Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Skipping Lunch Is Bad for You and Worse for Business

Did you skip lunch last week—either by gobbling down something at your desk or forgoing food altogether? The odds are good that you did.

A 2012 workplace survey by Right Management found just one in five employees take actual lunch breaks. That’s a problem because both the lunch and the break are good for you.

Skipping lunch is bad for your mind, bad for your body, and bad for your workplace productivity.

Can’t Leave Their Desks

The good news is that most workers do eat something in the middle of the day. According to the Right Management survey, in addition to the one fifth of North Americans who take a lunch break, another two-fifths eat some food at their desks.

The bad news is that almost 40 percent of workers and managers eat some kind of lunch “only from time to time” or “seldom, if ever.”

Michael Haid, a vice president for the management firm, called this “yet another warning sign of the relentless stress experienced by workers.”

If we’re being honest, it’s worse than that.

The decline of the lunch hour is a sign of poor leadership. Organizational policies and team culture pressure workers and leaders alike to embrace busywork and distraction—and hurt their own long-term productivity in the process.

The Lunch Hour Dividend

A lunch hour is good because we need food if we are going to be energetic and sharp. Plus, we need a change of scenery if we are going to be creative. We might treat it like an interruption standing in our way, but there are at least two key reasons lunch is critical for peak performance throughout the day:

  1. Energy. We need fuel in the tank. Otherwise, our bodies and brains will punish us with distractions. Not only will we experience hunger pangs and thoughts of food, but we’ll also experience drowsiness, fuzziness, and fatigue.So it’s good to make sure that we eat something healthy in the middle of the day. It’s also beneficial if we get away to do that, which takes me to the second reason.
  2. Creativity. Taking lunch to your desk might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually detrimental. “Creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to nature-like environments,” Kimberly Elsbach, an expert in workplace psychology at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

    She argues that “staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to the creative process. It’s also detrimental to doing the rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha!’ moment.”

Miss this and you’re missing out on what I call the Lunch Hour Dividend. You’re sacrificing breakthrough moments that could take your organizations to the next level for the unbroken monotony of calls and meetings and emails. That’s a bad trade.

Lunch by Example

Leaders have to be intentional about turning this around. Let it be known that you want people to take their lunch breaks and set the example. Your team will eventually follow.

Here’s my challenge to you if you regularly skip your lunch break. Today, get away from your desk. Eat something with friends or colleagues or on a bench outside. Then go for a walk in a field or a park.

It will help you get clarity about the first half of your day and give you energy and insight to maximize the rest.

~ Courtesy of M.H.

A Banana Day (Or Two) Keeps The Doctor Away

The majority of us nowadays ‘do not have the time’ to eat healthy anbanana_health_benefits_735_350-735x350d thus opt for fast food instead for healthy one, while the polls rank fruits and vegetables very low on the scale selection of food!

According to the scientists and nutritionists, it is not clear why most people in the West prefer such food to so great, amazing, beneficial, and above all, natural ingredients. The latter ingredients can provide us with all the materials we need to take in so that our body functions properly.

Let’s take bananas as an instance. this fruit is the favorite food of monkeys, and it is not surprising, because besides the fact that it tastes great, it is also very nutritious and it is a real treasure.

According to nutritionists, if you consume two bananas a day for a month, your health condition is going to become significantly improved.

Here is how and why:

– The amount of sodium in bananas is pretty low, and the amount of potassium is high, so this makes this fruit great for blood pressure and heart health regulation. Scientists have discovered that by consuming bananas every day, you reduce the risk of heart attack as much as 40 percent.

– Banana is great for people who have troubles with the digestive system, like constipation for example. Bananas are rich in fiber and that is why they are great for fast solving of your problems with the intestines.

– Every time you feel week or wearing, have a banana, as it will provide you with the much-needed energy. Moreover, bananas are a great choice for a snack, especially before exercising, so all athletes should regularly have bananas in their bag

– Bananas can help you when you experience heartburn, as they are a good source of antacid and can regulate this unpleasant condition

– In case your body lacks iron, bananas are an excellent option. Bananas contain substances that trigger the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin and considerably aid anemic people

– Bananas help when it comes to sore throat and coughs

– Bananas are abundant in tryptophan, a substance which is very important for our body,Banana-mask-2 as the body uses this substance to turn it into serotonin, the hormone of happiness. So, next time you feel bad or depressed, bring the bananas

– Researchers have discovered that students who consume a banana for breakfast, snack, or after lunch have a considerably higher level of concentration. This is due to the high presence of potassium in bananas, which triggers the brain and facilitates learning and memory

– Pregnant women should especially take care of their nutrition, and should know that bananas are great choice for them, because they are healthy, delicious food which will ease the burden that affects the most pregnant women. Also, bananas alleviate the morning sickness, due to the fact that they increase the levels of sugar in the blood

~ Ms. OMG

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lavender Lemonade

lavender lemonadeFlavoring your lemonade with lavender is a great way to utilize the amazing medicinal properties of lavender. Lavender is a wonderful aromatic herb that calms the senses.

