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How To Get Healthy On A Budget

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The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, and yet it ranks 12th in life expectancy among the 12 wealthiest industrialized countries. The country spent $3.4 trillion on health care in 2016, and that number is projected to grow to $5.5 trillion by 2025, driven by inflation in the cost of medical services and products and an aging population. So if outrageous health care spending is not translating to enormously better health outcomes, what can we do as individuals to protect ourselves?

Investing in preventive health solutions like gym memberships, organic food, biometric and genetic testing, and alternative therapies can feel inaccessible because of the out-of-pocket costs. The truth is, many of us didn’t grow up in families that budgeted for self-care and healthy living. Only in recent years has the conversation of wellness and disease prevention hit the masses, and quite frankly, it’s about time.

“Invest now, save later” is my personal mantra when it comes to health and happiness. And by save, I’m not only referring to saving on costs of health care; I’m also referring to the decrease in the likelihood of burdening family and friends. When we get sick, so do our loved ones. Their symptoms might feel invisible or go medically undetected because of the adrenaline they’re releasing to stay strong and fight the fight alongside us. It’s tragic news when you hear of a family member falling ill while taking care of their loved one. As you can see, the future savings are great and the cost of investment is dwarfed by the potential return.

Of course you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, I understand, but I just can’t afford to be healthy right now. To that I say it’s still possible to optimize your health today and not break the bank. Here are some options to consider if you want to invest in your health today:

1. Eat from the source.

Michael Pollan said it best: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Eating food as close to its natural form as possible will deliver the highest amount of usable nutrition. I recommend an 80/20 approach, with 80 percent of the food being intentionally selected and wholesome and the other 20 percent saved for social environments and situations in which healthy food is not as accessible.

Here’s what to do: Stick to produce listed on EWG’s Clean 15 List; this means you don’t have to worry about paying extra for organic. While this might take a little upfront research, you can create a list of healthy restaurants in your neighborhood that offer discounts on salads and bowls during a certain time slot. If you have freezer space, you can also buy in bulk, which is often cheaper. Eating at home tends to be more cost-effective than eating out, so taking a little extra time for preparation might be worthwhile for you and your body. Consider signing out some budget-healthy-food recipe books from the library. If you want to upgrade, you can get your fresh produce or freshly prepared healthy meals delivered straight to your door!

2. Get an accountability partner.

Knowing it can take up to 30 days to form one new habit, it might be wise to get an accountability partner. Having someone to remind you of your goals, listen to your frustrations, and even to get healthy right alongside you can increase your chances of maintaining new healthy habits.

Here’s what to do: For a budget-friendly option, partner with a friend, spouse, neighbor, or someone you find through a weekly free meetup group. Just remember to state your commitments and rules up front to make it difficult to back out when life gets in the way. If you want to invest in an upgrade, hire a certified wellness or life coach, and structure your relationship based on your specific needs.

3. Do your own research.

Health blogging is trending, and many people get into health and wellness writing because they want to share their discoveries and personal breakthroughs with their communities. It’s easier than ever to do your own research. Just remember that every blogger is also sharing their own bias and perspective, so use what they say as inspirational tools instead of cold, hard facts.

Here’s what to do: If you’re looking for scientific data, you can use Google Scholar or PubMed, and the NIH Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Mayo Clinic both have tons of information about supplements, wellness, and alternative medicine. You can also sign up for free online summits, Facebook Lives, and conferences to learn from leading experts.

4. Digitize your health.

It’s becoming easier to quantify your nutrition, fitness, heart rate, sleep, and overall health. And this is only the beginning. Active adoption of digital health tools like telemedicine and wearable devices reached a record high of 46 percent in the United States in 2016, up from 19 percent the year before. As health care becomes more convenient, accessible, and data-driven, it will be easier to take care of ourselves as unique individuals.

Here’s what to do: Many reputable health-tracking apps are free, or close to free. Health journaling is another affordable approach that can be helpful if consistency is maintained. Go to your mobile app store and read reviews, or Google “top health apps for 2017” and find one that works for you. If your budget allows for it, it might be worthwhile to invest in more advanced apps, devices, and services that offer deeper analysis—especially if you’re at risk of developing a deficiency or disease because of your environment or genetic makeup. Biometric lab tests can provide information about vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances, or food intolerances. Genetic tests can tell you whether you may have a higher probability of developing a disease. These tests are available online.

