All Entries For wellness
What if there was a pill you could take daily to help prevent multiple diseases and health conditions? Not just minor issues like acne or stiff joints, but the big ones, too: cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. Not only would this pill prevent these and other conditions, but it could also help increase your energy, tone your body and reverse aging—with zero side effects. People would line up around the block to get their hands on the miracle drug!
While there isn’t currently a drug that can do all these things, there is something that can help: nutrient-dense food—specifically a large selection of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. Countless degenerative diseases and health conditions are tied to chronic inflammation, which damages organs, cells—even DNA—and accelerates the aging process. However, the foods mentioned below, and many others, have been shown to subdue chronic inflammation and support numerous areas of health in the process. How many of these health-promoting foods are you eating?
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Editor’s note: SparkPeople has partnered with Canyon Ranch to provide this survey. The contests are entirely sponsored by Canyon Ranch.
Fill out the survey below for a chance to participate in a free eight-week online healthy weight coaching program from the experts at Canyon Ranch—and win a trip for two to Canyon Ranch Tucson. Of those who complete the survey in its entirety, Canyon Ranch will select 20 people to receive eight weeks of access to the online program. If selected, you will be asked to participate in satisfaction surveys and follow up interviews after the program is completed. In addition, one person who completes the survey in its entirety will be randomly selected to receive a trip for two to Canyon Ranch Tucson.
For over three decades, Canyon Ranch has been helping its guests get inspired to learn how to live healthier lives and reach their weight loss goals. Now, the premier health and wellness vacation destination is able to bring this support, motivation and expertise to the SparkPeople community through Canyon Ranch Online: Healthy Weight—a new online live coaching program. And you could get the chance to try it out for two months free of charge!
Here’s what you’ll get during the eight-week trial:
- Weekly, live online fitness, nutrition and motivational coaching from your Canyon Ranch team
- Personalized fitness and nutrition plans created just for you
- Access to exclusive Canyon Ranch wellness lectures and videos
All you have to do is complete the short survey to take advantage of this amazing opportunity (worth more than $2,000)! Click here to take the survey.
And just for filling out the survey in its entirety, you’ll be eligible to win a getaway for two people for two nights at the famous destination resort in Tucson, AZ. (Read more about the trip below.)
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Spray, swipe and sponge your way to a spotless house in no time with these helpful strategies.
Oven:Tackle those charred drips and baked-on blobs.
Racks: Lay them down on newspaper or, even better, place racks inside a large plastic garbage bag and spray with a nontoxic oven cleaner. Let sit, then scrub with a scouring pad, rinse well and dry.
Interior: Zap splatters by running your oven's self-cleaning cycle. If you don't have the feature, Debra Johnson, training manager at Merry Maids, suggests applying a fume-free oven cleaner (like Easy-Off). Give the solution about two hours to do its job, then wipe away the greasy debris with rags or paper towels. Follow with a scouring pad, if needed, and a once-over with a microfiber cloth. Read More ›
If you are a Dancing with the Stars fan, you are likely familiar with co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet’s recent surgery to remove her thyroid cancer. Unfortunately, Brooke’s history with thyroid issues is not unique; an estimated 27 million Americans (including myself) are living with a thyroid condition. Fortunately, thyroid conditions are treatable; however, they can be tricky to diagnose since the symptoms tend to be subtle and can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other health issues. Here are some of the most common red flags to watch out for.
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For many people, cold weather and a lack of sunshine can bring on a mild depression known as the ''winter blues.'' People that experience the ''winter blues'' will generally lack motivation and energy. Others may even develop a clinical depression in the form of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is ''a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.'' Those that experience SAD may produce too much melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep and body temperature. Producing too much melatonin disrupts the body's internal clock and may then cause depression, as seen with SAD sufferers.
Some of the signs of SAD may include the following:
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depressed mood
- Weight gain
- Cravings for sweet and starchy foods
There's no doubt medical screenings (such as MRIs and CT scans) save lives, but in some cases, they're just not necessary. "Some doctors may prescribe a test 'just to be safe,' and many patients don't think to question it, but the truth is, you should always discuss with your physician why you need a test before you go for it," says Christine Cassel, MD, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Simple questions to get the conversation going:
- "How will the results of this test improve my treatment?"
- "What are the risks of the test?"
- "What are the risks if I don't have it?"
Three tests you should question:
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Disney began focusing on providing healthier kids' meals at their Parks and Resorts beginning back in 2006. Now kids' meals routinely include low-fat milk and carrots unless parents opt out. Disney internal statistics reveal that parents will stick with these healthier side options six out of ten times instead of requesting substitutions. With more than 12 million kids' meals served annually in Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. alone, the changes are making a difference in how children are eating. In September of 2010, The Walt Disney Company launched Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a national multimedia initiative to help families raise healthy, happy kids.
Last month the Walt Disney Company took another step forward in their brand commitment to healthy eating by introducing new food advertising standards. Under Disney's new standards, after 2015 all food and beverage products seeking advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion on any Disney-owned television channels (including Saturday morning programming on Disney owned ABC), radio stations, or Web sites will need to comply with the company's new nutrition criteria for programming targeting children under the age of 12.
By the end of 2012, consumers will also begin seeing the new Mickey Check symbol on Disney-licensed food products. Disney anticipates this tool will help consumers easily identify nutritious choices in stores, online and while visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney also updated their nutrition guidelines to reflect current federal standards and recommendations. The new criteria include not only specifics related to calories but also to reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
Let's take a closer look at the details of the Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria to see how they stack up nutritionally.
