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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2009-06-29

Want To Burn Fat!! Give These Fat Burning Foods A Try!

Several months ago I received a copy of Good Housekeeping magazine in the mail. I found this very strange because I knew that I had not ordered it- if I was going to order a magazine it would be something more like People, US magazine or some tabloid trash that I adore. At first, I thought maybe it was a mistake and would have someone else's address on it, but it had my name and address. I still have not figured out this mystery but figure either one of me well intentioned friends or in-laws sent it in hopes I would become more of a homemaker (fat chance). The point of this is that I received another issue today and found this article that I loved and thought I would share with you. The article is about the top 7 super foods to eat to slim down faster. I'm always looking for help and thought these sounded great.

Super Foods To Rev Up Your Metabolism

**Tofu-is a good source of leucine-a friendly protein that helps you stay thin. Dietary leucine in tofu is an amino acid linked to maintaining muscle mass and reducing body fat during weight loss. I think that the extra firm tofu is the best so if you are new to tofu I would give this a shot first.

**Green Tea-has caffeine and catechins (plant nutrients) that might help raise your metabolic rate by up to 3.5 percent. So studies indicate that green tea may give you an increased metabolism, a positive effect on blood sugar and insulin regulation, and possibly the inhibiting of certain enzymes which are required for the processing of carbohydrates and fats. It is recommended to sip 32 ounces a day. I love green tea with a little Stevia-cold or hot!

**Lean Meats-are rich in protein, which takes more energy to digest than carbs or fats. Protein makes you feel satisfied too. (I'm a vegetarian but I refuse to be biased).

**Whole-Grain Cereal-complex carbs in the morning are a great way to fuel your body for the day ahead. I find that these also keep you fuller longer so you aren't apt to snack on unhealthy alternatives.

**Coffee-Caffeine speeds up your metabolism making it easier for us to burn more calories --- even while at rest, and coffee gives you more energy for a tougher workout that lasts longer, making it possible to burn more calories (if you exercise that is-I am still working on getting the exercise in).

**Low-Fat Dairy-it is packed with protein and helps build muscle and banish fat. Pls. keep in mind that due to all the bovine growth hormone in our dairy products I am not a big proponent of dairy unless it is organic and then I say proceed with some caution. Did you know that U.S. milk is banned in Europe because of the bgh hormone? Another scary food thought.

**Nuts-packed with protein and fiber, a handful (or entire jar a day in my case) at snack time keeps your body full. Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows that my number one diet secret is NUTS. I love them and it is the only way I can stay thin. Long live nuts!

ref for this article from my mysteriously appearing Good Housekeeping April 2008.
2009-06-24

Forget Botox-Exercise To Look Younger!!


Are you looking for a little motivation to exercise (who isn't!)? As much as I enjoy going to the gym and doing my strength training, there are days that I would just rather do anything else but a little exercise. So, when I discovered that by even moderately exercising I can look younger well, that was all that I needed to keep me going. There really are so many benefits to exercising but I must say that this has to be one of the best! According to an article that I read in the mirror.co.uk we can actually slow aging and look younger.

The study looked at twins and found that there was a 9 year difference between those that exercised regularly and those that did not. "It said: "Our results show that adults who do regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals."Researchers at King's College, London, and at a leading US institute in Baltimore studied aging in 2,400 sets of twins by analysing telomeres. Telomeres, which cap the end of chromosomes in cells, shorten with age leaving people susceptible to cell damage which can cause disease, muscles to weaken, skin wrinkles, eyesight and hearing fade, organs fail, and thinking clouds."

A Few Ways That Exercise Can Keep You Feeling And Looking Younger

**Improves Energy Levels-Numerous studies show that regular exercise (cardio or strength training) will make you feel less tired and give you more energy. Those on a regular exercise routine were also found to sleep better, and to be much more alert.

**Reduces Stress Which Improves Skin-I have a friend who swears by exercise for her acne. When you exercise and become fitter, your body releases anti-stress chemicals that help to neutralize those chemicals that stress produces therefore your skin has a youthful glow (I think this could absolutely help with acne as well). Stress wreaks havoc on your skin, and organs so by relieving stress through exercise you can be on your way to a younger you. Keep in mind to only adhere to an exercise routine that you are comfortable with. Too much exercise can actually cause your body to stress so listen to your body.

**HGH Production-HGH is the human growth hormone that we all have. " If you don’t have enough HGH in your body, your skin is likely to sag, you will develop wrinkles, your energy levels will be low and you will be more prone to gaining excess weight, especially around your waist. It also improves our cardiac function, sexual function, lean mass, hair thickness, and younger skin texture. Enough HGH and it will also eliminate cellulite, and your skins elasticity will increase. By age 20, your natural HGH supply is decreasing. Thankfully, regular exercise can stimulate your body to produce more HGG and that means you'll look and feel younger." Source here.

