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Reveal Yourself!

Twelve Days of A New You in 2012/Day #3

Sugar, Sugar, it’s everywhere. Be aware that from the body’s perspective, sugar is sugar. Regardless if it’s cane, honey, or agave nectar. “Natural” sweeteners fall into the same category so don’t be fooled to think they are somehow better from a caloric perspective.

Twelve Days of A New You in 2012/Day #2

Drink your fruit or eat your fruit, which is it! There is no question that eating fruit is superior to drinking it. This is true for a few different reasons. One, drinking fruit invites over consumption in the form of calories and especially sugar. Case and point, it takes three to four oranges to yield 8 oz. of fresh OJ.  One medium orange has in excess of 60 calories and about 12 grams of sugar. Also when one drinks their fruit, they are bypassing the value of the fiber. Fiber slows absorption. Without it, one is facing an insulin spike, hunger, and the chance to store some dreaded fat.

Twelve Days of A New You in 2012/Day #1

Greek yogurt has been the rage in 2011.  But of course good old marketing has been playing a strong role as well so be aware that all Greek yogurt is not created equally. “Flavored” Greek yogurt is the area of potential concern here. Again, it’s the sugar content which is usually stated by the number of grams of carbohydrates that can be the culprit. Look for varieties that contain twelve net grams of carbohydrates or less. For other easy eating solutions look at

Holiday Weight Gain

There are a number of assertions back and forth about holiday weight gain.  Some sources say it’s five or more pounds while others dispute this and say that their research only shows one pound or so.  Whatever the number is, there is no doubt that the opportunity to eat and drink more than usual is often abundant during this period of time.  It starts with the Halloween candy, goes through to Thanksgiving, the holiday party season, and then finally with New Years.  Food, food, it’s everywhere and so are the beverages that are laden with calories.  Whether it’s one pound or five is obviously debatable; however, what is a know fact for most of us is that this weight does not automatically leave us after the new year and this is the primary concern.  So the thought for the day is be careful during the holdiay season about what goes into our system from a caloric perspective.  If we can maintain our weight during this bountiful time, then that’s a major win.

Check out for our biannual 25% off everything sale.

It’s About Time!

Last week the obesity epidemic got a very positive shot in the arm for all Medicare recipients that have a BMI of 30 or greater.  Purportedly there are upwards of 13 million Medicare recipients that fall into this category.  In looking more closely at the details, Medicare is going to pay for counseling monthly for the first month.  Then in months two through six, Medicare will cover visits for every other week.  For those patients that successfully loose six and one half pounds or more in the first six months, (should be very achievable by the way) then Medicare will pay for monthly counseling sessions between months seven and twelve.

This is profound primarily because it’s the first glimpse at the thought of being proactive.  It’s no secret that obesity is dangerous to one’s health and it’s encouraging to see signs that maybe the tides are turning with regard to offering help sooner rather than only in the case of there being a bull-blown health problem.  Stay tuned for more about this important turn of events.

The Hair You Want: How to Get It

We asked ELLE’s Facebook fans for three words that describe their dream hair, and they answered voluminous, smooth, and shiny. Experts explain how to get what you really want, now

Beyonce Knowles, Gwenyth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian

You share va-va-voom maestro Oribe’s motto “Bigger is better.” For sexy, “modern” volume, follow his supermodel-tested-and-approved prescription: After applying a volumizing spray, blow-dry hair using a round brush, pulling hair upward from the root. While hair is still warm, wrap sections around large Velcro curlers and allow it to cool. Remove rollers, tease around the root for added height, and comb through with your fingers to create a soft finish. Refresh as needed with a dry shampoo such as Tresemmé Fresh Start. For added oomph, use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove weighty product buildup.

For frizz-free strands, NYC-based stylist Michelle Snyder suggests working a dime-size amount of Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream into towel-dried hair to calm unruly strands before blow-drying with a large round brush, making sure to point the dryer nozzle downward (moving the dryer in all directions lifts the hair cuticle and causes frizz). Soften ends with a moisturizing oil like Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil and finish with an anti-humidity hairspray such as Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine. In a rush? Here’s a simple solution for static-free texture: “Comb damp hair into a loose bun and let it air dry. That will tame frizz and create a soft wave,” Snyder says.

