Category Archives: General Health

23 Unexpected Ways to Hack Your Health

Feeling stressed? Try cooking up some salmon, or just start swearing. And for a nice, tender treat, soak a steak in coffee before cooking. If these tips all sound a little odd, that’s OK. “Hacks” are surprising (and often strange) uses for everyday items. With a little bit of science and a whole lot of ingenuity, these 23 hacks will transform kitchens into tool sheds, improve workouts, and even help turn frowns upside-down.

The Kitchen

Genius Health Hack: Use Beer to Shampoo Your Hair

1. Shampoo Your Hair With Beer

Plus find foot moisturizer and a better way to marinate steaks and cook rice. These four beer hacks will change the way you look at those leftover brews.

2. Scrub Veggies With Baking Soda

It’s a kitchen staple, sure. But from cleaning veggies to putting out fires (for real), these five hacks prove baking soda is a true all-star for household emergencies big and small.

3. Moisturize Skin With Honey

It’s good for more than just sweetening food and tea. We found four of the most surprising—and helpful—uses for honey outside the kitchen.

4. Make Greek Yogurt With Coffee Filters

The morning can’t start without that cup o’ Joe, but the magic of coffee doesn’t end with the drink—coffee filters can impart some magic of their own with these five hacks.

5. Exfoliate With Avocado

It’s more than just the basis of our favorite dip. Here are our three favorite out-of-the-box uses for avocados, from a cleansing facial scrub to a killer substitute in… desserts?

6. Treat Sunburns With Tea

Sipping tea just for its antioxidant punch is so last millennium. Here are three of the best, most unusual, and generally awesome uses for tea that don’t involve slurping.

7. Shave With Peanut Butter

Peanut butter’s okay without its partner in crime (jelly). These four hacks show a spoonful of the nutty treat could be useful in the shower, frying pan, and even your hair.

8. Soak Steak in Coffee

These four hacks use coffee grounds as a better steak marinade and tenderizer, a facial scrub, to help that home garden grow, and to get rid of pesky kitchen odors.

9. Deodorize With Lemons

Lemons can lighten hair, repel pests, and even fill in as an emergency deodorant. Greatist finds four ways to take this superfood beyond the garnish.

10. Gargle Whiskey for a Sore Throat

Love whiskey, but tired of sipping it straight up (or sipping it at all)? No fear—we’ve uncovered four surprising ways to keep that bottle from collecting dust in the liquor cabinet.

11. Swap Sugar for Cinnamon

Use cinnamon instead of cream and sugar in coffee for a healthy flavor kick.

12. Cut Calories With Smaller Plates

Dine on a smaller dish to cut calories at mealtime.

13. Chew Gum to Curb Appetite

It may be time to bring back the Bazooka and Big League Chew. Research suggests chewing gum between meals can help reduce hunger and caloric intake.

14. Chew Slowly, Eat Less

More nutrients in fewer bites? Mom said it best: “Chew your food!”

The Gym

Health Hack: Curse When Lifting Weights

15. Curse to Reduce Pain

Ohhhh sh!t. Turns out swearing aloud could help turn down the pain-o-meter.

16. Visualize Exercise to Rock a Workout

Research suggests just imagining achieving an exercise goal—like powering through a workout or performing that last rep—can help set the stage for success.

17. Drink Cherry Juice to Speed Recovery

Looking to recharge after a tough workout? A bowl of cherries isn’t the only option. We put together a list of proven ways to speed recovery and get the body rested and ready for more.

The Desk

How to Stop Feeling Stressed at Work

18. Take a Walk to Get Productive

Step away from that workstation during the lunch hour for increased productivity.

19. Write Away Stress

A pen and paper could be the best tools to combat stress.

20. Start Smiling and Feel Happy

There might be more to improving your mood than just “grin and bear it.”

21. Floss to Boost Brainpower

From yoga to lawn-mowing, and even oral hygiene, check out these surprising ways to get smarter.

22. Take a Warm Shower Before Bed

Can’t get to bed? A warm shower will help almost anyone drift off to slumber.

