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Record health care spending driven by rising prices, not increased services: study

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Health care spending for individuals who receive employer-sponsored insurance has reached a record high, according to a study released Tuesday.

Average annual spending for people who get their health insurance through work was $5,641 in 2017, up 4.2 percent from $5,416 the previous year, the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) found in its analysis. The average includes the amount paid by workers, their employers and insurers.

Spending on health care is increasing because of higher prices, not because people are using more services, according to the study.

The overall use of health care services declined 0.2 percent between 2013 and 2017, while spending on health care increased 16.7 percent.

"For the most part, Americans aren't using more health care services, which means we’re essentially paying more and more for the same amount of health care," said Niall Brennan, president and chief executive of HCCI.

Spending on professional services, which includes doctor office visits, grew more than any other area, increasing 13 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Inpatient spending rose 10 percent during that time period, despite a 5 percent drop in use of those services, as the price of medical and surgical admissions jumped, according to the study.

While the number of outpatient surgeries dropped by 4 percent from 2013 to 2017, spending increased 14 percent.


Simple Chicken with Winter Vegetables

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Simple Chicken With Winter VegetablesAs the seasons change, so does the selection of vegetables. We gradually move away from the delicate tomatoes and young zucchinis fresh from the summer sun, as we enter the world of hardy winter vegetables and pumpkin soups with warming curry spices. It is a beautiful time of year when we have time to decelerate, relax, reflect and spend more time in the kitchen, cooking up potfuls of soups and stews.

Winter is a time to explore forgotten vegetables, such as the mighty, and humble, rutabaga. It can be slow cooked with beef, served as a sweet potato and rutabaga mash with your holiday meals, or simply added to your pot roast for flavorful bites of a well-seasoned goodness. Rutabagas are not turnips, though those are lovely vegetables too, not to be confused by the fact that they both belong to the cabbage family. Rutabagas are larger, sweeter and more yellowish, rather than having shades of purple. If you can get them from the market with the leaves still attached, those can be lightly steamed as well, for a nutrient-dense side dish. Let us suggest to sprinkle on a hint of marjoram…

For starters, a thick carrot soup with leftover vegetable stock and herbs de Provence will do nicely. Chances are good that you will have extra to reheat the following day, so that you can spend more time in life doing what you love – staying healthy with home cooked meals all the while.

Serves: 4Prep: 20 minCook: 45 min


Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.

Add to Meal Plan  


  • 1 lb. chicken breast, boneless, skinless and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • 1 rutabaga, cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Season the chicken to taste with salt, pepper and half of the Italian seasoning.
  3. Place the chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet or pan.
  4. In a bowl, combine all the vegetables and dried cranberries, drizzle with the olive oil, season to taste, and sprinkle the remaining Italian seasoning. Toss until well coated.
  5. Add the vegetables around the chicken and place in the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

P.S. Have a look at Paleo Restart, our 30-day program. It has the tools to let you reset your body, lose weight and start feeling great.

+ The Paleo Leap Meal Planner is now also available. Put your meal planning on autopilot!


Millennial Burnout? Wiener (32) bleibt bis Mittag im Bett

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Ein drastischer Fall von Millennial Burnout erschüttert Wien. Ein 32-jähriger Studienabbrecher aus Meidling kommt schon seit Tagen nicht mehr vor mittags aus dem Bett. Experten sind ratlos.

MEIDLING – Sebastian K. leidet an Millennial Burnout. Selbst einfachste Aufgaben wie Einkaufen gehen lassen, Geschirr waschen lassen, Sozialversicherungen umfärben lassen oder Mindestsicherung kürzen lassen überfordern den sonst so motivierten High Performer Sebastian K.

Deprimiert rollt er sich in seiner Margaret-Thatcher-Bettdecke ein und starrt ausdruckslos auf sein Smartphone, wo er immer und immer wieder seinen Instagram-Feed aktualisiert. Schon seit Tagen liest er nicht einmal mehr die Memes in der JVP-WhatsApp-Gruppe.

Kein komplexes Problem

Sebastian K. ist kein Einzelfall, doch ein Forscher gibt Entwarnung: „Das Millennial Burnout ist kein komplexes Phänomen und hat auch überhaupt nichts mit fanatischer Selbstoptimierung, finanzieller Unsicherheit oder gar dem Konkurrenzkampf im Neoliberalismus zu tun, sondern ausschließlich mit einem Alter zwischen 18 und 34“, urteilt der Millennial-Forscher und Astrologe Alexander Fürdös von der Millennial-Universität Krems.

