Is everyone around you coming down with colds and flu? And those nasty respiratory infections that linger so much longer than anyone expects? That’s February. A volatile month, a gauntlet we run to make it to spring. Whether you’ve got kids in school, like little Petri dishes scooting around, or you’re hopping on an airplane, or shoulder to shoulder on the subway, unless you live in a bubble, you are vulnerable.
What can you do to prevent colds and flu?
This hypothesis, which has been around since the 1940's, was such a game changer in the medical community at the time, that a low-fat, low-cholesterol, and high carbohydrate diet became gospel for preventing and treating high cholesterol and heart disease. But there are many flaws with the diet-heart hypothesis. According to the president, Sylvan Lee Weinberg, of the American College of Cardiology, these recommendations may have lead to the unintended consequences of obesity, lipid abnormalities, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (1).
Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are not the enemies
I'll never forget sitting in a nutrition lecture when I was in culinary school and my teacher told us she reversed her high cholesterol by eating 9 eggs a day! How could that be since eggs are high in cholesterol and saturated fats? In fact, research has shown that egg consumption is not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality in the general population (2). Many studies have emerged since the diet-heart hypothesis that indicate dietary cholesterol has little impact on blood cholesterol levels. About 25% of the population, known as "hyper-responders", show a slight increase in their blood cholesterol levels in response to dietary cholesterol, but even in this group their blood cholesterol levels are not clinically significant.
Get an overview of vegan statistics from around the world. See why so many people are going vegan — from athletes to celebrities to everyday people. The rise of plant-based diets is here to stay.
Diets that limit or exclude meat, dairy products, and eggs used to be on the fringe and were seen as fads. Identifying as vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based was often viewed as weird or extreme — more the domain of hippies and activists than of large numbers of everyday people.
Until recently, references to vegan eating in the mainstream media were often negative. And meat-free food options weren’t universally available or appetizing. But now, all that is changing.
Much of the world is trending towards plant-based eating — and this global shift could be here to stay.
Millennials are central drivers of this worldwide shift away from consuming animal products. But the plant-based movement is bigger than any one generation. Everyone from celebrities to athletes to entire companies including Google and countries as big as China are supporting the movement to eat more plant-based foods.
Plant-based eating may not be entirely mainstream yet. But it’s becoming more accepted every day. And this trend is having far-reaching impacts.
Vegan Statistics: Incredible Signs the Global Demand for Plant-Based Foods Is Rising
First of all, according to a forecast report by restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman in New York, “plant-based” will be the food trend of 2018. The report also anticipates that plant-based foods will become the new organic.
In addition, Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, predicts that plant-based foods will continue to grow and … this trend is “here to stay.”
From time to time we need to address the concept of stress management within us. It is not a one time strategy you apply, its an ongoing process you need to keep track of. It is important that you should have an overall plan for managing your stress and not allow your stress levels to rise high before you start handling them.
I feel the need to talk about the avaliable recourses for handling most of the stressful situation's . The smart thing is to combat our own stressful personal scenarios with the recourses available to us.
Most of the time we remain abreast our stressful situation when we keep ourselves on a higher level of awareness and conciousness. It is only when you deal with stress in less than healthy ways that you compound the negative impacts of stress on your health.
It can be that your responses to stress make the challenges you feel, more challenging .
Yet many a time we realise that despite all our efforts stress is throwing us off balance.
We need to realise that life does not always turn the way we plan and "true balance " is not a continuous state. There could be many factors that throw things off the scheduled path.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Millions of Americans of all ages are affected by sleep problems — many with severe, chronic sleep deprivation. A round-the-clock, activity-driven society has meant that many individuals habitually defer sleep to get other things done. "I'll catch up later" is, however, easier said than done. Recent research indicates that pervasive sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health problems than just a dull, clouded feeling the next morning — including obesity, high blood pressure and diminished resistance to infections. While there is substantial awareness about the need for proper nutrition and exercise, many people tend to shrug off lack of sleep as not being of much consequence, and, as a result, go through life with both mind and body always performing at less than optimal levels.
