Foods for A Healthy Soul

12There is a growing need for people to improve their lifestyle through the means of supplementing their diet with the proper foods that are enriched with the right minerals and vitamins. You need to ensure that you consume whole foods that contain a high amount of fibers, enzymes that catalyze the reactions in the digestive tract etc. In this section we have taken the privilege to find the right foods for you which will translate into a better self reflecting image of yourself.

Foods for the Soul:

Almonds

There should be a high intake of almonds in your dietary system. These almonds help you in maintaining and balancing the protein and the magnesium content in your body which is necessary for building the tissue of your body. A snack of almonds consisting of 14-15 almonds that are unsalted will take your body a long way.

Apples

Your body is in continuous need of antioxidants that will help your tissue from aging and that combat free radicals. These radicals inhibit the growth of your tissues and make your tissues and cells degenerate. Most of the researches have proved that there is a correlation in the use of antioxidants and that of increase in lifespan.

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How To Combat Against Skin Infection In Summer?

2The season of summer means more physical activities and outdoor exposures. People get a chance to flex their muscles finally and get out in the sun after the long winters. But the major drawback in this season is the skin irritation and infections it causes. It is obvious to sweat in summer, and that means it is easy to catch infections.

There are various kinds of skin infections that a person develops during summer. However, with proper care and attention, these can be treated well. A person needs to make sure he takes care of his skin, both before and during the infection. Some of the major skin infections and their treatments are given below.

Heat Rash: As the name suggests, this infection is caused due to the intense heat in the summers. It is caused due to the perspiration being trapped in the sweat ducts. It takes the shape of tiny red bumps in skin folds or other places where clothes cause friction.

Treatment: It usually heals itself if the skin is given enough air. It is advisable to wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable and avoid creamy and oily ointments. These rashes last for around 2 or 3 days, but if they still don’t cure, you should see a doctor as it can be an infection.

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Health Benefits Of Yoga And Meditation

1Meditation and yoga have always been in our culture since ages; that is, ever since the emergence of Vedas. It is beneficial in many ways and has some benefits associated. Yoga helps to reduce weight and get a healthier and toned body. It also makes the skin shine making you look and feel attractive.

You can attain peace of mind by practicing yoga and meditation on a regular basis. If practiced yoga alone or meditation is alone, then also you can achieve many benefits. There are innumerable benefits that one can avail through yoga and meditation. Few of them are discussed below in brief.

  1. It Helps to Manage Stress

If you are practicing yoga regularly, then you can manage your stress with ease. Yoga helps in decreasing the inflammatory response made to the stressors on the body, which leads to a decrease in the possibility of stress and stress-related situations.

High blood pressure can be avoided by yoga and meditation as these practices help in reducing the stress level of both mind and body. On the other hand, meditation is responsible for the reduction in anxiety disorder and panic disorders too.

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5 Foods you should Eat Everyday

5-Foods-you-should-Eat-Ever

There has been an old saying that “what you are is what you eat”. This statement is partially true with research supporting this fact. There has been research in the field to check the personality along with the food intake of a person. There is evidence of food that help you improve your stress, help memory as well as aid you in your sleep. That is why there is a need to choose the foodstuffs you need in your dietary plan. In this section we will take a look at some of the most essential foods for your diets.

5 Essential foods:

Water: A huge proportion of our bodies consist of water which is surprising. This is the why you need to replenish your body with water every time your water levels run down. Make sure that you include your diet with foods that provide you with enough water to help you sustain your health. Men should drink around 3 liters of water and women should consume around 2.2 liters of water in their diets. It is not necessary to drink only water but fluids that contain a good percentage of water which can be extracted into the body.

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7 Myths about Botox

7-myths-about-botox

While Botox injections is now commonly used to treat wrinkles and is useful to help treat many medical conditions and diseases, there are still some misconceptions about what it can and cannot do. Read on to find out 7 myths about Botox.

  • The best time to use Botox is when you see wrinkles appearing. In fact, the best time to use Botox is before they appear. If you wait until you have wrinkles, it is much more difficult to get rid of them, especially if they have been there for some time. This means that the muscle causing them has become fixed into place and will be difficult to treat. Scowling, raising the eyebrows and squinting are all major causes of wrinkles. By using Botox early you may be able to use less in the long run.

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Why Is Breakfast Considered The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Why-Is-Breakfast-Considered-The-Most-Important-Meal-Of-The-Day

Out of all the big and mini meals we consume on a daily basis, breakfast is considered to be the most important of them.