23. Chow on Fish to Beat Stress

Learn how to fight stress with the omega-3′s in salmon and other delicious dishes.

 

Source: http://greatist.com/

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How to be Fit & Healthy on your Period

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Tears, anger, cramps, chocolate cravings, bloating – whatever it is, few of us get away scot-free at THAT time of the month. Recently Heather Watson, the top female British tennis player, put her loss at the Australian Open down to low energy and just feeling a bit rubbish thanks to her period. It is reassuring to know that even elite athletes struggle and it got us thinking about how we should be exercising and eating during that rather uncomfy time of the month.

The Science 

There are two phases to a woman’s menstrual cycle and it is the changing levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone which affect how we feel. Day one (the day on which a period starts) up to ovulation (day fourteen) is known as the low hormone follicular phase. Day fourteen through to the next period is known as the high hormone luteal phase and it is during this phase that we start to feel different (period pains, night sweats, random crying, screaming at the boyfriend for no reason). These hormonal changes can affect the levels of nutrients which our body needs as well as our capacity to exercise. To find out what we should be doing during this rather uncomfortable time of every month, we spoke to a couple of our favourite nutrition and fitness experts.

Nutrition

Owner of The Urban Kitchen, Toral Shah, is a woman who likes to exercise and eat good food. She also knows her stuff when it comes to women’s bodies as she has a BSc in cell biology and a Masters Degree in Nutritional Medicine. According to Toral, food and mood are directly linked and this is especially true during menstruation.

What should we eat?

Toral recommends that a period-diet should contain plenty of carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and oats which will boost serotonin levels, lifting mood and preventing cravings. Toral also suggests eating regular, protein-rich meals as it is important to steady blood sugar levels. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can affect the adrenal glands, stopping them from releasing a lot of adrenaline which blocks the use of progesterone and can worsen symptoms of pre-menstrual tension (and who wants more cramping?). In addition, Toral recommends drinking lots of water and limiting salty foods to reduce bloating and fluid retention.

Some people may also experience very heavy periods and as a result could benefit from eating iron-rich foods or taking an iron supplement (consult your doctor first). Foods rich in iron include red meat, liver, fish, spinach and seeds.

Should we eat more?

And what about that insatiable hunger we experience? Unfortunately, Toral told us that women don’t require extra calories during menstruation and actually, we require less due to slight changes in our metabolism (so, no scientific excuse for eating an entire jar of peanut butter). However, as serotonin levels might be lower, we may experience cravings for foods which will boost our mood (dark chocolate, obviously).

Exercise

For some of us, nothing gets in the way of our exercise routine. However, for others, just getting out of bed on period-mornings can be a challenge. But should we be taking those 4 or 5 days off from physical activity or should we pushing through and training hard? Plus it doesn’t make it easier when most fitness coaches are men who really do not want to talk about it. For a little guidance we spoke to personal trainer, Pilates teacher and all-round wellness guru, Sarah Lockhart-Martin.

Should we be training?

Each individual is different but generally, Sarah advises light to moderate exercise during menstruation as it can help to alleviate symptoms such as cramping and the resulting endorphins can kill that angry mood. Sarah emphasises the fact that energy levels can be less than usual and it is important not to be too hard on yourself – listen to your body and rest when you need it!

Also, it is likely that balance and co-ordination can be affected by our monthly cycle so Sarah suggests being a little cautious when doing exercises which require more focus and co-ordination!

It is important to remember that every person’s experience will be unique. If you are training seriously, Sarah recommends keeping a diary to track how your body feels and changes over your cycle. By doing this, you will be able to see patterns emerging which will help you to optimise your training and health.

What type of exercise is best?

Any light to moderate exercise is great. Sarah is an advocate of gentle jogging, walking, pilates and yoga. Here at H & H, we think swimming is brilliant too. However, you may be someone who is hardly affected by that time of the month, in which case you can keep sprinting and squatting as if nothing’s up (yes, we are jealous). In short, find what’s for you by listening to your own body (not Instagram fitspos, Twitter or what the girls in the office tell you!).

