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Pumpkin Projects’ Valeria Miglioli: Too long we’ve been flooded with toys for a quick sale and no longevity – Toy News

Having spent 16 years heading up product development at Fiesta Crafts, Valeria Miglioli has made her return to the scene with a clear cut and defined message to present to the market; that this is an industry that should always strive to be better than what it was before.

Its in her latest reincarnation within the toy space that Miglioli now heads up the design consultancy she founded in recent months, Pumpkin Projects, to present the very messages that she believes are important for the improvement of not only the industry itself, but the way in which children learn and develop through play. Its why, under Pumpkin Projects, Migliolis time is now divided between not only designing and consulting on product design, but research into new ways of play.

After 16 years working at Fiesta, it was time to start something on my own where I could solely concentrate on developing toys with purpose, seeking out like-minded companies and individuals, nationally and internationally, that have the same passion as me for making toys that matter; that enrich, stimulate, and educate, she tells ToyNews.

I want to explore the use of a different perspective to design, one that cares about how things are made and why. One that values individuals and resources, and one that is dedicated to the longevity of the toy market.

Miglioli officially launched Pumpkin Projects at the end of 2019, and has in that time tackled topics ranging from the promotion of outdoor play and the furthering of the industrys knowledge and recognition of its potential role to play within it, to the circular economy, and its intrinsic link with the concept of imaginative, free play. Then, Covid-19 struck, and the product designer and researcher was forced to think out her strategies all over again.

Here, ToyNews catches up with Miglioli to discuss Pumpkin Projects and the many causes she is fighting for in the progression and improvement of the international toy industry.

Hello Valeria, many in the industry will know you from Fiesta Crafts. So, why is now the right time for you to be taking Pumpkin Projects to the next level?

At Fiesta I was in charge of all aspects of product development; I managed the research, analysis and idea generation, I sourced, liaised and negotiated with manufacturers, dealt with the safety aspects as well as inventing and designing the products. The knowledge I gained over the years has been invaluable, so I felt it was time for me to utilise my expertise and skills for what I consider meaningful and considered designs.

I want to explore the use of a different perspective to design, one that cares about how things are made and why. One that values individuals and resources, and one that is dedicated to the longevity of the toy market.

I officially launched Pumpkin Projects at the end of 2019 and have been involved with a variety of very exciting and diverse projects since the beginning, which has been fantastic. Fast forward a few months, and due to the coronavirus, I have had to reassess my original plans, but where there are challenges, there are also real positives and some amazing opportunities.

When we caught up, some of the topics you highlighted as areas of passion for you were free play, the circular economy, and outdoor learning. All of these no doubt resonate with many in the industry looking to innovate and incite change. What is it about these topics in particular that excite you?

Imaginative and free play have been at the core of my practice since the beginning. I have always believed this way of play is one of the most significant contributors to child development and wellbeing.

In my opinion, for too long the toy market has been flooded with toys made for a quick sale with no longevity. They are designed to grab the attention but engage children for just a short time before becoming inevitable landfill. We cannot continue like this.

Toys should be designed to allow children to build confidence, explore ideas and be creative. To take curiosity as far as it goes.

Children need the freedom to express themselves, they need the opportunity to make mistakes, get things wrong and then, of course, to discover a solution. I strongly believe in facilitating the development of essential skills through play. Toys can be made to help build resilience, learn about social skills, boost creativity, promote innovation and learn decision-making skills; all of this while having fun.

When it comes to the circular economy, I can say that I have been keen to implement a sustainable approach to toy design for quite some time; I think this is the responsible way to go, in fact, the only way to go. The more I research, the more passionately I feel about this and increasingly, I can see many possibilities for the toy industry.

Circular products, materials and businesses are taking shape more and more, disrupting business as usual with future-fit solutions that are better for people, the planet and profits. We need to make meaningful changes to the way we do things; this is the time to move forward and encourage a positive change across the whole network suppliers, manufacturers, customers and end consumers.

My consultancys foundation is based on solid research. One area of particular interest is studying different approaches to learning. Our education system, for obvious reasons, teaches in one way and everyone has to fit within that mould. I can see even from my own two boys that they learn in very different ways. Working with education specialists I can see there are some fantastic opportunities here to make a real difference.

I have become increasingly interested in the idea of outdoor learning. Denmark is a prime example of Uderskol. They have embraced outdoor activity in its schools for decades, several schools have even made it compulsory for outdoor learning to take place. Other pioneering countries such as Finland and New Zealand are also good examples. In the UK things are moving in the same direction, slowly, but at least it is a start. I am excited to see more of this as a standard way to teach/learn/experience as it has such positive implications across the board.

So lets explore the idea of outdoor learning some more. How has this area developed or hit upon a need to develop in the past year or so? Have the past three months sped things up a bit at all?

Outdoor learning has been around for at least 20 years in some countries. Over recent years, we have also seen some examples of outdoor learning in the UK. Unfortunately, it is not consistently practised in mainstream schools. Forest school is a good example, my children were able to attend a few days of forest school with their classes during last school year and they absolutely loved the experience. I know of schools which integrate woodlands/beach based learning weekly; but still, a very small percentage of children are fortunate enough to be able to take part in these activities.

It is important to note that it is not necessary to have large outdoor areas available even small spaces can help to bring learning alive, allowing exploration and creativity to take place in new ways.

Outdoor learning is not exclusively a way to connect with nature or being physically active. Research shows the benefits of learning in the outdoors, of how it can support the development of self-confidence, social skills, motivation and concentration, not to mention an improvement in language and communication skills.

It is increasingly being shown to be beneficial to the development of the whole child. Actually, Monica Guerra, professor of Human Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca sums it up beautifully. She says: Doing school outdoors amplifies the positive effects on learning and stimulates the cognitive and emotional processes that favour it. Children improve attention and concentration, improve their behaviour and the passion for learning is stimulated. Being outdoors is not a simple outlet, but a true ally for concentration.

