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October 2013

Woman Won't Give Halloween Candy To Moderately Obese Kids

Bright Colors of Halloween Candy are a Tradition
Bright Colors of...
Stephen St. John
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by

Joseph

There's a story that has been lighting up social media and the message boards that's going to be talked about for a long time to come. It all revolves around a woman who allegedly refuses to give Halloween candy to kids who are, in the woman's opinion, "moderately obese". 

The woman's opinions caught attention after she voiced them on a local radio station. According to reports, the woman feels that obesity is a community problem and that moderately obese kids shouldn't be collecting candy just because others are doing it.

While the woman's intentions appear to be focused on fighting childhood obesity, the way she's going about it could do more harm than good.

She's right in saying that kids shouldn't do something just because others are doing it. But that can hold true for just about anything. In fact, how can she be sure that her letter to kids whom she judges to be "moderately obese" won't have a worse long term effect on children's health?

Afterall, young people pay attention to what people tell them. It's a fact that society influences self-image. Halloween is a time when many kids will be wearing costumes that reflect their self-image and thus will be highly susceptible to positive (and negative opinions).

Most adults need only think back to the time when we were trick or treaters. Imagine how you would feel if someone told you that you don't resemble such and such character because someone has an opinion about your physical appearance?

Taken to the extreme some criticisms can cause children to become highly traumatized. For example, one reknown child psychiatrist recalled how a child lost so much weight that it killed her after allegedly being told by a school teacher that she needed to go on a diet.

There's little doubt that obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Health care experts predict that the prevalence of severe obesity will increase by 130% by the year 2030. It's also known that overweight and obese young people are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease than normal weight children.

While sedentary lifestyle and overeating are often the underlying causes for these troubling statistics, people shouldn't overlook the fact that medical problems, family history and finances can influence weight loss or weight gain.

As a society we have a responsibilty to promote education and spread the word about a healthy lifestyle (read my article "Obese Young People on Anti-Obesity Billboards - Raising Awareness or Promoting Stigmatization?" ) . But making the decision to withhold candy from people because of their appearance without knowing the facts behind why they are obese can be dangerous.

Does this mean that children who are not "moderately obese" will receive candy? What would that do to families where some children are "moderately obese" and their siblings are not obese?

It seems more fair to send the same message to all of the children regardless of body size rather than being discriminatory. Or better yet, to leave the children's health issues to their parents and health care providers.


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Article References

Woman Handing Out Letters, Not Halloween Candy - ValleyNewsLive.com

Social Presssures Push American Teens Toward Obesity

Obesity Will Become Even More Prevalent By 2030, Report

America's Children Are Dying To Lose Weight

 

"Woman Won't Give Halloween Candy To Moderately Obese Kids" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.

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Parenting Style as Alcohol Treatment For Adolescents

Parenting Style as Alcohol Treatment For Adolescents

Submitted by: Tom Horvath, Ph.D.

There may be an association between parenting style and alcohol consumption by adolescent children; however, it is important to note the availability of alcohol treatment programs for those individuals who have chosen to engage in drinking. In an alternative to AA, self-empowering addiction treatment programs are available to adolescents who may be seeking an individualized treatment plan. It is important to focus on the treatment of underlying issues and through the use of a self-empowering approach, adolescents can be offered a practical solution for their well-being. Individuals can learn problem solving skills, good health habits, and self-control to aid them in learning how to live life with a purpose. It is important to have a treatment plan customized for a specific individual because they may want to address specific problems that traditional 12 step programs may not.

How much influence do parents have over alcohol use by their adolescent children? Can parenting style serve as alcohol treatment and prevention? Researchers at Brigham Young University examined how different parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful) related to adolescent alcohol use and heavy drinking after controlling for peer use, religiosity, and other variables (Bahr & Hoffmann, 2010).

The researchers recruited 4,983 adolescents in grades 7 through 12 as participants. Participants were asked to answer surveys about drinking habits and parenting styles of their parents. The researchers used a structural equation model to estimate the direct and indirect associations of parenting style with alcohol use and heavy drinking.

