Reject The Diet Mentality

This month we will take a slightly different approach to our continuing discussion on how to become an intuitive eater. First, I want to share a brief overview on the next two principles—Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food—and then I would like to share with you just a bit of my own personal journey from disordered eating to wholeness.So, without further ado…let’s jump right in!

Principles Six and Seven: Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

Most chronic dieters have lost, or never have discovered, the simple pleasure of eating. In the quest to be thin, we equate the pleasure of eating with outof- control weight gain. And it simply isn’t so. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. If you fail at finding satisfaction in your food choices, the chances are much greater that you will overeat.

The authors of the original Intuitive Eating—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch— share a story about one client who craved a piece of cornbread with lunch.
However, she denied herself this pleasure, not only at lunch but at dinner also, for she was convinced that it was an unhealthy choice. That night, she ate six Weight Watchers® desserts in hopes of satisfying her cornbread craving. And with an overly full belly of excessive calories, she learned the principle of satisfaction: no amount of diet desserts would satisfy her cornbread craving.

Regaining pleasure in eating will require some intentional steps, such as determining what you really want to eat, and then giving yourself permission to eat it; learning to be present to the here and now rather than focusing on rules, regulations, and calorie counters; and beginning to taste and savor the food you are eating. Understanding what you like and believing that you have the right to enjoy food will be crucial to living a satisfied life of weight control without dieting.

The essence of our next principle is summed up by Tribole and Resch in the following way: “Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emoTional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run”.

Learning to cope with emotional eating without using food begins with asking yourself four basic questions: Am I biologically hungry? What am I feeling?What do I need? How can I get this need met other than through food? If the answer to the first question is yes, then review the previous six principles and eat intuitively. If the answer is no, then proceed with the remaining three questions, especially focusing on the last. Getting rest, expressing your feelings through talking or journaling, and receiving comfort and warmth from a trusted friend are some ways that you can get your emotional needs met apart from food. However, I would like to share with you just a glimpse of my path out of the pit of emotional and disordered eating.

A Little About My Journey

For about 15 years or so, I fought a monster within me named Bulimia. While the behaviors of the disorder manifested during my senior year in high school, food and weight were becoming my focus as young as age 8. I can remember times of feeling so anxious I thought I would come out of my skin…lonely, afraid, and insecure. Because I was unaware of how to handle these emotions— or even what the emotions were—I began focusing on weight, what I looked like, how I could avoid eating, and how I could rid my body of the food I did eat.

I was caught in a vicious and ugly cycle that would include two inpatient treatments, several trips to the hospital, and a whole lot of shame, secrecy, and isolation. The satisfaction I was looking for in life was elusive. My emotions were too uncomfortable to face. I was a lost soul, empty and afraid of who I was and…of who I wasn’t.

Many people have asked about my recovery. And while there were various points of healing along the way, the one thing that nailed the lid on the coffin in which my monster was finally buried was a renewed relationship with God.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was trying desperately to be in control of my life (and failing miserably) and chose to surrender my control to a very loving and gracious God that I finally began to walk in freedom from the pain. The road was not easy, and I certainly stumbled along the way. But as I began to Learn who God really is (through the Bible) and as I began to know Him, my feeble legs grew stronger as I walked the path to healing. Then the words of Psalm 145 became alive for me, as they can for you too.

“The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.

The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to You (LORD), and You give them their food at the proper time.

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

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Your Fitness

Still thinking about getting started on a fitness program?Consider joining a group class for major results and major fun!Here are some benefits of working out with a group versus working out by yourself.

Qualified Instruction

Attending a class that is lead by a trained and qualified professional is a surefire way to learn the correct form of each exercise and can help you improve how you move your body to prevent injury or prevent making an existing condition worse. They also can show you how to modify exercises if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.

Variety

Just like women, group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. There are already a large variety of classes available at most gyms and studios and more formats are being introduced all the time. You just need to try all formats to decide which best suits you. Some popular classes today are latin dancing, indoor cycling and mind/body classes.

