Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for November 4, 2010

7 Reasons Not to Eat Factory-Farmed Food and where to find Local Sustainable Food in Georgia!

7 Reasons Not to Eat Factory-Farmed Food

We’ve all heard about the evils of factory farms, but sometimes it’s useful to take a look at things from a comprehensive perspective. Maybe you know about the risks of salmonella, but figure if you cook your food well enough, you won’t have to worry.

Here are seven reasons to avoid factory-farmed or industrially-produced food, and to seek out other options—as always, your local farmer’s market is a great start—a little more regularly.

Better Nutrition

If you’re going to eat products like meat and dairy, studies have found that these foods are more nutritious when raised sustainably than when they are produced by industrial agriculture. (And just this week, it became official even in a U.S. court: hormone-free milk is better.)

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, the same is true for organically grown fruits and veggies. (This is a hotly-debated topic, but if you think about it from a basic, non-scientific perspective, it’s not hard to believe that applying chemicals to intentionally kill living organisms will also deplete the soil of nutrients necessary to grow a healthy crop.)

Better Taste, Healthier Taste Buds

There’s an increasing understanding that processed foods, many of which come from factory-farmed meat, dairy, and industrially-grown wheat or corn, are killing our taste buds, making us physically less able to taste and enjoy the naturally-occurring flavors in fresh foods. Anyone who’s tasted a home- or locally-grown tomato knows what a difference those flavors make.

For the Earth

Our readers probably already know this, but meat and dairy production are greenhouse gas culprits—even more so than flying. There’s also the issue of the basically-unregulated sludge and other pollution that factory farms get to release into the environment.

For the Local Economy

As I’ve pointed out before, when you buy from a national chain—and for this purpose, factory-farmed food is no different than, say, Barnes & Noble—the community keeps $4.30 for every $10 spent. When you buy local (from your farmer’s market, for example, or local natural foods store), $6.80 will stay in the community. Plus, supporting local farms will probably mean supporting more green space and healthier land in your community, which means a healthier lifestyle overall.

Salmonella, Avian Flu, and Swine Flu

(Different reasons, same underlying problem.) This summer’s egg recall is the most obvious example: the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions on factory farms lead to disease. The H1N1 virus is also affiliated with factory farm conditions, as is swine flu.

Sensing a pattern here? Just some food for thought as you put your next grocery list together.

Related:
Factory Farming 101
7 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food
Resolve to Support a Healthier Food System
Join a CSA To Go Sustainable

By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

For Local, Sustainable, Food Resources in the Atlanta area, Leesa invites to visit… 

www.localharvest.org
www.eatlocal.net
www.georgiaorganics.org
www.eatwild.com/products/index.html
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/SEDairyClub
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/GA_WPF/
www.westonaprice.org
www.realmik.org

If You Avoid Eating Glucose You May Actually Live Longer

If You Avoid Eating Glucose You May Actually Live Longer

Glucose, a type of sugar that your body uses for energy, may be the key to living a long life — if you avoid it, that is.

Researchers from the University of Jena in Germany discovered some very interesting findings about this simple sugar by observing the lifespan of worms.

sugary breakfast cereals

Cookies, candy, sugary breakfast cereals, sweetened fruit juice and doughnuts are all examples of foods that are quickly broken down into glucose by your body.

First they blocked the worms’ ability to process glucose, which put them into a metabolic state similar to one you would have if you avoided glucose in your diet.

Without glucose, something fascinating happened: the worms increased their lifespan by up to 20 percent, which is the equivalent of 15 years of human life.

In the United States, however, the average person eats a hefty amount of sugar, which when broken down generates glucose. In fact, sugar makes up anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of most people’s daily diets!

It’s already well-known that too much glucose in your body is a bad thing.

Under normal circumstances, every time you eat your blood glucose levels will rise slightly. This signals your pancreas to release insulin, which makes sure your blood sugar levels do not get too high.

However, if your blood glucose levels remain elevated for too long, it can lead to diabetes and damage to your kidneys, eyes, nerves and blood vessels.

Is Glucose Good for Anything?

