Healthy Living Tips and Tricks

It seems that everyone is concerned with healthy living these days. This is a good thing; it is important to be concerned with your health and to look for better strategies to improve your life. On the other hand, it also seems like everyone has a quick solution for healthy living, for a hefty fee of course. It seems at times that you can’t turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing a celebrity or doctor trying to get you to buy their new book detailing the latest miracle diet that will change your life, whether it is fresh ground wheat grass or a daily tin of Brazil nuts. The reality is that these diets are unnecessary. Healthy living is available to everyone, and does not depend on buying the latest diet book or the most expensive vitamins. All that you need to do is to start making healthy decisions.

How to eat healthy

The most important facet of your life that you need to change as you move towards healthy living is to start eating nutritious foods. Do not try to follow a trendy diet, just eat a balanced diet of nutritious foods. When you eat well, you lower your risk of many health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain kinds of cancer and osteoporosis. You will also give yourself more energy, allowing you to enjoy life again.

The most important group of foods, and the one that is most often the cause of poor diets, is fruit and vegetables. There is nothing particularly innovative about this advice; everyone knows that you need to eat your fruit and vegetables. The main problem is that so few people actually consume the seven to ten daily servings of fruits and vegetables they are supposed to have each day. And when they do eat fruit and vegetables, it is in forms that include added sugar, salt or fat.

The food group that we all eat too much of is meat. Try to limit your meat intake, and emphasize meat alternatives for your protein needs. While you definitely need meat or an alternative for the protein, most people eat far too much from this food group. You will be surprised at how little is actually required to get you through the day.

Get active

Once you have started eating well, it is time to go out and get some physical activity! Now, this does not mean that you have to incorporate a rigorous physical workout into your daily routine. Just including small amounts of physical activity in your life will make a difference. So take the stairs instead of the escalator, or walk to the corner store instead of driving four blocks. Start slowly and incorporate more physical activity into your life, and you will be amazed at how quickly the results will add up.

Have fun

The final component of healthy living is to have a healthy mind. Build up a strong peer group who will give you the social support you need to be truly happy. This will reduce your stress, which will only lead to a healthier body.



How To Begin A Healthy Lifestyle

Most of us are interested in our health and there are numerous things that we can do in order to protect our health and even to improve it. Although it is really going to depend upon your personal circumstances and desires, there are some things that all of us can do which is going to make a difference that will be seen very quickly and felt for the long term. Here are a few tips that can help you to be healthy and enjoy that health for a long time.

One of the most important things that you can do for your health is to change the way that you eat. If you are eating at fast food restaurants or eating prepackaged foods, you are likely getting a lot of chemicals in your body that can damage your health. You do have the opportunity to change the way that you eat, however, and you can do so fairly easily. The real secret to changing your diet does not lie in making big changes immediately, but rather it is in making small changes over the course of time. How is that possible?

Many people who try to change their diet take the bad foods out of it right away. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms that are quite uncomfortable, especially when you consider how addictive some of the substances that we eat happen to be. Instead of removing bad foods from your diet, try adding good foods into your diet. If you have plenty of good food around the house, such as organic apples or Bosc pears, you will be much more likely to eat them. You can have organic fruits delivery straight from the farm set up on a weekly or biweekly basis so that those foods will be available for you. The more good food you add into your diet, the more bad food will naturally be removed from it.

Another thing that is very important for your health is exercise. I’m sure that you are well aware of this fact but it is more than just getting exercise regularly. The type of exercise that you do can help you to see more results in a shorter amount of time, if you are able to exercise smartly. Instead of spending hours at the gym or walking for an hour or more daily, do interval exercises and high intensity training so that you can get the exercise over with quickly. Not only are you going to be more likely to stick with it if you exercise in this way, you will see better results in a much shorter amount of time.

One other suggestion that I have for you is to make sure that you are staying hydrated at all times. Dehydration can cause many problems to the body, including chronic problems if you are dehydrated for long periods of time. If you drink plenty of water, making sure that it is filtered, you will likely see benefits to your health that will be noticeable quickly.



Healthy Diet Benefits – Some Interesting Tips

Many of us don’t pay enough attention to our eating habits until it becomes and issue and our health is affected. This may come as quite a shock to some who are unaware that their eating habits are not providing them with the right vitamins and nutrients to maintain a  healthy  body. So many people think they are subscribing to a  healthy  diet but are gaining weight rather than losing it. For some weight isn’t the problem, yet they are not enjoying optimum health. Maintaining a  healthy  diet is easy if you have a variety of  healthy  cooking recipes

Eating from a choice of  healthy  cooking recipes can only enhance your way of life even if you always go to the gym everyday. If losing weight is the problem then  healthy  eating recipes will certainly help to shift stubborn excess weight. And because  healthy  eating recipes focus on  healthy   foods  and variety, the chances of sticking to a  healthy  eating plan are much higher as there are so many  healthy  cooking recipes to choose from.

