How Many Side Dishes Should You Have for Thanksgiving?

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by Joyce Marrero

When it comes to side dishes, more is not always better. In fact, when it comes to Thanksgiving, you should aim for three to five side dishes. This may seem like a small number, but remember that the turkey is the star of the show. You don’t want your sides to overshadow it.

That said, your side dishes should complement the turkey. A good mix of flavors and textures is key. You might want a creamy mashed potato dish, a crispy roasted vegetable, and sweet or savory stuffing. These three dishes alone will give your guests plenty to choose from.

Of course, you can always add more side dishes if you want to. But remember that less is often more when it comes to creating a memorable Thanksgiving feast.

How many side dishes should you have for Thanksgiving? - Thanksgiving dinner.

What is the most important side dish at Thanksgiving?

For many Americans, the most important side dish at Thanksgiving is stuffing. Stuffing is a dish made from bread, herbs, and other ingredients stuffed into a turkey or other poultry cavity before baking. 

While the exact origin of stuffing is unknown, it is thought to have originated in Europe. The dish was brought to America by early settlers and has been a staple of the Thanksgiving feast since. 

There are many different recipes for stuffing, but most include bread, butter, onions, celery, and herbs such as sage and thyme. Some recipes also include nuts, dried fruit, or sausage. 

Stuffing is usually served alongside the turkey or other main dish at Thanksgiving dinner. It can also be baked separately in a casserole dish.

Try these recipes:

What are the typical sides for Thanksgiving?

Sides are an important part of the meal and can vary depending on family tradition or personal preference. No matter what sides you choose, they will surely be enjoyed by all! Some popular side dishes for Thanksgiving include:


It goes without saying that stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple. It is flavorful, crisp and just the right amount of puffy and moist. Fall flavors like thyme, sage, and others are in full force.

Mashed potatoes

For many families, mashed potatoes are a year-round staple side dish, but Thanksgiving is when these creamy, fluffy, soft mounds of perfection truly shine. The mashed potatoes provide a lovely binder for picking up the ideal forkful of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and corn.

Cranberry sauce

Whatever version of cranberry sauce you have on your plate, it perfectly captures the spirit of the end of autumn. Cranberry sauce is required to complete each Thanksgiving feast because of its gorgeous deep red color and the ideal amount of tartness.

Mac and cheese

Although macaroni and cheese might not be what you would assume to be a traditional Thanksgiving side dish, it is a need for children and folks who don’t like seasonal dishes. A handmade mac and cheese that is gooey, creamy, and delightfully cheesy is one of the most soothing foods.

Creamed spinach

If you’re into that sort of thing, creamed spinach is adaptable and a simple way to include a lot of iron in your Thanksgiving meal. However, this side doesn’t seem very festive or exceptional. Perhaps save it for another weeknight dinner.

Green bean casserole

The enticing crunchy tiny onions are a key component of the rich, salty, and creamy green bean casserole. This classic dish has no way to go wrong, and its fame reflects that. You can either stick with the classic canned green bean casserole or choose to dress it up with an all-fresh version.


What other dish can absorb all that delicious, hearty gravy that has overflowed from your turkey and mashed potatoes? What other food would be the ideal palate-cleanser between the turkey, macaroni, and cheese? Only the roll, please.

Candied yams

Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without candied yams since they are regarded as the ideal side dish to a platter full of savory foods. Contrary to the name suggests, candied yams are cooked with sweet potatoes rather than a starchy root vegetable.

Creamed corn

In addition to Thanksgiving turkey, this enticing, creamy, cheesy mixture pairs wonderfully with just about anything. Whole pieces of sweetcorn are combined with a milky liquid from pulped corn kernels picked from the cob to create a distinct Southern meal.

Brussel sprouts

This underappreciated side dish is a simple way to add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to today’s main course. These little green vegetables can be grilled, baked, sautéed, and more, making them incredibly adaptable.

Typical Thanksgiving side dishes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and stuffing.

What are the 3 most popular sides on Thanksgiving?

Turkey may be the show’s star, but let’s not forget all the delicious sides that come along with it. These are the top three Thanksgiving sides:

Mashed potatoes are at the top of the list for many people. They are creamy, comforting, and pair perfectly with that savory turkey gravy. Green beans are another popular side dish. They are healthy and can easily be dressed up with crispy onions or mushrooms. Lastly, cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple that many people enjoy. It’s tart and sweet flavor pairs well with the other dishes on the table.

Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

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By Bob Barnett

The Rumor: Men lose weight more quickly than women

Many people believe that when it comes to weight loss, men have an advantage. Anecdotal stories of ladies sweating and struggling to lose a pound or two compare to tales of men cutting back on the junk, hitting the gym and watching the weight drop off. But what’s the real truth?

