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Before you form your opinion, consider this…

The Princess Switch

The Christmas countdown is officially on, and with the cold weather setting in and Yule logs and mince pies coming into the shops, we’re feeling more festive than ever.

Now all we need is a new Christmas film to obsess over with a mug of mulled wine, and last week, that is exactly what we got – thank you, Netflix.

The Princess Switch, released last Friday, is this year’s answer to A Christmas Prince, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the two leads in this Parent Trap esque flick, involving a European Duchess switching places with an ordinary baker from Chicago, who looks identical to her, just one week before Christmas. Inevitably they fall in love with each other’s partners, want each other’s lives and somehow everything ties together perfectly in the end.

The Princess Switch

Netflix

I’m not going to lie, there are a few gaping plot holes and I can’t pretend that I understood everything. Why didn’t Stacy report that her blender had been sabotaged and get a new one? Why was the strange old man that kept popping up everywhere to deliver wise quotes never explained? And HOW did the butler Frank De Luca survive that almighty fall off the bridge?

And yet, I loved it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WBhj57fHeI?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&w=630&h=354]

The film has proved to be pretty divisive, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s all pretty unfair.

There’s no point in comparing it to an Academy award winning film because it never pretended to be one – it’s set in a make-believe European country and packed with cliché quotes about Christmas wishes, orphans wanting to be princesses (Hello Princess Diaries 2), fake snow ball fights and makeover musical montage scenes.

Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s the perfect winter film – especially if you’re an over-worked stressed out millennial who just wants to switch off and feel festive.

Sure, if you’re a film buff whose highlight of Christmas is dissecting the artistic camera work of It’s A Wonderful Life, then give this a miss. But if you tend to like films that score less than a 6.3/10 on IMDb and you feel like putting your feet up, this is a must-see.

Here’s why The Princess Switch is well worth a watch…

1. Lady Margaret Delacourt’s wardrobe:

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

The Duchess of Montenaro is impeccably dressed, and the scene where Stacy explores her wardrobe for the first time rivals Carrie Bradshaw‘s SATC big wardrobe reveal. We’re talking Blair Warldorf style berets, Camilla Mendes esque mini skirts and some serious Jackie O inspired tailoring. And don’t even get us started on the red and gold ballgown that she wore to the royal dance – that is reason enough to watch.

2. Robin Soans’ multiple cameos

The big unanswered question from The Princess Switch has to be the identity of the wise old man (played by Robin Soans), who turned up everywhere (even within the palace walls) to deliver some much needed Christmas wisdom. We assume of course that he is a sort of modern day fairy godmother, but still – why doesn’t the character have anything better to do?! How does he know everything?! And did he literally follow Stacy all the way from New York? There are so many questions and we really would have liked some reassurance Netflix. That being said, he did save the day on numerous occasions so we’ll let it slide.

3. Kevin the baker’s bod

Kevin the baker! Who knew that body was hiding under your apron? Well, Lady Margaret does now, but it’s safe to say we were all surprised and understandably, it is of course a highlight.

4. The hilarious British accents

Somehow the accents in the mythical European country of Belgravia (yes, Belgravia!!) are English, same with the country of Montenaro, where Duchess Margaret Delacourt comes from. Get ready for some very clipped old school Mary Poppins style accents. Let’s just say it’s in the same league as Gossip Girl‘s Lord Marcus Beaton.

5. That moment of Inception

In one particular scene, Lady Margaret posing as Stacy and Kevin from The Princess Switch sit down to watch a Christmas film, scrolling past A Christmas Inheritance, before landing on A Christmas Prince. Yes, really. The characters in a Netflix original Christmas film just watched another Netflix original Christmas film. What is real life? We don’t know anymore.

6. The Meghan Markle effect

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Did anyone else think that Stacy as Lady Margaret had elements of Meghan Markle about her? A feminist royal who wanted to have a hands-on approach in terms of official events, and despite being a high profile princess-to-be, insisted on being heard, not just seen. Just saying – we loved the millennial references.

7. The references to other chick flicks

One thing that has really got viewers talking is the inspiration from other romantic comedies. There’s a dancing in a fairy-lit canopy scene that is almost identical to A Cinderella Story, a Parent Trap esque hair cutting scene and even a moment that mirrors a Princess Diaries 2 scene where an orphanage of children get to be princesses for the day. One scene that excited viewers the most however was when Kevin gave Margaret a locket, looking a lot like a High School Musical 2 scene (also starring Vanessa), where Troy gave Gabriella a necklace. Basically, The Princess Switch is an amalgamation of every single romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, and if that’s not reason enough to watch it, we don’t know what is.

Be right back – off to watch this again.

