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Health-Exercise-Diet > Health ~ Diet ~ Exercise ~~ 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 30, 2017 02:09PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Anyone have any healthy, diet, exercise goals, tips or plans for the coming year?

I am going to try to fit a bit more cardio into my gym routines.
I got away from the treadmill & bike and started to take more classes.

I am not a big swimmer, but my goal is to swim free stroke across the Olympic sized pool at the Y. Currently I can make it half way.

My problem is getting the breathing and turning the head in and out of water coordinated. My instructor seems to think the problem is I am stressing. Which she says is common with adults who are learning to swim.

My other goal is to do a single pirouette in my dance class. I can usually get around. But is is not pretty. LOL

As always I am trying to clean up my diet and go more Whole Food Plant based. My diet generally is good but there is always room for improvement. I use the free website My Fitness Pal to keep track of calories, saturated fat, sodium, fiber, sugar & carbs. I use MFP on and off when I see my weight start to creep up a few pounds.

For the past month I've also started to mediate and I love it. I use the free app Insight Timer. It really calms the mind. I hope to keep this up in the New Year. So far I have a 25 day streak going.

What's your plans ?

message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

message 4: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments Good plan, Alias. I have had the same problem with swimming, i just hold my breath & go. When i was a kid that was the only way i passed the swimming test, holding my breath. It took three attempts!

The photo and stat on walking pretty much sums up my plan for '18. I know i feel better mentally after walking, even though i tend to despise every step. (I know, sad.) My intention for the new year is to NOT stop, which i tend to do. I go along fine, then stop for a trip or weather issues and fail to resume. Oddly, it's just the opposite this year. Since our return from overseas (where we walked and climbed hills almost daily), i've barely walked at all. Not Good.

So, on inclement days i'll use the hotel's treadmill. As most of our trips here are to San Antonio, i'll just walk there.

We intend to begin Senior Yoga, too, but forgot to get the video from the library. Is that a "senior moment" or "senior lazy"? ;-)

message 5: by Joanna (last edited Dec 31, 2017 07:54PM) (new)

Joanna Elm | 29 comments I am extremely lucky because mostly I can play tennis and swim year round. However, at times when I can't do those activities, I walk.
For walking I love my Fitbit Charge 2. Fitbit has been my best exercise weapon for sticking with my routines. I can program it to show how many calories I burn with each different activity, and to show my average heart rate during those activities as well as showing how many steps I've taken each day.
My two favorite tips for any day whether I'm exercising or not is
1) always park in the furthest spot away from the store, building, office you're heading to, and 2) always take the stairs in any building where you'd normally take an elevator.

message 6: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1048 comments Those are good tips, Joanna.
I park 3/4K away from work and walk to/from the parking lot each day (total of 1.5K).
I do try to take the stairs when I'm not pushing a cart. This is one I have to work on a bit more to be more diligent about doing.

Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and the roads are not icy. I plan on going out for a run to start the New Year. With luck, this run will set the tone for the year.

Does anyone know of a site where one can log one's workouts and see yearly trends? I currently use RunningAhead and it's good for the current year but doesn't have a multiple year comparison ability. I was wondering whether there was such a site around.

message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Joanna wrote:For walking I love my Fitbit Charge 2. Fitbit has been my best exercise weapon for sticking with my routines.

I LOVE my Fitbit Charge 2. I agree with you. I have found having a Fitbit really helps to motivate me.

message 8: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 31, 2017 10:25PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Petra wrote: "Does anyone know of a site where one can log one's workouts and see yearly trends?."

Sorry, I don't know of an online site. I keep a hand written journal for my daily exercise.

My niece is a runner. She uses a Garmin tracker. I think it must keep track because she is now up to 600+ days of running at least one mile a day. She just posted on FB with the Garmin stat.

message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1048 comments Alias Reader wrote: "My niece is a runner. She uses a Garmin tracker. I think it must keep track because she is now up to 600+ days of running at least one mile a day. She just posted on FB with the Garmin stat. ..."

I'm a Garmin member, too. I can't find stats that help me compare on year to another.
Garmin sends a yearly stat email, which is what got me thinking about whether I have improved or stayed the same this year. I guess I'll have to save each yearly stat email and manually compare them each year.

Thanks, Alias!

message 11: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 227 comments I have a stationary bicycle and peddle for twenty minutes each day in addition to the yoga-tai chi routine. I am at the lowest weight I've been since coming to California.

message 12: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1048 comments Shomeret, that's really wonderful. I'm impressed that you exercise every day.

I got out for a morning run today. It was really foggy this morning and chilly. I had mapped out a new 10K route. I typically run 5-7K only, so this route is rather aggressive. In the middle is a bridge to the other side of town. I ran from home, over that bridge and back again for a total of 7.7K.

It's back to work for me tomorrow. I'm going to actively take the stairs more often and try to get out for a 20-minute lunch-time walk on my non-run days.

message 13: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Shomeret wrote: "I have a stationary bicycle and peddle for twenty minutes each day in addition to the yoga-tai chi routine. I am at the lowest weight I've been since coming to California."

Well done, Shomeret !