I hope I’ve convinced you that the tools to better health and longevity are readily available to you today, whether you have a budget or not. All you need is a bit of self-discipline and to remember the importance of this particular return on investment.

Want to save some money on fitness? Take your workout to the beach or the mountains.

Source By Rhea Mehta, Ph.D.

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Health & Fitness

Effortlessly Maintain Your Ideal Weight With Ketogenic Eating

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Perhaps the most immediate and dramatic benefit of ketogenic eating is the opportunity for quick and efficient reduction of excess body fat. This also means easy, long-term maintenance of your ideal body composition. Ketogenic eating can make you an efficient fat-burning machine. When you are in full-blown keto, you enjoy complete dietary satisfaction, rarely feel hungry (even if you skip meals!), and never have to struggle, suffer, restrict calories, or force strenuous workouts in order to burn extra calories. Instead, you allow your body to naturally calibrate you to a healthy composition and weight.reset, you’ll learn the best way to ditch grains, sugars, and refined vegetable oils, and you’ll also discover the nutrient-dense, high-fat, low-carb primal foods with which to replace them. During the second week, you’ll focus on the supportive lifestyle behaviors that are essential to succeed with dietary transformation. These include optimizing your exercise patterns, dialing in your sleep, and implementing effective stress-management techniques. In your final approach to the 21-day mark, you’ll put it all together—thereby escaping carbohydrate dependency once and for all and plunging headlong into the world of fat adaptation.

Adopting a long-term ketogenic lifestyle is easier than you think.

You will likely notice immediate weight loss, largely due to a reduction in inflammation (and the ensuing fluid retention in cells throughout the body) and also because you will unlock stored body fat to burn for energy around the clock. It’s not uncommon for devoted enthusiasts to drop 10 to 15 pounds total, including 3 to 6 pounds of excess body fat, during a 21-Day Metabolism Reset.

Then, you’ll go keto, dropping your carb consumption to less than 50 grams a day and also likely lowering your protein to less than you typically consume, while also emphasizing nutritious, natural fats as your main calorie source. Your journey into nutritional ketosis should last for at least six weeks. Then, with your newly minted degree in fat- and keto-adaptation, you can consider and experiment with assorted long-term options, including going back into nutritional ketosis any time in the future to shed excess fat, protect against disease, and enhance cognitive and athletic performance.

Being fat- and keto-adapted means that you can veer off the plan now and then and not tailspin into a monthlong sugar binge. When you have this esteemed metabolic flexibility, you can wake up the day after eating cake by the ocean, or even a bunch more stuff on a weeklong cruise, and get right back into the groove—whether through fasting, a string of keto-aligned meals, or even strategic use of ketone supplements. Adopting this lifestyle means freedom from sugar cravings, fatigue, and overstimulation of the fight-or-flight response from excess carbohydrates. What could be better than that?

Sources:
1. Masino, Susan (ed.). Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies: Expanded Roles in Health and Disease. Oxford University Press, 2017.

2. Cahill, G.F. (2006). Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annual Review of Nutrition, 26: 1-22.

3. Rattan, S.I.S. (2006). Theories of biological aging: Genes, proteins, and free radicals. Free Radical Research, 40: 1230–1238.

4. Sohal, R.S., & Weindruch, R. (1996). Oxidative Stress, Caloric Restriction, and Aging. Science (New York, N.Y.), 273 (5,271), 59–63.

Source mindbodygreen.com

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Intermittent Fasting, Is Right For You?

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Almost everyone can benefit from intermittent fasting (IF), which—as its name implies—means alternating between periods of eating and not eating for various amounts of time. “Fasting is the oldest dietary intervention in the world,” writes Dr. Jason Fung in The Complete Guide to Fasting. “Because it differs from conventional dieting in so many important ways, fasting carries many distinct advantages.”

Among them, fasting is simple, free, convenient, effective, and allows you to enjoy life’s occasional indulgences. You can do IF on almost any plan, whether you’re vegan or paleo, and it gives your overworked digestive system a much-needed break.

IF challenges conventional health theories: Many practitioners skip breakfast, don’t count calories and go long hours—sometimes days—without eating. They think when you eat may be just as important as what you eat. And it gets results. Intermittent fasting’s numerous benefits include weight loss and chronic disease management.

