The “Get set for BBQ season Twitter Party" (the “Contest”) begins on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 20:00 pm Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 21:00 pm ET (the “Contest Period”).
Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada, excluding residents of Quebec who have reached the legal age of majority in their province/territory of residence at the time of entry, except employees, representatives or agents (and those with whom such persons are domiciled or directly related) of TVA Publications (“TVA”) (the “Contest Organizer”), their parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, advertising/promotion agencies and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of the Contest (collectively, the “Contest Parties”). “Directly related” shall mean father, mother, brother, sister, children, wife, husband or common law partner if such employee, representative or agent of a Contest Party.
HOW TO ENTER:
Internet access and a valid account with Twitter (the “Account”) are required to complete your entry into the Contest.
To enter, go to http://twitter.com (the “Website”) and
Use the hashtag #CLChat and engage in the conversation (the “Entry”);
To be eligible, your Entry must be submitted and received within the Contest Period. All eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period will be entered into a random prize draw.
In order for the Contest Organizer to determine if an Entry has been completed, the applicable entrant’s Account settings must be public and it is each entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure that his/her applicable Account settings are public for Entry verification and Contest eligibility purposes.
The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter or any other third party service provider. You understand that you are providing your personal information to the Contest Organizer and not to Twitter. The personal information you are providing will only be used and processed by the Contest Organizer and by any of its authorized third party service providers for purposes of administering or operating this Contest and the Website, the whole in accordance with TC Media’s, and any authorized third party service provider’s respective privacy policies subject to the uses you may have authorized in relation to your Entry. Twitter and any other third party service provider is completely released of all liability by each participant in this Contest. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Contest must be directed to TC Media and not Twitter.
Your Entry must comply with these Rules and with the Twitter terms and conditions of use, contract or other applicable guidelines (collectively, the “Third Party Terms”). Any Entry (in whole or in part) that does not comply with these Rules and/or the Third Party Terms, or that is otherwise deemed unacceptable by the Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion, will be discarded and your Entry will be deemed ineligible. Twitter and any other third party service provider shall collectively be referred to as the “Third Party Contest Suppliers”.
Additional Entry Requirements
Each entrant is responsible for uploading/transmitting his/her Entry. The Entry must: i) be developed by the entrant or be fully owned by the entrant; ii) be an original work; iii) not have been previously published or be the subject of an agreement with a third party; iv) not have been considered for or won previous awards; v) not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; and vi) have been created in a legal and safe manner.
The Entry must not:
a) contain defamatory words/statements (including words or symbols that are widely considered offensive to individuals of a certain race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic group);
b) threaten any person, place, business, or group;
c) disparage persons or organizations associated with the Contest Parties;
d) invade privacy or other rights of any person, firm, or entity;
e) contain material that is in any way unlawful, in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, provincial or municipal laws and regulations where the submission is created;
f) contain material that is inappropriate, indecent (including but not limited to nudity or pornography), profane, obscene, hateful, tortuous, slanderous or libelous; and
g) refer to any person or organization without their prior express written permission.
By participating in this Contest, you hereby grant an exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, fully sublicenseable and transferable right and license to the Contest Organizer to use the Entry at its entire discretion, including without limitation the right to edit or modify the Entry for commercial or promotional purposes without any compensation whatsoever owed to you. You also waive all moral rights you may hold in or to your Entry to the extent required for the license granted hereunder.
Entry Limitations and Restrictions
There is a limit of submitting one (1) Entry from one (1) Twitter account permitted during the Contest Period. For greater certainty, you can submit one (1) Entry, using one (1) Twitter account, associated with one (1) email address to enter the Contest. The sole determinant of time for the purposes of a valid Entry during the Contest Period will be the Contest’s server machine(s).
Entry Verification and Entry Rejection
All Entries are subject to verification at any time and for any reason. The Contest Organizer reserve the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to require proof of identity of entrant and/or eligibility of its Entry, (in a form acceptable to the Contest Organizer – including, without limitation, government issued photo identification) for the purposes of administering this Contest in accordance with these Rules. Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of the Contest Organizer in a timely manner may result in disqualification in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer.
If it is discovered by the Contest Organizer (using any evidence or other information made available to or otherwise discovered by the Contest Organizer) that any person has attempted to: [(i) obtain more than one (1) Entry during the Contest Period; (ii) use (or attempt to use) multiple names, identities, email addresses, accounts to enter or otherwise participate in or disrupt this Contest;] (iii) not respect these Rules and/or (iv) behave in a manner that otherwise undermines the integrity, fairness or administration of the Contest, then he/she may be disqualified from the Contest in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer.