Accountability

One advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability.If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially. At RAM Fitness, we ask clients to sign-up in advance for classes to help schedule-in their workout. This adds another level of accountability to ensure your success.

Fun

Group exercise classes are a great way to have fun! If you are having fun, you will be more likely to go more often. Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that others know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more. And what could be more fun than a brand new fit and healthy body?

Come try out a group class at RAM Fitness! RAM Fitness offers a variety of small group classes to women of all shapes and sizes.

Heart-Healthy Future

Painting in her studio in Artmongerz Gallery in Greensboro, Jacalyn Romano, did not have a specific direction in mind. Rich yellow and red acrylics over plaster lines and swirls turned into a sun’s light reaching into deeper blue and burnt sienna hues.

Then Jackie experienced the worst pain in her life. “A fire struck the center of my chest and I just couldn’t stop screaming,” she describes.She was taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, where she was told she was having a heart attack. Dr. Thomas Wall, now her friend for life, realized how dire her situation was and acted fast. On July 13, 2010, Jackie had a triple bypass and heart valve repair.

“I still had paint under my nails,” remembers Jackie. “My sister, Rebecca, helped me clean them at the hospital.” The painting she was working on took on a new meaning for her.When completed, she entitled it “Just a Heart Beat Away.” To her, the sun now represents a second chance. Since her heart attack, Jackie has stopped smoking and is managing her type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol with good nutrition and exercise. This experience inspired her to create a new series of artwork, entitled “Matters of the Heart.”

Jackie is proud to share her studio space with other artists in what she refers to as “The Gallery that Gives.” Jackie donated one of her works to the 2011 Guilford Heart Ball and other artists from the gallery are joining her.

“If I could send a message to women in Guilford County, it would be to take care of yourselves even through times of turmoil, listen to your body and don’t let your fear of hearing bad news keep you from seeing your doctor and possibly heading off heart disease,” shares Jackie.

February is American Heart Month and Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide initiative fighting heart disease in women, the #1 killer of women in North Carolina and the U.S.

For more information visit http://www.heart.org/goredtriad and http://www.heart.org/guilfordncheartball.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

It’s time for our next principle of Intuitive Eating—Feel Your Fullness—and I have a confession to make.I failed at feeling my fullness tonight.First,I worked late, not finishing up with my last client until almost 8:00 pm.It had been too long since lunch, and I found myself in quite the ravenous state by the time I was leaving the office.Second,I failed to eat without distraction.Because I am always two steps behind on meeting a deadline, I chose to eat dinner while writing this very article.Both of these decisions—ones that inhibit an intuitive eater from truly respecting her fullness—left me further away from satisfied than I would have preferred and teetering on the edge of stuffed.

I share all this for one reason: To remind you, my friend, that this journey is about progress, not perfection!Tomorrow is a new day.But in the meantime, let’s get an overview of this month’s principle.

Principle Five: Feel Your Fullness

The original intuitive eating pros—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, define “feeling your fullness” as the ability to stop eating because you have had enough to eat biologically.Much like what happened to me, certain habits, such as becoming ravenous before you eat, staying distracted while eating, or feeling obligated to eat by well-meaning “food pushers”, can cause overeating. Additionally,the majority of chronic dieters don’t stop eating until the last morsel is gone, and this creates an inability to recognize a level of comfortable fullness.These “clean-your-plate” club members come by this honestly— either through a lifetime of meager portions offered in dieting plans or from well-meaning parents who taught that plates must be cleaned before you leave the table.

Therefore, many members of the clean-your-plate club turn on autopilot when they pick up the fork. That is, they eat until completion, or until the food is gone.To break this unhealthy pattern, it is often beneficial to move to the opposite end of the continuum, which means becoming more mindful, or even hyperconscious, of eating—not a place you want to live forever but long enough to break the cycle.

