Month: April 2016

Healthiest Loser 21 Day Challenge

h16I only dieted (I mean seriously dieted to lose weight) once in my life, and it was such a negative experience. I was starving all the time! I felt deprived and miserable and to make things worse, I lost maybe a pound. I look back on it now and think, “What was I thinking?” That was the problem; I wasn’t thinking. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and unhappy with the way I looked. I mindlessly reacted to my feelings and put myself on a diet.

This happened right after my first baby was born 26 years ago. I was trying to adjust to my new life situation. I was learning how to nurse my newborn which didn’t come easy for me, dealing with the fact that I had a C-section, functioning on very little sleep, and I had to say good bye to my old life (and body).

When I finally got a few hours (in a row) of sleep, I came to my senses and realized that I wasn’t helping myself by dieting. So I stopped the calorie-counting and restriction, and stepped back to re-assess. I figured out that I was overeating in general as a way to comfort myself and I was consuming way too much sugar and half-n-half in my (many) cups of decaf tea.

I decided to make a few mindful changes. I cut back on the tea and drank more water; I tried to eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full; and I started getting outside more for long walks as a way to comfort myself rather than eating. Eventually, my baby and I settled into a new routine and I was able to get back to my usual healthy way of eating. I began to feel better and gradually lost most of the baby weight. It took more time than I wanted and required a strong commitment to my health. There were bumps in the road along the way, but I stayed with it.

Even though I lost weight, my body had changed the way most women’s bodies change after child birth. I had stretch marks, scars, saggy skin, and more wrinkles than before. It was hard for me to come to terms with this, but once I made peace with my “new” look, I felt even better.

I learned these three important lessons back then and they continue to hold true today…

First lesson – diets don’t work!

Second lesson – achieving and staying at my personal best weight requires commitment and dedication.

Third (and most important) lesson – my health and well-being are so much more important than the number on the scale.

Being healthy in our fast-paced world – with all its unhealthy temptations – is quite challenging. Rather than dieting, you need to develop a skill set of healthy habits. Think of this as SKILL POWER rather than will power.

If you want to achieve your personal best weight and stay there for good, focus on eating for optimal health. Use these five skills to eat better and feel awesome. Be a HEALTHY LOSER!

1. AVOID FOODS WITH ADDED SUGAR OR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

The easiest and most basic way to immediately reduce the amount of sugar you’re consuming is to stop adding it to your foods and beverages. If you’re hooked on sweetening your cereal, coffee or tea, it’s okay to give yourself time to ease out of the habit. For example, if you typically start your day with three spoons of sugar or honey in your tea or coffee, cut back to two spoons for a week, then one spoon, and eventually sweeten your beverage with a slice of orange or a little milk. Gradually reducing the amount can make it easier to tolerate and you may be less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, and mood swings. However, if prefer the cold-turkey approach, go for it! The sooner you slash sugar from your diet, the quicker you’ll stop craving it.

To distinguish added sugars from naturally-occurring sugars in the food you eat, start by reading the ingredient lists. You’ll need to be a clever food detective since there are more than 60 different names for the sugars used in processed foods and beverages. And they’re all pretty much the same thing as far as your body is concerned – not healthy. Once you become familiar with all the different names for added sugars, go through your pantry and fridge. Get rid of everything that has any form of sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients, or if sugar is listed more than once on the ingredient list. Throw it away and don’t buy it ever again!

2. EAT MOSTLY HOME COOKED MEALS

Preparing your own food is a healthier option. Simple, wholesome, home-cooked dinners take only about ten minutes longer to prepare, on average, than serving heavily processed food, ready-made dinners, take-out, or restaurant meals. Make enough for leftovers and you’ll end up saving time.

3. EAT VEGGIES OR FRUIT WITH EVERY MEAL

Vegetables and fruit provide you with important vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have very few calories and will help fill you up at meals which supports permanent weight loss. Here are a few simple ways to do this.

For breakfast, have a veggie omelet, plain yogurt or oatmeal with sliced fruit, or an apple with nut butter. At lunch, have a big salad topped with beans or eat a half sandwich with a salad and a piece of fruit. At dinner, make sure your plate is at least 50 percent salad, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or whatever veggie you choose. This ensures that you get enough nutrients and automatically reduces the amount of fat and calories you consume (provided you don’t go crazy with fatty dressings and toppings).

