Chitika

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Ovarian Cysts and Fibroid are GONE! - Dr Akilah El's Program

Watch this personal testimony from Marcy Dickson and learn how she eliminated all of her ovarian cysts and fibroid naturally within THREE MONTHS!!!!! Before starting Dr Akilah’s fibroids/cysts shrinking program Marcy would experience heavy to moderate bleeding for three weeks. After following the program religiously for two weeks her next period last for only seven days with no pain or bloating. Watch this video to hear more mind blowing testimony from this determined young lady.




 For more information go to…..

http://www.celestialhealing.net/fibroids.htm

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Useful Weight Loss Tips for Guaranteed Results

Are you overweight and want to lose weight quickly and faster? This article can be of great important as we are going to look at some of the best, fast and quick weight loss tips.




  • Once you set your weight loss goals stand by them until you achieve your desired weight. No matter what happens during your workout do not give up just because you have not lost weigh as you expected.

  • Make sure you have enough sleep and rest. A good sleep helps in metabolism and this help you lose weight fast.

  • Avoid having stress as stressed persons tend to eat more food and this results to weight gain. Always try to be stress free and take a good rest.

  • After weight loss workouts make sure that you rest a bit to enable your muscles to relax and be repaired. Generally during workout your body muscles and tissues are damaged and they need to be repaired.

  • Try parking your car a distance from your work place and then walk. This will help to exercise your muscles.

  • If you have time and your office is upstairs try walking up the stairs rather than using elevator. Walking is a good way of exercising your body.

  • Make sure that you eat at home often, as you will have healthy food that does not have a lot of calories. When eating out you do not check you meal and the food you take out may have excess calories. If you are to eat out choose a smaller portion.

  • Do a lot of exercises during your free time. You can either go for gym or buy a tool for exercises such as kettlebells. Incorporate exercise that works on all body muscles. When going for exercise do not eat and start with warm ups. Warm ups prepare your muscles for the exercise.

  • Check you meals so that you do not take too much calories.

  • Breakfast is the most important meal in the day.  Make sure that you do not skip breakfast or any meal as this may force you to eat more food than the required portion.

  • It is advisable that you drink a lot of water through out the day as water is very important to your health and can also help in losing weight. It is also important that you drink some water before meals.

  • If you feel hungry in between the meals take a healthy snack that is possible made of fruits or even take a fruit salad. Fruit are a better choice of snacks.

  • Instead of eating huge amount of food eat little amount at different interval. Basically it is recommended that you eat three main meals in a day and in between the meals you can take fruits or healthy snacks.

  • During exercise it is important that you may have a partner who you will work together and compete with. This will not only motivate you but will make the exercise fun.

  • If you are a fan of bike riding it is a good decision to ride to your work place rather than driving. Riding does not only helps in burning calories faster but also helps in improving your heart and muscles.

  • In your diet try to reduce the fat, sugar and salt.  Mostly food with high fat and sugar has a lot of calories.

  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber is necessary for a healthy weight loss as it helps the digestive system to run smoothly.

  • Instead of just sitting down doing nothing try and keep yourself active by help in household duties or even walking.


When you plan to go on a program or workout with these quick weight loss tips it is quite important to bear some points in mind.

  • Remember that losing weight is not an overnight process but a healthy weight loss should be gradual.

  • Weight loss tips, good health and exercises work hand in hand. There is no effective weight loss result without exercises and besides that exercises without a balanced diet may not have a good outcome.

  • Losing weight is actually taking fewer calories than the amount of calories the body is burning.


These quick weight loss tips can help you lose the weight you need in order to live a much healthier life.

 

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Many Restaurants Fake it as Demand for Organic Food Rises

By Aaron French


Excerpt:  The trend towards local, sustainable, and organic foods is ever increasing. As a response, chefs often write some variation of the now obligatory sentence at the bottom of each menu: “We use organic, local, and sustainable sources for all our products, when possible.” And here lies a serious conundrum: the seasonal and uncertain nature of organic, sustainable food means that some wiggle room is necessary to allow for variation in harvest and availability. Yet chefs can use this wiggle room to do nothing at all, or, worse yet, to cheat the system directly.

“The temptation is always there for some low-life chef to exploit the public because one can sell ‘organic’ produce at a much higher price than ‘non-organic,’” says Alex Ong chef/owner of San Francisco’s Beetlenut Peju Wu.

Jason Kwon, chef/owner of Joshu-ya Brasserie in Berkeley, agrees. “As a restaurateur, everyone wants in on the sustainable food topic,” he says. “A lot of my cooks work second jobs at restaurants that promote organic vegetables but they probably buy one box of organic tomatoes each month, and that’s all that they do.” Kwon says that these establishments are hurting consumers and also other local sustainable businesses.

The irony of this organic-deception is that organic food is in fact very clearly regulated at the federal level by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 and the national organic standards published in 2000. And as a result, most consumers now know that organic produce needs to be certified by a third-party agency. These agencies certify farms that are following the organic regulations, significantly reducing fraud in the industry.

But what about fraud at restaurants?

In California, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is one of the largest and oldest certifying agencies in the US. It has been inspecting and certifying organic farms since 1973. But “CCOF doesn’t certify any restaurants,” says Robin Boyle, CCOF’s marketing director. And one of the reasons is that restaurants are excluded from certification requirements.

“Retail food establishments that process and sell organic foods at the same site — like restaurants — are excluded from certification,” explains Gwendolyn Wyard of the Organic Trade Association, a trade body that represents the organic industry in the US and Canada. “However, they are not excluded from keeping records that verify their organic claims,” she adds. And this, she says, is a very serious issue that most restaurants don’t even know about.

“They need to be able to verify with their records what quantities of organic food are produced from organic ingredients at their establishment, and have to retain and maintain these records on site for no less than three years.”

So every restaurant everywhere in the US that lists the word “organic” on the menu has to be able to back up that claim. I asked Wyard what a restaurant would have to do to if it printed that same menu statement from above: “We use organic, local, and sustainable sources for all our products, when possible.”

Her answer: “Listing ‘organic’ on the menu ‘when possible’ would mean that the restaurant would need to keep records for all organic purchases and also they would need records to show specifically what efforts they are making to buy organic food. They would also need to specifically define ‘when possible.’”