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As a health coach for busy professionals, I hear a lot about how little time people have. My clients pack their days with meetings and commitments until there is barely room to breathe. But the truth is, no matter who we are, we all have the exact same amount of time--24 hours in each and every day. We can’t choose how much time we get; but we can choose how to spend the time we have. And those choices make all the difference. Redirecting even small amounts of time away from unhealthy activities and toward healthier ones can start a snowball effect that will transform your life!
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We are well into 2012 and I hope you have been successful with establishing your healthy lifestyle habits so far. If you have fallen off the wagon, today is the perfect day to recommit to your new habits. If you’ve been consistent with your new habits and are seeing the results, keep it up! Finally, if you have reached your goal, then congratulations! But to each and every one of you, remember that your habits must continue in order to maintain a healthy weight and to be your healthiest self.
Some of you might like the sound of living a healthy lifestyle, but might not know where to start. Getting healthy sounds simple enough, but there are so many areas to focus on that it can become overwhelming. If you're still having trouble identifying how to get healthier, the basics are a good place to start. As a physician, wife, mother of 5, weight loss success story, and a regular person just like you, here is a list of what I believe are some essentials for improving your health. Read More ›
If you're having a difficult time getting seven to eight hours a sleep a night, it's a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider about options for improving your quantity and quality of sleep. Some women find that making changes in their sleep hygiene--a fancy phrase for good sleep habits--can make a big difference in getting a good night's sleep. Here are several tips for better shut-eye:
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Style expert and best-selling author Charla Krupp shares easy ways to look thinner, taller, and sexier.
Trim Your Top Half
Visually pare arms and chest with these upside tips:
- Live in V-necks -- camis, tees, cardigans, anything and everything. The downward diamond shape elongates you. Just be sure to stop short of major cleavage; it looks tacky at any size.
- Wear a minimizer bra. Seek out styles that dip low in front to go with your V-necks. (If you've never been professionally fitted, do it ASAP at your local department store.)
- To cover less-than-toned arms, pick three-quarter-length sleeves. Check that the body of the shirt or sweater is tapered -- you don't want an allover blousy effect. Read More ›
Since 1937, we've spoken to thousands of healthcare experts to get the best, most timely advice (and so much of it still applies today). Here, the top tips you need to protect the well-being of everyone you love—including your pet!
You know how they say you can't love anyone else unless you love yourself? Same goes for your health. If you want the rest of your family to take care of themselves, you have to lead by example. Here's how:
Work out three to four times a week. Exercise counters the drop of HDL ("good") cholesterol levels that can happen as you get older.
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You may want to think twice about turning up your thermostat when the temperatures dip. Compelling research is focusing on the effect of cold on the human body, and how a type of fat called ''brown fat'' may affect heat production.
The human body has two types of fat: the kind we all know and dislike, ''white fat'' and another much more metabolically active fat termed ''brown fat.'' The white adipose tissue (WAT) functions to store excess energy, whereas the brown adipose tissue (BAT) has a much different function of burning WAT stores to produce heat.
The recent research into BAT has changed the past view that brown fat was only present in infants (who aren't able to shiver well) as a mechanism to generate heat. It was thought that, as we reached adulthood, we lost those brown fat stores.
One of the reasons it was thought that humans lost their BAT stores after infancy is because the stores are quite tiny (just several ounces) and are found in hard-to-detect areas such as the sides of the neck, collarbone, scapula and along the spine. Interestingly, brown fat really is brown because it is rich in iron.
Advances in medical technology have made it possible for researchers to detect these small pockets of BAT in adult humans using scans, and they are able to see the areas of BAT ''light up'' when study subjects are put into cold rooms without insulating clothing.One current study found that when people are exposed to cold, the BAT activates and draws fuel from the WAT to heat the body.
A recently published paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation helped to define what type of fuel was burned by BAT. It was supposed that brown fat cells used glucose as a fuel, but this study showed that the major source of fuel for BAT is white fat stores. Once the BAT cells run out of the limited stores of glucose, they switch over to fat. The study showed that when the subjects were put into a cold environment that caused them to feel chilled (but not shivering) they had an 80% increase in metabolic rate, greatly increasing their heat production.
Another compelling area of research is exploring how exercise may cause WAT to be converted to BAT. Researchers found that in mice, the influence of a hormone causes white fat to become the metabolically active brown fat when mice were exercised. It's an intriguing question whether this conversion could be observed in humans with exercise, and hopefully research will continue in this area.
An interesting finding in the studies on BAT is that obese individuals show little to no BAT activity when exposed to cold. There's no clear answer regarding the lack of BAT activity in the obese subjects, and it's caused speculation over whether the lack of BAT may contribute to obesity in some individuals.
Without becoming part of a study, how can you estimate your level of BAT? I've listed below several points that research in BAT has helped define.
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We scoured every issue of Woman's Day since 1937 for our best health information. Here, our favorite (and easiest) live-longer tips.
Eat HealthyCheck out 15 of our best tips and tricks for healthy eating, which—if you know how to do it—can taste just as good as it makes you feel.
Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh because they’re processed at their peak time.
June 2004Choose dark chocolate—it has more antioxidants than milk chocolate.
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It’s that time of year again, the time when people make resolutions, or in my case, goals. I’ve never been known to make resolutions, but I do like to make a list of goals for myself for things that I want to accomplish throughout the year. However, the start of a new year is not the only time I make goals for myself – I actually do this at least a few times a year. When I do make my goal list, I like to look at what I have accomplished so far and see if I need to make any adjustments to my current goals or add new ones. I see this as a list that evolves with me and what I feel is important.
Of course though, my list always includes goals that are health-related. Actually, that is what most of my goals have been in the last few years, but this year I am trying something a little different. While I do have some health goals on my list and will continue to work towards those, this year I want to put a little more focus on some goals that are not health-related.
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