Lethargy, also know as fatigue, is a common complaint among the American population. Contrary to popular belief, the solution to this problem is not always more sleep! Bad sleep habits, poor quality of sleep, too much sleep are also contributing factors. However, such a simple problem can sometimes be an early manifestation of other conditions. Some common causes of fatigue are anemia, hypothyroidism, depression, neurological disorders, poor nutrition and several others. So what should you do? Fortunately, in most cases, fatigue is related to poor sleep and nutritional habits. Here are some key steps to countering that fatigue (not related to a specific condition).
Bright colors such as yellow and orange can be mood boosters. Yellow represents happiness, joy, and hope. Orange combines the happiness of yellow with the energy of red. Foods I found and will be eating/cooking with this week include: oranges, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemon, Asian pears, yellow apples, carrots, bananas, yellow onions, and parsnips. Other examples of yellow or orange foods include: golden raspberries, golden beets, pineapples, yellow and orange peppers, corn, and ginger.
Yellow and orange foods receive their hues from carotenes, important antioxidants that give these fruits and vegetables their vitamin A. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and protect us against free radical damage, strengthen blood vessels, and maintain collagen which forms tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Citrus fruits help prevent allergies, inflammation, bruising, hemorrhoids, and varicose and spider veins. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, heart, vision, and digestion. Beta carotene is a well-known carotenoid, found in yellow and orange foods, that helps improve vision, fight cancer and pump up the immune system.
Bananas may reduce arterial plaque formation, prevent strokes, and protect against colon cancer. Along with vitamins A and C, pineapples contain bromelain – an anti-inflammatory enzyme that also aids in digestion. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and contain more beta-carotene than any other vegetable.
I have never tried an Asian pear – it almost looks more like an apple than a pear. I have never cooked with spaghetti squash either – you are supposed to treat it like spaghetti (serve with marinara sauce for example) – can’t wait to try it!
By: Dr Christine Arseneau (aka- Tina) More on her blog: http://www.tinaspharm.com/
Many people don’t know that there are spices that can help you live healthier, lose weight, as well as being infused with vitamins and antioxidant rich. One spice that is a must in any healthy kitchen is cinnamon, which can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL’s, and cholesterol. You can reap many of these benefits by just having a teaspoon each day and it makes a perfect addition to oatmeal, sprinkled on dry cereal, fruit and even brewed into your coffee or tea for a cinnamony taste.
Garlic is the powerhouse of spices and in my opinion goes with just about anything. You can make it with a touch of olive oil and thyme and spread it on your whole wheat French bread. You can cut it up in thin slides and add it to any stir fry or stuff whole cloves into rolled chicken and other baked meals, or add to your favorite soup. Garlic fights off a number of serious diseases, can destroy cells that can lead to cancer as well as stop the spread of tumor cells. It also boosts your overall immune system to help stop a variety of illnesses including viral infections.
Most dried herbs and spices are only a few calories, and even zero per teaspoon, and many of them including Paprika and Parsley are loaded with vitamins as well as iron and calcium which we need to be healthy and avoid anemia and osteoporosis. Like garlic, many dried herbs also have antioxidant's that can boost your immune system and stop the growth of cancer cells. Mint can help counter gas and nausea, sage can enhance antibiotics in your body, thyme has been used to relieve overall body cramps and oregano works as an antiseptic.
The health benefits of some herbs and spices have yet to be backed up by extensive scientific study but most medical experts have seen the connection between spices and health through their patients that have improved their health by adding nutrition rich spices to their diet in their efforts to lose weight. It’s also a fantastic alternative to salt and sugar in our foods. Most countries have been using spices for centuries often leading long and healthy lives, well into their 90’s and 100's.
Being in better health and losing unhealthy pounds means more energy, vitality, self confidence and more. The right spices and herbs are not only low calories; they make your food taste more appealing and increase your overall health and vitality. So start today…Add a little spice to your life!