Following lockdown and recent press coverage, there is probably a more mainstream knowledge of outdoor learning, although most people probably think the positive effects are limited to the open air (safer as opposed to being inside a classroom) and this being an easier way to practice social distancing between children; but there is so much more to it than that.

I am developing ideas for resources, toys, equipment and activities which can support all kinds of learning, but also encourage teamwork and be mentally stimulating. Im researching how the concept of outdoor learning can be applied to everyday life, especially for children living in cities.

The circular economy is a massive topic and one weve seen some of the biggest names attempt to tackle in their own ways. From the ground level how do you start to design this idea into products? How receptive to the message do you think the toy industry is at the moment?

As designers, we need to take a lead. Product design is front and centre of this; innovative design solutions need to consider the entire lifecycle of a product, from raw materials, through production, distribution and use, all the way to end-of-use recycling, repair-ability and disposal. This is something I am passionate about and I have undertaken extensive research into eco-design and looked at how this applies to my design process by asking: where are the main environmental impacts of specific products? What can be done at the design stage to minimise these impacts?

The toy industry is increasingly receptive to the sustainability message, as we have seen in recent years, but the circular economy goes far beyond recycling or the use of recycled materials. As well as the design of the products, we need to consider the design of the business model too. I am well aware this can be hard for smaller companies, but I am also seeing this as a great opportunity to engage with the end consumer in a new and positive way doing well by doing good.

There are also challenges because of the nature of the toy industry, with safety requirements being one of the main aspects, as well as the way mainstream toys are made and sold.

If the fashion industry (possibly the most seasonal industry of all) can make meaningful changes I have total trust in the toy industry as a whole going forward. Our best chance is with collaboration and change across the whole network from the suppliers and manufacturers, customers and end consumers.

Many companies will likely have to start by using an incremental approach and learning from each project to build their confidence, but I am positive we can get very close to a complete circular economy over time. Ultimately we will have even more new materials, technology developments andmore knowledge of the processes which will mean circular business will be more resilient, competitive and successful.

Wed be really interested to get your thoughts on free play. How do you tackle this topic from a design point of view? How are consumer mind-sets changing when it comes to free-play?

I have always believed this is the kind of play children get the most from. Since my time at university and my first experiences with toy design, and my many years with Fiesta, I have always focused on open-ended toys, toys that encourage the use of imagination and facilitate learning through play.

From a design point of view, my idea is to develop toys which have the potential of being tools that aid free play. Simpler toys allow for the highest creativity as these can be used in more than one way to encourage imagination, but this doesnt necessarily mean boring toys. But there are challenges, primarily getting the message across to parents. A branded, advertised easy to understand box on a shelf is much more readily picked up than a toy that requires explanation.

It is difficult to change consumer behaviour, although these ways of play and the toys used are ideal products for the children, it is difficult, at times, for adults to easily understand the real benefits. Will the ever-increasing online sales make this less of an issue? Is the new generation of parents/carers more aware and actively looking to support their children with this kind of play?

During lockdown, children have had more free time to experiment with free play and parents have had the chance of spending more time observing their children while playing. This, together with the opportunity of interacting together more as a family and discovering which toys or activities were a success or not, may well have established a deeper appreciation of the positives of free-play for the wider public. Parents are more likely to seek out new kinds of toys for learning and entertainment.

So how have the past three months have influenced change over the kind of toys children are looking for?

This is very hard to tell as this is completely dependent on the different experiences during the lockdown, the relationships within each family and personal circumstances. The market at the moment is in a very fluid state, things are changing quickly and, in this current climate, what is right boils down to how people are feeling right now so it is hard to predict what will be in the following months or next year.

But I can try to speculate on what I hope the future may bring: I think there will be a sense of nostalgia for old favourite toys and games and classic brands. New passions and experiences formed during lockdown will not disappear once the restrictions are eased. I want to believe family games and activities will still be seen with positivity. The rediscovery of the outdoors and exploring nature, regardless of the seasons, will be necessary for childrens physical and mental health. I also think that, despite the economic situation, consumers will be looking at better quality products and wont be scared off by higher prices if the value is there.

I am currently working on a research project titled The Changing Nature of Play during Lockdown what can we learn? with a leading social and cultural research studio. We want to gain insight into what families nationwide have learnt about how their children play and how the experience has changed the way they view toys. This will be a well-informed tool for creating better playing experiences for families hereafter.

Whats the next step for Pumpkin Projects? Who will you be looking to lead innovation and change in this sense from here?

I will be working on more research and implementation of the core areas I am passionate about with my designs. I hope to further collaborate with international brands looking at a different approach to design following this vision.

I hope to be instrumental for smaller manufacturers and individuals who may find the idea of making major changes to their current business and product design models overwhelming, or too disruptive.

I also aim to circulate the report on the research project we are undertaking about the changing nature of play, this will be key for insight-led product development for other companies in the toy industry, not only for my design practice.

I believe toys are a vital part of our society and toy companies help shape culture through what they choose to represent. As we progress, we should always strive to be better than we were before; we have the opportunity to be defined by what we do. I have complete trust the toy industry will be up for the challenge!

If you are interested in knowing more details about my design consultancy Pumpkin Projects, my services and expertise, or if you want to know more about my research project and any of the aspects discussed, you can find more information at http://www.pumpkinprojects.com or can email me directly val@pumpkinprojects.com.

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Pumpkin Projects' Valeria Miglioli: Too long we've been flooded with toys for a quick sale and no longevity - Toy News

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Readers Write: Racist letters have no place in this paper – Opinions – The Island Now

Lifelong Great Neck resident here, one among many who was disappointed to read yesterdays editorial essentially defending your publication of the nonsense (your words) and salacious (my words) opinion piece by Joan Swirsky. Where does one begin?

