Healthy Foods To Lose Weight NOW And Live Longer TOMORROW

* Organic Diets and Healthy Foods to lose weight.

Ideally all the foods that we eat would be relatively free of pesticides and additives. Pesticides are known as “gender bender” or hormone-disrupting chemicals, as their chemical composition is similar to that of human estrogen. They accumulate in fatty tissue as they are fat soluble, so the fattier the food, the better it is to buy organic, e.g. butter, cheese and fatty meats.

* Certain foods contain More Pesticide Residues than others.

As mentioned the top ten list of healthy foods to lose pesticides residues compiled by the Pesticides Action Network are: flour, potatoes, bread, apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Moreover, organic foods appear to contain more nutrients, probably due to the farming methods and this is why better mind body psychology is needed to get omega 3 fats and other essential vitamins.

* Many Antioxidants in Plants are for Defense.

Many plants are made to have defense mechanism against pests because they are bitter tasting, so using an artificial pesticide lowers these disease-fighting chemicals in plants. But there is a balance to be had here with issues of cost, locally grown and seasonal variations. So try to buy organic healthy foods to lose as much as possible, particularly for animal-derived foods, whole-grain products and root vegetables. Remember to wash fruit and vegetables before eating.

* Your Digestive System needs Healthy Foods to Lose Irritation.

So many of the women we see have digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea and bloating. Now-a-days many of us eat on the run, grabbing lunch and eating it over the computer, then arriving home late, and if you are trying to eat a good meal with your partner, it may be well after nine o’clock before you eat. Then, of course, no one wants to go straight to bed, so you end up falling asleep on the sofa, dragging yourself off to bed, and before you know it the alarm has gone off, you’re still full from the night before and so you miss breakfast. It really doesn’t matter how well and healthily you are eating, if you end up with a compromised digestive system.

* Healthy Foods to Lose Weight the TCM way.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are certain laws of nature, and it is believed that if you go outside of these laws your system becomes out of balance and it is harder to stay well. There are certain times of the day when one organ is believed to peak in performance. For example, 7am-9am is the peak time for the stomach, when you should eat a good breakfast, but 7pm-9pm is the rest-time for the stomach, so that is when you shouldn’t eat.

Good Dental Care Begins at Home – Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Life

Most of us care about how our teeth look when we smile, so that’s the first incentive we have to take good care of our teeth. It’s also widely accepted that good oral hygiene and good general health go together. Proper oral hygiene includes a simple daily routine of tooth brushing, flossing, and even tongue cleaning. This should always be supplemented by regular checkups with a dentist. Additionally, eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding certain habits contributes to a healthy mouth and teeth, as well as our general health.

Dental authorities recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day. This should be done after eating, to clean away any acids, coatings or particles left behind by foods. Use fluoride toothpaste with a soft bristled toothbrush. A proper job of tooth brushing should take about 2 minutes and reach all exposed surfaces. Take care not to scrub too vigorously, because you can irritate your gums and wear down the tooth enamel. Replace the brush about every three months, because a toothbrush with worn or bent bristles can’t clean properly and might even injure your gums.

The proper technique is to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and move the brush in small circles over the teeth. Start in one quadrant of the mouth, such as the upper left side, and move forward across the front of the teeth and around to the opposite side. Clean the inner surfaces the same way. On the insides of the front teeth, it’s easier to hold the brush vertically and use the tip to make the circles against the inner surfaces. Finish by brushing flat across the biting surfaces in short back and forth strokes. Next, brush your tongue from back to front on both the upper and lower surfaces. A surprising amount of bacteria exists on the tongue, and this will remove most of it.

After brushing, floss the teeth to remove food particles and plaque that the brush cannot reach. Begin by cutting off a piece of floss about 18 inches long, and wrap the ends around the middle fingers on each hand, leaving about an inch or so in the middle. With the thumb and forefingers, gently press the floss into the space between two teeth, and gently pull it up from the gumline to the point of the tooth to remove plaque and debris. Wrap the floss around the side of the tooth and repeat. Pull the floss up and out, unwind a little new floss, and move to the next space. If the floss gets caught in a tight space, do not force it out! Simply let go of one end and pull it out horizontally. Waxed floss might be easier for some people to use, and others might like to try a floss holder.

