5 Reasons That I Stopped Eating Pork

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10 Things I’ve Learned From 21 Days of Fasting

As I reached the final day of fasting this past Sunday, I can reflect on the many things that I’ve learned.

  1. Getting closer to God.  This is the main reason for fasting.  It is always nice to get better acquainted with my Lord and Savior through His Word and through prayer.
  2. I don’t need caffeine.  Sure, I like the taste and smell of a cup of coffee, but I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms from not having it for 21 days.  That tells me that it’s not a necessity. Caffeine can affect you in negative ways, like rapid heartbeat or being jittery.
  3. I will cut back on steak and other meats.  My husband and I ate steak almost every week before the fast. I’m not going to totally go vegan since God said that all food is good (I Timothy 4:3-4). However, I have felt amazing these past few weeks. I want to continue to feel energetic.
  4. Diet made more of a difference for my weight loss. I didn’t fast for the purpose of losing weight…it’s just a side effect.
  5. Trivial things don’t matter.  My cell phone was lost, and I didn’t have one for 2 days. At the end of the day, it’s just a material possession.
  6. I need to cut back on social media. I use social media to promote my blog, but other than that, I’m not the type of person that lives on Facebook and always taking selfies.  You ever notice that everywhere you go, whether it’s work or the doctor’s office, people rarely talk to each other anymore? They’re either texting or on social media.  Some people text while they’re walking.  Even driving, although you can get a ticket for that!
  7. I didn’t miss eating bread.  When you’re a pre-diabetic, it is better to resist it.
  8. It felt good to teach someone a spiritual lesson.  I’m always open to talking about spiritual matters with those that will listen.  When I can write about it, it is even better.
  9. Your body needs a detox.  Every now and again, your mind and body need a detox.  See my post on Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body
  10. Television is used as a tool for mind control.  We didn’t watch regular television during the fast, not even the local news.  We watched documentaries and nature shows. It is a mindless distraction.

 

 

Time to Get Moving as We Move into 2016

This will be my last post for the year as well as the 100th blog post.     I wanted to update you on my progress. I saw my dietician for my final appointment. My diet is fine; however, he suggested that I get a fitness band to track my activity. My struggle this month was getting in the recommended activity. After taking a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico, and with the holidays, there was an interruption  in my workout routine.  We enjoyed ourselves, celebrating my husband’s birthday, going horseback riding, and taking a camel ride for the first time. We also experienced the kingdom safari; letting birds eat food out of your hand was a very different experience.

We got some much needed rest over the holidays.  This week, I am back on track with my workouts and diet. In my appointment, we discussed that every person, regardless of your weight, needs to take 10,000 steps per day. So, I purchased a Garmin activity tracker.  For the past 2 days, I have reached my goal.  In addition to steps and other activities, it also tracks your sleep. It tracks the number of both deep and light sleep hours.

With 2016 just around the corner, I will continue to keep my same goals in mind. With writing, family, and my full-time job, our next vacation probably won’t be until the summer for my birthday.

 

Getting the Most from Your Personal Trainer

On Tuesday and Thursday, I met with my new personal trainer.  We both felt that everything went well.  My previous trainer referred me.  I didn’t have any issues with her. She gave me the start that I need on this journey to achieving my goals.

I have 6 more sessions with her.  It’s hard work right now, but it will be well worth it when I start seeing results.  I know that if I do not have guidance in the beginning, I will not necessarily make correct choices.

I struggle with push-ups and lunges, the latter being the most difficult for me. I’m sure that with time, I will show improvement with both exercises.  When you do squats, just think of sitting in a chair. I’ve done this exercise with and without one. You can incorporate a kettlebell into your workout. It will make your workout more beneficial.

Finally,  the most important part is the “before” pictures.  My current weight is 146lbs.  My goal is to reach 135 lbs. After these 6 sessions, I will see if my weight has dropped, or if I notice any obvious physical changes.  The plan is NOT to lose all 11 pounds in 3 weeks.  I want to pace myself.  I am changing my diet as well as exercising.  I want to look in the mirror at a toned body.IMG_1015 IMG_1016 IMG_1017

How Blood Sugar Levels and Stress Have an Impact-I Need Balance

imageThis past Monday, I worked out at 6:30am again, and I met with a dietician after work.  I completed a health questionnaire prior to my appointment.  It was confirmed that I lost 5 lbs. in the past month.  I have 33 percent body fat, which puts me at a moderate health risk. Anything over 35 percent is high risk.

