Top 15 Heart- Healthy Foods To Add To Your Diet

You can help to significantly lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall risk of heart disease by eating the right foods at every meal. And here is a list of the best heart healthy foods to get into your daily diet. This list of heart-healthy food comes from WeBMD

1. Swiss Chard
2. Fresh Herbs
3. Low-Fat or Non-Fat Yogurt
4. Garlic
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6. Almonds
7. Barley
8. Cayenne Chili Pepper
9. Carrots
10. Broccoli
11. Oranges
12. Lean Pork
13. Salmon
14. Black Beans
15. Dried Cherries


Green Tea ....Why You Should Drink Some Everyday

Perhaps one of the easiest and most beneficial changes we could make in our daily diets is to drink a cup or two of green tea. Green tea is full of cancer-fighting polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants, and studies are showing that people who regularly drink green tea reduce their risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer.

Green tea can also be used to relieve itching, swelling, and pain from sunburns. Try soaking some green tea on cotton balls and putting them on your puffy eyelids. And green tea helps protect your skin from the sun's unhealthy rays that can cause skin cancer-- so check out sunscreens and moisturizers that contain green tea.

People who sip just half a cup a day of green tea are almost 50 percent less likely to wind up with high blood pressure than non-drinkers. Credit goes to the polyphenols again (especially one known as ECGC). They help keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.

It may be that drinking green tea daily also helps keep your memory sharper. It appears that the tea's big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Green tea can also help fight the nasty plague that can build up in blood vessels. tea speeds up your body's metabolism....burns up calories faster!

Brewing the perfect cup of green tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste "gassy." It's particularly important not to overbrew. While it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for each variety of green tea, here are some general instructions:

* Use one tea bag, or 1-2 teaspoons per cup.
* Fill a kettle with cold water and bring to a boil.
* Remove kettle from the heat, and allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes.
* Pour the heated water over the tea bag or tea, and allow it to steep for up to 3 minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag.
* Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes.

Then sit back and enjoy sipping your cup of tea, knowing you are truly doing something very healthy or your body and mind!


Remember Your Kegels!

Kegel exercises help women regain bladder control by strengthening your pelvic muscles. This is really important after you have given birth! An extra benefit that many women find from consistent 'kegeling' is an increase in their orgasm intensity. So remember to do your kegels daily!

Here is a refresher on doing kegels--which is basically tightening your pelvic muscles.

* Locate your pelvic muscles by stopping the flow of urine midstream.
* Contract the pelvic muscles hard for one second and then release them, ten times in a row, three times a day. Gradually increase the number of contractions so that by the end of one month, you are doing ten contractions, twenty times a day.

* Vary the exercise by holding the contraction for a count of three and then releasing it. You can mix the exercises up, some short and some long.
* Do Kegel exercises during commercials, every time the phone rings, at each stoplight when you are driving or riding, while you are waiting for your Web search results - find your own regular pattern.
* Kegel when having sex for extra pleasure for you and your partner.

Do the Kegel exercises for a minimum of six weeks. Results will not be immediate, but eventually, you will be able to notice a difference.

If you are like me and tend to get busy and forget about those darn kegels, try these tips:

* Try to schedule your Kegel exercises at the same time every day, such as during a regular TV show, while you do the dishes, or before you go to bed).
* Find a way to remind yourself to do your Kegel exercises. For example, you could put a note or sign on your mirror or refrigerator.
* Reward yourself for each day that you do your Kegel exercises. For example, you could put a gold star on your calendar.
* You may forget to do your exercises for a few days. It’s common to have a few slips when you’re trying to make any new change. Don’t get discouraged. Just get back to your exercise program.
* Chart your progress on a daily or weekly basis. Eventually, you should begin to notice that you are “leaking” urine less frequently or in smaller amounts than before. It should also be easier for you to stop your urine midstream. (Note: You should not try this any more than once a week.)


Benfits of Pineapple

Pineapples are a source of vitamin C and potassium. Pineapple also has a very special enzyme called bromelain, which helps digest protein --- a good thing for someone who has perhaps over-indulged in meat and dairy products. Bromelain may also help reduce the swelling and pain of joints.

So why not try a refreshing bended juice drink made with fresh pineapple and orange? Just blend in a mixer 2 fresh rings of pineapple and 2 peeled oranges. This will make about one delicious serving for you to enjoy!