The Ayurvedic Perspective
According to The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians, sleep is one of the supporting pillars of life. Along with diet, sleep is critical to good health and well-being. Quality sleep acts as a rejuvenator of mind and body, enabling us to function at peak levels during our waking hours. Even powerful medicine is of little use if the fundamental pillars of life are not strong and solid.
Sleep is important because it enhances ojas — considered in ayurveda to be the master coordinator between mind, body and the inner self. Ojas is the finest product of digestion, the main life-supporting force within the body. It acts like a shock absorber, helping to insulate the mind from day-to-day stress and enhancing the body’s innate immune systems.
This week, I found myself really trying to find the light in the cracks.
That’s not always an easy thing to do, especially if you focus your attention on the blame game coming out of Washington right now with regards to the government shutdown. I mean, really? Who cares? Just fix it.
To me, though, there was a lot of light to be seen this week. I saw the light shine through in the women’s marches that were held around the world on Saturday, and which continue today. People are using their voices to stand up for their rights, and for those of others, and that’s a powerful thing.
I also saw the light this week coming from voices like Olympian Michael Phelps, who bravely opened up to CNN’s David Axelrod about his battle with depression and thoughts of suicide. That sort of honesty and truth will hopefully help many people who are suffering from the same thing know that they are not alone.I also saw the light this week in the news about our president taking a test to assess his cognitive health. I was especially pleased that his doctor spoke about the test and even directed people to take it.
If an epidemic is defined as a disease that affects whole populations without having a medical cure, then the epidemic of modern life is stress. Itself not a disease, stress instead leads to a breakdown in the body's internal balance, or homeostasis, and from that point onward, if the stress isn't relieved, damage occurs from within. Ironically, most modern people in a developed country do not experience acute stress, the kind that triggers a full-blown fight-or-flight response. There is no battlefront, civil war, rampant violent crime, or struggle over food and water to contend with.
Our epidemic is silent and hidden, in the form of low-level chronic stress. The natural purpose of the body's stress response is to trigger heightened alertness and energy for a short period, a matter of minutes or at most an hour, when fighting or fleeing is a matter of survival. When stress becomes chronic, a "normal" way of life that people believe they have adapted to, stress hormones become a drip-drip in the background of the physiology, and over time, three stages of damage begin to appear:
With the many obstacles we face on a daily basis, it is easy to fall victim to negativity and fear. The level of possible difficulty we may need to face in life knows no limit. Not assuming the worst case scenario can be difficult.
There are two major reasons for this. First, it is the job of the left-logic side of the brain to assess all possible outcomes in an effort to prepare us and protect us against what is to come. Secondly, it is a chance for our pain bodies to feed.
While watching this process in myself, I noticed that my mind brought several different negative outcomes and inspired fear and dread when I was faced with even simple changes and obstacles. I had to deliberately change the course of things if I wanted to be solution oriented.
As people we end up stewing over possible negative outcomes before seeing that the situation is working itself out. For the most part, things work out in the best possible way. Yet we will fall prey to this mechanism almost every time we are faced with change.
Beth Kirby is a photographer, cookbook writer, entrepreneur, and the creator of Local Milk, her food, travel, and lifestyle blog. We are endlessly amazed by Beth’s ability to present her work with both authenticity and style, and we were completely blown away by each one of her thoughtful and inspiring answers in this interview. It’s a true gem.
In this dialogue, Beth tells us about self-care as the foundation for happiness, having a schedule as a way to avoid stress, why she doesn’t believe in the idea of work-life balance, and how her routine has changed since becoming a mother, as well as her newfound love for weight training, the adaptogens and herbs she incorporates into her everyday potions, beauty, motivation, sustenance, and much more. There’s some amazing business advice here, too!
— Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free?
Routine is so very important to me. Routines ensure that time is carved out for the important things in my days & life. I’m super flexible with my routines so there’s no such thing as “failing”, but the closer I adhere to the routine, the more impact I tend to make in my day.
