HEALTH TIPS ~
GET BACK ON TRACK !
The University of Pennsylvania says the beginning of the week, like the beginning of the year, is a good time to reset your goals. Reinforcing this “fresh start” on Mondays with weekly reminders is a powerful way to help us sustain healthy habits over time. Hit the “reset” button. Whatever unhealthy behaviors you got into over the weekend, forgive yourself, let them go, and start fresh. Decide what health goal is your most important to achieve (and might have wandered from), and recommit. Break up that bigger resolution or goal into smaller more manageable steps and take one small step each Monday. Keep at it. Remind yourself that slip-ups happen to everyone, and every Monday is a new opportunity to try again.
PICK A PROTEIN ~
Several studies have found that people who ate protein-rich eggs, instead of a bagel for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and had a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. Protein can help us lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase muscle mass and strength. Try to include other high protein foods or supplements in your diet, i.e.,
Chlorella, Oat Straw, Broccoli and Pumpkin Seed to name only a few.
DONT WE ALL WANT TO BE
IN A GOOD MOOD?
Did you know that one in every ten adults suffers from some level of depression, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control)? There are meds, but many often carry brutal side effects like lethargy or worse, but there are also readily-available natural botanical solutions. Saint John's Wort is a popular natural calming herbal supplement and mood enhancer that helps banish the blues, manage stress, anxiety and mood swings.
NECK CHECK ~
If you are gaining weight for no discernible reason, it could be a faulty thyroid gland (located in your neck). Thyroid disease can slow metabolism, which leads to weight gain. Check with the doctor if any swelling in the neck, a visibly enlarged neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, difficulty swallowing or a hoarse, raspy voice can all be signs of thyroid disease. There are helpful meds, but be sure to ask your doctor about natural therapy with iodine-rich seaweeds like Kelp and Bladderwrack; they can be very helpful for thyroid problems and slow metabolism.
SPRINKLE A LITTLE CINNAMON
U.S.D.A. reports tell us that people with Type-2 diabetes who consume just a pinch or light sprinkle (one gram) of Cinnamon daily can experience a drop in blood sugar. The research shows that extracts of Cinnamon increase insulin activity, enhancing the breakdown of glucose and improving blood sugar concentrations. Enjoy your Cinnamon: Sprinkle powdered Cinnamon on your morning cereal, in your coffee or dusted on your yogurt.
LOOK BEFORE LEAPING OR
Test Before Smearing ~
Before you use skin ointments or topical creams (including hair products), check them out to see if you’re allergic: Apply a small amount to your elbow. Wait forty-eight to seventy-two hours and then check the skin. If it is red, itchy or bumpy, you’re probably reacting badly, find something else; you’re allergic. Learn how to make your own herbal rinses, creams and ointments at Herbal Extracts Plus Information Herbal Preparations.
WANT TO LOOK YOUNGER? Doesn't Everybody?
You may find help with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Dermatologists often recommend this supplement to help improve skin. These essential fats - which must be obtained from the diet or supplements because our bodies cannot make them - are a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin supple. They also aid in the production of hormones that improve skin texture and help combat the inflammatory damage wrought by free radicals - one of the causes of wrinkles and blotchiness. You may find yourself looking younger, but (even better), you may actually start feeling better too. Eat salmon or tuna or take Omega-3 supplements to get the one great fat that is really healthy.
HOLD THAT SALT ~
Too much salt can wreak havoc with your system, and excess salt can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. However, secret sodium is the real danger. We actually get only ten to twenty percent of our daily intake from table salt; the rest is hidden in our foods (usually processed). So watch for the culprits like deli meats, frozen dinners and snacks, canned foods and soups, veggie juices, ketchup, relish and even bran cereals. The best remedies include reading labels for sodium contents, eating healthy fresh and unprocessd foods and, of course,getting exercise. If you need extra flavor for your foods, consider herbs and spices.
Exercise is Key
to a Healthy Life ~
Physical activity isn't just a way to lose weight; it’s an essential step towards a long, vibrant life! Work on your fitness routine, this week. Start out with smaller amounts of exercise at lower intensities and gradually progress to moderate-intensity activity to reduce your risk of injury. And don't be intimidated. After all, hiking is just walking with a better view.
WRITE IT DOWN
Today start a new Fitness Journal. Writing down the exercises you do each day is a great tool to keep track of exactly how much exercise you’re getting overall - and where you might need some adjustments (a bit more as a challenge perhaps?). It is as important as a Food Journal is for dieters, in order to keep track of exactly how much food and exactly how many calories you are really eating. You’ll get a realistic picture of your habits and also observe patterns: Morning exercises better for you than evenings? Lunches from home better than restaurant? Too many easy-to-grab snacks around? Having to face THE Journals every day and face the truth is enough to motivate anyone. Start today and get motivated - and healthier.
