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Webmaster | 14. May 2009 @ 13:00
Prostatitis simply means an inflammation of the prostate gland. The symptoms are uncomfortable at best; more often they are extremely painful and can also be dangerous. Symptoms may include pain and swelling in the area of the prostate, fever, chills, pain in the lower back, burning or painful urination, a need to urinate frequently and get up in the night, dribbling, fatigue and body aches, and pain with ejaculation. Prostatitis can severely affect the quality of life. Rigorous activity, sports, exercise-even sitting for any length of time in an office, theater or at a sporting event may become too painful to tolerate. And as for sex - it's simply not an option.

The statistics are alarming. It's estimated that over 50% of all men will suffer from prostatitis some time in their lives. And what's worse is prostatitis is no respecter of age. It can strike any adult male - and with painful consequences.

According to the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, 25% of all office visits by young and middle-aged men for genital and urinary problems are the result of prostatitis. It hits men in the prime of life and also is considered to be the most common of all diseases among middle-aged men.

Adding to the problem is the fact that contemporary medicine really doesn't know much about prostatitis. The Prostate Foundation has termed it "the bastard child" of urology. Though it is the most widespread disease of the prostate, it's also the least understood and the least researched. As a consequence, it is frequently misdiagnosed.

Physicians sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between the symptoms of prostatitis and benign prostate enlargement (BPH). A Harvard University study showed that urologists seeing patients with the same symptoms diagnosed them with prostatitis if they were under 50 and with BPH if they were over 50. In addition, there are four types of prostatitis, the most common of which is unfortunately the one that is the most baffling.

Prostatitis can be either acute or chronic. That is to say that it can have a sudden onset and be relatively short-lived, or be an ongoing and aggravating problem.

Acute prostatitis is likely to occur intermittently. It can cause fever, bladder discomfort, frequent and burning urination, and blood or pus in the urine. It can also result in infertility.

Chronic prostatitis is ongoing and usually increases with time. Its symptoms may include frequent urination, blood in the urine, a burning sensation, discomfort in the prostate area and lower back, painful ejaculation and even impotence.

Nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common form of the disease, but because it is also the least understood, it's the most difficult to treat. Nonbacterial prostatitis is frequently a chronic, painful condition found in men of any age. Symptoms may disappear and then return suddenly. Though no evidence of bacteria is found, semen and other prostate fluids contain cells that the body produces to fight infection.

Doctors often treat nonbacterial prostatitis with antibiotics and drugs that relax the muscles of the prostate gland, but these treatments have not been proven to be effective. In fact, they often do not work at all and can have unpleasant side effects as well.

The good news is, there are several herbal remedies that have been shown in clinical studies to help fight and in many cases - conquer prostate problems, including prostatitis. These herbs include pygeum africanum, saw palmetto and nettle root extract.

To learn more about treating prostatitis and other prostate health conditions, please visit our web site at http://www.prostatehealthtips.com

About The Author: James Witman is an expert in nutrition and prostate health. He has written many articles related to http://www.prostatehealthtips.com/prostatitis.html and other health conditions that affect men. To learn more, please visit his website http://www.prostatehealthtips.com.

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Webmaster | 13. May 2009 @ 13:00
Learn how to transition to a healthy diet now (Part 1).

In this article, I'm going to go back to some basics. I will be giving you specific, concrete action steps you can take right now to transition to a healthy, hopefully raw or mostly raw diet. Even if you're a seasoned raw-foodist, I'm sure you will find some key insights in this article that will help you refine your diet and improve your program. These steps are in no particular order.

STEP #1 - *Workout and Exercise*

It's not possible to be healthy without being fit. We know that, at least intuitively, even if we tend to forget the importance of fitness in a healthy lifestyle, by focusing too much on the importance of diet.

But more importantly, your physical condition has a major impact on your digestion, assimilation, and overall “nutrition.” For example, your ability to uptake sugar, called “insulin sensitivity,” is greatly influenced by your level of fitness.

If you are sedentary, insulin sensitivity is greatly reduced. Therefore, sugar is not carried as rapidly as it should to the cells. This can lead to or worsen blood sugar problems of all kinds.

If you've read my book “The Raw Secrets. ” You are aware of the importance of hunger in health. One problem is that most people do not eat when they are truly hungry, and mistake “appetite” for hunger. Once they learn how to make the distinction, they soon realize that they are rarely if ever truly hungry!

