50 Best New Year’s Resolutions and How to Keep Them

Write Resolution ListDo you have trouble writing or keeping New Years resolutions? How do we decide what are the best resolutions for our bodies, minds and spirit?  How do we keep from breaking resolutions? Here are 50 best New Year’s resolutions for people of all ages and lifestyles, a little history about resolutions and helpful tips on choosing what works and what doesn’t work for you. Continue reading

Keys to Effective Workouts – Weight Loss, Muscle Gain and Maintenance

 

When you plan to work out, do you actually have a plan? Are you intentional in your choice of exercises? Do you go to the gym and feel confused about what to do? Do you wish you could do a home workout that would be of maximum benefit? There are different forms of exercise and this certainly means that they each have a different effect on our bodies. In this article we will learn about the best exercises for our specific health goals.
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Which Diet is Best? Atkins, South Beach, or Mediterranean Diet

lose weightA few tried-and-true diets in the market today include: the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet. All of these weight-loss diets have had great popularity throughout the years and have contributed to tremendous weight loss among its followers. In this case, the question stands, which diet is simply the best weight loss plan today? Continue reading

Acidic or Alkaline – What Is pH Maintenance and Why Should It Matter?

 What is Potential Hydrogen or pH?

There is a lot of information regarding bodily health in terms of how acidic or how alkaline our bodies are. Firstly, pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and it gets its name from the way solutions on the pH scale are tested. Eating appleThe pH scale tests show a degree of concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance or solution and this degree results in a rating between 0-14 with 0 being the most acidic substances (battery acid, sulphuric acid) and 14 being the most alkaline substances (calcium, bleach). One thing to note is that the scale is logarithmic; meaning each distance between numbers is to the power of 10. So why is it important to understand the pH scale and how acidic or alkaline our bodies are? What does this mean to achieving optimum health and wellness? Continue reading

Dropping Pounds After the Holidays – A Sensible and Successful Weightloss Plan

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Holiday foods and staying indoors in cold weather make weight gain common.  Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Holiday Weight Gain
A new year brings about new resolutions, and most common resolution is to lose weight.  November, December and January are key times when weight is usually gained over the holidays, because people tend to eat more foods high in carbohydrates, trans fats, and sugar than they normally do. Unfortunately gaining weight is an extremely easy task for most of us. The good news is that with enough will and determination, losing 5-15 pounds is not as difficult as the majority of us tend to think. The cornerstone idea to losing weight is simple: exercise regularly and eat healthy meals.

Prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are not the best way to shed unwanted pounds. Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Diet Pills or Prescriptions
People who don’t want to bother to change their lifestyle and dietary habits to include exercise and healthy meals, often turn to diet pills to lose weight. There are many diet pills in the market today such as Zantrex 3 and Hydroxycut.

Your doctor may consider weight-loss prescriptions for you if haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise and if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30
  • Your BMI is greater than 27 and you have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure (Mayo Clinic, 2015)

According to the Mayo Clinic (2014),

“Dietary supplement manufacturers aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration to prove that their products are safe and effective, so view these products with caution and skepticism, and always let your doctors know about any supplements you take.”

Even though some diet pills and prescription drugs may prove to be effective in terms of melting the pounds away, the healthiest way to lose weight is not to introduce foreign chemicals in the body.

 

Metabolism Diagram - Photo credit: Researching the Kinetics of Functional Food Materials in the Body - Safety Science, KAO, Japan, www.kao.com

Metabolism Diagram – Photo credit: Researching the Kinetics of Functional Food Materials in the Body – Safety Science, KAO, Japan, http://www.kao.com

Metabolism
Metabolism is the process your body goes through to convert food into energy. The energy created by this process is then used by the body to function properly. Energy is needed for people to breathe and regulate hormones in the body.

Metabolic Disorders - Photo Credit - Power of the Gene. www.powerofthegene.com

Metabolic Disorders – Photo Credit – Power of the Gene. http://www.powerofthegene.com

People can have “metabolic diseases” as a result of inefficient metabolismA metabolic disease is the result of a loss of any one many enzymes required for efficient metabolism.  The enzymes needed are different for different substances.  If someone has inefficient enzymes for the metabolism of  carbohydrates, for example, they might have lactose intolerance, glycogen storage diseases, galactosemia.   If they have insufficient enzymes for amino acids, the metabolic disease might be phenylketonuria, or maple syrup urine disease and if they don’t have the sufficient enzymes for fat metabolism this might result in Tay-Sachs disease. (Murgatroyd, 2011)

Swimming can help to burn calories and increase metabolism. Photo credit: Pixabay

Swimming can help to burn calories and increase metabolism. Photo credit: Pixabay

Several factors will determine a person’s ability to lose weight in a certain amount of time. Mayo Clinic (2014) provides information on the subject in the following:

  • Your body size and composition. The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Your sex. Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
  • Your age. As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

 

Physical exercise and healthy diet is the best way to lose weight. Photo credit:  Publicdomainpictures.net

Physical exercise and healthy diet is the best way to lose weight. Photo credit: Publicdomainpictures.net

Physical Activity
Physical activity will also determine weight loss. The amount of physical activity and exercise you get will either result in weight loss or weight gain. Mayo Clinic (2014) states:

“Unfortunately, weight gain is complicated. It is likely a combination of genetic makeup, hormonal controls, diet composition, and the impact of environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. All of these factors result in an imbalance in the energy equation. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn-or burn fewer calories than you eat.”

Bicycling can increase metabolism and burn calories. Photo by Pixabay

Bicycling can increase metabolism and burn calories. Photo by Pixabay

Regular exercise can help you burn the amount of calories you desire and it can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Examples of regular exercise include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Playing sports
Incorporating daily physical activities or chores such as washing the car, keep a body healthy. Photo credit: Pixabay

Incorporating daily physical activities or chores such as washing the car, keep a body healthy. Photo credit: Pixabay

If these activities are not convenient for you due to your schedule or lifestyle, there are simpler alternatives to losing weight. Increasing the frequency of these daily activities can help you burn more calories.

  • Cleaning the house
  • Doing the laundry
  • Tending to the garden
  • Washing the car
  • Taking care of children
  • Walking up and down the stairs

Besides losing weight, regular exercise has many other benefits. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  (formerly the Harvard School of Public Health) (2015) states the benefits of regular exercise includes, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
Healthy Eating Plate

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Photo Credit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource

Figure 1: USDA Recommended Food Portions


Healthy Meals
The United States Department of Agriculture (2015) recommends the following diet per day for men and women:

  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 2-3 cups of vegetables
  • 6-8 ounces of whole grains
  • 5-6 ½ ounces of lean protein
  • 3 cups of dairy


Avoid eating foods with a high percentage of fat or sugar. It’s greatly recommended to either limit your intake of alcohol or abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages altogether.  Drink plenty of liquids such as water, teas, and juices. Figure 1 goes further in-depth on the types of whole grains and lean proteins to consume as well as how much of each food group is recommended for one meal.

Conclusion and Summary
Honestly, a diet of any nature, such as the one expressed above, can difficult for some to maintain, especially if you have a full-time career and/or a family to care for.  It is wise to do some research on the diet that is most suitable for your lifestyle. You don’t want to have unrealistic expectations of yourself if you know deep down that the results will be impossible to achieve. If it seems too challenging to jump into a diet right away, there is no shame in taking it one step at a time. Try eating more fruits and vegetables at first. You could bring one or two servings of carrot sticks to work so you could nibble on them during your break. Then, when you feel more comfortable, you could incorporate more physical activity into your schedule. After a while, it might not even feel like a diet, but a regular routine. Physical activity and eating healthy meals are vital to sustaining a long nourishing life and the benefits of these activities are endless.

 

References
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2015). Staying Active: Introduction. The Benefits of Physical ActivityThe Nutrition Source

Mayo Clinic. (2014). Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories. Healthy Lifestyle: Weight Loss.  Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic. (2015 ) Prescription Weight-loss Drugs: Can They Help You?  Mayo Clinic

Murgatroyd, Chris, MD,  Metabolic Disorders, Power of the Gene, Nova Science Publishers Inc., 1 Edition, February 2011, ISBN-10: 1608769496, 217 pages.  PoweroftheGene.com

United States Department of Agriculture. (2015). Welcome to the Five Food Groups. Food Groups.  USDA

 

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This articleHang Pham, MBHA Health Educator is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

 

 

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

Sugar – What are the Negative Side Effects?

Sugar SucroseWhat is sugar?
Sugar is a kind of carbohydrate. There are two main types of simple sugars: glucose and fructose. The two main types of sugar are white and brown sugar. White sugar is commonly known as “table sugar,” which is used in most households to make food.Brown sugar has some surface molasses syrup.

Sugar

Types of sugar:   raw sugar, brown sugar, refined sugar (castor sugar), white sugar,  liquid sugar, glucose syrup, treacle (unprocessed sugar), sugar crystals and powdered sugar

Brown sugar is used for foods that are thicker and denser such as cookies, cakes and pies.

Sugar in all foods

Sugar is often added to sauces, casseroles, salad dressings, gravies, fruit glazes, and in  many baked foods

Sugar is also used to enhance the taste of food and is found as an ingredient in an abundance of foods. These foods include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Breakfast  – waffles, pancakes, cereal, pastries, scones, granola
  • Lunch – soups, juices, sodas, bread, and yogurt
  • Dinnerdinner rolls,  mashed potatoes, stews, pastas, casseroles

 

What is glucose and why do we need it?

