Category: LifeStyle Written by BlackDoctor.org
Have you ever noticed that what happens during the morning hours often sets the tone for the rest of the day? When things go smoothly, you tend to feel more relaxed and ready to face whatever the day may bring. However, when things get bumpy before you've even managed to get dressed, you're more likely to remain grumpy until bedtime.
While some hassles can't be avoided, you can make mood-enhancing decisions during the a.m. hours that will set the stage for the rest of your day.
Here are 10 pick-me-ups that will have your mood rising like the morning sun. Try one (or all!) of them for a happier and healthier you.
1. Do something good for yourself, immediately.
When you wake up, give yourself 30 seconds to think of at least one nice thing you can do for yourself that day...and then do it. It could be something as simple as treating yourself to your favorite breakfast treat, or giving yourself time to take a nice, relaxing bath in the morning.
2. Eat a well-balanced meal.
Start your morning with a nutritious mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins that will last you until lunch, such as oatmeal or toast with peanut butter (include a sprinkle of cinnamon, which one study linked to improved mood and alertness, for an extra boost). Other research found that a moderate amount of caffeine (200 mg, or the amount in about two cups of coffee) elevated mood and mental sharpness, so enjoy some joe or black tea with your breakfast.
3. Get some fresh air.
Head out for some "green exercise"—physical activity performed in an outdoor setting—even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Researchers found that people experienced an enhanced mood and higher self-esteem after just five minutes of various types of green exercise, including walking and gardening. The study also found that exercising near water amplified the effects, so if you live near a lake, river or waterfall, even better.
4. Listen to the sounds of nature.
Capture the benefits of the great outdoors, even if you can't get outside, by listening to recorded nature sounds. In a recent study, participants recovered from a stressful situation more quickly when they listened to a recorded combination of running water and bird sounds. Open your window in the morning so you can hear Mother Nature's music as you get ready, or invest in an alarm clock that eases you awake with nature sounds.
5. Focus on feeling good.
Right after waking up, take five deep breaths and make the decision to feel good for the day. Imagine that, even when you encounter frustrations and surprises, you will remember to breathe and respond mindfully—rather than react mindlessly—to your circumstances. Throughout the day, "take five deep, intentional breaths and remind yourself of your decision to feel good."
6. Drink hot chocolate.
A recent study found that sipping a drink containing cocoa flavonols improved participants' moods and levels of alertness—even as they worked on a series of challenging math problems. So go ahead and savor some hot cocoa made with lowfat or skim milk and dark chocolate. The protein and carbs in the milk will help keep your blood sugar levels stable until lunch, which will help you hold on to your mood momentum.
7. Take a moment to assess yourself.
Don't jump out of bed right when you open your eyes in the morning. Instead, take five minutes to pay attention to your body and notice if you feel any stiffness, then do some light stretching while breathing deeply. Before racing off to the hundred things on the day's to-do list, it can be tremendously beneficial to claim these five minutes to tune in to your body and your breath. You'll find that you are more 'present' and better equipped to deal with the busyness of the day ahead.
8. Envision the negative.
You've probably heard that gratitude is a mood elevator, but here's a surprising twist to that tactic: Think about a positive event from your life—how you got your dream job or met your ideal partner, for instance—and then imagine what your life would be like if the event hadn't happened. Though it seems like this would have the opposite effect, it actually improved the mood of one study's participants more so than simply thinking of the positive event itself.
9. Breathe in some mint.
Researchers found that sniffing peppermint enhanced mood and attention while also fighting fatigue. Try keeping a bottle of peppermint essential oil or bag of peppermint tea on your nightstand so you can inhale the positive scents right as you wake up. Another happiness helper is chewing gum, which elevated the moods, alertness and attention spans of another study's participants. Pop a piece of peppermint gum after breakfast for a double-duty perk-up.
