Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Drink Water Safely

 

 

How to Drink Water Safely

Water is vital for life, but you should consider testing its purity and safety.   

“Don’t drink the water,” is not a warning typically heard in the U.S. Yet some of us may be drinking water that could cause harm. Major issues with contaminants, such as lead or bacteria, make news headlines, but more subtle issues may go undetected. Taking time to get informed about the water in your home is important for your health and safety.
Where to start? Review the annual water quality report sent by your local public water utility (check with your local provider or get a copy here). “The water in one community could be vastly different from that of another community,” says Kristi Pullen Fedinick, PhD, a staff scientist in the health program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, D.C. “Even the water in the house down the street could vary from yours, especially when it comes to contaminants like lead.”
If you suspect an individual household problem, you can get your water tested, either by your local water supplier or from a certified testing lab listed here. Fees vary depending on the specific contaminants you’re measuring.

Lead

This infamous toxin that impairs brain function gets into drinking water when it comes into contact with lead in pipes or lead solder that holds water pipes together. “Water utilities typically add a chemical that coats pipes, and that coating allows the water to pass through without interacting with lead in pipes,” Fedinick says. “The reason Flint, Michigan, recently had high levels of lead in the water is because the city switched to a water source that was inadequately treated, which caused the protective chemical coating on lead pipes to break off, allowing the water to come into direct contact with lead.”
The tricky thing with lead is you can’t see, taste, or smell it. “The only way to know if there’s lead in your water is to get it tested,” Fedinick says. “A number of local water utilities offer free or low cost testing for lead, or you can send water to a certified lab for testing.”
 

Disinfection

“Chlorine and chloramine are added to water to kill disease-causing pathogens,” Fedinick says. “One of the downsides is that the chemicals themselves can change the taste and smell of water.” Another concern with disinfectants is that they can combine with organic matter, such as miniscule bits of leaves that get into water, and create disinfection byproducts. These compounds slightly increase the risk of bladder cancer. The EPA limits levels of disinfection byproducts in public water, and annual water quality reports list the amounts of these contaminants (most commonly trihalomethanes and haloacetic acid).

Other Contaminants

“Drinking water contaminants can vary widely based on where you live and the activities happening there,” Fedinick says. “So, consider likely contaminants before getting specific testing.” For example, if you live in a farming community, your water might have higher amounts of nitrates and pesticides. In an industrial area, contaminants might include benzene or toluene. And many cities add fluoride to water (as a dental protectant), which some people prefer to remove.

The best way to ensure you’re getting clean, healthy water is to be an informed consumer,” Fedinick says. “Don’t dismiss annual water quality reports, and seek individual testing if you have private well water (which isn’t regulated by the EPA).”

Getting Purer Water

“Look for filters that provide the most protection at a price that makes sense for you,” Fedinick says. Check the website of NSF International to find out if the filter you’re considering is certified to remove the contaminants you’re concerned about. The Environmental Working Group also provides a water filter buying guide. Here are two common approaches, although there are hundreds of products available.
Adsorption: Uses a medium such as activated carbon to latch onto and remove contaminants. Some mainly remove chlorine, while others also remove chloramines, disinfection byproducts, pesticides, industrial pollutants, and lead. Adsorption is used in everything from pitchers to whole house filtration units.
Reverse osmosis: Uses semipermeable membranes to eliminate many substances not removed
by adsorption and is the only NSF-certified way to reduce nitrates and fluoride. Most cost effective to
use for drinking water. Commonly available as under-sink units.

 Don’t assume bottled water is any safer or cleaner than tap water,” Fedinick says. She shares these important considerations:

Check the water bottle label for the water source. It might be a municipal source like you get from your tap.
Bottled water is regulated by the FDA while tap water is regulated by the EPA. These agencies’ standards for chemical pollution of water are nearly identical.
Bottled water has a big impact on the environment due to the fossil fuels used to manufacture and ship bottled water. Plus, only 37 percent of water bottles are recycled.
 
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Friday, January 27, 2017

Sauteed spinach

 

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoon oil, olive
  • 2 clove(s) garlic
    chopped
  • 8 cup(s) spinach

Instructions

    Serves 4
    In a large skillet, heat 4 teaspoons olive oil over moderate heat. Saute 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped garlic until fragrant. Add 8 cups fresh spinach and a tablespoon water. Cover pan and continue to cook mixture until spinach is wilted. Divide onto 4 plates.
Nutritional Information Amount Per Serving
  • Calories56
  • Total Fat5g
  • Saturated Fat0.7g
  • Sodium48mg
  • Carbohydrates3g
  • Dietary Fiber1g
  • Protein2g
  • Cholesterol-
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    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Indoor exercise

     
     