I really miss my Nordic Track treadmill. When I moved I didn't have room for it. It now resides in my nieces garage. :(

Is your Yoga Tai Chi on DVD or do you take a class ?

message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Petra wrote: "I'm going to actively take the stairs more often and try to get out for a 20-minute lunch-time walk on my non-run days. ."

Good plan.

I normally go to the gym 5 days a week. I take various classes, use the cardio equipment and some weight machines. Unfortunately my gym is an hour away from my home and I take the train. I do it because I really love my dance teacher at the Y. He is terrific.

message 15: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 227 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Shomeret wrote: "I have a stationary bicycle and peddle for twenty minutes each day in addition to the yoga-tai chi routine. I am at the lowest weight I've been since coming to California."

Well d..."

It's a routine that I created for myself from books. If the position wasn't compatible for me, I didn't include it. So it's a personal adaptation. I've been doing the same routine for many years. I have occasionally added something to it that looked like it would work for me.

message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Thanks, Shomeret.

message 17: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

message 18: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments It's nice to see the plans and ideas folks use to help keep fit. I appreciate this. As i've mentioned previously, we live in a residential suites inn. We are usually on the 3rd floor and always take the stairs. As they are recarpeting the wing where we usually stay, we are on the 2nd floor until "our" room is finished. It's surprising that walking to 2 is a breeze but to 3 has us feeling challenged. How can that make such a difference--altitude? LOL!

message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments That's a great exercise, deb. One of the cardio machines at the Y is a stair climber. The type where you are actually walking up a moving staircase. The machine has a video screen. You can walk up various things like the statue of liberty etc.

It's cool when you couldn't make it to the top when you start exercising but after a few weeks you can do it with ease. I find it quite hard. However, I think I will try to incorporate into my routine in the new year.

message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments Clever idea for such a machine.

message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2380 comments I have really slacked off this year and I am definitely blaming it on my reading challenge last year and that I threw my knee out in the middle of the year. Instead of exercising, I would spend time reading. I kept walking though but now that my knee is better, I am going to try to slowly get going on my workouts.

message 22: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments Good luck, Julie. Wrenching one's knee is such an issue that it seems harder to become mentally prepared to resume exercise. At least it is for me.

message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2380 comments madrano wrote: "Good luck, Julie. Wrenching one's knee is such an issue that it seems harder to become mentally prepared to resume exercise. At least it is for me."

I did it. I actually got up early today and did one of my favorite exercise programs and my knee held up and I felt great afterwards. One down.... Let's see if I can keep it up.

message 24: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 04, 2018 06:52PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Well done, Julie !

I was a slug today. Thursday is usually a big gym day for me. However, I couldn't leave the house today. And tomorrow the temps are going to be in the single digits and many have not shoveled. So I will be stuck in the house again.

In NYC we had snow and strong winds. Or has the TV calls it a tornado bomb or some such extreme name. I know it has to do with rapidly falling pressure or something. It just seems over the top. It's winter in NYC. I've seen much worse.

message 25: by Julie (last edited Jan 05, 2018 09:53AM) (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1219 comments Alias Reader wrote: "In NYC we had snow and strong winds. Or has the TV calls it a tornado bomb or some such extreme name...."

You didn't know that you are all going to die? ;-)
It is very cold here and the yoga places I go to are all cancelling some classes because of the extreme cold/wind chill. Come on...everyone who goes there drives there in a car! And no one is required to show up just because they are open.

message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments People really lose their minds when it's winter.
Next week our temps will be back in the 30's and 40's.

message 27: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 05, 2018 10:45AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments These are the best diets of 2018

U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking reveals that well-balanced, moderate diets are a healthier bet than restrictive trends.

You’ve heard all about Whole 30, Paleo, Weight Watchers, and other trendy diets. But when it comes to overall health, the most effective eating plans often go under the radar.

When U.S. News and World Report released its annual ranking of diets this week, the top pick didn’t go to any diet you’ve seen hashtagged on Instagram or espoused by a wellness-crazed celeb. Out of the 40 diets ranked across nine categories by a panel of top physicians and nutritionists, the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet tied for “Best Diet Overall,” while the Whole 30 and the newly-buzzy Keto diet came in dead last.

What to know about the DASH and Mediterranean diets

The criteria for Best Diet Overall is that a diet is nutritious, easy to follow, supports long-term weight loss and heart health. Both the DASH and Mediterranean diets are alike in that they tout well-balanced, non-restrictive eating plans that research shows aids in long-term weight loss and prevention of illnesses like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. They each emphasize consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy and lean protein, while keeping saturated fats, sweets and red meat to a minimum.

Following either will do more to help you develop lifelong healthy eating habits than lose weight quickly. Neither diet gives a set limit for calories, so if you want to keep track of your daily intake, you’ll need to count on your own or with the help of a doctor or nutritionist. Weight Watchers, which has adherents count a food's nutrition points instead of calories, came in first for “Best Weight Loss Diets,” and “Best Commercial Diets.”

The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, came in first for the eighth year in a row. It was specifically developed by the National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure. The Mediterranean Diet is based on research by a physician named Ancel Keys, who determined back in the 1950s that following a diet popular among the Greek people lowers cholesterol and reduces incidence of cardiovascular disease.

