Is There a Way to Control Your Cravings? – Infographic

I firmly believe there is. Knowledge can set you free.

As a former fat guy, I still often crave sugar as well as salty treats. I regularly snacked on chocolate and then potato chips when I was busy losing my battle of the bulge. Now I simply realize that I am doing myself no good by eating that good tasting stuff, but non-nutritious stuff. I understand the impact of those sugars, fats and salts on my body and choose not to cave to my cravings. As I wrote in How to lose weight – and keep it off, I know that everything I eat becomes a part of me.

If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps understanding the source of your craving might be the key. Check out this list I picked up on the web that shows what minerals you are really needing when you reach for the junk. Good luck!

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Tony

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Freezing Blueberries Improves Antioxidant Availability

Tony:

Since blueberries are frozen soon after they are picked, “they are equal in quality to fresh,” Plumb explains. She analyzed the anthocyanin content of blueberries frozen for one, three, and five months and found no decrease in antioxidants over fresh berries.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch, whether eaten fresh or from the freezer, according to South Dakota State University graduate Marin Plumb.

Anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant compounds, are responsible for the color in blueberries, she explains. Since most of the color is in the skin, freezing the blueberries actually improves the availability of the antioxidants.

The food science major from Rapid City, who received her bachelor’s degree in December, did her research as part of an honors program independent study project.

“Blueberries go head to head with strawberries and pomegranates in antioxidant capacity,” says professor Basil Dalaly, Plumb’s research adviser. In addition, blueberries are second only to strawberries, in terms of the fruits Americans prefer.

Blueberries are beneficial for the nervous system and brain, cardiovascular system, eyes, and urinary tract, Dalaly explains. “Some claim it’s the world’s healthiest food.”

The United States produces nearly 84% of the world’s cultivated…

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Weight Loss Hack – Calorie Cost of Junk Food – Infographic

It’s actually worse than this looks. As bad as these calorie costs are, they are computed for a 130 pound woman. If you are a 150 pound man add another 15 percent.

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Tony

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7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

Tony:

Practice these 7 exercises to retrain your brain to stay positive through any challenge and live a life you truly desire!

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of positive psychology. Please check out: What is Positive Psychology?How to Harness Positive Psychology – Harvard, Eleven Habits of Healthy People.

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

As a daily positive thinker,  life’s distractions, negative people, and other external “brain drainers” can leave you faced with challenges to conquer. The good part is, you can learn to train your brain to help stay positive when times are tough.

Try these 7 tips to help train your brain to stay positive:

1. Daily Gratitude

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Place your journal, a pad and pen or your phone with the gratitude app next to your bed each night.  When you wake up each morning, make it a habit to write down at least three things you’re grateful for. It can be anything from family and work to a good nights rest or the morning sunrise – whatever is positive in your life deserves a little thank you note from your soul. When attention is focused on gratitude, that…

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I Have a Second Skirmish With Skin Cancer

As regular readers know I contracted skin cancer two years ago this month. I have included the links to the posts I wrote at the time and inserted them in the final paragraph if you would like to read about it.

This year our local hospital Northwestern Memorial offered free skin cancer screenings, so my girlfriend and I went on June 18. We each learned that we had a couple of ‘bad’ spots that needed to be removed for a biopsy. My girlfriend got her biopsies done last month and both came back negative for cancer. I had to wait a couple of weeks because I was using a new dermatologist. I had my two trouble spots removed last week and I got the results yesterday. Not good. Each was a basal cell carcinoma – BCC. Skin cancer. Again.

Don't be fooled by this smiling face. His rays are deadly.

Don’t be fooled by this smiling face. His rays are deadly.

As I wrote last year, “The Skin Cancer Foundation says that BCCs are abnormal uncontrolled growths that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of our skin. Usually caused by a combination of UltraViolet exposure. The good (?) news is that they rarely spread.

“There are an estimated 2.8 million cases of BCC diagnosed in the U.S. each year. In fact, it is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. More than one out of every three new cancers are skin cancers, and the vast majority are BCCs. It shouldn’t be taken lightly ….”

For the record, after my surgery of August 2012, I practiced ‘safe sun’ with the zeal of a reformed whore. I bought several sunblocks, always the ‘broad spectrum’ variety that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Often when riding my bike I would wear a white long sleeved shirt to protect my arms from the rays. So, I was disappointed to learn that the spot on my face and the one on my back are both cancerous. I guess, on the positive side, I did not have more of them. I would like to think that my efforts to avoid skin cancer had some good effects. Also, each one is about half the size of the tumor I had removed two years ago.

I have booked my Mohs surgery for next month. On September 10 I will go back under the knife.

Here’s what the Skin Cancer Foundation says about Mohs Surgery: “What is Mohs surgery? It is the excision of a cancer from the skin, followed by the detailed mapping and complete microscopic examination of the cancerous tissue and the margins surrounding it. If the margins are indeed cancer-free, the surgery is ended. If not, more tissue is removed, and this procedure is repeated until the margins of the final tissue examined are clear of cancer.”

