An Attitude of Gratitude – A Powerful Healing Force

jump sunrise
Maintaining Gratitude

What is gratitude? How can you be grateful during times of physical pain, financial suffering or emotional stress? Can gratitude help us be physically fit, emotionally strong and successful in our daily lives? What is the secret to having a happy, rich and fulfilling life?  New research shows that gratitude is scientifically proven to benefit not only our emotions, but our bodies, mind and spirit and significantly effect our overall health and wellness.
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

The Wellness Universe is Officially Changing the World Today!

Changing the WorldBIG NEWS! The first of it’s kind, worldwide launch of and epic directory of top wellness resources begins today, January 23, 2015 at 11:11 Eastern time or 8:11 a.m. here in California. If you visit the Wellness Universe you will find comprehensive listings of wellness organizations, individuals and resources such as the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  Together we are “Officially Changing the World.”

WHAT IS IN THE DIRECTORY?
Are you looking for something specific such as anger management, success coaching, Shaman, crystal healing, animals rights activists,   or perhaps a Physical Therapist, or a Chiropractor, or more? This is an extremely comprehensive list of health and wellness members who are “officially changing the world!!”Anything relating to but not limited to body, mind and spirit wellness can be in this easy to navigate online directory with simple to understand search key words.WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE?
The intention of the Wellness Universe is to introduce people, products and services to the masses and provide worldwide opportunities for everyone to discover resources to which they had never before had been able to access.

This is a unique organization where hundreds of quality Facebook pages have joined with one another in a common goal: to create the Wellness Universe!   These amazing people have become a family, working together in harmony and love to continue create a better world, to give hope and inspiration, to give healing and love…all together in one place, with just the stroke of the keyboard you can have thousands of pages and businesses to choose from.

The Wellness Universe Launch

The Wellness Universe directory will launch worldwide at 11:11 EST or 8:11 PST. JOIN us!!


HOW DOES ONE GET LISTED?

Our Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Facebook page was selected as a Top Resource in this “Online Directory for the Best Wellness Pages,” a Directory of Resources to Expand Your Well-Being.   We are proud, excited and honored to be listed among the “best of the best.” and to be included in this family, as a member of The Wellness Universe. Listing in the online directory is a privilege based on application review and only after having met specific ethical and professional guidelines.  Are you a health organization or health professional and do you want to be included?  Go to www.thewellnessuniverse.net and fill out the application to join this amazing family.

HOW DID THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE GET STARTED?
The Wellness Universe and WellnessUniverse.net were both created by three successful entrepeneurs, Sheila Burke (Zen-sational Living), Anna Perierra (Circles of Inspiration), and Shari Alyse.(Sharing Sunshine and Love with Shari). Their vision stirred passion and excitement in other wellness professionals, and their heart-felt, sincere, enthusiasm and spread to create a network of like-minded souls, on Facebook. The result is an online directory of hundreds of  people working together to provide valuable wellness services and products for those individuals searching for modern-day inspiration, motivation, networking and problem-solving resources. Those who are members are like-minded souls, passionate about wellness of body, mind and spirit, and strive to uphold the highest values.

The Wellness Universe online directory GOES LIVE at 11:11 Eastern Standard Time TODAY,  1/23/2015, this is 8:11 a.m., PST, California time.  Join the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance and all of the other like-minded souls around the world to experience this event!!

_____________________________

Jean Dart, Heath EducatorJean 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. 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.

 

Ten Easy Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

FEELING HOLIDAY STRESS?  Looking for solutions? Try these ten easy tips.

10 Holiday Tips for No StressIt’s that time of year when we start to think about the upcoming holidays and everything that it involves: family, friends, presents, what to wear, food, travel and much more. It is important that we prepare ourselves and get ready to welcome this busy time of year. We need to reconsider and re-evaluate what the holidays really mean to us and how to accomplish the most in the least amount of time so that we can better enjoy and cherish the festivities. Here are a few ideas to reduce stress during this season and savor every moment of the holidays.

 

1. Plan your day and manage your time. Make various “to do” lists and classify the items into different categories.

2.  Do not over-commit. Prioritize your invitations by the most important events for you and your family.

3.  Share tasks. Set realistic goals for the amount of projects you can do in one day and ask for help.

4. Prepare for shopping days. Eat a good breakfast and always carry a snack with you. Wear comfortable clothes, good walking shoes, and do not forget your shopping list.

Holiday Shopping List 

5. Make a budget. Be true to yourself and do not set your expectations too high. The holidays are not about impressing anyone.

Woman  Sleeping

Get enough rest and sleep.

6. Take a break and reward yourself. Get enough rest and sleep.

7.  Be patient and understanding with others.  Make it a point to be courteous and try to remember that everyone is under the unusual stress of the holiday season.