Your Entry may be rejected if (in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizer) your Entry is incomplete or is not submitted and received during the Contest Period or is otherwise in breach with the terms and conditions set out in these Rules. The Released Parties (defined below) are not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, delayed, incomplete or incompatible Entries, all of which will be void and rejected. The Contest’s Parties decision to disqualify an Entry or entrant shall be final without right of appeal.
PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE:
There are three (3) prizes to be won:
One (1) McCormick $50 prize pack of sauces and spices (value $50 CDN)
One (1) McCormick $50 prize pack of sauces and spices (value $50 CDN)
One (1) McCormick $50 prize pack of sauces and spices (value $50 CDN)
For a grand total of $150 CDN Prize Value.
The Prize must be accepted as awarded and is not transferable, assignable or convertible to cash (except as may be specifically permitted by Contest Organizer in their sole and absolute discretion). No substitutions except at Contest Organizer option. Contest Organizer reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion, to substitute the Prize or a component thereof with a prize of equal or greater value, including, without limitation, but at Contest Organizer sole and absolute discretion, a cash award. Prize will only be awarded to the person whose verifiable full name and valid email address appears on the associated with the Entry in question.
On May 13, 2015 (the “Draw Date”) at the offices of TVA Publications, located at 25 Sheppard Ave. West, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6S7at approximately 12:00pm, three (3) eligible entrants will be selected by random draw from among all eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period in accordance with these Rules. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries submitted and received during the Contest Period in accordance with these Rules.
The Contest Organizer or a designated representative will make a minimum of two (2) attempts to contact the selected entrant (using the information provided on the Entry Form) by e-mail or telephone, within seven (7) business days of the Draw Date. If the selected entrant cannot be contacted within seven (7) business days of the Draw Date (by phone or email), or if there is a return of any notification as undeliverable; then he/she may, in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizers, be disqualified (and, if disqualified, will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Contest Organizers reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected entrant).
Before being declared THE CONFIRMED PRIZE winner, the selected entrant will be required to: (a) correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question without mechanical or other aid; and (b) sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt of the declaration and release form for the benefit of the Released Parties (the “Release Form”) confirming namely (i) compliance with these Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Prize as awarded; (iii) assignment of all of designated entrant’s right and title in or to the Entrant Material and the waiving of moral rights on such Entrant Material and (iv) releasing the Released Parties from all liability in relation to this Contest. If the selected entrant: (a) fails to correctly answer the skill-testing question; (b) fails to return the properly executed Release Form within the specified time; (c) cannot accept (or is unwilling to accept) the Prize as awarded for any reason; and/or (d) is determined to be in violation of these Rules (all as determined by the Contest Organizers in their sole and absolute discretion); then he/she may, in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Organizers, be disqualified (and, if disqualified, will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Contest Organizers reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion and time permitting, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such newly selected entrant).
Each winner agrees to the publication, reproduction and/or other use of his/her Entry, name, address, voice, statements about the Contest and/or photograph or other likeness without further notice or additional compensation, in any publicity, advertisement or other promotional or commercial use carried out by or on behalf of the Contest Organizers in any media, current or existing, including print, broadcast or the internet.
All Entries become the property of the Contest Organizers. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws. The decisions of the Contest Organizers with respect to all aspects of this Contest are final and binding on all entrants without right of appeal, including, without limitation, any decisions regarding the eligibility/disqualification of Entries and/or entrants. By participating in this Contest, you are agreeing to be legally bound by the terms and conditions of these Rules. ANYONE DETERMINED TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THESE RULES FOR ANY REASON IS SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION IN THE SOLE AND ABSOLUTE DISCRETION OF THE CONTEST PARTIES AT ANY TIME.
To the fullest extent permitted under the applicable law, the Contest Parties, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) will not be liable for any loss, damages or injury, claims or fees related to or arising out of: (i) your participation in this Contest; (ii) any failure of the Website during the Contest; (iii) any technical malfunction or other problems relating to the telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment or software; (iv) fraudulent calls; (v) any delay or inability to act resulting from an event or situation beyond their control, including a strike, lockout or other labour dispute; (vi) the failure of any Entry to be received, captured or recorded for any reason, including, but not limited to, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website; (vii) any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer or other device related to or resulting from participating in the Contest; (viii) the award, use of misuse of any Prize or any portion thereof; (ix) Prizes that are lost, delayed, damaged , stolen, or misdirected during shipping and/or (x) any combination of the above.
