Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get a Clue - Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has long had it's supporters starting with the Healthcare Community. Sadly, the issue of breastfeeding has made the headlines in a political arena. While the First Lady of the United States encouraged mothers to breastfeed their babies,  Mrs. Sarah Palin found a way to make a mockery of the efforts to promote healthy options. Breastfeeding is not an issue to debate for political points but instead it should be viewed for the health benefits to both mother and child.

As a mother, I was given the choice to either breastfeed or use formula to feed my babies. After learning about the benefits for my baby's health, it was a on. I wanted nothing but the best for my children and what an incredible way to start their lives setting them up with building a strong immune system and much more. Yeah me!!!!

For refresher's sake and for those who may not know, let's see what clues the Health Officials, Medical Professionals and Healthcare Community has to say about the benefits of breastfeeding:

From the mother

Healthy Nutrition: Breastfeeding from Healthy Children on Vimeo.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Women's Health Information Center

The American Academy of Pediatrics

 World Health Organization (WHO

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Perfect Combination

It's Valentine's Day and you may be thinking of healthy ways to celebrate and I have the perfect combination for you ;-) You think of chocolate and many things come to your mind. The taste, the smell, just the sight of it sets the chocolate lovers on. There are benefits to eating chocolate - dark chocolate to be specific. And to those who might be wondering, red wine also has health benefits.

Guess what? Chocolate &Wine are both good for your heart!

Here's why:

Both Chocolate and Red Wine contains Flavonoid. In consuming foods rich in flavonoid, studies indicates that we also benefit from the antioxidants.  There are flavanols which are the main type of flavonoid found in chocolate and cocoa And the now on to the benefits:

  • lowers cholesterol
  • lowers blood pressure
  • improves blood flow to the heart
  • improves blood flow to the brain
  • improves on keeping blood platelets less sticky therefore it is able to clot
Now while you prepare to eat your dark chocolate and merrily drink your red wine,  do so in moderation

Monday, February 7, 2011

For the Love of Your Heart!

February is American Heart Month. Celebrities, red pins, red dress - the awareness campaign in high gear during the month. The truth is heart disease is the #1 Killer in both men and women. Yes, women! This disease takes no breaks. It develops over time, it is sometimes genetically inherited but in other cases, it just happens (life style habits/behaviors). The symptoms in women differ in women and can be easily dismissed as stress or some other minor health set back that can be cured with a bit of relaxation or in some cases a prescription.

The symptoms in women includes:

  • Sweating
  • Fatigue (unusual)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheaded
  •  Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal, Neck, Upper back or discomfort in Shoulder 

Could you be stressed? Of course you can. What woman does not experience a bit of stress from time to time? Most women face the stresses of life daily. However, you must not ignore these symptoms. You must see a doctor immediately. Express your concerns, be your biggest advocate - get the full work up.

For the Love of your Heart:

  • Avoid smoking - quit it, seek help if you must
  • Eat your fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, diet
  • Consume foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and salt
  • Exercise consistently for 30 - 60 minutes a day
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
You already know that you don't have to be a man to be affected by heart diseases, neither do you have to be overweight or old.  The disease can affect you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weight Watchers, Jenny (formerly Jenny Craig), Atkins, The Zone and more

 Have you see Jennifer Hudson lately? She looks wonderful!


Not too long ago, the beautiful, multi-talented artist once carried some extra weight. We loved her on American Idol and even though she did not win, somehow we knew that she would be fine. After all, she had made her mark. Ms. Hudson has wowed us many times since. Who can forget her amazing performance in Dreamgirls? She belted out that song, the song that Jennifer Holiday famously sang during the Broadway Show performances, the one that never failed to bring the audience to it's feet. Ms. Hudson impressed many audiences across the country with her on screen rendition of the song that there were reports of movie theater audiences applauding and rising to their feet. Now how's that for commanding the attention of your audience. Clearly, she is in control. However, there was another form of control that Ms. Hudson needed to gain -- her weight.  Signing up to be the spokesperson for Weight Watchers seemed to be the remedy of her success.


So does Valerie Bertinelli who also looks magnificent! We were treated to the results of  her 40 pound weight loss when she appeared on a TV advertisement sporting a bikini. Wow! She looked great.

Many of us remember Ms. Bertinelli from the 70's sitcom One Day At A Time. We were so in like with her character, that we were caught by surprise to see her wed rocker Eddie Van Halen. She went on to join the successful television series Touched By An Angel. In 20007, Ms. Bertinelli signed up with Jenny (formerly Jenny Craig). It was the perfect match. The progress was impressive. It inspired others to sign up including actor Jason Alexander recognized by his character George Costanza on Seinfeld.  Jenny has proven by show and tell that it works. However, keeping in mind these celebrities are paid spokespersons. Will it work for you?

How effective are these weight loss methods Let's take a gander:

Weight Watchers has the point system. You are given a daily personalized Point Plus system which is aimed at helping you to lose weight.  The goal is to keep you satisfied while eating safely. There are meetings, weigh ins, food shopping plans, recipes, how to handle dining out and even an on line support system to keep you through the moments when you're out of town, etc. What's most intriguing is that you are told that you can eat whatever you want - not bad at all I'd say.

Now on to Jenny Craig which also has a personalized plan where they have a focused individualized plans for women, men, teens, Type 2 and more. They offer food and snacks and a consultant to monitor and keep you motivated. Understanding that one must face their demons (food other than of Jenny's Cuisine), there is a transitioning process. This is important as you may dine out or prepare your own dinners/meals. There is ongoing support to help you to meet your goal weight and even to maintain it once you've reached that goal.  

Which overweight person would not want to lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks? Sounds incredible doesn't it? Well, who said that? The Atkins Diet did and that's just the beginning. Yes they did! There are four phases to the program. In Phase 1, you will be in the Induction phase to kick your body into burning the fat. There are a list of foods that are acceptable to eat during this phase.  In Phase 2, you eat more adding more carbs and you will lose even more weight. In Phase 3, is the pre maintenance phase you should be about 10 pounds away from your goal weight (how do they know? I have no idea) with more carbs and more weight loss. Phase 4, you've made it and now you go on to a Lifetime Maintenance - and you'll never ever have to worry about dieting again. Why? Well, because they said so. You should have all the tools needed to successfully live the healthy life you've always wanted.

Welcome to The Zone where you can focus on weight loss, wellness or optimizing athletic performance. When you are in The Zone, you are eating foods that are in line with your hormones - keeping it all in balance will keep you on a healthy lean, energized life. There are dining out tips, recipes, foods, fruits, vegetables that once made you fat but with The Zone's method, you will not be the same.  The Zone Physicians have passed the anti inflammatory course and are certified to assist the clients even in the reduction on medication as health conditions improve.  The Zone does not give a specific weight loss amount like other diet programs. However, it mentions the fantastic news that your clothes will fit much better, you will feel energized, improving mental focus and acuity.  

Overall, the goal to lose weight is a personal one that requires your consistency and determination.  Admiration of the celebrities must also include the understanding that they have trainers and in some cases a cook. Most importantly, a big incentive to lose weight, they are also getting paid. Your incentive is to lead a healthier life with the right diet and exercise, you too can achieve success!