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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2008-08-29

Going Organic Really Does Make A Difference!

Recycle, recycle, recycle-another of my favorites that I hope you will find helpful!


In recent years there has been alot of buzz about going organic. I try to buy as many organic products as I can afford and feel that my family benefits from this. When I first started understanding the importance of organic products I was appalled about what really goes on in the food industry. I am by no means even remotely perfect at buying organic but I am making an effort. If an organic super spy came to my house they would throw me in the your an organic fraud jail. I think I could plead innocence because I do not profess to be more than a wannabe so you genuine health nuts go easy on me. I really do the best I can as far as purchasing organic and you will see why below.
What Does Organic Really Mean??

An organic product is raised, grown, and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, antibiotics or hormones. Only farmers who produce food according to USDA organic standards and become certified by an independent third-party accredited agent can label their product as "certified organic" (with the exception of very small farms with sales under $5000 annually).
Why You Should Consider Going Organic
**Organic products meet stringent standards. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

**Organic farmers build healthy soil. Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.
**Organic production reduces health risks. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us. More here.
**Taste Better and Truer Flavor. Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feasting begin! More here.
** Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies. Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.Our bodies are the environment so supporting organic agriculture doesn’t just benefit your family, it helps all families live less toxically.

I do understand that going organic can be more expensive so for me I pick and choose on the what the best choices to go organic on are and I will share those with you in my next post (I always, always go organic on dairy before anything and if I ate meat I would absolutely go organic there too).
2008-08-27

The Skinny On This Vegetarian-No Lectures Just Letting You Get To Know Me

I am a vegetarian but you won't get a lecture from me. I am not going to give you the stats on why being a vegetarian is one of the best things you can do for the environment and no I am not going to tell you about all the horrible and inhumane things done to innocent animals at the slaughterhouse and no I am not going to try to convince you that eating fruits and vegetables and very little meat will reduce your risk of many cancers. I am going to tell you a little about why I am a vegetarian and what I get out of it. I will say that I am a pretty laid back person about most things but the one thing that I absolutely will not compromise on is eating or wearing any animals.

I don't judge those that do eat meat (although most of my friends and in-laws think I am the one who is nuts) , otherwise I would not be married, and have no friends since most everyone I know here in Kansas eats meat with relish. It is a personal choice and one that gives me a profound amount of peace. So, here I go...

Okay, I am a vegetarian and I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years now. I am the type of vegetarian who eats nothing with a face or heartbeat (I am not perfect because I am still working on the dairy-although I only eat organic dairy products). I won't wear leather or fur (obviously) either. Now, I did not start out being a vegetarian for health reasons, but because I love animals and I don't want to be part of what I consider to be a horrific cycle of abuse, and neglect in their demise. Keep in mind that this is just me but my husband and majority of friends do eat meat and well I consider that to be their business. The fastest way to turn someone off to something you believe in is to lecture them. Maybe if I lead by example they will follow-who knows. Now that I am on the road to being a health nut though I would not eat meat because of all the antibiotics, pesticides and who knows what else those poor animals have to have pumped into them that then goes into whomever is eating them (I was actually trying to cure a wild fox of mange and was told to inject food with a cattle and swine product to kill the mange mites. I wanted to make sure that if a cat or bird or raccoon or whatever ate what I injected they would not be hurt from it and my vet told me that no, they would not because although this was a mite killer most humans even had it in their bodies since it was injected into the swine and cattle to kill mites on them and people got it from eating the meat of those animals injected-That is gross to me-I'm just saying you might want to think about what you are eating b/c do you really know everything that animal is being injected with?).

The ironic part for me being a vegetarian is that it is a general assumption by most that I must be a very healthy person because I am a vegetarian. However, I am the chocolate and Diet Pepsi loving, type of vegetarian that I am now trying to overcome which is the very reason I started this health nut wannabe blog (I am very proud that I rarely drink diet sodas now-the chocolate is another matter altogether). Since starting Health Nut Wannabe Mom I am more of a devoted fruit and veggies vegetarian but still I have to watch it or I would eat chocolate morning noon and night. Really I think that for me being a vegetarian is probably the best thing that I could have done for my mind and body. Knowing I am not contributing to another creature's anguish is really what does it for me.