While I sympathize with your point about not having the resources to properly fact-checkknowing how under-funded and under-staffed media, especially local ones, are these daysI simply have to question your editorial judgment. What part of Ms. Swirksys piece did you think was fit to print? Was it her disparagement of public education, in the newspaper of a town that prides itself on having one of the top public school systems in the country? Or was it the tantalizing title that drew you in, obvious clickbait that would bring more readers to your site? Anyone in any editorial position would take one look at that title alone and surmise that its only purpose was to stir division.

Dont know what camp you fall into but in my book, racial justiceand quite frankly, all areas of human rightsisnotand should not be a partisan issue. If these last six weeks have revealed anything, it is that everyone, regardless of their background or political affiliation, is responsible for both the longevity and thus the dismantling of the corrosive systems that divide us; anything less, neutral, or to the contrary reinforces those power structures that doomed this nation from the start. Running a well-argued piece about how Republican policies may help Black Americans? I may be intrigued! Running a piece that leans on overt racist stereotypes about Black Americans to further a conservative agenda? Part of the problem.

To that point, Id also like to call your attention to the piece of this editorial that identified Ms. Swirskys piece as at least not explicitly racist. This is, first, categorically untrue, apropos the aforementioned reliance on racial stereotypes (e.g., the welfare queen). But it also makes me wonder: What do you consider to be explicit racism? Is implicit racism alright with you, and does it fit with the ideals of the publication you run? Are you unaware of the lasting psychological harmthat racial stereotypes and microaggressions can leave on Black Americans and other Americans of color? What is less harmful about allowing a white resident to wield inane stereotypes about Blackness to bolster her claim to know anything about the plight of Black Americans compared to our Embarrassment of a President retweeting a video of white supremacists chanting All Lives Matter? Did you ever once consider how somealready-alienatedBlack residents of Great Neck might feel reading a piece like Ms. Swirskys? These arent rhetorical questions, I am genuinely curious to know.

But the most confusion piece of your editorial came in the concluding paragraphs:

Perhaps after the construction of Confederate statutes, the naming of military bases after traitors who attacked the United States government to protect slavery and decades of race-baiting politicians a letter in our papers would make a difference in the promotion of racism. But we dont think censoring bad ideas serves democracy best.

It is lost on me why you would think to compare journalism to the erection of Confederatestatues(which, by the way, is the correct term for a constructed monument;statutesrefer to written laws passed by a legislative body). Im actually not even sure what you are trying to say here, given the general lack of coherence, but I have read this in two ways. Either one, you have only now just begun to consider the possibility that giving voice to hateful ideas (and poorly argued ones at that) in your publication continues our countrys long and painful tradition of glorifying racist people and power structures. This would make your publication of pieces like Ms. Swirskys, at best, a pitiful lapse in editorial judgment.

But I cannot help but read this tone as being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a confession that you do not believe the contents of your own paper make a difference. It is baffling that a newspaper editor would undermine the efficacy of its own publication in an editorial that, on the whole, makes a claim for the protection of the First Amendment right to free speech of all kinds, an amendment that allows publications like this one to exist. By this interpretation, your statement makes it painfully clear how you allowed such an egregiously offensive piece to run: Even you do not think the contents of your own newspaper matter.

Most of all, I am struggling to understand the logic behind your argument that in order to defend democracy, we must make space for ideas and thoughts that are not only antithetical to that ideal, but that directly undermine it. I love words; I believe in words. But I also believe the word democracy has become somewhat empty: yes, an ideal on which this country was founded, but one that has become abstracted to absurdity by conservatives and members of the far-right, under the guise of upholding systems under which democracy has failed.

It is not that I think democracy as an idealone that advocates for liberty and justice for allis a pipe dream; it is just that, as it stands now, it is still just an ideal, a distant hope that has yet to be realized. Remember that when our founding fathers founded this government as a democracy, its definition was limited to white men of property; still today, it is a word behind which our leadersgenerally similarly privileged cisgender heterosexual white menhave hidden in order to stall progress. And while people like Ms. Swirsky may believe we have achieved equality, everything from the last six weekshell, the last four yearshas proven otherwise. So please forgive me if I think wielding democracy as a defense in support of your failures on the job a weak debate tactic.

Simple request: the next time you think of publishing a navel-gazing piece about the purpose of journalism todefend your inability to properly do your job, please just do your job instead.

Nicole Biton

Great Neck

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COVID-19 to Impact Demand Growth of Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market Competitive Outlook by 2027 | Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eli Lilly and…

The Report Titled on Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market which provides COVID19 Impact analysis on Market Size (Production, Capacity, Value, Values & Consumption), Regional and Country-Level Market Size, Segmentation Market Growth, Market Share, Competitive Landscape, Sales Analysis, Impact of Domestic and Market Players. Testosterone Replacement Therapy Market detailed study of historical and present/future market data. Economic growth, GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and inflation are some of the elements included in this report to offer crystal clear picture of the Testosterone Replacement Therapy industry at global level.

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The key players profiled in this report include: AbbVie, Inc., Bayer AG, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Kyowa Kirin International plc, Pfizer, Inc., Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and Perrigo Company plc.

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By Active Ingredient TypeTestosteroneMethyl TestosteroneTestosterone UndecanoateTestosterone EnanthateTestosterone CypionateBy Route of AdministrationInjectablesParenteral

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Years considered for this report:

Historical Years: 2014-2018

Base Year: 2019

Estimated Year: 2020

Forecast Period: 2020-2027

Objective of the Study:

To analyze and forecast the market size of the Global market.

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Coherent Market Insights is a prominent market research and consulting firm offering action-ready syndicated research reports, custom market analysis, consulting services, and competitive analysis through various recommendations related to emerging market trends, technologies, and potential absolute dollar opportunity.

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When healthy eating becomes unhealthy: orthorexia – Patch.com

Healthy eating is a bedrock of healthy living. It can help people maintain a healthy weight, ward off diseases and boost energy.

Could a healthy-eating habit reach a point where it's an unhealthy obsession?

Experts are increasingly looking at a disorder known as orthorexia, or an obsession with healthy eating, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

It's not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, but experts say it's becoming more common. Orthorexia starts out as a focus on healthy eating, but morphs into an unhealthy fixation on food quality.