     
    Sometimes exercising indoors is your only option, but it doesn't have to be boring. Keep workouts interesting with these ideas  
    Exercising outdoors isn’t always practical due to time constraints or inclement weather. But that doesn’t give you a free pass to skip a workout altogether. Stay active when you have to be indoors with these six suggestions.
    • Exercise at home to a DVD or television program. Many cable-television providers have an "on demand" exercise channel from which you can access fitness programs.
    • Log some miles by walking at your local mall. Most malls open early for walkers. There may even be a mall-walking club to join.
    • Put on some music and dance in your living room. Or better yet, improve your moves by enrolling in a dance class at your local community center or adult-education program. There are many options available, from ballroom dancing to hip-hop, Zumba, salsa and belly-dancing.
    • Try something new at your gym. Take the opportunity to try a new class at your gym, or rediscover an old favorite. The options are endless: kickboxing, Pilates, weight training, yoga, spinning and more.
    • Take advantage of indoor facilities. Swim laps in the pool, log some miles on the treadmill, or find a partner and play a game of racquetball. Reward yourself with time in the steam room.
    • Build strength by using the weight machines at your local fitness center. If you don't belong to a fitness center, build strength at home by using hand weights or resistance bands.

    Don’t forget that every effort to move more gets you one step closer to a happier, healthier lifestyle. Exercising indoors may not always be ideal, but keep your weight loss goals in mind when motivation is lacking!
     

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Broccoli and Spinach With Fried Egg





    This dish includes greens, fat, and protein and makes for a comforting, hearty breakfast. Cook the eggs sunny-side up, and you can use the yolks, when broken, as a sauce for the vegetables.

    Ingredients

    8 ounces broccoli (11⁄4 cups), stems peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick rounds, florets cut into bite-size pieces
    11⁄2 tablespoons Ghee
    1⁄2 yellow onion, sliced thin
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    4 cups baby spinach
    1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
    1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon unsalted, grass-fed butter
    4 large eggs
    2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into slices

    Directions

    1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli. Use a spatula to keep the broccoli submerged in the water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a plate.
    2. In a large sauté pan, warm the ghee over medium-high heat until melted. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and the cooked broccoli and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle the salt and the pepper on top and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
    3. In an 8-inch skillet, warm the butter over medium heat until foaming. Carefully crack an egg into each quadrant of the pan and cook until the egg whites are fully set but the yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. (For over-easy eggs, use a metal spatula to gently flip each egg and cook for 1 minute.)
    4. Divide the vegetable mixture among 4 plates, and top each portion with an egg. Garnish with the avocado slices, dividing them evenly, and serve.
    Recipe from: 
    Cleveland Clinic

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Best Exercise For You

     

     

    What's the best exercise for you?

    These four questions can help guide you in exploring new activities.


    What's the best exercise for you? The one you'll do. To stay motivated and challenged, try something new. The questions below may get you thinking about what you can do to expand your range of physical activities.
    1. What factors should I consider when choosing a new exercise?

      Your answers may include:
      • Personal enjoyment or interest — Choose something that sounds fun or that you've always wanted to try.
      • Convenience — How close to home or work is the activity? How easily does it fit into your schedule?
      • Social factors — Do you prefer to participate with others or do you like to exercise alone?
      • Required skill level — Can you take a class or meet with an instructor if you need to?
      • Level of physical impact — Does the activity involve high-impact movements that may not be suitable for you?
    1. What's best: an exercise focused on a specific part of my body — such as abs or thighs — or several kinds of exercise that use different body parts?

      Abdominal exercises will help strengthen muscle and improve your posture but will not help you "spot reduce" or lose weight around the abdomen. The key here is burning calories. Aerobic (cardio) exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, and there are many different types to try, such as bicycling, jogging and working out on an elliptical machine. Cross-training, which alternates your workout routine with various exercises, can reduce your chance of injury to a specific muscle or joint due to overuse, and it can help alleviate boredom.
    2. What if a new exercise I try causes pain?

      Exercise that causes pain isn't beneficial and can result in serious injury. It also can crush your motivation. Stop any activity if it hurts — and then try something else! It's normal to experience some soreness after trying a new exercise but not pain.
    3. What steps can I take to help prevent injury while exercising?
      • Warm up before exercising. Start with a less-intense (slower, easier) version of your cardio activity for 5 to 10 minutes.
      • Wear proper shoes and protective gear.
      • Take precautions in inclement weather. For example, if it's very cold out, dress in many layers that you can remove as you warm up, and cover your mouth so your lungs don't get irritated; avoid jogging if it's icy and slippery.
      • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercising.
      • Cool down after exercising. Do a lower-intensity version of what you did during your workout for 5 to 10 minutes, or try some general cool-down exercises.
      • Get adequate sleep.
      • Listen to "Beauty Benefits Of Exercise" on Spreaker.
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    Friday, January 20, 2017

    Boredom with fitness




      Stuck in an exercise rut? These tips will get you excited to lace up your sneakers!


