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September 01, 2014

12 Healthy Breakfasts For All-Day Energy

Sometimes, it is difficult to sit down and have a good meal to keep yourself healthy. Most of the time, you may try to grab something that is unhealthy. This will end up in various amount of health issues in course of time.
Eating healthy is the key factor to keep your body and mind in the best of health. When you don’t get time to eat healthy, you need to snack healthy. You will need snacks ideas to keep you energised and to help you keep up with your pace.
This is not as difficult as it looks. All you need to do is that when you are eating junk food, replace that with one of the energising snacks that are mentioned below. This will help you not only to feel great all the day long, but also to stay healthy with the assurance that you haven’t fed your body any junk. Take a look.
Dates and Peanut Butter 
This is one of the snacks ideas to keep you energised especially when you are on your way out to the gym or as an early morning snack. The fibre in the dates will prevent your sugar level from rising and in the process, it will stabilise your energy level.
Cereal 
Most of the cereals are packed with folic acid and other vitamins and minerals. All you need to do is select the right cereal box which is low in sugar and high in fibre.
Soy Crisps
 Try to replace your potato and tortilla chips with that of soy crisps, this will give you the health benefit and you can be sure that no grease is entering the body.
Snack Bars 
These are very energising snacks. You need to make sure that very little sugar is added to them. This will be packed with all the nuts and will keep you energised all day long.
 Raisins and Pistachios
 Pistachios are important on a sunny day when you are sweating a lot, as they contain electrolyte. Sugar in the raisins are good for the rapid energy.
 Yogurt Smoothies
 This is another way to keep your energised as it contains calcium and proteins. All you need to do is select something that is less than 100 calories and zero fat.
 Fruits 
This is one of the snack ideas to keep you energised. All you need to do is have a cup of fruits on the way. This contains lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
 Chickpeas
 This legume contains fibre which will keep your heart healthy, and in the process, it will reduce the cholesterol level. This will also give you sufficient carbs and proteins.
 Green Smoothie
 This is one of the snacks ideas to keep you energised. Have some healthy vegetable cuts pieces along with yogurt to keep it extra tasty.
 Oatmeal
 This is a very healthy meal. You can also use an overnight method. You can place oatmeal in yogurt along with maple syrup, and the oats will plump in the yogurt overnight. 

Almonds and Walnuts 
Almonds are rich in fat and this will make you feel full in no time. Walnuts contain omega-3 which will reduce inflammation and maintain cholesterol levels.
 Avocado
Slices of avocado with a pinch of lemon juice is one of the snacks ideas to keep you energised. They help in providing healthy fats and in the process, keep your heart healthy.

August 31, 2014

The amazing health benefits of fennel

Many Americans today are very health conscious. However, the use of food to help ensure proper health is not as widely known to many Americans. In many countries in Europe and the Far East, the use of food for medicinal purposes is quite common practice. For example, fennel is widely used throughout Greece and Italy in many Mediterranean dishes for its varied health properties.

Fennel and its many uses

The fennel plant including the bulb, stalks, leaves and seeds are all edible. With regards to foods and beverages, fennel is quite popular in soups, entrees and is one of the key ingredients to the alcoholic beverage Absinthe.

While delicious in food, the great news is that fennel also offers some great medicinal benefits. In ancient Rome, Fennel was quite popular and widely acknowledged as it is still today to help aid the body in digesting foods. It is also widely known to help the kidneys, liver, spleen and lungs - as well as the whole digestive system to stay healthy and function better. These benefits have been widely lauded for over 2,000 years.

In the digestive system, it is widely known to help people with indigestion, weight loss, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation. Additional ailments that are associated with the use of fennel for medicinal improvement include: high blood pressure, heart disease, difficult menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders as well as cancer prevention.

Studies show that fennel provides major benefits in cancer prevention

One of the main reasons fennel is noted as a good as a cancer preventative, is because once in the system it acts as a profound chemo preventive agent. This basically means it helps fight off potential carcinogens. In fact, in a study performed at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, study results showed that fennel exerts exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. This is because of a phytonutrient in the plant known as Anethole which studies have found aids in blocking inflammation within the body and aids in blocking cell mutations into cancerous cells.

Additional tests in New Delhi, India have also shown the anti-carcinogenic effect of fennel. Their tests used albino mice with induced skin and fore stomach papilloma genesis. Under close observation those mice who were administered the fennel had significantly lower rates of cancer cell development or expansion of any previous cancer cells.

