Revamp Your Snacking Habits

Revamp Your Snacking Habits

According to the experts at the Harvard Medical School, snacks can help bridge the gap between meals, according to Liz Moore, a dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Control your portion sizes and avoid overeating with healthy snack routines. 

Healthy snack suggestions

When choosing snacks, select whole foods with little processing, and look for the healthiest sources of fats, carbs, and protein.

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries and a sprinkle of granol
  • 1½ ounces trail mix with dried cherries, dark chocolate, and walnut
  • ¼ cup hummus with 1 cup fresh vegetables, such as baby carrots, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoe
  • 1 slice whole-grain flatbread with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1 teaspoon fruit sprea
  • 1 banana, sliced and spread with 1 tablespoon peanut butte
  • 1 cup of cooked oatmeal with a dusting of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon raisins, and ½ cup low-fat milk or soy mil
  • Low-fat string cheese with an apple or small bunch of grape
  • 1 cup edamame* in the shell

If you crave something crunchy or savory, try making your own snack! Enjoy this recipe from the Harvard HEALTHbeat:

Spicy roasted chickpeas

Try this recipe for an easy, inexpensive snack that's rich in fiber and protein. All you need is a can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), a little olive oil, and spices (garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, curry powder, or any others you like). 

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Drain the chickpeas in a colander or strainer and rinse under running water.
  3. Spread the chickpeas on a large baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with about one tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle with your choice of spices.
  6. Roast for 15 to 30 minutes, to desired crispness.
  7. Store at room temperature in a resealable bag or container.

The Elimination Diet

Comment

The Elimination Diet

Do you suffer from digestive problems, headaches, chronic sinus drainage, low energy, depression, mood swings, eczema, skin irritations, joint aches, asthma, and/or weight gain?

Health problems such as these may be related to a specific food or foods eaten frequently. Many people with food sensitivities don’t even realize how awful they feel until the trigger foods are removed from the diet.

Food reactions are a frequently overlooked cause of chronic health issues. Some reactions occur immediately after eating the food (allergy), but in other cases, symptoms may be delayed by several hours or even days (referred to as food sensitivity or food intolerance). Removing specific foods from your diet will allow the body to recover and begin to function efficiently again.

These adverse food reactions are common because the same foods are eaten day after day, resulting in greater sensitization to these foods. If the right foods are not eaten, digestion and absorption may be impaired. Additionally, those with weakened immune systems may be more prone to food sensitivities.

The Elimination Diet helps to uncover food(s) that may be the culprits. It is a very useful tool for diagnosing adverse food reactions, whether true allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity.

Often, symptoms that have failed to respond to conventional medical therapy will resolve by following an Elimination Diet. After the initial period of eliminating foods, many chronic symptoms should improve or disappear.

When the burden on the immune system is decreased, the body has an opportunity to heal. Along the way, it is important to learn how to eat an enjoyable and nutrient-dense diet while starting on the road to optimum health!

The Detox Challenge, Dietary Guidebook, by Deanna Minich, PhD, in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine. © 2014 The Institute for Functional Medicine

 

Comment

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

Food is more than nutrition. It is essential to incorporate food and nutrition as a lifestyle. Consuming optimal amounts of these nutrients will benefit your mind, your body and will cultivate joy.

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

1. Aim for 9-13 Servings of Plant Foods Everyday
To prevent chronic disease, consume at least 9-13 servings of plant foods each day. One serving is half a cup of cooked vegetabls, one cup of raw leafy vegetables or a medium-size piece of fruit. Aim to have about 3-4 servings of plant foods for each meal of the day.

2. Know Your Phytonutrient Sources
Phytonutrient-rich eats are limitless so experiment, try new things and have fun! Read more about the spectrum of phytonutrient foods.

3. Eat the Rainbow of Colors
Stay away from one food group or one color, variety is the key. Try a fruit smoothie for breakfast with blueberries, peaches, and raspberries! Make it your goal to get the full seven colors every day with a variety of foods.

4. Vary Your Choices
Try a new food every week to ensure you are getting different nutrients and foods to try! 

5. Maximize Combinations
Certain foods in combination together may achieve a better effect. Try putting turmeric with black pepper together with olive oil to enhance phytonutrient effects of all three foods on your health. Add lemon juice to spinach to help the iron become more absorbed by your body. Try putting plant foods together for an enhanced health benefit.

6. Be Creative with Substitutions
Think of foods that are commonly eaten that may not be as nutrient dense and replace with nutrient-dense options such as substituting mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes or purple potatoes.

