Lifestyle

Try a whole food diet for improved physical and mental fitness

By on May 23, 2017

A whole food diet plan limits the intake of refined flour and sugar, encourages the consumption of unprocessed foods, and includes moderate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Such a diet fulfills your daily nutritional requirements naturally.

A whole food diet plan can be beneficial for people suffering from:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Obesity
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Impaired glucose tolerance

As with any weight loss or fitness program, it is absolutely necessary to check with your doctor before you start, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Basic components of a whole food diet

Eat and drink as much of the following foods as you need to satisfy your thirst and hunger:

  • fresh fruit(except bananas) and canned fruit without any sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • low-calorie juice
  • Salads and fresh, non-starchy vegetables
  • Egg whites
  • Fish
  • Low-fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Tea and coffee without sugar
  • Condiments, such as sour pickles

Restrict consumption of carbohydrates

This is the key way in which a whole foods diet plan promotes healthy weight loss and decreased blood sugar and triglycerides levels.

A whole food diet allows for five carbohydrate (CHO) servings of 15 grams per day, such as:

  • 2 slices of reduced-calorie or one slice of regular bread
  • ½ cup of pinto beans, potatoes, corn, lima beans, green peas, or black-eyed peas
  • ½ cup of spaghetti, oatmeal, macaroni, non-sugary breakfast cereal, or rice
  • 3–4 fluid ounce of wine, 8–12 ounce of beer, or 1 ounce of any hard liquor

Other foods allowed on a whole food diet

  • 6 servings of mono-saturated or poly-saturated fat per day
  • 2 cups of either: low-fat milk; fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding mixed with low-fat milk; low-fat sugar-free yogurt; or sugar-free ice cream

While on a whole food diet, remember to

  • Weigh yourself weekly
  • Eat only 3 meals per day with only ‘green light’ snacks in between
  • Increase physical activity
  • Drink 8 glasses (8 fluid ounces, for a total of 64 ounces) of water
  • Read labels in order to avoid processed foods
  • Eat ‘green light’ foods to combat hunger instead of aiming for a certain number of calories

Check your progress

  • Take stock of your present eating habits. This includes all crackers, chips, fast foods, cookies, snack foods, soft drinks, cakes and deserts. Be careful about the quality of the food that you buy and prepare apart from the amount of calories. Eat whole grains, lightly-cooked or raw fresh vegetables, fruits, low-fat or no-fat dairy products, and lean protein.
  • Set a realistic weight loss goal. Losing pounds is a gradual process, so be patient.
  • Try to follow your whole foods diet at least 90% of the time while treating your taste buds with your favorite foods every once in a while.
  • Devise and stick with a healthy eating plan; you’ll soon find yourself in a better mood, with more energy, and sleeping soundly.
  • The next time you visit your doctor, look for improvements in your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

So try this approach to eating and set your fitnessgoals. The right diet can set you and your family on the path to health for the rest of your life.

 

 

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Health | Lifestyle

Wine, Women, and Woe: Is Wine Drinking Becoming A Dangerous Social Trend?

By on March 3, 2017

There appears to be a growing trend in the number of women who love wine. In “Real Housewives” several members have parlayed their own screen imbibing into marketing their own wine brands. There are numerous Facebook groups for women who like wine.

Although this may not seem like anything unusual, women have not always had such a keen appreciation for the delicacy and flavor of wine. Clever wine marketing is actually behind the popularity of wine drinking among women.

This is how the trend started and gained momentum over the decades:

After the prohibition, most of the Californian wineries had perished. In an attempt to recover, the wine industry decided to promote to women because postwar housewives were frustrated by the fact that wine was considered a symbol of male power. In classy restaurants, for example, where wine was most often consumed, when waiters approached a couple, they addressed the man, and it was the man who viewed the wine list and took the first taste after the bottle was uncorked.

One successful promotion was introducing wine in supermarkets. Middle-aged housewives were hired as wine samplers. When younger women shopped, they were offered them a sip of wine. After the sampling, they were trained on how to educate the younger women on what wine went best with the dinner they were preparing that evening.

Another successful promotion was wine tips in women’s magazines. These articles taught women how to order wine in restaurants and how to serve it at home. It also promoted wine as a way to relax and unwind after a stressful day.

Over time, public perception about wine changed. Women began to associate it with equality, entry into college, economic status, and stress relief. It became seen as a symbol for women who were entering male-dominated colleges and working in male-dominated professions like technology and finance.