The focus on food quality sets orthorexia apart from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, which tend to have more of a focus on quantity of food consumed.

While it begins as a healthy trend, those with orthorexia can become so restrictive in their choice of food that it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and lowered quality of life.

People with orthorexia can get frustrated when their eating plan is thwarted, feel guilt and self-loathing when they go off their strict schedule, and spend a significant amount of time planning meals and researching food.

Watch for these warning signs of orthorexia:

Social media and the "clean eating" trend can push people toward orthorexia. It's a difficult-to-diagnose disorder, as those with it appear to be living a healthy lifestyle. Some with orthorexia focus on eating only organic foods. Some eliminate all sugar, fat and salt. Often the person eats an increasingly restrictive diet.

A combination of therapy and education can help people recover from orthorexia.

Linden Oaks Behavioral Health is known throughout the Chicago area for its comprehensive eating disorder services, which provide group therapy, individual/family therapy, nutrition education and exercise counseling to help individuals address complex psychological issues while treating physical and dietary needs. For more information, visit http://www.EEHealth.org/services/behavioral-health.

For updates on COVID-19, check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

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When healthy eating becomes unhealthy: orthorexia - Patch.com

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The Ultimate Guide to Nutritionists and Dietitians in Philly – Philadelphia magazine

Looking for some help with eating healthfully? Heres who you can turn to in the Philadelphia area.

Philly nutritionists and dietitians, like OnPoint Nutritions team, will help you navigate all your food-related needs. / Photograph courtesy of OnPoint Nutrition.

Whether youre looking to develop a healthier relationship with food, create personalized meal plans, or eat in accordance with allergies or chronic illness, these Philly-based nutritionists and dietitians can help. (This list isnt comprehensive for the region, but we found some of our best pros to highlight here.) Bonus: If they werent previously online, these experts are now offering virtual sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 700, Rittenhouse

Owned by registered dietitian Kristen Raebiger Shaheen, this Rittenhouse-based nutrition biz wants to help you do what their name implies: balance your health. In one-on-one sessions, youll receive an in-depth nutritional assessment, tailored meal plans, and continued support to keep you accountable. Raebiger Shaheen also offers corporate services, including onsite nutrition counseling and lunch-and-learn workshops.

1901 South 9th Street, South Philadelphia

Registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Auguste strives to help busy parents and those with packed schedules prioritize their own healthy living. (She should know on top of running her own business, shes a mom!) In addition to nutrition counseling, Auguste offers a series for new moms, a coronavirus-catalyzed online program, and virtual grocery assistance.

Cristina Hoyt, an integrative clinical nutritionist and body image coach, utilizes weight inclusive, non-diet, and Health At Every Size principles into her practice. Her evidence-based approach emphasizes health improvement, but also joyful consumption and sustainable self-care. Hoyt offers both 30-minute check-ins and consistent bi-weekly meetings.

The goal of registered dietitian nutritionist Alexis Newman is to help women cultivate joy and peace in their eating habits. She also has expertise in supporting those with medical conditions and chronic illness. Depending on your needs, Newman provides one-, three-, and six-month commitment packages.

In addition to being a clinical dietitian for Penn Medicine, Jenny Friedman has her own practice specializing in feeding therapy for children with autism. Her personalized coaching encourages severely picky eaters to try new foods, while also providing parents practical tools to improve their childs sensory food aversions.

Her Instagram bio says it all: Dont call me if you want diet advice. Registered dietitian Julie Lichtman advocates for intuitive eating, as food should be both nourishing and enjoyable. Her skill-building approach motivates clients to add in healthy foods, rather than restrict certain food groups. Even better, Lichtman runs cooking classes, so you can learn how to make healthy, delicious meals.

200 West Washington Square, Suite 120, Washington Square West

Located in Washington Square West, Key Nutrition offers a range of nutritional counseling, including medical nutrition therapy, youth and family services, guided market tours, and pantry takeovers. Plus, they run a food-focused seminar every month to help clients improve their cooking techniques and meal prepping.

With over 10 years of experience, Liz McMahon has worked with premature infants in the ICN, oncology patients, and folks with GI issues. As a registered dietitian nutritionist focused on gut health, she virtually coaches individuals who are living with IBS, colitis, Crohns, celiac, GERD, and food allergies and intolerances.

1835 South Broad Street and 1025 Mifflin Street, South Philadelphia

Founded by registered dietitian nutritionist Lisa Rudi-Davis, Nourish Philly incorporates nutrition education into every session so that clients become more and more knowledgeable about their health journey. Her services include personalized weight management, disease prevention, and healthy shopping and meal planning.

100 North 18th Street, Suite 300, Center City

Center City-based Nourishmnt is a body positive nutrition counseling service that wants you to ditch your yo-yo dieting and begin eating intuitively. Owner Diana Marlin, a registered dietitian, also supports clients living with eating disorders, diabetes, and heart disease.

1512 South Street, Graduate Hospital

Nutrition Unlimited uses medical nutrition therapy to enhance clients healthy lifestyle and overall wellness. Through behavior modification and custom strategies, the team which is made up of registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators will make sure you get exactly what you need.

1010 North Hancock Street, Northern Liberties

Founded by registered dietitian Dalina Soto, Nutritiously Yours is all about balance, meaning you dont have to eliminate your love for white rice or ice cream. Through private virtual or in-person sessions, Soto will help teach you how to make responsible food choices within your own cultural cuisine in order to live longer and healthier. Bonus: Soto is bilingual, so your meetings can be in English, Spanish, or a mix of both.

350 South 15th Street, Rittenhouse

OnPoints team of registered dietitians and nutritionists are anti-diet, meaning their programs are more focused on food moderation and healthy living, rather than on counting calories and restriction. With weekly one-on-one virtual sessions, youll work with your coach to achieve the nutrition goals that best support your unique lifestyle whether that involves food allergies, IBS, or plant-based eating.

