Working Your Core: How to Do a Proper Plank

Whether you’re trying to get back into shape, training for an obstacle race or triathlon, or just trying to look and feel better, the plank is a great core fitness exercise that will help you strengthen your core and improve your abs.

Not sure how to get started with planks? Here’s what you need to know.

The Plank

plank, planks, core, core fitness, core fitness solution

Witness the perfect plank

Lie face down on a mat so your toes, forearms and fists are holding all of your weight off the ground. Your body should create a straight, plank-like line. Create a neutral (flat) spine by tilting your pelvis forward. Engage your abdominals, glutes and thigh muscles. Your butt and hips should stay in this same line; make sure they don’t sag or rise beyond the level. Do not round your shoulders. Maintain this position throughout while looking straight down at your hands.

Depending on your workout philosophy, you could hold this move to failure once or several times (which is what we suggest) or you could hold it for a set time span and repeat the interval as many times as you like (much like you would with reps). For the purpose of this test, you’ll be staying in the plank as long as you can, but, to better test your overall core strength, endurance and stability, we’ve added intensifiers, target-specific variations and intervals.

Plank Variations

There are several variations to the basic plank exercise. In order to fully test your core strength, we have incorporated the ones we feel are the best gauges to understanding your fitness level. Here is a brief description of each one found in the test that follows.

Plank with arm raise: From the basic plank position previously described, raise one arm off the floor so your fingers are pointing straight ahead with your palm facing inward. Your arm should not go above your shoulders, which must maintain a straight line with your body.

plank, planks, core, core fitness, core fitness solution, abs

Plank with Arm Raise

Plank with leg raise: Lift one leg off the ground so it creates a parallel line with the floor. Keep the leg straight with no bend in your knee and point your toes away.

Plank with leg and arm raise: Raise your left leg and right arm together (as described) and then your left arm and right leg together.

Plank with leg and arm raise with crunch: As previously described, raise alternating legs and arms, but before returning to the plank position, crunch your leg (with bended knee) and arm (with bended elbow) into your torso and hold for one count. Side plank: Balance yourself so only your left foot and left forearm and fist are holding all your weight.

Side plank with hip raise: Perform the side plank as already described, but lower your hip to the floor and then raise your hip back to the side plank position.

Side plank with front leg drive: Perform the side plank as previously described, and drive the knee of your top leg toward your chest, forming a right angle at the hip and abdominal area.

Side plank with double leg drive: This is the same as above but with both legs.

Preorder your copy of Core Fitness Solution by Michael de Medeiros and Kendall Wood today!

Core Fitness Solution

The promise of building a six-pack is found in many places–Results, however, are not. With Core Fitness Solution, those results are finally attainable. With more than 5,000 customizable solutions in this book, you pick the exercises. You decide the workout, the location, the duration and the intensity. Finally, a leaner middle, a stronger core, and the set of abs you’ve always wanted can be yours. Former editor-in-chief of Men’s Fitness, Michael de Medeiros, and “King of Abs,” Kendall Wood, have handpicked the most effective exercises to target all areas of your midsection. Crafting your core has never been so simple.

The Challenges of Diagnosing and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder

Blaise Aguirre

Blaise Aguirre, MD

Blaise Aguirre, MD, is the cofounder of a treatment unit for teens with Borderline Personality Disorder at McClean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Dr. Aguirre has just released the second edition of his book, Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents; What to Do When Your Teen has BPD.

In his introduction to this second edition, Dr. Aguirre explained that he first became interested in BPD after watching a friend struggle with the disorder when he was in medical school. As he began his clinical practice, he found that there was a reluctance among caregivers to diagnose teens with BPD, and a lack of literature on the subject.

Hoping to spread awareness about this condition, Dr. Aguirre published the first edition of his book in 2007. This second edition has more information about the gradual shift towards a better understanding of the disorder, its prevalence in adolescents, and the potential of new therapies like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to effectively treat BPD.

In this excerpt, Dr. Aguirre talks about some of the difficulties that continue to prevent the effective treatment and diagnosis of BPD.

Many parents tell me that their child has been in multiple therapies with many therapists and been on many medications. Therapists often call our unit saying they are at a loss of how to treat these kids because they seem so complicated, with so many problems and so many needs. Here are some of the issues that challenge parents and therapists.


Parents of adolescents with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often say that their children were diagnosed with ADD, bipolar disorder, or other disorders, but that these disorders never seemed to completely explain their children’s behavior. Often, when these parents come across the diagnostic criteria for in online searches, they recognize their children. In some circumstances, taking those concerns to mental health experts leads to comments like “You don’t want your kid to have BPD,” or “The diagnosis cannot be made before age 18.”


Parents say that all the medication in the world did not appear to reduce their children’s symptoms. Medications have a clear role to play in many psychiatric conditions that affect children and adolescents. There is well-researched evidence for medication use in mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety disorders, but the parents we see at McLean Hospital are not simply describing mood or anxiety symptoms in their kids, but serious self-injury, impulsivity and desperation in their children’s lives. These are not symptoms that can be medicated away.