8.  Indulge without guilt. Do not get upset with yourself if you overindulge.  Remember to be good on a daily basis and to exercise.

9.  Give the gift of health by giving healthy gifts that help people find well-being and balance.

Healthy Holiday Gifts

10.  Last but not least…….Have fun!!!  It is all about the journey.  Happy holidays and best wishes to you from the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance!

Camile WesternGThis article was written by Camille Western. Camille practices Massage and Holistic Arts on the Monterey Bay Peninsula.  She is  a massage therapist, a Thai Yoga instructor, and a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance (MBHA).  For more information about the MBHA, or if you would like to print your health article on our blog site, contact us. 

Top 20 Tips for Healthy Skin

Is there anything that can help diminish wrinkles and aging? What can be done to keep the skin youthful-looking and healthy? Here are the top twenty holistic health natural tips for radiant, glowing skin.

20 tips for Healthier Younger Looking Skin

Looking for younger-looking skin? Try these 20 top tips!

  1. Don’t smoke
    The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you’re likely to have.  This is because the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin and impairs blood flow. The result is that the skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. 
  2. Don’t drink alcohol
    Alcohol can make you age faster and cause more wrinkles. Drinking alcohol can cause premature wrinkles, dehydration, loss of elasticity, loss of collagen, redness, and puffiness of the skin.
  3. Get plenty of sleep
    When a person doesn’t get enough sleep this causes the skin to sag, bags under the eyes, and a lack of luster and radiance.  Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, creating the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  A person who gets plenty of sleep is less stressed.  Getting plenty of sleep at night helps to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
  4. Avoid sun during the peak times
    As the sun moves higher in the sky, the sun’s rays become more intense.  This means more potential damage to the skin and eyes. The ultraviolet (UV) light travels a shorter, more direct distance to reach the earth during the peak sun intensity hours when UV light is the strongest,.  This is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. standard time or 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daylight savings time.
  5. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.
    Ultraviolet rays are grouped into three different categories: UVA, UVB and UVC.  The SPF, “sun protection factor”, is only a measure of protection against UVB rays which burn the skin, but SPF is not a measure of UVA rays which penetrate deep into the skin, suppress the immune system and may cause cancer.  This is why it is important to look on your sunscreen for “broad spectrum” protection of both UVA and UVB protection
  6. Wear protective clothing
    The primary cause of aging and skin damage is damage from the sun. If you are planning on being outside for many hours, wear long sleeved shirts, hats, long pants and sun glasses, to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.
  7. Get eyes checked regularly to eliminate wrinkles from squinting
    Many people avoid a trip to the optometrist when having trouble seeing.  Long term effects of squinting the eyes in order to better focus or  squinting the eyes because of the brightness of the sun, can cause wrinkled skin on the face and “crows feet” around the eyes.  Always wear sunglasses and keep your prescriptions up to date.
  8. Clean skin thoroughly daily
    Boil water in a pot or tea kettle, pour the water into a bowl, then put a towel over your head and hold the bowl near your face for about 5-10 minutes. Then wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
  9. Use moisturizer if skin is dry
    Not everyone needs to use moisturizer.  When purchasing moisturizers, check to make sure that it is appropriate for your skin type (oily, dry, normal).  Always make sure your hands are clean before applying creams, lotions, shaving cream, makeup, etc., to prevent bacterial infections.
  10. Always remove makeup before sleeping
    Many people state that they are too tired to properly remove makeup, lotions or shaving lotions before going to sleep.  Leaving makeup or other skin lotions and applications on overnight, can cause the skin to produce acne from build up of dirt and oil in the pores of the skin.  Use warm water to clean the skin with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type.
  11. Always rinse well to remove dead skin and soap
    After thoroughly cleaning the skin, it is important to rinse several times to be sure to remove soap. Do a final rinse with cool (not cold) water to close pores.
  12. Use water-based products
    Water-based water-based moisturizers have a light, nongreasy feeling. They are appropriate for most everyone, including people with allergies, sensitive skin, oily skin, and normal skin.  For very dry, cracked skin, it might be more appropriate to choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil to help keep the skin hydrated. or to consult with a doctor or skin specialist for the appropriate moisturizing products.
  13. Eat organic, non-GMO foods
    Eating healthy, natural  foods that do not contain toxic chemicals such as pesticides and added chemicals help to bring a healthy, natural glow to the skin and help the body release toxins through the skin.
  14. Eliminate trans fats and added sugars
    Trans fats and high fructose corn syrup—are in 40 percent of the foods Americans eat every day.  Multiple studies have shown that these foods contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, bringing stress and ill-health to the body. Keeping the body healthy and in tip top shape adds to the health of the skin, because the skin is a major toxin removing system and when it is overworked, it cannot be in the best condition.  Taking care of the skin begins with what you eat.
  15. Exercise regularly
    Studies show that regular exercise helps the body have healthier, younger-looking skin. Consult with your fitness coach, health practitioner, or physical therapist to design a physical fitness program that is safe and appropriate for you. Set aside time each day to devote to your exercise routine.
  16. Shave with a sharp, clean razor
    Nearly 5 million bacteria have been found on a single disposable wet razor handle in new laboratory research by antibacterial technology specialist Microban Europe.  Clean the razor blade with alcohol daily before using, and thoroughly clean the skin after shaving.
  17. Dispose of old makeup and applicators every 6-12 months.
    Cosmetic manufacturers are not required by law to put expiration dates on their products. This leaves the responsibility of caring for the skin up to the consumer.  Check makeup and lotions regularly for consistency (has it become thicker?), color (has the color become darker?), and smell (does it have a strange odor?).  Makeup that is used around the eyes is more prone to bacteria and should probably be replaced every 3-6 months. Other products could be replaced every 6 months to one year.Do facial exercises regularly
  18. Do facial exercises regularly
    You might be disciplined about working out on the treadmill but are you doing your face and eye exercises? If you spend long days in front of computer with a furrowed brow, it’s important to take breaks every few hours to stretch the muscles in the face and neck. This helps to maintain elasticity and prevent sagging skin, toning the face and eliminating wrinkles.
  19. Drink plenty of water
    The most effective treatment for healthy skin is hydration. Drink plenty of water to help the body remove toxins.
  20. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques
    Eliminating stress improves the condition of the skin.  This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.  Take a warm relaxing bath, do something you love, read a book, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, listen to music, watch a funny movie, or talk to a friend or counselor.

