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The 21 best trips for foodies around the world

There's a surprising reason your gluten-free diet might be making you feel better


gluten free cupcakes

Gluten-free bread. Gluten-free cupcakes. Gluten-free cereal.

With all of the new options to avoid gluten, there's got to be something about the ingredient that's bad for you, right?


As Alan Levinovitz points out in "The Gluten Lie," the scary-sounding ingredient is not to be feared.

Far from a dangerous toxin, gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and other similar grains, from hearty barley to bitter-tasting rye. It's what makes bagels chewy and lets fresh-baked bread rise. 

While gluten isn't dangerous to most people, those who give it up may often feel better because they make other positive changes like cooking at home more. 

People who give up gluten may also feel healthier because they think gluten is making them feel awful — a so-called "nocebo" effect.

Only about 1% of Americans actually have celiac diseasea genetic, autoimmune disorder that causes people who eat gluten to experience damage to their small intestine.

Another 0.63% to 6% of people may be sensitive to gluten without having celiac disease, meaning that when they eat gluten, they experience some or all of the symptoms that people with celiac do. (This condition, called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is a bit controversial, however, with several studies suggesting it's either overblown or doesn't exist.)

In other words, in a room of 100 people, chances are one has celiac. A few more could be sensitive. That's not a whole lot of people.

Big business

gluten free bread standNevertheless, gluten-free diets have caught on like wildfire. And lots of people— far more than a few in 100 — say they've experienced benefits from abandoning the ingredient, from losing weight to being in a better mood. Even celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga say they've gone gluten-free. 

Gluten-free alternatives have become a big industry: 30% of people want to eat less gluten. Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by next year.

So what gives?

When people go on a diet or stop eating a certain thing — be it fatty foods, processed carbohydrates, or sugar — they often make a whole host of other lifestyle changes as well, Levinovitz writes.

So while cutting gluten may seem like it causes weight loss or clearer skin, in reality, something else is probably the real cause, like swapping fast food for cooking at home. Peter Gibson, Monash University Australia's Director of Gastroenterology who's led multiple studies on gluten, tells Levinovitz: 

"I've noticed [this] lots of times, even with family members. They've decided they're eating a lot of takeaway foods, quick foods, not eating well at all. They read this thing about gluten-free, and then they're buying fresh vegetables, cooking well, and eating a lot better. Blaming the gluten is easy, but you could point to about a hundred things they're doing better."

All in their heads?

Gibson is also the author of a recent study that found that, out of 37 people with self-identified gluten sensitivity that wasn't celiac disease, a total of 0 people were actually sensitive to gluten.

The study revealed what's called a "nocebo" effect — when self-diagnosed gluten sensitive people thought they'd feel worse when given gluten, they actually felt worse (even if what they ate didn't actually contain gluten).

In other words, it was all in their heads. 

But this can be a tough pill to swallow. "When it comes to food sensitivities, people are incredibly unwilling to question self-diagnoses," Levinovitz writes. "No one wants to think that the benefits they experienced from going gluten-free ... might be psychological."

On top of that, connecting what we've eaten to physical symptoms is incredibly difficult. Not only have studies shown that we have trouble remembering what we ate when we ate it, we're also poor judges of what's healthy and what's not.

So rather than jumping to self-diagnose, see a doctor. And stick to the science.

UP NEXT: 6 'healthy' eating habits you are better off giving up

READ MORE: Researchers who provided key evidence for gluten sensitivity have now thoroughly shown that it doesn't exist

Join the conversation about this story »

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24 delicious foods you should eat in China


Zha jiang mian

China is a large country that's home to many rich, flavorful dishes.

Although there are staples that can be found throughout the country, the cuisine varies greatly from region to region.

For example, Shanghai boasts xiao long bao (soup dumplings), while Beijing has Peking duck.

Keep scrolling for 24 delicious dishes to try on your next trip to China.


SEE ALSO: 8 Real Chinese Dishes You Should Order Instead Of The American Knockoffs

SEE ALSO: 32 mouthwatering foods everyone should try in France

To make cong you bing — the Chinese version of a savory pancake — chopped scallions are folded into delicious flatbread.

The combination of tender duck meat and crispy skin makes Peking duck one of China's tastiest dishes. If you're looking for the authentic experience, eat your duck wrapped in a pancake with scallions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce. The dish is from Beijing.

