Saturday, March 16, 2013

Staying Healthy The Natural Way

Health is inarguably the most valuable asset a person can have. Though a lot of people pursue other things like riches and fame, being free of sickness without any broken bones or missing toes is priceless. Unfortunately, achieving peak health is a very difficult and demanding process. Nowadays, there are many factors on every corner to trip you up. From unhealthy foods with preservatives and additives, to living a sedentary lifestyle, inhaling polluted air, and picking up millions of bacteria and germs by merely touching the stair rail or living room door, it is a bit overwhelming when you really think about it. While there are many fast and easy techniques to stay healthy, like drinking scientifically engineered beverages or getting your fats sucked through liposuction, it is more sensible to reach and maintain a healthy lifestyle in a natural way on a daily basis. Here are the basics to make this happen!

Eat Fruits & Vegetables
Though it is quite obvious to some, others tend to undermine the natural health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily. So, which fruits and vegetables should you eat? The best vegetables to eat include tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes. These vegetables are consumed for different purposes. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a nutrient that prevents cancer. Meanwhile, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and squash are rich in Vitamin C, which helps boost immunity. Fruits you should eat include blueberries and grapes, which are rich in antioxidants. Bananas are also great as a source of carbohydrates, potassium, and fiber.

Drink Tea
Instead of beverages laced with a number of ingredients and chemicals, try to drink tea. Specifically, go green. L-theanine, a compound that strengthens the body's immune reaction to infection, can be found substantially in tea. Based on proven reports, the production of anti-bacterial compounds was up to 5 times greater in people who regularly drank tea as opposed to those who do not. This is a clear indicator that tea and its properties are responsible for empowering the immune system. However, make sure you drink natural herbal tea rather than instant iced tea. Choose between green tea, white tea, and chamomile tea for optimal results. If you need to sweeten it up, use honey instead of sugar.

Get Some Rest
People who live a nocturnal lifestyle often have weak immune systems. Unfortunately, the symptoms are not apparent until a disease emerges. A natural way of staying healthy is to get adequate sleep. At least 6 hours of sleep is important for a person to function well. This amount of time allows your body and mind to repair and replenish itself for the following day. Ample shuteye also reduces your risk for diabetes, cancer, and other health illnesses.

Avoid weight loss pills or milkshakes and jog every morning instead. Running and hitting the gym at least once a week is a better weight loss alternative. It also has several physical and mental benefits, including proper muscle growth, cardiovascular strengthening, and a chance to meet new friends.

Author Pam Johnson is a nurse who makes a career out of the health of others. She recommends these tips to her patients daily. She obtained her degree from one of the Top 10 Best Online BSN to MSN Degree Programs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

6 Ways to Always be Healthy

6 Ways to Be Healthy

Good health is important to a high quality of life. If you are a person who wants to have the good health needed for a higher quality of life, you must be proactive with taking care of your body and mind. While occasional illness may be hard to avoid, there are certain things you can do to help ensure good physical and mental health. If you want to remain healthy so you can have a happier, higher quality of life, here are some tips you can incorporate in your day to day life to help you out.

1. Proper Exercise
If you truly want to help your body stay healthy, you will need daily exercise. You do not have to join the gym or participate in a rigorous daily exercise plan, but it is important to get daily exercise if you want to stay healthy. Even something as easy as taking a walk around the block after dinner each night can greatly increase your odds of staying healthy.

2. Eat Right
As everyone knows, diet plays an important part in the overall health of a person's body. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you eat a healthy diet if you want to remain healthy. Make sure your diet includes the recommended daily servings of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods if you want to keep your body in good health.

3. Balance
The health of your mind is very important to the overall health of your body. Feeling depressed or down in the dumps on a continuous basis can have negative consequences on your health, so it is important that you try to maintain positive mental balance if you want to stay healthy.

4. Rest
Without proper rest, your body will not be able to stay healthy. Even if you have a very busy life, it is very important that you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night if you want to keep your body and mind healthy.

5. Unhealthy Vices
As you probably already know, certain vices can be very bad for your health. If you smoke or do drugs, eliminating these harmful substances from your life can completely transform your health. Likewise with drinking. While it's okay to have the occasional beer or glass of wine, excess drinking can be very bad for your health.

6. Hobbies
Even if you think your day is too busy to include time for a fun hobby you enjoy, including this hobby in your day to day life can be important to good health. When you make time in your day for an enjoyable hobby, you will be helping to improve your overall body and mind health.

