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Simple Ways to Exercise
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Getting in a total workout isn’t always going to happen, or maybe it’s something you’re not quite ready to commit to. Regardless, it’s important to remember that we need about 30 minutes of physical activity every day to keep us staying healthy. Physical activity increases your heart rate, and can significantly raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Even if you don’t have time for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, there are easy ways to incorporate some exercise into your every day life that are short, yet highly beneficial. Walking—something you might take for granted, but can easily turn into about 30 minutes of exercise a day. Depending on your stride and pace, walking can build muscles mass. Increased muscle mass leads to increased metabolic rate, which is your body’s ability to burn calories when you’re not moving. This is when you are able to shed pounds faster. We all walk every day, but if you remember to consciously walk faster or longer distances it’s a great way to get in the exercise our body needs. For example, try parking further away from your office building, or next time you go to the store, park in the very back. At work, try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Depending on how close you live to work, maybe take an extra 15 to 20 minutes to walk to work. However you choose to do it, remember that walking is still a great form of exercise. Another great way to stay active Read More »

Benefits of Borage Oil
Posted By on March 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 78
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Borage oil is derived from an herb native to Syria. Containing the highest amounts of omega-6 essential fatty acids of any natural compound available, borage oil offers many health benefits and may be especially helpful for women. Omega-6 Also known as gamma linolenic acid or GLA, Omega-6 is a fat that helps to maintain a variety of body processes to support your overall health. Needed to maintain cellular fluidity, the structure of healthy joints along with proper brain function, GLA is an essential nutrient throughout the body. Many people get more than enough of this fat from food sources including red meat, poultry and eggs, but borage oil offers a plant-based source of this unique omega-6 fatty acids, which is metabolised differently than other sources to provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Benefits of Borage Oil Studies have shown that borage oil supplements may increase the production of prostaglandins called PG1 in the skin, supressing chronic inflammation. Borage oil has similar benefits when applied topically, and is known to reduce skin conditions including eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and neurodermatitis. Women’s Health During menstruation, women produce an inflammatory substance called prostaglandins. Omega-6 works to reduce the production of this substance, easing aches and pains associated with PMS. Due to this ability, borage oil is widely used for the reduction of common premenstrual symptoms including cramps, backaches, breast tenderness and headaches. See other products and conditions: Oils, Women’s Vitamins, Omegas & Fatty Acids.        

Allergy Fighting Foods
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Allergy season can leave you reaching for over-the-counter remedies, but if you want to prevent the symptoms of common allergies before they start, following the right diet may help. Here are some of the best foods that fight allergy symptoms and keep the sneezes sniffles, and watery eyes away. Purple Foods: Red grapes, blueberries, cherries, and blackberries are all great sources of a unique compound called quercetin. This anthocyanin is what gives these foods their purple colour and protective abilities against allergy symptoms, as an antioxidant. Dairy Products: Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt are particularly good sources of an amino acid called N-acetyl cysteine. This protein also acts as an antioxidant to help break up mucus and ease congestion, while also promoting the natural defense system of your body during allergy season. Herbs: Stinging nettle and butterbur leaf are especially helpful for reducing the common allergy symptoms. Stinging nettle works like quercetin, acting as a natural antihistamine and offering anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms. Try it as a tea, or in supplement form for natural allergy relief. Butterbur leaf has been shown in clinical studies to be as effective as leading antihistamine drugs in controlling hay fever symptoms.(1) Spices: This yellowish spice is used traditionally in Indian cuisine and adds a warm flavour to foods. The anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy abilities of turmeric are due to the content of a compound in the root spice called curcumin. Studies have shown that consuming 1,200 mg a day of Read More »

