Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Health and Wellness Associates

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Want to eat more cauliflower but just not sure what to do with it? These tasty cakes are a must-try recipe even if you’re thinking cauliflower isn’t for you.

Boil, steam, saute or roast the cauliflower ahead of time for extra fast meal prep and serve the cakes with salad or a piece of fish for a light and satisfying meal. Cauliflower and lower-fat Parmesan cheese are usually well tolerated by those who experience heartburn since they are baked instead of fried. There’s no extra grease, either.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl combine cauliflower, egg, cheese and breadcrumbs.
  4. Mash ingredients with a fork until well mixed.
  5. Using clean hands form into 8 cakes.
  6. Place cakes on prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with cooking spray cooking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you can’t find fresh cauliflower at your local market, use frozen as it is just as nutritious as fresh.

If you do use frozen, simply thaw in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well to remove any excess liquid and then allow to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients.

These cakes are tremendously flavorful as they are but you can add an extra dimension of flavor by mixing in a handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or chives.

Cooking and Serving Tips

To make the tops of these cakes extra crispy, broil for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the oven. If you do choose to broil, keep a close eye on them to be sure they don’t burn. Serve over a bed of fresh greens for a vegetarian lunch or as a side dish with a piece of lean meat or fish.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Why Some Nitrates Are Healthy While Others Are Harmful

farmersmarket

 

Why Some Nitrates Are Healthy While Others Are Harmful

 

Nitrate-rich plant foods are a valuable part of your diet as they help promote heart health. Meanwhile, the nitrates in cured and processed meats such as bacon and hotdogs are known to be carcinogenic. So, what’s the deal? Why are plant-based nitrates healthy and animal-based nitrates harmful? The answer to that question has to do with biochemistry — how the nitrates are processed in your body based on cofactors found in their source.

 

Plant- Versus Animal-Based Nitrates

In a recent Nutrition Action article on this topic, Gunter Kuhnle, professor of food and nutritional sciences at the University of Reading, U.K., explains the core differences between plant- and animal-based nitrates:1

 

“When you eat nitrates, they are converted to nitrites by bacteria in your mouth. Once the nitrites reach the stomach’s acid, they can turn into either nitric oxide [NO] or N-nitroso compounds. N-nitroso compounds like nitrosamines are carcinogenic. What makes processed meats so ideal for forming N-nitroso compounds is that they have a combination of nitrite and proteins from the meat. And the meat’s heme seems to help convert them into N-nitroso compounds.”

 

Nitrates are also more prone to converting into carcinogenic nitrosamines when heated. According to a review of more than 7,000 clinical studies, the World Cancer Research Fund concluded there’s no safe lower limit for processed meats2 and that they should be avoided altogether to minimize your cancer risk.

 

Plants, on the other hand, contain antioxidants (such as vitamin C and polyphenols) that impede the formation of harmful nitrosamines. The presence of these compounds help to ensure that the nitrites are converted into beneficial NO once they reach your stomach rather than harmful N-nitroso compounds.3 Most plant foods are also not cooked or fried at high temperatures, which further minimizes the chances that harmful substances will be produced.

 

The Benefits of Nitric Oxide

NO is a soluble gas, and while it’s a free radical, it’s also an important biological signaling molecule that supports normal endothelial function and protects your mitochondria — the little “power stations” in your cells that produce a majority of your body’s energy in the form of ATP. NO is a potent vasodilator, helping relax and widen the diameter of your blood vessels, thereby allowing a greater volume of blood to flow through.

 

Healthy blood flow in turn helps your body function optimally, carrying oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and organs while removing waste material and carbon dioxide. Importantly, NO infuses into areas that are hypoxic, meaning in need of oxygen, and both your heart and brain4,5 are heavy oxygen users.

