Know the Myths and Facts about Weight Loss Supplements

Do you fear by the use of weight loss supplements?

Most of you dream to shed those extra pounds just by popping a pill. Everyone wants a magic pill, which would take their weight away, without any diet or exercise. Well, this is an easy way, but this quick fix is not possible.

There are numerous products that claim to offer a lean and slim body by using colorful capsules. However, this is unacceptable, as with supplements, you have to use proper diet and exercise.

Following are common myths about diet supplements; learn the truth behind each myth, and you will unleash the way to a better and healthier path to lasting weight loss with a proper plan.

#1 MYTH: African herb ‘hoodia’ is an effective appetite suppressant

FACT: The researchers are unable to back up the claim whether hoodia can make it easy to skip dinner and save a few hundred calories. However, there is some anecdotal evidence about the herbs powers. People who have to travel long journeys in the desert can use hoodia to arrest their hunger. A compound called P57 is believed to be an active ingredient in hoodia.

Research says animal with P57 injected into their brains east less; the effect isn’t replicated in humans taking hoodia capsules. It hasn’t been studied in humans yet, and the safety and ability to stop hunger are mere guesses.

#2 MYTH: You don’t need to diet or exercise if you are taking a weight-loss supplement

FACT: Mostly the supplement’s label will tell that to shed a few pounds, you need to eat a healthy diet and have a workout regimen. Even if you consider the USA made peptides online – it should be thought of as a boost to diet and exercise, not as a replacement for either.

For taking supplements, you have to stick to a low-fat diet, or you may experience the use of some unpleasant side effects. Not all supplements behave the same way; however, this is possible in case of a supplement, for example, Alli. It keeps your gut from some fat you eat. So, if some people consume too much fat, then it is flushed through, and they can feel bloated. Taking it may require a change in your diet.

#3 MYTH: Green-tea supplements are helpful to burn fat

FACT: Green Tea extracts promote weight loss, but taking a green tea supplement or drinking cups of tea won’t produce the lasting weight loss.

The effect which is seen from the green tea is due to the caffeine; however, a compound called EGCG is on the way and will stimulate a cause to burn calories if it causes you to move more.

Green tea has an abundance of caffeine and if you are sensitive to caffeine, then steer clear of caffeine based supplements as too much of it can affect your heart rhythm and disturb your sleep.

#4 MYTH: Bitter orange is a safe substitute for ephedra

FACT: Bitter orange is similar to herb ephedra, but it is not a good thing. Ephedra is known to cause increased blood pressure and arrhythmias and was banned by FDA because of the high-profile deaths. Bitter orange has synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine, and according to experts, it carries the same risks like ephedra.

Many experts have protested that dangers of bitter orange are overblown, and the result you see may not be worth any risk at all. The research is inconclusive on the effectiveness of bitter orange for weight loss.

#5 MYTH: If the product from a recognized store, then it is safe for intake

FACT: Most of you don’t know that weight loss supplements aren’t approved or tested in the US. Americans feel that the government agency wouldn’t allow these products to be sold; before selling, these products should be tested for their safety and effectiveness, and shouldn’t prove dangerous to anyone. This is not true of dietary supplements.

According to a study, almost 54% of people, who had taken weight loss supplement, believed that FDA has approved the supplements for weight loss. Recently FDA has launched a list of supplements which are unsafe and are conducting research about it.

#6 MYTH: Natural weight-loss supplements don’t have any side effects

FACT: This is entirely false. If a supplement can cause positive effects, then surely it can even have side effects too.

If you want to use the natural way, then opt for the good you have to consume and the workout regime. There were many natural supplements, that received a lot of hype as a weight loss supplement, but the research is little about its effectiveness. For example, Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may be useful in gaining more muscle mass and losing fat, but with alone diet and exercise can achieve that. If someone chooses a healthy diet, then CLA can be found in eggs, dairy products, and meat. So always remember that quality of total diet matters a lot.

Conclusion

There is nothing bad about using supplements, but make sure those are clinically tested by the FDA and are safe for you. Always consult a physician before opting them, so that you are aware of what you are consuming, and any reaction in future would prepare you to deal with it.

Why Do Women Want to be Slim?

Getting a sexier body is women’s ultimate dream. In fact, many of them are obsessed with their weight and want to sustain a thinner physique. There are lots of reasons accompanied by it, and we are going to discuss it here.

