- Pick and set a date for quitting. If you can, plan to have a friend quit smoking with you or to hold you to word and be a support. It’s best to pick a day within the next month. A date too far off in the future will give you a chance to procrastinate and postpone, while a date too soon may not allow you to make a plan for medications or support systems.
- Watch yourself. Notice when and why you smoke. Try to find the things in your daily life that you often do while smoking (such as drinking your morning cup of coffee or driving a car).
- Change your smoking routines: Keep your cigarettes in a different place. Smoke with your other hand. Don’t do anything else when you are smoking. Think about how you feel when you smoke.
Healthy living can mean different things to different people. To most, healthy living means both physical and mental health are in balance or functional in a beneficial way for the person.
This article is not meant to be all inclusive but will include some major components that are considered to be parts of a lifestyle that lead to good health. In addition to the tips about what people should do for healthy living, the article will mention some of the tips about avoiding actions (the don’ts) that lead to unhealthy living.
Healthy eating (diet and nutrition)
All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but we have different nutrition requirements as infants, children (kids), teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors. For example, infants may require feeding every 4 hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually, they develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, as most parents know, kids, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. Snacking is often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.
- Eat three healthy meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
- Do not eat excessively late, before bedtime.
- The bulk of food consumption should consist of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
- Incorporate lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts) into a healthy diet.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars; look at the labels because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
- Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
- Healthy snacks are OK in moderation and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
- Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks; diet drinks as well since they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
- Think of it not as a diet but as a lifestyle change
- Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
- If a person is angry or depressed, eating will not solve these situations and may make the underlying problems worse.
- Avoid rewarding children with sugary snacks; such a pattern may become a lifelong habit for people.
- Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
- A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss; vegetarians should check with their physicians to be sure they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron in their diet.
- Cooking foods (above 165 F) destroys most harmful bacteria and other pathogens; if you choose to eat uncooked foods like fruits or vegetables, they should be thoroughly washed with running treated (safe to drink) tap water right before eating.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.
Tips for special situations:
- People with diabetes should use the above tips and monitor their glucose levels as directed; try to keep the daily blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.
- People with unusual work schedules (night shifts, college students, military) should try to adhere to a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine with minimal snacking.
- People who prepare food should avoid using grease or frying foods in grease.
- People trying to lose weight (body fat) should avoid all fatty and sugary foods and eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and nuts and markedly reduce his/her intake of meat and dairy products.
- Seek medical advice early if you cannot control your weight, food intake, or if you have diabetes and cannot control your blood glucose levels.
Thanks for reading.
How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
Apply Cider Vinegar is an enzyme- and probiotic-rich fermented food. It is made from apples that are allowed to ferment. Making unpasteurized apple cider vinegar follows a process similar to the one used for making other homemade fermented brews, such as kombucha. Below is a high-level overview of a more detailed “how to” process for making homemade apple cider vinegar.
Nutritional Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been found to contain citric, formic, lactic and succinic acids, as well as antioxidants such as caffeic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin and gallic acid, which fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress and promote inflammation. Following are nine suggested benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Aids in Weight Loss
Research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in 2009 indicates apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight and shed body fat.7 In this study, 144 obese Japanese adults consumed either 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vinegar or a placebo drink every day for 12 weeks. Other than restricted alcohol consumption, the participants were free to maintain their usual diet and activity levels.
As shown in the table below, consumption of 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar added to a beverage yielded a positive effect on weight loss and the three other measures of health that were tracked. Consuming 2 tablespoons of vinegar produced the most benefits.
|Vinegar (1 tablespoon)||Vinegar (2 tablespoons)||Placebo|
|WEIGHT CHANGE||-2.6 pounds||-3.7 pounds||+0.9 pounds|
|DECREASE IN BODY FAT PERCENTAGE||0.7 percent||0.9 percent|
|DECREASE IN WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE||0.5 inches||0.75 inches|
|DECREASE IN TRIGLYCERIDES||26 percent||26 percent|
The study authors concluded, “[D]aily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.”8 The weight loss is thought to be influenced by the acetic acid in vinegar, which is believed to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism, as well as reduce water retention.9 Scientists also theorize apple cider vinegar interferes with your body’s digestion of starch, resulting in fewer calories entering your bloodstream.
Banishes Bad Breath
If you are looking to boost your oral hygiene but proper brushing is not doing enough to help you control bad breath, my first recommendation would be to take a closer look at your diet and digestion. If you are eating particularly fragrant (or downright smelly) foods, coupled with infrequent bowel movements, you will most likely suffer from bad breath. One option is to remove foods such as garlic and onions from your diet to see if that makes a difference, but this means missing out on their many health benefits.
You can increase the frequency of your bowel movements by increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods. In addition, you may want to reduce your intake of sugar and starchy carbohydrates, which slow down your system. As a secondary measure, you may be able to fight bad breath by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of water and using it as a gargle after brushing.
