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Webmaster | 29. April 2006 @ 12:56

Summary:

Hot and Spicy Chick Peas By: The Skinny Cook

This delicious Chick pea curry recipe is fully vegetarian, in the tradition of Vegetarian Indian cooking.

Who said vegetables recipes can't be delicious?

--------------------

Hot and Spicy Chick Peas (VEGETARIAN RECIPE)

Makes 2 servings in 45 minutes

VEGETABLES / Asian (India) / Side Dish / Stove / No marinating

Much of the Indian population is vegetarian, and they enjoy the most extensive vegetable dishes in the world.

This is not only because of the predominant Hindu religion with its respect for all living creatures.

Also feeding 1 billion Indian people nowadays can be done much more efficiently by growing vegetables in stead of animals.

Last but not least: when a refrigerator is not available, it is much easier to use up small portions of vegetables, in stead of having to slaughter and store 1 big animal.

For vegetarian dishes, you will notice that each Indian region has distinct cooking techniques and flavoring principles to prepare them.

You have probably also noticed that there are many, many "curry"-recipes. Actually "Kari" is the Tamil (one of the many languages spoken in India) translation for the English word "sauce". And "curry" is the western way of pronouncing this word.

Before coming to Malaysia, my simple western recipe for using chick peas was to add them in thick soups... Since Malaysia is the melting pot of all Asian cuisines, I notice that there are as much chick pea curry recipes as that there are people here.

Here is one of them: a home-cooked chick pea curry recipe from my Indian friend Ssussi. She uses a lot of fresh ingredients and her recipe takes a bit more of your time than expected for such a simple yet delicious dish.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 can of chick peas (15 1/2 Oz; 439 gr)
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
* 1 green chilly, finely chopped
* 2 medium well ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 10 g vegetable oil
* Spices:
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tea spoon "garam masala"
- salt to taste

PREPARATION

1. Drain chick peas, reserving the liquid.

2. Cook the onions, ginger garlic, chilies and turmeric in the vegetable oil until golden and softened.

3. Add the tomatoes and cook to soften, then add the ground coriander and chick peas.

4. Cook for 10 minutes, add the reserved liquid and cook a further 10 minutes.

5. Add "garam masala", lemon juice and stir in the fresh coriander. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid, if needed, to make a sauce.

Serve with "naan bread", "chapati" or as a side dish.

About the author:

The Skinny Cook aka Stef Glassee, is a Belgian chef living in Malaysia : the melting pot of Asian cuisine.

Find more delicious home-tested recipes at : http://www.theskinnycook.com

Skinny Cooks' Home-Recipes : Eurasian Cooking, Food and Tips!

++++++++++

Copyright The Skinny Cook - http://www.theskinnycook.com

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Webmaster | 28. April 2006 @ 12:56

In past articles I've talked about how dietary sugars (white flour, corn syrup, table sugar, etc.) alter blood sugar levels, and how the body tries to regulate blood sugar through glycogen storage, insulin secretion and body fat creation.

Now let's explore the causes of adult-onset diabetes, and how people can both prevent and even reverse diabetes by applying fundamental knowledge of how the human body deals with dietary sugars and refined carbohydrates.

This process of storing sugar as glycogen or converting it to body fat is initiated by a hormone produced by the pancreas. This hormone, of course, is called insulin. If you consume refined carbohydrates on a regular basis, your pancreas will become overstressed. It's just like if you run your car 24 hours a day and keep revving the engine—eventually something's going to wear out and break. This is what happens with the pancreas, and people who have adult onset diabetes often have an overstressed pancreas. You could call it a worn-out pancreas, although technically that's not an accurate metaphor.

The other problem is that type 2 diabetics have decreased insulin sensitivity in the cells of their body. That means that even though insulin is being produced and circulating through the bloodstream, the cells in the body aren't responding to it. That's why reduced insulin sensitivity is a physiological marker that indicates a person is about to become diabetic. If your insulin sensitivity is reduced, you are on the track to diabetes. In the medical community this is called pre-diabetes. And once again, it is not a genetic disorder—it is something that is directly caused by the foods you choose to consume and the level of physical activity you choose to pursue.

If you are pre-diabetic, that means you have reduced insulin sensitivity, but haven't yet been diagnosed with full-blown adult onset type 2 diabetes. In most cases, you can directly reverse this condition and return to a healthy metabolic state by making new choices in your foods and physical exercise. Remember, diabetes is a disease that is quite easy to reverse if you catch it early enough. And if you're pre-diabetic, you have an opportunity to reverse the situation right now.

Reversing it means making some tough choices in your life. It means, first of all, getting out and engaging in physical exercise on a regular basis. That's 45 minutes a day of walking, or something more strenuous if you can handle it. If you can't walk 45 minutes a day, walk 30 minutes a day. If you can't walk 30 minutes a day, walk 5 minutes a day. If you can't walk 5 minutes a day, just get up out of your chair 3 times—do something to increase your exercise stamina, and work towards walking 45 minutes a day. Everybody can do something. Sitting around doing nothing is no excuse, and it will directly lead you to full-blown diabetes. (Diabetics are really good at making excuses. I know, I used to be pre-diabetic. I would find every reason in the world to avoid physical exercise.)

The second thing people can do is give up all foods that promote diabetes. This means foods that contain ingredients like refined white sugar, sucrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, white flour, enriched flours, and so on. So that means getting rid of all ice cream, cakes, cookies, sweets, desserts, candy bars, etc. These foods are causing your diabetes. Now, you won't hear this from the American Diabetes Association, because that organization is, to put it bluntly, actually thriving on the skyrocketing trend of diabetes in the United States. I've never found the ADA to actually give beneficial nutritional advice that would help people reverse diabetes. Remember, they are funded in large part by pharmaceutical companies, who would actually lose customers if people reversed their diabetic conditions. It's not a conspiracy: it's just plain old corporate greed.

If you want to reverse diabetes, and you want to know the truth about it, keep reading articles like this one, because I'm going to give it to you straight. I'm telling you that you've got a make a list of all the foods and food ingredients to avoid for the rest of your life. And then you must commit to avoiding those foods. No exceptions.

By the way, another side effect of all of this sugar consumption is, of course, rampant weight gain. If you're suffering from obesity (or a very high level of body fat), chances are you got that way by consuming refined carbohydrates. This is why the Atkins diet has been so successful for people who are willing to stick with it. I'm not a huge supporter of the low carb lifestyle as practiced by most Americans, although I do support the avoidance of all processed carbohydrates as recommended by the Atkins program and other low carb dieting systems such as the Hamptons Diet.

Consuming refined carbs and added sugars will put weight on your body faster than any other nutritional strategy. The way to take it off is to avoid these foods for the rest of your life. By the way, if you're serious about reducing your sugar and refined carb intake, be sure to check out my book How to Halt Diabetes in 25 Days, at www.TruthPublishing.com, which contains even more straight talk about sugars and their effects on your metabolic condition.

Here's one last interesting point in all of this — when your body adds fat during this process of converting blood sugar to body fat, it has a blueprint of where to put that fat. For most women, the fat goes on the buttocks and the hips, potentially on the breasts, and eventually under the arms. For men, most of the that weight goes right to the belly, the gut, and only later will it move up to the chest area, the bottom of the neck, and maybe the buttocks and legs as well. The point is, your body has a blueprint of where it is going to store fat, and that blueprint is unique to you. You cannot change this blueprint.

Some people foolishly believe that if they do a bunch of sit-ups, they are going to somehow remove body fat from their abdomen. That's not true at all. Your body decides where to put it on and where to take it off. Other people, who are just as foolish, think that if they go get liposuction, they're going to remove all the body fat from their thighs or their stomach or some other area where it's not cosmetically appealing.

But what happens is now they're missing those fat cells that have been ripped out of their torso through liposuction, but they keep on eating the way they've been eating that made them fat in the first place. They keep on eating all those sweets and ice creams and sugars and other refined carbohydrates. So what happens? Well, the body has to put the fat somewhere, so now all of a sudden, the body is putting this fat in strange places where the fat cells still exist. A woman might end up with massive deposits of fat hanging off of her arms, or the back of her legs and thighs might balloon in size even though her midsection is now apparently much thinner because she doesn't have fat cells there. Liposuction is one of those surgeries that looks good at first, but if you don't change your lifestyle, you're going to look like some sort of Frankenstein monster in the long run.

You're going to have to change your diet sooner or later if you want to try and reverse the effects of diabetes. If you make the decision to change your diet early, you won't need radical surgeries like liposuction in the first place.

Copyright 2006 Truth Publishing

About the author:

Mike Adams, "The Health Ranger," is chief contributor and editor of the NewsTarget Network, a leading independent news source for natural health, nutrition, medicine and other wellness topics. NewsTarget and Webseed.com are leading information resources for consumers seeking independent information on natural health and nutrition. More than 12,000 searchable articles are available at http://www.newstarget.com.

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Webmaster | 27. April 2006 @ 12:56

A big part of enjoying healthier eating is buying healthier foods, and that means making smart choices where it matters most – at the supermarket. Choosing the freshest, healthiest foods is an important first step toward making healthy and delicious meals your whole family will love.

In general, most supermarkets are laid out with the healthiest, most nutritious foods around the perimeter of the store. That is where most stores locate their produce section, their dairy section, their meat counter, and the like. Of course, the middle aisles of the grocery store also contain nutritious foods, such as canned and frozen vegetables, whole grain cereals and more.

And of course each shelf of the grocery store also contains both good and bad choices for healthy eating. For instance, the cereal aisle is home to both the healthy, home grain cereal, and those cereals that contain more sugar than corn. In many cases, the difference will be obvious from the packaging, while at other times you will need to read the nutritional information carefully to ensure the food is healthy for your family.

As a matter of fact, learning to read nutritional labels is one of the most important skills any health oriented shopper must learn. This government mandated labels contain a wealth of information if you know what to look for. Not only do nutritional labels contain vital information on calorie counts, fat grams and sodium content, but they contain detailed information on the percentage of each vitamin an mineral a serving contains.

When looking at nutritional labels, however, pay careful attention to the portion size listed. This is particularly important when looking at calories, fat grams and the amount of sodium. For instance, a serving of juice is generally 8 ounces, while the average juice glass at your home may be 12 or even 16 ounces. It is important to carefully look at serving size, and to do the mental calculation necessary to reflect how much of each product will actually be consumed at one sitting.

When shopping for healthy foods, it is usually better to opt for les processed foods. For instance, 100% fruit juice would be better than a fruit juice blend that may contain as little as 5% or 10% fruit juice. And plain frozen vegetables would be healthier than vegetables in a butter sauce. When shopping for meat, try to buy fresh meat whenever possible. Frozen meat products, or those already seasoned, heat and eat products, often contain unhealthy ingredients as well as preservatives.

When it comes to dairy products, it is best to buy low fat and non fat varieties when at all possible. The one exception to this rule is feeding babies and young children. Their growing bodies need the fat and calories contained in whole milk products, but adults and older children are better served by low fat alternatives.

When choosing canned soups, there are a number of fat free and low sodium varieties. Try to choose these soups for a healthier lifestyle. Other high protein, low calorie soup choices include black bean soup, lentil soup and split pea soup. These healthy soups are good sources of protein, fiber and folate.

Ethnic foods, such as Mexican and Chinese, can be excellent sources of healthy meals, and the traditional ways of preparing such foods are generally very healthy. It is important to stay as authentic as possible when choosing and preparing Mexican, Asian, Middle Eastern and Italian food. This will help guarantee both great taste and healthy eating. For instance, traditional salsa is an excellent, low calorie, and nutritious dip, and the traditional Mexican black bean dip is usually fat free.

