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Nutrition and Courage Empowerment – Taking Health To Next level Positively

During the dark years that followed my diving accident, I deviated from my wholesome eating habits. This deviation was partly due to my limited control over my diet, as I lived in a hospital or a group home. It was also due to my reduced health-consciousness. Largely disgusted with life, I was proportionally hedonistic and suicidal. I sought consolation in gustatory pleasure at the risk of undermining my health. To be more precise, I often overindulged my fondness for fatty and savory foods or sweet ones, with the result that I gained weight and lost my edge – that is, part of my vitality. This loss was ominous. It took a wealth of vitality to accept and overcome the difficulty of attaining happiness. The more I was devitalized and consequently weak, the more I was likely to be daunted by this difficulty.

Devitalization was the worst form of impoverishment. In a state of weakness, it was tempting to deny that happiness was possible or worth the effort and choose the easy option: idleness and carelessness or death. I never gave in to this morbid temptation, but my overindulgence in fatty and savory foods or sweet ones caused my vitality to lessen and my depression to worsen, thereby reinforcing my hedonistic and suicidal tendencies. I had entered a vicious circle, or rather a downward spiral that led to hell.

Fortunately, before it was too late, I became disgusted with my way of life, as opposed to life itself. I was less a victim of circumstances than a fool who brought about his own misery, on account of his negative attitude and self-destructive behavior. I began my uphill journey to wisdom and health.

Health is the basis for every human achievement, even when it is poor, in which case it provides a lot less vitality and longevity than when it is good. I pledged to do everything possible to be healthy to maximize my potential to live and love.

In fact, health is not just a matter of vitality and longevity; it is also a matter of sanity. A sound mind is a complement to a sound body. Furthermore, the one is dependent on the other. This dependence had dawned on me with dazzling clarity a few months after I had moved into my apartment and improved my diet. By then I had studied many health books. They had helped me define and meet my nutritional requirements much more wisely.

My body needed a balanced and moderate amount of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins to function well. Correlatively, the foods containing these nutrients had to be properly chewed to aid digestion and absorption (this did not apply to fiber: a type of carbohydrate that the body can neither digest nor absorb). Proper chewing reduces foods to mush and proportionally increases the effect of the digestive juices on them or the availability of the nutrients that are ready for absorption. I thoroughly performed this simple chore, at the center of life.

To start with, carbohydrates are simple or complex sugars that I generally obtained from fruit, honey, milk products, beets, rutabagas, potatoes, legumes (beans, lentils, or peas), nuts, seeds, whole grains, and the bread, cereal, or pasta made from these grains. Simple sugars and digestible complex sugars serve as an energy source and participate in the synthesis of DNA and RNA molecules: the genetic information and the genetic messengers that enable the organism to regenerate and reproduce. Indigestible complex sugars, better known as dietary fiber, are capable of promoting the elimination of waste through the intestine. Refined foods are depleted of this fiber, without which constipation is a predictable outcome that bodes ill. Except on festive occasions, I resolutely avoided them.

Lipids include two main subdivisions: saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fats (with a phosphoric component in some of them – i.e., in phospholipids versus triglycerides that are pure fats) and cholesterol, which is a singular fatty compound. Like simple sugars and digestible complex sugars, saturated fats and monounsaturated fats serve as an energy source. In addition, they contribute to the integrity of the body tissues. Polyunsaturated fats and cholesterol also contribute to this integrity and are used for a variety of vital functions involving the cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, and immune systems.

A distinctive feature of polyunsaturated fats is their instability. When exposed to heat, light, or air, such as in processing, intense cooking, or prolonged everyday use, they can suffer damage and become harmful. In view of this fact, I was careful to eat the foods that contained them – for example, walnuts and seeds, and the oil extracted from either – in their most natural (unprocessed and if possible uncooked) form and fresh (unspoiled) state. When cooking was necessary, as in the case of fish or tofu, which numbered among these foods, I resorted to steaming or baking in preference to frying and proceeded with caution, while avoiding the pitfall of undercooking. I applied the same basic principles to the foods that contained monounsaturated fats, like peanuts, almonds, olives, and avocado, and the oil extracted from any of them, though these fats are less unstable than their polyunsaturated counterparts. As for cholesterol, found exclusively in animal products, and saturated fats, found mostly in land animal products, they have a reputation for causing arterial blockage and organ dysfunction if consumed without restraint. I limited my intake of them by following a largely vegetarian diet where animal flesh was the exception, not the rule. Actually, I exercised restraint in my consumption of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats as well. The opposite, like any lack of moderation, is a health hazard.

