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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sleep Well=Be Well

Getting a good night's rest is vital to your physical and mental health.

Sleep occupies 1/3 of our existence. Sleep affects our physiological and psychological processes and in turn, our bodies and the state of our minds, hearts, and souls affects our sleep.

The timing of sleep is regulated by a circadian clock. Human beings have a circadian rhythm which prefers sleep at night, when it is dark, and awake hours when light, during the day.

Human beings require, on average 8 hours a sleep, during the preferred night time. Teenagers need 8-9 hours, while elderly can function optimally on 6-7 hours.

Is This Living??!!
Consequences of short-term sleep deprivation can make you have a less fulfilled and satisfying life with symptoms and effects ranging from decreased alertness and performance, memory and cognitive impairment, stress in your communications and relationships, occupational injuries, accidents -- particularly automobile, and poor quality of life.

Long Term Sleep Problems -- Truly Pre-Morbid and Morbid
Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with many medical illnesses, such as heart attacks and heart failure, stroke, obesity, psychiatric illness -- depression and mood swings, attention deficit disorder, fetal and childhood growth retardation, non-reversible mental impairment and cognitive function, non-reversible and/or untreatable injury(ies) from accidents, severed relationships due to a disruption of a bed partner's sleep quality, poor quality of life.

Do not let poor sleep habits interfere with a full, great quality of life. Don't accept your restless nights sleep as 'normal' or even 'necessary'.! Many people often think they can't get all that they need to get done over the normal course of a day and stay up until the wee hours or don't sleep at all! Who said you MUST get everything done TODAY? And if 'they' did, it's THEIR problem -- don't make it yours!

Keep in mind these two quotes:

"Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow." Don Herold


"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." by Charles M Schulz

Take a looks at the following website to get tips to help you to sleep well:

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Do it for YOU!

"I tried so hard to please that I never realized no one was watching. It is here in this unwatched space that peace begins." Mark Nepo

Losing weight, getting fit, eating healthier, drinking alcohol moderately, stopping smoking -- whatever it is that you need to do to feel and look better -- do it first and foremost FOR YOURSELF.

Whenever we feel pressured to look 'that' part of whatever we feel someone(s) ELSE wants us to be -- whether it's our parent(s) or spouse or group of friends we're trying to impress or for anyone else OTHER than ourselves, it can really undermine and frustrate our goal AND the journey to get to our goal. If you feel people 'watching', it can create anxiety, if not paranoia. It's awful. It can DRIVE you to overeat, veg out, drink, smoke like a chimney, and pig out -- when no one is looking, of course! And THAT CAN create a whole new set of problems and obstacles to overcome -- guilt, self-loathing, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, eating disorders,manic behaviours -- and make, what started out as a challenging, but,fairly straightforward issue (ie -- getting in shape, getting fit, curbing your alcohol intake, stopping smoking, etc.), extremely complex and difficult to overcome.

For many years, I felt the pressure to be not JUST fit, but super slim. I thought my patients and their families, the doctors and nurses, and especially all the medical students needed me to be THAT. I thought, somehow, I'd be more credible and they would take nutrition more seriously if they saw that I was this perfectly thin and toned person. The problem was -- I accomplished my 'leanness' by just eating less and, actually, not enough for my long-term needs. I probably ate enough energy-yielding macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein) to give me my MINIMAL daily functional doses, but not what I needed to STORE and develop. I was toned because, basically, I was young! But, I really wasn't building muscle tone -- I was just eliciting the natural tone I had because of being genetically blessed. I also was not practicing the lifestyle of making exercise and a fitness regime a part of a healthy lifestyle life. I used diet alone to get and stay thin -- too thin. Because, eventually, when I came to a point when I no longer was in the medical community 'eye' every day, all day and often, night -- I started to drift back into the horrible behaviours I had as an obese child and teenager -- binging. Thankfully, I never became anorexic or bulimic, but it was extremely dysfunctional. All the knowledge and example of me -- the 'uber-nutritionist' -- completely out the window.

It took years for me to finally come to the 'truth' of my body. I need to CORRECTLY PRACTICE all my knowledge of healthy,BALANCED diet and I DO -- it's a part of me, BUT,I MUST incorporate a REGULAR fitness regime and DAILY exercise. This translates to a body that is NOT skinny, but curvaceous and toned. And that's ME -- at my best! And whoever thinks I need to be thinner or flatter or skinny -- well -- that's THEIR issue -- not mine. What I've also found is that when people who are 'watching' make remarks and critique negatively someone who is really and truly living 'truth' -- it often is out of their own frustration on that very issue or something similar. People project their own failures onto others. This insidious dynamic is so destructive -- for the recipient and the protagonist.
In other words -- no one is really 'watching' ME -- it is themselves they are 'watching'

Peace is a wonderful thing == let it BEGIN TODAY for you! That's what I pray for you for the upcoming holidays and your NEW YOU NEW YEAR! Shalom! Vredeschap!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Make ONE Healthy Change Today!