    Even the most devoted exerciser can get tired of the same old, same old. Changing up your routine from time to time can keep you motivated. Remember to make it fun!

    • Try a new activity. You don’t have to pound away on the treadmill to get a good workout. How about dancing? Do you like badminton or sand volleyball? Have you tried activity-based video games, with or without your kids? Or what about biking, gardening or horseback riding? Use exercise as an opportunity to have new experiences.
    • Mix it up. You don’t have to do the same thing every day. Pick several activities you enjoy. Mix and match. The important thing is to move. Tap into your interests to keep things fresh and stay motivated. Exercise should be something you look forward to — not dread!
    • Bump up your intensity. If you really don’t enjoy long exercise sessions, then high-intensity interval training might be for you. With high-intensity interval training, you alternate between intense activity and low-to-moderate activity. Getting your heart rate to climb and then return back down over and over again can be an incredibly effective workout, even if you have less than 10 minutes to exercise. In fact, studies have shown you can get some of the same benefits from short intervals at a vigorous pace as you can from spending a longer time at a moderate intensity.

    Here is an example of an interval workout: If you’re on a stationary bike, for instance, you’d warm up for a few minutes, and then cycle at a moderate pace and moderate tension for, say, 90 seconds. At that point, you’d either crank up the tension or speed or both for 30 seconds and follow it up by returning to your moderate pace and tension. You’d repeat the cycle a few times and end with a cool-down.
    Listen to "Beauty Benefits Of Exercise" on Spreaker.

    Veggie pasta

     
     
    Ingredients
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1/2 cup onions, chopped
    1 cup mushrooms, sliced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    12 ounces soy crumbles, ground
    2 cans tomatoes, diced, no salt added (14.5 ounces each)
    2 cups small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
    6 ounces whole wheat bow-tie pasta
    3 tablespoon basil, fresh (or 3 teaspoons dried basil)
    Instructions
    Place a large saucepan over medium to high heat.
    Add the oil, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender.
    Add soy crumbles, tomatoes, zucchini, Italian seasoning and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
    While the mixture is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
    When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well and gently mix into the vegetable sauce. Garnish with basil.
    Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
    Serves 6.

    Nutritional Information
    Amount per serving
    Calories: 260
    Total fat: 6 g
    Saturated fat: 1 g
    Sodium: 300 mg
    Total carbohydrate: 33 g
    Dietary fiber: 8 g
    Protein: 17 g
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    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

     

    A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

    Dr. Thomas Cowan

    LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BELOW

    Thomas Cowan was a 20-year-old Duke grad―bright, skeptical, and already disillusioned with industrial capitalism―when he joined the Peace Corps in the mid-1970s for a two-year tour in Swaziland. There, he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and Weston A. Price―two men whose ideas would fascinate and challenge him for decades to come.
    Both drawn to the art of healing and repelled by the way medicine was―and continues to be―practiced in the United States, Cowan returned from Swaziland, went to medical school, and established a practice in New Hampshire and, later, San Francisco. For years, as he raised his three children, suffered the setback of divorce, and struggled with a heart condition, he remained intrigued by the work of Price and Steiner and, in particular, with Steiner’s provocative claim that the heart is not a pump. Determined to practice medicine in a way that promoted healing rather than compounded ailments, Cowan dedicated himself to understanding whether Steiner’s claim could possibly be true. And if Steiner was correct, what, then, is the heart? What is its true role in the human body?
    In this deeply personal, rigorous, and riveting account, Dr. Cowan offers up a daring claim: Not only was Steiner correct that the heart is not a pump, but our understanding of heart disease―with its origins in the blood vessels―is completely wrong. And this gross misunderstanding, with its attendant medications and risky surgeries, is the reason heart disease remains the most common cause of death worldwide.
    In Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, Dr. Thomas Cowan presents a new way of understanding the body’s most central organ. He offers a new look at what it means to be human and how we can best care for ourselves―and one another.


     GET THE BOOK HERE:

    1. Quality matters – Toxins can interfere with mitochondrial function. Eat fresh, local, and organic foods containing the best quality with the most minerals possible.
    2. How to eat vegetables – Eat proteins from animals, seeds and nuts for calories and fiber, and as wide a variety of vegetables as possible.
    3. Intermittent fasting – An overfed state leads to too much insulin, which can lead to inflammation. Instead, try intermittent fasting, which will put your body in an efficient state of hormonal balance.
    4. Macronutrients – Do not eat too much sugar in your diet. Eat a high amount of healthy fats and modest protein.
    5. Structured water – The structure of non-moving water starts to degrade. Using simple vortex devices with your drinking water can possibly improve your health.
    6. Trust your instincts – No expert can tell you what works the best for you. If you feel good, look good, and are performing well, you are likely on the right track.
    To connect with Dr. Cowan, or to learn more about the book or heart disease, visit www.humanheartcosmicheart.com.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    New Diet Habits

     

     

    New Year, New Diet Habits

    Adopt these 4 healthy dietary habits for the new year.

