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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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Yuck! Gross! Spit! The shocking image of mass-produced MEAT that goes in to America's favourite treats

Yuck!!! I saw this article in the Daily Mail today and had to share it with all of you. Interesting read and I am sorry if this grosses you out as it did me but it is good to know.

"Oozing out of a meat processor, this mechanically separated chicken doesn’t look in the least bit appetizing.

It may taste something like meat - but it certainly doesn’t look like it here.

Yet meat like that in this image - which first emerged on the blog Fooducate - will end up as the main ingredient in many of America’s favourite foods and snacks.

Hot dogs, salami, bologna, pepperoni, jerkys and chicken nuggets are just a few of the mass-produced and processed treats made using Advanced Meat Recovery

Is it strawberry ice cream? No - this is 'mechanically separated chicken' - one of the main ingredients in many American snacks. The undated picture charts the common process many American treats go through

It’s a way of scraping the very last scraps to leave chicken or pig bones 100 per cent clean of meat by smashing them up and pressing them through a high pressure sieve.

And it’s not just the bones. The eyes, and guts are also put through the meat wringer.

Not just white meat: The paste that is formed during the process goes into many treats - like chicken nuggets

The chunks are pressed between rotating cylinders, leaving the meat on one side and the bone and connective tissues on the other.

After the bacteria is killed off and artificial flavours and colouring is added to make it more palatable, some of the world’s biggest food manufacturers use the resulting paste to make some of your household favourites.

In 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service banned beef from being processed this way because of fears it could spread Mad Cow Disease.

But mechanically separated chicken and pork are still safe to eat, says the health watchdogs, who nevertheless require them to be labeled appropriately.

Vegan author Dr Michael Greger told Wired.com that meat processors ‘have showed over the past decade that they’re incapable of following the guidelines set for them and I’m afraid that because we’re not going to have adequate enforcement, it would be better to not have the technology at all.’

But Harold Hodges, vice president of product quality for BFD, America’s leading meat recovery machine retailer, insisted that no food safety issue had ever been linked to AMR.

‘There’s never been a recall due to AMR. It’s a source of high-quality lean meat that is worth several hundreds of millions of dollars,’ he said."

I am just glad I am a vegetarian and try to watch what I eat. However this article goes to show that you never know what may be in any of your food!!!

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1317783/Hungry-You-wont--The-shocking-image-mass-produced-MEAT-goes-Americas-favourite-treats.html##ixzz11UuXNO6i

Say What??? Try Some Salmon and Improve Your Hearing!

Today at lunch I was sitting with Elvis and Deanna and for the life of me could not grasp the conversation because I could only hear bits and pieces due to being outside, lots of people and possibly not enough Salmon in my diet. LOL. Really, it was quite funny because everything they would say to me I would have to repeat back and ask if that was what they said. It was hysterical because the ridiculous turn the conversation took but frustrating because I could not hear at all and had no idea what we were talking about. That brought to mind the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that shows that eating two weekly 4- oz servings of salmon or any other fatty fish (including tuna and mackerel) makes you 42% less likely to suffer hearing loss than those who eat fewer than one serving per week. The omega-3 fatty acids improve blood flow to the cochlea-a fluid-filled spiral shaped part of the inner ear that enables you to hear-this helps keep it in tip-top shape. This is a simple and easy way to help your hearing and eat well at the same time.

Being a strict vegetarian I do not eat fish but do try to have flax seed oil, walnuts and flax seeds that I sprinkle on just about everything that help with my omega-3’s. So whether you are a vegetarian or you like your fish you can get your omega-3 fatty acids and hopefully hear better!

Source: Woman’s World

Boost Your Immunity, Memory, LowerHeart Disease Risks In Unusual Ways!!!

 Boost Your Immunity, Memory, Heart Disease Risks In Unusual Ways!!

I just love finding fun, quirky and easy (easy being the key word here) ways to super charge my health!! I found these fun ideas in my Woman’s World magazine (which was one of those weird spontaneous buys-but glad I did) and I have begun giving them a shot with great benefits! Take a look, you may find that these could work for you too!

EASY Ways To Rev Up Your Health!!!

-2 eggs a day will melt your belly fat away-In a study women who ate 2 eggs a day lost twice as much weight and 83% more belly fat than women who ate the same number of calories in the form of bagels.