5 Fast Ways to Weight Loss
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Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort and a commitment to drop those unwanted pounds. But if you want to speed up the process here are 5 ways you can loose weight faster. Cut Calories: One pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. And while calories provide your body energy from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins you eat, having a surplus of calories can lead to weight gain. But the same is true for weight loss. If you want to loose one pound of fat, create a calorie deficit of 500 calories every day and you’ll be on track to lose about one pound per week. Drink More Water: Water is an essential nutrient found in every cell of your body. Also used to help cleanse toxins, pollutants and waste from the gastrointestinal system, water is a zero-calorie drink that can boost your metabolism and help you reach slimming goals faster. Prepare Your Own Food: Packaged foods often contain ingredients that you don’t recognise, or can’t pronounce. Often times packaged foods also include large amounts of sugar (high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose and sucrose) listed as one of the first ingredients on the label, which can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Avoid these foods by preparing meals and snacks ahead of time to save on empty calories. Switch Your Milk: You can cut excess calories from your daily diet by making the simple switch from 2% milk to 1%, or skim. Once you get used to the difference Read More »

4 Natural Painkillers
Posted By on March 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 78
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Painkillers don’t have to come from your doctor’s office or over the counter. There are many natural painkillers out there that have been clinically shown to reduce common aches and pains, as well as chronic pain, inflammation and joint pain. Here are a few of the top painkillers from mother nature. 1. Ginger Root: Ginger root has been used for centuries to reduce the pains associated with menstrual cramping. One study showed that taking a ginger extract 250 mg four times daily for 3 days at the beginning of the menstrual period reduced pain symptoms in as many as 62% of women with primary dysmenorrhea. This study showed that ginger root extracts were as effective as the medications ibuprofen or mefenamic acid.(1) 2. Mint: The leaves of peppermint contain volatile oils that offer a natural source of menthol. Providing a cooling effect topically, mint is often added to rubs and creams to reduce muscular aches and pains. Peppermint leaves also have the unique ability to relax muscles allowing painful cramping and digestive gas to pass. 3. Turmeric: Containing a powerful antioxidant compound that also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent called curcumin, turmeric is a well known remedy for reducing pain associated with inflammation, sprains, strains, bruises and joint pain, along with skin and digestive issues. 4. Corydalis: Used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce pains associated with headaches, menstrual pain and back pain, resent research revealed that this herb has analgesic abilities that are effective against acute, inflammatory and neuropathic Read More »

Antioxidants to Fight Pre-Mature Aging
Posted By on March 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 78
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Antioxidants can help preserve your youthful appearance. While there are plenty of expensive treatments, procedures and products out there, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look young. By consuming foods that contain antioxidants, you can reduce the premature signs of aging. What are Antioxidants? Antioxidants are substances that help to counteract the damage caused by the process of oxidation in the body. These nutrients are found in the form of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and are known to help reduce the development of chronic illnesses, boost immune function and decrease pre-mature aging. When oxidation occurs due to environmental pollutants, toxins or exercise, harmful molecules called free radicals are produced. These compounds are chemically active atoms, that have a charge due to an excess or deficiency of electrons. When atoms have one or more unpaired electron, they scavenge the body looking for electrons they can use in cells, proteins and DNA (genetic material) causing damage throughout the body. Antioxidants donate this missing electron to stabilise the atom and reduce damage caused by the oxidative process. How do They Slow Pre-Mature Aging? The oxidative process is the same within the body as it is for foods. This process is what causes peeled apples to turn brown and iron to rust. As free radicals are created in the body during this process, they can damage healthy cells and even cause cellular death damaging otherwise youthful, healthy skin causing the visible signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants Read More »

How-To Boost Your Mood and Reduce Depression
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Keeping your good mood is essential to maintaining your healthy lifestyle, and your overall health. As a leading cause of disability worldwide, loss of a good mood and depression affects an estimated 350 million people and is a major contributor to the burden of disease. If you are one of the many people who struggles with maintain your good mood, here are a few strategies that can help you stay happy. Exercise: Getting your heart rate up for even 15 minutes a day, can help increase the production of mood boosting chemicals in the brain including norepinephrine and serotonin. Not only that, but getting regular exercise also usually requires that you get outside, get up and get moving! Which can also make you feel good. Mind Body Practices: Mediation, breathing techniques and exercises like yoga or tai chi help to create a sense of mindfulness that may serve as a type of cognitive therapy, or behavioral therapy for a good mood. You won’t just feel better while doing a meditation, or yoga as the benefits of these practices extend beyond the practice into daily life to help reduce stress, hostility and anxiety and improve energy for a better sense of wellbeing, and a good mood. Try a Dietary Supplement: Certain nutrients have been shown to help reduce the common symptoms of depression including mood swings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness. Fish oil supplements may be particularly helpful as they contain large amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids Read More »