Other health studies and fennel

Fennel is also known to assist in appetite suppression and energizing the body's metabolic rate. At the Thuringian State Institute of Agriculture in Germany, fennel was found to assist in suppressing appetite as well as activating the metabolism. Studies at the institute also showed that the fennel helped to dissolve the fat deposits in the bloodstream allowing it to be used for an energy source. In other research fennel has been found to increase urination which helps to reduce any excess body water weight.

Also in a 2011 study at the University of Granada, researchers found that because of the melatonin in fennel, it also offers some sleep aid properties as well. a

These 5 Foods And Drinks Are Making You Hungrier

“It’s true that a calorie is a calorie,” Dr. Louis J. Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Loss Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center, tells The Wall Street Journal. “But what that doesn’t take into account is how some calories affect what people eat later on.”
The idea that certain foods disrupt chemical signals in our bodies and cause intensified, unwarranted cravings for food is gaining traction in the scientific field. Research continues to suggest that specific substances in our food cause the suppression of some hormones while triggering others, essentially “tricking” our brains into believing that we feel hungry — even if we’ve just stuffed ourselves.
Here are five food types that you would do best to avoid in order to prevent these kinds of cravings. 

1. White bread

White bread is a refined carbohydrate known for triggering food cravings, writes Men’s Health. Many white breads and pastas contain high fructose corn syrup, which deregulates blood sugar, causing spikes and crashes, which in turn activate hunger. It’s been shown that this also triggers the reward and addiction centers in your brain, causing further cravings for processed foods.
In fact, according to WebMD, a recent Spanish study tracked the eating habits and weights of over 9,000 subjects. The study found that those subjects who ate two or more portions per day of white bread were 40 percent likelier to become overweight or obese over a five-year period than those subjects who ate less than one portion of white bread per week. This is, perhaps, because of the cravings triggered by a diet so heavy refined carbs. 

2. Salty snacks (chips, pretzels, etc.)

Salty snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers are simple carbohydrates that digest at a rapid rate, meaning that as soon as you finish munching, your insulin rates will spike and then crash, according to Health. Your taste buds and brain associate fast-acting energy with sweet foods, so as soon as you start feeling the lethargy set in after a sodium-heavy snack, your brain will snap into a sweetness craving mode.
Another reason it’s so easy to fill up on sweets after you’ve just completed a salty nosh is because of a concept called sensory specific satiety (SSS), writes the Guardian. This means that we can have enough of one type of food (salty), but still feel “hungry” for another type (sweet). In essence, we’re eating two stomachs’ worth of food to satisfy those combined cravings. 

3. Alcohol

As Randy Seeley, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, tells Timedrinking has not been scientifically proven to stimulate appetite. However, consumption of alcohols does lead to impaired judgment, often causing people to eat more than their bodies require — often without realizing it.
Furthermore, boozing tends to affect our leptin levels. Leptin is a naturally occurring hormone that suppresses appetite. When its production is stifled, so are its effects, meaning that alcohol consumption can give individuals a case of the munchies, according to Women’s Health

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

According to the Mayo Clinic, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a flavor enhancer that is best known for being added to Chinese food, soups, and processed meats. As Health points outresearch published in the medical journal Obesity suggests that subjects who consume the greatest amounts of MSG are almost three times as likely to be overweight than those who consume no MSG.
Again, a deficiency in leptin effects may be part of the problem here: Dr. Sue Decotiis, MD, a weight-loss specialist and board-certified internist, tells Health that “The effects of leptin…may be blunted by the damaging effects of MSG on the hypothalamus.” 

5. Excessive sugar

As Dr. Aronne tells the Wall Street Journal, foods with a high sugar and fat content promote “fullness resistance.” This means that such foods interfere with the balance and regulation of our body’s complex hormonal messages. While the body generally tries to send messages to the brain to signal it’s time to stop eating, certain additives and substances cause these messages to get jumbled and intercepted, making us feel hungrier — even when we’ve just eaten.
According to Women’s Health, the hormones leptin (appetite suppressant) and ghrelin (hormone that tells the brain you’re hungry) get thrown off balance after the excessive intake of sugar, causing unwarranted and unnecessary hunger signals to be sent to the brain. 

1 in 10 Packaged Foods Has Trans Fat

People may be consuming more trans fat than they think, as a result of misleading food labels, according to a study from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.     
Researchers examined 4,340 top-selling packaged foodsand found that 9 percent contained partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat. But of those foods, 84 percent claimed on their packaging to have "0 grams" of trans fat.
The amount of trans fat in these products varied from small traces to almost 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the researchers said.  
Under the rules of the Food and Drug Administration, foods that contain less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving must be labeled with "0 g" of trans fat.
"This labeling is cause for concern because consumers, seeing the 0 g trans fat on the nutrition facts label, are probably unaware that they are consuming trans fat," the researchers wrote in their study, published in the in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
Trans fat is a specific type of fat that is formed when hydrogen is added to liquid oils to turn them into solid fats. The FDA has tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils are not "generally recognized as safe" for consumption. If the FDA makes a final determination, trans fat would become an illegal food additive.
People who consume trans fat may be at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, studies have suggested.
The food products examined in the study ranged from cookies to salad dressing and canned soup.
"Our analysis demonstrates that industrial trans fat is still common in U.S. packaged foods, particularly in some food categories," the researchers said.
For example, half of the foods in the potato chips category, and 35 percent of cookies contained trans fat, according to the report.

