Archive for November, 2012

Exercise And Your Complexion

As we all know and hear all the time, exercise can do a body good. It can help you to stay trim, tone muscles, and help to boost energy as well. What you probably don’t know, is the fact that exercise can actually help you achieve the complexion that you’ve always wanted.

It’s true that regular exercise will nourish the skin all over the body with fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients. As well, the increased blood flow and circulation that come with working out will help to draw toxins out of the body and improve the condition of all your vital organs, including the epidermis.

Acne and Exercise

Exercise And Your ComplexionA lot of people think that sweat can trigger acne flare ups. The fact is, sweating is great for any type of congested skin, as it helps promote the flushing of impurities from the epidermal layer and will clean out the pores. As well, vigorous exercise can actually correct the hormonal imbalances that can trigger blemishes, therefore reducing the likelihood of outbreaks.

Any physical routine that you like to do, such as yoga, running, biking, spinning, pilates, boxing, and such, will help to lessen the stress that you encounter on a daily basis and help to prevent stress related acne.

Keep in mind that exercise may not be a miracle cure for everything, as you may still experience breakouts from time to time although your acne will certainly be less severe and last for a much shorter time frame.

Exercise is also great for other skin conditions that may or may not have to do with the presence of acne. Your skin losing its elasticity or becoming thin and less resilient is something that we all encounter. This is a common problem for may of us as we get older.

How Exercise affects Collagen

As we all get older, we start to lose collagen, which will make us look tired. As many of us don’t know, physical activity can actually help to promote the growth of collagen in your skin cells, which will plump up your facial skin and make you look younger and more vibrant.

If you are worried about wrinkles, you should consider relaxation that comes after you exercise. This has the effect of making your muscles, facial muscles included, soften up. What this means, is that your lines will appear less pronounced, helping to contribute to the youthful look that you are trying to achieve.

With exercise you can achieve a smaller waist, better muscle tone, softer skin, fewer blemishes, and an overall younger, more fresher look. If you’ve wanted to add or change to your complexion, you shouldn’t hesitate to exercise. Exercise will help you feel more alive as well as improve your body. All you need to do is take a little bit of time out of your schedule to exercise – its as simple as that.

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What is a Macrobiotic diet

Macrobiotic diet is a diet formulated by the belief that food, and the quality of food, has an affect on a person’s life on a greater extent than most people realize. Practitioners of a macrobiotic diet believe that food has an affect on health, as well as happiness and well being. Those who follow a macrobiotic diet believe that natural foods with little to no processing are the best choice of food. In addition, they believe in using traditional methods of cooking and they enjoy cooking for themselves, as well as for family and friends.

Creation of the Macrobiotic Diet

Literally translated, macrobiotics means “great life.” Physicians and philosophers from around the world have associated macrobiotics with living in harmony with nature while eating a simple and balanced diet. In the 1920’s, George Ohsawa, who founded the modern form of macrobiotics, claimed to have cured himself from a serious illness by changing his diet. Ohsawa believed in the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang. They yin represents outward centrifugal movement and the yang represents inward centrifugal movement. Yin and yang are always opposite, with yin being sweet, cold, and passive and with yang being salty, hot, and aggressive. In a macrobiotic diet, the yin and yang need to be kept in balance for good health.

What is a Macrobiotic Diet?

What is a Macrobiotic diet

Foods in a Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products and fruit, combined into meals according to the principle of balance (known as yin and yang). Dietary recommendations include whole grains, such as brown rice, and other whole grain products, such as buckwheat pasta (soba); a variety of cooked and raw vegetables; beans and bean products, such as tofu, tempeh and miso; sea vegetables; mild natural seasonings; fish; nuts and seeds; mild (non-stimulating) beverages, such as bancha twig tea; and fruit. Certain types of vegetable-fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, are not recommended and are either avoided altogether or used very sparingly. Macrobiotics is an approach to life rather than a diet. General Guidelines for the diet are:

  • Whole grains, especially brown rice: 30-50%
  • Vegetables: 25-50%
  • Beans and Bean Products: 10-20 %
  • Miso soup: daily
  • Seaweed: small amounts daily

All foods included in the macrobiotic diet must be organically grown. Whole grains, such as barley, brown rice, oats, millets, rye, core, buckwheat and whole wheat are thought to be the most balanced of foods in a macrobiotic diet. Therefore, these foods make up about 50 to 60% of the macrobiotic practitioner’s diet. Whole grains are the preferred type of grain in a macrobiotic diet, but small portions of bread and pasta derived from refined flour are acceptable. The remainder is composed of fish and seafood, seeds and nuts, seed and nut butters, seasonings, sweeteners, fruits, and beverages. Other naturally raised animal products may be included if needed during dietary transition or according to individual needs.

How to Get Started on Macrobiotics

A person considering adopting the Macrobiotic diet should spend some time researching the philosophy as well as the specific foods and cooking techniques used. It is very likely that if a macrobiotic way of eating is adopted “cold turkey” that one will have vast cravings for a few days to a few weeks. However, one may choose to transition into a full macrobiotic way of eating and being. The best way to transition to a macrobiotic diet, however, is to first employ a wholefoods diet for several months before going into the more restrictive macrobiotic way of eating and being. A wholefoods diet requires erradicating all heavily processed and refined foods such as granulated sugar, refined flour, and most canned or pre-prepared foods. Next, one would begin erradicating all dairy products and red meat, while utilizing only whole grains. Finally, particularly during these transition periods, it is important to be very aware of what is going on in your body and your body’s response to the foods you intake. A person following a macrobiotic diet only drinks when thirsty. The only drinks that are generally accepted in a macrobiotic diet are teas, which are made from dandelion greens, roasted grains, or the leftover cooking water from preparing soba noodles. Teas containing caffeine or aromatic fragrances are unacceptable. In addition, all cooking water and drinking water must be purified before use.

Vitamin Supplementation

Don’t try this diet without consulting a dietitian – otherwise you might end up with nutritional deficiencies. Taking a multi-vitamin supplement everyday might be in order, unless you eat a good amount of sea vegetables. Since the macrobiotic diet plan includes very little fish, you could end up with a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids.

Exercising on This Diet

The macrobiotic diet doesn’t address exercise. As a given, though, no diet is complete without some form of moderate exercise. Try to be as active as possible every single day. Just cleaning the house and scrubbing the floors can provide fitness benefits. You might also want to consider engaging in systematic exercise programs like martial arts and yoga.

Should you Try a Macrobiotic Diet?

The macrobiotic diet plan requires a lot of commitment since it’s about making permanent changes to your lifestyle and daily eating habits. If your primary goal is to lose weight then this might not be the diet plan for you. The idea behind this diet is to strive for a long, healthy life. It’s appealing to those who want to take a holistic approach to their well-being which is What a macrobiotic diet is. The macrobiotic diet is more than just a diet, it is a lifestyle, and it embraces a simplistic diet bound closely to nature.

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Weight Loss Surgery Risks

Weight loss surgery risks always seem to be downplayed for people looking at losing weight. A couple years ago my wife was considering weight loss surgery as her years off dieting and exercise and the yoyo weight loss/gain nightmare had mad her tired of the whole weight loss industry. Using Weight Watchers and getting the exercise to a more moderate lvel have helped Michelle lose three pounds or so per week and she is quickly dropping the weight that was so stubborn just a couple of years back.

Yesterday Michelle got a call for the gastric bypass surgery consultation which here in Alberta Canada takes 19 months, I am happy to say that she turned it down because a healthy lifestyle has maed the difference for her. As you probably know there are a lot of instances where this surgery is really helpful for people but only in cases where there is a risk of imminent death by now doing something as drastic as this surgery is.

Is Weight Loss Surgery Dangerous?

I have found an article from Bloomberg that I think really shows the importance of this surgery and the possible weight loss surgery risks. Below are some exerpts from that article.