Also, the ravages of the use of multiple medications, or polypharmacy, can contribute to the finding by Mary Zanarini that the health profiles of BPD women age thirty are similar to those of sixty-year-old woman. Many of the medications children are put on can lead to significant weight gain and increases in cholesterol and other blood fats.


Some parents feel that they can no longer trust their children, or that their children are outright liars. Other parents worry about going to sleep at night for fear that their children will kill themselves. Children feel that their parents don’t understand them and slowly isolate themselves from their parents. Some adolescents feel that they have to threaten self harm in order to get the attention of their peers. These chaotic interpersonal interactions will ultimately leave the children feeling lonely, misunderstood, and at time suicidal.


The usual kinds of treatment will not work with BPD. For instance, when adolescents with BPD are simply diagnosed as depressed, psychotherapies that link their current depressive symptoms to conflicts that originated in their earlier years are not effective in reducing the self-injury or self-loathing that these kids exhibit. Treatment approaches such as DBT and cognitive behavior therapy (a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how people feel and what they do, but does not include the validation strategies of DBT) are much more useful in this age group dealing with a broad spectrum of disruptive behavior. Medication in many of these cases hardly seems to have an effect, and it is further unclear what consequences medications have in the developing adolescent brain, particularly when they are not indicated.


Borderline Personality DisorderThis second edition of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents offers parents, caregivers, and adolescents themselves a complete understanding of this complex and tough-to-treat disorder. It is a comprehensive guide which thoroughly explains what BPD is and what a patient’s treatment options are, including an overview of the revolutionary new treatment called dialectic behavior therapy.

Author Blaise A. Aguirre, M.D., one of the foremost experts in the field, describes recent advances in treatments and brings into focus what we know, and don’t know, about this condition. Revised and updated from the previous edition, readers will learn all about the scientific development of BPD; treatment options (e.g., medication and therapy); myths and misunderstandings; tips and strategies for parents; the prognosis for BPD; and practical techniques for effective communication with those who have BPD. They will also hear from BPD adolescents and parents who have learned how to make the best of the cards they have been dealt. Here’s what some experts in the field had to say about the previous edition:

“Families and their children with BPD will find this book a very useful guide as they struggle together toward a more fully realized life.” – Mary C. Zanarini, Ed.D., Director, Laboratory for the Study of Adult Development, McLean Hospital and Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

“A must-have book for every parent with a borderline child.” – Randi Kreger, Coauthor of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder

“Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents is a long overdue book that eloquently and expertly addresses the wide-ranging issues surrounding borderline personality disorder in adolescents. This compassionate book is a must for parents with children suffering from borderline personality disorder, as well as clinicians, educators, pediatricians, and clergy trying to understand and help adolescents with this serious, chronic disorder.” – Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D., President, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder.

The Crop Circle Enigma, Part IV

Judy Hall

Judy Hall

In the fourth and final part of our series on crop circles, New Age author Judy Hall discusses some more possible explanations for the crop circle phenomenon, including the theory that they are the creation of aliens.

She also talks about crop circle hoaxes and instructions for creating your own crop circle.

What is most memorable about this piece is that Hall also offers a unique way to think about crop circles.

What if instead of worrying if they are real or fake, or if they were left by aliens or some design force, we just consider them as works of art and enjoy them for the brief temporal disassociation that they offer? It’s an interesting point to ponder.

For more on Crop Circles:

  • The Crop Circle Enigma, Part I
  • The Crop Circle Engima, Part II
  • The Crop Circle Enigma, Part III

Alien doodles on the landscape?

The preferred explanation by many early croppies, especially before the crop circle fakers (more about them later) came out, was ‘alien intervention’. The explanations as to how they did this were many and varied, but all relied on alien intelligence and most regarded it as an attempt to communicate with us.

The one I really enjoy (written I’m sure with tongue firmly in cheek but such fun nonetheless) is that the Earth really is flat and is the other side of a huge blackboard. Young aliens doodle patterns that bleed through into our world. A modern fairytale that deserves a wider reading (

Other people, such as myself, felt that the Earth’s consciousness itself was communicating rather than outer space (although at some level both are the same, see Celestial Correspondence on my website, one of the essays for my Masters degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology). But there was a consensus that, as I called it, ‘something profoundly other’ was creating them.

I remember the intense disappointment then when, after the first few enthusiastic Crop Circle Conferences, the fakers, or landscape artists as they prefer to call themselves (see below), materialized out of the darkness and confessed to creating them.

This had followed on from the previous year when a BBC documentary maker, who was videoing the circles and the mysterious lights in the sky that accompanied them, told us about one that had appeared—and been photographed but harvested within hours—inside the security fence at Chequers, the British Prime Minister’s country home (the equivalent of one appearing inside Camp David). ‘Watch this space folks’ he said, ‘the disinformation starts now.’

