One Apple Up on Top — June 25, 2020

One Apple Up on Top

Okay, so now we know the nutritional value of apples, let’s talk about the different things that eating apples and these nutrients can help prevent or make better, for lack of a better word.

In other words, how apples can keep you on top of your game.

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Cancer

Apples are a good source of antioxidants…which may help lower your risk of getting cancer….as well as prevent new cancer cells from forming and keep existing cancer cells from forming.

 

 

In fact eating apples can lower your risk of getting colorectal and breast cancers by about twenty perfect.

 

 

Adding more apples to your diet may help prevent the oxidative stress that causes cell damage and leads to the development of certain cancers—including lung cancerbreast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cancer of the digestive tract.

Bell Peppers…The Why — May 5, 2020

Bell Peppers…The Why

Investigating Insomnia—Why Me?! — February 20, 2018

Investigating Insomnia—Why Me?!

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People with insomnia live a cult-like existence where they begin to think that being awake at all hours of the night can give them so much more time to get things done and enjoy some peace and quiet that they might have never had before. (Trust me…I blog…at all hours of the night…trying to convince myself that I am doing something important while the rest of my family is sleeping their lives away).

But the truth is that these nights and nights of inability to sleep may be the result of underlying symptoms and lifestyles.

So before we can look at HOW to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, it’s important that we first take a look at the possible reasons WHY you’re not getting any sleep in the first place.

1.  Aging...Insomnia becomes more common with age for many reasons—including the facts that noise and other changes in your environment are more likely to wake you and that you get tired earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning.

 

2.  Alcohol...Alcohol is a sedative that can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.

 

3. Anxiety…Getting caught up in thoughts about past events, excessively worrying about future events, and feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities can make it hard for even the people who used to never have any trouble falling or staying asleep to sleep at all.

 

4. Caffeine…We all know that caffeine is a stimulant that can help us start the day feeling productive, but did you know that caffeine can stay in your system for as long as eight hours?

And far too many of us, myself included, drink at least four cups of coffee each day…if not each hour.

A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that people who drink at least this much caffeinated drinks a day are more likely to experience some level of insomnia at least a few nights each week than people who limit themselves to only one cup per day…(still working on that, or not(?!))…, so the effects are long lasting.

 

5.  Certain Medical Conditions…Certain medical conditions can affect your sleep. These include…allergies, arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

6.  Food…Heavy meals close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep, make you uncomfortable, and make it hard for you to settle down and relax. Spicy foods can also cause heartburn.

 

7.  Hormones...Hormone shifts during pregnancy, menstruation or menopause can make it difficult to sleep. During menopause, night sweats and hot flashes often disrupt sleep.

 

8. Light...Exposure to light from televisions and smartphones prior to going to sleep can affect natural melatonin levels and make it take longer for you to fall asleep.  The light from your computer could also make your brain more alert.

 

9.  Medications…Medications such as those taken for the common cold and nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can cause insomnia.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), medications that can cause insomnia in some patients include corticosteroids, statins, alpha blockers, beta blockers, SSRI antidepressants, ACE inhibitors, ARBs (angiotensin II-receptor blockers), cholinesterase inhibitors, second generation (non-sedating) H1 agonists, and glucosamine/chondroitin.

Not only that, but many over-the-counter medications — such as some pain medications, allergy and cold medications, and weight-loss products — contain caffeine and other stimulants that can disrupt sleep.

 

10.  Napping…Taking even short naps in the afternoon may be helpful for some people, but for others they make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

 

11.  Non-traditional hours...Working irregular hours or working at home in the evenings or during the middle of the night can also confuse your body’s clock, especially if you are trying to sleep during the day, or if your schedule changes periodically.

 

12.  Psychological Issues…These include bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders.

 

13. Stress…Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma — such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss — also may lead to insomnia.

 

14.  Trying to “bank” sleep...Trying to “catch up” on lost sleep by sleeping in actually confuses your body’s circadian rhythm, or built-in clock, and make it difficult to fall asleep again the following night.

