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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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Happy New Year To All Of You!!!

I wanted to wish everyone of you a HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!! I am taking 2010 and trying to be healthier, happier and make better choices!!!! I hope that all of you have a great start to 2010!!!!!!!


It's In The Lip Balm Baby! From Repairing a Scratchy Disk To No More Nasty Razor Nicks!

I love chapstick, lip balm or lipstick as my daughter calls it. I keep a tube in my purse at all times for my lips but never imagined all of the versatile uses that lip balm can help you with!!!! Check these handy tips out that the little tube of chapstick/lip balm can do for you!

It’s In The Lip Balm Baby!

Hate Those Nasty Nicks From That Razor? Me too so lip balm to the rescue! Unfortunately I am always in such a hurry while shaving that I am constantly nicking myself with the razor (and have the scars to prove it). Instead of putting on a band aid that really does not help much, all you need to do is dab some lip balm directly on the gash-it’s smooth waxy base seals the cut while ingredients like menthol and vitamin E sooth cracked skin!!

Pad Those Puppy’s Paws With Lip Balm On Icy Cold Days-Rub some lip balm on those precious paws- the moisturizer acts as an invisible barrier between the delicate paws and the potentially harmful ice and and snow. The camphor in the balm soothes your pooch’s pads and helps to heal any minor abrasions.

Sayonara Smudges-Achoooo! For some reason when I am putting on my mascara I sneeze and am left with those impossible to get off black smudges. Now all I need to do is grab my lip balm and rub a dab under my eyes. The oils in the balm gently cleanse the delicate under-eye area.

So Long Static and Flyaway Hair-My girls think it is hilarious when one of us has hair with static that stands on end but if you don’t, all you have to do is rub some lip balm on your fingertips and then work your fingers through your hair. Nice sleek hair is yours!

Repair a Scratched Disk With-Yes, You Guessed It! Lip Balm! Rub lip balm on the flawed area and buff with a clean soft cloth. The waxy consistency of the balm gently polishes away the scratches so the movie can play without skipping!!!

Now, if you don’t have some lip balm I bet you will run out and get some!!! A great stocking stuffer too~!!

Ref-First For Women 12-09

Bust The Blues With These Nutritious Foods!! No More Excuses To Be Cranky!

Have you got a touch of the winter blues???? It is getting colder and colder here and the less light and darker evenings seem to be affecting some of us lately so why not giving some of these healthy foods that will help bust the blues! I know I have been kind of a pain lately if not a little winter bluesy myself so I am making a trip to the grocery store and stocking up on these great choices.
Blues Busting Foods! MMMMMMMMMM.....

**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.
**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 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!

Bet You Never Thought To Use A Cucumber For This! From Curing A Hangover To Bye, Bye Cellulite!

Sometimes I get the greatest and informative emails and this is one of them on all the ways that you can use a cucumber to combat some small problems naturally. I am all for finding any way possible to use as few chemicals as possible. I did a post awhile back on how good cucumbers are for your body and now just look!!!!!! Wooohoooo! I am going to buy more cucumbers (plus my guinea pigs love them)!!!

This information was in The New York Times several
weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted
creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6,
Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick
up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates
that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a
cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a
soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in
a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The
chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent
undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or
to the pool?
Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem
area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the
collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the
visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber
slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers
contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential
nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a
hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge?
Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders
and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you
don't have enough time to polish your shoes?
Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not
only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice
and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the
? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the
chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water
and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has
been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during
final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?
Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your
tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill
the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless
Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean,
not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is
won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and
slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and
markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Give These 10 Power Foods To Give You Energy and Rev Up Your Engine

An Oldie But A Goodie!

Everyday that I write this blog I become more and more aware of how important the right diet is for our overall health, immune system, body weight, energy level, moods and so much more. If you are anything at all like me then you need all the energy you can get to keep up with all the things each day puts in front of you. The below foods will get and keep you going full of energy as well as giving your immune system a nice boost.

Healthy Foods To Give You A Natural Boost

**Berries-Ooooohhhh, I love berries and now I have even more reasons! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are high in vitamin and fiber content, they're an excellent source of antioxidants, compounds that protect our bodies from the stress of day to day living, and fresh berries are kind to the waistline; they are naturally high in water and low in calories. Dried berries also provide excellent nutrition, but since most of the water is missing, their calories are more concentrated and you’ll usually wind up eating more of them.

**Citrus-Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C; one orange has a whole day’s requirement.They’re also loaded with soluble fiber which lowers cholesterol, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, and helps you to manage your weight.

**Salmon-Cold-water fish, like salmon, mackerel and herring, are premiere sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are fats our bodies can’t produce, so it’s essential we include them in our diet. If you read my post about healthy hair, you will notice salmon was included in that post as well.

