Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Why it is important to get enough #sleep to help with #weightloss & #BOTBresults

Good-morning, kittens & dawgs! I am tired this morning, but I not too tired to forget to announce my #BOTBresults.  My last installment of the band show-down was totally lopsided, swinging heavily in favor of the Jamaican reggae duo consisted of Vernon Buckley and Gladstone Grant known as The Maytones!

On a scale from 1-10 (the higher the number, the greater your fondness is), how well do you like reggae?

Who is your favorite reggae artist/band?

Sample a taste of The Maytones Greatest hits while you visit me this morning and don’t forget the next round of BOTB will be on February 1st.

I read an interesting article on four ways your body blocks weight loss. I was aware of each point listed and had a general understanding.

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This brings me to the point of today’s post, have you ever wondered why it is important to get enough sleep to help with weight loss? Continue reading

Have Your Cake and Eat It To! 5 Ways To Burn 500 Calories

Dieting is such a HEADACHE! None of us liking doing. None of us want to give up the things we love, but NONE of us want to be overweight either. Am I right? How can positive change in our eating habits be done without being overwhelming?

Here are 5 Ways to burn 500 calories that are totally doable!

1. Breakfast:

  • Replace whole milk for skim.
  • Say goodbye to bacon and sausages, but stick with your eggs for an excellent source of protein which will maintain you longer throughout the morning hours.
  • Sub high caloric condiments such as mayo with mustard or hummus to put on your bread.
  • If you must have ready to eat cereals, then choose flakes over granola. These are generally lower in calories. Better still go with a bowl of old fashion oatmeal sweetened with Splenda or sprinkle cinnamon on top. This will satisfy you better than cold cereals, too.
  • Avoid the fancy lattes. A 16oz version made with whole milk has a whopping 400 calories!

2. Snacks:

  • Eat slowly. By doing so, you’ll eat 70% per meal because when you thoroughly chew your food this allows your body time to activate the appetite-related hormones. Set your folk down in-between bites or keep your little paws out of the potato chip bag.
  • You can have your cake and eat it too, just share it with a friend.
  • Don’t ever eat out of a large multi-serving container. You can’t track your portions and are more lightly to over eat.
  • Never allow yourself to give into rewarding good dieting with no-no foods. Keep everything in moderation.

3. Dinner:

  • Avoid cooking with refined oils by replacing with olive oil.
  • Eat vegetables cooked with no oils or butter, don’t serve rice as an option.
  • Begin your meal by having a broth base soup. This will slow your eating and curb your appetite. Creamy soups are high in fat and calories, so avoid!
  • Use fat-free Italian dressing on your salads or bring out the flavors of your salad by using only spices.

4. Eating Desserts:

  • Skip ice cream shop ice creams by replacing with fruit and berries or melons.
  • Omit oils when baking by replacing with equal parts of applesauce in the recipe.
  • Make your own skim milk ice cream alternative, instead of buying premium store-bought vanilla ice cream.

5. Dining Out:

  • Don’t buy separate entrees. Usually, they are large enough for two people to share. Just ask for a second plate. Restaurants are happy to oblige.
  • Drink a warm beverage such as hot tea sweetened with Splenda or have a low-calorie soup before your meal. Having hot liquids before a meal decreases your appetite. Another alternative is to have a salad before your meal arrives, which also helps to fill you.
  • Steer away from deep-fried foods and think grilled lean meats like fish or chicken.

The first three days of any dieting regiment are the hardest, but if you can push through them then you’ll find it becomes easier and I have found the same principle to be true with exercising. Tenacity is the key!

TIP: According to a University of Michigan researcher, sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop up to 14 Pounds a year. (removed broken link attached to tip)

What tricks do you have up your sleeve when it comes to shaving calories from your diet?

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Detox Your Body Naturally

Photo Borrowed: From the Web

Why is it necessary to detox?

This becomes a must, if you indulge in naughty habits, such as cigarettes, junk food (I’m so guilty of this one), and alcohol. We know these things are bad for us. It’s a no-brainer these culprits will make our body sluggish and difficult for our own natural mechanism to cut poisons accumulated over time.

In addition to our naughty habits, many of the foods we eat are highly acidic. This causes a negative effect on our bodies and it becomes necessary for the alkaline PH balance to be restored. Without this, then our body cannot properly renew and repair cells.

By purifying your body of toxins, this may reduce your chances of colon disorders. It’s also good for maintaining a healthy heart and bloodstream. Furthermore, detoxifying will boost your levels of energy and vitality and if done regularly will give you a more youthful appearance of your skin. Did that get your attention – more energy, younger appearance? It got mine! Where do I sign up?

