An Anti-Aging Secret

29 Jul

The Anti-Aging FruitThe desire to keep a young-youthful appearance seems to be near the top of the list for man as they age. Eating right, exercise and getting sufficient rest all play their part in helping the inevitable aging to at least be somewhat gentle!

One of the great foods to help keep aging at bay is the wonderful Avocado!! With all of the anti-oxidants they contain to fight free-radicals, they do wonders for our skin and body. But it gets better yet …

Avocados are low in carbohydrates and packed with nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and protein.

They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (the good-for-you fat) that helps boost good (HDL) cholesterol while lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol. This fat also helps to provide you with energy to carry out life’s daily tasks.

Being high in fiber, avocados help with blood sugar management. Eating a good source of fiber can help to keep your blood sugar levels regulated, which can be beneficial for anyone suffering from blood sugar problems. Fiber also helps keeps everything moving through the digestive tract thereby assisting in a healthy digestive system.

They are great for people wanting to lose weight as well! With the fat and the fiber, they help you to feel full for longer and with your blood sugar stable, your focus on food, eating and hunger manage to take a back-seat.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the benefits of eating avocados, but hopefully enough to get you to consider adding them to your menu plans.

If you’re not familiar with avocados, you can tell when they’re ripe by their look and feel. When they are dark in color, feel heavy for their size and yield to light pressure, you know they’re good to go. Just as with bananas and pears, you can put them in a brown paper bag for a few days to help them ripen faster.

Once ripe, I slice them lengthwise and twist the two halves to pull them apart. You can then slice them or cube them to put in salads or in wraps. I’ve seen people remove the seed, crack an egg into each of the holes the seed left and bake them for 20-30 minutes and eat with salsa. Mashing them up and adding a little salsa is a lazy-man’s way of making guacamole, or add them to other favorite dips. Additionally they are wonderful in smoothies as they add a real creamy texture.

Often I will blend them together with my protein powder for my breakfast or a great afternoon snack. I tend to use less water so that it comes out as a pudding. Eating it this way is very satisfying!!

Search the web for other ideas on ways to add them into your meals, but one-way or another, give them a go and reap the rewards!!

The Diet Solution Review

2 Oct

The Diet Plan Solution

The other day I was out surfing the net, looking as I always am, for good information to add to my arsenal on healthy living. I came across this website that has a program that really teaches a sound way to burn off unwanted fat. (more…)

Exercise, Sweating and Rehydrating

30 Sep

Are you and exercise buddies? Whether or not you exercise probably states the answer. Regardless, it is a proven and well known fact that there are health benefits to those who do engage in physical activity. It’s good for you to break a sweat. Read on to find out why. (more…)

Parasites – Signs, Symptoms and Send-off

27 Jul

Parasites, how familiar are you with these pesky little creatures? Though often thought to be an issue more in underdeveloped countries, parasitic infestation in people living in developed countries is thought to affect 85, possibly up to 95, percent of the population.

By definition a parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism where it obtains benefits from the host but usually causes injury to it.

In humans, parasites can range in size from a single-celled organism to a tapeworm that can reach up to 12 meters in length.

It’s not so much the question of whether you have parasites, it’s more what are you doing about it?

The side-effects of parasitic infestation can be vast and often the symptoms are thought to be related to other diseases, rather than associated with the parasites. Symptoms can include, but not limited, to any of the following:

* diarrhea and/or constipation
* gas, bloating, and cramps
* itching around the nose, ears and anus, especially at night
* persistent skin problems
* excessive nose picking
* dark circles under the eyes
* grinding teeth at night
* lack of energy
* disturbed sleep
* muscle cramps or joint pain
* immune system fatigue
* post-nasal drip
* flu-like symptoms
* anemia
* food allergies
* trouble losing or gaining weight
* rumbling and gurgling in the stomach are unrelated to hunger or eating
* bloating
* intestinal obstruction
* nausea and/or vomiting
* sore mouth and gums
* headaches
* memory loss
* depression

As everyone is unique, the effect of the parasite in one person can be completely different than that of another, where some become extremely ill, while others experience no symptoms at all.