-Butter, butter I love you!-Adding butter to your diet can cut your levels of artery-clogging triglycerides 51% plus lift your artery-clearing HDL (good cholesterol), a combo that reduces your heart disease risk by 25% or according to a study at The University of Connecticut. A little bit of butter goes a long way so don’t overdo it and watch what you are putting it on but vegetables, and high fiber foods is a good bet. Also keep in mind that butter works as a great appetite suppressant!

-See a sneezer, sniffler? Look at them- Now this is odd but hey if it works then why not! New research shows that simply glancing at someone who is sneezing or sniffling stimulates your own immune system to seek out and destroy germs! Apparently when you have contact with someone who is sick there is a chance that you can catch these germs so our bodies launch an offensive attack to reduce the risk! Our bodies are really clever!!!!! I hope that I don’t take this too much too heart and start staring at all the sick people.

-Espresso your stomach pain away-This sounds much better than any kind of medicine or pills. Darker brews of coffee deliver double the amount of N-methylpyridium-an acid reducing compound-than milder brews.

Want to remember your age try some sage!-Memory with herbs- Taking a single dose of sage extract (at health food stores) INSTANTLY sharpens your memory, helping you recall names, places and other facts 11 times for accurately for at least two hours, according to a new study. It is said that it even helps improve brain function for those with major memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease. Tip-Twice daily, mix 28 drops of sage extract in a glass of water or sip two cups a day of sage tea.

I tried the sage tea and love it. I have also been staring at my friend Donna who is sniffling so I must say I have an improved memory and my body is hopefully launching an offensive attack on Donna’s germs so I stay healthy. LOL.

Aint No Stopping Me Now! 2 Months Later And I Am Back!!!

I am back and those three words are like heaven to me!!! I have missed blogging and my wonderful readers and blogging friends more than I can say!!! I am going to put it out there and be honest and let you all know that I had a bit of a problem with an unstable person stalking me more or less. I thought maybe if I went away they would go away but apparently not so I am not lying low anymore!!! Don't worry about me as I am tough and I have the police involved but I was tired of letting this person terrorize me to the point of me giving up some of the things I love the most-this blog and all of you who read it!!

I have so many posts that I have written (from coffee grounds to fight cellulite to citrus smells to get your kids to help around the house-lol) and not published just waiting for when I felt safe to come back. I cannot wait to start reading all your posts and commenting and posting here!!!!

Thanks to all who have supported me (Regina, Marie, Mike, Dori, and Shae Shae and all the others!) while I was on this hiatus!!


Fight The Fat And Get That Tummy Flat! Avoid These Foods For a Slim Line Stomach!

Tummybusters-Foods To Avoid If You Want A Flat Stomach

It is summertime and we all know what that means!!! Time to head out to the pool and put on that swimsuit!!! In light of that I decided to do a tummy post so we can all feel a little better when in the dreaded swimsuit.

Below is a list of foods that are known flat tummy busters and when I read this I realized that as hard as I try I am still making some big food mistakes. I am guilty for sure of the chewing gum, salt, tea and raw foods. Check this out and see if perhaps some of these foods are in your diet and sabotaging your best efforts for that flat tummy.


Bulky Raw foods- Lightly cooked vegetables offer much the same nutritional benefits as the raw version, however cooked vegetables take up much less room in gastrointestinal (GI) tract as the raw vegetables.

Gassy Foods-Avoid beans, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers and citrus fruits as these will bloat up your stomach.

Fizzy Drinks-Okay, I love fizzy drinks-love them but think of where all the bubbles go? That’s right straight into your belly.

Fried Foods-Fatty foods, especially the fried ones, are digested more slowly, causing you to feel heavy and bloated.

Chewing Gum- As you chew gum, you swallow air which gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating and belly expansion.
Salt-Water is attracted to sodium, which is why when you eat foods with a lot of sodium (salty foods), you’ll temporarily retain more fluid which gives you a puffy appearance and a sluggish feeling.

Sugar Alcohols
-These are sugar substitutes (called xylitol or malitol) that are generally found in products such as low-calorie or low carb cookies, sweets and energy bars. Like fiber, your GI tract can’t absorb most of them. They can cause abdominal distention and bloating.

Spicy Foods-Foods that have black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, hot sauces, onions, garlic, mustard, hot peppers, barbecue sauce, horseradish, ketchup (I despise ketchup), tomato sauce or vinegar can all stimulate the release of stomach acid which can cause gut irritation and bloating.

Excess Carbs-As a back-up energy source, your muscles store a type of carbohydrate called glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3g of water. Your body doesn’t need all the stockpiled fuel unless you plan to hike Mount Everest tomorrow. Decrease your intake of high-carb foods such as pasta, bananas, and bread to temporarily train your body to access this stored fuel and burn it off.

