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Posts tagged ‘family health’

Where You Going?

In ancient times and still today in some countries  people “walk” everywhere.

There was no public transportation to speak of prior to the 1900’s, and only the wealthy owned horses, and rode in carriages.

Today we drive everywhere.  Even those without cars have public transportation.

When we actually use our legs it is usually just to walk around our home, then out to the car, then from the car to work or school, and occasionally we walk around a store.  Problem is we are not walking enough to get our heart rate up and to burn calories, so we gain weight, and become lazy and unhealthy.

To remedy this problem a new invention was made called the “treadmill”  where you can “walk” in place.  

Kind of crazy if you think about it.  Why not just go for a stroll at a park, or go hiking or jog around the block?  Our modern lifestyles have made us too busy to exercise, and though we are busy, we are still lazy!   Sound like a paradox does it?

How many people buy exercise equipment and never use them?  Come on admit it!

Why?  It is not natural!

Wouldn’t you much rather exercise with a purpose, like play ball with your kids, play sports with friends, or walk along the beach with your sweetheart?  When others are involved it is more rewarding and enjoyable.

We have so many modern conveniences today like televisions, computers, cars, washing machines, cell phones, lawn mowers, you name it!  As nice as these all are the result of modern technology is that they can lead to a lazy and unhealthy lifestyle.  I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with these things great marvels of technology, but just that we have not realized the impact they have on our lifestyles.

I know you and I never grew up without most of these things, though our parents or grandparents know what it was like.  We can’t turn back time, and I really wouldn’t want to anyway, would you?  I know I’m not too fond of hand washing all my clothes, though I did try it when I lived in Asia (with no hot water!).

We can learn to compensate and adapt.

Cars, though very convenient,  have spoiled us by magically transporting us anywhere we want to go (as long as we have $$ for gas!).   But what about walking?  Next time you go shopping why not park a little further away from the store, instead of trying to get the closest spot?  Or instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs (unless your office is on the 20th floor, huff and puff!).

Walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise.  Best thing is it doesn’t cost money!

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise.  It’s safe, simple, doesn’t require practice, and the health benefits are many.

Some of the benefits of walking are:

  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces high cholesterol
  • Helps manage your weight
  • Reduces body fat
  • Improves your mood, and mental well-being
  • Increases bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Helps you stay strong and fit

Don’t forget to “Warm up” and “Cool Down”   Warm up by stretching your muscles before walking.  Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, and hamstring stretch.

To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes.  Then, repeat your stretches.

You might ask, “How much time required for a walk to be beneficial health wise? Walking as an exercise should be done at a comfortable pace to ensure the muscles have sufficient oxygen available.  Like regular aerobic exercise, walking should be done three times a week for 30 minutes or more to increase levels of fitness and aerobic capacity.

Another question  you may have is,  “How fast should I walk?” You can walk at a pace that is brisk but does not prevent you from talking to a friend in a normal manner.  If you walk alone this might be a good idea to call a friend so you can “talk and walk”!

What about your children? Recent statistics show that only half of 11-16 year olds currently walk for ten minutes a day.   Yikes!  Childhood obesity is also becoming a major health concern in western countries.   TV, video games and computers,  has been a major cause of the lack of exercise, not to mention the increased fear of parents for children’s safety outdoors.   I wonder, how did we ever survive our childhood?

How do you get children to walk more? A great way is to make walking part of a fun activity, a means to an end so to speak.  If children know that a playground, a swimming pool, or an amusement of some kind awaits them at the end of a walk, they are more likely to enjoy it.  (Remember to park further away from where you want to go, that will build anticipation to get to the destination, and sneak in some exercise in the process).

Walking will take you longer to get places but the benefits of a healthier life definitely outweigh the alternative!


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A Healthy Way to Eat

How Sweet It Is

Did You See the Changes Coming?


For some great secrets to healthy weight loss check this out!  www.healthywomenlose.com


Got Milk?

Remember the old ad “Milk does a Body Good!” ?  Then other sources say that Milk is bad for you. 

Let’s examine the facts so you can decide for yourself.

First of all, what is milk for?   

Milk is a maternal lactating secretion, a short-term nutrient for newborns.  Nothing more, nothing less.
Human breast milk consists of:  90% water, nutrient proteins, non-protein nitrogen compounds, lipids, oligosaccharides, vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes, growth factors and protective agents.

