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10 Steps to a Healthier Future July 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
11 comments

170px-Italienischer_Maler_des_17._Jahrhunderts_001Nancy Curteman posted an informative article the other day, How To Lose Weight Fast: Eliminate the Four Food Demons.

In it, she recommended cutting out the worst culprits to weight gain and poor nutrition:  Sugar, Fat, Salt, and Additives that not even English majors can pronounce.

Here are a few more tips to consider when deciding what to put onto your plate and into your belly.

(1) Beware hidden salt in food.  Aunt Jemina’s Original Pancake Mix has more salt per serving that Wise Potato Chips.  Many cuts of uncooked poultry contain added sodium.  Check the label for these words: contains a solution of water, salt, and sodium phosphate.

(2) Just as there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, there are healthy fats and dangerous fats:

* Saturated fat (found in fatty meat, ice cream, whole milk, butter, and cocoa butter) clogs your arteries with cholesterol and should be avoided.

* Trans fat (found in many cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, margarine, onion rings, and donuts) can inflame and stiffen your arteries.

* Virgin Olive Oil helps to improve your circulation and can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.  Olive oil contains phenol which keeps arteries “elastic” ~ which means your arteries can handle sudden changes in blood flow which helps to prevent heart attacks.    Use it for cooking, in salad dressings, and for dipping bread instead of using butter.

(3) Read labels.  Food labels list ingredients in descending order by weight.   Just because a cereal has the word “oats” or “whole grain” in its name doesn’t mean that it will provide you with a healthy breakfast:

* Honey Bunches of Oats lists whole-grain oats as the 4th ingredient . . . after corn, wheat, and SUGAR!

* Honey Nut Cheerios lists whole grain oats as the #1 ingredient, making it the better choice.

(4) If it’s white, don’t bite:

* Bad carbs are generally white in color.  Think Sugar, white flour, white bread, white pasta.  Since these white carbs cause spikes in your insulin level, reducing them in your diet will LOWER your risk of type2 diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.

* Good carbs come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  These good carbs keep your cholesterol level healthy, your blood pressure and blood sugar stable, and help you eliminate excess weight from your body.

* Plus, fruits and veggies contain valuable anti-oxidants that lower your risk of certain diseases.  For example, watermelon, apricots, and tomatoes reduce cancer risk.

* Baked potatoes provide you with good carbs.  Each medium sized baked potato (with skin) provides 925 mg of potassium to help keep your blood pressure in check; 50 mg of magnesium to help reduce your risk of type2 diabetes; and 5 gm of fiber to keep your appetite under control and provide you with some smooth moves in your bowels.

(5) Don’t be afraid to ZAP your food in the microwave.  Microwaved food may retain vitamins BETTER than food cooked on the stove-top because the food is cooked quickly with less water.  One study found that spinach retained only 77% of the B-vitamin folate when cooked on the stove, but retained ALL its folate when cooked in the microwave.

(6) Don’t waste money taking Vitamin E in capsule form since it won’t reduce your risk of chronic heart disease.  Instead, to avoid a deficiency of Vitamin E, eat E-rich foods ~ nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.  The top 5 seeds and nuts to lower cholesterol:  sunflower seeds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and whole flaxseed.

(7) Speed weight loss by sniffing your food.  Nope.  Sniffing your food won’t burn off excess calories, but smelling food aromas influences your sense of fullness causing you to eat less and lose weight.  Chew slowly to appreciate the flavor and texture of your food, and eat hot foods while they are hot to maximize the aroma vapors.

(8)  Protect your brain from the effects of aging:

* Fruit and vegetable juices offer remarkable benefits, and may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 76% versus folks who don’t drink juice.  You shoulda had a V-8!

* Walking and other regular physical activity is probably the best way to shield your brain against aging.  In one six-year-study, people who walked just 3x a week for 30 minutes lowered their risk of dementia by 30%.

* People who reduced stress with relaxation exercises (such as meditation, visualization, or yoga)  for 20 minutes a day improved their attention and responsiveness in brain function studies significantly in just 5 weeks.

(9) Other health & wellness tips:

* St. John’s Wort helps to relieve depression in some people as well as the prescription medicine, Paxil.

* Meditating regularly can lower blood pressure and reduce the need for medication.

(10) Two bonus exercise tips for strong back and pelvic muscles:

* Kegel exercises can reduce incontinence in men and women so they don’t have to depend on Depends.  Identify the pelvic muscles by noticing tightening in the rectal area when you interrupt the urine flow.  Squeeze those muscles hard ~ without holding your breath.  Then slowly relax.  Perform 2 types of squeezes:  short ones for 2 seconds and longer ones for 5-10 seconds.  Do them whenever you think of it throughout the day.