Blood glucose levelsThe human body breaks down the carbohydrates we eat to create glucose. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Sugar can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.

Glucose processThe quick absorption of sugar creates energy boosts. Glucose is turned into glycogen and stored in the liver. The liver has the capacity to store only 100 grams of glucose in the form of glycogen. Excess glycogen will be stored as fat in the adipose tissues of the body.


How much sugar do we need?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently drafted new guidelines on sugar intake. The World Health Organization states that “sugars should be less than 10% of the total energy intake per day….Five percent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).” These new guidelines were based on results from numerous scientific studies on sugar.


Sugar in DrinksHow much sugar do we consume?
Sugar and foods with sugar are made readily available for purchase in grocery stores, local businesses and schools. Fast food restaurants sell many food items that contain white and brown sugar. Public schools have vending machines that dispense snacks and carbonated beverages. The Western diet is composed of countless low-cost, high processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. Many of these carbonated beverages contain more than 40 grams of sugar in one serving, which is more than the recommended daily intake of sugar.

Child eating Frosted FlakesOne serving of frosted flakes cereal has roughly 38.7 grams of sugar, and one box of 8 chocolate chip cookies has over 39 grams of sugar. An article written by Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis from the University of California, San Francisco titled The Toxic Truth about Sugar states that “Currently, each US citizen consumes an average of 216 liters of soda per year, of which 58% contains sugar…” Excessive amounts of sugar will lead to weight gain, and an increase in the likelihood of acquiring diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.


Sugar AddictionWhat are the negative side effects of sugar?
Consuming white sugar has its benefits such as giving your body the energy it needs and maintaining a healthy look for the skin. However, consuming sugar has its negative side effects. Sugar, not derived from natural sources, has no nutritional value or healthy fats. The consequences of eating too much white sugar are provided, but are not limited, in the following:

  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Hepatic Dysfunction
  • Type 2 Diabetes

What are Diabetes Symptoms?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetis a metabolic illness. With Type 2 Diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t being used properly in the body. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library writes that over 23 million people in the United States have Type 2 Diabetes. The illness can cause nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage, eye damage and many other life threatening complications.

 

What can you do to reduce your sugar intake?
Sugar has many dangerous consequences. It’s important to understand the risks associated with the consumption of sugar and make positive lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of acquiring a metabolic illness. The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute provides tips for reducing excess sugar intake in the following:-Read food labels and choose less sweet alternatives.

  • Reduce the amount of sugar added to drinks, porridges, cakes, puddings, desserts, etc…
  • Spice up dishes with ginger, pimento, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and other spices.
  • Use more fruits and less sugar in cakes. Dried fruits such as raisins and prunes give a sweet “bite”.
  • Use dried or fresh fruits in cereals and porridges e.g, raisins or ripe banana
  • Don’t over-do your intake of sweet fruit juices. Use smaller amounts and dilute the water or vegetable juice.

 

Sources:
World Health Organization
University of California, San Francisco
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute 

 

 

 

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Hang Pham, MBHA Health EducatorThis article is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website atwww.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer:  
The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

 

30 Ways to Lose Weight Fast and Permanently

How can you lose weight fast and keep it off?  The majority of people in the United States are overweight, but how do you eat healthy, stay physically fit, and lose weight permanently? There are plenty of weight-loss diets out there, but what really works?

30 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

How do you lose weight? Everybody knows losing weight means cutting and burning calories, but here are 30 lifestyle changes to keep it off.

Everyone knows that the secret is cutting calories and burning calories but it also takes a change of lifestyle.  Losing weight and staying fit is not something that you can accomplish  sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn every night, but you can be successful if you are determined, disciplined and follow a plan to achieve your goal. Here are 30 great tips for changing your routine, in order to lose weight and keep it off permanently.

Exercise Pushup

Every weight-loss program should include physical fitness. Find a way to engage in physical fitness that is fun for you!

  1. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day, or if you are on a tight schedule, exercise several times during the day — for example, three 10-minute exercise sessions.
  2. Eat small meals often. Rather than eating one large meal and skipping meals, eat three healthy meals during the day, especially breakfast. Studies show that skipping meals causes can lead to overeating or snacking unhealthy foods later in the day.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables. If your main entree is grilled, skinless chicken, and make the fruits and vegetables the largest portions on your plate and cut down on other foods.
  4. Weigh yourself every day. If you are conscious of your weight and the progress you are making, you are more likely to be successful.

    Writing

    Keep track of what you eat and how much exercise you are doing and soon you will be aware of the cause of  weight loss or weight gain.