Yes, glucose is what provides your body with energy that literally feeds your muscles and cells. It’s also used by your brain and is beneficial for learning and memory.

In fact, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that learning tasks depletes your brain of its glucose reserves. The harder the task, the more glucose your brain requires.

Interestingly, the researchers found that elderly people who drank a sweetened lemonade drink prior to taking tests of short-term memory, attention and motor function recalled twice as much of a narrative prose passage than those who drank lemonade without glucose.

However, there is a catch.

While a little bit of glucose seems to enhance your cognitive functions, too much of it actually impairs it.

High-Glucose Foods to Avoid, and Lower Glucose Foods to Enjoy

To avoid all glucose would be a tall task, since all foods that contain carbohydrates break down into glucose. Those that break down the quickest, however, are the ones that will produce a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels, followed by a sharp fall that will make you feel sluggish.

You may then reach for another high-glucose food to keep your energy up, only to find that you have another, corresponding crash.

Meanwhile, the more “fast-acting” carbohydrates that you eat, the worse it is for your body.

leafy green vegetables

You can enjoy leafy green vegetables every day without having to worry about them raising your glucose levels.

“We are not adapted to handle fast-acting carbohydrates,” said associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard David Ludwig. “Glucose is the gold standard of energy metabolism. The brain is exquisitely dependent on having a continuous supply of glucose: too low a glucose level poses an immediate threat to survival. [But] too high a level causes damage to tissues, as with diabetes.”

Ideally, you should strive to keep your blood sugar levels at a consistent level throughout the day, as this will leave you with a steady stream of energy, rather than peaks and low points.

Which foods are high-glucose foods (also called high-glycemic index foods) that will break down quickly in your body?

  • Soft drinks
  • Candy
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Pastries
  • Sweetened fruit juice

In short, high-glucose foods to avoid include those made with refined white flour or white sugar and not a whole lot else (although even potatoes fall into this category).

Meanwhile, the following foods are low-glucose (or low-glycemic index) foods that will give you a steady source of energy for the day:

  • Beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Celery root
  • Rutabagas
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Scallions

You can also indulge in foods high in protein and fiber, and those that contain healthy fats, as these foods will not cause your blood glucose to rise excessively.

by www.SixWise.com

Shunning Showers: How Clean Are You?

Shunning Showers: How Clean Are You?


Can cleanliness be a political act? With the advent of full bathrooms and the ever-increasing marketing of personal care products, showering has become a deeply embedded custom in the American public. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, after all. But it appears that a trend veering away from fresh-as-a-daisy and tilting more toward musky-like-a-human is taking root.

An article in The New York Times over the weekend explored the personal hygiene habits of a varied group of people who are consciously showering less, shampooing infrequently, and shunning deodorant.

Deodorants 101: Why They’re Scary and How to DIY

To the cleaning-less contingent, there are many reasons to forgo the daily shower for the au natural. “We don’t need to wash the way we did when we were farmers,” said Katherine Ashenburg, 65, the author of “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.” Since the advent of cars and labor-saving machines, she continued, “we have never needed to wash less, and we have never done it more.”

Many cite water conservation and the harsh effects of over-cleansing on skin and hair. Of late, researchers are discovering that our skin contains beneficial germs that we might not want to wash down the drain. “Good bacteria are educating your own skin cells to make your own antibiotics,” said Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of the dermatology division at the University of California, San Diego, and “they produce their own antibiotics that kills off bad bacteria.” And to those who complain of over-showering’s effect on dry skin, Dr. Gallo said, “It’s not just removing the lipids and oils on your skin that’s drying it out,” he said. It could be “removing some of the good bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance of skin.”

One thing is for sure: personal care products have been running rampant for decades. Advertisers have us blue at the gills at the thought of emitting any odor other than those created in a fragrance lab. Women, on average, use 12 personal care products each day! There are no limit to the concerns about many of the ingredients in these products, and many of them are wreaking havoc in our waterways, in addition to all of that unnecessary packaging.

15 Toxic Ingredients in Personal Care Products

And then there is, simply, the amount of water used. If each of 307,006,550 Americans take a daily five-minute shower, the water usage rings in at somewhere around 12,280,262,000 gallons of water per day. Eliminating a few showers a week would clearly add to national water conservation efforts.

