Author Archives: bhealth
Author Archives: bhealth
Boost Your Energy the Natural Way
When you think of increasing your energy levels, there are not a lot of natural alternatives that come to mind. You might think the only ways to boost your energy levels include drinking coffee, energy drinks or taking some sort of stimulant. This is simply not true. There are a number of ways you can ramp up your energy, and do it naturally, that will both contribute to your fitness and to your optimal health.
Eat the Right Foods
Get rid of processed carbs in your diet altogether, if possible. Instead, include natural starchy carbohydrates at the proper times (like after your workout) and watch your energy levels come to life. The steady energy release from slow-burning carbohydrate sources like oatmeal and yams will sustain you throughout the day and you won’t experience sugar-like energy crashes. Filling up with fiber from whole natural foods will help you digest your food more slowly. This will provide you with prolonged energy for hours.
Eat a high protein, high fat, low carb breakfast. This will keep you in fat-burning mode while keeping your cravings at bay. Eating more healthy fats will give you a surge in energy without the crash. If you start your day with sugary carbs, you’ll crave more and more junk food all day long. Also, avoiding excess caffeine and nixing the sugar will work in your favor when it comes to boosting your natural energy levels.
If you’re thirsty, you’re going to feel hungry and sleepy and your energy levels will most likely plummet. Make sure you get at least 8 glasses of water or more per day to maintain both health and energy levels.
You can also add green tea to your drink menu. It has some naturally occurring caffeine, but it’s also chock full of antioxidants and other health boosting nutrients to fuel your energy levels.
Use Natural Supplements
Make sure you get your vitamins and minerals. Yes, eating a variety of vibrant fibrous veggies, fresh organic and preferably grass-fed meats will ensure you are not left with nutritional deficiencies. You can also try some natural supplements like tyrosine. It’s an amino acid that will boost you up. Get it from foods like cottage cheese, eggs and even smoked salmon.
Get a great sleep. Sleep in a cool dark room and try to wake up at the same time daily so your body can get into a rhythm. Shut down the television, laptops and any other electronics and develop a pre-bedtime ceremony to help you wind down at night like light reading or a candlelit bubble bath.
Stretch and breathe. Stretching gives your body a much needed break while increasing your circulation. Get the blood flowing and take slow deep breaths to relax and revive.
Now that you know the secrets to natural energy, you won’t have to find yourself in that afternoon slump, or dragging through your day. Instead, you’ll have the sustained strength and vitality you need to accomplish everything on your daily list and more.
Discover how to Revive your energy, and keep it elevated all day long!
5 STEPS TO SHREDDED
Are you panicking yet that summer is really right around the corner? Are you suddenly wishing you hadn’t eaten that extra piece of pecan pie, all the candy in your stocking, the entire box of Valentine’s chocolates you got, and all your kid’s Easter candy?
Yes, you’re not alone. It’s easy to look back and see why we’re not exactly bathing suit ready. But, that’s not helping the situation. You want to have a solution, right? You need to know what to do: stat.
Well, luckily, all is not lost and you can still salvage your physique. Here are 5 simple steps that will get you looking ripped and ready.
Step 1: Add HIIT
If you want to get rid of excess body fat, one of the fastest ways to burn off extra calories and fat is by adding HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Why does this work so well? HIIT cardiovascular exercise requires short bursts of all out effort followed by periods of slower cardio. The maximal effort you put into the bursts forces your body to use more oxygen than it normally does. This means you burn more calories.
And, the news gets even better. The extra oxygen usage means you’ll be burning more calories than usual for hours after your workout (after-burn). This condition is known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC).
A study in the Journal of Obesity concluded that HIIT exercise has a massive impact on your levels of body fat, especially in the midsection. And, you don’t have to do this type of exercise every day to reap the benefits. Doing three HIIT workouts a week, using 20-25 minute intervals is sufficient for maximizing fat burning.
Step 2: Up Your Protein
Protein requires energy to be digested. That means just the simple act of eating protein dictates that you’re going to burn more calories than usual. It stands to reason, then, that the more protein you add, the more calories you burn.
How much protein do you need in order to reap the fat-burning and weight loss effects? The typical rule of thumb is to get anywhere from .75 grams—1.25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, depending on your fitness goals, and your weightlifting regimen. Obviously, if you’re lifting heavy weight and really tearing it up at the gym, you’ll want to err on the higher side for protein intake. If you’re not getting in that much in terms of lifting, then around 1 gram per pound is a good start.
