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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2009-03-31

The key to youthful looks is a healthy appetite

First of all I want to tell everyone that I am so sorry for being behind this week and not commenting and dropping as is my usual standard. I am getting back on top of things starting today so will get back to all you loyal commentors and droppers (THANKS FOR STILL COMING BY).

While reading the Daily Mail (one of my favorite sites) I found this great article and wanted to share it with you and see what you think…..

The key to youthful looks is a healthy appetite

“By Fiona Macrae at the Daily Mail

Turning back time: Madonna may spend hours in the gym but according to new research she'd be better off eating a few good meals to plump out her face which could take four years off.

Forget punishing exercise routines and restrictive diets, the key to looking young is having a healthy appetite.

Research shows that being thin is what ages us most, with plump cheeks and soft features making women appear younger.

So strong is the link that the loss of just 10lb in weight - around a dress size - can age a woman by some four years.

Experts said the U.S. study showed that dieting does not always have the desired effects on looks.
Rajiv Grover, secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: 'It's not wrinkles and lines that make people look older, it's changes in the shape of the face.
'People have this thing about being thin. It perhaps gives them a slimmer body but they certainly age in the face more quickly.'

The US researchers made the link between weight and perceived age after studying 200 pairs of identical twins for two years.
Identical twins share all their genes and so any differences in their looks had to be explained by their lifestyle, rather than their DNA.
The body mass index of each twin was calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared.
The ideal BMI for an adult is between 18.5 and 25. A BMI of below 18.5 is classed as underweight, while above 25 is considered overweight and above 30 obese.

The study showed a clear link between BMI and the age the women were perceived to be.
Researcher Dr Bahaman Guyuron said: ''The twins were divided into groups based on a four-point BMI difference.

'A BMI higher by four points was found to result in a younger appearance of between two and four years in women over 40 years old.'

In some cases, this meant that a difference in weight of as little as 10lb added four years to a woman's appearance, the Plastic and Reconstructive Journal reports.

Mr Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon at King Edward VII Hospital in London, said that while most people will find their cheeks start to lose their plumpness from around the age of 38, extreme dieters have the most to worry about.

He said: 'People who are trying to stay stick thin lose weight from their face sooner than they would otherwise and those is extremely ageing.

'This volume loss can be compounded by yo-yo dieting , where not only do you create volume loss, but also stretching of the facial supporting ligaments due to repeated facial volume gain and loss, which causes deeper nose to mouth lines and jowls.

'The more fat that is preserved in the face, particularly the cheeks, the more you will preserve the facial proportions of youth.'”
2009-03-25

Eating Lots Of Red Meat? You May Want To Rethink That

Over the years I have read various articles and books on the dangers of eating red meat on our bodies and the environment and now a new study has come out (the largest study of its kind) that further confirms these dangers. I personally do not eat red meat, chicken, fish, well any animal at all for humane reasons, however if that is not an issue to you but you are even remotely concerned about your health then you may find the below information helpful and possibly life saving one day.

“According to the largest study of its kind appearing in Monday’s archives of Internal Medicine-older Americans who eat large amounts of red meat and processed meats (hamburger, hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts, etc) face a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

Over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less. That’s compared to those who ate the least red meat, just 5 ounces per week.

Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less.

For processed meats, the increased risks for large quantities were slightly lower overall than for red meat. The researchers compared deaths in the people with the highest intakes to deaths in people with the lowest to calculate the increased risk.

The researchers compared deaths in the people with the highest intakes to deaths in people with the lowest to calculate the increased risk.

People whose diets contained more white meat like chicken and fish had lower risks of death.

The researchers surveyed more than 545,000 people, ages 50 to 71 years old, on their eating habits, then followed them for 10 years. There were more than 70,000 deaths during that time.

Study subjects were recruited from AARP members, a group that's healthier than other similarly aged Americans. That means the findings may not apply to all groups, Sinha said. The study relied on people's memory of what they ate, which can be faulty.

In the analysis, the researchers took into account other risk factors such as smoking, family history of cancer and high body mass index.

In an accompanying editorial, Barry Popkin, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote that reducing meat intake would have benefits beyond improved health.