As we talked, he determined that I eat pretty healthy lunches and dinners. Typically, we have a starch, a green vegetable, and a meat or fish.  I usually take leftovers for lunch the next day for work. Occasionally, I am invited to lunch with co-workers, or we have free lunch offered to us.  In those cases, I make healthy choices, like a salad.

imageAccording to my dietician, the  problem was my snack choices and breakfast. I was getting carbs, but not enough protein.  The rule is to look at the ratio of carbs to protein with fiber. When I was ingesting a higher ratio of carbs to protein, it was causing  an imbalance in which my blood sugar levels can rise and then drop. Either way, it promotes fat storage. Stress can increase cortisol levels, which coupled with low blood sugar levels, can also cause fat storage.  I learned this past week that your thoughts can cause stress; therefore, I make sure that my thoughts are not negative.

Normal blood sugar encourages fat use. For example, eating a bowl of oatmeal alone was leaving me short on protein. I needed to eat something else with it, like chicken or some nitrate- free breakfast meat.  Plain greek yogurt is high in protein. Since it doesn’t taste delicious by itself, I add fruit to it, which adds a nice balance.

As for snacking, I eat nuts, fruit and cheese, or hummus and raw veggies.  Sometimes, I just have a cup of green tea, and I’m satisfied. I’m sure as time goes on, I will get more creative. These were just suggestions, and they work for me.  I used to eat hummus often, but I just needed a change.

On my Friday session with the trainer, I struggled with a few of the exercises.  She set me up with a different personal trainer twice weekly for 30 minutes for the next month.  I will see how much progress I make and move forward from there.  It’ll be hard work, but well worth it.

I often hear people talk about being fat and overweight; however, they don’t make any changes with their diet or their lifestyle.  Looking back, I was a very skinny kid that wanted to be more curvy.  Now, I can still be curvy, but it’s about my health.

Will You Follow Me on my Fitness Journey?

imageLast month after having my yearly physical, I found out that I am pre-diabetic. That means that I am at risk for getting diabetes in the next 2 years.  I do have a family history of it, and I also gained 11 pounds this past year.  It’s time for a change!

I took my first step today and started working with a personal trainer. It was a great session. I truly have to be disciplined in all areas.  I work at a place that has free lunch often, chocolate laying around, and everything in the vending machines is $0.25.  Since I don’t have a lot of time, I’ll be working out at 6:30am at least twice a week. Working out 3 days per week is the only way that I can realistically achieve my goals. I’ll be following up with my doctor in 6 months, so I want a positive report.

I’ll also be meeting with a dietician. He will be able to tell me which foods I can eat and which ones to avoid. I know mostly what’s “bad”, but I would like another prospective.  I’ll need some guidance in the beginning, so I have to decide if one-on-one sessions are best, or would group sessions work best for me. It’s always nice to have others on that journey with you. I will keep you updated on my progress. Maybe even motivate some of you out there.  I look forward to this weight loss and diabetes-free journey.

5 Alternative Healthy Snacks For Potato Chip Lovers

Potato chips are delicious, but they’re called “junk food” for a reason. A bag of potato chips adds significant calories, salt, fat and carbohydrate to your diet without contributing necessary protein, fiber, vitamins or minerals. For the same calorie intake as a bag of potato chips, there are alternative healthier snacks that provide better nutrition. The following snacks can satisfy your savory cravings while packing a nutritional punch:

Nuts or Seeds

IMG_0886Any nuts or seeds can substitute as a salty, savory snack in place of potato chips. The advantage to nuts and seeds is that they provide protein, minerals and healthier fats by comparison with potato chips. Sunflower seeds, cashews, macadamia nuts or peanuts all make a healthier alternative to potato chips. If you need to limit your sodium intake due to high blood pressure or another medical condition, choose unsalted nuts and your palette will soon adjust. If portion control is an issue, nuts that are sold in their shells will slow down the speed of your eating. In-shell pistachios or peanuts take longer to shell and eat, slowing down your calorie intake overall. Blue Diamond, for example, offers almonds in salt and vinegar, habanero BBQ, lime-chili and other flavors. An ounce of Blue Diamond salt-and-vinegar almonds provides 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and useful quantities of calcium and iron for 170 calories per serving. By comparison, an ounce of Lay’s salt and vinegar potato chips — at 160 calories per serving — contains only 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and no calcium or iron. The carbohydrate content of potato chips is three times higher than that of flavored almonds, at 6 grams per ounce in chips versus 2 grams per ounce in the almonds.

Air-popped Popcorn

IMG_0890Popcorn is a salty, savory alternative to potato chips. Air-popped popcorn provides 110 calories per ounce. In terms of calorie content, popcorn therefore compares favorably with the 160 calories in an ounce of potato chips. Beware oil-popped popcorn, however, which is not really a healthier snack than potato chips. Air-popped popcorn is low in fat, and gives you that satisfying crunchy experience as you eat.

