Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-12-26

Indulged, Indulged, Indulged-Now What? Tips To Lose Those Holiday Pounds


The holidays give me the same kind of mentality with eating as when I was pregnant. It is a special occasion so I can eat whatever I want and feel completely justified. Then as soon as the baby comes out or the holiday is over I realize that maybe I overdid it and need to get my body back on track. Usually after a week of eating, eating and eating I feel pretty disgusted with myself and need to feel healthy and slender again. Here are a few of my true and tried tips that I am starting on Sunday (tomorrow is my birthday so of course I have to indulge).

-Drink at least half your body weight in water (ex. if you weigh 100 lbs drink at least 50 ounces) each day. I drink probably double that and I put lots of lemons in it as lemon is a natural diuretic and helps flush out extra water weight.

-Drink Yerba Mate tea-I was told at the health food store that this suppresses your appetite and it does work for me. I also add ground cayenne pepper as it speeds up your metabolism and adds flavor to the tea.

-Eat lots of fruit and vegetables-I focus on the low sugar fruits (pineapple, cantaloupe) and high water content vegetables (cucumbers celery, lettuce).

-Eat low fat dairy products- I eat only the organic to avoid all the hormones and bgh (bovine growth hormone that is in the U.S. dairy products) and primarily I focus on string cheese as it is delicious, quick and convenient.

Nuts for nuts-Nuts are packed with protein and fiber, a handful at snack time keeps your body full. I love cashews but when I am trying to detox and lose weight I eat a couple handfuls a day of raw almonds.

Eat small meals all day-I make sure that I am never hungry by eating several small meals each day and never depriving myself. I know that if I feel hungry I am apt to veer from the right path. I really eat and eat but I eat and drink the above foods and drinks.

When I really follow the above tips I can drop 2-3 pounds in a week. I also feel better, less bloated and mentally know that I am moving in the right direction. This works for me but I would love to know what your tips are. I had thought of doing a fast but am kind of a wimp when it comes to those. What is your favorite after the holidays health tip??
2008-12-24

Happy Holidays!!!!

I was going to write a health post today but then decided that since today is Christmas eve I would much rather just say that I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season. May whatever holiday that you celebrate be a happy one.

Although the holidays are a fun time they can also be a stressful time and a time when we sometimes splurge a little on our eating habits and eat an entire tin of fudge and all the chocolate for the kid’s stockings and then have to rush out to the store to buy more since you ate it all (okay maybe that is just me). Having said that I want to remind everyone to take a few deep breaths and know that it is okay to indulge a little as long as you get back on track. Have that cake, chocolate, or whatever it is that does it for you but have it in moderation. Give yourself a break over the holidays and relish the warmth and love of the season.

Happy Holidays!


Heidi
2008-12-22

Whole Grain Cereals For Your Heart Health

I used to think that I never had time for breakfast and would run out the door on empty but did you know that people who skip breakfast are 4 ½ time as likely to be obese as those who always eat it? Of course now whether I am hungry or not I eat a healthy breakfast (and not the chocolate that was just sitting on my desk this morning as a Christmas gift that I keep eyeing) everyday. Now some interesting studies support eating whole grain cereals for breakfast and here is why-According to a Harvard health study those who consumed whole grain cereal seven or more times per week had the lowest incidence of heart failure. In another study at the University of Minnesota it was reported that the risk of all coronary events was reduced by 10% for each 10g of grain fiber consumed per day. Cereal is one of the best sources of these whole grains so that means that a single daily serving has the potential to slash your risk of heart disease (the number one killer of women). Other whole grain intake benefits are lower rates of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. A great way to get some of your high grains is in cereal. You just need to know what to look for so you don’t end up with a bowl full of empty calories instead of your whole grains. Here are some tips for choosing that whole grain cereal –

*Know where your fiber is coming from
-Check the ingredient list to find out exactly what those flakes or squares are made from. Millet, amaranth, quinoa, and oats are always whole grain, but if you don’t see whole in front of wheat, corn , barley and rice, these grains have been refined.

*Avoid sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners-Some cereals add these to boost the sweetness of your cereal without adding calories. Also, steer clear of cereals containing sucralose, aspartame, sorbitol, mannnitol, xuylitol, malitol, malitol syrup, lactitol and erythritol (okay , these sound like another language to me). If you want to sweeten your cereal try adding some honey or fresh fruit!

*Watch for hidden sugars- The total sugars listing does not distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. The natural sugars found in nutrient rich whole grains and fruits are fine but it is the added sugars that can cause problems with your blood sugar and energy levels. Keep an eye out for brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, sugar and sucrose. Skip cereals that list any of these within the first three ingredients.

*Look for the words high fiber on the box- if the box says high fiber this will insure that there at least 5g per serving.

I guess this means that my Cocoa Puffs are out for now and a healthier choice is in-oh well.

ref-PRevention, November 2008
2008-12-18

Say Bye, Bye Belly With These Healthy Food Choices

Another oldie but goodie post from my archives. I feel like I am cheating by reposting these but this has been such a busy week and I have not had a chance to write my new posts which I already have lined up in my mind. Also, I wanted you all to know that I just tried the new Vita-Mix Super 5200 and I am in love!!! I have made soups, salsas, smoothies and I am just getting started. It is perfect for preparing whole foods so goes right in line with my desire to be healthier but making it very simple. I can't wait to write more about it when I have the time! Anyway, this is another of my favorite archived posts so please enjoy and soon I will have some new info!!


Say Bye, Bye Belly With These Healthy Food Choices


**Avocados-When scientists did a study and fed people diets with either carbohydrates or monounsaturated fatty acids (nuts, olives and avocados), they discovered that those on the carbohydrate diet were more likely to have an accumulation of abdominal body fat while the monounsaturated fatty acids group decreased abdominal body fat, even without exercise. Foods like nuts, Avocados and olives that are filled with monounsaturated fatty acids actually decrease belly fat! I love avocados on a sandwich, in salsa and salad. I don't know about you but I am picking up some avocados at the store this week.


Yogurt- According to a study by Danish researchers, volunteers were fed four different meals, they found that the group eating the medium- high calcium meals had "17-19 percent lower levels of fat in their blood than those taking calcium supplements or eating low-calcium meals. Previous research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, found that obese adults who ate a high-dairy diet (1200 to 1300 mg calcium/day lost 60 percent more weight and nearly three times as much belly fat as dieters eating the same number of calories with less calcium." I think string cheese, cottage cheese and skim milk are also great choices. I would like to add that if possible go organic on the dairy and eat the plain yogurt topped with berries so you are cutting down on your sugar intake.


