Friday, June 29, 2012

Cholesterol....the good, the bad and the misunderstood

Cholesterol is not your enemy!  It is a precious molecule that helps build the membrane of every cell in your body, and then is used as raw material for the creation of many of your hormones.  Just like everything in the body, though, there needs to be a balance.  When too much cholesterol is found circulating in the bloodstream, people have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

For great information on cholesterol, watch this week's video!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012


WEIGHT LOSS.....Health Gain!!

Summer's here and many people are spending more time outdoors, baring their bodies at the beach, and feeling just a little shy about the extra fat around the waistline.  Body image aside, as the American population (including our children) get heavier and heavier,  we are facing a truly "huge" crisis.  Everyone knows that obesity leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, arthritis and a higher rate of cancer.  But just like warnings on cigarette cartons, these scary facts don't always motivate people to kick the fat. 

The media inundates us with weight loss strategies every day.  But buying a diet book, a machine, device or pill that will "solve" the problem is throwing money at a problem that can't be solved with money.   The "quick fixes" set people up for    disappointment and failure, and endless rounds of crash dieting.  The problem of obesity needs to be solved with a total look at who you are now and who you really want to be.      Spend 30 minutes honestly examining your lifestyle and you are sure to see the answer. 

There comes a point where being overweight is just too painful.  Maybe you are sick, maybe you are tired all the time, maybe you hate the way your clothes fit, maybe you are fed up with people teasing you.  Maybe you want to win a bet, or prove something to  yourself or others, or maybe you just want feel proud when you look in the mirror. 

Do some goal setting.  For your health, losing 10% of your current weight is a great starter goal.  Studies show that a modest reduction like 10% gets huge health benefits such as lowering your blood pressure, and cutting your chances of getting diabetes.  

Get specific, sit down with a piece of paper and write down the answers to these questions.

1..  Where am I now?: MY weight ____________Calculate your BMI.   If your number is over 27, you are obese and you MUST lose weight for your health.  If you are between 21 and 27 you are overweight, and will benefit from weight loss too.
2.  Where do I want to be?   My ideal body weight  ___________Why? 
3.  How long ago was I at my ideal body weight?  How long did it take to get HERE?  How long will it take to get THERE?.   Plan out your 10% weight loss over the next 10-20 weeks.  A pound or two per week is achievable and safe.

Spending time dreaming and visualizing your ideal weight is incredibly helpful.  It helps you stop beating yourself up and takes you away from the negativity that you experience about your current weight.  Your mind can actually start imagining a healthier body, and your subconscious will start figuring out ways to get there.  You can do your visualization in your head, or you can do something silly like photoshop your head onto the body of a celebrity you admire!  You can hang a pretty dress in a smaller size and use that as the starting point for your visualization too.  Focus on how you will feel when you achieve your new weight.  How proud will you be? How strong and happy with you feel?  For weight loss, you need great motivation, and nothing is more motivating for humans than our feelings.  When the going gets tough you will have that vision to get you through.

Now that you have a clear picture of what you want, you can figure out a way to get there.   Sure, there's diet and exercise.  But one thing that people usually overlook is their limiting beliefs with regards to this process.  Not examining them is like driving your car around with the hand brake on:  there's always something holding you back.  Then you end up saying things like " I know I shouldn't _________, but______"....and this is where the excuses start pouring in.  So, you must take a hard look at what you really believe about weight, health, and food.  It doesn't take long.   Just look at the statements below and see if you recognize some beliefs you would rather live without, and then add your own.
Sample limiting beliefs:
Food.  Food is for entertainment/ my hobby.  Refusing to eat is insulting to others.  I must always finish everything on my plate because there are people starving in Africa.  Eating right is too much work and too expensive.
Exercise:  Exercise is boring/tiring/painful.  I don't need to work out because I walk at work. I have no time to exercise.  Exercise is not fun.
Weight:  Thin people look sickly.  Skinny is vain.  Obesity "runs" in my family.  My friends might be jealous and I will lose them.  My husband will think I am cheating.
Health:  I can be overweight and healthy.  Weight doesn't matter as long as I am happy.  I can always be healthy later.  Being healthy requires too many sacrifices. 

When you look at these limiting beliefs and add your own, you will realize that they don't serve you and you can choose different ones.  Write them down!  Here's an example:  Exercise is fun, and a great way to connect with friends!


People always ask " What should I be eating?" .  I think a better question is "What should I be doing instead of eating?".  Here's the truth.  You need diet AND exercise.  Energy intake and energy expenditure.  The bottom line is you need to put out more than you put in.

Exercise.  Movement does not equal exercise!  Neither does sweating, like when you are sitting on a golf cart.   You need to get your heart rate up and break a sweat, and be just a little out of breath.  Remember to stretch, and start with walking 30 minutes a day and push it up weekly by 5-10 minutes, until you are doing 60 minutes of high intensity exercise pretty much daily.   Great ideas are running, basketball, zumba, swimming, jump rope or dancing.  Change it up if you crave variety, but stick to your commitment.

Diet.    Here are some simple principles that will make almost anyone lose weight.
1.  Drink more water.  Water instead of a snack.  A glass of water before you eat.  Fill up on pure, beautiful water and you will eat less.
2.  Forget fad diets.  This is a lifestyle you want to adopt forever to become the new you!  If you think you need to "cheat" on a diet, it will make it impossible for you to stick to it for the long haul. 
3.  Hunger is in your mind.  People that get frightened or very excited about something may completely forget to eat.  You can use this to your advantage.  When you feel hungry, stop and look at your watch for 90 seconds first.  Have a glass of water.  Most of the time the feeling will pass if you don't give in to the impulse to open the fridge.
4.  Cravings are in your mind.  Same thing.  Take 90 seconds on your watch before you give in.
5.  Choose soups, salads, vegetables and  fruits whenever you can.  These are quick and easy to prepare in advance.
6.  Minimize your rice, meat and fried food intake. 
7.  Alcohol has tons of calories. Cut out beer.  Have a glass of wine once or twice a week only.  Forget mixed drinks.
8.  On the subject of drinks, put lemon in your water and enjoy.  Forget soda, juices and sugary coffees.
9.  Count your calories.  Get a phone app that does this, and record what you are eating.  Men can shoot for 1500 calories, women for 1200.
10.  Weigh yourself every day, and don't react to it.  Just keep measuring your progress.  Slow and steady wins the race! 

Here's our Health Living Videos on Weight loss for more great tips!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012


Psoriasis is a very common skin disease affecting millions of people around the world.  Dry, itchy plaques occur on the body or scalp because of a problem in the immune system, causing the skin to flake more quickly than usual.  It's  a chronic condition that can be controlled but not cured.  Psoriasis sufferers are often very artful about covering their plaques with clothing or hairstyles, but they experience a lot  of emotional distress about their condition.  SO, if you meet someone with psoriasis, be sure to touch them.  The disease is not contagious, and they will appreciate being treated "normally".

Learn more about psoriasis here:

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vitamin D Essentials

Vitamin D is being studied more and more these days.  It turns out that nearly a quarter of the adult US population is deficient in this essential molecule, which helps us absorb calcium and build our bones.  Scientists have also discovered that low levels of Vitamin D predispose us to cancer, diabetes, cognitive problems, and even multiple sclerosis. 

Learn more about Vitamin D and  E in this week's Healthy Living video, below:

More answers to your questions