Posted Dec 4, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
Whether it’s a family get-together, a gift swap with girlfriends, or a couples cocktail party, you may be planning a holiday gathering of some kind this season. If so, don’t sweat it. December’s Food Network magazine—available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services—has you covered with hundreds of recipes for holiday food and drinks, plus an assortment of gift selections and decoration ideas. To give you a jump start on your party planning, we’ve organized some this issue’s festive features into three fun holiday party ideas.
Organize a cookie swap with Food Network magazine’s 28 delectable holiday cookie recipes that are sure to please everyone. A few weeks prior to the party, invite 10-15 guests, and ask them to bring six dozen cookies from their favorite holiday cookie recipe. In your invitations, send a few recipes for inspiration, like these three recipes from this issue: chocolate sugar cookies, peanut butter brownie bites, and eggnog cutouts. To ensure each guest brings a different recipe, request email copies of their recipes. Once you have everyone’s recipe, print out enough for all guests to have a copy of each one. Make sure each guest brings a serving utensil and platter for their cookies, and then display the cookies on a large table with each cookie recipe stacked in front of the corresponding cookies. As a party favor, provide everyone with a holiday to-go container. Don’t forget to serve drinks—milk, cider, hot tea, and eggnog go best with cookies!
Throw a Christmas cocktail party—Food Network magazine has all the essentials you’ll need. Keep it simple by choosing cocktails that have the same base ingredient. In this issue, sparkling wine is the base for 10 cocktail recipes, with cheerful names such as Pear Tree, Ball Drop, and White Christmas. Put a spin on the traditional by setting up cocktail-making stations: provide the barware, ingredients, and recipes for three to five cocktails and let your guests create their own drinks. For the food menu, the magazine makes some delicious modifications to a couple of crowd favorites: shrimp cocktail and pigs in blankets. There are several sauce suggestions for the shrimp including chipotle, soy-ginger, mustard cream, champagne-shallot vinaigrette, and salsa verde. Guests may not recognize Pigs in Blankets with recipes like Reuben Pigs in Blankets, Mini Chorizo Corn Dogs, French Toast Pigs in Blankets, Pizza Pigs in Blankets, and Biscuit-Wrapped Fried Chicken.
Host a food lover gift swap! Food Network features 100 epicurean-themed gifts from $7 to $150. In the invitations, give guests a spending limit, and let them know what type of swap it will be. One of the most popular is a white elephant swap, which entails all guests drawing a number, and, either opening the gift that corresponds with their number, or stealing a gift that has already been opened by someone else. If they steal a gift, the person who had a gift stolen can choose a new gift or steal from someone else. A gift cannot be stolen more than three times, and the game ends when all packages are open and everyone has a gift. If that sounds too competitive, try a holiday trivia exchange: have everyone bring a wrapped gift; place answers to holiday questions on the gifts; read the questions, and the person giving the right answer gets the package with the answer on it. Another great way to swap is with musical gifts: using one or two gifts at a time, play holiday music, and when it stops, the person holding the gift gets to open it. Whatever exchange method you choose, be sure to serve food. Make it easy on yourself with some of Food Network magazine’s 50 no-bake treats!
Let Food Network magazine help you prepare for every culinary occasion. Subscribe now with EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services!
Posted Nov 27, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
Black Friday is looming, which means the 2013 holiday shopping season will soon be in full force. Fortunately, shoppers can save time, money, and trouble with Consumer Reports magazine—now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services. The December 13 issue provides recommendations useful to even the most seasoned shoppers. Consumer Reports tested hundreds of electronics, chose its top 10 picks, and categorized the rest into the type of consumer each product best fits (e.g., “the geek,” “the photographer,” and the “entertainment buff”). Gadgets include everything from smart phones, tablets, and computers, to televisions, cameras, and speakers. We’re highlighting Consumer Reports’ list of the 10 best electronic gifts and advice on how to stay safe when shopping.