The Verdict: Men do lose weight faster than women, at least at first

Men tend to have more lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories than body fat, even during rest. And when men and women cut the same number of calories, men usually do lose more weight — but it’s short-term. “Over the long-term, the playing field is more equal,” says dietician David Grotto, RDN, self-proclaimed “guyatician” and author of The Best Things You Can Eat. “It’s not a race to see who can lose weight the fastest. The important thing is that you’re both going in the same direction.”

Weight-loss programs often accentuate the difference. When sedentary men and women both start exercise programs, men tend to lose body fat, while many women don’t. In one study out of England, men and women were each put on commercial weight-loss programs such as Atkins, Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers. Two months in, the men had lost twice as much weight as the women — and three times as much body fat. But by six months, the rate of weight loss had evened out between the genders.

If you’re a guy, you can thank the testosterone you have — and the extra estrogen you don’t — for your weight-loss edge. On average, women have between six and 11 percent more body fat than men, an assumed evolutionary adaptation to help during pregnancy. From puberty to menopause, women maintain more average body fat than men — even when they take in fewer calories.

But it’s important to remember that “fat” doesn’t mean “unhealthy.” Yes, women have larger fat stores, but it’s part of their physiology, meaning it’s not extra weight. So if a woman has 11 percent more body fat than a man, it doesn’t mean she’s 11 percent “fatter.” A perfectly fit woman will still hold six to 11 percent more body fat than a perfectly fit man

Also, men tend to lose weight where they need it most (read: belly), so it’s often more immediately noticeable when overweight men start trimming down than when women do, as ladies’ fat stores are typically more spread out, which is partly why they tend to lose weight at a slower pace than guys. Even basic, regular exercise — ideally 30 to 60 minutes a day — tends to reduce abdominal obesity, even if guys don’t technically lose weight.

Of course, ladies also lose abdominal weight quickly — they just tend to have less of it. “Women with excess fat around the middle will lose it more or less as readily as men,” says upwave review-board member David Katz, MD, MPH, the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. “Men are more prone to gain weight around the middle.”

That said, carrying extra weight around the middle is also tied to increased heart risks, making it arguably unhealthier to be an overweight man than a plus-size woman. Big bellies, it turns out, are a sort of a double-edged sword when it comes to weight loss: They’re an extra health risk for men, but give guys the edge when it comes to dropping pounds.

Ladies, don’t despair: Women have weight-related advantages, too. They tend to carry more body fat on their thighs and backsides (the so-called “pear” shape), which are much healthier places to hold weight than around the middle. Plus, while women are better at storing fat, they also tend to burn more body fat during exercise than men do. “The fat women find it hardest to lose is generally the least harmful to health,” Katz says.

At the end of the day, dropping pounds is hard work for women and men. And, really, it all boils down to this: Anyone can lose weight — it doesn’t matter what your gender is. You just have to be committed to doing it.

The No BS Guide to Eliminating Stress

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These DIY strategies will help you regain your calm

You know the feeling. Your ears grow hot. Your heart beats against your brain. All saliva evaporates from your mouth. You can’t focus. You can’t swallow.

That’s your body on stress.

Big concerns like debt or a family emergency can up the pressure. But so can smaller stuff like a work project snafu, a fender bender, or even a snappy text from your roomie. And sometimes all the things happen at once, making you feel like you’re under attack and sending you into a tizzy.

Unfortunately, we can’t actually stress-proof ourselves.

“Stress is a healthy response,” explains Lauren Rigney, a Manhattan-based mental health counselor and coach. “It alerts us to things we may need to pay more attention to. It can save us during times of danger.”

But with DIY stress hacks, we can learn to control our physical and mental reaction and lessen the impact that strain and worry have on our lives.

Do this to feel better now

You can make stressful situations less challenging by convincing your “flight or fight” system to bugger off and reactivating your “rest and digest” system.

Even if the stressful event is still unfolding, like you’re mid-argument with your partner, you can find focus and calm.

“We can control the panic before it fully sets in if we know the warning signs,” Rigney says. “While there are common ones to look out for, like shortness of breath and faster pulse, it can vary between people.”

At the first sign of your fight or flight response, try to mellow out with these techniques:

Diaphragmatic breathing involves taking a slow, long breath, letting the diaphragm expand the belly on the inhale, and then exhaling completely before repeating the process.

A recent study links controlled breath to calmer states of mind.

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) involves tensing muscle groups one at a time in a specific order as you breathe in and then releasing as you exhale. Clenching fists is one example.

A recent study demonstrated PMR’s potential to lower heart rate and blood pressure. You can learn full-body PMR by following a scripted guide, but even just a few minutes of focusing on one area of the body can make a difference.