Protein also helps you burn more fat. It is one of the building blocks of muscle and you need to get plenty of protein to keep your muscles strong and allow them to repair themselves after heavy workouts. Adding extra muscle to your physique means you’ll require more calories to maintain your weight, and that translates to an increased metabolism. So, even if you didn’t change a thing, you’d naturally be burning off additional calories on a daily basis just by being more muscular. So, eat your protein!
Step 3: Eat Your Carbs at the Right Time
Yes, you still want to both watch your carbs and eat your carbs, but it’s critically important that you eat them at the most beneficial time. When is the best time? It’s going to be optimal for fat loss and muscle-building purposes if you can consume your carbs around your training sessions. Ideally, right after your weight workout is the best time to eat the bulk of your starchy carbs for the day.
The remainder of the day should consist of low carb and fibrous veggie selections as well as plenty of protein and healthy fats. This is the quickest way to maintain your muscle while burning off the maximum amount of body fat.
Step 4: Eat Enough Fats
Speaking of healthy fats, how do fats fit into the equation? Fats will provide you with the energy you need to get through your tough muscle-sparing fat-burning workouts. They’ll also help your body repair and recover quickly.
You need to eat fat to make sure your body is able to produce enough testosterone, absorb certain vitamins, have proper brain function, keep skin and hair soft and supple and more.
You’ll also want to make sure to include fat so that you feel full and satisfied. Eating healthy fat sources like whole eggs, coconut oil, fish oil, fatty fresh wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats and dairy products, raw nuts, nut butters and seeds will help your body release body fat while staying energized.
Step 5: Eat Organic and Fresh
Get plenty of fresh (and whenever possible) organic foods. When your body is not fighting against the food you eat, it will be much easier to lose weight. When your body doesn’t have to filter out the pesticides, chemicals, preservatives and other undesirables commonly found in our food sources, your body can simply use the nutrients in your food for fuel, and then focus on fat loss.
Getting the toxins out of your diet will mean less cravings, you’ll shed water weight and you’ll retrain yourself to be satisfied with the good wholesome tastes in natural foods.
Put all these steps into play in your lifestyle and you can virtually guarantee you’ll watch the pounds melt off your body. Throw in some weightlifting alongside your HIIT cardio and you’ll be transformed and beach ready by summer!
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In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.
Stress Causes Your Body to Use Food Differently
Have you ever considered yourself a “stress eater?” Or sometimes it’s labeled as “emotional eating.” Turning to food when your stress levels increase is a common occurrence.
It’s a root cause for many obese men and women. The simple fact that our lives are full of stress – and we increase our calorie consumption during those times – is enough to pack on the pounds easily.
But researchers now say that highly stressed individuals actually have a harder time utilizing the foods they eat. There was a study conducted specifically regarding caregivers and how the stress they endure affects their bodies’ ability to process the foods they eat.
The University of California’s San Francisco Department of Psychiatry wanted to find out how chronic stress and eating affect the body. They took a sampling of women who were caregivers to a parent or partner suffering from memory loss and measured how their bodies reacted to the increase of more fat and more sugary foods.
They compared that to women who were eating the same foods, but not under the same stressful long-term conditions and they found that those under extreme stress didn’t handle the junk food as well – it led to larger waistlines and insulin insensitivity.
This particular study was for women over the age of 50. It revealed that the high stress group had metabolic changes – the kind that lead to disease, while the lower stressed women did not.
If you’re a man or woman (of any age) who is experiencing chronic stress and notices that you eat your worries away, then the key isn’t in trying to diet, but in trying to get a handle on the stress levels you experience.
There are many ways you can alleviate stress in those circumstances. It’s all rooted in self care. You have to take time for yourself and allow others (such as hospice workers) to take over while you rejuvenate yourself during these tough times.
You’re not just doing it for yourself and your own health, but for the loved one that you’re caring for. And if you have chronic stress that doesn’t involve care-taking, you can still engage in self care to stave off metabolic changes that might harm your body, too.
Stress Is as Contagious as a Yawn
Have you ever seen someone yawn in front of you and instantly felt the need to yawn as well? You may have even yawned just reading this article because it mentioned the word.
