New LivSpoons Banner

Friday, April 29, 2016

7 Things We Have Learned Are Good For Us

What I like about this list is that these are all activities that are enjoyable and possible. We can focus on incorporating these more in our life to good affect and it will be fun to try!

Nature walks can make you healthier and happier by driving out obsessive, negative thoughts. A Stanford University study found that strolling in a natural setting decreases activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a brain region particularly active during rumination. “It was pretty striking that a 90-minute walk had this much of an impact,” says author Gregory Bratman. For people with a tendency to brood, interrupting an endless stream of negative thoughts reduces the risk for depression and other mental illnesses. Green spaces may also make kids smarter. A separate study of roughly 2,600 fourth-graders in Barcelona found that those with greater exposure to nature were more attentive and experienced a 5 percent increase in working memory.

Awe-inspiring experiences can help you live longer. Gazing out over the Grand Canyon or beholding an artistic masterpiece can trigger positive emotions with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory effects that help prevent heart disease and depression, among other chronic health issues. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that feelings of awe and wonder are associated with lower levels of cytokines, pro-inflammatory proteins that can stress the immune system. While negative emotions are “reliably associated with poorer health,” the study’s authors note, “only recently has research begun to acknowledge the important role of positive emotions.”

A glass of wine each day could improve heart health and blood sugar control among people with type 2 diabetes. A study in Israel suggested that if you suffer from the condition and incorporate a moderate amount of red wine into a heart-healthy diet, it may boost “good” cholesterol levels by 10 percent. Red varietals are also rich in beneficial compounds that are linked to fewer symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raise the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. What’s more, a daily glass of red or white wine may improve the metabolism of type 2 diabetics, who absorb alcohol more slowly than others. Those patients “who drink wine in moderation can continue to do so,” says author Meir Stampfer, “and with the knowledge that it is safe and likely beneficial.” 

Meditation may help people stay mentally sharp. Brain bulk peaks in the early 20s and gradually declines over time, as the brain loses weight and volume. But brain scans taken in a UCLA study revealed that years of meditation are associated with smaller reductions in gray matter throughout the brain. “What we expected was to see this in just a few small regions...but what we saw was almost the entire brain. That was a big surprise,” says co-author Florian Kuth. By preserving brain tissue involved in memory, decision-making, and sensory perception, the study suggests, meditation could reduce the risk for age-related cognitive decline.

Olive oil could dramatically reduce a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. Researchers found that when women over 60 added a generous dose of extra-virgin olive oil to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains, it cut their risk for the disease by 68 percent. Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants,called polyphenols, study authors explain, and deriving at least 15 percent of total calories from it “seems to be instrumental” in staving off breast cancer. 

Daily aspirin may help prevent colon cancer. People in their 50s with at least a 10 percent risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next decade should take a low dose of aspirin to protect against heart attacks and colorectal cancer, a government task force recommends. Aspirin therapy isn’t recommended for everyone, because regular use of the drug increases the risk for internal bleeding, says task force member Douglas Owens, but “for people in these specific groups, the benefits outweigh the potential harms.” 

Uninterrupted sleep may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. A study involving some 2,500 older people showed that, on average, subjects who slept fitfully or suffered from sleep apnea developed mild cognitive impairment about 10 years earlier than sound sleepers. Researchers also found a lack of deep sleep may fuel the toxic accumulation of a sticky protein, called amyloid beta, in the brain—a hallmark of the degenerative, memory-robbing disease. “Sleep,” says author Bryce Mander, “appears to be a missing piece in the Alzheimer’s puzzle.”

Source: The Week

Monday, April 25, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Make Sure Your Plate Has A Wide Rim

#HealthyEating #ChooseHealth

#Livliga   #LiveVibrant

Friday, April 22, 2016

Adventures of a Healthy Lifestyle Start Up--Discovering Bike Tours when Traveling

Adventures of a Healthy Lifestyle Start Up--Renting bikes in Minneapolis
My husband and I travel a lot for our company, Livliga. We go to numerous conferences throughout the year, sometimes two in a month. Fortunately, the location for the conferences tend to be in tourist-friendly cities. The weather is usually good and the cities are beautiful.

The real challenges when you travel for work is you are stuck inside most of the time in a convention center and you work long hours. This can be bad for your health and ends up not being much fun.We came to realize it was a wasted opportunity. How could we be in these great cities and leave with out exploring them? That is when we started building in a "half day of fun" into our trips. With conventions we always have to go ahead of time so we can set up our exhibits. We discovered that if we go set up in the morning we then have a half day to play in the afternoon. The next step was figuring out what fun to have.

A couple of years ago we were in Minneapolis for the National Wellness Conference. Right in front of our hotel there was a newly installed rent-a-bike station. This is a fairly new concept in convention and tourist locations where stands of bikes are available for you to rent and they are part of a system throughout a city so you can rent one place and drop your bike off in another location at another station. We decided to try it out. We went from station to station, around town, around residential areas and around beautiful rivers and lakes. We covered about 18 miles and had a great adventure.
Cycling through New Orleans learning its history and seeing its beauty
Then we were in New Orleans for the American Diabetes Educators Association (AADE) conference. A niece suggested we take a bike tour around the bayou. It sounded like a lot of fun cycling around NOLA to not only see but also hear about some of the history of the city. It was interesting and enjoyable. And we were building in exercise as part of the experience.

