Children everywhere in the world have an on-going love affair with junk food such as hamburgers, pizza, candy, soda and salty foods like potato chips and french fries. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a single child who has these same strong feeling for the healthy food that they need such as grains, vegetables, fruits and foods reach in nutrients such as meat, beans, fish and nuts.
Fortunately, there is one tied and tested strategy to make kids eat the kind of healthy food that some of them may not want — that’s by making it fun.
That’s right, make eating healthy food fun. And how do you do that? Here are some tips:
(1) The Sneak Attack. Try sneaking in some of those fruits and vegetables along with the kind of food they like, say, making muffins out of bananas or apples. There are lots of vegetables the you can throw in when you’re serving the kids pizza. You could also make them look funny by arranging them creatively on a plate or making them stand up like people. Sure, some people don’t want their kids playing with food, but if it will help them get healthier, it may be worth the effort.
(2) Funny Name Game. If your kids are below the age of four, here’s a nifty trick that gets them every time. Give the fruits and vegetables funny names and concoct elaborate stories. Some stories will end with these funny-named vegetables getting swallowed alive by the giant child. In another version, the vegetables run for cover and hide from their enemies by entering a big cave that happens to be your child’s mouth where they quickly get gulped down.
(3) The Taste Test. Kids dislike vegetables because they don’t like the taste. Therefore, make the healthy foods taste better and your child will love them. For instance, put peanut butter on celery or add a dash of flavor to broccoli with ranch dressing. I’m sure you can think of dozens of ways to spruce up healthy food.
The key is to find creative ways to make your children enjoy eating healthy food. And once they’ve acquired a taste for it, eating healthy foods will be second nature to them.
Posted in Healthy Eating
Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illness is an illness just like a physical illness.
Categories of diagnoses in these schemes may include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, and many other categories. Commonly recognized categories of anxiety disorders include specific phobia, Generalized anxiety disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychotic disorders centrally involving this domain include Schizophrenia and Delusional disorder. Definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary, but guideline criterion listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals are widely accepted by mental health professionals. The recognition and understanding of mental disorders has changed over time.
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age-children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly-and they can occur in any family. Relatives can play a key role in the identification and treatment of the teen with a mental illness, with family members themselves often needing help and support.
You can be a better friend by looking for signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and then helping someone you know reach out to some of the following people: family doctor or pediatrician, school counselor or teacher, parent and other family members, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
The next time you and your family member visit your doctor or mental health professional, discuss these behaviors and develop a strategy for coping. Family awareness, early identification and prevention are often the first steps to effective treatments.
Today, we classify mental illness based on the symptoms a person experiences and the clinical features of the illness, such as feeling hopeless or having delusions. But as we continue to gain a clearer understanding of how specific genes interact with illnesses or behaviors, we may be able to develop a much more sophisticated classification system that is directly linked to a biological cause of mental illness, rather than just symptoms.
For instance, some disorders have similar symptoms and clinical features but are actually very different in terms of their underlying biology. Thus, symptoms related to behavior or our mental lives clearly reflect variations or abnormalities in brain function.
Persons suffering from any of the severe mental disorders present with a variety of symptoms, may include inappropriate anxiety, disturbances of thought and perception, and cognitive dysfunction. Often it is a good idea to first describe the symptoms and/or problems to your family physician or clergy.
Treatment may include psychotherapy (individual, family, group), skills programs (learning, social skills, behavior), and psychiatric medication, and be provided in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, or day treatment settings. This may include special schools, residential placements, hospitals, private offices, or community clinics.
Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options, as well as supportive interventions. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.
Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.
Posted in Mental Well Being
There is quote to live by from ancient Greece that I’ve always really connected with. It was only two words long and was etched into the side of a building, the Oracle at Delphi to be exact. It simply told onlookers “Know Thyself.” When I first came upon that quote, it took me a while to understand what exactly it was saying. How could a person not know themselves, it initially made me wonder? But as time passed, and as I continued to mature, the phrase made more and more sense. And then I came across something else, another ancient Greek quote to live by from Socrates, which fully explained the concept to me. Socrates said:
The unexamined life is not worth living
When I read that as a younger man, it really caused me to take a look at life in different terms. I began to realize, society has a plan and a course for each one of us. In today’s world, a person goes to college, gets a good job, spends the next 30 years of his life buying himself a place to sleep, has 2.5 children, and most likely a divorce. That is the simple path that modern society wants each of us to aspire to. But I wanted something more than that. Once I read this quote from Socrates, I no longer simply wanted to blindly walk the path set out in front of me by the society of the day. And as I finally started studying and exploring the many facets of life, I began to comprehend what it meant to know myself. And I came across another saying in the book of Proverbs in the Bible that echoes the words of Socrates:
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways
In a recent book, an author David Straker describes how, becoming adults, before we really have much experience with the world, human beings are what he describes as unconsciously incompetent. We don’t really know how to do a whole lot, and what’s worse, we don’t even understand how much we really don’t know about life and the world around us. But as we progress, we transition from a state of unconscious incompetence, to a state conscious incompetence where we at last realize all the things we really don’t know. We at last sit down to understand who we are, and to comprehend life, exploring the things in life that are really worth attaining and doing. It makes me recall another quote to live by, this one from Confucius:
To know that you don’t know what you don’t know, that is true wisdom
It’s interesting, before I spent time getting to know myself, I thought I had the world figured out. But as I sat down to really explore life, I realized just how much I was missing as a human being. I suppose that’s a good thing though. Humility is definitely a pathway to wisdom and to God. Maybe that’s the whole point in the end. Maybe the greatest wisdom is to just have a learning and teachable spirit and to be open to the idea that you don’t have it all together. I like that thought.