If you want to be healthy at all times in order to have the good health needed for a higher quality of life, incorporating the above listed tips into your day to day life will help you achieve this. By getting proper exercise, eating right, eliminating unhealthy vices, having a healthy hobby, and getting the proper amount of rest each night, you can help your body and mind in positive ways that will help you remain healthy.

Author Pam Johnson is a nurse who makes a career out of the health of others. She recommends these tips to her patients daily. She obtained her degree from one of the Best RN to BSN Degree Programs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Carbohydrates Affect Health and Weight

Here are just a couple blurbs from the Diet Heart News article 25 Reasons the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are wrong about cholesterol & saturated fat that refer to carbohydrates:
  • The primary dietary cause of diabetes and heart disease is the excess carbohydrates in our diet, especially sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and the easily-digested carbohydrates found in grain and grain products. Since 1980, Americans are consuming at least 400 additional carbohydrate calories a day – much of it sugar and corn syrup.
  • Blood-sugar-raising carbohydrates have a direct and immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin levels and, in the words of science writer Gary Taubes, “on the disruption of the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body.”
  • High insulin levels (hyperinsulinism) explain why Americans have fattened. Insulin is the fat storage hormone. When insulin levels are elevated – either chronically or after a meal – we make and store fat and lock it up in adipose tissue. When fat is locked up, it is not available as a fuel to the trillions of cells in the body. Hunger is the result.
  • By stimulating insulin levels, carbohydrates make us hungry and fat. High circulating insulin – in response to excess dietary carbohydrates – is the root cause of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and coronary heart disease – which leads to congestive heart failure.
  • According to the CDC in Atlanta, 1 in 3 children born today will become diabetics and 80 percent of diabetics die of heart disease. We have both an expanding population and a steadily increasing incidence of diabetes and heart disease. Americans need relief. How bad do things have to get before we revise the U.S. Dietary Guidelines in favor of a higher fat whole foods carbohydrate-restricted diet?

Low Carb Flaxseed Pancakes

Recently I tried out a low carb flaxseed pancake recipe (which I found on another low carb blog, Unbreaded) and I was impressed with how delicious it turned out! I love pancakes and it is one food I miss while living la vida low carb, so this is a great and healthy alternative, plus it tastes just like a whole grain pancake; And with some splenda or sugarfree syrup on top, it's even better!

3 medium eggs (or two jumbo eggs)
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 teaspoons Splenda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix everything and pour into a skillet or onto a griddle on medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the sides become firm and rounded and then flip over. Eat and enjoy!*

*I don't have an exact carb count, but I'm assuming this would be a recipe for later phases of Atkins (pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.) Even so, it's a nice recipe to use once in awhile, even on earlier phases when you get a hankering for a good ol' pancake! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back for Round 2

Round 2

After a long hiatus from blogging on Ready2GetHealthy, I'm back and ready for more!

I saw great continued success early in 2012 following the Atkins lifestyle, but didn't do well the second half of the year. So here I am, uncomfortable and with plenty of extra weight (thanks, Holidays!) and ready to start again.

If you're not familiar with Atkins, it is a low carb diet that consists of mostly vegetables, protein and healthy fats, as well as gradually adding in fruits, nuts, and whole grains in the later phases for lifetime maintenance. By reducing the amount of processed, refined sugars and carbohydrates the body intakes, the body is then able to burn its fat stores for fuel rather than just burning all that sugar and storing the extra sugar as fat. Not only that, but you will find that you have more energy, stamina, and are healthier overall. You will also eliminate those nasty carb cravings that occur with blood sugar spikes, so you'll naturally eat less and be less hungry throughout the day.

Low carb diets are recommended by doctors for diabetes and pre-diabetes patients, and many studies show that low carb diets help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and improve blood pressure. Don't believe it? Try it out for yourself and see if your health indicators improve!

I know there are lots of negative misconceptions about low carb diets, so I want to point out that I am not completely eliminating carbohydrates, nor eating an excessive amount of meat. The focus of this lifestyle is on reducing bad carbs (white bread, pasta, sugary fruits, processed foods) and utilizing good carbs (vegetables, whole grains, berries, nuts) while eating an adequate amount of protein and healthy fats. As with any healthy eating plan, I believe in moderation...but I don't count calories!

For more information, visit or check out the book The New Atkins for a New You, which I have read and recommend.