For anyone who has tried to maintain a diet which is low in fat they will know how boring it can be because of the lack of flavour and limited choice of foods. The variety of  healthy  cooking recipes is endless and you can be sure you are getting a balanced intake of fruits and vegetables. Many  healthy  cooking recipes have included fresh or dried herbs for extra punch, which are beneficial to our bodies in so many ways. The types of  food  contained in  healthy  eating recipes promote  healthy  happy bodies. You will eventually become aware of how much more revitalized you feel and will experience a feeling of well being.

 Healthy  cooking recipes are certainly topical as more of us strive to maintain and  healthy  lifestyle and diet. There are so many books and articles dedicated to  healthy  cooking recipes. Surf the internet and you will be aware of the vast amount of information relating to  healthy  cooking diet and nutrition there are. And if you are willing to take the steps to find a  healthier  lifestyle and eating habits the internet is certainly a useful resource.

Narrow down your search for  healthy  cooking recipes by finding ones that are really of interest to you and that you know you will enjoy using every day of your life, the more information you have the greater your choices are if you are committed to improving your health and, therefore, quality of life.

So much has been written on the subject of how best to look after the body by following a  healthy  lifestyle. What types of food are good for us and what vitamins and minerals they contain and what should be avoided because it may be detrimental to our health.  Healthy  cooking recipes like education and information are great but we must put what we have learnt into practise so that we can enjoy a long and  healthy  life.



Fat Busters’ News Bulletin

Are you a Fat Buster? Do you avoid buying foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol? When you go grocery shopping, do you read “Nutrition Facts” panels for assistance in selecting   healthy   foods  for your family? If so, I have great news for you! As of January 1, 2006, the FDA requires that manufacturers list the amount of trans fats on Nutrition Panels.

Why do you need to know this? The shocking truth is that trans fats have always lurked in our foods, unpublicized. Manufacturers make trans fat when they add hydrogen to vegetable oil — a process called hydrogenation that turns liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats. With no way to measure trans fats, careful shoppers like you and I have been buying foods laden with them.

Why should you care about trans fat? What harm does it do? Trans fat, like saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raises the LDL cholesterol that increases your risk for coronary heart disease. Although saturated fat is the main dietary culprit that raises LDL, trans fat and dietary cholesterol also contribute significantly.

Why do health books recommend that we include fat in our diets if it’s so bad for us? When eaten in moderation, fat is important for proper growth, development, and maintenance of good health as it is a major source of energy for the body and aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as carotenoids. In addition, as any good cook knows, fat provides taste, consistency, and stability and helps give us that happy, full-tummy feeling.

However, there are “good” fats and “bad” ones, just as we have good and bad blood cholesterol. Saturated fat and trans fat raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and corn oil) do not raise LDL cholesterol and are beneficial when consumed in moderation.

In which foods does trans fat lurk? Mainly trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, candies, salad dressings, baked goods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. You know . . . all your favorite foods.

Even some dietary supplements like energy and nutrition bars contain trans fat from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil as well as saturated fat or cholesterol. Up until now, you had no way to identify the levels of trans fat in your foods, but now you are able to identify the amounts of all three fats in your foods.

When making food choices that will be low in saturated fat and cholesterol, remember that the combined totals of saturated and trans fats along with cholesterol should be low . . . 5% of the Daily Value or less is low and 20 % or more is high. I want to assure you that trans fats, although present in many of the  foods  we eat, are not “essential” to any  healthy  diet. . Numerous health and government authorities, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, advocate reducing dietary fat to 30 percent or less of total calories.

If you are sadly crossing your favorite foods off your grocery list, you may be wondering what you can serve instead. Fear not, you still have a few good choices left:

o Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do not raise LDL cholesterol levels and you can eat them, in moderation. Sources of monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils. Natural vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, peanut, corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils) have no trans fats and are high in good fats.

o Select alternative fats: olive, canola, soybean, corn, and sunflower oils, soft margarines, nuts and fish, lean meats and skinless poultry.

o Feel free to serve your family fish, as most fish are lower in saturated fats than meat. Some fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids help fight against heart disease.

o Serve a  healthy , balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, chicken and fish, non-fat or low-fat dairy products. If you cook at home, select lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas. Choose non-fat or low-fat dairy products and foods that have a low % of bad fats.

