HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- February Recipes
- February Exercise
- Good for the Heart
- Practice, Practice, Practice
February Recipes - Click Here
Our recipes this month utilize foods that are good for your heart.
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
February Exercises - Click Here
Each month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Good for the Heart
February is arguably the month of love. No sooner than the holiday decorations and New Year's resolutions are packed away, we are bombarded by visions of Cupid, hearts, and chocolate. Everywhere we go we see hearts, hearts, and more hearts. This month take time to remember that your heart is important year-round, not just on Valentine's Day. In addition to an exercise or movement program that helps your cardiovascular system, regularly eating some foods can help improve your overall heart health. Below are some delicious foods that can help you love your heart a little bit more.
Avocados -Researchers in Mexico found that people who ate avocado every day for one week experienced an average 17 percent drop in total blood cholesterol.
Whole grains - Sluble fiber found in whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal binds the cholesterol in your meal and drags it out of your body.
Olive Oil - A new analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, builds on previous work that determined that a diet rich in healthful oils, namely olive oil, cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Spinach - The potassium and folate found in spinach can help lower blood pressure, and according to recent researchers.
Nuts - Monounsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Salmon - Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by decreasing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels.
Cheese - A recent study from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that people who eat three servings a day of low-fat dairy have lower (three points less) systolic blood pressure than those who eat less.
Asparagus - This delicious vegetable is easy to prepare and packs a serious punch as it supplies powerful antioxidants, folate, and fiber to support heart health.
Pomegranate - An anti-oxidant rich fruit that contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries from damage.
Watermelon - Florida State University researchers found that people given a 4,000mg supplement of L-citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelon, helps your body produce nitric oxide which widens blood vessels. Participants lowered their blood pressure in just six weeks.
Broccoli - This high fiber veggie is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation and helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries.
Turmeric - This spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory containing curcumin which lowers inflammation, a major cause of arteriosclerosis which is hardening of the arteries.
Cinnamon - Just one teaspoon a day of antioxidant-rich cinnamon can help reduce fats in the bloodstream, helping to prevent plaque build up in the arteries and lower bad cholesterol levels by as much as 26 percent.
Green Tea - This tasty beverage can be enjoyed hot or cold and it ss rich in catechins, compounds that have been shown to decrease cholesterol absorption in your body
Coffee - According to researchers in The Netherlands, people who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day for 13 years had about a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all.
Submitted by: Anita Williams
Practice, Practice, Practice
When one looks at all the great athletes of the world, the question "What made them good?" may come to mind. Were they inherently talented? Did they possess some genetic makeup that allowed them to perform at such a high level? Maybe they were born into a family that had the money and the time to help them develop the skills?
Actually most great athletes, and for that matter most musicians, entertainers and artists in general, did one thing that a lot of us aren't willing to do...They practiced. They developed skills by training hours and hours every week, every month and every year. I guess you would have to ask then, "Why would they practice so much?" There was no guarantee of fame and fortune. Only a few make it to the NHL, NBA or actually qualify for the Olympics. They practiced because they enjoyed improving, seeing their individual skills improve, knowing that possibly, just possibly, they might qualify to be an international athlete.
When I look at the patients coming into our office, I ask myself, "What makes some people more successful than others?" Many are quickly discouraged and give up on themselves. On the other hand, there are those who are willing, like a great athlete, to persist trying day by day. They make mistakes, have successes and battle through unexpected life events until they get to the size or weight they desire. In the beginning, it will be very motivating to hear others compliment them on their weight loss, but in the long run, we must motivate ourselves to keep trying. The key is that the motivation is always internal, not external.
Practicing every day to become a great athlete is not any different than practicing every day to improve your health through better eating habits, conquering cravings, accepting setbacks, or trying to develop better coping skills for eating at parties or on holidays. It takes work. A lot of mental work. Today I saw one of my patients who had been struggling to get herself on track for 2 years. She had seen no weight loss and was not doing any exercise, BUT she kept coming in. She kept 'practicing' trying to get her mind motivated to accept that she had to eat less and that she couldn't always cave into her sweet cravings. Well, her practice paid off. In 3 weeks, she is now down 10 pounds and has finally forced herself to complete one exercise session (which, by the way, she enjoyed once it was done.) But what I found most impressive, was how she handled cravings. She was in a shopping mall and went by a candy store and had intense chocolate cravings. Instead of giving into them, she went to a coffee stand and got a hot chocolate and forced herself to sit down, sip the drink and just watch the people go by. The craving left and she went home happy.
You see, this is the kind of practice we all have to do daily. Like an athlete, sometimes we will be successful and at other times not. But the more you practice, the more skills you develop to handle similar difficult situations in the future. Can you find a way to get your mind off food, to distract your thought pattern so that you don't give into the craving? I'm sure you can. But you need to practice. Work on in every day. What is the reward? The reward is in learning you can do it, that you can empower yourself. You'll find that you can control the food and lose the weight.
We are surrounded by food. Not only are our fridges full, our cupboards are too. Even while getting your car filled with gas, you will encounter a small store full of junk food. You must develop the ability to take your mind off food. Food will never satisfy a negative emotional state or if it does, it will only be for a short time. In the long term, one has to deal with the emotional and health consequences of carrying extra weight.
Losing weight and keeping it off is a life long journey. Treat it as such. Practice different skills every day, every time you go in the kitchen, every time you go into a restaurant or a mall or a movie theatre. Practice. You can do it. Never give up.
Written by: Dr Doug