Archive for July, 2013

Food Tip: Halt Cravings With Pleasant Mental Images

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

outdoors mood boosterTired of your food cravings getting the best of you?  A new study shows that you can curb cravings with one simple step – mental images.  Just picture something, anything that isn’t food-related – a white sandy beach, a starry sky, a beautiful mountain range, the sight of your significant other.

Studies have shown than when people have a craving for food if they picture something that makes them happy, but isn’t that hot fudge sundae, that they can actually curb their cravings on their own without caving in.

Researchers suggest that by enlisting the help of your other senses and picturing some enjoyable activity that it takes the edge off their food urge.

While those studies didn’t resist their cravings each and every time, it did help to prevent them from giving in each and every time.  Over time using mental images just may help to keep off those extra pounds.

Farmers’ Market Facts: What You Need to Know Before You Visit Your Local Farmers’ Market

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

farmers marketEverywhere you look these days farmers’ markets are popping up… and their popularity is going up as well.  The number of farmers’ markets has increased by 60 percent over the past five years and for most people farmers’ markets are their sole source of obtaining fresh, local produce.

But not all farmers’ markets are the same… and not all farmers’ markets are offering the fresh, local produce that you are expecting.

Here are some facts about farmers’ markets that you need to know before you head out to your next market.

  • There are typically two types of markets – a true farmers’ market and a “farm market” where people resell produce that they purchased at a wholesale market.  At a “farm market” the produce is typically not producing locally but instead comes from faraway states or countries.  Look for “producer-only” farmers’ markets to make sure that you are shopping at the real deal.  Ask the market director if you are not sure if the place you go to is “producer-only” or not.
  • Local doesn’t always mean organic.  Local farmers that aren’t deemed certified organic can and will use some of the same harmful pesticides that other produce chains use.  Farmers must be certified by the USDA and keep very accurate records in order to be considered organic.  Some farmers choose not to go through the lengthy certification process so they are not legally allowed to say that they are organic.  If a farmer is not certified but claims to be organic, ask them how they their weeds and insects are kept under control to determine if they conduct organic practices.
  • Food straight from the farmers’ market may look so good and ripe for the eating on the spot, but you really shouldn’t eat something directly at the farmers’ market.  Consider all of the “dirty hands” that may have come in contact with your produce before making its way to the farmers’ market shelves and bins.  Fight the urge to pop those berries or cherry tomatoes right in your mouth and be sure to wash them thoroughly before you eat them.  The best (and cheapest) way to clean any produce is by using this solution: In a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup cold water.  Shake it well and spray it all over your produce.  Rinse your produce well after spraying and enjoy!
  • Don’t be “bugged” out by the bugs on your produce at your local farmers’ market.  Bugs in store-bought processed foods are definitely a bad thing, but bugs on produce at a farmers’ market are actually a good thing.  Biodiversity is a practice often used on organic farms, so if you see a worm or two on your apple be grateful knowing that you are getting something that is straight off the farm and truly organic.

 

 

Aromatherapy – Scents and Effects

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Aromatherapy

Have ever you experienced smelling something nice or different and it having an effect on you? Yes, even our sense of smell could have a direct effect on our mood and how we feel. And this is the principle behind aromatheraphy. In fact it’s defined as the use of natural oils which induces physical and psychological well being.

Aromatheraphy is also a form or alternative or traditional medicine that is used to promote health naturally. Often time people use aromatheraphy to induce specific moods and feelings or reduce stress and pain caused by physical ailments.

Different scents trigger different reactions. You should know that there are several types of scents which offer a different effect on the person’s mood and feeling. It is essential that you understand what particular scent can relieve your ailment. You can get the specific scent you want from oils, candles, soaps, and even perfumes. There are also a lot of variations that you can choose from with each scent having a different effect.