HEARD IT THROUGH
Resveratrol is the important compound found in the Red Wine Grape Skin and GrapeSeed. Research from the University of Colorado tells us that it can help fight off cancer by killing damaged cells before they replicate. Red Wine provides the compound and so will a handful of delicious Red Grapes, supplemental Red Grape (with resveratrol extract) or a morning cup of low-sugar Red Grape Juice (100% juice). Grab Grapes for Great Grape Gorgeousness - and Health.
TUNE IN - TONE UP ~
Make the most of your TV watching time by adding some exercise. Use weights and resistance bands while sitting, or get off the couch during commercials for cardio activities like running in place and jumping jacks. Even if you watch only a few shows a week, you’ll be adding a good bit of exercise to your routine! Try a workout during your favorite shows this week. You can even choose different routines for different shows, or use each commercial break to try and beat your last record! Don’t become a couch potato; you’ll start resembling a real potato and feeling worse.
Hypertension and Weight
Being overweight places a strain on your heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure. That is why diets to lower blood pressure are often also designed to control calories. They typically call for cutting down on fatty foods and added sugars, while increasing fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber. Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference. Think about that when getting into your new year health programs. If you need extra help, check out natural help with herbs like Garcinia for supporting decreased appetite, increased metabolism (helping to burn fat) and elevated body heat for potential caloric burning).
SHIFT YOUR GEARS
(Burn More Calories)
Ohio State University scientists tell us changing your walking speeds will burn more calories. We all know that walking is a great way to get your exercise, but the scientists (professors of mechanical and aerospace engineering) say simply varying the pace of your daily hoof can burn a whopping 20% more calories than those who keep up a constant speed. Changing speeds is important because acceleration and deceleration require more energy than steady maintenance, and when more energy is used, more calories are burned. Vary your speed, walk in a curve and then a straight line. Try quick small steps and then a longer loping gait. Speed up and then slow down, but just be sure to WALK your way to good health and maybe even good looks?
A BEDTIME STORY ~
As night falls and the moon rises, the fragrant, lemon-scented Evening Primrose blooms; but by daybreak, the flowers fade and await the new blossoms that will bloom the next evening. Native Americans used the herb as a painkiller. Modern science knows that this heavenly flower possesses the rare gamma linolenic acid (GLA) that helps dilate blood vessels and reduces blockage, thus helping to lower heart attack and stroke risk - and GLA may lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Now. there's a story with a happy ending.
Watch Those Calories!
You crave eggnog and hot chocolate during winter get-togethers, but they're both high in fat and sugar. Plus, the alcohol in some holiday drinks lowers your blood sugar, which sends a hunger signal to your brain. Fear not. You can make healthier versions of holiday drinks using skim milk and a sugar substitute (natural Stevia Leaf has been approved by the USFDA as a calorie-free sweetener), and for hot cocoa, use dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Natural Cocoa has many wonderful (and important) health benefits.Try sparkling white grape juice as a healthy, non-alcoholic, champagne-like drink. Limit alcohol to no more than two, 4-ounce glasses of wine daily for men, and no more than one for women.
One More Reason To EXERCISE
(An Interesting Study)
According to a University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute study, athletes do a better job at making it across a busy thoroughfare. The researchers say it wasn't because they were moving faster than the non-athletes, but that they were thinking faster. The athletes were sizing up the situation better by visualizing their surroundings more sharply, and then their brains processed the additional data from the scene, using it to stay out of harm's way. The researchers noted that the athletes may possibly just have had faster brain functions to start with, so they couldn't draw an absolute conclusion that sports made them think faster. However, there does appear to be an association between the agility developed by participating in sports and an increase in certain brain functions. Even if you don’t have to scramble across a street and dodge heavy traffic, it’s always helpful to have good reflexes and improved mental and physical agility - AND, at the very least you’ll be fit.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR SIGHT ~
Try Some Important Advice From Optometrists. For Computer Users: Follow the 20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes be sure to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, create a friendly workstation by lowering and tilting the monitor to reduce screen glare. Check light levels, blink your eyes often (important) and adjust your seat. A good diet that includes yellow and green leafy vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Carrot, Sweet Potatoes) - plus Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from cold water fish or
Flaxseed), nuts and seeds (Sunflower, Almonds, Walnuts) and tasty fruits (Mangoes,
Blueberry, Apricots) will all help to improve eye health and protect retinal function.
A GREAT NAME
FOR A GREAT PLANT
The great plant is Gravel Root, and Gravel Root has been used in herbal medicine since early days when Native Americans and settlers used it for exactly what its name promises! Gravel Root flushes the bladder and kidneys with increased urine flow and helps to remove gravel, kidney stones and accumulated toxins from these organs.