Cooking your own meals helps you better control the type and amount of fats you eat.However, if eating out is one of the great joys of your life, don’t despair. You can still cut down on trans fats when eating out by eating less fast food and by asking before you order in a restaurant if they will cook your food in natural vegetable oils. If you choose wisely, avoiding fried  foods , for example, you can eat out and still have  healthy  meals.

Avoiding trans fats does provide another benefit that I think you will enjoy! Fats are high in calories; 9 calories per gram, making fat the most concentrated source of calories. By comparison, carbohydrates and protein have only 4 calories per gram. Therefore, replacing harmful fats with  healthy   foods  will naturally result in dropping a few pounds of “ugly fat” and reduce your tendency for health problems.

Now that manufacturers must reveal the presence of the ghostly trans fats on nutrition labels, become the “Fat Buster” for your family and enjoy the multiple benefits of  healthier  eating.



Dentists and Healthy Food for Your Teeth

Dentists do their part in helping you to have healthy teeth and gums but you have to do your part at home as well. The foods we eat play a role in whether our teeth are healthy or not. You are probably well aware that foods that are full of sugar are bad for your teeth but are you aware that there are foods that are healthy for your teeth? Impress your dentist upon your next visit with your knowledge of healthy nutritional choices for your teeth. Here we look at some of those. Read on.

Water is Mother Nature’s Cocktail and it is very good for the mouth because it cleans out the mouth, helps to wash away food particles and keeps the gums well hydrated. It also works with saliva to make sure that the essential minerals required by the teeth end up in the right place. Water also works with saliva to help to prevent bad breath.

Green tea is another oral health favorite! Green tea is composed of antioxidant plant compounds known as polyphenols that do their valiant best to prevent plaque from sticking to the surface of the teeth. This in turn helps to reduce the potential for cavities to develop as well as diseases that affect the gums. Another good aspect of green tea that your dentist may not have told you is that many brands of green tea have fluoride in them which promotes the good health of your teeth and keeps the enamel strong and more resilient to decay. The leaves of the tea coupled with the water it is steeped in account for the fluoride that can do wonders for your oral health.

If you have ever heard that it is good to eat cheese at the end of a meal because it kills bacteria then you have found yet another food that promotes healthy teeth and gums. Cheese is a low carbohydrate source that is high in the minerals calcium and phosphate. Put together all of these things are essential for a healthy mouth. Cheese kills the bacteria that are responsible for cavities and gum disease, it produces saliva and it helps to balance the pH levels in the mouth. It also preserves tooth enamel and helps to rebuild it if it has started to wear down.

Apples stimulate the gums and produce saliva which is good for your mouth. They are also full of vitamin C which is a building block for healthy gum tissue. Strawberries and citrus fruits such as kiwis are also rich in vitamin C. If your body lacks vitamin C then the collagen in your gums will eventually break down and cause the gums to become tender and sore and will make it easier for bacteria to start causing dental disasters to occur.

Vitamin A is required to build strong tooth enamel. Vegetables are excellent sources of this vitamin. Choose broccoli, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Not only that but crunchy vegetable produce saliva and massage and cleanse the gums which contributes to better oral health.

Ask dentists what other foods you can consume on a regular basis to keep your mouth its healthiest. The more nutritious your daily diet is, the better condition will your teeth and gums be in!



How to Feed a Vegetarian

Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular as people recognize the health benefits of a plant-based diet. However, after years of a vegetarian (mostly vegan) lifestyle, I’ve come to realize that many people are unclear as to what, or how, to feed a vegetarian. Perhaps you have found yourself in a situation where a vegetarian has entered your life and your ideas about what to feed them are limited. If vegetarianism is new to you, you may need some support in understanding what to feed them. On behalf of vegetarians everywhere, allow me to clear a few things up so that you don’t need to stress out if one is coming to your house for dinner. By the end of this article you will understand the types of vegetarians, some myths about vegetarians, and some easy methods of feeding them.

First of all, let’s start with some definitions:

Vegetarian – a person who, for whatever reason, chooses not to eat meat. It is best to clarify which type of vegetarian your guest is, before planning the menu. A person may be any of the following types of vegetarians or a combination of two or three!

Ethical Vegetarian – this person has chosen not to eat meat because they feel it is unethical. Depending on the personality of your vegetarian, it may be best that there is no meat on the table. Some ethical vegetarians find the sight of meat (especially something like a rare piece of beef) to be repulsive and it may ruin their appetite.