Seasonings can be an excellent way to spice up healthy cooking without adding additional fat and calories. Herbs and spices are a great way to add zest to any meal, and starting an herb garden of your own is a great way to save both time and money while providing fresh tasting, healthy meals for your family. When buying spices in the grocery store, be especially careful about sodium content. Read the label carefully, since the first ingredient on many bottled spices is actually salt (another great reason to start that herb garden).

About the author:

Christos Varsamis is a Marketing Consultant at http://www.settinglifegoals.com. Get your Free E-courses “How to Create Minisites That Make Money in Just 24 Hours + Secrets of Internet Millionaires” at http://www.cbmallclickbank.com & http://www.cbmallgr.com.

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Webmaster | 26. April 2006 @ 12:56

Your adrenal glands are two tiny pyramid-shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.

Adrenaline is manufactured in the interior of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal medulla. Cortisol, the other chemical from the adrenal gland, is made in the exterior portion of the gland, called the adrenal cortex. The cortex also secretes androgens, estrogens, and progestins. Cortisol, commonly called hydrocortisone, is the most abundant -- and one of the most important -- of many adrenal cortex hormones. Cortisol helps you handle longer-term stress situations.

In addition to helping you handle stress, these two primary adrenal hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, along with others similarly produced, help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones. Constant stress and poor nutrition can weaken the adrenal glands. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why many people have thyroid glands that don’t work well.

When stress continues over prolonged periods of time, the adrenal glands can deplete the body's hormonal and energy reserves, and the glands may either shrink in size or hypertrophy (enlarge). The overproduction of adrenal hormones caused by prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and inhibit the production of white blood cells that protect the body against foreign invaders (in particular lymphocytes and lymph node function).

Adrenal dysfunction can disrupt the body's blood sugar metabolism, causing weakness, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. It can also interfere with normal sleep rhythms and produce a wakeful, unrelaxing sleep state, making a person feel worn out even after a full night's sleep.

Common Causes of Adrenal Stress

• Anger
• Fear / Worry /Anxiety
• Depression
• Guilt
• Overwork/ physical or mental strain
• Excessive exercise
• Sleep deprivation
• Light-cycle disruption
• Going to sleep late
• Surgery
• Trauma/injury
• Chronic inflammation
• Chronic infection
• Chronic pain
• Temperature extremes
• Toxic exposure
• Malabsorption
• Maldigestion
• Chronic illness
• Chronic-severe allergies
• Hypogycemia
• Nutritional deficiencies

Testing for Adrenal Health

In order to determine the health of your adrenal glands you need to have a simple blood, urine, or saliva test performed by your practitioner. Cortisol levels can be checked by blood or throughout the day by a saliva test. DHEA, and Epinephrine, are some other indicators of adrenal function.

Associated Symptoms and Consequences of Impaired Adrenal Functioning

• Low body temperature
• Weakness
• Unexplained hair loss
• Nervousness
• Difficulty building muscle
• Irritability
• Mental depression
• Difficulty gaining weight
• Apprehension
• Hypoglycemia
• Inability to concentrate
• Excessive hunger
• Tendency towards inflammation
• Moments of confusion
• Indigestion
• Poor memory
• Feelings of frustration
• Alternating diarrhea and constipation
• Osteoporosis
• auto-immune diseases/hepatitis
• Lightheadedness
• Palpitations [heart fluttering]
• Dizziness that occurs upon standing
• Poor resistance to infections
• Low blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Food and/or inhalant allergies
• PMS
• Craving for sweets
• Dry and thin skin
• Headaches
• Scanty perspiration
• Alcohol intolerance

Treatment

Lifestyle changes such as:

Eating steadily, all day long. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your body. When you're hungry, your blood sugar drops, stressing your adrenal glands and triggering your sympathetic nervous system. That causes light-headedness, cravings, anxiety and fatigue. Another drawback to skipping meals: The resulting low blood sugar can affect your ability to think clearly and shorten your attention span.

Skipping breakfast is particularly bad, as it is a sure fire way to gain, not lose, weight. If you start each morning with a good breakfast and "graze" healthfully every two to four hours, your blood sugar will remain steady throughout the day. You'll feel more rested and energetic.

Eat protein with every meal. Eat Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice. Avoid sugar, junk food, white pasta, white rice, white bread.

Absolutely NO Caffeine. Coffee/Sodas over stimulates your adrenals and they deplete important B vitamins.

Coffee does not give you energy; coffee gives you the illusion of energy. Coffee actually drains the body of energy and makes you more tired, because of vitamin and adrenal depletion.

Exercise to relax. Walking, Yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or stretching. No vigorous or aerobic exercise, which depletes the adrenals.

Avoid alcohol, processed foods, and tobacco. Nicotine in tobacco initially raises cortisol levels, but chronic use results in low DHEA, testosterone, and progesterone levels.

Reduce stress; learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation.

Helpful Supplements

The use of small amounts of natural adrenal hormone (hydrocortisone) to bring slightly low adrenal function up to its proper normal daily range is often helpful.

Take a daily multivitamin to provide nutritional support to the adrenal gland.

Vitamin C 1,000-3,000 mg a day

L-Theanine 100-400 mg a day

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 300 mg a day

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), no more than 1000 mg of glycyrrhizin

About the author:

Valerie Balandra ARNP, BC is a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner and holistic health practitioner. Her website Integrative Psychiatry. Net focuses on ways to identify causes of bio-chemical imbalances and provides natural treatments for depression and anxiety. http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net.

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Webmaster | 25. April 2006 @ 12:56

One of the most popular, if not the best, Polish dishes is the pierogi. Pierogi is a versatile food that can be enjoyed several different ways. It is basically a dumpling that can be stuffed with meat, sauerkraut, potato, or any other filling of your choice. My personal favorite is pierogi stuffed with cheese and potato. Here is the recipe:

Dough:

2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of warm water
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Filling:

2 large or 4 regular sized potatoes
3 slices of Velveeta Cheese
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
salt and pepper to your liking

Directions:

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Put the potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium/high and let the potatoes cook for 20 minutes or until soft.

While the potatoes are cooking, start making the dough. Spray and coat an empty bowl with cooking spray. Add the water, egg, and vegetable oil to the bowl and stir. Then mix in the flour and salt until you make a dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and kneed it on a table with flour until it is smooth and not too sticky. Roll the dough into a ball, put it under plastic wrap, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water out of the pot. Add the Velveeta and cream cheese along with some salt and pepper. You can also add a small bit of milk to make the potatoes easier to mash. Then mash the potatoes until they are smooth and fluffy. Let the potatoes cool.

After you let the potatoes cool for about 15 minutes, your dough should be ready. Take a large piece of dough and flatten it out, with a rolling pin, on a table coated with some flour. Use a circle cookie cutter and cut out pieces of dough. With a teaspoon, scoop a small amount of the potato filling and put it in the middle of a piece of dough. Close the dough around the potato and pinch shut with your fingers and a fork. Keep repeating this process until you run out of dough or filling. This should make about 20 pierogi.

When you are done making the pierogi, boil them, five at a time, in a pot of water for two to three minutes, or until they float. Then fry them in pan with butter. Now they are ready to eat. You can top them with sour cream, onion, bacon, or your favorite gravy. Either way, this is a dish you are sure to enjoy.

You can get other recipes and home improvement tips at http://www.buyandsellnorthtexas.com.

About the author:

Michael A. Stazko is a real estate assistant and founder of http://www.buyandsellnorthtexas.com. He is also a fan of foods that are easy to make and good to eat.

Mike@buyandsellnorthtexas.com

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Webmaster | 24. April 2006 @ 12:56

The years of teaching high impact aerobics are catching up with me. Sure it's been great for the ticker, but the knees on the other hand are showing signs of age and making icky noises. What my Physical Therapist friends call "creep" and "crepitus" (which is just nice technical way of saying "grinding") had become loud enough to be heard by the naked ear! At the rate I was going - I was sure I'd need a knee replacement by 40. Of course this just won't do. So I've taken to doing leg extensions regularly and… taking glucosamine.

Glucosamine - What's That?

"Glucosamine" is a natural constituent of cartilage which has been shown to stimulate the production of connective tissue! In more technical terms, glucosamine is considered an "amino sugar." An amino sugar is the component of a carbohydrate which does not contribute to the body's energy - instead it gets incorporated into body tissues, forming such structures as tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, nails, eyes and heart valves.

What is Glucosamine Used For?

Glucosamine supplements have been used most recently (according to the research I consulted) for everything from joint pain to connective tissue repair. It's best know for its contribution to tendon and ligament support, for building joint cartilage as well as reducing destruction of cartilage. It has also shown promise in reducing inflammation due to asthma and bursitis, lessen the incidence of food allergies, tendonitis and skin problems! As if that isn't enough - what I find most exciting about glucosamine is its use in relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Glucosamine Works

It's fairly basic. We produce less glucosamine as we age, therefore our cartilage has difficulty retaining water. Depletion of this fluid, which ads "cushion" to the joints and other tissues, can create everything from joint pain to arthritis. Glucosamine (together with its counterpart chondroitin - another naturally occurring substance) - helps to counteract this water loss as well as restore cartilage.

Side Effects

So What's the bad news? I always want to know. Here's what I found: Since these substances are naturally occurring - they work on the body differently than synthetic drugs (think Prednisone) or anti-inflam's like Naproxen. This said - it takes a while to notice signs of joint help - more than likely it could take up to a year of regular supplementation before the benefits take hold. Once they do, however, 50% of all regular users have reported definite decreases in symptoms of joint pain - I will let you know! The only other downside I could find to the glucosamine/chondroitin complex users were nausea and heartburn - although they are rare and counteracted by eating prior to supplementation.

How To?

As I've just stated, always take the glucosamine/chondroitin complex with meals to avoid side effects. I take one, 500 mg tablet once a day. Dr. Mindell (I am a big fan of his work: see below) recommends taking just 1-3 500 mg. tabs daily for three weeks (to get a boost), then take one, 500 mg. tab daily.

My Usual Disclaimer:

As always, please check with your healthcare provider before supplementation - discuss with him/her any medications you are taking to avoid interactions. Although herbs and other naturally occurring substances are considered "food" (simply because they can't be patented and trademarked thus cannot come under scrutiny of the FDA) they are still very strong substances in the body and should not be taken lightly! Check out more literature - educate yourself!

My Favorite Resources (and research sources for this article) Include:

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2004.

Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D. Food As Medicine. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. The Vitamin Bible. New York: Warner Books, 2004.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. Prescription Alternatives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

About the author:

Laura Turner is a natural health practitioner and author. She hosts http://www.beauty-and-body.com and publishes the New Body News and Wellness Letter, The Online Magazine Healthy People Read. ( http://www.new-body-news.com ) Subscribe for f.r.e.e. and receive her Special Report: "Take Charge of Your Health!" and check out her latest book: Spiritual Fitness!

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Webmaster | 23. April 2006 @ 14:00

High blood pressure or what is medically known as hypertension affect millions of Americans. In fact, about 80 million people in the US have high blood pressure and what is more terrifying is the fact that some of these people are not even aware that they have high blood pressures. This is why hypertension has become known as the silent killer because unless you have your blood pressures checked regularly, you have no way of knowing that you already have it until it is already much too high up the scale.

High blood pressure will often manifests itself through headaches, dizziness and nose bleeds. Some people will also feel pain at the back of their necks when they wake up in the morning. Hypertension is not really life-threatening per se as it is not a disease. The level of blood pressure, however, is a risk factor to heart disease and will increase one’s predisposition to heart attacks. This is especially true with people who are over 35 years old and those who are much much older.

