5 Tips to Think Yourself Thin

Think yourself thin? Could it really be so simple?  Research suggests it just could be, and here’s how…

Think yourself thin:  Visualize

There are a variety of visualization techniques that are said to be effective to “think yourself thin.” From visualizing yourself eating much healthier, to predicting that new lower number on your scale. Shedding a few pounds is possible just from using your mind. Experts say anything that you envision can turn into reality and  an individual’s thoughts play a vital role in success and failure. Everyone knows that weight loss is not at all an easy task but there is some truth to thinking yourself thin. Let’s have a look at a few pointers that you should consider seriously in order to think yourself thin. Believe me, these techniques will work amazingly!

Improve how you talk to your self

Either you are talking to yourself or with someone. Make sure to pay close attention on how you think about yourself and others may think about you.  ie, The self-talk. We often put ourselves down at some point of the day, criticizing ourselves for having that dessert, or even allowing ourselves to feel guilty over that soda.  Stop it! Instead compliment yourself. Remind yourself about something you have achieved and focus on the things you have done that were good for your body.  Did you drink water today instead of that diet soda?  Perhaps you added spinach to your eggs this morning and remembered to take your vitamins.  Focusing on what we have done that is good for us, encourages us to continue down that  positive path and way of thinking.
It will help in turning your self-talk & negative thoughts into a positive statement that begins the process of CHANGE.

Recognize your qualities

Create a list of your positive qualities instead of physical traits. Are you kind, artistic, honest, good in business, have a knack for making people laugh, etc? Post this list anywhere in your home where you can view at least 3 to 4 times a day.
Building that self esteem will make it easier to want to treat yourself well and make healthy decisions.  After all, you deserve it!

Think realistically

We often compare ourselves with people who are in movies or magazines. You can compare yourself with real people around you, but there is no need for that. Real people come in all shapes and sizes.  Remember just how much photoshop and body doubles play part in the entertainment industry before you compare yourself to what you see.

Live an active lifestyle

Exercise or some activity can work wonders and make you feel awesome! It not only boosts your mood but is actually a quick step in the right direction of having a physically fit body at the same time. Moderate exercise can be the great way to eliminate all the distractions that may cultivate negative feelings inside you. By the time you have completed your workout, your negative feelings are likely to be less intense or even replaced by a stronger sense of accomplishment, confidence and giving you something to feel great about!
If you are struggling to lose weight, follow these tips and start changing your health and fitness mindset now.  After all, it’s all about your positive thinking and that has the power to change things drastically.  Remember, think yourself thin and then watch your body follow.

Want to learn more?  Think Yourself Thin

Mental Health Benefits of Music

Mental Health Benefits of Music

Research shows listening to music is the key to mental wellness.

1. Reduce stress. Studies have shown that listening to music biochemical stress reducers.

2. Creates a relaxation state. Listening to slow relaxing music, can alter brainwave activity creating a meditative or event hypnotic relaxed state. Some research suggest these states have a therapeutic effect, potentially easing symptoms of migraines, PMS, and even behavior issues.

3. Elevate mood and reduce symptoms of depression.  A recent study found that music put people in an uplifted mood, even resulting in increase in arousal and mood stability.   Study participants also reported “self-awareness” as a heightened factor in their emotional well-being.

Listen to music while you read this blog:

Artist:  Steve Hott
Song:  Here for You
Album on iTunes:  Here for You

Download this song- proceeds go to charity.  Steve Hott on Reverbnation

5. Improve mental performance. One study found that playing background music while taking a test, allowed students to answer more questions in the permitted time while also answering more questions correctly.

6. Reduce anxiety.  Similar to getting a massage, music has been proven to have a positive effect on anxiety levels.

10. Reduce road rage. As it turns out, listening to your favorite tunes while driving can positively effect your mood.  The next time you find yourself feeling frustrated with rush hour traffic, put on your favorite music and you just might find yourself taking things a little bit easier.  🙂

12. Improved recovery and healing.   A Finland research study concluded that when hospital patients listened to just a few hours of music a day, their cognitive function and focus improved, and they experienced more positive emotions compared to patients who didn’t listen to music or who listened to audio books.  The result?  Faster healing and recovery, with less stress!

Whatever your music preferences may be, it’s clear that taking the time to listen even a few hours a day, can have a positive impact on your health and well being.

 

 

Read next: Physical health benefits of music…

Physical Health Benefits of Music

health benefits of music - physical

Research shows, listening to music is good for your health and well-being. Watching while listening… even better!