The post Can we all stop unfairly judging The Princess Switch please? appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Absolutely adore anything related to

One of the reasons breastfed infants may have better cognitive and visual development is because human milk contains long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids like the omega-3 DHA, while most available infant formulas do not, based on data I discuss in my video Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Take DHA?. Infants given control formula without DHA didn’t do as well as those given DHA-fortified formula, and neither group did as well as the breastfed infants, who serve as the “gold standard.” This was enough to convince formula manufacturers to start adding DHA to their infant formula starting back in 2002.

The question then became how much to add? Easy, right? Just add the amount that is naturally found in breast milk. However, the DHA level in breast milk is extremely variable depending on what the mom is eating. There are a number of healthy populations who don’t eat any seafood, for example, and they have much lower levels in their milk yet seem fine. So this makes it difficult to determine the optimal amount to add to formula or, for that matter, what to recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women. “Consensus guidelines recommend that women should aim to consume an average of 200 mg” of DHA daily during pregnancy. “Simply encouraging pregnant women to eat more fish is not so simple, because most fish are to some extent contaminated” with toxic pollutants, such as mercury. (See my video Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development for more on this.) For most fish, such as tuna, the brain damage caused by the mercury would exceed the benefit from the DHA.

Additionally, some pollutants, like PCBs, can get stuck in our bodies for decades, so it’s not enough to just eat clean during pregnancy.

What about purified fish oil? The methods supplement manufacturers use, like distillation, leave considerable amounts of PCBs and other pollutants in the products, so much so that when taken as directed, salmon, herring, and tuna oils would exceed the tolerable daily intake of toxicity.

Thankfully, one can get the benefits without the risks by getting DHA from algae instead, which is where the fish eventually get it from themselves. So, pregnant and breastfeeding moms can cut out the middle-fish and get DHA directly from the source—at the bottom of the food chain where we don’t have to worry about toxic pollutants.

Until recently, we thought everyone should take these long-chain omega-3s for their heart. However, the balance of evidence is now such that doctors “should not recommend fish oil intake or fish consumption solely for the primary or secondary prevention of CHD,” coronary heart disease. But what about for expectant and breastfeeding mothers? What does the latest science show? Putting all the studies together, it turns out adding DHA to formula does not appear to help infant cognition after all, similar to other recent compilations of evidence that show “no significant benefit.” In fact, at least four meta-analyses, or systematic reviews, have reached a similar conclusion. These were based mostly on the standard series of measurements known as the Bayley Scales for Infant Development. If other tests were used, would there be different results? So far, no. Giving women DHA supplements during pregnancy did not appear to help with other outcomes, like attention span or working memory, either.

Although there may be no significant benefit to infant cognition, what about other things like vision? Six trials have been done to date supplementing pregnant women. Four showed no effect, and the two trials that showed benefit had some problems. So, while we really don’t know at this point, if all the studies so far show either nothing or benefit, why not just take them to err on the side of caution?

There may not be any demonstrable “clear and consistent” benefits, but there are new studies on this coming out all the time. If it’s harmless, maybe women should just take it to be on the safe side? The problem is that it may not be harmless in large doses. In a study in which women were given a whopping 800mg of DHA a day during pregnancy, infant “girls exposed to higher-dose DHA in utero [in the womb] had lower language scores and were more likely to have delayed language development than girls from the control group.”

So, the “absence of clear positive effects and the possible presence of negative effects in the children raise the question whether DHA supplementation is justifiable…” But it was a really large dose, suggesting that there may be “an optimum DHA level below and above which DHA might be detrimental to the developing brain.”


So, maybe too much is detrimental, but what about too little? I discuss that in Should Vegan Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy.

Other videos on the concerns about the pollutants in the aquatic food chain include:

For more on fish oil, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Read More

Planets best super fan right here

One of the reasons breastfed infants may have better cognitive and visual development is because human milk contains long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids like the omega-3 DHA, while most available infant formulas do not, based on data I discuss in my video Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Take DHA?. Infants given control formula without DHA didn’t do as well as those given DHA-fortified formula, and neither group did as well as the breastfed infants, who serve as the “gold standard.” This was enough to convince formula manufacturers to start adding DHA to their infant formula starting back in 2002.

The question then became how much to add? Easy, right? Just add the amount that is naturally found in breast milk. However, the DHA level in breast milk is extremely variable depending on what the mom is eating. There are a number of healthy populations who don’t eat any seafood, for example, and they have much lower levels in their milk yet seem fine. So this makes it difficult to determine the optimal amount to add to formula or, for that matter, what to recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women. “Consensus guidelines recommend that women should aim to consume an average of 200 mg” of DHA daily during pregnancy. “Simply encouraging pregnant women to eat more fish is not so simple, because most fish are to some extent contaminated” with toxic pollutants, such as mercury. (See my video Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development for more on this.) For most fish, such as tuna, the brain damage caused by the mercury would exceed the benefit from the DHA.

