Health & Wellness Blog

    

The Power of Juice Fasting

Today, Americans consume a much higher amount of food compared to several hundred years ago. In addition to the ease of access, much of the “food” consumed in Westernized cultures is artificial and extensively manufactured.

The result of this shift in diet (from whole, natural foods to more man-made, chemically induced foods) is source-disputed disease and widespread obesity. The prevalence of these major concerns alone is enough to promote and practice more nutritious dieting behaviors. 

Juice fasting is a healthy discipline that is often overlooked, and unbeknownst, in Western cultures. Unlike traditional water fasting, juice fasting allows the body to absorb a high amount of nutrients without the risks of malnutrition. This offers a safe and healthy method for short and longer-term fasting, which promotes optimal health in many ways.

Healing Benefits of Juice Fasting

So what does juice fasting do to our bodies that makes the practice so powerful?

In essence, any form of fasting “gives the stomach a rest” from having to break-down the foods we eat. With respect to our volume consumption society, that reason alone is enough to give juice fasting a 24-hour trial. However, there is more to juice fasting than a time-out for one of our most vital organs.

The stomach requires a fair amount of blood to break-down the solid foods we eat. Hence the explanation of why we get tired after we eat a large meal – blood flows away from our brains and into our stomachs. During a fast, the lack of blood needed for the stomach to its job is a significant reserve. The availability of more blood brings more life and healing power to other parts of the body. This leads to deeper restoration and healing to certain ailments.

Juice Fasting for Weight Loss

Juice fasting for weight loss is one of the healthiest forms of calorie restriction. In addition to consuming less and more nutritious calories, when the stomach is on reserve, food cravings and the temptation for sweets is much more controllable.

As the stomach expands and contracts meal after meal, our minds are triggered to know when it is time to eat and when we are full. During the contraction phase, or when or stomach begins to reduce in size hours after eating, we feel a growing sense of hunger. However during a juice fast, the stomach remains at a semi-consistent size. This makes the onset of hunger less extreme. In addition, this also helps to reduce the intense cravings we may experience several hours after not eating (which can often lead to over eating.)

So Why Not Juice Fast?

When you take a look back to our Paleolithic ancestors, they would go days, sometimes weeks without eating. Only for the past few hundred years have humans become accustomed to eating regular meals throughout the day. And even more so today, humans are eating foods that are unrecognizable to our “still Paleo bodies.”

Juice fasting is a healthy way to rejuvenate and restore ourselves. Not only as a common method for physical detoxification and healing, juice fasting can help us appreciate and respect what we put into our bodies.

A Few Juice Fasting Tips:

  • Start and end you juice fast with a raw food diet a few days prior and after the fast.
  • Don’t chew gum, for this sends signals to the stomach to start working – thus defeating the purpose of the fast.
  • Drink a variety of juices. If vegetable juices are undesirable, try overpowering the flavors with something sweeter (e.g. pineapple juice helps to override the flavor of broccoli juice.)
  • While juice fasting, go about your day in the same manner you normally would.
  • Take in the moment. Juice fasting is an uplifting experience that helps you get more in-touch with your body and mind.
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Five Easy Steps To Better Heart Health

Maintaining cardiovascular health is essential for a long and full life. There are five simple ways to ensure that the heart functions perfectly. It includes getting adequate exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, avoidance of bad habits, taking dietary supplements and allotting time for relaxation.

Exercise Regularly

Getting enough cardiovascular exercise tops the list for maintaining great cardio health. Experts recommend doing thirty minutes of cardio exercise, three times a week. Anything less than that and you're not getting enough. Cardiac diseases can develop early in people with sedentary work and lifestyles, so take every opportunity to get up and move.

Choose the Right Foods

A well-balanced diet is a must for good heart health. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and other low fat, high fiber options. Go easy on the grease and salt, and only consumer fatty foods rich in good fats, such as Omega-3’s, which help promote cardiac health.

Get Rid of Bad Habits

This is easier said than done but to e,nsure good cardio health, getting rid of alcohol and smoking habits is necessary. From prescription medications to hypnosis, there are many ways to quit smoking if you need help. Alcohol in excessive amounts is harmful to the heart. Moderate drinking is acceptable but if you exceed two drinks per day, you'll need to cut back.

