Are you looking for a natural alternative for a healthier body and beautiful skin, without the dreadful expenses a day spa? Well… you will be surprised to know that the answer can be found in practically every home or at your local grocery store. In fact, you can experience your very own luxurious spa experience in the comfort of your own home while on a budget!
Anti-aging Facial Beauty Secret Revealed!
The breathtaking, ageless beauty of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was often attributed to her elaborate milk and honey baths. I say, if it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for me! For most of my life, I’ve been indulging in this knowledge the secret beauty recipe of my grandma (“Mama”), using a blend of honey and raw or spoiled milk. The recipe can provide numerous benefits to your face. From moisturizing your skin, to minimizing unappealing wrinkles lines; milk is a perfect beauty treatment. When used as a facial mask, it can reduce acne and maintain a radiant youthful glow. Beyond that, raw milk contains alpha hydroxy acids, offering a gentle peel that exfoliates all skin types.
But wait…there is more! Milk also naturally cleans and tightens pores, while normalizes oily skin textures. As you can see—milk does do the body a whole lot of good!
Let’s Talk About Honey
Besides being a delicious natural sugar substitute and beauty secret, honey is a holistic home remedy that benefits the body in more ways than you can ever imagine—including your age!
When combined with raw or spoil milk, the mixture can help to provide an anti-aging recipe, promoting a youthful and radiant glow.
Let’s face it…honey is absolutely an amazing natural alternative we can all grow to appreciate and should include in our pantries. For example, honey was eaten by early Ethiopians to remove parasites and worms from the body. It was also combined with Eucalyptus and used by Middle Eastern countries, as a remedy for coughs, allergies, asthma, tuberculosis and bronchitis.
If you accidently bruise your body or cut yourself, apply a little honey to your wound helps. Not only does it help heal the wounds quickly and stop bleeding, but it can help kill the germs with its ability to fight bacteria.
So, there you have it. Mama’s secret is now your secret to share. Remember you are what you eat—with honey, you are always sweet.
Mama’s Secret Recipe
3 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons of warm milk
1 White washcloth
1 Bowl of warm water
1 Bowl of cold water
- Combine milk and honey. Stir until smooth.
- Apply mixture to face and neck, avoiding eyes and mouth. Allow mask to sit for 10- 15 minutes.
- Massage face and neck.
- Remove mask with warm water and washcloth, using gentle small circular motions.
- Rinse washcloth and apply cold water to face to close and tighten your pores.
Other DIY Relaxing Home Spa Treatments & Benefits
Tired Puffy Eyed
Are you eyes tired and need immediate relief? Consider using cucumbers. Cucumbers has anti-inflammatory properties that helps in reducing puffiness. It can also reduce dark circles and increase circulation around the eyes.
To begin this treatment, slice cucumbers into thin circular pieces and place over the eyes for 10-15 minutes. You may also choose to apply a sugar or coffee mask simultaneously for a complete facial treatment.
Sugars scrubs can be used on the entire body to gently exfoliate and remove dead or dry skin. It also retains moisture and improves blood circulation. You can also replace the sugar with ground coffee to help tighten the skins and reduce cellulite as well.
Here’s all you need:
¼ cup of brown/ white sugar or ground coffee
5-6 drops of geranium oil, frankincense and grapefruit oil.
1-3 Tbl spoon of coconut oil. (Other alternate oils such as jojoba, avocado, olive, sesame, or almond oil can used instead.)
- Place sugar/coffee and oil ingredients in a bowl and mix together. The consistency should mimic wet sand.
- While in the shower, the tub or just because you are ready to renew treat yourself— gently apply mixture in a circular motion to your face or entire body. After 5-10 minutes, rinse with water and pat dry with a towel.
Relaxing Infused Herbal Drinks & Teas
Relax, Hydrate & Detox
All you need is a few stems of spearmint or any mint leaves of your choice with a slice of lime/lemon to 8 ounces of water and you are ready to enjoy a relaxing refreshing drink. This not only hydrate the body, but also helps to detoxify unwanted intruder.