Calculate Your Water Footprint

by Melissa Breyer

Secrets of Centenarians

Secrets of Centenarians

Secrets of Centenarians

Only one in 6,000 people reaches the century mark and just one in 7 million lives to be 110 or older. Is it a fluke that some people live so many years or are there commonalities that allow them to push on well after a century of life? The New York Times recently took time to talk to a group of centenarians and find out their story and in my research I’ve found a few traits that seem to show up in most centenarians.

Crediting a Healthy, Low Impact Lifestyle
As you might expect, centenarians are usually free of many of the diseases like heart disease and diabetes that cause ill health later in life. They’re often amazing at dealing with stress so that it doesn’t reflect on their well being. Centenarians don’t abuse cigarettes or drink too much and they are rarely, if ever obese. They tend to eat very little meat, regularly exercise, and spend a lot of time with their friends and families according to a study at Boston University.

Genes Are Only Part of It
Without a doubt, genetics plays a major role in unusually long lives. Centenarians often have others in their family that have lived past a century. But genetics isn’t the only component. Based on studies at Boston University, it’s 70 to 80 percent environment and 20 to 30 percent genes.

Where Do Centenarians Come From?
While the US has a high rate of centenarians, this doesn’t always mean a high quality of life. Quality of life is sometimes surpassed by the need to keep people alive. It’s not about just living past a century, but being functional the whole time. The Seventh-day Adventists live an average ten years longer than others in this country, to an average age of 88 with a higher percentage of unusually long lives. They don’t smoke, tend to be lean and fit, and get regular exercise. They eat a largely vegetarian diet and spend a lot of time involved with family and religion, which scientists think helps them manage stress according to a story in the LA Times.

In Okinawa, an island of Japan there are more centenarians than any other place in the world. Their diet is filled with whole grains, vegetables, and fish. They eat very little meat and dairy. An Okinawan staple is tofu and bean curd.

Dominica has the second highest rate of longevity in the Western Hemisphere. Out of a population of 70,000, 21 Dominicans are more than 100 years old. Tourism minister Charles Savarin attributes Dominicans’ longevity to the island’s pristine environment. He says:

Many people still drink water straight from the rivers. The water is naturally filtered and entirely without chemicals. There are no industrial plants emptying into the streams and the sea. Most of the country is heavily forested so that we may have more oxygen here than anywhere else. 

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

How to Winterize Your Home: The 10 Key Steps for Your Health and Wellbeing

How to Winterize Your Home:
The 10 Key Steps for Your Health and Wellbeing

After pumpkins and apple cider come snow showers and icicles, and while you’re preparing your mind for the upcoming holidays, it’s important to prepare your home for the coming winter weather as well.

winterize your home

Don’t wait to inspect your home’s gutters, ceiling and windows. Once it snows, it will be too late!

If you don’t, you risk higher heating bills and possibly some expensive repairs come spring. As soon as you feel the air getting chilly, it’s time to complete the list below.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Fallen leaves can easily clog your gutters, causing water to back up, freeze and possibly seep into your home. First remove any debris from the gutters, then rinse them well with a hose. As you do so, check for any leaks, and make sure the downspouts carry water away from your house, so the outpour doesn’t leak into your foundation.

2. Do a “Pre-Winter Cleaning”

Many of us already do spring cleaning of our homes, but a thorough cleaning prior to winter is also important. Keep in mind that during a winter cleaning you will not be able to vent your windows for fresh air, so it’s very important to use only natural cleaning supplies that won’t add potentially toxic chemicals into your home’s air.

When it comes to cleaning tools, Sixwise.com highly recommends the PerfectClean line of terry-cloths, dusters and mits — the same tools used by leading hospitals, hotels, and other organizations that depend on environments that are clean down to the biological level.

Rather than just pushing dust and dirt around, or worse, stirring it up into the air, all PerfectClean products are made with positively charged ultramicrofibers that pick up everything in their path — including the biological and toxic contaminants that no other cleaning tool or solution can touch.