DIY Popsicle Recipes
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
Popsicles

Popsicles are a great way to cool off, and to get in a few servings of fruits. Make these DIY popsicles at home to welcome Spring. White Peach and Strawberry Fizz Popscicle 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries ¾ cup thinly sliced white peach segments 1 tablespoon fresh mint, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest 3 cups sparkling white grape juice Directions: Pour the sparkling grape juice into a large measuring cup, and allow to settle for at least 5 minutes to reduce some of the bubbles before adding to the mold. Thinly slice the strawberry and peach pieces so they easily fit into the popsicle mold, however are large enough to be seen. Set aside. Add a small amount of mint and lemon zest to each popsicle mold. Add the slices of fruit, alternating so they can be seen when unmolded (about 3-4 slices of each). Fill each popsicle mold with the white grape juice, leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the top of the mold (the liquid will expand slightly as it freezes). Gently tap the molds on the counter top to remove any air bubbles. Insert the popsicle sticks, then freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Watermelon Kiwi Popscicle Ingredients: 3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon) 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced 1 peach or nectarine, diced small handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped Directions: Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree Read More »

3 Potato Skin Recipes That Satisfy Cravings
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
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Potato skins are a satisfying side dish, and appetizer. But they can add unwanted pounds to your waistline if they don’t stay on your cheat day menu. Eat them a few days a week with these healthy versions of one of everyone’s favorite foods. 1. Southwest Sweet Potato Skins A Southwestern take on this potato skin classic brings some spicy flavor and refreshing flavors, that are delicious any time of year. Ingredients: 4 small sweet potatoes 1 medium red onion, chopped ½ cup yellow bell peppers ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped ¼ cup tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh  lime juice 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon sour cream for topping Directions: 1. Pre-heat oven to 425˚ and cut the sweet potatoes in half placing each with the cut side up on a baking tray. Bake until the potato has softened, about 25-30 minutes. 2. While the sweet potatoes bake, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add diced onions and bell peppers. Let sauté until onions become translucent. Stir in tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice an continue to cook until mixture is heated through, set aside until the potato skins are done. 3. Once sweet potatoes are soft, scoop out the insides leaving ¼” of sweet potato in the skin. Turn skins upside down, brush with remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the Read More »

Breast Lifting Exercises for Naturally Beautiful Boobs
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
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Breasts are possibly one of your favorite body parts. And if you’ve ever wondered how to defy gravity and give the girls that extra lift, here’s your chance. These breast lifting exercises work to build your chest muscles, when incorporated into your workout regimen 3 to 5 times a week. Try 15-20 reps of each breast lifting exercise three times. All you need is some dumbbells. Pectoral Flys—Lie on your back with your arms to your sides grasping the dumbbells. Lift the dumbbells above your chest; your elbows should be pointing out to the sides. Lower your arms, and repeat. Push-Ups—You know the drill, but focus on keeping your core tight and your body straight with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. T-Plank—A twist on the classic push-up; place dumbbells on the floor to grasp while in the push-up position with your legs wider than your hips for stability. Lift your right arm while holding the dumbbell and open your body all the way to right making a “T” shape. Return to the starting position, and do on the left side. Alternate and repeat for a natural breast lift. Brest Lifting Push-Up—Lie down on your back and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms straight up turning your palms to face inward, while keeping your elbows tight against the body. Lower the weights to one inch above the chest, and press up. Repeat. Dumbbell Lateral Shoulder Raise—Hold dumbbells in front of you. Raise upper arms to your Read More »