NO Competition Required -
You don’t need athletic prowess to be active! There are plenty of solo and team activities that emphasize fun and fitness, rather than competition or scoring points. Try playing games with like-minded friends, taking a dance class or going for a run, bike ride or swim. Find your personal motivation this week and try an activity that reflects your interests. Instead of keeping score, simply consider the physical and mental benefits of your new activity.
WALKING Can Be As
GOOD As Running ~
Running may be more efficient in terms of calories burned, but if you walk a longer distance to make up for not running, you will get many of the same benefits as running. That includes a reduced risk of hyper-tension, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The message is clear: If walking suits you better than running, then by all means: Walk On!
Moving The Body-
To Move The Brain?
Can regular physical activity protect memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's? Scientists investigating the exercise-memory-dementia link have shown positive outcomes in recent years. Key studies have demonstrated the importance of regular exercise and its beneficial relation to improved blood circulation to the brain and better memory. Speak with your doctor about natural therapy with herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri, (the Brain Tonic) and Gotu Kola (the Memory Herb). Read about them and see why they may be of help to you - along with exercise - of course!
HOMEMADE HEARTY HEALTH
Home-cooked meals take all the guesswork out of eating. Preparing your own dishes ensures a properly portioned, balanced meal with fewer calories, less sodium and saturated fat than packaged or fast-foods. You can also easily incorporate whole grains and unprocessed foods into your diet and save yourself a bit of cash while enjoying healthier foods! Aim to prepare at least half of your meals at home this week. Make it easy by coming up with a few meal ideas on Monday, and heading to your local supermarket. Eat healthy (and save money) by bringing your leftovers for lunch.
TOO YOUNG TO THINK ABOUT HEART HEALTH?
That is a very bad habit. While you don’t have to dwell on it constantly, it’s important to develop good overall habits to benefit your complete daily health and especially your heart. Exercise, eat a healthy diet (delicious Mediterranean is great), and know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar). Don’t wait to get to work on keeping your heart healthy; the ideal time to do your heart a favor is right now!
Follow The Food Trail ~ Keep track of how much you’re eating by living with the visible evidence of your food packaging and remains. One study offering all-you-can eat chicken wings found that participants whose leftover bones had been cleared away ate 34% more than diners whose remnants remained at the table. That’s a lot of wings! Visual reminders - like candy wrappers, soda cans and take-out bags - can help you keep track of how much you’ve already consumed, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. This week take the no-throw challenge and keep your wrappers, empty containers, bags and other bits on the table during the entire meal. You might also want to look through your car or home trash for remnants of unnecessary snacks (Surprise, surprise! Did I eat all that?).
Protect Your Head, Neck..
We like to remind our friends to remember simple safety guidelines (common sense?): Do not tack down or hide power cords; keep cords out of traffic areas to avoid tripping. When using a step stool, make sure it has a handrail that you can hold when standing on top step. Have children put away toys. Do not overburden yourself with packages. Place non-slip strips or decals in tub-shower. Use a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Take special care when walking on wet patios or stairs or poolside. Avoid socks, smooth-soled shoes or slippers on hard floor surfaces in the home. Never dive into a body of water headfirst (check depth before or lower yourself into water feet first). Only one person on a trampoline at a time, and stay in the middle of the mat (supervise users at all times). Devise a plan and practice a “drill” and meeting place in the event of emergencies or if someone gets injured. Keep emergency numbers near the telephone. Don’t walk around a dimly lit home (turn on lights), and be sure all passageways are well lit. Always wear a seatbelt when in a car. Drive within the speed limit and (of course), never drink and drive.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL ~
Get in the Habit: Is physical activity part of your everyday routine? Having an exercise habit means you’ll be more likely to keep moving (or start up again if you fall off the wagon). Make fitness part of your daily life by adding extra steps to your commute or taking an active lunch break. Stick with it despite obligations by exercising while on the phone or playing fun fitness games with your kids and pets. This weekend, think of little ways you can add motion to your busy life. Renew your commitment each week (Monday is a great day to restart), and soon fitness will feel just as routine as brushing your teeth or combing your hair. You will just feel better and look better too.
YOUR MEAL EXPERIENCE ~
ten, mealtimes are anything but relaxing; the chaos of daily life leaves hardly any time to enjoy dinner! Many studies show that a relaxing dinner experience is beneficial to everyone, whether you’re eating alone or with your family. To create a positive dining atmosphere, turn off ALLtechnology and eat at a table with nice place settings. This week, schedule at least one relaxing dinner to enjoy time with your family and/or friends. The dinner doesn’t have to be perfect, either; it can be very simple and casual, but do try to make it a healthy-happy one. As long as you’re enjoying the experience, there’s no need to stress about any mistakes that occurred while planning, serving or cooking. Just enjoy the food, the company - and the moment.