Yu xiang rou si features shredded pork doused in hot garlic sauce with sauteed vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers. The dish originated in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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What it's like to live off the grid, according to a couple who moved to a fire lookout in the middle of the Oregon forest


Fire Lookout 2

Retired couple Alan Colley and Dabney Tompkins have chosen a rather unconventional location for their next home.

After stumbling upon a book about the US Forest Service, Colley and Tompkins were inspired to move into a fire lookout, a 40-foot tower that was historically used to spot forest fires.

"It was a magical moment that the book sort of fell off the shelf to us," Colley told Zillow. "We called the ranger district and said why don’t we rent this thing? That was the beginning."

After renting a few fire lookouts, they decided to purchase land on Summit Prairie in Oregon, where they would build their own tower from the ground up. At that point, the couple had already downsized from a Dallas estate to a 1,400-square-foot home in Portland.

What started as a weekend getaway eventually turned into a permanent residence.

"We decided to be totally irresponsible and quit our jobs and move here," Tompkins said to Zillow.

Living in a fire lookout — which, by the way, has no indoor bathroom — came with an interesting set of challenges.

SEE ALSO: 9 enormous log cabins that have all the luxuries of a modern mansion

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Lookouts were used to spot forest fires from the early 20th century up until the 1960s, when they were replaced by satellites. To this day, very few fire lookouts remain standing.

Colley and Tompkins spent a few years camping around the area before settling on their property. In 2010, their getaway turned home was completed.

The fire lookout sits on 160 acres on land, much of which is a meadow. As they rise above the tree line, they boast 360-degree views of the land.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Meet Reed Hastings, the man who built Netflix


Reed Hastings

Netflix is one of the greatest underdog success stories at the crossroads of technology and television.

What started as a DVD-by-mail rental service has now spawned a slew of award-winning original television series, made available over 100 million hours of content, and virtually redefined what it means to watch, and create, TV in 2015. 

While CEO and founder Reed Hastings is a prominent member of the Silicon Valley tech community, he's largely elusive to the general public.

Scroll through to learn about the man who built the $47 billion online streaming service.

SEE ALSO: The 15 best movies on Netflix you've probably never heard of

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Reed Hastings was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 8, 1960, to Joan and Wilmot Hastings. His father was a lawyer who later worked for the Nixon Administration.

Source: Vanity Fair

Hastings attended Bowdoin College where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and ran the Outing Club where he organized climbing and canoeing trips.

Source: Vanity Fair, Fortune

After college, he joined the Peace Corps to teach high school math for two years in Swaziland, an experience he's called "a combination of service and adventure."

Source: Inc. MagazineVanity Fair

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Try this renowned steakhouse marinade recipe for the ultimate steak

23 mouthwatering photos of the best food you can get at the US Open


us open drinks

Dining at the US Open is an experience.

From massive rib-eye steaks and fish tacos to the Open's classic lobster roll, there are more than enough options to satisfy your hunger.

As reported by amNewYork, more than 12,000 pounds of Jersey tomatoes, 4,230 pounds of Long Island salad greens, and 7.5 tons of shrimp, crab, and lobster were ordered to feed the masses.

From delectable eats to boozy refreshments, we searched Instagram to find the tastiest bites at this year's US Open.

SEE ALSO: 20 amazing photos of lattes that are almost too gorgeous to drink

Welcome to the U.S. Open, where you can eat just about any type of cuisine while watching your favorite tennis stars compete.

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Lavazza is the official coffee of the U.S. Open.

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But coffee isn't the only way to jump start your morning — you could always try a Bloody Mary instead.

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10 unexpected places where you can now order booze


Beer mugs cheers

"Would you like a beer with that?"

Many retailers and fast food places are beginning to incorporate booze into their mixes. For fast food restaurants, this is often to help attract a late-night crowd.

You probably already know that you can order a margarita with your burrito bowl at Chipotle, but there are other places where you can sip on a glass of wine while eating fast food — or even taking care of daily tasks.

A lot of these places are very unsuspecting. 

Not all of these stores have secured their liquor licenses yet, but consuming beer while shopping very well might become the next big thing.