Stress is something we can’t see or hear (like we can a yawn), but it’s something that’s every bit as contagious, so you have to be on alert as if it’s a viral elements that you want to avoid.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Technische Universitat Dresden discovered that not only can someone else’s stress seep into your world if you’re in close contact with them, but even watching stress unfold on TV can wreak havoc in your world.
It’s called empathetic stress, and even though you might not know or care about the people on TV, your mind is capable of empathizing with the character – otherwise, the show wouldn’t be anything you’re drawn to.
Scientists were able to measure the stress hormone cortisol that freely flooded the bodies of those who were around someone else’s stress – even though they, themselves weren’t put into a stressful situation.
It’s not as prevalent as those who are in the direct line of fire. During the study, 95% of those confronted with stress experienced higher cortisol levels. But almost 30% of bystanders who were strangers did, too!
The number jumps when it’s someone you love. If someone close to you is under stress, then you’re 40% more likely to stress out yourself. So what can you do is you’re affected by contagious stress?
Don’t make matters worse by trying to become the “fixer” of everyone else’s world. It’s okay to offer advice when requested, but it’s best to learn how to create an invisible barrier around yourself so that you are buffered from other peoples’ stress.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have empathy – but practice understanding the situation logically. Don’t let yourself get mired in trying to make it all better for them, but if you want to, make it known that you’re there to lend an ear or a shoulder if needed.
As for strangers – if you’re noticing that your stress levels are too high, then it’s time to decrease your exposure to outside influences. That might include not watching the 24/7 cable TV news, not listening to talk radio on your commute, hiding or unfriending negative acquaintances on Facebook, and more.
Must-Have Medical Screenings as You Grow Older
As you grow older, you should begin looking into medical screenings that are considered must-haves for your age group. Those who are over fifty years old have to pay closer attention to blood pressure, cholesterol, and a large amount of other important functions for your body.
Although some of these screenings may not be something you want to do, getting the right tests done can help catch problems early and can lead to a longer and healthier life.
Colonoscopies are never high on anyone’s to do list, but they should be. A colonoscopy is the test often used to search for colon cancer in both men and women.
It also allows for a doctor to see any subtle bleeding that may be occurring without your knowledge. For males, a colonoscopy can also alert your doctor if you have prostate cancer.
As you get older, it’s important that you don’t slack on breast exams. Starting at the age of forty, women should have regular mammograms done once a year, although some doctors advise it less frequently now.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so skipping out on breast exams and mammograms can cause a serious health risk. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may suggest an exam twice a year instead of just once.
As you age, your bones can weaken and begin to lose density. This is why it’s important you take a bone density test as you grow older. These tests are usually recommended for men and women who are over sixty, but if you’re at a higher risk, it may be needed before that age.
One of the high risk factors is osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle. When you have osteoporosis, you’re more likely to fracture or break bones, making a bone density test even more important. With this condition, a fall when you’re older can be more serious.
For women, a pap smear may be just as important as a breast exam or mammogram. Women in their fifties and sixties are just as susceptible to cervical cancer as young women are.
Pap smears are recommended for women every two years regardless of whether or not you’re sexually active. These screenings aren’t just for cancer – they can also help your doctor check for irregular bleeding or other problems.
One of the most important tests, a cholesterol screening, should not be omitted from a physical checkup. Men are more prone to high cholesterol, but studies show that women over the age of fifty tend to develop high cholesterol over the years. High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. As you grow older, make sure your cholesterol levels are checked periodically.
Give Your Body a Boost in Chemistry During Detoxification
Everything that you put into your body and all the places that you go impact your body’s health. That’s because everything that enters the body, whether through eating it or absorbing it through your skin or lungs can cause changes to your chemistry.
Even if you’re the type of person who regularly exercises and you practice a healthy way of eating, you’re still exposed to toxins that hurt your body. Getting rid of these toxins can give you a much needed boost in health.
You gain many vitamins that you may have been deficient in. Vitamins have many different ways that they help your body. Your bones need vitamins to help them stay strong.
Vitamins work to repair damage inside and outside of your body. They create a stronger immune system to help stave off disease, and they help you process the food that you eat.
There are two kinds of minerals your body needs. These are trace and major minerals. Major minerals are ones like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium.
