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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fat Burning Aids

Tonalin CLA is manufactured by Natrol. It is a brand of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is derived from safflower oil. Human studies have shown that CLA may play a role in reducing body fat and increasing muscle retention. During the past 25 years there have been more than 600 studies of CLA with good results.

There is enough proof to endorse their contention that CLA decreases body fat and retains lean muscle.This is essential when dropping your caloric intake to achieve a balanced diet. A study on “Conjugated Linoleic Acid Reduces Body Fat in Healthy Exercising Humans” found out that there was a reduction in the body fat from 21.3% to 17.0% with a few pounds decrease in body weight. The reason for reduced weight loss when compared to more than 20% decrease in BFP is due to increase in lean muscle.

Also, a study in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that “CLA supplementation for 4 weeks in obese men with the metabolic syndrome may decrease abdominal fat, without concomitant effects on overall obesity or other cardiovascular risk factors.” However, it was also stated that more trials with lengthier periods would be advantageous.
The main ingredients in Tonalin are:

* Tonalin is a CLA or conjugated linoleic acid. It is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is present in the likes of meat, eggs, cheese, milk, etc.
* Tonalin is not a stimulant.
* Tonalin (CLA) contains the uptake of dietary fat by your body’s fat cells.
* Ingredients of Natrol’s Tonalin CLA
* Tonalin CLA includes 1000 mg (1 g) of a “Tonalin Proprietary Blend”. This blend is made of:
* Conjugated linoleic acid
* Oleic acid
* Palmitic acid
* Stearic acid
* Linoleic acid

Other Ingredients include:

* Gelatin
* Glycerin
* Water
* Caramel Powder

It does not contain Yeast, Wheat, Corn, Milk, Egg, Soy, Glutens, Artificial Colors or Flavors, Added Sugar, Starch or Preservatives.
Pricing and Dosage:

Considering the Tonalin dosage, 1g of Tonalin seems to be on the higher side which is good and a plus point for the Natrol’s Tonalin CLA.

Tonalin CLA is available at the cost of $10.19 for 60 softgels with 1000 mg. The recommended dosage is 1 softgel with each meal. Though this is not that expensive, it does not have nothing special to proffer. The relatively high dose of Tonalin used in the pill is good and should be retained but adding ingredients that help burn fat will be more beneficial and effective for weight loss.
The Bottom Line

Natrol is insistent in the quantity of Tonalin to be blended in Tonalin CLA. However, including some thermogenic compounds such as green tea, caffeine, or synephrine in their weight loss pill would make it more effective and result oriented. If you seek to achieve weight loss without any stimulants, Tonalin CLA could give you results. However, if you want a more aggressive product, you should go in for other alternatives with a more comprehensive formula.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Three Healthy Dessert Recipes

These three recipes have one thing in common -- simplicity. Who wants to spend endless hours in the kitchen making food taste good. I for one, do not!

Creamy Sweet Treat

Not only is this recipe jam-packed with skin-loving antioxidants from the goji berries and cacao, but the good fat will keep your belly from growling after five minutes.

1 cup organic full-fat ice cream (or coconut kefir)
1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
1 tsp organic cinnamon
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs
2 tbsp goji berries

Combine all the ingredients and serve in an ice cream bowl. Serves two.

Chocolate Milkshake

1/4 of a scoop whey or vegan formula chocolate protein powder (If you don't have a whey allergy, use it; whey is best for this shake because it yields the creamiest texture.)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 banana

Blend together and serve in a champagne glass with a sprig of mint. Drop two to three blueberries into the glass. Serves two.

Note: Don't go cheap on protein powder. Price doesn't determine quality.

Avocado Pudding

If you've checked out my chocolate avocado pudding or my key lime pie recipe, then you know exactly where I'm going with recipe -- oh, yes.

2 soft avocados, peels and seed removed
2 generous spoonfuls of raw honey
Fresh juice of 1-2 limes (to your liking)

Place ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve in a pretty bowl fit for royalty with a cup of tea in an antique teacup (if you have one). Serves two to three.