Take Supplements

Dietary supplements support cardiovascular health by filling up the gaps on your diet. The vitamins and minerals that are contained in a multi-vitamin preparation keeps heart muscles healthy and should be included as part of your daily regimen.

Relax

Stress affects everyone but to enhance cardiac health, you have to learn how to cope with it well. One way to counteract stress is through exercise. But be sure to follow it up with some down time to make your body recuperate. Learn to relax your mind as well as your body to keep your heart working at its best. You can achieve excellent cardiovascular health with these five simple tips. Following these, you'll not only get a strong heart, you'll look and feel good in the process.

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8 Ways To Fend Off Holiday Weight Gain

Gaining weight during the holidays is an expected seasonal hazard for many individuals. Holiday indulgences are everywhere, and fending off the temptations can be a serious discipline.

The countless rounds of holiday parties make weight maintenance at this time of year a must. Take in the following 8 strategies to greet the New Year without an expanded waistline.

1. Plan Eating and Exercise
Experts suggest creating a plan for eating and exercise, as well as a reminder system to ensure that you follow through. Put notes or pictures in strategic places where you'll be sure to see them.

2. Small Servings
You need not be deprived of the holiday treats that you're sure to be bombarded with during the holidays. The trick is to have just a little of everything. Portion control is key to minimize weight gain during the holidays.

3. Choose Your Treats
Before partying, plan ahead which holiday food you're going to indulge in. There'll be a lot of temptations like rich dishes, sweet treats, and extra drinks. Just choose wisely and enjoy it. 

4. Get Moving
Lack of activity and rich holiday food make the perfect combination for weight gain. Short 10 to 15 minute sessions of activity, like walking, shoveling snow, or lifting weights, three times a day works just as well as a 45 minute workout. Think of these as a way to combat holiday stress and to make up for the extra calories you consumed.

5. Take Control
You certainly cannot control the type of food at any event, but you can bring your discipline to the table. To fend off those urges and temptations, try these tips:

  • Stay away from the buffet table.
  • Wear form fitting clothes to remind you that you've eaten enough.
  • Chew sugarless gum after you've finished eating.

6. Be Prepared
Don't go to an event hungry, thirsty, or tired. It sets you up for over-indulgence and poor judgment. Eat a healthy snack like whole grains, fresh fruit or low fat yogurt before hitting the event. In addition, thirst is often confused with hunger, so stay hydrated. 

7. Avoid Grazing
Often, we think that food eaten standing up or picked out from a tray doesn’t count, but it does. It is best to sit down and savor the food you've decided to enjoy rather than grazing continuously the whole time. Use a smaller plate if you want to control portions better. 

8. Limit Alcohol
Liquid calories are still calories. Besides, alcohol reduces willpower and can later stimulate appetite. Establish your limits and make you can stick with it.

You can avoid holiday weight gain if you really put your mind to it. Enjoy the delights of the season but stay committed to your weight maintenance plan.

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6 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year when you want a break from your routines. You are in a festive mood, and with a little vacation time, it’s difficult to maintain discipline. And with all the holiday temptations, finding time to exercise is even more essential.

How can you make the most of your healthy endeavors during the busy holiday season?

It is important to understand and accept that the holiday season makes it hard to stick to healthy food and a regular exercise program. While it is hard, it is definitely not impossible to find discipline and techniques to stay in shape and choose healthy food options wherever possible.

