How to Meditate and the Benefits

By Robert Worrell | Easy Exercise , Life and Stuff

Whenever meditation is brought up in casual conversations, the average person will often times find their mind involuntarily wandering to imagined scenes of Asian monks seated in temples or atop mountains. While there is some truth in associating mediation with monks – individuals who are often cited as being embodiments of both spiritual and religious energies – these techniques are far more than that beneath the surface.Continue reading

Brazil Nuts: An Effective Testosterone and Selenium Supplement

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Supplements

You’ve probably heard that big things often come in small packages, the same is true for the Brazil nut. Can you think of any other nut with the ability to increase testosterone levels and raise selenium levels? In my opinion, this may very well be the king of all nuts – the BRAZIL NUT.

Brazil nuts are a great source of bio-active selenium, in fact as little as one to two Brazil nuts daily can easily give your body the selenium it needs to function at optimum levels. Continue reading

How to Improve Your Eating Habits with Small Changes

By Robert Worrell | Easy Exercise , Eating Well

You’ve heard it countless times before: you need to improve your eating so that you can have a healthy weight and function to your fullest potential. However, there is so much information out there about eating that it’s hard for you to grasp just what you need to do. And you may have so many questions about what you should and shouldn’t eat. While eating fewer calories can lead to weight loss, is there more you need to do in order to improve your body’s performance? Thankfully, there are quite a few ways that you can do that and just a few are listed below.

 

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Cut Out Soda

Whether you call it pop, coke, or soda this sugary drink can be damaging to your teeth and body if consumed in excess. Soda contains excess sugar that gives you a rush when you initially drink it, but then you crash afterwards, which is never fun. Some people drink one, two, or even three cans every day and suffer from dental and weight problems because of it.

Granted, having a drink every once in a while is not going to break you, but if you consume it daily you might want to ease out your consumption. To do that there are plenty of healthier alternatives that can give you the same caffeinated rush, but without the harmful side effects. Try replacing your soda intake with some green tea, or maybe drink coffee instead, without the excessive cream and sugar of course. Speaking of caffeine, this leads to the next point.

Consume Less Caffeine

Caffeine wakes you up and keeps you going, but odds are that you’re consuming too much. Coffee with a shot of energy drink with a soda afterwards and then a tea… yeah, you’re drinking a lot. The truth is, too much caffeine can be counter-productive on your body. Why is that? It’s simple, really. You’re kicking your adrenal glands to their maximum and this can cause imbalances in your body. Besides that the effects of caffeine will start becoming less the more you drink, as your body adapts. If you drink too much close to bedtime then you’re going to suffer from horrible sleep patterns and difficulty falling asleep.reduce_caffine_12

So what’s a person to do for energy? Well, you can still drink caffeine, but leave it to once or twice a day. Perhaps have a cup or two of coffee in the morning, followed by a cup of tea in the afternoon. Exercising and eating a balanced diet will give you all the energy you need, so that you don’t have to worry about putting too much caffeine in there.

Consume Enough Macro-Nutrients

Your diet needs a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein in order to function to its fullest. While reaching the perfect balance is something that is next to impossible to do without screaming, a good rule of thumb is to have 40 percent carbs, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. If you don’t get those numbers exact don’t fret, but try to keep it in that given range.
A good source of each of these is included below:

Fat:

  • Ghee
  • Avocado
  • Plant-based oils
  • Raw coconut oil

Carbs:

  • Fruit
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar

Protein:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fish

Drink Enough Water

Water is something that’s difficult to drink too much of, but easy to not drink enough. Drinking water has many benefits. It can keep your complexion going, defeat dehydration, and provide a natural way to clean your body. However, you need to always have a water bottle with you. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink; take a sip every once in a while to keep your body going. It will thank you for it later.

Eat Plenty of Veggies

Vegetables provide plenty of nutrition but without the calories. While a good balance of other foods is important, it never hurts to put more leafy greens in your foods. Of course not everyone is a fan of vegetables, but there are ways you can implement them in your diet.healthy_veg_improve_diet

For many people, vegetables turn out to be an acquired taste. In other words, you may not like it very much the first time, but if you keep eating them, you’ll end up loving them. Try putting a little bit of vegetables in your meal and build it up from there every week. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of vegetable juice blends out there that taste great and will provide the same amount of nutrition for you.

Try to Avoid Processed Foods

In this era pre-packaged foods and fast food consumption are rampant. After all, they’re cheap and easy to make, so many just want to have a way to eat food that is convenient. However, the problem is that many of these foods are high in fats, calories, salt, or sugar, but are nutrient lacking. Having them every now and then will not kill you, but it’s best to avoid them if you want to have a healthy diet and a functioning body.

When shopping look for foods that have nutrition and are not overly processed with additives and artificial ingredients. Try looking for foods at farmers’ markets on occasion. Not only do these foods tend to be delicious, but you’re supporting the local market by doing so, which more people need to do.

