6 Foods That Combat Inflammation

In one sense, inflammation is a useful tool of the body to combat infection and injury, but it can also lead to chronic issues and disease if left unencumbered. Inflammation is a sensitive defense mechanism that can be triggered in a number of ways: stress, a sedentary lifestyle, and even food. That’s right, diet can trigger the protective process, essentially misfiring the system and creating problems. Thankfully, there are several foods that can combat inflammation.

1. Mushrooms

While not most peoples’ favorite food, mushrooms are among the best anti-inflammatory foods in existence. Its low-calorie count and nutrient-dense makeup help mushrooms take the number one spot for inflammation combatting foods. While mushrooms grow everywhere and include a diverse collection of species, edible mushrooms make up a small percentage of that whole. Only a few mushrooms are produced commercially, and the bulk of those include truffles, shitake, and portobello.

2. Berries

Some of the most powerful fruits in the war against inflammation are berries. While berries are high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, they also contain the antioxidant anthocyanin that also reduces the risk of disease. Additionally, a study on the effects of daily blueberry consumption in men found that the fruit aided in the production of natural killer cells that promote healthy immune function. The regular consumption of strawberries showed a reduction in markers associated with heart disease in adults. 


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


3. Fatty Fish

While all fish contain some level of omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish contain long-chain omega-3s specific to combatting inflammation: EPA and DHA. The fatty fish considered the best sources of these omega-3s includes:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines

The fatty acids in these fish lead to a reduction in heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome risks. 

4. Peppers

While most peppers are beneficial in moderation, chili peppers and bell peppers show particular promise in anti-inflammatory properties. Chili peppers can reduce inflammation and possibly lead to healthier aging because they contain ferulic and sinapic acid. Bell peppers can reduce oxidative damage in sarcoidosis patients because of the antioxidant quercetin. While these specific compounds lead to some anti-inflammatory effects, both chili and bell peppers have multiple antioxidants contributing to their abilities.

5. Grapes

Grapes are not only delicious, but they can also reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and eye disorders. One of the contributing compounds to grapes’ effects is resveratrol. Researchers have found that people consuming grapes routinely experienced decreased inflammatory gene markers and an increase in adiponectin levels. Low levels of adiponectin can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of cancer.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a source of curcumin and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Several studies suggest that consuming turmeric can lead to a reduction in inflammation related to several chronic conditions, including diabetes and arthritis. However, the most beneficial anti-inflammatory found in the spice, curcumin, might require the addition of a supplement into your diet because it would be hard to gain an effective dose through turmeric alone.

What are some other foods that can help combat inflammation and disease? While this list is a good start, it is not exhaustive. If you know of any other foods, spices, or drinks, leave a comment below and continue the conversation.

Why I Prefer Exercise Out of the House

It’s no secret that exercise is good for the body and mind, but when I see so many people choosing to exercise indoors on treadmills or stationary bicycles, I don’t understand it. While I may be a little old-fashioned, I think there’s nothing better than getting your heart pumping while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some of the reasons why I prefer to exercise out of the house.

It Helps With Insomnia

Now, hear me out. When you exercise outdoors with natural sunlight surrounding you, it helps to regulate your body’s internal clock (also known as your circadian rhythm). If you’re always inside soaking up artificial light, your body can become confused and you may have trouble sleeping at night. Plus, breathing fresh air regularly may help improve the quality of your sleep at night!

It Helps Your Body Create Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your body’s immune system. It also helps the body absorb calcium from dietary sources. Unfortunately, many adults in the United States have low levels of vitamin D, which can lead to a deficient immune response and can affect bone health in a negative way. Since exposure to the sun is necessary for our bodies to create vitamin D from cholesterol, regular outdoor exercise sessions are important.

You don’t have to do typical “exercise” to benefit from the sun, either. Working in the garden, doing yardwork or playing with grandkids outside are all great ways to get outdoor exercise and boost your vitamin D levels without feeling like you’re “working out.”