However, wives and mothers also began to associate wine as a positive thing. They saw it as an antidote to their boring lives. Although not vying for status or recognition with men, imbibing wine offered relief from the dreariness of staying at home and looking after children.

Is this a sign of growing alcoholism among American women? Not necessarily. According to an article in the Greenhouse Addiction Programs blog, entitled “Binge Drinking: Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?” there is a defining difference between “low risk drinking” and “binge drinking.” This site refers to the definition offered by the National Institution on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA): “Moderate drinking is defined as having up to one alcoholic beverage each day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.”

Statistics on Women Who Imbibe

While social drinking is innocent enough if it is done in moderation, things become a little more alarming nationwide when you look at the statistics.

According to Gabrielle Glasse, who wrote an article in the the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why She Drinks:”

  • Women are the primary drinkers of the 800 million gallons of wine sold annually in the US.
  • Between 1998 and 2007, the arrest rate for drunk drivers rose 30% for women while it dropped to 7% for men.
  • Between 1999 and 2008, the Emergency Hospital admission rate for dangerously intoxicated people rose 52% for women while it only rose to 9% for men.

She also discussed how Gallup Poll studies showed the following trends:

  • Well-educated, affluent women were more likely to drink.
  • White women drank more than black women and Hispanic women.
  • The percentage of women who had come to imbibe rose over the years. For instance, in 1992, 37% of White women out of a sample group of 85,000 American drank. Then in 2002, the percentage had risen 10%. (The percentage of all racial groups increased over time.)

Women’s Tolerance for Alcohol 

Although the rate of alcohol consumption can be correlated with the rising social and economic equality of women, the effect of alcohol on women is not the same as that for men.

Women who drink the same amount of alcohol than men experience a stronger effect. This is because they have more fat and less water. The fat makes them absorb more alcohol while there is less water to dilute it.

What’s more, men have more of an enzyme which breaks alcohol down before it slips into the bloodstream.

Since women experience the toxicity of alcohol more than men, they are also more quickly impaired by it. This means that liver and brain damage is more acute in women than men.

When Is Wine Drinking Problematic?

According to the NIAA, addiction problems arise when low-risk drinking becomes excessive drinking. They define low-risk drinking “as no more than three drinks in a day for women or four drinks per day for men.” And they define excessive drinking as anything “more than the recommended daily drinking levels – or more than seven drinks in a week total for women or 14 drinks for men – is termed “excessive drinking” and may increase the drinker’s risk for developing chronic health problems caused or worsened by alcohol or experiencing an accident under the influence.”

 

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Lifestyle | Trends

Women In Business: No Longer A Novelty

By on October 31, 2016

The presence of women in positions of great power has long been considered an exception, rather than the rule. It was headline news when a female ascended to a point of influence and responsibility, and sadly, it was often followed with rumors of inappropriate behavior as their means of promotion, not competence and skill.

Fortunately, things have changed. There are still spurious accusations when a woman attains a position of power, especially if she’s not the expected appointee. But as seen in many areas, there’s no longer any reason to consider it out of the ordinary when a woman reaches the top.

The Corporate Ranks

The board room is more populated with women than it has ever been, and again, it’s becoming so commonplace that it’s hardly discussed when a new female face arrives. Certainly there’s a great deal of conversation when someone like Susan Itzkowitz creates a successful product line, but the narrative now is more about the impact of these exciting developments rather than the person behind them. She’s now seen as Susan Itzkowitz of March Fisher LTD, and no longer just a regular employee.

Part of what’s getting these women into the corporate world is their own resourcefulness in a very different environment. At one time, a woman with a good eye for fashion would have been able to do little more than out-dress her friends. But with the advent of online education, social media, and a more female-friendly workplace, it’s easier than ever for women to turn hobbies into careers.

Political Heft

Imagine the buzz in 1984 when Geraldine Ferraro was tapped to run as vice president alongside Walter Mondale on the Democratic ticket. Sure, they were squaring off against a powerful populist incumbent in Ronald Reagan–and were subsequently given little hope of victory–but just to see a woman running with one of the two major parties was absolutely enormous.

There still hasn’t been a woman chosen as the nominee (although Hillary Clinton is a serious contender for 2016), but women dot the landscapes of Congress and the Supreme Court, as well as throughout several presidential cabinets and in leadership roles in both houses. Will a woman hit the top job soon? There’s no way to be sure, but at this point it’s academic. Women are plentiful and powerful in politics, and there are very few breakthroughs left to make.

