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4 Steps To Relieve Back Pain

Thursday, October 8, 2009 0 comments

This article explores the 4 major steps learned by Michael J. Homan in his search for relief from pinched nerves from degenerative disk disease. Mike discusses the importance of flexibility of the spine, and relieving pain with acupressure, and also strengthening the surrounding muscles in support of the spine and its health.

"back pain, sciatic, sciatic nerve, degenerative disk disease"

Michael J. Homan is a Reiki Master and studies natural healthing methods such as Acupressure, Electro-Acupuncture, Reflexology, Crystal Therapy, Chinese Magnetic Cupping, has his own e-Book called 4 Steps To A Pain-FREE Back!, and has a health related web site devoted to health issues and natural healing techniques.


I have studied and taken courses in acupressure. Studied some on chiropractic. I also have looked into psychological issues to do with pain and medical problems. And I am also a Reiki Master.

So today that you have a little about my background, and what fuels my  writing... let's get to the real content.

I am going to condense this article for convenience since it is a combination of four major studies in themselves, but you can find my e-book or read my full articles at my web site, which is healthgrowhealthier.com.

I have found that 4 major things play an important part in your spines health.

First, there is posture. I know this is not the first time you have heard this, but it needs to be said again and again.
Posture should be noted in sitting, standing, and sleeping. Begin taking note of your posture at all times. If it is not straight, then Begin working on fixing it.

If you sleep in a position like I have in the past, with both hands below your pillow while you lay on your side, you can pinch a nerve in your neck if your shoulder of the arm that's up starts to relax and leans in toward your head or neck. It would be better to lay your arm of your upper hand down on your leg while one hand is under your pillow.

And if you can, buy a few different thickness pillows for throughout the night. I do not know about you, but I can not have a high, fluffy pillow when I lay on my back. But a thin pillow gives me neck ache when I lay on my side.

The second thing on our list is the flexibility of your back.

What you want to do when you notice your back goes out a lot and you experience pinched nerves, is in getting your spine back into alignment and having it flexible.

Of course if you feel a chiropractor is your best choice, by all means seek one. But think about your progress if you could align your own back when ever you needed to. It's not all that hard!

If you are in pain at the present, put ice or heat on the spot until the pain seems to lessen.

Do NOT, under any circumstances exercise while any of your nerves are inflamed or swollen!

To get your back more flexible you might want to learn kundalini yoga. Not all yoga styles are like those you may have seen on television, where they twist themselves up. Kundalini yoga has very good and useful spinal exercises developed to help flexibility. Kundalini Yoga is also a spiritual tool to help before meditation as well.

It is very important to strengthen your back and the surrounding muscles. This is the third step to a healthy back.

Doing sit-ups is one such exercise, You do not have to do some sit-ups until you feel you can... step by step.

Take all of these things slow and at the pace of your body. Your body will let you know what it is feeling. Pain is a warning sign.

Just remember... taking pain pills is okay when you really need them. But also remember that they do not cure the problem, they only mask the warning sign, they simply stop the warning sign, but not the underlying problem.

Health is more than just eating right. One has to consider mental health, environmental, and many other factors. It is not all that easy for a doctor to diagnose the complete problem and heal it, particularly if it has roots in psychological issues and has gone a long time unchecked, and became a physical problem.

The fourth and last step in back health is to Begin a daily stretching routine. You have
seen cats and dogs stretch when they get up, try it for yourself!

The key to back health is in keeping it actively flexible and strong, or well supported by the stomach and back muscles. You may have to find that happy medium in between like I have, being too much strength in one area will pull out another.
Each person is uniquely different in many areas. So never guess what worked for someone else is going to work for you. You may have to build on someone else's information and work it into your own, personal program.

I recommend you learn a little about acupressure as well to maintain your pain when it flares up.
I have found that I can manage pain by using acupressure, simply by putting pressure on certain areas of the body. But that is something I suggest you seek a professional for help, or look for someone who does acupuncture, or take a course in acupressure like I did.

Each day people around the world drink millions of cups of coffee. It has become a staple of life. We see a  StarBucks on Each corner.

Is coffee really this good or is it so addictive?

I think it is both really. I think good coffee almost has a sexy taste to it. It tastes rich and full bodied. Not  many things can compare to it. Perhaps chocolate, but that is another article all together. You love to drink  coffee. You enjoy a good cup of steaming hot Joe on a cold morning. Watching the steam come off the coffee as it  snows outside is a very relaxing thought.


Is coffee good or bad for you?


Well, I think it depends on who you ask.  Usually what you will find is these scientists are paid by a company  that wants to prove a point. Simply put, they pay the scientists off.   As in all things, you must drink coffee in  moderation. A cup or two each day isn't going to be bad for you. If on the other hand you are drinking a pot Every  hour, you know that it will have an effect on you. I have known people who drink coffee like this. They drink it  from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. This is common in alcoholics. Let's talk about some of the  bad things about coffee.

Bad breath.

Have you ever had a whiff of the breath of someone who is a heavy coffee drinker? It smells ugly. I would  rather smell shit with flies buzzing around it.

Coffee stains your teeth.

We all know what the color of coffee stained teeth are. It is up there with cigarette smoke stained teeth. You can  buy things to whiten your teeth. I would advise though that instead of trying to whiten your teeth, you cut back  a little on the brew.

It raises stress levels.

Too much coffee can raise anxiety levels. When this happens, you can become stressed out. This shouldn't be news  to you. Have you ever seen how much a person shakes after they drink too much coffee?


It can raise the risk of a heart attack.

While science is still somewhat out on this, it shouldn't be much of a surprise. If it raises the heart  and blood pressure, too much of it can't be a good thing.

Sterility.

Yes, it can effect the little guys swimming in your semen. It can really lower your sperm count.

I know that may sound too weird to be true, but it is.

Stomach troubles.

People who drink too much coffee may have some stomach problems. The caffeine irrates the lining of the stomach.




Here are some of the benefits of coffee.

It prevents prostate cancer.

This is too weird, but it is true. Coffee contains boron, which is a chemical that helps curb prostate cancer.

It is a good social drink.

You don't drink alcohol? Well, people go to the coffee house to chat all the time. A cup of coffee could be a good  reason to go out and meet new people. A cup once and while can't hurt. You never know, you might meet a good  friend over that cup of Joe.

It helps wash down a meal.

In many cultures it is unmannerly to either start a meal or finish one without having a cup of coffee. No one is  certain that coffee really helps the digestion process, but it sure tastes good after a meal.


As with all things in life, you need to do things in moderation.

If you feel that you are over doing it, you need to cut back on the coffee. I know that coffee might taste good,  but in the long run you are doing yourself more harm than good. Just keep in mind that one or two cups per day  isn't going to hurt you.

Today I'm sharing the true story of what is probably the least-understood health secret in the Western world. It's something your doctor never told you and health authorities never learned. And yet it could be the key to solving the very health problems you may be suffering from right now, including high blood pressure, asthma and even arthritis.

This secret isn't patented. It's not available by prescription and it costs almost nothing. In fact, from time to time, it falls out of the sky and collects in huge pools on the Earth. What is it? Water.

Water may someday be recognized as the single most important healing medicine we could possibly consume, and our special report, "The Healing Power of Water," explains why. You can read it right now at: http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_water_cure_0.html Physicians rarely promote the curative properties of H2O, but Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D. has studied water's effect on the human body and has found it to be one of the best pain relievers and preventative therapies in existence. I was one of the last people to interview the late Dr. Batmanghelidj, and I listened in awe as he shared his research and stories about "The Healing Power of Water." In a fascinating one-hour phone conversation I will never forget, Dr. B. shared things like:

* Which common ailments and "diseases" are actually caused by dehydration
* Why many doctors use water-regulating antihistamines to alleviate pain
* How Dr. Batmanghelidj unintentionally discovered water's healingnproperties
* Why most people are chronically dehydrated and suffer from symptoms of dehydration that are labeled "diseases"
* Which ingredients in soft drinks deplete the body's water reserves
* Why thirst is not a reliable indicator of dehydration
* Why the body produces cholesterol and how water keeps it in balance
* Why Dr. Batmanghelidj believes the public is being mislead about AIDS
* How dehydration impairs mental functioning

* Why some organizations want to withhold alternative health information from the public
* How lack of water causes depression
* Why popular beverages are no substitute for water
* How dehydration causes the vascular system to constrict, leading to hypertension
* How to recognize signs that your body is starting to dehydrate
* Why restaurants push you to drink disease-promoting soft drinks
* Why and how water effectively treats pain and inflammation
Want to learn the rest of this fascinating story? Download "The Healing Power of Water" right now and read it yourself. It's offered in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat), so it works on any computer!
Learn more at:

http://www.NaturalNews.com/Report_water_cure_0.html

Garlic is natural medicine for treating high blood pressure

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) Garlic is one of the most amazing medicinal herbs on the planet. It has been among my top-recommended healing foods and medicines for years. Most people know garlic as being anti-cancer. Others recognize its ability to naturally lower high cholesterol. But did you know that garlic also helps normalize high blood pressure?