Have you ever reached for a glass of Gingerale when your stomach was upset? Well, you are on the right track. Ginger Root is a time-honored and an ancient herbal remedy for upset stomach, indigestion, motion sickness and cramps. Keep up the good work; your stomach will thank you.
KEEP STRESS AND BLOOD PRESSURE - DOWN!!!
An often-overlooked strategy for preventing blood pressure is managing stress, so Learn Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises and yoga are powerful stress-busters. Manage Time: The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level. Get Enough Sleep: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep negatively affects mood, mental clarity, energy and physical health. Strengthen Social Ties: Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, seeing friends or participating in a support group. Nurture Yourself: Treat yourself to a massage. Savor an experience -for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music. Resolve Stressful Situations: D0 NOT let them fester if you can. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and work. Ask For Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends or a family member. If stress and anxiety persist, ask your doctor about helpful meds or natural herbs (like Chamomile or Lemon Balm) to relax. Life should be enjoyed, so enjoy every minute in good health and peace of mind.
WORKOUT SAFETY HINTS ~
Warming up before exercising is important at any time, but especially in cooler weather. Cold temperatures can make your muscles tight and more prone to injury, so be sure to stretch first and walk or run in place. Cooling down afterwards is just as important. Don’t just stop when you’re finished. Stretch, walk and safely slow down your body and your heart rate. After all, your exercise regimen is supposed to make you feel better and improve your physical condition - with no leftover aches.
Tired of really bad hair days? Dandruff can torment your scalp, making it itchy, irritable and excessively flaky - not to mention embarrassing. Triggers such as diet, stress, sun and wind damage, cold weather, poor health and excessive use of hair products can provoke the condition, but the true culprit may be the oil-eating fungus, malassezia. Although it also dwells on healthy heads, this fungus thrives in dandruff sufferers, feasting on the hair’s oil. To combat the flakes naturally, look for shampoos that contain an antifungal and antibiotic agent or zinc, which helps regulate oil glands. Making your own herbal rinses can help too: Try some Burdock Root or Eucalyptus Leaf; they’re great for fighting dandruff and have antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Read about them and see why.
BEAUTIFUL SKIN? At Any Age ~
Your skin craves good nutrition just like the rest of your body, so take care of it. Start with clean skin: Wash with warm or cool water (hot water strips away skin's natural moisture). Pat your face dry (don't rub). Apply moisturizers while skin is still damp (creamy one for dry skin or an oil-free, foaming for oily skin). Eat lots of vegetables, lean protein and whole grains (important nutrients feed skin from within). Studies tell us nutrients can improve and protect skin. Avocado’s healthy high fat, mineral, vitamin content helps fight ravages of age, sun and wind damage while softening and smoothing skin. Don't smoke (ages skin and encourages wrinkles). Exercise daily (boosts blood flow to skin, and sweating flushes out dirt). De-stress (makes skin more sensitive and worsens breakouts), so find a way to unwind. Stay out of the sun unless completely protected.
BAN BABY BUBBLE TROUBLE
Choose your children’s shampoos and bubble baths very carefully. Studies warn that many bath products contain 1,4-dioxane, which the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable carcinogen (it’s banned in Europe). Moreover, it appears that the dioxane levels increase when a child is exposed to multiple products like shampoo, bubble bath and baby wipes. To be sure that the products you are buying are dioxane-free, Avoid those with sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate, which may contain dioxane. Read those labels.
FLU, FLU, FLY FAR, FAR AWAY!
It’s Autumn, and again we like to remind our visitors and friends that changing seasons often brings the dreaded flu. We can’t always keep flu out of our homes, but we can certainly reduce risk of infection. The Centers for Disease Control recommends some steps: Get vaccinated. It’s especially important for pregnant women (check with your doctor), children, folks over 65 and those with chronic health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, etc.). Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw out the tissue. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water. Stay away from crowds during flu outbreak. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people. Keep your immune system healthy with a good diet, exercise and no smoking. Some herbs are used to support the immune system, along with their antibacterial and antiviral qualities. Check out Echinacea and Elderberry and see how they might help. You may be very pleasantly surprised.
Select SMART-SIZED Servings
When Dining Out: Restaurants like you to be satisfied, so, the portions served are often much more than anyone should eat in one sitting! Restaurant foods also tend to be overloaded with salt, fat, sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain. Cut calories ahead of time (while ordering) by foregoing the bread basket, asking for a child’s size or half order, or by making your own meal out of side salads, soups, steamed veggies and appetizers. If you do get a full-sized entree, listen to your body’s natural cues and stop eating when you’re full. Take steps to reduce your restaurant portions this week. Don’t overindulge simply because you’re eating out: enjoy the portions and meal choices that you would normally eat at home. There is also the option of bringing home half your portions; it’s nice to have a tasty (and easy) meal next day.