After brushing and flossing, a good extra step is to rinse the mouth with an antimicrobial or antiseptic mouthwash. Some formulas even contain ingredients to help preserve the tooth enamel.

The entire routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing should take only 3-5 minutes, and it will reward you with a nice smile, and good dental and general health for many years.

Don’t overlook the importance of having an annual or semi-annual checkup with a good dentist. A thorough dental exam can uncover health problems you may be unaware of, because signs often occur in the mouth before they appear elsewhere. For example, some eating disorders, cancers and other diseases can be detected early in the mouth, and then successfully treated. Naturally, the dentist will also catch and treat any cavities or gum disease before they get out of hand, and can spot any problems developing in tooth or jaw alignment.

These routine and simple dental care steps, if followed regularly, will pay us huge dividends towards maintaining good dental and general health. That’s really something to smile about.

The Role of Women Empowerment and Gender Equality for Achieving Sustainable Development

One of the major agendas in the social system across the globe is to empower women and achieve the gender equality which would eventually result in the sustainable upliftment of the economic status of the women. In order to feasibly achieve this, there have been several initiatives by the governments of different developing countries. Several surveys have already been conducted with the goal of determining the role of women in the several developing countries in fetching the sustainable development. This has been found that the utilization of the women labor force is still very negligible in the overall economic development of several developing countries. Also, this has been concluded that the women still have a place in the society where they have very fewer opportunities in contributing to the social development of the county. This goes without saying that though there are several special rights and privileges which have been introduced for the women but there are several instances of abysmal violations to these rights which are affecting the balance of the society. This is obvious that until the time the women are completely empowered and we achieve the gender equality in the society, women would not optimally be able to play crucial roles in the social, economic, environmental and political areas.

Empowerment is a social multi-dimensional process which helps the individuals and the communities in gaining the desired control over their lives. This process primarily fosters the right power in the individuals which they would use in the right manner in their lives, communities and societies for doing away with the various issues. When this empowerment is targeted for the uplifting of the women community, then this is referred to as the women empowerment. Women empowerment for the purpose of achieving gender equality is certainly a top priority amongst the several agendas across most of the countries around the world. This is also an obvious fact that the gender disparity in the developing countries is majorly rampant as compared to the various developed countries.

The term “sustainable development” arises as there is a continual change is a human perception regarding the definition of development. This has been noticed that the development perspectives have gradually shifted to a point where we perceive it as the sustainable development. The major focus of development in the 1950s and 60s was to develop the productive capacity and economic growth of the country. In the 1970s, the focus to a large extent shifted to the various equity matters like the income distribution and social development. The increase in the awareness regarding the considerably large gap in between the poor and the rich was one of the major agendas to be resolved. In the subsequent decades, the focus shifted majorly to the environment protection along with several other agendas. Thus, sustainable development can be termed as the developments which have the ability to meet the requirements of present times without compromising any of the abilities of the future generations for meeting their own needs. So, in a nutshell, the concept of sustainable development demands comprehensive, all-rounded & integrated development.

There have been several studies conducted which reveals that the sustainable development cannot be made possible without the women empowerment. The women empowerment would eventually result into economic growth, good governance, political development and social development.

The women in several rural areas still lack proper opportunities for receiving the adequate access to the proper training, modern technology and financial support. Also, most women in the rural areas in several developing nations do not have access to proper education and thus the women could not successfully develop their skill sets. All these circumstances result in the women remaining passive observers and are unable to contribute to the economic sector. So, more emphasis is to be given to imparting proper education to the women in the nooks & corners of the country.

Finally, we can conclude that the empowerment of the women and then extending the right representation across the law-enforcing and law-making organs would help in promoting the sustainable development in the developing nations. The major recommendations should include the following measures.