Livestock increase greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming, he wrote, and nations should reevaluate farm subsidies that distort prices and encourage meat-based diets."We've promoted a diet that has added excessively to global warming," Popkin said in an interview.

Successfully shifting away from red meat can be as easy as increasing fruits and vegetables in the diet, said Elisabetta Politi of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C.

"I'm not saying everybody should turn into vegetarians," Politi said. "Meat should be a supporting actor on the plate, not the main character."

The National Pork Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association questioned the findings.

Dietitian Ceci Snyder said in a statement for the pork board that the study "attempts to indict all red meat consumption by looking at extremes in meat consumption, as opposed to what most Americans eat."”
Article from yahoo health


As is generally the case, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association and the National Pork Board questioned these findings. Of course they are going to question anything that goes against them making money so really it is hard for me to even regard anything that they say as nothing more than a selfish attempt to keep misleading the public about the dangers of meat consumption and encouraging people to eat lots of meat so that they can line their own pockets. Many of these studies on the dangers and health concerns of eating meat are provided by non-partisan groups and even the above study was a federal study and in the Archives of Internal Medicine so I believe in the validity of them.

Now keep in mind that this only my opinion and that I am a die hard animal rights activist and think that anyone who raises and kills animals for profits are –well I probably should not say .

Again, only my opinion and my passion to be humane to all beings. That is not to say that I think everyone should be a vegetarian or that those who have carnivorous appetites are wrong but I think those that actually profit from innocent animals being slaughtered are really not who I would like to be in the same room with.

Sorry if I am on my animal rights soapbox today-am going through some rough times at the moment and I tend to be a little more direct than soft right now.
2009-03-23

Bet You Did Not Know This About Green Tea!

If you read my blog on even a small basis then I think you must know how much I love green tea. I drink about 5 cups a day minimum and enjoy all the potential benefits such as cancer fighting, and weight loss . Recently I stumbled upon this information on Yahoo about other benefits of green tea that go beyond just the amazing things it can do for our bodies.

Bet You Did Not Know This About Green Tea!

-It’s great for teeth: Green tea has fluoride in it, making it a superstar for keeping gums and teeth healthy. Green tea can even be used as a mouthwash to maintain breath.

-It’s a room deodorizer: Green tea leaves have traditionally been used to naturally absorb odors in a room. Place tea leaves in a bowl to help absorb unpleasant odors or leave some in the fridge in place of baking soda.

- It’s good for the bones: Naturally high in minerals, green tea aids in strong bone density, which is important for maintaining good posture.

-It can soothe skin: Spent a little too much time in the sun? Use the naturally calming properties of green tea to soothe sunburned skin. Place green tea in a spray bottle and mist on sunburned areas for all-natural relief. Because it has anti-bacterial qualities, green tea can also be used as an antiseptic to spray on skin blemishes or irritations.

- It’s good for the feet: Soaking tired feet in green tea can prevent unpleasant fungal infections.

If you have not considered green tea before, you may just want to think about it now!
2009-03-19

Watch Out For This Undercover Villain Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

While once again reading my favorite cookbook, “Eat, Shrink And Be Merry” by Janet and Greta Podleski I discovered a short snippet about one of worst villains that makes us fat-high-fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS). I had read in the past about about how to keep an eye out for it and so on but had really not realized how much it contributed to a big booty and belly.

“High-fructose corn syrup , the sweetener used to replace sugar in many processed is loved by manufacturers because it is cheap and doubly sweet. Research show that it’s more easily turned into fat than any other carbohydrate it also shuts off the switches that control appetite. In addition to this it boosts triglycerides (fatty compounds that circulate in the bloodstream and are stored in fat tissue) by as much as 32%. That is just asking for trouble!!

High-fructose corn syrup is found everywhere and I mean everywhere-soft drinks, juice, candy, barbecue sauce, fruit-flavored yogurt and in some breakfast cereals. Over the past 15 years, North American consumption has increased by 250% so watch out. The best way that you can combat the evils of high-fructose corn syrup is to read the labels carefully on any foods that you buy. If high-fructose corn syrup, fructose or glucose/fructose appears near the top of the ingredient lists then you may want to think twice about eating or drinking it.”
2009-03-16

A Few Places I Get Inspiration And An Award!!