Here, we present a collection of powerful quotes about garlic and high blood pressure, documented in some of the best health books ever written. Enjoy this collection of knowledge!

Garlic vs. high blood pressure

Onions have similar characteristics and are often used in combination with garlic. To preserve the beneficial effects of garlic it should not be boiled. The fresh juice is the most effective preparation. For nervous spasms, cramps and seizures, crush one clove of garlic in a glass of hot milk. For high blood pressure, take one clove of garlic each morning. Prepare oil of garlic by placing eight ounces of peeled minced garlic in a wide-mouthed jar with enough olive oil to cover. Close tightly and shake a few times each day; allow to stand in a warm place for three days.
- The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra

Garlic has achieved a legendary reputation as an antihypertensive medication. It's been used in China for centuries for that purpose, and the Japanese government officially recognizes garlic as a blood-pressure depressor. American scientists first tried garlic against high blood pressure in 1921. Garlic consistently lowers blood pressure in laboratory animals.
- The Food Pharmacy: Dramatic New Evidence That Food Is Your Best Medicine by Jean Carper

Eat more garlic. It is another legendary folk remedy for high blood pressure, and it is effective, according to recent studies. Long used in China and widely used today in Germany as a blood pressure medication, garlic can have a striking impact. In a recent double blind German test of Kwai, an over-the-counter garlic preparation, doses comparable to a couple of daily garlic cloves pushed diastolic blood pressure down in patients with mild high blood pressure.
- Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper

I heard a lot about garlic being a good remedy for colds, but I was hesitant to try it because I also heard it lowers high blood pressure. Since my blood pressure is normal, I thought the garlic might cause it to drop. Fortunately, I read where a medical doctor said that garlic normalizes high or low blood pressure, but does not disturb normal blood pressure. With this assurance, I tried Kyolic garlic tablets the next time I felt I was starting to come down with a cold. Within a few days, I felt fine.
- Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists by Richard Lucas

The confidence the Egyptians had in garlic is demonstrated by the fact that they reportedly used it to strengthen the workers who built the pyramids. Pliny recommended garlic for 61 maladies in his Historia Naturalis; Hippocrates recommended it as a laxative, diuretic, and cure for tumors of the uterus. Garlic has been used to treat high blood pressure for centuries in China and Japan. In first-century India, garlic and onion were thought to prevent heart disease and rheumatism. Garlic even had a reputation as an aphrodisiac in Shakespearean England.
- Get Healthy Now with Gary Null: A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment and Healthy living by Gary Null

A number of scientific studies suggest another reason that garlic is your heart's friend: Its ability to bring down high blood pressure. Exactly how much can garlic reduce your blood pressure? It's not as fast-acting as high blood pressure medication, says Dr. Mowrey. But over time, he says, garlic can be almost as effective as lifestyle changes like weight loss, regular exercise and cutting back on salt intake.
- The Complete Book of Alternative Nutrition by Selene Y. Craig, Jennifer Haigh, Sari Harrar and the Editors of PREVENTION Magazine Health Books

According to David Hoffmann, B.Sc, M.N.I.M.H., of Sebastopol, California, eating a clove of raw garlic daily will help considerably in preventing or reversing the effects of high blood pressure. While garlic has been used for centuries in traditional cultures throughout the world as a multipurpose medicinal food, in recent decades more than 2,000 clinical studies have validated many of the folk-healing claims for "the stinking rose," as garlic was once called.
- Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Larry Trivieri, Jr.

Three to ten cloves of garlic a day are needed to induce the beneficial effects for the cardiovascular system. However, the garlic cloves must be crushed, chopped, bruised, or chewed to release the full effect. You might want to try some of the popular garlic-rich Italian and Asian dishes. If you're worried about the famous odoriferous side effect of consuming garlic, do as the Europeans do and take your garlic in concentrated odor-free capsules.
- Intelligent Medicine: A Guide to Optimizing Health and Preventing Illness for the Baby-Boomer Generation by Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.

Studies show that garlic has antibiotic properties as well as the ability to fight fungal infections, and at least twenty-eight studies have found garlic effective for lowering cholesterol levels. In one German experiment, volunteers taking an 800-mg garlic tablet saw their cholesterol levels drop an average of 12 percent over four months. Compounds in garlic dilate the blood vessels and may help high blood pressure, congenital heart disease, and lung conditions. Can garlic also prevent cancer? Some scientists are finding out.
- Medicines From Nature by Peggy Thomas

Another group of researchers proposed that garlic's antiplatelet activity and other cardiovascular effects may be due to activation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and subsequent production of nitric oxide. The correlation between low levels of nitric oxide and high blood pressure has been known since 1991, and this research correlated the effect of garlic extract on NOS and platelet aggregation. Raw, dried, aged, and macerated garlic as well as garlic oil have all demonstrated antiplatelet effects. Ajoene may be one of the most potent antiplatelet compounds in garlic.
- The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs by Robert S. McCaleb, Evelyn Leigh, and Krista Morien

In the eighteenth century, Esteyneffer recommended both garlic and onion for a wide variety of illnesses, uses that continue today. The Mountain Pima insert a clove of garlic into the anus to treat fever. The Mayo use garlic in capsules for arthritis and cancer and to reduce fat. Mexican Americans insert the clove to treat susto, fright disease. Both respect garlic for its magical properties. Garlic is used for high blood pressure and against fright; onion has been used for fever.
- Healing with Plants in the American and Mexican West by Margarita Artschwager Kay

As an antithrombotic agent, ajoene is at least as potent as aspirin and its activity is enhanced by other breakdown products of the garlic. Allicin is found to lower serum cholesterol by blocking its biosynthesis. Fresh garlic, garlic juice, aged garlic extracts or the volatile oil - all lowered cholesterol and plasma lipids, lipid metabolism, and atherogensis both in vitro and in vivo. Methyl-allyl trisulfide of the garlic helps expand constricted blood vessels, thereby preventing high blood pressure.
- Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany by C. P. Khare

The typical study compares diets high in fat with and without Garlic. Garlic diets consistently produce the lowest cholesterol levels. In the 1940s, one investigator found that 40 of 100 patients with high blood pressure experienced a reduction of 20 mmHg or more after about a week of garlic treatment. In another study, a water extract of garlic was given to hypercholesterolemic patients for two months during which time the patients experienced a 28.5% reduction in cholesterol - the dose was equivalent to about 10 grams of garlic per day.
- The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine: How to Remedy and Prevent Disease with Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients by Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D.

One study looked at 41,000 American women and found that one or more servings a week of garlic was associated with a 35 percent decrease in the risk of colon cancer. It is thought that garlic's sulfur compounds are key in preventing these types of cancers by helping to control carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). High blood pressure is recognized as one of the leading causes of heart disease, and garlic has been shown to have mild blood-pressure-lowering effects. Clinically, I would not rely on garlic alone to lower blood pressure.
- The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler, N.D.


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When I think of bottled water I think of hot tennis players gulping it down between matches. There certainly is a stigma about bottled water. Sometimes I think that one of the things around it is, rich people drink it. We see all of these rich famous people on television drinking it. Bottled water certainly has become popular. There is no doubting that. I go to the store and I see more brands than I can keep track of. I'll admit that I have drank a few bottles of this stuff in my day. Mainly I get it if I am out and not near home to get a drink of water. If I am out walking or exercising and don't have a water source near by.

Is bottled water a rip off?
The short answer is yes. There is nothinggreat about it. The only thing that is great about it is how it has been marketed. They tell us it is the best thing that we can get. It is something we all should drink. You have to keep in mind that these companies are in the business of making money. Their goal is to sell you bottled water. Even if you don't need it.

Is bottled water better for you than tap water?