Philly Dietitian founder Theresa Shank provides a range of nutritional counseling services, including sports performance, prenatal, eating disorders, GI issues, and disease prevention. She also consults for Philly fitness studios, including KG Strong and B3 Fitness.

Pure Green Wellness is the brainchild of Melissa Green Henkin, Philly-based nutritionist, health coach, and yoga teacher. In personalized one-on-one sessions, shell help you through whatever nutrition-related roadblock youre working through. From her program, you can expect up to 11 30-minute meetings, virtual support, and recipes for easy-to-make healthy meals.

325 Chestnut Street, Unit 800, Old City

Led by registered dietitian nutritionist Ha Nguyen, Yummy Body Nutrition aims to eliminate barriers to nutritional support. Thats why they partner with doctors, offer evening and weekend hours for in-person sessions (which are temporarily on hold), and phone and video consults. They also provide a fitness-oriented program, as well as in-home culinary services.

Want to hear more from us? Join Be Well Philly at:FACEBOOK|INSTAGRAM|NEWSLETTER|TWITTER

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Column: What’s A Healthy Drink Limit & Type – Bernews

[Opinion column written by Agathe Holowatinc]

Its summertime!

That means boat parties, raft ups, weddings and other celebrations, evenings out, live music and amazing DJs, beach parties, pool parties, and more! If you know me, I love to dance and to celebrate important occasions, and I feel that life is truly meant to be enjoyed to the fullest.

However, for a lot of people, this brings up the question of alcohol. In fact, this time of year the most frequent questions I get asked are about alcohol. For instance, if you want to have the occasional alcoholic drink, should you stick to soda water based at all times?

So, heres my post to you with my recommendations, and Ive brought in a guest nutrition coach to also share her thoughts and tips.

Guests first, lets dive into what Kristin Peterson has to say on the topic of drinks:

Tips From Nutrition Coach Kristin Peterson

Such a big topic for one little post, but also such a big factor for some in their fat loss journeys.

When we drink, our bodies recognize alcohol as a toxin and, like any other toxin, turns its full attention towards processing it as quickly as possible to get rid of it. When this happens, our bodies actually stop or slow other vital processes, including metabolising our food. So, on top of adding calories in itself [even low-calorie drinks are typically around 100 cal/glass], it means that the calories you have already eaten arent being processed in the way they should be. For someone trying to lose body fat, this can really stall or stop progress [or reverse progress!] if its not being consciously managed.

Full disclosure: I drink. This pic was taken on my last day in the office back in March, as I transitioned to WFH. I love a glass of wine, but it is something I actively manage in order to enjoy it without derailing my own goals.

Tips [to mix and match depending on your goals and lifestyle]

Thank you to Kristin Peterson for these helpful tips! You can follow her Instagram at @kpnutritionbda.

My Recommendations

My highest recommendation is to stick to non-alcoholic beverages, like a juice [a clean one without sugar] with sparkling water, a Mojito without alcohol [my fave! especially when made with honey instead of sugar and syrups see photo below], sparkling water with fruit in it, or even a pina colada without alcohol [depends on what they make it with though! Best made at home with real, whole food ingredients, instead of sugary syrups!].

That way, youre hydrating your body and nourishing your cells, while enjoying a chilled beverage in a social situation.

And my biggest recommendation: bring the fun with you in your personality instead of inside a cup!

I would 100% avoid or greatly limit sodas like ginger beer, coke, sprite, etc.

If youre really into having an alcoholic beverage, the healthiest thing to do would be to stick to wine, beer or champagne. Three- servings tops, to keep it somewhat healthy, and remember to take water or something non-alcoholic in-between servings so that you stay hydrated and clear out those toxins efficiently!

I love Kristins tips about alternating drinks with water, and you can even ask the bartender to make your drinks half actual drink and half sparkling water, so that at 2 drinks, youre actually at 1 alcoholic beverage, and at 6, youre actually at 3.

However, even with 3 servings, its not healthy to enjoy that many every single day! I would say that maybe twice or three times a week max for alcohol intake. Max. And if you are currently taking any medications, be sure to check that drinking does not interfere with the effectiveness or cause negative side effects.

There are also new products out there that are lower in alcohol and even organic and using healthier ingredients that can be purchased in Bermuda at Miles or Lindos; for instance, Seedlip or social sparkling wine.

Seedlip: Seedlip is the worlds first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, solving the ever-growing dilemma of what to drink when youre not drinking. It is based on the distilled non-alcoholic remedies from The Art of Distillation written in 1651, and now repurposed to pioneer a new category of drinks. Seedlip is sugar-free and sweetener-free.

We carefully source and select herbs, spices, peels and barks, working closely with growers and fellow farmers including our own farm to find the very best ingredients that our master distiller can work with. Seedlip takes six weeks to make & involves bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation, blending & filtration for each individual ingredient.

It is then blended and bottled in England. We are transparent about our ingredients, but as we are the first people to make distilled non-alcoholic spirits, we cant share all the details of our methods!

It comes in three flavours but I have not tried them yet; it may be something to check out. It meets a lot of my criteria for what I would drink. You can find it at Miles. Here is their FAQ. As always, be careful to not mix it with sugar-laden juices or pop.

SOCIAL claims to be the cleanest alcohol available, organic, sulfite-free, low in calories, as noted on their website: SOCIAL is one of the most innovative and fastest growing alcohol brands today and were here to help you live your best life! While other canned wines contain an average of 150 calories, 10g of sugar, and 9g of carbs in a 12oz. can, SOCIAL scores big at only 88 calories, 1g of sugar, and 4 carbs.

Plus were the only USDA certified organic canned wine on the market and our alcohol is from fermented brown rice instead of sugar. Compare us to the other guys and see why were the cleanest and tastiest choice! The % alcohol seems to run at about 4%.

Another new item is called White Claw Hard Seltzer by Made Pure but it has sugar, natural flavours and runs at about 5% alcohol. The highlight is that its just 100 calories a serving. This is not something I would select though, even though its mostly sparkling water.