A comparison of the DASH and Mediterranean diets by Harvard Medical School found that they’re equally good for you, and mostly differ when it comes to taste preferences. For example, if a plate of hummus, salad, grilled fish and red wine sounds delicious to you, the Mediterranean diet might be more your speed. If you prefer a meal of chicken, brown rice and roasted veggies, DASH it is.

How they ranked in additional categories

The DASH and Mediterranean diets came in at the top of several of the other nine categories evaluated. They ranked first and second, respectively, for “Best Heart-Healthy Diets.” The Mediterranean Diet was first in “Easiest Diet to Follow,” “Best Plant Based Diet” and “Best Diet for Diabetes,” with DASH coming in second. They tied with the Flexitarian Diet (a mostly vegetarian diet) and TLC Diet (an NIH developed diet to lower cholesterol) in the category of “Best Diets for Healthy Eating.”

The most strict and restrictive diets did not fare well. The low-carb, high-fat Keto Diet tied for last with the Whole 30 Diet, which cuts out alcohol, grains, sugars, dairy and legumes for a 30- day period. The take away seems to be that for your well-being in the long run, it's more effective to develop a healthy eating plan that you can stick to over the course of a lifetime.

The top rankings overall

Best Diets Overall
1. DASH Diet (tie)
1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)
3. Flexitarian Diet

Best Commercial Diets
1. Weight Watchers
2. Jenny Craig
3. Flat Belly Diet (tie)
3. Nutritarian Diet (tie)

Best Weight-Loss Diets
1. Weight Watchers
2. Volumetrics
3. Jenny Craig (tie)
3. Vegan Diet (tie)

Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets
1. HMR Diet (tie)
1. Weight Watchers (tie)
3. Biggest Loser Diet (tie)
3. Medifast (tie)
3. SlimFast (tie)
3. Volumetrics (tie)

Best Diets For Healthy Eating
1. DASH Diet (tie)
1. Mediterranean diet (tie)
3. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
3. TLC Diet (tie)

Easiest Diets to Follow
1. Mediterranean Diet
2. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
2. Weight Watchers (tie)

Best Diets for Diabetes
1. Mediterranean
2. DASH Diet
3. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
3. Mayo Clinic Diet (tie)
3. Vegan Diet (tie)
3. Volumetrics (tie)
3. Weight Watchers (tie)

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
1. DASH diet
2. Mediterranean Diet (tie)
2. Ornish Diet (tie)

Best Plant-Based Diets
1. Mediterranean Diet
2. Flexitarian Diet
3. Ornish Diet

message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments I basically follow the Flexitarian diet.

Here is more info on it from U.S. News & World Report

The aim: Weight loss and optimal health.

The claim: Flexitarians weigh 15 percent less than their more carnivorous counterparts; have a lower rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and live an average of 3.6 years longer.

The theory: Flexitarian is a marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian. The term was coined more than a decade ago, and in her 2009 book, "The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life," registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner says you don't have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits.

The Flexitarian Diet ranked #3 in Best Diets Overall. 40 diets were evaluated with input from a panel of health experts. See how we rank diets here.

How does The Flexitarian Diet work?
Do's & Don'ts

Do: Go plant-heavy.

Becoming a flexitarian is about adding five food groups to your diet – not taking any away. These are: the "new meat" (tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds, and eggs); fruits and veggies; whole grains; dairy; and sugar and spice (everything from dried herbs to salad dressing to agave nectar sweetener). A five-week meal plan provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes. You can follow the plan as it's outlined, or swap recipes from different weeks to meet your preferences. It's a three-four-five regimen: Breakfast choices are around 300 calories, lunches 400 and dinners 500. Snacks are about 150 calories each; add two, and your daily total clocks in at 1,500 calories. Depending on your activity level, gender, height and weight, you can tweak the plan to allow for slightly greater or fewer calories.

Flexitarian meals revolve around plant proteins rather than animal proteins. You might have cereal topped with soy milk, nuts and berries for breakfast; black bean soup with a salad and whole-grain roll for lunch, an apple with peanut butter for a snack and a barbecue veggie burger with sweet potato fries for dinner. Jackson Blatner provides tips like a tofu tutorial; a cheat sheet on veggies that taste like meat; strategies to "fend off flatulence;" and preparation tricks for different kinds of beans. Great Northern beans, for example, have a delicate flavor and are tender and moist, so she suggests pureeing them and making dips.

You can follow her regimen at your own pace. Jump in and try most of the recipes, sticking to the meal plan verbatim for five weeks. Or take it slowly, and test one of the recipes every once in a while. The Flexitarian Diet includes what she calls a "Flex Swap" feature: suggestions for recipe alterations and ingredient substitutions, such as adding chicken, turkey, fish or red meat to a vegetarian recipe. Jackson Blatner offers advice for all kinds of followers; if you already eat well most of the time, for example, she'll show you how to add variety. The diet is molded after her philosophy "Eat more plants, and do the best that you can."
How much does it cost?

No exotic ingredients are required, so groceries shouldn't cost more than they typically do. Bypassing the butcher also helps keep the tab reasonable. The diet's individualized nature gives you financial wiggle room – by making dinner from whatever produce is on sale, for example. There's no membership fee, but you will need "The Flexitarian Diet" book.
Will you lose weight?