 

15.  Underlying Sleep Disorders…The two most common sleep disorders are RLS (restless legs syndrome), a neurological condition in which a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move his or her legs, and sleep apnea, waking up briefly because your airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep. Having your airway obstructed during sleep apnea leads to pauses in

 12 Steps Towards the Fountain of Youth… August 21…Senior Citizen’s Day — August 20, 2017

 12 Steps Towards the Fountain of Youth… August 21…Senior Citizen’s Day

   
Today is August 21, is Senior Citizen’s Day…a day to honor senior citizens…and also face the fact that you yourself will probably be a “senior citizen” also…especially now that the age to start calling yourself a senior citizen is 55, which is only seven years away for me.

Aging gracefully and feeling healthy requires looking at the whole picture, every aspect of your life-physical, mental, and social.

Any steps that can be taken now to improve your health and sense of wellbeing, both now and in the future, are steps well worth taking. Here are a few steps that you can do now to move closer and closer to the Fountain of Youth, and the Age of Reality…

1.  Detox your home…
We may not be able to control how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, but we can take steps toward detoxifying our own homes, such as…

  • Filtering water. 
  • Leaving windows open as much as possible for better ventilation. 
  • Replacing beauty products with less toxic and chemical-free options. 
  • Switching from standard household cleaners to environmental friendly versions. 
  • Using glass instead of plastic whenever possible.


2.  Dry-brushing your skin….Dry-brushing your skin not only smoothes, exfoliates, and detoxifies your skin…but also improves blood flow, increases energy, reduces cellulite, and supports the lymphatic system. Working this five-minute, health-boosting practice into your daily routine is well worth the effort.

To dry-brush your skin…
Using a brush with firm bristles and a handle, brush towards your heart with long, smooth strokes…starting at your feet and working upwards. 

3.  Eat more greensOne of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens-spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli or bok choy. Your skin, mood, digestive system, and every other organ of your body benefits from your simply eating more greens. This can be done by…

  • Asking for extra vegetables instead of potatoes. 
  • Opting for a salad instead of fries
  • Selecting recipes full of greens that inspire you, and ones that you will actually be excited to eat

    4.  Eat more healthy fats. …Increasing the number of  “fatty” foods-avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fish and nut butters, and olive oil-that you consume can decrease your risk of disease, help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, and strengthen your bones.

    5.  Eat without distractions...Eliminating distractions and being mindful when we eat, instead of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly looking at your phone as we eat, not only reduces anxiety and overeating, but also promotes weight loss.


    6.  Go to bed earlier.
    …Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime ritual-such as meditating, journalling, taking a leisurely bath-that actually works for you. Avoid screens-particularly phone and TV-for at least an hour before going to bed. 

    7.  Make a meal plan.…Set aside time each week to create a healthy meal plan and grocery list. Even preparing one healthy meal or snack ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from making poor food choices. 

    Try a meal or grocery delivery service. This may cost more, but will save you money spent eating out every meal.

      8.  Practice gratitude….Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative-fear, anxiety, anger, and depression-to the positive. Gratitude has also been scientifically proven to have the ability to change your life–relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and even sleep. 

      Commit to a consistent daily ritual of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Negative emotions will become harder to feel when you are mindfully practicing gratitude day-after-day
      9.  Read food labels…Read labels. Look for foods that contain fewer ingredients and no added sugar, chemicals, and fillers.


      10.  Schedule workouts....The hardest part of making sure your workouts actually do happen is to schedule them into your calendar ahead of time, instead of leaving it up to a time that is convenient and then making excuses not to go.

      Fitness classes that charge a cancellation fee, recruiting a friend to exercise with you, and signing up for a long-term class will help hold you accountable and keep you focused.


      11.  Up your fiber intake
      ….Foods with high fiber content-ground flax seed, beans, raspberries, almonds, kale-is imperative to keep things moving along our digestive tracts.

      12.  Volunteer your time...Ghandi once sa that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Volunteering shifts our focus on helping others instead of remaining caught up in our own problems and isolating ourselves



      Finally, your mother was right…Don’t forget to floss your teeth, sit up straight, and wash your hands.

      Flossing not only keeps your gums clean and removes plaque, but also helps you avoid bad breath and heart disease. 

      Sitting up straight can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence level, and open up the lungs to receive more energy.

      Washing your hands is a simple habit, but single-handedly the best way to avoid picking up viruses.