Friday, November 30, 2012

Tips to Lose Belly Fat

Get Fit: Real Fitness Information You Can Trust The American Council on Exercise® (ACE®) Fitness Tips from the American Council on Exercise® June 23, 2011 Tips to Lose Belly Fat By Ken Alan The desire and need to lose belly fat is not just a matter of vanity, but also a necessity for staying healthy. Abdominal fat is linked to major health issues such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that men with waists greater than 40 inches and women with waists greater than 34 inches have the highest risk of heart disease, especially if the fat is stored around the organs. Losing Belly Fat No matter how many twists, side-bends or crunches you do, you will not shred belly fat. Spot reduction seems like it should work, but it doesn’t. You need a well-rounded exercise program that includes cardio and strength training to shrink your belly. Here are some exercises and tips that may help: Aerobic activity draws upon fat that is stored for energy. Perform aerobic exercises that elevate the heart and breathing rate, such as bicycling, brisk walking, dancing or jogging. If you’re just starting out, five to ten minutes may be all you can do comfortably. Over time, progress up to 30-60 minutes three or four times a week to really see results. Exercise also reduces stress and insulin levels. When insulin levels go up, cortisol – another hormone – goes up as well, which makes you more predisposed to storing body fat. Regular exercise is a key factor in reducing stress and maintaining healthy insulin levels. Build Muscle to Lose Fat Strength training offers many benefits, including building lean body mass or muscle. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and burns more calories than fat tissue; so as you increase the amount of muscle you have, you will also increase your resting metabolic rate. Not only does strength training exercise consume a lot of energy, it also raises your metabolism! If you’re just starting, it’s a good idea to work with a certified professional trainer or instructor to get you moving in the right direction. Total Body Transformation In your quest to lose belly fat, you may start to lose fat from all over your body. Although fat can be lost throughout the entire body, the last areas to become lean are those areas where we tend to gain fat first. For many people, the abdominal region is the most difficult area to trim…so try to be patient, continue to remain motivated and you’ll eventually get your midsection to a place you can feel good about! Remember to get extra movement in anytime you can. For example, take the stairs or park farther away from the office. The more physical activity you can get during the day—even if it seems minor—the more calories you burn, and every little bit helps you move closer to your goal! Consistent physical activity isn’t simply important to shedding belly fat, it can also help you prevent health risks and make you feel better about being in your own skin. Ken Alan is a Spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®) and a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University Fullerton. He is a chapter author in a number of textbooks and his company, AeroBeat, was the first to produce music CDs specifically for active workouts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