     

    ‘Tis the season to make resolutions for a better new year, and diet remains one of the most popular lifestyle changes. But instead of plunging into diet plans that preach unsustainable restriction, it’s better to touch up your menu with easy-to-follow tweaks that can make a big impact on your health. These research-backed diet fixes will make this year a nutritional winner.

    Choose more plant proteins, such as beans and lentils.

    Healthy Habit #1: Eat More Plant Protein

    It’s a good idea to think beyond beef for your protein fix. Data of nearly 132,000 people were included in a 2016 study in JAMA Internal Medicine that found that people with higher intakes of plant proteins experienced a lower risk of death, particularly from heart disease, than those with higher intakes of animal proteins, especially in the form of processed red meats.
    “This benefit can likely be explained by higher intakes of certain nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that occur when you eat more plant-based proteins,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. Young says it’s not necessary to eschew meat and dairy completely, but she believes lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh, and nuts should play a starring role in your diet.

    Healthy Habit #2: Swap Carbs for Fat

    No longer should we consider fat as the dietary bogeyman. A 2016 PLOS Medicine study found that substituting about 100 calories of unsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish, for 100 calories of carbohydrates in a daily diet can improve blood sugar control, protecting against diabetes. For every five percent of calories that were switched from carbohydrates or saturated fats to mono- or poly-unsaturated fats there was nearly a seven percent reduction in heart disease risk. “The key is to swap out some of the processed carbs in your diet, such as white pasta and baked goods, with these healthy fat sources,” Young says. “Just adding more fat to an unhealthy diet won’t do you much good.” And don’t throw caution to the wind and load up on bacon. Harvard scientists showed that replacing five percent of calories from saturated fats with equivalent energy from unsaturated fats lowered risk of death by 27 percent.

    Healthy Habit #3: Embrace the New

    Oats for breakfast and salmon for dinner are healthy choices, but try making 2017 about exploring new tastes. Two studies published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consumed a greater variety of healthy foods tended to have less body fat and a lower risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risks associated with heart disease) than those who ate a more monotonous diet. Greater dietary diversity may make it easier to stick with a healthy eating plan because it will be more exciting. And the more healthful foods you introduce into your diet the less room there is for nutritional landmines.

    Healthy Habit #4: Go Slow

    In today’s fast-paced lifestyle it’s all too easy to dine and dash, but data show that eating in a flash could hinder slim-down efforts. Research in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reported that people who ate a lunch meal in nine minutes took in an average of 88 more calories, and felt less full an hour afterwards, than those who ate at a 22-minute pace. “Eating at a slower pace gives you a better chance of sensing fullness so you’re less likely to overeat,” says Young, who encourages habits that force you to eat mindfully, such as taking smaller bites, putting down your utensils after each bite, and thoroughly chewing your food    post signature

    Good Healthy Sandwich

     


    Tomato-basil sandwich
    Would you be one step closer to your health goals if you ate lunch from home more often? Sure, brown bag lunches take a little planning, but the payoff is worth the initial effort. Being prepared with a tasty, nutritious salad, soup or sandwich will help keep you satiated throughout the day, so you don't find yourself raiding the vending machine in midafternoon. This healthy habit could help positively impact other choices and decisions you make later on!



    Ingredients

    • 1 whole pita, 100% whole-wheat
      cut into halves
    • 2 leaves lettuce, romaine
      (or more)
    • 6 leaves basil, fresh
    • 1 medium tomato(es)
      thinly sliced
    • 2 slice(s) onion(s), red
      thinly sliced
    • 2 ounce(s) cheese, provolone, smoked, reduced-fat
    • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, balsamic
    • pepper, black
      freshly ground

    Instructions

      Serves 2
      Toast the pita bread halves in the toaster and open the pockets.
      Divide the lettuce, basil, tomato, onion and cheese, and layer between the 2 halves.
      Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper.

    Nutritional Information Amount Per Serving
    • Calories190
    • Total Fat7g
    • Saturated Fat4g
    • Sodium360mg
    • Carbohydrates24g
    • Dietary Fiber4g
    • Protein12g
    • Cholesterol10mg
    •  
    •  
    • Mayo clinic diet
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    Friday, January 13, 2017

    Healthy Breakfast




    Steel-cut oats make a creamy, delicious oatmeal. If you have time, toast the walnuts to bring out their flavor. Try substituting other dried fruits   raisins, apricots or apples — for the cranberries.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup(s) oats, steel cut
    • 1/3 cup(s) cranberries, dried
      sweetened
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
    • 2 cup(s) water
    • 4 teaspoon nuts, walnuts, chopped
    • 4 teaspoon sugar, brown
      firmly packed

    Instructions

      Serves 4
      In a saucepan, combine the oats, cranberries, salt, cinnamon and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the oats are tender, about 20 minutes.
      Spoon the oatmeal into warmed individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon of the walnuts and 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar. Serve immediately.
      Serving size: About 1 cup
      Source: This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.
       