Note: Be careful -- this tastes so good, you'll want to eat it all yourself. Share it with someone so you don't overdo it.

Source: Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist

Friday, May 27, 2011

It Is Ok to Become Lightheaded or Nauseas During a Workout?

Often times we push ourselves very hard, or too hard, during our workouts. This can lead to light headedness or nausea. The severity of these conditions depends more on when it happens than the fact that it happens.

During exercise, the heart is pumping harder, the blood vessels are dilating to allow the increased blood flow to get to its destination, and the increased blood volume is pumping to the working muscles. This is all perfectly normal and healthy and nothing to worry about as it is how the body is supposed to respond to the increased activity level.


Why then do some people become light headed or nauseas during or after exercise and should this be a warning sign for possible illness? The answer to that question is more complicated than just a yes or a no. The answer is, it depends. If you are feeling ill during your workout, it may be a sign of trouble. If you feel sick immediately following an abrupt cessation of exercise it may be normal. Due to the dilation of the blood vessels, if there is a slowing of blood volume from decreased activity, it may cause a drop in blood pressure which sometimes results in feeling dizzy. To avoid becoming dizzy, slow down gradually and be sure to include a cool down period at the end of each workout, especially an intense one.

Of more concern is becoming lightheaded or dizzy during a workout. Lightheadedness during exercise may be a sign of a heart problem and must be checked out by a physician. Another potential problem with dizziness as a warning sign is heat stroke. If you are exercising outdoors or in any hot environment, make sure you are wearing light, loose fitting clothes and are maintaining proper hydration levels. In addition, in cold temperatures wear layers of clothing so that you can remove layers as your body temperature increases.


During high intensity activities (at or above 85% of maximum effort) the body shunts or takes blood away from the gastrointestinal tract to be used for the increased muscular demand and this may cause nausea In addition, too much fluid intake can have the same effect as can too little resulting in dehydration.

Other possible explanations are not eating prior to the exercise which results in low blood sugar. This condition may occur when you workout early in the morning before you have eaten or digested your morning meal or working out later in the day after possibly skipping lunch or not eating enough. Motion sickness may also cause that “I want to throw up” feeling. You might be thinking, I don’t work out on a boat so this doesn’t apply to me but motion sickness can occur by starting your exercise regime with crunches. Crunches allow your eyes to look around and that coupled with the movement of your body can throw off your equilibrium. To help correct that, keep your eyes open and fixed on a point.

Of the two, nausea and lightheadedness, the latter is the more serious cause for alarm. If it occurs during the course of your workout it must be checked out by a physician to rule out blood pressure and heart problems. Becoming dizzy after a workout or nauseous during or after are not as serious but if they occur regularly and are interfering with your workouts or recovery then they should be checked out. As with all exercise programs, be safe, use your common sense, if something feels wrong, it may be, check it out. There is always time to get back on track once you are sure you are healthy and functioning properly.

Source: Christina Leon

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Healthy Banana Pancakes

This recipe can very easily be made into gluten-free pancakes -- simply swap the spelt flour for a gluten-free flour such as brown rice (I find I get fluffy pancakes with brown rice flour).


3/4 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup raw oats (soak overnight to increase digestibility if you like)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of almond or brown rice milk (or more, to your desired thickness)
1 tbsp milled flaxseed and 3 tbsp water (this is your egg replacement)
1 large mashed banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix all the dry ingredients together, combine well, then add the almond milk. Combine the flaxseed and water together before adding it to the main ingredients. Add the flaxseed to the mixture and then lastly, the bananas and vanilla. Stir everything together until there are no dry lumps.

Heat skillet or pan to low-medium heat. Melt organic coconut oil or butter -- enough to cover the surface. Pour the mixture onto the pan. Each pancake can be about the size of the palm of your hand. Typical refined-flour pancakes will start to form a bubble on the top and this is when you flip them, but dense, healthy ones don't give you the same obvious signs. Flip after about five minutes, or sneak a peek to make sure it's browning nicely on the bottom.