– Promoting the empowerment of the women and then making the right use of the labor force which eventually would boost the economic growth.

– Imparting proper education and maintenance of the women’s health in order to enhance the productivity as well as the social development.

– Empowering the women community & then providing them with the adequately fair representation in various levels of decision-making in various responsibilities.

– Protection of the women’s rights in order to make the women community the active participants in the social, economic, cultural and political arenas in the developing nations which would, in turn, bring in sustainable development.

Healthy Foods for the Brain – Nourish Your Brain And Boost Its Functions With The Right Diets

The tasks of the human brain outnumber all other organs in the body even when put or combined together. The brain is working every second of the day and even during our sleep through the dreaming cycle. To be able to function well, the brain requires massive amounts of energy and essential nourishment to the maximum as well. It is very vital that only the right and healthy foods for the brain is consumed.

As you age, your body parts and organs age as well, that is why in most instances you notice consequent changes on the way you think, respond, and perhaps how your memory performs. It is worthy to note that even with such possibilities, the brain function and health can be pre-aided and resulting problems can be avoided through the proper nourishment of the brain.

In general almost every natural and organic food is good for the brain. We will be detailing out those that came to the top of the list when it comes to the healthy foods for the brain.

Blueberries are proven to be one of the most nutritional diets for the brain. Aside from being very much palatable, they are nutritious and rich in powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanidins. This specific antioxidant has positive effects to the brain namely, relieving and shielding it from stress, dementia, and the not so friendly Alzheimer’s disease.

Blueberry is known as one of the best healthy foods for the brain because it increases its learning capacity and improvement of motor skills comparative to the younger and more active individuals.

Next on the list is avocado. Although this fruit has received negative public image on the number of calories they contain compared to all other fruits and vegetables, avocado is still the undisputed source of mono-unsaturated fat or “good” fats which serve as healthy foods for the brain.

Mono-unsaturated fats are essential since they ensure a healthy blood flow and the regulation of blood pressure; hence, they help to reduce the risks of heart diseases and stroke. Better opt to consume much more avocados than the saturated fats found in red meat and processed foods to avoid heart disease.

Nuts, seeds and whole grains are also essential healthy foods for the brain. Among the most common examples are flaxseeds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, whole-grain breads, brown rice, oat meals, etc. Flaxseed provides an alternate source of omega 3 essential fatty acids; hence, it is also very good in addressing health problems like cholesterol, blood pressure, bowel problems and even cancer.

Nuts and all other seeds are good sources of Vitamin E. Whole grains on the other hand permit a healthy brain and heart and an improved blood and oxygen flow.

Finally, pure and fresh fish oil is a must for your brain’s health. Fish oil is the foremost source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids especially DHA are the nutritional foundation and lifeblood of brain function. Taking regular fish oil supplements is a good option to achieve the recommended daily dosage of DHA omega 3; it will also help you avoid being contaminated with toxins due to pollutions in the oceans.

However, ensure that you take fish oil supplements that contain at least 250 mg of DHA in a 1000 mg capsule; the supplement should also be efficiently purified by molecular distillation. For more information on the best fish oil for the brain, visit my website.

Tips to Help Your Family Cope With Dental Care Needs

When the US economy took a turn for the worse, many Colorado Springs families also headed towards this direction. Some families that used to have two income earners suddenly had one, and this affected the family budget. Worse, some families lost their entire incomes when all their income earners lost their jobs.

While the US economy has yet to get in shape, affected families may likely suffer financial and health care problems, including oral health care. Many families going through such times may have to weather the storm by taking better care of themselves to prevent getting sick. Other families with sick members must make do with the government’s health care system or charitable institutions to get the medical attention they need.

If your family survived the past recession with no significant income loss, you should consider your situation fortunate. However, this might mean that you’ll need to make better plans for your future. The following are tips to help you get dental care in Colorado to anticipate unstable scenarios.