It was in the 13th century that the word, ‘breakfast’ came into existence. It was essentially introduced after the verb form of ‘breakfasting’ and ‘breakfasted,’ and it was called that because it would be the first meal after fasting since the previous evening’s meal.

Not only does breakfast kick – start your metabolism but also energizes your body to get things done all throughout the day. One tends to achieve a better focus, and several studies have even linked consuming healthy breakfast to the key of preventing heart diseases and another body – related diseases.

It is as simple as this when you wake up; your body requires blood sugar to push your brain and muscles to function properly. Moreover, if you skip breakfast, then you are more likely to over – eat later in the day.

Following given are some of the benefits of having healthy and timely breakfast:

  1. Proper Breakfast Allows Adequate Body functioning

When you sleep for 8 to 10 hours, your body’s glucose levels tend to decrease. Breakfast is a way of restoring glucose levels in your body. Greater glucose levels improve memory and concentration levels by making the brain healthier. It keeps us happier and stress-free at most times.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Wine

a-beginners-guide-to-wine

Getting off the comfort zone and trying new things can be both scary and exciting all at the same time. Same idea applies on getting yourself signed up in the wine society. And that’s where the challenge comes up—you have no idea, or at least at the start.

When buying wine, from the infinite selection of wine producers to the list of favorites you want to keep a record on, not to mention the fact that you don’t know how to open a wine bottle or the right temperature to keep the wine in its most desirable taste, the list of factors to consider can be very tricky—and surely you don’t want to mess it all up.

Mistakes are inevitable—we learn from them—but in order to lessen the hassles and save money from trying the wrong ones and doing the most obvious mistake all over again, we summed up the beginner’s guide to wine.

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How to Rebuild Trust AFTER Addiction

how-to-rebuild-trust-after-addiction

Once you have made it through your addiction, you must leave the drug rehab centre at some point. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you have likely burned some bridges along the way or said some hurtful things to those that you love. It happens. Many people are quite understanding because they know that you were under the control of your addiction.

Now that you will be leaving the rehabilitation facility, it is time to work on some of those relationships, but how can you once trust has been broken and stomped on? Below, we will go over some ways that you can begin to build trust with your loved ones AFTER you have overcome your addiction.

  1. Be Proactive in Relationships

One of the best ways to rebuild trust once you have beaten addiction is to be proactive in your relationship with people. This means that you should reach out to them, suggest things for the two of you to do, and show them that you care and appreciate them in your life.

You can confide in your loved ones and you can be there for them as well. One of the reasons why your relationship may have fallen apart in the first place is because of your lack of presence. Make note of this and promise to be different and involved. Remember, actions speak louder than words, so make sure your actions are heard.

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Top Rated 5 Things To Do In Bali

Top-Rated-5-Things-To-Do-In-Bali

Indonesia has been overrated by several tourists visiting the place from across the world. Some exclaim it to be too touristy, while others say it is one of the best experiences in their moves that they can have. AIf you ask me, it all depends on how you would explore this tourist destination, especially Bali, Indonesia.

Bali is a well-known spot in Indonesia regarding food, love, and dreams. But, did all this begun in Indonesia, at all?

Regardless, of the expanded locations, Indonesia is still what it is, somewhat but not quite. The country well deserves the tourist interests that it is still receiving. The top five must-visit locations that sufficiently records and demonstrates why you should still go to Indonesia are listed below; please have a look.

  1. Witness the Stunning Sunset

Apart from it’s beautiful hotels and stunning villas in Seminyak, Bali is popular for its amazing sunset; so, create sure capture at least once in awhile when you are there. The most popular areas to capture an amazing sunset view are Rock Bar, cliff-side temple Uluwatu, El Kabron, and Tanah Lot. Take a great sunset day trip to Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. If you are on the way to Uluwatu, then don’t skip a night kick dancing. To get the most of your recreational holiday to Bali, seek the services of one of the experienced guides and personalize a day journey to see Bali’s features beforehand.

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Ways to Quickly Refuse an Alcoholic Drink in Public

Ways-to-Quickly-Refuse-an-Alcoholic-Drink-in-Public

If you are on the road to sobriety, maybe you have had a stay at a drug rehab and you will find that there are many social pressures along the way. Drinking has become an activity that is done for fun, to entertain, and more. Unfortunately, just because you are on your path to becoming sober, the world around you does not stop or end the pressure.

