Regular Self-Care Activities Boost Your Mental and Physical Health


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By Karen Weeks

When you commit and devote the time to care for yourself, your body feels better. You radiate health and energy and can operate at your peak physical performance level. But all those self-care activities also benefit your mind. Here is a look at how healthy living boosts your mental health, presented to you below by Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog.

Eat Nutritious Food

A focus on healthy eating gives your body the nutrients and calories needed to thrive. Fill your plate with colorful fruit and vegetables and add a small portion of lean protein, such as salmon, chicken, sirloin, eggs, or turkey. Also, focus on consuming whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Eating these foods keeps your blood sugar steady to prevent mood swings

Don’t forget your snacks! When the afternoon slump kicks in, choose a smoothie, fruit, or a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips or a sugary soda. Then your hunger will be taken care of, and you’ll also get a burst of energy to help you mentally focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Do Exercise You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work when you do an activity you love. Besides keeping your body in shape, research has shown exercise reduces anxiety, alleviates depression, and improves your sense of well-being and self-esteem. Do whatever activity you enjoy, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, or dancing.

Create a Healthy Home Environment

Is your home a relaxing place that you enjoy being in, or does your family argue, complain and make overly critical comments about the house? The fix may be more straightforward than you think. A dirty and cluttered home is unpleasant to look at and impacts your mental health by limiting your ability to focus, increasing your stress levels, and can cause conflict in relationships. Declutter and clean your house to transform your home into a vibrant and fresh space. Open up the windows to let some fresh air in as well. You’ll be surprised what a difference a clean and tidy home makes for you and your family.

If you have items that you want to keep but you simply don’t have room to store in your house, look for storage options outside the home. Storage units are affordable ways to securely stash items (big or small) until you decide what, exactly, you want to do with them. Use websites designed to help you with finding self storage in Los Angeles. With over 130 different storage options in LA, chances are you can find something near your home.

Seek Counseling

If you’re experiencing issues with anxiety or depression, a mental health counselor can help you feel better. The therapist can help you create healthy and productive coping mechanisms and tools to help you manage your emotions.

Don’t let your packed schedule or dread of an office visit turn you off from seeking the help you need. A great and popular new alternative is online therapy. Various telehealth online platforms are available, offering a variety of licensed therapists for you to connect with for assistance. You may even be able to secure a same-day appointment. In addition, telehealth therapists accept most insurance plans, keep out-of-pocket costs manageable, and offer more affordable co-pays than an in-office counselor. 

Take a Trip

Traveling to a new destination takes you out of your routine and immerses you in new sights and experiences. A pleasure trip can reduce your stress and lift your spirits. It can also heal your job burnout caused by working too many hours for a lengthy period. For the ultimate in self-care travel, book a wellness retreat in a location you’ve always wanted to visit.

You probably already noticed how your self-care activities keep you physically healthy. Take steps to declutter your home (and store away anything you want to keep), start exercising, and book a relaxing self-care trip. Now you know the mental health benefits you gain as well.

Saving Money While Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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Karen Weeks does it again with another excellent article, this time tackling the subject of saving money while staying on track with healthy foods. Please be sure to check her out at Elderwellness.net

It’s important to think about how we can manage our spending and save money on healthy food and lifestyle as well. There are many ways we can cut down on the cost of eating healthy, from switching to a more affordable brand of canned food to making more nutritious meals at home.

Eat at Home

There’s no question that eating at home is a more affordable option than eating out. The convenience of being able to prepare and store a large portion of your food at home is one big benefit. 

You’re also likely to find a cheaper price on ingredients. You’ll also have more control over what you’re eating. Not only can you choose exactly what you want to eat, but you can also control portion sizes and food quality. 

Make Meal Prep a Priority

Many people think of meal planning as a way to save money. It is, but it’s also a lifestyle change that helps you save money on healthy food and lifestyle. Meal planning is a great way to cut down on the cost of healthy food

Plan Meals in Advance

Planning your meals in advance is a great way to reduce the cost of healthy food. It allows you to make certain meals at a certain time of the week that cost less. Planning in advance also helps you create healthy habits by making healthy eating a routine

Enjoy Lower Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premiums have risen significantly over the last decade. As people become more aware of the value of a healthy lifestyle, they are looking for ways to improve their health and lower their premiums

Healthy lifestyle habits, including eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity, can make a huge difference in your health. By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can help reduce your chances of developing health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

Take Advantage of Employee Wellness Programs

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. Some companies offer wellness programs that encourage employees to adopt healthy habits, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. 

How to Monetize Your Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. In addition to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you can also monetize your healthy lifestyle. 

Start a Health Blog

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle. Many people are interested in healthy lifestyle blogs. This is especially true of younger people who are looking for ways to improve their health. 

