Archive for the ‘Reliv’ Category

Thinking Healthy for October – guest blogger Annette Presseau

Sorry for the late posting – but it was well worth the wait as it always is. 

Thinking Healthy for October

Now that I’ve eaten incorrectly this summer with food like ice cream I’m back to thinking about eating healthy again and the autumn coming in makes me want to set a goal at least until Thanksgiving!  Once I tried to diet at Thanksgiving and that didn’t work because it was torture and I just gave in to my food cravings after that my thoughts went to eat less at mealtime or during the holidays and exercise more like do more walking.  Do you ever notice when you eat the wrong foods you feel good for a moment but afterwards you are not satisfied and actually feel draggy?  Sometimes you are still hungry after eating and that should be a clue that you are not eating correctly.  I also find it difficult to eat correctly when I am having a meal alone I don’t like to eat alone to begin with so eating correctly is difficult I just want to eat something easy and move on.

October is Children’s Health Month.  Keeping children healthy can be a daunting task especially if the child doesn’t like to eat the right foods or exercising regularly.   Helping the child eat the right foods could be as simple as disguising the food with what they like so that it tastes better.  Children are more susceptible to environmental risks than adults because their bodies are still developing, which lessens a child’s ability to detoxify harmful substances compared to an adult.  Below are some great tips:

  • When eating, sit at a table to      avoid walking around your home, lessening the amount of crumbs. Clean up      any spills.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the      sink.
  • If you have a pet, don’t leave      food out overnight.
  • Be conscious of water sources      that become attractive for pests, such as a leaky faucet, spilled liquid,      or sink full of water. A puddle of water could mean a plethora of pests!
  • Clean up and fix up! Clean up      excess clutter to eliminate pest shelter. Repair or replace window screens      with holes and seal up baseboard and other cracks.

The EPA has created a Pesticide Poison Prevention Checklist as a helpful resource; adults are encouraged to review their home room-for-room to search for potential hazards. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, complete the inspection on your hands and knees or in a similar fashion to a child to understand how they see the room and what would be within their reach.  Want more information then check out this blog:  http://blog.pested.psu.edu/2012/10/29/october-is-children%E2%80%99s-health-month/

And if your child is a picky eater then check out this website for great tips and ideas:  http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/healthy-eating/getting-kids-to-eat-picky-eaters-fussy/

Stress and elections.  Are you stressed by the current elections and all those ads on TV?  Most of us are inundated with information, negative ads and phone calls from campaign volunteers.  I know I don’t listen to them anymore and I’m tired of hearing all the rhetoric that goes with it so what do we do?  Well, first of all just stop being stressed and start realizing come November 2nd it will all go away for awhile so why get stressed over it and to prevent becoming overly stressed during the political season countdown, try to take a step back and reclaim what is important to you.  Below are some helpful hints to overcome stress:

  1.  Hold on to your convictions and      passions. Vote out of your core values, and you will always feel confident      in how you cast your vote.
  2. Do not follow someone else’s      convictions or political stances. Each of us has a right to our opinion      and to exercise that opinion at the polls. There will always be many      people with whom we disagree, and that is the beauty of our political      system – it allows for diversity and options.
  3. Become informed about the      candidates and their perspectives, and then know when to turn it off. The      closer we get to Election Day, the more jargon, finger-pointing, and      derogatory statements become the norm in political advertisements. It is      good to know when to turn off the TV, radio or the internet.  Or, if you can’t turn them off, then just      learn to laugh at them.
  4. Find some friends who hold      similar values. It is good to have regular interaction with others who      believe as you do during such times as a national election.

Stress all over.   We live in an age of distractions and interruptions fueled by technology and there’s no place to unwind. There’s no place to hide so what do we do?  We get stressed and our blood pressures go up and out of sight!  The next time you get stressed be aware of your breathing, your body and your environment just for a few minutes and remember that life is not fair and you will get through this and things will get better. You could also picture in your mind something that makes you happy like your family or seeing yourself at the ocean or a lake.  Keep in mind that bad things do happen to good people and that you are not alone in your frustrations and remember that there is always someone else who is worse off than you just look around you.  If that doesn’t work try to take a quick break or walk to think things out or if you can exercise go work out at the gym that will definitely take you mind off of stress!

The next time you get stress try the Mindfulness technique which is generally defined as focused, deliberate attention to a task or thought to quiet the mind and eliminate distractions.  Practicing Mindfulness can help restore peace of mind and more evidence is now building that it can also benefit the body’s immune system.  There are fascinating studies that mindfulness can decrease inflammation and that practicing mindfulness may be one step to shift the odds in your favor, in concert with your healthy lifestyle choices.

That brings me to another question how do you define happiness?  Did you know that that the bulk of what determines happiness is due to your personality?  Yes, you can learn to be happy and you may have thought, as many people do, that happiness comes from being born rich or beautiful or living a stress-free life, the reality is that people who have wealth, beauty or less stress are not happier on average than those of you who don’t enjoy those blessings.  People who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices, and their lives are built on the following things:

  1. Devoting time to family and      friends
  2. Appreciating what they have
  3. Maintaining an optimistic      outlook
  4. Feeling a sense of purpose
  5. Living in the moment

Surround yourself with happy people. Being around people who are content buoys your own mood and by being happy yourself, you give something back to those around you.

Friends and family help you celebrate life’s successes and support you in difficult times. Although it’s easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships are worth their weight in gold.

Build up your emotional account with kind words and actions. Be careful and gracious with critique. Let people know that you appreciate what they do for you or even just that you’re glad they’re part of your life. Also, be mindful of what you say to a person and try not to be negative but positive when you critique someone.

Start thinking about what works for you.  Maybe all you have to do is stop and start thinking about what makes you happy it could be something as simple as having a piece of apple pie or talking to a friend that you haven’t talk to in awhile or even just going outside with the kids and playing with them whatever will put a smile on your face and change your mind.

 

Well that’s all for now I’m going to call my best friend that I haven’t talked to in awhile and see how she is doing so my wish to you is start living in the moment and stop and have some fun!

 

 

Annette Presseau    Reliv distributor         stitchlady46@yahoo.com

 

 

Embracing September – guest blogger Annette Presseau

The summer is almost over and the fall is starting to come in but wait there is also what is called an Indian summer to come yet and the weather is just beautiful so get out and enjoy because before we know it the snow will be here!  What is Indian summer exactly?  According to Wikipedia “an Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn. It refers to a period of considerably above normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost. Depending on latitude and elevation, it can occur in the Northern Hemisphere between late September and mid November.”  This time of year is great for taking walks and working in the yard and also getting apples at your favorite orchard a fresh picked apple can’t be beat!

School is back!  Eating a good breakfast can start your day off with energy and keep you going and children need something in their stomachs too but children can be very fussy I know I was a fussy eater when I was a kid and I didn’t like vegetables either but as I got older I learned to eat my vegetables and I really enjoy my vegetables now.  Think about a nutritional shake for your kids in the morning to get them started or maybe a smoothie for breakfast.  I am often stumped by what to have for breakfast and get quite inventive at times so experiment and see what works.  Lunches were always a challenge for me too because I’m not a sandwich eater so my lunches were different than the other kids even today I like to experiment with my lunches.

You are what you eat.  Fast foods have very little nutrition in them if any at all and they are not healthy for you but when I’m on the go I’m as guilty as anyone in buying fast foods so consider getting something that is nutritious at the fast food place like a salad you’re still going to have a lot of calories but at least you are eating healthier.  My rule of thumb is that if it tastes good than it probably is not good for you but we all need to splurge every now and then to keep our sanity.  Usually, when I splurge I tend to cut back for a few days during the week that way I don’t feel so guilty about when I eat the wrong foods.  Am I what I eat – probably but that’s ok because I’m working on changing my eating habits a little at a time.

Metabolic SyndromeAccording to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans now have Metabolic Syndrome.  What is Metabolic Syndrome?  It is excess weight, particularly around the waistline. Metabolic syndrome typically includes three or more of these symptoms:

  1.  waistline of 40+ inches for men or 35+      inches for women
  2.  high blood pressure, or on blood pressure      medication
  3.  high triglycerides
  4.  high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
  5.  low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol

The solution is to balance blood sugar, lose weight and improve cholesterol.  In the past few years I have cut back on sugar quite a bit and I do feel a lot better.  I truly believe that sugar is addictive.  Check out the labels on food that you purchase you will be surprised at how much sugar is in what we eat.

High Blood Pressure.  Millions of Americans have high blood pressure despite treatment for it.  I recently developed high blood pressure and am taking medication for it and the medication has brought down my blood pressure to a normal reading.  In my opinion stress brings on high blood pressure it did for me.  It’s good to measure you blood pressure at home or at a pharmacy on a regular basis.  Blood pressure can be lowered by lowering your salt intake, losing weight and exercising daily.  Whatever you eat see if you can check the salt content you might be very surprised at how much salt is in the food that we eat.

September is National Preparedness month so would you be ready if there is an emergency?  I know that I am not ready but would like to be so here is what we all need to do.  Assemble an emergency supply kit with water (one gallon), non-perishable food, flashlight, battery powered radio or hand crank one, extra batteries, first aid kit, medications, multipurpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phone with chargers, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket and a map of the area.  You can find out more information at http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/ there is a whole list of things that you can add to the emergency supply kit depending on what your family needs are.

September is also World Alzheimer’s Month.  Wear purple on September 21st to show your support for Alzheimer’s or you can wear purple anytime after September 21st.  Alzheimer’s is such a terrible disease and affects one in eight older Americans if you would like know more on this disease check out this website:  http://www.alz.org/.

September is also National Sewing Month so pull out those old sewing machines and begin a project or finish an old one or just take a beginner class who knows you might really enjoy learning how to sew!  National Sewing Month was started in 1982 by President Ronald Regan “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our nation.”  You can start with a small project and see where it takes you.  I find it very satisfying to make something myself and it also makes me appreciate how much work can go into making something.  Also, it is great when people complement the work that you have done.

Fall foliage drives in New EnglandSeptember is a great time to see the fall foliage in New England and here are some great places to take a ride to:  Acadia Byway in Maine, Three Rivers Scenic Drive in New Hampshire, Mohawk Trail Drive in Massachusetts, Rhode Island 77 in Rhode Island and Route 100 in Vermont just to name a few.  I’m sure every one of you has a favorite place to go and see the foliage in New England!

I cannot leave out Apple picking because to me the apples are best in September and I look forward to picking apples every year.  There are many fall festivals this time of year too.  My favorite apple is a Courtland apple what is your favorite apple?  Did you know that the flavor of the apples comes from the soil and that the seed is the same no matter where it is planted?  I go to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro Mass. to get my apples and they have many activities for the kids too.  Also, do you remember the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”  So eat more apples!

Pumpkins are also available this time of year and are quite fun to cut out or draw faces on them.  Check out this website for a number of ideas to cut up your pumpkins:  http://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/mpatterns.htm.

Red wine for better health.  Did you know that moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to reduce coronary heart disease risk?  Yes, it is true but in moderate amounts.  Red wine is the most beneficial to your heart health.  The best wines to reduce coronary heart disease are Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir. Both Merlots and red zinfandels have fewer flavonoids than their more potent predecessors. White wine had significantly smaller amounts of flavonoids than the red wine varieties. The bottom line is the sweeter the wine, the fewer the flavonoids. Dryer red wines are your best bet for a flavonoid boost.  So have a four ounce glass of red wine every now and then and drink to your health!

Eye Health at any age.  Have you had your eyes checked lately?  Are you having trouble reading or seeing things then it is time to have your eyes checked.  For me it is better to see an ophthalmologist because I have a history of Macular Degeneration in my family but there are many optometrists out there too.  My mother struggled with Macular Degeneration and was very blind and I can still her say “I wish I could see”.  Women are more affected by eye disease and other eye conditions than men and two thirds of blind people are women but this doesn’t mean that men don’t get eye problems they do. Cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and even dry eyes are all more common in women than in men.  Hormonal fluctuations and fertility treatments can cause dry and puffy eyes, leading to increased eye sensitivity. Breast cancer treatments can cause bleeding in the eyes, dry eyes, and cataracts. Diabetes and autoimmune diseases–both of which women are more susceptible to than men–can cause light sensitivity, vision loss, and dry eyes.

Your eyesight is such a precious thing so don’t forget to protect your eyes and get a checkup.  A friend of mine just got a checkup and a Macular hole was found and now he needs surgery which will prevent him from going blind so remember to get your eyes checked.

Colds and Remedies.  Colds this time of year sometimes happen because we get cool weather and then warm weather and I just got a head cold and was able to fight it off with Reliv Innergerize (a sports drink that opens up your cells) chicken noodle soup (my favorite when I have a cold) and orange juice and of course as much rest as I possibly can get and my cold only lasted a few days and I’m feeling great again.  Cold and flu season will be starting soon so think about what you can do to help prevent getting a cold or the flu maybe get more rest or bring a extra sweater or jacket or maybe just carry some hand sanitizer with you.  You could also eat more apples!

Pretty soon it will be time to rake leaves and the air will be colder and the wind will blow more often and snow will come but until then take time to go and play in the leaves with the kids, be with family and friends and relish the moment because this autumn time won’t last forever.  I’m off to enjoy this beautiful weather and go pick some apples!

Annette Presseau          Reliv Distributor           http://annettepresseau.Reliv.com

 

 

 

Summertime in the City – guest blogger Annette Presseau

This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather because before you know it winter will be here!  The days are shorter now but there is still plenty of time to enjoy what summer has to offer.  In the summer I eat more seasonal fruit and lighter meals but very nutritious meals.  It’s always a good idea to look for seasonal fruits in the supermarket or just go to the local Farmers Market and enjoy the bounty!  I also love the feel of cotton clothes in the summer they breathe when it is hot outside.  One of my favorite things to do is go take a walk along the ocean it is such a beautiful sight to see and maybe I will put my feet in the water!  Sometimes I have a picnic on the beach.  This time of year is also a great time to pick fresh fruit like blueberries.  There are also plenty of free concerts in every town and city so get out and enjoy!

Activities to do in the heat of the summer

How about a picnic, and celebrate the joy of healthy eating outdoors. There’s nothing like a refreshing picnic packed with fresh fruits on a hot summer day.

Energize yourself and your family with a bike ride, hike or walk. It’s a great way to sneak in a workout for yourself while enjoying precious family time.

Visit a playground with the kids.  Do you remember how much fun it was when you were a kid to be at a playground?

How about picking up a new project?  What needs to be done around your house?  Maybe paint a room or remove some wallpaper or rearrange some furniture.  You can also check out some craft stores like Michaels and find a new project to do.

Concerts on the common!  Check out your local papers or town hall website for weekly concerts on the common you might be surprised by what is available to you.

How about a cooking class?  You could learn how to BBQ different foods on the grill or even a regular cooking class to update your skills.  There are plenty of classes out there to learn new things even at your local recreation department!

Photography or painting anyone?  Taking a art class or photography class and then you can go out and start taking pictures or painting scenes.

Have a cookout and invite your friends.  Cookouts are a lot of fun and are a great way to get out and enjoy the food and weather.

Sports games outside.  How about going to a baseball game or any other sports game and maybe start one yourself!

As I’m writing this I realize that I should write about what to do when it rains outside and usually when it rains outside I go to the local library or a museum.  Summer rains are really beautiful and if you are lucky you might just see a rainbow after the rain.  What do you do when it rains outside?

A Fruit for thought

How about the Papaya – the power fruit that was once called “the fruit of angels” by Christopher Columbus have you ever tried it?  Usually, I eat Cantaloupe and grapes in the summertime but papaya looks pretty good and I hear that it has a great taste.

There are several types of papayas. In the U.S., we typically see the Hawaiian papayas in our grocery stores. The Hawaiian papaya is approximately one pound, whereas the Mexican fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds!

Benefits

Papaya is one power-packed fruit, offering benefits to your whole body.

·Antioxidants. Papaya is known to be rich in antioxidants and can benefit the immune system because of its high levels of vitamin A and C.

·Fiber. High-fiber fruit can help improve cholesterol. One cup of chunked papaya contains 2.5 grams of fiber.

·Enzymes. The papain enzyme, found in papaya, aids in digestion. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that speeds up the healing process.

How to Eat It

First, you should wait for the papaya to ripen fully so that it offers the most antioxidants. Papaya can be added to anything to give your meal a boost.

It’s National Smile Week! 

Did you ever notice that you can’t be sad when you are smiling?  Smiling also makes you feel better and try spreading some smiles around today so when you pass by people that look stressed give them a smile you will be amazed how that will change a person.  We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and feel good too.

Smiling Changes Our Mood

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.  When someone is smiling they lighten up a room and it shows that you are approachable, a smile changes the moods of others, and make things happier and also the smile is contagious.   I often notice that when I smile at someone they smile back at me.  A smiling person brings happiness with them.  Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action. Who would have thought that just by smiling it can help relieve stress just this afternoon I was feeling stressed and I logged onto Facebook and low and behold there was a smiley looking at me and it made me laugh so smile often and have a good laugh.  It is often said that laughter is the best medicine and I think that a smile is great too!

Smiling Helps you all over.

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed and when you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?  Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.  Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

 

Right now I have a big smile on my face and it’s making me feel a whole lot better.

 

Noise is everywhere.

There is too much noise in the world and I often see people with ear phones who are in their own world and don’t get me wrong electronics are great but what about stopping and looking at the stars at night or listening to a bird sing or children play?  The other day I heard a beautiful bird in my yard and the sound was just astounding and extremely beautiful and I wouldn’t have heard it if my radio or tv was on and I took the time to stop and just listen to it.  Sometimes we need to remember that our problems can be addressed if we just take a moment and stop and smell the roses.  There is just so much noise out there and maybe just maybe it will change your day just to stop, look and listen.

The ease of setting up blogs, Facebook profiles and other digital media channels is so easy and so cheap that literally everyone is doing it.  This means it is easy to get your fifteen minutes of fame, but really really hard to get famous so we spend hours and hours on the computer and I am guilty of this too and suddenly realize that I missed the day and spent too much time on the computer.  Sometimes I think of it as information overload while it is great to have it we must remember to break away from it.  So remember that there is life after computers so stop and talk to someone or just take a break and go for a walk if you can.  Today I stopped with the work I was doing and went to walk along the Merrimack River on the boardwalk and just sat there on a bench for a short time and noticed a beautiful butterfly bouncing around in the cool summer wind the wind kept throwing him away from the grass that he was trying to stay on but he kept on trying to get back to the blade of grass it was a beautiful sight to watch and I felt very relaxed and peaceful.

I would like to leave you with this poem:

“Give me the joys of summer,
Of Summer Queen so fair,
With wealth of lovely flowers
And fruits and sun-kissed air!

Talk not to me of winter
With ice and frost and snow,
Nor changing spring and autumn
When howling winds will blow.

No, I will take the joys
Of Summer every time,
So to this Queen of Seasons
I dedicate my rhyme.”
–  Winifred Sackville Stoner, Midsummer Joys

 

May you have a very healthy August with many blessings and are able to stop and smell the roses!

Annette Presseau    Reliv Distributer

Summertime in the city.

This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather because before you know it winter will be here!  The days are shorter now but there is still plenty of time to enjoy what summer has to offer.  In the summer I eat more seasonal fruit and lighter meals but very nutritious meals.  It’s always a good idea to look for seasonal fruits in the supermarket or just go to the local Farmers Market and enjoy the bounty!  I also love the feel of cotton clothes in the summer they breathe when it is hot outside.  One of my favorite things to do is go take a walk along the ocean it is such a beautiful sight to see and maybe I will put my feet in the water!  Sometimes I have a picnic on the beach.  This time of year is also a great time to pick fresh fruit like blueberries.  There are also plenty of free concerts in every town and city so get out and enjoy!

Activities to do in the heat of the summer

How about a picnic, and celebrate the joy of healthy eating outdoors. There’s nothing like a refreshing picnic packed with fresh fruits on a hot summer day.

Energize yourself and your family with a bike ride, hike or walk. It’s a great way to sneak in a workout for yourself while enjoying precious family time.

Visit a playground with the kids.  Do you remember how much fun it was when you were a kid to be at a playground?

How about picking up a new project?  What needs to be done around your house?  Maybe paint a room or remove some wallpaper or rearrange some furniture.  You can also check out some craft stores like Michaels and find a new project to do.

Concerts on the common!  Check out your local papers or town hall website for weekly concerts on the common you might be surprised by what is available to you.

How about a cooking class?  You could learn how to BBQ different foods on the grill or even a regular cooking class to update your skills.  There are plenty of classes out there to learn new things even at your local recreation department!

Photography or painting anyone?  Taking a art class or photography class and then you can go out and start taking pictures or painting scenes.

Have a cookout and invite your friends.  Cookouts are a lot of fun and are a great way to get out and enjoy the food and weather.

Sports games outside.  How about going to a baseball game or any other sports game and maybe start one yourself!

As I’m writing this I realize that I should write about what to do when it rains outside and usually when it rains outside I go to the local library or a museum.  Summer rains are really beautiful and if you are lucky you might just see a rainbow after the rain.  What do you do when it rains outside?

A Fruit for thought

How about the Papaya – the power fruit that was once called “the fruit of angels” by Christopher Columbus have you ever tried it?  Usually, I eat Cantaloupe and grapes in the summertime but papaya looks pretty good and I hear that it has a great taste.

There are several types of papayas. In the U.S., we typically see the Hawaiian papayas in our grocery stores. The Hawaiian papaya is approximately one pound, whereas the Mexican fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds!

Benefits

Papaya is one power-packed fruit, offering benefits to your whole body.

·Antioxidants. Papaya is known to be rich in antioxidants and can benefit the immune system because of its high levels of vitamin A and C.

·Fiber. High-fiber fruit can help improve cholesterol. One cup of chunked papaya contains 2.5 grams of fiber.

·Enzymes. The papain enzyme, found in papaya, aids in digestion. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that speeds up the healing process.

How to Eat It

First, you should wait for the papaya to ripen fully so that it offers the most antioxidants. Papaya can be added to anything to give your meal a boost.

It’s National Smile Week! 

Did you ever notice that you can’t be sad when you are smiling?  Smiling also makes you feel better and try spreading some smiles around today so when you pass by people that look stressed give them a smile you will be amazed how that will change a person.  We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and feel good too.

Smiling Changes Our Mood

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.  When someone is smiling they lighten up a room and it shows that you are approachable, a smile changes the moods of others, and make things happier and also the smile is contagious.   I often notice that when I smile at someone they smile back at me.  A smiling person brings happiness with them.  Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action. Who would have thought that just by smiling it can help relieve stress just this afternoon I was feeling stressed and I logged onto Facebook and low and behold there was a smiley looking at me and it made me laugh so smile often and have a good laugh.  It is often said that laughter is the best medicine and I think that a smile is great too!

Smiling Helps you all over.

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed and when you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?  Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.  Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

 

Right now I have a big smile on my face and it’s making me feel a whole lot better.

 

Noise is everywhere.

There is too much noise in the world and I often see people with ear phones who are in their own world and don’t get me wrong electronics are great but what about stopping and looking at the stars at night or listening to a bird sing or children play?  The other day I heard a beautiful bird in my yard and the sound was just astounding and extremely beautiful and I wouldn’t have heard it if my radio or tv was on and I took the time to stop and just listen to it.  Sometimes we need to remember that our problems can be addressed if we just take a moment and stop and smell the roses.  There is just so much noise out there and maybe just maybe it will change your day just to stop, look and listen.

The ease of setting up blogs, Facebook profiles and other digital media channels is so easy and so cheap that literally everyone is doing it.  This means it is easy to get your fifteen minutes of fame, but really really hard to get famous so we spend hours and hours on the computer and I am guilty of this too and suddenly realize that I missed the day and spent too much time on the computer.  Sometimes I think of it as information overload while it is great to have it we must remember to break away from it.  So remember that there is life after computers so stop and talk to someone or just take a break and go for a walk if you can.  Today I stopped with the work I was doing and went to walk along the Merrimack River on the boardwalk and just sat there on a bench for a short time and noticed a beautiful butterfly bouncing around in the cool summer wind the wind kept throwing him away from the grass that he was trying to stay on but he kept on trying to get back to the blade of grass it was a beautiful sight to watch and I felt very relaxed and peaceful.

I would like to leave you with this poem:

“Give me the joys of summer,
Of Summer Queen so fair,
With wealth of lovely flowers
And fruits and sun-kissed air!

Talk not to me of winter
With ice and frost and snow,
Nor changing spring and autumn
When howling winds will blow.

No, I will take the joys
Of Summer every time,
So to this Queen of Seasons
I dedicate my rhyme.”
–  Winifred Sackville Stoner, Midsummer Joys

 

May you have a very healthy August with many blessings and are able to stop and smell the roses!

 Annettee Presseau     

Summertime in the city.

This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather because before you know it winter will be here!  The days are shorter now but there is still plenty of time to enjoy what summer has to offer.  In the summer I eat more seasonal fruit and lighter meals but very nutritious meals.  It’s always a good idea to look for seasonal fruits in the supermarket or just go to the local Farmers Market and enjoy the bounty!  I also love the feel of cotton clothes in the summer they breathe when it is hot outside.  One of my favorite things to do is go take a walk along the ocean it is such a beautiful sight to see and maybe I will put my feet in the water!  Sometimes I have a picnic on the beach.  This time of year is also a great time to pick fresh fruit like blueberries.  There are also plenty of free concerts in every town and city so get out and enjoy!

Activities to do in the heat of the summer

How about a picnic, and celebrate the joy of healthy eating outdoors. There’s nothing like a refreshing picnic packed with fresh fruits on a hot summer day.

Energize yourself and your family with a bike ride, hike or walk. It’s a great way to sneak in a workout for yourself while enjoying precious family time.

Visit a playground with the kids.  Do you remember how much fun it was when you were a kid to be at a playground?

How about picking up a new project?  What needs to be done around your house?  Maybe paint a room or remove some wallpaper or rearrange some furniture.  You can also check out some craft stores like Michaels and find a new project to do.

Concerts on the common!  Check out your local papers or town hall website for weekly concerts on the common you might be surprised by what is available to you.

How about a cooking class?  You could learn how to BBQ different foods on the grill or even a regular cooking class to update your skills.  There are plenty of classes out there to learn new things even at your local recreation department!

Photography or painting anyone?  Taking a art class or photography class and then you can go out and start taking pictures or painting scenes.

Have a cookout and invite your friends.  Cookouts are a lot of fun and are a great way to get out and enjoy the food and weather.

Sports games outside.  How about going to a baseball game or any other sports game and maybe start one yourself!

As I’m writing this I realize that I should write about what to do when it rains outside and usually when it rains outside I go to the local library or a museum.  Summer rains are really beautiful and if you are lucky you might just see a rainbow after the rain.  What do you do when it rains outside?

A Fruit for thought

How about the Papaya – the power fruit that was once called “the fruit of angels” by Christopher Columbus have you ever tried it?  Usually, I eat Cantaloupe and grapes in the summertime but papaya looks pretty good and I hear that it has a great taste.

There are several types of papayas. In the U.S., we typically see the Hawaiian papayas in our grocery stores. The Hawaiian papaya is approximately one pound, whereas the Mexican fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds!

Benefits

Papaya is one power-packed fruit, offering benefits to your whole body.

·Antioxidants. Papaya is known to be rich in antioxidants and can benefit the immune system because of its high levels of vitamin A and C.

·Fiber. High-fiber fruit can help improve cholesterol. One cup of chunked papaya contains 2.5 grams of fiber.

·Enzymes. The papain enzyme, found in papaya, aids in digestion. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that speeds up the healing process.

How to Eat It

First, you should wait for the papaya to ripen fully so that it offers the most antioxidants. Papaya can be added to anything to give your meal a boost.

It’s National Smile Week! 

Did you ever notice that you can’t be sad when you are smiling?  Smiling also makes you feel better and try spreading some smiles around today so when you pass by people that look stressed give them a smile you will be amazed how that will change a person.  We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and feel good too.

Smiling Changes Our Mood

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.  When someone is smiling they lighten up a room and it shows that you are approachable, a smile changes the moods of others, and make things happier and also the smile is contagious.   I often notice that when I smile at someone they smile back at me.  A smiling person brings happiness with them.  Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action. Who would have thought that just by smiling it can help relieve stress just this afternoon I was feeling stressed and I logged onto Facebook and low and behold there was a smiley looking at me and it made me laugh so smile often and have a good laugh.  It is often said that laughter is the best medicine and I think that a smile is great too!

Smiling Helps you all over.

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed and when you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?  Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.  Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

 

Right now I have a big smile on my face and it’s making me feel a whole lot better.

 

Noise is everywhere.

There is too much noise in the world and I often see people with ear phones who are in their own world and don’t get me wrong electronics are great but what about stopping and looking at the stars at night or listening to a bird sing or children play?  The other day I heard a beautiful bird in my yard and the sound was just astounding and extremely beautiful and I wouldn’t have heard it if my radio or tv was on and I took the time to stop and just listen to it.  Sometimes we need to remember that our problems can be addressed if we just take a moment and stop and smell the roses.  There is just so much noise out there and maybe just maybe it will change your day just to stop, look and listen.

The ease of setting up blogs, Facebook profiles and other digital media channels is so easy and so cheap that literally everyone is doing it.  This means it is easy to get your fifteen minutes of fame, but really really hard to get famous so we spend hours and hours on the computer and I am guilty of this too and suddenly realize that I missed the day and spent too much time on the computer.  Sometimes I think of it as information overload while it is great to have it we must remember to break away from it.  So remember that there is life after computers so stop and talk to someone or just take a break and go for a walk if you can.  Today I stopped with the work I was doing and went to walk along the Merrimack River on the boardwalk and just sat there on a bench for a short time and noticed a beautiful butterfly bouncing around in the cool summer wind the wind kept throwing him away from the grass that he was trying to stay on but he kept on trying to get back to the blade of grass it was a beautiful sight to watch and I felt very relaxed and peaceful.

I would like to leave you with this poem:

“Give me the joys of summer,
Of Summer Queen so fair,
With wealth of lovely flowers
And fruits and sun-kissed air!

Talk not to me of winter
With ice and frost and snow,
Nor changing spring and autumn
When howling winds will blow.

No, I will take the joys
Of Summer every time,
So to this Queen of Seasons
I dedicate my rhyme.”
–  Winifred Sackville Stoner, Midsummer Joys

May you have a very healthy August with many blessings and are able to stop and smell the roses!

 ——Annette Presseau    http://annettepresseau.Reliv.com

Hot Days in the Summertime – guest blogger Annette Presseau

 Comment – Whether we are just enjoying the summer, preparing to sell our home, or searching for a home, staying healthy is important.  It helps you to have the energy for all those things and more.    Thanks to our guest blogger (Annette Presseau)  for reminding us how to stay safe and healthy —Joan Parcewski  Woods Real Estate 

Well summer is here and we definitely are having some very hot summer days it’s great to be able to be outside and enjoy this beautiful weather.  What do you like to do in the summertime?  Do you have a specific thing that you do that brings you joy?  Summertime can mean a time to head out to the beach, grab a spot on the sand and pick up a new book or get outside and play summer activities like biking, roller skating, tennis, swimming just to name a few or just plain walking.  What do you like to do for summer activities?  I love to pick blueberries and eat fresh fruit in the summer.  Always remember to put suntan lotion on before you go out in the sun.  After being out in the summer sun you just might need a cool drink of water or maybe a sports drink to avoid dehydration.

 

Sports Drinks – which one works best for you?

Isotonic sports drinks are essential for active lifestyles. When the body sweats, it loses water and nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. With this loss also comes the loss of energy, which could cause you to feel drained. Isotonic sports drinks can help – and give you the edge you need to maximize your workouts.

Balancing Electrolytes

The body needs water of course, and that is the main ingredient of most isotonic sports drinks. Dehydration can occur when the body loses more fluids than it gains. If you sweat even a minimal amount, water may not be enough to replenish fluids you have lost. Isotonic sports drinks provide the body with both fluids and electrolytes, including sodium to help absorb and retain those fluids.

Increasing Energy

Your body needs carbohydrates (sugars) to stay energized and sports drinks provide the right amount to continue with exercise without a sugar crash. By replacing carbohydrates, you can complete your activity without fizzling out due to exhaustion. The sodium in these drinks also allows for the body to replenish its fluids faster, delivering the energy and endurance to finish a workout without having to push yourself too hard.

Now that you have read your book and went outside to play and taken your sports drink how about something to eat?

What Should I Eat After a Workout?

Carefully choosing what you eat after you work out can magnify the benefits of exercising.

Your post-workout nutritional needs include fluids, carbohydrates and protein. This is true not just for the endurance athletes and serious bodybuilders but for the general exercise enthusiast also. Each provides distinct benefits:

Fluids. Hydration helps restore fluids lost from sweating.

Carbohydrates. Carbs help restore glycogen, which provides fuel that muscles need for continued training.

Protein. Protein and amino acids help rebuild muscle tissue.

You can satisfy your post-workout nutritional needs by eating a meal or a snack, or you can choose a protein shake that also contains carbohydrates. The Mayo Clinic lists yogurt and fruit, cheese and crackers or a peanut butter sandwich as snacks that can meet your post-workout nutritional needs.

But for those who don’t want to eat after exercising, protein shakes are one of the best options for post-workout nutrition and in my opinion everybody can benefit from protein shakes besides being good for you they can enhance athletic performance and endurance, and help the body recover and repair.

Post-Workout Nutrition

Dozens of brands of protein shakes are available; they vary in the types and amount of protein and carbohydrate levels they contain. Milk, soy, whey and casein are some of the protein sources in shakes. Soy protein is as effective as other sources of protein but has the added benefit of containing antioxidants that are beneficial to health.

Soy protein increases muscle mass, reduces fatigue and burns fat for increased energy.

Nutritional studies have found that soy protein can lower total cholesterol levels and lower the “bad” cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This important benefit, while not necessary for post-workout nutritional needs, may lead some people to choose soy over other proteins for their shakes.

If your nutritional drink has the combination of protein and carbohydrates it will enable the body to store more glycogen for your muscles.

The top priority for post-workout nutritional needs is replacing fluids lost during exercise in order to prevent dehydration, and water generally is considered the primary way to replace fluids. But intense workouts lasting an hour or more require a sports drink for better hydration.

Summer Glowing Skin

Wouldn’t you like to have a summer glowing skin and still get some sunshine? A painful sunburn isn’t how you want to remember a day at the pool. Unfortunately, getting sunburned is much more common that it ought to be. It would be great to be out in the sunshine and still have soft smooth skin that glows.

A recent survey conducted by the Skin Cancer Foundation found that 42% of people get sunburn at least once a year. But besides the stinging sensation, the peeling and blistering, what’s the harm in getting burned? Research shows that a person’s risk for melanoma — the most serious form of skin cancer — doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns. Anyone can get skin cancer, but some factors put you at higher risk, including:

• lighter natural skin color

• personal history of skin cancer

• family history of melanoma

• exposure to the sun through work and play

• history of sunburns early in life

• skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun

• blue or green eyes

• naturally blond or red hair

Here are some Golden Rules for a Golden Glow

1. Slather on. With an SPF of 45+, even the fairest of beach bums all can hang out in the sun for a couple of hours without reapplying.

2. Cover up. When you’re not in the pool, call in reinforcements for extra protection. Floppy hats, large umbrellas and beach cover-ups can really do the trick. I find it fun to wear different hats and keep a few in my car to wear at the beach.

3. Fake out. Don’t lie in the sun purposefully seeking a tan. This is not only damaging to your skin in the long term, but you’ll likely burn the first few times you try it. Take time to be in the sun go for 15 minutes at a time and did you know that you can tan even in the shade?  You can increase the time you spend in the sun as the days or weeks go by.

Know the Lingo

Terminology on sunscreen labels can be confusing. SPF actually isn’t an ingredient in sunblock or sunscreen. It stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a number that indicates how well a product blocks UVB rays.

A product with an SPF higher than 15 is called a sunblock. Anything lower is called a sunscreen. To estimate out how long you can stay in the sun with a given SPF, you can use this equation: # of minutes you typically take to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time.

However, you should always err on the side of caution. Most people tend to use less sunscreen than the amount used in testing, which will throw things off. If you’re going to be outside for a while, bring sunscreen with you and reapply often.

Supplement your Skin Care

To maximize skin health for a youthful glow that lasts year-round, be sure to add skin lotions in your beauty regimen. Find a skin lotion that will benefit from an exclusive combination of potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and essential fatty acids that work to combat environmental damage, slow the aging process and nourish your skin at the cellular level.  At night add skin lotion before you go to bed or early in the evening so that your skin will have time to absorb it.

School is out now what to do with the kids?

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the pools are open. It’s summer! But as the school year comes to an end, parents know they’ll soon hear the pitter patter of little feet scampering through the house again. Or worse yet, “I’m bored!” Don’t worry. These tips will keep your little ones happy, healthy and entertained all summer long!

Get Growin’

Plant a garden. Homegrown produce saves you money and is less likely to have food safety issues. Kids will enjoy digging, watering and running outside each day to check on the progress.

Try this all summer long! Add your freshly grown fruits and veggies to a delicious smoothie!

Get Thinkin’

School’s out, but you can still challenge your kids with some at-home critical thinking activities.

Try this at the pool! For those days when the kids wake you up and they’re already in their swimsuits, dive into hands-on experiments with H2O. Get together various objects from around the house, and ask kids to predict which ones will sink and which will float. Ask them why. Then toss them in!

Grab containers of various sizes and shapes and a measuring cup. Then ask kids how many cups they think each one will take to fill. These activities teach lessons in counting, measurement and the conservation of volume.

Get Cookin’

Ask your young one to be your chef for the day. Spending time together in the kitchen provides the perfect opportunity to talk about nutrition and how various types of foods contribute to our health, growth and overall well-being.

Try this in the kitchen! For a sweet snack, make homemade fudgesicles.

Remember to give your children nutritional supplements to deliver key nutrients essential to the development of a child’s brain, eyes and nervous system. Give your kids a healthy start with nutritional supplements or vitamins or come up with ideas to make vegetables more appetizing.

The Health Benefits of Soy

Soy is one superfood that continues to gain attention for its many health benefits. Studies have illustrated soy’s ability to improve bone health, alleviate menopausal symptoms and reduce risk of some diseases.

Recent scientific breakthroughs have uncovered even further benefits of soy for cardiovascular health, weight loss and skin care.

1. Lunasin is nutritional “magic” for cardio health.

In 1999, the FDA approved a health claim that “25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This claim was based on research findings that soy-based diets reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

However, it wasn’t until recently that science uncovered the nutritional “magic” behind soy’s cholesterol-lowering abilities. Studies show lunasin, a naturally occurring peptide found in soy, is largely responsible. Lunasin works to lower cholesterol in two ways:

·disrupts the production of cholesterol in the liver

·improves the liver’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream

2. Protein and peptides are heavy hitters for weight loss.

For many years, dieters have relied on the mighty soybean to aid in weight loss efforts. It made sense because soy is high in protein and fiber for satiety, while also low in fat. But a study showed that soy also packs a powerful one-two punch for weight loss by addressing both food intake and calorie burning.

3. Antioxidant promotes supple skin.

Studies suggest the combination of consuming soy and applying it topically may provide a host of skin benefits. Soy’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce the redness caused by acne and sun exposure. It also helps promote the synthesis of collagen and improves skin elasticity. Soy even improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Skincare products with soy can help reduce wrinkles, skin discoloration and inflammation when used over time.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501115010.htm

http://www.soyconnection.com/newsletters/soy-connection/health-nutrition/article.php/Oral+and+Topical+Use+of+Soy+May+Provide+Skin+Benefits?id=271

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Cosmetics-companies-get-in-on-soy-s-skin-benefits-1608610.php

http://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2007-12/view_supplier-research/lunasin-demonstrates-cholesterol-lowering-properti/

http://newhope360.com/study-soy-labs-lunasin-demonstrates-its-cholesterol-lowering-properties

http://www.lunasin.com/About/CardiovascularResearch.aspx

Tips for healthy aging

Challenge Your Brain. The saying “use it or lose it” applies to your brain. People often stop challenging their brains after retirement. Challenge your mind with the sudoku or crossword puzzle in the newspaper. Forcing those neurons to work in a fun way keeps you focused and alert. Do some extra challenging Saturday morning crosswords.

Laugh Often. Laughter reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins — “feel good” hormones — in the brain. Laughing with others strengthens relationships, and studies have shown that strong friendships can increase your longevity.

Eat More Fat. Who would have thought anyone would tell you to add fat to your diet? Good fats like Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to keep your bones strong, reduce the effects of inflammation and contribute to healthy skin. Omega-3’s are found in foods like fish, pine nuts, and avocados.

Getting a good night’s sleep

Do you get a good night’s sleep?  We all have trouble sometimes getting to sleep at night.  How much sleep do you need?  Some people don’t need a lot of sleep while others need 8 to 10 hours of sleep.  Research tells us that uninterrupted, deep sleep contributes to good physical health and emotional well-being at any age.

Statistics show that one out of every two adults struggle with some degree of insomnia, which means over 13 percent of our population is not sleeping well. Here are some simple tips you may have heard before so put them into practice now and you may sleep like a baby once more.

1) A bed fit for a king (or queen!).

Create an environment that invites a good night’s rest. You could purchase a luxurious sized mattress — at least a queen if you’re single, king sized for couples — or consider adjoining mattresses that can sit one box-spring if your partner is a restless sleeper. Add a goose down comforter and extra fluffy pillows and you have a great beginning to a good night’s rest.

2) Some like it hot. Some like it cold.

Creating an inviting sleep environment isn’t just about the mattress. It includes setting the proper room temperature, air flow and humidity level. The Rule of thumb is if you have a partner who likes it cold, the room has to be kept on the cool side. It’s much easier to add layers to warm up than deal with being overly hot.

3) The sounds of silence.

Next is the ambiance. How about a white-noise machine — the kind found in therapists’ waiting rooms or the ones that create waves, rain or bird chirping sounds – which is more conducive to sleep than complete quiet.

4) Dim, dark or in-between.

Find out the amount of light most suitable for your sleep and keep this type of lighting constant even as the sun comes up. Use black out shades if you like it dark, or a night-light if you prefer it dim.

5) Electronics must snooze too.

Televisions, radios, iPods, iPads, computers and even cell phones need to be out of reach so that you can disconnect — literally and psychologically. You may be surprised how the awareness and availability of stimulation keep us from falling deeply asleep. Removing that option to connect to lets us stay relaxed right through the night.

6) Keep your brain asleep.

So what happens if you awaken unexpectedly? Do not let your brain wake up completely as you adjust your body, your bedding, not even as you find your way to the bathroom. Keep one eye closed, using only the other eye half open to guide you. Do not turn on a light. Do not look at your clock to check the time. Do not send the signal to your brain that it needs to wake up. If you trick your body and brain that it is still in a sleep state you are more likely to get back into deep sleep more easily.

7) Bedtime rituals

Lastly, find what works for you and stick with it. Take a bath, read a book or snuggle with your mate. But, whatever your ritual is, use it routinely to fall asleep.

Put these changes into practice and see if they help you get a better night rest.

Want to read more on this subject then check out the website: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/face-it/201203/sleep-baby-any-age

Gluten Free or not . . . .

Over the past decade, gluten-free diets have moved from a relatively unknown concept to a mainstream way of life. Even Oprah went gluten-free for a while – and if she’s doing it, you know it’s only a matter of time before everyone is. But even with an increasing awareness of gluten and the FDA’s recent gluten-free labeling guidelines, many people are still confused about gluten. Consult your doctor to make sure you have an allergy to Gluten and unless you have an allergy to it you shouldn’t start a gluten-free diet.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Most notably, gluten causes inflammation of the intestines in those with celiac, a genetic disease. People with celiac disease, gluten allergies or even gluten sensitivity can experience intestinal discomfort, diarrhea and unhealthy weight loss. The protein can even cause reactions in the skin, mouth and lungs of people with a gluten allergy. The best way to alleviate these symptoms is to simply avoid foods containing gluten.

Gluten-Free Risks

Nutritionists do not recommend eliminating gluten from your diet unless you absolutely must. This is because eliminating wheat and related grains can mean missing vital nutrients. Unless these vitamins and minerals are replaced through other foods or nutritional supplements, a gluten-free diet can be risky. These nutrients include:

Calcium – necessary for bone density and prevention of osteoporosis.

Folate – contributes to healthy blood glucose and blood pressure levels and helps the body ward of fatigue.

Iron – necessary for many body functions such as oxygen transport and metabolism.

Niacin – shown to help the body maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Riboflavin – necessary for normal cell function, growth and energy production as well as cognitive function.

Thiamin – involved in numerous body functions, including nervous system and muscle functioning.

You can substitute wheat flour with rice or corn flour. Also try incorporating gluten-free grains quinoa and amaranth into your diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to avoid fiber deficiency as well.

 

Summer-proof your workout…..

When temperatures rise, it’s easy to let your workout fall to the wayside. But fret not, workout buffs. These tips will summer-proof your workout.

1. Hydrate. Hydrate properly throughout the day — if you’re thirsty, you may already be dehydrated! When you sweat, your body loses important electrolytes. Add the sizzling summer heat and you’re at serious risk for dehydration. After a workout, water alone probably won’t meet your needs. Instead, reach for an isotonic sports drink with at least 50mg sodium and 30mg potassium per serving as well as a carbohydrate such as fructose to boost energy production.

2. Plan Ahead. Heading out for a long run at noon on the hottest day of the year isn’t smart. Instead, plan your workouts around the sun — head out in the morning or evening when the sun is the weakest. Make the best of a rainy day and enjoy a refreshing jog. If you do workout during peak sun time on a clear day, avoid reflective surfaces like sand that will attract reflect UV rays.

3. Protect. When planning your summer workout, don’t forget about the largest organ of your body — your skin. Suntans are so last year! Now, proper skin protection is all the rage. When you head outside, use a sweat proof sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

4. Dress-Up. Jogging in sweat-soaked cotton clothing can make even a leisurely jog feel like boot camp. Avoid this pitfall by donning moisture wicking workout gear that pulls sweat away from your skin. Dark colors will protect you from harmful UV rays, and don’t forget to protect your scalp with a hat!

5. Avoid Heat Stroke. Here are some signs to look for:

● Hot, flushed skin and a lack of sweat

● Headache

● Disorientation

● Trouble breathing

Follow these tips and you won’t melt like a Popsicle in the sun this summer!

Fruit as a smart summer snack

The nectarine is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fruit of the month for July – and they’re a great source of nutrients necessary for optimal health!  Other fruits are also great to eat in the summertime like Blueberries and they are very healthy for you so mix it up but don’t overdo it because you will be spending your time in the bathroom!  Nectarines have these ingredients.

Vitamin A. This retinoid plays a key role in cellular growth and vision.

Vitamin C. This antioxidant is necessary for the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. It also has been shown to prevent or reduce the duration of the common cold.

Fiber. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, dietary fiber promotes longevity by decreasing risk of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases. Fiber’s widespread benefits also include aiding digestion and promoting weight loss.

Niacin. This B vitamin helps convert carbohydrates into usable energy and plays an important role in the nervous system, digestive system. It also promotes skin, hair and eye health. Many studies show niacin may even increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

Tips for adding to nectarines to your day:

Snack on the go.Grab a nectarine and a handful of nuts for a quick bite with plenty of fiber and protein.

July is Park & Recreation Month…..

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. If you like to go camping check out parks in your area and have fun in the sun! Did you know that 70 percent of people have a park or recreation facility within walking distance of their home? These areas are the center of
communities where people play, relax, and grow. They are where dreams are born and creativity flourishes.

Parks provide many recreation activity programs, athletic leagues, special events, arts programs, and environmental education programs, ensuring that all Americans have access to safe, affordable physical activity opportunities. From walking, biking, or hiking in a park to paddling a canoe or enjoying a healthy picnic with family and friends – there are dozens of fun and easy ways for you to enjoy parks and recreation facilities in your own community.

July is National Ice Cream Month (Yummm!)

Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. He also named the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. Reagan recognized the popularity of ice cream in the United States (90% of the nation’s population consumes ice cream) and stated that these two events should be observed with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”  About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.

July is also National Blueberry Month…. (double Yummm!)

Since 1999, July has been National Blueberry Month! The United States Department of Agriculture decided that the blueberry was worthy of having its own month of celebration, and July seemed like the perfect choice because that is when they are at the height of their harvest.

So, why do blueberries deserve their own special month? What is so special about them? Well, to begin with, these berries are grown throughout a good percentage of the United States. Over 90% of all of the blueberries in the world are produced in our country, in thirty-five states.

And the nutritional value of blueberries cannot be beat by any other fruit or vegetable. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which have been scientifically proven to help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. They are also excellent sources of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Plus, they are low in calories-one cup of berries is only about 80 calories. And were you aware that blueberries are virtually fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free?

Fresh blueberries can usually be found at grocery stores and farmer’s markets from about mid-April through October.

You can also make your own blueberry pie filling with fresh berries.

Fresh or frozen, blueberries can be used in hundreds of ways. Add them to muffins and pancakes to make breakfast a little more special or make a blueberry pie. Toss them in the blender with some milk and ice to make a smoothie. The options are endless!

Sources:

http://www.blueberry.org/USDA%20Proclamation.htm

http://www.classbrain.com/artholiday/publish/article_348.shtml

http://www.blueberry.org/faq.htm

Have a wonderful July get outside and enjoy everything that is offered and protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.  I’m off to sit out in the sun with my book and my snack

 

Annette Presseau      Reliv    http://annettepresseau.Reliv.com

Mind Over Matter – Eye & Skin Health & More….

Our guest blogger Annette Presseau from Reliv is back with some great reminders and tips to keep us healthy so we can do all those great outdoor activities like the beach, grilling, and more.  Good health means good attitude means you are able to do all those things you want to do and you like to do. 

Mind over matter

Can your mind control your pain?  Have you ever had a time when you were in pain and you told your subconscious mind that it is not too painful and it worked?  Well according to the book The Mindbody Prescription by John E. Sarno, M.D. your mind possibly can control your pain.  The book is about healing the body, healing the pain and using your mind to do it.  It is a very interesting book to read on how the mind affects us with pain unconsciously and the ways to combat the pain that we have.  When I think of it the mind is a pretty amazing thing.  The pain is very real but what if my mind is causing it for whatever reason and if I can control what my mind is thinking maybe the pain will go away and not come back.  It is a very interesting theory and possibly might be a way for me to control my Psoriasis.  Time will tell.  What do you think about this theory?  Is it possible for the mind to control our pain?

5 Essential Nutrients for Men

Most men tend to neglect themselves when it comes to their health consider changing your lifestyle just a bit to include some nutrients so that you can live a long healthy life.  If you’re 40 and older maybe it’s time to look at essential nutrients for men on this website:  http://newhope360.com/men/5-essential-nutrients-men  like a B Complex, Fish Oil, Lycopene, Magnesium, and Vitamin D.  Men sometimes neglect their bodies by working too hard, playing sports and grabbing the wrong food instead of eating the right food and with age sometimes health conditions occur.  If you would like to read more on men’s health check out this Reliv Blog http://blog.reliv.com/nutrition/science-health/more-on-mens-health/.  This blog covers a whole bunch of nutrients must haves for men of any age besides looking at skin health as well as dieting tips. 

June is Men’s Health Month.  There are so many diseases that can be prevented if only they were detected early so help the man in your life to get a checkup and if you don’t have a special person in your life to help you get a checkup then step up to the plate and get a checkup.

 

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.  Check out this website: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/.

Headaches are you prone to them?

There can be triggers in your home that may cause you to have headaches do you know what they are?  Most of the time headaches are caused by lighting and smells.  Here are some simple ways to relive your headache:  turn down the lights, change your light bulbs to dim incandescent bulbs because they emit a steadier more muted light, get rid of hidden allergens because more than half the homes have six or more detectable allergens some research shows that dust, dander and mold are culprits (you need to purchase a good vacuum cleaner and air purifier), run a dehumidifier and wash bedding weekly in hot water and to eliminate strong smells believe it or not pollutants are two to five times higher indoors.  Masking odors with scented candles and air fresheners often makes matters worse, as many of these products contain the same volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are in paint fumes and floor varnish, according to new research.  Crack your windows regularly, choose unscented, nontoxic cleaners, and trash products that are a few years old—their containers can begin to leak.  Pick low-VOC paints and avoid buying furniture made from particleboard, because it may release the VOC formaldehyde. If you have smells you can’t control (like cigarette smoke coming from a neighbor’s condo), use an air purifier with a carbon filter, which cuts down on headache-causing odors.  The super bright screens of some glowing gizmos (laptops, tablets) carry the same hazards as bright lights—their white glow can overstimulate the brain.  Take a break every 20 minutes from your computer to reduce the likelihood of getting a headache.

Eye Health

Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses.  Did you know that Macular Degeneration can be possibly prevented by just wearing sunglasses and that 40% of all seniors get Macular Degeneration?  So wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Sunglasses should totally eliminate “ultraviolet” UV rays, reduce or eliminate blue light, reduce light intensity, eliminate horizontal glare, and your eyes from all directions.  Make sure your sunglasses block 100% UV-A and UV-B.  Wearing a hat helps too.  Just as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin, they can also harm the lens and cornea of the eyes.  Magular Degeneration can also be hereditary which I have found out in my family that it is hereditary my mother had it around the age of 50 and two of my brothers have the gene.  There is no cure yet maybe someday there will be I hope.  Your eyes are so precious I often remember my mother telling me “if only I had my eyesight”.

UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataracts which cloud the eye’s lens and lead to diminished eyesight. It has also been linked to macular degeneration, a treatable, but incurable disease of the macula, a part of the retina that is essential for sharp vision.

Sunlight that bounces off highly reflective surfaces such as snow, water, sand, or pavement can be especially dangerous.

Photokeratitis is a corneal sunburn (tiny blisters form on the surface of the cornea) that’s also known as snow blindness. As the name suggests, skiers and snowboarders are particularly vulnerable to this temporary but acutely painful condition.

Sunglasses play a vital role in shielding the fragile tissue around the eye, according to W. Lee Ball Jr., OD, an optometrist at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This skin, including the eyelid itself, is very thin and vulnerable to skin cancer, and that’s especially troubling since dermatologists are reporting an epidemic in all types of skin cancer,” Ball says.

Sunglasses will not only protect against basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma but also against the formation of wrinkles like crow’s feet and the unsightly thickening of the skin that can sometimes be caused by UV exposure.

Skin Health

This is a no brainer wear sun screen when you are outside.  You might think that this is not important but it is very important.  Recently I came across an elderly person who is riddled with sun cancer spots on his skin and has to go to the doctor’s office to get them removed.  Skin cancer is nothing to fool with and we all should protect our skin.

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. It is estimated that over 1 million new cases occur annually. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. It has also been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once.

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal.

The term “skin cancer” refers to three different conditions. From the least to the most dangerous, they are:

To this day I know of three people who have melanoma and regret not protecting themselves when they were younger so protect your skin.  Check out the sunscreen reviews on this website for more information:  http://www.consumersearch.com/sunscreen/review.

Grilling Time

It’s that time of year to start grilling if you haven’t already started doing so but what about doing healthy grilling like instead of grilling a hamburger grill a turkey burger with grilled vegetables and maybe a sweet potato there are plenty of ways that everyone can grill healthier.   Lately, I’ve been grilling fruit like apples and they are really great tasting grilled!  Be aware that the grill’s high temperature can trigger substances in the muscle proteins of meat, chicken and fish to produce cancer-linked chemicals known as HCAs (Hetero-Cyclic-Amines) — especially if the meat is charred or well done.  I have a grilling book to know how to cook foods on the grill and it is called Better Homes and Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook and I also have an insert which is a cooking chart for a quick reference that I found in a magazine and I refer to this when I cook on the grill.  I found this book to be invaluable.

To lower the amount in your BBQ food, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep      gas jets low or wait until the charcoal      turns into glowing embers before you start cooking.
  • Trim      all fat and marinate your meat.
  • Flip      meat often.
  • Enjoy      kabobs. Small pieces of chicken, fish      and lean beef cook faster and spend less time on the grill (and therefore      produce fewer HCAs than large breasts and steaks).
  • Scrape      off and discard visible charred pieces.
  • Shorten      grilling time — by slightly precooking meat in      the oven or microwave.

 

Organic Stuff

Organic products have become one of the fastest growing industries in the country, offering high quality food and household products without additives and pesticides that affect the environment. Sounds good, right? The only problem is that these products can be more expensive than their regular counterparts. Here are some tips that you can use when you go to the market that will allow you to get high quality products and save at the same time.

The first thing to remember is that you don’t need to buy everything organic. Products such as dried pasta and beans might taste a little better when organic but you can save some money by sticking to their conventional equivalent. When buying organic, it’s best to stick to the basics: meats, dairy and produce. These groceries offer the biggest change when compared to their conventional counter parts.

Let’s go a little further in depth about produce. Every year, the USDA releases a list called the “dirty dozen”. These are the twelve pieces of produce that absorb the highest amount of pesticides and chemicals from the growth environment. These items are:

Apples, Peaches, Celery, Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes, Pears and Spinach

When you are shopping for organic produce, make sure that these are the first things on your list. Along with this, there are fruits and vegetables that absorb less chemicals and pesticides. While it would be better to purchase these products organic, you can buy these conventional and save. These products include:

Onions, Corn, Pineapples, Avocados, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Mangos, Eggplants, Cantaloupes, Kiwis, Cabbage, Watermelons, Mushrooms, Grapefruits and Sweet Potatoes

When you start your organic shopping spree, look for the store brand products first. They offer the same high quality that more well known products do but at a lower price. Many stores are also offering their own line of organics, which will help lower the cost even further. This practice is especially true for individuals that purchase frozen food. Name brand organic frozen food can be very expensive and should probably be avoided. If you are going to go organic, make your own dinners from scratch. If you are going to buy organic products, you might as well use them right?

One thing to look out for when you are shopping at your grocery store is the USDA “Certified Organic” label. The USDA has a thorough inspection process that farms must pass through to be organic and only products with that label will pass inspection. Many items at the market now feature labels that say “natural” or “all-natural”. While many of these products are very good, they might not be organic. Make sure you look for the label!

The next time you go to the supermarket, you might want to check out organic products. They offer excellent health benefits along with even greater flavor than your usual food. Just keep some of these tips in mind when you are shopping for them and you can save money on organic food too!

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic source for fresh, seasonal, locally produced foods, and what’s better is they’re cropping up in more places than ever. Chances are there’s a market within 20 miles of your house.  With warmer weather on the horizon, everyone is migrating towards the outdoors, and there is no better place to enjoy the Spring than checking out the ever-growing areas of Farmer’s Markets.  Farmer’s Markets can have live music, bread, jams, tomatoes, fresh eggs, cheese, handmade stuff just to name a few things and you get to meet the farmers too. All in all, the market gives back more than it receives, and I urge you to go and check it out. Good times had by all are almost guaranteed.  Check out the Billerica Farmers Market here:  http://www.billericafarmersmarket.org/  but there are many other Farmers Markets in Massachusetts and here is the website to check out where the others are:  http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm.  See you at the Farmer’s Market!

Sprained Ankles (Ouch!)

Fun in the sun, hot weather, beach trips, flip flops, and outdoor exercise can sometimes attribute to a sprained ankle.  Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries that occur to people of all ages and abilities. You might ask how does this happen?

  • By awkwardly planting the foot when running, stepping up or down, or during simple tasks such as getting out of bed

 

  • Stepping on a surface that is irregular, such as stepping in a hole

 

  • Athletic events when one player steps on another player (A common example is a basketball player who goes up for a rebound and comes down on top of another player’s foot. This can cause the rebounder’s foot to roll inward.)

 

  • Inversion injuries, in which the foot rolls inward, are more common than eversion injuries (also referred to as a high ankle sprain), in which the foot twists outward

 

Check out this website on ankle sprains for more information: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ankle_sprain/page2_em.htm#Ankle%20Sprain%20Causes

 

So be careful and watch how you step to avoid being at the emergency room or a doctor’s office and not being able to enjoy this beautiful summer weather.

 

June is . . . . National Safety Month to educate people about preventable injuries and death.  Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death among our nation’s teens?  And that most falls are preventable?  Check out the National Safety Council on what National Safety Month is all about: http://www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Pages/home.aspx?VanUrl=nsm.

June is also Internet Safety Month…. The NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) research released in November 2011 found that less than half of the U.S. population (46%) reports that they feel safe from viruses, malware and hackers while roughly half (48%) of parents are not completely confident that their kids can use the Internet safely (http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-home/research-and-resources). This data shows that Americans should further embrace their shared responsibility in making the Internet safer. Additionally, as young peoples’ online use increases during summer break parents should remain committed to teaching their children how to stay safe online. To help with this, NCSA advises Web users to follow the below steps when accessing the Internet:

  1. STOP: Before      using the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to      spot potential problems.
  2. THINK: Take a      moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and      consider how your actions online could impact your safety, your kids’      safety or that of your family.
  3. CONNECT: Enjoy the      Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to      safeguard yourself, your family and your computer.

Youth ages 8 to 18 spend upwards of 8 hours a day on the Internet while adults spend an even greater amount of time each day on the Internet.

June is National Pet Adoption Month…..This was done as a way to commemorate and encourage adoption of shelter pets.  Daily there are hundreds of deserving pets just waiting to be adopted by loving families.  Visit a shelter and pick out a great companion that will promise to give you love and happiness.  Did you know that Pets can decrease your blood pressure, Cholesterol levels, Triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness and pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities and opportunities for socialization.

A pet is certainly a great friend. After a difficult day, pet owners quite literally feel the love.

In fact, for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits like helping to lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety and they also boost our immunity.

Allergy Fighters

“The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided,” says researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies and asthma.

If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies — 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation.

Date Magnets (Ok guys this is your chance!)

Dogs are great for making love connections. Forget Internet matchmaking — a dog is a natural conversation starter.

This especially helps ease people out of social isolation or shyness.  People will talk about the breed of the dog and the tricks the dog does and even the conversation will become a real social event.

Dogs for the Aged

“Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart.

Walking a dog or just caring for a pet — for elderly people who are able — can provide exercise and companionship.

Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. “The benefit is especially pronounced when people are strongly attached to their pets,” says researcher Judith Siegel, PhD.

In one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets.

Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine — nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties, he tells WebMD.

People take drugs like heroin and cocaine to raise serotonin and dopamine, but the healthy way to do it is to pet your dog, or hug your spouse, watch sunsets, or get around something beautiful in nature.

Good for the Heart

Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners, researchers say.

So, check out your pet shelter in your neighborhood and get out and have some fun!

 

 

June is National Dairy Month…..National Dairy Month is a great way to start the summer with “3-A-Day” of nutrient-rich dairy foods. From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients which may help to better manage your weight, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Whether it’s protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse. Those are just a few of the reasons that you should celebrate dairy not just in June, but all year long.

 

 

I’m off to take a walk for exercise and to cook on my grill so until next month be healthy and stay well.

 

May Springs Forth with Sunshine – guest blogger Annette Presseau

This is the time of year that everyone wants to be outside.  Use it to help your health – see what guest blogger Annette Preseau has to say.

Spring is here I love this time of year it is great for long walks and I can’t wait to walk along the ocean this year!  I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather.

May is National Physical Activity and Sports Month the perfect time to highlight the benefits of playing sports.

According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Americans of all ages need to incorporate more movement into their daily lives. Adults need at least 30 minutes of activity, five days each week.  Even if you just get 15 minutes a day that is really good too.  You can just change a few habits like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away so that you can walk it doesn’t take much to adjust your habits.

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology reports that the mental health benefits of sports include improved self-esteem, improved confidence and pride in physical accomplishments.

Incorporating sports into your workout regimen can help you kick it up a notch. Team sports can also help you meet new friends or reconnect with old ones. Besides, hitting the same gym routine can get boring after a few months. Mix things up by getting sporty this month!

Hoop It Up

  1. Basketball Benefits:      Many communities have recreational leagues for a variety of skill levels.      Basketball is a fun cardio sport that can be played indoors or out. If you      don’t have a full team of five, you can always play one-on-one or      three-on-three.
  2. Calories Burned Per Hour: 300-800

A Fitness Ace

  1. Tennis Benefits: When it comes to burning major calories, tennis is no racket. Many public parks offer free tennis courts, and the required equipment — balls and a racket — isn’t very expensive. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, tennis is excellent cardio conditioning.
  2. Calories Burned Per Hour:      600-1,000

Fore Sure

  1. Golf Benefits:      Golf is a relaxing sport that can be played solo or as part of a group.      Golf makes a perfect walking activity for all fitness levels and ages      since it’s a slower-paced sport. The average 18-hole round of golf      includes five miles of walking. A study showed golfers who walk 36 holes      per week will burn around 2,900 calories.
  2. Calories Burned Per 9-Holes:      700 (walking) 400 (riding in a cart)

What’s your favorite sport? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:http://www.fitnessforweightloss.com/how-many-calories-do-i-burn-playing-basketball/, http://appliedsportpsych.org/resource-center/health-and-fitness/articles/psych-benefits-of-exercise, http://golf.about.com/od/fitnesshealth/a/golfphysical.htm, http://www.fitnessforweightloss.com/how-many-calories-do-i-burn-playing-tennis/

Never Too Old To Play!

May is Older Americans Month, a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. Since 1963, communities across the nation have come together to celebrate Older Americans Month—a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans.  The Theme for Older Americans Month is that you are never too old to play and the U. S. Administration on Aging encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

I have often heard people over 60 say I’m too old to do that and my response is you are never too old to do things age is a state of mind.  My mother at 98 years of age still wanted to do things and I used to get a kick out of her when she wanted to shovel snow in the wintertime!  She stayed active up until the end of her life.  My motto is try to do something and if you can’t do it that is ok just try something else but keep in mind that you also have to use your common sense too.

If you have elderly parents or relatives why not give them a call and visit them maybe give them a hug or take them for a walk just to let them know that you are thinking of them it means a whole lot and believe me it will lift your spirits too.  Too often we neglect our elders and it’s really sad because we are missing out on a lot they still have a lot to share with us.  I recently lost my mother and have wonderful memories with her but there are a lot of seniors who are very alone and don’t have anyone to visit them and lift up their day.  Get involved with your Senior Center or volunteer at a Nursing Home in your community.  The Billerica Garden Club does gardening at three Nursing Homes here in Billerica and they love it.  Never be too busy to take time to talk to an elderly person even to just send a note to them don’t forget that we all will get there someday and wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered?  I know I would like that!

 

 

Smile!

 

Smiling is a great way to make yourself stand out while helping your body to function better. Smile to improve your health, your stress level, and your attractiveness. Smiling is just one fun way to live longer and it is contagious! Have you ever noticed when you smile to someone they smile back (usually) and it makes you feel good?

 

1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive

We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away — but a smile draws them in and lifts up their spirits too.  I remember a few times when people have smiled to me when I was frustrated and it lifted my spirits and made me feel good.

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.

 

3. Smiling Is Contagious

When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.  I love drawing smilies on a piece of paper it’s fun to draw!

 

4. Smiling Relieves Stress

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you’ll be better able to take action.  Also, have your ever noticed that it’s easier to smile than to frown?

 

5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed.

 

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure

When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

 

7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

 

8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don’t go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.

 

9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful

Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

 

10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.

 

So the next time you’re feeling grumpy make a smile and see what happens!

 

Study Suggests Coffee May Be Linked to Longer Life

Coffee drinkers are getting a bit more reassurance that their beverage of choice may not be bad for them, and possibly even can be linked to living longer.  So coffee drinkers you are doing good with drinking some coffee!  I love my coffee coolatta in the summer who would have guessed that it could be good for me.

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people who drank coffee had a slightly lower risk of dying over a certain period than those who didn’t, though the finding comes with a lot of caveats and will surely not end the debate over the health effects of coffee.

Check out the rest of the information on this website:  http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/05/16/study-suggests-coffee-may-be-linked-to-longer-life-but/

I think I’ll start drinking more coffee!  I’m mostly a tea drinker and will not give that up but I can add some coffee to my regimen.

“virtual” colonoscopy

 

Now I have had three colonoscopies over the years and it has saved my life a lot of people don’t get a colonoscopy and colon cancer can be prevented with this test so it is very important to have this test done if you’re over 50.  There is great news in that there is a new method for performing a “virtual” colonoscopy that requires less unpleasant preparation was shown in a new study to accurately detect larger precancerous polyps—and was a better experience for patients.  Check out the website http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2012/05/14/new-method-easing-preparation-may-encourage-colon-checks/

It is a much better way to do a colonoscopy than what is prescribed today and all I can say is it is about time!  This is from a person (me) who has had multiple colonoscopies and hates every one of them because I get sick after each one and sleep for about 4 hours so when it is time for a new colonoscopy I dread it but it did save my life the first time I had one so it is very important procedure and one that I get done.

 

Check out this website from the World of Pschology:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/18/best-of-our-blogs-may-18-2012/

 

This is the first paragraph from it “From the seeds planted yesterday, hope grows. It grows from the conflicts we dealt with not avoided, the courage to look at our problems not from a distance, but face-to-face, and the steps we took to better ourselves instead of trying to deny them and put on a happy face.”  I really like this paragraph it speaks to my heart about facing life and accepting what comes our way my mother and father had a great attitude on life they faced whatever came their way and moved on because they know that things would always get better in time.  I was always amazed at how my mother accepted what came her way and very blessed to have her as long as I had.  Thanks mom!

 

May is . . . . National Salad Month, National Egg Month, National Barbecue Month, National Hamburger Month, and Fungal Infection Awareness Month in the U.S.

 

 

Did you know?  In 1899 the Second International declared May 1 a worker’s day in honor of the fight for the 8 hour working day. Today it is still celebrated as an international labor day.

 

Be healthy and stay well.

Annette Presseau/Reliv Distributor   http://annettepresseau.Reliv.com

 

 

 

 

Tummy Troubles and your Immune System

Welcome back this month to our guest blogger Annette Presseau, Reliv distributor here in Massachusetts.  Remember staying healthy is important while you go around your daily routine (including buying or selling a house).  Thanks again to Annette for helping us do just that. 

Tummy troubles and your immune system….

 

I have had a lot of stomach troubles over the years and have tried so many things to try to help and one important thing that has helped me considerably is FIBER in my diet.  I take a nutritional supplement in powered form that has fiber with it and it makes the world of difference to my stomach and I also try to eat food with fiber in it.  I cannot stress enough the importance of fiber in the diet it can be something like adding fruit to your regimen or eating bran cereal just little changes will make a big difference in your life.  Sometimes I miss one of my fiber shakes and boy do I notice a difference so I go right back on taking my fiber shakes.

 

Also, keep a log of the food you eat and what affects your stomach you will be surprised at what food affects you.  Like myself I have Psoriasis and popcorn affects my Psoriasis and I love popcorn but will not eat it now.

 

At one point I was troubled with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and know how troublesome it can be and I still have IBS but don’t have the symptoms and I can attest that to adding fiber in my diet made a world of difference.  April is IBS awareness month (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and if you talked to your friends about this sensitive subject you will find that most people are troubled by their stomach in some shape and form.

 

IBS is a disorder within the intestines that causes abdominal pain and discomfort. The pain may occur on its own, or it can be accompanied by constipation, diarrhea and bloating.  What causes IBS is unknown; however, it’s important to note that people who have IBS may have a more sensitive digestive system. That’s why it’s best to avoid triggers by managing stress and eating foods that regulate digestion.

 

Managing IBS

Understanding what you are eating may cause flare-ups is the first step to controlling IBS.  Create a diet that adds in high fiber foods.  Most people don’t realize that there are actually two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Each takes on a different role in the digestive system.

Insoluble Fiber: can’t be dissolved in water, passes through the intestinal track without changing form; will increase the frequency, water content and ease of bowel movements.

Soluble Fiber: dissolves in water, is smooth and soothing to the digestive track; can also lower the risk of heart disease, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Fiber is one amazing multi-tasker. Whether your goal is weight loss, improved digestion or heart health, fiber does it all. But despite common knowledge of fiber’s many benefits, 95% of Americans don’t get the American Dietetic Association’s recommended 21-35 grams per day.

Check out the Mayo Clinic’s high fiber foods list: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

 

Immune System

Who will be first in your defensive lineup? When it comes to tackling germs, bacteria and viruses, vitamin C is a nutritional MVP.   When we get enough, vitamin C can help detoxify our bodies, promote healing of cells and help us handle stress. It also supports good bacteria in the stomach, neutralizes free radicals, protects us from pollution, and much more.

This super-supplement also increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses.

 

Healthy Skin

Vitamin C is key to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels and gives skin its firmness and strength. Studies support that vitamin C slows the rate of free-radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C may also reduce sunburn caused by exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and prevent the consequences of long-term sun exposure, which can lead to skin cancer.

 

Eye Health

Most people assume that vision just naturally deteriorates with age and that there’s nothing they can do about it. But with vitamin C, you can take preventive action now. Vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including collagen found in the cornea of the eye.

Studies also suggest long-term consumption of vitamin C may reduce the risk of forming a cataract and vision loss from macular degeneration.

Did you know that 40% of elder Americans have Macular Degeneration and that one of the solutions to prevent it is just wearing sunglasses?  Sometimes it just takes a little change in your lifestyle to give you a healthier life.  So change one thing today that will make you a healthier life and you will be a healthier person for it.

 

Supplement with Vitamin C

Most of us aren’t getting enough vitamin C. The RDA for vitamin C is 90mg, but studies suggest that number is too low to harness the supplement’s health benefits. Since our bodies don’t make vitamin C, we have to get it from our diet.   Also, watch out for added sugar in Vitamin C drinks.

 

What’s in your energy shot?

Do you know of someone who takes energy shots?  Most energy beverages and shots rely on caffeine and sugar to create an artificial buzz. The problem is that these stimulants inevitably leave you feeling more exhausted than ever. We’ve all experienced that afternoon “crash” once the morning coffee has worn off. Caffeinated energy beverages work the same way.

In addition, caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms. Clinical studies indicate these symptoms include headache, fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability and brain fog.

Experts also say the use of guarana — aka “herbal caffeine” — is particularly dangerous. Many consumers don’t realize guarana itself contains extremely high levels of caffeine. A Consumer Reports review of 12 popular energy drinks found that caffeine levels — some topping 200 milligrams or more — are often omitted from the label.

 

Serious Side Effects

Caffeinated energy drinks caused a spike in heart rate and blood pressure in a study presented by the American Heart Association. The effects of the caffeine occurred in healthy individuals in a relaxed, seated position. Even more worrisome for researchers is the effect of caffeinated energy beverages on patients with heart or blood pressure problems.

Athletes who use caffeinated energy beverages as performance enhancers create their own set of risks. In the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers noted that both athletes and non-athletes are consuming energy beverages at an alarming rate. The study cited several recent cases of caffeine-associated death and seizures associated with caffeinated energy drinks. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, and high doses of sugar can impair absorption of fluids. The risky combination can cause severe dehydration.

So do your research and check the label on your energy shot.

Probiotics

You’ve probably heard that probiotics—the active cultures in some yogurts, for example—are good for your health. But not all probiotics are created equal.  Here’s what you need to know to boost immunity, soothe itchy skin, quell an upset stomach, and more.

Scientists have known for decades that probiotics can boost your health. That’s why yogurt’s “active cultures,” or good bugs, are touted so often. And now these bugs can be found in cereal, cheese, energy bars, soup, and a wealth of other products filling up grocery and pharmacy shelves. Their labels promise everything from fewer tummy aches to faster cold and flu recovery.

But probiotics aren’t all created equal, says University of Western Ontario microbiologist Gregor Reid, PhD, who has studied them. The strain that helped Klawiter—Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii—probably won’t do a thing for eczema, and vice versa, studies show. In fact, Klawiter had tried eating more yogurt and popping generic probiotic supplements, including acidophilus. Still her condition worsened because she wasn’t using the right kind of probiotics.

So how do you decide which one to take? Check out this Health.com website for your help with your most common complaints: http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411606,00.html

So when all is said and done what probiotic do you take?  Here is a website that describes what each Probiotic on the market today does:  http://www.topprobiotics.com/

 

National Heimlich Maneuver Week

Every five days a child in the U.S. dies from choking to death. Most of these deaths could have been prevented if the parents knew how to administer the Heimlich maneuver.  This emergency technique, which was developed by American Henry Heimlich, was founded in 1974. Since then it has saved over 100,000 American lives and countless more around the world.

 

This year National Heimlich Maneuver Week will occur from April 8-14. The week-long observance will celebrate the life-saving technique and educate the public about proper ways to perform it.

Do you want to learn the proper way to administer the Heimlich maneuver? Check out this website on how to do the Heimlich maneuver it could save a life:  http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2012/04/11/national-heimlich-maneuver-week-is-april-10-16/

I recently had to do the Heimlich maneuver and was glad that I remembered how to do it!  You never know when the knowledge you have learned will be needed.

 

Yoga

In addition to overall wellbeing, people also opt for yoga to recuperate from illnesses as severe as cancer. Yoga helps in the process of self-healing. Getting ample sleep is equally essential to actively resting your body. When you practice yoga, you reach an active phase of resting wherein the brain feels alpha waves. Even though these waves at the same what you feel in the initial stage of sleep. So, consider taking a Yoga class for better health!  Check out this website on Yoga http://www.jessicashealthblog.com/exercise/boost-your-health-and-comfort-with-yoga/#more-1113

 

I have often heard people say “If you don’t have your health you don’t have anything” and in my opinion that is very true.  What do you think?

 

Be healthy and stay well.

 

Annette Presseau, Reliv Distributor (MA)

http://annettepresseau.Reliv.com

 

 

 

 

 

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