The Contest Organizer reserves the right to withdraw, amend or suspend this Contest (or to amend these Rules) in any way, in the event of an error, technical problem, computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure or any other cause. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest in any way (as determined by Contest Organizer in its sole and absolute discretion) is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Contest Organizer reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Contest Organizer reserves the right to cancel, amend or suspend this Contest, or to amend these Rules, in any way without prior notice or obligation, in the event of any accident, printing, administrative, or other error of any kind, or for any other reason whatsoever. Without limiting the generality of the forgoing, the Contest Organizer reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to administer an alternate test of skill as it deems appropriate based on the circumstances and/or to comply with applicable law.
Furthermore, the Contest Organizer reserves the right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Contest, in whole or in part, without prior notice, in the case of the occurrence of an event, an error or any human intervention that could corrupt or affect the administration, safety, impartiality or the running of the contest as foreseen in these Rules. In any case, the Contest Organizer, and its advertising and promotional agencies, suppliers of products or services related to this Contest as well as their employees, agents and representatives cannot be held liable to award more prizes than those indicated in these Rules or to award prizes otherwise than in compliance with these Rules.
These Contest Rules are available at TVA Publications offices located at 25 Sheppard Ave. West, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6S7, the name of the Contest winner will be available on Canadian Living Twitter Account ten (10) days at the latest after the Draw Date, for a minimum period of ten (10) days.
In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of these English Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials, including, but not limited to: the Entry Form, Website, and/or point of sale, television, print or online advertising; the terms and conditions of these Rules shall prevail, govern and control to the fullest extent permitted by law.
For the purposes of these Rules, the entrant is the person whose name appears on the Entry Form and it is to this person to whom the Prize will be awarded if he/she is selected and declared a winner.
If an article in this Rules were to be declared or deemed illegal, unenforceable or invalid by a competent authority, then this article would be considered null and non-written, but all other items would not be affected and would find application in limits and authorized by law
No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants in the context of this contest except with those selected for a Prize (or unless otherwise stated herein).
The Contest Organizers and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives will not assume any liability whatsoever in any case where their incapacity to act would result from a fact or a situation beyond their control or a strike, lock-out or any other labour dispute in their establishment or in establishments of organizations or enterprises which services are used for holding this Contest.
The refusal of a randomly selected person to accept a Prize according to the terms and conditions of these Rules releases the Contest Organizers of any obligation related to that Prize towards that person.
Each entrant who is selected for a prize recognizes that upon reception of the confirmation of his status as the winner of the Prize, the execution of the services in respect to the prize is the sole responsibility of the supplier of the Prize. A declaration to this effect may be included in the declaration and exemption form.
Dainty and flavourful, everyone loves to indulge in tiny bites of traditional tea sandwiches. Though they appear finicky to make, these tea sandwiches are easy to assemble and entirely make-ahead.
Pinwheel Sandwiches Trim crusts from 5 slices white or whole wheat sandwich loaf, cut Pullman-style. (Ask bakery to cut sandwich loaf horizontally, or Pullman style.) Using rolling pin, flatten slices slightly. Spread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread with filling.
Place 1 asparagus spear (or 2 baby gherkins) along 1 short end of each. Starting at asparagus, roll up tightly without squeezing. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. With serrated knife, trim ends; cut each roll into 6 slices.
Makes 30 pieces. Pinwheel Sandwich recipe: Curried Egg Salad Triangle Sandwiches Spread 16 thin slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread filling evenly over 8 of the slices. Top with remaining slices, pressing lightly. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with damp tea towel; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Trim off crusts. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces.
Makes 32 pieces. Triangle Sandwich recipe: Ham Pickle Spread Square Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above except use 8 thin slices white and 8 thin slices whole wheat sandwich bread. Cut each sandwich into quarters.
Makes 32 pieces.Square Sandwich recipe: Pimiento Cheese Spread Finger Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above. Cut each sandwich lengthwise into 4 fingers.
Makes 32 pieces. Finger Sandwich recipe: Tuna Olive Salad
Choose the best-quality bread. Never serve end slices. Freezing bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.
Bread should be lightly buttered no matter what the filling. Butter should be at room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches will not become limp and soggy as readily if you spread butter right to edge of bread.
Cut crusts off bread with long, sharp knife after (not before) assembling sandwiches. This keeps everything neater.
Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, cut each sandwich into thirds or quarters or in half diagonally. Or use cookie cutters to cut into decorative shapes.