**Nuts-I love nuts and find them to be a great way to feel full, get my fatty acids, fiber, protein and they are a great snack to take with you! All of these seem to help control appetite and promote weight loss, especially in the abdominal area.


**Veggies-Vegetables are packed full of fiber and fiber is great for belly flattening because it fills you up with less calories. "It also helps keep the flow of sugar into your bloodstream slow and steady, so less insulin is released (insulin promotes the storage of body fat). Researchers have found that women who skimp on green and yellow veggies tend to have larger middles"


**Whole Grains-Switching from white bread and white pasta to whole grain varieties may help you fight fat. "A Pennsylvania State University study of 50 obese volunteers found that after 12 weeks, those who ate whole grains lost more belly fat and lowered their C-reactive protein (a sign of inflammation linked to heart disease) by 38 percent." Keep in mind that you are still going to have sugar in the whole grain variety which can still raise your insulin levels and signal your body to store fat so moderation is key on this one. Need I even say the next one?


**Water-of course, of course, of course! A team of German researchers estimated that by consuming six cups of water daily it is possible to raise a resting metabolism by about 50 calories a day (that is enough to lose 5 lbs a year). Water is also great for making you feel full.


By adding exercise to this list of healthy and delicious foods you can be well on your way to a flat tummy in no time. I do really wish I could find a list that would say something like, have some chocolate for a flat stomach or cookies will thin you out in no time. Oh well, these are terrific foods for a terrific you and the chocolate and cookies can be had in moderation too! Source for this article is Good Houskeeping magazine July 2008
2008-12-12

Way Way Behind and Brown Rice for Swubird

Just wanted to give a quick note to let all my wonderful readers and faithful commentors know that I am so very, very behind in writing, and commenting this week. I work all weekend but hope to get back on track by middle of next week and be caught up on visiting your blogs and commenting. I really miss reading all my favorite blogs and have just been in a whirlwind of sorts.

P.S. Swubird asked me about cooking brown rice so I asked my mother the best cook of rice I know and she said that for each cup of brown rice add 2 cups of water and cook covered for an hour. Hope this works.

P.S.S. Sogeshirts- I hope to have your ad up for your hysterical shirts this week! I need to buy some of those soon.

Hope everyone is having a happy and healthy holiday season!
Heidi
2008-12-10

Need Hair Help? Give These Healthy Foods A Try!

One of my favorite archived posts-will have a new one this week and some awards too (so thank you to everyone who has sent tags and awards my way-will have them up soon).

Who hasn't had a bad hair day? You know the kind of day that regardless of what you do your hair just doesn't look or feel right. I have had more than my share of bad hair days and for some reason it just throws your entire day off. I have had some horrible hair cuts, hideous shades that there aren't even names for and there was even the time that my hair was a not so subtle shade of lavender purple (there was some arguing at my office as to whether it was truly purple or more of a dusty blue hue) due to the combining of one to many colors. Needless to say I don't ever color my own hair anymore. Good news though! If you are looking for shiny, healthy looking hair then you will be happy to know that you can achieve such wonders merely through a healthy diet including some of the foods below.

Manage Your Mane With These Healthy Foods

**Salmon and Flax Seeds- To have healthy hair you need to have a healthy scalp and omega-3 fatty acids are an absolute must! Fortunately you can get your omega-3 fatty acids simply by eating salmon, or if you are a vegetarian like me you can sprinkle some ground flax seeds in your cereal, on a salad or try some flax seed oil.

**Beef-Not only does beef have alot of protein that hair needs but also B vitamins, iron, and zinc. I personally recommend that if you are going to eat beef that you only eat grass fed organic beef that does not contain all the hormones.

**Eggs, Poultry, And Low-Fat Dairy Products-All these foods are high in protein which is an absolute must for healthy hair. When you do not take in enough protein on a regular basis this can cause hair to shed. Eggs are a great way to get your protein if you are a vegetarian like me.

**Nuts-Are a terrific source of zinc. Brazil nuts are said to be a great source of Selenium-a great mineral for your hair. Cashews, almonds and pecans are loaded with zinc so enjoy!

**Soybeans And Brown Rice-These are a great source of biotin, which if you want your hair to be its best you must have.

**Broccoli, Fish, Onions And Sea Vegetables-These are all foods that are rich in silicon and sulfur that hair loves (great for fingernails too).

**Carrots-You have heard that carrots are great for your vision but they are also a wonderful source of vitamin A which promotes a healthy scalp(if you don't have a healthy scalp then you won't have healthy hair).

Go enjoy some of these delicious foods and before you know it you will have the shiny, healthy hair you have always wanted.
2008-12-05

Carbohydrates-Good Or Bad? Answers To Your Most Common Carb Questions, Part II


I am excited to share with you some of the best information that I have found on food and health by Christopher Warden, New York City Fitness Professional and author of the Fitness Philosopher blog. Whatever Christopher says about health, fitness and weight loss I listen. He has helped me immensely with getting my body on track. Enjoy!


Common Questions About Carbohydrates, Part II

Finding information about "what to eat" and "how to be healthy" is easy; knowing what info is trustworthy and quality is another matter altogether. The topic of carbohydrates illustrates a perfect example of this. So much is written about them, but millions remain confused, if not misinformed.

And that's the reason for publishing this Q & A.

Part I of Carbohydrate Q & A focused predominantly on defining carbohydrate and its components -- sugar, starch and fiber. Here, we'll focus on a few of the questions more commonly asked about carbohydrates, including which types to eat. . . and why. Please note that "carbohydrate" as described in this article refers to all digestible starches/sugars, whether the food source is considered "healthy" (sweet potato, piece of fruit, brown rice, etc.) or "unhealthy" (soda, cookies, candy, etc.).


Are Carbohydrates Bad?

· We're overeating carbs that are (essentially) trash - highly processed, high starch, high sugar varieties - while undereating those that our body prefers -- low sugar and nutrient-rich carbs like berries, leafy greens, and fibrous vegetables and fruits.

· We're eating more sugar now than ever before (from an estimated 4 lbs/yr at the turn of the 20th century, to 150 lbs/yr today).

And all of this has society at large experiencing astronomical levels of obesity and chronic disease. That's what's "bad."


Are there exceptions to the kinds of carbohydrates I can eat? How about to when I can eat them?