Fürdös empfiehlt betroffenen Eltern, ihren 30-jährigen Kindern weiterhin beim wöchentlichen Besuch daheim die Wäsche zu waschen, den Kühlschrank zu befüllen und den Arsch auszuwischen, bis die Sprösslinge auf magische Weise erlernen, Verantwortung zu übernehmen und ihr Leben selbst zu meistern.

„Irgendwie weitermachen“

Sebastian K. versucht, trotz allem irgendwie weiterzumachen, sich durchzukämpfen. „Ich fühl mich einfach so, als wär meine persönliche Erfahrung die einer ganzen Generation“, klagt Sebastian K. und nimmt einen Schluck Very Cold Brew Coffee. „Ich mach für alle Karriere und opfere mich dabei auf, damit die Sozialschmarotzer nix machen müssen. Ich bin sowas wie der Millennial Messias.“


Camila Mendes Says Seeking Help for Her Bulimia 'Changed My Life'

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Almost exactly one year ago, Camila Mendes opened up for the first time on social media about her past struggles with disordered eating, an admission she made in tandem with announcing her collaboration with Project HEAL, a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources and funding to young people seeking treatment for eating disorders. Since then, she's continued to speak candidly about her experiences with bulimia, as well as her recent decision to stop dieting once and for all. In her cover interview for the November 2018 issue of Shape, the Riverdale star spoke about how she's recovering from years of disordered eating, and what made her decide to share this process with her millions of fans and followers.

"I've struggled with bulimia. It happened a little bit in high school and again when I was in college. Then it came back when I started working in this industry with fittings all the time and watching myself on camera. I had such an emotional relationship with food and anxiety about everything I put into my body," Mendes said."I was so scared of carbs that I wouldn't let myself eat bread or rice ever. I'd go a week without eating them, then I would binge on them, and that would make me want to purge. If I ate a sweet, I would be like, 'Oh my God, I'm not going to eat for five hours now.' I was always punishing myself. I was even anxious about healthy food: Did I eat too much of the avocado? Did I have too many fats for one day? I was consumed with the details of what I was eating, and I always felt as if I was doing something wrong."

About a year ago, the 24-year-old decided it was time to seek help. "I went to a therapist, and she recommended a nutritionist as well, and seeing both of them changed my life. So much of the anxiety I had about food went away when I started learning more about nutrition. My nutritionist completely cured my fear of carbs. She was like, 'You need a balanced amount of good, healthy carbs in your life. Have a piece of toast in the morning; have some quinoa at lunch. When you're eating a little of them all the time, you won't have this crazy urge to binge. You won't be scared of carbs anymore because you're going to realize that eating them isn't going to make you gain weight,'" Mendes said. "She also cured my addiction to dieting. I was always on some kind of weird diet, but I haven't been on one since. I'm very proud of myself."

And while the actor said she still faces some of the same insecurities she did before, she's found ways to shut them down. "The voices in my head never completely go away. They're just way quieter now. Every once in a while I'll look at myself in the mirror and think, 'Ugh, I don't like the way that looks.' But then I'll just drop it. I don't let it consume me," she said. "I think it's natural to judge or be critical of yourself. Everyone does it. But you can make the decision on the spot that you're going to conquer it. In those moments I'll look at myself and say, 'You're fine. You look good. This is your prime, so enjoy it.'"

It was that conscious decision to start loving herself just as she is that inspired Mendes to be more open with her followers. "It just felt so necessary for me to speak about those things," she said. "I realized that I have this platform, and young women and men who look up to me, and there is a tremendous power to do something positive with it. It was definitely a very vulnerable thing to put that out there to almost 12 million people on social media. But that's who I am. That's me being authentically myself." She continued, "As actors, yes, we bring joy to people. But for me, it's also about what I'm doing for the world, what I'm contributing on a larger scale."

Related Stories:

Camila Mendes and Charles Melton Just Made Their Relationship Instagram Official


I was 35, healthy, and pregnant until a heart condition almost killed me

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a person posing for the camera: Eliz Greene © Provided by Trusted Media Brands, Inc. Eliz Greene When Eliz Greene was 35 and pregnant with twins things didn’t go the way she’d hoped.

“I thought I’d be the kind of pregnant mom who would have a cute basketball tummy and work up to the day of my delivery,” Greene, now 53, says. “That isn’t what happened.” A month before her twins could be delivered, Greene went into preterm labor and ended up in the hospital on bed rest.

“I had to eat lying down so I had heartburn all of the time,” she says. “I was allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and if I wasn’t contracting too much. I was able to get up and take a shower.”