Be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water after gargling to remove any remaining acid from your teeth, mainly because acid that sits on your teeth will damage your tooth enamel. When done properly, a daily gargle with apple cider vinegar may help kill odor-causing bacteria, reduce unpleasant tastes, prevent dry mouth and eliminate nasty tongue coatings.
Calms Acid Reflux
Contrary to what you may believe, heartburn is often caused by too little, not too much, stomach acid. A lack of stomach acid has the effect of slowing digestion. In the presence of too little acid, food and gasses put pressure on your stomach, sometimes causing your stomach contents and some stomach acid to creep back up your esophagus.
Try sipping a glass of warm water containing 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar about 30 minutes prior to eating. By introducing apple cider vinegar, which has a pH similar to stomach acid, you ensure your stomach will have sufficient amounts of acid to promote proper digestion, thus prevent heartburn.
Clears a Stuffy Nose
At the first sign of a cold, seasonal allergy or sinus infection, reach for apple cider vinegar because it is well-known for its ability to reduce congestion and thin mucus. The thinning of mucus promotes drainage and enables your body to expel bacteria and other infection-causing germs. The presence of acetic acid, which contains antimicrobial properties, has been shown to have the potential to prevent bacteria growth. Two
options for using apple cider vinegar to clear a stuffy nose are:
- Tonic for internal use: Add one-eighth to one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of filtered water. Stir, and sip the tonic throughout the day. Alternately, you can quickly drink down up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water daily until your symptoms improve.
- Nasal rinse solution: Add one-half to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 6 to 8 ounces of warm filtered water. Stir well. Introduce the liquid into your sinuses once or twice daily using a neti pot or sinus rinse bottle until your condition improves.
Helps Lower Blood Sugar
According to CNN Health, there is substantial evidence suggesting the consumption of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, can help keep your blood sugar under control. As you probably know, blood sugar regulation is an important factor in reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, among other conditions. Professor Carol Johnston, Ph.D., associate director of Arizona State University’s nutrition program, has been studying the effects of vinegar for more than 10 years and suggests it can be useful to control blood sugar spikes for prediabetics and Type 2 diabetics.
Johnston asserts even healthy control subjects have benefited from consuming vinegar. “Vinegar had an impact in all groups, but the most significant impact was in the prediabetic group,” she said. “In prediabetics, it was too good to be true; [blood sugar] fell a good bit and stayed that way. It may be this is the group that could benefit the most.”14 According to Johnston, the acetic acid in vinegar “appears to interfere with enzymes that break down starch molecules.”
The good news is this antiglycemic response can be induced by all types of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, because it is the acetic acid, not the vinegar type, that produces the results. Johnston added, “Basically, what acetic acid is doing is blocking the absorption of starch. If my study subjects eat a starch and add vinegar, glucose will go down. But if they drink sugar water and add vinegar, nothing happens. [Vinegar] only helps if you are consuming a starch.”
Pacifies an Upset Stomach
Similar to its soothing effects on heartburn, apple cider vinegar is said to be useful to pacify an upset stomach. The best remedy for an upset stomach is to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of filtered water and sip it. Apple cider vinegar is said to help relieve an upset stomach because:
- The enzymes produced during the fermentation process for apple cider vinegar support proper digestion by contributing to the breakdown and assimilation of foods
- Its acidic nature helps to replenish low stomach acid levels so your body maintains a proper pH, which is important for mineral processing and the effectiveness of enzymes, among other benefits
- The acetic acid it contains provides relief from bloating and gas because it helps your body absorb minerals, digest protein without waste and mobilize calcium, among other activities
- The malic acid found in it is said to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which help your body address bowel irregularities
- Pectin residues in raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar are believed to soothe intestinal spasms
Relaxes Restless Legs
If you regularly experience leg cramps, which can be so painful, especially at night, it may be a sign your body is either not metabolizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium or potassium well or is losing certain minerals due to a pH imbalance. Contrary to popular opinion, muscle cramps are not an automatic sign you are deficient in a particular mineral. Often, you can relieve cramping simply by drinking apple cider vinegar because it will help regulate your body’s pH. When your body’s pH is properly balanced, it will be able to effectively metabolize and distribute vital minerals.
Once your body’s pH is balanced, your body will have what it needs to properly metabolize important minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and the cramps will disappear. Similarly, you can use apple cider vinegar to help resolve eye twitches and other types of nerve pain. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of filtered water and drink at the first sign of cramping, twitching or nerve pain.
Soothes a Sore Throat
Most sore throats are caused by allergies and viruses, and sometimes by bacteria. Although apple cider vinegar won’t cure a sore throat, it can be used to shorten its duration and relieve related tenderness and irritation. At the first sign of a sore throat, you can gargle with warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of warm water and consider adding 1 teaspoon of raw honey and/or a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper to the drink.
