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Archive for September, 2010

When your day is busy from beginning to end finding ways to eat as healthy as possible can be problematic. This is particularly the case when it comes to eating meals at work.

There are plenty of ways to eat healthy at work without suffering from all out boredom. Let us take a look at how to accomplish this.

Eating healthy at work does not have to be a problem if you keep your meals basic and simple. Make your meals as easy as possible. Salads are an excellent way to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need during your workday.

Prepare your salad the night before instead of in the morning to reduce the chance that you will feel rushed.

If you do not have time for all of the cutting, chopping and preparing that a salad entails then purchase the salad blends that are already precut. If you like croutons with your salad instead of buying the prepackaged croutons just pack a piece of whole wheat bread to tote along with your salad. When it is time for lunch break up the bread into small pieces and add it to your salad.

It is important to add a source of protein to the salads you eat. Good choices for toppings include unsalted nuts, chopped eggs, low fat cheese, tuna or chicken. If you like to add fruit to your salads then some of the optimum choices include diced apples, raisins, orange wedges, grapes and strawberries.

A healthy meal is one that is well balanced and includes food from at least three (or ideally four) of the food groups. When you sit down to eat a meal half of your plate should contain vegetables, while one quarter should be protein and the final quarter should be starch.

Drinking water throughout your workday is also a very healthy habit to get into.

It is imperative that you replace the fluids that are lost from your system throughout the day. If you do not do this then dehydration can set in. This can lead to such discomforts as mild headaches, muscle cramping, drowsiness and a general feeling of sluggishness. All of these things can make getting through your workday much more difficult, not to mention downright unpleasant!

To avoid meal boredom if it is an issue for you add new foods to your regular routine to spice things up a bit. For example, leftovers are excellent choices for lunches at work because they do not involve a lot of work. In most cases all they require is a quick reheating in the microwave.

Sandwiches are another workday staples that you cannot go wrong with. However it is a smart idea to replace the sandwich bread with whole grain pita, wraps and bagels and then add your favorite vegetable toppings to it. Always remember that you are eating to be healthy but you are also eating to increase your energy. This is particularly important for meals eaten at work.

It is recommended that you eat away from your desk or work area if possible. This gives you the time to sit and relax. It also takes your thoughts away from the work that is waiting for you back at your desk. This gives you the opportunity to refuel your mind at the same time as you are refueling your body. Both are equally important after all!

Samantha

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Nourishing your skin and your hair does not have to involve expensive trips to the beauty salon or pricey products from department stores.

To make both your skin as well as your hair as healthy and as strong as possible all you require is a couple of very basic ingredients that you likely already have in – guess which room? – your kitchen!

Eggs and honey are two ingredients that can be used to make natural skin treatments as well as natural hair treatments. Yogurt and blueberries also work well for your skin when combined together.

Eggs are Eggcellent for Natural Beauty:

Eggs serve as a wonderful base for many different kinds of natural skin care and beauty products. Eggs cleanse and strengthen at the same time. They can be used for facial scrubs, facial masks, hair masks and conditioners for the hair.

Egg whites contain an ingredient known as lysozymes. This important ingredient fights bacteria and is instrumental in cleaning the skin. If you whip up a facial mask that contains both egg whites and honey this will help to rid the skin of impurities and will draw out blackheads on the face. The mask will do even more than that however, as it will hydrate the skin and then smooth and firm it until it looks as good as new!

Another excellent aspect of eggs is that they contain an abundant supply of protein.

Apply egg whites as a base before you shampoo and/or condition your hair. This will not only strengthen the hair shaft but will provide more bounce and volume to your hair.

Honey – Healthy on the Inside and Outside!

Honey is one of nature’s best overall ingredients as it is extremely versatile and can be used to improve the condition of the hair and the skin.

Honey is abundant in many valuable things that make it a worthwhile choice. These include water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and carbohydrates. All of these items taken together can hydrate the hair and skin and make it healthier instantly.