BONUS TIP: Instead of syrup or butter, I have been spreading the most divine-tasting substance on the planet on top of my pancakes -- raw coconut butter. It's important to note that I'm using the actual flesh of the coconut, not just the oil. I recommend Artisana, my favourite brand, for vegans or those who cannot tolerate dairy (or anyone who just likes tasty food).

Source: Joy McCarthy, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Five Fruits and Vegetables and Diseases They Fight

Better health and disease prevention comes from exercise and good dietary habits. We all know the facts – eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and at least walk for 30 minutes a day five days a week. Despite the fact that we know how to improve our health, few Americans get enough fruits and vegetables, preferring processed foods with consistent taste and a long shelf life.

Most studies agree- a diet consisting of foods from nature really can fight disease. Processed foods make us obese, yet they continue to reign in the American diet.

According to David L. Katz, DL, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, Director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, we have many changes to make if we are to move away from diets that come from assembly lines.

Dr. Katz says, "That we are what we eat is as irrefutably true as it is inscrutably hard to see. Just as we extract lumber from trees to build houses that don't resemble the woods, so we extract nutrients from foods to replace the cells we turn over each day by the millions, or to construct the growing bodies of children. What we eat matters".

According to the March 2008 issue of Hypertension, vegetables may help keep blood pressure lower and prevent injury to the blood vessels that can lead to heart disease. Dr Andrew J Webb (Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK) found that drinking a glass of beet juice daily, along with eating green leafy vegetables, is a valuable way to fight against heart disease.

Vegetables promote a healthy cardiovascular system in ways unrelated to their antioxidant properties. The researchers discovered that saliva converts nitrates in vegetables into nitric oxide, which then circulates in the body to promote healthier blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protecting blood vessels from injury. (1)

Consider the disease fighting properties of these five fruits and vegetables:

· Cherries and cherry juice have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent muscle pain from overuse. A study from 2006 showed that a group of study participants experienced less muscle soreness and loss of strength from ingesting the beneficial juice from cherries. The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Because cherries have anti-inflammatory properties, many arthritis sufferers find benefit for pain relief.

· Grapes have also been shown to help fight against heart disease. The benefits of grapes go beyond their anti-oxidant powers, according to a study from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, published October 2008. The study, from Mitchell Seymour, M.S., showed that grapes have "a direct impact on cardiovascular risk, beyond the simple blood pressure-lowering impact that we already know can come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables." (2)

· Watermelon is special when it comes to health benefits. Last summer Texas A&M researchers created a stir when they suggested watermelon might improve erectile dysfunction. The truth is, all fruits and vegetables can keep our body parts in good working order, but watermelon contains arginine and citrulline – compounds that relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow. Watermelon is also rich in Vitamin C, and A, as well as lycopene found in tomatoes. Lycopene research shows us it is powerful for cancer prevention.

· Broccoli can help fight colorectal cancer. Broccoli also reduces the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Li Tang, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo, New York researched the power of broccoli for reducing lung cancer risk in smokers. The study revealed a 22 to 50 percent lower risk of cancer among smokers who consumed at least 4.5 servings of raw cruciferous vegetables a month. Another study, published in 2006, also showed that broccoli and other green vegetables could protect from visual loss as we age. The study involved women, and the findings showed that ingredients in broccoli, lutein and zeaxanthin seemed to protect older women from macular degeneration that can lead to complete loss of vision. (3)

· Tomatoes are well known for their health benefits. Put them on a sandwich, eat them in tomato sauce, or just slice them up with some herbs on top. Tomatoes fight all types of cancer. A study from University of California, San Francisco, published in 2004 showed that men who eat at least two servings of tomato sauce weekly have a 28% reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diets is mandatory for better health. Grab a handful of grapes for a midmorning snack tomorrow, raw broccoli (or other cruciferous vegetable) mid afternoon, and have some cherries before you go to bed. We haven't even mentioned a light breakfast that might include blueberries, banana or other fruit. Put a tomato on your sandwich for lunch (or eat some wheat pasta and spaghetti sauce for dinner). Sliced watermelon makes for a delicious and easy dessert anytime. Remember to mix up your fruits and vegetables for best results.

