Posts Tagged "choice"

California Trippin’

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on California Trippin’

California Trippin’

I greeted the fall season in California this year. Yes! California! I went to do an intensive training for a practice I’m newly unrolling in November at Source Centre called the Art of Feminine Presence (more on that in a future post) and then I spent a couple of days in West L.A., a place called Venice Beach. I am always so enriched by, and grateful for, opportunities to explore myself in different environments. I spent many hours by the Pacific ocean just absorbing her roaring beating heart…letting the sun stroke my skin (this is a different sun, I tell you)…drinking in the salty air…taking in the extraordinary beauty of the horizon and the hills and the sky. I took precious time feeling my feelings and grounding my energy. Whenever I go somewhere I can come back and write a novel of my experiences, the details, and the way I felt and the things that opened up and transformed for me. It’s truly one of the gifts of our time to be able to visit faraway places with relative ease and expense. I stayed at the most beautiful spot, made some new friends and had an amazing time exploring myself through time and space in unfamiliar terrain. And I came back a different person than I was when I left. In truth, don’t we go to bed each night a different person than the one who awoke that morning? What’s our degree of awareness around it? Do we search it out and welcome it? It can seem a scary thing but so, so worth it. To be...

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Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

Are weight loss supplements helpful in losing weight?

(Image: ‘Raspberry Fruits On Branch’ by adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Unfortunately not, at least not long-term. Diet pills rarely lead to permanent weight loss, as they do not actually “train” your mind to eat better and exercise more. The best method for weight loss is simply eating well and getting plenty of exercise. If you find that snacking is your weakness, try to get in touch with your hunger and appetite instead of relying on supplements. Often times we think we are hungry, when in actuality, our minds are playing tricks on us based on advertisements, scents, or anything else.  It is recommended to eat meals made up of foods that satisfy hunger and control appetite. Include sources of lean proteins, and snack on healthy high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables. With the growing market of diet supplements, buyer beware and do your research! A popular supplement currently on the market are raspberry ketones and they come in a variety of products. Some versions are sold at health food stores, with less obnoxious health claims, and are often combined with green tea, vitamins or  other herbals. When sold in combination with other nutrients, the health claims are often associated with the green tea, resveratrol and the like, with the raspberry ketone added as a flavouring or colourant. These products can also be purchased at pharmacies and are readily available on the internet. Lacking scientific research suggesting that raspberry ketones aid in weight loss, one might wonder how they are sold on the market with such claims. Health Canada acknowledges raspberry ketones to be a flavour enhancer added to other supplements, so sales are permitted. However, supplement stores and online websites are readily claiming the raspberry ketone to be a bioactive in helping the body to metabolize fat. When people see claims associated with a new product on the market, they jump to the conclusion that the claims are being made about the raspberry ketones themselves, when in actuality, the claim has been around for years for the actual bioactive nutrient.   They seem to be the newest rage in the ever growing weight loss market. Dr. Oz claims them to be a “Fat Burner in a Bottle”[1], backed up by seemingly real science. However, what the general public is not made aware of on the Dr. Oz website, is that there no sound scientific evidence suggesting that raspberry ketones do anything more than add flavour. Like any other product on the market, Dr. Oz, amongst other weight loss pill endorsers, say that it works when accompanied with healthy lifestyle habits. So is it the raspberry ketones that are making people lose weight…or is it the fact that people taking them are more likely to take conscious decisions when it comes to exercise and food choices? Probably the latter. Websites designed for the sale of raspberry ketones state that the product is completely natural, and all the ingredients are good for you to consume, so therefore there are no side effects[2]. Just because something is natural does not mean that there are no dangers in consuming the product. Any product that contains a bioactive ingredient, as the raspberry ketone is claiming to be, poses some risk to the consumer. The various websites advertising raspberry ketones are laden with spelling errors and grammatically incorrect sentences. If this doesn’t blatantly show that there is a lack of credibility in the product, then I’m not sure what does.  Overall, the evidence to suggest that raspberry ketones are beneficial in weight loss and weight management are null and void. Buyer beware. Celebrity endorsements may make...

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How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Uncategorized | Comments Off on How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