Here are some scary truths: 70 percent of new Alzheimer's patients in Canada will be women, and we're diagnosed with depression and dementia at twice the rate of men. But new research says there are three simple lifestyle changes we can make right now to keep our brains healthy as we age.
You brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay and check your blood pressure to monitor for signs of heart problems. But are you doing anything to keep your brain in tip-top shape? Because you should be. Brain health, which experts define as a combination of cognitive (memory, attention, thinking) and mental (emotional well-being) fitness, is a major, albeit under-the- radar, health issue for Canadian women.
It's major because as we age, so do our brains. Vascular changes can decrease blood flow; we can lose volume in key areas, including the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the regions responsible for learning and memory. Myelin, a fatty material that makes up the protective coating around nerve fibres, starts to deteriorate, causing the brain to slow down. And nerve cells can develop plaques and tangles— structures caused by the buildup of proteins called beta-amyloids that can disrupt the brain's normal function. In some people, these and other signs of normal aging can cause mental health problems, strokes and brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's, and increase the risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Brain health is an under-the-radar issue because, though women are more likely to experience cognitive decline (thanks to dementia or Alzheimer's) and to suffer from depression, most of the research on these conditions still focuses on men.
Thankfully, studies are showing that straightforward lifestyle changes—exercising regularly and not smoking are at the top of the list—help shore up what researchers call "cognitive reserve," a buffer that "delays the changes or makes your body better equipped to handle those changes," says Lauren Drogos, a brain researcher at the University of Calgary.
In fact, Drogos says there's evidence to show that, in some people, even serious symptoms do not necessarily develop into cognitive impairment. She points to the Nun Study, a famous long-running research project on aging and Alzheimer's that has been tracking 678 nuns from convents across the United States since the mid-1980s. One of the nuns, Sister Mary, died at the age of 101 showing no outward signs of cognitive decline—but when researchers examined her brain, they were shocked to find she had "abundant neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques, the classic lesions of Alzheimer's disease." Scientists don't know exactly why some people can have severe symptoms, such as plaques and tangles, without experiencing cognitive decline, but, happily, cases like Sister Mary do show that dementia isn't an inevitable part of aging.
And since women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with many of these problems, the more we consider brain health when making our day-to-day lifestyle decisions, the better. (Bonus: These changes also benefit your heart and help prevent other diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.) So here's what you can do to take care of your brain.
This is your brain on exercise If you had to pick just one lifestyle change to make in the name of brain health, experts agree exercise tops the list—especially for women.
We consider neuroplasticity, the brain's capacity to form new neural connections, an exciting part of a child's development, but we now know our brains can continue to grow, repair and improve as adults, too. Physical activity is a well-researched trigger. Not only can working out bolster our day-to-day functioning and alertness but it also appears to help us repair brain damage. Plus, it slows down aging and the onset of age-related brain diseases.
Working up a sweat and pumping up your heart rate can lead to a healthier vascular system in the brain, which decreases blood pressure and oxidative stress (when your body's antioxidants can't fight off free radicals), and increases antioxidant activity, according to Marc Poulin, an Alzheimer's researcher and professor of physiology at the University of Calgary. Vigorous exercise also floods the bloodstream with a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which readies the body for repair and heightens the brain's ability to learn and form new memories. Plus, hitting the gym helps the brain repair myelin; a lack of the nerve fibre–protecting substance is a factor in developing multiple sclerosis.
Exercising can also restore crucial brain volume. Research has shown that the hippocampus— home to memory, learning and emotion—starts shrinking after age 55 by about one to two percent a year, but just one year of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise done three days a week can increase its size by two percent.
And while most of the research is about the benefits of getting in your cardio, Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, says strength training is also effective, as it can enhance brain performance and function by 11 to 17 percent. "Women live longer [than men], and age itself is the greatest risk factor for dementia," she says. "But the good news is when we look at the benefit of aerobic exercise on cognition in older adults, women seem to benefit more."
The takeaway: You can reap the rewards from even a 15-minute walk. Of course, the longer you exercise, the better, especially if you get your sweat on and your heart rate up. If you want to tick a few other brain health tips off your list, consider joining a team sport. It blends physical, social and cognitive skills, and "can also add pleasure and meaning to our lives," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
If you have an office job and find you're sedentary most of the day, take a few minutes every hour or so to get up and move around. Research also suggests switching to a standup desk may improve your brain function.
