Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fight Stress with Healthy Habits from the American Heart Assoc.

Updated:Jun 12,2014
Happy woman eating healthy and working outHealthy habits can protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Here are 10 positive healthy habits you may want to develop.
  1. Talk with family and friends.
    A daily dose of friendship is great medicine. Call or writer friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys and ask them to share theirs.
  2. Engage in daily physical activity. Regular physical activity can relieve mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing every day.
  3. Embrace the things you are able to change.
    While we may not be able to do some of the things we once enjoyed, we are never too old to learn a new skill, work toward a goal, or love and help others.
  4. Remember to laugh.
    Laughter makes us feel good. Don't be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when we're alone.
  5. Give up the bad habits.
    Too much alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine can increase blood pressure. If you smoke, decide to quit now. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  6. Slow down.
    Try to "pace" instead of "race." Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done without having to rush.
  7. Get enough sleep.
    Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you can't sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity also may improve the quality of sleep.
  8. Get organized. 
    Use "to do" lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Approach big tasks one step at a time. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.
  9. Practice giving back.
    Volunteer your time or spend time helping out a friend. Helping others helps you.
  10. Try not to worry.
    The world won't end if your grass isn't mowed or your kitchen isn't cleaned. You may need to do these things, but right now might not be the right time.
The past few weeks...month...have been very stressful for me. Unlike the suggestions made in an article from that I plan to post later, I have not been fighting my stress with healthy habits. No, it's been quite the opposite. Not only have I been eating poorly and hardly exercising, I also have stopped the healthy habits I'd worked so hard to establish like the food diary I had been keeping every day since I started my health and fitness journey. But if you fall down, you not only get back up, you try to figure out what steps will lead you back to the path to success. So, I was thinking that the one thing I haven't been doing, except for some of my lengthy posts on here which don't count, was journaling about my feelings and my goals. I loaded a journal onto my tablet today and I started journaling and setting goals. What I plan to do to keep myself motivated is not only to post goals each night for the next day but reward myself points for each goal I accomplish with bonus points for extra credit, lol. I think this might just be the motivation I need and it will also help me to figure out my emotional triggers that make me fall back into old comfort habits like over eating and spending hours lost in TV or a movie. Hopefully, by writing it down, I will start doing again instead of hiding out.

Friday, May 8, 2015

WARNING, Blowing Off Steam

Before I start my major whine, please know that I do realize I have no reason or right to complain. I am extremely grateful for all that we have, most especially our health which we probably don't deserve. BUT I'm beginning to think there is some truth in those jinx spam mails and messages that make the rounds. You know the ones I mean, send this out to twenty of your closest friends (I don't think I have twenty "close" friends and even if I did, they wouldn't be my friends after getting one of those messages) or something bad will happen. The specific one I'm thinking of promised a monetary windfall if the rules were followed exactly and financial disaster if they were not. Well, since I didn't want twenty people un-friending me...although, if I'd been thinking logically, I could have sent it to a few people I might want off of my list that I'm not really certain how they got on there in the first place......., I trashed the message. Within a week, things actually started going wrong for us where money matters were concerned. We spent over 6 grand on Steve's truck alone last year and it still isn't working properly. Then I had the dentist fiasco...I will not go into all of that again....that occurred the day before Thanksgiving so I was wondering if there was money left in our checking to buy dinner for the next day. Then Steve destroys the transmission in my truck....I'm beginning to think the problem might be Steve, haha. As soon as that was replaced, we had to also replace brakes and rotors in my truck. Then his old van had problems...not certain the nature of that because, when Steve starts talking mechanics, I generally stop listening. The van was still in the shop when the alternator went out on Steve's truck. When we got the van back from the shop, we noticed it needs new tires. And then the cherry that I'm hoping will top off this cake....or maybe it is the last shovel of dirt that is dug out of this huge financial hole we've fallen into...... our well is, if not dying, at least very sick. We replaced the pump only a few years ago but I don't think any warranty was offered. And it may not be the pump since we ran out of water after Steve pumped it dry filling up tanks to spray the fields for weeds. Oh, I almost forgot all of the money that Steve has put into the hay fields and other areas of the farm. He keeps assuring me that hay sells will easily pay that back but the problem is, when we are looking at over a thousand just to determine what is wrong with the well and no telling how much to actually fix the problem or the 5 thousand we were told it would cost to get "city" water, the fertilizer bill with other farm expenses added on begins to look unsurmountable. So, I'm not certain if the spam chain mail is to blame for all of this but if karma will just give me another chance, I will send the darn thing out to everyone on my friends list just to end this "every time one thing's fixed another breaks" phase before it breaks us.