Looking slim does not only boost a woman’s confidence but also makes her appear much attractive and presentable. Together with a diet regimen, clothes also play a significant role in improving one’s total appearance. The correct fashion will add up greater impact to a slimmer appearance, but an incorrect clothing will just make a girl look fat.

Here are some tips of the right clothing to wear for those women aspiring to look thin and maintain their body image:

o Wear only one solid color to sustain a good appeal.

o Keep your outline look shiny and plain.

o Pick a pair of tailored trousers that are cut a little too long for you and add very high heels.

o Wear flat-fronted, boot-cut trousers having a side zip. Never choose pleated fronts and flaps on pockets.

o Know that A-line skirts give a slim appearance and function even better if they are cut on the bias. Inverted pleats too give you a thinner shape.

o A tailored jacket must have skinny sleeves placed high in the arm-hole. Do not use raglan sleeves.

o Pick a jacket that doesn’t button precisely on the waist, just slightly above or underneath is the best.

o A jacket or trousers with vertical stripes is a good choice as it adds those extra inches.

o Make sure to wear socks or pop socks with the same hue as the trousers you are wearing.

For those who want to know some exercises to get slimmer, here are some exercises to firm and tighten butt.

1. Squats- This is a great exercise that will help shape your glutes and upper thighs. To do a squat you would assume you are going to sit down on a chair, with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent and hold weights at your side.

2. Dead lift (single leg)- This exercise is intended to work on your balance. To do a squat you would assume as if you are going to sit down on a chair, with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent and hold weights at your side. You may stand on one leg and sustain your bending knee.

3. Lunges- These are best for shaping the whole leg all the way up to your butt. You can perform what is called a walking lunge with weights or without. Once you are doing it with weights, you are going to hold the weights by your side and then walk.

A certain fact shows that girls want to eventually attractive to the people around them. They don’t want any feelings of embarrassment. This has verified to be true, especially now, by the rapid turnaround in women’s beauty criteria and the millions of women that do the transformation on how they appear to fit such standards.

This somehow speaks of a bigger issue at hand, implying how both men and women perceive a woman’s value. To be happy and healthy at the same time frequently takes a backseat to fit into forced beauty standards.

6 Motivational Tips To Help You Burn More Calories

Staying motivated to lose weight is a lot similar to driving a car. You do not need a full tank of fuel to drive it. You just have to prevent the tank from running empty in order for the car to keep moving.

If you start to notice that you are losing your last bit of motivation to keep on exercising regularly or to stay committed to your diet program, step back and give yourself a two-day break at most. According to Joshua C. Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the more you catch on with your motivation, the more elusive it gets.

Assuming that you have taken a break from your weight loss routine, how do you jump back in and keep yourself moving forward? Follow the weight loss motivation tips below to help you get back on track and finally hit your goal.

Make A List

List down all the reasons why you need to exercise, eat healthily and lose weight. Ask yourself, what are you losing weight for?

Is it because you want to lower your risk of getting a heart attack? Or perhaps you want to fit in a wedding dress for your upcoming special day? Write specific reasons why losing weight is important to you and revisit them once more every week until you have hit your target.

Set Goals That Go Beyond The Scale

Losing 6 pounds in 2 weeks sounds like an achievable goal. However, even clear goals like this can become vague when you start to keep track of your scale every single day. What you need to do is set smaller daily goals that go beyond the numbers on your scale.

For example, list down that you will only eat a bowl of salad and half a cup of vanilla ice cream for dinner. Narrowing down your goals by specifying them in a daily “to-do” list will help you stay focused. Always remember that becoming healthy does not only reflect on your scale. Your daily health decisions are part of it too.

Be Patient

Everybody dreads that weight loss “plateau”. At some point in your weight loss program, there will be a time when your body just can’t seem to get rid of any weight anymore. When this happens to you, just stay patient. If you keep going and apply the necessary tweak in your diet and exercise routine, you will eventually start seeing results again.

Don’t Be A Perfectionist

There are times that you will have minor slip-offs, especially with your diet. You might eat an extra slice of pie, or indulge over another bowl of ice cream. Just remember that nobody is perfect. Whatever you indulge on, do not be too hard on yourself as this can ruin your motivation.

The next time you stumble on a hurdle like this, try to think about the reason why you lost focus. Your weight loss journey is not just about losing excess weight, it is also gaining more knowledge on how to become healthy.

Surround Yourself With Everything Healthy

Make an effort to grocery shop weekly and purchase fresh produces for your meals. Stock your fridge with healthy foods and eliminate processed meals. Encourage yourself to eat more fruits by preparing a basket on top of your counter where you can easily grab an apple or orange when you feel hungry.