10 Basic Health Tips To Follow Every Day

10 Essential Health Tips
(The Basics to Practice Every Day)

"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb

1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha…. Then do it!

2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine…. Then be one!

3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or 'tough guy' stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette…. the next one.

4. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds….then float on them.

5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'…and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants….hum the tune daily.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.

7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body's boss.

8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.

10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny

Recipe For Baked Salmon With Tomatoes, Spinach and Mushrooms

Yum! Super fast and easy to prepare and healthy to eat!


1. 4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
2. 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
3. 1 cup sliced mushrooms
4. 1 medium tomato, chopped
5. 1/3 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing


1. Place salmon fillets, skin sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Mix remaining ingredients until well blended; spoon over salmon.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with fork.

Makes 4 servings.

This recipe comes from kraft foods

How Much Sleep Do I Really Need?

Having sufficient sleep is so important to everyone, yet we often have a hard time getting enough sleep. In fact, not enough sleep can lead to dangerous consequences. Insufficient or poor quality sleep can have effects such as:

Decreased alertness and attentiveness

Increased irritability and relationship difficulties

Decreased concentration and judgment

Decreased performance and productivity

But just how much sleep does everyone need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is no set answer. The amount needed will be different for everyone. But they suggest one way to determine how much sleep you need: Simply go to bed when you feel tired, and get up when you feel ready -- don't set an alarm clock. For a few days, you might be sleeping more if you've been deprived of sleep. But once you catch up, your body will tell you just how many hours you need to restore yourself each night. Once you've learned this important fact about yourself, you can adjust your schedule accordingly. But to do this experiment you may need to take a vacation or plan to have someone to help with your children.

And according to the NSF, naps can be a good thing. A 15- to 20-minute nap can be can help your alertness and memory, and reduce feelings of fatigue. Napping is a good way for exhausted parents to take the edge off their tiredness. But remember, in the long term a nap is not a substitute for a good night's sleep.


Fighting Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common thing women share during the winter months. Since there's less humidity is the air, skin gets uncomfortable and itchy.I think most women use extra moisturizer to help fight the dry itchy skin, but you should also try turning down the heat, put on a comfy sweatshirt instead, and use a humidifier to help create more moisture in the air. Did you know that certain foods can also help improve dry skin?
Try incorporating some or all of these types of food into your winter diet to help fight the dry skin itchies!

1. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, flaxseed, tuna, avocado, nuts
2. Foods that contain zinc: oysters, crab, beef, and beans. Zinc helps heal wounds.
3. Foods rich in sulfur: garlic, onions, and eggs. They help to keep your skin smooth.
4. Water. Drink plenty of it during the day!
5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These diuretics will suck your skin dry.

It is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The National Eating Disorders Association is sponsoring the week of awareness, and events are held all over the nation in order to bring focus and awareness to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia . The theme this year for National Eating Disorders Awareness week is: "Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the REAL you. While you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for your particular body type, you cannot change your genes. Everyone needs to start feeling comfortable in their genes by wearing comfortable jeans.
Women are particularly vulnerable when it comes to physicak appearance and weight issues. It is important to realize that fighting your natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and sometimes eating disorders.

Some inspiration from the National Eating Disorders site:

"Be comfortable in your genes.
Your genes play a role in determining your
body size and shape. Embrace your genes.
Stop trying to turn your body
into something it’s not.
Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you."


Soup's On! Recipe For Lentil Vegetable Soup

Warm up on a chilly winter day with this delicious soup.


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (3 medium potatoes)
6 1/2 cups water
1 15 ounce can salt-free (or regular) tomato sauce
1 cup lentils, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat . Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. Add small amounts of water as necessary, about a tablespoon at a time, to prevent sticking.

Add remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Makes about 10 servings, about 1 1/3 cups per serving.

Each serving has:
150 calories
8g protein
1g total fat 9Og sat. fat)
28 g carbohydrate
34mg sodium
0 mg cholesterol

Celebrity Diets....First Up.....Fergie

I thought it'd be fun to check once in a while on celebs and their diet/health routines. Today's celeb focus is Fergie. Life and Style gets the scoop from Carrie Watt, Fergie's nutritionist on what Fergie likes to eat to help her keep so fit.

For breakfast, apparently Fergie likes to have a protein-packed six-egg-white veggie omelet, seasoned with salsa or hot sauce.