 

NO has actually been shown to improve brain neuroplasticity by improving oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex (a brain area that is often affected in the early stages of dementia).6,7 As for your heart, cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra explains the importance of NO, saying:8

 

“Adequate NO production is the first step in a chain reaction that promotes healthy cardiovascular function, while insufficient NO triggers a cascade of destruction that eventually results in heart disease… NO promotes healthy dilation of the veins and arteries so blood can move throughout your body. Plus, it prevents red blood cells from sticking together to create dangerous clots and blockages.”

 

Nitrate-Rich Foods Offer Potent Benefits

While NO is continually produced from the amino acid L-arginine inside your cells, you can also boost your body’s NO production by eating certain NO-boosting foods and/or performing high-intensity exercises such as the Nitric Oxide Dump (see demonstration below). Research9 shows a nitrate-rich diet can be a powerful strategy for the treatment of prehypertension and hypertension (high blood pressure), and as such helps protect against heart attacks.

 

In conventional medicine, nitrates are used to treat angina and congestive heart failure, and research shows a glass of beetroot juice has the same effect as prescription nitrates.10 Raw beets — which are high in nitrates — have been shown to lower blood pressure by an average of four to five points within a few hours.11

 

Another study12 found drinking 8 ounces of beet juice per day lowered blood pressure by an average of nearly eight points after the first week, which is more than most blood pressure medications. Raw beets have also been shown to boost stamina during exercise by as much as 16 percent,13 courtesy of increased NO production.

 

The caveat with beets is they’re high in sugar, which is why I recommend them only in limited amounts or in fermented form. Fermenting your beets rather than eating them raw gives you all the health-boosting benefits of raw beets without the concerns of high sugar content, as the beneficial bacteria created during fermentation consume most of the naturally occurring sugars.

 

The Hazards of Nitrosamines

While NO has potent health benefits, the same cannot be said for the nitrosamines formed when nitrites from processed meats react with gastric acid in your stomach.

 

Again, the reason meat-based nitrites don’t boost NO production but rather turn into harmful N-nitroso compounds has to do with the presence of proteins and heme14 (an iron-containing compound that makes up part of the hemoglobin molecule in blood) and the absence of antioxidant compounds. The evidence against processed meats — including bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, chorizo, hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers and more — is fairly extensive. For example:

 

  • Studies have linked processed meats like sausages, hot dogs and sandwich meats to an increased risk of cancer, male infertility and early death.

 

  • A 2007 analysis15 by the World Cancer Research Fund found eating just 1.8 ounces of processed meat per day — about one sausage or two to three slices of bacon — was found to raise your likelihood of bowel cancer by 20 percent.

 

  • The American Institute for Cancer Research16 recommends avoiding processed meats entirely to minimize your risk of bowel cancer, and explicitly warns that “there is no safe threshold” for eating processed meats. They also recommend limiting red meat a maximum of 18 ounces per week, to avoid raising your risk for colorectal cancer.

 

  • After reviewing some 800 studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, concluded that processed meat can cause colorectal cancer in humans,17,18 and has classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, right next to tobacco and asbestos. The agency estimates a daily serving of 1.8 ounces of processed meat can increase your risk for colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Higher amounts may raise your risk even higher.

 

(Keep in mind the IARC’s classifications of carcinogens are based on strength of evidence, not degree of risk, so this does not mean processed meats are as hazardous as smoking and asbestos exposure. It simply means the strength of the evidence is the same.)

 

  • A British study19 published in January this year, which evaluated data from more than 262,000 women, found eating just 9 grams of bacon per day significantly raises a woman’s risk for breast cancer later in life.

 

Nitrate-Free Bacon Is a Safer Alternative

While the presence of saturated fat is not a valid reason to shun bacon, the presence of nitrates is of real concern. Still, bacon can be a healthy addition to your diet, in small amounts, provided you take certain precautions. First, make sure your bacon comes from organic pasture-raised pigs, as this will reduce the risk of pathogenic contaminations20 that factory farmed pigs are prone to. Second, make sure it’s free of added nitrates. The easiest way is to check the label, but the color of the meat can also be a powerful tipoff.

