Fighting the Fat Fight

Fighting the Fat Fight

Is it your goal to lose weight?

Then look to gaining muscle! You can gain muscle and literally decrease your body size without losing a pound. Yes, it’s true! So many are so obsessed watching the numbers on their scale they just aren’t seeing the bigger picture in the fat fight.

Try ignoring your scale for a while and instead focus on some muscle toning. If you’re a scale-obsessed person (I, too was guilty of this for YEARS), it can be tough. But it could literally be essential to your long term fat fight.

Look at That Fat

Fat Fight!
Fat Fight!

Fat doesn’t look good, does it? No… Fat covers up your natural muscle with a thick layer of ugly, spongy insulation, giving your body that soft, doughy look. When you strengthen the muscles, you burn off some of that spongy fat allowing the shapely contours of your muscles to become defined. Definitely more attractive. That’s the desired outcome of a good fat fight!

But aesthetic value is just a bonus. The real benefits are the health benefits.

Consider gaining muscle as your secret weapon in your fat fight. That muscle will fight for you ’round the clock, even while you sleep.

Body Fat Fight

According to Dr. William Evans of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, the average American loses 6.6 pounds of lean body mass every decade after age 20. The rate of muscle loss increases after age 45. With advancing age, most people gain fat even when body weight doesn’t change much. The muscle shrinks as the fat accumulates.

It’s a good idea to measure your body fat as opposed to obsessing over the numbers on your scale. Body composition focuses on body fat and lean body mass. If you can determine that you’re losing fat while gaining or even maintaining muscle, you know your program is working.

Measuring Your Body Fat

So how do you go about measuring body fat composition? Well, first you have to accept the fact that gaining muscle to replace fat is a slow process. While physically this is better for you, psychologically it’s frustrating and discouraging. You need an accurate and scientific method of measuring your progress. There are at least a dozen methods of body composition testing. The most popular and widely used are as follows.

  1. Underwater Weighing (Hydrostatic): You are submerged under water while sitting on a chair that hangs from a scale. The basis for hydrostatic weighing is the fact that fat floats and muscle sinks. The fatter you are, the more buoyant you will be, and the more buoyant you are, the less you will weigh underwater. The leaner you are, the more easily you will sink, and the more you will weigh underwater. Underwater weighing is interesting, but not very practical.
  2. Bio Electric Impedance Analysis: – Bio-electric impedance analysis (BIA) measures body fat by testing the electrical conductivity of your body’s tissues. Because the test is based on your body’s water status, the results can fluctuate based on your state of hydration, but overall research finds BIA fairly reliable.
  3. BIA Body Fat Scales and hand grip tests – Tanita makes the best body fat scale. Omron sells the most popular hand gripper. The scale measures the lower body while a hand grip test measures the upper body.

There are many other methods used to measure body fat, including total body potassium, total body electrical conductivity, isotopic dilution, urinary creatine excretion, total body calcium, total body nitrogen, total plasma creatinine, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, neutron activation analysis, and dual photon absorpitometry.

Say what? No worries. None of these are practical for personal use on a fat loss program.

Fat Fight Skinfold Testing

AccuMeasureThe most practical approach to measure your body fat is one we purposely waited to mention – skinfold testing. It’s easy and when done properly, very accurate in determining your body fat percentage. All you need is a simple little, inexpensive device called a “skinfold caliper“.

The only downside is potential errors from taking the skinfold with improper technique. For example, taking a horizontal fold when it should be a vertical fold. But it isn’t a technique that’s difficult to perfect. And one last tip: Whichever caliper you pick, stick to it. Switching from one to another can make results appear different.

This doesn’t make one device “wrong”, it’s just that there can be fluctuations between different brands.

 “Although you can find more glamorous contraptions, a skilled “pincher” can get a better estimate than with any other method except dissection. The only drawback to using calipers is operator error; but practice does make perfect.” -Dan Duchaine

Now go pinch an inch & lift a little. 🙂

Think Good Feel Good.

Think Good Feel Good.