One-minute PMR

  • Inhale and wrinkle the forehead. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and release.
  • Inhale, close your eyes tightly, and scrunch your cheeks. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and release.
  • Inhale, clench your jaw, and stretch mouth to a grin. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and release.
  • Inhale and squeeze your lips together. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and release.
  • Inhale and puff the air into your cheeks. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and release.
  • Repeat a few times, if necessary.

Why do these quick techniques work?

To understand how diaphragmatic breathing and PMR work, you’ll need to know how stress kicks your bod into protection mode.

Our bodies get all revved up when we’re stressed because of involuntary reactions stemming from our autonomic nervous systems (ANS). The ANS has two subdivisions (PNS and SNS) that sometimes act in opposition. They’re kind of like siblings who get along well, but also compete with each other.

Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)Sympathetic nervous system (SNS)
slows heart ratespeeds heart rate
helps with digestionhalts digestion processes
tackles metabolismincreases muscle contraction
dilates blood vesselsopens airways
brings on relaxationreleases adrenaline
increases glucose delivery

“The [SNS] response triggers our adrenal glands to produce more cortisol and adrenaline,” Rigney says. “The increased production of these hormones causes faster heart rate, faster breathing, constriction of blood vessels, and increased glucose release into our bloodstream.”


The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activates our “fight or flight” response. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), also called the “rest and digest” system, activates digestion and metabolism when we’re just chilling. It also helps us do the actual relaxing by bringing down our heart rate.

During stress, your ‘fight or flight’ system likes to be the center of attention

Your SNS shuts down the other systems you don’t need for immediate survival. That’s why you might suddenly feel queasy when you get back from lunch and your boss asks you for an impromptu meeting. That burrito you noshed is just sitting in your stomach, no longer being digested.

It’s also why your mouth might go dry just as you’re about to give a presentation. Those salivary glands have been given the kill switch.

In a fleeting moment of stress, your SNS springs into action and takes over, Rigney explains. But then your body quickly realizes the threat isn’t real and goes back to a calmer state with the PNS once again in charge.

But if the threat or challenge remains, like you’re in the middle of an important exam, your SNS might keep you in a panic, making it hard to ponder the multiple-choice questions. Here’s where some diaphragmatic breathing can help. And no has to know you’re even doing it.

“Spending a few minutes mindfully breathing alerts the SNS that the external stressor is no longer an issue and that you have taken over control of your body,” Rigney explains. “When your breathing slows, your heart responds, and your brain will receive messages that everything is okay.”

Take a break from the hustle and bustle

Those 5-minute stress destroyers are great for situations when you can’t take a true time out. (You still have to breathe when you’re in traffic!) But intentionally fitting in bigger reprieves when possible can help provide a constructive reset.

If you have 30 to 60 minutes, try these options:


If you’re prone to panic when stress sets in, exercise can help you cope.

On the immediate side, the effects of moderate activity can be felt in as little as five minutes. You’ve probably heard of the runner’s high or how exercise floods you with feel-good endorphins. But there’s more to that: The more often you sweat it out, the less reactive you’ll be, research shows.

When you get your heart rate up and begin to pant, you’re creating some of the same bodily reactions you might experience if faced with a stressor. This makes you more resilient to those involuntary stress responses.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT can help you reassess your to-do list and the feelings associated with it. If a continued accumulation of tasks and goals makes you feel like you’re failing at adulting, your stress responses might be the culprit.

“Our thoughts can drive our panic and grow it,” Rigney explains. She suggests doing some mindfulness breathing to calm yourself and then taking a fresh inventory.

“Go back to that list and trim it down or organize it,” she says. “Pick the top items that need to be complete and then break down the more complicated items into small, workable parts.”

Stave off stress by training your body to handle it

If there’s no sign of the stress stopping soon (such as work stress or a long-term situation), it might be time to rewire our brains for better coping by making stress-relief tactics part of our routines.

“If we experience chronic stress,” Rigney says, “our body continues to function at this heightened level and eventually believes this unhealthy state to be the way we are supposed to function.”

Not opening the valve on the pressure regularly, it turns out, has whole body health consequences, from depression to heartburn.

To keep the worry beast at bay, make chill town a regular destination. “Long-term habits are essential for managing stress because they can keep chronic stress from developing and give you a baseline to return to when situational stress overwhelms you,” Rigney says.

Give these calming techniques a go:

Relaxation response (RR)

RR is a time-tested method you can use to reverse your stress response and even lessen it over time, but it may take a while to hone your happy place. The concept is to find a calming activity you can do daily.

Some people choose to focus on their breath while repeating a calming phrase for 20 minutes. But any repetitive activity works.

