Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fat Loss Myths Revealed

Wouldn't it be great to be able to eat as much as you want as often as you want and have body fat melt away while you sleep, watch TV, or sit behind your desk at work? I'd certainly go for that - being able to be fit with very little or no effort at all.

Turn on the TV and what do we see? Television ads promising you weight loss and fitness with no effort. Want to lose that extra fat around your belly? Just take these pills. Walk into the bookstore and browse through the rows and rows of books advocating one diet fad or the other. The problem is that most of them offer conflicting information. I'll be straightforward in telling you that rather than separating the fat from your body, most of these people are more interested in separating your money from your wallet.

I've tried many of these diet and exercise fads and can tell you that most of them flat out do not work. Some of the diets will work, but will force your body to do things that it was designed to not do, therefore your body thinks it's deathly ill and starts burning fat as an energy source. Losing fat is not a bad thing at all, but tricking your body into burning fat by responding with a survival mechanism is. What are the long term effects of these fad diets? Who really wants to live the type of restrictive lifestyle that these diets push on you? Who really wants to work hard and suffer for something that in 20 years from now will be the laughingstock of the fitness community? There has to be a better way.

The true path to fat loss is so simple, yet no diet book author would ever admit it. The secret is this:

Burn more calories than you eat.

That's all. There's really nothing more to it than that, and you probably already know this! There is no more effective way, no special fruit from the amazon, no machine that you can use that will give you better results.

Unfortunately there are plenty of people who would like to pull the wool over your eyes about what to eat, how to starve yourself, what machine to use to get the perfect body. Next time you reach for the next diet fad book, brochure on an ab exerciser, or pick up the phone to dial a number you got off of an infomercial, think about this - they didn't work in the past, and they won't work again because you're still not burning more calories than you're taking in.

After scouring the internet, bookstores, and trying just about any diet I could find to lose that extra 30 pounds I'll tell you what's worked for me:

Keep a food journal, tracking all of the calories that you take in. Be detailed. You'll be surprised at how much stuff you can cut out if you just write it down. Personally, I was disgusted at the amount of sugars and junk foods I was ingesting on a daily basis. I didn't eliminate them, only cut back a little.

Find out how many calories you burn in a day. You burn most of your calories just by existing. This is called basal metabolism. Find a chart to see how many calories are burned for certain activities for your weight class.

Exercise regularly. It doesn't take much, only around 20 minutes a day 3-5 days a week. Regular exercise will increase your metabolism and cause your body to burn even more calories even while you're not active.

Being fit is a lifestyle. It doesn't have to be severely limiting and it doesn't even have to be painful. Being fit is always easier in the long run than putting yourself through the ringer with limiting or starvation diets.

My search for the perfect diet and exercise program took me 8 years and ironically the one thing that worked for me was the easiest and least expensive thing out of all of the others I tried.

Common Types of Yoga - What Is The Difference

What is the difference between common yoga and the not so common yoga, nothing only one is practiced on a wider scale than the other.  It is up to each individual and their preferences to what form of exercise they choose to practise. Some common types of yoga are performed by people for health reasons.

If starting out to practice yoga for the first time then be sure to find out what is best suited to your requirements. Important factors that have to be addressed before any exercise is executed are your fitness levels.

Some of the most common types of yoga are Iyenga. This yoga is solely based on alignment and accurate movements.When working out the Iyengar way props are used such as straps and blocks for beginners who are not as flexible as the experts in this field. By using these yoga props it helps the beginner to relax and give comfort therefore encouraging beneficial results.

Commonly known power yoga - The Ashtanga.  The reason for this alias is because of the powerful movements that are involved
The moves exercised include push ups and lunges which helps deal with strength and stamina. What type of person practices this form of yoga? People involved with Ashtanga are looking for challenging moves.
You will find athletes - gymnasts and cyclists all from the fitness world have turned to this type of yoga to add more balance to their concentration to help them in their quest when going for gold.

Bikram Yoga: known as hot yoga is where routines are carried out in a very warm room. This is an excellent way for increasing flexibility, heat can stretch body tissue.
Health matters like cardio vascular disease makes this type of common yoga off limits for a patient. The reasons are because of the vigorous routines practiced in heat thus causing strain on the body.

