Nutritional Labels Made Easy

I’ve often seen people trying to read and understand nutritional labels only to end up feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  In this newsletter is an informational video that should dispel the mystery behind the dreaded nutritional label.

Please feel free to leave any comments!

 

Is Your Heart Working Too Hard?

CaboI can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I married my wonderful husband…where did the time go.. Yes, love does grow over time which is why I can make this statement: I love my husband more now than when I first married him.  I know this statement seems odd but it’s true.  After I married my husband we discovered his cholesterol was over 300 during a routine office visit.  When he came home and told me what the doctor had said I was in total shock, I love him and couldn’t bear the thought of him not in my life…  To his surprise he had no visual signs, he wasn’t overweight and he appeared to be in good health, I guess that’s why it called the silent killer.  The doctor immediately suggested he go on medication to help lower his cholesterol and discussed the possible side effects from taking the medication.  After speaking with the doctor we decided to do a more research on our own before committing to taking the meds.  We read what seemed like hundreds of articles and stories about the serious side effects from taking the medication.  So we decided to take a more holistic approach to help lower his cholesterol.  My husband actually asks me to help which I found surprising.  Did I forget to mention my husband was a bit reluctant to take my suggestions but when all was said and done he decided to follow my instruction or should I say my recommendations.

Over the 6 month period my recommendations included the following lifestyle changes to assist with lowering his cholesterol levels:

1. Start taking a good quality men’s multi-vitamin 2 times a day which include fish oil, vitamin e, vitamin c and last but least vitamin b (to help manage stress levels.)

2. Stretching/yoga two to three times a week to help reduce stress was also a great way to reduce cholesterol levels.

3. Aerobic exercise three times a week to increase cardiovascular health and keep his heart healthy.

4. Strength Training two times a week to continue help him maintain his lean muscles.

5. Revamp his diet with lots of fresh veggie, fruits and lean protein.

6. Include raw almonds as part of his daily regiment to help keep his cholesterol down.

7. Add grape seed oil in his diet to help lower bad cholesterol.

8. Lower his sodium salt intake to no more than 2400 milligrams per day.

9. Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night to help reduce stress levels.

After 6 month of this regime he went back to the doctor and his cholesterol was under 200 and his risk for heart disease has been lowered significantly.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More deaths occur from heart disease than from cancer. Fortunately, most heart problems are preventable or manageable with a few simple lifestyle changes.

February is American Heart Month; this annual campaign was creating to bring awareness of heart disease and prevention.  One in four people die from heart disease each year, and American Heart Month aims to change this trend through education and heart-healthy tips.

What is Heart Disease? – South Orange County California

Heart disease refers to several different heart conditions. Coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease, is the most common type in the United States. It can lead to heart attack, angina, arrhythmia and heart failure. The cost is great and greatly felt in health care services, expensive medications, lost productivity, disability and sometimes death.

Fortunately, most heart disease can be prevented or controlled. By taking small steps each day, in February and throughout the year, people can improve their heart health for longer, more productive lives. Here are some tips for a healthier heart.

Heart-Healthy Eating – South Orange County California

Healthy eating can help us avoid the complications of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is also low in saturated fat, Trans fat and cholesterol. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, heart-healthy eating includes less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.

Limiting solid fats like butter and shortening is a good way to reduce bad fats from the diet. Foods that are low in sugar, salt and sodium are also good for the heart. Limiting sodium and salt to approximately 200 milligrams per day can lower blood pressure, while reducing sugar consumption stabilizes blood glucose levels.

Portion size is important, too. Proper portion size shapes the heart as well as the waistline. To ensure an adequate supply of nutrients, many people take dietary supplements. When smaller meals and portions mean fewer nutrients, supplements can be another way to improve heart health.

Regular Physical Activity – South Orange County California

A sedentary lifestyle is a top risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity is essential for a healthy heart. Exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and maintains a healthy weight.

The United States Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity for at least five days a week. Aerobic training, also called cardio, is the best way to exercise the heart and lungs. Well-rounded workouts, however, combine aerobic activity with strength training and flexibility movements.

Stress Management – South Orange County California

In addition to diet and exercise, stress management is crucial for a healthy heart. Stress causes high blood pressure, which often shows no symptoms at all. Uncontrolled, however, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Regular blood pressure monitoring is important for the management of stress.

Daily physical activity, conversation and laughter are all good ways to control stress and protect the heart. Giving up bad habits like caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol also lessens stress. Too much alcohol increases blood pressure, so it is best to limit alcoholic drinks to one or two a day.

Stress is hard to manage without adequate sleep. Most people require six to eight hours of quality rest each night. Increasing physical activity during the day can improve nighttime sleep quality.

Spiritual and alternative practices like prayer, meditation, yoga and hypnosis can also minimize stress and promote relaxation. Hypnosis for stress management activates a relaxation response that improves sleep, blood pressure and heart health. People who take medications for heart problems should talk to their doctors before using supplements or alternative therapies.

If you’re looking to improve your heart health during the month of February why not set-up your Heart Health appointment today in South Orange County California with Balanced Life Wellness, LLC your family and body will thank you.  Please call Dr. Rumi at 949-554-5003 and schedule your appointment.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Staying Healthy and Fit Over the Holidays

For most people, the holidays are a time of indulgence, a time when diets are ditched and discipline is thrown to the wind. This holiday season can be different. With a bit of planning and persistence it is possible to stay healthy and fit over the holidays.

Step One: Start Small

Aim to make one change per week, and wait until that change has been fully integrated as a habit before moving on to the next one. For example, try eliminating sodas one week. The next week, work on another change, such as switching to nitrate-free meat products. In this way, lifestyle changes will be set in motion rather than merely adopting holiday habits that disappear with the arrival of the New Year.