50 Small Steps to Start Living Healthier Now|11-28-2012| Read More Sign up for iVillage Special Offers

How to Throw a Healthy Dinner Party

How to Throw a Healthy Dinner Party Keep it simple; and healthy; by nixing high-fat appetizers and skipping lengthy preparations that can keep you tied up in the kitchen. By Beth W. Orenstein Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH Serving healthy dishes at a dinner party can be tricky, especially if your guests have very different tastes or are following diverse health regimens. Related: How to Spice Up Your Cooking But choosing party food becomes less of a challenge when you follow a few simple guidelines and create healthy recipes that will please every palate. Choose cuisines that are high on flavor, and you and your guests will enjoy delicious dishes that just happen to be healthy. Do’s for a Healthy Dinner Party or Supper Club These steps make party prep easier and the party food tastier: Keep it simple and fresh. The closer the foods are to their natural state when you serve them, the healthier they are, says Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD, a nutritionist in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Start with wholesome, fresh ingredients — preferably seasonal food — and don’t cook them in fat or dress them with sauces and creams, she stresses. For example, build your appetizer tray around fresh vegetables that you’ve simply washed, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces. Select veggies of different colors, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and snap peas, and serve them with a dip of hummus and whole wheat crackers. Think “do ahead dishes.” Another reason you want to keep it simple is that complicated dishes require a lot of prep time. “You want to be socializing with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen slaving away,” says Beth Thayer, MS, RD, of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Decide on the menu from your collection of healthy recipes and prepare as much as you can the day before or earlier, suggests Thayer. Keep it colorful. Having three or more different colors in your meal can brighten up the room and be part of the décor, Thayer says. But more importantly, doing so ensures that you’re providing your dinner party guests with a variety of vitamins and minerals. You can do with fruit what you did with the veggies — cut up melons and seasonal fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, and bananas. Fruit can be an appetizer or served toward the end of the meal as a sweet and healthy dessert. Sprinkle fruit chunks with nuts, such as almonds and walnuts — eaten in moderation, nuts provide fiber and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Plan smaller portions. Here’s how to calculate how much you’ll need to serve each guest: “You should figure about 10 to 15 bite-size appetizers or hors d’oeuvres per person,” Thayer says. An appetizer, soup or salad, main course with a vegetable, brown rice, or whole grain pasta, and dessert is more than enough. Speaking of portion sizes, sinful fare doesn’t have to be off the menu as long as it’s in moderation. Even that rich chocolate cake for dessert won’t ruin anyone’s healthy diet if the portion is small. Think lean meat, chicken, or fish for the main course. When you go over your guest list, you might want to ask attendees if they have any preferences, food allergies, or religious or cultural adherences, suggest Thayer. Are any guests vegetarians? Knowing what your guests like and being sensitive to their needs will make your party food more appealing to them. If you are serving meat, stick with leaner cuts. Or opt for chicken or fish that can be grilled with herbs and little, if any, fat. “I like to offer my guests a choice and may have a salad or a pasta station so they can make their own meals the way they like them,” Thayer says. A healthy way to serve chicken, fish, or lean meat is with a fruit salsa. Buy it by the jar or make your own. Here is one of Giancoli’s favorite recipes: Peel and chop a large mango. Toss the mango with 2 tablespoons of finely diced red and yellow peppers, 1 tablespoon of minced Serrano chile, and lime juice to taste. Each recipe serves four, so multiply by the number of people attending your dinner party. Provide containers for leftovers. If you have take-home containers, you can give your guests the leftovers. They won’t feel obligated to overeat, which can be unhealthy, and when they heat them up at home, they will be reminded of the good time they had, Thayer says. Don’ts for a Healthy Dinner Party This advice translates to less stress and a healthier time for everyone: Don’t force guests to eat what you’ve made. If a guest doesn’t want to try something, don’t make him or her feel bad about it. Do consider making copies of your recipes for your guests — people like to know what they’re eating and may discover something they never had before. Never talk about the calories or fat in a food. “It can be tacky and the food should be enjoyed,” says Thayer. “If you’ve labeled the food or given your guests the recipes, they’ll do the talking for you.” Don’t push alcohol. Some alcohol in moderation is fine, Thayer says. If you’re serving wine, figure on one 700 ml bottle for every two people, which would be about two glasses each. A serving of beer is 12 ounces per person, Thayer says; figure one to two servings per person. Don’t use cream, butter, or oil-based sauces. Giancoli says, “You can do so much with vegetable- and fruit-based sauces or tomatoes, olives, and capers. You don’t have to add fat and calories with creams and butter.” Nutritionists recommend planning a menu with soup or salad for a first course because they will fill up your guests and prevent them from overeating during the courses with more calories.