A content mind denotes a content body and soul. Type of Yoga that meets with these needs of contentment is the Raja Yoga: which implements liberation through meditation. Concentration is the key factor in this exercise

Bhakti commonly acknowledged as devotional yoga is where all participants focus on self surrender.
Some yoga types may sound a little shocking in what is expected of you but never judge the book by the cover. Why not try out an exercise for your self. The Mantra yoga: more known as yoga of potent - targets liberation through mental or verbal repetition of noises and sounds.

Mental/physical anguish suffered by patient`s with  stress related disorders are  looking to the world of yoga, why?  Because it is one of natures natural remedies for pain.

Ten Great Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are not only delicious drinks but are also excellently beneficial for health. The top ten benefits of these smoothies are as follow:
  • They are exceedingly nutritious as they are made with 40% organic green ingredients and 60% of ripe fruit mix. There is no kind of artificial ingredients present in it thereby making it completely nutritious for all.
  • Digesting these smoothies is very easy. The fruit and green cells get easily ruptured when they are blended together that makes it easy for body to absorb all essential nutrients from it.
  • They are totally fiber rich food that helps in maintaining the digestive system of body.
  • Green smoothies are perfect blend of fruit and vegetables. They are even very tempting to consume. So, it is possible for them to supply all vital ingredients required for healthy and fit body.
  • This is great nutrient supplier for those people who do not consume too much of green leafy vegetables and fruits in their diet. By consuming one to two cup of these smoothies every day, individuals can have totally fit and fine body.
  • There are no added flavors or sugar in these drinks that makes them suitable to be consumed even by people who are suffering from any major or minor health disorder.
  • The best thing about these smoothies is that they can be prepared by adding different fruits and vegetables according to one’s preference. So, this avoids occurring of any food allergy that may happen due to any other drink item.
  • These drinks also help in maintaining the cholesterol level within human body.
  • These are refreshing drinks and make a person feel fresh and full of energy after consumption.
  • Finally, green smoothies are great nutrients for kids of small ages and help them to gain strong internal health with ease.

The great health benefits offered by green smoothies along with excellent taste make them suitable drinks for every person. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Avoiding Health Problems When Eating Vegan

Deciding to pick up a new diet can be considered a pain and a major hassle.  On the other hand, choosing to pick up an entirely new lifestyle and change your entire eating habits is a completely different story.  It can be a very fun and exciting time in your life, but it is also a time in your life that will require a bit of effort in order to make the right decision.  There are so many ways that adopting a new lifestyle can go wrong, especially when you are changing significantly the foods that you eat.  Working to ensure that you stay healthy is extremely important and needs to be done.

For the most part anyone who chooses to become a Vegan will have a lot of success.  Working to stay healthy is not impossible, but it will typically require a bit of effort.  There are a lot of nutrients that are provided in meats and other animals products that you do need to be healthy.  If you simply turn to a Vegan lifestyle with no consideration for the nutrients and vitamins that you are now missing out on you will quickly discover that you are weakening your immune system.  Paying close attention to what you are eating, and more importantly what you are missing is critical.

The majority of people who are looking to adopt a new lifestyle tend to do so for a long time, if not permanently.  This means it is very important to ensure you are learning the proper foods to eat to ensure you stay as healthy as possible.  The difference between a new lifestyle and a new diet is a diet is not intended to be followed permanently.  You are simply on a diet for a short period of time, in which you aim to fulfill your specific goals.  A lifestyle is something that you intend to stick to, which is why shortcomings in a lifestyle are much more important than a shortcoming in a diet.

Talking to your doctor is also extremely important.  This will help you to specifically identify any specific needs that you might have.  This would be important because you never know which nutrients are most important for you and your specific needs until you determine what type of physical condition you are presently in.  For the vast majority of people there are few serious needs when starting out, but knowing about any major problems ahead of time is always a good idea to see your doctor just in case.  This will also help you to set your mind at ease.

The biggest concerns that you will have is the need to seek out plenty of nutrients.  This is important because it will help you to maintain your energy level as well as also make absolutely certain that you are getting plenty of the nutrients and health that you need to stay as healthy as possible.  If you find that you are not getting proper nutrition it will be virtually impossible for you to maintain the lifestyle that you are trying to develop.