Did you know that thinking positive, affirming thoughts can truly affect your fitness and overall health? When you think good thoughts your body actually creates feel good hormones! These hormones give you more energy, balance your mood and can even contribute to your body’s healing abilities.

Think good feel good. 🙂

Beware: it works the same if you’re a negative thinker. If you have dark stressful thoughts, that sends negative messages throughout your body causing negative results. Lethargy, depression, etc. If you are frequently stressed out and miserable, your body will secrete hormones that wreak havoc over time.

Think good feel good.

Super Quick Fit Tip

Touching Toes
Touching Toes

Here’s a super quick way to release some of that tension caused by stress: Touch your toes. Doing this opens up your hip joints and stretches your hamstrings, areas where we tend to store a lot of tension.

Think positive!

If you find yourself stressed, it can be difficult to alter your thinking process from worries to happy thoughts. There are any number of things to worry us but we’ve mentioned it before and will keep doing so. In spite of the negative stress you must deal with, try to stop the bad thoughts. Replace them with something positive.

It truly is a “mind over matter” concept. Give it a try; you could start by simply telling yourself repeatedly: “I can survive this“.

Think good feel good.

Obviously it would be difficult to tell yourself you’re “So happy!” when your world feels like it’s falling apart. But you can generate positive thoughts of survival instead of wallowing in negative thoughts of despair.

Feel Good!
Feel Good!

If you find yourself really having a difficult time thinking anything positive, try this exercise for the spirit.

Text, call or email three to five friends or loved ones’ and tell each of them one thing you enjoy about him or her. Something that makes or has made YOU smile. That forces your thoughts to good things. And … You’ll make them feel good, too and that will make you feel better.

What goes around truly does come around!

It’s a about choices we can make granted to us by human free will.

Make positive choices. Think good feel good.

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Restricting Calories Detrimental to Fitness

Restricting Calories is Detrimental to Your Fitness

The most common means of dieting is restricting calories. The first thing we thing of when we think “diet” is “Can’t or shouldn’t eat this that or the other thing”.

Restricting calories is not the answer.
Restricting calories is not the answer.

This amounts to calorie restriction, which can actually lower your metabolism. When your metabolism lowers, so does your fat burning ability and your chance of dropping pounds.

Lift Weights
But why does this happen? Basically because when you cut down on calories, you’re body works to adjust to less “fuel”. The first way it does this is to lower your metabolism. Adding more alarm, study after study tells us that low calorie diets without exercise will always cause 40 to 50 percent of the weight you do lose to come from lean tissue. Even with exercise, if a diet is too restrictive in calories, much of the weight loss will still be lean tissue.

The Thyroid Factor

Many of us are aware of the fact that we have a thyroid gland and that it can play a role in weight gain. This is because our thyroid gland is largely responsible for regulating the rate we burn calories while at rest. The thyroid has an active hormone known as T3. When significant calorie reduction takes place, it reduces output of this hormone, which results in a decreased metabolism.

The Dreaded Plateau

Now you can see how restricting calories to lose weight can actually turn on you. It should be easier to understand why so many dieters reach a plateau. A plateau is a point at which no matter what they do, how little they eat or how much they exercise, they can’t lose another pound. This means your body has adjusted to a lower amount of calories and adapted in order to conserve energy.

What’s really scary is that if you’ve reached this point, merely going back to normal eating habits could mean weight gain. Your body is not burning calories as efficiently as it was before the diet.

And it gets worse. At this point you can start having gnawing hunger pains and insatiable cravings. Ensuing frustration can cause you to break your diet. Weight creeps back up, body fat increases and you now have less muscle and a slower metabolism. Many people will not only gain back any weight they’ve lost, but will add to it.

This is where the expression “yo-yo cycle” comes into the picture. It’s a vicious cycle that some battle their entire lives.

The Signs and Symptoms of Restricting Calories

How would you know if you’re reaching this point in your dieting efforts? The first signs are those of being under nourished.

  • Fatigue.
  • Lethargy.
  • Inability to sustain levels of physical activity.

Restricting calories is known to cause all three symptoms.

What to Do?