The Detox Challenge, Dietary Guidebook, by Deanna Minich, PhD, in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Phytonutrients - Spectrum Foods

Comment

Phytonutrients - Spectrum Foods

Eat a rainbow of phytonutrients every day to avoid chronic disease, nourish your body and live a healthful life.

What is the Spectrum of Phytonutrient Foods?

Red foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, gastrointestinal health, heart health, hormone health, and liver health.

  • Apples, blood oranges, cranberries, cherries, grapefruit, goji berries, grapes, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
  • Beans (kidney, red)
  • Beets, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, sweet red peppers, rhubarb, tomato
  • Rooibos tea

Orange foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, antibacterial, immune health, cell protection, reduced mortality, reproductive health, skin health, source of vitamin A.

  • Apricots, cantaloupe, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, tangerines
  • Bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, yams
  • Turmeric root

Yellow foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, cognition, eye health, heart health, skin health and vascular health.

  • Apple, asian pears, banana, lemon, pineapple, starfruit
  • Bell peppers, summer squash
  • Ginger root, millet

Green foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, brain health, cell protection, skin health, hormone balance, heart health, liver health.

  • Apples, bitter melon, limes, pears
  • Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, bamboo sprouts, bean sprouts, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, green beans, green peas, greens (arugula, beet, chard/swiss chard, collard, dandelion, kale, lettuce, mustard, spinach, turnip), okra, snow peas, zucchini
  • Decaf green tea, olives, watercress

Blue/Purple/Black foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, cognitive health, heart health and liver health.

  • Berries (blue, black, boysenberries, huckleberries, marionberries), figs, grapes, plums, prunes, raisins
  • Bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, olives, potatoes, rice (black or purple)

White/Tan/Brown foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-microbial, cell protection, gastrointestinal health, heart health, hormone health and liver health

  • Apples, applesauce, coconut, dates, jicama, pears
  • Bean dips, garlic, ginger, legumes (chickpeas, dried beans or peas, hummus, lentils, peanuts, refried beans/low-fat), nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts), seeds (flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), tahini, naturally caffeine free tea (black, white), gluten-free whole grains (brown rice, quinoa)
  • Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, sauerkraut, shallots

The Detox Challenge, Dietary Guidebook, by Deanna Minich, PhD, in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Comment

Sunscreen Tips for the Summer

Sunscreen Tips for the Summer

12 things to know when choosing and using sunscreen this summer from the experts at the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Medical Publications, HEALTHbeat:

1. Get rid of old sunscreen. Sunscreen has a shelf life of 3 years, but you don't know when a product first landed on a shelf. Check the expiration date, if there is one — but be mindful that the expiration date is only good if the sunscreen hasn't been exposed to any extreme heat.

beach-1523354.jpg

2. SPF tells you how much protection the sunscreen offers. Higher SPF values (up to 50) provide greater sunburn protection.

3. Stick with SPF 50 or gear up with protective clothing. You don't need to buy a product with an SPF higher than 50. You are better off buying a hat — or clothing that deflects UV rays.

4. Sunscreen is not waterproof. The FDA has banned the term "waterproof." It's now been replaced by "water-resistant." Labels on water-resistant sunscreens must clearly state how long they provide protection after water exposure or sweating. Depending on how often you swim, you can choose one that needs to be reapplied every 40 or 80 minutes.

5. Broad Spectrum. The FDA has also banned the term "sunblock." Instead, look for labels that state "broad spectrum." A broad spectrum sunscreen must pass tests proving that it truly protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

6. UVA vs UVB. When sunlight hits your skin, it is absorbing both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays can prematurely age and wrinkle skin. Both contribute to skin cancer. That's why you always want a broad spectrum product.

7.    Use an ounce of sunscreen per large child or adult. That's about as much as would fill your hand — or a shot glass. You really want to cover all exposed skin well. Reapply at least once every 2 hours, even if your child doesn't sweat or go in the water.

8. Keep the Bug Spray Separate. Don't buy a product that combines a sunscreen and an insect repellent. Sunscreen should be reapplied frequently, but insect repellents should not. Buy separate products and apply them separately.

9. Choose lotions over sprays. While sprays seem easier, it's harder to be sure that you are covering all the skin well. Also, there are concerns that breathing in the spray (which is easy to do while spraying it) could be harmful.

10.  Don't buy sunscreen powders. These go on your scalp. They're easy to inhale, so avoid them.

11.  Apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun. That way, you go into the sun protected. Plus, you don't have to worry about children being squirmy or running away from you. If you have small children, apply the sunscreen before you put on their clothes or bathing suits. Then you'll be sure you don't miss any spots.