Results showed that adolescents with authoritative parents were less likely to drink heavily compared to adolescents with parents of the other three parenting styles. Religiosity was also found to be negatively associated with heavy drinking after controlling for other variables.

The researchers concluded that authoritative parenting appears to have direct and indirect associations on the risk of heavy drinking among adolescents. Authoritative parenting refers to a style with above-average monitoring as well as above-average support (whereas authoritarian parenting provides low levels of support and high levels of monitoring). Authoritarian parenting doubled the risk of adolescent heavy drinking. Indulgent parenting (low monitoring and high support) nearly tripled the risk of adolescent heavy drinking.

This study suggests that authoritative parenting helps adolescents to avoid heavy drinking even when they have peers who drink. This study is also notable because it distinguishes between alcohol use and heavy drinking.

"While parents didn't have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking," said co-author Stephen Bahr. "The adolescent period is kind of a transitional period and parents sometimes have a hard time navigating that. Although peers are very important, it's not true that parents have no influence."

"Realize you need to have both accountability and support in your relationship with your adolescent," co-author John Hoffmann added. "Make sure that it's not just about controlling their behavior -- you need to combine knowing how they spend their time away from home with a warm, loving relationship."

Bahr SJ, Hoffmann JP. Parenting style, religiosity, peers, and adolescent heavy drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2010; 4(71): 539-543.

About the Author: self-empowering alcohol treatment alternative to AA

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Studies on Using Nutrients For Mental Health

Studies on Using Nutrients For Mental Health

Submitted by: Randi Fredricks, Ph.D.

The first recorded nutritional experiment is in the Bible in the Book of Daniel. As the story goes, the king of Babylon captured Daniel and his friends during an invasion of Israel. When the king invited them to eat his rich foods and wine, Daniel and his friends declined. They explained that they preferred vegetables, beans and water in accordance with their Jewish dietary restrictions. The king agreed to allow them their diet on a trial basis. Daniel and his friends ate their diet for 10 days. Afterward, the king compared their health to that of his men who had been on the richer diet of heavy meats and wine. The king concluded that Daniel and his friends appeared healthier and were allowed to continue with their diet.

Over the course of time, scientists have continually investigated the effect diet and nutrition have on well-being. By the 20th century, scientists had used nutrition in the treatment of every major psychiatric illness. The following represents a small sample of the large body of research linking diet, nutrients and mental health.

Biotin, also known B7, stimulates the body to produce energy. Dietary research suggests that a substantial number of women develop marginal or subclinical biotin deficiency during normal pregnancy, requiring supplementation. This is significant to mental health as proper prenatal nutrition is thought to help prevent postpartum depression. A deficiency of biotin, and other B vitamins including B6, B9, and B12, can lead to other types of depression as well. In addition, biotin has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of chronic stress and fatigue.

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in our body, is important for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle function, hormone secretion and heartbeat regulation. Calcium is especially important for people with a history of eating disorders, smoking, and addiction to alcohol or drugs. These behaviors are associated with bone loss and osteoporosis. Calcium has a positive influence on mood and can be helpful with depression. However, calcium supplementation by people with bipolar disorder should be taken with caution as manic symptoms have been reported. This means that bipolar patients at risk for osteoporosis who need calcium supplementation should be carefully monitored.

Choline is helpful for making acetylcholine, a brain chemical involved with memory and thought processes.In a clinical study of bipolar disorder patients, choline twice a day yielded remarkable results; with over 90% of participants having a substantial reduction in manic symptoms, while 80% had a reduction in all mood symptoms. Choline has also been associated with improving memory, preventing cognitive decline, and improving the functioning of brain cells in Alzheimer's patients.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) play a major supporting role in brain function. The brain and the myelin sheath (that protects the neurons) are about 75% fat. If the brain doesn't get adequate essential fatty acids, it can't function properly. Research has shown essential fatty acid supplementation has a beneficial effect in children with attention disorder and learning difficulties.Essential fatty acids have also been shown to lessen the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. In a study of hospitalized schizophrenics, fish oil (a source of omega-3 fatty acids) led to significant improvement in symptoms over a six-week period.