5 Steps to the Most Vibrant, Healthy You!

5 Steps to the Most Vibrant, Healthy You! By Gillian B (Follow on Facebook) Looking to take your health to the next level? Here are my suggestions to help you optimize your vitality and look and feel your absolute very best. 1-Remove most if not all processed foods from your diet. This is going to take a little self-discipline, but it will all be worth it I promise. Filling up on fresh, organic, un-processed foods that are packed with live enzymes will give you a new lease on life. If you maintain this lifestyle free of processed foods your energy levels will sky rocket and stay consistent throughout the day without any help from coffee or energy drinks. 2-Eat at least one raw meal a day. The process of cooking foods zaps somewhere between 50-80% of the available vitamins, minerals and live enzymes, which is problematic because the conventional foods we eat have very little nutrition to begin with. I suggest having one meal a day that is uncooked in order to maximize the benefits. This can be a big colourful salad or you can get creative and try some of the many raw food recipes online. The preparation of raw food may seem daunting at first but it is really very simple. No need for ovens or microwaves, its time to teach yourself how to un-cook! There are plenty of recipes out there that you can find that do not require some of the tools like a dehydrator, Vitamix or spiralizer (but those are fun too!). Give it shot! 3-Try green juice. Get as much goodness as possible in your cup.Next time you stop at Booster Juice or Jamba Juice, choose one of the freshly squeezed juices instead of the sugary blends they so commonly whip up. They say the juices are ‘all natural’ but really they have been heavily processed and made into sugary sorbets and fruit ‘cocktails’. Don’t be fooled by this deceptive marketing, go with the simpler choice. Look for a juice blend with kale, spinach, beet, cucumber, celery, carrot, apple, ginger or lemon! If you really want to optimize your health you can invest in your own juicer and get busy in the kitchen and come up with your own marvelous creations. Fun, fun, fun! Wheatgrass and E3 Live (blue-green algae) shots are also PACKED full of nutrition and are a much better choice than some of the other menu options. Can’t handle the taste? Chase it with a little bit of freshly squeezed orange juice. 4-Find an activity that you really enjoy and do a little each day. By now, we all know about the importance of exercising and living a healthy active life. But what benefit does it have if we don’t truly enjoy every last moment? If you find yourself straining and pushing yourself in your workouts to the point where you hate it and want it to be over, than you may want to reconsider your workout. Having negative thoughts during your intense workout just will not yield the same results as if you have fun in the process. Negative, angry thoughts bring about stress and a hyper vigilant state, which in turn makes the body more acidic. Happy, playful thoughts do just the opposite, they relax you and reduce the risk of disease. If you haven’t found your place in the world of fitness, don’t fret. There is something out there for everyone. Try a new activity each week until you find something that really clicks. I find it really helps is you bond with others in the class or try new activities with a friend. Camaraderie makes the process of working out more fun and the benefits on the body more profound. 5-Take the time to learn about what foods are best for your body. Knowledge is power! The more that you know food the better choices you can make on the fly without relying on a meal plan. The Internet is the greatest tool when it comes to researching how to eat a well balanced diet. Keep a list of healthy recipes that you would like to make in the future and try to get in the habit of cooking a new one each week. This will help to broaden your healthy meal repertoire, which is beneficial for you and your loved ones. Be well, Gillian

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Happiness Secrets You Keep Forgetting, by Leigh Newman