Give up the idea that you have to starve to lose weight. Sure, if you starve yourself you’ll lose some weight. This simply IS NOT HEALTHY. Keep this thought in mind:

Temporary dieting can only produce temporary results.

Seven Suggested Steps

  1. Adopt the mindset that you are going to be working on changing life-long habits permanently.
  2. Plan to do muscle toning exercise at least 2 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes per session. Hang onto that all important lean muscle mass. If you wish, work to develop more!
  3. Obviously restricting calories is in order for anyone who has been in a bad habit of over-indulgence. Decrease slowly and intelligently! Healthier foods, cutting out fried foods, etc.
  4. Work toward off setting reduction in calories with increase in physical movement. Formal exercise or things like gardening, walking, sweeping, vacuuming, etc., all count.
  5. Determine your minimal calorie requirements with the help of a physician and never drop below them!
  6. Woman on ScalePractice “grazing”, not gorging. In other words, eat several smaller meals (4 to 6) throughout the day as opposed to 2 or 3 large ones. This keeps fuel going in while energy expenditure is going out. It also wards off binge-type urges, hunger pains and feeling unsatisfied.
  7. Set out to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Yes, it takes some patience but the long term, satisfying results are well worth it. And remember, if you’re doing your muscle toning exercises, you’re replacing some fat with muscle which could actually reduce your body size. This occurs even if the scale isn’t showing a significant reduction! It’s exciting, trust me. Once you’ve experienced a drop in clothing size while your scale remains the same, you’ll embrace muscle toning! See A Beginner’s Full Body Workout.

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Grab a Free Printable Food Diary

Free printable food diary
Free printable food diary

Grab a Free Printable Food Diary

Totally on the house. No catch. No sales pitch. Just a free printable food diary. In fact, we have a few to chose from. Take them all if you like!

Keeping a food diary can be surprisingly helpful when trying to diet – and it can be a surprise! Sometimes we eat more in a day than we realize.  Not on purpose but rather by rote.

So give a free printable food diary a try – it won’t take much time and it may help you determine where you’re goofing up with your eating habits or perhaps just where you can make some improvements.   Here’s a screenshot of one we’re giving away in PDF – not super fancy but they get the job done! Grab the PDF of this one:

 

Screen shot of Free Printable Food Diary
Screen shot of Free Printable Food Diary

 

Download a Free Printable Food Diary
Download a Free Printable Food Diary

Free Printable Food Diary PDF

See also: Keeping a Food Diary

Or check out our other three options you can print out:

  1. Free Printable Food Diary I
  2. Free Printable Food Diary II
  3. Free Printable Food Diary III

Fitness: Beating Confusion and Chaos

Fitness: Beating Confusion and Chaos

Fitness Female
Fitness Female

So you know you’re over weight and seek out some advice on how best to cope with this unpleasant fact. You happily start reading about fitness with a positive attitude. Subsequently you start feeling agitated, confused, berated and belittled – then you give up and have a snack, feeling out of sorts.

Nothing gets accomplished. Nothing is solved or resolved. You just feel bad. About yourself, your weight, who you are, where you come from, your looks…and so on it goes.

All that conflicting fitness information may not all be meant to confuse and frustrate you. What happens is people (“experts”) are sharing a personal experience, or the results of small studies that tend to suggest some particular fact. Everyone has their own area of expertise and to be blunt, many become biased in their preferred area. This doesn’t mean they’re bad or purposely trying to mislead you. It just means they feel passionately about their beliefs – but that doesn’t make anyone rock solid right about ANY thing.

And of course, we have many who are motivated to say things because they’re paid to do so. It’s a crazy, cruel world these days. We need to dig into our personal reserves of strength and common sense and “not let the bastards grind us down“.

Non illigitamus carborundum – Latin for “don’t let the bastards grind you down”. General Joseph W. Stilwell, Motto US general (1883 – 1946).

The bottom line is, no two human beings on this planet are genetically the same.  That means not any given food, exercise or other fitness remedy or regime will work exactly the same on any two people.