Small Steps to Success

So how do you make these changes? It’s definitely not an overnight process, but instead something gradual. Changing your body’s intake of foods can be done through a slow process. Doing it all at once can be a shock to your eating habits, making it easy to go back to eating the bad foods. However, if you cut back on soda every week, start eating more and more vegetables every single day, and gradually change your diet, you can achieve a healthy diet that allows for the unhealthy foods on occasion. It’s not a difficult process, and your body will thank you for it later.

Flaxseed Oil and What it Can Do for You

By Robert Worrell | Eating Well , Life and Stuff

Flaxseed oil comes from, well, flax seeds, which have been used as medicine since ancient times. Even in modern day, people still acknowledge flaxseed oil as healthy, and its benefits are something to be looked at. Containing some of the most potent amounts of omega-3, it’s something that’s definitely good for you, and this article will explain more.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are fatty acids that are well-known in the health community to help build health and prevent many diseases. They help to keep your cells in check and work well with one another, can improve cell walls, and can help to reduce inflammation. They help to lower your bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, reducing your chances of heart disease. They help even more by lowering your plaque levels and keeping your blood vessels widened.

When it comes to diabetes, omega-3s tend to help lower the effects that insulin resistance has to your metabolism. This is due to the fact that it lowers your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. It can improve circulation and nerve function, two things that diabetes compromises.flaxseed_oil_34 But if you’re diabetic, high EPA fish oil may be your better bet, as it provides you with an enzyme known as delta-6 desaturase, which many diabetics lack.

For depression, there’s research that omega-3s can help reduce the risk of depression. Of course, you should see a professional if you’re suffering from depression, but they should recommend a healthy diet of omega-3s.

What a Lack of Omega-3 Does for You

On the flip side, having too little omega-3 can be detrimental to your health. You may have mental health problems, including poor memory, depression, low brain function, trouble sleeping and more. Your immunity may be compromised, you may have an increase in blood clots, tingling hypertension, and so much more. Yikes! flaxseed_oil_34flaxseed_oil_34

Despite the healthiness of it, many people do not get enough omega-3 in their diet, and odds are, you aren’t either. But you need plenty of omega-3 to stay healthy, and make sure the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is good, or else face inflammation issues if you consume too much omega-6. Your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 2 to 1, or at least 5 to 1.

So how much omega-3 does the average American consume? According to some studies, it’s anywhere from 20 to 1 to 50 to 1. You can blame processed foods and a poor diet for that.

Why Flaxseed Oil is Needed

Flaxseed oil is one of the biggest sources of omega-3s out there, and it’s easily available. You can cook with it, take it in supplemental form, which can be bought in any pharmacy, and so much more. You don’t need to shell out too much money to stay healthy.

If you haven’t already, put some flaxseed oil in your diet today. You can never have too much omega-3, but you can have too little of it.

Getting Sufficient Sleep At Nights: Waking Up To A Happier You!

By Robert Worrell | Life and Stuff

It should be as easy as falling off a log, however falling asleep at nights – and staying asleep – can be quite frustrating for many of us. In fact 30 percent of American adults are reported as having some difficulty with consistently getting sufficient sleep. This is of concern since getting insufficient sleep has been linked to several chronic diseases as well as to a shortened lifespan.

If we take a close look at how we operate throughout a regular day, we will see that most of what we do is not really conducive to us maintaining a natural cycle of sleeping and waking. Our inborn circadian rhythm becomes adversely affected by the many unfavorable external cues in our daily routine. The constant glare of the computer screen and the hectic schedules we try to maintain interfere with our ability to get truly restful sleep when we need it.

Take heart in the fact that there are ways of tackling whatever it is that is stealing your zzz’s. The following is a look at some sleep problems and ways in which they may be corrected. Certainly, there is no cure-all, and you may need to try a few suggestions to find the one that works for you. Also, you may be affected by more than one sleep deprivation issue requiring you to take them on one at a time. Just bear in mind that getting the sleep your body needs is vital for keeping you psychologically, emotionally, and physically strong.

1. Aches and Pains

Though they may not initially affect the quantity and quality of your sleep, aches and pains can set you up for a cruel pattern of pain leading to lost sleep leading to more pain and then to less sleep as the nights roll by. There are several approaches to lessening the pain and adding more hours of beneficial sleep to your night.

The first practical thing you could try is to simply avoid sleeping in a position that causes pressure on the site of your pain. A good deterrent for inadvertently rolling over onto the painful side is a tennis ball (or similar object) tucked into your clothing on that side.

Something else to try is a gentle massage of the painful areas (as long as it does not bring discomfort).
Also, do not go for vigorous exercise, especially when it is nearing your bedtime. Instead, try to do some light exercise in the afternoon.

Deep abdominal breathing or other relaxation techniques may prove helpful in relaxing aching muscles and joints, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

2. Disturbing Bedmate

The reason for your inability to get sufficient shut-eye may be lying fast asleep beside you. If you are a light sleeper it may be difficult to get sufficient sleep if your partner snores, moves around a lot in their sleep, is an early (and noisy) riser or bounces into bed just as you are hitting your deep sleep cycle.To deal with a sleep-killing bedmate the first approach is to talk about the problem with emphasis on the fact that it is ‘our’ problem.

