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Testosterone Tweaks for Men & Women

Testosterone Tweaks for Men & Women

In the television commercials, men with salt-and-pepper hair drive speedboats and make bedroom eyes at their ladies while a narrator asks, “Do you have a decreased sex drive? Lack of energy? Moodiness? The problem may be low testosterone.”

These direct-to-consumer ads are a drug-industry triumph. Since 2000, the number of American men using supplemental testosterone products, such as AndroGel, Axiron, and Fortesta, has nearly quadrupled.

Testosterone (“T” for short) is now a $2.4 billion industry. The explosive growth is due, in part, to easier delivery options, such as gels and roll-ons, as well as treatment centers that supply injections.

But there’s more to this story. “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” warns Bradley Anawalt, MD, an endocrinologist and chief of medicine at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

He heads the Hormone Health Network, the public-education arm of the Endocrine Society, which releases clinical guidelines for testosterone therapy.

“These commercials try to convince men that there is something wrong with them,” Anawalt says. “But men need to remember that drug companies are there to make a profit.”

Recent research into the safety of testosterone therapy has yielded mixed results. One study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed no adverse effects. Other studies, however, have shown an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

The findings prompted the FDA to start investigating the safety of testosterone products. (The FDA findings are forthcoming.)

Male testosterone levels drop 1 to 2 percent annually after age 30 as part of andropause, or male menopause. But recent studies have found that the decrease is often more the result of lifestyle factors than it is the natural consequence of aging.

A common risk factor for low testosterone is being overweight. And nearly 70 percent of American men are overweight or obese.

For every one-point increase in body mass index, or BMI, it turns out, a man’s testosterone decreases by 2 percent. That’s bad because testosterone calibrates libido, bone density, muscle mass, strength, motivation, memory, and fat burning.

The good news, says fitness expert Adam Bornstein, coauthor of Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha, is that testosterone is quite sensitive to lifestyle changes, and men rarely need a prescription to boost their T levels. Using lifestyle fixes instead of supplemental T, Bornstein says, is like fixing up a broken engine versus simply putting different fuel in it.

Anawalt, who routinely sees men in his practice lose a few pounds, feel better, and increase their testosterone naturally, agrees.

“More often than not,” he says, “healthy living is the solution.”

Weight loss is a good place to start, but it’s not the only avenue to upping your testosterone. Read on to find out how to harness your body’s power to make more T.

10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR TESTOSTERONE

Boost-Testosterone

1. Lose the Visceral Fat

The science is clear: Men’s body fat drains testosterone. We’re not talking pinchable back fat or squishable love handles. We’re talking classic belly fat. In medical parlance, it’s called visceral fat. Unlike fat that lies just beneath the surface of the skin, visceral fat nestles deep in the abdomen around the organs. It’s tenacious, dangerous, and hormonally active. The more visceral fat a man has, the higher his risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, and colon cancer.

Visceral fat, which is often driven by consumption of flour, sugar, and the high-glycemic processed foods that contain them, depletes testosterone. Visceral fat makes aromatase, an enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen. “Men don’t realize their belly fat can steal their masculinity,” says John La Puma, MD, author of Refuel.

“I talk to men about how they need to lower their cholesterol and reduce their blood pressure,” he says. “But I don’t get their full attention until I tell them that if they don’t let me help them address their belly fat, their testicles will shrink, they’ll lose their erections, and their libido will disappear.”

If you’re wondering if your weight could be affecting your manhood, wrap a tape measure around your abdomen under your shirt, right at your belly button. Check the number. Ideally, your waist size is half your height. If your waist is more than 40 inches, says La Puma, “your belly could be turning you into a girl.”

2. Up Your Vitamin D

Deficient vitamin D levels often go hand in hand with low testosterone. Get 15 minutes of sun three times a week to stabilize your vitamin D. If you can’t get enough sun, many experts suggest taking at least 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) of supplemental vitamin D daily. For best results, take vitamin D3, which is more active than D2.

Remember, megadoses of vitamin D can cause toxicity, so don’t get carried away. It’s always a good idea to know your current vitamin D levels, so ask your doctor for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.

3. Eat More Zinc

Our bodies need zinc to make testosterone. Zinc also blocks the action of aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Oysters offer the highest amount of zinc per serving of any food. Just six oysters contain about 500 percent of the mineral’s recommended daily allowance (RDA). Other zinc-rich foods include lean meats and spinach.

