Change Your Diet for a Facelift

December 4th, 2008


If you want a facelift because you aren’t happy with the way your skin looks, you might not have to go to that extreme. Instead, you might be able to improve the way you look by changing your diet. Some foods are much better for you than others, and some of them are also much better for your skin. If you partake of those more often you could improve your skin over time.

One of the most popular of the skin enhancing diets is the Perricone Diet. This diet is designed for weight loss, but there is also a three-day period at the start of it where you eat fruits, berries and yogurt, can only drink water or green tea, and must eat salmon twice a day.

These kinds of things and their combination are important for a person’s skin, and this three day diet can make a significant difference by helping to flush the toxins from your body. That will help with younger-looking and more supple skin.

Educational Fundraiser’s Goal is to Decrease Childhood Obesity and Environmental Waste

November 17th, 2008


Surf City Growers has begun offering its My First Organics seed starting kits as both a healthy, eco-friendly and profitable alternative to fundraising with more commonplace items like traditional candies, gift wrap drives and cookies.

Citing the well-known fact that childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, SCG asks a pertinent question: “Why should our kids contribute to the problem by selling candy and cookies? How much gift wrap do we need? We felt it necessary to offer a responsible, conscientious choice to help under-funded schools and youth groups raise money,” said Linda McNair, president and co-founder.

The kits are priced at $14.99. Schools and youth groups can earn up to $5 per kit sold, either through Internet fundraising or the traditional door-to-door type approach.

SGC feels that the kits will teach children the why and how of growing organic produce.

“It’s also an amazing way for more families to learn about eating healthy and caring for the environment,” adds McNair.

The kits include colorful and delicious vegetables and herbs that can be grown in either a container or garden plot. They’re also good for about a year from the date of purchase.

Safety Risks of a High Protein Diet

November 11th, 2008


High protein diets are sometimes popular with bodybuilders, and they are also sometimes used by people who are trying to lose weight. The risks that individuals take when they eat a high protein diet, though, have been much discussed.

The American Heart Association and others have talked about these kinds of diets for some time, and they have come to the conclusion that they are not a very good idea for overall health. They are usually safe for a short period of time to build muscle mass or to lose weight, but they aren’t something that people should just stay on for the long term.

If you stay on this diet too long you can get gout, which is a type of arthritis, and you can also see a higher risk of problems like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease because you aren’t getting the complex carbohydrates that actually help to protect you against these kinds of diseases. You can also raise your blood pressure and suffer from kidney failure, so be very careful about how long you stay on these kinds of diets.

Healthy Futures for Children: Eating Healthy and Physical Activity are Key

November 6th, 2008


Studies conducted last month suggest that one-in-six children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight, cites the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency. Overweight children can suffer from or develop asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Making community changes that foster an active environment, the consumption of healthy food and daily activity can all contribute to prevention or even reversal of these conditions, however.

Experts suggest that parents, schools and the community in general encourage healthy eating habits, and promote healthy choices. This includes an hour of physical activity; ensuring that children eat a healthy breakfast everyday; family mealtime; making sure that five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables are offered; all of these should be part of a daily routine. Lastly, and no less importantly, limit the amount of sports drinks, juice, soda and other sweetened drinks.

Communities can specifically create environments that promote healthy lifestyles too. These include adding sidewalks and bike routes, as well as ensuring that housing, schools and businesses are close together so that the need to drive is lessened. Public transportation and other aspects of community design should promote, encourage and reward healthy living.

What You Might Not Know About Your Cookies! (Eat At Your Own Risk)

November 3rd, 2008

Did you know, when you eat cookies, that you are, more than likely, eating palm oil? No? You probably didn’t. Most people don’t, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Unfortunately, palm oil is bad news – both for you and for orangutans all the way over in Indonesia. It harms your health, the animals, and the environment, all at the same time.

According to many reports, orangutans are ‘dying for cookies,’ and not in the way sugar-starved dieters do. They’re literally dying because the palm oil plantations that are needed to make cookies, biofuel and other products that contain the oil are destroying the Indonesia and other areas that the orangutans call home. Crackers, cereals, pastries, and microwave popcorn are all guilty, as are companies like Oreo, Pepperidge Farm, Keebler, Mrs. Fields and many others.