Because it is a condition and not a disease, people can do a lot to prevent hypertension from settling in. Most doctors recommend a change in the diet and a major lifestyle change.

Diet is perhaps the primary lifestyle change that people should look into when dealing with high blood pressure. Excessive eating of fatty foods that cannot be easily digested can cause a lot of problems. Obese individuals are also more likely to develop hypertension not only because of the fat content in their bodies but also the constriction that these fats produce in the body. This constriction can affect blood circulation and heart function, which may lead to a full-blown heart attack.

Another advice that doctors give to individuals concerned with their blood pressure is to have regular exercise regimen that would help lower their blood pressure. Activities such as running and jogging, cycling and swimming as well as other sports can decrease blood pressure. Doctors recommend that people exercise and do these sports activities for about 30 to 45 minutes a day and they will find their blood pressures significantly lowered.

Alcohol, for instance, increase the prevalence of hypertension when it is taken in excess. The term excess here will refer to over two drinks per day. Studies have actually shown a direct relationship between these two factors when the drinking exceeds five glasses each day. A drink here refers to a can of beer, a glass of wine or a jigger of liquor. There are people however who have low tolerance with alcohol. It is best to stop drinking if you find your blood pressure going up or if you feel nauseous already.

Smoking is also one of the things that a person should avoid when trying to either lower blood pressure or to prevent it from going up. Besides the complications that it poses to the lungs and the vascular system, smoking also increases the risk for heart disease. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes and tobaccos can constrict one’s blood vessels, causing the heart to beat faster.

Elderly people are also asked to avoid excessive coffee drinking. In a study conducted, it was found that five cups of coffee per day can mildly increase the blood pressure. The combination of coffee drinking with smoking increases the risk all the more.

About the author:

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides blood pressure information on http://www.blood-pressure-facts.info.

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Webmaster | 23. April 2006 @ 07:07
What is celiac? You may ask ....celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Click here to read more on this disease and recipes[url]http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06110/683418-106.stm[/url]
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Webmaster | 22. April 2006 @ 13:59

The gall bladder back pain is usually caused due to the inflammation or improper functioning of gall bladder, which is a small pear-shaped organ on the underside of the liver, in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. Its main function is to collect and store bile, which is used by the body to digest fats. Bile is made in the liver cells (hepatocytes) and consists of water, electrolytes, bile acids, phospholipids and bilirubin. It assists in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K.

Causes Of Gall Bladder Problems

Gall bladder diseases and problems are fairly common and affect both men and women. The symptoms can vary from indigestion and nausea to vomiting and pain in the right upper abdomen. This pain also radiates to the lower back, resulting in gall bladder back pain. Other symptoms include:

1.Fever due to inflammation in the gall bladder
2.Abdominal bloating
3.Severe heartburn and gas
4.Jaundice
5.Diarrhea

Some of the gall bladder problems are caused by:

1.Production of toxic bile by the liver
2.Inadequate production of bile
3.Excess amount of cholesterol in bile, leading to the formation of gall bladder stones
4.Infection in gall bladder
5.Hormonal changes during pregnancy
6.Blood disorders or infections

The lower back pain can be attributed to a gall bladder disorder problem that results in gall bladder pain called biliary colic. Biliary colic occurs when gallstones block the small duct that drains bile to the small intestine. Gallstones or biliary calculi are small stones formed from a mixture of cholesterol, bile pigment and calcium salts. The formation of gallstones is a very common disorder and affects approximately 15% of the people at the age of around 50. However, in most cases, complication and infections don�t arise until gallstones block a bile duct, which then leads to severe pain lasting from 30 min to several hours. In such circumstances, you must undertake an ultra sound test to confirm the presence of gallstones and then get the proper treatment with the help of a doctor.

For more comprehensive information on Back Pain please visit www.backpain-resources-online.com.

About the author:

Saurabh Jain has created a comprehensive website on Back Pain.

www.backpain-resources-online.com

ascentinfosolutions@yahoo.com

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Webmaster | 21. April 2006 @ 13:59

Fruits, goldmine of vitamins, minerals and fibre are ideal to consume at least 4-5 servings in a day. Since they are in the natural form, account for largest part of water and 100% bad cholesterol free, it's much easier for the body to process and absorb the vitamins and minerals from the fresh fruit.

Apple � Round fruit with lots of fibre, vitamins A, C, E and folate. Available in green, red or yellow skin when ripe. Apples reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. They also help with heart disease, weight loss and controlling cholesterol.

Bananas � Long thick skinned fruit yellow in colour when ripe. Good source of fibre, potassium, vitamins A, C, B6, E & folate. Unripe or green bananas are used in cooking.

Cherries � small round fruit with a seed, red or black in colour when ripened. Cherries always have to be ripe to eat. Cherries contain anthocyanins that reduce pain & inflammation.

Figs � Eaten either dried or fresh, figs contain vitamin A, C, folate and niacin. A small sweet fruit full of small seeds.

Kiwi � A rich source of vitamins A, C, E, B - complex, calcium, iron and folic acid, kiwi is a small oval fruit with thin brown skin, soft green flesh and black seeds. The skin is a good source of flavonoid antioxidants.

Lime � Lime or lemon is the most cultivated citrus fruit with green to yellow colour loaded with vitamins A, C and folate. Juice of lime is good for detoxification and has antioxidant properties.

Peach - Round juicy fruit with a yellowish red skin & flesh having a taste of acidic tang and sweetness contains a rough stone. Always to be picked and eaten ripe.

Orange - A round thick-skinned juicy edible fruit that is a reddish-yellow colour when ripe with sweet to sour flavour. Peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed to make juice. Contain vitamin C, flavanoids, provides pectin and rich in sodium when ripened in sunshine.

Plum - soft round smooth-skinned fruit with sweet flesh and a flattish pointed stone. It is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and calories. An excellent source of vitamin A, C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, fibre and free of sodium and cholesterol.

Papaya - A melon like fruit with yellow- orange flesh with dozens of small black seeds enclosed in skin that ranges in colour from green to orange. Either round, pear-shaped, or long like a banana. Rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D; calcium, phosphorous and iron. It is high in digestive properties and has a direct tonic effect on the stomach.

Pear - A sweet juicy yellow or green fruit with a rounded shape narrow towards the stalk. Best eaten at room temperature, pear contains kalium and riboflavine. It is good for skin and contains plenty of fibres.

Strawberry - A triangular shaped red colour fruit. It is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C and fibre. It has high content of sodium and iron. It helps in whitening of the teeth. Used to relieve rheumatism.

Watermelon - a type of melon with smooth exterior rind and juicy sweet red interior flesh. Extraordinarily refreshing to drink as juice or eaten when ripe and fresh. Valuable for minerals, vitamins and sugar with useful amount of fibre and iron.

About the author:

Sharon Hopkins manages websites on nutrition, diet such as http://www.diethealthclub.com. A nutritious diet ensures well being, helps to maintain a healthy BMI, reduces the risk of several debilitating diseases like cancer, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke.

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Webmaster | 20. April 2006 @ 13:59

When it comes to barbequing, there are two main schools of thought for the techniques that you can use.

The first of these techniques � and the most popular method for those who grill in their back yards � is the style where the food is cooked directly over the source of heat. This way, the food is rapidly cooked on a hot grill suspended directly over the charcoals, the wood, or the gas burners. Rarely is the lid ever closed. Any foods, including the most tender cuts, hamburgers, steaks, kabobs of all kinds, chicken, and even vegetables are quickly seared and cooked to perfection using this technique. If sauces are desired, they can be added before hand, during the cooking process, or even after the food comes off the grill. These choices will all create different and enjoyable tastes and flavors.

The second barbeque cooking technique uses heat indirectly. This is more appropriate when you�re cooking much larger or whole cuts of meat, such as especially thick steaks, roasts, a whole hog, or a pork shoulder. When you�re cooking using this method, the food is cooked away from the actual source of heat. This usually requires a water pan of some kind in order to maintain the moisture level of the food. The temperatures generally sit in around 250�F. During this cooking method, the lid of the barbeque remains closed most of the time, and the length of the cooking is much longer than in the first method. When you�re using an indirect barbeque cooker, there is usually an additional fire box that allows you to combine charcoal and wooden logs for burning. This allows the heat and the smoke to rise through the cooking chamber where the meat is, so that it is heated perfectly. The rule of thumb of this technique is a low temperature for a long time.

No matter which method you use, it�s important not to cook your meat too quickly. If the internal temperature of your meat rises too quickly as you cook it, the water and the fat within it will be expelled before the collagen is able to melt. This means that your cut will be dry and tough. However, you cannot cook too slowly or you will risk a bacterial contamination. Though there is a fine line for barbequing properly, it�s important to find that line and stick to it.

If you�re already dealing with a cut of meat that is tough, such as a brisket or a pork roast, consider cooking slowly as the collagen adds flavor to the meat. If you buy a less tough, more expensive cut, you can cook at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. This is why ribs and steaks take such a short time to cook, while pork shoulders or beef brisket can run up to 20 hours.

As a final note, it�s important to have fun while you barbeque! Your pleasure will come through in your cooking as it will leave you motivated, and willing to try new and interesting things.

About the author:

Richard Cussons is a prolific and diverse writer. You can find out more about the origins of barbeques at http://www.top-bbq.com/.

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Webmaster | 19. April 2006 @ 13:59

Do you experience recurring mood swings? Are you sometimes energetic with a positive attitude while other times feeling sad and miserable? Are you constantly fighting headaches, migraines, and constipation?

You may actually be experiencing a gastrointestinal disorder!

Gastrointestinal Disorder, as the name defines, it is the malfunctioning of your digestive system due to the introduction of parasites like amoebas, Glardia, pinworms, etc.

There are several ways by which these parasites enter into the body including:

- through eating undercooked foods
- improper diet
- Following pregnancy
- Travelling
- drinking impure water

Identifying GI

Identifying parasites may not be that simple as they are smart enough to escape any general routine test. And they affect millions of women all over the world.

The following list of symptoms may help you to see if you are at risk for hosting parasites.

- Nausea
- Inflammation of the stomach (Gastritis)
- Acne
- Sudden Weight Gain/loss
- Breast tenderness and swelling
- Mood swings
- Gallstones
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Colonic Disorders

Bloating is another symptom of GI that may be experienced before the menstrual cycle.

As quoted by Barbara Frank, M.D., gastroenterologist and clinical professor of medicine at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia,

"You may also experience bloating right before your menstrual period. Some of the discomfort that many women chalk up to fluid retention may actually be abdominal discomfort from bloating"

Effects of GI

Malfunctioning of digestive system is the culprit behind many common ailments.

Weight Gain: As a result of GI, the absorption of nutrients from food may be impaired, affecting the overall health. A person tends to gain the weight, even though the body is not getting the nutrients required effectively.

Weakening of Immune System: The immune system looses its potential to fight against the germs; hence your body becomes an open house for chronic infections and autoimmune diseases.

Food Sensitivities and allergies

Any further growth of the disease leads to the deterioration of the intestinal wall which can lead to several other diseases like leaky gut syndrome, IBS, diverticulitis, Crohn�s Diseases, etc

Finally, GI holds enough potential to cause systemic inflammation leading to heart diseases, arthritis, joint pain and muscle stiffness.

Skin disorders like dry skin, adult acne, rosacea and psoriasis are other possible consequences of GI.

Fighting against the disease

Doctor�s are not always sure how to fight GI! The National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has undertaken a multi-million dollar research project to find ways to fight this problem.

The best thing that you can do for your health is to follow these guidelines.

