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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

Why Am I So Tired? 3 Possible Causes of Fatigue

Do you feel tired all the time? Lots of people do. It’s a sign of our overbooked times.

Getting your energy back could be simpler than you think. Start by seeing if you can relate to the top three reasons for feeling drained.

The most common reasons for feeling tired are about daily habits.

1. What you eat. Reaching for caffeine and sugar can backfire, leaving you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy diet replete with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. “Most people feel like they’re less tired if they eat a healthy diet,” says J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, past president of the American College of Physicians. “Eating healthy also means you’ll carry less weight, and obesity is a big contributor to fatigue.

2. How much you sleep. You saw this one coming, right? Many people don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful.

3. How much you exercise. This is the biggie, Ralston says. His favorite prescription for plain old tiredness is regular, vigorous exercise. Finish at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down.

If you think that exercise would just make you more tired, there’s good news: Exercise breeds energy. Almost all the studies that have looked at this question have found the same thing: Sedentary people who start exercising feel much less fatigue than those who stay idle. It’s one of those surprising truths: move more and you’ll get more energy.

Ralston recommends getting 40 minutes of exercise at least four days a week, to get you going.

Do that, and a month from now, you should notice some improvement. Keep with it for three to six months more, and you should feel much better.

If you follow your exercise prescription for at least a month — and you’re also making enough time for sleep — and you’re still feeling lousy, look into other causes, Ralston advises.

Source: http://women.webmd.com/guide/why-so-tired-10-causes-fatigue

Eat This, Not That: Healthy Summer Snack IdeasIt’s easy to overindulge and gain weight during the summer months. Avoid undoing all of your hard work spent getting your body ready for warmer weather by enjoying lighter versions of your favorite summertime snacks. These great-tasting alternatives are just as delicious, and will help maintain your waistline.

 

Enjoy This: Pop Chips

Not This: Stacy’s Pita Chips

 

Pop Chips: Serving Size: 23 chips, 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 18 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 190 milligrams of sodium

Stacy’s Pita Chips: Serving size: 14 chips, 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 19 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 140 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: Skinny Cow Fudge Bar

Not This: Häagen-Dazs Coffee Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

 

Skinny Cow: Serving Size: 1 bar, 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 22 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 45 milligrams of sodium

Häagen-Dazs: Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 200 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 31 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, 50 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: Tostitos Salsa

Not This: Sabra Hummus

 

Tostitos Salsa: Serving Size: 2 tablespoons, 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of carbs. 0.5 grams of fiber, 0.5 grams of protein, 210 milligrams of sodium

Sabra Hummus: Serving Size: 2 tablespoons, 70 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 120 milligrams of sodium

Enjoy This: F-Factor Banana Walnut Bar

Not This: Clif Bar Banana Nut Bread

 

F-Factor Banana Walnut Bar: Serving Size: 1 bar, 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 26 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 25 milligrams of sodium

Clif Bar Banana Nut Bread: Serving Size: 1 bar, 240 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 42 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, 180 milligrams of sodium

 

Article Consulted http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/healthy-summer-snack-alternatives#ixzz2Xz9kixJw

 


Summer BBQ Tips

Salmon is one of the best proteins you can put in your body. The protein in salmon is easy for people to digest, and it is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also packed with Vitamins A, B, and D, calcium, iron and phosphorus. These vitamins help to strengthen your muscles.

Salmon is also great for your heart because the omega-3 fatty acids can help to lower your cholesterol.  Salmon also helps lower your blood pressure and can even prevent hardening of your arteries (which means the chances of you having a heart attack are reduced). Additionally, salmon can help to speed up your metabolism.

The benefits of salmon are almost endless! Here is one of our favorite recipes:

Honey-Teriyaki Salmon
Skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 4 • Size: 3 oz cooked salmon • Old Pts: 7 • Weight Watchers Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 266 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 19 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Sugar: 13 g
Sodium: 502 mg

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 3 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 3 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lb fresh wild salmon fillet, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

Directions:

Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and honey in a resealable bag. Add the salmon and mix to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Remove salmon, reserving the marinade. Heat a frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the oil. Sear salmon, 2 minutes per side. Turnheat to low and pour in the reserved marinade. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through.

Recipe from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/honey-teriyaki-salmon.html

Have you ever stood in front of the vitamin aisle at the store and been totally confused? There are certain supplements that everyone should take. Follow these tips to determine which supplements are worth the money and the time.
Four Supplements Everyone Should Take

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids are best known for fighting wrinkles, lubricating your joins, boosting your brain power, protecting your heart and arteries. When selecting an Omega-3 fatty acid, look for one that has 600mg of DHA. DHA is the fatty acid that supports brain functions, such as how the brain stores and uses energy.  It is recommended that Omega-3 fatty acids be taken in the morning.

