Do you suffer from any kind of breathing problem or asthma,COPD..every year the figure of people suffering from this type of illness, allergy and general discomfort escalates and it is thought that by 2025, there will be more than 100 million people throughout the world suffering from this type of problem. So, why is it […]
By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH
In my last post, I introduced one of the fundamental elements of effective diabetes management, which consists of knowing and understanding important health indicators— such as your A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Now I will discuss another important skill that will play a large role in determining whether your condition worsens or gets better in the future—and that is meal planning.
For those who do not have diabetes, or have been told that they have pre-diabetes, you will find that this method is so simple and practical that you can easily incorporate it into your life to help you eat in a more balanced way. So let’s get started!
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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! And for the week Dizzy has been considering ways in which we can help to look after ourselves. 🙂
Dizzy’s found out that mental health affects a large amount of the population, with 1 in 4 people suffering from mental health problems every year. But when living with a chronic illness, such as MS, these statistics go even higher. It is estimated that 50% of people with MS will experience depression at some point during their lives. Mental health issues for people with MS can be due to a number of reasons:
- The emotional impact of living with a chronic illness
- Damage caused by MS
Living with a mental illness can be really hard (me and Dizzy have it in the form of anxiety)! But there are things that can help, even if it’s just in a small way. 🙂 Dizzy has put together this little list…
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The first two things that the majority of people think about when they want to lose weight is diet and exercise. Most of them fail to realize that discipline is even more important that diet and exercise.
Discipline will ensure that you eat foods that are right. Discipline will keep you on a caloric deficit even if your stomach is growling and demanding food at night. Discipline will prevent you from skipping workouts and make you give your best when you do train.
Weight loss is a mental game and not a physical one. It’s all about staying on track and finishing what you started. It’s a slow process. Make no mistake about this.
You could be obese and struggling or you could be lean and trying to shed the last bit of stubborn fat to see your six pack. Whatever the case may be, burning fat takes time. That’s why it’s called a weight loss journey.
You must have discipline to stay focused and go through the motions even though it seems to be taking a long time. Most often, it’s the time that it takes to see results that is the biggest hurdle to get over. It’s the one obstacle that trips up most people who want results overnight.
They fail to realize that it’s a slow process but quitting will not speed it up. If you don’t want to start over in future, don’t stop now. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
When creating a diet plan for yourself, keep it sensible so that it’s challenging but not torturous. You MUST have a diet plan to follow. Don’t try to wing it. When you have a plan, all you need to do is follow it. Like a horse with blinkers on, you’ll keep moving forward without being distracted.
The same applies to your training regimen. Plan your workouts at least 2 or 3 weeks ahead and train when you’re supposed to. Do not skip workouts just because you’re not in a mood to train. Just give yourself 10 minutes and get started. Most often, once you start, you’ll take the workout to completion even if it’s 30 minutes long.
If you lack the discipline and give in to temptation, you’ll end up skipping today’s workout. Once that happens, it will become easier to skip tomorrow’s training and the day after that. Next thing you know, you’ve not trained for 6 months and it all started from that 1 workout you skipped.
Discipline is all about doing what you need to do even when you don’t feel like it. There will ALWAYS be days when you do not feel like doing what you need to. In fact, this will generally be the norm. It’s the brain’s way of self-preservation.
It sees the difficult tasks as unpleasant and tries to cook up excuses so that you stay in your comfort zone. Discipline will make you stronger than your excuses. You know what you need to do to get to where you want to go… and you’ll do them. This is what separates the winners from the losers. Winners do what everybody else won’t so that they can get what everybody else can’t. It’s the discipline that makes people winners.
If you want a body that you can be proud of, practice discipline daily. It’s your best friend. It’s not just about the weight you lose but also the confidence and inner strength that you’ll gain in the process. Believe in yourself and know that your own competition. Use discipline to transform your body.
The common cold is not a life threatening disease and often goes away in a few days after running its course. However, a running nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, persistent sneezes, or coughs can leave you feeling miserable. Although nothing can cure a cold, some remedies may ease your symptoms while the infection lasts. If you do not want to pump your body with over-the-counter drugs, the good news is there are home remedies that can be just as effective. Check out this list of top 5 foods for healing a cold without the need for medication.
1. Chicken Soup
This age-old remedy can work wonders when trying to recover from a cold. But, how does grandma’s old recipe work to relieve the sniffles? Well, at the basic level, a bowl of chicken broth will prevent dehydration, loosen up mucous congestion and may provide some relief for a sore throat. Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center took this age-old folk remedy from the kitchen to the lab to investigate its claimed therapeutic effects on colds. The study found that chicken soup mitigated movement of netrophils (white blood cells) in serum infected with the cold virus, indicating that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory effects that help shorten upper respiratory tract infections.
Garlic is believed to possess antiviral, antibacterial and immune boosting properties. These purported therapeutic effects were put to the test in a 2014 study that split 146 volunteers into two groups receiving either a garlic supplement or placebo. The trial lasted three months and found that test subjects taking a placebo had 65 colds while the garlic group only recorded 24 occurrences of the common cold. When using garlic to treat colds, you can add it to chicken soup for a more potent cold tonic. Alternatively, grate garlic and add it to daily broths.
Ginger is believed to be popularly useful for the common cold. Nutrition experts suggest that it contains compounds called sesquiterpenes, which specifically attack the rhinoviruses that cause common cold. Ginger is claimed to have immune boosting, antibacterial, antiviral and expectorant properties as well. Some studies suggest it fights inflammation too. Adding a couple of tablespoons of grated ginger to your tea or drinking up a strong cup of ginger ale can provide some fast relief for a scratchy throat. Much like garlic, you can also include ginger in chicken soup recipes to prepare a strong cold remedy.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, the vital nutrient that helps to maintain proper immune system function. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties make it an excellent nutrient to fortify your body’s defenses against the common cold. Drinking some lemonade or eating whole citrus-fruits like oranges and tangerines can therefore help to speed up recovery.