When I got home two good old country boys, Dug and Dave (as I call them because I tend to forget their names) were on local television with a pair of bikes, a stomper plank and a piece of string. ‘We’re responsible’ they said, ‘we made them.’ Oh really? 24 circles in a night many miles from where they lived? On their bikes? I don’t think so. One or two of the more clumsy, stomped out circles perhaps. But surely not the intricate and highly intelligent patterns that were by then appearing. One of these guys, Doug Bower now aged 90 is still, apparently, active in the fields (see

But, by the next year’s Conference, the fakers were ready to fess up and put on presentations. Have you ever seen grown men cry? Several of the original researchers had bet their, in some cases, quite considerable scientific reputation and whole livelihood on these being pukka phenomenon.

They looked utterly destroyed, although most seem to have bounced back and people now talk about ‘genuine’ and ‘manmade’ circles. The jury is still out, and it could be both of course. But what I found fascinating was one of the first ‘makers’ saying ‘even when I’ve an idea in my head, it’s as though something takes over and makes the design for me.’ Was he cooperating with the crop circle energy? Many think so.

Peter Sorensen, a circle maker who has a high presence on the circuit as he makes documentary films and corporate logos from the designs, actually appeared on the cover of Time magazine (

An American, Peter had made a pilgrimage to Alton Barnes in 1992 to explore the circles. He saw mysterious balls of light in the sky and had other high strangeness experiences that convinced him to quit his computer animation job and become a full-time circle investigator. Initially believing them to be the product of angelic energies, he eventually figured out how they could ‘be created by teams of dedicated artists with simple tools’ and became a circle maker. However, he says:

“Surprisingly there is still a LOT of mystery —  strange lights in the fields at night, telepathy in the creation of the designs, circle visitors affected profoundly, and much more.  Just because humans are flattening the crop, doesn’t mean that there’s no magic involved. In fact, in a way this just as wonderful—I mean, WE are the ETs!  But deeper than that, I’m convinced that an esoteric Muse is working through many of the artists, guiding their work at night… I think She is an intelligence that looks out for humanity, giving us gentle nudges to keep us on the path towards our destiny. That’s why the designs are so powerful that millions of people have had their lives uplifted by these ‘spiritual machines.’ They function like Tibetan mandalas.

The other, more mundane reason I still love the circles is because I’m sure that they will be regarded in the history books as one of the most original and unusual art movements of all time. Someday I expect to read, ‘At the close of the 20th century and the dawn of the 21st, beautiful, authorless patterns spontaneously appeared in the landscape which attracted a worldwide following. The sacred geometry of these “Temporary Temples” conducted energy which profoundly affected visitors emotionally and spiritually, even causing unexplained physical effects.  The stunning patterns made headlines every summer, and people came to England from around the world to see them. That’s how the future will regard this phenomenon.’

A great thought.

The interface of one dimension with another

I’ve always felt that crop circles were a kind of portal. A gateway between the worlds. An opening to multidimensions, which is what sacred geometry is all about. They give us glimpses of somewhere other. A liminal space with endless possibilities. Colin Andrews has been researching the crop circle phenomenon almost longer than anyone else. On his website he says:

“On occasions they seem to locate themselves by request. . . This is deeply profound but if we are dealing with something that is reacting with the psyche of mankind, then we are looking at an intelligence that we simply do not understand… I believe we are looking at the interface between this dimension and another. There is very deep spiritual content here and the answer rests in nature.”

(Colin Andrews in the 1989 video Undeniable Evidence, the first video ever produced on the subject of crop circles, a term he coined. See more at: thtp://

It is Colin who uses the term ‘high strangeness event’ to cover unexplained phenomenon such as crop circles. It sits very well alongside ‘Exceptional Human Experiences’, my preferred term for near death experiences, out of body journeying, telepathy and such like. So much better than ‘paranormal’ because, for many of us, such things are utterly normal. On Colin’s website, in an extract taken from one of his books, he explains:

“High strangeness events defy the laws that govern our physics and the expectation of our experience. The hallmark of such events is that the encounters push the limits of our mind and engage our emotions leaving us permanently altered. High strangeness events are no longer happening only to individuals; mass sightings validate the shift in reality… Included are:

*Orbs of light appearing on photographs with no physical reason.
*Mass sightings of interactive, unidentified lights in the sky.
*Entire communities hearing unusual hums that seem to come from underground and/or the sky.
*Unusual, aerial light displays
*Intelligent interaction between the phenomena and the witnesses.’

In Colin’s opinion ‘More than a paradigm shift, human consciousness is engaged in a process of integration with a higher mind. The process is occurring through encounters with non-ordinary reality that are known as high strangeness events.’ And he explains, ‘high strangeness events are becoming more prevalent because we are changing and our ability to perceive is also shifting.  Precognition, telepathy, healing abilities and other such experiences are not only becoming common, they are accepted as interactions with a higher mind.’

