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Tuesday
Aug252009

Can You Take Too Many Vitamins?

People often ask if they should be worried about getting too much of a particular vitamin. While our bodies require certain nutrients that can be obtained through supplements, dosage can be the difference between benefit and harm. It is especially important to always read labels and discuss your supplement regime with your physician, particularly when combining different multivitamins, multi-minerals and fortified foods with similar ingredients, which can lead to a higher intake than is recommended. To avoid any potential for toxicity or overdose, you may want to choose a supplement routine that is designed for you by a nutritionist and takes overall dosages into account.

More about getting the most from your vitamins.

Monday
Aug242009

3 More Ways to Boost Your Energy

Last Monday's post discussed how rest, exercise and sunlight can all help to naturally boost energy levels. This week we cover three more natural ways to increase energy and reduce fatigue.

  • Practice breathing exercises. Many breathing exercises are practiced as a useful way to wind down - but to energize your mind and body, consider the Stimulating Breath (a short version of the “breath of fire” in kundalini yoga): sit with your back straight and place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Rapidly breathe in and out through your nose for 10 seconds.
  • Cultivate a positive nature. Anger, resentment, guilt and fear are negative emotions that can deplete your energy. Instead of focusing your mind on the negative, look to the positive - surround yourself with uplifting art, inspirational people and upbeat thoughts and experiences.
  • Diet. Your choices offood and drink can affect your energy levels - think of how you feel after a light summer salad versus a big turkey dinner. The anti-inflammatory diet focuses on foods that can boost energy - check out Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid for more information.

Remember, if fatigue is sudden or lasting, or if your stamina is consistently low, be sure to inform your physician to rule out any medical conditions or medications that may be responsible.

 

Friday
Aug212009

Red Potato Salad

Potato salad isn't just for picnics - this sophisticated version can be used as a side dish for even the fanciest meal. Instead of mayonnaise, we use mustard and wine combined with vinegar and a moderate amount of olive oil. The result is a sharply flavored mix for the potatoes. Small red potatoes - also called new potatoes - are better suited for this dish because they have a firmer texture after boiling than the commonly used russets or baking potatoes. Remember to remove any sprouts before cooking. If you find very small red potatoes, you can leave the skin on and cut them in half.

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Thursday
Aug202009

Back Pain Ruining Your Day?

Chronic back pain is often due to poor posture, injuries, or muscle tension, and can profoundly impact your quality of life. Instead of using medications to dull the pain, try yoga. It is a proactive approach that can help prevent further injury and lessen the symptoms of current back pain. Yoga can:

  1. Engage your body, mind and spirit, which may lead to a feeling of self-reliance and control over your pain.
  2. Provide long-term preventive relief, through improved posture, breathing techniques, and stress reduction.
  3. Make you more aware of your body - balance, posture and proper alignment will be a renewed focus in your life.
  4. Strengthen your abdominal and leg muscles and increase blood flow - all of which can be beneficial for the back.
  5. Soothe your mind, which in turn can produce a relaxed, calm and meditative state that can lessen pain.

More about yoga.

Wednesday
Aug192009

Too Much Food...

...is the main cause of the U.S. obesity epidemic, with lack of exercise being less of a contributor. That conclusion comes from Australian researchers who calculated how many calories adults need to maintain a stable weight and how many calories kids need to grow normally. They then looked at food intake data to figure out how much Americans were eating and then projected the expected weight gain over the study period based on data collected in the 1970’s and early 2000s. They found that that the only plausible explanation for the current obesity epidemic and the weight increases seen among kids over the 30-year period was eating too much. Adults turned out to weigh 18.9 pounds more than they did in the 1970s (not an extra 23.8 pounds projected on the basis of the data). To get back to our 1970s weights, researchers suggested that kids would have to cut out about 350 calories per day and adults 500 calories per day. More exercise would help, too - but for exercise alone to solve the problem would require an increase of 150 minutes per day for kids and 110 minutes for adults. The study was released in May 2009 at the European Congress on Obesity.

Tuesday
Aug182009

White Tea May Promote Weight Loss

In another food-limits-fat development, this interesting research is only at the test tube stage, but investigators in Germany have found that an extract of white tea can hinder formation of new fat cells.

When the research team treated lab-cultured human pre-adipocytes (fat cells in formation) with white tea extract, they saw a reduction in the incorporation of fat as the new cells were forming, and also found that existing fat cells broke down the fat they contained.

 

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Monday
Aug172009

3 Ways to Boost Your Energy

If your day to day energy is dwindling, or if you’re just feeling tired more often, simple lifestyle changes can help to restore energy levels, fight fatigue, and even boost your mood. Try the following:  

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Friday
Aug142009

10 Antioxidant-Rich Fruits

Fresh fruit salad is a traditional, healthy dessert. Not only delicious, it is nutritious, too - the natural antioxidants and fiber of fresh fruit support the body's defenses and help to keep it running smoothly. When making a fruit salad, consider including the following choices - according to the USDA, these fruits are exceptionally high in antioxidants:

  1. Wild blueberries
  2. Cranberries
  3. Blackberries
  4. Prunes
  5. Raspberries
  6. Strawberries
  7. Red delicious apples
  8. Granny Smith apples
  9. Sweet cherries
  10. Black plums

Look for organic varieties at your local farmer's market, and enjoy!