Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Healthy Tips for Eating During the Holidays

Health and holiday do not cancel each other out. It may take a bit of careful steering on your part, but it is possible to eat, drink, and be merry without losing sight of the nutrition goals you've been pursuing all year

Shift Gears. The road ahead will be filled with lots of delicious detours but that doesn't mean you have to lose your way. If you've been following a weight loss regimen, Downshift for the next few weeks and keep your eye on maintaining your present weight.

Prepare for the Trip. If you know you're heading for a party at night, the worst thing to do is to starve all day. Just the opposite. Eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch but make them a bit more low-calorie than usual. And if time permits, increase your exercise in preparation. Add an extra thirty minutes to your gym time or leave the car in a central place and walk to all your errands, returning to stow your bundles in the trunk and starting out again. In other words, use your day to earn your night.

Cruising. Don't dive into the appetizers, but don't avoid them either. Grab a plate, the smallest you can find and cruise past, then cruise past again, scanning your choices. Look for raw foods or ones that have been prepared simply and naturally. You'll find that the fiber and texture of whole grains and veggies will satisfy you just as much as crunchy fried foods and dip-soggy chips. And once you've made your choice, move as far away from the buffet table as you can.

Maintain the Speed Limit. Eat consciously, employing what mindful meditation practitioners call the Four S's - Sit, Savor the texture of each mouthful, Slowly chew, Still your mind.
Or if you prefer, take the opposite tack. Get your mind off food. Plate in hand, use this time to circulate and socialize. After all isn't that why you go to a party? Engage your mouth primarily in talking, and only secondarily in eating.

Unlawful Drinking. Eggnog is definitely a felony and sweet mixed drinks, misdemeanors. If you prefer an alcoholic beverage and still want to follow the rules limit yourself to white wine. But start off with a glass of seltzer. The carbonation will slow down the process of drinking while allowing you to circulate, glass in hand like everyone else.. And should you want more than one glass of wine, first have another seltzer.

Rough Road Ahead. Sitting down at the dinner table is fraught with temptation with all those plates and platters passed your way, but there are a few ways to deal with it without drawing attention to your predicament.
Fill your plate, with salad and vegetables taking up half, and use the other half for whatever meats or sides that may tempt you. Starting with salad, eat one foodstuff at a time, saving whatever is your favorite for last. This counteracts the tendency people have to unconsciously shovel food into their mouths. You just may find that by the time you get to your saved treasure, you're full.

And when table mates pass the dessert you just may find yourself saying. "That looks delicious but I just can't take another bite!"

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Friday, November 15, 2013

The Skinny About Fats: Common Myths About Fats Unraveled

Fat and cholesterol are bad for your health. You must have heard this phrase countless times, even from nutrition experts, and shrank at the thought of falling victim to them. Just imagine the thought of developing a heart condition and you decide to follow the misleading advice. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if there is any proof to ascertain the claims? These are myths that have been there for a long time now and they have polluted our minds about the whole issue of fats. The truth has finally dawned and the true nature of fat is out.

People have been led to believe that the only way to live a long healthy life is to go for a diet with a low fat content. This was based on scientific research carried out in late 1960's and early 1970's. Their findings associated conditions like heart disease to high fat intake. After the recommendation that people desist from using too much fat, high incidences of obesity were reported. Even before recovery from the obesity epidemic, the diabetes menace followed, taking down many as its victims. The two occurrences can be attributed to the decline in the intake of healthy foods like eggs and meat, and instead turning to high sugar foods.

For a long time now, we have been made to believe that vegetables and processed seeds are good for our body. Examples include corn and soybean. It has been proved that this category of foods has a high content of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids. This component has a very close association with inflammation, and increases risks of heart disease when it is taken in excess. The toxic levels in the unsaturated component are very high, which means that it is a health hazard.

Another myth is the relationship between Saturated and Trans fats. The latter are unsaturated and have a long shelf life due to their chemical composition. The method of preparation involves the use of high heat and pressure and hydrogen is used as a catalyst. Despite this, it has been propagated that the two are similar in composition. To put it straight, the only similarity in the two is the shelf life. Otherwise, Trans fats are toxic, unlike the saturated fats which are safe for human consumption. Some of the foods that have saturated fats are butter, coconut oil, and meat.