Monday, November 26, 2012

Moments When Life Is Looking-Glass Magical, By Erin Morgenstern

Moments When Life Is Looking-Glass Magical Author extraordinaire Erin Morgenstern—and the genius behind The Night Circus—shows us those brief, unexpected times that elevate life into a mirror-shimmering otherworldliness that's still undeniably real. By Erin Morgenstern When It's 3 a.m. I like to call it nighttime brain: the way your mind seems to function on a different frequency than it does during daylight hours—which can be good or bad but also can lead to unexpected epiphanies or experiences that wouldn't be the same at any other time of day. They say it's darkest before the dawn, but it also tends to be quietest, and the quiet lets you hear yourself better. When You Experience Kitchen Alchemy You don't have to be a chef or even a particularly good cook to experience proper kitchen alchemy: the moment when ingredients combine to form something more delectable than the sum of their parts. Fancy ingredients or recipes not required; simple, made-up things are usually even better. Apples made luscious with cinnamon and sugar and butter or fresh tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt. It tastes even better because you made it yourself. When You Find a Kindred Spirit When you meet someone new who instantly gets you, your sense of humor and your attitudes and your worldview, even if theirs are different—and you get them in return. You both talk and talk and agree and laugh and nod and yes, yes, of course you should get another round of drinks. When You're on Page Number Lost That wonderful stage during the reading of a book when you've taken enough plot turns to be thoroughly absorbed and properly lost. You're still a good ways from the ending, desperately curious to see what happens but at the same time dreading being finished and not wanting to leave. You look up from the pages and feel a bit surprised and confused that you're still sitting on a chair or on a beach or on a bus or a train, since, of course, you've been somewhere else entirely. When You Receive an Unexpected Cupcake Especially if it has cream cheese frosting. And sprinkles. When the Veil Is Thin It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin—and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright. You can wander out after dark, brushing shoulders with the walking dead of the zombie variety—but there are carved pumpkin lanterns to guide every lost soul home, just in case. When You Haven't Quite Kissed...Yet That anticipation-heavy moment just before, when the kiss is inevitable and your lips are so close but not yet touching. This is especially true for first kisses—but even better when that shivering anticipation carries over into subsequent ones weeks, months or even years later. When You Extinguish Your Birthday Candles Once a year you get a wish all your own to use as you please and you never need to tell anyone. In fact, it's a wish that's meant to be personal and maybe a tad self-indulgent—a hope-laden deep breath to cast over your candles and carry you into a brand-new year of living. (I like to think that the strength of the wish increases with the number of flames to extinguish...and that your wish is strengthened if you eat an extra piece of cake.) When an Evening Involves Twinkly Lights on Strings I'm a firm believer that lighting affects mood, and twinkly lights on strings bring something magical to occasions ranging from concerts to weddings, though I'm fond of using them as year-round home décor. There's a reason why they're sometimes called fairy lights. When the night is right, there aren't any strings at all. Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus (Knopf Doubleday). More Ways to Experience Life's Magic 5 things you can do to feel wonder 8 simple actions that create delight 10 breathtaking marvels of our world Read more:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet includes healthy amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts, and limits red meats to avoid unhealthy fats. It encourages the use of monounsaturated fats (mainly olive oil) in cooking, which is traditional among people of the Mediterranean region. This diet focuses on the types of fat (healthy fats) consumed rather than the amount of fat. It also includes red wine in moderation — no more than a glass a day. “The Mediterranean Diet is recognized for its role in reducing cardiovascular risk factors, one of which is high blood pressure,” says Andrea Frank, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago.

Getting Fiber Without Excessive Gas, By Diana Rodriguez

Getting Fiber Without Excessive Gas A high-fiber diet offers many health benefits, but unfortunately it also comes with an unpleasant side effect. Here's how to fit fiber into your diet without all that intestinal gas. By Diana Rodriguez Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH Many people have an image of bland, tasteless foods when they think of fiber. And according to the American Dietetic Association, the typical American eats only about 11 grams of fiber a day, even though most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams and men should aim for over 30 grams. But fiber doesn’t deserve its dull rap — in fact, when you eat a balanced diet that’s rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you’ll likely get most of the fiber you need. Fiber has also been shown to help manage weight and lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, when you start to include more fiber-rich foods in your diet, you may start to notice an undesirable side effect: excessive gas. Flatulence and bloating can result, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, to say the least. Foods That Cause Gas Many carbohydrates can cause stomach gas, as they can be tough for the digestive system to process. Some common high-fiber foods that can cause excessive gas include: Beans Whole-wheat products, such as cereals, breads, and pastas Bran products Oatmeal and oat bran Vegetables, especially asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage Fruits, especially pears, peaches, prunes, and apples Fortunately, you don't have to eliminate these healthy, tasty foods from your diet to get relief from excessive gas. Ease Into High Fiber Converting to a high-fiber diet is a great idea, but you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to fiber. One way to prevent uncomfortable intestinal gas is to slowly increase the fiber in your diet. Rather than adding high-fiber foods all at once, add just one or two servings a day to your regular diet for a week — maybe switching from white to whole wheat bread for your sandwich at lunch, or adding a salad at dinner. Let your body adjust, then add another serving the following week, and so on. Giving your body a chance to get used to processing the increase in fiber will make the transition easier and reduce the amount of intestinal gas you'll have to deal with. Ward Off Excessive Gas There are a few other things you can do to prevent a gastrointestinal protest as you introduce more high-fiber foods to your diet: Eliminate other foods that cause gas. If you're already overwhelming your gut with fiber, cut out other foods that create gas. Try limiting or avoiding sugar-free candy and gum that contain sorbitol and gassy carbonated beverages. Load up on water. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water will help to prevent uncomfortable intestinal gas and bloating. Watch your air intake. When you eat, drink, and chew gum, you swallow a lot of air, which can result in excessive gas. Eat slowly, avoid smoking, and spit out the gum to cut down on how much air gets into your belly. Keep a list of what you eat and when you experience excessive gas. Maybe some foods affect you more than others, and simply cutting out those specific items can help reduce intestinal gas. Keep a journal of the foods that you eat, and write down when you get a bad bout of stomach gas — look for patterns that tell you which foods to avoid. Most importantly, just give your body a chance. Once you’ve had time to get used to digesting all of this bulky fiber, you'll probably notice that your excessive gas symptoms subside. Don't give up on your healthy, high-fiber diet — know that this gas too shall pass.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Get Fit: Real Fitness Information You Can Trust

