Thursday, June 10, 2010


SnoringSnoring is a widely prevalent human habit which is not to be ignored. It has been found that in the age group of 30 - 35 years 20% of men and 5% of women snore and by the age of 60 years, as many as 60 out of 100 men will snore.

So is it really serious if you snore or your bed - partner snores?

Most often, snoring is considered as something funny by the household members and by the snorer himself, but it is the bed - partner who suffers from sleepless nights and may have to resort to measures like shaking up the snoring partner time and again when he/she starts snoring; or start sleeping in a separate room. In certain severe cases, it may even lead to deterioration of relationships.

Snoring is due to obstructive breathing during sleep and the most advanced stage isobtsructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is manifested as intermittent loud snorting during sleep, choking spells, abnormal body motions like limb movements and such scary moments when the person seems to struggle for his next breath. 

Heavy snorers are more likely to suffer from hypertension. They are generally obese and have increased risk of strokes, chest pains and heart attacks. 

Alcohol intake before retiring to bed increases the snoring and a snorer is more likely to have these attacks (episodes of apnea) where the oxygen saturation level in his blood dips to a dangerous low.

In 35 % of habitual snorers, significant episodes of apnea (" want of breath ") occur. The person is repeatedly aroused from deep sleep to lighter stages of sleep. Therefore in the morning he feels deprived of his usual quota of sleep, has headache and complains of excessive daytime sleepiness. Such persons may cause accidents as they may fall asleep while driving. They may fall asleep while watching TV or even while talking in severe cases.

Snoring occurs due to the vibration of the collapsible part of the airway, where there is no rigid support. Obese individuals tend to have an excess of soft tissue; a thick neck thick tongue, flabby muscles which leads to decreased airway space causing snoring.

Also, any narrowing of nasal passage or oral passage due to enlargement of tonsils or any other reason can lead to snoring.

Certain measures which are suggested to snorers are
- To exercise regularly and lose weight.

- To sleep on your side rather than your back.

- Avoid taking alcoholic drinks before going to bed.

- You may try tilting the head of your bed upwards by three or four inches.

- Avoid sleeping pills.

If snoring is persistent and is associated with snorting, frequent stops in breathing at night and excessive daytime sleepiness, it is best to consult a doctor.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brushing the Teeth Twice a Day Is Good For Heart

From our childhood we have been hearing this thing from our elders that brushing the teeth twice a day is good for teeth and health but the British researchers have shown another great benefit of this activity and according to that People who brush twice a day have lower risks of getting heart diseases.
Tooth BrushingThis report was published in the in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and over a decade we have been seeing that doctors are linking heart diseases with the gum diseases. The clotting in any area of body has always being connected with the heart but this is happening for the first time that the brushing of teeth has been linked with the occurrence of heart problems.

The study was lead by Professor Richard Watt from University College London, he and his team analyzed data from over 11,000 adults that had taken part in the Scottish health survey. The main activities that were analyzed in those adults were: oral health routines including smoking, physical activity and also people were asked about how often they visit the dentists and brush their teeth on the daily basis.
The conclusion that has been showed off after this study stated that “Our results confirmed and further strengthened the suggested association between oral hygiene and the risk of cardiovascular disease - furthermore inflammatory markers were significantly associated with a very simple measure of poor oral health behavior. Future experimental studies will be needed to confirm whether the observed association between oral health behavior and cardio vascular disease is in fact causal or merely a risk marker”.
From now the people have got another reason for brushing their teeth twice a day and those who don’t think it as to be very important should show concern towards this issue.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Healthy eating tip 2: Moderation is key

People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation.  Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body. 
  • Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
  • Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entrĂ©e, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms and start small.  Visual cues can help with portion sizes—your serving of meat, fish or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.

Healthy eating tip 3: It's not just what you eat, it's how you eat 

Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.
  • Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
  • Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of what is in our mouths. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
  • Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
  • Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.

Healthy Eating


Healthy Eating: Guide to New Food Pyramids and Tips for a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible– all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you.
Healthy eating begins with learning how to “eat smart”—it’s not justwhat you eat, but how you eat. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as defend against depression. Additionally, learning the habits of healthy eating can improve your health by boosting your energy, sharpening your memory and stabilizing your mood. Expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, healthy diet.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success  

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety and freshness—then it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  • Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart.  Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.  As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
  • Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet.  The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Feng Shui and Food

Feng Shui and Food

Chi or "energy" - the basic premise of Feng Shui must be free-flowing in order to be in balance. All things in the Universe have two opposite yet complementary energies known as Yin and Yang.

You can enhance the energy in the kitchen with colors, materials and shapes, as well as good lighting and ventilation. When everything is in balance, meals will taste better, are easier todigest, and are healthier. This vital balance of energy, applies to everything in your environment, including the food with which you nourish your body.

Each food relates to one or more Feng Shui elements - wood, fire, earth, metal and water. By combining the elements, you can enhance the Yin and Yang components of food, saturating it with energy and health-giving properties.