 

Source: http://hipandhealthy.com/

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How Reducing Stress Can Save Your Life

How Reducing Stress Can Save Your Life

We’re often told that stress is bad for our health. But the truth is, the link between stress and heart disease isn’t entirely clear.

Studies have shown that when you’re stressed your body releases adrenaline into your blood stream, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to go up temporarily. If you’re constantly under stress, your body doesn’t get the chance to rest because you’re always in high gear, and as a result, your artery walls become damaged.

While the link isn’t entirely clear from a scientific standpoint, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together: If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, your world just got rocked. And even if you haven’t been diagnosed, stress can trigger all of your risk factors.

Think about how stress affects you under normal circumstances: It makes you feel anxious, tense or depressed; random aches and pains appear out of nowhere; it can make you gain weight and lose sleep; it can even make you get sick.

Now imagine what stress can do if your heart isn’t 100 percent healthy. If it can make a healthy person ill, you can only imagine what it can do to someone who has been diagnosed with heart disease – or worse, someone who has suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Diagnosis or not, stress is something you need to put the kibosh on. Here are a few things you can do to get started:

1. Take a deep breath. Carve out time for meditation, deep breathing, yoga or tai chi, crank up some tunes or go for a short walk. Whatever activity you find calming, find the time to do it every day for at least 15 minutes.

2. Give up your vices. Overdoing it with alcohol or caffeine can put stress into overdrive, so try to cut back as much as possible. If you smoke, you already know it’s a bad habit. Drop it. We know quitting isn’t easy, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

3. Burn some steam. Give your endorphins a boost with regular physical activity. Exercise relieves mental and physical tension, and anyone who has experienced runner’s high knows what we mean. Not to mention, physically active adults have a lower risk of depression and function better mentally. Try walking, swimming, biking or another form of cardio every day.

4. Consider stress management. If you’re always in a rush, impatient, hostile or constantly stressed, stress management classes might be worth looking into. They’re usually held at community colleges, rehab programs or hospitals, and your healthcare professional can likely recommend one for you.

Source: https://www.goredforwomen.org

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4 Things You Can Do This Week to Be a Happier Person

Create a positive, uplifting playlist to help boost your mood and brighten your spirit.

There’s more to leading a healthy lifestyle than following an eating and exercise plan. Finding happiness in your everyday life can also make a positive impact on your overall health. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, happiness has a positive effect in lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone that is related to health conditions like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases. But if you aren’t feeling that happy on a daily basis, what can be done to change that?

Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times best-selling author of May Cause Miracles, believes personal happiness — or as she refers to it, “miracles” — can be achieved through meditation. In her newest New York Times best-seller, Miracles Now, she writes that meditation helps “because it gives you time to reflect, bring inner peace, and make a true assessment of where you are in your life and where you can go.” Indeed, a study from JAMA Internal Medicine shows that meditation can help reduce stress and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are related to myriad health conditions.

Want to give meditation a try? Here are Bernstein’s tips for how to meditate your way to finding happiness daily, ultimately improving the quality of your life — and your health.

“Make the commitment to think differently about yourself and make happiness the first thing of the day.”

  1. Make your first thought of the day a happy one.“When we look at ourselves in the mirror every morning and think of all the things we want to change, that’s a choice we make,” says Bernstein. “Make the commitment to think differently about yourself and make happiness the first thing of the day.” She recommends listening to music to begin your morning instead of watching TV. Create a positive, uplifting playlist to help boost your mood and brighten your spirit. If you have a few minutes, sit still and meditate while listening to a song or two.
  2. Snap out of a negative mindset. Plagued by undesirable or destructive thoughts about yourself or others? Bernstein recommends employing her “Snap Out of It” meditation technique, in which you wear a rubber band on your wrist, and whenever you start to think negative thoughts about yourself or towards another person, flick the rubber band against your arm. This will literally help you “snap” out of the negative thoughts.
  1. Unleash your inner child. Whenever you feel stressed about your responsibilities and commitments, unplug from the world, shut off your computer and phone, and tap into your inner child. When we become more childlike, we grow our capacity for curiosity and creativity. Bernstein recommends taking a dream break during the day, in which you sit alone and spend five to 10 minutes thinking your way into a cool experience you’d always hoped to have. “Open up to silliness and having more fun. That childlike energy brings us a much more positive perspective and releases tension,” Bernstein says.
  2. Sleep to restore your mind. Sleep is essential to optimal health, but people often forget that it is also a spiritual practice that benefits us mentally and emotionally. Lacking essential shut-eye is another way we block happiness from our lives. To help you get a restful night of sleep, Bernstein recommends using this simple Kundalini breathing technique: Sit up straight on your bed and breathe in using a U breath (Pucker your mouth as if you were holding a quarter between your lips.). Breathe in and exhale through your nose. Continue this cycle of breath for one minute.

Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com/

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Five Choices to Help You Stay Healthy

This is a summary of five major choices that you can make to help stay healthy. The main benefit of these lifestyle choices is that in the future you are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver problems, lung problems, and certain cancers.

 

You should not smoke

If you smoke, stopping smoking is often the single most effective thing that you can do to reduce your risk of future illness. The risk to health falls rapidly as soon as you stop smoking (but takes a few years before the increased risk reduces completely). If you find it hard to stop smoking, then see your practice nurse for help. Medication may be advised to help you to stop.

Do some regular physical activity

Physical activity that gets you mildly out of breath and a little sweaty is fine – for example, jogging, heavy gardening, swimming, cycling, etc. A brisk walk each day is what many people do – and that is fine. However, it is thought that the more vigorous the activity, the better. To gain most benefit, you should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Two shorter bursts are thought to be just as good – for example, two 15-minute bouts of activity at different times in a day.

Eat a healthy diet

Briefly, a healthy diet means:

  • AT LEAST five portions, or ideally 7-9 portions, of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • A THIRD OF MOST MEALS should be starch-based foods (such as cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice, pasta), plus fruit and vegetables.
  • NOT MUCH fatty food, such as fatty meats, cheeses, full-cream milk, fried food, butter, etc. Use low-fat, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated spreads.
  • INCLUDE 2-3 portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be ‘oily’ (such as herring, mackerel, sardines, kippers, pilchards, salmon, or fresh tuna).
  • If you eat meat it is best to eat lean meat, or poultry such as chicken.
  • If you do fry, choose a vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive.
  • Try not to add salt to food, and limit foods which are salty.

Try to lose weight if you are overweight or obese

You don’t need to get to a perfect weight. If you areoverweight you can gain great health benefits by losing 5-10% of your weight. This is often about 5-10 kg. (10 kg is about one and a half stone.)

Don’t drink too much alcohol

Keep an eye on the amount of alcohol you drink. Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week, no more than four units in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week. Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, no more than three units in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week. Pregnant women should not drink at all. One unit is in about half a pint of normal strength beer, or two thirds of a small glass of wine, or one small pub measure of spirits.

See your practice nurse if you want further advice or help on any of the above. Also, there are more detailed leaflets on each of the topics listed above. There is also another separate leaflet called Preventing cardiovascular diseases, which is more detailed.

 

Source: http://www.patient.co.uk/

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Eight tips for healthy eating

 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. Just follow these eight tips to get started.

The key to a healthy diet is to do the following:

  • Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight. It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

Get started

These practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices:

Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.

Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

Eat more fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

For a healthier choice, use just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, sugary breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits and pastries, which contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

Eat less salt

Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Younger children should have even less.

Get active and be a healthy weight

Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health. Check whether you’re a healthy weight by using our Healthy weight calculator.

Most adults need to lose weight, and need to eat fewer calories to do this. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Don’t forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down can help you to control your weight.

Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight. Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking. Being physically active may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. For more ideas, see Get active your way.

After getting active, remember not to reward yourself with a treat that is high in energy. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories, but still filling.

If you’re underweight, see our page on underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

Don’t get thirsty

We need to drink about 1.6 to 2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices.

Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth. Even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so try to limit how much you drink to no more than one glass (about 150ml) of fruit juice each day.