Detox and Immune Booster
Personally, I refer to begin my day or spa treatment with my favorite detoxifying tea. It not only tastes delicious, but can also boot my immune system, and help detoxify by body too. It is also easy to make. To get started all you need is:
1 cup of hot water
A hand full of your favorite mint.
½ freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons of ginger.
Add ingredients to cup, submerge in boiling hot water and cover with a saucer or plate. Let sit for 3-4 minutes and slow sip.
Now you have a few more tips on how to relax and create your own spa escape at home. Visit the rest of my website meobachi.com for additional resources and products to enhance your total wellbeing.
You can also visit my YouTube channel to view more fabulous lifestyle tips and trends.
If you ever had the chance to experience the exotic taste of ackee and saltfish, you will probably never forget it. This yummy exotic dish acquired its name from the two main ingredients—ackee and saltfish and is Jamaica’s national dish. It is one of the most popular breakfast served amongst our native islanders and definitely one of my favorites.
Although I can acquire the ingredients (canned ackee) here in the United States. It can never outdo the salivating taste of freshly picked ackee and saltfish back home in Jamaica.
What Is Ackee?
From what I know about ackee, it is a native fruit of West Africa and made its way to the Caribbean around the early 1700-1800s during the slave trade. It is best eaten cooked and loaded with numerous nutritional health benefits. From the lowing of blood pressure to strengthening the bones to maintaining blood stability and improving heart functions—ackee is definitely an exotic delicacy to include on your next meal “bucket list.”
Other benefit includes:
- High protein content
- Aids the digestive system
- Boost immunity
- Improve blood circulation
What is Saltish?
Well, the term “saltfish” provides us a clue. Basically, it is codfish preserved with salt to extend the shelve life for several years. Throughout many Caribbean islands, it is also known as bacalhau, baccala, and bacalao. However, back home in Jamaica, it is known as saltfish or cod fish.
As for the nutritional benefits—it is packed with protein and low in fat. Other dietary benefits include omega-3s, various vitamins, and minerals. However, the sodium content is high because of the curing process. Nutritionist recommends limiting excess consumption of saltfish for individuals diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart, and kidney disease.
Ackee & Saltfish Recipe
Now that you have a brief history and the benefits of the main ingredients let’s get on with how to prepare this delicious Caribbean cuisine. My personal recipe deviates from the traditional version of using the dried codfish. The customary process requires soaking the fish for a few hours and boiling the fish several times to remove the excess salt. Once the salt is removed, you will have to remove the bones and skin. The entire process may take about 30-45 minutes, including a pungent fishy odor that lingers for hours.
My process uses fresh cod without the salt. It is much simpler to cook, save time, eliminates odor, and taste much fresher!
2 cups of fresh ackee or 1 can of Ackee
1½ lbs. of fresh codfish
½ bell peppers (red, yellow or green)
1 pinch of scotch bonnet pepper
1½-2 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning (I prefer the Maggi’s brand)
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ tsp of black pepper
¼ tsp of pink salt (optional)
1 stalk of chopped scallion
1 medium tomato
2-3 tbsp of coconut oil (olive oil optional)
Preparing Saltfish (traditional version)
- Soak saltfish for 1 hour
- Place cod in a medium pot with about 3 cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes (twice to remove salt)
- Pour off water
- De-bone remove skin and separate into small chunks
1. Pat fish with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
2. Apply seasoning on both sides of cod.
- Boil fresh ackee for 15-20 minutes or until tender or one can of ackee. I also prefer Grace brand.
- Heat (1 tbsp) oil and add salute garlic, tomatoes, scallion, scotch bonnet, and bell peppers until tender.
- Place sautéed mixture in a bowl.
- Add 2 tbsp to skillet and fry cod until golden brown on both sides.
- Using spoon, brake cod into small chunks.