It Provides a Natural Mood Boost

If you’re feeling grumpy or sad, spend some time outdoors on a lovely day and watch how quickly your mood improves. There’s no doubting that natural light and fresh outdoor air help provide the mind and body with positive energy. I’ve noticed that when I regularly exercise outside of my house, I’m less likely to feel down or depressed. Being outside is one of Mother Nature’s most under-utilized natural mood-boosters.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


It’s Free!

The cost of a gym membership adds up over time. If you’re looking for ways to save money, ditch the membership and ride your bike or take a walk outside. It’s completely free of charge!

It Reduces Stress and Lowers Blood Pressure

Whether you take a simple stroll outside or you engage in a vigorous hike, you’re doing your body good in a lot of ways. Studies show that people who engage in physical activity outdoors lower their heart rate and blood pressure. If you’re not in peak physical activity, just take things slow to get started. As your cardiovascular health improves, you’ll be able to exercise longer and harder than before.

It’s Fun

I’ve tried working out on a treadmill with dozens of other people working out on either side of me. I got bored really quickly. Even when you have a television show in front of you, walking on a treadmill without going anywhere just seems like a waste of time. Walking outdoors, on the other hand, is always interesting and fun. Whether you take a stroll around your neighborhood or along a walking trail at a nearby park, you’ll find plenty of people to talk to or small creatures to watch. The entire experience is much more fulfilling than exercising indoors, in my humble opinion.  

These are just a few of the top reasons why I think exercising outside is one of the best things people can do for their health and sanity. If you’re not convinced, give it a try! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll decide exercising outside is a better choice than working out in your home.

Is the Raw Diet a Fad or Healthy Long-Term Option

Many people believe the raw food diet is some new-age trend, but its roots date back to the 1800s. Granted, support and interest are surging now but does its historical perseverance suggest significance. Should dieters trust the principles and opinions of a diet that has existed for more than 200 years only because it has maintained the test of time?

While it is true that most of what scientists know about diet and nutrition has not evolved significantly in the last few decades, surely, 200 plus years has given time for assessment and insight. The remainder of this article will dive into the specifics of the raw food diet and its claims, trying to uncover the truth between fact and fiction.

Understanding the Raw Food Diet and Its Core Value System

The premise of raw foodism or raw veganism is that completely raw and unprocessed foods are healthier than other cooked options. The guidelines stipulate that food is considered raw if it has never reached a temperature over 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

The primary ingredients of a raw food diet include plant-based foods, but some participants include raw eggs and dairy. While the consumption of raw fish and meat is also acceptable, it is not a popular option. While supplements are generally encouraged on many vegetarian diets to ensure adequate nutrition, the raw food diet discourages such additions.

Proponents of the raw food diet believe that it improves vitality, increases energy, promotes weight loss, and can improve chronic conditions. They also believe that cooking food strips it of its nutrient content and destroys natural enzymes, reducing the "life force" of the meal.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Raw Food Is Not Fundamentally Healthier Than Cooked

Despite the core beliefs of diet supporters, there is no evidence to suggest that raw food is healthier than cooked. Research has shown, time and time again, there are health benefits to consuming both cooked and raw foods.

The argument that cooking destroys the natural enzymes in food is overrated. True, cooking does cause enzymes to denature, but the same thing happens in the acid of the stomach. In truth, the body produces its own enzymes, facilitating necessary chemical processes. making the argument moot.

Proponents of the diet also argue that cooking strips away essential nutrients from the food, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C that are water-soluble. However, while some nutrients are diminished through cooking, the process promotes access to other nutrients and antioxidants. Cooking also makes food safer and healthier to consume by eliminating harmful compounds, such as phytic acid or lectins found in grains and legumes. Harmful bacteria also cannot survive the cooking process.

None of this is to say that you should not eat raw food. The scientific information currently available merely suggests the healthiest diet contains a mix of both raw and cooked foods.

The Raw Food Diet Is Not a Long-Term Solution

The raw food diet presents several potential risks, but the most significant is the lack of caloric intake. While people can find success in losing weight on this diet, that weight loss is not particularly healthy if it results from caloric deprevation. Granted, all weight loss programs are focused on calorie restriction, but being too strict and not receiving adequate nutritional support can result in health problems and eating disorders.

