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Another Perspective on Health

"Health is not the mere absence of disease, but in fact a state of vitality, of energy, of creativity; ultimately, a higher state of consciousness."

Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Obesity and Exercise

A study done on female twins shows a genetic predisposition to obesity does not lower the beneficial effects of exercise. As a matter of fact, women who have more of a tendency toward being overweight may respond better to exercise. Researchers published their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine 1999; 130:873-882. They reported that while less exercise is associated with obesity, the relationship is not influenced by environmental factors such as smoking and dieting.

Home Exercise Machines - A Review Site

Why exercise at home? Because the time you spend going to and from the gym is time you could be spending exercising. Get reviews and recommendations on the very best home exercise machines. Know what's out there!

Short on Fiber

The Kellogg Company funded a study over twelve months ago, documenting the fact Americans are only getting half of the USDA recommended daily intake of 25 grams to 30 grams of fiber. In truth, the study reported the disturbing finding that a third of Americans don't even know what the daily requirements for fiber are. Then, too, another 45 percent underestimate the amount needed to meet the requirements. The study found nearly half of all Americans don't get enough fiber because they say they are too busy, while another 24 percent admitted they don't know which foods contain fiber. Another 15 percent say foods high in fiber don't taste good. For the record, high quality fiber may be found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in certain whole grain foods, such as whole wheat bread, bran muffins and breakfast cereals.

FYI -- Avoid Commercial Chemical Laxatives.

They do what they are supposed to do, however they are addicting. If too many chemical laxatives are taken, your bowel gets used to them and your constipation can get worse. A better bet would be one marked "natural" or "vegetable." These are considered safe, even if taken over a long period of time. Just be sure to drink plenty of water with them.


-- Sore throats can be annoying, but they usually can be improved with a few simple self-care steps. Low humidity in your home, failing to drink enough fluids, winter dryness, or smoke can be the culprits, but often, sore throats are a sign of infection.

During an infection, your throat fights back by increasing the blood flow to your neck. This is what causes the swelling, soreness, and cough that often accompany a sore throat.

Two types of infections cause sore throats: the more common viral infection; and the less common, but more serious, bacterial infection, known as strep throat. Here are the usual differences between the two: Viral sore throat - caused by a virus; usually causes a dry cough and a lighter colored mucus; less likely to be accompanied by a fever; often associated with cold or flu; disappears by 7 to 10 days. Strep throat - caused by bacteria; throat appears very red with white patches or pus and swollen tonsils and neck glands; often produces a temperature of over 101 degrees; requires treatment with antibiotics.

If you're suffering from a sore throat, here are a few steps to take to get relief and be well in a short time. Drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day. Gargle with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of water). Suck on hard candies or cough drops and take aspirin for fever or discomfort if needed. (Children and teenagers should take acetaminophen instead of aspirin.) Increase the humidity with vaporizers or hot showers. However, since vaporizers can transmit infection, it is important to keep them very clean.

It is recommended to take an immune system booster at the first sign of need.


-- Drinking plenty of water while you exercise can help you keep your heart rate down. If you get dehydrated, sweat is drawn from the water content of your blood, reducing its volume. Your heart beats faster when less blood is available to fuel your muscles and cool the skin.


-- To brighten teeth stained by coffee and cigarettes, mix baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a toothpaste and brush teeth as usual.



Q Since fruit gets sweeter as it ripens, does that mean it contains more calories?

A No. The fruit contains the same amount of calories at all stages after it matures and during the ripening process. The reason it tastes sweeter is that the larger carbohydrate molecules are being broken down by naturally occurring enzymes; these produce a sweeter taste, even though the same amount of carbohydrate is actually present. You can liken this scenario to eating a soda cracker, which is mostly made up of larger molecules of starch. Hold the cracker in your mouth a few moments, and it will begin to taste sweet, even with the same amount of carbohydrate.

Q Why do some women crave chocolate during their periods?

A Dr. Gail Frank, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, believes the changing hormone levels right before menstruation begins can cause discomfort, including headaches. Self-indulging in chocolate provides the body with active substances that may help raise levels of seratonin, a brain chemical which can help improve mood and sense of well-being.

Q Is it OK to stop a sneeze?

A Actually, no. But if you do try to hold your breath, do it by sealing your lips and lightly pinching your nose while still sneezing. If you pinch too tight, you may create enormous pressure in your nose and throat. This can force (or spread) infection up into your sinus tissues and ears through your Eustachian tubes.

Q Do food-combining diets work?