12. Safety. The safety of some sunscreen ingredients is controversial. These include oxybenzone, retinoids and nanoparticles. The Environmental Working Group has a list of 184 sunscreens that meet their safety criteria. You can choose one of those to be on the safe side. However, it's important to know that the American Academy of Dermatology does not believe that those ingredients pose a health risk. What does pose a health risk is too much sun exposure. Burns during childhood can especially raise the risk of skin cancer later in life. So the most important thing is to buy that sunscreen — and use it often and well.

Detox and Purify Your Body

Detox and Purify Your Body

Are you interested in learning more about the state of your health? Are you ready to discover your authentic body? 

Join us on a journey to detox and purify your body of excess toxins that have accumulated in your organs and soft tissues.

What does the program include?

  • Support, you will receive as much or as little support as you like over the 2-week period to ensure your success.
  • Health History including body composition testing, functional movement screening and additional ratio and symptom evaluations.
  • Daily Email Plan with a menu, shopping list, recipes, nutrition lesson and endless resources for success!
  • Coaching, let us help you along this journey with one-on-one consultations or email/phone communication when you need it.

 

Ancient vs. Modern Grains

Ancient vs. Modern Grains

These days, it’s common knowledge that whole grains like oats and wheat are important for maintaining health: they raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

A Harvard study published online on June 13, 2016, in the journal Circulation found that, compared to people who didn’t eat many whole grains each day, people who ate four servings of whole grains daily (about 70 grams) during the study period had a 22% lower risk of death from any cause, a 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 20% lower risk of dying from cancer. The study doesn’t prove that whole grains prevent early death, but it adds to increasing evidence that whole grains really are full of “goodness.”

Maybe that’s why some whole grains, called ancient grains, are now trending among foodies, even showing up on the list of the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2016” culinary forecast.

What are ancient grains?

Unlike modern grains such as wheat, corn, and rice, ancient grains have never been processed through hybridization or genetic modification; they’re grown just as they were a thousand years ago. They have exotic-sounding names like teff, einkorn, emmer, amaranth, millet, quinoa, black rice, black barley, and spelt. And they pack a nutritional wallop. “Generally speaking, they offer more protein, fiber, and vitamins than modern grains,” says Debbie Krivitsky, a registered dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. For example, a cup of cooked teff has 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, compared with 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked modern brown rice.

Nutrition isn’t the only difference. Ancient grains sometimes have more calories than modern grains. In our example of teff and brown rice, teff has 255 calories per cup, compared to brown rice, which has 216 calories. Furthermore, a cup of cooked modern oatmeal has only 124 calories, and a cup of cooked modern corn has only 74 calories. In addition to the higher calorie content, there is another difference between the two forms of grains: ancient grains tend to cost more than modern grains.

Whole grains, always in style

Just because ancient grains are “in” right now, it doesn’t mean you should discount modern whole grains. All whole grains are better for you than refined grains. Whole-grain kernels have three parts — the bran, endosperm, and germ — that give you phytonutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, which protect against chronic disease. “Refined grains get rid of the bran and germ in the processing, and you lose the fiber and many of the nutrients,” says Krivitsky.

Many whole grains contain plenty of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, improves digestion, and controls blood sugar. “It’s okay to eat lower-fiber whole grains. Just make sure you include other foods that are high in fiber, such as fruit and vegetables or high-fiber breads, cereals, and crackers,” says Krivitsky.

Where to start

The takeaway message is to vary your whole grains. “Keep eating oatmeal and brown rice if you like it, but add in some ancient grains from time to time,” suggests Krivitsky. Enjoy ancient grains as a side dish to a meal, or sample products that contain ancient grains, such as breads, cereals, and pastas.

When buying any whole-grain product, to ensure that you are getting an appreciable serving of that grain, make sure it’s one of the first ingredients listed; ingredients are listed by quantity, in descending order. Also, make sure there’s not a lot of added sugar, which takes away from the value of the food.

And remember to watch your calories when eating any grains. “Some of these are calorie-dense foods, so you really have to be mindful of portions or you may gain weight. But you can have less and still get more nutrients,” says Krivitsky.

Original article, shared by the Harvard Health Publication
POSTED JUNE 29, 2016, 9:30 AM
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Attend to Your Mind and Body

Attend to Your Mind and Body

According to the Harvard Health Publication, the way we live, the foods we eat and how we treat our body affect not only our health but also our memory. The following are five things you can do every day to keep your mind and body sharp:

Manage your stress. The constant drumbeat of daily stresses such as deadline pressures or petty arguments can certainly distract you and affect your ability to focus and recall. But the bigger problem is an ongoing sense of extreme anxiety—that can lead to memory impairment. If you don’t have a strategy in place for managing your stress, protecting your memory is one reason to get one. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and a “mindful” approach to living can all help.

