Nature's Kitchen Blog

Hello everyone,
Thank you for visiting my  blog. Here I am sharing healthy tips about nutrition and finding your inner balance.

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own. Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. 

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Choosing Healthy Fats

Fat is a type of nutrient, and just like protein and carbohydrates, your body needs some fat for energy, to absorb vitamins, and to protect your heart and brain health. For years we’ve been told that eating fat will add inches to your waistline, raise cholesterol, and cause a myriad of health problems. But now we know that not all fat is the same.

“Bad” fats, such as artificial trans fats and saturated fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, an increased risk of certain diseases and so forth. But “good” fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.

By understanding the difference between good and bad fats and how to include more healthy fat in your diet, you can improve your mood, boost your energy and well-being, and even lose weight.

Dietary fat and cholesterol
Dietary fat also plays a major role in your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that your body needs to function properly. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. But when you get too much of it, it can have a negative impact on your health. As with dietary fat, there are good and bad types of cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is the “good” kind of cholesterol found in your blood.
LDL cholesterol is the “bad” kind.
The key is to keep LDL levels low and HDL high, which may protect against heart disease and stroke.
Conversely, high levels of LDL cholesterol can clog arteries and low HDL can be a marker for increased cardiovascular risk.
Rather than the amount of cholesterol you eat, the biggest influence on your cholesterol levels is the type of fats you consume. So instead of counting cholesterol, it’s important to focus on replacing bad fats with good fats.

Good fats vs. bad fats
Since fat is an important part of a healthy diet, rather than adopting a low-fat diet, it’s more important to focus on eating more beneficial “good” fats and limiting harmful “bad” fats.

Healthy or “good” fats
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. These fats can help to:

 - Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
 - Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
 - Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
 - Lower triglycerides associated with heart disease and fight inflammation.
 - Lower blood pressure.
 - Prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).

Adding more of these healthy fats to your diet may also help to make you feel more satisfied after a meal, reducing hunger and thus promoting weight loss.

Monounsaturated fat – good sources include:

Olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils
Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
Peanut butter
Polyunsaturated fat – good sources include:

Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
Soybean and safflower oil

Unhealthy or “bad” fats
Trans fat. Small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats can be found in meat and dairy products but it’s artificial trans fats that are considered dangerous. This is the worst type of fat since it not only raises bad LDL cholesterol but also lowers good HDL levels. Artificial trans fats can also create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions and contributes to insulin resistance, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In the U.S., the FDA is making inroads into outlawing the use of artificial trans-fats in commercially prepared food, but it’s still important to carefully read food labels. No amount of artificial trans fat is considered safe, so aim to eliminate it from your diet.

Trans fat – primary sources include:

Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
Stick margarine, vegetable shortening
Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
Anything containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, even if it claims to be “trans fat-free”
Saturated fat. While not as harmful as trans fat, saturated fat can raise bad LDL cholesterol and too much can negatively impact heart health, so it’s best consumed in moderation. While there’s no need to cut out all saturated fat from your diet, most nutrition experts recommend limiting it to 10% of your daily calories.

Saturated fat – primary sources include:

Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
Chicken skin
Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)
Ice cream
Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil

The power of omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat and are especially beneficial to your health. There are different types of omega-3s: EPA and DHA are found in fish and algae and have the most health benefits, while ALA comes from plants and is a less potent form of omega-3, although the body does convert ALA to EPA and DHA at low rates.

Research has shown that a diet rich in omega-3s may help to:

Prevent and reduce symptoms of depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder
Protect against memory loss and dementia
Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
Ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions
Support a healthy pregnancy
Battle fatigue, sharpen your memory, and balance your mood
The Best Sources of Omega-3s
Fish: the best source of omega-3 (high in EPA and DHA)
Vegetarian sources of omega-3s (high in ALA)
Algae such as seaweed (high in EPA and DHA)
Eggs (small amounts of DHA)
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
Chia seeds
Canola and soybean oil
Beans (refried, kidney, etc.)
Brussels sprouts

How much omega-3s do you need?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with documented heart disease get about 1 gram of EPA plus DHA per day. For the rest of us, the AHA recommends eating at least two 3.5 oz. (100 g) servings of fish per week.

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are highest in omega-3 fatty acids.
If you don’t care for fish or you want to be sure to get your daily omega-3s, you may want to take an omega-3 supplement, widely available over the counter.
Try to include a variety of ALA-rich oils, nuts, seeds, and vegetables in your diet.

Quick Stress Relief 

Ever wish a stress superhero could save you from the tension of traffic jams, chaotic meetings, arguments with your spouse, or a toddler’s tantrums? You can be that hero by learning to reduce the impact of stress as it’s happening. Learning this skill takes time, experimentation, and practice—but the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.

What is the fastest way to relieve stress?
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you can’t just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.

One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch—or through movement. But since everyone is different, you’ll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, you’ll always have a tool to relieve stress.

The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, you’ll know it!

Look at a cherished photo or a favorite memento.
Use a plant or flowers to enliven your work space.
Enjoy the beauty of nature: a garden, the beach, a park, or your own backyard.
Surround yourself with colors that lift your spirits.
Close your eyes and picture a place that feels peaceful and rejuvenating.

Light a scented candle or burn some incense.
Experiment with different essential oils.
Smell the roses or another type of flower.
Enjoy clean, fresh air in the great outdoors.
Spritz on your favorite perfume or cologne.

Wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
Pet a dog or cat.
Hold a comforting object (a stuffed animal, a favorite memento).
Give yourself a hand or neck massage.
Wear clothing that feels soft against your skin.

