Small Changes in Habits Can Burn Calories

Small Changes in Habits Can Burn Calories

If you make few changes in your habits you can embrace to start revving your metabolism right away. You may have heard stories about people who have lost dozens of pounds simply switching to diet soda or walking a few minutes each day. These are all small habits that contribute to a big difference and increase your metabolism over time. You will make weight loss quicker and easier by increasing your metabolic rate and burning more calories.

1) Keep Moving

people burn about one-third less calories per day. By simply taking every opportunity to move can make quite a dramatic difference to the amount of calories you burn in one day. Small movements will add up over time to lots of calories. The trick is to keep moving throughout your day. Write the word ‘move’ on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you’re sitting still. Then, take every opportunity to move – here’s some ideas for burning extra calories:

Tap your feet
Swing your legs
Stand up and stretch
Move your head from side to side
Change position
Wriggle and fidget
Pace up and down
Use the restroom upstairs
Park in the furthest corner of the parking lot
Stand up when you’re on the phone and step from side to side
Clench and release your muscles
Walking everyday is important.

(2) Small Meals

Research suggests that eating small meals every 2-4 hours will keep your metabolism burning faster than larger, less frequent meals. When you eat small amounts often your body is constantly working to digest and absorb food which requires energy.

(3) Drink Cold Water

Evidence shows that your body might expend more calories trying to raise cold water to the temperature of your body then hot beverages. And overall being well hydrated will help your body’s metabolic processes burn quicker.

(4) Eat Fat

If you want feel good and keep the fat off you need to first put it in. Fat not only tastes good our bodies need it to work efficiently. By consuming several servings of ‘healthy’ fats every day you will actually increase your calorie burning potential. Try incorporating fats like Flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, olive oil, avocados, salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds into your diet daily.

(5) Exercise With Weights

Training with weights boosts your metabolism in a number of ways. By lifting weights you will build muscle tissue. And muscle tissue is metabolically active, so it requires calories even when at rest and so it helps to increase fat-burning enzymes in your body.

(6) Spice up

Eating hot spices might speed up your metabolism. Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help boost metabolism and keep blood sugar levels in check. Can’t stand the thought of cinnamon in your morning cup of coffee? Spice up with cayenne, crushed red pepper or wasabi.

(7) Eat More Protein

Protein requires a more complex chemical breakdown by your body in order to be digested and used as fuel. For example, 100 calories of protein may take up to 30 calories to process. Protein also takes longer to digest and helps to stabilize blood sugar for longer periods of time and this can help you to not overeat later in the day. Eat a portion of protein at every meal and as part of your snacks and you will increase the total number of calories you burn each day.

If you make small changes as indicated above you will be amazed how that will make you healthy and energetic as well as fit for life.

Eating healthy diet and exercise is very important to stay healthy and fit. 7Minutesworkout is a great program.

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Your Health is a valuable asset so protect it.

Vj Shah

Did You Know? Eating Tomato’s Will Help You To Lower Your Blood Pressure

Do You like Tomatoes?, Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which can significantly lower your blood pressure.

A recent double-blind study conducted in Israel has confirmed what hearth-healthy Italians have enjoyed for centuries – tomatoes to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.

The Israeli study was led up by Dr. Esther Paran, head of the hypertension division of Soroka Medical Center. It involved patients who were already being treated for hypertension, but were not responding well to the medications. Dr. Paran had patients take a supplement of tomato extract. The results were a significant drop in blood pressure after just four weeks.

Tomatoes are so effective at lowering blood pressure because they contain lycopene. Other antioxidants found in tomatoes make this one super-food in the prevention of heart disease. It can even help keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing which makes it stick to the arteries and narrow the passage way causing blood pressure to increase.

Ffour whole tomatoes each dayis the recommended amount for having a positive impact on blood pressure.

1. Make Chili with fresh tomatoes. Add some high protein kidney beans with minced garlic and onions, and cayenne pepper and you have a heart-healthy main course and a full day’s allowance of tomato.

2. Since using olive oil with the tomatoes enhances the curative quality, make your pasta sauce red with tomatoes and olive oil to sauté the garlic and onion. Tomato paste used in making sauce contains more than 10 times the nutrients of a single tomato.

