Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Wonder if you're coming down with a cold? Stick out your tongue and say "Ah!" Or at least give it a glance. Your tongue is one of the easiest ways to check in with your health status. The tongue is such an important diagnostic tool for Chinese medicine practitioners that it merits a full article.
How Chinese medicine uses the tongue to interpret your health
The tongue is one of the most important diagnostic areas in ancient medical traditions. What makes the tongue such a great diagnostic tool? Your tongue, containing water, electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes, is a very sensitive organ and its appearance changes with many physical changes in the body. In Chinese medicine, the tongue is a "map" of the internal body. Like the face, the tongue is divided into five-element zones that correspond to your internal organ networks.
Get in front of the mirror and look at your tongue right now. The tip exhibits the fire element; behind the tongue tip is the metal element; both right and left sides the wood element; in the center towards the back is the earth element; and the very back of your tongue is the water element. Now that you know what element is where, how do you translate what your tongue is telling you?
Signs and symptoms
Here is what you want to see: A normal tongue should be pink, muscular without tooth marking or discoloration, and have a very thin clear coating that exhibits proper salivary secretions. Monitor your evolving health level by noticing color, shape, and coating changes in specific zones.
Tongue Color: When the color becomes deeper -- going from pale to scarlet to purple -- it means that there is increasing heat in the body. Heat may mean inflammation, infection, or hyperactivity of the organ network. When the tongue's color becomes lighter -- from pink to pale to paper white -- it indicates cold, which can mean anemia, pathogenic cold factor, or low energy and function of the corresponding organ network. I treat patients with low immune system function, sometimes due to chemotherapy or chronic fatigue syndrome, and many of them exhibit a pale tongue indicating low energy.
Tongue Coating: The thickness and color of the coating, or a lack of coating, can indicate different issues. When the coat of your tongue becomes thick, it is frequently a sign of imbalance in the digestive system. When the coat turns thick and cruddy, it generally points to decreased immune system with Candida (yeast infection). When the coat turns yellow, it often signals infection or inflammation in the body. A peeling coat is usually a sign of damage or weakening to certain systems of the body.
You can further diagnose underlying problems by analyzing the regions of your tongue; these show you which organ network is affected.
1. Tongue tip
Fire: Cardiovascular System
The fire element zone, which corresponds to the heart-small intestine network, is located at the tip of the tongue. This includes matters of the heart, both emotions and the physical health. In Chinese medicine, the spirit is said to reside in the heart network. Stress and anxiety will show up as red color and red dots on the tip of the tongue. Increasing heat signs means hyperactivity in the heart network due to stress and tension.
2. Sides of your tongue
Wood: Liver Network
The sides of your tongue display the wood element. Teeth markings on the sides of the tongue usually mean stagnant energy in the liver network. You may also notice a bluish-green or purplish hue or spots in this zone. Dark spots may indicate more serious problems. On several occasions, I've noticed purple spots in the wood zone in patients that suffer from low energy, discomfort, distension around the lower ribs, and swelling in the abdomen.
3. Behind the tongue tip
Metal: Respiratory and Immune System
The band-like area across the tongue and just behind the tip is the metal element zone, which corresponds to the respiratory and the immune systems. When this area turns reddish, or when red pin-sized dots occur, it usually means a respiratory infection is on its way or is settling into the body. Paleness in the metal zone may reflect a weakened immune system. In rare fungal infections of the lungs, there may appear a brownish black coating over this zone, which was the case with several of my patients who suffer from lesions in their lungs.
4. Center of the tongue
Earth: Digestive System
This area is the earth element zone, and it is related to the stomach-spleen-pancreas network. Problems of the digestive system most often show up here in the center of the tongue. G.E.R.D. -- stomach and esophagus acid reflux that keeps many people awake at night -- may be seen with redness and a yellowish coating in the center of the tongue. Subtle changes in this area may indicate digestive problems that have not surfaced yet; observe this area and take prophylactic steps if necessary.
5. Back of your tongue
Water: Kidney-Bladder Network
The back of the tongue reflects many of the body's functions, but is mainly the domain of the water element, or kidney-bladder network, which includes the hormonal system and sexual glands. The two large, elevated papilla on the back of the tongue are a normal part of the taste buds. What you should look for is color and coating. For example, when I see a thick yellow coating at the back-center of the tongue in my female patients, I know that they are very likely to get a bladder infection. I tell them to immediately start drinking 8 to 12 glasses of filtered water a day, take 5,000 mg of vitamin C, and to drink cranberry juice or take its extract -- this regimen will typically help prevent a bladder infection. More often than not, those who didn't follow this preventive treatment will call me a few days later with an infection.
Your body alerts you to imbalances in many more ways than just your tongue. Ideally, you should confirm your findings from your tongue with observations from others, such as the eyes, face, and nails. You can learn more in Secrets of Self-Healing, which contains in-depth information on this subject.
You can keep all five elements balanced in your body with a specialized combination of 44 traditional Chinese herbs that support healthy function of the bodily systems, the Five Elements of Health Formula.
I hope this article helps you translate your tongue! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
-Dr. Mao askdrmao.com
Friday, March 25, 2011
While we may think that forgiving others is something we do for "them" (i.e. the people that we are forgiving), we are actually the ones who receive the greatest benefit. How? Forgiveness sets us free as it allows us to release harbored energy, emotions and thoughts that do not serve us.
