Chitika

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ultimate Letting Go: Release Your Fear and Be Free

Release_Fearby KC McCormick


It seems on some level we must know that nothing lasts forever. That knowledge must be built into our DNA; surely our cells know their own mortality, that entropy is an unavoidable fact of life.

So why do we fight the inevitable? Why do we crave security and consistency? Illusion that it is, we look for promises where it’s not possible for them to be made.

We buy all kinds of insurance, telling ourselves that if we spend that money, that bad thing won’t happen to us and we’ll be “safe.”

We sign contracts, “ensuring” that that piece of property will always be ours and that that relationship, personal or professional, will never be anything but what it is today. We pour money into tricks to keep us young, seemingly viewing aging and death as the ultimate enemy of happiness and success.

But what if we embraced change, not just as a necessary evil but even as a blessing?

At a tender young age, I experienced the most significant loss of my life, the death of a very dear friend. Robbed of the innocence and naivete of youth, in the decade that’s followed I have learned far more painful, poignant, and enduring lessons that I know I would have otherwise.

That loss also resulted in one big giant fear of the ultimate change—I was terrified of losing the people I cared about. It was nearly paralyzing, and this fear resulted in a lot of ugly insecurity. Ironically enough, that very fear may be just an unattractive enough quality that it could have driven away my loved ones and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am eternally grateful to the ones who loved me enough to stand by while I discovered this, building my confidence so that I could change from needing, clinging, and fearing their loss to loving freely and letting go.

Whatever the nature of the relationship, there’s something about two people letting go of each other, knowing that the other doesn’t belong to you, that is so much more life-giving than those same two clinging tightly, bracing for the inevitable blows life will deal. It makes whatever comes that much more manageable.

We are inexplicably linked to the ones we love. Whatever our religious or spiritual beliefs, we can all agree that when someone is lost, whether through death or change, they are not gone, in that if nothing else they remain in our heads and hearts.

It is up to us to have the strength to remember that what has been has been real, and that it is not changed by the loss. 

One of my favorite quotes is from Rainer Maria Rilke: “A person isn’t who they were during the last conversation you had with them. They’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.”

It gives me great peace to remember that, even if we go to bed angry and one of us doesn’t wake up tomorrow, it doesn’t change the fact that we love each other.

There’s a proverb about anticipation of a thing being better than the thing itself, and I think the opposite is true of the negative things we anticipate. Tensing our muscles and preparing for impact, the anxiety wears on our nerves, but eventually the dreaded event occurs and we weather it. Life goes on.

I firmly believe that behind every action lies one of two main motivators: fear or love. We act out of fear of loss, fear of change, fear of the unknown. Or, embracing loss, change, and the unknown as things outside of our control, we can choose to act out of love.

My challenge to you is to believe that love is greater, more powerful, and longer-lasting than whatever it is that’s triggering that fear reaction. Believe it, and then act like you believe it.

Fear makes people predictable. We run from the thing that causes us fear, becoming sheep of sorts, running from the sheepdog without thought as to where he might be steering us. News stations use our fears to sell stories, politicians use our fear of the “other guy” to get our votes, and, quite often, it works. Why is this?

Fear is a safe bet; love, on the other hand, is not. When you’re acting out of a genuine love, whether it’s for a significant other, friend, child, family member, or life itself, you have a spring in your step, a confidence in your eye, and a fearless approach to whatever life hands you.

You, my friend, are unpredictable. You are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t let fear rob you of who you could be.

 

 

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Food


1. We won't ask you to set aside your Saturday nights for coupon clipping, but most major supermarket chains will list their weekly sales online, so log on before you do your food shopping. Tweak your menu and shopping list according to what's on sale, or compare the sales at a few different stores, if you have more than one nearby to choose from. 

2. Ordering takeout? If you're ordering from a major chain like Domino's, look up promo and coupon codes. Sites like RetailMeNot.com even sort coupon codes by their success rate, as reported by customers on the site.  

3. Replace meat with an extra serving of greens to save some green - go vegetarian for a few meals every week. Stock up on your favorite veggies, and experiment with different recipes and seasonings. 

4. A slow cooker can be the most useful kitchen tool for those short on money and time. Throw in ingredients in the morning, and by the time you come home for dinner, you'll have meal ready to eat plus extra portions to freeze for days you don't feel like cooking and can't afford to eat out. 

5. Trim your waistline while you pad your wallet - order an appetizer as your main course when you go out to eat. The portion will still likely be more than enough to satisfy, and once you get in the habit, the calories and cash you'll save will really add up. 

6. For meals you have every day, like your breakfast yogurt and granola or favorite sandwich for lunch, don't buy prepackaged meals. Make it yourself. Nutrition expert and Registered Dietitian Sharon Richter suggests making sure you buy foods that are in season - they're less expensive and taste better. 