There's one thing you can do just about anywhere: Smile. Remember, smiling is a simple way to change your mood—and the mood of those around you, too." So spread your good-mood wealth by baring those pearly whites as often as possible in the morning as well as throughout the day.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:05
Category: LifeStyle Written by BackDoctor.org
Hair—relaxed or natural—is no resilient matter. It splits. It snaps. It easily falls out. But wait! Don't reach for the scissors just yet. Are you failing to give your hair the moisture it needs? Are you wrapping it up every night?
It's time to let go of these hair routines...forever.
1. Not trimming your ends
Retaining length is very important to a lot of us but do we really need to be so scared of a pair of scissors? Split ends cause breakage and weaken the hair. A little snipping goes a long way in gaining the length you want. Do it regularly.
2. Not Moisturizing Correctly
When it comes to relaxed hair, moisture is essential. But not any kind of moisture! Instead of using products that suffocate strands (namely those containing petroleum and mineral oil), have your go at natural oils like jojoba, coconut or extra virgin olive. They're substantial enough to nourish hair while providing elasticity, but light enough not to weigh it down.
Great Natural Oil To Try: DME Virgin Coconut Oil. It's certified organic, comes in a resealable jar and will keep for several years at room temperature.
3. Overusing Heat
For optimal hair health, retreat from the heat. Curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers can be detrimental if used too often. When you do plan to apply heat to your hair, make sure you use a quality heat protectant.
Have Some Extra Time? Think about letting your hair air dry. To eliminate frizz, apply a styling foam such as Aveda's Phomollient while hair is still damp. Not only will it leave your hair soft and voluminous, but it doubles as the quality heat protectant we just mentioned above.
4. Unwrapped P.M. tresses
This kinda goes hand-in-hand with the sleeping-in-makeup thing. No matter if your hair is relaxed or natural, you need to protect your hair before hitting the hay. So whether that means slipping on a bonnet, scarf or a satin pillowcase, wrap it up.
5. Relaxing hair too often...
And not often enough is a one-way ticket to hair breakage. Because it's recommended you have at least one inch of new growth before scheduling a retouch, aim to relax hair every 8-10 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows. Any earlier poses the risk of over processing, and any later sets the stage for processed hair to weaken at the new growth site – causing it to snap.
That's Not All: Do you find you leave the salon with burns every time you go in for a retouch? If so, it may be a good idea to switch to a milder relaxer. While it won't straighten your hair to bone-straight perfection, it's gentler, aids hair in retaining natural oils, and will leave some extra body for you to work with. Who wants limp locks anyway?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:43
Category: Food Written by BackDoctor.org
What are some unhealthy "healthy" snacks that you probably eat every day? Experts say that snacking is very important. They also say that many of us are NOT snacking on the right foods. Which snacks that we think are healthy to experts say we should be avoiding.
Yes, frozen yogurt typically has less fat than ice cream. However, it has almost the same amount of calories and sugar, particularly at self-serve yogurt shops, where the servings tend to be larger and the toppings consist of high-calorie and high-fat cookies, candy and other snacks.
These types of snacks were designed to help athletes better fuel their intense workouts. But these bars have now morphed into virtual candy bars. If you must eat a protein or energy bar, eat one that's 200 calories or under, and that contains no more the 20 grams of sugar.
...specifically, reduced-fat peanut butter. The problem? When fat is removed, some other ingredient is used to replace it, namely sugar. Also, since the monounsaturated fat in peanuts is good for you, there's really no need to reduce the fat content. The truly healthy move is to use natural peanut butter to better avoid the unnecessary sugar.
Seriously, just eat a piece of fruit. Some smoothies can contain more than 1000 calories thanks to sugar overkill. Or, if you want a smoothie, try making one at home, where you can better control the serving size and sugar content.
Trail mixe can be very high in fat and calories. One handful alone can contain 300 calories or more. Additionally...very few people actually eat just a handful.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:27
Category: LifeStyle Written by BackDoctor.org
Flip-flops: while comfortable and convenient, they may be causing problems for your feet.
It's summertime, which means the footwear of choice for many people are flip-flops. They used to be reserved for activities such as washing your car or going to the beach. But nowadays, they're worn year around and on many occasions. They've also gotten fancier to–coming adorned with spangles, flowers, and logos.