Try these RRs

  • Swim laps.
  • Go for a walk or run.
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Brush your pet.
  • Knit or crochet.
  • Do a series of yoga sun salutations.
  • Fill in the page of an adult coloring book.
  • Create art.
  • Do woodworking.
  • Play a musical instrument.
  • Sing a song.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

“I encourage my clients to do several mindful check-ins throughout the day — while you are home in the morning, starting your workday, at lunch, mid-afternoon, transitioning away from work and before bed,” Rigney says. “These check-ins can be 30 to 60 seconds long and allow you to reset your nervous system.”

MBSR can help you regulate your emotions, studies show. You can do an in-depth, formal practice using an app like Headspace or just take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus on the present.

Rigney recommends acknowledging your current emotional state and focusing on the air entering and leaving your lungs.

When to talk to a pro

DIY methods are great to have in your arsenal, but if you’re dealing with a major life change or loss or if the smaller stressors pile up to Everest heights, reach out to a mental health professional.

Talking through worries and triggers can provide immense relief, and a pro can help you customize stress-busting strategies that work for you.

Certainly, don’t stress over stress-relief options. If the techniques mentioned here don’t liberate you from panic and pressure, revise them to fit your specific needs or lifestyle.

“There is no exact formula for these habits,” Rigney reminds us. “Have a few in your toolbox. Different types of stress can need different types of coping skills. So play with it a bit.”

Jennifer Chesak is a Nashville-based freelance book editor and writing instructor. She’s also an adventure travel, fitness, and health writer for several national publications. She earned her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill and is working on her first fiction novel, set in her native state of North Dakota.

The History of the Running Shoe

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Just over fifty years ago when Britain’s Roger Bannister ran the first ever sub-4-minute mile, he did it in a pair of running spikes that looked like someone had hammered nails through a pair of Oxfords.

Today, running shoe technology has become big business as brands search for new ways to give runners a comfy ride and an all-important edge.

Once-revolutionary innovations such as Nike Air, originally designed for elite athletes, are now the retro sneaker of choice for the fashion crowd. Stability shoes and five-fingered foot gloves—all hailed as the next big thing—have piqued and tapered off. It’s not always easy to predict where technology will take us next.

While we await the next groundbreaking tech that will propel elite athletes and plucky amateurs over the finish line in record-smashing times, let’s take a look at the shoes and innovations that have shaped the way we run.

Late 1800s: A spiky start

One of the earliest examples of a running shoe dates back to 1865. Found in a museum in Northampton, England—a town renowned for its shoemaking at the time—it’s thought to have belonged to a Lord Spencer and looks very much like a man’s dress shoe, only with spikes on the bottom. Lightweight, made of leather, and featuring a band for added lateral support, the shoe was likely used for cross country running.

Another early running shoemaker was an English company called J. W. Foster and Sons, now better known as Reebok. Founded in 1890 by Joseph William Foster, a keen runner who wanted to design shoes that could help him go faster, the company made leather spikes worn by British athletes, including the 1924 Olympic 100-meter champion Harold Abrahams — the inspiration for the film “Chariots of Fire.”

1917: Rubber soles sneak up on us

In the mid-1800s, a new process called vulcanization was developed. Employing heat to fuse rubber and cloth together, it led to the invention of the first plimsolls, light rubber-soled canvas shoes worn especially for sports. Known as sneakers because the rubber sole allowed the wearer to walk around without being heard, they became popular with athletes after World War I when companies such as Keds and Converse started selling them as sports shoes.

1920s–1940s: Sibling rivalry spawns famed running brands

In the 1920s, brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler started a sports shoe business in the small German town of Herzogenaurach that specialized in track and field footwear. Politics, the war and their wives not getting on caused a rift between the two siblings. In the 1940s they set up rival shops in the same town on either side of the river. Rudolf launched Puma in 1948. Adi opened Adidas, of course. (Fun fact: Both companies are still based in Herzogenaurach.)

1950s–1960s: The need for speed

In the 1950s Bill Bowerman, head track coach at the University of Oregon, wanted to invent lighter, faster running shoes for his athletes. Most were wearing leather spikes, similar to those Roger Bannister wore when he broke the four-minute mile in 1954. Although Bowerman took his designs to several manufacturers, no one would invest. As Julia Roberts would say, “big mistake.”

In the 1960s, as longer distance running become more popular, Bowerman and one of his former student athletes, Phil Knight, started a company called Blue Ribbon Sports. They bought shoes based on Bowerman’s designs from Japanese running shoe companies and sold them out of the back of vans at races. Their most popular shoe was the Cortez. Thanks to a sponge rubber midsole, it was one of the first to offer cushioning against the impact of the road. When Bowerman and Knight formed their own manufacturing company in May 1971, the Cortez became their flagship shoe. That company was called Nike.