If you have decided to start a health blog, you can monetize it quickly and easily. All you have to do is create a free WordPress website, add a blog feed, and start blogging. You can also monetize your health blog with an affiliate program. 

Open a Store Selling Sports Gear

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and take advantage of employee wellness programs. If you are interested in starting a business that sells sports gear, healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and make a profit.

In starting your own business, be sure to use a logo maker to create an attractive and attention-grabbing branded logo for your products. Creating an eye-catching logo for your brand is simple if you take advantage of a free logo design tool. The right tool offers great templates that you can then customize to make sure it beautifully represents your brand.

Are White Foods Making You Sick?

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If you have any tendency to hit the bread basket at dinner, or you have a penchant for plates of regular pasta or sweet treats like cookies, you are consuming white foods which can have a deleterious impact on your health. Some white foods are actually quite healthy for the most part, such as eggs, cauliflower, onions and turnips. However, white foods which are highly processed and refined wreak havoc on our bodies, and should be eliminated from our diets. Not only do they adversely affect digestion, they cause spikes in blood sugar, diminish the collagen and elastin in our skin, and lead to heart and kidney disease.

Not sure what constitutes the white foods I am referring to? Here’s a list:

Enriched White Flour
White Rice
White Pasta
White Bread
Crackers
Table Sugar
Refined Salt

One of the reasons why the flour which is used in processed foods is usually enriched is because fiber, vitamins and minerals are stripped during the refining process of the grain. In addition, processed grains and table sugar are absorbed very rapidly, causing a sharp increase in insulin release with a corresponding crash, resulting in hunger pangs and cravings, not to mention adversely affecting one’s health over the course of time. In case you didn’t know, the average carbonated soda has 10 to 12 teaspoons of table sugar. According to the American Heart Association, an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar is consumed daily by the average American. Sugar in any form provides very few nutrients, and that is why it is described as providing “empty” calories.

Another white food which could be added to the do-not-eat list is dairy. The dairy industry often uses hormones and antibiotics in raising the cows, which then can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, allergies and digestive issues in humans. I have seen a fair number of patients who dealt with chronic pain and inflammation which abated once they eliminated dairy products from their diets.

I honestly believe that everyone should examine all foods which are currently in the pantry or elsewhere in the kitchen, disposing of any processed foods. Once this purge is completed, it is critical to read nutrition labels when shopping at the grocery store and to avoid purchasing foods which have ingredients on the above list. I discovered that I have a severe intolerance to barley and I also have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Because of this, I have cut gluten out of my diet, which means that I avoid bread, crackers, and pasta which are made with wheat flour or any other glutinous grain. However, this doesn’t mean that gluten free bread products are the answer either, especially because they are also processed foods. I only consume gluten free pastas, breads or cookies a few times per year, and I truly have cravings for healthy foods. For example, when I want a crunchy snack, I opt for a bowl of raw veggies like radishes (my favorite), cucumber, and fresh raw mushrooms, while others might reach for a bag of potato chips. My palate is so conditioned to like clean foods that I actually crave things like radishes, arugula, and lean cuts of turkey and seafood.

If you stick to fresh vegetables, lean meat, and incorporate healthy fats like avocado into your regimen, the fresh flavors will hopefully break you out of your refined food habits and lead you to healthy eating habits.

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5 Healthy Habits Seniors Can Adopt in the New Year

Please check out this excellent article written by Karen Weeks, which covers healthy habits which seniors can adopt in 2021.

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By Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net

A brand new year is ahead of us, making it the perfect time to adopt healthy habits like eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, and spending time with loved ones (whether in-person or virtually). Below, Dr. Stacey Naito offers five senior-friendly habits that can be adopted in the new year — and how seniors can go about incorporating them in their lives.

1. Eat Nutritiously

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seniors need adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, B12, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and potassium in order to lead long and healthy lives. And fortunately, seniors can get all the nutrients they need by consuming plenty of fresh leafy greens, lean meats, beans, and healthy fats like avocados and fish. Supplementation may also be necessary if calcium, B12, B6, or vitamin D levels are low.

 

If you’re looking for some ways to eat better this year, try buying a new cookbook or two, purchasing a grocery delivery service, or visiting your local health foods store to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, healthy grains, and lean proteins. If you’re thinking of paying for a grocery delivery service, some of the best options for produce include Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market, and Farmbox.

2. Exercise Often

Like good nutrition, seniors need plenty of physical activity — including strength training activities, exercises for balance and flexibility, and aerobic activities such as walking, biking, swimming, or dancing. And fortunately, there are several things seniors can do to increase their physical activity in the year ahead:

 

  • Following along to exercise DVDs or online fitness classes.

  • Walking or biking alone or with friends (while practicing social distancing, of course).

  • Parking further away from store entrances when shopping.

  • Purchasing an elliptical machine, exercise bike, or treadmill.

  • Starting and maintaining a garden.