If you must have spirits, well, I am 100% not in favour of that for anyones health. That said, it is a bit better to have a spirit with soda water instead of a mix of sugary juices or soda pops, yes [to answer the question sent to me that I posted above].

However, alcohol is a toxin nonetheless, even when taken with sparkling water, spiking blood sugar levels, hijacking your metabolism, dehydrating your skin, wreaking havoc on brain function and health, harming the liver and affecting other systems in the body negatively. Again, if you choose to have spirits, then I recommend 2 to 3 max, with healthy, nourishing, hydrating beverages in-between servings.

Too much alcohol also really kills body composition goals, messes with hormones, negatively affects sleep, deflates peoples motivation to exercise, it causes people to eat foods that are super bad for the body and make decisions otherwise that are not healthy overall [impaired driving, unsafe sexual health practices, etc.].

I always just try to bring the fun with me to the beach, boat or party by checking in with myself and getting my physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health to a high vibration before I head out to be with others; there are lots of activities that enable us to do that.

When To Check In With Yourself

If you feel the pull to drink too frequently, contact me and Ill send you a self-assessment for alcohol usage to determine if you should maybe slow it down or cut it out entirely. No obligation to sign up for my nutrition coaching sessions or anything. Its my gift to you.

Also, if you find youre too stressed with life overall and feel you need to drink, its time to reassess your life overall career, family, relationships, home environment, purpose, spirituality, physical activity, nutrition, etc, for where toxicity exists and/or you feel massively undernourished or completely over stressed.

You may be in a state of what is known as adrenal fatigue. Contact me for a free consultation to see if I can help you make positive changes towards wholeness and happiness without the use of substances like alcohol. Bonus: Im writing about combating adrenal fatigue in my next email look out for that.

I can also assist if youre thinking of going off alcohol and want to do a nutritional detox or liver cleanse to rev your body systems up to where they havent been in a while.

Interesting Video: Things That Happen When You Stop Drinking Alcohol For A Month

This is a fun video, super easy to watch, I found it a few days ago and its hardly scientific but very accurate nonetheless. An easy watch, it offers some food for thought, including how you increase your net worth when you quit drinking and you have an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Final Thought

Remember: Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle Jules Robson

Hope this helpful feel free to forward this message to someone you care about.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

- Agathe Holowatinc is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, co-founder and director at FUELLED Bermuda Ltd., published author, health food private chef and health industry entrepreneur. She is a passionate advocate of real food, holistic approaches to health and communicating big ideas in a simple way. Visit fuelledlife.com or call or WhatsApp on 532-0426.

Opinion columns reflect the views of the writer, and not those of Bernews Ltd. To submit an Opinion Column/Letter to the Editor, please email info@bernews.com. Bernews welcomes submissions, and while there are no length restrictions, all columns must be signed by the writers real name.

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All you wanted to know about portability in insurance – BusinessLine

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having an insurance policy. Many insurance covers, particularly health covers, are constantly updated to address new and emerging health issues. If policyholders want a health policy with wider coverage, then they can use the portability option to switch to a new policy, instead of buying multiple policies.

In 2011, the insurance regulator IRDAI allowed porting of health insurance policies. Portability is the process by which you as a policy-holder can transfer your current health policy to another health policy with a different insurer or to a different policy of the same insurer. Through this process, you can also carry the current benefits to the new health policy. The policy-holder is also qualified to transfer all the continuity benefit such as free medical check-up and no-claim bonus (accumulation of points or reward given by an insurer to a policy-holder for making no claims during the policy term), which were acquired during the previous policy.

The porting option is available for individual as well family-floater policies issued by non-life insurers. Policy-holders can even switch from group insurance to an individual health plan, without compromising on the benefits of the previous health policy.

Reasons to port from one insurer to another can include bad service, higher co-payment (cost-sharing arrangement where the policy-holder pays a certain percentage of the claim from his/her pocket) or higher sub-limits (cap on coverage for a particular treatment), increase in family members (spouse or children), and availability of better coverages and cashless facilities.

Portability of the health policy comes with key benefits. One, if a policy-holder has already served the initial waiting period (30 days), the pre-existing waiting period (ranging from 24-36 months) and the disease-specific waiting period, then it will be waived in the new policy.

The no-claim bonus that you have accumulated can also be ported. However, do keep in mind that when you port, the premium will be calculated on the higher SI; including the NCB.

One of the biggest benefits of porting your health policy is that you get the latest policy which usually comes with wider coverages and better benefits such as reward points for a healthy lifestyle, wealth benefits (such as higher points for being fit), OPD covers, telemedicine and counselling. And porting procedures these days are made fairly simple and can be done online with minimal documentation requirements.

While there are advantages to porting a health policy, there are downsides as well. If you as a policy-holder decide to port your existing health policy, keep in mind that you have to port at least 30 days prior to the premium renewal date of the health policy, and not during the policy. You can only port between similar policies. For instance, if you have a regular health policy, you cannot port to a critical illness policy.

Also, the policy-holder might be subject to medical-check up as well. If the policy-holder is continuously covered in the previous policy without any break for four years or more, migration shall be allowed without any underwriting/medical checks (to the extent of the sum insured). Further, for the same SI, your premium payment may increase in case of any new health complication or higher age.

Note that there are chances that your new insurer may reject your porting request if your health status does not match their terms and conditions.

Whether you port or not, its best to know your rights.

A weekly column that puts fun into learning

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Malta’s Got An Obesity Problem – Here’s How Health Authorities Are Planning On Tackling It – Lovin Malta

Malta was recently reminded that its citizens are some of the obese people in Europe after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson casually brought it up in a quip.

However, obesity is a serious problem that the islands health authorities are trying to fight. Lovin Malta spoke to Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci to see what Maltas doing to beat the growing problem.

In 2013, one-third of Maltese 15-year-olds were found to be overweight or obese; in 2017, over a quarter of Maltese adults were found to be obese.