Do you have any experience with the raw food diet? If so, how was your experience, and do you have any advice for others that wish to try it? Leave a helpful and supportive comment below about your nutritional journey.

Kelp and Its 10 Incredible Uses

In general, people tend to overlook the benefits of the natural environment. There seems to be a tendency to make life as complex as possible, forgetting life's simplicity. Kelp is a marvel of the natural world. Its composition holds biological benefits too many to expand on here. There are at least uses for kelp when it comes to health and wellness.

1. Bone Health

Kelp is an excellent source of calcium, even more so than milk and dairy. The daily intake of the plant can reduce the risks of osteoporosis and other bone density issues. In fact, the regular consumption of kelp can strengthen bones.

2. Thyroid Regulation

Iodine is a mineral essential to thyroid regulation. When a person does not have enough iodine in their system, the thyroid glands tend to swell, leading to a condition known as goiter. One of the first uses for kelp in the medical community was treatment for goiter because it helped reduce swelling.

3. Immunity Boost

When the body's acidity levels are too high, it can lead to indigestion or ulcers, sending your immune system to high alert. Most sea kelp forms contain an ionic salt, alkali, which helps to balance the acidity levels in the body, relieving stress on the immune system and allowing it to perform efficiently.

4. Anti-Inflammatory

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatism, you might want to add a daily dose of kelp to your diet. Kelp contains the complex carbohydrate fucoidan, a powerful anti-inflammatory. When consumed, it can reduce painful swelling and inflammation in the joints or achy muscles.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


5. Circulatory Health

Found in cold water climates, kelp is naturally high in nitrogen. The chemical makeup of kelp means it is capable of strengthening blood vessel walls and reducing artery deposits, improving circulation. Kelp also helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body.

6. Skin Care

The antioxidant-rich and mineral makeup of sea kelp means it is perfect for skin care. The plant is useful as an exfoliation and moisturization tool. When used as a skincare element, kelp can reduce the appearance and frequency of breakouts. It also helps retain moisture in the skin.

7. Weight Loss

Kelp is a nutrient-dense food low in calories and fat. Some products, like kelp noodles, contain no sugar, cholesterol, fat, or protein in serving sizes of 10 calories or less. Plus, kelp contains a natural fiber alginate, which blocks fat absorption.

8. Workout Recovery

After a vigorous workout, your body needs to recover. Kelp can help. With its multitude of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, the sea plant helps increase your energy levels post-workout. It can increase the speed of muscle repair and rebuilding in the body. 

9. Cancer-Fighting

While it still needs further study, the regular consumption of kelp is linked to reduced cancer-risks, especially in women. Women who consume kelp as part of their diet seem to have less risk associated with breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.

10. Overall Wellness

Kelp is a nutrient-dense food. It is also a natural diuretic, meaning it helps the system eliminate excess water and harmful toxins. 

When you want to improve your health and wellbeing, look no further than the natural environment. The natural world has so much to offer, and kelp is only one of its miracles. Do you know of any other natural health options? Leave a comment.

These Are the Colors You Should Be Eating

Did you know that natural foods get their colors from vitamins? These healthy nutrients that come from plants are called phytochemicals. “Phyto” means “plant.” Phytochemicals protect your thyroid, heart, liver, joints, eyes, and other organs. Just by taking a quick glance at the color of a fruit or vegetable, you can tell exactly what type of antioxidants you’re getting!

The Best Colors for Your Body

1. Red

This is one of the best colors for your health. Intense red fruits and veggies get their color from lycopene and other antioxidants. These superstars help increase your defenses against heart disease, prostate cancer, color cancer and other cancers. If you want to have a strong, energized heart for your entire life, definitely eat more red fruit and veggies.

2. Purple and Blue

These gorgeous colors are a sign that you’re getting lots of cancer-preventing, disease-fighting anthocyanins. People who tend to get urinary tract infections can benefit a lot from eating more blues. These colors also take great care of your brain, increasing memory and concentration while helping prevent strokes.