Step Two: Have a Plan

Eating healthy during the holidays might be easy at home, but what about holiday parties? Holiday parties are often a time when food and alcohol consumption levels are high, which leads to countless empty calories and blown portion control.

It is vital to have a plan when attending holiday parties. Limit alcohol consumption by sipping a glass of water between each drink. This assists with staying hydrated as well controlling cravings for alcoholic beverages. If water is not enough, try adding lemon or cranberry juice to sparkling water.

Portion control is another key factor to control cravings. Eating before a party lessens the likelihood of mindless snacking. Choose a smaller plate and fill it with fruit and veggies. Don’t linger near the snack table; instead, keep a plate or drink in hand to reduce the temptation to graze.

Step Three: Stress Management

The holidays can be a stressful time especially if adequate sleep and fitness are missing from the equation. Getting plenty of restful sleep at night is essential to a stress management plan that supports fitness goals.

Proper sleep actually aids in eating healthy. Fatigue makes it harder to control cravings and makes people more inclined to reach for high carbohydrate foods that are laden with sugar in order to get a quick burst of energy.

Instead of high carb foods, focus on eating protein, staying hydrated and taking vitamins and minerals. Eating protein helps stabilize the blood sugar and control cravings. Staying hydrated helps the body to distinguish between hunger and thirst. Taking vitamins and minerals ensures that the body receives proper nutrition to stay on track with fitness goals during the busy holiday season.

5 Benefits of Eliminating Sugar from Your Diet

Immediately Lose Weight and Gain Healthy Skin

A lot of foods that are high in sugar are void of any real nutritional value. By replacing these foods with better options, you’ll be giving your body the fuel that it needs to function instead of junk, and this is great for your overall health. Eliminating junk food from your diet is good for weight loss, but it can also contribute to having healthy skin. Moreover, people who are obese tend to live shorter lives, and so it’s easy to see how weight loss is one of the keys to healthy aging for many people.

Ensure you Decrease Your Risk of Diabetes

Dropping your consumption of sugar can also reduce your risk of diabetes. Studies have shown that drinking beverages with a lot of added sugar drastically increases your chance of diabetes, and it’s not good for your health overall. To make the switch from these beverages and remove sugar from your diet in general, you’ll have to find a substitute that you like. Flavored water is a good choice for some people, and fruit juice is also popular. Your drink choices are habits, and if you want to get rid of the old habits, then you have to form new ones. The same thing goes for the foods that you eat regularly. If you want to be successful in consuming a lot less sugar, then the main thing you have to do is build new eating habits by finding food products to eat that aren’t high in sugar.

Sleep Better With Less Sugar

People who take in a lot of sugar often complain about having trouble sleeping. Getting adequate sleep is a major part of healthy aging, and it becomes more important as you get older. If you have trouble getting to sleep because you are so full of sugar, then the next day you might have a problem with getting through your day. The solution that many people choose is to take in even more sugar, and this creates a snowball effect. If you want to cut back on your sugar so that your sleeping habits will improve, then a good place to start is replacing sweet in the evenings with foods like protein rich snacks. Replacing your snacks and other foods with non-sugary alternatives on a regular basis is one of the keys to eliminating sugar from what you eat.

Cut the Sugar and Boost Your Energy

Eliminating sugar from your diet can also lead to increased energy levels. Eating a lot of sugar is known to produce a burst of nervous energy, but most people feel horrible after the effect wears off. Crashing after a sugar high causes people to have low levels of energy, but the nervous and anxious energy that sugar gives you can also wear you down. By cutting even a small amount of sugar from your diet, you will increase your energy and go through fewer highs and lows.

In conclusion

Why not begin the holiday season different this year by trying implementing these five benefits.  You’ll eliminate as much of the sugar as possible and the need to go on a diet in 2013!  Be proactive by cutting back on sugar and finding new ways to get your sugar fix. Start feeding your body healthy and nutritional snacks that will provide the energy you need to get through the holidays and beyond.  If you make these five small changes now you won’t need to make a New Year’s resolution to lose the 10, 15 or 20 lbs. gained over the next couples of month.

 

Is Going Gluten Free Right for Me?

Diet fads come in waves, and it’s easy to see evidence of this while walking through the aisles of a grocery store. In the wake of the popular Atkins diet, a number of low-carb foods were released. Now, many brands have shifted gears and begun promoting their foods as gluten free. While this is great news for people with gluten sensitivities, it can be confusing for consumers who aren’t sure what foods are best to feed their families.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein in wheat that allows dough to become elastic. It provides shape and texture to bread and other baked goods, and it provides dietary protein to people who eat wheat-based products. While most people are able to digest these proteins, a condition called celiac disease makes some people intolerant to wheat-based proteins.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that weakens the lower intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. This weakening occurs after consuming foods containing gluten, and it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Individuals with celiac disease can suffer from malnutrition no matter how much they eat due to their body’s inability to absorb crucial nutrients.

In recent years, celiac disease has become more prevalent. This may be due to improved medical technology making detection more accurate, or gluten intolerance may be more common than it once was. As many as 1 percent of Americans may suffer from celiac disease, and many cases may go diagnosed or confused for other things.

Is Gluten Bad?

For people with gluten intolerance, gluten free products are a way to enjoy foods that they might otherwise be unable to eat. Baked goods, pasta and cereal were previously off-limits to people with gluten intolerance, but now non-gluten versions are available. The majority of people, however, do not need to avoid gluten, and gluten-free foods are not inherently healthier than foods made from wheat.

For people with normally functioning immune systems, there is no reason to avoid eating wheat products. An individual who experiences discomfort after eating wheat or who displays symptoms of celiac disease may wish to speak with a medical professional and obtain a diagnosis before cutting wheat products from his or her diet.