Additionally, some pollutants, like PCBs, can get stuck in our bodies for decades, so it’s not enough to just eat clean during pregnancy.

What about purified fish oil? The methods supplement manufacturers use, like distillation, leave considerable amounts of PCBs and other pollutants in the products, so much so that when taken as directed, salmon, herring, and tuna oils would exceed the tolerable daily intake of toxicity.

Thankfully, one can get the benefits without the risks by getting DHA from algae instead, which is where the fish eventually get it from themselves. So, pregnant and breastfeeding moms can cut out the middle-fish and get DHA directly from the source—at the bottom of the food chain where we don’t have to worry about toxic pollutants.

Until recently, we thought everyone should take these long-chain omega-3s for their heart. However, the balance of evidence is now such that doctors “should not recommend fish oil intake or fish consumption solely for the primary or secondary prevention of CHD,” coronary heart disease. But what about for expectant and breastfeeding mothers? What does the latest science show? Putting all the studies together, it turns out adding DHA to formula does not appear to help infant cognition after all, similar to other recent compilations of evidence that show “no significant benefit.” In fact, at least four meta-analyses, or systematic reviews, have reached a similar conclusion. These were based mostly on the standard series of measurements known as the Bayley Scales for Infant Development. If other tests were used, would there be different results? So far, no. Giving women DHA supplements during pregnancy did not appear to help with other outcomes, like attention span or working memory, either.

Although there may be no significant benefit to infant cognition, what about other things like vision? Six trials have been done to date supplementing pregnant women. Four showed no effect, and the two trials that showed benefit had some problems. So, while we really don’t know at this point, if all the studies so far show either nothing or benefit, why not just take them to err on the side of caution?

There may not be any demonstrable “clear and consistent” benefits, but there are new studies on this coming out all the time. If it’s harmless, maybe women should just take it to be on the safe side? The problem is that it may not be harmless in large doses. In a study in which women were given a whopping 800mg of DHA a day during pregnancy, infant “girls exposed to higher-dose DHA in utero [in the womb] had lower language scores and were more likely to have delayed language development than girls from the control group.”

So, the “absence of clear positive effects and the possible presence of negative effects in the children raise the question whether DHA supplementation is justifiable…” But it was a really large dose, suggesting that there may be “an optimum DHA level below and above which DHA might be detrimental to the developing brain.”


So, maybe too much is detrimental, but what about too little? I discuss that in Should Vegan Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy.

Other videos on the concerns about the pollutants in the aquatic food chain include:

For more on fish oil, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Read More

Anything about this is very important

Before you form your opinion, consider this…

The Princess Switch

The Christmas countdown is officially on, and with the cold weather setting in and Yule logs and mince pies coming into the shops, we’re feeling more festive than ever.

Now all we need is a new Christmas film to obsess over with a mug of mulled wine, and last week, that is exactly what we got – thank you, Netflix.

The Princess Switch, released last Friday, is this year’s answer to A Christmas Prince, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the two leads in this Parent Trap esque flick, involving a European Duchess switching places with an ordinary baker from Chicago, who looks identical to her, just one week before Christmas. Inevitably they fall in love with each other’s partners, want each other’s lives and somehow everything ties together perfectly in the end.

The Princess Switch

Netflix

I’m not going to lie, there are a few gaping plot holes and I can’t pretend that I understood everything. Why didn’t Stacy report that her blender had been sabotaged and get a new one? Why was the strange old man that kept popping up everywhere to deliver wise quotes never explained? And HOW did the butler Frank De Luca survive that almighty fall off the bridge?

And yet, I loved it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WBhj57fHeI?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&w=630&h=354]

The film has proved to be pretty divisive, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s all pretty unfair.

There’s no point in comparing it to an Academy award winning film because it never pretended to be one – it’s set in a make-believe European country and packed with cliché quotes about Christmas wishes, orphans wanting to be princesses (Hello Princess Diaries 2), fake snow ball fights and makeover musical montage scenes.

Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s the perfect winter film – especially if you’re an over-worked stressed out millennial who just wants to switch off and feel festive.

Sure, if you’re a film buff whose highlight of Christmas is dissecting the artistic camera work of It’s A Wonderful Life, then give this a miss. But if you tend to like films that score less than a 6.3/10 on IMDb and you feel like putting your feet up, this is a must-see.

Here’s why The Princess Switch is well worth a watch…

1. Lady Margaret Delacourt’s wardrobe:

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

The Duchess of Montenaro is impeccably dressed, and the scene where Stacy explores her wardrobe for the first time rivals Carrie Bradshaw‘s SATC big wardrobe reveal. We’re talking Blair Warldorf style berets, Camilla Mendes esque mini skirts and some serious Jackie O inspired tailoring. And don’t even get us started on the red and gold ballgown that she wore to the royal dance – that is reason enough to watch.

