Salmonella Outbreak - Peanut Butter

The big health news of the week was the latest outbreak of Salmonella in peanut butter.

So will this news effect the peanut butter industry the way Taco Bell was effected by it's E. Coli outbreak? And do you plan on avoiding peanut butter the way that most people avoided bagged spinach? How long will be before we can all start enjoying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without any worries?

I've been trying to eat only natural peanut butter lately because it's a lot more healthy than brand name peanut butter. You have to mix the peanut oil that rises to the top of the jar back in but other than that I'm quite fond of it.

With all these outbreaks in the news, do you think that they're occurring more frequently or do you think that they are just being reported more?

And how long before all these health scares are tied to some sort of terrorism? I can see it now, "Is Al Queda poisoning your peanut butter? Film at eleven."

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posted by Anthony @ 8:32 AM, ,

Keeping Your Brain Fit

Staying fit is a great plan to help lead a longer healthier life but if my brain can't keep up, then what's the point. The brain is a muscle too and it follows the same "use it or lose it" policy as your other muscles. So how can you keep your brain fit? Brain exercise is the answer.

Two of the most important factors in keeping your brain healthy are traditional exercise and nutrition. Keep your body healthy and your brain will follow suit. But after that there are other ways to exercise your mind.

You've probably heard people describe one of their older relatives like this, "my Uncle Larry is a sharp as a tack, he does the New York Times Crossword puzzle everyday." Well, Uncle Larry has the right idea but his execution is a little off. You see the best way to stimulate your brain is to break free of everyday activities and challenge yourself in new and unexpected ways. By doing the crosswords everyday, he has created a familiar routine that becomes less challenging everyday. Uncle Larry, it's time to add Word Searches and Sudoku for some variety.

Your mother may have told you that playing too many video games will turn your brain to mush, but she was wrong. The Nintendo DS Lite (aff) has a few games that are designed to exercise your brain and they are varied enough to avoid becoming routine.

I recently played my cousin's copy of Big Brain Academy (aff) on her DS. The game consists of a bunch of fun puzzles that you try to finish in a set amount of time. Just as you get the hang of the puzzle, it's over and there's a new one to try. When I finished, the game informed me that my score was that of a hair stylist.

Yikes! I had better get some more brain exercise.

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posted by Anthony @ 7:32 AM, ,

Health News, Articles & More

In my quest to get myself fit and healthy, I browse a lot of websites. And it's a sad fact that most of the diet, nutrition, exercise or health related websites out there are all trying to sell you something. So it's hard to weed through all the junk to find the good stuff.

Well I just discovered some good stuff at the Yahoo!Health website and I'm impressed. It's really full web portal and it's got a little bit of everything related to healthy living. Yahoo!Health includes health news, articles, healthy recipes, dieting tips and tons of other stuff.

It's going to take me a while to digest all of this information but right off the bat I plan on doing the Free Diet Evaluation.


posted by Anthony @ 8:31 PM, ,

Chocolate - Fatigue Fighter

2006 was an excellent year for Dark Chocolate. Studies concluded that dark chocolate, with it's high levels of polyphenols and flavanols, is actually good for you.

Another recent study has shown dark chocolate to fight fatigue. According to UK researchers, a small piece of dark chocolate on a daily basis, can help with the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Who doesn't love eating chocolate and now that it's a heart healthy food and helps fight fatigue, why deprive yourself. Obviously this doesn't mean to hit the vending machine with a pocket full of quarters and think that your doing yourself a favor. No, as usual, moderation is important.

I think I'm going to try adding a small piece of organic dark chocolate (I've seen it at Trader Joe's) as an after dinner snack.

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posted by Anthony @ 10:12 AM, ,

Trans Fat

Trans Fat is probably one of the most talked about health issues of 2006. And looks to continue to be hot topic through 2007. Even if you don’t follow health news, you may still have seen all the hoopla created by Mayor Bloomberg who passed a law to ban all Trans fats in NYC. The ban will force restaurants to switch to healthier cooking oils as well as salad dressings, baked goods, etc.

So what is trans fat. The American Heart Association defines it like this.
Trans fat (also called trans fatty acids) is formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a chemical process called hydrogenation, in which hydrogen is added to make the oils more solid. Hydrogenated vegetable fats are used by food processors because they allow longer shelf-life and give food desirable taste, shape and texture.

Are all fats bad for you? No, there are healthier forms of fat than trans fat. But remember that even though they lower the bad cholesterol in your body they should only be consumed in moderation.

Monounsaturated Fat: Found in most nuts, olive oil and avocados.
Polyunsaturated Fat: Found in vegetable oils like corn, soy and sunflower
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in seafood such as salmon & herring as well as in flax oil and walnuts

Tips to avoid Trans Fat:

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posted by Anthony @ 7:00 PM, ,

Foods To Avoid

eDiets has posted a list of 7 foods to avoid. It's a good list but the foods are way too obviously bad for you. Everyone knows that doughnuts are bad for you. You don't see many infomercials about the new and amazing Doughnut Diet do you?

I'd rather see a list of foods being passed off as healthy that actually aren't good for you.

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posted by Anthony @ 8:26 AM, ,

Brain Wave Therapy

When I was younger and was willing to try anything that sounded cool, I stumbled across Brain Wave Therapy. Unlike some of the other odd things I tried, Brain Wave Therapy actually works.

Here’s how it works. Your brain resonates at different frequencies based on what you’re doing. You’re creating Delta waves when you sleep, Alpha waves when you’re focused and theta waves when you’re meditating. By listening to the right frequencies, you can coax your brain to do what you want it to. For example, if you listen to theta waves when you’re trying to meditate you should be able to achieve a deeper state of relaxation then you normally would without the theta waves. Sort of like your own meditation guru in a your MP3 player.

Eager to revisit Brain Wave Therapy I downloaded some of the BrainSync audio files. All I had to do was listen to them with stereo headphones and I would be on my way to the benefits of meditation.

If you don’t like the idea of listening to static then maybe BrainSync's Audio Recordings aren't for you. Well maybe not static, it’s more of a constant hum. There’s some bells and chimes and some of recordings sort of sound like music but you really shouldn’t expect to be rocking to the oldies. There are some other recordings that you could try such as those by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson but my experience is with BrainSync so I can't vouch for them.

But it definitely works for me and Brain Wave Therapy has been clinically proven to be effective. They are also offered to patients at America's most respected cancer treatment hospitals, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Dana Farber.

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posted by Anthony @ 7:31 AM, ,

E. Coli On The Menu

Most people are aware that fast food isn’t the most healthy choice out there but lately it’s becoming deadly.

First there was the bagged spinach outbreak, then Taco Bell and now I’m seeing reports of E. Coli at the Olive Garden.

I think my policy going forward is going to be to try to cook and eat as much fresh food as I can. Conveniences like fast food and bagged greens are nice but if I want a taco, I should make it myself. As someone trying to eat healthy and lose weight, it’ll take more time to wash some greens from the produce market instead of ripping open a pre-washed bag but in the long run I’ll probably be better off.

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posted by Anthony @ 7:27 AM, ,