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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 submissions@ssbbw-magazine.com.

In this Section....


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 submissions@ssbbw-magazine.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!


Exercise Videos - Click Here

In previous issues we have featured simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment. You can view these videos on our Youtube channel.


Choosing 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.

Source: http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodfun/a/foodsandsleep.htm.

Originally posted September 2010


How What We Eat Makes Us Sick

We are a society on the go. Many of us have limited time to prepare nutritional foods and end up eating things like fast food, microwave meals, and takeout later on wondering why we don't feel good. Here are a few reasons you should pay better attention to what you eat.

Fast Food Has Numerous Negative Side Effects

Eating fast food can be extremely tempting when you're busy, running late, on a budget, or even just too exhausted to cook. When eaten in moderation, fast food doesn't need to impact you negatively. However when it becomes a staple in your diet, you may begin to experience things like bloating, headaches, shortness of breath, and even depression. The high calorie, low nutrition combo is never beneficial to your health.

Instead of living drive-thru to drive-thru, consider spending a free day researching quick, easy meals. Spending one day a week preparing freezer meals to thaw throughout the rest of the week offers you a way to eat quickly while maintaining your physical well-being. Another wonderful implement in the busy bee's kitchen is a slow cooker. Slow cooker meals can be prepped before work and will be ready to eat by the time you return home. The typical slow cooker also makes plenty of leftovers for lunch.

Faux Healthy Items Are On the Rise

Salad is often considered the epitome of healthful eating. It is typically low in calories but high in nutrients. However more recently, restaurants have begun to offer salads slathered in high-calorie dressing with heavy portions of sodium and toppings that cancel out any benefits the iceberg lettuce might have offered. These salads are sometimes even worse than an entire meal from a fast food chain.

Bread is a common staple in most households and is typically considered healthy provided it isn't white bread. Unfortunately, even the whole wheat breads that boast rolled oats and seeds can be loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Research and ingredient label reading are key aspects of eating healthy.

Natural drinks such as iced teas and fruit juices run into a similar problem. While tea and fruit are both undeniably healthy, many commercial drinks are loaded with sugar, limiting any benefit you may reap from the main ingredient. The common way people resist sugary drinks is to opt for the “lite” version.

Diet and lite options may actually be worse for you than the sugared one. Aspartame and sucralose are the additives incorporated to create the sweet taste without adding calories. They have been linked to headaches, memory loss, and dizziness. If you prefer to avoid sugar, consider seeking natural low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, agave, and xylitol.

Foods Impact Your Mental Health

A person's diet can determine whether or not they have insomnia, anxiety, depression, or any number of common mental health problems. Some studies are even showing that diet can improve the symptoms of ADD, ADHD, and other lifelong disabilities.

Foods like chocolate contain both sugar and a small amount of caffeine, guaranteeing difficulty sleeping. Foods that are high in fats and simple carbohydrates also work against a good night's sleep. Switching your pre-bed snack to a sleep-friendly option can greatly improve your mental well-being as your brain achieves the amount of rest it needs. Some good options are cherry juice (naturally high in melatonin), bananas (contain muscle-relaxing magnesium), or yogurt (calcium deficiencies often cause insomnia).

For symptoms of depression and anxiety, one might increase their intake of vitamins C and E and beta-carotene by consuming broccoli, carrots, oranges, tomatoes, and nuts. These increase the body's overall wellness and naturally uplift mood. Though no single food will cure depression or anxiety, a well-rounded, healthy diet makes the body and, by extension, the mind feel better.

Being healthy in the modern world can pose a challenge, which is why so many of us experience health problems as a result of our diets. Making a few simple changes and doing a bit of research can vastly improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Feeling sick shouldn't be a part of daily life. Eat well and make physical activity a priority and you will be well.

Submitted by: Patricia Sarmiento...Patricia loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

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