An midmorning snack for Fergie might consist of 4 ounces of low-fat or no-fat plain organic yogurt with 2 tablespoons of low-sugar granola (such as Bear Naked). “It’s low in sugar and has protein,” says Wiatt, who suggests pairing it with a bowl of fiber-filled berries. (Cottage cheese makes a great yogurt alternative.)

Lunchtime often finds Fergie enjoying Mixed greens, a quarter of an avocado (for healthy fat), 4 ounces of shredded chicken (for protein) and half an antioxidant-rich grapefruit, all tossed with a nonfat dressing. (The same ingredients can be rolled into a 100-percent whole-grain tortilla!)

For afternoon munchies, : Fergie will go for light organic cheese (like a mozzarella stick or 1 ounce of Jarlsberg Lite) and rice crackers with flaxseed. (You can eat eight!) Another Fergie favorite: fiber-filled Kashi bars.

An appetizer before dinner is often a pureed vegetable soup — sans cream. At only 50 calories per cup, the small indulgence is super filling. Other lite treats? Carrots dipped in 2 tablespoons of hummus, a cup of air-popped popcorn or almonds!

One of Fergie's dinnertime favorites is healthy salmon (rich in Omega-3’s, which make hair and skin shiny and prevent bloating) and half a cup of whole-wheat couscous. She piles on 2 cups of veggies and adds 2 tablespoons of chili sauce or honey Dijon mustard for flavor. (Grilled balsamic chicken, brown rice and a side of sautéed spinach is another great dinner option.)

Along with her healty eating habits, Fergie maintains a pretty consistent work out routine.


Veggie Stuffed Pasta Shells

Pasta shells filled with delicious veggies...healthy and yummy all at the same time!

Here's what you'll need:


* 12 oz box large pasta shells
* 10 oz package frozen spinach
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed
* 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
* 12.3 oz box extra firm Silken Tofu, drained
* 2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 3.8 oz can sliced black olives, drained
* 1/2 cup basil, chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
* 2 1/2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce
4 Tablespoons pine nuts

cook pasta shells al dente, according to the package directions (usually 12 minutes.) Meanwhile, put frozen spinach in a microwave-safe dish with a lid. Cover and microwave on high about 5 minutes. Remove lid and set aside to cool. In a non-stick skillet with a lid, heat olive oil on medium. Saute onion for 2 minutes, until brown on edges. Reduce heat to low. Stir in garlic and mushrooms. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Place tofu in a medium-size mixing bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over tofu and stir with a fork, crumbling tofu into small curds that resemble ricotta cheese. While tofu marinates in juice, drain the spinach. Squeeze all the excess water out of the spinach, one handful at a time. Once mushrooms have sauteed 10 minutes, stir in tofu, spinach, olives, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat another 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Spread spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 12x8" baking dish. Gently spoon vegetable-tofu filling into the shells. Arrange in tight rows on top of the sauce. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Raise oven heat to broil. Sprinkle shells with pine nuts and broil (still on middle rack) for 5 minutes.

This should be enough for about 6-8 people.


New Study On The Effects Of Stress And HPV

This is an article that all women should read, but as stated in the article attention to the findings, but don't get overly alarmed.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has long been known as the primary cause of cervical cancer, but the virus alone doesn't seem to be enough to induce the disease. Most sexually active women will contract HPV at some point in their lives, but 90 percent will clear the virus from their body before it causes any damage, suggesting other factors are at play in the unfortunate minority who eventually develop cervical cancer.

The new study, published Friday in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine, found that feeling stressed out may be one such factor by impairing the body's ability to fight off the virus.

“Women who reported higher levels of perceived stress — regardless of what was actually happening in their life — showed an impaired immune response to HPV,” said Carolyn Fang, a psychologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and lead author of the study.

However, it's too early to sound the alarm, Fang added. More research is needed to confirm the finding and show that reducing stress improves the body's ability to fight off HPV.

read the rest of this informative article here

Weighing In On The Best Time Of Day To Step On The Scale

Weight can fluctuate throughout the day due to many factors, such as food consumption and water retention.... so when is the best time to weigh yourself each day?

Actually, the answer is there is no "best" time of day to weigh yourself. Experts suggest you pick the same time every day and use the same scale. Check your weight no more than twice a week -- any more frequently, and you may get discouraged by normal fluctuations in your reading. Also, be consistent in what you wear when weighing in.( maybe wear your birthday suit, lol, to get your 'happiest' weight each day!)

