The Hunger Scale

Take a look at this “Hunger Scale” provided by writer Bob Greene from Oprah.com. This tool will help you avoid eating mindlessly. The more in touch you are with your hunger, the less you need to count calories.

First, decide how you’re feeling:

10: Stuffed. You are so full you feel nauseous.

9: Very uncomfortably full. You need to loosen your clothes.

8: Uncomfortably full. You feel bloated.

7: Full. A little bit uncomfortable.

6: Perfectly comfortable. You feel satisfied.

5: Comfortable. You’re more or less satisfied, but could eat a little more.

4: Slightly uncomfortable. You’re just beginning to feel signs of hunger.

3: Uncomfortably hungry. Your stomach is rumbling.

2: Very uncomfortable. You feel irritable and unable to concentrate.

1: Weak and light-headed. Your stomach acid is churning.

You should eat only when you’re feeling 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Put your fork down at 5 or 6 and wait until the next scheduled meal or snack.

If you’re trying to lose weight, stop at 5, the point at which you’re eating a little less than your body is burning.

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Black Bean & Corn Power Salad

With 21.7 grams of protein per serving and 21.3 grams of fiber, this power salad is sure to fill and fuel you up with only 6.9 grams of fat!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, parsley, onions, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and honey or brown sugar. Let the salad marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Arrange the lettuce leaves on 4 salad plates; spoon the salad over the lettuce.

 

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Halt Those Hiccups!

Hiccups can be disruptive while working and just plain annoying! Whatever the cause of your hiccups, you usually just want them to stop.  Here are five strategies that may help halt those hiccups!

1.  Hold your hands over your ears- According to the Mayo Clinic, hiccups could be caused by something as simple as a stray hair in your ear that’s touching your eardrum. Calming the nerve endings here can throw off the hiccup pattern.

2.  Suck on a lemon soaked in non-alcoholic bitters-According to a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine, this treatment cured 14 out of 16 people with hiccups.

3.  Breathe into a paper bag-It increases the carbon dioxide in your system and may stop spasms.

4.  Guzzle a warm glass of water-The theory is that the warmth soothes and relaxes the diaphragm.

5.  Swallow a spoonful of sugar-Eat a teaspoon (5 mL) of sugar, a tablespoon (15 mL) of peanut butter, or a teaspoon of honey. The sticky sweetness may change the rhythm of your breathing, which calms the vagus nerve.

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Milk Alternatives

If you’re curious to try a different type of milk, other than the traditional skim or 1%, we have the information for you to weigh your options.  Opting for almond, coconut, flax, hemp, rice, soy or sunflower milk have various pros and cons and with the help of Self Magazine, we are here to lay them out for you.  The traditional skim milk is great for muscle-building protein, however, it is high in the natural sugar, lactose.  Also, some brands use synthetic hormones so you may want to consider choosing organic milk.
Types of Milk
Coconut–  Has a great thick texture and the coconut provides a lot of sweetness.  The cons of coconut milk include its higher saturated fat content.
Hemp–  Has a sweet, nutty flavor and this type is rich in omega-3’s to hydrate the skin and boost heart health.  A con of hemp milk is its high price in stores.
Rice– A great choice for those with soy and nut allergies, however, it’s way too watery for your coffee or tea.  And for the calories there is minimal nutrition as far as protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Sunflower–  Has a mildly nutty taste that isn’t overpowering.  Sunflower milk has a thick consistency which makes it great for coffee and tee.  A turnoff of sunflower milk is its grayish color that may hesitate consumers.
Flax–  Flax milk is the lowest as far as calories making it a great choice for smoothies.  A con of flax milk is its lack of protein.
Soy–  Soymilk is the only nondairy variety that’s high in filling protein, so it’s good for vegans and those with lactose intolerance.  There are continual investigations about soy’s potential link to breast cancer so if you are worried about this factor, you should discuss it with your physician.

Jog FM

Have you heard of the iTunes app “jog fm?” This easy-to-use application lets you type in how long it takes you to run a mile and from that information it will give you a list of songs that will keep you on pace.  It uses the beats-per-minute method.  There are also programs for walking and cycling.  Try out this application to keep up the pace with your workouts!

 

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Music For Medicine

Exciting research suggests that the brain responds to music almost as if it were medicine. It may regulate some body functions, synchronize motor skills, stimulate the mind—even make us smarter.

What Music Can Do for You

Clinical studies and anecdotal evidence from music therapists suggest that the sound of music:

  • manages pain
  • improves mood and mobility of people with Parkinson’s disease
  • reduces the need for sedatives and pain relievers during and after surgery
  • decreases nausea during chemotherapy
  • helps patients participate in medical treatment that shortens hospital stays
  • relieves anxiety
  • lowers blood pressure
  • eases depression
  • enhances concentration and creativity

The best part is that to take advantage of music’s healing power, you don’t need to take a prescription to your local music store. You don’t even have to go to the music store at all. The home remedies you need are probably already in your music collection.
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Exercises You Think You Need-But Don’t

Fitness pros from O Magazine have comprised a list of five exercises you may think are beneficial, but could be swapped with an alternative exercise for optimal results and comfort.

The first exercise is crunches.  Although they are a great abdominal exercise when done correctly, they are very hard on our discs in the spinal cord.  A better option is planks.  Planks keep the core in a neutral position to alleviate back pressure while also working your obliques to stabilize you.

The second exercise is straight-leg dead lifts.  Bending forward with straight legs puts immense pressure on the invertebral discs.  And while you’re supposed to use your hamstrings to pull you up, many people lift with their back, which can lead to a herniated disc.  Swap this with “bird dogs”.  On all fours keep your hands under your shoulders and hips under your knees.  Extend your right arm straight out in front of you and your left leg out behind you.  Raise your arm to shoulder height. At the same time, straighten your left leg and raise it to hip height.  Hold for one count and release.  Do 10 reps. Then switch to the left arm and right leg.  Repeat three times.

Leg extensions with a machine.  Although the machine works the quadriceps, it neglects the hamstrings which can lead to strain.  Instead, try lunges to test your balance and work muscles in the pelvic area as well as the entire leg.  For maximum results, try using hand weights for an added bonus.

The squatting dumbbell front raise can easily strain the muscles in your neck and back.  Instead, separate the movements doing dumbbell front raises, and then squats.

The fifth exercise to be swapped is the triceps extension, usually done with a machine at the gym.  Many people don’t have the range of movement and shoulder flexibility to properly execute tricep extensions.  Instead opt for tricep push-ups that work the chest, shoulders and biceps.

 

 

 

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Save A Life!

An excellent way to contribute to those in need and feel good about your choice is to sign up for “Donate Life”.  At donatelife.net you can register as an organ, eye and tissue donor.  Organ and tissue donation represents the ultimate gift of life from one individual to another.  By simply choosing a state at donatelife.net and registering yourself, you will become a donor!   More than 100,000 people currently need life-saving organ transplants and every 10 minutes a name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.  So what are you waiting for?! Sign up today to be an organ donor! www.donatelife.net

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Eat More Seafood

When scientists compare diets around the globe, the healthiest have one food item in common which includes: seafood.  People in iceland have the world’s largest per capita consumption of seafood (220lbs per year!) and these Icelanders also have the highest life expectancy of any nationality-nearly 81 years.  Although fish isn’t the only reason-it helps! So what makes seafood so healthy? Seafood is a lean protein option, with very little saturated fat.  The fats contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats.  Polyunsaturated fats  have been shown to protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer; reduce blood pressure; and help control inflammation.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines have made the important step of singling out seafood, recommending two servings per week in place of beef, pork, or poultry.  My Better Self would like to challenge you to eat fish at least twice a week this month! Check out the variety of recipes and seafood choices on www.cookinglight.com!

 

 

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Soy 101

Health.com has written an article on the miracle food: soy.  There are so many ways to get this good-for-you protein into your daily diet.  So here’s how to do it-and why you absolutely should!

Soy’s most prominent feature is its complete protein.  It is one of the only plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need from our diets to function properly.  It makes an ideal substitute for meat, poultry and eggs.  The protein and fiber make it an incredibly filling food.  Soybeans are also cholesterol-free and lower in heart-unhealthy saturated fat in comparison to meat and dairy.

Soy also packs a number of phytochemicals, including isoflavones, which may work together to help fight conditions like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.  So look for simple places to swap soy in for other foods and drinks. Snack on soy nuts instead of cheese; use soy nut butter instead of peanut butter for a change of pace (you may not be able to tell the difference!). Soy milk is a great alternative for the lactose intolerant (just avoid sweetened ones, which pack extra sugars).

 

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