A small bit of effort put into proper planning will allow you to enjoy your venture in to the Vegan lifestyle.  Talking to your doctor about any concerns that you have, as well as doing ample research to ensure that you are fully aware of any potential problems before they occur will be a key factor in determining how successful you are. Every year there are tons of people who adopt a Vegan lifestyle, you too can join these people in living a healthier and greener lifestyle.  Small changes to your lifestyle can have huge impacts as long as you are careful and make wise decisions.  Rash decisions however can be very bad for your overall health.  This will make it extremely important to plan ahead to be certain you choose the right decisions for your lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Using Yoga For Weight Loss

Yoga can be put to good use for taking off excess pounds through the power of creating a state of mental and physical well being. The basic tenets of Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle and when combined with a calorie reduction can help to speed up your weight loss. It will increase your metabolism by increasing the caloric burning process. All weight loss is based on using more calories than you take in. It will also allow you to increase your ability to concentrate and focus.

Your thyroid regulates your metabolism and is responsible for the chemical processes that transform food into energy. Yoga uses a series of twisting poses that will help to stimulate the work flow of the internal organs. This will cause your metabolism to increase and burn more calories which will eventually cause you to have a lower body weight. Another side effect is that it will help to improve your circulation and increase your energy level.

The various back bends combined with the forward bends will help to stimulate the metabolism. The poses that affect the neck region can be helpful in stimulating the thyroid if the weight problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Poses that will help the most for this include the camel, rabbit, plow, bridge and head stand. Going quickly between the various poses can help to accelerate the weght loss. Beware though that those seriously overweight may find some of these poses extremely difficult and should start slowly with the easier poses and add others as they become more confident in the easier ones.

You can use standing poses to increase muscle strengthening such as the warrior. These will help to create higher endurance and increase your caloric usage.

Remember that a gradual approach is best with all Yoga practices. The long term effects on your weight loss regime will become evident and even more so the inner peace and general well feeling that Yoga will promote within you.

2 Steps To Six Pack Abs

First off, I want to mention that, for most people, getting six pack abs is not an easy task. It requires dedication, but it is possible! Below is a general 2-step guide that, if followed religiously for 3 months, will produce results.

Step 1: Nutrition

This is the single most important part of the puzzle, hands down. You can have the most impressive set of abs, but if they're covered with a layer of fat, you won't see them! Break up your day with 5 or 6 mini-meals because this jump starts your metabolism. And stop eating the food that is preventing results: white bread, loads of pasta, soda, candy, fast food, hydrogenated oils, sugars and fructose corn syrup.

Instead, replace them with foods that will help you reach your goal: oatmeal, olive oil, whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, natural peanut butter, chicken, fish, protein and water. Be realistic- you'll slip here and there, but make a conscious effort to radically improve your eating habits because getting a six pack will be impossible if you don't.

Step 2: Exercise

You need to concern yourself with 3 different exercises: cardio, weightlifting and ab exercises. And aim to workout 3- 4 times a week.

The cardio you do can be anything: walking, running, biking, swimming....whichever cardio you don't mind doing so that you'll stick with it. Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week.

Weightlifting is important because 3 pounds of added muscle burns as many calories as a 1 mile jog...and this is while you're just sitting around! Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week. If you're confused as to what exercises to do for each body part, check out out the following website. It features professional bodybuilders, but the information is great and can be used by anyone.

The last exercise you need to incorporate into your workout is ab exercises. Aim to work your abs a minimum of 3 times a week. There are a ton of different ab exercises you can do so try to find 3 or so that you enjoy doing so you can mix it up. A good database of different ab exercises is:

Tip: mix up your workout routine every 2 weeks to keep your body guessing and changing. Add or take away different weight or ab exercises, or at the very least, vary the weight, reps or form of cardio you do.

Well, there you have it. Follow the above for 3 months religiously, and while results will vary from person to person, you will experience improvement.

It will take dedication on your part, but imagine the feeling you'll get when you look in the mirror and like what you see.

1 Pound Of Fat = 3,500 Calories

There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. Thus, if you cut back or work off just 3,500 calories, you will lose an entire pound of fat. While it is possible to cut back on your calorie intake and increase your exercise regimen in order to lose pounds quickly, it is important to note that doctors recommend that you lose no more than 2 pounds of weight per week in order to ensure that your body properly adjusts to the weight loss.

Here are some tips to help you safely drop 3,500 from your regular routine:


Running for about 1 hour at a slow pace will help you lose approximately 350 calories, depending on your body type, speed and terrain. Thus, if you run for one hour five days a week while maintaining a consistent diet, you will safely lose one pound.