Get a good night’s sleep. People who don’t sleep well at night tend to be more forgetful than people who sleep soundly. A good night’s sleep is essential for consolidating memories. The most common reason for poor sleep is insomnia—difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Unfortunately, many medicines used to treat insomnia can also impair memory and general brain function. That’s why it’s best to try improving your sleep habits first and turn to medication only if those steps don’t help. If you do need sleep aids, use the lowest dose for the shortest time needed to get your sleep back on track.

If you smoke, quit. Easier said than done, certainly, but if you need additional motivation, know that smokers have a greater degree of age-related memory loss and other memory problems than nonsmokers. People who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes a day at midlife have more than double the risk of developing dementia in old age compared with nonsmokers. However, those who stop smoking by midlife and those who smoke less than half a pack a day have a similar a risk of dementia as people who have never smoked.

If you drink alcohol, do so moderately. Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk for memory loss and dementia. People with alcoholism have difficulty performing short-term memory tasks, such as memorizing lists. Another type of memory loss associated with alcohol use is called Korsakoff’s syndrome. In this condition, long-term vitamin B1 deficiency combined with the toxic effects of alcohol on the brain can trigger sudden and dramatic amnesia. In some cases this memory loss is permanent, but if caught early, can be reversed to some degree.

Protect your brain from injury. Head trauma is a major cause of memory loss and increases the risk of developing dementia. Always use the appropriate gear during high-speed activities and contact sports. Wear seat belts when riding in motor vehicles. Car accidents are by far the most common cause of brain injury, and wearing seat belts greatly reduces the chances of severe head injury. Wear a helmet when bicycling, riding on a motorcycle, in-line skating, and skiing.

http://www.health.harvard.edu, Harvard Health Publications

Tips for Healthy Grilling

Tips for Healthy Grilling

Summertime is in full swing and it is time to enjoy the grille! 5 Tips for healthy grilling from the Harvard Health Blog:

Start out clean. Don’t let the charred buildup on your grill transfer to your meal. Use a wire brush to give your grill a good cleaning. Then wipe it down with a cloth or wadded-up bunch of paper towels to make sure that no grill-cleaning bristles will get into your food—or your guests.

 Smoke and fire. Exposing protein-rich meat, poultry, and fish to high heat and open flames creates heterocyclic amines. When fat drips and burns on the grill, the resulting smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These two groups of chemicals have been linked to various types of cancer. You can reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons several ways: Line the grill with foil perforated with holes. Cook for longer at a lower temperature. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy to control fatty flare-ups.

 Marinate. Marinating food for a while before cooking limits the formation of potential carcinogens while grilling. Recipes abound for healthy marinades that will add flavor to whatever you are grilling. If you rely on bottled marinades, choose those that are low in salt.

 Give veggies and fruit equal billing with meat. Grilling intensifies the flavor of fruits and vegetables, just as it does for meat. Kebabs that alternate meat with pieces of onion, pepper, or other produce, like spicy chicken kebabs with Moorish flavors, are a great way to increase vegetable and fruit intake. Or skip meat altogether, with something like grilled eggplant cutlets with tomato or portabella mushroom “steak” sandwiches.

 Practice safe grilling. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from vegetables and other foods. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of grilled meat, poultry, and seafood. Place grilled foods on clean plates, not on the ones that held them when they were raw. The USDA offers other tips for keeping food safe.

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-tips-for-healthy-grilling-201305276318?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GB20160629-HealthyEating&utm_id=185789&mid=21804441&ml=185789

5 foods that Fight High Cholesterol

Comment

5 foods that Fight High Cholesterol

Changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the composition of the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and “good fats” are all part of a heart-healthy diet. But some foods are particularly good at helping bring down cholesterol.
— Harvard Health Publications, HEALTHbeat

How? The following cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Here are 5 of those foods:

1. Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.

2. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That's one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

3. Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

4. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are now adding them to a wide variety of foods. They're also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.

5. Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

Harvard Health Publications, HEALTHbeat, Harvard University, June 11, 2016

 

Comment

Tips for a Healthy Independence Day

Comment

Tips for a Healthy Independence Day

The Fourth of July has arrived! How do you manage the joys of the holidays? The holidays, no matter what time of year, represent some of the biggest challenges to maintaining healthy eating habits and exercise.

A few tips for maintaining your healthy independence:

  1. Maintain your exercise schedule. Write it in your calendar and do it. You will feel less stressed and enjoy the holiday more. 
     
  2. Make a conscious effort to eat healthier foods. Choose the lower calorie items such as fresh fruit salad, watermelon, vegetable salad, and lean proteins. Challenge yourself to pick the healthiest food. If you do this most of the time, you can enjoy the treats some of the time. 
     