Alcohol, Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, And Acidic Fruit Juices-Each of these can irritate your GI tract and cause swelling.


Enough Vitamin D and You will Be Feeling Happy!!

The benefits of vitamin D (often known as the sunshine vitamin) keep surprising researchers as the list of benefits from it keep showing themselves. Just take a look below at all the benfits your body can reap from a little of the sunshine vitamin.

10 Great Reasons To Get Your Vitamin D
1. Brain- Cuts stroke risk-may help prevent depression
2. Eyes-Lowers risk of macular degeneration
3. Mouth-Decreases risk of gum disease
4. Heart-Lowers chances of cardiovascular disease
5. Lungs-May reduce lung cancer risk
6. Breast-Cuts chances or breast cancer
7. Back-Lessens likelihood of chronic pain
8. Legs-Fights age-related weakness
9. Calves-Lowers risk of blocked leg arteries
10. Bones-Strengthens

Vitamin D Rich Foods
Wild salmon 3 oz = 420 IU
Atlantic mackerel 3 oz = 320 IU
Sardines 1 can = 250 IU
Shrimp 3 oz = 150 IU
Skim and 1% low-fat milk 1 cup = 100 IUS
Shittake mushrooms 4 items = 260 IU
Fortified yogurts like Dannon Light & Fit 1 cup = 80 IU
Fortified cereals:Multigrain Cheerios 1 cup = 40 IU; Post Bran Flakes 1 cup = 40 IU; Kashi Vive 1¼ cup = 80

Now with all these benefits I can understand why my cats love to find a place in the nice warm sun and curl up. Keep in mind that current U.S. guidelines recommend for 200-600 IU of D per day (depending on age) but many experts recommend at least 1,000 IU of D per day. So, by eating vitamin D rich foods, taking a vitamin D supplement or whole food multi (that is what I do-see pops in the upper left hand corner) and getting 15 minutes of sun on your hands a few times a week you will be all set!

Source-December 2008 Good Housekeeping

Send Fat To Bat And Rev Up Your Metabolism With These Tips!!!

Metabolism, metabolism, metabolism. That one word has always been a mystery to me. Apparently I have a good metabolism (at least that is what my mother has always told me and I am not one to argue with her) and to tell you the truth I was never to sure what having a good metabolism entailed just was glad that I did (based upon serious looks my mother made when talking of metabolism ). One of my friends who is forever on a diet will tell you that she has a terrible metabolism and can never lose weight because of her metabolism (of course she always mentions this while eating several cookies at once). I decided to delve into the metabolism mystery and find some tips to help you speed up your metabolism whether you think you have a good one or a bad one.

When you have a high metabolic rate this increases the amount of calories, or energy, the body burns on a daily basis. Without optimal metabolism the body will store excess calories as fat for future use. The problem for many people is they don’t ever use these excess calories and as a result struggle with weight issues ( not fun).

Vavavoom Your Metabolism

**Eat Spicy Foods- Have you ever noticed that when you swallow that really hot jalapeno that you start to sweat and feel a little hot (I have on many occasions)? Great news! You are speeding up your metabolism. Add some red pepper, or jalapenos to your favorite dish to get going. Mexican and Thai are great choices for this.

**Eat Breakfast-Believe it or not, it may be the most important meal of the day as far as metabolism (and weight loss) is concerned. People who eat breakfast lose more weight than breakfast skippers do, according to studies. Breakfast gives your metabolism a boost and provides a consistent energy supply throughout the day. Christopher, a New York City fitness expert and my online personal trainer is constantly stressing this to me!
**Eat Lots Of Small Meals Throughout The Day-If you can eat 5-6 small meals (try not to go for more than 4 hours without eating) this will keep your metabolism running great. I have also found this to be helpful so that I do not overeat. I never really feel hungry.

**Drink Green Tea-Studies have found that green tea extract actually increases metabolism. 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 too. Sounds like a win win idea to me.
**Avoid Stress
-Too much physical or emotional stress causes our bodies to release a steroid called cortisol that actually slows down our metabolism and can cause weight gain, especially around your stomach area.
**Eat Protein-
You should make sure that 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories come from protein. The amino acids in protein make it harder for your body to break down than carbs and fats so you burn more calories. This does not mean you have to eat a lot of meat (if you do eat meat I think the organic grass fed is best). I am a vegetarian and eat a lot of eggs (thank you Christopher),nuts, cheeses and other low fat dairy to get in my protein.