The cure rate of the Mohs technique is 99 percent, considerably higher than other methods.”

Here are the links for my first cancer posts: Do I Have Skin Cancer? What Did I Learn After Being Diagnosed with Skin Cancer? What Happened During My Skin Cancer Surgery?

Following are further posts on the subject for you: Important Facts About Skin Cancer, What You Need for May – Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Tony

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Sugar: the Evolution of A Forbidden Fruit

Tony:

Even alchemists played with the ingredient’s properties and claimed to have uncovered its hidden secrets. In 1555, the seer Nostradamus published a little book about cosmetics and confections that paid tribute to sugar’s transformative power: Candied fruit became a kind of edible, man-made miracle.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Sweetness was meant to be irresistible.

We are born with a sweet tooth. Babies drink in sugar with their mother’s milk. Sweetness represents an instant energy boost, a fuel that kept our ancestors going in a harsher world where taste buds evolved to distinguish health-giving ripeness and freshness from the dangers of bitter, sour, toxic foods. Sugar gives us drug-like pleasures – lab rats deprived of their sugar-water fix exhibit classic signs of withdrawal. When things are going well, we blissfully say, “Life is sweet.”

And now sweetness is linked with death and disease. Sugars are themselves toxins, some researchers suggest, that cause obesity, diabetes, hyper- tension and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar has joined salt and fat on the list of dietary evils. Governments and health experts are urging people to cut back their daily intake.

And because of its sweetness, once they had tasted it, they could scarcely get enough…

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9 Ways to Strengthen Your Brain

Tony:

Regular readers know I feel strongly about our mental make up. Having had two family members suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia, I support anything that strengthens the brain. Please read my post Exercise, Aging and the Brain and my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain – and Exercise.

The writer mentions mental games, but they only build superficial skills. If you do crosswords, you will get better at crosswords, but you won’t do anything for your working memory. The only thing that builds new neurotransmitters in the brain is cardiovascular exercise. Check out my post on Can Exercise Help Me Learn?

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

Mike Michalowicz   CEO, Provendus Group  AUGUST 08, 2013 

New challenges and activities can strengthen your brain.
Here are some easy tips to help you get a little smarter every day.

Even though the brain is an organ, rather than a muscle, you can still give your brain a workout. Just as with a muscle, repetitive tasks can dull or even damage your mental acuity, while new challenges and activities can strengthen your brain and even make you measurably smarter. Get ready for your workout!

Exploit your weakness. This first challenge will seem counterintuitive, but there’s good science to support it. If you’re a morning person who’s most productive and alert early in the day, try tackling a creative task late at night, and vice versa for you night owls. You’ll discover that this stress on your brain—asking it to work hard at a time when you…

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What are Five Appetite Controlling Foods? – Infographic

Sometimes the idea of weight control can grow in our imagination like one of those monsters in the closet that scare little kids.

Getting a handle on our weight is really a simple thing that each of us can do. Don’t over think it. Pay attention to portion sizes and don’t eat crap.

Here are five foods that give you an edge in the encounter.

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Tony

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When you quit smoking, good things happen to your body

Tony:

Regular readers know I am totally against smoking and myriad ways it damages the human body. If you haven’t quit yet, and these reasons aren’t enough to convince you, please check out my Page – How Bad is Smoking?

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Tony

Originally posted on Explosivelyfit Strength Training:

When you quit smoking, good things happen to your body

  1. Your blood pressure and heart rate begin to lower after 20 minutes of no smoking.
  2. The carbon monoxide levels in your blood returns to normal after 12 hours of non-smoking.
  3. Your risk of heart attack decreases after 24 hours smoke-free.
  4. Your circulation will improve after 2 to 12 weeks of being smoke-free.
  5. One year after of no smoking, your risk of heart attack is half of what a smokers is.
  6. Your risk of a stroke, after five years, is the same as a non-smoker.
  7. Fifteen years after no smoking, the risk of you developing coronary heart disease is at the same level as a non-smoker.

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Slowing Brain Functions Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke, Death

Tony:

“Stroke in old age can be caused by poor cognitive function; whereas, faster decline in cognitive function can be caused by stroke,” Rajan said. “Low cognitive function is generally associated with poor neurological health and brain function. Worsening of neurological health can lead to several health problems with stroke being one of them.”

Regular readers know that I feel strongly about mental health and brain safety. Please check out my Page: Important Facts About Your Brain.

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before; according to research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Previous studies have shown poor cardiovascular health can increase the risk of cognitive impairment such as problems in memory and learning. However, the opposite idea that cognitive impairment may impact cardiovascular health, specifically stroke, was not established before.

“Most clinical studies observe cognitive impairment after a stroke event, said Kumar Rajan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. “Only a handful of large population-based studies measured long-term cognitive functioning before stroke and deaths from all different causes.”

Researchers analyzed data on cognitive function in 7,217 adults (61 percent African-American and 59 percent women) over the age of 65. They gave them four tests every three years that evaluated participants’…

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