About now, you’re saying I’m a known offender of bad habits, a poor diet, or both. We can all relate to this either a little or a lot. Some common signs I’ve noticed of toxins gone wild in my system are:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Frequent headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Bloating or gassy sensation
  • Skin rash
  • Low sex drive

Perhaps, you can identify with me on these complaints. There are more toxin related symptoms at Signs to Detox. I recommend you take a look at it. It’ll surprise you to learn how serious this can be, and maybe bring new insight to some of your issues.

My quick fix has been to use Dolcax. After all, this does get rid of waste that’s causing my symptoms. The big problem is, the relief is short lived. I find myself using this product routinely every two to three days despite the warnings to not exceed a week. Change is needed!

What do I do next? I do what God intend me to do in the first start. To have a better balanced diet of the right things He created to aid in my over-all health and wellness. Let’s look at what foods are good for ridding toxins from our system.

Here is a list of 8 sources:

  1. Fruits are easy to digest and full of good stuff like important vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. Because of the high liquid contents found in fruit, your body can more easily wash out the toxins. Ranking on the leader board with the most beneficial and powerful effects are citrus fruits, especially lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. Jump start your day by drinking a warm glass of lemon water.
  2. Foods rich in chlorophyll that helps the body to rid itself of environmental toxins, such as kale, spinach, alfalfa, and other leafy greens will boost the digestive tract aiding the liver in the detoxification progress.So, think green, right?
  3. *Garlic is one of the best natural detox foods . It stimulates the liver into producing essential enzymes to filter out toxins in the digestive system. Consider adding sliced or cooked garlic to your favorite dishes! I’m considering trying this recipe Raw Garlic Spread. It sounds interesting.
  4.  East broccoli sprouts not the whole vegetable. The sprouts are especially effective for stimulating the detox enzymes in your digestive tract.
  5. More green thinking…drink green teas! These teas have a type of antioxidant called catechins, which is known to increase liver function.
  6. Mother knew best about eating your veggies. Most vegetables have natural occurring sulphur and glutathione,which are excellent elements in assisting the liver’s elimination process. Onions, carrots, asparagus, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts are only a few to consider.
  7. Add easy to digest seeds and nuts to your diet. I would not have guessed this, but flax seed, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are the more common ones I found to think about incorporating into my diet. However, avoid nut butters while detoxifying your system. This I’m unclear about, but a warning was given so I best listen, huh?
  8. Omega-3 Oils helps to lubricate the intestinal wall and causes the toxins to be absorbed by the oil, then flushed out the body. One way I get mine is through daily supplements of flax seed oil, but there are recommendations on the web that avocado, hemp, or olive oils.

For years, I’ve been taking supplements geared for combatting my chronic digestive disorder.  I believe in addition to my supplements, I need to go a further step.  After several days with this painful skin rash on most of my body along with the other symptoms I listed above, then I’m more than willing to get started cleansing my body using nature’s choices. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain!.

*An interesting read you may want to consider before using raw garlic, if this is something new for you, is Garlic Overview.


XBox 360 vs Exercise DVDs

Like Gotham City calling out to Batman for help, this is my call for help to you.

For years, I’ve routinely used a number of exercise DVDs to keep in shape. Now that the newest, baddest video games are pushing interactive exercising, I’m wondering if there is any advantage to using the XBox 360 with Kinect over my current routine.

Do you have experience with both?  Can you tell me what you like or don’t like about the XBox 360 with Kinect?

Oh, Be Careful Little Hands

Did you know I’m married to a Scientist? Well…not exactly unless you consider him to be a Common-Sense Scientist.  Long before e-Coli or Salmonella bacteria hit the radar in research studies,  my DH expressed concern about the cleanliness of common things our hands contact in public.  It’s a well-documented topic today.  Typical spots that rank high on the chart are bathrooms, public telephones, cell phones, and door knobs.  These are horrible breeding ground for GERMS. Fecal Matter Found on 72 Percent of Grocery Carts .  This comes to no shock to us.  After all, my husband, the Common-Sense Scientist pointed out years ago that grocery cart handles are NOT clean.

A secret observational study done reported in 2010 that 93% of the women wash their hands after going to the restroom, where only 77% of the men washed up before exiting the bathroom.  If this is the case, then why is there so much fecal matter found on the grocery cart?

Could it be the study is inaccurate?  Are the scientists as observant as they should be? From experience, I’ve notice women only rinsing their hands at best before leaving the restroom with few actually using a cleanser.  What about getting out of the bathroom? Could these people who are washing their hands being re-infested?

In addition to the hand washing issue or lack of causing this problem, two prominent things stand out in my mind which may lend some importance.  Raw vegetables and meat are common grocery items placed near the handle. These items could be contaminated.  The media reported several stories in recent months about such problems.   Also, young children in diapers sit in the kiddie compartment.  While this poses a small problem, I’m more concerned about cross contamination from the grocery items than I am the baby.  What about your baby being vulnerable to these harmful bacteria?  Does this alarm you?