Wyard lists a few of the other requirements: invoices for organic foods have to contain a specific “lot number” that matched to the specific box of food in the restaurant, and restaurants have to have separate storage facilities dedicated to organic vs. non-organic products to avoid “co-mingling or contamination.” All this revolves around training, and most restaurants have no idea they need to comply with these rules, she says.

After speaking with Wyard I realized things were even more complicated than I had thought. Not only is there intentional fraud around organic and sustainable produce, but also unintentional violations of national organic regulations on top of that. It’s no surprise, then, that some chefs try to avoid the organic issue altogether while still offering excellent food.

Chef/owner Michael Dotson from Martins West in Redwood City, CA, says: “I’m more a proponent of sustainable produce than organic. It comes down to the certification when it’s organic. When you work with farmers that are sustainable, you have that promise if you know them. But if you’re certified organic you can still be a crappy farmer.”

Chef Ong of Beetlenut Peju Wu adds: “No one knows how big the problem is, and I think one of the best ways to avoid this issue is to talk to as many chefs as possible and to find out who and where they buy their produce from. Then get to know those farmers and support them.”

Source: Earth Island Journal

 

 

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Friday, January 27, 2012

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Eating

Between meetings, appointments, work deadlines, errands, family obligations, and trips to the gym, our lives can be so busy that we fill our bellies with the quickest, easiest bites we can get our hands on. Whether your goal is to drop unwanted pounds or eat healthier, it's in your best interest to pause before you take your first bite and ask yourself these four important questions. 

Am I hungry? Seems like a silly question, because you're eating, so you must be hungry, right? Many times we reach for food out of boredom, convenience (the bag of chips was open), depression (chocolate to drown your breakup sorrows), happiness (to celebrate a promotion), or desire (who could pass up the amazing brownies your co-worker brought in?). But if we recently ate, then we're not even hungry. Make sure you're due for a snack or meal before sitting down to eat one.

Is this food filling holes in my diet? We eat to live and that means the food we gobble down should offer our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly. Aside from being healthy, our daily diet should also be balanced. If you ate a high-protein breakfast of eggs and Greek yogurt topped with nuts, then for a morning snack, you probably want to eat something that offers your body something besides protein, such as fiber, potassium, or vitamin A. Think of each snack and meal as a piece of your daily diet puzzle; an opportunity to take in what your body is lacking. 

Is it the correct portion size? It's snack time, and you're sitting down to a banana, toast with peanut butter, a cheese stick, and crackers. Although healthy, that's way more calories than a typical snack should be. Depending on your weight, and your weight-loss goals, keep your snacks to around 150 calories, breakfast between 300 and 500 calories, lunch between 400 and 600 calories, and dinner around 400 and 600 cals. 

Are there alternatives to make this healthier? You could smear butter on a plain bagel, or you could spread almond butter on a piece of whole-grain bread. We can't always choose the healthier alternative (and sometimes we don't want to when it comes to foods we really crave), but the majority of your meals and snacks should be as healthy as possible. Look for easy ways to cut down on calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugars.

 

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

9 Essential Tips To Face Fear and Live a Bold Life

by Tess Marshall


“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown


Too often, we allow fear, worry, and doubt to dominate and define our lives. We allow them to steal our joy, our sleep, and our precious dreams.

I made up my mind, very young, that I would push forward no matter what.

I was 17 and pregnant when I married my boyfriend. We were young and foolish, and because our only plan was “love,” I gave birth to three more daughters by the age of 22. My last pregnancy was twins.

Kristy, one of the twins, was born without a right hand. My biggest fear, at the time, wasn’t how we would make it financially, but how would Kristy make it?

How would she hold a bottle or a swing? In a culture where we worship physical beauty, how would she adapt?

Kristy faced many struggles, but she was a fighter, and she pushed back. Hard!

She held her bottle with one hand. After she sucked it down, she would toss it, grab her sister’s bottle, and drink hers as well. She learned how to swing by putting the right chain in the crux of her elbow.

Her biggest struggles were in school, where she was teased, mocked, and bullied. It was painful to watch, but her sisters helped protect her.

She was determined to keep up with her sisters. She followed their lead and learned to play soccer and basketball in elementary school. She would go on to play sports for two years at the University of Chicago.

One of Kristy’s biggest fears was that boys wouldn’t want to date her. She didn’t date in high school. However, I don’t think it was because of her physical challenge but because she challenged them in sports and would beat them—their egos were bruised!

Today Kristy is 35. She was married last month. I think Pete is a great match for her. He is strong, has a lot of energy, and participates in marathons as well!

If you want to know happiness and realize your dreams, you have to be willing to take a leap of faith despite being afraid.

Too often, we hold back and play it safe, in order to avoid becoming successful, feeling embarrassed, looking silly, being hurt, and facing rejection or possible failure.

We cling to fear from our childhood, traumatic experiences, and the negative media, like Linus, from the cartoon strip, Peanuts, clings to his security blanket.

It’s our responsibility to acknowledge, face, and dissolve our fear.

Are you willing to begin now, to dig for the courage to do all the things you were meant to do, but haven’t yet begun? If the answer is yes read on!

The following tips will allow you to face fear and put it in its place.

1. Get comfortable with fear.


Invite fear into your life. When you fear something, move toward it.  Feel it, and breathe through it.

Do the things that frighten you. Action builds courage. Tell yourself, “This fear will pass.” Your world expands as your courage expands.

2. Make your dominant thoughts positive.


Fearful thoughts attract more fear. Positive thoughts attract success. Instead of expecting the worst, train your mind to expect the best. Make positive assumptions about your future.

3. Don’t give time, attention, or energy to fear.


Hold yourself accountable. Be consistent, be prepared, be dependable, and focus on solutions.

Be innovative, take the initiative, and go the extra mile. If you don’t take action despite your fear, opportunity will pass you by.

4. Never dwell on scarcity.


Learn to think, speak, and live as an abundant person. Turn off the news. Celebrate what you have. Be generous.

Focus your attention on being ready, willing, and prepared for the beauty, wonder, connections, good fortune, and favorable circumstances that are yours if you are willing to work and be open to it.

5. Revisit your victories.


Strengthen your belief in yourself by reflecting on the last three years of your life and every success you’ve experienced.