The take-home message is that we all need to increase our intake of fruits and vegetables to fight disease. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables really is easy.

Source: Kathleen Blanchard RN

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yummy Kale Chips!

Prep Time:
10 Min

Cook Time:
10 Min

Ready In:
20 Min

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning salt and balsamic vinegar.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


Monday, May 16, 2011

What is a Normal Body Fat Percentage?

Instead of relying on your bathroom scale when looking to get in better shape, you should take into account your body fat percentage. When relying solely on weight to measure your fitness, you do not take into account the amount of actual fat on your body. It is always a good idea to keep track of your weight, but it is also important to keep an eye on your body fat percentage as well.

Body Mass Index

The easiest way to get an idea of your body fat percentage is to use the Body Mass Index scale or BMI. Though this does not exactly measure your body fat percentage, it gives you an idea of your body’s fatness. This formula shows you the amount of fat your body has relative to its lean tissue. For most people, this equation provides a fairly accurate association of the amount of body fat they have. To quickly calculate your BMI, divide your weight (in pounds) by your height squared (in inches).

Use these categories to determine your results:

* Underweight: Below 18.5
* Normal: 18.5-25
* Overweight: 25-30
* Obese: Above 30

Calculating Body Fat Percentage

Measuring body fat percentage is a bit more involved than using the BMI formula, which is why the BMI formula is so widely used. At a gym or at a dietician’s office, you can have your body fat percentage tested with calipers. Calipers are a clamp-like device that is used to take skinfold measurements at several locations on your body. This method is less accurate than many other body fat measurement tools, however, it is much easier that other methods to use, making it the most commonly used method for measuring body fat percentage.

Some of the technologies used to calculate body fat include:

* Underwater weighing: this is one of the most accurate methods, though very expensive and time consuming.
* Dual X-ray Absorptiometry Scan: this scan uses a low-level x-ray to determine your amount of body fat, bone and muscle.
* Bioelectrical Impedance: this method measures the speed of electrical currents as they go through your body. One of the least expensive methods, this is often a feature on higher end bathroom scales.

What is a Healthy Body Fat Percentage?

Healthy body fat percentages vary greatly depending on your age, gender and body type. Here are the basic guidelines for a healthy body fat percentage:

Men Body Fat Percentages:

* Ages 20-39: 8% to 19%
* Ages 40-59: 11% to 21%
* Ages 60-79: 13% to 24%

Women Body Fat Percentages:

* Ages 20-39: 21% to 32%
* Ages 40-59: 23% to 33%
* Ages 60-79: 24% to 35%

Reducing Your Body Fat

To lower your body fat, you must eat fewer calories than you use. The human body is made to store fat so that it maintains reserves of energy. If you take in fewer calories, your body will burn these fat reserves.

To healthily lose weight, you should aim to lose at a slow pace of no more than 2 pounds per week. Additionally, you should be sure to exercise to minimize the loss of muscle and maximize the loss of fat.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Chromium 101

When someone excessively craves sugar or sweets, there may be several explanations for it. Sometimes the body craves sweets because it needs a sugar boost. Other times, there is a hormonal reason for the craving, such as pre-menstrual syndrome. In addition, the body may crave sweets due to low adrenal function, abnormal blood sugar levels or even emotional reasons. No matter the cause, excessive consumption of sweets can be disastrous for health and for the waist-line. Vitamins may be used to naturally combat sweet cravings.


Add a chromium supplement to your diet. Chromium is a mineral that can be taken in pill form. The reason that it may reduce sweet cravings is that it balances blood sugar levels. As it lowers blood sugar, it also decreases cravings for sugar and sweets. The recommended dosage is 600 to 1,000 mcg per day. It should be taken in divided doses throughout the day and on a full stomach.