**Vegetables-There’s no such thing as a bad vegetable so eat up. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and are a crucial component of any healthy eating plan. Orange and yellow-hued veggies like winter squash, carrots and sweet potatoes and leafy greens contain carotenoids, a pigment our body converts to vitamin A. Eating lots of these vegetables will help maintain healthy skin and hair, protect against prostate cancer, promote healthy vision and even provide protection from sunburn. Lycopene, the plant chemical responsible for the ruby red of tomatoes and watermelon, is believed to fight cancer and promote heart health. Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are sky-high in potent anti-cancer compounds like sulforaphane and quercitin.

**Nuts and Seeds-Almonds, pecans and pistachios are rich in protein. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids. Toss sesame seeds in a meal for extra calcium and vitamin E. Sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are particularly good sources of phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, which promote heart health. These are easy to take with you for on the go energy. I take nuts everywhere and eat them all day. As I have mentioned probably a hundred times-nuts are my number one diet secret!

**Olive oil-Olive oil is an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that may lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol. It contains Vitamin E and antioxidants and is an excellent replacement for unhealthy saturated fats like butter. I take a spoon full of olive oil before eating spaghetti so the bad fats in the pasta can't make me fat. Extra virgin olive oil is also great for healthy skin.

**Tea- Recent studies have shown drinking green tea might boost metabolism, oolong teas can lower blood sugar, and black teas can promote oral health. Tea contains half the caffeine of coffee and packs a punch of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants believed to protect against heart disease, certain cancers and stroke.

**Legumes-Beans, peas, peanuts and lentils are all part of the legume family. Legumes are rich in folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and antioxidants. Their high protein and complex carbohydrates provide steady energy that lasts for hours. Also great for vegetarians (like me) who need protein.

**Whole grains-They’re delicious, inexpensive and packed with protein, B vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some immediate benefits you might notice are stable blood sugar, less hunger between meals, and better weight management.

**Lean Protein-Protein is an important part of every diet and is found in many different foods. Lean protein, the best kind, can be found in fish, skinless chicken and turkey, pork tenderloin and certain cuts of beef, like the top round. Low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, ricotta and other cheeses supply both protein and calcium. I also love extra firm tofu for a great protein!
It is very clear that whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, and fruits and veggies are essential for so many positive benefits to our health.
ref-The Food Network

3 Super Easy Tips To Speed Up Weight Loss and Say Bye Belly Fat!

My new favorite magazine, “For Women First”, is always such a wealth of helpful and simple ways to do so many things and this latest bit of information on how to rev up your weight loss is no exception. I suppose that the two mini Snickers bars and diet Pepsi I just engulfed (yes before 7:00 a.m.) are going to have to go. Usually I am good and have fruit and green tea but remember that I am a wannabe health nut and we all have those days where the beloved chocolate and diet Pepsi vices are a must-we are all human after all. Hopefully these 3 little tips can help you out!

Eggs, eggs, and More Eggs For Breakfast –Women who eat two eggs each morning shed 65 percent more weight (and 83 percent more belly fat) than those who have a bagel of equal calories, according to a recent study. Eggs are chocked full of protein and stabilize blood sugar while increasing your metabolism by 25 percent for two hours and curb appetite to cut daily calorie intake. I despise eggs but have found if I cover them in hot sauce and cheese I can do it. I wonder if this counts? I think it should since it is all protein, right?

Vegetables At Every Meal-According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adding veggies to every meal helps women to lose 25 percent more weight than reducing fat in their diet. Veggies have low calorie density so you eat more food but consume less calories and are still left feeling full and happy!

Psyllium Powder
-Okay so the name does not bring to mind an enticing treat in the least but the people at Yale University research say that by increasing your fiber intake by 5 grams a day (equivalent of ½ tbs of psyllium husk powder mixed into a glass of water or juice) can melt 13 pounds of belly fat yearly. This is apparently double what women lose when counting calories. Fiber has the ability to slow carb absorption and balance blood sugar. If you have a better source of fiber as some fruits and vegetables you could add more of those to your diet as well.

Pharmacy of Nature!! A Fun Email Forward!

A friend of mine at work forwarded this to me in an email and I found it really fun and interesting and thought you might as well. I don't know who wrote this so I cannot give credit where credit is due and I wish I could but I hope you enjoy.......

Nature's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the res earch shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food..

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart.. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents c ervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.
Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Absolutely Awesome Aspirin! Car Battery, Calluses, Flowers, Rust and Pimples-Aspirin Cures It All

When I read all the below things that aspirin can do I was really, really shocked! I went out and bought a big bottle and am going to give some of these a shot. I love finding easy and simple remedies for everyday problems so I hope that this helps you too!

Bye,Bye Itchy Bug Bites-Got a mosquito or bug bite that just won’t stop itching? Moisten the affected area and rub an aspirin tablet over the bumps. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory agents that seep into the sore and reduces swelling and discomfort.

Love Your Flowers Longer- If you want your flowers to last longer just drop two tablets of aspirin in the water before adding your fresh cut flowers. The aspirin decreases the PH level of the water which is a breeding ground for bacteria and causes your flowers to wilt sooner. By adding the aspirin it makes your bouquet last longer!