Get Fit: Real Fitness Information You Can Trust The American Council on Exercise® (ACE®) Fitness Tips from the American Council on Exercise® 7 Fitness Tips for 2011 By Jessica Matthews The start of a new year typically consists of making resolutions to get in shape and stay healthy. But the truth is many people don’t know how to start a safe and effective workout regimen. Implementing a new fitness program doesn’t mean you simply hop on a treadmill and start running. There are questions to ask yourself, your trainer (if you choose to use one) and even your physician before you start planning your exercise routine. To help kick off 2011, here are a few tips for you to consider when determining a fitness plan that’s right for you: Set achievable goals. By setting goals, you’ll have a better idea of what your exercise program should look like and what you will want to get out of it. Understanding your fitness objectives, such as losing weight, toning up or becoming stronger, will define what kind of regimen will work best and offer the most success in the long run. Be sure to make your goals specific and accomplishable. Work with a certified personal trainer. A trainer is not always necessary, but it’s generally recommended to meet with a certified fitness professional when starting a new exercise program. He or she will be able to offer advice on the best ways to reach your goals, provide specific exercises and ensure that you’re performing them correctly. Be careful when picking your trainer―not just anyone will do! Here are some tips on how to pick a personal trainer, which includes making sure he or she is certified. Keep a fitness journal. Before you begin, write out all of the exercises—including the number of reps and type of cardio―you plan to accomplish daily or weekly to help you visualize your new fitness program and see how much time you will need to dedicate to it. By writing in this journal each time you work out, you’ll be able to keep track of your progress, as well as adjust the level of intensity of any of the exercises as needed. Consult your physician. Once you set your goals and desired fitness program, it’s important to meet with your physician before getting started. If you’ve ever had a heart condition, take blood pressure or heart medications, have joint or bone problems or are over age 45, then it’s especially important to visit or call your doctor before getting started. If you have a preexisting medical condition, there could be potential risks in adding physical activity to your daily routine. Start slow. Upon creating your exercise program and getting your doctor’s blessing, it’s time to begin! If you’re not used to exercising regularly, set a goal to exercise once or twice a week. As your body adjusts to this schedule, slowly increase the number of times you exercise until you find a comfortable weekly routine. Listen to your body. Like everything, fitness is different for everyone. It’s important to be in tune with and nurture your body. If you start feeling fatigued, lessen the intensity of your workouts or reduce the amount you exercise by one less day per week. When your body is ready for a little more physical activity, add another day onto your routine or find ways to safely challenge yourself during exercise. Don’t get discouraged. If you miss a day at the gym, or even a whole week, don’t get down on yourself—just get back on track when you’re ready and keep your goals in mind. Chances are, once your fitness program becomes part of your daily routine, your body will start craving that extra physical activity and you’ll want to go for a run or hit the gym more often. | Jessica Matthews develops and delivers fitness education as an Academy Exercise Scientist for the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®). Matthews, who is also an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and a registered yoga instructor, specializes in basic wellness, women’s fitness and mind-body exercise.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Is There Enough Gratitude in Your Life?

Is There Enough Gratitude in Your Life?: I took a personality test, "Is There Enough Gratitude in Your Life?", and I got "You Are Grateful for What You Have".

