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Healthy Nutrition

The Acai Berry Super Food

This super berry has gotten much media attention lately and it leaves us with many questions. Where does this berry come from? Why is it good for us? Will it really keep us healthy and help us lose weight? Based on the latest research, let’s explore all we know to be true about this berry.
Acai berry, pronounced (ah-SAH’ee) is said to be one of the most nutritious foods in the world. So what is this berry and what does it exactly do? Acai is a small purplish, blackish-looking berry. It is a cross between a grape and a blueberry but smaller and darker. The fruit has a large seed and a small amount of pulp. It’s now being used in the United States in energy drinks, bars, juices, and even yogurts and ice-creams. It comes from the Amazon palm tree in Brazil and the native people there have been traditionally using acai berries to treat digestive disorders, skin conditions, and insomnia, to name a few.
The berries are actually found in some of the large palm trees that grow in the thick forests. Unlike cherries which grow individually in trees, the acai berry grows in bunches, more like bananas would.
These berries have gotten lots of media hype lately and have been featured on talk shows such as Oprah, Rachel Ray, NBC, CBS, and ABC. An Oprah guest, health expert Dr. Perricone, promotes Acai berries as one of the best foods you may have never heard of. He considers it a super food with many reasons to back it up.
These berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fats which are the perfect trifecta when looking at the nutritional profile of any food. Essential fats, which nutritionists speak of quite frequently, help to kick start metabolism, absorb more nutrition from your food, help with brain and heart health, as well as a host of other things. It also contains amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, and of course antioxidants. We speak of antioxidants all the time but most people aren’t really sure what they really are and why they’re so vital. We just know that they must be good for us because we talk about them so often.
Antioxidants help to defend the body against free radicals which are harmful byproducts produced by the body with the help of pollutants like cigarette smoke, pesticides, air pollution, and so forth. Eating foods high in these anti-oxidants such as fruits and vegetables, interferes with the aging process and disease process by neutralizing these free radicals. By lessening the destructive power of free radicals, we can help reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and of course, cancer. The USDA has a way of measuring these antioxidants in foods called the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale and it’s used by many nutritionists. The acai berry has surpassed many foods on the ORAC scale by leaps and bounds. Examples of other foods that are high on this scale would be blueberries, goji berries, and cranberries, and from the research we’ve seen so far, Acai surpasses them all in that department.
The other thing all these foods have in common would be the different blueish, purplish, pigments which is a measure of the anthocyanins and flavonoids they contain. Anthocyanins comes from 2 Greek words, “plant” and “blue”, so these are responsible for the pigments in fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Foods that are richest in these would blueberries, red grapes, red wine, and acai.
There is lots of discussion about these berries and how they pertain to weight loss. It is true that any fruit that is high in fiber and antioxidants which help you feel full and rid the body of toxins would be great for energy and weight loss. There is still much research that has to be done as far has prevention of illness and extreme weight loss so promotion of these berries as a miracle solution or a quick fix is highly pre-mature until more research is done. They’re simply a very nutritious fruit that can certainly be a part of any weight loss plan. In fact, it is sometimes given in extreme weight loss facilities to help give clients energy to get through challenging workouts.
Where and how to we get the acai berry? The best advice would be to try and purchase it as a juice that has been freeze dried as the fruit is extremely perishable, therefore would never last the trip over to the United States in its natural form. Therefore any brand you buy should say “freeze dried powder” or extracts such as what you would find in the products like Monavie, and the brand Earthfruit which has a freeze dried powder. Don’t fall for things that say 4:1, …