That said, it's important to remember that weight is not the only indicator of overall body fitness and health. Muscle weighs more than fat so the numbers on the scale can be misleading. Other indicators, such as body fat percentage and readings from a tape measure should be taken into account as well.

Foods To Spice Up Your Sex Life

Could it be that some foods will increase our appetitie for sex? Hmm...interesting thought. According to some researchers, it is true that certain foods can affect our libido! And not only will some foods get you in the mood for love, but also may even make you a better flirt and lover. Wow! Guess it might be time to check out the pantry, and maybe do a little grocery shopping, lol!

"Different foods have different nutrients and substances that affect the body physiologically in different ways, that's why different foods work for different stages," says clinical sexologist Ava Cadell, PhD. "Some foods lower inhibitions, some get the blood flowing directly to the genitalia, and some foods release happy hormones."

So if you want to become a better flirt, there are certain foods that are supposed to help, such as

* Chili peppers. Spicy foods get the heart pumping and induce sweating.
* Bananas. They contain chemicals that reportedly have a mood-lifting effect on the brain and raises self-confidence.
* Carrots. Their phallic(!) appearance and high-fiber content may induce sexual desire. (hmmm...I have had many carrots in my day....can't really say that those orange veggies have made me feel sexy though, lol!)

Pass the flirting stage...want to do some serious seducing? Cadell says it's important to create a visual stimulation with foods that look like the genitalia, such as oysters, fresh figs, or carrots.

"Anything that is visually erotic is automatically going to set your brain in motion," says Cadell. "Second, certain foods release hormones, like testosterone in women that makes them more sexually aggressive and adventurous."

Other foods for seduction include:

* Shrimp. High in iodine, shrimp and other types of seafood are vital to the thyroid gland, which is vital for energy.
* Chocolate. Not only does chocolate provide a jolt of caffeine, the plant has a flower that looks like sex organs.
* Ginger. This root reportedly increases blood flow to the genitals in both men and women.
* Olives. Green ones are believed to make men more virile, while black ones increase women's sex drive.
* Tomatoes. Known as "love apples" by Puritans, they have a reputation as a sexual stimulant.
* Apples. Since Adam and Eve, this fruit has been synonymous with temptation.

Ready for some sexual performance enhancing foods? Apparently, this is the point in time when aroma is actually very important. Some research shows that scent alone of some aphrodisiacs may be enough to increase sexual arousal and enhance performance.

One study showed that apparentlycheese pizza increased penile blood flow by 5%, buttered popcorn by 9%, and lavender and pumpkin pie by 40%. In comparison, floral perfume only prompted a 3% increase in blood flow to the penis among men. Among women, the smell of men's cologne actually lowered blood flow to the vagina. The study also found that the scent of lavender and pumpkin pie was a powerful sexual stimulant for women, but the combination of Good and Plenty (licorice-flavored candy) and cucumber was the most potent sexual scent in increasing blood flow to the vaginal area.

No big suprise here...most aromas will increase a man's sexual desire ( no kidding--what doesn't??), but women will find their desire goes down with certain smells, such as barbeque aromas.

Trying different aphrodisiacs to see what adds the right spice to your sex life seems to be the key here. What turns one person on may not work for another.

And, according to Caldwell, "There has always been a correlation between food and sex because they are two of greatest pleasures known to mankind, and both appetites need to be fulfilled."

Too Stressed For Sex?

I Never have that problem, (you believe me, don't you???) but hey, if some of you do, then you might want to read on!

Here are some ideas to help shake off those consuming worries on your mind, and get in the mood for some loving:

Try sitting on the floor, legs crossed and back propped up against the wall with pillows for comfort. Close your eyes and try to focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. 12 minutes of meditation can help calm the part of the brain that experiences the outside world and activates the part involved in focus and attention.

Several years ago, Cindy Meston, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, found that women with low sexual desire who did 20 minutes of fairly intense cardiovascular exercise (at 70 percent of maximum heart rate) before watching an erotic video became more aroused than when they watched the film without exercising first. Interesting, don't you think?

Take a Walk

Before getting into bed at night, do something relaxing with your spouse to mark the transition from a hectic to a quiet evening. Take a short walk or warm bath, have a glass of wine, watch a funny TV program (laughter is a powerful stress reducer) or plan a vacation, even if the actual trip is years away.
Do Something Together

Get Your Hormone Levels Checked
f your sex drive remains low for a prolonged period, have your hormone levels checked to see if there's an underlying physical problem.