4. HYDRATE WITH WATER

Humans need water to survive and be healthy. That’s a fact. Water plays an important role in weight control as well. Drinking an adequate amount of water has been shown to cause a mild increase in metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day. And if you drink water about a half hour before meals, you’ll automatically eat fewer calories. In addition, staying well hydrated will keep your hunger cues in check.

Water requirements vary depending on age, gender, body size, health status, and physical activity levels. Numerous environmental factors, such as the temperature, also influence water needs. As a general recommendation, aim for 8 – 10 cups/day. However, let your thirst be your guide. Quenching your thirst by sipping throughout the day is the best way to stay well hydrated.

Without a doubt, drinking water is the best way to hydrate your body. Making your own flavor-infused water is an easy and tasty way to liven up plain water. Start with water or seltzer and flavor it by adding fresh herbs (e.g., mint, lavender, ginger, basil), pieces of fruit (e.g., lemon, lime, orange, watermelon, berries) or even slices of cucumber.

5. DON’T SKIP MEALS

Skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and cause you to be starving later on, which can ultimately lead to overeating and making poorer choices than you would have otherwise. When you graze throughout the day instead of eating three meals, you can easily lose track of what you’ve eaten and end up consuming too many calories.

In addition, skipping meals can make it hard to get the variety of foods and nutrients you need for good health. When you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, you are likely to choose different foods at each meal, providing overall variety.

How To Implement A Manageable Workout Program After Years Of Limited Activity

h15The recipe for getting fit is actually an easy one. Eat well, workout and take good care of your body. If you have spent the last several months or years leading a sedentary lifestyle, however, getting a new diet and exercise plan off the ground can be challenging. Following are a few, simple strategies that will help you get off to a proper start.

Don’t throw yourself headlong into a workout routine that is far too advanced for your current level of fitness. Although it’s important to continually challenge yourself in order to build up your strength and endurance, pushing yourself too hard can lead to extreme post-workout soreness. It can also increase your risk of injury.

Avoid high-impact activities until you have a good feel for how your body will stand up to them. This is especially important for people who are significantly overweight. These can be very jarring on the joints and bones, particularly if the joints and bones are already bearing excess weight. Start with low-impact and non-impact activities and then gradually move on to more high-energy exercises as your body feels ready.

Always talk to your physician about adding new workouts to your exercise plan before actually engaging in them. He or she can advise you on building a workout plan that is in line with your current fitness needs and your current level of health. Your doctor can also recommend specific exercise types for helping you meet your health and weight loss goals.

Start by working out just two to three days per week and then gradually build your way up to a more robust and active plan. Structured workouts should last between 20 minutes and 45 minutes. They should also include a warm-up and a cool-down segment for preventing physical injuries.

Enlist a few friends to take part in your workout routine with you. This is a great way to keep your motivation levels high and stay on track with your new fitness routine. Working out in the gym provides a social component so that you can make new friends who are like-minded and share similar fitness goals.

Take advantage of the many opportunities that you get to engage in light exercise throughout the day. If you work in an office, find a nice park or trail nearby and take a quick stroll each day during your lunch break. Consider walking to work rather than driving or start commuting on your bike. Remember, exercise does not always have to come as part of a structured class. Anything that you do to put your body in motion will have benefits for your health and your overall fitness levels.

Improve Your Health by Avoiding These Favorite American Foods and Drinks

h14I have noticed such an improvement in my health by following an individualized diet, that I began to share health and cooking tips with others. “Eat Right for Your Type,” by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, has helped me achieve a natural health rhythm in my body by eating food that agrees with my blood type. Eating the wrong food can cause harmful chemical reactions and I wondered what foods were wrong for everyone regardless of blood type. Dr. D’Adamo ranked food items into three categories according to blood type compatible:

  1. Highly beneficial – a food that acts like a medicine
  2. Neutral – a food that acts like a food
  3. Avoid – a food that acts like a poison

Food ranked as highly beneficial should be the highlight of your diet. Food in the neutral category can be enjoyed as part of a nutritious diet and do not contain proteins that are harmful for your blood type. Food in the avoid category act like a poison causing harmful reactions with your body’s chemistry. Here is a list of common American foods and drinks everyone should avoid:

Pork, Bacon, Ham, and Goose

  • Pork, bacon, and ham are processed and contain nitrates which cause stomach cancer in people with low stomach acid. Type A’s typically have low stomach acid.
  • Most of today’s meats are shot up with fat, antibodies, and hormones.
  • It is important to consume only lean, chemical-free meat protein.