Likely. Research shows vegetarians tend to eat fewer calories, weigh less and have a lower body mass index (a measure of body fat) than their meat-eating peers. If you emphasize the plant-based component of this diet – eating lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains – you'll likely feel full on fewer calories than you're accustomed to. With that calorie deficit and a little physical activity, you're bound to shed pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you.

[Read: Plant-Based Diets: A Primer.]

Vegetarians weigh about 15 percent less than nonvegetarians. That's according to a review of 87 previous studies, published in Nutrition Reviews in 2006. The obesity rate among vegetarians ranges from zero to 6 percent, according to the study authors. And the body weight of both male and female vegetarians is, on average, 3 to 20 percent lower than that of meat-eaters.
Even semi-vegetarians (or flexitarians) tend to weigh less than full-fledged carnivores do, found a six-year study of 38,000 adults published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders in 2003.

How easy is it to follow?

Very. Jackson Blatner stresses that you don't have to follow the diet exactly – it's all about progress, not perfection. The book includes ample guidelines and even shopping lists. These resources take much of the hard work and planning out of the equation.

Convenience: Recipes abound, and meal prep shouldn't be too time-consuming. Eating out is doable, and alcohol is allowed. The diet emphasizes flexibility – you don't have to stick to any rules all day, every day.

Recipes: "The Flexitarian Diet" book is packed with them. They're designed to help you easily prepare healthy flexitarian foods that you'll enjoy. Each recipe calls for an average of only five main ingredients.

Eating out: Allowed. Check out restaurant menus beforehand to find healthy meals; if a restaurant doesn't have a website, call and ask them to fax or email you a copy. Be wary of words such as fried, crispy, breaded, creamy, scalloped or sauteed – instead go for broiled, baked, grilled, roasted, poached and steamed.

Alcohol: Allowed. Moderation is key, i.e., one drink a day for women, and two for men. Stick with drinks in the 100-calories-or-less range, such as a 12-ounce light beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or a shot of liquor in club soda – not tonic water, because it has calories.

Timesavers: Detailed meal plans and grocery lists are provided.

Extras: Jackson Blatner's website includes recipes (searchable by category), grocery lists, FAQs and other information about the diet. The book is packed with advice, including a section called FlexLife Troubleshooters. Here, find answers to frequently asked questions about flexitarianism, dieting and weight loss; strategies to make healthy changes speedy and efficient; tips to tame cravings; and how to clear common diet hurdles, such as parties and traveling.

Fullness: Nutrition experts emphasize the importance of satiety, the satisfied feeling that you've had enough. If you've built a healthful vegetarian diet around fiber-packed veggies, fruits and whole grains, you shouldn't feel hungry between meals.

Taste: Recipes range from "lunch nachos" to a grilled cheese and rosemary-tomato sandwich, Caribbean black bean couscous and veggie enchiladas. For dessert, try a peach-raspberry crepe or pineapple with candied ginger and pecans.
Health & Nutrition

Experts were impressed with the Flexitarian Diet's nutritional completeness and safety. One described it as “nutritionally sound,” and dieters can expect to stay in line with the government's nutrient recommendations.
See all Health & Nutrition »
What is the role of exercise?

Strongly encouraged. Ideally, you should get 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week (or intense exercise for 20 minutes, three times per week), along with strength training at least two days per week. But anything is better than nothing, says Jackson Blatner. In "The Flexitarian Diet," she outlines how to view the world as your gym, maintain motivation and overcome exercise barriers.

message 29: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments I saw some description of your storm which used the word "cyclone" but another called it something along the line of "snowmageddon". Ever creative in describing weather.

I hadn't even heard of a couple of those diets but particularly the one rated lowest, Keto. After looking it up, i see why i wasn't familiar with it.

message 30: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 15, 2018 09:16PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

For those who are interested in meditation, I highly recommend the FREE app Insight Timer. They have over 7000 meditations for you to choose from.

I've been using it daily for about a month and I love it.

message 31: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments Interesting. Thanks, Alias.

message 32: by Anne (new)

Anne | 10 comments I am normally doing Taekwondo three times a week (sometimes four times) and I also go for a walk almost every lunch break. At the moment I have to pause due to a sprained ankle. I can't wait to resume my training but it just happened last week so I might have to wait a bit :(

I also started drinking oolong tea, as it said to help the system not to ingest the whole fat and carbohydrates of food. But of course I also try to reduce the amount I eat and to eat more healthy. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. ;)

message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Anne wrote: "I am normally doing Taekwondo three times a week (sometimes four times) and I also go for a walk almost every lunch break. At the moment I have to pause due to a sprained ankle. I can't wait to res..."

I wish my Y offered Taekwondo. That sounds like a fun way to exercise.

message 34: by Anne (new)

Anne | 10 comments Alias Reader wrote: I wish my Y offered Taekwondo. That sounds like a fun way to exercise.

Oh yes, it is. We have lots of fun and there are so many things still to learn and I really enjoy it. Another point is, that we do a lot of self-defence as well. :)

message 35: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 17, 2018 08:06AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Thich Nhat Hanh gems

Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh

15 practical steps Thay says we can take to bring mindfulness to our work:

1. Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.

2. Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.

3. Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.