In terms of achieving fat loss and reducing risk of developing chronic disease, there's little doubt that the best carbs for you are those with low starch/sugar content. Now, if the thought of living predominantly on leafy greens, berries and fibrous veggies makes you want to scream, here are a few things to consider before deciding to go heavy on starch or sugar:

Your genetics. If you have a family history linked to ailments like obesity, heart disease or diabetes, you're likely better off leaning toward low starch/low sugar carb choices.

Your current activity level. John Berardi, respected nutritionist and strength coach talks about the idea of "earning your starch." Essentially, if you're going to eat starchier carbs, do it early in the day or in conjunction with strength training/other rigorous activity. These are the times when your body is most metabolically active and/or when muscle is demanding fuel, helping to ensure that the starch you do eat is put to good use by the body.

Your current state of health/ The amount of fat you're trying to lose. If you're living with illness such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension or cancer, you really ought to consider keeping sugar and starch ingestion to a minimum - if you eat it at all. Same goes if you've got significant body fat to lose.

The point here is that for the sake of your health and performance, you really have to make a diligent attempt at consistently eating reduced amounts of sugar and starch. Why? Because insulin - the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels - has been shown to play a role in obesity as well as many of the chronic diseases that afflict us today. Controlling sugar intake = regulating insulin = less body fat/reduced risk for chronic illness.


Are all carbs created equal?

No. Aside from differences in nutrient content (vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, etc.), the most obvious difference between foods is the amount of digestible starches and sugars you get.

How do you figure out the sugar content the food?

Look at the food's nutrition information, paying attention to the "Total Carbohydrate" value (measured in grams). Subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrate, and the remaining number is the amount of starch/sugar you're getting per serving. It goes without saying that, if you're trying to keep your sugar intake low, you'll have to either choose foods with naturally low sugar content OR reduce the portion size. If you're hungry, of course, I'd suggest choosing the foods "low on the sugar scale" so you can eat to your stomach's content.


Can you give specific examples of "good, low-in-sugar carbohydrates" to eat?

As alluded to above, the best carbs to eat in terms of regulating blood sugar are those providing high nutrient value, sustenance and minimal starch or sugar content. Examples include: salad greens, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, carrots, broccoli, garlic, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, turnips, spinach and squash. Fruits include: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, peaches and oranges.


Does Low Carb = No Carb?

Rather than take up space here, I'll refer you to the blog post where I answered this particular question. . . HERE.


I knew that your body could use protein for energy. However, I was led to believe carbohydrates are the better source. What's the deal here?

While it's true that carbohydrates are commonly considered the nutrient that "provides energy" to the body, I'd contend that protein is the better source (for us) for these reasons:

• Protein consumption is essential for our survival. Carbohydrate consumption is not. Is it not logical to reason that if you "can't live without it," it's "better?"

• Protein is more nutrient dense, so you get "more bang for your nutrient buck." Put another way, because protein has so much nutritional value, you can eat less to get more of what the body requires, whether it be energy or a particular amino acid. (Example: To ingest 65 grams of protein, you could eat 8 ounces of elk meat OR you could eat 13 heads of lettuce or 56 bananas or 261 apples or 33 slices of bread. (from The Protein Power Lifeplan, p.9))

• Protein consumption doesn't contribute to insulin release like carbohydrate does. So, with protein you get the benefit of energy and nutrition while also regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. (which promotes reduced body fat, which decreases risk of disease . . . )


How do I keep sugar/starch consumption to a minimum?

A few suggestions:

Consume fresh, whole foods (especially of the leafy green, fibrous veggie, berry varieties) as often as possible. If you can't eat it fresh, frozen's usually the next best option.

Minimize consumption of processed foods.

Stay away from low fat foods. To replace fat content, sugar is often added to the food source. So, ironically, a "low fat" food has more potential to fatten you than the "regular" version. . . all because of the sugar added.

Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list of the questions faced by fitness professionals, but hopefully it gives you some good direction. If you need clarification or have any further questions, please feel free to write me at www.christopherwarden.com. Alternatively, the following resources can give you great nutritional guidance (or satisfy your curiosity):

The Metabolic Typing Diet, by William Wolcott

The Protein Power Lifeplan, by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades

Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes

2008-12-02

The Best News Yet! The Latest Brain Food Is…… Chocolate!


Does it get any better than this really? Harvard researchers recently found that cocoa flavanols (protective substances that are also abundant in dark chocolate) help improve blood flow to the brain, which could slow the mental decline that occurs as you age. Surely this is great news for me as I eat more chocolate than anybody should be allowed in a lifetime! After reading this and of course indulging in some chocolate to help my mental decline I decided to share one of my all time favorite posts that I wrote sometime ago on the benefits (okay a few cons but definitely more benefits) of chocolate. If this does not make your day all you chocolate lovers out there then I don’t know what will.

Chocolate Pros

**If you eat chocolate, only eat dark chocolate-Dark chocolate has many beneficial polyphenolic bioflavanoids that have powerful antioxidant properties, which can actually help to protect you from damaging oxidative stress. (This is good news-definitely cheers me up a bit)

**Chocolate contains the same type of disease-fighting "phenolic" chemicals as red wine and fruits and vegetables, says Andrew Waterhouse of the University of California at Davis.

**Boosts brain chemicals- More Americans crave chocolate than any other food. Some explanations: chocolate's "melt-in-the mouth" consistency and mood-lifting chemicals such as caffeine and theobromine. And when mixed with sugar and fat, chocolate appears to boost "feel-good" chemicals in the brain (endorphins and serotonin), thus promoting euphoria and calm. Some women use chocolate candy to "self-medicate" for premenstrual syndrome, studies have found.

**Doesn't cause acne. Giving up chocolate won't cure acne or pimples, according to a famous test at the University of Pennsylvania. In the test, 65 acne-plagued adolescents ate the amount of chocolate in 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate a day for a month. For another month, they ate a dummy chocolate bar. Their acne was no worse on the real chocolate than on the fake chocolate.

**Helps lactose intolerance .Chocolate makes milk easier to digest if you are lactose-intolerant. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of cocoa to 1 cup of milk blocked cramping, bloating and other signs of lactose intolerance in half of 35 subjects. Cocoa stimulates lactase enzyme activity, they found.

**Also, researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego recently found that chocolate contains anandamide, a chemical that mimics marijuana's soothing effects on the brain (this must be why I run for chocolate when stressed).