Understanding the importance of forgiveness and the benefits of forgiveness can help us to better comprehend why practicing forgiveness is well worth our time. This knowledge can also provide us the motivation that we may need in order to give ourselves the gift of forgiveness.
.When to Forgive?How do we know when we have some forgiving to do? When difficult emotions get triggered within us as we think about a person or situation, it's likely that we have some forgiveness work to do.
Also, when we are feeling blocked in our life, forgiveness can help to clear the suppressed energy that may be weighing us down and holding them back from living the life that we truly desire.
Forgiveness work can help us to break thru stagnant energy and support us in moving forward with our goals and desires.
As Author and Spiritual Teacher, Louise Hay Says....
"I know that when we are stuck, it usually means there is some more forgiving to be done. When we do not flow freely with life in the present moment, it usually means we are holding on to a past moment. It can be regret, sadness, hurt, fear, or guilt, blame anger, resentment, and sometimes even the desire for revenge. Each one of these states comes from a space of unforgiveness, a refusal to let go and come into the present moment."
These forgiveness exercises can help us to release difficult emotions and can be instrumental in helping us learn how to forgive someone (including ourselves).
Giving Forgiveness on a Regular BasisA key element in learning how to forgive someone is to create a regular forgiveness practice. This is a great way to keep your energy up and will help you to stay healthy and happy.
In Chakra Clearing, author Doreen Virtue writes, “Just as you probably wash your face every night, it’s also important to cleanse your consciousness nightly so resentment won’t accumulate.”
Doreen recommends doing nightly releasements where you review your day mentally prior to falling asleep. Ask yourself if there is anyone from your day that you need to forgive (including yourself and if you have pets, include them as needed) and if there is, take a few moments to do a forgiveness exercise.
Or, you may want to keep it really simple by saying a forgiveness affirmation. A nice affirmation that Doreen recommends is, "I forgive you and I release you. I hold no unforgiveness back. My forgiveness for you is total. I am free and you are free." You can use this or create your own positive affirmation statement.
Saying the forgiveness affirmation may be all you do. Or, you could take it a step further and after you say the affirmation, visualize and feel the forgiveness occurring inside of you. This is very powerful!
Then, if it feels right, ask God/Spirit to assist you in making this forgiveness complete. Give thanks, allowing the sensation of gratitude to fill your heart. Then, imagine sending this gratitude to the person or pet whom you have just forgiven.
As you become accustomed to giving forgiveness, you may even find yourself practicing forgiveness throughout the day, clearing situations as they happen, or soon after when you have a few minutes to go within to forgive and release the energy of the situation.
The idea is to simply begin to incorporate the practice of forgiveness into your life on a more regular basis. Doing so, will help you to experience the benefits of forgiveness on an ongoing basis.
Whether you choose to practice forgiveness daily or weekly, you can start your forgiveness practice now, by implementing these steps to forgiveness. The five steps will assist you in learning how to forgive someone who has hurt you and how to forgive yourself, when needed.
Who knows, you may even inspire others to learn how to forgive someone who has hurt them. What a wonderful gift that would be!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Home remedies for Blood clotting include canola oil, mustard oil, safflower oil, bread, beans, cereals, sprouts, Brussels, asparagus, broccoli, cayenne, vitamin C, banana, apricot, spinach, raisins, gingko, bilberry, turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic, spinach, pepper, clove, orange juice, skimmed milk, plenty of water, avoid smoking, obesity, heating pads, alcohol and sleeping pills, etc. Blood clot means clotting of a healthy vessel, which leads to several problematic situations. This may happen in any blood vessel and must be taken care well. It usually affects obese but people suffering from other clinical conditions may become affected. If not cured it may lead to amputation as well. There are many home remedies and its always beneficial for such patients to resort to these to stay active and healthy.
Blood clotting implies a mass of red blood cells and other components of cell that stick and clump together at the injured site and stop the blood flow in the blood vessel. During injury it is important for the person to prevent loss of blood. But if this happens within a healthy blood vessel which is flowing, it may cause sudden blockage of blood flow. It is called as emboli, which occurs rarely but is often dangerous and can be fatal leading to damage in tissue or death.
Blood clot may be caused due to missing of components of the blood system, plaque formation in the arteries (atherosclerosis), genetic factors, smoking, obesity, sickle cell anaemia, liver diseases, injury, any kind of surgery if taken place, cardiovascular disease and advanced age.
Following Home remedies can prevent you from blood clotting
Cannola Oil, Mustard Oil: These are low fat containing oils and should be preferred for cooking purposes.
Bread, Beans, Cereals, Sprouts, Brussels and Asparagus: These are all rich in folate content which by a particular physiological pathway results in making the brittle arteries flexible.
Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in fibre content and considered good for patients having vascular disorders.
Celery: Celery contains an active compound which functions by lowering a stress hormone which thins or narrows down blood vessel. This way blood vessels maintain there optimum diameter.
Cayenne (capsicum) and Pepper: Both of these help in preventing platelets to stick together.
Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant and functions in proper vascular state.
Banana, Apricot, Spinach, Orange Juice: All of these keeps the vascular system active and maintain proper blood pressure.
Regular Exercise: Regularity in doing exercise must be shown as it is very important for the patients to keep the blood flow in all vessels continuously.
Avoid Smoking: Smoking results in replacement of oxygen by carbon monoxide to the already starved muscles of the veins. Therefore it complicates the situation and should not be practiced strictly.