Power In Entertainment

We’re talking about more than just Cookie on the TV show “Empire” here. Women are driving music, film, theater, and television to new heights without any perception of needing a male to oversee things. Musicians like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are hugely successful with musical messages about strong women. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler launched from the “Saturday Night Live” anchor desk to worldwide prominence as actors and performers, and the pair are go-to Oscar hosts. Ellen DeGeneres has a daytime TV juggernaut, JK Rowling spins gold out of paper, and even a mostly-retired Oprah Winfrey is still building fortunes for others with her endorsements.

To make a list would carry you through so many names that the point would be perfectly made. There is no longer any surprise in seeing successful, independent female entertainers.

And that’s the overarching idea. The days are gone of recognizing women as the first woman to accomplish this or that. It’s now about the accomplishment, not about the gender of the person making it. A few unconquered territories remain, of course, but it’s undeniable that women are on the verge of workplace equality in power and influence.

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Lifestyle

10 Simple Tips For A Great First Date

By on February 4, 2016

Going on a first date is easy, right? Well, it should be, based on what your friends have told you. All you have to do, they’ve said, is be yourself. In fact, you may have even been told that all you actually have to do is just show up and everything will unfold perfectly. Trouble is, you’re feeling nervous and unsure. You really like this guy and you don’t want to blow it.

The trick to enjoying your first date is confidence, and the way to feel confident is to be fully prepared.

Here, then, are 10 ways to be cool, calm, and collected during your first date:

1. Calm down. One reason you may be nervous is because you imagine he wants to be with someone that you have to pretend to be. Does he want someone witty? Does he want someone smart? Does he want someone alluring? Realize that all these roles are all just your own constructs. More importantly, a future relationship will only work out if he wants you to be just the way you are.

2. Be graceful. You show grace when you are respectful and present. Respectful means demonstrating social etiquette. Show up on time, be nice to the waitstaff, and pay attention to your date. Staying present means becoming a good listener. If you talk a lot when you’re nervous, you’re not present. Respond to the moment rather than your inner uncertainty.

3. Don’t bring your friends with you. Be sure to turn off or mute your smartphone. You don’t need to respond to tweets or scan your Facebook page while you’re on your date. In fact, you probably don’t need to make or answer any calls at this time either. The quickest way to make him feel awkward and grumpy is to tune him out.

4. Let him take the lead. Let him pay if he wants, or split the bill if he wants. It doesn’t really matter at this point. Similarly, let him follow up with the next date if things worked out well. You can sort out gender roles at a later point in time. For now, use a traditional approach as the rules are a little less murky.

5. Avoid hemming and hawing. It’s only too easy to be indecisive and ask him what he thinks when it comes to making small decisions. It’s much more attractive to know what you want and have no hesitation asking for it.

6. Don’t pretend to be perfect. Perfection is a fantasy, and there are no clear rules on what is perfect and what is awkward. Is talking too much imperfect? Is apologizing for a blunder, a sign of weakness? Is your mind going blank when he asks you the name of your dog, a sign of early onset dementia? Perfection is a myth, and you should forget all about trying to measure up to some imaginary standard. It will make you appear stiff and awkward. Just be natural, not self-conscious.

7. Don’t make it an interview. This is only the first date. Avoid interviewing him for marriage, asking him about whether he likes children, plans on building a career, or has bad habits that will drive you nuts. The purpose of a first date is to see if there is a connection. There will be other dates when you can ask the deeper questions. If he is over-eager about crossing physical boundaries, be firm. Passionate kissing, petting, or even sex on a first date is not a good idea.

8. Wear gorgeous hair. This will do wonders for your self-esteem. If your hair is limp or unwashed, you will feel a little less self-assured. Using the IN BLU Hair Styling System, you can spray, activate, style, and shine your hair to get the right look for you. Depending on your type of hair, you can opt for the sleek and shiny look, the full body and volume look, or the curly and wavy look.

9. Make your skin glow. If you don’t have product that works for you, experiment with an herbal approach. Debolina in an article entitled 15 Herbal Beauty Tips For Glowing Skin suggests a sandalwood, turmeric and milk base. She says, “Make a fine paste of sandalwood powder, a little turmeric powder and milk. Apply this on face, leave on for a few minutes, and get natural glow and freshness.”

10. Dress for the occasion. Besides taking care of your hair and skin, dressing up will do wonders for your sense of poise and self-assurance. Pick something that makes you look good and feel good. Don’t overdo it, wearing heels on a picnic or sheer clothes on a cold night. Instead, strike a balance between practicality and elegance.

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