Thank You For Visiting Our Blog, FEEL BETTER AND LIVE LONGER!

The purpose of our blog is to share what we have learned about nutrition, weight loss, fitness, and health, in order to help you find ways to feel better and live longer. It is amazing how much our diet and lifestyle affect our health and well-being.

Did you know that you can reduce your risk and even prevent many diseases and health conditions simply by making some changes to your diet? Check back often for valuable tips and information.


For the first time in my life I have found weight loss success. During my adult life I have tried dozens and dozens of so-called "diets" and none of them worked over the long-haul. Oh, I was able to lose weight with some of them, but once I went off of the "diet" I quickly gained back all of my weight (plus some).

I have finally learned that losing weight has to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Crash diets and all the other crazy diets will not only cause you to fail, they are harmful to your health. To lose weight and keep it off you must NOT go on a "diet." What? Why? Because we all consider a "diet" a temporary thing. For example, how many times have you said, "Oh, I will go on this low-fat diet until I lose 20 pounds." Okay, what happens after you lose the 20 pounds? Or you simply give up? You go back to your old habits and gain that 20 pounds back.

The only way you will ever be successful at losing weight, with the added benefit of improving your health, is to make healthy changes that you can live with for the rest of your life. Period. Not for a week, a month or 3 months, but for life. For me, my initial goal was to lower my cholesterol level. I had to have a blood test for my insurance coverage and my cholesterol level had to be lower than the previous year's levels or I would have to pay a much higher premium. Well, that was a pretty good incentive for me make some positive changes.

I sat down and figured out what I needed to do. I knew I had to change the way I ate and I knew I had to exercise in some form or other every day. So, I made a list and I stuck to it. It was difficult at first. To make matters worse, I am a compulsive eater. However, as the days went by, it became much easier because my body stopped craving sweets and processed foods. For the first time in my life, I was never tempted to binge because I never felt deprived.

Use the list below and make whatever changes you need to make in order for it to work for you. FYI, my cholesterol level dropped 65 points after 7 weeks, and my triglycerides dropped 70 points!
Another benefit that I hadn't planned on was that after being an insomniac since my teen-age years, I now sleep like a baby every night!


1. Avoid "white" Foods & Processed Foods.
These foods have no nutritional value and are "empty" calories. Sweets, anything made with white flour,and anything that comes in a package with a long list of ingredients.
Always read the food labels. Stay away from those long lists of ingredients. The longer the list, the more chemicals and additives are present. These are extremely toxic to your body.

2. Drink Lots of
Water. Water keeps your body's organs hydrated and flushes out unhealthy toxins. It helps to fill you up and reduces your urge to over-eat.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast.
Instead of coffee and donuts, try fruit, yogurt, grains like oatmeal or whole grain toast, and lean protein. NEVER skip breakfast. By eating a large, healthy meal when you get up in the morning, your metabolism will "rev up" and you will not be hungry by mid-morning. If you skip breakfast, your
body will go into starvation mode and store calories in your body as FAT, yes FAT! So do yourself a big favor and eat breakfast.

4. Reduce Your Stress Level.
So many of us live with too much
stress. Stress lowers your immune system, making it easier to get sick. It also makes us lethargic, tired, and depressed. There are a lot of simple things you can do and a lot of ways to feel better about yourself and your life. Take a long, hot bath, read a book, listen to music, get a massage. Do something nice for yourself. Giving yourself something to look forward to is a tremendous mental incentive.

5. Move!
Oh my gosh! There are so many ways to incorporate movement into your day, even at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up every hour and walk around your floor, your hallway or your desk. Park your car in the farthest space from where you need to be. Walk or bike to work. Skate, dance, golf, jump rope, clean house, play tag. The best exercise you can do is to walk. Try to take a walk every day! The more you move, the more your metabolism will be your friend. (I walk 3 miles every day whether it is raining, snowing or freezing.)

Stress and Depression

Is there a link between stress and depression? Yes, there is a strong correlation between the two, especially if you are a part of the "sandwich generation." What is the "sandwich generation?"

If you are a middle-aged woman who has a job, the responsibilities of children who are still at home and aging parents who are becoming more and more dependent upon you, you are a member of this group. Being in this position is not an easy task.

Your life becomes a series of events that stretch you in all directions. There are days when you are truly overwhelmed and do not know whether you are coming or going. The reality of life is that it rarely follows a discernible pattern. It simply happens and as it happens, you must decide how to deal with it.

When you are tense, your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase. When cortisol is chronically elevated, it affects the balance of mood chemicals in your brain. This make you much more susceptible to depression making the link between stress and depression very strong.

You can't always prevent depression from creeping in on you but there are ways you can nurture yourself to help reduce the risk. The first step for you is to try to regain some control over the situations that are causing you stress in the first place.

Ultimately, it is not the situation that is causing the depression, it is the perceived inability to do anything about the situation. What can you do? The first thing you must do is to name the things that cause you the most stress. Putting it down on paper allows you to feel like you are taking a step in the right direction.

If your worries stem from the care of your parent(s), you need to share the burden. If you have siblings, take turns with them. If your parent(s) needs more care than you or other family members can provide, consider an assisted living facility for them if finances permit.

If you feel guilty about this and will not consider it, consider this. Your parents need to be where they can receive the best care. If you cannot provide that care, you are not thinking of their welfare, only your guilt. Of all the elderly people I have known in my life, none of them wanted the burden of their care to fall on their children.

There are also small steps you can take to relieve the pressures of your responsibilities:

*Though you are constantly challenged by the needs of your family, if you take time for yourself and learn how to say NO without feeling guilt, you can be present for them.

*Take a walk. Being outside and getting some simple exercise can make a huge difference in your outlook. Exercise releases "feel good" endorphins that raise your mood and give you something to smile about.

*Read a good book, something you can really sink your teeth into, something that completely wraps you up in its spell. Removing yourself for awhile, even mentally, from your situation relieves stress and anxiety quite well.

*Listen to your favorite music. Relax in your chair, put the headphones on, close your eyes, and take yourself away to another place. Even if you can only spare 15 minutes, it's 15 minutes of escape for you.

*Talk to a friend. Sometimes all it takes is verbally sharing your sorrows and concerns with someone who cares about you; someone who can offer sincere and helpful advice; someone who may be experiencing some of the same challenges.

Yes, being in the "sandwich generation" can be brutal, but sometimes you just have to roll up your pants legs and wade through the muck with as much humor and dignity as possible.


Post a Comment