Recipe For Roasted Eggplant Dip...No Cholesterol!

This zero-cholesterol Roasted Eggplant Dip is great for health-conscious guests, and is truly yummy when served with toasted sourdough bread/rolls!

This recipe is for about two cups worth of dip.

Time to Prepare: About 15 minutes or so
Total time: About 1hr. 15 minutes

You will need:
1 1/2 lbs. eggplant
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 plum tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 Tablespoons minced red onion
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (have some extra for garnish)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Heat broiler and place rack about 6 or so inches from heat. Broil eggplant, turning occasionally until charred. This should take about 25 minutes or so.

Let stand until cooled. Peel, destem, and cut into chunks.
Puree in a food processor.

In a medium bowl, combine eggplant mix, oil, tomato, onion,parsley, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.

Garnish with parsley.

You can store this dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 day.

per 2 Tablespoons:

40 Calories
3.5g total fat
5g saturated fat
147mg sodium
2g carbs
5mg calcium
0 cholesterol
1g protein
1g fiber

New Cancer Test For Women

The Pap Smear has long been the standard test for women when it comes to checking for precancer of the cervix. But according to a recent study in the New England Journal Of Medicine, there is a new screening test that is twice as sensitive as the Pap Smear. It is called the human papillomavirus (HPV) test. It can potentially detect cancerous strains of HPV, the cause of cervical cancer in women.

The test uses machines that scan cells taken from the cervix for the DNA of the cancer-causing strain. So the error rate is very low--5.4 percent, compared to the 44.6 percent for the Pap Smear, in which a lab technician checks your cells through a microscope.

This is good news for women, indeed. Be sure to ask your doctor about this new screening test for cervical cancer at your next check-up! The earlier any cancerous cells are detected, the better!

Bubble Baths ....Pamper Your Body And Soul

Indulge yourself and make your own bubble bath.....there is not a better way to treat yourself and take care of your body and soul. Have your hubby take the kids for a bit, or wait until your little ones are fast asleep.

Try creating your own bubble are easy to find and you can create a bubble bath suited exactly to your personal tastes and needs. One of the benefits of making your own bubble bath is that you know exactly what is in it, and you know all of the ingredients are fresh and natural.

An important ingredient in bubble bath is essential oil. Essential oils add the scent to your bubble bath. Use these sparingly, as you only need to use several drops to get a pleasant effect. Many essential oils should not be ingested orally, so be sure to read the directions. There are also some essential oils such as marjoram that should never be used by pregnant women. You can research any essential oil at the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy Also look in aromatherapy books and ask questions at the health food store when buying essential oils.

Some essential oils are known to be relaxing and soothing. The most popular include lavender, sandalwood, marjoram, frankincense, myrrh, rosewood and chamomile. These essential oils will calm you down, relax you and help you go to sleep.

Other essential oils will uplift and energize you. Peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus and lemon oil are all oils that will brighten your day and are good to use during the day. Eucalyptus oil is especially good if you have a cold because it will break up your cold’s congestion.

To soften your skin, consider adding either coconut or almond oil to your bubble bath concoctions. Coconut oil has a wonderful nutty and floral fragrance to it. Almond oil is virtually unscented. Adding a half a cup of either almond oil or coconut oil to your bubble bath will soften your skin tremendously. This is a great addition for your bubble baths for the winter months.

Here are some bubble bath recipes that will lift your spirits and treat your body!

Sweet Dreams

This bubble bath has lavender and patchouli oils to relax you before bedtime. Use soft music and lighted candles in your bathroom for a soothing effect.

6 drops of lavender oil
3 drops of patchouli oil
1 quart of distilled water
1 bar of castille soap. (4 oz. Bar)
4 ounces liquid glycerin

Directions: mix the water, soap and glycerin together and stir. Now add your essential oils to the mixture.

Cold Season

This bubble bath will help you breathe easier, with eucalyptus oil to ease the cold congestion. This is perfect for the cold season.

6 drops of eucalyptus oil
3 drops of spearmint oil
3 drops of peppermint oil
1 quart of distilled water
1 bar of castille soap. (4 oz. Bar)
4 ounces liquid glycerin

Directions: mix the water, soap and glycerin together and stir. Now add your essential oils to the mixture.