Invariably, the mother of any mammal provides her milk for only a short period of time immediately after birth. When the time comes for ‘weaning’, the young offspring is introduced to the proper food for that species of mammal.  Question is would a human’s milk be good for a baby cow or goat?  

Human milk is for human infants, dogs’ milk is for pups, cows’ milk is for calves, cats’ milk is for kittens, and so on. 

This is the udder truth (sorry couldn’t help myself!), the way nature intends it. 🙂

So why then do we drink milk from a cow and think it is good for us?  Sure we get needed calcium from it.   Plus cow’s milk is fortified with D and B vitamins and water.  But doesn’t “fortified” mean “added” ?

The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, also fish like sardines, herring, salmon and tuna. So do we really need to get it from milk?

The question is: should we really be drinking cows milk?  Is it “good” or “bad” for us?

I used to love milk!  Especially with yummy chocolate chip cookies, or in my morning cereal.  But once I became an adult I found out that milk didn’t love me.  😦  The term for that is Lactose Intolerant.

Did you know that at least half of the adult humans on this earth are lactose intolerant?  Whew, now I don’t feel so alone!  Most of them can’t drink milk because it makes them ill.   

Certain races, namely blacks are up to 90% lactose intolerant as adults. Caucasians are 20 to 40% lactose intolerant. Orientals are midway between the above two groups.  Most American Indians cannot tolerate milk either.  Diarrhea, gas and abdominal cramps are the results of substantial milk intake in such persons.   These differences are due to genetics. If your ancestors were from Northern Europe let’s say, and for centuries drank milk, then you are more likely to be able to drink milk without any problem.  But if your ancestors came from somewhere where there were no cows, your genetics would not be tolerant to milk.  Does that make sense?

How about osteoporosis?  Don’t we need calcium to prevent it?  

Where do we get calcium from?  From the same place that cow get calcium, mainly from leafy vegetables. After all, elephants and rhinos develop their huge bones (after being weaned) by eating green leafy plants, so do horses.  Whereas carnivorous animals do fine without leafy plants.

The key is not to look at calcium, but look at protein. Consider these two contrasting groups of people; Eskimos have an exceptionally high protein intake estimated at 25 percent of total calories. They also have a high calcium intake of  2,500 mg/day. But their percentage of osteoporosis is among the worst in the world.  Another other group are the Bantus of South Africa. They have a 12 percent protein diet, mostly plant protein, and only 200 to 350mg/day of calcium.  But the majority of their women have no osteoporosis despite bearing six or more children and nursing them for prolonged periods.

Here is an alternative for those of you that can’t handle cow’s milk: Goat’s Milk

1) Goat’s milk is less allergic – It does not contain the complex protein that stimulate allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
2) Goat’s milk does not suppress the immune system.
3) Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk (An old statistic showed that goat’s milk will digest in a baby’s stomach in 20 minutes, whereas pasteurized cow’s milk takes eight hours.)
4) Goat’s milk has more buffering capacity than over the counter antacids.
5) Goat’s milk alkalinizes the digestive system. It actually contains an alkaline ash, and it does not produce acid in the intestinal system.
6) Its fat globules are one ninth the size as cow’s milk, making it easier to digest.

What is best for infants and children?  Breast feeding of course is best, as mother’s milk contains a balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for the newborn.  It also contains the perfect mix and amount of vitamins for the baby’s needs, and immunological agents that will help the newborn fight bacteria, viruses and other infections.

Since infants depend so much on milk, they can develop an iron deficiency if they consume cow, goat or soy beverage.   Did you know that between 20%-50% of children with cow milk protein intolerance will also react adversely to soy proteins?  Goat milk is a natural milk that children like and can consume comfortably, even if they are sensitive to cow’s milk and/or soy milk.   For menopausal women, goat milk provides 13% more calcium than cow’s milk and can be consumed comfortably even by those women with milk sensitivity.

The most important thing is to make sure you get enough vitamins, minerals and protein from what you eat and what you drink, to stay udderly 🙂 healthy and beautiful. 
Related Article:
A Healthy Way to Eat

A Healthy Way to Eat

We could learn a lot from the way people in the Mediterranean area of the world eat, as they seem to have the least health problems overall of any country in the world.

Though there are about 16 different countries surrounding the  Mediterranean Sea, there are many similarities in diet, which include: high olive oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish, low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate wine consumption.

