Sunday, August 13, 2006

Commuting good for you? "Thank heavens for commuting - without it we might all be much more stressed. Contrary to most people's experience, an hour a day in a cramped rail carriage is a "gift" for which we should be grateful, according to a study. A survey of 26,000 rail passengers suggests that train travel offers commuters vital "transition time" to adjust to their different roles at home and at work. Sensible travellers make the most of their journey by unwinding with a good book, playing games on a mobile phone, listening to music or watching a DVD on a laptop. At peak times, when passengers are packed in so tightly that staring out of the window is the only way to pass the time, they should rejoice. This is priceless "quality thinking" time. Glenn Lyons, who led the research, said: "Travel is assumed to be the price paid for reaching the destination. However, this apparent burden of travel can be viewed quite differently: as a gift."

Eat yourself beautiful? "The old saying "You are what you eat" could be rewritten as "You'll look like your last meal" if a big global trend finally takes off in Britain. Across Japan, America and continental Europe, customers are already buying expensive yoghurts, drinks, marshmallows, jams and even sweets on the promise that they contain special "scientific" ingredients, such as collagen, enzymes and even Botox that could make consumers look younger and more beautiful, simply by ingesting them. It's called the beauty-food revolution but, in Britain, the trend for "cosmeceutical" ingredients (cosmetic plus pharmaceutical) is in its infancy. Rufflets Country House Hotel, in St Andrews, Scotland, last month launched a new "wrinkle-free lunch", which it claims contains "ingredients known for their anti-ageing properties to help diners to have longer, more youthful lives". The range of lunches and dinners includes roast Gressingham duck with an acai berry sauce: duck is a good source of selenium, an antioxidant claimed to improve skin tone. The acai berry is one of the latest "superfoods" to hit the UK. Grown in Brazil, the purple wonder berry contains a remarkable concentration of anthocyanins, antioxidants that lower the risk of heart disease"

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