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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at

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April Recipes - Click Here

This month, we are celebrating Spring and all the fresh flavors of the season!! This month's meal is abundant in fresh fruit and all the many ways it can be enjoyed, whether it is used as a main ingredient, a sauce, or even just to splash on vegetables to make the flavor come alive! We're even topping off our celebration with a fruity drink, adults only of course, that will start off the spring feast with a fruity flair!! Enjoy the fruits of spring!!

We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at Hope to hear from all of you in the following months, and have a Happy New Year!!!

Foods to Make You Feel Full

On one side of the justice scale there lays an artichoke and the other a light fluffy crème puff. If the artichoke is heavier why does that 2 oz crème puff add 5 pounds to your thighs?

Let’s face it, it takes 10 crème puffs to fill our bellies the way that one artichoke can.

The more water dense and/or high fiber foods we eat, the more likely we are to have a feeling of fullness, simultaneously keeping our stomach satisfied and our caloric intake lower.

Below are samples of foods that will keep us fuller longer:

Soups: In a recent study, dieters that consume broth based soups two times a day lost an additional 16 pounds and were able to maintain this weight loss.

Salads: People who consume a fresh garden salad before a meal ate fewer calories at that meal and the rest of the day then those who skipped the salad.

Baby Carrots: They are high in fiber and help us get that mental “crunch”.

Cottage Cheese: The whey protein releases hormones that will signal your brain is full.

Salsa: High water content from the tomatoes, plus the cancer fighting benefit of lycopene.

Apples: The apples have a lower energy density-meaning you can eat more food for less calories, plus a great deal of fiber.

Smoothies: Made with low-fat yogurt and loads of low glyemic fruit, you're getting protein, fiber, and calcium.

Incorporating foods high in water and fiber , with the addition of lean protein, whole grains, and smart fats to your meal plan will automatically cut the calories and make losing weight more successful.

Now if we could just find whole wheat, water logged crème puff …

Written by: Marianne Westervelt

6 Remedies for Sleep Problems

Fifty to 70 million Americans suffer from insomnia. It’s more common among women. It is also common among people who are obese or have high blood pressure, anxiety or depression. And more and more studies are linking weight gain with sleep loss. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests that adults should sleep eight to nine hours per night to help maintain a healthy weight. One theory is that lack of sleep disrupts hormones, such as leptin and insulin, which regulate appetite and body weight. Another explanation is that sleep deprivation leaves us too tired for exercise. And since losing sleep can also make us moody, we may turn to food to cheer us up. You could take one of the many sleep medications touted on TV, but their long-term use can lead to headaches and possible dependency. Instead, channel your late-night energy into researching the science behind some common advice.

Drink some warm milk before bedtime

Decades ago, scientists looked into this folk remedy and found that tryptophan, an amino acid in milk (and turkey), might be responsible for its supposed sleep-inducing effects. Earlier research had shown that when tryptophan is released into the brain, it produces serotonin—a serenity-boosting neurotransmitter. But when milk (and other tryptophan-rich foods) were tested, they failed to affect sleep patterns. “Tryptophan-containing foods don’t produce the hypnotic effects pure tryptophan does, because other amino acids in those foods compete to get into the brain,” explains Art Spielman, M.D., an insomnia expert and professor of psychology at the City University of New York. Warm milk at bedtime may be comforting, but it won’t boost sleep-promoting serotonin.

Have a bedtime snack

A light bedtime snack can stave off hunger, a known sleep robber. But eating high-glycemic-index (GI) carbohydrates—hours earlier at dinner—might also help. (High-GI foods cause a greater rise in blood sugar and insulin than do lower-GI foods.) A recent paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when healthy sleepers ate carbohydrate-rich suppers of veggies and tomato sauce over rice, they fell asleep significantly faster at bedtime if the meal included high-GI jasmine rice rather than lower-GI long-grain rice. While the authors aren’t sure how it happened, they speculated that the greater amounts of insulin triggered by the high-GI meals increased the ratio of tryptophan relative to other amino acids in the blood, allowing proportionately more to get into the brain. Save high-GI carbs - short-grain rice, potatoes, biscuits, crackers, bread, etc. - for dinnertime, when their side effect—drowsiness—is a plus.

Drink herbal tea

Chamomile, lemon balm, hops and passionflower are all touted for their sleep-promoting properties. You’ll often find them in “sleep-formula” tea blends, but unfortunately their effectiveness hasn’t been proven in clinical studies, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “I don’t doubt these teas work for some. A warm liquid before bed may produce sleepiness by generating body heat,” speculates Spielman. Beware: drinking liquids close to bedtime can mean nocturnal trips to the bathroom. A cup of “sleep-time” tea might be worth a try…if you have a strong bladder.

Take a ‘sleep supplement’

Shelves in supplement stores are stacked with sleep formulas. According to one NIH survey conducted in 2002, 1.6 million people tried complementary or alternative therapies like these, and over half of them reported their insomnia improved “a great deal.” However, those glowing anecdotes haven’t been backed up by rigorous scientific study; evaluations of most nutritional supplements haven’t shown any effects whatsoever. The one exception is valerian root, which seemed to help improve sleep with rare, and mild, side effects, such as stomach upset. But finding an effective formulation of valerian root is tricky, since the FDA doesn’t regulate herbal supplements. Don’t waste your money on sleep supplements; hold off on using valerian until standardized formulations become available.

Have a nightcap

Though a glass of wine may help you fall asleep, excessive alcohol use can make you wake up in the night. One theory is that alcohol suppresses the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep state that’s critical to a good night’s sleep, says Spielman. “One of my insomnia patients became remarkably better when he reduced his alcohol intake from 20 to three drinks per week.” Drink moderately, if at all; avoid drinking within a few hours of bedtime.

Cut out all caffeine

Caffeine affects everyone differently, so if you’re sensitive it might be worth trying to cut down—or limit caffeine to the morning only. This can mean more than just cutting out a cup of coffee. The major sources of caffeine in Americans’ diets are coffee (71 percent), soft drinks (16 percent) and teas (12 percent) but chocolate is also a source. “Our ability to excrete caffeine decreases with age,” says Spielman, so while you might have tolerated four cups of coffee a day when you were 20, you’ll probably need to cut down as you get older. Cut down on caffeine or limit it to the morning; if insomnia persists, consider going cold turkey.

Try all of the above advice in your quest for shuteye. If you're familiar with the placebo effect, then you should be content with just believing it will work.

For more information check out

Written and submitted by: Maria Albus

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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