Category Archives: weight loss

HGH Growth Hormone – Is it Worth the Shot?

One of the most controversial products available in the market today is the HGH growth hormone.  Researchers believed that such discovery of the so-called “fountain of youth” is an awesome breakthrough to enhance the quality of living. On the contrary, some health professionals have argued about the potential risks of taking an HGH dose which could lead to fatal diseases and cancer. However, none of these sides can provide solid evidences due to the lack of related studies. The benefits as well as the potential negative effects linked with HGH supplements are still a mystery, and the final verdict is left to you, the consumer.

 

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Dancing Your Way to a Healthy Body

There are a lot of people who exercise to make themselves fit and healthy.  They go to gyms, do treadmills, jog, bike, swim, and many more.  The problem with these exercises is that they become very monotonous, especially when you do them several times a week.  The truth is there are other exercises where you can do cardio without actually being bored doing it – dancing.  Well, it may sound funny at first but dancing can actually be a strenuous activity which is perfect for those who are looking for a challenging and very exciting form of exercise.  The best part of it all is that you not only learn new moves, but that you do not keep on repeating the same steps over and over wherein the overall exercise is pure and simple repetition of itself.

Do not let dancing fool you because even if you think you are fit from all that jogging and running, try doing some fast and rigorous dance routine and you will be sweating bullets in under an hour.  Or you can try some simple graceful moves that can test the overall flexibility of your joints and ligaments.

If you try to look at people who do dancing for a living, you will notice just how lean their physiques are yet strong and capable enough to lift their dance partners.  In short, dancing can actually help you build a strong and healthy body.  Here are just some of the few benefits of dancing:

Cardio – dancing is all about constant movement and this can help you give your cardio some workout.  Once you become more skilled and develop better stamina for dancing, your endurance also increases which means you can practice doing certain dance moves for hours on end.  In essence, this not only gives you a cardio workout, but it also develops your stamina and endurance.

Strength – aside from cardio, dancing also has some elements which helps make you stronger.  For example, when you do dips and certain weight bearing towards your legs, hips and thighs, you inevitably build your base muscles that help strengthen your balance.  Additionally, the rhythmic movements with different sway patterns help in developing your center of gravity.

Weight Loss – dancing is not as easy as it looks and it can wear down your muscles easily and can make you sweat heavily, especially when you are not used to moving your whole body or nearly all your muscles together.  Through dance movements, you burn a lot of calories which can certainly make anyone lose weight.  This is the very reason why dancers are usually slim.

Flexibility – part of dancing is bending, twisting, and moving your body at angles you do not usually do.  Such movements actually help you in developing your flexibility.  Additionally, doing some stretching prior to dancing is also necessary in order to avoid any injuries caused by sprains or torn ligaments.  Dancing is very tough on muscles, tendons, and ligaments if you do it without practice and stretching.  Additionally, practicing dancing more and more can help you to become more flexible.

A Time to Cleanse

Don’t eat anything after 7pm.

I heard that tip on Oprah. The rationale had something to do with losing weight and the fact that it’s easier to burn calories during the day rather than at night when we’re watching TV, reading, or sitting around talking. Part of it sounded reasonable (I guess), but another part of it sounded like a silly rule or restriction that may or may not be good for a person’s particular body. After the show, I forget the tip completely and ate past 7pm a lot.

When I began Clean Eating, I started thinking about that suggestion again. Gradually, I made dinner my final meal of the day and stopped mindless snacking afterwards. My husband and I usually don’t eat until 8pm anyway, but there was another reason why I stuck to the plan: I finally understood the rationale behind Oprah’s tip. Marilyn Polk sums it up nicely in one of the cookbooks I’m reading:

“Our bodies need a chance to cleanse, heal, and rest. Most Americans are so busy poking food into their mouths throughout the day and night that their bodies do not have a chance to cleanse, heal, or rest.”

It’s like the Eagles song based on the bible verse: There is a time for everything. A time to live and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot. The idea of giving my body a time eat – and then later a time to cleanse – made so much sense. Simple. Good. Common sense. And of course, it’s only a guideline. If I’m ravenous after 8pm by all means I will eat something! That makes sense too. Š

The Plan: Finding the Path to Clean Eating

Once I decided to adopt a Clean Eating lifestyle I realized I needed a Plan. ASAP.

I broke my Plan into three parts.

Part One

I read a number of books and browsed websites (including Mercola.com, DrWeil.com, Pritikin.com and EatWasaFeelGood.com (the Best Life page has good snacks/recipes)). Then I sat down Saturday morning and outlined a meals for the week as well as guidelines for eating. In a nutshell: I want to wildly increase my intake of vegetables, drastically decrease my consumption of animal products (a maximum of one serving per day), and eliminate sugar, refined flour, caffeine, and alcohol.

Let me add a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian. I am simply a 33-year-old woman trying to eat clean foods after discovering that the third ingredient in my “healthy” cereal was sugar and my 100% whole wheat bread contained high fructose corn syrup. Also, I fully intend to tweak my eating habits as I explore what works for my body.