4. Crunch on Cruciferous Vegetables

Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, watercress, and cauliflower are rich sources of glucobrassicin, which breaks down into a substance that lowers levels of visceral fat and suppresses estrogen in men.

5. Choose Healthy Fats and Proteins

Cholesterol is the building block of testosterone, and eating healthy fats, including saturated fats, helps your body make “good” cholesterol while also supporting healthy hormone balance. Give your body a dose of healthy fats and proteins by consuming moderate amounts of meats from hormone-free animals, grassfed cattle, and wild-caught fish. Nosh on healthy-fat sources such as olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut oil.

6. Consume Hot Chilies

Not only do spicy chilies and hot-chili powder help the body burn fat, they also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can cool inflammation.

Inflammation sets the stage for belly fat and insulin resistance, which precedes type 2 diabetes. Other anti-inflammatory spices include turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and oregano.

7. Do High-Intensity Interval Training

Short bursts of timed intense activity — known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT — trigger the body to make more testosterone than less-than-intense aerobic or endurance exercise, says La Puma. Spurts of activity stimulate androgen-sensitive tissue, he explains, which tells the body to make more testosterone. Strength training has also been shown to increase testosterone.

8. Get Better, Longer Sleep

Our bodies make testosterone while we sleep. In one study, men who got five hours of sleep a night had testosterone levels 10 to 15 percent lower than when they got a solid eight hours. The study, conducted by the University of Chicago, found that skimping on sleep reduced the men’s T levels by an amount equivalent to aging 10 or more years. While it can be challenging to change your sleep habits, says Natasha Turner, ND, you can “start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach your target time.”

9. Stop Using Screens at Night

Backlit computer screens use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that contain short-wavelength blue light. This light significantly suppresses the pineal gland’s release of melatonin, an essential ingredient for restful sleep, and thus, for testosterone. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are all offenders, so turn them off as close to dusk as possible.

10. Clean Up Your Personal-Care Products

Most men probably don’t give a lot of thought to the chemicals in their soap, shampoo, and deodorant, but many personal-care products are rife with chemicals that interfere with hormone balance, including testosterone.

Check the Environmental Working Group’s searchable database atwww.ewg.org/skindeep to find out whether your products are safe. The database rates personal-care products, including those specifically for men, with scores for overall hazard, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and
allergies and immunotoxicity.

LADY T

While many men experience the negative effects of too little testosterone, women tend to suffer from a surplus of the stuff.

Lady-T

Contrary to popular belief, women do make — and need — testosterone. A part of the androgen family of hormones, testosterone does many of the same things for women that it does for men: builds muscle and bone strength, aids immune function, and stokes the libido.

The difference boils down to quantity. On any average day, a woman makes about 250 micrograms of testosterone, while a man typically makes 10 to 20 times that.

Although they produce far less of it, “women’s bodies are exquisitely sensitive to testosterone, especially when it comes to emotional well-being and assertiveness,” says Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Cure. “Androgens are the biochemical underpinnings of dominance and desire.” (For more from Sara Gottfried, see “Stress Buster“.)

Unlike men, who are apt to feel the effects of low testosterone, women tend to suffer from high testosterone (though they, too, can have low testosterone levels). “Excess androgens — including testosterone — is one of the top hormonal imbalances I see in my practice,” says Gottfried.

In women, signs of too much testosterone include acne, excess pubic and facial hair, and a deepening voice. (Too little may manifest itself as a lack of confidence and libido.)

Women in menopause can have high testosterone levels, says Erin Lommen, ND, a naturopath in Portland, Ore. During menopause, especially early in the process, testosterone often remains steady while estrogen and progesterone plunge due to the stopping of ovarian production, she explains.

Young women also struggle with high testosterone. “What we’ve come to understand in the last 10 years is that younger women may be making too much testosterone in response to blood-sugar imbalances,” says Lommen.

It’s easy to forget that insulin is also a member of the hormonal milieu, and if insulin goes awry, so does everything else. During insulin resistance, the body’s cells ignore insulin’s call to mop up sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. This stimulates the ovaries to make more testosterone.

That excess insulin also makes the liver produce less sex-hormone-binding globulin, the key protein that binds testosterone and keeps it from causing trouble, says Gottfried.

