If you enjoy chowing down on a bacon sandwich, this article might just lure you into going vegan.

Today, more and more people turn vegetarian every day. If in case you’re wondering why, we have compiled some shocking facts that might make you reconsider living green.

Shocking Facts That Could Make You Go Vegan

Vegans live longer

A group of researchers from Lona Linda University conducted a study and followed 7,000 men and women in a span of 6 years. In the said study, they have discovered that people who follow a meat-free diet are more likely to live longer. Mortality rate is also lower.

In a more recent study, researchers from the University of Oxford revealed that the risk of death or hospitalization due to heart diseases is 32% lower in vegans as compared to their meat-eating counterparts.

Save animals

150 billion animals are killed every year just to keep up with the demand of consumers. And yes, we mean billions!

A slaughterhouse kills an average of 1,100 pigs per hour. Considering the volume, this means that most of the pigs that enter the scalding tank are not properly stunned. Hence, most of them are boiled while they are fully conscious. Meanwhile, 200 million baby chicks are ground alive each year in egg factories worldwide.

Meats aren’t as fresh as you thought

When buying steak at the grocery, most of you would choose the nice-looking reddish meat because it looks fresh. But what consumers fail to realize is that the meat is treated with carbon monoxide to keep it from turning color.

Solves world hunger

Despite producing enough corn and grain to feed everyone in the world, more than 925,000,000 people from all over the world don’t have food to eat. This is because most of the corn and grain are used to feed livestock.

Additionally, an acre of land used to raise cattles can produce 20 pounds of edible meat; whereas, if soybeans were grown instead, that same acre would yield 356 pounds of protein – nearly 17 times as much.

 

 

Quitting Smoking: Ways to Resist Nicotine Cravings

If you are trying to quit smoking, resisting your nicotine cravings is probably the biggest challenge you’ll be facing. Cigarette cravings often kick in fast. A typical smoker would feel these cravings an hour after putting down his last cigarette stick. This is because smoking is not a habit, it’s an addiction.

The good news is, most cravings last only for 3 to 5 minutes. That said, you need distractions from nicotine cravings. After that, it gets a little easier. Each time you resist a nicotine craving, you are one step closer to quitting smoking for good.

Here’s what you can do to resist the urge to light up.

Avoid the triggers

Avoid drinks that you may have associated with smoking like alcohol or coffee. Many people have a habit of smoking while they drink; while some would smoke with a cup of coffee. While we’re not suggesting that you should give up these drinks, you have to try to avoid them until you have broken the association with smoking.

Get busy

Despite being intense, remember that cigarette cravings are often short-lived and will pass within a few minutes. When an urge to smoke strikes, tell yourself that you have to wait for 10 minutes, then focus your attention on other things and get yourself busy.

Get physical

Physical activities may help relieve some withdrawal symptoms and reduce your nicotine cravings. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that fight nicotine cravings. Plus, it helps keep the pounds off.

Most people gain an average of 8 pounds when they are trying to quit smoking. Exercise will not only help you deal with the cravings, it can also keep your weight down.

Drink a glass of water

We all know that drinking water offers a wide array of health benefits. In addition to that, it provides a calming effect on nicotine cravings.

Chew on it

In order to successfully fight the cravings, give your mouth something to do. Try snacking on nuts, carrots, sunflower seeds or celery – something satisfying and crunchy.

 

4 Things Successful Dieters Have in Common

If you are to study successful dieters, you will find that they think differently than they did before. Keep in mind that the most important change you can make is not about what you do. What’s more important is how you think.

In an attempt to help you reach your weight loss goals, we have put together a list of the common traits successful dieters share. Read on and keep off those unwanted fats.

I can do it

Rather than thinking that that losing weight is hard, successful dieters tell themselves that they are capable of achieving their goals. They have a clear vision of how they want to live their life and motivate themselves to stick to their diet. They eat healthy and exercise regularly, not when it’s convenient.

They enjoy the process

Successful losers make sure that they enjoy what they are doing. This way, they are less likely to go back to their usual routine.

It may be difficult to squeeze in exercise into your busy schedule, but if you are actually enjoying what you do, you’ll be looking forward to do it. For instance, you can exercise with a friend or walk in the beautiful outdoors. This will not only help you lose weight, it will also help you relieve stress and tension after a long and tiring day at work

They don’t weigh themselves everyday

We understand that you are eager to see the results of your hard work, but you are not doing yourself a favor by weighing yourself every day.

As you exercise, fat can be burned while you gain muscle mass. Weight can manifest itself in different ways. Successful losers weigh themselves once a week, not every day.