Take B vitamins. The most efficient way to supplement your diet with B vitamins is to take one B complex vitamin. B vitamins are effective in curbing cravings for sugar, because they provide a boost to the adrenal system. When the adrenal system is not functioning well, cravings for sweets often increase. Dosages depend on the brand and type of vitamin. Follow the instructions on the bottle and speak to your doctor about it as well.


Supplement your diet with magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium is another reason that the body might crave sweets. In particular, chocolate is high in magnesium. That may be one reason why people crave it. In general, the dosage for magnesium is three supplements per day. It may be adjusted depending on your needs or the directions on the supplement bottle.


Take a daily zinc supplement. According to Dr. Marcelle Pick, zinc may reduce sugar cravings, as it increases serotonin production. (Ref. 1.) A boost in serotonin lifts the mood and reduces cravings for sugar. As it can be problematic to consume excess zinc, consult a health care professional for the proper dosage information.


Read more:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Drive To Be Skinny

What’s you ideal body? Is it strong and lean or size 0 skinny?

Is the body you strive for about what you think is desirable or what others think? Are your images of perfection really just modeled after the images you see in the media?

If your body image is only driven by being attractive to others, that personal preference is as individual as fingerprints. It varies from person to person. What makes one head turn is not necessarily true for another.

In a study from Evolution and Human Behavior found in NewScientist states: They found that women were less happy with their bodies and more likely to restrict their eating after seeing pictures of competitive women – described as “playing to win”, for example – compared with other women.

Maybe the issue is our view of what success and happiness mean. Generally skinny in our minds relates to models and many famous people. Models and the famous have money, power and celebrity status. All elevated in society as successful and desirable.

Wanting to be something we think we are not can drive us to do unhealthy things.

Although being skinny might seem attractive, it can be a dangerous goal. When is the desire to lose weight no longer healthy?

From the Mayo Clinic

Physical anorexia symptoms
Physical signs and symptoms of anorexia include:
•Extreme weight loss
•Thin appearance
•Abnormal blood counts
•Dizziness or fainting
•A bluish discoloration of the fingers
•Brittle nails
•Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
•Soft, downy hair covering the body
•Absence of menstruation
•Dry skin
•Intolerance of cold
•Irregular heart rhythms
•Low blood pressure
•Swelling of arms or legs

Emotional and behavioral anorexia symptoms

Emotional and behavioral characteristics associated with anorexia include:
•Refusal to eat
•Denial of hunger
•Excessive exercise
•Flat mood, or lack of emotion
•Social withdrawal
•Preoccupation with food
•Reduced interest in sex
•Depressed mood
•Possible use of herbal products or diet aids

Anorexia red flags to watch for

It may be hard to notice signs and symptoms of anorexia because people with anorexia often go to great lengths to disguise their thinness, eating habits or physical problems.

If you’re concerned that a loved one may have anorexia, watch for these possible red flags:

•Skipping meals
•Making excuses for not eating
•Eating only a few certain “safe” foods, usually those low in fat and calories
•Adopting rigid meal or eating rituals, such as cutting food into tiny pieces or spitting food out after chewing
•Cooking elaborate meals for others but refusing to eat
•Repeated weighing of themselves
•Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
•Complaining about being fat
•Not wanting to eat in public

There seems to be evidence that some people are genetically steered towards being a perfectionist and other traits that are associated with anorexia nervosa.

The bottom line is if you think you or someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, it’s important to seek help for this life threatening illness. Contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre at 1-866-633-4220 or visit


Monday, May 9, 2011

Easy Exercises For A Shapely Butt

Whether it's to fit into--and look good--in that new pair of jeans or because of the upcoming bathing suit season, getting your butt toned and in shape is always a challenge. But there are many easy exercises you can do three to four times a week, even from the comfort of your own home that will help you tone, shape and firm up your behind.