1970s: EVA, waffles, women, and a very famous bubble

The 1970s saw the appliance of sports science to running shoes. Podiatrists, now involved with research and design, identified different running gaits as well as suitable shoes for each type. One of the most enduring innovations in shoe technology appeared. Ethylene vinyl acetate, or EVA, still used in most shoes today, is an air-infused foam that provides cushioning and absorbs shock. Brooks, the first to use EVA, incorporated it in the Villanova shoes in 1975.

In the same decade, Nike’s Bowerman developed a new kind of lighter traction sole for track shoes. Playing around with rubber and a waffle iron in his kitchen, he created the waffle sole, still a feature in some Nike shoes (although the waffle iron has been retired). It wasn’t Nike’s only innovation. In 1978, they introduced the first female-specific shoes, designed on smaller lasts.

1980s–2000s: Running shoes stabilize

In the late 70s and early 80s, running was booming. Between 1971 and 1981 there was an 1,800 percent increase in marathon finishers, and like shoulder pads and mobile phones, running shoes became more popular. Brooks launched the first shoe to try and control pronation (the rotation of the foot) in 1976. With pronation thought to cause injuries, the Brooks Vantage had a wedge inside to help the runner’s foot slant slightly outwards.

In the 1980s, shoes built for stability, with the combination of good support and ample cushioning, were all the rage. These included the Brooks Chariot (now known as the Beast) and the X-Caliber GT, which later became the Asics Kayano.

In 1987, Nike created an icon by making its heel-cushioning bubble technology, first used in 1979, visible on the Nike Air Max. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, if your sneakers didn’t resemble the bubble on a level, you might as well just go home.

2000s–2010: Back to basics

A new millennium. A fresh start. New thinking, including an article in the journal Nature by Harvard Professor Daniel E. Lieberman, suggested that barefoot running can be comfortable, for some people, even on the hardest surfaces. The running world became preoccupied with this idea.

After noticing Stanford athletes training barefoot, in 2001 Nike started working on the Nike Free, a shoe designed to recreate the barefoot running feel by reducing shoe weight and employing a sole that made runners feel more connected to the ground. In 2006, Vibram’s FiveFingers – glove-like minimal shoes with individual compartments for each toe and extremely thin rubber soles – came out, and minimalism, the idea that less shoe is more, was the new buzzword. This barefoot principle, that shoes should work with the foot’s movement rather than against it, was cemented when Christopher McDougall published the book “Born to Run,” following his time living with the Tarahumara, a Native Mexican tribe of prolific ultra runners who wore only thin sandals to achieve extraordinary feats of endurance such as covering hundreds of miles on one run.

2010–2017: Shoes get smarter

Barefoot running may not have been the complete answer to injury prevention, but the movement left a footprint. In more recent years, shoes have continued to get lighter, more comfortable and more personalized.

In 2012, Nike introduced Flyknit. Ten years in the making, Flyknit is a lightweight yarn fabric that can be micro-engineered to provide extra support where needed, allowing uppers to be cut from one piece of fabric. It shaves ever-important ounces off weight and reduces waste by around 60 percent compared to a traditional cut and sew shoe.

In 2013, Adidas introduced their Boost technology, a cushioning system designed with leading chemical company BASF. The idea was to create something “better than EVA.” The thermoplastic polyurethane midsole, made of thousands of energy-returning capsules, arguably does the trick. It compresses under pressure to absorb shock and bounces back instantly to provide energy return with every stride.

The future is faster, greener and made for you

Runner’s World magazine predicts the future of running shoes is bespoke. Most brands offer the option to design your own shoes, tweaking the colors of things like the uppers and laces. In France, Salomon’s ME:sh shoe design system takes this a step further, letting runners tailor shoes for fit, running style and terrain.

Another big trend changing footwear construction is a focus on environmentally-friendly, sustainable manufacturing. Eco-friendly shoes, such as Adidas’ Parley, which is made from plastic found on beaches and in coastal communities that would otherwise end up in the ocean, are heading in this direction. Shoes are getting smarter, too: The Altra Torin IQ has sensors that can provide data on every footfall.

But the big bucks are being invested in shoes that’ll make you go faster. The race to design the pair that breaks the two-hour marathon barrier is firmly on. Earlier this year, Nike’s documentary “Breaking2” chronicled the brand’s attempt to go sub-two with some of the world’s top athletes running in the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite. Designed specifically for the two-hour goal, the Vaporfly features a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole designed to provide greater energy return and help propel athletes forward.

Despite all efforts, however, the barrier remains unbroken. We can’t help thinking this is good news for us mere mortals as, until the record falls, running shoe innovation is going to be top of every brand’s list.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder — Treatment

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Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

Bipolar disorder is treated with three main classes of medication: mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and, while their safety and effectiveness for the condition are sometimes controversial, antidepressants.

