The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you’re more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.

Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don’t seem to do as well. We don’t seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.

But these tiny compatriots are invisible to the naked eye. So we asked artist Ben Arthur to give us a guided tour. Join me as we dive into the rich universe of the human microbiome.

(Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/01/242361826/exploring-the-invisible-universe-that-lives-on-us-and-in-us)

Grapeseed oil, a by-product of the wine-making process, comes from extracting the oil from within the small, hard-shelled seed. A stable cooking oil, grapeseed oil does not smoke or splatter. This oil features a high smoke point, or temperature at which oil smokes and discolors, ranging from approximately 320 to 428 degrees, depending on the brand. The light, buttery or nutty flavor leaves no aftertaste and enhances a food’s natural flavor. Grapeseed oil is an economical cooking oil because only one-third to one-half cup of grapeseed oil equals one cup of other oils.

Instructions

Frying, Roasting and Barbecuing

1 Use a paper towel to remove moisture from surface of raw meats. This dry surface will aid in browning the meat.

2 Marinate or brush meat with grapeseed oil or flavored varieties such as garlic or walnut. Grapeseed oil works well with meat, poultry or fish. This thin layer of oil will help retain flavor and prevent sticking to the frying pan, roasting pan or grill.

3 Place meat in pre-heated frying pan, oven or grill. If meat starts to look dry, brush on another thin layer of grapeseed oil.

Grapeseed Oil as a Butter Substitute

4 Substitute grapeseed oil for butter by brushing on a sliced piece of bread. Add optional grated cheese, sliced tomatoes, chopped olives or other toppings.

5 Place topped bread on a shallow metal baking pan under a pre-heated broiler until cheese is melted or toppings are browned.

6 Remove bread carefully from oven. Add freshly ground pepper if desired.

Grapeseed Oil as a Condiment

7 Mix grapeseed oil or varieties infused with herbs and spices as part of a mayonnaise or salad dressing recipe. Test with small amounts of grapeseed oil and increase the amounts to balance with other ingredients in the adapted recipe.

8 Add grapeseed oil to raw or cooked vegetables, salads and pasta. This light-tasting oil will not overpower food.

9 Use grapeseed oil as part of a dip for fresh vegetables on a platter.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_7463732_cook-grapeseed-oil.html#ixzz2iSllh2Wr

The weather is getting cooler, but your produce choices are heating up.

These amazing superfoods are either hitting their peak in the garden or can easily be found in your local farmers market or grocery store.

They’re the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights!

 

Apples

Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin—it contains hearty-healthy flavonoids. Health benefits include:

• Full of antioxidants
• 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving

Harvest season: August–November

 

Brussels sprouts

Made the correct way, these veggies taste divine. They have a mild, somewhat bitter taste, so combine them with tangy or savory sauces, like balsamic vinegar. Health benefits include:

• 1/2 cup contains more than your DRI of vitamin K
• Very good source of folate
• Good source of iron

Harvest season: September–March

 

Parsnips

Though these veggies may resemble carrots, they have a lighter color and sweeter, almost nutty flavor. Use them to flavor rice and potatoes or puree them into soups and sauces. Health benefits include:

• Rich in potassium
• Good source of fiber

Harvest season: October–April

 

Pears

The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking can really bring out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached. Health benefits include:

• Good source of vitamin C and copper
• 4 grams of fiber per serving

Harvest season: August–February

 

Rutabaga

A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, rutabagas are a popular Swedish dish. To utilize their earthy flavor, add them to casseroles, puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup, or roast them with ginger, honey, or lemon. Health benefits include:

• Good source of fiber
• Good source of vitamin C

Harvest season: October–April

 

Cauliflower

The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for winter side dishes. It’s wonderful steamed, but it can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup. Health benefits include:

• Compounds that may help to prevent cancer
• Phytonutrients may lower cholesterol” “Excellent source of vitamin C

Harvest season: September–June

 

Squash

Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. It tastes best with other fall flavorings, like cinnamon and ginger. Health benefits include:

• Contains omega-3 fatty acids
• Excellent source of vitamin A

Harvest season: October–February

 

Pumpkin

A type of winter squash, pumpkin can be used for much more than jack-o’-lanterns. Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, cakes, and even pudding! Health benefits include:

• Rich in potassium
• More than 20% of your DRI of fiber
• Good source of B vitamins

Harvest season: October–February

 

Sweet potatoes

These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles. More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, try roasting them—they’ll taste delicious, and you may maintain more vitamins than boiling. Health benefits include:

• Excellent source of vitamin A
• Good source of iron
• Anti-inflammatory benefits

Harvest season: September–December

 

Turnips

Tender and mild, these root vegetables are a great alternative to radishes and cabbage. To flavor these veggies, use fennel, bread crumbs, or even brown sugar. Turnip leaves, which taste like mustard leaves, are easy to cook and dense in nutrients. Health benefits include:

• The roots are a good source of vitamin C
• Turnip leaves are an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and folate

Harvest season: September–April

 

Pomegranates

This slightly sour fruit has gotten a lot of press as an antioxidant powerhouse. The juice provides a tangy base for marinades, and the seeds can be tossed into salads to amp up the flavor. Health benefits include:

• A UCLA study showed pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than red wine
• Good source of vitamin C and folate

Harvest season: August–December

 

Dates

This Middle Eastern favorite is a sweet fruit that is perfect braised in stews, chopped up in desserts, or stuffed with cream cheese or almonds. Health benefits include:

• Low in fat
• Good source of fiber
• Good source of potassium

Harvest season: September–December

 

Kiwi

Use this sweet fruit to add a tropical flavor to your recipes. It’s great mixed with strawberries, cantaloupe, or oranges and can be combined with pineapple to make a tangy chutney. Health benefits include:

• More vitamin C than an orange
• Good source of potassium and copper

Harvest season: September–March

 

Grapefruit

The signature tartness of grapefruit provides a contrast to other citrus fruit. Add it to mixed greens, combine it with avocado and shrimp, or enjoy a fresh glass of its antioxidant-rich juice. Health benefits include:

• More than 75% of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of vitamin C
• Good source of lycopene
• Contains pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol

Harvest season: September–April

 

Tangerines

The small and sweet citrus fruits are positively refreshing for fall recipes. Our favorite flavor combos include almonds, dates, and honey. Juice them with oil, vinegar, and ginger for a to-die-for dressing. Health benefits include:

• Good source of vitamin C
• Good source of beta-carotene

Harvest season: November–April

 

 

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Resilient People

Rejection is rough, no matter how you slice it. But it’s also an inescapable fact of life, and our ability to deal with failure and rejection has a hand in determining how successful and happy we are.

Think of the people you most admire — many of them didn’t get where they are just by sailing through life without any negative experiences or failures. In the words of Winston Churchill, “It is the courage to continue that counts.” Resilance is knowing how to  bounce back from failure — over and over again.

So how do resilient people differ from those who become paralyzed by every failure and setback?

Here are seven habits of highly resilient people — and ways that you can improve your own ability to cope with challenges. (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/02/habits-of-resilient-people_n_3818652.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living)

1.) They fully experience both positive and negative emotions. 

Building resilience isn’t about blind optimism. Rather than looking only on the bright side and pushing away negative emotions, resilient people let themselves experience what they’re feeling in any given situation, whether it’s good or bad, according to Positivity author Barbara Fredrickson.

2.) They’re realistically optimistic. 

A recent Taiwan National University study found that adopting an attitude of “realistic optimism,” which combines the positive outlook of optimists with the critical thinking of pessimists, can boost happiness and resilience.

3.) They “reject rejection.” 

Rejection chips away at our self-esteem and confidence, making us fall harder with each subsequent setback or failure. But rejection is inevitable, and coping with it effectively is essential to becoming resilient.

4.) They build strong support systems. 

When you get knocked down hard, it’s important to have the resources to help you get back up again, which includes having people to lean on.

5.) They notice (and appreciate) the little, positive things.

Resilient people are good at tapping into their “positivity ratio.” This means that they notice and appreciate the little joys and victories — which keeps them from feeling like “everything” is going wrong. Her research has shown that a three-to-one ratio of positive to negative experiences is ideal for building resilience and boosting happiness.

6.) They seek out opportunities for growth and learning. 

Those who have mastered the art of resilience know that setbacks and challenges can be our most powerful learning opportunities. Some of the world’s most successful people have been fired from their jobs, and used the experience to learn something about themselves.

7.) They’re endlessly grateful. 

Gratitude is known to boost health and well-being — and those who are thankful may enjoy better physical health and mood than those who focus on hassles and complaints.

After being confined to health-food stores for years, gluten-free foods have become the latest food fad. Gluten-free products are starting to line the shelves at grocery stores, but most people are still in the dark when it comes to the health benefits of a gluten-free diet.

 

People with celiac disease can’t tolerate gluten, not even small amounts. Just 50 milligrams of the protein—about the amount in one small crouton—is enough to cause trouble. In people with celiac disease, gluten in the bloodstream triggers an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. This can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food, cause a host of symptoms, and lead to other problems like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and seizures.

 

But lately it’s become hip to go gluten-free. People have been switching to gluten-free diets to lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or generally feel healthier.

 

But there are many health benefits. If you choose to start a gluten-free diet, you are actually eliminating a variety of foods from your diet that are unhealthy. Fried foods would be off limits, because of the breading, and desserts high in sugar and fat would be removed from your diet completely. On a gluten-free diet, you would likely eat more fruits and vegetables, just because they are several food sources that are non-starchy, and almost completely gluten-free.

