Friday, December 23, 2011
-Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
-Laughter boosts the immune system.
-Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
-Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
-Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Be smart, stay healthy!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Even the most miserable of tasks seem easier and less stressful if you get to do them. It's kind of like a reward. Oooeee, I get to make cold calls today. It gives you a positive feeling." By removing that feeling that you "have" to do something, you've reduced some pressure and stress.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
15 minutes is hardly going to make a dent in your night's sleep. Especially if you followed the tips about getting a good night sleep. But an extra 15 minutes in the morning means you are little bit less rushed, you have a little more time to get organized, get ready for your busy day. You will then start your day much less stressed out. If nothing else it will give you time to have a quiet relaxing start to your day.
Starting your day in a maximum stress situation does not fare well for your well being. It will make you grumpy, tired, anxious and everything coming your way will appear to be more stressful than it really is.
So get that extra 15 minutes and start your day with a smile
Be smart, stay healthy!!!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
- Be organized: take time to wash and organize your food when you get home from the grocery store. It makes it easier when you are ready to cook
- Have some good recipes to rely upon (Rachel Ray is famous for her quick healthy meals),
- Purchase good healthy food and snacks (if you don't have junk food on hands it makes it difficult to eat it)
- Make more than you need for one meal, divide and freeze the rest in single portion. You will have a quick meal ready to go for another night. Just take out in the morning and it will be thawed out by the time you get home.
- Crock-pots are wonderful. You can get everything ready the night before or early in the morning and have a delicious meal waiting for you when you get home from work or a long day shopping
- Don't have gazillions of Christmas goodies sitting around the house. If you enjoy making Christmas cookies, share them with others
- Make sure your pantry is stock with good solid healthy basics to help you complete most recipes. It's not fun to be missing one or two key ingredients when you are trying to complete a meal.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
- keep regular hours, try going to bed at approximately the same time every night
- do not eat after 7:00-8:00 at night. Digesting food will hinder your sleep.
- have more 'calming" activities before bedtime.... ie. Do NOT watch the news but instead maybe read a good book, have a soothing hobby.
- try some calming teas like chamomile, lavender, etc
- try a hot bath or shower
- do not drink caffeinated products from late afternoon till bedtime
- write any thoughts or to-do list down before bedtime so they will not occupy your mind all night long. You may even want to keep a notebook on your night stand.
- when you are lying in bed, take time to review in your mind all the things you are grateful for in your life
- meditation, yoga have great calming capacities
- increase your light exposure during the day. Make sure your circadian rhythm is well set
- turn your TV and computer off at nigh. Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but TV can actually stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it.
- make sure your bed in comfortable
- keep your room cool with adequate ventilation
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Set up priorities!!! Create a list.
- What is a true emergency?
- What needs to be done immediately?
- What can wait till tomorrow?
- What can wait till next week?
- What is something I want to get done but really do not need to get done?
- What can I delegate?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
The fructose content of the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used in many popular soda brands has been sorely underestimated. Around 100 years ago the average American consumed a mere 15 grams of fructose a day, primarily in the form of fruit. One hundred years later, one fourth of Americans are consuming more than 135 grams per day, largely in the form of soda.
Fructose at 15 grams a day is harmless (unless you suffer from high uric acid levels). However, at nearly 10 times that amount it becomes a major cause of obesity and nearly all chronic degenerative diseases. Instead of consisting of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, many soda brands, including Coke, Pepsi and Sprite, contain as much as 65 percent fructose, nearly 20 percent higher than originally believed.
According to one study, the mean fructose content of all 23 sodas tested was 59 percent -- higher than claimed by the industry. When you consider that Americans drink an average of 53 to 57 gallons of soda per year (depending on the source of your statistics), this difference in actual fructose content could make a huge difference in your health.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thinking about indulging in a Big Mac, large fries and a Coke? Sure no problem... you'll work it off in a good workout and no harm done right??
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
You need protein! About half of adults get no protein in the morning because they skip breakfast entirely, which is another reason breakfast skippers tend to put on pounds. They haven't eaten since the night before, so their bodies get panicky by mid-morning, wondering when/if the next meal is coming. The result? Their bodies start storing calories instead of burning them.
Successful weight loss, which includes not gaining back your hard-lost pounds, is about staying full, not going hungry. Hunger and cravings are your enemies. Feeling full and content are your allies. Morning protein and fiber? They’re your secret weapons.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
that handy kitchen sponge can harbor more than moisture—things like foodborne pathogens, yeasts and molds. So Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Beltsville, Md., have tested several methods for reducing risks from harmful microbes hiding in reused sponges.
