HEALTH / FITNESS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this Section....
- September Recipes
- September's Exercise
- Daily Diet Tip
- Choosing Foods to Help You Sleep Better
- Defensive Barriers and Rationalizations
September Recipes - Click Here
September is back-to-school month, and we're kicking it off with a Labor Day feast!! And since the weather is still nice, we have a menu of great dishes that are done on the grill, so even the cook can enjoy the outdoors and this fine weather while still serving a hearty meal! We even have a delicious dessert of pound cake and bananas done on the grill that you and your family will love! So gather round the grill and enjoy the Labor Day celebrations!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
September Exercises - Click HereEach month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Choosing Foods to Help You Sleep BetterChoosing Foods to Help You Sleep Better
Getting a good night's sleep makes your work day (or school day) go so much better. If you have difficulty sleeping, you already know how tough staying alert during the day can be. But did you know that sleep is also important for your health? People who have chronic sleep loss are also at a higher risk of being obese, having heart disease, diabetes and kids with ADHD often have sleep disorders.
If you don't get enough sleep at night, you might rely on caffeine to keep you awake during the day. Caffeine is a popular stimulant, found in tea, chocolate, some types of soda, energy drinks and in coffee. Enjoying a cup or two of coffee in the morning is fine, but if you're drinking a whole pot of coffee, it might be time to cut back. Especially if you're drinking a lot of that coffee in the afternoon. Too much caffeine makes you jittery and if you consume it later in the day, the caffeine makes it more difficult to sleep at night. It can become a vicious circle. You use caffeine to perk up, but then you can't sleep, so the next day you use more caffeine and lose sleep again that night. And so it goes.
Quitting the caffeine habit isn't easy or comfortable. Many people suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness, flu-like feelings, irritability and lack of concentration when they give up caffeine cold turkey. You can avoid those symptoms by gradually withdrawing. Try blending decaffeinated coffee with regular coffee. The same goes for tea or caffeinated sodas. It's fairly easy to find decaffeinated drinks these days. Increase the amount of decaf over a few weeks time. The relationship between your diet and good sleep doesn't end with caffeine. There are several other ways to choose foods to sleep better.
Avoid heavy foods or spicy foods. Or any foods you know that may cause heartburn, making it difficult for you to sleep at night.
Don't drink too much alcohol. Although alcohol may make you drowsy, over-consumption of your favorite adult beverages may cause a very restless uncomfortable night.
Eat cherries. Not only are they rich in vitamins, cherries contain melatonin, a substance also found in the human body that helps regulate sleep. Eating fresh or dried cherries before you go to bed at night may help you sleep better.
Enjoy a light bedtime snack. Choose carbohydrates and dairy products, like a small bowl of whole grain cereal and non-fat milk. Carbohydrates make it easier to fall sleep. Dairy products contain tryptophan, which promotes sleep. Other foods that contain tryptophan are bananas, oats, and honey. Avoid eating excessive fats. People who eat large amounts of fat may also have more difficulty sleeping. Be sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids each day, however, because eicosapentaenoic acid (one type of omega-3 found in fish, especially tuna, salmon and trout) has a role in sleep induction in your brain. People who don't get enough sleep tend to overeat by adding extra sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks to their diets. All the extra calories from the snacking can lead to obesity, so not only do the foods you eat affect how you sleep, but the amount of sleep you get also affects the foods you choose to eat.
Submitted by: Maria Albus
Defensive Barriers and Rationalizations
If life were as simple as a game of basketball or hockey, I might say that success depends on simply keeping an eye on the puck (or ball). What is it that allows us to take our eye off our desire for successful weight loss? We all have that wish, or hope, to lose a certain amount of weight so that we can look better or feel better about ourselves. Yet, in a flash, our minds come up with some pretty ‘acceptable’ rationalizations.Look at some of the following and see if they sound familiar:
- “I deserve this; I’ve been good all day.”
- “My life is so crazy, I only have time for fast food.”
- “It’s a shame to waste food.”
- “It’s Friday night.”
- “I’m so exhausted; I can’t handle cooking.”
- “I paid for it, I’m eating it.”
- “I need wine with dinner every night because it helps me de-stress.”
- “I’ll make it up tomorrow at the gym.”
- “It would be rude not to eat it after she made it.”
- “It’s no big deal.”
- “It’s Saturday.”
Do any of these ring true?
For starters, awareness is essential. Since our defensive barriers undermine our ability to change old habits, recognizing them is a fundamental step toward lasting success. It’s impossible to do any weight loss program successfully without coming face-to-face with your defensive barriers. If they go unrecognized, they will prevent you from achieving your goals, and you may never know why you failed.
Exercise thought control. You consciously will learn to recognize a negative or unproductive thought and immediately replace it with a positive and productive one. If you’re thinking, “It’s Friday, I can eat what I want after a hard week,” substitute that thought with a conscious statement such as: “I want to be lean, and every day when I make conscious choices, I’m getting closer to my goal. So, I’ll watch my portions and not give into that ‘Friday syndrome’.”
Always understand that you are in control of your thinking. Develop a strong dialogue with yourself. The ‘old you’ will react to food situations with immediate impulse. The ‘new you’ will begin to think about whether or not you really need that food. You will learn to choose better portions, make healthier choices, and listen to what is important for you, and not what others determine is important for you.
Become your own cheerleader! This is YOUR journey, and each small success empowers you.
You can do it. Keep on trying and never give up!
Written by: Dr Doug