Another wonderful option for staving off sore throats is to treat each of your ears with a small amount of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide while lying on your side. Upon pouring the solution into your ear canal, you will hear and feel the bubbling and sense a slight stinging in your ear canal. Wait five to 10 minutes until most of the bubbling subsides, then drain the fluid onto a tissue. Turn over and repeat the process with the other ear. Do not use this technique if you believe you have an ear infection and the ear drum may have ruptured or opened.
Even More Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has also been said to:
- Clear acne
- Fade bruises
- Remove warts
- Treat dandruff
- Whiten teeth (but be aware that straight apple cider vinegar could damage your tooth enamel due to its acidity)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also referred to as winter blues or winter depression, impacts people which experience normal mental health for the rest of the year but get depressed during the cold months and even through the fall.
Nearly 3 percent of Americans are afflicted by SAD. But a lot of people don’t even realize they’re depressed and attribute altered behavior to the winter weather.
SAD symptoms are often manifested during the time of the year with less sunlight throughout the day as in the colder days of fall and winter months. The symptoms can begin as mild or average but may become severe.
You may go through the winter blues during other parts of the year if you work extended hours indoors in an office building with few windows for sunlight to shine through. Some even experience mood alterations during prolonged stretches of cloudy climate.
You may be experiencing SAD in the event that you frequently feel fatigued, crave foods abundant with carbohydrates, lack enthusiasm in doing normal activities, have a problem diffusing tension and coping with stress, find it hard to concentrate, feel socially withdrawn, and encounter weight gain.
Don’t allow SAD to get you down}, especially through the holidays. Listed below are easy steps to fight seasonal affective disorder:
- Avoid grains and sugars – Grains and sugars create a risk of insulin resistance, which is connected with depression.
- Work out – Sweat it out to create endorphins, that promotes a feeling of well-being by minimizing pain and stress.
- Laugh – Like working out, laughter releases endorphins to provide you with painkilling effects similar to morphine.
- Meditate and pray.
- Optimize your degrees of omega-3 good fats – These EFAs might help your emotional well-being. Animal options like top quality fish and krill oil.
- Pass on drinks – Avoid alcoholic beverages because drinking is only going to depress you more.
- Sleep early – We are designed to fall asleep when at sunset. In the wintertime, however, you might want to go to bed at an earlier time to conserve this biological pattern and prevent disrupting fragile hormonal cycles within your body.
- Socialize – No man can be an island. Go find good people that will help cheer you up.
- Try light treatment – There are small lightweight lamps known as light boxes that make artificial full-spectrum light which mimic outdoor light to improve your mood.
Millions of honeybees are dead in Dorchester County, South Carolina, and local beekeepers say the mass death was a result of the county spraying the area with the controversial pesticide naled on Sunday afternoon in an effort to combat Zika-spreading mosquitoes.
“The pattern [of bee death] matched acute pesticide poisoning,” the Washington Post reported, and added:
A Clemson University scientist collected soil samples from Flowertown on Tuesday,according to WCBD-TV, to further investigate the cause of death. But to the bee farmers, the reason is already clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes.
A single apiary in Summerville, South Carolina lost 2.5 million bees in 46 hives, according to a local resident’s comments on Facebook. Kristina Solara Litzenberger said that visiting the apiary after the spraying “was like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”
“[W]ithout honeybees we have no food,” Litzenberger added. “Additionally, one can only deduct that if that much damage was caused to the bees, how will this affect people, wildlife, and the ecosystem?”
Beekeepers are supposed to be warned prior to any pesticide spraying, so that they can cover their hives to protect them. But local bee owners say they were not given any warning about Sunday’s spraying, according to the local news station WCBD—and this was also the first time the community was subjected to aerial spraying, rather than spraying from trucks.
“Had I known [about the spraying beforehand] I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming no you can’t do this,” a beekeeper told WCSC, another local station.
Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth, observed in an email to Common Dreamsthat “widespread pesticide use has led to unintended consequences in the past, and has great potential to damage both public health and the environment. To tackle unwanted pest problems, it is important to primarily employ alternative pest management strategies that focus on pest prevention through cultural, biological, structural, and mechanical means, and use toxic pesticides only as a last resort.”
And naled is a particularly dangerous pesticide, as the Miami Herald reported earlier this month:
Several studies suggest that long-term exposure to even low levels of naled can have serious health effects for children and infants as well as wildlife, including butterflies and bees, for whom exposure can be lethal. Some studies suggest it might have neurological and developmental effects on human fetuses, including on brain size, echoing the severe consequences that eradication of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus is meant to prevent.
While the EPA brushes aside concerns that naled is harmful to honeybees and to humans, the EU banned the chemical’s use in Europe in 2012 because its research found that pesticides containing naled “pose a potential and unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.”