DE-STRESS...Help Your Heart!
Stress can influence heart disease in subtle ways, even causing some people to act in ways that increase heart disease risk, i.e., eating unhealthy food, having no energy and taking no time to exercise. Others find comfort in other heart-damaging behaviors (smoking and drinking too much alcohol). Let’s try some easy way to help deal with stress and break unhealthy habits. Stay positive. Laughter can lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries and increase "good" HDL cholesterol. Meditate. Practicing inward-focused thought and deep breathing can help reduce heart disease risks like hypertension. Its close relatives, Yoga and Prayer, can also relax the mind and body. Exercise. Every physical activity, whether walking or playing tennis, helps release mood-boosting chemicals (endorphins). Exercise not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart muscle and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Unplug. It's impossible to escape stress IF it follows everywhere. Cut the cord. Take time each day - even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes - to escape from the world. Avoid negative people, e-mails and TV news. Find your own ways to escape stress - simple things like a warm bath, listening to music or enjoying a favorite hobby - can provide a much-needed break from the stressors in life. Some herbs can soothe: Chamomile and Lavender are very gentle and may be very helpful; give one a try.
Watch What You Are Doing and
Mixing When Taking Medicines: Many fruit juices can influence efficacy of medications. Grapefruit juice has long been known to interact with certain meds (i.e., cholesterol or blood-pressure-lowering), but now scientists have found that taking apple juice and orange juice within two hours of taking your pills can also disrupt some other medications, including hay fever meds, anti-cancer drugs, beta blockers and antibiotics. Because other drugs may also be affected by fruit juices, researchers recommend taking medications with good old-fashioned water!
Lose Weight To Cut
GAS AND HEARTBURN ~
Did you know that if you lose just two pounds, you could improve your gastrointestinal symptoms? Extra pounds, especially around the midsection, can worsen digestive issues like heartburn, gas and belching. Of course, always check with your doctor before starting a weight loss program, but this could be quite helpful for these discomforts.
HAVE A HEART...
A HEALTHY ONE!
Your life is busy, and maintaining your cardiovascular fitness can be challenging. Yet cardiologists tell us that the answer might be right in front of you. Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator in your office building can contribute to your fitness. Small things like that - or even taking a quick walk around the building if your office doesn’t have stairs - can burn calories. If you don’t work in an office center, a walk around your house or neighborhood will do just fine, and don't forget to try parking far away from the stores in a parking lot when shopping, so you’ll add some more steps. Every little step you take can help you maintain or improve your fitness...and your heart.
FURTHER FUN FLAXSEED FACTS
Did you know that in North America, the use of Flax dates back to 1617, when the first farmer in Canada brought it to "New France." Today, the crop grows widely on the prairies of Canada for its healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acid and oil-rich seeds (Flaxseed-Linseed) that are invaluable for helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and to improve circulation and immune function. Fun Uses? Sprinkle them on your salads, cereals, yogurts and soups for extra crunch. They’re also good in ice cream, cottage cheese and even applesauce. If you’re baking, try them in muffins and pumpkin bread (yummm).
WHO SHOULD GO LOW SODIUM?
U.S. guidelines call for about half of Americans to limit sodium to 2,000 milligrams or less per day. The American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500 milligrams per day for: People aged 51 and older, African Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Eating less sodium can help lower blood pressure in some individuals and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney damage in those with hypertension. Ask your doctor for guidance regarding your own salt intake needs. We need salt, but we do not need (and should not have) too much. Read those labels.
TALK IT OUT ~
Although it can be hard to discuss stressful situations, keeping perspective and coming up with potential solutions is an important part of remaining calm and moving forward. Friends - who are often facing similar issues or have advice from past experiences - can sometimes provide the perfect support system to help you do just that. If you feel stressed this week, ask good friends or close family members or clergy to lend an ear. They may be able to offer insight that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Talking things through can be very helpful and even lighten the heavy burden of stress. If you suffer from insomnia, stress and anxiety, check out Chamomile as a natural sedative and tonic to soothe the nerves, induce sleep, help calm colitis and ease a nervous stomach. It’s the most gentle of all the ancient herbs that is still popular today (that must mean something?).
PLAN YOUR HEALTHY
MENUS THIS WEEKEND ~
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important for maintaining a healthy body (we are what we eat?). With hectic schedules and the convenience of fast food, however, it's sometimes difficult to make that healthy diet happen on a regular basis. Here's where planning ahead can really help. This week, (starting today), make a plan and take a list (and stick to it) when you go grocery shopping. Try cooking a few large portions and freeze some for later quick, healthy and satisfying meals throughout the week (casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, stews, etc.). Be creative: Omelets are fast and great with leftover veggies; same for salads with leftover meats and added veggies and fruits. Plan ahead with your meals, snacks and shopping, and you'll find it much easier to follow through on healthy eating all week long, no matter how busy you get!