 

By eating only gluten-free foods, you will also be eliminating unhealthy oils from your diet, as well as unhealthy carbohydrates found in bread products like doughnuts and pastries.

 

Many of the gluten-free foods available are healthy for you, and can also help you lose weight with the right combinations and proportions of other foods. Just keep portion size in mind, and be sure to choose gluten-free starches such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Just make sure you do research and know the facts before you start any new diet.

 

Thinking of going gluten-free? Here is what you need to know.

 

For more info, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/my01140

 

Or for a list of restaurants with gluten-free options in your area, visit:

http://www.urbanspoon.com/t/17/1/Denver/Gluten-Free-Friendly-restaurants

Achieving a healthier lifestyle may seem overwhelming, but making even small changes everyday can make a huge difference over time. Here is a great list we found with a few ideas to get you started on your journey to a healthier life- one step at a time!

The Healthy Living Manifesto

20 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water We tend to reach for those warm beverages in the morning like coffee and tea, but try starting your day with some warm lemon water first to kick-start digestion. The water doesn’t always have to be warm, but it should be purified. Simply use half a fresh lemon per large glass of water or to taste and sip throughout the day. Providing more than just hydration, fresh lemon juice and water can deliver surprising benefits. Lemon is a natural energizer; it hydrates and oxygenates the body so it feels revitalized and refreshed!

Here are 5 health benefits of drinking lemon water that elevate drinking it for reasons beyond just taste:

Support immune function: Lemons are high in antioxidant vitamin C, known for its supportive role in healthy immune function1,2 which may reduce the risk of respiratory infection3. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms4,5. Lemons also contain saponins6, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Last but not least, ascorbic acid enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function7.

Alkalize the body: Although the tartness of a lemon may make them seem acidic, lemons are actually one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood.

Aid digestion: Citrus flavonols8 are believed responsible for lemon’s traditional use as a digestive tonic. Believed to stimulate and purify the liver, lemon juice is traditionally understood to support digestive hydrochloric acid in the stomach further aiding digestion. Vitamin C status has been associated with reduced risk of peptic ulcers caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori9.

Clear skin: Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemons combat free radical damage. Free radical damage — especially as caused by UV exposure and environmental toxins — is responsible for many symptoms of aging. Antioxidant intake can help offset this damage, minimizing wrinkles. Further, lemon juice can be applied topically to scars and age spots to help reduce their appearance. Traditionally used as a liver stimulant, lemon water is also believed to help purge toxins from the blood, helping to keep skin clear of blemishes.

Promote healing: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage10. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.

The Top Fat-Burning FoodsBoost your metabolism

It’s true: Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew. Other eats contain nutrients and compounds that stoke your metabolic fire. Feed your metabolism with these.

Whole grains

Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.

Lean meats

Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).

Low-fat dairy products

Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

Green tea

Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

Lentils

One cup packs 35% of your daily iron needs—good news, since up to 20% of us are iron- deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metab slows because the body’s not getting what it needs to work efficiently, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, co-author of The Secret to Skinny

Hot peppers

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers, says Lakatos Shames. “Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs, and meats.”

 

Is a juice cleanse the answer? With the number of celebrity endorsers stating that they maintain their stick thin figures by using a combination of juice cleanses and fasting, the average person may feel like this is the answer to those extra pounds that never seem to come off. But is it?

Juice Cleanses: Fad or Truth?

Juice cleanses involve replacing solid food with juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of time. This form of detoxification diet is rapidly becoming more and more popular and is often touted as an easy fix.

People have been fasting and cleansing for as long as there have been civilizations, usually for religious regions. Hatha Yoga recommends a few days of fasting per month, where the yogi only consumes very little water while meditating and resting. Juice cleanses have been touted as the health solution due to a large intake of fruit and vegetables and their vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that the health benefits have not yet been proven.

The Pros

Juice cleanses can help kick start a weight loss plan and encourage healthy eating habits. It is a relatively easy diet because the suggested fruits and vegetables are easy to find, no matter where you live. They are available at the local supermarket.

Many cleanses advocate cutting down on food even before starting the diet and generally put an emphasis on healthy eating. They recommend cutting down on sugar, caffeine and animal products at least two weeks before the fast and gradually moving to a more vegetarian-style diet.

Combining fruits and vegetables ups your antioxidant intake. Since most cleanses recommend using organic fruit, this also reduces the amount of pesticides you consume. Juice cleanses also recommend drinking large amounts of water (6 glasses) per day. The combination of this can keep a person feeling full, which can prevent binging and craving.

The reduced caloric intake (cleanses recommend that you consume the juice gradually throughout the day in 2 to 4 ounce doses) will definitely help you shed pounds. If combined with colon cleanses, you may end up shedding 10 to 15 pounds a week.

