It’s Not All About Being Skinny: Weight Loss Benefits

This is a guest post all about the benefits of losing weight (and not just for cosmetic reasons).

Weight loss has always been a popular topic for many. The one thing that a lot of us are interested in is the benefits. Whether it’s for our health or appearance, we know it is something that will lead us to having more self confidence and live a better lifestyle. But the question is how much do we really know? Let me explain the importance of some of these benefits.

Improved Breathing

How we breathe plays a big role in weight loss, and is a great benefit to our health. Your body is responsible for removing close to 70% of bodily waste products in the form of carbon dioxide. If you’re not breathing properly, you are not releasing enough toxic material. Adding a healthy breathing routine will help make fat melt away. In order to start breathing better, you would have to inhale for about five seconds.

Improved breathing will result in better metabolism to burn off fat and help with our emotions that lead to food cravings. When we are depressed, we tend to crave everything and anything. If we could program our bodies to breathe more properly, this can be eliminated.

Engaging in exercise would become much easier through proper breathing. And though it may seem difficult at first, you will find it will come more naturally overtime and you will be able to exercise over a longer period of time.

Less Risk of Developing Degenerative Disease

Weight Loss helps reduce your risk of several chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. Researchers have said that exercise at any age is beneficial to help ward off diseases and we should be doing at least 1 hour a day.

Regular exercise strengthens your heart muscles, lowers blood pressure, and reduces bad cholesterol. Losing weight can help control your blood sugar levels, and may even reduce the amount of medication you need. Reducing your weight by 5-10% can decrease your chance of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Dropping excess pounds can reduce the risks associated with a heart attack.  These diseases ultimately kill a significant amount of people each year, and can be decreased through a weight loss regimen that includes a proper diet, and better nutrition.

Better nutrition means cutting out the processed food from your daily food intake. Foods that are high in saturated and trans fat clog up arteries, thus leading to heart disease. Increasing your fruit and veggie intake will help keep things moving along in your body, improve your immune system, and keep your weight down.

Other Benefits of Losing Weight

Some other benefits for weight loss are increased energy levels, reduced blood pressure, improved mobility, better sleep and waking up more rested, reduced aches and pains, and prevention of angina (chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart).

Most of these problems can be diminished through regular physical activities, which help lead to weight loss. Just think about this for a second: one hour of your day can make you that much healthier in the long run, so it’s more than worth the effort. Too much is taken for granted in life, but our health is definitely one of those things that just shouldn’t be.

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To find out more about weight loss, you can visit the author at the her weight loss site – On this site you will find helpful information including general guidance for weight loss.

Breast Cancer: Our Emotional Reactions and a Glimmer of Hope

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Last week I went home to my small hometown to visit my family and I came face to face with the past. One morning while I was catching up with my email, my mother came and asked me to come visit with my father’s aunt, we’ll call her Betty.

My dad is a hairdresser and that means he knows half the town, and by association so do I. I pushed back from my desk and walked over to the salon part of the house to visit with Betty. Seated in the entrance was an 18 year old boy that I used to babysit as a teenager, we’ll call him John.

Sadness and Breast Cancer

I barely recognized John since he has grown and is much taller than I am. Fond memories of babysitting him and his brother came to my mind as I introduced him to Betty. Conversation steered toward John’s father, and then his mother.

John’s mother died of breast cancer 7 years ago. I still remember her long battle with cancer, and it’s definitely one of the events in my life that inspired me to learn more about health, wellness, and healing.

Betty mentioned that she had met his dad after his wife’s battle with cancer. Immediately, my empathy kicked in and I saw the tears welling up in John’s face.

I felt my own tears sting my eyes. I had known and loved John’s mother in my youth, she was a wonderful woman who taught me a lot about gardening and spirituality.

“We’re losing all our great people.” Betty proclaimed sadly.

This was too much, John stood and walked away to hide his tears. I had never felt this sudden onslaught of sadness through someone else before, and I continued the conversation with Betty. Finally Betty and I hugged and said goodbye.

After she left John returned, back in control of his emotions.

Hours after I had said goodbye to John, I still felt a sharp pain thinking of the boy left behind and of the mother gone.

A New Way of Dealing with Cancer?

That same afternoon I spoke to a woman who healed herself of breast cancer in one year through a juicing regimen.