Farewell, Candy, Cookies, and Cheese Puffs! 2014 Federal School Snack Restrictions

FEDERAL RESTRICTION ON SCHOOL SNACKS
What snack foods can children eat at school?  The Agriculture Department has announced Thursday, June 27, 2013, that there will be restrictions on what types of snacks schools can sell. Students will no longer be able to fill up on trans fats that are found in greasy pizzas, high-fat chips and snacks, and sugars found in ice cream treats, cookies, juice drinks, high-calorie sodas, snack cakes and sports drinks, and salty pretzels or chips.

School Snack Restrictions

The federal government announced school snack restrictions on June 27, 2013 for the 2014-15 school year.

The governments new standards for healthier snack  foods in schools would apply to all the “a la carte” lines in the school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars or any other food sold at school and on the school campus grounds.  It would not apply to fundraisers, after school  class parties or foods brought from home to the school.

WHICH SNACKS ARE ACCEPTABLE AND WHICH ARE NOT?
According to the federal guidelines, acceptable snack items include:

  1. Baked potato chips
  2. Granola bars
  3. Cereal bars
  4. Trail mix
  5. Dried fruits
  6. Fruit cups
  7. Yogurt
  8. Sugarless gum
  9. Whole grain-rich muffins
  10. 100 percent fruit juice drinks
  11. Diet soda (high schools)
  12. Flavored water (high schools)
  13. Diet sports drinks (high schools)
  14. Unsweetened or diet iced teas (high schools)
  15. Baked lower-fat french fries
  16. Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust
  17. Lean hamburgers with whole wheat buns

Snack food that are not acceptable include:

  1. Candy
  2. Snack cakes
  3. Most cookies
  4. Pretzels
  5. High-calorie sodas
  6. High-calorie sports drinks
  7. Juice drinks that are not 100 % juice
  8. Most ice cream and ice cream treats
  9. High-fat chips and snacks
  10. Greasy pizza
  11. Deep-fried, high-fat foods

WHEN DOES THIS TAKE EFFECT?
The federal snack rules will take effect during the 2014-2015 school year, but schools can start earlier to put these restrictions into effect. Many schools already have been making improvements. Thirty-nine states have a snack food policy.

In 2010 Congress passed the law championed by first lady Michelle Obama as a part of her efforts to stop childhood obesity, requiring the Agriculture Department to make changes in the rules describing acceptable school offered snacks. Several companies in the food industry worked with Congress three years ago on the child nutrition law.

ARE THERE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SNACKS?
Differences exist between high school and elementary or middle school regulations on appropriate snacks.  Low-calorie sports drinks such as Gatorade’s G2, and diet drinks will be allowed in high school.  However, elementary and middle schools will only be permitted to sell water, carbonated water, 100 percent fruit juice, 100 percent vegetable juice,  nonfat flavored milk, and low fat and fat-free milk.

Teens Not Physically Fit – New Study Reveals

Are our teens getting enough exercise? Do they eat a healthy diet?

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?
A recent research study from the National Institute of Health shows that only 50%, nearly half, of all adolescents in the United States are participating in physical activities five or more days a week and only one out of every four adolescents eat fruits and vegetables every day.