Did you know? Taking care of a loved one—most often a spouse in your later years—can be a risk factor for developing depression and, eventually, dementia . But research out of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto found, for the first time, that cognitive behavioural therapy, a form of talk therapy, can improve both mood and cognition.
This is your brain on sleep After a good night's sleep, you feel alert and ready to tackle the day. But that's not just because your brain has been resting. It has also been busy filing away memories and taking out the trash, so to speak, thanks to the glymphatic system, which washes the brain of waste materials. For example, a protein called betaamyloid, which is known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's, acts as a neurotoxin when it builds up, killing neural cells in the brain. But a good sleep removes excess beta-amyloid and other waste materials, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
Because one of the common symptoms of Alzheimer's is disrupted sleep, it's unclear whether a lack of shut-eye should be considered part of the progression of the disease or a risk factor on its own, due to the buildup of beta-amyloids.
Nevertheless, poor sleep hastens your brain's aging process—much like sitting in the sun sans SPF speeds up your skin's aging process. And disturbed sleeping has been linked to all aspects of brain health, including an increased risk of depression and a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning. In one U.K. study out of University College London Medical School, middle-aged women who reported a drop in the average number of hours they slept had lower scores on cognitive tests involving reasoning and vocabulary.
What's more, our central clocks—a.k.a. our circadian rhythms—can drift from the patterns of our childhood, making it hard to get that much-needed rest. "As we age, our central clock is less sensitive to stimuli like light, food and physical activity," says Dr. Liu-Ambrose; this change makes it harder to fall, and stay, asleep. We can also become more vulnerable to stress and anxiety, which further disrupt those rhythms.
One way to combat these fluctuations is to try what seasoned travellers do for jet-lag recovery: Get exposure to real daylight and eat your meals on time to nudge your brain into a routine. And don't use bright screens at night, especially before bed, because they mimic sunlight and tell our circadian system that it's day, not night—and, therefore, not time to sleep. Those who need more help might consider light therapies that have been developed to treat seasonal affective disorder, says Dr. Liu-Ambrose.
The takeaway: Many researchers consider six to eight hours of sleep a night to be the standard sweet spot, though this can vary by individual. If you're routinely getting less than that and waking often in the night, not feeling refreshed in the morning and experiencing bouts of sleepiness during the day, talk to your doctor about sleep strategies—especially if you're experiencing anxiety or depression. In the short term, napping can reverse some of the effects of poor sleep, including memory loss and increased stress. And you only need a 30-minute catnap to feel the results.
This is your brain on a healthy diet There's no perfect "brain food," but eating a nutritious diet (lots of veggies and fruit, lean meat, fish and healthy fats) is the smartest way to maintain long-term brain function and memory, and to slow the development of brain diseases.
Getting enough of specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids is important but not the holy grail. University of Pittsburgh researchers recently found that people who eat broiled or baked fish at least once a week have larger brain volumes in the areas used for memory and cognition, despite varying levels of omega-3 in the fish they ate. Senior researcher James Becker concluded that he and his colleagues were "tapping into a more general set of lifestyle factors that were affecting brain health, of which diet is just one part."
In a 2015 study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, researchers looked at the broad set of eating habits of more than 900 people over 4 1/2 years and found that those who adhered to a diet high in fish, vegetables, nuts and berries, and low in fat and sugar, slowed down their brains' aging by about 7 1/2 years when compared to those with less-healthy diets. The healthy eaters cut their risk of Alzheimer's by up to 53 percent. And even when those people only adhered to the diet part time, they saw some benefits— an effect that has not been found in other diets, says Drogos.
The researchers dubbed the most promising cluster of these eating habits the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which blends the longevity-boosting Mediterranean diet and the heart-healthy low-fat DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet that doctors recommend to patients at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. More studies need to be done on why it works, but in the meantime, there's no downside to eating healthier and ditching the junk.
The takeaway: Add more veggies to your diet. Research shows that older adults who report eating more of this food group perform better in mentally stimulating activities than those who don't.
Did you know? "Menopause brain" is a real thing. As with "pregnancy brain," its more famous counterpart, women approaching menopause really do experience memory problems and brain fog. Researchers think a drop in estrogen levels might be the cause.
Can you train your brain? Does firing up a brain-training app actually help improve your memory and ward off dementia? Sorry to disappoint, but right now, evidence for the benefits of computer-based brain games is weak, says Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor and Canada research chair at The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal HealthResearch Institute. Brain games appear to help you learn to play them better, but research doesn't show that those tasks transfer to other aspects of brain performance. The same goes for crossword puzzles and sudoku, which help your vocabulary and math skills, but nothing more.