* Relieve low back pain with good posture.  Stand with your back against a wall.  Feet shoulder width apart, 3-6 inches from the wall.  Arms by your sides.  Press your head, shoulders, and back against the wall.  Draw in your lower abdomen, pushing your belly button toward your spine to lessen the arch of your back.  Keeping your back straight, use your elbows to push away from the wall.

Source:  Consumer Reports On Health and The Best of Health

Help Backyard Wildlife Keep Cool July 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, Nature.
4 comments

Hand-dipping-in-waterIn the heat of the summer, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a cold glass of water or a dip in the pool, lake or ocean.

But many animals can’t find the relief offered by a cool haven when their normal watering holes dry up due to evaporation or lack of rain.

You can help!!!

Here are a few helpful hints for turning your yard into a haven for wildlife this summer:

* Provide a bird bath on a pedestal or a shallow dish at ground level to attract birds and other animals.

Butterfly* Make a puddling area where butterflies can gather and take in nutrients.

* Clean and refill your bird bath or water dish every few days to prevent your water source from becoming a breeding habitat for mosquitoes.

* Create a pond, if space permits, to provide habitat as well as a water supply for frogs, dragonflies and more.

For more tips on helping backyard wildlife, visit National Wildlife Federation.

Beware of Thoughts That Linger July 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
4 comments

George Harrison wrote songs to share what he had learned on the spiritual path ~ including our ability to conquer the enemy within by guarding our thoughts jealously, and resisting the Ego’s efforts to take us “where we should not go.”

The lyrics to his songs, especially those in the album All Things Must Pass, are  filled with ancient wisdom reminding us to Be Here Now, Let it Roll, and . . .  Beware of Darkness:

Watch out now, take care
Beware of thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of  sadness
It can hit you, it can hurt you
Make you sore
And what is more
That is not what you are here for

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Dd July 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance.
2 comments

Dance

The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place. ~ Barbara DeAngelis

Dance as if no one is watching, sing as if no one is listening; and live as if each day were your last! ~ Irish Proverb

If you’re already walking on thin ice ~ why not dance?

I love dancing and twirling in my big executive chair . . . it’s probably the real reason I like writing. 

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. ~ William James

Deception

The biggest liar in the world is They Say. ~ Douglas Malloch

There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies, and statistics. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

A lie undiscovered becomes the truth . . . to the listener’s deceived ears.

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

Difficulties

The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. ~ Chinese Fortune Cookie

Obstacles are opportunities in disguise.

Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive. ~ Elbert Hubbard

After delivering 100 flyers door to door this morning, I’ve decided against becoming a door to door salesman.

Do It

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Most of us will never do great things, but we can do small things in a great way. ~ Mother Teresa

Do it now.  Anything would do for a start.

Although the chance of stubbing your toe increases the more you walk, it is always better than going nowhere by standing still. ~ Robin Sharma, in The Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self-Mastery

Freedom lies in being bold. Do one thing every day that scares you.

Just start and the way will appear. ~ Ancient Wisdom

The greatest mistake we can make is to be continually fearing that we will make one. ~ Elbert Hubbard

If you aren’t making some mistakes, you aren’t taking enough chances ~ John Sculley

Just do it. ~ Nike

Focus on the journey, not the destination.  Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

If you don’t do what you love, you’re just wasting your time. ~ Billy Joel

Don’t Worry

Despair is hidden arrogance:  “I have seen the future and it does not work.”

Worrying is interest paid on a debt you may not owe. ~ Peter McWilliams

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy. 

A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

Don’t just do something.  Sit there.

If we do not control our thoughts, they control us. 

Dream

Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. Fly high!

I think I can.  I think I can. ~ The Little Red Engine

Some people wonder why . . . I wonder, Why Not? ~ JFK

Dream.  Dream B-I-G!

Dare to Dream.

Follow your dreams to find your bliss.

“Fly high . . . on the wings of a dream.” ~ John Denver

Conceive it . . . Believe it . . . Achieve it.

Create the life you want to live.  Unleash your imagination & let it run wild!

Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it’s been. ~ Wayne Gretsky

Paint your world the way YOU want it.

Life is MAGIC. Be a magician. ♥ ♥ ♥

Duly Noted

“Hoo-ah!” (think Pacino in Scent of a Woman) evolved from the old Army acronym, H.U.A. ~ Heard, Understood, Acknowledged. 

HUA -> Hoo-ah!   Duly noted, Clinton!

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Cc July 28, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery, People.
2 comments

Cats

With or without a tiarra, cats think they rule the world!

To err is human . . . to purr, feline.  =^_^=

Nothing got you down?  You may have PPD (Perpetual Purring Disorder).

Celebrate

Celebrate your progress.  Sometimes half of success is simply noticing it.

Every moment is a celebration, a miracle, a mystery.

To fully embrace this moment, you must let go of the past.

Gather round the good stuff!