 

Adolescent Health Fitness.jpg

A study from the National Institute of Health showed teenagers engage in limited physical activity and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables. Click, copy, download, save and share.

WHO AND WHAT WAS SURVEYED?
The survey studied 10,000 students from 39 different states ranging from eleven to sixteen years of age.  Students were questioned about their daily physical activity, the amount of time that they spent using a computer or watched television, their emotional and psychological health,  and their diet and nutritional habits.  Researchers determined if their was a correlation between emotional health and physical activity.

 

WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY?
Researchers determined that only one in every four adolescents (25%)  were demonstrating healthy patterns of high physical activity combined with eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lower intake of snack foods. Those who were exhibiting healthy life-style patterns also were more healthy emotionally and psychologically.

Nearly half, 47% of the teenagers were engaging in a small amount of physical activity and consumed a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Ann M. Davis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center said that teenagers today are “extremely sedentary and they have terrible diets for a variety of reasons.”

“Unhealthful” students comprised about 26% of those surveyed, and tended to spend most of their time in front of the computer, eating more sugary snacks and less fruits and vegetables than others, and were most likely to be underweight and have symptoms of depression.  Early unhealthy lifestyles can lead to heart disease, depression, high cholesterol, obesity and other serious health problems later in life.

Of the 27% who were determined to be “healthful students,” nearly 65% reported exercising more than five days a week, and least likely to spend significant time in front of computer screens or to eat sweets, soft drinks and packaged snack foods that are high in trans fats.

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Children naturally like to move and be physically involved. Parents can help by turning off the television, limiting computer access, or arranging for and scheduling physical activities such as swimming, tennis, basketball, dance, etc.  Parents can remove packaged foods and sugary snacks and soft drinks from the home and replace them with organic healthy foods such 100% fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts.  Parents are role models and by changing their lifestyles and diets, they can encourage and prevent children and adolescents from having serious health problems as adults.  However, this must start at an early age so that when children become older teens and young adults they will make wise, healthy choices.

Exercise Boosts Immunity and Fights Cancer

Can exercise help prevent cancer and boost the immune system? Researchers say, “Yes!”

Exercise Prevents Cancer

BEAT CANCER – Studies show that exercise boosts immune systems in cancer survivors and prevents cancer.

Those cancer survivors who engage in a regular physical exercise program or routine are more likely to improve rapidly and to avoid future cancers.

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?
Researchers from the University of Nebraska announced at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting, October 10-13, 2012 in Westminster, Colorado, that exercise may boost the immune system and help to prevent cancer from reoccurring.

Laura Bilek, research team leader, and other researchers stated that if cancer survivors exercised for several weeks after finishing chemotherapy,

“…their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, potentially fending off future incidences of cancer.”  

Cancer Exercise TreadmillT cells in the blood of 16 cancer survivors were analyzed by the researchers before and after a 12-week exercise program. Researchers discovered that the immune cells of the subjects converted from a form that is less effective at fighting disease to one that is more effective in overcoming cancer and infections. Past research studies have shown that the majority of T cells become less effective at fighting off disease after chemotherapy.

Bilek said, “What we’re suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren’t helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful.”

Cancer Exercise WomanWHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE IS BENEFICIAL?
It depends on the person’s physical condition. If a person is weak and out of condition, they should start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration of physical exercise.  For the general population, the American Cancer Society recommends “at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days a week.”  Cancer survivors should not expect to start at this high level of activity, however.  Research shows that women who exercise at moderate-to-vigorous levels for more than three hours per week have a 30% to 40% lower risk of breast cancer. This result held true for all women, regardless of their family history or cancer risk level. Some research has found a 38% to 46% reduced risk of uterine cancer in active women.
Cancer Exercise Man
Kerry Courneya, PhD, professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, says that many studies have been conducted that confirm that physical exercise helps to increase chances of recovering of cancer survivors and to prevent future cancers from developing. Courneya suggests aerobic exercises and weight training.

Cancer exercise


“Ideally, cancer survivors should do aerobic exercises and weight training,” says Courneya. “Both types of exercise are critical to the overall health and well-being of cancer survivors.”

Cancer woman runningAerobic exercises include things such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming.  Aerobic exercise burns calories and helps increase metabolism and lose weight more rapidly.  It  lowers the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Weight training builds muscle.  Cancer survivors sometimes lose muscle weight and gain fat, through cancer treatment. For those with a high fat-to-lean mass ratio, weight training can help improve physical fitness and is especially helpful to cancer survivors.

ACS Fitness Guidelines

Cancer survivors should remember that they didn’t make it through chemotherapy just to sit around all day and watch TV for the rest of their lives. The American Cancer Society recommends to start slowly, work with a coach, physical therapist, and/or with their primary doctor or healthcare professional. Survivors should set goals, have a complete physical exam and get approval from their oncologists before starting a moderate-to-vigorous exercise program.