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE!
Laughter is actually good for your health: A good belly laugh can relieve pain, soothe tension and make it easier to cope with stressful situations. If you’re feeling tense this week, put a smile on your face by calling a bright, upbeat friend, playing a fun game with your kids, watching old, funny movies or early TV comedy shows, or swapping funny jokes with a co-worker. Try it. You may be happily surprised. Think of it: Your good health really can be just a laughing matter.
MIX AND MATCH: The Do's
& Don'ts of Pairing Foods ~
Certain foods become even healthier when mixed with other certain foods. Conversely, other food pairings may become less healthy and potentially even harmful. Follow a few tips to get the most out of your food choices: DO MIX grilled steak and Brussels sprouts: Certain compounds in Brussels Sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables (Cauliflower, Broccoli, etc.), may help rid the body of carcinogens that can form on meat during high-heat cooking. Nevertheless, charring meat on the barbeque is not the best method. Instead, cook your meat or fish at low temperatures until done. DON'T MIX alcohol and diet soda: You might cut calories but you also might get drunk faster. In a recent study, it took just 21 minutes for half a diet cocktail to leave the stomach and reach the small intestine, where most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, while the same amount of a non-diet cocktail took 36 minutes.
EASY HEALTH HINTS ~
Try two easy ways to improve health and maybe even lose a few pounds: Eat Breakfast - Simple as that! Much research has shown that eating a healthy breakfast with a complex carbohydrate like whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal, along with a protein like an egg or low-, or non-fat milk, helps us to lose weight and maintain what we have lost. Eat Apples and Nuts - They make fantastic snacks. Apples provide nutrients and Apple fiber that help to reduce cholesterol, regulate healthy glucose levels and promote normal bowel function. Many studies tell us that snacking on nuts is good for our cholesterol and other blood markers associated with heart disease. The majority of the research shows that when we eat nuts (not the whole bag) in place of other snacks, we won't gain weight and will be very satisfied.
EXERCISING YOUR BRAIN
IS JUST A WALK IN THE PARK ~
Research tells us that exercise can help stave off or delay dementia - but did you know that regular workouts may actually reverse ageing in the brain? Aerobic exercise enhances speed and sharpness of thought, but it also increases the volume of brain tissue. As little as fifty minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain-expanding effect. For an added boost, walk in the park: Studies found that test subjects whose course took them through a tree-filled setting performed twenty percent better on memory and attention tests than those who walked in town. Think of it as food not only for the brain, but food for the soul as well.
SORT OUT THE SMALL STUFF!
Many times stress is the result of little things that were left unresolved, like work projects, medical visits, paperwork and other household concerns. These tasks can hang over your head week after week, building up stress without you even realizing it. This week, set out to solve the little problems in your life. Sit down this Monday and write a list of all the small things that have piled up; then come up with a realistic comfortable time line to make them disappear. By catching up and completing these goals, you can feel in control again! Need extra help? Look into natural help with gentle Passion Flower.
Everything OLD IS NEW Again!
Ancient Greeks and Romans not only used the herb Thyme to spice up their foods, they also burned it to fumigate and purify their rooms. In World War One, Thyme was used to purify surfaces and air in hospitals and sickrooms to destroy bacterial infection. Today? We still add delicious Thyme to so many of our foods - AND - check out the label on your Listerine antibacterial mouthwash, and take note of its important active ingredient: It is thymol - the very same active antibacterial compound extracted from Thyme! The same delicious herb that flavors our food delivers good health too. Imagine! The old-timers already knew all this!
AN ELEPHANT Never Forgets?
Sri Lankans believe that Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) promotes longevity on the basis that long-living and very smart elephants eat it (not exactly scientific), but Gotu Kola is often called "The Memory Herb" because its potent circulatory effects help revitalize brain cells, and it is often used in herbal therapy to enhance mental activity, concentration and managing memory loss.
AS BEAUTY DOES"
Have you ever heard of a beautiful flower associated with good health? It's true: Word of American Indian and Colonial usage of the beautiful Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) roused the curiosity of physicians in Europe, where today it remains one of the most sought-after herbs, particularly in Germany, where doctors have been known to prescribe Echinacea as often as they prescribe antibiotics. It’s one of nature’s most powerful natural antibiotics, and it is great for supporting a strong immune system and helping to stimulate the body's resistance to infection. People often take it prior to travel to build up immunity to infectious bacteria and viral exposure in different environments from home.