3. Green

If there’s one color people think of for healthy eating, it’s green. And with good reason — leafy green veggies are packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, folate and fiber. They can prevent osteoporosis, reduce joint inflammation, take care of your gut and help you lose weight! An antioxidant called lutein is so powerful it can prevent age-related eye problems and keep your mind sharp.

4. Yellow and Orange

Do you remember your mother telling you to eat more carrots for your eyesight? She was right. Yellow/orange fruits and veggies contain antioxidants called carotenoids. They rejuvenate eye tissue, keep your vision healthy and improve your immune system. Any time you need vitamin A or vitamin C, turn to yellows and oranges — they’re the best sources.

5. White

In the plant world, white is a color, too. White fruits and vegetables get their color from anthocyanins. These antioxidants are the reason garlic is so good for you. They don’t take the place of antibiotics, but they do help your body fight diseases more effectively, protecting against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They also lower your cholesterol levels.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Eating Your Way Across the Rainbow

Including more colors in your diet gives you lots of vitamins. It also makes your meals look more exciting and appealing:

  • Green: kiwi, lime, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, asparagus, green peppers, peas, green beans, avocados

  • Blue/purple: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, figs, plums, dates and prunes

  • Yellow: Sweet corn, grapefruit, yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, pineapples and apricots

  • Red: Rhubarb, pink grapefruit, red peppers, beets, radishes, tomatoes, apples, cranberries, strawberries, cherries and watermelons

  • Orange: Carrots, papayas, oranges, peaches, mangoes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes

  • White: Cauliflower, garlic, onions, potatoes, bananas and pears

Trust me, adding more colors to your diet is a smart investment. You can feel the difference right away, from your energy levels in the morning to the quality of your sleep at night.

Tips for Getting More Color

Having trouble getting fresh fruit? Too busy to prepare fresh veggies with every meal? A good compromise is to choose frozen fruit and vegetables. They contain many of the same nutrients as fresh.

Another of my favorite tips is to follow the seasons. This guarantees you the freshest fruits and veggies, and it also gives you more variety of nutrients. Feast on tangy strawberries in summer, juicy oranges in winter, tasty sweet potatoes in fall, and crunchy asparagus in spring!

The Truth About Celery Juice

It seems like every generation has its own miraculous wonder diets, tonics and treats. I’ve written before about the grapefruit diet that was all the rage in the ‘80s. The 21st century brought us even more health kicks and food fads than ever before: Paleo. Keto. Kefir. Kombucha. The list goes on and on.

Now, celery juice is having a moment. Some folks claim it can cure everything from acne to cancer. Skeptical? You should be. Let’s break down what celery juice can and cannot do.

What Celery Juice Can Do

Chugging a cold glass of celery juice does several things for your well-being. Most of them are good; some of them are not. Here are five things that celery juice can do for you:

Boost Your Nutrient Intake

Celery juice is rich in an assortment of nutrients, including vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, folate and several others. In fact, juiced celery is filled with more nutrition than a stalk of celery itself since the majority of its fiber has been removed. More on that in a bit, though.

Keep You Hydrated

Because the neon green juice is mostly water, it’s supremely hydrating. It’s also a healthier alternative to sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit juices. A cup of celery juice contains only 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar and roughly 40 calories.

Reduce Inflammation

Celery juice may also be able to reduce inflammation thanks to the presence of flavonoids, which are powerful plant compounds that act like antioxidants. Research suggests that eating a diet that’s loaded with antioxidants can decrease your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Raise Your Sodium Intake

While celery is high in a host of helpful nutrients, it’s also high in sodium. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, you should probably look for another beverage. Even if you’re not, you should limit yourself to only one glass, maybe two, of celery juice each day to remain within the recommended daily allowance of sodium for most men and women.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Cause You To Eat More

As noted above, celery is low in fiber. On the one hand, that’s good because it allows other nutrients to shine. On the other hand, that’s bad because your body needs fiber; it’s instrumental to gut health, healthy blood sugar levels and low cholesterol. It’s also what helps you feel full after eating or drinking. Swap out a healthy lunch with celery juice, and you may find yourself snacking all the way to suppertime.