Eating slowly means eating healthier: It is important to take your time while eating. Rushing through meals leads to GI. Many health professional advise the more slowly you eat, the better your food is broken down, the less likely you are to suffer from gas caused by swallowing air and hence less bloating!

Avoid food that produces bloat: foods that are eaten raw or bolied like, cabbage, beans, bagels and pretzels, etc are real gas or bloat producers.

Cut down the sugary stuff: "High in sugar, high in bloating", that�s the simple rule! So avoid eating a lot of candies, chocolates, ice creams, etc.

Consider Using Hydrozyne�, an anti-bloating product. Hydrozyne, a is a product sold at of the highly regarded www.bodestore.com and Amazon. Take it when you feel bloated to help get relief.

Kamau Austin is a health and fitness enthusiast and advocate.

He writes on a regular basis on timeless health and fitness tips at the Fit After Forty Blog. See more useful health and fitness news and tips at� http://www.healthandfitnessvitality.com/blogs/fitnessblog.htm

About the author:

Kamau Austin is Owner of AMS Publishing and is a business and fitness wellness advocate. See more of his health and fitness tips at www.HealthandFitnessVitality.com or get Internet marketing solutions at www.SearchEnginePlan.com

kamau@searchengineplan.com

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Webmaster | 19. April 2006 @ 04:26
:O Depending on where you are in the world, french fries and some chicken products at McDonald's or KFC restaurants may contain more dangerous trans fats than the same items at the chains' outlets in other locations, says a Danish report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. click here ....[url]http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/04/13/hscout532132.html[/url]
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Webmaster | 19. April 2006 @ 04:22
Mushrooms may soon emerge from the dark as an unlikely but significant source of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that helps keep bones strong and fights disease.Read more.....[url]http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=1853516[/url]
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Webmaster | 18. April 2006 @ 13:59

Weight loss is one of the big topics-no pun intended-on the late night television circuit. While flipping through the channels after 11p.m., you are likely to come across several advertisements for weight loss pills and diet supplements, each promising to assist you drop those unwanted pounds and remove stubborn belly fat once and for all.

Let's face it, if these pills really worked, America wouldn't be the top overweight country in the world.

There are types of alternative medicine, which can help with weight loss, however, and with great results. While no alternative medicine is a magic solution, practicing these principles can help you become more limber, feel more energetic, and the end result-or side effect if you will, is weight loss.

Take yoga for example. The low impact stretching involved with yoga will help you feel less stressed, and as a result less likely to over eat as a result of depression or anger. Acupuncture has exact pressure points in the ear which help reduce cravings, and detoxifying teas and herbs can help you feel healthier, and the side effect would be thinking twice before deciding that you want to "pollute" yourself again with oily and fatty foods. In this regard, alternative medicine is wonderful for loosing weight.

The majority alternative medicines for weight loss come in the form of detoxifying teas, energy supplements, and vitamins. The exercise and diet plans are the basis, as they should be, for safe and effective long-term weight loss. There is no magic potion to lose weight. In fact dropping pounds and keeping them off requires regular daily exercise and a change in eating habits, period.

However, to get you ready for weight loss, here are some alternative medicine detoxifying teas and interesting supplements.

Take turmeric, ginger, and lemon-about a half teaspoon each and the juice of half a lemon, and boil it all in 2 cups of water. Drink every morning as a detoxifier before you start your diet.

All diets should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, and buying a juicer is a great way to make a habit out of eating healthy. Please see your doctor before starting any kind of diet plan.

Visit your local food co op or herbalist, they can get you set up with all sorts of alternative teas and nutrition advice, and can refer you to a good homeopathic doctor who will evaluate you as to what your individual nutrition needs are.

Bovine and shark cartilage are two dietary supplements to hit the alternative market. Both have been used for years outside of the United States and Britain, but now are big business in the health food stores.

The most popular form of alternative medicine for weight loss isn't really medicine at all, rather behavior modification through hypnosis. Hypnosis doesn't make you rely on will power, that's one of the reasons it's so popular.

How hypnosis works is that it examines what is subconsciously holding you to the thinking and eating habits that keep you overweight. Hypnotists believe that if the root cause of the obesity can be alleviated, the patient will naturally begin to lose weight. It is actually a very efficient form of alternative medicine, and overall can cost much less than trips to day spas and expensive over the counter weight loss pills. Through hypnosis you can let go of fears that keep you from eating healthy, and begin to allow a positive energy flow through you, causing you to want to stick to the new way of eating and exercising.

About the author:

Nishanth Reddy is an author and publisher of many health related websites. For more information on how to lose weight, Fitness and Wellness visit: http://www.fitness-wellness-guide.com.

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Webmaster | 17. April 2006 @ 13:59

Let me start off by saying, that this is not an article about how to stop smoking. In a way, it is quite the opposite. Whether it is a pipe, cigar, or cigarettes, some of us have found that we are smokers. Maybe you have attempted to quit, and maybe you haven’t cared enough to try. Either way, the truth remains, “I am a smoker.” If this sounds familiar, then you I write this for you.

It came to me one afternoon, when I was trying to fight off a sore throat, and I held my pipe in my left hand, and searched for my lighter with my right…I shouldn’t be doing this. I have had this sore throat for a week, and I can’t stop smoking.

Well, the truth was the truth, and I really didn’t have intentions of stopping…Slowing down, yes; stopping, no. Though this moment was quick, it was important, as it was then that I accepted my fait. And more importantly, was now able to balance the scales.

Smoking makes you look old, smoking causes cancer, smoking smells, smoking makes your teeth yellow, and a million other STOP SMOKING ads rushed through my head…

I accepted them all…

Ok, now what…Well, I began to think. With a sore throat nagging me at the moment, I decided to attack this enemy first. Mouth wash, medicine, vitamins; I found these were all good ideas. But although I was helping the issue, my throat still hurt, and I was beginning to cough.

Perhaps the coughing was a blessing in disguise as I reached for cup of tea to help stop a fit of coughs. The steam helped me breathe, and the hot water cleared my throat. If nothing else, this experience got me thinking.

I looked further into the matter, as I of course stepped up my tea intake.

I found out that drinking tea, Rooibos Tea and Jasmine Green Tea in particular, will help me to relax (calming down my nerves), contain large amounts of anti oxidants to fight against the increased level of free radicals in my body from smoking (the cause aging skin and of course, Cancer), clean my body of toxins, help me breathe, and help my previously mentioned sore throat. I looked at this list, and the STOP SMOKING ads returned…

Could it be that a pot of tea was a helpful accessory walking down this smokey path?? From personal experience, I have found that tea helps. And NO, I do not think drinking tea will protect me from all ailments, or that I will never get sick again, or I will avoid any other ill drawn fait that may await me, but with certain facts that I had to accept, I can only do my best to minimize the damage. And as I end this article with no promises, I will restate a simply written statement that proves itself time and time again, “Drinking tea is a good idea…”

About the author:

David Giusti

Along with writing, David Giusti is the owner of Sabaidi Tea Co., Ltd., www.sabaidi.net, a company that exports Handmade Gourmet Tea Bags and Gift boxes and other specialties from Bangkok, Thailand. You can read more on the company's home page at www.Sabaidi.net.

info@sabaidi.net

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Webmaster | 16. April 2006 @ 13:59

In the fitness world today, there is not a body part with more attention paid to it than the abdominal muscles. With our obsession with abs, many aspiring entrepreneurs set out to market their device, diet, video or program which will give you �washboard abs,� a �six-pack,� �ripped abs,� or any other adjective to describe a well defined mid section. The problem is that the public, desperate for a quick fix, buys into these products, which at the end of the day, will not do much of anything. The following article provides a few pointers for anyone interested in learning more about the proper way to work on your abs.

First of all, spot reduction is impossible so no matter how many crunches, sit-ups or bicycle kicks you do, you will not get rid of any excess fat around your mid section. If you need to lose excess belly fat, your best bet is to go on a healthy diet and get the right combination of strength and cardiovascular training to maximize fat loss while increasing your metabolism.

If you already have a relatively flat stomach and are looking to develop your abs, there are a few things you should know. The abs are just like any other muscle in the body and should be trained as such. Like any other muscle, you should not train your abdominals every day and should wait at least 48 hours in between training sessions of that muscle. Also, in order for a muscle to hypertrophy, significant external resistance is needed with a rep range of about 8-15 so if you�re able to do hundreds of crunches, you�re better off either finding a new exercise or to find a way to add resistance.

In the world of abdominal training, there seem to be thousands of new claims being made every day. The best advice in sifting through everything if that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

About the author:

Ryan George is the owner/operator of myhometrainer.com. Experienced personal fitness trainers in New York City. Ryan's experience & attention to detail allows you to reach goals quickly.

ryan@myhometrainer.com

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Webmaster | 15. April 2006 @ 13:59

The famous cat and mouse both have good, solid shapes, without fiddly bits, that are easy to cut from a cake. To achieve a furry effect, use a fork or flat knife to peak the royal icing - but work fast, it dries out surprisingly quickly. It's simple, just follow our

Tom And Jerry Cake Recipe and you will be soon receiving lots of love from your kids :)

Ingredients for Tom

1 12in x 10in (30cm x 25cm) cake
apricot glaze
1lb 8oz (680g) royal icing (later on this page)
1lb (450g) fondant: 7oz (200g) white; 4oz (115g) black;
4oz (115g) pink; pinch of red a few strands of spaghetti food-colouring pastes: black, pink, red, and (optional) violet

Method

Level off cake if necessary and turn upside down. Using a traced template, cut round Tom's outline and place the cake on a board. Brush the cake with apricot glaze.

Cut out separate templates of his face and ear. It is a good idea to cut out two of each - one set to be positioned on top of the cake and kept in place with pins (Pic. 1) and the other to be kept for cutting out fondant.

Colour the royal icing grey with some black food colour. (Try adding a little violet as well to give it more depth of colour.) Spread it on to the sides and top of the cake, right up to the edges of the templates. Use a fork or knife to give the icing a round, furry finish while still wet.

Roll out the white fondant and cut out Tom's face from the second template. Remove the template on the cake and replace it with the fondant face. Knead together any surplus white fondant and mould a round white nose (see photograph). Stick it on top of the face with a little water.

Cut out an ear from pink fondant and, again, position it in place of traced template.

Roll a blob of black fondant into a small ball to finish off the tip of the nose. Roll out some more black fondant and cut out two eyes, two eyebrows, and a mouth. Stick in position. Make some tiny strips of fondant to indicate a cheek and shoulder.

Make a pinch of red fondant into a tongue and stick it on the mouth.

Make some highlights for his eyes and nose from white fondant. Paint on the outline of the eyes in black (see photograph).

Finally, break off some strands of spaghetti, paint them black, and push them into Tom's cheeks.

Ingredients for Jerry

1 9in (22.5cm) square cake
apricot glaze
1 lb (450g) royal icing
15oz (425g) fondant: 6oz (170g) white; 4oz (115g) black; 4oz (115g) pink; pinch of red
a few strands of spaghetti food-colouring pastes: black, pink, red, and chestnut brown

Method

Proceed in exactly the same way as for Tom, but colour the royal icing chestnut brown instead of grey.

Royal Icing:

1 Ib icing sugar
2 egg whites

Method

Finely sift the icing sugar. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and add the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition. Continue this beating until the mixture will stand in peaks. Add flavouring and color if wished. Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth when piping.

For more Character Cakes, please visit: http://www.best-cake-recipe.com/character-cakes.html

About the author:

Robert Simic

Author of http://www.best-cake-recipe.com/

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Webmaster | 14. April 2006 @ 13:58

The first step to loose weight and be healthy is to control your eating habits. Loosing weight starts with eating moderately.

