How Blood Sugar Levels and Stress Have an Impact-I Need Balance

imageThis past Monday, I worked out at 6:30am again, and I met with a dietician after work.  I completed a health questionnaire prior to my appointment.  It was confirmed that I lost 5 lbs. in the past month.  I have 33 percent body fat, which puts me at a moderate health risk. Anything over 35 percent is high risk.

As we talked, he determined that I eat pretty healthy lunches and dinners. Typically, we have a starch, a green vegetable, and a meat or fish.  I usually take leftovers for lunch the next day for work. Occasionally, I am invited to lunch with co-workers, or we have free lunch offered to us.  In those cases, I make healthy choices, like a salad.

imageAccording to my dietician, the  problem was my snack choices and breakfast. I was getting carbs, but not enough protein.  The rule is to look at the ratio of carbs to protein with fiber. When I was ingesting a higher ratio of carbs to protein, it was causing  an imbalance in which my blood sugar levels can rise and then drop. Either way, it promotes fat storage. Stress can increase cortisol levels, which coupled with low blood sugar levels, can also cause fat storage.  I learned this past week that your thoughts can cause stress; therefore, I make sure that my thoughts are not negative.

Normal blood sugar encourages fat use. For example, eating a bowl of oatmeal alone was leaving me short on protein. I needed to eat something else with it, like chicken or some nitrate- free breakfast meat.  Plain greek yogurt is high in protein. Since it doesn’t taste delicious by itself, I add fruit to it, which adds a nice balance.

As for snacking, I eat nuts, fruit and cheese, or hummus and raw veggies.  Sometimes, I just have a cup of green tea, and I’m satisfied. I’m sure as time goes on, I will get more creative. These were just suggestions, and they work for me.  I used to eat hummus often, but I just needed a change.

On my Friday session with the trainer, I struggled with a few of the exercises.  She set me up with a different personal trainer twice weekly for 30 minutes for the next month.  I will see how much progress I make and move forward from there.  It’ll be hard work, but well worth it.

I often hear people talk about being fat and overweight; however, they don’t make any changes with their diet or their lifestyle.  Looking back, I was a very skinny kid that wanted to be more curvy.  Now, I can still be curvy, but it’s about my health.

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6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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Winter can bring about a whole host of problems and obstacles when it comes to staying healthy. It is, of course, cold and flu season.

Winter also brings about a lot of holidays and holiday parties, which can throw a wrench into any healthy eating regimen. Add alcohol at those gatherings, the stress of being extremely busy, holiday shopping where you’ll come across many people with a cold, and it’s a recipe for a health disaster.

And there’s no cure for the common cold. So how exactly can you keep yourself from having all your energy zapped out of you while ending up flat on your back on the couch for days, despite that mile long to do list?

So, you’re surrounded by sick people, your stress levels are high, you’re really busy, and your eating isn’t as healthy as it would be under normal circumstances. It doesn’t sound good!

But don’t worry. All is not lost! There are ways to stay healthy this winter!

  1. Get Your Sleep

No matter how busy you are or what you have to get done, getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial to a healthy body and mind! You can not skimp on sleep!

Your body needs time to rest and recover, even more so when stress levels are higher, which is definitely the case around the end of year holiday season.

You may also want to cut back on your workouts during the winter to make sure your body has time to recover. When your body is overworked and you aren’t getting enough sleep, it promotes an acidic environment, and this is a breeding ground for viruses and other nasty germs to have their way with you.

Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Yes, even on weekends. And do your best to get up about the same time every day, seven days a week.

  1. Relax, Chill Out, Kick Back

Whatever you want to call it, you need to find time to take the proverbial chill pill. A 2012 study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who had to deal with a very stressful occurrence were twice as likely to end up with the common cold.

So find some down time, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or just sitting quietly listening to mellow music. Even fifteen minutes a day can work wonders.

  1. Get Spicy

Take some turmeric. It contains curcumin which is an immune system booster, exactly what you need during cold and flu system. You can get whole turmeric powder in tablets or capsules.

  1. Bad For Your Breath But Good For Your Health

Another great immune booster is garlic. A study published in Advances in Therapy showed that garlic can decrease the frequency of the common cold by as much as 64 percent!

But cooking can ruin the active ingredients, so be sure to mash it or chop it and put some in a salad or something.

  1. Drink Your Green Tea

Green tea has high levels of powerful anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy. It also has high levels of catechin, which can fight and maybe even prevent damage to your cells.

And here’s something to go with “Chill Out” to get rid of that stress! Green tea is high in theanine, which has been shown to have a calming effect and can help you to unwind and relax.

  1. Try Some Echinacea

This one is still up for debate, and there are many in the medical community on both sides of the argument.

However, a study done in 2010 in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that while taking echinacea won’t help prevent a cold, it could possibly shorten the time in which you have the cold. It can’t hurt, so if you feel a cold coming on, you might want to try some.