7 Healthy Foods That Are Dangerous If You Eat Too Much of Them

You know that eating an entire box of cookies in one sitting isn’t good for you—but experts say overdoing it with certain more nutritious foods could be just as dangerous. There’s no need to ditch these foods from your diet altogether—but you’ll want to avoid taking in excessive amounts since that’s when they can start to compromise your health.
 
Oranges and Tomatoes
You’ve got to be careful to not overindulge with these delicious but highly acidic summer staples, says Gina Sam, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital. The increased acid intake associated with eating too many oranges or tomatoes can lead to reflux. Over an extended period of time, this can cause Barrett’s Esophagus, a disorder in which precancerous lesions form on esophageal lining. Sam suggests sticking to no more than two servings of oranges or tomatoes a day and avoiding these foods altogether if you already have symptoms of reflux.
Canned Tuna
This easy-to-prep, low-cal fish is a healthy salad or sandwich go-to. However, eating too much of it can result in dangerous mercury levels since tuna is higher in mercury than many other fish. Excessive mercury intake can lead to vision problems, impaired hearing and speech, lack of coordination, and muscle weakness. Make sure you don’t consume more than three to five cans of tuna a week, says Sam, and try swapping out tuna for lower-mercury fish like salmon, shrimp, and Pollock. 
Water
While hydration is key to good health, excessive water consumption can cause water intoxication, says Alan R. Gaby, M.D., author of the textbook Nutritional Medicine. This happens when extreme water intake dilutes the sodium in the body, resulting in an abnormally low blood sodium level, which can lead to impaired brain function and even death. How much water would you have to drink for this to be an issue? It’s typically only a problem for ultramarathoners and people who force themselves to over-drink. But to make sure you’re not consuming too much water, check your urine: If it’s always transparent, reduce your intake. 
Soy
Tofu lovers, listen up! While soy can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure when consumed in moderation, it also inhibits iron absorption, says Gaby—so excessive intake has the potential to cause iron-deficiency anemia. Also, because soy contains estrogen-like compounds (isoflavones), long-term consumption of large amounts has the potential to cause endometrial hyperplasia, a proliferation of the uterine lining that can lead to uterine cancer. While there’s no exact cutoff for how much soy is safe, you probably want to stick to two servings per day or less.
Spinach
This versatile and delicious leafy green is packed with goodness: It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Spinach is also high in lutein, a carotenoid that may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (a common cause of vision loss and blindness), says Gaby. However, spinach is also high in oxalate, a compound that can lead to the formation of kidney stones—so patients with calcium oxalate kidney stones should avoid overdoing it with this veggie. 
Brazil Nuts
This crunchy snack is a great source of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and selenium. Plus, eating nuts has been shown to lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure, says Gaby. Still, you shouldn’t nosh on these nuts every day since they’re extremely rich in selenium and the nutrient can be toxic in high amounts, says Gaby. Taking in too much may result in hair loss, brittleness or loss of nails, dermatitis, neurological abnormalities, and in severe cases, death. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., a family physician, nutritional researcher, and author of The End of Dieting, says that shelled Brazil nuts maintain higher selenium levels—so you shouldn’t have more than 10 a day.
Lean Animal Protein
If you primarily rely on low-fat meats like chicken breasts or egg whites for your daily dose of protein, it might be time for a diet makeover. Fuhrman says that consuming too many animal proteins can be dangerous since it makes your body produce the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which promotes aging and increases your risk of cancer (particularly breast cancer) when present in high levels. In fact, a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that there was a four-fold increase in cancer-related death risks and a 75 percent increase in overall mortality in people who got at least 20 percent of their calories from lean animal protein (as opposed to 15 percent or less). The simple fix? Try to get the majority of your protein from plants, such as beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, says Fuhrman.