10 Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism In Just One Day By JESSICA MIGALA from Prevention magazine to become a lean, mean calorie-burning machine? Getting your metabolism into tip-top shape will help your body burn more calories naturally throughout the day, making it easier to lose weight or maintain it—and you can speed things up in just one day. Read on for your hour-by-hour plan.
7 am: Get outside
Wake up, sunshine! Getting exposure to light in the morning will not only help you wake up, but may help keep you slim, suggests research from Northwestern University. Happily, bright light (the sun is the best) sets your body clock, a key player in regulating every system of your body, including a speedy—or sluggish—metabolism.
7:30 am: Turn up the intensity
A vigorous morning workout will help you burn more calories all day long.(PHOTO BY MASKOT/GETTY IMAGES)

If you're going to the gym, you might as well get as much out of it as you can, right? Research has shown that a vigorous workout can help you burn almost 200 calories more in the 14 hours after the session, according to a small 2011 study. Later studies show a smaller afterburn during intense interval workouts (about 60 additional calories in the hour after exercise), but that can still make a big difference over time. Don't have time for a lengthy workout? Alternate 60 seconds of fast running, biking, or on the elliptical with a 60 second rest period, and repeat for 25 minutes, suggests the American College of Sports Medicine, and you'll still torch calories after you leave the gym. (Here are 3 more quick calorie-burning interval workouts to try.)
8:30 am: Add protein
If your breakfast is a bagel with cream cheese or a muffin and coffee, you may want to make a switch to higher protein eats. When overweight young adult women ate a higher protein breakfast (one that contained around 30 grams of protein, versus one that contained around 12 grams), they had better glycemic control throughout the entire day, reports research in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Go for eggs and Greek yogurt, which are both protein powerhouses. 
9 am: Switch to tea
Catechins and caffeine in tea work together to boost your metabolism.(PHOTO BY KATJA KIRCHER/GETTY IMAGES)

You might be hooked on java, but the other brew (tea, that is) has been shown to help your body burn about 100 additional calories over the course of the day, and torch more fat compared to a placebo, reveals a 2011 meta analysis. It may be the combo of both the catechins (healthful antioxidants) in tea and caffeine that revs metabolism. (Check out these10 ways to use matcha tea.)
10 am: Stand while you take the call
Skip taking a seat and get on your feet! Young adults who did work while sitting versus standing burned more calories, shows a 2012 study in theJournal of Physical Activity & Health. At rest, they burned 1.02 calories per minute, compared to 1.36 calories per minute while standing. To put that into perspective, an hour of on-your-feet phone calls burns 82 calories versus 61 sitting. Sure, it doesn't sound like much, but added up over the course of the day, it matters.
12 pm: Skip the diet soda
It may have zero calories, but drinking artificially sweetened beverages may negatively affect the body's normal metabolic response to sugar, notes a study in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. Not everyone agrees, but diet drinks have been linked with weight gain and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increase heart disease and diabetes risk, including high blood sugar and increased belly fat. (Take a look at exactly what diet soda's doing to your body.)
3 pm: Nibble on chocolate
That's not license to maul the candy bowl on your coworker's desk, but it won't hurt to grab a couple of squares of good-quality dark chocolate. In a study by Swiss and German researchers, participants ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks. Compared to a control group, those who ate the sweets had lower stress hormone levels and a more regulated metabolism. Why? Stress can cause sputtery fat burning engines. It may be the chemicals in cocoa, like flavonoids, that play a role in regulating metabolism.
5 pm: Have a laugh
Boost your metabolism (and your mood) by laughing with a coworker or friend.(PHOTO BY TARA MOORE/GETTY IMAGES)

The day is just about over, lighten up a little, will ya? Find that hilarious colleague of yours to walk out the door with or call up your pal who makes you chuckle. Laughing is like a workout—as few as 10 minutes of giggles helps you burn 10 to 20% more calories than when you're stone-faced. That's enough to torch 10 to 40 calories. It may not sound like a lot, but think about what you get out of it: Research also shows that laughing can help keep your heart healthy.
8 pm: Bust stress
No matter what simmers you down—a good book, a celeb magazine, sex, watching a three-minute clip of dogs being cute, savasana on your floor—do it. According to 2014 research, women who were more stressed had a slower metabolism and burned less fat after eating compared to those who were stress-free—a difference of about 100 calories. Ultimately, the researchers note, frazzled living could promote weight gain.
10 pm: Wind down
Wind down so you can sleep better and improve your metabolism.(PHOTO BY CHARLES GULLUNG/GETTY IMAGES)