Mushrooms help ward off colds thanks to the presence of Beta-glucan , a biological response modifier known for boosting immune system function. As a result, consumption of these edible fungi has been associated with increased production of cells that fight off infection. When it comes to mushrooms, your choices are plenty. However, the most popular cold fighting mushrooms in traditional Chinese medicine are the reishi, maitake and shiitake varieties.
In addition to eating cold fighting foods, you should also get plenty of rest to speed up the recovery process. A common cold typically last for about one week. If your symptoms persist for much longer, you may have a bacterial infection that will require treatment with antibiotics. In such cases, it is best to check with your doctor to find out if you have developed a sinus infection that may require different treatment approaches.
If trying to lose weight, your carb intake should be no more than 35% of your total daily calories. For a 1,200 calorie per day diet, that is 105 grams; for 1,600 calorie meal plans, it’s 140 grams.
Not all carbs are bad and we need some for energy, however some foods are high in carbs and should be cut out of a diet, if on a weight loss program:
Just as not all carbs are bad, neither are all grains. The ones to stay away from are products make from white enriched flour, white rice, plain bagels and regular pasta.
Instead focus on eating products made from whole grain, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. Not only do they have fewer carbs, but also contain fiber and protein which keep you feeling fuller longer, thus reducing the urge to snack between meals.
Fresh is always the best, but if you have to use canned fruits, look for ones packed in their own juices and without added sugar. Read the nutrition label and look for anything that might be an added sugar like high fructose corn syrup. Also, dried fruits might look like a healthy choice, but the drying process can concentrate natural sugars making them higher in carbs than eating fresh fruit. When not in season, frozen (without added sugar) is the next best.
Studies have shown sugar is addictive. In 2008 the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review classified it as a substance that can be abused. When trying to cut calories, stay away from cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts and candy bars as these are made with sugar and also loaded with saturated fat and calories.
Along this same line, sugary drinks are loaded with sugar. For example, one can of regular soda has 136 calories but also 35 grams of carbs of which 33 grams are from sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sugar consumption to 100 calories or less for women and 150 per day or less for men. Just one can of regular cola uses up 1/3rd to 1/5th respectively, of the daily limit. Diet varieties aren’t much better as the artificial sugars are not good for the body either. Your best beverage bet – pure water.
As noted above sugar and refined grains are the biggest two categories to watch when trying to cut carbs for weight loss. These things can be hidden in foods, so it is important to read nutrition labels and know what to look for.
Many so called health experts chalk up weight loss success to willpower. Not only is this a false belief, but also a way to sabotage yourself. The fact is most people are not able to maintain their willpower for an extended period of time, simply because of the chemistry of the brain.
Willpower is a false prophet; one forged in our minds to “impress” others, even though at the core of it all we know it’s just a pile of lies.
Wondering why willpower is not the definitive factor that will determine your weight loss? Read on to learn more:
Willpower Doesn’t Play Well With Goals
Ever wondered why willpower doesn’t help you achieve your goals? It is because willpower is impossible to maintain at the same intensity for a period of time. Take for example you make the goal of losing 10 pounds in a month.
This is great, but how will willpower help you get there? Maybe it will remind you to look at the days going by, and realizing that you’re no way closer to achieving your goals.
That won’t change your life. Instead, write down what you want and develop consistency, as in building healthier habits and work on making them stick. Do a bit every day and build on it. That approach trumps willpower any day of the year.
Willpower Can’t Change Your Environment
Sure, you may tell yourself today that you will run a mile every day, but then when you go outside today, you are in no way motivated to do so tomorrow. The reasons can be plentiful; rain, snow, maybe you just don’t want to?
The fact is that willpower is fragile, and won’t beat your environment. Willpower will try to elevate you above the environmental deterrent, but the environment will win regardless of how hard you try.
Willpower Doesn’t Equal Accountability
Willpower is your own internal resolve. This is fine, but how will you be kept accountable? When you are the judge of yourself, the verdict will always be biased. Get a training or diet buddy, somebody who will hold you to your word.
Plus, if resolve is what you are after, nothing can give you more willpower than good old competition. The competitive nature of mankind is to be better than his fellow man. This can work out in your favor, as rivalry sets up a win-win scenario for everyone.
Willpower Focuses On A Variable
Take for instance, if your resolve is to stop drinking soda. This is fine, but the problem is that you will be thinking of soda all day, as you struggle to remind yourself to avoid it. This is the ugly trick human nature often plays on us; we want what we can’t have.
A better approach? A diversion. Find something to replace what you will be eliminating. Trying to forget soda? Find a healthier beverage that you have no problem using in place.
A great substitute would be fruit infused water- and best of all? No fighting with willpower!
Willpower Prioritizes Starvation
You must reduce calories to lose weight- that is a fact. However, the real battle with willpower begins when you are hungry. Willpower dictates that you eat the bland chicken, but will not tell you that you can overindulge many veggies.
Why should you feel hungry? By deliberately knowing that you can freely munch on low calorie veggies, you will be happy to forego some things knowing that you can fall back on something else. That is the strategy of a permanent weight loss plan.
Willpower sounds great in theory, but the most successful weight loss stories know that it is not sexy. You do not need to be on a constant high, but develop real systems that keep you working at weight loss day after day, forever, one day at a time.