No, it certainly isn't. In fact, most bottled water is just tap water. It is filtered and purified so it doesn't have the taste that the water from your tap has. Anything that will get you to drink more water is great. Though, you must realize that it is nothing more than a waste of money. You aren't getting something that your body will jump for joy when it gets.

You have to watch what you buy though. Some bottled water has things added to it. Sometimes they will add sugar or other flavorings to it. If it doesn't taste like pure water, there is something added to it. Sometimes the water will come from a spring or a mountain river. Is this any better for you? Not really. There might be some minerals in it that tap water won't have. But for the most part it is just the same, but more expensive.


Is bottled water a rip off?

The short answer is yes. There is nothing great about it. The only thing that is great about it is how it has been marketed. They tell us it is the best thing that we can get. It is something we all should drink. You have to keep in mind that these companies are in the business of making money. Their goal is to sell you bottled water. Even if you don't need it.

Is bottled water better for you than tap water?

No, it certainly isn't. In fact, most bottled water is just tap water. It is filtered and purified so it doesn't have the taste that the water from your tap has. Anything that will get you to drink more water is great. Though, you must realize that it is nothing more than a waste of money. You aren't getting something that your body will jump for joy when it gets.
You have to watch what you buy though. Some bottled water has things added to it. Sometimes they will add sugar or other flavorings to it. If it doesn't taste like pure water, there is something added to it. Sometimes the water will come from a spring or a mountain river. Is this any better for you? Not really. There might be some minerals in it that tap water won't have. But for the most part it is just the same, but more expensive.

You like the taste of bottled water but you don't like the taste of your tap water. What do you do?
For starters, I would suggest that you don't run to the store to get more bottled water. There are many products that you are use to filter your tap water. One of my favorites is the pitcher with the filter in it. I'm sure you have seen these on television before. When you pour the water, it goes through a filter.
These tend to be less expensive and easy to use. It doesn't take much brain power to be able to fill a pitcher with water. Check your local shop, I'm sure that you will find one there. There are also filters that you can put right over your faucet. These tend to be the best thing to use. They are easy to use and easy to replace the filters. You can get these at any Wal Mart or store like that.
There is always the water filtering system. You know, the ones with the pellets and all that garbage. Personally, I think these are a pain in the ass. I don't know why people get these instead of the smaller faucet units. I know that some people have to use these because of the condition of their water. Sometimes the water is too hard and you need to soften it. Though, that does sound like a plot for a porno movie.

If you don't like the taste of your water, try filling up the empty bottles that you have from the bottled water with tap water. Stick them in the ice box and get them nice and cold. You will notice that when cold, the water has a different flavor. You might find this to be drinkable. I know your wallet will thank you.

The problem I see with the bottled water is, it is too expensive. They are charging you an arm and a leg for something you can get next to free. Why should you pay for it? Well, you shouldn't.
I don't know why people don't feel guilty for buying bottled water. It is one step up from going to a whore.

You should stop drinking the bottled water and see how much money you save just for one month. I find it crazy that there are people around the world dying of starvation and disease and we pay a dollar or more for a bottle of water. That seems so crazy to me.

If you are a working man, you know how important lunch is. You can't function without a good lunch. A good lunch is the difference between feeling great during the afternoon and feeling worn out. Many times we skip on lunch. We don't either eat the right things, or don't eat at all. I know several people who don't eat any lunch at all. Especially women, they think they can skip this meal and not have to worry about it. I'm the type of person who can't skip a meal. Maybe one of the reasons is that I can't turn down a good meal. Though, if I don't eat, I can feel it. Nothing will make you feel like shit quicker than skipping a meal. We all know what it feels like.

What do you do? You don't have time to fix a good lunch before you go to work. Or do you?Of course you do. If you are in a relationship, you have more than enough time. One thing I would suggest is that you alternate fixing each others lunch. One day you fix both of your lunches, while the next day have her fix both of them. This will give you time to do the other things that you need to do.

You can also fix your lunch before you go to bed at night. By doing this, you don't have to rush yourself. Which, will make your day that much better. I hate having to rush in the morning. What kinds of things should you fix? Here we will go into some simple things to fix.

Tuna and Bell Pepper Pocket

3 (6-ounce) cans drained, solid white tuna (in water) ½ cup chopped bell peppers ¼ cup chopped celery ¼ cup sliced onions 8-12 lettuce leaves (preferably green) 2 medium-size sliced tomatoes (8-12 slices total) 3 tbsp. fat-free Italian dressing 1 tbsp. dried oregano 1 tbsp. black pepper 4 (6-inch) pita breads Combine tuna, green peppers, celery and onions in a bowl. In another bowl, combine dressing, black pepper and oregano, pour it over the tuna mix and stir. Refrigerate for a few hours. When serving, put 2-3 tomato slices and 2-3 lettuce leaves in each pita bread. Add tuna mix to pitas. There's enough for 4 servings.

I love this. I don't think there is a better easier lunch item than this.


Black Bean Salad ½ (8-ounce) can drained black beans 1 (15-ounce) can drained whole kernel corn 4 chopped green onions ½ chopped green bell pepper 3 diced tomatoes ½ avocado peeled, pitted and diced ½ (2-ounce) jar pimentos 2 tbsp. lemon juice 3 ounces fat-free Italian salad dressing ¼ tsp. garlic salt Combine Italian dressing, black beans, green onions, corn, bell pepper, avocado, pimento, tomatoes, and lemon juice in a bowl. Add and toss pepper, salt and garlic. Store in Tupperware and refrigerate. Offers up three delicious servings for that big appetite of yours.

This is another great one.

Smoked Chicken Sandwich ½ (8-ounce) loaf sourdough bread ¼ tbsp. vinegar 2 tbsp. chopped parsley 1/8 cup low-fat mayonnaise or fat-free salad dressing ¼ cup chopped bell peppers (you can't go wrong with bell peppers) ½ small onion thinly sliced ½ medium sized tomato sliced 8 (1-ounce) slices low-fat mozzarella cheese 2 cloves minced garlic 8 (1-ounce) slices lean chicken 1 tbsp. black pepper Slice the loaf of bread horizontally. Remove some soft bread from inside each half. Stir mayonnaise and vinegar together. Add parsley, bell peppers, black peppers, and garlic to the mix. Let stand for 15 minutes. Layer the bottom of the loaf with 4 slices of chicken and cheese, then layer with half of the onions and half of the tomatoes. Spread half of the mayonnaise concoction and repeat the entire process from the start with the remaining ingredients. Close the sandwich with the second bread shell and chill until it's ready to serve. When serving, cut loaf into 3 wedges (secure loaf with wooden sticks for a better cut). Makes 3 servings. There you have some easy lunch ideas. Try these, you are sure to love them.

Basic Work Out

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 0 comments

Often, a simple work out can make you feel good in a small amount of time. You can squeeze in these moves during lunch break, or even right before an upcoming date. The best part is, these exercises aren’t too demanding, so there will be minimal perspiration involved. Keep in mind that these routines are not meant for advanced trainers looking for serious muscle growth. They are designed to maintain a healthy and good-looking physique within approximately an hour. Make sure that you have a healthy snack at least one hour before the workout, and a full meal afterwards.

Cardiovascular and Lower Body

Your cardiovascular work out should consist of a half-hour daily walk. Simply lace up your quality walking shoes and go for a stroll around the block. Go out regardless of the weather; just make sure to dress adequately. An effective alternative to going outside is walking up and down a building staircase. This option is excellent for your heart, as well as maintaining leg muscles. To maintain a constant progression, try to increase your pace on a weekly basis. Set goals and gradually increase your distances. If possible, alter your cardiovascular sessions for an even more effective work out: use the staircase one day, and walk around the block on other days.

Upper Body

After your cardiovascular exercises, begin your upper body work out with a few exercises. Do these steps three times a week for better results.

Basic Pushups

Basic pushups will work your chest area, triceps and rear deltoids. Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions (depending on your fitness level), and gradually increase the repetitions as the movement becomes easier. Once the movement becomes too easy, you can increase the workout by elevating your feet on a chair to increase resistance.



Lay face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Your fingertips should be pointed straight ahead, and make sure you keep your back flat and your head in natural alignment with your spine. Get into the starting position by extending your arms straight from your shoulders, which lifts your entire body off the floor. While keeping your body stable, go down until your nose almost touches the floor. Exhale as you push back to the starting position with your chest and triceps. Try not to lock your elbows in order to keep constant tension on your muscles.