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Top 10 Tips to Getting the Results You Want By Andra Campitelli, ND

By Andra Campitelli, ND Top 10 Tips to Getting the Results You Want Most people have tried one diet or another and just can’t seem to find one that works, or one that maintains their results. There are many different reasons why this occurs and I’m going to give you my top 10 tips to getting (and keeping) that weight off! #1) Avoid Fad Diets! Every time you turn around, there is a new diet being marketed that promises you extreme amounts of weight loss in very short periods of time. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Crash diets and losing extreme amounts of weight in short periods of time is not only unsustainable, but unhealthy! The average weight loss is 2 lbs per week, so be patient, get on track the right way and your body will lose the weight (and keep it off) as it naturally should. To get that balance in your life and to start you on the way to healthy weight loss, complete your personal profile in the 5 key areas of health: Nutrition, Vitamins, Exercise, Attitude and Sleep. If you live well, you will never have to diet a day in your life (hard to believe, but very true!) #2) Supplementation When it comes to supplementation, the key is making sure our body has the nutrients it needs! Oftentimes, we find we are doing all the right things, but just can’t seem to shed the pounds. If you’re going to take on a new exercise program or weight loss plan, make sure you’re giving your body everything it needs. If you’re deficient in any vitamins or nutrients, it could be working against you. For example, if you’re low in B vitamins, this could be contributing to fatigue and to making your workouts a challenge. Or, if you’re lacking joint support, joint pain can make your workouts painful or even impossible. Other times, your metabolism may have slowed to a crawl and could use a little help getting back on track. We want to make sure we use our Truestar supplements to keep our body healthy so that they can naturally assist us in reaching our health and fitness goals. Try some of my favorite supplements: TrueLEAN Extreme, TrueThermo and TrueCraving Control. #3) It’s okay to cheat, sometimes! We all have our little treats that we enjoy and the goal of weight loss is not to miss out on the things you love. Life is all about balance. Often, when we restrict ourselves so severely, we fall off the wagon and we fall hard! Instead of having one small bite of chocolate, or a few pieces of your favorite candy, you end up eating the entire chocolate bar with a whole bag of candy followed by ice cream for dessert. This is not going to help your weight loss goals! As long as you eat well 80% of the time, you’re doing well! Allow yourself that treat every now and then and avoid those unhealthy binges. #4) Exercise: It’s more than just cardio! Many people assume that weight loss is all about cardio, especially women, who are terrified to “bulk up” when they lift weights. It’s actually quite difficult to build large amounts of muscle, but you do need some! Muscle burns fat and boosts the metabolism. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to mix weight training with cardio for the best results. #5) Nutrition Many people think that losing weight means they have to cut out an entire food group. This is completely false! All of the meals on are hormonally balanced with the perfect ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in EVERY meal. Our bodies NEED those nutrients for a reason so if anyone tells you to cut them out, be skeptical! Your body relies on these nutrients to function and as long as you are eating them in the right proportions, then you don’t have to be concerned! #6) Manage Stress Have you ever noticed that you seem to gain weight when you’re stressed? It’s not all in your mind or in the treats that you reach for when you’re feeling overwhelmed (although emotional eating will definitely work against your weight loss goals!). When we’re stressed, we release an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol actually causes our body to pack on the pounds and it sends it right to the midsection! So, be sure to manage your stress accordingly! #7) Drink, Drink, Drink Often we mistake thirst for hunger! And, what our body really needs is water, but we find ourselves reaching for food instead. Hydration is key! Chronic dehydration can trigger misleading hunger cues and food cravings as the body turns to food to satiate its need for water. Additionally, dehydration can make us feel fatigued, give us headaches or cause our energy levels to crash, making us think we need food or sugar, and then we pair that with a coffee to get that energy kick. So, be sure to keep hydrated and avoid unnecessary calories! #8) Make wise drink choices! I prefer to consume my calories from food rather than from drinks! Juice and alcoholic beverages are full of unneeded sugar and calories, not to mention additives, chemicals and aspartame, which our bodies really don’t need. So, make smart choices when it comes to what you drink. If you have a glass of juice, make sure it is 100% natural with no sugar added and count that as one fruit consumed that day. Even though it’s a natural sugar, it’s still sugar and can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and excess sugar can be stored as fat. Same goes for wine, so just be wise when making your drink choices. #9) Eating fat won’t make you fat! Often, people think that eating fat will make them fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth! As mentioned above, our bodies need fat, but the right KIND of fat. Eating healthy fats, such as avocadoes or olive oil, is actually good for you and will NOT contribute to weight gain when eaten in the right proportions. #10) Stay motivated! Don’t let setbacks or slip-ups discourage you and cause you to give up! We all make mistakes, so be patient and realistic with your goals and expectations. And, keep at it, no matter what setbacks you face. Dr. Andi’s Weight Loss Supplement Recommendations: TrueDETOX and Cleanse TrueLEAN Extreme TrueCraving Control TrueThermo Best of luck! Dr. Andi