REFERENCES
Courneya KS, “Exercise in cancer survivors: an overview of research.” University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [2003, 35(11):1846-1852] Europe PubMed Central

Courneya KS, Mackey JR, Jones LW, “Coping with cancer: can exercise help?” Faculty of Physical Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, CAN. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca. The Physician and Sportsmedicine [2000, 28(5):49-73] Europe PubMed Central

Mock V, Dow KH, Meares CJ, Grimm PM, Dienemann JA, Haisfield-Wolfe ME, Quitasol W, Mitchell S, Chakravarthy A, Gage I, “Effects of exercise on fatigue, physical functioning, and emotional distress during radiation therapy for breast cancer.” Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. Europe PubMed Central,  Oncology Nursing Forum [1997, 24(6):991-1000]

“Physical Activity and Cancer Risk,” Cancer.Net

“Active women can reduce risk of breast cancer by 12%, say researchers,” Press Association, The Guardian, Thursday 20 March 2014 14.04 EDT,

Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter, “Daily Exercise Lowers Breast Cancer Risk: Study”  HealthDay, March 20, 2014,

Jenny Hope, Medical Correspondent,“Exercising for an hour a day reduces the risk of breast cancer – regardless of a woman’s weight or age” , Mail Online, 12:39 EST, 20 March 2014

_________________________________

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.

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories!

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories

WHY do some people have more energy than others?  WHY do we need to “boost” our metabolism?  How do we know if our metabolism is “good” or “bad?

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is a chemical reaction in the body that helps us to sustain life.

WHAT IS METABOLISM? Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within an organism that helps it to maintain and sustain life. The word metabolism comes from the Greek: μεταβολή metabolē,  which means”change” or Greek: μεταβολισμός metabolismos, “out-throw.”   Metabolism is usually divided into two categories:

  1. Catabolism breaks down organic matter and collects energy using cellular respiration
  2. Anabolism utilizes energy to create components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is changed through a process of steps.  This process is completed through the action of another chemical, by a sequence of enzymes.

WHY DOES METABOLIC RATE VARY? Every time we eat or drink, our metabolism converts all the calories from the food into energy. Our size, gender, and age play a large factor into determining our metabolic rate. For most people, metabolism seems to slow down after age 40. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate than women. In addition to these factors, there are some things that we can do to independently control our rate of metabolism.

WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPERTHYROIDISM?
The faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off.   People with hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is slower.  People who have hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is faster.   Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are not common.  Only 3% of the population have hypothyroidism and about .3% of the population have hyperthyroidism.

FIFTEEN WAYS TO HELP US BURN OFF CALORIES AND INCREASE METABOLISM

  1. Drink plenty of water – In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a full glass of water  before every meal and snack.
  2. Get plenty of sleep – Researchers have found a connection between lack of sleep and a lower metabolic rate. Those who get more sleep have a higher metabolic rate.
  3. Drink green tea – Green tea contains caffeine and catechin  polyphenols, which increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process your body uses to burn energy. Green tea is high in antioxidants, calorie-free, and a compound in green tea (ECGC) has been shown to elevate metabolism.  The metabolism increase lasts for about two hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may allow the body to burn 17% more calories.  Green tea is safe for most  people, but some may not be able to add caffeine to their diet due to its effect on the heart. Caffeine can also cause insomnia. It is recommended that people consult a trusted health care professional, regarding the use of green tea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    Calorie Burning With Drinks

    The more calories the more energy or metabolism is needed to burn off the calories and keep weight down.

  4. Eat small  healthy snacks frequently – Studies show that people who eat small, healthy snacks (such as fruit, nuts, etc.) every 3 or 4 hours, tend to burn more calories than those who eat three large meals a day.
  5.  Add spices to your diet –  Spices such as red peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers and Cayenne pepper contain capsaicin, and studies show it increases metabolism. In a small study on Japanese women published in the British Journal of Nutritionresearchers found red pepper caused the body to heat up and increase the metabolism after a meal.  Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reported that male athletes who added red pepper to high-carbohydrate meals raised both their resting and active metabolic rates 30 minutes after the meal.  However, there are no “fat-burning” foods, and  there is no conclusive evidence regarding an increased metabolic rate significant enough to result in weight loss.
  6.  Replace carbohydrates with proteins – The body burns more calories with protein than carbohydrates. Replace carbohydrates with healthy protein such as tuna, salmon, nuts, tofu, beans, and eggs. EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may boost your metabolism — by about 400 calories per day, researchers from the University of Western Ontario report.
  7. Engage in muscle-building exercises – Every pound of muscle uses 6 calories per day. The more muscle, the higher the metabolic rate. Lift weights. Pump iron.  Muscle burns 73 more calories per kilogram per day than fat. Every muscle cell that you gain constantly burns calories for you, even while you are resting or sleeping.