  5. Keep a journal, or food diary with you at all times.  Purchase a small notebook that is easy to carry in a suit pocket or purse. Practice being conscious of what you eat and recognizing particular situations or times of day when you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. A food diary can help you make life changes.
  6. Remove unhealthy snacks from the house. This would include all fried foods, packaged snack items such as chips, pretzels, greasy pizza, buttery popcorn, etc, and sugary treats such as sugary sodas, candy bars, snack cakes, caramel corn, cookies, and ice creams or frozen treats. These foods are high in trans fats and have been found to trigger and increase the risk of many health problems and diseases.
  7. Store healthy snacks. After removing all unhealthy snacks from your home, be sure to fill your cupboard and refrigerator with healthy snacks.  The best snacks are organic fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, 100% juices, low-fat dairy products such as low-fat yogurt.
  8. Keep active with friends or family members, and plan physical activities together.  Have a physical fitness buddy to go bike riding with, play soccer, tennis, go to the gym, go dancing, etc. Choose activities several days a week that keep you moving rather than video-games or or movies.

    Cooking at home

    Cooking food at home is fun, helps to burn calories (rather than sitting around at a restaurant) and lessens the chance of making unwise choices. Be sure to have healthy foods in your refrigerator and eliminate packaged, high-fat or trans fat foods.

  9. Eat at home often rather than eating out at restaurants or fast food chains. When you eat at home you can control what food is available and eliminate unhealthy choices. Many restaurants typically provide more food than needed. If you have to eat at a restaurant, decide how much food you will eat and ask for a take-home box before eating. Box up the extra portions of food before eating your portion.
  10. Don’t use serving bowls. When preparing your food, put it on the plate instead of putting serving bowls on the table. Always serve yourself a little bit less than what you expect to eat. Bring the prepared plate to the table. Put away extra food that is left in the pot or pan before sitting down at the table.
  11. Fill up healthy. Always fill up on healthy foods throughout the day that are low in calories, such as celery, or fruit, so that when you are invited to eat a dessert or snack you won’t be as tempted or hungry.
  12. Make active choices to accomplish everyday chores.  Instead of going through a drive-through pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions, walk inside the store. Use a bike to visit a friend, instead of a car. Get down on your hands and knees and pull the weeds or scrub the floor, instead of using garden extension tools or a long-handled easy-clean mop. Walk the dog regularly.
  13. Never eat in front of TV.  Television viewing strongly affects how much and what people eat. People tend to continue to eat while watching.
  14. Vary your activities regularly in order to avoid exercise burnout. Walk, swim, dance, and engage in sports.
  15. Never eat from containers such as an ice cream carton, a Tupperware container, a package of cookies, or a bag of chips.  Instead, put the portion on your plate, and then put the container of food away. When you can see how much you’ve eaten on your plate you are less likely to eat more.
  16. De-stress before eating.  Engage in relaxation techniques before eating because stress causes people to eat more. Praying or saying grace before eating is not unwise. It helps to relax, surrender and let go of worries and eliminate stress. Other options are deep breathing exercises, meditation, stretching exercises, reading something amusing or humorous,  listening to relaxing music, and even chatting with friends and family about uplifting or inspirational thoughts or experiences.

    High fiber foods

    Starting the day with high fiber foods helps to reduce weight. What is high fiber? Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as oatmeal.

  17. Start with high-fiber or bran foods, such as oatmeal or high-fiber breads or bran cereals.  Studies show that people that start the morning with a high-fiber diet are less likely to gain weight.
  18. Buy a pedometer and add an extra 2,000 steps a day. On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
  19. Walk 30-minutes a day. Walk to the store, walk down the street and give a basket of fruit to a neighbor. Walk the dog. Studies show that those who regularly engage in walking are more healthy and physically fit.
  20. Plan a week’s groceries. To prevent impulse buying, always plan a week ahead and make a detailed grocery list.  Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry and have skipped a meal.  Last-minute trips to the grocery store can result in buying snack foods or tempting foods on display in the bakery, snack aisle, or deli section, that are not on your healthy foods list.
  21. Have a craving plan. If you feel hungry and are feeling a craving for an unhealthy food, then do something active.  Drink a full glass of water, call a friend, write in your journal, paint a picture, clean the house, engage in sports, read a book, or do something that does not trigger thoughts of eating. Keeping your mind and body active will help to eliminate cravings.
  22. Reward yourself. If you have lost weight, reward yourself with nonfood rewards, such as going on that vacation you’ve dreamed of, buying new clothes, getting a new haircut or purchasing something for your home. Spend time listening to your heart and finding out how to truly love yourself.
  23. Find an on-line buddy. Studies show that online weight-loss partnering results in more successfully achieving weight-loss goals.

    Couple wearing blue

    Studies on the effects of color and color therapy show that blue can be an appetite suppressant whereas red tends to increases the appetite.