I thoroughly concur with his conclusion: ‘Such events represent an interface with the unknown, an interaction with parts of reality we do not yet understand. They are not paranormal or supernatural, although both words are used to describe them. Rather, they are normal and natural to a worldview that we are presently being introduced to and will one day inhabit. These interactions are creating a shift in paradigm resulting in a new view of reality.’

(See more at:

Boggling the scientific mind

This report by Richard Savill dated 17 June 2008 appeared on the Telegraph-on-line website. The Telegraph is a serious newspaper in England, not one of the broadsheets who’ll print anything as long as it sells newspapers. As far as I can tell, the image is taken from Google Earth: Top 10 British crop circles.

The piece concerns a crop circle that appeared at Barbury Castle, an iron-age fort above Wroughton, Wilts. The circle, measuring 150ft in diameter, is said to be ‘a coded image representing the first 10 digits, 3.141592654, of pi.’ ‘Starting at the centre and counting the number of one-tenth segments in each section contained by the change in radius clearly shows the values of the first 10 digits in the value of pi.’ It has apparently been described by astrophysicists as “mind-boggling”. ‘Michael Reed, an astrophysicist, told the Telegraph: “The tenth digit has even been correctly rounded up. The little dot near the centre is the decimal point. “The code is based on 10 angular segments with the radial jumps being the indicator of each segment.’ Quite a feat.


Temporary temples in the landscape

I have always felt that crop circles create sacred space. Even when they’ve been ‘manmade’ rather than simply ‘created’, the geometry has, for the most part when done with sensitivity to the landscape, created something extraordinary. Crop circle chronicler Steve Alexander has this to say:

‘I have been involved with the crop circles since 1980 when I saw my first circle in the Punch Bowl, a natural amphitheater at Cheesefoot Head, in Hampshire in the UK. I started photographing the circles in 1993. I took my first photographic flight in 1994. After all these years, I have come to the conclusion that we will never know for sure where the crop circles come from. I feel their origins are almost a distraction, and people spend too much energy trying to find out who or what makes them.

What is clear is that the crop circles effect people on a deep level, and are inspirational. The circles are temporary temples on the landscape, where people gather, talk, swap theories, ideas, and friendships are formed. The circles are a light in a very dark world. At this moment in time, it seems that what humanity needs is some positivity, and I have witnessed the positivity that this phenomenon brings to people. Long may it continue.’

I just love his description of the circles as ‘temporary temples’ as that is exactly how they feel. Ephemeral they may be, but they leave their imprint, and while they exist, they are sacred space that passes deep into the earth to sanctify and transform it.

Caption: My local crop circle. The Ackling Dyke formation running alongside the Dorset Cursus, the longest ritual way in England. The straight parallel lines are the tramlines in the crop and are not part of the circle.



Caption: the centre of the formation:

Do it yourself circle making

Needless to say, crop circles have made it to the internet in a big way. The guys at claim to be the original perpetrators of circle making and you can explore their site if you’re interested in the how of fakery. The why is less clear.

Wikihow gives you precise instructions on making a circle – and suggests taking a garden roller along. They’ve clearly never walked half a mile or more uphill in the dark along tramlines in the growing crop. The roller is wider than the tramline, as is a wheel barrow. And even the lightest roller is heavy. And yet the crop on either side of the tramlines is never damaged. Funny huh?

Circles are rarely in easily accessible places. Something very near to a road is a dead giveaway – we had one of those a few years back over the hill on Ackling Dyke where it ran very close to the Dorset Cursus. Dead as dead could be energetically speaking, and deeply disturbing for the longest and oldest ritual way in England which needed some concentrated earth healing afterwards. A circle in the wrong place can cause dis-ease in the landscape.

The on-line instructions recommend using the tramlines to access the site. We have to remember that tramlines are a comparatively new invention. In the early circles in the 70s and 80s there were no tramlines to provide access. Most ‘landscape artists’ (otherwise known as the fakers) use a plank and string. But if you want to have a go always ask permission of the farmer first as otherwise you can be arrested for trespass and vandalism. It is also only courteous and respectful of the farmer’s livelihood and the growing crop to ask permission, as I always do when entering a sacred site.

Or, you could just find a circle near you and sit in it, contemplate how wonderful and mysterious our world is, let it change your consciousness as it will, and leave it at that. If you don’t have one nearby, stare at Steve’s incredible photos for fifteen minutes – there’s a whole gallery on-line. That’ll do it!



 Caption: The one I missed. Badbury Rings, Dorset arrived on the summer solstice but was harvested before I could get there. A photo gives no idea of scale, it’s huge and a figure in the centre would be a tiny dot.