7. Sign up for your grocery store's savings card. In some stores, discount prices and sales are only offered to cardholders, so don't lose out - sign up for a savings card and you could be saving a lot of money each time you shop. 

8. Buy in bulk - but choose carefully so you don't up throwing away money. Sales are a great time to stock up on basics like pasta and cereal, but rein in the impulse to buy ten cartons of yogurt just because they're buy-one-get-one-free. 

9. Save cash and change up your routine by going out for lunch instead of dinner once in a while. Lunch special prices are cheaper than dinner prices, so meet up with your guy for a midday catch-up, or call your friends for a late lunch on the weekend instead of meeting for dinner. 

10. If you make frequent small trips to the store to stock up on things like bread and break in between your bigger shopping days, resist the urge to buy more than you can chew by substituting a basket for a grocery cart. You'll be forced to pick and choose what you really need and put down impulse buys. 

 

 

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Treadmill desks might be the next office health trend

By


Will health-conscious office workers soon be skipping trips to the gym for an extended shift at the desk? It could be a healthy alternative, as some companies have begun experimenting with treadmill desks.


NPR's Patti Neighmond made a transition to the treadmill by first converting her sitting desk into a standing desk. After getting acclimated to standing, she installed a "discreet" treadmill, minus handrails, below the standing desk.


"I'm into my second week now and walking at a pretty slow, casual pace, about 1.4 miles an hour," Neighmond writes. "When I first started, I thought I'd simply hop on the treadmill and be off walking all day while working. But it turns out it's really hard to walk, talk, think and concentrate."


Last year, The New York Times reported on Salo, a Minnesota-based financial consulting company that tried a similar experiment with some of its employees. And so far, the results have been positive both for employee health and for the company's financial bottom line: During the six months that Salo took part in a Mayo Clinic treadmill desk study, the firm experienced record earnings.


"Remarkable," Salo director of operations Craig Dexheimer told NPR. "We didn't even go to a gym. We just went to work!" Dexheimer says he has lost 25 pounds since switching to the treadmill desk.


You can buy a treadmill desk, which typically costs several hundred dollars. Or, if you're in do-it-yourself mode, this website shows how to build your own treadmill desk for just $39, not including the cost of the treadmill.


Still, the doctor who headed up the Mayo Clinic study says you shouldn't jump right into running a minimarathon each day at work.


"There's a tendency to want to jump on the treadmill and walk for hours and hours a day," Dr. James Levine told NPR. "Don't do that. Certainly, at the absolute maximum, do half-hour on, half an hour off, for two to three hours a day."


You can watch a recent video of Levine discussing the effect of workplace mobility below:


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6eIvxqaezE?rel=0]

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fall Fruits and Veggies with Hidden Healing Powers

By Tina Winston


Fall is a time to embrace roasted root vegetables, hearty salads, and warm, fruit-laden desserts that incorporate the nutritious bounty of the season. These eight late-harvest foods will inspire you to create comforting autumn fare.

Figs


A culinary delicacy of biblical proportions, figs have been revered by ancient civilizations for centuries. These sweet, delicate produce specialties are one of the best fruit sources of polyphenols, antioxidants that may help prevent LDL, or "bad cholesterol," from clogging up arteries. For a classic Mediterranean breakfast, top a bowl of tangy plain nonfat Greek yogurt with sliced fresh figs. Or, use dried figs to add natural sweetness to homemade protein bars — the perfect treat for fall hikes.

Brussels Sprouts


Currently trending in culinary circles, this cruciferous vegetable is now being highlighted on top chefsʼ seasonal menus across the country. Although tiny, these little cabbages are chock-full of potent compounds called glucosinolates. Your body converts glucosinolates into isothiocyanates, cancer-fighting superstars that may prevent DNA damage on the cellular level. Here's an easy recipe to try: Thinly slice Brussels sprouts into a slaw, and sauté with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. Go from side dish to entrée by combining the sautéed sprouts with cooked quinoa and dried cranberries.

Onions


Often underappreciated for its nutritional benefits, the everyday onion is actually surprisingly rich in bioactive compounds. Bulbs are at their peak ripeness when harvested in the fall, a time when their signature flavonoid, quercetin, is most abundant. Studies suggest that quercetin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, may have immune-boosting properties. Eating onions raw in salads and sandwiches may offer a special health advantage — animal studies indicate that raw onion improves blood flow by inhibiting clot formation.

Beets


A true "Paleo food," beets can be traced back to prehistoric times and have been used medicinally for generations. The root gets its rich crimson coloring from betalains, pigments with powerful antioxidant and cancer-fighting activity. Beets have heart health benefits, too. A trial published in the journal Hypertension found that drinking an 8-ounce glass of beet juice led to a decrease in blood pressure over 24 hours. Blend a beet into your fruit smoothie (raw or cooked — your choice!), or roast a few bunches and add them to salads and sandwiches all week long.