3. Have a fresh salad as a side dish to either of these entrees and cut one whole tomato on top. You’ll get one-quarter of you tomato intake right there.

4. Drink tomato juice. It is better to make your own fresh juice so that you can control the sodium. Store bought juices can be high in sugar and sodium-based preservatives. If you have a juicer, you can make some incredible veggie juices to suit your own tastes by adding carrots, celery and some low-sodium seasonings.

Adding Fresh tomatoes to your diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 points and diastolic pressure by 4 points as was evident in the Israel study. Whatever way you slice it, tomatoes will keep strengthen your immune system and lower blood pressure.

Vj Shah

Secret of Staying Young in 2014 & Beyond

2014 is Still Young. Only few days young and in 365 days again it will be  old and will change its  
number again and will be new year again.

It will be always new and  young again.

Do you know the secret of staying Young? 

The secret of the youth has been searched since long time ago. 

Many researchers have done some experiments to find ways to slow down 
the aging process. 

There are some techniques which have been implemented, but the most  
important things for us to do are being consistent in implementing healthylifestyle and eating habits.

We can’t stop the natural change, but we can still look younger 
if we want to work hard to slow down the aging process.

Therefore, I’m going to help you with 10 easy steps to make you look younger:

Detox – It’s important to start detoxification, getting rid of toxin from ourbody. 
Our body metabolism has done that process, but in everyday life we are exposed
to so many chemical  hazards from air, food and environment. 
Fasting or just consuming fruits and vegetables are ways to detoxify our body.

Sleep – Having enough sleep at least 6-8 hours a day will make our skin healthier. 
Having a good sleep is also important because growth hormone is working during that time. 
It renews the old cell of our body, include the skin cell. Our skin will look fresh and young if 
we have enough sleep. 

Food – Eating healthy food everyday will make our body fit, slim and also look younger. 
Try to eat more fish instead of red meat. Fiber food, vegetables, fruits. 
Drink less coffee and other caffeine beverages. 

Exercise – Through routine exercise, we will feel happier, energetic, and confident. 
It also increases our bone density and muscle which can make our body look 15-20 years younger. 
Beside aerobic, walking, and swimming, goes also to the gym to do lifting exercise. 

Relax – By trying to be relaxed, our face will look younger. 
If we can manage our stress and feel at peace, our face will look younger and attractive.

Be Positive – A positive mind and affirmation we said can bring positive life to us. 
Negative thought tend to bring failure and make us look older and unattractive. 
Meditation is one way to make positive thoughts.

Medical Check-up - Just like a car, our body also needs attention and care so it can work well everyday. 
Having routine medical checkups during our healthy time is important to recognize diseases as soon as possible. 

Active Life – Always try to be active during your life. 

Social Life – Happy social life can increases our spirit, bring peaceful mind, and make us feel and look younger. 
Communication with our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and others can bring happiness to us.

Performance - Start to look at our performance. Is our body weight ideal for us? 
If not, try to fix that to the best ideal weight. Also look to the skin, hair, nail and teeth. 
Those are important as they will show our age. 
Looks good and feels good will increase our performance.

I eat healthy food, exercise daily and follow 7minutewokout. 7Minuteworkout is a great 
program developed by Joel Therien.

I call Joel Therien a James Bond “JT Bond” of fitness industry.

Click the link below to join 7minuteworkout or get more information about 7minuesworkout.


Look Younger, Feel Younger , Think Younger and Act Younger.

Vj Shah

Maintaining The Weight Loss For An Extended Period Of Time

Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss for an extended period of time requires discipline and some simple lifestyle adjustments. As long as you exercise, eat food in moderation , you should be able to lose weight and keep it off without much shock and interruption to your daily life.

Not surprisingly, losing weight does not have to require extended trips to the gym or engagement in some fad diet. Here are there steps to a healthier day that can help you slim down on weight without slimming down on your free time.

Exercise Daily

Daily exercise can make a difference in your body shape and in the way your body processes calories. When you exercise, you work your heart, mind and body. You are building your muscle mass, which in turn will increase the effectiveness of your metabolism.

Additionally, you encourage your heart to pump blood throughout your body more effectively, which means that you will have healthier blood and a reduced risk of heart disease. You reduce fatty deposits, which in turn helps reduce your risk of many health problems, such as diabetes. You also increase the number of endorphins that flow through your body, which means that you will note an increase in your positive attitude.