Friday, November 9, 2012

Deepak Chopra: A Freer (Happier!) Way to Think

Deepak Chopra: A Freer (Happier!) Way to Think Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and the author of God: A Story of Revelation, shows us how to bring lasting joy back into our lives. By Deepak Chopra Every day unwanted thoughts enter our minds: "What's wrong with me?" "I keep doing this to myself," "I'm stupid," "I'm all alone," "I never get a break" and "How will I ever get out of this?"' 'Our minds are vulnerable to negative thoughts, causing us doubt, worry, anxiety—and frequently, it's the same negative thoughts that return over and over. Repetition is a sign that you need to change. A part of you is calling out to get your attention. These thoughts are like having a rock in your shoe. It's not reasonable to ask the rock to quit hurting you or to see it as your enemy. The pain the rock causes is only asking for a remedy. The first step is making a decision, one that only you can make: to walk away from the false solutions and futile tactics that have kept you stuck in your mental misery. It's not the thoughts that are making you miserable; it's the lack of a viable strategy. Psychologists have asserted for decades that there is a huge difference between having a negative thought and turning it into action. Yet this lesson never seems to sink in. Thoughts are just fleeting mental images. They have no consequences until you choose to make them important. Let's look more closely at the five choices that will help you take the mental rock out of your shoe. 1. Turn Negativity into Positive Action If an obsessive thought is a cry for help—and it is—bring the help that's asked for. You wouldn't neglect a crying child, yet we all neglect our negative thoughts, which are the mental equivalent. Let's say you are in a difficult situation and you start thinking, "What's wrong with me?" or "How will I ever get out of this?" Acknowledge that you are feeling scared, which is the real event occurring in your mind. Don't push the anxiety away. Take a break and walk away from the immediate stress. Sit quietly and take some deep breaths. Do your best to center yourself. Once you feel calm enough to address the situation, make a plan. Write down the possible steps you can take that will be positive, achievable actions. (The point here is to use the rational side of the brain rather than giving in to runaway emotion.) Once you have your list, put the positive actions in order of which to do first, second and third. Now take the first step. Turning an emotional event inside yourself into a set of rational steps is one of the best ways to rise above the level of the problem to the level of the solution. 2. Get a Healthy Outside Perspective If a negative mental habit—like feeling insecure, scared or helpless—has been with you for a while, you need to check if your plan for action is workable. Seek outside validation. Go to someone you trust, preferably someone who displays the qualities you want to acquire (e.g., a firm sense of self, a lack of fear and plenty of self-reliance), and discuss the practical things you intend to do. I'm not talking about the kind of adviser who says things like "Get over it," "Everyone feels that way" or "Poor thing." Such statements are copouts. Seek someone who genuinely empathizes and can validate your plan to change. 3. Don't Indulge the Level of Futility We've already discussed our propensity to keep doing what never worked in the first place. But futile tactics are insidious. They keep coming to mind over and over, despite their record of failure. The difficulty is that you have wired your brain, setting down a groove that is all too easy to fall back into. Grooves can be erased only by forming new grooves. If you find yourself falling back into self-defeating thoughts, stop and say, "That's how I've been approaching the problem. And it doesn't work." You will have to do this more than once, and yet each time is useful. The more you stop indulging the level of futility, the more mental energy can be devoted to new tactics. Please note, I'm not saying that you should fight your old mental habits. That's a recipe for more misery, as all wars are. Your aim is simply to notice what doesn't work, which is a form of mindfulness or self-awareness. 