You will feel best when both Yin and Yang energies are equally strong and balanced within your body. After eating, you will feel good when your food has provided you with sufficient energy or you may feel cold or tired when your food did not provide you with enough.

In the cooler climates, there are about four times as many people with Yang deficiency as with Yin deficiency. Your body desires a balance between Yin and Yang and it will give you signals when your diet is not balanced. When you feel satisfyingly warm, your food is correctly balanced.

June is National Headache Month; Headache Triggering Foods

June is National Headache Month; Headache Triggering Foods

June is National Headache Month, specific foods and dietary habits such as fasting, skipping meals or dehydration can trigger headaches in certain people.

Some of the most common foods, beverages and additives associated with headaches include:

1. Aged Cheese - Cheeses may be a trigger in a some patient's with migraines. For people who take monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medications, avoidance of all foods containing tyramine —including aged cheeses, red wine, alcoholic beverages and some processed meats — is essential.

Tyramine is found naturally in some foods. It is formed from the breakdown of protein as foods age. Generally, the longer a high-protein food ages the greater the tyramine content. Types of cheeses high in tyramine: Blue cheeses, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Swiss, Processed cheese, Brie, Cheddar, Feta

2. Alcohol—
Blood flow to your brain increases when you drink alcohol. Some scientists blame the headache on impurities in alcohol or by-products produced as your body metabolizes alcohol. Red wine (see above), beer, whiskey, Scotch and champagne are the most commonly identified headache triggers.

3. Nitrates- Nitrates and nitrites are typically preservatives found in: Hot dogs, Sausage, Ham, Bacon, Lunch meats and deli-style meats, Pepperoni, other cured or processed meats

Or Some heart medicines; these substances dilate blood vessels, causing headaches in some people.

4. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive/flavor enhancer that may trigger headaches. MSG is one of the active ingredients in soy sauce, meat tenderizer, Asian foods and a variety of packaged foods. Be aware of labeling such as “hydrolyzed fat “ or “hydrolyzied protein” or “all natural preservatives” since these are terms used synonymously with MSG.

Most symptoms begin within 20 to 25 minutes after consuming MSG. They include:

  • Pressure in the chest
  • Tightening and pressure in the face
  • Burning sensation in the chest, neck, or shoulders
  • Facial flushing
  • Dizziness
  • Headache pain across the front or sides of the head
  • Abdominal discomfort

5. Cold foods -- This condition is caused by eating cold ice cream quickly or gulping ice drinks. It's more likely to occur if you are over-heated from exercise or hot temperatures. Pain, which is felt in the forehead, peaks 25 to 60 seconds and lasts from several seconds to one or two minutes. About one-third of people experience “head rushes,” and more than 90 percent of migraine sufferers report a sensitivity to ice cream.

6. Caffeine -- found in chocolate and cocoa; beverages such as coffee, tea and colas; also found in certain medications.

7. Artificial Sweeteners- Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are linked to headaches in some people.

Medicinal Uses for Herbal Teas

Medicinal Uses for Herbal Teas

Herbs have been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical illnesses. Many of the uses have come from folklore or cultural traditions. Scientific evaluation of herbals has only recently begun, here we will review 10 common herbal tea preparations and their effectiveness to treat certain ailments.

Tea Preparation

Teas can be prepared from either fresh or dried herbs. Bulk dried herbs or dried whole tea leaves can be found at specialty tea stores or through online distributors. Whole leaves are pure herb and are less processed than herbal tea bags, so the plant oils are better preserved. Therefore, you obtain a more concentrated tea with no filler.

This is the most common way to prepare teas.
Pour 1 cup boiling water over the tea bag or dried herbs. Steep (let herbs remain immersed in hot water) for designated time. Remove tea bag or strain off dried herbs. Drink full cup of tea.

The Skinny on Fat

The Skinny on Fat

Cutting back on fat? Getting enough fat? How do you find a happy balance?
Fat is an important part of a healthful eating plan. It provides energy, fat-soluble vitamins, essential
fatty acids and it makes food taste good. The tricky part is the fine line between enough and too

It is also important to choose the more healthful--unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats can help lower
blood cholesterol, but only when used in moderate amounts and in place of saturated fats.

To reduce your intake, switch to oils and margarines made from liquid oil. Try to limit hydrogenated
oils which have more saturated fat.

Do you avoid certain foods for fear of weight gain? If so, you may be missing out on essential fatty
acids and fat-soluble vitamins.

A better way to control fat is to eat foods that contain healthy fats like olive or canola oils and pay
attention to your portion sizes.

Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy and plant proteins for variety and nutrition.

Olive Oil: Good for You Fat?

Plenty of research suggests that cooking with olive oil can be beneficial to your health. Its
monounsaturated fat content can help lower LDL, or “bad” blood cholesterol.

Olive oil comes in a number of varieties, including virgin, light and extra virgin. All are the same in
terms of fat content, either types of fat or total amounts of fat.