Slowly savoring a favorite treat can be very relaxing, but mindless eating will only add to your stress and your waistline. The key is to indulge your sense of taste mindfully and in moderation.
Chew a piece of sugarless gum.
Indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate.
Sip a steaming cup of coffee or tea or a refreshing cold drink.
Eat a perfectly ripe piece of fruit.
Enjoy a healthy, crunchy snack (celery, carrots, or trail mix).

If you tend to shut down when you’re under stress or have experienced trauma, stress-relieving activities that get you moving may be particularly helpful.
Run in place or jump up and down.
Dance around.
Stretch or roll your head in circles.
Go for a short walk.
Squeeze a rubbery stress ball.

Sing or hum a favorite tune. Listen to uplifting music.
Tune in to the soundtrack of nature—crashing waves, the wind rustling the trees, birds singing.
Buy a small fountain, so you can enjoy the soothing sound of running water in your home or office.
Hang wind chimes near an open window.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body, observing rather than judging how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. Mindful eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations you observe—and can extend to the process of buying, preparing, and serving your food as well as consuming it.

For many of us, our busy lives make mealtimes rushed affairs or we find ourselves eating in the car commuting to work, at the desk in front of a computer screen, or parked on the couch watching TV. We eat mindlessly, shoveling food down regardless of whether we’re still hungry or not. In fact, we often eat for reasons other than hunger—to satisfy emotional needs, to relieve stress, or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. Mindful eating is the opposite of this kind of unhealthy “mindless” eating.

Mindful eating isn’t about being perfect, always eating the right things, or never allowing yourself to eat on-the-go again. And it’s not about establishing strict rules for how many calories you can eat or which foods you have to include or avoid in your diet. Rather, it’s about focusing all your senses and being present as you shop, cook, serve, and eat your food. While mindfulness isn’t for everyone, many people find that by eating this way, even for just a few meals a week, you can become more attuned to your body. This can help you avoid overeating and make it easier to change your dietary habits for the better and enjoy the improved mental and physical well-being that comes with a healthier diet.

Benefits of mindful eating
By paying close attention to how you feel as you eat—the texture and tastes of each mouthful, your body’s hunger and fullness signals, how different foods affect your energy and mood—you can learn to savor both your food and the experience of eating. Being mindful of the food you eat can promote better digestion, keep you full with less food, and influence wiser choices about what you eat in the future. It can also help you free yourself from unhealthy habits around food and eating.

Eating mindfully can help you to:

 - Slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of your day, easing stress and anxiety.
 - Examine and change your relationship with food—helping you, for example, to notice when you turn to food for reasons other than hunger.
 - Derive greater pleasure from the food you eat, as you learn to slow down and more fully appreciate your meals and snacks.
 - Make healthier choices about what you eat by focusing on how each type of food makes you feel after eating it.
 - Improve your digestion by eating slower.
Feel fuller sooner and by eating less food.
 - Make a greater connection to where your food comes from, how it’s produced, and the journey it’s taken to your plate.
 - Eat in a healthier, more balanced way.

Try practicing mindful eating for short, five-minute periods at first and gradually build up from there. And remember: you can begin mindful eating when you’re making your shopping list or browsing the menu at a restaurant. Carefully assess each item you add to your list or choose from the menu. 

1. Start by taking a few deep breaths and considering the health value of each different piece of food. While nutrition experts continually debate exactly which foods are “healthy” and which are not, the best rule of thumb is to eat food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it.

2. Employ all your senses while you’re shopping, cooking, serving, and eating your food. How do different foods look, smell, and feel as you chop? How do they sound as they’re being cooked? How do they taste as you eat?

3. Be curious and make observations about yourself, as well as the food you’re about to eat. Notice how you’re sitting, sit with good posture but remain relaxed. Acknowledge your surroundings but learn to tune them out. Focusing on what’s going on around you may distract from your process of eating and take away from the experience.

4. Tune into your hunger: How hungry are you? You want to come to the table when you’re hungry, but not ravenous after skipping meals. Know what your intentions are in eating this specific meal. Are you eating because you’re actually hungry or is it that you’re bored, need a distraction, or think it’s what you should be doing?

5. With the food in front of you, take a moment to appreciate it—and any people you’re sharing the meal with—before eating. Pay attention to the textures, shapes, colors and smells of the food. What reactions do you have to the food, and how do the smells make you feel?

6. Take a bite, and notice how it feels in your mouth. How would you describe the texture now? Try to identify all the ingredients, all the different flavors. Chew thoroughly and notice how you chew and what that feels like.

7. Focus on how your experience shifts moment to moment. Do you feel yourself getting full? Are you satisfied? Take your time, stay present and don’t rush the experience.

8. Put your utensils down between bites. Take time to consider how you feel—hungry, satiated—before picking up your utensils again. Listen to your stomach, not your plate. Know when you’re full and stop eating.

9. Give gratitude and reflect on where this food came from, the plants or animals involved, and all the people it took to transport the food and bring it onto your plate. Being more mindful about the origins of our food can help us all make wiser and more sustainable choices.

10.Continue to eat slowly as you talk with your dining companions, paying close attention to your body’s signals of fullness. If eating alone, try to stay present to the experience of consuming the meal.

How to Sleep Better

Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health. Fall short and it can take a serious toll on your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Yet many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need. Getting a good night’s sleep may seem like an impossible goal when you’re wide awake at 3 a.m., but you have much more control over the quality of your sleep than you probably realize. Just as the way you feel during your waking hours often hinges on how well you sleep at night, so the cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by experimenting with the following tips, you can enjoy better sleep at night, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.

Be smart about napping. While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.

Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

Keeping the Weight Off

You may have heard the widely quoted statistic that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it within a few years—or even months. While there isn’t much hard evidence to support that claim, it is true that many weight-loss plans fail in the long term. Often that’s simply because diets that are too restrictive are very hard to maintain over time. However, that doesn’t mean your weight loss attempts are doomed to failure. Far from it.

Since it was established in 1994, The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in the United States, has tracked over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. The study has found that participants who’ve been successful in maintaining their weight loss share some common strategies. Whatever diet you use to lose weight in the first place, adopting these habits may help you to keep it off:

Stay physically active. Successful dieters in the NWCR study exercise for about 60 minutes, typically walking.
Keep a food log. Recording what you eat every day helps to keep you accountable and motivated.
Eat breakfast every day. Most commonly in the study, it’s cereal and fruit. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism and staves off hunger later in the day.
Eat more fiber and less unhealthy fat than the typical American diet.
Regularly check the scale. Weighing yourself weekly may help you to detect any small gains in weight, enabling you to promptly take corrective action before the problem escalates.
Watch less television. Cutting back on the time spent sitting in front of a screen can be a key part of adopting a more active lifestyle and preventing weight gain.

7 Healthy Eating Tips for Those Over the Age of 65

As we age our bodies’ needs inevitably change, and it becomes ever more important to place increased emphasis on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Bearing this in mind, we sat down with Mary Schellhammer, a registered dietitian at Judson for more than 14 years. Each day Mary offers insights and advice to those interested in learning more about nutrition. We’ve asked Mary to share her top healthy eating tips for those over the age of 65.

1) Plan Healthy Meals
Healthy eating and nutrition is one of the most important tools to help us age well. A varied menu of healthy foods consumed on a daily basis is critical for older adults to meet dietary guidelines. Planning and meal preparation can help with this, take time out of your day to plan your meals out either just for that day, or for the week ahead.

“It’s important to eat well-balanced meals with healthy foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, seafood, poultry, and a variety of different-colored vegetables,” says Mary.

2. Control Portion Sizes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered to be overweight or obese, with more than one-third of adults falling into the obese designation. The reasons for this are varied, but a primary cause is the modern American portion size.

“Most people don’t realize what a portion size is,” says Mary. “The average restaurant serves 2-3 times the amount of a proper portion.” When dining out, do not be afraid to take home part of the meal for the next day. “It’s not necessary to over-indulge, as this can lead to obesity and health problems.” Mary says.

3) Include a Variety of Vegetables in Your Diet
As we age, our digestive system generally slows down, and it becomes critically important to regularly eat fibrous foods to help eliminate any complications resulting from inhibited digestion.

This is why it’s important to include a variety of different-colored vegetables. Varied vegetables will add lots of fiber and nutrients to your diet. Don’t eat the same types of vegetables every day, because each vegetable offers different vitamins and nutrients your body needs to survive and thrive.

4) Use Herbs and Spices
Some older adults find their sense of flavor diminishes as they age, and their favorite dish might not taste as delectable as it normally would. Medications can also have an adverse effect on taste, as well as smell, which is strongly associated with how our food tastes. Use fresh herbs and spices to help to enhance the flavor of meals and bring life into some of your favorite dishes.

5) Read the Nutrition Facts Label
 “Always look at fat, sodium and overall calories,” she says. “But this advice can be very specific and varied depending on health conditions.” Mary notes it is important to consult your physician for additional guidance on dietary choices.

6) Eat for Healthy Teeth and Gums
“We find that as we age, teeth and gums change which can lead to dental problems,” says Mary, “so it can be difficult to consume harder fruits, raw vegetables, and meat. It’s important to incorporate softer alternatives, like cooked vegetables, tuna fish, unsweetened canned fruits, and low-sodium soups and broth.”

7) Ask Your Doctor about Vitamins or Supplements
Food is the best way to get all the nutrients we need, but sometimes we’re not able to get all nutrients, vitamins and minerals from diet alone. Oftentimes vitamins and supplements are necessary, but this will always depend on what your doctor recommends. Be sure to consult your personal physician to make the best choice possible for your individual health.

When we make healthier choices in our diet and plan and monitor our intake, it can help us to feel more energized and maintain vitality in older years. Making healthy food choices is important no matter what age you are.

11 Simple Health Habits Worth Adopting Into Your Life

When it comes to building healthy habits, small decisions add up over time. We talked to exercise physiologist Christopher Travers, MS, and dietitian Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD for diet, nutrition and fitness ideas that you can incorporate into your life. Below, find their ideas for ways to be healthier every day:

1. Don’t just take the stairs — use them
If you have stairs at your home or office, take them every chance you get. But don’t stop there. For a strong cardio workout, walk up and down the stairs repeatedly. Start with a limited number of repetitions, then increase them as you feel stronger. 

2. Drink 1 extra glass of water
There are health benefits to drinking more water. It helps keep your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of wastes through urination, sweat, and bowel movements. You can also add flavor to your water to help up your intake.

3. Take a 10-minute walk
Walk during your lunch hour or to a store that is a block away to buy a gallon of milk — it’s all good for you. Even if it’s cold outside, you can often walk comfortably by dressing right: Start with a sweat-wicking layer next to your body, add insulating layers for warmth, and top them off with a waterproof shell.

4. Focus on sitting up straight
Having good posture can prevent aches and pain and it can also reduce stress on your ligaments. You can try to leave yourself a note to sit up straight, until it becomes an unconscious habit. Walking with your shoulders back and head held high can also make you feel good about yourself.

5. Go to bed ½ hour earlier
Do you sleep a solid seven or eight hours most nights? Many of us don’t but experts say this is a marker of good heart health. Solid sleep doesn’t just give you more energy, it can also help with healthy eating goals. When you’re short on sleep, it reduces your body’s production of hormones that suppress appetite, which can contribute to weight gain.