4. Expand Your Awareness When the mind is constricted, it becomes like a tight muscle—you can't expect it to move as long as it's cramped. The things that constrict the mind: old conditioning, outworn beliefs, ritualized thinking, habit, inertia, fear and low expectations. These are challenges you need to confront as honestly as possible. Having a closed mind doesn't feel good, so whenever you detect any kind of inner discomfort, the first tactic should be to expand your awareness. Let's say that you feel resentment toward someone else. Clearly, that is a contracted mindset. If you were more open-minded, you'd start to tolerate that person, see their good side, and stop waiting for something new to blame and dislike them for. In and of itself, open-mindedness solves all kinds of problems that are the result of narrow-mindedness. But to achieve it, you need to stop believing that being stuck, judgmental, opinionated and self-important ever works. You must learn to know yourself better, to follow the model of tolerant people rather than prejudiced ones, to turn away from victimization and so on. For years I've recommended meditation as the most effective way to expand awareness. Also useful are mindfulness, self-reflection, prayer, contemplation and counseling. 5. Take Full Responsibility Your mind encompasses the best of yourself and the worst. It holds the greatest promises and the greatest threats. Our minds create our reality. Once you face this fact, it can be overwhelming. We all secretly want to escape responsibility for creating the situation we find ourselves in. We don't want to face painful truths. Change feels like risk. Our minds are used to projecting blame and judgment upon others. So much promise goes unfulfilled this way. In truth, the power to create your reality, which begins by building a mature self, opens the way to life's greatest joys. 6. Develop a Higher Vision of Your Life It would be sheer drudgery if you took responsibility for only the bad things in your life. You are also responsible for the good things. If you have a vision for yourself, you can aim higher. The good things become more meaningful because you are heading for long-term fulfillment. This is much better than a string of short-term pleasures, nice as they may be. People without a vision can amass a lot of small pleasures. This kind of immediate gratification is everywhere in our society; distractions are a multi-billion-dollar business. Look at your daily quotient of idling around the Internet, video games, channel surfing, movies, snacking, shopping, and merely hanging around. These distractions are hangovers from adolescence, when immaturity was a natural state. They drop away when life moves on and you undertake the project of building a self. The point isn't to become self-serious and reject having fun. The point is to aim for higher satisfactions that last. By developing a vision of what your life is about, you are asking, "Who am I?" and then turning your answer into positive actions. 7. Make Full Use of Your Successes We began with the universal problem of mental misery, tracing it back to the mind being an enemy instead of an ally. When you start making your mind into a friend, each step forward needs to be reinforced. That's how the brain gets new neural pathways that last. Without reinforcement, your successes will seem to float away while your problems will seem to stick around. In reality, negativity has no power to defeat positivity. Both forces exist in everyone's mind. The real issue is to bring in as much light as you can. Negativity acquires its power through repetition, being unconscious, judging yourself and focusing on setbacks. Positivity gains its power by celebrating our successes, associating with people who are good role models, learning to be emotionally resilient, being objective about your situation and, above all else, acquiring self-awareness. I realize that I've set out a plan for overcoming mental misery that sounds daunting if you are used to following futile tactics—most of which only postpone the day when you make a tremendous discovery, that you are not life's victim or fate's pawn. But you are the creative center of your own existence. The greatest power we have is the power to create reality. Mental misery denies you that power. Taking positive steps to turn our mind into an ally is the escape route everyone has been seeking for centuries. The essence of wisdom is to see that there is always a solution once you realize that the mind, which seems to create so much suffering, has infinite potential to create fulfillment instead. More From Deepak Chopra How to get out of a sad slump 3 questions to ask when things go wrong Advice for dealing with difficult people Read more:

Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

Are you currently trying to lose weight?