Thursday, August 28, 2008

Got Sleep?

Often when we think of being healthy and in shape we think of exercise and nutrition and we forget how our SLEEP effects how our bodies function. We want to get the sleep our bodies need but not exceed our bodies needs.
Here are some benefits from correct sleeping patterns....
1. 1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
2. May Prevent Cancer
People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that both makes us sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
3. Reduces Stress
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep.
4. Makes You More Alert
Of course, a good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged in your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level. 5. Memory booster
Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but a process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Your dreams and deep sleep are an important time for your brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
6. May Help You Lose Weight
Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. So if you are interested in controlling or losing weight, don't forget to pay attention to getting a good night's sleep.
7. Naps Make You Smarter
Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk for dying from heart disease. People who nap at work have much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.
8. Reduce Your Risk for Depression
Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, between 7 and 9 hours each night.
9. Helps the Body Make Repairs
Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.
10. I would like ot add one more that I think is very importnant.... We can be obedient to Heavenly Father. In theDoctrine and Covenants 88:124 it says...
Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

with every FIBER of my bean?

We have heard over and over that we need to eat more fiber. But why? There are TONS of reasons but heres just to name a few....prevents diseases, cancer etc, cleanses body, helps keep you regular, (food usually takes 39 hours to be digested but with fiber it is much faster), helps you to lose weight, and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Here are some great sources of fiber...BEANS!!!!

Nice not these beans! But these beans...
They are high in Fiber and protein and are relatively low in calories and fill you right up. I wouldn't eat too many though for obvious reasons. There are some other ways to get in your daily fiber....I love the Fiber one cereals, yogurt, and granola bars...Delicious!
There are also fiber supplements you can take...

But the best way to get your fiber in is through whole natrual fiber in fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains. So eat up your fiber....
Here is a quick breakfast idea to get some fiber into your day....
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 packets splenda
(mix together in a LARGE bowl then add)
1 egg
1-2 tsp butter
Microwave on high for 1 minute. The muffin pops right out.

You could put cinnomin in it too with some Fat free cream cheese on top. Fast easy way to get fiber.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Raw Raw Raw!!!!

We’ve been told since birth to eat our vegetables and yet far too few of us actually do it. Even when we do get around to eating our vegetables it’s only after we’ve cooked out most of the natural nutrients that our body is desperately craving. We have covered them in butter or oil and really we don't get much of what our body needs from them. i rpomise once you start to eat raw veggies you will grow to love them more and more.
Keep in mind, as you proceed, that while all raw vegetables are incredibly beneficial, raw green vegetables actually serve as the basis of nearly all life on this planet. That may sound a bit extreme to you, but stop and consider for a moment that almost every organism on this planet survives by either eating raw green vegetables or by eating an animal that eats raw green vegetables…they really are that important.
I know, you’ve probably eaten most of your vegetables cooked since you can remember. Simply put, just because something has “always” been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to do it. You will get a lot more out of your vegetables if you consume them raw.
I specifically used the word “consume” because, in reality, you get the same benefits from raw green vegetable juice as you do from eating them whole and usually you get it faster. This is because raw vegetable juice takes less internal work to digest and is absorbed into the body almost instantly. You can this juice at most health food stores. or get a juicer and make your own!
It seems that most people only know that they should eat vegetables because they remember mom telling them to; very few people seem to have a grasp on the amazing nutritional value of vegetables. Raw vegetables are extremely rich in minerals, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and natural sugars. All of these are things that your body needs to function properly and the raw veggies will help stabilize and normalize your natural bodily functions. They actually help pretty much ALL of your natural bodily functions operate.
You’ve probably heard about the necessity of vitamins and nutrients to your overall health your entire life, but the concept of enzymes may be new to you. Basically, the enzymes in raw vegetables help your body digest food. This is one of the reasons that green vegetables are sometimes considered “nature’s laxative,” because they get your stomach working properly.
Okay, so at this point, you may have started to become convinced about the necessity of vegetables…but why raw?
All of our cooking methods have been shown in scientific studies to reduce the amount of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in vegetables. Of the cooking methods, steaming has been shown to retain the largest amount of vitamin content although it still reduces it.
Vegetables begin losing their valuable nutritional elements as soon as they are plucked, pulled or picked from the ground. For this reason, the additional loss of nutrients during cooking would be a smaller problem if we grew our own vegetables and cooked them the same day we harvested them.
It is admittedly extreme, but not that extreme, to state that any vegetable you get from the grocery store and then cook at home probably has the nutritional value of cardboard by the time it hits your stomach.
Start eating (or drinking) raw vegetables as soon as you can. Whenever possible, grow them yourself or purchase them from local farmer’s markets.
When I was on my mission I went to this place called chop. They chop all the veggies you want into small bites like a salad but all chopped up and then put 1 tbs. of dressing and mix it up! I LOVED it! It was such a fun colorful restuarant and I felt great after eating all my veggies for the day in one sitting! I try to make it at home...not as great but still good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Born to RUN!

Do you know those girls that are just made to run? Super skinny and tall and could run forever and not break a sweat. That would be nice, who knows that might be you? Let me tell you that if that is you, you are a very lucky girl! As for me I am not a great runner and I don't really look like a runner but I can run. Not great but I like it. I usually walk for about 1 1/2 hours M-Sat. with my walking girls. I will have to take a picture of all 5 of us and our strollers taking up the entire road. So it's kind of ironic that I usually only walk with my jogging stroller. Then I go run at like 7:30 or 8 after keagan is in bed. But I found this.... The Strollometer! They have them at good ol' Target! It tracks your speed (current, maximun, and average), distance, time, daily mileage, temperature, and displays the real clock time. Being able to look down and see what I am accomplishing would really help me to go that much faster or go a bit farther to reach a certain distance. Even if I am just walking it would be nice to see how many miles we were covering! I think I would jogging more during the day with Keagan with the stollermeter. And maybe save gas:) My car fills up for 63$ now:( Maybe I will sell my car and just buy this....

I love this stroller, especially when we have another child. It's thin so you can take it shopping, super light weight and comes in lots of colors!
Anyway running helps me when I am stressed and when I am running 3-5 days a week I can tell that I get in shape pretty fast. My friend Kristi said that she signs up for 5k or 10k runs alot so she constantly needs to be in shape to run them. To find runs to run go to and find one near you. They have one in St. George this month that is a mid-night run! Fun huh! The only way i would run in St. George in August would be at mid-night cause its too HOT! Oh and if your not a runner go HERE to get information on a 5k. {Couch to 5K in 9 weeks running program}. Happy Running!