Look at your current options

Saving up as much as you can now would really help your family. Talk to your family about the family budget and let everyone make their suggestions. Cutting back on expenses on utilities, dining out, and fuel usage may help you save money to anticipate any Colorado Springs dental care emergencies in case you lose your job.

Review your child’s school health policy

Some schools in Colorado Springs may provide basic Colorado Springs dental care for their students. If you can’t find your child’s school handbook, take time to talk with the child’s teacher to find out about the school’s heath program. You may not know it yet but your child’s school may also help a possible dire scenario.

Choose The Right Health Care Practitioner Based On Your Health Requirements

A Health care practitioner is the one who is given the license or authority by the state to provide health care services. Anyone starting from a doctor of medicine, a dentist, pediatrician and chiropractor to a nurse practitioner, clinical psychologist and even a clinical social worker can be defined as a health care practitioner. In case a health maintenance provider does anything to violate the regulations and limitations determined by the state law, the health care entity has the right to review and judge their actions, thereby seizing their medical license if required. In such cases the health care entity is bound to provide the Board of Medical Examiners with the name of the concerned health maintenance provider and the details of their action for taking accurate review action.

There are various types of health care providers. Some of them are:

Primary Care Providers (PCP): The first person you visit for a health check-up serves as your primary care provider. On the basis of your health maintenance plan and the type of health problem you are having, you have to decide who can be the best PCP for you.

  • You can appoint a general practitioner as your PCP. A general practitioner involves doctors of medicine or osteopathy specialized in internal medicine and family practice.
  • Obstetrician and Gynecologists, specializing in women’s health and prenatal care, can also be appointed as your PCP.
  • Nurse practitioners with graduate degrees can serve as primary care providers in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, adult care, women’s health, etc. They are authorized to provide services for regular checkups and general concerns.
  • Physician assistants are licensed to provide a various services in association with a general practitioner.

Nursing Care: There are various categories in the nursing division.

  • Registered Nurse (RN): RN is licensed by the state to provide health maintenance services. They have to pass a state board examination and obtain a graduate degree from a nursing program.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPN is a trained nurse, who is authorized by the state to provide health maintenance.
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs obtain special degrees and advanced training, which is beyond and above the normal nursing care trainings. APRNs include clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists and licensed nurse midwives.

Licensed Pharmacists: Licensed pharmacists hold a graduate degree from pharmaceutical colleges. They provide health maintenance by preparing prescription drugs that have been prescribed to you by your primary or specialty care provider. Pharmacists also provide adequate information to patients regarding medicines, and explain to them the dosages and side effects of medicines after discussing with the doctor.

Specialty Care Providers: Health care practitioners providing health services in various specialized fields are referred to as specialty care providers, like:

  • Cardiology for heart problems.
  • Dermatology for skin problems.
  • Allergy and asthma.
  • Gastroenterology for digestive disorders.
  • Hematology for blood disorders.
  • Immunology for problems with the immune system.
  • Orthopedics for bone and tissue problems.
  • Nephrology for kidney disorders.
  • Psychiatry for mental and emotional problems.

Type 2 Diabetes – Making Healthy Food Choices Will Help Your Blood Sugar Level and Your Weight

Being able to make healthy food choices goes a long way in helping a person with Type 2 diabetes maintain their healthy blood sugar levels and weight. Unfortunately, even though food plays a major role in their disease, not all diabetics are fully informed as to what would be considered healthy choices.

The same guidelines that follow non-diabetics are also important for diabetics: The only difference is that instead of the wrong foods just putting on additional weight, as is the case with a non-diabetic not eating properly, the diabetic also has to deal with high blood sugar issues…

