Tag Archives: Health tips

Great Tips to Get in Shape and Stay in Shape

By StatePoint

Losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle top millions of people’s list of goals. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to set a goal than it is to actually achieve it, so it’s important to have a game plan if you want to see results. Here are some sustainable tips to help you lose weight and feel great! 

Set Goals Mindfully

Setting a goal to “lose weight” sounds great, but it is pretty vague. It’s hard to achieve a goal without a specific plan or focus. Remember to think about your health beyond just the number on the scale. Whether it’s deciding to train for a 5k race or choosing to reduce your sugar intake by half, getting specific and setting realistic goals helps you get a clear sense as to whether you were successful.

Get Hydrated

One simple way to cut back calories and sugar is to make water your drink of choice. Eliminate high-calorie beverages like juice and soda from your diet. Get started by setting a simple goal of drinking at least five 12-ounce glasses of water a day.

Sustainable Meal Planning

A sustainable diet is not about deprivation, it’s about eating nutritious, enjoyable meals. For example, a Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats like olive oil; often offers better nutrition, better flavors and better results than a fad diet.

In fact, people who followed a Mediterranean diet lost 52 percent more weight than those with a standard low-fat diet says a study published in a peer reviewed journal. Over a period of two years, the Mediterranean diet group lost 9.7 pounds while the low fat diet group only lost 6.3 pounds.

Make Exercise Fun

Exercise is critical for a healthy body and mind. Whether it’s taking the dog out for a daily walk, signing up for a dance class or committing to hitting the gym three to four times a week, find a workout routine you love and can commit to so you don’t think of movement and exercise as a chore.

Seek Support

Even a well-balanced diet combined with exercise can use extra support. One great program that works in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet is the M3 system by Modere, an innovative weight management system combining credible products with real food and flexible lifestyle behaviors to help users detox.

The plan includes a thermogenic fat-burning supplement taken in the morning, a protein-rich shake for lunch, and an evening fiber drink to help control dinner portions. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. According to Modere, this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

“The lifestyle-based approach to dieting can mean better and more sustainable results than fads that require you to eat only from limited list of foods,” says Greg Horn, formulator of Modere M3.

The plan also requires you to make key changes that support health and weight management by letting you pick three of the five healthy lifestyle behavior options such as committing to walking 7,500 steps a day, cutting out fried foods and sugary drinks, or avoiding refined flour and white rice. To learn more about how M3 can help you, visit http://www.TakeM3.com.

Make now the time you set a goal and stick with it!

 

Top 10 Health Tips for Men

img_1254By WebMD

An expert offers advice on how to boost your sex life, rev up your workouts, and live better.

Take charge of your health, gents. The sooner you do it, the better.

“It’s not cool for a guy to wait until he’s 50 to see a doctor,” says Steven Lamm, MD, the medical director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health. “Men need to care about their health above the waistline as well as below.” Here are his top 10 tips.

  1. Find a doctor.Choose one you’re comfortable with, so you can “openly discuss all aspects of your health, from your mental state to your sexual function to your overall wellness,” Lamm says.
  2. See that doctor.”Just because you are feeling well doesn’t mean you are well. Have a tendency toward denial? Don’t ignore things like black stools, vision loss, orchest pain. Unfortunately, men have a tendency to do just that.”
  3. Get informed. “You do want to be knowledgeable and understand that you shouldn’t ignore symptoms or complaints, but you don’t want to self-diagnose.”
  4. Vary your workouts. “The body gets very comfortable when you always do the sameworkout. You have got to keep varying your exercises, and they have to be an age-appropriate mix ofaerobics, muscle training, and stretching.”
  5. Eat to thrive.Getting enoughnutrition is crucial. “It’s more important than anything else except maybe sleep,” Lamm says. “Focus on nutrients rather than calories,” and eat a variety of healthy foods. “You can’t achieve optimum nutrition with limited choices.”
  6. Prioritize sleep.”Get at least 7 hours. That’s not something you should compromise. Men think they can overcomesleep deprivation by exercising or whatever,” but that’s a bad idea, he says.
  7. Check your head. “Mental health is really, really important. Think about several things: Are you drinking too much? Are you paying attention tosigns of depressionor bipolar disorder, which often get missed? If you have a family history of mental illness, suicide, and/or substance abuse, you really need someone to help you review the signs and symptoms.”
  8. Stay ready for sex. “When you’re stressed out, not sleeping, or drinking too much, you can’t get an erection on demand, and a man’s erection is a barometer for overall health. Exercising, eating well, and sleeping well are the best ways to be sure you’re a stud in the bedroom.”
  9. Care for your prostate. “The prostategrows as you get older. You’ll almost certainly have symptoms, like urinary problems. A really healthy, low-fat diet will reduce the likelihood of prostate growth and may reduce the risk ofprostate cancer.”
  10. Enjoy yourself. “Look forward to every day, to doing something for yourself every day, whether it’s a run or listening to an audiobook or practicingmeditationor yoga.  Don’t save up all of your fun for vacation.”

