It's that time of year when most of us take an extended summer vacation and extra calories lurk around every corner! Buffet breakfasts, late night dinners, and sweet treats are everywhere. All these extras add up, and most of us will come back unable to button up our pants! It's true that vacations are no time to try to lose weight, but they don’t have to be a time to put on extra weight, which only gets harder to remove with time. The best way to deal with temptations is to get organized and plan ahead. I personally take a few things with me that help me stick to my routine as much as possible. They are my little daily rituals that help to remind me to stay healthy.
1- Sage water:
This is a liquid that is made from Sage leaves and is a life saver when you experience stomach problems. You just add some to a cup of warm/hot water and drink. Sage has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and will clean your stomach well.
2- Fennel seeds:
Great for indigestion and soothing for the stomach. Crush the seeds with the back of a spoon and pour hot water over, allow to seep for a few minutes and drink.
3- Mixed seed bag :
I mix equal quantities of pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds in a container and never travel without it. It is my source of good fats and daily Omega fix. I sprinkle it on my oats every morning.
4- Dandelion tea:
I have a cup every single day, preferably at night before bedtime. Dandelion tea is a great liver detox and will work to keep your system clean overnight.
5- Za’atar mix:
This is a unique spice blend from the Arab World, which includes a combination of dried thyme, oregano, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds. It is widely used as a paste with olive oil to spread over flatbread. Zaatar is super healthy and believed to ‘awaken’ the brain and make one sharper.
Zaatar has a rich mineral content that can boost circulation, brain power, and stimulate neural activity in the brain. The Thyme clears respitory tracts with immune-boosting abilities that can help fight off illnesses. In my hometown of Lebanon, it is tradition to give this for breakfast to children before they sit an exam! I always take a bag with me and my children and I will have some almost daily on vacation.
6- Manuka honey:
Not all honey is created equal! Manuka honey has many medicinal properties. It has anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, and can be used to boost the immune system to help fight off illness. It also soothes a sore throat, and can be used externally on cuts, wounds and ulcers to assist with the healing process.
To soothe a sore throat, a spoonful can be taken neat, with warm water and lemon juice, or just with warm water.
I have personally stopped refined sugar a while back, and add a little manuka honey instead in my tea and anything else that I want to sweeten.
7- My miniature weighing scales:
I generally summer in a home when I travel and I can’t live without these! I bought them off Amazon and they are tiny so they don’t take any space in luggage. I find that they help keep me on track portion wise when cooking. (Check our store under the Services tab above).
8- My personal mini Juicer:
Again I purchased a mini juicer on Amazon, and take it with me anytime I’m staying in a self-catered facility. I use it for my daily green juice of course, but I also use it to make my almond milk. I stopped having dairy years ago, and I struggle with finding almond milk when I travel - 2 important reasons to pack my blender!
(Check our store under the Services tab above).
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has announced it is classifying processed meats as a carcinogenic, meaning there is now “sufficient” evidence to conclude that the consumption of everything from sausages to corned beef can cause cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.
The IARC also found that red meat can “probably” cause cancer, although the evidence it found to support this link is less robust. These conclusions published in the medical journal Lancet Oncology, were arrived at by 22 global experts after reviewing more than 800 studies.
The IARC’s announcement is the strongest statement yet by a public health body linking meat and cancer. It has also provoked anxiety amongst carnivores and backlash from the meat industry, which blasted the IARC findings as “dramatic and alarmist.”
The IARC has designated processed meats a “Group 1” cancer hazard, which places them in the same category as everything from asbestos to tobacco.
Experts also stress that the cancer risk of consuming a smoked meat sandwich still pales in comparison to that of smoking a cigarette. At this point, the public health message isn’t to quit meat, which can be a good source of nutrients like protein and iron, just to eat it in moderation.
“I don’t think people need to all of a sudden become vegetarian or avoid meat altogether,” said Rayjean Hung, a cancer epidemiologist with Mount Sinai’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, who has previously worked with the IARC. “You need to think about what is a balanced meal, what is moderation.”
The evidence linking cancer and meat consumption has been accumulating for some time, according to Hung.