When the weather is warm, or when we get active, we may need more fluids.

Don’t skip breakfast

Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. A wholegrain, lower-sugar cereal with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.

More information

  • To help you get the right balance of the four main food groups, take a look at the eatwell plate. To maintain a healthy diet, the eatwell plate shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. It’s important to have only small amounts of foods high in fat and/or sugar.
  • Learn how to have a balanced diet, and read about the energy contained in food in our page on understanding calories.
  • Download Losing weight: Getting started, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.

 

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5 Things You Should Always Keep From Your Partner

Do you tell each other everything? Wrong, says Kathy Lette, as she gives her (tongue-in-cheek) guide to the secrets essential for cohabitation harmony with your partner…

‘Love prepares you for marriage the way that needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting. Nobody ever said marriage was going to be easy. But one thing’s for sure. Honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to your partner. Psychologists encourage couples to tell each other everything…who did they train under, Dr Seuss? I’m not encouraging you to lie – it’s more a case of selective honesty. Here are the 5 things you should always keep from your partner…

1. Shoes…as in cost of. One of the biggest differences between the sexes is that men only need one pair of shoes for the year, and maybe four for their entire life. They don’t understand it’s genetically impossible for a woman to walk past a shoe sale and not buy something irrational and strappy that gladdens the heart. If new shoes aren’t spirited upstairs immediately, your partner will ask how much money you spent – a question to be stepped around as carefully as a dozing anaconda.

2. Scrapes…as in along the side of the car. Every man thinks he’s an excellent driver. When a bloke gets a noteunder his windscreen saying ‘parking fine’, he presumes it’s a complimentary comment on his driving skills. He also secretly thinks every woman is bad behind the wheel. Even if another driver has dented the bumper he will still assume it’s your fault. But if you do scrape the car, just act innocent to avoid your partner exceeding the recommended daily allowance of Smug Gloating.

3. Camping phobia…one of life’s great mysteries is why people are divided into those who like the outdoors and those who like the indoors, and why they invariably end up married to each other. I foolishly confessed to my first husband how much I hated camping and he then spent every holiday trying to convert me. If you’re like me, make up some life-threatening allergies – to flies, flowers, frog spawn. Otherwise, a couple of nights under canvas and you’ll soon discover that your marital union is so solid because you have so much in common…namely mutual contempt and acrimony.

4. Skills…you’d rather not have. My father Mervyn worked in optic fibre. We nicknamed him Optic Merv. He trained his four daughters to fix fuses, mix cement and put up wallpaper. As I don’t fancy spending a life in overalls, my only attempt at DIY resulted in a very embarrassing call to emergency services after I trapped myself in a flat-pack wardrobe I was assembling.

5. Allergy…to his old mate. My husband has a friend who went straight from puberty to adultery. His marriage vows clearly read ‘to love, honour and betray’. Now on his third divorce, he’s taken to dropping round for a nightcap. Being honest about your loathing will only bring out your partner’s loyalty. Much better that you pretend to like his pal a little too much and let the ‘green-eyed monster’ do the rest. Yes, the secret of a happy marriage is to keep most things secret.

Source: http://www.womanandhome.com/

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12 Powerful Photos That Illustrate What It’s Like to Suffer From Anxiety

In her series “My Anxious Heart,” photographer Katie Joy Crawford shares her battle with general anxiety disorder in the hope that her experience will help others identify and heal their own suffering. “The physical ramifications of the disorder, such as a racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath and lightheadedness, frequently go unnoticed or are misinterpreted by those who have never suffered from anxiety,” she wrote on her website.

The photos, which are complemented by captions, show the constant presence of the disorder in her daily life. “It’s not always terrifying, it’s not always strong and it’s not always intense, but it’s always close by,” Crawford told The Huffington Post.

They depict varying stages of anxiety, from losing focus to feeling suffocated despite seeing the rise and fall of her chest. While she understands that not everyone has the same experience with the disorder, she hopes that the photos can serve as a reference for those who need them.