 

As noted in The Guardian,21 “The pinkness of bacon — or cooked ham, or salami — is a sign that it has been treated with chemicals, more specifically with nitrates and nitrites.” The article includes commentary from French journalist Guillaume Coudray, author of the book “Cochonneries,” which loosely translates into “junk food,” but also means “piggeries.”

 

In his book, Coudray argues that it’s really the addition of nitrates that creates the problem, and the processed meat industry could easily make these foods far less hazardous. As reported by The Guardian:

 

“’Pure insane crazy madness’ is how Coudray described the continuing use of nitrates and nitrites in processed meats … The madness, in his view, is that it is possible to make bacon and ham in ways that would be less carcinogenic. The most basic way to cure any meat is to salt it — either with a dry salt rub or a wet brine — and to wait for time to do the rest.

 

Coudray notes that ham and bacon manufacturers claim this old-fashioned way of curing isn’t safe. But the real reason they reject it is cost: it takes much longer for processed meats to develop their flavor this way, which cuts into profits … The health risk of bacon is largely to do with two food additives: potassium nitrate (also known as saltpetre) and sodium nitrite.

 

It is these that give salamis, bacons and cooked hams their alluring pink color … when otherwise it would be a murky greyish brown … It is this nitrite that allows the bacteria responsible for cured flavor to emerge quicker, by inhibiting the growth of other bacteria …  It is the use of these chemicals that is widely believed to be the reason why ‘processed meat’ is much more carcinogenic than unprocessed meat.”

 

Healthy Nitrate Sources — Fresh Veggies

Hopefully, you can now appreciate the difference between nitrates from plants versus those from processed meats. A nitrate-rich diet is indeed a boon to your health, but only when the nitrates come from the plant kingdom. Here’s a list of the Top 10 most nitrate-rich ones to add to your diet.22,23,24 Eating garlic also helps boost NO production. While low in nitrates, garlic increases nitric oxide synthase, which converts L-arginine to NO in the presence of cofactors such as vitamins B2 and B3.25

 

Arugula, 480 mg of nitrates per 100 grams

Rhubarb, 281 mg

Cilantro, 247 mg

Butter leaf lettuce, 200 mg

Spring greens like mesclun mix, 188 mg

Basil, 183 mg

Beet greens, 177 mg

Oak leaf lettuce, 155 mg

Swiss chard, 151 mg

Red beets, 110 mg

Three-Minute Exercise to Boost NO Production

 

As mentioned earlier, high-intensity exercise will also trigger NO production in your body and, ideally, you’d both eat nitrate-rich veggies and exercise. The Nitric Oxide Dump exercise, developed by Dr. Zach Bush and demonstrated in the video above, will help:

 

Improve blood flow by relaxing and widening your arteries, thinning your blood and decreasing its viscosity. The latter also decreases platelet aggregation, which will discourage the development of blood clots that may cause a heart attack or stroke

Lower your blood pressure

Boost your mitochondrial health

Slow down age-related muscle decline

Improve immune function

Your body stores NO in the lining of your blood vessels (the endothelium). It’s produced inside your endothelial cells from the amino acid L-arginine, and acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body. When you exercise and your muscles ache, it’s because you’ve run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing NO (to dilate your blood vessels making it easier for oxygen to be delivered).

 

This process fuels muscle development, but here’s the secret that’s not widely known: When you exercise, it takes only about 90 seconds for your blood vessels to run out of stored nitric oxide and begin the process of making more. “So working each major muscle group out for 90 seconds,” says Bush, “gives you the most efficient workout to tone and build muscles.”26 Indeed, the key to harnessing your body’s NO-generating powers is to engage in short bursts of high-intensity activity.