 

If you have a medical condition or you’re experiencing body aches or pains, a physical therapist can help you to select the best exercises for you. Plus, many physical therapists are offering virtual services amidst COVID-19.

3. Socialize With Loved Ones

Socializing is tough in the age of the coronavirus, but it isn’t impossible! With senior-friendly video chat software, online multiplayer games and apps, and safe in-person gatherings (like outdoor activities and walks with loved ones), seniors can safely spend more time with their friends and family members in the new year. Regular socialization keeps seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally well — and reduces their risk of cognitive decline and depression.

4. Keep the Mind Sharp

Speaking of cognitive decline, seniors should also make time for brain games and activities in the new year. Brain games keep the mind young and healthy, fight boredom, and improve overall mental well-being. A few brain training activities for seniors include:

 

  • Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and word finds.

  • Classes on cooking, foreign languages, dance, or music.

  • Arts and crafts like knitting, scrapbooking, and upcycling.

  • Reading, coloring, and drawing.

5. Clean and Declutter

Clutter is harmful for a number of reasons. Not only does it create tripping hazards at home, but excess clutter often triggers anxiety, concentration issues, irritability, and even depression. So, if you’ve been feeling especially negative or depressed as of late, the new year is the perfect time to freshen up your living space by cleaning, decluttering, and letting in as much fresh air as possible. Redfin shares a checklist with some ideas for cleansing your home and creating a happier and healthier living space.

New Year, New You

It’s never too late to adopt healthier habits and take steps to improve your life, and these five tips will help you to tackle everything from changing your diet to eliminating excess clutter at home. No matter your age, the start of a new year is the perfect time to reinvent yourself and improve various areas of your life.

 

Looking for more health tips and advice? Visit Dr. Stacey Naito’s blog at staceynaitoblog.com.

Diet Myths = Diet Lies

I wrote the following article in 2013, and it was published on RXGirl.com 

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Copyright : Nipon Temsakun

MYTH: You should avoid eating fat.

FACT: Despite the fact that fat carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram when compared with carbohydrates and protein, fat takes longer to empty from the stomach and thus keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Fat also adds flavor to foods and heightens the dining experience. In addition, you must consume some fat in order to maintain proper cellular health. Omega fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all of which are healthy forms of dietary fat, actually lower LDL cholesterols in the blood.

 

MYTH: Healthy foods are more expensive.

FACT: Many unprocessed foods such as grains, fresh vegetables and fruit are extremely cheap. Think about it. You can purchase a five pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a bag of potato chips for $3.49 or more. And I don’t need to tell you that the bag of potatoes will provide sound nutrition and far more food bulk than the chips. I am not a big fan of certain natural food markets because they are grossly overpriced, so I visit other markets which have very reasonable prices on their unprocessed foods. Processed and fast foods may be more convenient, but they are more costly over time, especially if you eat them frequently.

 

MYTH: Late night meals will make you fat.

FACT: Your body doesn’t process food differently once the sun comes down. The problem that many people have is that they restrict their caloric intake too much during the day, usually by skipping meals. By the time they get home from a busy day, they are starving, and will eat an excessive amount of calories to satisfy their hunger. Another issue is the mindless munching on snack foods which people often do while watching TV or sitting at the computer.
As long as you eat a reasonably sized, healthy meal, nighttime eating shouldn’t result in weight gain.

 

MYTH: You can eat any foods you want as long as you do it in moderation.

FACT: It’s okay to indulge in a calorie dense or unhealthy food item once in a while, but if you make it a regular practice to eat junk foods every day, you are doing your body and your health a huge disservice. Trust me, a chiseled physique can never be built on a pizza diet (I know, wishful thinking, right?). Your body requires high quality protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed or minimally processed carbohydrates to function optimally and to support a healthy metabolism.

 

MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

FACT: Spacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running in high gear. It is true that breakfast is an important meal because it provides essential nourishment, regulates mood and energy levels and boosts mental clarity. People who skip meals are notorious for eating excessive amounts of food when they actually do eat, and those meals are usually unhealthy and of poor nutritional value. If you are prone to skipping meals, try keeping a food journal to monitor your meal consumption throughout the day.

 

MYTH: Carbohydrates will make you fat.

The truth is, carbohydrates are usually consumed in excess by many people. What this does is cause a sharp increase in blood glucose, which triggers insulin release so that the glucose can be converted to glycogen for storage in the liver and muscles. Only a certain amount of this glycogen can be stored, with the excess being stored as body fat. Once the blood glucose level falls below normal, carbohydrate cravings are triggered which many individuals succumb to.

When you cut carbohydrate intake, you will experience a rapid weight loss initially as the body drains glycogen stores for energy. What also occurs is that water is released as the glycogen is utilized, resulting in weight loss from the increased urination which results. But after about two weeks, the increased urination ends, and along with it, the rapid weight loss.