The difference in olive oils lies mostly in the flavor. Extra virgin olive oil is low in acid, resulting in a
fruity flavor and aroma, so you don’t need to use as much to enjoy the flavor.Virgin olive oil is more
acidic, meaning you need to use more to get the distinct olive oil flavor. Light olive oil is lighter in
color and flavor.

Whichever type of olive oil you prefer, remember they all have something else in common: They are
all high in total fat and calories, so go easy on portions.

Food and Stress

Food and Stress

Foods That Trigger The Stress Response:
1. Refined Sugar
2. Salt
3. Caffeine
4. Chemical Additives
5. Processed Flour

Not only do processed foods and junk foods contain empty calories, they also contain substances that excite the nervous system to release an adrenaline-like substance.

Needless to say, if you are already stressed, eating these foods are like throwing gasoline on the fire!

1. Processed sugar and processed flour have this effect.

2. Caffeine-
Of course the big substance that tips the scale, is a substance found in caffeine that really excites the nervous system. This, most likely is the reason WHY people drink coffee in the morning. But, it's not just coffee. It's also tea, sodas, chocolate [sorry :( ] and "energy drinks."

3. Salt is another issue.
Salt is known to cause water retention. This results in an increase in blood pressure. The typical American's diet is LOADED with salt.

Nature's Own Aphrodisiacal Gifts of Love

Nature's Own Aphrodisiacal Gifts of Love

In ancient times, aphrodisiacs were used as medicinal remedies, to increase fertility and to enhance male potency. Most of these "love potions" originate in myth and folklore; however some current scientific research actually supports their use.

Asparagus, instantly recognized by it's suggestive shape, has frequently been thought of as a natural aphrodisiac.

Asparagus, also happens to be high in vitamin E, which is one of the key sexual hormonal stimulants.

Once again, the banana's powerfully erotic shape, is partially responsible for the popularity of the banana as an aphrodisiac.

Islamic mythology claims that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden Apple, embarrassed by their naked forms, they covered themselves with banana leaves instead of fig leaves.

In reality, bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for sex hormone production.

Chilies may actually heat up your sex life. The body's reaction to eating a chili is similar to the feelings you experience when having sex, such as an increased heart rate and sweating.

This reaction is due to an increase in circulation from a chemical called capsaicin; the substance that gives the "heat" to peppers, curries and other spicy foods.

Capsaicin works by stimulating nerve endings to release chemicals that raise the heart rate and may trigger the release of endorphins, which give you the pleasure of a natural high.

Chocolate was once associated with both the Aztec and the Mayan Gods of fertility. The Aztecs referred to chocolate as the "Nourishment of the Gods" and Montezuma, supposedly drank 50 cups of chocolate a day, hoping to strengthen his sexual performance.

Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect the stimulant phenylethylamine, and the neurotransmitter serotonin, which are both "feel good" chemicals. They occur naturally in our bodies and are released by our brains when we are happy, feeling loving or passionate.

A related substance to caffeine, called theobromine, is also found in chocolate, it produces a stimulating effect, which is thought to be conducive to lovemaking.

Honey, in ancient Egyptian medicines, was thought to cure sterility and impotence.

Hippocrates even recommended honey to increase one's libido.

This "sweet liquid gold" is referenced in the rituals of love, all the way from the Bible to the Kama Sutra.

Some Hindu tradition, calls for the groom to eat honey on his wedding day.

In ancient Persia, couples drank mead, a fermented drink made from honey, everyday for a month after they married, in order to "sweeten" the marriage. This was known as the "honey month" or their "honeymoon".

Honey contains vitamin B6; needed for testosterone production,as well as boron, which helps the body metabolize and use estrogen. Honey also provides a slow and steady release of fructose, which aids in stamina and energy production.

Since the days of Aphrodite, oysters have been associated with all things sensual.

Legend tells of Casanova, the ultimate lover, eating dozens of oysters a day, to keep his ladies satisfied.

Oysters are high in protein and zinc, a mineral used in the production of testosterone. Recently, mussels, clams and oysters have been found to contain D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate), compounds that may be effective in releasing sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

7 Eating Tips to Promote a Stress-Free, Healthy Immune System

7 Eating Tips to Promote a Stress-Free, Healthy Immune System

Tip # 1:Color Your Plate Like A Box of Crayolas:
The substance that gives foods (fruits and vegetables) their color are called phytochemicals. Many consider these phytonutrients (e.g., bio-flavinoids) essential in helping to fight cancer.

Tip # 2:Antioxidants
Most phytochemicals are known to have antioxidant activity. There is much talk today about antioxidants.

Here is the simple low-down on Anti-oxidants and Free Radicals.

Free Radicals are oxygen molecules with an extra electron.
We breathe these in all the time.

Physically speaking, this electron configuration causes damage to the following:

1. Cell membranes (allowing things to go in that shouldn't enter, and things to leave that should stay)

2. They are thought to be associated with the development of cancer and heart disease, perhaps other diseases as well.

Antioxidants come to the rescue by destroying Free Radicals.