When you are out in public, you will find that you are offered drinks from time to time and you need to fight the urge to have one. If you are faced with a situation where the pressure is on, utilise one of the ways below to quickly squash the pressure and continue down the right path.

  1. Mocktails Are Your Friend

If you are in a social situation where your friends are drinking, do not be afraid to drink a mocktail. This is also what most drug rehab centers suggest. But, wait, what is a mocktail? It is a non-alcoholic version of a cocktail. When you order one, consider ordering your favourite juice or combination of juice with some carbonated or bubbly water. You will feel like you are part of the crowd without actually having any alcohol.

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What is Liposuction?

what-is-liposuction

Liposuction is a medical procedure that physically removed unwanted fat from the body, arms and thighs. Oddly enough, many people consider it a weight-loss procedure when in fact it is actually a body sculpting procedure that removes fat. These fatty deposits form in many areas of the body and are not always affected by diet or exercise.  They can make your body look lumpy or bumpy in all the wrong places. If body shape is important to you for whatever reason, you may want to consider undergoing liposuction.

How it is done

Liposuction is performed by a cosmetic surgeon (medical doctor) who is experienced in the procedure. It is done by inserting a small tube called a cannula just under the skin and sucking out the fatty deposits. These are usually kept until the procedure is finished so that the doctor knows how much liquid has been removed from your body. This will ensure you don’t become dehydrated.

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What Type of Wines you need to Pair with Veggie Burgers

what-type-of-wines-you-need-to-pair-with-veggie-burgers

Wines always go about with any of the food items but choosing a wine to suit your burgers can be a complex task. Wine was made to go about with some of the delicate foods. Burgers on the other hand are fast foods that need a different form of wine to go along with it. In this section we will take a look at how to choose the wines. This exhaustive list will help you get the right wine for your burgers so that you can enjoy it to the fullest.

Tip 1:

Since the burger is junk food stuff you need to make sure to get a full bodied wine for enjoying your dish. You can also enjoy your burger if you pair it with sparkling wine which will ensure the flavors of the burger emanate from it.

Tip 2:

Is there a vegetable which dominates in your vegetable burger? If there is a burger that has a single vegetable dominating in it then you need to choose a wine that will help in intensifying the effect of that single veggie. For instance if you have mushroom dominating in your burger, you can choose the pinot noir while the asparagus will pair brilliantly with a glass of chardonnay. You need to identify the various vegetables that are dominant and choose a wine based on it.

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Information Guide To Enhancing Personal Hygiene

information-guide-to-enhancing-personal-hygiene

Hygiene is one such thing for a human being that never is taught it comes from habit and daily routine. From very young age almost all of us are thought to stay neat and clean whether at home or school. This is because good personal hygiene not only necessary for appearance but also for good health and well-being. If you make it a habit of staying clean it won’t take any time for you to take care of your health and personal hygiene.

But sometimes we think that we take enough efforts to stay hygienic but is that true? Let’s find out in this guide which will surely enhance your personal hygiene.

  1. Take a Bath Daily, if Possible Twice a Day

It is a must to take a bath in the morning this will keep you clean and fresh all day. Some people don’t bath daily which is not a good habit; this can give them skin problems like allergies, itching, rashes and more. It is also good to have a bath in the evening with little warm water to remove the dirt of the entire day from your body.

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Balinese Architecture

Balinese-Architecture

In the face of the influx of western influence into Bali, the Balinese architects have, for the most part, managed to remain the proud, accomplished builders in Balinese architecture they are. They have also perpetuated the existence of traditional Bali design because of their dedication to it.

The ‘undagi’ are the traditional Balinese architects, and it is rumored that before designing and building any new structure, they take their modern ideas and consult ancient manuscripts in order to ensure an authentic Balinese erection by following the guidelines in the ancient scribes. In traditional Balinese architecture and design, a roof is constructed of bamboo and rattan, and then tapered to a point. Elaborately carved doors and furniture serve to celebrate the splendor of the temples with their timeless elegance and beauty. Several examples of gorgeous woodcarvings can be found lining the corridors of the Holiday Inn Bali Hai. The goddess Saraswati is the object of the aforementioned carvings, and she is the goddess of science and art. As an aside, the Balinese calendar year is 210 days long, so every 210 days is the day to celebrate Saraswati as the goddess of knowledge.

