A nose is a funny thing.
We tend to think about our nose only when it is too big, stuffed up, ready to explode in a sneeze, or focusing our attention on a particularly heavenly or nauseating smell. Yet, day in and day out, our nose is working hard for us, creating countless opportunities for mindfulness while preventing us from being mouth-breathers.
It's impossible to see much of your own nose unless you look in the mirror, but there it is, taking up prime real estate in the middle of your face. It's the center attraction, but despite its bulls-eye position, it doesn't get much respect.
Women outline their eyes and lips for emphasis, but use tricky make-up techniques to minimize the nose. Some people pierce their nose for a bit of exotic adornment, but for the most part, the nose is sort of neglected. It harbors little nasties. It runs. It's, well, a bit offensive.
That's why I was excited to read Gabrielle Glaser's book, The Nose: A Profile of Sex, Beauty & Survival. It's a fascinating and snort-worthy look at this funny-looking facet of our faces. Her nasal passage through history offers some surprising hints of hilarity and dastardly doings.
Imagine my delight to discover that Gabrielle, Queen of The Nose, lives right here in Portland! She was happy to answer my questions in order to help us become more mindful of this amazing appendage.
Question: How did you get your first whiff of an idea for this book?
"My nose has always been a focal point of my life. Whether it was its size (big), its hyperfunction (an acute sense of smell), or its dysfunction (five sinus surgeries and a two-year-loss of my sense of smell), it always made me think in ways I doubt other people's noses did. When I was small and growing up in rural Oregon, I'd stretch my skin on one side so it wouldn't be so big in profile. Good or bad smells had the ability to really, really affect my mood. I couldn't understand how people could smell, say, bad fried food and even consider eating in such a restaurant, when such odors made me want to cry.
Finally, once I had 'grown into' my physical nose, I got very ill as an adult. For many years I couldn't breathe well, and I felt sick all the time. There's nothing like an illness to make you learn about a sick body part. So, to answer your question, one day I was having lunch with my agent and we started talking about smells, and how they affected us. He suggested turning my experiences into a quirky book."
Question: What are the most surprising, um, nuggets that you revealed about the nose?
"Probably the most striking things I learned involved the pseudoscience of the nose, and the terrible experiments that were carried out in the 1940s by Ivy League doctors--especially on immigrants and women.
I was also amused to learn how much the physical nose played a role in history. In the 18th century, nasal shape was used to determine psychological characteristics of people, and such 'methodology' was even applied when picking national and military leaders."
If you're like most people, many of your most vivid memories are inextricably linked to a specific smell. Lilacs in bloom, freshly-cut grass, burning leaves, pine boughs--these conjure very distinct memories of seasons past. Our sense of smell helps us create memories while serving as a trigger years later as we recall them.
The nose is being studied for its role in Alzheimer's disease. According to Gabrielle, "Though we start losing some of our ability to detect odors as early as age 30, and it is common to suffer smell loss after age 60, a rapid deterioration among senior citizens can sometimes be associated with cognitive impairment."
Doctors in Portugal are using nasal tissue in adult stem-cell research. Although embryonic stem-cell research remains highly controversial, nobody seems too upset at the idea of a little nose-picking in the name of science.
Imagine the possibility of finding cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, paralysis and cancer thanks to our noses. It's enough to make you appreciate your own olfactory factory--no matter what the size or shape.
Be mindful of your nose. Breathe in and smell the world. Notice your fragrant memories as they waft by throughout the day.
The nose plays a huge role in connecting us to all that matters most. It may lead to some surprising cures for what ails us.
And that's nothing to sneeze at.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
A nose is a funny thing.
Already since 1972, over 60 million people in the USA alone have successfully quit smoking!
At one stage over 60% of the adult population was addicted to this drug. Today it is 28% and dropping.
Now, isn't this a fair thought.
If all these people can do it (60 MILLION OF THEM!) - and they include EVERY TYPE of person imaginable - surely that is PROOF that IT IS POSSIBLE to successfully quit smoking.
Here's another Fact.
We now know from the latest scientific research, that although nicotine is one of the world's fastest acting drugs --- the actual PHYSICAL withdrawal pangs when you give up ARE SO MILD, YOU WILL HARDLY BE AWARE of THEM WHEN YOU STOP.
YES, you have read that sentence right!
I know you will want to argue with me on this point, but, first, let me first make the following points.
The Desire to Smoke
Yes, when you stop smoking you will feel the desire AGAIN and AGAIN to smoke.
We all know that feeling -- 'I must have a cigarette'. But that desire in itself is not bad or painful.
It is just a feeling, a sensation we feel in our body.
However........this is where, for most of us our problems start.
If we start to fear that 'craving' or try to use 'Willpower' to REPRESS it or FORCE it go away, -- "I wish this feeling would go away" we WILL create pain and tension.
This is what as smokers we have all done in the past.
That 'feeling' of wanting to smoke then becomes painful, annoying and terribly irritating.
Now this is the hard part to realize.
The pain, the horror does not come from the desire to smoke, but from HOW we deal with this desire, moment-by-moment WHEN we stop.
Can I emphasize this.
You do not have to experience ANY pain or agony when you stop. Yes, when you stop you WILL experience a.
Temporary feeling of loss
A feeling that you are being deprived of something
A feeling of emptiness
A feeling that you will never be able to enjoy yourself again.
A feeling that you must have a cigarette
These feelings, although very real in themselves are not inherently bad or painful. What is important is how you deal with these feelings when you QUIT SMOKING.
The key part of quitting smoking naturally is learning how to deal with these cravings when you stop.
Right now, you don't want to give up smoking because you are TERRIFIED of how you will FEEL when you can't smoke.
Let's be honest.
You smoke now because you enjoy it.
Or -- to be more accurate: You smoke now because you have conditioned yourself to enjoy it.
It is important that we are honest with ourselves here.
In fact, even the 'THOUGHT', the mere 'thought' of not been able to smoke probably fills you with complete dread now.
But there is another undeniable fact: This 'pleasure' is killing you. Again we must be brutally honest here. Everyday, you are systemically destroying your health.
This is the conflict all smokers face.
On the one hand, smoking is killing you and you desperately want to stop.
..And yet on the other hand, you don't really want to stop because you believe you really enjoy it.
Yet, one other truth cannot be denied and this applies to every smoker.
We are terrified of how we will F-E-E-L when we can't smoke. We are convinced it will be unbearable and impossible.
Right now, the ONLY thing -- yes, THE ONLY THING stopping you from quitting smoking is this fear of how YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOU STOP.
And yet this very fear is the actual key to quitting smoking naturally.
Quitting smoking is really all about learning HOW to deal with the cravings and feelings you WILL get when you stop.
When you learn how to do that - you will realize that there is nothing to fear when you give up.
What is there to fear?
When you get the craving to smoke, which you will, again and again - - you will now take the OPPORTUNITY to 'change' or 'transform' that craving so that it is actually enjoyable or at least tolerable to experience.
You have decided to give up smoking. It's dinnertime.
You have finished a day's work.
You finish your meal and ..... subconsciously, you reach for a cigarette. But then, of course you remember you no longer smoke.
Bang! At that moment, certain gut feelings will arise.
Feelings of regret........a feeling that you are missing out on something important and then maybe..... terrible feelings of emptiness..... We all know how it feels.
But the real question is: How will you deal with this feeling -- this craving to smoke?
Will you just suffer it, try to repress it and hope that it will go away? That is one option. The old willpower method.
Or will you give in to the feeling -- and start to smoke again (promising to start again tomorrow)?
Or will you - - for the first time ever: - - follow our instructions and actually ALLOW yourself to transform the feeling/craving so that it is actually enjoyable or at least pleasant or tolerable enough to experience.
You see, when you can do that, you will no longer be AFRAID of these cravings when you stop smoking.
In fact, you will start to WELCOME them because they will give you another opportunity to RESPOND and DEAL with them in this NEW WAY.
This process is the essence of quitting smoking naturally and finding it a pleasant and life-affirming experience.
Are you now beginning to see how these principles can also apply to losing weight.
You see a beautiful cake. You want to eat it....when BANG! -- You remember you are on a diet.
Now watch HOW YOU feel when this happens?
Couldn't we describe it as.
'Feelings of regret........a feeling that you are missing out on something important and then maybe..... terrible feelings of emptiness.
Isn't it essentially the same feeling as not being able to smoke?
However, the real question is the same with smoking: How will you DEAL with this feeling - this craving to eat?
Will you GIVE IN to it -- and eat the cake or will you try and FORCE yourself not to eat it- and be miserable?
Why not consider our alternative?
Accept this feeling, this desire to eat. But, instead of giving in to it, learn how to deal and respond to it in a NEW way so that you don't MIND experiencing it?
Transform the craving so that it is actually enjoyable or very pleasant to experience.
The Joy of quitting Smoking?
Remember, when you stop - yes, you WILL feel something but there will be no physical agony, only a temporary feeling that you are MISSING OUT on something. A feeling that you are being deprived of something SPECIAL --- but these feelings will ONLY be temporary.
However, to quit smoking successfully and to start to enjoy doing it we must go deeper than these temporary cravings.
We must realize that:
You find it difficult or impossible to stop smoking now because......... you BELIEVE ABSOLUTELY that you NEED to smoke and even deeper, you BELIEVE that if you give up smoking now, your life will never be as ENJOYABLE again.
In one sentence: You believe your life will be intolerable.
It is these beliefs that makes quitting smoking difficult NOT Nicotine addiction.
Right now, you are not only physically addicted to smoking but you are psychologically dependent or addicted to smoking.
If your addiction were purely physical wouldn't all these nicotine patches have a 100% success record!
Yet, we all know that even if we use a nicotine substitute, we will still continue to feel a terrible desire to smoke.
