Spices that Liven up Your Food and Health

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Ever think of spices as more than just flavor to add to your food?  Not only do spices make people ask “mmm, what’s that flavor” but the health benefits are endless!  Spices give us such an easy way to control things such as blood sugar, prevent against inflammation that can lead to heart disease, cancer and diabetes and even reports have started to show the benefits in weight management all due to spices! 


Check out this list of spices you can find in your pantry or at the local grocery store to bring extra flavor and health benefits to you and your family.  As always, consult with your medical professional before making any major changes to your diet.


We all have it in our pantry…but have you ever tried sprinkling it in your coffee grinds in the morning?  It’s excellent…and bonus, cinnamon is filled with antioxidants that help fight against diseases.  It’s also been known to help regulate blood sugar in diabetic’s diets.  It’s a wonderful, sweet spice that adds lots of flavor.



This spice stems from the ginger family and makes a mean curry recipe!  But above that, studies have shown that it may also help fight cancer.  Turmeric is excellent on chicken dishes with wild rice and gives a warm spice taste to your meal.



This is one of my personal favorites and when you cook with it, you always get the “what’s in this…it’s delicious”.  Thyme comes from the mint family and can help suppress inflammation according to the study in the Journal of Lipid Research.



This herb requires an acquired pallet as many people make the comment that it’s such a strong herb.  In my opinion, it’s one of the most underutilized herbs in making meals.  And if you’re looking to change your opinion on Rosemary, it’s been shown in studies to significantly cut your cancer risk.



In a study by the University of Missouri, scientists found that this herb can actually inhibit breast cancer cell growth.  This herb pairs well with garlic, capers, fish, chicken and lemon.


Wellness Wednesday: Fall Fitness Tips

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Seriously, what’s not to love about fall? Pumpkin lattes are back, you can dig out your favorite sweaters, and sweet potatoes are finally in season. Best of all, the crisp temps make fall the perfect time to exercise outdoors: “The cool weather allows you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about being overheated or too cold,” says Terri Walsh, celebrity trainer and creator of the Active Resistance Training Method (A.R.T.). And that means you’re more likely to feel awesome during your workout, and maybe even log an extra mile or climb another trail.

But before you lace up and head outside, prepare for your outdoor adventure with Walsh’s fall weather workout tips:

Wear Layers
It may feel slightly nippy at first, but the weather has a rep for changing on a moment’s notice. Dress in layers that you can easily remove if your body starts to heat up—or put back on if you get cold, says Walsh.

Stay Hydrated
Many people forget to drink enough fluids during fall workouts because it’s not super hot, says Walsh. Not good. Keep drinking as normal to avoid dehydration. While it’s good to carry water, you can add some flavor with a bit of fruit juice to get even more nutrients.

Pack Snacks
Don’t disrupt your outing for a food pit stop. If you’ll be out most of the day hiking or biking, Walsh recommends bringing a small backpack with nuts or fruit stashed inside. No matter where you are, at least you have a constant source of fuel.

And if you think running is the only outdoor exercise to try, it’s time to get creative! If you’re near some branches and a log, you’ll definitely want to try this off-the-beaten-trail circuit workout. But if a park is your only outdoor fitness center, find a jungle gym and do these fun exercises on the playground. The kids in line for the monkey bars can wait their turn.



Top Five Benefits Of Stretching

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Stretching should be a part of your fitness routine. It is, indeed, a form of exercise. Stretching involves elongating a specific muscle or muscle group to its fullest length.


Here are the top five benefits of adding stretching to your everyday life:

1.     Stretching Increases Flexibility

Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Lack of flexibility causes your movement to become slower and less fluid and makes you more susceptible to muscle strains, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries. The most effective way to increase your flexibility is by stretching.


2.     Stretching Improves Circulation

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow brings more nourishment to the muscles and removes more waste byproducts from the muscles. Increased blood flow can also help speed up recovery from muscle and joint injuries.


3.     Stretching Improves Balance and Coordination

The increased flexibility that comes from stretching improves balance and coordination. Improved balance and coordination lowers your risk for falls.


4. Stretching Helps Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Stiff and tight muscles in the lower back, hamstrings, buttocks and hips is one of the more common causes of lower back pain. Stretching these muscles will alleviate the pain.


5.     Stretching Helps Improve Cardiovascular Health

Recent studies have found that stretching can improve artery function and lower blood pressure.