  24. Choose blue.  Wear the color blue more often and decorate your home with it. The color blue is an appetite suppressant, whereas the colors red, yellow, and orange have been found to increase the appetite.
  25. Use small plates. Get rid of large dinner plates and buy small plates. You are more likely to pile on the food if your plates are over-sized.
  26. Throw out large clothes. When you have lost weight, give away or throw out clothes that are too large for you. Keep only the clothes that fit or are “snug” on you. If you always keep large, over-sized clothes you will be less likely to lose weight.
  27. Use a mirror. If you eat in a dining room area, keep a mirror hanging on the wall opposite where you sit.  If you watch yourself in the mirror while eating, you are less likely to overeat.
  28. Read labels. When buying foods in the grocery store, read the labels.  Do not buy foods that are high in trans fats or are high in cholesterol, salt, or sugar.  Do not buy foods that have added corn syrup, food coloring, or food additives.
  29. Season smartly. Use salsa to season foods or spices such as curry, turmeric, pepper, basil, etc., instead of heavy, high-fat sauces such as gravy or butter.
  30. Increase calcium. Calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and breaks down fat.

RESOURCES

 

 


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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

 

 

20 Best New Year’s Resolutions

What are the best New Year’s Resolutions?

20 Best New Year's Resolutions

20 Best New Year’s Resolutions. Click, copy, download, save and share.

It’s not such an easy task to choose  the best resolutions.  Everyone is unique in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals.  However, these top health goals are twenty of the most common health goals.   We believe that you will find some helpful goals listed below. Setting goals is easy but keeping goals is a little more difficult.  The trick is to make goals simple, specific, achievable, and choose goals that you are strongly motivated to accomplish.   Check out our article on this website for more information about how to keep your New Year’s resolutions and goals.  You can do it with motivation,  persistence and a plan.