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials. The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system. These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.

The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis.  The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

~ In courtesy of Living Traditionally

OMG! Eat Your Way To Firmness

Food for skin blogDimples can be cute, but not when they’re on your butt and thighs! Since there’s no one signular solution to melt the extra fat away, we asked diet experts to share their top nutrition tips that work wonders to reduce the appearance of uneven texture. Get on the fast track to smoothness today, starting with these eight simple eating solutions.

1. Eat On Schedule.Sticking to a regular daily pattern trains your brain when to expect food and when not to, so you’re less likely to nosh between meals. Its those unplanned snacks that tend to trip you up because they’re often high-calorie or high-sugar foods.

2. Slow Down On White Flour. At least two studies have found that people who eat the most whole grains have less belly fat than those who eat fewer complex carbs. With the variety of whole-grain products on store shelves today, it’s easier than ever to snub the refined stuff. The higher fiber content in whole wheat bread and pasta keeps you feeling full longer, so you won’t have to contend with a rumbling belly.

3.  Be Fat Friendly.  It may sound counterintuitive, but trust us: To lose fat, you have to get over your fat phobia. Healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, can actually help with weight loss (and cellulite). They provide flavor, texture and a feeling of satisfaction, all things you need if you want to stick to a healthy eating plan. Just use them as condiments, not the main attraction. Spread a tablespoon of mashed avocado on to a sandwich for lunch or toss a teaspoon of sunflower seeds with veggies at dinner.

4. Why Not Go Vegetarian One Day A Week.  A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate the most meat were about 27 percent more likely to be obese and 33 percent more likely to have abdominal obesity (dangerous fat that accumulates around your organs in your midsection and increases your risk of heart disease) than people who ate the least amount of meat. They also consumed about 700 more calories per day, on average.

5. “Cheat” the Right Way. The concept of a cheat day is weight-loss staple, but its also the Achilles’ heel of many eating plans. A day of eating whatever you want can add up to thousands of extra calories. It can also make it harder to get back on track the next day, when your brain has a chocolate cake hangover. Instead of splurging for an entire da, limit yourself to just one cheat meal each week. Plan it, enjoy it, and as long as it happens just once a week you wont break the calorie bank.

~Courtesy  of Shape Magazine

 

Is maple water the next coconut water?

maple water

One of Mother Nature’s best-kept secrets has been exposed. Maple water, the all-natural, nutrient-packed elixir enjoyed for centuries by native peoples in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, is landing on retail shelves across America. Made solely from raw sap—the very stuff that brings maple trees back to life after each long, cold winter—maple water is now being tapped, Tetra Pak’d and sold to natural-minded consumers and athletes looking for a hydration booster not fabricated in a lab.

If this sounds a lot like the darling hydration drink of the past few years—the venerable coconut water—it’s definitely similar. Both plant-based products provide refreshment with the added value of vitamins, minerals and minimal processing. However, maple water offers a few attributes that coconut water can’t match—less sugar, fewer calories, a subtler taste, and a less-milky mouthfeel. And although maple water has fewer electrolytes than its tropical counterpart, it still provides a solid option for everyday hydration. Perhaps maple water’s most salient selling point is its North American sourcing, whereas coconut water comes from so far away. Though maple water is trying its best to not position itself as the next coconut water, it clearly has potential to pilfer from coconut water’s market share.

 

Acne Free By Eating Green

chardTry This Recipe To Get Rid Of Acne!!

Super-Duper Easy Recipe: Gingered Spinach, Chard and Butternut Squash Dish

Makes 6 Servings – Serving Size: ½ cup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2 teaspoons, 4 teaspoons
2 cups butternut squah, peeled, seeded and small dice (about 1 ½-pounds squash)
½ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground, divided
4 cups spinach, stems removed, firm packed
4 cups Swiss chard, ribbing removed, julienne or chiffonade cut, firm packed (about 2 bunches)
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

Procedure:
In 6-quart pot, heat 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, add butternut squash and season with half the salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Using a low flame, heat remaining oil. Then add garlic and ginger. As soon as the garlic and ginger begins to become aromatic, about one minute, add spinach and Swiss chard, stirring to coat the greens, and season with remaining salt and pepper. Sauté greens while stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until tender. Then add squash, mix together and serve.