Did you know that your new automobile is likely to have a larger cup-holder than your older model? That restaurants use larger plates, bakers are selling larger muffins, pizzerias have larger pans, and fast food companies are using larger French fries and drink containers than 20 years ago? Did you know that identical recipes for cookies and desserts in the old editions of “Joy of Cooking” specify fewer servings?

It is evident to all of us that overweight and obesity have increased sharply in the USA in adults and children in the last few years. Since studies show that activity of people has not changed much in the last decades, the increase in body overweight must come from a change in the food intake. Considering that about half the people in the USA consume their meals outside the home, the portion sizes become an important factor in the increase of body overweight.

The American Journal of Public Health published a study about the current sizes of portions in restaurants, fast foods, and food manufacturers. The authors compared the data with the sizes of the past 30 years, and they came up with some amazing numbers. First they noted that all the portions offered in every category exceed by far the guidelines of the USDA and the FDA. Cookies are seven times bigger than recommended, cooked pasta five times larger, muffins three times larger, and so on.

Then they discovered that portion sizes began to grow in the 1970s and have continued to grow at the same rate as body overweight. Food and fast food companies today promote larger items and use larger sizes as selling points. Widespread price competition has induced manufacturers to introduce larger items as a means to expand market share, since they discovered that profit rises when the product size is increased. In the mid ‘50s Mc Donald offered only one size of French fries: that size today is called “small”. The food industry invests billions in making their products more attractive, sexier, saltier, or sweeter and we are vulnerable to their promotions. This happens at a moment when we became more sedentary and kids spend longer hours in front of the TV or their computers.

Going to Europe or other countries we see some striking differences in the food habits. First of all there is not so much advertising about food. Most of the Italian TV ads are about basic ingredients such as olive oil, wine, and pasta, and not so much about prepackaged food or fast food chains. In addition the portion sizes are considerably smaller than in America. I recently had dinner in a steakhouse and the smallest portion available on the menu was a 10 oz filet mignon. That is about three times larger than the average size of a portion of meat in Italy.

I noticed myself many times that people moving to the USA from other countries would gain weight in few months. There is no doubt in my mind that the large amount of food we ingest today is one of the main causes for the general growth of overweight in America. This doesn’t affect only people with a weight problem, but also those who are maybe only a few pounds over and struggle to control the size of their waistline. In an environment where lifestyle and advertising pushes to eat out more and in larger quantities it is imperative that we learn how to control ourselves.

One very good way to start I learned from a trainer at the gym, and I encourage everyone to try. It is very simple: On a notepad write down everyday for a week everything that you ingest. Take note of the quantities, not only for the main meals, but even the smallest things such as drinks, candies and snacks. Then with the help of a calorie chart add up the numbers. Many people say “I don’t know how I gain weight. I don’t eat very much”. I bet they are ready for a big surprise. It is incredible how all those little things we munch during the day add up to a large number of calories.

After the shock, the realization will come that something needs to be done. First it is important to understand what a regular portion looks like. 3 oz meat: is approximately the size of a deck of cards or a bar of soap (when was the last time you saw a steak of that size?); 3 oz fish: the size of a checkbook; 1 oz cheese: the size of matchbox; one medium potato: the size of a computer mouse; 1 cup pasta: the size of two eggs.

When eating out choose the small or medium sizes instead of the large ones. Ask for half of the meal to be packed to go. Share your portion with a friend. Don’t eat the bread and butter before the meal. For your home don’t buy a lot of food, but buy single serving packages. If you snack don’t eat from the bag, but place a few chips or crackers on a dish. Cut in the amount of sauces, mayonnaise and cream cheese, and use low calories types. If you are a big eater fill yourself with a large quantity of vegetables and eventually fresh fruit.

In conclusion: Everyone that tries to keep weight under control knows how difficult it is. The first step is to be inventive in ways to reduce the sizes of the food portions.

About the author:

Anna Maria Volpi is a cooking instructor and personal chef in Los Angeles. Visit Anna Maria website http://www.annamariavolpi.com/ for step-by-step illustrated traditional Italian recipes for tiramisu, pasta, pizza, lasagna, risotto, gnocchi and much more, articles and food newsletter.

Permission is granted for this article to reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, as long as no changes are made and the copyright, resource box, and active link to her website are included. Please inform Anna Maria if you use of this article: anna@annamariavolpi.com

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Michael Leembruggen | 13. April 2006 @ 13:58

Recipe 1

1 ½ cups of different types of vegetable shortenings
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons flavors (colorless)
2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
¼ to ½ cup of water or milk (water is a good choice, but milk goes well with lavender color)

Combine all the shortenings, flavorings, and salts thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar. Slowly add water and gently mix all the ingredients until well blended. You will notice that after 2-3 minutes, the mixture will become creamy.

Notes:

a) Try to keep the amount in exactly the same quantity as mentioned above. If you introduce lots of variations, you may not get the desired butter cream icing.
b) If you want to make your icing thin, add three to four big spoonfuls of corn syrup.
c) If you want to make chocolate butter cream, all you need to do is add ¾ cup of cocoa powder or three one ounce chocolate squares, mixed with one to two tablespoons of milk, to the other ingredients and proceed to mix well.

Recipe 2

½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup of soft butter (you can add margarine also)
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons water (milk)
½ teaspoon almond, for flavor
A dash of salt

Mix the shortening, butter, and almond. Add confectioner’s sugar and gently mix by hand. Continue to add other ingredients and mix quickly, for six to seven minutes.

Here, too, you can add ¼ or 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to make chocolate butter cream.

If the icing is quite thin, you may add more powdered sugar, and in case you find it stiff, put a few drops of water or milk into it.

Recipe 3

Butter cream icing, which has a snow-white appearance as well as a yummy taste, is the best choice for frosting a cake. This so-called “snow white butter cream” is mostly used for decorating wedding cakes or any flat-surfaced cake and for making nail flowers. Remember to dry the flowers uncovered for at least a day. Flowers like apple blossoms or drop flowers are ready for use after four to five hours of air drying.

The good thing about snow-white butter cream is that it does not need refrigeration to become consistent and boasts a delicious taste as well. Here’s a recipe for this delicious icing:

2/3 cup of water
4 tablespoons of meringue powder
12 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon almond (for flavor)
½ teaspoon vanilla (for flavor)
¼ teaspoon butter (for flavor)

Combine water and meringue powder in a bowl and mix it fast. Next, add four cups of confectioner’s sugar, one at a time. Mix the sugar at fast speed and lower the speed with each addition. Add the shortening, remaining sugar, salt, almond, vanilla, and butter, and mix them gently.

Note: All of the above butter cream icings are easy to make and yummy to taste, you can make all of them at one time and determine which one best suits the different designs on your cake.

About the author:

Michael Leembruggen

You can find more great cake decorating information at http://www.cakedecorating-secrets.com.

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Webmaster | 12. April 2006 @ 13:58

The market for air purifiers has become big business these days. More and more people are buying them, or those reading this report are probably in the process of selecting an air purifier for the home. It is without doubt that we are living in a world where air pollution is becoming more of a problem. For some it can be worse than others, having a huge impact on their quality of life. We have written this report to look at some of the issues surrounding air purifiers in order to keep you better informed.

What does an air purifier do?

Allergens that exist in the air come in many forms. They may be dust particles, pollen, from pets or hazardous gases and smoke particles. These can cause misery for some people, which is where the need for an air purifier comes in. Air purifiers come in many different designs, but all work on the basis that they will remove high percentages of these allergens from the air. Air purifiers might use ionic filters, charcoal adsorbents or mechanical filters. Many people who suffer from such conditions as asthma, emphysema, allergies, chronic bronchitis, or any one of the many other respiratory illnesses, will probably tell you that they have benefited greatly by installing an air purifier in their home.

Do they work?

There is much controversy surrounding the effectiveness of air purifiers. To date there has only been limited testing into the benefits. Users will claim great results, but some experts have raised concerns of possible placebo affect due to claims that many air purifiers are ineffective at removing pollen, pet dander and some pollutants. It is also an area where the amount of money you spend could have big affects. The cheapest air purifiers on the market may be pretty much useless. The main controversy at the moment surrounds the ionic air purifiers, which people doubt the effectiveness of creating negative ions. Also these types of air purifiers omit ozone, a harmful pollutant.

What do I need to look out for?

When purchasing an air purifier you should look for one that uses HEPA filters. The HEPA filters have to meet stringent requirements and must be able to filter a minimum 99.97% of pollutants from the air. You should watch out for anything that describes itself as being �HEPA-like� or �HEPA-type� as it his highly unlikely that these would be genuine HEPA filters. Also look for the CADR of the particular air purifier you are looking at. This stands for Clean Air Delivery Rating and is a good indicator of how effective one air purifier will be compared to another.

Is there anything else I can do?

It is probably a good idea that you consult your doctor. They should be able to give you sound advice on whether your particular condition is likely to be improved by purchasing an air purifier. It might be an idea to invest in some good filters for any air vents that you have in your home, and spend some time making sure cracks in old door frames or windows are sealed properly. Many people also find positive results just through dusting and hovering more often, and getting rid of old mattresses and covering the new ones with covers that protect against dust mites.

As we said previously, many people find they really do benefit from having an air purifier so it is worth taking your time to look around and find out what all the options are.

About the author:

William Bell writes for http://www.a1airpurifiers.com.

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Webmaster | 11. April 2006 @ 13:58

We all know the importance of eating healthy foods for their vitamin and mineral content. However, in recent years, scientists have discovered that there are hundreds of substances in food that have healing and disease prevention properties.

So why, if there are foods that will heal many of our common ailments, have we not heard more about them? Maybe it's because, just as we've become a fast food society, we've also become a fast cure society. We're always looking for the easy way to cure and prevent diseases by just popping a pill.

Just look at the increasing number of ads on TV and in magazines for drugs. Often the side effects are worse than the disease they're meant to prevent or cure!

Wouldn't it be better to use natural remedies? Remedies with no side effects, to cure and prevent diseases? Of course it would! That's why I decided to write this article. Here's to a healthier life!.

Perhaps as a child you were told by your mom to eat all your carrots because they were good for your eyes? As you grew up, you may have cynically been told by others that this was just an "old wives tale". Guess what, recent studies have shown that Mom was right! Foods can prevent eye disease, heart disease, arthritis and much more.

Some Basic Science:

In recent years scientists have discovered that foods contain "phytochemicals", which is a fancy name for naturally occurring chemicals. This is not the same as nutrients, which we all know are the substances necessary for sustaining life.

Phytochemicals have properties that can aid in disease prevention and cures. Scientists have identified thousands of these chemicals in the foods we eat and a single serving of fruit or vegetables can contain as many as one hundred different phytochemicals.

The most commonly known phytochemicals are the antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage by toxic substances and free radicals (a by-product produced by our bodies which converts oxygen into energy). Free radicals can damage cells in our bodies which can lead to disease. Antioxidants protect the body from oxidation and reduce the risk of acquiring many common ailments.

The full article is a big one and covers:

Fruits and Vegetables
Healing Properties Of Fruits
Healing Properties Of Vegetables
Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish
Healing Properties Of Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish
Grains
Healing Properties Of Grains
Healing Properties Of Beans and Lentils
Healing Properties Of Herbs and Spices
Healing Teas
Other Healing Foods

Hit the link below to continue reading it.

About the author:

Edwina Hanson has made available the entire article at http://www.free-recipes-4u.com/eat-healthy.html

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Valerie Balandra ARNP, BC | 10. April 2006 @ 13:58

Your adrenal glands are two tiny pyramid-shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.