It does not require a large amount of time exercising to receive all of the above benefit. You simply need to workout regularly. Working out means taking a two-mile walk at a fast pace, throwing a Frisbee or riding a bicycle. Whatever the workout is, keep in mind that it should elevate your heart above it standing heart rate and it should make you breathe slightly heavier than normal. It is also good if you can break a sweat or feel your muscles challenged. I walk in my yard and even walk in my house. Go to beach and walk on sand that keeps me healthy and inspired.

Eat Food in Moderation

When you are trying to lose weight or sustain lost weight, it is vital that you allow yourself to eat all foods, but eat the unhealthy ones in moderation. The primary reason for many diets to fail is that people reduce the foods that they allow themselves to eat so drastically that they feel anxious after awhile eating the same things time and time again. When you allow yourself to give into simple cravings, you are rewarding your body and making it less tempted to crave larger portions of the bad foods.

You should also eat small portions of every food, regardless of its nutritional content. Eating smaller portions will help your stomach adjust to consuming less food. You can also drink water to help you feel full. American’s especially have a habit of eating more than one portion of food per meal – so be aware of your food portions!

Have a Buddy System for  Support

Studies prove that having a Buddy help you work out increases your chances of maintaining a diet, exercise routine, or long-term weight loss. Buddies are fabulous motivators. They will keep you attuned to your habits and help you feel accountable throughout the day. If you must, enlist the help of a partner to be an appointed weight loss guardian. He or she will be tasked with ensuring that you stick to your weight loss goals by encouraging you to report your progress several times a week.

I joined 7minuteworkout and is really keeping me in check with support from other fitness conscious people and the videos are great that teach simple exercises & how to live healthy lifestyle. To find out more click the link below or sign up for 7minuteworkout from link below.

You can always visit my site at

 Be Healthy, Happy & Fit for Life

 Vj Shah


All About Fats That You Should Know

We eat all kind of food during Holidays that are saturated with fat and carbohydrates.

With the low carbohydrate craze, many people have turned their attention to fats. They eat more of it and think its fine.

Depending on what kind of fat you are consuming and how much of it you take in, fats can be beneficial or detrimental to your health.

There are three main types of fat.

They are saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources such as meat and dairy. At room temperature, saturated fats are solid. Unsaturated fats come mainly from plant sources such as olives and nuts and contain no cholesterol. They are liquid (oil) at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are broken down further in monounsaturated (one double bond) and polyunsaturated (more than one double bond).

You might be asking yourself what a fat is saturated or unsaturated?

A fat molecule (without getting into too much chemistry) is made up of carbon atoms that have hydrogen atoms attached to them. In saturated fats, all carbon atoms have a single bond to another carbon atom and are also bonded to hydrogen atoms. In unsaturated fats, not all carbons are saturated with hydrogens so double bonds form between carbons.

Depending on what carbon the double bond is formed determines the fat’s properties.

Trans fat is man made fat. It is made by taking an unsaturated fat and putting hydrogen through it in a process called hydrogenation. Trans fat is very bad for your health. Whole saturated fat increases LDL (bad) cholesterol and very slightly increases HDL (good) cholesterol, trans fat increases LDL cholesterol and decreases HDL cholesterol.

Now you know some about fats, it is time to eat less fat and less carbohydrates in your diet. Regular healthy diet and exercise is necessary for living healthy lifestyle.

Vj Shah


Reason To Exercise And Lose Weight Now

Holidays are Over Now. It is time to reflect on our body and health. Regular Exercise and Healthy Diet is Important for our Health and Fitness. Let us start  2014 with a regular exercise and healthy diet.

Obesity is the second leading cause of death after smoking. It is associated with an increased mortality rate of all ages including children. Losing weight though commercialized is still to your benefit if you carry more weight than you should.
Obesity and overweight are term often used interchangeably. However, technically they refer to two different states.

Being overweight technically means excess body mass. This includes all the body tissues. Obesity on the other hand refers explicitly to excess body fat e.g. a professional heavy weight body builder is overweight because of excess muscles but is not obese.