As for cleaning supplies, most commercial cleaners are toxic and contain harsh chemicals that are poisonous if inhaled or spilled on the skin. If you’re looking for a top-notch cleaning line that’s completely safe for you and the environment, we also highly recommend the EnviroRite line of non-toxic cleaning products, which contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts.

3. Check Your Insulation

Hot air rises, so adequate insulation in your attic is crucial to save money on your heating bills.

“If you go into the attic and you can see the ceiling joists you know you don’t have enough, because a ceiling joist is at most 10 or 11 inches,” says Danny Lipford, host of the TV show “Today’s Homeowner.”

Generally, you want at least 12 inches of attic insulation to keep your home warm.

4. Disconnect and Drain Hoses and Sprinkler Systems

You must disconnect, and drain, hoses, outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems before the first freeze of the season. Otherwise, the pipes could easily burst, causing major damage.

5. Keep Out Cold Air

Drafts from cold winter air are said to account for 10 percent of your heating bill. To keep cold air out, use weather-stripping and caulk around your windows and doors. If your windows are particularly drafty, and you aren’t ready to buy new windows, inexpensive window insulation kits are available at home improvement stores. The key areas to inspect for leaks, according to Lipford, are:

  • Around door and window frames
  • Around exterior openings including utility outlets, phone lines, outside plumbing faucet, vents and fans
  • Around heating and/or air conditioning
  • Around room air conditioners
  • At corners formed by siding
  • Openings around drain pipes in bathroom and kitchen

6. Consider a Programmable Thermostat

save money on your heating bill

By caulking your windows and doors to keep drafts out, you can turn down your thermostat, save money on your heating bill, and still stay cozy and warm.

It’s most efficient to heat your home up a little after you’ve been out than to simply keep the heat up all the time. Programmable thermostats allow you to keep the heat down while you’re out or sleeping, then turn it up shortly before you get home from work or wake up in the morning. Even small temperature changes can make a big difference. According to Lipford, for every degree that you lower the temperate in your home, your heating bill will go down about 2-3 percent.

7. Take Care of Your Furnace

Replace or clean your dirty furnace filters and have a professional inspect your furnace to make sure it’s working properly. If necessary, have your ducts cleaned as well.

8. Prepare Your Hot Water Heater

Hot water makes up an estimated 14 percent of your utility bill. You can help to keep your water hot by wrapping a water-heater blanket around your water heater and insulating your water pipes.

9. Inspect Your Roof

Minor damage, such as missing or cracked shingles or bare spots, can lead to much more extensive damage if water leaks in. If you spot broken or curling shingles, or bare spots in the granular coating, you should repair them now.

10. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

In the winter, ceiling fans can keep hot air down toward the floor instead of hovering near the ceiling. They should run clockwise, on low, for maximum efficiency in the winter.

by www.SixWise.com

15 Tips to Exercise More Without Changing Your Schedule a Bit

15 Tips to Exercise More Without Changing Your Schedule a Bit

Seven out of 10 Americans don’t exercise regularly, according to a 2006 report by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

exercise schedule

Instead of focusing on why you can’t exercise, focus on why you want to. It will make it much easier for you to stay motivated.

“Regularly” was defined as light-to-moderate exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five times a week, or vigorous activity for a minimum of 20 minutes at least three times a week.

This lack of exercise comes despite the fact that most of us know exercising is something we should be doing. It can, after all, reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and high blood pressure, among many other benefits.

So why don’t we exercise?

According to Joan Price, MA, a fitness motivator, public speaker, and author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book, the most common excuse not to exercise is, “I don’t have time.”

Well, we’re taking away that excuse right now, because if you follow the tips below, even you will have time to exercise. And best of all, you can do it without having to change your schedule one bit.