Ciao Calluses!-Just mix 1 Tbs. of lemon juice with five crushed aspirin tablets and apply to your calluses and cover with a plastic bag for 10 minutes. Remove the bag and rinse with warm water. The combo of acids in the lemon juice and aspirin will exfoliate the rough layer of dead skin cells.

Rust Marks Be gone-If you hate the rust marks on your bathroom counter as much as I do just wet the area, smash an aspirin tablet and sprinkle it on the mark then wipe away after 10 minutes.

Poof Pimples To Another Galaxy-This is so easy for those nasty and rude pimples! Simply crush an aspirin tablet, add enough water to make a paste and leave on your blemish overnight. In the morning you should be on your way to clear skin!!!

Dead Car Battery??? Aspirin To The Rescue-Is your car battery dead?? Well make sure you always have aspirin in the car because all you need to do is drop two tablets into the battery. The acetylsalicylic acid in the aspirin will react with the battery’s sulfuric acid to allow a strong enough charge to start your car.

Who knew? Really cannot believe all the great things aspirin can do besides get rid of my headaches. Hurrah for aspirin!

Ref- First For Women-9/14/09

Bite Into Basil Baby!! From Sexy Legs, Pain Relief And Belly Fat Burning To Looking Younger-Basil Has It!!!

I have always been a fan of basil putting it in my salads, and using it to add flavor to many dishes (okay, I don’t cook much so yes, it can be sprinkled on tv, canned and boxed dinners). Really though, basil is very easy to chop up and throw into soups, vegetables, casseroles and just about anything- just look below at all the amazing benefits of a little basil! Mmmmmmmmm basil baby!

Sexy Legs With Basil- Just a couple tablespoons of fresh basil supplies,”60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K which stimulates the body’s production of thrombin, a clotting protein that obstructs circulation to damaged veins and reroutes blood to larger healthy vessels. Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands discovered that this can cause spider and varicose veins to shrink and fade in as little as six weeks.”

Decreases Appearance of Wrinkles- By having basil on a regular basis you can improve the appearance of wrinkles by 66 percent in as little as 10 days. Basil has high concentrations of flavonoids, which help the body synthesize skin-plumping collagen. Basil is also pumped full of vitamin A and this speeds skin cell turnover to give you that glow we all want!

Basil Burns Fat-Bye, Bye Big Belly-For this alone I will eat basil by the handfuls! According to a study at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, basil has calcium which suppresses the body’s output of calcitriol, a hormone that gives you that increases fat storage in your stomach. The study showed that regular intake of basil melts abdominal fat 81 percent faster. Basil also is full of manganese which is a mineral that stabilizes levels of blood glucose-regulating insulin that staves off cravings and helps to downplay those sugar highs and lows.

Natural Pain Relief- According to research at Michigan State University in East Lansing, a nice big sprinkle of basil relieves muscle pain as well as a standard dose of aspirin. “Eugenol, a component of the herb’s natural oil, inhibits a key enzyme from synthesizing the inflammatory prostaglandins that over sensitize nerves”. I guess in terms I can understand that means it makes the pain go away.

Now, if you are not rushing to the store to get some basil and piling it on and in everything you eat I don’t know what to say. I just threw some in my green tea and it tastes….. interesting. Basil I love you for all you do!

Sex is Good For You! From Cancer To The Common Cold!! No More Excuses!

It seems anytime I mention the word sex in a post I get more page views than ever so without further ado I am going to post once again one of my most popular articles ever!!! Enjoy in every way!

By Anna Magee http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Making love could be one of the few pleasures in life that is genuinely good for you, say researchers.

Not only does a healthy sex life boost mood, but there is growing evidence to show it boosts your physical well-being, too - from increasing longevity to reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction and even heart attack.

Only last month, researchers at Nottingham University concluded that men who kept up a regular sex life in their 50s were also at lower risk of developing prostate cancer. In fact, the research seems to suggest that men - particularly older men - benefit the most from healthy effects of sex. Feel-good hormones help explain some of the benefits, such as mood-boosting, but the explanation is not always obvious. But one thing is clear, and this applies to both men and women: you need to be having sex regularly if you don't want to lose the ability.

Researchers had followed 1,000 men aged between 55 and 75 for five years and found that those who had sex less than once a week at the start of the study were twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction (see below) as those who had it at least once a week. Those who had sex three or more times a week lowered their risk fourfold. 'Use it or lose it' was the advice given to older men by Finnish scientists recently.

As women get older their oestrogen levels drop, says Dr Peter Bowen-Simpkins, consultant gynaecologist at the London Women's Clinic and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This hormone is key to a woman's sexual enjoyment - lower levels can make sex uncomfortable, he explains. But American research found that menopausal women who had sex every week had oestrogen levels twice as high as their abstaining counterparts. 'Regular sex increases the production of oestrogen,' says Dr Bowen-Simkins. As long as other symptoms, such as dryness, are not a problem or have been treated, having more sex can decrease the risk of vaginal atrophy which can occur with age, he says.

So what else can a regular love life do for your health?