By exercising on a daily basis and eventually engaging in cardio-respiratory activities (jogging, cardio machines at the gym, cycling, etc.) every day, you will awaken that forgotten sense of hunger.

So exercise is very important, and the lack of a fitness program may be one of the reasons why you have difficulty eating a healthy diet.

STEP #2 - *Eat Fruit Before Each Meal*

One of the easiest ways to transition to a raw-food diet is to start eating fruit before every meal, including lunch and dinner. The idea is to eat fruit when you are the most hungry, which is at the beginning of the meal. Eat as much fruit as you desire then, and you will find that you will eat much less of the meal itself!

This is what I call an “automatic transition strategy.” Just start getting the raw-food in by eating fruit before each meal - just what your mom told you not to do when you were a kid. But now that you're a grownup and that the Standard American Diet didn't work for you, you need to go back to your natural instincts and satisfy your natural sweet tooth by eating as much fruit as you want before every single meal.

STEP #3 - *Learn to Make 7 Raw Food Recipes That You Enjoy*

It's been found that most people know about 7 to 10 good recipes very well, and just rotate them throughout the months, adding in other stuff occasionally for variety.

Or look at when you buy a recipe book. You might try many recipes but eventually you'll only retain a few that you'll continue making for the years to come.

So what I want you to know now is to find 7 simple raw-food recipes that you really like, that are easy to make and that are properly combined. (INSIDER TIP: My recipe book “Instant Raw Sensations” is just about that: )

Ideally, I'd like you to know:

About 2 dressings
About 2 great salads
2-3 smoothies you really enjoy
1-2 more gourmet recipes

Those 7 or 10 recipes should be things you can make often, with ingredients that are easy to find, and some of them should have an instant appeal to your friends and family.

You'll find that once you know what those recipes are, and you can make them without opening a book, that you'll be wondering a lot less often “What should I be eating now?”

STEP #4 - *Get Rid of Cheese and Dairy*

Improving your diet isn't about the things you ADD IN. It's mostly about the things we LEAVE OUT. I know this reality is hard to take, but even if you eat all these fruits and vegetables, drink those fresh juices and make those huge smoothies, you won't really feel great until you remove those offensive foods from your diet that are hurting you.

There's one thing you need to say goodbye to forever, and it's milk and cheese. In a previous article, I talked about the top-5 worst foods, and cheese was one of them.

Really, I see it all the time. People have this thing for cheese. They still eat it occasionally, and they still are addicted to it. (Actually, cheese contains some compounds in it that make it addictive for real, not just in your imagination).

If there would be just one category of food you could remove from your diet and feel much better for it, it's got to be cheese and milk.

STEP #5 - *Eat Fruit in the Morning or Skip the Morning Meal*

The morning meal is the easiest to switch to raw. Most people find that once they start listening to their body, they are actually not truly hungry in the morning.

I've watched how many children generally don't eat in the morning if they are left to themselves and not being force-fed.

My suggestion is that you can skip the morning meal altogether or replace it with a smoothie or some fruit. I know that this goes against all the advice you've heard about “never skipping meals” or that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” What I'm telling you know is that this advice isn't based on any solid facts.

The “breakfast” is when you break the “fast” of the night, and this doesn't have to be at noon. In fact, the French word for breakfast means “lunch”, because for thousands of years the French didn't eat in the morning. When they started doing so, they had to come up with a new word for that meal so they called it “small breakfast” (petit dejeuner).

Skipping the morning meal or eating some fruit will help you get in touch with your true sense of hunger, which will make it easier to eat raw. Plus, it will be good for a while to help you detox and lose some weight (if that's an issue for you).

As you start exercising more, you will eventually get hungry in the morning, believe me!

About The Author: Frederic Patenaude, is the author of the book "The Raw Secrets". Sign up for his weekly "Raw Vegan Tips,” and as a bonus, get your free "raw recipe of the week". Visit http://www.rawvegan.com while this bonus is still offered."

HT ~ Weight Loss :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 12. May 2009 @ 13:00
Popping a pimple without professional assistance still remains controversial. Squeezing a pimple on your own may or may not cause scarring. Some people attest that it hastens the healing of their acnes and no scars appear. As always, there is a different solution for every skin type and acne type. You really don’t need some professional surgical tools to pop a zit. It is something you can do at home on your own time.

If you are one of those people who want to rely on self-treatment rather than getting someone else do the pop their pimple for them and do away with the high dermatologist’s fees, here are some tips on how to gently and effectively squeeze pimples in your facial area.

