Healthy and Organic Mom

Nutritional Info

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise

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Exercise may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your
muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate
the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life. Studies show just 30 minutes of physical
activity on most days is all that’s required to reap big benefits.

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors. Research suggests that workouts may do the following:

1. Keep you young.
Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Aerobic exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.

2. Reduce infections.
Moderate workouts temporarily rev up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds.

3. Prevent heart attacks.
Not only does exercise raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

4. Ease asthma.
New evidence shows that upper body and breathing exercises can reduce the need to use an inhaler in mild cases of asthma.

5. Control blood sugar.
Exercise helps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking can significantly cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

6. Protect against cancer.
Exercise may reduce the risk of colon cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level.
It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels.

7. Combat stress.
Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.

8. Relieve hot flashes.
Increasing fitness by walking or practicing yoga enhances mood and reduces some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

9. Protect men’s health.
Pelvic exercises help prevent erectile dysfunction and possibly benign prostate enlargement, a common cause of urinary problems.

10. Prolong life.
Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.

Adapted from Consumers Reports, September, 2007

Top 10 Tips to Weigh Less, Live More

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1. Feed your soul with primary food. Friends and family, physical activity, spirituality and a satisfying career feed us. Lack of primary food creates over-reliance on secondary, edible food.

2. Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated. We often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water before giving into cravings. Limit liquid calories from soda and juice.

3. Eat a plant-based diet. Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy and processed foods, while providing loads of essential nutrients.

4. Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth. By thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better assimilate nutrients; you will also slow down your eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that it is full. By slowing your eating, you’ll feel full and satisfied on less food.

5. Eat real food. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. They tend to be highly processed, lacking the nutrients your body needs, and are often loaded with empty calories.

6. Eat breakfast. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry.

7. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV. Get away from the computer. Sit down and savor the food you are eating with no distractions.

8. Get moving. Do any type of physical activity every day. Find movement or exercise you enjoy.

9. Sleep, rest and relax. When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks and caffeine as an energy boost.

10. Schedule fun time. Boredom and stress can lead to overeating. Make sure to take time to laugh, play and participate in activities that bring you joy.

A Poem to Live By

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speak less, listen more
say less, do more
worry less, work more
ride less, walk more
eat less, chew more
start less, finish more
correct less, prevent more
blame less, forgive more
wrestle less, embrace more
compete less, cooperate more
take less,
give more
have less, be more
frown less, laugh more

– anonymous

Sugar Alternatives

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Try experimenting with these sugar alternatives, derived from natural, less-processed ingredients. You may find you’ll reduce your sweet tooth and give yourself some lasting energy.

Maple Syrup – Maple syrup is made from boiled down maple tree sap and contains minerals like magnesium and zinc. It adds a tasty flavor to your morning oatmeal and is great for baking. Be sure to buy 100% pure maple syrup, and not maple flavored corn syrup.

Agave Nectar- from the cactus plant. Can be used to substitute for most sweeteners.

Honey – One of the oldest natural sweeteners, honey is sweeter than sugar. Raw honey contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. It’s also great for baking, adding to sauces, smoothies or your cup of tea.

Molasses – Organic molasses is probably the most nutritious sweetener. It is derived from sugar cane or sugar beet and is made by a process of clarifying and bending the extracted juices. Blackstrap molasses, the most nutritious variety, is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Stevia – The extract from stevia is 100 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. It can be used in cooking, baking and beverages, does not affect blood sugar levels and has zero calories. Be sure to get the green or brown liquids or powders, as the white and clear versions are highly refined.

Date Sugar – Date sugar consists of finely ground, dehydrated dates, utilizing this fruit’s vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. It can be used as direct replacement for sugar, and comes in a granulated form.

Coconut Palm Sugar- can be used to replace brown sugar or white sugar.