Below are 6 tips for a healthier holiday season

  1. Combine exercise with family time on a holiday vacations. Go on a backpacking trip, skiing, sledding trip, or some kind of fun thing which involves physical activity with the family. Aside from exercise, your family gets quality time together with loved ones.
  2. Bring to mind that poster or image of your favorite celebrity or aspiring icon whose sexy body that you dream to possess. Each time you see unhealthy foods, this will be a conscious reminder to stop yourself from going overboard.
  3. Make few adjustments and find alternative physical activities to keep you fit. For example, The day you find yourself making excuses of avoiding your routine workouts, get creative with an at home exercise plan. You could do some jogging around the house, do stretching exercises or yoga, crunches and push-ups, or use a fitness DVD to do guided workouts to help you through.
  4. If you go shopping, make a plan to walk as much as possible. This includes taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking your car far from the exit of the mall.
  5. High sugar and high fat temptations will present themselves at almost every holiday season party. Consciously say aloud “no” each time you try to reach out for second helpings. This can help you fend off holiday weight gain.
  6. Getting up an hour earlier than usual to exercise or go running is a great idea during the holiday season. Not only will this help you ignite your metabolism, but the feeling of an early morning accomplishment can leave your feeling great all day.

The busy holiday season is bound to be fought with temptations. There may be a slip between the lip and the mind, but don’t beat yourself up over it. It is alright to allow yourself to ‘cheat’ at times when you get a little slack. However what is most important is to have the right attitude towards your health, your diet, and your exercise program.

Do not give up if you falter on your diet or exercise temporarily. Stay positive. Be aware that if you do fall off the exercise bandwagon, there's no reason not to climb back aboard once your holidays are over.

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The Raw Food Diet: 4 Key Facts

The raw food diet has become an increasingly popular choice for many people seeking a more healthy and nutritious way to eat. Those that follow a raw food diet usually consume no less than 75% of their diet from uncooked and unprocessed plant-based foods, which typically consist of fresh fruits, whole grains, fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Theories of a Raw Food Diet

Raw food theorists believe that cooking food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit actually destroys key natural enzymes that our body needs. The enzymes found in food can aid with the digestion, absorption, and processing of essential nutrients. However, without proper absorption of nutrients, a person's health can degrade while toxins begin to build up.

Eating a diet consisting of raw foods can greatly increase the quantity of enzymes necessary for proper digestion, while enabling more vitamins and minerals to be available for absorption. The higher concentration of nutrients that come from natural raw foods is believed to prevent disease, increase energy, slow the process of aging, and promote optimal health.

Raw Food Diet Benefits

Following a raw food diet has distinctive benefits that can now be supported by scientific research. According to a study in The Journal of Nutrition, eating a raw food diet long-term can significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood cholesterol, and triglycerides. The study also revealed that people who follow a raw food diet usually have a low body mass index (BMI), low levels of C-reactive protein, and high Vitamin D levels.

C-reactive protein is known as an inflammatory molecule that has been linked with the high risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. This means having lower levels of this protein can significantly reduce these risks. Additionally, higher Vitamin D levels are important, because it assists in strengthening bones as well as influences our mood and emotions.

The Impact of Cooking Food

Cooking food at high Fahrenheit levels can be extremely carcinogenic. Overtime, eating highly cooked and processed foods can lead to deficiencies of key nutrients, which usually results in major health issues like heart disease, cancer, and degenerative diseases.

If you eat too much over-cooked, microwaved, and processed foods, the colon faces excess strain resulting in a great risk of colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many other degenerative diseases. Cooking food does alter the natural composition of substance (and thus making it more palatable in some cases,) but also destroys its essential nutritional value.

Side Effects of a Raw Food Diet

When starting a raw food diet you may experience a few side effects. For some people, these side effects can deter an individual from continuing the diet. However with patience, these side effects will definitely subside and the feeling of optimal health will soon set in. The most common side effects experienced from a raw food diet are:

Fatigue

You may feel extremely tired and worn out. As your body adapts to the diet this does go away.

Irritability

Many of the toxins that you ingest are very addictive. Flushing these toxins out can cause the body to go into a minor form of withdrawal, which often causes irritability.

Headaches

Headaches are most common to occur during the first week of a raw food diet. This is the brain’s way of coping with the detoxifying process.   

Runny Nose & Gas

When you are flushing toxins from your body, the toxins may release themselves in the way of a running nose or gas. These side effects do fade with time.

Detoxify By Going Raw

A raw food diet can be a very effective way to detoxify the body, by assisting it to get rid of harmful toxins that can accumulate from a diet high of processed foods. Eating food in a healthy and nutritious way with the aid of a raw food diet will certainly continue to attract health-conscious people throughout the world.