 

Clark’s Nutrition Health Tip

Clark’s Tips Clarks-Header-WEB

The Meta-Diet!

By Clark’s Nutrition

The search to find a “one-size-fits-all” approach to nutrition and health has led to the proliferation of diets and eating philosophies. Some diets exclude certain combined macronutrients at certain times of the day, while others originate from certain regions or exotic locales and tout themselves as nutritional panaceas. It would be impossible (and inarguably unhealthy) to try them all, which leaves us with the dieters dilemma; how to find a diet that is right for us and will not only increase our quality of life, but the quantity as well. If history is our guide, then we know the best hope for a quick fix is slow science.

To this end, researchers from Stanford University conducted the “A to Z Weight-Loss Study”, which compared diets ranging from the Atkins (A) Diet (along with the Ornish and LEARN diet), to The Zone (Z) Diet. The researchers assigned 311 nondiabetic women to one of the four diets, with weight loss at 12 months as the primary outcome. It must be noted that one caveat to all diet-related research is the issue of compliance, or lack thereof, as the number one reason why diets tend to fail over time. People resort to their old eating style and this variance, inevitably, confounds the data. However, in this study the participants adhered very well to their diets and shockingly, for some, the Atkins Diet outperformed the other three in weight loss (primary outcome) and had mildly significant advantages for lowered blood pressure and blood fats. Does this mean the Atkins Diet is the right one for everybody? Certainly not, yet the methodology used in this study does demonstrate that if weight loss, lowered blood pressure and triglycerides are the goal, this diet could serve those outcomes moderately well.

Where does that leave us in our quest for a sustainable and personalized diet? Is a convergence of agreement our best hope, coupled with ongoing modification and a judicious dose of trial-and-error? Yes, every healthy and sustainable diet (married to exercise) have these foods in common, fruits, fatty fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds with different (well-tolerated) sources of meats, eggs, and dairy added in if desired. It should be noted that dairy, animal proteins, and grains are one area where people make decisions for more reasons than weight loss and this should be respected and explored. One admonition for exercise needs elucidating, while it is a vital component in the quest for a prolonged health span, it cannot overcome the phenomenon of non-homeostatic eating (eating beyond satiety signals and bodily requirements). This may have led Dr.s Phinney and Volek to declare in their book, “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living”, ‘exercise is great for wellbeing but poor for weight loss’. This concept is aptly embodied in the adage, “You can’t outrun a bad diet”.

Ultimately, recommending a diet is easy to do but ensuring the diet is the correct approach requires much more finesse. Without the proper blood work (medical involvement), family history (repeated interviews), assessment of health literacy (objective tests), ability to shop, prepare, serve, preserve, and store foods (skills mastery), and a good dose of behavior modification techniques, then the recommendation is incorrectly administered. Speak to a nutritional consultant today and start your informed journey to maximizing your health span, and beyond.

C Doussett MPH, RDN

 

Live Better Health tip

Clarks Header-CMYKPut Up A Resistance (Training) For Bone Health

By C Doussett M.P.H., R.D.N. of Clark’s Nutrition and Natural Foods Market

The oft-forgotten skeleton is one of our most powerful allies in the quest for health and a long life. Our skeletons not only keep us upright, but they protect vital organs, link body systems to each other and produce our oxygen carrying red blood cells and the majority of our immune cells. They also do wonderful things like nourish us when our diets are lacking and provide the basis for the pH balance in our blood. Taking care of our skeleton requires an adequate mineral and protein supply, as well as important fat soluble vitamins, specifically vitamins D and K. In addition, our skeletons require that we remain physically active and challenge ourselves in a way that sends vital neuro and hormonal signals to maintain bone integrity. Even a modest amount of exercise will have some benefit, yet the majority of individuals with sound bone health adhere to a well thought out and consistent exercise program. This means not only engaging in “cardio” (running, swimming, and biking) but resistance exercise, colloquially known as “hitting the weights”.

