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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Reasons Why You Should Start Running

Running is one of the most popular ways to achieve a slimmer body. But aside from burning calories and losing weight, there are several benefits to running that many individuals are unaware of. Running provides a wide range of health advantages, from improving one’s physical and biological processes to enhancing one’s sex life.

In most cases, people run to manage their weight. Compared to other forms of exercise, running is an activity that expends a lot of calories in little time. This makes it a great avenue to maintain or reduce one’s weight.

Almost immediately after starting a running program, most newcomers experience tremendous sensations that correlate to better health and overall well-being. This is primarily the result of how running improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and strengthening heart muscles. This promotes better blood circulation, and therefore, better delivery of oxygen to the various vital organs of the body. Because of this, many health benefits are derived, including mental alertness and better sexual health.

As people age, mental alertness can noticeably diminish. Running regularly can significantly enhance mental health in many ways. The deliverance of adequate amounts of oxygen to the brain keeps brain cells constantly active, and thus healthier. As result, individuals can counter mental degeneration and sustain a sharper, more alert sense in spite of advancing age.

Also a physical benefit of running is the ability to better one’s emotional health. Endorphins, which are dubbed the body's “feel-good hormones”, are released in full-force during and after a run. This natural release of endorphins, which is often referred to as the “runners high,” helps individuals cope and manage stress, fend off depression, and live more happy and uplifting lives. Running also helps people realize a better sense of control in their lives, and therefore, acquire a better perspective to living.

In accordance to the cardiovascular benefits of running is the ability for runners to enjoy an enhanced sex life. Studies have revealed that older men who run regularly perform better as well as participate more often in sexual activities (as opposed to men who do not run.) In addition, similar studies have found that older women who run have higher libidos, and thus experience better orgasms.

Most people who take on running are not only looking to improve longevity and health for their future, but also maintain a better quality of life in the way that they currently live. Running as a form of exercise offers enormous benefits to health, which in turn can improve attractiveness and self-confidence. So if you want to enjoy what life has to offer with a lighter step and a youthful bloom on your cheeks, consider taking up running as your preferred form of exercise.

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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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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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10 Super Foods for Better Health & Wellness

There is a famous saying that "you are what you eat." This is particularly true with respect to diseases that are attributed to unhealthy eating habits.

So if you want to get on the health track to eating a better diet, here is the list of 10 super foods that are great for your health.

Garlic

Garlic contains sulphur compounds that are known to prevent heart diseases and certain types of cancers. It is also known to lower blood pressure.

Including garlic in your daily diet, whether by cooking or taking supplements, can maximize its overall health benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea has polyphenols that lowers your risk of developing heart diseases and certain cancers. Green tea, as well as other forms of tea, are known to fend-off hunger cravings and help in losing weight.

Green tea one of the top super foods that boost the immune system, making you more resistant to sicknesses and infections.

Fish

Fish, such as wild-caught Salmon, has natural omega 3 fatty acids, which are known as the "good cholesterol." These fatty acids aid the body in preventing strokes and other related heart diseases. Make sure that you eat only fresh fish, such as wild-caught fish, to ensure that it's not contaminated with mercury.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries alike all have high antioxidant properties which make berries a must-eat super food for better health. Cranberries are also known to help fight infections, especially in the urinary tract.

Olive Oil

Research shows that olive oils have high antioxidant levels, and also benefit in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil is one of the best choices for cooking, compared to butter and other common oils

Almonds & Nuts

Almonds are known to help prevent inflammation and heart disease. Eating nuts regularly will help you lower your cholesterol level as much as 4 percent. Because nuts are high in fat (good fat,) moderation is key while eating these types of super foods.

Whole Grain

Examples of whole grains are barley, whole wheat, and oats. Whole grain is a very good source of fiber that is essential in ridding the body of unwanted fats. Whole grains are also rich in vitamins and minerals, which is good for overall health and wellness of the body.

Grapes

Red grapes have high vitamin C, B6, and B1 content. They are proven to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases and certain types of cancer.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of the best tasting super foods there is. Not all chocolates are good for your health. The best chocolates to eat are dark chocolates which are high in cacao. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonols. And the best part about eating dark chocolates is that the feeling of happiness it induces, which can ward-off depression.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is activated when cooked. It is known to help in preventing certain cancers especially prostate cancer and is also known to help prevent heart diseases.

So there you have it: 10 super foods that are very good for your overall health and wellness. Thanks for visiting the Health n' Wellness Blog!

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Juicing Fasting: Tips & Benefits

Juicing fasting is one of the best things you can do for your body. Whether for weight loss, detoxification, healing, or spiritual reasons, the advantageous of juice fasting can help both physically and mentally.

Biological Benefits

The biological benefits behind juicing fasting are simple. When the stomach is not forced to breakdown solid foods, it doesn't have to work as hard. As a result, the large amount of blood the usually flows to our stomachs when we eat can remain in other vital parts of the body.

This reserve of blood can go deeper into areas of the body that need it most. This also explains why when people fast, they have a feeling of being "high" or a experience a tingling sensation. That is the feeling of blood making its way further into the body.

In addition, juicing is one the best ways to extract all the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. When foods are consumed in their purest form, such as juice, the body can absorb almost all of the nutrients available.

On the other hand, when fruits and vegetables are consumed in solid form, only about 70% of all nutrients can be absorbed, depending on how well the person chews and the efficacy of his or her digestive track.

Mental Benefits

Taking a look back to our Paleo ancestors, they went days, sometimes weeks without eating. Since that time, our bodies have not evolved all that much.

For many individuals and cultures, taking a break from solid foods is a perfectly natural practice. Modern society has shaped us to think that we need at least 3 meals a day to stay healthy and well. And yet modern society has never been more polluted.

Fasting from food can rejuvenate one's perspective on healthy eating and offer a new appreciation for food. Juice fasting is safe way to restore one's mindset and better control one's habits. It can extend beyond our diets and offer great sense of self-awareness that can extend into many aspects of our lives.

Tips For Juice Fasting

If you are thinking about a juice fast, there are few things you will want to keep in mind. Below we offer the basics to beginning your juice fast:

  • Juice fasting is more than just a temporary change in diet. Think of fasting as a journey to a better you for the long-term.
  • Before juice fasting, eat a primarily raw food diet 5-7 days before. Focus on high fiber foods that will help clean your digestive track.
  • While fasting, consume a wide variety of juices to maximize the nutritional value of your food. Try to include leafy greens, or other vegetables that you wouldn't normally think of.
  • Mask the earthy flavors of vegetable-based juices with sweet fruit juices for better taste (e.g. Cover up Kale with Pineapple, Broccoli with Lemon.)
  • Do not chew gum or suck on candy while fasting. Jaw movement alone can stimulate blood flow to the stomach, which is counterproductive.
  • Breaking your fast is probably the most important part of the process. Just like before fasting, eat raw foods in very small, snack-like doses. Chew your food well and only eat until you feel full, which shouldn't be much.
  • Transition into regular eating slowly. It is recommended to stay on the raw food diet for few days before jumping back into cooked foods.

We hope you appreciate this information and will explore the power of juice fasting for yourself. Thanks for visiting 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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