Folic acid works with B12 to form new cells and is one of a number of
nutrients that are considered helpful in preventing postpartum depression.
Folic acid supplementation has been helpful in treating depression in general as well as schizophrenia, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Inositol has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of depression,panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Inositol can be effective in the treatment of eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

L-carnitine, carnitine for short, is a nitrogen-containing compound that assists in fat metabolism. Carnitine can alleviate the symptoms of ADHD,86 chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. Significant improvements in cognitive function have also been observed using carnitine supplementation in a number of studies investigating mental decline in the elderly.

Magnesium has a long history of being used to treat anxiety, stress, and sleep problems. A study in Germany revealed that magnesium helped to alleviate the symptoms of depression in patients with chronic pain. Magnesium has also been shown to help with insomnia, ADHD, and chronic fatigue.

Vitamin B6 can be helpful for autistic children, can help alleviate psychosis in schizophrenic patients,and attenuate depression associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Vitamin B12 is one of the most useful vitamins in the treatment of mental health. Observational studies have determined that as many as 30% of depressive patients are deficient in vitamin B12 and that subsequent supplementation alleviates the symptoms of depression Other clinical research with vitamin B12 realized an improvement in 50 to 80% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Vitamin E has been used in the prevention or slowing of dementia and has slowed cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease.Studies have also shown vitamin E to be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of ADHD, schizophrenia, and chronic stress.

While nutritional therapy treats people using dietary supplements, it also focuses on diet. Whole foods are an important part of diet therapy, because they carry live nutrients that supplements do not. Supplements play a useful role when diet alone does not supply sufficient nutrients. However, diet should be the primary source of nutrition.

About the Author: Dr. Randi Fredricks is a psychotherapist and author of several books, including Healing and Wholeness: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mental Health. She works in San Jose, California. Visit Dr. Fredricks' websites http://www.RandiFredricks.com and http://www.SanJoseCounselling.com.

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These Simple Exercises May Save Your Life

High Angle View of Two Young Women Running on Treadmills in a Gym
High Angle View...

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by

Joseph

Walking and other aerobic exercises can significantly reduce breast cancer risk, a recent study suggests. According to a report published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, moderate daily exercise lowers breast cancer risk in premenopausal women. This first of its kind study provides remarkable evidence that physical exercise may have a huge impact on breast cancer prevention.

University of Minnesota researchers selected 391 women (age 18 - 30 years) for participation in the Women in Steady Exercise Research (WISER) study whom were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an aerobic exercise group consisting of 212 women or a non exercise control group consisting of 179 women.

For the next 16 weeks the exercise group participated in 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week while the control group went about their usual lifestyle routine i.e. no exercise intervention all of whom were asked to maintain their baseline body weight for the duration of the experiment. It's important to bear in mind that the BMI of the women who participated in the WISER study ranged from 18 - 40 kg/m2.

Initially the women worked out on treadmills, elliptical machines, and stair-steppers at about 65 to 70% of their age predicted heart rate but the intensity of exercise was increased by 5% every four weeks until they had reached 80- 85% of their age predicted maximum heart rate.

The women in the exercise group also had access to a personal trainer who instructed them on proper use of the equipment, monitored their heart rate, and reviewed the exercise logs which the women completed at the end of each workout.

Meanwhile, the control group was instructed to maintain their usual lifestyle and make no changes to their eating habits.

Over the course of time, 73 women dropped out of the study (47 belonged the exercise group and 26 controls). But he roughly 78 % who remained in the aerobic exercise group (165) and the 86 % who stayed in the control group (153 women) gave Smith and her team plenty of data  about exercise's effects on hormones that could cause breast cancer.

 

Exercise Changes The Way The Body Works


They learned women in the exercise group had "significant improvements in body composition and aerobic fitness without changes in body weight." These women also lowered their daily caloric intake by 18 kcal/day (the women in both groups completed self-reported 3 day food records).

On the other hand, even though controls drastically reduced their daily caloric intake by 224 kcal/day their body composition, aerobic fitness and body weight did not change.