Close-Grip Pushups

Close-grip pushups mostly work the tricep muscles, the inner chest and the trunk muscles. Once again, carry out 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions (according to your fitness level), and gradually increase the repetitions as the movement becomes easier. • Use the same starting position and breathing pattern as the basic pushup. Bring your hands together and form a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. As you go down to the floor, your elbows should go to the side, which incidentally puts more stress on your triceps and inner chest. Close-grip pushups also require more balance. By stabilizing your body, your trunk muscles will work throughout the entire movement. At first, close-grip pushups might strain your wrists, so make sure you stretch appropriately and start off slowly.

Wide-Grip Pushups

Wide-grip pushups will work your chest, rear shoulders and parts of your back muscles. Carry out the same sets and reps as aforementioned and gradually increase the reps as the movement becomes easier. • Use the same starting position and breathing pattern as the basic pushup. Your hands should be positioned beyond shoulder width, with your fingers pointing frontward. The wider position emphasizes the tension on your shoulders and lengthens your pectorals. Wide-grip pushups are more demanding, so you will tire more quickly than with other pushups. The above pushup variations will help keep your upper body muscles strong and fit. For additional exercises, try these simple moves. All you require are either 8 or 15 kg dumbbells, or a few minutes.

Legs

These repetitions will build up muscles in the thigh and buttocks. First, spread your legs to hip length and keep your legs fully extended. Holding dumbbells in each hand and maintaining a straight back, slowly bend your knees until your thighs are level to the floor. Then, slowly return to your original position. Continue this exercise until you tire your legs to failure.

Chest

In order to work out the pectorals, lie on a bed (stomach up) and hold a weight in each hand above your chest. Keep your arms fully extended with the palms facing each other. Next, lower the dumbbells outwards and down until parallel with your shoulders. Breathe out, and return the weights to starting position. Aim for eight sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Arms

These exercises will strengthen your biceps. Sit on the edge of a secure chair with your feet placed hip width apart. Hold the weights with palms facing inwards in front of your body. Extend your arm, and curl one dumbbell up at a time in a small arc towards your shoulder. Be sure to rotate your forearm so your palm faces your shoulder at the top of the movement. Aim for three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

UniqueHoodia


by Michael Messner

In this day and age of heart disease, we all need to be careful. Did you know that 50% of men will die from heart disease? It is sad, but true. It is important that you watch what you eat. Not only if you are a body builder, but even if you aren't one. All of us should be concerned about our diet and our health. Take some notes and make sure that you pay attention. I'm sure there will be a few items on this list that you never dreamed were bad for you.. Solid oils. You know what these are. Stuff like Crisco and other shortening.

I think that some people use them in place of lard and actually think it is better for them. If you are making a pie crust or something, skip the shortening and use the lard. Actually, the lard is better for you. People tend to use this kind of fat because it has a long shelf life. This stuff will stay good for ever. Personally, I hate the stuff. I can't see why anyone would like it. I think it tastes awful and it feels awful in my mouth.
Deep fried foods. You should avoid these like the plague. It is said that when something is deep fried, its DNA changes. I don't know how true this is. I do know that deep fried foods have been linked to cancer.

Refined flour and store bought flour. This has been bleached and everything under the sun done to it. When this happens, all the good stuff from it is taken away. The reason why you are eating is, is been stolen from you. Stick with good whole wheat. That is what is best for you.

White rice. I would piss off most of the world if I said that you should never ever eat this stuff. Though, I have to say that brown rice is better for you. Brown rice has all the stuff white does and more. You can mix brown with white if you still aren't used to eating the brown rice.

Sugar. This is a no brainer really. You should try to consume as little as you possibly have to. Also, fructose is a building block for cholesterol. Keep that in mind when you have your next can of soda.

Canned soups. These are almost always loaded with salt. If you want to buy these, make sure you get ones that are low in salt. If you have a craving for soup, see if your local deli makes soup. It will be lower in salt. That will make your heart happy.

Alfredo sauces. Don't buy items with already made Alfredo sauce. Usally they are loaded with butter and salt. You don't want any of that.

Processed meats. These tend to be high in fat and high in salt. They are a heart attack in a can.

Hydrogenated palm oils. Avoid anything that is made with these. These will give you a heart attack faster than eating a bucket of lard.

Lunchables and other items like them. They are loaded with salt and fat. I can't believe any parent would give this junk to their kids.

What comes in, must come out. That is true with the food we eat. This might sound like a disgusting topic, but it is something that we should talk about. You can tell if your diet is high in fat by the stool you produce. If it sinks straight to the bottom, you are eating too much fat. You would think that fat would float, but it doesn't when it is coming out.
Your stool should float in the toilet bowl. If it does, it is a hint that you have a good diet. If it doesn't, then you need to change what you are eating.

To remember this, I try to make up a little rhyme like what was heard during the final moments of the OJ trial. If it doesn't float, you need to get off of the boat. Meaning, if it doesn't float, you need to change your diet.

There are diets that work for certain people, there are diets that do not work for certain people and then there are diets that never really work for anybody at all. Dieting is the most popular past time in the Western world and, makes no mistake that this is not a women-only issue. If you are a man and want a lot of women around you, then you have to stay fit.

Pessimists would say that a diet is a bunch of foods we don't like, in too tiny portions for our appetites and we must eat all that at specific times of the day. As nobody really eats this way, nobody can successfully diet and change their life style. I would say that dieting is, more than anything else, finding a structure.

It's been said that people cannot eat healthy with so many temptations around them and this is why diets don't really work, but the truth is that way too few diets offer a healthy structure that is both easy to follow and tasty. We cannot eat bland food all our lives and we can only drink this much grapefruit juice before we decide enough it's enough.

Add to that all the scientific discoveries that stress out the importance of our genes to our overall body type and the naysayer do seem to make a valid point when they argue that diets never work. The fact is that, as one medical study showed, 80% of the children who have two obese parents are at risk of growing into obese adults themselves and only 15% of the children who have two normal-weight parents are at risk of growing into obese adults.

So genes do play an important role, but so do your environment and your life style. It doesn't matter how skinny your mother and father are if you drink a gallon of high sugar fizzy drinks a day and eat only the greasiest burgers with XXL portions of fries.

We are all at risk of being involved in a car accident, whether we drive or not, but very few of us would ever have a car accident and even fewer will cause one to happen. Not drinking alcohol prior to driving and not being too tired to stay focused really does help.

And the same case can be made for dieting. Dieting is more than something you try for a couple of weeks every now and then. Dieting is changing the perspective you have on food. For example there is no such a thing as good foods and bad foods, but there is something that is called moderation. And it means that if you know you should cut out sugar and fat, and then avoid eating huge portions of anything that contains a lot of refined sugar and a high amount of fat.

It won't get you very far to start on a frustration diet that demonizes chocolate and burgers! You should be able to adjust to a healthier burger, though. Like not buying a burger, but trying to make your own, buying a lean cut of beef and having the butcher grinding it for you. Dieting and healthy life style is not as much about giving up on foods we love, but on making choices that are sustainable for long term – for a life time actually!

It is a human tendency and need to fix a problem as fast as possible and the same is with over weight people, as they naturally want an instant remedy to lose weight. Many people, especially younger women believe that the easier way to lose weight is by using slimming pills.

People who take slimming pills feel that they have total control over their actions and they will stick to their recommended dosage. In reality, it is not true. People have started increasing the amounts prescribed, as they wish to speed up their weight loss expectations. Slimming pills are often the last resort to help people, who are grossly overweight and need to lose some weight, or struggling to lose some more.

Many health professionals agree that slimming pills do help many people. However, it is an emergent trend that the general public feel suspicious that these pills may have some side effects too. Certain slimming pills, if consumed without prescription can be dangerous. The most popular slimming pills are Reductil, Xenical.

These pills are available through proper prescription only. Xenical works as a fat buster and hence, less fat is absorbed in the body. Reductil is quite effective as a slimming pill, but is best for severely overweight or obese people.

The pills mentioned above are a good option for weight loss. However, you cannot assume that these pills are magical pills. These pills will not help you to reduce weight overnight. It may take months or may be years before you visualize a weight change in you. Slimming pills does not come with a tag of calorie-controlled diet. So, before you buy any slimming pills, remember to consult your physician.