Now, lots of people will argue and argue about blah, blah, blah and animals are here to eat, blah, blah, blah. I am not here to argue and if that is what you believe then well alright for you. This is just what works for me (both my children are vegetarians at this point and very healthy too).

If you are going to eat meat though, I will say this-eat the grass fed organic beef and cage free organic chicken.

If you would like to try a great vegetarian product I recommend the Quorn Turkey roast (you can find it at Whole Foods). I love it and it is of course not really Turkey! If you are interested in delicious meat substitutes just let me know and I can provide a list for you. To your health in both mind and body!

Heidi
2008-08-25

How To Lower Your Blood Pressure In Just 20 Minutes

How about an inexpensive, side effect free and effective way to lower your blood pressure? All it takes is a little mind over medicine and you could have lower blood pressure in 20 minutes (I wonder if this is still true with 2 screaming children, a dog that never stops barking and a cat who attacks-my life).

"According to a study of a 122 people who had high blood pressure despite taking two or more drugs, those who practiced the relaxation response for 20 minutes a day for eight weeks were over four times more likely to get off one of their medications than a comparable group who only received health counseling. RR consists of focusing on a word, sound, or prayer to help the body enter a resting state with lower heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. What was striking about this research was that all of the participants had elevated systolic pressure (the upper number), which can often be hard to get under control, according to the study leader Randall Zusman, M.D. of Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center." Reference September 2008 Good Housekeeping.

I don't have high blood pressure but might give this RR technique a shot just to relax.

P.S. The three winners of the book giveaway have been picked and will be announced this week and I won a couple awards and need to pass them on to some of my other favorite blogs so keep an eye out for all these fun things this week!!
2008-08-22

Healthy Food Choices To Help You Get To Sleep!

I wanted to let all my great commenter's know that I am so sorry that I have been a bit behind in visiting and commenting on all my favorite blogs. To all the great visitors of my blog I want to apologize for recycling some of my old posts (hey, I was new then and nobody read them so I need to share them anyway) this week. I will be getting some fun, fresh new posts out and catch up with my favorite blogs soon. I am interviewing and trying to decide on a part time job so I have been behind in blog world (I cannot believe I am not a millionaire yet from blogging-okay I'm a financial blog failure but I love to blog and that is why I do it). Thanks for your patience and please enjoy another of my favorite posts.

Yawn, toss, turn, toss some more
-sound familiar? Ever have trouble getting to sleep? Me too, so I decided to see what foods we can incorporate into our diet to be healthy and sleepy. Most of us know not to drink caffeinee before we go to bed and we know that we might not want to have a lot of sugar either- but what about foods and beverages that might actually help us rest and sleep better?

Since sleep has always been one of those elusive things to me, I started wondering if maybe I could find a diet that would help me sleep better. I did a little research and tried a few of the suggested foods and well, I'm sleepy now so maybe they are helping. I did actually take a short nap yesterday which is unheard of for me. I have never been able to sleep during the day and never could understand how anyone could but today I actually did and it was so nice (some strange dreams though). Once again being the health nut wannabe that I am- I am amazed at how almost everything that I need I can find in changing my diet and so, here are some great suggestions if you are looking to have better quality shut eye.

Apparently foods containing tryptophan-an amino acid that your body cannot make( you must obtain it from the foods that you eat) is used to make a hormone called serotonin.
Serotonin acts within your body to promote feelings of sleepiness, calm, and relaxation. We need adequate levels of Serotonin in our brain in order to fall asleep and rest throughout the night. The key to getting enough tryptophan to your brain to sleep well at night is to combine a tryptophan-rich food with a carbohydrate-rich food. This is because ingesting a carbohydrate-rich food causes your body to release insulin, which diverts many of your other amino acids away from your brain, leaving tryptophan with little competition to cross your blood-brain barrier to gain access to your brain (okay, that is the technical part that I am still processing in my brain).

Healthy Foods To Help You Have A Great Nights Sleep

*Bananas *Flax seeds
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*Potatoes *Whole-Wheat Bread

*Honey *Lentils

*Turkey *Beans

*Hazelnuts *Hummus

*Peanuts *Eggs

*Chickpeas *Seafood

*Oatmeal *Rice

*Almonds *Tofu

*Low-fat dairy *Soy Products
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*Chamomile Tea

Foods that are high in carbohydrates and calcium, and medium-to-low in protein also make ideal sleep-inducing bedtime snacks. Meals that are high in carbohydrates and low-to-medium in protein will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night's sleep. More here.

