HEALTH TIPS ~
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.
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
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.
TAKE YOUR MEETING
...FOR A WALK?
Walking just thirty minutes daily can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease, dementia and some cancers. This week try walking during business meetings. Surprised? Not only are they good exercise for you and your associates, but Stanford University researchers found that people can be more creative and productive when walking (circulation to the brain?). Another benefit: Your meeting can’t be interrupted as easily (they have to catch you first). Try something different; you’re sure to gain at least one benefit and possibly even a more positive attitude toward business meetings in future for all your colleagues.
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.
Try Out New Healthy Outdoor Cooking Styles!
There are still plenty of warm weather weekends for cookouts, picnics, BBQ’s and other outdoor gatherings, but they are often filled with unhealthy foods like processed meats, chips, fried foods and desserts. These typical goodies mean nutritious choices are sometimes hard to come by. Plus, we may feel left out if we opt for something healthier while everyone else is digging into the fatty goodies! Get your group to rethink the menu this weekend by planning a healthy BBQ, picnic or outdoor party. Serve a sampling of colorful salads, veggies with fresh dips, a brown rice and black bean casserole or a make-your-own scrumptious fruit mixture bar (watermelons make great fruit serving bowls!). If your recipe is a hit, make it your go-to menu for future celebrations.
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
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.
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!
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.
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 More Healthy ~
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!
DO THE MONDAY MILE ~
As we often like to remind ourselves, Mondy is a great day to reset our weekly health goals. The Monday Mile is a fun way to jump-start your week with a healthy dose of physical activity. You can Walk, Jog or Run the mile with friends, family and co-workers, and enjoy positive health benefits while socializing with others and making a commitment to stay fit throughout the week.
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.
The DELICIOUS Way ~
Foods that are rich in water take up more room in your gut, which tells the body you've had enough to eat and leaves less room for other foods. Many raw fruits and vegetables are full of water and nutrients, and low in calories. Watermelon is a great delicious example. It's a great source of the remarkable antioxidant lycopene and gives you some vitamin A and C, too. Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as other yogurts and takes longer to leave your stomach, keeping you satisfied longer. Plus, you burn more calories digesting protein than carbs. Choose nonfat, low-fat, and low-sugar types. Cinnamon, watermelon and popcorn can help curb your appetite and burn fat too.
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.
Some people open a window or a door - or simply walk outside and will become exposed to pollen in the outdoor air and suffer. Unless you want to live in a bubble, avoiding pollen is pretty difficult. However, you can follow some tips to at least minimize pollen exposure: Keep windows in your home closed, which prevents pollens from drifting into your home. Minimize early morning activity when pollen levels are highest (between 5 and 10 a.m.). Keep your car windows closed when driving. Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported high and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air. If taking a vacation during pollen season height, go to a more pollen-free area, like the beach. Avoid performing yard work, or wear a mask or bandana over your nose and mouth when working outside. Use a clothes dryer to machine dry bedding and clothing (don't hang clothes on a clothesline, where laundry becomes coated with pollen). An indoor air cleaner can help reduce indoor pollen levels if windows are open. Speak with your doctor about symptom relief with natural herbals like Eyebright or Mullein Leaf, etc.