Author Archives: thehealthychange

How to Know If the Ketogenic Diet is Right for You

Source: UNSPLASH

You’ve tried everything else and it just hasn’t worked. Personally, I’ve been vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, low calorie and everything in between. Every time I tried a new way of eating it worked for a while and then I stopped feeling great, or it felt unsustainable, or I felt like I was missing out. If you’re not seeing results with what you’ve been doing, perhaps it’s time to try something new.

You have afternoon slumps or are tired after meals. I used to always have a slump at around 2-4pm and as evening drew near I would find myself wanting to snack more and more. On keto, I just don’t have this anymore and have steady energy through the day.

You tend to binge on carbs. I used to literally feel a change come over me if I had eaten something sugary or a lot of carbs. I kind of started turning into a Tasmanian devil… suddenly I wanted more and more and had to exert huge amounts of willpower to stop myself.

You want to feel free from food addictions. A biggie for me, I wanted to stop being a slave to temptations and desires to snack and eat foods I knew I shouldn’t. Once I got rid of sugars from my diet these temptations fell away.

You feel like you have to eat very low calorie or exercise excessively to lose weight or even maintain your current weight. Dropping calories lower and lower while exercising more can wreak havoc with your hormones. Not the mention leaving you miserable and exhausted. It also encourages binging which can damage your hormones further.

You get very moody or tearful if you are hungry or haven’t eaten for a while. We’ve all heard of the term ‘hangry’ and many people laugh it off as something that just happens that we can’t control. This isn’t true; feeling irritable and mood swing-y when you haven’t eaten is a blood sugar issue which comes from eating a diet high in carbs.

You feel an urge to simplify everything to do with your eating schedule from grocery shopping to cooking meals to eating. Eating keto cuts away all the crap and mealtimes and grocery shops become a whole lot easier and less ‘cluttered’ with decisions and ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ feelings.

You’re always hungry. Whether this is because you’re restricting calories or because the way you eat currently just never seems to satisfy you, this is definitely a sign that eating keto could be the right thing for you.

You have food allergies. Switching to a keto diet eliminates most of the more common food allergies and you are nourishing yourself with whole foods and satisfying fats.

You experience bloating after meals. I used to bloat horribly after meals, especially meals that combined high protein with high carb. For example, the classic spaghetti bolognese.

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Three Health Trends to Welcome in 2018

According to researches, there will be an increase in consumer demand for better personal care products, higher-quality food, and sustainability practices this year. People’s priorities are shifting rapidly—giving us renewed motivation to take care of themselves, one another, and the planet.

Collagen is now the ultimate gut-healing superfood. Collagen is one of the cleanest types of protein powders, free of many additives that typically fill the supplement aisle. Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from and exactly what’s in it, and collagen, with its single-ingredient label, serves that demand. Collagen also has gut-healing properties and is increasingly being used to treat many modern ailments from anxiety to acne.

“Emerging science is finally reaching a critical mass and trickling down to everyday consumers,” says Will Cole, D.C., a functional medicine practitioner. “People are yearning for ways to deal with the rise of the health problems we are facing as a society. Microbiome and gut health research is a catalyst for people to take responsibility for their health.”

Intermittent fasting is for weight loss and healing. Intermittent fasting  or IF is one of the best and proven ways to improve health in the short- and long-term. While many people have success losing weight with IF, its benefits go much deeper. IF is linked to better blood sugar balance, decreased inflammation, and increased cognitive function, too.

IF somewhat mimics the way our ancestors ate and lived. At revitalize this year, Steven Gundry, M.D., renowned cardiologist and author of The Plant Paradox, explained that “our ancestors didn’t crawl out of their cave and say ‘What’s for breakfast?’ There wasn’t any refrigerator or even any storage system.” And it’s true, sometimes our ancestors didn’t find food until lunch or even dinnertime. Scientists are now discovering that this period without food may be quite therapeutic for the body and brain.

“IF is beneficial because it slows the regular transport of glucose into the brain cells and allows the existing glucose and glycogen stores to be converted to energy. This energy can then be used to focus on brain cell metabolic processes, enhancing brain function and allowing one to gain greater energy and mental clarity,” says According to Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., and integrative neurologist who uses fasting as a brain-boosting tool before big projects,

Basically, fasting is like de-cluttering for your brain, a restorative timeout for your gut, and gives your cells the time to clear out old proteins and other material so they can properly rebuild and regenerate.