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Health n' Wellness Highlight: NutritionData.Self.com

There is an abundance of information available on the Web about the nutrition facts of certain foods. But when it comes to finding correct nutritional information on the Internet, finding a trusted source is key.

One place to find accurate and insightful information about food and nutrition is NutritionData.self.com. Here you can find a wealth of information about almost any type of food as well as a number of tools to help you hone in our diet and overall consumption needs.

A Wealth of Nutritious Data

After being acquired by the Self magazine (or Self.com) in 2010, NutritionData.com became NutritionData.Self.com. The website has retained the same features as before, however now the site provides resources that anyone health-conscious can appreciate.

Know What You Eat

One of the greatest features of the website is its database of food profiles. For example, we searched the site for “blueberries,” and not only did we receive results on simply raw blueberries, but also nutrition data on 48 other forms of blueberries, including frozen blueberries, canned blueberries in heavy syrup, and blueberry baby food.

Even more interesting about NutritionData.Self.com are the tools available on each food profile page. Users are shown a standardized “Nutrition Facts” box that contains all the information on a typical product label.

In addition, each profile has a “Nutritional Target Map” that shows the fullness factor and rating of nutrition for a given food. Also shown is a “Caloric Ratio Pyramid” that offers a visual perspective of the types of calories in the food. These tools are highly advantageous for those looking to fine-tune their diet or simply learn the composition of certain foods.

Know What You Need

The “Daily Needs Calculator” on NutritionData.Self.com offers an estimate of how many calories an individual needs in a day based on their physical composition and lifestyle. In short, the estimate given by the calculator helps dieters determine how many calories they need to cut to start losing weight.

The Daily Needs Calculator takes into account an individual's BMI (Body Mass Index) to estimate his or her daily caloric needs. Because BMI is simply a calculation of one’s height and weight, it doesn’t take into account metabolism or other internal factors that influence calorie burn. As a result, the “Daily Needs Calculator” should be used a general insight and not so much as a specific benchmark to fend off weight gain.

Stay on Track

There are many other features available at NutritionData.Self.com to help you stay on track with your diet. The site offers a tool to analyze recipes based on ingredients as well as resources to find foods that promote better health for certain ailments.

Whether searching for dieting insights or researching the composition of certain foods, we hope you appreciate NutritionData.Self.com as much as we do here at the Health n’ Wellness Blog.

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Best Proteins for Weight Loss

Many people today, health conscious or not, are having problems when it comes to picking the right foods for their body. Some individuals neglect eating essential proteins and fatty foods in their diet.

Proteins are very important in our daily diet, especially if you are looking to lose weight. Many dieters take on calorie restriction and struggle to keep themselves satisfied and full. Quality, low-fat proteins can be the ideal solution.

The primary proteins that are best for weight loss include chicken, turkey, seafood and tofu. These types of foods are very beneficial, not only in muscle building and cell tissue repair, but also to keep our stomachs satisfied for a longer period of time.

Unlike red meats, such as beef, these more "white proteins" are considered the healthiest because of the low fat content. In addition, these types of proteins provide a number of nutrients like Vitamin B, B1, B6, Zinc and more. The most common in American cultures are turkey and chicken, so we'll get dive into two weight loss proteins that are often overlooked: seafood and tofu.

Seafood is highly beneficial in moderation. Seafood is extremely low in fat, high in protein, and offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids. Healthy seafood includes salmon, tilapia, shrimp and other shellfish like crab and lobster. It is always best to choose wild caught fish over farm raised, and always try to acquire seafood from the freshest sources.

If you are a vegetarian, tofu is a great source of protein. This food is made up of soybean milk; however there are many concerns with genetically modified soybean crops. For this reason, it always best to opt for organic tofu, whenever possible. Tofu has also been known to help minimize the risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other inflammatory problems.

Chicken, turkey, seafood, and tofu are highly recommended by health experts because of their countless health benefits, particularly for those looking to loss weight. When consuming chicken and turkey, just remember to eliminate the skin because this is where most of the fat is stored.