Honey is sticky as you very well know so the thought of applying it to your skin or hair may not seem very appealing but once you get the hang of using it you will be so glad that you did! You are probably better off buying a squeeze bottle of honey for the purposes of using it as a beauty product. Rest assured that honey rinses off the skin and out of the hair with ease.

Honey works well when used as a face mask as it purifies the skin. It is also excellent for dry skin because it is a natural emollient as it helps to keep moisture in the skin where you want it. Nature’s antibacterial agent is potassium and honey is abundant in this mineral. Honey kills bacteria in the skin and it gets rid of impurities that are hiding in the pores.

Honey can benefit your hair tremendously as well. It helps to bring life back into hair that is damaged, dull looking or has been colored or over processed.

Apply honey to your hair, starting at the roots. Do not touch your hair right away but allow the honey to work its way into the hair shaft. Leave the honey on for approximately 20 minutes and then rinse it off before you shampoo.

Yogurt and Blueberries – Not Just for Eating:

Eating foods rich in antioxidants on a regular basis is essential to your good health. Here is another way to keep your skin healthy – apply antioxidants directly to your skin by way of a facial mask.

Take approximately five to eight blueberries, and squash them up. Then combine them with plain yogurt and mix the concoction up before applying it carefully to you face. Leave it on for about five to 10 minutes and then rinse it off. Your skin should be glowing with health and vitality thanks to the blueberry/yogurt mix!

Becca

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The recent national recall of eggs and the Salmonella scare should not deter you from eating eggs. The problem is not with eggs themselves but with the supply.

Salmonella in eggs is the outcome of feeding hens contaminated food, and the contaminates can get into their bloodstream and passed through to the eggs they lay. When you purchase eggs from your local supermarket there’s no way of you knowing where those eggs came from.

Eggs can come from variety of farms, many of which keep hens in stressful conditions and feed them low-cost feed. Sure purchasing eggs labeled organic and cage-free from somewhere like Whole Foods or a natural health store is better, but best is to buy from a local farmer. One you can go and visit and see the conditions under which the hens live and understand what they’re fed.

Chickens should be cage-free with plenty of room to move around, and eating grass and fed a high-protein chicken feed with no added hormones.

In addition to eggs this may be a good time for you to look at what else your local farm or specialist market can provide you for safe organic foods. When I buy meats I always look for grass-fed beef and buy organic vegetables.

Yes, you’re going to pay a little extra for organic foods and grass-fed beef but what price is your family’s food safety?

It seems a shame we have come around to not trusting our food supply. The FDA standards and watchdogs have let us down, and quick profits have caused many farmers and the food industry to lose focus on producing safe and healthy foods for us to consume.

For a list of local grown produce near you check out this website: http://www.localharvest.org/

Becca

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Many office workers spend many hours a day working at a computer. If this describes you then you are probably well aware that repetitive motions are a part of working at a desk job.

Many of these kinds of jobs come with a unique set of health concerns such as eyestrain, back, neck and shoulder pain, and the concern that carpal tunnel syndrome will set in.

How you position your chair at your desk in relation to where your computer sits can help alleviate some of these potential health worries and can prevent tension in the muscles and joints.

The same can be said for doing some simple stretching exercises throughout your work day. A small dose of prevention can count for a great deal down the line.

Think Ergonomically!

Ergonomics is the new buzz word in the workplace. Ergonomics is defined as “the science of designing the job, equipment and workplace to fit the worker.” When a work area is designed in ergonomically correct ways it can be beneficial in preventing repetitive strain injuries which can develop slowly over time and can lead to long-term painful disabilities for the individuals affected.

This explains why having a work station that is as user friendly as can be is so imperative for the health of the employee.

A user friendly work station will reduce a great majority of the aches and pains that you feel in your body when your work day draws to a close. To improve your work station you need to keep ergonomics in mind at all times. In other words, ensure that your computer, your chair and your desk are positioned in such a manner that your optimum level of health is front and center at all times.

When sitting at your desk do not slouch or hunch forward in your chair. Exercise good posture. Sit back in the proper position in your chair and allow the lumbar support to do its job in keeping your head and neck straight. Make sure you sit up straight!