Obesity is what should concern you. Losing weight is no longer an issue you can afford to procrastinate, and probably a good health scare is in order.

Reason #1 to lose weight

Diabetes:- It is well known that 80 -90% of type-two-diabetes patients are overweight. Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., as well as the leading cause of adult blindness in the world. One of the direct causes of obesity is eating wrong foods. Some of these wrong foods include high glycemic foods. High glycemic foods are energy dense foods that quickly increase the level of blood glucose in your body after been eaten. This results to the body reserving the unnecessarily high glucose/energy into fat. This makes losing weight very difficult.
Releasing a hormone called insulin does this. Type-Two-diabetes occurs because the body cannot produce enough insulin to remove the excess blood glucose and store it as body fat. This will occur after straining insulin production for some time. And that’s how you end up being fat and diabetic.

Reason #2 to lose weight
Stroke:- Obesity is associated with arteriosclerosis, the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries through out your body. This makes them narrow slowing blood flow and among other things increases risk of the blood clotting. Arteries at risk include those supplying blood to the brain. If clotting occurs due to narrowed artery, it blocks blood supply to an area of the brain resulting to stroke. Losing weight reduces this risk.

Reason #3 to lose weight
Cancer:-The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates between 25% – 33% of cancer world wide are overweight and physical inactivity related. Body fat evidently promotes higher levels of insulin production and excess estoregens, a hormone. Both insulin and estorogens accelerate cell division.
[Probably to create adipose tissue; new fat cells to store fat, in addition to the regular cell division]
As research has indicated, the faster cells duplicate the more they increase chances of a cancerous cell developing. The situation is further complicated as the rapid cell division caused by the excess hormones lead also to rapid cell reproduction of the one cancerous cell, hence cancer starts to develop actively. In addition fat cells tend to keep carcinogenic i.e. cancer-causing agents, trapped in the body which increases chances of developing cancer.

Types of cancers you will be at high risk to get include:-
Breast cancer- affecting the breast possibly in both men and women.  Colorectal cancer- affecting colon and rectum. <li>Prostrate cancer- affecting the prostrate gland in men. <li>Endometrial cancer- affecting the uterus. <li>Esophageal cancer- affecting the esophagus. <li>Renal cell cancer, the cancer of the kidney, etc.

Reason #4 to lose weight
Respiratory problems:- Obesity causes lungs to “become smaller” in size and chest wall become heavier to lift in the process of breathing in. The most common respiratory problem is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where by an individual stops breathing for some time while asleep. A soft tissue in the throat collapses around the air way probably due to weight, blocking it. For the severely obese sleep apnea may get more complicated with hypoventilation. Hypoventilation is accumulation of toxic levels of carbon dioxide (the gas we breathe out) in the blood, due to inadequate breathing. Losing weight would be the only permanent safe and healthy solution to sleep apnea.

Reason #5 to lose weight
Urinary Incontinence:- This is involuntary release of urine. Being overweight can contribute to urinary incontinence. A heavy abdomen due to body fat deposit may cause valve of urinary bladder to be weakened. The weight also exerts pressure on the urinary bladder, trying to push urine out. This results to leakage of urine when coughing, sneezing or laughing. This is because of a slight relaxation of the bladder valve that normally will not result to leakage. It can even result to bed wetting at night. This particular problem can be a very effective motivator to lose weight.

Reason #6 to lose weight
Varicose veins:- Also known as Venous Stratis Disease. The leg and thigh muscles assist the heart in blood circulation just like most large muscles in the body. They are involved in pumping blood against gravity back to the heart with the help of valves that close to avoid a backward flow. Pressure as a result of a large abdomen may increase the work load on the valves eventually causing damage. Damaged valves then allow for blood to back up, due to gravity, causing high pressure in these veins leading to swelling, thickening of skin and skin ulcers.

Reason #7 to lose weight
High Blood Pressure:- The BMI (Body Mass Index) and age together are the strongest indicator of risk of hypertension or high blood pressure. At least a third of hypertension is related to obesity.