Two TVs made the list: The top HD TV is the Sony Bravia XBR-55X900A, with lifelike picture quality and front speakers that provide optimal sound; deemed “Best TV Yet” is the Samsung OLED, which is has the best of both LCD and plasma technology and a hefty price tag of $9,000! Consumer Reports picked two smart phones: the Apple iPhone 5s has a fingerprint reader built into the home button that increases the phone’s security; the LG G2 boasts a 5.2-inch display and is outfitted with a more ergonomic design—the power and volume buttons on the back. Two cameras were chosen: the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 made the list as the smallest, lightest camera with all the bells and whistles of a larger camera; the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V is the slim, speedy camera with built-in Wi-Fi. With one of the highest-resolution 7-inch displays available on a tablet and free, 24-hour, onscreen tech support, it’s no surprise the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX made the list for best tablet. Consumer Reports claims that the TDK Life on Record is the best portable speaker, with excellent sound quality and Bluetooth capability. The Sonos Playbar makes the list for its ability to stream audio from a home entertainment unit or online-based music services. The best device for streaming online video to a TV is the Google Chromecast, and it’s very affordable at $35.
When shopping in stores, dangers can be easier to spot, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be caught off guard. According to Consumer Reports’ research, mall parking lots are where the majority of crimes happen. Be sure to park in a well-lit spot, and lock your car and close all windows before leaving it in the lot. Also, never leave valuables out in the open. Even a GPS or phone charger can lure a curious person to break into your car looking for the device. Multiple shopping bags can be cumbersome. While it is convenient to put bags in your trunk and return to the mall, always assume you are being watched. If you decide to store your bags in the trunk, just move your car to another lot, if possible. When you are walking in the parking lot, make sure to be aware of your surroundings by scanning the area, and always walk with focus and purpose.
Be a smarter shopper by staying up-to-date with the latest recommendations from Consumer Reports. Every subscription includes an annual Consumer Reports Buying Guide, which features the best and worst ratings for over 1,800 brand-name appliances, electronics, automobiles, and more. Contact EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services to start your subscription today!
Posted Nov 25, 2013
Holiday hours for EBSCO customer service will be as follows...
- Wednesday, November 27, 2013 --- 7am - 2:00pm
- Thursday, November 28, 2013 --- Closed
- Friday, November 29, 2013 --- Closed
EBSCO will resume normal customer service hours at 8am Monday, December 2, 2013.
Posted Nov 20, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
Martha Stewart has long been celebrated for her innovative approach to decorating, cooking, entertaining, and craftsmanship, so it’s no surprise that she seeks out and champions individuals who, like Martha, inspire creativity. She established the Martha Stewart American Made Awards in 2012 to recognize U.S. entrepreneurs and artisans in food, design, fashion, gardening, technology, and crafts—all of whose products are 100 percent American made. Winners are chosen by Martha Stewart, the Martha Stewart Living editors, and their audience. Both the winners’ and the nominees’ products are showcased in the Martha Stewart American Made eBay store. The November 2013 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine—available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services—spotlights the 2013 American Made winners. Here is an overview of each of the winners and their products in nine categories.
When most people think of the world’s leading watchmakers, Switzerland usually comes to mind—not Michigan. Yet, Detroit is where Shinola, winner in the Industry category, has set up its manufacturing facilities. Shinola chose Detroit because of its rich manufacturing history and in order to help rebuild the city. The company not only makes watches, but it also produces accessories such as bicycles and leather accessories.
Winner in the Community category is the sustainable, hydroponic, organic farm Archi’s Acres. A retired Iraq veteran and his wife built the farm to operate their Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program. The six-week course for U.S. veterans leaving active duty trains them in sustainable farming and entrepreneurship. Located in Escondido, California, Archi’s Acres has graduated more than 200 veterans. The company’s goal is to equip these graduates to open other farms like this nationwide.