What Celery Juice Cannot Do

In recent years, the power of celery juice has taken on an almost mythical quality. In reality, it’s vegetable juice. More specifically, here are two things celery juice cannot do for you:

Cure You of Anything

While antioxidant-rich foods and beverages including celery juice may lower your risk of developing certain cancers, celery juice is not a cure for cancer — or anything else. What’s more, the research that suggests it may be effective in fighting diabetes and obesity is still relatively new and limited in scope. Science may one day find that downing a glass of celery juice cures everything from acne to male-pattern baldness, but that day has yet to arrive.

Rid Your Body of Toxins

Celery juice is not, as some diet scams claim, a detoxifier. Going on a celery juice cleanse won’t do anything but leave you hungry, fatigued and wishing you had a Bloody Mary to shove that celery into instead. Your body has its own system for removing toxins. It’s powered by your kidneys, liver, lungs and intestines, not by juice.

The Final Verdict on Celery Juice

Having a glass of celery juice every now and then is a great way to boost your antioxidants and cut down on sugary drinks. It’s not a tonic that will cure what ails you, though. For optimal health, the nutritional song remains the same: Eat whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and a colorful array of fruits and veggies — including celery.

Three Strategies for a Better Bladder

Do you feel like you always have to "go"? Bladder problems put a serious damper on the fun for many women after 60. If you're bugged by a constant urge to hit the ladies' room, experience embarrassing leakage or lose sleep at night because of your bladder, try these strategies to support the healthy function of this important organ.

Change Consumption

First of all, drink lots of water. While that may seem counterintuitive, fluid flushes the bladder of infection and toxins. Try to get six-to-eight 8-oz glasses each day, but ask your doctor about water intake if you have heart or kidney disease.

Cut back on soda, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, which irritate the bladder and can increase the frequency and urges. Some women also find that limiting chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods or alcohol decreases uncomfortable bladder symptoms.

Eating fiber-rich foods prevents constipation, which can negatively impact bladder health. Add fresh fruits and veggies as well as whole grains to the menu so you stay regular.

You might also want to try timing your fluid intake. Avoid going over 64 oz of water a day and try to break it up into smaller amounts. Front-load your fluid intake in the morning and limit beverages before bed if you often wake up to urinate.

Medications can also affect the health of your bladder. You may notice urinary symptoms if you take antidepressants, antihistamines, sedatives, muscle relaxants, diuretics, heart medications, or drugs for high blood pressure. Consult with your doctor; he or she may be able to provide another option.

If you are overweight or obese, changing your diet and exercising to lose extra pounds often resolves bladder symptoms. Smoking can also damage the health of your bladder, so look into cessation programs if you use tobacco.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Time Your Trips

When you have an overactive bladder, your brain signals you to empty it even when it's not necessary. Fortunately, toilet training isn't just for tots! You can train your bladder so you feel the urge less frequently. Try these steps.

  • Write down each trip to the bathroom to go number two for several days. Look for patterns in when and how often you urinate.

  • Look at your notes and figure out how long you can usually go before you have to go. Extend that interval by 15 minutes. For example, if you usually head to the loo every 90 minutes or so, try to make it to the 105-minute mark. When you succeed, extend the time by 15 more minutes the following day.

  • Eventually, you should be able to wait two to four hours between bathroom trips. Try to wait when you feel the urge but you're not scheduled to urinate.

The more you practice this simple technique, the easier it will be to control your bladder and spend less time in the bathroom.

Maximize Muscle Strength

Strengthening the muscles that make up your pelvic floor can boost your bladder health and control urinary symptoms. Have you done your Kegels? To perform this exercise, squeeze your pelvic floor as if you were trying to stop your urine stream. Hold for three seconds, then relax for three seconds several times in a row, several times a day. If you aren't sure you're doing this move correctly, talk to your doctor.

In addition to exercising the pelvic floor, getting regular physical activity improves the health of your organs including the bladder. It also limits constipation and reduces extra weight, both factors that contribute to bladder problems.

Too many women write off urinary symptoms as a normal part of aging. These tips may improve your bladder health and help you reduce your lavatory visits.