Just because your weight didn’t change, it doesn’t mean that your diet and exercise routine is ineffective.

They do not starve themselves

You’ve probably heard that eating less and exercising more can help you lose weight. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Restricting your food intake will make you hungry and will slow down your metabolism; thus, causing you to eat more and gain weight. Successful dieters do not eliminate carbohydrates from their diet. Instead, they focus on real whole foods.

 

How to Distract Yourself When You Want to Eat Junk Food

We all know that junk food doesn’t do any good to our body, but most of us indulge on it once in a while. For some, the craving becomes too frequent that they have to drop by a fast food chain a few times a week or reach for a candy bar out of boredom.

Resisting temptations can be hard, but it’s not impossible. You can overcome your cravings and take charge of your diet. These distractions can get your mind off that French fries, candy bar or triple layer pumpkin pie that’s calling your name.

De-stress

If stress is causing your expanding waist line, learning to deal with your stressors can potentially save you hundreds of calories a day.

Once you’re feeling stressed, take a break and try deep breathing exercises. Or better yet, close your eyes and visualize a serene scene on your own. You’ll feel relaxed in an instant and won’t resort to emotional eating.

Keep yourself distracted

Most people resort to binge eating because they don’t have anything else to do. Think about it. The last time you binged, it was a weekend. You were home alone and bored. All you did was sit in front of the TV and watch some random movie. Cracking open a jar of peanut butter was easy.

Next time you get bored, distract yourself or do something productive. Don’t let the cravings arise. Read a book, exercise, go on a walk or talk to a friend.

Remind yourself you’re not hungry

If you find yourself craving for a cookie, but you have just finished eating an hour ago, just remind yourself that you are not hungry. Drink a glass of water. This can extinguish your craving.

Make binge eating inconvenient

Sometimes, people crave for junk food because they are exposed to it. If you really want to stay away from junk foods, you should be willing to get rid of it or resist yourself from buying them. If that’s not possible, just hide them from sight.

 

 

 

 

Tips for a Heart-Healthy HalloweenHalloween is a fun day, when children get to dress as their favorite superhero, Disney princess or any creepy character. Of course, Halloween is also the sweetest time of the year when children can collect and eat as much candy as they want.

Yes, it’s just one day per year, but with the increasing rate of obesity and cavities, health experts see this candy-filled holiday as a nightmare. But don’t worry; your spooky soiree can be both fun and healthy with a few simple tips.

Eat before trick-or-treating

Instead of making sweet treats and candy off-limits, it would be a good idea to serve your family with a healthy dinner first. Then, bring out the sweet treats once they have finished their food. If your kids are full, then they won’t be tempted to eat too much candy afterwards.

Remember balance

If your child eats well all year long, then you don’t have to worry with letting them eat candies on this day. It’s what kids eat every day that has the most impact on their health and nutrition. Of course, moderation is the key.

To limit their intake of sweets, prepare healthy snacks like sweet potato fries or fruits.

Stay active

Don’t focus too much on the food. To get the kids moving, plan some fun activities and games like a relay race or costume parade. Instead of driving the kids, encourage them to walk from the house.

Practice portion control

Before all the fun begins, it is important to talk to your kids about when and how much candy they are allowed to eat. You can also provide smaller portions. Instead of full-sized treats, give them smaller cookies and brownies, miniature muffins and cupcakes.

Serve them with bite-size treats instead of leaving everything on the table. This way, you can control the amount of sweets each child consumes.

 

Unhealthy Foods You Should Avoid Like the Plague

With so much discussion of healthy foods, we sometimes tend to overlook the foods that are worst for us.

Most of us crave for crunchy fried dishes that cause rising blood pressure, bulging waistlines and all sorts of health problems. Despite these consequences, most people find it extremely difficult to resist these foods since they taste really good.

Here are some of the foods you should avoid like the plague. Do your best to banish these foods from your diet and make better choices.

Soda and sugary foods

Regular consumption of foods that contain added sugar can lead to weight gain, and soda is considered as the number one offender. According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, soda is a major contributor to the overweight and obesity epidemic.

Forgoing soda will save you 124-190 calories a day. So now, it’s time to make the switch to good old-fashioned water.

Energy bars

Just because they come in tiny packages that say they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, that does not necessarily mean that they’re good for you. Most of them are nothing but glorified candy bars that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other sweeteners.

Stick margarine

Stick margarines are loaded with trans fat. At 100 calories per tablespoon, this is definitely going to pack on the pounds.