Close your eyes and feel the celebratory emotion of each one. Bring the same drive, persistence, and talent into now and allow it to inspire and motivate you.

6. Live vicariously through the victories of others.


Use the success stories of others. Read how the Brooklyn Bridge was built. Study the success of Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey. Take note of the courage they developed and follow their path to greatness.

7. Ask your family and friends for encouragement.


My family can see my strength when I forget I have it. At my request, they don’t hesitate to remind me of all trials and triumphs we have come through. They’re generous with praise and encouragement.  Ask your loved ones to do the same for you.

8. Create a support group of friends or colleagues.


Robert Folgrum said it best in his book, All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: “When you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” Sticking together makes tough times easier and easier times more fun!

9. Plan to be great.


Step into your power and dream big. Follow it up with calculated risks and deliberate action steps. Have no doubt about your success. Your dreams are at stake here!

You have the power to do what it takes to break through any obstacles that stand in the way of yourself, your dreams, and your happiness.

 

 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why McDonald's Hamburgers won't Decompose


 It's always entertaining when the mainstream media "discovers" something they think is new even though the natural health community has been talking about for years. The New York Times, for example, recently ran a story entitled When Drugs Cause Problems They Are Supposed to Prevent (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/h...). We've been covering the same topic for years, reporting on how chemotherapy causes cancer, osteoporosis drugs cause bone fractures and antidepressant drugs cause suicidal behavior.

The latest "new" discovery by the mainstream media is that McDonald's Happy Meal hamburgers and fries won't decompose, even if you leave them out for six months. This story has been picked up by CNN, the Washington Post and many other MSM outlets which appear startled that junk food from fast food chains won't decompose.

The funny thing about this is that the natural health industry already covered this topic years ago. Remember Len Foley's Bionic Burger video? It was posted in 2007 and eventually racked up a whopping 2 million views on YouTube. This video shows a guy who bought his McDonald's hamburgers in 1989 -- burgers that still haven't decomposed in over two decades!

Now, he has an entire museum of non-decomposed burgers in his basement.

Did the mainstream media pick up on this story? Nope. Not a word. The story was completely ignored. It was only in 2010 when an artist posted a story about a non-decomposing McDonald's hamburger from six months ago that the news networks ran with the story.

Check out the video link above and you'll see an entire museum of Big Macs and hamburgers spanning the years -- none of which have decomposed.

This is especially interesting because the more recent "Happy Meal Project" which only tracks a burger for six months has drawn quite a lot of criticism from a few critics who say the burgers will decompose if you give them enough time. They obviously don't know about the mummified burger museum going all the way back to 1989. This stuff never seems to decompose!

Why don't McDonald's hamburgers decompose?


So why don't fast food burgers and fries decompose in the first place? The knee-jerk answer is often thought to be, "Well they must be made with so many chemicals that even mold won't eat them." While that's part of the answer, it's not the whole story.

The truth is many processed foods don't decompose and won't be eaten by molds, insects or even rodents. Try leaving a tub of margarine outside in your yard and see if anything bothers to eat it. You'll find that the margarine stays seems immortal, too!

Potato chips can last for decades. Frozen pizzas are remarkably resistant to decomposition. And you know those processed Christmas sausages and meats sold around the holiday season? You can keep them for years and they'll never rot.

With meats, the primary reason why they don't decompose is their high sodium content. Salt is a great preservative, as early humans have known for thousands of years. McDonald's meat patties are absolutely loaded with sodium -- so much so that they qualify as "preserved" meat, not even counting the chemicals you might find in the meat.

To me, there's not much mystery about the meat not decomposing. The real question in my mind is why don't the buns mold? That's the really scary part, since healthy bread begins to mold within days. What could possibly be in McDonald's hamburger buns that would ward off microscopic life for more than two decades?

As it turns out, unless you're a chemist you probably can't even read the ingredients list out loud. Here's what McDonald's own website says you'll find in their buns:

Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, yeast, soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide, soy flour), calcium propionate and sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin.

Great stuff, huh? You gotta especially love the HFCS (diabetes, anyone?), partially-hydrogenated soybean oil (anybody want heart disease?) and the long list of chemicals such as ammonium sulfate and sodium proprionate. Yum. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Now here's the truly shocking part about all this: In my estimation, the reason nothing will eat a McDonald's hamburger bun (except a human) is because it's not food!

No normal animal will perceive a McDonald's hamburger bun as food, and as it turns out, neither will bacteria or fungi. To their senses, it's just not edible stuff. That's why these bionic burger buns just won't decompose.

Which brings me to my final point about this whole laughable distraction: There is only one species on planet Earth that's stupid enough to think a McDonald's hamburger is food. This species is suffering from skyrocketing rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia and obesity. This species claims to be the most intelligent species on the planet, and yet it behaves in such a moronic way that it feeds its own children poisonous chemicals and such atrocious non-foods that even fungi won't eat it (and fungi will eat cow manure, just FYI).

Care to guess which species I'm talking about?

Here's Len Foley's Bionic Burger video. It's an eye opener. He still have those burger buns today and after two decades the burger buns still haven't decomposed. Now is this something you want to EAT?








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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

12 Food Additives to Avoid

by MSN Health and Fitness


Including something new in a food isn’t always a good idea, especially when it comes to your health. Here are 12 additives to subtract from your diet:

1. Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite) - This is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef. Studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer.

2. BHA and BHT - Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are used to preserve common household foods. They are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, vegetable oils and canned foods. They are oxidants, which form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

3. Propyl Gallate - Another preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animals studies have suggested that it could be linked to cancer.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) - MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food. It can cause headaches and nausea, and animal studies link it to damaged nerve cells in the brains of infant mice.

5. Trans Fats - Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Restaurant food, especially fast food chains, often serve foods laden with trans fats.

6. Aspartame - Aspartame, also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is a sweetener found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. It may cause cancer or neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations.

7. Acesulfame-K - This is a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. There is a general concern that testing on this product has been scant, and some studies show the additive may cause cancer in rats.

8. Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3, 40; Green 3; Yellow 6Five food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer in animal testing. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

9. Olestra - Olestra, a synthetic fat found in some potato chip brands, can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. Olestra also inhibits healthy vitamin absorption from fat-soluble carotenoids that are found in fruits and vegetables.