At the ARS Food Technology and Safety Laboratory in Beltsville, microbiologists Manan Sharma and Cheryl Mudd and two student interns did the testing. First, they soaked sponges at room temperature for 48 hours in a solution made from ground beef and lab growth medium to attain a high level of microbes (20 million per sponge) to simulate a very dirty sponge.
Then, they treated each sponge in one of five ways: soaked for three minutes in a 10 percent chlorine bleach solution, soaked in lemon juice or deionized water for one minute, heated in a microwave for one minute, placed in a dishwasher operating with a drying cycle—or left untreated.
The scientists chose these methods because they're commonly used in most household kitchens. They found that between 37 and 87 percent of bacteria were killed on sponges soaked in the 10 percent bleach solution, lemon juice or deionized water—and those left untreated. That still left enough bacteria to potentially cause disease.
Microwaving sponges killed 99.99999 percent of bacteria present on them, while dishwashing killed 99.9998 percent of bacteria.
As for yeasts and molds, the sponges treated in the microwave oven or dishwasher were found to harbor less than 1 percent (0.00001 percent). Between 6.7 and 63 percent of yeasts and molds survived on sponges soaked in bleach, lemon juice, deionized water or left untreated.
Thus microwave heating and dishwashing with a drying cycle proved to be the most effective methods for inactivating bacteria, yeasts and molds on sponges. These simple and convenient treatments can help ensure that contaminated sponges don't spread foodborne pathogens around household kitchens of today's busy families
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Every hour spent watching TV, DVDs and videos as an adult reduces life expectancy by almost 22 minutes, a study suggests.
And viewing TV for an average of six hours a day can cut short your life by five years.
The research claims that a sedentary lifestyle is as bad for health as smoking and obesity, because of the dangers posed by inactivity and the greater opportunities it offers for unhealthy eating.
The academics conducting the study set out to calculate the overall risk to life expectancy from watching television. Their research involved more than 11,000 people over the age of 25.
Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, they concluded: ‘TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.’
This finding is also comparable to risk factors such as smoking, with other research showing that one cigarette cuts 11 minutes off a lifespan – equivalent to half an hour of watching TV.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said it was ‘biologically plausible’ that prolonged TV viewing results in disease and premature death. Other work suggests that sedentary behavior is linked to obesity, high levels of bad blood fats and other heart disease risk factors, and more opportunities for grazing on junk foods.
In another meta-analysis, published earlier this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers suggest that spending just two hours a day in front of the TV raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 20 percent. Add another hour to your viewing time, and you also significantly raise your risk of premature death from any cause.
One researcher, Dr. Aric Sigman, has identified a slew of negative effects he believes can be blamed on watching television:
- Delayed healing
- Heart trouble
- Decreased metabolism
- Damaged eyesight
- Alzheimer's disease
- Decreased attention span
- Hormone disturbances Cancer
- Early puberty
- Sleep difficulties
- Increased appetite
- Limited brain growth
Watching TV also has a major impact on your brain chemistry. In fact, the longer you watch, the easier your brain slips into a receptive, passive mode, meaning that messages are streamed into your brain without any participation from you. (This is an advertiser's dream, and likely one of the reasons why TV advertising—particularly ads directed at children and teens—works so well.)
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, said: ‘Physical activity offers huge benefits and these studies back what we already know – that a sedentary lifestyle carries additional risks. We hope these studies will help more people realize that there are many ways to get exercise.’
Another study shows that exercising for just 15 minutes a day can increase your lifespan by up to three years.
It can reduce the risk of early death by 14 per cent, with each extra 15 minutes reducing all-cause death rates by 4 per cent.
Exercise also protects against cancer, although the benefits peak at 100 minutes a day, says the study in The Lancet medical journal.
It involved more than 400,000 adults taking part in a medical screening programme in Taiwan, whose progress was followed between 1996 and 2008.
The experts found that if individuals engaged in low-volume daily exercise, one in six all-cause deaths could be postponed.
Sources: Daily Mail Online August 16, 2011 and Dr Mercola
Be smart, stay healthy
Monday, August 29, 2011
Free radical damage from age and environmental factors can keep your eyes from functioning optimally. There are natural common sense things you can do to help preserve our healthy vision.
1. Quit smoking. Smoking creates a lot of free radicals in your system and hinders your health in general and your vision as well
2. Keep your cardiovascular system in good health. High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels on your retina
3. Normalize your blood sugar. Excessive sugar in your blood can pull fluid out of the lense of your eye, affecting your ability to focus.