Adrenaline is manufactured in the interior of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal medulla. Cortisol, the other chemical from the adrenal gland, is made in the exterior portion of the gland, called the adrenal cortex. The cortex also secretes androgens, estrogens, and progestins. Cortisol, commonly called hydrocortisone, is the most abundant -- and one of the most important -- of many adrenal cortex hormones. Cortisol helps you handle longer-term stress situations.

In addition to helping you handle stress, these two primary adrenal hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, along with others similarly produced, help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones. Constant stress and poor nutrition can weaken the adrenal glands. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why many people have thyroid glands that don’t work well.

When stress continues over prolonged periods of time, the adrenal glands can deplete the body's hormonal and energy reserves, and the glands may either shrink in size or hypertrophy (enlarge). The overproduction of adrenal hormones caused by prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and inhibit the production of white blood cells that protect the body against foreign invaders (in particular lymphocytes and lymph node function).

Adrenal dysfunction can disrupt the body's blood sugar metabolism, causing weakness, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. It can also interfere with normal sleep rhythms and produce a wakeful, unrelaxing sleep state, making a person feel worn out even after a full night's sleep.

Common Causes of Adrenal Stress

• Anger
• Fear / Worry /Anxiety
• Depression
• Guilt
• Overwork/ physical or mental strain
• Excessive exercise
• Sleep deprivation
• Light-cycle disruption
• Going to sleep late
• Surgery
• Trauma/injury
• Chronic inflammation
• Chronic infection
• Chronic pain
• Temperature extremes
• Toxic exposure
• Malabsorption
• Maldigestion
• Chronic illness
• Chronic-severe allergies
• Hypogycemia
• Nutritional deficiencies

Testing for Adrenal Health

In order to determine the health of your adrenal glands you need to have a simple blood, urine, or saliva test performed by your practitioner. Cortisol levels can be checked by blood or throughout the day by a saliva test. DHEA, and Epinephrine, are some other indicators of adrenal function.

Associated Symptoms and Consequences of Impaired Adrenal Functioning

• Low body temperature
• Weakness
• Unexplained hair loss
• Nervousness
• Difficulty building muscle
• Irritability
• Mental depression
• Difficulty gaining weight
• Apprehension
• Hypoglycemia
• Inability to concentrate
• Excessive hunger
• Tendency towards inflammation
• Moments of confusion
• Indigestion
• Poor memory
• Feelings of frustration
• Alternating diarrhea and constipation
• Osteoporosis
• auto-immune diseases/hepatitis
• Lightheadedness
• Palpitations [heart fluttering]
• Dizziness that occurs upon standing
• Poor resistance to infections
• Low blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Food and/or inhalant allergies
• PMS
• Craving for sweets
• Dry and thin skin
• Headaches
• Scanty perspiration
• Alcohol intolerance

Treatment

Lifestyle changes such as:

Eating steadily, all day long. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your body. When you're hungry, your blood sugar drops, stressing your adrenal glands and triggering your sympathetic nervous system. That causes light-headedness, cravings, anxiety and fatigue. Another drawback to skipping meals: The resulting low blood sugar can affect your ability to think clearly and shorten your attention span.

Skipping breakfast is particularly bad, as it is a sure fire way to gain, not lose, weight. If you start each morning with a good breakfast and "graze" healthfully every two to four hours, your blood sugar will remain steady throughout the day. You'll feel more rested and energetic.

Eat protein with every meal. Eat Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice. Avoid sugar, junk food, white pasta, white rice, white bread.

Absolutely NO Caffeine. Coffee/Sodas over stimulates your adrenals and they deplete important B vitamins.

Coffee does not give you energy; coffee gives you the illusion of energy. Coffee actually drains the body of energy and makes you more tired, because of vitamin and adrenal depletion.

Exercise to relax. Walking, Yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or stretching. No vigorous or aerobic exercise, which depletes the adrenals.

Avoid alcohol, processed foods, and tobacco. Nicotine in tobacco initially raises cortisol levels, but chronic use results in low DHEA, testosterone, and progesterone levels.

Reduce stress; learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation.

Helpful Supplements

The use of small amounts of natural adrenal hormone (hydrocortisone) to bring slightly low adrenal function up to its proper normal daily range is often helpful.

Take a daily multivitamin to provide nutritional support to the adrenal gland.

Vitamin C 1,000-3,000 mg a day

L-Theanine 100-400 mg a day

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 300 mg a day

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), no more than 1000 mg of glycyrrhizin

About the author:

Valerie Balandra ARNP, BC is a board certified psychiatric nurse practitioner and holistic health practitioner. Her website Integrative Psychiatry. Net focuses on ways to identify causes of bio-chemical imbalances and provides natural treatments for depression and anxiety. http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net.

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Webmaster | 9. April 2006 @ 13:58

In the United States. 20.8 million people (7% of the population) have diabetes. About one-third of these people are undiagnosed and are unaware that they have the disease. Another 41 million Americans have pre-diabetes. In adults aged 20 and over, 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in 2005.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to process starches, sugars, and other foods into energy for daily use. The exact cause of diabetes is unknown; however, genetics and environmental factors including lack of exercise and obesity have been shown to affect the onset of diabetes.

There are several types of diabetes including Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, and Pre-diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce insulin whereas Type 2 diabetes occurs due to decreased insulin production, insulin resistance or the improper use of the insulin that is present. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women and results from placental hormones obstructing the action of the mother�s insulin leading to insulin resistance. The mother�s body will not be able to produce enough insulin to meet its increased needs. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when blood glucose levels are elevated above normal but not over the diabetes threshold.

Common symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination, irritability, increased fatigue, unusual weight loss, and blurred vision. Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to complications such as eye, skin or foot conditions, kidney disease, nerve damage, heart disease or stroke, gastroparesis, and depression.

Maintaining a healthy weight may help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Dietary management and exercise are also vital components in the treatment of diabetes. Medication therapy for the treatment of diabetes consists of both oral and injectible medications. Oral medications include sulfonylureas, biguanides, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, and thiazolidinediones while injectible medications include insulin, amylin analogs, and incretin mimetic agents. Self testing of blood glucose levels is another key component of diabetes management.

About the author:

J. Wesley Cantrell has been a Registered Pharmacist for 15 years. He is also registered as a Consultant Pharmacist and a Parenteral Pharmacist. He has worked for retail Chain and Independent pharmacies. He has also worked in Long Term Care and Institutional settings.

jwcantrell@thepharmacistsays.com

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Webmaster | 9. April 2006 @ 04:08
Free recipes can be downloaded into your computer. All these recipes contributed by Eileen Goltz, a freelance writer specializing in articles about kosher foods and Jewish life in the Midwest. A graduate of the Cordon Bleu in Paris, she also runs a kosher consulting business. Click here[url]http://www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/040606/pesachHametzFreeDesserts.html[/url] [img]http://www.mostyummy.com/pictures/soup.jpg[/img] by courtesy of www.bigfoto.com
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Webmaster | 9. April 2006 @ 03:16
Hope you will like the recipe [b][u]Ingredients[/b][/u] * 50g butter * 75ml honey * 250ml plain yogurt * 1 large egg * Grated rind of 1 lemon * 50ml lemon juice * 150g plain flour * 175g wholemeal flour * 1 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda * 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg [b][u]Cooking Method[/b][/u] 1. Preheat the oven to 190 degree celsius 2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or use paper cases. 3. Melt butter and honey in a saucepan. 4. Whisk yogurt, egg, lemon rind and juice together. 5. Add the butter and honey mixture. Set aside. 6. Sift the other dry ingredients in another bowl. fold them in the yogurt mixture to blend. 7. Fill the prepared cup 2/3 full. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top spring back when touch slightly. 9. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Easy? Well, normally I will bake these for my children to bring to school. Sometimes I readjusted the recipe to suit my taste.So can you. :) I will try to bring more delicious recipes for you to try. 9. Serve with mint leaves (optional)
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Terry McDermott | 8. April 2006 @ 13:58

For weeks you have been aching from head to foot. You have no energy, you can’t concentrate and you can’t remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep. You have been to the doctor a few times already and all he can tell you is what you DON’T have. You have read about fibromyalgia and even talked to others that have been diagnosed with the disease. Yet, so far, no one can tell you whether you have it or not?

Sound familiar?

Well welcome to the world of fibromyalgia diagnostics. It is bad enough that there is no cure or significantly effective treatment for this condition, but it is even more frustrating when it takes so long for anyone to tell you that the problems you are having are caused by fibromyalgia.

There is no debate as to the validity of fibromyalgia as a disease. In fact, the World health Organization has recognized the disease for many years. It is the diagnosis that is debatable.

Fibromyalgia is a very confusing and misunderstood condition. It has been known by many different names for well over a century but was not termed “fibromyalgia” until the 1970’s. The term is derived from the actual experience of the condition. “Fibro” – which represents the fibrous tissues affected (i.e. ligaments and tendons); “Myo” – representing the muscular system; and “Algia” – meaning “pain,” which is the dominant manifestation of this disease. Essentially, fibromyalgia means being in pain almost everywhere.

Fibromyalgia must be diagnosed through a process of elimination. In other words, before a complaint can be labeled fibromyalgia, it must first be determined that there is not some other cause. If your appendix is inflamed, you have appendicitis. If you fall and bang your head a CT scan will indicate if you have a concussion. But if you ache all over and suffer from chronic fatigue for months on end, have trouble focusing and struggle with anxiety and depression, it must first be determined what you DON’T have rather than what you DO have. Because if you have fibromyalgia, there is no test that will indicate that you have it.

In other words, diagnosing fibromyalgia is difficult.

This process is very contrary to the health care system as currently structured. The optimal level of testing and analysis to reach a confident diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be cost prohibitive. As a result, the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be conveniently dismissed as psychosomatic. Conversely, fibromyalgia can become the catchall diagnosis when there is resistance to traveling the long road to a conclusive diagnosis. Either way, the patient loses.

Sometimes, a patient receives great relief when they are told what the problem is, even if a solution is unclear. Receiving a confidant diagnosis of fibromyalgia may not provide relief but at least it allows the sufferer to move forward to explore treatment alternatives.

The American College of Rheumatology has made this diagnostic process easier for patient and physician by developing criteria for fibromyalgia that can be used in diagnosing the disorder. According to the criteria established by the ACR, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has experienced widespread pain for at least three months in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites. While this may not be as definitive as a blood test or X-rays for other conditions, at least there is guidance that results in diagnosis with a high degree of confidence.

As for treating fibromyalgia… well that’s another story! (I’ll deal with treatments in a subsequent article. Stay tuned.)

About the author:

J. Terrence (Terry) McDermott is the developer and administrator of a variety of websites that offer information, resources and products related to health care. Alpha Medical Supplies is at http://www.alphamedicalsupplies.com and is a site featuring medical supplies and equipment plus resources for home caregivers.

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Robert Simic | 7. April 2006 @ 13:58

The famous cat and mouse both have good, solid shapes, without fiddly bits, that are easy to cut from a cake. To achieve a furry effect, use a fork or flat knife to peak the royal icing - but work fast, it dries out surprisingly quickly. It's simple, just follow our

Tom And Jerry Cake Recipe and you will be soon receiving lots of love from your kids :)

Ingredients for Tom

1 12in x 10in (30cm x 25cm) cake
apricot glaze
1lb 8oz (680g) royal icing (later on this page)
1lb (450g) fondant: 7oz (200g) white; 4oz (115g) black;
4oz (115g) pink; pinch of red a few strands of spaghetti food-colouring pastes: black, pink, red, and (optional) violet

Method

Level off cake if necessary and turn upside down. Using a traced template, cut round Tom's outline and place the cake on a board. Brush the cake with apricot glaze.