The Cons

In some extreme cases, juice cleanses can be accompanied by enemas or colon cleanses to clear out the intestines. Extreme juice cleanses that last for long periods of time can lead to loss of muscle tone due to the lack of protein as well as a marked decrease in metabolic speed. Sudden weight loss can also lead to ketosis, a metabolic imbalance that can lead to fatigue and dizziness.

Individuals who may be trying a juice detox diet for the first time can experience dizziness and fatigue, headaches and sudden acid reflux, especially if too many citrus fruits are consumed during the course of the cleanse. Bad breath is surprisingly another common side effect. If you eat too much solid food too suddenly after a cleanse, the body may “rebound” and you will end up gaining back all those hard earned pounds.

People with health a condition like diabetes should avoid juice cleanses because of the large intake of fructose (simplified sugar). They may, however, reduce the amount of fruit and focus more on vegetables.

Conclusion

Before embarking on any diet, make sure to consult your physician about the type of action you want to take. Be wary of “fad” juice cleanses that tell you to invest your money in miracle juices. Done correctly, a juice fast may be beneficial but it is not for everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7147676

6 Mind Hacks That Keep Stress In Check (Really!)

Stress is our perception of what’s happening outside of us and the power we give it,” saysLauren E. Miller, author and stress expert.

If you can adopt Miller’s definition of the phenomenon as your own, you may find it possible to reframe your perception of stressful situations and, inevitably, experience less stress overall.

The author of “5 Minutes to Stress Relief,” has compassion for hardship (as a cancer survivor she’s been through a lot of it herself), but believes it’s counterproductive to see yourself as a victim. Rather than letting stress overcome you, Miller insists you must transform it.

Yes — stress is, at times, imminent. It’s “recession-proof … It’s one of those things we, as human beings, wage a war against in the jungle of our mind,” the author told The Huffington Post in an interview. The key to dealing with stress, according to Miller, is knowing that you are in charge. “If you make the conscious choice and stay awake at the gate of your thoughts, then you can adjust your perception of any situation,” she says.

Being in charge may not come naturally, but there are some strategies you can use to show stress who’s boss. Below, find six stress management techniques, all of which can be performed in five minutes or less, that can “literally transform the way you do life.”

Be mindful of how you label things.
“Life happens. You have a thought about it. It’s completely objective until you label it,” Miller explains. The way in which you decide to label a certain event — whether joyful, good, painful or ugly — will determine how your body reacts to it. “Your cells are listening,” she says, meaning it’s your brain that tells your body how to respond to an event. Decide to take a moment before you judge and categorize a situation: It’s your choice to label an experience as something beneficial (because you’ll end up learning from it in the long run), or something strictly painful, that’ll only make you hurt.

Erase and replace.
With the tap of a key, you can delete a typo from your screen. The same goes for a stressful thought. Miller suggests using the word “delete” consciously. Practice saying “delete” aloud. “You can actually shift your attachment, you can sever the power you’re giving to your negative thought that’s defining your reality.”

Use your imagination.
If you feel you simply cannot pull yourself out of a negative situation or mood, turn to your imagination. Picture a time where you felt happy and not stressed, or make up an instance in which you would feel this way (even if it never really happened). Although it sounds too elementary to work, Miller assures us that the technique is gold. “Imagination can shift our attitude and perceptions on the spot,” she explains. “Our conscious mind doesn’t know the difference in terms of real and imagination.” So if you can just conjure something calm in the midst of chaos, you’ll begin to experience calm.

Look at your life as a movie.
You’re the director — you get to decide which events become catastrophe, and which don’t make the cut. This is a practice that involves stepping away. “Be the watcher rather than the reactor,” Miller instructs. Look at a stressful moment as if it’s on screen — imagine the scene that initially caused you to feel stressed, and imagine your reaction to it. There’s a lot you can do with this power. You can add props (have the people who are making you feel threatened wear clown costumes, for example). You can make the aggressive characters in your life physically smaller, and decide that your voice is louder than all of the supporting actors of your life’s movie. Looking at a problem from this angle will remind you that you’re in control.

Revisit what’s valuable.
Write down seven things you value most in life. It’ll help put things into perspective, Miller explains. She says to put this list on a “big, fat sticky note, or even make it your screensaver.” This list will remind you time and again that people are more valuable than things. This is your “big picture” doctrine.

Stop by a graveyard.
Admittedly, this sounds more than a bit morbid, but visiting a graveyard — whether literally or figuratively — can help you reframe a stressful situation. Ask yourself, “Would I want to be worrying about this from my deathbed?” and consider the choice you would have wished you made at the end of your life. Taking an “aerial view from your death bed,” as Miller puts it, might help you dig up some wisdom. Miller says when you’re overwhelmed with life, you can experience tunnel vision — “you’re giving too much power to something that’s non-essential.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/stress-relief-tips-get-out-of-your-head_n_3562190.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living