What you choose to eat is so personal and intimate and SO dependent on many factors: what you like, your budget, access to food(s), where you live, your schedule, your age, your sex, your baseline physical condition.

Whenever I advise people on optimal diet, I MUST consider all of these relative factors, plus a few more that inevitably crop up. I would really be foolish if I ONLY thought about their absolute nutritional needs.

But, a body is SO dependent on its absolute nutritional needs. THAT is THE one factor that makes it healthy or unhealthy. So, it IS absolutely crucial to make nutritional-based choices when you decide what you are going to eat, EVEN IF it sometimes means eating things you must TEACH yourself to like, work into your budget, find time to prepare, and certainly make time to eat properly.

But, an optimal nutritional diet does NOT have to happen all at once. You can better make eventual changes and then make these changes STICK and integrate themselves organically into your daily lifestyle rather than go 'on and off' a totally different way of eating than you are used to. Evidence shows that making a few healthy changes to diet can result in MAJOR benefits which can change your whole health profile. For example, if you would make ONE change of switching from white-flour grain products to whole-grain products, you can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Whole-grains, like oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, brown breads, rice, and pastas effect in clearing the bad cholesterol (LDL and VLDL) from the body and also moderates blood glucose levels.

ONE CHANGE -- switching from white grains to whole grains!

Another example is making a change to include EVERY day into your diet some source of probiotic live-culture bacteria, such as is found in pro-biotic yogurt pots and drinks. This ONE CHANGE can have a tremendously calming and regulatory effect on your digestion and gastrointestinal function. You will have healthier colon flora and better bowel function.

Another ONE CHANGE is to STOP using sugar in your coffee and tea or even to DECREASE the amount you use and to also do the same with sugar-substitutes.

So, until you get to the point when you really feel strong and focused enough to make your diet PRIMARILY NUTRITIONALLY-DRIVEN, make ONE CHANGE TODAY. And then, every couple weeks, make ONE CHANGE more, and so on.

Do IT today!!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Eucryl, Flossing, ANYTHING!

Sometimes you really have to try everything you can to stave off giving in to the temptation to eat when you truly are not hungry. This is especially true during the holidays when there are SO much tasty foods, drinks, and goodies around.

A tip I've often resorted to is just getting up and brushing my teeth. It helps because it takes your mind away from food, it gets you out of the vicinity of food, it makes you look at yourself in the mirror, focusing on your MOUTH which makes you stop and think that you don't want that mouth to be eating -- especially after brushing. What really REALLY helps is taking the extra steps of flossing, too!

Flossing makes you dig right into the inbetween bits of your teeth and takes even MORE time.....time to think....time to realize how not worth it it is to eat when you're not hungry and to eat high-sugar, high-fat treats -- not now -- after you've so fastidiously cleaned your mouth and teeth.

Taking things a step further, you could also try brushing your teeth with Eucryl. Now, you wouldn't be able to do this more than twice a week, but those 2X/week will make a whitening and brightening difference in your teeth and smile which will further make you stop and think -- 'I want to look good...I want to look great -- why would I eat that piece of cake or pie or cookie or chocolate or whatever-- not after I've worked so hard and I wouldn't want to spoil my dazzling smile,now, would I?!'

Eucryl is a whitening powder. It's sold in the UK. I've never seen it in the States, but I never looked for it there. I would ask at a pharmacy if they have it. It works better than whitening strips, in my opinion, and it's much much cheaper. It CANNOT be used on damaged, teeth, though.

Pick up your tooth brush instead of that handful of chips.

Think Beautiful Smile instead of Bloated Belly!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Chopped Frozen Garlic! An Incredible Find!

One of the most incredible 'inventions' of modern times -- chopped frozen garlic!

Garlic -- whether you use lots or just that taste-enhancing smidgen -- is uber-healthy and really heightens the taste of many dishes. When things taste delicately delectable -- one feels satisfied with sensible portions, ergo, you eat APPROPRIATE amounts and don't feel the need to over-eat.

BUT, as you know -- the smell of garlic can be offensive and can linger -- on your breath, on your hands, on your clothes -- not just after eating something made with it, but, actually, after one has cooked with it.
It can really put you off from cooking with it and from eating food made with it. Shame!