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Bali Art Festival

Bali-Art-Festival

The gorgeous island for Bali holidays hardly needs diversions to keep the tourists interested, but in case the mood strikes, there are many native art exhibits, along with a popular festival that takes place every year for one month from mid June to mid July. This is a perfect time for tourists to learn more about the cultural history and traditions of Bali. It was not originally intended for tourists so much as it was intended to instill a sense of local pride and remembrance of native traditions. It began in 1979, put on by the government to emphasize the cultural arts of Bali. The festival called Pesta Kesinian Bali is in its thirty-third year and is held at the Art Center in the city of Denpasar.

Each year focuses on a particular theme that carries deep meaning to the native Balinese people. The 2011 theme was ?Sudamala? which means to explore the purity of conscience?. There are activities held every day, ranging from parades, to native dances and wonderful markets. It was first held to help locals remember their culture and create local awareness and preservation of tradition. In addition, the government wanted to build the potential of the local culture so the Balinese cultural art festival could become a World Festival someday.

Smoking and Drinking: How to Quit

smoking-and-drinking-how-to-quit

I smoked from age 14 to 37. Not much, mind you – average 5-6 cigarettes a day. But of course I did, everybody did. Smoking was the cool, the elegant, the sophisticated thing to do. All the movie stars did it, as you can see in the old 40’s and 50’s movies on TV reruns. Somewhere I have an old photo of me, age 19 and long hair flowing, having my cigarette lit by my then boyfriend. We thought we were ready for Hollywood.

When I started smoking, my father said to me, it’s OK if you smoke, just know that it is not healthy, so keep it down. He’d had to quit because of a heart condition. I would smoke at the dinner table, and he loved the smell. We didn’t know, or think, about second hand smoke.

When I got to my mid thirties, and was already deep into healthy eating at a time when hardly anyone else was, general knowledge that smoking was not healthy had permeated the mainstream, regardless of what the tobacco companies were saying. I was getting tired of people saying to me “YOU smoke???” and me saying “Nobody’s perfect!” Which I thought was a great line. However, it was quickly losing its luster, and I thought the time had come to drop the habit.

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Bali Kite Flying Ban to be Expanded by the Government

Bali-Kite-Flying

Bali kite flying have proven to be a dangerous situation for  flyers on the island. Falling kites have led to a number of blackouts, followed by the recent Kite Festival resulted in the death of a child. As a result the current bylaws are being revised to expand the “no-kite zone” to include high voltage networks, and to cover power plants.

According to spokesperson Ketut Teneng the current bylaw is inadequate. It was initially put into play to protect an important Bali tradition that brings Bali locals together before harvest. More than 1200 kites of different sizes participate in the three day festival this year. Tragically an 8 year old boy was killed when a giant size kite fell and fatally wounded him. This was the 34th year of the kite festivities.

“So far, the ban on Bali kite flying has been focused on areas near Ngurah Rai Airport. We plan to extend the coverage to other vital public facilities,” Teneng said.

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Bali Kuta Beach Launches First Johnny Rockets Restaurant

Bali-Kuta-Beach

Tourists and locals are excited as Bali Kuta Beach launches the first Johnny Rockets Restaurant. With thousands of travels visiting Bali’s world class beaches every day, there is a rich tourist market in the area that is well suited to the American dining experience.

Just like the 300 other Johnny Rockets throughout 16 countries, this latest Johnny Rockets offers delicious all American meals along with some of your favorite regional dishes. From delicious hamburgers to delicious shakes, you can enjoy the music from the past eight decades as you dine.

Steve Devine, president of Johnny Rockets International, met with hospitality titan Wiryanti Sukamdani to sign an agreement to open five Johnny Rockets restaurants in the next five years throughout Indonesia.

Wiryanti brings a great deal of experience in the industry to the Johnny Rockets restaurant and is an excellent choice for a franchise partner. Sukamdani has a degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, and he runs Riyanti Investama International Group. He was also a member of the Indonesia Parliament and the founder of the Indonesian tourism board.

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Should You Be Concerned? Signs of Teen Drug Abuse

should-you-be-concerned-signs-of-teen-drug-abuse

Experimentation with drugs in adolescents is quite common, but there is cause for concern. Many teens who do use drugs in their early teen years are likely to become addicted to them when they enter into adulthood and subsequently spend time in a drug rehab or much worse. Since the brain is not fully formed as a teenager, addiction can happen quickly, thus leaving your teen in danger.