    Calorie Burning Exercises

    One package of french fries is 610 calories. Substantial physical activity is needed to burn off these calories.

  8. Use short high-intensity intervals in workouts – Maximize the calories you burn  by adding high-intensity intervals into your workout. If you work out for 20 minutes, try exercising moderately for about three minutes (running or riding a bike, for example) and then alternate three minutes with 30 seconds of an all-out effort.  If you are walking steadily, add short bursts of jogging, for example.

    High Fiber Foods

    A high fiber diet helps boost metabolism and burn unwanted calories.

  9. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods – Increasing intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, FACSM, assistant professor and director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. Vegetables are low in calories, yet high in nutrients.
  10. Keep moving – If you work at a desk, schedule breaks to allow yourself to walk, stand and move frequently.  Most people over the age of 40 spend too much time sitting.

    Energy to Walk Run Jog

    Energy needed to walk, run, or jog

  11. Change the temperature.  Studies show that people eat less when they are too cold or too hot.  The body also stops generating heat and burning energy when it is comfortable or neutral. Allow your body to create its own heat and burn calories by keeping that heater turned down and not making things so cozy.  Drinking ice water might burn more calories than room temperature water, because the body must work to heat up the water, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.
  12. Engage in cardiovascular and/or aerobic exercise – Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes.  Try running, biking or swimming. One study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours.
  13. Keep laughing! – Scientists have found that laughing for as much as 10 minutes per day, can burn energy and improve health.  Laughter increases the metabolic rate. Maciej Buchowksi, lead professor of a research team at Vanderbilt University, and her team set out to determine the effects of laughing on caloric burn. This heat output could then be translated as an increase in metabolism. After the research study was completed, the team discovered that metabolic rates could be increased by 10 to 40 calories by laughing.

    Warm Up Stretches

    Stretching helps to burn calories.

  14. Increase your iron intake – Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If you test anemic or your muscles don’t get enough O2, your energy is low and and your metabolism is slow. Eat iron-fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
  15. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine – Is stretching important? When subjects did different dynamic stretching exercises before running, they increased their caloric burn significantly compared with those that did nothing before the exercising.  Those who did the stretching routines increased their average oxygen consumption and flexibility, according to an article published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

RESOURCES
Bahar Gholipour and Live Science, “Cold air may help you lose weight by making your body burn calories to keep warm,” January 27, The Washington Post.

Juliette Kellow, BSc, RD, “Laugh Yourself Slim,” WeightlossResources.co.uk

Shellie Nelson, “Research suggests exposure to cold helps burn calories,” WQAD Channel 8, January 22, 2014.

R. Morgan Griffin,  Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, “Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter,” WebMD Feature, Health & Balance Center

Nesheim, Malden. “Is a Calorie a Calorie?”. NOVA. PBS. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.h., Dariush; Tao Hao, M.P.H., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D. (20 June 2011). “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men”. The New England Jouranl of Medicine 364 (25): 2392–404.
Ebbeling, PhD, Cara; anis F. Swain, MS, RD; Henry A. Feldman, PhD; William W. Wong, PhD; David L. Hachey, PhD; Erica Garcia-Lago, BA; David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD (21 June 2012). “Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance”. The Jouranl of the American Medical Association 307 (23): 2627–2634.

Gann, Carrie. “For Calories, It’s All About Quality Over Quantity, Harvard Study Says”. ABC News. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

_________________________________

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.

Choosing Foods to Enhance Your Mood – 20 Powerful Mood Boosters!

Can eating certain foods change your mood? Which foods affect us negatively? Which foods make us happy? Do we make good food choices when we are sad?

Top 20 Food Mood Boosters

Can food alter our mood? Which foods make us happier? Which foods make us sad? 20 Powerful Food Mood Boosters!

Hippocrates is credited to saying, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” People have known about the emotional, psychological and physical healing effects of foods since the beginning of time.  But does scientific research back up these findings?

For the past 100 years, nutrition research  has evolved dramatically with animal and human trials showing how certain foods can change the brain structure, effect health and healing and human and animal physiology.  We’ve discovered that foods that directly influence brain neurotransmitter systems have the greatest effect on our moods, expectations, and perceptions.

“What you eat can affect your mood and how well your brain works,” says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist and coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet


HOW DO CARBOHYDRATES BOOST OUR MOOD?

People tend to eat foods high in carbohydrates when they are depressed and seeking a lift in their mood.

Oatmeal

High fiber foods, like oatmeal, can keep serotonin flowing steadily and prevent mood swings.

According to Dr. Wurtman, in order to have a positive mood effect from eating foods, we should eat carbohydrates that are rich in fiber — like oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or beans — so that your body will absorb the carbohydrates slowly, keeping serotonin flowing steadily; otherwise, we will digest the food too quickly and cause a mood swing boost followed by another emotional low.