One of the first steps away from “autopilot eating” is conscious eating, which Tribole and Resch have broken into a series of stages.First, pause in the middle of a meal or snack and take a time-out for taste and satiety checks (something I obviously forgot to do!).Ask yourself if the food tastes good, or are you just continuing to eat because it is there? Check your fullness level, much like you Check your hunger level prior to eating.Do you still feel hungry? Or is your hunger going away and satisfaction setting in?

Once you finish eating, ask yourself where your fullness level is.(See the sample scale.)Did you reach comfortable satiety or did you exceed it? The more you become aware of your fullness level at satisfaction, the more you will know when a bite of food is your last—a most important step in respecting your fullness.Don’t get discouraged if this takes time.The important thing is you are on the road to recovery and not still signing-in at the clean-your-plate club for every meal.However, the flip side of this is there is no rule that says you must leave food on your plate.If you are hungry and not yet full, eat it all and enjoy! The key is to become conscious, learn how to respect fullness, and be free from the shackles of dieting.

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted counseling services for women.For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-508-8573 or visit us at http://www.restorationplaceministries.org.

Your Fitness

BE SMART WHEN SETTING GOALS FOR 2O14

Keeping your resolution to get fit and lose weight doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these S-M-A-R-T tips to realize your goals in 2014.

SPECIFIC

Ensure the goal you set is very specific, clear and easy to understand.Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, be more specific and aim to lose inches off your waist or to run a 5k race.

MEASURABLE

Choose a goal with measurable progress so you can see the change occur.By measuring your changes, like measuring your waist or tracking how far you can run, you can see how you are progressing and notice how it is helping you reach your goal (or not).

ATTAINABLE

Set goals that are attainable and relevant to you.If you set goals too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing what it takes to get there. Setting a goal to run an ultra-marathon is probably not a prudent goal if You have never run before.Choosing a 5k or 10k would be much more attainable and will give you the sense of achievement when you accomplish it.

REALISTIC

Make sure your goal is realistic. Resolving to workout 7 days a week and to stop eating all your favorite junk food is not realistic.Consider taking smaller steps at first to reach your goal, such as exercising 3 days a week and reducing your junk food intake to 1 time a week.

TIMELY

Set a timeframe for the goal.Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague and it’s easy to put it off until tomorrow.Following the SMART method for setting goals is a great way to achieve your New Year’s Resolution.Other tips are to plan ahead, get support from friends and family, reward yourself, and remember you are human and that nobody is perfect.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

Principle Four: Challenge the Food Police

In our quest to become Intuitive Eaters, we will focus this month on the fourth of ten principles: learning how to challenge the food police. In the world of dieting and eating, there are specific “voices” which influence the way we think, feel, and behave in regard to eating. In light of our limited space here, I will introduce you to the two most important voices: the Food Police–which is only harmful–and the Nurturer–which is only helpful–in determining the success of becoming an Intuitive Eater. To learn about the other voices and how they can help or hinder your journey, read chapter 8 in Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

Developed through dieting, the Food Police is a strong voice that judges how “good” or “bad” you are in the area of eating, and it almost always surfaces with a verdict of “guilty.” The highly critical Food Police inspects every eating action. What thoughts are being promoted by your police? Here are a few common ones: Sweets are bad for me. I should never eat after 6:00pm. I should never eat anything that has fat in it. Cake is bad. Carrots are good.

It is important to realize that the Food Police is not only alive and well within our own private thoughts, but also in our culture, where even non-dieters experience eating angst. In a random survey of approximately 2,000 adults, nearly half reported feeling guilty after eating food that they enjoy! So be aware that the Food Police lurks in the shadows of society, in the comment of the well-meaning friend or family member who says, “You’re not going to eat that, are you? I thought you were trying to lose weight!” However, we must realize that just because someone makes an inappropriate comment does not make it true.

On the other end of the spectrum, where the Intuitive Eater is found, you hear the voice of the Nurturer–soft, gentle, and nonjudgmental. It never scolds or scrutinizes and is one of the most significant tools to becoming an Intuitive Eater. It will provide coping statements to counteract the harsh accusations that the Food Police can hurl. The following are examples of what our Nurturer might say: It’s okay to eat a cookie; eating a cookie is normal. When I overate today, I wonder what was really going on with me that I needed more food to comfort myself. Losing weight is a slow process, and I will choose to be patient and celebrate the successes along the way.