- Once cooked, add sautéed ingredients, blend ingredients, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add drained ackee.
- Add black pepper and additional all-purpose seasoning if needed.
- Cover and simmer for 2 minutes
- Stir gently. Avoid scrambling the ackee. Doing so will create a mushy texture and make it recipe less appealing.
- Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious meal. Make sure to leave your comments, I would love to hear what you think!
For more information on how to create additional healthy meals and how to look and live your best life. Visit my website at meobachi.com
You can also visit my Youtube channel below and view my demonstration of how to prepare this recipe at your convenience.
I recently received a frantic call for help from a dear friend regarding her daughter’s recent trauma.
To my surprise, she was practically in tears and did not know what to do! In a trembling voice, while gasping to find the words to explain her circumstance, she finally revealed the reason for her call.
Apparently, after three weeks of wearing a recent sew-in extension, her teenage daughter could no longer bear the throbbing discomfort and begged her mother to remove it.
At first, they both assumed the same—the continuous tension headache was a result of the tracks sown too tight, but little did they know it more to it than they expected. The painful sensation was her body signaling something is going terribly wrong.
After removing the extensions, the young lady was slightly relief from the tension, but not from the horrible sight. Oozing from her scalp was blood, infectious tissue, pus, and excessive scalp build. Both mother and daughter were in tears, shocked, now feared the worst…HAIR LOSS!
Now this is where the desperate phone call to me began.
From the conversation, I assumed the infection was a result of inflammation caused by fungus or bacteria entering the scalp, which can occur from tightly pulled follicles and damaged skin. If left untreated, it could lead to alopecia (hair loss), severe dandruff, and untreatable skin maladies.
Thankfully, they wasted no time by following my instructions to take immediate action. By doing so, they can adequately treat the infected wound to avoid further damages, as well as promote fast healing and healthy hair growth.
Here are a few home remedies/alternative tips below:
Here are a few home remedies/alternative tips below:
Clean infected area with peroxide or dilute 1 part Listerine to 1 part water, and let soak for about 3-5 minutes.
1. Gently remove excessive scalp buildup with a soft bristle toothbrush.
2. Remove each braid starting from the end, working towards the crown using a medium to large comb or pick depending on the size of the braid.
3. Gently remove dead hair by combing from end to root of hair using pick or comb.
4. After removing braids, ensure hair is detangled and all dead hair are removed. (The average person lose and replace about 80-100 strands per day, so don’t be surprised if excessive dead hair is present).
5. Rinse hair/scalp using a mixture of I cup apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water.
6. Towel dry (never rinse/shampoo hair without removing dead hair) skipping this process can tangle the hair, create knots, unnecessary breakage, and frustration.
7. For deeper cleansing, I recommend shampooing hair with Meobachi African Black Soap.
8. Apply raw aloe and let scalp dry for one day.
9. Soak 4 cloves of garlic, 10 drops of lavender and rosemary oil extract in 8 ounces of virgin olive oil. (apply each day to promote healing and growth).
10. Continue process 1-2 times per week until recovery is complete.
11. Avoid chemical treatments such as colors, perms, relaxers, excessive heat, and unnecessary tugging of the hair while healing.
Within a few weeks the scalp will return to look and feel much better.
She Is Not Alone
What’s sad about this scenario is this is not an isolated incident, but a common occurrence amongst females in black communities. And…the reason why many beautiful women and young girls are losing their hair. Often their damages are treatable or sadly become the victim of irreversible baldness (alopecia). What’s even sadder, many of these cases could have been avoided and a result of DIY stylists, “kitchenticians (unlicensed hairstylist),” or lack of knowledge, experience, etc.
Over the last 25 years in the beauty industry, I have seen it all. I have also witnessed several women losing practically all their hair from improper hair care. Including, experiencing the shock of an entire head of hair and follicles pulled entirely from the scalp. The woman left the salon practically bald, with only a few strands left in the back (SCARY STUFF). In this case, the cosmetologist failed to perform a proper scalp analysis, which would indicate the client had a preexisting skin disorder that does not permit any extensions.