**Get Plenty Of Sleep-Studies show that people who don’t get seven to eight hours a night of sleep are more prone to weight gain. I have heard that the first 4 hours of sleep help with brain repair and the last 4 hours help with body repair (this is just a rumor but comes from a reliable source).
**Stay Away From Sugar- Honestly, this has to be my least favorite as I love, love, love sweets! Unfortunately, sugar throws our metabolic rate into fat storage mode (that just sounds awful).

Isn't this terrific! These are really not tough tips to include in our daily lives (although I do struggle with the sugar one) so that we can burn calories more efficiently and speed up the ever mysterious metabolism (what does a metabolism look like? anything?).

Veggie Juice For A Weight Loss Boost!

Veggie Juice For A Weight Loss Boost!

Okay, this is one that I can actually do without too much trouble!!! In a recent study the Baylor College of Medicine scientists studied 81 overweight adults who were following the DASH diet (rich in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats). They found that the participants that had a daily eight-ounce glass of low sodium veggie juice lost an average of four pounds in 12 weeks-while the control group lost only one pound. The juice, usually tomato mixed with a variety of vegetables, may fill you up so you don’t eat as much.

Now keep in mind this seemed to work on a healthy diet not how I would like to do it which would be with chocolate bars, cheetos, and nachos. If only. LOL. It sounds simple and very good for you to get some veggies in your diet!!!!

Source Jan 2010 Good Housekeeping

Kindness by Plato

Just a thought for you all as we never know what someone is going through.........

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

Have a great day!

Drink Cold Water For A Longer Workout And Burn More Calories!!!!

Drink Cold Water For A Longer Workout!!!
Here is a simple and easy trick to stretch out your workouts (I love simple tricks)! According to a British study, exercisers who drank refrigerated water (39 degrees F) worked out approximately 25% longer than those who consumed the same amount of warmer water. They also said that their sessions felt easier too!

Regardless of you working indoor or out, drinking chilled water both before and during exercise could help keep your body temperature down and your energy up for maximum calorie burn-and who doesn’t love extra calorie burn!!! Anything to make life easier!!

P.S. I am still working with my personal trainer 3 times a week and can really see the results. I am such a baby and despise going and when Andy and I have a session where I have only cussed a couple times and hit him once or twice we both consider it a splendid success. I am just not a natural at all this exercise

Ref: Prevention Magazine May 2009

Something For The Soul!

What I love about the human spirit is that at those moments when you feel the weakest you really find your strength. The soul constantly amazes me!

Never give up!


Coffee And Tea I Love You Cause You Protect Me! And MMMMMMMM You Are Dellicious!

Coffee and Tea-Have Some With ME!

Great news for all of us who enjoy their daily dose of coffee and tea!!! According to Australian researchers subjecs lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 percent for every cup of coffee they drank regardless of whether it was decaf or regular (the benefits topped out at six cups per day). And those who sipped three to four cups per day of black tea daily, reduced their diabetes risk by a whopping 25 percent!!!

The reason: plant compounds found in the beverages, such as lignans and chlorogenic acid, optimize insulin production and help keep blood sugar steady.

Source: For Women First April 2010

Wooohooooo!!! Now go and enjoy some black tea or coffee!

Also, I wish all who celebrate Easter to have a great one and to all those who don't I wish you a wonderful weekend as well!!!!

Stomach Shrinker Soak And Have An Omelet To Focus Better!

I was reading the April 2010 edition of the magazine First for Women and found these two neat and nautral fixes for a couple common problems. Both are easy and extremely doable!

Citrusy Soak A Tummy Shrinker!

Is your stomach feeling a little bloated? Heres a quick and relaxing way to help you out! Soak in a bath containing five drops of orange essential oil. The warm water will open pores while the oil draws out fat-trapping toxins!

An Omelet A Day Will Help Your Focus Stay!

Having a hard time focusing? Then you might want to start your day with a breakfast rich in tyrosine. The amino acid heightens alerness and increases multitasking ability according to researchers the University of Illinois at Chicago. Top sources of tyrosine include eggs, milk, cheese, bananas and almonds. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Love finding stuff like this that is not too difficult! Going to try the citrus soak tonight!!!

Diet And Exercise Progress Report!

Well I have been meeting with the personal trainer Andy 3 times a week now and he is really kicking my booty which is great because I always try to wriggle out of workouts. Today I told him I must be a masochist to keep coming back!!!! We are doing a lot of weights and abdominal work so far and I must confess I am a baby and it hurts to walk but I can see a difference!!!!