Typically, treatment entails a combination of at least one mood-stabilizing drug and/or atypical antipsychotic, plus psychotherapy. The most widely used drugs for the treatment of bipolar disorder include lithium carbonate and valproic acid (also known as Depakote or generically as divalproex). Lithium carbonate can be remarkably effective in reducing mania, although doctors still do not know precisely how it works. Lithium (EskalithLithobid) may also prevent recurrence of depression, but its value seems greater against mania than depression; therefore, it is often given in conjunction with other medicines known to have greater value for depression symptoms, sometimes including antidepressants.

Valproic acid (Depakote) is a mood stabilizer that is helpful in treating the manic or mixed phases of bipolar disorder, along with carbamazepine (EquetroTegretol), another antiepileptic drug. These drugs may be used alone or in combination with lithium to control symptoms. In addition, newer drugs are coming into the picture when traditional medications are insufficient. Lamotrigine (Lamictal), another antiepileptic drug, has been shown to have value for preventing depression and, to a lesser degree, mania or hypomania.

Other antiepileptic drugs, such as gabapentin (Neurontin), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or topiramate (Topamax), are regarded as experimental treatments that sometimes have value for symptoms of bipolar disorder or other conditions that often occur with it.

Haloperidol (Haldol Decanoate) or other newer antipsychotic medications, such as aripiprazole (Abilify), asenapine (Saphris), cariprazine (Vraylar)olanzapine (ZyprexaZyprexa Relprevv, and Zyprexa Zydis) or risperidone(Risperdal), are often given to patients as an alternative to lithium or divalproex. They also may be given to treat acute symptoms of mania — particularly psychosis — before lithium or divalproex (Depakote) can take full effect, which may be from one to several weeks. Another antipsychotic, lurasidone (Latuda), is approved for use in bipolar I depression, as is the combination of olanzapine plus fluoxetine (called Symbyax). The antipsychotic medications lumateperone (Caplyta) and quetiapine (Seroquel) are approved to treat bipolar I or II depression

Some of these drugs can potentially become toxic if doses get too high. Therefore, they need to be monitored periodically with blood tests and clinical assessments by the prescriber. Because it is often difficult to predict which patient will react to what drug or what the dosage should ultimately be, the psychiatrist will often need to experiment with several different medications when beginning treatment.

While antidepressants remain widely prescribed for bipolar depression, most antidepressants have not been adequately studied in patients with bipolar depression. 

In general, your doctor may try to keep the use of antidepressants limited and brief. Long-term treatment with antidepressants in bipolar disorder tends to be recommended only when the initial response is clear-cut and there are no current or emerging signs of mania or hypomania. Some antidepressants — given alone or in combination with other drugs — may trigger a manic episode or cause cycles between depression and mania to be more rapid. If an antidepressant is not clearly having a beneficial effect for bipolar depression, there is usually little reason to continue it. 

The family or spouse of a patient should be involved with any treatment. Having full information about the disease and its manifestations is important for both the patient and loved ones.

Nondrug Treatments of Depression

Whilemedications are usually the cornerstone of treatment for bipolar disorder, ongoing psychotherapy is important to help patients understand and accept the personal and social disruptions of past episodes and better cope with future ones. Several specific forms of psychotherapy have been shown to help speed recovery and improve functioning in bipolar disorder, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal/social rhythm therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. In addition, because denial is often a problem — sticking with medications can be especially tricky in adolescence — routine psychotherapy helps patients stay on their medications.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes used for severely manic or depressed patients and for those who don’t respond to medication or for those women who, while pregnant, experience symptoms. Because it can act quickly, it may be especially helpful for severely ill patients who are at high risk for attempting suicide. ECT fell out of favor in the 1960s partly due to distorted, negative portrayals of its use in the media. But modern procedures have been shown to be both safe and highly effective. The patient is first anesthetized and a muscle relaxant is given. Then, while the patient is asleep, a small electric current is passed through electrodes placed on the scalp to produce a grand mal seizure of short duration — less than one minute. A course of treatment usually involves 6-12 treatments, typically administered three times per week. During the course of ECT treatments — usually two to four weeks — lithium and other mood stabilizers are sometimes discontinued to minimize side effects.They are then resumed after completion of the treatment.

The newer types of non pharmocological treatments of depression are:

  • VNS (Vagus or Vagal Nerve Stimulation) involves implantation of a device that sends electrical signals to the vagus nerve in order to treat depression.
  • TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a procedure which involves the use of an electromagnetic coil to create electrical currents and stimulate nerve cells in the mood centers of the brain as a treatment for depression.
  • Light therapy has proved effective as an additional treatment when bipolar disorder has a connection to seasonal affective disorder. For those people who usually become depressed in winter, sitting for 20 minutes to 30 minutes a day in front of a special light box with a full-spectrum light can help treat depression.