Other great bike adventures have included cycling on Coronado during a conference in San Diego (ENDO EXPO)-
Exploring Coronado on its impressive 24-mile Silver Strand bike trail
 Taking a recumbent bike tour in San Antonio (Obesity Action Coalition Convention) -
Discovering the unique pleasure of recumbent cycling in San Antonio
And most recently we were in Napa Valley for the Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives conference at the Culinary Institute at Greystone and took a bike tour through the wine country. It was a beautiful tour and fascinating to learn about grape growing and wine making, complemented by some wine tasting. A perfect adventure.
Enjoying the Napa Valley Wine Country by bike tour

Bottom line, we have learned it is healthier and much more enjoyable to make time for an active adventure when we travel. It is truly easy to do and does not have to cost much. You can merely rent a bike. Another choice is to take a bike tour. The added benefit of a tour is learning about the history, architecture, industries and culture of the place your are in. You can also meet some great people. And you can't beat the interesting stories you can share at your booth and upon your return home. Adding active adventures in our travel allows us to live life while building a company. We highly recommend it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Set An Attractive Table

#HealthyEating #ChooseHealth

#Livliga   #LiveVibrant

Friday, April 15, 2016

Drink An Extra Cup of Coffee To Protect Your Health

Don't we love when news comes out validating our love of certain foods? Coffee continues to come out on top. Now we learn that coffee can protect our liver. In fact, 2 additional cups a day gives us a 44 percent lower risk of developing cirrhosis. Given our inclination to over indulge in our culture, this is worth noting! Enjoy that extra cup of joe in the morning, it will make you feel healthier!

Coffee’s protective effect

People who over-indulge in alcohol and food risk serious damage to their livers, but a new study suggests that they might benefit from an extra cup of joe, The Washington Postreports. New research has found that drinking more coffee could help safeguard the liver, which is crucial to many metabolic processes. Researchers analyzed data from nine previously published studies, encompassing more than 430,000 participants, and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was associated with a 44 percent lower risk of developing cirrhosis. A potentially fatal condition with no cure, cirrhosis involves the hardening and destruction of liver tissue, and kills more than 1 million people a year worldwide. Apart from alcohol consumption, cirrhosis may be caused by hepatitis infections, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease, which is tied to obesity and diabetes. How java works its magic on the liver is unclear, but study author Oliver Kennedy says it’s nice to know that you can get such large benefits from “a cheap, ubiquitous, and well-tolerated beverage.”

Source: The Week

Monday, April 11, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Learn to Limit not Eliminate Certain Foods

#HealthyEating #ChooseHealth

#Livliga   #LiveVibrant

Friday, April 8, 2016

Easy and Healthy Dessert--Baked Apple

The Goodness and Deliciousness of a Baked Apple (photo by LivligaHome)

The texture and sweetness of a baked apple can be just the thing you need when you are wanting an easy, comforting snack or dessert. The great thing about baked apples is that they are easy to make and they can keep well in the refrigerator for serveral days so you can enjoy this treat more than once and with no additional work involved other than heating it up, if you so desire.

Apples have many health benefits. Remember the phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?" It is true. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. Research indicates that the phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. 

The trick is to avoid adding unnecessary calories when creating your baked apple. It is easy to pack in the calories by adding generous quantities of butter, brown sugar, and nuts, as well as other high calorie ingredients. I am always looking for ways to add flavor without breaking the bank on calories. Below is my updated healthy version for a baked apple.

Healthy Cinnamon Baked Apple

1 medium apple, cored
2 teaspoons Splenda brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup white wine

1. Wash and core the apple, leaving the bottom intact. 
2. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together then fill the well in the apple with the mixture.
3. Place the filled apple in a baking dish. If only baking 1 apple surround it with foil for stability and to make a well around the apple for the white wine. 
4. Pour white wine around the apple. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

Multiply the ingredients by the number of baked apples you want to make. I often do 4 so my husband and I can enjoy them for dessert one night and then for a snack on another day.

Want to serve it to guests? Add a tablespoon of nonfat greek yogurt and sprinkle it with dried or chopped fresh mint for an additional 18 calories.

Serves 1. Serving size: 1 baked apple. Calories: 135.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Get your FREE Healthy  Holiday Baking recipe ebook!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle Tip--Eat Less Processed Foods

#HealthyEating #ChooseHealth

#Livliga   #LiveVibrant

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Cost of Sleep Deprivation

Some news isn't new but an important reminder that we have to keep working on our quality of life. I am one of those people who have a very hard time sleeping through the night. In the most stressful period of time in my life when I had young children, worked full time at a bank and had a significant volunteer "job" I remember sleeping only 3 to 4 hours a night. Regularly I would only get 2 hours. It was a difficult time and I was always tired. I struggled with weight and food cravings. Now I get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night. Not as much as I should but a big improvement  and I am always working on it. As you will see below it is really important to keep working on it because chronic sleep deprivation has serious consequences regarding our risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other health problems. Read on--

More than one-third of Americans—some 84 million people—aren’t getting enough sleep, research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals. An analysis of the sleep habits of more than 400,000 adults reveals that on average, only 65 percent sleep seven or more hours each night—the minimum amount recommended for good health. Previous research has shown that chronic sleep deprivation greatly increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and psychological problems. 

Race and economic status plays a role: Two-thirds of whites and Hispanics report getting a healthy amount of sleep, but only about 50 percent of black people say the same. Adequate sleep is also more common among college graduates and those with jobs than among people who are unemployed or have less education. To get more shut-eye, the CDC’s Wayne Giles tells, people should adopt “lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning,” as well as “turning off or removing televisions, computers, and mobile devices from the bedroom.” 

Source: The Week