It is important to understand that many people who just begin running will eat pasta and other foods high in carbohydrates in order to compensate for the exertion. They think that because they worked out so hard, they deserve a treat. After all, they justify, the pasta will help to keep their energy levels high.

However, what they may not realize is that while they are justified in thinking that the carbohydrates will infuse their workout routine with energy, they are not actually setting their bodies up to lose weight. When you burn 350 calories but intake 450 over a high-carbohydrate pasta dish, you are adding more calories to your body than you otherwise would have.

Running does, however, help to boost our metabolism and change your muscle tone so that you burn calories more efficiently. Instead of inhaling a pasta dish after a run, select instead to have a large salad and splurge for the carbohydrate-rich croutons.

Eat In

When you eat out at a restaurant, not only are you subjecting your body to an array of high fat, high calorie foods, but you are also tempting yourself to eat a larger portion than you might normally eat. Therefore, what could be a simple 500 calories meal can easily turn into a 1500-calorie fat fest. In order to lose weight by cutting calories, it is essential that you are aware of exactly what you are putting into your body. Especially in the beginning of your new routine, it is important that you prepare your meals and monitor your level of hunger.

When eating out, generally you are in a social situation where food is not a priority ñ but spending time with your friends is. For this reason, people tend to eat more than they normally would. Non-dessert eaters often even spring for the extra round of calories. If you must eat out, help yourself avoid temptation by selecting a salad rather than a plate of pasta or burger. You will be amazed at the difference in the amount of calories you intake when you make simple choices such as meal option.

By reducing your overall calorie intake and increasing your level of physical activity, you will be able to lose those 3,500 calories without much trouble. Make sure that you stay focused, motivated and on task. Youíll shed unwanted weight in no time!

Top 3 Exercises For Stress Relief

Whether coming from our jobs, personal life, incompetent drivers, or the soaring gas prices stress seems to be all around us, bombarding us with an over load that has us over worked, cranky, and restless. The effects of prolonged stress on the human body can be devastating to our health resulting in migraines, muscle aches, insomnia, digestive problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and heart disease along with a wide range of other health problems. Learning to effectively manage stress and adding regular exercise to your routine is a valuable part of stress relief which is vital to good health. But do not worry, you do not have to make time to go to the gym or worry if your fitness level is not up for that aerobic work out, here are three of the best exercises for stress relief than can be done by just about any one at any fitness level, of course as always, before beginning any new exercise program you want to be sure that your health care provider has cleared you for exercise if you have any recent injuries or health care concerns.

Tai Chi:
Tai Chi is an ancient martial art form. This Chinese art has been practiced for centuries and is a perfect exercise for stress relief. Tai Chi uses very fluid and graceful movements that are slow and precise, focusing the mind and strengthening the body. It can be done just about anywhere by people of all ages and is fairly simple to learn. People who practice Tai Chi experience a better sense of balance, over all improvement in health, sleep better, and feel a since of clarity and improved mental focus along with the stress relief.

Pilates was originally developed as a method of rehabilitation for injured dancers and soldiers. Incorporating simple moves similar to yoga in parts, pilates stretches and lengthens your muscles, improves the strength and stability of your core (the torso), and is also very calming and soothing making it a great choice for stress relief. Stress relief is not the only benefit of pilates, you also get a longer, stronger spine, better posture, more graceful muscle tone, and stronger abs. And because a large portion of pilates can be done as a mat work out, it is great for people with special needs to consider that may make traditional exercise more difficult.

Water Aerobics:
If you would like something to get your heart beat going and improve your over all tone and health, along with giving you stress relief, water aerobics is another great choice. Unlike traditional aerobic classes, being in the water lessens the impact of the movements on your joints, legs, and spine. Being in the water makes your motions effortless, yet the resistance of the water provides a better, stronger work out. The calming sensation of being in the water offers great stress relief and gives you a wonderful work out for your muscles, weight loss, and cardio building along with the stress relief.

Whichever routine you choose, or perhaps some combination of the three, you will find great stress relief from starting a regular routine and the stress relief will only enhance the other great health benefits you will obtain.

The Way to Health & Vitality

How many times have you gone to sleep at night, swearing you'll go to the gym in the morning, and then changing your mind just eight hours later because when you get up, you don't feel like exercising?