 

You also want to wait at least two hours between sessions because that’s how long it takes for NO to synthesize for subsequent release. “Your body has the ability to regenerate nitric oxide every couple of hours, giving you the opportunity to release it multiple times a day,” Bush says. “What that means is the most effective way to increase your muscle function is to work out very briefly every few hours.”27

 

Increasing NO Is an Important ‘Antiaging’ Strategy

Your body loses about 10 percent of its ability to produce NO for every decade of life, which is why it’s important to take steps to increase your NO production, especially as you age. One way to do this is by eating nitrate-rich plant foods such as arugula and beets, as the plant-based nitrates are converted into NO in your body.

 

Just remember that nitrates from processed meats will not have this effect. On the contrary, processed meats will encourage the creation of carcinogenic substances — again because of the combination of a lack of antioxidants and the presence of proteins and heme, which triggers the creation of N-nitroso compounds rather than NO. This is an important distinction, so don’t get confused.

 

Beyond diet and high-intensity exercises such as the Nitric Oxide Dump, you can also increase NO by getting sensible sun exposure on large portions of your body, as NO is released into your bloodstream when UVA from sunlight touches your skin.28,29 Certain supplements, like olive extract and bitter melon, as well as acupuncture,30 may also enhance your body’s generation of NO, as may using a sauna31 or even taking a hot bath.32

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Apple Chai Steel Cut Oats

Apple Chai-Spiced Slowcooker Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup diced apple

2 tablespoons raisins

1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and stir in all ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until oats are tender and water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

 

Note: If you are short on time in the morning, this can be made the night before. Reheat before serving.

 

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Dangerous Lies About the Flu Told by the CDC

cdc

Dangerous Lies About the Flu Told by the CDC

 

 

Prior to the global H1N1 scare, the U.S. government stockpiled $1.5 billion of this basically useless antiviral — money that could have been spent in far better ways than merely enriching Roche’s company pockets. As noted in an article about Tamiflu by The Atlantic, “The only people helped by the proven-to-be-ineffective drug are its manufacturers.”

 

A 2013 Forbes article also spelled out a number of flaws in the science behind Tamiflu, and how benefits were overstated. Despite all of this overwhelming evidence, the CDC to this day continues to recommend both flu vaccines and antiviral drugs like Tamiflu.  They even continue to claim antiviral drugs “may prevent serious flu complications” — though the evidence clearly shows Tamiflu does no such thing.

 

The take-home message here is to do your homework, and not blindly follow public health recommendations. Also avoid falling prey to unreasonable fears. All deaths are tragic, but people die from influenza with and without flu vaccines. People also die without certain drugs, and from drugs.

 

Remember, optimizing your vitamin D to a level of 60 to 80 ng/mL may be one of the most effective flu prevention strategies out there. Also familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of sepsis, and urge your doctor to administer Marik’s IV vitamin C protocol should you or a loved one be diagnosed with sepsis. It just might save your life.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Flu Vaccine Likely Raises Your Risk of Illness

rA2017

 

Flu Vaccine Likely Raises Your Risk of Illness

 

 

The fact that flu vaccines offer negligible protection against the flu is bad enough, but evidence suggests the vaccine may even make you more susceptible to the disease. For example, Canadian researchers found that annual flu vaccination appears to increase your risk of pandemic illness, and cause more serious bouts of illness.

 

Data collected from Canada and Hong Kong during 2009-2010 showed that people who received the seasonal flu vaccine in 2008 had twice the risk of getting the H1N1 “swine flu,” compared to those who had not received a flu shot.

 

A well-publicized ferret study24 confirmed these results. Research25 published in 2011 also warned the seasonal flu vaccine appears to weaken children’s immune systems and increases their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine. Some health experts claim flu vaccination will help you develop resistance against strains that are not included in the vaccine, but research has actually shown the complete opposite to be true.

 

When blood samples from healthy, unvaccinated children and children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group had naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group.   Flu vaccines are also associated with debilitating and potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain–Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA).

 

But what about the claim that you might contract influenza from your flu shot? There are many anecdotal reports of people developing the worst bout of influenza they’ve ever had, following a routine flu vaccination, and indeed, a Chinese study27 published in 2012 appears to support such claims, finding that children had a 4.4 higher chance of contracting a viral upper respiratory infection following seasonal flu vaccine administration.