Lunges are one of the easiest yet most effective butt workouts and can be done anywhere. To do a basic lunge, stand with your feet together and take a slightly larger than normal step forward with your right foot. Bend your knee far enough that your upper leg is parallel to the ground. Hold for one second, then rise up and bring your left foot forward so you are standing straight up with both feet together again. Repeat five times for each leg for a complete set. Lunges can also be done to the side and can be done with weights for added difficulty.


Another exercise that can be done anywhere, squats are a great way to tone and shape your butt. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms to your side. In one fluid motion, bend your knees and act as if you were going to sit on a chair as you extend both arms out in front of you for balance. Go as low to the floor with your butt as possible, then rise back up until you are standing straight. Repeat 10 times for a set. As with lunges, you can add weights to increase the difficulty. To tone different parts of your butt, simply change up the squat by making your legs wider and pointing your toes out and performing the squat again.

Leg Lifts

Lying on your back or side, leg lifts target all areas of your butt. On your side, they help to tone and shape the butt. To do a side leg lift, lay on your right side, with your left leg on top of your right. Lift your left leg up in the air as high as you can and back. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other side and repeat for your right leg. Back leg lifts are done by lying flat on your back and lifting one leg off the ground until it is perpendicular to the ground. Return it to the ground and repeat with the other leg. Do 10 repetitions with each leg for a set.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Magnesium And Your Health

•Magnesium and blood pressure

Evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure. Diets that provide plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are good sources of potassium and magnesium, are consistently associated with lower blood pressure. The DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) suggested that high blood pressure could be significantly lowered by a diet high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low in sodium and fat. In another study, the effect of various nutritional factors on incidence of high blood pressure was examined in over 30,000 U.S. male health professionals. After four years of follow-up, it was found that a greater magnesium intake was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension. The evidence is strong enough that the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends maintaining an adequate magnesium intake as a positive lifestyle modification for preventing and managing high blood pressure.

•Magnesium and heart disease

Magnesium deficiency can cause metabolic changes that may contribute to heart attacks and strokes. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications associated with a heart attack. Population surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of stroke. Further studies are needed to understand the complex relationships between dietary magnesium intake, indicators of magnesium status, and heart disease.

•Magnesium and osteoporosis

Magnesium deficiency may be a risk factor for postmenopausal osteoporosis. This may be due to the fact that magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormone that regulates calcium. Several studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may improve bone mineral density, but researchers believe that further investigation on the role of magnesium in bone metabolism and osteoporosis is needed.

•Magnesium and diabetes

Magnesium is important to carbohydrate metabolism. It may influence the release and activity of insulin, the hormone that helps control blood glucose levels. Elevated blood glucose levels increase the loss of magnesium in the urine, which in turn lowers blood levels of magnesium. This explains why low blood levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia) are seen in poorly controlled type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In 1992, the American Diabetes Association issued a consensus statement that concluded: "Adequate dietary magnesium intake can generally be achieved by a nutritionally balanced meal plan as recommended by the American Diabetes Association." It recommended that "... only diabetic patients at high risk of hypomagnesemia should have total serum (blood) magnesium assessed, and such levels should be repleted (replaced) only if hypomagnesemia can be demonstrated.”


Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Are What You Eat

"Colon health in America is deteriorating. As low fiber, high fat, 'junk' fast foods proliferate, so will irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids, cancer, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, appendicitis, polyps, and inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Chrohn's disease)."

Robert M. Charm, MD
Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine

A healthy colon cleanse and detoxification program will alleviate a wide variety of health issues caused by parasites, autointoxication, and poor digestion.

Good nutrition - including a high fiber diet, avoiding constipation, consistently drinking adequate amounts of pure water, and doing moderate exercise are all part of holistic colon health.

Other problems with the intestines may include constipation, colorectal cancer, candida yeast infection, spastic colon, intestinal ulcers, inflammation of the colon, or intestinal worms and parasites.