A fat person is viewed as a heavy consumer of fats. That is an outrageous untruth that many have believed. It is true that fats have more calories than carbohydrates and proteins. It is also a fact that you are what you eat. However, this doesn’t mean that you gain extra weight when you use high fat diets. On the contrary, studies have shown that people who use these foods are more likely to lose weight easily as compared to those using low fats.

Prior to this discovery, processed margarine was viewed as better than natural margarine. Just like the others, this is a myth that has no basis at all. If anything, most manufactured margarines have high levels of Trans fats, a very dangerous component as you already know. The discussion can go and on but the bottom line is that fats are not dangerous for your wellness. So without fear or contempt, you can go ahead and have your butter and coconut oils.

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Genetically Modified Organisms: What You Need to Know About Genetically Modified Foods

Just as acquiring chiropractic care is a wise way to avoid many needless surgeries or medicinal treatments, avoiding genetically altered food in favor of organic varieties is crucial to good nutrition and general wellness. Read below for more information regarding genetically modified foods.

What is a genetically modified organism?

A genetically modified organism, which is also known as a GMO, is a process completed in a laboratory in which genes are taken from one species and inserted into another. This process is accomplished in an effort to transfer a desired characteristic or trait. This process is often employed to create genetically modified foods.

Is the generic engineering process precise?

As of right now, the generic engineering process is crude. Accuracy is an issue when it comes to inserting or transferring new genes. This is in large part due to a poor understanding of how DNA works. Therefore, the possible reactions and side effects pertaining to a person's health or the health of a plant species is hard to predict.

Genetically engineered foods commonly found on the market today:

The foods listed below are an example of some types of foods that are commonly genetically modified.


Bt-corn (Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium) is a type of sweet corn that has been genetically modified to include an insect-killing gene. According to the USDA, farmers in every state of the US are currently growing at least some form of genetically modified corn. However, South Dakota leads the pack as 47 percent of its corn crops are of a genetically modified variety.


Tomatoes are a common genetically modified food. In fact, they were the very first genetically modified food to be produced for the general market. At first, they were modified to increase their ability to withstand frost. They are currently being altered to make them last longer.


Since squash is more susceptible to viral diseases than other crops, scientist genetically modified it to ensure crop survival. Although this was successful, the plan backfired when cucumber beetles began to feed on the GM squash. This eventually caused the squash to wilt as the beetles carried bacteria from unhealthy plants onto the GM squash. In addition, it is suspected that GM squash has now started growing wild. This is a problem as GM foods should always be grown in controlled environments. The consequences of GM foods becoming introduced into wild plant species is unknown. However, many fear it could lead to environmental issues such as an increase in bacterial diseases among plants.

What is wrong with GMO foods?

In many cases, genetically modified foods have been altered for a good reason. Whether it be to extend its shelf life or increase its taste or its nutritional value. However, the unexpected consequences as was just discussed such as environmental issues and the impact on the human body are impossible to predict. Therefore, until further studies have been accomplished and all risks are removed, consuming GMO food is unwise.

How does one avoid eating GM foods?

Since GM foods are prevalent in today’s food market, it can be difficult for a consumer to ensure they are not eating a GM food. Thankfully, following the tips below will help consumers keep these products out of their diets:
  • Look for the non-GMO seal: Foods with no genetic modification will have a seal showcasing the fact that it is non-GMO. Dairy products may contain the label “No rBGH or rBST” or “artificial hormone-free.”
  •  Buy organic foods: Foods that are certified organic cannot contain any GMO ingredients. Look for products with the label 100 percent organic or made with organic ingredients.
  •  Avoid risky foods: If there is no label that specifies if a product is indeed organic or not, be leery of the most commonly genetically altered foods and ingredients, which are Hawaiian Papaya, sugar beets, cottonseed, canola, soybeans, corn and some yellow squash and zucchini.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Flu Shot: Do You Really Need It?

With flu season just around the corner, it may seem tempting to get a flu shot to prevent sickness and avoid slowing down. Although immunization may seem like a good idea, it is not necessary to take a shot to avoid the flu and it may not always be the right answer for good health.

