How Honey Can Keep You Healthy

That golden, sweet, thick, liquid that we call honey is not just a sweetener for foods and baking, honey has so much more to offer us in helping us to stay healthy. We have five tips on how you can use honey to help keep you healthier now and into the future.

1. Using Honey to Enhance Your Energy
Honey has been found to be a natural energy enhancer. For those looking for that early morning pick-me-up or an extra jolt before heading out to the gym, try some honey instead of those highly addictive energy drinks. A spoonful of honey with its natural sugars of both glucose and fructose are quickly absorbed by your body, thus giving you that almost instantaneous boost of energy.

2. Using Honey to Soothe Your Sore Throat
Many think that this is an old wives’ tale; however, it is not. To help soothe that sore throat just add honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to a warm cup of water. Then either gargle or sip this mixture to help ease the inflammation that your cold or flu has started. The added bonus is that not only will the honey relief the pain, it will also kill certain bacteria that is the cause of many throat infections.

3. Using Honey to Keep Your Skin Soft
Honey has a very thick structure and will absorb moisture from the air. This makes honey a very good moisturizer. As we get older, our skin will become thinner and drier. By looking for skin products enriched with honey will help to hydrate and restore the elasticity that gets lost in our skin as we age.

4. Using Honey to Heal Your Wounds
Honey is used to help heal those burns, cuts, and wounds that can happen to all of us. History has shown us that honey has long been used as a natural first aid treatment. Honey has natural antibacterial properties that help to keep wounds, cuts, and burns clean and infection free. Honey will also help to reduce swelling and scarring as well as act as an anti-inflammatory.

5. Using Honey as a Healthier Sweetener
Many people avoid honey as it does have more calories than your typical table sugar. However, its benefits may outweigh those extra calories. Honey is naturally sweeter than regular table sugar, therefore you don’t need to use as much. Honey has also been found to help reduce both high cholesterol and blood sugars in most people.

Vegetarians and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

For vegetarians who don’t eat fish, and especially for vegans (who eat no animals or animal by-products at all), getting a daily requirement of Omega-3 fatty acids can be a real challenge. Learn where to get Omega-3 fatty acids, why they are important in daily health, and how much of these essential fatty acids should be consumed daily.

Why are Omega-3 fatty acids so important? For starters, they are linked to helping prevent heart disease, arthritis, and some cancers. Essential fatty oils, like Omega-3s, help to promote overall bodily health and function, and a lack of Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to dry skin (and wrinkling skin), fatigue, bad memory (since Omega-3s also protect the brain), poor circulation, mood swings, and an unhealthy heart. Imagine how oil is used to function a well-running car. Without oil, a car will not start. Too thick oil, and the car will not run well. Without healthy essential fats, like Omega-3 fatty acids, our bodies just don’t plain run as well as they should. With unhealthy saturated fats, our bodies also run more poorly. The proper essential fats are the ones our bodies need.

A great rule to remember is that nuts (such as raw peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc) are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating them raw is best, as the fatty acids have then not been chemically altered with a cooking process. However, even eating peanut butter (one of my favorites) is a great way to get the Omega-3 fatty acids that you need daily.

Avocados are another easily obtained product that has ample amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, and is a tasty alternative to fish or fish oil. Also great are olives (black or green), soy products (including soy milk, I LOVE Silk), and seeds, such as sesame seeds (also rich in calcium) and sunflower seeds (unsalted is best). Even baked pumpkin or squash seeds can provide a tasty snack that gives you the Omega-3 fatty acids that you’d like.

Oils, like flaxseed oil and hempseed oil, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, so long as they aren’t heated. They are best to use as an oil-based garnish, such as a dressing for salads or as an oil to replace butter on breads and other buttery snacks.

Fish oil isn’t the only supplement out there that helps a person obtain their Omega-3 fatty acid intake daily. Plant organisms, such as algae and other marine plant life, can also be taken in supplemental form to help a vegetarian or vegan to obtain their daily requirement of Omega-3 fatty acids daily without consuming meat. A person should aim to consume 2-4 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids daily, either in supplemental form or in their daily diet.

Sources:

http://www.womentowomen.com/healthynutrition/veganepadha.aspx

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Sleeping with Dogs – is it Healthy?

The answer to the question, “Should you sleep with your dog?” depends on who you ask. Some say it’s perfectly healthy and soothing to allow your dog in your bed. Others say it’s filthy and disgusting. Who’s right? There is really no right answer to this question. It’s simply a matter of considering the arguments for and against. Is it healthy to sleep with your dog? Consider these five arguments.

Do you have pet allergies? If so, sleeping with your dog might not be the best idea. Sneezing and wheezing your way through the night is no way to get the healthy sleep you need. Some folks do it anyway. How? They just take their allergy medicine at bedtime. Apparently, they feel it’s a small price to pay in order to snuggle up to Fido.

What if Fido has contracted a mean case of the fleas? Sleeping with dogs can have you cursing tiny itchy, scratchy bites. Think healthy dogs don’t get fleas? Let’s face it. Even the most diligent of pet owners may find their dog suffering from flea infestation. If you have a habit of letting your dog sleep in the bed with you, better think about some flea prevention meds. Otherwise, it’s just not healthy to sleep with your dog.

Consider your dog’s sleeping habits. Does your dog run in his sleep, hog the blankets or reverse directions while sleeping? You could find yourself poked, prodded and pummeled more than you would like. Doggy breath and other unpleasant odors are another complication you should consider before sleeping with your dog.

Is your dog clean? Your canine friends don’t shower and brush their teeth before bed. What does your dog do in the course of a day? Where have your dogs feet been? If the answer is digging in mudholes, your sheets could pay the price. If your dog sleeps with you, you might consider more frequent dog grooming habits.

Sleeping with your dog could be unhealthy for your sex life. Having Fido in the bed could be quite awkward when it comes to physical intimacy with your spouse or life partner. If your dog sleeps with you, it may be necessary to make other arrangements on occasion. If your dog enjoys his sleeping arrangement, making changes might result in a lot of howling and scratching at the door. Not exactly an atmosphere conducive to lovemaking.

More from Jaipi:

Go Green Rodents: Natural Pet Food for Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Rabbits, Gerbils, Mice and Rats

Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

Go Green All Natural Pet Stain and Odor Removers

Source:

Personal Experience

It’s Not What You Eat. It’s What You Believe

Imagine two women sitting on the kitchen floor with a plate of brownies in each of their laps. One woman eats her brownies slowly, sitting comfortably with a look of pure delight on her face. The other woman is hunched over, turned toward the wall and eating so quickly she barely notices how the brownies taste.

The woman who slowly savors the brownies, paying attention to how much she loves the rich sweetness, is happy and satisfied. The brownies are an indulgence that she thoroughly enjoys. She eats what she wants and leaves the rest, feeling like she just gave herself a treat.

The woman who binges on the brownies feels shame from her indulgence. She doesn’t believe she is allowed to eat brownies because she’s not as beautiful or successful or worthy as the other woman. When she eats brownies she’d rather do so in private, in massive quantities and very fast. Perhaps if she eats them fast enough, it’s as if they don’t exist. It might help bury her guilt and self-loathing. Even better, she might fully disappear.

These two women are eating the same thing. Their beliefs, however, couldn’t be more different. Not just about the brownies but about their very selves.

I have been a binge eater and compulsive overeater for most of my life. There was no single “Aha!” moment that made me decide to become a healthier person. Year’s worth of heartbreaking challenges and breakthrough epiphanies made me finally realize I needed the right kind of help. Not help staying away from brownies. I needed help changing what I believed, or couldn’t find the self-love to believe, about me.

No, I’m not preaching the healing power of brownies. I know all about unhealthy food addictions. I’m learning what a gift good nutrition is for my well-being. What I’m saying is the road to changing what’s on my plate must start with changing what’s in my heart and mind, too.

Every single day I begin the path to recovery again, a little closer to the goal. My healing process is no longer about a number and I can’t let it be about shame. My tools are awareness, breathing and meditation. My progress is about feeling and accepting. My consultants are my amazing therapist, books by Geneen Roth and the loving voice inside me that’s learning to believe I am worth every brownie I crave.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Evaluation and Diagnosis

When you visit a medical doctor, the usual method of diagnosis is to draw blood samples and do other standard medical tests. However, acupuncturists have different methods of determining what is going on in your body and the best ways of helping you reduce pain and build health.

A standard work-up will start with many questions about your health history. Some of these will be the same kind of questions you would hear from a medical doctor, such as about any pain you may be having or questions about how well you sleep. You will also be asked about your diet and exercise routines.

Other questions may seem unusual, as your acupuncturist may ask you about your sexual activity, any bladder issues and regular or irregular bowel movements.

Acupuncturists generally use a number of processes to determine the correct diagnosis for their patients. They have been trained to rely on information they receive from their senses and intuition rather than on tests using chemicals in a laboratory.

Next comes a physical evaluation of your body. Body movements, such as your walking gait and posture are observed. The tongue is also inspected and special qualities about your voice will be noted. Then the acupuncturist will classify the color of your face. All of these will be entered on your chart so they can be compared in future sessions to determine any changes in your health.

An acupuncturist will also use the sense of touch to evaluate you. First, he or she will take your pulse and observe it’s speed and strength. Then your personal reaction to touch will be evaluated. The practitioner will want to know if a painful area feels better or worse when heat, cold or pressure is applied.

Your acupuncturist will continue your health history by using his or her sense of smell. Even right after a shower, every person has a body scent. As a holistic health practitioner, an acupuncturist has learned to use the differences and strengths in scent in health evaluations.

Finally you will be asked about your emotions because in the Chinese medical tradition, health and emotions are related.

At the end of the examination, the acupuncturist will discuss any findings with you and let you know how he or she will help you reduce pain and get into overall better health.

Eat to Live and Not Live to Eat

“Eat to live and not live to Eat” are words I have heard continuously throughout my life although I am not sure when I first heard them. Several years ago, I discovered I was lactose intolerant. For those who don’t know the effects on the body can cause stomach cramping, bloating and in extreme cases diarrhea. I love ice cream and cheese is definitely something delectable to my palette. However, before I take a bite of anything with dairy I have to ask myself, “Is it really worth the temporary satisfaction when I know the aftermath is my body’s rejection to it?” I would not be telling the truth to say I never give into my desire for dairy but I will say that I choose more often not to because I don’t want to feel heavily weighed down by an unwise eating decision. It is not simply a matter of taking a pill such as Lactaid to alleviate my intolerance for I have grown even resistant to those helping. I now know more than ever that everything I take into my body can either nourish or upset its healthy balance. Recently, I started a twenty one day Daniel Fast which consists of drinking only water and eating only fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. Initially, I thought I would be starving each day but contrary to my belief I am not at all. The interesting thing is before I started the fast I thought of food intake only as an immediate gratification to satisfy the cravings I have. However, as each day passes by in my fasting I understand it’s not how much of something I eat but rather its nutritional value that truly makes the difference. Clarity on how my body responds to what I eat and my surroundings is definitely something I have grown more sensitive to over time. I often remember the theme of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray and Love” and think of many ways to seek and maintain balance in my life while on the journey to discovering the fulfillment of my God given purpose. The biggest lesson I have learned that is what you eat and what and whom you spend most of your time around becomes who you are. The result of these interactions can either be life changing or altering in a positive or negative way. Overall, the decision to be healthy must be a conscious lifestyle change in order to renew a person in mind, body and spirit.

Health and Fitness Psychology ‘” the Role of Exercise and Nutrition Knowledge

This may seem obvious, but it is important to educate yourself about health and fitness or find someone qualified to help you understand exactly what is required in order to reach your goals. Unfortunately, many people completely skip this process and eventually fail, because they never really figure out what they need to do the get the results they want.

If you make a plan for success, but are basing your plan on misconceptions or other incorrect information, you could be setting yourself up for failure before you even start. It is important to have realistic expectations about the results you hope to achieve based on the amount of effort you put into your exercise and nutrition routine. If your expectations are too high or too low, you may quickly lose motivation and fall short of reaching your goals.

If you have little health and fitness experience and want to create a quality routine with minimal help, it is still probably a good idea to search out a qualified member of the health and fitness community, at least initially.

This way you can have the person answer your biggest questions, help you design a workout or nutritional strategy, or even give you advice about where you can look to find quality health and fitness information pertaining to your specific goals. Just make sure you tell the person exactly what you want help with in advance, so he or she can be better prepared to give you the information you want during your meeting.

If you don’t want do dedicate extra time and energy to educating yourself about health and fitness or designing your own program, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a quality personal trainer, nutritionist, or other health and fitness professional to help you reach your goals.

Hiring someone to help you out can have a variety of benefits, even if you only have a few meetings with the individual. Some of the benefits include education about health and fitness, evaluation of your program and your goals, extra motivation and accountability, and learning things to help you improve that you would not have thought of on your own.

Perhaps most importantly, you should have someone qualified in exercise technique make sure you can properly perform every exercise you want to include in your workout routine. The simple truth is most people have significant flaws in their exercise technique and it is difficult to improve without someone giving you feedback and teaching you how to improve your form.

The importance of learning correct form cannot be overstated, because poor exercise technique leads to numerous problems including inefficient workouts, muscle imbalances, and increased chance of injury, just to name a few.

Now you may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with health and fitness psychology, but let me assure you there is a definite psychological link between health and fitness knowledge and success. The issue at the heart of the matter is that increased knowledge builds confidence, not only in your overall ability to succeed, but also in your ability to complete the individual tasks necessary for success.

When I work with new clients without previous training education and experience, one of the biggest initial roadblocks is their lack of self-confidence, especially in regards to their ability to exercise correctly. The most common concern is that they will do things incorrectly and not benefit from the training or potentially get injured in the process.

These are rational fears, because it takes time and education to learn correct exercise technique and many potential problems may not become evident until years later. In this respect, avoiding exercise is a form of self-preservation, although it is also a roadblock to achieving any significant success. Naturally, the best thing to do to get past this is to become educated and develop the confidence that comes with knowledge.

In my experience, people without previous exercise experience quickly develop the confidence to exercise when I am around (because they know I will not let them do anything to hurt themselves), but they often still have a hard time exercising on their own.

After a while, they develop more confidence to exercise without supervision and also develop confidence to perform other physical activities they have not previously tried. For example, a person who only had previous walking experience may eventually start running, hiking, biking, or even try playing a sport.

Naturally, being engaged in other activities further helps people reach their health and fitness goals, because they are more active, burn more calories, and become more physically fit. It is important to note that these improvements would not be possible without the increased confidence gained from having more health and fitness knowledge and experience.

Source:

14 years of experience and education in health and fitness

A Biblical Diet

The Original Diet

Adam and Eve ate from the first garden and it was full of nuts and fruits. There was probably a large, varied, and tasty collection of fruits and nuts.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no death on earth, so the animals were going to live forever. In the original plan, Adam and Eve would never even think of eating animal flesh, and we could consider them vegetarians. Logically, then, a vegetarian diet is the most Biblical and healthy diet modern man can enjoy. Modern research demonstrates that this is indeed true.

Modern Research

Modern research convincingly demonstrates that a vegetarian diet is healthier than other diets and the most healthy diet available to modern man. A study conducted by Loma Linda University compared participants in the United States who have similar demographics and lifestyles. One group was vegetarian and the other were meat eaters. The vegetarians lived longer, healthier lives, and the meat eaters had more health problems, medical conditions, and disease. As a matter of fact, the vegetarians enjoyed eight to ten years of additional, healthier life. The vegetarians ate more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts. They consumed less refined grain products, sugar, and prepared foods. Other studies conducted in Australia, Europe, and South America confirm these findings.

The Post Flood Diet

The Great Flood of Noah’s day changed man’s diet for the worse. The Flood destroyed so much vegetation that people were allowed to eat the meat of animals, People ate meat to survive even though this would lead to future health problems.

Clean and Unclean Meats

Certain meats are considered clean and fit for human consumption while other meats are considered unclean and unfit for human consumption. This idea is explained in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Many of the unclean animals such as rats, snakes, and vultures are an obvious threat to our health, and not meant for human consumption.

Food in the New Testament

Now that the world’s vegetation has been restored, a vegetarian diet is once again the healthiest diet available and in compliance with the Bible. It is still morally acceptable to eat the clean meats, but one will usually suffer the health consequences of this diet and not be as healthy as a vegetarian. Preparing fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the most simple and natural process as possible is the basis for the healthiest possible diet.

A Balanced Diet

As in any area of life, temperance is important. We need to eat a wide variety of healthy food, enough to satisfy all our nutritional needs, while not overeating and straining our systems.

Nutritionists often display a food pyramid that show the best foods and the amounts we should eat. At the base of the pyramid are the whole grains; brown rice, bread, and pasta. These should be eaten in the largest quantities, about six to eleven servings per day. The next level includes fruits and vegetables and the recommendation is about five to nine servings per day. Next are dairy products and eggs, about two or three servings a day. These can be important for vegetarians so that they can get enough vitamin B12. Total vegetarians who do not eat any animal products should take vitamin B12 supplements. The next group includes legumes, nuts, and meat alternatives and should be eaten in lesser amounts. Finally, at the top of the pyramid which means we should eat them in the smallest quantities are fats, oils, sweets, and iodized salts.

Further Study

Staying healthy and eating a healthy diet is a life long pursuit. This article should wet our appetites for healthy living. We will list several sources that can plug you into the health network and help you in your quest for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

This article is based on a chapter on nutrition in a very helpful book entitled Health and Healing . You may want to request your own copy from Pacific Press Publishing.

Sources: 1. Health Ministries Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Health and Healing, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1350 N. Kings Road, Nampa, ID 83687-3193.

2. www.absg.adventist.org.

3. www.AdventistHealthCare.com

4. www.pacificpress.com

How I Help My Kids Stay Healthy and Fit

The United States has a huge problem with children and adults being very obese. Portion sizes for meals have become out of control and many children are suffering from juvenile diabetes and high cholesterol. As a parent, I have tried to ensure that my children are as healthy as possible. Here are the steps that I have taken to make sure that my children grow up healthy and happy.

Introduce Good Nutrition as Infants

When my son was about ten months old, he finally stopped being bottle fed and eating rice cereal. I then decided to start making his baby food. I would go to my local grocery store and get organic vegetables and fruits to make the baby food. I chose interesting foods such as mangoes, peaches, pears, apples, carrots, peas, and squash to make his meals. I would cook the vegetables and fruits and then puree them in a blender. Afterwards, I would store them in baby jars that I had purchased and rinsed out. Every day, he would get a variety of fruits and vegetables and he really enjoyed eating them.

As he has become older, we have focused on not giving him a lot of sugar in his diet. He eats such food items as bagels, juices that are only made of one hundred percent juice, organic milk, yogurt, eggs, turkey bacon, mashed potatoes, ground turkey, pork loins, and water.

Never Give a Child Dessert

I decided early on not to let my son ever have dessert after dinner. Many parents reward their kids for clearing their plates but I never thought that this was appropriate. I also do not include a dessert in my child’s lunch box either. I give him a yogurt an hour after dinner or he can have some crackers as a snack before bed.

I found it is important for parents to understand that cookies and chocolate do not equate love. Many kids become emotional eaters early on because they can throw a tantrum in a store and get offered a candy bar to make everything better. By teaching my son good nutrition, he has not gotten a sweet tooth yet.

Exercise Must Be a Priority

In my home, my husband and I have both taught our son about exercise since he was six months old. We would take him for walks and hikes with us. We took him to baby gym early on so that he could learn to move and play. As he has gotten older, we play soccer with him, let him run around outside and we as a family go to the gym whenever we can. He asks us now if he can go outside and play because we limit his time on the Internet to two hours and he has no video games and can only watch a few shows on TV. I have shown him that you need to exercise your mind and body to keep them in shape.

3 Healthy Ways to Improve Cooked Vegetables

Vegetables are by far one of the healthiest foods available to serve as a side dish, or as part of a main meal. However, it is easy to fall into the same old rut when it comes to cooking vegetables, which can make it harder for you and your family to really enjoy them. What are some healthy ways to improve the taste of cooked vegetables without compromising on taste?

Aim for Visual Appeal

Vegetables that have been sloppily prepared and then served up in front of your family will not encourage them to tuck in. As well as providing nutritive value, vegetables should also look good. Take time to pair colourful vegetables together such as sautéed yellow peppers and mushrooms that have been prepared in garlic, ginger and soy sauce with corn, snap peas and Asian-style noodles for a medley of vegetables that will not only look interesting, but will also taste great.

Change the Way You Cook the Vegetables

Do you always cook vegetables the same way and serve them with the same main meals? If so, why not change things around a bit and experiment? Rather than boiling the cauliflower and broccoli, omit the broccoli and steam the cauliflower until it is soft. Then mash it with a sweet potato or parsnip and serve with your usual roast chicken. Add a drizzle of raw honey and a touch of cloves for a little extra sweetness.

Pick Up New Serving Suggestions from Cookbooks, Cooking Shows and Magasines

If you are stuck for tips on how to serve healthy cooked vegetables, you do not have far to look for inspiration to spur you on. Dust off your cookbooks, and look for innovative ways to serve up some of your favourite vegetables. Look for tips from cooking shows or pick up some extra tips from magasine articles, or popular Internet sites where you can learn new, creative ways to cook vegetables.

There many ways to improve the taste of cooked vegetables without having to compromise on taste. Start by thinking of ways to improve the visual appeal of vegetables. After all, vegetables that look enticing will most likely taste better than vegetables that have been carelessly cooked and put together. Next, change the way you cook the vegetables and keep your cooking skills up to date by picking up new serving suggestions from cookbooks, cooking shows and magasines. Skilful experimentation can help you to turn boring vegetable side dishes into crowd-pleasers.