Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Powerful Health Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Adding fats to your diet is essential if you want to live a healthy lifestyle that results in feeling and looking great, but it has to be the right kind of fats. Essential fatty acids fall within this category and are a crucially important addition to anyone's diet.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are made up of two components: DHA (which stands for docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

The best source of DHA and EPA are fish, especially salmon, seaweed, shellfish and algae. Furthermore, you can also get omega-3's from unrefined whole grains, dark & leafy greens and certain nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. This second group contains ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which your body then converts to EPA and DHA.

Your best bet, however, is to get your omega-3's from seafood because your body converts only about 15 percent of dietary ALA to EPA and much less to DHA.

What do you do if you don't like, and absolutely refuse to eat, seafood? Well, fortunately you can get omega-3's in capsule form. Not everyone's stomach can handle these capsules, but try them out for one month. It's an extremely convenient way to add omega-3's to your diet.

When purchasing omega-3's in pill form, you'll notice some products also contain the other two components of essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-9. Stick with the products that contain only high amounts of omega-3's. Most people already get high amounts of these two fatty acids from their diet, and it's this lack of omega-3's that is potentially the culprit behind many health problems today.

When adding omega-3's to your diet through pills, look for 1,000 mg pills and take 3-9 per day with food depending on your current health status and healthy living goals. Your physician should be able to consult with you about this.

So now you have a good introduction into omega-3 fatty acids and the different ways to add them to your diet, but what are the health benefits associated with them?

Plenty! Here's a quick list and you can also easily do some research by searching for "benefits of omega-3" in your favorite search engine.

- stabilizes blood sugar levels and lowers insulin levels
- boosts your immune system
- encourages your body to burn fat and decreases appetite
- improves your mood and attention span
- reduce inflammation
- improve your skin tone and radiance

If the above doesn't get you excited about this proven, inexpensive and easy-to-get fatty acid supplement, then check your pulse!

It's an addition to your diet that will help improve your health by leaps and bounds.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Personal Development - Some Tips

It might sound surprising, but personal development is very important for your overall health. It helps you achieve your goals in life, and that contributes to your well-being for sure :)

Let's see some tips from A to Z:

Be responsible and accountable. There is nothing to gain from pointing the finger or blaming others.

Lay a foundation brick by brick, in no time you will have a great wall to protect from the negativity and negative habits that are so prevalent in the world today.

Become aware of everything. Be aware when negative thoughts cross your mind. Be aware of the people you associate with. Be aware of how you think and live your life everyday.

Don't give up. Be relentless, if something falls short of expectations, take a step back, reassess, make the necessary corrections and try again, then again, and again if needed. It has been said that Thomas Edison made 1000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. Make no mistakes persistence will pay off.

Becoming efficient and organized is the foundation of personal development. Strive to accomplish more in less time.

Completion of tasks or projects is crucial to personal development and success. Once something gets started, make sure it gets finished.

Setting and achieving goals provides the empowerment to achieve anything in life. The world's greatest leaders are master goal setters. Knowing where they want to go with a plan in place is the reason for their successes.

Life is full of bumps in the roads. Rather than dwelling on the negatives, take these little bumps and be happy that life has given a new challenge. Find a positive solution. Remember the song "Don't worry, Be happy".

Be the unique individual you are. There is no law that states in order to become a better or more successful individual requires you to change who you truly are.

Find the joy in everything. Life is too short to dwell on negatives.

Learn something new everyday. Talk to others, read books, research on the internet, find a mentor, or listen to motivational tapes or cds. The Tony Robbins, Brian Tracys and Zig Ziglars of the world became the leaders they are through their knowledge.

Lead by example, be the model for others to emulate. Be knowledgeable, fair, consistent and approachable. Become a coach or mentor to someone. Strive for excellence.

Get excited about improving life. Be a visionary and achiever.

Plain and simple, get rid of it, flush it down the toilet. Negativity is like poison and it is more contagious than catching a cold.If you associate with negative people it is imperative to get rid of them also.

Keeping an open mind is crucial to success. Limiting thoughts and actions will hinder growth and more than likely bring everything to a grinding halt. Keep the eyes and ears open, the opportunity to grow is more often than not right in front of you.

Move forward, eliminate procrastination and get things done.

A great motivator is to read quotes from well known writers, leaders in business and motivational speakers.

Use common sense, take the time to think things out before making decisions or taking action.

Follow the KISS principle. Keep It Super Simple. If there is no need to complicate something, don't.

Take responsibility for your life. Set goals, make plans,stay focused, and take action.