Below are a few other options you should consider:

If the problem is snoring, a change in sleep positions for your partner may be the solution. Equally useful are a wide variety of gadgets on the market to help eliminate snoring. To be on the safe side have your partner checked for a condition called sleep apnea – a sleep disorder in which there are pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep.

In the instance that you have a partner that’s a restless sleeper, you may both decide to try switching to a bed with firmness controls, to see if that prevent you from waking with their every toss and turn. Simpler ways of shutting out the distractions include eye covers, earplugs and white-noise machines. Each takes some getting used to but they are worth a fair try. If all else, fails then your partner may need medical attention to help them get over the condition.

In the case of your sleep being disturbed because your partner wakes before you or comes to bed after you do a bed with firmness controls may again be the answer. Also, consider installing dimmer lights that won’t jolt you out of your slumber when your partner needs to find stuff in the room. If they use an alarm clock, suggest putting it on vibrate mode and low volume with something less annoying than a constant high pitched beeping.

3. Something On Your Mind

For most of us the busy day does not end when we crawl into bed. Rather, we are preoccupied with going over details of the past day and planning for the day to come. In some cases even if we are able to shut out all the niggling concerns and fall asleep, we wake prematurely and all the anxiety returns making it difficult to fall asleep again. Try these next points to help clear your mind and ease you off to sleep.

Relax. Have a warm and massaging bath or shower;sleep_relax_33 do breathing exercises; close your eyes and practise chanting; or do some light stretching.sleep_relax_33 These will help you shed the worries of the past day and the day ahead.
Let your sense of smell help you drift off to sleep. Try scents like lavender and lemon which have been reported to have a calming effect.

Consider reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake, particularly in the evenings. This will help to ensure that you are not being kept awake when your body is ready to fall asleep.

Since sleep begets more sleep, try grabbing a nap for 10 – 20 minutes in the afternoon. It will help to ensure that you are not too tired to sleep (strange but true).

4. Where You Sleep

Quite often your lack of sleep cannot be blamed on yourself or your partner. What’s wrong with you getting all the necessary rest?The environment you are trying to get it in. Take a moment to think about it and you may just be able to pinpoint the factor in or about the room that is leading to your sleep deficiency. Some of the usual suspects are highlighted below.

Too much light is one of the most obvious environmental issues affecting a person’s inability to either fall asleep or stay asleep. We are biologically wired to the rising and setting of the sun – it is the most important driver of our circadian rhythm. It is natural for us to sleep at night and wake as the morning comes. Changing to curtains that completely block out the sunlight is one option for getting extra sleep past sunrise.

Noise level can also affect the quality of your sleep. Some persons find it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep with background noise such as from a white noise machine or even a music player. These help by supply a providing a constant, even sounds that mask any sudden and jarring changes in the surrounding noise level. Studies show that often it is not the sounds themselves that wake us, but the change in the sounds. Ever wonder why a baby will sleep through the noise of the vacuum cleaner then wake as soon as it is shut off?

The temperature of the room is often an overlooked cause of sleep problems. Daily temperatures are affected by the sunshine, and hence our sleep cycles are affected by both in the same way. A thermostat is very useful for keeping the room at a comfortable temperature while you sleep. Otherwise, you may simply need an extra blanket, or perhaps no blanket (and no clothes!).

The firmness of the bed is one easy to appreciate cause of losing sleep. It’s either too soft or too hard. Consider changing the mattress, preferably to one with firmness controls.

5. Difficulty Staying Asleep

This sleep issue can perhaps be regarded as adding insult to injury, because it is often combined with one or more of the sleep stealers listed above. If you suffer from a chronic inability to stay asleep ensure that you seek medical advice so as to rule any serious medical issues. If none is indicated, then levels of melatonin production may be the root cause of your wakefulness. Melatonin is a hormone that controls our daily night-day cycle. In other words, it helps our bodies follow the natural biological rhythms of sleeping and waking.

Your body produces melatonin normally in the absence of light. So consider staying away from bright light for the last couple of hours leading up to your bedtime.sleep_blue_light_33 This could mean shutting off the television or computer and reading by dim or candle light.

If you find it difficult to stay away from light altogether or even to remain in dim lighting, then there are glasses with amber-colored lenses that block blue light. This helps since blue light has been shown to be the part of the spectrum that significantly reduces melatonin production. You may also consider installing a program such as f.lux (free on line) to gradually adjust the levels of blue light emitted by your computer or cell phone screen as the day progresses.

Melatonin is available as a supplement for those affected by sleeplessness. Just be sure to take note of how it works for you. Some persons find that quick release melatonin helps them to fall asleep but they then wake a few hours later and find it difficult to go back to sleep. In these instances sustained release melatonin is a better option. The slow release of the hormone ease you off to sleep and it helps to keep you asleep.

You body deserves the restorative goodness of a good night’s sleep. You are not doomed to going through the day like a zombie or to falling asleep at your desk. Whatever the reason for your lack of sleep, you can rest assured (pun intended) that there is most likely a way to identify it and put in corrective measures to help you get the sleep you need.