 

Multivitamin. 

A multivitamin ensure that you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals recommended for each day. Of course, you should still do your best to get your nutrients from a diet full of fruits and vegetables and take the multivitamin as an added layer of protection. Multivitamins can also act as a preventative measure against breast cancer, heart disease, and colon cancer.

 

Calcium.

You need calcium to keep your bones full of nutrients. Calcium with magnesium is an excellent way to support your bones and keep your muscles healthy. Make sure to get your calcium from both a healthy diet and added supplements.

 

Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it is quickly used up and eliminated by the body. It is a good idea to take vitamin C two or three times at different interval throughout the day.

How To Up Your Fiber IntakeIt is recommended that women consume 25 grams of fiber a day and that men consume 35 to 40 grams. Most men and women are not meeting these recommendations! Fiber can lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol and help your digestion significantly. The best way to up your fiber intake? Make sure your diet is filled with fiber-rich foods! Edamame, avocado, beans (kidney, black, garbanzo), whole-wheat pastas, rice, lentils, and artichokes are just a few items that are full of fiber.

If you are cooking a meal that is not high in fiber on its own, try to make fiber the focus of your side dishes. A great addition to most meals is sautéed spinach with garlic and lemon. All you need is a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, spinach, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Cook the spinach in the olive oil, then add the garlic, and lastly add the lemon and salt! It is so easy!

A tomato and avocado salad is another dish you can add to almost any meal. Simply dice up the tomato and avocado, sprinkle feta, salt and pepper on top – and dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Other great sides are red lentil and vegetable soup, double-pea soup, and warm pear and green bean salad!

Allowing fiber to be the focus of your side dish is a great way to make sure you are keeping up with the recommended fiber servings!

Inflammation is a condition that may lead to weight gain and in turn, make losing weight more difficult than it already is. Inflammation kicks your immune system into overdrive and can be the result of a lack of exercise, stress, and exposure to toxins. One way to combat this is to consume superfoods that are natural forms of ibuprofen, which will help to stop inflammation. Superfoods are just that – super – because they pack the mot nutrients into each serving.

There are millions of superfood recipes you can find online, and specifically on Pinterest. This is a favorite just to get you started (it’s so easy!):

Pearled Barley Salad With Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pine Nuts:

You will need:

1/3 cup(s) pine nuts, preferably from Italy 2 ounces

1/4 cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoon(s) white wine vinegar

1 small shallot, minced 2 tablespoons

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cup(s) Thyme-Scented Pearled Barley (see below)

1 large tart apple, such as Honeycrisp cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup(s) pomegranate seeds, from 1 pomegranate

1/2 cup(s) chopped flat-leaf parsley

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

2. In a bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Add the Thyme-Scented Pearled Barley (see below), pine nuts, apple, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Toss before serving.

*Original recipe found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/pearled-barley-salad-with_n_1058606.html*

 

A short and easy list of super foods that can help you fight fat:

Vegetables.

Arugula, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, scallions, spinach tomatoes.

Fruit.

Apples, cherries, oranges, blueberries, grapefruit, pomegranates, avocados.

Fish.

Salmon, tilapia, flounder.

Nuts and Seeds.

Walnuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds,  pine nuts, almonds (raw and unsalted).

 

The Real Deal With SnackingIt is likely you’ve heard arguments on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to the concept of snacking. Some diets suggest no snacking between meals, while other diets encourage it. You may have heard that eating more frequently can boost up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories. The truth is your metabolism may slow down if you have not eaten for two or three days, not two or three hours. The thing to note is that snacking is a personal, and optional choice. If you are hungry between meals, there are several healthy snack options. However, if you are not hungry between meals, there is no particular reason you need to have a snack every two to three hours.

For some, eating more frequently reduces uncomfortable feelings of hunger. If snacking is for you, make sure you are adjusting your other meals accordingly. If you have two snacks a day, your three main meals should be a bit smaller. The key to eating frequently is to keep each meal small. Keep in mind that snacking on marketed “snack” food can be dangerous. If you must go for pre-packaged snacks, be sure to take a look at the sodium levels.  Vegetables are the healthiest snacks, so try to work those in.  Consider celery and peanut butter, baby carrots and hummus, cucumber and lemon, or dried fruits and nuts.  Portion control here is very important. For example, if you buy nuts in bulk, be sure to dish out a half cup (or whatever the recommended serving size is), instead of just picking straight from the container.

Snacking does not have to be a pitfall in your weight loss management. Make sure to snack well, consume small portions that hold you over till mealtime and also make you feel better.