Larry Christensen (1992), concluded in  Effects of Eating Behavior on Mood: A Review of the Literature,  that ” individuals experiencing a negative mood state arising from disorders ranging from tobacco withdrawal to premenstrual symptoms make use of carbohydrate ingestion, especially simple carbohydrates, to provide a temporary lifting of mood. However, other evidence suggests that some individuals may obtain a more permanent control of their negative mood state by eliminating simple carbohydrates from their diet. While the literature is consistent in demonstrating that carbohydrate consumption can alter a negative mood state, the underlying mechanism mediating this relationship is unknown.”

 

dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is high in magnesium and can reduce depression and anxiety.

WHAT FOODS OR FOOD INGREDIENTS HELP WITH DEPRESSION?
Many people are who are depressed and lethargic, are unaware that they are dehydrated and lack sufficient daily intake of water. Dehydration leads to fatigue, depression, confusion, and altered mood.  Increasing daily consumption of water improves memory, stamina and positive outlook.

A primary food that has been shown to boost the mood is dark chocolate which is high in magnesium.  Magnesium calms muscles and reduces anxiety. Dark chocolate also contains tryptophan, which helps reduce symptoms of depression.  Blue potatoes have powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins provide neuro-protective qualities, and help to reduce the brain inflammation associated with depression.

Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which also helps to prevent depression by reducing inflammation in the brain.

 

WHICH FOOD HELP TO ENERGIZE THE BRAIN?

spinach

Spinach is helpful in raising energy and preventing mood swings.

Spinach is high in folic acid, a B vitamin, and also high in antioxidants that are helpful in raising energy and preventing mood swings.  Probiotics  found in Greek yogurt, for example, can boost the mood and the immune system. Tomatoes also help the brain and boost the mood with its high level of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights brain inflammation.  Eggs contain moderate-to-large amounts of Zinc, Vitamin B, Iodine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and protein, and keep you energized.  Research suggests that flavonoids in blueberries  may improve memory, including reasoning, decision making, verbal and numerical problem solving abilities and general cognitive function. Research studies suggest that consuming flavonoids found in blueberries may help provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Walnuts, salmon and other foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain.

 

Juicing

Fresh vegetable or fruit juices provide necessary enzymes and nutrients to energize the body.

Juiced fresh, raw  fruits, berries, or vegetables give an energy boost and feeling of mental alertness and exhilaration. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are an easy way for everyone to get essential enzymes, minerals, vitamins  and nutrients that people may not normally get in a daily diet. Raw juices with dark leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants that can help detoxify, revitalize and restore depleted energy.

 

Calm woman

Certain foods have a calming effect on the body and aid in reducing depression. Omega-3 fatty acids may boost the mood.

DO OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS DECREASE DEPRESSION?
Much research has been conducted in recent years on the benefits of eating foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, but do these foods affect the mood?   According to results of a study presented on Mar. 4, 2006 by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers at the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Denver, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may influence mood, personality and behavior. Researchers studied 106 healthy volunteers, and  found that participants who had lower blood levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were more likely to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression, a more negative outlook and be more impulsive. Conversely, those with higher blood levels of omega-3s were found to be more agreeable. The study was conducted by Dr. Sarah Conklin, and others, and was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),

Omega 3 Foods

Foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids include salmon, walnuts, olive oil, flax seed, brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Some foods which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids are: flaxseed oil, fish oil, walnut oil, salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, sardines, radish seeds, fresh basil, walnuts, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Sometimes other foods such as cereals, bread, yogurt, orange juice, milk, and eggs are  fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.  Comparisons were made by analyzing levels of omega-3 fatty acids in participants’ blood and comparing that data to the participants’ scores on three accepted tests for depression, impulsiveness and personality.  This study by Dr. Sarah Conklin, was co-authored by Jennifer I. Harris, M.D., psychiatry resident, department of psychiatry, Brown University; Stephen B. Manuck, Ph.D., University Professor of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, department of psychology, University of Pittsburgh; Joseph R. Hibbeln, M.D., chief of outpatient clinic, Lab of Membrane Biophysics and Biochemistry, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH; and Matthew F. Muldoon, M.D., associate professor, department of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is helpful in calming the nerves and inducing sleepiness.


WHICH FOODS ARE CALMING AND REDUCE STRESS?

Chamomile
can be very calming as is Valerian root.  Both are helpful in calming the nerves and inducing sleep.   Green tea is high in theanine, an antioxidant which has a calming effect.   Avocados contain serotonin, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter.