Due to a higher cost of living, New York City is not always at the top of the list of U.S. cities to base manufacturing, but that isn’t the case for Lindsey Adelman Studio, winner in the Design category. Adelman’s studio produces custom designer chandeliers for a clientele that includes high-end architects and designers. What sets Adelman’s company apart is its generous business model. Her DIY “You Make It” project provides detailed instructions on her website for creating some of her signature fixtures, using standard industry parts, and asks people to share photos of their creations. Adelman also donates a large portion of her annual profits to local charities.
The next three businesses are winners in the Garden, Food, and Sustainability categories, respectively. Back to the Roots, of Oakland, California, was started by two University of California, Berkeley, graduates who turned their gourmet mushroom growing experiment into a business that sells oyster-mushroom kits and fish tank systems that grow herbs. Woodberry Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant based in Baltimore, features 99 percent local ingredients on its menu and ensures the growers receive their fair share of the profits. Portland Meat Collective, named after its home base, helps consumers procure whole steers, pigs, or lambs directly from small Oregon farms and provides butchery and charcuterie classes to teach the consumers how to butcher the animals at home.
Durham, North Carolina, is home to the Tech category winner, Spoonflower, which provides an online community of buyers and independent designers a marketplace to design, print, and sell custom fabric, wallpaper, decals, and gift wrap. Winner of the Style category is Pinnell Custom Leather, located in Crozet, Virginia. Its owner is a leather artisan who creates custom riding chaps, bags, belts, and holsters. He uses some tools that are more than 100 years old, bringing added authenticity to his historical handiwork. Folk Fibers is an Austin-based handmade quilt company and winner of the Craft category. The founder and owner hand-stitches the quilts and tints the fabric with dyes made from homegrown seeds.
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Posted Nov 13, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
GQ magazine (now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) is a men’s style publication famous for its command of men’s fashion. Created in 1931 as Apparel Arts, it was marketed to men’s clothing wholesalers and retailers to provide them with sophisticated fashion recommendations for male customers. In the late 1950s, the name was changed to Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and the magazine became a quarterly fashion supplement to Esquire magazine. Established as a stand-alone publication, GQ was rebranded and transformed into a monthly in 1967. Conde Nast Publications purchased GQ in 1983, and since then, it has become the men’s fashion authority that also covers politics, travel, entertainment, sports, technology, food and wine, fitness, health, relationships, and more. GQ’s cover images feature both male and female movie stars, professional athletes, rock musicians, and other influential figures.
This November, GQ takes style to the skies with its article “Stay Business Classy: How to Make Work Travel Work for You,” which features several savvy, unconventional approaches to obtaining travel perks. It’s only appropriate that the tips start with how to dress. GQ says wearing a tailored suit is the best choice. Add a patterned shirt or knit tie to stand out from the crowd, and complete the ensemble with dressy loafers, which are easy to slip off in the security line. As for gear, ditch the backpack for a leather folio, and choose a smart duffel or roller case for your primary luggage.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to skip airport security lines? According to GQ, you can, with a TSA PreCheck card. The card doesn’t let you skip the security check, but it does expedite the screening process. For only $85, it’s a great deal for frequent flyers. If you can’t avoid the standard security lines, at least prevent losing your laptop by taping your business card to it or buying an X-ray-friendly bag that the TSA won’t require you to open. After you pass through security (hopefully, without a hitch), GQ suggests treating yourself to an airport lounge. Use the LoungeBuddy app to check prices, amenities, and more before you get to the airport. GQ even has your appetite covered with the list of its top 10 airport restaurants in the U.S.
Once you’re on the plane, it’s up to you to entertain yourself—and watching your fellow passengers struggle to stuff their oversized carry-ons into the overhead compartments doesn’t count. Now that the FAA has expanded the use of portable electronic devices during all flight segments, be sure to bring along your tablet, laptop, or other handheld electronic device. Need to drown out the cabin noise to work or relax? GQ recommends the latest from Bose: noise-cancelling earbuds, which are easier to carry than the headphones. For overnight flights, GQ has solutions for freshening up before landing the next morning: cure bad breath with 32 Effervescent Breath Treatment; clean your face with Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes; and to minimize eye puffiness or redness, try VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything Eye Serum.