Posted in Enjoy Life
We are living in a day and age where we are constantly being bombarded by healthy eating advice, telling us what to avoid and what to eat more of and I must say, good.
Looking after your health must be one of your topmost priorities in life if you are to avoid deficiencies and your body is to stay healthy. Many people simply assume eating healthy means abandoning your favourite foods completely and changing your diet from one you quite enjoy to one of lettuce leaves and carrots. This is a misconception and one which greatly reduces the amount of people willing to look for a healthier diet, because they simply think it’s either as I am now, or lettuce leaves.
For people who are capable of preparing their own meals with bare bones ingredients, you have an advantage and can create some really healthy recipes of your own if you choose to. There really is not any magic to eating more healthily. In fact, if you took for instance a shepherds pie which has been store bought as a ready meal, and prepared your own shepherds pie from bare bones ingredients, the home made one would be far healthier. This is because you are avoiding the preservatives, artificial flavourings, artificial colourings and so forth. Not to mention that if the produce you choose for your ingredients is fresh, it will naturally contain better nutritional values than something which has been preserved and may be days or weeks old.
The key to healthy eating is moderation. There is absolutely no reason you should cut your favourite chocolate cake out of your diet entirely, simply eat in moderation. By far the best way of making your diet more healthy however is to begin creating your own healthy recipes. So often in pre-packaged meals low quality produce is used, particularly in the case of meat where the lowest quality cuts are used and in which fat is sometimes in too great a quantity. When purchasing your own meat for your own healthy recipes it is important you choose the highest quality and freshest meat available, and trim as much fat off the meat as possible.
When baking try using wholemeal flower instead of white flower, and sunflower, vegetable or olive oil instead of lard. Margarine instead of butter will also make your recipes healthier. And last but not least, try to keep sugar usage to a minimal. There are many other healthier alternatives to sugar now on the market, and using one of these sweeteners will also be a much healthier alternative to sugar.
Posted in Healthy Eating
Who doesn’t want to live a wonderful life — full of happiness, joy and contentment? We all do, but often we just cannot seem to figure out how to get there.
To get you started, I’ve come up with some tips to get you started on your own extraordinary life. Follow these and I guarantee you’ll find yourself living a happier, healthier and much cooler life.
1. Get up and move around. Take a 15-minute walk each day. Use the time for peace and reflection. Look around you. Notice the changes in your environment as the days progress.
2. Steal 10 minutes each day all for yourself. Sit quietly and clear your mind. Learn the value of silence and repose.
3. Get more sleep. With the writer’s strike still going on, it’s the perfect time to turn the TV off early and grab some extra sleep. Your body and your mind will thank you.
4. When you wake up in the morning, complete the following sentence before you get out of bed: “Today, I desire SOMETHING.” Then focus your attention on that desire as you go about your day.
5. Each night before you go to sleep, complete the following sentences: “I am thankful for SOMETHING”; “Today I was successful at SOMETHING”; “Today I was not successful at SOMETHING and I freely and fully let it go.”
6. Eat less processed food. If it comes in a box, try passing it by for something in a more natural state.
7. De-clutter your life. Start with your purse or briefcase, then your car, your desk, your pantry and your home. When you simplify and clear out the old stuff, you make room for the flow of good energy into your life.
8. Discover your public library. They let you take books home and read them for free. Make it a point to occasionally pick up a book in an unfamiliar genre or on an unfamiliar topic. Stretch your mind.
9. Get rid of the negatives in your life. Don’t waste your precious time and energy on gossip, toxic people, negative thoughts or things you have no control over. Keep yourself calm, centered, positive and in the moment.
10. Have a good belly laugh. Learn to laugh at yourself and look for the absurdities in everyday life. Don’t take things so seriously.
11. Act with kindness. Do a favor for a friend (or a stranger). Let someone cut in front of you in traffic. Smile and make eye contact with people you pass on the street. Expect to be treated with kindness and respect and overlook real or imagined slights.