Vegetable Chips

Vegetable chips are generally much healthier than potato chips — this is especially true when veggie chips are baked rather than fried. A range of veggie chips can be bought in stores, or you can make your own at home by baking thinly sliced vegetables in heart-healthy olive oil. Thin, crunchy kale chips are a low-calorie food when baked, and unlike potato chips, they are low in sodium and fat. As an added bonus, kale chips are packed with iron, potassium and Vitamin A. Spinach chips are also low-calorie and provide iron, while beet chips provide the dietary fiber that is missing from potato chips.IMG_0889

Pretzels

Pretzels are high in carbohydrates and do not contribute significant protein, fiber or IMG_0888minerals to your diet. However, hard pretzels are very low in fat. This gives pretzels a major dietary advantage over potato chips, which are fried in oil and therefore have a high fat content. The low-fat content of hard pretzels reduces their calorie content by weight. An ounce of pretzels contains only 108 calories, while the same weight of potato chips contains around 160 calories. Additionally, hard pretzels take longer to chew than thin potato crisps, which is likely to slow your eating down.

Vegetables & Dip

If chips and dip are your weakness, any kind of veggies can be paired with dip for a
crunchy, satisfying snack. Carrots, celery, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoes are classic dipping vegetables, but any vegetable can be dipped. Try dipping raw radishes for a peppery taste, or raw cauliflower florets for a satisfying but healthy treat.IMG_0887

Jason Kane is a professional blogger who is trying to be healthier this year. He currently writes for AEDs Today, a leading supplier of automatic external defibrillators.

Vitamins C and B – Just like Magic Now

imageNow you have skin and face problems, now you don’t. Eggs, yeast, fish, beans, and milk form some of the ingredients of vitamin b, and therefore by default the ingredients of the finest vitamin B face serums. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is the strong antioxidant found in such fruits as mangoes, pineapples, lemons, and oranges among a myriad of others. Before we look in great detail at vitamin B serum for face and vitamin C serum Australia, we look to understand the ingredients that make up these wonderful vitamins and how they help our skin and face.

Vitamin B is useful in treating shallowness, Rosacea, acne (blackheads), bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annular (don’t worry about the terms used in the last two; they are both skin conditions which have bad manners). Vitamin B is also known for fading discoloration and age spots on the skin and is a great moisturizer.

In many cases, vitamin B is very good for people with sensitive and oily skin. There’s a wide variety of vitamin B, which means it pays to know most of them. Vitamin B2, for example, is likely to make your skin a little oily, and Vitamin B5 when taken in high doses works wonders for sufferers of acne, although it could have one or two side effects (especially diarrhea, so watching your diet is also advisable).

Vitamin C, as previously stated, is one hell of an antioxidant, with free radicals imageresistance yet to meet a match and anti-aging capabilities with few equals. In simple terms, if all the rest should fail in your quest to beat the decline of your skin, try vitamin C. Various research labs in Australia, including our affiliates, have gone to great pains to explain the usefulness of vitamin C, and therefore, serums with vitamin c ingredients. You should, at this point, know that Australia hosts some of the finest and complete research labs on the subject of aging, so usually when they say something, it helps to pay attention.

Humans, unlike many animals, are one of the few animals without the capability to synthesize their own vitamin C and must get it from the plethora of foods that produce them, some of which were mentioned earlier in this article. The urgency for vitamin C is best explained in its functions-synthesizing collagen, minimizing scar tissue, wound healing, prevention of fine lines and wrinkles, prevention of stress-related diseases, and blocks free radicals damage.

In the end, we need to have pretty skin and pretty faces. Without vitamin B and vitamin c serums, our skin loses their firmness and gives way to bacterial attacks. The result is that we age faster than we would like or would be normal. On the other hand, proper maintenance of our skin using the two vitamins makes us (almost) eternally youthful. And that, dear reader, is all you need to know about vitamin b serum for face and vitamin c serum Australia. All you need to do is go out there and make wise choices.

Continue reading “Vitamins C and B – Just like Magic Now”

6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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Winter can bring about a whole host of problems and obstacles when it comes to staying healthy. It is, of course, cold and flu season.

Winter also brings about a lot of holidays and holiday parties, which can throw a wrench into any healthy eating regimen. Add alcohol at those gatherings, the stress of being extremely busy, holiday shopping where you’ll come across many people with a cold, and it’s a recipe for a health disaster.

And there’s no cure for the common cold. So how exactly can you keep yourself from having all your energy zapped out of you while ending up flat on your back on the couch for days, despite that mile long to do list?

So, you’re surrounded by sick people, your stress levels are high, you’re really busy, and your eating isn’t as healthy as it would be under normal circumstances. It doesn’t sound good!

But don’t worry. All is not lost! There are ways to stay healthy this winter!

  1. Get Your Sleep

No matter how busy you are or what you have to get done, getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial to a healthy body and mind! You can not skimp on sleep!