Weight training allows bones to experience what is known as the minimal essential strain (MES). The MES is a specific force that induces positive changes in skeletal health and is generally calculated at one/tenth the strain it would take to fracture a bone. In other words, weight training places a healthy strain on our bones that signals those same bones to strengthen themselves. The effects of resistance training on bone health can be felt after only a few sessions and regular training can ensure bones are healthy for years to come.

Knowing this, we must ask, who is at risk for impaired bone integrity?

  • Individuals with small skeletal structures, this unfortunately means a majority of women, including smokers and alcoholics
  • Soda drinkers- due to the high phosphorous content and caffeine, also known to block calcium absorption, or simply because soda is replacing milk and fortified orange juice as the beverage of choice
  • Everyone after a certain age as hormones decline.

What problems does impaired bone health (a.k.a. osteopenia and in advanced cases, osteoporosis) present?

  • Increased risk of fractures and breaks, especially hip fractures which can also lead to pressure sores and blood clots which may lead to pulmonary embolisms
  • Pain when exercising and performing activities of a physical nature
  • Weakened muscles and decreased quality of life

There are important activities we can do to strengthen our bones at an early age so they carry us through life. The recommendations for both kids and adults are, not surprisingly, very similar:

  • Get plenty of exercise. Playing like a kid is a great way to send signals to the bones to keep them strong, resistance training as well as an aerobics class, yoga or a walking group
  • Get your calcium. Leafy green vegetables and bone/mineral broths. For those individuals eschewing dairy, calcium fortified grains, salmon in the can with the bones, and fermented soy products are great, as well as dried spices like thyme, oregano, and basil (up to 100 milligrams of calcium per three tablespoons)

Major fractures later in life can cause immune system compromise and leave us susceptible to opportunistic infections. Keep your skeleton young and your body will follow suit, and as always, have a healthy day.

Tips to Prevent the Spread of Back-to-School Germs

By StatePoint  awesome-sneeze-WEB

Back-to-school is an exciting time of year for families, but it also means new exposures to germs.

From school desks found to have 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet, to personal items like backpacks and cell phones, germs are everywhere. Taking steps to reduce exposure can make for a healthier school year ahead.

Remember to wash hands and your items frequently — did you know that backpacks have 10,000 germs per square inch? Then, use shelf liner in areas of your home where school items are stored for extra protection. Try using Easy Liner brand shelf liner by Duck brand with Clorox antimicrobial protection, which protects the liner from the growth of mold and mildew. Plus, the liners can be tossed in the wash for easy cleaning.

Parents can help keep classrooms cleaner by providing teachers with disinfecting wipes and shelf liner to protect desks, drawers and shelves.

Give The Ferris A Day Off!

Clarks-Header-WEB

Courtesy of C. Doussett MPH, RDN of Clark’s Nutrition

For many people, dieting is like being on a Ferris wheel, there are high and lows and at the start, it’s nothing but promises and anticipation. Yet too often the process is predictably circular and ends up back where it started. For others, dieting is like a carousel ride, dizzy circles mixed with a steady stream of anecdotes and gimmicks, which ultimately creates a plethora of predatory marketing mixed with well-intentioned “advices”. And yet for others, dieting is akin to riding an escalator between two floors, floor one is eat less and floor two is exercise more. Over time, these individuals become stuck in the middle and have to continually eat even less and exercise even more. This is a recipe for long-term failure, but not a failure of a person’s will but one of design.

So what is to be done? There has to be a better way (there is), it has to be easy to understand (not at first but eventually), and easy to implement (this is where it gets tricky). The trick to lasting and meaningful long-term weight loss in the pursuit of health and longevity is highly individual, subject to change, requires study (to both increase health literacy and to guard against sensationalism), and demands constant vigilance. I wish articles like these could offer the “perfect” advice for weight loss, but that would negate the fact that we are dynamic beings who age, deal with stress, experience profound change, and are subject to a genetic code that is at the mercy of our choices, which are at the mercy of our environment.