Mild Disadvantages:

Xenical slimming pills come with some side effects, although these effects are gentle and avoidable. The common side effects include a sudden bowel movement, oily stools, and repeated bowel movements. There are also complaints of losing control over bowel movement by many people.

Another popular and preferred slimming pill is Alli, which is quite responsible of giving diarrhea, anal leakage and various other side effects to its several users. This slimming pill is proved to help reduce just 1 pound.

Actually, this pill unites with fats present in the body and takes them out of the digestive system, making it impossible to digest properly. On the other hand, it also obstructs all those necessary fats that are required by the body to remain healthy.

Hence, it becomes a necessity to consult your doctor before starting to intake such slimming pills.

All natural weight loss plans sound almost too good to be true. Is it even possible to lose weight, look and feel great without being forced into an unnatural diet or without taking dangerous drugs?

Well, if you want to lose weight, you have to have a plan. You have to set some goals and pursue them. And you have to be patient. There is no such a thing as fast weight loss. You cannot take a pill and get rid of all the fat deposits in a matter of weeks or months. Your body just doesn't work this way.

Here is a good plan with all the things you will have to do to lose weight safely and effective:

1. Exercise.
This is nothing new really, but exercise is probably the most important predictor of whether you will succeed at long term weight loss and weight loss maintenance. In order for exercise to be helpful in weight loss, you should strive for a minimum of five 30-minute sessions per week. The good news is that recent research has shown that three 10-minute sessions in a day are as good as one 30-minute session.

The goal of exercise for weight loss is to burn more calories, although exercise offers many other benefits as well. How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities.

Even though regularly scheduled aerobic exercises are best for losing fat, any extra physical activity helps burn calories. And since lifestyle-related activities may be easier to fit into your day, you should think about ways you can increase your physical effort. For example, make several trips up and down stairs instead of using the elevator, park at the far end of the lot and walk instead of taking the bus.

2. Stay focused on being healthy, not on becoming thin.
Many people become more successful at long-term weight loss when their motivation changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body's health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body's weight. The Food Pyramid offers a basic outline of the types and amounts of food you should eat each day to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal health.

Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories doesn't mean giving up taste, satisfaction or even ease of meal preparation. One way you can lower your calorie intake is by eating more plant-based foods - fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without giving up taste or nutrition.

3. If you have to use any weight loss pills, don't try those advertised as "fat burners" or other nonsense of this kind. There are plant extracts out there that can help you reduce the sensation of hunger and bind some of the fat in your meals so you get the benefit of a relaxed approach and positive attitude.

A good attitude is essential for your success. A good attitude can help you have patience and not try to see fast results. Fast weight loss will only result in gaining back all the fat and then some.

All natural weight loss plans and baby steps do work wonders!

By Paul Freegale

It is often said that we eat with our eyes. Though this might sound stupid, think about it for a second. You know that we are attracted by the opposite sex with our eyes. You wouldn't go down on a woman who you weren't attracted to would you? So, we do eat with our eyes first. It is important then when dealing with a new diet that we understand that we do eat with our eyes. It is important because if we don't like what we see, chances are we won't eat it. This is why restaurants put a little bit of green leafy material on the side of your plates. It is to make your eyes wake up. If it looks good, it probably tastes good. I think that the problem that most people have is that they don't make their food look pretty enough. When they go on a diet, they tend to make the food look too bland. But if they were eating a pound of bacon, they would work extra hard to make it look good.

Maybe it is due to some part because we dress up things that are bad for us. We try to dress it up so that we forget how bad it is. I think this is true some times when going out to a restaurant and eating. They don't want you to focus on all the butter and fat that is in the dish.
What can you do to liven up your diet? You need to remember some fundamental things. Here we will discuss those.

Like in all things, our senses lead us. If something looks or smells bad, we will run away from it. The same is true with food. Make sure that your food is alive and looks good. Use contrasting colors that make the food jump off the plate. Try to blanch green veggies so that they keep their color. Use lemon juice or other acid to maintain color when you have to.

Color is important because of something looks wilted and over cooked, we won't want to eat it. It is as simple as that. Make the colors come alive. Try to be an artist with your food. Veggies come in all colors. You can use red bell peppers or purple onions. Go to your super market and pay attention to the colors of the veggies. Also, by doing so you will pay closer attention to freshness. Smells are important. Try to use as many spices and herbs as you can. Just because a dish is low in fat doesn't mean that it has to taste like card board. You should try to wake up your taste buds with every meal you have.

Hot peppers are a great way of doing this. You get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to hot peppers. Usually they are very cheap and one will go a long ways. If you want flavor instead of heat, you can always add a little pinch of sugar. I love hot peppers and try to use them every chance I can.

Texture.

This is one area that people tend to really over look. If it feels weird in your mouth, chances are you won't want to eat it. Make sure that your food isn't over cooked. Don't cook the veggies to the point they are mush. Try to keep everything looking and tasting like it did when it was fresh.

The way that you arrange your plate makes a difference as well. Try to make your plate look as full as possible. Don't push everything to one side. Spread things out a bit and make it look like as big of a meal as possible. Use all the room on your plate. Sometimes it helps to burn some incense or something while you are eating. Just don't do any of the fruit flavored ones or ones that will make you more hungry. Something that smells good will take your mind off of your hunger.

Also, drink plenty of fluids while you eat. I have known many people who wait and drink their fluids after they are done eating. This will take more food to fill you up. Instead, sip on your drink as you eat. This will also help in digestion.

You see, when you are starting a diet you have to make sure that you are telling the brain that you aren't depriving it of the food that it loves. You have to make sure that you keep things exciting and try new things. If you can do this, you will have more success with your diet.

Nearly all movie stars, TV anchors, top models and singers look like gods. Perfect legs, slim waists, cool hairstyles, tanned bodies. They look effortlessly beautiful, but you should not be deceived by the appearances. Aside from a handful of people, all the rest have to work hard at it. Dieting and workouts are among the most important things in the life of a high-powered star. Because if they don’t look right, they don’t get contracts and they are soon out of the public minds and hearts. Such is life in Hollywood.

And just like any place where money and ambition meet, there are a lot of people trying to push this or that idea as the best thing since sliced bread, or something like that. And celebrities many do fall for this stuff, mainly because celebrities are just like the rest of us and have a hard time finding a diet that works. Since we are all a bit different from each other, there’s no single diet that works the same for everybody, which means that one has to try this or that eating plan in order to find which one is best. And the search can get a bit rough sometimes.

Famous model Claudia Schiffer, for instance, is not on any kind of diet. Naturally, she ahs tried a lot of them and has finally concluded that diets are messing with her metabolism and that she is better off sticking to a three meals per day plan. The meals are rich in vegetables and fruits, which are fast digested by the body, and she tried hard not to resort to snacks during meals. However, she does give in to temptation every now and then and eats a bit of chocolate or some other forbidden food. The crucial thing is not to give in to the temptation of eating a whole box of sweets.

Three meals per day rich in vegetables and fruits is also the cornerstone of Geri Halliwell’s eating plan. After going through excessive exercising and a long row of bizarre diets, Geri decided that enough is enough and turned to what she calls “sensible eating”. She is now part of the growing trend of celebrities that would rather have a nice set of curves to show than a skinny figure. So a bit of fat here and there is no longer a problem, which means that she can be less stressed about the whole dieting thing.

The same basic idea worked for TV presenter Claire Sweeney, who chose the Weight Watchers diet precisely because it let her eat foods that she likes and that other diets forbid. She had already gone through a detox plan, which she could not stick to, an Atkins diet that gave her a kidney infection and a dozen other dieting ideas. Weight Watchers worked for her better than anything else and so she’s still on the program.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been on a macrobiotic diet plan for years. She would not touch meat, eggs, dairy products and caffeine and stuck with it until her recent pregnancy. After giving birth to her daughter, Apple, Gwyneth returned to her eating plan, but she says she is not as strict as she once was. While still avoiding foods that drain her energy, the actress has found that a relaxed attitude is better than looking like a bean pole.

It seems that the stick figure is slowly going out of style after the excesses of the ‘90s. More and more stars find that maintaining a healthy balance between their cravings and their image is better than denying themselves every pleasure in order to reach an unreasonable beauty standard. And it turns out that this is not a bad approach at all.