4. Try not to divide your time into "my time" and "work." All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.

5. Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.

6. Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.

7. At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.

8. Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.

9. Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skillful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.

10. If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.

11. Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.

12. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues regularly for their positive qualities. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone.

13. Try to relax and restore yourself before going home so you don’t bring accumulated negative energy or frustration home with you.

14. Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.

15. At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments There are many good ideas in that list, Alias. The first one was the only one i doubt i could accomplish, mostly because i tend to fall asleep while meditating and if i did it before i've fully awaken, i'd go to sleep again. When i first tried that, i did it in bed, so tried waiting until i was in another room. Still didn't help. Maybe i'm not as rested as i thought?

I like these ideas, though. I remember to do many now (since the election) and find my attitude improves as a result. Glad you shared these. Have you read any of this man's books? This is the first time i remember hearing his name but may have forgotten if someone here posted about him.

message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments madrano wrote: Have you read any of this man's books? This is the first time i remember hearing his name but may have forgotten if someone here posted about him.

Yes. He is a famous Buddhist monk. I recently read a very small book by him. Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice

I think I've read others. But I can't find the titles.

message 38: by madrano (new)

madrano | 11674 comments I'm impressed by the fact that he wrote that particular book. I've had a number of friends over the years who created their own meditation space. The thought to do so hadn't even occurred to me, i must admit. One friend, not raised in a church, called it her "altar", which i liked.

message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Deb, he is often in Shambhala Sun magazine. It's a Buddhist magazine. They changed the name of the magazine to Lion's Roar. I currently am not subscribing but I did for a number of years.

It's a good magazine. The only reason I am not currently getting it is financial reasons.

message 40: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I'll have to check that out, as i haven't heard of either titles for a magazine. I miss Tower Records for their massive periodical shelves. The nearest Barnes & Noble's is quite a distance, so i rarely make it there. *sigh* I don't suppose you found it at Trader Joe's? They have some interesting magazines at checkout but i'm usually to scattered at that point to look carefully.

message 41: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 19, 2018 07:47PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Deb, my Barnes & Nobles carries a large selection of magazines. They carry Lions Roar as well as other Buddhist magazines.

I used to subscribe to it. I think a subscription is around $30.

You can also follow Lion's Roar on Facebook.

message 42: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1219 comments Deb, do you sit up when meditating? I could never fall asleep like that.
#2 is the one that won't ever happen for me (at least not on weekdays). I need to sleep as late as possible before work! Plus, I can't eat until I have been awake for at least an hour.

message 43: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments I usually sit in chair when I meditate. I use Insight Timer. Though sometimes I also lie down and play Insight Timer before I fall asleep.

I've toyed with getting a zafu. I must have looked at them 1000 times on Amazon.

message 44: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 19, 2018 07:47PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments 17 Convincing Reasons to Exercise Today
By Barbara Brody | March 17, 2017

The benefits of being active go way beyond weight loss. Here’s exactly how your body and brain will change for the better.

1. You’ll Get an Instant Energy Boost

When you’re feeling drained, no one can blame you for wanting to curl up on the couch with a book or in front of the TV. But that’s a mistake. “Some people worry that they don’t have the energy to exercise, but they miss the boat because doing it will energize them,” says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D.N., C.D.N., a dietitian, personal trainer, and coauthor of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. “It gets your blood flowing, delivers oxygen throughout your body, wakes you up, and makes you feel alive so you feel ready to take on any challenge.”

2. It Helps Fight Depression

Exercise can work better than medication in some cases and is a phenomenal stress management tool for everyone, says Tom Rifai, M.D., regional medical director of metabolic health and weight management at Henry Ford Health System. Indeed, studies have found that people with mild to moderate depression who opt for regular exercise fare just as well as those who take antidepressant medication. Meanwhile, other research has shown that people who rely on a prescription can still benefit from adding exercise to the mix: Just 20 minutes of activity three times per week is enough to do the trick.

3. It Strengthens Your Bones

Thinning bones can become a major problem as you age, and osteoporosis is incredibly common. One in three women over age 50 and one in five men experience osteoporotic fractures, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. These painful fractures can put you on the path to permanent disability. A simple prescription: Do some strength training twice per week, says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Quincy College. In addition to improving bone density, weight-bearing exercise improves muscle strength and balance, which helps prevent falls and reduces the risk of fractures.

4. It Keeps You Mentally Sharp

It’s okay to put down the crossword puzzles. Exercising your body may be just as important as exercising your mind if your goal is to ward off dementia. Getting just one hour of exercise per week seems to cut the risk of Alzheimer’s substantially, according to research published in The Lancet Neurology.

5. It Keeps You Regular

Feeling a little backed up? “Exercise is one of the best ways to fight constipation. It stimulates movement in the intestinal tract, helping to move waste out of the system,” Lakatos says. Slowly increasing your daily physical activity may be important for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

6. You’ll Feel Less Anxious

Stressed about a work deadline, family conflict, or getting back on the dating scene? Lace up your sneakers. “Exercising is the ultimate natural way to fight anxiety and boost your mood. Exercise kicks your body’s feel-good chemicals—your endorphins—into high gear,” Lakatos says.

