HEALTH TIPS ~
FITNESS ON THE FLY ~
No gym membership or fancy fitness equipment at home? No problem! Canned goods make great hand weights, or you can fill milk jugs with sand for some serious lifting. You can also make use of a step stool for step training, or try a beach towel as a stretching assistant. Don’t forget your own stairway for several ups and downs. Now try some of your home-made alternative fitness equipment this week. Have fun with your usual workout, or shake it up by using items around your house to try something new (your chance to be creative while improving fitness and having a lot of fun).
YOUR BODY’S BEST FRIEND ` SLEEP ~
You may notice sleep’s benefits most, only when you miss them; that is, when you need them. Sleep deprivation has been known to cause 100,000 US auto accidents annually, in addition to depression, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. If stress, health problems and annoying interruptions thwart a good night’s sleep, try maintaining regular bedtime hours (even weekends), limit caffeine and alcohol, take a pleasant stroll under the stars before bedtime. Then engage in a soothing activity before bedtime: pray or meditate or enjoy a favorite book, and if you crave a hot drink in the evening, sip a soothing, naturally-caffeine-free herbal tea like (Chamomile). Next, turn off all technology, TV, radio, noise, and all the lights. Lastly, Now it's time to enjoy sweet dreams.
WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR DIET?
Salads Are Always In Season
Nutritionists at Lehigh Valley Health Network offer these tips for creating winning salads every time: Fill your plate with darker greens like spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, dandelion greens and Swiss chard; they contain more vitamins and minerals than iceberg. Add lots of color (tomato, carrot, green or red bell pepper, radish). Vegetables (and fruits) are packed with the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Add a serving of lean protein such as chicken, turkey or beans of any kind. Top it off with healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds (flaxseeds are particularly healthy), olive oil, olives and fish (tuna, cold salmon). So Delicious ~ So Healthy So Nutritious! ~
HEALTHY HEART? STRESS LESS!
When your body is stressed, it releases adrenaline, which increases your heart, breathing and blood pressure rates. A faster heart rate and higher blood pressure make your heart work harder and can weaken artery walls if these symptoms persist over time. Thus, chronic stress can increase risk for heart disease (leading cause of death in America). This week, observe your stress levels and what triggers them, as well as your heart disease risk factors. If you often exhibit Type-A behaviors (feeling rushed, impatient, irritated, angry or hostile), focus on reducing the frequency of these behaviors to stay heart healthy! Sometimes herbs can help: Look at one of nature's best natural stress relievers, VALERIAN ROOT, to help support improved cardiac health and lower blood pressure (particularly when anxiety is a factor), as well as helping to relieve nervous exhaustion, anxiety and stress.
Don't Just Sit There:
Get Up, Get Moving ~ GET OUT!
For a quick overall health boost, leave your fluorescent-lit office or busy home and Venture Into The Great Outdoors. Many medical and university studies tell of the link between time spent outdoors and better health. The findings include quicker healing times, decreased stress levels and depression, and reduced need for pain meds. If you find yourself losing motivation in your daily routines, a brisk walk outside can help you feel refreshed and focused. Look beyond your walls to discover the health benefits (and fun) of being outdoors.
SNACK SMART...SNACK SIMPLE:
Snacking can boost nutrients and help you to eat less at mealtime... OR it can add unnecessary fat, calories and sodium. It all comes down to what you choose. When selecting, stay away from pre-packaged cookies and salty chips. Even portion-control packets are full of empty calories and chemical additives, sugars and preservatives that will leave you feeling hungry later (and also be detrimental to your overall health). This week, swap your usual snack for fresh fruit, raw veggies, UNsalted nuts, raisins, NON-fat yogurt or plain popcorn. These low-calorie alternatives will help keep you satisfied until your next meal. And, don't forget to hydrate with lots of water (it's also very filling).
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS~
Scientists from West Virginia’s Jesuit University have found that the scent of Peppermint or Cinnamon in your car might make you more alert when behind the wheel. Their study found that drivers demonstrated decreased levels of frustration, anxiety and fatigue when exposed to the two fragrances - and they were also more observant. Previous research had indicated that Peppermint and Cinnamon aromas helped to enhance motivation, alertness and performance, as well as decrease fatigue and serve as central nervous system stimulants - all of which may be helpful when associated with prolonged driving.
Did You Know? GARLIC is not only one of the healthiest foods we can eat, but Garlic is also a natural antibiotic - without the harmful and deleterious effects of the drugs that kill all bacteria (both bad and good) within the body, and we need those good bacteria to support our immune systems and fight disease. We already know Garlic is also great in the kitchen too. Make sure you add Garlic to your diet.
Put The FUN Back Into EXERCISE
Find activities you enjoy, and aim for thirty minutes a day of "exercise" on most days of the week. Daily housework, gardening, using the stairs, washing windows, carrying the groceries, walking at the mall or riding bikes with the kids all add up to active exercise that benefits your heart. Tip: Increase your activity by parking your car at the end of the lot or walking the local shops or post office. They all count as real exercise without even thinking of it as a formal "workout" regimen.