You are unique and wonderful. You are you, no one else. Embrace yourself. Focus on your good points. Your genetics are yours and yours alone. No one can or will change that, nor will all the “expert advice” in the world.

So where to go from here? Mind over matter. Your own mind, your own life experiences, your wonderful and uniquely made body. Get to know it, love it, nurture it. The ability to do this in spite of all the hammering on us to “eat right, lose weight” gets increasingly difficult by the day. Governments want to tell us how much to weigh, what to eat, where to eat and how to eat. That’s wrong. They don’t know YOU. They have agendas and motives that are completely impersonal and insanely motivated by all the wrong factors.

FIND THE ANSWERS WITHIN YOURSELF
This can be tough, but with some serious thought-discipline it’s perfectly doable. Everything begins in your mind. Negative thoughts produce negative results – yes, even in your body. And if you follow any form of news these days, you’re mind is filled with the negative. Repeatedly. Is it any wonder we’re becoming a society of angry, frustrated, over weight and sometimes depressed individuals? A person can so easily feel defeated and helpless in short order. Fitness becomes nothing more than another burden to contend with.

This may sound extreme to some, but I call that “Cruel and unusual punishment” toward innocent people with very real concerns. It’s especially “cruel” to do this to children, who’s minds are so very impressionable and who can develop emotional scars that will last a lifetime. They are too young to understand the importance of being fed “the positive”.

Listen to your body. Use your own mind – not that of others – to “feed” positive thoughts for positive results. How?

The first and most important thing to understand is that the human mind has a conscious and a subconscious. The subconscious mind has no ability to actually “think”. Consider your computer – you have to “tell it” what is true and what it “knows” via programming. Whatever your subconscious mind is “programmed” with, it accepts. Good or bad, right or wrong. Then it follows through with the very things you’ve become “programmed” by.

So you see, the more you hear that “you’re too fat”, “fat is bad”, the more it seeps into your subconscious creating negative feelings about yourself while you aren’t even aware its taking place. This can lead to patterns of self-sabotage at untold proportions.

DO NOT LISTEN
Instead, start a “mind diet” of positive thinking and work to counter all the negative. Soon your body will follow suit. You’ll begin to feel more positive about your own abilities to achieve weight loss and better overall fitness. You’ll feel more at peace with yourself and others. This in turn helps you achieve things you’ve previously been programmed to think you can’t without some form of “intervention”. Don’t allow your thoughts to be “taken over”. That’s lazy! Take positive control.

The Human Brain

Tell yourself:

  • I can’t.
  • I won’t.
  • It’s no use.
  • It doesn’t pay, I’ll always be this way.
  • It’s genetic, I’m stuck with this problem.
  • My metabolism is just slow.
  • It will never work.
  • Nothing will help me.

And that’s how it shall be.

Your mind, in many ways you don’t realize, is constantly being programmed through conscious self-suggestion as well as external suggestions. Be especially aware of those negative external suggestions as those are the one’s that will worm their way into your subconscious and do the most damage to your abilities and self esteem. Shut them out, turn them off, close the web page telling you “fat is bad”. Fat is not “bad”. Yes, it can be unhealthy, but by no means does it make you “bad” or “unacceptable”.  It makes you human.

Be aware of your conscious thoughts. When a negative one slips in – and it will, you’re only human – stop it and change it to something positive. Banish “I can’t” completely. Make it a huge “I CAN“. It will take some time and practice, but in time you’ll find those negative thoughts dissipating while your mind turns in a new and wonderful, positive direction.

That subconscious mind of yours is working 24 hours a day – make it your first goal to allow it to work to your benefit from this point forward!

Since we become what we think of most of the time, whatever we are thinking of now, we are unconsciously moving toward the achievement of that thought. For an alcoholic, this could be the next drink – for a drug addict, the next fix – for a surfer, the next wave. Divorce, bankruptcy, and illness are all goals spawned out of negative attitudes and thought patterns. -Denis Waitley, productivity consultant on high performance human achievement.

Do Americans Consume Too Much Salt?

Do Americans Consume Too Much Salt?