•Never try to pop a pimple beneath the surface of your facial area. Whiteheads and pustules can be squeezed but papules and blackheads should remain untouched. Be sure to pop acnes that appear to have “heads”.

•Before trying to squeeze a pimple, take a bath or wash your face to soften it and to remove dirt or make up on your skin.

•Make sure that your hands are clean. Wash them thoroughly to prevent possible infection.

•Have two sterilize gauze pads ready. Get each one of them for both of your hands and apply gentle pressure on the pimple.

•Use the gauze pads to remove the pus. Never use your fingernails or your bare fingers. After the white stuff has been squeezed out gently remove it with a clean tissue.

•See to it that the white stuff of your pimple can be easily taken out with a gentle squeeze. If you have a hard time doing so, do not force to pop them out as they may be still imbedded deep in your skin and trying to squeeze them out would just cause scarring.

•If you have a pimple that is hard to squeeze out, make a salt solution by mixing half a cup of warm water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Apply the solution to the affected area using sterile gauze for about five to ten minutes. They would usually come off easily when you try to pop them again after several days.

About The Author: Jason Rickard is the owner of http://www.yourfavouriteshop.com - Offering White Noise and Relaxation CDs - Visit http://www.hapahapa.com for more articles

HT ~ Skin :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 11. May 2009 @ 13:00
The concept of “Food Triggers” in health science is not new. Simply put, a food trigger can be any food that causes or “triggers” a reaction or change in the body. Food triggers work by the interaction of the body with the macro nutrients (Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats) in the foods. Because of their genetics and biochemistry each individual reacts to food macro nutrients differently. Many people are familiar with and affected by food triggers like milk, peanuts, cheese, and wine that cause allergic reactions and migraine headaches; but fewer people are familiar with food triggers that can generate weight loss.

Simply stated, a Weight Loss Food Trigger is any food or combination of foods that help generate weight loss in an individual. When we speak of a food helping generate weight loss, we are really speaking of how your body utilizes the proportions of the macro nutrients in the foods you eat. Although the biochemistry involved in the metabolization (break down) of these macro nutrients is similar between individuals, how they are utilized in the body can be very different between individuals.

Despite fad diets and media hype; ALL of the macro nutrients are essential to life and NONE are more important than the others. Any healthy diet will include ALL the macro nutrients although not necessarily in equal proportions. Common to all the macro nutrients is carbon and all the macro nutrients are all ultimately metabolized through a set of chemical reactions called the Krebs Cycle to generate heat and energy.

Scientists measure the relationship between how macro nutrients are metabolized in the body through a process known as Calorimetry. Calorimetry is commonly done at hospitals, research facilities and elite fitness facilities reserved for professional and Olympic athletes. It involves the athlete riding a sophisticated cycle or treadmill while attached to mouth breathing and electronic body monitors. It measures oxygen inhaled versus the products of metabolized macro nutrients exhaled with the mouth monitor.

Nutrition research results reveals that changes in the proportions of macro nutrients ingested can effect changes in weight. Thus, weight loss is not only dependent on how much you eat but also the proportion of macro nutrients you eat. Further, the specific proportion of macro nutrients necessary to generate weight loss (Weight Loss Food Trigger) is different for each individual.

Until now, the only way to calculate a weight loss food trigger would be by an expensive and week long stay at a hospital, research facility or elite fitness facility. Now, commercially available software allows anyone to calculate their own weight loss food triggers in the privacy of their own home. Macro nutrient information that would be derived from Calorimetry can be approximated indirectly by using Body Index calculations. Body Index calculations include things like: Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR); Body Mass Index (BMI); Lean Body Mass (LBM); and Body Fat Percentage (BF). This software automatically, monitors and looks for a relationship between your Body Indexes, Food Intake, and weight to find your weight loss food trigger.

About The Author: Dr. Parchment began her medical career with clinical medicine specializing inInternal Medicine for almost fifteen years. http://www.mycaloriescount.com/parchment.html.

HT ~ Weight Loss :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 10. May 2009 @ 13:00
You must remember when being a child that due to the excitement you felt before a planned trip, it was impossible for you to sleep. Unfortunately, your sleeping problems are not today the outcome of an expected and desired journey. Problems at work or in the house keep your mind occupied and your body restless. Although you know how important it is for you to sleep during nighttime, you are convinced that you are incapable of entering the stage of dreams, especially when the thought that you must sleep and you cannot crosses your mind. Surpassing your present worries by simply counting sheep may help some but not you. You better come up with a better plan before visiting a doctor's office.