Approximately 82 percent of women with excess androgens also have polycystic ovary syndrome, the No. 1 cause of infertility. “The good news is that this type of infertility is easily reversible once we get the hormones balanced,” Gottfried says.

If you struggle with high testosterone, you have more control than you think. Here are a few places to start.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. In this sense, men and women are alike: Losing excess weight is a great way to balance testosterone levels. Even a 5 percent weight reduction can normalize hormone levels for women, says Gottfried.
  • Cut flour, sugar, and all refined carbs. One study showed that women can reduce androgenic hormones (including testosterone) by up to 20 percent by eating a diet low in refined carbs and rich in low-glycemic foods, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and phytoestrogens. Cut sugar, too: “Sugar is a big factor in excess androgens,” Gottfried says.
  • Add fiber. If testosterone hangs around too long in the gut, the body picks it back up and returns it into circulation, which adds to overall levels. The solution? Eat more fiber. Testosterone clings to fiber like cat hair on a sweater: The more fiber you eat, the more testosterone you excrete.
  • Avoid dairy. All dairy is laden with hormones. Even milk from the happiest, most chemical-free cows on the planet is hormone-rich because lactating cows are producing milk for their calves to help them grow. These natural bovine hormones are capable of disrupting our bodies’ natural balance.

Another strike against dairy is that milk and cheese can drive up inflammation, which leads to higher androgens, says Gottfried. She suggests cutting out dairy for six weeks to see if symptoms related to high testosterone improve.

Leesa recommends all your food choices be organic!

By Katharine Guthrie, ExperienceLife.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Experience Life is the best whole-life health and fitness magazine you’ve never heard of — until now!  We aim to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenge the conventions of hype, gimmicks, and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit ExperienceLife.com to explore 10-plus years of archives, to sign up for our newsletters, and to subscribe to our print or digital editions. Promoted Content

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

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11 Natural Treatments For Depression

11 Natural Treatments For Depression

That said, clinical depression sucks, and if you’re someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. I’m in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctor’s advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless you’re suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it’s worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1.  Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2.  Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. Runner’s high, anyone?

3.  Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4.  Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

  • Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil
  • Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5.  Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg).

6.  Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

7.  Try mood-enhancing supplements: (DISCLAIMER: Although you can get these supplements over the counter, I always recommend doing this under the care of a physician, since supplements can have side effects and risks and can interact with other medications.)

  • 5-HTP 50-300 mg up to three times/day — start at 50mg in the morning. Converts directly into serotonin. If you are taking too much, you will feel sleepy or have runny stools. Also usually helps with anxiety, although sometimes it can paradoxically cause anxiety. Must use with great caution if you’re taking an anti-depressant.
  • St. John’s Wort 300mg three times/day. If you don’t feel better within a week, slowly increase your dose to a max of 600mg three times/day. May decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • SAMe 200mg on an empty stomach twice/day. Increase your dose every two weeks to a maximum dose of 600mg twice daily. This can be a very effective antidepressant, but it can also be expensive. Side effects at higher doses include GI upset, nausea, agitation, and insomnia.
  • L-Theanine 100-600mg daily. Reduce if you feel sleepy. Found in green tea.
  • Fish oil (DHA/EPA) 1-3 g/day with food.

8. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditation’s effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Get your hormones balanced. If your thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones are out of whack, your mood can get all wonky. See a good integrative medicine doctor and ask them to order and interpret the following tests:

  • Thyroid gland tests – TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, thyroid antibodies
  • Adrenal gland tests – cortisol, DHEA-S, pregnenolone
  • Sex hormone tests – estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone

10. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something we’re not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church — and then we wonder why we wind up depressed. Practice letting your authentic freak flag fly and watch how your mood lifts.

11. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.

If all else fails and you need anti-depressants, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But don’t forget to nurture the rest of you too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole health — not just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether you’re letting your Inner Pilot Light (aka authentic self) shine.

Unsure whether you’re really depressed or just in need of a vitality boost? Read this!

