Sunday, May 17, 2009

Healthier Food Choices

A healthier alternative to giving into your sweet tooth is munching on some grapes, pineapple, cherries or berries. You can also try raisins or cranberries and Sugarless candy.

If you feel guilty giving in, make sure you have plenty of healthy, sweet snacks in your refrerator and cabinets. This will make it easier for you to make a healthier choice.

The food choices you make, can affect your health. Improving our health can be as simple as adding a variety of grains, fruit and vegetables to our diet. Maintaining a diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Your beverage choice should be water or low sugar and sodium content.

We can control our waistline and our health by monitoring our portion size. Do you still 'supersize'? If you must eat fast food, you can still be in control. Eat smaller hamburgers or chicken sandwiches and order your salad dressing on the side. Order fruit, low fat milk or 100% fruit juice...don't forget, you can pick water!


*Eat BEFORE going grocery shopping

*Downsize your meal portions

*Eat s l o w l y, so your brain gets the message that your stomach is full before you overeat

*When dining out, eat half your meal and split your dessert

*If available on the menu, pick the small or medium portion

Friday, May 8, 2009

Understanding Your Cycle ~ Part 2

Days 15-26

This week is known for its high blood levels of progesterone. This hormone is responsible for building up the uterine lining. It also affects our brain function as it brings about the feelings of calm and clear headedness. This would be a great week to reflect, read, explore your interests and evaluate short/long term goals.

If in your 20’s-30’s you have monthly progesterone surges during these early reproductive years which accelerates the burning of stored fat during exercise. You should add variety to your workouts during this week. Progesterone also increases production of pain-killing endorphins. Young women can step up the intensity of their workouts for maximum results.

If in your 40’s, this is the week to give into your chocolate cravings! During perimenopause, declining estrogen production can allow progesterone to become overly dominant. This can trigger mood swings and other symptoms. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which is a powerful antioxidant that has a mild estrogen like effect. It also contains phenylethylamine, which is a plant compound that will elevate your mood. It is said that a single serving of dark chocolate can chase away the blues.

If in your 50’s, your estrogen is naturally diminishing, so you should snack on soy nuts, 2 tablespoons of tofu or have 8 oz of soy milk daily. Soy contains phytoestrogens which will elevate your mood, decrease your appetite and food cravings and enhance skin firming collagen production. Soy is also a proven way to reduce night sweats, hot flashes and vaginal dryness in about 50% of women.

Days 27 and 28

When there is an absence of a fertilized egg, the ovaries suppress production of all three major hormones. By the end of day 28, levels have returned to their starting point. Your roller coaster ride is over. This is a good time to meditate, engage in something spiritual

Maybe after reading Parts 1 and 2 of Understanding Your Cycle, it has helped you to actually have a Happy Period and enhance your health and happiness.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Understanding Your Cycle ~ Part 1

Have a Happy Period! What?! A Happy Period…? I saw a TV commercial advertising a feminine product and it uses that very line. I tell you…I just wanted to throw the TV out the window…a happy periodright. Who has a Happy period?!

Women have been getting a bad rap for a long long time due to our hormones causing crankiness, the feeling of sadness and other hormonal side effects. Whether we are in our prime or entering menopause, if we ‘tune’ in to our body and how it responds, we can enhance our health and happiness no matter what time of the month it is or what stage we are in our life.

Days 1 – 7

During this week, the three major reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) hit their low and this is when you would get your period. This slump in hormones reduces your brain’s output of neuropeptides (such as serotonin), which causes blue moods. Give yourself a pick me up. Pamper yourself. Give yourself a facial, a massage or enjoy a funny movie. You can perk up your neuropeptide output by giving yourself alittle TLC

Days 8-14

Our estrogen and testosterone production peaks during these days, but progesterone stays low. This phase encourages the maturation of eggs and our brain goes into high gear. This is a great week for brainstorming, keeping up energy and confidence. This is also a good time for romance.

If you are in your 20’s – 30’s, eat nutrient rich whole grains, such as pastas, breads and cereals. These foods will help fuel the emotional highs of this week. Grains prevent the overproduction of insulin, a hormone that can destabilize ovarian function and throw off hormone levels.

If you are in your 40’s, Take an Omega 3. Women who are going into their perimenopausal years have erratic dopamine and norepinephrine hormone levels.

Taking an Omega 3 can increase your physical and mental energy levels and boost your mood. Fish omega3 oils can increase production of antidepressant brain chemicals.

If in your 50’s, practice deep breathing. Even when menstruation ceases, the brain continues to increase production of dopamine and norepinephrine during this week.. Even though estrogen production is reduced after menopause, you can preserve the estrogen your ovaries can produce to maximize their well being.

By practicing deep breathing, you can reduce production of cortisol, a hormone that disrupts menopausal ovarian function. Take 6 to 8 calm breaths per minute for 15 minutes each day. This can boost alertness, productivity and happiness.

Coming Next: Part 2 ~ Days 15-26 Days 27-28

Saturday, May 2, 2009


If Alzheimer's has touched your life in any way, you know very well how devastating this disease can be. For the one affected and those around them. I wanted to bring awareness to The Alzheimer's Project. The below was sent to me through email.


Maria Shriver Executive Produces With HBO’s Award-Winning “Addiction” Team

One of the most devastating forms of memory loss is Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Today, Alzheimer’s is the second most-feared illness in America, following cancer, and may affect as many as five million Americans. As the baby-boom generation reaches retirement, that number could soar to more than 11 million by 2040and have a huge economic impact on America’s already fragile health care system.

While there is no cure for the disease, THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT shows there is now genuine reason to be optimistic about the future. Debuting May 10 on HBO and created by the award-winning team behind HBO’s acclaimed “Addiction” project, this multi-platform series takes a close look at groundbreaking discoveries made by the country’s leading scientists, as well as the effects of this debilitating and fatal disease both on those with Alzheimer’s and on their families.

The first of the four documentaries in THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT is “The Memory Loss Tapes” (debuting May 10), which provides an up-close and personal look at seven individuals living with Alzheimer’s, each in an advancing state of dementia across the full spectrum of the progression of the disease. “Momentum In Science” (May 11 and 12) is a two-part state-of-the-science film that takes viewers inside the laboratories and clinics of 25 leading scientists and physicians, revealing some of the most cutting-edge research advances. “ ‘Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?’ with Maria Shriver” (May 11) captures what it means to be a child or grandchild of one with Alzheimer’s, while “Caregivers” (May 12) highlights the sacrifices and successes of people who experience their loved ones’ descent into dementia.

THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films and the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in association with the Alzheimer’s Association®, Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® Alzheimer’s Initiative. The series producer is John Hoffman; the executive producers are Sheila Nevins and Maria Shriver.

For more information on THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT and Alzheimer’s Disease, go to