Reason #8 to lose weight
Other Diseases:- Other diseases which MAY occur as a result of being overweight include;

Coronary heart disease 

Lower back pains 


Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Pregnancy disorders such as Neural tube defect, 

Prenatal mortality,  Maternal hypertension, Gestational diabetes etc. <Impaired immune response 

Liver disease 


Bad body smell 


Research shows that even modest  weight loss of even 10 pound for the overweight significantly reduces the risk of developing these diseases. Weight loss is in fact a challenge taken by many every year.
Unfortunately many fail in this healthy endeavor. And all because of one thing; they lack proper information on effective weight loss. Effective weight loss is permanent, and a permanent weight loss depends fundamentally on four factors. These four are what we at Health-eMark call the ‘Top 4 Reasons for Weight Loss Failure’.
I follw 7minuteworkout that Joe Therien has developed. It is the best fitness program doing 7minuteworkout 3 times a week.

For more more info and to join 7minuteworkout Click the Link Below: or to SignUp for 7minuteworkout Clink the Link Below:

Be Healthy & Fit that is the way to be Happy I Say!

Vj Shah

How To Wipeout Your Depression So You Can Live A Happy Life

Did you know that being lonely is a normal part of our everyday lives. As Lets face it, we’ve all been there.

Specially during the Holydays many people are alone and lonely.

We get depressed when we are lonely or we fail in our exams, when we’re rejected by the person we love, or when someone very close to us passes away.

That’s just part of life.
But, depression, however, can be more fatal than just plain loneliness. It could render Life-Long consequences that could ruin your Self-Esteem, Health, and Well-Being in the process.

Well today is your lucky day because I’m going to share with you some great tips to help you conquer the ‘Melancholy Mood’ so you can get the MOST bliss out of your daily activities.

So, with that said, lets go to Tip #1.
Tip #1. Do you get enough Light and Sunshine?
Did you know that lack of exposure to sunlight is responsible for the secretion of the hormone called Melatonin, which could trigger a dispirited mood and/or a lethargic condition.
Melatonin is only produced in the dark. What it does is it lowers the body temperature and makes you feel sluggish.
So, if you are always cooped up in your room (with the curtains closed), it would be difficult to restrain yourself from staying in bed.
This is the reason why many people suffer from depression much more often in winter than in the other seasons.
It’s simply because the nights are longer.
If you can’t afford to get some sunshine, you can always lighten up your room with brighter lights to help offset the darkness.
You could go have lunch outside the office for a change and take frequent walks in the early afternoon instead of driving your car over short distances.
The choices are endless. It’s really up to you.

Tip #2. Keep Busy and Get Inspired.
You’ll be more likely to overcome any feeling of depression if you keep your mind busy doing the activities you like doing the most.
Do the things you love.
If you’re a little short on cash, you could engage in simple stuff like taking a leisurely stroll in the park, playing sports, reading books, or engaging in any activity that you have passion for and would love to pursue.
Also, set a Goal.
No matter how difficult or discouraging life can be, remain firm and have an unshakable belief that you are capable of doing anything you desire.
With this kind of positive attitude, you will attain a cheerful disposition to beat the blues.

Tip #3. Take a Break. Sit back and Relax.
I mean it.
Listen to some soothing music you like. Soak in a nice warm bath. Simply take a break from your stressful workload and spend the day just goofing around doing the things you love.
In other words, go have fun. Life’s to short as it is.

Tip #4. Maintain a healthy diet and Stay Fit.
Avoid foods with lots of Sugar, Caffeine or Alcohol.
Sugar and caffeine may give you a brief moment of energy; but they will later bring about Anxiety, Tension and Internal problems.
Alcohol on the other hand is a depressant. Many people would drink alcohol to simply “forget their problems.”
All they’re doing is aggravating their conditions in the process.
Also, did you know that exercising regularly is a vital depression buster.
Why you ask?
Simply because it allows your body to produce more Endorphins than usual.
Endorphins are sometimes called “the happy chemicals” because of their Stress-Reducing and Happiness-Inducing properties.

Tip #5. Get a Social Life outside of work.
No man is an island. Your inner circle of friends are there to give you moral support.
Spending time and engaging in worthwhile activities with them could give you a very satisfying feeling.
And we all now… nothing feels better than having group support.
And… never underestimate the power of Touch.
What I mean is… doesn’t it feel so good when someone pats you on the back and gives you words of encouragement during your most challenging times?
Hug or embrace someone today.
Get intimate.
Establish close ties with your family and friends.
The love and care expressed by others could tremendously boost your immune system and fend off illnesses.
Best of all, you’ll live a more secured and happy life.
Now go give those 5 Tips a try and see how they pan out for you.