When researchers analyzed the women's urinary estrogens and metabolites they noted differences between the two groups: most notably that women who exercised for 150 minutes per week experienced changes in estrogen metabolism.

These women underwent changes to the ratio of certain estrogen metabolites. More specifically, they experienced increased urinary levels of 2-OHE1 and decreased urinary levels of 16alpha-OHE1 levels.

By contrast, women in the control group did not experience any changes the urinary levels of 2OHE1 and 16alpha-OHE1. The changes in the ratio the metabolites observed in the exercise group were, in the researchers words "in a direction consistent with reduction of breast cancer risk."

 

To put it bluntly, the WISER study provides evidence that exercise is good for the body.

 

Women who participate in aerobic activities such as stair climbing, ellipitical exercise and even walking can significantly lower their chances for breast cancer by changing the way their body works.

But more work needs to be done. Scientists don't yet know why exercise caused the changes they witness only that they did occur. Therefore lead scientist Alma Smith and her colleagues have called for more research to "investigate the exact mechanisms by which estrogen leads to these favorable estrogen metabolism changes."

 

It's time to put your trust in Jesus who is the Son of God.

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Article Reference 

Smith AJ, Phipps WR, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, & Kurzer MS (2013). The effects of aerobic exercise on estrogen metabolism in healthy premenopausal women. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 22 (5), 756-64 PMID: 23652373

 

"These Simple Exercises May Save Your Life" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.

 

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3 Ways to Maintain Positive Focus (Even When Your Life is a Mess!)

3 Ways to Maintain Positive Focus (Even When Your Life is a Mess!)

Submitted by: Melissa Maypole

Do you ever feel like everything is your life is negative? We all have times in our lives when everything seems to be going wrong, and during those times, it can be very easy to lose perspective. The temptation to curl up in a corner or pull the sheets over our heads is something that everyone has experienced at some time or another—whether we’d like to admit it or not. Instead of succumbing to the temptation, though, there are some coping strategies you can use to get through this hectic or emotional time in your life without losing your positive outlook.

1. Focus on the small things.

Yes, we’ve been told not to sweat the small stuff, and that’s excellent advice. However, it’s not wise to ignore every minute detail. Sometimes when all the big things in your life seem to be falling apart (think finances, relationships, etc.), it can be very grounding to focus in on the things that are going right, however small they may seem. Are you thankful for the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning or a fall day that’s not too hot and not too cold? Though they may appear insignificant compared to the looming problems in your life, don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. You’d be surprised at how a moment of gratitude (over anything at all!) can transform your entire day.

2. Reach out to others.

Many of us pride ourselves on holding things together even when things get tough. Determination and perseverance are great attributes, but when you find yourself struggling to keep a smile on your face, it may be time to reach out to those people in your life who you can count on to help. Not only will this ease the burden caused by excessive stress, but it will also serve as a reminder that you have a circle of support. We weren’t meant to do this life alone, so don’t try to. Reach out to those around you and allow yourself to feel gratitude for them. If you feel a tug of guilt, remind yourself that they too are benefiting from lending a helping hand.

3. Find moments of quiet.

When problems arise in our lives, we often find ourselves scurrying around (either mentally or physically) trying to fix things. Though this is a natural human response, it can sometimes do more harm than good. What we really need in these tough times is the opportunity to experience quiet—to be alone with our true selves, whether it be through prayer or meditation or both. Practicing quiet on a regular basis can put you back in touch with your authentic self—you know, the one who is steadfast and untouched by these surface-level problems that have you feeling like you’re losing it!

When our lives get messy, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama. Don’t! Remember, everything in this life is temporary, so this too shall pass! Making an intentional effort to stay positive through tough times is a great spiritual practice and will pay off by granting you more strength and peace in the long run. As hard as it may be in the moment, make an effort to be thankful for these experiences that will leave you better off in the long run.

About the Author: For more tips and great information on how to deal with stress, check out ClearYourStress.com. You'll also find many guided exercises and meditation methods to relieve stress, connect with your inner wisdom, and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Visit ClearYourStress.com now to get started.