Once you’re back on solid ground, GQ has an 18-minute workout that only requires your smartphone for a stopwatch. The workout includes squat jumps, push-ups, planks, bicycle kicks, chair dips, and a cool down. After your workout, explore food options with the app Where Chefs Eat, which lists 2,000 international restaurants that are recommended by 400 of the world’s top chefs.
If you enjoyed this preview of what GQ has to offer, check out the upcoming issues with a subscription through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services!
Posted Nov 6, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
Bon Appétit magazine (now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) is a visual feast for the food connoisseur. Each month, its pages are filled with beautiful photos and expert tips on cooking, dining out, travel, entertainment, shopping, and the epicurean lifestyle. One of the biggest food holidays of the year—Thanksgiving—is the focus of November’s issue. Many customary Thanksgiving techniques are in the mix with articles such as “Leftover Love” and “Your Thanksgiving Essentials.” This issue also takes unique approaches to the tradition-rich holiday with “25 Ways to Reinvent Your Thanksgiving” and “The Life of Pie.” In this week’s EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services blog post we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas from the issue.
Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving or you’re a seasoned pro, helpful cooking advice is always welcome. Bon Appétit’s experts reveal their best, most practical tips in “Your Thanksgiving Essentials.” Want creamy mashed potatoes without the lumps? Use a ricer instead of a potato masher. Conquer carving difficulties by waiting at least 30 minutes after you remove the turkey from the oven to begin slicing—the magazine includes a step-by-step, illustrated tutorial. For out-of-this-world stuffing, air out torn bread overnight or bake the pieces at 200 degrees for one to two hours.
If you love Thanksgiving staples but want to try new dishes, Bon Appétit suggests how to have both in “25 Ways to Reinvent Your Thanksgiving.” The magazine advises taking traditional dishes and incorporating less traditional ingredients or techniques. Use duck fat in place of butter: add a touch to biscuits before baking; use it to baste the turkey; and add a dollop to the mashed potatoes. Give your bird Mexican flair with the recipe for chile-rubbed turkey. Take mashed potatoes up a notch by adding Aleppo pepper, white miso, and softened butter, prepared horseradish, or grated aged Gouda. Looking for a spinoff on cranberry sauce? The magazine has three options: pomegranate-mint relish, orange-kumquat marmalade, and parsley-almond salsa verde. In “The Life of Pie,” Bon Appetit suggests variations on popular pies, such as butterscotch pie with curry crust (the experts added curry powder and fennel seeds), brûléed bourbon-maple pumpkin pie, and malted walnut pie (this is Bon Appétit’s spin on pecan pie).
Bon Appétit even saved room for leftovers with “Leftover Love,” which includes tasty uses for after-Thanksgiving turkey. Plan ahead—don’t carve the whole turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, cut only enough for your guests. Keep the rest refrigerated to prevent the turkey from drying out. Pull out your panini press and combine what’s left of the cranberry sauce and turkey with country-style bread, sharp white cheddar, and fresh sage leaves to make a turkey panino. Warm up a leftover biscuit and add some turkey, bread-and-butter pickles, and barbecue sauce to create a classic barbecue turkey sandwich. If you’re in the mood for something south of the border, try a turkey torta: red onion soaked in white wine vinegar, fresh lime juice mixed with sour cream, a toasted Kaiser roll, turkey, sliced avocado, shredded lettuce, hot sauce, cilantro sprigs, crumbled Cotija cheese, and pickled onion. Once you’re finished with the turkey, save the carcass to make stock for soups and stews.
For more creative recipes and cooking techniques, subscribe to Bon Appétit magazine through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services!