Do we consume too much salt in America? Yes, in fact, we eat ten times the amount of salt and/or sodium than our ancestors and the dangers of doing so are multiplying. Salt and sodium are pretty much the same thing.

Many think the danger in high salt/sodium consumption is only in those with high blood pressure, but this is not necessarily so. Too much salt can harm healthy people’s hearts, lungs and can shorten the duration of their lives. Salt overload increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, cataracts, brittle bones, asthma, dementia and early death.

Too much salt?
Too much salt?

Back in 2001, a news release came out regarding what is called “Salt Sensitivity“. This is considered a genetic condition that causes an abnormal reaction to sodium that is aggravated by salt overload.

Salt sensitivity with or without high blood pressure, can reduce your survival odds as much as high blood pressure does. This doubles your chances of early death from cardiovascular disease. Too much salt can enlarge the heart’s left ventricle, even if one doesn’t suffer from high blood pressure. Too much salt can also make tiny blood vessels in the brain more likely to leak, raising the risk of what is known as bleeding strokes.

There are some doctors in doubt of these new-found facts and not all researchers are in agreement. Many feel that those who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and get enough calcium are not in any danger from too much salt consumption. If you are in any doubt or are a bit concerned about your salt intake, or are on a blood pressure medication, by all means, discuss this with your doctor.

How much sodium is safe?

Most researchers say no more than 1,500 milligrams a day, but while the American Heart Association used to say 2,500 milligrams a day is all right, they have now changed their stance to 1,500mg, as well. Even at this new amount, the average American is still consuming too much salt. Americans are consuming 3,500 to 4,000 milligrams daily with some eating four times that amount.

Where is all this salt/sodium coming from? A lot is hidden in food and we aren’t even aware we are ingesting so much. Therefore, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on food containing excessive amounts.

Here is a breakdown of where all this salt is coming from:

  • 10 percent from a natural part of healthful foods.
  • 15 percent from a salt shaker.
  • 75 percent that is hidden in processed and restaurant foods.

Here are some tips on how you can cut back:

  • Remove the salt shaker from the table.
  • Check labels; sodium varies greatly by brand and many sodium-packed foods don’t taste salty at all. Here’s an example; Cheerios have more sodium per serving than potato chips. The top salt offenders are frozen dinners, pizza, lunch meat, processed cheese, and canned soup and ramen soup.
  • Expect at least 1,000 milligrams of sodium in a simple restaurant meal.
  • Asian and Mexican foods contain, on average, 2,000 milligrams per meal.
  • Check out our Low Salt/Sodium Recipes.

See also:

Thirty Symptoms of Toxicity

Thirty Symptoms of Toxicity

The human body is created with a wisdom that is difficult to grasp; that being that it miraculously is able to heal itself from injuries, illness, and trauma.

When toxins build up in our bodies, under normal, healthy circumstances the body can usually repair and restore. However, when overburdened with toxins, we can develop any number of unpleasant symptoms that leave us feeling tired, achy, heavy and out of shape.

Most Common Symptoms of Toxicity
Runners

  1. Tired in the morning even after a good night’s sleep.
  2. Restless sleep.
  3. Feeling exhausted doing everyday things.
  4. Confused, agitated, nervous, anxious or sad.
  5. Anger or irritability, mood swings.
  6. Depressed.
  7. Lapses in memory.
  8. Difficulty in making decisions.
  9. Clumsiness.
  10. Sensitivity to noise.
  11. Dark circles or bags below eyes.
  12. Swollen or inflamed eyelids.
  13. Sensitivity to light.
  14. Intense cravings for “junk” foods.
  15. Itchy palate.
  16. Coating on tongue.
  17. Speech problems.
  18. Acne, bruising, blemishes.
  19. Eczema or psoriasis.
  20. Hives.
  21. Diarrhea or “pasty” stools.
  22. Constipation.
  23. Belching or gas, especially after eating.
  24. Foul-smelling bowel movements.
  25. Bloating or abdominal discomfort.
  26. Heartburn or indigestion.
  27. Frequent urination.
  28. Water retention or bloating.
  29. Joint stiffness.
  30. Headaches or migraines.