The after-image

I’d like to leave you with this to ponder on. A crop circle appeared in a barley crop on the side of a hill just outside Winchester in Hampshire in 1995. It was quickly harvested. Winter wheat was then planted on the same field. In the early spring of 96, the outline of the earlier crop circle was clearly visible in the growing crop when viewed from the road below. The lines of the circle were perfectly outlined in green shoots at least three inches longer than the rest of the crop – I climbed the hill to check. How do you explain that high strangeness event? Just one of the many unanswered crop circle mysteries!


Caption: The original circle in barley at Telegraph Hill, 12 June 1995 (next door to Cheesefoot Head, Winchester). Six months later the outline was clearly visible in newly sprouting winter wheat. (Photo by Steve Alexander)

Want to see more images?

UK and Europe

Amazing photos, books and calendars: Steve Anderson,

Beautiful books and calendars and many research articles: One of the original croppies, Lucy Pringle,

The history. One of the first researchers, Colin Andrews:

Reports of all the latest UK and other sightings. The Crop Circle Connector:


Serpent Mount, Ohio

BLT Research team:

The ‘computer chip’ near Silicon Valley, California:


Full text of The Mowing Devil

For a potted history


My thanks to Steve Anderson for permission to use his stunning images and for his rapid and helpful response.

Every effort was made to obtain permission from other researchers to quote material from their websites but no response was received. Perhaps not surprising as it was one of the busiest weekends of the year in the crop circle calendar. So, I’ve ensured that I’ve attributed everything and guided you to my source material. Enjoy!


Books by Judy Hall:

Crystals and Sacred Sites

From the pyramids of Giza to Stonehenge to Machu Picchu, people are captivated by the magic of the world’s most sacred and mysterious sites. Crystals and Sacred Sites teaches you how to tap into the healing energy of these sites from anywhere in the world using the power of crystals and sacred stones. Noted crystal authority Judy Hall takes you to the most revered sacred sites in the ancient world as well as newly discovered ones that are emerging as power points critical to our evolution as a planet. With the assistance of specially selected crystals and accompanying meditations and rituals, you can open the doorways to transformation and healing.

Power Crystals Journal

It is no wonder that crystals have always been regarded as a source of power. Bright andPower Crystals Journal flashy, and impressive no matter what their size, crystals hold an aura of mystery. With Power Crystals Guided Journal, you can work your way through hundreds of crystals, gems, and stones that have been revered and used for healing for thousands of years as well as five exciting, newly discovered stones. Enjoy exploring the history, mythology, and symbolism of the crystal in addition to its healing properties and environmental effects. Work at your own pace through both “high vibration” crystals that experienced crystal workers will want to explore as well those suited to beginners.

101 Power Crystals101 Power Crystals

The definitive resource for working with powerful crystals! Sparkling, luminous, and colorful, it is no wonder crystals have always been regarded as a source of power from ancient times to present day. But with the enormous number of crystals now on the market, it is difficult to choose exactly the right stone. In 101 Power Crystals, internationally renowned crystal expert Judy Hall brings together 101 crystals that are powerful across a wide spectrum of uses and suitable for all types of user. Not all crystals suit everyone, and the selection has been specially chosen to offer alternatives and new possibilities that may not have been thought of before.

This complete collection includes high vibration crystals that experienced crystal practitioners will want to explore as well as those with earthier vibrations that are suited to beginners or those developing their sensitivities. It also features some rare and recently discovered crystals and stones that have not been included in any other volume, such as Aurora Quartz, Que Sera, Trigonic Quartz, and Preseli Bluestone. Each entry covers the history, mythology, and symbolism of the crystal in addition to its healing properties and environmental effects. There are crystals and stones for love, health, protection, abundance, and many other powers.

The Encyclopedia of Crystals

The ultimate guide to crystals gets even better in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals! International bestselling author Judy Hall presents a comprehensive guide to more than 400 powerful healing crystals, plus information about 150 newly discovered stones in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals.

Beautifully illustrated and effortless to navigate, The Encyclopedia of Crystals, 2nd Edition is organized by crystal color for easy reference, relates the colors of the crystals to chakras, and lets you know how to cleanse and activate them.

This book is also full of helpful authoritative advice on healing with crystals. This encyclopedia is an essential addition to the libraries of everyone working with crystals.


Tips for People Who Suffer From Motion Sickness

For someone who suffers from motion sickness, a simple car ride can be a torture, a luxury cruise an impossibility. But motion sickness can also occur on a train, an airplane or even an amusement park ride.

Motion sickness occurs when the movement you’re undergoing does not correspond with the cues your brain is receiving. Sensory receptors in the skin and muscles, visual cues received in the eyes, and the fluid shifting in the inner ear send different and conflicting information to the brain, causing you to feel dizzy. For instance, if you’re standing inside the cabin of a boat, your eyes tell you that you are standing still. But your inner ears and sensory receptors will sense that you are actually moving.

When you suffer from motion sickness, your sense of balance is disturbed. The condition is common when airplanes encounter turbulence, boats get caught in rocky waves, and cars meander along winding or bumpy roads. Some people also seem more naturally prone to motion sickness than others.