20 BEST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 

  1.  Eat healthy foods  – If  you have made a resolution to eat healthier foods, you are not alone.  What can you do to successfully achieve your “healthy eating” goal in 2013?  First, make the goal specific to your needs.  You might wish to throw out all packaged foods or ” junk foods” especially those with hydrogenated oils and high in trans fats such as packaged cookies, corn chips, crackers, candy bars, etc.  Instead stock your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat nuts and healthy fats such as avocados.   Set goals that are specific and measurable, such as “eat vegetables four times a day.”   
  2. Get a physical exam – Many health problems can be prevented if people visit their health practitioners regularly.  Making a yearly appointment with a dentist, optomotrist, and general practitioner is important and a great way to love ourselves this new year.  Ask your trusted health professional which tests and exams are important for you to take at your stage in life, then set a goal that fits your needs, such as “Have my teeth cleaned,”   or “get a breast exam.”
  3. Set up a fitness routine. –  Most of us have trouble keeping up with our physical exercises and setting a regular schedule.  For some, it’s best to do exercises first thing in the morning before showering and heading out for the day.  For others it’s best to exercise before going to sleep and others might prefer to exercise throughout the day for shorter periods of time.  It might be that your resolution is to practice better posture.  Sitting up straight and standing with shoulders back, is good start.  Chat with your health professional.  Recognize your areas of weakness and consult with a trusted professional about fitness routines and exercises that are best for you.
  4. Attend educational events.  – Sometimes we are so busy with family, work, friends and physical activities that we forget about engaging the mind. The year quickly fades away and then we realize that we did very little except work, eat, and watch TV.   You might be one of many people who are deciding to  make a conscious effort to schedule time attending educational events this new year (lectures, workshops, discussion groups, art galleries, ballet, concerts, seminars, conferences, classes, etc.).  Engaging and stimulating the mind brings renewed energy and health.  Check your local paper for events listings and check our MBHA Meetup site for lists of hundreds of health and wellness activities and events.
  5. Schedule time for hobbies. –  It’s not uncommon for people to reflect on the year’s accomplishments and realize that they spent very little time engaging in activities they truly love – hobbies such as tennis, swimming, knitting, playing the piano, dancing, painting, hiking, etc.  If you have a hobby that makes your heart happy, you might wish to write this goal as a New Year’s resolution.  Make it a point to write down “hobby time” every week.
  6. Save money and pay off debts. – Being in debt is no longer something to be ashamed of in these economic times.  Setting a goal to pay off debts is a great New Year’s resolution.  There are many tips that are helpful in removing debt from our lives. Check out our article on this blog about how to stop debt and bring abundance by making lifestyle changes.
  7. Maintain a healthy weight. – Dieting and losing weight is a very popular New Year’s resolution and certainly in the top 10, but how do we succeed at meeting this goal?  A healthy weight for some people might not be healthy for others. Some more intensive physical exercise routines might not be appropriate for everyone, and might actually result in injury.    Some people have dietary restrictions, food allergies, and physical limitations such as arthritis or other problems.  It’s important that goals are specific to each person’s lifestyle.  You might want to set an appointment with a nutritionist or a fitness trainer or coach.  It’s a great idea to take a good look at your eating and exercising habits and consult with professionals who can help you design a plan to maintain a healthy weight.
  8. Volunteer with charities. – Volunteering in the community is a great goal. Get a list of local nonprofit organizations near you and decide which organizations speak to your heart.  Do you have a particular skill that can be beneficial to others?  Perhaps you are a good reader and would enjoy reading to the blind?  Maybe you are the quiet type who enjoys working on the computer alone and can volunteer helping input data for a local charitable organization.  Maybe you like physical work and would be happy unloading donating clothing or bags of food from a truck.  Choose a goal the works for you and be specific about how many hours each week you will volunteer.  Write it on your calendar and stick with it.  How does charity make us healthy?  Studies show that people who volunteer in the community are healthier and happier.
  9. Get more sleep. – Lack of sleep is a primary cause of health problems and if continued for long periods of time can lead to more serious health conditions.  Many of us don’t get enough sleep or have restless or interrupted sleep due to our living environment or other interfering health problems such as stress, migraines, allergies, muscle aches and pains, digestive problems, etc., and a  more serious health problems such as night seizures and sleep apnea.  Any or all of these situations can interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep.  If you think that you are not getting enough sleep, discuss your situation with your trusted health professional and set some goals to accomplish this.  He or she might schedule some tests to determine how you can be helped.
  10. Organize your life.  – Do you still have a pile of unopened mail from last year? Do you file your important papers in a sack in the closet or in your sock drawer? Do you have photos stuck between pages of books?  Does your refrigerator look like the inside of a toilet?  Maybe you need “organization” as a New Year’s resolution.  Most of us have some areas of our lives that are less organized than others. For example, you might want to get organized with the email addresses, street addresses, websites, and phone numbers of your friends and family members (either online or in a address book) or you might just want to throw out all the garbage in your closet.   Decide what is important to you and what you are motivated to change and set a specific goal, such as “Finish painting the kitchen by March 15th.”
  11. Spend more time with loved ones or family members. – Do you wish that you would have spent more time with your family members or loved ones, this past year?  Most people do.  If you want to set this as a goal, it’s important to look at what you are doing that is interfering with making this happen. Make a list of how you spend your day and what happens in an average week.  Start planning ahead and schedule specific dates and times for family and/or loved ones.  If you continue to break appointments with those you love, you might want to discuss the situation with a therapist or counselor, health practitioner, or trusted friend to help you work through relationship issues.  A professional can help you to set goals.
  12. Reduce TV time. – Studies show that most of us are watching too much television (or watching programs on the computer).  Electromagnetic radiation can be damaging to our health, and long hours spent watching televised programs keep us away from physical exercise of the arms, legs, neck and eyes.   Those who watch  television  for long periods of time or spend long hours on the computer often spend very little time communicating verbally and stimulating that area of the brain.  Staring at the light from the television or computer screen can be fatiguing and straining for the eyes.   Reducing TV time can be helpful to bring about a healthier body, mind and spirit.
  13. Spend more time in nature. – Research studies show that fresh air, sunshine and time in nature are important to a healthy body, mind, and spirit.  If you feel you spend too much time indoors, it might be a good New Year’s resolution for you to schedule time participating in outdoor activities alone or with others such as: planting a garden, walking in woods, visiting a park, or simply sitting outside in a lawn chair resting and listening to the birds.
  14. Read a book. – Whether you are curling up to the fire with Kindle or an old-fashioned hard-cover novel, it matters little.  Reading is an important way to meet your health and wellness goals for this new year.  Browse through book titles and choose subjects that are interesting to you so that you are motivated to keep this goal. A healthy mind, creates a healthy body and spirit.
  15. Quit smoking.  – You are not alone if you are still smoking and want to quit. There is no question that smoking contributes to poor health.  Why do you want to quit? Is it because others are aggravating you with their criticism, or is it because you want to be healthier and happier?   Knowing why you want to quit is an important step toward success.   Other reasons for stopping smoking are to improve the health of those who live with you,  and to save money.  You don’t have to quit smoking alone.  There is help available.  For tips on how to stop smoking, contact the American Lung Association.  Work with a partner and set specific achievable goals to kick the smoking habit.
  16. Quit drinking. – Quitting drinking or cutting back on drinking is a popular New Year’s resolution.  Why do you want to quit drinking? Do you have blackouts? Is your drinking interfering with your work or family life, or is it interfering with you accomplishing your goals in life?  If so, you might have a drinking problem.  You can find help with a goal of quitting drinking at Alcoholics Anonymous.   Find out where the closest AA group is near you. Whether your goal is quitting drinking completely, or cutting back, it’s great to set definitely goals, and schedule alternate, healthy activities to replace time spent drinking alone or with friends.
  17. Walk more and drive less. –  One of the best and easiest ways to become more healthy and fit is to walk as much as possible.  Walking is great for improving circulation, oxygenating the body, and stimulating the senses. Walking is enjoyable and refreshing.  Is walking the best resolution for you? Do you live within walking distance of a grocery store, post office, or restaurant? Try walking to various locations instead of driving.  Although walking is a relatively safe exercise, always check with your doctor or trusted practitioner, before beginning a new exercise routine.
  18. Learn a new skill.  – Is there something that you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, but have been putting it off for months, or years?  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to go parachuting,  rollerblading,  to learn how to speak French.  Learning a new skill is not only fun, it’s very healthy and stimulating.  Choose a skill that is achievable and that you are highly motivated to learn.
  19. Conquer a fear. –  Have you been struggling with fears that keep you from moving forward on the job, with your life goals, or in your personal relationships? Do you have a fear of a situation, like fear of spiders, elevators, swimming, or crowded rooms?   Conquering a fear might be a good resolution for you.  Take some time to be alone and listen to your inner feelings.  Make a list of situations that trigger feelings of anxiety, regret, guilt, shame and fear.  Once you have identified the situation and the fear, begin to bring feelings of confidence, hope, peace, contentment, forgiveness, calmness, detachment, and love into your heart.  Use your imagination to experience confidence and inner peace. Write down on paper what you want to achieve and imagine it without fear.  Read motivational quotes, believe in yourself and achieve your goal.  You might wish to seek professional help or join a support group to help you with your fears. You don’t have to tackle it alone.
  20. Travel or plan a vacation. – Planning a vacation or trip is a popular New Year’s resolution.  Traveling away from the daily work routine is a great way to relieve stress and energize ourselves.  Do you have a place that you’ve always wanted to visit?  Do you have fun friends that live far away that you would enjoy visiting? Is there a particular place that brings you joy or contentment?  If you can’t get away for a week or a few days, schedule one day every week  or every month, to get away to a nearby beach, forest, health spa, or other natural setting. Any shift in scenery is a great way to recharge.