Again and again, we'll feel we must have a cigarette. At times, it will even get to the stage where we just don't care - even the most dire health warnings will have no affect on us - we just WANT to smoke. Where does this desire come from ?
It comes from our conditioning, our beliefs about smoking.
This moment, we believe that smoking is an essential pleasure. In fact, most of us have a terrible resistance to EVEN thinking about quitting smoking.
Because we believe that in order to do anything about our addiction, i.e. give up smoking -- we would have to end our pleasure and ending pleasure is something we have NO DESIRE to do.
YOUR REAL JOB
Your real job in giving up smoking lies in REALLY UNDERSTANDING that you don't NEED to smoke.
You remove the psychological addiction to smoking.
You will never be truly free until you realize that smoking is not a real pleasure and that when you stop, you WILL NOT BE depriving ourselves of a real pleasure....... ......and then you will not only be able to give up smoking for good but you will enjoy doing it!
© http://www.quitsmokingonline.com - All Rights Reserved.
Is it possible to enjoy, yes ENJOY quitting smoking - and not gain ANY weight? Follow Sean O'Riain famous 10-day free online Quit Smoking Course at www.quitsmokingonline.com and prove it for yourself.
It's raining outside. Your shoes are still wet from your last walking session. You really should just go out and exercise, but there's something good on TV. Maybe later...
Now try this scenario: It's raining outside. Your shoes are wet and you don't really feel like going for a walk, but your cell phone is blinking with a message from your buddy that says she's already left the house and she'll meet you at the trail. You know you have to go, or she'll give you a hard time for ditching her. So, you grab your soggy shoes and head off for a power walking session. Afterwards, you feel good. You always feel good afterwards; it's the getting started part that's hard.
That's why it's so beneficial to have someone else to exercise with on a regular basis. There's no type of fitness regimen that can't benefit from having a fitness buddy. If it's weightlifting, your buddy can spot you. If it's running or biking, they can push you to go faster than you would if you were alone. If it's climbing, she can catch you when you slip and start careening down the mountain (maybe climbing isn't the safest fitness activity).
Whatever your choice of fitness outlets, a workout buddy can not only push you harder than you would yourself, but they can actually get you out the door. Never underestimate the power of social obligations. Those of us who wouldn't think twice about breaking a date with ourselves cringe at the idea of breaking a date with a friend. Especially if we have friends who are experts at giving the guilt-trip.
OK, so you're sold on the idea of a fitness buddy. But wanting one can be easier than finding one. Your regular friends might not be into fitness, or they're the kind of people who start something with good intentions and gradually slack off. It's important to find someone who is as dedicated to fitness (or more dedicated) than you are. But where to look? Here are some ideas:
Ask a friend, or see if a friend of a friend is looking for somebody.
If you belong to a gym or health club, see if there is a bulletin board out front where you can post requests.
Join an exercise class or take some sports lessons; you might find an interested person or two.
Check fitness web sites, especially related to your interests; there may be a message board where you can look for activity partners.
Whatever route you choose, don't be afraid to initiate proceedings by starting up conversations with people or starting new threads on message boards. You might be surprised at how many people are also looking for regular workout buddies.
Once you find a fitness buddy, don't let him or her down. If you both show motivation and keep to a regular schedule, you'll both reap the benefits.
One way to combat the boredom many people complain accompanies eating healthy is to "eat outside your box," by experimenting with new foods and cuisines and by challenging your long held notions about what to eat and when. Iceberg is not the only kind of lettuce, apples and oranges aren't the only fruits and there is no law that says you can't eat mushroom lasagna for breakfast and a southwestern omelet for dinner. And just because your parents always eat turkey on Thanksgiving, fish on Friday and meatloaf on Mondays doesn't mean you have to. Dare to step outside your comfort zone and put an end to your eating rut, by accepting one (or more) of the following challenges to eat and live more healthily and creatively.
1. Make a list of 10 foods that you eat on a regular basis. Over the course of the next month, eat outside your box by avoiding these foods.
2. Try a new food every day. Have you knocked eating brown rice, tofu, sushi or kiwi without ever giving it a try? Don't allow the opinions of others to inhibit your pallet. Give your taste buds an opportunity to decide.
3. Look back at your food diary. Don't eat any of the same foods you ate last month. Use cookbooks to invigorate your mundane menus.
4. Do not visit any of the same restaurants you tried last month. If you eat out, it must be somewhere new. And don't forget to order something new and nutritious off the menu.
5. Look back at your food diary from last month. Use a cookbook to explore ways to make the foods you ate more nutritious – and unusual.
6. Ask people from different racial, regional and religious and cultural backgrounds to share their favorite foods and recipes. Incorporate at least 2 of these into your menus.
7. Buy a new cookbook with recipes from a cuisine you have never tried. Prepare at least one meal a week from the cookbook.
8. Sit down with a healthy cookbook. Make a list of 30 recipes that look appealing. You don't have to use them immediately – but they will be there when you need them.
9. Make a special trip to the grocery store to shop for herbs and spices. Buy at least 5 you've never tried and experiment with at least 1 new herb or spice each week.
10. Take a cooking class. Check your local YMCA or community center for course offerings.
11. Flip the script. Make a list of the meals you usually eat for breakfast, a list of meals you usually eat for lunch and a list for dinner. Then eat what you normally eat for lunch for dinner, dinner for breakfast and breakfast for lunch.
12. Each time you go grocery shopping buy at least 5 different brands than you usually do. You may be surprised to learn that different brands offer better taste, nutrition and price.
I have to admit that I sometimes find it amusing when someone knows I am a trainer and proceeds to elaborate on the hours that they spend in the gym. One example was a few years back when I was introduced to a nice young women, who proceeded to tell me that she went to the gym twice a day, an hour each time. Unless this second hour was spent in the jacuzzi or making up for lost time due to chatting with fellow gym-goers during the earlier timeslot, I would be leary. Instead of being impressed by her exuberant enthusiasm for working out, my thoughts were that one of those hours might be better spent in a counseling office. Excessive exercising is unsafe and a sign of other deep-rooted problems. So, the question remains how many ticks on the clock should pass before you head for the locker room? And what compels a person to go way overboard in their exercise routine?
First off, if you are one of our valued clients, you already know that the Mom Looks Great program utilizes the thirty to forty-five minute workout. If you have even an inkling of exercise information in your noodle, you atleast know that even twenty minutes a day can benefit your heart. So why are some people intent on doing more, especially when there are serious consequences?
The most common problem with over-exercising is injury to muscles and joints. The idea of regular exercise is to appropriately stress the muscle during exercise. This stress places small tears in the muscle, which upon repair, grow in size and strength, also known as hypertrophy. When the muscle is over-exercised, it goes beyond what is appropriate and can actually damage the muscle. Common areas of injury are legs, feet, back and shoulders as well as joints problems that include knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. This can lead to a lifetime of recurring injuries.
Another negative consequence to over-exercising is the compulsion that usually accompanies it. Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and other body starving diet tactics are dangerous enough. When you add an addiction of too much exercise to an already detrimental dieting tendency, you are left with the possibility of heart damage from insufficient fuel and nutrients to sustain the workout. While the aforementioned health issues are serious enough, an individual can also develop frequent headaches, loss of coordination and various stomach problems.
Over-exercising is not a physical disorder. While it will affect you physically, it is more of a symptom of depression or other mental illness. And if you think about it, over-exercising, eating disorders, feelings of inadequacy due to poor body image, poor judgment when evaluating priorities are all symptoms of depression. The bottom line here is when your choices begin to compromise your health, happiness or safety it is time to seek out effective counseling.
A lifestyle incorporating exercise is nothing but beneficial in many aspects. People exercise with a goal in mind whether it is to feel better, defuse stress or build muscle. Luckily, in addition to using an appropriate weight (intensity) during your workout, over-exercising can easily be detected with a simple time evaluation. I advise my clients not to go beyond one hour a day five days a week in a formal gym-type setting; and that is extremely generous. It is also easily controlled when you follow a specific routine. With the Mom Looks Great Fitness Program, you are guided to work different parts of your body throughout the week and have a variety of activities within your exercise regime. And just for good measure, remember that you cannot possibly overdo it by simply strolling your baby in the park or games of tag with your preschoolers. These forms of exercise are most welcome any time.
Picture yourself in one of the following scenarios.
You're cruising along in your new car by the ocean or in the mountains near the ski lodge, or just a leisurely drive through a beautiful forest or in the country. You stop and smell the fresh air you hear the scenic sounds. You are at peace.
You're relaxing on the patio of your new home - you see the mountains or lake in the distance. Your friends are over as you barbecue in your new back yard. Everyone loves your new home. Or you're out on the lake in your new boat with family or friends. Feel the breeze in your face - smell the fresh scents in the air.
Picture yourself on vacation - you are on the deck of a cruise ship - you are on the top deck under the stars. You feel the warm tropic breeze in your face. The full moon is reflecting off the water as you are holding the one you love in your arms.
We analyze the lives most of us actually have and what our lives could be and the role they play!
The question is who would want only minimum health (or worse) when they could have maximum health!
Maximum health is like you feel when you ask that special someone for a date for the first time and they say yes!
Minimum health is when you ask that special someone out and they tell you, that is the Saturday night when they have to do the laundry and wash their hair!
Picture maximum health as cruising next to the ocean in a sport car convertible with your lover next to you..
Picture minimum health as stuck in traffic in your 10-year-old station wagon with the air conditioner broken.
Maximum health is like being on a honeymoon on your own private beach in Hawaii. Running down the beach at night with the one you love with the warm tropic wind in your hair. The huge moon shining down on the palm trees and the tranquil bay.
