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Women and Heart Disease
Monday, 31 January 2011 19:00

hearthealthy This year The American Heart Association presents "Go Red for Women" a movement providing information to women about cardiovascular disease.

Traditionally, we think about men being the primary victims of heart disease, but each year, it claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of women. The older you are, the more likely it is that you will get heart disease. But healthy living at any age is the foundation for disease-free later years. 

While some people are genetically predisposed to heart disease; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use and second hand smoke are associated risk factors for this condition which can be reduced or controlled. No matter what your age, there are ways that you can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease.
In your 20s, health isn't on your mind, and you believe there will be plenty of time later to think about it. Wrong. Heart disease can develop at any age, so it's crucial that you make health conscious-decisions that will benefit you now and in the long run. Don't smoke, drink in moderation, and choose birth control methods carefully.

In your 30s, life is a balancing act between family, work and yourself. But you're not a kid anymore. Now is the time to build heart-healthy habits. If you avoid the conditions that put you at risk for heart disease until you turn 50, you may never develop heart disease. Check your family history, quit smoking, and avoid gaining weight.

In your 40s, it becomes even more important to make healthy choices. No matter what life brings, it's important to stay happy and healthy so you can enjoy the years to come. Make healthy lifestyle choices now that will benefit you in the long run. Eat well, exercise, watch your weight, and get a checkup.

In your 50s, your body is changing and that affects your heart. Check with your doctor to see if your numbers are acceptable for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and body mass index. To get your estimated heart risk, go to

In your 60s, heart disease is more likely, but you have the power to prevent it. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States. It's never too late to quit so...Stop Smoking Today! Keep an eye on body weight
, continue to exercise, and have your blood pressure checked. For more heart-healthy tips, go to

Consider taking vitamins and other supplements. Your doctor can help you determine which ones can be of benefit to you. Vitamin E is believed to reduce the risk of a heart attack, as are supplements such as CoQ10 and L-carnitine.

Because so many of today’s typical diets lack fundamental nutritional elements, supplements such as Vitamin E, CoQ10 and L-carnitine, just to name a few, can add to one’s ability to control the risk factors of heart disease.

Is Your Diet Behind Your Pain?
Sunday, 23 January 2011 19:00

diet_iStock_000002427158_300x210_95ppiThere's an epidemic that is circulating the globe and it is one that seems to be taking all of us by surprise. I'm talking about the epidemic of obesity!

Besides the added stress those extra pounds put on our joints, if you're a joint pain sufferer, a poor diet can indirectly have a negative effect on your joints. Fortunately, this is not a situation that is without hope.

If you're presently suffering with acute or chronic joint pain, you can ease your pain by first cleaning up your diet and adding healthy foods to your daily meal plan. Even if you only eat a small salad with every meal, it will make a positive impact on your overall health and can go a long way in improving the way you feel.

Did you know that changing dietary fat intake and/or eating plant foods containing anti-inflammatory agents can help ease pain by limiting joint inflammation?

In fact, excessive consumption of dairy products, meat, & refined starchy carbohydrates like white flour can actually make inflammation worse by increasing the production of prostaglandins!

Therefore, switching your diet to whole fruits, vegetables, and lots of cold water oily fish (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids) is a powerful way to naturally “close the gates of pain”.

Other Things You Can Do To Ease Your Pain:

• Hydrate your body properly - This is something that many individuals do not take the opportunity to do and they end up paying the consequences as a result.  Dehydration can cause a number of different difficulties for humans and chronic pain is one of those.  It is also often behind many of the diseases and other ailments that we may have to deal with regularly. Therefore, making sure you're hydrated properly should be paramount in your life.

• Watch your weight -  It is necessary to make sure that you are maintaining the proper weight, as obesity is often a precursor for the pain that we are experiencing.  Even if it is an external source which is causing the pain, it can often be aggravated by the fact that we are carrying around too much body fat.  Studies have shown that losing as little as 11 pounds can not only decrease pressure on weight bearing joints but also cuts the risk of developing knee arthritis by 50%. Begin with a clean and healthy diet, adding exercise whenever possible and you will not only see the weight come off naturally but you may also notice a reduction in the amount of pain that you feel.