2. Robin Soans’ multiple cameos

The big unanswered question from The Princess Switch has to be the identity of the wise old man (played by Robin Soans), who turned up everywhere (even within the palace walls) to deliver some much needed Christmas wisdom. We assume of course that he is a sort of modern day fairy godmother, but still – why doesn’t the character have anything better to do?! How does he know everything?! And did he literally follow Stacy all the way from New York? There are so many questions and we really would have liked some reassurance Netflix. That being said, he did save the day on numerous occasions so we’ll let it slide.

3. Kevin the baker’s bod

Kevin the baker! Who knew that body was hiding under your apron? Well, Lady Margaret does now, but it’s safe to say we were all surprised and understandably, it is of course a highlight.

4. The hilarious British accents

Somehow the accents in the mythical European country of Belgravia (yes, Belgravia!!) are English, same with the country of Montenaro, where Duchess Margaret Delacourt comes from. Get ready for some very clipped old school Mary Poppins style accents. Let’s just say it’s in the same league as Gossip Girl‘s Lord Marcus Beaton.

5. That moment of Inception

In one particular scene, Lady Margaret posing as Stacy and Kevin from The Princess Switch sit down to watch a Christmas film, scrolling past A Christmas Inheritance, before landing on A Christmas Prince. Yes, really. The characters in a Netflix original Christmas film just watched another Netflix original Christmas film. What is real life? We don’t know anymore.

6. The Meghan Markle effect

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Did anyone else think that Stacy as Lady Margaret had elements of Meghan Markle about her? A feminist royal who wanted to have a hands-on approach in terms of official events, and despite being a high profile princess-to-be, insisted on being heard, not just seen. Just saying – we loved the millennial references.

7. The references to other chick flicks

One thing that has really got viewers talking is the inspiration from other romantic comedies. There’s a dancing in a fairy-lit canopy scene that is almost identical to A Cinderella Story, a Parent Trap esque hair cutting scene and even a moment that mirrors a Princess Diaries 2 scene where an orphanage of children get to be princesses for the day. One scene that excited viewers the most however was when Kevin gave Margaret a locket, looking a lot like a High School Musical 2 scene (also starring Vanessa), where Troy gave Gabriella a necklace. Basically, The Princess Switch is an amalgamation of every single romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, and if that’s not reason enough to watch it, we don’t know what is.

Be right back – off to watch this again.

The post Can we all stop unfairly judging The Princess Switch please? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Read More

Stuff like this are why everyone loves this page

Haven’t ditched dairy yet?

Here are 6 serious reasons to just do it:

 
ditch dairy1. As per Dr. Michael Klaper, the purpose of cow’s milk is to help a baby calf grow, grow, grow as fast as possible. Dairy is hormonally active…intentionally. But once we are full-sized adults, growth is not a positive thing…it inspires cancer growth and contributes to other health problems.
 
 
2. Upwards of 70% (or more) of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant. The fact that more people than not react with painful gastrointestinal symptoms upon consumption of dairy demonstrates the fact that the human body is not intended to consume it. Doctors and dietitians are now pushing the use of lactase enzymes and other symptom-relieving medications in order to ensure “adequate” intake of dairy products. Yet, if we have to force our bodies to accept something it doesn’t want, shouldn’t that be a sign that something is wrong?
 
3. You do not need dairy for healthy bones. There are excellent plant-sources of calcium that are alkalizing and support bone health. Broccoli, kale, bok choy, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, aditch dairynd fortified plant milks/juices all have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements. In fact, calcium in kale is absorbed 30% better than from dairy!  
 
4. People are always concerned about the phytoestrogens in soy foods. Yet, dairy has estradiol, natural animal/human-based estrogen, which is 10,000 times more potent than environmental or phytoestrogens.
 
5. Dairy, particularly cheese, is the number one source of artery-clogging saturated fats in the diet. Remember, according to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet contains no more than 5-6% of total calories from saturated fat, the amount found in a typical vegan diet.
 
ditch dairy6. There is a currently a wall o’ milks that are plant-based and delicious at your neighborhood grocer. Choose between almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, flax milk, rice milk, chocolate almond milk, horchata rice milk, vanilla soy milk, almond-coconut milk, and the hundreds of other varieties now available. Exciting, decadent, creative, and much healthier….dairy milk is indeed jealous! So jealous that Big Dairy recently approached the FDA to intervene and make it illegal for plant milks to be called “milk.” However, consumers are not buying plant-based milk because they’ve been tricked into believing they actually came from a cow. They’re buying plant milk because it’s healthier, cruelty-free, and easier on our planet.
 
Eat plants. Drink plants. For your health.

The post Six Serious Reasons to Just Ditch Dairy appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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