Avoid Obesity: Obesity is caused due to fatty diet which results in deposition of fat on the walls of vessel leading to reduction in there diameter. Thus fat diet must be avoided by the patient.
Walking: A constant moving activity keeps various body parts in an active state.
Gingko: Gingko reduces the protein fibrin that is important in forming blood clots.
Bilberry, Turmeric, Ginger: Bilberry, turmeric and ginger reduce the phenomenon of sticking up of platelets which leads to blood clot formation.
Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic also reduces fibrin and stickiness of platelets.
Hydrotherapy: Applying hot and cold packs alternatively at the site of pain results in maintenance of continuous blood flow at the site of blood clot.
Massage: This also has been found to give some relief to the patient.
Spinach, Pepper, Garlic and Clove: Leaves of spinach and one part each of pepper, garlic and clove are put together to extract the juice and then mixed well. This can be drunk by the patient.
As advised on our Free Health Tips Page, one must drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and avoid alcohol and sleeping pills because they cause immobility which raises the risk of stoppage of blood flow. It is also highly recommended that regular check ups with the doctor should be performed to evaluate cholesterol levels and rates of blood pressure.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
At blame is glycation, a natural process in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (or, appropriately, AGEs for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop, according to Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Miami and New York City and author of 10 Minutes 10 Years. The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock. Here, five steps to start following today:
1. Limit sneaky sweeteners. It’s not easy to eliminate sugar completely. Even whole grains, fruits, and vegetables turn to glucose—the type of sugar that fuels glycation—when digested. But limiting added sugar can help. Some guidelines: Keep added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories. Many prepared foods contain hefty amounts of sugar hidden under ingredient-list aliases like barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, and turbinado. And avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is believed to produce more AGEs than other types of sweetener.
4. Wear and eat your antioxidants. These free-radical fighters help keep sugar from attaching to proteins, so replenishing their supply is a real skin saver. Do so by eating more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, and vegetables, such as cranberries, walnuts, and red bell peppers, and by applying topical antioxidants, such as green tea and vitamins C and E.
5. Try new ingredients that protect skin from sugar. A growing number of products contain compounds like aminoguanidine (say that 5 times fast) and alistin, which may block the formation of AGEs. “These compounds attach to molecules that start the glycation process and prevent them from binding to collagen and elastin,” explains Karyn Grossman, MD, chief of the division of dermatology at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, CA. In a study on Prescriptives Anti-AGE Advanced Protection Lotion SPF 25, which contains both ingredients, skin treated with the product had 21% fewer AGEs after 8 weeks than untreated skin. Sweet!
To read more about anti-aging methods please visit Our Website – www.HealingPowerHour.com
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
We should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.
- Water helps in nearly all the body functions.
- Water is the vital fuel of the body. It is a health drink obtained from nature. It is calorie –free, inexpensive and it is easily available.
- Water helps in digestion and it helps in absorption of nutrients.
- It helps in excretion of waste and toxins from the kidneys and bowels.
- It helps to boost your brain
- It keeps your skin glowing, skin look young.
- It helps to prevent wrinkles.
- It acts as a natural lubricant for joints and tissues and keeps the body supple.
- It helps to prevent constipation.
- It is essential for proper circulation in the body.
- The oxygen level in the blood is more if the body is well hydrated.
- It helps to remove the toxins from the body.
- Water is important in regulating the body’s cooling system.
- Water helps in digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions.
- Intake of water after exercise it helps to reduce the cardiovascular stress and improves performance.
- Water helps to burn more fat.
- It regulates the body temperature
For more Free Health Tips check out our Health Tips Page http://www.celestialhealing.net/healthintro..htm
Monday, March 21, 2011
For some this is only happens occasionally but for others this thought process and feeling happens on a daily basis, year in and year out. The effects this kind of stress has on the body is dangerous and can lead to serious illness.
While the effects of stress on the body are generally thought of in the physical sense, they can also result in mental strain. Symptoms of stress on the mind could be impaired judgment and indecisiveness. Forgetfulness and memory lapses are also common and on the extreme end depression. The mental effects of stress can be frightening.
Effects of stress on the body
Symptoms of stress can sometimes result in chest pains, insomnia or a person losing or gaining weight drastically. Other physical effects of stress on the body people can experience are (but not limited to):
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalance
- Constant Headaches and Migraines
- Stomach ulcers and digestive problems (nausea and diarrhea)
- Loss of sex drive
Over an extended period of time the effects of stress can include more frequent illness due to a reduction in the efficiency of the immune system. More concerning though that prolonged stress on the body can lead to anxiety and panic attacks and in extreme cases, heart attacks.
What you can do to combat the effects of a stressful lifestyle
Well, whether you like it or not there are no surprises here when it comes to taking care of the incredible vehicle we all tend to take for granted. One of the best ways to keep the physical symptoms of stress at bay is to adhere to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to repair the damage stress can cause on the body and the added benefits are more energy and mental clarity.
Daily exercise is another good way to manage the muscle tension and mental effects of stress on the body. Just thirty minutes of walking, biking or swimming can make a huge difference on how you cope with the strain and pressures of modern day living.
You don't have to let the negative effects of stress on the body ruin your life. Develop a consistent healthy lifestyle. Exercise your mind and body effectively so you can adapt better to challenging situations and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.