How to maintain your mental edge at any age
In your 30s: This is the time to make sure you establish healthy habits—such as getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and eating a good diet—that will affect your brain health throughout your adult years. "When it comes to maintaining brain health, the best time to start is yesterday," says Dr. Nasreen Khatri, a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist and neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. If you feel you need a boost at work, consider old-fashioned writing instead of typing on your computer. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that university students who made handwritten notes were better equipped to recall conceptual ideas from their professors' lectures than those who had typed notes on their laptops.
In your 40s and 50s: People in this age group are part of the "sandwich generation," and often face caring for their aging parents on top of dealing with their other work, financial and parenting obligations. So, unsurprisingly, they're super stressed—and this can affect both mental health and day-to-day brain function. Dr. Khatri says it's essential to prioritize and edit out activities and commitments that increase stress without adding value to your productivity or happiness. That's because "maintaining mental health in early and mid life is key to safeguarding cognitive health later on," she says. "Untreated depression in midlife doubles your risk of developing dementia in later life."
In your 60s and beyond: In your senior years, socializing with friends and family, and picking up activities that allow you to connect, such as volunteering, are key to maintaining brain health. And sorry, keeping up with folks on Facebook isn't enough. "Ask yourself: Is social media rounding out my real-life social experiences?" suggests Dr. Khatri. What you need is face-to-face interaction.
"I've seen more changes this year than in the past three years," says Lisa Gittens, a tax expert at H&R Block.
Here are eight things families will want to be aware of when filling out their 2016 return.
1. Last chance on certain tax credits
The government is phasing out a handful of tax credits and focusing on larger benefits. The children's arts and fitness tax credits will be halved for the 2016 tax year, and cut completely next year, meaning families will no longer be able to defray costs for things like swimming lessons, ballet and tutoring. For post-secondary students, the education and textbook credits are being eliminated in 2017, although education amounts carried forward from previous years will still be claimable.
2. No more income splitting
Also gone is the Family Tax Cut, which lets the higher-earning spouse transfer up to $50,000 of income to the lower-earner. During the 2015 election, the Liberals promised to cut it, calling it a "tax break for the wealthy."
With the benefit gone, Gittens recommends a spousal RRSP, which allows the higher-earner to contribute to the lower-earning spouse's RRSP and claim the tax benefit. "You may have an RRSP set up, but you haven't thought about setting it up for your spouse. This is an ideal time to use that strategy," she says.
3. Changes to child benefits
The Canada Child Benefit was a signature feature of the 2016 budget, replacing the old Universal Child Care Benefit and the Canada Child Tax Benefit. It's non-taxable, so you don't have to claim it. However, in order to continue to receive the benefit, both parents must file a return, even if one doesn't generate any income, says Gittens.
Also keep in mind that the benefit started in July, so you still have to claim the taxable UCC for the first six months of the year.
4. New tax rates
New tax rates mean you may or may not be pleasantly surprised by the size of your tax bill this year. If you're in the meaty middle that earns between $45,000 and $90,000, your rate will come down to 20.5 percent from 22 percent.
"Most Canadians will be receiving more money at the end of the day than they were under the old system," says Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC Wealth Strategies Group.
However, high-income earners will be paying more due to a new 33 percent bracket for people earnings more than $200,000.
5. Child care expenses
Childcare costs are usually the biggest deduction available for families, says Golombek. But what many people don't realize is that it goes beyond simply daycare. If you have a nanny, you can claim that expense, but also babysitting, if it's during the day, and summer or day camp.
6. Disability tax credit and family caregiver amount
If you have family members with a disability there are certain credits that may be available to you. The Disability Tax Credit is available to people with disabilities to reduce their taxes. For children under age 18, a parent or caregiver may be able to claim the unused amount.
If you're a caregiver to a family member with physical or mental impairments, you may also be able to claim an additional $2,121, according to the Canada Revenue Agency.
7. Selling your principal residence
Selling your home has typically not been something you've had to report on your taxes, because usually Canadians don't get taxed for capital gains on their principle residence. But starting with the 2016 tax year, individuals who sold their principal residence during the year must report the sale. The government is ostensibly doing this to crack down on people who try to pass off income-generating homes as their principal residence.
8. eFile early, get your refund early
Tax deadline is April 30, but if you want to get ahead of the game, file early, before the government is inundated with last-minute returns. You can still file the old paper return, but Gittens says you'll be looking at a turnaround time of anywhere up to eight weeks, versus 10-14 days for a return filed early and electronically.