Your body needs time to rest and recover, even more so when stress levels are higher, which is definitely the case around the end of year holiday season.

You may also want to cut back on your workouts during the winter to make sure your body has time to recover. When your body is overworked and you aren’t getting enough sleep, it promotes an acidic environment, and this is a breeding ground for viruses and other nasty germs to have their way with you.

Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Yes, even on weekends. And do your best to get up about the same time every day, seven days a week.

  1. Relax, Chill Out, Kick Back

Whatever you want to call it, you need to find time to take the proverbial chill pill. A 2012 study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who had to deal with a very stressful occurrence were twice as likely to end up with the common cold.

So find some down time, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or just sitting quietly listening to mellow music. Even fifteen minutes a day can work wonders.

  1. Get Spicy

Take some turmeric. It contains curcumin which is an immune system booster, exactly what you need during cold and flu system. You can get whole turmeric powder in tablets or capsules.

  1. Bad For Your Breath But Good For Your Health

Another great immune booster is garlic. A study published in Advances in Therapy showed that garlic can decrease the frequency of the common cold by as much as 64 percent!

But cooking can ruin the active ingredients, so be sure to mash it or chop it and put some in a salad or something.

  1. Drink Your Green Tea

Green tea has high levels of powerful anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy. It also has high levels of catechin, which can fight and maybe even prevent damage to your cells.

And here’s something to go with “Chill Out” to get rid of that stress! Green tea is high in theanine, which has been shown to have a calming effect and can help you to unwind and relax.

  1. Try Some Echinacea

This one is still up for debate, and there are many in the medical community on both sides of the argument.

However, a study done in 2010 in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that while taking echinacea won’t help prevent a cold, it could possibly shorten the time in which you have the cold. It can’t hurt, so if you feel a cold coming on, you might want to try some.

Nothing you do will guarantee you don’t succumb to a cold this winter, but if you follow these simple tips to stay healthy, you’ll give yourself a great chance of doing so.

Even if you succumb to a cold, chances are you could be healthier, have more energy and feel less stressed throughout the winter.

Author : Aria Meyer is a freelance writer and an active blogger. She writes mainly about fashion and technology, but she also writes about other topics too. She is currently working with several e-commerce websites to help them with content. Aria received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach and is currently living in Walnut, CA. Right now, she is working closely with EMed Items to help them grow the marketing department.

Tips for Managing Stress in the Work Place

Check out this post by guest blogger, Patrick King.

There has never been a time when society has been more strained to push employees to the limits and put more pressure on those employees to produce more than they ever have before. The work week has been continually expanded, and according to one study, over 50% of Americans claim that they regularly work more than 45 hours per week; a majority of salaried employees claim that they regularly work over 50 hours per week. While we could talk for days about what has caused these changes to come about, the truth is that it’s really irrelevant. What does matter is that a majority of Americans work under these conditions and the stress put on those employees continues to rise. While jobs continue to be more stressful, there are some very simple tips that everyone can use to reduce the stress of their work place.

  1. Take Advantage of the Ride Home

Whether your commute to work is 5 minutes or 45 minutes, take advantage of that time alone and do whatever you can to take your mind off of work. Personally, I work in a Marketing Dept., but we work in the same corporate office as our Client Care Center that fields hundreds of calls each day…which you can imagine makes for a very noisy work environment. This ride home is your chance to leave work at the office. Whether you prefer to listen to music, or simply drive in silence, do whatever you have to do to forget about work.

2.  Take Regular Breaks

Studies show that people are most productive when they take breaks every 90 minutes. Even if this means that instead of taking a full, 60-minute lunch break, you take a 45-minute lunch, and then take a couple 5-7 minute breaks throughout the day; it goes a long way to not force yourself to focus on work for hours and hours at a time. Along the same lines as Tip 1, it’s also very important that while you are taking these breaks you are taking 5-7 minutes where you just let your mind let go of work. This has little to do with the work you are doing and much more to do with the fact that you brain just needs time where it isn’t forced to focus on any particular topic.

3.   Exercise

This is a tip that most likely just made a lot of people cringe. This is another thing in our country that is hugely misunderstood. Most people feel like they either need to not exercise at all, or be body building fitness experts. Believe it or not, there is a middle ground, and that middle ground is one of the keys to minimizing stress. What we mean by exercise is just some physical activity after the work day is done. This can be as simple as maintaining a garden, or in colder weather, walking a block down to the store a few times a week to pick stuff up. Again, the idea is to really focus on forcing your body and your mind to recognize that you are out of the office and no longer working. When you can fully leave the work place behind, that’s really when your body will start to relieve that stress.

Patrick King is the Search Marketing Manager for Premier Laser Spa, the nation’s leading provider of laser hair removal. When he’s not at the office, he really enjoys blogging to take his mind off the daily routine.