The next time you go shopping, consider taking some anti-bacterial wipes or alcohol toilettes to swab down the handle or use a pair of cheap vinyl gloves before you grab your cart or consider pulling your cart from the front corner like I do.  Keep in mind, the contaminants on your hands get transmitted to each surface you touch.  Avoid putting your hands near your face until you can properly wash them.  This increases the immediate risk to you and your young children of e-Coli or Salmonella poisoning.  Finally, after you load the car up with all those grocery and head home, don’t forget to disinfect your hands before grabbing your steering wheel.

Anything you can do to safeguard yourself against GERMS will be better than doing nothing at all.

Be wise. Keep healthy!

The Dark Side

It’s time now to venture toward the dark side…the dark side of chocolate that is. What did you think, I wigged out on you? Well… not quite.  However, it is St. Valentine’s Day and with that being said, you know this post is going to be about romance.

Dark chocolate has got a lot of good hype due to its antioxidants elements which offer some health benefits.  For years it’s been said dark chocolate is an aphrodisiac.  Is this a myth or fact?


Chocolate’s originated as an aphrodisiac in the Mayan and Aztec cultures.  They believed the cacao tree which bore the cacao (cocoa) beans were foods of the god.  After Spanish explorers discovered the cacao beans and introduced it to Europe, the cacao bean maintained it’s love connection.

Why is chocolate associated with love?  The nature properties of chocolate contain Phenylethylamine and Serotonin.  These chemicals are linked to elevating the mood.   Each one of us can relate to chocolate’s happiness factor, right? It always puts a smile on my face.

According to a study done by Italian researchers, people who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who deny themselves of this sweet pleasure. There is still a debate in the scientific community about chocolate being an aphrodisiac, though.

Personally, I can say unequivocally chocolate is definitely a mood booster. I don’t believe it’ll  turn you into a sex maniac or anything, but  I find the simple act of indulging in dark chocolate in itself is romantic.  This gesture along increases sexual arousal, if given the right atmosphere.

It’s Valentine’s Day, have your sweetheart to pick up some of your favorite dark chocolates and let the magic of the pleasure derived from the chocolate begin…tonight!   Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Arthritis Self-Help

People are living longer than ever before.  This is largely due to the advancements in medicine and our general health knowledge to care for ourselves properly through exercise, diet, and nutritional supplements.  However, despite our ability to offset some health issues, others can not always be averted.  I read various forms of this disease affects 40 million Americans.  There’s a good chance, if you’re reading this post, then you’re like me, you know someone affected by arthritis.

Degenerative arthritis or better known as osteoporosis is the most common form of arthritis.  This afflicts millions of people and sadly goes unnoticed for years. Unfortunately, with osteoporosis, there is little pain associated with the disease in the early stages and may inhabit a person’s body for years before a fractured bone or cracked vertebrae alerting your doctor there’s a problem.  Osteoporosis affects more women than men and can strike at any age.  This disease seems to stem from vitamin deficiencies: A, D, K, calcium, and magnesium.  According to my Internet finds, there are medications that can cause osteoporosis.  Be sure to consult your physician about this issue. WebMD reports certain medical conditions such as lactose intolerance, lupus, asthma, diabetes, and anorexia can lead to problems with osteoporosis.  Something I discovered which doesn’t relate to me, but I realize a good number of other people this may, but alcohol consumption may affect the development of osteoporosis.  Key elements to lower your risk factor with osteoporosis is a healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of sunshine. Remember the best time to be in the sunshine without worry of harmful UV is when the sun is less intense between the hours of 11 am – 3 pm.

The second most common form of this disease is rheumatoid arthritis.  Early warning signs include joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue, as well as low-grade fevers with accompanying weight loss which is the result of an autoimmune disorder that causes joint damage and eventually deformity.  Sometimes overlapping symptoms with such illnesses as lupus, this medical problem is more serious which can cause organ damage or overall all poor health.   Early diagnosis and treatment through medical care and healthy lifestyle changes is the most successful way to treating rheumatoid arthritis. These things can increase the chances of the disease going into remission, otherwise if not properly diagnosed soon enough, then degeneration of the disease will leave its victim immobile with a little hope of improvement.

Unlike osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis does not have prevention treatment.  Diet and exercise may help to slow some of the damage to joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis.   In general, medicine therapy is preferred for reducing inflammation linked to this condition and since there are various stages of this illness, then management of medicines vary from stage to stage.  Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this disease but catching symptoms early can provide relief and a way to handle problems throughout the patient’s life.

Educating oneself is the best approach to deal with osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis.  Controlling the elements in your life such as diet and exercise can be beneficial in giving some relief in symptoms that these diseases may cause its patients. Medication can be helpful, especially in severe cases. However, keep an open mind to alternative treatments and one dairy farmer’s discovery and look for solutions that may, in the end, cause fewer complications than pharmaceutical products.

For exercise tips, please read Got Arthritis? 5 Exercises That Relieve Pain.