Acknowledge What You Are Doing

Lastly, acknowledge what you are doing. Do not hide away your workout clothes, shoes or equipment. Keep them in sight and possibly near your door even if it clutters your home. Doing so will serve as a constant reminder that staying healthy and exercising regularly is not just a one-time-whim, but it is already a part of your everyday life.

It is easy to lose motivation and quickly turn to negativity when you face a challenge like losing a significant amount of weight.

If you find yourself uninspired, list down all of the good things that you have achieved so far. Shift your focus on self-appreciation rather than pessimism. Losing weight can be a long battle. So commend yourself for doing a good job at every chance you get and keep moving forward one step at a time.

How to Take Care of Yourself By Listening to Your Body

I’ve become a prisoner in my home because of the ridiculous weather of the past few weeks. I’m not complaining because I love my home and realize how blessed I am to have one. But I also know that single-digit temperatures are as harmful to my health as the heat and high humidity of summer weather. So home is where you’ll find me.

I miss being outdoors with the ability to freely come and go. I don’t enjoy having to worry about a dip in temperature or what the wind chill factor is going to be.

When you live with a chronic illness you learn the importance of listening to your body, actually hearing what it’s trying to tell you. I’ve had this body for fifty-six years and I’ve learned that it’s smarter than I ever imagined.

  • A throbbing headache? Change in air pressure.
  • Aching bones? A change in the weather pattern.
  • Tingling sensations in my feet? Too much stress.
  • Momentary jabs of pains in my back? Drink more water to avoid more kidney stones.
  • Itchy skin? Moisturize more often.
  • Constipated? Use a laxative.
  • Weakness and dizziness? The possibility of an MS flare-up.

As we age it’s even more important to pay attention to our bodies. Pain is always telling us something, and lesser-known signs such as a bulging stomach or yellow bumps on the eyelids could also signal that something is wrong.

I’m not advocating for everyone to go into panic mode, but I do think knowledge is powerful in taking good care of ourselves.

If you begin experiencing symptoms that are unusual to you, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Keep a daily journal of what’s happening and record daily changes. It’s helpful to share this information with your doctor.

We live in a fast-paced world and sometimes we forget to make our health a priority. In today’s healthcare system doctors are often overwhelmed, inundated and pressed for time. Too many office visits become costly. So it’s a good idea to not only listen to our bodies but to also follow preventive medicine.

This includes scheduling regular examinations with doctors to maintain your health, such as:

  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopies
  • Dental and eye exams
  • Annual visits to your internist and gynecologist
  • Visit the doctor.

If applicable, schedule visits with specialists such as a:

  • Cardiologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Neurologist
  • Oncologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)
  • Podiatrist
  • Rheumatologist
  • Urologist

Taking the time to listen to your body is the most important thing you can do for yourself. So listen up!

Tips to Handle Chemiotherapy


Chemotherapy causes us multiple side effects to which the medical teams suggest treatments themselves not without adverse effects! It is necessary to preserve yourself to the maximum during this difficult period, even to take many medicines during these few months of treatments.

Nevertheless there are some little tricks that can help alleviate or relieve these ills that we would not do without . It is amazing the huge number of problems we may have to face: anemia, infections, alopecia, stomatitis or oesophagitis (oral or esophagus infections), haemorrhage or simple bleeding, appetite disorders, diarrhea or constipation. So here is a little overview of the tricks that may help you to support it a little better.

Anemia and the resulting fatigue are due to the decrease of red blood cells in the blood. Rest as soon as fatigue is felt. Do not hesitate to make several small naps during the day.

As far as possible, ask for help with housework. Friends can be involved in shopping, bringing a frozen meal, keeping the children. In town halls or hospitals, the advice of a social worker can also be asked to find a housekeeper whose salary will be paid on time In part.

Practice physical activity as soon as you feel better: yoga, walking, soft gymnastics. Contrary to preconceived ideas, sport helps alleviate the problems of fatigue. Relaxation is also a good way to regain energy. The decrease in white blood cells can lead to an increased risk of infection.

Avoid sick people as well as those who have just been given a vaccine. Avoid public places: municipal swimming pools, cinema, subway. Avoid changing the litter of the cat or cleaning a cage: the excrement of the animals are carriers of many microbes. Keep away from stagnant water: flower vases, humidifiers,…

Avoid raw milk, raw eggs, tartar and sushi. Wash your hands very often. The decrease in platelets in the blood can lead to bleeding. Avoid scissors to cut nails, prefer a file. Use an electric shaver rather than a hand shaver. Wear gloves when gardening.