Those who achieve their goals and dreams in life possess an unstoppable attitude. Their attitude can be compared to a F-5 tornado. These people believe that there is nothing that can get in the way of their success, if something tries, they will blow right through it.

Dream, envision, prioritize what is most important, and set out to accomplish it. At the end of your life don't let yourself regret not doing the things you truly wanted to do. Envision it, Live it.

Put your goals down on paper, post reminders around your home and workplace to keep you focused on them. Keep a journal of your life, document your accomplishments as well as your failures, it's a great way to track your life.

Become an expert at what you love, learn everything about it. Knowledge and passion leads to wealth.

Without a need there is nothing to yearn for. Whether there is a need to spend more time with the family, make more money or get that promotion at work. Yearn for it, want it, crave it, then get a plan in motion to get it.

Get into the race car of life, buckle up, shift it into overdrive, put the pedal to the metal and zoom your way to the top.

See you there.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

You have to see the Meatrix!

I've just discovered this website through a forum post. It is a great, professionally designed website about.... well, I won't tell you more, discover it for yourself!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Understanding Breast Cancer

Every woman who hears the words ‘breast cancer’ feels a sense of fear. What is breast cancer and can you prevent it? Here are some facts about breast cancer every woman should know…

What Should I Know About Breast Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women after skin cancer. While it is also possible for a man to get breast cancer women are 100 times more likely to develop it than men.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women. Lung cancer is the leading cause. The chance of dying from breast cancer is one in 33, but that number is decreasing as new forms of treatment and early detection are being implemented.

There are several forms of breast cancer that occur in different areas of the breast. Most breast cancers are treated with radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. It depends on the type of cancer, how far it has spread and where it is located which treatment program is determined for any individual.

Great strides are taking place to treat and prevent breast cancer. Women with a high risk should discuss the possible preventive measures currently available with their doctor.

Who is More Likely to Get It?

The American Cancer Society reports that 1 in 8 women in the US will experience invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.

While every woman is at risk there are certain factors that increase the likelihood a person may develop breast cancer. Not having these risk factors does not mean you will not develop cancer just as being at a high risk doesn’t mean you will develop cancer.

Smoking, age and family history are the common factors that are assessed when determining risk.

While smoking can be controlled, age and family history cannot. The older you are the greater the risk that you will develop breast cancer – almost 8 out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50. If women in your family developed breast cancer you are also at an increased risk.

Certain genetic changes increase the risk to as high as 80% that a woman will develop the cancer. Testing for these changes can help a woman and her doctor discuss preventative measures that might be taken.

Caucasian women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer but African-American women more often die from the disease. Asians, Hispanics and American Indian women are less likely to get it.

Starting your period (menstruation) before age 12 or going through menopause after 55 slightly increases the risk.

Having taken the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), which some women were given in the belief it would prevent them from losing a baby, slightly increases the risk while radiation to the chest earlier in life greatly increases the risk.

Being overweight, use of alcohol, long term use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and not having children have all been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Using birth control pills may increase the risk and should be discussed with your doctor.

On the other hand exercise, healthy eating (especially reducing the intake of alcohol and red meats) or having had children early in life and breastfeeding for as long as 1 ½ -2 years have been linked to a REDUCED risk of developing breast cancer.

What Can I Do to Reduce the Risk?

Since early detection is so important it is vital that women learn how to detect lumps in their breasts and understand what precautions must be taken. Those who are more at risk of developing cancer should take extra steps to detect cancer as early as possible since the lumps found by self-examination are much farther progressed than those found by other forms of detection.

While a doctor or nurse can show you how to perform a BSE (breast self-exam) the American Cancer Society still recommends women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical exam every three years and once a year after 40. After 40 most women should also have regular mammograms to catch cancers earlier.

Changes in the breast including dimpling, swelling, discharges other than milk or any other change to the nipple should be brought to the attention of a doctor. While most of changes can be linked to non-cancerous causes catching the cancer early is definitely the most important factor in surviving breast cancer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ideal Bodyweight - Smaller Butt or Younger Face?

There is an old cliché that unfortunately is true. When it comes to losing weight, an older woman will have to choose between saving "her butt or her face." This refers to the idea that if you lose too much weight your face may look more haggard and wrinkles may be emphasized. You could get rid of a double chin and end up with a flapping turkey neck instead.

Jowls that have lost their pads of fat could hang and gaunter cheekbones could create a ghoulish or wolfish look on an older face. Eyes could appear more sunken and the skin could lose its dewy sense of tautness. Often older faces that have lost too much weight appear cadaverous or as if they are continually remembering the pain part of another old expression "no pain no gain."