While there isn’t enough data to conclude what constitutes a “safe” level of meat, the IARC did find that greater consumption translated to greater risk: for every 50 grams of processed meat (the equivalent of one or two bacon strips), the cancer risk grows by 18 per cent. For red meat, every 100 grams increased risk by 17 per cent.
Doctors agree that one third of cancers can be prevented by eating well and living a healthy, active lifestyle.
It’s sugar, not fat, that causes heart attacks.
Fifty years of doctors’ advice and government eating guidelines have been recommending swapping eggs for Cheerios, but they couldn't have been more wrong! A rigorously done new study shows that those with the highest sugar intake had a four-fold increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes. That’s 400%! Just one 20-ounce soda a day increases your risk of a heart attack by about 30%.
This study of more than 40,000 people, published in JAMA Internal Medicine journal, syncs with decades of data on how sugar causes insulin resistance (diabetes), high triglycerides, lower HDL (good) cholesterol and dangerous high LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also triggers the inflammation we now know is at the root of heart disease. This is very important as people are consuming more sugar on a daily basis then any other time historically...Sugar is hidden in EVERYTHING these days and governments need to impose proper labeling so consumers are aware of what they're buying.
An absolutely brilliant talk from Sir Ken Robinson who makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
The fabulous Sir Ken Robinson talks about his new book 'The Element', the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century. A breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement from one of the world's leading thinkers on creativity and self-fulfillment.
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Anita Moorjani at a conference in London last year. Her story is truly incredible and hearing her speak is very inspiring and will encourage you to live life fully. Her book "Dying to be me" is available in our Bookstore. Here she is at TEDex:
Looking for something to help you relax before bed that doesn't involve popping a pill? You might want to load up your iPod with a song by Manchester band, Marconi Union. Sound therapists were able to rate ten of the most relaxing songs, with Marconi Union's 8 minute trance-inducing tune, "Weightless", coming out on top thanks to its continuous rhythm of 60 BPM, an ideal tempo for synchronization with the heart and brainwaves, making it an ideal audio accompaniment for a good night's rest. Listen to it under the jump…
Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy notes:
"While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure.The harmonic intervals - or gaps between notes - have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.
Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants. High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state."
The Top 10 Most Relaxing Tunes:
1. Marconi Union - Weightless
2. Airstream - Electra
3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
4. Enya - Watermark
5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing
6. Barcelona - Please Don't Go
7. All Saints - Pure Shores
8. Adele - Someone Like You
9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull'aria
10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
Source: Apartment Therapy
If you are suffering in your life right now, I guarantee that this condition is tied up with some kind of attachment to how you think things should be going. Affirm, "I release the need to determine how things "should" be."
We have been writing about the dangers of trans-fats in the diet forever and so you can imagine our joy when we heard the news today that the FDA has finally taken a stance on the matter.
The FDA has declared that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, were no longer “generally recognized as safe” and they are a threat to people's health. That means companies would have to prove scientifically that partially hydrogenated oils are safe to eat, a very high hurdle given that scientific literature overwhelmingly shows the contrary. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is NO safe level for consumption of artificial trans fats, and they are the worst kind for your heart.
The move concluded three decades of battles by public health advocates against artificial trans fats, which occur when liquid oil is treated with hydrogen gas and made solid (e.g.Margarine). Trans fats are used in most processed foods and fast foods (think everything from cookies, chips and doughnuts to popcorn, burgers and fries). Companies like using them because they’re easy to use, inexpensive, act as a preservative for long shelf-life, and give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because they can be used many times over in commercial fryers.
Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Hamburg said that while the amount of trans fats in the country's diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, they "remain an area of significant public health concern." The trans fats have long been criticized by nutritionists, and New York and other local governments have banned them.
The agency isn't yet setting a timeline for the phase-out, but will collect comments for two months before officials determine how long it will take. Different foods may have different timelines, depending how easy it is to substitute.
To phase them out, the FDA said it had made a preliminary determination that trans fats no longer fall in the agency's "generally recognized as safe" category, which is reserved for thousands of additives that manufacturers can add to foods without FDA review. Once trans fats are off the list, anyone who wants to use them would have to petition the agency for a regulation allowing it, and that would be unlikely to be approved
Daniel Amen MD shares an inspiring talk about the importance of brain health, and how brain related symptoms should be treated. His talk is based on extensive studies conducted over many years by him and his team.
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