The four major antioxidants are:

1. Beta Carotine (a precursor to Vitamin A)
2. Vitamin C
3. Vitamin E
4. The mineral, Selenium

Antioxidants are found largely in fruits and vegetables.

Tip # 3:Drink Water
Most Americans are walking around dehydrated. We simply don't drink enough water!

Many beverages we do drink (coffee, tea, sodas, etc.) act as diuretics, meaning they increase urination, thus tipping the scales toward dehydration.

Here is the bottom-line message about being hydrated:
Water helps flush out waste products and toxins throughout the body. Dehydration will compromise this process, hence not flushing things out as they should be.

How much water is enough per day?

Well, the recommendation is the proverbial eight 8 oz glasses per day, but considering this recommendation when comparing a 120 lb woman and a 289 lb man working in the same office reveals it's only a guide.

Experts suggest the best indication of being hydrated is near-clear urine (dark urine may be a sign of dehydration).

Tip # 4:Herbs and Spices
Before processed foods and fast food restaurants, the majority of people cooked their meals at home. In each kitchen it was not uncommon to find a spice rack containing fresh spices and herbs grown in the backyard garden. (FYI: Salt is not an herb).

Backyard gardens contained herb plants like Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Cilantro, Oregano, Garlic, and many others.

These spices and herbs were not only added for taste, they had an added health benefit (essential oils of herbs enhance the immune system).

We now know that the leaves, stems, and roots of these plants contain phytochemicals such as bio-flavinoids and antioxidants.

By now most people have heard of Echinacea, but there are several mushrooms (Shitake, Maitake and Reishi) that are known to enhance the immune system as well.

Astragulus is also well recognized to boost white blood cells and of course Milk Thistle is known to help cleanse the liver of toxins.

Most men today know the benefits of Saw Palmetto.

Feverfew is recognized as a remedy for migraines and it is a well known fact that garlic helps reduce cholesterol levels.

Herbalists will also tell you that many herbs are known for their anti-microbial abilities (to reduce colds and flues).

Tip # 5:Fiber
Current estimates suggest that Americans eat about 9 grams of fiber a day if that. The World Health Organization suggests that each person consume 30-40 grams of fiber a day.

Just to review:
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.).

It is a compound in carbohydrates that is not digestible. We simply don't have the enzymes to break this stuff down.

As such, it acts like a broom in that it sweeps out both the small and large intestine, carrying with it things like fat molecules (which is why fiber is said to lower cholesterol) and even some toxins that haven't made their way into the blood stream.

Tip # 6:Omega 3's
Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils are essential fatty acids. This means that your body cannot produce them internally and they must be obtained from outside sources.

We have an imbalance in the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), in that our diet is overloaded with Omega 6's (vegetable oils) and severely lacking in Omega 3's.

It is important to know that Omega 6 oils tend to cause inflammation by stimulating the immune system response which leads to a lowering of immunity to real threats (e.g. viruses, bacteria, etc.).

Sources of Omega 3's include cold-water fish (e.g. Salmon, Cod, Tuna) flax seed oil, walnuts, and a few other foods.

Why are Omega 3's so important?
Well for starters, these healthy fats acts as anti-inflammatory agents. They are also essential for brain cells and we know how important this is.

Sources of Omega 3's include cold-water fish (e.g. Salmon, Cod, Tuna) flax seed oil, walnuts, and a few other foods.

Research now suggests that Omega 3 oils may also help prevent cancer.

Tip # 7:About Vitamins:
B-Complex is known as the "Stress Vitamin"
Because many of the B-vitamins are used to assist metabolic processes for energy production (fight or flight), the B-complex is widely known as "the stress vitamin."

You can walk into any store and find bottles in the vitamin section labeled "Stress Vitamins: B-Complex" (note: if you read the label, most likely you will see Vitamin C as well).

These are the water-soluble vitamins, and in this case, what you don't need your body, in all its great wisdom, will eliminate as excess.

Excess B-complex in the urine looks like a laser light show. The urine is florescent yellow, green or orange. If you happen to note this, the thought should occur to you that you are flushing down the drain the vitamins you recently purchased.

While we all need the B-complex vitamin, start with small does that are proven to be bioavailable (easily absorbed).

Nutritious Notes

Nutritious Notes

March is National Nutrition Month. Eating well can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Eating well means eating a variety of healthy foods in the right amounts so your body gets the nutrients needed to maintain good health and work properly.

What exactly are the nutrients that come from food? Different foods provide different kinds of nutrients:

-- Proteins (lean meats, eggs, beans, nuts) help build muscle and a strong immune system.

-- Carbohydrates (starches, sugar and whole grains that also provide fiber) give you energy.

-- Fats provide essential fatty acids and extra energy.

-- Vitamins and minerals (commonly available in fruits, vegetables and whole grains) regulate body processes, enhance cell function and growth and help build a strong immune system.

-- Water gives cells shape and acts as a medium where body processes can occur.

Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into each meal will help ensure that your body gets the right amount of the essential nutrients. Eating too many saturated fats and sugars can lead to excess weight gain and chronic disease. A recent study from the San Francisco VA Medical Center showed that Omega 6 fatty acid can promote prostate tumor cell growth in human prostrate cancer tissue cultures.1 Corn oil is a major source of omega 6 fatty acids, used extensively in the United States' food processing, frying and baked goods. A healthy balance for your fat intake should include higher daily intakes of monounsaturated fats (olive, canola and peanut oils) along with omega 3 fatty acids, which one can get by consuming fish at least twice a week. Avoid trans-fatty acids found in many processed foods.

In general, processed foods tend to lose many of their vitamins during the manufacturing process and often have other less healthy ingredients added such as corn syrup and trans fats. Thus, the term empty calories is often used to describe foods like soda and potato chips. Replacing processed foods in your diet with more fresh foods like fruits, vegetables and plain water helps promote a healthy diet. Additionally, a St. Louis VA Medical Center study in 2004 found that reducing the amount of fat and empty calories in your diet may help improve memory2.

The following are tips on how to practice good nutrition this month and every month:

-- Eat smaller meals including a vegetable as the center of the plate, with smaller meat and starch servings. Include at least one serving of fruit and vegetable with every meal.

-- Drink more water between meals; try veggies or a handful of nuts for a snack and fresh fruit for something sweet.

-- Reduce your intake of deep fried foods and cancer-causing trans fats found in processed foods and baked goods.

-- Read food labels and reduce the amount of added sugar, corn syrup and salt in the diet. Use fresh herbs and spices to season food instead.

VA offers veterans an online tool to help them track their food intake and manage their nutrition. The MyHealtheVet Web site has an online food journal to help veterans monitor what they eat. It also offers tips and information on health and wellness. Veterans (as well as their families and advocates) can log on to and begin tracking their food intake today. The journal may be used as a tool for follow-up nutrition counseling with a local registered dietitian. VA provides nutrition counseling as a health care benefit to enrolled veterans. For more information on nutrition, veterans may contact their local VA Medical Center.

Diet Fitness And Weight Loss

Fitness And Weight Loss

If you need to lose weight, you need to minimize the amount of calories that you are taking in by monitoring how many you are consuming.

The average person should consume about 1800 to 2000 calories per day. If you are dieting and need to lose weight, you need to reduce this amount to at 1500 to 1600 calories per day. Go with the reductions that your doctor recommends here so that you have enough fuel for the day but are not allowing your body to store the extra fuel as fat throughout your body.

When it comes to improving your diet fitness, you need to take into consideration the location that you are right now.

What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? How many calories are you consuming per day?

To help you to see the clear picture of what’s happening to your health in the foods that you eat, take note of how a normal day or week goes for you. Here are some steps to follow to find out how healthy your diet actually is and how healthy it isn’t!

  1. Spend one or two days recording the foods that you eat in an average day on a piece of paper. All foods and drinks should be noted!

  2. Figure out how many calories you are consuming in an average day.

  3. Look at your list of foods and see how many of them are high in transaturated fats, sugars and calories in general.

  4. How many servings of vegetables and fruits are you getting? How many servings of protein has been lean protein? Did you get in any whole grains? How much soda did you drink (which puts pounds on your waist each time?)

  5. How often did you eat without actually being hungry but being instead bored, anxious, stressed or otherwise emotionally impared?
When you look at these facts you may clearly see where the problems lie. Being honest with yourself is important, though. For most people this is as simple as tracking what they eat over the period of a few days to a week.

Seeing just how much in calories as well as in unhealthiness can really cause them to see what reality really is rather than to assume they are doing okay.

Where To Find Free Exercises To Flatten Stomach

Where To Find Free Exercises To Flatten Stomach

They are everywhere; magazines where on the front cover have beautiful models showing off their flat stomach and a caption that may say something similar to "Want flat abs, we'll show you how!" These magazine articles are great for some people who want to spend the money to buy the magazine in order to find out how to flatten their stomach.

Then there are endless websites that if you sign up and pay the fee, you will be given exercise routines meant to flatten you stomach. Again, this may be a good source for some people who have this goal, but where can you go to find free exercise to flatten stomachs?

The internet is probably one of the best sources for finding free information. There are hundreds of sites a person will find just by using the search words "free stomach exercises" or similar phrases. These sites will give step-by-step instructions on how to perform a variety of exercises to flatten stomachs. When a person finds several exercises he or she likes, it is simple to print them out and have the paper available when performing the exercise.

Another good source to find free exercises to flatten stomachs is at a library. The library may actually have more information then the internet; it is just not as convenient. A person who takes the time to visit the library can find books on how to flatten their stomach read magazine articles and borrow videos that talk about exercises to flatten stomachs.

One source for finding free exercise to flatten stomachs is the television. If a person can set aside a specific time during the day for exercise, there are many television programs on throughout the day that are exercise related, even channels dedicated just to exercise and health. Many of these shows will focus on flattening stomachs, since this is a primary goal of most people that exercise.

