The Bottom Line

Choose more vegetables and fruits. Go for color and variety—dark green, yellow, orange, and red.

It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits: Lower blood pressure; reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; lower risk of eye and digestive problems; and a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep appetite in check.  

Read more about vegetables and fruits and health.

Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day, and potatoes don’t count. Go for a variety of kinds and colors of produce, to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Best bets? Dark leafy greens, cooked tomatoes, and anything that’s a rich yellow, orange, or red color.

Try these delicious vegetable recipes:

Read why vegetables and fruits fill half of the Healthy Eating Plate, Harvard’s new guide to healthy eating.

Heatlhy Eating Plate (healthy-eating-plate-460.jpg)

Source: – Harvard School of Public Health


5 Tips For Dealing With a Seller Who is “Just Not That Into You”

As Valentine’s Day approaches, most people go shopping for flowers, chocolates, gifts, or someone new to share their life with. In the real estate world, buyers are out shopping for that perfect home to “settle down with.” Given the ups and downs of a real estate search and the love affair many buyers have with potential homes, many real estate agents feel their job is one part agent, one part therapist, and one part matchmaker.

Buyers go to multiple open houses over the course of weeks or months in hopes of falling in love. Just like the search for a partner, a buyer has certain qualities in mind. In home-shopping terms, it’s usually price, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the desire for the home to be in a certain condition.

Buyers sift through dozens of properties, maybe even going on “second dates” or in real estate terms, “private showings.” Because the buyer has often been in the market awhile, they know that when the right house comes along, it isthe one. They know the comps and are prepared to make an offer at fair market value.

Unfortunately, sometimes love is unrequited — even in real estate.

The seller has every right to reject a buyer for any reason whatsoever. They may stand firm on their price and wait it out for a stronger buyer or for that higher price. It could be they don’t like the buyer’s contingencies, such as the need to sell your home before buying, or they aren’t confident your financing will come through.

source: Zillow

God Is

When you are able to look within and reach a depth of personal connection; to touch a soul on an ornate level; to experience an expression of joy bound by whole truth; a reflection of your Self opens the door to everything you’ve ever been and will become. This can be said of an immediate eye-gaze in which one becomes enfolded upon another creating unity, able to trap the distance between you and thee – rising to the surface is the meaning of Truth as One.

As you may recall once or more in your life an experience as such may have stopped you stiff, staggered you with silence, and strengthened your stamina. This experience all but seemed outside of you, rather an internal relief of pressure lifting the Spirit within the Self to higher manifolds. Knowingly, you will remember the event for all time. Having so much as a wink of wisdom launders this remembrance with fierce intensity tightly shaving the errors and omissions of your life. For in this moment, all else fades away as would a shadow scramble to retain its’ last mirage of the day.

God wouldn’t have it any other way. Because God IS the moment, God IS the shadow, God IS the silence, God IS the distance, God IS the Self, God IS the wisdom. God simply IS.

Primary Mortgage Rates

Primary Mortgage Markets
52 Week
Today’s Rates Today Yesterday Change Low High
30 Yr FRM 3.83% 3.84% -0.01 3.81% 5.14%
15 Yr FRM 3.24% 3.24% 3.23% 4.33%
FHA 30 Year Fixed 3.75% 3.75% 3.75% 4.99%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.08% 4.07% +0.01 4.04% 5.86%
5/1 Yr ARM 3.02% 3.02% 2.98% 3.74%
Updated: 2/1/12 1:49 PM
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Payroll Job Creation in the U.S.

Payroll Job Creation in the U.S.: What’s Possible, What’s Typical, and How Long to Get Back to Normal?

On January 9, 2012, in Economist Commentaries, by Danielle Hale, Research Economist

Recent news on December job creation showed that 200,000 non-farm jobs were added in December 2011.  Including December’s data, the economy is nearly one-third of the way to recovering the 8.8 million jobs that were lost during the recession (we’ve gained 2.7 million and have about 6.1 million more to go).

While the job gain of 200,000 is good news since it’s an improvement over average job creation in the recent period and adds workers collecting paychecks who can then spend money on things like housing, at this rate, it will take another two and a half years or so to get back to the number of payroll jobs on the books before the recession.

Adding in the fact that a hundred thousand jobs or so are needed to keep up with population growth each month a job growth rate of about 200,000 means that it could take more than 5 years to get back to a labor market that feels more normal, with a pre-recession unemployment rate.

Anyone who’s been following the coverage of the Presidential primary campaign may recall that some candidates like to remind voters that in one extraordinary month, September 1983, the US economy under President Reagan created 1.1 million jobs.  How typical is that?  Well, since payroll jobs have been tracked (January 1939) it’s the only instance of more than a million net payroll jobs added in a single month.  There have been 2 other occasions of net payroll job increases of 750,000 or more: March 1946 and August 1952.  There have been 30 months of job creation in excess of 450,000 (not consecutively) including, most recently, May 2010.  This doesn’t mean we couldn’t have a huge addition of jobs, it just shows that they haven’t happened frequently in the past.

