Back-to-school healthy eating: starting out right, staying the course

Back-to-school healthy eating: starting out right, staying the course

With the beginning of another school year comes the inevitable question for every parent whose child has dietary restrictions, or whose kid’s school doesn’t have a cafeteria: what should I pack for lunch? In the first weeks of school this may not be much of an issue: you try the old standbys, only to eventually become bored with them. Maybe this year you want to make more of an effort to pack healthy (healthier) lunches. Maybe you are weaning your kids off packaged processed convenience foods that you know are not healthy for them.

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Sick Building Syndrome: a hidden cause of stress at your workplace?

Sick Building Syndrome: a hidden cause of stress at your workplace?

Guest post by Toby Dean

A workplace involves a myriad of stressors, and each individual in the same office environment copes with the same stress differently. Apart from stress coming from human beings and situations, there could be unexplained health issues at the workplace that could be creating a problem in your life. This is especially likely if you have shifted to a new office building, have been transferred to a different place, or changed your job. If you have experienced sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, runny nose or blocked sinuses, itchy eyes and skin, etc. as soon as you enter your office building, and if these symptoms subside on their own when you step out of the building, then you are suffering from Sick Building Syndrome. 

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How often Should I Clean That?

How often Should I Clean That?

Guest post by Kat Buckley

Some of the basic household tasks we will generally get done but other places in the home can go months or even years without being cleaned. This infographic from HappyCleans looks at how often you need to get all the different items around the house cleaned. For example, the fan vents are one area of the house that rarely get cleaned. The problem is that if they’re left too long dust, pollen, and other allergens will end up clogging them, and in some cases, can cause particles to be released into your home from supply registers.

If you have ceiling fans, they are another area of the home that can get really dusty and these can be quickly dusted with a pillowcase. Of course, if they’re high up you need to be extremely careful not to injure yourself. Using a duster with a long handle that is made for such hard-to-reach areas is usually the best way to tackle the problem.

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Decluttering for your home and health - made easy

Decluttering for your home and health - made easy

Blog post by Green and Prosperous, with infographic by EZ Living Interiors

Did you know that there are a lot more benefits to decluttering your home than just aesthetics?

Spring has officially been here since March 20th, even if the weather may not be cooperating where you live. Whether you’re still waiting for the winter thaw or enjoying the sunny days, you can do your part to usher in the spring by decluttering your home. Spring cleaning and decluttering has a long and storied history, but the 21st century benefits to this ancient ritual are many. In short, spring cleaning is good not only for the aesthetic improvement it brings to your living space; it also has several mental and physical health benefits. Our ancestors were well aware of this fact.

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Beyond the Hype: The Science behind developing healthy eating habits

Beyond the Hype: The Science behind developing healthy eating habits

Americans’ thinking about food has shifted dramatically over the past 2 decades. With major changes to the food industry (think the introduction of GMOs, the mainstreaming of organic foods, the popularity of celebrity chefs, and the growing number of documentaries about our eating habits – e.g. “Super Size Me”, and the problems with the industrial food complex), a growing number of people now think that eating healthy is important.

However, although many of us want to eat healthy, or think that we are eating healthy, the evidence says otherwise. In fact, most Americans do not get the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables and consume waaaay more sugar and saturated fats than they should...

What if you’ve been trying to eat healthier but can’t seem to break your unhealthy food habits? What if you eat pretty healthy already but want to make some small improvements to your diet? What if you know someone who has a very unhealthy diet and wants to improve his or her eating habits?

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How Good Stress Can Help You Become More Resilient in Life

How Good Stress Can Help You Become More Resilient in Life

Let’s face it, stress is a major part of life in the world today, especially if you are working (inside or outside the home), have children, or live in an urban environment.  As a divorced mom of 2 kids with a full-time job, consulting work, and running my business, www.greenandprosperous.com, I manage a fair amount of stress on a regular basis. During the course of my regular workweek, as a professor, I also see – and try to help mitigate – the stress my students face. With so many responsibilities to handle, and so many of them juggling long commutes, internships, volunteering, financial problems, or managing families (since most students these days are non-traditional) in addition to going to school full-time, I sometimes wonder how my students deal with it all, at such young ages. In fact, many of them do not deal well with stress, and a select few end up dropping or failing out of their programs. At worst, they become dependent on medication to manage their anxiety, or suicidal.

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6 Decadent chocolates worth the splurge

6 Decadent chocolates worth the splurge

Valentine’s Day may be over, but our love affair with chocolate continues. From its MesoAmerican origins to its migration eastward into the fashionable salons of the European aristocracy, chocolate has captivated our imaginations. Despite its sometimes-dark history and questionable health effects (some sacrificial victims of the Mayans and Aztecs were forced to drink chocolate mixed with blood, and wealthy European elites undermined the supposed health effects of chocolate by (over)processing it with alkaline salts, milk, and sugar), the global market for chocolate continues to expand. And although some of the chocolate that makes its way into retail stores in has been harvested by modern-day child slave labor in cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the expansion of fair-trade, ethically sourced, and slave-free varieties of chocolate has meant that we can continue to enjoy our chocolate pleasures, guilt-free.

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Can seasonal eating keep you from getting the cold or flu?

Can seasonal eating keep you from getting the cold or flu?

The news out there is pretty bad: the flu is worse this year in the US, and the flu vaccine is only up to 30% effective. Strangely (to me), doctors and health care workers are making blanket recommendations that everyone should get the flu shot. As for me, I’ve taken the flu shot exactly once in my lifetime, when I was pregnant with my second child, and only at the insistence of my Chinese medicine doctor (who helped me overcome secondary infertility to achieve a healthy pregnancy at the age of 41). And yet, we rarely get the flu in my household, even when we’ve been exposed to many people who are clearly sick with it. In fact, my 7-year old is the only one in our household who ever gets a cold or flu, and it's always a mild version that she's able to overcome in a day or two.