More than any other food ingredient, olive oil is what represents the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil has an excellent flavor and is also the most nutritious type of oil,  containing a very high level of monounsaturated fats (good fat).

Here is a diagram:

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Getting plenty of exercise daily
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats like olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Eating eggs a few times a week
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional, good for the blood)

The foods listed on the bottom of the pyramid can be consumed in greater quantities, but those higher up should be eaten more sparingly.

Researchers have found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a significant decrease in body weight, blood pressure, blood fats, and blood sugar and insulin levels.  The list goes on to  include: preventing heart and cardiovascular diseases, reducing the risk of cancer  (especially breast and colon) and diabetes, reducing Hypertension, protection from Alzheimer’s disease, and has anti-inflammatory properties, and rich in anti-oxidants.  Wow! Amazing isn’t it?

These  health benefits contribute to a longer life expectancy than that of people who follow a Western diet.

But being on a Mediterranean Diet  means not only choosing the best foods for your health, but also knowing what foods you should avoid.

Today there many artificially hydrogenated products and derivates with trans-fat that did not exist fifty or sixty years ago: especially in fast foods and junk foods (they don’t call it ” junk” for nothing!)

Try to always choose products with 0% of trans fats, which are responsible for increasing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the good one (HDL).

Notice that sweets are near the top of the pyramid, so limiting them to weekly instead of daily is best.  Sugar is dangerous not only to your weight but your over all health. (see article below)

We are creatures of habit and bad habits are hard to break.

But we can be healthier with small changes, a little at a time.  Once your body gets used to eating healthy it will not crave foods that are not good for it.

Did you know that food cravings are your body trying to tell you want it needs?  Problem is alot of junk food is designed with protein markers, but no protein, to trick the body into thinking it is getting what it needs. Sadly they are designed that way to get you to buy more product.  So we  fool our body’s into thinking that bad food is good for us, and because it doesn’t get the nutrients it needs it craves more, and the cycle continues.

Try giving your body the real deal instead like fruit when it craves sugar, or nuts when it craves potato chips, and so on.

Those little changes will do a world of good for you and your family’s health and well-being.

 

The Mediterranean diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and emphasizes the importance of spending quality time enjoying meals with family and friends.

As I said we can learn a lot from them.  🙂

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How Sweet It Is

Eat 5 a Day to Keep Doctors Away

Breathe a Little Easier, Go Green

When I say “Go Green” I’m not talking about buying a hybrid car, or recycling plastic bottles.

Green is important in your home.

Green is life.

What am I talking about?  Living Plants.

I guess I’ve always had a bit of a green thumb, so growing and caring for plants has always been like second nature to me.  I love plants in and around my home.  But I am amazed how many of my friends and family members can’t seem to even keep one plant alive for more than a few months.  I’ve found that they either neglect it, or over water it (most common mistake), both resulting in devastating consequences.

Why are plants important to your home?

House Plants do more than just brighten up a room with color and living energy.  Besides  being pleasing to the eye, they have other benefits such as:

Plants Add Beauty To An Environment. House plants make people feel calmer and more optimistic. Interestingly, studies have shown that hospital patients who face a window with a garden view recovered more quickly than those who had to look at a wall.

Plants Help Keep Us Stay Healthy According to a University of Agriculture in Norway study, indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.

Plants Improve Our Air Quality. All plants remove impurities from the air to a lesser or greater effect.  They remove the impurities or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by absorbing them through their leaves or via their growing medium.   Plants can remove a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene.  The  healthier the plant, the more purifying it will be.

The Top 9 Air Purifying Plants.

The following plants are most effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals-including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke-from the air in your home.

Dragon tree,  Ivy, Ficus, Philodendron, Spider plants, Peace lilies, Ferns, Chrysanthemu, Palms

Here are two of my favorite plants that are easy to grow and maintain:

The Golden Pothos is a low maintenance plant and is one of the hardiest house plants available.

It is ideal for almost any light level and it is really easy to keep alive. And quite happy being watered once a week, as it doesn’t like wet roots and should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings.  In fact, a sure-fire way to kill them is overwatering and excess water should be drained from the base after watering. If you are a dog owner, though, you have be careful where you place your pothos because the plant could poison your pet.