How to Fit Exercise Into Even the Busiest Schedule

  • Make a commitment to exercise. Write it down on your calendar, in 20-minute, 30-minute, or even 5-minute increments, but make sure you have some scheduled every day. “You can accumulate exercise minutes,” Price says, “not do it in one big chunk.”
  • Exercise during your lunch hour. Bring your lunch to work, eat it at your desk, then use the rest of your lunch hour to go for a power walk.
  • Stretch at your desk. While sitting at your desk, stretch your arms, shoulders, legs and back. Check out stretching expert Jacques Gauthier’s Stretching Toward a Healthier Life DVD to learn 15 of the most effective stretching exercises that take just 15 to 20 minutes a day to complete.
  • Do jumping jacks for one to five minutes. You can do these in your office, at home, in the park, just about anywhere. When you get tired of jumping jacks, try pretending to jump rope, running in place, or shadow boxing.
  • Exercise at your desk. Punch your arms over your head for 30 seconds, then tap your feet on the floor quickly for 30 seconds, and repeat. Or, as long as your desk is sturdy, try desk push-ups by standing, putting your hands on the desk, then walking backward. Now you’re ready to start your push-ups!
  • Do lunges as you walk. If you find yourself in an empty hallway, take advantage of it and do lunges as you go. You can also do these outside on a sidewalk.
  • exercise with friends

    Instead of getting together with friends to see a movie, why not get together and play a game of soccer, tennis, or touch football? Or share your DVD workout doing it together… having fun.

  • Bike, walk or jog to work. Not an option? Try getting off the bus a stop earlier, or parking in the faraway parking lot, and walking the rest of the way. You can also bike, walk or jog to run some of your errands.
  • Exercise as a social activity. Getting together with friends tonight? Do something active like playing tennis or racquetball. Want more family time this weekend? Take the kids for a bike ride.
  • Use the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator. The extra steps add up. If you’re really feeling motivated, try taking the steps two at a time.
  • Do your chores. Housework and gardening count as exercise, especially if you put on some music and do them at a semi-fast pace.
  • Walk more. Whenever you have an opportunity to walk somewhere — whether it’s to your favorite lunch spot, to do some brainstorming, or to get to your colleague’s desk (instead of e-mailing) — do it!
  • Exercise during your commute. It can be done, and though it will yield subtle results, any exercise is better than none at all. While sitting in your car driving, try squeezing the muscles in your buttocks or stomach, holding the contraction for 10 seconds, then repeating 10 to 15 times. If you’re at a stoplight, you can also try squeezing your triceps against the seatback, holding it for 10 seconds, then releasing.
  • Don’t just sit and watch TV, exercise and watch TV. If you’re going to watch a television program or movie, use the time to jog in place, do jumping jacks, stretch or use a treadmill or elliptical machine, if you have one.
  • Lift “weights” while you cook dinner. Take a can of food and do 12 bicep curls on each arm, or lift a bag of potatoes over your head to work your shoulders.
  • Get up earlier. OK, this one involves changing your schedule just a bit. But if you get up 30 minutes or even one hour earlier, you’ll have time to exercise.

by www.SixWise.com

Food Allergies May Trigger Asthma Attacks

Food Allergies May Trigger Asthma Attacks

Food Allergies May Trigger Asthma Attacks

Food allergies (FAs) may increase the risk for asthma attacks. The results of a study were reported in the November issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“Our study suggests that food allergies may be an important factor, and even an under-recognized trigger for severe asthma exacerbations,” lead study author Andrew H. Liu, MD, from National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, said in a news release. “People with a food allergy and asthma should closely monitor both conditions and be aware that they might be related.”

The study goals were to obtain nationally representative estimates of the prevalence of FAs and to evaluate associations of FAs with asthma, hay fever, and eczema.

As part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005-2006, 8203 participants underwent measurement of serum IgE specific for peanut, cow’s milk, egg white, and shrimp.

“This study is very comprehensive in its scope,” said senior study author Darryl Zeldin, MD, acting clinical director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). “It is the first study to use specific blood serum levels and look at food allergies across the whole life spectrum, from young children aged 1 to 5 to adults 60 and older.”

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126:798-806.
Source: Medscape Medical News

Information on related tests can be found at http://www.saveonlabs.com
The Basic Food Allergen Profile with the following allergens can help you:
Beef; chocolate; corn; egg (whole); fish/shell mix; milk (cow); peanut; pork; soybean; wheat.