This method for finding free exercises to flatten stomachs may be the least convenient and may not be feasible to everyone, but for some people that can find the right program and make it work with their schedule or the ability to record for use at a later time, it may be a good option.

For people that truly need to loose weight around their stomachs for health reasons, doctors are probably the best source for free exercises to flatten stomachs. They will have available many brochures and other material that will help the person in their goal to look and feel better. In addition, a doctor would be a good source for finding out other places to obtain this information.

There are hundreds of sources for finding exercises to flatten stomachs. Some of these sources require a purchase or even an investment. There are also many sources available that offer free exercises to flatten stomach muscles. Remember, the best exercise is the exercise that works for the individual, regardless of the source.

Exercise Is Good For The Young

Exercise Is Good For The Young

Individuals under 20 are naturally more flexible, have higher metabolic rates and more energy than those older. But they, too, need to exercise (in appropriate ways) to avoid injury and build strength and endurance, avoid obesity and stay fit.

Particularly today, when there are so many electronic alternatives, young people may exercise less than they should. It's during the formative years that individuals lay the groundwork for what later become healthy or poor habits.

Kids will usually become quickly bored with routines designed for adults. But the activity doesn't have to involve organized group sports, either. A gentle jog with an adult, a tennis game, swimming, golf, martial arts, bicycling, dancing, gymnastics and many other sports are enjoyable for the younger crowd.

Kids are usually sensitive to anything that appears inconsistent or hypocritical from adults. Be prepared to follow your own advice and exercise with them. That also helps parents share quality time with their kids outside the house and during activities that benefit both. Parents get the added benefit of monitoring to ensure that the kids are exercising in a safe and proper way.

Like any routine, if it produces pain - even the day after - the individual is less likely to continue. Keep it simple and build up the difficulty and length gradually. Kids are more flexible, but they too need to warm-up and gently stretch before engaging in vigorous exercise. A few minutes of static and dynamic stretching will help avoid injury.

Exercise routines should take into account the age group of the individual child.

Children from about 4-7 should focus primarily on developing basic physical skills, such as coordination and balance. These are the years when motor skills, eye-hand coordination and other things adults take for granted are still fluid. Children take to these activities naturally, as well. Jumping rope, hopscotch and other simple activities help guide the development of these skills.

From the age of 8 or so, exercises can become more vigorous in order to keep that active metabolism from turning food into fat. Here again, though, adults need to guide kids in order to build good habits and avoid injury. Weight machines are almost always a bad idea for pre-teens, for example. They're risky and unnecessary.

Gymnastics, by contrast, helps build on those basic motor skills learned earlier while developing strength, balance and keeping the endocrine system active and healthy.

For teens, the field is wide open. They have the basic bone and muscle structure that gives them the potential for high performance activity in a wide variety of activities. But here, too, the possibility of injury remains for those who don't get the proper guidance.

Teens are inclined to roughhousing and rebelliousness. Give them an outlet that directs all that energy and independence to the achievement of positive goals - fitness, endurance, high scores.

Healthy Living Through Successful Exercise

Healthy Living Through Successful Exercise

Loving life and keeping the body healthy always go hand in hand. A person can only fully appreciate life and enjoy it if he or she is healthy. Poor health can be a big hindrance for some people to be able to do the things that they want to do in life. This limitation can affect how they live their lives day to day.

But with following a regular exercise program, even just a moderate one, can have a beneficial effect on the body. The important thing is that it should be done on a regular basis and not just occasionally. Routine makes exercise give the body the thorough workout that it needs to keep fit and stay healthy.

In order to be successful in doing exercises regularly, one should learn how to love doing them. An exercise program should be fashioned as much as possible to the person's own preference as much as possible. Success in making exercise a habit is by trying to make it become more interesting and appealing to a person. That is the easiest way to make exercising a habit.

If you haven't tried exercising regularly before, you can start by doing tasks that you normally do with a different challenge. Always try to help give your body some kind of a workout even for the daily chores or tasks that you do. If you wish to go somewhere nearby, try to walk the distance instead of driving there. Try parking at the far end of the car park when you go to the supermarket so that you can walk all the way to the store. That can easily give you a good workout without even trying.

Beginning a good exercise program starts with just doing what you love to do on a regular basis. If you love gardening, then it can be seen as part of your exercise program. Hiking, cycling and getting into sports such as swimming, tennis or even golf can be easily be considered as part of a regular exercise routine. What makes them so important is that they help keep the interest in keeping fit up, therefore making people love what they are doing.

A good exercise routine usually is composed of about 30 minutes of physical workout each day. The routine can be started for three or four days each week and may gradually be increased to six days every week at the most. The 30 minutes can either be done in one sitting each day and can also be spread out at different intervals. What is important is that the person should be working on the consistency and the length of time of the exercises. Intensity of the workouts just comes in second.