First, take a deep breath and try to understand that sleep is your body's time to heal. A healthy body and mind can help you overcome all those persistent problems you have to face during the day. Stop putting on a fight and realize that bed time is your chance to reboot your body's batteries and revive your mind. Try to relax and always remember that this is a goal you can attain all by yourself.

Check the room's temperature. The cooler it is the better are the chances you will be able to sleep sooner. Do not try to freeze to death so as to expedite the process, but rather keep the temperature at a totally comfortable level so as to avoid feeling hot, since this is proven to mess your sleeping patterns.

Keep the room dark by closing blinds and curtains. The darker the room is the less possible might be for you to feel the difference between open and closed eyes.

Invest in a comfortable and back supporting mattress. If your bed is too soft or too hard, you will probably experience greater difficulties in falling asleep and you will be waking during the night trying to find a better and more comfortable position, for your legs, back or neck.

Consider buying earplugs and an eye mask. Earplugs can isolate you from the sounds outside -or even inside- your house and an eye mask will help you block out any excess light.

Sometimes, simple things like adjusting the room temperature by turning on the AC or the fan and let a soft music theme play in the background -if you prefer listening to something pleasant- can help.

Additionally, some people suggest you should try to meditate, while others advice you to drink milk or herbal tea made from chamomile.

Keep in mind that experts agree that you should avoid consuming any large portions of food or alcohol or caffeine-based beverages, since the digestion process will take hours before it is complete and alcohol or caffeine are very effective stimulators that can mess your sleeping patterns and keep you awake for hours.

Most importantly, try to maintain a fixed sleep schedule every night, as this routine will help you fall asleep faster so as to get the appropriate amount of rest.

In case none of these suggested tips can help you establish again healthy sleeping habits, you should consider visiting a doctor. Some sleep disorders, like insomnia, require special treatment and medication.

About The Author: Kadence Buchanan writes articles for http://healthandourworld.com/ - In addition, Kadence also writes articles for http://letsdropsomeweight.com/ and http://foodandourlives.com/

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Webmaster | 9. May 2009 @ 13:00
If you are struggling with weight loss, you probably are feeling overwhelmed by how to get back to your desired weight. By taking little steps towards your goal, you may achieve results much faster than you think. Most people give up and continue their sedentary lifestyles and eating the wrong types of foods because they feel it is impossible to get back in shape. Just as we have to learn how to walk before we can run, the same is true with weight loss. By staring with little or baby steps and you might surprise yourself at what a difference it can make in losing weight.

In order to lose weight, the body needs to speed up its metabolism. There are easy ways to do that without strenuous exercise. One thing that speeds up the metabolism is by getting oxygen to the brain and getting your circulation flowing. A simple way to start an exercise program that doesn’t take too much effort or time at all is by stretching. Take five or ten minutes in the morning and do simple stretches. Breath out all of the air you have inside you and hold your breath for 3-5 seconds, if you can. While you are doing this, stretch one arm. Then let the air out. Do the same with your other arm, your back, and legs and any other area of your body you feel like. It is an incredible feeling. You will feel great You will be stretching muscles that you didn’t even know you have This gets oxygen to the brain very quickly and you will feel the circulation in your entire body.

It is important, of course, to drink lots of water if you are planning on losing weight. If you’re not used to drinking water, start with 4 glasses a day. You may be surprised how quickly you get used to the taste and want even more. It is recommended that we drink 64 oz. a day but it might take some time to work up to that. By keeping a big jug in the fridge it may remind you to drink it. If you start small you can work yourself up to more as you see fit.

Eating the right kinds of foods is vital to weight loss. By eating the right kinds of foods at certain intervals during the day, your food will become fuel that burns, instead of becoming stored up fat. When you alternate certain foods during the day, you may see a remarkable improvement of weight loss. It is so easy and the results are truly amazing. You will never be starving yourself as you watch the pounds melt off your body.

These are very simple, little weight loss tricks that can bring incredible results. The important thing is to do something each day, no matter how insignificant it may seem. By following these steps, you will have so much more energy and notice a tremendous change in your overall health and well being!

About The Author: Cathy lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves the mountains, music, sports, outdoors, writing and helping people accomplish their goals.

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Webmaster | 7. May 2009 @ 13:00
Everything old is new again. Long ago food did not contain so many preservatives and chemicals and crops were not routinely sprayed with chemicals and fungicides. As the public is becoming aware of the negative effect of chemicals on them and the environment, organic foods are gaining in popularity.