Dr. Andrew Lange served as Chair of the Department of Homeopathic Medicine and Supervising Clinical Physician at Bastyr University in Seattle. He is the author of Getting to the Root: Treating the Deepest Source of Disease. He is the Medical Director at www.saveonlabs.com and practices in Boulder, Colorado. For more information go to www.andrewlange.com.

How Green is Your Home Office?

How Green is Your Home Office?

Manufacturers are embracing a trend towards the production of green products. As a result, it is now easy to move in the direction of “greening” in your home office. While sometimes choices can be far more overwhelming than “paper or plastic,” many businesses and websites are working to educate as well as sell their environmentally friendly products now.

Here are a few things to consider when making your home office greener:

  • Energy use: Turning your electronics off with a power strip and using energy-saving bulbs are two examples.
  • Green office supplies: There are plenty to choose from now.  See below for more info.
  • Recycling bins: Keep them handy and obvious so you’ll use them.
  • E-waste disposal: Nearly everything in your home office will end up in a landfill one day. How are you disposing of your materials (i.e. batteries, computers, toner cartridges, etc.)? Many communities either offer recycling of these types of items at the local transfer station. Also, specialized companies often advertise in the local paper for “drop-off days” for used electronics for a small fee.
  • Lowering your carbon footprint: Keep a list and try to purchase what you need in one trip, or order online to reduce vehicle use.

Light Green, Medium Green and Dark Green

A concept that is growing in the business and environmental worlds is the idea of easing your way into better choices for the environment. Now there is no longer just the term “green,” but “light green,” “medium green” and “dark green.” One company, Office Depot, gives an excellent example of how to view the shades of green concept: Think of a coffee cup that is 10 percent recycled material as light green; a biodegradable coffee cup as medium green; and a stainless steel travel mug as dark green. The same example plays out for any number of products, such as paper. You can buy paper that is made without chlorine, 30 percent recycled paper, or 100 percent recycled paper. Some companies even offer plastic tabs on file folders that are PVC-free. The good news is, buying green is now becoming a good way to save money as well.

Saving Money on Green Office Supplies

Supply and demand has brought down costs for green office supplies and has improved techniques for remanufacturing used products. There are companies devoted to remanufacturing ink jet and toner cartridges. Consider that it takes a half-gallon of oil to produce one toner cartridge weighing approximately 2.5 pounds. Remanufacturing keeps plastics and metals out of the landfills.

Other companies specialize in salvage and surplus. Purchasing from these types of companies saves you money and again, keeps dangerous items out of landfills.

Save Electricity in Your Home Office

  • Use rechargeable batteries: One rechargeable battery replaces 400 one-time-use batteries.
  • Make use of improved power strips: Nearly 75 percent of home and office use for electricity is used by electronics that are off (computer, TV, coffee pot, microwave etc.).  “Smart” power strips stop idle current.
  • Purchase office equipment that is energy star rated: Also, if you purchase a new printer, get one that prints double-sided. You’ll save money on ink.

Greening your home office can be a process of learning and taking small steps, but now it’s easier than ever.

by Cris Carl, Networx

Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices.  We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience. 

Ageless Beauty: How to Sculpture Your Body Inside and Out

Ageless Beauty: How to Sculpture Your Body Inside and Out

The anti-aging products market is expected to reach nearly $292 billion by 2015, a staggering amount of money that Americans keep dishing out in an effort to stay forever young. This is one market that even withstood the economic downturn. As WorldHealth.net reported:

Age is no longer a measure of how old you look, but how long you live at what quality of life.

“The market for anti-aging health, and appearance products posts sanguine growth patterns for the upcoming years, backed largely by the affluent aging baby boomers with high levels of disposable incomes.

Anti-aging products market is traditionally resilient to economic cycles, given consumers’ unchanging desire to look young and healthy, and the importance accorded to health, and well-being.”

In reality, there is no better place to spend your money than on things that may promote better health and well-being, as achieving wellness and vitality is priceless.