More Helpful Tips On Relieving Stress
Visualization can be a powerful tool to help you improve your life circumstances, but it can also serve as a handy technique for transforming stress and anxiety into peace, happiness and confidence!
Stress and anxiety can quickly become a vicious cycle that keep you feeling powerless and frightened. The more stressed you get, the more your thoughts and emotions will move toward the negative side, which only makes you feel more stressed!
Using visualization to transform these feelings can stop the cycle by switching your focus to something more positive and uplifting.
First and foremost, it's helpful if you can remove yourself from the stressful environment and engage in some relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing before you begin your visualization, because your mind will be more receptive if you're calm and centered.
Once you've moved yourself into a more relaxed state, bring to mind a scene that soothes and calms you. You can choose a natural setting like a beach or forest, or imagine a place that is representative of relaxation such as a spa or temple. Imagine yourself being in this place, feeling balanced and calm.
Rather than simply "seeing" the images in your mind, make an effort to mentally transport yourself to this calm setting and engage as many of your senses as you can. Imagine that you can smell the fresh air or incense in the temple; imagine that you can feel the rich earth beneath your feet, hear the roar of ocean waves or bird song, and feel the cool breeze moving through your hair. The more you can involve your senses, the more "real" the scene will seem to you, and the more effective it will be in calming you.
One of the more fascinating measures taken for stress relief can be had with an art therapy. With so many different forms of therapy today it's tough to know which are the most effective for which condition, but art therapy enjoys great success in helping people suffering from a collection of conditions that are both physical and mental. If you are looking for an exciting method for relieving stress, art therapy is a good option.
An art therapy session will help you show others how art can lead to self awareness and understanding, as well as how soothing it can be to engage in the creative process. Taking the time to focus on a piece of art alone can make a tremendous difference in how we live and think and can reduce stress amazingly. Art therapy also helps people to discover things about themselves based on what they draw.
Friday, March 18, 2011
What are the health benefits of dark chocolate? Just the best news that chocolate lovers could hope to hear (short of a way to remove all the calories without altering the taste)!
Now you don't have to feel bad because it tastes s-o-o-o-o good, anymore. You can point to scientific studies that show it...
- improves your mood (does it ever!)
- lowers high blood pressure
- increases circulation
- fights aging
- soothes a cough
- can reduce cholesterol
- boosts your brain power
- high in antioxidants
Sound too good to be true? It isn't. These benefits are real, accessible, and a great reason (excuse) to eat dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure
Dark chocolate -- not white chocolate -- lowers high blood pressure, say Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
But that's no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure -- if you've reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.
High blood pressure is a well known risk factor for heart disease. It is also one of the most common causes of kidney failure, and a significant contributor to many kinds of dementia and cognitive impairment. Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate daily can reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension.
Why are people with risk factors for heart disease sometimes told to take a baby aspirin every day? The reason is that aspirin thins the blood and reduces the likelihood of clots forming (clots play a key role in many heart attacks and strokes). Research performed at the department of nutrition at the University of California, Davis, found that chocolate thins the blood and performs the same anti-clotting activity as aspirin. “Our work supports the concept that the chronic consumption of cocoa may be associated with improved cardiovascular health,” said UC Davis researcher Carl Keen.
How much chocolate would you have to eat to obtain these benefits? Less than you might think. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adding only half an ounce of dark chocolate to an average American diet is enough to increase total antioxidant capacity 4 percent, and lessen oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Why, then, has chocolate gotten such a bum reputation? It’s the ingredients we add to it. Nearly all of the calories in a typical chocolate bar are sugar and fat.
As far as fats go, it’s the added fats that are the difficulty, not the natural fat (called cocoa butter) found in chocolate. Cocoa butter is high in saturated fat, so many people assume that it’s not good for your cardiovascular system. But most of the saturated fat content in cocoa butter is stearic acid, which numerous studies have shown does not raise blood cholesterol levels. In the human body, it acts much like the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.
Milk chocolate, on the other hand, contains added butterfat which can raise blood cholesterol levels. And it has less antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals than dark chocolate.
Does chocolate contribute to acne? Milk chocolate has been shown to do so, but I’ve never heard of any evidence incriminating dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is also healthier because it has less added sugar. I’m sure you don’t need another lecture on the dangers of excess sugar consumption. But if you want to become obese and dramatically raise your odds of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, foods high in sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) are just the ticket.
Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate -- but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk -- is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy's National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.
"Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate ... and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate."
Translation: Say "Dark, please," when ordering at the chocolate counter. Don't even think of washing it down with milk. And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word "moderate" as you nibble.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
As cutting-edge research shows, you can burn more calories from exercise, work more efficiently and improve concentration, and even have better sex by learning how to synch up to your circadian rhythm and brain's power hours. Here's your daily guide.
7 to 9 AM: Best for Passion
"The perfect moment for bonding with your spouse is right when you wake up," says Ilia Karatsoreos, PhD, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University. The reason: Levels of oxytocin (aka the "love hormone") are sky-high upon waking, making it the best time for intimacy of all kinds.
These are the hours to strengthen your relationship with the most important people in your life. Wake up feeling frisky and need more than just cuddling? Your husband's brain is on nearly the same wavelength; British researchers found high morning oxytocin levels in men gradually decreased as the day wore on.
Tap into it: Make love or cuddle. Tell your partner how much you love him. Call your child at college (so long as it's not the weekend!). Pen a thank-you note to a friend.
