Allyson Grabish-Paniccia is a proud woman, and for good reason. She once tipped the scales at 240 pounds, but in just one short year, she dropped 80 of them. In that same time frame, she lost 100 inches, 12 sizes, 34 percent body fat and her problems with acid reflux. Even her migraines and arthritis flare-ups greatly diminished.
“I was the heaviest I had ever been,” she says referring to her size 22 pants. Grabish-Paniccia explains that her pregnancies contributed to her weight gain. After her first son was born in 2005, she gained weight. While weight gain is expected from pregnancy, she says she never had the opportunity to get back in shape before her and her husband learned they were pregnant again. Her other child was born the following year.
The health and emotional problems of carrying an extra 80 pounds
She explains that she was basically bed-ridden about three times a week due to arthritic flare-ups, something she developed at 19, but made worse by her weight. Additionally, she had acid reflux. A study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that overweight people are 50 percent more likely to have GERD than people of a normal weight range, while it was more than twice as likely for the obese.
Not only was her health in jeopardy, but her personal relationships as well as self-confidence suffered. She recalls going to Las Vegas and while most people would want their pictures taken at such a fun destination, she was too embarrassed to step in front of the camera. “But I just wasn’t ready to make changes.”
That is, until she landed in the ER for chest pains. Her pains turned out to be stress-related, but while she was hospitalized, she used the time to reflect on her health. The severity of the situation kick-started her urge to get healthy once again. And did she ever.
Losing weight and getting healthy again
She remembers the moment well: It was 2012 when she was watching television. Tony Horton, fitness guru and trainer, was on and in an instant, she knew it was time. “I was ready,” Grabish-Paniccia recalls. In January she began Horton’s at-home fitness regimen, Power90, which consisted of intense workouts and nutrition plans. In just 90 days, she weighed 28 pounds less. Already in better shape, she moved on to his P90X and intensified her routine.
She lost 80 pounds and 100 total inches from her body. Her arthritis and migraines hardly occur and her acid reflux is completely gone. In September 2013, Grabish-Paniccia ran her first race. “My only goal was to finish,” she says. “I did.” She beams in post-race photos with her husband, both of them holding medals around their necks.
In addition to Horton’s fitness plan, she also assessed foods in her house and got rid of all things that were processed. Her family became part of the process, often exercising with her and eating healthfully.
“I think you really have to be conscious of what it is that you’re putting into your body,” she says. “Part of my mindset is also trying to teach my children healthy choices by example.”
Sources for this article include:
Good news: If you’re a fan of probiotics, another health benefit has been added to the ranks, this time concerning lowered colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A known immune booster, probiotics also hinder harmful pathogens in the gut that can lead to cellular mutations. Not only that, certain species of beneficial bacteria form conjugated linoleic acid in the colon, which may inhibit the development of cancer through anti-inflammatory action.
Keeping the colon healthy and disease-free
According to Cancer Active, Professor Ian Rowland at the University of Ulster, a leading expert on diet and cancer prevention, notes:
“Studies using cultures of human colon cells grown in flasks show that probiotics can interfere with the action of cancer forming substances. When probiotics have been given to laboratory rats, they have decreased the level of gene damage (an important event in cancer) and reduced the numbers of tumours induced in the colon. There are only a few studies in humans because of the difficulties in studying the effects of diet on human cancer. However, in the few studies that have been done, probiotics – sometimes in combination with prebiotics – have shown effects suggesting that they may reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
At a molecular level, researchers believe probiotics help discourage colon cancer by:
Stimulating the immune systemProducing beneficial short-chain fatty acidsHindering enzymic activities linked with carcinogensActivating beneficial anti-carcinogenic enzymesEncouraging higher levels of butyric acid in the colon (an important growth regulator for colon cells)
Probiotics also bind to bile salts. Epidemiological studies have found a strong connection between CRC risk and diets that are high in certain types of fat, such as corn oil, safflower oil, lard or beef tallow. Researchers believe this is due to increased level of bile acids, which are necessary to digest fat. When the bile is broken down in the colon, the byproducts have a cytotoxic effect on colon cells, triggering proliferation and the possibility of cancer. Probiotics help protect against this hazard in the following manner: modulation of enzymes that create harmful wastes and also by reducing the toxicity of bile salts through a binding effect.
Moreover, two types of probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bififobacterium lactis, demonstrate antibacterial characteristics by producing lactic acid and corresponding short-chain fatty acids. When lactic acid is present, the gut environment becomes more acidic, which inhibits potentially carcinogenic bacteria. To encourage the growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the gut, make sure you are getting enough soluble fiber (examples include oats, apples, barley, flaxseed and Brussels sprouts), and consider supplementing with a prebiotic like inulin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or galactooligosaccharides (GOS).