Physical Health Benefits of Music

1. Motivates people to move more. A study of found that healthy individuals, while riding stationary bicycles, worked harder while listening to fast-paced music. An extra bonus: They also enjoyed the music more than listening to it while not moving.

2. Ease of pain. Music has been proven to greatly reduce the perceived intensity of pain. Not only has music been shown to help with the common headache, but also with cancer and geriatric care patients, intensive care, and those in pain management therapy.

3. Improve workout motivation and performance. Runners have been found to beat their best time by simply listening to high intensity, “pumped up” music. Runners, break out your iPods! Listening to music has been shown to help you run faster, boost workout motivation, and enhance endurance.

Listen to music while you read this blog:

Artist:  Steve Hott
Song:  Here for You
Record:  Here for You

4. Improve post-workout recovery. One research study had individuals listen to upbeat music immediately after a workout, and later, slow music to increase relaxation. Results showed an impressive increase in workout recovery speed!

6. Improve sleep time and quality. Listening to relaxed, slow paced music, such as classical, has been shown to effectively treat insomnia, making it a safe, cheap alternative to sleep-inducing meds.

7. Eat less, naturally. Research has found that playing soft music during a meal naturally results in slowed eating during a meal, consuming less food in one sitting.

There you have it- our top 7 physical health benefits of music.  Want to learn more on the topic?  Read on… Mental Health Benefits of Music…

The Art of the Smoothie – How to make perfect smoothies

Apple Smoothie recipe - herbalife protein shake mix

The perfect smoothie. It’s easy, it’s healthy and it tastes amazing!

Smoothies are an excellent way of meeting the recommended daily allowances for important nutrients like iron, calcium, amino acids and omega 3s.  Another beautiful thing about smoothies is that they are incredibly easy to make, yet have a wide range of health benefits.

 

Health Benefits of Smoothies

 

  • Natural Weight Loss: Smoothies can help with weight loss because they are cleansing, energizing, and keep your body healthy by providing everything needed to function properly.  Some smoothie ingredients can also help boost your metabolism.
  • Packed with Nutrients: Depending on how you make your smoothie, it can provide antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals like calcium and iron, and many other nutrients.  Because the fruits and veggies in the smoothie are broken down by blending, it is also easier for the body to absorb these nutrients.
  • Makes It Easy to Eat Your Greens:  If you don’t like eating vegetables, then you can add them to a smoothie.   Over a cup of greens (like spinach) can easily go into a smoothie without overpowering the taste.
  • Improved Energy: Because smoothies are so nutrient dense, they help keep your energy levels high.  Consider having a smoothie instead of your morning coffee!
  • Antioxidant Boost: Smoothies usually contain fruits which are packed with antioxidants, such as blueberries or raspberries.  Antioxidants help keep your immune system strong, fight cancer, and reduce inflammation.

 

 

How to Make the Perfect Smoothie

 

If you want to get health benefits from smoothies, then you need to make them with the right combination of ingredients.   This does NOT, however, mean that you must follow a prescribed recipe for a smoothie.  You simply need the simple, essential components on hand that go into a perfect smoothie, and you can customize to your taste and goals.

1. Liquid Base

 

For starters, you need to have a liquid base for your smoothie.  The most common choices are milks (including dairy, soy, or nut milks) or a juice.  If you use store-bought juice for your smoothie base, just make sure that it is 100% juice with no sugar added.  Along with milk and juices, you can also get creative with bases like coconut water, yogurt, or tea.

 

2. Thick Base Fruit

 

Part of what makes smoothies so good and satisfying is their creaminess.  To get that great smoothie texture, you want to use a thick, creamy fruit as part of the base.  Bananas are a common choice because they are cheap and available year round.  For more exciting smoothies, consider fruits like avocados, melons, apples, pears, or coconut meat.

 

3. Vegetables

 

Yes, adding greens to your smoothies may sound gross.  However, the other ingredients hide the bitterness of the greens so the smoothie still tastes delicious.  Spinach is particularly good in smoothies because it blends down so well.  With tougher greens like kale or beet tops, you may need to cut them up into pieces first if your blender isn’t very powerful.  Spirulina is also a good choice for green smoothies and is available in powder form.

 

4. Protein

 

Protein is not only good for your muscles and cells, but it also helps you feel full longer.  You can easily add proteins like nut butters (almond butter is great) to a smoothie.  There are also many protein powders which blend up well in smoothies.  (We recommend these Herbalife shake recipes.)