FIND PEACE WITH A PEN
Situations and events that are distressing for many, might not bother you in the least. Or, on the contrary, you may be sensitive to even minor stressors. The first step in managing stress is identifying your triggers. Knowing when, where and why your stress occurs - along with your stress symptoms and how you cope - can help you reduce exposure or come up with successful strategies to alleviate the issue. This week, start a "Stress Journal." At week's end, reread your entries to identify common themes to your stress, and then brainstorm some solutions (exercise, visiting a good friend, volunteering, watching a funny movie, enjoying or starting a hobby?), and come up with ideas that make you smile, and take time to do it. Need extra help? Think about soothing, gentle herbs like Chamomile or
Passion Flower for frayed nerves or poor sleep.
CURB YOUR SUGAR CRAVINGS
Quiz Time: Did you know that when the herb Gymnema is placed directly on the tongue, it alters the taste of sugar from sweet to bitter by depressing the tongue’s “sweet” receptors? The effect doesn’t last very long, but it may be just enough time for you to want to skip that candy bar and find a better, healthier replacement snack for your sugar fix (cut veggies, nuts or complex carbs?). Remember, that rapid rise in blood glucose, along with the attendant release of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin, may make you feel better in the short term, but when those glucose levels soon nosedive, you’ll return to your low-serotonin state - a prime candidate for yet more sugar cravings. Read about natural help for sugar-munchy cravings.
THERE IS NO GIANT STEP THAT DOES IT; IT'S A LOT OF LITTLE STEPS
Many times stress is the result of little things that were left unresolved, like work projects, medical visits, paperwork and other household concerns. These tasks can hang over your head week after week, building up stress without your even realizing it. This week, set out to solve some of the little problems in your life. Sit down this Monday and write a list of all the small things that have piled up; then come up with a (Realistic) Time Line to make them disappear and Check Off each one when it's complete. By catching up and completing these goals - one by one - you will start to feel in control again - and what a truly great feeling of accomplishment that is!
ANNUAL PARENT ALERT !
It's Prom Season: Keep Your Teen Safe! Prom night is the night your teenager dreams about. Each year we like to remind parents to be sure your teens are safe by also reminding them about smart driving: Driving is one of those times when you do not want to multitask, say hospital emergency medicine physicians. Caution your teen: Do NOT drink and drive. Do NOT get in a car with a friend who has been drinking. Do NOT attend parties with underage drinking. Do NOT get distracted by your friends in the car. Do NOT use your cell phone or text while driving. DO call home if you have ANY problems on prom night - and one more thing: For the rest of us, making phone calls, drinking hot coffee, applying makeup, disciplining children or reading maps could spell disaster. Safe driving means every driver!
WHAT AN EYEFUL!
Macular degeneration is the main cause of severe vision loss as we get older. Here are six prevention tips from New Jersey's Warren Hospital: Don't Smoke ~ Wear Sunglasses ~ Eat Kale, Nuts, Spinach and Fish with Omega-3 Fatty Acids ~ Exercise ~ Keep Weight Down to avoid diabetes. Check out some eye-healthy botanicals too: Bilberry, Eyebright and Carrots are great for our eyes. Okay? Now...Here's Looking AT YOU!
TAKE CARE OF YOUR VOICE
Even for people with no particular vocal cord ailments or speech problems, overuse can have adverse effects. Here are a few tips to help preserve your voice: Drink plenty of water ~ Don’t talk for long periods of time without a break (difficult for people in communications) ~ Avoid secondhand smoke ~ Breathe through your nose ~ Do not yell - or whisper (both strain the voice) ~ Don’t talk through a cold (try to rest your voice). Lozenges with honey and lemon can be soothing, and the herb, Butterbur, helps soothe sore throat inflammation and ease laryngitis, hoarseness, tracheitis and smoker’s cough.
YOUR MOTHER WAS RIGHT:
Eat Those Fruits and Veggies.
MOTHER EARTH AGREES!
A nine-year study from 2009 with 452,755 participants found that increased intake of fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as twenty-five percent! That large European study from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health revealed that the highest average intakes of fruit and vegetables were associated with a fourteen percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk, and a twenty-five percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer. Now, a 2016 study also found that antioxidant-rich COFFEE intake can help decrease colorectal cancer risk. Looks like MOTHER EARTH provides rich botanical nutrition to help us stay healthy, and...YOUR MOTHER AGREES!
When Stress is a DOWNER,
Pick UP Your Spirits ~
Try Proven Stress Beating Strategies: Socialize: Seeing friends, relatives and staying connected is paramount. Exercise regularly: It reduces anxiety, releases tension and spurs the brain to produce brain chemicals that create a sense of well-being (try for 30 to 60 minutes, three times weekly). Eat a healthy, balanced diet(lots of fruits and veggies). Let it all out: If you’re sad, cry; if you’re happy, laugh heartily; if you’re angry, get mad. Don’t hold in your emotions. Practice slow, deep breaths: Shallow breathing seems to send stress signals to the brain; deep, slow breathing soothes. Try something new like yoga or meditation; if you don’t like it, try something else. Enjoy hobbies or activities that you love: Make time daily and weekly for reading, playing music, dancing, gardening, visiting friends, swimming, going to concerts, museums, picnics or walks - for fun and stress relief. Look into some natural help with gentle
Lady's Slipper or Chamomile. After all, we deserve to be happy.