    • consuming the right mixture of fruits and vegetables is a good idea, but diabetics can’t just stop there. Some items in these categories affect diabetics so they also have to be monitored. The best rule of thumb is to go by the glycemic index.
    • breads and grains are one of the easiest ways for a diabetic to become tripped up on their eating. Just going by the label and packaging is not enough. You have to look at the major ingredients. Breads are notorious for mixing white flour with whole grains. The bread might look dark, but that doesn’t automatically mean it is healthy.
    • foods that are processed should be avoided whenever possible. Any statement about a food being processed means it has been stripped of its vital nutrients and vitamins. In the case of processed packaged foods, the good stuff has been replaced with preservatives and artificial this-and-that. None of this is good news for a diabetic.
  • one of the most common areas where diabetics run into problems is sugar. Sugar is added to many foods that we are not aware of. Some foods advertise the presence of sugar and some are hidden in clever names such as fructose. Knowing all of the disguises for sugar is the only way to limit it from your diet. Avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Making good food choices doesn’t just apply to the food themselves, but also the quantity of them. For example, dark chocolate is good for you… in small amounts. However, consuming a large amount of it has the same effect as the more harmful milk chocolate.

Beverages are also an easy mistake. Fruit drinks, alcohol, and sweet tea should be eliminated. Other key drinks such as milk and fruit juice can be consumed as long as the individual monitors their intake. Thinking that you can switch to diet drinks is not a safe alternate as you are replacing one problem for another.

Teeth Whitening Facts to Help You With Your Dental Care

Perfect white teeth will give you the best smile in every single occasion. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of people are trying to find means and ways to keep their teeth healthy. You can keep those pearly whites healthy by going to the dentist and brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Aside from this, you also need to know the facts about teeth whitening which can improve your dental care. Teeth whitening treatment is a dental procedure that will allow you to have whiter teeth that will bring out your best smile.

Teeth Whitening Facts:

1. Why Would Someone Need To Whiten Their Teeth?

This is a common question that most people are asking when it comes to this topic. People who work in the limelight or are constantly faced with a camera usually avail of this dental treatment. Having their teeth whitened will help them gain confidence every time they have to face the public or media. For other people, they usually avail of this procedure to maintain their dental health. It is also a great way to achieve a great smile and teeth that shows cleanliness. White teeth are also a sign of a healthy body, lifestyle and mind.

2. What Causes Stained Teeth?

Just like in the first question, stained teeth are another reason why people opt for teeth whitening. Our teeth get stained every time we eat or drink. Caffeine can leave stains in the teeth especially if the person always drinks these types of beverages. There are also food items that can cause discoloration in our teeth. This is quite normal but sometimes it accumulates too much that it is often noticed immediately.

3. Should I Consider Teeth Whitening?

This question can be answered by your very own dentist. They are quite knowledgeable when it comes to this dental treatment and they can guide you through the process. All you have to do is visit them and share your concerns. They will make an assessment when it comes to your dental health and if you can avail of the treatment. It is important to keep in mind that not all people are qualified for teeth whitening. It is best to consult with your dentist and they can also recommend other products to help whiten your teeth.

4. What Kind of Assessment Will My Dentist Do?

Before you can take part of this dental treatment, your dentist have to make sure that your mouth is healthy. There should be no underlying afflictions that can cause complications. Your dentist will check if you need filling replacement, if there are any areas in your mouth that is experiencing gum recession or if you have sensitive teeth. Your dentist may also give you other options when it comes to teeth whitening like: natural remedies, best methods and other helpful advices.

5. How Will The Teeth Whitening Procedure Take Place?

After your dentist gives a thumb up for the procedure, he or she will take you through different methods that will assist you in your goal. They may recommend products that can be applied at the comfort of your home. A laser treatment can be recommended especially for people with severe stained teeth. Just keep in mind that you have to make sure that you get in touch with your dentist to guide you through your teeth whitening treatment.

Doctors May Be Unaware of the “Icky Period” Problem for Women on Blood Thinners

When a younger woman is put on a blood thinner the doctor or nurse isn’t likely to tell her, “Guess what, this is probably going to make your period a bit of a challenge.” Many health care providers are unfamiliar with the “Icky Period” problem.