It is important that you take the time to learn what teen drug abuse looks like and what to do. You may just be saving your child’s life. Below, we will go over what to look for and help you identify the signs that indicate there may be a problem.

Signs to Watch For

While your teen may try to hide the fact the he or she is experimenting with drugs, continued drug use will eventually show symptoms and there will be warning signs. Some of the most common signs to look out for include:

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How to be a Healthy Vegan

how-to-be-a-healthy-vegan

There are many reasons why people choose a plant-based eating style. Here is a list of possible rationales:

– Taste/don’t like animal foods
– Emotional/Sympathy for animals
– Most of their friends are vegan
– Health and healing (scientific or energetic)
– Spiritual

Vegan means no animal products of any kind. Vegetarian means a consumer may want to include eggs and milk products, which are of animal origin but do not entail the killing of a living animal. Others won’t eat eggs because they could develop into animals.

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Your Genes Are Not Your Destiny!

your-genes-are-not-your-destiny

How living things get to be what they are is a question that has occupied philosophers and scientists for a very long time. In the past two or three hundred years, the focus has been on what Gregor Mendel has called units of heredity or the physical elements that are transmitted from parents to offspring. These are now called genes, and have become an integral part of the conversation about human beings and their health.

What genes are

The cells of living beings contain chromosomes, which are recognized as the bearers of inheritable information. Chromosomes contain a double helix of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and protein. DNA is a long series of units called nucleotides. It is believed that DNA makes RNA (ribonucleic acid), which differs from DNA in chemical composition. RNA translates the information coded in the DNA and prompts the specific development of various proteins in the body.

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Calories – Why I Don’t Take Supplements

calories-why-i-dont-take-supplements

This is a hairy subject. You will think I am probably way off left field. But anyway, here we go. First, let’s make sure I’m clear about what it is I’m talking about.

According to Wikipedia (yes, I do on occasion consult it for the conventional wisdom), dietary supplements are defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as “a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients:

  • a vitamin
  • a mineral
  • an herb or other botanical (excluding tobacco)
  • an amino acid
  • a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake, or
  • a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above

Furthermore, a dietary supplement must also conform to the following criteria:

  • intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form
  • not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet
  • labeled as a “dietary supplement”

Under the direction of the DSHEA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as foods, not as drugs.

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Getting Ready for Baby

getting-ready-for-baby

It used to be that having a baby was only mildly interesting, as women routinely had ten, twelve, fifteen children. Now that we have birth control, and it’s in the hands of the women, most people have two or three, so they invest a lot in each child. As the mother of two young women in their mid-twenties, I can tell you they’re worth every bit of effort. Let’s see what can be done ahead of time to insure healthy offspring.

Preparation

According to physicians Felicia Stewart, Gary Stewart, and Robert Hatcher, in their book Understanding your body: Every woman’s guide to lifelong health, prospective parents should follow these precautions before pregnancy, and continue with them all the way until the baby is born:

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Cooked and Raw

cooked-and-raw-food

Raw food is all the rage these days. What is that about? Here is a fairly standard description:

The raw food diet is based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, and seaweed.

Heating food above 116 degrees F is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and “life force” of food.

Here is the list of permissible foods, from the same source:

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Intentionality and Food

intentionality-and-food

“Made with love” is an ingredient I have often seen on home-made packaged cookies and other home-made foods in health food stores. It always seems like a sweet and nice thing to say, but without real meaning, a friendly, new-agey kind of sentiment. Turns out it’s quite real, and measurable.

Let me set the context for this column for you. At this time, I am the president of a small non-profit organization called Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (FIONS). The organization it sprang from, IONS, was started by astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Ph.D., after he had an epiphany on his return from the moon that everything is connected. (http://www.ions.org). We offer a variety of programs, events, and dialogue groups in the NYC area (www.fions.org), with a focus on consciousness and multiple ways of knowing.

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Setting Up the Immune System: Perinatal Influences

setting-up-the-immune-system-perinatal-influences

PAPER FIRST PRESENTED AT THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL DEAD SEA CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 20-24, 1996, IN ZICHRON YAAKOV, ISRAEL.  THE TITLE OF THE CONFERENCE WAS:  “POTENTIATING HEALTH AND THE CRISIS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.”  Published by Plenum Press, NY-London, 1997. 

  1. ABSTRACT

The major factors influencing the development of the immune system in the perinatal period include:  the parents’ health;  the health, diet, drug and alcohol use of the mother during pregnancy;  the type of infant feeding at breast or bottle;  the child’s diet;  and the use of antibiotics and vaccines.  This paper presents a brief overview of the role of each of these influences, with some suggestions for maximizing immune system health.