7. Your Sex Life Will Improve

Not only will you look better, which may improve self-confidence in and out of the bedroom, but exercise actually “makes sex better, including performance, stamina, arousal, and libido,” says Michael Dansinger, M.D., director of the lifestyle coaching program for diabetes and weight loss at Tufts Medical Center. Plus, one study found that men who work out have a lower incidence of impotency and erectile dysfunction. Vigorous exercise—the equivalent of walking two miles or burning 200 extra calories per day—was most effective.

8. You’ll Slash Your Diabetes Risk

Physical activity helps keep blood glucose levels in check, so it reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s true even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss, Dr. Rifai says. And if you already have diabetes, you should know that regular exercise can help you manage your condition and lower the risk of complications like eye disease or nerve damage. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about which exercises are best for you.

9. You’ll Be Less Likely to Have a Heart Attack or Stroke

Lack of exercise is among the five major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). There are many reasons why exercise is so important for your heart and blood vessels: Aside from combating obesity, exercise lowers levels of LDL (often called “bad”) cholesterol, raises the HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and controls blood pressure. The AHA recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity) over the course of each week, plus doing some type of strength training at least twice per week.

10. It Preserves Muscle Mass

Muscle matters, even if you don’t care about becoming a body builder or looking toned in a bikini. After age 30, physically inactive people can lose as much as 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade, and it accelerates even more after age 70. If you want to continue picking up your grandkids and grocery bags, fight back now by making strength training part of your routine.

11. You’ll Sleep Better

Research has shown that regular exercisers tend to have less trouble falling asleep and staying asleep compared to those who are sedentary. Ideally, it’s best to exercise in the morning or afternoon so that you don’t get your heart rate and body temperature up too close to bedtime. But a large poll conducted by the Sleep Foundation found that most people aren’t too bothered by evening workouts, and that those who exercise at any time of day snooze better than those who aren’t active.

12. It Prevents Back Pain

Numerous studies have found that regular exercise helps keep low back pain at bay. If you’re prone to backaches, it’s a good idea to focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles in your back. You’ll also want to strengthen your core muscles, since they help support your spine. If you’ve had a back injury or you’re currently experiencing pain, ask your doctor or a physical therapist for guidance.

13. It Offers Relief for Achy Joints

It might seem like having sore knees or hips would be a pretty good excuse for sitting still, but that’s not the case: Exercise gets rid of stiffness and alleviates pain in arthritis sufferers. Your main goals should be to stay limber while strengthening the muscles that surround any troublesome joints. Not sure how to get started? The Arthritis Foundation offers specific routines and workout videos that you can view online.

14. It Helps You Stay Social

Why meet friends for dinner or grab a coffee when you can take a walk or do a Zumba class together? “Exercise is a great way to connect without sitting down to eat, and it takes the pressure out of spending money or adding calories that you don’t need,” says fitness expert and workout video star Andrea Metcalf. Trying new fitness classes or joining a gym might also help introduce you to some new companions.

15. It Helps You Retain Your Independence as You Age

You’re less likely to have trouble doing your own grocery shopping, catching a show at the theater, and just going about daily life if you start doing a combination of aerobic and easy strength-training moves now, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

16. You’ll Live Longer

Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms what you might have suspected: People who never exercise die sooner than those who are often on the move. In a perfect world, you should log at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, since doing so cuts your risk of premature death by 31 percent. But if you can’t hit that target, don’t panic: As long as you do some amount of regular exercise, you’ll lower your risk by 20 percent.

17. You Might Accomplish Things You Never Thought You Could

Barbara Lewin, R.D.N., an integrative health and sports nutritionist, says she often coaches aspiring teenage tennis champions and 20-something Olympic contenders—but she also works with an 85-year-old who just completed her first marathon. The takeaway: It’s never too late to cross that finish line, whether your goal is to compete in a race, take up kickboxing, or climb a mountain.

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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments The Best Foods for a Healthy Gut
By Anisha Jhaveri

The bacteria living in your belly has a powerful impact on your health. Feel your best by eating more probiotics and prebiotics.

Gut bacteria might not be the sexiest topic, but it’s getting a lot of attention in the health world. And for good reason: A growing body of research shows your gut microbiome (the scientific name for the trillions of microorganisms living in your digestive tract) may play a role in almost every aspect of health, including digestion, immunity, weight, heart health, and even memory.

Maintaining a healthy gut is all about balance. You want the “good” bacteria to outweigh the “bad” bacteria. If this balance is thrown off, it can increase your risk for compromised immunity, inflammation, diabetes, and other negative effects.

While you can’t control everything that affects your microbiome, like where you grew up or getting older, there’s one major way to influence your gut health every day: what you eat. There are two key categories of foods you should be eating to help balance those microscopic bugs and keep your gut in tip-top shape: probiotics and prebiotics.
Category #1: The Probiotics

Often referred to as “friendly bacteria,” probiotics are live microorganisms that we consume in fermented foods. They’re believed to be beneficial to our health in many ways, although scientists are only beginning to prove how. One popular theory is that probiotics help rebalance your gut bugs by creating an environment where the good guys can do their job better.

Other studies have found probiotics can help alleviate irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms, infectious diarrhea, and eczema. They may also help prevent allergies and colds. For the best probiotic bang for your buck, try these foods.