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Top 20 Rich in Fibers Foods to Relieve Your Constipation Fast

Top 20 Rich in Fibers Foods to Relieve Your Constipation Fast

Submitted by: John Darton

It is perfectly normal to obtain one or two tender, well-formed feces that is very easily to exude, bowel motions each day, with no energy of pushing way too hard. It's not typical to miss moving one’s bowel every day.

A person is constipated if the feces is dried up and hard, encounters difficulty and pushing on passing out feces and had unpredictable bowel motions.

One of the several elements influencing bowel motions is soluble fiber consumption. If there's sufficient dietary fiber in the diet, the dietary fiber combines and provides mass to the feces.

Every small particle of the dietary fiber takes up obtainable fluid and grows into a minute gel bead. These very small particles give the feces size, shape and moisture content, which can make it easy for the colon to maneuver along and discharge the feces.

To attain healthy and balanced bowel motion, enough water must also be determined. There should be sufficient water for consumption and sufficient lubrication on the lining of the colon.

With reduced dietary fiber within the diet plan, constipation is likely to take place. Dietary fiber may be soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber melts in water and develops a gel-like material that decelerates digestion.

It can help hold off the draining of the stomach and tends to make one sense to be full that at some point regulates rise in weight. Insoluble fiber, in contrast, is regarded as gut-healthy roughage because of its laxative effect. It provides a bulk to the diet. Therefore, blocking constipation.

This fiber doesn't break up in water, but it has a tendency to go through the digestive tract to accelerate the passage of food and waste materials through the bowel. Inadequate fiber in the diet regime certainly leads to constipation.

Minimal fiber diet also takes on a significant part in constipation, particularly among the aging adults. Older adults frequently lack fascination with eating and have a tendency to pick junk foods that are reduced fiber.

Some elements, such as lack of teeth could also push older people to consume much softer foods that happen to be highly processed and lacking in dietary fiber.

A nutritional program needs to include sufficient fiber, amounting to 20 to 35 grams daily. This quantity can assist to develop soft, bulky feces. A physician or dietitian is capable of doing great assistance in preparing a suitable high-fiber diet.

It is advisable to seek advice from them for well-balanced food. Foods that are full of fiber consist of whole grains, bran cereals, beans, fresh vegetables and fruits, such as broccoli, asparagus, apple, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, grapes and prunes.

If someone has already been struggling with constipation, he should restrict on the consumption of highly processed foods and dairy foods such as milk, cheese and ice cream.

These food types comprise high-fat but minimal fiber. These are the basic top twenty foods that are known in high dietary fiber content.

1. Bran cereals
2. Dried beans, legumes and peas
3. Fresh and frozen green peas
4. Dried figs, apricot and dates
5. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
6. Fresh of frozen lima beans
7. Sweet corn
8. Whole wheat and whole-grain cereal products
9. Broccoli
10. Bananas
11. Coconut
12. Brussels sprouts
13. Cherries
14. Baked potato with skin
15. Green snap beans, pole beans and broad beans
16. Plums, pears and apples
17. Prunes and raisins
18. Spinach, kale, and turnip greens
19. Nuts, including peanuts and walnuts
20. Carrots

These food types could be merged in a diet plan to guarantee ample intake of fiber. Sufficient dietary fiber in the diet plan minimizes the chance of experiencing constipation.

About the Author: And finally, if you are interested in more natural remedies for constipation, please check out our Natural Remedies For Constipation site

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10 Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol

10 Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol

Submitted by: Catherine Saxelby

The risk of high cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, along with smoking, high blood pressure, carrying excess weight, family history and a sedentary lifestyle. So it pays to have your doctor check your cholesterol regularly (particularly if you’re over 50) and look at ways to keep it down.

High cholesterol is usually defined as over 5.5 millimoles per litre (mmol/L).

However if you already have heart problems or have one or more risk factors, your doctor may prefer to keep it lower at 4.5 mmol/L or less. You need to discuss any blood tests with your doctor to work out the best course of action for you.