So remember, even when you reject dieting (principle one), honor your hunger (principle two), and begin to make peace with food (principle three), if the Food Police isn’t subdued, you are on a slippery slope headed back to bondage.Rid yourself of the negative voices that have been buried in your psyche for so long, and instead choose to nurture yourself with gentle truth. By listening to your instinctual signals, you’ll have the chance to form a healthy relationship with food!

Keeping Positive; experiences after weight loss

One thing that I learn that it takes great dedication and motivation to wake up a 4:30 am in order to get to the 5:30 am bootcamp sessions that are three times a week.  It was hard at first but, one must realize that weight loss does not come off that easy.  It takes determination, dedication and motivation in order to fully achieve a persons goal.  Today was my hardest day because its Labor Day and, I am trying to stick to the veggie burgers and Veggies dogs instead of the meat variety.   I had to bring in the vegetable fries and the sweet potato fries because everyone puts in the junk food.

Now they have classes at the fitness center that I go to and, they are very fun but, its the matter of how you view yourself and, what level of motivation that you have.  Now many guys are not aware of the psychie that women have after extreme weight loss for, they don’t know the emotional downturn it takes on a woman to be told that she can’t do anything because she’s big so, that is why I favor gyms that have a women’s-only section of a women’s-only bootcamp.  Yes there are men out there that have the impression that these things are a form of feminism; this could be true but, that’s not the case when it comes to workout sessions with women.

Now some how I found that there is a form of hypocrisy when it comes to the aftermath of losing a lot of weight; don’t worry that’s common when it comes to the matter of losing weight.   You are going to have those people whom were overweight like you but, some how they figured well you need to do this and you need to do that.  Ironic they want to tell you how to keep off the weight but, they can’t lose the weight themselves.  This is what I have experience a lot with those whom were overweight when I was and, I do ignore them because they can’t tell me anything unless they lose the weight themselves.

Next, I would also like to mention the ones that teased those whom were overweight and all that unmercifully that try to befriend and, tell you all sorts of nice things and give out suggestions to keep that weight off.   Yeah how about you tell someone who cares or ones that want to actually deal with you from here on out.   Yeah you are going to have people like those that are going to be like that and, they are going to act like nothing happened between the two of you but, continue to ignore them and do what is best for you.   These are the most fake people that you can find on the planet after a extreme weight loss.

Atmosphere of the gym setting 

Now what I mentioned that all the gym bunnies are really nice no matter if they are masculine or they are feminine; they are the nicest and most supportive groups of women that you’ll ever meet if you go into a gym.    Now the masculine ones are probably more unapproachable at first but, they are really nice (don’t assume that they are gay or bi because not all of them fall under those stereotypes); they do stick together when it comes to dealing with those guys that are trying to mess with you in the gym.

Not all men in the gym are jerks because there are some really nice guys in the gym but, you have those guys that notice you when you are going to the gym on the regular and, when they notice that you frequent a certain gym they want to get close to you for, you are a subject of curiosity that can lead to them become annoying as the result they don’t use proper gym etiquette.   Now if they are hogging the workout machines, telling you that you don’t need the protein shake and the fat burner smoothie after a extreme out or, they are following you around asking you why you are socializing; those are the ones that you need to avoid because they are not using the proper gym etiquette that is required of them.   They see you as a different person but, they don’t know how to handle you now because you have a different appearance.

What does this lead to?  Well this leads to gym members, trainers, fitness coaches, and workout instructors to also take notice because, some of these don’t stop to think other people are watching them while he is watching you.   If he starts acting real stupid then most of the muscle guys whom are either the athletes or bodybuilders deal with him and, they are not nice about it when it comes to messing with the gym bunnies.   Messing with Gym bunnies are a big no no in the workout world so, do communicate with the muscle men because they are you great asset in keeping the guys that are jerks away from you or in line.