As I spoke to her and found out more about her background, and how she had eliminated the need for surgery or chemo by changing her diet… I felt hope.

The woman in question had followed a juicing regime by Lorraine Day that included quarts of fresh raw vegetable juice daily. She was planning on following this plan for 2 years, but her doctor couldn’t find the cancer she once had after only one year.

These are the types of stories that I love to hear. They help balance out the tragedies that we encounter every day.

I know there are many of us who have experienced loss due to cancer. There are people in my family who have fought and are still fighting cancer.

I’m not saying that everyone should stop following their doctors’ orders when it comes to chemotherapy or surgery. I don’t endorse Dr. Day’s methods since I’ve not used them myself. But what I am saying is that there are alternatives, there are happy stories, and there is hope.

There’s Kris Carr, author of the Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary. She’s truly an inspiration, and I had the pleasure of meeting her recently. She’s got the attitude to beat cancer, and if you’re in need of a little inspiration I highly recommend you check her out and her new book Crazy Sexy Diet.

Let’s stop “trying” to find the cure and start with what we can control: we can control our thoughts, our actions, what we put in our mouths, and our attitudes. We can all create loving, healing environments for ourselves.

Let’s Rewrite History One Bite at a Time

There’s no doubt that what we eat can and does impact us greatly. Let’s be conscious and let’s keep sharing what works with each other.

Sending you lots of love, light, and possibilities.

Love, Nathalie

13 Steps To Minimize Your Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation

This is a guest post by Lloyd Burrell.

There is more and more talk in the media about the dangers of cell phone radiation. These dangers are not unfounded, more than 2000 studies point to the harmful consequences of electromagnetic radiation on our health. Here are 13 easy steps you can take to protect you and your family.

1. Do not allow your children to use a cell phone for talking, except in an emergency. Children with their developing organs, lower bone density, and lower body weight have a less effective blood brain barrier than adults. Studies show that they are much more vulnerable to the effects of cell phone radiation.

2. Only use your cell phone for calls that are an absolute necessity. When you do use your cell phone keep the length of these calls to an absolute minimum. Studies show that the longer the period of cell phone use, the higher the exposure to radiation and the more far ranging are the biological effects.

3. When calling out keep your cell phone away from you right up to the time when your correspondent takes up the communication. Similarly when receiving a call give yourself a few seconds once you have accepted the call before putting the phone next to your head. Your cell phone emits most radiation when establishing the connection with the nearest cell phone tower.

4. Use the speakerphone function as much possible. Each centimeter gained between you and your cell phone when it is in operation will massively reduce your exposure.

5. Do not carry your cell phone against your body when it is switched on. All phones emit radiation even in standby mode and particularly the new smart phones, which acts as transmitters and receivers between themselves

6. Only use your cell phone in conditions of optimum reception. Look at the bars shown on your cell phone display to make sure they are all showing. The data is not very clear on this but it is believed that one missing bar can make your phone work harder by orders of magnitude of 100 to 1000 times more.

7. Avoid using your cell phone when you are in a moving vehicle. When you are in a bus, train, car etc the cell phone antenna is working at maximum radiation to maintain communication with the cell phone tower.

8. Avoid using your cell phone in a parked car. Your car is an enclosed metal container and as such when a cell phone is used in the interior you are exposing yourself to what the scientists call the Faraday cage effect. The Faraday cage effect works a bit like a microwave oven except that the radiation is produced by your mobile phone not the oven and instead of food it’s your body that gets cooked.

9. A recent study claims that 65% of Americans sleep with their cell phone switched on at night beside the bed. Your body is being subjected to increasing levels of electrosmog daily, night time is the only time when your body can secrete the necessary hormones for cell repair. Studies show that sleeping next to a functioning cell phone considerably reduces the effectiveness of this repair mechanism.

10. Do not use your cell phone if you are in any way feeling tired and run down, the radiation will weaken your organism further. If you have any sort of metallic appendage such as teeth fillings, metal fur framed glasses, or a metal plate you will be particularly exposed.

11. Pregnant women should be particularly discouraged from using a cell phone. As I said in my first point children are particularly at risk and babies, even unborn ones, even more so. The amniotic fluid in which the embryo and fetus develops provides no protection whatsoever from microwave radiation.