  3. Everything does not have to be perfect! When you are most frazzled, stop and spend 2 minutes reflecting on what you are most grateful for this holiday season. Take several calming breaths and do one of your favorite stretches. Repeat as many times during the day as needed. You'll be surprised how just 2 minutes can improve your state of mind.

Authentic Body Therapy wishes you a very Happy Fourth of July, enjoy the celebration and festivities!

Comment

Improve Your Sleep and Manage Stress for a Healthier Heart

Comment

Improve Your Sleep and Manage Stress for a Healthier Heart

According to the Harvard Health Experts, two ways to protect your heart are to improve sleep and manage stress.

If you have heart disease, you’re probably all too familiar with tenets of a heart-healthy lifestyle; eat wisely, get regular physical activity, keep weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar on target; and if you smoke, quit. What you might not know is that sufficient, good-quality sleep and stress control also offer genuine benefits to your heart.
— Harvard Medical School, Health Publication

Sleep

Two sleep-related problems that plague many people — sleep deprivation and sleep apnea — have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

· Sleep deprivation. Over time, inadequate or poor quality sleep can increase the risk for a number of chronic health problems, including heart disease. Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with several well-known contributors to heart disease, including high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

· Sleep apnea. This common cause of loud, disruptive snoring makes people temporarily stop breathing many times during the night. Up to 83% of people with heart disease also have sleep apnea, according to some estimates.

In the most common form, obstructive sleep apnea, soft tissue in the upper part of the mouth or back of the throat completely blocks the airway. Oxygen levels dip and the brain sends an urgent “Breathe now!” signal. That signal briefly wakes the sleeper and makes him or her gasp for air. That signal also jolts the same stress hormone and nerve pathways that are stimulated when you are angry or frightened. As a result, the heart beats faster and blood pressure rises—along with other things that can threaten heart health such as inflammation and an increase in blood clotting ability.

If you snore often and loudly — especially if you find yourself tired during the day — talk with your doctor about an evaluation for sleep apnea.

Check your stress (and negative thoughts) at the door

A growing body of evidence suggests that psychological factors are — literally — heartfelt, and can contribute to cardiac risk. Stress from all sorts of challenging situations and events plays a significant role in cardiovascular symptoms and outcome, particularly heart attack risk. The same is true for depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, and social isolation. Acting alone, each of these factors heightens your chances of developing heart problems. But these issues often occur together, for example, psychological stress often leads to anxiety, depression can lead to social isolation, and so on.

Does reducing stress, or changing how you respond to it, actually reduce your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack? The answer isn’t entirely clear, but many studies suggest the answer is “yes.” There is much to learn about exactly how. Research indicates that constant stress contributes biologically to heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and the formation of artery-clogging deposits. Other research finds that chronic stress may make it harder to sleep, eat well, quit smoking, and exercise.

Fortunately, you can learn healthier ways to respond to stress that may help your heart and improve your quality of life. These include relaxation exercises (deep breathing, guided imagery), physical activity (walking, yoga), and staying connected with friends, co-workers, family members.

 

Comment

Sunbather's Live Longer? But Don't Forget the Sunscreen!

Comment

Sunbather's Live Longer? But Don't Forget the Sunscreen!

Here’s something unexpected: Sunbathers live longer

Surprising, right? But that’s the conclusion of a new study that compared the life spans of many people with varying amounts of sun exposure. They found that among nearly 30,000 women in Sweden, who were each monitored for about 20 years, those who spent more time in the sun actually lived longer and had less heart disease and fewer non-cancer deaths than those who reported less sun exposure.

Can the sun extend your life?

With summer just around the corner, this news is timely — and a great excuse to get out of the house or office and soak up some sun. But there are some important caveats about this research:

Deaths due to cancer were more common among those who spent more time in the sun (The authors suggest that the higher probability of being diagnosed with cancer among the sun worshippers was because they were surviving longer and not dying as often of other causes)
The impact of sun exposure on longevity was relatively small. Even those with the greatest sun exposure only benefited from an extra 7 months to 2 years of life.
This study detected an association between sun exposure and a lower frequency of certain causes of death; however, that’s not the same as proving that sun exposure was the cause of longer life. It could turn out that there is another explanation for these results that has little to do with sun exposure itself. For example, perhaps people with more sun exposure tend to be more active, smoke less, and have healthier diets. The researchers tried to account for other factors such as these in their analysis, but it’s always possible that something important was overlooked.
The reason why more sun exposure might prolong life or prevent heart disease deaths could not be determined by this study. Because the sun’s UV light triggers chemical reactions in the skin that lead to the production of vitamin D, it’s possible that vitamin D is responsible for the health benefits of sun exposure described in this study. And that could mean vitamin D supplements would promote longer life free of heart disease, even without sun exposure. However, that’s only speculation and prior studies have not been able to prove this.
The study did not include men. The impact of sun exposure could be quite different among men.

