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Choose Wellness -- August 2010
August 26, 2010
Greetings, best wishes

... and welcome everyone to the Choose Wellness Newsletter for August.. Perhaps no one has noticed that August is nearly over!

My apologies for being so slow this month but it has been difficult to get back to routine since after our protracted stay in North Queensland, and now we are heading off again, very sadly, to attend the funeral of our dear longtime friend and traveling companion Geoff.

You might recall that last month I write about the great trip to outback Queensland that we shared with our friends Sue & Geoff. Very sadly, shortly after that trip Geoff was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He deteriorated very quickly and within a matter of a few weeks had lost the battle to survive. He was a great guy and will be very sadly missed.

Geoff was never a smoker but he did work as an electrical engineer at many mine sites around the world, so one wonders about the toxins he would no doubt have inhaled... which brings me to this report that was published in the Herald Sun a few days ago:

"Cancer Linked to our Food"

It tells of an alarming US cancer report that calls for the removal of toxins from food and water, warning the risk from chemicals and pesticides had been hugely underestimated.

The President's Cancer Panel report found children were particularly at risk of "grievous harm" from almost 80,000 chemicals used, largely unregulated, in daily life.... Read more...

Your body is the only thing you are guaranteed to have for life. How are you treating your body and lifelong companion?



Yoga Notes

Practicing yoga may do more than calm the mind, according to an article on LiveScience it may help protect against certain diseases, a new study suggests.

In the study, women who had practiced yoga regularly for at least two years were found to have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies than did women who only recently took up the activity.

Inflammation is an immune response and can be beneficial when your body is fighting off infection, but chronically high levels of inflammation are known to play a role in certain conditions, including asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression.

Read more here...

Balancing exercises are very important especially as we age and find it more difficult to hold our balance. The symbolic posture of a tree is an exercise of balance, posture and concentration. Focus on an object at eye level to steady your balance.

Stand firmly on the left leg and bring your right leg up as far as is comfortable. Lift your arms up to the sides to help get your balance and once you feel secure and steady, you can lift them overhead and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

You could be off to a great start if you have a WiiFit that you could use in the comfort of your own loungeroom. Yoga is one of the exercise programs built in to WiiFit... and would be a great place to start.


Be in a peaceful state of mind whenever you eat. This will assist in the digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food.


7 Diet Tricks that Really Work

  1. Enjoy your food.

    Food that is eaten mindlessly is neglected food. And neglected food imparts the emptiest of calories.

    When we pay attention to what we eat -- its color, texture, freshness and seasonings -- we are satisfied in a deeper way than the stuffing of our stomachs could ever accomplish.

    Eating well, after all, is as much about the brain as the belly, or so the scientists say.

  2. Change your environment.

    A new finding from researchers at Cornell University suggests that the secret to a successful diet can lie in changing your surroundings. Whether this involves using smaller plates, keeping "seconds" out of immediate reach, or hiding the chocolate, altering the food environment helps people lose more weight than trying to change eating habits or food choices, the researchers found.

  3. Eat foods low on the glycemic index, or closer to nature.

    The glycemic index refers to how quickly food affects blood sugar, with items lower down on the index (high fiber or protein-rich foods) giving steadier supplies of energy, and those higher on the index (sweets and processed foods) giving quick hits and subsequent falls.

    Simply favoring whole fresh foods over processed ones will naturally lower the glycemic index of your diet and optimize the healthiness of your food choices. Whole foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, are also easier to keep in proper portions, while processed foods, such as candy, juice drinks and refined grains, are easy to consume in amounts that are too large.

  4. Satisfy the body -- especially at breakfast.

    Ideal food choices are influenced by mealtime, new research is starting to suggest.

    In one study, men ate one of two breakfasts, each with an equal number of calories, and then ate freely for the rest of the day. The men who had a protein-rich breakfast (scrambled eggs and toast) not only reported feeling less hungry at lunchtime, but also ate about 400 fewer calories over the following 24 hours, when compared with men who had the carb-rich breakfast (a bagel with low-fat cream cheese and low-fat yogurt.)

    Protein has long been known as the most satiating food source, although the extra fat in the egg breakfast could have also contributed to the long-lasting satiety. While the study was funded by the Egg Nutrition Center, senior researcher Maria Fernandez of the University of Connecticut said "other types of protein could have the same effect, including tuna, chicken, meat and steak." One might want to avoid manufactured protein supplements, however.

    Other studies have also supported the value of hearty, even rich, breakfasts when it comes to healthy eating -- especially if lighter choices are made at later meals.

  5. Structure meal and snack times

    One of the major mistakes that dieters make is that they wait too long between mealtimes. Long stretches without food makes people crave energy-dense carbs (pass the bread basket, NOW!) and can make it difficult for people to make healthy choices and watch portion sizes when they do eat. It may also compromise metabolism.

    It is advisable to plan meals and snacks in advance, allowing your body to settle into a predictable routine and helping you avoid desperate energy crashes.

  6. Don't let junk food warp your brain.

    Sure, M&M's and potato chips are irresistible, but could they be addictive?

    A new study in rats suggests that junk food can affect the brain in ways similar to drug abuse. Mirroring human consumption patterns, rats were given unlimited access to food we can find in every corner store -- frosting, bacon, candy bars, donuts, sausage, hot dogs, snack cakes and so on.

    Obesity, of course, resulted, according to the study detailed in the journal Nature Neuroscience in March 2010. Two hallmarks of drug addiction also appeared.

    First, many dopamine receptors -- important players in the brain's reward pathway -- disappeared, possibly signaling that more food was now needed to reach previous levels of satisfaction. Behavior also changed; eating these foods became top priority. The rats continued eating even after a light warned them that they would get shocked if they didn't stop.

    The behavior parallels both that of compulsive eaters and addicts, said study researcher Paul Kenny of Scripps Research Institute in Florida. "They can't control it even when doctors have warned them, and their relationships suffer," Kenny told LiveScience.

    Since rats that ate regular food did not experience such changes, the researchers concluded there is something unique about junk food.

    "Really try to regulate your access to this type of food," Kenny advised. "It is not as innocuous as you think."

  7. Avoid corn syrup.

    Despite the pervasive media campaign coming to corn syrup's defense, science is starting to show a clear difference between regular sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

    One study showed that rats who drank HFCS-sweetened beverages gained significantly more weight than those who slurped drinks sweetened with sugar -- even when both groups consumed the same amount of calories.

    While more research is needed, the difference could be related to the way each sweetener is processed by the body.

You can read the complete article here.


"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." - Mark Twain



...till next time, don't forget that I love to receive your questions, comments or requests and I'd love you to send your favourite recipe or health tip, so please contact me if you have anything you'd like to contribute or any questions.

Until then keep well and remember

'healthy cells = healthy bodies'

and

'be well ... bHip'

and

'happy shopping'

Jane

PS Don't forget to share this Newsletter with your friends.


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