The human colon, also called the large bowel or large intestine, is about 5 feet long and divided into four sections:

* Ascending colon - travels up the right side of the abdomen
* Transverse colon - extends across the abdomen R to L
* Descending colon - travels down the left side of the abdomen
* Sigmoid colon - S-shaped section that extends to the rectum

Fatigue, bloating and an overall sluggish feeling may be caused by infrequent bowel movements.

If you're not having at least a couple of easy soft-formed bowel movements a day, you're likely constipated.

If your gut rumbles, if you have gas or stomach pains, or if you feel bloated with a protruding belly, you will benefit greatly from doing a colon cleanse.

A blocked, impacted colon is a breeding ground for parasites. It's so much easier to maintain a healthy colon than it is to deal with colon problems after they occur.

When fecal waste matter sits in your colon for any length of time, it becomes putrified and forms toxins. These toxins are absorbed into the circulation through the walls of the colon, and gradually create toxic conditions in other parts of the body. This process is called autointoxication.

Having a healthy colon is essential for total body well being.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sage, Scallion, and Sweet Potato Risotto

Risotto is a creamy and delicious comfort food. Yet it’s a comfort food that is also healthy: this recipe has lots of Vitamin A, copper, manganese, and B vitamins. Creamy and bold, the cayenne really pumps up the flavor. I found this recipe on Healthy Happy Life. The author Kathy calls cooking a risotto “meditation cooking”, as you stand over the saucepan and stir the rice until all the liquid is absorbed. This recipe is 100% vegan.

1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
5 scallion stalks
2 small sweet potatoes
1 bunch fresh sage, 6+ leaves
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2.5 cups water
2 cups soy milk, unsweetened
1 red onion, small
2 tsp. garlic salt
2-3 dashes of cayenne


1. Wash scallions. Chop onion and scallions. Set aside.
2. Bake or steam sweet potatoes (20 minutes in oven or 2 minutes in microwave.) Should be slightly firm – not too mushy. Peel skin and dice potatoes into large 1″ cubes. Divide into two portions. Set aside.
3. Roughly chop sage leaves into dime-sized bits. Keep 2-3 leaves whole, for garnish.

1. Heat olive oil and 3 Tbsp. water in saucepan over medium heat. Add a dash of garlic salt, red onion, most of the scallions, a few bits of chopped sage and half of the portion of sweet potato cubes. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.

2. Add rice, remaining salt, cayenne, bay leaf and a bit more sage. Cook one minute, or until rice is slightly translucent, stirring constantly. Turn up heat to medium high.

3. Add 1/2 cup soy milk and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly.

4. Add 1/2 cup water. Stir until absorbed. Repeat this process (alternate water and soy milk). Do not add next portion of liquid until all the previous liquid is absorbed.
Estimated time of stirring while adding liquid: 25-35 minutes.
Tip: Remove bay leaf half way through this process. You don’t want the bay leaf to overpower the sage.

5. When all the liquid has been added and absorbed your consistency should be that of a very thick oatmeal. If is seems too mushy, stir it quickly over the heat until it firms up. Be sure to taste test the rice firmness. If the inner grain is still hard-go for another round of liquid.

6. Once the texture and consistency is perfect, turn the heat to low and add remaining sweet potatoes, sage leaves and scallions. Fold over a few times. Turn heat off and cover with foil. Let sit for two minutes.

7. Serve in a warm shallow soup bowl or a small appetizer plate. Garnish with fresh sage and ground pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil for a richer dish.


Source: Alessandra N

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency - What You Need To Know

Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin at all, but something called a precursor hormone that is extremely vital and important to your body. Besides being essential in supporting the growth of normal cells in your body, it’s also helps in regulating your immune system to support your general health on an overall basis. If you have a deficiency of Vitamin D you could be at risk for many different health problems. This said, you may be surprised to learn, that the percentage of individuals who currently have inadequate levels of vitamin D, is close to 85%, according to professionals in the field.

The issue here is that the majority of people are completely oblivious of all the symptoms that are so commonly connected to vitamin D deficiency; thus, they dismiss or reproach other symptoms that could be your body trying to tell you something is not right.