6. Replace 1 can of diet soda with carbonated water
If you drink diet soda each day, use carbonated mineral water to help wean yourself off of it. Research suggests the brain reacts to artificial sweeteners much like it does to sugary sweets. Ingesting them frequently can increase your desire for high-calorie foods and put you at risk for weight gain.

7. Balance on one leg for 10 seconds at a time, then switch to the other leg
This simple exercise is something you can do while brushing your teeth or standing in a line. It’s a part of neuromotor training, which helps you improve your balance, agility and mobility — all things you need in everyday movement and in other forms of exercise.

8. Weigh yourself every week
To keep your weight from creeping up on you, set a weekly maintenance or loss goal for yourself, write it down, and check yourself against that goal. Weigh yourself each week on the same day and at the same time – and wearing the same amount of clothing for consistency.

9. Eat a healthy breakfast every day
Eat something high in fiber that includes protein to keep you full and energized. If you start the day out right, you tend to eat better overall. Tired of the same bowl of oatmeal? Add different toppings to make it more exciting.

10. Include greens and lettuce in your meals
Incorporate lettuce into your meals to add nutrients and water to your diet. The fiber in lettuce helps to fill you up, and it does so at just 20 calories per serving. Lettuces that are dark green and reddish in color are the most nutritious and the most flavorful. But even the popular, pale iceberg lettuce provides water, fiber and folate.

11. Find creative substitutions for unhealthy foods
Work to eliminate foods and snacks that you buy regularly that are high in calories but low on their health benefit. Eat them less often, as an occasional treat. Try using low-fat dairy, whole-grains, healthy oils (avocado and olive oil) and natural sweeteners (fruit) instead of high-fat or sugary alternatives.

Remember that building new healthy habits can take some time. Stay focused on your goal, and if you slip along the way, just start again.

How To Stop Eating Chocolate...

             With claims that chocolate products containing palm oil can cause cancer grabbing headlines, you might be wondering whether it’s time to give up the brown stuff. Thanks to scientific evidence that nutrients found in chocolate aid blood flow and reduce blood pressure, experts have suggested that taking cocoa supplements could cut your risk of dementia and heart disease. Does that mean you can munch your way through that bar of Galaxy with impunity, then? Sadly, no – the levels of fat and sugar contained in the equivalent amount of chocolate would effectively cancel out the benefits, say scientists. Oh well.

For many of us, figuring out how to stop eating chocolate seems an impossible task. But we’re here to tell you that it is possible. Find out how to give up chocolate (more or less) painlessly with our step by step guide…

Experts suggest going cold-turkey for at least 2 weeks in order to allow your hormones to rebalance whilst you break those old habits and begin to form new ones. Wherever possible, remove potential sources of temptation. If you can’t get rid of it, stash it out of sight. If you tend to make a pit-stop at your favorite patisserie on your way home from work, plot a new route. Can’t resist a twofer offer when you do the weekly shop? Order online. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, lethargy and irritability but, as your insulin sensitivity stabilizes, your cravings will begin to subside. Eat plenty of fiber and protein-rich foods to keep you feeling satisfied. Choose options with a low glycemic index, which release their energy slowly to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Be realistic. It’s not necessarily feasible – or even desirable – to give up chocolate for good. Self-denial will only make it more appealing and, in its purest form, it does come packed with health benefits, remember. After 2 or 3 weeks, try reintroducing small amounts into your diet. We’re talking a square or two of high-quality dark chocolate once or twice a week here, not a Creme Egg after every meal… However, if you really want one, and you’re not eating them every night, go ahead. Niggling feelings of guilt will only make you want it more and enjoy it less, so give yourself permission and eat mindfully, immersing yourself in the experiences of taste, texture and aroma, and savouring each and every bite.

OK, that’s all well and good, but how do you conquer those cravings? First things first, spend a day or two tracking your chocolate intake and noting your triggers. Is your snacking habitual or emotional? Once you’ve figured out the cause, you can work on tackling it.
Create an action plan. If you know you always reach for a Twix when stress gets the better of you, plan to take a ten-minute walk or three-minute meditation break after that important meeting, for instance. Crave chocolate-chip cookies when the post-lunch slump hits? Pack a stash of healthy snacks in your handbag before you leave for work. Always crack open the biscuit tin after dinner? Make yourself a mug of guilt-free chocolate tea, instead.

According to scientific research, something as simple as a 15 minute walk can prevent stress-induced cravings. Dr. Kendall-Reed’s advice? Go shopping. “Simply buying a magazine or a nail polish has the same effect on the brain as eating a full-fat, high sugar muffin,” she says.

Craving taken you by surprise? Drink a big glass of water (we often mistake thirst for hunger), brush your teeth and call a friend for a ten-minute chat. 9 times out of 10, your craving will be history by the time you hang up.

Or perhaps you always crave chocolate the morning after the night before? Low blood sugar, dopamine and serotonin levels + increased cortisol = the perfect recipe for cravings, according to nutritionists. Circumvent hangover-based munchies by lining your stomach with plenty of healthy carbs before you go out, alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, drinking a big glass of water before you go to sleep and eating a hearty, protein-rich breakfast in the morning.

Finally, consider taking a magnesium supplement. Chocolate contains relatively high levels of magnesium, so dietary deficiencies occasionally manifest in cravings.

Got Salt? ....from Pretzels, chips, and most processed snacks 

             Not sure if you've overindulged? According to the latest stats,...The recommendations are to have less than 2300 milligrams (about one teaspoon), and we consume almost one and a half to two times that.