Flip-Flops: Good & Bad
Flip-flops and sandals during the summer are very common and very popular.
What's their best purpose? They give you some basic protection to the bottom of your foot to walk around poolside or on a surface that may be warm during the summer. They can also help prevent you from catching athlete's foot or plantar warts in public showers, according to foot specialists.
In contrast, it's a bad idea to play sports or hike trails in flip-flops. Here's a quick primer on flip-flop safety:
No Foot Support Leads to Foot Pain
Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops aren't good for extensive walking because they offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Wearers can suffer foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendinitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip.They let your foot be as flat as they can be. For some people, that's OK, depending on the structure of their foot. But if you have a foot that tends to over-flatten, then you're not getting any support.
Don't overdo the flip-flops. Everything in moderation. As long as you're not doing a lot of walking, it's probably OK. For example, To have flip-flops on for short periods of time to do errands, that's usually not going to be a problem.
Beware of Foot Injury
Because flip-flops offer little protection, you're at greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, puncture wounds, or having a heavy object smash your foot, experts say.
It is fairly frequent for emergency room physicians to see people come in with either a broken toe or torn nail bed from direct blunt trauma to the exposed toes.
For people with diabetes, any foot injury can become serious, even leading to amputation. Flip-flops and sandals aren't a good option. They really need the protective function of something that covers their toes.
Flip-Flops and Backyard Football
Don't run or play sports in flip-flops. Instead, always wear proper sports shoes. Orthopaedic surgeons have treated people who ran or jumped in flip-flops and suffered sprained ankles, fractures, and severe ligament injuries that required surgery. They're meant for walking on flat surfaces. They're not meant for playing Frisbee or backyard football or a soccer game. They don't really offer you the support that an athletic shoe would offer you. Unsupported feet take a lot more stress than supported feet. If you try to use your flip-flop as an athletic shoe, you're asking for trouble.
Flip-flops can impair a driver's control if they come off the foot and lodge under the brake or gas pedal. Whatever you wear on your feet, make sure it's not so loose that it pops off and interferes with the pedals.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:36
Category: Food Written by BackDoctor.org
The goal of a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes is to focus on foods that will support normal blood sugars, a healthy weight, overall health and avoidance of diabetic complications. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can enjoy a variety of foods. General guidelines encourage eating more of certain foods while limiting others, however every diet needs to be individually tailored according to culture, personal preference, sex, age and other lifestyle factors.
Sugar in food causes blood sugar to rise. A type 2 diabetic with consistently high blood sugar levels is at risk for complications like retinopathy (retina damage), neuropathy (nerve damage), foot ulcers, skin disorders and kidney disease. While sugar is OK in small amounts, it should be limited to maintain a normal blood sugar. Sugary foods also tend to be high in calories while lacking essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Filling up on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins is a better way to use calories.
Limit dietary fat, because it is high in calories and consuming too many calories can lead to obesity. Obesity not only complicates diabetes but is also one of the greatest risk factors for developing heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis. Decrease dietary fat by choosing low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can also cut fat and calories by cooking with little or no oil or butter; making smart choices when eating out; monitoring portion size; and limiting high-calorie snacks and desserts. The ADA especially emphasizes the need to avoid saturated and trans fats which increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke and raise cholesterol. A 2010 article from "Diabetes Educator," a publication of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, reported that a plant-based, low-fat diet helped control blood sugars in type 2 diabetes.
Vegetables offer many essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but you should limit starchy vegetables in a type 2 diabetes diet because they function more like a carbohydrate and raise blood sugars. Starchy vegetables include peas, corn, potato, winter squash, pumpkin and sweet potato.
The ADA recommends drinking alcohol only if blood sugar is well controlled and advises women to limit their intake to one drink per day and men to two drinks per day. Moderate alcohol intake benefited people with T2DM by reducing the risk of heart disease, however too much alcohol negatively affected blood sugar and nullified any benefits to the heart.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:20
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