Now who are the muscle men that I am talking about that you need to communicate while going to the gym?  Here is what I know from years of going to the gym and years of making friends at the gym.

Skinny Ripped-Definition? Check. Striations? Of course. Six-pack? They know it. their veins pop, every surface muscle is shredded and separated, and their abs tell a story of hard work and sacrifice. Why wear a shirt? Women want them and men want to be them, even if they can’t admit it. This is ripped.

Male Model-their upper abs are visible; their lower belly is flat. their muscle is defined, not striated. they’re in shape, but their aren’t shredded to the bone. their body is gym-built with a mainstream appeal. Softer but photo-ready, this look is at home on the beach. Feeling good is looking good, and they do both.

Athlete-This body is built with plyometrics, high-intensity training, and weightlifting. It’s about power, speed, and agility. They want to look good, but performing well is equally important. They’re packing a lot of muscle from years in the gym, but drills keep them lean, mean, and explosive. People see them and instantly think, “Athlete.”

Bodybuilder-The gym is his second home, and it shows. Every surface muscle is chiseled, visible, and pumped. Anatomy charts are made from his physique. This body takes years of training, dedication, proper nutrition, and support. Bodybuilding isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. He want it? Make it his life.

Strongman-Bigger is better and stronger means everything. They don’t have the look of a toned bodybuilder, and they don’t want it. Cutting? Forget it. They eat big to lift big. Their muscle is dense and powerful, built by years of heavy training. They want to push tires and lift cars? Train hard, lift heavy, and don’t let anything get in their way.

Pro Bodybuilder-Bigger wasn’t big enough, so he became the biggest. they’re beyond lean, larger than life, and their muscles have muscles. What describes their physique? Garden-hose veins, cheese-grater striations, and superhero-worthy size. When he  steps on stage, He owns the stage. He is  the epitome of bodybuilding.

They aren’t that hard to find in the gym and, they are the sweetest guys that you’ll ever meet but, taking them home to momma is a entirely different story.  I find these men more attractive them the ones that don’t go to the gym at all nor do not work out at all.

For those who have trouble with the girls who think they are trying to help by telling you that you need to do this and you need to do that.  I got some news for them, there is a wide range of gym bunnies ranging from Fashion model to Bikini/swimsuit model to Fit woman to fitness model to bodybuilder.

Now these girls don’t play when it comes to outsiders or noobs that do not know proper gym etiquette that want to act out of line because I found some that will cut a noob like a fish and ask questions later.   Its good to talk to those in the gym because they stick behind you when it comes to dealing with the wanna-be trainers or wanna-be fitness experts.   Now don’t get me wrong there are fitness experts to be in the gyms and they are awesome and, they are the first to stand up for you when it comes to dealing with the wanna-bes.  When it comes to the female wanna-bes versus the guys getting their butts handed to them, they don’t like it at all and then try to play the victim role or the concern individual role.

Now this is going to happen its not avoidable at all.   Though there are ways of staying positive through out this.

When you have you workout have the shake and smoothie because you deserved it and, no one should tell you what you should have along with what you shouldn’t have since they are not knowing what’s going on inside your body.

You don’t have to reward yourself with food because there are other things that you can reward yourself when it comes to losing weight.  One way is have a spa day another is buying a new workout outfit or, buying a ticket to a zumba concert.

Another way to keep positive is to walk an extra ten minutes after making a new milestone to weight loss or biking for an extra twenty minutes.

Tell yourself good things and let the negativity keep you motivated losing and keeping the weight off for good.

Keeping positive and keeping good relations in the gym are great ways to stay on track.  Thanks for stopping by.

Reject the Diet Mentality

The counselors’ convention was held in a 600,000 square-foot hotel with huge lush gardens and cascading waterfalls—so beautiful that one might forget she was inside. That is, until four days had passed with no fresh air. Sometime during that fourth afternoon it occurred to me that while it looked like I was spending time outside, the truth of the matter was I needed fresh air. I needed it immediately…and I needed lots of it!