**Tests show chocolate contains antibacterial compounds that may discourage, not promote, tooth decay.

**No link to hyperactivity -Some contend that eating chocolate (or sugar) causes hyperactivity, aggression or other behavior problems, notably in children. But several scientific studies have found no evidence of that. In fact, some research finds sweets calm many children.

**Tastes really, really good!

Chocolate Cons (I don't like any cons with chocolate but in the name of fairness....)

**Chocolate's greatest crime is that it usually is combined with animal fats, dangerous trans-fats and sugar in high-calorie, bad-fat baked goods.

**Can cause heartburn. Chocolate is a common culprit in heartburn, according to tests by Donald O. Castell, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania. The reason: Chocolate contains concentrations of theobromine, which relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscle, letting stomach acid squirt up into the esophagus. If you suffer from heartburn, he advises, go easy on chocolate.

**Does contain caffeine. Most people have no negative reaction to small amounts of caffeine. If you're sensitive, you should know how chocolate stacks up with caffeine sources:
5 oz. brewed coffee has
85mg caffeine
5 oz. loose tea or 1 tea bag, 30mg
6 oz. cola, 18mg
1 oz. chocolate candy, 6mg
5 oz. cocoa or hot chocolate, 4mg
6 oz. chocolate milk, 4mg

Fun Fact
The average American eats almost 12 pounds of chocolate a year (double that for me
). World chocolate consumption rises 3 percent a year, while cocoa bean production rises just 1.5 percent. To avert an eventual shortage, growers are working to increase production. Source here.
2008-11-29

Piling on the Pounds with Pills – A Plausible Possibility

Please welcome Sarah Scrafford who was kind enough to write a very interesting and thought provoking guest post for Health Nut Wannabee Mom blog! I hope you will visit her site for more great information! Thanks for the great article Sarah!

Piling on the Pounds with Pills – A Plausible Possibility

You lead an active lifestyle and eat healthy food, but you find that you’re still piling on the pounds. As you stand on your bathroom scales looking down in horror, you wonder for a moment if the figures are lying, but then realize that the mirror speaks the same truth. You rack your brains to come up with a plausible answer for your sudden and unexplained weight gain, but find yourself unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Until your eyes fall on your medicine cabinet, that is. Yes, you’ve identified the culprit, the thing responsible for making you gain sudden and unsightly weight when you’ve never had a fat problem before. Here’s how certain drugs can make you rounder than you normally are:


  • By decreasing your metabolism: Medicines for the common cold, cough, flu, or in general any antihistamine, come loaded with the chemical diphenhydramine. This has a sedating effect, and when taken often, makes you feel lazy and sleepy all the time. Your metabolism is affected and you don’t burn as many calories as you normally do. Sedatives that are prescribed for insomniacs also tend to have the same effect.

  • By increasing your appetite: Drugs and steroids that are prescribed for depression and chronic conditions like migraine, arthritis and rheumatism tend to affect your mood and your appetite. They increase your cravings and make you think you’re hungry even when you’re not.

  • By retaining water: The human body is made up of 70 percent of water, and some drugs force your body to retain water that should, under normal circumstances, have been sweated or urinated out. Fertility and birth control drugs that contain estrogen are infamous for exhibiting this effect.

Medications are sometimes necessary and even mandatory for good health, but there are times when they serve to make you heavier. It’s best to be aware of the side effects of anything your doctor prescribes, and take preventive action by working out regularly and controlling your eating habits. Also, never stop taking your medication just because you feel it’s making you put on weight. You could end up jeopardizing your health, and at the worst, your life, if you take any drastic step without consulting your doctor first.

One preventive measure you could undertake is to stop popping pills that you get easily over the counter – these drugs are at times addictive (especially the ones that are supposed to cure coughs) and can end up doing you a double disadvantage by becoming a bad habit as well as making you gain weight.

By-line:

This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of EKG Training Courses. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: sarah.scrafford25@gmail.com.


2008-11-26

10 Easy To Follow Rules For Weight Loss

It seems like I am always looking for a new way to stay slim and healthy and I am not quite sure why this is because really there is no magic solution. As the ten easy to follow rules for weight loss show we just need to stick to the basics and we will be alright.

By following the 10 rules below obese adults who were given a pamphlet with these 10 basic rules were motivated enough to lose 4 pounds in 8 weeks. By following them all you could take off up to 900 calories a day-which is about 15 pounds over an 8 week period. Really not too tough to do and simple to follow.

10 Easy To Follow Rules For Weight Loss

1. Choose low fat foods.
2. Pack healthy snacks-think fruit, veggies, organic cheese sticks, nuts instead of chips, or candy bars.
3. Stand for 10 minutes every hour-it keeps your metabolism going
4. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily
5. Eat small to moderate portions and skip seconds.
6. Check the fat and sugar content on lables-remember that even things like ketchup and pasta can be packed with sugar so you want to really keep your eyes open.
7. Avoid high caloric and sugary drinks-They may taste great but moderation is the key here if you must have them.
8. Eat your meals on a regular schedule-I know this can be tough sometimes on a busy schedule but try your best and keep healthy low-fat snacks with you when you may have to skip a meal. I try to eat lots of small meals each day and this keeps me from getting too hungry.
9. Wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day. Hmmmm-I have not tried this one but probably should. I always wondered how much I really walk in a day.
10. Turn off the television while you eat. I can see how this would help as it is easy to sit and watch tv while eating comfort food. It diverts your attention from how much you are actually eating.

Ref-Prevention magazine 2008-my new fave.

These really are simple and easy to follow and basic rules to help you take or keep the weight off.

P.S. I am way, way behind on my entrecard drops and commenting but hope to get caught up over the holiday weekend so please know I will get going on this. Also, to all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving-Happy Thanksgiving (We make a Tofurkey).
2008-11-24

12 Days Of Fitness-Free Fitness Information For You

New York City professional trainer Christopher Warden (and my former personal trainer-wish he was still my trainer but maybe in the future) brought to my attention this weekend a really wonderful opportunity loaded with free information . It is called the 12 Days Of Fitness and here is a small blurb about it-

“Fitness professionals from around the globe have contributed hundreds of e-books, reports, videos, meal plans and other free gifts in their hope of making 2009 the year that anyone, regardless or their location, financial situation or past failures, can finally reach their fitness goals and make those New Year's Resolutions a reality once and for all.”Perhaps the best part of the 12 Days of Fitness giveaway is that regardless of a persons health or fitness goals, there are going to be gifts specifically designed to help them achieve success."We've received gifts designed for busy mom's, elite athletes, bodybuilders, back pain sufferers and pretty much anyone else you can imagine covering everything from fat loss to rehabilitation and everything in between. There literally will be something for everyone this year and all of it free, making it, without a doubt, one of the most important gifts anyone will receive this year. After all, what’s more important than health?” The 12 days of gift giving starts December 10th but those interested are urged to visit http://www.12daysoffitness.com/ right away to sign up for their free gifts.”Once enrolled, participants will get a daily email telling them how to access each of the new gifts that are being added each day as well as a reminder on how to access previous gifts.”