If you eat too much salt, your kidneys don't release as much water into your urine to balance out the excess sodium, which can lead to swelling.

The result is pretty concerning. "If you eat too much salt, your kidneys don't release as much water into your urine to balance out the excess sodium, which can lead to swelling," she explains. "Dehydration can occur because you don't have enough water in your system to balance out the salt. Hypertension can occur because your kidneys are not excreting water into urine, which increases blood volume and causes high blood pressure."

Signs You've Had Too Much: Salt dehydrates your body, so you might notice your mouth is dry and you feel thirsty. "You could also feel bloated because of water retention. Your rings won't fit and your eyes may look puffy." Foods high in potassium can help with that.

The Cure:

1. Don't season your meal. "Avoid the salt shaker completely, and avoid all packaged and processed foods."

2. Eat cantaloupe. "Consuming foods high in potassium like bananas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe can help to reduce any water retention."

3. Drink plenty of water. Combat dehydration by keeping a water bottle on hand throughout the day. The Mayo Clinic recommends an average 2.2 liters of water per day.

You've Had Too Much...Dairy? Any Cure to Detox....

           The Culprit: Cheese platters, chocolate treats, milk-rich drinks
"Cheese is loaded with fat and sodium. Fats have almost twice the amount of calories per gram when compared to carbohydrates and proteins, so even though you need some fat (even some saturated fat is okay), it is easily overeaten," Glassman explains. "Saturated fats also increase your risk of heart disease, so although a little cheese is okay, too much is, well, too much and puts you at risk."

Signs You've Had Too Much: "Overindulging usually goes hand in hand with indigestion, which is that uncomfortable feeling of fullness or pain and burning in the upper part of your stomach," says Glassman. Some people may also experience stomach pain and bloating from lactose intolerance. To calm your stomach, turn to foods that balance the body's increased sodium intake.

The Cure:

1. Snack on bananas. "It's also important to counteract the increased sodium from the cheese with potassium-rich foods like bananas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, [and] cantaloupe," she says.

2. Eat loads of vegetables. "Eat a well-balanced meal including loads of veggies, some lean protein, and healthy fats."

3. Hydrate. Dairy products are often high in sodium, so be sure to drink lots of water. "Water helps keep your body functioning properly since it's important for nutrient absorption and digestion."

One too many cocktails ? How to Detox...

           Glassman says the effects of over-indulging shouldn't be taken lightly. "Your liver recognizes the byproducts of alcohol as toxins, so your body stops processing nutrients from food you've eaten while it takes care of the 'bad guys' first," she explains. "As a result, your body burns alcohol calories for energy while the digestion of nutrient-rich food is put on the back burner." When your body finally burns food calories, "It might not need the energy and end up storing the extra calories you've eaten as fat cells."

Signs You've Had Too Much: A slower reaction time and frequent need to go to the bathroom are signs you should (safely) leave the bar. The day after, a headache and shakes suggest you need to rebalance your body. This means making hydration a priority and reaching for nutrient-dense foods.

The Cure:

1. Drink coconut water. "It's also important to replenish electrolytes to help with hydration. Go for miso soup, coconut water, bananas," Glassman recommends.

2. Load up on protein. "Protein is made from amino acids and amino acids are important for overall liver function. It's generally important to eat loads of veggies, some lean protein, and healthy fats."

3. Eat a kale salad. "When drinking you'll have … nutrient loss, especially the B vitamins, which play an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, red blood cell formation, and healthy nerves," she says. "Eat whole grains and dark leafy greens."

Sugar Overload? Detox With These Registered Dietitian-Backed Tips

         Straight after gorging on sweet treats, "Your body experiences a surge of feel-good hormones known as dopamine, and you experience a high similar to using some drugs," says Glassman. "When you eat too much sugar, your body releases insulin, a hormone that works to remove sugar from the blood, in order to stabilize blood sugar levels."

Signs You've Had Too Much: "There are definite signs of overindulging," says Glassman. "Once the insulin is done working, and the sugar is quickly digested, your blood sugar levels drop and make you feel completely drained. You'll feel very sluggish and tired—AKA the sugar crash." To level out your blood sugar levels, aim for a satiating protein, fiber, and healthy fats combo. And don't forget to hydrate.

The Cure:

Don't skip breakfast. "Aim for a low-sugar breakfast with protein and healthy fats," says Glassman. For example, "Try boiled eggs with sliced avocados," she recommends.
Eat fish, raw nuts, and vegetables. "You'll need high fiber to clean out your gut and slow digesting foods, like protein and healthy fats, to keep you satisfied and to keep your blood sugar from going high again."

Infuse water with lemon. "Invest in a 32-ounce bottle, and fill 'er up twice daily. I like to add lemon wedges to water to give it an antioxidant kick."

Everything You Need to Know About Pumpkins

        Pumpkin season is here and we are all about it. You can find us baking Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies, carving jack-o'-lanterns and roasting pumpkin seeds. As an added bonus, pumpkins are safe for dogs so you can catch us treating our furry friends to homemade Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Dog Treats. Check out our everything guide to this season's favorite gourd (yes, a pumpkin is a gourd).

Yes, the 10- to 20-pound jack-o'-lanterns sitting on your front porch are edible, but trust us, the squirrels can have them post-Halloween. Carving pumpkins are stringy and bland when cooked.

To find ones fit for eating, look for smaller "sugar" or "pie" pumpkin varieties. They weigh 4 to 8 pounds, and are sweet and flavorful with smooth- textured flesh. Our favorite breeds include Autumn Gold, Baby Pam and Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

The struggle to clean those pumpkin guts off your seeds is real. Try this pre-roasting technique: fill a large stockpot with water and dump in the pulp-covered seeds. Use your hands to pull the pumpkin flesh away from them. The pulp will sink to the bottom, while the clean seeds float to the top. Just skim them off when you're done! 