Since parasites are rampant in the environment, contacting them happens quite easily. Avenues include:

* household pets
* inhaling contaminated dust
* drinking contaminated water
* handling raw meat and fish
* ingesting undercooked meat and fish
* contaminated fruit and vegetables
* transfer from humans to foods that are ingested
* animal and human feces
* improper hand-washing hygiene practices

Parasites can have a negative effect on the body in a few of ways. First is on the tissue that they are preying upon. Once damaged the body has to repair the cells. If the damage happens at a rate faster than the body is able to repair, issues will develop.

If parasites enter the bloodstream they can travel to any organ of the body. It is often the problems that they cause here that are misdiagnosed and therefore prescribed treatment tends to be of no benefit.

The body is further challenged by the parasites from the toxins that they expel. These waste products poison our systems causing elimination organs to have to work overtime and can thus tend to immune systems becoming fatigued or weakened. They are nasty little critters.

There are precautions you can take to help limit the likelihood of becoming infested. These include things like:

Always wash your hands thoroughly after having been outside, handling raw meat or fish, dealing with pet feces, going to the bathroom, changing diapers, etc. And teach your children this practice as well, especially if they have been playing outdoors in the dirt or sand.

Proper hand-washing is such a simple yet significant means of protecting your health. Don’t overlook it as a key component to healthy living.

Drink purified water. Though most towns and cities have systems in place to treat their water, they are not foolproof. It’s best to play it safe and have your own purification system that is in place and maintained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Diet plays a big role as well. The healthier your internal systems are, especially your intestinal tract, the less likely the parasites will be able to survive. To assist the body in having a top-notch intestinal tract, stay away from high-processed, high-sugar foods. Candida and parasites tend to exist together and thrive on sugar.

Eat foods that have anti-parasitic properties. These include garlic, onion, sage, thyme, pumpkin seeds, foods rich in Vitamin A such as yams, carrots, squash and green vegetables, as Vitamin A seems to be the best at helping the tissue resist parasites trying to embed their larvae.

To help transport the Vitamin A and lubricate the intestinal tract, it is advised to have one to two tablespoons a day of cold-pressed safflower, sesame or flax seed oil.

Wash your fruits and vegetables with a detergent that is safe to ingest, but that is able to kill parasites and their larvae.

If you discover that you are plagued with a parasitic infection, or for general protection against them, contact your local health food store and look for a product that contains some of the following ingredients:

* black walnut extract
* grapefruit seed extract
* wormwood extract
* cayenne
* garlic
* pumpkin seed
* cloves
* rosemary leaf and seed
* thyme leaf and seed
* cranberry juice extract
* slippery elm
* bromelain
* marshmallow root
* pau d’arco
* echinacea
* barberry
* milk thistle fruit

Due to the life cycle of the parasites and their larvae, the cleanse must be consumed long enough to kill them completely. Read the manufacturer’s directions. Some may direct you to consume the product for a period of time, stop for a few days and then continue. Others may require you to consume the product for three cycles of the moon. Others may have a more simplified regimen.

One thing is for certain, the sooner you get rid of these uninvited guests, the better you will look and feel. So take action now to have a healthier you.

Sleep – Why We Need It

2 Jun

It seems in living such busy lives in our fast-paced world that there is either ‘just one more’ thing to do, or we feel there is not enough time to do our ‘personal interests’, so we head to bed later and get up earlier to try and fit everything in. Is that such a bad thing? I mean, how important is sleep anyway?

Even with all the research that has been conducted in this field, sleep remains a mystery. Though the notion of the brain being ‘active’ when we are awake and ‘inactive’ when we are a sleep has been proven false, there are still many aspects of sleep that elude researchers.

Regardless of knowing everything, a few truths have emerged that seem to hold the test of time.

To be convinced that ‘something good’ happens during sleep, you need not look any farther than at a toddler. Anyone around a child whose ‘awake time’ threshold has just been crossed knows without a doubt that it is time for the child to have a nap. At such a time the child will be irritable, unruly, uncoordinated and just plain not fun to be around. Yet a nap and an hour or two later, they are a complete joy.