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    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Tips for losing weight in 2017.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     If you’ve ever tried to lose weight in the New Year only to quickly gain it all back again, you’re not alone. The truth is weight loss is difficult, and there's no quick fix. Dietitians and nutritionists know that all too well from counseling hundreds of failed dieters. What they do know is that sweeping changes rarely last, but smaller ones add up over time. Here are five expert tips on how to lose weight and keep it off for good this year.

    1. Despite What Everyone Tells You, You Don’t Need to Detox

    There are a number of programs that advertise the benefits of an "extreme cleanse" for good health, but the truth is that you don’t need one. While it may not be as exciting, eating a healthy diet of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is the healthiest way to lose weight (and maintain it). The truth is that your liver and kidneys take care of all of your body’s detoxification needs, so there’s no need to follow any special diet in January or the rest of the year.

     

    2. It May Sound Boring, but Small Changes Really Make a Big Difference

    Whether it’s skipping that extra cookie or mixing the sugar in your daily coffee, seemingly small changes on a daily basis can add up to a big change in your weight. Since a five hundred calorie deficit each day leads to about a 1 pound loss each week, even a few changes can have a slimming effect. You’ll find five hundred calories in items such as 2 doughnuts, a bagel with cream cheese, 2.5 ounces of potato chips, or a chocolate mocha latte. Pretty simple, right?

    3. What You're Drinking Can Pack on the Pounds

    Don’t forget that drinks can have a big impact on your weight-loss success. Whenever possible, opt for low-calorie or calorie-free beverages such as fat-free milk, water, or seltzer. If alcohol is a part of your social life, it can be difficult to abstain completely so make better choices and limit yourself to one light alcoholic beverage like a wine spritzer and drink water the rest of the time. When you drink water can also make a difference. A recent study showed that drinking sixteen ounces of water thirty minutes before a meal may aid weight loss.

    4. You Need to Keep It Real With Yourself and What You Eat

    We’ve all heard the claims and seen the pictures of people who've gone from a size 12 to a 2 in just six weeks. While it’s natural to want these quick results, the fact is that the best type of weight loss is gradual. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a healthy rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. So, keep this in mind when setting your weight loss goal. Setting a realistic goal can keep you from feeling frustrated along the way. “Keeping it real” is important when choosing food, too, so opt for whole, unprocessed foods as often as you can.

    5. Some Gimmicks Just Might Work

    If you’ve ever sworn off carbohydrates completely, only eaten fruit  on an empty stomach, or mainlined grapefruit all day in the name of weight loss, you've been on a fad diet. Many diet plans are based on gimmicks, or little tricks that are supposed to help you be successful, but often don’t work. But the truth is that some of these gimmicks can work for some people. So if eating vegan for most of the day or not eating after 8 o'clock has worked for you in the past, then go with it! You don’t have to follow every aspect of a diet plan in order to be successful. A word of caution though: Some gimmicks go too far. If a diet plan permanently eliminates a whole food group or has you living on a diet of celery sticks and grapefruit, then look for a plan that is more well-rounded.
     
    Article from everydayhealth

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    weight loss in the new year

     
     
     
    We’ve all been there: New Year’s Eve swings around and we tell our friends, family, extended family, strangers and extended strangers that this is the year we’re finally going to lose weight for good. No more burgers, no more pies, and no more sugary treats. This is it – a new year, a new us.
    But just a few days into the new year and we’re already sneaking cupcakes into the office, sipping happy hour cocktails, and ordering greasy food. 
    “I’ll start again next year!” we cry, our mouths stuffed with cake.
    One of the reasons lots of us find it hard to stick to a new diet is that we approach weight loss in the wrong way. Instead of tweaking our routine, we go for an all or nothing, victory or death approach. To this end, we cut out all of our favorite foods and leave ourselves with a plate of spinach and a cup of detox tea. Unappetising, or what?
    If you want to lose weight faster and keep it off, let’s take a look at the 10 best ways to do it.
    Shop On A Full Stomach
    If you’ve ever shopped on an empty stomach, you’ll have no doubt ended up with the world’s biggest ever shopping bill
    You’ll have bought lots of pizzas, burgers, cakes and biscuits because that’s exactly what you felt like as you dashed around the supermarket aisles starving to death.
    To prevent yourself from stocking up on all the wrong foods, it’s a good idea to do your shopping on a full stomach. This will ensure you shop rationally and stick to your list.
    Move During TV Commercials
    URGH. We all hate TV commercials. Just when you’re really getting into a TV drama (or the news, as my husband does), a commercial appears and really makes you mad.
    What do you usually do during those five minutes? Flick through your phone? Stalk someone on Facebook?
    Instead, why not use your time productively by skipping during the commercial break? You could also run up and down the stairs or dance – in fact, anything that gets you moving.
    Eat A Hearty Breakfast
    I admit that I was one of those women who always used to skip breakfast. I convinced myself that I had no time to eat in the morning, and I knew I could grab a few snacks as soon as I got into work.
    The problem with this is that you’re missing out on vital nutrients early in the day, and fattening yourself up on sugary snacks instead.