By: Kendrick Ribeiro
Written by: Erica Gorman
One of the greatest hurdles in my running is myself...in particular.....my mind. As a running mom I am quick to put others and responsibilities ahead of my training and at times this is appropriate. At other times, I need to remember to put myself first because I am a better mom, wife, and employee when I run.
The greatest challenge to my running though is my mind and my competitive nature. If you were to see me on the streets or at my work desk you probably would not recognize me as a fierce, competitive runner. I care about my performance. I care about my times. I want to do well. I want to place. I am not asking to come in first overall, but I want a good placement in my division. At times this can make running hard as I begin to compare myself against others or my younger self. This is a bad idea for me and for all runners.
It is important to set yourself and others up for success by setting realistic goals. I need to remember to do this more often for myself and to not get discouraged by my speedy dear hubby who seems to take a casual approach to training. Each day I need to remember to be the best that I can be on that day. I may PR at a race, I may not, but what is most important is to live life fully, to enjoy the race, and to be active.
This weekend I ran a Christmas 5K. It wasn’t a PR for me but it was one of my most memorable races. I ran with my dear hubby and darling daughter. I had the most fun I could....even in the rain. I was able to be there for friends who were new to running and cheer them on. I was even able to run some of the end of the race with the sweetest lady who is part of my upcountry running group as she set a new PR for herself. What could be better than that?
More blogs from Erica at:
Written by: Dr Christine Arseneau (Aka-Tina)
The color blue symbolizes trust and the color purple symbolizes royalty. It was a little harder for me to find blue/purple foods this week than red foods. Here is what I came up with: cabbage, acai sherbet, purple tipped turnip, Niagara grape kombucha (okay, so I’m stretching it), eggplant, blueberries, raisins, baby lettuce, prunes, natural fig newtons, and black currants. Some other food options would be black plums, purple carrots, blue potatoes, purple bell peppers (which I experienced for the first time at the farmer’s market in Austin, yum!), purple-tipped Belgian endive, and blackberries. Using these variations of carrots, potatoes and bell peppers can really spice up a meal.
Blue and purple foods promote memory function, urinary tract health, and healthy aging. They help boost the immune system and offer antioxidants for healing. People who eat blue/purple fruits and vegetables have reduced risk of high blood pressure, are more likely to have higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and are less likely to be overweight. These foods are packed with flavonoids which are powerful phytochemicals – they are beneficial to the cardiovascular system and may lower risk of heart disease.
Blueberries, blackberries, and eggplant contain anthocyanin (a powerful antioxidant also found in red foods).
Blueberries protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress. They may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s. They even help protect against colon, breast, and lung cancer!
The acai berry has gained popularity recently for its health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and a great source of omega-3, fiber, and protein. It also has a high score on the superoxide scavenging assay.
My new blue/purple food this week was black currants (I’ve had currant flavored things but never plain black currants) – what’s yours?
From a scientific standpoint, it is true that you burn more fat working out at a lower intensity. The oxidative system of the body is "turned on" during any activity that lasts over 2 min and the primary source of fuel shifts gradually from burning more carb to burning more fat (although both are burned throughout every workout session). Here is the thing though, you also burn fewer calories overall! Lets say you have 30 min to workout. You probably already know that if you were to do an intense interval workout (carb and fat burn), you would burn far more calories than just walking, even though walking will burn more fat.
So...the number of fat calories you burn is not that important, because even if you burn more carb calories (from interval training), these need to be replaced both by the carbs you eat in your diet and also within your body. If you are able to discipline yourself in eating healthy meals (and not overload on carbs), your fat stores will be broken down and converted into carbohydrates when you need fuel. Even if you're burning lots of carb calories and less fat calories through exercise, your fat still inevitably gets used up...given your disciplined diet.
Interval and circuit training will burn 5x more calories than walking within the same given amount of time...hence its popularity nowadays for weight loss...so on your next walk or jog I challenge you to do a jog or sprint for 30 sec every 3 min....you'll significantly speed up your weight loss goal and start toning up!