I have been blessed with a very special award from an extremely courageous and amazing woman who has overcome more in her life so far than most of us will in a lifetime. Sandi from Pregnant With Cancer was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma 2 weeks after finding out she was pregnant and then did chemotherapy. She is in remission now but is very courageous as she takes us on her journey. Her blog is also full of delightful and fun posts which I love stopping by to read!! Sandi awarded me with the Heart and Soul award which is a beautiful award that is given to those blogs that have touched or inspired you. I am to pass it on to three blogs that have touched or inspired me and here are my picks:


Maria at Maria Michelle’s Furkids Animal Rescue -I am touched by her love and compassion for both homeless animals as well as her own. Her cat Coco has been having some health problems and she has been coping with that. Maria also fosters cats and kittens while they are waiting for a forever home. One of my favorite things about her blog is her Grumpy Mondays where she puts such cute pictures that you cannot help but smile!

Sadie at Sadie at Sadie’s Skinny- Sadie is another animal lover with a cat named Pepper who recently had some health issues but seems to be on the mend. Sadie writes about weight loss and reviews different methods such as different diet aids so that we can all benefit from her experiences. I like her style of writing and honest approach to weight and health issues.

Betchai at At The Backroads- Betchai inspires me daily with her phenomenal and beautiful pictures of nature. I look forward to each and everyone of her new posts and the breathtaking pictures that she takes. I see landscapes, wildlife and the incredible diversity of nature through her eyes. Whenever I need a quick lift in my spirit I head over to her blog and just look at the pictures she has taken. I never knew nature could be so beautiful.

I encourage all of you to visit these blogs as I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I do and thank you Sandi for this wonderful award-you are truly an inspiration to me!

To those that I have passed this award onto-if you want to pass it on here are the rules:- Create a post about it, and make sure to include the logo.- Nominate three blogs that have touched or inspired you, and made an impact in your life.- Add a link to your nominees’ blogs in your post and inform them about the award.- Go to http://heartandsoulaward.wordpress.com/ and leave the URLs of the 3 blogs you have nominated.

By the way, happy St. Patricks Day tomorrow!!!Heidi


2009-03-12

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards! Why We Crave Sweets When Things Are Going Crazy!

At last my reasons for eating tons of chocolate when stressed is revealed! In an attempt to be healthy and domestic I was reading my favorite cookbook Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski and discovered why we crave sweets when stressed. It is a relief to know that it is not just a mental thing (I already have enough issues as it is) to have a chocolate emergency kit for those days when I just can’t cope.

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards! Why We Crave Sweets When Things Are Going Crazy!

When we are under stress, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline rise. These stress hormones take sugar out of your liver and rush it into your blood, making energy readily available for fight or flight. I suppose if you are going to need to lift a car off someone or be chased by bears this could be beneficial but really how often does that happen nowadays? In this day and age most or our stress is mental rather than physical but our bodies don’t know the difference. Once the stress is gone, our bodies insist on replacing the sugar stolen from our livers (ahhhh-enter the delicious chocolate cravings). To do that, stress hormones make us hungry, especially for sweets.

Over long periods of time, too much cortisol wreaks havoc on your system, disturbing your sleep, lowering your immunity, and eating away at the muscle you need to burn fat. It also encourages the body to store abdominal fat for easy burning during stressful times. Since the body’s stress reaction doesn’t have an automatic “off” switch it’s up to you to find a way-mental or physical-to shut it down. Find something that relaxes you in those stressful times. Exercise, meditating (I always think of the ocean), a relaxing bath, reading your favorite book, whatever works for you. Amazing how clever our physical bodies are trying to help us out but now we just need to find a way to work together so that we do not gain weight and live on those delicious yet generally unhealthy sweets.

P.S. Sandi at Pregnant With Cancer passed on an award to me which I will post next time around. Woohooo! Thank you Sandi!
2009-03-08

Your Health-Is it All About Location? Yikes!

Sometimes I wonder if I should read much less write some of the things that I do for fear of being more neurotic than I already am.

The below information that I found on the Prevention magazine website is one of those articles. It is great information to know so that we can make better choices for our health but as usual- take it all in stride.

I have always known that location is important but here are some locations that can provide you with either healthy or unhealthy habits. I think I do most of these the unhealthy way. I marvel daily that I am still alive and so healthy.