Organic foods are those which are grown minus the chemicals but with the assistance of environmentally friendly and healthier alternatives. Organics are not limited to only fruits and vegetables but also include dairy products, baked and prepared goods as well. Another items that is available in organic forms are fruit juice. This is especially important as fruit juices often contain a higher concentration of chemical due to the number of fruits necessary to produce the juice. Buying organic fruit juice is a healthier alternative.

Many regular grocery stores are devoting shelf space to organic food and specialty chains focusing on only organic, health and environmentally friendly foods are opening as well. The price of these healthy alternatives is often a bit higher than standard food products as it is can be more difficult to produce a large crop of organically grown fruits or vegetables while keeping insects or critters at bay. Therefore, naturally grown produce farms are usually smaller affairs. The increase in price is a small one though when it comes to what you are putting into your body and the environment. Also, as more people decide to purchase organic, it is likely the farms and companies that produce these foods will be able to invest in providing a larger variety of foods.

Raw foodists prefer organic foods over any other. Raw foodists avoid consuming all needless chemicals in all forms. By consuming organic items the raw foodist can be assured it is free of chemicals. Raw food and organic food are not the same thing. Those who chose to eat organic foods, and avoid chemical pesticides, don’t necessarily avoid eating cooked, processed or frozen food, as does a raw foodist. For both the raw foodist and organic consumer, some items, such as grain, are still hard to find in an organic form.

It is always a good practice to wash all produce prior to eating, whether they are organic or not. For today’s consumer choosing healthier eating, or seeking to help the environment, whether it be through organic or going raw lifestyles, there are more alternatives.

About The Author: Miranda Thompsen is a staff writer at http://www.diet-gazette.com and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including http://www.aging-guide.com.

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Webmaster | 6. May 2009 @ 13:00
Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat

Weight Loss and Snacking - can they go together?

Snacking in itself is not bad for you, but it’s your choice of what food you eat to tide you over until your next meal that can be the baddie.

If you snack on junk food, that is usually full of unhealthy fat, you will be more likely to have a weight gain rather than a weight loss.

Here are 7 ways you can snack and not mess up your weight loss programme:

• Healthy Snacks, give them a fair try
• Keep away from Trans Fats
• Read the small print on the labels
• Energy Bars are not all they are cracked up to be
• You don’t have to have a snack just because the clock says it’s time
• High fat snacks ….. run a mile
• Ignore the TV ads that tempt you to eat unwisely

Healthy Snacks, Give Them A Try

If you must snack, go for the healthy alternatives. In the fridge or your lunch box have some ready prepared fruit and vegetables. You could peel a carrot, slice it up into bite size pieces and chew on it slowly. You will be amazed at how quickly this will satisfy you. And as mother used to tell you, ‘Eating carrots will help you see in the dark.’

Or have a nice crispy apple. Wash it but don’t peel it. Most of the goodness is in the skin.

Low fat biscuits can also help to keep you on track.

Have foods that are baked or grilled rather than fried.

Keep Away From Trans Fats

Trans Fats (bad fats) are the fats that raise your Cholesterol.

Cholesterol is the fat that clogs up your arteries, and as the blood is unable to flow smoothly, it can have the effect of giving you high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart problems or strokes.

Foods containing Trans Fats could be found in Microwave Snack foods. If you see ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ listed on the label, alarm bells should be ringing in your head.

Read The Small Print On The Labels

Get out your magnifying glass, be like Sherlock Holmes and play detective.

Study the labels on the food you buy. Forget about the adverts telling you how wonderful they are, rather check for yourself what’s in it.

What you are looking for is the Nutritional Value. The label should tell you:

• How many calories are in each portion?
• Grams of fat per portion
• Saturated Fat
• Trans Fat
• How much calcium is in each portion
• Protein
• Sugar
• Salt

Work out for yourself, how much salt you are eating each day. It has been found that we should not be eating more than 6 grams of salt each day. You may be shocked to find that you are having more than your daily recommended amount of salt in one meal, so you could be over your limit if you eat more than one meal a day.

Also if the label says it contains Trans Fat. Do yourself a big favour and put the packet/tin back on the shelf and your heart will thank you for it.

Be sure to check how the manufacturers work out what they consider a portion. Often their portions are for birds and I mean the feathered type.