Some suggested healthy meals and snacks to help you get a good nights sleep are-
-
*Rice, black beans, and guacamole

*chili with beans, not spicy

*Whole grain crackers with peanut butter-honey would be great on this too!

*tofu stir fry

*Bagel with peanut butter

*Oatmeal or raisin cookies (okay maybe this one and the next aren't the healthiest but they do taste good)

*Ice-cream (organic preferably)

*Glass of warm milk (organic preferably)

*Tuna Fish sandwich on whole wheat bread

If you are like me you will look at this list and say mmmmmmmm I can have cookies and ice-cream and fall into a deep wonderful sleep- but as always-moderation is the key and so is good sense (I think I lost mine). Thanks for reading and here's to a healthy, happy nights sleep!
2008-08-20

Trying To Lose Weight? Pills And Shakes Are Not Enough!

As most of you who read this know, there probably isn't a pill, shake or diet that I have not tried in my lifetime. A little weight obsessed-mmmhmmmm. I really don't remember a time when I was not on a diet or trying something (the strange thing is that I have never been overweight or even close-I obviously have issues here). When I was younger my health was never thought of as long as I could be thin, thin, thin. Nowadays, I consider my health first and weight last (okay 50-50, I am still obsessed) but my health is my priority.

That is why I love this program for healthy eating and weight loss by two people that I have met, trust and admire-Kim Klaver and Dr. Heidi Dulay. I think if I ever have another baby and need to lose the weight I will go with this Extreme Regime weight loss plan they have. Their weight loss plan works, is healthy, leaves you full and is affordable. Anyway, here is another great tip on what works and what does not work in the battle of the bulge from two of my most trusted health gurus!

Pills and shakes are not enough

By-the infamous Kim Klaver

If you're trying to lose weight and get your health back, pills and shakes are not enough.

How else can we explain why most Americans are so overweight? Including many folks selling health and weight loss supplements.

Pills and shakes have a place. Just not first place.

According to nutrition professor Dr. Heidi, to lose the weight and get your health back, there are five ordered strategies. From the most natural to the least:
1st. Optimize your daily food plan. Ask: what am I eating and how can I make it better? Get as close as possible to a real food plan (not calorie counting, starving, industrial food or rabbit food).

2nd. Amp up your food plan where necessary. Add super foods e.g. green powders, cod liver and coconut oil, herbs, Pops, etc.

3rd. If symptoms persist after a month of doing 1 and 2 above, or if your doctor prescribes it, add nutraceuticals e.g. Vitamin B, alpha lipoic acid, L-carnitine, CoQ10, L-glutamine, etc.

4th. If symptoms still persist, add pharmaceuticals your doctor recommends. Many do this strategy together with nutraceuticals.

5th. Last resort: surgery. E.g., stomach stapling (Bariatric surgery), etc.
If you had to choose between #5 and #1, would you consider an optimal ER daily food plan first? For four weeks? And THEN decide re #5?

What do you think?


2008-08-18

STEVIA-SWEETER THAN SUGAR, NONCALORIC, HEALTHY, AND HERES THE KICKER-IT TASTES GREAT!

This is an oldie but a goodie. I love Stevia in my tea and I love the soda Zevia which uses Stevia and is a diet soda alternative (It is delicious and I love it). I wanted to share this again as when I first posted it I think my mother and I were my only two readers. Enjoy!

For some reason in my warped mind I seem to think that most anything that is good for me is either not to my taste or at best passable. Imagine how surprised and suspicious (suspicious by nature) I was when I found out about and tried Stevia, an alternative to the artificial sweeteners on the market (like Aspartame, Nutrasweet, etc) and loved it (pls. note that I don't sell Stevia, just really like it and its health benefits and wanted to share with you). Unlike artificial alternatives which contain acetic acid, formaldehyde, chloride, and other un-pronouncables Stevia is a healthy fat free, non caloric, 100% naturally sweet plant with a zero glycemic index that is 30 times sweeter than sugar. These attributes make Stevia a good alternative to sugar or chemical sweeteners. Native people in Paraguay and other parts of South America have used stevia safely for centuries. More recently Stevia gained popularity as a sweetener for coffees and teas, but it can sweeten just about anything you like. Because it works so well in cooking and baking, you can easily substitute Stevia for sugar in just about any recipe. Did you read that last sentence?! Yes, we can make our delicious sweets with this non caloric plant and lose the calories and negative impact of sugar! Ahhhh-the good life. Here are some great facts about Stevia-

**STEVIA IS A SOUTH AMERICAN HERB that has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The leaves of this small, green Stevia rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar.