• Supplement your diet -
Keeping the body in balance can be a full time job and many individuals have a difficult time keeping on top of it.  The unfortunate thing is, when an imbalance occurs within the body it can cause a number of different problems that end up causing us some kind of pain.  Many times, all that is needed is to bring the body back into balance to help manage the pain successfully and in many cases, get rid of it all together.

One of the ways that you may be able to bring this balance back is by supplementing your diet with certain vitamins and minerals.
Your doctor as your health coach can help you determine which ones can be of benefit to you in reducing your pain.  Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM are recognized as the leading supplements for the maintenance of healthy joints while Boswellia, Rutin, Whilte Willows Bark and Turmeric along with enzymes such as Pancreatin, Papain, Bromelain, Trypsin and Chromotrypsin are designed to support your body’s natural response to inflammation.

Stretching May Reduce Back Pain
Sunday, 09 January 2011 19:00

StretchingStretch out your muscles each and everyday to get them ready for action and reduce back pain.

We've all been there. You go to lift something and feel a pain halfway between the starting point and the destination. Or you were running around hitting a tennis ball, shooting buckets, tossing around a football, or anything you might not do very often and your back goes out.

We have many muscles that make up our body, and some of those muscles support the spinal column in your back. Having strong muscles in your back as well as your abdomen will work wonders to help ward off back pain. But, having flexible muscles in your back is just as important as having strong muscles.

When muscles are cold or underused it is hard to get them as flexible as they need to be to work well without pain. If you've been sedentary and decide to participate in an activity that requires some form of exertion, you are asking your back to perform a task that it is not prepared for. The result? Back pain.

Stretch out your muscles to get them ready for action!

Stretching is important for your muscles. It works as a wakeup call. Stretching your muscles says "Get ready. We are about to move." Muscles that are stretched routinely are more flexible, not only for the immediate strenuous activity, but throughout the day, weeks, months, and beyond. If your job is physically demanding, stretching each day is a good idea. You'll notice even after the first time you stretch, you will feel more flexible and energized. That small amount of movement gets the blood moving and sends more oxygen into the muscle tissue.

How do you go about stretching? Are all stretches good for the back?

There is a technique to each stretch and you want to stretch the muscle in the right way. Incorrect stretching could cause you frustration and further pain to your back. Here are a few stretches to get you started: (use a mat to cushion your back and wear comfortable clothing).

1. Flexing your back
– Lying flat with your back on the mat, pull your knees to your chest. At the same time, lift your head, aiming your chin for your chest. Hold for a few seconds and return to the beginning position. Consciously push your abdomen in toward the floor at the same time so there is no space between the small of your back and the floor.

2. Leg stretch – Lying flat with your back on the mat and knees bent, feet on mat, reach and lace your hands behind one knee and pull it towards your chest. This stretch works one hip flexor at a time. The hip flexors support your lower back. Return to start and stretch the opposite leg.

3. Cross leg stretch – Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on mat. Take one leg and cross it over the other just above that knee. Hold behind the bent knee of the lower leg and pull both legs towards your chest. Be careful with this stretch and move slowly. It stretches the hip flexor, the lower back and the muscles of the buttock that can contribute to back pain. Be sure to press your abdomen toward the floor to eliminate any space between the small of your back and the mat.

It doesn't take very long at all to complete these simple stretches. Make stretching a part of your regular meditation time each day. Relax your mind and strengthen your body at the same time. Then you'll be ready to jump up and tackle your day!
Say NO to Weight Gain This Holiday Season
Sunday, 05 December 2010 19:00

bathroomscale250x209Did you know that the average person gains anywhere from 1 to 12 pounds during the holiday season alone? With the many holiday get-togethers coming up and all the delicious yet fattening treats that'll surely be served, to assure this doesn't happen to you, a plan of action is needed to assure you won't go into the New Year being heavier than before.

Here are some simple holiday diet tips and tricks to help you avoid the holiday weight gain that afflicts so many people.

1. Get Moving - Start an exercise regime now to get your metabolism in fat burning mode. You can workout at home by simply purchasing a few exercise videos or hand weights. You can also become involved in outdoor sports. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a huge difference in maintaining weight or shaping up muscles. If you need motivation, call some friends and have them join you.

2. Map out your events on a calendar - By taking this first step you can plan in advance how those parties will fit into your weekly meal plan so that you stay within the desired weekly calorie range to prevent weight gain.