  • Additionally, monthly data is variable; for example, that September 1983 million job creation was preceded by a loss of 300,000 jobs the month before.  What about the best 12 months in a row?  In the best 12 consecutive months since 1939, the US added 5.2 million jobs from August 1940 to July 1941.  The best 12 months in the post-war period were September 1983 to August 1984 when 4.9 million jobs were added.
  • More recently, in the best 12 consecutive months in the last decade the US added 2.9 million payroll jobs, from April 2005 to March 2006.  That works out to a little more than 240,000 jobs added per month.  If the US economy were to grow at that rate instead of the current rate, we’d get back to the previous payroll peak in 2 years instead of 2 and a half years.
  • Of course neither future trajectory is guaranteed, and in either case, a more normal labor market is still some time off, but just as compound interest can help savings grow over time, relatively small improvements in monthly job growth can help us get back to normal much faster.

Home Ownership Matters

Home ownership has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. And, home ownership helps create jobs—lots of them—right here at home.

Home Ownership matters…to people, to communities, and to America. Why?

  • For every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S.
  • Each purchase generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.

The home ownership debate

Some who care about creating jobs also argue that home ownership may be overrated, and that we might be better off as a nation of renters.

If that’s of concern to you, follow the debate about federal government incentives to home ownership—the outcome of which will determine whether the average American can still get an affordable mortgage and whether home owners can continue to deduct their mortgage interest as a benefit of home ownership.

  • Stay in the know on this debate by subscribing to the HouseLogic newsletter and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up in the “Stay Connected” box at the top of this page.
  • Read about the issues affecting you as a home owner right now:

Home ownership

It Pays to Support Responsible Home Ownership
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How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Save You Money
Home owners who use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages save thousands of dollars in interest payments each year.

Show Your Support for FHA

FHA supports home values by providing a steady source of mortgage financing for families across the country, but critics worry it has taken on too much risk.

Mortgage deduction

Your Mortgage Deduction: Turn Tax Savings into Home Value
Sock away your mortgage deduction tax savings, and you’ll have a nice cushion for life’s necessities—and a few luxuries. Here’s how a typical household might spend their tax savings at various life stages.

7 Mortgage Interest Deduction Myths
Think losing the mortgage interest deduction would be no big deal? We bust seven myths to show why the cost is bigger than you think.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to Housing Market
The mortgage deduction saves the average home owner thousands of dollars at tax time, supports home values at the community level, and helps American home buyers get into their first house.

Deduct Mortgage Interest and Home Equity Loans
Deducting mortgage interest, as well as interest on home equity loans and HELOCs, can save you money on taxes.

MID app
Estimate your tax savings based on the mortgage interest deduction.

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Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Increases Skin Health

Study shows improvement in skin microcirculation, hydration, texture and structure

PR NewswirePress Release: NSA, LLC – Mon, Jan 9, 2012 8:00 AM EST


 MEMPHIS, Tenn. , Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in the January 2012 issue of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology* shows that the regular intake of fruit and vegetable concentrates can improve objective markers of skin health.  After twelve weeks, those taking the food supplement (Juice Plus+® Orchard Blend and Juice Plus+® Garden Blend; NSA, LLC, Collierville, Tenn. , USA) showed an increase in skin microcirculation, a process resulting in positive changes to the density, thickness and hydration of the skin.

Conducted in Germany by the Institute for Experimental Dermatology at the University of Witten-Herdecke, the study followed 52 middle-aged women for twelve weeks using a monocentric, double-blind placebo and randomized controlled design. Participants were given capsules of the concentrate or a placebo two times each day during the study period. Measuring skin density and thickness by ultrasound, measuring skin hydration by Corneometer ® and assessing transepidermal water loss and serum analysis for carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol, scientists found that microcirculation of the skin had increased (39%) at the end of twelve weeks in the active group. They also saw increased skin hydration (9%), thickness (6%) and density (16%) among those given the concentrate. The placebo group showed a decrease in microcirculation and a slight increase in skin density.

The process of microcirculation is responsible for circulating oxygen and nutrients to the skin. As the study demonstrates, the skin benefits from an optimal supply of nutrients and oxygen to facilitate skin cell metabolism, producing what is often visible skin improvements.

The study reinforces the importance of nutrition in maintaining healthy skin. Scientists have found that nutritional deficiencies have a strong correlation with skin disorders and negative changes in skin structure. Additionally, it is known that skin density and thickness decrease naturally during the aging process.

Although it is unknown if the aging process can be counteracted by micronutrients, the study demonstrates that the intake of a fruit and vegetable-based concentrate improves markers of overall skin health.  

*S. De Spirt, H. Sies, H. Tronnier, U. Heinrich: An Encapsulated Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Increases Skin Microcirculation in Healthy Women. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2012, 25: 2 – 8. The article is available online.

About NSA, LLC

NSA, LLC headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. , manufactures and markets Juice Plus+®. Juice Plus+® provides whole food-based nutrition in capsule and chewable forms. For more information, visit