Minimum health is stuck working overtime in an un-airconditioned office with a huge pile of paperwork stacked on your desk. In walks your boss - the one with all the personality of a geek with BO. He can't stand going home to his abusive wife so he works 14 hour days and gives dirty looks to his employees when they leave before him. Your boss starts yelling about some stupid unfinished report...
Minimum health is like living paycheck to paycheck - just getting by, just barely having enough money to pay the bills each month. Minimum health is like Darling we have a little extra this month - would you like to go out to eat at McDonalds and get a Big Mac?
Maximum health is sailing away on a cruise ship to the Caribbean with the one you love while dining in elegance each evening!
Sure the above minimum health situations aren't going to kill you (or at least not immediately), but is this the way you want to live your life? Do you really want to just scrape by when there is an option? Let's examine the statement ...aren't going to kill you or at least not immediately.
Minimum health is simply the current absence of real illness or disease. Often people in minimum health are often too tired or sluggish to do things, they are overweight, etc. They don't feel real bad but they sure don't feel terrific. And what about our statement, some would argue that the above minimum health scenarios lead to premature and even a slow death!
Actually the attitude of minimum health is like too many other attitudes we have. We are always too willing to sell ourselves short. We are too willing to settle for second best even when we don't have to. Too often this attitude can flow over into our jobs and relationships. This over the course of a lifetime can cause us much unhappiness and cost us a lot of money.
But the real issue here is minimum versus maximum health and what are we doing to strive toward maximum health? For example do you take high quality nutritional supplements or are you depending on the fast and processed foods to get all your nutrients? I would encourage you to take high quality vitamin and nutritional supplements with enzymes, antioxidants and dietary fiber along with exercise and weight management on a daily basis to strive toward maximum health.
Random thoughts taken from valuable sources, what many nutrition experts consider to be the most important nutrients and health habits a person should have to help them stay healthy long term. We would categorize them into the following areas.
Dietary Fiber - Fiber is extremely important to your health in a number of different ways.
According to the National Institutes of Health one of the common causes of constipation is not enough fiber in the diet.
Fiber promotes cardiovascular health plus in studies has been indicated to help lower harmful cholesterol levels when combined with a healthy diet. But what most people don't know about fiber is all the various varieties there are of dietary fiber.
The point is with all the healthy benefits of dietary fiber most people don't get enough everyday - it is recommend that people get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. So if they're not getting it through their diet it pays to take a supplement. No wonder so many people are constipated.
Let's talk next about enzymes - did you know that enzymes control virtually all the chemical processes and reactions in your body - everything from digestion to breaking down old cells to generating new cells.
There is no doubt that enzymes are probably the most under-rated nutritional substance. Essentially because nobody talks about them. Most manufactures are not putting them in their foods or supplements. Most manufactures proudly state that their cereal is Vitamin Enriched. However, when was the last time you read a label that said our product is Enzyme Enriched!
However, with the importance of enzymes the question begs to be asked, Where do I get adequate enzymes from? It certainly isn't from our foods. Processed and cooked foods destroy all enzymes. Sure our body has the ability to manufacture certain enzymes, but just like anything else it could sure use a supplement boost. The best foods for getting enzymes are fresh raw fruits and vegetables, but the problem is less than 20 percent of all people eat even the minimum recommended amount.
Perhaps an enzyme supplement would be advisable.
And why would someone only want the minimum amount of health? That is like living off the minimum wage - not a pleasant thought.
Antioxidants - Gee, how important are antioxidants. With all the environmental pollutants, smoke, chemicals etc that our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis we just can't underestimate the importance of antioxidants. Antioxidants as you know deactivate dangerous free radicals. Free radicals are essentially what causes iron to rust and an apple to turn brown after cut. The next time you cut an apple in two put lemon juice on half the apple and none on the other half - notice how the one half without the lemon turns brown much faster. This is because the lemon juice is an antioxidant protecting the apple half.
Now think about what oxygen free radicals are doing to your body without an adequate supply of antioxidants.
So antioxidants are extremely important, however, what you may not know is that a variety (or network) of antioxidants almost always is more effective than just the same amount of individual antioxidants. So a variety of 15 different antioxidants would typically work better than the same amount of one single antioxidant.
Micronutrients or plant nutrients - these are present in virtually all plants here are some examples:
Cauliflower contains the micro- photonutrient sulforaphane. In research done at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, sulforaphane lowered the occurrence of breast tumors in lab animals by almost 40%.
In peppers you have micro- photonutrient capsaicin-it has been found to work as an anticoagulant, thus possibly helping prevent heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clot.
Lemons contain limonene, a compound shown to have anticancer properties in laboratory animals. Limonene also appears to raise the levels of beneficial enzymes in the liver.
And of course this is the tip of the iceberg as micro-photonutrients are present in most plants, researchers are still uncovering all their many health benefits.
A couple more good health tips.
Clean Water - One of the most valuable things you can do for your health is to assure you drink at least 8 glasses of good clean pure water each day. This doesn't include soft drinks, beer, wine, coffee, tea, etc. This helps flush wastes from the body, keeps the cells hydrated and some experts believe it can even help keep healthy blood cholesterol levels down.
Finally Exercise - One can't underestimate the role regular exercise plays in long term health. It is important when starting an exercise to do something you enjoy and don't over commit and over do it. I.E. never bite off more than you can chew. You want to develop a good habit of exercise and the only way to do that is to start very slowly.
For example your goal for the first week may be to do 1 sit-up per day or walk to the end of your driveway and back. This may seem too easy, but our main concern is that we develop a good habit of doing some exercise everyday. And if you can do it for 21 straight days a good habit will develop.
One last thing to consider - too often most people think about what are the minimums in each area required for health. Why would someone only want the minimum amount of health?
That is like living off the minimum wage - not a pleasant thought.
The spring fall
Dr Atkins' death was extremely unexpected. On 8 April 2003, he fell on an icy street, lost his conscience and never recovered until his death, 9 days later. On 17 April 2003 medical support was withdrawn and Robert C. Atkins passed away. Soon after his death, nonbelievers and people who denied and blamed Atkins diet, showed very little compassion or sympathy. Rumors about dr. Atkins' enormous weight on the very moment of death (258 pounds) and about a potential heart disease stirred the medical community, Atkins supporters and media, too. Veronika Atkins, the widow, was very upset and spoke out about the real circumstances of her husband's death. She also felt extremely sad as the unkind rumors prevented her from grieving for her husband. Actually, there were two issues regarding dr Atkins' death:
His unusual weight: 258 pounds. This weight was considered obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's body-mass index calculator. Unusual because the 6-foot tall doctor had always been a very active person and dieting himself for many years.
Dr. Atkins was suffering from a form of heart disease, of heart's muscle, in fact. This seemed odd, too, since he had always insisted that his diet made the heart and the blood vessels stronger and lowered the cholesterol level. In January 2003, the author of Atkins diet plan had a heart stroke arrest, which confused people even more.
This was puzzling information and everybody waited for the truth to be unveiled. But dr. Atkins' widow and a good friend of the deceased (Dr Keith Berkowitz) untangled the situation and presented their version:
Dr Atkins was a rather healthy 72-year-old person, with a moderate weight (less than 190-200 pounds). His coma condition and being artificially fed led to an abnormal swelling during those nine days when his life was supported by medical equipment. People who saw him admitted that he was unusually swollen. The liquids given by medical assistance could have been the cause of his growing, Dr Keith Berkowitz admitted. He also deplored that after many decades of criticism, dr Atkins was finally beginning to receive the recognition he had always deserved, which the rumours swept away.
Three years before his heart attack, dr Atkins (69) announced that he had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which may have been responsible for the heart arrest three years later. Also, on his regular heart control, he found that his coronary arteries showed insignificant signs of coronary disease. Given his age, dr Atkins was a healthy person, able to control his cardiomyopathy, said Veronika Atkins.
All these spoken out, everybody had to admit that dr Atkins had a stupid, accidental death. His head injury was in fact fatal to dr Atkins.
Just when things seemed clear and settled, a malicious statement of New York's Mayor brought the doctor's death into attention once more. Wrongly believing that he is off the record, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor, joked around dr. Atkins' death. He called him "fat", saying that all the information about his head injury are "bullshit". Thus, Mayor Bloomberg insinuated that Atkins may have died from weight-related problems, not from head injuries. And all these just after he had sent the widow a condolence letter.
Before and after Dr. Atkins passed away
Dr. Atkins' life was remarkable. His studies and efforts regarding proper nourishment, diet and an active lifestyle really helped people. Lately, dr Atkins had begun to receive international medical recognition. Everyone following dr Atkins diet had to admit that it really works; many people were satisfied and grateful for losing weight and attaining a new slim figure along with a new lifestyle. Without a doubt, anyone undertaking a diet - any diet - should be aware of some risks. Health risks. On the other side, Atkins diet which is a low carb eating regimen troubled the food industry. While Atkins meals (high protein foods, high fat) and Atkins supplements became notorious, others suffered a severe decline. Bread and high-carbohydrate foods manufacturers were removed from the market. Pizza and bread are not for Atkins dieters: those 30 million people who followed Atkins have known it for about 30 years.
It is hard to say how Atkins food chains and Atkins Nutritionals will evolve from now on. Will Atkins diet still be a popular one, after the author's death? How about health officials? Will they intensify their efforts in persuading dieters to drop off the diet? How about the competition? They might be thrilled with Atkins' absence, since he was the core of low-carb diet craze ?
So far there have been some signs of distress for Atkins Nutritionals - which is highly delivering high-protein products and nutritional supplements. It is stated that the company is dealing with some difficulties and is reducing staff. Atkins Nutritionals in Ronkonkoma, New York, employs 370. Nevertheless, general opinion is that because the diet always had spectacular weight-loss results (especially on Induction phase), people will always want to try it.
Dana Scripca writes for http://www.dratkinsdietplan.info/ where you can find more information about the Atkins diet.