A SALAD A DAY CAN KEEP
BAD HEALTH AWAY!
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that people who eat salads have higher levels of six key nutrients. Those who ate raw vegetables in a salad had “above median serum micronutrient levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.” Each serving of salad translated into 165 percent likelihood of meeting the RDA of vitamin C for women and 119 percent for men. The study concluded that eating salads can be an easy and effective (and delicious) tool for getting people to meet currently recommended nutritional needs. Eat your way to good health!
HEART DISEASE RISK ~
Recent research suggests that poor oral hygiene (brushing less than twice daily) actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Brush Your Teeth with a soft-bristle brush and gently clean your teeth to avoid hurting gums. Fluoride toothpaste can help destroy oral bacteria, and frequent cleanings (if possible, right after snacks or meal) can stop buildup leading to gum disease. Don't Forget To Floss. It's one of the most important things we can do to keep teeth healthy. Floss is the only thing that reaches below the gum line. Bacteria build up in the pocket between the tooth and gum line, causing inflammation, tissue damage and bone loss. Worse, it can spread to the bloodstream and through the body. Try some Green Tea: it’s also rich in fluoride and may help reduce tooth decay. Too many people mistreat their teeth and ignore the decay and disease warning signs until too late. A little prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when the alternative is growing old without any teeth at all. Take the time to brush your teeth. Your teeth (and your heart) will thank you for it!
BAGS UNDER YOUR EYES?
Save the bags only for your groceries, handbags or trash - BUT not under eyes - SO Banish Them: Put Down That Salt Shaker: Water finds its way from body areas low in sodium to those with the most (eye area). Manage Allergies: Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand, but some over-the-counter allergy, cold or sinus infection medicines and herbs like Eyebright can dry puffy eyes. Try a Neti Pot: It looks like a small teapot, and you pour salt water into one nostril at a time and let it drain out the other to help flush out all extra moisture in your sinuses. Sleep On Your Back: Gravity causes fluid to collect under eyes, so sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head. Remove Eye Makeup: Sleeping with eye makeup on can make your eyes water and cause morning-after puffiness. Limit Alcohol: It pulls the water out of your skin, and once you weaken the delicate area around the eyes, it's more likely to sink into a pouch. Protect Eyes From Sun’s UV Rays: You protect your body from sunlight and should do the same for your face. Too much sun makes the skin around eyes sag or wrinkle. Use sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your face from harmful rays.Chill Eyes: A cold compress can ease puffiness. Try chilled cucumber slices, tea bags or even a chilled spoon. What you use doesn’t matter; the low temperature does the work.
HEALTH TIPS TO ACQUIRE ~
Many people swear by daily habits and routines for keeping them in good health, and often those habits are grounded in sound medical science, say many doctors. Here are three healthy suggestions: Take a daily nap. Sleeping just 20-30 minutes (no more to avoid interfering with night sleep) can help improve your alertness, performance and mood, and reduces mistakes and accidents too. Eat fresh, buy local. Local food is generally fresher, riper, better-tasting and higher-quality than commercially produced food that's been shipped many miles, and because it's locally distributed, it requires minimal preservatives or processing (also helps the local economy, and there’s a lot available during these summer months from the farmers’ markets). Head for your garden. Gardening is a therapeutic and creative outlet. You can let your personality shine through. A garden also burns calories and provides regular exercise, which can help prevent heart disease, obesity and adult-onset diabetes. Think of adding veggies to your garden for your own organic market. It’s a great feeling - with even greater great results.
MAMA'S ALWAYS RIGHT!
You should have listened to Mom when she said, “Eat your vegetables.” Science now tells us that consuming yellow and green vegetables will protect against age-related macular degeneration, thus preserving eyesight - and green vegetables like Broccoli and Cabbage may help protect the body against breast and prostate cancer. Fresh is best, but when not available, both can luckily be found in supplement form.
HEY! WHAT'S IN MY SALAD?
Is the Tomato a fruit or vegetable? Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it a vegetable, they were scientifically incorrect: Botanically, it is classified as a fruit, and The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association specifically classifies it as a berry, since it contains both pulp and seeds. Tomato is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene, the remarkable, powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage to cells. So...whatever we decide to call it, just be sure to call it HEALTHY!
NOT EXACTLY PERFUME
A Lot Healthier ~
Did you know that the stronger the smell of Onions, the more potent and effective their healing powers are thought to be?...and did you know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Onion as the symbol of “Eternal Life?” Today we do know that Onion is one of nature’s best natural immunity supports that helps protect against infection of all kinds. As a powerful natural antibiotic and antiseptic, it is a wonderful way to strengthen the body’s natural defenses against common colds, flu, sore throat, bronchial and gastric infections; and happily Onion can be found in no=tears supplements. Can’t promise the perfume, tho!
