weight-loss

Don't skip breakfast

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I know mornings can be hectic and I hear this WAY too often than I want to: " I just don't have time for breakfast!" But what people dont realize is breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so MAKE TIME! Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day!

Skipping breakfast is a common strategy for losing weight, but not a smart one. Many people believe that they will lose weight if they skip meals, but that just isn't true; the body expects to be refueled a few times each day -- starting with breakfast.

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Actually, eating breakfast is good for weight loss. In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, because you will be able to control your appetite until midday and overeating throughout the day is also less likely.

  • Eating breakfast increases your metabolism (or calorie-burning – rate)
  • Increased your learning ability and attention span (especially for kids).
  • It has been shown that breakfast eaters tend to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than breakfast skippers.
  • Studies also show that obese people are prone to skip breakfast, leading to a high caloric intake at nighttime, while normal weight persons’ caloric intake is more evenly distributed throughout the day.

Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals.

What you choose to eat for breakfast makes a big difference for your health. A healthy breakfast should contain some protein and some fiber. Protein can come from low fat meats, eggs, beans or dairy. Fiber can be found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A variety of fruits can bring you near the minimum number of five (5) daily fruit and vegetable servings recommended. Here is a recipe for a hearty shakshusha breakfast

Stay away from the sugary cereals, syrups, pastries, and white breads because they are digested quickly and will leave you hungry and tired in a couple of hours. Protein and fiber satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time.

Breakfast on the Go

To resist the temptation to grab a donut, shop smart. Stock your pantry with healthful ingredients, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, garlic, shallots, wheat germ, nuts and canned or dried fruit. And your fridge with organic eggs, lots of veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, peppers etc. Anything can be cut up into an omelette 

Flaxseed from health food stores is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which you can grind and add to  yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies. Some other quick and healthful ideas are:

  • A nonfat or low-fat yogurt parfait layered with fresh fruit and cereal, nuts or raisins
  • Low-fat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit in a blender for a vitamin-rich smoothie
  • Whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and banana slices
  • Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal or whole grain cold cereal with raisins or fresh fruit and low-fat dairy or soy milk
  • Fish, such as leftover salmon or cured salmon lox, on a whole grain bagel with reduced or nonfat cream cheese
  • My favorite: Veggie Omelet with salad: red peppers, scallions, grilled onions, tomatoes etc (You can get really creative here)

Bon appétit! Kalí óreksi! Bonum appetitionem! Сайхан хооллоорой! Poftă bună!Приятного аппетита! ¡Buen provecho! Yoqimli ishtaha!

Sexy Time

Sex is everywhere in the media but in some cases it’s still looked at with a bit of embarrassment. Not many of us realize how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health. According to experts, sex promotes both our physical and psychological health.

Good sex in a healthy, stable, monogamous relationship can only better our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Here are just a few reasons (out of 237 reasons collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior) to hit the sheets tonight. Each one of these benefits is backed by scientific scrutiny.

  • Stress relief – Sex increases levels of oxytocin and stimulates the feelings of warmth and relaxation. What better way to unwind from a tough day than sharing its most climactic moment with your special someone? According to Stuart Brody, professor of psychology at the University of the West of Scotland. Brody's team monitored 24 women and 22 men who were exposed to stressful situations, such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic, and kept records of their sexual activity. Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.
  • Weight loss – Forget torturing yourself with the latest fad diet or hours on the elliptical machine when you can burn about 85 calories in 30 minutes of sex! Lovemaking lends itself to improved strength, flexibility, muscle tone, and cardiovascular conditioning. Plus, there’s something super sexy about getting to sleep with your very own “personal trainer.” “Sex is a great mode of exercise.” says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists.
  • Pain management – Forgo popping a pain killer and opt for something a bit more “au naturel.” Sex has been shown to offer migraine and menstrual cramp relief, as well as alleviate chronic back pain thanks to the endorphins and corticosteroids released during sexual arousal and orgasm.
  • Immune booster – Having sex several times a week has been linked with raising levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA), which helps ward off colds, according to researchers at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 
  • Better heart health. A little bit of heart and soul in the sack should be part of every doctor’s orders when it comes to cardiovascular care. English researchers found fear of a stroke during sex is groundless. They followed 900 men for 20 years and found no connection. On the other hand, they found that the men who had sex at least twice a week reduced their risk of a heart attack by half compared to men who had it less than once a month. Sex may help lower cholesterol and the risk of a heart attack!
  • Increased self-esteem and intimacy. When sex is consistent and involves mutual pleasure, it can increase bonding since the surge in oxytocin at orgasm stimulates feelings of affection, intimacy, and closeness. When spiritual in nature, sex can lead to an even better quality of life and stronger relationship. Is it any wonder that good sexual energy in a positive relationship can make you feel better about yourself, your partner, and life in general? "Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond," Britton says.
  • Better sleep – Oxytocin is at the forefront again — it helps both men and women sleep, which in turn promotes healthy weight and blood pressure. There’s no need to count sheep when sex, including masturbation, helps insomnia. Plus, making love sure beats tossing and turning your way to zzzz’s.
  • A better, younger looking you – Sex keeps you looking and feeling younger and, according to some research, may lead to shiny hair, a glowing complexion and bright eyes. This is because it increases the youth-promoting hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrostone). And feeling more attractive charges your sex life even more. The snowball effect definitely applies here: the more you get, the more you want
  • Mood lifter – Sex releases pleasure-inducing endorphins during arousal and climax that can relieve depression and anxiety, and increase vibrancy.
  • Longevity – There is a significant relationship between frequency of orgasm and risk of death, especially with men. Men who orgasm two times a week have a 50 percent lower chance of mortality than those who climax one time per month.
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer – One study of women who had never given birth found that an increased frequency of sexual intercourse was correlated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer.
  • Reproductive health benefits – According to at least one study, sex appears to decrease a man’s risk of prostate cancer, and the prevention of endometriosis in women. It also promotes fertility in women by regulating menstrual patterns.

In a nutshell, the health benefits of sex in a good, solid relationship are practically endless. Yet, in planning our New Year’s resolutions, how many of us are declaring, “I think I’ll have more sex with my lover” in fulfilling any 2010 health and self-improvement goals?

While exercise on a regular basis is important to your health, sex can do so much more for you and your relationship. So before signing any dotted line for a new gym membership, consider how time allotted to an athletic club could be far more effective in your boudoir.