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines sleep as: the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.

Adults too can start to exhibit these same characteristics when sleep deprivation starts to enter the picture. Obviously with a little maturity under their belt they are better at restraining themselves from displaying the outbursts, but it is not that they are not there.

Though maybe not knowing ‘how’, there are a number of things that happen during sleep that are known.

Sleep is a building, or re-fueling time. The energy processes that have been depleted through the day are restored and made available for the new day’s activities.

Human growth hormone is released while you sleep. Obviously this is important during the growing years of children and the reason babies will sleep 14 – 15 hours a day, and children between the ages of five and twelve typically needing 10 to 11 hours.

It doesn’t end in childhood though, human growth hormone is used in tissue repair, so even as an adult, during the night the body is busy rebuilding and restoring muscles and other tissue that has been damaged during the day.

Human growth hormone is not the only hormone released during sleep, there are others as well that aid the body in rebuilding and repair. The immune system has been found to get a boost during sleep. Research has found that with sleep deprivation, the immune system becomes impaired.

Chemicals and hormones related to being able to control your appetite and weight management are also released while you sleep. Thus the importance of those trying to lose weight to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of sleep at night.

Another very important aspect, though details remain unknown, is what happens to the circuitry in the brain. Though not understood, researchers do know that with sleep deprivation, people lose their ability to concentrate; language, memory, and sense of time are negatively affected. People lose the ability to respond to rapid changing situations and are incapable of making sound judgments.

Most people over the age of 10 dream about 4 to 6 times per night.
Researchers studying sleep patterns have noticed that when sleep deprived people finally do get to sleep, they spend a longer time than usual in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage, the stage where dreams usually occur. So though we may not understand exactly why we dream and what happens internally during them, it is obvious that this stage is a vital part of our functioning.

The amount of sleep required varies from person to person with the range between 5 and 11 hours. The average comes in at just under 8. It doesn’t matter where you fall in the range, but what does matter is that you honor your body and give it the sleep it requires, if you want to function at your best.

More Energy Anyone?

20 May

Wouldn’t it be great to have all the energy you needed to get yourself through the day? So many of us find ourselves struggling to come up with the ambition to get things done and hopefully have somewhat of a productive day. With a few minor adjustments in habits, lifestyle and attitude, you can turn the struggle into a pleasant journey that will leave you happy, satisfied and more fulfilled. We will begin with a short discussion of two common types of energy we all experience at one time or another and how they affect our lives for better or worse. They are calm energy and tense energy.

Calm energy is a state of low stress and high controlled energy. Small issues remain small and do not develop into more than what they really are. They therefore do not get in the way of things that are more important. Your physical and mental reserves are at a high level, giving you the serene confidence of an ideal flow state where you feel in continuous control.Your sense of well being and a positive outlook are in place. Due to this positive vantage point, your perception of attaining a successful result is much greater.Everything you do seems to go easily and smoothly. This is by far the energy you need to have on a regular basis.

Tense energy is the opposite. It can be the result of artificial stimulants such as caffeine, a situational effect of anger, stress or by merely being in a general rush. This type of energy cannot be maintained without a price. It interferes with the optimal neurotransmissions in the brain and in the long run leaves you exhausted; depleted mentally and physically. Continuing on this way will have negative consequences on your overall performance and will also erode your health over time. This type of energy is commonplace in many people’s lives, so much so that it seems normal. It is a sad testament to our current fast-paced culture that this seems to be the case. But this does not have to be. Here are ten steps to a positive, productive flow state that will support your efforts, making your life easier and more fulfilling.


1) Start with a good nights sleep, eight hours if possible. Without proper rest, it is difficult to maintain any kind of consistent energy level the next day. Be sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Any light will interfere with your sleep cycle by suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone released at the end of the day that signals your body that it’s time for sleep. Avoid a heavy meal at the end of the day, the process of digestion forces your body to stay active, not allowing it to settle into a good sleep pattern. Likewise, avoid caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime.