 

It’s also worth noting that double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for vaccines are not done. Instead, all a vaccine trial needs to demonstrate in order for the vaccine to be licensed is an antibody response.28

 

Researchers have also highlighted the influence of bias in studies looking at influenza vaccine effectiveness. As noted in one 2010 study,” Forgoing vaccination predicted death in those who had received vaccinations in the previous five years, but it predicted survival in patients who had never before received a vaccination. We conclude that bias is inherent in studies of influenza vaccination and death among elderly patients.”

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Be Aware of This Life-Saving IV Protocol for the Flu.

lifesaver

Be Aware of This Life-Saving IV Protocol For the Flu

 

If you or a loved one succumbs to sepsis, whether caused by influenza or some other infection, please remember that a protocol of IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1) can be lifesaving.15 So, urge your doctor to use it. Chances are, they might not even be aware of it.

 

This sepsis treatment protocol was developed Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, and clinical use has proven it to be remarkably effective for the treatment of sepsis, reducing mortality nearly fivefold.

 

Marik’s retrospective before-after clinical study showed that giving patients IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and vitamin B1 for two days reduced mortality from 40 percent to 8.5 percent. Of the 50 patients treated, only four died, and all of them died from their underlying disease, not sepsis. Importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it.

 

The only contraindication is if you are glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient (a genetic disorder).18 G6PD is an enzyme your red blood cells need to maintain membrane integrity.

 

High-dose IV vitamin C is a strong pro-oxidant, and giving a pro-oxidant to a G6PD-deficient individual can cause their red blood cells to rupture, which could have disastrous consequences. Fortunately, G6PC deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African decent are at greater risk of being G6PC deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males have it.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

It is Probably Not the Flu! Sepsis from the Flu Vaccine!

flu2

 

It Might Not Be The Flu! 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017-2018 flu season appears particularly virulent. Influenza activity increased significantly in December, with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating, and in a December 27 notice, the agency noted that “In the past, A(H3N2) virus-predominant influenza seasons have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in persons aged 65 years and older and young children …”

 

While influenza can indeed be deadly in rare cases, what most health experts fail to tell you is that these deaths are typically the result of secondary infections, not the flu virus itself. Importantly, research has highlighted the link between influenza and severe sepsis — a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning).  You can develop sepsis from toxins in the flu shot.

 

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly. Unfortunately, conventional treatments often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine,2 which has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.

 

According to researchers, “Severe sepsis is traditionally associated with bacterial diseases … However, viruses are becoming a growing cause of severe sepsis worldwide.” As noted in the video above, some sepsis symptoms also resemble influenza, which can lead to tragedy. The video offers guidelines on how to tell the difference between the two.

 

Sepsis, without doubt, requires immediate medical attention, whereas most people will successfully recover from the flu with a few days to a week of bedrest and fluids. Just how influenza can lead to sepsis is a somewhat complex affair, described as follows:5

 

“Regardless of the etiologic agent, the inflammatory response is highly interconnected with infection. In the initial response to an infection, severe sepsis is characterized by a pro-inflammatory state, while a progression to an anti-inflammatory state develops and favors secondary infections …

 

In the predominant pro-inflammatory state, Th1 cells activated by microorganisms increase transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2).

 

[C]ytokines … released from endothelial cells and subsequently from macrophages can induce lymphocyte activation and infiltration at the sites of infection and will exert direct antiviral effects. Subsequently, with the shift toward an anti-inflammatory state, activated Th2 cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10).

 

In certain situations, T cells can become anergic, failing to proliferate and produce cytokines. Type I IFN has a potent anti-influenza virus activity; it induces transcription of several interferon stimulated genes, which in turn restrict viral replication. However, influenza virus developed several mechanisms to evade IFN response …

 

Viral infections such as the influenza virus can also trigger deregulation of the innate immune system with excessive cytokines release and potential harmful consequences. An abnormal immune response to influenza can lead to endothelial damage … deregulation of coagulation, and the consequent alteration of microvascular permeability, tissue edema, and shock.”