Heart- Sex can be good for your heart. The idea that men are more at risk of a heart attack during love-making is mostly misconception, say experts. Professor Peter Weisberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, says there is no evidence that men who have sex regularly in their 40s, 50s and beyond are at an increased risk of heart attack. 'As far as the heart is concerned, sex is just another form of exercise,' says Dr Graham Jackson, consultant cardiologist at Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital and president of the Sexual Dysfunction Association. 'In fitness terms, it's equivalent is going for a mile-long walk or climbing up and down two flights of stairs. If you're physically fit enough for that, there should be no increased risk during sex.' A study at Queens University in Belfast found that having sex three times a week could actually halve the risk of heart attack or stroke. However, if you are over 50, overweight and unfit, there is a risk to your heart - just as there would be if you suddenly and vigorously took up any form of exercise.

Loving Feeling: A study found those who had sex less than once a month had double the risk of dying prematurely than those who had sex twice a week.

Prostate -Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in British men, affecting 35,000 a year. Previous research suggested that greater sexual activity was linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer, but findings from Nottingham University (published in the British Journal Of Urology International) suggest the opposite is true: that increased activity is protective for older men. This backs up the findings of a major study five years ago by the National Cancer Institute, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Previous studies have suggested the reduced risk is due to the release of toxins from the prostate gland. 'We can't say for certain that having regular sex can protect older men from prostate cancer, because such studies don't prove the mechanism through which risk is reduced,' says Dr Geoffrey Hackett, consultant urologist at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, and former chairman of the British Society for Sexual Medicine. 'But many men who maintain a regular sex life are also likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of regular exercise and a better diet. That's likely playing a bigger part in their prostate cancer risk reduction.' Bones 'Testosterone levels have been found to increase during and after sex,' says GP Dr Sarah Brewer. 'This may provide some protection against male osteoporosis.' Sexual activity can also protect you against other unwanted changes. Some scientists have linked low levels of sexual activity to structural changes in the penis or testicles which appear to reduce them in size. 'We know that men who don't have regular ejaculations or sexual intercourse have lower levels of testosterone,' says Professor Pierre Bouloux, consultant endocrinologist at University College London and the Royal Free Hospital. And if your testosterone levels fall and you don't get erections, there is some evidence that the penile tissues can lose some of their elasticity, which in turn could make them appear smaller.

Mood-lift: The neurotransmitter serotonin is the body's key anti-depressant and a major reason people smile after sex Mood The evidence suggests that the 'feelgood' effect of making love could be more about chemicals than sexual ability. 'During lovemaking and orgasm, a cocktail of endorphins (the body's natural mood-lifting opiates), neurotransmitters and hormones are released,' says Professor Nadir Farid, consultant endocrinologist and founder of the London Endocrine Clinic. 'Oxytocin, in particular, is a hormone released during and after sex that has been shown to make people more generous towards their partners and can also help induce calm and sleep,' he adds. Oxytocin is called the 'cuddling' hormone because it's released after just 20 minutes of hugging. Women produce four times as much as men, for whom production is inhibited by the prevalence of the hormone testosterone, which drives libido. Another key neurotransmitter is serotonin, says Professor Farid. 'Serotonin is the body's key antidepressant chemical and one of the major reasons people smile and feel happy and relaxed after sex.' Sexually active women in longterm relationships were less likely to be depressed than women who went without sex, according to a study of nearly 300 women by American psychologist Gordon Gallup and published in the Archives Of Sexual Behaviour. Gallup speculated that semen contains several hormones which may have a mood-boosting effect when they are absorbed through the vaginal wall into the bloodstream.

Immunity -Having more sex might increase immunity from colds and flu. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of immunoglobulin A, or IgA, a substance found in saliva and the nasal lining thought to help our immune systems fight colds and flu. In one study, scientists asked 11 volunteers how often they had had sex over the previous month, then measured levels of IgA in their saliva. Those who had sex once a week or less had a slight increase, compared with those who abstained; but those who made love more often had 30 per cent higher levels. Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre and Healthcare Clinical Trials at Cardiff School of Biosciences, is not convinced, though, that sex itself is the key. It's known that stress and anxiety can also make IgA levels go down, so according to Professor Eccles any connection between sex and colds may be related to other factors.

Cold cure? -Having more sex might increase immunity from colds and flu. Longevity One of the largest studies on longevity and sex - conducted on Welsh men - found that those who had sex less than once a month had double the risk of dying prematurely than those who had sex twice a week. 'Sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men's health,' says GP Dr Sarah Brewer. 'This may be linked with the effects of the master sex hormone, DHEA or dehydroepiandroterone, which is made in the adrenal glands and functions as a building block of other hormones such as oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone. 'DHEA levels rise just before orgasm and ejaculation to three times higher than normal, and some claim this is how regular sex can prolong your life.'