WIND DOWN WITH WONDERFUL
WEEKEND WALKS ~
The weekend is here, so start your new week with a nice brisk WALK! The weather is spring-like; it’s warm; the days are longer, so start the new week by getting the family together or calling a friend and challenging each other to walk a little farther and faster than last time. Let the new week be the start of a new healthier you - without a whole lot of effort, whole lot of money, but maybe a whole lot of fun.
Slippery Elm Bark soothes and reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Its high mucilage content soothes the inflamed mucous membranes of the stomach and neutralizes excess acids in the intestines. As a bowel lubricant it can be beneficial for Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome IBS). It has also been used to ease both constipation and chronic diarrhea. No more distress - only a soothed gastrointestinal tract!
HAVE TEETH ... WILL SMILE!
Dental experts say people's teeth are eroding with a loss of protective enamel at a faster rate than ever. Dental erosion occurs when enamel is worn away by acids in the mouth, leaving teeth sensitive, cracked and discolored. Dentists blame soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices with high amounts of acid, but sugar in most of those drinks also plays a role, because bacterial plaque on teeth absorbs sugar from drinks and foods and excretes an acid that eats away at tooth enamel. In soft drinks (especially colas), one of the main flavoring agents is phosphoric acid; and people often make the situation worse by holding the drink in the mouth to enjoy the flavor or fizzing - increasing exposure to the drink's acids and sugars. Consider a new drink regimen: Water is good for the whole body, Green Tea is actually good for teeth, and unsalted veggie juices are loaded with nourishment and very satisfying. After all, having NO teeth can make that smiling face a very sad one, indeed. Thank about that!
CALLING ALL OUTDOOR LOVERS: LYME DIDEASE is a bacterial infection that is characterized by a bull’s eye rash and flu symptoms (headache, fever, nausea), and the best way to avoid the disease (which can cause serious complications) is to avoid tick bites. Wear light-colored hat, shoes, socks tucked into long trousers when in heavy woods or tall grasses. Put clothes worn into a hot dryer for twenty minutes before washing to kill ticks attached to fabrics. After being out, check your body, scalp, hind ears and knees for ticks. If you find one, remove it with tweezers (grabbing close to skin and slowly lifting straight up). Save the tick and take to your doctor to check if the insect is infected. Antibiotics have been known to treat most cases of Lyme disease if detected and treated. Think about preventive care with anti-tick repellent or Cat's Claw, a fine plant-based antibacterial that has shown an ability to combat bacterial infection with immune-stimulant effects to help fight Lyme disease invasion.
TRANS FAT TRICKERY ~
Consuming Trans Fat significantly increases risk of cardiovascular disease by raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Trans Fat foods also increase belly fat, a sign of metabolic syndrome. Some food labels proclaim “0 grams Trans Fat” but still list hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. If a food lists “partially hydrogenated” or “fully hydrogenated” oils in its ingredients, then it definitely contains Trans Fats, despite the “0 grams trans fat” claim. How come? FDA rules state that when a product contains less than 0.5 grams of Trans Fat per serving, the number on the nutrition label can be rounded down to zero, but this doesn’t make the product free of Trans Fat. That half gram per serving is still there. Avoid Trans Fat altogether. It most commonly hides in cookies, crackers, microwave popcorn, margarine and other processed foods. Even if you see 0 grams Trans Fat, check the ingredients for partiallyhydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. If they’re listed, do not eat this food - it has Trans Fat.
GUYS! PROTECT YOUR PROSTATES
The American diet, especially what you fellas refer to as “man food” (red meat, high-fats and few fruits and vegetables) dramatically increase risk for prostate problems and cancer. Studies say a preventive approach just might head off prostate trouble, and lifestyle changes and regularly consuming certain foods, herbs and other natural substances may protect or slow progress of prostate problems by targeting two bodily processes that underlie all prostate problems: oxidation and inflammation. Thus, reduce consumption of red meat, fried foods, high-fat dairy, sugar and simple starches (white flour, etc.), and eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy supplements. Selenium and vitamin E may reduce risk, and Lycopene from
Tomato is another antioxidant associated with low risk. In Asia, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,
Green Tea might be a clue to their low prostate cancer rates, and old-reliable Saw Palmetto supports good prostate health, especially prostate enlargement.
REAP BIG BENEFITS
When there are a million things to do every day, and our schedules feel too packed to fit in a one- or two-hour exercise workout, it seems impossible to get it all done. Luckily, we don’t have to work out for an hour straight for results. Small bits of exercise throughout the day can add up to a big difference - and it may actually be better for our health to be physically active throughout the day - as opposed to doing it all at once - since researchers found that sitting all day long can cancel out some of the benefits we get from exercising. The message is clear: Small bits of exercise throughout the day can add up to big, better benefits.
Writing in the journal, Nutrition, scientists claim that fat-free milk could relieve constipation. While full-fat milk consumption may lead to constipation, as unabsorbed fatty acids left in the intestines bind to calcium in the intestinal channel, the new research suggests that drinking fat-free milk may have the opposite effect, actually helping to relieve constipation and irregularity problems. In the study, fat-free milk supplementation resulted in an increase in regularity and an improvement in stool softness among chronic constipation patients. Researchers also found that two peptide hormone levels that stimulate intestinal mobility (motilin and ghrelin) were increased by a statistically significant amount after fat-free milk consumption and may play a role in reducing the severity of constipation or giving total relief from the problem. Other natural help can come from botanicals like mild, and effective Psyllium husks for safe daily regularity. Read/See why.