What? Education -
Although higher education levels have been linked to better health in surveys, you don't necessarily have to have a long list of degrees to achieve well-being. According to health professionals from City University of New York, reading more often, following current events and engaging in activities that keep the mind as sharp as possible will help us reap vast health rewards. Time to get out those crossword puzzles, newspapers, library cards - or join a travel group (a truly fun way to learn and make friends at the same time). C'mon: It's Time to GET SMART!
NO UNWANTED TRAVEL SOUVENIRS - PLEASE!
Traveling can be very stressful, so your immune system may not be at its best. Furthermore, when traveling, you are exposed to germs that can be very different and from those you are used to. To stay healthy during your trip, why not try some Echinacea a week before you leave, and continue taking it while you are away from home. Studies tell us it can be helpful for supporting a stronger immune system to fend off colds and other unwanted germs that you’d rather not bring back as souvenirs. (T-Shirts, cups and postcards are much more enjoyable -and safe.)
OVEREATING STARTS EARLY!
Here’s how you can help your overweight child: Set a Good Example - Make healthy food choices for yourself. Eat at Home - as a family, and at the table (children eat nearly twice as many calories in restaurants as they would at home). Stay Calm - Make mealtime pleasant, not combative. Serve Healthy Snacks - that are low-fat and calorie, as well as healthy meals. Get the Kids Involved - in meal planning and preparation. Keep Active - Make fitness a family affair. Healthy eating habits start at home; contrary to popular belief, children do not naturally outgrow baby fat.
Let Anger Get the Best of You -
It Can Make You SICK!!
Help yourself with a few simple tips: Admit Your Anger. Release Stress (get some exercise; take a walk or swim, go dancing). Relax (see a funny movie, listen to soft music). Take Care of Yourself (eat properly, look your best). Surround Yourself With Happy People who are positive and caring. Take Deep, Slow Breaths (slow, deep-breathing helps to trigger relaxation, so you can deal with unpleasant situations). Analyze and even talk about the situation that caused that anger with a friend, and try to put it in its place. Lastly, Try to forgive the mistakes of others; you’ll be the better/happier one in the long run.
MORE BLUEBERRIES ~
Research shows Blueberries to be super nutritious and may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may also help reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Some scientists have actually nicknamed Blueberries “Brainberries.” Do they know something? More News: Recent studies found that a Blueberry-rich diet improved learning, as well as muscle function in older subjects.
LABELS ARE SO IMPORTANT~
When buying wheat bread, don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding words like “nine-grain” or “multi-grain.” And just because the bread has a nice tan color, the color does not mean it’s whole grain. Be sure the label reads “whole” grain from the whole-wheat kernel. That way you’ll get the bran, the germ and all the natural nutrients that benefit your good health. Always take that extra time to read food labels - on everything. Your improved health will prove it was time well spent.
Don’t Just Sit There: MOVE!
More and more studies point to the negative health effects of sitting for extended periods of time. Today (every day), try to get up every hour and engage in a few minutes of light activity. The good news is that if you get up and fit in at least two minutes of light activity, such as stretching, walking or even doing chores, that activity can offset some of the health risks of being sedentary for long periods of time. It’s a brand new week - a brand new opportunity to get back on the health train. Use the new week to reset your health goals. So don’t just sit there. Stand up! It’s time to get moving toward better health - NOW!
What is the ONE Prescription that can lower your risk for FIVE Major Diseases with NO Side Effects?
You guessed it!!! EXERCISE!!!Harvard Medical School tells us that Exercise has the power to keep us from developing high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. In fact, Exercise can lower risk of heart disease as effectively as medications! It can also help ease arthritis pain, sharpen memory, trim the waistline and preserve our independence. So why isn’t everyone exercising? One of the biggest reasons is not knowing where to start, or finding a program that’s easy to stick with. Start simply with something that is fun for you, and work up to more strenuous workouts over time. Get a friend to accompany you; it’s more fun, and you can encourage each other to stick with your routines. Of course, ask the doctor to find the best, safest workout for you if any health issues are a concern.
BAD DIET = BAD MEMORY!
Did you know that a poor diet is considered a mind robber that can steal away bits of memory and cognition over time? It’s a fact. Although researchers have not yet quantified the specific effects of a good diet on mental health, it is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in fish, fish supplements, Soy, Nuts and Flaxseed,) help provide the body with the amino acids needed for healthy cell formation and play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Healthy brain cells (neurons) will perform better than unhealthy ones, thereby promoting cognitive clarity, a well-functioning memory and positive mood. While a few deep-fried Oreos won't bring down your IQ or destroy your memory, it's generally accepted that a healthy diet aids the brain in maximizing its potential. Start this weekend with a healthy food list when grocery shopping.