Now for proteins. They are various macromolecules that comprise a large number of amino acids (nitrogenous molecules that occur in twenty-two different forms). In the course of digestion, these macromolecules are broken down into these molecular components, which act thereafter as raw material or building blocks to produce new molecules or new macromolecules (polypeptides, smaller than proteins, or proteins) that suit our physiological needs in many areas: the metabolism, the blood, the mucous membranes, the skin and the tendons, the muscles, plus the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. These molecular components act so if the body has enough carbohydrates and fats to satisfy its energy requirements. Otherwise, they are stripped of their nitrogenous part and mobilized into satisfying these requirements. This constitutes a waste of precious amino acids and a burden to the kidneys, in charge of eliminating the free nitrogenous part after the liver has transformed it into urea. As it happened, my main sources of protein – namely, legumes, nuts, whole  grains, and the bread, cereal, or pasta made from these grains, together with milk products and eggs – were also rich in carbohydrates or fats. Here the fats that mattered were saturated or monounsaturated, whereas the polyunsaturated ones were not a favorable means of satisfying my energy requirements, given the many other important roles they played.

Lastly, minerals and vitamins are a group of some thirty substances that complement carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. A deficiency in one of them can hamper a bodily function and jeopardize in so doing the health of an individual. Collectively, as precursors or components of useful agents, or as useful agents themselves, they assist in numerous processes: vision, nerve impulses and neurotransmission, muscle contraction, digestion and absorption, regulation of blood sugar and of the metabolic rate, respiration, energy production, regeneration and reproduction, formation and maintenance of bones and teeth, coagulation, protection against free radicals (noxious atoms or molecules), and immunity. My usual sources of carbohydrates, lipids, and protein already supplied me with minerals and vitamins, all the more since they were unrefined. Refining is a terrible refinement that depletes fibers and nutrients in foods. Nevertheless, to make sure I got enough minerals and vitamins, I rounded off these usual sources with additional vegetables: carrots, radishes, cauliflower, red cabbage, green vegetables, leafy or non-leafy, garlic, and onions. I drank plenty of water to boot, though not during or immediately after meals lest I interfere with my digestion by flooding my stomach. Drinking water typically contains a minute quantity of minerals. Much more importantly, it has the ability to replenish the bodily fluids and cleanse the system of undesirable substances.

The best thing about my improved diet was that in a few months my state of mind had taken a turn for the better in a big way. Never before had I thought so clearly and felt so enterprising. I was brimming with vitality and soon became immersed in the writing of my book on “vital efficiency.” It appeared I was a lot more capable of rationalizing and embracing the challenge of leading a fulfilling life, because I was a lot more alive. My energy level had risen dramatically. I could sleep three hours, rest another two hours, and go about my business for the remaining nineteen hours. In conjunction with this rise, my morale was unusually high. Circumstances alone could not account for this boost. My relationship with my girlfriend (an extremely kind and gentle, and rather pretty nurse) was in the doldrums and on the brink of termination. My new apartment, on the other hand, was a significant improvement; but what changed for the better during the few months in question was primarily the condition of my body, which impacted my state of mind. I was vibrant with health, notwithstanding I still experienced bladder problems that somewhat weakened me on occasion. This health was both physical and mental. I had a vigorous and joyous sense of purpose that kept me going and especially writing.

In the effort to be healthy, a reasonable diet is not everything. Fresh air and regular exercise ought to form part of this effort. There are two types of exercise; both require stretching, before and after, plus warmup and cooldown periods, to avoid injuries.