Not only will this recipe help banish acne, but it will also power your body with a treasure trove of nutrients to keep you looking and feeling great

Work-It-Out With Gummy Bears

gummy-bearYou probably grab a quick snack before you hit the gym for a jolt of energy, but what you nibble on afterwards is just as important. A snack with a little protein is a common go-to, but new research has some food for thought: Gummy bears may actually be your best bet.

According to new information published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, foods with high glycemic carbs are the ideal foods to eat after a workout to help you replenish glycogen (the storage form of glucose that helps fuel your body during exercise). And you guessed it: Gummy bears are filled with these fast-digesting carbs — as are oatmeal, potatoes, and white bread.

Of course, this isn’t an invitation to eat an entire bag of gummy bears. There are approximately 140 calories in a package of Haribo gummy bears (17 bears total). You may just want to snack on a few to help your body’s recovery, and not so many that you cancel out your workout’s calorie burn entirely.

~Good House Keeping Magazine

How Crossing Your Legs Hurts Your Heart

You eat well, you exercise, and you even get the right amount of sleep (most nights, anyway; no one’s perfect). But chances are, you’ve got some other little habits that are costing you in the health department—without you even knowing. Check out these 10 hidden health risks, and simple ways to fix them.

Crossed LegsYou cross your legs

Sitting with legs crossed at the knee can bump up blood pressure, according to a study published in Blood Pressure Monitoring. Leg crossing increased systolic blood pressure nearly 7% and diastolic by 2%. Frequent crossing of the legs also puts stress on the hip joints and can cause pooling of blood in the legs when the veins are compressed.. This could predispose you to inflammation of the veins of the lower legs and possibly a blood clot. To avoid crossing your legs for longer than 10 to 15 minutes, and to get up and walk around every half hour or so.

You stand with locked knees

It may feel easier to stand with your knees locked, but it increases stress on the knee joint. All of our joints are stabilized by activation of the surrounding muscles. When you stand with knees locked, you are no longer efficiently using the muscles that surround the joint. Consequently, forces to the joint are increased. When you stand, do so with your knees slightly bent.

You sleep on your stomach

Snoozing on your stomach puts your neck in a tilted-back position, which can lead to pain or numbness in your upper extremities. Nerves become compressed in this area when the head tilts back, which can lead to pain or numbness. Simply change sleeping positions such that the neck is no longer tilted backward during sleep. See a doctor if symptoms remain.

You wear your belts tightbelt too tight

A tight belt may cinch your waist, but it can backfire on you in the form of digestive issues: Your snug belt creates intra-abdominal pressure, which can result in acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of GERD can range from something as small as a bitter taste in the mouth, to a burning or pain in the chest or upper stomach region, chronic cough, or even difficulty swallowing. Try wearing your belts no tighter than the waistband of your pants. You should be able to inhale and exhale comfortably with the belt tightened.

You slouch

Slouching can lead to shoulder pain or impingement when the rotator cuff muscles (shoulder stabilizers) become compressed against the shoulder blade. Poor posture could also lead to a muscle imbalance that can contribute to further compression. Check your posture: While standing sideways to a mirror, you should be able to run an imaginary line through the center of your ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.

You drive long distances without a break

Motoring for many miles without stopping can have a similar effect to crossing your legs, where you get blood pooling in the legs that can lead to clotting. After driving for about 100 to 150 miles, stop the car and go walk around to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Do the same when flying long distances. Getting up and going to the bathroom is one of the healthiest things you can do on a flight.

You stretch as soon as you get up

Back stretches first thing in the morning can put the discs in your back at risk. Spinal discs become hydrated during the night, which creates more pressure on them when you first wake up. This also makes them more prone to stresses such as stretching. Warm up with small activities (getting coffee, brushing your teeth) for about 10 minutes before stretching.

You hold off on usirestroomng the restroom when nature calls

If you delay using the bathroom for prolonged periods of time, you may be putting yourself at risk for developing urinary tract infections. UTIs can result due to a woman’s shorter urethra and close proximity to the vagina. Bacteria in the urine can multiply very quickly, so holding urine for prolonged periods can lead to infections. Listen to your body.

You chew gum

You may want to ditch the gum if you find yourself with a sore jaw at the end of the day. The jaw joint is designed to chew food, not gum. The time you spend chewing food each day is much less than the many minutes some people chew gum. Like any overused muscle, constant chewing can lead to pain and problems. Pops and clicks in the jaw joint can indicate jaw joint damage. Give it a rest, especially if you hear sounds or feel tenderness in the jaw.

 

~courtesy of Prevention Magazine and OMG

Is Hot Lemon Water Really The Best Morning Detox Drink?

hot lemon waterQ: Is it true that I should start the day with hot water with lemon? What’s the story behind this theory?

A: Like most health and fitness lore, the magic properties of drinking a juiced lemon in warm water each morning is rooted in a seed of truth, but the impact of the ritual is greatly overstated. Let’s look at the three main purported benefits and any evidence to support those claims.