As some added motivation to keep up with a training and exercise program, a person would likely enjoy keeping fit and loving life more with other people around to do it with. Keeping fit with a friend or a colleague can help make an exercise regimen more enjoyable to do. Not only does it make the process easier with someone along to do it with, the added motivation may also come from the competition.

Friends can try to challenge each other to see who can come up with better results after several weeks of doing exercises together.

Exercise To Lose Weight Quickly

Exercise To Lose Weight Quickly

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anybody that you are burning more energy when you are standing than when you are sitting, more energy when you are walking than when you are standing and more energy when you are running than when you are walking. That is just common sense.

When you begin your ‘eating healthier’ plan, you really need to include an exercise plan to go along with it. You can only eat just so many fewer calories than you burn each day and exercise allows you to burn more for the time you are exercising plus increase your metabolic rate for several hours after you are through exercising. In addition, vigorous physical exercise causes our brains to produce dandy little hormones called endorphins that lift our moods and make us feel happier.

The one exercise that most people can do and not need any special equipment of place to do it is simply walking. Walking at a brisk pace will just naturally burn more calories during the time that you walk but even walking at a moderate pace serves to burn calories and increases the metabolic rate.

That after dinner walk around the block is better than no walk at all. Any exercise program that you begin should, of course, be approved by your doctor. It isn’t wise to begin to exercise after years of being sedentary without first being pronounced fit enough to do so.

All exercise programs need to be started slowly and increased gradually to prevent physical harm or even just muscles that are so sore that you have to skip the exercise altogether.

Exercising with a partner is preferable to exercising along. Get your significant other or your best friend to join you in a walk during lunch or after your evening meal.

Promoting Weight Loss Via Reverse Psychology

Promoting Weight Loss Via Reverse Psychology

Are you an every other month (EOM) dieter? Have you researched every diet on earth, read a b-zillion weigh loss articles, and yet are still grappling with weight loss and how your got fat in the first place?

Perhaps your "EOM" approach to weight loss, along with your half-baked commitments have become a substitute for actually making the behavioral changes necessary to take the ill health out of your current lifestyle?

If this picture is beginning to look a bit familiar, you may not realize it, but your overall mind-set and self-talk and are the very keys to your happiness and success.

Think it's just Twinkies, beer, soda and french fries? Guess again.

Are You Pouring on the Pounds Today?

Are You Pouring on the Pounds Today?

It’s hard to overeat without noticing it. By contrast, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can sneak up on you, adding hundreds of calories to your diet each day without ever filling you up. On average, Americans now consume 200 to 300 more calories each day than we did 30 years ago. Nearly half of these extra calories come from sugar-sweetened drinks.

As a first step in controlling your own soda intake, consider these simple strategies to avoid pouring on the pounds: If you drink coffee or tea, order it plain and flavor it yourself. If you order a sugar-sweetened beverage, ask for a “small.” When you shop for beverages, read the labels and choose products with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving. And if you enjoy sugar-sweetened beverages, make them an occasional treat and not a daily staple.

Remember, drinking beverages loaded with sugars increases your risk of obesity and associated chronic health problems, particularly diabetes but also heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer.

Running’s Bad For The Knees – “Not”

Though the myth still persists that high impact aerobic exercise is bad for the joints, recent research has begun to demonstrate the opposite is true, especially when it comes to jogging and running. Not only does the research establish there is no correlation between running and joint-related disorders like arthritis, the new studies reveal that running and other forms of regular, vigorous activity — may even help guard people against joint problems later in life.

In a long-term study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that runners in fact experienced less physical disability, and had a 39% lower mortality rate than the non-runners. This is partially because cartilage — the soft connective tissue that surrounds the bones in joints — does not have a blood supply like muscle, and therefore relies on the pumping action generated by weight bearing movement to get its necessary allotment of oxygen and nutrients. When you bear weight on lower extremity joints with activities like running - synovial fluid squishes in and out of the joint, which explains why a daily jog or run, or any other workout for that matter, is in fact useful for maintaining healthy cartilage and joint function.

To reap jogging and running’s positive benefits the best advice for maintaining injury-free joints may be to simply keep running; that is, jog or run consistently and avoid long periods of down time. This may be especially hard during the blustery winter months, but runners should try to get in daily workouts. More importantly being stuck indoors doesn’t need to be a deterrent — tackle the treadmill, climb flights of stairs, or walk briskly at the mall any of these will do the trick. Most of all just don't sit around for weeks at a time and then start jogging or running six-milers out of the blue. To stay off the sidelines avoid sudden bursts of activity which are often the primary culprits for injury.

Childhood & Adult Obesity Archieve

Searching for resources and information related to adult and childhood obesity interventions to kick-start your wellness programming efforts? Look no further. I've tried to gather a number of very useful and trusted sources via the links below to get you started. Clinicians will need to assess the client's motivation to enter weight loss and severe obesity therapy; determine the clients degree of activation and readiness to implement the plan; and then take appropriate steps to motivate the client for treatment and support them in developing well-formed outcomes along the way.