Professor Rowland concludes:
“There is a lot of evidence from studies on cell cultures and in animals that probiotics, prebiotics and combinations of the two can exert anticancer effects. Until recently, there has been little work conducted in humans. However a paper soon to be published reports a study conducted as part of the European Union funded SYNCAN Project. In this experiment volunteers were fed a mixture of pro and prebiotics, or placebo, for eight weeks and a wide range of indicators of colon cancer risk were measured. Those subjects on the pro/prebiotics had less DNA damage and a lower rate of cell proliferation in biopsies taken from their colons. Additionally pro/prebiotic feeding resulted in improvements in certain characteristics of stool samples that may be indicative of reduced cancer risk.”
Sources for this article include:
Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.
Here are 10 Benefits of cucumbers:
1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.
2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.
3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.
4. Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.
5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.
6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.
8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.
9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels
Volumes of current research now clearly demonstrate that Alzheimer’s disease, though influenced to a small degree by genetic predisposition, is largely caused by a confluence of lifestyle indiscretions over the course of one’s early and mid-life years. Prior studies have shown that a diet consisting of hydrogenated fats, processed carbohydrates and sugary treats rapidly accelerate the onset and progression of the disease, especially in those with familial genetic traits. Lack of physical activity, smoking, exposure to environmental and household pollutants as well as nutritional deficiencies all play a role in promoting an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Researchers from the University of California Davis have found another significant factor linking cholesterol ratios and Alzheimer’s disease. Publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, scientists explain how both high levels of HDL cholesterol and low levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with lower accumulations of the amyloid plaque deposition in the brain that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The team found that similar cholesterol ratios that lead to coronary artery disease also promote the development of Alzheimer’s amyloid plaques found in virtually all diagnosed cases of the memory-robbing illness.
Imbalanced HDL/LDL cholesterol levels significantly increase amyloid brain plaque deposits
Following up on long-term evidence showing a correlation between raised levels of cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease incidence, researchers developed a cohort of 74 men and women, aged 70 years or more that included three people with mild dementia, 38 with mild cognitive impairment, and 33 who were cognitively normal. All the participants had fasting blood tests and underwent brain PET scans where amyloid plaques were highlighted using a radioactive tracer that binds to them.
After analyzing participant blood tests and scans, researchers found a direct relationship between reduced levels of HDL cholesterol, increased levels of LDL cholesterol and development of amyloid brain plaque formation. Lead study author, Dr. Bruce Reed noted “Unhealthy patterns of cholesterol could be directly causing the higher levels of amyloid known to contribute to Alzheimer’s, in the same way that such patterns promote heart disease.” The scientists found that people can improve their chances of keeping their brains healthy later in life by not only controlling their blood pressure, but also by controlling their cholesterol ratios.
Dr. Reed concluded that “modifying cholesterol levels in the brain early in life can reduce amyloid deposits late in life… we could potentially make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer’s.” Supporting studies have stressed the importance of lowering oxidized LDL cholesterol levels by drastically limiting hydrogenated and trans fat foods along with sugary treats and processed carbohydrates to improve cholesterol ratios and heart disease risk. Undoubtedly this same strategy supports optimal brain health and can lower Alzheimer’s disease risk.
Pleasure the palate, nourish the body…
Soup’s On … Wow ‘em at the dining table with iLoveToLiveWell’s Bistro-Style, Tomato Bisque.
The eyes behold a rich fusion bursting with gloriously vivid, electric vermilion gorgeousness. Wafts of the irresistible, enchanting aroma tantalize the nasal. With each comforting, warming and cozy slurp…the lips lapse luxuriously into velvety delight. Then, the tongue swirls in a pool of sassy spiciness and seductive sweetness. The mind captivated in the romanticism of this cloud nine, cherishable dining interlude. All the while, the body flourishes with nourishment par excellence! Eat slowly to savor the ecstasy of these grand, gastronomic moments.
…the epitome of Recipes That WOW!
The Culinary Adventure
Let’s Get Homestyle Cooking
Yield is three quarts.
1} Put into a 5-quart pot:
In The Red
Tomatoes (red, low water content) = 48 ounces, leave skin and seeds intact
Weigh tomatoes…then core them.
Chop tomatoes into ½ inch by ½ inch pieces.
Sublime is the sapor of heirloom…unparalleled!
Pass The Thyme
Thyme (minced leaf), dried (thymus vulgaris) = 1 tablespoon
Measure minced, thyme leaf…then grind it to powder.
It’s About Thyme
A fresh perspective…
Splendid is 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme…instead of the 1 tablespoon, dried herb.
It’s Getting Hot In Here
Red chili pepper flakes = 1/8 teaspoon
Water, free of impurities = 4 cups
You say tomato… I say tomahto
Tomatoes, sun-dried = 3 ounces
If sun-dried tomatoes are without salt…accent this recipe with a little extra salt, up to ¼ teaspoon.
The sun-dried tomatoes will absolutely make or break this recipe. Be quite discriminating…sample a few varieties. Use sun-dried tomatoes of superior quality!
Which Direction To Go?
2} Lid pot…bring liquid to a rolling boil.
3} Simmer for 30 minutes…keep lid on pot for this entire time.
Run kitchen timer to count down the 30 minutes…all set, timing is everything!