This sounds incredible and I know that I am going to sign up to receive some of this free and useful information. Christopher has created his own product for all of us which is called “Pain Free Knees” to teach basic concepts about trigger points and the use of self-massage to relieve knee pain. Please visit his site at Fitness Philosopher if you would like more information on the 12 Days Of Fitness and to learn more about his free product.

I don’t generally sign up for a lot of free things but this seems like something that we could all benefit from and anything that Christopher is excited about gets me excited (he whipped my body in to shape and really knows his health and fitness).

P.S. I will be passing on some awards and tags this week so check back. I may just tag or give you an award.
2008-11-21

Unusual Signs You'll Live longer Than You Imagined


With my 40th birthday looming ahead of me in the next few weeks I do sometimes think (not to be morbid or anything) of how long I will live and if my life is half over, etc, etc (you get the point). I saw this article on “Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think” and could not resist sharing it with you. Now, I will say this, I do want to live a long time more (as long as I am in good health and can take care of myself) but I don’t want to outlive everyone in my peer group. You know those stories you read about last living survivor of the Titanic, or oldest living woman-well I don’t want to be that old but you know-within reason. Anyway, I could go on and on so I will stop before you think I am really over thinking this (because of course I am) and get onto the signs.

Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Imagined

*Your mom had you young-If your mom had you when she was under the age of 25, you’re twice as likely to live to 100 as someone born to an older mom (uh oh now I feel bad for my kids-I had them in my 30’s). The theory is that younger moms’ best eggs go first to fertilization, thus healthier offspring.

*You love to drink tea-Both green and black teas contain a concentrated dose of catechins, substances that help blood vessels relax and protect your heart. In a study of more than 40, 500 Japanese men and women , those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea every day had the lowest risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. You really need only 1 or 2 cups of tea daily to start doing your heart some good-just make sure it’s a fresh brew. Ready-to-drink teas don’t offer the same health benefits (once water is added to the the tea leaves the catechins start to degrade). Hmmmmm- I drink at least 5 cups of green tea a day but I must say it is not fresh brew. I need to consider this.

*You’re a walker-People who walk for about 30 minutes a day are more likely to live longer regardless of how much body fat they have.

*You are not a soda drinker (even diet)-As I sit here with my sinful yet delicious bad habit diet Pepsi (my main vice next to chocolate) this article says that scientists in Boston found that drinking one or more regular or diet colas everyday doubles your risk of metabolic syndrome-a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, and excess fat around the waist that increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes . I know soda is horrible and diet especially but for some reason I occasionally crave it and when I have a lot of stress (like now) I want a rude diet Pepsi to soothe me. It is just one of those things that you know you should not be doing but cannot quite help yourself (I tend to do this on occasion).

*You eat purple food- I have said this many, many times but Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine (no, this is not an excuse to go get drunk on red wine) : They all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols (compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease). Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy. Researchers found that eating 1 or more cups of blueberries every day may improve communication between brain cells, enhancing your memory.

*You are not a burger eater (hooray-save the cows on this one)- A few palm-size servings of beef, pork, or lamb now and then is no big deal (it is for who you are eating-okay off my animal rights soapbox) but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week ups your risk of colorectal cancer (the third most common type). Colorectal cancer risk also rises by 42% with every 3 ½ ounce serving of processed meat (think deli meats, bacon, hot dogs) eaten per day. I don’t want to say I told you so but uh huh.

*You have good friendships- having good friendships help alleviate stress and knowing that you have people who support you keeps you healthy mentally and physically.

*You don’t have a housekeeper-okay I am on this one-not only do I not have a housekeeper, I am the housekeeper (does that make sense?)- The average person can burn about 285 calories (lowering risk of death by 30% according to a study of 302 adults in their 70’s and 80’s) just by mopping, vacuuming, or washing windows for a little more than an hour.

*You have a positive outlook on life- In Sardinia and Okinawa, where people live the longest (I never knew this), hard work is important, but not more than spending time with family, nurturing spirituality and doing for others. I really think doing for others is the key-I never feel better than when I do something selfless to help an animal or person.

So, how did your lifestyle stack up to these live longer signs?

Ref-my new favorite magazine-Prevention November 2008.
2008-11-19

Food For Thought- Eat To Make Better Choices


While at my doctor’s office yesterday I picked up the November, 2008 issue of Prevention magazine (usually I head straight for the gossip mags but instead opted for the health one and I am so proud) and found this really interesting information that I thought you would find as titillating as I did. It really does seem what we eat makes a difference in everything we do.

“In a new study , researchers found that people tend to react more aggressively and impulsively when levels of the brain chemical serotonin are low; eating regularly helps maintain serotonin which keeps you on an even keel. (it would be nice if this was my problem-easy to fix-but probably not)

On two occasions, scientists gave adults either a drink that decreased serotonin levels or one that maintained them, and then asked the people to negotiate with a partner. Those with higher serotonin levels were less swayed by emotions and their decisions led to better outcomes. “ Okay, maybe this is my problem because sometimes I can make some very impulsive and bad decisions based solely on my emotions.

Think snacks that combine carbs and tryptophan-rich food (dairy, soy, or poultry), such as whole grain crackers and cheese: both help to keep serotonin high. A few more healthy options are: turkey, black eyed-peas, black and English walnuts, almonds, sesame or pumpkin seeds, and cheddar, gruyere or swiss cheese. Also helping to a lesser extent are whole grains, rice, and other dairy products .I have also heard that candy such as chocolate (I just knew it-maybe this is why I feel so good after eating it) can have the same effect but is really not your healthiest option."