So – back to the Plan. Some changes would be easy. For example, I already found nearby farms to frequent. Eating locally grown grass-fed chicken would hopefully be smooth sailing. Some changes would be hard. I’ve spent the last few weeks weaning myself off of the very large cup of coffee I drink each morning and replacing it with caffeine-free herbal tea. I miss the aroma of those Kona beans! Some changes I’m still on the fence about, like dairy products. I’ve heard all sorts of arguments and ideas (both pro and con) when it comes to milk, cheese, and eggs. This is going to require more investigation. I’m heading to a farm in Virginia next week to learn more about raw milk.

Part Two

The second part of my plan involved making a list of my ailments. I want to track my physical problems over the course of a year and observe improvements. I’ll spare you the entire litany of conditions, but here are a few:

Eyesight: will drinking fresh homemade vegetable juice and eating clean foods restore my eyesight to the point where my prescription is weakened or obsolete?

Skin Problems: in addition to acne (yes, I’m still breaking out at age 33), my skin doctor is constantly chopping off “suspicious” looking moles. She says they’re benign but she also calls them a not-so-pretty word that I can’t pronounce. I’d love to start getting a clean bill of health during my annual dermatology appointments.

Colds: I’ve heard of people who haven’t had a cold in 30 years. Sign me up. No more colds!

Endometriosis/Infertility: This will be the most personal challege. Endometriosis has not only caused severe physical pain, but has resulted in surgery where the doctor had to remove a cyst the size of a cantaloupe as well as most of my ovary. Plus it has caused problems with fertility. I’m thinking…will Clean Eating restore my hormone balances and clear the way for a healthy pregnancy? We’ll see.

Part Three

The final part of my plan seemed crucial: restaurants. I Googled all the restaurants within 30 miles of my home that serve local, organic fare. Then I taped the list to our refrigerator. If I’m ever too exhausted to cook or if I completely demolish a recipe as I experiment in the kitchen, my husband and I can escape to these spots – one of which is a restaurant that serves vegetarian Indian cuisine. Score!

That Was Easy

I wanted to pop two pills.

After taking the summer off, I played tennis for nearly two hours yesterday and my legs ached from my hips down to my ankles. Also, I had a headache.

Oh, how I wanted ibuprofen to be the answer! Pop the meds, mask the pain, and let me go to sleep. But I decided to hold off. A few little thoughts floated around in my head: What is my body trying to tell me? Could yoga help?

The headache was probably because I was dehydrated. It was hot on the courts. I drank some water and then set the glass down on a table. Sitting on the floor, I raised my arms over my head, clasped my hands together, and turned my palms towards the ceiling. I lowered onto my back and squeezed one knee into my chest while keeping the other leg straight. Switched sides. I did a few spinal twists to remove the stiffness in my hips. Gentle, easy stretches. And I felt so much better afterwards.

That was easy. And it took less than twenty minutes – the time it would’ve taken the ibuprofen to reach my system.

Mix it Up

Staying at our retreat home in the mountains of Colorado has me thinking about water. I constantly see large vehicles with oversized plastic containers strapped into their truck beds, full of water. Water is hauled all over the place. It’s dry out here.

I’ve actually become a bit paranoid about water. What is the healthiest way to drink it? Should I gulp tap water and risk consuming substances like chlorine and fluoride, not to mention whatever else the water might be picking up as it flows through the pipes? Or should I buy water in a bottle and risk consuming leeched chemicals from the plastic, not to mention hurting the environment (plastic water bottles take 1000 years to biodegrade)? And if I do opt for store bought water, what should I purchase? Spring? Distilled? Glacial?

The more I read about water, the more confusing the facts. I find this to be the case with fish too (Eat it – it’s good for you! Don’t eat it – tuna contains mercury, fish handlers get infections when capturing rockfish, etc.!)

Here’s my current theory: instead of devoting myself to one type of water (tap, spring, well) I mix it up. That way, I figure I’ll get a variety of chemicals but (hopefully) in miniscule amounts. I take the same approach with fish. I’ll eat tuna on occasion, but not too often. Same with salmon and shrimp and sole. So that’s my theory and I’m stickin’ to it.  Š

Not Quite Tuna

Tonight for dinner I made tuna salad…without tuna…or mayo.

How, you might ask, did I make such meal?

With vegetables and seasoning.

I’m trying to incorporate as many veggies into my diet as I can, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. One of the most interesting I’ve seen so far is “Better than Tuna” from this book. First, I whipped out my food processor. Then I discovered my food processor was broken, so I whipped out a knife and cutting board. I finely chopped three big carrots, two celery stalks, a quarter of an onion, half a red pepper, and a tomato. I drained the tomato and threw all the veggies in a bowl.

For the seasoning I mixed in one-half teaspoon Celtic sea salt, one Tablespoon parsley, one-half teaspoon kelp, and three Tablespoons of Vegenaise.

Looking at the concoction, I wasn’t sure what to think. It looked pretty appetizing, but there was only one way to find out for sure. I served the “tuna” in a toasted whole wheat hamburger bun. I also set out a platter of blue corn tortillas with hummus (I cut the tortillas into “chips” and baked them in the oven first). To drink? Fresh vegetable juice.

Numma, numma, numma. It was delicious. I highly recommend it (hopefully your food processor is working though because all that chopping was labor intensive). I’m so excited for lunch tomorrow to eat the leftovers.Š