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Calories – How Much Do They Count

calories-how-much-do-they-count

Not that they ever left, but calories are back in the news. New York City has recently passed an ordinance that requires restaurants with more than 15 outlets (i.e., chains) to post the caloric count in their dishes next to the prices. This is move is apparently causing a great deal of reshuffling of menu items, according to an article in the New York Times (“Calories Do Count,” by Kim Severson, 10/29/08, p D1). The calorie counting habit has been around for about one hundred years, and while it took a back seat for a while to the counting of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, now it seems to be back on top of the public consciousness.

What are, exactly, the calories that people count? First of all, they’re not “things.” They can’t be seen. They are not “in” food. At best, the digestion of the food liberates them. At worst, there is no real way of knowing how many calories you “get” from the food you eat. Let’s look at the context.

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The Spiritual Bank Account

the-spiritual-bank-account

About 12 years ago or so, I was consulting Peter Roth, an intuitive consultant, healer, and the founder and director of Heart River Center for Intuitive Healing, about how to improve my life. Peter, whom I’ve known for many years, gave me a good look and said: “You know, your spiritual bank account is empty.” I was flummoxed. “What do you mean?” I stammered. He proceeded to explain that our spiritual bank account keeps track of what we do for others for their benefit, without recompense. If you have a full account, you have something to draw on in times of trouble. “It’s about service,” he said. I replied, but my work benefits others all the time! He pointed out that it was work, I was getting paid – well, sort of. But I gave money to worthy causes! Not enough. Giving money is easy. I had not put myself into it – I had not given back to the community, contributed to society at large, been of service via charity. Thus, the empty account. This meant a lack of spiritual support from the Universe. Or some such thing.

I found this irritating. Here I was, working really hard 60 hours a week, taking care of my children, running a business, trying to make sure people learned how to take care of their health with good food and natural remedies, and this was not enough?

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Raising Drug-Free Children

Raising-Drug-Free-Children

Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It’s a 24/7 schedule, and it goes on full time for 18 years, and part time after that until the end of your life. There is really no way out. Even walking away is impossible, for most people keep thinking about the kiddies they no longer see. So if you’re contemplating it – be forewarned.

Parenthood is also the most wonderful and exhilarating experience you can have, provided you really accept and welcome it. I believe one has not fully grown up unless one has had children by choice. Children make you forget about yourself; no matter what, they need to be fed, clothed, housed, kept healthy, and taught the ways of the world, and you’re in charge. This is true when you’re sick, when you’re well, with money or without – there is no excuse. The wonderful thing is when you see good results in the kind of person your child becomes. No prize or money in the world can match that. So if you’re contemplating parenthood – be prepared.

One of the major issues in our times is how to take care of our children’s health. I cannot make pronouncements for others and what they should do, but I can tell you how I’ve faced this issue, what my decisions were, and how they came out.

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Nutrition and Mental Health

 

nutrition-and-mental-health-img

Mental health problems are quite pervasive in our society. For example, it has been found that generalized anxiety disorder may have a lifetime prevalence rate of about 5% in the population (). And that is only one of the 52 disorders classified on that website. I’m not going to deal with such specific diseases, but mostly with general mood and mental energy issues – especially because the importance of food and nutrition for mental health can be considerable.

Let’s take a look at the known mental health effects of vitamin deficiencies. Such information has been around for quite a long time. Although I usually focus on whole foods, this time I thought it was time we put this scientific information detail together as much as possible, so here goes. First, a look at vitamin deficiencies.

– A deficiency of the B vitamins (thiamine, niacin, biotin, B6, folic acid, and B12), most commonly found in whole grains and in animal protein, can cause a great deal of trouble. Lack of thiamine, for example, may bring beriberi, the classic disease resulting from the extensive use of polished rice, and which includes damage to the nervous system, apathy, poor short term memory, confusion, and irritability.

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How Hungry Are You

how-hungry-are-you

You have been watching your diet for years by now, and you feel pretty confident that you’re eating very well for your own health.  But what I can tell you, that as soon as you think you know something, life laughs in your face and all of a sudden new information comes in that makes you doubt everything.  Don’t be distressed!  If we learned everything we need by age 20, there would not much for us to be doing for the next 80 or so years.  So please pay attention to the surprise, the anomalies, the new information – that’s how paradigm shifts happen, and fortunately none of us are immune to them.