Protect your lips with a stick to avoid crevices that can bleed. Use a soft toothbrush and avoid dental floss or toothpaste. As much as possible avoid dental sessions and make an appointment before chemo for good scaling and balance.

In order to preserve your intestines, do not take suppository or laxative. No rectal temperature measurement. In case of vaginal dryness during intercourse, do not hesitate to use lubricants. Avoid drugs that cause bleeding type aspirin or anti coagulants. Avoid alcohol or wine.

For skin problems, chemo dries up the skin very much, so hydrate very often with a lotion or a cream. Avoid exposures to the sun and protect yourself with a high-index cream. Disinfect any wound.

Here we go with alopecia and nail problems. To avoid the dreaded hair loss, there is unfortunately not much except the refrigerated headset that does not work for all protocols. Here are a few tricks that will at least help slow down the fall.

Wash your hair with a soft shampoo as often as possible, but avoid a few days after chemo. Dry by gently wiping with a towel: no hair dryer or straightener. Avoid brushing hair vigorously. Possibly wear a hair net to sleep or use a satin pillow like grandmothers who thus preserves their blow drying.

For nails damaged by the taxotere, apply an opaque varnish in several layers before the session and keep it for the next few days.

Appetite disorders include altered taste, nausea and vomiting, anorexia. To eat useful, prefer foods rich in nutritional value. Split meals and eat when hungry without waiting for it to be time. To find a little taste of food, use herbs that will perfume the dishes. Conversely, avoid spices and vinegar sauces. Eliminate odors that are both annoying and strong.

To overcome this metallic taste in the mouth so unpleasant, chew a chewing gum or drink lemonade or fruit juices. Avoid fried foods and fatty foods. Drink coca or iced tea effective against nausea. Eat 4 to 6 hours before the session, not after. In case of major thirst, suck an ice cube that will water better than a glass of water.

Stomatitis or inflammation of the mouth and esophagitis are additional issues. Replace the toothpaste with a solution containing: a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a liter of water. Moisten the lips by insisting on the edges. Properly wash your teeth after each meal using a soft toothbrush. Put the latter in a little hot water in order to soften it. Avoid foods that are too hot or too cold.

Another tip is to put a lemon juice in a liter of water to drink throughout the day. The mouth is in all ways desensitized against acidity and this remedy actually relieves. Prefer the sweet and creamy foods that pass better during swallowing problems.

For diarrhea, avoid all fruits, onions, cabbages, garlic, nuts, spices, frying and alcohol as well as dairy products. To alleviate dehydration, drink plenty of water. Against constipation, drink also a lot.

Garcinia Cambogia: Does it Work?

There are many studies conducted to Garcinia Cambogia. As soon as it hit the market, and promoted by Dr. Oz, people have gone crazy trying to get their hands on it. From their research results, reviews and testimonials on its weight loss capabilities, people’s opinion about it vary. However, the most publicized use of Garcinia Cambogia is its ability to make you lose weight. There are also other claims like suppression of appetite, mood improvement, increased energy, blood sugar levels stabilizer, makes you regular in the bathroom, improvement of the joint health, desire to become physically active. Several benefits have not backed up by research yet, however, here are 4 benefits that have.

Weight Loss

Research said that the HCA (active component in garcinia cambogia) acts like a blockage to an enzyme responsible for converting your food to fat cells. This enzyme is called adenosine-triphosphates-citrate-lyase. There are numerous studies that showed Garcinia Cambogia can help you lose weight. One clinical study proved that a group of 12 different trials were done. Subjects were divided to the control (those who were not given any active ingredient and only took the placebo) and those who took garcinia cambogia. Results show that those who were given garcinia cambogia proved to decrease visceral, subcutaneous, total fat. There are also other research conducted wherein Garcinia Cambogia only proved to lose about 2 to 3 pounds. This only tells us that the magnitude of its effects can sometimes be uncertain. Future tests and trials regarding this should be more rigorous. The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, garcinia cambogia may help you out on that dilemma.