The Variegated Chlorophytum Comosum better known as the ‘Spider Plant’

Possibly the most popular of all house plants, originally from South Africa. It is low maintenance, hard to kill, with very long leaves that can grow to 8-16″.  It brings life to any room in your house or patio! The best feature of Chlorophytum is that it serves as an air purifier in the home.

Bottom line: We need plants to survive, to breathe.

They are the perfect roommates to have, as they give what we need and we give what they need to survive.  Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, the opposite of what humans do, so it is a beautiful, symbionic relationship.

So going Green not only adds beauty to our environment, but most importantly to our health and well being.

How Sweet It Is

Throughout history, food has been scarce, so in order to ensure survival, humans have been conditioned to eat as much as they can whenever food is available.  Feast or Famine! overeating sweetsUnfortunately, when food is abundant and rich in calories, as it is today, the results can be detrimental to one’s overall health and wellbeing.  Now obesity has become a growing problem (no pun intended).    It has become an epidemic!

Recent statistics show that 30% of children in the US are obese, and 50% of adults. Overweight adolescents are starting to suffer problems that used to plague mainly middle-aged adults — early heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Do you ever see obesity in the Animal Kingdom? biggiraffe

Quite Obsurb isn’t it?

Or is it?

What about in domestic animals? dalmationbigkitty

What is the cause?

I’ll give you a big hint… We tend to feed our pets what we eat!    Quite sad isn’t it?

I would say this could be considered cruelty to animals!

In humans it can start from something as seemingly harmless as using sweet treats as a reward for you children. That sets them up for to reach for “comfort foods” when they feel like they need comfort throughout their lives. And will lead to being unhealthy and overweight.  Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders.

Ever heard of ADHD?

Lack of exercise and overeatingfat-childrenYou constantly see “fat free” or “low fat” labels on just about everything these days, but is it really fat that is the problem?

There are good fats that our bodies need, and there are bad fats.

But no one ever tells you that “sugar” is one of  the main culprits in weight gain, as well as a multitude of health problems.

 

Refined sugar gets called “white death” for a reason: it’s one of the worst things we can do for our immune system, weight, and total health.  And it is addicting.  The more you eat it the more your body will crave it.  So beware!sugar

What about artifical sweetners are they any better for you? Did you know that the discovery of sucralose  (Splenda) was by sheer accident?  A scientist was initially testing ingredients for an insecticide.   But thought he’d been instructed to “taste” not “test” the chemical compound.  What a surprise, huh?   Similarly aspartame and saccharin were found accidently.

What about Energy Drinks? Most people are already consuming too much energy, which is why there’s an obesity problem in the first place.  Think about it:  Is it a lack of incoming sugar that’s causing you to be tired—or is it that you’re consuming too much of it in the first place?  If you are not burning it off by with regular exercise, it just turns to fat.   Also the caffeine in energy drinks acts as a diuretic and promotes dehydration, the opposite of sports drinks (like Gatorade) that help in hydrating the body.

enerygy drinksEnergy drinks brag about how good they are for you because they contain so many vitamins, but have you ever noticed how much sugar is also in them?   One teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams.  In an 8.3 fl oz. can of Red Bull  there is 27 grams of sugar, so that is almost 7 teaspoons of sugar!  Try putting 7 teaspoons of sugar in your next cup of coffee, and see what it does to you.  Yuck!  There are other energy drinks and sodas that have even more sugar, not to mention the caffeine content.  Think about what this does to your body.  Check the label next time you reach for your favorite drink, you may have second thoughts.If you feel you need a boost, wouldn’t it make more sense to reach for an unsweetened beverage that contains only caffeine—like a cup of black coffee?  Too strong, add a little creamer, or just one teaspoon of sugar. Women on the average should eat no more than 100 calories of  processed sugar per day, or six teaspoons (25 grams), while most men should keep it to just 150 calories or nine teaspoons (37.5 grams).

What are the alternatives? Brown sugar is better than white, but it does have a stronger flavor that may be hard to get used to, and is actually sweeter so you’ll  want to  use less.

Before there was sugar, people used honey as a natural sweetner. honeyHoney is composed of two main sugars, levulose and dextrose. These sugars do not need to be broken down by the digestive process, so honey is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, giving a quick energy boost to the body. It also contains protein, vitamins and minerals, but no cholesterol.   It is natural energy – so it’s almost the perfect food.  In fact, honey kills bacteria more effectively than some antibiotics. And also helps it draw excess fluid from the blood stream, lowering blood pressure. Honey, if taken on an empty stomach with water and lemon, reduces obesity and weight.