Health-Conscious Vegetarian – this vegetarian is conscious of what they eat because they recognize food as a source of nutrition to keep the body healthy. They may grow some organic vegetables at home, participate in healthy activities, and generally live a healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner so don’t assume that is the case. Always ask.

Junk-Food Vegetarian – The junk food vegetarian is often a person who became a vegetarian as a youth, teen, or young adult, usually for ethical reasons, and without any concern for nutrition at all. They may eat a lot of pizza, pasta, doughnuts, candy, soft drinks and the like. This type of vegetarian may not even like most vegetables. They most likely do not refer to themselves as a “Junk-Food Vegetarian” so tread softly when inquiring.

Vegan – a vegan is a vegetarian who not only excludes meat but also any animal products (including milk, cheese, eggs, and sometimes even honey) from their diet. Some vegans are strict with this and will not eat bread that has been made with an egg or some milk. Others are more flexible; choosing to be vegan at home and as close to vegan as they can get when they are out. I’m mostly vegan at home, but I’d rather be vegetarian than hungry if I’m out.

Flexitarian – this person prefers a vegetarian diet but may occasionally eat a small amount of meat.

Pescatarian – from the Spanish pescado (fish), this person will sometimes eat fish and/or seafood.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian -dairy products and eggs are eaten, but not meat.

Raw Food Vegetarian – a raw foodist chooses to eat a vegetarian diet that is uncooked. There are many health benefits to eating raw plants since cooking destroys many valuable enzymes. If you have a raw foodist coming over and you don’t have a raw food “cook”book, plan on a robust salad. (See below)

Macrobiotic – is a type of vegetarian with a very specific and healthy diet. It is best to ask them for some suggestions or to research recipes on the internet.

In general, the best way to feed your vegetarian is to simply ask them what they eat. I always appreciate when we have been invited to dinner at someone’s house and they ask if I eat this or that. It means a lot when someone goes through the trouble of setting aside a portion for me before they add the meat part of the recipe. And sometimes that’s all it takes; if you’re making pasta, take some sauce out of the pan before adding the meat. The same goes for a salad that might have bacon, eggs, or cheese in it – depending on your vegetarian. Feeding a vegetarian is easier than you think; you may just need to make a few small changes to your recipes and get beyond some of the myths about vegetarians.

Here are a few common myths about vegetarians:

Myth #1: Vegetarians only eat salad and tofu.

While most vegetarians do enjoy salad, and some enjoy tofu; that is not all that we eat. If you are planning to feed a vegetarian only salad, it needs to be more than iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. More on that in the recipe section at the end of the article. Some vegetarians, myself included, are not fans of soy products such as tofu, and may not eat it at all.

Myth #2: Vegetarians don’t eat meat.

This part is actually true but I put it here because most people don’t realize that vegetarians don’t simply eliminate an entire food group from our diets… we replace the meat with other foods. If your entrée consists of lasagna with meat sauce, don’t assume that the side salad and peas will be enough food for your vegetarian guest. Leave the meat out of the sauce. Do not expect a vegetarian to pick the meat out of a dish. Replace the meat entrée with something of substance like beans and rice or a hearty vegetable dish like stuffed squash, peppers, or tomatoes. If you’re serving burgers as your main course, you are probably going to have a hungry dinner guest if you don’t have anything of substance to replace it.

Myth #3: Pasta is a good solution.

Pasta will suffice for one or two meals, but if this vegetarian is going to be eating at your table on a somewhat regular basis, pasta is going to get old fast; as will pizza. Many vegetarians choose this lifestyle for the health benefits gained from eating plants and eating pasta and pizza will not provide these health benefits. If your vegetarian is an ethical vegetarian, they may have no concerns about nutrition and pizza and pasta will work just fine for them. Remember to ask, but keep in mind that you can’t have a vegetarian without the “veg”!

No vegetarian wants to be imposing. It is easy to make them feel welcome and it is always exciting to try new recipes.

Here are a few recipes to help you to feed your vegetarian – and possibly yourself!

Patti’s Portobello Perfecto

  • Bursting with flavor and texture, this recipe often satisfies a steak-eater too!
  • 4 Portobello Mushroom Caps (more or less)
  • All Natural Hummus – flavor of choice (40 spices is my favorite)
  • All Natural – Sun-dried tomatoes (without preservative) or Shredded Carrots or Salsa or Bruschetta
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Brown Rice (to serve as bed)
  • 350° F Oven – 15 to 20 minutes or until mushrooms soften (become tender) when poked with a fork
  • Cook brown rice separately.
  • Wash mushroom caps. Pat dry with clean towel or paper towel.
  • Lightly brush tops of caps with olive oil and place top-down on a glass, stone or other baking dish.
  • Pour 1-2 tsp. balsamic vinegar into/over each cap.
  • Spoon hummus to cover inside of caps about ¼ inch deep and spread with fork.
  • Add ½ tsp. roasted garlic to each cap and spread with fork.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes or shredded carrots or salsa or bruschetta to cover.
  • 350° F Oven – 15 to 20 minutes or until mushrooms soften when poked with a fork
  • Remove from oven and serve over a bed of brown rice.
  • Cover top with fresh basil.
  • These caps are succulent and juicy and the bed of rice serves to catch all the wonderful juices that will escape. Simply divine!