While this can happen to the best of us, it doesn't mean you should drop the ball altogether when it comes to staying fit. What people need to realize is that staying active and eating right are critical for long-term health and wellness -- and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The more you know about how your body responds to your lifestyle choices, the better you can customize a nutrition and exercise plan that is right for you. When you eat well, increase your level of physical activity, and
exercise at the proper intensity, you are informing your body that you want to burn a substantial amount of fuel. This translates to burning fat more efficiently for energy.

In other words, proper eating habits plus exercise equals fast metabolism, which, in turn gives you more energy throughout the day and allows you to do more physical work with less effort.

The true purpose of exercise is to send a repetitive message to the body asking for improvement in metabolism, strength, aerobic capacity and overall fitness and health. Each time you exercise, your body responds by upgrading its capabilities to burn fat throughout the day and night, Exercise doesn't have to be intense to work for you, but it does need to be consistent.

I recommend engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session, and resistance training four times per week for 20 to 25 minutes per session. This balanced approach provides a
one-two punch, incorporating aerobic exercise to burn fat and deliver more oxygen, and resistance training to increase lean body mass and burn more calories around the block.

Here's a sample exercise program that may work for you:

* Warm Up -- seven to eight minutes of light aerobic activity intended to increase blood flow and lubricate and warm-up your tendons and joints.

* Resistance Training -- Train all major muscle groups. One to two sets of each exercise. Rest 45 seconds between sets.

* Aerobic Exercise -- Pick two favorite activities, they could be jogging, rowing, biking or cross-country skiing, whatever fits your lifestyle. Perform 12 to 15 minutes of the first activity and continue with 10 minutes of the
second activity. Cool down during the last five minutes.

* Stretching -- Wrap up your exercise session by stretching, breathing deeply, relaxing and meditating.

When starting an exercise program, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending on your initial fitness level, you should expect the following changes early on.

* From one to eight weeks -- Feel better and have more energy.

* From two to six months -- Lose size and inches while becoming leaner. Clothes begin to fit more loosely. You are gaining muscle and losing fat.

* After six months -- Start losing weight quite rapidly.

Once you make the commitment to exercise several times a week, don't stop there. You should also change your diet and/or eating habits,' says Zwiefel. Counting calories or calculating grams and percentages for certain nutrients is
impractical. Instead, I suggest these easy-to-follow guidelines:

* Eat several small meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day

* Make sure every meal is balanced -- incorporate palm-sized proteins like lean meats, fish, egg whites and dairy products, fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice, multigrain cereal and potatoes, and fist-sized portions of vegetable and

* Limit your fat intake to only what's necessary for adequate flavor

* Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water throughout the day

* I also recommend that you take a multi-vitamin each day to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

I suppose that's all I can think of for now. I should extend my thanks to a doctor friend of mine. Without him, I wouldn't be able to write this article, or keep my sanity.

Enjoy life, we all deserve it.

You'll find many more useful information and articles at Health & Vitality - to Enhance Your Life.

Getting Past A Weight Loss Plateau

The typical human form is capable of achieving a number of incredible feats that seem to suspend or defy the way science tells us things work. Athletes, through sheer willpower, can end up lifting something that their bodies should not be able to without suffering anything worse than muscle spasms. People can adapt to extreme physical trauma caused by a car accident and defy predictions that they'll never walk again. While, in general, these amazing feats are useful in a number of situations, there are physical reactions that some people look upon with quite a bit of disfavor. Among these disfavored reactions is something known as a weight loss plateau.

Essentially, the plateau is a term used to describe a situation where the body has become incapable of losing any further weight, usually due to developing a tolerance for the weight loss pills and methods being used. Essentially, the plateau is hit when the body develops tolerance for the regimen's limitations and practices, thus allowing the metabolic rate of the body to adjust to whatever weight loss pills or techniques were being used. Most diet books decidedly ignore the existence of the plateau, primarily because it can be seen as negating the purpose of the diet and is, therefore, bad for marketing. There are, however, ways to counteract the human body building a tolerance for training regimens and weight loss pills.