Before you ditch the sunscreen and head for the beach…

While there is some uncertainty about the overall importance of this study, one thing is for sure: when it comes to the impact of sun exposure on health and disease, the findings of this new report won’t be the last word. There are competing risks linked to sun exposure: skin cancer and other skin damage are clearly a risk; but there may be health benefits as well (as suggested by this study). Since this type of study cannot determine the exact reason that those with more sun exposure lived longer, we’ll need more research to sort out just how much sun exposure is best.

The authors of this study speculate that recommendations to limit sun exposure might actually do more harm than good; in fact, they suggest that avoiding the sun could have a negative health impact similar in magnitude to smoking. That’s quite a statement!

In my opinion, that kind of declaration is premature and overstates what we can conclude from this type of research. After all, there are plenty of examples in which retrospective studies like this one (that is, those that ask people to think back and self-report their experiences with an exposure or treatment) turned out to be completely wrong. Routine hormone replacement therapy for perimenopausal women is one of the most dramatic and recent examples. Let’s not make sun exposure the next one.

Source: POSTED JUNE 06, 2016, 9:30 AM , UPDATED JUNE 07, 2016, 12:06 PM by Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Comment

Lunch the Healthy Way

Comment

Lunch the Healthy Way

Lunch the healthy Way! How? According to the experts at the Harvard Medical School, include lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, and produce.

Roughly half of your plate should be vegetables or fruit; one-quarter should be lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, or low-fat cottage cheese; and one-quarter should be whole grains, such as one slice of whole-grain bread, or half a cup of brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or quinoa.
— Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School

You can also include a small amount of healthy fat, such as a tablespoon of oil-and-vinegar. Be careful of regular salad dressings, cheeses, and salads that are mayonnaise-based (such as tuna, chicken, and egg salads) can contain unhealthy fats, hidden sugar, and salt.

How to build a healthy salad?

Step 1: Build a vegetable base. Load your plate with leafy greens and raw or grilled vegetables.

Step 2: Add some protein. You might try a few scoops of garbanzo or kidney beans, for example. Beans are an excellent source of fiber — and they're filling! Other good selections include grilled chicken, low-fat cottage cheese, or chopped eggs. But go light on any cheese toppings — just a sprinkle of a strongly flavored variety like feta or Parmesan can deliver flavor with fewer calories.

Step 3: Add a small amount of healthy fat. Sprinkle on the nuts and seeds. They are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and healthy protein, give you a feeling of fullness, and help food stay in your stomach longer. You might also opt for a dash of oil and vinegar.

Step 4: Add whole grains and fruit. Look for whole grains like barley or bulgur wheat to sprinkle on top. Or add a few slices of fruit.

Source: www.harvardhealth.edu; Image: Ben-Schonewille/iStock

Comment

Setting Up Your HouseHold For Health

Comment

Setting Up Your HouseHold For Health

Living in wellness is a moving target, a state of mind­-body­-spirit that is not exactly the same as staying healthy or out of sickness. For each of us living in wellness can and should mean something very different. Our individual definition of wellness is an individual process of discovering our personal expression in life.

Do we engage? We believe the process of engagement is the goal and including bodywork, exercise, and nutrition, provides a framework for long­-term exploration and successfully living in wellness.

The following is a 4-step guide to setting up your household for health and living in wellness:

  • Laurel Sulfate: When buying shampoos and conditioners look at the ingredient list and to be sure that laurel sulfate is not one of the first three ingredients. Almost everyone is allergic to Laurel Sulfate (a detangling agent) to one degree or another. Mild cases show up as dry skin and severe cases as scaly skin like eczema. This simple step can help you better care for yourself and family.
     
  • Digestive Tract pH: Our digestive system's pH has a very simple biology. If our environment is more alkaline then it can carry more oxygen. Then we get more strength from aerobic respiration on a cellular level. More Alkaline = More Oxygen = More Strength.
A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit helps put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try to drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).
— John Hopkins University
  • The Vita­Mix: This powerful blended makes eating healthy  simply! Morning smoothies are a quick and powerful start to the day. The same goes for salad dressings and Almond milk,­ easy and quick to make in bulk for a few weeks with the VitaMix. Cleaning is simple,­ just blend a few cups of water with a dash of soap for ten seconds and rinse. Check out Vitamix.com for more info,
     
  • Water Filters: Say good­bye to buying bottled water and install a Reverse Osmosis system under your sink. The APEC RO­45 system is easy to install and the filters last for a year. Drinking filtered water will reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins that your liver has to filter on a regular basis. Water filters can also be purchased for the shower. A shower reduces the amount of chlorine and other chemicals that are absorbed by our skin and hair every morning. These chemicals all have to pass through the liver and with more or less ease. Check out the award-winning documentary, "Flow", to learn about water on an individual and global level. "Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over" and the struggle is only growing faster.