10 steps to lower your cholesterol

Here are 10 steps to help reduce your blood cholesterol if it’s high. They are listed in order of priority with the most important steps at the top.

1.Maintain a healthy weight. Often just losing excess weight if you’re overweight will automatically bring your cholesterol down. 2.Steer clear of saturated and trans fats. These are the ‘bad’ fats that raise cholesterol. You’ll find them in fried fast foods, salty snack foods, commercial pies, pastries and biscuits, fatty meat, deli meats (salami, bacon, sausages), chips, fries and doughnuts. 3.Eat small quantities of ‘good’ fats which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are found in oils, soft spreads/margarines, nuts, seeds and avocado. Allow 1-2 tablespoons of oil for cooking and salads plus 1 tablespoon spread/margarine a day. 4.Eat 3 serves of sterol-enriched foods each day. Currently there are spreads (Logicol, Proactiv), milk and yoghurt (Heart Active). 5.Eat a handful of nuts (30-50g) a day, preferably unsalted. 6.Eat plenty of soluble fibre in oats, barley, psyllium and legumes (beans, peas). This can sweep cholesterol out of the body via the bowel. 7.Eat generous serves of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants. Aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day. Red wine, tea and dark chocolate also add antioxidants, but you don’t need heaps of these, 1-2 serves is ok. 8.Buy ‘whole grains’ whenever you can. Shop for grainy bread, muesli, oat cereals, cereals marked ‘whole grain’, and brown rice. 9.Swap to low-fat or skim milk and yoghurt. Buy reduced-fat cheese or use cottage/farm cheese. 10.Limit cholesterol-rich foods such as liver, kidney, brains, egg yolks, prawns and calamari (squid). You can eat them twice a week and make sure they’re cooked in a good oil. For most people, eggs are the food they miss most, so it pays to find egg replacers or recipes that don’t use eggs as binders (meat loaf or muffins).

Eat a handful of nuts (30-50g) a day, preferably unsalted. 6.Eat plenty of soluble fibre in oats, barley, psyllium and legumes (beans, peas). This can sweep cholesterol out of the body via the bowel. 7.Eat generous serves of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants. Aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day. Red wine, tea and dark chocolate also add antioxidants, but you don’t need heaps of these, 1-2 serves is ok. 8.Buy ‘whole grains’ whenever you can. Shop for grainy bread, muesli, oat cereals, cereals marked ‘whole grain’, and brown rice. 9.Swap to low-fat or skim milk and yoghurt. Buy reduced-fat cheese or use cottage/farm cheese. 10.Limit cholesterol-rich foods such as liver, kidney, brains, egg yolks, prawns and calamari (squid). You can eat them twice a week and make sure they’re cooked in a good oil. For most people, eggs are the food they miss most, so it pays to find egg replacers or recipes that don’t use eggs as binders (meat loaf or muffins).

About the Author: Catherine Saxelby is a dietician and nutritionist who writes articles on health and well being for Australian health insurance provider ahm. To know more about,visit our site http://www.ahm.com.au/

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One Quick Trick to Reboot Your Mood

One Quick Trick to Reboot Your Mood

Submitted by: Janet Wolfe

When we are feeling especially low, it doesn’t help that we have a natural tendency to fret and stew about how we are feeling, until we’ve made ourselves worse than when the bad feelings started. We need something to short circuit what we are doing to ourselves. We need someone to slap us and yell, “snap out of it.” Well, maybe not yell.

But there is a way to reboot our minds and our moods, and it caught me by surprise just the other day. Getting a surprise is always fun, because we can be doubly impacted when things are unexpected.

I was just having a really rough day, and going down fast. As some point I stopped to make some coffee, and had to open a new bag. Suddenly, I was transported. It even made me laugh, because all my troubles had disappeared in the aroma of Arabica beans. Heaven for my senses, and a reboot for my brain.

I laughed because I was aware of how effective this simple action had been. Nothing had actually changed in my life, but I had found the short circuit switch. A three second vacation in a Paris café.