Recognize that this life is all you have right now. Make the most of it. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Take a chance. Remember all those people on the Titanic who did not eat dessert – you never know what’s coming around the bend, so grab life and start living.
Posted in Enjoy Life
Not only can a healthy weight loss diet help you get into better shape, but it can also lessen your risk for certain disorders such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, to name just a few. And a healthy plan for losing weight can also lessen the damaging effects of certain ailments that one may already be stricken with as well. To help you achieve the best results from a healthy weight loss diet, keep the following strategies in mind.
The first thing to remember is that in order to lose those extra pounds, your calorie intake has to be less than the amount your body is actually burning on a daily basis. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s worth mentioning because that seems to be the one major point people take for granted. If you’re eating more than you’re burning off, no matter which healthy weight loss diet plan you follow, the pounds are just not going to come off. This is one of the reasons people get frustrated when they don’t see the results of their dieting efforts. So think about what you’re consuming every day in relation to your level of activity. This could very well lead you to one of the answers you’re looking for in terms of your weight loss or lack thereof.
Secondly, realizing that getting into shape is not solely based on a healthy weight loss diet alone will be another step in the right direction toward achieving your desired results. Incorporating exercise into any diet regimen will not only ensure that certain areas of your body will decrease in size, but also that they will become more fit and firm. Exercising along with your healthy eating habits will also speed up those results as you’ll be burning more calories and fat than you would by just dieting alone.
Keep in mind that there is really no quick fix for weight loss. By doing so, it will help you hold stead-fast to your plan because once you realize that the pounds are not going to miraculously melt off over night, you can take some peace of mind in knowing that you are working towards a goal and making the efforts that will eventually result in achieving the success you’re after. Something else to remember is that things like crash dieting, surgery and diet pills are only temporary fixes because if you’re still not eating right and exercising after you’ve dropped the weight, those pounds will eventually be right back where they were before, and might even show up in a few new places as well. So, it’s very important to consciously and consistently live a nutritiously balanced and active lifestyle regardless of your choice of healthy weight loss diet plans.
And a great benefit of sticking to your plan and then experiencing the positive results of your efforts is that it’s also a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem. Consider the pride you’ll feel once you achieve the level of success you’re after in terms of getting into shape. You’ll not only look better, but feel better as well because you did something good for yourself. Give yourself that well-deserved pat on the back and move forward confidently as you maintain the new and improved lifestyle that you achieved, all on your own, by committing to your healthy weight loss diet efforts.
Posted in Healthy Eating
Whenever we get too stressed out, many of us tend
to make poor food choices that actually increase stress and cause other problems.
Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your food and avoid stress.
1. Always eat breakfast. Even though you may think you aren’t hungry, you need to eat something. Skipping breakfast makes it harder to maintain the proper blood and sugar levels during the day, so you should always
2. Carry healthy snacks at all times. Keeping some protein rich snacks in your car, office, or pocket book will help you avoid blood sugar level dips, the accompanying mood swings, and the fatigue. Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients you need.
3. Try green tea instead. The caffeine in coffee and sodas can have stress-producing effects on your system. Try to gradually wean yourself off of caffeine drinks (going cold turkey can leave you with a headache, usually on the second day). Replace that coffee urge with a cup of green tea, which is soothing to the senses and contains lots of antioxidants.
4. Replace bad munchies with healthy ones. If you like to munch when you’re stressed out, you can replace chips or other non healthy foods with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.
5. Drink your water. That means at least 8 cups a day. This helps filter stress-induced and stress-producing toxins from your system, and can also keep you energized. Being dehydrated can actually cause fatigue.
6. Bring your lunch to work or school. Although a lot of people prefer to eat fast food for lunch, you can save a lot of money and actually eat healthier if you take a few minutes and pack a lunch at home. Even if you only do this a few times a week, you’ll see a much better improvement over eating out.
7. Stock your home with the good stuff. As important as it is to get the bad food out of your house, it’s even more important to get the good food in! The best way to do this is to plan a menu of healthy meals, including healthy snacks, at the beginning of the week, list the ingedients you need, and then go shop for them. This way, you’ll know what you want when you need it and you will not have to stress over what to eat.
Posted in Healthy Eating
As a Los Angeles plastic surgeon, I am frequently asked this questions by patients who see me for a tummy tuck. The answer is that many of patients start losing weight after undergoing abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). There are several factors that contribute to that.
First, many patients report that after a tummy tuck they feel full faster when they eat than before surgery. This results from the fact that during abdominoplasty, the abdominal wall muscles are tightened with sutures. Tightening of the muscles reduces the intraabdominal capacity. Therefore, smaller amount of food in the stomach will cause the patients to feel full.
Many patients who underwent abdominoplasty find it easier to exercise after undergoing abdominoplasty as there is no excess skin hanging in the lower abdomen. The redundant abdominal skin and fat in some patients can be quite heavy. It has also been my observation that patients feel more motivated to exercise and follow a diet after surgery which is also very important for weight loss.
