Category Archives: Health

All Things Constipation And How To Fix It

Let’s face it, sometimes things don’t go as planned and we aren’t satisfied with our bowel movement… This can be embarrassing to talk about or admit, so let’s just hash it out here in the privacy of your own computer! Take a look below to see the causes of constipation and how you can solve it:

Reasons for constipation

Constipation has many causes, some of which are:

  • Change in diet, water intake, or not enough fiber/roughage
  • Sedentary lifestyle or lack of daily movement that slows your metabolic processes
  • High levels of stress, emotional trauma, or suppression
  • Disorders or malfunction of the colon, rectum, anal sphincter, central or peripheral nervous system
  • Neglecting the urge to go out of habit
  • A body low in iron does’t have enough energy and does not eliminate well;
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy (and 3 months after birth)
  • Menstruation can cause digestive disturbance during different hormonal phases (luteal, follicular)
  • Certain medications like antidepressants, antihypertensives, analgesics, antipsychotics, and iron supplements. (I recommend iron diglycinate, a form of iron that is less likely to constipate)
  • Other: the presence of a virus, appendicitis, food poisoning, organic, or systemic disease

Tips for relieving constipation

  • Eat fiber with every meal
  • Drink about 1.5 litres of purified, room-temperature water daily
  • Add herbs and spices to your dishes. Certain herbs and spices nourish the organs of digestion and elimination, such as the liver, kidneys, stomach, and spleen. My favorites are cayenne, liquorice, coriander, fennel, ginger, and turmeric
  • Drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with water upon rising. ACV improves the production of stomach acid, which means a more effective breakdown and absorption of foods and better elimination of waste
  • Eat healthy fats. Good sources are coconut, olive, and macadamia oil; avocado; oily fish (sardines, mackerel, herring); butter; nuts; and seeds
  • Avoid excessive protein. Aim for a palm-sized portion per meal
  • Take magnesium bisglycinate. Magnesium is a muscle (intestinal-wall muscles included) and nervous-system relaxant
  • Do some daily breathwork. Without breath, there is tension, blockage, and resistance
  • Move the body. Movement improves metabolism, stimulates intestinal contractions, and tones the muscles in the core that help create healthy bowel movements
  • Squat. Squatting or using a squat platform allows for a more natural angle and pressure. It un-kinks the colon and allows for an easier passage for poop to leave

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Protein Packed Snacks To Help You Power Through Your Day

Unfortunately, snacking has a bad rep, but there ARE healthy ways to do it! Usually, when 3 o’clock rolls around that sleepy lazy feeling comes lingering around and you get that urge for another cup of coffee, but there is a healthier way to give yourself a boost. Capture these snack ideas below and put them to the test this week:

Single-serve cottage cheese

Protein: 20 grams per 5-ounce serving
Think
Greek yogurt is the be-all-end-all for high-protein dairy snacks? Think again: A single-serving container of nonfat cottage cheese boasts 3 grams more protein than a typical serving of Greek yogurt and is just 110 calories. Plus, it gives you 125 milligrams of bone-building calcium. (Keep in mind, though, it runs high in sodium, supplying 20 to 30% of your daily quota.) 

Hardboiled egg

Protein: 6 grams per egg
Eggs used to be considered a nutritional no-no due to their high cholesterol content. Today, though, most nutritionists agree that they’re a powerhouse breakfast or snack when enjoyed in moderation. In addition to protein, the humble egg gives you a hearty dose of vitamin D and vitamin B-12 for just 77 calories apiece. Best part: they’re easy to take on the run—just remember to peel them before you go to make eating them on your commute a snap. Even better: some convenience and grocery stores sell hardboiled eggs in packages of two, so they’re a snap to snatch up when traveling.

Peanut butter pack

Protein: 8 grams per 1.15-ounce
You probably wouldn’t throw a jar of peanut butter into your handbag, but for convenience and natural portion control, you can carry individual squeeze packs of nut butters, like those from Justin’s, alongside your wallet and mobile phone. A single-serving portion of Justin’s peanut butter contains 190 calories and is made with just peanuts and palm fruit oil—no added sugars here. Smear on a banana to up the antioxidants and fiber, suggests Oppenheimer.

Mini cheeses or string cheese

Protein: 6 to 8 grams per serving
Personal packages of cheese likeMini Babybel wheels or Sargento sticks are great because they’re individually wrapped for easy toss-in-your-purse portability—and they won’t get squished, either. If you’re trying to lose weight, choose one that says “part-skim” on the label, advises New York City registered dietitian Martha McKittrick. “You can still get some satiating fat but will save calories,” she says.