Please feel free to use this article in your Newsletter or on your website. If you use this article, please include the resource box and send a brief message to let me know where it appeared: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Suffering from neck, back and shoulder pain? If you are, you're in good company. Millions of people wake up every morning and endure every day experiencing pain in their necks, backs and shoulders. While neck, back and shoulder pain used to be thought of as conditions affecting only adults, due to more parents scheduling routine doctors visits for their kids, it's becoming increasingly apparent that children and teenagers are also suffering from the symptoms. So if it's not age that causes this severe discomfort, what is it? Believe it or not, the culprit may be your sleep habits and the position you sleep in.
Each and everyday, you are putting stress on your spine, which directly impacts the tension in your neck, shoulders and back. Even simple, everyday tasks like sitting at a desk, driving, and bending over can contribute to wear on these sensitive parts of your body. Your sleep time is supposed to be the time of day when these areas of your body are allowed to relax and regenerate. However, if your neck isn't properly supported while you're sleeping, your body doesn't have a chance to recover from the stress it endured throughout the day. Improper neck support while sleeping can cause increasingly severe neck, back and shoulder pain over the years, to a point where it becomes unbearable.
Neck, back and shoulder pain can actually begin a vicious cycle. You're in pain, so you can't sleep, but you need to sleep (and sleep right), to be able to get rid of the pain. A continuous lack of sleep can even lead to further problems like depression, chronic fatigue, and believe it or not, even weight gain has been linked to a severe lack of proper sleep. Fortunately, scientists and health professionals take the causes of neck, back and shoulder pain seriously, and have consistently worked towards finding methods and remedies that will alleviate the wretched symptoms.
The first step towards eliminating the discomfort of these symptoms is to correct your sleep habits, and the most important part of this step is to get a pillow that properly supports your neck. Try to find one that is made to be tailored to the position you sleep in, as not all pillows are created equal. Memory foam pillows have been increasing in popularity, and rightfully so. They've actually been quite beneficial in relieving neck, back and shoulder pain for a number of people who have been enduring it for years. Massage, yoga, and proper exercise are also methods that have been found to reduce pain in these regions of the body. By incorporating small change like these into your lifestyle, you should have no problem overcoming your ailments.
If a quality visco-elastic pillow doesn't solve your neck, back and shoulder pain, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor as your pain may be a symptom of a more severe underlying condition. Pain is something that affects your entire being, and remedying it quickly is vitally important to your quality of life.
Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of "Love, Medicine and Miracles" was once a distraught surgeon who fretted over his inability to effectively serve his cancer patients. Dr. Siegel's recognition and growing understanding of the mind-body connection eventually allowed him to serve his patients and himself in a greater capacity.
Bernie writes in his book, "When a doctor reports amazing improvements in a patient's condition, he or she almost never mentions that person's beliefs and lifestyle, but when I inquire, I find the patient always has made some drastic change toward a more loving and accepting outlook. The patient seldom tells an unreceptive doctor about this, however."
When the person's mind changed, the state of their health changed. Hence, the importance of the mind- body connection.
However, just covering up the surface with positive thinking isn't necessarily going to help. It's like cleaning out a house. The dirt and filth has to be removed and the stale air replaced with fresh air. There has to be a fundamental change for real healing to take place. Surface level, 'positive thinking' isn't going to effect this kind of change, just like lightly dusting our homes won't get the real dirt out.
So what are the dirty and stale things in our minds? Well, they could be things like grudges, prejudices, anger, resentment and hate. One spiritual principle from religion talks about "loving your enemy". That can't be done without giving up hate. By giving up something bad, we can make room for something good to come in and may, as a result, see a corresponding change in our bodies.
The problem here is that many of these bad things are buried and hidden and we won't necessarily see them or recognize them in ourselves. We can be certain that they are there though, it is a virtually inevitable consequence of living in a world that is so focused on selfishness and less concerned with "loving" others.
So in order to find these bad things and eliminate them requires introspection, it requires looking at oneself hard and long. However, there is still a problem. When we are searching within our minds, we have to have a standard to do the comparison with. Otherwise, how will we find anything? How will it stand out?
Let's look to one of the greatest thinkers of the Western world, Socrates. What did Socrates do with is life? Didn't he teach others about virtue? Interesting, isn't it? One of the most influential people in western thinking emphasized virtue to his students. Socrates talked about things like absolute goodness, beauty and truth.
If someone as great, as well loved and respected as Socrates thought these things were important, perhaps therein lies the key to the mind-body connection. To live a truly healthy and worthwhile life, maybe virtuous thoughts like truth and goodness are what our minds should embrace rather than the negative things modern life finds us clinging too.
Remember what Bernie said, "I find the patient always has made some drastic change toward a more loving and accepting outlook." When we embrace truth and goodness, the beauty of life and this vast universe that we live in becomes evident. That is when we can heal our bodies. Real healing happens in the mind.
This article is for information purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, prevent or treat any illness or health issue. If you have or think you have a health condition, please visit your primary-care physician immediately.
At first glance, this product manual's title (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle) was a bit distracting. While the 300+ page manual does a good job of explaining how increased muscle strength helps lose body fat and why its more important to lose body fat versus lose weight; I wasn't sure about the content of the product manual until I read it in its entirety. The overall premise is to burn the body fat with exercise and feed the muscle with good nutrition plans. The author, Tom Venuto, is a body builder and that helps explain some of the direction of the manual.
On the plus side, Tom's instructional product manual has a tremendous amount of information including goal setting, discussions on meal frequency and exercise plans, just to name a few. On the negative side (depending on your perspective), it contains a few references about the basics of weight loss (or body fat loss) such as drinking plenty of water and burn more calories than you consume. Basics are covered in 2 of the 17 chapters, so it didn't waste too much of the reader's time.
Overall, I would rate this instructional manual, (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle) an 8.5 out of 10. If you have the ability to motivate yourself and take action by reading a manual, then the price for this product of $39 is a great value. However, if reading an instructional manual isn't enough to motivate you to take action to lose body fat, then you may benefit from a more multimedia rich program such as Denise Austin's Fit Forever , Billy Blanks' Tae-Bo, or Winsor Pilates . These other programs include CDs, videos and/or charts. However, if you do consider these other programs, they may cost a bit more.
What I liked
1. 1. Tom's full chapter on setting 'compelling' goals helps the reader understand the importance of defining a compelling reason for unstoppable motivation to succeed. In my opinion, a true compassionate reason is key to success in any area - without it, you're setting yourself up for mediocre results He uses excellent quotes from Denis Waitley & others to drive his point home.
2. His discussions on how to lose body fat versus losing weight is covered well in his product manual and he discusses various methods to test body fat including the inexpensive use of calipers for skin fold testing. I personally use the $20 Accu-measure calipers and they work very well.
3. He mentions that dieting isn't as important as good meal planning and increasing muscle strength to help lose body fat. The combination of these two strategies are key to your long-term success. For more details about Tom's manual, (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle), check out his site which as additional details, plus any special offers that might be available.
4. His discussion on the 'adaption syndrome' is valuable and an important lesson in getting to the next level of success in your goal to lose body fat. You can also adapt this lesson to help you succeed in many other areas of your life.
What I didn't like
1. Tom provides tons of valuable information on the subject of weight loss or how to lose body fat, but in the beginning of the product manual, it lacks a detailed plan to help the reader start a program quickly. Given today's fast paced world, a quick start guide would have been useful.
2. For novice readers, the sections on drinking plenty of water and calorie balance are extremely important, but for readers with this basic knowledge on how to lose body fat, these sections are a bit too elementary.
3. In this product manual, Tom discusses the benefit of timing meals. While this might improve your personal situation, I personally believe the extra effort dedicated to timing is not worth the time & effort put into the timing process. (Or maybe I'm just a bit lazy to go through that much detail to lose the last percentage of body fat.)
For beginners, this manual (Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle), provides 300+ pages of details that are extensive, easy-to-read and easy-to-implement. If you have some basic knowledge of weight loss or losing body fat, you can still benefit from about 90% of this product manual. There are a great few sections that I've never seen before and are very interesting perspectives on how to lose body fat.
If you have the discipline (& can get motivated to take action), then the small price you'll pay ($39) is worth it. If however, you can't get motivated to take action by reading an instructional book, then you should consider other multimedia products such as Denise Austin's Fit Forever , Billy Blanks Tae-Bo, or Winsor Pilates . As mentioned before, be prepared to pay a bit more for these other programs. I've followed many of the steps outlined in his instructional product manual and have been pleased with the results. For $39, and with a 3-month money back guarantee - it's worth the price. Similar to other lengthy instructional manuals, plan to read in small periods of time and keep your pen out to take good notes. Last time I was on his site, he was giving some free bonuses away also, you'll want to check out his site today before you consider purchasing. End of Product Review.
For hundreds of years, we've known that 'Laughter is the best medicine'.
Laughter makes you feel good for a reason. The physiological effects on your body are amazing. For example:
Laughter reduces levels of certain stress hormones. It provides a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that come into action in times of trouble, or hostility or rage.
Laughter boosts the immune system because when you're in a state of mirth, natural killer cells that destroy tumors and viruses increase. It basically brings balance to all the components of the immune system.
Laughter can be a total body workout! Do you often feel exhausted after a bout of contagious giggling? This is because you have just had an aerobic workout.
Blood pressure is lowered and there is an increase in vascular blood flow, and an increase in oxygenation of the blood. Oxygenation of the blood enables the body to carry on healing activities for itself.
There also has been some belief that laughter prevents some life-threatening diseases such as heart disease. That's because anger and fear (two emotions that often lead to heart attack) are completely eliminated while you are laughing.
Laughing invokes happiness and joy.