Fertility- For people trying to conceive, one of the biggest myths associated with fertility is that refraining from ejaculation boosts sperm mobility - the rate at which individual sperm can move forwards to penetrate an egg for fertilisation, says gynaecologist Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midlands Fertility Services. 'When sperm is hanging around in the epididymis, the long coiled tube in the back of the testes where sperm is stored, it dies off rapidly,' she says. 'Unless a man has a low sperm count, the more often he has sex, then the better the quality of his sperm.' Preliminary results of a small study two years ago, by Australian researchers, found that in men whose sperm showed significant DNA damage, daily ejaculation reduced this damage by 12 per cent. 'When it comes to sex for fertility, having sex little and often - at least every other night - is far better than lots of it on infrequent occasions.'

Well I guess you know what you need to do to stay healthy:)

What To Buy And Not Buy When Going Organic!! Save Money With These Tips!

I will be the first to admit that I love to spend money. I love to shop and buying healthy organic food is no exception (who knew grocery shopping could be so fun-but hey it IS shopping). Unfortunately, I have to be on a budget in all areas and this includes my organic food choices. I looked around and found some helpful information on which are the top foods to buy organic if you are like me and on a budget ( I hate the word budget). Here we go-

Top Foods To Buy Organic-Worth The Money

**Peaches-In some studies, they’ve had up to 10 times as much pesticide on them as other fruits and vegetables.

**Apples-Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. Doesn't sound good.

**Strawberries-Strawberries receive a dose of up to 500 pounds of pesticides per acre.Straw-berries and other produce bought out-of-season are the most likely to have been imported, possibly from a country with less-stringent pesticide regulations.

**Milk-While milk is a natural product, all the antibiotics and hormones that go into high-yield cows most certainly aren’t. Some studies on supplements like recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) used in conventional milk production have suggested links to early puberty and other hormonal abnormalities. Danish studies have shown that not only does organic milk have less of the bad stuff, it has more of the good stuff. Specifically, organic milk has higher levels of vitamin E, omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Did you know that Europe has banned U.S. Milk? I also make sure to buy organic cheese, yogurt and all dairy products when possible.

**Meat-. Contrary to a widely reported "fact," meat typically contains less pesticide residue than plant-based foods, according to Debra Edwards, the director of EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs. That said, raising animals with conventional modern methods often means using hormones to speed up growth, antibiotics to resist disease and pesticides to grow the grain fed to the animals (plus I think modern methods promote cruelty to animals-had to get that in there). As the EPA puts it in an Ag 101 feature, "Antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones are organic compounds which are used in animal feeding operations and may pose risks if they enter the environment." Consumers looking to avoid meats raised with these substances can seek out certified organic meat. To meet USDA standards, this meat can come only from animals fed organic feed and given no hormones or antibiotics.

**Coffee-Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries where pesticides and chemicals are not regulated. Look for the fair trade certified organic label on your coffee for assurance.

**Eggs-Though they are a terrific source of protein, most eggs are produced using a range of antibiotics and hormones on the chickens that bear them. Given this, the health gains of eating organic eggs are similar to those of drinking organic milk. Essentially, organic eggs mean fewer hormones in the chicken and fewer foreign hormones (or chemicals acting as hormones) in your body.

**Celery, Grapes and Sweet Bell Peppers-Peppers and grapes have thin skins and celery none which creates little and no barrier to pesticides.

**Potatoes-Chlorothalonil, often used on potatoes, can be particularly harmful to children. In Canada, potatoes have been linked to high rates of asthma and asthma-related deaths in farming communities.

Spinach-Leafy greens are often contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food.

Save Some Money And Probably Don't Need To Buy These Foods Organic-

**Frozen sweet peas
**Frozen corn
Levels of pesticides are low even in conventional versions of these.
Now you are armed and ready to save money and go do some organic shopping!

Be A Hero And Go Organic!!!! Benefits Of Going Organic!

In recent years there has been alot of buzz about going organic. I try to buy as many organic products as I can afford (tomorrow I will write about going organic on a budget) 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.

**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!

** 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 found some additional information on which foods you should purchase if you are on a budget and can only choose a few organic items and I will put that in tomorrow's post. So, if you are like me and have to pick and choose you will know which ones are more important than others as far as organic goes. I also support my local farmers market which is a great way to buy produce at a reasonable price. So, please check back over the next few days and check out organics on a budget.

Stare At Those Cookies and Cakes and You Might Eat Healthier???/

Alright I am sorry, sorry, sorry! It has been two weeks and one week with no computer and then this week just so busy that I have not been up on my blogging, commenting and dropping. I have got to get back in the groove and I will soon. I did see this article in the www.dailymail.co.uk and loved it. I want this to work for me but I am not so sure as when I see chocolate I obsess over it until I devour it. What do you think?

By: Fiona Macrae

“Have your cake... and avoid it: The sight of treats encourages healthy eating
Women who want to lose weight can have their cake – as long as they don’t eat it, scientists believe.
A study found that showing weight-conscious women pictures of sweet treats strengthens their resolve to eat healthily.
The finding suggests that glossy adverts designed to make cakes, chocolate and desserts irresistible may actually have the opposite effect.
It also means that the secret to losing weight could be as simple as decorating your fridge door with pictures of forbidden tasty treats.