Nothing you do will guarantee you don’t succumb to a cold this winter, but if you follow these simple tips to stay healthy, you’ll give yourself a great chance of doing so.

Even if you succumb to a cold, chances are you could be healthier, have more energy and feel less stressed throughout the winter.

Author : Aria Meyer is a freelance writer and an active blogger. She writes mainly about fashion and technology, but she also writes about other topics too. She is currently working with several e-commerce websites to help them with content. Aria received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach and is currently living in Walnut, CA. Right now, she is working closely with EMed Items to help them grow the marketing department.

Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body

The word “toxins” has sort of become the newest boogeyman in the world of health and wellness. People blame them for health disorders, stress, aging, and many other things, and there are many products meant to help you detox.

But why is it important to get rid of toxins? Does it even matter? Here are a few reasons you should detox regularly:

  1. Fight chronic disease — Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and many neurological diseases have been linked to toxic buildup in the human body, so detoxing can help to reduce your risk of developing these diseases. Toxins can also causes these diseases to worsen, which is why it’s a good idea to detox regularly if you suffer from a chronic illness.
  2. Promote weight loss –– Did you know that toxins stop you from losing weight? Toxic buildup in your body causes your metabolism to slow down, and it can even prevent our bodies from being able to burn fat properly. By detoxing, you get rid of the toxins that are stored in fat cells and which slow down your metabolism.
  3. Improve immune function –– Toxins are difficult for your body to get rid of, so your immune system is often called in to fight off these invading chemicals. This distracts it from its true threat–infections and bacteria–and it may cause you to get sick. Detoxing frees up your immune system to focus on keeping you healthy and free of disease.
  4. Reduce signs of aging — When you age, your skin, organs, hair, bones, and muscles degrade, and that degradation is only made worse by toxins. Toxins can cause free radicals to form, and those free radicals can cause the aging to worsen. By detoxing, you increase the amount of nutrients your body can absorb from the food you eat.
  5. Improve the health of your skin and hair –– When your skin begins to wrinkle, fade, and sag, it is often the result of toxins building up beneath the skin’s surface. Toxins stop your body from producing the collagen and elastin that keeps your skin looking great, so it’s important to detox for your skin and hair’s sake!
  6. Boost digestive health — When you have a lot of toxins built up in your body, your digestive system is unable to function properly. You’ll find that problems like IBS or leaky gut syndrome are often the result of toxic build-up in the intestines or stomach, so detoxing regularly can reduce the risk of digestive health issues.
  7. Improve quality of life — When you use detoxing products like detox foot patches or baths, you reduce the risk of toxins causing headaches, sleep problems, joint pains, digestive disorders, fatigue, and so many other problems that can reduce the quality of life.

Need any more reasons to detox? It’s so vital to your health that it’s hard to imagine a month going by without a natural detox!

Written by Chris Miller

An Alkaline Body pH can prevent a Host of Diseases

From General Chemistry, you learn about pH and its scale. All acidic substances have a pH ranging from 0-6; alkaline or basic substances have a pH ranging from 8-14. Neutral pH is 7, which is that of water. Your blood pH is typically ranges from 7.3 to 7.4.

For those of you that aren’t a science geek like me, you just need to know that body pH affects your overall health. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace prize for his cancer research.   Normal cells take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. According to Warburg’s research, cancer cells ferment sugar instead, which makes an acidic environment. If you can avoid or at least reduce certain foods, beverages, or other toxic behaviors that cause an acidic pH, you can reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. Here is a list of things to try:

  1. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol is toxic to your liver in large amounts in addition to being addictive. However, drinking red wine does have benefits. In some cultures, they drink wine with every meal. For instance, in the early 1990s, French researchers reported the “French paradox”; the French eat a diet high in saturated fat yet have a very low incidence of cardiovascular disease (National Geographic). Drinking one or two glasses of red wine per day can reduce the risk of heart disease. Remember, everything in moderation.
  2. Stop drinking soda. I’ve stressed this in the majority of my posts. One of the ingredients listed for soda is phosphoric acid, obviously a culprit. See my post on Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda-Regular and Diet.
  3. Watch stress levels. Stress creates negative energy; therefore, your body is going to reactive negatively.
  4. Eat leafy, green vegetables, cooked and raw. Green vegetables are a good source of fiber and help eliminate carcinogens from our body. Eating one or two large salads most days can help the body heal itself. When you get bored with salad, try adding pomegranate seeds or red peppers (sweet or roasted) to them. Pomegranate seeds are very tasty and contain antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure.
  5. Watch caffeine levels. I’ve already discussed soda. I’ll admit that I love coffee, but I only drink one cup a day if at all. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and jumpy.
  6. Drink green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants and helps with weight loss. It is very soothing and calms you when you drink it hot. Choose a brand that you like. You can never go wrong with organic.
  7. Stop smoking. This is a given. I haven’t heard any benefits coming out of it.
  8. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is found in almost everything from ketchup, soda, BBQ sauce, and the like. Be sure to read food labels. This is designed for us to become fat and addicted to certain types of food.
  9. Reduce your consumption of processed and fast foods. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I don’t see long lines at the McDonald’s drive-thru like in the past. In a world of busyness, these are the things that we run to because it’s quick. A cheeseburger and fries is delicious when you cook it yourself or from a trusted restaurant. You know that the meat is hormone-free.
  10. Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration, for clear skin, and to keep bowel functions regular. I prefer spring or filtered water. Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, which you don’t want to drink.