Exercise For Body Building & Exercise For BRAIN Building???
We already know that exercise can help stave off or delay dementia - but did you know that regular workouts can actually reverse ageing in the brain? Aerobic exercise enhances speed and sharpness of thought, but it also increases the volume of brain tissue. As little as fifty minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain-expanding effect. For an added boost, walk in the park: Researchers found that test subjects whose course took them through a tree-filled setting performed twenty percent better on memory and attention tests than those who walked in town.
WATCHING YOUR WEIGHT?
About twenty-two percent of calories consumed by Americans come from liquids. An easy way to lose weight and save hundreds of calories a day if you are currently getting many of your calories from liquids is to switch to water or teas or calorie-free sodas. Here's how: Every day switch one drink that has calories with one that doesn't. If you drink three sodas a day, make one iced tea on the first day. If you drink orange juice each morning, switch to hot tea or water with lemon. Keep making these switches until you are drinking no calories. Try this for one week. You may reduce your daily calories without even changing anything that you eat. Here’s another tip: It takes at least twenty minutes after eating for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full, but most of us finish a meal in ten minutes. Give your stomach time to catch up to your brain by slowing down your eating, and fill your plate with salads with olive oil or low calorie/fat free dressings and lots of colorful vegetables. After putting food in your mouth, put your fork on the table and let go. Do not touch the fork until your mouth is empty. Repeat through the entire meal and savor each mouthful and the taste. Need help? Think about natural herbals like Magnolia Bark that is said to inhibit the body’s cortisol production (substance that encourages fat storage) and may be effective in weight loss programs.
Natural PainkillersTHAT WORK!
Every day, more than thirty million Americans take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen for everything from headaches to sport injuries to back pain, Though these drugs stop the pain, they also bring along unsettling side effects. The more you use them, the more you raise your risk for ulcers, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attack and kidney damage. No need to grin and bear it though: Nature has provided an array of gentle remedies that soothe pain effectively. Instead, check out Boswellia; It is a particularly effective anti-inflammatory and used to relieve joint pain and improve mobility; and new research confirms its efficacy for relieving the aches and pains of rheumatism, arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee.
FRIENDS are KEY...at ANY AGE
We already know that exercise and a healthy diet help you live longer, but did you know that friendships do too? Studies show that friends boost your immune system, ease stress and help prevent depression. According to doctors at Lehigh Valley Health Network, humans need connections, and our friends make us feel good about who we are. While old friends may be especially dear, it’s vital to also add new ones; friendships naturally come and go in life. If your circle is too small, seek out people with common interests: Join that book club, gym, swim or dance class, political club or support group. Making friends takes time, but this is really worth the investment that truly pays off.
BONE UP ON...BEER?
A nice cold beer is not only refreshing; it may also help strengthen bones. A report from the International Journal of Endocrinology noted that HOPS and BARLEY-rich beer are a good source of the mineral silicon - so important for bone formation and health. Read about these healthy botanicals - with all the benefits - but without that beer.
RUNNY NOSE? WATERY EYES?
Do you know what’s causing it? Hint: It’s not only the Pollen count. There are a number of reasons, but one major cause is Stress (work, family, financial problems or just from life in general), and our Hormones (think cortisol) released in times of stress can trigger an immune response that results in chronic inflammation and allergies. Good news: Doing yoga and popping anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries can calm your system. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet as your first step during allergy season (on its way right now). If you eat inflammatory foods (wheat, milk, eggs, saturated fats, processed foods, heavily refined carbohydrates, peanuts), your seasonal allergies will be much worse. Instead, eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole (gluten-free) grains. And ask your doctor about helpful natural herbals too, like Eyebright or Mullein Leaf. Consider all the above for real relief; alergy season is right around the corner. Be prepared!!!
BREAD BASKET Equals...
When dining out, ask your server to hold the bread and butter until your meal is ready. That way you'll eat less (and fewer carbs and fats) and leave room for the good nutritious food. And don’t rush the meal. Researchers have found that feeling full is a complex equation of time, thinking about food, number of chews, number of swallows, and a visual estimate of how much you have eaten. Feel full on less food by chewing your food more, thinking about the food as you eat it and taking longer to eat. Little things add up when you’re watching your diet and your calories.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
If you thought Lemon Balm is related to lemons or a member of the citrus family, think again! It is a member of the mint family. The name, Lemon, describes the plant's glorious fragrance when the leaves are bruised, and it has been used for thousands of years as an effective calmative for all kinds of nervous problems, including tension headaches, migraines, neuralgia, tension, stress, anxiety, excitability and heart palpations (caused by anxiety). Known as “The Calming Herb,” it is used to relax muscle tension without daytime drowsiness.
When trying to develop healthier eating habits, avoid tempting situations that may influence you to fall into old or new unhealthy habits. For example, if you’re prone to buying excessive amounts of junk foods or snacks at the grocery store, avoid aisles that display these foods. You’ll have a better chance of success in breaking a bad habit if you have a new (workable, realistic) good habit to replace it.