 

 

Comment

Holistic Health Coaching

Comment

Holistic Health Coaching

At Authentic Body Therapy, we offer Holistic Health Coaching to support you step by step to making permanent and lasting changes to your health and wellness.

Health Coaching is a co-­creative process, helping you improve your daily experience though nutrition and regular exercise. The beginning starts with you, by listening to your dreams, passion, and goals. This information along with specific data about your body composition and metabolism provide a solid foundation to measure your success. The heart of the program is about learning to eat foods that support your health and eliminate foods or food groups that compromise your body’s metabolism.

Where do We Start?

Getting to Know You

The most important portion of the session is getting to know you. You are the expert of your body and feelings. We are here to support your goals. We will ask about your lifestyle, dreams, and goals to make your ideal health a reality.

Health Risk Screening

Part of this program includes a Health Risk Screening. This screening gives you accurate information about the state of your current health. It is very important to be open and honest to get the most out of your session. This information is the cornerstone of a solid foundation that will be used to build a stronger and healthier you—in every way. Your consultant will then share effective recommendations and personally guide you toward your Authentic Body.

Vitals

Following the Health Risk Screening, we create a general baseline by taking your vitals (Height, weight, Blood pressure, Hip­Waist Ratio) and then measure your body composition using a Bio Impedance Analyses (Fat Body Mass, Lean Body Mass, Body Mass Index, Base Metabolic Rate, Phase Angle, and Body Capacitance).

Functional Movement Screening

Then you are guided through a posture and a functional movement screening to evaluate the quality of your basic movements of daily life for asymmetry and stability.

What's in it for You?

You will improve your ability to listen to your body by collecting this kind of information. This is like taking a really clear picture of your health at one particular point in time. This is good news! If you have accurate information about your health, you will be naturally empowered to make better choices. You will experience the effects that certain foods have on your metabolic system. You will feel great and lose weight without counting calories. This is not a yo­yo diet, this is an educational process that empowers you to shed unwanted weight and strengthen your body’s metabolism.

Comment

The Five Faces of Our Metabolism

Comment

The Five Faces of Our Metabolism


The Effects of Inflammation on the Metabolism

Inflammation is an amazing protection mechanism our bodies have against infections, allergens and toxins. Inflammation becomes of concern when the body is being over stimulated with common allergens, overload of sugars and trans fats, and overeating. Inflammation is directly correlated to being overweight, and being overweight leads to greater inflammation according to Dr. Mark Hyman. Reducing inflammation is not only essential to reducing your waistline but fundamental in reducing serious health risks such as, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimers. If you are curious or concerned about your level of inflammation ask your doctor for a C­reactive Protein test.

To dial down the inflammatory responses your daily regiment should include exercise,­ it signals the brain to turn off the inflammatory process. Omega fats (EPA and DHA) ­ salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, high quality supplements, Phytonutrients ­blueberries, grapes, tea, dark chocolate. Herbs, turmeric, ginger. Probiotics, Lactobacillus 5 billion units daily


The Effects of Oxidation on the Metabolism

Antioxidants are all the buzz because they quench the oxidative process that constantly happens to our cells. Oxygen molecules like to be paired. When unpaired they go looking for electrons to steal. This process is accelerated with: Charbroiled foods, Excess sugar/ alcohol, Excess or insufficient exercise.

How to eliminate causes of oxidation?

  • Avoid the above list

  • Include CoQ10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements

  • Reduce air pollution (HEPA Filters or ULPA filters)

  • Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep

  • Improve Liver and Gut detoxification

  • Include: ginger, green tea, turmeric, rosemary in your diet


The Effects of Appetite Control on the Metabolism

Control your appetite to improve your metabolism. To moderate the appetite by composing perfect meals. Think of a perfect meal like a campfire, where the base is built with complex carbohydrates (grains and vegetables), then proteins and a little fat on top to burn evenly in the body. The little bit of healthy fat helps us absorb certain vitamins, gives a feeling of fullness and preserves healthy nerve function. The proteins are important building blocks for new cells and the carbohydrates are the fuel that our cells use in the process of living.  To make the "fire" last longer we need to stay away from simple sugars, artificial sweeteners, and especially High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). These sugars burn fast, faster than our bodies can respond to with insulin. Eating foods that are plentiful in fiber, like legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables, tempers the fire. 30­50 grams is a recommended amount of fiber per day.