My diet is better too! I have been filling up on lots of water, green tea, fruits, veggies, and high fiber foods such as lentils and black beans. My clothes are finally back to fitting and I can only imagine after 12 weeks with Andy the devil trainer I will be better than ever!!! I will say this to anyone wanting to make a few changes-it is amazing how changing my diet and not eating 8 “fun size” Snickers a day is making. I am finally starting to feel better about myself again!!!

I do miss the Cheetos though-I can’t lie!

I love this poem! Need Some Inspiration? To My Dear Friend Brad!!!

This is something different for me but I wanted to share a beautiful poem by Veronica Shoffstall . I first read this when I was 15 or 16 and it really made me think. Now after so many life experiences it is invaluable to me. I hope it gives you some comfort as well!!
Love, Heidi

After a While

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learnTo build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

Chow To My Beloved Chocolate, Cheese Puffs and Diet Pepsi-Hello Apples and Water-Time To Get Back To Basics!

Hi everyone! I feel like I have been so behind at blogging lately and I really miss it and all of you! I have been working quite a bit and being very bad on my healthy eating and work out regimes. Chocolate and diet Pepsi have been frequent visitors to my taste buds and the chair has been my jogging path.

My clothes are getting tight (uh oh) and my booty is getting big (even worse-lol). Bad Health Nut Wannabee Mom!! Okay so what am I going to do about it???? Well I considered throwing myself in a snow drift and crying and crying but that really won't help soooooo I am going back to the basics-what always has and always does work for me. I am going back to lots of water and green tea, plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy grains. I am even meeting with a personal trainer on Thursday to work my bigger than usual booty into shape again. Where I work is very into health and fitness so they have an offer that they will reimburse 70% of the personal trainer cost once you complete your 24 sessions!! That was an offer that I could not refuse and the motivation that I needed. So I guess I have to say chow to my excess chocolate and diet Pepsi and hello water and apples. I can't wait to start feeling mentally and physically better. It is easy to write this while enjoying a bowl of chocolate ice cream . I wonder how much fun I will be having eating that lettuce tomorrow-lol!
I will keep you updated and I will soon be back to commenting on all your great blogs.

Best to you all!!
P.S. I forgot to mention the cheese puffs! Now I am really starting to feel scared!
How can I live without the cheese puffs? This is going to be harder than I remember. Those bad habits can be bad to break!

Stress You Are Such A Pain In The........

Minimize Stress With These Tips

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

-Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, fats and sugar. Don’t Smoke- No fun I know but.... What you eat and drink really affects your body and by indulging in an unhealthy diet you are really just adding to the stress. I will be the first to admit that when I feel stressed I want diet Pepsi and chocolate so I need to work on this (hard, very hard).

Have an apple instead of a cookie - Another bummer but it works.....this really sounds not very appealing but if it works it is worth a shot.LOL

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

Meditate, go sit by the water, read your favorite book-Whatever it is for you that relaxes you take even 5-10 minutes a day to do this for yourself. For me there is no place like being near the ocean. It renews me!

-Learn to “let go” of things which are outside of your control. A tough one for me! I obsess over what I cannot control until ,y voice of reason says enough!

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

Hopefully you follow at least a few of these and they help with your stress levels. Good luck. Stress is such a pain in the you know where!!

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice!! Just In Time For Valentines Day-Chocolate Pros! MMMM!! Woohoo!

Just In Time For Valentines Day! Chocolate Lovers Rejoice!!!!

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

Chocolate Pros-Wooohhhoooo!!! It is good for you!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**Tastes really, really good! Chocolate Cons (I don't like any cons with chocolate but in the name of fairness....)

In Fairness (and sadness) a few Cons......

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

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

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

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

Source USAWeekend.com

Happy Valentines Day!

I Need Your Advice, Suggestions, Help!! Any Cleanses, Healthy Fasts, Diets That Have Worked For You??

I have tried many different fasts, cleanses, diets, etc throughout my life but now cannot seem to find one. Part of my problem is that I LOVE to eat so any kind of a fast or cleanse is going to have to have some kind of actual food and not just juices. I have done juicing fasts and they were harder than natural child birth for me (really, really, really). So, I have a question for all of you-What has worked for you? What have you tried that did or did not work? Any recommendations for your friend Health Nut Wannabee Mom here???? See how desperate I look in that pic!

Help! Help! Help!