10. Potassium Bromate - Potassium bromate is used as an additive to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans.

11. White Sugar - Watch out for foods with added sugars, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, sauces and many other processed foods. It is unsafe for your health, and promotes bad nutrition.

12. Sodium Chloride - A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, can bring flavor to your meal. But too much salt can be dangerous for your health, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

 

 

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Jazz For Cows

Look how healthy these cows are in France. They are roaming this big beautiful land eating the grass and listening to jazz. I guess good cows go to Heaven (France) and bad comes go to Hell (America).

Now I see why France is number one in health care.








Dr Akilah El
http://www.celestialhealing.net/

Scientists Say Delay Breastfeeding to ‘Improve’ Vaccine Potency

by Anthony Gucciardi


Scientists are now recommending that mothers delay vital breastfeeding in order to ‘improve’ the effects of vaccinations, stating that consuming breast milk could hamper the potency of vaccinations such as the rotavirus injection. The authors state that the immune-boosting effects of breast milk could negatively affect the vaccine potency. Of course the authors make no mention of the relationship between vaccination and over 189 diseases as observed by peer-reviewed research.

In a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Infections & Diseases that anyone can freely read, scientists say that breastfeeding should be halted to improve vaccine effects (which include negative effects).

The advisory is specifically targeted towards developing and poor nations, as is the norm with massive vaccination campaigns funded by the likes of the Bill Gates Foundation and the United Nations. Perhaps most startling is the fact that children in these nations oftentimes rely on breast milk as the only source of quality nutrition, yet the recommendation states that this is a desirable effect. In fact, a weakened immune system is just what the scientists are looking for to increase the potency and ‘effectiveness’ of the vaccine.

An excerpt from the study reads:
“INTERPRETATION: The lower immunogenicity and efficacy of rotavirus vaccines in poor developing countries could be explained, in part, by higher titers of IgA and neutralizing activity in breast milk consumed by their infants at the time of immunization that could effectively reduce the potency of the vaccine. Strategies to overcome this negative effect, such as delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization, should be evaluated.”

Scientists: Stop Breastfeeding, Make Way for Negative Effects


What’s more is the fact that the researchers seem to indicate mothers should instead choose to give their children synthetic formula. This is telling, as it shows that synthetic formula has nowhere near the immune-boosting capabilities of real breast milk. In fact, it can be quite damaging to the health of babies. In addition to containing toxic ingredients similar to processed foods, infant formula has been linked to a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and many more illnesses.

What does this ultimately mean? It means the enhanced ‘potency’ of these vaccinations given to children who are starved of breast milk also includes the negative reactions. The same negative reactions that are well documented by published research, tying vaccinations to autoimmune disorders to and infant mortality.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Study: Kids Prefer More Color and Variety in Their Plate

By Dr. Ayala


Brian Wansink is famous for his work on the psychology of eating and for popularizing terms such as "mindless eating" and "health halos." His research has unveiled some of the many occasions in which environmental cues such as packaging, label claims and plate size influence our eating.

There's something particularly encouraging about Wansink's findings. If so much of our eating, overeating and unhealthy eating is driven by nothing more than unconscious, mindless habits, a targeted environmental change can improve our eating without much sacrifice, indeed, almost without individuals having to do a thing.

Plate presentation affects eating


new study from Wansink's group, published in the January issue of Acta Paediatrica, and led by Francesca Zampollo looks at how the look of the plate affects kids and adults.

Twenty-three kids and 46 adults were shown full-size photos of 48 different combinations of food on plates that varied by number of items, placement of entrée and organization of the food.

Kids preferred plates with more items and more colors, they liked the entrees placed in the front of the plate, and they liked figurative designs. In fact, kids liked it when their plate had 6 different colors and 7 different foods, while adults preferred a plate with no more than 3 colors and 3 foods. Both kids and adults appreciate a non-crowded plate, with just enough empty space.

More color and more choice


Food marketers have known about kids' attraction to rainbow design for years I suppose. Take a look at the packaging of foods targeted to kids' and the recurring pattern is lots of colors, shapes and figurative designs. Minimalism and simplicity aren't a winning style in kids' products. So I guess young focus groups have told marketers much the same as the study group told the researchers.

According to this study kids visually prefer a plate with many elements and many choices. It is yet to be proven that they'll actually eat more readily if such a multiple-choice plate were served, but if that is indeed the case I welcome this finding. All we need in order to achieve 6 colors and 7 choices is to serve several kinds of vegetables and fruit to accompany the entrée - and we don't even need to chop them into a salad.

Have you noticed how presentation affects you or your kids?

 

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hypocrite Chef Paula Deen Says She has Diabetes

by Ruth Williams


If you haven’t heard by now, Paula Deen, the queen of Southern fried cooking (with a side of butter), announced on the Today Show on Tuesday morning that she has Type 2 Diabetes. (Refresher: Type 1 is the kind you’re born with, Type 2 is usually lifestyle-induced.)


With Deen’s admission this morning that she’s had Type 2 Diabetes – and has known since 2008 – the backlash has been fierce.


Long a proponent of high-fat foods that may contribute to a host of health issues, the question now is: will she be able to eat her own cooking? If her Skillet Fried Apple Pie  is any indication, she may need to sign a waiver before sitting down for dessert.

Up until today, the 65-year-old Deen has been fanatical about fat and the flavor it provides.  Often using a whole stick of butter in recipes and frying everything from spinach to ice cream, the chef seems to have been abiding by the motto: Live a Little.  Just not for Long!

Anthony Bourdain, the Travel Channel's resident Curmudgeon/Cook – never a fan of Deen’s - said today, "When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes ... it's in bad taste if nothing else."

The hypocrisy gets worse. According to the Washington Post, "Deen is the pitch person for Novo Nordisk’s new online program, Diabetes in a New Light, which offers tips on food preparation, stress management and working with doctors on treatment. She has contributed diabetes-friendly recipes to the website and takes the company’s drug Victoza, a once-daily noninsulin injection that had global sales of $734 million in the first nine months of 2011."