1. Lemon improves digestion. Actually in some cases the fruit could exacerbate issues with your stomach: Citric acid in lemons can cause or contribute to stomach pains and cramps. So where does the idea that drinking lemon juice improves digestion come from? There is a study from about three decades ago that shows citric acid can improve absorption of aluminum hydroxide (the active ingredient in most antacids). I have read online that the acidic nature of lemon juice is supposed to support an optimal acidic environment in your stomach, but this is complete speculation and, as pointed out earlier, in certain individuals could have the opposite effect.

2. Lemon juice boosts mineral absorption. The vitamin C found in lemon juice has been shown to enhance mineral absorption, but you don’t need warm lemon juice to get this effect. Vitamin C is one of the most ubiquitous vitamins in fruits and vegetables. We often think of citrus fruits as being the major or even only source of C, but non-yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, kale, strawberries, broccoli, and spinach all contain robust amounts of vitamin C. As long as you are having a fruit or vegetable with your morning meal, then you can expect to reap the enhanced absorption of minerals at that meal.

3. Lemon detoxes. One of the biggest health hypes about lemons and lemon juice is that they help detoxify your body. I recommend that you get very skeptical about any food or supplement claim regarding detoxification. It is such a general term that it is almost useless. The human body is so complex, what is getting detoxified? What are the toxins being removed? Where are they going?

Regarding lemon, there is an antioxidant in the fruit called d-limonene, which is also found in oranges and is most highly concentrated in the peels of lemons or oranges. D-limonene has been shown to activate enzymes in the liver that are part of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification processes. These processes take compounds present in the liver that are toxic to cells and convert them to non-harmful or less harmful versions. These “toxins” can range from caffeine to ibuprofen.

Does lemon juice contain enough D-limonene needed to enhance this process? Probably not. A liter of citrus juice (not made with the peels) contains on average 100 milligrams (mg) D-limonene. Researchers estimate the active dose of limonene is a minimum of 500mg. D-limonene is a fascinating compound that might also work to ease gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), but doses would require supplementation.

As you can see, as a citrus fruit, lemon has a handful of characteristics and compounds that contribute to good health, but one lemon juiced in a glass of warm water probably isn’t going to do much for your health.

~ Courtesy of SHAPE Magazine and OMG

Should You Eat Breakfast?

Why You Need to Eat Breakfast
Starting your day with a meal
that combines unprocessed or minimally processed grains (oats, Muesli, quinoa) and protein (Greek yogurt, eggs)
improves overall health and your ability to lose weight. Here’s why: Eating
breakfast sets your body up to better metabolize lunch through a phenomenon
known as the second meal effect. The second meal effect describes a
biochemical shift that occurs in your body as a result of eating breakfast that leads to better blood sugar control
after lunch. This doesn’t happen when you skip your morning meal. But
simply eating breakfast isn’t enough.

What You Should Eat for
Breakfast

Most traditional breakfast foods are high in
carbohydrates/sugar, low in fat, and low in protein (i.e. a bowl of cereal). If you
improve the overall nutritional quality of your breakfast
, you’ll reap

benefits beyond just the second meal effect. Here’s your simple plan to makeover
the morning meal
:

1.
Improve the quality of carbohydrates
you’re eating for breakfast. The Cereal

F.A.C.T.S. 2012 report recently released from the Yale Rudd Center for Food
Policy & Obesity found that 63 percent of the cereals in commercials viewed
by adults have a sugar content higher than 20 percent.  Opt for the lower sugar,
high fiber, minimally processed breakfast grains (oats, sprouted grain cereals, etc.) for better focus and mental
performance throughout the morning.

2. Add protein. Having protein-rich

meals throughout the day is a key strategy in maintaining calorie-burning
muscles. Plus, one study found that breakfast was the only meal of the day in
which increased protein helped in satiety and fullness. Make sure your breakfast
contains protein-rich foods like eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt, or a protein
shake to reap these two metabolic advantages.

The Bonus
Benefit

From a physiological standpoint, I have always found that
starting the day with a nutritious breakfast sets the tone for a day of healthy
eating. By having a well-rounded and nutritious breakfast you are sending a message to
your body that you are going to do what it takes to be fit and healthy. A
unifying characteristic of most of the perennially lean and healthy people that
I know and have coached is that the all eat breakfast.

Here’s one of my
favorite hearty breakfasts:

Blueberry Crunch Yogurt
Bowl

About 500 calories (40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30%
fat)

Ingredients:
2/3 cup fresh or frozen
blueberries
¼ cup sprouted grain cereal
1 cup fat-free plain Greek
yogurt
½ scoop vanilla protein
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 Tbsp chopped
walnuts

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together in
a bowl and enjoy.

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