Scientists have a name for this, olfactory memory. And we have all experienced it. The scent of a cologne that our grandmother used to wear, the smell of cookies someone used to bake for us, that earthy smell of our first dog. Whenever we smell these things, our brains immediately take us back to another time or place, without us doing anything conscious to cause it.

Our sense of smell does this more effectively than any other of our senses. Of course an old favorite song can stir fond memories, but what happens with scent is an observed physical phenomenon.

Just a Hop and a Skip From Nose to Emotions

If you dive into the science literature, you will find that there are only two synapses between the olfactory nerve and the amygdala, which is part of the brain controlling our emotions. Two steps are nothing in the immense system of our brain. It probably takes more time to turn on a light bulb.

This process short circuits whatever mood we are in right now, because for at least a few seconds, it carries our mood back to the origin of the smell. Grandma’s house, or wherever we felt safe and happy.

You Can Create Your Own Scent Vacation

When you are aware of the power of the smells in your life, you can use them to raise your mood, or reset your emotions. We get overloaded from the scent of air fresheners and laundry additives, so it is best to keep our favorite smells separate from those foisted on us.

Some scents are said to have specific qualities, peppermint to help us focus, lavender to help us relax. Try some essential oils and use them specifically when you need a lift. Candles may work too, if you are not allergic.

Do you have favorite scents that automatically make you feel better? Do you get a kick from the scent of chocolate, even without eating it? Or feel brightened by a special flower? Leave me a comment, I’d enjoy hearing what scents mean to you.

About the Author: For more tips and great information on how to beat depression, check out ClearYourStress.com. You'll also find many guided exercises and meditation methods to relieve stress, connect with your inner wisdom, and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Visit ClearYourStress.com now to get started.

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Valuable Fitness Tips You Should Remember Every Day

Valuable Fitness Tips You Should Remember Every Day

Submitted by: Janee Francoeur

It can be extremely difficult to stick to a healthy routine for a prolonged period even though most people want to be healthy and fit. Every year, people make resolutions, promising to themselves that they'll lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. But after only a few weeks, they throw their resolutions out the window. It's crucial that you pick a weight loss program or exercise program that best matches your personality and goals; otherwise, you'd only be wasting your time because you're more likely to not get the results you are seeking. In this article, you'll read about a handful of fitness tips to help you get started on your search for the right approach for you.

Choosing a realistic physical fitness goal is the first thing you need to do. If you haven't exercised in years, don't plan on running in a triathlon next month. If you're fifty pounds overweight, it's not realistic to expect to be at your ideal weight three weeks from now. So instead of going for a specific result, go for results measured by your efforts instead. Doing a certain amount of exercise is a reasonable goal. You could also commit yourself to eating better everyday. Losing a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time is the best way to set yourself up for disappointment when you make this type of goal. So instead of trying to go for a certain date, just know that you're moving in the right direction, without a specific time period to achieve them by.

When exercising, you need to make sure you warm up. However, you also need to cool down after you're down. This means slowing down and not just stopping all at once. For instance, if your workout session involves strength training, you shouldn't stop doing this intense physical activity so abruptly. You can cool down by getting on the exercise bike or on the treadmill. You can walk for a few minutes after a good run outdoors. Stretching is also a good way to cool down after a vigorous workout. Stretching helps prevent your muscles from becoming stiff as a result of lactic acid forming in your muscles. Cooling down shouldn't take you a long time to do. About 10 minutes should be enough time.

A very simple, yet effective, exercise you and practically everyone can do is walking. You can benefit a great deal from this simple exercise. You can walk regardless of where you live. You can walk around your neighborhood, in the mall, a track, sidewalks, and practically anywhere. Your fitness level doesn't matter either because you can start walking. If you've led a sedentary lifestyle up to this point, you can begin by taking slow walks on level surfaces. As you get fitter you can increase your pace and distance, or start walking uphill. Walking doesn't have to be a solitary activity. Invite your partner, a few neighbors, or even your friends to go walking with you regularly.