9 to 11 AM: Best for Creativity
Your brain now has moderate levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in reasonable amounts can actually help your mind focus, says Sung Lee, MD, secretary of the International Brain Education Association. It's present at any age: A University of Michigan study found that college students and retired adults were both mentally quick in the morning—but among older subjects, sharpness declined in the afternoon.
Because you're primed for learning, take on tasks that require analysis and concentration. "From middle age on, you're more alert early in the day," says Carolyn Yoon, PhD, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan who worked on the study. Schedule discussions that involve personal or family matters, as others will be sharp during these hours as well.
Tap into it: Develop a new idea. Write a presentation. Brainstorm solutions to challenges, large or small. Have an important convo with your doctor.
11 AM to 2 PM: Best for Tough Tasks
By now, levels of the sleep hormone melatonin have dipped sharply from their late evening and early morning peaks. This means you're more ready to take on a load of projects, according to German researchers. They found that reaction time and the ability to accomplish several to-dos were strong in the middle of the day.
Tear through that list—because of your mental quickness, this time of day is best for taking action. One tip: Cross items off one at a time, says René Marois, PhD, director of the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University. Attempts to juggle tasks simultaneously put additional demands on your brain, making you more likely to lose concentration and make slip-ups.
Tap into it: Plow through voice mails or e-mails. Give a presentation to a client or boss. Iron out a tough problem with your spouse.
2 to 3 PM: Best for a Break
To digest your lunch, your body draws blood away from your brain to your stomach, says Lee. Aim to eat lunch closer to 2 PM, as the midday meal can make you wish there was a couch to crash on close by. Your body's circadian rhythm (the biological "clock" that regulates sleep and wakefulness) is also in a brief down phase during this time, according to a Harvard study.
Steer clear of your workload and play around on Facebook or flip through magazines. If you're at work and need to fight off drowsiness, take a quick, brisk walk around the block or drink some water—both will get blood moving away from your belly and toward your head. "Water increases vascular volume and circulation, promoting blood flow to your brain," he says.
Tap into it: Meditate or pray. Read for pleasure—Web sites, magazines, or newspapers. Go for a stroll.
3 to 6 PM: Best for Collaboration
"The brain is pretty fatigued by now," says Paul Nussbaum, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist and author of Your Brain Health Lifestyle. That doesn't mean you're stressed, however: University of Michigan scientists found that cortisol levels usually decline in women by late afternoon.
Although your brain is not as sharp as earlier, you're more easygoing, so plan a low-pressure meeting for now. If you've already left work, pick an activity that is as different from your job as possible, suggests Nussbaum. Exercise is a perfect one: Studies show that grip strength, manual dexterity, and other physical skills are at their strongest by evening, but if you work out too late, the residual adrenaline may interfere with sleep for some people. A gym session right before dinner solves the problem.
Tap into it: Brainstorm with coworkers. Strength-train.
6 to 8 PM: Best for Personal Tasks
Between these hours, researchers have found that the brain enters something called "wake maintenance," when its production of sleep-friendly melatonin is at an all-day low. As a result, chances of getting tired now are next to none. Studies also show that your tastebuds are lit up during these hours because of circadian variations in hormone levels.
Keep your energy up by exposing yourself to the last of the day's serotonin-stimulating sunlight. Now may be a good time to walk the dog or walk yourself to the grocery store. And because you're now more alert but no longer at work, direct your renewed burst of mental energy toward your husband and kids and maybe some friends; you're bound to be pretty engaging about now.
Tap into it: Run errands. Clean a long-overdue room in your house. Enjoy quality time with your family members. Whip up a delicious meal.
8 to 10 PM: Best for Relaxing
There's an abrupt transition from being wide awake to feeling sleepy as melatonin levels rise quickly, report Australian and British researchers. Meanwhile, levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to perkiness, start to fade. "Eighty percent of serotonin is stimulated from exposure to daylight, so now you're slowing down," says Rubin Naiman, PhD, sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine.
Now's the time to ease into relaxing, "mindless" activities (save the crossword puzzle for the morning). "By nightfall, when your brain is tired, this is a good way to bring yourself down, like walking a lap or two after a big workout," says Naiman.
Tap into it: Unwind by watching a funny movie. Try a low-key, repetitive activity, such as knitting.
10 PM onward: Best for Snoozing
Your brain is looking to knit together all it learned today, which it does during sleep. Your top priority should be getting a full night's rest. Sleep can inspire insight: In one study, more than half of those taught a task thought of an easier way to do it after 8 hours of sleep. Adjusting lighting can help: Dim the rooms you occupy after dinner to let your body know the day is ending, suggests Naiman. In a few hours, your brain will be ready to start all over again.
Whatever helps you get to sleep—and it may take adjustments over time—follow your routine consistently. Just make sure you sign off early enough so you get the 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye recommended for optimal health and energy.
Tap into it: Curl up with a good book. Write in your journal. Drift off while reading something you want to remember in the morning.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The last dish has been washed, and as you sit back and watch Modern Family, what’s in your hand? A pint of Haagen-Dazs or a cup of tea? On weekends, do you watch your calories as carefully as you did Monday through Friday, or do you take a healthy eating vacation and go to town?