So, now before negotiating with anyone or making any important decisions I am going to grab some almonds and crackers and cheese and hopefully the outcome and my decisions will be favorable. I can just see myself in the boardroom at work eating almonds( and saying I cannot decide until the serotonin effect has kicked in) as we discuss what to do or mid argument with someone telling them to hold on that I need my serotonin levels raised in order to discuss this. They will think I am more of a nut than they already do-oh well. Give this a try and let me know what you think!

2008-11-14

Stress Free With These Stressbusting Tips!

Stress, stress, stress. We all experience stress and with all the holidays coming up I thought now would be a good time to address how stress really affects you physically and mentally and give you some tips on how to bust that stress away.

Our bodies respond to stress both positive and negative, by trying to get back to normal. Depending on the stressor (whatever is causing you stress), hormones , like adrenalin, may surge. Your heartbeat and blood pressure will probably increase, your blood sugar rises and if you are lucky enough to be like me your entire body will be covered in hives. If stressful situations go on for too long without any relief, you might experience diseases and disorders, such as colds, ulcers, asthma, heart attack or stroke to name a few. You may feel tired, irritable, depressed or anxious and have trouble sleeping or eating.

Research has identified the stress response as a factor in many stress related illnesses. Now there is evidence that stress can weaken the immune. The hormones cortisone and adrenaline released in response to stress are such potent suppressors of the immune system that they are sometimes prescribed for disorders in which the immune system is overactive-such as allergies and autoimmune diseases.

The key is to take care of your body and your mind to avoid stress. When your mind is healthy, your body can resist illness better. When your body is healthy, your feelings are more positive.

Minimize Stress With These Tips

-Give your time to something or someone that you believe in. I do this with animal rescue and it really does work to alleviate the stress from other parts of my life. There is no better feeling than giving and helping others for the sake of being truly kind and caring.

-Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, fats and sugar. Don’t Smoke. What you eat and drink really affects your body and by indulging in an unhealthy diet you are really just adding to the stress. I will be the first to admit that when I feel stressed I want diet Pepsi and chocolate so I need to work on this (hard, very hard). Have an apple instead of a cookie (this really sounds not very appealing but if it works it is worth a shot).

-Exercise regularly. Whether you like to walk, do weights, or whatever it may be for you just keep moving . I always feel much better after a great workout at the gym.

-Take time for yourself to relax each day. Meditate, go sit by the water, read your favorite book. Whatever it is for you that relaxes you take even 5-10 minutes a day to do this for yourself.

-Learn to “let go” of things which are outside of your control. Learn to adapt to change. This one is hard for me a lot of the time because I want things to go my way and I keep trying so I need to work on letting it go.

Hopefully you follow at least a few of these and they help with your stress levels. Good luck!
2008-11-09

Please Welcome My Guest Blogger

Since I am in Costa Rica right now I invited a couple bloggers to do guest posts and Robin from Healthy Living kindly agreed to tell you a little about how she lost weight and some of her secrets. Robin has a great blog and I love stopping by. I hope you will too. Thanks Robin!


Healthy Meal, Nutritional Shake

by Robin from Healthy Living

Hi everybody,

Start your day the right way and get all the vitamins and nutrients you need!

I recommend our nutritious shake for good health and weight management. Eating healthy doesn't mean depriving yourself!

This is a healthy meal that provides an ideal balance of protein and nutrition to help satisfy your hunger and give you lasting energy.

This is also heart smart for you with 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of this healthy shake provides 9 grams of soy protein.

For Weight Loss: Replace two meals daily with a healthy shake and eat one nutritious meal. Optimizing your daily protein intake can assist with feeling full and help maintain and build your lean muscle mass. Published research on meal-replacement shakes indicates that taking two shakes daily, as meal replacements, are effective for weight loss. Snack on healthy choices.

For Healthy Nutrition and Weight Management
: Enjoy 1 shake every day as a healthy meal. Published research on meal-replacement shakes indicate that taking 1 shake daily, as a meal replacement, helps maintain long-term weight loss. We recommend adding personalized protein powder to optimize your protein intake.

A healthy weight-loss program should include modest calorie intake, balanced diet and regular physical activity.

Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix comes in many mouth watering flavors, including Cookies 'n Cream, Pina Colada, Dutch Chocolate, Vanilla, Wild Berry, Tropical Fruit and our newest flavor Café Latte.

It's scientifically formulated to give you the nutrition of a complete meal - satisfying your hunger and your taste buds for easier, healthier weight loss.

* Eight delicious flavors.
* Up to 20 essential vitamins and minerals, plus health-enhancing herbs.
* 9 grams of soy protein and healthy fiber.

Before beginning any weight-control program, it is advisable to consult a physician. This is especially important for individuals with chronic kidney problems or insulin-dependent diabetes.

I love Herbalife, I personally use their products and they are just a safer way to get healthier. I lost 35 pounds and was walking proof that the products worked. I am a proud Herbalife Independent Distributor. I hope to help many people to change their life and to live longer. Any questions, please let me know. You have to take care of your health, if you want to live your life to the fullest. All the money in the world means nothing, if you don't live to enjoy it. This is just food nutrition for your body. No prescription drugs here.

There is just so much excellent information here, but Herbalife won't let me publish their articles on my blog. I called them and they said no. So, if your interested Please visit my site to learn more about Herbalife & their incredible products. senyumThanks for reading and take care of your health everybody! I recommend a health shake to help you get started. I use original soymilk with my dutch chocolate shake meal. YUMMY To My Tummy
2008-11-06

Falling Down and How To Get Back Up-Weight Loss


I am so excited to introduce John from ezgreatlife as one of my guest bloggers while I am in Costa Rica. I know you will enjoy this!!!! Miss you all! Thanks John for doing this and I hope you will all stop by his blog like I do each day. By the way, John even wrote this with a broken arm. Now that is a true blogger and friend!

Falling Down and How To Get Back Up



As I began to approach 40, I realized that something about me had changed. Gradually changed. Fundamentally changed. It's as if I woke up one morning, just before Christmas 2007 and had an epiphany. I looked in the mirror and was smacked in the face with a reality check. There was more of me to love, considerably more! That's an indirect, polite way of saying that I had gained a lot of weight. Years of overindulging in my favorite dishes and neglecting my body had taken it's toll.

I was really upset with myself for letting things get out of hand. I pondered what to do about it for several days. I came up with a plan of attack, based in part on what I had learned when I quit smoking almost 12 years ago.

Am I Committed?