Dutch psychologists asked 54 female students to look at a picture of either a slice of chocolate cake or a flower under the guise of a memory test.
The Utrecht University researchers then questioned the students about any plans to eat more healthily before offering them a choice between a chocolate or oatmeal cookie.
Women shown the cake picture made healthy eating a higher priority than those shown the flower.
They were also significantly more likely to pick the healthier option of the oatmeal cookie, New Scientist reports.
Researcher Floor Kroese said feelings of guilt may help strengthen resolve against temptation.
She said: ‘Food temptations do not always trigger indulgence.
‘It seems that seeing a food temptation reminded people of their goal to watch their weight and helped them act accordingly.’
She said that sticking pictures of tempting foods on the fridge door may help to bring weight-watching goals to mind.
But pictures pinned up should be of the dieter’s favourite forbidden treat, as anything less could backfire and lead to a raid on the biscuit tin.
Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioural studies at the University of Chicago, agreed that looking at pictures of cakes and other sweet treats could benefit slimmers.
‘In moderation, this positive impact of food temptations will overcome the negative impact – the urge to indulge,’ she said.

Previous research has suggested that it is possible to eat chocolate and lose weight, as long as it is early in the day.
Women who ate a big breakfast, complete with a generous slab of chocolate, lost more weight than those who started the day with a small breakfast.
They were also less likely to pile the pounds back on.
The researchers said starting the day with a sweet treat could curb later cravings for calorie-rich foods. “

10 Simple and Easy Ways To Help You Lose Weight-You Can Do This!

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.

Forever Young-Simple Tips To Keep You Youthful And Less Wrinkles Too!!!!

I am always up for new ways to stay youthful so here are a couple tips I found in my Self magazine that are quite simple to embrace with lasting and great results! Short and sweet too!

Add some fiber to your diet-By adding 10 grams of cholesterol slashing fiber (think black beans and pears) to your diet you may reduce the risk of coronary death by 17 percent according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C-According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who ate the most Vitamin C were 11 percent less likely to to look wrinkly than those who got the least. Vitamin C’s role in creating collagen and its antioxidant powers may deliver the soothing benefits. Try some oranges or strawberries!

One More Reason To Love Your Pet Even More-Your Health!

This has to be one of my favorite posts as I love animals so much !

If you ever have had or currently are lucky enough to be a guardian of a pet ,you probably understand the wonderful calming affect a pet can have on you (unless you come home and find your chair and love seat completely eaten like I have in the past-it can be a bit stressful). After a long day there is nothing better than relaxing with my dogs and cats. Just their presence is calming to me and if I am really upset there is nothing that can calm me down better than a few minutes of snuggling with my cat Baby Jaap. I could not imagine a life without animals as their humorous antics, intriguing habits and unconditional love make my life so complete and
enjoyable. Don't just take my word for it-read on.

Health Benefits Of Having A Pet

**More and more studies are beginning to show evidence that children who live in homes with animals that have fur (cat, dog, guinea pig,etc) and large animals are less at risk for allergies, eczema (skin rash condition) and asthma. There is also some discussion that children in those homes may have stronger immune system activation.

**Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.

**People with pets actually make fewer doctor visits, especially for non-serious medical conditions.

**Pets help fight depression and loneliness-The antics of animals at play keep you lighthearted. The presence of a dog prompts the daily walk you otherwise might postpone. Having a cat means regular exposure to contented purring, with its guaranteed-to-be calming effect on your psyche. Furry critters encourage life-critical social interactions and feeding and grooming routines offer structure and purpose to a life lived alone. More here.

**Pets can help lower your blood pressure-Dr. Karen Allen, a researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, showed that people with hypertension who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did those who did not own a pet.

**Dr. Meredith Wells, an assistant professor of psychology at Eastern Kentucky University, surveyed businesses that allow pets in the workplace and found that employees believe that the animals reduce stress and improve their mental and physical health. More here.

**Pets promote social interaction, decrease the feeling of loneliness and isolation, and increase morale and optimism.

**Pets satisfy the need for touch and to be touched, and give nonjudgmental warmth and affection.

**Pets encourage playfulness, exercise, and laughter.

I would like to also point out that a pet is a responsibility and getting one is not to be taken lightly. Taking care of an animal is a lifelong commitment so if you are not in it for the long haul I do not recommend a pet for you (animal shelters are full of wonderful abandoned pets so please be responsible). If you are looking for a pet I highly recommend adopting one from an animal shelter. All my animals are from shelters (or they just showed up) and I really believe that they know you saved them. Shelter pets are wonderful and you save a life. Go hug your pet-you'll feel better!

No more stinky litterboxes with…….GREEN TEA!

I have a full post coming up but this ridiculous cough, throat and now chest thing is being very stubborn and rude and is hanging on so I have been still not feeling well and not up to all my usual blogging, commenting, dropping, etc so I do apologize. It has been almost 2 weeks with this sickness so I imagine I will have to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic (I only go to the doctor if I am half dead ) so that I can get rid of this and back on my feet. I promise to get back to all the great blogs that I read and drop on asap!