Butternut Squash


One of the most common winter squashes, butternut is a deliciously sweet, nutty veggie that has come to embody the fall harvest season. The vibrant orange flesh delivers a superior dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene along with its sister compounds, alpha-carotene and lutein. These carotenoids promote sharp vision and glowing, youthful skin. Add butternut squash puree to mac and cheese for a blast of nutrient-rich produce.

Pear


Although it often plays second fiddle to the season's much beloved apple, the pear is a true nutritional heavyweight. One pear provides 5 grams of appetite-squashing fiber (more than an apple!), and the skin is teeming with vital disease-fighting phytonutrients. Red-skinned pears have the added bonus of providing anthocyanins, the same memory-boosting compounds found in berries. Use pears to add sweetness to savory sides like stuffing, roasted vegetables, and green salads. Or, grab one as a snack to enjoy the pure flavor of a juicy, ripe pear all on its own.

Mustard Greens


If you already love spinach and kale, it's time to introduce your kitchen to this under-the-radar leafy green. Like Brussels sprouts, mustard greens belong to the cancer-fighting cruciferous family. And the peppery leaves are rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant enzyme booster that enhances the effects of vitamins C, E, and A, which may in turn help protect your skin from aging and environmental damage. Sauté mustard greens with sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper and top with toasted sliced almonds for a flavorful dinner side. Or, add the chopped greens to pasta dishes to transform an everyday entrée into an age-defying meal!

Pumpkin


Native Americans first shared the nourishing properties of pumpkin, a staple of the autumn table, with our Pilgrim ancestors hundreds of years ago. From its vitamin-packed flesh to its magnesium-rich seeds, this earthy vegetable is truly a "whole food." Pumpkin also contains a unique medicinal component called cucurmosin, a compound that is currently being studied for its ability to inhibit tumor growth. To get your fill of this seasonal favorite, enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds as an energy-boosting midday snack, and add a scoop of canned (or fresh) pumpkin puree to your morning oatmeal or a container of nonfat vanilla yogurt.

 

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

By Judith Orloff, MD


In Emotional Freedom, my approach to transforming fear has two stages. First, take stock of what makes you afraid and distinguish irrational fears from legitimate intuitions. Second, take appropriate steps to heed protective fears and transform the others with courage. At times you may foresee real danger, but more frequently unproductive fears clobber you.


Therefore as a general rule, train yourself to question fears tied to low self-esteem; we’re all worthy of what’s extraordinary. For example, it’s right to question the fear that you’re too emotionally damaged to love; even the severely wounded can have their hearts opened again. True intuitions will never put you down or support destructive attitudes or behavior. Here are some guidelines for distinguishing legitimate fears from irrational ones:

 

How to Tell Fear from Intuition


Signs of a Reliable Intuition

- Conveys information neutrally, unemotionally

- Feels right in your gut

- Has a compassionate, affirming tone

- Gives crisp, clear impressions that are “seen” first, then felt

- Conveys a detached sensation, like you’re in a theater watching a movie

Signs of an Irrational Fear

- Is highly emotionally charged

- Has cruel, demeaning, or delusional content

- Conveys no gut-centered confirmation or on-target feeling

- Reflects past psychological wounds

- Diminishes centeredness and perspective

For comparison’s sake, I’ll share radically different examples of how I use the above criteria. One morning I got two calls from frightened patients who both claimed to be hearing voices. Truly a typical day in my office! The first came from Bill, a schizophrenic who’d been skimping on his meds. Bill’s inner “voice” kept haranguing him, insisting he was a bad person, that his food was poisoned, that his son was being raped again by the grandmotherly babysitter. Believing these “delusions” (false beliefs unsubstantiated by fact), he was absolutely unhinged. So Bill kept calling the cops, who sent a squad car out twice, but found no threat. Tolerant but tiring of this, the officers warned that if he contacted them again, they’d haul him off to a psychiatric hospital. My other patient, Jean, had been coping with despair about her brother suffering from end-stage AIDS. Jean’s inner “voice” said to immediately fly to New York to join him, though he’d recently been stable. True of authentic intuitions, it came through clear-as-a-bell, oddly matter-of-fact and followed the typical progression of being “seen first,” then felt.

Both patients asked me, “What should I do?’ I urged Bill to take his meds and offered reassurance about his safety, a tack that had lessened his fear many times in our decade of working together. Jean, however, I supported in buying a plane ticket because her intuition felt so imminent, so right. Fortunately, she did, despite the expense and inconvenience to her job. That week her brother took a sudden turn for the worse, slipped into a coma and died within hours. Heart-breaking as witnessing his death was for Jean, she was able to be at her brother’s side in those precious last moments.