To me, the first step in dealing with a problem like the need to lose weight is making the decision that you REALLY want to lose weight. That may sound overly simple, maybe even obvious. But, many people "want" to obtain things like weight loss but are not serious and committed. They are not willing to make the necessary changes to achieve their goals. If you are not wholeheartedly committed, you will fail miserably. I quit smoking a half dozen times before I quit for good. The difference? I finally decided that I really wanted to quit and made up my mind that I was willing to give up the pleasures of smoking. It was not until I developed the mind set of being smoke free that I actually quit for good.

"One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. " ~Sidney Howard

The second step in my process was defining some clear goals. I decided to define three main goals to help reach my objectives.

**Start Exercising
I began walking 2 miles a day, one in the morning before work and one in the evening. I adopted a puppy and made a deal with my daughter that we would help motivate each other. And of course, now we have a puppy who LOVES to go for walks.
**Try to eat more healthy foods
I dramatically increased my fruits and vegetables. I began eating several healthy snacks throughout the day to decrease my hunger. I try to cook some veggie meals every week, in place of meat dishes. I try to avoid junk food.
**Lose 25 lbs
This was a lofty goal at the time. I began this one on New Years Day 2008. I was able to achieve this goal on April 7, 2008. I was able to obtain this one mainly due to my mindset. That I was going to stick to my new eating habits and exercise program.

And lastly, you have to just DO IT! Motivate yourself. Push yourself. Work towards the end result.

Houston, We Have A Problem

Everything was going as planned, until mid-summer. I was very busy at work. My daughter was out of school, working and hanging out with friends. Our family settled into summer, hanging out at the pool and the beach on weekends. We cooked out on the grill every chance we had. To make a long story short, I fell off the wagon. We had a very fun summer, but now it was time to pay the piper.

Fall had arrived. I was feeling REALLY guilty about letting everything go. I needed to get back on track and fast! I made myself a To-do list of things I had neglected around the house. I decided to get back on my diet and exercise plans. My daughter and I re-committed to help motivate each other and resume our daily walks. Things were looking brighter. I was feeling great.

And Then It Happened

My wife and I decided to take the family to the mountains the first weekend in October. We planned a fun trip of sightseeing and hiking. At the end of the second day, while on a four mile hike, I had an accident and broke my arm.

I was heavily sedated for two weeks. I gained ten pounds. I was feeling depressed. Something had to give.

Do Not Pass Go, Return To Start

So here I am, a year later, almost where I started out. I have decided to pick up where I left off. Pull myself up by the boot straps. I am having trouble walking everyday, due to my arm continuing to swell (when not raised above my heart). I should get the cast off in 3-4 weeks and I will begin physical therapy. In the mean time, my son has offered to help get me back in shape. He is going to start walking with me and the dog. I have GREAT kids! It is going to be a tough road, but the end result is my motivation.

Whether you want to quit smoking, lose weight or just start an exercise program, try the following. And when you suffer setbacks, revisit this list to help get back on track.

**Make the commitment to yourself
**Define your goal(s) **Imagine yourself the way you want to be **Remind yourself of what motivates you **Enlist a partner, help motivate each other
There you have it. Simple right? As you probably know, it's easy to talk about, much harder to do. But with a good set of goals, persistence and a little motivation, you can and will achieve your desired results.


John Bristol
How I lost 25 lbs in 4 Months
http://www.ezgreatlife.com/2008/04/10/how-i-lost-25-lbs-in-4-months
2008-11-03

Don't Be Tricked-Know These Six Foods With Hidden Sugars

As most of you know who read this blog-I love sweets. If it has sugar in it you can pretty much guarantee that I like it. I generally do try to keep my known sugar foods low so that my body does not raise its insulin levels and make my body start storing fat but what about those unknown foods where the food industry hides sugar? This is where things can get very tricky because although you may think you are being healthy and cutting back on your sugar intake you are in fact being sabotaged with foods with hidden sugar in them. I mean come on, if I am going to indulge in sugar I want it to be in chocolate (of course), cake, cookies-you get the picture-not some boring food that I think that I am being healthy and eating. Below are a few areas to keep an eye on if you are trying to cut down on sugar. By the way, did you know that the average American eats approximately 1,500 pounds of food every year and of that, 160 pounds are primarily sugar? Uh oh.

6 Foods That Have Hidden Sugars

1. Spaghetti sauce. A half cup of store bought sauce can contain as many as three teaspoons of corn syrup or sugar. Some of the sugar is naturally occurring from the tomatoes or other vegetables but most is added. I recommend making your own sauce or looking for the brands that don’t include sugar.

2. Ketchup. Ketchup (which tops the list of things I do not like to eat or see) can be 20 percent sugar or more. Not to mention that you’ll get 7 percent of your daily sodium allowance in one tablespoon. Look for low-salt, no-sugar, brands.

3. Reduced-fat cookies. Most brands of cookies now offer a reduced-fat version of their product. But while you are thinking that you are choosing a healthier low fat version, check the label. Those sneaky food manufacturers may have taken out the fat, but they replaced it with sugar. Many times, the reduced-fat cookie is only slightly less caloric than the one you want to eat. And because there is no fat to make you feel full, you’ll be tempted to eat more “guilt-free cookies”.

4. Bread. Most processed breads, especially white hamburger and hot dog buns, can contain a good bit of sugar or corn syrup. That is what gives them the golden brown crust. Try getting your bread at a real bakery or farmers market (I love the farmers market).

5. Low-fat salad dressing. Okay, this is where I get in trouble as I eat a salad almost everyday with this low fat stuff on it. Like the cookies, manufacturers have taken the fat out of the dressing, but they have added extra salt and sugar to make up for it. Check the label to make sure that you are not replacing heart healthy olive oil with diabetes-causing sugar. Make your own vinaigrette's using a small amount of olive oil, a gourmet vinegar or fresh lemon juice and herbs.

6. Fast food. I rarely if ever eat fast food and here is another great reason to at least cut back if you are a fast food lover. Everything from the burgers to the fries to the salads is a potential place to hide sugar. Check out the ingredients carefully before you make your choices.

Reference information www.beachbody.com

2008-11-01

This Must Be My Lucky Week! More Awards-See Who I Am Passing Them Onto

I could not have asked for a better blog week (and it came at a time when I needed it) so thank you t0 everyone who reads my blog, comments and passes on awards to me. You all bring me such joy through your visiting my blog and me visiting yours. Foongpc from My Very First Blog awarded me with the Butterfly Award and Chris from Living Well-Naturally awarded me with the Uber Amazing Blog award. I am so honored and touched because these are two bloggers that I admire and enjoy and this is just such a compliment so thank you!!! Please stop by these two wonderful blogs if you get a chance-you will be glad that you did!