Potential to Get the Flu

A flu shot is not infallible. When a strain of the virus is not included in the immunization, it may still be possible to get the flu. The flu virus is constantly changing, evolving and taking on new strains. That is the reason that it is possible to get sick every year with the same illness. The body has to create defenses against those new strains.

The problem with a flu shot is that it may not prevent the flu. It only protects against the specific strains that are in the immunization, not others that individuals may be exposed to during the cold and flu season.

Potential Side Effects

The side effects of the shot are another reason to avoid getting a shot. Potential side effects range from mild allergic reactions to severe seizures that develop as a result of the ingredients. Not only is it possible to suffer from severe reactions, the immunization may contain heavy metals that are bad for the human body.
In some cases, flu-like symptoms develop immediately after getting the shot because the immune system is compromised with the strains of the flu virus in the shot. Due to the potential side effects that may develop, it is better to avoid the shot.

Focusing on Wellness

Rather than getting a shot that has potentially harsh side effects and may not be effective against the virus, it is better to use holistic strategies to avoid getting sick. Focusing on personal health and wellness can prevent sicknesses from developing or ensure that the sickness passes very quickly.

The first step of preventing the flu is developing a strong immune system. A strong immune system requires a healthy diet that contains vitamin-rich foods, exercise and alternative measures to keep the lymphatic system in the best possible health. Chiropractic treatments can help improve the strength of the lymphatic system, which ensures that the body has a greater number of white blood cells to fight off infection and avoid sicknesses from developing.

After taking measures to strengthen the immune system, the next step of preventing the flu from developing is limiting exposure to the virus. Carry hand sanitizer and use it after shaking hands or touching public doors. Wash the hands with soap and warm water before eating any meals. Take precautions that prevent sickness from spreading so that it is less likely that the virus can get into the body.

Holistic approaches to staying healthy during the cold and flu season are better than getting a shot. A shot has potential side effects that are unpleasant, but preventative measures to limit exposure to sicknesses do not. Taking measures to strengthen the immune system is a healthier way to avoid the flu or any other sickness that is passed around as the weather changes. It will help prevent more than just the flu and it has fewer potential complications that may arise.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Gluten Free: Find Your Path Back to Health

Gluten free diets are becoming more and more common these days, as people who are on them often feel and perform better in their everyday lives. The first gluten free dieters were those who had celiac disease, meaning they were allergic to wheat and would get terribly sick if they ingested even a tiny amount of it. However, as other people began experimenting with various health and nutrition trends, gluten free diets slowly but surely became more and more popular. This has given rise to a large number of gluten free foods, dishes and even restaurants to serve this growing community of gluten free eaters. However, what are the benefits of the gluten free diet for those who don’t have Celiac disease? Is it even healthy or are they robbing themselves of important carbohydrates and nutrients? Below are some of the most noticeable benefits for those who do not have Celiac disease but have decided to live gluten free.

More energy. Those who go on the gluten free diet often claim to have more energy. This is because most gluten filled foods often make people feel full and bloated, slowing them down after a meal and beyond. Going without gluten will keep this from happening as often.

Better bowel movements. There are different levels of sensitivity to gluten out there and many people have a slight sensitivity to it that affects their bowel movements and the frequency of when this happens. People who have gone gluten free often report having better bowel movements on a more regular schedule throughout the day, as they aren't having even subtle allergic reactions to wheat anymore.

Losing weight. As most foods that contain gluten have a lot of carbohydrates and are also part of meals that have a lot of fat, people who change to the gluten free diet for their own wellness often lose a lot of weight and get in better shape in general. This is not to say going gluten free is something that should be used to lose weight, but it is a convenient side effect of the diet.

Trying new more nutritious foods. Those who go gluten free are often forced to explore and try new more nutritious foods so that they can eat throughout each day and meet all their dietary requirements on a regular basis. This leads to problem solving when eating on a regular basis, which some people take on as a challenge when doing something as simple as eating a meal.

Eating less. Eating smaller meals is a trend that comes with going gluten free as well. This is something that is being incorporated into more American diets in general as we begin to fight the obesity epidemic in our country, so going gluten free also helps on that front.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Juicing: Heath Benefits or Just Another Fad?

Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Well, one ways to do that is to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), people should eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. While eating nutritious food daily is important, many people eat little to no fruits and vegetables. One can integrate more fruits and vegetables by eating produce, taking supplements, or juicing.

Juicing is one of the hottest trends in the health industry today. Some say it’s just a fad that will soon pass like all the other health food crazes, but many feel it’s here to stay and should be added to one’s daily nutrition needs. While most would agree that incorporating fruits and vegetables is important to include into one’s daily diet for healing and overall wellness, not all agree on the method. Evaluate the following myths and health benefits to see if juicing is right for you.

Juicing myths
1 Juicing is all that is needed.

Juicing is a great way to add needed nutrients to your body, but it is not the only requirement needed to promote or maintain health. Exercise, drinking water, and cutting out “junk food” is also needed along with juicing.

2. Juicing is costly.

Some people may feel that juicing is too costly, and that you need to buy enormous amounts of fruits and vegetables. Truthfully, buying more fruits and vegetables may be a little more expensive, but is not as expensive as numerous trips to the doctor. What price would you pay for better health?

3. Juicing alone is the best way to lose weight.

Juicing will cause you to initially lose weight, but it is not to be used exclusively as a weight loss regimen. Excess juicing without adequate protein and healthy fats will cause one to also lose muscle mass.

Health Benefits of Juicing

1. Provide immediate source of vitamins and nutrients.

Nutrients are absorbed quicker into the body because juice bypasses the process of food breakdown. Fruit and vegetable juice is made up of smaller particles than solid food, and therefore can be immediately absorbed into the intestines. Juicing is also great because you can all the recommended servings in one glass a day.

2. Easy on the digestive system.

Juicing is a great way for people with gastrointestinal issues to get the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many people with digestive problems need nutrients without the added fiber or bulk.

3. Energy boost.

A green drink is perfect for breakfast and will provide you with abundant energy, and is also a great way to start the day. Juicing will give you an instant energy boost without the “crash” that you experience after eating sugary, processed foods.

While juicing may be a new trend, it is also an excellent way to add the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Juicing will increase vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake to the body, but it should not be a stand-alone regimen. Juicing should be added to a well-balanced diet.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School: Vaccinations and Your Child's Wellness

It’s that time of year again when our kids fill up their back packs and head back to school. There will always be plenty to worry about when your kids are away at school, but many parents find themselves worrying about their child’s health. Schools are a breeding ground for infection and we all know that most kids and even teenagers are not the best hand washers in the world. Most parents find comfort in the fact that their child is sufficiently vaccinated against all of the icky bugs that can make their child sick. However, there are a growing number of parents that do not find much comfort in the world of vaccines.

More and more studies are showing that the vaccines themselves can introduce a whole new level of risk to our children. Studies like that conducted by Sallie Bernard entitled “Autism, A Unique type of Mercury Poisoning” are revealing a disturbing link between the ingredients found in most vaccinations and varying degrees of Autism in children. Parents may ask, “Well, if vaccines are safe, or at least not safe for some age groups, how do I protect my child from infection?”

Our bodies become sick when our immune system has been weakened or suppressed somehow. Therefore if we want to protect our children from infection we need to strengthen that immune system. Our immune systems work at their most efficient when our entire system is balanced. Balance is the key to the work of a chiropractor. We want to assist you in bringing balance back into your body or into your child’s body.

Parents are finding more and more comfort in the fact that their children can get relief from many childhood ailments through chiropractic care. Some of the most common issues that children face can be corrected or assisted through chiropractic care. Here are a few reasons some people are taking their children to see the chiropractor:

  • To build brain and nerve development
  • To build up their child’s entire system of health and wellbeing
  • To naturally build up their child’s immune system resulting in fewer colds and infections.
  • To find relief from asthma and allergies
  • To improve their child’s concentration
  • To address behavioral disorders
  • To address digestive problems

Any parent can read that list and quickly pick at least one problem they have faced recently with their child. Most parents would pick out several that they have dealt with one more than one occasion. Addressing your child’s entire system of health and wellness is a far safer and more efficient way to keep them happy and healthy this school year. Consider chiropractic care as an alternative to finding your child the balance they deserve.
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