 

5. Frozen Fruit

 

The sweetness of fruit is what makes a smoothie such a tasty treat, and the fruit is also what provides a mega dose of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and other nutrients.  Choose fruits that are packed with flavor, such as berries, mangos, or kiwi.  Tip:  Using frozen fruits in your smoothie makes it nice and cold without being too icy-cold.

 

Optional Smoothie Additions

 

Once you get the five core ingredients of a perfect smoothie down pat, you can start experimenting with add-ons.  Spices like cardamom and cinnamon go great in smoothies, as do ingredients like maca root and cacao powder. For a dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, add some flax seed powder or flax oil to the smoothie. Or for a little shot in the arm, adding chili powder gives your smoothie a kick and can help weight loss by boosting metabolism.

Have a favorite smoothie recipe?  Share it!

 

 

Kettlebell Benefits

For decades, dumbbells have been the standard type of free weights used during training. However, there has been a recent explosion in the popularity of kettlebells – weights that have a big handle with the weight hanging off of it like a bell. The popularity of kettlebells has nothing to do with aesthetics, though. The kettlebell shape makes it possible to achieve benefits not possible with other weights.

 

What Makes Kettlebells Unique

 

With most free weights, the weight is in the center of the hand. With kettlebells, the weight hangs away from the hand. This may seem insignificant, but it actually makes a big difference to how kettlebells should be used. They should NOT be used in the typical lifting motions used with dumbbells, and they should NEVER be lifted overhead. Rather, kettlebells should be used with a swinging motion. Note that using kettlebells can be dangerous, especially if you are used to training with dumbbells. It is best to have a professional show you how to use the kettlebells properly before you start using them in your exercise routine.

 

Benefits of Kettlebells

 

Since kettlebells are used with a swinging motion, they are used for a more specialized weight training instead of traditional strength training. If your main goal is to build strength, you should stick to free weights such as dumbbells. If you want to intensify your aerobic routine and burn fat while building strength, kettlebells are a good choice because of the benefits they provide.

 

  • Work More Muscles: The swinging motion requires you to use dozens of muscles throughout your body.
  • Real-Life Motions: Kettlebell exercises mimic motions you use in your everyday life. This will help you improve resistance to injury and cause you to get lean instead of bulky.
  • They’re Aerobic: Unlike dumbbell exercises that involve fewer, slower reps, kettlebell exercises involve quick reps in greater quantity. This approach makes using kettlebells more aerobic in nature, improving your heart health while you also burn fat.
  • Results Come Faster: Because kettlebells use so many different muscles and muscle groups while combining aerobics and strength training, they produce results more quickly.
  • They Are Versatile: Kettlebells can be used in numerous ways, such as with HIIT(high intensity interval training), with squats, or in numerous swinging exercises. This variety allows you to achieve broader results using kettlebells than you can with most other types of weights. And, as an added benefit, it also means that your workout is less likely to get boring.

 

Telomeres and Aging: The Surprising Secret that Stops Aging & Weight Gain

Telomeres and aging, the surprising secret to living Longer, feeling younger and maintaining a healthy weight? Nobel prize winning research may have unlocked the secret of stopping aging dead in its tracks….

Would you choose live longer if you could?

Most of us would say yes.

Unfortunately up to now many of us haven’t had the luxury of making that decision. Aging along with weight gain really comes down to the vitality of our cells.

The good news is… a fascinating release of Nobel Prize winning research might just have unlocked the unbelievably simply trick to fighting aging and weight gain.

The research of Advanced Stem Cell Sciences has discovered how to leverage the power of an enzyme called telomerase that has the power to stop and even reverse the painful cellular aging process.

But, In order to understand telomerase and its effect on aging, we have to understand a cellular structure called telomeres.  These telomeres are an extra portion of code at the end of DNA strands that get used up each time a cell divides.

 

Why Telomeres?

According to ProCellX, the leading experts in telomere anti-aging therapy, when cells divide they need to copy DNA to get instructions on how to build a new cell. These are the blueprints for your cells and they are vital to your health and longevity.

However, when your cells copy DNA they end up destroying a little bit at the end of the cell. This, scientists believe, is why we age (and die).

What’s interesting is that nature has put a bit of extra material at the end of the strand called the telomere. The telomere doesn’t transmit any information, like DNA, but it can get chopped off without any damage to the cell.

Well, after a cell has divided enough times the telomere continues to shorten and shorten.

What is Telomerase and why is it important?

Telomerase is an enzyme that actually lengthens the telomere allowing a cell to go on dividing in a healthy fashion. Telomerase are what keeps us healthy and young.