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.comand also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter. 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

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link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

        

 

 

 

 

 

8 Great Benefits of Onions

8 Great Benefits of Onions

A quick glimpse at their incredible health benefits:

  • The phytochemicals in onions improve the working of Vitamin C in the body, thus gifting you with improved immunity.
  • Onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar.
  • For centuries, onions have been used to reduce inflammation and heal infections.
  • Do you enjoy sliced onions with your food? If yes, rejoice! Raw onion encourages the production of good cholesterol (HDL), thus keeping your heart healthy.
  • A powerful compound called quercetin in onions is known to play a significant role in preventing cancer.
  • Got bitten by a honeybee? Apply onion juice on the area for immediate relief from the pain and burning sensation.
  • Onions scavenge free radicals, thereby reducing your risk of developing gastric ulcers.
  • Those bright green tops of green onions are rich in Vitamin A, so do use them often.

My favorite way to enjoy onions is to slice them really thin, squeeze some lemon juice on top and add a little salt. Sprinkling a few freshly washed cilantro leaves adds fragrance and flavor to this simple, quick salad, without which no dinner of mine is complete.

Leesa recommends eating only organic onions!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

The Top 5 Fat-Burning Spices

Top 5 Fat-Burning Spices

Losing weight can be a lot easier if you spice up your food.  Add these top five fat-burning spices to your diet to ramp up weight loss:

1. Garlic and 2. Onions;  These yummy foods contain phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body while also breaking down cholesterol; kill viruses, bacteria and fungi; and protect against heart disease.

3. Turmeric:  this popular spice, used primarily in Indian cooking, is the highest known source of beta-carotene, the antioxidant that helps protect your liver from free radical damage.  Turmeric also helps your liver heal while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells.  Turmeric has the added advantage of being shown in study after study to protect the brain against damage, including diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

4. Cinnamon:  Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that one-quarter teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to 20 times better than without cinnamon.  Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage.  Because cinnamon balances blood sugar levels it has the added advantage of stabilizing mood and energy levels.

5. ChilesAdd some heat to your food to fire up your metabolism. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chile peppers, significantly improves fat burning.  Additionally, chiles help boost energy levels as well.

It’s easy to benefit from the fat-burning ability of spices.  Simply start adding more fresh garlic and onions to your vegetable dishes, soups, stir-fries, stews, and curries.  Turmeric is excellent in curry dishes.  Cinnamon is not only good with sweet foods, it is also excellent in savory dishes and can be added to Asian-inspired foods like curries, stir-fries, and stews.  Chiles can be added to almost anything for a blast of heat.

Leesa recommends all your spices, onions, and chiles be organic!

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

consult/coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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What You Eat Before You’re Even Pregnant Can Affect Your Baby, Says New Study

What You Eat Before You’re Even Pregnant Can Affect Your Baby, Says New Study

 

We’ve all heard how important it is to eat well during pregnancy. Growing a baby is hard and risky work, and the better a mother eats, the healthier her child will be. But have you ever thought about the importance of maternal diet right at the time of conception? A study published last week in Nature Communications shows that the state of maternal nutrition during the periconceptual period (the period of time from before conception to early pregnancy) can alter fetal DNA.
The researchers analyzed the diets of 167 women in rural Gambia, a West African nation where nutritional intake varies greatly according to the season. Half of the women conceived during the dry season, which is known as “the harvest season,” and the other half conceived during the rainy season, or “the hungry season.” According to study author Robert Waterland, “During the rainy season, villagers have a lot more farming labour to do, and they gradually run out of food collected from the previous harvest.” The researchers also analyzed the DNA of six specific genes in the infants once they were between 2 and 8 months old.
Babies conceived during the rainy season, a time of year when women in Gambia eat more leafy greens that are high in folate, showed consistently higher rates of DNA methylation, which was contrary to the researchers’ initial hypothesis. When DNA methylation occurs, gene regions are tagged by chemical compounds called methyl groups which results in the gene not being expressed, but rather ‘silenced.’ Methylation requires the presence of key nutrients such as folate, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, choline, and methionine.
DNA methylation is an example of an ‘epigenetic’ modification, which is an external modification to DNA that turns genes on and off. These modifications don’t change the DNA sequence, but determine how cells read genes. For example, the colour of a mouse’s coat is determined by its mother’s diet, which is an external environmental, and therefore epigenetic, change that affects offspring.
The study’s senior author Dr. Branwen Heddig said, “Our results represent the first demonstration in humans that a mother’s nutritional well-being at the time of conception can change how her child’s genes will be interpreted, with a lifelong impact.”
What does this mean for pregnant women? It’s more important than ever to eat well and be healthy if you’re considering getting pregnant. The researchers hope this will lead to further study and the development of an optimal diet for mothers-to-be that would prevent defects in the methylation process and the eventual possibility of disease.
Are you or someone you know preparing to start a family and want a healthy mommy and healthy baby? Contact Leesa Wheeler, Healthy Lifestyle Coach with HealthyHighway with  for your consultation today!
By Katherine Martinko
Photo credit: Thinkstock

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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Your Cravings: Decoded

Your Cravings: Decoded

What do you crave?  The saltiness of potato chips, the cool creaminess of ice cream, or the rich flavor of chocolate?  Whatever you’re longing for, it may be your body’s way of letting you know you’re missing valuable nutrients.  Here’s how to decode your cravings.