SEE ALSO: Starbucks is transforming coffee shops into bars — here's what it's like to go to one


Target recently disclosed that a forthcoming Chicago unit was applying for two liquor licenses — one was a "Packaged Goods" license and one was a "Consumption on Premises" license, according to USA Today. Chicago locals might be able to sit down and have a beer when shopping for furniture gets too exhausting.

Some hair and beauty salons

Beauty Bar— with several locations across the United States — has made the "manicure and martini happy hour" famous.  The Blind Barber also serves up a free drink with every service — it's also a speakeasy. Other salons occasionally serve up beers with their haircuts, too.


When Starbucks announced that locations would be adding wine and beer to an "Evenings" menu, some people probably couldn't wait to request a venti pinot noir. Turns out Starbucks doesn't serve venti wine glasses, but the new nighttime menu isn't bad at all.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's what 900 million Wi-Fi networks look like around the world


Whether it's checking e-mail in bed, getting directions on the run, or watching Netflix as you sink into your comfortable couch cushions, we're constantly surfing the net.

But we rarely stop to consider the crucial lifeline that connects us to this new-age lifestyle — the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi networks and cellphone towers across the globe, which make it all possible.

Now, you can see what this lifeline looks like in some of the largest cities in the world, thanks to the producers at Mapbox and Skyhook. Each yellow dot in the map below of the eastern US is a single Wi-Fi signal:

eastern_usFor years, the people at Skyhook — a big data company that improves location tracking services on phones — tracked triangulating Wi-Fi signals around the world.

Now digital artist Eric Fischer has taken that data and made a map of 900 million Wi-Fi signals in cities like Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo, and London.

You can check out an interactive version of that map here where you can zoom in and out, like in the GIF below:

Sep 04, 2015 10:57

Fischer says his map is the most precise one ever made that features global Wi-Fi interconnectivity.

"It's these Wi-Fi points that are the key for making positioning on your phone super accurate," Lindsay Young, who is another expert at Mapbox, told Business Insider in an email. "Everyone always thinks GPS is what puts the blue dot on your map -- but GPS is only accurate within 10 meters and phones don't have super powerful GPS antennas."

When you zoom in on a massive city like Manhattan, you get a breathtaking site of electronic activity:

20883236868_476301a28a_b"If you zoom out from the dense coverage of Manhattan, you can see neighborhoods full of yellow, all mapped within the last six months, where many people are constantly passing by with cell phones," Fischer wrote on his blog for Mapbox. "The result is a snapshot of how people are moving through the city each day."

Some cities are displayed in different colors. For example, Seoul, in South Korea has more pink and purple than yellow. The different colored dots "show the diverse ecosystems of Wi-Fi and cell towers," Fischer told Business Insider. Here's Seoul:

seoulAnd here you can see how Wi-Fi signals outline the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia:

harbor_bridge_sydneyThese maps looks remarkably similar to photos snapped from space of city lights. But instead of physical light, we're seeing the tremendous activity of electronics across the globe. Here you can see the Wi-Fi hot spots of England, France, and Belgium as they illuminate the map:

england_france_belgium_netherlandsCheck out Fischer's blog post and interactive map for more amazing visuals of the world's electronic lifeline. You can also read Skyhook's version on their blog here.

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How much it costs to rent an apartment in the 11 most expensive US cities


NYC apartment

Housing eats up a lot of our paycheck, but just how much?

We turned to the Economic Policy Institute to find out, which recently released a 2015 Family Budget Calculator measuring the annual cost of necessities to live a secure yet modest lifestyle.

The calculator estimates the costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, other necessities, and taxes.

In this case, we looked specifically at the how much the EPI estimates a family of four and single people are paying for monthly rent in the most expensive metropolitan areas in the US.

Housing costs are based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) fair market rents, and include shelter and all tenant-paid utilities (excluding telephone service, cable, and internet). Studio apartments were used for one-person households, and two-bedroom apartments were used for families with two children.

(Read the full methodology for the budget calculator on the EPI website.)