Of course, if temporary or short-lived, chances are many of the above symptoms are merely caused by stressful times in your life, etc. However, if they are problematic and don’t go away, toxins could be part of the problem. Consider your eating habits and be honest with yourself.

Are you eating too much junk food? Refined carbohydrates such as donuts, cake? Too many fried foods lately?

If you’re feeling out of sorts, there is a chance you’ve overly exposed your body to toxins and your cells just need time and opportunity to be properly rebuilt.

Remember, the human body truly is incredible. It is created to heal. Trillions of cells work at sonic speeds removing barriers to health, overcoming infections, and healing whatever is affecting your body. The human body is always working to heal itself. It will fight the symptoms of toxicity.

In fact, when given the chance, the human body will work hard to overcome even the most serious ailments and trauma.

Trust the healing intelligence your body was born with – and treat it well so it takes good care of you.

30 Symptoms of Toxicity

30 Symptoms of Toxicity
30 Symptoms of Toxicity

Killer Legs – Blood Clots

Killer Legs & Blood Clots

Killer Legs with Blood Clot Forming
Killer Legs with Blood Clot

Sorry, this isn’t about “killer” as in “well built”, but literally – killer.

People who are off their feet for awhile can develop killer legs from blood clots. DVT is not usually life threatening, but it can be if the blood clots break loose and go into the lungs.

Anyone who is laid up for awhile due to illness, surgery or injury may be at risk to develop a blood clot deep inside their legs. This condition is called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT. Other situations that can cause DVP are surgery, serious injury, inflammation and an immune response.

Traveling can be a cause; however, your risk of developing DVT while traveling is small. The risk increases if the travel time is longer than 4 hours or you have other DVT risk factors.

Slow or sluggish blood flow can also be a cause of killer legs. Lack of motion can be the cause of slow blood flow, which can cause killer legs.

There are also some inherited conditions that can increase a person’s tendency to clot. This also is true of hormone therapy or birth control treatment and/or usage.

Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after giving birth can leave a woman at risk, as well.

What Can Happen?

A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. When the clot travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow, the condition is called pulmonary embolism (PE). Most of these clots usually occur in the lower leg or thigh. This is where the phrase killer legs comes from. They also can occur in other parts of the body.

If the blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lung, it can be fatal. Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year.

The good news is, in most cases DVT can be prevented. If you or someone you love is laid up for a while, talk to your doctor about how to prevent DVT.

What Are The Symptoms?

This is where this can be DVT can get serious – only about half of the people who develop it have any warning symptoms. Or they may simply not notice them or think they could be anything serious. Warning signs you can watch for include:
Swollen Leg

  • A swollen leg or swelling along a vein in your leg.
  • Painful tenderness in your leg, which occurs most when you stand or walk.
  • A feeling of warmth in the are of the leg that has become swollen.
  • Red or discolored skin on the leg.

If you have any of these symptoms you should contact your health care provider immediately. These symptoms are not unique to DVT and can be associated with other conditions.

Some people will first find out they have DVT until they have symptoms of PE. Those symptoms include:

  • Unexplained shortness of breath.
  • Pain when taking deep breaths.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • A fast heart rate.

Treatment

Treatment can be done with medicines and devices as well as therapies. The most common form of treatment is 3 to 6 months of a blood thinner. The goals of treatment are to stop the blood clot from getting bigger, prevent the clot from breaking off and moving to your lungs and reducing your chance of having another blood clot. There are several medications used to treat DVT. Your doctor will help determine what is best for you.

Prevention

You can take steps to prevent DVT.

Regular exercise will decrease the risk of VTE. Regular stretching and leg movement are important for individuals who sit a lot or when traveling on long trips, particularly air travel.

Maintain a normal body weight and eat a healthy diet.

Notable Notes

  • PE is a very serious condition. It can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause death.
  • Blood clots in the thigh are more likely to break off and cause PE than blood clots in the lower leg or other parts of the body.
  • Blood clots also can form in veins closer to the skin’s surface. However, these clots won’t break off and cause PE.