**THE BODY DOES NOT METABOLIZE the sweet glycosides from the stevia leaf or any of its processed forms - so there is no caloric intake. Stevia doesn't adversely affect blood glucose levels and may be used freely by diabetics. Great news for diabetics and on a side note my brother has had diabetes since he was a child and now uses Stevia with wonderful results.

**STEVIA has been used since pre-Colombian times with no reports of ill side affects. Stevia has also withstood years of research that has proven Stevia to be safe for human and animal consumption. Stevia has been used around the world with NO reports of Stevia overdose or toxicity to humans in the past forty years.

**WHY IS STEVIA JUST COMING ON THE MARKET? Stevia has been around for a long time, even in the United States. Early studies on Stevia go back to the 1950's but the United States is a nation chin deep in bureaucracy, dirty-politics and corruption. In the 1950's the sugar industry fought to prevent the use of Stevia in the United States. Today, the manufacturers of Nutrasweet (aspartame) have practically bought the FDA to prevent it's approval as a food additive and therefore a sugar substitute. If you don't believe me, contact 60 Minutes of CBS. In the Spring of 1997 they aired a report on how Nutrasweet "bought" influence with the FDA to force the approval of a sweetener that is now blamed for the illnesses and deaths of thousands of Americans (hence my giving up Diet Pepsi). I also found dozens more articles siting that the use of Stevia in the U.S. being repressed because of the billion dollar artificial sweetener industry. This would be a great topic for anyone wanting to write about big companies controlling our health, etc for the sake of a profit. Keep in mind that I am one of those sorts that never really believes we are hearing the whole story from the bigwigs. REF-

**SINCE THE 1970'S JAPAN HAS BEEN USING STEVIA IN A WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS such as ice cream, sodas, pickles, sauces, and a variety of beverages. In fact, Stevia now has over 50% of the sweetener market share in Japan. That number continues to grow as the evidence against Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners mount.MMMHMMMM.

Obviously, I am on the Stevia train here and I do love it. I use it in my tea and have gotten my friends using it in their coffee as well. I sprinkle it on cereal , fruit,peanut butter sandwiches and oatmeal (I have a sweet tooth so what can I say). I have not tried baking with it yet as I am no baker (I want to be but I'm just not )but I think I will try some experimenting and let you know what I come up with.

You can buy Stevia at your local health food store (Wild Oats, Whole Foods) in the supplement section near the vitamins. I bought 100 packets for $6.99 but you can also get it in a liquid form or a big jar of it to use. I am really excited about finding this, not only for my health but also for the weight loss benefits. Now if they would only make a dark organic healthy chocolate bunny with Stevia so I could eat that instead of the leftover version of my daughters that I just inhaled- I would be in heaven!

Best,
Heidi

P.S. You can google "Stevia Recipes" or "Stevia Cookbook" and a ton of sites come up-so give it a try and tell me what you think.
2008-08-16

20 Cancer Fighting Foods To Give You That Extra Prevention Punch

I really try not to worry about cancer, I really do but for some reason it is always back there in the back of my mind lurking. I once lost someone that I cared for very much to cancer and it was shocking and heartbreaking all at once. It seemed so sudden to me because one minute he was the picture of health, power and vitality and then a few months later he was gone and to this day I wish that I could have known all the things that I know now about eating and cancer prevention. Maybe it could have changed things for him and maybe not. The important thing is that eating a healthy diet can possibly change your chances of getting cancer( according to experts).

So, while I was getting my hair colored (I know you didn't think I was a natural blonde) the other day, I found this wonderful article in Glamour magazine about cancer fighting foods so without further ado-here they are.

20 Cancer-Fighting Foods

Tomatoes-
Studies suggest that having a tomato rich diet may help lower the risk of developing both stomach and lung cancer. I put tomatoes on everything (and I mean everything). I am not even a tomato lover but I do it and they do add a lot of fresh flavor.