One of the sneaky ways that palm oil shows up in foods is by making you feel better in other ways. You see your favorite snack food there on the shelf. In big, bold letters it proclaims that it now has 0 grams of trans fat! You feel better about eating it, but have you ever looked to see what else might have changed? If the trans fat went away, what else moved in to take its place? Palm oil, which is saturated fat, which is basically just as bad for you, especially in large amounts.

About sixty percent of the palm oil in the world is produced by Malaysia. This is important, because Malaysia doesn’t like the United States telling people that palm oil is bad for them. The country doesn’t want it listed as a saturated fat anymore. They think it’s being ‘lumped in’ with other oils that are worse to eat and being unfairly treated, mostly by the soybean growers.

While palm oil may have its place in some foods and other items, the majority of it is only there because of the push to remove unhealthy trans fat from many staples of the average American diet. However, since palm oil is actually not really any healthier, there is nothing being gained by people who eat it and everything being lost by the animals and plants that formerly lived where clearing is taking place to build palm oil processing and harvesting facilities.

A lot of orangutans are feeling the pain of the way that industry is changing and the demands that are being placed on the individuals who must provide palm oil and other items for human needs. There are Websites where people can donate to the cause of these poor animals and where they can stay updated on the continued efforts to ensure that no more orangutans are harmed and there is no further destruction of the environment.

Palm oil is found in most margarine, shortening, potato chips, cooking oil, soups, sauces, crackers, baked goods, and confectionery products as well as biofuel, lubricants, detergents, soaps, and cosmetics including lipstick, makeup remover, body lotion, and sun cream. Most people don’t realize how much palm oil they use or ingest over the course of their lifetimes and how unhealthy it is for all involved. There are some places in the world where elephants are being used for slave labor on palm oil plantations. If they are not needed for that, they are simply killed because they are in the way of progress. By 2020, it is believed that the need for palm oil will double and that means that 1,160 square miles of new crops will have to be planted – and land will have to be cleared and habitats destroyed to do this.

So many rainforests are being destroyed, and the chief reason for that is economics. People want the items that palm oil is used in and for, so there is a strong market for the substance. This desire to make money is clearly going to supersede any concerns that these companies have about the environment or the people who purchase their products.

Sources:
http://www.cspinet.org/palmoilreport/PalmOilReport.pdf
http://www.cspinet.org/palm/
http://www.healthcastle.com/palm-oil-trans-fat-free-foods.shtml
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9B0DE7DB113CF93AA25753C1A961948260
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/palm_oil_a_rain.php
http://www.redape.org
http://ethicsandanimals.com/2007/11/13/palm-oil-unhealthy-for-you-deadly-for-asian-elephants.aspx
http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0425-oil_palm.html

It’s Time to Celebrate Healthy Workplace Month

October 30th, 2008


Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month is here. Upgraded from a one week event to four, it is meant to introduce workplace health to organizations and reward those who already have programs in operation.

Some of the contributors to healthcare costs seen in Canada include factors ranging from stress, poor nutrition, inactivity and long hours. It is things like these that cause heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, among other maladies.

There’s one company in particular that saw the benefit of focusing on other companies’ employee health. Licious Living is focusing their efforts in such places as Vancouver and Toronto with nutritious meals with the added convenience of quick, fast-food style service—minus the bad stuff of course. Indeed, Licious Living takes this fast-food concept to a higher-quality level. “It’s all in the use of fresh ingredients, the care that goes into the meal preparation and balancing of the nutrients,” says Katie Rogers of Licious Living. “And then getting the foot to the consumer in a convenient way.”

People simply don’t have the time to prepare nutritious, time-conscious meals due to strict workplace environments and hectic lives in general. Licious Living ultimately aims to eliminate the harmful effects of traditional fast food products.

What You Need to Know About The Flu Shot

October 30th, 2008


If you’re considering getting a flu shot this year, the CDC agrees. About 5% to 20% of Americans get an annual flu. However, if average Americans would simply take the opportunity to take a flu shot or influenza vaccine, deaths and hospitalizations would decrease. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized and nearly 36,000 people die annually.

October through May is typically influenza season, so from the beginning of the season to November are the best times to get the influenza.