Of course, if you're looking to buy in a major metro, that may cost you more. As for renting, here's how much you can expect to pay per month in the 11 most expensive metro areas in the US:

SEE ALSO: Here's how much it costs for a family to live in 20 major US cities

11. Santa Rosa

Monthly cost of housing:

4-person family: $1,251

Single person: $820

10. San Diego-Carlsbad

Monthly cost of housing:

4-person family: $1,354

Single person: $939

9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim

Monthly cost of housing:

4-person family: $1,398

Single person: $896

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

There are 25 incredible cars that cost less than the back seat of a Bentley Mulsanne Speed

The best spots for incredible views in 15 cities around the world


Flair Rooftop Ritz Carlton Pudong Shanghai

A good city view can be hard to come by.

Iconic buildings such as New York City's Empire State Building and Paris' Eiffel Tower attract long lines of tourists and often have high prices.

Most big cities though have other options for breathtaking skyline views.

From Taipei to Toronto, we've rounded up 15 lesser-known places where you can catch an unparalleled glimpse of the city.

SEE ALSO: 16 incredible European destinations that haven't been discovered by tourists

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The Empire State Building is known as the place for the best views of New York City's skyline. However, when you see the city from there, you miss out on seeing the iconic building itself as part of the view. Try the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center instead; tickets are slightly cheaper, the lines will most likely be shorter, and you'll still get a spectacular view from 70 floors up.

Click here to learn more about the Top of the Rock >

When tourists think of Paris, they usually think of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views. But those looking for a little less crowded of an experience should try Parc de Belleville, Paris' highest garden and one of the few remaining vineyards in the city. There are multiple lookouts here that provide sweeping views of the city of lights from a more natural setting.

Click here to learn more about Parc de Belleville >

Rising high above the rest of Toronto's skyline, the CN Tower is a popular spot to catch a glimpse of the skyline. For a much cheaper view though, head to Polson Pier, which sits along the shores of Toronto's harbor. It's a favorite among photographers because of the picture-perfect waterfront view it provides.

Click here to learn more about Polson Pier >


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Someone has finally created a yoga mat that rolls itself up when you're done



Schlepping a yoga mat to and from a session can be a hassle. Mats have a tendency to unravel at inopportune times, and always seem to take up more room than they should.

But now a new yoga mat, currently over halfway to its $50,000 Kickstarter goal with 38 days to go, aims to solve both these problems.

YoYo Mat's creators bill it as the world’s first self-rolling yoga mat, and though it looks a bit silly, it seems undeniably useful.

The mat stays flat while you are practicing yoga and then snaps back into a tightly rolled form when you are done. All you have to do is click a button.

Take a look at how it functions:



Creator Aaron Thornton says he took his design inspiration from snap bracelets. Yes, these snap bracelets:

No word yet as to whether renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma feels the YoYo Mat name is a bit too close for comfort.

Visit the Kickstarter page here or watch the introduction video below:


SEE ALSO: 5 myths about yoga

Join the conversation about this story »

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Everyone is talking about 'divorce selfies' — the photo couples take to celebrate the end of a marriage


We've seen your funeral selfies and your selfies at inappropriate places. Now, people are saying "cheese!" for a new photo opportunity — the "divorce selfie."

The Huffington Post wrote about it back in August 2014— seemingly the first mention of the divorce selfie — when  Keith Hinson and Michelle Knight posted a selfie after receiving their divorce papers to end their 3-year marriage.

"Here’s to the most friendly, respectful, and loving split imaginable. We smile not because it’s over, but because it happened," Hinson wrote under the photo.

A bunch of news outlets picked it up, and that was the last we heard of the divorce selfie until this year, when this photo from Shannon and Chris Neuman, which Shannon shared on Facebook, went viral.

 The caption reads: 

Here's Chris Neuman and I yesterday after filing for divorce! But we're smiling?! Yep, we're kooky like that. Are we smiling because the partner we chose for forever turned out not to be the forever partner we needed? Of course not. We're smiling because we have done something extraordinary (we think anyway!) We have respectfully, thoughtfully and honourably ended our marriage in a way that will allow us to go forward as parenting partners for our children, the perfect reason that this always WAS meant to be, so they will never have to choose. They'll never have to wonder which side of the auditorium to run to after their Christmas concert or spring play, because we'll be sitting together. They won't have to struggle with their own wedding planning because we'll be sitting on the same side of the aisle - THEIR side. We have struggled, but we have succeeded in the plan we came up with together, to come out on the other side as their two parents who live in two houses who give them two teams to love them up two times as much. And now that you know it's possible - please consider our way if you find yourself on this road, or share our message if we can help remind them that it's possible to love your kids more than you hate/distrust/dislike your ex (which we have felt at times on the journey but for the record we do actually like each other). Nice work #teamneuman#divorceselfie

The photo has over 37,000 shares.