Let go of any worries and frustrations you may have. It may be helpful to come up with an affirmation you can say to yourself as you settle in each night. Something to the effect of: “This day is finished. I release any worries or concerns to my higher power and I am allowing myself to relax into a peaceful, healing sleep”.

2) When you first wake up in the morning, train yourself to think about what you will be looking forward to for the day, not what you are dreading.Focus on thoughts of gratitude for all the good things in your life, feel the warmth of this emotion glowing inside you. Give your day a positive purpose from the start.

3) Allow yourself a few minutes before rising to slowly and gently arch your back, stretch your arms and legs and turn your head from side to side. When you get up, leave your arms loose at your sides and shake them. Do the same with each leg, first one than the other. If you are up to it, drop down and do a few pushups, stand up and do a few kneebends or forward lunges. Then take three to four slow, relaxing breaths. Imagine breathing in energy that instantly courses throughout your entire body, invigorating and strengthening every cell. As you exhale slowly, breathe out all tension, fatigue and negative feelings. Any activity for just a few minutes first thing in the morning triggers your brain to produce signals to release tension and to begin the process of increasing your overall alertness. Try it, it’s amazing how little it takes to jump start your day with these simple movements.

4) Do not skip breakfast, no matter what. It does not have to be anything elaborate, but starting each day with a low-fat, high fiber breakfast is critical to continuing to develop the calm energy to carry you through the day. A toasted multi-grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese can provide a quick tasty meal, for example. Another easy to prepare breakfast is muesli. Before you go to bed, put 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats into a bowl and add just enough water to cover them.Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, add 1/2 cup of your favorite low fat yogurt and one to two teaspoons of brown sugar or honey. Top it off with pieces of apple, banana or any other fruit that strikes your fancy. This is a delicious, satisfying breakfast that has everything you need to start your day off right.

5) Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. This way you will be keeping your body’s energy furnace stoked without overwhelming it with fewer, larger meals that will leave you sluggish. Be sure to include a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats such as those found in fish and nuts. This combination will provide the fuel, maintain your energy and will leave you feeling satisfied. Also be sure to keep yourself well hydrated through the day by drinking plenty of water.

6) Focus for a few moments on your normal breathing pattern. You’ll notice that while you aren’t in an active state, your breathing may be quite shallow. Throughout the day take a couple of minutes to do some concentrated belly breathing to take more oxygen into your system. By doing this you will be assisting the oxidation level of your metabolism. First, sit up straight and face straight ahead. Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, expanding your abdomen first rather than you chest, but don’t force it. Exhale slowly and evenly, try to take twice as long breathing out as breathing in. Again, don’t force it. Repeat this sequence four times.

7) You can change your energy level instantly by ACTING energetic. Quicken your breathing pattern slightly, move more quickly and speak at a faster pace as if you’re really excited about something. Your body will respond with a noticeable surge of energy. Try this, you may be surprised at how well this works. Emotion is indeed directly influenced by motion.

8) Beware of the energy vampires! These are the people around you that siphon off your energy in several ways. Non-stop talking, continuous complaining and whining, asking an endless series of questions, incessant bragging to gain approval are just a few ways this can happen. Except for young children you may be raising, you are not responsible for anyone’s life or feelings but your own. When you can fully accept this and apply it in your life, you will find it much easier to politely end the conversation or walk away from the circumstance that would otherwise sap your energy.

9) Get into a regular exercise program. Go for a walk,develop a stretching routine, get a cardio exercise DVD suitable for your fitness level and follow along with it. Any exercise is better than none at all. Try for at least 20 minutes of activity three times a week to start.

10) Find ways to serve others and express thanks for all that you have during the day. By openly showing gratitude, you will attract more things into your life that will reinforce this feeling further. Likewise, by being of service to others you will give your self esteem and level of happiness a big boost. Either do a Google search for “volunteer” or contact your local church, school or nursing home for opportunities to serve. By taking action to be of service, you will find that good things will come into your life in unexpected ways almost as if by magic. If you continue on this path, your energy level will take on a life of its own and by supporting it with the previous suggestions, any lack of energy for you will be a thing of the past!

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