Instead of being gloomy and frustrated because there is no perceived solution, laughing lifts you up out of your pool of problems and places you on solid ground where you can gain some new insights. Under conditions of happiness it is much easier to think creatively around a problem than when your mind is filled with thoughts of helplessness or worthlessness.
Shared laughter promotes bonding and unity within a group. This is particularly evident when there are a few people involved in a project. People feel more welcome and free to offer suggestions and think out loud. They're not afraid of being put down, so will risk sharing their opinion. Laughter also opens the door to more real and risky communication. Sometimes people are feeling scared or overwhelmed by conditions, but don't know how to express it. If a humorous comment is made that expresses the concerns in an exaggerated way, people will laugh. This then enables them to talk about the uncomfortable issues or concerns. By laughing, an entry is made for talk about the subject. This applies just as well in a family setting.
Humor is hazardous to your illness and so are some other things!
There are several things you can do to boost your enjoyment of life and to open the way for a day of laughter...and then more days of laughter. I think in terms of Enjoying Health, and to me, this means total health: body, soul, and spirit. I'd like to share from my own personal experience what my husband and I do to build our physical and emotional health and so enjoy life more fully.
We've changed our diet away from the traditional American diet that includes white flour breads and sugary drinks and desserts; grocery store meats that are basically polluted; and packaged foods. We try to eat natural, vibrant foods; drink more water than any other liquid; use supplements on a daily basis; and use (http://www.essentialimmunehealth.com/newsletters/July2004.html) the Q2 Energy Spa every other day, practically religiously. We work hard out of doors, getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine; and we pray to God with thankfulness, asking for His guidance and blessings too. We're Baby Boomers that were going downhill in bodily health, but somehow we've made a turnaround and our aging process has not only been slowed down, but it has been reversed! We're getting rid of disease symptoms right and left. Tell every Baby Boomer you know that they can make a difference in their health. Refer them to my website: http://www.essentialimmunehealth.com!
Most of us lack energy or have multiple diseases or are (http://essentialimmunehealth.com/journals/NaturalAntidepressants.html) depressed. Sickness and disease and depression are on the rampage in our culture because of the way we have treated ourselves. I want you to know you can regain your health and I want you to begin today TO STOP DOING WHAT'S HURTING YOU AND START DOING SOME THINGS THAT ARE GOOD FOR YOU. This article is excerpted from my October 2004 newsletter from my website called ENJOYING HEALTH. To read more specifically what my recommendations are, please refer to my October newsletter (http://www.essentialimmunehealth.com/newsletters/October2004.html). You can grow old gracefully, happily, finding reasons to laugh every day...
My skin is being rejuvenated and so is that of my husband Dave (i.e. moles and liver spots and bumps and skin tags are going away)... And when the healing process that begins from within begins to show on the outside of your body, you KNOW you've been successful in regenerating good health. That's something to laugh about. ENJOYING HEALTH makes each day more pleasurable.
Gerontologists say that 70 percent of the aging process is controllable with the right lifestyle choices. Anti-aging expert Barbara Morris agrees, and has written a hot new book, Put Old on Hold that explains how and why at 75, she feels and functions as a 50-year old. She says, "It's easy when you start early to make anti-aging lifestyle and attitude adjustments. If I can do it, others can do it too. The traditional aging process that our society has adopted unnecessarily relegates middle age people to early decline. There is a better way."
In Put Old on Hold, Barbara Morris, who works full time as a pharmacist, offers plenty of "what works for me" advice. Here are five of her "power tools" for smart women (and men, when they are not too stubborn to listen!) to help control the aging process:
1. Take control.
Aging is inevitable but getting old is strictly an option. Smart women don't buy into society's outdated model for aging; instead, they constantly grow and improve, defying convention and horse-and-buggy traditions and customs. If you don't take charge of your life, and you just let life happen – life will just happen, and the result will be typical, fossilized old age we accept as normal.
Bottom line: Smart women decide how old they are going to be no matter how old they actually are.
2. Inventory and monitor youthful characteristics.
Observe old people. What is it about their "oldness" you would like to avoid? How strong and flexible are you, mentally and physically? Can you bend and touch your toes? Can you walk up stairs without becoming out of breath? Keep and improve what you can, while you can! Youth makes us arrogant. Every day we see a seemingly unchanging image in the mirror that slips away even as we admire what we see.
Bottom line: Smart women stay aware of what they have and work to keep it.
3. Plan your future.
By age 50, smart women have a plan for a healthy, productive second life at retirement age because they know they will probably live to 100 or more. In 1950, there were a mere 2,300 centenarians. Today, there are over 40,000. By 2050 close to a million people will be 100 or more.
Bottom line: Smart women maximize their future by protecting and building their health, and visualizing their future.
4. Avoid the ultimate social disease.
No, it's not sexually transmitted, it's worse than that – it's self-inflicted, and it's called retirement. Once you internalize that you are no longer productive, that you no longer have goals, decline sets in rapidly. Everything slows – movement, reaction time, thinking, walking, talking. The mind and body go into a shutdown mode in preparation for the final event -- death.
Bottom line: Smart women rewire instead of retire.
5. Manage and fix correctable symptoms of aging.
For example, a slow shuffling gait, poor posture, unattractive teeth, and uncorrected hearing loss. Invest time, effort, and money where it matters: Buy a treadmill and use it daily to maintain a youthful gait, cardiovascular fitness and weight control. Get on an anti-aging diet, and do weight-bearing exercise daily to stay strong and upright.
Bottom line: Smart women manage how they change with age.
Supplement is a word defined by Webster as such: Something added to complete a thing or to make up for a deficiency. Even so; some weight loss supplement companies market their products as magic pills and some consumers think of them as such.
I believe weight loss supplements can be beneficial if we learn to look past the hype and use them in addition to improved eating habits as well as increased physical activity.
Know what you want out of your weight loss supplement: Are you looking for decreased appetite, carb blocking ability or increased metabolism? What is the manufacturer promising? What are the active ingredients and what studies and dosages were done on them?
Look for reviews and testimonials: This is something I almost did not want to mention because reviews and testimonials can be very conflicting. Reading weight loss supplement reviews and testimonials is going to require you to think for yourself and determine if the review or testimonial makes a valid point or not. I recently read a review for a weight loss product that said something to this effect: "I did not like this product; I continued to eat the way I always do and actually gained weight on this product." My interpretation of this is that the person probably did not carefully monitor what they were eating. They were gaining weight before "eating what they normally eat" and were expecting this pill to magically cause them to lose weight. On the other hand, a weight loss testimonial that says "I eat anything I want and am still losing weight!" is equally suspicious to me. Weight loss product testimonials and reviews can be helpful in your decision if you weed through the hype and incomplete information. Look for clues such as: Did this product decrease the customers' appetite? Did the customer experience more energy? Was the reviewer jittery?
Is it too good to be true? We have a tendency to believe what we want to believe. But when it comes to weight loss supplements we have to be honest with our self. Are the claims exaggerated? Is the company telling us we do not need to change our lifestyle? Does it appear the company wants us to lead a healthy lifestyle or does the company want to sell millions of pills? Remember weight loss supplements are going to help you reach your goals, not carry you to the completion of your weight loss goals.
Best seller does not always mean the best product. I was a distributor for a branch of a very reputable supplement company and attended a convention they sponsored. The speaker was talking about making claims when trying to sell product and how they did not want us making any claims that have not been backed by science. Someone asked the question about other companies and why they could make outlandish weight loss claims and experience such great sales while we could only state scientific fact. The speaker acknowledge the fact that these companies would sell millions of dollars worth of product but they would not earn repeat customers and more than likely would not even exist in the long run. Ask yourself if the product you are interested in is a best seller because of hype or because the company is reputable and has a quality weight loss product.
Has the company been around for a while? While the fact that a company is new does not mean it is low quality, a company that has been around for years usually has happy customers.
Read the directions and warnings very carefully. I knew a lady that was taking a Chitosan product and getting sick. She asked me about it and I quickly asked her if she was allergic to shellfish-She was. Fortunately for her it was only a mild allergen and she did not suffer seriously. It was clearly stated on the label; "Do not take if you are allergic to shellfish." Also don't have the mentality that if one pill is good then two must be better. Natural weight loss products can be very powerful and should be treated with respect.
Take a break from time to time. Occasionally take a break from your weight loss supplement regimen especially if you are using a weight loss product that contains a stimulant such as caffeine or other powerful herbs. I even do this with my multi-vitamin. I just believe it is a good idea to give your body a break from time to time.
Conclusion: I believe weight loss supplements can help you reach your weight loss goals, I also believe you can reach your weight loss goals without weight loss supplements, however I have always been the type of person that wanted every edge I can get. So if you are like me, and you decide to use weight loss supplements, think of your weight loss goal as a three legged table. One leg represents healthy eating, one leg represents activity, and the other leg represents your weight loss supplementation. Remove any one leg and the table will fall. Rely on only one leg and you will not reach your weight loss goal. Shop carefully, have realistic expectations, follow safety guidelines and reach your weight loss goal!
I wish for you the best of health!
Be Prepared. For the Boy Scouts it means you are always ready in body and mind to do your duty. How can you use this motto to help you in your weight loss efforts?
I am of the school of thought that starvation is not the way to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. My thinking has always been to make the right choices in the foods we eat. For many people, it is not overeating that is their enemy-it is the wrong choices. This article is assuming you know the difference between good food choices and bad. There are many articles that can be found on making proper food choices.
For example; have you ever been trying to diet and found yourself out around town running errands and then suddenly so hungry you could not hardly stand it? Or have you ever been at work and your workmates want to go to the local Mexican restaurant and you did not pack your lunch that day? Normally what happens is you swing into the local fast food joint or go with your coworkers to the restaurant and end up making bad choices. How can this be prevented? Answer: Be prepared.