Try to separate unhealthy fears from intuition. Though Bill’s case was extreme, you may also have some fears that belittle you or cause you to misinterpret danger. Perhaps in a fit of anger your ex-wife called you “useless” and you believed it. This is not intuition. Nor is being frightened of having cancer whenever a brown spot appears on your skin. Also, be skeptical of long-standing fears, say of heights; these are typically not premonitions.

If you’re an emotional empath, it can be especially tricky to ascertain which fears are authentic, helpful intuitions. Because you tend to absorb other people’s emotions, you may pick up their fear and think it’s your own. To avoid this, always ask yourself, “Is the fear mine or someone else’s?” One dependable way to find out is to distance yourself from the source. Move at least twenty feet away. If you experience relief, it’s likely you’re perceiving another’s fear. Although it’s fine to absorb courage and all positive emotions from others because they’ll strengthen you, you don’t want to absorb negativity. Move away, and keep releasing extraneous fear by exhaling it until the feeling passes.

While some apprehensions may be empathically linked to another’s feelings or, like Jean’s, are distinct intuitive warnings, the more garden variety ones reflect ingrained negative psychological patterns. To resolve these, you must know where they come from and do what’s necessary to loosen their hold.

About the Author: Judith Orloff, MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and intuition expert, is author of the New York Times Best-seller Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Three Rivers Press, 2011). Her other best-sellers are Positive EnergyGuide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting-edge knowledge of intuition and energy medicine. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness.

Friday, November 16, 2012

When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed: Create a To-Live List

A to-live list is simply a collection of wishes, dreams, and moments of joy you want to experience in your life. It’s not just a bucket list, but also a collection of things you’d love to do more often. It helps you get excited about life while gently reminding you why you’re doing what you’re doing.

If you’ve been powering through to reach a goal and you’ve lost your passion on the way, this guide is for you.

How to connect with your liveliness to rediscover your why:

Realize that you’ve put yourself under a lot of pressure.

You wanted to reach your goal no matter what, so you’ve been a little harsh with yourself. If you realize that you wouldn’t force your best friend to do as much work as you’ve done, it’s time to acknowledge the truth.

Accept what is.

Forgive yourself for all the stress you’ve put on yourself. It happens to the best of us. Just know that you don’t have to feel stressed and tired all the time. There’s another way, which you will take from now on.

Relax.

You can even meditate if you like. Put yourself in a state of mind where you can focus your creativity on the task at hand: writing your to-live list.

Write down all the things that would make you happy right now.

Write down the experiences you want to have, the big and the small. Write down little pieces of life that you want to create for yourself. This list doesn’t have to be complete. It’s supposed to give you an idea of the joys you could allow yourself to have and the things you believe make life worth living.

Read your to-live list out loud.

How does it make you feel? Do you get excited? Does it make you smile and give you a warm, tingly feeling in your belly? If yes, then it has fulfilled its purpose: to make you feel alive again.

Think about the goals you have been working toward.

Do they fit into the snippets of life you’ve just envisioned for yourself? If not, can you change them to fit your dreams and needs?

Take your time to plan how you can make your dreams a reality.

Some points may be easy to cross off your list, like munching your favorite cookies while watching an open fire. Others, like “do work I care about” might take longer to realize. Those are the dreams you want to have a plan for.

Revisit your list often, especially when you feel like you’ve lost your direction.

It will give you the focus you need to reconnect with your why and make your dreams a reality.

The to-live list is supposed to help you feel more alive and get you all fired up, both about your goals and dreams, and the everyday joys you can experience.

If you feel that what you’ve been working so hard for doesn’t fit into the life you want to live, imagine what the worst-case scenario would be if you were to drop that goal immediately. It might not be as bad as you think to change course. If you decide to keep moving forward, are there other ways to reduce the amount of work and stress related to it?

If you’ve rediscovered and reaffirmed your why in pursuing this goal, it should be a lot easier to put things into perspective now. You know that it’s worth it.

After I wrote my to-live list I didn’t have less work to do. But after reconnecting with the purpose behind my efforts, I had the strength to keep going and make my dream a reality—without feeling so overwhelmed.

 

About the Author


Iris is the Chief Writer at Bright Little Socks, a place for people who are brave enough to wear bright socks and dare to change the world. She wants to use her life as proof that it’s possible to live like you mean it and still put food on the table and pretty dresses in your closet. She tweets @BrightLilSocks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

7 Ways to Get Rid of the Refined Sugar Habit

By 


Increased consumption of sugar has been linked to some serious health issues such as heart diseases and cancer besides the obvious weight issues. It is also believed that our brain releases dopamine which helps to keep our body happy. However, the fact is that every person has unique physical needs. For example, many people do not prefer consuming sweets even in moderation because they don't feel the urge to have them. However, contrarily, other people constantly nibble on sweet food because their bodies want so.