One morning she was taking a sitting down shower when the burning in her chest started—one of the many sneaky symptoms of a heart attack. “I initially assumed it was yet again more heartburn but it became more and more intense,” she says. “By the time I got out of the shower and put my hair in a braid I was in a lot of pain and started throwing up. It was unlike any vomiting I had had before and that was a clue to me that something was really wrong. I rang for a nurse to help.”

Greene was experiencing spontaneous dissection, a rare but not unheard of, complication of pregnancy, where one of the coronary arteries develops a tear causing blood to flow between the layers which forces them apart. From that minute on, her whole life changed.

“I often say that other than having the heart attack, everything went my way that day,” she says. “The nurses came in right away, my high-risk obstetrician happened to be doing rounds at 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning 30 feet from my room. She started asking me a lot of questions, including ‘did anyone have an early heart attack in your family?’ I remember thinking she was crazy but it was 11 minutes from the time I first rang the nurse, to the moment my heart stopped. They had to do CPR and assist my breathing.”

Another lucky thing: A team of cardiologists was also at the hospital that morning.

“They were on the way to my room even before my heart stopped, and were able to restart my heart using the defibrillator,” she says. “That was the beginning of a long day of diagnosing what had happened, a trip to the cardiac catheterization lab, an emergency c-section to deliver the girls, and then open-heart surgery and a triple-bypass.”

Having heart issues was never something Greene could have predicted.

“I didn’t have a family history of early heart attack,” she says. “I was very healthy—in fact before I got pregnant I was a dance teacher and choreographer, so I was in really good shape. The reason I survived and had a full recovery is that I was in good shape to start with—other than having had a heart attack.”

Ever since that day Greene has become super vigilant about her health and doing everything she can to avoid having a second heart attack. This includes keeping her cholesterol levels in check.

“Now, as I’m aging and have reached menopause, I’ve learned that cholesterol can tick upward,” she says. “So my doctor and I are keeping an eagle eye on my levels and making sure I control all my risk factors.” 

She follows her doctor’s orders to the letter, too. “I exercise, I eat a healthy diet and I partner with my doctor in my healthcare,” she says. “I talk about everything I’m experiencing or taking, whether it’s an over-the-counter remedy or supplement. I often say that a stethoscope isn’t a mind-reading device. We have to tell our doctor what’s going or otherwise they don’t know.”

One unforeseen benefit of her incredible health journey: Greene became a motivational speaker who helps others take control of their heart health.

“My daughters have grown up with me on this mission to make sure other busy people, especially busy women, pay attention to their heart health,” she says. “I think about my heart every day. I think about my family all the time. My daughters are going to be graduating from high school this year and, if I hadn’t done the work to make sure that I’m healthy and strong while really paying close attention to my risk factors, there would have been a strong possibility that I wouldn’t have been here to experience it all.”

To manage high cholesterol, the leading cause of heart disease that impacts 100 million Americans, know your numbers. Eliot Brinton, MD, president of the Utah Lipid Center shares the three things we should all do to keep our cholesterol in check. Find out what doctors do to lower their cholesterol.

1. Get tested. “You can’t tell what your cholesterol levels are by looking in the mirror or by what you’re eating. A blood test is crucial to finding out what your cholesterol levels are and if there’s cause for concern,” Dr. Brinton says.

2: Talk to your doctor about the results. “Once you have your blood test results, start a conversation with your physician to help you get answers about what your numbers mean for you and what you need to do to maintain—or get back into—a healthy lifestyle.”

3: Keep your numbers low. “To keep your heart healthy, exercise and stop smoking,” he says. “Avoid high-carb foods and follow a diet that includes more whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts. That’s the food list we should all be doing our best to follow,” Dr. Brinton advises.

Related video: 8 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol [via Cooking Light]

Click to expand



Can a low-carb or keto diet work long term?

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Can a low-carb or keto diet work long term? Can it help people lose weight and maintain the weight loss? Can type 2 diabetes be reversed long term?

Often people say that, sure, low carb works great, but only short term. For long term, studies tend to be less impressive. However, there’s a key misunderstanding behind this, that needs to be sorted out.

In this presentation, I go through the scientific and anecdotal evidence, and also what clinical experience tends to show, regarding the long-term effects of low carb.

Find all the earlier presentations from Low Carb Denver here.