Always remember that when it comes to weight loss, proper exercise and diet go hand in hand. There is a saying that goes, "He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything." So live life to the fullest and always think positive. Thanks for reading the Health n' Wellness blog.

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Metabolism Booster Foods for Weight Loss

Gaining weight means that you are actually taking in more calories than you actually burning in a day. In today's world, it's not easy counting calories and estimating caloric expenditure. However there are some mind-sets or approaches to our diets that can help overcome excess calorie intake.

One of the best approaches to losing weight is avoiding refined carbohydrates (starchy breads, white grains, etc.) with metabolism-boosting, fat-burning foods. These types of foods are more whole and natural, meaning that that they have not been processed in a factory and infused with chemicals and additives.

Below are some of the top metabolism boosting foods that can help you on your way to shedding the pounds.

Lean Proteins

lean protein is a great metabolim boosting food for weight loss

Proteins are important in any weight loss effort. Quantity and quality play a significant role in influencing your metabolic rate through high protein foods. Protein helps sustain and influence muscle fitness during weight loss, which is responsible for using most of our calorie intake. Losing muscle could hinder losing fat. 

You should eat lean meats and organic forms of tofu as you protein source. White meats, such as fish and poultry, are considered some of the best nutritional options, for these proteins are low in fat and will help you stay more full.

Green Tea and Coffee

Both green tea and coffee contain caffeine, which speeds up you your heart. This in turn boosts your metabolism. Of course, you moderate caffeine intake throughout the day is key. But for a quick jolt to metabolism to get your fat burning system turned up, drink a cup or two of green tea or coffee. Green tea in particular contains Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) which is one of the most powerful metabolism boosters.

High Fiber Veggies

veggies are must for weight loss foodsFiber rich foods are one of the best foods for weight loss. These foods not only keep your colon clean, but also flush out toxins from your body. Vegetables such as celery, cauliflower, zucchini are quite rich in fiber content. You can also enjoy vegetables by making salads that contain all of your favorite veggies.

Hot Peppers

Try adding some hot peppers to some of your recipes for heating up things. Jalapeno peppers and cayenne peppers possess thermagenic properties that increase your body temperature and boost metabolism. Spicing up your foods can help you in burning more calories.

Fruits

Most fruits are nutrient dense and have a good amount of fiber. Therefore, your body has to work harder to digest and extract those valuable nutrients. This helps in burning more calories and you lose weight fast.

The best fruits to eat when trying to lose weight are strawberries, apples and oranges. While eating oranges, you should avoid removing their white membrane off as it contains highest fiber content. Apples are also one of the best foods for weight loss as they not only have high fiber content, but also contain both soluble and insoluble fibers.

Whole Grains

While choosing pastas, cereals, and breads, you should opt for choices made from whole grains. As a complex carbohydrate, whole grain is high in fiber content, and boost metabolism while slowing down the release of insulin. Whole grain options are becoming much more popular in food stores, so choosing this alternative is ideal for a successful weight loss strategy.

Water

Water, especially ice cold water is important for obese people who want to shed some weight. Cold water lowers the body's temperature so the body must compensate by burning more fat. It also helps in filling you up fast thereby reducing any urge to eat more and add more calories in your body.

Can you think of any other metabolism booster weight loss foods? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Best Fat Burning Foods for Weight Loss

Losing weight is a major challenge for most people. The intimidation of a weight loss plan is often exacerbated by confusing statistics and information. Many people are hitting the gym under pressure only to exhaust themselves within no time and fall back to their plump selves. As they say, the forbidden fruit is always sweet and hence, the foods you crave most cause this trauma. If you eat right, you can cut on excess fat and be on your way to retaining your slim and trim figure. In this Health n' Wellness post, we dive into some of the best fat burning foods include to include in your weight loss diet plan.

Almonds and Nuts with Skin Intact

Although nuts contain high levels of fat, in moderation they can help to fend off food craving and make you feel full. As such, you do not end up gorging yourself with other types of food. These nuts also help to build muscle, which is what people crave for when trying to lose weight. A person trying to lose weight can kill for a toned body but a diet of nuts everyday will help you achieve this feat easily.