Calcium is instrumental in keeping your bones healthy. Sodium works to help balance the water content in your body. These major minerals work together in harmony.
When one of them gets out of balance, it can throw your body for a loop. For example, people who eat too much salt can end up with a calcium deficit because the body gets to work trying to keep your sodium level from staying high.
Trace minerals are ones like iron, fluoride, and zinc. You need iron to help transport oxygen. Zinc is needed to help your body stop bleeding because it clots blood.
Fluoride helps keep bones strong. When trace or major minerals get out of balance by the toxins, you won’t feel well and it can have an impact on certain bodily functions.
You must have essential fatty acids for healthy cells. You need them for proper brain function, for healthy adrenal and thyroid performance. In order to have good blood pressure, you need essential fatty acids.
You need the omega 6 and 3, specifically. When your body is full of toxins, it impacts how well your body can or can’t utilize these acids. Amino acids help your body with many major functions.
They’re responsible for getting nutrients where they need to go. They help your tissues and organs work the way that they should. They’re essential for healing. But unlike essential fatty acids, toxins in the body can make it difficult for amino acids to work the way that they’re supposed to.
When you detox, all of your chemistry gets a boost – including antioxidants. You can get antioxidants from food and from supplements. Some sources of antioxidants are vitamin A, C and E.
But these antioxidants have to stay in balance within the body or they end up doing harm. You need to detox to keep your chemistry in balance. It’s good for everyone, but especially for those who do use vitamin supplements.
Supplements for Energy – Do They Really Work?
Energy supplements are the newest trend for those of us who aren’t getting all the energy-boosting nutrients that we need in our diets. We also live in a stressful world that can zap our energy and leave us mired in things to do and not enough energy to do them.
Although there aren’t a lot of published, scientific studies to show that energy supplements can make a difference, there are some natural and synthetic products that lead the rest in popularity:
Vitamin B-12 – Many people get Vitamin B-12 shots from their health care providers to give them a boost of energy. A blood test can determine if you need to take Vitamin B-12 supplements.
Ginseng – A natural herb that may be able to reduce lethargy and fatigue. Taken in the proper doses, it may help boost your energy level, but could be harmful if you don’t know how much to take.
Co-Q-10 – This enzyme is very popular right now and has been scientifically proven to safely improve energy levels in those people with heart disease or who are plagued with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) – A hormone that is taken to boost energy, but it has some risks to your health, so be sure you check with your health care professional before beginning a DHEA regimin.
Ginkgo Biloba – Many claim that ginkgo biloba immediately boosts energy levels, but it may also make your blood thinner, so don’t use this supplement if you have a blood problem or are taking any type of blood-thinning medications.
Bee Pollen – This natural food source has been labeled a superfood by many. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, enzymes and amino acids as well as antibiotics that can help your immune system.
Amino Acids – These substances are necessary for us to digest proteins properly. One of the amino acid substances is Creatine, which can help build muscle and stave off fatigue. It’s often used for those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Even some natural energy supplements can be detrimental to your health – so use according to direction and also take into consideration any conditions you may have or medications that you may take.
There are many vitamin supplements that could help you get the energy you need for your busy daily lifestyle, but you should carefully research these substances and consult a physician before taking them on a regular basis.
Also, keep in mind that you should also practice a healthy lifestyle and eat a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins to make the most of the energy that you naturally produce. Those with chronic energy issues may greatly benefit from the use of supplements.
Natural Energy Boosters
You probably already know some of the natural energy boosters that can get your mind and body going – like a cup of coffee or a chocolate bar or high calorie snack. The problem with those boosters is that they only last a very short amount of time.
Then, when you come down from the temporary high, you’re likely to feel more sluggish and lethargic. Here are some ways you can boost your energy levels naturally – and that you may not know about:
Get up and move. Many of us spend hours sitting at our desks, hunched over a computer and trying to complete enormous workloads. Simply standing by your desk is a small break that can give you a perk that will help you rev up your brain and your body. Walk around if you can and get the added benefit of better blood flow.
Use EFT. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is now being used as a coaching method to relieve stress, produce more T-cells, increase your strength and well-being and boost your energy.
To boost your energy level, tap your thymus gland (it’s in the center, top portion of your chest, between the collar bone and breast area) using the tips of your fingers for about twenty seconds. Take deep breaths during the tapping exercise.