Love Potion

This bubble bath will put you in a romantic mood. All of the ingredients are considered known aphrodisiac – so look out!

6 drops jasmine oil
3 drops rose oil
3 drops vanilla oil
6 drops ylang ylang oil
1 quart of distilled water
1 bar of castille soap. (4 oz. Bar)
4 ounces liquid glycerin

Directions: mix the water, soap and glycerin together and stir. Now add your essential oils to the mixture.

Menopause And Herbs

Some women dealing menopause may want to explore the use of natural herbs to help alleviate the symptons they are dealing with. Just remember to always check with your doctor first, research yourself on any herb before you decide to try it, and always buy herbs from reputable retailers. Also, follow all directions listed on the labels.

Here is a brief overview of some herbs that are supposed to help with menopausal symptons
Black Cohosh - This herb is an excellent natural remedy for relieving the symptoms of menopause, particularly night sweats and hot flashes. It helps with menopause naturally and has no known negative side effects.

Soy- Soy is another substance that contains phytoestrogens, this gives soy the ability to reduce the symptoms of menopause, the uncomfortable hot flashes. Soy milk is a great way ti get soy into your diet each day. Make a yummy soy smoothie evry morning using your favoite ingredients and substituting soy milk for regular milk!

Red Clover - This herb is believed to have a positive effect on the symptoms of menopause, it contains phytoestrogens which are believed to mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Maca Root - Maca root is very nutritious and has been labeled as a superfood. It contains vitamins and minerals as well as nutrients and proteins.
It is believed to relieve symptoms such chronic fatigue, vaginal dryness and mood swings by correcting the hormone imbalance caused ny menopause.

Maca root is also believed to reduce fatigue and the symptoms of PMS, increase libido, increase stamina, increase energy levels and endurance.

Remember--check with your doctor and do your own research as well before taking herbal remedies.

*Alert*--- Recall Warning: 143 Million Pounds of Beef Recalled

The USDA recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef yesterday. This is the largest beef recall in the US. The recall is because Southern California based slaughterhouse Westland/Hallmark — the one that was recently shut down because of sick and mistreated animals — did not receive complete and proper inspections. Due to that fact, the Food Safety and Inspection Service has stated that the meat is unfit for human consumption.

The meat was sent to many federal school lunch programs, as well as several large fast-food chains. They estimate that 37 million pounds have already been consumed, and that no reported illnesses have occurred. The recall is more of a precaution since sick animals pose a higher risk of contamination.

10 Most Effective Exercises For Your Abs

The American Council on Exercise did a study to determine the most effective ab exercises.

Here is a list of the 10 most effective exercises, according to the study:

1. Bicycle Exercise
2. Captain's Chair
3. Exercise Ball Crunch
4. Vertical Leg Crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long Arm Crunch
7. Reverse Crunch
8. Full Vertical Crunch
9. Ab Rocker
10. Plank on Elbows and Toes

Do You Know The Stroke Symptons For Women?

Did you know that women may have different symptons when having a stroke than men? A recent study looked at the medical records of women treated in an emergency room. Among women who were later treated for stroke, the study showed that many of them reported symptoms that were different from the typical stroke symptoms. This may cause women to delay seeking help. A woman coming into the emergency department with facial weakness is quickly sent off for brain imaging, but when the main complaint is shortness of breath or fainting, it may be that neither the woman nor even emergency room personnel immediately suspect a stroke.

In addition to or instead of the traditional stroke signs, a woman may have:

* Loss of consciousness or fainting
* Shortness of breath
* Falls or accidents
* Sudden pain in the face, chest, arms or legs
* Seizure
* Sudden hiccups
* Sudden nausea
* Sudden tiredness
* Sudden pounding or racing heartbeat (palpitations)

While this new research is important, the traditional stroke warning signs are still the most common symptoms of stroke. Know the classic stroke symptoms:

* Sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis of your face, arm or leg — usually on one side of your body
* Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
* Sudden blurred, double or decreased vision
* Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination
* A sudden, severe "bolt out of the blue" headache or an unusual headache, which may be accompanied by a stiff neck, facial pain, pain between your eyes, vomiting or altered consciousness
* Confusion, or problems with memory, spatial orientation or perception
The new findings are a helpful reminder — to both you and your doctor — that women may have different symptoms.
Know the warning signs

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, don't hesitate. Rapid diagnosis and treatment improve your chances of survival and decrease your risk of permanent disability. To help you remember the classic symptoms what to look for, think FAST: face, arms, speech and time.

* Face — Does one side of the face drop when asked to smile?
* Arms — When raising both arms, does one arm drift downward?
* Speech — When trying to repeat a simple sentence, are the words slurred or incorrect?
* Time — Rush to emergency care immediately to get evaluated and treated.

As more research is done on women and stroke, primary care nurses and doctors are becoming more familiar with the stroke symptoms and signs that are unique to women.

If you're at risk of a stroke, your best defense is to know both the classic signs and symptoms and those that are unique to women. If you have an

Yummy Healthy Balsmic Glazed Chicken and Peppers Sandwich

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken and Bell Pepper Sandwiches
From Cooking Light magazine

The only condiment to grace this sandwich is healthy balsmic eat up and enjoy this healthy sandwich. Try it as a panini...extra yum!

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 medium)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)
2 (8-ounce) loaves focaccia bread, cut in half horizontally
4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned.
3. Add 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is done and vinegar is syrupy.
4. Remove chicken mixture from the pan; cover and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
5. Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add bell pepper and onion; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar; cook 1 minute or until vinegar is syrupy.
6. Arrange chicken mixture evenly over bottom halves of bread; top with bell pepper mixture. Arrange cheese over pepper mixture, and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with top halves of bread.
7. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; let stand 5 minutes.
8. Cut each sandwich into 6 wedges.

Serves 6.

NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 433(24% from fat); FAT 11.4g (sat 4.2g,mono 5.4g,poly 1g); PROTEIN 34g; CHOLESTEROL 68mg; CALCIUM 170mg; SODIUM 709mg; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 3.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 49g

15 Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects many women, but there are things we can do now to help prevent it.

Drink your milk.

Low-fat and skim milk, nonfat yogurt, and reduced-fat cheeses (except cottage cheese) are healthy sources of the calcium you need to build strong bones. Fortified milk products also have the vitamin D needed for proper calcium absorption.

Eat fish.

Canned sardines and salmon, eaten with their bones, are also rich in calcium. Mackerel and other oily fish are rich in vitamin D.

Eat green.

Leafy green vegetables have lots of calcium, plus the potassium and vitamin K you need to block calcium loss from bones. Fill up on broccoli, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, and turnip greens. Bananas also supply a potassium boost.

Eat soy.

Soy contains not only calcium but also plant estrogens, and it seems to help maintain bone density. Substitute soy flour for regular flour in recipes from pancakes to cupcakes. Nibble on roasted soybean "nuts" instead of peanuts. Reach for soy cereal and soy cheeses. Make malts and smoothies with soy milk.

Don't overdo protein.

High protein intake can raise your excretion of calcium. Limit yourself to the RDA of 50 grams daily for women, 63 grams for men. Many Americans eat twice that much.

Limit caffeine.

Limit your caffeine intake to the equivalent of three cups of coffee a day, since caffeine causes the body to excrete calcium more readily.

Eat your onions.
In male rats, those fed one gram of dry onion daily experienced a 20% reduction in the bone breakdown process that can lead to osteoporosis -- slightly more than with the drug calcitonin.


A regular program of weight-bearing exercise helps stop further bone loss and may be one of the few ways to build bone as you age. By improving your posture, balance, and flexibility, it also reduces your risk of falls that can break fragile bones. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Try walking, running, weight lifting, stair climbing, tennis, or volleyball. Swimming won't do; your bones and muscles must work against gravity for a bone-building effect.

Have Your Bones Tested.

Bone-density tests are the only way to predict your fracture risk and definitively nail down a diagnosis of osteoporosis. All women over 65 should be scanned, as well as younger postmenopausal women with one or more osteoporosis risk factors. Some doctors recommend that women have a baseline scan at menopause. When repeated at intervals of a year or more, the scans can determine your rate of bone loss and help monitor prevention and treatment efforts. Most experts recommend a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) test.

Get measured.

Ask your doctor to measure your height on an annual basis. A loss of one or two inches is an early sign of undiagnosed vertebral fractures and osteoporosis.
# Seek treatment. Confer with your doctor about conditions that can threaten bone density and what countermeasures you may need. Conditions include hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, certain intestinal and kidney disorders, and certain cancers.