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“Through this personal journey, I have grown and found that depicting my fears has become therapeutic, as well as a gateway for others to express their oppression and being their own healing process,” she wrote on her site. Check out the powerful images below.

1.

a glass of water isn’t heavy. it’s almost mindless when you have to pick one up. but what if you couldn’t empty it or set it down? what if you had to support its weight for days … months … years? the weight doesn’t change, but the burden does. at a certain point, you can’t remember how light it used to seem. sometimes it takes everything in you to pretend it isn’t there. and sometimes, you just have to let it fall.

2.

my head is filling with helium. focus is fading. such a small decision to make. such an easy question to answer. my mind isn’t letting me. it’s like a thousands circuits are all crossing at once.

3.

i was scared of sleeping. i felt the most raw panic in complete darkness. actually, complete darkness wasn’t scary. it was that little bit of light that would cast a shadow — a terrifying shadow.

4.

they keep telling me to breathe. i can feel my chest moving up and down. up and down. up and down. but why does it feel like i’m suffocating? i hold my hand under my nose, making sure there is air. i still can’t breathe.

5.

numb feeling. how oxymoronic. how fitting. can you actually feel numb? or is it the inability to feel? am i so used to being numb that i’ve equated it to an actual feeling?

6.

a captive of my own mind. the instigator of my own thoughts. the more i think, the worse it gets. the less i think, the worse it gets. breathe. just breathe. drift. it’ll ease soon.

7.

it’s strange — in the pit of your stomach. it’s like when you’re swimming and you want to put your feet down but the water is deeper than you thought. you can’t touch the bottom and your heart skips a beat.

8.

cuts so deep it’s like they’re never going to heal. pain so real, it’s almost unbearable. i’ve become this … this cut, this wound. all i know is this same pain; sharp breath, empty eyes, shaky hands. if it’s so painful, why let it continue? unless … maybe it’s all that you know.

9.

i’m afraid to live and i’m afraid to die. what a way to exist.

10.

no matter how much i resist, it’ll always be right here desperate to hold me, cover me, break down with me. each day i fight it, “you’re not good for me and you never will be”. but there it is waiting for me when i wake up and eager to hold me as i sleep. it takes my breath away. it leaves me speechless.

11.

you were created for me and by me. you were created for my seclusion. you were created by venomous defense. you are made of fear and lies. fear of unrequited promises and losing trust so seldom given. you’ve been forming my entire life. stronger and stronger.

12.

depression is when you can’t feel at all. anxiety is when you feel too much. having both is a constant war within your own mind. having both means never winning.

 

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/

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Simple Natural Health Tips Infographic

Below is a fantastic infographic and article from Dr. Mercola for staying healthy naturally.

Stay Healthy from Head to Toe with These Natural Health Tips
The state of health of many people today is quite alarming. According to statistics, two-thirds of American adults are overweight, while over a quarter of adults now fall into the obese category. Type 2 diabetes is prevalent, with one in four Americans now diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses almost doubled. Life expectancy has decreased, while infant mortality has increased. Illnesses once considered rare – like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease – are now common. Some are even approaching epidemic levels.

But here’s something that’s even more disturbing: Americans spend twice as much on health care per capita than any other country in the world, but rank last among industrialized countries in terms of quality of care.

We spend more money to stay healthy, but we maintain a poor state of health. Why is this happening?

It is time for you to take matters into your own hands, so you can start moving up the ladder of optimal health.

You Are Being Brainwashed by the Conventional Health Paradigm
If you have been reading Mercola.com for some time now, then you know that the current health paradigm is fundamentally flawed.

Here’s one example: Americans were estimated to spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs in 2013 alone. But these prescription and over-the-counter drugs are now actually a leading cause of death in the country, resulting in more deaths than motor vehicle accidents!
The sad fact is that many people have been led to believe that being optimally healthy depends exclusively on the quality of drugs and medical procedures that you receive – and how much you spend for them.

But keep in mind that your health is YOUR responsibility. You are the only person who can make the lifestyle decisions that contribute to your wellbeing. It is up to you to take the steps to preserve your health and promote your wellness.