* Fatigue or Low Energy

Diminished levels of energy and an overall feeling of tiredness, are many times, the first sign from your body, that there is a vitamin D deficiency. Most people ignore these feelings as symptoms and assume that their fatigue is due to stress or other situations and think that by avoiding stress or getting more rest that the problem will go away on its own.

Even as both of these symptoms could be connected to anxiety and other similar indicators, they usually serve as the body’s first sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Sleep Pattern Deviations

Deviations in sleep patterns are many times, overlooked, and are another sign of inadequate amounts of vitamin D in the body, which can likely be associated with stress. These irregularities can take many forms from constantly waking throughout the night to sleeping longer hours than normal and still feeling fatigued upon rising.

A person suffering from vitamin D deficiency may find themselves feeling constantly tired and barely able to keep their eyes open during the day. Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms should be solved as fast as possible.

* Getting Colds and Illnesses More Frequently

If your body has been lacking a healthy level of Vitamin D over a period of time, your immune system will weaken, making it difficult to defend your body from viruses and bacteria that cause colds and other types of illnesses. Even worse, if your deficiency gets to a severe level, you could find that you are sick more often than you are healthy, prompting repeated doctor’s visits as well as missed time at work or school.

* Joint Pain, Muscle Pain – and Even Weakened Bones

Vitamin D is an essential player in keeping your cells healthy, a deficiency may cause you to experience frequent bone fractures as well as repeated muscle or joint pains. Unfortunately, the severity of the muscle and joint pain experienced by people with a Vitamin D deficiency are often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or other related disorders. With children the results of an extreme Vitamin D deficiency can be bowed legs or rickets.

* SAD or Seasonal Affect Disorder

Some people suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin D only during certain months of the year, prompting the disorder to be called the Seasonal Affect Disorder. This is an illness that generally impacts individuals residing in areas where sunlight is minimal during specific time periods throughout the year. Years ago, this condition was known as the midwinter blues, as SAD causes depression. However, when it comes to depression that’s directly related to a Vitamin D deficiency anyone can be affected no matter where they live, and there have been severe cases of depression that actually interfered with the normal functions of people’s lives.

Experiencing Mood Swings

Mood swings is another symptom that may arise in individuals lacking vitamin D. A person could feel great one day and too depressed to get out of bed the very next morning. They may be feeling totally confident and in control in one moment, and then suddenly unsure of themselves and angry just minutes later. Mood swings are both detrimental to a person’s life and affect the lives of friends and loved ones.

Research has shown that patients who suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency are also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, Osteoporosis, an inability to lose weight, and even some forms of cancer. Furthermore, old charts that exhibit details about how much vitamin D is required to keep healthy are outdated and inaccurate, ranking well below the necessary levels of vitamin D to keep up optimum health.

The average individual is not obtaining an adequate supply of vitamin D, either from sun exposure, or vitamin D foods, according to research. So, it is wise to be aware of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency before it has a permanent affect on your health.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Ouch! Stress Fractures Suck!

A stress fracture is a hairline crack in a bone that has experienced repetitive force against it, such as from running (which can cause stress fractures in the hip, tibia, ankle, or foot; those in the shin or foot are most common). Typical treatment is rest and applying ice to the injured area. Prevent stress fractures by wearing proper footwear and building strength and activity level over time; some stress fractures occur because an athlete increases his or her activity level too rapidly.

Fatigued muscles after a while aren't able to absorb the stress of a certain activity, so the bone begins to absorb the impact, resulting in a tiny fracture.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests how to help a stress fracture heal:
•Take a break from the exercise or activity that triggered the stress fracture. Generally, healing takes about six to eight weeks.
•If possible, limit yourself to light activity that doesn't cause pain for your particular fracture.
•Using a brace or shoe insert may help speed healing.
•Don't resume the activity too early, as re-injuring the area could cause an even larger, longer-lasting problem.

Source: Diana Kohnle, Catherine Holecko