Here is probably some new information for you.  The research that this is based on was carried out in the 1950’s.  It would not be approved today, for obvious reasons.  That doesn’t make it any less interesting, especially for all of us foodies.  If you are on a diet or restrictive eating regime, for any reason, please review the following list of symptoms and check those that apply to you.

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Acid and Alkaline

acid-and-alkaline

I have been teaching the importance of understanding acid and alkaline for more than 25 years. It’s a great concept, and is getting more and more attention.

We know that pH is the measure of acid and alkaline (or basic) substances, mostly fluids. It is not exact, but an approximation. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, neither acid nor alkaline. This is the pH of water. Now let’s remember that the acids and bases (alkalis) of the body need to be in very close balance – this is called “acid-base homeostasis.” If it goes off too far in either direction, it may be fatal. In the body, the blood has a pH range of 7.35 to 7.45. If it goes down to 6.9, one dies of diabetic coma. If it goes up to 7.9, one dies of tetany, or lock-jaw. Keep this in mind whenever you read certain authors that insist that we should always be tilting towards alkaline – an excess of either is dangerous (there is a book called “Alkalize or Die” – a preposterous title, as, no matter what we do, we all will, eventually, die). The body strives towards homeostasis or balance. It’s like riding a bicycle.

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Refusing Fear

Refusing-Fear

Everywhere, there are messages of fear — the flu is coming, the terrorists are coming, the glaciers are melting, everything is polluted, we can’t live here much longer. And then there are the messages of salvation — lives are “saved” by some medical procedure, by rescue from some disaster, by a miracle, by a friend. Much of the doomsday warnings are about whether you will succumb to one disease or disaster or another and die too soon, about whether the human race will survive.

Truth is, no one’s life is “saved.” It is only prolonged. The end, however far off, is assured for all of us. But somehow, in our society, we’ve come to hold this subliminal thought that dying is a mistake, it shouldn’t happen, and when it happens too soon, it’s someone’s fault.

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What the World Needs Now: Love in Birthing

what-the-world-needs-now-love-in-birthing

My granddaughter was born on July 30, the night of the blue moon. I was there, I saw her emerging, sputtering and coughing, turning from pale to pink in a minute or two. She was put on her mother’s breast before the cord was cut; in fact, the cord was not cut for a good 20 or so minutes, so that all the blood that was rightly hers would flow into her body. When the cord is cut too soon, up to a third of the baby’s blood volume may be left in it, thereby cheating the child from having all its red blood cells and oxygen.

It was a home birth, as may seem obvious; there were two midwives in attendance, my son-in-law, and me, the gofer (go for this, go for that). In fact, it was when I was asked to go for the birthing stool from the car, that I went out and got to see that enormous full moon. “What a night to be born,” I said to myself, and it was. But the birthing stool was superfluous, as upon my return I was just in time to see the baby sliding out and her father catching her (as had been agreed upon by all the interested parties). Second birth for Shana, and, as she said, “Labor was quick and relatively easy (as far as labor goes).”

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Mind Over Food

mind-over-food-img

News on the food front gets worse by the day. In December we were deep in the mad cow issue. Just one mad cow, its pieces sold over 6 states plus Hawaii and Guam, and next thing you know several countries put a ban on importing beef from the USA. That mad cow (poor cow, she wasn’t angry or crazy, she was just sick, and look how we treat her!) was known as a “downer.” Nice name. It’s employed to indicate cows that are so weak they fall down and can’t walk to the slaughterhouse. No matter, they get killed anyway and and then are sold to us as edible food, I bet ground up as hamburger meat, or hidden in hot dogs, when you really can’t tell what you’re eating.

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The Placebo Effect

the-placebo-effect

I was listening to the radio news as I was getting ready for the day on May 7, and suddenly I laughed out loud. What was it that I found so funny? Well, the news just came out that antidepressant drugs do not perform any better than a sugar pill, or placebo, in overcoming depression. Wow, that bit of information could have saved some people a lot of money – including the insurance companies. Later that night on TV the same news was mentioned, and they discussed the case of one man who had been through some serious clinical depression, joined the clinical trial of an antidepressant drug, got totally better, and later found out he’d been on placebo. On TV he said he was delighted, and it seemed to be because he found himself more mentally powerful than he had thought – after all, he had gotten better without the medicine.