The best way to cope with motion sickness is to try and prevent it in the first place. You might also consider taking an over-the-counter remedy that can help lessen or prevent motion sickness. But keep in mind that these medications can cause drowsiness. If necessary, talk to your doctor about the possibility of a prescription remedy such as scopolamine.


Motion sickness typically causes dizziness, nausea and fatigue. If it’s severe enough, you may even vomit. Some people also develop a cold sweat and feelings of anxiety.

For most people, the symptoms stop when the motion stops. But for the unlucky ones, the symptoms may linger for days afterward.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale

If you get motion sickness while traveling, drinking ginger ale may help to settle your stomach. Photo by Laslo Burdi, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


While you’re feeling sick, try drinking a carbonated beverage such as ginger ale to help settle your stomach, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. You might also try munching on fat-free salted crackers.

As a general rule, try to eat lightly when you’re traveling. Eating frequently, too, can help you prevent an empty stomach, which can make motion sickness worse.

Drink a lot of water before and during travel. Water will help you stay hydrated, which in turn will help prevent symptoms of motion sickness.


Before and during a trip, avoid high-fat and spicy foods, which can aggravate digestive discomfort during motion sickness. It’s also best to avoid sugar because it can cause headaches and irritability. In addition, steer clear of alcohol, which can be dehydrating.


If your motion sickness is severe and you’re not able to eat, make sure to take a high-quality multivitamin to get all your essential nutrients. Other supplements that might help relieve motion sickness include the following:

  • GINGER: Although studies on the effects of ginger for motion sickness are not conclusive, ginger has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine
  • PEPPERMINT: Another possible treatment is peppermint. Drinking it in tea or sucking on a peppermint lozenge can sometimes relieve the nausea associated with motion sickness.

WhattoEatWhatAilsYouA comprehensive guide to health conditions, from everyday ailments to serious diseases, and the foods you should eat to help control them.

While it seems hard to believe, most doctors, in general, do not provide their patients with a natural health program after diagnosing them with a medical condition. While most illnesses can’t necessarily be cured through diet and nutrition, often times you can help to control them, or improve your symptoms by identifying and avoiding specific foods, as well as lifestyle or environmental factors that trigger flare-ups or aggravate individual conditions. The Encyclopedia of What to Eat for What Ails You is a comprehensive guide to health conditions ranging from everyday ailments, such as bad breath or acne, to uncommon or less known maladies like rosacea and fibromyalgia, to serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Each entry in The Encyclopedia of What to Eat for What Ails You offers expert medical and nutritional advice from the respected medical field in which the professional works. The book is arranged alphabetically, and provides a description of the disease, instructs readers on the foods they should eat, the foods to avoid, and also offers suggestions on helpful nutritional supplements.Winnie Yu writes health and nutrition for national magazines, such as Woman’s Day, Weight Watchers, Redbook, and Fitness.? She has a B.A from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York with her husband and two daughters.


10 Principles of Burning Man

This year’s Burning Man Festival has just come to its fiery, dust-encrusted end with the traditional burning of the man and the temple last weekend. But that doesn’t mean that Burning Man won’t be a hot topic for months to come, especially with the release of Jennifer Raisers stunning new book “Burning Man: Art on Fire.”

While some of us uneducated types may have viewed Burning Man as one big desert party, what Raiser’s book immediately makes clear is that this is first and foremost a festival of the arts, and that the desert landscape provides a unique opportunity to create some stunning and transient works of art.

To get you caught up on the Burning Man ethos, here is an excerpt from Raiser’s introduction, followed by the 10 Principals of Burning Man.

Church Trap

“Church Trap” an artistic fixture from Burning Man made by Rebekah Waites

“What motivates a builder to spend six months designing and constructing an elaborate five story wooden temple in the middle of a barren desert…only to deliberately burn it down a week after it is completed?

What drives a disparate collection of doctors, baristas, musicians, schoolteachers and plumbers to spend sweltering summer nights building a giant tree stump in  a run-down warehouse welding shop, and then use up their vacation to weld it from sundown to sunup?

Burning Man.

This is the world’s largest outdoor art show. A seven day adventure of self-expression and self-reliance, where creativity replaces money as the currency of significance. An impromptu tent city of 70,000 strangers who agree to foster inclusion, participation and enthusiastic expression as one tribe. For one short week, a desolate prehistoric lakebed becomes one of the largest cities in Nevada and then vanishes.

This fantasm, this folly, this force field, this vortex, becomes at once a glorious accident, a bacchanal, a biennale, a destination and a phenomenon.

Founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it organically developed.


Anyone may be part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participating in our community.


Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.


Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. IN this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.


Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art and methods of communication that support such interaction.


We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.


Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


Our community to committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can only occur through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Burning Man Art on FireBurning Man: Art on Fire

Every August, tens of thousands of participants gather to celebrate artistic expression in Nevada’s barren Black Rock Desert. This vastly inhospitable location, called the playa, is the site of Burning Man, where, within a 9-mile fence, artists called Burners create a temporary city devoted to art and participation. Braving extreme elements, over two hundred wildly ambitious works of art are created and intended to delight, provoke, involve, or amaze. In 2013, over 68,000 people attended – the highest number ever allowed on the playa.

As Burning Man has created new context, new categories of art have emerged since its inception, including Art to Ride, Collaborative Art, and of course, Art to Burn. Burning Man: Art on Fire is an authorized collection of some of the most stunning examples of Burning Man art. Experience the amazing sculptures, art, stories, and interviews from the world’s greatest gathering of artists. Get lost in a rich gallery of images showcasing the best examples of playa art with 170 photos. Interviews with the artists reveal not only their motivation to create art specifically for Burning Man, but they also illuminate the dramatic efforts it took to create their pieces. Featuring the incredible photography of long-time Burning Man photographers, Sidney Erthal and Scott London, an introduction from Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, and a foreword from Will Chase, this stunning gift book allows Burners and enthusiasts alike to have a piece of Burning Man with them all year around.

Jennifer Raiser is the founder and editor of, and she has written for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post. She is also the Treasurer of the Burning Man Project.

Jennifer Raiser is a writer, strategist, business leader, and Burner. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Harvard Business School, and her online magazine, She serves on the board of the Burning Man Project, volunteers as a Black Rock Ranger, and welcomes participants aboard the Kazbus Mutant Vehicle.


3 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Running Recovery Time

HealthyRunningGirlAre you a regular runner who has been feeling a little down lately? Maybe your legs don’t have the same spring that they used to, or you are feeling it hard to get fired up for that long weekend run?

The good news is that you are not alone.  As professional running trainer Robert Forster and fitness writer Roy Wallack explain in their new book, the symptoms of overtraining and a lack of recovery are all to familiar to those who run on a regular basis.

“You’re feeling a little lethargic. Unmotivated. Fatigued. Sometimes you’re tired enough to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, yet unable to sleep after you wake up in the middle of the night.

True, you’ve lost weight, added muscle, and increased speed because of your workouts—but lately you’ve been a little apathetic, not looking forward to them, maybe starting to get more colds and injuries here and there. So what’s the problem—aren’t you doing the work?

Well, maybe the problem is that you’re doing too much work–or too much of the same work. Either way, you are overtrained, and why that has happened is because you are shorting yourself on recovery.

Overtraining syndrome and lack of recovery are two sides of the same coin, and unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception. Avoid them by guarding against slipping into these three bad training habits.


Beware of doing the same thing, such as running your standard 6-mile (9.6Km) loop every day, over and over. Your body adapts to the stress of a particular workout to the point where it is hardly stressful anymore. As a result, your workouts will no longer elicit a strong hormonal response. Instead, your hormones just say “ho-hum” and fade. To keep improving, you need to keep changing the stress every 8 weeks, per the Periodization schedule that is outlined in the book.


Although your breathing organs–heart and lungs–adapt rapidly to the stress of increased exercise, your infrastructure–bones, joints, and muscles–do not. So you need the discipline to keep from going as fast your breathing will let you; otherwise, your body’s infrastructure won’t be able to deal with the stress. In Periodization terms, you don’t want to rush the base building phase. Don’t do any hard workouts, such as intervals or hills—on a too-shallow base.


Some people never stop, never give themselves recovery time, and it eventually comes back to hurt them. Too much intensity—hard running, biking, skiing, you name it–will negatively impact your health. Do not violate the hard-easy paradigm of Periodization.


HealthyRunningStepbyStepHealthy Running Step by Step will help runners of all ages and abilities understand why running injuries occur, how to prevent them, and how to speed up recovery. Injuries plague the majority of runners, wrecking training plans and cutting running careers short by decades, but they are not inevitable. Authors Robert Forster, P.T., and Roy M. Wallack explain that nearly all running injuries can be rehabilitated quicker and even avoided altogether with the right training, strengthening, stretching, running form, and diet strategy.

Drawing from Forster’s three decades of training and treating Olympic athletes and more than 10,000 runners at his award-winning Santa Monica, California, physical therapy and high-performance centers, this book emphasizes that better performance is inextricably bound to injury reduction and that a comprehensive, science-based training plan with built-in anti-injury “insurance” must include these crucial elements:

  • Periodization training
  • Proper technique and footwear
  • Nutrition
  • Posture and flexibility
  • Strength training

This book also includes detailed, step-by-step rehabilitation matrixes for the five most common running injuries: IT band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and hamstring injuries. Using these unique matrixes as your guide, you’ll recover from injuries more quickly and understand what you need to do to prevent their reoccurrence.

Healthy Running Step by Step is a must-have guide if you’ve ever been injured, are recovering from an injury, want to prevent injuries, or run injury-free for decades to come.