The dangers of consuming excessive sugar cannot be overlooked which is why we bring for you some incredible ways to get rid of consuming refined sugar:

1. Stop Drinking Sodas and Sweetened Drinks

All soft drinks contain huge quantities of sugar content in them. You consume around 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce can. If you can stop drinking these soft drinks you can easily lose a lot of fat. Also, try getting rid of candies and cakes, as these contain the highest amount of sugar and carbohydrates both of which are dangerous for your health.

2. Avoid Consuming or Buying Packaged Foods

All sorts of organic packaged food are rich in sugar content. It is much better to prepare your own snacks such as homemade popcorns over the stovetop. You can even consume raw fruits and vegetables as snacks.

3. Choose Wisely When Eating Out

Whenever you choose to eat out, avoid desserts that are prepared using sugar. Instead, go for desserts prepared using fresh fruit and natural sweeteners such as honey. Prefer fruit smoothies, fruit salads, and other salads prepared using less sugar content and healthy dressings.

4. Try Going Sugar-Free At Least for a Week

This could be the best way to know how much sugar content your body needs on average. Go sugar-free for at least a week so your body starts adapting to the dietary change. This will help you gain a lot of confidence as well.

5. Deal with Sugar Cravings

Succumbing to sugar cravings is the major reason why people collect so much fat around their bodies. You can deal with sugar cravings by opting for foods that have natural sources of sugar. Consume fresh fruit when you wish to eat a bar of chocolate, for example.

6. Restrict You Daily Sugar Intake

You can control a lot of sugar intake by restricting your consumption to up to 2 teaspoons of sugar each day. You can either consume these two teaspoons of sugar at breakfast, during lunch or with snacks at any other time of the day.

7. Enjoy Other Food That You Like

Prepare meals that you like as a substitute for sugar laden food. You can always have healthy yet tasty meals every day. For example, roasted portobello mushrooms  toast nuts, roast squash, prepare dish salad, cook soups and stews, etc. There are several other foods that you can enjoy as well. 

 

 

 

 

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Seven Amazing Medicinal Properties of the Banana Plant

By Sayer Ji from Wake Up World


There is much more than meets the eye with the banana. A household favorite, a lost-leader at the grocery store, a metaphor for psychiatric problems, a mainstay of comic slap stick, the banana has woven itself deeply into human affairs, on both gut and mental levels. And this relationship is at least 10,000 years old, as far as conscious human cultivation of the species goes.

But, many do not realize that the banana is more than just an exceptionally starch-rich fruit, but has a complex biochemistry, with pharmacologically active properties. Bananas actually contain the catecholamines dopamine[i] and norepinephrine,the very same adrenal hormones released in the human body when it undergoes the typical “fight-or-flight” response. It is believed that the banana plant uses the biosynthetic pathway for catecholamines when under the stress of attack to fight off infectious pathogens such as in crown rot disease. Some varieties excrete a form of serotonin in their sap,  and there is even mention in the biomedical literature of the discovery of the NSAID drug naproxen (trade name Aleve) within the banana cultivar Musa acuminate. Sound crazy? Well, that’s to be expected from a fruit we commonly associate with a state of unbridled madness.

But the banana has a secret second life. It has been observed slyly practicing medicine without a license, and indeed, seems readily equipped with the following nutritional “super powers”….

1. Green Banana Is Anti-Diarrhea

Before a banana is ripened, while it is in its green state, it contains starches which are resistant to digestion, but have been studied in combination with pectin to significantly reduce intestinal permeability and fluid loss in those suffering with bouts of diarrhea.  Even when used without pectin, green banana has been found to hasten recovery of acute and prolonged childhood diarrhea when managed at home in rural Bangladesh.

2. Banana Is Anti-Ulcer Activity

Banana powder has been studied to prevent ulcer formation induced by a variety of drugs, including aspirin, indomethacin, phenylbutazone, prednisolone, cysteamine, and histamine. Researchers have found that banana powder treatment not only strengthens mucosal resistance against ulcerogens but also promotes healing by inducing cellular proliferation. One of the anti-ulcer compounds identified within unripe banana is the flavonoid known as leucocyanidin, and which is particularly effective against aspirin-induced erosion.

3. Banana Peel Suppresses Prostate Gland Growth

Banana peel has been found to suppress testosterone-induced prostate gland enlargement.