**More Toned-We all know that toned skin looks better than sagging skin. Exercise tones the muscle and speeds up your metabolism which in turn keeps your weight down and helps you avoid many problems associated with weight gain (diabetes, heart disease). Plus, you will look terrific with a nice toned tummy.

If your looking for the fountain of youth, I would have to say that you are going to find it in an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle and a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and water. Why waste your money on plastic surgery, botox, and expensive creams when the answer is right in front of you.
2009-06-18

Ode To The Cucumber-Healthy Reasons To Love Cucumbers!

Cucumber, cucumber I love you! Cucumber, cucumber you taste great , you remove puffiness from eyes before a big date. Cucumber, cucumber healthy part of a diet, you keep me skinny so I don’t cause a riot. Cucumber, cucumber delicious to me, you have so many benefits look below to see…..

Corny poem I know but it came to me and sometimes I get bored with all my normal writing so why not? I am not Shakespeare or even close but I do l love my cucumbers so why not a little love poem! Really though, cucumbers are probably one of my favorite things to eat! I slice them up and snack on them throughout the day-sometimes I will have 2 or 3 huge ones. They always make me feel full and refreshed and have so many health benefits. See for yourself:

Healthy Reasons to love those cucumbers!

-Composed of mostly water, low in calories and packed with nutrients. The cucumbers high water content helps keep the body hydrated, regulates body temperature, rids the body of excess fluids and cleanses the body of harmful wastes and toxins.

-Helps eliminate uric acid so it is good for those who have arthritis.

-Excellent source of potassium, vitamin c and folic acid.

-When placed on burns (sunburns too), itchy skin, swollen and tired eyes it can relieve these symptoms as well as dark circles.

-Relieves heartburn and soothes stomach acid or for those suffering from gastritis or ulcers.

-Improves blood circulation and helps relax nerves and muscles.

-Cucumber juice can be used as a soothing skin lotion.

-Skin of cucumbers are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium.

So besides being delicious, cucumbers offer up a host of wonderful health benefits! Make sure when buying cucumbers that they are dark green as this is an indication it is fresh. I also try to go organic on cucumbers since many cucumbers found in grocery stores are waxed to protect them during shipping. Since the wax is better not to be ingested I go for the organic that are not waxed.
2009-06-16

My Apologies For Being So, So , So Behind-AHHHHH!

I am waaaaayyyyy behind and feel terrible about not commenting or dropping my entrecards lately. I have been swamped at work, with the kids, life, etc and need to catch up!!! I promise to get back on track and drop and comment back. Also am working on a great post about something new I am doing by my hard a#@, drill sergeant yet sweet personal trainer Christopher Warden who is determined to give me the healthiest body yet!!! Back with details soon and thank you all for stopping by, commenting and dropping:)
2009-06-12

Quick And Healthy Way To Cut Calories And Be Your Best Skinny Minny

I am so, so, so behind and am trying to get back in the swing of things but did want to share one of my favorite mini diet tips with you. I know I have been bad, bad, bad on the eating scale this week so am trying to focus on my nutrition and hopefully incorporating this tip into your lifestyle might just help.

Cook With Veggies Instead of High Calorie Meats- How about mushrooms instead of meat? Now you are probably saying that I am trying to slip this in since I am a vegetarian (and very sneaky) but no, this really cuts back on the calories. When researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore gave people lunches made with mushrooms or the same meals made with meat, the mushroom eating consumers ate 42 percent fewer calories than those eating the beefier dishes. Fungi have fewer calories ounce for ounce than meat but are equally filling. I love to cook portabella mushrooms and eat them as my main course, throw some broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers in casseroles instead of meat or make a veggie stir fry. It really is delicious and actually very good for you too!!! Why not swap out your meat for a little veggie love!
2009-06-08

Hope This Gets You Moving In The A.M. - Healthy Morning Habits For Optimal Health!

I am not a morning person in the least but maybe with a little motivation like the tips below I can make it a bit more tolerable. Do these things to get your maximum health benefits in the morning and you may just feel better all day long!!

The Early Bird Gets The Worm


Say hello to sweet sunshine-Exposure to natural light in the morning signals your body to cut off production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Light is also a natural antidepressant, according to several studies and increases your body’s production of vitamin D (which can help prevent cancer and heart disease).

Eat Breakfast-Try to eat breakfast within 15 to 30 minutes of waking and no later than 8 a.m. as this will help you to keep from gaining weight. By skipping breakfast your body thinks it is in starvation mode and you will eat more food later on. A Harvard Medical School study indicated that people who ate a morning meal were one third less likely to be obese than those who didn’t. I would recommend that you go for high protein and fruits and vegetables that are low in starch and sugar (ex-strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, plain yogurt, eggs ,mushrooms, carrots). I love to have almonds with raspberries on top of plain yogurt each day-really gets me moving in the morning.

Weigh Yourself-A study from Brown University and the University of North Carolina showed that 61 percent of of people who did so maintained their weight within five pounds over time (compared with 32 percent that weighed in less often) mainly because it helped them catch their weight gain early. It is best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning nude, before breakfast for your most accurate reading. Weight gain can fluctuate within three lbs throughout the day!