Source: UNSPLASH

Sleep optimization.  After years of bad sleep hygiene, many people now have trouble finding the deep, restorative rest their bodies crave. For a little help, they’re turning to new bedroom centerpieces, sleep optimization technologies, holistic relaxation techniques, and sometimes even a little cannabis.

This year, mbg covered the rise of CBD oil as a relaxation tool, watched a neuroscientist’s ode to sleep climb to the top of the New York Times best-seller list, and saw weighted blankets emerge as a trendy accessory to lull us to bed. All the while, mattress companies continued to advertise to tired millennials, spending top dollar on social media campaigns and aspirational websites overselling to traditional brick-and-mortar locales. Casper sold $200 million worth of mattresses and sheets (and dog beds) online last year, and the three-year-old company that promises the “perfect sleep environment” is now valued at $750 million.

Mitochondrial optimization. According to Dr. Lipman, “The mitochondria are power plants in the cells that turn your food and oxygen into energy in the form of ATP. These mitochondria power the biochemical reactions in your cells.” When they’re not functioning optimally, people can expect to “get less from (their) body and brain, feel more tired, and age quicker.”

The best way to fuel the mitochondria? Eat more healthy fats. “At this point, I hope most people know that healthy fats are not only good but necessary for proper bodily function,” Dr. Lipman explains. “Mitochondria prefer to be fueled on fat, not sugar or carbs.”

The growing interest and research in mitochondrial health have spawned a pro-fat revolution. The increasing popularity of the ketogenic diet, which is based on high fat consumption and credited with a number of positive health benefits, has only helped the pro-fat movement spread faster.

Six Ways to Look Healthier

Do you look unhealthy and feel bad about it? Don’t give in to self-pity. Look for things you can do or habits you can observe to look healthier today. Here are six routines you might want to try.

1. Take care of your skin. The skin is the largest body organ that can reveal your overall well-being. It is the first layer of your immune system that shields you from harmful elements in your surroundings. Protect it from daily wear and tear by keeping it clean, moisturized and protected against UV rays. Avoid smoking and other unhealthy habits that can damage your skin as well.

2. Take care of your teeth. Bad breath, gum disease, plaque and tooth decay result from poor dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice daily. Use dental floss and mouthwash to remove food deposits and bad bacteria in your mouth. A complete set of pearly white teeth will make you look healthier and younger. If you’re missing a couple of teeth, consider having dental implants. Read this detailed infographic from Aria Dental to learn more about them.

Click here to watch videos about dental implants and other ways to care for your teeth.

3. Keep yourself hydrated. Water aids the circulation of blood in your body. It also makes all your muscles work properly. Make sure to drink 8 glasses of water daily. This will help you avoid dehydration, dizziness, headaches and body aches while you’re completing all your goals and tasks for the day.

4. Wear clean clothes. Wearing the same clothes for a long time or repeatedly can cause the dirt and germ build-up and unpleasant body odors. Change your clothes as often as you need. Clean and good-smelling clothes will make you look and feel fresh and healthy.

5. Stand and sit tall all the time. Standing and sitting tall both refer to good posture. Good posture affects the performance of your digestive system, heart and lungs. It also affects how you feel and your capability to do physical activities. Practice good posture to avoid misaligned bones and joints, body pains, and fatigue.

6. Make your core and upper body strong. A strong core provides better overall balance and posture. It also provides support to your spine to avoid backaches and a tighter midsection. A strong upper body produces powerful arms and chest which help in the stabilization of your core as well. Exercise regularly to achieve stronger and toned core and upper body.

How to Alleviate Stress Through Breathing

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Breathing is an involuntary activity which you learn as soon as you were born (with no one teaching you how to do it). The way you breathe determines how much oxygen your blood transports to your tissues and muscles. Breathing and breathing properly are vital to your circulatory function. You need to breathe properly in order to maintain your body’s good functioning.

Breathing allows you to manage stress. You could be standing in line for coffee at the corner coffee shop and you hear a gunshot. Your body’s stress reaction is turned on. The stress reaction (the fight-or-flight reaction) enables you to meet a perceived danger. However, living with chronic stress tires out your heart and it alters your brain chemistry. Consequently, you become more irritable and even more anxious. Learning how to breathe properly and deeply will help calm you down during times of stress.