Though the focus here is on the individual, policy and environmental change initiatives relative to making healthy choices in nutrition and physical activity will be the main determinants for the population as a whole. Long term success in combating obesity will hinge on making healthy options and environments in multiple settings—communities, schools, work sites, and health care facilities— available, affordable, and easy to integrate into everyday lifestyles will likely prove to be the most effective path.
My personal favorite...
We Can! - Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition

The International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk puts this all into perspective. Awareness is everything!

Weight Mgmt & Nutrition Resources for Health Professionals

Effects of Obesity on co-morbid conditions

NHLBI Guidelines


Physical Activity

Lifestyle Change

Together We Can!

A nationwide program is helping to promote good nutrition and fun physical activities for better health among children. Communities across the nation, including those in the Pacific Northwest are getting involved in the We Can!TMmovement. To date, more than 1208 entities, including some in my own back yard here in Oregon have signed on. Play your part today by simply spreading the word and start using the broad array of turn-key resources and tools to make a difference where you live, work & play.

The national statistics on childhood obesity are not encouraging. According to CDC data nearly 80% of children who are overweight at aged 10–15 years become obese adults. Since obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many other serious health problems, the urgent nature of this issue should be clear. In fact, today's children are going to carry the obesity with them much longer leading to additional or more serious weight-related health risks.

Fortunately, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is taking a leading role in addressing this nationwide epidemic head-on. In 2005, the NIH launched We Can!TM (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition), a national education program designed to help children ages 8 to 13 achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The program gets community organizations, schools, and hospitals involved to assist families in making improved food choices, increasing their physical activity, and reducing their screen time.

Energy In, Energy Out
One of the most important things to understand about keeping a healthy weight is that you gain weight if you consume more calories than your body burns. Likewise, you lose weight if your body burns more calories than you consume. Your body burns calories in a variety of ways, including by just doing basic functions like breathing and digesting food. People with active lifestyles burn more calories than do those who don’t do as much. That’s why physical activity is such an important part of getting to and keeping a healthy weight.

Think of the food you eat in terms of GO, SLOW, & WHOA foods. Enjoy GO foods almost any time you like. Limit SLOW foods to certain occasions, no more than a few times per week. And enjoy WHOAfoods only on special occasions, and then eat only a small portion.

GO foods include low-fat, low-calorie foods that are also low in added sugar. They tend to be rich in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and other healthy substances. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great examples of GO foods. That said, fried vegetables and canned fruits in syrup, despite their fundamental ingredients, fall into the category of WHOA foods. Be sure to stock up on GO foods so that you can offer a variety of foods to keep things interesting.

SLOW foods tend to be higher in fat and added sugar than GO foods are. Examples include fruit juices; baked goods made with white, refined flour; and poultry cooked with the skin still on.

WHOA foods are the highest in fat and added sugar. Foods prepared with heavy creams and butter, fried foods, and fatty meats are examples of foods you should only eat once in a while.

Get Moving
Along with a healthy diet, physical activity can help you keep every family member’s weight in a healthy range — and help everyone feel better every day. Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines recommend that children and teens get physical activity for at least 1 hour per day on most (or better yet, all) days of the week. That may sound like a lot, especially if you’re not getting any physical activity now. But physical activity means more than exercise alone. It can mean playing games in the backyard, or washing the car. It can mean working in the yard, or walking the dog. Add the healthy habit of physical activity to your family’s schedule.

Screen Time
Americans spend too much time in front of monitors, sitting still and burning very few calories. One way to make time for healthier family life is to limit the amount of time your children — and you — spend in front of a screen. Try to limit your family’s “screen time” to no more than 2 hours per day. Also, you can make the most of screen time by encouraging physical activity while watching TV, such as stretching, lifting weights, or doing yoga. Or enjoy an exercise program together.

Making Changes
Start small, and do it one small step at a time. By making gradual changes to your family’s routine, it becomes easier to accept the differences. It’s one thing to know you need to make changes. It’s another to actually make them. Most of all overweight and obese children need guidance in making healthier choices.

Jamie Oliver's - Food Revolution

If a real food revolution is to be, it can’t happen just in isolation-we must rise up with campaigns across the country where we live, work and play. Jamie's wish is to teach every child about food and to fight obesity. In Food Revolution's six episodes, Jamie travels to Huntington WV to improve the dietary habits of the people there. His arrival is met with resistance by the locals as his ideas of healthy eating are discouraged by a local radio DJ, the head cafeteria cook, the newspaper, and the school principal who urges him to follow the strict government guidelines that seem arbitrary. He discovers a repeated sound that serves as a cue of one of the reasons why the region's health indicators are so poor. As the children line up t o exit the cafeteria you hear thumps as they tap their cafeteria trays against the insides of a trash can and dump pounds of wasted food (mostly the healthy stuff - they eat the junkie foods) and money.

One thing noticeably absent from the first two episodes is a discussion of any role the American food industry and its lobbyists might play in the makeup of school lunches and in the formulation of the guidelines set for them by the Agricultural Department.