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Healthy Nutrition

Healthy Eating On-The-Go

Healthy eating seems difficult to us because we believe that it takes time to prepare. We opt for fast food and junk because it’s convenient, cheap and everywhere we go. We couldn’t be more wrong. Here are 10 easy and affordable ways to eat healthy on the go this summer.
10. Carry it With You
Keep a variety of ready to eat fruits and vegetables at home to grab and go. Pack a mini cooler bag full of them along with low fat yogurt, granola bars, dried cereal, trail mix and cheese sticks to feed your hunger throughout the day.
9. Keep Yourself Hydrated
To quench your thirst you should be drinking 9 to 12 cups of water per day and even more on hot, humid days or when exercising. Keep a case of bottled water at home and take a few bottles wherever you go.
8. Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping it would be like driving your car to work on an empty tank. Have a bowl of multi grain cereal, high in fibre and low in sugar, with skimmed milk and topped with fresh fruit.
7. What’s on the Barbecue?
All meats for the barbecue should be lean cuts, preferably chicken and fish. Limit your intake of steak and other red meats. Remember portion control. A single serving should be no bigger than the size of a deck of cards.
6. Preparation
Plan your snacks and meals the night before. Sandwiches, side salads and veggies store easily in zip lock baggies in your fridge. At work and in the car have a kit including cutlery and napkins along with plastic containers. Prepare a grocery list prior to shopping.
5. Vegetable “V8” Drinks
Vegetable juice drinks contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in everyday vegetables. They store easily in the fridge and you can grab them on the run. Look for low sodium brands.
4. Use a Smaller Plate
Whether you are at home, a barbeque or a buffet, always reach for the smallest plate possible. Portion control is everything. We have a tendency to force ourselves to finish what’s on our plate. The smaller the plate, the less food we will eat.
3. Healthy Eating Out
Most fast food restaurants offer salads and fruit on their menus. Sub shops and fresh delis offer several low fat options. Order your sub on a whole wheat bun or wrap, skip the fatty dressings and load up on the veggies.
2. Veggie Delight
Vegetables are a great source of essential nutrients and dietary fibre, providing us with energy while being low in fat and calories. Canada’s food guide recommends 7 to 10 servings per day. Half of your lunch and dinner plates should be filled with fresh vegetables.
1. Moderation, Balance and Variety
The key to healthy eating can be summed up best like this. Control how much as well as how often you eat while getting a good variety and balance from all 4 major food groups.
Fast food doesn’t have to be bad food. Learn this and feel good about what you eat. Healthy eating has never been so quick or easy, and it’s always been right in front of you. Bon Appétit.…

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Healthy Nutrition

Hair Care FAQs – Frequently Asked Hair Care Questions

Salon stylists are often asked the same kinds of questions by customers who want to care for their hair properly on a day to day basis. With hair care tips on everything from dyed hair to dry hair, here are some of the most frequently asked questions with answers from top UK stylists.
How do I dye my hair without compromising the condition?
Many people think using henna, a natural, plant-based hair dye, is a good way to permanently dye the hair at home without damaging it or drying it out. However, home hair dyeing is a tricky process and you should remember that henna can’t be coloured over, meaning you have to wait until it has grown out if you don’t like the colour.
If you want to experiment with colour but keep the condition, you could use a glossing or Symbio colour service. Symbio is a temporary fix, applied with a plant enriched conditioning mask. These amazing hair care products allow you to have fun and experiment with colour without damaging the hair, leaving it healthy and in excellent condition.
How do I straighten my wavy hair with a glossy finish?
If you’re looking to achieve the kind of high-gloss finish you see in magazines, this is a simple thing to do when you put together the right ingredients: a decent blow dry and the correct hair care products. After washing, apply a small amount of blow drying product, this will replenish and moisturise the hair, helping it become smooth and shiny.
Blow dry the hair in small sections, using a round barrel brush. Keep the nozzle on your hair dryer and point it down the hair shaft for the best results. If needed, hair straighteners, used with a heat protection spray, will ease out any kinks and polish off the look.
I want to dye my hair black – can I do this over my highlights?
Changing from highlights to black is definitely possible but you need to be absolutely sure about it as it is far harder to go back once it’s done. Think about other factors – you may find you need to alter your whole wardrobe as different colours and styles will suit you.
Moving from dyed black hair back to blonde is tricky and can take up to six months – I would recommend trying some lowlights first to make sure this is the way you want to go, and gradually taking the colour down to the shade you want to stick with.
I look after my hair but it is still dry – how can inject moisture?
Even if you look after your hair, every day environmental factors such as heat damage, chlorine and central heating can leave hair brittle and dehydrated. If moisturising shampoos and leave-in conditioners are not working for you, your stylist should be able to suggest the right moisturising products for your particular hair type.
They will probably recommend using a weekly intensive moisturising treatment when you shampoo and condition to infuse the hair with moisture. These kinds of concentrated, moisturising hair care products will leave the hair shiny, glossy and properly hydrated.…