4. Banana Stem Extract suppresses Oxalate Kidney Stones

A water extract of banana stem extract has been found to suppress the formation of oxalate-associated kidney stones in the animal model, leading researchers to conclude that it “may be a useful agent in the treatment of patients with hyperoxaluric urolithiasis.”

5. Banana Consumption Protects the Skin Against UV-Light Damage

UV-B light induced skin damage may be prevented or reduced through the consumption of bananas, with a protective effect against loss of skin elasticity.

6. Banana Has Anti-Diabetic Properties  

Banana flower extract has been studied in a type 1 diabetic model, and has been found to have both antioxidant and blood sugar lowering effects. Banana root extracts have been discovered to contain blood sugar lowering properties comparable in efficacy to the drug glibenclamide (trade name Glyburide).Also, unripe banana contain starches resistant to hydrolysis and therefore beneficial to diabetics.

7. Banana Contains a Variety of Anti-Infective Compounds

Banana contains compounds with demonstrable anti-MRSA activity,  anti-HIV replicative activity, and following metabolic transformation by fungi, anti-leishmanicidal activity. The leaves of the plant are used in many centers in India during the care of patients with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and other extensive blistering disorders which can result in deadly sepsis in the absence of treatment.

 

 

 

About the Author: Sayer Ji is the founder and director of GreenMedInfo.com and co-author of the book The Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure with New York Times best-seller Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Charles Majors. His writings and research have been published in the Wellbeing Journal, the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and have been featured on Mercola.com, NaturalNews.com, Reuters.com, GaryNull.com, and Care2.com. Check out his newest project: Dr. Gourmet.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Foods That Lower Diabetes Risk

By Erin Palinski RD


November is American Diabetes Month, which brings our attention to Type 2 diabetes -- a devastating disease that is rising exponentially. Even children are now being diagnosed with what was thought to be only an "adult disease".

For those of us who want to prevent diabetes, how can we eat in a way cut the risk and also whittle our middle? What if there were just a few easy superfoods that we can incorporate each day to not only drastically reduce our risk of diabetes, but shrink our waistline in the process? The good news is these foods do exist- and they even taste great!

In my newly released book, Belly Fat Diet for Dummies, I focus on specific foods, seasonings, and spices that have been shown in recent research to target the most dangerous of all fats -- belly fat. The great news is that many of these superfoods not only burn up stubborn belly fat, they can actually help decrease insulin-resistance and lower blood sugar, helping to prevent and control diabetes!

FIRST, STOCK UP ON BLUEBERRIES 


A University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study found that when rats consumed just 2% of their calories from blueberries over a 90-day period, they significantly reduced their percentage of belly fat! And this tasty fruit has also been shown to reduce food cravings. This same study also showed a significant increase in insulin sensitivity as well as a decrease in triglyceride levels. 

SECOND, BUY MORE BEANS 


Beans are another great source, especially cannellini beans, since these contain one of the highest levels of resistance-starch (a fiber that resists digestion). This means your body has to work harder, and in turn burn more calories, to digest these, helping promote weight loss. In addition, the low glycemic index of these beans means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Add these into meals in replacement of higher glycemic index foods, like white rice, for better blood sugar control.

THIRD, GET NUTS


Out of all nuts, walnuts may just be the most effective at burning up belly fat and controlling diabetes. Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are not only strong anti-inflammatory nutrients, but they also help to regulate stress hormones such as cortisol. When stress hormones are elevated in your body, it causes your body to store more fat- specifically belly fat. Consuming a high level of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can help prevent stress hormones from peaking, meaning less of these hormones are circulating in your body, and therefore you start to store less belly fat. In addition, walnuts can have a significant impact on reducing blood sugar. A recent study found that consuming nuts daily reduced A1c levels by as much as 8%. Another study found that walnuts helped to reduce fasting insulin levels. So sprinkle walnuts onto your salads, yogurt, or just snack on a handful a day for a smaller waist and improved blood sugar control. 

FOURTH, GRAB HOT PEPPERS 


If you like spicy foods, stock up on hot peppers! Rich in capsaicin, these peppers have a thermogenic effect on the body, boosting metabolism and calorie burn, helping to shed unwanted pounds, especially around the midsection. But that's not their only benefit! A study found that consuming an increased amount of capsaicin for 10 weeks lowered obesity-induced insulin resistance in mice. So add these to everything from salads to chili. You can even use the ground or flaked form to season foods.

 

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Video Monsanto Does NOT Want You to See!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lni6OAJz3sk?rel=0]

What is a GMO, and how do GMOs effect you and your family?

The same corporations that said DDT and Agent Orange were safe have now put millions of dollars into the campaign against our right to know what's in our food. In November, Californians will vote on the most important issue to ever effect our food supply. As Goes California, So Goes the Nation.