“In the beginning I didn’t know what hit me,” explains 38 year-old heart attack survivor Kay Marie Kortas. “You just never know what is going to happen.” Kay Marie takes the blood thinner Plavix®. One parent teacher conference during her cycle created an “icky” situation. “I planned ahead, had all of my backup supplies, and even wore black pants. After sitting for 40 minutes, I stood up and felt as if a flood gate had opened.” With her black pants hiding the result, she quickly said goodbye to the parents and tried to clean up in the bathroom, but it was a situation which just couldn’t be handled and she needed to go home.

It came as a big surprise to me,” said Eliz Greene who is 42 and currently takes Plavix®. “Talking about the “Icky Period” problem is very important, so women don’t think they are the only ones out there going through it.”

“I am not sure I could have worked outside the home when I was on Coumadin®. There was no way to predict how bad the flow was going to be or how often I would have to go and change.” added Eliz. “There isn’t a feminine protection product on the market, or even combination of products, designed to handle that situation.”

“The flow after sitting can be amazing and the blood is so thin it doesn’t absorb quickly enough. Overnight flow is a problem as well. I slept on a bed wetting pad when I was on Coumadin® and sleep on a towel now that I’m on Plavix® just to protect the sheets and mattress.”

As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart(TM) Wellness Initiative, Eliz talks with doctors, nurses and other health professionals about menstruation and blood thinners and finds they are often surprised. Even though it makes sense once the issue is brought up, it never occurred to them to address it with their patients. Yet, the “Icky Period Problem” has a huge impact on the lives of women living on blood thinners.

Mellanie True Hills founder of the American Foundation for Women’s Health added, “This is an area that doctors just need to know more about. It is something that hasn’t crossed most of their minds.”

Kay Marie recalls her doctor’s reaction when she brought up the “Icky Period” Problem.

“He just said, ‘It can’t be that bad,'” she laughs. “Not that bad? I wouldn’t be bringing it to your attention if it was just a couple more tampons than usual, but I’m going through almost a box a day. That’s bad.” Kay Marie said after his nurse explained the situation, her doctor was much more sympathetic. However, there isn’t much he could do. Blood thinners are a necessary part of her treatment.

Plan ahead and talk with your doctor if you experience the “Icky Period” Problem.

Tips for dealing with the “Icky Period” Problem:

Be Prepared:

Keep track of your cycle and keep supplies on hand. Put together an emergency supply bag with extra products, underwear and pants to keep in your car and at your office. A towel or pad on your office chair, couch or mattress may save on embarrassment and clean up.

Plan Ahead:

If you have a choice, don’t schedule the long meeting during the week your period is due. If you have to be in a meeting, discreetly convey the need for regular breaks or for you to “sneak out” as needed.

Work your Abs:

As gross as it may sound, abdominal exercise may “squeeze out” some of your flow, leaving less to leak out during less opportune moments. It may not work for everyone, but it is worth a try.

Stay in control:

One of the best ways to prevent overly “Icky Periods” is to keep your blood thinner level under control. If you take Coumadin® or warfarin, be vigilant in keeping your monitoring appointments. Get your thinness level checked if your flow is extreme as it may be a sign your blood is too thin.

Making the Transition From Unhealthy Foods to Healthy Foods

Most of us would like to eat healthier, but have trouble with breaking old habits and starting new ones. Maybe you’ve been eating the typical American diet for so long now, that it seems almost impossible to learn to appreciate the flavors of real food, as opposed to the highly-sugared, salty, processed food that you’re accustomed to. Or maybe, you are currently a pretty healthy eater, but would like to learn a little more to “tweak” your diet. Well, read on, and you will learn how to get the most out of your diet by making the necessary changes to make the transition from unhealthy to healthy foods.