Posted Oct 30, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
The weather is turning colder, which means you are pulling out heavier clothes and perhaps even justifying the purchase of a new, trendy coat or pair of boots. During these chilly weather months, when the focus is on layering nearly every inch of skin with fall/winter accessories, it’s easy to forget that your face needs some protection and coverage, too. Look no further than the November issue of Health magazine—now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services. Health magazine is devoted to providing women with the latest trends and research on health, wellness, fitness, beauty, fashion, and more. This month, along with informative and inspiring fitness and health expertise, it’s filled with skincare and makeup advice for facing the cold weather season. Here, we’re giving you a preview of the best tips.
Many women use makeup to try masking skin problems, but this only draws more attention. Before applying any makeup, make sure your skincare routine is in order. Think of your face as a canvas that needs to be prepped—makeup only looks as smooth and flawless as the face to which it’s applied. Health offers solutions to several common concerns, such as breakouts, redness, dullness, dryness, and a washed-out complexion. Unfortunately, many women deal with skin problems year-round, and usually the cold weather elements can aggravate existing conditions. For breakouts, the magazine suggests washing twice daily with a mild cleanser and spot-treating with an acne treatment (Health recommends Zapzyt). Redness and irritation can be brought on by stress or environmental exposure (pollution, cold, heat, etc.). The best way to prevent redness is with daily moisturizer—SPF 30 or higher— or a product that contains anti-inflammatories (Health suggests Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer). Generally, cold weather culprits include dullness, dryness, and pale skin. To combat dullness and dryness, Health suggests using an exfoliator with alpha-hydroxy acids (Health likes Origins Brighter by Nature peel), and to help remedy pale skin, try products containing caffeine or ginseng (Health’s choice is Estée Lauder Nutritious Vita-Mineral crème).
The magazine’s “Love Your Looks” section includes a wide range of little-known tricks for nails, makeup, hair, and skin from the Web’s top beauty bloggers. The advice is good for any time of the year. Nails: When you need your nail polish to dry quickly, dip your fingers into a bowl of ice water. Keep excess polish off your cuticles by applying olive oil around your nails before polishing them. Makeup: Avoid a double application of powder at the end of the day, and, instead, use drops of face oil to spruce up your complexion. If your eye or lip pencil is too soft to sharpen, put it in the fridge for an hour. Hair: Prevent breakage (which is especially common in the winter) by using a soft T-shirt, instead of a towel, to dry hair. Women with curly hair can side-step frizz by working in leave-in conditioner and letting hair air dry. Skin: When you wake up with puffy eyes, splash them with cold water before applying your eye treatment. Spritz alcohol-free toner on your face throughout the day to stay moisturize.
Sometimes the short days and long nights of fall and winter lead women to use a darker makeup palette, which can make you look tired and less youthful. Health suggests ways to brighten your look without overdoing it. Make skin glow with a bronze highlighter such as Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick. To help cover dark under-eye circles, use a light-deflecting concealer, like the one by Temptu. Define and brighten your eyes with a vivid blue or teal liner such as Youngblood Incredible Wear Gel Liner. Make your pout pop with a soft, rich pink that looks good on all skin tones such as Chanel Rouge Coco Shine sheer lipshine in Romance.
For more on the latest news in health, beauty, fitness, and more, subscribe to Health magazine with EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services!
Posted Oct 23, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
The October 7, 2013 issue of New York magazine (subscribe now through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services) highlights 22 innovative companies that have managed to not just survive, but thrive, amid the recent economic downturn. The magazine’s feature—aptly titled “Launch. Hack. Meow.”—focuses on the creative genius behind each company. The story explains how each one’s success can be credited to capitalizing on a unique niche, and explores the tactics each used to turn a product into a cultural craze. Among the companies, there are several that satisfy practical needs, including Chobani and Chipotle (food), Everlane (clothing), One Kings Lane (home furnishings), and Drybar (beauty). The others appeal to our culture’s insatiable appetite for entertainment, such as Tumblr, Sofar Sounds, and Tough Mudder. Perhaps the most unusual of all these entertainment-driven enterprises is Grumpy Cat, which, incidentally, graces this issue’s cover.