Further understanding of her disorder would reveal poor air circulation, long periods of tight tension, lack of shampooing, which would contribute to her aggressive hair loss. With proper analysis and consultation, this unfortunate event could have been avoided.
ARE EXTENSIONS BAD OR GOOD FOR ME?
You may be asking the question, “are extensions good or bad?” Well, …let’s say it depends on the health of your scalp and who is providing the service. Having a healthy scalp is a must and a necessity for all forms of extension applications. Whether you are seeking simple cornrows, box braids, sew-ins, or infusions, proper hair and scalp analysis are required to ensure you can obtain the service. I do not recommend getting any of these services if you are currently experiencing chronic scalp disorders and injuries such as:
• seborrheic dermatitis
• chemical burns
• frequent headaches
• dry, itchy scalp
• sensitive /tender scalp
For this reason, I decided to write an article regarding the growing epidemic of hair loss and scalp disorders amongst our black women and girls and what can be done to prevent it.
Before I close, I want to express how I personally enjoy wearing extensions. They are a great confidence booster and provide the opportunity to experiment with multiple hairstyles. They are Fun and can be low maintenance. Moreover, I love the benefit of not having to worry about my natural hair getting damaged from everyday wear tear, the freedom to exercise, and not looking like “who did it and why” afterward.
While wearing my extension, I can hot curl it, cut it, experimentally dye it with bold colors, lay it to the side when I am done, and start the fun aaaaaaaall over again. But…only if my hair and scalp are healthy enough to withstand another go!
Moreover, I want to repeat; it is essential to have your service conducted by a knowledgeable licensed professional or a trusted specialist who understands how to provide proper hair/scalp analysis and haircare services.
If you have any additional questions regarding haircare, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at email@example.com. You can also visit my website at meobachi.com. or surf on over to my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/MEOBACHI for motivational information on how to look and live your best life—one day at a time!
RENEW YOUR HEALTH BY REGROWING YOUR GROCERIES FROM KITCHEN SCRAPS, WHILE SURVIVING THE CORONA PANDEMIC
The idea of food storage is not something many consumers are ready for. However, there may be a quick solutions that can save money and provide many health benefits. Especially for people like myself who may be spending more quality time at home and considering the option of growing my own food.
The idea of growing your own food can be an intimidating concept for many people, but it can be relatively easy and rewarding using a few tips and trick found in the comfort of your kitchen.All you need is time, commitment, patience, and a selection of kitchen scraps such as carrot tops, lettuce bottoms, pineapple heads, onion bulbs, cloves garlic, etc. You will also need essential elements such as water, exposure to sunlight, a few containers and you are ready to start your own organic garden without having to step outside.
Still Not Convinced?
Maybe you are considering taking the leap and converting to veganism to improve your overall health, or merely just curious about the process–repurposing your kitchen scraps can save time shopping, develop a deeper appreciation for nature and understanding of your food and how it benefits your health. There are also many others amazing benefits as well to consider.
- Creates a sense of accomplishment after growing your own food and eating with a purpose.
- It is eco-friendly. Reduce food waste, and minimizes the negative impact on the environment by eliminating herbicides and pesticides.
- Provides good conversation and décor.
- Contains a more significant amount of essential trace minerals.
- Ensure flavor is not compromised.
- Help to understand the environment and life principles.
- Exposes children and family to healthy food choices and hobbies, which may increase their chances to select healthier foods throughout their lives.
- Develop reconnections with skills that helped past generations sustainability and self-sufficiency.
- Reduce the risk of deadly outbreaks such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, which are common amongst fruits and vegetables.
ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?
Here are a few alternative ways to get started and recycle your everyday kitchen wastes:
Celery is practically one of the easiest vegetable to regrow. Rather than tossing your veggie scraps in the trash, place the base of the celery in a bowl filled with about 1 ½ inch of water. Position it in a sunny area or windowsill. Within a few days, you will notice visible leaves piercing their way from the center, with endless possibilities. Change water every few days to reduce odor and mold.