Remember, you can do it, if you plan it, see it, and be it. Best wishes to you from your health and wellness friends here at MBHA.

_____________________________

Jean E. DartJean Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University, is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder, and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, a 501(c)3 health education nonprofit organization. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

Are Natural Juices Healthy?

Woman Chooses DrinksAre fruit juices better than sodas for preventing obesity and tooth decay?

Nope! Let’s look at some of the facts. What exactly is in carbonated drinks?  Carbonated soda contains large amounts of sugar. Some contain more than 11 teaspoons of sugar per 12 oz can!  Additionally, carbonated drinks also contain acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth.

What about diet sodas?
Aren’t diet sodas supposed to be good for us? Diet sodas still contain the same acids and do serious damage to tooth enamel.

Knudsen Grape JuiceAre organic or “all natural” juices better than other fruit juices?
Not necessarily.  It depends upon the acid and sugar content.  Tooth decay is caused the combination of bacteria and food in your mouth. Plaque, the sticky substance, contains bacteria and is always forming on your teeth and gums.  Fruit juices, even those labeled “ALL NATURAL,”  or “ORGANIC”, are high in sugars which have been shown to cause serious decay. Children who sleep with bottles of juice, natural or otherwise, will have decay problems at a very young age.

What do the labels tell us?
Let’s take a look at R. W. Knudsen’s Organic Concord Grape Juice and Welch’s Healthy Choice 100% Natural Grape Juice. One cup of organic grape juice contains 38 grams of sugar. One cup of Welch’s “natural” juice contains 36 grams of sugar. There is very little difference in the sugar.

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R. W. Knudsen’s
Organic Concord Grape Juice
Available Sizes (s) 8 FL OZ, 32 FL OZ
CONTAINS 100% JUICE

Nutritional Information
Serving Size 8 FL OZ (240 ml)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Potassium 250mg 7%
Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Sugars 38g
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%

Not a significant source of other nutrients.

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

_____________________________________

Welch’s Healthy Start
100% Grape Juice
Serving Size 8 FL OZ

Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Sodium 15mg 1%
Potassium 120mg 4%
Total Carb 38g 13%
Sugars 36g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 120%
Calcium 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


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Child GatoradeAre sports drinks healthier than sodas?
Sports drinks
might seem great because they are associated with healthy activities.  We see photos of muscular athletes drinking sports drinks and think that this is the key to health and fitness. We are also influenced by marketing ads that convince us that this is a necessary and effective means of hydrating ourselves.