Did you know? Pumpkins get their orange glow from carotenoids, compounds including beta carotene and lutein that bring serious nutrition to the table.
Beta carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, may help keep your brain sharp and is associated with lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Lutein promotes eye health and is linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And get this: pumpkins contain even more carotenoids than carrots. One half cup serving of cooked pumpkin has these nutrients:

24 calories
1 gram of protein
0 grams of fat
6 grams of carbs
1 gram of fiber
302% RDA for vitamin A

Myth #1: You cannot protect yourself against liver disease.

“Contrary to this myth, there are many preventive steps you can take to protect yourself against liver disease,” says Woreta. The following measures are recommended:

Do not drink alcohol in excess. On a routine basis, men should not consume more than three drinks per day, and women should not consume more than two drinks per day to prevent the development of alcoholic liver disease.

Avoid weight gain. Maintain your body mass index in the normal range (18 to 25) by eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis to decrease your risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Beware engaging in risky behaviours. To avoid the risk of acquiring viral hepatitis, do not engage in behaviours such as illicit drug use or having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Know your risk factors. If you have the following risk factors for liver disease, it’s important to go for screening, as chronic liver disease can be silent for years and go unrecognised:
- Excessive alcohol use

- Family history of liver disease

If you have the following risk factors for hepatitis C, it is important to speak with your physician about screening, as nearly 50 percent of patients do not know they're infected:

- Anyone who received a blood transfusion prior to 1992

- Current or former illicit drug use

- Patients on hemodialysis

- Patients with HIV

- Health care workers who have been stuck by needles with hepatitis C-infected blood

- Anyone with a history of tattoos inked in an unregulated setting

5 Foods That Will Detoxify Your Lungs And Heal Them Naturally

Regular detoxification of lungs will help in smooth functioning and help in expulsion of toxins. Thus it is important that we choose healthy foods to cleanse our lungs, so as to reduce common lung diseases and respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis.

Are you a chain smoker? Do you live in a polluted area? Our lungs are a vital organ and the most ignored organ of our body. It is through them that we breathe. Consequently our lungs are also sucking in harmful elements from the air around us. They are exposed to harmful pollutants and microbes that get deposited from the air we inhale. For people who smoke, their healthy lungs turn black with the deposition of tar in their lungs. Regular detoxification of lungs will help in smooth functioning and help in expulsion of toxins. Thus it is important that we choose healthy foods to cleanse our lungs, so as to reduce common lung diseases and respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis.

Some foods which are great for good lung health are listed below:

1. Garlic: The anti-inflammatory properties along with a high level of allicin helps to fight infections and reduces inflammation. Garlic has also been considered by many as being an effective remedy in improving asthma and can help to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

2. Apples: An apple is healthy, loaded with nutrients, high energy, high fiber, low calorie food. Its flavonoids and the wide variety of vitamins, and antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, helps us to maintain a strong immune system and a healthy respiratory system. When we have healthy respiratory functions, we can fight off lung diseases and prevent them naturally.

3. Ginger: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties ginger will help to clear your lungs naturally. You can add ginger to various dishes as it is a widely used herb. Also you can add it in your morning tea.You can also use it to prepare ginger tea blended with some lemon in it. This is beneficial to remove toxins from the respiratory tract.

4. Green tea: Drink a cup of your favourite herbal green tea before going to bed to release toxins in the intestine that can lead to constipation or other stomach ailments. You should refrain from overloading your lungs with tedious work during this purification process.

5. Lentils: In order to optimize the oxygen transportation faculties of the lungs, healthy hemoglobin levels are absolutely critical. Hemoglobin is a protein molecule that is found in red blood cells and aids in transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissue. As an added benefit, hemoglobin stimulates the internal processes that returns carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be expelled from the body. Black beans, cow peas, dried peas, lentils, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and soybeans are some foods containing properties that raise hemoglobin levels. Additionally, supplement beans and lentils with vitamin-C rich foods to maximize iron absorption.



For obvious reasons, water is the best tool for balancing water balance in your body. No need to go overboard, but you should always aim for 6-8 glasses a day depending on your body weight. If you are more active, you will need additional water. Water helps flush out toxins that can lead to bacterial infection or kidney stones, along with harmful particles in the blood.

Cranberry Juice

Be careful with this choice, some juices contain little fruit content and are loaded with sugar, so be sure to pick 100% cranberry juice (organic and water based) is a great option for cleaning out your kidneys.


Eating cranberries can also protect your kidneys. Cranberries prevent the development and growth of ulcers and bacteria in your urinary tract, and can help manage current bacteria/ulcers because they make urine more acidic and help keep bacteria from attaching to the inside of the bladder. At the grocery store, add fresh cranberries to your cart over dried.


An apple a day really does help keep the doctor away! High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and decrease your risk of cancer. These can be cooked or raw. It's up to you!


If you have chronic kidney disease, you probably know that vitamin D is extremely important since it helps regulate kidney function, and mushrooms are an excellent source.

Egg Whites

Egg whites provide a high quality protein, but avoid the yolks because they contain phosphorous, which can be dangerous for people with kidney disease. Skinless chicken is also a good quality protein for renal diets. 


Kale is a good source of Vitamins A and C to prevent inflammation and protect the immune system. It's also lower in potassium than other greens and contains a large amount of iron.