Grumpy Cat, whose given name is Tardar Sauce, is a house cat with a birth defect that gives her a perpetual scowl. She first garnered attention when her owner’s brother posted a photo of the cat on Reddit in 2012. The photo got 1.5 million views in 36 hours, and was followed by a video, which also went viral. Not until Ben Lashes contacted the owner did Grumpy Cat become the popular, million dollar franchise it is today.
Lashes is a shrewd meme manager whose other clients include Scumbag Steve, Success Kid, Chuck Testa, and the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy. His first cat client was Keyboard Cat, whose viral video debuted in 2009. Along with merchandise and websites devoted to the brand, Keyboard Cat has since made cameos in Starburst and Wonderful Pistachios commercials. Nyan Cat soon followed, and Lashes made meme management his full-time job. According to the article, Lashes may be the only meme manager who currently works with animals, which seems to contribute to his success. He makes 20 percent of his clients’ earnings. He is so successful that he does not have to scout. Instead, he chooses his clients and bases his criteria on their “timeless quality” and ability to make people happy.
Grumpy Cat apparently makes many people happy, which is evident from her various endeavors. Her portfolio boasts “spokescat” for Friskies, a book on the New York Times best-seller list, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book, a coffee drink, Grumppuccino, and a movie deal. In addition to her rising celebrity, her engaging grimace accessorizes t-shirts, calendars, Christmas cards, and Halloween masks. She even has plush toys made in her likeness. Lashes is now working to get Grumpy Cat on Saturday Night Live.
Many imposters are quick to take advantage of Grumpy Cat’s success, so Lashes has hired a legal team to protect her image. Ironically, the cat herself is not insured. The Grumpy Cat phenomena doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon, but once Tardar Sauce’s star no longer shines, no doubt Ben Lashes will already have discovered the next meme sensation.
For the latest critiques on trends in American entertainment, lifestyle, food, fashion, politics, culture, and more, subscribe to New York magazine through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services.
Posted Oct 16, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
Fall is in full swing in the October issue of Real Simple magazine—now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services. If the cover photo of a black cat sitting in a jack-o-lantern is not a good enough indication, inside, the pages are filled with beautiful photos of seasonal fashion trends, recipes, decorating, and more. This week, we’re giving you a preview of the magazine’s quintessential autumn features.
For Halloween enthusiasts, Real Simple shares creative, tasteful ways to decorate the home for a spooktacular party. To keep the atmosphere cute, not kitschy, the magazine suggests decorating windows and tables with gauzy black fabric (rather than fake spider webs), faux ivy spray-painted black, orange candlesticks, and Halloween-themed mix-and-match plates. In keeping with the magazine’s philosophy, the meal should include simple dishes such as corn bread, salad, and tortilla soup. For the kids, provide a low table for candy sorting, trading, and tossing. Set up a corner photo booth with a tripod, camera, and photo printer. With Real Simple’s ideas, your Halloween will be more fun than fright!
While fall brings plenty of holiday fun, it also carries with it the outbreak of cold and the flu season. Real Simple has tips on how to stay well and what to do if you get sick. To stay healthy, take probiotics such as those found in yogurt, which keep the intestines healthy, but avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, which weaken the intestines. Stress weakens the immune system. Alleviate stress by thinking positive thoughts and taking constructive action. Wash and dry your hands, as viruses like to live on damp skin, and stand back when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you do get sick, there are ways to fight it and reduce your downtime. To reduce symptoms and accelerate recovery time, ask your doctor about Tamiflu and Relenza, which are effective if taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as apples, citrus fruits, berries, and kale, can strengthen your immune system, but chicken soup is still the tried-and-true way to go. When you’re recovering, light exercise is suggested. Avoid high-intensity workouts, as these can cause a relapse. Sleep is good for staying healthy and getting well, so make sure to get no less than seven hours.