Now I have the very hard decision of selecting who to pass these awards onto (there are just too many great choices). These are the blogs that I have chosen and I hope that you will stop by and enjoy them as much as I do!!!!!!

Butterfly Award

gLoR!e-Fit For All
Alan Gay And Straight
Mom Knows Everything
Liza-A Simple Life
Nancy-Chilled White Whine
Aybi-Health Information Plus
Punam-Dreamz Forever

Rules if you choose to participate

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog

Uber Amazing Blog Award

Dawn-Iowa Hippie Chick
Mike-Rambling Stuff
Lynne-The Sewing Mom
Mark-Healthy Living Today
Polly-Random Ramblings

Rules

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog

I hope everyone will stop by and visit all these great, great, great blogs!!! I will get back to writing about health on Monday I promise but these are just so fun.
2008-10-30

It Will All Get Better In Time-Conquer Those Food Cravings

The combination of Halloween chocolate in my house and someone getting the best of me really, really, really got the best of me (don't you hate that-just when you think you have it all figured out). I am not even going to tell you how many of those mini snickers and Hershey's chocolate bars I ate as you might vomit just at the thought. I have had my eye on the chocolate for days now and was actually quite impressed at my willpower (I should have known it would all come tumbling down-chocolate always wins).

I really thought that at my advanced age of almost forty I would have been smarter, not so naive and far less trusting but apparently I still (will I ever learn) can be too quick to believe the best and most unrealistic of scenarios. Without saying too much about it just know that the chocolate is helping me get over the incident and that this is another one of those experiences that you hope you learned from THIS time (though with me it will probably take several lifetimes). Okay, enough self pity, lets get on to the actual post of how to help control those cravings and not eat an almost entire bag of candy when you have a bad day.


HOW TO CONQUER FOOD CRAVINGS

**EAT AT REGULAR INTERVALS DURING THE DAY-If you skip meals (ex. breakfast) or go too long without eating, your blood sugar levels will fall too low, which is a perfect recipe for food cravings, overeating and even binges. Allowing 3-4 hours between meals/snacks is a sensible maximum for women, although 3 hours is better. Men typically can safely wait 4-5 hours. And you don't need to eat much: even a single oat-cake can be enough between meals to keep eating urges at bay. As well as maintaining stable blood glucose levels, regular eating helps your metabolism to burn calories at an efficient rate. Finally, studies show that regular eating helps to reduce cravings associated with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). I hate to say this but I don't think that I can go 3-4 hours without something. I am a snacker so maybe just some smaller healthy little meals would work too (for those of you who read this blog often-need I say nuts would be a good snack).

**REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF DRINKS THAT ACT AS STIMULANTS-According to some experts, stimulants (ex. sugar, caffeine in tea/coffee, caffeinated soft drinks-all things I of course enjoy)can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, and should be avoided or at least consumed in moderation. Switch to herbal teas, spring water and diluted pure fruit juices.

**RECONDITION YOUR BODY NOT TO HAVE THEM AT ALL-Ohmg! Did I really write that???? Not to have them at all???? What would life be like without the occasional pizza, the brownies, cookies, chocolate and of course the highly revered by me Diet Pepsi craving??? This is why I am a health wannabee because the thought of life without those dear yet junky foods sounds sad and lonely (please tell me there are others out there in this world who feel the same so I don't feel so pathetic). Okay, let me say it in a way that sounds more doable to my ears (and those in the health nut wannabe's club ears)-Recondition your body to have them in moderation. How about that? Sounds better, don't you think? Apparently,when it comes to cravings, it is like a wave-the urge goes up, it crests, then it goes back down. The trick, then, is to surf the craving crest and get past it. Do things that distract you from thoughts of eating. If you normally go to the convenience store and get Laffy Taffy and chocolate in the morning then instead pick up the phone and call a friend, go for a walk, read my blog, whatever it takes (within reason). ref-Whole Foods Market March/April issue.

Good luck!
2008-10-29

I Am Not One To Brag But..... I Received An Award!


Okay, I will just admit it-I love to receive awards (and presents so you can all keep that in mind on my birthday) and so when Mommawannabe (whose blog is so fun) awarded me the Uber Amazing Blog Award, it really made my day! It is always such a huge compliment when other bloggers enjoy reading my blog and I love to pass on to others the blogs that I love as well so this is a great opportunity for me to tell you about a few of my fave blogs (what a long run on sentence that was). Now keep in mind that I have so many blogs that I love it is impossible to award them all so I am sticking to these five for now. I hope you will stop by and visit them as well as Mommawannabe-you will be glad you did.

And the Uber Amazing Blog Award goes to***********

foongpc of My Very First Blog

Betchai of California

Dori of A Yellow House In England

Caroline of The Zen In You

John of Out Of My Hat

Keep in mind that if you don't want to pass this award on or post it on your blog that is okay with me (I will just cry and cry and cry-just kidding).

Here are the rules -
Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspire you
~ make you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing
!

The rules of this award are:

* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
*
Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
2008-10-28

Think It’s All In Your Genes? Go For A Walk

I have a friend who is always telling me that she cannot lose weight because of her entire family is overweight and she must have inherited a “fat” gene. While I do believe that our genes play an important role in our overall body shape I do think that there are always things that we can do to keep ourselves slimmer and healthier regardless of our genealogy.

“Finnish researchers studied a group of “mismatched” identical twins-one obese, the other normal weight and found that the obese twins were well on their way to diabetes, with a worrisome degree of insulin resistance. Since their genetic makeups were exactly the same as their siblings’, the problem had to lie somewhere in their lifestyles. They discovered that the difference was exercise-without it, genes that help convert food to energy were suppressed, leading to insulin resistance and weight gain.”

One exercise that I enjoy and that most people can do is to go for a walk. “ As a matter of face, University of Copenhagen researchers asked 10 volunteers to reduce their steps from an average of 10,500 per day to 1,300 (10,000, or roughly 5 miles, is considered ideal. The participants’ belly-fat levels increased by 7 percent after just two weeks of cutting back. Study authors say that skipping the gym doesn’t cause obesity; being sedentary is the real issue. “

It is nice to know that you can get the benefits of exercise by keeping physically busy and just walking. So next time take the stairs instead of the elevator or park your car a little further away and walk-the benefits really do add up.