I’ve never been a fan of weight-loss supplementation. I don’t know if my body just reacts to medications differently but whenever I’ve tried the latest magic pill I have felt awful.
I honestly believe that any time we attempt to skip the natural order of things – whether our intention is to get rich quick or lose weight fast – we’re setting ourselves up for trouble. In the case of weight-loss supplements, that trouble can be things like liver failure, muscle breakdown, and kidney problems -some supplements can also exacerbate existing health issues like high blood pressure or heart disease.
According to this article in the San Diego Tribune “None of these products has been adequately studied, and any or all might be harmful”… they “are promoted as safe and effective, but they are rarely either … they are almost universally ineffective.”
The very best way look and feel our best is to take care of ourselves. Eat real food, drink plenty of water, practice moderation and move more. So instead of reaching for a pill bottle – do a Minute Movement – you can do anything for a minute!
Make Your Minutes Matter!
I may have said before that I’m not a fan of BMI. This opinion was solidified a few years ago when one of my kids was in 3rd grade. Some wonderful organization comes to our elementary school to check students for various health points and then sends a little update to the parents. Unfortunately our update stated that my (still growing) child was classified ‘obese’ The letter wasn’t secured in any way so my child (and any classmates) could have easily seen that label and it could have stuck for years.
The thing is, we go to our well child visits religiously and if our pediatrician were concerned he would have talked with us about it. Children tend to experience weight fluctuations for many reasons. Not to mention the fact that their little bodies aren’t fully mature. Clearly no one had actually looked at my child or they would have never labeled one ‘obese’ risking a future filled with eating disorders and low self esteem.
That’s why I love this article and especially the included graphic showing that not all BMI’s are created equally. Our family, for instance tends to be muscular and carries our weight more in the lower body so even when we are very fit our BMI tends to be on the higher side. According to the article ‘…body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. That puts the emphasis on exercises that don’t just burn calories, but also build muscle.’ – Minute Movement is a great way to build muscle so check it out now and …
Make Your Minutes Matter!
June is national Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (which I just realized late yesterday).
Since I am one of the 37 million Americans (including children and teenagers) affected by this, sometimes debilitating, condition I thought it only appropriate that I share some information with you today.
I am counted among the 70% of migraineurs with a family history – my mother, sister, and aunt all suffer from migraines – and I just hope that it eases up for me later in life like it did for my mom. Migraines have many symptoms in addition to (or instead of) head pain; such as sensitivity to light, sound and smells, nausea, visual, motor and cognitive disturbances, fatigue, food cravings, and mood changes. Symptoms can last from four to 72-plus hours and often have different stages which can change over the course of a migraineur’s lifetime (changes in how you experience migraine can be quite frightening).
Migraine triggers can also change over the course of time (or from attack to attack) and are often difficult to pinpoint. Sitting next to someone wearing strong perfume can set me off for days and I can’t visit my favorite candle shop because they make the (scented) candles on site. Weather changes, hormonal changes, food sensitivities, and stress are just a few common trigger – which are often cumulative making it even more difficult to determine just how to stay healthy.
Even healthcare providers tend to experience difficulty when helping their migraine prone patients. This complex neurological condition that less than 0.08% of the National Institute of Health budget and even though more than 100 treatments are being used for migraine prevention – none were developed specifically for that purpose. All of which is frustrating and sometimes devastating for sufferers and their families.
Lost wages, inability to meet social obligations and family needs can leave migraineurs feeling isolated, guilty, and depressed. One of the more discouraging results, for me, is the inability to stay active. Even if I don’t have crippling head pain I often don’t have enough energy to do even minor chores around the house and yard, let alone go for a run.* On those days – the days that I can do something, just not everything – I’ve found that Minute Movement is a great option.
I can do anything for a minute!
As with many health problems, physical fitness can have such a huge impact; but chronic conditions can cause a person to become firmly locked in a downward spiral (less exercise = feeling worse / feeling worse = less exercise). If you know anyone who suffers from a chronic health issue that prevents them from getting enough exercise, please have them check out Minute Movement. It could be the thing that helps them get better.
Make your minutes matter!
*Boy I am SO lucky to have such a supportive family!
A great place to find organic – and AWESOME – produce is your local farmer’s market. Besides the fantastic and seasonal food; farmers markets are a great place to meet local farmers, experience live entertainment, and people watch (if you’re into that kind of thing). A bonus of farmers marketing is that you’re more likely to find organic produce – but it’s still a good idea to check with the vendor at each booth to make sure that’s what you’re getting.
You can search for the farmers markets nearest you on the USDA Farmers Market Directory website where you will also find important information about vendor types and payment options. Check it out today and take the family on a little adventure this weekend!
Make Your Minutes Matter!
I have a friend who said she stopped gardening when she found a big bug hiding in some lettuce she’d grown. I thought it was funny since fruits and vegetables are good for you and since they grow outside it makes sense that there would be bugs, bacteria, parasites, or other nasty things from something that flew over or lived around the garden. If you bought your produce from a conventional grocery store it’s also quite likely that it could be covered with germs from every other person who’s touched it and of course there’s pesticides and other chemicals to think about!
So. Should you just stop eating your fruits and vegetables altogether?
Absolutely not! You just need to find a good way to get those babies clean.
Since this is a subject that we’ve been thinking a lot about lately I thought I’d do a little research and share what I found with you.
First of all. You should only clean produce with things that are edible themselves. Don’t ever use dish soap or bleach. Secondly, always rinse your produce after cleaning. Drying firm items with a paper towel can remove additional bacteria as well. You can use a little scrub brush for firmer produce. And don’t assume that you can skip the washing for items that you plan to peel. You should absolutely still clean cantaloupe, avocado, carrots, and the like – the very act of cutting or peeling can transfer chemicals and grime onto your food!
Every recipe I found calls for clean water and some form of vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar). I’ve seen so many different formulas but it looks like 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar might be best. You could also add a tablespoon of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon if you like.
Your produce cleaner can be mixed together and poured into a dedicated spray bottle or mixed right into a clean bowl or sink for larger (or leafy) batches where it can soak for a few minutes (be sure to swish them around too). After rinsing, produce can be saved for about two days so don’t go and clean a week’s worth of groceries in one setting.
Here’s the ‘Clean Fifteen’ list that I promised yesterday. These list includes the produce with the least amount of pesticides that are safe to buy conventionally. They are:
sweet peas (frozen)
Be sure to check out the apple and android app stores for EWG’s Dirty Dozen app so you can always have these lists handy, or make a donation and get their ‘bag tag’ to take with you.