Taking your lunch to work has many benefits 

Bring your lunch to work and eat away from your desk.
  • Bring your lunch to work and eat away from your desk.

The average grab-it-and-get-back-to-your-desk lunch packs more than 800 calories; 34 percent of folks chow down more than 1,000 calories! And that’s before they pile on a sugary beverage or a sweet treat (any added sugar or sugar syrup is a no-no). That’s a formula for poor performance at work, weight gain, heart disease and dementia — just a partial list of the problems you set yourself up for if you aren’t joining the brown-bag revolution. (Some food revolutionaries have figured they save $47,000 in 10 years by taking their lunch to work!)

When you take your lunch to work with you, remember: Eat away from your desk, and stop working! That stretches out mealtime, which lets your “I’m full” hormone, leptin, kick in so you don’t overeat. Start with six walnut halves at your desk as a snack 30 minutes before lunch. Then, eat with friends: Social interaction reduces stress and boosts everything from your work performance to your immune strength — and helps make your RealAge younger!

What to take? Pack a protein: The baked chicken nuggets recipe at RealAge.com is tasty; canned salmon delivers calcium plus omega-3s. Add in: 100 percent whole-grain carbs (quinoa, brown rice), veggies (steamed broccoli or salad with red pepper, carrots, a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar); and a midafternoon pick-me-up of nonfat, no-sugar-added Greek yogurt with fresh berries.


Sensational earaches (one Brit had a tooth in his ear; a Seattle boy had a pair of nesting spiders!) make big headlines. But for most kids who get middle-ear infections before the age of 3, earaches are a cause for distress, not for stopping the presses!

In fact, ear infections are so common that they’re the No. 1 reason parents bring a child to a doctor. That’s because kids’ ears don’t drain fluid very effectively and, besides being painful, fluid buildup is quite an incubator for bacteria and viruses.

But many docs mistakenly prescribe antibiotics for use against viral ear infections (which don’t respond to antibiotics). Plus, they overprescribe antibiotic treatments for bacterial infections that would go away on their own. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines for treating ear infections and has established stricter diagnostic standards to make sure docs prescribe antibiotics only when needed.

The new guidelines recommend antibiotics for kids 6 months or older only if they have severe signs of infection — a temperature of 102 degrees or higher plus moderate or severe ear pain, or any ear pain lasting 48 hours or more. Otherwise, it’s recommended you and see” if the symptoms resolve themselves. Other smart moves the AAP recommends: Have the doc drain fluid from a child’s ear (to avoid permanent hearing loss) and use pain relievers whether or not antibiotics are prescribed.

These new guidelines can help antibiotics remain the most effective, top-of-the-line treatment for children and adults — but only when they’re necessary to battle other infections.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.

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