Despite the matte-hair trend, shine is still on the most-wanted list. To get mega-gloss, celebrity stylist Amanda Williams recommends starting with a vitamin- and protein-rich shampoo and conditioner (try the Pantene Restore Beautiful Length Shine Enhance duo), running a comb through hair to coat each strand. After towel drying, apply a leave-in conditioner (we like Davines Glorifying spray) to protect against heat damage. Blow-dry, again positioning the nozzle down. Finish with a blast of cold air, then a glossy mist such as Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray. For a weekly boost, try an at-home gloss treatment such as Frédéric Fekkai Salon Glaze.

Natural Antioxidants – Foods That Everybody Should Eat

From: Healthy Body Answers

Author:Tatyana Turner

We all know that natural antioxidants are essential for you health. They fight cancer, straighten your immune system, and have anti-aging properties. But what exactly do you need to eat, to get all antioxidants your body needs?

Common sense tells us that since most antioxidants are well known vitamins, the best source for them is fruits and vegetables. This is true, even though not all veggies are the same in this respect. So if you want to make sure that your antioxidant intake is enough, you should chose vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants.

Natural antioxidants best sources

Usually you can judge how much antioxidants a particular fruit or vegetable has by its color. Brighter the color, more useful vitamins you will get from eating it. Berries are the leaders when it comes to antioxidants – blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry and blueberry are all high in flavonoids. Flavonoids successfully neutralise the damage free radicals can do to your health including effect of peroxyl radicals, superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be dull; you can make delicious deserts from berries. Adding sugar doesn’t decrease berries antioxidant properties. However, adding milk, cream or any other milk product does. Apparently milk minimizes the effect of natural antioxidants. So keep this in mind when preparing berry deserts.

Oranges, grapefruits and other citruses are another popular source of antioxidant vitamins. If you prefer drinking fruit juice rather than eating oranges, chose freshly squeezed juices.

Where else to look for natural antioxidants

Not all antioxidants are in fruits and vegetables. Green tea is a great source of flavonoids. So if you are a tea lover, chose green varieties.

Another unusual source of antioxidants is coffee. Not only it helps you to wake up on a cold, slow morning, but it provides your body with antioxidants. According to a study by researchers at the University of Scranton, coffee is a leading source of antioxidants for Americans. Decaf coffee just as good antioxidant source as ordinary coffee, but you should remember – no milk.

Dark chocolate also contain antioxidants. So as you can see, sometimes foods we all love anyway, can bring great benefits to your health.

Including antioxidants in your diet

Teach yourself to eat fruits as snacks, instead of common junk snacks. Dry fruits are good natural source of antioxidants, dates and prunes being the leaders. But of course, if you are watching your weight you have to be careful, because all dry fruits are high on sugar as well.

Garnish like parsley, coriander and dill are excellent antioxidant sources. Add them to your meals. Most spices are also high in antioxidants, so not only they give your food rich flavor, but they also supply vitamins.

Stir fry is a preferred method of cooking, to preserve antioxidants in vegetables. Most vitamins are easily destroyed by heat, so less you cook your dish; the better it is for you.

Working antioxidant into you everyday life is not as difficult as you might think. One cup of black coffee in the morning, some fruit for a snack before lunch and a berry desert at dinner and you are all set. The key here is to do it regularly.

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About the Author

There are more natural antioxidants that every person can include into her diet. Visit Antioxidants 4 Health to learn what antioxidants are essential for your health and where to get them without making your diet unpleasant

Cooking with Natural Foods

From 101 Cookbooks

I do my best not to be preachy on this site, and I’m not going to start here. But I will attempt in this section to tell you why I’ve done my best over the past few years to shift from a fairly typical all-American way of eating, to one that is focused on minimally-processed, natural foods.

Broadly speaking, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the ingredients found in the average American pantry – the building blocks of your home cooking. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, but I encourage you to start (or continue) the journey away from commercially raised fruits and vegetables of dubious origin, industrially produced cooking oils, highly refined sugars, and nutritionally barren flours. Before these products made their way into your house or apartment, many were showered with agricultural chemicals, treated with chemical solvents, and stripped of most of their vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavor. Bad for you, bad for your family, bad for the environment. The good news is that the “processed-pantry” can be replaced by delicious, nutritious alternatives.