BuzzFeed's post from earlier this month, "Divorced couples are taking awesome selfies together to mark the occasion," shared about a dozen photos and brief stories behind them.  

A lot of the captions talk about the couples' kids and their wishes for a happy future.

Starting my new beginning on a good note... off to galena for a work trip with my sister. Girls weekend here I come! #divorceselfie #newchapter #putthekidsfirst #coparenting

A photo posted by Jessica Crowley Hanson (@jsshanson) on Oct 10, 2014 at 10:06am PDT on

BuzzFeed collected these photos after noticing a handful of people had posted photos on Instagram tagged #divorceselfie. But if you look at the timestamps on each of the Instagram photos, you can see that they were all taken over the course of 18 months.

And when you searched #divorceselfie on Instagram after the BuzzFeed post was published earlier this month, there were only 60 photos. (There are about 161 photos with that tag now.)

Now dozens of media outlets have written about it:

Divorce Selfie

While Shannon Neuman's photo is going nuts on Facebook, not all Instagram photos tagged with #divorceselfies are actual divorce selfies. 

The caption on this photo reads: 

Celebrating 43 years of marriage today! In a world where a#divorceselfie is celebrated, I'm thankful for Dennis and his commitment to me, the Lord and our family. #WeStillDo#Marriage

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here's what the 'Rich Kids of Instagram' did with their summers


rich kids of instagramThe Rich Kids of Instagram have been keeping busy this summer.

The two-year-old Tumblr blog and Instagram account aggregate photos from the world's richest young Instagram users, but nothing is too outlandish or flashy for these kids— pictures of bottles of Champagne, diamond-encrusted Rolexes, and private yachts are posted almost daily. It's next-level humblebragging

We took a look at the Rich Kids of Instagram earlier this year, but we're checking back in to see what they've been doing to wrap up their summers. We weren't shocked to discover they have been vacationing in the most exotic locales, showing off their riches, and drinking lots of sparkling wine.

Taking private planes to Monaco for lunch, as you do.

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They love their champagne.

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"Save water, spray champagne."

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The 44 best small colleges in America


Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT rocket team

The benefits of going to a small school include more individualized attention from professors, getting to know more of your classmates, and a tighter-knit alumni community.

We recently published our list of the 50 best colleges in America.

The list ranks colleges by median starting salary, average SAT score, and a survey that asked more than 1,000 Business Insider readers to choose the colleges that best prepare their students for success after graduation. Read our full methodology here.

We looked at our full list of 100 colleges and filtered them to only include those with 5,000 or fewer undergrads, then reranked them here to find out which are the best small schools in America. Read on to see which schools made the list.

SEE ALSO: The 50 best colleges in America

SEE ALSO: The 24 best public colleges in America

44. Yeshiva University

Enrollment: 2,817

Median starting salary: Unavailable

The Jewish-affiliated school is home to just over 2,800 students on four different campuses around New York City. More than a fifth of the student body takes advantage of the university's year-long Joint Israel Program to study Jewish law and thought, philosophy, and Israeli culture and history. YU hosts one large multi-industry career fair each year, and a number of industry-specific ones, including fairs for finance, communications and marketing, nonprofits, and year-long service programs.

43. Sarah Lawrence College

Enrollment: 1,437

Median starting salary: $39,000

Courses at this Bronxville, New York-based liberal-arts school are taught in round table-style seminars with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. SLC puts a heavy emphasis on writing and one-on-one time between students and professors — students write long term papers for every class with the guidance of their professors and academic advisors — which helps prepare students for rewarding careers at companies like The New York Times, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Viking/Penguin Books, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and more.

42. Macalester College

Enrollment: 2,073

Median starting salary: $41,200

St. Paul, Minnesota's Macalaster College ranked seventh in the nation, according to US News, for commitment to teaching. And some of the classes taught at Macalester are quite unusual: The school is proud of its "cutting-edge courses" that bring out-of-the-box perspectives to today's global issues. Previous classes include "inside the animal mind," "constructions of a female killer," and "the automobile and the American environment."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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