Crazy Tater Feast

  • This is a simple meal that you can even pack for lunch!
  • Wash potatoes and leave skins on, bake until soft
  • You can bake the potatoes in advance (say you are cooking something else in the oven, throw some potatoes in there) and store them in the fridge.
  • When ready to serve…
  • Slice or cut potatoes in an oven-safe dish.
  • Top with hummus (all natural, flavor of choice), salsa and black beans.
  • Sprinkle with sweet corn (frozen or other)
  • Heat in 300°F oven and serve
  • If potatoes are already hot from baking, there’s no need to warm the toppings but you can pop them back into the oven to take the chill off.
  • These are delicious, high in fiber and filling!

Hearty Salad

  • Full of color, flavor, and texture, this salad is sure to satisfy!
  • Mixed greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Shredded carrots
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Red cabbage, chopped
  • Sliced bell peppers (yellow, red, or green)
  • Canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or kidney beans, or black beans)
  • Frozen corn (rinse with cool water to thaw)
  • Frozen peas (rinse with cool water to thaw)
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Slivered almonds (or sunflower seeds, or other nut/seeds)
  • Chopped roasted garlic (from a jar)
  • Raisins (or golden raisins, or dried cranberries)
  • All-natural dressing (on the side)

In a large salad bowl (or individual salad bowls), fill half the bowl with mixed greens. Add sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, sliced cherry tomatoes, red cabbage and peppers. Then add chickpeas, thawed corn, thawed peas, sliced olives, and chopped red onion. Sprinkle with nuts, add ¼ teaspoon of chopped, roasted garlic per serving, and sprinkle with raisins. For your dressing, choose an all-natural version or possibly extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Having a vegetarian at your table should not be daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they will eat something before you plan your menu. Simple steps like leaving the meat ingredient out of a casserole, salad, sauce, or dish may be all you need to do. When all else fails, think Mexican! Rice and beans with some sautéed vegetables is sure to satisfy your vegetarian guest!



How Weight Loss Impacts Your Life Positively

The importance of carrying a healthy weight cannot be stressed on enough. A person is termed over-weight when he has extra body weight from muscle, bone, fat, and / or water. Obesity occurs when there is excess fat in the body. It can lead to some potentially severe health disorders. Obesity has been linked with a number of serious health problems which include heart diseases, diabetes, strokes, and even cancer in some cases. The body mass index (BMI) can help gauge the level of obesity in a person. Body mass is derived by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying the result by 703 (weight (lb) / [height (in)] 2 x 703). A person is termed healthy when his or her BMI lies in a suitable bracket according to his height.

Many factors jointly contribute to a person’s weight. These factors majorly include the environment, family, habits, history and genetics, and metabolism. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important for overall health and wellbeing. A healthy weight helps prevent and control many diseases and keeps a person safe from various medical conditions. At the same time, a healthy weight promotes a healthy body image and helps a person feel good about himself. It provides the right amount of energy to the person to enjoy life and execute responsibilities. A healthy body image makes sure the person feels positive about his capabilities. Obesity has been closely linked with psychological problems as well. Most obese people face low self-esteem and live under the impression that they are not attractive enough. Societal factors and peer pressure also contribute to making them anxious.

Various methods can be employed to help a person reach a healthy weight. One method can be by reducing the number of calories consumed. This is done by restricting the diet to include things that are low on calories. This method, however, is not prudent. While reducing the calories consumed, a person tends to miss out on certain essential nutrients as well. This leads to deficiency and ill-health. The second method is controlling the weight by regular exercise. Exercise keeps a person fit and healthy. It increases the metabolism rate in a person which contributes to weight loss as well. The third and one of the most effective methods as suggested by doctors and medical practitioners all over the world is the use of diet pills. Diet pills effectively reduce weight in an easy and quick fashion, and is therefore recommended to people who need to reduce weight speedily for some medical reasons. Against common belief, diet pills are generally safe to use if a person is not allergic to any of its components. It must be accompanied by proper exercise and diet care in order to get the best results.