The above "bad choice" scenarios could have been avoided by being prepared. The first could have been prevented by carrying a meal replacement bar or shake in your vehicle with you. This could have curbed your hunger until you were home and in a position to prepare a nutritious snack or meal. The second could have been avoided by having a nutritious lunch packed and ready to eat at lunch time. You could have even carried it to the restaurant and enjoyed the company of your coworkers.
The number one enemy of being prepared is time. "I don't have time to pack my lunch in the evening!" or "I don't have time to cook in the evening!" I have good news and bad news. If you are going to be prepared – it is going to take time. The good news is that it does not have to be as time consuming as you may think.
One way to save time and be prepared is to use meal replacement shakes or meal replacement powders. These can be carried with you wherever you go and mixed and consumed in a matter of minutes. Another way is to do your cooking when you have time. I know of one person that prepares 7 chicken breasts on Sunday night and puts them in Tupperware serving dishes along with brown rice and steamed broccoli. They just simply take one per day to work and have a very nutritious, weight loss friendly lunch.
Some more ideas for being prepared in your weight loss journey: Have cans of tuna in your desk at work. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Do your cooking when you have time and cook enough for several meals. Keep meal replacement powders and meal replacement bars nearby. Purchase a Tupperware shaker Learn to like raw fruits and vegetables. These are very portable and hit the spot!
These are just some ideas to get you started. I am sure you can think of many more. The important thing is to have foods around you that are delicious and nutritious and will help you reach your weight loss goals. If you can't stand to eat raw carrots then there is no sense in taking a bag to work – You simply will not eat them. You will more than likely make a bad choice when hunger hits. Experiment around and find nutritious choices that are portable and that you enjoy.
Do not let yourself reach the point of no return in your hunger. At this point most of us will eat about anything. Stay ahead of the game and be prepared. When hunger hits – make wise choices and your body will respond in a favorable way.
Remember; Be prepared and you will reach your weight loss goals.
Smokers love excuses. They can't quit because .. (fill in the blank). I covered one of the favorite excuses in another article, the 'concentration con'.
Now here's another of the main - can't quit - excuses. Smoking helps relaxation. Most smokers claim it helps them relax. But would you ever describe a smoker as relaxed ?
Their addiction (or habit) makes them nervous and jumpy. All things equal, a smoker will never relax as they once did before their drug.
Think about last time you ate in a restaurant. Isn't that a relaxing environment when you're eating your meal, in good company ? But that's not enough for the smoker. They're still not relaxed. They need a cigarette fix, even between courses, because they think that's what they need to relax.
Then they associate a temporary relaxation with the cigarette, rather than the environment and company. They don't even consider their non-smoker friends enjoyment might get ruined by smoking.
Let's look at the realities of the relaxation ruse. Nicotine is a stimulant, not a relaxant/depressant. A stimulant speeds up metabolism, not slows it down.
The 'smoking is relaxing' claim counts as yet another irrational excuse used by smokers who can't face up to quitting. The smoker genuinely feels a cigarette will relax him.
In reality it's the habit, expectation and association with relaxing situations that are the main reasons he feels relaxed. Sometimes it's even the deep breathing effect that helps relaxation.
Any sportsperson knows that deep breathing helps relax before an event. Difference is he's breathing fresh air, rather than poison ! Smokers actually credit their cigarette for a temporary benefit they get from deep breathing.
Most people agree stress and relaxation make two opposite conditions ? Many smokers think giving up will create more stress. They think their cigarettes are actually relieving stress.
Amazingly, cigarettes actually 'cause' the stress smokers think they're relieving ! Continual craving for another cigarette; guilt, helplessness at their inability to quit; low self-esteem… Any of this sound familiar ? At best, another cigarette temporarily reduces the stress caused by earlier cigarettes.
So we really should call the relaxation effect, the 'relaxation ruse'… an illusion favored by uninformed smokers who wrongly credit their cigarette with relaxation.
Quitting smoking means a return to relaxation. Quitting smoking means a return to a clear head… among many other benefits. Once you see through the relaxation ruse', you're much closer to finally quitting smoking once and for all.
Your Kidney Function Really Matters: A Lighter Look at What You Need to Know to Prevent Adverse Drug Events
When you (or loved ones) are taking prescription or over the counter medications...there is a lot you should be worried about, and a lot that your pharmacist may not be telling you.
Most people are aware, for example, that several medications taken together can sometimes cause harmful interactions. Most also know that drug allergies can pose significant hazards. (These are topics of other articles in this series). And, many people know that young children, elderly adults, pregnant women, nursing women, and severely debilitated people may all be at higher risk for adverse drug events.
But what most people don't know is that a simple blood test can be one of the most important pieces of information in determining the correct dose of many medications...and the results of that test are almost never available to your pharmacist, especially if your pharmacist fills your prescription in a retail drugstore. (And, that's a bummer.)
The test I'm talking about, of course, is the 'serum creatinine test' ('SEAR-'em cree-AT-tuh-neen tehst'. It's a difficult name to pronounce and a difficult test to understand...but one that you NEED to know about if you or loved ones are taking over-the-counter or prescription medications.)
A serum creatinine test gives a physician or pharmacist an estimate of kidney function.
Serum creatinine is the 'bean counter' of modern medicine... letting folks know if the beans (the kidneys) are working as well as they should.
Why is that important?
Well, kidney function is extremely important in determining the correct doses of many medications since the kidneys (along with the liver) assist in the removal of medications from the body.
Almost all medications (and/or their chemical by-products) are either removed by the liver, by the kidneys, or, in many cases, by both the kidneys and liver working together.
So, simply put, when the beans are not working well, many medications will accumulate in the body and increase the risk of drug side effects. And that's an even bigger bummer. (The same is true for liver problems, and we will talk about that in another article in this series.)
As a result, patients with reduced kidney function often need LOWER doses of many medications.
So how does this all work?
Well, creatinine is a chemical that occurs and circulates naturally in the human body. It is the result of normal protein break-down. And, like many medications, creatinine is normally removed from the blood by the beans. So, when the kidneys are not working well, the level of creatinine circulating in the bloodstream will start to go up...just like the blood level of many medications.
Physicians and pharmacists are routinely and easily able to determine how much creatinine is in the blood with the results of a serum creatinine test. (This test is part of a very common panel of blood tests. And, if the serum creatinine is high, many drugs need to have a lower dose.) The normal value for serum creatinine is about 0.4 to 1.5 mg/dl...but that can vary a bit from lab to lab.
So remember: 'kidneys no work...serum creatinine go UP'.
Now, serum creatinine is not the best measure of kidney function (there are other tests that are much more accurate), but results of the serum creatinine test are usually the most readily available...and cheapest...and are generally accurate enough for most purposes...so serum creatinine is the de facto standard for estimating kidney function...most of the time.
The gold standard test that doctors use for measuring kidney function is called 'creatinine clearance' (cree-AT-tuh-neeeen CLEAR-uhhh-nce) However, not many patients get this particular test because it is pretty darn inconvenient...and smelly. You have to collect all of your urine for 24 hours and keep it in the fridge. Not a lot of volunteers for this test...
Creatinine clearance is the volume of blood that the kidneys clear of creatinine in a given amount of time (and it is usually reported as milliliters per minute).
So, when kidney function decreases, creatinine clearance (the amount of blood that the kidneys are successfully 'cleaning') also decreases.
So remember: 'kidneys no work...creatinine clearance go DOWN'. (Note: this is easy to remember because it is the exact opposite of what you were initially thinking, and the opposite of what happens with serum creatinine. Most of medicine is like this.)
Now for the super tricky part just for those gunning for an A. There is a way to 'guestimate' creatinine clearance using serum creatinine...isn't that neat. And, that's probably the best way to determine renal function if a measured creatinine clearance is not available.
What you do is run the serum creatinine value through a fancy equation that will give you an estimated creatinine clearance, which is itself an estimate of kidney function. (Estimates of estimates of estimates...that's the kind of exacting science I live for.)
For adults, that equation is the famous 'Cockcroft-Gault equation corrected for ideal body weight and gender'...the equation everyone loves to hate. The Cockcroft-Gault equation (presumably named after Drs. Cockcroft and Gault...or maybe just Dr. Cockroft-Gault, or maybe Lara Croft), is generally considered very reliable since it has never been well validated in young patients, old patients, thin patients, fat patients...basically all the patients it gets used on. So go figure. Double bonus points if you can remember this:For men, creatinine clearance = ((140- Age) ' IBW) / (72 ' SCr)For women, creatinine clearance = ((140- Age) ' IBW ' 0.85) / (72 ' SCr)
Where Age is in years, IBW is ideal body weight in kilograms, and SCr is serum creatinine in mg/dl.
(For the algebraically-challenged and for anyone wanting help in calculating the results of these complicated equations, please visit this creatinine clearance calculator: http://www.medicationadvisor.com/creatinine/creatinine.asp)
Now once you run this a few times, you'll find that creatinine clearance for young healthy people is about 100 ml/min (we'll just leave off the 'ml/min' part from now on).
And, dead people have a creatinine clearance of about 0, depending on how healthy they are.
Everyone else falls somewhere in between.
(Now someone in the back of the room is saying, 'I just ran this on myself and I have a creatinine clearance of 150'. Well aren't you special? In fact, young good-looking people can have creatinine clearances of 130, 140, or more...but it doesn't do a whole lot of good since 100 is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's just another case of overachiever overkill.)
Now, if someone has a creatinine clearance of 80, that means that they have about...80% kidney function.
And, if someone has a creatinine clearance of 50, that means that they have about...50% kidney function. (Are you following all of this?)
Many drugs that are eliminated by the kidney will require moderate dosage reductions once a patient's renal function is in the 40-60 range.
Patients in the 20-40 range will typically require very large reductions in dose.