The first type of exercise is anaerobic, not dependent on the intake of oxygen. An example of anaerobic exercise is weightlifting. Done frequently, in vigorous workouts, it strengthens muscles and bones. The second and most beneficial type of exercise is aerobic, dependent on the intake of oxygen. An example of aerobic exercise is jogging. Done every day or a few times a week, for at least fifteen minutes (enough to markedly and sustainedly increase the activity of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, responsible for delivering oxygen to the body tissues), it yields numerous health benefits. Besides strengthening muscles and bones, it raises endurance, improves the handling of stress, promotes good mood, boosts the immune function, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and helps to prevent obesity together with disorders like diabetes and hypertension that often accompany this condition. In a nutshell, fresh air and regular exercise are important aspects of a wholesome lifestyle. They result in someone being stronger, feeling better, and probably living longer.

Weight Loss Surgery in Illinois

Obesity is a health crisis in Illinois. Across our state, the number of overweight and obese individuals is rapidly increasing. In fact, more than 61% of the population of Illinois is overweight or obese. Not only is obesity the second most common cause of preventable death in the United States, but it can also foster comorbidities—that is, life-threatening illnesses related to obesity—such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Unsurprisingly, Illinois also spends a fortune each year – some $3.5 billion – on expenses attributable to the obesity epidemic.

It’s obvious that something must be done to stop the epidemic of obesity in our state.

Getting Fit

Weight loss itself is a no great problem: by cutting a person’s daily caloric intake below the number of calories their body needs to maintain life, weight loss can be easily effected. The difficulty comes in conquering the primal urge to eat when hungry.

Obesity is not simply a matter of weight, nor is it a character flaw. It is a disease caused by a disordered relationship with food. For some, the pleasure of eating is a substitute for emotional satisfaction. Others are food addicts, who battle an overwhelming urge to eat even when they aren’t hungry. Sadly, the pain of obesity often leads those with the disease to attempt self-treatment, including fad diets, exercise programs, or gimmicks like so-called weight-loss pills. These efforts lead some to lose significant weight, but most quickly regain it. Many people suffer damage to their health as a result of such quickie “cures”.

No miracle cure for obesity exists. The only way to successfully treat the disease of obesity is through medical care, based upon a complete change in the patient’s lifestyle and eating habits. To beat obesity we must change the way we relate to food, making better food choices and eating less of it. Most of us can accomplish this through education and willpower, in some cases combined with counseling and support. For the rest, weight loss surgery is the only way to combat the disease.

About Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery works by surgically altering the patient’s stomach and/or digestive tract in order to physically limit the amount of food the patient can eat at a given time. This may be done by removing part of the stomach, or by re-routing the flow of ingested food around the areas where the calories are absorbed. In Lap-band surgery — the most widespread procedure — the stomach and bowel are not cut; only a few small incisions in the abdomen are made to allow the surgeon access to the stomach. An inflatable band is then placed around the stomach, creating a small pouch. If successful, these alterations will cause the patient to take in fewer calories each day than he or she burns, resulting in steady, safe weight loss.

But losing weight is only half the battle. Only a complete change in a patient’s lifestyle can win the war on obesity. Patients who fail to change their activity level and dietary habits may regain any weight lost via surgery.

Summing It Up

Weight loss surgery is a powerful weapon in Illinois’ fight against obesity, but it is only one weapon. To win the fight, we must be willing to change the way we live – eating better food, and less of it, and living an active lifestyle. Only by combining these weapons with our will to win can we conquer obesity and live longer, healthier lives.

Weight Loss Surgery in Nebraska

Obesity â?? the condition of weighing more than is deemed medically healthy â?? is a health crisis in Nebraska. In fact, 63% of adults in Nebraska — seven out of every ten Nebraskan men and more than half of Nebraskan women – are overweight or obese. The state’s adult obesity rate increased in 2008 for the third year in a row. Rates of type 2 diabetes, a disease typically associated with obesity, increased in Nebraska again, as well.