Another simple way to control your appetite is to eat early and often. This means eating protein for breakfast to get your fire burning early in the day. Choose healthy snacks during the day to keep the fire burning (apple with almond butter is my favorite). Finish your dinner at least 2 hours before you go to bed.


The Effects of Detoxification on your Metabolism

Our bodies are naturally designed to detoxify by removing and eliminating any unwanted chemicals. That is not to say they everyone is on a level playing field when it comes to eliminating these internal (metabolic byproducts, used hormones, etc...) or external (air pollution, alcohol, pesticides, etc..) sources.

All of these chemicals pass through the liver, which has two phases of detoxification. One, is how fast they are coming into the liver and two how fast the liver packages them to leave the body. So effective detoxification is all about slowing down how fast toxins come into the liver in phase one and speeding up how fast they leave in phase two. Phase one is affected in part by the food choices we make (preservatives, artificial sweeteners, meats or dairy products with growth hormones just to name a few. This phase two requires an assortment of B vitamins of which some people need more than others, so yellow pee in no big deal.

Our bodies also use water to eliminate waste through our urine, sweat and excrement­, so drinking water and having plenty of fiber helps transport everything out of you.

1. Reduce Expose
2. Drink Water 2­-3 liters/day
3. Fiber 30grams/day
4. Take an excellent B Complex vitamin


The Effects of Stress on the Metabolism

In the New York Times Bestseller, Ultra Metabolism, Dr. Mark Hyman guides us through the mysterious details of our metabolism. Stress is a response to a real or perceived threat. From here we can understand stress to be a response to psychological threats (love, money, or career) or physical threats (being overweight, chronic illness or infections).

Under stress, our bodies produce elevated levels of Cortisol to get away from a boss or murderer. Additionally, Cortisol also reduces our sensitivity to Leptin, which is responsible for making us feel full. This in turn falsely signals to our brain that we are still hungry and our weight goes up.

We cannot loose weight and be stressed at the same time. We must take steps to actively manage your stress on a consistent basis. Regular Massage Therapy is an excellent method as is yoga, qi gong, meditation, and prayer.

Comment

Live Longer, Enjoy Better Health with a Plant-Based Diet

Comment

Live Longer, Enjoy Better Health with a Plant-Based Diet

A substantial amount of research shows that people who eat a plant-based diet — mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes — live longer and enjoy better health than people whose diets consist mainly of animal-based foods like meat.
— The Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School, and The Culinary Institute of America

Want to live longer and enjoy better health? Focus on making plants the main attraction of every meal. The experts at The Harvard Medical School have weighed in, supporting this diet to enjoy:

  • Longer life expectancy
  • Reduced heart disease
  • Relief from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lower rates of Parkinson's disease
  • Lower rates of Alzheimer's disease

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Eat locally for fresher and higher nutrient concentrated foods
  • Spice it up with herbs, aromatics and non-salted spices
  • Eat whole grains rich in fiber, vitamin E and magnesium, also known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diet-related depression
  • Go a little nuts, consume nuts five times a week or more to lower your risk of diabetes by 27%, however, eat in moderation!

To read more, visit, http://www.health.harvard.edu.

For 39 delicious heart-healthy recipes, buy Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart from Harvard Medical School.

Comment

Holistic Healing

Comment

Holistic Healing

Authentic Body is a true place to heal your body through massage.
— Susan Fitzpatrick, Pilates and Yoga Teacher

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Our massage therapists encourage clients to create an environment that supports peak performance through nutrition, mindfulness, and exercise. In addition to offering premier massage therapy, Brandon Jellison, owner and president of Authentic Body Therapy, is a professional in the offerings of holistic health coaching, personal training, and meditation instruction.

Comment

Recipe for Wholeness: Brown Rice Chickpea Kale Salad

Comment

Recipe for Wholeness: Brown Rice Chickpea Kale Salad

Makes 8 Servings

2 cups cooked brown rice (short or long grain), cooled

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas rinsed and drained

5 cups finely chopped kale

½ cup dried cranberries

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

½ teaspoon smoked red paprika

Sea salt and black pepper (as desired)

Mix together rice, chickpeas, kale and dried cranberries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, tahini, ginger, paprika and sea salt and black pepper as desired. Pour dressing over salad and combine well. Mix well to resitribute ingredients before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Note: This recipe is delicious served slightly warm, this can be accomplished by using freshly cooked hot rice.

Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories, 7 g protein, 5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 44 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 32 mg sodium.

Source: Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu

Comment