The term natural is open to interpretation, but here is what it means to me: Natural ingredients are whole—straight from the plant or animal—or they are made from whole ingredients, with a little processing and as few added flavorings, stabilizers, and preservatives as possible, thus keeping nutrients and original flavors intact; for example, tomatoes crushed into tomato sauce, cream paddled into butter, olives pressed into olive oil, or wheat berries ground into flour. For me, focusing on natural ingredients also means avoiding genetically modified and chemically fertilized crops, as well as dairy products that come from cows treated with growth hormones. Take these natural foods with their super nutritional profiles, their unique and complex flavors, and their lighter impact on the environment and you have an expansive and exciting realm to explore.

I need to add that I’m not super strict, or judgy, or neurotic about this, but over time I did make a conscious effort to shift my everyday habits. I certainly enjoy the occasional croissant, or frozen veggie burger patty, but more often than not I’m making, or reaching for, or craving something au natural.

First steps – One of the first steps for me was discarding all the white flour and white sugar from my pantry. It forced me to simply cut them out of my cooking palette. More than anything, getting rid of the white stuff was a gesture that cleared space on my shelves for a new exciting flavors and nutritionally rich ingredients – new flours, pastas, grains, and heirloom beans. It was great, and I never felt compelled to look back. Once you have the swing of it, shopping for and cooking with these ingredients isn’t any harder and doesn’t have to take more time than what you are already used to. I promise, it’s getting easier each day to find sources for whole foods, and for me, part of the fun and excitement is in the discovery. There are still a few recipes in the archives here in need of an overhaul, but I’ve decided to leave them and move forward for now – part of the evolution of the site, and me I suppose.

A few steps in the right direction:

1. Cook at home as much as possible using fresh, local, seasonal, and sustainably grown ingredients.
2. Try out a new ingredient every other week or so.
3. Get to know the “bins” at your grocery store – they are packed with nutritional (and affordable!) whole grains, pulses, and the like.
4. Drink water or sparkling water in place of soda.
5. Get rid of your “all-white” staples, start exploring new “whole” foods and ingredients.
6. Rethink your plate – is it balanced nutritionally? Lots of color, veggies, protein, whole grains? Good.
7. Shop at a local farmers market, or sign-up for a local C.S.A.

As I mentioned in Super Natural Cooking, this can be a complicated (and sometimes frustrating) realm to navigate, and during those times when my brain goes to mush browsing the fourteen different flours in front of me, or I’m confused by a new oil that just hit the market, I’ve found that I can typically figure out what fits into my definition of a natural ingredient by asking myself two questions: If pressed, could I make this in my own kitchen? And can I explain how this is made to an eight-year-old? I’m looking for two yes answers here.

This is as good a place as any to also mention that I’m vegetarian. When I was in my twenties, over the course of a few years, I began to phase meat out of my diet. My only regret is not doing it sooner. I feel great, and am happy to do what I can to leave a lighter environmental footprint on our planet. That being said, it’s every individual’s personal journey to figure out a way of eating that works for them. Many people seem to be looking for ways to incorporate more meatless meals into their repertoire for a host host of reasons, and I’m happy to try to provide a bit of inspiration. Many of the recipes, particularly the main dishes welcome substitutions, and I know based on e-mails that many of you use some of the ideas here as starting points, and go from there based on what is available in your area, or what your family likes to eat. Great! I’m just happy to know you are sourcing your own ingredients, cooking, and enjoying cooking at home for yourself, your friends, and your families.

If You’re Going to Push It, You Better Pull It

By Fit Sugar

I love push-ups. Dropping and doing 20 makes me feel strong and tough. But as Lauren my Equinox trainer reminded me, it’s important to offset all the pushing with some pulling. Although the glorious push-up feels like a full body exercise (it certainly works your core), it primarily works your chest and arms. When the pecs get too tight, they pull your shoulders forward, which is not only unattractive but puts the shoulder joint in a compromised position and can lead to injury. Ouch. To maintain balance in your upper body, be sure to mix it up. Here are a few push-to-pull workout combination to add to your fitness life:

  • Push-ups followed with sprints on a rowing machine. Be sure to read up on proper rowing technique if you’re unfamiliar with the machine.
  • Chest press with bent over rows, or go more full body with a tipping row to challenge your balance and work your lower body too.
  • The versatility of the cable pulley machine means you can combine pushing and pulling into one fluid move. Start facing the machine, and begin with a standing row. When you have pulled your hand to your chest, rotate away from the machine and push your arm out. It feels a bit like you’re drawing a sword (pull) and then thrusting it out (push).