4. Eat plenty of dark green vegetables. Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens being the highest on the list.
5. Omega 3 and Krill oil are your best friends. Consume a lot of food containing Omega 3 such as: fresh wild salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, halibut, chia seeds, etc. Do not forget to use a good quality supplement as well.
6. Use a good quality anti-oxidant as it will help get rid of the free radical causing havoc in your body.
7. Lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberries and black currants have been shown to protect and enhance vision.
Take good care of your eyes and they will stay healthy for as long as possible.
Be smart, stay healthy!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Part of my training routine is using a weighed vest and weighed shoes. It is always a tough training session as I just added about 20 lbs to my normal weight. But like swinging with 2 bats, it only makes me stronger, better, faster.
It always amazes me when I take off all this extra weight. I feel so light from one second to the next that it almost seems like I could fly. My step is much lighter and walking becomes easier.
Even though my workout is more difficult than without the extra gear, I still do not truly realize how heavy the whole get up was until I remove it. My body/ mind got used to it. But it made my heart pump harder, my legs and back work much more and my lungs scream for air.
Most of us have gained weight at one point or another. And it always creeps up on us. One pound here, one pound there… pretty soon we carried 10-20 lbs too much. We get used to it gradually. We do not realize how much harder we have to work to carry this extra weight. We do not realize how much harder it is on our hearts and lungs. One extra pound requires one extra mile of blood vessels. That’s a lot more pumping action for your heart.
Try walking around for an hour with weighted gear (a backpack filled with rocks will work). When you take it off you will see firsthand what taking off weight means to your body. What are you getting used to that you should not?
Be smart, stay healthy
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Dust mites are microscopic animals related to other mites, and ticks,
They occur where human beings live, and where the humidity is optimal for their life cycle.
House dust mites feed and grow almost exclusively on the dead, shed skin cells that we humans shed daily by the hundreds of thousands.
While your bed is the chief place the majority of house dust mites reside, the mites can also survive in pillows, overstuffed furniture, even rugs and carpeting. The place where your pet sleeps is also a hot spot. Fido and Fluffy shed skin cells (dander), too.
Dust mites are known for causing allergies in millions of Americans
Good news is, they’re harmless unless you have allergies or asthma.
To keep their count down, wash your sheets in hot water regularly, and fluff your pillow in the dryer on its hottest setting. Wash your pillows regularly and replace them annually. Vacuum and turn your mattress at least every 6 months.
The most recent information on dust mites suggests using a combination of physical measures - including pillow and mattress covers, washing bedding in hot water and carpet removal - rather than chemical treatments.
Be careful who you share your bed and pillow with.
Be smart, stay healthy
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Summer time... picnics... finger food.... easy dishes
We can still keep it healthy.
Here are some delicious healthy dips. Use vegetables instead of chip and you have a winning combinations:
Protein-packed Greek yogurt makes this curry dip satisfyingly thick, while fresh peaches add a rich sweetness.
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp diced ripe peach
1 tsp lemon juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 ring red pepper, chopped, for garnish
1 tsp chopped green onion, for garnish
In a bowl, stir together all ingredients except garnish. Chill up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. Top with red pepper and green onion before serving.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 42 cal, 1 g fat (<1 g sat), 3 g carbs, 165 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 5 g protein
Cheesy Tomato Dip
Naturally lower in fat than other cheeses, feta makes an ideal base for this Mediterranean-inspired dip. It also subs nicely for mayo to kick up a turkey sandwich.
1 tomato, quartered, seeds removed
6 oz feta, crumbled
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp chopped kalamata olives
1 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained)
In a food processor, chop tomato. Add feta in small batches, blending to combine. Pour in lemon juice and oregano; blend again. In a bowl, fold olives into cheese-tomato mixture. Top with sun-dried tomatoes.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 122 cal, 9 g fat (6 g sat), 3 g carbs, 495 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 6 g protein
Cool Cucumber-Herb Dip
Try this as a refreshing alternative to onion dip. It'll spare your breath and your waistline.
1 Tbsp diced shallot
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, combine shallot and cucumber; discard extra liquid. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream with shallot-cucumber mixture. Stir in vinegar, herbs, and salt, then add freshly ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 82 cal, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 5 g carbs, 186 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 2 g protein
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.
1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans...
5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Age old question… should I or shouldn’t I exercise? And why?