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Healthy Nutrition

Proper Nutrition & Normal Hair Growth

Proper nutrition is very essential for the functionality of your body. Likewise a healthy diet fully packed with proteins, fatty acids, vitamins etc are needed for the well being of your hair. We should consider following a strict diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins which will provide the body the right amount of vitamins and minerals. These are necessary for dealing with certain problems which includes hair loss, dandruff etc.
Hair follicles are responsible for hair growth and shedding. They are a part of the skin in the scalp and need proper nutrients for growing hair. Blood circulates throughout the body bringing oxygen, minerals, nutrients and energy to the follicle cells. Poor blood circulation which can be caused by the lack of one or more nutrients, like water or iron is the main reason for hair fall. Care should be taken for ensuring the adequate amount of iron in the diet.
We need to make sure that we are receiving a healthy nutrition in our everyday lives. It is important to have vegetables, fruits and lean meats and for some people a regular intake of vitamin supplements is needed. Vitamin supplements help in increasing the health of our body and improve the function of the systems. People who suffer from hair loss and thinning can overcome it by following a healthy diet and taking vitamin supplements. Fatty acids are also important for maintaining healthy hair.
Most of the hair problems that occur can be solved by having a well balanced diet. It is also a good idea to choose foods and the right vitamins and minerals which will help to increase the levels of hair growth. This will prevent hair loss and also fasten up hair re-growth.
To be on the safer side, it is always good to consult a doctor in order to make sure that you do not intake an overdose of vitamins. If the level in vitamins is too high for the body, it may cause other problems due to its side effects. A doctor can help you by recommending the correct dosage for hair fall problems and health status.…

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Healthy Nutrition

How to Care for Your Baby’s Hair

Caring for your baby’s hair is an important part of her regular grooming. However, it can sometimes be an arduous task since a lot of babies do not like having their hair washed, brushed and cut. Washing hair may be the most difficult of all since a baby tends to squirm, cry and move her head about when her head is washed.
Fortunately there’s a way for you to make the process a lot easier.
Washing your baby’s hair
• For younger babies, ask your doctor about the right bath products to use. You may also ask him or birthing center personnel to show you how to properly wash the hair.
• Use a wet washcloth with warm water to gently rub your baby.
• For older babies, you can use a mild, tear-free shampoo. But first, untangle the hair using a wide tooth comb to prevent further tangling her hair during bath time.
• If you are bathing in a big tub, cradle your baby’s head in one hand. Gently lather up with one hand while supporting her firmly with the other. If you are using a reclined baby tub, simply wet the hair and lather it up with tiny amount of shampoo. Rinse thoroughly until no lather appears when you rub your baby’s hair. Avoid drying your baby’s scalp by shampooing on two to three times a week.
Combing your baby’s hair
• For younger babies use a soft bristled brush since they generally do not have much hair yet.
• For older babies, you can use either a soft bristled brush or a small toothed comb, depending on the amount of hair your baby has. If she has fine, wispy hair, a brush will make her hair shiny. If she has long, thick hair, use the comb to remove tangles.
• Gently comb from roots to ends.
• If your baby has thick, curly or long hair, divide it into sections. Start with the part closest to the neck first then work your way in sections towards the top of your baby’s head.
Trimming your baby’s hair
• When your baby is old enough to have her hair trimmed, choose a time when she is in her best mood.
• Sit your baby on a high chair or booster seat. If you do not have a seat, ask your partner, relative or friend to hold your baby in his or her lap.
• Drape a cape or towel over your baby’s shoulders.
• Give her a toy or play movie to distract her during the process.
• Gently wet your baby’s hair.
• To trim her bangs, take section of hair between two fingers and run them down to the point where you would like to cut it. Your fingers are your guide in creating a straight cut across.
• The same step goes for cutting hair at the back and sides.
• Talk to your baby to gently encourage her during the hair cut.
Lastly, avoid pulling the hair into tight ponytails or braids as this can cause bald spots. Also never, use a hair dryer as this can damage your baby’s hair.…