Hit the alarm button for an extra 20 minutes of sleep-Our bodies naturally have more of the stress hormone cortisone in the morning so our bodies will get up and get moving, but postponing your wake-up time can lower those levels enough to take the edge off. According to a study at London’s University of Westminster, earlier risers (who woke up as early as 5:22 a.m.) had higher cortisol levels during the first 45 minutes of their day tended to be angrier at night than late risers who got up as late as 10:30 a.m.). This was regardless of how much total sleep they got. I am not a morning person at all so this must be another reason why. Getting out of bed in the morning is like pulling teeth for me-just awful!!!!!
2009-06-05

Cranberry Juice After Sex, Aspirin and Allergy Medicine In The Evening! Get In Your Night Groove!

Ooooohhhh here are some night moves to keep you healthy and happy. This another excerpt from the article I read about how you can maximize health benefits from doing certain things at specific times of the day. I really had no idea about these but now that I do I intend to try to follow these and maybe you might benefit too.

Drink you cranberry so your bladder will be merry-Most of us have heard that cranberry juice can help prevent urinary-tract infections. If you drink a glass at night the juice will stay in your bladder until morning, fighting bacteria. This is also beneficial if you and your partner are in a love mood and want to get intimate as it can keep bacteria that’s been pushed up the urethra during intercourse from sticking to bladder walls (kind of takes the romance out of sex thinking of it this way but hey, whatever works).

Got Allergies? Take your allergy medicine-Allergy symptoms and pollen count are highest first thing in the morning so take your long-acting antihistamines at night to avoid feeling sneezy upon wakening.

No More Sir (or Lady) Stinks a-lot!-Take a shower before bed or wash your underarms and/or feet if they have been smelly and making others run for the hills). Dry off and apply the antiperspirant of your choice. At night your body’s temperature naturally lowers and you are less likely to sweat which gives the antiperspirant a chance to fully absorb and allows its active ingredients to work. In the morning you should be fully protected when you are ready to shower. Yahoo-no more sweaty, smelly days!

Got high blood pressure? Take your aspirin at night-According to a recent study at the University of Vigo in Spain, people with prehypertension (blood pressure that’s between normal and high) who took aspirin at 11 p.m. had lower blood pressure readings after three months than those with the same symptoms who took aspirin at 8 a.m. or who had made dietary changes. Researchers believe aspirin works by slowing the nighttime production of hormones and other substances that lead to clotting. If this is something that concerns you I would definitely ask your doctor about it.

Prepare to sleep-Make sure you do not exercise three hours before bedtime to give your body temperature a chance to cool down, don’t eat 2-4 hours before bedtime, since it takes your stomach that long to empty solid foods (this helps with acid reflux as well). Also, keep your cell phone, alarm clock with the neon numbers and night lights all out as your brain’s pineal gland (never heard that word before) needs darkness to make melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it is time to sleep. The pineal gland gets confused if it senses light and you will not sleep as well. Melatonin has also been linked to improved immunity and lower risk of cancer. Alright, stop confusing your poor Pineal gland and you will sleep much better.

I hope you have your healthy night moves together now!

Redbook May 2009
2009-06-03

You’ll Be Over The Moon If You Do These Healthy Things In The Afternoon

I have always been a big believer that life is all about timing so when I saw this article about how some of the things involving our health are all about timing I was intrigued (okay it obviously does not take much to intrigue me I guess). Today I will write about some health things that are optimized by doing them in the afternoon and then I will follow with a couple more posts about evening and morning as well. I am shaking things up and being non-conventional (what’s new) by starting with afternoon instead of morning (such the rebelJ).


Nap- By 2 p.m., your body temperature starts to dip, just as it does before bedtime. Instead of fighting the urge to stay awake why not indulge in a quick power nap? An Australian study compared naps lasting 5, 10, 20, and 30 minutes and found that 10 minutes left participants feeling the most refreshed, rested and alert. Just make sure not to go too long or you will get that nasty sleep inertia which leaves you groggy. I wish that I could nap but to be honest I have never been a napper (much to my poor mother’s chagrin-she said I NEVER napped). We would all probably feel a little better by putting in a short power nap though.

Move it or lose it-Late afternoon to early evening (5-6 pm) may just be the best time to exercise as that is when your body is literally at its hottest. Your body temperature reaches its daily peak (2-3 degrees warmer than in the morning), giving you maximum muscle strength, flexibility, agility and stamina. Your lungs are using oxygen more efficiently at this time as well.

Instead of a big lunch have two mini meals-This is one area that I can certainly say I agree with as I rarely sit down and have a large meal but instead opting for several small meals. Doing this keeps your blood sugar steady and your metabolism moving. It is recommended that you have the first meal about 3 hours after breakfast and the second during the afternoon slump (around 2 and 3 p.m.).

Ref-Redbook May 2009