This simple experience of mine illustrates a very important concept. Deprivation of any kind—whether of fresh air, sleep, touch, or other things—can cause ever-growing cravings to spin out of control. And this is especially true of food, where “shouldn’t” and “can’t” cause an avalanche of cravings that quite often lead to binging. The next key to freedom in Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s intuitive eating program is principle three: making peace with food.

Principle Three: Make Peace with Food.

Making peace with food means giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. When you rigidly restrict the amount or type of food that you eat, you will inevitably begin to hunger after even larger quantities of that very food. However, there is way to stop this vicious cycle: give yourself unconditional permission to eat. In essence, stop grading food as “good” or “bad.” Eat what you want without “obligatory penance” (for example, “I will eat ice cream tonight but run two extra miles tomorrow.”) While this idea is unsettling to most women who have been ensnared by the shackles of dieting, your need and propensity to overeat will be eliminated when you truly make peace with food.

Authors Tribole and Resch state, “Many of our clients discover that the very foods they prohibited and craved are no longer desirable once they can be eaten freely.” This has been proven true for my clients as well. For example, when “Sue” began to give herself unconditional permission to experience “forbidden” foods, she tried a scone from a local bakery—something her diets would never have allowed. However, upon eating it, she found it to be very dry and tasteless and ended up throwing most of it away!

So make a decision to make peace with food, and like Sue, say goodbye to your forbidden food fight! Above all, remember that this process is just that… a process. The pace at which you proceed needs to be one in which you are comfortable. The main requirement before moving forward is that you are consistently honoring your hunger. Then follow the authors’ suggestions and find success with this third intuitive eating principle.

Health and Wellness

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are known as essential fatty acids because they are nutrients that are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them, so we must obtain them from our diet. An abundance of research indicates that omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils can help reduce the risk of many age related conditions including heart disease, memory loss, joint inflammation and depression.

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
According to research reported in the May 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those people who consumed 6 grams of fish oil daily and walked 45 minutes 3 days a week for 12 weeks had increased levels of HDL cholesterol and decreased levels of serum triglycerides.

Other studies have reported that fish oil supplements can reduce LDL cholesterol, improve arterial health and lower blood pressure significantly in people with existing hypertension.

According to information from the University of Maryland Medical Center, there is strong evidence that omega 3 fatty acids help inhibit the development of arterial plaque in blood clots.

Research has shown that Omega 3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of colon cancer as well as the risk of developing macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness as we age.

Diabetes is a related area involving omega-3 research. Many people that have diabetes also have high triglycerides and low HDL levels. Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, may be particularly helpful in managing these two risk factors in people who have diabetes.

There has also been a good deal of research investigating the impact of omega 3 fatty acid supplements on inflammatory joint conditions. Many studies have focused on rheumatoid arthritis.

Most all of these studies concluded that omega 3 fatty acid supplements reduce joint tenderness, decrease stiffness, especially morning stiffness, and often allow people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis to reduce their medication.

The American Heart Association recommends an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (as fish oils), 1 gram daily of EPA and DHA for adults. For those with high cholesterol levels, the American Heart Association recommends an omega 3 fatty acid supplement (as fish oils), 2 – 4 grams daily of EPA and DHA. It may take 2 – 3 weeks for benefits of fish oil supplements to be seen.

When purchasing an omega-3 supplement, there are two things to look for…purity and potency.

Some fish may contain potentially harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals (including mercury and lead), dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) due to the diet of the fish. The source is very important. Make sure that the fish oil product is ultra-pure certified pharmaceutical- grade fish oil. The best fish oil contains a blend of the seven ultra-pure essential fatty acids found in fish. When comparing products available, be sure that your comparisons are accurate.

Look not at just the size of the capsule, but at the actual amount of EPA (at least 545 mg) and DHA (at least 360 mg) available. Processing method of fish oil is extremely important. A method called triple distillation at low heat guarantees the finest product with low odor, no after-taste and no impurities.