Energy Bars Are Not All They Are Cracked Up To Be

Those bars that are said to be packed with energy and power, should be scrutinised for what’s in it.

It’s a common belief that sugar gives you energy. But too much sugar can mean you end up with higher blood sugar levels than your body can cope with.

Maybe the label tells you that the bar is low in Carbohydrates, that’s fine, but what it doesn’t tell you, is that it is also low in fibre and probably higher in fat.

Be afraid; be very afraid, if it tastes good … it’s likely to be loaded with sugar.

So ideally, the perfect energy bar for you should contain the following.

• At least 3 grams of Fibre
• At least 5 grams of Protein
• Lower amounts of fat
• No saturated fat
• And fewer than 20 grams of sugar.
• Low in salt

You Don’t Have To Have A Snack Just Because The Clock Says It Is Time

If you have got into the habit of having a snack at 11.00 in the morning and again at 3.00 pm, do you really need it?

Say you had a high protein breakfast or lunch you should manage to get through to your next meal without the need to snack.

Yet if you had a high carbohydrate meal (either breakfast or lunch) you probably will be peckish, so a snack will prevent you from going into starvation mode.

Why is a High Protein meal better than a High Carbohydrate one?

The High Protein meal will be digested more slowly, so filling you up gradually over several hours.

While the High Carbohydrate meal fills you up instantly, but you will be feeling hungry much sooner. As High Carbohydrates are normally full of Calories, then having a High Carbohydrate snack as well, thus taking in even more calories, that weight loss plan you have been following is now about to fly out the window.

So if the clock tells you it’s snack time, only have a snack if you are really hungry. Then have a High Protein snack, it’s much less Calories in it.

High Fat Snacks … Run A Mile

High Fat snacks can encourage you to overeat.

Pennsylvania State University Researchers did a test on some rats, they fed the rats a High Fat diet; this resulted in the rats overeating. The researchers compared these results with rats fed a Low Fat diet.

The conclusion the Researchers came to was that there is a Hormone that is secreted then sends a message to the brain saying, ‘Stop eating now, you’re full up’. But on a High Fat diet, this Hormone was suppressed, and so the rats just went on eating. .

Ignore The TV Ads That Tempt You To Eat Unwisely

While you are watching TV, especially during Prime Time, have you noticed the number of adverts for snack foods? And of course these snacks are made up of junk foods; high in fat and salt.

As we know, these advertisers are paying thousands of pounds to get their adverts put in these prime spots. So the TV viewer is suddenly convinced that they are in need of a snack. Sure enough, when next at the Supermarket, he/she will deliberately seek out that advertised product. The mentality is …… if it’s advertised on the TV it must be good.

The advertiser has won again. And you lose your weight loss goals.

About The Author: Eva Moffat has helped many people with their Weight Loss problems over the years. Now it is your turn to be helped. For more of Eva’s practical help, visit Eva’s Weight Loss Site http://eva-moffats-free-weight-loss-info.blogspot.com

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Webmaster | 5. May 2009 @ 13:00

Many people self-destruct by unknowingly ingesting medicine, food, and/or beverages that aggravate the migraine syndrome. The migraine syndrome may consist of headaches, neckaches, TMJ, IBS, panic attacks, fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, and vertigo. People that are subject to the migraine syndrome have bodies that are sensitive to light, sound, smell, food, and/or stress. This sensitivity to food, beverages, and/or medicine can cause physical and mental symptoms. The purpose of this article is to enlighten people who may have a body sensitive to certain substances that they may put in their mouths.

There are a number of other medicines with which people subject to the migraine syndrome should be aware of potential problems. This is a list of medications with the possible side effect of aggravating migraines: commonly blood vessel dilators (nitroglycerin, angina meds, Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra), occasionally hormones (oral contraceptives, estrogens, medicines to manipulate estrogen), some blood pressure medicines, Tagamet, Zantac, sulfa antibiotics, and rarely antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—SSRI’s and Wellbutrin). However, many antidepressants and blood pressure medications are used to decrease stress and prevent migraines. Most medications have an extremely low potential for aggravating migraines. But as I tell my patients, if the odds of having problems are one in a million and you are the one who has problems—it is 100% for you. Another common problem is rebound. Rebound symptoms occur when pain medications are taken too often and result in ultimately causing pain instead of the desired effect of relieving pain.