Suppresses Appetite

Studies have proved that HCA from garcinia cambogia can actually help lower down a person’s appetite due to the fact that it can help increase serotonin production. Serotonin is a hormone associated in happiness, and calmness. When a person is generally happy, he or she tends to not overeat or become a depressed eater. A happy disposition can actually reduce a person’s desire for unhealthy food. There are also other studies conducted that proved that it can increase energy expenditure. This in turn tells your body not to eat so much. Always remember that although taking supplements that can help you reduce your weight and appetite, there are also other alternatives that you can try to manage your weight. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of them. Also, eating more fiber and drinking more fluids will help you stay full.

Lowers Cholesterol

There is some support that taking garcinia will help you improve the levels of your triglycerides (TAG) or cholesterol. It can also help you raise your HDL or high density lipoprotein which is the good kind of fat. However, keep in mind that not all studies have produced the same results in terms of its use in lowering down cholesterol. There are some studies that show significant changes whereas there are those that show minimal changes only. If you are aiming to lower your cholesterol only, there are many ways to do it aside from taking garcinia cambogia.

Stabilization of Blood Sugar

So how does garcinia stabilize blood sugar? There are numerous evidences that show how garcinia cambogia can improve how cells take up sugar to be converted into energy. There are some evidences showing that it can inhibit the pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes. This changes in the body actually helps your body metabolize carbohydrates better. If you are diabetic, you might want to consult your doctor if you can take garcinia cambogia as it can affect your body’s responses to insulin. If you are someone who is suffering from diabetes, blood sugar swings or taking medications related to insulin, taking garcinia cambogia might dangerously drop your blood sugar low. Although this doesn’t happen all the time, it’s something that you also need to consider.

Factors for longevity

An interesting research study came out recently.

beautiful-skin

It is interesting as it studies longevity data starting in 1963! Not often do we have such 47 years of data to analyze, and with a population of 2,000 people of 50 years of age and older, this offers good significance in the results. So the question was what are the most potent factors to determine longevity. This is as close as it gets to the ‘Fountain of Youth’.

The population in question lives in a small European town and they were regularly followed from age fifty with a life and health questionnaire. Many lived to 90 and older, but some did not. Statistical analysis was conducted to determine what the survivors had in common that the people who died earlier were likely not to have. So here are the 7 main factors for living to 90 starting at 50.

1. Do not smoke
2. Consume moderate amounts of coffee
3. At a good socio-economic status at the age of 50 (measured in terms of housing costs)
4. Engaged in good physical working capacity at the age of 54
5. Low cholesterol at age 50
6. Low blood pressure
7. Good cardiorespiratory function

So what is so interesting?

Everybody knows smoking is bad for you, but it turns out it is the most important factor for living long. More surprisingly the second most important factor is to drink coffee moderately. Coffee has a positive effect but not if you drink too much of it!

Next is your socio-economic status. This general factor likely means that people with more money have the means to get appropriate medical treatment when needed. They are less expected to do dangerous work or to be exposed to various risk factors. They are probably more educated and more aware of what is good for your health. Also white collars smoke less than menial workers. So this factor in itself summarizes other true factor, as it is more of a secondary factor in itself. But it is revealing to see that this is an important factor for longevity.

Physical activity is not a surprise, so make sure to have a regular exercise schedule if you want to live long. Cholesterol as well is bad for you, follow your level every year and take action to lower it if needed. Likewise low blood pressure is good for you. And your overall cardiorespiratory condition matters too, but this factor somehow is a consequence of the other crucial factors, such as smoking (bad for the lungs) and having too much cholesterol (bad for the heart).

This study is not a revelation in itself as we could have guessed some of these factors, but the point here is that this is a statistical study that really pinpoints what matter the most if you want to live longer. And as you can control most of these factors, take action if you need to make sure all 7 factors are on your side.

What are the anti aging solutions available in the market?

It depends on the type of aging problem under consideration, and these fall under a few broad categories as listed below.

Aging skin: this is the leading area where people feel that they are aging and seek anti aging solutions to stop the skin from aging at an accelerated pace. Anti aging creams, lotions amps; moisturizers, wrinkle creams, anti aging masks, anti aging spa treatments, all are solutions for the skin.

Another area of aging more specific to men is hair loss, partial or complete balding. Unfortunately this predicament may affect women too. There are various solutions for that and the most efficient is to do some hair implant. Preventive techniques also exist, in particular with the use of special shampoos and vitamin preparations.
Another consequence of getting older is related to your mental capabilities.

Such issues range from mild memory loss to more severe illnesses like Alzheimer disease. One preventive solution is to do both physical and mental exercises on a continuous basis. There exist companies specialized for that. Indeed even physical exercise has been scientifically proven to have a positive anti-aging effect on our mental abilities.