— What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
I actually just wrote a little guide to a slow morning routine that details mine! I usually wake up when my baby wakes up, between 6:30-7:30 AM. The first thing I do every morning is make the bed because I feel this sets the tone for the rest of my day. My husband takes the baby to give me 10 minutes to meditate (I love the Headspace app) and do a few sun salutations to wake my body + mind connection up. After that I brew my morning elixir, a simple lemon, ginger, and turmeric tea, and then I do some journaling while I drink it. After that comes breakfast & a matcha potion, a shower & getting dressed for the day, a quick tidy of my space if I need it, and then I’m down to work! I don’t always do every single thing, but the more of them I hit, the better my morning!
— Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
I’m so exhausted at the end of the day, I don’t usually need much help sleeping! I love making moon mylks with sleep promoting herbs as a little night time luxury. We keep the bedroom a “sleep only” zone with no television or computers, so it’s quite easy to pass out once I’m in my own bed (or whatever bed I happen to be in!)
— How has your routine changed since you had your daughter?
It’s gotten a lot more flexible! If she’s having a bad morning, things like preparing breakfast can take a lot longer or maybe I skip the shower (truth time!), but in a lot of ways, it’s made me more routine because if I don’t have a plan and stick to it, the day can slip away a lot more easily when you have kids. I kinda floated through my days doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted before she was born because I had all the time in the world. Now it’s make hay while the sun shines or forget having any hay! Haha.
Inflammation has always been a medical mystery, but now it has become an enemy of long-term health. On the one hand, when your skin turns red, swollen, and painful after you burn yourself, which triggers acute inflammation, the response is normal and beneficial. Extra red blood cells, immune cells, and anti-oxidants are rushing to the wounded site to heal it. But carried too far, inflammation can be fatal, as when someone is too burned to recover.
Only in the past few decades has it dawned that low-level chronic inflammation, which usually goes completely unnoticed plays a part in many lifestyle disorders such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Chemicals known as inflammation markers can enter the bloodstream in various ways: from the intestinal tract (so-called leaky gut), as a reaction to infection, or through the action of the immune system in other internal ways. The slow drip, drip of inflammatory markers can take years to create major impairment, which means that each person must tailor his lifestyle to counter them.
Diet alone isn’t enough to keep chronic low-level inflammation at bay, but it’s a good start. By adopting an anti-inflammation diet, you aim at two positive results: keeping the micro-organisms in your intestines healthy and flourishing, and thereby preventing the seepage of toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. There is also the indirect benefit that a healthy digestive system sends signals of wellbeing along the vagus nerve to the heart and brain.
When the average person goes to the doctor, shows up at the ER, or enters the hospital, the possibility of controlling what happens next is minimal. We put ourselves in the hands of the medical machine, which in reality rests upon individual people—doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and so on. Human behavior involves lapses and mistakes, and these get magnified in medical care, where misreading a patient’s chart or failing to notice a specific symptom can be a matter of life and death. The riskiness of high-tech medicine like gene therapy and toxic cancer treatments is dramatically increased because there is a wider range of mistakes the more complex any treatment is. To be fair, doctors do their utmost to save patients who would have been left to die a generation ago, but they are successful only a percentage of the time.
Risk and mistakes go together, but the general public has limited knowledge of the disturbing facts:
• Medical errors are estimated to cause up to 440,000 deaths per year in U.S. hospitals alone. It is widely believed that this figure could be grossly inaccurate, because countless mistakes go unreported—death reports offer only the immediate cause, and many doctors band together to protect the reputation of their profession.
• The total direct expense of “adverse events,” as medical mistakes are known, is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
• Indirect expenses such as lost economic productivity from premature death and unnecessary illness exceeds $1 trillion per year.
Statistics barely touch upon the fear involved when any patient thinks about being at the wrong end of a medical mistake. What the patient is all too aware of is the doctor visit that goes by in the blink of an eye. A 2007 analysis of optimal primary-care visits found that they last 16 minutes on average. From 1 to 5 minutes is spent discussing each topic that’s raised. This figure is at the high end of estimates, given that according to other studies, the actual face-to-face time spent with a doctor or other health-care provider comes down to 7 minutes on average. Doctors place the primary blame on increasing demands for them to fill out medical reports and detailed insurance claims. Patients tend to believe that doctors want to cram in as many paying customers as they can, or simply that the patient as a person doesn’t matter very much.