The human metabolism, when presented with a pattern, will eventually adapt to that pattern. It is this natural adaptability of the human body that can cause the weight loss plateau, particularly if the person's diet and eating habits have been altered for weight loss. As such, changing the pattern will, once a sufficient amount of time has passed, allow your diet plan or weight loss pills to become effective again. This trick essentially involves confusing the human metabolism, and is often taken as a rather drastic way to get the body back in diet mode. There are, of course, several ways to effectively alter that pattern without causing the body permanent harm.

Adding strength and weight training and modifying one's exercise program can also help someone get past the plateau, in most cases. The body will still burn through nutrients during physical activity, though the digestive system's metabolic rate can adapt such that more weight is retained rather than burned during exercise. Increasing the difficulty of the exercises, or changing the movements to target less-developed muscle areas, can effectively force the body to re-adapt. While the body is busy adapting to the changes, it can also start losing weight again. This method is best used with alterations to the person's diet, however, to maximize the effectiveness.

Another trick used to circumvent the problem of the plateau is to make changes to the time frame between meals. The internal clock that the human body's digestive system operates on can be altered to suit one's purposes, provided one executes the proper alterations to one's diet and eating habits. A simple action like altering the schedule of the meals, such as adding more meals but reducing the bulk of each, can have an appreciable effect on altering the metabolic rate. The key concept of this method is to fool the body into burning the food faster, thus getting one's weight loss program and diet back on track.

When considering the options, it is helpful to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another person. Some slower metabolisms may require combination of diet program and exercise regimen modifications, while others can get by with merely shortening the break between meals. The critical point is to find a method that works and is effective for a specific metabolism, which can be a time-consuming process.

What is a Raw Food Diet?

Eating raw foods is natural. Our bodies thrive on all that is fresh and vital. A raw food diet (or increasing the amount of raw food that you eat) is bound to bring a feeling of increased wellbeing.

Raw food diets are based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, preferably organic, such as a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, fresh juices and purified water.

Why Raw Foods?

Basically a vegetarian diet, the raw food diet promotes eating and drinking living foods. Living foods and juices contain the maximum amount of fibre found in raw produce, fibre that can be lost in processing. Such foods are easily metabolized and tend to be lower in calories than the average diet.

Heating food above 116F destroys enzymes in food that aid in digestion and in absorption of food, diminishing its nutritional value.

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

A diet of at least 75% raw food offers numerous health benefits, such as increased energy, improved skin appearance, better digestion, weight loss and reduced risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

A raw food diet contains little or no saturated fats, is low in sodium, high in potassium, magnesium, folate and fibre.
Raw food diets are also excellent detox diets. Different combinations of raw, living foods and juices can be used for colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing and skin cleansing.

The Basics of a Raw Food Diet

Any fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans, nuts, legumes, young coconut milk ñ even seaweed ñ can be menu items of a raw food diet. Your choice of foods may depend on your reasons for dieting, for example:

- sprouted brown rice slows glucose absorption and improves the metabolism

- cabbage supports healthy cellular function; radish leaves act as an anti-oxidant,          as does Shitake mushroom

- carrots are a great source of vitamin A as well as encouraging healthy vision and a healthy cardio-vascular system

You can use a sprouter such as the Easy Green automatic sprouter to sprout seeds, grains, beans ñ even wheatgrass. Sprouts could be called a super food organic sprouts contain enormous levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll pigments and enzymes, and are the ideal natural supplement.

Sprouts can be used in salads and soups, or can be juiced. Fresh juices are a great ready energy supply and a good quality juicer, such as the Kempo Greenpower juicer, produces living juices that are full of essential nutrients.
A great juicing recipe to complement a raw food diet is carrot juice with potato, fennel and apple. Simply juice 4 medium carrots, 2 apples, 1 small potato and 1 small stalk of fennel.
Fennel has been shown to reduce and control inflammation of arthritis, it evens mood fluctuation and depressive states and has the rare nutrient called manganese, plus zinc and vitamin B complex.
The nutritional value of grains and seeds is impressive. They contain most of the vitamins ñ particularly A, B, and E. They're also fantastic natural sources of unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, and an excellent source of proteins.

You can even use soy milk makers (such as SoyQuick) to make non-dairy drinks from different beans, rice, nuts, seeds and grains to have with breakfast. If you want something a little more substantial than soy milk you can make your tofu (or, of course, visit a good health food shop).

Essentially, the idea of a raw food diet is to eat unprocessed foods for at least 75% of the time. If the idea of raw food isn't very appetizing to you, you can warm the food a little as long as the food isn't heated above 116F.

