Good Day Alabama for January 14, 2014

Good Day Alabama for January 14, 2014

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Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for January 14, 2014:

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joins us with Red Rock Tuesday. He joins us from Tarrant Downtown Park. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy, and quality of life for our region. For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit http://www.redrocktrail.org/.

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us a look at the U.S. News and World Report Best Diets Ranking. The 2014 report on the diet rankings is in from the U.S. News and World Report. A panel of experts -  including registered dietitian/nutritionists and experts in heart health, diabetes, and health behavior - rated the diets on: short term weight loss, long term weight loss, ease of following the diet, safety, overall nutrition, beneficial for diabetes, & beneficial for heart health. So who came out on top?  The DASH diet won again in the best overall category.  Second in that category was the TLC diet - that stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet.  There was a tie for third place between the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and Weight Watchers. So what made the top 5 so great? Good research support (DASH, weight watchers & Mediterranean), well balanced,  safe, and offering group support (weight watchers) and easy to follow. The diets that ranked at the bottom overall were The Fast Diet, Atkins, Raw Foods Diet, Dukan Diet, & Paleo Diet. The bottom 5 lost marks for lack of nutritional guidance,  long term weight loss (Atkins!),  difficulty in following the diet (Raw Foods),  and overly restrictive with way too many rules (Dukan), and cutting out whole food groups (Paleo).  The top diets for weight loss included Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser Diet, Jenny Craig, Raw Food Diet, and Volumetrics . Now you may be wondering why the Raw Food diet was tops in the weight loss category but ranked one of the worst overall. It's overall poor rating is because it is so difficult to follow - no foods that have been heated to above 115 degrees.  But, because it is so low in calories and high in fiber, you will probably lose weight fast - hence it high rating in the weight loss category. You might just have a very hard time sticking to it! For more information, visit http://health.usnews.com/best-diet.

MONEY TUESDAY - January is a great time to re-set your financial compass so you are headed towards success for the coming year.  Stewart Welch shared his favorite tips from the advisors within his companies:
- Secure this tax credit…while it lasts.  Under the Alabama Accountability Act, our state has set aside $25 million in state income tax credits to be used to provide scholarships for children from low income families who are stuck in failing public schools.  
- Invest in a better you.  Invest in yourself by getting in shape.
- Give the greatest gift.  Give your grandchildren a gift that will last, an education.
- Avoid this big tax penalty.  If you turn age 70½ or older this year, the IRS (generally) requires you begin taking distributions from your retirement plans (IRAs, 401k's, etc.) by December 31st.
- Ramp up your 401k.  If your company's retirement plan provides a company match, increase your contributions to take full advantage.  
- Give someone the power.  A power of attorney is one of the most basic documents of an estate plan. It allows a person you appoint as your "agent" to act on your behalf if you were to become incompetent due to an illness or accident.
- Share the wealth.  You may give up to $14,000 to as many people as you wish free of gift taxes ($28,000 for married couples filing jointly).  Children, grandchildren or elderly parents are typical choices for gifts.
- Protect your money.  Fraud and identity theft through hacking financial accounts is happening more and more.  Check your credit report twice a year; now and again at mid-year.
- Don't die without this.  While the subject of ones' mortality is never an exciting topic, death is inevitable for everyone.  Many people delay the execution of a valid Will for this very reason, or because of uncertainty over their exact wishes.  Make your best effort now to determine your wishes and get them commemorated on a legal document.  
- Strategy for high income earners.  Roth IRAs are one of the best strategies in retirement planning because retirement withdrawals are tax free…forever!  Unfortunately, high income earners (AGI above $129,000 for single filers; $191,000 for joint filers) are not eligible for Roth contributions unless you use this little-known strategy: First, roll existing IRAs into your 401k plan (tax free) if allowed or convert your IRA to a Roth (a taxable event).  Going forward, each year invest the maximum in a non-deductible IRA (no income limitations), then immediately convert it to a Roth IRA with no income tax consequences.  For 2014 you can invest up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older this year).  Advisor: Hugh Smith, CPA, CFP®, CFA

For more information on all of this advice, visit www.welchgroup.com.

LOVE SENSE - Surrounded by crumbling marriages, high divorce rates, and Millennials who text instead of date, how can we hope for lasting, loving relationships? According to Dr. Sue Johnson's new book "Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships," there is new scientific evidence proves that humans are meant to mate for life! Dr. Sue Johnson, bestselling author of Hold Me Tight, shares new science showing that love is not illogical or random; it is actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. In her groundbreaking book, Dr. Johnson offers scientific evidence that humans are meant to mate for life, and provides the tools to help us build caring ties and heal damaged ones. Based on cutting-edge research, Dr. Johnson's LOVE SENSE presents a revolutionary understanding of why and how we love and explains that love is exquisitely logical, understandable, adaptive, and durable; love makes "sense." Even the most distressed couples can repair and renew their relationships and move from breakup to bonding. Her latest research, just published in the journal PLoS One, reveals that couple therapy helps build a secure, loving bond that changes the way our brains perceive and responds to threat, soothing and calming us. For more information, visit http://www.holdmetight.com and http://www.psychologytoday.com/.

GARDENING - Jimmy Rockett joins us to explain the Mahonia plant. He says these plants are really tough - they can thrive in any type of soil. They originated in China. Jimmy says they bloom this time of year and have a sweet fragrance. These plants are wonderful for bird lovers as they produce grape like berries that birds love to eat. The Mahonia Bealii and Winter Media are the best ones for the birds. There are several varieties that grow in different heights so research the spot that you want them planted to make sure your Mahonia will fit the area in five years. Jimmy also says that once these plants get rooted, they can become drought tolerant, very hardy plant, and successful in cold and heat. For more information, call Jimmy at (205) 981-1151, email him at jimmyrockett@att.net, or visit his website at , www.rockettsbugjuicegardens.com.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, popular chef Rocco Dispirito brings us his Pound a Day Diet and explains how anyone can do it... even if you're too busy to cook! The childrens' doctor joins us to take your questions about their health! We take you to the Birmingham Zoo to meet a new friend and we check out what's going on these days at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!

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