Certain ingrained habits—even seemingly minor ones—have a significant effect on your weight. The hard part, too, is that even when you make the decision to, say, eat more fruit or hit the gym one more time a week, past behaviors can sneak in and undermine your best efforts. Those patterns can be grouped into five basic eating types. Chances are, you’ll identify with one or more. Once you recognize your type (or types), you'll be able to develop strategies and solutions tailored specifically to your needs.
Type # 1: The Weekender You live "by the book" all week, only to throw it out the window on Friday night. Or maybe you travel a lot for work or pleasure, and as soon as your surroundings change, so do your eating and daily calorie-counting habits.
Go (mildly) wild on Wednesday. It's hard to resist going nuts on Saturday and ordering the mac ’n’ cheese when you've been buttoned up for 5 days straight, so consider working one splurge night into your week. If you inject a little food-related fun into the weekdays, you'll be less likely to "reward" yourself with major damage on the weekends.
Type # 2: The Calorie Drinker One of the biggest diet mistakes is thinking that if it's something you sip, the calories won't stick. Unfortunately, liquid calories are stealth fatteners—they go down quickly, making it easy to drink more and rack up the calories—fast.
Make smarter switches. Whether your weakness is sweet coffee drinks or soda, there's a way to alter your particular poison so it doesn't sabotage your progress. Skip the sweetener (and whipped cream) in coffee and drink seltzer instead of sugar-packed soda. You’ll save hundreds of calories and barely notice the change.
Type # 3: The Snacker These days we're confronted with calories everywhere we go, from bagels in the conference room to king-size chocolate bars in the checkout aisle. In an environment with such an abundance of cheap, easy calories, temptation lurks around every corner and chips away at your willpower.
Track every single bite. It's always important to track your meals, but in this case, it's extra important that you take note of everything that slips between your lips. Until now, you probably haven't been "counting" all those free samples at the supermarket, but they can easily cost you 100 calories or more. Seeing how all those extra bites add up is motivation enough to make you say no to the free muffin sample.
Type # 4: The Stress Eater Do you find yourself looking for solace in a red velvet cupcake after a long, stressful day? Do you empty a bag of tortilla chips whenever your mother-in-law is in town? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then stress eating is a part of your life--and probably a major hindrance to your weight loss.
Fix It: Name that theme. Are there any common themes among your stress-related binges? Do they generally occur at work? Do they happen mostly in the evenings, when you’re dealing with family, bills, or housework? If you know that a certain situation or person tends to push you over the edge, prepare yourself for the stress that will inevitably come. Just being aware that a binge-inducing situation is on the horizon can help you brace for it and lower the chances that you'll give in.
Type # 5: The Follower Do you wonder why you're not losing weight when you seem to be doing everything right? You may be falling for healthy buzzwords on a package of high-calorie processed food. Even actual "healthy" foods--some of which offer many benefits--can be calorie bombs.
Don't buy into marketing gimmicks. Read every food nutrition label and decide for yourself whether or not something makes sense for your calorie budget. Also, stop personalizing your food choices. Try not to categorize them as "good" or "bad"--and definitely don't apply that black-and-white thinking to your character. Eating an apple does not make you a "good" person any more than eating a cookie makes you a "bad" person! If you're an ecoconscious eater, "good" and "bad" have other connotations for you. While your efforts to green our planet are applause-worthy, don't forget that words like organic, sustainable, and grass-fed do not necessarily mean "low in calories." Being good to the Earth doesn't automatically mean you're making good choices for your waistline.
Finally, beware of healthy calories. If eating larger portions of lower-calorie foods is your thing, that's fine, but some foods can throw you off your budget when you indulge with too much abandon. For example, almonds are often touted for their nutritional power--and they do pack lots of protein and a nice dose of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. But if you eat just 1/2 cup of almonds (easy to do in one sitting), you're taking in 400 calories.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Here are four things women tend to skip that can deliver serious results.
1. High-intensity training.
All that time coasting on the elliptical at a comfortable pace probably hasn’t done much for your body, says Panama-based trainer Belinda Benn, creator of the Breakthrough Physique home fitness system. In fact, the biggest mistake women make in their training is not exercising with enough intensity, she says.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is typically a 10- to 20-minute workout that alternates short, intense bursts of activity with moderate-exertion recovery periods. “High-intensity interval training is the best way to improve your overall fitness, burn fat, and stimulate your hormones for a stronger body,” says Benn.
How to tell if you’re training hard enough? Look to your body for clues, Benn says. Good indicators are sweating, increased heart rate, and lactic acid production (i.e., feeling the “burn”) during exercise. Moderate muscle soreness for up to a few days post-workout is also a good sign. “If you feel nothing,” Benn says, “you probably didn’t work out hard enough.”
For most women, a typical weight-training session equals light dumbbell exercises, says Toronto-based strength and conditioning specialist Craig Ballantyne, creator of the Turbulence Training Program. But doing fewer reps with more weight—say, 8 reps per set with a 15-pound dumbbell, instead of 15 reps with an 8-pound one—will burn more fat, he says. Lifting heavier will also increase your strength and muscle definition.
Start by swapping out your normal weights for slightly heavier ones, and gradually work your way up. Most women often worry that lifting heavy weights will make them look big and bulky like men. Unless you are taking Anabolic Steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone it is virtually impossible to grow muscles like men. I don’t care how heavy you lift.
3. Upper body workouts.
Women tend to store body fat around the waist, hips, and thighs, so that’s where they typically focus their exercise efforts—neglecting their upper bodies, Benn says.