Your Health-Is it All About Location? Yikes!

The Worst place for your toothbrush- On the bathroom sink. The sink itself is not the problem but b/c of its proximity to the toilet this can cause problems. There are 3.2 million microbes per square inch in the average toilet bowl, according to germ expert, Chuck Gerba, PhD . See, some things really are better left not knowing). When you flush, aerosolized toilet funk is propelled as far as 6 feet settling on the floor, sink, your toothbrush . Oh my!

The Worst Place To Set Fruit Before Washing It-The Kitchen Sink-Of all the household germ depots, the kitchen sink sees the most bacterial traffic-even more than the germy toilet, says Kelly Reynolds, PhD, a professor and environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona.

The Worst Place For A Nighttime Reading Light- Overhead. The overhead light puts out relatively bright light-enough to significantly delay the body’s secretion of melatonin, showed a 2000 study. That can wreck your night, since rising melatonin levels are a major cue for your body to prepare for sleep. I personally use one of those little book lights and that seems to work well. Thank goodness there were no germs in this one. Yucko.

The Worst Stall To Pick In A Public Restroom- The one in the middle. The center stall has more bacteria than those on either end, according to unpublished data collected by Gerba. Just wash your hands before you leave and you should be okay.

The Worst Place to Set Your Handbag-The Kitchen Counter-I hope all you guys are taking note of this! Your handbag is a major tote for microbs: Gerba and team’s swabs showed up to 10,000 bacteria per square inch on purse bottoms-and a third of the bags tested positive for fecal bacteria! A woman’s carryall gets parked in some nasty spots, on the floor of the bus, under the table at a restaurant. Just put your bag anywhere food is not prepared or eaten. I had my bag on the kitchen counter last night as a matter of fact-never, ever again-I hope.

The Worst Place To Try To Fall Asleep-Under bunches of blankets. Being overheated can keep you from nodding off, researchers say: A natural nighttime drop in your core temperature triggers your body to get drowsy. To ease your way to sleep, help your body radiate heat from your hands and feet, says Helen Burgess, PhD, assistant director of the Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Put socks on to dilate the blood vessels in the extremities-then Take the socks off and let a foot stick out from under the blankets. I love all my blankets so not sure if I can handle this one.

The Worst Place To Sit On An Airplane-The Rear-Avoid this section if you’re prone to airsickness, says retired United Airlines pilot Meryl Getline, who operates the aviation website fromthecockpit.com. The farther from the center you are the more up and down movement you experience. Because the tail tends to be longer than the front it is the bumpiest. Smoothest is sitting as close to the wing as you can.

Honestly I think that I do most of the things that I shouldn't in these regards so am going to take a non neurotic moderate approach to all this. I really loved this and found it so interesting and I hope that you did too!
2009-03-04

Give These Red Foods A try For A Healthier You!

Red is one of my favorite colors and I always associate it with something vibrant and wonderful so it would only make sense that eating the below super foods can lower your risk of hear disease and certain cancers.

Give These Red Foods A try For A Healthier You!


Raspberries-A Dutch study found that these can have more than eight times the heart-healthy antioxidants of broccoli.


Strawberries-Having at least a cup a week may make you less likely to have elevated C-reactive protein, a heart disease risk factor.

Tomatoes-A diet rich in tomatoes may be linked to a lower risk of lung and breast cancer.

Red Wine-Antioxidants found in red wine help to protect the lining of blood vessels, guarding against heart disease, research suggests. Just keep it to no more than one glass a day.

Red Peppers-Just a half cup fills your daily needs for vitamin C an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer.

Kidney Beans-High in protein and iron, these are also packed with fiber, which can help lower cholesterol.

Beets-These sweet veggies may help prevent colon cancer. Saute in olive oil or steam them for a colorful side dish.

source-Glamour October 2008

I can pretty much go for all of these except the beets. I have some aversion to beets but the others all seem delicious so give these a try and be good to yourself!
2009-03-03

I'm Back and Will Have A Nice New Health Post Up Soon!

Just a quick update to let you know that I have returned and will be doing drops and commenting back. Yahoo! Got a fun post about some delicious, red and healthy foods for you!