The majority of people do it as a mean to reduce weight.
But in a recent study, researchers took a group of sedentary, overweight men and women over an 18 months period, and trained them to run a marathon. The men lost just a few pounds, and the women in the study, averaged no change to their weight. One reason may be that people tend to increase their caloric intake as they increase their exercise. Proper diet and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to weight loss. Do not think that because you just ran 5 miles, you can sit on the couch, eat an entire deep dish pizza and wash it down with a large milkshake. This will not promote weight loss.
But exercise by itself has tremendous benefits, much more than just weight loss.
Here are a few:
· It increases your energy levels: the more energy you use, the more you have.
· It improves the quality of your sleep: exercise helps you get to sleep more quickly and to achieve a more restful sleep.
· It helps combat chronic disease: exercise helps improve your circulation, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and has been linked with delayed onset of dementia.
· It improves your mood: it reduces the tension associated with anxiety and promotes relaxation. It also produces endorphins which allow you to feel a sense of power and control over yourselves that allows you to persist with activity for an extended time. Endorphins have been shown to control feelings of stress and frustration, and to reduce symptoms associated with eating disorders. Endorphins basically give you a natural high.
· Exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental.
· It is a Powerful Anti-Cancer Strategy. More than 200 population-based studies have linked exercise to your risk for cancer. More recently, a 2009 study showed that men with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer. These findings suggest that muscle strength is just as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to offering protection against deadly tumors. One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. It's also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.
· It helps to slow down the effects of aging. Exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults
· Exercise is an important way to manage diabetes. Not only can exercise help you achieve beneficial weight loss, but every time you exercise, it helps to lower your blood sugar and helps your cells accept insulin more efficiently.
· Numerous studies have shown that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis by increasing your bone density.
If none of this motivates you to take the first step toward implementing a regular fitness regimen, I don't know what.
If you don’t know where to start you can seek professional advice. But quit procrastinating. Get off that couch and get moving… it’s a great way to start. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at the time!
Be smart, stay healthy!!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
GRASS FED BEEF
Most people think that beef is just beef. It isn’t always so. A cows diet can have a profound influence on the nutrient content of its products, be it milk or meat.
· Grassfed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grainfed products. For example, a sirloin steak from a grassfed steer has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grainfed steer. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you'll lose about five to six pounds a year.
· Although grassfed meat is low in "bad" fat (including saturated fat), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of "good" fat called "omega-3 fatty acids." The health benefit of Omega are numerous and worthy of an entire blog itself. Stay tuned.
· The meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.
Health benefits of CLA:
· Promoting fat loss
· Fighting cancer
· Increasing your metabolic rate
· Promoting normal thyroid function
· Delaying onset of diabetes, and improving management of adult-onset diabetes
· Helping maintain normal cholesterol levels
· Helping maintain healthful triglyceride levels
· Enhancing your immune system
· The meat from the pastured grassfed cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.
In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.
Enjoy your beef but choose wisely.
Be smart , stay healthy
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Fresh strawberries are in season and they are delicious! Just in case you need more reasons to eat those ripe, red, juicy delicious fruits here are a few facts about them.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin K, riboflavin, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals.
Here are a few health benefits to eating strawberries:
· Anti inflammatory: The phenols in strawberries also ﬁght against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do. Strawberries, however, do not carry unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding.
· Healthy eyes: The Archives of Opthalmology recently published a study in which three or more servings of strawberries (and other fruits) per day can decrease the possibility of contracting age-related macular degeneration by over one-third.
· Anti-cancer: The combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.
· Cardio vascular health: Strawberries have also been linked with effecting blood vessels, platelets and lipoproteins positively, which can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.
· Bone health: Manganese is also great for the bones, helping in bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. The potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium in strawberries are also important for bone health
· Alzheimer’s Disease prevention: the antioxidant qualities of strawberries may also be beneficial in reversing the course of neuronal and behavioral aging. Due to their positive effects against anti-neurodegenerative diseases, strawberries are helpful in slowing the onset and reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
· Diet: One cup of strawberries contains over 13% of the RDA of dietary ﬁber, yet only 43 calories. The dietary ﬁber in strawberries helps to keep digestion regular, as well as lowers blood pressure and curbs overeating.
Choose strawberries that are plump, firm and free of mold and have a deep red color. Unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to choose the ripest, reddest strawberries, as they will provide the best taste and the highest nutrient density.
Use them in smoothies, salads, oatmeal or just plain straight out of the carton. They are awesome!!!!