Vj Shah


7 Reasons To Grow Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden

During the last decades there has been a change in farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques.
All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals (bird’s flu being the most recent one).
The World Health Organization produces reports to show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are actually a threat for our health.
If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden.
Today I’m presenting you with seven reasons for doing this:

1. You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.
2. There will be no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. These chemical products are applied to obtain crops all the time regardless plagues or weather conditions, and affect the quality of the vegetables.
Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.
3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GM).
Antibiotics, drugs and hormones are used on vegetables to grow more and larger ones.
One of the consequences of this practice are vegetables which look all the same and are usually tasteless.
Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with the potential risks for our health.
4. Eating your own organic vegetables will be much more healthy for you.
They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket.
Your health will not be at risk because you will then know that nothing has been added to your vegetables.
5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty.
The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them.
With organic vegetables, your cooking will be enhanced as their flavor will show fully.
6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment.
Because you won’t use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.
7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet.
Small communities have been founded where members exchange products that they grow naturally, thus contributing to create a friendly and better place for us all.
In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have.
As you can guess, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food.
To better care for your health, grown your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need.


Holiday Blues, Stress, Depression, Anxiety & Hard To Stay On Healthy Diet

While it is a time for gift-giving and merry-making, it can also be a source of stress and depression. Keeping humor up and having realistic expectations help a great deal in being in tune with the holiday spirit. 
Setting realistic goals for the holidays and keeping your expectations simple for yourself and everyone else is the key to avoid stress and anxiety brought about by the occasion.

Holidays and Christmas is usually the most awaited events of the year. It is a time when families gather for a reunion with relatives and friends. While it is a time for gift-giving and merry-making, it can also be a source of stress and depression. During these times, when the whole world is in a spirit of celebration, there are some people who can only wish there were loved ones nearby to share the season with. Think about the senior citizens in welfare homes, those convicts in jail houses, the doctors and nurses who are on duty and cannot come home to be with their loved ones. There are those whose loved ones are long gone or have recently departed and coping with their loss can be unbearable during this season. Even the loss of job during this time can cause depression. Being hard-pressed to buy presents for loved ones can lead to stress and anxiety.
Keeping humor up and having realistic expectations help a great deal in being in tune with the holiday spirit. The National Mental Health Association recommends that you take care of yourself first and foremost. Setting realistic goals for the holidays and keeping your expectations simple for yourself and everyone else is the key to avoid stress and anxiety brought about by the occasion. Do not make the mistake of spending more than you can afford to avoid facing a huge card debt after the holidays that can certainly lead you to more troubles and worries. 

Since the holidays last for more than one day, pace yourself and spread your activities throughout the season.
Don't spend the holidays confronting relatives about past conflicts, but instead, extend grace and show kindness to forgive and forget. Holidays are not a good time to tell your parents your hurts for their neglect. If you want to resolve issues, wait till after the holidays to bring them up again. That doesn't mean you should bottle up all your feelings. Seeking out a sympathetic family member or friend can go a long way in keeping your sanity. 

While overindulging on sweets and carbohydrates may feel comforting at the time, the after effects can make you moody later. Same with drinking alcohol to excess. Try to continue your fitness regimen to burn off the calories from the holiday dinner.  If you don't have time to go to the gym, take a long walk with a friend to alleviate some stress.

For those who don't have close friends or relatives nearby with whom to share the holidays, reaching out to others may make you feel more in tune with the holiday spirit. Try to volunteer help to someone who can't get out to shop, serving food in a soup kitchen, or inviting over other friends who are far away from family may make you feel less lonely. 

Be wary of family members who are using more than normal amounts of alcohol, pain medications, or sleeping pills. Be vigilant when someone is acting confused, can't concentrate, seems lost in the midst of family affairs, or can't seem to stop crying.
Feelings of despair or apathy that don't go away for two weeks or longer may lead to depression and needs professional help. The typical symptoms of depression include a sense of hopelessness, boredom with or lack of enjoyment in activities that were previously pleasurable, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, thoughts about suicide, and difficulty concentrating.