Yet it is imperative that some reasoned attempt to distill nutritional and lifestyle approaches into a consumable article be made. In that spirit, the following suggestions are given as a starting template for your consideration.

  • Hydrate: water and herbal teas are best. Drink when thirsty and drink extra when urine starts to darken. Both caffeinated sodas and alcohol can negatively influence hydrations status so consume as little as possible.
  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours nightly. Our body’s internal clock can be thrown out of balance in as little as four days of halved sleep (3.5 to 4.5 hours nightly). This may result in mood changes, difficulty learning or remembering, blood sugar imbalance which increases cravings, and difficulty in performing normal activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Exercise: One hour daily apart from physical activity. Planned vigorous exercise is the hero to the villain we call disease.
  • Plan meals in this order: vegetables, protein, fatty fruits, fruits, legumes, nuts/seeds, and spices. Create an environment where these food choices are everywhere and your body will respond.
  • Seek purpose and avoid risky behaviors

Supplements may be a beneficial way to assist efforts at achieving or maintaining a healthy weight but they are not the strategy per se. Always seek the advice of health professionals and weigh your decisions carefully. For example, caffeine is by far the most popular choice to help an individual with cravings and to give much needed stimulation during calorie deficits and training sessions but for many people, caffeine has side effects that may derail weight loss efforts. If caffeine (at or around 200 mgs per dose) causes anxiety, hypoglycemia, severe jitteriness, insomnia, or loss of appetite it should be minimized or discontinued.

Keep in mind that our best life may be lived at twenty pounds above our prettiest weight, it happens, yet remain vigilant that a cheat day does not become a cheat decade. Lastly, those healthy actions we do once become easier to do twice, do those a thousand times and you have a habit, five thousand times is a skill, ten thousand is a profession, and any more than that is a life well lived. Ha

West Nile In Walnut

City of Walnut  West-Nile-WEB

Walnut – On Friday, July 18, 2015 the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District notified the City of Walnut that mosquitos taken from two of the four traps located near Creekside Park tested positive for West Nile Virus.

San Gabriel Valley Vector Control has mosquito traps throughout the region. Mosquitos from these traps are gathered and tested on a regular basis.

Vector Control will continue to monitor Creekside Park and treat any potential mosquito breeding areas. They have no current plans for area-wide spraying. All City park activities are proceeding as scheduled, including summer concerts and movies.

The SGVVC continues to caution residents about the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the San Gabriel Valley.

Residents can continue to enjoy the outdoors as usual, however if you are outdoors between dusk and dawn, you are advised to:

  • Wear mosquito repellent (products containing DEET are best).
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors during early morning or evening hours when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes in light colors

Residents can help control the mosquito pollution by:

  • Preventing mosquito entrance into structures by repairing or installing window and door screening
  • Eliminating any standing water from around your home
  • Reporting any standing water in your neighborhood to SGVVC.

Residents can visit the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District website (www.sgvmosquito.org) for more information on West Nile Virus and other “Vectors” (a term which generally refers to, but is not limited to, mosquitoes, flies, other insects, ticks, mites, and rats capable of transmitting human disease or discomfort).

Additionally, residents are encouraged to report any dead birds to the California West Nile Hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov (this website shows all reported occurrences of dead birds, as well as reported equine and human cases of West Nile Virus).

Are you seeing “GIANT” mosquitoes? Good news – those are not mosquitoes, but a close relative – the crane fly. Crane flies do not bite nor transmit disease. They only live a short time as adults and do serve as an important food source for birds. If they get inside the house, just take them back outside.

District’s West Nile Virus “Important Facts and Safety Tips”

What Is A Superfood?

Courtesy of Michael Clarks-Header-WEBBarnett of Clarks Nutriton  

Superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being, increasing health and vitality,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. With this definition it might be possible that a lot of foods are Superfoods. The reason for the ‘super’ foods label is because of the benefits some foods provided                                                                              to health.

For example, cod liver oil is considered to be a super food. During the mid-1900’s cod liver oil was used to support immunity, joint, and cardiovascular disorders.  Cod liver oil is abundant in vitamins A & D and high in Omega-3, an essential fatty acid.   Cod liver oil is an example of a nutrient rich food that might provide benefits for individuals not consuming these nutrients, ultimately filling a gap in diet.