But there is a lot of misconception out there about what exactly will keep you full of energy and looking younger. Is it the expensive eye cream at your favorite cosmetic counter that will do it? Will youth be found in a piece of exercise equipment that helps you do hundreds of crunches a day? Or maybe plastic surgery is the route that will give you ageless beauty …

Why Real Ageless Beauty Cannot be Bought

The truth is, no amount of money can buy youth. Youth is as much a state of mind as it is a number of candles on your birthday cake, which is why one of the only ways to truly stay young at heart is to act it. Your mind can be an incredible force to keeping you young, and scientific research bears this out as well.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed data from more than 100,000 women and found those who were optimistic were:

  • 14 percent less likely to die from any cause than pessimists
  • 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease after eight years of follow-up
  • Less likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or smoke cigarettes

So it is of incredible important that you do not view “aging” as a crisis, but rather embrace it with each passing year. Being in the moment, living each day to its fullest, will keep you younger longer than any new pill or potion on the market.

As leading meditation expert Mary Maddux states:

“I think what we’ll find is that we can not only do away with some myths about aging which limit our quality of life, but also discover some of the “perks” of aging that we often ignore. There are lots of role models who have led the way for us. Did you know, for example, that:

  • Martha Graham danced professionally until she was 76
  • Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals at the age of 78
  • Georgia O’Keefe continued painting well into her 90s

Vitality in “later life” is not just for the famous. Undoubtedly everyone knows at least one person who is living a vital, fulfilling life “despite” their age. This is really the way it should be — life should become better as we age.”

So a large part of staying young will come from inside your mind … and another significant portion will come from inside your body as well …

A Healthy Lifestyle Will Keep You Young

Your lifestyle choices will go a long way toward whether you look “young” or “old” for your age, which includes several very important but easy to change or add factors for your inner-beauty that will show outwardly — and at the top of the list is your diet.

The adage “you are what you eat” is really true when it comes to staying healthy and beautiful inside and out.

A poor diet is a source of aging from the inside out. Without the proper fuel, your body does not have the nutrients it needs to function properly, let alone devote to keeping your skin firm, moist and blemish-free. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, will provide you with plenty of antioxidants that will help to protect your skin and overall health. (Leesa recommends Chews4Health, a delicious chewable antioxidant blend! www.chews4health.com/Leesa.  Chews taste like a raspberry, cranberry sweet-tart and they are great dipped in chocolate…  www.chewcolat.com! ) 

To keep your produce fresher, longer, place a MiniMate Refrigerator Unit in your fridge. We found that it keeps food fresh for three to four times longer than normal, and even helps break down pesticides and herbicides on produce. Using FDA-approved technology, the Minimate can eliminate most of the germs or mold that may be living on your foods without harming the food or leaving behind any residue.

It is an essential gadget for anyone who is trying to eat fresher and healthier to stay healthy. It also makes a perfect gift for the holidays and is one of our top recommended healthiest gifts under $40!

And, for some delicious, enzyme-rich raw food recipes to use up all those healthy fruits and veggies, try out the book “Alive in 5”: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes.

Are You a Sugar Junky?

Another basic dietary choice that will help you to not only slow down the aging process but also to potentially avoid disease is to cut back on sugar.

Researchers from the University of Jena in Germany blocked worms’ ability to process glucose (a type of sugar), which put them into a metabolic state similar to one you would have if you avoided glucose in your diet. Without glucose, something fascinating happened: the worms increased their lifespan by up to 20 percent, which is the equivalent of 15 years of human life.

It turns out that sugary foods, which are quickly broken down into glucose in your body, may be one of the major players in accelerating the aging process.

In the United States, however, the average person eats a hefty amount of sugar, which when broken down generates glucose. In fact, sugar makes up anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of most people’s daily diets! So reducing this amount significantly may help to turn back the clock.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin E …

If there were to be an “anti-aging pill,” vitamin E may very well be the closest thing to it.

Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. Most notably about E, is that it:

  • Stops the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) that are created when food is digested and also absorbed in your body from external sources such as air pollution and cigarette smoke. This helps prevent damage to cells.
  • Is involved in immune function, cell signaling, regulation of genetic expression and other metabolic processes. It helps your cells to communicate effectively.
  • Helps dilate blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation, which may reduce the risk of clot formation as well as heart attack and stroke.