Cut out separate templates of his face and ear. It is a good idea to cut out two of each - one set to be positioned on top of the cake and kept in place with pins (Pic. 1) and the other to be kept for cutting out fondant.

Colour the royal icing grey with some black food colour. (Try adding a little violet as well to give it more depth of colour.) Spread it on to the sides and top of the cake, right up to the edges of the templates. Use a fork or knife to give the icing a round, furry finish while still wet.

Roll out the white fondant and cut out Tom's face from the second template. Remove the template on the cake and replace it with the fondant face. Knead together any surplus white fondant and mould a round white nose (see photograph). Stick it on top of the face with a little water.

Cut out an ear from pink fondant and, again, position it in place of traced template.

Roll a blob of black fondant into a small ball to finish off the tip of the nose. Roll out some more black fondant and cut out two eyes, two eyebrows, and a mouth. Stick in position. Make some tiny strips of fondant to indicate a cheek and shoulder.

Make a pinch of red fondant into a tongue and stick it on the mouth.

Make some highlights for his eyes and nose from white fondant. Paint on the outline of the eyes in black (see photograph).

Finally, break off some strands of spaghetti, paint them black, and push them into Tom's cheeks.

Ingredients for Jerry

1 9in (22.5cm) square cake
apricot glaze
1 lb (450g) royal icing
15oz (425g) fondant: 6oz (170g) white; 4oz (115g) black; 4oz (115g) pink; pinch of red
a few strands of spaghetti food-colouring pastes: black, pink, red, and chestnut brown

Method

Proceed in exactly the same way as for Tom, but colour the royal icing chestnut brown instead of grey.

Royal Icing:

1 Ib icing sugar
2 egg whites

Method

Finely sift the icing sugar. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and add the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition. Continue this beating until the mixture will stand in peaks. Add flavouring and color if wished. Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth when piping.

For more Character Cakes, please visit: http://www.best-cake-recipe.com/character-cakes.html

About the author:

Robert Simic

Author of http://www.best-cake-recipe.com/

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Brad Jones | 6. April 2006 @ 13:57

Bromelain Enzyme and the natural hair care

Bromelain is one of several compounds known as proteolytic enzymes, all of which aid in the digestion of protein. Bromelain supplements are now included in some of the natural hair care products. The plant enzyme bromelain has yet to get the hair care product recommendations. But there is more to bromelain than hair care.

The natural plant enzyme bromelain obtained from the pineapple is known to provide a number of health benefits as discussed below.

Bromelain Research

By 1891, researchers identified the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which they found in the fleshy part of the fruit. This enzyme was discovered to break down protein, and as such, is still used to day as a natural meat tenderizer and digestive aid. By 1957, bromelain was widely recognized and research also began into such areas as muscle and tissue inflammation, burn recovery, infection, and even sinus problems.

The most recognized use for bromelain is as a digestive aid. This enzyme is commonly used in cases in which an individual’s own digestive enzymes are deficient, frequently resulting from pancreatic disorders. In such cases, bromelain supplements can relieve gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, gas, pain and cramps from indigestion and diarrhea. Studies show that proteolytic enzymes like bromelain may also indirectly relive food allergies thought to occur from a condition called leaky gut, in which whole protein molecules from foods leak into the blood causing an allergic or immune response. Bromelain’s digestive properties are particularly enhanced when used along side other enzymes such as amylase that digests starch and lipase, necessary for fat digestion. Some laboratory studies suggest that bromelain may also be useful for reducing bad intestinal bacteria.

Bromelain is so effective at digesting protein that workers who frequently cut the fruit often lose their fingerprints to the active properties of the enzyme. As well as this fruit’s amazing digestive qualities, it is also an excellent source of vitamins A and vitamin C, a benefit the Spaniards took advantage of on their many extended trips out to sea.

The fibrous nature of pineapple however, is also known to relieve constipation, as well ancient cultures frequently used pineapples to cure jaundice and kill intestinal parasites. Ripe pineapple juice is well known as a remedy to induce menstruation and relieve painful periods. Bromelain’s photolytic properties also make this enzyme a natural blood thinner. The digestive substance in the enzyme breaks down the blood clotting protein called fibrin, which inhibits circulation and prevents tissues from effectively draining.

European studies have consistently shown that bromelain is also an excellent treatment for those recovering from sports injuries and in tissue repair necessary after surgery.

Evidence suggests that some supplemental enzymes in particular can be absorbed directly into the circulatory system in their active form where they then exhibit anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions.

Bromelain has proven especially effective when applied directly to the skin to remove dead tissue resulting from severe burns that have reached all skin layers. These third-degree burns as they are known, are extremely susceptible to infection and swelling. The digestive properties of the bromelain cleanse the areas and remove the excess dead tissue and as well, its anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce the pain caused by swelling. Countries such as Japan and Taiwan and in the state of Hawaii where pineapples are abundant, widely recognize bromelain as a remedy to cleanse wounds. Another interesting use for bromelain may be as a cough suppressant and nasal decongestant

Commercial Bromelain: Dosage

Commercial bromelain products for treating number of human and animal disorders are now available in the market.Health professionals suggest that while choosing a commercial a bromelain product, choose the enzyme supplement that uses a variety of other enzymes. It is best to blend enzymes with activity units at various pH levels to assure maximum effectiveness.

According to experts, in most cases, bromelain should only be taken for between 8 and10 days. There are two recognized drug reactions with bromelain. This enzyme is said to enhance antibiotics. One study shows that amoxicillin blood levels are increased when combined with bromelain. Additional studies show that the antibiotic tetracycline is better absorbed when used in conjunction with bromelain, however researchers say that further investigation is still necessary since studies in this area are conflicting.

If you are taking the herbs gingko, ginger, vitamin C or garlic or medications such as aspirin or warfarin, a common blood thinner, bromelain could potentially increase the risk of bleeding. It is therefore best to avoid this enzyme. In any case, if you are taking any type of prescription medication, it is always best to speak with a health professional prior to adding any herbs or supplements since interactions are often common.

There are many nutritional herbal supplements (http://www.hairlosssupplements.com/hair-care-herbal-supplements/herbal-nutrition-index.shtml) which are good for hair care. Find out natural hair care products and secrets (http://www.hairlosssupplements.com/index.shtml) and some fast hair growth tips (http://www.hairlosssupplements.com/hair-growth-products/male-hair-growth-products.shtml) to take care of your hair the natural way.

About the author:

Brad Jones is involved with the hair growth research, he is also writing on subjects like the nutrition, and nutritional diet vitamin supplements (http://hairlosssupplements.com/hair-growth-vitamins/hair-growth-vitamin-index.shtml), and natural hair care products and supplements (http://www.hairlosssupplements.com/index.shtml) to educate people so that they don’t fall an easy prey to the hordes of synthetic nutrient growth supplements advertised on internet. Please visit http://www.hairlosssupplements.com/index.shtml.

brad@orientinfosolutions.com

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Webmaster | 5. April 2006 @ 13:57

You probably didn't know it, but one of the best times to lose weight is while you sleep. That's because the human body is designed by nature to repair itself during the hours we are sleeping.

Our bodies use sleep to repair and strengthen our muscles, joints and other parts that get tired and damaged through use and exertion during waking hours.

This restorative process uses energy to rebuild lean muscle mass and to help rebuild other kinds of body tissue. That is worth repeating -- this rebuilding process uses energy -- and if the rebuilding process is running smoothly and efficiently, that energy comes from places in our body where energy is stored -- from fat.

In other words, the body rebuilds tissue, organs, bone, and lean muscle by burning fat.

Several things about this process are worth noting. They have an important bearing on how efficiently it works.

**Collagen is very important to the body repair process

Collagen is the most common protein found in our bodies. It is the main component of our skin, nails, bones, cartilage, and connective tissue and is found in all of the body organs. Cartilage is the cushion and shock absorber between joints, and the reason we stay flexible and mobile. Healthy cartilage is constantly being regenerated by the body naturally and this process contributes to keeping us youthful and flexible.

As we age, our bodies lose the ability to produce collagen at sufficient levels needed to support the deep restorative sleep processes that our bodies are designed to perform. This can be a major contributor that leads to a premature aged appearance and can definitely affect our flexibility and mobility. It stands to reason that a collagen supplement combined with other natural ingredients can have a dramatic effect in better supporting the deep restorative sleep process. This in turn can allow the body to experience more energy, build more lean muscle, and burn more fat.

**Amino acids enhance the regeneration process

The rebuilding process is also influenced by the efficiency of the amino acids normally used for this purpose. As part of the rebuilding process, amino acids help maintain lean muscle mass and allow the body to more readily consume fat for energy. This contributes to weight loss.

Again, as we age, our body's production of efficient amino acids is reduced. A supplement such as L-Carnitine is a special amino acid that enhances the body's normal function and helps your body convert excess fat into readily available fuel. During deep sleep, these special amino acids work like a natural "turbo charger" to help your body repair, preserve and build lean muscle while burning stored fat to supply the needed energy.

**Not eating before sleeping is important

Since the body uses deep sleep for the restoration process, it is important when using a collagen supplement not to eat three hours before going asleep. This is because we don't want nutrient competitiion between undigested food and the collagen supplement special nutrient formula itself. If the body has to concern itself with digestion it will not absorb the collagen formula properly. Therefore your body will not be performing its natural restorative process while you sleep, but rather will be concerned with undigested foods and will actually be storing fat from the continuing digestive process rather than burning fat as the energy for the deep sleep restorative process.

This tends to put us into a "diet circle of frustration". The less time your body spends in deep restful sleep (without competing digestion), the less time it has to restore its natural health, and the less fat that is burned in support of this natural rebuilding process. Now we understand the key connection between deep restorative sleep and weight loss many times goes hand in hand with our overall health.

Reducing or eliminating the intake of food three hours before bedtime allows the body to use its natural fat reserves for metabolic fuel during the deep restorative sleep cycle.

**Collagen weight loss program build on this process

A natural collagen product such as Lose and Snooze enables this natural process to once again help people lose weight. Lose and Snooze consists of a blend of Collagen, L-Carnitine and Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera). The Collagen contributes to a more youthful appearance, greater flexibility, and all round mobility and strength.

In addition to all of this, most importantly, Collagen allows the deep sleep necessary to enable your body's natural metabolic functions to occur, like when we were children. L-Carnitine promotes the burning of fat in support of the natural rebuilding, restorative process that occurs during deep sleep. The Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) contains numerous nutrients and amino acids that help create a healthy environment in support of your body's own ability to create its own collagen, in addition to the remarkable Lose and Snooze formula itself.

Thousands of satisfied users of the collagen weight loss program have reported that using the liquid formula in combination with an empty stomach before bedtime, has been beneficial to their health and has helped them naturally lose weight.

And because the collagen weight loss program only helps lose excess fat (while rebuilding muscle), it can be used by anybody -- not just people wanting to lose weight. It has also been beneficial to folks who want to enjoy better sleep, build lean muscle, improve their appearance and to reshape their body while maintaining their proper healthy weight.

About the author:

Rick Hendershot provides low cost Online Advertising - http://www.linknet-promotions.com | Lose Weight the Healthy Way - http://www.loseandsnooze.com/id/rahkeh29 | Online FDA Approved Prescriptions - http://www.mybestscripts.com.

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Webmaster | 4. April 2006 @ 13:57

Weight loss – such a “big” topic! Every month another book is out by another expert on weight loss. Everyone wants to know the secret to losing weight.

I certainly don’t have THE secret, but I do have some secrets, and I want to share them with you in the hope you find them helpful.

Weight used to be a major issue for me. Losing weight was never out of my thoughts, and I can’t tell you how many different diets, pills and programs I tried until I discovered some “secrets” that have worked for me for many years now.