4} Ready the following flavor enhancements…place them in a sauté pan:
Onion bulb, strip away its ends and peel it = 3 cups
Chop yellow onion into ¼ inch by ¼ inch pieces.
Bay leaf, dried = 1 leaf, in its whole form
A top-notch gourmet choice is…Turkish bay: laurus nobilis.
Feel free to choose 3 fresh bay leaves…in lieu of the dried leaf.
Salt, unrefined (fine grain) = ¼ teaspoon
Tingle the palate with one of this author’s most beloved salts…Andes Mountain Bolivian Rose Rock Salt!
Water, free of impurities = ½ cup, dry measure
What Happens Now?
5} Cook onion til it’s crisp-tender.
A culinary conundrum? What’s crisp-tender?
Cook til just tender…but still somewhat crunchy.
Not confident enough?
Put a fork in it!
Is there a bit of resistance when pressed into the onion? If yes… Then, we have success!
Moving on with savoir faire…
Once onion is crisp-tender…
6} Introduce garlic to the pan.
Garlic, mince it = 2 tablespoons
Click here … Get garlicky!
7} Sauté garlic for 2 or 3 minutes.
8} Fish out the bay leaf.
Everything’s panning out wonderfully well!
Only a high-speed, blender machine will pulverize the skin…and tiny seeds…of a tomato.
9} Place the salted, aromatic trio into a high-speed blender…along with:
Honey = 1 teaspoon
Select pure honey that hasn’t been processed…heated and/or filtered.
Salt, unrefined (fine grain) = ½ teaspoon
Peppercorns, black = scant, ½ teaspoon
Relish in the exquisite bouquet and zesty bite of pepper with these fine, gourmet picks of…Madagascar, Tellicherry, Malabar, Lampong or Sarawak. For its ultimate essence…always freshly grind peppercorns just before incorporating them into a meal.
A Slick Move
Olive oil = 2 tablespoons
Consider an unfiltered…extra-virgin…olive oil made from an ancient variety of olive…tree ripened…that’s been ice pressed or hasn’t been subjected to heat.
Butter, dairy = 2 tablespoons
Right On Course
Have handy a 3-quart pot.
10} Add…to the blender…a portion of what’s in the 5-quart pot.
11} And away we go… Have at it… A few zaps of the machine… Voila, smooth as silk.
Avoid spurting… Careful pureeing hot liquids. Start out on a low speed…gradually increase speed.
12} Transfer this beautiful, fragrant puree to a 3-quart pot.
13} Pour…into the blender…the remainder of what’s in the 5-quart pot.
14} Spin about the ingredients, and break into a chorus or two of… “Hey Good Lookin’! What Ya Got Cookin’?”
15} Join the luscious silk to the 3-quart pot…stir things up.
16} Lid pot to keep bisque warm.
If desired, garnish each bowlful with a complimentary dairy cheese…or perhaps a splash of heavy cream.
For both ultimate nutrition and flavor…consume foods that are heirloom, grown organically, sustainably or biodynamically.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found in fish, phytoplankton, and in the form of supplements. Polyunsaturated fats, especially EPA and DHA, have a reputation for being heart-friendly fats because they do not promote atherosclerosis associated with causing heart disease. Previous research has shown that individuals consuming omega-3 fatty acids have decreased risk of sudden death from heart disease. Recent research has indicated that it may also lower the risk for heart disease by improving your lipid profile. So, does it help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels?
The Studies Look Promising…
The usual dose used in these studies ranges between 900 mg a day of EPA. In order to achieve this amount, one would need to consume a lot of fish. Therefore, supplements are typically used. The easiest and most effective suggestion is taking it in a live form, such as PhytOriginal. Ingesting 900 mg of omega-3 fatty acids each day resulted in a 4-percent decrease in triglyceride levels after six months. The average effective dose used in most studies was between 2 to 4 grams, and this resulted in an average drop in triglycerides between 25 to 45 percent. The effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids on triglycerides is dose-dependent, meaning that the more omega-3 fatty acids ingested, the lower your triglyceride levels will fall. This works best when following a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids seemed to affect recently ingested triglycerides more. Additionally, individuals with extremely high triglyceride levels (greater than 500 mg/dL) seem to derive the most benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.
Although it can lower triglyceride levels, it may slightly raise low density lipoproteins (known also as LDL or the “bad” cholesterol). This change, however, is modest and ranges from 3 to 10 percent. High density lipoproteins (also known as HDL or the “good” cholesterol) do not seem to be affected by omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, if not slightly increased.
How Much Should I Take Each Day?
Omega-3 fatty acids are either available as a prescription or as a supplement at your local pharmacy or nutritional store. One gram of, or a single dropper of phytoplankton, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation a day would cause a decrease in triglycerides and would help prevent sudden death from heart disease. An average of four grams of omega-3 fatty acids are typically used to reduce triglycerides in individuals with high trigylceride levels. It is recommended that individuals taking more than 3 grams a day should be under the supervision of a health-care provider, since high doses of omega-3 fatty acids decrease the aggregation of platelets, which may cause bleeding to occur more easily.