Here are some of the common scents available and their effects:

  • Cedar wood- this has a woody, sweet scent. The effects on the body is both soothing and strengthening. This kind of scent is used for treating Dandruff and arthritis.
  • Chamomile- it has a sweet, crisp scent which can be relaxing and soothing. You may want to use this scent if you have a headache, experiencing insomnia and nausea. This can also be effective in reducing stress.
  • Eucalyptus- this scent is characterized by a fresh and earthy smell. It balances and stimulates your body. This provides relief for colds, poor blood circulation and arthritis.
  • Ginger- this scent is commonly used for treating nausea and colds. It is characterized by a warm and spicy aroma which can be warming if inhaled.
  • Jasmine- the scent provides a soothing and calming effect for people who are suffering from depression and mental tension. It has a floral and exotic scent which calms and reduces stress levels.
  • Lavender- It is characterized by a fruity and fresh aroma. It can have a calming and therapeutic effect on the body. It’s a great remedy for people with depression, muscle pain, anxiety and burns.
  • Lemongrass-this scent has a fresh and lemony aroma to it. This helps relax the muscles and a great stress releaser. It’s great for relieving muscle pain.
  • Peppermint- it has a fresh and strong minty aroma. It helps refresh and stimulate the body. This is a good remedy for people who are experiencing headache and nausea.
  • Sandal wood - the scent is characterized by a rich delicate and sweet aroma. It can be warming and relaxing to people. This can be a great relief for stress and anxiety.
  • Vanilla- it has a rich and warm scent which could be stimulating and relaxing for the body. It is also a great scent for people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Smelling different scents can trigger different reactions from your body. If you want to relax and feel refreshed you now know that specific scents could have a soothing effect on your mind and body. So why not use aromatheraphy to relax your body and lighten up your mood. The next time you start reaching out for your pills; why not experiment with scents and oils to help relieve your tired and stressed body naturally.

Top Ways to Cut Calories…Without Eating Less!

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

eating healthyNutritionists are always looking for ways to help people lose weight, cut calories, and overall eat better to live a healthier life.  In a recent report, experts offer “tricks” that people can incorporate into their daily diets that will help them to lose weight, without eating less.

This type of eating is called “volumetrics” where you bulk up on meals that will leave you feeling fuller longer, rather than by cutting out foods or shrinking portions.

Here are some of the “tricks” that the volumetrics diet suggests:

  • Eat your vegetables… lots of them.  Experts say that by filling up on fiber and water you will feel fuller.  They suggest that by adding vegetables to every meal you eat that you will still be able to enjoy your carbs in other meals, but just be sure to load the carbs with vegetables, too.
  • Eat water-laden fruits.  Fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, oranges, raspberries, blueberries and apples are far better for you than calorie packed bananas, and because they are water and fiber based they will help to create volume in your diet.
  • Always start your dinner with a soup or a salad.  The soup should be a broth-based soup or choose a salad with a light dressing, but either choice will fill you up before you dive into your largest meal of the day.
  • Choose high fiber, high grain cereals for breakfast. To create a bowl with greater volume, choose flaked or puffed cereal.
  • Eat egg whites.  Research has shown that if you want to keep your weight in check, people who eat at least two eggs per day consume fewer calories throughout the day than someone who eats bagels for breakfast.  You can cut your calories and cholesterol by choosing the egg whites only instead of the whole egg.
  • Switch your milk.  If you are used to drinking whole milk, just by switching to fat free milk you can drink twice as much milk for the same amount of calories.
  • Eat yogurt – especially of Greek or non-fat yogurt.  Since yogurt is a high-water food, it also helps to keep you feeling fuller.
  • Go for lean proteins.  Foods like shrimp, roasted turkey breast, tilapia, and canned tuna in water are all packed with protein and low in calories.  You can also eat almost three times as much fish as you can many other proteins.
  • Try less-dense desserts.  Instead of reaching for the cookies or cakes, opt for yogurt or fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Buy your cream cheese and butter whipped.  Whipped varieties contain added air, thereby creating fewer calories per serving.  Although, just because it is whipped doesn’t mean that there aren’t any calories.  You still need to be cognizant of how much butter and cream cheese you are using when you add it to your foods.
  • If you want a salty snack go for popcorn.  Choose the 100-calorie bags or air pop a cup or two of popcorn instead of the butter and oil infused microwave kinds.
  • Dilute dressing and dips by adding lemon juice, avocados, or yogurt.  This way you can still enjoy your favorite dressing or dip, but by diluting them you can save your calories for something worth spending them on.