 

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Common signs and symptoms of sepsis to watch out for include:6

 

A high fever

Inability to keep fluids down

Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath

Lethargy and/or confusion

Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. As noted in the featured video, hydration is of utmost importance, as much of the damage caused by sepsis begins with fluid loss.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

No Time to Exercise? Really!

walinginthewoods

No Time to Exercise?

Cant fit in the 30 minutes of exercise five times weekly needed to lower your risk of heart disease?

Squeeze in two brisk 10 minute walks weekly instead, and you will lower your odds of heart problems,

stroke and blood clots by more than 20%, which is the same as if you have worked out longer.

Short bouts of activity that get your heart pumping are enough to strengthen your heart muscle and arteries research shows.

Boost your benefits with the foods you eat.

Eating a Mediterranean type diet of fish, olives,

fresh produce, whole grains, beans and nuts cuts your

risk of heart disease by another 47%.

Not eating and skipping meals is the worse situation for a health heart.

For more information contact:

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Dr J Jaranson  MD FAAOS

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Sitting is the Next Smoking

sittingisthenext

Sitting is the Next Smoking

 

In recent centuries, advances in industry and technology have fundamentally changed the way many humans spend their waking hours. Where it was once commonplace to spend virtually all of those hours on your feet – walking, twisting, bending, and moving – it is now the norm to spend those hours sitting.

The modern-day office is built around sitting, such that you can conduct business – make phone calls, send e-mails and faxes, and even participate in video conferences – without ever leaving your chair.

But there’s an inherent problem with this lifestyle. Your body was designed for near perpetual movement. It thrives when given opportunity to move in its fully intended range of motion and, as we’re now increasingly seeing, struggles when forced to stay in one place for long periods.

 

What Happens When You Sit for Too Long?

 

Studies looking at life in natural agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hours a day. The average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day.

The difference between a “natural” amount of sitting and modern, inappropriate amounts of sitting is huge, and accounts for negative changes at the molecular level.

According to Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions associated with excessive sitting.

As he wrote in Scientific American:

“Sitting for long periods is bad because the human body was not designed to be idle. I have worked in obesity research for several decades, and my laboratory has studied the effect of sedentary lifestyles at the molecular level all the way up to office design.

Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that come with being overweight. Sitting is bad for lean people, too.

For instance, sitting in your chair after a meal leads to high blood sugar spikes, whereas getting up after you eat can cut those spikes in half.”

Not surprisingly, sitting for extended periods of time increases your risk for premature death. This is especially concerning given the fact that you may be vulnerable to these risks even if you are a fit athlete who exercises regularly.

It takes a toll on your mental health, too. Women who sit more than seven hours per day were found to have a 47 percent higher risk of depression than women who sit four hours or less.

There’s really no question anymore that if you want to lower your risk of chronic disease, you’ve got to get up out of your chair. This is at least as important as regular exercise… and quite possibly even more so.

 

Practically Speaking: 5 Tips for Better Health if You Work at a Computer

 

You might be thinking this sounds good in theory… but how do you translate your seated computer job into a standing one? It’s easier than you might think. For starters, check out these essential tips for computer workers:

Stand Up

If you’re lucky, your office may be one that has already implemented sit-stand workstations or even treadmill desks. Those who used such workstations easily replaced 25 percent of their sitting time with standing and boosted their well-being (while decreasing fatigue and appetite).

But if you don’t have a specially designed desk, don’t let that stop you. Prop your computer up on a stack of books, a printer, or even an overturned trash can and get on your feet.

 

When I travel in hotels, I frequently use the mini fridge or simply turn the wastebasket upside down and put it on top of the desk, and it works just fine.

 

 Get Moving

Why simply stand up when you can move too? The treadmill desk, which was invented by Dr. Levine, is ideal for this, but again it’s not the only option. You can walk while you’re on the phone, walk to communicate with others in your office (instead of e-mailing), and even conduct walking meetings.