Cautionary Note

As with any major change in diet, it's wise idea to consult your doctor before beginning a special diet. This is especially true for children, pregnant women, anyone with anemia and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition.

Even natural foods can conflict with certain medications, so please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any medication.

Because a raw food diet is detoxifying some people suffer a mild detox reaction including mild headaches, nausea and cravings. These symptoms may last for several days and you'll get more enjoyment out of your raw food diet if you cut down on things like meat, sugar and caffeine a week or so before commencing the diet.

Last But Not Least

A raw food diet is certainly a good way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Like anything worthwhile it takes time, energy and commitment. Because many of the foods for this particular type of diet are made from scratch there is some preparation time involved. There are many great products on the market that can help you prepare your own living food and save you some time as well.

Combined with regular exercise, a raw food diet is also an excellent weight loss method. If you've been feeling a little off, or just need a pick-me-up and some extra energy, then a raw food diet is certainly a good way to go.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Living a Healthy Life

In the fast paced world that we live in it can be easy to neglect our health and wellness. We're so busy racing through our day to day lives with family, friends, work, social engagements that we don't take the time to look after ourselves. It's really no wonder that so many of us are tired and run down. What are some simple things that we can do to improve our quality of life?

Drink Drink Drink

You've heard it a million times and you'll probably hear it a million more, drink more water!

Think about it: The human body is 72% water. A 5% drop in fluids creates a 25-30% loss in energy. A 15% drop in fluids causes death! At this point in time 66% of us aren't drinking enough water, so over half the population isn't running on all six cylinders to begin with ñ before things like bad air, bad food and stress take their toll.

It's not really a difficult thing to remedy. Just drink one glass of water every half hour or so or 10-12 glasses of water per day ñ and you'll notice a huge jump in your energy levels.

Living Food Loving Life!

A little known fact is that heating food above 116F destroys much of the nutrient content. Considering that we already aren't eating enough veggies, that's a fairly substantial problem. Nutritionists recommend five serves of fresh vegetables per day. How many of us are actually taking that advice?

A great way to get the nutrients found in fresh veggies without spending all day at stove or eating raw celery sticks is to juice your veggies. Make sure that you own a good juicer (some juicers expose vegetables to heat created by friction during juicing, which breaks down important enzymes), grab some fresh vegetables and drink your way to good health. It takes a fraction of the time (there's no cooking involved, for one thing) and it's convenient. You can take your juice to work and even give some to the littlies for school lunches!

Wheatgrass in particular is an excellent source of nutrition. It's high in chlorophyll (sometimes described as plant blood because it closely resembles human red blood cell molecules) and has over 100 elements that the body needs. Fresh grains are another excellent source for vitamins and minerals.

Energy In Energy Out

Exercise is another dirty word for most of us. The thing is, exercise doesn't have to be horribly time consuming or mind-numbingly boring. There are plenty of options.

Years ago gyms usually offered weight rooms, aerobics classes and maybe a hydro-circuit. Now you can add water aerobics, yoga, pilates, dance-exercise, step classes and a whole range of new workout options.

If you don't really have the time or money for the gym, or prefer to spend your mornings/nights at home, then try an exercise bike or walker. I'd be lost without my exercise bike ñ I set it up in front of the television and peddle away merrily during my favorite shows.

If, like me, you suffer from illness or injury or your level of fitness is quite low, you might like to consider some invaluable advice that I got from my doctor:

Once you're physically unfit, and particularly if you're also unwell, it can be a mammoth battle to just do the most minimal amount of exercise in a day. The danger is that inactivity leads to further loss of energy, which becomes a self-perpetuating cycle until you can barely get off the couch.

An excellent way to get back into a physical routine is to start slowly. Ridiculously slowly, it may seem. For the first couple of weeks, walk/ride for 5 minutes per day exactly 5 minutes, no more, even if you think you could continue. When the 2 weeks are up, increase to 7 minutes, then 10 minutes, 12 minutes continue to gradually increase your activity until you're at a level that you're comfortable with.

It may sound a little silly, but it works. In effect, you trick your body into producing more energy. You're building your exercise time up so slowly that your body doesn't really realize what's happening. Follow this method and, before you know it, you'll be comfortably exercising within your limits every day.