The National Mental Health Association reminds us about life being full of changes. “Consider what is important in your life and the good about these times.” Experience will tell you that those who've had the holiday blues in the past that they usually subside once you jump back into a regular routine.

Vj Shah

Vegetarian Raw Food Diet

Eating raw foods is natural. Our bodies thrive on all that is fresh and vital. A raw food diet (or increasing the amount of raw food that you eat) is bound to bring a feeling of increased wellbeing. 
Raw food diets are based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, preferably organic, such as a variety of fresh fruits and vegies, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, fresh juices and purified water.

Why Raw Foods?

Basically a vegetarian diet, the raw food diet promotes eating and drinking ‘living’ foods. Living foods and juices contain the maximum amount of fibre found in raw produce, fibre that can be lost in processing. Such foods are easily metabolised and tend to be lower in calories than the average diet.
Heating food above 116°F destroys enzymes in food that aid in digestion and in absorption of food, diminishing its nutritional value.

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

A diet of at least 75% raw food offers numerous health benefits, such as increased energy, improved skin appearance, better digestion, weight loss and reduced risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
A raw food diet contains little or no saturated fats, is low in sodium, high in potassium, magnesium, folate and fibre.  Raw food diets are also excellent detox diets. Different combinations of raw, living foods and juices can be used for colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing and skin cleansing.
<b>The Basics of a Raw Food Diet</b>
Any fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans, nuts, legumes, young coconut milk – even seaweed – can be menu items of a raw food diet. Your choice of foods may depend on your reasons for dieting, for example: 
- sprouted brown rice slows glucose absorption and improves the metabolism   - cabbage supports healthy cellular function; radish leaves act as an anti-oxidant,          as does Shitake mushroom 
-carrots are a great source of vitamin A as well as encouraging healthy vision and a healthy cardio-vascular system
You can use a sprouter such as the Easy Green automatic sprouter to sprout seeds, grains, beans – even wheatgrass. Sprouts could be called a ‘super food’ – organic sprouts contain enormous levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll pigments and enzymes, and are the ideal natural supplement.
Sprouts can be used in salads and soups, or can be juiced. Fresh juices are a great ready energy supply and a good quality juicer, such as the Kempo Greenpower juicer, produces living juices that are full of essential nutrients. A great juicing recipe to complement a raw food diet is carrot juice with potato, fennel and apple. Simply juice 4 medium carrots, 2 apples, 1 small potato and 1 small stalk of fennel. Fennel has been shown to reduce and control inflammation of arthritis, it evens mood fluctuation and depressive states and has the rare nutrient called manganese, plus zinc and vitamin B complex. The nutritional value of grains and seeds is impressive. They contain most of the vitamins – particularly A, B, and E. They’re also fantastic natural sources of unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, and an excellent source of proteins.
You can even use soy milk makers (such as SoyQuick) to make non-dairy drinks from different beans, rice, nuts, seeds and grains to have with breakfast. If you want something a little more substantial than soy milk you can make your tofu (or, of course, visit a good health food shop).
Essentially, the idea of a raw food diet is to eat unprocessed foods for at least 75% of the time. If the idea of raw food isn’t very appetising to you, you can warm the food a little as long as the food isn’t heated above 116°F.

Cautionary Note

As with any major change in diet, it’s wise idea to consult your doctor before beginning a special diet. This is especially true for children, pregnant women, anyone with anemia and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. 
Even natural foods can conflict with certain medications, so please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medication.
Because a raw food diet is detoxifying some people suffer a mild detox reaction including mild headaches, nausea and cravings. These symptoms may last for several days and you’ll get more enjoyment out of your raw food diet if you cut down on things like meat, sugar and caffeine a week or so before commencing the diet.

Last But Not Least…

A raw food diet is certainly a good way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Like anything worthwhile it takes time, energy and commitment. Because many of the foods for this particular type of diet are made from scratch there is some preparation time involved. There are many great products on the market that can help you prepare your own living food and save you some time as well. 
Combined with regular exercise, a raw food diet is also an excellent weight loss method. If you’ve been feeling ‘a little off’, or just need a pick-me-up and some extra energy, then a raw food diet is certainly a good way to go.

Vj Shah
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