Single-serve oatmeal packets or cups

Protein: About 4 grams per packet or cup
Just add hot water, stir, and you’ve got a warm bowl of protein- and fiber-packed oats in minutes for 150 to 200 calories per serving (depending on which flavor you choose). Quaker, Dr. McDougall’s,N’Joy, and other companies sell single-serving cups of oatmeal, but you could also simply carry a packet with you—you can ask for a cup at any fast-food place or coffee shop. For times you need a little something extra to fill you up, slice a banana into your oats or toss in a few almonds.


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4 Vegetarian Ways To Get Your Iron

Sorry, meatheads, this one isn’t for you… If you love your veggies but are struggling to get the amount of iron you need daily, take a look at the list below to capture some ideas. These foods are rich in iron and can easily kick meat’s butt to the curb:

1)Spinach (iron) + red bell peppers (C)

There are plenty of ways to pair these two. Raw, minced peppers in a spinach salad works, as does spinach cooked into a stuffed bell pepper. Or try sliced peppers sautéed with spinach. I love this combo with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

2)Broccoli (iron) + tomatoes (C)

Toss steamed broccoli florets in sundried tomato pesto. Or to put together dinner in minutes, sauté broccoli and tomatoes with onions, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, and Italian herb seasoning. Complete the meal with a lean protein (like chicken breast, salmon, or white beans) and a small serving of a healthy carb (such as quinoa or brown rice pasta). To get an iron boost at breakfast, add broccoli and tomatoes to an omelet or frittata.

3)Black beans (iron) + cabbage (C)

One of my favorite ways to combine these two is in black bean tacos, each topped with a generous portion of vinegar-based slaw. Black bean-stuffed cabbage rolls are another great option. Or simply add whole, chilled black beans to a slaw.

4)Dark chocolate (iron) with strawberries (C)

If you didn’t know that dark chocolate is a good source of iron, I’m thrilled to deliver the good news. Melt and drizzle it over whole strawberries. Or add chopped dark chocolate and sliced strawberries to your morning oatmeal, whip them together in a smoothie, or fold them into protein-packed Greek yogurt. For a fun and healthy dessert, try frozen pops—pour almond milk, chopped dark chocolate, and minced strawberries into molds, along with seasonings like fresh grated ginger, chopped mint, or ground cinnamon.


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5 Things To Change In Your Kitchen To Help You Loose Weight

Your environment is key to making the change you wish to see, and when it comes to loosing weight, your kitchen is your main environment to focus on. Considering the kitchen has a major influence on what meals you prep, how you prep them and possibly the amount you consume, take notes from the following on how to arrange your kitchen for the perfect environment for loosing weight:

1)Clear your countertops

Easily visible food provides a constant reminder of its availability, and is therefore likely to be eaten first. So make sure snack foods don’t have a prominent place.

“The last thing you want is a clear cookie jar on the counter.”

2)Get a fruit bowl

That isn’t to say nothing should be on your countertops.

“We know that if the food — the fresh fruit — is out and visible on the counter…that’s an area we know can actually work well,” Story said.

Schwartz said it’s important to make sure the visible fruits and vegetables are ones that require little prep, such as apples, oranges, bananas and grapes, as opposed to pineapples and mangoes.

3)Get some clear containers

A basic principle of snacking is to follow the school lunch program recommendations, which limit calorie-dense foods such as complex starches, fats and proteins but make fruits and vegetables “completely available in whatever quantity people want,” Schwartz said.

Some fruits and vegetables need advance prep and cutting, but once they go into the refrigerator, they should be in clear containers, to remind you of what to grab when you’re hungry between meals.

4)Store meals in single-serving containers

When putting away leftovers, it’s best to put them away in meal-size portions, whether for future lunches or dinners.

At times, calorie-dense dinner leftovers might make for a more appealing snack than baby carrots, but you may be less likely to dig in if you know it will leave you hungry at lunch the next day.

Choosing freezer-safe containers will give you even more storage options.

5)Use your freezer

If you don’t have a definite plan for your leftovers, don’t simply toss them in the refrigerator, Schwartz said.

“[I’m] a big fan of the freezer,” she said, because it allows you to put away food for future use rather than snacking down on leftover chicken or lasagna instead of eating an apple.

It also allows for better meal planning.

“If you have the little single-serving containers and you put them in…you only defrost as much as you’re going to need,” Schwartz said.


Guaranteed Allergy Remedies To Give A Shot This Spring

With allergy season in full swing, if you’re anything like me you are attempting desperate measures to be able to breath clearly! Sure, there are a lot of options out there that claim to rid the sniffles, but take a look at these three certain ways to steer clear of allergies this season:

1)Keep your windows closed and blast the AC

If you can’t stop sneezing, one of the most basic things you can do it to put a barrier between yourself and the enemy outdoors. During spring, summer or fall, Dutta and her colleagues at Mass General recommend patients avoid the pollen that’s in the air by keeping the house and car windows closed and running an air conditioner, she said.