3. Eat before you go - we talk about this before but if you eat a sensible snack or small, healthy meal before you leave for a party or occasion where there will be fattening foods you'll be less likely to have your eyes make decision for you. Don't eat so much that you won't want to eat at all, but enough that it will curb your appetite. Again, by having something healthy in your system already, you'll be less likely to spurge too much. The less sugary, fattening foods you eat, the less weight will creep onto your body during the holidays.

4. Avoid temptation by allowing yourself to indulge a little - For those holiday parties and get family gatherings, allow yourself to indulge on one item such as the appetizers or the dessert - but not both. At the event, try to avoid temptation as much as possible. You may not be able to avoid all temptation but you don't have to stay right by the food table. Get a small plate instead of a larger one, put on it a few things you'd really enjoy and then move as far away from the food as possible.

5. Stay away from empty calorie beverages such as alcohol- At the events drink something other than alcohol which has more calories than you might imagine. Drink lots of water - One of the best ways to avoid gaining weight during the ‘season of eating' is to drink a full 16-ounce glass of water before eating. If you fill your stomach up with water you'll be less likely to overeat. Does this mean you won't be able to enjoy any of your favorite holiday foods? Absolutely not! It simply means you won't want to eat as much as you would if you hadn't had the water

6. Don't eat after 7:00 pm - Research show that the earlier in the day foods are eaten, the more likely they are to be burned off. Therefore, eating late at night will almost assure that the food you eat will be stored as fat. Celebrities and professional athletes use this knowledge to their advantage and refuse to eat after a certain time at night. With this in mind, try using your natural body physiology as an ally in your weight control battle by making 7:00 p.m. your cut off. If your holiday party starts late, try to avoid those late night Hors d'oeuvres.

7. Eat healthy during the rest of the days - Be sure to eat healthy foods during the rest of the day when you know you have an event to attend. Your daily goal of seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day will allow you to fill up with good things rather than things which aren't so good for you. With this weight control strategy, if you've eaten well throughout the day, eating a small amount of sweets won't be so bad

These are only a few ideas to help you say no to weight gain this holiday season. Be creative when it comes to holiday eating. Don't deprive yourself when it comes to holiday goodies but learn to use moderation to avoid gaining extra pounds this year. If losing a few pounds is part of your 2011 New Year's Resolution and you'd like our help be sure to to fill out our weight loss survey and you'll receive a FREE body fat analysis.

Healthy Halloween Treats Kids Will Love
Thursday, 14 October 2010 19:00

N_pumpkinseeds_300x200Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you have to forget your family's health. There are more nutritious ways to enjoy the night. By all means let your kids hit the neighborhood and gather a bag of goodies, but temper that with a few nutritious treats of your own. If you are planning a Halloween party for the kids, put out a mix of healthy treats alongside the not-so-healthy favorites.

Here are a few ideas for healthy ghostly treats for your kids:

Trail Mix - This is a mix of snack foods that kids will love. Pick raisins, nuts, cereals, and any other dry foods your kids like to eat. Mix it all together and place it front-and-center so they can grab a handful as they run from one game to the next.

Celery and carrot skeleton - Cut thin strips of celery and carrots and arrange them to create a skeleton body on the plate. Form a low-fat cheese ball creation for the skull, carve out the eye sockets and fill with raisins. Stick the cheese knife right into the skull for more eerie fun.

Pumpkin seeds - When you carve up the pumpkins don't forget to save the seeds. Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are a good after-carving snack. Let kids lay them flat on a baking sheet and watch them roast in a 400 degree oven.

Muffins - Finger foods like muffins can be sweet tasting like cupcakes but more nutritious. Try pumpkin muffins, zucchini muffins, or banana muffins for great taste and less sugar. Decorate the muffins just like you would cupcakes.

Chocolate spoons - Make your own chocolate treats using dark chocolate. It is healthier than milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa solids. Melt dark chocolate onto black and orange plastic spoons. Freeze them until the chocolate sets. Wrap them in cellophane and place them on the party table. The kids can lick them as a treat or swish them around in a cup of hot chocolate for extra flavor.

Caramel apples - Slice the apples for easier eating. Put the slices in individual bowls and drizzle the caramel over the top. You can sprinkle the apples with chopped nuts if you wish. A little caramel goes a long way, and it keeps the calories and sugar at a minimum.

What will your kids eat this Halloween? It doesn't just have to be candy. Give them candy in moderation, but let the bulk of the snacks you create be of a healthier variety.

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