The truth is that a fatter face often looks much much younger than a gaunt face. The extra fat pockets plump out hollows in just the right places creating a youthful appearance.
Wrinkles and expression lines such as crow's feet are simply less noticeable and often the skin texture on a plumper woman is simply smoother and healthier looking.

On the other hand, if you keep enough weight on you could end up with a rear end or thighs that are much larger than you originally desired. Notice that many older women with beautiful line free visages and gorgeous complexions usually tend to be apple shaped or pear shaped in their lower body.

So are there any remedies for this all too familiar paradox? Do you really have to sacrifice your looks for a smaller rear end? Does it really have to be one or the other?

Unfortunately the older you are the more inescapable this sordid truth is. You either settle for being slightly heavier or you can spend thousands of dollars on anti -aging serums and plastic surgery to get rid of excess skin and wrinkles caused by the weight loss. Or you can opt to have plumper, less lined features and spend a ton of money getting liposuction on your tummy, thighs and rear end.

Fortunately, having a bit of "a booty" is in as has been demonstrated by sexy superstars such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Keep in mind that there are also many celebrities who buy padding to insert into their underwear to keep their backsides looking plump and well rounded. This seems so unnecessary when all these "stick insects with mascara" (as Bridget Jones called them) could easily achieve this by consuming a few good meals. If you want to be "cool" you will go for having a slightly bigger butt and a younger face.

Although being thinner is healthier then being too fat, the best compromise is to be the healthiest weight for your age and body shape. Keep in mind too that the people that look the youngest, no matter what their weight, are those that are the happiest and not stressed out by things like calorie restricted diets, painful plastic surgery or even caring too much what other people think. It is all in the attitude.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Truth about Vegetarian Diets

In our Western society, a common nutritional belief is that meat and animal products must be consumed in order to maintain a well-balanced, muscle-building healthy diet.

Those who turn away from this traditional way of eating and choose a vegetarian diet are often considered "granola-head hippies"...or even just plain odd.

But more and more people these days are discovering the many health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Additionally, more physicians and scientists are prescribing and endorsing plant-based meals in order to promote health, prevent and treat certain diseases, and even to reduce weight.

Although vegetarianism may seem like a modern fad, in reality, its health benefits have been known for centuries in many cultures world-wide. India and many Asian countries make up the largest percentage of the world's vegetarians, both for health and spiritual reasons. One group of people, the Hunza -- who live near the Himalayan Mountains -- have an exclusively vegetarian diet. Members of their community reportedly often live to be over 100 years old.

The American Dietetic Association states that the benefits of a vegetarian diet include: 1) lowered cholesterol; 2) lower levels of saturated fat; 3) higher levels of important minerals and antioxidant vitamins; 4) lower body fat; 5) lower rates of heart disease; 6) lower blood pressure; 7) lower rates of type-2 diabetes; and 8) lower instances of some cancers.

Obesity, one of the major health concerns in this country, can be addressed with a vegetarian diet, one that eliminates excess protein and animal fat consumption, and increases fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Those who consume a vegetarian diet maintain a lower body mass index (BMI), which significantly aids in the treatment and management of other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.

One common question asked by anyone considering a vegetarian diet is: "Will I get enough protein?” That is certainly a valid concern, as protein is necessary for the building, maintenance and function of all body cells. However, according the American Dietetic Association, a varied and well-balanced vegetarian diet provides all the protein the body needs from eating such things as whole grains, beans, nuts and soy products.

In fact, meat-based diets typically provide excess protein, which may actually be harmful. A leading gerontological journal reports that too much protein can cause a person to lose about 30% of their kidney function by the time they become elderly. It can also cause systemic acidity, which the body attempts to counter by pulling calcium out of the bones. This can, unfortunately, lead to osteoporosis.

Becoming a vegetarian does not mean you are limited to eating celery sticks, apples and nuts. There are many types of vegetarians that eat meatless diets in a variety of combinations. Some of the more common types include:

Lacto vegetarians, who do not eat meat or eggs, but do eat dairy products such as milk and cheese.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat, but will eat dairy products and eggs.

Ovo vegetarians do not eat meat or dairy products, but will eat eggs.

Vegans do not eat meat, dairy products, eggs, or any animal products at all.

There are many medical and health organizations that promote, endorse, and support people on a path toward changing their dietary lifestyle to one that includes more plant-based foods.

Additionally, many restaurants and grocery stores provide meals and products to vegetarians, making it simpler to choose this healthy lifestyle.

Research and information exists out there on the internet, as well as through medical providers and vegetarian organizations.

The bottom line: it's OK to be vegetarian, and the benefits may very well enhance or even save your life!