A tummy tuck in Los Angeles is frequently performed procedure. This procedure allows to remove excess abdominal fat and skin as well as tighten abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck allow to achieve a more flat appearing abdomen. It is common for a Los Angeles plastic surgeon to combine tummy tuck procedures with liposuction of flanks or other areas. Liposuction of flanks with a tummy tuck allows to better define the waist area. Visit my tummy tuck before and after section to view pictures of patients who underwent these procedures.
Posted in Healthy Eating
When you want to live a healthy and energetic life, the first thing that you have to do is to start eating healthy and exercise. A diet which contains healthy foods will result not only in your feeling refreshed but it has tremendous health benefits as well. If you understand the benefits of eating healthy, you can easily switch to a healthier diet and reduce your intake of un-healthy foods. One of the foremost effects that a healthy eating plan can have on your body is the reduction of chances of various diseases. According to various studies and surveys, one of the main causes of heart diseases across the world is obesity. If you switch to a healthier lifestyle, you not only reduce your chances of heart diseases, you reduce your chances of many other diseases as well such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis etc. Many patients suffering from such diseases are advised foremost by their doctors to control their weight. Of course, short term weight loss can result from eliminating all high calorie foods from your diet and crash dieting. But that will just be in the short term. In the long term, such a diet plan greatly disadvantages your body. So, the ultimate solution to all these problems is to start eating healthy.
A healthy diet plan should include all foods that have high nutritional value and should reduce all those foods which are rich in saturated fats and carbohydrates. If you lower your intake of high calorie food, it will have a direct positive impact on your health and body. When you take food that is low on cholesterol, it will not accumulate as fats in your arteries which will reduce your chances of having hypertension and other heart diseases. Also, by adding Omega-3 oils and antioxidants in your diet, you will strengthen your heart and muscles. Drinking lots of water removes the toxins from your body and acts as an energy booster. Two of the most important things that do wonders to your body are fruits and vegetables. They are a rich natural source of various vitamins and minerals. Taking them regularly will help you prevent from having different vitamin deficiency diseases. By adding foods that are rich in protein in your diet, your muscles will be strengthened. Another important nutrient for your body is calcium. Taking lots of calcium in your diet will strengthen your bones and your chances of getting osteoporosis or other bone related disease will minimize. By adding all the natural healthy foods in your diet, you supply your body with all the essential nutrients that it needs through natural resources.
These are just some of the few health benefits that a healthier eating plan can have on your body. A healthy body automatically relates to a healthy and peaceful mind. When your body and mind are at peace, you can take care of your day to day activities in a more refreshing and enjoyable way and your outlook on life will change positively.
Copyright (c) 2011 Joe Maldonado
Posted in Healthy Eating
Fifteen percent of the population suffers from some form of mental health issue. Nearly 2/3 of individuals who have a mental health disorder do not seek any form of treatment. Perhaps some of these individuals don’t even know that they have any mental health ailments that can be treated and controlled. They simply think that it is normal to feel anxious or depressed throughout life. Some of the 2/3 of people don’t seek treatment because they feel embarrassed. They don’t want to feel like a failure or feel that they are helpless. Others don’t seek treatment because they simply do not have the finances to be able to do so.
What people need to understand about mental health issues and disorders is that they are not the result of social misunderstandings or mistakes that they’ve made in their lifetime. They are legitimate medical illnesses that are treatable and very much real. Many people will never accept the fact that a mental illness exists. They’ll tell you that if you’re depressed, you can get over it. They’ll say that if you have a fear of leaving your house, face the fear head on. Those individuals don’t have a clue what they are talking about. They are unaccepting of anyone that is not in the norm. There are many mental health disorders that cannot be overcome by simply wishing them away or facing your fears. They are treatable with therapy and sometimes medication.
There are so many different diagnoses of mental health disorders. Some are much more severe than others. The severe ones may not be curable or improve with therapy. However, medications can help to regulate them and they can be monitored. Other mental health disorders that deal with anxiety or depression can be helped with therapy, medication or both. Insurance companies, most likely, will help their members out with paying some portions of therapy. However, many times the co-pays are high or they only pay up to a certain amount. Taking care of mental health issues can be quite costly, but can be priceless when it is gotten under control.
Some of the most famous names throughout history have suffered from various mental health disorders and issues. Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Sir Isaac Newton are only some of the famous names that we all know who lived with their mental health being stable. As we all know, their names are famous because they accomplished some brilliant and amazing feats. This only goes to prove that mental health doesn’t have to be a hindrance. It is simply something that needs to be discovered and dealt with properly. Life is entirely too short to spend it being miserable or confused. Take control of your life – don’t let it take control of you.
Posted in Mental Well Being