Kefir: While yogurt is probably the best-known probiotic food, kefir is like its more powerful cousin. The drink is made by seeding milk with kefir “grains,” which are tiny bundles of yeast and bacteria, and letting it sit. Over time the grains ferment the milk, producing a smooth, slightly tangy drink packed with healthy bacteria. Kefir is also very low in lactose, making it easier to digest for those with intolerant tummies.

Try drinking one cup of kefir per day to reap the most gut-boosting benefits. Just be sure to check the ingredient list before you buy. Many commercial kefir drinks contain very high amounts of added sugar, which feeds bad bacteria in your gut.

Sauerkraut: This popular condiment is bursting with lactic acid bacteria, which makes it a powerful promoter of gut health. So powerful, in fact, that a two-tablespoon serving is enough to reap the benefits, according to researchers at Nicholls State University who named sauerkraut a “probiotic powerfood.” Other foods with that status include Greek yogurt, kimchi, and miso.

Sauerkraut may offer more than gut-boosting benefits. A study at William and Mary college found that eating more fermented foods was linked to less social anxiety. The researchers believe it’s because most of the calming hormone serotonin is manufactured in our guts (not our brains), and the good bacteria boosted serotonin production.

Homemade sauerkraut is always best, but store-bought versions deliver benefits, too. The key is to look for “live cultures” on the label or buy a jar from the refrigerated section. Some canned versions are packed in a vinegar solution without live, active bacteria in the mix.

More Probiotic Foods:

Fermented vegetables (kimchi, carrots, green beans, beets, lacto-fermented pickles, traditional cured Greek olives)
Fermented soybeans (miso, natto, tempeh)
Cultured dairy products (buttermilk, yogurt, soft cheeses)
Fermented grains and beans (lacto-fermented lentils, chickpeas)
Fermented beverages (kombuchas)
Fermented condiments (raw apple cider vinegar)

Category #2: The Prebiotics

Probiotics get most of the attention, but they couldn’t do their job without their equally important counterparts: prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers, like inulin, that feed the healthy bacteria (probiotics) in your gut to stimulate growth and promote balance. This is especially helpful as we age since our level of beneficial gut bacteria naturally decreases. Try these potent prebiotic foods.

Leeks: Many vegetables contain prebiotics, but they’re especially concentrated in leeks as well as garlic and onions. But for the most prebiotic benefit, eat these foods raw instead of cooked.

Toss these stem-like veggies in a salad with salt, a little raw apple cider vinegar, and olive oil, and you have a tasty, easy-to-digest meal to feed your gut colony.

Jerusalem Artichokes: Also known as a sunchoke, this vegetable is one of the richest sources of inulin, which functions as a prebiotic during digestion. In other words, it helps stimulate healthy bacteria growth while also reducing the number of potentially harmful yeast, parasites, and bacterial species living in the body that trigger inflammation.

If you’ve never tried Jerusalem artichokes, nutritional therapist Amelia Freer suggests starting slow, as they can cause intestinal discomfort or bloating in those with sensitive digestive systems. But don’t let that deter you. Not only are Jerusalem artichokes powerful gut-building foods, they’re also delicious roasted, steamed, or lightly sautéed.

Blueberries: Blueberries are often celebrated as heart-healthy fruits, thanks to having the highest concentration of antioxidants among most berries. But those antioxidants are also great at regulating the gut’s microbial balance.

Plus, a 2010 Swedish study found that when blueberries were eaten together with probiotic-rich foods, they reduced inflammation-inducing bacteria but increased good bacteria.

Add some blueberries on top of yogurt for a quick prebiotic-and-probiotic breakfast combo.

More Prebiotic Foods:

Cereal grains (whole wheat, barley, rye)
Chicory root
Dandelion greens
Green bananas and plantains

message 46: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 19, 2018 07:31PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments 6 Ways to Cut Your Risk of Dementia
By Barbara Brody

New research says one in three dementia cases could be prevented with lifestyle changes. Here’s your game plan.

Everyone occasionally forgets where they parked or where they put their keys. But as you get older, these kinds of slipups can make you wonder: Is your memory starting to go? You may be especially uneasy if one of your parents had Alzheimer’s disease.

Whether Alzheimer’s runs in your family or not, it makes sense to be concerned about brain health. Dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s disease as well as other types of cognitive impairment, is incredibly common. An estimated 47 million people in the world have it, and there are 9.9 million new cases each year, according to the World Health Organization.

While you might feel like a sitting duck waiting for dementia to strike, you actually have quite a bit of power. For starters, it’s true that some cases of Alzheimer’s are caused by a genetic mutation, but that applies to an extremely small percentage of people. What’s more, a recent report published in The Lancet concluded that one in three dementia cases could be prevented with lifestyle changes.

“I’m an old pharma guy, and we’ve been working on drugs for Alzheimer’s for a long time,” says James Hendrix, Ph.D., director of global science initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association. “If we had a new drug out that could reduce dementia cases by one-third, that would be big news.”

In case you were wondering, no such pill exists yet. But the lifestyle changes required to yield similar results certainly do—and they’re very much within your reach. If your goal is stave off memory loss for as long as possible and maybe even forever, here’s your game plan.