Herbs are nutritional foundation nutrients and good alternative medicine to nourish the body's deepest and most basic elements. Medicinal herbs have been used safely and effectively since the time of recorded history for an endless list of reasons from health, healing, weight loss/gain/maintenance, to survival and more. Herbs can offer the body nutrients it does not always receive, either from a poor diet, or environmental deficiencies in the soil and air. They are great body balancers that help regulate body functions.

The benefits of herbs are many and varied. Even the once skeptical traditional medical community is starting to embrace alternative medicine practices using herbal remedies and healing philosophies and practices incorporating herbal medicine and medicinal herbs. Chinese herbs have been used by the Chinese for over 4,000 years to promote health and as healing agents.

Chinese Herbs are taken as tonics to enhance physical and mental well being. Since the dawn of man, herbs have been used for healing purposes and to promote wellness. Today, herbs are still the alternative medicine and primary source of health care for 80% of the world.

Here are some of the more well-known herbs and plant products and their modern uses.

Herbs Modern Uses
Bilberry Fruit Extract, Vaccinium myrtillus Various microcirculatory conditions. Night blindness and poor ability to adapt to bright light.

Cascara Sagrada Aged Bark, Rhamnus purshiana Constipation.

Cayenne Pepper Fruit, Capsicum annuum Carminative, diaphoretic, counter-irritant.

Cranberry Fruit, Vaccinium macrocarpon Prevention of urinary tract infections.

Dong Quai Root, Angelica sinensis Various menstrual disorders.

Echinacea Herb, Echinacea purpurea As supportive therapy for colds and chronic infections of the respiratory tract.

Evening Primrose Oil, Oenothera biennis Conditions related to deficiency of essential fatty acids (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome) and alcoholism.

Feverfew Leaf, Tanacetum parthenium Treatment of migraines, fever, menstrual disorders..

Garlic Cloves, Allium sativum Elevated levels of cholesterol in blood and as a preventative measure for age dependent vascular changes.

Ginger Root, Zingiber officinale Modern Use: Prevention of the nausea and vomiting of motion sickness, dyspepsia, stomachic.

Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Ginkgo biloba Memory deficits, dementia syndromes. Improvement of distance and pain-free walking in peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Vertigo and tinnitus.

Asian Ginseng Root, Panax ginseng Tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility, physical or mental exhaustion, stress, inadequate resistance to infections.

Siberian Ginseng Root, Eleutherococcus senticosus Tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility, also during convalescence.

Goldenseal Root, Hydrastis canadensis Catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract associated with colds and flus. Mucosal inflammations.

Gotu Kola Herb, Centella asiatica Improved memory. Venous insufficiency.

Grape Seed Extract, Vitis vinifera Microcirculatory maldistribution of blood flow. Altered capillary fragility and permeability. Anti-inflammatory.

Green Tea Leaf Extract, Camellia sinensis Chemopreventative. Hypercholesterolemia.

Kava Kava Root Extract, Piper methysticum Conditions of nervous anxiety, stress, and restlessness. Sedative and sleep enhancement.

Licorice Root, Glycyrrhiza glabra For catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract and gastric/duodenal ulcers. Bronchitis. Adrenocorticoid insufficiency.

Milk Thistle Seed Extract, Silybum marianum Toxic liver damage, and for supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis.

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, Serenoa repens Urination problems in benign prostate hyperplasia stages 1 and 2.

St. John's Wort Herb Extract, Hypericum perforatum Mild to moderate depressive states.

Valerian Root, Valeriana officinalis Restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions.

by Michael Messner

The one problem that most single men have is, they never have a well stocked pantry. This can cause major problems. If you don't have a stocked pantry, you are more likely to fill up on snack food or even worse, fast food. You need to make sure that you have a well stocked pantry so that you can cook healthy meals without much effort. Don't know what kinds of things that you should always have on hand? Well, no need to worry about it anymore. We will give you a list of 20 items that are must haves for you pantry.

1. Water his might sound silly, but always have some cold water on hand. Get yourself a pitcher or something that you can keep water in the ice box.

2. Milk. You should always have some low fat milk on hand. Cereal in the morning is a great way to get a good easy meal.

3. Fruit. Always have some fruit on hand. It is great for snacking. You can eat fruit and instead of potato chips.

4. Carrots. These are great for snacking. Just add some low fat dip and you have a snack that will rival any deep fried snacks.

5. Peanut butter. This is a great way to get some protein without having to worry about the fat. Use it on your toast for breakfast instead of butter.

6. Eggs. You need these for baking and other specialties. Also they are great for a protein filled breakfast.

7. Yogurt. This is great for hot summer days. You can make tons of drinks out of this. Also, it is great with chicken. You should learn a bit about Indian cooking for more ways to use yogurt. Indians love yogurt and eat it often.

8. Butter. You shouldn't suck on butter like you do a lollipop. But, butter is a must for baked goods. Also, fried eggs taste great cooked in butter.

9. Lemons. These are a must if you eat a lot of seafood. Also, a cold glass of lemonade is great after a hard days work.

10. Mayo. Don't use this stuff every day. But, you do need to use some if you make tuna or chicken salad. It can also be great on low fat cuts of chicken and such. It is good on items that are dry. Make sure to buy the low fat kind and to use as little as possible.

11. Mustard. I like to use this instead of mayo on sandwiches. It is a great way to knock out the fat.

12. Cheese. This is a must have. Don't eat too much of it. But, cheese is the beauty of life. It can make a dull dish come alive.

13. Drinks. Always have some drinks on hand. Have some fruit juice, beer and sodas in the ice box. Don't go over board with them, but have a beer from time to time as a treat.

14. Fresh ginger. This will keep for a long time in your ice box. Don't cover it or anything like that. Keep it whole in your ice box for best keeping.

15. Bread. You should always have some bread on hand. Don't go hog wild here on the carbs. A good sandwich is great from time to time. I would suggest that you find a local bakery and buy your bread there. Don't buy that awful white stuff that has been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.

16. Canned veggies and fruits. When in a pinch, canned is better than none at all. Even though I suggest that you always eat fresh fruits and veggies, you should have some canned ones on hand. How do you know when you will have a craving for corn and not have any fresh on hand? Canned food can last a very long time, so you don't have to eat it right away.

17. Pasta. Want a meal in a minute? Pasta is the way to go. It cooks quickly and easily.

18. Rice. Same as pasta.

19. Spices and herbs. Always keep some of these on hand. Go to a place where you can buy them in bulk. Don't buy those little containers in the store. Not only are they too expensive, but you don't know how long they have been sitting there. When you buy from a place that sells bulk, you know that you will be getting fresh items.

20. Cereal. Great for that last minute breakfast. Have some of this on hand so you don't have to wait in line at the fast food joint to get your heart attack on a muffin.

Many herbs have a long history of use and of claimed health benefits. An herb, or botanical, is a plant or part of a plant that is used for its scent, flavor, and/or therapeutic properties. Although they are so-called ‘natural’, herbal products are not necessarily safe or without harmful effects. They may come from plants, but many plants are considered harmful and poisonous.

Unlike prescription medicines, herbal products are not tested to certify their safety and efficacy before their marketing. Active ingredients in many herbal medicines and supplements are still unknown. Some have been found contaminated with metals, unlabeled prescription drugs, microorganisms or other substances.

Since herbal products are not tested, they may cause certain health problems/complications. It may not be wise to take herbal products if you have any of these medical problems/conditions:


• High blood pressure
• Thyroid problems
• Parkinson’s disease
• Blood-clotting problems
• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• Epilepsy
• Depression or psychiatric problems
• Liver problems
• Enlarged prostrate gland
• Glaucoma
• History of stroke or organ transplant


Women who are pregnant or nursing should be especially cautious about using herbal products, as well as with people who are about to have surgery. Always check with your health care provider.

It is likewise important to consult with your doctor before using herbal products if you are taking any medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter). Some herbal products are known to interact with medications in ways that may pose risks to your health.

Diet Comparisons

Monday, October 5, 2009 0 comments

Diet Comparisons
Probably the most important things people want to know when they think the time has come (again) to cut some of the daily food intake is which diet is the best. Although we are all different beings, we all share the same goal: a diet that can make us thin in no time at all. Some sort of miracle pill or eating plan that makes fat go away and never ever return. That’s actually the second part of the big wish: how to make sure that all the weight lost through dieting stays lost through the years.