Please note You should not feed honey to an infant under one year old. Honey is known to contain botulinum spores, and these spores can develop into bacteria that produce botulinum toxin inside your child. The reason why botolinum toxin affects infants, but not older children or adults, has to do with the immaturity of an infant’s intestinal flora. As adults, we carry a large number of beneficial bacteria in our intestines.  In adults and children over one year of age, these good bacteria out-compete and eliminate bad bacteria.

Another alternative is Agave Nectar. That is what I use.  I like it better than honey because it has a lighter flavor, and thinner texture.  But it is a bit more expensive and harder to find in the stores.

Maintaining your health and the health of your family is most important.

There is nothing wrong with having sweets once in a while, just best to limit them in your diet.   For me, I cut back from having 2 teaspoons of sugar in my tea (less caffeine than coffee) to 1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar and downsized from 4  cups a day to 1 or 2.  If I feel like something sweet I’ll have a couple of cookies instead of a candy bar.  My big splurge is I treat myself maybe once a month to a small Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.  Hmmm, how sweet it is!

Always best  to check the labels on everything you buy to see how much sugar is in them.  Also check how many servings are stated on the label, that can be deceiving, as you think a whole drink has 20 grams of sugar and find out that it says 2 servings per container, you are actually consuming 40 grams (10 teaspoons of sugar)!

If you can cut back on sugar, and maintain that disciple you will be amazed how much better you feel and look.  And you will eventually also stop craving sweets altogether.

The best rule of thumb to remember:     All Things in Moderation!

Now that is Sweet!

🙂

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Related Article:

A Healthy Way to Eat

You Don’t Have to Skimp to Save

Bargin Shopper

Bargin Shopper

Everyone is cutting back in these tough economic times, trying to spend less and find ways to save more.  So the question is how can you take care of your Family’s Health, Eat Right, not skimp on your Personal Needs, and still enjoy life?

 “You can eat healthy and still stay on a budget!”  In fact you can eat even healthier when you have limited money, because you can’t afford to buy unnecessary junk food and sweets.

Here are a few ways to save on Food:

grocerylist-main

Don’t go to the grocery story hungry!  Always go with a list, to avoid buying unnecessary items.

Take advantage of seasonal produce.  When berries are on sale, stock up, and freeze them.

Limit buying perishables.  Make sure you’re only buying what you’re going to consume right away, so you do not waste any.

Stock up on non-perishables, such as canned and dry goods to carry you through when you are short on cash.  

Buy non-name brands.  They are often times just as good, and less expensive.

Use Coupons.  Sunday Newspapers are cheap and have loads of Coupons and Sales.

 

“You can find cheap ways to Exercise to Stay Fit.”  You don’t have to pay for a membership to the gym! 

jump_rope_woman

Some ways to save on Exercise for Your Health: 

  • Walking.  It doesn’t cost a dime and you can do it anywhere.
  • Jump-Rope.  It’s a inexpensive device that can really get your heart rate up. It produces a similar workout to what you would get at a gym.
  • Use your own body weight, or cheap alternatives, as resistance.  Doing push-ups, sit-ups and body weight squats.  You can use bottles filled with water or sand or inexpensive elastic bands to provide weight resistance.
  • Gardening.   No I’m not kidding on this one.  Picking weeds, trimming trees, raking and shoveling all provide great exercise for your abs, arms, legs, and your heart.

 garagesale

Miscellaneous Savings for your home:

Check out Garage Sales, Second Hand Stores, Flea Markets and Swap Meets. You can find great treasures at great prices. 

But make sure you don’t take too much cash with you so you don’t get carried away!

 Also check out Craigslist or other local Classifieds and Ebay for some great deals.

 

Find Fun Things to do at Home.   Have a Family Fun Night! 

board-games

Turn off the TV(s) and the Computer(s), and instead of spending a fortune taking the family out for fast food and a movie, try barbecuing at home, and playing a Board Game together (yes they still make them) or play a Game of Cards. 

You’ll have allot more fun spending quality time interacting and enjoying each others company.

If you can stay on a Budget through both Good and Bad Times your life won’t be like riding a roller coaster, it will be a smooth ride all the way!

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