American Cheese

  • “American Cheese” refers to processed cheese slices and small and large blocks of orange, yellow, or white color. Taste and texture depend on the traditional cheese source and amount of additives.
  • Dairy products were not a staple of the human diet until much later in evolution and only Type B’s can fully enjoy a variety of dairy food.
  • Type O should completely eliminate dairy products and eggs from their diet.
  • Dairy increases mucus secretion in Type A’s and Type AB’s.

Corn, Cottonseed, Peanut, and Safflower Oils

  • Vegetable oils, corn oil and safflower oil, contain dangerous polyunsaturated fats. The food proteins in these oils cause problems in the digestive tract.
  • Olive oil and flaxseed (linseed oil) contain healthy mono-saturated fats that are good sources of nutrition and aid in digestion and elimination.
  • Olive oil and flaxseed oil are highly recommended for everyone, help reduce blood cholesterol and have positive affects on the heart and arteries.

Black Olives

  • Olives in their natural state require soaking and curing to remove bitter-tasting compounds.
  • Modern-day “processed” olives are cured with lye to remove the bitterness, then packed in salt and canned.
  • In traditional fermentation, olives are cured in oil, brine, water or salt. This variety contains healthy compounds and active cultures.

Coconuts

  • Coconuts are high in saturated fat and provide little nutritional value.
  • Type O’s are extremely sensitivity to coconut and coconut-containing products and should read food labels carefully in order to avoid them.

Black Pepper and White Pepper

  • Black pepper and white pepper cause stomach irritation in everyone.
  • History fact: In ancient times black pepper was used as a currency and offered as a gift to the gods.

Ketchup

  • Ketchup contains vinegar (acetic acid), which causes stomach lining irritation in every blood type.
  • Vinegar and tomatoes can’t be digested by Type A’s.
  • Tomatoes contain proteins lectins dangerous-B.

Distilled Liquor and Soda (Cola)

  • Some people may benefit from the positive cardiovascular effects of a daily glass of red wine, which lowers the risk of heart disease in women and men.
  • The high fructose corn syrup in sodas and colas leads to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
  • Pure, fresh water and green tea suit your digestive system and support your immune system.

This list of foods that everyone should avoid are common, American favorites. They are also highly marketed and widely available. Avoid these foods and follow an individualized diet plan. You will be able to reverse the progression of disease and improve your overall health. You will feel better and have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5 Tips to Maintain Your Health for Long

h13Health is something that will be with you for long only if you take care of it. Never neglect your health because it can determine your productivity and efficiency. With improvements in medicine, it is important to pay enough attention to health as well. Otherwise there will not be any use of this technological improvement. Below are 5 tips that can help you to safeguard your health for a long period of time.

1. Get plenty of restful and quality sleep

A minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is required for every adult. While some might require 6 hours, for others even 9 hours of sleep might not suffice. It is recommended to sleep before 12 midnight for sufficient rest as it is better than sleeping after 12.

2. Drink clean water in plenty

Water is extremely critical for your healthy functioning as it is involved with all your organs. Without sufficient water, our bodies will become a bit sluggish and also slow both on the outside as well as inside. Thus you must aim for at least 10 full glasses of water.

3. Engage in movement activity and exercise

Exercise is extremely important for the proper up keeping of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and can also help you to avoid other cardiovascular diseases. It can also increase your strength and can keep your body flexible and fit. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise is required on a daily basis.

4. Eat vegetables and fruits

You need to be creative and consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. You need to try your best to include these nutritional powerhouses in your diet and in every meal. These are full of flavor and fiber. They improve your digestion and have plenty of energy containing substances.

5. Protein content

Your diet must have a sufficient amount of protein as well. This means that there must be enough protein to fit in your physical needs as well as your lifestyle goals. You also need to decide whether you require a non- animal source or an animal source of protein or both. A minimum of 45 to 60 grams of protein is required in one day.