With all the glorious excesses of the holidays behind us—pastries, parties, and New Year’s Eve celebrations, oh my—you might be feeling a bit worn out. Fatigue, brain fog, and a few extra pounds around your middle are all signs that your digestive system could use a little tune-up. No time for a big cleanse? No worries. We’ve got your back—and some easy, age-old Ayurvedic tips to gently purify and strengthen your digestion.
Here are seven of our favorite (and simple!) strategies for restoring and maintaining gut health in 2018:
That time of year is almost here. In a few short weeks, the world will be joining a gym, starting a diet, and setting mind-boggling self-improvement goals.
“This year I’m gonna lose 30 pounds and get in shape.” Or maybe something like, “This is the year I’m going to fit into those old jeans.”
Pretty soon we’ll be bombarded with advertisements to join everything from Gold’s Gym to Jenny Craig. And all those New Year’s Resolutions? The same old, same old plans to make this year THE year that you finally get the body you’ve always wanted?
Kind of exhausting, isn’t it?
Many years ago, my boyfriend (at the time) and I were invited to dinner at the home of his friends. The conversation was good, but no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t enjoy the food on my plate. What struck me about this meal was its emptiness. It was devoid of joy and bland in flavor and vitality.
The couple that had kindly asked us into their home was accustomed to an all-American diet, but a doctor had recently told the husband he needed to make a change. So, the cupboards were stripped of snack foods and the fridge was filled with “health foods,” such as turkey bacon, egg whites, and low-fat cream cheese.
This couple wanted to be healthy, but they didn’t know how to change their habits. So, they chose poor substitutes for the foods they were accustomed to eating, and they assumed that eating healthy foods meant that they would forever be relegated to dull meals. There was no joy in the food because they felt no joy in this new way of eating.
"People are not born once and for all on the day their mother puts them on to the Earth, but...time and again, life forces them to enter a new world on their own." Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lying in a hospital bed on the maternity floor in North Central Bronx Hospital, I received a text from a new mom friend I recently met. She wanted to know if "my baby girl was born yet." I replied she "arrived three days prior and, with uncontrolled tears, I texted that I had a c-section." She replied, "Congratulations! Welcome to the C-club." My kneejerk reaction was that this was not a club I wanted to join. I was not supposed to be the 1 in 4 women who have c-sections every year.
"I was not supposed to be the 1 in 4."
When I became pregnant back in January, my plan was to have a homebirth. I was a homebirth. When I was growing up, my mother shared wonderful stories about my birth. You could say home-birthing was in my cellular memory. It was who I was, and aligned with how I tried to live my life: naturally. I envisioned bringing our baby into the world in the comfort of our new home, with little to no medical intervention.
Long delays and canceled flights...traffic jams...inclement weather...crowds.....all these factors and more can make traveling during the holiday season a nightmare for many people. Yet, getting together with friends and family is a big part of what makes the season so special.
It's possible to travel stress-free. Once you understand what imbalances are caused by travel, you can take steps to protect yourself and prevent the imbalances from developing.
The answer is simple: work on positive perceptions!
Positive perceptions of the mind enhance health by engaging immune functions, while inhibition of immune activities by negative perceptions can precipitate dis-ease. Those negative perceptions can also create debilitating, chronic psychological stress that has a profound and negative impact on gene function.
The Holidays are a time to gather with friends and family and give thanks for the many blessings in your life. However, this can also be a stressful time. Family knows exactly how to push your buttons, which doesn’t always bring out your best self. There are a million and one ways that this time of year can be challenging; however, there are just as many ways that it can be a magical time, filled with fun and laughter.
Here are my top four tips for getting the most out of this season. These simple exercises will help you remain cheery and upbeat, no matter what chaos there is around you.
Eat Slowly, Connect to Your Soul Purpose
It may seem surprising, but you really can eat your way to a deliciously enlightened life! When we think of a spiritual path, we often envision meditation, yoga, fasting, chanting, or prayer. We don’t usually consider our everyday meals as a potential gateway to mystical transformation. Yet, the food you eat and your approach to it can be one of the most powerful pathways to spiritual renewal.