Unfortunately, as we age, our telomerase runs out taking our vitality, energy, and health with it.

If we had a way to activate telomerase, a cell could essentially go on dividing forever.

How do we get our bodies to produce telomerase and stop aging?

Recently in Brazil researcher have won a Nobel Prize for figuring out how to artificially re-Activate telomerase and increase lifespan in animals.

The substance Cycloastragenol actually flips on telomerase like a light switch and in the process extends the life and vitality of animals and humans.

This substance has been reported to increase lifespan, bone density, libido, energy, recovery, immunity…the list goes on and on.

It triggers your cells into thinking you are much younger as long as you continue taking Cycloastragenol.

This breakthrough was so significant that it recently won the Nobel Prize in science and has inspired hundreds of new studies.

To learn more about Cycloastragenol, visit ProCellx;  “Can you really reverse the effects of aging?”

The pH Diet – Info for your best health.

Risks and Benefits of the pH Diet

 

The pH diet (aka “the alkaline diet”) involves eating alkaline-forming foods. This does not mean you can’t eat any acid-forming foods at all, such as coffee, dairy, or beef. Rather, the goal is to create a greater balance between acidic and alkaline foods. The idea behind the diet is that eating a pH-balanced diet will help you control the pH level of your blood and stomach so your body can function optimally.

Read the comments:  The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health

Or visit Dr Young’s website: Ph Miracle Living

Benefits of the pH Diet

Our bodies naturally balance pH on their own, but eating a balanced diet makes it much easier for our bodies to do so. Since the body doesn’t have to put as much effort into balancing its pH levels, it has more energy for other functions, like metabolism, hence the long-term weight loss that many experience on the pH diet.

The pH diet consists mostly of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, and certain whole grains.  These foods are conducive to weight loss because they are low calorie and are either low-fat or contain healthy fats like Omega 3s.  Alkaline foods do not contain refined or “simple” sugars that cause your blood sugar to spike. This means the calories go more towards energy instead of getting stored as fat, and you won’t feel the energy crash that is typical after consuming junk foods. Because alkaline-forming foods are rich in fiber, they also help you feel full longer.

Along with weight loss, there are numerous other health benefits that come with the pH diet such as reduced risk of kidney stones, less erosion of tooth enamel, reduced acid reflux, and less stress on organs and the bladder.

 

Risks of the pH Diet

With any diet there are always some risks. In the case of the pH diet, some people end up eating more fruit than vegetables. The excess sugar can cause problems like acne breakouts or blood sugar problems. If people on the pH diet don’t eat enough of the diet’s more protein-rich foods, such as from legumes or seeds, they can end up with a deficiency. Protein deficiency can seriously impact weight loss because muscle deterioration can occur. That means the body will have less mass and metabolism will significantly slow down.

 

To avoid the risks of the pH diet, practitioners need to make sure that they are eating a well-balanced diet. They should be sure to get at least three servings of vegetables daily, some of which should be leafy greens to ensure adequate iron intake, and also to eat protein with every meal, which can be as simple as sprinkling some nuts onto your fruit bowl or salad.

What Do Diet Cleanses Do for Your Health?

What Do Diet Cleanses Do for Your Health?

 

When discussing diet cleanses, often the first benefit that comes to mind for many people is weight loss. Indeed, you will likely lose weight if you go on cleanse (such as a juice cleanse or a fast) because they are low-calorie and involve consuming healthy, natural foods. However, the real benefit of going on a cleanse is that it removes toxins from your body. It is this detoxification which is actually behind the long-term weight loss that a cleanse can help achieve.

 

Toxin Detoxification

 

In our daily lives, we encounter numerous harmful toxins through pollutants and chemical additives in the foods we eat. Our bodies have mechanisms to deal with these toxins, but chronic exposure to toxins can cause our bodies to become overworked. Our immune systems weaken, we feel sluggish, and our metabolisms can slow.

 

Diet cleanses can help flush out these toxins in numerous ways. Some cleanses involve eating or drinking cleansing foods, such as berry or herbal tonics. Other cleanses involve eating only “clean” foods  order ito stem the flow of toxins coming in, thus allowing the body to focus on getting rid of the toxins that are already there.

 

Without all of these toxins in your body, your metabolism rate can increase, which means that you will find it easier to lose weight and keep it off, including the weight you lost during the fast. You can also experience benefits like improved mood, clearer skin, and better focus.

 

Dangers of Cleansing

 

When considering a diet cleanse, it is important to remember that there are many different types of cleanses.