Vitamin E even plays a special role in protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which is one of the leading causes of premature aging of the skin. These benefits occur both when applied topically and ingested via food or supplements. Vitamin E has even been called the “lightening rod” of your cells because UV light can hit it without causing damage to your cells.

You should always strive to get your vitamins and minerals from healthy food sources, but in the case of vitamin E this can be difficult.

To ensure you’re getting the full spectrum of vitamin E, in a form that your body will be able to absorb, supplementation with a high-quality, mixed tocopherol and separate tocotrienols is essential, and we’re extremely excited to introduce two top-notch vitamin E products from MyACGrace.com to help you do just that: UNIQUE E® Mixed Tocopherols Concentrate, which consists of the natural form of Vitamin E as obtained through the diet and used by the body, and UNIQUE E® Mixed Tocopherols softgels, which provide a full spectrum of ALL tocopherols mixed for maximum potency and vitamin E benefit.

What About Sculpting Your Body?

No discussion of anti-aging techniques would be complete without a mention of exercise, as physical activity will help you lose weight, lower your risk of stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease, build strong bones, and even keep your sex life strong.

Exercising for as little as four hours a week can actually triple the three-year survival rate of 85-year-olds – the benefits are that profound!

Exercise also tones muscles and helps promote blood flow — necessary for healthy skin and body – and will increase your confidence in your body image, no matter what your age.

Aim for an exercise program that is varied and comprehensive, bringing in components of weight training, aerobics, stretching and core work. Proper stretching is actually one of the most widely recommended methods to help you look and feel younger, live longer, avoid and even overcome serious health issues, and increase your mental concentration and emotional well-being, yet it’s often overlooked.

Fortunately, according to Jacques Gauthier, top stretching expert of the Stretching Toward a Healthier Life DVD, stretching should be easy, enjoyable, safe and effective, and better still it takes just 15 to 20 minutes of stretching a day to experience the beneficial effects.

We also absolutely recommend Shea Vaughn’s fitness program from MySheaNetics.com. For those of you who feel you don’t have time to go to a gym, take a fitness class or hire a personal trainer, you can get the same benefits, tailored to your own schedule, by working out to Shea’s 6-PACK DVD/CD workout collection today, right from your own home!

As Shea points out, “Most exercise programs are geared only to give you short-term physical improvement. But SheaNetics® understands the real goal for us all is to find total health and fulfillment that is life-lasting. This can only be achieved by creating harmony in body, mind and self. SheaNetics® gives you the practical tools and everyday desire to make beneficial changes that are ongoing.”

Spend More Time in Bed … Benefits of More Sleep and Sex

… In more ways than one. First, you need regular sleep to stay well, and this includes trying to go to sleep and wake up at similar times every day. If you skimp on sleep, it can actually mimic the aging process.

In fact, University of Chicago researchers found that sleeping for four hours a night for less than seven nights interferes with your ability to process and store carbs, and regulate hormone levels — all of which may lead to aging. One of the easiest remedies is to pop in the Sleep Easy CD … the soothing guided sleep meditations and music on this CD create a restful oasis in which to relax and fall asleep.

Regular exercise will also help to get your sleep schedule on track, just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime (as this can keep you awake).

Next, don’t underestimate the power of a good sex life. Studies have shown that men who had sex at least twice a week lived longer than those who did so less than once a month … and it can also lower your risk of cancer and heart disease while strengthening your immune system. So grab your partner and spend some quality time in bed together often.

Give Your Brain a Workout

As you work on sculpting your body, you’ll also want to pay some attention to “sculpting your brain.” You can keep your brain functioning at its highest level just by keeping it in shape, just as your muscles improve when you work them out.

“Working out” your brain is only slightly different from working out the rest of your body. If anything, it’s easier because such a wide array of activities is beneficial.

As the saying goes, “Use it or lose it.” It’s thought that some of the forgetfulness and loss of mental acuity that comes along with aging is caused, at least in part, by non-use — so keep learning and thinking, dreaming and creating.

And above all else, simply living, loving and enjoying your life — while keeping your worries to a minimum — will keep you feeling and looking young your whole life through.

by www.SixWise.com

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