Talk To Your Doctor

About conditions that can threaten bone density and what countermeasures you may need. Conditions include hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, certain intestinal and kidney disorders, and certain cancers.

Take calcium.
Both women and men need 1,000 mg of elemental calcium a day during midlife. The need rises to 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily after menopause in women and after age 65 in men. Most people don't get enough in their diets, so supplements are recommended. Because the body can absorb only a limited amount of calcium at once, take supplements in two or three doses during the day, preferably with meals. Make sure the supplement contains vitamin D, which facilitates the absorption of calcium.

Quit smoking.
Among 80-year-olds, smokers have up to 10% lower bone-mineral density, which translates into twice the risk of spinal fractures and a 50% increase in risk of hip fracture. One in eight hip fractures in women is linked to long-term cigarette use. What's more, fractures heal slower in smokers, and are more apt to heal improperly.

Avoid excessive alcohol

Too much alcohol prevents your body from absorbing calcium properly. Limit yourself to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Don't let depression linger.

Depression causes your body to produce cortisol, a stress-related hormone that saps minerals from bones. One study showed that women with clinical depression had lower bone densities in their hips and spines. So see a doctor or therapist for treatment.

Heart Healthy Vegetable Chili

Good for your heart and delicious too! Perfect on chilly winter days.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

You Will Need
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 sweet red or green pepper, diced
1 can (16 ounces) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 yellow squash
1 can (16 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

What to Do
1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over moderate heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté, stirring, about 7 minutes or until softened and golden. Stir in chili powder and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.

2. Sauté celery, carrots, and sweet pepper, stirring frequently, 6 to 7 minutes or until softened.

3. Add tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Add squash, kidney beans, and corn. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

4. Stir in the parsley and top each serving with sour cream.

Serves: 4

Per serving: Calories 374, Saturated Fat 1 g, Total fat 14 g, Sodium 661 mg, Cholesterol 0 mg, Protein 13 g, Carbohydrate 54 g, Fiber 14 g

Is Your Lipstick Dangerous?

Did you know that your make-up that you put on everyday could actually be harmful to you? I didn't.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 lipsticks for lead, from Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer to L'Oreal Colour Riche. The group found that 61 percent of the lipsticks tested contained a detectable amount of the contaminant, and several exceeded the Food and Drug Administration's lead limit for candy. (The study used candy as a benchmark not only because women ingest both candy and lipstick — albeit in vastly different amounts — but also because the FDA does not set lead standards for lipstick.)

And because Lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the body over time, tiny amounts ingested regularly (or, in the case of lipstick, multiple times per day) could be hazardous.

To see whether any products you use contain potentially hazardous ingredients, visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Web site , which lists information on more than 27,000 cosmetics and personal-care products.

The Best 100 Calorie Snacks

Hmmmmm...feeling those familiar hunger pains? You want a snack, but you're not sure just what snack? Well, here is a list of yummy 100 calorie snacks that you can choose from next time you're in the mood for 'a little something'.

20 Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

The following 20 foods can help kick-start your metabolism, fill you up and even lower your body fat percentage. So next time you go shopping, you may want to add some of these foods to your grocery list:

Bison, Buffalo
Green Tea
Chili Peppers

Read more about these foods and why they can help you lose weight.

Dr. Oz's Exercise Tips For A Healthier You!

Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., cardiac surgeon extraordinaire, is one of the country's leading voices for healthy living. Dr. Oz is a regular on Oprah, and one of the country's leading voices for healthy living. Here is Dr. Oz's Exercise Rx:

• Lift weights 30 minutes a week for bone health.

•Walk 30 minutes a day for weight control.

• Exercise 60 minutes a week at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate* for a healthier heart.

*To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, the maximum heart rate of a 45-year-old woman is 175. She should work out
60 minutes a week at a heart rate of 140 beats a minute. A good rule of thumb: The exercise should be aggressive enough to make you sweat in a cold room.

To read more of what Dr. Oz has to say about women and health, read on.

The 9 Best Diet Tips For Women

This list is from WebMD. Here's a brief summary from the site's article!

Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

Tip No. 2: Be choosy about nighttime snacks.

Tip No. 3: Enjoy your favorite foods.

Tip No. 4: Eat several mini-meals during the day.

Tip No. 5: Eat protein at every meal.

Tip No. 6: Spice it up.

Tip No. 7: Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.

Tip No. 8: Order children's portions at restaurants.

Tip No. 9: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.