For many years serotonin has been known to play an important  role in calming the body and in inducing sleep.  However,  according to a study by Portas CM, Bjorvatn B, Ursin R., (2000), serotonin plays a dual role, affecting both the sleeping and waking cycle and can also be a cause of insomnia or wakefulness.  Researchers conclude, “The apparent inconsistency between an inhibitory and a facilitatory role played by serotonin on sleep has at least two possible explanations. On the one hand serotonergic modulation on the sleep/wake cycle takes place through a multitude of post-synaptic receptors which mediate different or even opposite responses; on the other hand the achievement of a behavioral state depends on the complex interaction between the serotonergic and other neurotransmitter systems.”

pistachios

Students eating pistachios had reduced stress before a math test

A study using pistachios showed that  1 1/2 oz of these nuts reduced the effects of stress on people taking a math test in a Penn State University study, Effects of Pistachios on Cardiovascular Responses to Stress in Type 2 Diabetes.”

“Participants still found the test to be stressful, but their blood pressure response was lower than when they took the same test while consuming a low-fat diet,” says study author Sheila West, Ph.D.

 

Seedless grapes

More people watching sad movie preferred popcorn over grapes. People watching the happy movie consumed more grapes and less popcorn.

DO PEOPLE CHOOSE UNHEALTHY FOODS WHEN SAD OR FRIGHTENED?
Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing, Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, Nitika Garg of the University of Mississippi and J. Jeffrey Inman of the University of Pittsburgh, conducted a study which was published in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of MarketingThe Influence of Incidental Affect on Consumers’ Food Intake.  The study found that people eat more less-healthy comfort foods when they are sad. Participants either watched a happy or a sad movie and were provided with the choice of eating buttered popcorn or seedless grapes during the movie. The group watching the happy movie consumed significantly more grapes and less popcorn than the group watching the sad movie.


“While each of us may look for a comfort food when we are either sad or happy, we are likely to eat more of it when we are sad,”
Wansink concluded.

The researchers found that the sad people with no nutritional information ate twice as much popcorn as those feeling happy. Additionally, when participants were provided with nutritional information, the sad movie attendees consumed less popcorn than the happy movie attendees and the happy group didn’t change their eating habits and continued to eat more grapes.

Researchers Schotte,  Cools, and  McNally came to similar conclusions in a 1990 study. Sixty women were classified as either restrained or unrestrained eaters on the basis of their responses to the Revised Restraint Scale, and exposed to frightening films.  Subjects classified as “high restraint” exposed to the frightening film ate more than did equally restrained subjects exposed to a neutral film or low restraint subjects exposed to either film.

Woman yogurt

Yogurt can be beneficial in reducing depression and boosting the mood.

Foods have been shown to have powerful and even addictive qualities because of their effects on mood.  Haddock and Dill (2000) in an article reviewing of  the psychoactive effects of food and mood on obesity and eating disorders, concluded,

“The addictions model of obesity claims that individuals gain excess weight due to their dependence on and inability to control the intake of certain food substances. The dependence and lack of control over these food substances is undergirded by, according to the addictions model, the psychoactive properties of foods. The article reviews the literature on the purported psychoactive effects of foods and concludes that although, under certain circumstances, some food substances may have subtle effects on mood and behavior, the effects of food are quite different from that of psychoactive drugs such as nicotine and alcohol. Therefore, the food addictions model is unlikely to provide a fruitful paradigm for understanding the complex problem of obesity.”

References
Christensen L, Effects of Eating Behavior on Mood: A Review of the Literature, International Journal of Eating Disorders, John Wiley & Sons, 14 September 1992.

Gebauer SK, West SG, Kay CD, Alaupovic P, Bagshaw D, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of pistachios on cardiovascular disease risk factors and potential mechanisms of action: a dose-response study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Sep;88(3):651-9.

Haddock  CK, Dill PL, The Effects of Food on Mood and Behavior: Implications for the Addictions Model of Obesity and Eating Disorders, Drugs & Society, Volume 15, Issue 1-2, 2000

Nitika Garg, Brian Wansink, and J. Jeffrey Inman (2007) The Influence of Incidental Affect on Consumers’ Food Intake. Journal of Marketing: January 2007, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 194-206.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Influence Mood, Impulsivity And Personality, Study Indicates UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Denver, March 3, 2006

Portas CM, Bjorvatn B, Ursin R., Serotonin and the sleep/wake cycle: special emphasis on microdialysis studies., Prog Neurobiol. 2000 Jan;60(1):13-35.

Schotte, David E.; Cools, Joseph; McNally, Richard J.  Film-induced negative affect triggers overeating in restrained eaters. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 99(3), Aug 1990, 317-320.

West SG, Effects of Pistachios on Cardiovascular Responses to Stress in Type 2 Diabetes, Penn State University, General Clinical Research Center, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States, 16802-6501

Wurtman  JJ. and Frusztajer NT., The Serotonin Power Diet Rodale Books; 1 edition, December 22, 2009 

 

_________________________________

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.