Your to-do list might still be calling, but it's time to prep your body and mind for bed. That's because skimping on sleep makes a mess of your metabolism, suggests a small 2012 study in the American Journal of Physiology. Adults who slept for nine hours had healthier metabolisms, fewer cravings for sweet and salty fare, and less hunger compared to those who shorted their sleep to four hours. Conking out does a body good.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm definitely trying out this workout....if the injured clavicle and shoulder can take it right now. I had a friend who was shocked when I said the part of my body I most wanted to change was my upper arms. I guess she thought, although too kind and polite to say, you are obese, you are fat all over, why your arms? Sure, I want to lose the tummy, the fat thighs, the double chin and some of the rumpus...although I've always liked my big behind....BUT I find my aging, sagging and yes, fat arms to be my biggest concern. I will try this because I'm noticing quite a bit of change just with my physical therapy work out. From the pages of Health magazine.

Amazing arms by Tracy Anderson

From Health magazine

10 minutes to defined arms

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

With weight gain, slow and steady is the common pace—we often look back, wondering: “How did I get to this weight?” Long-term weight gain typically happens at a miniscule 1-2 pounds per year, which can snowball into something substantial as we age. Fad diets lure us with the promise of rapid weight loss, but researchers are looking at it from a different angle: Can changing what we eat stop long-term steady weight gain?
What the Science Says
Scientists from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy did a study using data collected from 120,784 healthy, non-obese, middle-age participants in three well-established cohorts: Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study. Data was collected at every four-year period for 16 to 24 years.
Researchers were interested in how participants’ diet quality affected their trend in weight gain. Without altering anyone’s food intake, the researchers looked at what participants consumed, with a focus on protein and the glycemic load (GL)—two measures of diet quality. Then, they examined how changes in participants’ weight corresponded to diet quality. Why?
High-protein foods (think meats, dairy, nuts, beans) are thought to help with weight lossbecause of their ability to promote satiety, spare lean muscle mass, and help offset the slow in metabolism. GL was used because it reveals both carbohydrate quality and quantity. The more popular “glycemic index” (GI) is used to assess how a food will increase your blood sugar, but this doesn’t account for the amount of the food that you eat. GL accounts for both the food’s GI and portion eaten. High GL foods (think refined carbs) are thought to make weight gain more likely because they make your blood sugar rise rapidly—leading to insulin release, which favors fat storage.
Weighty Findings
Once the data was collected, the researchers could then summarize “associations,” also known as data trends, between certain types of food and weight gain or loss. Here are some of their weightier findings:
  • Not all protein foods are created equal. Certain protein foods appeared to be better than others when it comes to preventing weight gain. Nuts, peanut butter, fish, yogurt and low-fat cheese were associated with weight loss while red meat and processed meat were associated with weight gain.
  • Eggs and cheese aren’t necessarily diet-busters. These foods were only associated with weight gain if the diet’s glycemic load was also high.
  • High glycemic load diets were worse for weight loss. Foods with a high glycemic load (think white bread, potatoes, soda) were associated with weight gain. A diet with a higher GL ranking is positively associated with weight gain. In fact, a 50-unit increase in daily glycemic load (about two bagels) resulted in a 1-pound weight gain every 4 years.
  • The type of protein consumed worked in combination with GL to affect weight. For example, someone who eats a high glycemic load diet plus a lot of red/processed meat would gain more weight than if he ate a low glycemic load diet with the same amount of red/processed meat.
Keep in mind that the results of this study are “associations” meant to show relationships between diet quality and weight gain or loss. This does not confirm that particular diet types cause weight gain or loss. Nonetheless, these relationships are still important, given that we’re looking at a large group of participants over the course of decades.
What’s the Takeaway?
This study confirms that the quality of your diet matters for keeping your weight in check over a long period of time. A balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a low glycemic load. Choosing lean protein sources like chicken, fish, nut butter and low-fat cheese will reduce the amount of fat—particularly saturated fat—in your diet. Both glycemic load and protein type are indicators of your diet quality, and will affect your weight.
It’s apparent that a calorie is not a calorie in this case, so do calories still count when it comes to weight loss? The answer is a resounding Yes! Even though the study focused on diet quality, this is just one factor out of many that affect our weight. To be successful at maintaining a healthy weight, both the number of calories consumed and the quality of those calories matters.