Lower Osteoporosis Risk?
Prevent Falls !!
Avoiding fractures is key to keeping bones healthy, whether you have bone loss or not. To prevent a fall that could cause a fracture, minimize clutter and be sure that area rugs are anchored to the floor. Eliminate throw rugs and loose cords. Wearing sturdy, rubber-soled shoes also can reduce the risk of falling. To help keep your bones strong, eat lots of green vegetables like Spinach, drink calcium-rich non-fat milk and boost low calcium intake to recommended levels by exercising regularly. We need calcium every day. Coral Calcium is a wonderful way to provide the vital mineral that is necessary for strong bones.
BY ANY OTHER NAME?
Did you know that pungent, strong-smelling Onion is a cousin of the beautiful sweet-smelling and fragrant lily? Onion may not smell like a flower, but it is a powerhouse of health benefits and does help protect us against infection of all kinds, build the immune system and support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The ancient Egyptians must have known about these health benefits; they worshipped the Onion as the symbol of "Eternal Life."
"F" - as in FAT ~
Obesity rates are climbing and are a huge U.S.A. public health challenge. Even worse, research shows nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight. Currently, more than twelve million children and adolescents are considered obese - a very serious problem - and there is only one way to lose weight - a simple mathematical formula: We must burn more calories than we eat, so it’s time to Count Calories. Skip fast/junk food stops and soft drinks. Prepare healthy meals at home, and make it mostly veggies and fruits, plus whole grains (not too much), non-fat dairy, healthy oils, skinless poultry breasts, fish with important Omega-3 Fatty Acids; and minimize animal fat from meat (95% lean). Time to get the kids away from the TV and computers and outside for exercise (and fun). Time for the family to sit down together and talk, eat slowly and eat healthy (let the kids participate in healthy food preparation and be creative with colorful foods). Adults, if you need extra help, talk to your doctor about a sensible weight loss regimen and natural therapy with herbs like White Kidney Bean or Garcinia or Magnolia Bark.
TORTURE BY FOOD?
Swearing off your favorite food can sometimes backfire. You end up eating other high calorie foods to satisfy your craving and continue even when you are not satisfied or even hungry. Instead, give in to temptation, BUT with a small portion that fits your weekly calorie budget - and then, eat it slowly, savoring the taste, enjoying the moment, and your special treat.
DO A REALLY GOOD DEED
We may think that the “No Smoking” message is loud and clear to kids, but this is not the case. Sadly, every year, thousands of youngsters take up the smoking habit, so the “No-Smoking” message needs to be sent consistently from multiple people. Whether you are a parent, teacher, aunt, uncle, grandparent or health care provider, take time to figure out how you can help young people get the “No Smoking" message - before It’s Too Late - before “Trying It” becomes The Deadly Smoking Habit. Interestingly, for those who wish to stop smoking, it is said that Plantain can help "Quit The Habit" by including it in a gargle.
Begin each new week by thinking of Monday as your new start for healthy living. Stay within the (general) recommended daily 2000 calorie limit by snacking on fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheese and non-fat yogurt. Drink lots of water (with lemon wedge) with (and between) all meals (try for eight, eight-ounce glasses daily). This week, determine to read and compare nutrition labels before each meal. And don’t be fooled by a low calorie count at the top! Look at serving size and number of servings per package and multiply for a true reading of what is in the package (same for salt content).
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS ~
Scientists from Wheeling, West Virginia’s Jesuit University have found that the scent of Peppermint Leaf or Cinnamon in your car can make you more alert when behind the wheel. Their study found that drivers demonstrated decreased levels of frustration, anxiety and fatigue when exposed to the two fragrances, and they were also more observant. Previous research had indicated that Peppermint and Cinnamon aromas helped to enhance motivation, performance and alertness, as well as decrease fatigue and serve as central nervous system stimulants - all of which may be helpful when associated with prolonged driving. Imagine! Some driving help in-between those coffee stops!
Longer Life? LET'S GO!
A recent study found that only fifteen minutes of daily exercise led to a three-year longer life expectancy. Also, every fifteen minutes of exercise increased that benefit, but even that fifteen minutes of activity was shown to make a significant difference. You don’t need a fancy gym or special equipment, because there are so many easy ways for you to get in those fifteen minutes: a brisk walk, lively dancing, aerobics in place. Fifteen minutes is a small price to pay for such a big reward. Start today - and remember your fifteen minutes every day. After all, so little can mean so much and make a big difference.
Be NATURALLY Sweet ~
Science tells us that artificially sweetened “diet” foods and beverages tend to trigger appetite, increase cravings for empty-calorie carbohydrates and stimulate fat storage. Opt out, or go for healthy natural sweeteners like honey, real maple syrup or plant-based Stevia Leaf. It’s used as a table-top sweetener, in soft drinks, baked goods, fruit juices, jams, jellies, candies, yogurts, chewing gum, sherbets and more.
GET BACK ON TRACK !
The University of Pennsylvania says the beginning of the week, like the beginning of the year, is a good time to reset your goals. Reinforcing this “fresh start” on Mondays with weekly reminders is a powerful way to help us sustain healthy habits over time. Hit the “reset” button. Whatever unhealthy behaviors you got into over the weekend, forgive yourself, let them go, and start fresh. Decide what health goal is your most important to achieve (and might have wandered from), and recommit. Break up that bigger resolution or goal into smaller more manageable steps and take one small step each Monday. Keep at it. Remind yourself that slip-ups happen to everyone, and every Monday is a new opportunity to try again.
PICK A PROTEIN ~
Several studies have found that people who ate protein-rich eggs, instead of a bagel for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and had a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. Protein can help us lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase muscle mass and strength. Try to include other high protein foods or supplements in your diet, i.e., Chlorella, Oat Straw, Broccoli and Pumpkin Seed to name only a few.
DONT WE ALL WANT TO BE IN A GOOD MOOD? ..NATURALLY !!
Did you know that one in every ten adults suffers from some level of depression, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control)? There are meds, but many often carry brutal side effects like lethargy or worse, but there are also readily-available natural botanical solutions. Saint John's Wort is a popular natural calming herbal supplement and mood enhancer that helps banish the blues, manage stress, anxiety and mood swings.
NECK CHECK ~
If you are gaining weight for no discernible reason, it could be a faulty thyroid gland (located in your neck). Thyroid disease can slow metabolism, which leads to weight gain. Check with the doctor if any swelling in the neck, a visibly enlarged neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, difficulty swallowing or a hoarse, raspy voice can all be signs of thyroid disease. There are helpful meds, but be sure to ask your doctor about natural therapy with iodine-rich seaweeds like Kelp and Bladderwrack; they can be very helpful for thyroid problems and slow metabolism.
SPRINKLE A LITTLE CINNAMON
U.S.D.A. reports tell us that people with Type-2 diabetes who consume just a pinch or light sprinkle (one gram) of Cinnamon daily can experience a drop in blood sugar. The research shows that extracts of Cinnamon increase insulin activity, enhancing the breakdown of glucose and improving blood sugar concentrations. Enjoy your Cinnamon: Sprinkle powdered Cinnamon on your morning cereal, in your coffee or dusted on your yogurt.
LOOK BEFORE LEAPING OR
Test Before Smearing ~
Before you use skin ointments or topical creams (including hair products), check them out to see if you’re allergic: Apply a small amount to your elbow. Wait forty-eight to seventy-two hours and then check the skin. If it is red, itchy or bumpy, you’re probably reacting badly, find something else; you’re allergic. Learn how to make your own herbal rinses, creams and ointments at Herbal Extracts Plus Information Herbal Preparations
WANT TO LOOK YOUNGER? Doesn't Everybody?
You may find help with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Dermatologists often recommend this supplement to help improve skin. These essential fats - which must be obtained from the diet or supplements because our bodies cannot make them - are a key component of the lubricating layer that keeps skin supple. They also aid in the production of hormones that improve skin texture and help combat the inflammatory damage wrought by free radicals - one of the causes of wrinkles and blotchiness. You may find yourself looking younger, but (even better), you may actually start feeling better too. Eat salmon or tuna or take Omega-3 supplements to get the one great fat that is really healthy.
HOLD THAT SALT ~
Too much salt can wreak havoc with your system, and excess salt can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. However, secret sodium is the real danger. We actually get only ten to twenty percent of our daily intake from table salt; the rest is hidden in our foods (usually processed). So watch for the culprits like deli meats, frozen dinners and snacks, canned foods and soups, veggie juices, ketchup, relish and even bran cereals. The best remedies include reading labels for sodium contents, eating healthy fresh and unprocessd foods and, of course,getting exercise. If you need extra flavor for your foods, consider herbs and spices.
Exercise is Key
to a Healthy Life ~
Physical activity isn't just a way to lose weight; it’s an essential step towards a long, vibrant life! Work on your fitness routine, this week. Start out with smaller amounts of exercise at lower intensities and gradually progress to moderate-intensity activity to reduce your risk of injury. And don't be intimidated. After all, hiking is just walking with a better view.
WRITE IT DOWN
Today start a new Fitness Journal. Writing down the exercises you do each day is a great tool to keep track of exactly how much exercise you’re getting overall - and where you might need some adjustments (a bit more as a challenge perhaps?). It is as important as a Food Journal is for dieters, in order to keep track of exactly how much food and exactly how many calories you are really eating. You’ll get a realistic picture of your habits and also observe patterns: Morning exercises better for you than evenings? Lunches from home better than restaurant? Too many easy-to-grab snacks around? Having to face THE Journals every day and face the truth is enough to motivate anyone. Start today and get motivated - and healthier.
HEARD IT THROUGH
Resveratrol is the important compound found in the Red Wine Grape Skin and GrapeSeed. Research from the University of Colorado tells us that it can help fight off cancer by killing damaged cells before they replicate. Red Wine provides the compound and so will a handful of delicious Red Grapes, supplemental Red Grape (with resveratrol extract) or a morning cup of low-sugar Red Grape Juice (100% juice). Grab Grapes for Great Grape Gorgeousness - and Health.
