Feeling a little sluggish and slow on the up take? You’re not alone. It’s called brain fog and although it is not very well understood anyone experiencing brain fog knows exactly what it feels like. If you’re feeling tired, your memory is slipping and you feel like, well, you’re in a dense fog, that’s brain fog. What researchers do believe is that it is in part due to fluctuating estrogen levels. Besides diet and exercise reducing stress is a major factor when it comes to improving brain fog. Ongoing stress is inflammatory, which means it raise levels of the hormone cortisol, which causes the body to retain water and fat. Chronic stress can cause glucose imbalances, destroy brain cells, increase fatigue and fuel depression.
Yoga, dance, and relaxation reduce stress levels. The breathing, especially in yoga, increases oxygen throughout the body, which in turn increase energy. Reducing cortisol levels through yoga also helps to reduces body fat and improve circulation. What the brain needs is a boost of oxygen- that means good circulation. So reduce stress and get up and move.
Make time to visit with friends, take a walk, see a show, laugh and have fun. Life is all too short and time is too precious to waste trying to find your way through the fog.
“What a greater crime. Than loss of time.”
? Thomas Tusser,
And the seven are…fruits, vegetables, garlic, fish, nuts, red wine and chocolate. A study published in the British medical Journal indicated that eating these seven foods every day, in the appropriate portions could reduce heart disease risk by as much as 75 percent and adds an average of six years to your life. Remember the key is consistency (every day) and in the right amount (portion control). That’s balance!
You need about 25 grams of fiber every day. Packing your diet with fiber not only fills you up, but is good for your digestive system and slows down the release of glucose into your system. Too much glucose and you are at risk for diabetes. Eat plenty of leafy greens and grains like oats, as well as these, surprisingly fiber rich foods:
Avocados have 13.5 grams of fiber. Artichokes have 10.3 grams of fiber. A half cup of pecans has 5 grams of fiber. One cup of edamame has 8.1 grams of fiber. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. Fill up and not out!
Exercise for the Spine
Six movements of the spine. Here is a simple exercise that everyone can do and should do every day. It keeps the spine flexible and strong. Stand tall. Lift your right arm over your head and stretch to the left. Now reach with the left and stretch into the right side. Place your left hand on your chest and swing your right arm behind you into a twist. Place your right hand on your chest and twist to the left. Come back to the center and raise your arms up over your head with a slight arch to the back and then bend forward bending the knees and dropping the arms to the floor in a forward bend. You have now moved the spine in all the positions it is capable of moving. Do this simple exercise every day for flexibility and strength for the spine.
Everyone resolves to eat better and live healthier. The real secret to weight control is moderation. It’s not about what you eat, but how much you eat. The real reason diets fail is because we deprive ourselves of the foods we enjoy and then over indulge. Recently I had a conversation with a couple of young women about managing weight. I told them that I ate pizza. They were shocked and wanted to know how I could eat pizza and not gain weight. I explained that I started with a salad and then eat two pieces of pizza (not the whole pizza) and a glass of wine. The total caloric count for my meal was approximately 600 calories. I don’t snack at night, my lunch is about 600 calories and my breakfast is about 400 calories. I also work out every day for at least an hour. Do I feel deprived? No because I employ portion control. What does it take? Self discipline or as the Aero*boga success formula says – have a vision (weight management) the desire (to stay healthy) take action (portion control) do it with persistency and consistency (it’s a habit) and you will achieve success!
Fancy diets don’t work. In fact 95% fail. Most people lose and then put the weight right back on because they haven’t learned one of the most important lesson of yoga – moderation in all things!
One half hour of brisk walking a day will burn an extra 100 calories. Not only does walking burn calories, but it also helps to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and the sunlight you get will help your body make vitamin D which is need for strong bones and good health.
But it can’t be just any walk. It needs to be a brisk walk and the best way to get a brisk walk is to listen to music because music will push you along. Here is a great playlist with songs that will get you singing, walking and even dancing! Set one half hour a day aside for yourself (everyone can find 30 minutes!) and take a brisk walk. You’ll be surprised what it will do for your body, your mind and your soul.
You know you’ll buy them and you know you’lll eat at least one - so what is the best mini version of our favorite candy bars with the least amount of calories and the least amount of saturated fat? Of the three favorites; Milky Way miniatures, 3 musketeers miniatures and Snickers miniatures, 3 Musketeers is the best, at 24 calories and less than 1 gram of fat as compared to Milky Way at 38 calories and 1.6 grams of fat and Snickers at 42.5 calories and 2.25 grams of fat. So when shopping choose the 3 Musketeers. You’ll be doing yourself and all those little trick or treaters a big favor by giving them a treat that has fewer calories and less fat, but a great taste!