It is also considered a superfood, packed with valuable nutrients that help to lower inflammation, aid in supporting weight loss, help to cleanse the liver, lower cholesterol, fight infection and much more. Additional health benefits include:
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Prevent heart disease.
Whether you select to use romaine, butter, arugula, little gem, iceberg, or green leaf lettuce, you are in for another fun and easy veggie that can be easily regrown using its base. Just follow the same procedures outlined for the celery and once roots begin to sprout, plant your new head of lettuce in a pot filled with soil, or in the ground with ample sunlight. Within in a few short months, you’ll be ready to toss a fresh bowl of salad.
Lettuce is not only a nutritious leafy vegetable loaded with nutrient but is also an excellent source of fibers that improve your digestive system, and aid with weight loss. If you are having difficulty sleeping, consider adding more of this leafy foliage to your diet. Lettuce contains Lactucarium, which is the noticeable white fluid that secretes after you break it stems. It includes sleep-inducing properties similar to opium without the harmful side effects.
Other benefit includes:
- Low glycemic index which is excellent for individuals monitoring their blood sugar levels or in a weight management program.
- The minerals found in lettuce balances acid/alkaline in the body and help to remove unwanted toxins.
- Brightens skin tone.
- Promotes clear thinking.
Ginger is a healthy herb/root that can be easily cultivated by finding a root that has an existing green bulb. Break the portion that includes the bulb. Submerge slightly into the soil with the bulb facing up or down in well-drained potting soil. For this herb, I recommend transplanting it outdoors in full or partially sunny area. Ginger plants take up to 10 months to mature and harvest, but the reward is well worth it.
It can be brewed, sweetened with honey, drink as a tea, or dried and used as a spice to add zesty flavor to poultry, fish, pork or beef.
Health advantages include:
- Contains potent antioxidants that may boost the immune system
- Natural pain reliever
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Helps to improve fat loss
- Regulate glucose level
Similar to the ginger root, garlic is more than an herb and can be grown using the same methods. All that is needed is a clove or two. Better yet, you can use as many cloves as you like to cultivate your new batch of garlic. Once separated, plant in your desired pot with ample drainage with a pH of 6.5 to 7 during the fall. By the time summer rolls around, you will be ready of a flavorful, aromatic touch to your culinary dishes.
Pros of eating garlic includes:
- Great source magnesium and vitamin B6.
- It is an allium vegetable, which means it contains sulfur-containing compounds that benefit practically all systems of the body.
- Prevent and treat colds.
- Sooth psoriasis.
- Control weight.
- Manage high blood pressure.
- Help to remove small objects from the body such as a splinter.
Pineapples are another quick and easy fruit that can be cultivated by simply snapping or twist the head of the fruit until it separates from its base. To begin cultivation, place top into a small bowl of water until desired roots are displayed. Plant in a full-sun area and allow 2-3 years for a fresh pineapple to appear. Yes, you read correctly, the wait time is 2-3 years. While this fruit can be mouthwatering and delicious, it also requires a great deal of patience. The good news is they do not need much care and will do fine with little water.
Health benefits to consider:
- Improves digestion by neutralizing acid into he body.
- Pineapple juice contains bromelain enzymes, which is beneficial in preventing colds and coughs and thinning the mucus in the respiratory region.
- Bromelain also reduces arthritis pain and inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and rosacea.
- Contain magnesium, which strengthens bones, and increases healing and improve immunity.
Onions are just as simple to regrow as the previously mentioned vegetables. All you have to do is place an onion bottom into a glass, bowl until visible roots are formed or put the entire bulb into the ground or container filled with potting soil. Onion is a relatively fast-growing herb and can be harvested within a few months. As for myself, I like to use the green stems to add flavor or a little bit of color to add a touch of creativity to my meals.