12. If you do have to use a cell phone prefer text messaging to telephone conversations. This will simultaneously reduce the amount of time that you use a cell phone and more importantly reduce its proximity to the body.

13. When you buy your next cell phone go for the model with the lowest possible S A R rating (specific absorption rate). Though by no means a perfect measure this does give an indication of the microwave radiation being absorbed by the human body tissue.

If you follow these tips then you will significantly reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation. But let’s not forget that cell phone radiation is only part of the story. What really matters is your overall exposure to electromagnetic fields. We live in a world where the levels of electromagnetic pollution are increasing daily, in our homes, in our workplaces and even in our schools. The best way to protect you and your family is to equip yourself with an EMF detection meter , which will enable you to measure the electromagnetic radiation in your daily environment.

Lloyd Burrell became electrosensitive in 2002 since then it has become his mission to share his knowledge and bring awareness on this important issue. Lloyd went from being totally normal to being very electrosensitive in a matter of moments. . Electromagnetic radiation has been linked to a plethora of health conditions, an increase in brain tumors on the side of the head the phone is used is one of the most flagrant indicators of the harm they can cause. For more tips on cell phone radiation protection click here and visits Lloyd’s website.

What to Start Feeding Your Baby After You Transition Away From Breastfeeding

This is a guest post by Claire Stone.

Weaning babies is the topic of so many books and websites that it is no surprise that, even though there is loads of information out there, it is still a really difficult subject, and one that confuses many parents.  It feels so important to get it right, and yet no one can tell you exactly what to do!  And it is even harder if you are even vaguely interested in the health aspect of food, rather than just being concerned with getting your child to eat!

When I first realized it was time to wean my first baby, I was really concerned that the main focus of weaning seemed to be getting my child to eat the same as me, as quickly as possible.  Which, as far as I am concerned, is fine if you are eating a super healthy diet, perfectly suited to the nutritional requirements of a growing child.  But, how on earth do you know if your diet is even healthy, let alone super healthy, and even if it is super healthy for a grown up, is there any way of knowing if it is suitable for a baby?

Many of the books I read, even those which are relatively health conscious, often seemed to include exactly the types of foods for babies that other books tell you to avoid!  I’m pretty sure that the amount of differing opinions out there contributed a lot to my decision to become a nutritionist, so that I could just know for sure what I should be feeding my baby!

So, I decided to combine the best information that I found, and to ignore the bits that just didn’t feel right, and come up with my own plan.  I recommend that you also use the information that feels right, and don’t worry too much about the rest!  You are, after all, the one who knows your baby best. You are the one preparing food for your baby, helping your baby get the hang of eating, and, possibly most importantly, the one who sees the happy results afterwards!!  To make things easier for you, I’m going to let you know which bits of advice I found useful, as well as show you some of the things that you really want to avoid!

Baby Food Do’s:

Think natural – whilst it’s easier to give your child what a food manufacturer claims is healthy/exactly what they want/the perfect weaning food, in most parts of the world, and for as long as humans have been around, people have been giving their children food which they have prepared from local, seasonal ingredients.  So regardless of whether you feel you should wean with a grain (such as pureed rice), pureed vegetables and fruits (cooked or raw), or even with fresh juices, bear in mind what children are designed to eat.  It seems quite obvious to me that babies are going to like the taste of chocolate/banana/sugar flavored pudding, but where would a mother or father at any time other than right now in the modern world, have been able to find such a thing!

Think small and gentle – in all respects, babies are small people who require somewhat delicate handling.  Their digestive systems are still developing, their stomachs are small and fragile, and their mouths and teeth aren’t ready for full-on chewing!  Give foods which are super easy to digest – purees are a good start, but even so, in many parts of the world, blenders aren’t exactly in every kitchen.  Many mothers’ pre-chew foods before giving them to their babies so that the foods are more easily digested!  Although some might find it a strange thing to do, there are plenty of foods which contain great nutrients for small people, such as almonds, but which are just way too hard to chew safely.  So pre-chewing, or blending almonds might be a good way to give your child something, which they might not get for a long time.

Consider raw versus non-raw.    The way I see it, in the wintertime, in the Northern Hemisphere, lots of raw foods for a small person with a small digestive system might just be a little too hard to handle. Food that has been cooked, or gently warmed, will be easier to assimilate for someone who is used to only drinking warm milk!  At the same time, if you are weaning your baby during the warmer summer months, a high percentage of raw foods might be fine.  Your instincts are probably your best guide on this one. If in doubt, consider how people in your location would have handled weaning a few hundred years ago!