But with all the hoopla and harping, it’s unlikely this news will drive away Deen’s true fans;  in fact, it will only serve to provide the TV chef with yet another rich income source to mine.  At the end of the day, even if she tones down the butter in her recipes, her deal with Big Pharma will fatten up her wallet for years to come.  As far as her net worth is concerned, Paula Deen is still on a roll.

With a side of slaw, y’all

 

 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Aspartame - Sweet Killer - It puts the DIE in Diet Soda

By Eddie Sage


Aspartame (E951) is an artificial sweetener, used in over 6000 products. The food industry claims that aspartame helps in losing weight, but why is obesity then becoming such an ever increasing problem?
Aspartame is a very sweet chemical, responsible for a host of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, brain diseases, migraines, ADHD, etc.


Aspartame breaks down into three toxic components:

1. MethanolThis is poisonous alcohol. In the body, methanol breaks down into formaldehyde, which is a poison.
2. PhenylalanineThis decreases the amount serotonin in your brain, which leads to mood swings (depressions) and an increased appetite! That is why aspartame is one of the main causes for the current obesity epidemic.
3. Aspartic acidThis is a neurological toxin comparable to MSG.

The US Department of Health has recorded 92 (!) symptoms following complaints about aspartame. In fact, over 80% of all complaints filed with FDA are related to aspartame consumption!

Some of the brand names for aspartame:
AminoSweet, NutraSweet, Equal, NatraTaste, Canderel, Spoonful, Equal-Measure, etc.

Aspartame is used in any of the following products:
Sugarfree, Light, Diet, Zero (Coke, Sprite & Fanta), Coke 007, Pepsi Max, Crystal Clear, Low-Calorie, Crystal Light, No Sugar Added, Smint, Stimorol Ice, Stimorol Fusion, Freedent, Mentos, Sportlife, etc.

Do no longer believe the lies of the food industry and the ‘main stream’ media. Contrary to what so-called ‘health experts’ claim, aspartame is NOT safe!

In fact, aspartame is a sweet poison developed to make people sick so the pharmaceutical industry can sell expensive medication to ‘treat’ the chronic diseases that are caused by it’s use.

Avoid this toxic chemical for 60 days and discover how your health will improve dramatically!

Shocking aspartame documentary ‘Sweet Misery’:

Other artificial sweeteners that you should avoid:
Acesulfame K (E950), Cyclamate (E952), Isomalt (E953), Saccharin (E954), Sucralose or Splenda (E955), Alitame (E956), Neohesperidine (E959), Neotame (E961), Salt of Aspartame-Acesulfame (E962), Maltitol (E965), Lactitol (E966), Sorbitol (E420), Mannitol (E421), Glycerol (E422).

Sweet misery


The researchers also noted that aspartame appears to cause excessive signaling of nerve cells, and nerve cell damage or even death. By disrupting the functioning of the cells’ mitochondria, or energy source, aspartame leads to a cascade of effects on the whole system.

“The energy systems for certain required enzyme reactions become compromised, thus indirectly leading to the inability of enzymes to function optimally,” the researchers wrote.

According to a research review conducted by South African scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high intake of the artificial sweetener aspartame may lead to the degeneration of brain cells and various mental disorders.

 Same face, different name


Previous research was reviewed and it was found that aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, Canderal and Tropicana Slim, leads to both direct and indirect changes in the brain when consumed in high quantities. It was found that the chemical can disrupt amino acid metabolism and structure, degrade nucleic acids, and interfere with the function of nerve cells and hormonal systems. It also appears to change the concentration of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Aspartame is used in more than 6,000 products around the world. It has been controversial since its introduction, with a number of studies linking it to cancer and neurological and behavioral disorders. Side effects have been reported by many people including headaches, insomnia and even seizures from aspartame consumption.

The FDA and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), however, continue to insist that the sweetener is safe.

You can’t imagine how hard soft drinks sweetened with Aspartame are on your body.
A must-see for anybody with a sweet tooth, this exposé reveals the dangers of Aspartame consumption.

Americans constantly obsess over the latest diet fads and skinny trends, yet we’re one of the unhealthiest nations on the planet.

According to the US Surgeon General, obesity plagues more than 30% of Americans, killing over 300,000 people every year! Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are also all on the rise, with one of the main culprits in this disturbing trend being sugar. Almost 20% of our daily calorie intake comes from refined white sugar. That works out to about 150 pounds of sugar per year!

Consumed in small amounts, sugar actually helps your metabolism and supplies a quick boost of energy. In excess, sugar adds nothing but empty calories to your body. Many people have recognized this and now opt for sugar free alternatives, allowing for the rise of the artificial sugar industry. The most prevalent artificial sugar in our food supply today is called aspartame, which is also recognized as NutraSweet or Equal. Aspartame has made its way into more than 6,000 products including almost all diet sodas, chewing gum, frozen desserts, yogurt, and even vitamins and cough drops.
200 times sweeter than sugar, aspartame is a combination of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

Even though the safety of aspartame has been affirmed by the Food and Drug Administration 26 times in the past 23 years, the FDA has received more complaints about adverse reactions to aspartame than any other food ingredient in the agency’s history. In fact, at least 30% of the US population is sensitive to even moderate doses of aspartame and may suffer several symptoms. Immediate reactions include severe headaches, dizziness, attention difficulties, memory loss, throat swelling, and seizures.

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in many diet sodas and used as an ‘alternative’ sweetener, has been found recently to have detrimental – specifically, cancerous – effects.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvFRLIjOLOU?rel=0]



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Foods and Nutrients that Maintain Healthy Thyroid Function

January is Thyroid Awareness Month and with millions of Americans suffering from either an underactive or an overactive thyroid, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to discuss the foods you should incorporate into your diet to sustain a healthy thyroid.

But first, some background information on the thyroid. As one of the largest glands that produce hormones in the body, the thyroid is critical to your metabolism as well as regulating other functions in the body, including energy and heat production, tissue repair, regulating protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and muscle and nerve action. 

Your diet can create a sluggish thyroid that will lower your metabolism and cause weight gain. For example, low-fat diets cause high insulin and leptin levels. You can make a great impact on the function of your thyroid by focusing on toxin exposures, diet and stress levels, which would improve metabolism and allow for weight loss. A diet low in sugars and refined carbohydrates and high in vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats will give you the nutrients you need to support your thyroid.