In the meantime, since I am on a green tea kick and have cats I found the below information really great and since I know a lot of you have cats as well you might find this helpful!

No more stinky litterboxes with…….GREEN TEA!

I tried this and it worked!!! Joy, joy, joy! Even though we have a cat door at our house and the litterbox is in the basement I still hate the smell! All you need to do is take the tea leaves from your cup of green tea (yes, I am sure you all drink green tea everyday because it is so healthy for you), let them dry and then sprinkle on the litter. The catechin in the herb has antibacterial properties to kill any odor and the scent deters fleas. This is the same way that green tea deters bad breath!! Love it! I am drinking green tea right now and just can’t get over all the great things about it!! Give it a shot and let me know!

Tea, Tea Your The One For Me! Health Benefits of Tea!

Hi everyone! I am pulling this from my archives since I love tea so much and right now am losing my voice with a sore throat so tea sounds delicious. Will be back with a new post soon!

Have a cup of tea-you may live longer and be protecting yourself from an array of ailments. The antioxidants in tea appear to improve concentration, gently boost energy, make people happier, lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health and help guard against some cancers. And some experts believe its flavenoids may inhibit the growth of plaque on teeth (less visits to the dentist). The free radical-inhibiting property of tea is more potent than that of vitamin E, and tea is a proven preventive and treatment for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The polyphenols in tea, especially the catechins, are powerful antioxidants that help ward off diabetes and cancer. I find that drinking tea can be both soothing (nothing like a nice cup of hot tea in the evening) and invigorating (delicious ice tea with all natural Stevia sweetener).

Tea Tidbits

**Slim Down With Tea-As a weight loss tool, tea is a wonderfully cleansing way to flush the system, replace fluids - and pump the body full of powerful antioxidants at the same time. Aside from the health benefits, tea is a zero-calorie beverage, making it your best choice for weight loss. Tea, especially green tea, have been known to speed up fat oxidation and increase the metabolic rate. Along with caffeine, the catechin polyphenols present in tea helps speed up the rate at which calories are burnt, thereby increasing substantially the energy consumed.

**Heart Health- People who consume three or more cups of tea a day have an 11 percent lower rate of heart attacks than those who drink less, according to a study presented to the American College of Cardiology. Other studies suggest that tea may also reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and repair blood-vessel damage in heart patients.

**Green Tea- is famous for its calming effect on both body and mind. Studies have shown that this calming effect is caused by the L- Theanine amino acid found in the leaves of green tea. L-Theanine affects the central nerve system, causing certain substances to be released which cause a sense of euphoria, optimism and serenity while neutralizing the vigor which accompanies the consumption of caffeine in tea.

**Caffeinated Teas -may help to prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, as well as boosting the immune system.

**Brewed Teas are Best-To achieve the greatest health benefits, drink tea brewed from loose leaves or teabags. The longer the tea is steeped, the more antioxidants it will provide (though the caffeine content will also rise with steeping time). Tea should be allowed to steep for at least 3-5 minutes so that the majority of its antioxidants will be released. Iced teas made from brewed tea leaves are as high in antioxidants as hot teas. Iced teas should be kept in sealed containers and refrigerated. Powdered teas are not as high in antioxidants and thus will not offer the same health benefits. Most bottled teas consist predominantly of sugar and water and are not a good source of antioxidants.

**Herbal Teas-Herbal teas do not offer the same benefits as black, red, green and white caffeinated teas, but they can provide a number of other health benefits.

**Tea provides about 22% of the total intake of flavonoids in the U.S. diet, almost as much as fruits (28%) and vegetables (26%).

**Green tea catechins have been shown to protect the liver against toxins such as alcohol and cigarette smoke.

Tea is delicious and calorie-free to boot! I think I will go and have a glass now. Why don't you!

A Couple of Wonderful Awards!!!

I am so lucky and really excited today because two really fantastic bloggers were kind enough to think of me and pass on some fantastic awards! Dori who writes From A Yellow House In England passed on the Neno Award to me and TR Hughes from A Guide To Life For Women passed on the Best Blog Award. These are two fantastic blogs and both are very interesting, fun and terrific to stop by. I hope that you will stop by and visit these two wonderful blogs!!

Here are the rules:

The Neno Award is given to "those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging, and to help others seek the reasons why we all love blogging." Here are the steps with this award:- Upload the image in your post- Mention the person that gives you the award with their blog link- Nominate your 5 blogs of choice with blog name and link- Leave comment on the recipients' posts to let them know. Here are my picks:

The Best Blog Award rules are:

1) To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

For this award I was going to pick 15 but I started and found I had way, way, way too many so decided to stop and pass this on to all of you great readers, droppers and commenter's. Feel free to post this award!!

Please do not feel the need to participate if it is not your thing but just bask in the glory of being awarded:)

I encourage you all to stop by and visit all these wonderful super blogs!