Trying a few if not all of these suggestions should make a difference in your overall health. I lost 25 lbs. over time. When I learn techniques that work, I share that information with others.

Continue reading “An Alkaline Body pH can prevent a Host of Diseases”

10 Ways for Stay-at-home Moms to Relax and De-stress

It has its rewards; however, things can be overwhelming sometimes for a stay-at-home mom. Are you always doing things for others with little or no time left for yourself? Here are some ways to relax and de-stress:

  1. Tell others when you feel overwhelmed. They may not like what you have to say, but it is better to express how you feel. You don’t want to hold your feelings in and lash out at a later time. Calmly express your feelings. It’s always nice to HEAR that you’re appreciated for all that you do.
  2. Pamper yourself. Go get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Go to the beauty salon. If you don’t want to go to the spa, there are things you can do at home. For instance, you can take a long bubble bath, light some scented candles, or give yourself a facial. When you look good, you feel good.
  3. Exercise.  Physical activity relieves stress and burns calories.
  4. Take time to see friends. I typically get together with friends at least once a month for dinner or other activity. It gives us a chance to talk and catch up.
  5. Accept those invites. If you get invited to a party or event, go if you don’t have other plans.  It’s a privilege to be included.
  6. Go shopping. This is always fun for those that enjoy it. Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and DSW Shoes always send me coupons.
  7. Have daily quiet time. I either do it first thing in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes I do it twice daily. This is the time that I use to brainstorm, pray, write in my journal, and do meditation.
  8. Have date nights. When you can get a babysitter, plan a night out for two. Dinner and a movie always work well. If you both enjoy sports, plan to go to a game.
  9. Plan a getaway. Sometimes you just need a change in scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to a vacation each year, do it. There are so many beautiful places to see, within the U.S. as well as internationally. Life is shorter than you think.
  10. Get a hobby. Find an activity that you’re passionate about. Your hobby could later become a source of income.

When your kids are in school, that gives you time to run errands and relax for a while. If your kids take naps, use that time to catch up on sleep. I rarely have the opportunity to sleep past 6:30am. I’m usually the first to get up most days. Even though I only have one child, he keeps me busy. I treasure our time together. He’s growing up.

The Transition Back to Work

 

 

I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. After almost a year and a half of being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to go back to work. Since my son is in school for 5 hours a day 5 days per week, I figured it would be a great time to return to the lab. I have a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry, so my experience is primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. I must say that so far, it has been an interesting experience.   Every day is unpredictable. You don’t know what projects may come up. Of course, everything has a tight deadline, but most places that I’ve worked revolve around them.

My commute is reasonable and typical…about 45 minutes to an hour when you factor in traffic. My co-workers are friendly, although many of them are very stressed. There are times that you are required to stay past 5:00 pm or work on the weekends. Whatever the case, I refuse to be stressed out. Things are starting to turn around for the better. Oh, the power of prayer! The company recently treated us to lunch from Panera Bread, one of my favorite places. Three or four days out of the week, I leave on time. If you plan your workday properly and organize your time, you don’t need to work late. However, as I mentioned before, this job can be very unpredictable at times; things will just pop up out of nowhere.

One thing that I’ve learned this past week is not to second-guess myself. When you’re given wrong information, it affects your results. Fortunately for me, for my current project, I double-checked the method, and my results were ALWAYS correct. Just think if I had not brought it to their attention and repeated that entire experiment? It would have been in vain and a waste of time! I know that I’ve been out of the lab for a while, but I always try to produce high-quality work.

Do I regret going back to work? Not at all! I’m home to read to my son every night, and I see him before I leave in the mornings. I truly believe that this job is preparation for the next opportunity. (This position is a short-term contract, and the company will be relocating to Tennessee.) Also, I love having extra money. I like to pamper myself and buy necessities for the house. As wives, I’m sure that we all love getting facials, manicures, and pedicures. Maybe even a different hairstyle will sometimes make a difference.

Regardless of my next work project, I am prepared for anything that may happen. The key for my success will be organization, trusting my instincts, and attention to detail. Not only do you need to check your own results and data, but you also need to check to make sure that you are receiving accurate information from others working on the same project.