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Mind-Body Hypertension

mind-body-hypertension

High blood pressure is considered a “silent epidemic,” as lots of people have it but don’t know it. The usual treatment is drugs, and there are some dietary suggestions as well, especially cutting down on salt and fat as promoted by Dean Ornish and Nathan Pritikin. Stress reduction is highly recommended as well. However, there seems to be more the issue than salt and stress.

Recently I encountered the work of Samuel J. Mann, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Hypertension Center of The New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. You would hardly think that a revolutionary idea would come out of such a well-established medical institution, but Dr Mann’s work is certainly what I would consider ground-breaking. It also deserves attention and discussion.

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Systems Theory: An Overview

systems-theory-an-overview

Systems thinking could be conceived as the opposite of reductionism.  In systems thinking the whole is the object of inquiry, not the parts.  In her excellent book on the subject, General Systems Theory beginning with Wholes, Barbara Gail Hanson points out, “When we begin to see in terms of wholes rather than parts, patterns appear that a classic model of simple linear cause and effect cannot capture.” 1 Systems theory started with the advent of computers, which allowed the management of multiple streams of data, and found applications in business, industry, and government.2   However, the idea that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts goes back as far as Aristotle’s Principle of Non-Summativity.1(p 27

Biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy originated the expression “general systems theory,” while mathematician and psychologist A. Rapaport gave a broad definition of a system: “A system is a portion of the world that is perceived as a unit and that is able to maintain its” identity “in spite of changes going on in it.”  (Quoted in Stamps, p. 12) 3

Erno Laszlo was one of the first to articulate systems theory most forcefully.4  What follows is a table based on his listing of the distinctions between the classical view of the world and the systems view of the world.

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Why Should We Eat Whole Foods?

why-should-we-eat-whole-foods

For many years I have been teaching that it is a good idea to consume whole foods for our health and well-being. The reasons seemed obvious. Whole foods are those that nature provides, with all their edible parts.

Whole foods of vegetable origin include fresh vegetables and fruits; whole grains (millet, brown rice, oats, rye, whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, cornmeal); beans and legumes (lentils, chick peas, kidney beans, etc); nuts and seeds. Whole foods of animal origin include eggs, small whole fish, seafood (shrimp, lobster, soft shell crabs), and small fowl. Under this model, when consuming larger animals (pork, beef, venison) the idea is to use as many parts as possible (muscle, kidney, heart, etc), including the bones to make stock, to maximize nutrient intake. Eating whole foods insures consumption of the maximum amount of original natural nutrients, in the right proportions.

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Low Stress Parenting

low-stress-parenting

There have been a number of books and articles recently about the high stresses of motherhood, the search for perfection, the anxiety to “balance work and family.” The New York Times Book Review had a piece on “the Mommy trap” (2/20/05). As my children are now both in their early 30’s, one with two kids of her own, I thought I’d take a look at what I did, as I don’t remember being so hysterical about the work of motherhood, even though I was a single parent for most of their early lives, and pretty hands-on. The kids seem to have done well enough and grown up to be decent, loving, honest, hard-working people. And they are nice to me, too. What else could a mother want?

I’ll share here some of my parenting thoughts and practices. Please note, this is a personal story. It is not a recommendation, although if you find here some useful thoughts feel free to take them and adapt them to your own life. Make sure to discuss child carehealth-related ideas with your family and health practitioners. Please note also that as this is so personal, and I’m well aware that there are many different living styles that also have good results, there is no judgment involved about people who do things differently.

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Fat-free Food: A Bad Idea

fat-free-food-a-bad-idea

Mention was made the other day in a class I was teaching about the delights of a specific brand of fat-free cookies. “Have you had them?” one of the students asked me. To me that was like asking if I’d had any fried grasshoppers lately — culturally absurd. “Of course not,” I said, “I wouldn’t touch that stuff for the world.” She looked at me puzzled. “But they’re so good!” I realized how far removed I am from the mainstream, how out of touch with what goes on in the lives of most Americans. Unfortunately, there is little that I can do about it. I keep noticing absurdities and irrelevancies around the issues of food and health, and then I have to point them out. Fortunately, a few people are listening. So let me handle here the issue of “fat free food,” which I believe can be dangerous.

The hysteria against fat has gone out of control. While it is true that excess fat can stress the liver and contribute to health problems, what is overlooked in this issue are two points: a) fat is one of the three essential macro nutrients; and b) some fats are health-promoting, others are unhealthful.

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