Football Is Back! Get Ready for Game Day with this Guy-Approved Buffalo Chicken Dip (Shhhh…Don’t Tell Him It’s Healthy, Too)

footballNow that Labor Day weekend is over, it’s time to get ready for football season! The NFL returns to action tomorrow night, and what better way to get ready for game day then by making this delicious buffalo chicken dish, from dietician Michelle Dudash’s book, “Clean Eating for Busy Families.”

The best part about this recipe is that not only does it taste delicious, but it is also healthier than some traditional buffalo chicken dip recipes. Any chance to cut out a few calories during the football season can go a long way in keeping us in game shape. Because while we all want our teams to have a good offensive line, we all don’t want to look like we could play the offensive line.

“This recipe is one of my buffalo-wing loving, meat-eating husband’s favorites. The celery adds nutrients with very few calories, and the yogurt replaces some of the cheese in the dip. It’s the perfect choice for game day, casual get-togethers, and cocktail parties.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Total prep and cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 20 servings, 1/4 cup (30 g) each

  • Two teaspoons (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced 1/8 inch, or 3 mm (1 1/2 cups, or 180 g)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) minced garlic
  • 2 (10 ounce or 280 g) cans of chunk chicken breast, drained (3 cups or 420 g cooked, cubed)
  • 1 cup (250 g) marinara sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) hot sauce (use 1/4 cup or 60 ml, to make it spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) all purpose seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) light mayonnaise
  • 2 cups (460 g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups (145 g) shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese, divided
  • Whole-grain tortilla chips, carrot and celery sticks for dipping

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add celery, white parts of scallions and garlic and cook gently for five minutes until tender but not browned. Add chicken, marinara, hot sauce, seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika and pepper, heat through.

Stir in the mayonnaise. Reduce heat to low and add yogurt, 1 cup (115 g) of cheese and half of the green parts of the scallions.

Pour the dip into the slow cooker set to a low setting and sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup (30 g) of cheese on top. Cover and cook until hot, about 40 minutes. Garnish with remaining scallions and serve with chips, carrots and celery.

Per Serving:

84 Calories
4 gram Total Fat
1 gram Saturated Fat9 grams Protein
2 grams carbohydrate
Trace Dietary Fiber
16 mg cholesterol


Clean Eating For Busy FamiliesAll moms know what a struggle it can be to get dinner on the table night after night—you want to prepare healthy meals for your family, but picky eaters, busy schedules, and way-too-long cooking times always seem to stand in your way.

Clean Eating for Busy Families takes the challenge out of putting delicious food on the family table on a nightly basis by providing you with a clear plan for dinner success. With streamlined weekly grocery lists, simple-yet-delicious recipes, and practical tips for healthy family eating, you’ll find it a cinch to trade in that uninspired takeout for wholesome meals that don’t just put your tummy to ease, but your mind too.

It’s Quick: From easy sautés and casseroles, to slow cooker meals, to pan-less grilling, all the recipes you’ll find inside list both mode and length of cooking time, so there’s no time wasted trying to figure out a time plan or what works best for your schedule. Plus, most recipes can be prepared in thirty minutes or less!

It’s Clean: The ever-growing “clean food” movement, which focuses on a healthy, whole foods-based approach to eating, lies at the foundation of this book, so you can be sure you’re feeding your family the very best. From wholesome ingredient lists to nutritional analysis on every recipe, you can feel confident that every meal you prepare is both nutrient-rich and calorie-conscious.

It’s Green: Featuring eco-friendly tips, along with information on how to go green while shopping and cooking, you’ll find it a cinch to keep your family and the planet happy. You’ll also find the peak season noted on every recipe, as well as substitutions for ingredients that are out of season, so you can adapt according to what works best for you.

And most importantly…it’s delicious! From Orange Peel Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fry with Brown Rice to Baja Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Summer Berry Slump with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, you’ll enjoy night after night of delicious home cooking—without any of the hassle. Get started creating new and exciting dishes for your family today!

Michelle Dudash, R.D., is an award-winning registered dietitian, writer, television personality and recipe developer, and is nationally recognized as an expert in teaching people how health and food can happily co-exist. In her 18 years of food business experience, she earned her certificate as a Cordon Bleu chef, cooked at a Mobil Five Star restaurant, and was a private chef serving guests including English royalty. Michelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. degree in dietetics and a few years later she earned her toque from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Drawing on this expertise, she went on to teach at the Arizona Culinary Institute.

Michelle is the Health Expert for, a website engaging nearly 18 million unique visitors monthly and has her own column. She is also the nutritionist for the web show Delicious Life Challenge. Writers frequently quote her in publications such as Prevention, Family Circle, SELF, Woman’s Day and Women’s World. Michelle contributes regularly to, has written articles for Paramount Farms’,, ADA Times and Raising Arizona Kids, and has written recipes for Sargento, Whole Living, Today’s Diet & Nutrition and Betty Crocker magazines. She lives in Gilbert, AZ.