All CravingsMost cravings are actually misinterpretations from our bodies that we are dehydrated.  By drinking a tall glass of water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate the craving altogether. By some estimations, 80 percent of people are chronically dehydrated. So, before you reach for food to nix your cravings, quench them with some water. Then wait half an hour. More often than not, they’ll be gone.

Sweets—If you crave sweets of almost any kind you may be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. Giving in to pie, candy, cake, or other goodies only makes the problem worse by causing blood sugar roller coasters that lead to more crav­ings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. And, regularly choose more high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains keep your blood sugar stable.

Salty Foods—Cravings for salty foods like potato chips or popcorn often means chronic stress may be taking a toll on your adrenal glands—two triangular-shaped glands that sit atop the kidneys and give us energy and help us to cope with stress of all kinds. Getting on top of the stress in your life is essential. Try medita­tion, breathing exercises, or other stress management techniques. Research at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City showed that people who take a break to breathe deeply or meditate before reach­ing for salty snacks reduced their stress hormones by 25 percent and cut the binging in half.

Chocolate—Cravings for chocolate often indicate that your body may be deficient in magnesium.  Many nutritionists estimate that more than 80% of the population is lacking magnesium in their diet, which may explain why so many of us reach for chocolate. While chocolate can contain beneficial antioxidants, they usually come alongside plentiful amounts of sugar.  If you eat chocolate be sure to reach for dark chocolate which is usually lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants. Additionally, eat foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens.

Red Meat—Not surprisingly, cravings for red meat usually indicate an iron deficiency. Often people crave burgers or steaks. Women of menstruation age are especially vulnerable to iron deficiencies. Eat more iron-rich beans and legumes, unsulphured prunes, figs, and other dried fruits.

Cheese—Cravings for cheese or pizza often indicate a fatty acid de­ficiency, which is common in most people, since few people get enough Omega 3 fatty acids. Reach for raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax oil, and add ground flaxseeds to your diet.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

 

Leesa A. Wheeler

 

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

 

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Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay

Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay
Walnuts are a wonder nut, that offer almost too many health benefits to count. Here is a quick list: Walnuts are a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds work together to help you sleep better, reduce hair loss, prevent diabetes, improve complexion and  lower your risk of certain cancers. But did you know: walnuts are an excellent anxiety-reducing food, too. A first-of-its-kind Penn State University study found that walnuts and walnut oil can reduce blood pressure during periods of stress.  In this study, 22 adults with elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol were put on three different diets for six weeks each. At the end of the study, the three groups were put under mildly stressful situations such as making a speech and dipping a foot in a bucket of ice-cold water. Their blood pressure was measured both before these activities and soon after. Here is what researchers found: The group that was given 9 walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil as part of their diet had much lower levels of both resting blood pressure and stress-induced blood pressure.
According to statistics provided by the American Psychological Association, more than 77% of Americans admit to regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress. Since stressful situations cannot be avoided altogether, eating a handful of delicious walnuts and including walnut oil in your daily diet seems like a comforting idea.
By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life! Live Well! Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

A

basked filled with luscious blue or dark red fruit and vegetables does much more than look good in still life paintings or on your kitchen counter. It contains a wealth of incredible health benefits.

The top benefactor in purple foods is their antioxidant content. The powerful health benefits of antioxidants are only too well known: they neutralize the agents of aging and disease, and keep you looking younger longer. Now consider this: According to the USDA , potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes.  Remember: The darker the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it has.


Prunes, purple cabbage, eggplant, blackberries, black currants, purple onions, concord grapes: all of these have a natural purple pigment that contains flavonoids, including reservatrol, which keeps blood pressure in control and boosts immunity from certain cancers. The skin of a black grape, for example, has this pigment, called anthocyanin. In cranberries, the purple pigment is seen to benefit those suffering from infections of the urinary tract.