BECAUSE, the important thing to note with garlic is that if you use FRESH, HIGH-QUALITY garlic -- that offensive, lingering odor is MUCH MUCH less, if not there AT ALL! It's the too-old, dried out, and brown garlic that reeks.

When choosing garlic, look for plump, unbruised, milky-white, heavy bulbs. If you don't use it that often, only buy a few bulbs instead of a whole braid. Even if a bulb is still whole, the longer it sits, the less fresh it becomes -- especially if it's not stored in a cool, dark place. I don't recommended keeping garlic bulbs for longer than 10 days.

Better yet -- look for FROZEN CHOPPED GARLIC. This stuff is AMAZING. You, as the cook, completely skip the whole step of chopping fresh garlic -- you know, the part where you walk around the rest of the day, if not week afterward, reeking of garlic. And you, as the 'diner' will enjoy whatever delicacy you're consuming without noticing the difference. When frozen garlic is produced, garlic from the height of the garlic season is used, so you can always count on getting the freshest, highest-quality garlic. I use it now all the time, mainly for my cooked dishes, but it CAN be used in instances where you need raw garlic. I'm not there, yet, though. I still feel it's best to do garlic the old-fashioned way for when I need it raw -- that is -- choosing a couple cloves from a FRESH bulb, whacking the skin off to release the milky clove and chopping.

If you SHOULD need to 'de-reek' yourself, here's some tips:

If you dip your fingers in some milk for a minute, and then rub them on a clean spoon for a few more minutes -- this often takes away the garlic smell. Also, if you sip some milk after you've eaten something intensely garlicky, this often removes garlic breath.

BUT, having said all that -- again, choose the freshest, highest- quality garlic you can find!

And now it's time for NUTRISH and DELISH!

Here's an EASY, QUICK, DELICIOUS, and HEALTHY dish using chopped, frozen garlic:

Garlic Shrimp Diablo


Fresh or frozen UNCOOKED jumbo shrimp (prawns) -- about 1 lb. (500 g)-- or however much you need, depending on servings you need, allowing about 6 large shrimp per person

2 T olive oil

1 small chili pepper, chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped dried chili pepper

3 T chopped fresh parsley

Baby pomodori or cherry tomatoes -- a punnet

1 can chopped or cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic or 1 rounded Tablespoon frozen, chopped garlic

1 medium chopped onion

1/2 cup white whine

Salt, pepper, oregano

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions, and chili pepper and sautee` until soft, NOT brown. Add shrimp and cook through until they START to turn pink. Add chopped parsley while continuing to stir through shrimp. Next, add and stir through the fresh tomatoes. Lower heat and allow this mixture to meld together for just a couple minutes. Add canned tomatoes and let simmer through the mixture for about 5 minutes. Add white wine, salt, pepper, and oregano and let the whole mix simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with a fresh green salad.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

5 reasons you're going to succeed in losing weight and getting fit

1. Because you WANT IT! You want it SO bad. You've made the decision and you are going to follow through on doing what it takes to get there.

2. Because you're more informed now than ever before. You have access to really good information from real experts! Great experts share their knowledge for FREE in so many places now -- magazines, newspapers, on the internet, BLOGS. You can always pay for professional guidance, but, it's not the only way these days and not only for the wealthy minority, anymore. You probably know better than anyone, what works for you and now you can log on to so many places to just REFRESH your strategy, get new ideas and recipes, and perhaps, even get an alternative plan or two to help achieve your goal(s). You can check what's long-term, short-term, helpful for this particular need or that specific issue, find answers to questions, etc. etc.

3. Because you don't ever have to feel you struggle alone or in isolation. It's possible, now, to obtain group support and empathy,ALSO,via online sources. It doesn't replace face-to-face group meetings, but it certainly can keep you connected and energized with the positivity and fresh motivation you need to succeed.

4. Because in this age of economic uncertainty and questionable reliable health-care assurance and INSURANCE coverage, you want to do whatever you can to safeguard your precious health and to PREVENT illness and disease. If these things happen, anyway, you can never feel guilty that you didn't try your best. You want to feel that peace of mind that comes with living healthy and well.

5. Because you're absolutely gorgeous and you know it! You know what you look like when you are living a healthy lifestyle -- eating balanced, exercising and/or keeping yourself physically active, grooming yourself as best as you can, and wearing the types of clothes and accessories you WANT to wear -- not only what 'fits' and covers all your rolls and keeps people from looking too long and hard at you. You want to SHINE that REAL you! You want to look like, on the outside, the person you FEEL LIKE you are, on the inside. There's nothing sweeter than the feeling of HARMONY of mind, body, and soul.