But you can’t spot-reduce fat, and sticking with what’s easy can stunt your progress, says Benn. Because you may feel weak while attempting pull-ups for the first time, Benn suggests doing the hard stuff at the start of your workout, “when you’re freshest and feeling mentally strong.”
“Focusing on underdeveloped muscles will improve the contours of your body,” Benn says.
4. Training with a barbell.
Think barbells are synonymous with back-breaking chest presses? Not so. “You can do a tremendous workout just with a barbell,” Benn says. “If you’re holding a bar rather than using two separate weights, it forces you to get your body in sync.”
Barbells are great for both upper- and lower-body exercises. Balancing one across your shoulders while doing squats, lunges, or walking lunges helps develop posture and balance, Benn says.
If you’re flirting with a barbell for the first time, go as light as you need to. Even 10 pounds is a good start.
If you’re worried you’ll bulk up with any of these exercises, consider your body type. Benn says women generally fall into two categories: those who build muscle easily, and those who don’t. If you build muscle easily, she suggests emphasizing high-intensity exercises. If you develop muscle slowly, you’ll benefit from spending more time on heavy lifting.
To learn more about workouts for women or to have a personalize fitness program created for your weight lost goals browse through our fitness page by clicking here
Monday, March 14, 2011
Due to the popularity of last week's Food Art blog entry,I decided to post some pictures of Food Art that consist of sandwiches for kids. ENJOY!
Sponge Bob Square Pants
If you like this blog entry please share it with your friends.
Friday, March 11, 2011
The Truth about Dairy
According to Dr. Willett, who has done many studies and reviewed the research on this topic, there are many reasons to pass up milk, including:
- Milk doesn't reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses' Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
- Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
- Calcium isn't as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
- Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man's risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body's level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) -- a known cancer promoter.
- Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn't. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world's population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products -- a problem called lactose intolerance.
Based on such findings, Dr. Willet has come to some important conclusions:
- Everybody needs calcium -- but probably not as much as our government's recommended daily allowance (RDA) and calcium from diet, including greens and beans is better utilized by the body with less risk than calcium supplements.
- Calcium probably doesn't prevent broken bones. Few people in this country are likely to reduce their fracture risk by getting more calcium.
- Men may not want to take calcium supplements. Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may be reasonable for women
- Dairy may be unhealthy. Advocating dairy consumption may have negative effects on health.
If all that isn't enough to swear you off milk, there are a few other scientific findings worth noting. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently asked the UDSA to look into the scientific basis of the claims made in the "milk mustache" ads. Their panel of scientists stated the truth clearly:
- Milk doesn't benefit sports performance.
- There's no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis -- in fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!
- Dairy is linked to prostate cancer.
- It's full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.
- Dairy causes digestive problems for the 75 percent of people with lactose intolerance.
- Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome.
Simply put, the FTC asked the dairy industry, "Got Proof?" -- and the answer was NO!
Plus, dairy may contribute to even more health problems, like:
• Sinus problems
• Ear infections
• Type 1 diabetes
• Chronic constipation
• Anemia (in children)
Due to these concerns, many have begun to consider raw milk an alternative. But that isn't really a healthy form of dairy either ...
Yes, raw, whole, organic milk eliminates concerns like pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and the effects of homogenization and pasteurization -- but to me, these benefits don't outweigh dairy's potential risks.
From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn't domesticate animals and weren't able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!).
If you don't believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase - the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk -- sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned.
Our bodies just weren't made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it's better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods -- vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.
6 Tips for Dealing with Dairy
- Take your Cow for a Walk. It will do you much more good than drinking it"s milk.
- Don't rely on dairy for healthy bones. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
- Get your calcium from food. These include dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.
- Try giving up all dairy. That means eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream for two weeks and see if you feel better. You should notice improvements with your sinuses, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight. Then start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life.
- If you can tolerate dairy, use only raw, organic dairy products. I suggest focusing on fermented products like unsweetened yogurt and kefir, occasionally.
- If you have to feed your child formula from milk, don't worry. The milk in infant formula is hydrolyzed or broken down and easier to digest (although it can still cause allergies). Once your child is a year old, switch him or her to real food and almond milk.
Still got milk? I hope not! Remember, dairy is not crucial for good health. I encourage you to go dairy-free and see what it does for you.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
There are some differences between the two kinds of salts; while their chemical makeups are the same, both of them consist of two main minerals: sodium and chloride.
But ocean salt has different taste and texture from table salt. It is processed differently and very lightly, and normally is produced through evaporating seawater. This is the very reason why it has different flavor, texture and color. It usually has a small amount of minerals from the water source depending on its location. Iodine is one of its natural ingredients.
All ocean salts are not created equal too! Most coastal countries produce ocean salt which flavors and colors vary from one another. They are all known as gourmet salts, preferred over table salts by many.
In comparison, table salt is more heavily processed, eliminating other mineral traces. It's also added food additive to prevent it from becoming clump, which is damaging to our health.
Healthy sodium consumption should be 1,500- 2,300 mg a day.
If you have high blood pressure, or have reached middle-age, aim for the lower end of this sodium consumption range. Though ocean salt is more natural, less sodium and has other minerals, too much of it is not good either.
And don't confuse salt from sea with salt from Dead Sea.