In conclusion, don’t overlook the benefits of stretching. Make sure that stretching is a regular part of your fitness program.


Importance of Sleep

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According to The Harvard Women’s Health Watch, there are six main reasons why you should focus on getting a good night’s sleep.

  1. Immune System: If you are deprived of sleep your immune function is altered.  This may be why they say that keeping up with sleep helps to fight cancer.
  2. Cardiovascular Health:  Sleep disorders like insomnia have been linked to conditions like hypertension, irregular heartbeat, and an increase in stress hormone levels. Stress also leads to other health problems.
  3. Learning and Memory: The brain needs sleep for memory consolidation. This process helps the brain to commit to new information and memory. Studies suggest that people who had a good night’s sleep after learning something new did better on later testing on that task.
  4. Safety: If a person is sleep deprived they can actually fall asleep during the daytime.  This can cause falls and mistakes like air traffic mishaps, road accidents, medical errors, and the list can go on. You need sleep to perform in the daytime.
  5. Metabolism and Weight: All women listen closely when they hear this reason why sleep is important. Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain by affecting the body’s process to store carbohydrates and even alters levels of hormones that affect appetite.
  6. Last But Not Least, Mood: Without a good night’s sleep, you will result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness.  Also, if a person is too tired they cannot do the things they like to do. Sleep deprivation interferes with quality of life.

Do deep breaths, mediate, turn off stimulation like TV and cell phones and get the good night’s rest you deserve.

10 Reasons Women Should Do Resistance Training

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Women seem to have a misconception about adding weights to their exercise routine. Resistance training can be greatly beneficial. There are even greater benefits for women over forty. What are those benefits?
You Will Lose Body Fat.
You Will Gain Strength Without The Bulk.
Your Athletic Performance Will Improve.
You Will Be Physically Stronger.
Your Risk Of Arthritis and Back Aches Will Be Significantly Reduced.
Your Risk Of Heart Disease Will Decrease.
Your Risk Of Diabetes Will Be Reduced.
You Can Start At Any Age! It Is Never Too Late To Start.
Your Attitude Will Improve. (Exercise Fights Depression)
Resistance training can even be enjoyed with the man in your life.

Exercise along with a healthy diet contributes to overall better health and aides in cancer prevention and recovery. Start today!

Deep Breathing

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Deep breathing is a truly essential exercise that benefits overall health. Deep breathing is known to take away our stress and help us to relax. Deep breathing is also a natural painkiller. When you practice deep breathing your body releases endorphins throughout. If you take a few moments each day to try deep breathing exercises, your body will benefit greatly. When practicing upward and downward movements during your deep breathing, your diaphragm performs helping to remove toxins from your organs and promote a better blood flow. This results in an increasing energy level.

When preparing to practice deep breathing, find a quiet and comfortable spot. Keep your eyes open throughout the entire breathing time. You must focus your attention on your breathing and thoughts of being well. Breathe slowly at about six repetitions per minute. Each complete breath should last around ten seconds. It is important to breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Then breathe out through your mouth for six seconds.

This goes hand-in-hand with our last Wellness Wednesday post about yoga boosting recovery for cancer patients.

Yoga Boosting Recovery for Breast Cancer Patients

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Mind and Body Balance goes hand-in-hand for breast cancer patients. The MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas found that women who used mediation and practiced yoga had a better attitude and lower stress, therefore, leading to overall better health! The study continues to show that yoga and meditation can be a key element in patient recovery.  http://www.earthtimes.org

Healing Meditation tips:

  • Find a place where you will not be disturbed.  Create a sacred space, filled with positive energy.  You may place candles around the room and light some incense.  Also, place some crystals around the room which bring healing energy and positive vibes.  Meditating outdoors is great too!
  • You can meditate with or without music.  If you choose to play music, make sure it is soothing and calming and not distracting to you.
  • Find a comfortable position, either on a chair or on the floor.  Just be sure that you will not become uncomfortable, which can be very distracting.  Keep your spine straight, as energy flows from the base of your spine up to the top of your head.
  • Breathe deeply through your nose and hold the breath for as long as you can, comfortably.  Then slowly release the breath.  Breathing centers you and connects you to the present moment.  Even sitting and breathing, mindfully, for just a few moments is beneficial.
  • Visualize yourself surrounded by warm, healing white light.  Imagine the white light flooding your entire body and rejuvenating your cells.  Incorporate this into your breathing by imagining you are breathing in this healing light and it is illuminating every cell of your being.
  • You may chant a mantra or choose a word or a phrase to repeat in your mind.  Reciting a mantra helps tame the wandering mind.  For example, you may repeat the word “Faith” or “Hope” on every breath.  You may also choose to repeat a phrase like, “I am healthy” or “I am strong”.        Words, whether said out loud or in your head, have a big impact on the world we experience and using the phrase “I am” is very powerful as it calls upon the creative powers of the Universe.
  • Visualize tumors shrinking.  Visualize yourself happy, healthy, vibrant and laughing.  Visualize a positive check up at the doctor.  See yourself saying, “I’m cancer-free!”   If you can visualize it, then you can bring it into existence.
  • Always give thanks to the Universe at the end of your meditation.  Even though cancer doesn’t seem like something to be thankful for, it can behold treasures for your soul.  You can gain immense strength and courage from this experience, which is worthy of gratitude.  You could gain a whole new perspective on your life that you wouldn’t have had before cancer.  You may be grateful for your caregiver or your amazing doctor.  There is always something to smile about

In the turmoil of cancer, it can be difficult to quiet the mind. The mind is very powerful.  It has the capability of creating or destroying.  Even just a few minutes a day in silence and relaxation can have a profound impact on the body.  Meditation can help reduce the pain, stress, anxiety, and fear, associated with cancer.  Meditation can play an important role in your healing plan and improve your quality of life.

Article By: Jessica Taylor


Energizing Foods for Lunch

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Wellness Wednesday!

Strawberries and blueberries

Lunch should help you get the energy you need to make it through your afternoon. Jobs can be stressful and demand a lot from your mind and body. Be prepared for those demands by packing healthy foods that also help boost your energy for the rest of the workday.

While vitamins and minerals provide nutrition, they aren’t a source of food energy. Look to carbohydrates, fats and proteins for the calories you need. Carbohydrates, including sugars, are good for quick energy. If you have protein with those carbs, you can slow the rate at which your body absorbs them. The best way to put these together is to combine small amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates and some healthy fats as part of your lunch

The following are some foods that are good for you and help energize you for the afternoon ahead:

  • Energizing fruits: blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, mango, citrus fruit, tomatoes, avocado
  • Energizing veggies: peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli
  • Energizing proteins: pork, salmon, soy, beans, nuts
  • Energizing grains: whole grains, oatmeal
  • Low-fat dairy products

If you think you’ll need another energy boost during the day, combine these with a healthy mid-afternoon snack to pack with your lunch. The following are some energizing healthy snack ideas you can try:

  • An orange — bring the whole orange, or peel the orange in advance and bring the wedges in to work in a small snack bag
  • A small snack bag of dried fruit and nuts
  • A spoonful of peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers — you can keep these ingredients in your desk drawer for snacks throughout the week, but keep your portions in check
  • Low-fat yogurt with strawberries and blueberries — chop up the berries ahead of time and bring them in a small container with your lunch, or add them to the yogurt in advance A cup of cantaloupe and mango slices with mandarin orange wedges
  • Sliced veggies and hummus dip — slice the veggies at home and bring them in a small snack bag
  • Pita chips and bean dip

Another energizing tip is to make sure you stay hydrated. Your body is about 60 percent water, and it needs that water for digestion and energy. Even the slightest dehydration can make you feel tired

Keep a water bottle or big cup with you at work to remind you to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and refill it as soon as it’s empty.

From: www.health.discovery.com

Healthy Eating Tip

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Wellness Wednesday!

Healthy Eating Tip

The more color on your plate, the better. Not only does this keep things interesting and exciting for you and your taste buds, but it’s healthier. The nutrients that create the different colors in our fruit and vegetables, represent different nutrients for your body. Feed your body as many varieties as possible, the fight against the common cold, cancers and other illnesses can be prevented by having variety in you diet. Trying new fruits, vegetable combinations and dinner choices will keep your family on their toes.

From: health.discovery.com

Healthy Eating Tip

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Wellness Wednesday!

Healthy Eating Tip

Retrain your taste buds and retrain your brain and attitude toward good food choices. The natural sweetness of an orange or apple can’t compete with the sugary taste of a candy bar, but you must retrain, and relearn, the goodness of what’s good for you. Start choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables as snacks or as replacements for some of the fats that you would tend to add onto your lunch tray or dinner plate – you and your taste buds will get used to it.


From: health.discovery.com