And, patients who are in the 'less than 20' range will often need HUGE dosage reductions for medications eliminated by the kidney (or better yet, they'll need to take medications that are removed by some other organ altogether...if such an alternative is available).
One last tidbit to consider. Renal function declines as people age. No getting around that. But, the rate of decline is different for different people. By the time you're 50 years old, there is a reasonable chance you'll have moderate renal function (or worse)...by the time you're 80, you'll almost certainly have some important degree of renal impairment... and you probably won't even know it or feel it.
Now that you know more renal physiology than you ever, EVER wanted to know...let's get back to the main thread of this article...medication safety.
If you (or a loved one) are at risk for having decreased kidney function (and I'll tell you who such folks are in just a second), you need to step up to the plate and get a handle on this issue (because there is a very good chance that your physician and pharmacist either didn't have renal function data or didn't consider it when coming up with a dosage for you).
Here are the steps I recommend for everyone taking prescription or over-the-counter medications:
1) For everyone: If you have access to the results of a recent serum creatinine test (it is probably part of your annual physical and you may have gotten a copy), memorize it or write it down and then say to your physician or pharmacist when you get a medication, 'Say, I think my serum creatinine is about X. So, does this medication need any dosage adjustment in order to be safe for me?
2) If you are in one of the following categories, you should expect your physician and pharmacist to have considered your renal function before dosing a medication: known kidney disease; age greater than 50; history or heart attack, angina, stroke, or other artery blockages; history of diabetes (any type); history of high blood pressure; prior exposure to chemotherapy drugs; prior prolonged exposure to IV antibiotics; frequent use of pain medications (especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but others as well).
So you might say to your physician or pharmacist, 'Is this drug removed by the kidney, because I have condition X that could decrease kidney function and I just want to be safe.' If the drug is removed by the kidney, you might also ask the physician or pharmacist to tell you what your serum creatinine is...and if he or she does not have this information, a big red flag should be going up in your head.
3) If you are not in one of the categories in question 2 and you don't have a serum creatinine available, don't worry. You're probably safe. But you may want to ask your physician if there is a serum creatinine in your chart and if so, what it is.
4) If you are on dialysis of any sort, serum creatinine is not all that useful for dosing medications. Just make sure your physician and pharmacist are aware that you are on dialysis and perhaps ask, 'Now is this the usual dose for someone on dialysis?'
These are some of the steps I hope you will consider the next time you get a prescription or over-the-counter medication so you can be sure that that you (or your loved one) are getting the right dose.
Take it one pound at a time:
Don't get overwhelmed by how much weight you need to lose. Just take baby steps in the right direction and you'll be amazed at your progress when you look back. You didn't gain your weight overnight, so it will take time to lose it all.
Weekly weigh in:
Only measure your results and weigh yourself once a week to give your body time to make adjustments.
Share your journey:
Find a friend to lose weight with and become each other's coach. Check in several times a week to help each other stay on track.
The scale is not the final word:
Don't get discouraged when your progress seems to be slow according to your bathroom scale. Instead, measure your results with a tape measure-it will give you much more reliable and encouraging feedback.
Shop when you're full:
Only shop for food when you are not hungry to avoid buying foods you may regret later.
Set reachable goals:
If you know you need to get more exercise, begin with a manageable goal of, say, walking 10 minutes a day that you know you can achieve. Then build your self-esteem by achieving the small goals you set yourself.
Celebrate your success:
Each time you lose 5 pounds, acknowledge your achievement by giving yourself a little gift.
Out of sight, out of temptation:
Clear unhealthy foods from your refrigerator and shelves to keep temptation at bay. This also means clearing out the handbag, brief case and glove compartment in your car.
Add extra steps:
When you go about your daily routine add extra steps. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, part at the far end of the supermarket car park, and get rid of the TV remote control. Make little changes to add extra steps and these will quickly add up to support your goals.
Seek help if you need it:
If you need help to keep on track, then get it. If you have tried unsuccessfully over and over to lose weight, then you may need someone to help you. A weight loss coach can significantly increase the rate at which you lose weight and teach you how to stabilize at your goal weight.
We hear it all the time…lose weight for your health. Few people however, realize the extent to which this is critical to their physical well-being and ultimately their life expectancy.
In January 2003, the Journal of the American Medical Association featured a study finding that obesity appears to lessen life expectancy, especially among young adults. The researchers compared Body-Mass Index (BMI) to longevity and found a correlation between premature death and higher BMIs. For example, a 20-year-old white male, 5'10" weighing 288 pounds with a BMI of greater than 40 was estimated to lose 13 years of his life as a result of obesity.Jamie McManus, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. and author of "Your Personal Guide to Wellness" notes that while this study referenced extreme levels of obesity, there are still millions of overweight people in developed countries with a life expectancy rate that is three to five years less than their healthy-weight counterparts. She also estimates that there are 600,000 obesity related deaths each year in America.
Just how does obesity shorten our lifespan? The answer to this question is complex, yet there is a clear link between obesity and the development of cancer. An extensive study conducted by the American Cancer Institute involving 750,000 people showed that obesity significantly increased the risk of cancer developing in the following organs: breast, colon, ovaries, uterus, pancreas, kidneys and gallbladder.
Michael Thun, MD, vice-president of epidemiology and surveillance research for the American Cancer Society (ACS) says one reason obesity may raise cancer risk is because fat cells produce a form of estrogen called estradiol that promotes rapid division of cells, increasing chances of a random genetic error while cells are replicating, which can lead to cancer. In addition, fat centered around the abdomen may increase insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the blood, which may increase cancer risk.
"Women who are obese after menopause have a 50% higher relative risk of breast cancer," notes Thun, "and obese men have a 40% higher relative risk of colon cancer…. Gallbladder and endometrial cancer risks are five times higher for obese individuals".There is evidence that cancer rates in developed countries are increasing at 5 to 15 times faster than developing countries. A major contributor to this alarming reality has proven to be diet. In populations where the diet consists mostly of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains – in contrast to the typical Western diet of fatty meats, refined flours, oils and sugars – the risk of cancer is much lower.
The interaction of diet and the development of cancer is an active field of research and Dr David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. and author of "What Color is Your Diet", says "It appears that diet has its most significant effects after the cancer has already formed, acting to inhibit or stimulate the growth of that cancer". At the risk of oversimplifying a complex set of interactions, the typical Western diet that leads to obesity may actually act to stimulate the growth of cancer cells.It is never too late to improve your health through healthful eating and adopting a more health-giving lifestyle. Here are simple steps to follow which can make an immediate improvement to your health and vitality.
Check your Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine if weight has become health risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of Americans are overweight, defined as having a BMI (a ratio of height to weight) over 25. Of those, nearly half (27%) qualify as obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more. In 1980, just 15% of Americans were considered obese. You can check your BMI at the website below.
Match your diet to your body's requirements. If you eat and drink more calories than your body requires you will put on weight. Learn to control calories and portion sizes, make recipes leaner, and eat infrequently from fast food restaurants. Also learn how to snack with healthful choices.
Color your diet with a large variety of colorful, cancer-fighting fruit and vegetables. There are seven different color ranges of both fruit and vegetables and by choosing between 5 to 9 daily serves from a wide range of fruit and vegetables, we are extending our consumption of cancer (and other disease) fighting nutrients.
Eat lean protein with every meal. Protein provides a powerful signal to the brain providing a longer sense of fullness. The right source of protein is essential to controlling your hunger with fewer calories and necessary to maintain your lean muscle mass. Choices of protein should be flavored soy shakes with fruit; the white meat of chicken and turkey, seafood such as shrimps, prawns scallops and lobster and ocean fish or vegetarians may prefer soy based meat substitutes.
Rev up your metabolism with activity. If you want to enjoy a lifetime of well-being, exercise is a key ingredient. Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society (ACS), says adults should do something for 30 minutes each day that takes as much effort as a brisk walk. Children should be active for an hour each day. We are more likely to develop habits around things we enjoy, so seek activities which you enjoy doing. It is also helpful to build physical activity into your daily routine: use the stairs instead of the escalator or lift at work, park your car in the parking bay furthest from the super marketing and don't use the remote control to change TV channels.
Get support to ensure you develop a healthful eating plan and reach your goal weight. Whilst a small percentage of people possess the discipline to lose weight, many obese people have developed strong thoughts and habits concerning the food they eat. In order to establish new habits, most people respond well to some form of consistent encouragement and coaching. A study, "Effects of Internet Behavioral Counseling on Weight Loss in Adults at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes" shows that participants who had the support of weight loss coaching lost more weight than those who didn't. The study concluded that the support of a weight loss coach can significantly improve weight loss results.
Being overweight or obese has been identified next to smoking, as the most preventable major risk to developing cancer. Even small weight losses have been shown to have beneficial health effects. So it's never to late to start and you can never be too young or too old to be concerned about your health and do something about achieving a more healthy weight.
Last month my 74-year-old mother while walking, tripped on a small tuft of grass, fell - and broke her rib! Her recovery has been painful, debilitating and at times depressing. It also affected my elderly father who relies heavily on her day to day.
Surprisingly, this instance of fracture was not due to osteoporosis. However my mom's experience caused me stop and think deeply. As a 40-something woman, am I doing everything possible to keep my skeletal system in tip-top condition?
Once we get past the inevitable scrapes of childhood, during our middle years we don't give too much thought to our bones. We understand that bones make up our structural frame, but we tend to think of our bones like the frame of a house. Supporting and rigid, and that's it.
The truth of it is that bone is an active, living tissue. Bone is constantly changing, undergoing synthesis and remodeling itself. Like all other bodily tissue, bone is totally dependent on many different micronutrients and enzymes for optimum bone function and health.
Unfortunately the typical western diet is now so heavily weighted with white flours, refined sugars and fats it is deplete of many of the micronutrients required for healthy bones.