Check back often for low carb recipes and tips!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thinking Thin...Literally

I haven't been blogging about my health-quest much lately, and I figured out why. It's because I've been struggling. It's always hard to admit, but they always say - admitting it is the first step. I recently started reading  a book called The Only Diet There Is. I find it so fascinating that I borrowed it from my mom before she even had a chance to read it, and I am almost done reading it in just 3 days. This book is from the 80s, but it has some extremely interesting and valid points.

One of the main points is that it's almost impossible to reach and maintain your ideal weight when you don't love yourself. When you hate yourself and always have negative thoughts about yourself, how likely are you to take care of yourself and respect your body? After reading this book, I started thinking of my body like a vehicle - If you own a car that you absolutely hate and despise driving it everyday, how likely is it that you'll fill it with premium gas, get regular oil changes, take it to the repair shop, or even get a car wash now and then? And surely you won't care if you bang it up and fill the interior with garbage, because afterall, in your mind it already looks and runs crappy.

These are the same negative thoughts that we may have about our own bodies. Our bodies are literally our vehicles to get around in the world. Just like you drive your car to work everyday and rely on it to get you back home again, we rely on our bodies to keep us moving and productive. It's the same principle - learn to love and appreciate your vehicle, and you'll take better care of it and restore it to its natural beauty.

Maybe you've never dealt with this issue of self-hate, but I certainly have and know several people who spend their days with guilt, hate, and negative thoughts about themselves. As the book points out, your mind will create what you want it to - if you give it the opportunity. You may have heard of self-fulfilling prophecies, where your mind literally creates what it believes to be true. As much as this may sound a little wacko, I'm starting to see how true it really is. Your actions are a result of your thoughts. If you think you're not good enough and not worth self-love, then you won't treat your body with respect or keep it in good condition. Why would you? Would you spend time and effort taking care of a car or house or object that you don't like or even absolutely despise? Probably not.

So in the same way, our thoughts literally affect our actions and our health. I am starting to seriously work on turning my negative thoughts about myself to positive ones and realizing how important it is to love myself. Afterall, if I can't love myself, how can I expect anyone else to love me or for that matter, how can I love anyone else if I can't love my own self?

Another good point is that, if you truly learn to love yourself, you won't torture yourself with exercise you don't like or that you can't do, or deprive yourself of food. These are not self-loving acts and instead cause more anger and guilt when you don't live up to your own high standards. You will instead want to nurture yourself and will therefore eat healthier naturally and participate in activities you do enjoy without even thinking about it.

These are just a few things to think about and consider if you have been stuck in a rut or find that no diets seem to work or stick -- It could be that you need to get in your head and figure out your thoughts first, before you can act on them. In just a matter of days I feel better than ever - not because of the scale at all - but because I am finally learning to love myself and treat myself the way I deserve to be treated.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Total Fitness DVDs: Walk at Home 5 Day Slim Down

Total Fitness DVDs is your source for all fitness and wellness media. They strive to offer the lowest prices and best products for customers, as well as fast shipping and excellent customer service. All of the DVDs are brand new, factory sealed, original US releases. Total Fitness DVDs offers everything from yoga and aerobic DVDs, to children's fitness DVDS, and even fitness kits and equipment to go along with your workout videos.

I loved the search features on the Total Fitness DVDs website. You can search by type of activity, instructor, or brand. So I did a search for Leslie Sansone DVDs since she is a great, down to earth instructor and has the type of workouts I enjoy. I chose the Walk at Home 5 Day Slim Down workout DVD for review, which includes a mile for each morning of the week that targets different areas of the body - or you can do all 5 miles at once if you really want a workout. This DVD came really fast and in perfect condition.

What I love about this particular workout DVD is that even though it's "walking", you get a real workout and actually sweat! It's easy to do, but challenging and burns calories. The mile I liked the best was Day 4: Trim Your Tummy. Leslie Sansone knows just how to target certain muscles while walking and you don't need any accessories or add-ons - all you need is a pair of walking shoes and a DVD player!

Total Fitness DVDs has so many workout DVDs to choose from, you won't be disappointed with the selection or quality. Although it can be intimidating to choose from so many workouts, my advice is to choose the type of workout you like best (yoga, dancing, walking, aerobic, etc.) and go from there. It's always best to find what you like to do and you'll be more likely to stick to it. Another way to help you choose the right DVD for you is to check out the many reviews on the site, written by people just like you!

 Disclaimer: I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own experiences with the product. Individual results may vary. No other compensation was given.