There are some studies that show a connection between gluten sensitivity and thyroid antibody production. You don't have to have Celiac Disease to have sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Many people are sensitive to gluten and may experience bloating, cramps, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, skin rashes when they eat foods containing wheat, rye or barley. Those with sensitivities may make antibodies that cross-react with the thyroid and reduce thyroid function. Consider a gluten-free diet for eight weeks and see if you feel a difference.

Tips for improving thyroid function through what you eat:

  • Incorporate foods high in selenium such as seafood, shellfish, eggs, beef liver and beef kidneys. Sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, mushrooms, garlic and onions are other good sources.

  • Zinc can improve thyroid function as well. This mineral is especially important for middle-aged to elderly people since thyroid concerns and zinc deficiencies become more frequent with age. Good food sources of zinc include beans, nuts, crab, lobster and whole grain.

  • Thiamine is a mineral important to maintain optimum thyroid function. It is found in fortified cereals, milk, enriched whole grains and vegetables.

  • Avoid eating cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts in raw form as they can negatively impact an unhealthy thyroid. However, cooking these vegetables reduces the effects of the ingredients that harm the thyroid.

  • If you’re taking thyroid medications avoid eating any dairy products, soy products, walnuts or high-fiber foods within four hours of taking the medication as they can interfere with the medicine absorption. Studies have shown that there is no difference in the effectiveness of thyroid medication if it is taken at night instead of in the morning. Taking thyroid medication two hours after eating at night might be easier than trying to wait an hour to eat breakfast if you’re taking it in the morning. Either way works – it just depends on what works best for you.




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Monday, January 16, 2012

Rev Up Your Willpower--The Easy Way

By Jim Healthy


Making New Year's resolutions is the easy part.Keeping them … well, that's another story, isn't it?


 Many of the health and financial troubles we get ourselves into are because we either can't control our impulses to overeat, overspend, or overindulge - or we're unable to stick with a plan to reverse the damage.

 That's why most New Year's resolutions are about exercising more self-control and self-discipline, two of our least favorite words. (Interestingly, when researchers asked people what their major weakness is, they said "not enough willpower.")

Today I want to tell you about an ingenious technique that can help you succeed at anything you want to accomplish, whether it's losing weight, changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or improving your health.

Is there a shortcut to self-discipline?


 While human beings are naturally resistant to change, I've discovered an ancient Japanese technique that outsmarts this innate stubbornness and actually makes breaking any bad habit easy .

 In his book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, UCLA Medical School psychologist Dr. Robert Maurer describes his success in changing unhealthy behaviors in his patients and helping to break their bad habits using the Zen principle of kaizen (literally, "continuous slow improvement").

Why we resist change (even if it's good for us)


 We humans are creatures of habit. Anything we do with regularity takes on a force of its own and doesn't require much energy to continually repeat. This "force of habit" makes it easy for us keep doing the same thing (even if it's bad for us).

 Faced with the prospect of changing any comfortable routine, our brain rebels by triggering the "fight or flight" response. We actually experience fear at having to give up the familiar activity.

 The results of this reaction are all-too-familiar. We find ways to "excuse" ourselves from our new diet, from our exercise program, or from our plans to quit smoking or drinking. Psychologists refer to this as "self-sabotage."

 Our best intentions to change our ways frequently fail because the rational part of brain ("I want to lose weight") is battling the emotional part ("I'm afraid to give up my favorite foods").

 When this happens, you're usually doomed because the emotional brain creates physical sensations which feel more real, more important, and more urgent than the rational reasons to change.

How kaizen outsmarts your brain


 The genius of the kaizen approach is that it completely avoids this inner conflict by never threatening your comfort zone.

 Say you want to start a walking program. The conventional strategy is to choose a regular walking time, select your route and duration, pick a start date, and then "just do it," as the Nike ads urge.

 But most people never make it to Day One because all this feels too overwhelming and threatening.

 And of those who actually start this program, very few stick with it long enough for the force of habit to kick in so that the going gets easier.

"The least you can do"


 Kaizen asks you to imagine the smallest part of a new activity that you know you can commit to. In other words, something so non-threatening that your "fight or flight" center isn't aroused at all.

 Maybe this is merely putting on your walking shoes after dinner. Nothing more.

 Or simply walking to the front door and opening it. That's it.

 Don't laugh. Performing this one simple action over time will accomplish two powerful goals.

 First, it will interrupt your old habit of climbing onto the couch for some after-dinner TV. And second, it will plant the seed of a new habit (a healthful, post-dinner stroll) in your brain.

 After doing this regularly for a while, you'll notice the force of habit taking hold. Your new activity will become easier. This is when you can up the ante and walk out the front door and perhaps down to the curb.

The power of small actions


 The most important benefit of the kaizen approach is that it strengthens self-confidence - and this will give you a new sense of belief in yourself.

 You see, what really keeps us stuck in old, self-defeating behaviors is the self-doubt fostered by continually failing in the past efforts. It doesn't take long for us to become discouraged and believe we are "weak-willed" and "a loser."

 We forget that willpower works like a muscle that must be trained into strength.

 A new scientific understanding of this is described in the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, by psychologist Roy Baumeister and New York Times health writer John Tierney.

 Expecting to shed 100 pounds of excess weight without first having honed your will on smaller accomplishments is as unrealistic as expecting to bench press 300 pounds or runn a 4-minute mile without any prior training.

Train your willpower for success


 I've spent my entire life as an athlete, so I know what I'm talking about here.

 Having exercised for six decades, my force of habit is so strong that I'm physically uncomfortable if I miss a day or two.

 I never have to "talk myself into" exercise. And while I don't always have the greatest workouts, my exercise habit gets me to the gym. My muscle memory takes it from there.

Build your willpower the kaizen way


 We didn't get soft of sick overnight, so we shouldn't expect to develop super-willpower in a weekend.

 The key is to start with one small task and build on our success.

 According to Baumeister and Tierney, it's nearly impossible to make a change in more than one area of your life at a time.

 Why? Because willpower is like money - you only have a certain amount to spend each day. If you try to make 20 changes in your life, you're multiplying your willpower exertion by 20 times.

 We've been raised to believe that willpower is a virtue, but it's really more like a muscle. If you overtax it before it becomes strong, it merely gets exhausted from overuse - and you end up failing.