Spinach-Its deep green leaves are packed with lutein, Vitamin A and folate, nutrients that may help prevent colon and ovarian cancer. Also try kale, collard greens, arugula, and dandelion greens. A good way to get your spinach in each day is to have a fresh spinach salad. I do this and drizzle extra virgin olive oil (which is amazingly healthy for you too) over it with some tomatoes and feta cheese.

Curry-Yellow curry contains Cur-Cumin, a pungent spice that may help prevent melanoma and other types of cancer cells from proliferating. This is one that I need to work on.

Broccoli-This cruciferous veggie along with broccoli sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, watercress and swiss chard contain phytochemicals that may cut the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancers. Okay, I have a confession to make here. I don't like these vegetables and broccoli and I have horrible history going back to morning sickness with my first daughter. I just can't eat it ever since (don't worry I am NOT going to traumatize you with all the gory details). So what is a girl to do? I will tell you because I realize that the cruciferous veggies are crucial to my health. I take a veggie whole food supplement that contains them and more called the pops. Thank goodness that I just pop one of these babies a day and I don't have to worry. Sorry, I am still a wannabe and this works!

Blueberries-These, like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and red grapes, contain antioxidants such as polyphenols, which counteract and repair cell damage.

Now, if you can (and I know sometimes it can be hard to afford) I suggest buying as much organic as possible and eat your fruits and vegetables raw when you can to get the maximum benefits.

I know I always say this but why can't milk chocolate ever be on these lists? Oh well.

To your health!

2008-08-13

How Fat Does Fast Food Make You?

I was reading the below post from Kim Klaver's blog (you know the health guru that I think is amazing) and found the below article startling. I mean yes I know fast food on a regular basis cannot be healthy but look and see how even one fast food meal can affect you. Fortunately I cannot even remember the last time that I ate fast food but millions do everyday and I doubt they realize just how fattening it can be.

How fat does fast food make you? by Kim Klaver

Very. Each fast food meal you eat per week makes you - on average - ONE and ONE HALF pounds heavier than someone who eats no fast food...

Reported in USA Today:
"People who eat several fast-food meals a week are significantly heavier than those who don't eat fast food very often, according to a study presented to the annual meeting of the Obesity Society."
No surprise. Still, wow.

Highlights of the study:
*The weight of people who consumed three to six fast food meals a week was significantly greater than those who consumed no fast food or ate one to two such meals a week.

*Every additional fast-food meal during the week was associated with 1+1/2-pound increase in body weight.
USA Today, Oct. 23, 2007.

Wow!!!!! By the way if you are looking to seriously lose weight she has an Extreme Regime weight loss program you might like. She is the real thing as I have personally met her and been reading her books and blog for years. No gimmicks or promises but she gets results!!
2008-08-11

A Book Review! Juicing, Fasting, And Detoxing For Life! I Loved It!

I recently read a book called Juicing, Fasting, And Detoxing For Life by Cherie Calbom MS author of Juicing For Life. This book was fantastic and if I could I would give you all the details that I found helpful and life changing but this is a book and would take far to long so I will just give you a few highlights. "The programs in this book include short juice fasts and specific cleanse programs that act similar to spa treatments on the inside. They're somewhat like a housecleaning crew for your organs and fluids, on down to your cells. "

I also have three copies that I would like to send (at no charge)to three lucky winners who would be interested in reading this book. The only problem is that I need some help here creating a contest. My idea at this point is for all who would like to read this book and win a copy just put a comment here on my blog and I will put all the names in a hat and Ava will draw three winners. You will want to read this book and have it on hand to reference so I highly recommend putting your name in the comment section of this post and say Pick me! If you have a better contest idea let me know otherwise I am just going to do the pick out of a hat contest (I am so original).

Highlights From the book Juicing, Fasting, And Detoxing For Life- by Cherie Calbom MS

**Detoxing can help us lose weight-
"Vast amounts of toxic substances found in our environment, including carcinogens, are stored in fat cells. Because the body uses fat to hold toxins thereby protecting delicate organs, we often find it hard to lose weight. Ironically, fat is our friend when it comes to toxins. It protects us from all the acidic and toxic waste that endangers our organs. But when we remove this mess through detoxing, our bodies no longer need this protection, so they can begin to let go of the extra fa. We suddenly notice that our clothes fit better and we feel lighter and happier, while fat just seems to be melting away."