Dr. Myngoc Nguyen, chief of allergy at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in northern California, echoed this advice: “Using an air conditioner in your car cancut the amount of pollen you breathe by as much as 30 percent,” she toldHealth.com.

2)Try a sinus rinse

Another technique is to use a neti pot, a teapot-shaped vessel that’s available over the counter and basically flushes out your sinuses with a saltwater mixture.

“The nose is like a car filter or home air filter that traps debris. Rinsing the nose with saline solution is similar to using saline eye drops to rinse out pollen,” said Dr. Steven Osborne, a medical officer in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“A lot of patients use the sinus rinse on a regular basis, once or twice a day, as part of their routine,” Dutta said.

Safety should be a top concern. If you decide to go the nasal irrigation route, it’s important to use distilled or sterilized bottled water for the rinse, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tap water is okay to use if it’s been boiled for a few minutes, then cooled to a lukewarm temperature. If neti pots aren’t used and cleaned properly,tap water bacteria can cause potentially serious infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As always, you should talk to your doctor before starting any sort of health regimen.

3)Change your clothes

If you’ve been outside during allergy season, it’s a good idea to take off your shoes and change your clothes when you move indoors, which limits your exposure to pollen and stops the spread of pollen in your home.

Pollen can ride inside on pet fur, too, so it’s a good idea to keep dogs and cats as clean as possible. “These are all small things that can add up,” Dutta said.


Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/natural-allergy-remedies-honey_us_5717e3e6e4b0c9244a7abb32?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Exercising This Muscle Will Prevent Further Injuries and Back Pain

Even if you are in excellent athletic shape and practice cardio every single day, you are still subject to that mysterious back pain, knee injuries, muscle tightness and dysfunctional hip movement… This exercise called , the glute bridge, will eliminate all of those dysfunctions and discomforts once you strengthen and continue to nurture the muscle. Read below to see how:

 

Level 1: Traditional Glute Bridge

Start on your back, with your feet on the floor close to your hips, with your arms at your side. Smoothly lift your hips so that your body is in a straight line from knees to chest. Pause at the top, squeezing your glutes. Then, lower slowly back to the floor. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions every day for two weeks or until you can perform 15 repetitions while meeting the checkpoints.

Level 2: One-Leg Glute Bridge

Start on your back, as if you were going to perform a Traditional Glute Bridge. Before you lift your hips, however, point one foot straight into the air. Keeping that leg elevated, perform a glute bridge while keeping your hips level. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side every other day for two weeks or until you can smoothly perform 15 repetitions while meeting the checkpoints.

Level 3: Glute Bridge on Box

From a Traditional Glute Bridge position, put your feet up on a very secure “box,” which could be a sturdy box, a coffee table, or a chair (perhaps pushing the object against a wall so that it definitely will not move). Then, lift your hips so that your body is a straight line from knees to chest. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions every other day for two weeks or until you can perform 15 repetitions while meeting the checkpoints.

Level 4: One-Leg Glute Bridge on Box

Instead of keeping both feet on the box, keep one foot straight up in the air so that you are only performing the movement with one leg. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side. Perform this modification three times per week for two weeks or until you can easily perform 15 repetitions while meeting the checkpoints.

Level 5: Hip Thrusts With Deficit

Find another stable box, short table, or chair in addition to the one that you are already using. If you need to, brace both boxes against walls or other sturdy surface, so that no sliding occurs.

Place your shoulders on one box and your feet on the other box. This will create a deficit, meaning that your hips will be able to drop below your shoulders. From this position, allow your hips to slowly move all the way to the floor, and then back up into a full bridge position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions three times per week for two weeks or until you can perform 15 repetitions smoothly while meeting the checkpoints.

Level 6: Single-Leg Hip Thrusts With Deficit

This ultimate variation of the glute bridge requires extreme strength and control, so be sure that you are meeting the checkpoints for the other progressions before adding this move into your routine!

Again, place your shoulders on one box, and place your feet on another box. Then, lift one foot into the air and allow your hips to gently touch down to the floor. Keeping that foot and leg elevated, push your hips back up through the deficit space and into a full One-Leg Glute Bridge. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.


Original Source:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24611/the-one-muscle-everyone-should-train-every-day-and-how-to-do-it.html

The Simple Breathing Technique For Satisfying Sleep

Have you ever laid in bed, tossing and turning, only getting frustrated by your inability to fall asleep? When you go to bed with a full day on your mind and every little thing you forgot to do suddenly comes to mind, do this breathing technique to ease your stress levels, relax your mind and body and put you on the fast track to a good nights sleep: