The wish for healing has always been half of health

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

If you're happy, if you're feeling good, then nothing else matters.

A healthy outside starts from the inside.

You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.

It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it.

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.

Monday, March 3, 2014

7 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

When your boss says, "We're not here to assign blame," duck. When we say you're not entirely to blame for your paunch, you're not off the hook. Nobody is the innocent victim of a drive-thru feeding. But there are sneaky factors--your friends, your family, your mindset--that can sabotage the best weight-loss plan. Your strategy: Identify the saboteurs, then adjust.

We do not suggest blaming her for your belly. This would be (a) wrong and (b) a reasonable defense at her trial. But know this: Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that men and women usually gain 6 to 8 pounds in the first 2 years of marriage. "Once you're married, that need to impress is gone," says Edward Abramson, Ph.D., author of Marriage Made Me Fat. "You may go to the gym less often, go out for meals or to parties more frequently, and develop new rituals, such as sitting on the couch with your wife and snacking."

Fix your head: Regain that need to impress. Imagine what that girl at the gym thinks of your gut--or what she'd think if you had abs. (Just don't hit on her.) As for that bowl of popcorn with your wife, Abramson says, ask yourself, "Why am I eating? Boredom? Habit?" Better yet, ask her to stop bringing those binge foods into the house.
Fix your routine: Establish healthful rituals. Instead of Access Hollywood after dinner, take regular walks, or play H-O-R-S-E in the driveway. (P-I-G might work better.) Exercise suppresses appetite. Cool down with Italian ice (120 calories per cup) instead of ice cream (290 calories per cup).

Her Belly
Dads-to-be gain almost 5 pounds from the end of their partner's pregnancy to the baby's first birthday, Australian researchers report. It's especially common in young, stressed-out fathers, says Lawrence Schwartz, author of Fat Daddy/Fit Daddy. And the cycle repeats with each kid.
Fix your head: Be a heroic provider, not a sympathetic eater. Prepare as if fatherhood were a sport--because it will be.

Fix your routine: Read her pregnancy books--they're full of excellent nutritional advice. As for her binge snacking and ice-cream jags, adopt a simple policy, says Schwartz: "She can have it, but you shouldn't." Maintain your exercise routine, especially weight lifting (or a workout like the Fat-Burning Firestorm). "It's only going to be that much harder to get back into an exercise routine once the baby's here," says Schwartz.
The presence of children in a household sharply increases the likelihood of tempting junk food in the cupboard. Some of it ends up in adult mouths. Same goes for stray nuggets and fries left over by finicky kids. "I call this 'trolling,' " Schwartz says. "If you're prone to troll, the easiest thing to do is to avoid the Happy Meal altogether."

Fix your head: Grow up. Think: The sugary snack that a child will burn off with an hour of fidgeting will haunt you as a fat deposit. Read the nutrition label on any snack before unwrapping it. Realize the importance of setting a good food-and-exercise example.
Fix your routine: Make junk food a once-a-week thing. Designate Friday as Twinkie day. And instead of standing on the sidelines to watch your son's game, volunteer to coach, ump, or ref. Make fitness a family thing.

Not getting enough deep, non-REM sleep inhibits production of growth hormone, which might lead to premature middle-age symptoms--abdominal obesity, reduced muscle mass and strength, and diminished exercise capacity. You become Homer.

Fix your head: "Mentally disengage yourself before you hit the sack," says Jim Karas, author of The Business Plan for Your Body. Don't plot a staffing reorg before bed.

Fix your routine: Exercise in the morning or afternoon, says Eric Nofzinger, M.D., director of sleep neuroimaging research at the Western Psychiatric Institute. Evening workouts may leave you too stimulated to sleep. Establish a ritual that signals your body that the day is over 30 minutes before bedtime--turn off the computer, read, stretch, or set the TV volume low, says Karas.

Workers gain 7 pounds on average when they switch from a day to a night shift, according to the New York Obesity Research Center. Men working the graveyard shift tend to eat a big evening meal and go to work, says Jim Waterhouse, Ph.D., author of Keeping in Time with Your Body Clock. "Then they come home to another 'supper' in the morning."

Fix your head: Adjust your concept of mealtime, says Waterhouse.
Fix your routine: Eat your biggest meal when you get home from your shift, Waterhouse says, then relax or exercise in the morning. Get 8 hours of sleep in the afternoon, then wake up and have breakfast. Kicking off your workday (even if it starts in the evening) with a light meal that's high in protein or fiber is crucial for weight loss.

Stress will spike levels of the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to store fat. "Unfortunately, some people appease their anxiety by reaching for fatty foods," says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. Eating boosts insulin levels; combining that with cortisol leads to greater fat deposits. More stress, bigger belly.
Fix your head: First, identify the type of stress you're under, Karas says. "Is it temporary, like a bar exam, or more permanent, like your job?" Short-term stress will pass. Long-term stress may require a permanent solution, like a new job.

Fix your routine: Make healthy eating effortless, Karas says. Buy snacks that won't send insulin levels soaring: high-fiber energy bars or single-serving bags of almonds or cashews. Fifteen minutes of explosive activity--hitting a speed bag or jumping rope--can alleviate anxieties after work. "It's about getting the tension out," Karas says.

Buddies can make or break a diet or workout plan, whether it's unconscious scarfing of nachos during the game or the lure of pumping beers instead of iron. Worse, some guys will deliberately try to sabotage your diet, just for sport. Want a cookie?

Fix your head: Admit you need support. "Let people know how to help you, and many will," says Beth Kitchin, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Fix your routine: Eat a protein bar before meeting friends, so you'll feel fuller (or have one of these smart snacks). Drink a glass of water for every glass of beer. A time-tested strategy: Recruit a friend to diet or work out with you. Having someone to answer to is the best enforcement plan.

By Allison Winn Scotch

Prevent Kids' Food Allergies, Start Peanuts, Eggs Sooner

Amid rising rates of children’s food allergies, surprising new guidelines call for introducing babies at ages 4 to 6 months to the most allergenic foods—as a strategy to prevent food allergies.
New scientific data suggests that early introduction of highly allergenic foods—such as milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, and shellfish—may reduce children’s risk for developing food allergies, according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
The recommendations are a dramatic reversal of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines issued in 2000, which advise delaying milk until high-risk kids reach age 1; eggs until age 2; and peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, and fish to age 3.
The AAP defined high-risk kids as those with one or more close relatives (a parent or sibling) who had an allergic condition—an extremely broad definition, given that about one in five Americans suffer from some form of allergy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
In 2008, the AAP released revised guidelines, stating that there was little evidence that delaying allergenic foods prevents food allergies. However, the AAP didn’t offer any specific guidance on when to introduce these foods, leaving parents confused about the best way to protect kids.
Up to 6 million American kids have food allergies—and the rate has jumped by nearly 20 percent since 1997, for as yet unknown reasons. About 90 percent of food allergies are triggered by just eight foods: milk, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, eggs, and fish.

New Tactics to Prevent Food Allergies
To identify evidence-based prevention tactics, the AAAAI combed through medical literature and issued the following recommendations:
   ·        Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 and up to 6 months is advised. For bottle-fed babies, hydrolyzed formula—which contains protein that has been broken down (hydrolyzed) to be more easily digestible—may have benefits over those that contain cow’s milk during the first 4-to-6 months. Brands of hydrolyzed formula include Alimentum, Nutramigen, and Pregestimil. The researchers found no evidence that soy formula reduces food allergy risk.
    ·         Pregnant and breastfeeding women don’t need to eat a special diet to protect babies from food allergies. In fact, “avoidance diets,” in which pregnant or breastfeeding women shun highly allergenic foods, are notrecommended by the AAAAI. However, the group says that more research is needed to tell if avoiding peanuts during pregnancy or breastfeeding plays any role in reducing peanut allergy in kids, since studies done to date had contradictory results.
   ·      Parents can introduce foods—including highly allergenic ones—once babies are 4 to 6 months old. The AAAAI advises trying a few typical baby foods, such as cereal, fruit, or vegetables, and once those are well tolerated, introduce potentially allergenic foods.

How Solid is the Science Supporting the New Guidelines?
“There's been more studies that find that if you introduce [highly allergenic foods] early it may actually prevent food allergy," David Fleischer, MD, coauthor of the medical journal article and a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, told the Wall Street Journal.
"We need to get the message out now to pediatricians, primary-care physicians and specialists that these allergenic foods can be introduced early,” added Dr. Fleischer.
Among the research cited in the report are these studies:
A small study found that delaying introduction of wheat until a baby reaches 6 months did not protect against wheat allergy. Another study found a significantly higher rate of wheat allergy in 5-year-old kids whose parents had delayed giving them wheat until after age 6 months. Therefore, no data supports holding off on giving babies wheat.
·         Small amounts of cow’s milk, such as that in baked goods, and dairy products like yogurt and cheese are safe to introduce before age one. One study found that early exposure (before a baby reached 14 days of age) as a supplement to breastfeeding may protect against milk allergy.
·         Several studies show that if kids start eating cooked eggs when they are 4 to 6 months old, they are less likely to develop egg allergy, while babies who aren’t introduced to egg until they are more than 10 months old have a higher rate of egg allergy at age 5.
·         One study found a ten times higher rate of peanut allergy in Jewish kids in the United Kingdom, where parents usually avoid feeding babies peanut butter, than in Jewish kids in Israel, where peanut butter is eaten in higher amounts at a younger age. However, parents should consult an allergist before feeding a baby peanut butter if other family members are allergic. Whole peanuts are a choking hazard and shouldn’t be given to kids under age 5.

What’s the Theory Behind Exposing Babies to Allergens?
One theory holds that if kids aren’t exposed to substances in highly allergenic foods early enough, their body is more likely to view them as foreign invaders and attack, leading to an allergy.
"The body has to be trained in the first year of life," says Katie Allen, a professor and allergist at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute at Royal Children's Hospital in Australia, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“We think there's a critical window, probably around 4 to 6 months, when the child first starts to eat solids," she says.
Another explanation for the rise in allergies and autoimmune disorders is the “hygiene hypothesis,” the theory that we’ve become so clean that the immune system isn’t adequately challenged by germs during childhood, making it more prone to overreacting to harmless substances, such as proteins in certain foods.
By Lisa Collier

Eat Less By Eating These Foods

Everyone is searching for that magic bullet when it comes to weight loss, but adding an exotic ingredient to your pasta carbonara won't miraculously melt away the fat. That said, there are certain foods and eating strategies that, when used together, can naturally help dial down your appetite. Take a look at what works-and why.

Eat an Apple a Day
If you do one thing to regulate your appetite, eat a high-fiber diet, notes Judy Caplan, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Fiber-rich foods break down slowly and turn off your brain's response to food," she explains. Plus, fiber stabilizes blood sugar levels, which determines how hungry you get. Adding 14 extra grams of fiber to your daily menu can reduce calorie intake by 10 percent. The fiber in apples and citrus are especially effective in helping the stomach feel full. For a snack that will tide you over until dinnertime, Keri Glassman, R.D., nutrition expert and author of "The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever," recommends apple slices with all-natural peanut butter.

Choose the Right Carbs  What do beans, lentils, green bananas and cold potatoes have in common? They're rich in resistant starch, a carbohydrate that skips through the stomach undigested and gets fermented in the large intestine. This process releases an acid that makes the body use stored fat (i.e., love handles) for fuel. What's more, resistant starch deals a debilitating, temporary blow to the appetite, keeping you full for about an hour afterwards. By the way, if you're curious as to why cold potatoes are the way to go, that's because when they're chilled, potatoes form tight crystals of resistant starch, but if you heat them up, those crystals get broken up. Other good sources of resistant starch include yams, peas, chickpeas and barley. 

Add a Splash of Vinegar  To thwart between-meal hunger pangs, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to a carbohydrate-rich meal. Acetic acid lowers the glycemic index of carbs, which will keep them from spiking your blood sugar levels. "This will reduce the urge to snack in between meals and prevent cravings," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of "The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear-With Fiber!" One study found that dieters who drank one and a half tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at their morning meal ate about 250 fewer calories.

Indulge in Dark Chocolate 
Seeking solace in comfort food? Choose dark chocolate. According to Zuckerbrot, dark chocolate tones down emotional food cravings because it floods the brain with endorphins, a chemical that elicits feelings of happiness and calm. In one study, women who ate or even smelled the confection reported less hunger. Eating chocolate also lowered levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, which boosts the mouthwatering appeal of high-calorie foods. Just don't use this as an excuse to go to town on dark chocolate. A one-ounce square has 170 calories and 12 grams of fat, so popping a piece every time you feel a craving can turn into hundreds of extra calories, warns Zuckerbrot.

Pick Red Hot Chili Peppers  Spicing up your daily diet with chili pepper can help you eat less, but it's no panacea, notes Glassman. Research shows that red pepper dampens the appetite in relation to how uncomfortably hot you think your food is. If you regularly eat spicy food and are immune to its fiery properties, it won't help. It's the burn on your tongue that makes it effective, so forget popping pills. As for the claim that dousing your food with cayenne will magically melt away fat? Don't count on it, says Glassman. The active ingredient, capsaicin, may boost the metabolism slightly, but only to the tune of 20 extra calories a day
Bulk Up (Your Plate, That Is) 
The secret to feeling full while eating less: tricking your brain into thinking you ate a big meal. According to Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., one of the preeminent experts on satiety and author of "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off," size matters. Instead of shrinking your portion sizes, eat foods that take up a lot of room on your plate but have fewer calories per bite. These are foods with a high water content, such as broth-based soups, salads, fruit and vegetables. Eat these foods first, before your main meal, notes Rolls. Because they take a long time to eat and occupy up a lot of space in your belly, your brain will register that it's full before you've eaten many calories. Sound too easy? Rolls's research shows that people who follow these principles end up eating 800 fewer calories per day-without missing them. 

Go Nuts for Pine Nuts  Dial down your appetite with a sprinkle of pine nuts. According to Zuckerbrot, their heart-healthy oil, pinolenic acid, packs a one-two punch for weight loss: It stimulates the release of a hormone that suppresses the appetite and slows down how quickly food leaves your stomach, keeping you full for longer. One study found that pine nut oil decreased hunger by 36 percent over a four hour period. Pine nuts are high in fat and calories, so eat no more than a handful a day. 

How To Keep Your Skin Healthy

A facial cleanser is free of detergents, soaps and fragrances and uses foams to wash away dirt without leaching skin of its natural oils. Use twice a day - before shaving and before sleeping at night. Cleansing your face before going to bed is essential as the skin goes into restoration mode in the night.
Foaming Cleansers and Cream Cleansers 
Foaming cleansers are great for removing excess oils, while cream cleansers get rid of only dirt and are good for dry skin.
Exfoliation gently removes a superficial layer of dead skin cells, which enables your skin to absorb external nutrients for a healthier skin. For sensitive skin, use non-abrasive formulas. Do not use your body scrub on your face and never exfoliate the immediate area surrounding your eye.  
Rejuvenate Free Radicals
Free radicals will cause a host of damaging effects, such as creating the visible signs of aging. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. Eating well, a vitamin supplement and a moisturizer containing antioxidants and an SPF of 15 will do the trick. 
While a lotion is good for normal skin, dry skin would need more of oils that are contained in creams. One of the best advantages of moisturizing your face is preventing the signs of aging. If you have particularly sensitive skin, then choose a moisturizer that is free of fragrance and hypoallergenic.
Be aware of exactly of your skin type, and it's requirement before starting any regimen.
Normal: If you don’t have any particular skin issues, then this is the skin type you have. You might have slightly dry skin in places and slightly oily elsewhere. All you need is a good cleanser (a foaming one), a toner and a moisturizer with antioxidant protection.
Oily: Oily skin has big, open pores and the characteristic greasy T-zone. This causes lots of blackheads, whiteheads and general pore congestion. You need to use a foaming cleanser, toner and an oil-free moisturizer.
Dry: There is excessive tightness and dryness which can get physically uncomfortable. There are signs of aging such as line and wrinkles. You need to use a cream cleanser and a rich cream moisturizer. Cleanse your face only in the night and rinse with water in the morning.
Combination:  Use a gentle foaming cleanser. Then treat the dry areas with a cream moisturizer if skin is very dry or a lotion if mildly dry.

Benefits of Testosterone

From keeping your mind sharp and protecting you from injury to appearing more attractive to the opposite sex, testosterone works behind the scenes to keep you at the top of your game—and live longer to enjoy all its perks. 
It Turns Her On
A recent study at Wayne State University pitted pairs of men against each other to win the attention of an attractive female using a simple, seven-minute videotaped competition. Researchers discovered that those men in the study with the highest T-levels were more assertive, took more control of the conversation and generally clicked better with females. 

May Help You Live Longer
Researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System’s Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center investigated mortality risk factors in male veterans over 40 years of age by measuring testosterone levels periodically for four years. They found that as subjects’ testosterone levels went down, their risk of death went up. 
Toughens Up Your Ticker
According to a new 2010 study in the United Kingdom , having high testosterone isn’t what makes men susceptible to heart health issues—it’s having too little T that could be the culprit. The researchers say that low testosterone may be contribute to obesity, elevated harmful blood fats, and insulin resistance—each of which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Keeps Your Brain Sharp
In a study, Dutch scientists evaluated the cognitive performance of 400 men between the ages of 40 and 80 and noticed a direct linear relationship between T-levels and cognitive function among men ages 70 to 80. The higher their testosterone levels, the better they performed certain cognitive functions and tasks.
Fights Depression
Maybe it’s just a side effect of knowing you’re all man, but banking more testosterone may impact your odds of feeling depressed. When Australian researchers  performed a cross-sectional study that compared the total and free testosterone—as well as the psychological and physical health—of nearly 4,000 men, they found that older men with lower free T-levels (below 6 ng/dL) had three times the risk of developing depression of men with high free T-levels (10 ng/dL or above).

Black Cumin Seeds Provide Wonderful Benefits

The prophet Mohammad reportedly said that seeds of the black cumin plant could cure anything but death itself. While that may seem to be quite the tall order, black cumin (Nigella sativa) does in fact have remarkable healing and health properties that make it one of the most powerful medicinal plants known to man.

Black cumin is a part of the buttercup family and the seeds are dark, thin, and crescent-shaped when whole. The seeds have been used for many centuries in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and India. Today, black cumin seeds are used as a seasoning spice in different cuisines across the world due to their nutty flavor. Besides their culinary uses, black cumin seeds also have a wealth of important health benefits and are one of the most cherished medicinal seeds in history.

The seeds of the black cumin plant contain over 100 chemical compounds, including some yet to be identified. In addition to what is believed to be the primary active ingredient, crystalline nigellone, black cumin seeds contain: thymoquinone, beta sitosterol, myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous.

Black cumin seeds have a particularly long and strong history use in Egypt. When archaeologists found and examined the tomb of Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen (King Tut), they found a bottle of black cumin oil, which suggested that it was believed to be needed in the afterlife.

Physicians to the Egyptian pharaohs frequently used the seeds after extravagant feasts to calm upset stomachs. They also used the seeds to treat headaches, toothaches, colds, and infections. Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her stunning beauty, used black seed oil, likely due to its abilities to strengthen and bring luster to hair and nails.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on black cumin which have shown that compounds from the seeds help fight diseases by boosting the production of bone marrow, natural interferon, and immune cells.

Several of the studies have shown that black cumin seed extract could assist individuals with autoimmune disorders and could possibly help to fight cancer. One recent study on black cumin seed oil demonstrated that it was effective against pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and most difficult to treat cancers.

Black cumin is one of the very few botanicals that have shown such effectiveness (the other most notable one is oleander extract).

One of black cumin's most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system: including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increase the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.

The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver, probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.

Black cumin also:

*stimulates energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits.
*is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
*is anti-parasitic.
*treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.

NOTE: Those who decide to use black cumin seed oil should check labels and product information carefully. Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella sativa is true black cumin.

By Tony Lsaacs

Healthy Benefits Of Eating Fish

Heart disease
No wonder the Government wants us all to eat more, with the Food Standards Agency recommending at least two portions a week of fresh, frozen, or tinned seafood (one of them of oily fish). The British Heart Foundation says eating oily fish can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your chances of survival following a heart attack. Fish does this by lowering levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood - raised levels are associated with heart disease. Fish oils also appear to help reduce blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms after a heart attack.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in many fish may prevent damage to brain cells. Eating fish can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which is linked with dementia. A French study of 2000 people showed that those who ate seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of dementia over a seven-year period than those who didn't.

A Swedish study of 6000 men over a 30-year period showed that those who didn't eat any fish had between double and treble the risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to those who ate moderate or large amounts. Shellfish, such as crab and lobster, also contains selenium, thought to have cancer-fighting properties.

It's been reported that fish can help to ease depression. Again, it's down to omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin.

Population groups that eat a lot of fish - Inuits in Greenland, for example - have low rates of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Studies have also shown fish oils to be useful in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Social benefits
According to research carried out in Mauritius, children given lots of fish from the age of three are less likely to have criminal records by the time they reach 23.

According to dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, author of The Perricone Prescription, a salmon-packed diet can help smooth out age lines.

Which fish to eat
White fish like cod are a good source of low-fat protein and minerals.
Oily fish such as sardines, pilchards, salmon and mackerel have the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids.
Crab, lobster and mussels come into the shellfish group and contain selenium, thought to have cancer-fighting properties.