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Kick The Morning Blues

Kick The Morning Blues

Many of us are poor starters to the day. We feel languid, uninspired. It is as much as we can do to get out of bed and stand under the shower. However, there are a number of techniques we can adopt to boost our energy levels and reduce our feelings of stress at the start of the day. In other words, kick the morning blues!

Morning Blues
Morning Blues

 

The following are typical techniques and one that has been highly effective for a great many people. So, before getting out of bed in morning, prime your body for action through a series of gentle muscle stretches.

  1. Start with your right foot, extend the toes upwards while inhaling gradually and deeply.
    Hold your breath to a count of 5 and then curl your toes as you exhale. Repeat this exercise with your left foot.
  2. Stretch out your whole body as you lie in bed pushing down with each foot, stretching
    your leg muscles.
  3. Inhale and then as you exhale, stretch your arms above your head.
  4. Gently rise from your bed and stand with an upright posture, both feet firmly on the floor. Breathe deeply, curling your toes as you inhale and extending them on exhaling.

See also: Feeling Blue? Lift a Weight or Two!

Whole Foods Boost Mood

Whole Foods Boost Mood

Eat more whole foods to boost your mood!

Whole Foods Fruits and Vegetables
Whole Foods

People whose diets are high in whole foods have a lower risk of depression than people who eat more processed foods. Researchers analyzed data from more than 3,000 participants with a mean age of 55.6 years. Two dietary patterns were identified:

The “processed food” pattern, which includes fried foods, processed meats, high fat dairy products, foods made with refined grain and added sugars. Study participants who at more processed foods had a higher incidence of depression than participants whose diets included a higher proportion of whole foods.

Source: Weill Cornell Medical College

Healthiest Whole Foods

The healthiest foods are common “everyday” whole foods. These include the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices that are familiar to most people.

Whole Foods: Vegetables

Asparagus. Avocados. Beets. Bell peppers. Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Cabbage.  Carrots. Cauliflower. Celery. Collard greens. Cucumbers. Eggplant. Fennel. Garlic. Green beans. Green peas.  Kale. Leeks. Mushrooms (crimini, shiitake).  Mustard greens. Olives. Onions. Potatoes. Romaine lettuce. Sea vegetables. Spinach. Squash. Sweet potatoes. Swiss chard.  Tomatoes. Turnip greens.  Yams

Whole Foods: Fruits

Apples. Apricots. Bananas. Blueberries. Cantaloupe. Cranberries. Figs. Grapefruit. Grapes. Kiwifruit. Lemon and Limes. Oranges. Papaya.  Pears. Pineapple. Plums. Prunes. Raisins. Raspberries. Strawberries. Watermelon.

Nuts, Seeds and Oils

Almonds. Cashews. Flaxseeds. Extra virgin olive oil. Peanuts. Pumpkin seeds. Sesame seeds. Sunflower seeds. Walnuts.

Grains

Barley. Brown rice. Buckwheat. Corn. Millet. Oats. Quinoa. Rye. Spelt. Whole wheat.

Eggs and Low-Fat Dairy

Low fat cheese. Eggs. 2 percent cow’s milk and goat’s milk. Yogurt.

Seafood

Cod. Halibut. Salmon. Sardines. Scallops. Shrimp. Tuna

Beans and Legumes

Black beans. Dried peas. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Kidney beans. Lentils. Lima beans. Miso. Navy beans. Pinto beans. Soybeans. Tempeh and Tofu.

Poultry and Lean Meats

Lean organic beef. Calf’s liver. Chicken. Lamb. Turkey. Venison

Spices and Herbs

Basil. Black pepper. Cayenne pepper. Chili pepper, dried. Cilantro or Coriander seeds, Ground Cinnamon. Cloves.  Cumin seeds. Dill. Ginger. Mustard seeds. Oregano. Parsley. Peppermint. Rosemary. Sage. Thyme. Turmeric.

Natural Sweeteners

  • Blackstrap molasses.
  • Cane juice.
  • Honey.
  • Maple syrup.

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