Living Without Sugar – 3 Breakfast Ideas to Give You Energy Whilst Still Pleasing Your Sweet Tooth

Many of us prefer sweet foods for breakfast. But now your doctor said you mustn’t have sugar any more, or you yourself decided you need to cut it out because you want to lose weight? For many people, and I admit I’m one of them, it’s unthinkable to live without sugar. We know, we don’t need it, but it somehow adds pleasure to our life. Sugary foods are luxuries we don’t want to give up. So, what if you have to because your health demands it?

First of all, think about when you have sugar

  • as an energy booster to wake up in the morning
  • as a life saving snack when your energy level is running low
  • sweet foods like cookies, cakes and chocolates for pure indulgence

How sugar gives you energy

Let’s focus on the first two aspects: sugar for energy. It’s true that plain sugar, because it’s absorbed very fast, in the stomach already, gives you a very quick energy boost. But after a very short time, this effect wears off, and you need more.

Did you know that carbohydrates as you find them in starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice are way better energy providers, especially the complex carbs found in whole grain products? They are released and absorbed slower and over a longer period, thus giving you energy for hours instead of minutes.

Sweet sugar-free breakfast ideas

Instead of loading your breakfast with sugar, try this great strategy: Use fruity foods to satisfy your sweet tooth, and starchy foods to give you lasting energy for the day. Especially whole grain cereals or bread will do a great job. Your breakfast could look like this:

The cereal breakfast:

  • 1 glass of orange juice (freshly squeezed, or the 100% unsweetened fruit juice out of the box)
  • a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk
  • 1 banana, or half a handful dried fruit mixed into the porridge

The sandwich breakfast:

  • 1 glass of orange or other fruit juice
  • 1 whole grain roll with jam (jam should be sugar reduced, if possible made with natural sweeteners) or honey
  • 1 fruit

The meal-like breakfast:

  • 1 small pancake, 2 small waffles or 2 muffins (use whole grain flour and make sure you don’t use sugar, if you want to sweeten it, use honey)
  • fruit salad (without sugar added)
  • a small bowl of low fat yogurt
  • 1 glass of fruit juice

You see, there are many ways to have a lovely sweet breakfast without sugar. The only sugar you find in these breakfast ideas is fruit sugar, which is doing much less harm to your body than the plain sugar, and honey which is healthier too. Be aware that when using honey, you only need half the amount than if using sugar as it is sweeter, and dried fruit contains more fruit sugar than the same amount of fresh fruit. But all it takes are some small changes, and you got a healthy sugar-free breakfast which won’t make you miss sugar at all.



Anti-Aging Through Stress Reduction

When Oprah interviewed supermodels who’d just turned fifty, Cheryl Tiegs was very clear about why she still looks and feels so young. She said that she never worries. She also said that everything always works out anyway, so why worry?

Stress and worry literally create not only poor health, but wrinkles as well. According to the AMA (American Medical Association), stress is responsible for 89-85% of all human illness! But there’s more, it can also wreak havoc on our outward appearance.

Think about it for just a moment. If stress affects the health of the body, and the skin is the largest organ in the body, doesn’t it stand to reason that our skin may be affected the most?

Here’s what Dr. Dale Healy of Northwestern Health Sciences University has to say about the body and stress; “When you allow stress to affect your life, you are allowing it to influence every organ and every cell in your body.”

And Now, For the Good News

You can lead a full and active life; a busy and even high-pressure life at times; still have problems; and believe it or not, still find ways to sail through it all with a strong, yet calm nervous system. There are ways to cope with the challenges that threaten your youthful appearance and energy.

I’ve listed ten tips below from which to choose in order to help you de-stress. Please keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, so what you need to feel less stressed will be different than what your best friend needs, or even what your sister needs. However, a few key techniques and tools seem to be universal.

Try just one of these a week, you don’t want to get stressed about de-stressing!

The Top Ten Tips to Take You Back in Time

1. Mark your calendar for one day a week to rest, relax, recuperate and play!

It’s actually been proven in scientific studies that people who take a “Sabbath day” or recuperative rest day are actually healthier, happier and more efficient. They get more done because they have more energy.

Do you find yourself dragging yourself through your work-day or week?

The reason may be partly that your subconscious knows you are never going to get a rest or reward, so it will fight you for it.

Choose one day and mark your day planner for that day off. Put a big X on the page, or simply write R& R in big letters to fill the entire page. I take Sunday, myself, plus Saturday afternoon all the way through Sunday night.

Figure out what works best for you to have twenty-four hours completely un-interrupted rest. Some Sundays I am busy with church (just once a month) or other volunteer work, but that’s just part of the day and it feels like playing to me, because I enjoy it so much.