Baby Food Don’t’s:

Sugar – who needs it? Definitely not babies!  But, even more important than plain sugar are the things companies use to sweeten-up food without using sugar, so avoid any kind of sweetener for as long as you possibly can.

Foods containing anything that isn’t a food!  Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  But when you start to look at labels, it is clear that a lot of ingredients in the foods you buy are just not the things that you would add to foods when you make them at home.  If it’s not a food, your child isn’t designed to eat it!

Too much of anything – the whole weaning business can feel quite scary, so sometimes, once you’ve found something your little one likes, it can be quite easy to keep serving it every day.  Whilst we do want to introduce new foods slowly, once they are in the diet, do make sure that you keep the variety up, during each day, and over the week.  The key is to just remember that whilst they are delicate and small, weaning babies are also ripe and ready to try out new (natural, not artificial!) flavors and textures, so just keep it interesting for them!

The above guidelines are just that – they are not a substitute for talking to other parents, health careers, nutritionists (like me!) and for reading the information in books and on the internet.  Hopefully, after reading this, you will have the confidence to take the information that you gather and form it into the perfect weaning plan for your super-baby!

Claire is a Nutritional Therapist qualified with both the Practitioner Diploma, and with the Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Healing from the Nutritional Healing Foundation and working in Bristol. Claire takes the mystery out of eating well, making it relevant, fun and easy to understand. Her relaxed approach makes anything to do with pregnancy, breastfeeding and weaning a breeze! Check out her website: www.outandin.net for more information on her Nutritional Therapy services, free downloads and more!

The Hidden Dangers of Sugar & Unhealthy Sweeteners

This is a guest post by Veronica Rousseau from Life With Nature.

Sugar is omnipresent in our food culture. Just for fun, next time you go to the grocery store, pick any of the packaged food and look at the nutritional label.

I bet that any food you’ll pick up actually contains sugar in one form or another. And while it’s not rocket science to understand that high sugary treats are not part of a healthy diet, most people don’t realize how much it can sabotage their health.

Why avoid sugar?

Sugar is a potent pro-inflammatory substance that has a significant effect on your body. Sugar stimulates a physiological chain reaction that provokes adrenaline and cortisol release, and thickens the blood. This means that eating sugary food can actually have the same effects on your body as stress does. Eating too much sugar could make you sick more often, as it might lower our immune system by interfering with white blood cells’ function.

Sugar is also one of the worst foods for your skin. It induces severe oxidative stress, which is linked to premature aging. Sugar also fuels cancer cells, promotes fat storage, and prevents amino acids to effectively reach muscle tissue. Over time, sugar intake can lead to insulin resistance, which is linked to type II diabetes, and plays a role in many other health conditions including nerve damage and cardiovascular diseases.

What’s The Deal with HFCS?

High fructose corn syrup, aka corn sugar, or glucose/fructose, is basically glucose syrup made from corn in which about half of the glucose is converted in fructose. While fructose might sound not so bad as it is the form of sugar contained in fruits, in HFCS, it appears to be the key element behind the many negative health effects that gives bad press to this sweetener.

HFCS can contribute to liver diseases, get your bad cholesterol levels higher and can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone in charge of telling your body to stop eating. When your leptin doesn’t function properly, you continuously feel hungry, no matter how much you eat. HFCS can also be contaminated with lead, adding to your toxic burden.

What you must understand is that too much sugar, even from natural sources like agave nectar or dried fruits, can have a negative impact on your health. That being said, life should be fun and so should be your diet. If you kill all the pleasure of eating, chances are that you won’t be able to stick to your healthy diet for very long.

The key here is not to demonize all sugar forms, but rather to understand the health impact they can have on our body. Choosing natural sweeteners with beneficial nutrients in it like raw honey, maple syrup, dry fruits, or stevia are by far the best option to safely satisfy your sweet tooth once in a while.

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Want more tips to detox naturally and natural living info, plus a free detox guide featuring delicious recipes? Visit Veronica’s blog at lifewithnature.com. Veronica Rousseau is the health nut behind lifewithnature’s blog where she shares her never-ending passion for natural detoxification, healthy eating and green living.