**Liver, Gallbladder and Kidney Cleansing-Cherie, the author gives you several"detox programs that will help you cleanse the liver, gallbladder and kidneys and assist them in functioning well so you can feel healthy, energetic and really alive. It may seem strange to think that the liver, gallbladder and kidneys have something to do with how you fell , but they do. Their health is key to your overall health."

**The Mind Body Connection-"The way you choose to use your mind, will , and emotions and the way you respond to your outer world has as much, if not more, to do with disease as your diet, lifestyle and environment. The body is a mirror of your inner thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Science has shown that when you are in a state of distress, your cells come into disharmony. More than any other factor, emotional stress weakens the immune system and you are less likely to control anything from parasites to cancer cells."

This is just the very tip of the iceberg but I think gives an idea of how this book can help you become much healthier. There are a multitude of juice and soup recipes for a variety of things. From a colon cleanse juice cocktail to a good sleep nightcap juice. I feel like there is so much beneficial information that I am not doing this fabulous book justice so trust me when I say if you want to look and feel better (and lose some weight) you will want to win or buy this book. I will leave you with a recipe to try!

Garden Tomato Soup

3 small tomatoes or 2 medium
2 green onions (about 2 inches of tips and green) chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 avocado
1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Serves 2
I tried this and really enjoyed it!!!

Now leave your comment and say "pick me" and you can find out all the great ways to become healthy.
2008-08-09

Awards! Uh Oh This Better Not Go To My Head!

I think that I must be the luckiest blogger alive as I have received two awards from two bloggers whose blogs send me to the moon because I enjoy them so much! I cannot say how much this means to me because really there are days when I think maybe nobody is reading this or if they are do they all think I am not just Healthnutwannabemom but instead just a plain nut. It always feels good to have someone like you and what you do so I would like to say thank you to Ria of It's My Party (and I'll cry if I want to) for honoring me with the Brilliante award and Caroline of The Zen In You with The Smile Award. If you have not had a chance to stop by either of these blogs you will want to do that as soon as you get the chance. These are two ladies who have fun and inspirational blogs. I always visit Ria for a smile and Caroline for some peace and inspiration (who doesn't need a little fun or inspiration?). Thank you again you two for honoring me and making me smile very, very big!

Now I have the task of choosing a few blogs that I admire to pass these wonderful awards onto. After much thought, pacing, more thought and brainstorming I have decided on the below blogs to award! I know I am forgetting someone so please forgive me as I am not always with it (oh really? I bet you could not tell:)

And the award goes to...... (drum roll please)

Brilliante Award

Discover Supplements -by
Yu Ming Lui. Has some very interesting health information!

Live, Laugh, Love by Jemima-A wonderful blog about a variety of things from this devoted wife and mother.

Earn Money At Home
by Robin-I don't know where she finds all the great opportunities to earn money at home but she does and I trust her advice.

Gay and Straight by Alan Bamboo-I like this guy a lot. He covers a wide range of interesting topics and I am touched by his honesty and openness.

Confessions of a Fitness Diva-This woman is a true fitness guru! She has sound and easy to follow health and exercise advice as well as a body to die for!!!

Beaded Tail-
Okay you know by now that I love anyone who helps homeless animals and awareness against animal cruelty. Well this blog does that with a twist! An incredibly talented mother/daughter team create unique jewelry and help animals with their profits. Also have cute cat pictures which I love.

Paul's Hea
lth Blog by Paul (who else?)-This guy knows his health information and has a great sense of humor. I always learn something here.

If any of those I have awarded this to choose to pass it on you need to display the award logo and choose 7 recipients of your choice. Don't feel obligated to do so as this is just an honor I want for you.


The Smile Award

Daisy The Curly Cat by Daisy-I smile and laugh and have the best time each day that I visit this delightful blog. Daisy models a variety of outfits with patience and tells some g
reat stories. I love this cat!

My Life As It Was, Is, And Will B
e by Sarah-She is probably tired of me giving her awards but I cannot help it! I find such peace and inspiration from her writing. Makes my heart smile.