Get energy from the sun. Especially during winter months, we tend to stay indoors, in cramped and stuffy offices and don’t get enough sun. If you’re feeling lethargic, try to spend a few minutes out in the sun and see how your mood improves.
Afternoon tea. The British were on to something when they began afternoon tea breaks to renew your vitality and perk up your brainpower. Green tea is especially great for getting rid of that afternoon sagging feeling.
Blink. When you think that your head is about to fall on your desk top, try blinking exercises. Rather than staring at pages or a computer screen, blink about ten to twenty times during one minute. This will relieve your brain of stress and make it more active.
Deep breathing. This is one of the most useful methods you can have in your arsenal of energizers. A quick search on Google for Yoga deep-breathing exercises can tell you all you need to know about using your rhythmic breath to relax and relieve stress.
If you consistently experience afternoon slumps, think about what you had for lunch. Heavy, carb-laden foods can make you tired and sleepy during afternoon hours. And, are you getting enough sleep?
You have to get a good night’s rest to be alert and able to function at your best during the daylight hours. Assess your lifestyle, change some bad habits into good ones and you should feel your energy return.
Anyone who has diabetes knows that the disease has many different symptoms. These symptoms can range from tingling in the hands caused by nerve damage from high glucose levels to frequent urination.
As time passes, diabetes can cause a lot of serious harm to your body unless you reverse it. Well over 25 million people now have diabetes. There are two types of diabetes.
Type 1 means that the cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. This is usually caused by an autoimmune disease. Very little insulin is produced in the pancreas and certainly not enough to keep glucose levels manageable.
Of the two types of diabetes, this one can be the most difficult to regulate and is often diagnosed in early childhood. However, Type 2 diabetes can be more easily reversed because this form of the disease is linked to metabolic disorders rather than cell destruction.
People who have Type 2 diabetes don’t have enough insulin production to control their glucose levels. To understand how to reserve diabetes, you’ll need to follow some tips such as the ones shown in Diabetes Free.
Understand the Truth About Diabetes
If you look around in the medicine section of a grocery store or drug store, you’ll easily notice that there are numerous products dedicated to living with diabetes. You’ll find equipment for all kinds of diabetic needs, equipment for keeping your feet comfortable and protected from nerve damage, books on diabetic meal planning and more.
When you keep checking, you’ll see that there are scores of different testing supplies that you can purchase. In the past, to buy a glucose meter, testing strips and lances, you had to have a prescription.
But now that millions of people have been diagnosed with this condition, you can just pick up supplies over the counter. That pretty much removes the limit to how often you can test your levels and how much money you can spend on all of the products.
If you’ll pay attention to all of these supplies, you’ll notice that all of them are there to teach you how you can thrive while having diabetes. Your doctor will have you come in for A1c testing periodically so that you’ll know how well you’re monitoring your levels.
This way, your medication dosage can be raised if your levels are staying too high. You’ll get warned about the long term complications of diabetes – such as blindness or amputation if you don’t keep a tight control on those numbers.
Having all of these products and all of this information from doctors is a good thing, right? Not always. Because when you have tools that help you stay where you are, it’s too easy not to change.
It’s too easy to just accept that this is the way it will always be. What all of this has in common is that the mindset you’re being taught is geared toward making sure you understand how you can live with it rather than how you can fight it.
Instead of loading yourself down with information on accepting and living with diabetes or allowing others to tell you that you have to live with it – look at the alternative – reversing diabetes.
Take back control of your health. It’s easier to do than you might think. Reader’s Digest had an article online dated November 2012 that talked about some guidelines the American Diabetes Association was giving new patients.
Instead of automatically going on medication for diabetes after a diagnosis, the ADA suggested trying some lifestyle changes first. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the results debunk the myth that once you have diabetes, you’ll always have it.
Using lifestyle changes, participants monitored in one of the groups were said to be in diabetes remission. Their glucose levels were within normal range without the need for any medication.
Medications and Insulin Don’t Treat the Root Cause of Diabetes
When someone gets diagnosed with diabetes, one of the first things most doctors will do is give them a prescription for medicine or insulin to get those numbers under control.
But that’s actually one of the worst steps that you can take. So why do doctors handle it this way? Because it’s become the gold standard for the way that diabetes is treated. …
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