Chips

The more flavoring the chips has, the more artificial ingredients and MSG you can expect from it.

An ounce of potato chips contains 10 grams of fat and 152 calories. Consuming 3 ounces of chips a week for a year will result to an added weight of about 7 pounds. And it doesn’t even constitute to a full and satisfying snack for most of us.

French fries

They are fatty, salty and addictive. And it’s almost impossible to stop at just a few. Dipping it in ketchup makes it even more unhealthy.

If you normally pick out fast food once a week, giving up on your normal order of medium fries will save you 350 calories.

Turning a New LeafIt’s a season of change, of transformation. As I watch leaves change color almost before my eyes, and the sun shift from burning bright and high in the sky, to a bit lower and dimmer, I feel a sense of renewal and hope. Autumn has been one of my favorite seasons ever since we left Texas and moved to Colorado Labor Day weekend 18 years ago. Although Dallas had some gorgeous mild, nice days during fall months, it was not comparable to the crisp, clean and cool air, along with the radiant colors of a Colorado fall.  Maybe it’s the richness of the warm oranges, reds and golds, or the comfort of the smells of cinnamon, pumpkin and spice, that wraps me up in a reassuring hug. I always gain a sense of motivation, energy and zest– to try something new– to transform myself in a sense, at this turning season.

This fall, what will be your “new leaf”?  Our cells in our body regenerate constantly, getting a “fresh start”. Are you resistant to change even though you know there is an area of your life begging for renewal or growth? How can you transform, this changing season, in preparation for shorter and colder days? Maybe it’s time for your body to “burst” with new colors, storing energy for the coming holiday hustle-bustle.

Consider the following simple (some more challenging than others) ways to experience transformation and rejuvenation in your life. I would love to hear how your journey of change comes along… Meanwhile, enjoy that crunch of leaves beneath your feet, that crisp brilliant sky, and embrace a new path to a healthier and renewed you!

5 Ways to Embrace Change, Transformation and Renewal:Living Well Nutrition Fall Tips

* Consider a cleanse
 Your liver and digestive tract work very hard each day to break down nutrients for use in your body. If you haven’t given your body a break, and feel weighted down, fatigued, foggy…chances are you need a clean-up! Ask us about our 10 and 20 day rejuvenation programs that healthfully detox the liver and support healthy metabolism.

Cleansing from poor eating habits is key; but you can also “cleanse” or “detox” from negative energy, people, the newscast, loud music, bad habits, graphic or violent TV, TV altogether, etc.

* Walk a new path
Is your exercise routine stale and boring? Maybe it’s time to try a new path of activity. If you’re an avid runner, take a day off for yoga. If you do yoga 4 days a week but no cardio, get a walking group together and pick a time each week for an hour long hike. Try something new and fresh to move your body in a different way. Maybe it’s time to try that intro Pure Barre class you’ve been putting off? 

* De-Clutter Your Environment
Tidying up and reorganizing your living or work space can not only be detoxifying and productive–it can be empowering! Choose a morning to simply clean out some kitchen cupboards, or a closet full of old clothes. Maybe it’s time for a thorough garage sweep? Just cleaning out your inbox on your desk (or in your email!) can be very therapeutic. After you’ve de-cluttered, donate your used items to a good cause or friend.

 * Choose something new
When we’ve been in a rut of the same rat-race: carpools, paying bills, watching the same TV shows, hanging around the same people all the time, we can become “stuck” without realizing it. Challenge yourself to dive into an interest you’ve put on the back burner–it doesn’t have to be a huge expensive hobby, but just picking up an online class, or one day at painting, or reading a new book, can really rejuvenate your brain and health.

 * Commit to a new beginning
How we spend the first few minutes of each day can set the mood and energy for the rest of the hours. Consider a new prayer, meditation, or mantra before your feet hit the ground. 60 seconds in gratitude, counting your blessings, and then another 60 seconds setting an intention for the day could be a wonderful way to be more centered, focused, and less stressed before you’re up and out the door. Also trying to avoid technology (news programs, emails, texting, social media) first thing in the morning can be extremely transforming. Instead, get ready in silence, or with music you enjoy; and of course, a nutrient-dense breakfast! The more “rushed” and “loud” we are first thing sets a tone for a chaotic day.

4 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your DietEating healthy is a goal for many of us. Unfortunately, a lot of people give up on this goal without even trying.

For most people, approaching a lifestyle change can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, small steps always make a big difference. Take small steps and start making small changes in your diet today. Here are some tips to get you started.