In my experience the muscles on the front of the body, the ones that pull you into the fetal position, are much stronger than the muscles on your back. Be sure to work that pulling motion to strengthen your upper back, especially the rhomboids. Remember, if it’s an exercise you tend to avoid, it’s probably one your body needs the most.

Lose Your Fear of Weight Lifting

Just because you’re not vying for 20-inch biceps or thunderously strong thighs like the muscle heads in the gym doesn’t mean you should shun the weight room. Lifting weights gives you an edge over belly fat, stress, heart disease, and cancer—and it’s also the single most effective way to look hot in a bikini. Yet somehow women are still hesitant: Only about a fifth of females strength train two or more times a week.

Here are 12 reasons you shouldn’t live another day without hitting the weights.

You’ll Lose 40 Percent More Fat

If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, keep reading: When Penn State researchers put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn’t pump iron. Why? The lifters’ loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.

You’ll Burn More Calories

Lifting increases the number of calories you burn while your butt is parked on the couch. That’s because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t lift.

Lifting gives you a better burn during exercise too: Doing a circuit of eight moves (which takes about eight minutes) can expend 159 to 231 calories. That’s about what you’d burn if you ran at a 10-mile-per-hour pace for the same duration.

Other research on dieters who don’t lift shows that, on average, 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat, while 25 percent is from muscle. Muscle loss may drop your scale weight, but it doesn’t improve your reflection in the mirror and it makes you more likely to gain back the flab you lost. However, if you weight train as you diet, you’ll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat.

Your Clothes Will Fit Better

Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you’ll likely lose 10 percent of your body’s total muscle. Worse yet, it’s likely to be replaced by fat over time, says a study. And that increases your waist size, because one pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle.

Your Diet Will Improve

Exercise helps your brain stick to a diet plan. University of Pittsburgh researchers studied 169 overweight adults and found that those who didn’t follow a three-hours-a-week training regimen ate more than their allotted 1,500 calories a day. The reverse was also true—sneaking snacks sabotaged their workouts. The study authors say both diet and exercise likely remind you to stay on track, aiding your weight-loss goals.

You’ll Handle Stress Better

Break a sweat in the weight room and you’ll stay cool under pressure. Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Another study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.

You’ll Be Happier

Yoga isn’t the only Zen-inducing kind of exercise. Researchers found that people who performed three weight workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.

You’ll Build Stronger Bones

As you age, bone mass goes to pot, which increases your likelihood of one day suffering a debilitating fracture. The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth—by 19 percent.

You’ll Get into Shape Faster

The term cardio shouldn’t describe only aerobic exercise: A study found that circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 beats per minute higher than if you ran at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. This approach strengthens muscles and provides cardiovascular benefits similar to those of aerobic exercise—so you save time without sacrificing results.

Your Heart Will Be Healthier

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who did three total-body weight workouts a week for two months decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That’s enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent and the chance of a heart attack by 15 percent.

You’ll Be Way More Productive

Lifting could result in a raise (or at least a pat on the back from your boss). Researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on days they exercised compared with days they didn’t. So on days you work out, you can (theoretically) finish in eight hours what would normally take nine hours and 12 minutes. Or you’d still work for nine hours but get more done, leaving you feeling less stressed and happier with your job—another perk reported on days workers exercised.

You’ll Live Longer

University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with “exceptional survival,” defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.

You’ll Be Even Smarter

Muscles strengthen your body and mind: Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced lifters’ cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning, and a longer attention span.

Reveal Yourself!

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With all of the weight loss information on the web...We recognize the need for a blog where people can go to receive expert weight loss advice and guidance that works!! We are part of iMetabolic, a medically supervised weight loss program, and have helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss goal. We are here to share content from other blogs, doctors, articles as well as provide our own expert advice and insight to WHAT WORKS and WHAT doesn't to help you become the person you want to be! REVEAL YOURSELF!