 Choose the one behavior you want to change first, and conserve your willpower for that priority. After that goal is achieved, you'll be able to tackle something new and different - and you'll be in even better shape to succeed.

Now it's your turn


 What is the one behavior you'd most like to change?

 What has worked for you in the past - and what seems to always trip you up?

 What is the simplest kaizen action you can take that you know you can stick with?

 Please "go public" with your personal declaration of independence by leaving your comment.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

How Flu Shots Make You Prone to Disease

by Andre Evans - NaturalSociety


In the winter months, it’s easier to become susceptible to various diseases, especially the flu. A lack of sun exposure prevents you from taking in adequate amounts of vitamin D, which has powerful disease prevention properties. With the onset of colder months, many will consider flu shots in order to prevent them from contracting the seasonal flu. Despite this, they may not only be wasting their time, but possibly making themselves even more susceptible to disease by receiving one of these shots.

How Flu Shots Make You Prone to Disease


Annual flu shots have been shown to be largely ineffective in preventing the flu. Despite this, flu shots are not scorned, but encouraged. Sadly, intensive ad campaigns and pharmacy convenience will do little to increase their effectiveness.

If that weren’t concerning enough, the validity of this form of medicine is questioned further by the chemical contents within the shots themselves. Vaccine inserts describe in detail the effects of their thimerosal and cell tissue filled products. Injecting foreign bodies and heavy metals into your bloodstream, if it doesn’t maim you, would actually serve to weaken your immune system. This undeniably would make you more vulnerable to all forms of disease, including the flu.

What are effective methods for preventing the flu? Start with adequate nutrition. Avoid consuming large quantities of sugar, which offsets your immune system, and eat properly. You can also use supplements to maintain proper levels of nutrition in addition to a healthy diet.

Optimizing vitamin D levels can also slash your flu risk by nearly half. In colder months, the sun features less prominently, and vitamin D cannot be as easily gained by simply exposing yourself to sunlight. Using a form of supplementation for vitamin D can greatly increases your ability to fight off disease, along with its myriad of other benefits.

Furthermore, make sure to avoid stressing yourself out. Any level of emotional distress makes a person more susceptible to disease. Exercising regularly also plays a role in preventing disease.

Ultimately, being aware of the gamete of health threats, including those pushed as medicines is important in your pursuit of health and wellness, and vaccines are no exception.

 

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Study Shows Popular Drink Contains Carcinogens


By Anthony Gucciardi


A new report has found that carcinogenic ingredients are be hiding in many common apple and grape juice brands. These juice products, despite previous denial, have now been officially found to contain cancer-causing arsenic as well as traces of lead.

Arsenic exposure, of course, can increase your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. What is even more shocking is the fact that those most prone to health problems resulting from arsenic exposure are children – the very demographic in which popular juice products are directly marketed towards.

The bombshell report, released by Consumer Reports, tested 88 samples of apple and grape juice from 28 different brands. What the investigators found was quite shocking, especially if you are one of the many parents filling your child’s lunch with brand name juice boxes.

Roughly 10% of the samples from 5 different brands were found to have total arsenic levels rising above 10 parts per billion (ppb), the limit set by the FDA for bottled water. Even more concerning is the fact that the researchers also reported that high levels of lead were observed in some of these juice products.

Consumer Reports summarized the groundbreaking findings of the report:

“The resulting analysis of almost 3,000 study participants found that those reporting apple-juice consumption had on average 19% greater levels of total urinary arsenic than those subjects who did not, and those who reported drinking grape juice had 20% higher levels. The results might understate the correlation between juice consumption and urinary arsenic levels because NHANES urinary data exclude children younger than 6, who tend to be big juice drinkers. “

Findings highlight the value of home-made juice


A great way to avoid the toxic ingredients found in brand name juice products is to simply make your own. Utilizing an inexpensive juicer, you can prepare your own apple juice – full of nutrients and beneficial enzymes.

Besides, commercial juices are extremely nutrient depleted and loaded with excessive amounts of fructose. Starting your day off with fresh juice made from your own home with locally grown organic produce is a recipe for energy, mental clarity, and optimum health.

 

www.healingpowerhour.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Benefits of Red Clover


Often times we don’t realize that much of the natural world around us offers fabulous means to cure and correct a lot of problems and conditions that are there. Understanding one of these substances like the red clover flower will really open your eyes to the possibility of natural health and well being in your life. There are many red clover benefits that you should know of. There have been much research done which has identified that this is one substance that can significantly boost your immune system and cleanses the body well. You will find that there are many benefits to this plant.

The edible flower is slightly sweet one and you can pull out petals and add them to the salad that you make. It is a nice way to add some flavor to summer iced tea. It has been traditionally used to help in cases of cancer and known to have significant benefits in strengthening the immune system. It is also effective in treating respiratory system problems and congestion in many cases. Resin in the plant is what contributes to red clover benefits in this case, which is warm, expectorating and has antimicrobial action on the body and the person.

Here are 10 Benefits of Red Clover


Red clover is a plant that grows in wild meadows, which animals graze on. It is also used for medicinal purposes because of the many reported red clover benefits. The red flowers of the red clover plant are dried and utilized as an herbal supplement due to their high concentration of chromium, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and red clover isoflavones. This makes red clover a useful treatment for many common health conditions. If you are interested in adding a red clover supplement to your health routine, read over this list of top ten red clover benefits:

1. The isoflavones found in red clover may help to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind).

2. Red clover is a traditional method of treatment for cough in children.

3. Because of its estrogen-like properties, red clover tea may offer relieve for symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes.

4. Blood-flow appears to be improved by red clover, which acts by thinning the blood and preventing blood clots.

5. Studies on menopausal women who take red clover show that the red clover benefits arterial strength and flexibility.

6. Red clover herb extend to the bones, too. Studies show that red clover may increase bone density and slow bone loss in menopausal women.

7. The use of red clover to reverse and/or slow cancer has a long history, and studies show supportive evidence of red clover’s effectiveness as a supplemental cancer therapy. However, because of its estrogen-like qualities, red clover should not be used in the case of breast cancer.

8. Red clover extract side effects are rare and mild, and generally do not occur in users who take it on a short term (less than one year) basis.