The surge in weight loss surgery in the U.S. may be putting obese people at higher risk for illness and death than is generally known, three studies report.

More than 100,000 Americans underwent bariatric surgery to reduce weight in 2003, an eight-fold increase in five years, researchers report in the Oct. 19 Journal of the American Medical Association. A separate analysis of Medicare patients published in the same issue found that 4.6 percent of patients undergoing the procedure died nationwide a year after, some from the weight loss surgery risks.

The researchers said the findings on weight loss surgery risks may help obese people gauge the weight loss surgery risks as compared to health problems caused by being overweight. The operations can help patients shed more than half their unwanted weight and can reverse diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep problems, researchers said.

This is not a vanity operation, it’s a high-risk operation,” said David R. Flum, associate professor of surgery and public health at the University of Washington in Seattle. “This at least allows people who are considering this surgery to go in a little bit more with their eyes open.

Small Stomach Pouch Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Risks

Weight Loss Surgery Risks

Researchers said they expect 130,000 bariatric surgeries to be performed in the U.S. this year. The procedure is considered the only proven method to reduce extreme weight, the researchers said.

Gastric bypass was the most common procedure used in the studies. Surgeons make a small stomach pouch to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten and connect it to the lower part of the small intestine to limit digestion and absorption of calories. The operation can reduce weight in some cases by almost 100 pounds.

Medicare patients may be most vulnerable to the weight loss surgery risks. Death rates were highest for men older than 65, with more than one in 10 dying within a year of surgery. Dying within a month was twice as likely after obesity surgery than with heart surgery or hip replacement, found the study of all 16,155 Medicare beneficiaries who had the operation from 1997 to 2002.

“That is significantly higher than most people expect when they think of obesity surgery,” Flum said. “Patients are at higher risk for having bad things happen after surgery because of their advanced age or other conditions.”

Experienced Surgeons Helps

Death rates plunged even among the highest risk patients in the hands of experienced surgeons, the study found.

If we’re going to do this operation at all in patients 65 and older, it should really be done in places that can deliver the lowest risks to the patient,Flum said.

All patients should expect hospitalizations after surgery because of weight loss surgery risks, another study from the University of California at Los Angeles found. The number of hospital stays more than doubled in the year after surgery compared with the year earlier, scuttling hopes that better health after the operation would lessen health care needs, researchers said.

Almost 8 percent of patients were hospitalized, mostly for obesity-related problems like arthritis, in the year before surgery, a review of all 60,000 patients getting the operation from 1995 to 2004 in California found. In the following 12 months, almost 20 percent were hospitalized, often for surgical complications.

You May Go Back Under The Knife Again Later

With the number of surgeries increasing and the number of patients considering surgery, they should be truly informed about what they are undergoing,” said lead researcher David S. Zingmond, assistant professor of medicine at the UCLA’s School of Medicine. While many patients lose 60 to 100 pounds, “those pounds come at a price for some people, he said.

The rate declined to 14.9 percent three years after surgery, with most hospitalizations triggered by the need for plastic surgery to remove excess skin or elective procedures such as back and knee surgery that were postponed because of the excess weight.

The researchers originally anticipated that use of health care services would decline following surgery. Now, they say insurance companies and patients should be aware that hospitalization rates may be elevated for up to five years because of the weight loss surgery risks.

Vulnerable Patients – weight loss surgery risks

None of the studies examined the effectiveness of surgery, which the researchers agreed is the best weight loss method for obese people. Even with rising surgery rates, less than 1 percent of people who qualify undergo it, wrote surgeons Bruce M. Wolfe, from Oregon Health Science University in Portland and John M. Morton, of Stanford University in California, in an editorial.

“There are vulnerable patient populations and potential additional costs associated with surgery,” they wrote. “Bariatric surgery may be a potentially life-saving intervention in the right patients and in the right surgeons’ hands.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at

So what are your experiences? I know that there are lots of supporters of this surgery as well as many people that are opposed almost completely to it. Are the weight loss surgery risks worth it?

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