Gatorade is regarded as a sports drink that is heavily tested and researched by a team of professionals.  These professionals claim that the electrolytes in the drink absorb quickly into the body for hydration making Gatorade essential to the rigorous athlete. Gatorade has a team that is continuously modifying and evaluating their product, especially since they have been under attack in recent years, for their ingredients. However, sports drinks, like natural and organic juices, do contain high levels of sugar. Gatorade and Powerade, for example, contain as much as two-thirds the sugar in carbonated sodas.   Organic acids in drinks are very erosive to dental enamel.

Gatorade and other similar power drinks and energy drinks designed for hydration, often contain ingredients that have been found to be less favorable for our health and well-being. Gatorade has water, high fructose corn syrup (glucose-fructose syrup), sucrose syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, red 40 and glycerol ester of rosin.

Sugars in sports drinks can vary. Some drinks contain about 11 grams of sugar per cup and others contain about 30 -40 grams of sugar. chemicals, food colorings, and food additives can be very destructive. Multiple research studies have shown the negative effects of these ingredients on the body.

BVO LabelPepsico Gatorade and other power drinks might contain brominated vegetable oil (BVO).  This is the same ingredient found in flame retardants that are put on children’s clothing and bedding.   When used in flame retardants, research has found that it can build up in both the body and breast milk. Studies link that the  buildup of BVO in the body can lead to neurological disorders, reduced fertility, hormonal changes,  and advanced puberty.

Brominated vegetable oil has been linked to short term health Skin rash from BVOproblems, including cramping, blurred vision, skin rashes, watery eyes, nausea and vomiting and cyanosis (turning the skin a bluish color), heart lesions, memory loss, birth defects and inhibiting growth.
CAREFULY CHECK the labels of your soft drinks to makes sure they do not include brominated vegetable oil.

Which drinks are more likely to cause obesity?
All drinks high in sugar cause obesity when used in excess regardless of whether it’s natural, organic, or filled with refined sugars, chemicals, food colorings and food additives.  Natural sugars found in fruits are better for us, but still contribute to obesity when over indulged.  People who drink fruit juices and eat fruit all day long are more likely to have weight problems than those who choose to drink plenty of water and supplement the diet with a moderate amount of natural sugar foods and drinks.

Tooth Decay from SodaWhich drinks destroy tooth enamel?
Studies have revealed that the enamel damage caused by non-carbonated drinks, canned lemonade, canned teas, and sports drinks was three to eleven times greater than carbonated sodas.   Energy drinks and bottled lemonades were shown to cause the most harm to dental enamel.

Which drink is the healthiest?
Woman drinking waterThe best choice is to drink plenty of WATER. Read labels. Always choose healthy, raw, and natural, don’t overdo with daily sugar and organic acid intake. Practice dental hygiene.  Try using a water pic. Brush and floss daily and get plenty of exercise. 🙂 ♥

Resources
Mayo Clinic – “Brominated Vegetable Oil: Why is BVO in My Drink?”
New York Times – “Drink Ingredient Gets a Look”
Web MD – “Energy Drinks: Bad for the Teeth?”
American Dental Association

_______________________________


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
  Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Healthy Holiday Tips

Healthy Holiday Tips

Click to enlarge photo, and copy and share with friends. Holiday times are often times of stress upon the body, mind and spirit. Here are a few tips to help us maintain a healthy, happy, body.

Feeling stressed? For some this is a wonderful season of great joy and celebration, but for others it can be a challenging time of managing the temptation of overindulgence.  Often weight gain, fatigue, stress and communication challenges occur which lead us to unhealthy bodies, minds, and spirits.

How can we maintain optimum health while still enjoying these festivities with our families and friends?

Here are some great tips as a gift to you from the Alliance:

 1. Don’t skip meals beforehand
2. Keep plate sizes and portions small
3. Drink mostly water & limit alcoholic drinks
4. Make time for daily exercise routines
5. Eat 70% vegetables, and 30% other foods
6. Skip dressings, butter & gravy
7. Eat slowly and thoughtfully
8. Give away leftover dishes
9. Avoid stressful topics of conversation
10. Schedule time alone to rest and recharge
11. Keep up your spiritual disciplines
12. Avoid long hours watching TV or chatting
13. Trust and act on your inner guidance
14. Go for a walk after dinner
15. Be thankful and see lessons and blessings
16. Remember that you are lovable and valuable

AND of course, after the day is over, the melodic symphony of  sounds of family and friends has disappeared, the smells of baked goods has left the building, you’ve changed your clothes, washed your face, and everything is tidied up and put out of sight,…… join us folks here at the Alliance and tell us how you are doing.

We are and will always be your health and wellness friends.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!
~MBHA Staff and Volunteers