Deep versus short breaths

When you are nervous, anxious, afraid, distressed or excited, your heart beats faster. Your pulse races, your heart pumps faster and you breathe in at shorter intervals. Breathing at shorter intervals makes you breathe more often but this does not mean that you are breathing in more deeply. There is a difference.

Deep breathing allows you to use most of your lungs’ capacity to hold in your breath. If you control your breath by breathing slowly and deeply, you stabilize your pulse – consequently, you slow down the beating of your heart.

You can test whether deep and slow breathing will work for you by lying down and putting a hand on your belly. Inhale through your nose slowly while silently counting up to five. You will notice your belly rise. Hold your breath for about four or five seconds. Then, release your breath. Exhale slowly, counting to eight. Make sure you empty your lungs. Do this deep and slow breathing for four or five times. You will notice that your muscles will relax. And you will feel that your tension has melted away.

4 Ways to Breaking Unhealthy Habits

You might  feel overwhelmed when you decide to make some healthy changes in order to live a healthier lifestyle moving forward. This might keep you from making any changes at all. Here are some practical ways that will help you shift from your old routines successfully.

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Identify the root cause of your unhealthy habits. Bad habits start due to some reasons. Dig deep and find the cause of your bad habit. For example, you always find yourself eating junk foods  when you’re stressed at work. Finding these triggers and eliminating the triggers themselves is like taking the fast track to sustainable, lasting change.

Replace your unhealthy habits with healthy ones. This tip will help you ditch your bad habits while you build the good ones. If you’d like to ditch that nightly glass of wine because your sleep is suffering and the pounds are packing on, find something healthy to replace it with. Exchange that wine for a healthy sleepy-time tea, and enjoy better sleep as well. This also goes for reaching for a large bowl of snacks at night, try replacing it with veggies and hummus or a bowl of fruit.

Take things slow. Going cold turkey on refined sugar cold turkey might work for some, but for most of us, it will result in a relapse and possibly a binge. You can better decide to cut one sugary meal or snack from your life each week and slowly decrease your sugar intake. The same goes for healthy habits, don’t start with wanting to work-out twice a day, start with once or twice a week and build up from there.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. A small setback might cause you to give up your goal altogether but don’t let one mistake break all the progress that you made. The all or nothing approach simply does not work. Be patient with yourself and be proud of yourself. While you’re using these tips to break old habits and build new ones, it still won’t be easy, but it will finally stick this time. And, you’re worth it!

Know the Risks of Self-Medication

Coughs and colds and aches and pains are just part of our everyday life. Because of this most people think that it is not necessary to rush to the doctor every time they experience such. Moreover, they self-medicate to alleviate the discomfort and pain they feel quickly. But is self-medication the right thing do? Here are some risks of self-medication which might help you decide if you really want to go about it.

1. Self medication is associated with risks such as misdiagnosis, use of excessive drug dosage, prolonged duration of use, drug interactions and poly pharmacy.

2. Paracetamol, an antipyretic and analgesic in large doses can cause liver failure. Paracetamol toxicity is, by far, the most common cause of acute liver failure.

3. Over usage of anti-hypertensive drug may cause hypo tension, which may eventually lead to heart failure and also hepatic and renal failure.

4. When you use over the counter, you are basically wasting the time you would have used to consult a medical professional, which could aggravate the disease condition.

5.Over the counter drugs could contain some side-effects and sometimes some adverse effects that could be dangerous to our body and so the importance of seeking and experts opinion cannot be overemphasized.

 

The Healing Effects of Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful attitude. We can use it to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health.

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Gratitude makes you likeable. Gratitude makes you nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.

Gratitude strengthens your emotions. It reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.

Gratitude lets you sleep. People who are thankful for the day that was get more sleep hours than those people who are anxious and angry. Sleeping 8 hours or more a day makes you healthier.

Gratitude makes you more optimistic. Optimism in turn makes you happier and healthier. Studies show that gratitude can increase lifespan by as much as a few years.

Gratitude keeps the doctor away. Gratitude can’t cure terminal illnesses, but it can strengthen your physiological functioning. Positive emotion improves health. In fact, some recent science shows just that – those who engage in gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder.

Gratitude helps you relax. Gratitude and other positive emotions are among the strongest relaxants known to man.

Gratitude increase your energy levels. Gratitude and vitality are strongly correlated – the grateful are much more likely to report physical and mental vigor.