Prepare your own food

Lack of time is one of the most common excuses for eating a poor, unhealthy diet.

Regardless of the quality of fast food chain or restaurant, eating out means consuming more calories than the food you would prepare from your own kitchen.

Plan ahead and take some time to prepare your own food. This way, you’ll be forced to eat healthy and feed your family with heart-healthy meals.

Stop consuming non-organic coffee

For billions of people all around the world, caffeine is responsible for a jolt of energy that starts the day. But the problem with caffeine is that it becomes addictive. Instead of the usual 1 cup, you’ll eventually need 3 to 4 cups of coffee just to wake you up in the morning.

We understand that breaking the morning caffeine habit could be extremely difficult, but try to slowly wean yourself off any caffeinated products. Once you go back to a caffeine-free lifestyle, you’ll notice that your body composition will improve and your energy levels will become more stable.

No sugary beverages

Sugary beverages like sodas, smoothies and fruit juices have been proven to cause numerous health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. Resist the urge of reaching for a can of soda and make your own flavored water instead. Add some fruit slices and fresh herbs to your water and enjoy a refreshing drink without the added sugar.

Keep hydrated

Studies revealed that roughly 90% of people are dehydrated. This affects your health, immunity, energy and vitality.

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip from it often.

The Importance of Blood Tests

You probably know how often you can go between haircuts, bikini waxes, manicures and pedicures. Unfortunately, very little, if any, seem to remember when they’re due for certain health screenings.

Regular blood testing is part of maintaining optimal health. More often than not, people fall victim to a disease that could have been prevented had the proper blood test been done on a regular basis.

In the past, doctors used blood tests just to ascertain cardiovascular risk factors for their patients. Later on, they have realized that regular blood testing not only helps them identify the risk factors, it can also aid in the detection of numerous health problems that are fairly easy to correct provided that they are caught on time.

Calcium overload, a condition that is caused by the removal of too much calcium in the bone, is one good example of those conditions that could easily be prevented. Unless discovered by a blood exam, patients are unaware that they have a calcium imbalance. Worse, they’ll only find out about the condition after they have a heart valve failure, a painful kidney stone (renal calculi) or a crippling bone fracture, which are often manifested a few years after the calcium imbalance first began.

A simple and inexpensive blood chemistry could have detected this problem. Thus, allowing the doctor to prevent the disease from progressing and causing irreversible damage.

Important blood tests to remember

Need a refresher course on your recommended screenings? No problem. We have put together a list of the most important blood tests to help you remember what needs to be checked.

Complete blood count

CBC is one of the most common blood tests and is usually a part of a routine checkup. Testing all blood components, this test can help detect blood diseases like immune system disorders, blood cancers, clotting problems, infections and anemia.

Blood chemistry/blood metabolic panel

This test measures the different chemicals in the body. Plus, it can give the doctor some information about your organs (liver and kidney), bones and muscles, including the heart.

Blood tests to asses heart diseases

A type of blood test that can determine whether or not you’re at risk of coronary heart disease is lipoprotein panel. Here, they look at substances that in your blood that carry cholesterol.

 

Blood Sugar Balance and StressNext time you lash out at someone, feel irrationally fearful, or simply overreact in a somewhat stressful situation, be sure to check in with yourself on what you’ve eaten the last hour or two.

When we don’t eat regular meals and snacks, we go into “fasting” mode, which depletes the brain from receiving glucose. This can cause many symptoms ranging mild to concerning, namely, an increase in panic attacks, moodiness, anger and fear. Stress hormones are released, and until we eat and hydrate again, we may be in an “angry” and more stressed state. Additionally, we tend to overeat, and eat sugary items when our blood sugar does get too low, to compensate for the empty, listless “starved” feeling. This in turn leads to weight gain, digestive unrest, poor sleep, and eventually can lead to diabetes. Hence, we ride the “blood sugar roller coaster”, creating more stress on our brains and bodies.

Food should fuel the body, in small amounts, frequently through the day, about every 2-3 hours. This doesn’t mean eat a huge meal six times daily, but think of the following “power snacks” as something to consider daily to avoid overreacting, and feeling blue or angry. 

* apple with almond butter
* hard-boiled egg
* blueberries
* 1/4 cup raw nuts
* handful of rice crackers with 1/3 cup hummus
* half an avocado
* raw vegetables
* 2-3 slices nitrate-free/organic turkey

Lean protein and healthy fats can stave sugar cravings, and help “ground” carbohydrate effects on the body.  Don’t leave home empty-handed and unprepared. You don’t want people to see you “angry” when you’re really just hungry…