Proactol
The more diets published in magazines and on the Internet, the more people are confused about what dieting really means and about the right way of bringing your body back in shape. The growing number of overweight people has turned weight loss into an industry like never before and the market is growing every year. It seems that nowadays all one needs is a fashionable idea and a flair for marketing in order to make a lot of money or garner a lot of popularity by proposing some sort of weird diet, despite the lack of professional expertise in this field.




And there is a LOT of diets out there. We’re going to go here only through the best-known diets, since a review of all the diets floating around the industry would be beyond the scope of this article.
So let’s start with one of the latest fads of the dieting world: the Atkins diet. Pretty much everybody’s head of the Atkins diet, largely due to the flood of articles praising the extraordinary results, not to mention the loads of good mail from satisfied customers. The biggest thing in favor of this diet is that it lets you eat high fat dairy products like cheese and butter. However, the Atkins diet has fallen from its lofty perch over suspicions of increasing the risk of heart diseases, not to mention the proved fact that bigger number of followers complain of diarrhea, weakness, muscle cramps and rashes. The debate over the scientific fundamentals of this diet is still raging.

Next comes the Zone diet; another well-known eating plan. This diet is the brainchild of Barry Sears and it’s all about eating the right mix of foods in order to reach the proper hormonal balance. This state of balance, which is called the “Zone”, lets the body take in calories and use them through the day without putting anything aside as fat. Unfortunately, this diet does some serious discrimination among foods without any scientific basis. Starchy vegetables, whole grains and beans are banned, although these foods are not in conflict with the principles of the diet. The American Heart Association says the Zone diet lacks essential nutrients while promoting high-protein foods.
 
The Jenny Craig diet is next on the list. One of the longest running diets, Jenny Craig started this business in the early 1980s and it’s still around. The basic idea of this diet is a trade off: you don’t have to choose recipes, do the shopping and the cooking, but you have to buy the Jenny Craig prepackaged food. And that runs to some $100 per week. Plus the membership costs. Plus the vegetables and fruits which are not included in the prepackaged food. If you can afford it and if you can stick to it, the diet is pretty good. However, similar low-calorie foods can be bought at the grocery store and you don’t have to discuss this with a Jenny Craig expert that insists on your eating the prepackaged food because he gets a percentage of the sale price.
From sunny Florida comes the South Beach diet. This one has the right idea and wrong approach combination down pat. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people have managed to lose weight with this diet and it actually works. But the question is: can you really stick to it? The first phase of the diet will eliminate most foods containing carbohydrates from your daily consumption. Fortunately, this phase lasts two weeks. Unfortunately, second phase focuses on a half-hearted return of whole grains and fruits and lasts… as long as necessary. If reaching the desired weight takes you one year, then that’s exactly how long this phase is going to last. And if you don’t like the foods allowed by this diet then you’re out of luck. There are no alternatives.
And yet another veteran dieting program around is Weight Watchers. This is actually one of the best diets around because it puts all the management tools in the hands of the user. If you are really committed to losing weight, you have all the information you need to do it. And a lot of people who are going through the same thing are going to be there to help you. If having company during difficult times helps your willpower, then you are probably going to lose all that extra weight. If, on the other hand, you don’t like the idea of being constantly under peer pressure, then this diet is not for you.

As you can see from this short review, there are a lot of diets out there, dozens more than we’ve been able to cover here. The best thing to do when choosing a diet is to do as much research about it as possible. See what people who tried it have to say. Then see what doctors and dietitians have to say about it. Between those singing praises and those trying to prove the diet wrong you can probably get the truth yourself. Still, pay special attention to what the doctors have to say. If they tell you a certain diet will put your body to risk then think twice before trying it.

Fat

Most of us are focused on fat. It is all that we hear about these days. Since the time we are kids we are told that fat is bad for us. Some people are more worried about calories than fat. To be honest you should be worried about both. You need to make sure that your diet isn't full of junk food. You should be getting your calories from foods that are good for you. Who cares about not eating any fat, if all your calories come from sweets? I'm not sure how much I believe fat is the bad thing we make it out to be. I'm starting to believe that carbs are the real evil in the diet empire. I really do think this is why so many people are overweight in this world.
Think about it like this. How many cultures in the world eat bread? Most of them eat some sort of bread. Bread for some people is the focus of the meal. In the old days, women spent all day long making breads. This is also true with pasta in some regions of the world. A lot of places eat some sort of pasta with every meal. What about rice? The same thing. The Irish and potatoes? The same thing. These are all carbs.

Most people eat these every day of their lives. I think we are addicted to carbs. I know I am. I eat so much bread and other carbs that I don't know what I would do without them. That, adds a tire around the waste line. I'm not saying that carbs are worse than fat per se. I mean, fat has its problems too. You eat too much of it, you are getting yourself ready for a heart attack. I mean, your body can only handle so much of them. We have all seen young men get heart attacks at an early age. So, we know that fat is bad.

Not all fat is the same though. Some fat is worse than others. Let's talk about these different kinds of fat. We have items that are lower in saturated fat. These would include meats and cheeses. They don't have as much fat as the items we will be talking about next. On the other hand, you have items that are more saturated than meats and cheese. These tend to be anything deep fried. They will include, donuts, french fries, potato chips.

The second is what you need to stay away from. These are high in calories. They also will clog your arteries. I hate to say it, but the good stuff in life has its risks. I'm not saying that you shouldn't ever eat these items, but eat them in moderation. That is the key. Don't eat them every day, but once per week. Don't go hog wild on a whole bag of chips. Instead, get a small bag that is enough for one or two servings. This way, you won't be tempted to eat the whole bag.




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Oils such as olive oil are low in sat fats. You should use these when ever you can. Keep in mind though, you should only use a little of oil. Make sure to always use non stick cookware. This is a must and a great investment for your health. By using non stick cookware you won't have to use as much oil when cooking. If you get the good stuff, you might not have to use any at all. I think that you should watch your caloric intake as well as your fat. I would say that they should go hand in hand. I would pay close attention to how much carbs you are eating each day. I know that I sound like a broken record, but I do think people are too dependant on them. They are a good source of energy, but you will feel burnt out if you eat them too much. I think you know what I am talking about. You feel like you need a nap all the time.

There are also health risks involved with a diet high in fat. You are at higher risk of having sugar problems and heart disease. Plus a whole host of cancers that most people don't have a risk for. People who eat high fat diets also have skin problems. I think people who eat too much fat have very bad complexion. Their skin almost looks like leather.

I hope that you don't finish reading this and think that you should cut out all of the fat in your diet. That isn't my intent. Instead, you should look at the big picture. You can eat some fat, just don't go licking a block of lard as a refreshing snack on a hot summer day.

Low Fat Dessert
No meal is over unless there is a dessert involved. If you are here in America, you know that most of the desserts out there are bad for you. They are loaded with salt, sugar and or fat. We have become a nation of junk food addicts. I do have a theory on this.

I think that when a group of people experience wealth, their diets change. I know that this is simple and even a moron can come up with something like this, but hear me out. When a group of people have enough money that they have a choice of what they will eat, they will choose to go along with the more fatty foods.

I think this is because we tend to store fat to keep us warm for the winter.
In our minds if there is a bunch of food to choose from, then we will go towards the fatty foods. Like most animals, we prepare for the winter time. We know that it will be cold so we want a layer of fat to keep us warm.

Another aspect of it is, we are greedy. All people are greedy. We want the best of everything.
We want a nice new car, new house and all the rich food that we can eat. In the past, a wealthy person ate different foods than someone who is poor.

What to do?
You want that little bit of joy at the end of the meal, but you don't want to become a lard ass. Well, you can have your cake and eat it too. We will discuss some of the more healthy desserts that you can eat. First I want to say, don't get fooled by this low fat stuff. It isn't worth the time. You will eat twice as much of it to fill your cravings. It is because it is missing something, the fat. The one thing that you are craving the most. In the end you aren't really doing yourself any favors. You are falling in the trap that all fat people fall into. They think since it is low fat, they can eat twice as much of it. That maybe true, but only if you don't want to loose weight.





Fresh fruit is always a good dessert. You can prepare it easily and it tastes great.

Nothing tastes better than fresh fruit that is in season. Make sure that it is perfectly ripe and ready to eat. If it is ripe, it will be sweet and juicy. If you eat fruit that isn't ripe it will be hard and not have all the flavor that it can yield. You don't have to stick with the ho hum fruit salad. You can choose a ton of different ways to eat fresh fruit. You can bake apples for example wrapped in tin foil with a little bit of brown sugar. This is wonderful.