Remember, your body is designed to be healthy – and once you provide it with the tools and the essentials for self-healing and preservation, then you won’t have to resort to medical intervention.

Natural Health Tips to Help You Get Moving Toward Optimal Health
When it comes to achieving or maintaining optimal health, many people are usually concerned about their heart, eyes, bones, and brain. And no wonder – these are some of the most important and prominent parts of the body that need extra care and attention.

Taking care of your vital body parts is fairly simple – all you need to do is to make a few tweaks to your everyday habits.

Dr. Mercola has created a simple but informative Natural Health Tips infographic (below) that will provide you with basic but efficient ways to help keep your most vital body parts in good shape and help them work efficiently.

Through this Mercola infographic, you will learn:

Easy techniques to ensure that your digestive system – your stomach and intestines – will run smoothly
How to keep your skin healthy and glowing through a healthy diet
Which nutrients and natural herbs work best for relieving joint pain
Heart-healthy tips that will help you stay away from dangerous drugs
When it comes to your own body, it is important for you to take charge. Stop listening to conventional health advice that can put you in danger. Instead, follow these simple tips to take control of your health.

 

Source: http://healthpositiveinfo.com/

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Natural Muscle Relaxers and Soothers

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Dear Pharmacist,

I went on a hike that was way too steep and long. My muscles don’t recover quite as fast as when I was younger.  What can I do or take?  –H.N., Boulder, Colorado

Answer: If it were me, I’d take a hot bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils. The most important muscle relaxers include cypress, wintergreen, rosemary or basil. In fact, if you plan on working out hard, just rub a few drops of the oil into your muscles. If you feel the need, you could always ask your doctor if an over-the-counter pain reliever is okay for you. Even though they are sold without prescription, they have interactions, they affect the stomach or liver, and they have cautions so I’m not sure what is right for you.

Here’s the thing though, most people suffer with chronic muscle soreness, they don’t just overdo it from a hike or a horseback ride.  If your muscles hurt all the time, or feel weak, I suggest you look in your medicine cabinet! Over 300 medications rob your body of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and that can lead to muscle weakness, spasms, leg cramps, charley horses and other problems. Cholesterol drugs and blood pressure pills are the most infamous culprits, but it can also happen with diuretics, estrogen hormones, steroids and antibiotics. I wrote the book on this topic of nutrient depletion, so please refer to your copy of Drug Muggers for more on that. Let’s get back to acute muscle pain now.
The three most popular pain relieving medications are acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Natural anti-inflammatories won’t work quite as fast but they deserve honorable mention because they have other incredible health benefits. For example, boswellia,curcurmin and bromelain are known to have natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

Moist Heat Therapy Pads:  These non-medicated, odorless pads are sold by various companies and some of them are even air-activated so they get kind of toasty on your skin, very similar to the moist heat of a shower.  They help ease muscle/joint aches or pain associated with PMS, overexertion and strains for up to eight hours.

Menthol medicated patches and creams:  This creates a unique cooling sensation on the skin, but it doesn’t support muscle health or heal the problem.

MSM creams, lotion and supplements- There’s debate about whether this goes into the skin or not, but I think it does. In fact, many people report benefits from these products, especially with flexibility, muscle cramps, spasms, minor joint pain and knee pain. MSM is also available in supplement form.

Capsaicin: It’s the active ingredient in chili pepper and you can buy it at pharmacies nationwide. I suggest the patches or roll-on for ease but you can use a lotion (just wash your hands).  These work fabulously for me, especially around my tight traps and you get even better results with repeated applications.

Malic acid and magnesium: These are two supplements that I consider a one-two punch for muscle pain. They help with anxiety and muscle tenderness.

Muscle spasms, strains and cramps are something most all of you will experience in your life at some point or another. They’re usually easy to avoid unless you are very athletic or you have an autoimmune disorder. You may not even know if you have one, but lots of people with neuropathy and demyelination (which can trigger the spasms, strains and cramps) stem from undiagnosed autoimmune disorders. You can learn more about that Click Here
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