At the same time, no one plan works for everyone, and that includes IF. Even Fung notes certain people shouldn’t do IF, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, underage people, and malnourished folks. He advises others like people with type 1 diabetes to proceed cautiously with fasting. While you can usually work with a credentialed health care expert and modify fasting to your condition, I’ve found people with these five issues should think twice about, and—in one case—absolutely avoid intermittent fasting:

1. You have gallstone disease.

When you fast, your gallbladder doesn’t release bile. As your liver continues to deliver bile, it becomes concentrated. Breaking you’re fast means your gallbladder could forcefully release sludge or small stones from that buildup that could get stuck in the bile duct. If you have gallbladder issues, proceed cautiously with IF. One study showed that among people with gallstone disease, a long overnight fast increased hospitalization risk.

2. You have an eating disorder.

Here’s my one big thumbs-down for fasting. A systematic review of IF’s potential harms mentioned eating disorders, and writer Emily T. Troscianko asked whether IF is “A Fast Route to Disordered Eating?” in an intriguing Psychology Today essay. If you have bulimia or otherwise struggle with other psychological eating disorders IF could exacerbate those problems. An eating disorder is one condition with which you absolutely should not do fasting. Rather, always work with your doctor when struggling with any sort of disorder.

3. You have adrenal fatigue.

Fasting can keep your stress hormone cortisol ramped up, stressing your already-overworked adrenals. One study with 16 young, healthy female volunteers who fasted for 48 hours had elevated cortisol levels, suggesting fasting could create additional stress. You’re probably not going to fast that long, but beware if you have adrenal fatigue or your adrenals are already overworked from chronic stress—fasting could make your condition worse.

4. Your thyroid is shot.

Your thyroid performs many functions, including balancing energy, body temperature, and emotions. When this tiny gland isn’t working correctly, numerous problems can result. Triiodothyronine (T3) is your active thyroid hormone. Studies show fasting decreases T3, so if you have mild to moderate hypothyroidism, you might want to reconsider intermittent fasting.

5. You’re sick.

Your body needs a steady supply of nutrients if you’re ill, and if you’re not eating you can’t get them. IF could also create physiological or metabolic stress: the last things you want to create when you’ve got a cold, flu, or another virus. At the very least, I recommend bone broth and a nutrient-dense protein shake or green drink to meet those nutrient requirements.

If you don’t fall into those conditions and want to try IF, start out slowly. Have a big dinner, close up the kitchen for the night, and then have breakfast as late as possible the following morning. That creates about a 12-hour or longer fasting window—most of it while you’re sleeping—that helps your body dip into those fat stores. Gradually increase that fasting time, but if you feel nauseous or otherwise unwell, please eat something. Don’t risk your health!

Source http://www.mindbodygreen.com

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Yoga Nidra and Consciousness: Chakras in Yoga Nidra

The awakening of consciousness through Nyasa releases tensions and lethargy, thereby healing illnesses

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According to Paramahansa Satyananda, Yoga Nidra actually begins with the experiencing of these chakras. The chakras are also known in other cultures, as we have seen with the Hopis in the USA, but also by the alchemists in Europe and the Inuits of Greenland and Canada, to mention but a few of the more evident examples.

Also: Yoga Positions for Beginners – 2 Things You Need To Know

In the deep Yoga Nidra, we use eight of the major chakras to contact the various planes of consciousness.
On my album, “Experience Yoga Nidra” (previously on cassette tape) I use the mantras (certain sound syllables) connected to each chakra. I also use visual symbols in accordance with the traditions of India and Europe.

When I started to produce “Experience Yoga Nidra” while teaching in the USA, the Indian musician Roop Verma was inspired to record the ancient musical symbols of the chakras. He was the first ever to do this. This special music has been merged with my text and guidance during the deep Yoga Nidra.

Chakras are often spoken of in connection with Kundalini Yoga, a set of methods and meditations that can be used to harmonize and awaken the psychic energy. (The name Kundalini Yoga, however, is also used as the trade mark of a contemporary movement – although they only teach standard yoga).

Kriya Yoga is probably the most profound and effective form of Kundalini Yoga. In an awesome way, it can strengthen the body’s energy field, remove depressions, increase creativity and open you up to a first-hand knowledge of the genuine mystical or spiritual aspects of life.

The chakras have corresponding areas in the brain. When they are relaxed and harmonized during Yoga Nidra, the release of unwanted states such as confusion and lack of concentration begins. People who awaken their chakras through yoga and meditation, open up to a previously unknown capacity for communication, insight, and creativity.

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