Mega Millions: What are the most common numbers in drawings? What numbers come up the most?

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent on

Those playing lottery may be looking for some tricks to increase their odds — however, with games of luck, this is not really an option.

The United States has several lotteries and sweepstakes, with Powerball and Mega Millions being the most attractive, as they usually accumulate huge rollover cash prizes… the most recent jackpot reaching over a billion.

In both lotteries, players must choose six numbers. In the case of Powerball, there are five numbers between 1 and 69 and another number between 1 and 26, which is the Powerball. Meanwhile across in the land of Mega Millions, five numbers are chosen between 1 and 70 and another number between 1 and 25, that being the Mega Ball.

What are the odds of winning?

For Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot are said to be 1 in over 292 million. In Mega Millions, players have a 1 in over 302 million chance of hitting the jackpot numbers. 

Let’s be honest and say that these odds are terrible.

You are far more likely to be struck by lightning (less than 1 in 1,000,000) or be bitten by a shark (1 in 3,748,067). If one thinks, “wow, I don’t think either of those is a possibility for me,” you may as well apply that same logic to lottery games like Mega Millions.

Are there numbers that appear more frequently within these highly competitive games of sheer luck? Sort of, but placing bets on them is not going to increase your odds basically at all.

What are the most frequently selected numbers?

According to Lotto Numbers, the Mega Millions numbers that have appeared in the most draws since the start of the lottery are: 31, 17, 4, 20 and 10; while the most drawn Mega Ball number is 10. The least common numbers in recent years have been: 51, 49, 35, 55 and 5. The Mega Ball that has drawn the least is 7.

As for Powerball, the numbers that have appeared the most are: 39, 32, 41, 23 and 22. On the other hand, the Powerball that has appeared the most times is 18. The numbers that have come out the least are: 60, 66, 65, 68 and 67; while the Powerball that has come out the least in recent years is 23.

Corina González

The No BS Guide to Adaptogens for Hormonal Balance and Stress

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Adaptogens are substances that work to reduce the negative effects of stress on your body. They may help improve your body’s resistance to stress and offer other benefits as well. But which ones really work?

The term “adaptogen” was first used in 1940Trusted Source to describe certain plant-based extracts that can non-specifically enhance the human body.

Nowadays, adaptogens refer to a range of naturally sourced and synthetic supplements that may help the body adapt to stressful situations by interfering with the fight or flight response and — in theory — without causing any harm. They may also help reduce the risk and impact of long-term stress.

“Adaptogen” is a functional term. The term focuses on how these substances affect your body rather than what chemicals they contain.

Adaptogens are widely available as supplements, but it’s best to check with a doctor before using either plant-based or synthetic adaptogens, as they may not be safe for everyone.

Read on to find out what adaptogens are, how they work in the body, and whether or not they’re worth considering for you.

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens come as either synthetic or plant-based compounds. They contain biologically active compounds, including phytochemicals, that can benefit the body.

According to the original definition, they had to meet threeTrusted Source criteria:

  1. They must be non-specific and help the body in various adverse conditions, such as physical or environmental stress.
  2. They must counter the physical impact of stress.
  3. They must not harm the usual working of the body.

Over time, the criteria have been refined. In the 1990s, some scientists defined them as follows: “Adaptogens are natural bioregulators that increase the ability to adapt environmental factors and avoid the damage caused by those factors.”

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defined adaptogens as “A new kind of metabolic regulator that has been proved to help in environmental adaptation and to prevent external harms.”

Plant-based adaptogens

Examples of naturally occurring plant-based adaptogens include extracts from:

  • Panax ginseng
  • Acanthopanax senticosus, previously known as Eleutherococcus senticosus
  • Rhodiola crenulata
  • Schisandra chinensis

Adaptogens contain plant compounds such as alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and coumarins.

Adaptogens work by affecting certain body tissues and organs to reduce stress and fatigue and restore the body’s natural balance, especially when you’re under pressure.

For example, ginseng affects the pituitary and adrenal glands. As a result, it may help reduce problems with sleep, arthritis, energy levels, and the nervous system.

Synthetic adaptogens

Examples of synthetic adaptogens includeTrusted Source:

  • bromantane
  • levamisole
  • aphobazole
  • bemethyl

Synthetic adaptogens can boost mental and physical and mental resistance, increase blood flow by expanding the blood vessels, and lower levels of sugar and lactate in the blood.

In the past, athletes used them to help boost their stamina. However, some are now banned substances for athletes.

What do they do?