Step 1: MIND Your Diet

MIND, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a hybrid of the traditional Mediterranean diet (which emphasizes fruits and vegetables and limits red meat and sweets) and the DASH diet (an eating plan designed to lower blood pressure). Not only can MIND help you lose weight, but following it might also cut your risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent, according to research published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The MIND diet features lots of leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine. According to the experts at Rush University, where it was developed, “The MIND diet includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad, and one other vegetable every day—along with a glass of wine. It also involves snacking most days on nuts and eating beans every other day or so, poultry and berries at least twice a week, and fish at least once a week.”

Another dietary approach that may have the potential to protect brain health is the Nordic diet, which is rich in fish and vegetables, except for starchy ones, Hendrix adds. Whatever plan you follow, try to stick with it most of the time. While it’s fine to have ice cream or steak once in a while, “you can’t have only one healthy meal a week and expect to solve the problem,” Hendrix says.

Step 2: Keep Moving

“The science is not settled” when it comes to sorting out exactly how much physical activity is needed for good brain health, but a lot of studies suggest that it’s important, says Kenneth Langa, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee on preventing dementia and cognitive impairment. His advice: Start slow, and work your way up to about 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days per week.

This goal is similar to what the ongoing Pointer trial, a two-year study on reducing cognitive decline that will include 2,500 people, will recommend for participants: aerobic activity at least three to four times per week. Results are expected in late 2022 or 2023.

For now, as with diet, consistency is key. “You want to make it part of your lifestyle, so do something you enjoy,” Hendrix says. “If you like to walk, walk. If you hate to swim, don’t take up swimming.”

Check with your doctor before kicking up the intensity of your fitness program. If chronic pain or fear of injury is stopping you from getting active, let your doctor know so you can get proper treatment if needed and tips to exercise safely.

Once you get clearance from your doc, check out these tips to get started with:

Gym machines
Strength exercise
Water exercise and swimming
Fun fitness
Workout videos

Step 3: Take Control of High Blood Pressure

Whether or not it leads to a stroke, high blood pressure is bad for your mind. The reason: All that pounding against the blood vessels leading to and within your brain can damage them, says Dr. Langa. And having a stroke, which interrupts blood flow to the brain, can trigger dementia.

It’s also smart to do what you can to keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in check. While the “scientific evidence is a bit stronger for blood pressure control right now,” high LDL cholesterol can lead to blockages in the arteries that disrupt blood flow to the brain, Dr. Langa says.

High blood sugar—caused by uncontrolled diabetes—is also a major problem. “There’s a direct negative effect of high blood sugar on brain cells themselves,” and having diabetes also increases the chance of developing blockages in your arteries, Dr. Langa explains.

If you don’t know if your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are healthy, talk to your doctor. If your numbers are too high, a combination of lifestyle changes (like a healthier diet and more exercise) and medication can help.

Step 4: Become a Social Butterfly

At the very least, don’t become a shut-in. Several small studies have suggested that people who regularly spend time with friends and family, join clubs, volunteer, or go to church are less likely to develop dementia. “The data isn’t as strong as it is for exercise and diet, but the literature does seem to indicate that social isolation can increase cognitive decline,” Hendrix says.

It makes sense that being social would help. “You keep your brain active just by talking to somebody,” he says. Plus, people who surround themselves with friends tend to have lower rates of depression, which increases the risk of dementia, according to several studies.

Check out these tips to stay connected, strengthen your marriage, and bond with your adult children. And if you’re feeling sadder than usual or notice changes in your sleep or appetite, talk to your doctor. These could be signs of depression or another health issue. The good news: Depression can be treated.

Step 5: Learn Something—Anything—New

You don’t have to do crossword puzzles to keep your brain sharp. In fact, there’s not a lot of proof that it will help, though if you’re currently bad at them and force yourself to work at it there might be some brain benefits. What’s more important is “to be a lifelong learner,” Hendrix says.

Learning new things—whether you take a French class or violin lessons, or just make an effort to stay up-to-date on world events—forces you to stretch your mind and build new connections between the neurons in your brain, Hendrix says. Trying a new SilverSneakers class or fitness class in your community counts too—and will also help you keep moving and stay social. That’s a win-win-win!

Step 6: Think Big Picture and Small Positive Steps

The science in this area is evolving at a rapid pace, and you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with all of it. Instead of stressing on the details of each small finding, simply focus on leading an overall healthy lifestyle, Dr. Langa says.

If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, getting some exercise, staying engaged with others, and doing new things, then you’re on the right track. “The shorthand I have for my patients is that they should walk, talk, and read,” he says.

And if you notice any changes in your health, check in with your doctor. The sooner they can identify any health issues that increase your risk for dementia—whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or something else—the sooner you can do something about it.

message 47: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 21, 2018 09:16AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments

message 48: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1219 comments I posted that saying on Facebook once.....except it had a picture of cookie monster.

message 49: by Andreia (new)

Andreia | 53 comments Alias Reader wrote: ""


The "6 Ways to Cut Your Risk of Dementia" seem interesting!

message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18872 comments Julie wrote: "I posted that saying on Facebook once.....except it had a picture of cookie monster."

Yes. I saw the cookie monster ones when I was looking for a Jpeg image for goodreads. They were cute.

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