As the weather gets cooler, Real Simple has you covered with stylish fall wardrobe essentials. Even though the weather is typically cool on most fall days, sometimes the warm weather can hold on a little longer. Thankfully, Real Simple’s fall fashion is all about layering. For work, try a loose blouse under a sleeveless dress, and toss on a heavier coat. Don’t forget to accentuate with accessories such as leather boots and a statement necklace. When going casual, put on jeans, a long-sleeved shirt—untucked—and throw on a linen-blend sweater, leather vest, and coat with a detachable collar. Some rubber boots add the finishing touch. If you prefer to dress up your casual wear, go for a leather vest over a pleated sweater-dress with tights and over-the-knee boots. For a cold night when you must dress up but want to stay warm, Real Simple suggests a sequined top with a shearling vest paired with a wool-blend skirt.
Discover more inspiring, creative, and unique approaches to simplifying your life by subscribing to Real Simple magazine through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services!
Posted Oct 9, 2013
Written by Rossi Morris
The holidays are right around the corner. So is rich holiday food. Some people give up in advance and set aside the holiday season to overindulge because it’s so difficult to resist. But even if you maintain moderate self-control from now until Thanksgiving, you may lose ground between Christmas and New Year’s. What about those who overindulge in food year round? They don’t need a holiday for food to be a constant temptation. The good news is scientists may be on the brink of understanding what causes overeating so that they can develop treatments to help stop it.
The article “The Food Addiction” in the September 2013 issue of Scientific American magazine—now available through EBSCO Reception Room Subscription Services—explores the latest scientific studies on how overeating leads to obesity and why many experts say obesity isn’t caused by a behavioral disorder or hormonal imbalances. The article is part of the magazine’s food issue, which covers everything from the history of processed food to how to eat invasive species. This article delves into theories based on how obesity may be an addiction, similar to what drug addicts experience, and what measures scientists are taking to prove or disprove these theories.
Recent studies supporting the link between obesity and addiction show that overeating stimulates the reward systems in the brain and can override the brain’s ability to tell you to stop eating, even after you are full. Addictive drugs stimulate the brain’s reward systems the same way food does, increasing the effects of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine. Making matters worse, the fatty and sugary foods we constantly let creep into our diet can affect the brain’s reward system on such a level that appetite-suppressing hormones are overpowered, causing us to overeat. The article says the best example of this is when you have finished a large meal—you can’t imagine eating one more bite—and the dessert is offered to you. Somehow, you manage to indulge. (I call this my “dessert stomach,” which is separate from my regular stomach.)
So how does overeating differ in lean people versus obese people? Scientists say the brain’s reward systems in obese people don’t respond as strongly to food as the reward systems in lean people. Thus, obese people tend to overeat to reach the same level of pleasure as that of lean people when lean people eat less. Because of this, researchers think obesity is not caused by a lack of self-restraint. Instead, it may be a vicious neurological cycle: The more a person eats the more the person craves, and the craving can never be fully satisfied. It’s similar to a drug addict who can never reach the same high he did the first time he used the drug.
Experts are divided on whether there are enough correlations between obesity and addiction to argue that the same treatments be used for each condition. For example, some have recommended that obesity be treated as a mental disorder, pushing for it to be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This suggestion was vetoed. Two drug companies have taken advantage of the obesity as addiction hypothesis and developed drugs that inhibit brain receptors that cause overeating. One drug, Belviq, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Another drug, rimonabant, was not approved by the FDA, and its use was suspended in Europe after negative side effects. Those who believe there are more differences than similarities argue that the fatty, sugary, high-calorie food so readily available to most people can more easily override the brain’s receptors than drugs. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, the article argues that the ongoing battle for obese people will continue to persist with our society’s constant exposure to rich, fatty foods.
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