We down about 97 pounds of sugar per year–about 30 teaspoons per day.  Most of that is from foods in which sugar is added, as opposed to fruits or milk, in which it occurs naturaly.  sugar has its place in a healthy diet, but too much can edge out more nutritious foods, so the USDA recommends capping added sugar at 32 grams, or 8 teaspoons a day.


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A water bottle, that is.  The old eight-cups-a-day rule no longer has merit.  We get plenty of H2O from other sources, including fruits, vegetebales, coffee, and tea.  But sipping at least a few glasses of water dailey can deliver some serious health benefits, including weight loss. Thirst can mask as hunger, so a lot of times we eat when really our bodies just need water.  To tell the difference, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes.  If your stomach is still grumbling, have a snack.  If not, you were probably just dehydrated.


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Exercise immediately improves your ability to learn.

Fact:

It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. In a study at the University of Muenster in Germany, participants who ran sprints learned new words 20 percent faster than those who did nothing. Other research has tied physical activity to improve attention and memory as well.

Exercise is the best thing we can do to ready our brain to learn,” says John J. Ratey, M.D., author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. “We know that the cells become more malleable and ready to make connections. And the learner is more focused, calm, and motivated—[she’s] ready to learn.”

Physical activity has one other major perk too: It increases production of the stem cells that develop new brain cells.

Ratey has found that both aerobic activities and strength training have benefits to the brain, but that more complicated forms of exercise—like tennis and soccer—provide the biggest boost. “You’re taxing more parts of the brain in those activities, which helps it grow,” he explains.


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What is Massage?

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

So What Is It Exactly?
Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies are defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body. Specifically:

Massage: The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques.

Bodywork: Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.

Somatic: Meaning “of the body.” Many times this term is used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach as distinguished from a physiology-only or environmental perspective.

There are more than 250 variations of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies and many practitioners utilize multiple techniques. The application of these techniques may include, but is not limited to, stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, vibration, rocking, friction, and pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body. This may also include non-forceful passive or active movement and/or application of techniques intended to affect the energetic systems of the body. The use of oils, lotions, and powders may also be included to reduce friction on the skin.


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Healthy Snacking

When it comes to snacks, they are not all are created equal. Snacking can actually be helpful to those of us looking to watch our weight or even to lose weight. First, a big factor to consider when attempting to lose weight is hunger management. Nothing can cause us to grab just any old thing we can get our hands on like an out-of-control appetite. Making an effort to be mindful and to plan your day’s food intake is effective and doesn’t take much time.

Second, it depends greatly on what snack you are choosing as to whether or not it will provide satisfaction and good nutrition, no doubt about that. When you snack is important as well. Most people benefit from either a midmorning snack and/or a midafternoon snack. However, most of us have the habit of snacking at night after dinner, and this is the one time that is truly detrimental to our health. Often, we deprive ourselves all day long and then feel justified in indulging in late-night treats.

Sorry, but ingesting hundreds of calories after eating your main meal for the day is self-sabotaging behavior. The problem is that you are consuming just before you are about to sleep, which lowers your metabolism causing all those unnecessary calories to be stored as fat. That is only going to result in packing on the pounds. Instead, keep your hunger at bay and choose healthy, delicious snacks that you consume earlier in the day while your metabolism is revved. That will help tremendously.

Choose snacks high in protein and fiber. Some especially tasty and satisfying choices, 100 calories or less (which is optimal), would be six-12 raw or roasted almonds or cashews, four-eight walnut halves (divide them up and put the rest away), half a cup of 1 percent cottage cheese, a cup of beef vegetable soup or a small low-fat yogurt. The bottom line is to use your common sense, be smart and think ahead of your hunger and decide to be proactive about the choices you make.

When it comes to health and fitness, unfortunately no one can do it for us. Begin tonight to plan your day’s intake of food and pack some healthy snacks to ward off temptation at work. This is doable and easy, and with just a little effort on your part, you will start to see those unwanted pounds falling away.

Take charge and be proactive and remember that a small treat of your choice is possible a couple of times a week. Even a single piece of dark chocolate every night is OK, but only when the rest of your day has been well-managed. Deprivation will only lead to a binge that will undo all your work.


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