5 Healthy Foods to Improve Your Sex Life

5 Healthy Foods to Improve Your Sex Life

You've probably planned the restaurant and atmosphere, but did you think about the menu? Eating these healthy foods can spice up your date night!

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Healthy foods that boost your libido: Did you know that a number of healthy foods may affect your hormone levels, energy, and even brain chemistry? When planning a romantic dinner, most people think about the location and atmosphere to heighten the mood, but not the actual foods themselves. Here's a list of foods that may actually increase sexual arousal and boost your sex drive.

1. Oysters

OK, you've probably heard that oysters are good for your sex life, but it's true, and you might not know why. The key to oysters' sexual benefits is zinc. This mineral increases testosterone production which regulates libido for both men and women. Also, research suggests that zinc improves sperm count in men, and ovary health in women. I guess it's not surprising that the legendary lover, Casanova, was said to eat oysters daily!

2. Avocados

Yes, avocados are a superfood, and their benefits even extend into the bedroom. Actually, the ancient Aztec name for avocado meant, "testicle," due to their shape and how they hang from the tree. Packed with vitamins and minerals, avocados help boost your energy and libido which are central to a good sex life. They're also a great source of good fats, vitamin B6, CoQ10, and omega-3 fatty acids which boost your mood and can make you frisky.

3. Chocolate

It's no myth that chocolate helps elevate your sex life. Chocolate contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels that are linked to increased sexual arousal. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which also helps get us in the mood.

4. Asparagus

Rich in vitamin B6, vitamin E, and folate, this phallic veggie can improve sexual arousal and orgasm. (Yes, it also might make your pee smell funny!)

5. Chile Peppers

Looking to literally spice up your sex life? Chile peppers can help. They contain a chemical called, capsaicin, which coaxes the release of endorphins in your brain, making you feel happier and even sexier. Bonus: Spicy foods can even speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss. Skinnier, and sexier? Um, I'll have the Chiles Rellenos, please. (Extra spicy!)

Ok, so those are some really common foods to add to the menu if you're looking for a boost in the bedroom. Why not work one or more of these popular and healthy foods into your next date night dinner?

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My Friend Got Sick In The Dominican Republic

From visiting the beautiful beaches to spending six hours in a hospital of a foreign country.

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I visited the Dominican Republic from June 7 to June 14 this summer for my high school graduation trip. My family and best friend Jordan stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. I'm not hopping onto the bandwagon of all these stories coming out about this country that relies so much on tourism. I'm not here to condemn the resort or the country, because despite all the trouble I went through, I had an amazing time. I'm simply here to tell my story about what happened.

Right before we left for the trip, we heard all the stories about people dying in the country. This obviously made us all paranoid because we didn't want to end up like those people. We wanted to be careful. Most of the people who died at resorts had a drink from the minibar in the hotel and were poisoned by insecticides, had bloody diarrhea, throwing up blood, and had eventually had respiratory problems. We were aware of the symptoms and were knowledgable before going into this foreign country.

The first four days of the trip we were all having an amazing time. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches, swimming in the fourteen different pools, and eating like gluttons. I met so many beautiful and kind people from the Dominican Republic. Every person welcomed us as "familia", Spanish for family. On the fourth day, we decided to go on an excursion through the hotel. We went snorkeling and swam through the clear blue water. Jordan and I danced with the crew members on the boat. We shopped for souvenirs from locals and finally called it a day.

When we got back on the bus to the resort, my dad was shivering and was short of breath. His stomach was cramping and his forehead was on fire like he had a fever. After the longest thirty minutes of my life worrying about him, we finally made it back and he rushed to the bathroom. For the next twelve hours, he rested in the hotel room. The next day he was fine and had seemed to just catch a twenty-four bug.

Then, the next night Jordan was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured it was just because she was adjusting the spicy food of the Dominican and that it would pass. In the morning when I had woken up, she told me had a fever and had been going to the bathroom every hour. My mom gave her anti-diarrhea medicine and she felt better the next day after resting in the room. We got her dinner of a small pizza and we went to bed, an uneventful day.

Jordan woke me up at 2 A.M. that night calling my name from the bathroom and asking for a trashcan. It was coming out of both ends at this point. After calling my mom and her dad, who was still in the U.S., we decided to call the resort doctor and have her come to the room. The doctor then determined that she was extremely dehydrated and needed to be transported to the hospital.

We got there at 4:30 A.M.. and Jordan had an IV put into her with anti-diarrhea medicine and saline. After multiple tests, the doctors said that she had a bacterial infection in her stomach. They gave her antibiotics and multiple packets of pills to take home and we left the clinic at 10:30 A.M. at last. She's going to be fine, but we were all scared because of all the news stories going on.

When we got back to the resort, multiple people who we had seen at the clinic came up to us and told us how their relatives experienced the same thing Jordan had. When I did some research, an article stated that 45 people had gotten violently ill from eating at the Toro restaurant at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, which is where we ate the night before Jordan got sick.

We were lucky, you could say. I'm not sure it's necessarily all the resort's fault or the country's though. Although all these things happened to us, I believe that it's a matter of doing your research before you go to any country. Any country's food could make you sick. We don't know exactly where Jordan or my dad got sick from. All these bad news stories coming out could've played into why we reacted so harshly.