Chemicals

First and foremost, get in the habit of reading labels. Awareness is the key. Becoming aware of the chemistry in your food is one of the first steps to become healthy, and is probably one of the most important of all. When you get into the habit of reading what you are eating, it will make a big difference. Don’t become overly obsessive, just become aware. If you cannot pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it. And chances are, if there are more than 6 ingredients, it’s probably a processed food. Your goal should be to eat whole foods that have no other ingredients but themselves. The flavor of whole foods will make such a difference that soon (with consistency) your taste buds won’t want for anything else. You will soon find that any food that has chemicals and preservatives in it will taste medicinal and fake. When shopping in any store, whether it is your local grocery store or a health food store, remember it is best to shop the perimeter (outside aisles) as much as possible. That is where you will find most of the whole foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy, and so on. The inner aisles, with the pre-packaged foods, will do the most damage to your health.

Sugar

Refined sugar is a huge health-robber, but one of the easiest to wean yourself from because there are many treats that you can buy at a health food store that are made with “legal” sugars: raw honey, barley malt, fruit juice maple syrup, Sucanat, stevia, Rapidura, raw cane juice, and agave. These sugars have not been put through a process that removes all of the nutrients. They will give you an energy boost, but not so high that you will come crashing down 20-30 minutes later with the awful feeling a “sugar crash” gives you. I know it’s hard to conceive, but if you start to eat more real-food and more earth-centered food, your cravings for sweets of any kind (even the “legal” ones) will decrease tremendously. The best way to start the weaning process is to stop buying refined sugars and sweets and bringing it into the house.

Meat

Now, everyone is not going to go for this one, and I am aware of that. But you nay-sayers please still read on, because you are bound to get something out of this section. In years past, there were very few substitutes for meat, but now you can get almost anything you want in any form or flavor that you can imagine, based on turkey, chicken, fish or soy products. These red meat/pork alternatives are so well-seasoned, at times, that you’ll be convinced that you are eating the real thing. Most of the dishes we make with ground beef are really about the seasoning or condiments. If you dress up a veggie burger with goodies like tomato, onion, lettuce (other than iceberg), pickles, ketchup, and mustard, your brain will tell you that you are eating the real thing. For other ground beef dishes like meatloaf or sloppy joe, you can add your “special sauce” and other ingredients to ground turkey or texturized vegetable protein (soy protein crumbles) and fool even your biggest meat eaters. If you are trying to wean yourself and/or your family off beef and pork products and are not ready to become completely vegan, try Shelton Farms turkey and chicken products. They are preservative-free and made from free-range poultry meat. With all of the panic surrounding mad cow disease, it’s good to know that you don’t have to sacrifice your health for flavor anymore.

Dairy

If you make the commitment to give up dairy products, you will realize how easy it is to make many of you favorite dishes with a milk substitute. You can find healthy milk alternatives that will not only taste good, but will also make you feel better because your nose won’t be stuffy, your throat won’t be phlegmy, and you digestion will be greatly improved. For a milk alternative, I usually recommend Silk Soy Milk by White Wave- this is the Cadillac of all soy milks on the market. Or, if you’re allergic to soy, I recommend Original Enriched Rice Dream by Imagined Foods. Both can be used in cooking and baking, but I recommend you use the unsweetened versions of either one. Also, Earth Balance Margarine is a good butter substitute because it has no hydrogenatated oils. As for cheese, Veggie Slices are great and they come in a variety of flavors (American, Swiss, Provolone, Monterey Jack). The same manufactuer of Veggie Slices brand makes shredded versions of the cheese, too. There are also substitutes for sour cream, cream cheese, and dairy creamer to replace half-and-half. And let’s not forget yogurt. There are soy substitutes for that as well. Going cold turkey may be hard for some, and in that case, you may need to gradually wean yourself off dairy. Gradually decrease the dairy products you use while substituting the alternative version. You will notice that there isn’t much difference, except that you will begin to feel better.

It is my hope that you have learned a lot from this issue, not only about what is written here, but about yourself and the things that you need to work on to gain better health. If it all seems overwhelming, then just start with one thing at a time. You may want to start at the top of the list, and each 2-3 weeks work your way down the list. I recommend at least 3 weeks of consistent work on each topic before moving on to the next, in order to create a habit of change. Before you know it, you will have incorporated 4 important steps into your lifestyle that can do nothing but make YOU a healthier YOU.