9. Ointments made from red clover can be spread on the skin to relieve skin rashes, inflammations and irritations.

10. Red clover comes in several forms for easy consumption.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Does Childhood Stress Stay with You for Your Whole Life?

By Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor, Parenting

No matter how big the toothless smiles, how many toys are packed into the playroom, how perfect the family holiday photo seems, many children experience some kind of stress while they are growing up that one researcher says could stay with them into adulthood.

"If a child has a pervasive sense of adversity in his or her childhood for whatever reason, the brain responds to that kind of hardship by becoming more sensitized to stress," Dr. Rajita Sinha, director of the Yale Stress Center, recently explained to CNN.

The brain becomes hard-wired to react more strongly, she says, making that person more likely to have a greater reaction to stress than people who do not have a similar history.

What childhood stress is so big that is burrows into the brains for decades? Research points to pain, illness, and injury as major stressors for kids. But a child's stress level can increase to "severe" during family conflicts such as divorce, abuse, witnessing violence, financial crisis, the death of a loved one, or a parent who suffers from addiction or mental health problems.

While anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can even be OK for children to navigate, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, some people experience excessive levels of anxiety. One in eight children are affected by an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, including those who are deemed to have post-traumatic stress disorder.

While humans are "adaptive animals," Sinha says many children are experiencing stress before their ability to deal with it is completely developed. The adversity in their young lives therefore leads to a higher overall stress level into adulthood.

"The stress pathway is developing during childhood. The stress system needs time to grow and become fully functional," Sinha says.

Small children under stress are sources of concern, according to her studies. But she also sees adolescents, who are more likely to self-isolate, as particularly vulnerable. Teenagers' stress symptoms may range from sleep difficulty to overeating to school truancy to taking pain medication unnecessarily.

While parents may not be able to completely shield children from stressors -- a kid's home life might be magical but they may encounter a bully in Sunday school or suddenly lose a grandparent to cancer -- Sinha says parents, teachers, and caregivers can help build resistance and optimism when kids experience stress.

"Things happen. Families will face adversities. But if parents, teachers, and other adults are helping to guide children by talking about the trauma and providing them with adaptive skills, then those children will be more inclined toward protection and resilience, as opposed to risk."

How can we help protect our kids from becoming over-stressed adults?

1. Seek social support
. Sinha says that interacting with others and garnering family support is a primary way we can protect kids from the risks of stress.

2. Embrace education and intellectual challenges.
 Children are more likely to learn to navigate tough stuff if they are challenged in a safe environment like school, she reports. Teachers that encourage students to think abstractly, for example, are helping their brain develop in ways that will serve stressed children in the moment and, perhaps, in the long term.

3. Develop optimism and tactics to control emotions. Parents and other adults who are active in a child's life may be able to help protect kids from carrying stress forward in such significant ways. A University of Wisconsin-Madison study revealed that a mother's voice, whether during a conversation or phone call or whisper during a hug, can produce significant biochemical responses that soothe stressed children. Another study of 405 inner-city children showed that yoga instruction boosted the kids' self-esteem and grades and decreased behavioral problems associated with the stress of poverty in South Central Los Angeles. Getting enough sleep consistently has also been shown to help children deal with stress more effectively. Some even say a little playful, safe roughhousingcan do kids (and parents) a world of good.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Ways to Change Your Life — for Good!

By SHAPE magazine


You swore this was the year you'd stick to those resolutions, but that jumbo tin of caramel popcorn and comfy couch are calling your name. Join the club: About 40 percent of Americans make a life-enhancing vow on January 1-and half "relapse" within the first 21 days. How to sail through that critical launch period and keep on going? Start with these five no-fail strategies.

1. Watch your wording: Many a resolution have failed simply because they were expressed too vaguely. So rather than saying, for instance, "I will be more organized," try, "I'll spend 15 minutes of each day de-cluttering part of one room," advises executive coach M.J. Ryan, author of This Year I Will.... Likewise, in lieu of "I want to lose weight," shoot for "I plan to drop 1 pound a week by cutting out late-night snacking." Hoping to eat in more often? Commit to whipping up a home-cooked meal just three nights a week.

2. Build your case: To help clarify your goals and pump up your motivation, make a list of pros and cons, says James Prochaska, Ph.D., professor of clinical health psychology at the University of Rhode Island. So if you're aiming to exercise more, for example, pros would include as many reasons as possible to support that (e.g., you'll lose weight, sleep better, boost your immunity, and lower stress). The cons would identify anything that might stand in the way of your success-say, a packed schedule or money issues. Don't even attempt to tackle that resolution until the driving factors dramatically outweigh the obstacles. "If you've got a whole string of pros," says Prochaska, "you'll be much more likely to stick with it."

3. Set up incentives: The urge to return to your old ways is going to be pretty powerful at times, which is why it's critical to regularly galvanize and even reward yourself, says Ryan. Brought lunch from home for the entire work week? Treat yourself to a lipstick or some new songs for your iPod. For high-tech encouragement, turn to websites like habitforge.com and stickk.com. They'll send you emails with inspirational messages and even let you wager on your accomplishment: You can arrange for your hard-earned cash to be given away to a friend if you don't meet your goals. How's that for motivation?

4. Rally support: "Research proves that people who make healthy changes together are more likely to succeed," says Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., coauthor of The Social Network Diet and a professor of nutrition at Tufts University. She adds that the more similar your objectives are, the better you'll all do-so if your close pals aren't up for your brand of self-improvement, keep looking. Check out sparkpeople.com to find a compatible diet comrade, ask someone in your HR department about getting a Weight Watchers at Work program going, or locate a running team in your area through the Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org).

5. Plan ahead for slip-ups: Setbacks are inevitable. But you can improve your chances of a quick recovery by visualizing the fallout in advance. Imagine yourself reaching for a cigarette or biting into that forbidden piece of devil's food cake. What will you do to avoid smoking the whole pack or scarfing down every sweet in sight for the rest of the day? Sometimes it's as simple as reminding yourself that a small misstep is just that-a pause in your progress rather than an excuse to throw in the towel-and that you can pick up right where you left off. Enlisting a "backsliding buddy" (a person you call whenever your resolution mojo is faltering) also helps. Says Ryan: "The only difference between people who reach their goals and those who don't is that those who succeed didn't give up."

 

 

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