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Healthy Nutrition

Losing Weight Whilst Eating Out

Losing weight tends to pose a considerable challenge to those of us who have a lifestyle which involves frequent visits to restaurants. Dining out has gone from being a rarity to almost becoming a twice weekly norm for a huge number of people. And when we are not eating out, we’re calling up for a take-away and serving up food which frequently tends to be greater in both fatty content and portion size.
Losing weight becomes more difficult when your lifestyle is such that you eat in this way. Restaurant portion sizes tend to be bigger. Not only that they tend to have more accompaniments, like warm bread rolls and butter, creamy sauces, appetizers and desserts, not to mention the alcohol which you are more likely to partake in as well. Thus there are three very big reasons why eating out makes it more difficult for you to lose weight:
Larger quantities = more calories
Fattier foods = more calories
Adding alcohol into the mix = more calories
You cannot get away from the fact that if you want to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories or burn more of calories or do both. If you want to lose weight successfully you are therefore presented with a pretty straight forward choice; you could change your lifestyle and eat out less, and order less meals to take out too. Or you can learn new ways in which to deal with this matter of dining out.
Most restaurants these days give the dieter a really good helping hand. Many of them draw your attention to their healthier options, or are more than happy to lower the fat content or provide small portions. I have always said that if you eat out a lot it should in fact be easier to lose weight; all you have to do is to learn to ask for the amount and types of food which is good for you. You don’t have to buy the food or cook it. All you have to do is order your meal and eat it! Surely that should make losing weight a whole lot easier?
But this doesn’t seem to be the case. More and more people are putting on weight and even becoming obese. Losing weight seems to become more and more difficult. The problem is not a lack of availability of low calorie food options; the problem is more centered between the ears; if you are overweight and do not want to be, and yet you do not seem able to lose weight, there is often a conflict between what you want to do (eat all those fatty, delicious, sweet food items) and what you know you should do (say “no thank you”).
To lose weight successfully you have to get your mind around how you see food, how you think about food and how you feel about food. Successful weight loss comes from within. Your own mental attitude requires a certain amount of refocusing so that you can become that slender person who automatically orders the right thing in restaurants, and says “no thank you” to the second or third glass of wine or to the dessert waiter.
This is why weight loss hypnosis mp3s are so very effective in assisting people to successfully lose weight. Hypnosis provides access to your subconscious mind, the part which knows what to do and how to do it; the part which acts instinctively and automatically. Thus if you really want to lose weight, you can get your mind around your lifestyle and habits with the help of weight loss hypnosis mp3 downloads. Losing weight becomes so much easier for you with the help of hypnosis.…

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Healthy Nutrition

Find Out How To Maintain Proper Fitness Plans With These Tips

For many people, getting fit seems like an impossible task. It takes time and stamina and doesn’t appear to be all that fun. However, with the right workout plan, tailored to what you can do and what you find enjoyable, getting fit and staying fit can be a lifelong hobby. Following are some tips to get into the swing of things.

Learning to dance is a great way to get more exercise into your life. Dancers are known for having some of the fittest bodies in the world and this is not by coincidence. Dancing requires incredible core strength, as well as, the stamina to get through a tough routine. Even if you will never be a professional dancer, learning to dance is a fun way to incorporate physical fitness into your free time, as well as a fun way to meet new people.

To get the most benefit out of your strength training, incorporate stretches into your routine. At least one scientific study suggests that if you pause after training your muscles and spend 20-30 seconds stretching out whatever muscle (or set of muscles) it is you’ve been working, this will increase your strength.

If you want to bench press without injuring yourself, proper form is a must. Remember to always lie completely flat on the bench. A great way to always maintain the proper form is to leave your feet firmly planted on the ground, and always grip the bar no more than shoulder width apart. This will allow a fluid, natural motion and enable you to keep a solid form.


Involve your entire family in getting fit. Choose active things to do for weekend entertainment, or go for an evening walk after dinner. If you instill fitness as part of daily life to your children now, they will be less likely to be overweight or unhealthy later in life.

Pregnant women can generally continue to maintain their fitness level during the entire course of the pregnancy. It’s best not to embark on new strenuous activities while pregnant, since the body is already in a state of change, but continuing an already established routine, is believed to be healthy. It will make losing the baby weight easier, as well as to aid in the labor process.

Good Health

Relaxation is key to keeping good health and fitness. Sure you might exercise and eat healthy and maintain all of those things to keep your nice figure, but if you don’t give your mind and body a rest, it will become unhealthy and other things will begin to fail as well. A massage is a great way to relax and also give your body and muscles the reward they deserve for following such a strict regimen.

Therefore, getting and staying fit does not have to be the unreachable pinnacle in your life. It’s just a matter of building up stamina by doing something you enjoy, an activity that will get your heart rate up and that you can do at least a few times a week. A routine like that may not make you into an Olympic star, but it can give you a healthy body, keep your weight down, and make you feel good about yourself.…