    Eating a nutritional breakfast that is crammed with protein and fibre ensures your day gets off to the right start. It loads you with energy, and stops you from overeating during the morning on weight-gaining snacks.
    Climb The Stairs
    I used to be a big elevator user. Even if my room or office was only on the first floor, I’d still get in the elevator.
    Using the stairs instead will help you to burn extra calories. You don’t need to get silly and climb 8 or more flights of stairs, but if your room is just three flights up, climbing the stairs will help you to lose weight quicker.
    Socialise Differently
    “Fancy a drink?”
    It’s a common question among friends. After work, there is no better way to catch up with your mates and unwind than nipping down to the local pub for a few cocktails and glasses of wine.
    If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, it’s a good idea to alter your routine. Instead of spending happy hour in the pub, why not suggest to your friends that you all try a different, more physical activity? Perhaps you could all go cycling or walking together, or maybe you could go for a morning jog.
    Cut Out Alcohol
    Alcohol is fun, and there is nothing more fun than letting your hair down with your girls at the weekend. But alcohol comes at a price if you’re struggling to lose weight. While you might be doing everything else right, alcohol could be the weakest link that is letting you down.
    You don’t have to eliminate alcohol completely, but cutting down on your current intake will help you to lose more weight.
    Eat More Fruit And Veg
    You never hear of a person putting lots of weight on who eats lots and lots of fruit and vegetables. In fact, they tend to lose weight.
    You might say that you dislike fruit and veg. But it could be that you haven’t yet found your favorites. There is a wide variety of food produce available, and finding your niche is a case of experimenting and trying different things.
    When I was a young girl, I though the only vegetables that existed were peas, carrots and spinach because that’s all my mom fed me. I hated them. But as I’ve since discovered, there is an amazing world of great produce out there just waiting to be discovered.
    Eat From Smaller Plates
    The all or nothing approach means that instead of eating pizza two or three times a week, we no longer eat it at all.
    But this isn’t necessary, and you don’t need to be so miserable. Instead, why not just eat from smaller plates? This is a simple trick that means you can still eat your favorite foods – just less of them.
    Walk It Off
    If you were like me, you were probably taught from a young age that you shouldn’t do anything immediately after eating a meal. Why? Because doing so will affect your digestion, giving you stomach ache.
    This is not true. If you’re trying to lose weight fast, going for a walk after eating is a great way to burn a few calories. As long as you take it easy and don’t break out into a sprint, you’ll be just fine. Your body is stronger than you think!
    Eat Plenty Of Fibre
    Fibre is an essential nutrient that makes you feel full for longer. As such, eating more of it will ensure that you’ll be less tempted to snack on other foods.
    Fibre is found in plant-based, healthy foods, such as brown rise, oatmeal, lentils and beans.
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    Thursday, January 5, 2017

    Stock your pantry with these healthy items

     
     
     
    Making smart food choices is easy when you're prepared.
       
    Having healthy go-to options at home is essential for weight-loss success. Keep these smart choices on hand for fast and flavorful meals and snacks.
    Fruits and vegetables
    • Fresh fruits
    • Fresh vegetables
    • Pre-cut fresh vegetables
    • Salad in a bag
    • Frozen fruits
    • Frozen vegetables (no sauce)
    • Frozen chopped onion and green peppers
    • Canned fruits (packed in their own juice or water)
    • Dried fruit
    • Low-sodium, low-fat pasta; pizza and tomato sauces
    • Canned diced tomatoes
    • 100 percent fruit juice, including calcium-fortified (but limit juice intake to 4 ounces a day)

    Dairy
    • Fat-free or 1 percent milk
    • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
    • Low-fat or fat-free cheese
    • Frozen yogurt or fruit sorbet

    Whole grains
    • Whole-grain breakfast cereal
    • Rice: brown (regular and instant), wild, blends
    • Oatmeal
    • Whole-grain bread
    • Whole-grain pita bread
    • Whole-grain pasta
    • Whole-grain crackers
    • Low-fat microwave popcorn