For Gauci, this excess weight is a factor that could potentially reduce ones own positive life experience and wellbeing. Even though the Maltese population enjoys a high life expectancy (82.4 years in 2017), obesity can seriously affect this.

We wanted to develop a multi-factorial approach to the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) seeking to address the many challenges being experienced to maintain a healthy weight across the population through tackling common risk factors, Gauci said.

As it stands, Maltas initiatives are inline with the policies outlined in the Healthy Weight for Life Strategy (2012-2020).

Back in 2012, the government had launched the strategy, highlighting the importance of healthy eating and including a number of measures primarily focusing on areas related to nutrition and physical activity.

Then in 2015, the development of the Food and Nutrition Action Plan (FNAP) provided a more detailed framework when it comes to eating good food.

Obesity has a multifactorial origin with the obesogenic environment resulting from a combination of influences which promote obesity within individuals and the population. These include lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity patterns, cultural and environmental factors, social, economic and infrastructural factors, Gauci said.

Maltas health authorities had placed childhood obesity as a priority area during the Maltese presidency of the EU where they called for an European-wide approach though council conclusions.

However, Gauci said the approach Malta was taking was multi-faceted.

Besides the aforementioned strategies and some other healthy lifestyle initiatives, preventative measures within the community have also been rolled out in schools, workplaces and institutions.

Authorities also promote certain local assets, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Were reaching out to children at an early age, promoting water consumption, healthy snacking, physical activity and to reduce or break up sedentary time in pre-school children, Gauci said. Evidence has shown this programme to be successful in preventing obesity and promotes an ethos that encourages a healthy lifestyle.

She mentioned the EU-funded Lunch Box campaign, an ongoing project that features a programme with three different characters Karmenu, Ganni and Bettina explaining the importance of healthy eating and physical activity aimed specifically at children between the ages of five and 10.

After the play, parents are given a recipe book and a drawing book full of fruits and vegetables to give to their children.

In August 2018, Maltas Parliament adopted Legal Notice 266, regulating the provision of foods and drinks in schools.

After consulting with the Advisory Council on Healthy Lifestyles, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Education agreed thatonly foods that meet the criteria can be sold in schools.

The schools no longer permit any advertising or accept sponsorships of food products not in line with established criteria. Similarly, such an environment with a focus on healthy food was also in place for Mater Dei by June 2019, Gauci said.

Some Maltese health professionals were given training in delivering high-level multidisciplinary training in the prevention and management of obesity, with the support of the Ministry for Health and European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) and the WHO.

Different programmes are aimed at the general population, and at individual people.

The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate has also been offering free weight management programmes for adults over many years.

These are held over a period of 12 weeks and include both a nutritional component and a physical activity component. These programmes have helped many people to lose weight and are expanding year over year, she said.

Another programme, the School Fruit Scheme, also encouraged young children to try different fruits and vegetables within a learning environment.

Infant and young child feeding practices have a direct influence on the health status of children, Gauci said. Exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months may reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.

This, among other facts such as allowing breastfeeding in the workplace, was promoted via the Breastfeeding Policy and Action Plan for 2015 to 2020.

Another two sets of food guidelines were rolled out in 2017 and 2018, targeting younger age groups up till the age of 12.

In order to address the obesogenic environment in Malta, system-wide environmental interventions are needed to support educational and behavioural initiatives already in place in order to create supportive environments, Gauci said.

Weight and food consumption in Malta are monitored, as well as any new societal issues that suddenly affect peoples weight. This forms the basis of whether actions need to be stepped-up.

However, when the next leader tries to use Maltas weight problems to promote his own policies, lets try and collectively make it out of the worst spots and show the world how Malta can truly be active.

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Scientists may have cracked the code to improve human longevity – Outlook India

Scientists may have cracked the code to improve human longevity

New York, July 13 (IANS) In a big breaking discovery, the researchers may have found the beginnings of a path toward increasing human lifespan.

The study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, shows the drug mifepristone can extend the lives of two very different species used in laboratory studies, suggesting the findings may apply to other species, including human beings.

Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is used by clinicians to end early pregnancies as well as to treat cancer and Cushing disease.

Studying one of the most common laboratory models used in genetic research -- the fruit fly Drosophila -- the researchers found that the drug mifepristone extends the lives of female flies that have mated.

"Our data show that in Drosophila, mifepristone either directly or indirectly counteracts juvenile hormone signalling, but the exact target of mifepristone remains elusive," said study researchers from the University of Southern California in the US.

According to the researchers, during mating, female fruit flies receive a molecule called sex peptide from the male.

Previous research has shown that sex peptide causes inflammation and reduces the health and lifespan of female flies.

The research team found that feeding mifepristone to the fruit flies that have mated blocks the effects of sex peptide, reducing inflammation and keeping the female flies healthier, leading to longer lifespans than their counterparts who did not receive the drug.

The drug''s effects in Drosophila appear similar to those seen in women who take it.

"In the fly, mifepristone decreases reproduction, alters innate immune response and increases life span," the study researcher John Tower explained.

"In the human, we know that mifepristone decreases reproduction and alters the innate immune response, so might it also increase life span?" he added.

Seeking a better understanding of how mifepristone works to increase lifespan, the research team looked at the genes, molecules and metabolic processes that changed when flies consumed the drug.

They found that a molecule called juvenile hormone plays a central role. Juvenile hormone regulates the development of fruit flies throughout their life, from egg to larvae to adult.

Sex peptide appears to escalate the effects of juvenile hormone, shifting the mated flies'' metabolism from healthier processes to metabolic pathways that require more energy to maintain.

Further, the metabolic shift promotes harmful inflammation, and it appears to make the flies more sensitive to toxic molecules produced by bacteria in their microbiome.

Mifepristone changes all of that.

According to the researchers, when the mated flies ate the drug, their metabolism stuck with the healthier pathways, and they lived longer than their mated sisters who did not get mifepristone.

