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Oprah’s Favorite Things Returns with 6 Items for a Healthier Lifestyle

In 1996 Oprah greeted her audience with a treasure trove of free gifts and prizes as she debuted the hottest giveaway daytime TV had ever seen. Oprah’s Favorite Things has grown to be the stuff of legends, and people would give arms and legs to have a seat and a chance to take home the media mogul’s top picks for holiday gifts. Oprah’s a giver, a giver of high-quality, high-end, premium gifts and it’s hardly anything you’d find on a clearance rack.

Since the end of her wildly popular daytime talk show, Oprah’s Favorite Things has faded in to TV history. But now through her OWN network, O Magazine, and a new partnership with Huffington Post, Oprah’s breaking the two-year hiatus with the announcement of 48 items on the 2012 Favorite Things list.

Some of it is quite posh and not likely to make it on to the holiday budget of most of her fans (like a nearly $2,000 Jetson-style battery-powered scooter), but some of it is completely in reason. Even better, a few items on her list are even good for you!

Top of the list is the Q37ci elliptical trainer. It’s a pricey addition to a home gym at $3,099, but it certainly pays for itself with dedicated use. She says her trainer Bob Greene turned her on to it and she loves the various options for total body workouts in one machine.
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Gangnam Style is a Fun Way to Burn 200 Calories

Has anyone not heard of Gangnam Style? It’s the hottest dance craze since the Macarena. It’s lighting up talk shows and living room dance parties from coast to coast and around the world as this South Korean hit makes everyone want to get up and shake their booties. Especially the sexy ladies.

If you haven’t stepped away from YouTube and actually done (or at least attempted) Psy’s Gangnam Style dance, maybe you should. There’s a good 200 calorie burn waiting for you on the down beat of those Womp! Womp! Womps!

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), “you can burn approximately 150-200 calories per half hour, which is similar to other forms of aerobic dance.” The calorie burn varies, like any other workout, on the weight of the person and the intensity at which it is performed.
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X-Factor Judges “Give a Fat Boy a Chance,” Advancing 540-Pound Freddie Combs to Next Round

Auditioning for a show can be nerve-wracking for anyone, especially when the judges who determine your fate are Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell, and LA Reid. You want everything to be perfect during the audition.

This week the ‘X Factor’ judges were put to the test when Freddie Combs sang on stage in his wheelchair. He wanted the judges to “Give a fat boy a chance.” Freddie Combs is a 540-pound, 41-year-old minister who is a Tennessee native. Before Freddie sang to the judges, he talked about his weight struggle. In 2009, Freddie weighed 920 pounds and was on his death bed. But, through a proper diet and exercise he has lost close to 400 pounds. After his near-death experience, Freddie continues his fight with obesity. He has a whole new outlook on life, which made him want to audition for the show.

Once Freddie started singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” the audience and judges were stunned. They heard a beautiful voice coming out of a man that many people wouldn’t think is beautiful. Freddie’s sound was reminiscent of Clay Aiken’s gospel voice. After Freddie finished singing the judges made it clear that they were judging him on his voice, not outer appearance.
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Cookie Monster’s “Call Me Maybe” Spoof Cuts Calories by Sharing

Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe” is such an internet sensation that it has made its way to Sesame Street! The Cookie Monster created his own lyrics to the hit beat and we aren’t going to lie, his lyrics are kind of catchy, too. The creators at Sesame Street made sure to have Cookie Monster’s lyrics kid friendly, but they are by no means diet friendly.

Cookie Monster’s parody, “Share It Maybe,” starts out with him in an office where he sees cookies being passed around, and that’s when he starts singing. Here is a selection of some of his lyrics in the parody:

Me got a wish on me mind

It is a chocolate chip kind

Me look at you and me tell

You may have snicker doodle
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Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ is a Mantra for Self Improvement

If you’ve ever heard Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man in the Mirror’ you might think it’s all about activism and politicking. With lyrics like, “If you want to make the world a better place then look at yourself and make a change,” anyone would raise an eyebrow to the defying characteristic of righteous action this song exudes.

Three years ago, after the news of Jackson’s passing, I played this song on my iPod as a way to honor the late, great, king of pop. Even though I was only a minimal fan at best, I still needed to have my own sense of closure, however trivial it was. The song I chose to memorialize Jackson with (in my own mind) was one of my favorites, yet I realized that I hadn’t actually paid that close attention to the lyrics. Sure, I heard the mantra, “Make that change,” ring over and over again, but it hadn’t hit home until that day.

Reclining in my luxurious overstuffed loveseat with a full bowl of popcorn in my lap I heard, “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love. It’s time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan. Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?” How did I ever miss that? Was it because I was jaded by the 80’s-era of Madonna and Michael Jackson pop-infused dance floor accessory successes, or was it because so often we choose to tune out that which we think has little or nothing to do with us?
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