2. See a chiropractor regularly to keep your spine, and thus your nervous system, aligned as perfectly as possible. You’ll be amazed at how not just backaches, but headaches and even heartaches are improved because you are more calm, relaxed and comfortable in your body.

With an aligned spine, you are more easily able to flow with the bombardments of the day. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to change and support your body’s ability to flow with the stress. Your body will thank you a million times over, and long-standing health issues (that age you, by the way) may disappear.

In choosing a chiropractor, make sure he or she is dedicated to long-term care and believes the principle that they simply remove the obstructions in your spine so that the power that made the body can heal it.

When they ask you if you want immediate relief or long-term health, go for the long-term health every time. And don’t expect overnight results without some minor pain, as the muscles which have been pulled out of place are now going back to unfamiliar territory. Go to your local health food store for natural pain relief, like Arnica gel, to help your through the few weeks of that.

3. Choose an hour every day to de-stress with exercise. Mark your day-planner and don’t let anything get in the way. This is one of the very best ways to stay young. The older we get, the MORE exercise we need. If the wonderful benefits of exercise could be bottled, it would sell in the billions.

Occasionally, you may want to substitute a spa treatment or hair appointment. This is time for you to unwind, whatever it is, but be sure you take at least four days a week for exercise, alternating days and types of exercise.

Walking is one of the very best exercises we can do. Humans were made to walk. It’s weight-bearing and you can certainly swing your arms and even hold weights or put on wrist weights when you walk. I choose to live in areas where I can walk right out my door and hike uphill somewhere. That is the best exercise for me.

Every morning or evening, even for a little while, or after your exercise, be sure to get in some good stretching. Yoga is wonderful for that. If you are a member of a gym, you have so many options. Choose something you love.

4. Try to get outside in the fresh air every single day, no matter how bad the weather. Breathing fresh air and letting the sun hit your skin even briefly helps your whole body feel better.

Having a stressful day at work? Make sure you take a small break, even if you think you don’t have time (pretend this is an urgent phone call, you would always have time for that) and walk around the block or the building, breathing deeply and taking in the surroundings, whatever they may be.

You’ll find upon your return that your energy has shot up by about 100% or more!

5. As Cheryl Tiegs does, stop worrying.

How? You can’t talk logic to the emotions, so get above them. Let go and let God! Do you pray or meditate? If not, start immediately, if you want your stress-level to drop dramatically.

It’s actually been proven in scientific studies with plants and green mold that prayer worked to grow them faster, but the fastest-growing plants were blessed with the prayer, “Thy will be done.” It’s the most powerful prayer. The following is another way to say, “Thy will be done.”

Try singing this ancient name for God, HU. It’s from many different religions and cultures. Even hallelujah comes from the sound of HU. Look at the words human, humor, humility and hue. HU sounds like the word hue, and is sung in a long, drawn-out breath, like this: HUuuuuuuu.

You’ll find that it relaxes you, brings inner peace and healing and can open your heart to God’s love.

6. Nutrition is vital for your body to be able to handle higher levels of stress, which seem to be a regular part of life these days, even in small towns, I’ve noticed.

What helps? Try eating more natural oils and fats. That means uncooked, unheated, cold-pressed oils. If you cook with oil, the best are grapeseed or clarified butter. You may be surprised at how much oil your body actually needs. We’re all different, but your nervous system requires a certain amount to function properly. Why do you think comfort foods are high fat? When we feel most stressed, whether emotionally or physically, we want to help our nervous systems handle it (great excuse, huh?)!

Don’t worry about gaining weight IF you are eating natural oils and fats, even real whipped cream. Your body will simply use what it needs and send the rest right out!

7. Take a REAL lunch break. Go outside or at least to the break room. Eating at your desk will not only stress you more because of digestion issues, it will keep you from really focusing on your work. Once again, like the Sabbath day, you’ll be more efficient.

I work at home, so I’ve had to make myself take one-half hour or one hour to eat and rest. I enjoy reading, so I do some light reading at lunch, usually escape reading.

If you can’t find the time, or any possible way to carve out a lunch break, you may need to find a career consultant to find a new job!

During the work day build the habit of taking deep breaths. When I am concentrating on something, I tend to stop breathing, or at least it seems like I’m holding my breath. This is a tough one for me too, so I have to constantly remind myself to breath. If I’m writing, like this article, it’s even worse. I run upstairs to the kitchen, from my office and find I feel faint, so I open the door and take several deep breaths of fresh air. It really helps!