Inflammation; When the immune system is working as it should be, inflammation plays an essential role in the body’s defenses. It acts as a barrier against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. However when inflammation persists even without external threats it can do serious damage to the heart, joints and overall health.
Swelling, aching joints, arthritis, hay fever, heart disease, depression, diabetes and even crow’s feet have one common denominator; inflammation!
However, we can with a healthy diet and exercise, reduce many of the problems associated with inflammation. For example, certain foods such as berries are an excellent choice when it comes to lowering inflammation. That is because the antioxidants in berries work to reduce the free radicals that are a factor when it comes to inflammation.
Damage from free radicals causes inflammation; chronic inflammation goes on to produce lots of free radicals, which in turn create more inflammation. This is a vicious cycle which can damage many systems in the body. The thyroid, heart and pancreas, can be negatively affected by the formation of free radicals. So adding foods, such as berries, which contain antioxidants, helps to fight the negative effects of free radicals.
However, more important than simply eating one food to combat inflammation, we should focus on an overall healthy diet. Fortunately there are many foods that are anti-inflammatory. The basic guideline is to eat a plant based diet, lean proteins, salmon and healthy fats such as olive oil. Here are some tips for fighting inflammation:
Eat your colors – eat foods that are rich in greens, blues and reds such as blue berries, spinach, and strawberries.
Eat legumes such as soybeans and lentils.
Include omega-3 fatty acid by eating wild salmon and cod as well as flaxseed and walnuts.
Spice up dishes with garlic, ginger and turmeric.
Drink green tea instead of sweetened beverages.
And if you drink alcohol remember that a glass of red wine is the best choice. Red wine has anti-inflammatory properties and it goes great with a piece of dark rich antioxidant chocolate! (Now that’s fighting inflammation!)
Reduce stress, smile?, be happy and of course exercise!
Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases such as arthritis. Try to make healthy choices when it comes to eating because it is so true that- you are what you eat!
Now when it comes to Exercise – Get up and move - Additionally, active people have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation.
Health Tip- ETK or excessive thoracic kyphosis is an excessive curvature of the spine. It is cause by skeletal issues, environmental factors, exercise/activity choices and psychological issues. Muscular imbalance anywhere in the body can contribute to ETK. Excessive bike riding, driving, playing computer games or any activity where we have a tendency to sit hunched over will add to ETK. Here are a few exercises that will help will ETK.
Using a stability ball you can rest your shoulders onto the ball, lift your arms to the ceiling, drop the shoulders back into the ball and then drop your hands down toward the floor. Take a couple of breathes and then repeat several times. This exercise, as well as, other exercises for balance and strength can be found on Doctor Lynn’s Ball Class available on the website. http://www.doctorlynn.com
Here is an easy breathing exercise that will also help with ETK – breathing from the diaphragm can also help to decrease stress and mobilize the spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands just below the rib cage where you’ll find your diaphragm. Try to keep the shoulders onto the floor. Breathe in and out through your nose. Focus on the expanding and contracting of the lower rib cage. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then slowly release. Do 10-15 breaths every day.
Posture is essential to both looking younger and strengthening the shoulders and upper back. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Pull your abdominal muscles in and lift your chest. Lift your chin up looking straight ahead with your arms at your side palms out. Now close your eyes and stand still for about 10 seconds. This will strengthen your spine, improve posture, improve balance and help to combat ETK.
Or you can do as my mother made me do – walk around with a book on your head and don’ let it fall off! You must stand tall and roll back your shoulders to accomplish this…
Nothing ages a person like poor posture and a hunched back. Practice Standing Mountain and other yoga poses to improve posture and keep you young and flexible! Yoga and dance will improve posture.
One of my favorite summer fruits is watermelon. The water content in watermelon is extremely high at 92%. It is rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B5 and smaller amounts of B1, B2, B3 and B6.
This big fruit is a rich source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and smaller amounts of copper, iron and zinc.
As in tomatoes, watermelon is loaded with lycopene, the red carotenoid pigment that gives it the red color. This important anti-oxidant is powerful in neutralizing harmful free radicals in our body. Because it is so rich in minerals and vitamins as well as mostly water it is a great way to both nourish and detox the body at the same time.
Watermelon Tonic – a refreshing way to stay hydrated and energized through the hot summer months.