By: Kendrick Ribeiro
_Written by: Hope Epton
Since the start of my running 'career', my debut being in 1993, which happens to coincide with day one of ARMY boot camp, I had never had much desire to log long distances. Over the past year, I have developed this obsession with conquering my own fears of failure, removing self imposed limits, and setting out to do things I thought, for me, were impossible. I just had to start, I had to be brave enough to take that step… If you remember, on October 23rd, I did my first Half Marathon. My chip time 2:42:22, a good effort for not having the proper training and thinking that new shoes and orthotics wouldn't play into any issues while running 13.1, which incidentally, was about 6 miles longer than I had ever run before. As I saw some of my friends post their times, for some reason, I began feeling a little embarrassed about my finish time, especially when everyone I know (and who ran on Sunday) finished anywhere from 15-45minutes before me… Of course I had to remind myself again, not to compare myself to others, simply focus on my accomplishments. Seems to be a theme for me, but my race is my race and I am happy for all those who finish their race, regardless of how fast or not fast in your opinion it may be!
So the other day, Halloween actually, I ran for the first time since the half. I felt great - it's amazing how my mindset has changed… the difference between facing 13.1 and 3.1 - I know it's not rocket science, but I really started to push a little harder… I looked at my splits 9:38, 9:59, 9:37 (I guess I was starting to slack on the 2nd mile) it really makes me think about how much our minds play with us. I made a point of not looking at my Garmin, I didn't want my mind to tell me to slow down, I just wanted to feel the run… Total time: 30:10 which is good, it's not a PR it's not under 30 but you know what, I felt really awesome and that my friends, is why I run. I FELT great. I was owning my run. It didn't matter what was happening, I was happy, I was feeling free and empowered and like a rockstar in my personal world of Guitar Hero, I was Randy Rhodes (back when he was on the rails of the crazy train that is…not know obviously- R.I.P.)
We all have points whether we are trying to lose weight, increase our strength, agility, or just keep fit, where we look at the person next to us and think, Why can't I be that thin, fast, strong, or whatever. Now, I don't want to lecture on owning our pace and not comparing ourselves to others, that was my last post. I just felt like I got out there and ran for me without expectation, with out a plan, just laced up and hit the road and it rejuvenated me, it brought me this empowerment. Sure you may be sitting there reading this and thinking, a 9:45 avg? Is she even serious? What a turtle! (Ok, if you are seriously thinking that stop reading my blog and move on) BUT that feeling I had, it was almost indescribable (honestly, I felt like I was going faster) how at ease I was and at the same time, pushing myself a little harder… For once (in a long while) I felt like, it's not about anyone else - it's about me and the progress I am making, it's about my goals, my journey, and I am feeling FABULOUS! (I totally read that with the sound of OPRAH saying it…did you?)
It is that feeling, that desire to put out the best I have to offer that reminds me of why I run. In reality, not all runs will feel like that. Just today I had a run that sucked a$$, and I was telling my friend how I wished every run could be awesome, but is it going to stop me from getting out there tomorrow? Heck NO!
Hey as with everything in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly… sometimes you get out there and the wind is always at your back, your feet are light as feathers and you can set a new PR - other days you feel like your legs are made of lead, you feel like you could pooh yourself at any minute, and you just can't wait to be done! The ONE thing that make those two completely opposite runs great, you FINISH.
Speaking of which, I have a 5k tomorrow, the CareTeam 5k AIDS Run/Walk… I'd be lying if I said I am not looking to have a PR type run, 29:22 was my best since the baby (and quite honestly probably the best since I started "racing") ***Correction*** Apparently in Oct of 2009, I ran Lindsey's Miracle 5k for the Make a Wish Foundation and finished in a speedy 28:57, who knew? *** and I would LOVE to see myself push really hard and do it under 29 (secretly I'd love, love, love a 9mm throughout - but lets be reasonable here…lol). If I don't PR, well, I won't be too hard on myself. I know I will have gotten out, helped a charitable cause by running a few miles, and honestly, doing good work by doing what you enjoy…what is better than that? Nothing.
Thank you! We'll be emailing you shortly =)
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