One of my favorite things is bananas sliced in orange juice. The sweet tangy flavor of the orange juice is really different compared to the banana. I could eat a truck load of this stuff. It is also a great pick me up if you are feeling sluggish. We have all seen those wand mixers advertised on television. Some people call these boat motors. It is a hand held mixer/blender that you can use for a lot of things. I love these things. If you have one of these, it is easy to make a great low fat dessert.

ProactolHere is a simple dessert using your boat motor. Take skim milk. You need to make sure that it is ice cold for this. Take your milk and put it in a drinking glass. Use your boat motor to whip air into it. You will notice after awhile it kind of looks like whipped cream. Add some bananas and strawberries and a little pinch of sugar to make it sweet. This is very low fat and it tastes great. You get that desire for fat taken care of that you have been craving so much. The whipped milk really almost feels like whipped cream. You won't believe how much it feels like the real thing.


You can also use this to add some zing to all kinds of things. You can use it to make your low fat milkshakes. You can add your protein mix to this for a great meal with very little fat. You will be surprised at how many things you can do with this whipped topping. People will think that you have fallen off of your rocker when they think you are eating a big serving of whipped cream. Before you know it, all your buddies at the gym will want you to make them something to eat with your boat motor. That is when you will have to tell them to get their own.

You can also eat gelatin. Make sure that you get the unflavored kind. It will come in either envelopes or in sheets. There will be directions on the package to tell you how to make it. You can add fruit juice or you can add fresh fruit to your gelatin. If you have a boat motor, you can use it and add some of that whipped topping you make from the skim milk. You will love this. You can also eat some low fat cakes. Just because it is cake, doesn't mean that it is bad for you. Just make sure that there isn't a whole lot of eggs or dairy involved. Also sometimes people sneak in mayo in their cake batters. Make sure you know what is on the cake. Also jam or jelly is great instead of frosting.

I'm sure that you can come up with your own ideas as well. Just think of what you already like to eat and put a spin on it.
Please, stay away from the low fat stuff. All that will do is make you crave more of that than you should be eating. In the long run, you aren't saving any calories.

Diet Secrets of Hollywood
Diets come a dime a dozen in Hollywood. They practically fall out of the sky. Any doctor or layman who manages to have an original idea or, at least, a new twist on an old idea, and is marginally successful in selling it to the public is thinking of setting up a shop in Hollywood. There’s probably no other place on Earth where diets and any other idea that could keep a body slim are so venerated as in Hollywood. Hundreds of young women and men (and some of them not so young) employ personal trainers and are up to date on the latest dieting trends because it’s good for their jobs to do so.

ProactolThe general public is also interested in finding out the dieting secrets of movie stars and singers. They think that actors might have some tricks up their sleeves if they manage to stay so slim and good-looking through the years. Actually it’s not quite like that. Actors and singers are normal human beings. They have their unique genetic make-ups which means that no single diet works for everybody. So each one of them tries a couple of diets in order to find out which one suits him or her. Moreover, not all Hollywood stars stick to their diets.  
The crave for a treat does not discriminate.
Celebrities don’t have some sort of secret knowledge that opens the path to a beautiful body. Most of them get their tips just as the rest of the people do. They hear them from hairdressers and make-up girls. They get them from agents and publicists. Or they follow the latest fashionable trainer or dietician, just as they pick up on the latest philosophies or mystical experiences. Moving from Atkins to cabbage soup is not more complicated than dropping Buddhism in favor of Kabbalah. Some stars hire people who know a lot about diets to make these decisions for them.

 All these famous people have to deal with the same kind of issues we all do. Sticking to a diet is hard on them, too, so they eat things they shouldn’t and resent the fact that they can’t do it all the time. They worry about the effects of such and such diets on their skin and they don’t look all that great all the time. But for every star there’s a small army of lighting experts, make-up artists, beauticians, image editing and visual effects people who work hard to make sure that the faces we see on screens and in magazines look perfect. No blemishes, no unsightly skin, no sagging anywhere. Just perfection.

One thing that could be said for Hollywood stars is that they work harder at their diets than most people. It’s very important for their jobs and popularity and so they try really hard to stay in shape and look good everyday. They’re not dieting experts and it’s unrealistic to expect them to be so. They’re good at other things and we’re content with them being that way. So, the bottom line is that there really is not secret to Hollywood dieting. Just the will to carry on and the struggle to stay fit.

Basic Work Out
Often, a simple work out can make you feel good in a small amount of time. You can squeeze in these moves during lunch break, or even right before an upcoming date. The best part is, these exercises aren’t too demanding, so there will be minimal perspiration involved. Keep in mind that these routines are not meant for advanced trainers looking for serious muscle growth. They are designed to maintain a healthy and good-looking physique within approximately an hour. Make sure that you have a healthy snack at least one hour before the workout, and a full meal afterwards.


Cardiovascular and Lower Body
Your cardiovascular work out should consist of a half-hour daily walk. Simply lace up your quality walking shoes and go for a stroll around the block. Go out regardless of the weather; just make sure to dress adequately. An effective alternative to going outside is walking up and down a building staircase. This option is excellent for your heart, as well as maintaining leg muscles. To maintain a constant progression, try to increase your pace on a weekly basis. Set goals and gradually increase your distances. If possible, alter your cardiovascular sessions for an even more effective work out: use the staircase one day, and walk around the block on other days.

Upper Body
After your cardiovascular exercises, begin your upper body work out with a few exercises. Do these steps three times a week for better results.

Basic Pushups
Basic pushups will work your chest area, triceps and rear deltoids. Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions (depending on your fitness level), and gradually increase the repetitions as the movement becomes easier. Once the movement becomes too easy, you can increase the workout by elevating your feet on a chair to increase resistance.

Lay face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Your fingertips should be pointed straight ahead, and make sure you keep your back flat and your head in natural alignment with your spine. Get into the starting position by extending your arms straight from your shoulders, which lifts your entire body off the floor. While keeping your body stable, go down until your nose almost touches the floor. Exhale as you push back to the starting position with your chest and triceps. Try not to lock your elbows in order to keep constant tension on your muscles.

Close-Grip Pushups
Close-grip pushups mostly work the tricep muscles, the inner chest and the trunk muscles. Once again, carry out 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions (according to your fitness level), and gradually increase the repetitions as the movement becomes easier. · Use the same starting position and breathing pattern as the basic pushup. Bring your hands together and form a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. As you go down to the floor, your elbows should go to the side, which incidentally puts more stress on your triceps and inner chest. Close-grip pushups also require more balance. By stabilizing your body, your trunk muscles will work throughout the entire movement. At first, close-grip pushups might strain your wrists, so make sure you stretch appropriately and start off slowly.

Wide-Grip Pushups
Wide-grip pushups will work your chest, rear shoulders and parts of your back muscles. Carry out the same sets and reps as aforementioned and gradually increase the reps as the movement becomes easier. · Use the same starting position and breathing pattern as the basic pushup. Your hands should be positioned beyond shoulder width, with your fingers pointing frontward. The wider position emphasizes the tension on your shoulders and lengthens your pectorals. Wide-grip pushups are more demanding, so you will tire more quickly than with other pushups. The above pushup variations will help keep your upper body muscles strong and fit. For additional exercises, try these simple moves. All you require are either 8 or 15 kg dumb bells, and a few minutes.

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Legs
These repetitions will build up muscles in the thigh and buttocks. First, spread your legs to hip length and keep your legs fully extended. Holding dumb bells in each hand and maintaining a straight back, slowly bend your knees until your thighs are level to the floor. Then, slowly return to your original position. Continue this exercise until you tire your legs to failure.

Chest
In order to work out the pectorals, lie on a bed (stomach up) and hold a weight in each hand above your chest. Keep your arms fully extended with the palms facing each other. Next, lower the dumb bells outwards and down until parallel with your shoulders. Breathe out, and return the weights to starting position. Aim for eight sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Arms
These exercises will strengthen your biceps. Sit on the edge of a secure chair with your feet placed hip width apart. Hold the weights with palms facing inwards in front of your body. Extend your arm, and curl one dumb bell up at a time in a small arc towards your shoulder. Be sure to rotate your forearm so your palm faces your shoulder at the top of the movement.
Aim for three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

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