Blues Busting Foods! No More Grumpy, Cranky Days For You With These Healthy Foods!

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.
- 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- 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 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!

Your Diet Doesn’t Have To Be A Riot-Healthy Tips To A Trim Tummy And Slimmer You!!

I know it takes some effort but really with a little determination and following some of the below guidelines you can find yourself on the road to a slimmer you. I am taking this one step further and am about to start a 90 day fitness program created by the most brilliant health/fitness person I have encountered, Christopher Warden so I am with you all in the ongoing struggle to look and feel our best. For now I am providing you with these tips but in the upcoming weeks I will be posting about my 90 day health and fitness program (including a 30 day detox of no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, starchy carbs or dairy-whole foods only-God help me survive those 30 days without chocolate and diet Pepsi). Hope these can help you feel great in your swimsuit/bikini!

-Never ever, and I mean ever skip breakfast-“When you wake up hungry and skip breakfast,Leptin levels can change encouraging the body to hold onto body fat” (Paul Byrne fitness). I recommend a high protein low carb breakfast such as plain yogurt with fresh berries and nuts.

-Start Cooking veggies if you want a less bloated Stomach (who doesn’t???)-Cooked veggies cause less stomach swelling than their raw counterparts. Beware of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage which can cause bloating.

Keep Protein lean, lean, lean so you are a lean machine-Protein that is fatty or fried delays stomach emptying, and beans cause tummy inflation. But filling protein such as fish, skinless chicken, tofu and lean red meat does not do either.

Eat less later in the day-“As the day goes on, reserves of carbohydrates in the muscle called muscle glycogen tend to fill up. As glycogen's stores approach “full” the body tends to become more efficient at storing food, especially carbs, into body fat.” (Paul Byre of Paul Byrne fitness)

Monkeys have the right idea!-Have a banana, orange or some delicious cantaloupe as these are high in potassium which help flush excess sodium from the body, flattening the tummy.

Fiber, fiber and even more fiber-Fiber acts as a natural detoxicant for the body and helps regulate the digestive system.

Basic keys to losing weight and staying slim are in a nutshell-drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day (or half your body weight-ex-100lb person should drink at least 50 ounces of water a day), eat several small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism revved. Lean protein, dark greens and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts) help fill the body up with minimal calories. The more refined carbs, sugar, sodium, fried foods, alcohol and carbonated and caloric beverages cut out of your diet the better!

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.

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.

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.

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:)

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!

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!!!!!

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

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

MMMMM-What Do These Delicious Foods Have In Common? The Boost Your Immunity!

AS you read this I am not in Kansas City but rather out of town on a mystery trip!! Hmmmmm…..I wonder where I could have gone? Such a mystery (lol)-really just off with some old girlfriends having a couple days to reminisce about the good ol’ days and have fun in the present. While I am off jaunting through the country I thought I would leave you with some great foods to help you boost your immunity. I found this from the celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti on Yahoo and thought how easy these would be to incorporate into your diet if they are already not in your diet. I

Immune strength is highly related to food intake you know so here are a few of the best foods to help protect ourselves from illness.

Green Tea-Where do I begin? I love green tea and can never seem to have enough of it-if I were a drink I would want to be green tea (okay maybe a diet Pepsi but that is not healthy so therefore exempt, right?). Green tea is a rich source of a type of antioxidant known as a catechin. The catechin in green tea called Epigallo Catechin Gallate (EGCG) has been shown to increase a specific type of immune cell. EGCG in green tea has been shown to slow the spread of flu virus in multiple studies. Another healthy component of green tea is L-theanine, which is thought to improve immune response, according to a study done at Harvard.

Carrots-Who doesn’t love to crunch on delicious carrots? Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene which is a powerful immune booster that actually strengthens defenses against both bacterial and viral infections. Studies show that the more beta-carotene consumed, the greater the increase in protective immune cells, including those natural killer cells. Mangoes, papaya, oranges, melons and green leafy vegetables are also great sources of beta-carotene.

MMMMMMM-Mushrooms-White button mushrooms, which represent 90% of the mushrooms consumed in the U.S., enhances natural killer cells therefore promoting immunity. I love mushrooms sautéed as well as in a delicious salad-load up!

Blackberries, Blueberries, Pom Juice-Some of the best superfoods out there chocked full of immune-boosting antioxidants. Antioxidants protect and repair cells damaged by free radicals, making you better able to ward off infections and flu. Make sure the Pomegranate juice you choose is not full of juice fillers and sugar and to eat your berries raw and fresh rather than cooked.

Yogurt-When consumed, probiotics, the good live bacteria in yogurt and other bacteria fortified products, go to the digestive tract-the place where 70%-80% of our immune cells reside. When germs enter through the mouth they will be warded off when the good and healthful bacteria are encountered. On this note I would also like to say a plain organic yogurt (not loaded with sugar) topped with delicious berries is one of my favorite and highly recommended treats.

See how easy this is!! Hopefully you will have less flu’s and colds after incorporating these delicious and nutritious foods!!!

Bon Voyage!