The holiday season is upon us and they can be the most wonderful time of the year and the most difficult when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, for yourself and others. So, this holiday, let’s help each other out by giving gifts that will help someone eat healthier, be healthier, and become more aware and active. You’ll feel great just doing it!
Smoothie Blender with Recipes
This gift is especially perfect for someone who doesn’t have time in the morning for breakfast. Other small kitchen appliances could be a crock pot, rice cooker, juicer, or even a pressure cooker; all great for healthy, organic cooking.
Session with a Holistic Nutritionist
Lots of people try to eat healthy, but are unsure of putting a program together for themselves. A nutritionist can help tailor an eating plan to a person’s individual needs, and create a plan the person is more likely to stick to.
Oil and Vinegar
This could really be a luxurious gift if you purchase a beautiful bottle of organic olive oil, and a bottle of high-quality, pure, organic, natural apple cider vinegar with the “mother” in it and remember place both bottles in a box along with a cruet set appropriate for the recipient.
Massage Gift Certificate
The gift of relaxation is wonderful to receive anytime of the year, but perhaps an especially good gift going into a new year.
Make sure it’s a good one, as some don’t count steps accurately, and include a book that offers guidance about walking and using a pedometer.
Relaxation Music CDs
My favorite ones are; “Timeless Motion” by Daniel Kobialka; “Wind Chants” by Robert Higgins (Gregorian chants), or, “Merlin’s Magic” Reiki music. Then add a handcrafted, organic soy candle with custom blends of aromatherapy-grade essential oils and 100% cotton wicks – to soothe stressed-out nerves.
A jump rope; an exercise video; an exercise stretch band or a set of weights; a State Parks Pass or National Parks Passport; or, a share in a local farm produce co-op for next summer.
Remember to support yourself, your friends, family, and co-workers in enjoying this holiday season by encouraging a “less is best attitude” around the holiday gift list. Shorten your own list of to do’s by letting go of excess. Keep it simple.
What better way to honor this holiday season than by slowing down the fast pace of life and taking a few moments to reflect, to listen and to give the gift of gratefulness to your loved ones. Let the gift of gratefulness spread from your own family and friends, to all living beings around the globe.
Have a wonderful, healthy, and happy holiday season!
September 1st, 2011
It’s great news for cheese and butter fans – scientists have found that eating dairy food doesn’t increase your risk of a heart attack.
Nutritionists surveyed thousands of middle-aged people and found that even those who ate more than half a kilo of cheese did not seem to suffer from increased risk.
Contrary to earlier beliefs that saturated fat might lead to a heart attack, researchers found that nutrients in dairy products actually counteract the harmful effects.
Researcher Stella Aslibekyan, of Brown University, Rhode Island, where the research was carried out, said: ‘Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances.
‘We looked at heart attack risk and dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, including fats, and it turns out that the results are null.
‘Perhaps the evidence is not there.’
Her team doesn’t believe the saturated fats in dairy products are harmless, but suggest other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium may protect against heart disease for all but those who ate the most of them in their study.
Their findings, taken from 3,630 Costa Rican men, are published in the Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases journal.
They found the dairy intake of people who had heart attacks was no different to the intake of people who did not.
Looking at how much dairy food they ate, there was no link between consumption and heart attack risk, even among those who consumed as much as 593 grams a day.
When the researchers accounted for other factors such as smoking, alcohol and exercise, there was still no difference, statistically.
Dr Ana Baylin said: ‘The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients.’
October 27th, 2010
By: Dave Thier
For years, nutritionists and industry officials alike have considered the merits of high-fructose corn syrup with one key fact in mind: At a chemical level, it has nearly equal levels of fructose and glucose.
As it turns out, that may not be true after all.
A new study published in the journal Obesity measured the amounts of different types of sugars in 23 kinds of drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. And they found that several brands contained corn syrup made up of 65 percent fructose, not 55 percent, which has been the commonly cited statistic until now. The average percentage of fructose in the drinks is 59.
Because fructose has been proved to be worse for your health than glucose, these findings will likely only further damage the already faltering brand of high-fructose corn syrup, which the Corn Refiners Association has attempted to rescue with a series of television ads and a name change to “corn sugar.”
Several experts, however, including but not limited to the Corn Refiners Association, have pointed out serious problems with the “obesity” study, suggesting that more samples were required and that the very high-fructose drinks could have been mixed differently at a stage in their process that does not reflect on HFCS generally.
February 22, 2010
By Liz Szabo
Nutritionists have long warned of the perils of hot dogs: fat, sodium and preservatives to name a few.
Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics wants foods like hot dogs to come with a warning label — not because of their nutritional risks but because they pose a choking hazard to babies and children.
Better yet, the academy would like to see foods such as hot dogs “redesigned” so their size, shape and texture make them less likely to lodge in a youngster’s throat. More than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room each year after choking on food, and up to 77 die, says the new policy statement, published online today in Pediatrics. About 17% of food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs.
“If you were to take the best engineers in the world and try to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, it would be a hot dog,” says statement author Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “I’m a pediatric emergency doctor, and to try to get them out once they’re wedged in, it’s almost impossible.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires labels on toys with small parts alerting people not to give them to kids under 3. Yet there are no required warnings on food, though more than half of non-fatal choking episodes involve food, Smith says.
“No parents can watch all of their kids 100% of the time,” Smith says. “The best way to protect kids is to design these risks out of existence.”
Though Smith says he doesn’t know exactly how someone would redesign a hot dog, he’s certain that some savvy inventor will find a way.
Janet Riley, president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, supports the academy’s call to better educate parents and caregivers about choking prevention. “Ensuring the safety of the foods we service to children is critically important for us,” Riley says.
But Riley questions whether warning labels are needed. She notes that more than half of hot dogs sold in stores already have choking-prevention tips on their packages, advising parents to cut them into small pieces. “As a mother who has fed toddlers cylindrical foods like grapes, bananas, hot dogs and carrots, I ‘redesigned’ them in my kitchen by cutting them with a paring knife until my children were old enough to manage on their own,” Riley says.
The Food and Drug Administration, which has authority to recall products it considers “unfit for food,” plans to review the new statement, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle says.
Given the health risks of obesity, pediatrician Alan Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green, says, “The last thing we need is to redesign candy and junk food with cool shapes, so we can give them to kids even younger.”