There are other aspects of concern with the typical western diet. Do you regularly drink carbonated beverages? Did you know that carbonated drinks increase the body's intake of phosphorus - which, in turn, decreases our absorption of calcium. Decreased absorption of calcium can lead to an unhealthy, nutrient-starved skeletal system. And in time this can lead to osteoporosis.
Whilst calcium is necessary, it is not the only critical micronutrient for healthy bones. Make sure your diet has an adequate supply of magnesium, zinc, silicon, boron, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Manganese, vitamin K, vitamin D and magnesium. These trace elements are important and many of us are not getting them from our regular food consumption patterns. For instance, the Journal of Nutritional Medicine reports between 80 to 85 per cent of Americans consume a magnesium-deficient diet!
The good news is that if many of us with diet deficiencies which may have impacted our bone health, can improve our situation with a few lifestyle adjustments. Medical evidence supports an improvement in bone density where people make lifestyle changes to incorporate weight bearing exercise, a diet more rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, complemented with high quality nutritional supplements.
Why wait until you bones start breaking before you think about ensuring a healthy skeletal system? Have a look at good quality nutritional supplementation .
Everywhere we look in the western world we are inundated with pictures, images, icons and inferences of the 'perfect' female shape! The truth is that many of these images are altered or enhanced in some way and do not depict the typical female form. The pressure to lose weight is immense when we are bombarded every day with media selling products based on slimness, sex appeal and fashion. The constant message is that slimness will make you desireable.
With the current demographic trends in western countries, and faced with a sea of high fat, high sugar combined with physical inactivity; it is time to pay attention to our weight but not for any reasons of desirability. The most important reason for wanting to be a healthy body weight is for health rather than for how your body looks.
Overweight and obesity are major public health problems in western countries. Since the 1980s both adult men and women have become heavier, with obesity rates more than doubling in the last 20 years! Children are also becoming heavier. There is a growing concern that we are inadvertently training our overweight children to become obese adults. It has been said, we are digging our graves with out teeth! So just why should we be concerned with achieving a healthy body weight?
Overweight linked with diabetes.
In January 2003, the Journal of the American Medical Association featured two studies that highlighted the topic of obesity and its impact on health. The first study focused on the relationship between obesity and diabetes, as well as the growing concern of diabetes in the U.S. between the years 2000 and 2001. The numbers don't look good, with an alarming 5.6% increase of obesity in both men and women-from all ethnic groups, age ranges and educational levels. The occurrence of diabetes also increased-up 8.2% from 2000.
Overweight linked with premature death.
The second study found that obesity appears to markedly lessen life expectancy, especially among young adults. The researchers compared Body-Mass Index (BMI) to longevity and found a correlation between premature death and higher BMIs. For example, a 20-year-old white male, 5'10" weighing 288 pounds with a BMI of greater than 40 was estimated to lose 13 years of his life as a result of obesity. Findings were similar for women with higher BMIs, who were estimated to lose an average of eight years. While these studies reference extreme levels of obesity, there are still millions of overweight people in developed countries with a life expectancy rate that is three to five years less than their healthy-weight counterparts.
Overweight linked with heart disease.
Overweight people tend to have higher blood pressure and higher blood cholesterol, which are major risk factors for heart attack and other blood vessel disease. Being overweight can contribute to problems in the joints, and is also associated with other serious diseases such as diabetes.
How you tell if you are overweight
As we are all different shapes and sizes, there is not one recommended weight for your height. Instead there is a range of weights that are healthy for your height. One way to check your weight is to calculate your Body Mass Index or BMI.
Your BMI is a ratio or comparison of your height and weight expressed in a number. To find out your BMI you need to divide your weight (measured in kg) by your height (measured in m) squared. If you do not know your measurements in the metric system you can find any number of BMI calculators online that will do the conversion for you into empirical measures. One such calculator is at the website listed below.
The accepted definitions of weight categories by BMI are: Underweight - BMI less than 18.5 Healthy weight - BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 Overweight - BMI equal to or greater than 25 and up to 29.9 Obese - BMI equal to or greater than 30
These BMI values only apply to adults aged 18 years and over and are based on studies of Caucasian populations. Therefore, they are not applicable to children and adolescents and they may not be appropriate for people of other cultural backgrounds.
Another way to check your weight is to measure your waist circumference, using a tape measure. This gives you an idea of whether you have a lot of fat stored around your middle. Waist circumferences associated with increased health risk are:
For men- Waist circumference greater than 94cm
For women - Waist circumference greater than 80cm
Being a healthy weight can help: improve blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood glucose levels reduce your risk of other health related problems improve self confidence and self esteem make it easier to be physically active.
If you are obese or overweight…try not to gain additional weight. This will help you in years to come as people tend to increase weight with age. Better still look after your body and follow a healthy lifestyle incorporating a nutritious, delicious, health enhancing weight loss program. Just by losing 10 pounds you can significantly improve your overall health.
How do you know if you are getting enough water each day? This is a really important question because many of us have deprived ourselves of water and have become so accustomed to living with less than what our body requires, we don't recognise the symptoms of thirst.
The most common symptom is headaches. A major function of water is to flush toxins from the body. Your brain is 75% water, so even being slightly dehydrated can cause headaches.
Poor concentration/fatigue. If you body can't get rid of the toxins it will struggle and you will feel less energetic as your body diverts energy to deal with the toxins.
Constipation. Your body will divert water to more essential functions and as a result your stools will be harder and more difficult to expel.
Reduced urine output or dark urine. Did you know that up to 200 litres of water is passed through your kidneys daily? Without a fresh supply of water for the kidneys to filter waste products out of the blood, your urine will become darker.
Furry tongue or bad breath. If you don't have enough water passing through the mouth to wash away food particles, bacteria can proliferate and result in that 'furry' feeling or bad breath.
Skin. Your skin should feel elastic. When you pinch the skin on the back of your hand it should snap back instantly.
Some people trying to control their weight, drink bottles of diet sodas each day. Often these beverages contain caffeine, which is a diruretic causing the body to excrete water. In fact the net result is often dehydration. So if you are a 'heavy diet-soda' drinker, and you recognise these symptoms, you may be able to improve your health by simply drinking 6 to 8 glasses of pure, fresh water a day!
Posted by N.J at 4:56 AM
Whether you're trying to lose weight or just want to eat healthier, you may be confused by the news you're hearing about carbohydrates. With so much attention focused on protein diets, there's been a consumer backlash against carbohydrates. As a result, many people misunderstand the role that carbohydrates play in a healthy diet.
Carbohydrates aren't all good or all bad. Some kinds promote health while others, when eaten often and in large quantities, may increase the risk for diabetes and coronary heart disease.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates come from a wide array of foods - bread, fruit, vegetables, rice, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, corn, and cherry pie. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant ones are sugars, fibers, and starches. The basic building blocks of all carbohydrates are sugar molecules.
The digestive system handles all carbohydrates in much the same way - it breaks them down (or tries to break them down) into single sugar molecules, since only these are small enough to absorb into the bloodstream. It also converts most digestible carbohydrates into glucose (also known as blood sugar), because cells are designed to use this as a universal energy source. This is why carbohydrates can make us feel energetic. Carbohydrates fuel our body. Your body stores glucose reserves in the muscles in the form of glycogen ready to be used when we exert ourselves.
Carbohydrates are the highest octane - the most desirable fuel source for your body's energy requirements. If you don't have an adequate source of carbohydrate your body may scavenge from dietary protein and fat to supply glucose. The problem is when you've depleted your stores of glycogen (stored glucose in muscle and lean tissue) your body turns to burning muscles or organs (lean muscle tissue) and dietary protein or fat to provide blood glucose to supply energy needs. When this happens, your basal metabolic rate drops because you have less lean muscle tissue burning calories and your body thinks its starving and cuts back on energy requirements.
So you should continue to eat carbohydrates discriminately selecting those which have the greatest health benefits.
The carbohydrates you consume should come from carbohydrate-rich foods that are close to the form that occurs in nature. The closer the carbohydrate food is as Mother Nature intended, the greater the density of other vital nutrients. If you are looking for health-enhancing sources of carbohydrates you should choose from:
Fruit: rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium and often vitamin E.
Vegetables: fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, often vitamin E, potassium and a wider variety of minerals than fruit.
Whole grains and grain foods: rich in fiber, protein, and some B vitamins and are very rich in minerals.
Legumes: an excellent source of protein, fiber folate, potassium, iron and several minerals.
Dairy foods: protein, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.
You can also source carbohydrates from processed foods such as soda pop or soft drinks, snacks such as cookies and chips, and alcohol. These generally are considered to be a poor food choice and should be consumed rarely. The carbohydrate source (sugar and flour) in these food choices has been highly refined processed. A diet rich in refined carbohydrates and processed foods has been associated with heart disease and onset of type 2 diabetes.
Why are these sources of carbohydrates to be avoided?
They are calorie dense and contribute a large number of calories in a small amount of food. For example a 7oz bag of potato chips or corn chips have approximately 1000 calories. Most women on a weight management program will be aiming for 1200 daily calorific intake. So, this is what we mean by calorie dense and nutritionally scarce.
They offer little appetite-holding power because they have no fiber or protein. As a result you end up searching for food again soon after your first serve.
They contribute nothing to your nutritional profile except calories. This means you have fewer calories left for foods that your body requires for good health.
Whenever possible, replace highly processed grains, cereals, and sugars with minimally processed whole-grain products and ensure you have at least five serves of fruit and vegetables daily.
Rather than cut out carbs completely for a very short-term gain (usually weight loss), there are greater long-term health benefits in learning how to distinguish good carbs over bad carbs and incorporating healthy carbohydrates into your weight loss program.
Posted by N.J at 4:56 AM
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