When it comes to having a fitness program, very many advantages to being on one. Not only will you have more energy, but you will be less likely to develop certain illnesses and lose weight. If you can stand up to the challenge, and do your fitness regimen regularly, you will definitely reap the benefits of doing so. Yet if you keep your goals in mind, and implement the above tips, you'll find that it's well worth the effort.

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Why Effective Weight Loss & Muscle Gain Is Guaranteed To Fail If You Go Too Hard, Too Fast

Why Effective Weight Loss & Muscle Gain Is Guaranteed To Fail If You Go Too Hard, Too Fast

Submitted by: Ben Kong

Everyone wants to get in shape and they want it yesterday. Rapid results, pack on 10 pounds of muscle in 10 days go from obese to shredded in 6 weeks – you know what I’m talking about.

The desire for fast results is what kills the progress of the masses time and time again. It is also responsible for endless cycles of small successes followed by the massive frustration of having to start all over again. Of course many parties in the ‘fitness industry’ have a vested interest in keeping you in a continuous cycle of hope followed by crushing failure – more money for them.

Lean muscular physiques for life are built on sustainability, consistency and a profound understanding of how your body actually works.

(Before you start a training program, make sure you understand how important the Big 3 exercises are to the core of your success - here's why: http://www.ultimatebodysuccess.com/e-course8.html)

The reality of frenetically pursuing results faster than is sustainable sets you up for abject failure in many ways. First of all, training too hard for your capabilities too often, will more than likely lead to an injury of some sort that sends your progress to a grinding halt. If you can’t train then you can’t get any results can you? If you don’t hurt yourself, going gung ho before you have the required mental toughness backed by a calm sense of purpose to keep you grounded, will rapidly lead to mental burnout. If you don’t feel like training your progress will stall, that’s if you can even bring yourself to walk into the gym at all. We have seen it literally hundreds of times over the years. You will see a person training diligently for 2 weeks and then never see them again.

(one of the key's to transforming your body is to 'not let life get in the way' - here's why: http://www.ultimatebodysuccess.com/e-course3.html)

The overwhelming marketing hype catering to human impatience is one of the most destructive in the fitness industry today. It directly causes the failure of so many people who start with an honest desire to improve their bodies by entirely warping their perceptions on what it takes to succeed. Don’t let this happen to you.

Ah but you say: “I know or heard of this person that went all out for 3 months and got this amazing result with their body.”

No doubt, it can happen. A very small percentage of people will go hard for a short period and manage to keep it up to get a result for themselves. However this is completely irrelevant because the changes made are almost never permanent and moreover the path and lifestyle required to get them there is a complete dead end.

Sure you get into great shape by harsh dieting and shocking the body. Now what? If you stop your body will rebel and slingshot you back to where you started because it was forced into a crisis situation and has not been given time to adapt properly. If you don’t stop, eventually your body will break down anyway and force you to whether you like it or not.

Moreover, even if you could continue the crash results regime indefinitely, it is no way to live. Your food intake and selection would be restricted and the repetitive grind and anti-social lifestyle that it takes to make an enforced program of rapid results work, would erase every last scrap of enjoyment from your life.

Aside from the physical and lifestyle unquestionability, the simple fact is that you will not have made the necessary mental changes if you rush for results. You will not have acquired the calm sense of purpose of the fitness elite who have taken the time to understand their bodies and how they work at their very best.

This will mean that you have not acquired one of the most critical keys to sculpting a lean muscular physique and being able to keep it and improve it year after year. Taking time to reach your goals by working with your body will add a powerful certainty to your training that comes from developing an understanding of exactly how your body responds to training. Armed with this insight, your training will become more productive than ever before because you will know how to train your body for maximum results and at a pace that ensures the progress you make is permanent.

A series of soul destroying dead end paths, or a lean, muscular physique that is yours to keep for life.

It’s your decision.

© All Rights Reserved 2007

About the Author: Ben Kong is the author and co-creator of Ultimate Body Success - The Impossible To fail, Total Lifestyle System For Creating Your Best Body Ever. Click the link now to find out once and for all how to profoundly transform your body beyond belief. http://www.ultimatebodysuccess.com/freeReport.php

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