We also have the undesirable distinction of being the least active people in the country, ranking 50th among the 50 states in fitness. And, our kids are suffering, too: 12 percent of Nebraskaâ??s children age 10-17 are overweight, according to a 2005 survey by the Data Resource Center on Child and Adolescent Health. As if that werenâ??t enough, obesity is even hitting our pocketbooks. The cost to our taxpayers for dealing with obesity-related illnesses is a staggering $454 million per year!

The facts are clear. Obesity is killing our state â?? physically and financially. Obviously, something has to be done.  But what?

Facing the Crisis

Healthy weight is calculated not in terms of poundage, but in terms of individual body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated as weight in pounds x 703 / (height in inches)2

A person whose BMI is at least 25 is considered overweight; someone with a BMI of 30+ is medically obese.

There is no easy road to beating obesity. For some of us, willpower is enough to maintain a healthy diet and activity level. Others try losing weight via drugstore-paperback-type diets or so-called weight-loss pills. Neither is a realistic long-term solution to the problem. For most obese people, the best option is a medically-supervised program of gradual weight loss my means of dietary and lifestyle modification. Sadly, however, some obesity cases are too far advanced for this to work.

Fortunately, another option exists: weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery).

Losing It

Surgical weight loss is a proven remedy for severe obesity and obesity-related health problems for individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher. By physically altering a patientâ??s stomach so that they can eat only small amounts of food at any given time, these surgeries enable the patient to lower their daily caloric intake and lose weight.

The surgery itself is only the beginning, however. Patients who fail to follow postoperative instructions may regain the weight they lost or reach a weight-loss plateau over time.

Weight loss surgery is a serious medical procedure that exposes the patient to low but significant risks. There is always the possibility of major postoperative complications, including anemia, ulcers, internal hernias, calcium deficiencies and gallstone. And, the decision to undergo most types of weight loss surgery is generally irrevocable. Those considering surgery for the management of obesity should consult with their physician before making a decision.

Letâ??s Do It!

Nebraskans can face this crisis, but only as a team. By keeping the goal of a healthier Cornhusker State in mind, we can overcome the problems caused by widespread obesity. Letâ??s do it!

At Last! 3 Ways to Sweeten Food Safely Without Sabotaging Healthy Weight Loss Efforts

Anyone losing weight should be encouraged to base snacks and meals from whole food, which refers to food that has not been processed or manipulated with preservatives and chemicals. The food on your plate should resemble its source as closely as possible, like fresh chicken breasts instead of crispy chicken fingers with ranch dipping sauce.

I know what you are thinking. Whole foods taste kinda bland at first, right? And sweeteners add more calories so what is the point? Your first instinct would be to use something like Sweet & Low, or a similar sweetener that claims to be a healthier alternative to refined sugar. Even though it is not thought of as a food on your plate, it still goes into your body. You need to know how to sweeten your food safely.

Refined white sugar is harmful for any diet simply because it is so devoid of nutritional value of its own, it actually robs your body of nutrients to metabolize it evenly. Just like anything else, a little bit will not hurt too much, but your health will greatly improve with a significant reduction of white sugar in your diets.

How do you sweeten food safely without it being detrimental to your health and weight loss efforts?

Sweeten Food Safely Tip #1: Use Natural Sugars
Nutritionally complex natural sugars such as honey, molasses, and syrup are healthy alternatives to using any kind of sugar or artificial sweetener. Remember, these things come from the earth just like fruits and vegetables, and we all know how good those foods are for us on a daily basis.

Honey is sugar, but since it is natural and unrefined, it contains a host of nutrients and enzymes that have a multitude of beneficial attributes.  It will not cause the rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels as does white sugar, and there are many varieties and flavors to choose from.

Sweeten Food Safely Tip #2: Choose Nature’s Candy
Ever wonder why you do not have to pour sugar over apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries or raisins? It is because these foods are the candy of the produce department. They can be used as sweeteners in a variety of foods such as soy-based protein shakes, cereal, yogurt and oatmeal.