The healthy benefit includes:
- Lowers the production of bad LDL cholesterol.
- Contain vitamin C, which builds the immune system, help formation of collagen that promotes healthy hair and skin.
- Improves oral health by removing bacteria that lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Helps with depression.
ARE YOU CONVINCED YET?
Maybe the idea of creating your very own editable arrangement may help to convince you. These arrangements are fun to create and is also a great gift idea for Vegans, someone who is ill, or merely a thoughtful gesture.
OPTIONS TO SELECT
If you feel you are ready to grow your own indoor organic garden, or create a beautiful editable arrangement, here is a list of other easy to grow kitchen scrap to choose from:
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
Growing your own food using kitchen scraps provides a fun, creative way to get acquainted with the things you eat and can save money. It can also stimulate a sense of accomplishment, and assurance knowing your food is organically grown and free from harmful chemicals.
Moreover, there are far too many other great reasons to grow your own food, and we’d love to hear your views on this subject. You can also share your personal tips and gardening tricks by adding your comments below.
Until next time..let your light shine… mind, body and spirit.
Eat your food as your medicine or you will have to eat medicine as your food.
THE DURIAN TASTE CHALLENGE VIDEO
Durian (Exotic Asian Fruit)
Besides being known for its pungent offensive smell, this exotic fruit has many interesting facts and characteristics, including a wide range of health benefits that can heal the body.
Some Interesting Facts & Characteristics:
- Considered by many to be the smelliest fruit in the world.
- Has over 30 different species in the world, but only 9 are editable.
- Similar to a jackfruit, but smell and taste different.
- It is known as the king of fruits. (My guess is because of its appearance and health benefits).
- Commonly found in Southern Asia, and is a native fruit found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysian rainforest and India.
- The thorny outer spikey area can grow up to 12 inches long.
- 100 g fresh fruit carries 147 calories.
- Some people are not able to smell the odor and smell something sweet, while others think it stinks and looks like diarrhea. (As for me, I noticed an awful aroma shortly after opening the fruit, but realized the scent gradually faded as time went by).
- Can be eaten at various stages of ripeness.
- Taste sweet, with a hint of garlic or onion.
- Can be used to add flavor in Asian culinary dishes. (My cousin stated he did not like the smell, however, enjoyed it as an additive to ice-cream.
- Is rich in dietary fiber, which protects the colon mucous membrane and decreases exposure of harmful toxins, as well as aid in eliminating cancer-causing chemical in the intestine.
- It also works well as a natural laxative.
- Has a high content of energizing mineral and vitamins. For example, vitamin C aid the body to develop resistance against infectious free radicals that are known to harm the body.
- Is loaded with beneficial B-complex and potassium that helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
- Contain a substantial amount of tryptophan (also known as “natures sleeping pill”). Tryptophan metabolizes into melatonin and serotonin, which plays a vital role in soothing nervous irritability and sleep initiation.
- Known to instantly energize the body
- Contain a relatively higher amount of fat than most fruits.
- Free from cholesterol and saturated fat
Are You Ready For The Challenge?
By now, you should have had a chance to view my video link and have a complete rundown on all the fantastic qualities of this odd-looking fruit. It was an exciting experience and challenge you to try it for yourself. You just never know…YOU NEVER KNOW, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT! 😅
“There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger.”
― Eric Bates
For more great tips on how to live your best life—mind, body, and spirit, visit https://www.meobachi.com
15 EASY WAYS TO BE HEALTHIER
15 helpful tips
post by gaiam
More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.
We asked three experts — a naturopathic physician, a dietitian, and a personal trainer — to tell us the top five simple-but-significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.
Besides giving you three different takes on how to pick your health battles, this list gives you choices you can make without being whisked off to a reality-show fat farm — or buying a second freezer for those calorie-controlled, pre-portioned frozen meals.
JAMES ROUSE, N.D.
NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN, TRIATHLETE, CHEF, AUTHOR AND HOST OF TV’S “OPTIMUM WELLNESS,” HEALTH-TIP SEGMENTS FEATURED ON NBC AFFILIATES IN SEVERAL MAJOR CITIES.
1. THINK POSITIVE AND FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.
2. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovaries. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colors — such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and leafy greens.
3. SET A “5-MEAL IDEAL”
What, when, and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A “5 meal ideal” will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus, and avoid cravings.
4. EXERCISE DAILY
Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even ten minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.
5. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit worrying about them.
CHRISTINA REITER, M.S., R.D.
RESIDENT CONSULTING DIETITIAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO–BOULDER WARDENBURG HEALTH CENTER FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION AND THERAPIES AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE NUTRITION PROGRAM AT METROPOLITAN STATE COLLEGE OF DENVER.
1. CHECK YOUR FOOD ’TUDE
What we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centered on savoring flavor, eating to satisfaction, and increasing energy, rather than focusing on weight. Check your balance of low-calorie foods, nutrient-dense foods (providing many nutrients per calorie), and foods that are calorie dense but nutrient poor. Most Americans need to eat more fresh whole foods (in contrast to processed, highly refined foods). Try to add more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes into your meals. Pair these carbohydrate-rich foods with a healthy fat or lean protein to extend satisfaction.
2. EAT LIKE A KID
If adding more fruits and vegetables sounds ominous, look to “finger food” versions that preschool kids love — carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, grapes, berries, and dried fruits. All are nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants.
3. BE A PICKY EATER
Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and aim to eat more foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to cut your risk of cardiovascular disease and maybe even improve depressed moods. The equivalent of just one gram of EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid) daily is recommended. Eating cold-water oily fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout) two to three times per week will provide both EPA and DHA. Adding up to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and eating meat, milk, and cheese from grass-fed animals will provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3s.
4. USE FOODS OVER SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 percent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
5. GET SATISFACTION
Both eating and physical activity are fun, sensory experiences! In both, aim for pleasure — not pain. Pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods you choose to eat, as well as your sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration, and fatigue when you sit down to eat. Check in with yourself as you eat, rekindling your recognition of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction when considering when and how much to eat.
RICK OLDERMAN, M.S., P.T.
A PHYSICAL THERAPIST AND OWNER OF Z-LINE TRAINING IN DENVER, COLORADO, OFFERING REHABILITATION, PERSONAL TRAINING, PILATES INSTRUCTION, MOTIVATIONAL INJURY-PREVENTION SEMINARS, EMPLOYEE FITNESS PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, AND CUSTOM FOOT ORTHOTICS CASTING.
1. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
“I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last ten pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodization program — breaking up your routine into various training modes — can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.
2. THINK SMALL
Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead, keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change. It’s easy to build from here by adding more healthy substitutions.
3. KEEP GOOD COMPANY
You can do all the right things — but if you have personal relationships with people who have unhealthy habits, it is often an uphill battle. The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Get your family or friends involved with you when you walk or plan healthier meals. Making healthy changes with a loved one can bring you closer together as well as motivate you.
4. MAKE A LIST…AND CHECK IT TWICE
Take a few minutes and write down all the reasons you can’t begin an exercise program. Then look at the basis of each reason. For instance, if you wrote, “No time” as one of your reasons, then perhaps that’s based on a belief that an exercise program takes a lot of time. Starting with even five minutes a day will have a positive effect because you will have created a healthy habit where one didn’t exist before, and that’s a powerful mental adjustment. A closer look at your list will expose those false beliefs hiding behind each excuse.
5. SIGN UP FOR AN EVENT
Let’s face it, exercising just for the sake of exercising or losing weight can get boring. Spice things up by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where you can be part of a team. Doing so gives your workouts a new purpose, and it’s fun to be around others who are exercising just like you — not to mention that most events benefit nonprofit organizations, which doubles your feel-good high.