Two versions of flu shots are available for adults and children. There is the less frequent nasal influenza vaccine named FluMist (LAIV), which typically doesn’t cause any side effects but there are exceptions, of course. Then there is the traditional flu shot, which utilizes a live virus. It contains an inactive virus given intravenously.

Both versions spur antibody development in the body. These in turn creates protection against the virus, although it can cause muscle aches and general fatigue during antibody production.

The best candidates for flu vaccination are those 50 years or older, adults and children 6 months or older with lung conditions, diabetes, chronic kidney condition and asthma as well as women who will be pregnant during the flu season.

Lose More Weight- Useful Tips About Dieting

October 22nd, 2008


Advice about dieting can come from many different directions at once. How do you sort out the good advice from the bad?

Laughingly, many believe that celery and chewing sugar-free gum can burn calories. Give your mouth a rest and get your body moving instead. Studies from prestigious organizations like the Mayo Clinic have debunked the “negative-calorie” myth that has upheld the gum and celery whispers.

Coffee, on the other hand, can rev up your metabolism significantly. Two cups of coffee, for instance, can cause the female body to expend 50 extra calories (in a 145 pound woman). Be careful though: sugar, cream and milk lessens the metabolic effect of black coffee because it can cause insulin levels to rise.

Eating after 8 p.m. may or may not cause increased body fat. Caloric intake throughout the day determines what happens when that late-night snake is consumed. Be careful to not overeat at night, however, if your day meals are light. This will reverse any beneficial effect.

Exercising on an empty stomach can burn more fat, but a better workout awaits if one eats a good meal beforehand. University of Ottawa researchers asked test subjects to treadmill until 400 calories were eliminated. While those who skipped breakfast burned 58 percent more fat, although fasting doesn’t always turn into significant weight loss.

Allergies: An American Epidemic

October 20th, 2008


One in four Americans suffer from allergies according to the Center for Disease Control. Shockingly, one in three report witnessing family members on vacations exhibiting allergies too.

What can travelers do when in strange hotel rooms during vacations? PURE Solutions has the answer. Through hypoallergenic bedding, bacteria-free surfaces, filtered and freshly-circulated air, PURE Allergy Friendly hotel rooms can greatly reduce the likelihood of triggered allergies by as much as 98 percent.

While hotel chains like Wyndham offer PURE Solutions, these rooms are not available everywhere yet. PURE Solutions offer some simple tips for allergy-free traveling:

1) Ask for no smoking hotel rooms that are pet-free.
2) Despite the ‘fresh air’ suggestion many Americans here, air conditioning is a smart allergy-free idea when traveling, be it in a hotel room or car.
3) Advance research about your final destination will go a long way in determining what you can expect once you get there, especially in terms of allergens.
4) Care when it comes to new culinary delights can go a long way in ensuring that your vacation is problem-free. Exotic destinations, for instance, should prompt you to get some solid advice from friends or colleagues about locations and particular dishes that are safe to eat.

“With modern lifestyles, the typical person can spend as much as 90 percent of his or her time indoors where invisible pollutants may be as much as 100 times as plentiful than outdoors,” says Brian Brault, the CEO of PURE Solutions.

Menu Labeling Law Passes in California

October 17th, 2008


Following Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature of SB 1420, California became the first state in the country to require menu labeling for nutritional purposes. The bill will require all of California’s 17,000 restaurants to list calorie counts. This is in response to the state population’s increasing obesity rate.

The legislation contains a two-year phase-in period, where brochures listing nutritional information including caloric value, grams of saturated fat, carbohydrates and sodium milligrams will be required by July 1, 2009 and on menus and indoor menu boards by January 1, 2011. Only restaurants with 20 or more locations will be affected.

The legislation was inspired by a Field Research Corporation poll highlighting how only 10 percent of state residents were able to pick the healthiest item from a short list of the most common fast foods. Authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) with Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Members Marc DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), actual sponsorship came from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the American Cancer Society.

“Menu labeling is good common sense,” says Dr. Harold Goldstein of the CCPH. “Just like smoke-free restaurants, I expect menu labeling will quickly sweep the nation as other states recognize the benefit of providing consumers with basic nutrition information. Menu labeling by itself won’t end the obesity epidemic, but it sure is a good place to start.”