  • Juice fasts
  • Water-only fasts
  • Master Cleanse
  • Liver detox cleanses
  • Colon cleanses

 

These cleanses can have benefits, but only if they are performed properly. Doing a cleanse for too long can cause a slew of problems, the main one being nutrient deficiencies. Also, depriving your body of energy (i.e. calories) for a prolonged period can lead to a slowed metabolism. Both of these problems can harm your health, not to mention your weight-loss goals.

 

Before starting any cleanse, it is important to look at the cleanse as it relates to your lifestyle and overall health goals. If you lead a very active lifestyle, for example, then doing the Master Cleanse could devastate your health.

 

Post-Cleansing Practices

 

In order to maintain the detoxification benefits you received during your cleanse, you will need to have a post-cleanse plan. This should involve a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed, refined foods. The good news is that cleanses will typically purge all the refined sugars and chemicals in your body, so you stop feeling cravings for junk food. Since your stomach may have shrunk in size during the cleanse as well, it also probably won’t take as much food to make you feel full.

Best Yoga Positions to Strengthen Your Core

Best Yoga Positions to Strengthen Your Core

 

Posture, digestion, back safety, and so many other aspects of life require a connection to the core. Having a strong and fluid core is a key to emotional stability and overall empowerment. One of the most holistic and sustainable ways to cultivate a strong core is through a dedicated Yoga practice. Most of the Yoga Asanas (postures, positions, or “seats”) contribute to core strength in subtle ways. But there are a few that specifically strengthen the center. Remember to breathe deeply throughout each pose, and it is best to practice these within a complete sequence.

 

Phalakasana

 

Otherwise known as Plank pose, Phalakasana firms the arms, legs, and center. It looks like a standard high push-up from the outside, and is held for 5 to 7 breaths. To build core strength, pull the navel in towards the spine while drawing the tailbone towards the heels. Keep the palms flat on the ground to protect the wrists, reach through the inner heels and inner palms while hugging the arms and thighs towards the midline.

 

Chaturanga Dandasana

 

Chaturanga Dandasana is a four-limbed staff pose that looks like a push-up, except the body is at the height of the bent elbows. To really work the core in this one, come into it from the ground. Lie on your abdomen and set the palms alongside the lower ribs (your palms must stay flat the whole time to protect the wrists). Press through the inner heels. Use the core to lift the entire body just to height of the elbows, extending through crown and heels. Be careful to keep the neck and jaw relaxed, and to draw the tailbone towards the heels to keep the lower abdomen engaged.

 

Dolphin

 

Dolphin builds core strength while also working shoulders and legs. From a hands-and-knees tabletop position, set the elbows on the mat. They should be directly under the shoulders and aligned with the wrists. Turn the toes under and use the core to lift the thighbones towards the sky. Walk the feet towards the hands without moving the shoulders, sliding the shoulders away from the ears while squeezing elbows towards the midline. Use the core to lift up out of the shoulders. For a dynamic version, keep the elbows and shoulders in place as you walk the feet away from the hands and then back in, transitioning between Plank pose on the elbows and dolphin.

 

Vasisthasana

 

Sometimes called Side Plank pose, Vasisthasana strengthens the obliques. From Phalakasana, roll onto one hand, turning onto the side of one foot and extending the opposite arm towards the sky. Keep the supporting palm rooted and the hips in line with the shoulders and heels. Draw the navel towards spine and lengthen the entire body.

 

Navasana

 

Boat pose is the most direct core strengthener. From a seated position, lift the legs as you shift your weight forward onto the sitting bones/upper thighbones. Lengthen the spine, keep the shoulders back, and draw the navel inwards. Extend the legs for more intensity. Do not collapse the chest or let the spine round.

 

Swimmer

 

Strengthening the lower back is just as important as working the front of the core. Lie face down and draw the straight legs towards each other as you press down through the pelvis and shins. Use the core to lift and lengthen the torso. Extend your arms straight forward as you exhale, reach the arms out to the side and back alongside your legs as you inhale and lift the chest. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

 

Integration

 

Integrate by opening and stretching the core. Backbends such as Bhujangasana (Cobra) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) will improve the flexibility and tone of the core and keep the back safe and supple. Twists also help detoxify the organs and balance the strengthening and stretching work.

 

In addition to core-specific Asanas, the entire body must be worked regularly for weight loss, muscle development, and overall strength. These poses should be practiced as part of a whole body routine. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new fitness regimen, and practice with a qualified Yoga instructor whenever possible.