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Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detoxing: an old remedy for good health?

The idea of detoxing - purging the body of poisons and other harmful substances, to bolster the immune system, eliminate fat and increase energy levels – has been around since at least the early 1900s. These days, it is more popular than ever, thanks to a gaggle of celebrity endorsements of popular diets. A quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books, cleansing products, herbs and nutritional supplements to help you cleanse your way to good health.

Before having kids, I used to detox at least a couple of times a year. I’d usually fast using water, broths, and freshly-juiced fruits, alongside detoxing powders or tablets containing ingredients like psyllium husks, which stimulate the body’s elimination system. Like others, I felt better and more energized immediately afterwards. Years later, I wonder if all that detoxing might have done more harm than good. For years I suffered off and on from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and still occasionally have episodes if I don’t watch my diet carefully.

Doctors and many nutritionists have amply warned that long-term or frequent detoxing diets can harm the body and cause sustained health problems. People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders, or who are pregnant or nursing should not detox at all. (Most detoxes involve severely restricting the diet to liquids or purees for days or weeks at a time). However, a vocal minority of medical professionals claim that detoxing, done sensibly and in moderation, can enhance the body’s natural abilities to rid itself of harmful substances.

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Obesity is on the rise: what you need to know

Obesity is on the rise: what you need to know

Guest post by Renew  Bariatrics

Obesity in the United Kingdom has been growing at an increasing rate in the past 30 years. Since 1990, obesity has tripled to all-time highs, and if the rates continue at this rate, obesity will affect 11 million adults by 2030. Obesity has serious health consequences including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, hypertension, and much more.  

In 2017 nearly 1/4 of adults are obese. In total, 62% of adults are classified as overweight. With 26% of British women classified as obese. Learn more by viewing this infographic provided by Renew Bariatrics on United Kingdom obesity. 

(Much of this information also applies to the US, where obesity rates are at an all-time high, despite some leveling off in a few states. After you view the infographic, take a look at these statistics for more information about obesity in the US).

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Organic vs. Non-GMO Labels

Organic vs. Non-GMO Labels

Guest post by PacMoore

There was a time fairly recently where you were lucky if food labels listed the ingredients. In keeping with the Information Age, however, today there’s a surplus of information on labels in every aisle of the grocery store. Food labels tell you what’s in your food, how many calories it contains, how large a portion is, and so on and so forth. And, as the food industry and consumers continue to become more demanding, the amount of information those labels contain is increasing.

For example, more people today are apprehensive about eating non-organic foods or foods prepared with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), so organizations such as the USDA and the Non-GMO Project are labeling foods to help consumers make better-informed decisions. For many people, especially people trying to uphold a vegan diet, food labeling has become an important component of their lifestyles.

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Boosting Your Brain with All-Natural Vitamin Supplements

Boosting Your Brain with All-Natural Vitamin Supplements

guest post by Amy Trotter

Ever been asked how your mental faculties are? Probably not, or at the very least the question was likely posed in a more commonplace way of asking. But let’s take a look at the question just exactly as it is here, and start by weighing the meaning of the word ‘faculties’ in this context.

Merriam-Webster - the world’s premier online dictionary - provides 4 definitions for faculty. Definition 1b applies here, ‘an inherent capability, power, or function’

  • Capability
  • Power
  • Function

Does that sound like you and your brain? If so, great: your mental faculties are going strong. If not, perhaps you’d like to learn more about natural supplements to boost brain power. They do exist, and more than likely they can be found at your local pharmacy or health and wellness store.

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Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

This post is the 3rd and final one in a 3-part series on chronic inflammation. For this post, I asked the opinions of four experts in the fields of medicine, wellness, and holistic healing for their advice on treating chronic inflammation with diet and herbs.

This roundup post is a little different from others you may have seen. In addition to the opinions of experienced professionals, it also refers you to several additional pieces of information – 3 clinical studies and online courses offered by 2 physicians -- that can help you learn more about the causes and health outcomes for chronic inflammation, and treatments that involve making dietary changes to reduce or eliminate it.

Even if you pursue a healthy lifestyle, eating well and exercising regularly, you may still be feeling fatigued, foggy, bloated, or experiencing joint pain or frequent respiratory infections. This roundup post + has something for anyone who may be feeling the effects of chronic inflammation, so read on…

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5 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

5 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

Guest Post by Sarah Cummings

Is your sensitive stomach causing you sleep deprivation problems? Inflammation of the stomach lining can put your body in a state of shock, where lack of sleep will be the least of your worries. Over time it affects the function of other internal organs as well. Furthermore, this process can cause miscommunication issues in the endocrine system, eventually leading to many psychological complications.

To avoid all of these self-induced problems, all you need to do is pay attention to your diet so that every other piece of the puzzle falls into place and creates a healthy YOU. 

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Some unexpected ways that gardening helps fight chronic inflammation

Some unexpected ways that gardening helps fight chronic inflammation

Last week I wrote that switching your home cleaning and personal care supplies to non-toxic varieties is a good way to decrease your chances of developing chronic inflammation. This week’s post discusses another strategy – gardening -- that also helps with prevention, and brings relief from chronic inflammation in ways you might not have realized.

I know what you’re thinking: grow the food that prevents or remedies inflammation, and it will help you make most of the food you eat plant-based. (Mostly plant-based diets have been clinically demonstrated to result in a dramatic decrease in the symptoms, health problems, and end results of chronic inflammation.) Well yes, that is true, and this post will give you some tips on what to grow, along with advice from an expert gardener about how best to grow it.

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