5 Ways To Alter Emotional Eating Patterns

Healthy eating habits are challenging to develop. People struggle for years trying to figure out a nutritional path that works for them. However, the problem is not always physiological; many people struggle with unhealthy eating patterns related to stress and emotions, meaning their habits are more psychological. While breaking emotional eating patterns can be more complicated than other nutritional issues, it is not impossible. There are at least five strategies that can help you curb emotional eating behaviors.

1. Learn To De-Stress

Food can become a coping mechanism, and some foods can make us feel better or happier because they are tired to positive memories or elicit chemical reactions in the body. Instead of curbing food intake on the nutritional level, it is better to find ways to relieve stress and anxiety as an emotional eater. These two emotions lead to unhealthy eating.

Exercise and meditation are two options for alleviating stress hormones in the body. Exercise releases endorphins into your system that can make you feel better, and meditation, when performed correctly, can help you cope with your anxiety in a healthier way.

2. Find a Healthy Distraction

While distractions are not always a good thing, when it comes to emotional eating, they are. However, instead of television or other sedentary activities, try something healthier. Take a walk. Go out with friends. Play a game, or do anything else except eat.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


3. Prepare a Meal Plan

Fast food is becoming the meal hub of America. With busy schedules and minimal work-life balance, people often choose the quickest and the assumed cheapest meal options. As an emotional eater leaving meal time up to chance is about the worst thing you can do because it allows unpredictability into your schedule.

One of the best options for an emotional eater is meal planning. Create a strict schedule of all your meals for the day, knowing precisely what you are having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also include a couple of healthy snacks. Creating a plan means there is less flexibility in your schedule. Without unpredictability, you will probably find you have less uncontrollable cravings because you know when and what to expect to eat.

4. Avoid Craving Routes

What is your kryptonite? Chips? Donuts? Candy? Most people latch on to one specific food as a comfort during emotionally trying times. If you know that you are drawn to salty or sweet things, try to avoid routes that literally take you past those options. If you pass a donut shop on the way home from work, take another road.

While it is best to avoid temptations altogether, avoidance is too difficult for some people, leading to more stress. If you find that avoidance is too challenging, consider allowing yourself an indulgence as an occasional treat, but stick to serving size.

5. Practice Self-Acceptance

Many people who struggle with emotional eating also struggle with self-deception, often viewing themselves negatively. Negative self-talk is not only disruptive; it is destructive. If you find that you have negative feelings about yourself, consider altering your mindset. Through deliberate practice, a person can change their perceptions. Try reciting positive mantras in the mirror. It might seem strange at first, but eventually, it can help alter your mindset.

Emotional eating is not only a nutritional problem; it is psychological. Resolving the issue means getting to its root and finding other techniques and behaviors, like above, to curb unhealthy habits. Do you, or have you struggled with emotional eating? If so, leave a comment below about coping strategies that work for you.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

It seems like every year I make the same three new year’s resolutions. I want to eat better, move more and spend less time looking at screens. It also seems that every year I swiftly abandon all three of these noble goals by Valentine’s Day.

Whoops.

Last year, everything changed. Last year, I took a different approach to the promises I made to myself, and it paid off. I really did start moving more! I got in gear by tapping into four surprisingly simple strategies.

Don’t Overdo It

The temptation to shoot for the moon when it comes to new year’s resolutions is real. It’s also a really easy way to sabotage yourself before you even begin, and here’s why: When you set a lofty goal, it’s easy to be discouraged by your progress, no matter how great it is in actuality, because it seems small.

For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds by next New Year’s Day, seeing just a pound or two trickle off the scale each week can be underwhelming. It can feel like you’re never going to reach your goal.

The thing is, losing a pound or two each week is outstanding. It’s the ideal way to lose weight, in fact! What needs to change isn’t the approach, it’s the goal and its framing. Instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds by next January, which feels like it’s 100 years away, resolve to lose a pound a week. Accomplish that little goal consistently, and you’ll hit your goal weight before you know it.