Cut into bite size cubes a well rounded cup of fresh watermelon. You can also freeze watermelon into cup size servings to pull out of the freezer, partly thaw and use. One full cup equals one serving.
For each serving toss in a blender with a teaspoon of chopped mint leaf and two clove buds.
Blend, pour and drink!
Watermelon is hydrating and packed full of essential minerals. Both mint and clove buds contain volatile oils that release into the tonic when we blend the mix. Mint’s volatile oil acts as an antidote to fatigue and clove bud’s volatile oil is good for circulation and building energy. Only 46 calories a serving!
Whether you plan to adorn a bikini or just want to lose a little belly fat there are a group of foods that can help you. In a 14 year study it was concluded that flavonoids found in veggies, fruit, chocolate, tea and wine seem to help ward off belly fat. The study found that catechins, flavonoids and flavones(types of flavonoids) may help curb belly bulge by improving the body’s metabolic rate. The best source is found in pears, apples, tea, chocolate, broad beans, onions, leeks and sweet peppers. So here is a diet idea to help you lose belly fat. Pears are low in calories and high is fiber, so you could eat one before every meal and still lose weight. But even better pears are loaded with catechins and flavonols the antioxidants that appear to hinder the storage of belly fat! So try eating a pear before each meal. It will fill you up without a lot of calories and improve your metabolic rate causing you to burn off that belly fat.
Yes, if that vitamin is vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D is from direct sunlight. But should you or shouldn’t you get direct sunlight? We need Vitamin D; however vitamin D is not really a vitamin. In its active form it is considered a hormone. Our bodies can make it from sunlight. Its primary function is to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorous which the body needs to build and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D has also been shown to possess anti-cancer properties, as well as, affect our biorhythms, moods and behavior. Spend a few days in a cloudy environment and watch how your mood changes. Sunlight seems to lift the spirit as it strengthens the body and boost our moods.
Human kind evolved under natural sunlight, which means that we require a certain amount of natural light to keep us healthy. The problem is that we all use sunscreen to protect us from the sun’s unhealthy rays, blocking out the vitamin D. In addition if we do get our fifteen minutes of natural sunlight it is usually in the morning or afternoon and at this time the sun’s rays are not powerful enough to produce enough vitamin D. So in addition to getting sunlight we need to add vitamin D to our diet.
How does D help us to maintain and even lose weight? Well vitamin D can’t do it alone. You need to eat a healthy diet and exercise, but if you also add foods rich in D to your diet you might get an extra boost. Here’s how it works; vitamin D helps receptors in your brain keep hunger and cravings in check, as well as boost levels of the mood elevating chemical serotonin. Vitamin D also helps the body to absorb calcium. When the body lacks calcium, it may experience up to a fivefold increase in the fatty acid synthase. This enzyme converts calories into fat. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reported that obese women given 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day lost six times more weight than women who dieted alone. So by fueling your body with vitamin D you kick start the fat burning and could potentially lose more weight, as well as protect your body from harmful cancer cells and build strong bones. What foods should you eat? The richest source is fatty fish oils and salt water fish such as sea bass, halibut, swordfish, herring, tuna and cod. Salmon is also a good source of both calcium and D. Dairy products that have been fortified with D are a great source. For supplements try VIACTIV, a calcium plus D soft chew. I like the caramel.
Over dosing on anything is harmful. Up to 1000IU a day of vitamin D appears to be safe. VIACTIV gives you 500 IU in one chew. Add fish or dairy to your daily diet and a little bit of sunlight and you will have the right mix to keeping you healthy and fit
Feeling a little sluggish and slow on the up take? You’re not alone. It’s called brain fog and although it is not very well understood anyone experiencing brain fog knows exactly what it feels like. If you’re feeling tired, your memory is slipping and you feel like, well, you’re in a dense fog, that’s brain fog. What researchers do believe is that it is in part due to fluctuating estrogen levels. Therefore a good antidote to brain fog would be a diet rich in phystoestrogens.
Here is an energy boosting tonic that will also give you a brain lift. This phytoestrogen drink is chock full of brain power nutrients. Note that rich green vegetables are a good source of phytoestrogens which are natural estrogens found in nature. They also supply us with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and folic acid (found in greens and lemons) that help to power the brain.
Brain Booster – for 2
An extra boost – Although too much caffeine can cause the jitters, studies show that caffeine causes a release of dopamine in the area of the brain responsible for alertness. A cup of coffee before an exam, important meeting or presentation can boost your brain power!