Vote YES ON 37 Because We Have The Right To Know What's In Our Food!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bizarre Eats with Health Benefits

Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine


Have you ever eaten seaweed snacks? What about freekeh? If you haven't, maybe you should. These under-the-radar eats actually contain loads of health benefits, and are pretty tasty, too-just keep an open mind. These strange foods may just surprise you-and your tastebuds.


Seaweed Snacks: When I received some samples of these snacks in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised that they had a satisfying crunch and were full of great flavor. And can you believe they only have 25 calories and 2 g fat per serving? Plus, they are relatively low in sodium and pack 25% of the vitamin C you need each day. The best part about these babies? They come in all types of interesting flavors including wasabi, sesame, and if you're craving something slightly sweet, brown sugar.


Freekeh: Freekeh is an ancient whole-grain that was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. To make use of the burned wheat, the villagers simply rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and ta-da: Freekeh was created. It's great when used as a substitute for rice or other starchy foods to created delicious pilafs, salads and side dishes. The nutritional benefits are major, too: In each 1/4 cup serving, you get 8 g of filling protein and 4 g of heart-healthy fiber.

Algae:
 It may sound strange, but studies show that adding a little brown or blue-green algae to your smoothie or soup can help ward off cancer, reduce blood pressure or even lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Algae's antioxidant content and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids make it a great unusual food to add to your diet. Check out your local healthy foods mart to find the freshest stuff.


Gai Lan: So, you've probably already eaten this veggie at your favorite Asian restaurant, but had no idea. Also known as Chinese broccoli, gai lan is leafier and has a sharper flavor than its counterpart. Since it cooks quickly, it's great to whip up in a stir-fry or served steamed as a side dish. And it gets nutrition points for its fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. Find it at your local specialty foods store.

 

 

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Stop Emotional Eating

By Denise Foley


Did you buy six boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year because you couldn't say no to the world's cutest 7-year-old in a Brownie uniform? Did you take that extra helping of your sister-in-law's whole wheat carob cake because you didn't want to hurt her feelings? When your BFF is waffling over ordering dessert, do you agree to share it with her even though you don't want it - and then match her bite for bite?

If you could answer yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from sociotropy - the scientific term for having the need to please others. While that might make you the right candidate to broker peace in the Mideast, excessive niceness is a recipe for excessive girth. And it's only one of the character traits that can lead to unhappy mornings on the scale.

We all know the major triggers of emotional eating: anger, loneliness, rejection, guilt. Most of us, at one time or another, have taken out our fury on a bag of crunchy corn chips or tried to beat the blues with a pint of cookie-dough ice cream. But new research shows that certain personality types are also prone to making a frosted donut a chosen alternative to therapy. Besides the sociotrope, there's the thrill seeker and the worka-choco-holic - and each type needs different strategies for coping without the extra calories.

The People Pleaser: You Eat for One, But It's Not You

In a recent experiment at Case Western Reserve University, researchers screened volunteers for their "gotta be nice" qualities, then invited them to a meeting with a staff member (actually an actor) who casually passed around a bowl of M&M's. When the bowl came their way, students who'd scored higher on the sociotropy scale dug in, taking more than the students who were less concerned with others' comfort or with matching how many the actor ate. "They didn't want him to feel bad by eating fewer," explains study head Julie Exline, Ph.D.

We often eat more when we're around those who are eating a lot - that's one reason studies show that people whose friends are overweight are more likely to be heavy themselves. "Then, if you have a people-pleasing thing going on top of that, you'll feel even more pressured to follow others," says Exline.

After overeating comes depression, and not just because you can't zip your jeans. "When your motivation is to please other people, you're letting them tell you what's important to you," says Exline. "I describe it as 'silencing your own voice.' " The goal, then, to avoid piling on those unpleasing pounds, is to find that voice.

1. First, Consider What You Want 
If you're not truly hungry, "Lay on praise, then state your boundary," suggests Karen R. Koenig, a psychotherapist and author of Nice Girls Finish Fat. You might say, "Those pastries look delicious, but I'm so stuffed from lunch that I'm going to take a pass." You can smile at that cute Brownie, give her the money for two boxes of cookies, then ask her to donate them to troops overseas. 

2. De-nice Yourself...A Little 
Of course, you're going to be fighting an enemy that has outposts in your head, as writer Sally Kempton famously said. Even if you were the biggest tomboy on the block, you probably grew up believing that caretaking was in your future, if not somewhere in your genes. "But changing isn't as hard as you may think," says Koenig. "It's really about learning a new life skill."

Practice saying a (polite) no to the salesperson on the phone (start with the robocaller if you're a tough case), then work your way up to strangers offering samples in a store and coworkers tempting you with holiday goodies. After that, you'll be ready to take on your cousin when she pushes a second helping of pie at you.