  • Vitamin A is essential for cell and bone growth, and eye function. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), vitamin A has proven to be beneficial in the prevention of infectious diseases such as Measles in developing countries.
  • Vitamin D also plays a significant role in supporting healthy immune function.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids not only help regulate inflammation and aid in cardiovascular health, they also play a significant role in maintaining proper brain function, as well as several other critical functions in the human body.

One of the more popular Superfoods currently is “greens.” Green powders come in all varieties, but are mainly comprised of fruit and vegetable extracts.  Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients including vitamins and minerals.  More importantly, fruits and vegetables have an array of color. Often times color is attributed to phytonutrients, which are pigments that provide health benefits as well.  An example of a phytonutrient can be seen in lycopene.

Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes and watermelon red. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant in the skin and aids in protecting against breast and prostate cancers.  Because of its lycopene dense nature, tomatoes can be considered a Superfood. Most fruits and vegetables have great protective factors for your health.

Having a diet rich in whole foods is the best approach to getting today’s Superfoods. Whole foods include fruits and vegetables (not pealed or skinned), whole unrefined grains, nuts, seeds, beans-legumes, lean grass fed beef, free range hen eggs, chicken, and fish.

Try to avoid processed foods and simple refined sugars and high saturated fat diets. Those individuals with plant based diets rich in Superfoods tend to be less susceptible to disease.  So you may consider making plant based diets the focus.

Have a health related question?

Send us your question, your first and last name, and city you live in to: askclarks@clarksnutrition.com

Due to the number of responses, we will only be able to answer published questions.

Did You Know?

Living with Diabetes

 

Courtesy of IEHP

Nearly 16 million people in the United States have diabetes. But diabetes can be treated.  With the right care and some lifestyle changes, you’ll feel better, and enjoy a long and healthy life.

What is diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your body does not have enough of the hormone “insulin”, or it is not working correctly. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body makes little or no insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body is making insulin but is not able to use it.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for diabetes, but many people with the illness can live healthy lives. Your Doctor will work closely with you to set up a plan. Here are some changes you can make to stay healthy:

  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Exercise each day
  • Take your medicine the way your Doctor tells you
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Check your blood sugar levels
  • See your dentist every six months, and your eye doctor yearly
  • Practice good foot and skin care

When to see your Doctor:

Whether you have diabetes or not, you should see your Doctor often. If you have diabetes, Doctor visits are important. Your Doctor will review your blood sugar levels, perform tests and check your feet.

You don’t always have to wait for regular visits. Call your Doctor if:

  • You have the flu, cold, or respiratory infection
  • You have discomfort in your hands or feet
  • You have any vision problems

 

Is Your Water Safe to Drink?

Courtesy of State PointSafe-Water-WEB

Although many Americans are aware of the water crises taking place in different parts of the country, such as Flint, Michigan and New Jersey, most believe themselves to be far removed from these situations. Experts caution however, that what’s happening there could happen anywhere, anytime to whole neighborhoods, individual streets or even just to a specific house.

Indeed, plumbing components still could legally contain up to eight percent lead as recently as January 2014. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your family.

“The most important thing individual families can do to improve water quality is to filter it at home,” says Joseph Harrison, former chief of the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Branch.

Harrison says there are filters that require installation, but the easiest option is to purchase a filtering system available at a local retailer that you fill with water and put in your fridge. Such systems come in various shapes and sizes, making them a good option for any size family or fridge.

For example, ZeroWater offers the only portable gravity-fed pour through filtration device that reduces the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) measurement down to virtually zero and are certified by the NSF for lead reduction and other heavy metals to a safe level.

By removing 99.6 percent of all total dissolved solids, the filters get a 000 measurement on the digital water meter, which is equivalent to purified bottled water. They also remove more pharmaceuticals and chemicals than other leading two-stage filter brands, according to Good Housekeeping Research.

“Until all lead pipes in the water infrastructure system are safely replaced, consumers are largely on their own when it comes to protecting their families from lead,” says Harrison. “That’s why it’s so important to treat your water with a filter certified to reduce lead content.”

While all families should take steps to protect their health, proactive measures are especially crucial for families with pregnant women and children under six years old. This is because lead toxin exposure primarily affects developing brains and causes reduced intelligence, learning disabilities, developmental delays and fetal deaths.

To learn more about water filtration and how to test your water for lead, visit ZeroWater.com.

You don’t have to accept your local water quality as-is. By filtering your water, you can improve both its quality and its taste.