That’s random ~ the odometer on my tool bar just applauded me for reaching 100,000 hits!  Too funny!  Apparently, my computer monitors each and every page I open on the internet and rewards me with applause at certain “milestones.”   Does this call for champagne?

Certainty

Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics. ~ C.J. Keyser

Our unique points of view are a gift.  Stop arguing about nothing.

It takes TWO to TANGO!  Let’s waltz instead.

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

Change

At the level of Ego, we struggle to solve our problems. Spirit sees that struggle is the problem.

Just took a walk down Memory Lane ~ amazing how many potholes I had to avoid!

All things must pass.  The only constant in life is change.

Cloudbursts become clear skies.  Tears become smiles.

The past is . . . the haunting, addictive refrain of a familiar song . . . a security blanket, shrunken with time, tattered and torn . . . stale memories piled high on a dusty shelf . . . a pale, pallid shadow of its former self.

We cannot change the world . . . but we can inspire the world to change.

The easiest way to transform the world is to change your perspective.

Master your thoughts . . . master your life.

Want to feel younger, happier, and healthier???  Change Your Attitude.

Instead of trying to control everyone and everything, Buddhists embrace and relinquish all with joy, through acceptance and non-attachment to specific outcomes and desires.

Let go and let be. ~ Buddhist Maxim

If you don’t have the life you want, start making changes . . . because it’s not going to fall in your lap.

Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.

It’s amazing the things we find to do . . . to avoid doing amazing things.

Monday, Monday . . . a new day, a new week, a new month, a new year. Another chance to get it right.

If people are operating under the illusion that “all is right with the world” what reason would they have to band together to change it?

Children

Children are to be unfolded, not molded.

You can learn many things from children . . . how much patience you have, for instance.

Are jelly babies potty trained?

Clarity

Know thyself ~ Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece

Turn the spotlight inward. ~ Gandhi

The quieter your mind becomes . . . the more you hear.

Seek clarity.  When we understand who we really are, we free ourselves from the illusions that hold us back.

Inner calm and peace are always there for the asking.

Clarity is seldom achieved when we look to the Ego for guidance.

Allow Spirit to clear out the underbrush of weeds in your mind.

When you have conquered the enemy within, there are no enemies left to conquer.

Barn’s burnt down ~ now I can see the moon. Masahide (1657-1723)

Common Sense

Common sense is not so common. ~ Voltaire

In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. ~ William James

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ~ Winston Churchill

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. ~ H.L. Mencken

Compassion

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ The Dalai Lama

Fill your mind with compassion. ~ The Buddha

Who have you encouraged lately?

Vegetarians = Compassion in Action

I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants. ~ Brown

Failure to forgive is like swallowing poison and hoping your adversary will die.  It rarely works.

Most people are doing the best they can, given the experiences they’ve had.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer everybody else up ~ Mark Twain

Confidence

Confidence: the powerful feeling which arises before you understand all the obstacles.

You don’t need a permission slip to live your life.

Always remember that you don’t have to be what they want you to be. ~ Mohammad Ali

If you’re already walking on thin ice ~ why not dance?

Our infinite worth lies beyond all labels.

If you’re gonna dream . . . dream BIG!

When you stop trying to impress others, you will discover your infinite worth.

Cartman’s not fat, he’s big-boned.  I’m not verbose, I’m prolific! ♥ ♥ ♥

Conservation

Take only photographs, leave only footprints. ~ Jim Corbett (Early Conservationist of the Bengal Tiger)

It’s time for a change, a paradigm shift in our values . . . from Greed to Green, from Profit First to Planet First.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. ~ J. Pierpont Morgan

Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do. ~ Wendell Berry

Courage

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Freedom lies in being bold. Do one thing every day that scares you.

The greatest mistake we can make is to be continually fearing that we will make one. ~ Elbert Hubbard

If you aren’t making some mistakes, you aren’t taking enough chances ~ John Sculley

Face your fears.  Rise above your limitations.

Whether or not you write well, write bravely. – Bill Stout

You have as many reputations as acquaintances.  None is accurate.   Be who you want to be.

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. ~Ayn Rand

Don’t be afraid to let go of your “roles.”  You won’t evaporate.

Creativity

Create the life you want to live.  Unleash your imagination & let it run wild!

Skate to where the puck is going to be . . . not to where it’s been. ~ Wayne Gretsky

Paint your world the way YOU want it.

Writers walk the earth, capturing its magic in words.

Without freedom, one’s creativity cannot bloom.

Moments of freedom will not be given to you, you must take them: nrhatch  is creating. Please leave a message at the {{beep}}.

I’m putting on my writing cap and writing all day . . . unless I don’t.

I breathe to stay alive . . . I write to feel alive.

Big-BenCyber-Space

Cyberspace is a vast chasm . . . filled with folks lost in the space~time continuum!

As time falls away, we fully embrace the now . . . where happiness, joy, peace, and serenity reside.