Chica and Pumuckl by Anna-These are the cutest momma and baby orange tabby cats who previously lived in Egypt but just moved to Germany. The stories and pictures will keep you coming back for more. I visit daily and have to laugh and smile.

Random Ramblings
by Polly-I love visiting and seeing her beautiful backyard pictures. She has a bee house, insect house, visiting hedgehog, beautiful flowers and more (now you see why I smile when I visit). I am constantly entertained.

Robin's Woods-She takes the most breathtaking pictures that make me long to be where she is as well as the cutest and funniest pictures of a troop of chipmunks!!! I love visiting!

To my Smile Award recipients if you want to pass it on just pick 5 blogs you enjoy and post the award logo as well. Again, no big deal if it is not your thing.

Please check out these great blogs if you get a chance! I know you will be glad that you did! I know that I will by lying in bed tonight and a few more blogs will keep popping up that I should have passed these awards on to as well so I would like to say please accept this award as well!!!


2008-08-07

Weird Appetite Suppressant-Have You Tried It? I Bet Not

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis you will probably recall that I often share information from Kim Klaver (the only word that comes to mind is genius) and Dr. Heidi Dulay (one of the most amazing and knowledgeable people on the planet when it comes to nutrition) of Whole Food Nation. I take the whole food supplements the pops that they created (and I love) and now they have come out with a new weight loss program called Extreme Regime. I am sharing a weird appetite suppressant incorporated in the ER program that I absolutely loved. This is an exclusive program as Dr. Heidi only takes 6-10 people per month to work with and she just recently started it (so far the results have been staggering). I have not personally taken the program although if I wanted to lose weight I would but I have thought of signing up to learn her secrets because the following are the basic components of her program that is being met with such praise-

Here are the 4 basics of the ER program:

1. Real food is good. No fake, toxic, food-like substances.

2. Fat is good, including saturated fat IF it's from happy animals. Or from coconuts.

3. Refined carbs are bad: sugar, sweets, alcohol and refined grains (white bread, pasta, rice, etc.). BAD.

4. Starving is no good. It destroys metabolism and creates fat.

I am an information hound. I want to know all the secrets to good health and weight loss and Dr. Heidi seems to know them. Anyway, I am off subject (which is one of the things I am very good at doing) so let me get down to what this post is about (I can't ever make a short story short). Dr. Heidi and Kim Klaver have a weird appetite suppressant that I tried and oddly enough liked (I know, I know-I am weird) so I am sharing this with you to see what you think. If you decide to try it will you tell me if it worked for you? I was pleasantly surprised at how much less I ate after experimenting with this.

Weird Appetite Suppressant

by-Kim Klaver and Dr. Heidi Dulay

"Here's a weird (and free) ER appetite suppressant tip. I dare you to try it.
You're sitting down at a restaurant. The waiter brings out the warm bread and butter.
Take some butter (say a pat or so).

Do not touch the bread.
Eat the butter. Alone. Let it melt in your mouth.
Wait about 10 seconds.

Check appetite.

Repeat if necessary.

If you have not gagged at the idea of butter alone, you'll notice a difference in your hunger level almost immediately. I did. Vicki did. Anna Jean did. Dozens of others did."


What do you think? I loved it and now carry around a tub of butter (just kidding) but I was excited to find that this worked! Are you going to try it? I am dying to know if it works for you too!!!

p.s. thanks for all the well wishes (I felt so loved) on my flu day. I am rarely sick so of course I acted like the world was ending. I am much better and back to myself now (whatever that is). You all are great!
2008-08-05

Feeling Blue? Try These Healthy Foods To Give You A Boost

I have a touch of the flu tonight so I am recycling one of my all time favorite posts. Instead of regaling you with all the tales of my aches and pains I am sharing with you this post that I hope gives your spirit a lift when you need it.

Food, food, glorious food! I love to eat and am having so much fun learning just how important our diets are to every aspect of our lives-including helping to boost our spirits. It is wonderful to have information on health and diet so we can feel more in control of our lives and be our best inside and out. After reading this you will have no more excuses to be cranky, got it?!

We've all had those days when we feel down and don't know why or we just need a pick me up (actually we have had those days when we are outright terrors if the truth be told). These healthy food choices will actually help to rev your engine and chase those blues away. Hello sunshine!