Find something to laugh about, read something funny every day. Laughter actually clears the carbon dioxide out of the lowest levels of your lungs. Nothing else does this quite so effectively.

8. Beauty Sleep is essential. Raquel Welch, in her advanced age (I believe she’s in her seventies) still looks fabulous. A few years ago, even the young actors at the academy awards were saying how attractive she was. Her biggest secret? Beauty sleep!

She sleeps an average of twelve hours a night! She says she doesn’t party, goes to bet at 6pm and gets up at 6pm.

Now I know you’re probably saying, “Yeah, if I had her money I could, too!”

Of course you have a life. But think about what you usually do in the late evening. Do you watch television? Read? Party? How much of that can you cut down in order to get more sleep, a very much needed part of your health as well. People who don’t get enough sleep look so much older so much faster.

If your problem is insomnia, and your doctor hasn’t been able to resolve it for you, try some natural remedies found at your local health food store, or find an alternative health practitioner who understands neurochemistry and neurtransmitters (Google it for your area, but some of these doctors work by phone).

If you wake up with hot flashes, again, see your doctor or local health food store for some natural remedies. I’ve had to try quite a few until I found out that just eating freshly ground flaxseed (mixed with yogurt or something for a snack – ground it in a dedicated coffee grinder) worked better than all the other expensive things I tried!

9. Create something to look forward to each week that you absolutely love; for me, it’s ballroom dancing. This will give you a mental vacation every time you think about it. Your serotonin levels will boost, as you walk around with a smile on your face and a lighter heart.

Put your attention on this treat whenever something difficult is thrown your way, then you’ll be able to step into the fray with a stronger heart and mind, knowing there will be an end to it, a time of joy and exuberance coming soon.

10. Check with your doctor and your local health food store for natural remedies for any stress you still feel after doing all of the above. Are you getting enough sleep? Try some natural supplements like Valerian extract or Melatonin. These are inexpensive, natural and safe means, used properly, for rest and sleep.

Chamomile tea does wonders for helping me relax.

Remember that a more relaxed person is a less wrinkled person!

Enjoy life, take it in stride and keep your sense of humor.



Simple Things That You Can Do To Radically Improve Your Smile

It’s no secret that your smile is one of the most noticeable and important features on your face. If you feel confident about your smile, you’ll have a much higher likelihood of making positive and lasting impressions on others. A bright, white and optimally healthy smile can make your more proactive within both the social and the commercial arenas. Following are several strategies that you can use to keep your chompers looking their absolute best.

Start oil pulling to remove deeply set in stains that your toothbrush isn’t diminishing. This is an Ayurvedic technique that involves swirling a bit of natural oil around the mouth. Sesame seed oil and coconut oil are among the most beneficial, but you can also experiment with safflower oil or avocado oil instead. This process should last fifteen to twenty minutes. As you swish the oil in and out of and around your teeth, it will be breaking down tough stains and lifting out trapped food particles.

Oil pulling has additional benefits beyond merely whitening the tooth structures. It can also have a very positive impact on the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. If you have gingivitis or even more advanced gum disease, this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to start reversing your condition.

When you are done swirling the oil around your mouth, make sure to spit it all out rather than swallowing it. You should also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or another mild disinfectant. This will kill any germs that have been brought to the surface by your efforts. Avoid brushing for at least half of an hour, however, given that oil pulling can temporarily soften your enamel.

Munch on fresh, healthy foods in-between meals. Surprisingly, certain foods can actually clean your teeth while you chew them. Some of these crunchy, healthy snacks include apples, celery and carrots. Munching on these all day is a great way to keep your breath fresh and your tooth surfaces clean.

When you’re away from home, rinsing your mouth with regular water is a great way to prevent cavities, freshen up your breath and ensure that food and beverage stains aren’t setting in. This will remove tacky, sugary substances from the tooth surfaces. To significantly enhance the efficacy of these efforts, consider adding a small spoon of baking soda to the mix. This has its own whitening capabilities. It will also instantly restore pH balance to the mouth interior.

Be leery of brightening toothpastes that are sold at local drug stores. Some of these products can be incredibly abrasive and they may compromise the integrity of your enamel. Instead, use a soft toothbrush and baking soda to gently polish stains away. There are also a number of gentile, fluoride-free pastes that can be used with similar benefits and without the need to apply baking soda.

Finally, consult with your dentist about getting a professional teeth whitening treatment. The solutions that are applied in-office tend to be far more effective than those that people can purchase themselves and apply at home. More importantly, by a allowing a trained and licensed professional to handle these efforts, you can avoid the gum damage and other oral harm that is caused when at-home treatments are overused or misused.