Saying all this, I would still love to visit the Dominican Republic again. I want to visit so many other countries across the world. For anyone else that is reading this and is scared to visit a country like this, I say just go for it. Know the risks, but know that there are rewards. You can't let fear hold you back from living your life, because dying in America is just as likely from other things.

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12 Big Tax Changes for 2018

If you've watched any news this year, you'll know that sweeping tax law changes are coming. But, how will they affect you and your family?

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Big tax changes to consider for 2018: If you watch the news and keep up with current events, you will know that in recent months, the House and Senate have renegotiated and revamped many of the tax laws. After many months of back and forth, the changes are here and there are some things that you need to know. Here are the changes you can expect to see this coming tax season.

1. Tax Bracket Changes

Tax exemptions and rates are primarily based upon income and there are still 7 major tax brackets to consider. Take the time to view the below information to first see where you fall in line with these 7 income levels. Note that there is now a new lower top tax of 37%. This is, in fact, lower than previous rates proposed by the senate and house majority.

Ok, let's meet the tax brackets:

• 10% Tax $9,525 individuals; $19,050 for married couples and those filing jointly
• 12% Tax between $9,525 and $38,700, individuals; $19,050 to $77,400 filing jointly
• 22% Tax between $38,700 and $82,500, individuals; $77,400 to $165,000 jointly
• 24% Tax between $82,500 and $157,500, individuals; $165,000 to $315,000 jointly
• 32% Tax between $157,500 and $200,000, individuals; $315,000 to $400,000 jointly
• 35% Tax between $200,000 and $500,000, individuals; $400,000 to $600,000 jointly
• 37% Tax over $500,000 individuals; over $600,000 jointly





2. Deductions

This year, filers have the ability to deduct lower than their taxable income. This is due to the double standard deduction policy. Single filers can utilize between $6,350 to $12,000 and those filing jointly can file between $12,700 and $24,000 deductions. These higher figures are the result of eliminating many of the traditional deductions allowed to tax payers. It is likely that more tax payers will choose this avenue as opposed to itemizing deductions. If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is below $66k, you might even be able to file simple taxes for free.

3. Personal Exemptions Scrapped

This year, filers have the ability to deduct lower than their taxable income. This is due to the double standard deduction policy. Single filers can utilize between $6,350 to $12,000 and those filing jointly can file between $12,700 and $24,000 deductions. These higher figures are the result of eliminating many of the traditional deductions allowed to tax payers. It is likely that more tax payers will choose this avenue as opposed to itemizing deductions.

4. Higher Medical Expense Deductions

Medical expenses could previously be deducted for up to 10% of your gross adjusted income. The figure has been lowered to 7.5% for this season and beginning in 2019, there is no longer a penalty in place for not having medical insurance.

5. Fewer Taxpayers Hit AMT

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is placed on those claiming higher income as a separate tax. The new exemption amount for the AMT is up to $109,400 for those married and filing jointly and to $70,300 for those filing as single. Exemptions phase out at $1 million for married filers and $500,000 for single filers. This means that fewer people will reach the AMT threshold.

6. What About Family Exemptions?

As stated above, the $4,050 that was the standard for filing dependents has been eliminated. Those will larger families will be affected most as they will no longer be able to take advantage of that sometimes large tax break.

7. Higher Child Tax Credit

The above deduction being taken away might seem like a let down to some families, but luckily, the government has made up for it. They have chosen to increase the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $2,000. This tax credit is for single parents with a reflective income of up to $200,000 and married couples and those filing jointly for up to $400,000. There is also a new $500 credit for adult dependents.

8. 529 Plans Used Outside of College Expenses

Private school kids are getting a bit of an upgrade with 529 plans coming available for use in grades K-12. Up to $10,000 per year can be used from the college savings program for primary private school education. These funds, however, do not cover homeschooling expenses. The top tax software actually offers special codes just for students.

9. Lower Mortgage Interest

Homeowners get a break with the ability to deduct interest on their current home up to $1 million, but those looking to purchase a home will have to contend with a cap of $750,000 for deducted interest.

10. State, Local, and Property Tax

The debate lingers as to which states allow for state and local tax deductions, but it is still available for taxpayers to deduct their property tax, and either sales tax or income, but only up to $10,000. So, can you get out of that state tax bill? Um, no. Haven't you heard that quote about death and taxes?

11. Corporate Tax Rate Drop

Corporate taxes were on the table this year and those taxes have been reduced drastically from 35% to 21%. This is currently the largest drop in history and as of 2026, the change will become permanent. This tax cut has certainly given a short-term boost to Wall Street, but the jury is out on the long-term benefit to Main Street.

12. Pass Through Business Lower Tax Rates

Partnerships, S Corporations, and Sole Proprietorships are known as pass through businesses. These businesses have historically been saddled with high self employment taxes while larger businesses benefit, but these companies are now allowed a bit of a break. Pass through business owners are now allowed to deduct up to 20% of their total annual income instead of resorting to itemization as in years past.

In conclusion: Taxes evolve with time and this year has certainly been a doozy of change for the 2018 tax season. If you have yet to brush up on the new laws and see where you stand, it is time to take advantage of the space between now and filing day and find out which laws you are subject to following and which ones you may be exempt from. As always, file your taxes responsibly to ensure that you never have to hear the most frightening word of all, "AUDIT." Happy (almost!) Tax Season!

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