It is not just pills you take orally that can give you problems. You may need to be careful of certain foods and beverages. If anyone has had a “hangover headache,” then that person was having a migraine! “Hangover headaches” are migraines. That may be the only time that migraines bother that person, but probably there are other manifestations of the migraine syndrome. Alcohol can be risky, but knowing a bit more can be helpful in avoiding reactions. There are other chemicals which may be risk factors. Tyramine is a chemical found in Chianti wine, aged cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, smoked fish, and yeast extracts. Many of my migraineurs (people that get migraines) can drink white Zinfandel in moderation without consequences. Red wines, vermouth, champagne, brandy, and beer are the usual offenders. A headache expert told me that he avoided red wine for years in fear of triggering one of his migraines. Finally, he kept a diary and found out that he could enjoy red wine with his dinner. Sulfites are found in wines and also used as a preservative, especially at salad bars. Sulfites are used to preserve beer, cider, apple juice, mashed potatoes, and dried apricots. Remember: triggers are additive; therefore, what is a trigger one time, may not be at another time. If you are tired, had a stressful day, time of the month, or bright lights at work, you may be a set up for the migraine syndrome.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a name with which many of you are unfortunately very familiar. Chinese restaurants are notorious for using MSG in food preparation; however, MSG is used in most processed foods. Reading labels is essential but do not just look for the words monosodium glutamate. MSG may be called hydrolyzed, or hydrogenated, vegetable or plant protein, natural flavoring, calcium or sodium caseinate, or Kombu extract. Look especially at seasoned salt, instant foods, canned soup, bullion cubes, frozen dinners, pizza, and potato chips. Sodium nitrite is used as a preservative in meats; for example, hot dogs, sausages, lunch meats, and dried, cured, or smoked meats.

Aspartamate (NutraSweet, Equal), an artificial sweetener, can trigger headaches. However, if aspartamate is consumed regularly, then it may seem “normal” to be suffering from the migraine syndrome. Two to three months of abstinence from aspartamate is worth a try. Sucralose (Splenda) was supposed to be migraine safe, but I can tell you that in my family it spells disaster. Caffeine can help migraines or cause them. If consumed daily, then the absence can cause headaches. Sometimes foods or beverages are not liked by someone, and the person does not know why. Often the object of dislike turns out to be a trigger, and the migraineur has been wisely but unknowingly avoiding problems. I have often said, “Cigarette smoke and NutraSweet are major causes of fibromyalgia.”

I have included a list of possible dietary triggers.

Dietary Triggers

Alcohol: especially red wine, vermouth, champagne, brandy, beer

Caffeine: coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks

Dairy: aged cheeses, sour cream, whole milk, buttermilk, yogurt, ice cream

Breads: sourdough, yeast, some types of cereals

Vegetables: some types of beans (lima, lentil, soy), sauerkraut, onions, peas

Snacks: nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, pickles, seeds, sesame

Meats: fish, meats with nitrates, organ meats, dried or cured or smoked meats

Fruits: most citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, pineapples, raisins, papaya, passion fruit, red plums, raspberries, plantains, figs

MSG: seasoned salt, canned soup, frozen dinners, pizza, potato chips

Desserts: chocolate, licorice, molasses, cakes and cookies made with yeast

Soups: soups containing MSG or made from bouillon cubes

Seasonings: soy sauce, some spices, garlic or onion powder, meat tenderizer

Hunger: missing meals, dieting, fasting

For more information, go to http://www.migrainesyndrome.net.

About The Author: J. Wes Tanner, MD is a family practice and headache specialist who has been treating people for about 30 years. He has extensive experience in treating migraines and fibromyalgia with excellent success. In "Doctor, Why Do I Feel This Way?", Dr. Tanner exposes the secrets and myths about fibromyalgia and the migraine syndrome. To find out more, go to http://www.migrainesyndrome.net.

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Webmaster | 4. May 2009 @ 13:00

I’ll always remember my visits to San Francisco and passing groups of older adults in the parks, practicing Tai Chi. Just watching them brought peace, and you could tell they were entirely involved in their activity. It has always interested me, but I have to admit I have yet to experience it. However, just recently, at a Mindful Eating workshop, we did ‘purposeful walking’, taking very slow and controlled steps ‘with intention’. We could feel every single muscle working as we minutely and consciously lifted a foot, moved it forward, and placed it in front of the other one. This reminded me of what Tai Chi might be like.

But what is Tai Chi, why do people practice it, and can anyone do it?

Tai Chi was originally a deadly art, guarded by a few families and used for killing. Traditionalists believe that it is important for students of this ancient art to remember its roots, because the techniques of relaxation and breath control were developed for the express purpose of injuring the opponent in an efficient, scientific manner.