There is evidence that purple foods improve heart healthvision, and brain power. Recent studies found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.

So, with so many wonderful reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables of the purple family, get more of them into your daily diet. And don’t stop at eggplant and berries. Exciting purple varieties of corn, asparagus, figs, potatoes and such are yours for the tasting and enjoying!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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as-seen-on

7 Superfoods to Help You Feel Like Spring is Here

7 Superfoods to Help You Feel Like Spring is Here

Snow and cold winds have still been blowing on the east  coast. Wintry weather regardless, it feels like it is time to start  working in the garden and to think ahead to a crisp salad.

March was the first month among the ancient Romans and appropriately so, as  it is the time of year when the world seems to be “waking up” after winter. In  honor of a time of new growth and new beginnings, here are seven spring  superfoods that can help you celebrate with a good blast of nutrients on your  plate.

1) Artichokes

I’ve always thought of artichokes as signs of spring. Growing up in northern  California, we’d eat them as the season started. My favorite part was the  artichoke heart, which you only discovered after working your way through the  leaves and past the prickles.

There are real benefits to eating them as artichokes contain some unusual compounds including cynarin, which stimulates  the taste bud receptors; inulin, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of  good-for-the-gut bacteria and antioxidants (more than any other fresh food, says  the USDA), plus fiber, vitamin C and more.

2) Asparagus

For all that you can get asparagus year-round, the green stalks (endowed with vitamins A and K, B vitamins, protein and  folate) are the greenest, tenderest and tastiest now. Asparagus is high in  fiber and can help to cleanse your system (it’s been suggested as a hangover  remedy).

Asparagus is actually from the lily family and has more uses than adding  color and nutrients to your meals. African species of asparagus are grown  as ornamental plants. Asparagus is also cultivated in underground in parts  of France to prevent the development of chlorophyll.

3) Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Another green vegetable that you can get year-round (grown in California) but  that’s best in spring is lettuce. Get yours grown locally and organically  and you’ll know it may not have any pesticides or chemicals, such as  perchlorate, which is found in rocket fuel. In previous years, perchlorate was discovered in the Colorado River, which provides water for California’s  crops.

The dark green varieties of lettuce (such as romaine) as well as other dark  leafy greens, like collard greens and kale, are rich in B vitamins. Arugula is a  sort of “multivitamin” all on its own as it  contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, fiber and calcium.

4) Scallions

A mainstay of the simple Cantonese stir-fries I sometimes make , scallions or green  onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which helps to lower  blood pressure and can help allergy sufferers as they act like a histamine.   Scallions also contain vitamins A, C and K, as well as B-complex vitamins.  But take note: if you use them raw as garnish or in a salad, make sure you wash them carefully to remove any dirt — less-than-clean scallions have been linked to outbreaks of hepatitis A.

5) Spinach

This leafy green has been called the “first superfood.” It gives you a full share of vitamin C,  folate, lutein, omega 3 fatty acids and zeaxanthin, a phytochemical that can help age-related  macular degeneration. Even more (no wonder it was the food that gave superhuman  strength to Popeye), spinach contains anti-inflammatory and  anti-cancer agents and can help to strengthen your bones.

Forget about those bricks of frozen spinach in the freezer case. Spring is  the optimum time to eat spinach as, says OrganicGardening.com, warm days and “cold, nearly frosty  nights” draw out its natural sugars best.

6) Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is usually treated as a fruit; it belongs to the  same family as sorrel and buckwheat. Sour, fibrous and containing few calories,  the stems (the only edible part of the plant — the leaves are toxic) must be  cooked to be eaten in pies, jam and chutneys. It is used as a diuretic and laxative and also contains potassium  and vitamin C. One study suggests that chemicals extracted from rhubarb  called polyphenols could point the way to new drug treatments for leukemia and  other cancers.

7) Radishes

Another bright red spring superfood, radishes, can provide you with a good  wallop of your daily vitamin C requirement; you’ll get even more if you eat the  leaves. As radishes have a high water and fiber content, they can add bulk and crunch  to your meals with fewer calories. Even more beneficial is combining radishes with broccoli as their cancer-fighting  compounds are enhanced by myrosinase, an enzyme in radishes.