Are you eating out of boredom? The Thrill Seeker: You're Bored and Want Candy

What you probably want is a jolt of dopamine, says Susan Carnell, Ph.D., research associate at New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. That's the brain chemical that drives excitement, pleasure, and motivation - including the motivation to eat. "The dopamine system evolved with the very purpose of making adaptive things like eating feel rewarding so we wouldn't forget to do them."

These days, says Carnell, drugs, thrill seeking, and food cravings have hijacked the brain's reward system, leading to addiction, accidents, and overeating. Recent studies have found that ingesting sugary, fatty foods sparks dopamine production in the brain in much the same way drugs like heroin do, lighting up the neural reward center in imaging studies. "It's just a matter of degree," says Carnell. "Food gives a relatively mild high compared to skydiving and heroin. But it's the easiest route to reward."

Surprisingly, there's not a lot of research on boredom eating, but a small 2011 Bowling Green State University study hints at how prevalent it is. In the study, 139 young men and women reported eating out of boredom more than out of other states of emotion linked to overindulging, such as anxiety or depression.

Older studies, approaching boredom from a slightly different direction, have suggested a connection between having what scientists call a "novelty-seeking personality" and being overweight. In a review from Washington University in St. Louis, obese people were more likely than thinner folks to be novelty seekers; they also had great trouble dropping pounds. One reason: Being high in novelty-seeking can make you more likely to overeat as well as to try and enjoy drugs. Cocaine, a cupcake - it's all the same when you're looking for a kick.

Joking aside, if your life seems like one big yawn, there are things to do other than hitting the fridge.

1. Seek Out a Thrill 
Make a list of activities that can fill in the boring blanks. "To stimulate your neural circuitry, it has to be something that makes you feel excited and motivated," says Carnell. You could, for example, take a class. Dopamine is the chemical that fosters learning and memory, so the novelty of doing something new scatters the chemical throughout your brain. Whether it's knitting or scuba diving depends on you and the level of excitement you think you need.

2. Shake Up Your Life Regularly 
Get off the bus at a different stop and hoof it the rest of the way to work, checking out the sights you've only seen from a window. Plan your dream vacation or home-remodeling project in detail, as if you're doing it soon. Need to lose weight? A single program may not help you, particularly if you get bored counting calories, carbs, or points. So try one and, after the thrill's gone, try another. Likewise, alternate physical activity - walking one day, Zumba the next.

Busy lives can contribute to weight gainThe Worka-choco-holic: You're Overworked, Overwhelmed - and Overeating

Those are the "three O's" that are the downfall of driven women, says psychologist Melissa McCreery, Ph.D., which explores how women's busy lives contribute to emotional eating and weight gain. The "O's" can all lead to stress eating. "But there's more to it than stress," says McCreery. "Women who balance many responsibilities struggle with putting themselves first. It takes time. Food is an easy Band-Aid, while real self-care can be more time-intensive."

But solutions come in many sizes - and even small changes may be enough to avoid the extra pounds that can come with extra work.

1. Think "Doable" 
You don't want to add more stress to your life. For example, take five minutes to transition between work and home. If you know you won't find quiet - everyone will be "starving" or clamoring to tell you about his or her day - sit in the car and listen to music or meditate before going into the house.

2. Connect With Yourself 
When you're stressed, take five again - five seconds - before digging into the Nutella. "Ask yourself what's going on and if there's anything else you want to do besides eat," says McCreery.

Make a list of small breaks that don't involve chewing: calling a friend; playing a game on your cell phone; tossing a toy for your dog.

3. Say It Out Loud 
A recently published Greek study found that people who were trying to learn a new skill did better when they spoke to themselves using cue words. When you're stressed, voicing your plan to do something other than eat - "I'm going to sit down and read for five minutes" - will change the direction of your thoughts, says McCreery. "It takes you off autopilot and puts you more in control."

If that doesn't work, instead of blaming yourself, be curious. Think about what went wrong and what you could do next time. Overachievers are smart; harness your own wisdom, and you'll find your answers there.

Getting enough sleep can deter emotional eatingGo to the Mattress

No matter what your personality, if you're tired, you'll be tempted to look for a quick hit of energy - the kind that lives in vending machines or behind drive-through windows. Many of us know this from life experience, but now, using brain-imaging technology, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have confirmed that people who have been sleep-deprived suffer impairment in the parts of the brain involved in making appropriate food choices. The solution: Make sleep time sacrosanct. When you can't log enough hours, try these next-day tricks: Give your brain a rest every 45 minutes or so. "No matter how busy you are, you'll be more productive if you take breaks," says psychologist Melissa McCreery, Ph.D. And find other quick ways to boost energy - move around, go outside for some fresh air, or listen to upbeat music on your iPod.