If your job keeps you at your computer for extended periods of time make sure that you take stretch breaks or walk breaks as often as possible. It is recommended that you take a five minute break after every 30 to 60 minutes of work done. Not only will this give your body a much needed break but it will give your eyes a break from your computer screen and your mind a chance to briefly focus on something else.

Aim for a Comfy Work Station:

Your workstation must conform to you if it is to work to your advantage, and not the other way around. To begin with you need to decide upon the surface height of your desk.

Will you be standing most of the time, sitting or doing a bit of both? The height of the workstation needs to take into consideration the tasks you are performing as well as your own height.

The seat of your computer chair should be such that the work surface is as high as your elbows. You should be able to fit a person’s fist behind the calf and extend it to the front of the edge of the chair. While sitting at your chair you should be able to slip two fingers under both of your thighs without a problem.

As far as the backrest of the chair is concerned, it should push the lower back forward just a little bit. If these requirements are not met, then a different type of chair is required.

The height of the computer screen plays an integral role in your level of comfort as well.

Sit down in your computer chair and close your eyes, allowing yourself to relax. Once you have relaxed sufficiently then slowly open your eyes. The spot where your eyes automatically look to upon opening is where the center of the computer screen should be placed.

If necessary raise the computer screen using books or some type of stand. With just a little effort and attention to detail ergonomics can rule the day and can improve your work area to make it somewhere your mind and body both enjoy being!

Samantha

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When was the last time you put caring for yourself at the top of your priority list? How often does it make your monthly, weekly or daily to-do lists?

So many of us spend so much of our time and energy taking care of the needs of those closest to us that we somehow forget to care for the person who is with us all of the time- ourselves!

It is essential that you take care of yourself in every way possible. You can do that by incorporating some very basic self care strategies into your life. Here we look at a few ways that you can start caring more for your health and well-being right now.

Get Enough Sleep:

Sleep is such an essential part of being healthy. It makes it possible to cope with stress, to be productive and in general to function effectively on a day-to-day basis. When you are well rested you are able to face all of your responsibilities and tasks with more energy and vitality.

If you are not able to get enough sleep at night then take a power nap to re-energize yourself.

Proper Nutrition is a Priority:

A poor diet affects not just your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well. Studies have shown that stress hormones have a tendency to cause a person to put on weight. If your diet is unhealthy then your body knows that it does not have the right amount of nutrients for the brain to function at its optimum best.

The key to eating healthy is to plan ahead. If you have a hectic schedule then always have healthy snacks on hand. Examples of these include carrot sticks, whole grain crackers, fresh fruit and granola bars. These helps to prevent trips to the vending machine or the closest McDonald’s.

Exercise Regularly:

There are lots of forms of exercise. Find one that works for you and one that you enjoy doing.

Try walking, hiking, biking or playing ball with your kids in the yard. Exercise should not be a chore but should be fun. Even doing ordinary household tasks counts as exercise. Incorporate as much physical activity into your life as you can. Walk to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, vacuum and rake leaves. Even 30 minutes of exercise per day can maintain your overall level of health.

Connect with Other People:

A significant aspect of taking care of yourself is to develop as well as maintain supportive relationships with family members and friends. You need to put effort into cultivating lasting relationships with those you can trust, those you can communicate with effectively and those with whom mutual support is a given. There are many ways to do this.

Share with others; do volunteer work, join groups. Most of all spend quality time with the people who mean the most to you.

Connect with Yourself:

Caring about yourself begins with having a healthy respect for yourself as well as exhibiting self-awareness.

What this means is that you have to stop being your own worst enemy. Become aware of the times that you berate yourself and put yourself down and then replace those thoughts and words with positive, self affirming and empowering ones instead. In order to connect with yourself you need to do nice things for yourself as well. Be kind, loving and thoughtful to yourself.

Go have a massage, buy something special for yourself, go see a movie or go enjoy some laughs with friends. Be good to the most important person in your life – you!

Becca

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