    Protein
    • Low-fat refried beans
    • Black, kidney or navy beans
    • Low-sodium water-packed tuna
    • Other fish with omega-3 fatty acids
    • Skinless white-meat poultry
    • Soy cheese
    • Tofu
    • Dry-roasted nuts
    • Individually frozen skinless chicken breasts
    • Individually frozen salmon, cod or other fish
    • Frozen shrimp or scallops
    • Frozen vegetable burgers

    Cooking staples
    • Fresh garlic and onions
    • Olive oil
    • Canola oil
    • Red wine and/or balsamic vinegar
    • Fat-free cooking spray

    As you can see, eating well at home doesn't require expensive or unusual ingredients, and you certainly don't have to be a master chef. Whole-wheat pasta tossed with loads of veggies, salads, and whole-grain wraps or quesadillas are all easy meal options. You can even put together a snack plate and include your favorite raw veggies, nuts and healthy dips, like hummus.
     

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    Understand Your Eating Triggers

     
     
     
    Prevent overeating and keep your diet on track by learning how to deal with these common temptations and dangerous scenarios.
     
    Do certain situations, moods or times of day prompt you to overeat? Use these examples to get ideas on how to overcome your common eating triggers.
    Eating trigger: I can't resist junk food.
    If chips and chocolate continue to call your name, try these ideas:
    • Do not keep junk food at home.
    • Do not keep junk food at your desk, and avoid walking by vending machines if possible.
    • Eat healthy foods in a structured meal plan (use the Meal Planner!). You won't be as hungry, which will help you manage cravings.
    • Wait 10 minutes. Distract yourself with an activity — whether it's filing your nails, working on a crossword, or cleaning out the junk drawer. The craving may pass (really!).
    • Try healthier versions, such as baked rather than regular chips.
    • Practice moderation to prevent feelings of deprivation. So, allow some intake of junk food but buy only a small, single-serving. Have it after you finish your meal. Realize that you may want seconds, so plan ahead with a positive distracting activity.

    Eating trigger: Exercise makes me hungry.
    Don't negate all the positive benefits of exercise by loading up on high-calorie foods afterward. Instead, take this approach:
    • Most research has shown that exercise decreases physical hunger. Chances are you're experiencing psychological hunger: "Since I just worked out, I deserve to have 500 calories of junk food."
    • If you are experiencing physical hunger before you exercise, eat foods that stick with you longer, such as whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta and brown rice.
    • If you're exercising before a meal, have your meal ready. Don't double up with a recovery snack and a meal. Make your meal rich in complex carbs, such as fruits and whole wheat. Add some protein too, such as beans, fish, lean meat or eggs.
    • Or, before you exercise, prepare a light, healthy snack for after your workout. Try fruit, yogurt or whole-grain crackers.
    • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
    • Remember to stick with a regular healthy diet. Following your Mayo Clinic Diet meal plan will help you manage hunger over time. It provides you with healthy, filling foods that meet your calorie recommendations, making your exercise plan more effective.

    Eating trigger: I eat too much while socializing with friends.
    Social support is important. Instead of isolating yourself, use these strategies when socializing:
    • To reduce hunger, eat something healthy before going to social activities.
    • If you're with friends at, say, a theater or stadium, order a bag of peanuts and work on eating it slowly.
    • Drink water or a calorie-free beverage instead of having a snack.
    • At parties, keep your distance from the food table. Focus on nonfood-related activities, such as selecting the music to play.
    • Take some healthy foods to social events. Try a veggie tray, hummus and whole-wheat pita bread, or a fruit and veggie pizza with a whole-wheat crust.
    • If you can identify someone who is supportive, use that person to help you stay on track at a social event.

    By planning ahead and bringing awareness to trigger situations, you can successfully manage these weight-loss challenges.

         TRY THIS EASY HEALTHY SNACK RECIPE
     
    http://www.cookingtherecipe.com/2016/12/healthy-snack-hummus-stuffed-mini-bells.html#.WGp1lVyyLY4

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    Best smoothies Ever!



    Carrot Cake Smoothie
    In case you needed another reason to drink a smoothie that tastes like cake other than its taste (yum!), that half-cup of carrot juice boasts a whopping 11 mg of beta-carotene and 5 mg of alpha-carotene.
    SERVINGS: 1
    ½ c unsweetened carrot juice
    1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
    2 Tbsp toasted wheat germ
    1 Tbsp soft cream cheese, regular fat
    1 tsp flaxseed oil
    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    2 g glucomannan
    Ice cubes
    NUTRITION 300 cal, 12.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 127 mg sodium, 21.7 g carbs, 6.7 g sugars, 5 g fiber, 26 g protein
     
     
     
    Gingered Cantaloupe Smoothie
    This smoothie contains more than 6 mg of beta-carotene (about 1.5 mg per serving) and a smidge of alpha-carotene thanks to its cantaloupe content.
    SERVINGS: 4
    20 ice cubes
    2 c cubed cantaloupe (about ½ melon)
    6 oz low-fat plain yogurt
    3 Tbsp sugar
    ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
    COMBINE ice cubes, cantaloupe, yogurt, sugar, and ginger in blender and puree until smooth.
    NUTRITION (per serving) 91 cal, 0.8 g fat, 0.5 sat fat, 46 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 18 sugars, 8 g fiber, 3 g protein

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    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    What motivates you to lose weight?

