and fresh or frozen corn into this tasty entrée. For a New England classic, prepare the magazine’s butternut squash with maple syrup. This sugary side item seems sinful but meets "Eat Smart" criteria with only 178 calories per serving.
Add a little country flair to your Thanksgiving with this month’s issue of Southern Living. Create a culinary masterpiece with one of four mouthwatering turkey recipes, including the smoked self-basting turkey and the Nashville hot turkey. Throw a few spoon bread corn muffins and graham cracker rolls into your bread basket or dip them in the make-ahead gravy. For a stylish presentation, follow the magazine’s guide for beautiful table settings and do-it-yourself centerpieces.
Entice your guests’ taste buds with 30 savory, sweet dessert options from Saveur. Bake a traditional pumpkin, pecan, or sweet potato pie. Or establish a new favorite with the Grizzly Bear Pie (served at the Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn) or the Torta di Sant’Antonio, which uses red wine, cinnamon, and apples as its main ingredients.
Find more quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes. Subscribe to food and wine magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Oct 23, 2014
It’s that time of year when everything turns pink--from NFL jerseys and fountains to the national capitol and more. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an occasion to encourage early detection and spread knowledge about preventive steps and risk factors for the disease. This month, women’s magazines (available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) offer current research and medical advice to help you recognize warning signs and lower your risk of breast cancer diagnosis.
More than half of women report having tender, lumpy breasts, but how can you tell if those swollen areas are a serious concern or simply benign? More magazine identifies different types of lumps and offers the next steps for treatment. Many women who report lumpiness are diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts, a condition that requires yearly examination. But firm, unmovable lumps, discharge, and thickened or dimpled skin should be taken seriously as these characteristics are common symptoms of breast cancer.
Angelina Jolie’s recent double mastectomy caught the attention of women everywhere--raising questions about the criteria for this procedure. Glamour magazine clarifies this health debate with expert medical advice to guide your decision. Women, like Jolie, who carry the BRCA mutation, lower their risk of breast cancer from as high as 85 percent to less than 5 percent by undergoing this procedure. But because cancer does not spread from breast to breast, women without this gene will not lower their risk by removing a second breast if diagnosed with cancer in only one.
Can you reduce your breast cancer risk with a pill you already take? O, the Oprah Magazine explores an observational study that suggests aspirin as a preventive drug. Research conducted by Harvard Medical School found that women with stage I, II, or II breast cancer who took aspirin two to five times per week were 71 percent less likely to die from the disease than those who didn’t take it. Although this is empirical data, the painkiller could eventually become an important treatment method for women battling breast cancer.
Cancer-fighting foods are a recent discovery, but the benefits are not unfounded. Studies show that women can lower their risk of breast cancer by eating greater amounts of these nutrient-rich foods. This month’s issue of Woman’s Day offers pages worth of cancer-related facts, including a list of foods and their cancer-blocking abilities. Cruciferous vegetables, such as arugula, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc., produce toxin-clearing enzymes that prevent cancer cells from forming. Add pecans (which contain ellagic acid) to your salad to further combat the growth of cancer cells.
Simple lifestyle changes could significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer. Shape magazine reports evidence which suggests that women who slept six or less hours per night had a 62 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who slept seven hours or more. Three additional prevention tips: limiting alcohol consumption to five drinks per week, getting rid of plastics that contain BPA, and ditching your Paleo diet. The saturated fat found in animal protein increases the risk of hormone-fueled breast cancer by 28 percent--making quitting this diet a no-brainer.
Find out more on breast cancer risk factors and prevention. Subscribe to women’s magazines from EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Oct 22, 2014
Watch out Psychology Today! Pacific Standard magazine has come to challenge you for the throne.
Don’t miss this opportunity to try out Pacific Standard at its lowest discount price! The content is excellent…you won’t be disappointed. If you want to understand the human condition, look no further than a subscription to Pacific Standard. They report on the science behind what makes humans tick which makes for a VERY interesting read no matter which issue you pick up.
Time is running out to get 6 issues of Pacific Standard for only $19.95. As of November 1st, it goes back up to $24.95 so add your subscription today.