More generally speaking, there is a branch of anti aging solutions dedicated to organic or natural products. Recent research has found that nature itself produces anti aging elements, and many people prefer to use that rather than the merchandise offered by the big pharmaceutical companies.

Some anti aging solutions relate to food and diet. As they say, you are what you eat. There are food and ingredients with pronounced anti aging effects, such as antioxidants. Smoking has the opposite effect and quitting smoking is a simple way to gain a few years in life expectancy.

As mankind has searched for the Fountain of Youth since Antiquity, anti aging is a large part of health research and solutions to satisfy demand. Novel methodologies are constantly discovered and you should stay attuned to be aware of the best solutions for anti aging issues.

How to Change Your Eating Habits for a Healthier You

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” ~George Bernard Shaw

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with food. Growing up it was all love. If there were cheese, chocolate, pasta or bread in front of me I’d have no problem devouring it. That also goes for ice cream, salami, hot dogs, brownies…

In college, I lived on pizza, steak and cheese sandwiches (a specialty of our on-campus 24-hour sandwich shop) and Steve’s ice cream to avoid the mediocre cafeteria food. You’ve heard of the freshman 15? I had the freshman 30!

Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $100. Go directly to Weight Watchers!

When I grew up Wonder Bread was the bread of choice. Housewives believed it really did help build strong bodies 12 ways. There were fewer varieties of fish available at our local fish market, so, on a fish night, my mother cooked either lemon sole or salmon.

The vegetable aisles were stocked with iceberg lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, green beans, and other similarly boring vegetables. I never heard of kale, Swiss chard, arugula or broccoli rabe.

Ethnic restaurants close by were mainly Italian and had heavy sauces like Fettuccine Alfredo. The most popular item in our local Chinese restaurant was Chop Suey. It was so 1960’s.

Much of what I ate in those days was high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. How did I survive?

Now that I’m in my fifties I’ve learned to make smarter food choices for better health. I read labels on every item I buy to make sure it’s lower in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. I’ve also increased my daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

If organic food is available I think it’s wise to splurge a little even though it’s pricier. (Read the Mayo Clinic article about organic vs. non-organic food to make your own decision on buying organic food.)

I rarely eat red meat (Read the CNN.com article about eating red meat) and mainly eat chicken (white meat/skinless), pork or turkey, and all in moderation.

I use Trader Joe’s soy creamer instead of regular milk for my morning cup of Joe. As a snack, I enjoy a serving of nonfat regular or vanilla yogurt while adding my own fresh fruit, slivered almonds or granola.

“When you go to the grocery store, you find that the cheapest calories are the ones that are going to make you the fattest” ~Michael Pollan

I’ve eliminated white sugar and flour from my diet (Read Dr. Weil’s statement on good nutrition) and stick to whole grains, like quinoa and wild or brown rice. (Read Dr. Weil’s statement about whole wheat.)

I religiously drink 64 ounces of filtered water a day and enjoy a cup of green tea in the early evening. Green tea has antioxidant properties. There is evidence it may protect against certain cancers and reduce your risk of heart disease.

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” ~Dorothy Day

But I still love good food and I also enjoy the social aspect of sharing a meal with family, friends and lively conversation.

I’d be lying if I said I never eat cheese, chocolate or pizza. But these days if I do I try to eat smaller portions for the rest of the day, being mindful of every bite. (Read the NY Times article about mindful eating.) Being mindful of my eating habits allows me to be more in control of what I put into my mouth, and stops me from eating too much.

“Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.” ~Robert Redford

Will changing our diet help us live longer? I can’t make that promise because genetics and environment also play a role in longevity. What I can say is that everyone has something in their lives they can’t control. What we do have control over is what we put into our mouths.

Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. In fact, these days the foods I eat are purer, fresher and more flavorful than ever.

You may have asked why I mentioned a “love-hate” relationship with food. It’s because family genetics dictate that I must be careful about the amount of fat, cholesterol, and salt I consume each day. It’s also because I’m prone to gaining weight. There’s nothing I’d like more than enjoying a few slices of pizza, a perfectly baked croissant or a few bites of some delicious Brie whenever I want to. But I have to be careful so I try to make wiser choices.

In our fifties, it’s important to be aware of what is healthy and unhealthy to eat. It’s time to get our priorities straight if we want to maintain good health. And good health begins with eating well.