This vegetable brings lots of vitamin C to your plate, along with folate and fiber. In addition, it contains compounds that help your liver neutralize toxic substances. Feel free to eat this veggie raw, add it to your salad, or substitute it for mashed potatoes.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of other healthy options that will do your kidneys, and your body, plenty of good. If you do have chronic kidney disease there are a few nutrients you should watch carefully. Your kidneys regulate potassium, which is why it's so important to monitor how much you are eating on a regular basis. Your kidneys also have a role in red blood cell production, meaning that if they aren't functioning correctly your count may be low. Eating iron-rich foods can help prevent this and help keep up your energy level.

On the opposite side of the equation, salt can be your enemy. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and make your heart and kidneys work too hard. Be careful about how much salt you use in cooking and also watch the salt content of pre-packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, and boxed meals. Salt substitutes may also contain a lot of potassium, so try herbs to add flavor and give it some time. You can get used to eating less salt, but it does take six to eight weeks for your taste buds to get used to it.

Lastly, phosphorous can be dangerous for people with kidney disease so choose foods lower in phosphorous like fresh fruits and veggies, rice milk, corn and rice cereals, and lemonade or ginger ale.

Why dark chocolate is good for our gut, heart (and taste buds)

If your sweet tooth is satisfied by a dose of dark chocolate, now researchers suggest that your gut also feasts on bacterias in the chocolate that improve heart health.

Science has pointed to dark chocolate as a helper in lowering blood pressure, managing cholesterol levels and improving heart health. Unlike milk chocolate that’s mostly built with sugar and milk, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, which fight damage to your body’s cells.

In the latest findings, Louisiana State University says that there are two types of microbes in the gut: “good ones” and “bad ones.”

“The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate. When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory,” study researcher, Maria Moore, said.

Those compounds are then absorbed by the rest of your body.

“They lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke,” Dr. John Finley, who led the study, said in a statement.

(Cocoa powders’ key ingredients — namely polyphenolic compounds and dietary fibre — are hard to digest and absorb. But these gut microbes take over and break down these compounds so they’re easier to soak up, the researchers suggest.)

Their findings are based on testing three cocoa powders and simulating the digestive process in lab testing. Dark chocolate contains the same antioxidant compounds as the cocoa powders.

Finley even suggests that the health benefits of dark chocolate are heightened when combined with solid fruits like pomegranate and acai — both recognized as antioxidant powerhouses. He said the next step is for the food industry to make that pairing happen.

His findings were presented at the American Chemical Society Tuesday night where thousands of scientists are sharing their research throughout the week.

Right now, Boston researchers are working with Mars Inc., the maker of M&M’s and Snickers, on a four-year study that would feed chocolate extract pills to about 18,000 participants.

The pills are so packed with nutrients that you’d have to eat a gazillion candy bars to get the amount being tested in the study pitched as the first large test of cocoa flavanols. In smaller studies, the chocolate flavanols have been linked to improved blood pressure, lower cholesterol and better insulin management.

The researchers want to know just how healthy dark chocolate is when it’s completely stripped of the milk, sugar and processing. Mars has already patented a way to extract flavanols from cocoa in high concentration, then put them in capsules.

“People eat chocolate because they enjoy it,” not because they think it’s good for them, and the idea of the study is to see whether there are health benefits from chocolate’s ingredients minus the sugar and fat, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, preventive medicine chief at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Feeling groggy? You may need to detox your brain

Most of us don’t think of our brain as needing to detox. But while you sleep your brain shrinks by an incredible 60% as it releases toxins via meningeal lymphatics, otherwise known as glymphatics. These vessels are responsible for clearing old immune cells, metabolic byproducts, and excess fluid from the central nervous system and into the deep cervical lymph nodes. Without good quality sleep, you will be left with an accumulation of toxins, and no doubt start to feel rather unwell. 

This certainly explains the fact that sleep deprived individuals pretty much function like they’re drunk.

Truth is, we still have so much to learn about the brain’s role in health and it’s particular needs. Until recently, medical scientists believed that the brain was separate to the rest of the body’s lymphatic vessels and existed in a ‘sterile’ sort of environment. But this has now been proven incorrect (whoops!) and in our new understanding we open up to a completely new paradigm of detoxification, where we can see more clearly how important our diet is to our mental, emotional and cognitive health, as all of this intercepts at a biological level.

Another important area of brain research relates to sugar and the impact of high insulin on the brain. What has been found is that there is effectively a form of ‘type 3’ diabetes where excess sugar irritates and eats away at neuronal fibres causing the brain to deteriorate. This of course has devastating effects and is contributing to a rise in alzheimers and cognitive decline. 

Long term over-consumption of carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods is affecting far more than body weight.

There’s also the matter of what our brain is made of primarily, fats. The human brain is nearly 60% fat and is in fact the fattest organ in the body. So think about it. In order to nourish our brain, we need healthy, intact, ‘uncompromised’ fats. This is pretty straightforward, and in my opinion ‘low-fat’ guidelines are the most negligent and devastating advice ever given. Dietary fats are vital to maintain and build your brain. And no, fats don’t make you fat. Sugar does.

A compromised fat would be any of the industrialised varieties such as cottonseed, vegetable, safflower and canola to name a few. These are all not healthy for the brain, are highly inflammatory, and in fact are contributing to cognitive decline alongside overuse of sugar.

From a functional medicine perspective we’ve identified that sleep, detoxification, dietary fats and managing insulin are important to brain health. So where does this leave us? We need to help our body ‘clean up’ to thrive, and this is exactly where antioxidants come in. 

Didn’t sleep well? Load up on Vitamin C to start.

Anti-oxidants are free radical scavengers in the body. They protect our cellular fatty acids from damage and give the body a natural line of defence against oxidation and damage. Foods like blueberries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins which are specific to protecting the brain and helping to reduce the formation of amyloid plaques. In addition, many varieties of medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake, chaga, cordyceps and lions mane are rich in protective beta-glucans and known as nootropics, meaning they are powerhouses at protecting the brain. 