TUNE IN - TONE UP ~
Make the most of your TV watching time by adding some exercise. Use weights and resistance bands while sitting, or get off the couch during commercials for cardio activities like running in place and jumping jacks. Even if you watch only a few shows a week, you’ll be adding a good bit of exercise to your routine! Try a workout during your favorite shows this week. You can even choose different routines for different shows, or use each commercial break to try and beat your last record! Don’t become a couch potato; you’ll start resembling a real potato and feeling worse.
Hypertension and Weight
Being overweight places a strain on your heart and increases your risk of high blood pressure. That is why diets to lower blood pressure are often also designed to control calories. They typically call for cutting down on fatty foods and added sugars, while increasing fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber. Even losing 10 pounds can make a difference. Think about that when getting into your new year health programs. If you need extra help, check out natural help with herbs like Garcinia for supporting decreased appetite, increased metabolism (helping to burn fat) and elevated body heat for potential caloric burning).
A BEDTIME STORY ~
As night falls and the moon rises, the fragrant, lemon-scented Evening Primrose blooms; but by daybreak, the flowers fade and await the new blossoms that will bloom the next evening. Native Americans used the herb as a painkiller. Modern science knows that this heavenly flower possesses the rare gamma linolenic acid (GLA) that helps dilate blood vessels and reduces blockage, thus helping to lower heart attack and stroke risk - and GLA may lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Now, there's a story with a happy ending.
Watch Those Calories!
You crave eggnog and hot chocolate during winter get-togethers, but they're both high in fat and sugar. Plus, the alcohol in some holiday drinks lowers your blood sugar, which sends a hunger signal to your brain. Fear not. You can make healthier versions of holiday drinks using skim milk and a sugar substitute (natural Stevia Leaf has been approved by the USFDA as a calorie-free sweetener), and for hot cocoa, use dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Natural Cocoa has many wonderful (and important) health benefits.Try sparkling white grape juice as a healthy, non-alcoholic, champagne-like drink. Limit alcohol to no more than two, 4-ounce glasses of wine daily for men, and no more than one for women.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR SIGHT ~
Try Some Important Advice From Optometrists. For Computer Users: Follow the 20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes be sure to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, create a friendly workstation by lowering and tilting the monitor to reduce screen glare. Check light levels, blink your eyes often (important) and adjust your seat. A good diet that includes yellow and green leafy vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Carrot, Sweet Potatoes) - plus Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from cold water fish or
Flaxseed), nuts and seeds (Sunflower, Almonds, Walnuts) and tasty fruits (Mangoes,
Blueberry, Apricots) will all help to improve eye health and protect retinal function.
HOMEMADE HEARTY HEALTH
Home-cooked meals take all the guesswork out of eating. Preparing your own dishes ensures a properly portioned, balanced meal with fewer calories, less sodium and saturated fat than packaged or fast-foods. You can also easily incorporate whole grains and unprocessed foods into your diet and save yourself a bit of cash while enjoying healthier foods! Aim to prepare at least half of your meals at home this week. Make it easy by coming up with a few meal ideas on Monday, and heading to your local supermarket. Eat healthy (and save money) by bringing your leftovers for lunch.
TOO YOUNG TO THINK ABOUT HEART HEALTH?
That is a very bad habit. While you don’t have to dwell on it constantly, it’s important to develop good overall habits to benefit your complete daily health and especially your heart. Exercise, eat a healthy diet (delicious Mediterranean is great), and know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar). Don’t wait to get to work on keeping your heart healthy; the ideal time to do your heart a favor is right now!
KEEP STRESS AND BLOOD PRESSURE - DOWN!!!
An often-overlooked strategy for preventing blood pressure is managing stress, so Learn Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises and yoga are powerful stress-busters. Manage Time: The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level. Get Enough Sleep: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep negatively affects mood, mental clarity, energy and physical health. Strengthen Social Ties: Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, seeing friends or participating in a support group. Nurture Yourself: Treat yourself to a massage. Savor an experience -for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music. Resolve Stressful Situations: D0 NOT let them fester if you can. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and work. Ask For Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends or a family member. If stress and anxiety persist, ask your doctor about helpful meds or natural herbs (like Chamomile or Lemon Balm) to relax. Life should be enjoyed, so enjoy every minute in good health and peace of mind.
Tired of really bad hair days? Dandruff can torment your scalp, making it itchy, irritable and excessively flaky - not to mention embarrassing. Triggers such as diet, stress, sun and wind damage, cold weather, poor health and excessive use of hair products can provoke the condition, but the true culprit may be the oil-eating fungus, malassezia. Although it also dwells on healthy heads, this fungus thrives in dandruff sufferers, feasting on the hair’s oil. To combat the flakes naturally, look for shampoos that contain an antifungal and antibiotic agent or zinc, which helps regulate oil glands. Making your own herbal rinses can help too: Try some Burdock Root or Eucalyptus Leafare great for fighting dandruff and have antibacterial, antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Read about them and see why.
BEAUTIFUL SKIN? At Any Age
Your skin craves good nutrition just like the rest of your body, so take care of it. Start with clean skin: Wash with warm or cool water (hot water strips away skin's natural moisture). Pat your face dry (don't rub). Apply moisturizers while skin is still damp (creamy one for dry skin or an oil-free, foaming for oily skin). Eat lots of vegetables, lean protein and whole grains (important nutrients feed skin from within). Studies tell us nutrients can improve and protect skin. Avocado’s healthy high fat, mineral, vitamin content helps fight ravages of age, sun and wind damage while softening and smoothing skin. Don't smoke (ages skin and encourages wrinkles). Exercise daily (boosts blood flow to skin, and sweating flushes out dirt). De-stress (makes skin more sensitive and worsens breakouts), so find a way to unwind. Stay out of the sun unless completely protected.