**Try Some Dessert- Yes! You read that right, try some dessert! Sugar soothes us when we're feeling stressed out ( I know that to be true and will take full advantage). But before you binge on a pan of brownies, cookies and candy, know that a little sugar may soothe you, but too much will wreak havoc with your blood sugar. So, as always moderation is the key here.

**Beans -Like most legumes, beans are rich in iron. If you're low on iron like many active people are--you can be tired and have trouble sleeping, which as we all know can make you cranky, cranky, cranky. Beans are great thrown in salads, over white rice, in a tortilla with salsa, in chili and soups.

**Bananas-Stress and the lack of magnesium are so closely related that it is a good idea for those who lead an active life to add foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas to their diet. Increasing the intake of magnesium reduces anxiety and makes for better sleeping.

**Oranges-Two glasses of fresh orange juice are enough to help say goodbye to some nervousness, bad moods and depression; lack of vitamin C, can make you irritable and cranky.

**Chocolate-Hurrah! Hurrah! Now I know it cannot get any better than this! Some experts believe that like many other foods sweet and rich in carbohydrates, chocolate can have a soothing effect; others, however, consider that the caffeine and other substances contained in chocolate could act as stimulants. I don't care why, I am just so glad to hear it! Ahem, moderation here though, again.

**Spinach and Lentils-Both Lentils and spinach are full of folate, a B vitamin that you need to make the serotonin that makes you feel good. Folate is strong enough to ease clinical depression, say researchers and low levels of folate have been linked to depression. A cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid-so try some lentil soup and be happy and healthy. Also, you could add frozen spinach and make a low-fat spinach dip, have a nice spinach salad or use on sandwiches instead of lettuce. More food tips here, and here.
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**Walnuts- Are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids-a type of fat that's needed for brain cells and mood-lifting . Also been shown to relieve mild depression. I love to eat walnuts as a snack but they are also delicious on salads.

**Salmon-Salmon is also rich in omega fatty acids and canned Salmon with bones contains vitamin D which has been linked to possibly increasing our levels of serotonin- one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood.

I found this recipe Warm Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Goats' Cheese on delia.com. You could use spinach salad, add walnuts and lentils and hopefully you and your guests will be feeling great.

I am going to start having more walnuts, oranges and bananas for snacks and incorporate spinach and lentils into my diet. Don't worry, I already have the desserts and chocolate covered. To feeling better!

Best,

Heidi
2008-08-03

Try A Little Dairy and Berries! Lower Your Blood Pressure

I was getting my hair colored recently at my friend Marie's hairs salon (you caught me! I am not a natural blonde-oh well!) and perusing through the magazines and found a couple health tidbits I wanted to pass on to you. There was a study about dairy and to be honest I am not a big proponent of dairy but decided that it was an interesting study that some of you might be interested in so I am passing it on. The study on berries was right up my alley since I adore berries and I love hearing more and more health benefits of this delicious fruit.

Try Some Dairy Products-They May Keep You Smiling

According to a study in the Journal of Periodontology it was found that people who consumed 2 ounces or more of lactic acid rich foods, such as yogurt and kefir, had a 60% lower risk of severe periodontal disease than those who didn't eat any. If not treated the condition can cause bleeding, receding gums and tooth loss. Scientists once believed it was the calcium in dairy products that contributed to oral health but now they believe it may be the probiotics (beneficial bacteria found in foods with lactic acid). Since dairy products without probiotics, like milk and some cheeses, don't provide the same benefits it is best to get at least half of your dairy servings from yogurt. Now, I would like to say that if you are going to eat dairy then I highly recommend only organic to avoid the hormones found in non-organic dairy products and to not be a part of the cruelty that dairy cows endure. I get my probiotics and prebiotics from my Pops, the whole food supplements that I take daily so I don't have to really worry about it. I love my pops from Whole Food Nation.

All Hail The Mighty Berry

I have never met a berry that I did not like! Thank goodness that there is something that is healthy that I really and truly like and actually crave. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that adults who ate two thirds of a cup of berries and sipped 2 ounces of berry juice lowered their blood pressure by 1% and upped their HDL (good cholesterol) by 5% in just two months. Apparently the purple, red and blue fruits are rich in polyphenols, plant chemicals that defend the heart against disease. Eat up!