Wishing you a very nutritious, and colorful, start to the spring!

By Kristina Chew

Photo from Thinkstock

(Leesa recommends choosing Organic Produce!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

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18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013

18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013

 

Let’s face it:  most of us start out the New Year with the best  intentions, but soon we are back to our old habits.  Here are 18 ways to  help you get your health on track in 2013:

1. Eat a large green salad.  Greens are full of vitamins, minerals,  enzymes, and phytonutrients like chlorophyll that give our body a huge  boost.  Chlorophyll, in particular, helps build healthy and strong  blood.

2. Drink more water.  Water fuels every cell in our body.   Insufficient water spells the breakdown of cellular process that can eventually  cause illness.

3. Eat two or three pieces or servings of fruit (count ½ cup of fruit like  grapes, blueberries, cherries, etc. as a serving) daily.  It’s easy enough  to choose fruit instead of a less-healthy dessert.

4. Go for a brisk walk.  Walking gets your heart pumping, improves  circulation, and gets your lymphatic system (the system that eliminates toxic  build-up from your tissues) working more effectively.

5. Better yet, take your brisk walk in nature.  Breath in the rich  oxygenated air from the trees and enjoy the peace and quiet nature offers.

6. Drink a freshly made juice preferably with green veggies.  Ideally,  dilute your juice 1:1 with pure water.  Fresh juices are an easy way to  cleanse your body and give it a huge amount of nutrients.  Some people  spend a fortune on superfoods (which is fine if you have the money) but fresh  juices also tend to be rich in antioxidants and other critical nutrients and are  much cheaper.

7. Think of at least 10 things for which you are grateful each day.   Better yet, start a gratitude journal.  Just the act of appreciating what  you have can help you feel happier and better about your life.

8. Hug someone you love (make sure it is someone who actually wants a  hug).

9. Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.  The magnesium in Epsom salts  is readily absorbed through your skin to relax your muscles and ease  tension.  Many experts estimate that about 80% of the population is  magnesium deficient.  This is a delightful way to boost your magnesium  levels.  Try to stay in the water for at least 20 minutes for maximum  benefits.

10.  Meditate.  The act of calming your mind can relax the nervous  system, which tends to be in stress mode due to our high-stress, fast-paced  lives.

11.  Deep breathe for at least 5 minutes, as often as you can.   Research shows that breathing deeply can reduce the amount of the stress hormone  cortisol that is released from the adrenal glands.  Simply reducing this  hormone can reduce anxiety, stress, and even help with weight loss.

12.  Dry skin brush.  Brush your skin using a natural-bristled  brush.  Start with the legs and brush upwards toward the heart.  Then  brush the trunk of the body also toward the heart (avoiding the breasts), and  then brush the arms toward the heart.  This gets the lymphatic system  moving to eliminate toxins more effectively.  Take a couple of minutes  before hopping in the shower.

13.  Snack between meals on healthy snacks like almonds, veggie crudite,  hummus and whole grain pitas.  Snacking every few hours helps keep blood  sugar levels stable, which is critical to reduce mood swings, depression,  balance energy and to lose weight.

14.  Stop and smell the flowers.  It’s okay to slow down to a pace  that you actually enjoy life more.

15.  Eliminate at least one item from your life that contains toxic  chemicals (dryer sheets, most types of commercial laundry soap, dish soap, “air  fresheners,” etc.).  Choose a natural option from your health food store  instead.

16.  Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables.  We know we should eat  our vegetables but it’s difficult to remember sometimes.  Add mashed sweet  potatoes as a side dish, or saute some greens with freshly chopped garlic and  toss with a little fresh lemon juice and sea salt.  Even people who don’t  like greens tend to love this way of preparing them.  Check out my book Healing Recipes if you need more ideas for creating  delicious vegetable dishes.

17.  Dust off that piece of exercise equipment you’ve owned for years  and put it in front of your television.  If you’re watching TV, exercise on  the commercials.  No equipment?  Do pushups, sit-ups, crunches, or  other exercises on the commercials.  It’s easy and it adds up.  Soon,  you’ll be surprised how fit you are.

18.  Do something nice for someone.  It just feels good to do  something nice for someone else.  Usually we reap the greatest benefits out  of paying good deeds forward.  A positive attitude is contagious.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/18-ways-to-boost-your-health-in-2013.html#ixzz2IYiSOvF4

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