"Notably, these metabolic pathways are conserved in humans, and are associated with health and longevity," the study authors wrote.

--IANS

bu/na/in

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS

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Just .1% US winemakers are Black. Heres how to start changing that – Seattle Times

Wine has always been one of our planets great social connectors, as well as a symbol of generosity, pleasure, and celebration.

This spring, however, while the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how important human connection is, and the global Black Lives Matter protests have shown how far we have to go in creating a more equitable society, theres renewed energy toward making the wine world more inclusive.

Although there are more than 8,000 wineries in the United States, about one-tenth of 1% of the winemakers and brand owners are Black, estimates Phil Long, president of the Association of African-American Vintners and owner of the Longevity winery in the California Bay Areas Livermore Valley.

Which is why, Long says, the real goal of our organization is promoting awareness letting people know we exist, and we make great wine.

Its true. Many of the wines are absolutely delicious, and range from big, bold reds with savory flavors to refreshing whites, as well as unusual, experimental sparkling wines made from hybrid grapes.

I didnt know winemaking was a career choice, says Long, who has a degree in architecture and spent years as a creative director in the Bay Area. For Italian-Americans, wine is part of their culture and heritage. Most Black winemakers dont have that.

Getting attention hasnt been so easy. The only Black-owned labels that most people are aware of are celebrity brands such as singer-songwriter John Legends LVE collection, made by Napas Raymond Winery, and NBA star Dwyane Wades D. Wade Cellars, made by Napas Pahlmeyer.

Theodora Lee, owner of Theopolis winery in Mendocino, California, is starting to see some change, though. While acknowledging that the injustices and killings of Black men by the police is driving the Black Lives Matter protests, Lee says the movement has helped spotlight Black wines, causing a surge in sales.

Lee, a shareholder, partner, and trial lawyer at Littler Mendelson, says sales have doubled from January to June, and shes signed up many more wine club numbers.

Lee grew up in Texas as the daughter of educators. She learned to love wine via visits to law firm mentors in Napa, California, and thought: I could be a grape farmer and still keep my job. She took viticulture courses at University of California at Davis, hired soil experts to help her decide what grapes to plant, and ended up with five acres of petite sirah in Mendocino County. In 2006, she sold her first harvest and six years later started bottling her own wine.

COVID-19, she says, has encouraged direct-to-consumer sales, which has also helped support Black business owners. Shed like to see bigger wineries partner with Black wineries to help them with distribution.

Thats what happened to the AAVs Long, who launched a national distribution deal with giant Bronco Wine Co. for his two entry-level wines just before the coronavirus hit. After the Black Lives Matter protests, he saw more online sales in the first two weeks of June than in all of 2019. The question, he says, is how we keep that going.

In South Africa, the path to becoming a Black winemaker hasnt been easy either, despite empowerment efforts. The country now has about 60 Black-owned brands, according to Wines of South Africa. Ten are imported into the U.S.

Ntsiki Byela, the countrys first Black female winemaker, says, Wine is not part of our history. A collaboration with Napas Helen Keplinger, set up by Mika Bulmash of U.S. importer Wine for the World, gave her the funds to start her own winery, Aslina.

Its great that people are publishing lists of Black winemakers, says Krista Scruggs, owner of Zafa Wines, based in Burlington, Vermont. But we need to go way beyond that. She is pushing boundaries by making cider and wine blends and using hybrid grapes to make natural sparkling wines.

Julia Coney, a Black wine and travel writer in Washington, explains, One of the problems is that most wine is not marketed to people who look like us. We have to change the perception of what a wine drinker looks like.

Coney just launched Black Wine Professionals to help address the diversity problem in the wine industry. Meanwhile, AAAV sponsors scholarships to encourage others to work in wine and nonprofit organization Wine Empowered is offering tuition-free wine classes to women and minorities in the hospitality industry.

All are worth supporting but hey, dont miss out on the wines. Here are nine to look out for.

2018 Maison Noir OPP (Other Peoples Pinot)

Andre Hueston Mack, a former sommelier at New Yorks Per Se restaurant, is owner and winemaker at this McMinnville, Oregon winery. Think of this bright, juicy wine as an everyday pinot. $17

2019 La Fete du Ros

The first Black-owned ros brand from Saint-Tropez was released last fall by Donae Burston. Its soft textured and fruity, with bright cherryish flavors. $2 from every bottle sold via the website goes to racial justice organization Color of Change. $25

2019 Longevity Pink Pinot Grigio

This floral-scented wine from Californias Livermore Valley is made in the Northern Italian ramato style, in which juice from pinot grigio grapes sit on the pink-toned skins to pick up color. Its fresh and lively, with fruity citrus hints. $26

2017 Aslina Umsasane

Rich, savory, earthy, and sophisticated, this cabernet-based blend is filled with plummy, full-bodied fruit. Umsasane was Byelas grandmothers nickname. $32

2017 Theopolis Petite Sirah

This intense, peppery, deep-colored red comes from the Yorkville Highlands area of Mendocino. Its big and bold but has plenty of brightness and polish. $39

2018 Brown Estate Zinfandel

The only Black-owned winery in the Napa Valley, founded in the 1980s, specializes in zinfandel. This one is bright, spicy, dark-fruited and juicy and very elegant. $45

2019 Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir

Winemaker Berene Sauls makes this stunning wine at Hamilton Russell vineyards in South Africa. Perfectly balanced, it brims with crushed strawberry and cinnamon aromas and flavors of bright red fruit and minerals. $45

2019 Zafa Wines Visions of Gideon Mea Culpa

This sparkling wine is made as traditional Champagne is, but its a blend of two hybrid grapes, frontenac blanc and frontenac gris. Delicate and soft, yet zingy with acidity, it will change your mind about hybrid grapes. $47

2015 Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino

Richard Parsons, former chief executive officer of Time Warner, bought this estate in 2000. This great vintage, released earlier this year, is floral and ripe, with sweet licorice notes and a subtle cherry crispness. $90

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