Lasting changes happen slowly, so instead of focusing on some grand result far off in the future, focus on the here and now. Speaking of which…


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Don’t Fixate on Goals

Goals can be great. For many of the most common resolutions, however — such as the desire to lose weight, be active or save more money — setting a goal isn’t the best route. A better means of making real change is to focus not on the goal but on the practice. In other words, don’t resolve to run a 5K this summer; resolve to become a runner. If you focus on the process instead of some semi-arbitrary end result, you’re far more likely to build good habits that last.

Don’t Go It Alone

Accountability can do wonders for a resolution. If you want to stick with your commitment, rope some friends, family members and even strangers into your plan.

Trying to lose weight? Tell the people in your household so they can motivate you and refrain from bringing home so many cookies. Want to work out more? Join a class at your local gym. Ready to quit smoking? Tell your friends. Odds are, they'll be excited and supportive.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

You’re going to screw up sometimes. That’s a fact. It’s human nature to skip a workout, dive into that extra piece of pizza or spend a little extra on your granddaughter’s Sweet 16. Here's the important part, though: It matters less why you momentarily broke your resolution than it does how you bounce back from it.

Like so many women, I’ve been fighting the battle of the bulge my entire life. When I cave and have a piece of cake I didn’t budget for, I don’t let it derail my entire plan. I think of my plan — and my practice of being a person who eats fresh, nutritious food — like a circle. I stepped out of the circle momentarily, found it covered in delicious sprinkles, thoroughly enjoyed it, and now it’s time to gingerly step back in the circle.

You know the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to see your new year’s resolutions through, commit to making small changes, and when you go astray, don’t give up. Dust off the sprinkles, and jump back in the circle instead.

These Are the Common Foods That Are Giving You Gas

Why do some people have lots of problems with gas while others can eat broccoli like there’s no tomorrow? The basic answer is that everyone’s body is different. Some people have plenty of enzymes to break down certain foods and other people don’t. If you’re having trouble with gas, one of these foods may be the reason:

1. Carbonated Beverages

With so much fizz, it’s not really surprising that soda has a high spot on our list of gas causers. Carbonation mostly affects your stomach (making you burp), but it can contribute to intestinal bloating, too.

2. Beans

Famous for causing embarrassing “tooting,” beans are filled with healthy protein, but they also have a type of sugar that the body has trouble processing. It takes the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract a lot longer to digest beans, peas, lentils and other legumes, which releases more gas.

3. Leafy Greens

Vitamin-rich veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower have tons of fiber, which is great for your digestive system. Unfortunately, they also have the same complex sugar as beans. Overdoing it with the broccoli is practically guaranteed to make you gassy.

4. Fruits

Fruit is one of the best things you can eat to boost your immune system, metabolism and energy levels. At the same time, most fruits have several gas-causing sugars, including sorbitol and fructose. Apples, bananas, pears, apricots, peaches, grapes and mangoes are the worst of the best. Dried fruit such as raisins and prunes concentrate these sugar even more, so they can definitely lead to the need to unbutton your jeans.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


5. Grains

Most whole grains contain starch and gassy sugars. At the same time, wheat, oats, corn, barley and quinoa are amazing sources of fiber for smooth bowel movements and excellent gut health. This is ironic, because it means that the same grains that help your tummy feel slimmer can also trigger bloating in some people.

6. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are tough for most people (about 65% of Americans) to digest properly. This is because of a sugar called lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant, you have even more problems with dairy. Eating these foods can trigger stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and other digestive problems almost immediately.

Which Foods Should You Avoid?

Fruit, veggies and whole grains are all important for a healthy digestive system. You need fiber, even though fiber also causes gas. Don’t get rid of major food groups unless your doctor says so. Of course, if a specific food causes a lot of gas, you can choose alternatives. If broccoli is giving you trouble, try romaine lettuce or spinach instead.

What Can You Do About Gas and Bloating?

This is the tricky part. Finding the best solution to gas and bloating requires a little trial and error on your part. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep track of what you eat to figure out the worst gas-causing foods for you

  • Eat smaller portions of foods that give you problems

  • Take your time when you eat

  • Take supplements with digestive enzymes

Instead of avoiding fruit completely, try eating half portions. This makes it easier for the good bacteria in your digestive tract to work and you still get valuable antioxidants. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can help with gas by taking great care of your gut microbiome.