All presentations from Low Carb Denver is available for members (don’t forget about our 1-month free trial, if you don’t have a membership yet!) Watch the full presentation here


Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

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On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province, in the eastern part of the country. North Kivu is among the most populated provinces in the country, shares borders with Uganda and Rwanda, and experiences conflict and insecurity, with over one million internally displaced people and migration of refugees to neighbouring countries.

The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners are continuing to strengthen activities across all key response pillars. As of 7 August 2018, 44 Ebola virus disease cases (17 confirmed and 27 probable), including 36 deaths, have been reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. This includes sporadic, antecedent deaths in affected communities since May 2018, which were identified from clinical records and tentatively classified as probable cases pending further investigations. Two healthcare workers (one confirmed and one probable) have been affected, of which one has died. Confirmed or probable cases are localised to five health zones in North Kivu, and one neighbouring health zone in Ituri Province. The majority of cases (13 confirmed, 21 probable) have been reported from Mabalako Health Zone (Figure 1). An additional 47 suspected cases are currently pending laboratory testing to confirm or exclude Ebola virus disease.

On 6 August 2018, the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) confirmed by genetic sequencing that this latest outbreak is caused by the Zaire ebolavirus species, and is not related to the recent outbreak in Équateur Province.

For more information, see:

Figure 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by health zone in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 August 2018

Public health response

The Ministry of Health has initiated response mechanisms in North Kivu and Ituri provinces with support from WHO and partners. Priorities include the establishment and strengthening of surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory capacity, infection prevention and control (IPC), clinical management, vaccination, risk communication and community engagement, safe and dignified burials, response coordination, cross-border surveillance, and preparedness activities in neighbouring provinces and countries.

  • On 2 August 2018, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the WHO Representative and representatives of several partner agencies visited Mabalako Health Zone (the epicentre of the outbreak) and Beni to assess and support the local response.
  • The Ministry of Health and WHO have deployed Rapid Response Teams to the affected health zones to initiate response activities. As of 7 August, WHO has deployed 30 technical and logistics specialists to support response activities. Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) partner institutions continue to support the WHO response to Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as ongoing readiness and preparedness activities in non-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in nine bordering countries.
  • On 8 August, the vaccination of frontline health care workers started, followed by the vaccination of community contacts and their contacts. There are currently 3220 doses of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine available in Kinshasa. A clinical team with therapeutics arrived on 7 August.
  • Ebola treatment centres have been established in Mangina and Beni, with the support of international partners. The deployment of experienced clinicians to support partners in caring for patients is in process.
  • On 3 August 2018, two GeneXpert machines were set up in Beni to facilitate the timely diagnosis of suspected cases. The establishment of additional laboratory capacity elsewhere is being explored, including additional GeneXpert machines in Mangina, Goma and other areas as needed. The INRB is working to deploy additional diagnostic capacities in Mangina, including conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), serology, haematology and biochemistry.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is supporting the Democratic Republic of the Congo Red Cross to establish systems to ensure safe and dignified burials throughout the affected zones. Currently, two teams are operating from Beni and are covering the affected areas.
  • The WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa has informed neighbouring countries (Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and South Sudan) of the outbreak and emphasized the need for heightened surveillance and preparedness actions in the respective countries, particularly along the border with North Kivu.
  • Thirty-two key points of entry have been identified in which to strengthen capacity to rapidly detect and respond to potential new Ebola virus disease cases and to engage communities along border areas to improve knowledge of Ebola virus disease and its prevention.
  • Activities to sensitize communities to the outbreak began in affected communities through the Social Mobilization Commission, and in neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda. WHO and partners have held a series of briefings with community and neighbourhood leaders, teachers, religious leaders, journalists, and community groups to raise awareness about Ebola, including information on the current outbreak and preventive measures.
  • As of 8 August, three charter cargo planes from Mbandaka arrived in Beni with a total of 23 tonnes of supplies. A further charter is scheduled to depart Dubai with 20 000 sets of viral haemorrhagic fever Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 50 000 sets of standard PPE.

WHO risk assessment

This latest outbreak of Ebola virus disease is affecting north eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are in close proximity to Uganda. Potential risk factors for transmission of Ebola virus disease at national and regional levels include the transportation links between the affected areas, the rest of the country, and neighbouring countries; the internal displacement of populations; and displacement of Congolese refugees to neighbouring countries. The country is concurrently experiencing several epidemics and a long-term humanitarian crisis. Additionally, the security situation in North Kivu may hinder the implementation of response activities. Based on this context, the public health risk is considered high at the national and regional levels and low globally.

WHO advice

As investigations continue to establish the full extent of this outbreak, it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure health authorities are alerted and are prepared to respond.

WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information. WHO continues to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to this event.

For more information, see:


Diet and exercise - Fence Post

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Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m a little overweight. I don’t need the bathroom scale to tell me if I’ve gained weight, I just know it when my clothes start to get too snug.

So I’m watching my diet and using my treadmill, which is in the garage so when it’s hot outside I can really work up a sweat.

Luckily I gave up soda and fried foods a long time ago so I don’t miss those things.

And, I don’t have any trouble getting enough protein because I love all meat and eggs. I just have to watch my portion sizes. That means no more steak the size of my plate.

One of the proteins they recommend is turkey burger and turkey bacon. I can eat turkey bacon if I cook it until it’s nearly burnt, but turkey burger is just not the same as a beef burger. And no amount of spices or sauces can help.

They also recommend alternative “meat.” That’s not going to happen.

So despite the fact that I cannot stomach some of the irregular protein choices, I think I’m doing pretty good in that department.

But getting my carbs under control is a lot tougher.

And people are so helpful.

They tell me to eat quinoa it’s great. You will love it. So I tried quinoa and it was yucky. Then they said mix it with this or that. I’m sorry but nothing can make me like quinoa. I can’t even describe the taste.

Then my daughter told me to eat zoodles because I miss eating pasta. If you don’t know, zoodles are zucchini noodles. She says they are delicious because they take on the flavor of anything you put on them. No they don’t. They taste like shredded zucchini.

Then there is the spaghetti squash, sorry not even going to try that.

And, I love cauliflower but I’m not eating pizza with a cauliflower crust nor am I making cauliflower mac and cheese. That’s just wrong.

Cauliflower is supposed to be boiled like a regular vegetable and eaten with melted butter.

So this too shall pass and soon I will be back to eating regular food just less of it and my clothes will fit once again. ❖



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WEEKLY MENU PLAN (#185) A delicious collection of dinner, side dish and dessert recipes to help you plan your weekly menu and make life easier for you!



In these menu plans, we will be sharing some of our favorite recipe ideas for you to use as you are planning out your meals for the week. Just click any of the recipe titles or pictures to get the recipe.

A little about how we plan our week and our menu plan:

Mondays are soup and salad.
Tuesdays we are bringing you delicious Mexican cuisine.
Wednesdays are a taste of Italy.
Thursdays are designed around yummy sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.
Fridays are a no cook day around here. Going out with friends and loved ones is something that we think is important. It’s your night off from cooking- enjoy!
Saturdays are an exotic food night, it’s a great night to try something new, from cooking with seafood, to trying Indian or Thai dishes.
Sundays are a traditional old fashioned all American family dinner- think meat and potatoes.

There will also always be a couple of delectable desserts to use any day you wish.
A new weekly menu plan will be posted every SUNDAY morning so be sure to check back each week!


WEEK #185


Asian Chicken Noodle Soup Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and PistachiosShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and Pistachios


Crock Pot Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas Casserole | Slow Cooker ChickenCrock Pot Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas Casserole | Slow Cooker Chicken


Skillet Baked Gluten Free Pasta with Ground Turkey and Tomatoes - Light, yet hearty and cheesy pasta dish with ground turkey and tomatoes. A one-pot, easy meal that's perfect for any night of the week.Skillet Baked Gluten Free Pasta with Ground Turkey and Tomatoes - Light, yet hearty and cheesy pasta dish with ground turkey and tomatoes. A one-pot, easy meal that's perfect for any night of the week.


Hummus Pepperoni Pizza Wraps Hummus Pepperoni Pizza Wraps




Instant Pot Lemon ChickenInstant Pot Lemon Chicken


Chili Lime Steak BitesChili Lime Steak Bites

Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta - Orzo Pasta and fresh Asparagus tossed in a garlic butter sauce and parmesan cheese. It's a 20-minute, garlicky and cheesy pasta dinner! Get the recipe on diethood.comGarlic Butter Asparagus Pasta - Orzo Pasta and fresh Asparagus tossed in a garlic butter sauce and parmesan cheese. It's a 20-minute, garlicky and cheesy pasta dinner! Get the recipe on


Blueberry Banana "Ice Cream" (Nice Cream) Blueberry Banana "Ice Cream" (Nice Cream)

Homemade Baked Banana ChipsHomemade Baked Banana Chips

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Website written, managed and maintained by Amanda Brooks. I am a certified personal trainer, but any advice should be taken as general information and not a personalized plan. All opinions, tips and reviews are based upon my personal life experience and the experiences of those around me. View my full review policy.