A whole world opens up to us once we understand more about how the body works and what’s required nutritionally, beyond the old school calorie model. Eating foods to nourish your brain, and being aware of what is needed to help your brain detoxify could shift your energy levels, ageing and experience of health significantly.

Ready to detox your brain? Start right here. Cut way back on sugar, skip the industrial oils, get enough sleep, boost your healthy fats and load up on those beautiful anti-oxidants. 

Try my super charged Berry and Mushroom Brain Smoothie as part of your daily routine. 


1 Cup almond milk
1/4 Cup frozen organic blueberries
2 raw egg yolks from pastured eggs
1 tsp reishi powder (or favourite mushroom blend)
1 probiotic capsule (25 billion CFU or more)
1 small zucchini raw, chopped in chunks
1 tsp unsweetened Acai powder (or favourite berry superfood blend)
1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
2 tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 serve vanilla or chocolate protein powder sweetened with stevia or monk fruit

Blend ingredients in a powerful blender and enjoy!

Here’s the truth behind that detox water trend

Slice and dice a few cucumbers, peel a tangerine and a grapefruit, toss in a few sprigs of mint, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide detox water, able to flush fat and toxins out of the body.
At least, that’s what TV health personalities like Dr. Mehmet Oz and trainer Jillian Michaels have been touting. So, what makes detox water so magical?

Pretty much nothing, scientists say.

“More water makes the body’s job of flushing toxins easier,” said Cornell nutrition and chemistry professor Thomas Brenna, “but I can get that water from my tap.”

Water does help to keep your liver and kidneys in tip-top shape. The body relies on the liver to pick up toxins from the bloodstream and convert them into water-soluable substances that can be excreted in urine. The kidneys help out, too.

That’s a natural, everyday process, essential for life. Plain, old-fashioned water is a crucial ingredient to keep the system working. But adding cucumbers or mint doesn’t give the water extra power. And scientists say they don’t understand what special toxins the specialty waters are supposed to be helping you flush.

“Nobody has really explained to me what toxins they’re getting rid of,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutrition researcher at the Mayo Clinic. “People talk about it as if it’s some big compound of chemicals we need to get rid of, and I’m not sure what they’re talking about.”

That hasn’t stopped companies from selling detox pitchers and water bottles, or bloggers from touting lists like “20 Delicious Detox Waters to Cleanse Your Body and Burn Fat.” Health celebrities have jumped on the trend, too. Oz brought fitness personality Kim Lyons onto his show to whip up some fat-flushing water. Michaels, the trainer on the popular TV show “The Biggest Loser,” shares a recipe for detox water she claims can help you lose up to five pounds in a week.

The Kardashians are also on the bandwagon, with Khloe sharing her favorite detox water recipe (lemons, cucumber, mint) with her millions of Instagram followers.

Supermodel Miranda Kerr swears by another Dr. Oz-touted hydration trick— drinking warm water with lemon in the morning. Kerr has said the infused water “really helps kick up the digestion and it also cleanses the body and boosts the immune system.”

Others promoting the health benefits of detox water claim that the body absorbs all the good vitamins seeping into the water from those orange and lemon slices, without the calories that come with actually eating a piece of fruit. “Basically, it’s like making your own ‘vitamin water,’ but without the cost or hidden ingredients,” the FAQ page on reads.

But experts say it’s unclear how much benefit you’d actually get from drinking infused water.

“The calories in there are minimal, though I’m not sure the water has no calories,” Hensrud said, “and that suggests that the other substances in there provide health benefits that are probably minimal, too.”

Though they’re skeptical of the big claims, nutrition experts say detox waters aren’t harmful. And they may even have one benefit — they just may be tasty enough to get you to drink more plain, old-fashioned water.


How to Breathe deeply to Detox the Body: the human body can go months without food, and days without water. However, we can only survive a few minutes without oxygen. There are many benefits to deep conscious breathing and detoxing the body is one of them.

It also promotes the creation of white blood cells. Every time you inhale your lungs fill with oxygen that thereafter get transported in your blood throughout other detoxing organs including: lymphatic system, kidneys, colon, and even the uterus for women.

Conversely every time we exhale we elimate part of the body’s waste in the form of carbon dioxide. By breathing deeply we take in more oxygen that cleanses the body, and by exhaling deeply we eliminate more waste both actions have an overall detox effect on the body.

We often take breathing for granted and under estimate the importance of drawing awareness to our breath. However, this can result in shallow breathing with side effects that include fatigue, and decreased tissue function. Additionally the brain can not function to it’s fullest potential if it is not receiving enough oxygen.

When you practice deep rhythmic breathing the diaphragm expands. It relaxes the body, and massages your lymphatic system which helps in the elimination of toxins. If you aren’t breathing deeply or moving on a regular basis your lymphatic fluids become stagnant and this essential blocks the system from eliminating waste. A poorly functioning lymphatic system can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, weight gain, fatigue, and inflammation.

Learning to breath deeply is an easy process. Once you get accustomed to deep breathing exercises your day to day breathing will become less shallow and allow your body to work more efficiently.

Take a few minutes a day to focus on you inhalation and exhalation. Inhale deeply until you feel you belly full of air, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds and exhale slowly and deeply until all air is expelled.

You can continue to breath like this for a few minutes and you will likely notice how your regular breathing pattern will be improved. There are other breathing techniques you can try like the 4-7-8 deep breathing exercise developed by Dr. Weil.

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth and exhale completely through your mouth so that you make a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count 4, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
Repeat three times.

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