Whey Proteins

This is a mixture of globular proteins found in milk. The product contains nutrients such as Glycomacropeptide, immunoglobins, and lactoferrin, which help in breaking down fat. In addition, you get amino acids such as tryptophan, which are essential in breaking down fat while at the same time building body muscle. This double-pronged function ensures that as you burn fat, muscles are toned. Moreover, proteins are essential in repairing torn muscle and tissue thus helping regain an ideal body.

Whole Grains

Such whole grains for weight loss include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and other non-white grains. These fat burning foods are perfect because the body uses a lot of calories while burning them down. They are rich in fiber and hence your body has to expend more energy in metabolism, which effectively ensures you continue losing extra fat.

Beans and Legumes

These have been hailed for a long time due to their low calorie content and high fiber content. In essence, beans and legumes help to regulate digestion through presence of fiber and as the body struggles to burn more fibers, you lose more calories. They are the ideal replacement for meat because they still have proteins present in meat.

Lean Meats

This is a type of food high in proteins. Over the last few years, shift is being refocused on proteins due to their high thermo genic effect. During intake, your body burns around 30% of calories and this is ideal for your weight loss. As such, look for lean meat such as turkey or choose fish like salmon, tuna, and tilapia to cut down on saturated fat. Other ideal fat burning foods include chili peppers, spinach and vegetables, eggs, berries among others. They call for discipline and dedication to dieting if at all the desired effects are to be achieved. Do you have any other top fat burning foods for weight loss that you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below.

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How to Shape Your Beach Body, Fast

Shape Your Beach Body via Weight Loss & Dieting The last few years have seen a worrying trend in overweight and obesity prevalence. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 35% of the adult population is overweight with BMI (Body Mass Index) ranging between 25 and 29.9.

These numbers are replicated throughout the world. As a result, the drive to attain a slim body has become a craze to avoid the dangers associated with excess weight including heart attacks. Perhaps more so, individuals are motivated to find their perfect body to avoid the embarrassment of looking overweight.

Although shedding calories may not be as easy as gaining them, there are various ways to shape your beach body, fast. Below we outline a few tips to keep in mind for effective weight loss.

 

What You Eat

The mention of dieting for many people means skiving food and trying to lose weight overnight. This is a misconception and dieting in fact means taking the right foods in the right quantities.

50-55% of your diet should contain carbohydrates combined with a good measure of proteins (25-30%) to help build up your muscles and enhance the recovery of any torn tissues. Sugars and fats should be reduced in your diet because they end up as the main contributors to excess fat. Fibers are also essential to help in digestion and clean the body of unprocessed foods.

How You Eat

One of the worst culprits in your efforts to get a perfectly toned body is poor eating habits. Taking large meals at once is detrimental and instead, spread the meals to about 5-6 times a day. In addition, eat only when hungry and not just as routine and while at it avoid snacks in between meals.

Food behavior also calls for intelligence and decisions such as taking fruit juice instead of a fruit itself need to be made rationally. Fruit juice will contain extra additives such as sugar thus adding to your weight problems. Over time, train your body to become accustomed to fruits and vegetables instead of fast foods.

One great practice to help you realize greater awareness in you body and overall consumption habits is fasting. More than just a fad, juice fasting has proven to be a great way to lose weight and better sense thyself. As the stomach shrinks during a fast, our bodies a much more aware of the feeling of being full. This awareness can be sustained for long-term eating habits.

Water

Water is essential in our body and helps in lubrication and digestive purposes. Water not only helps to tone your skin but reduces ageing while also flushing toxins, which could be affecting digestion and your general body wellbeing. Instead of taking sugary fizzy drinks such as soda when thirsty, train yourself to take water.

The body requires copious amounts of water and you should start the day with water. When hungry, try drinking some water. Your hunger might be mistaken for thirst, which is zero calorie solution.

There are many other tips on how to shape your beach body fast, which can complement these. For example, habits such as smoking and alcohol intake should be ceased forthwith. There is of course the importance of getting proper exercise. However, one must know that exercise is only 30% of the equation when looking to loose weight. When you put your mind to it, losing weight is not rocket science at all.

Source: www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/facts.html

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