HEART DISEASE RISK
Recent research suggests that poor oral hygiene (brushing less than twice daily) actually increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease. Brush Your Teeth with a soft-bristle brush and gently clean your teeth to avoid hurting gums. Fluoride toothpaste can help destroy oral bacteria, and frequent cleanings (if possible, right after snacks or meal) can stop buildup leading to gum disease. Don't Forget To Floss. It's one of the most important things we can do to keep teeth healthy. Floss is the only thing that reaches below the gum line. Bacteria build up in the pocket between the tooth and gum line, causing inflammation, tissue damage and bone loss. Worse, it can spread to the bloodstream and through the body. Try some Green Tea: it’s also rich in fluoride and may help reduce tooth decay. Too many people mistreat their teeth and ignore the decay and disease warning signs until too late. A little prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when the alternative is growing old without any teeth at all. Take the time to brush your teeth. Your teeth (and your heart) will thank you for it!
BAGS UNDER YOUR EYES? OH NO!
Save the bags only for your groceries, handbags or trash - BUT not under eyes - SO Banish Them: Put Down That Salt Shaker: Water finds its way from body areas low in sodium to those with the most (eye area). Manage Allergies: Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand, but some over-the-counter allergy, cold or sinus infection medicines and herbs like Eyebright can dry puffy eyes. Try a Neti Pot: It looks like a small teapot, and you pour salt water into one nostril at a time and let it drain out the other to help flush out all extra moisture in your sinuses. Sleep On Your Back: Gravity causes fluid to collect under eyes, so sleep on your back and add an extra pillow under your head. Remove Eye Makeup: Sleeping with eye makeup on can make your eyes water and cause morning-after puffiness. Limit Alcohol: It pulls the water out of your skin, and once you weaken the delicate area around the eyes, it's more likely to sink into a pouch. Protect Eyes From Sun’s UV Rays: You protect your body from sunlight and should do the same for your face. Too much sun makes the skin around eyes sag or wrinkle. Use sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your face from harmful rays.Chill Eyes: A cold compress can ease puffiness. Try chilled cucumber slices, tea bags or even a chilled spoon. What you use doesn’t matter; the low temperature does the work..
NOT EXACTLY PERFUME
But Maybe A Lot Healthier
Did you know that the stronger the smell of Onions, the more potent and effective their healing powers are thought to be?...and did you know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Onion as the symbol of “Eternal Life?” Today we do know that Onion is one of nature’s best natural immunity supports that helps protect against infection of all kinds. As a powerful natural antibiotic and antiseptic, it is a wonderful way to strengthen the body’s natural defenses against common colds, flu, sore throat, bronchial and gastric infections; and happily Onion can be found in no=tears supplements. Can’t promise the perfume, tho!
NO UNWANTED TRAVEL SOUVENIRS - PLEASE!
Traveling can be very stressful, so your immune system may not be at its best. Furthermore, when traveling, you are exposed to germs that can be very different and from those you are used to. To stay healthy during your trip, why not try some Echinacea a week before you leave, and continue taking it while you are away from home. Studies tell us it can be helpful for supporting a stronger immune system to fend off colds and other unwanted germs that you’d rather not bring back as souvenirs. (T-Shirts, cups and postcards are much more enjoyable -and safe.)
DO NOT Let Anger Get the Best of You -It Can Make You SICK!!
Help yourself with a few simple tips: Admit Your Anger. Release Stress (get some exercise; take a walk or swim, go dancing). Relax (see a funny movie, listen to soft music). Take Care of Yourself (eat properly, look your best). Surround Yourself With Happy People who are positive and caring. Take Deep, Slow Breaths (slow, deep-breathing helps to trigger relaxation, so you can deal with unpleasant situations). Analyze and even talk about the situation that caused that anger with a friend, and try to put it in its place. Lastly, Try to forgive the mistakes of others; you’ll be the happier one in the long run.
MORE BLUEBERRIES ~
Research shows Blueberries to be super nutritious and may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may also help reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Some scientists have actually nicknamed Blueberries “Brainberries.” Do they know something? More News: Recent studies found that a Blueberry-rich diet improved learning, as well as muscle function in older subjects.
BAD DIET = BAD MEMORY!
Did you know that a poor diet is considered a mind robber that can steal away bits of memory and cognition over time? It’s a fact. Although researchers have not yet quantified the specific effects of a good diet on mental health, it is known that Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in fish, fish supplements, Soy, Nuts and Flaxseed,) help provide the body with the amino acids needed for healthy cell formation and play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Healthy brain cells (neurons) will perform better than unhealthy ones, thereby promoting cognitive clarity, a well-functioning memory and positive mood. While a few deep-fried Oreos won't bring down your IQ or destroy your memory, it's generally accepted that a healthy diet aids the brain in maximizing its potential. Start this weekend with a healthy food list when grocery shopping.