Water

Why is water essential for good health?

• Water gives our cells their shape and form.

• Water helps our body’s delivery system.

• Blood, kidney, heart and lungs are made of about 80% water.

• Since blood is 83% water, it regulates our body temperature when moving from hot to cold or when affected by flu and viruses.

• Bones contain about 22% water.

• Brain tissue is about 85 per cent water.

• Muscle, spleen, brain, intestines, & skin are 72 to 75% water.

• Fat tissue (or adipose tissue) is about 10% water.

• Water is vital to healthy digestion.

• Water rids the body of waste during weight loss and helps metabolize fat more efficiently.

• When the body gets enough water, the feeling of hunger diminishes, eliminating the need for snacking.

Can I tell when my body is thirsty?

• We lose water through urination, respiration, and perspiration. Thirst is linked to hydration, but thirst is a delayed reaction to the body’s need to replenish fluids.

By the time you are feeling thirsty, you are overdue for hydrating.

• Wherever you go, carry a full water container. Get into the habit of continually drinking from your container throughout the day to stay pre-hydrated. If you are not in the habit of drinking the recommended amount of water, increase by gradual increments until you reach the required amounts.

How much water does my body need?

• The amount of water in ounces per day can be estimated by dividing your body weight (in pounds) by 2. That gives you the approximate number of ounces per day that you need to drink.

• On a normal, moderate temperature, inactive day you would lose 1.5 liters (6 glasses) of water through kidney filtration (urine production) and another 0.750 – 1 liter (3 – 4 glasses) through the skin and respiration. So an average person needs 8 – 9 glasses per day just to replace average losses.

• Caffeinated, alcoholic and many carbonated beverages have a diuretic effect and actually increase daily fluid requirements.

• If you exercise you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active.

• If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water.

• When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane.

• If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day.How safe is my tap water?

The Natural Resources Defense Council has identified 5 major hazards in our water:

• Pathogens- bacteria and viruses such as cryptosporidium sicken 900,000 people per year and can be fatal to those with weak immune systems.

• Trihalomethanes- compounds formed when chlorine reacts with organic substances. NRDC estimates that these chemicals cause more than 10,000 cases of bladder and rectal cancers per year.

• Arsenic- The dangers are debated, but 350,000 people may be taking in more than the EPA allows.

• Lead- leading to possible neurological problems in children and high blood pressure in adult men.

• Radioactive contamination- The EPA stated that 50 million Americans drink radon tainted water.

What are my other choices?

Bottled Water:

• Several studies have confirmed that some bottled water is not in compliance with US drinking water standards. In a recent study, seventeen of 46 samples, representing of 23 brands, contained viable micro-organisms. Bacteria, including coliforms, were recovered from 12 samples of 8 brands. Yeasts or molds were recovered from seven samples of five brands. Free-living amoebas were isolated from two samples, and fresh-water algae were found in both samples of one brand. Nine of 46 samples, representing 7 of the 23 brands contained coliforms. Sterile contact lenses became contaminated when exposed for 1 minute to two of four brands of bottled water from which micro-organisms were recovered.

• A common type of plastic bottle is made with bisphenol- A, also known as BPA. Concerns about tests that may link BPA ingestion with cancer and reproductive damage in some animals and the possibility that BPA could leach out of the plastic bottles and into the liquids they contain has led to bans in some areas on the use of BPA in plastic products intended for children (such as baby bottles) and has prompted some consumers to seek out non-BPA alternatives.

• Bottled water prices vary.

Water filtration at the tap (NSF certified filtration system):

• Saves money making your own clean water.

• Does not add to the landfill or add to recycling costs.

• Allows personal control over the water quality. An NSF certified system can significantly reduce dissolved lead and volatile organic compounds that may be in your water. The treatment system can also reduce cryptosporiium cysts, which have been recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases within humans in the U.S. (According to the CDC).