So, folks, that's the basics. If you can rearrange your life a little to allow for better eating habits and a little exercise, and if you remember to just drink a glass of water every half hour or so, you'll be well on the way to living a healthy life. On a final note, don't forget to take some quiet time for yourself. Meditating is an excellent way to minimize stress. You don't have to sit around for hours, just give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time every day ñ even in the shower, if that's the only place where you can get time out ñ and have a little catch up with yourself.

And, last but by no means least, laugh! In fact, laugh like a loon the louder the better! You'll be amazed at how much such a simple thing can lift your spirits!

Fight Cravings With This Simple 5 Step Mental Method

If I were to ask you which foods temp you, most likely they wouldnít be ones that are very healthy. I bet they would be ice cream, potato chips, pizza, or something along those lines. In fact, in your mind right now as you're reading, you are probably thinking about a food that isn't healthy. Well, aren't you? Stop for a moment and think about it... The point I'm going to make in this article is that you can change what you crave by changing how you think.

Every new client that comes to my office for weight-loss has a craving problem. But I don't see it as a problem at all. I see it as a solution. Cravings are over-rated. They are hodge-podge and we donít have to be controlled by them. We don't have to feel temped by ice cream, cookies or 20-ounce prime ribs. Instead, we can be tempted by watermelon, pineapple, oranges or apples; foods like that. Think that sounds crazy? Well it isn't and you'll see why.

When I first sit down and talk with a client about their eating habits, I gather everything I need to know about exactly what they eat and how they eat. The culprit to their weight problem always boils down to snacking, picking, eating foods that are unhealthy or just plain over-eating. Then I'll ask them what fruits and vegetables they like. I'm yet to come across someone who hates fruit or hates every vegetable under the sun. Finally I'll ask them how often they eat fruits or vegetables and itís always a lot less often than the unhealthy stuff.

After I've gathered my arsenal of information, we do our thing. I'll have my clients lay back in my recliner and close their eyes. I'll direct their mind to a peaceful place, and within minutes they'll be relaxed like never before. Then I start talking about their favorite fruits and vegetables. I'll ask them to imagine taking a bite of their favorite juicy, ripe fruit and to feel the juices tickling their taste buds. Iíll say to their mind, from now on anytime you have a craving for food, you will think of a juicy, ripe piece of fruit. And bingo!!! Next thing you know these are exactly the kinds of foods they start desiring. Why? Because anytime you close your eyes and bring yourself to a calm, relaxed place, your subconscious mind emerges, and it is this part of the mind that controls what you crave. Change your thoughts and you'll change what you crave. Simple.

Let's look at this from another perspective. Let's say pineapple is your favorite fruit. Now, if you were sitting with me right now and I gave you a juicy chunk of it, you would enjoy it thoroughly. And youíd want more, right? Of course. Now, let's say I reached into my refrigerator, whipped-out a piece of chocolate cake and said, choose one. Most likely you would opt for the pineapple because you just had a teaser-piece, which would make your mind want more. The fact of the matter is this: you enjoy your favorite fruits just as much as you enjoy your favorite junk foods, you just believe otherwise.

Again, cravings are over-rated. The mere mention of that devilish word always seems to conjures-up images of high calorie, high fat foods only because these are the foods you are most exposed to in our media driven world. Your subconscious gets accustomed to this and just doesn't know any better. Change your minds images and youíll change your cravings. Here's a quick 5 minute mental exercise you can begin doing now to help you start changing the way you crave food.

Step 1: Find a comfortable, quiet place where there are no distractions. Begin breathing deeply until you are quite relaxed. Next, count backwards from 10-1, slowly. With each count, imagine that your mind is drifting deeper and deeper.

Step 2: After you have finished counting, imagine that you are relaxing by yourself in your favorite place. A secluded beach or a log in the woods will do the trick. Imagine yourself feeling so very relaxed and peaceful.

Step 3: Next, imagine a basket full of your favorite fresh picked fruit sitting right next to you. See it clearly in your mind, the color, the feel, everything about that fruit. Imagine taking a bite of that juicy fruit and enjoying it like never before.

Step 4: Repeat the following suggestion to yourself 10 times: ìFrom now on, anytime I think of eating, I immediately feel a craving for fruit.

Step 5: Count from 1 to 5, slowly, and when you reach 5 open your eyes.