August 29, 2014

MOLESKINE NOTEBOOKS THAT CAN SAVE HANDWRITTEN NOTES DIGITALLY

Moleskine, the maker of fine notebooks, has teamed up with 'smartpen' company Livescribe, to create a range of notebooks that allow you to save your handwritten notes as digital files

Inspiration is fleeting and great ideas need to be captured before they vanish back into the ether. When it comes to getting ideas down quickly, old-fashioned pen and paper still wins over digital technology, but a new collaboration between notebookmaker Moleskine and 'smartpen' company Livescribe has combined the pleasures of using pen and paper with the advantages (think saving and emailing your notes) of digital technology.
Moleskine has designed a new series of notebooks which work with Livescribe smartpens to capture and transfer notes and images from paper to a computer or mobile device, giving you the ability to access your ideas whenever you need them.
As well as allowing you to transfer your handwritten notes from paper to screen, the new notebooks can also use Livescribe smartpens to record audio linked to written notes, and can even tag and flag items simply by tapping the on-page icons with the tip of the smartpen.

The Livescribe Notebooks by Moleskine are available in the same classic designs that have made Moleskine notebooks among the most fashionable and desirable stationary, such as the trademark rounded corners and ribbon bookmark, elastic closure and the 'In case of loss, please return to...' label on the flyleaf.

The Livescribe versions include an expandable inner pocket containing two bookmarks printed with smartpen buttons and controls. The paper is ivory-colored and acid-free, providing a clean, crisp surface for artists, writers, teachers, students and professionals to seamlessly incorporate their notes, sketches or drawings with their digital devices.

Childhood Friends Turn Out To Be Brothers

An idyllic scene: Childhood friends, 11 or 12 years old, smiling at an Ottawa beach in the 1950s. One is holding a beach ball. The other is wearing a baseball cap.

It’s a photo that Duncan Cumming, now 72, and Ron Cole, 71, both held on to, after all these years.

It wasn’t until last year, however, that they found out that they are biological brothers.

Friends as children at Mutchmor Public School, Cumming and Cole lost touch after Cole moved away when they were about 12 or 13 years old.

We were chums in public school for about two or three years, not knowing that we were brothers. It’s unbelievable
Cole became a cattle farmer in Saskatchewan. Cumming did security work in Ottawa, but eventually moved to his wife Shane’s native land of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel between the U.K. and France.

Having reconnected after 60 years, the two retirees are now planning a reunion in Ottawa for next month.

Both men were raised by adoptive families, but they share a birth mother. Last November, an organization called Parent Finders Ottawa put the pieces together. A co-ordinator with the organization got in touch with both men to share the news.
“His name came up. I said to my wife, ‘I knew a Ron Cole when I went to public school and he lived on Woodlawn Avenue,’” said Cumming.

“We were chums in public school for about two or three years, not knowing that we were brothers. It’s unbelievable.”

Just a couple of days before Cole got a phone call from Parent Finders, he said he was organizing papers around his computer desk when a folder with pictures inside fell off the shelf.

When she mentioned Duncan Cumming, that name kind of rang a bell
“I was moving them to get them out of the way. I dropped them, and out fell this picture of Duncan. I looked at this and I thought, ‘Why did I save this picture? What is this?’” said Cole.

When Parent Finders called him, Cole said he thought it was a scam. Someone had recommended the organization to him more than a decade ago, and he had given them his phone number, but he forgot about it.

“I was about to hang up, but she had a little too much information on my adopted family. She knew things that normally people wouldn’t know,” he said. “I started to listen. When she mentioned Duncan Cumming, that name kind of rang a bell.”
Not long after he got off the phone with the organization, he got another phone call, this time from Cumming. It was their first contact in six decades.

The two kids had been raised just a few blocks away from each other, said Cole. Their parents didn’t know. “My parents had a cottage, and he’d been there, and I’d been to his place,” he said.

Cumming said the two used to hang around together after school until suppertime. They didn’t look alike. He said he absolutely never would’ve guessed they were brothers.

Finding Cole was the result of a long search. Cumming had been looking for his biological mother for about 25 years. When he found out that she had passed away, he began to search for the brother and sister that he knew were out there somewhere, he said.

It’s kind of cool. It’s a great story
He is still looking for his sister, a Diane Beattie, born in Ottawa in 1952. She was not adopted, but remained in the care of the Children’s Aid Society until she reached the age of majority.

For Cole, reconnecting with Cumming is a great opportunity to revisit the past, although he hadn’t made the efforts to search for biological relatives that Cumming had.

“I was given up for adoption. I had a good life, a good upbringing. I knew right from wrong, and they were my real parents, as far as I was concerned,” said Cole.

“But it’s kind of cool. It’s a great story.”

Ron Cole said he is looking forward to showing his wife, Ronna, his old neighbourhood around Woodlawn Avenue, or whatever parts of it still stand.

“Ron and Ronna,” he said, chuckling. “Now, there’s another weird story.”