People take adaptogens to help their bodies adapt to life’s stresses. Adaptogens aim to help your body react to or recover from both short- and long-term physical or mental stress. Some may also boost immunity and overall well-being.

Scientists sayTrusted Source they can “non-specifically enhance the resistance of the human body under a wide range of external circumstances.” In other words, they may help you cope when things get tough.

Some research shows adaptogens can combat fatigue, enhance mental performance, ease depression and anxiety, and help you thrive rather than just muddle through.

Proponents say adaptogens can boost overall health and specifically help peopleTrusted Source with:

  • the mental and physical fatigue that can come with stress
  • pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • fibromyalagia
  • sleep problems
  • hormonal imbalances that affect the nervous system, for example, by producing the energy the body needs to use nutrients more effectively

Although more research is needed, some studies suggest that certain adaptogens may have anticancer activities.

How do adaptogens hack your stress?

When you face a physical or mental stressor, your body goes through a process known as general adaptation syndrome (GAS).

GAS is a three-stageTrusted Source response:

  1. alarm
  2. resistance
  3. exhaustion

Adaptogens help you stay in the resistance phase longer, via a stimulating effect that holds off the exhaustion. Instead of crashing during a stressful moment, task, or event, you find a balance and carry on.

Adapting to stress helps you perform and feel better despite the situation. And that helps improve your health and well-being.

When stressed, your adrenal gland releasesTrusted Source the stress hormone cortisol, which gives you the energy to tackle an emergency.

But frequent releases of high levels of cortisol are not helpful. It may lead toTrusted Source cortisol dysfunction, which can trigger widespread inflammation and pain.

Using adaptogens can help manage stress in the short term, but it may also help reduce the risk of long-term complications of persistent stress.

Which adaptogen is for you?

Each adaptogen has a different effect on the body, so the choice of which one to take will depend on the result you seek. Ashwagandha, for example, can both energize and relax you.

Here are some more examples:

AdaptogenPossible benefitPossible side effects
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)may boost Trusted Sourcememory, reaction time, calmness, and immune systemmay interactTrusted Source with blood thinners
ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)may reduceTrusted Source stress and anxietymay cause stomach upset; not safe in pregnancy
astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
may combatTrusted Source
may interactTrusted Source with drugs that affect the immune system
cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)may boost staminamay causeTrusted Source dry mouth, nausea, abdominal distension, throat discomfort, headache, diarrhea, allergic reactions; may cause lead poisoning; not safe for people with RA, multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
goji berry (Lycium barbarum)may boostTrusted Source energy, physical and mental performance, calmness, sense of well-being, can improve sleepmay cause allergic reaction
eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)may improve focus and stave off mental fatiguemay cause upset stomach, headache
jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)may reduceTrusted Source stress and boost enduranceno side effectsTrusted Source recorded as yet
licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)may reduceTrusted Source oxidative stressmay causeTrusted Source high blood pressure, reduced potassium, possibly unsafe for people with kidney disease or cardiovascular problems; not suitable during pregnancy
rhodiola rosea (R. rosea)may stave offTrusted Source physical and mental fatiguemay causeTrusted Source dizziness, dry mouth or excess salivation
schisandra berry / magnolia berry (Schisandra chinensis)
may boost
 endurance, mental performance, and working capacity
may cause restlessness, sleep problems, breathing difficulty
tulsi / holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)may reduceTrusted Source physical and mental stress, stress-related anxiety, and depression and improve memory and thinkinglikely safeTrusted Source for most people, but more research is needed
turmeric (Curcuma longa)
may reduceTrusted Source depression
likely safeTrusted Source in small amounts

How to use them

Adaptogens can have a powerful effect, so it’s essential to follow the instructions when using them.

A naturopathic physician can recommend specific adaptogens and reputable formulas and dosages. They can also adjust your dosage as needed based on the effects you hope to achieve.

Always check with a doctor before taking adaptogens or any type of supplement. They can interact with medications and may not be suitable for everyone.

It’s also essential to check with a doctor before using supplements if you are pregnant or may become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Some supplements, including adaptogens, may harm a developing fetus or infant.

A doctor may recommend using adaptogens for a few days or weeks to get through a busy time at work or taking them for a longer stretch if necessary. Some adaptogens take several weeks to have an effect.


Adaptogens may help you get through intense periods — like holidays, finals, and taxes — and stay gently energized long term.

However, they are not a substitute for looking after yourself through diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep. If you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed or you have signs of depression lasting more than 2 weeksTrusted Source, it’s best to see a doctor about more robust options that can help.

As with any drug or supplement, adaptogens do have side effects, interactions, and contraindications. So do your research, especially regarding any current health conditions. It’s also recommended you contact a healthcare professional before beginning a herbal regimen.

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