     

    The most critical element of weight loss is your own personal drive to succeed.

     Odds are, you already have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to lose weight — eat less and move more. That’s the basic equation of weight loss. But if you’re using this website, you probably haven’t done it successfully. Why?

    You may not have found the necessary motivation.
    Knowing the how-to, eat-this/don’t-eat-that of weight loss is certainly important — and this site will help you with that. But to be successful at losing weight, you need to figure out what will give you an ongoing, burning desire to succeed. The best motivators come from within. How do you unlock your inner motivation?
    Start by asking yourself this: “Why do I want to lose weight?” There may be several reasons. Improved health. More energy. An upcoming beach vacation. Whatever. Make a list of what’s important to you. Then under each item, write down specific reasons why it matters.
    For example, let’s say your top reason for losing weight is that you have a high school reunion coming up. (OK, maybe that’s not as important as improving your health, but big life events can be great motivators.) Under that, write why exactly you want to lose weight and what you plan to do to succeed. There are no wrong answers here — it’s what matters to you.
    Make a record of all the benefits of losing weight and staying fit. Keep that list of motivators in front of you, especially at moments of decision (do I really want that candy bar?). It’s a great way to find the strength to get through challenging moments.
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    Monday, January 2, 2017

    5 Natural Fixes That May help Your Back Pain

    Long days on your feet can cause some serious back pain. For spa employees such as estheticians and massage therapists, this can impair their ability to provide good service. In an article for the Cleveland Clinic, wellness pain management specialist, Dr. Hong Shen, provided five wellness fixes to curb back pain, which can be adopted by spa employees to increase their health and longevity.

    1. Use food to fight inflammation.

    Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. Choose high-quality lean meats for protein and eat beans in moderation as high quantities can increase glucose levels, said Shen. Do your best to eliminate processed foods from your diet, and eat healthy fats, such as wild salmon, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado.

    2. Manage stress.

    As we all know, some stress is unavoidable and we probably spend a good portion of the day working on the physical toll stress takes on our clients. Consider talking with a therapist about starting cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can help change the way we react to stress. Additionally, studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress and pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

    3. Sleep

    Sleep loss can exacerbate preexisting conditions, so practicing good sleep hygiene is an important tool in managing pain, said Shen. Avoid blue light from smartphones and TVs for one hour before bedtime. Try to maintain the same sleep/wake schedule even on days off. Meditation and melatonin supplements can also help.

    4. Exercise

    Making physical activity a habit can ease pain and help with recovery. Even small increases in daily activity can bring big improvements.
    “Motion is lotion for your back,” said Shen.

    5. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin used in traditional Chinese medicine. Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic, such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoart­hritis/ knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches, according to the NCCIH.
    - See more at: http://www.skininc.com/treatments/wellness/fitness/Help-Relieve-Back-Pain-with-These-5-Fixes-401309926.html#sthash.OCSzK2sE.dpuf

    Going beyond medications, physical therapy and injections


    Long days on your feet can cause some serious back pain. ForThis is especially true for spa employees such as estheticians and massage therapists, this can impair their ability to provide good service. In an article for the Cleveland Clinic, wellness pain management specialist, Dr. Hong Shen, provided five wellness fixes to curb back pain, which can be adopted by spa employees to increase their health and longevity.

    1. Use food to fight inflammation.

    Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. Choose high-quality lean meats for protein and eat beans in moderation as high quantities can increase glucose levels,   Do your best to eliminate processed foods from your diet, and eat healthy fats, such as wild salmon, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado.

    2. Manage stress.

    As we all know, some stress is unavoidable and we probably spend a good portion of the day working on the physical toll stress takes on our clients. Consider talking with a therapist about starting cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can help change the way we react to stress. Additionally, studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress and pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

    3. Sleep

    Sleep loss can exacerbate preexisting conditions, so practicing good sleep hygiene is an important tool in managing pain, said Shen. Avoid blue light from smartphones and TVs for one hour before bedtime. Try to maintain the same sleep/wake schedule even on days off. Meditation and melatonin supplements can also help.

    4. Exercise

    Making physical activity a habit can ease pain and help with recovery. Even small increases in daily activity can bring big improvements.
    “Motion is lotion for your back,” said Shen.

    5. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin used in traditional Chinese medicine. Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic, such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoart­hritis/ knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches, according to the NCCIH.