So here they are. I hope they work as well for you as they have for me.

1. Change your focus from losing weight to achieving great health.

I grew up as a sickly child and I was a sickly young adult. I hated being sick and never having energy to do all the things I wanted to do. So I decided to learn about what creates great health.

First I read tons of books on nutrition and became convinced that I needed to switch to organic foods. That was quite a challenge in 1961! There was one coop health food store that I had to follow around Los Angeles because it kept moving locations. But it was worth it! My rule of thumb now is – if they didn’t eat it 100 years ago, then I won’t eat it now. This cuts out most packaged and processed foods and leaves natural, organic food.

2. Learn to read your body signals regarding what feels good to your body and what feels bad.

I no longer read about all the different diets because I’ve learned to tune into MY body so that I know exactly what my body needs for great health. Since my body needs different things than your body, no single food plan will work for everyone. Your job is to learn to tune into what gives you energy and what robs you of energy, and what foods create calmness and which ones create agitation. Once I learned what my body needs for great health, I lost weight and kept it off easily.

3. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and that you can do at least 5 times a week.

I discovered that I love to walk in nature, so I take a fast half-hour walk every day. However, this can be a problem if you have physical limitations or chronic illness. Losing weight with chronic illness or physical limitations is not impossible, but it can be a much bigger challenge.

4. Learn to discern which part of you determines what and when you eat, as well as how much you eat.

We all have a wounded part of ourselves that uses various addictions as ways to deal with feelings of loneliness, aloneness, helplessness, anxiety, depression, fear and anger. Some people may use alcohol, drugs, spending, TV, gambling, sex, and so on to avoid their pain, while other use food. While food may work to pacify painful feelings for the moment, in the long run all addictions backfire and create the very pain you are trying to avoid. Yet our wounded self keeps choosing addictive behavior as a way of managing pain. As long as the wounded part of you is making your food choices, you may continue to have a weight problem.

The part of us that is capable of managing painful feelings in healthy ways and making healthy choices is the loving Adult. The loving Adult is the part of us that has a deep desire to learn about and take loving action in our own behalf. Developing a loving Adult is a major aspect in creating health and wellbeing, as well as in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

5. Learn to connect with a spiritual source of wisdom, strength, love and guidance.

The loving Adult is that part of us that is connected with a spiritual source of guidance rather than being governed by the mind. The mind, bring programmed from childhood, is the home of the wounded self. You are being a loving Adult at those moments when you choose to be guided by a source of wisdom beyond your mind. This source will always guide you toward your highest good. You just need to learn to open and listen.

It is very likely that you will not only lose weight, but will also move into more physical and emotional health and wellbeing if you embrace these “secrets” into your life. We offer you a free course (see the resource box) to help you with developing your loving Adult. Once you have developed a powerful loving inner Adult, you will be able to lose weight. If you really want to lose weight, there is a way!

About the author:

Margaret Paul, Ph.D., best-selling author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You” and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or email her at mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com. Phone Sessions.

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Webmaster | 3. April 2006 @ 13:57

As my weight loss web sites gain more popularity, I find myself answering more and more emails with questions about various weight loss programs and other diet tips. I have noticed that many of these questions about weight loss are very similar to one another. Therefore, I have put together a list of the ten most frequently asked questions about diets and weight loss

1. What is the best diet plan or weight loss program? My answer to this is simple…any diet that provides all the nutrition that you need for health, and in addition, provides fewer calories than your body burns. While this may not be the answer you wanted to hear, the fact is there is no one weight loss program that is best for everyone, you must research the various weight loss plans and find the one that is best for you. Just make sure your diet is a healthy diet.

2. How much should I weigh? Your doctor can answer that question most accurately. More important than how much you weigh is your body mass index (bmi), which measures your height against your weight. There are plenty of free bmi calculators all over the internet.

3. How can I keep off the weight that I lose? The best way to lose weight is gradually. Most weight loss experts would agree that 1-2 pounds per week is the best rate to lose weight. If you lose weight gradually and re-educate both yourself and your body about food, you'll have a good start. The secret to keeping weight off is to balance your energy needs with your food intake. Eat enough calories to supply your body's energy needs, but not so many that your body stores the excess as fat.

4. What is the connection between obesity and diabetes? Obesity increases the risks of a number of chronic health conditions, and diabetes is one of them. People who are more than ten percent overweight increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes substantially.

5. How do I decrease my intake of sugar? Obviously, you can decrease your intake of sugar by cutting out sweets and refined snacks, but you should also watch out for 'hidden' sugars. Check ingredients. High fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both simple sugars that add lots of calories and little nutrition.

6. How often should I weigh myself? Most diet experts recommend that you weigh yourself no more than once a week. Some go so far as to tell you to throw out the scale entirely! Personally, I think that people who are trying to lose weight should focus less on what they weigh. Yes, I know that sounds strange, but people who are trying to lose weight should focus on how they look and feel more than how much they weight. A more accurate measure of your weight loss is your clothing size. If your clothing is feeling looser, you're doing great.

7. Do I really have to exercise? YES! The truth is it will be a lot harder to lose weight if you do not exercise. A half hour of moderate exercise daily is the minimum activity level for healthy weight loss. You can get it walking, running, cleaning your house - anything active burns calories.

8. What's a calorie? A calorie is a measure of energy. Foods are rated with calories based on the amount of energy they provide to the body when consumed.

9. Can I lose weight without changing my diet? The best weight loss results happen when you burn more calories than you consume. If you only need to lose a small amount of weight and your diet is generally healthy, you can lose weight by increasing your activity level to burn more calories. If your diet is poor, or if you're more than a few pounds overweight, you really need to learn a new, more healthy way of eating, or you'll put the weight back on when you go back to 'normal' eating.

10. What are the best all around diet foods? The diet foods mentioned below are five of the best diet foods that should be included as part of any weight loss program and diet plan. 1. Whole Grain Breads 2. Fish 3. Spinach 4. Olive Oil 5. Pink Grapefruit

Copyright 2006 Adam Waxler

About the author:

Adam Waxler publishes a series of weight loss information products including his new weight loss resource filled with with FREE weight loss articles and tips @ http://www.1-800-Weight-Loss.com.

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Webmaster | 2. April 2006 @ 13:57

The years of teaching high impact aerobics are catching up with me. Sure it's been great for the ticker, but the knees on the other hand are showing signs of age and making icky noises. What my Physical Therapist friends call "creep" and "crepitus" (which is just nice technical way of saying "grinding") had become loud enough to be heard by the naked ear! At the rate I was going - I was sure I'd need a knee replacement by 40. Of course this just won't do. So I've taken to doing leg extensions regularly and… taking glucosamine.

Glucosamine - What's That?

"Glucosamine" is a natural constituent of cartilage which has been shown to stimulate the production of connective tissue! In more technical terms, glucosamine is considered an "amino sugar." An amino sugar is the component of a carbohydrate which does not contribute to the body's energy - instead it gets incorporated into body tissues, forming such structures as tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, nails, eyes and heart valves.

What is Glucosamine Used For?

Glucosamine supplements have been used most recently (according to the research I consulted) for everything from joint pain to connective tissue repair. It's best know for its contribution to tendon and ligament support, for building joint cartilage as well as reducing destruction of cartilage. It has also shown promise in reducing inflammation due to asthma and bursitis, lessen the incidence of food allergies, tendonitis and skin problems! As if that isn't enough - what I find most exciting about glucosamine is its use in relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Glucosamine Works

It's fairly basic. We produce less glucosamine as we age, therefore our cartilage has difficulty retaining water. Depletion of this fluid, which ads "cushion" to the joints and other tissues, can create everything from joint pain to arthritis. Glucosamine (together with its counterpart chondroitin - another naturally occurring substance) - helps to counteract this water loss as well as restore cartilage.

Side Effects

So What's the bad news? I always want to know. Here's what I found: Since these substances are naturally occurring - they work on the body differently than synthetic drugs (think Prednisone) or anti-inflam's like Naproxen. This said - it takes a while to notice signs of joint help - more than likely it could take up to a year of regular supplementation before the benefits take hold. Once they do, however, 50% of all regular users have reported definite decreases in symptoms of joint pain - I will let you know! The only other downside I could find to the glucosamine/chondroitin complex users were nausea and heartburn - although they are rare and counteracted by eating prior to supplementation.

How To?

As I've just stated, always take the glucosamine/chondroitin complex with meals to avoid side effects. I take one, 500 mg tablet once a day. Dr. Mindell (I am a big fan of his work: see below) recommends taking just 1-3 500 mg. tabs daily for three weeks (to get a boost), then take one, 500 mg. tab daily.

My Usual Disclaimer:

As always, please check with your healthcare provider before supplementation - discuss with him/her any medications you are taking to avoid interactions. Although herbs and other naturally occurring substances are considered "food" (simply because they can't be patented and trademarked thus cannot come under scrutiny of the FDA) they are still very strong substances in the body and should not be taken lightly! Check out more literature - educate yourself!

My Favorite Resources (and research sources for this article) Include:

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2004.

Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D. Food As Medicine. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. The Vitamin Bible. New York: Warner Books, 2004.

Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. Prescription Alternatives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

About the author:

Laura Turner is a natural health practitioner and author. She hosts http://www.beauty-and-body.com and publishes the New Body News and Wellness Letter, The Online Magazine Healthy People Read. ( http://www.new-body-news.com ) Subscribe for f.r.e.e. and receive her Special Report: "Take Charge of Your Health!" and check out her latest book: Spiritual Fitness!

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Webmaster | 1. April 2006 @ 20:28
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Webmaster | 1. April 2006 @ 20:19
I having surfing the internet for free templates on diet. I have just come across this . Hope this will be help you. [url]http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT011377201033.aspx[/url]
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Webmaster | 1. April 2006 @ 20:09

The human body needs vitamins to function properly. Each of the 13 essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, B12, and the 7 B-complex vitamins) provides the regulation of a crucial function. We acquire a majority of the vitamins our body needs from food. When there is a deficiency, we are in danger of becoming seriously ill or even dying. Vitamin supplementation can reverse illness caused by vitamin deficiency, sometimes miraculously. Nowadays, it is very rare to find someone who isn't taking a daily multivitamin. Since there is a good chance that most of the individuals who take a daily multivitamin are eating a variety of foods, is it really necessary that they take a multivitamin? It may not be necessary, but everyone can benefit from taking a multivitamin.

The obvious benefit of taking a multivitamin is to prevent deficiency. In some situations your dietary needs may increase. Pregnant women, for example, are generally advised to start taking multivitamins in their first trimester. This is to ensure that they receive the proper nutrition and pass it on to their unborn child. By taking a multivitamin every day a pregnant woman can decrease her risk of passing malnutrition on to her baby. However, the benefits of taking a multivitamin every day go beyond replenishing nutrient stores.

With so many advancements, the world is moving at a pace that just gets faster and faster. People often feel like they can't keep up. They try to do too much and wind up in a stressful condition. Another benefit of taking multivitamins is that it combats stress. There are numerous stress formulations that can keep you mental healthy as well as energize you. In addition to these short-term benefits, taking a multivitamin every day can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

While taking a multivitamin on a daily basis makes good nutritional sense, it is not a magic bullet. It is often the case that people who suffer symptoms of illness attempt to cure themselves by taking multivitamins. This can be a serious problem. Some health conditions require special attention. If you have symptoms of illness you should seek medical attention.

For more information on the supplement me and my team personally use, check out http://www.nutrition-guides.info.

About the author:

John Collins manages http://www.nutrition-guides.info. A site dedicated to hosting nutrition articles from around the world.

help@nutrition-guides.info

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