Today, of course, we no longer need to practice this martial art for the purpose of killing our enemy. However, some say that now we can use this practice to fight the enemy of fatigue, stress, overwork or lack of understanding of oneself and one’s body. Daily practice of Tai Chi promotes mental clarity and a healthy body, assists with balance and helps the circulation of the blood.

Someone doing Tai Chi (pronounced “tie chee”) will move slowly and gently, while breathing and meditating. This is why it is sometimes called "moving meditation". Many practitioners believe that Tai Chi helps the flow throughout the body of a proposed vital energy called qi (pronounced "chee," it means "air," "puff," or "power"). In the United States, Tai Chi for health purposes is part of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. People who practice Tai Chi do so to improve their health, yet it is not fully known what changes occur in the body during Tai Chi, and whether it does, in fact, influence health.

Over the years, several styles and variations have been developed. Taoist Tai Chi was introduced to the US by Master Moy Lin-shin, which emphasizes more elongating and stretching movements. Tai Chi Chuan is descended from the Lang family, but has several family variations. Someone doing Tai Chi for health moves in a slow and relaxed and graceful way, either on one’s own or in a group. These movements make up forms (or routines). Some movements are named for animals or birds. The simplest style of Tai Chi uses 13 movements, while more complex styles can use dozens – Taoist Tai Chi has 108 basic moves. Each of these movements flows into the next. The whole body is in motion, with movements performed gently and at the same speed. It is important to keep the body upright.

Like other CAM approaches, there are aspects of Tai Chi which everyone does not agree. Since there is little known scientifically about it, accepting its teachings is a matter of faith rather than evidence-based science. Also, in addition to more traditional styles, some blends of Tai Chi styles have evolved, such as those mentioned above. This creates a differing of opinion of which styles represent “true” Tai Chi.

Other important elements in Tai Chi are breathing and meditation. It is important to concentrate, breathe in a deep and relaxed manner. The benefits of this breathing and meditation include massaging the internal organs, helping with the exchange of gases in the lungs, helping the digestive system, increasing calmness and improving balance.

Health benefits of Tai Chi:

People practice Tai Chi for several health reasons, such as:

• To gain benefits from exercise. It is a low-impact form of exercise. It’s also weight-bearing, which is beneficial to the bones. Additionally, it is an aerobic form of exercise.

• To improve muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility.

• To improve balance. To have a lower risk for falls, beneficial for the elderly.

• To easy arthritis pain and stiffness.

• For health benefits from the meditation.

• To improve sleep and overall wellness.

Although Tai Chi for health is considered a safe practice, it is always recommended to check with your healthcare provider before beginning any type of exercise.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

• If your body is improperly positioned while doing Tai Chi, you could not only end up with sore muscles, but even sprains.

• Instructors recommend not practicing Tai Chi after eating, when tired, or when you are ill.

• Caution should be used if you have any of these conditions: Pregnancy, hernia, joint problems, back pain, sprains, fractures or osteoporosis.

In the US, people do not have to be health professionals or licensed to practice or teach Tai Chi. It is not regulated by state or Federal governments and there is no standard training for Tai Chi teachers. If you are considering learning Tai Chi, ask about your teacher’s training and experience. Learning Tai Chi from a teacher is encouraged over learning from videos or books. This will help you to know if you are practicing the movements safely and correctly.

The idea that sickness and disease arise out of imbalances in a vital energy field is part of some other CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies, such as Reiki and homeopathy. Within CAM, Tai Chi is a type of mind-body medicine. Mind-body medicine focuses on the interactions among the brain, body, mind and behavior, and the ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual and behavioral factors affect health.

More information on Tai Chi, and NCCAM-Funded Research on Tai Chi, can be found at the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) website at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/taichi/.

Tai Chi has been around for centuries, but practicing it as a healing activity is relatively new. If it’s something you have ever had an interest in, find someone educated in the practice and give it a try! I’ll look forward to seeing you out in the park one day, totally focused on balancing your qi.

About The Author: Marjorie Geiser helps people overcome the confusion and distress they may feel when trying to add healthy eating and fitness into their busy lives. One specialty is working with people who suffer from food sensitivities, helping them overcome various health conditions caused by reactive foods. She is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer and Life Coach offering services locally and globally. To learn more about her services, go to her website at http://www.megfit.com or email her at margie@megfit.com.

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