More on Sea Salt
Sea salt contains less sodium than standard table salt so this is helpful to individuals suffering from hypertension. Sea salt is a broad term that generally refers to unrefined salt derived directly from a living ocean or sea. It is harvested through channeling ocean water into large clay trays and allowing the sun and wind to evaporate it naturally. Manufacturers of sea salt typically do not refine sea salt as much as other kinds of processed salt, so it still contains natural traces of other minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. Proponents of sea salt rave about its bright, pure, clean flavor, and about the subtleties lent to it by these other trace minerals. Some of the most common sources for sea salt include the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean (particularly in France, on the coast of Brittany). Sea salt is healthier and more flavorful than traditional table salt. It’s available in coarse, fine & extra fine grain size, and many sizes in between!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Lemon is an inexpensive, easily available citrus fruit, popular for its culinary and medicinal uses. It is used to prepare a variety of food recipes such as lemon cakes, lemon chicken and beverages like lemonade and lemon-flavored drinks. It is also used for garnishing. Lemon juice consists of about 5% citric acid that gives a tarty taste to lemon. Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. It also contains vitamins like vitamin B, riboflavin and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium as well as proteins and carbohydrates. Lemon is generally consumed in the form of lemon juice or lemon water. Lemon water makes a healthy drink, especially when taken in the morning. Daily consumption of lemon water provides a number of health benefits like:
Good for stomach
Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.
Excellent for Skin Care
Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
Aids in Dental Care
Lemon water is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. Massaging lemon water onto the bleeding gums helps in controlling the bleeding gums and if it is applied outwardly on the nostrils it can stop bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums.
Cures Throat Infections
Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections, sore throat and tonsillitis as it has an antibacterial property. For sore throat, dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water and gargle frequently.
Good for Weight Loss
One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well. If warm lemon water is daily consumed, it will be out of the most effective remedies to reduce belly fat and obesity.
Prevention and Cure from Allergies and Infections
To prevent and treat various infections along with control over different allergies is also a distinctive benefit of lemon water. It is found efficient in healing wounds due to its antiseptic properties.
Strengthening of Liver Functioning
It strengthens the functioning of liver and motivates it to generate more enzymes necessary for different body functions.
Controls High Blood Pressure
Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also reduces mental stress and depression.
Assist in curing Respiratory Disorders
Lemon water assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma.
Good for treating Rheumatism
Lemon is also a diuretic and hence lemon water can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
Great for treating Urinary Tract Problems
Owing to the diuretic effect, lemon water is valuable for people having urinary tract infections. It is also useful to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
Natural Hair Conditioner
If lemon water is applied on hair for a few minutes and rinsed off afterward, it results in clean and full of shine hair for normal to oily hair.
Lemon water can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
Acts as a blood purifier
The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier. Lemon water performs blood purification because it contains vitamin C and antioxidants which help in removing dangerous free radicals from the body and improve immune system.
How much should I drink?
In case you are in good health and weigh 155 pounds or less, it is advisable for you to have juice of one-half of the lemon squeezed into one glass of water, twice daily. However, if you weigh more than 155 pounds, juice of one whole lemon in a glass of water should be preferred. For maximum benefit, this mixture should also be taken two times a day, though you may dilute more lemon juice according to your taste if you wish.
Do not just remain oblivious to the gifts of nature such as this, for you should always try to make the most of them. So, make it a part of your daily routine to drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning and then open your gateway to enjoy its health benefits.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The researchers reviewed the results of several different studies on eggs and nutrition, concluding that eggs did not contribute significantly to the body's cholesterol levels. Although eggs are in fact a high-cholesterol food, the researchers note that only one-third of the body's cholesterol comes from dietary sources; the rest is produced by the body from saturated fats. As a consequence, saturated fat intake plays a far more significant role.
"The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected," researcher Bruce Griffin said. "The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol."
The researchers note that other factors, such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or smoking also have greater effects on cholesterol levels or the risk of cardiovascular disease than egg consumption does.
"The public does not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat," Griffin said. "Indeed, they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet, as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods."
Up until 2007, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommended that people limit their intake of eggs to three per week, as a way of reducing the risk of heart disease. That advice is now considered outdated.
"We recommend that eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet," said Victoria Taylor of the BHF. "There is cholesterol present in eggs, but this does not usually make a great contribution to your level of blood cholesterol. If you need to reduce your cholesterol level, it is more important that you cut down on the amount of saturated fat in your diet from foods like fatty meat, full fat dairy products, and cakes, biscuits and pastries."
Eggs are also a great source of protein, especially for those who don't consume very much meat. It can be difficult to obtain all of the essential amino acids - the ones our bodies can't produce - if you eat a diet mostly based in grains. An egg contains each of the nine essential amino acids, making it a top source for these nutrients.
Of course, all eggs are not created equal. Commercial eggs are a nutritionally poor substitute for organic, free-range eggs. Chickens that are allowed to roam free provide eggs with a higher protein and vitamin content, while organic practices mean harmful pesticides and chemicals won't find their way into your breakfast. You can also look for eggs that contain higher levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids. These come from chickens that have been fed a special diet high in those healthy omega-3s.
If you've been afraid to commit nutritional sacrilege by enjoying a tasty omelet in the morning or a boiled egg for an afternoon snack, set your fears aside and relish in the wholesome goodness of one of mother nature's best gifts.
NOTE - It is highly recommended to purchase and consume free ranged eggs with zero hormones and chemicals.
To see our recipe pages that include delicious eggs go to this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/food4.htm