A For weight loss purposes, you should always remember a very important factor - calories are calories. Still, proteins, fats and carbohydrates require different enzymes to digest. And foods that are high in fats and proteins naturally travel through the digestive tract more slowly, because it takes longer for them to digest. By comparison, carbohydrates travel through much faster. So you can greatly support the function of your digestive system by partially separating the foods somewhat when you eat them. In general, eat your carbohydrates earlier in the meal. This way they can travel on through, which permits adequate time for the digestion of proteins and fat. This naturally results in less gas, bloating and other digestive upsets. This practice is usually referred to as "food combining" and several books, loaded with good tips, are available on the subject.



Joy for Chocolate Lovers

With all the holiday chocolates many of us amass this time of year (just as we resolve to "lose weight"!), it is of some interest to examine recent research into the health benefits (if any) of chocolate consumption. Topping the chocolate lover's welcome list are findings by a group of researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health. They showed chocolate and candy eaters, no matter how intensive their sweet tooth, live almost one year longer than non-candy eaters. They published their results in the British Medical Journal and speculate the naturally occurring antioxidants in chocolate may be the reason for the longevity differential noted.

Americans consume on average about ten pounds per year, per person. And while chocolate has been blamed for causing migraine headaches, PMS, hives and other allergies, binge eating and just about any other malady you can envision, the former head of the nutrition department at the Medical College of Georgia, E.B. Feldman, M.D., believes there is a place for chocolate in a healthy diet.

Despite chocolate's high fat and calorie content, the type of fat it contains - vegetable fat - is relatively neutral in terms of its artery-clogging effects. Dr. Feldman believes most healthy people may safely consume two or three chocolate bars per week or one cup of cocoa with skim milk. Furthermore, she feels chocolate may have some actual health benefits, due to the unique phytochemicals contained in cocoa beans. These may have an effect on brain function and act as antioxidants. Her review of the scientific literature on chocolate was published in the May-June issue of Nutrition Today.


Walking For Maximum
Calorie Burn

If your goal is to burn calories, you can burn significantly more of them by cranking up the elevation on your treadmill. Keep in mind the importance of increasing gradually and remember, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. See the chart below for an idea of the impact raising your incline can have on calories burned.

Calories Burned Per Hour
Walking Speed No Incline 3% Incline 7% Incline 10% Incline
3.5 mph 227 316 434 524
4.5 mph 487 544 620 678
5.5 mph 582 651 744 814



Low Selenium May Be Risky for smokers

Researchers at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland, published a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Seeking to confirm their hypothesis, "that low selenium may in some circumstances be a risk factor for lung cancer," they collected blood samples from volunteers between 1968 and 1971, then again between 1973 and 1976. In the follow-up study at the end of 1991, ninety-five cases of lung cancer were diagnosed.

When the blood levels of selenium were compared to individuals who served as the controls without lung cancer, these showed that those with the higher selenium levels had as much as 60 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. What's more, smokers who were for both sampling periods among the group consuming the most selenium had an 84 percent lower risk of lung cancer. Lower risk was also demonstrated for those with high intakes of vitamin E. State the authors, "the findings suggest that very low selenium status may contribute to the risk of lung cancer."

Selenium is an important mineral, but its content in the soil can vary enormously from one geographic area to another. Good food sources include Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, all varieties of fish and kidneys, as well as (to a lesser extent) liver, pork, chicken, eggs, cashew nuts, soybeans and mushrooms. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, milk products, legumes, rice and bananas all tend to be low in selenium.


Roasted Vegetable Salad
Serves 4
1 md-sz. sweet green pepper, cored, seeded & sliced lengthwise into strips 1 in. wide
1 md-sz. sweet red pepper
(same as above)
1 md-sz. sweet yellow pepper
(same as above)
1 bulb garlic (entire head)
1 lg. yellow onion, sliced 1/2 in. thick
3 tbs olive or veg. oil
1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 md-sz. ripe tomato, cored & cut into 1 in. thick cubes
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsps chopped parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Separate the garlic into individual cloves and peel. Place in an ungreased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan along with the green, red, & yellow peppers, onion, olive oil, oregano, cumin & black pepper. Stir to mix.

2. Place the uncovered pan in the oven and roast the vegetables for 15 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times. Stir in the tomato and roast, uncovered 15 minutes longer, again stirring 2 or 3 times.

3. Stir in the lime juice, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish & sprinkle with the parsley.

(Per Serving), 11 Grams of Carbohydrate, 2 Grams of Protein



Inspirational Quotes of the Week

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

- Theodore Roosevelt

Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life.

- William Blake

A problem is your chance to do your best.

- Duke Ellington

Technology is like a steamroller. If you're not on the steamroller, then you are destined to become part of the road.

- Bits & Pieces



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Have an outstanding day.

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James and Jean Sapp
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