Just like everything else, unfortunately, our diets are often compromised by our willingness to bring these natural foods down to the American diet level. Dipping fruits into high-fat chocolate and caramel will not help your weight loss. It is no healthier to eat a Raisinet than it is to eat any other candy, despite the claim on the wrapper that is contains antioxidants. Stop falling for these sales gimmicks. Keep your foods natural and your taste buds will eventually revert back to the days before these altered snack foods even existed.

Sweeten Food Safely Tip #3: Limit Artificial Sweeteners
Anything containing aspartame is not a healthy choice for sweetening your food or drinks. Studies show that products containing aspartame can lead to poisoning, seizures, blackouts, headaches, memory loss, blindness, nausea, and gastrointestinal disorders. With even just one of these potential side effects, why risk your health let alone your weight loss efforts?

Just as drinking alcohol will not solve any of your emotional problems, fake sugar will not feed your body’s needs. Your body needs proper nutrition in order to perform at optimum performance, and that includes weight loss. The more you focus on working toward healthy nutrition, the more you will find your cravings for junk foods disappearing.

Even worrying about sweetening your food is not really the kind of mindset you need to live a healthy lifestyle. It is useful when trying to change your eating habits, but your long term goal is getting to the core of the problem by avoiding sweet foods altogether. But if you must sweeten… sweeten food safely! Keep a bowl of fresh ripe fruit nearby at all times to snack to to relieve your sugar cravings.

If you are craving something sweet, do not feel guilty. Over the years the American diet has slowly made us become dependent on sweet treats. The more time rolls on, the sweeter we want our food. This would be alright if becoming overweight was not a side effect, but it is taking its toll on society. Losing weight is about making small changes on a daily basis toward a healthier lifestyle…and for things to change, you have got to change.

Some Weight Loss Product That You Might Want to Look at

Are you interested in losing weight? If you are a woman who is concerned with your appearance, there is a good chance that you may be. Weight loss is an issue that many women have to deal with. While many women are able to lose weight “naturally,” there are others who need a little bit of assistance. The good news is that there are a number of weight loss products, available for sale, which can offer you that assistance.

One of the many weight loss products that you may want to consider investing in is that of weight loss pills. Weight loss pills, also commonly referred to as diet pills, have been used by many women, for years now, to lose weight. Although not all diet pills are the same, you will find that most work by suppressing your appetite. This is what makes you feel the need not to eat, thus reducing your calorie intake and, in turn, you weight.

If you would like to use weight loss pills or diet pills to help you lose weight, you will find that you have a number of different options. Weight loss pills come in a number of different formats and they sell for a wide range of prices. There are a large number of weight loss pills that can be sold over-the-counter and then there are ones that are available by prescription only. If you are interested in seeking a prescription for your weight loss pills, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Even if you are interested in buying your weight loss pills over-the-counter, either locally or online, you may want to think about consulting with you primary care physician anyways. What you need to know about weight loss pills is that they are not all created equally. In addition to some weight loss pills not working, some may even be harmful to your health. If you are unable to speak with your primary care physician about diet pills, you may want to at least do a little bit of research online. This research should involve visiting the online website of the pill manufacturer, as well as reading product reviews online.

Another weight loss product that you may want to look into using, is that of a colon cleanse, occasionally referred to as a weight loss cleanse. Colon cleanses come in pill formats and in liquid formats. They are designed to detoxify your body by eliminating harmful or unwanted toxins from it. What is nice about colon cleanses is that they can be purchased from a number of different retailers, both on and offline, and you can even make your own cleanse formula at home.

As with weight loss pills, it is important that you research each colon cleanse or weight loss cleanse that you are interested in using. Be sure to examine how long you will have to take the cleanse for and if you will be required to restrict your eating. If you are in doubt or find a colon cleanse that sounds a little too good to be true, it may be best to move on and continue your search.

As you likely already know, colon cleanses and weight loss pills are two of the many weight loss products that may be able to help you reach your goal of losing weight. If you are unable to seek the assistance of a doctor, it is advised that you at least use your best judgment when buying and using weight loss products, like colon cleanses and diet pills.

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