 

 Monitor Your Screen Height

 

Whether you’re sitting or standing, the top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes, so you’re only looking down about 10 degrees to view the screen. If it’s lower, you’ll move your head downward, which can lead to back and neck pain. If it’s higher, it can cause dry eye syndrome.

 

 

 

Imagine Your Head as a Bowling Ball

Your head must be properly aligned to avoid undue stress on your neck and spine. Avoid craning your head forward, holding it upright instead. And while you’re at it, practice chin retractions, or making a double chin, to help line up your head, neck, and spine.

 

Try the “Pomodoro Technique”

 You know those little tomato-shaped (pomodoro is Italian for tomato) timers? Wind one up to 25 minutes (or set an online calculator). During this time, focus on your work intensely. When it goes off, take 5 minutes to walk, do jumping jacks, or otherwise take a break from your work. This helps you to stay productive while avoiding burnout.

 

What’s It Really Like to Work While Standing?

 

If you’re curious… just try it. Reactions tend to be mixed, at least initially, but if you stick with it you will be virtually guaranteed to experience benefits. The Guardian, for instance, recently featured an article with a first-hand account of working while standing, and the author wasn’t impressed.

He said “standing up to work felt like a horrible punishment” and lead to aches and decreased productivity. I couldn’t disagree more, but I will say that standing all day takes some adjustment. However, many people feel better almost immediately. As one worker who uses an adjustable-height work desk told TIME:

“I definitely feel healthier standing while working as it causes me to be more focused on my posture and ‘hold’ myself better in terms of my stomach and shoulders especially.”

Personally, standing more has worked wonders for me. I used to recommend intermittent movement, or standing up about once every 15 minutes, as a way to counteract the ill effects of sitting. Now, I’ve found an even better strategy, which is simply not sitting. I used to sit for 12 to 14 hours a day. Now, I strive to sit for less than one hour a day.

After I made this change, the back pain that I have struggled with for decades (and tried many different methods to relieve without lasting success) has disappeared. In addition to not sitting, I typically walk about 15,000 steps a day, in addition to, not in place of, my regular exercise program. I believe this combination of exercise, non-exercise activities like walking 10,000 steps a day, along with avoiding sitting whenever possible is the key to being really fit and enjoying a pain-free and joyful life.

 

You’re Not a Prisoner to Your Chair

 

 

 

If you’re still sitting down while reading this… now’s your chance – stand up! As Dr. Levine said: “We live amid a sea of killer chairs: adjustable, swivel, recliner, wing, club, chaise lounge, sofa, arm, four-legged, three-legged, wood, leather, plastic, car, plane, train, dining and bar. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you do not have to use them.”

 

Many progressive workplaces are helping employees to stand and move more during the day. For instance, some corporations encourage “walk-and-talk” meetings and e-mail-free work zones, and offer standing workstations and treadmill desks. But if yours isn’t among them, take matters into your own hands. You may be used to sitting down when you get to work, but try, for a day, standing up instead.

 

One day can turn into the next and the next, but please be patient and stick with it. Research shows that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to build a new habit and have it feel automatic. Once you get to this point, you’ll likely already be reaping the many rewards of not sitting, things like improved blood sugar and blood pressure levels, less body fat and a lower risk of chronic disease.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. A Sullivan

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tears In The Wind

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Tears in the Wind

 

 

Stand and cry unto the wind and let me remove your pain.

 

For within the tears of love and life, there is no one to blame.

 

Let go of the secrets that you hold in tears you will not cry.

 

For holding them within your spirit will block your energies and spiritual abilities.

 

For you constantly must build the dam higher and higher to keep them back.

 

Tears are a gift of the Divine; to let go of whatever has blocked our spirits.

 

Pain, loneliness, sadness, grief and even joy.

 

Tears cleanse the spirit and bring renewed energy.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. M Williams PhD Psy

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/