(Image: ‘Measuring Tape Around Apple’ by nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Have you ever wondered if the basic lifestyle changes you are committing to will benefit your well being in the long run? It can often be challenging to maintain a diet and exercise regime because the changes that occur can seem so insignificant. However, not all the changes are going to be visible right away and any lost weight is going to be beneficial. People often complain about working out and eating well for weeks, yet they are not losing the weight that they had imagined. Committing to a healthy lifestyle is the first step in achieving health benefits of weight loss. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle will be observed throughout the body, but the changes often begin internally. Health benefits are observed when any amount of weight is lost, especially when it is done so in a gradual manner as opposed to crash dieting. Crash dieting will trick the body into thinking it is being starved. This will effectively decrease the body’s metabolism and cause weight gain, or inconsistent weight loss, in which an initial period of weight loss will be followed by weight re-gain. Another issue with crash diets are the persistent cravings. When you starve your body of required nutrients, the body will respond by craving foods that are high in fat. This is an innate coping mechanism of the body in order to maintain energy levels for basic bodily functions. Crash diets and speedy weight loss are not going to benefit the body, and any weight loss achieved will be short lived. Make small changes in eating and physical activity routines that can be sustained over time. Your body will lose weight gradually and more permanently. So, to get back to the question: How much weight loss is recommended to see benefits? If you are overweight, losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help improve blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars and blood triglyceride levels. This equates to losing 8 pounds for someone who weighs 175 pounds. Losing this amount of weight can be easy, and getting assistance from a nutritionist and/or sports trainer can help you achieve your goals in a healthful manner for long lasting results. A practical caloric restriction of only 250-500 calories a day will allow you to lose half to one full pound in a week, as 1500 calories is equivalent to one pound. Simply saying no to whipped cream topping on a drink can curb an astonishing 120 calories! Reducing 250-500 calories a day is manageable, and can be done in increments throughout the day. Losing small amounts of weight can improve your health and slowly help you reach a healthier weight.  Any amount of weight loss is beneficial if you are overweight. The moment you commit to a healthy lifestyle is the moment your body will begin to gain the benefits of weight...

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Let’s Get Outside

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on Let’s Get Outside

Let’s Get Outside

Heading into June finds us in the longest days of the year. This is it: the time to get outside and enjoy as many drops of sunlight and warm weather as possible. We wait through many months of darkness to get to here so what are you doing to make the most of it? I was inspired by the David Suzuki Foundation challenge this past May to spend 30 minutes in nature for 30 days. Sounds simple enough. However, according to the D S F website, the average Canadian spends more than 90% of their time indoors! Unless we make a deliberate and conscientious effort, it can be easy to miss the summer.  Do you find yourself saying “Where’s all the time gone?”I hear this from people quite frequently and especially so this past May. Perhaps you tell yourself that you’ll make it out to something eventually but never somehow quite seem to manage to. It’s so easy to lose track of time and let these days of light and sun slip through our fingers. Don’t let it happen! In the spirit of these beautiful long days of light leading up to the summer solstice, and inspired by the David Suzuki Foundation, I encourage you to commit to spending at least 30 minutes outdoors for 30 days in June. (Then, maybe continue it through to July, August – you get the picture.) There are many health benefits to being outdoors, including increased vitamin D which has a host of benefits (see Dr. Tara Andresen’s blog earlier this winter on the importance of Vitamin D http://www.sourcecentre.ca/vitamin-d-to-the-rescue-your-secret-weapon-during-the-cold-flu-season/ ) We experience greater peace and healing in nature; our stress levels lower, we are restored and feeling happier. We’re also more likely to experience greater fitness levels the more time we spend outdoors.  So are you ready to commit to more time outdoors this June (and beyond)?   Let’s walk, run, play, swim. The options are endless. Or why not take indoor activities and bring them outside? This could be office meetings…or eating lunch…or brushing teeth! Check out the great suggestions on the David Suzuki website and drop by and pick up a journal at Source Centre where you can track your outdoor adventures. Take on the great outdoors this summer, so that when it draws to an end and the days become perceptibly shorter, you can feel satisfied and satiated by all that you did. Enjoy this sublime season. See you outside. (photo by Lana, who got outside)  ...

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About Maintenance

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on About Maintenance

About Maintenance

(Image: ‘Girl Doing cartwheel At Beach’ by imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Life in the western half of the world teaches us that if something’s not broken, don’t fix it. Therefore, when one is “healthy” there is no reason to go to the doctor. It’s only when one finds one’s self “unhealthy”, that it’s time to go find a cure, see a doctor, take medication(s), do whatever will “fix” the problem. This to many of us is the normal way of things. On the other hand, we’re told that we must have an anti-virus installed on the computer and always have it backed-up; we’ve got to change the filter in the furnace and regularly change the oil in the car. In these examples, we’re exhorted not to wait for something to get broken because it will cost us twice as much. Quite frankly, I don’t understand the logic! When we’re talking about our belongings we need to be proactive but not when it’s about our bodies and our health and wellbeing? Maintaining good health in our bodies is something we all can and need to do. It’s also something we ourselves can take the initiative on through the choices we make. What we put in – what and how much we eat and at what times – and what we put on our body. It’s vital to be physically active, to listen to our body’s limits, to ensure we’re getting enough sleep. These are only a few examples of how our personal actions can benefit our health. That being said, there are many therapeutic modalities out there to assist us in achieving and maintaining great health. Many of us are aware of the great benefits of Chinese Medicine in treating a wide variety of conditions, from pain relief to dealing with allergies, emotional stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, infertility, and much more. But did you know that, above all else, Chinese Medicine is a preventative medicine? Chinese Medicine as a whole, and especially the “Stems & Branches” method, is designed to be a preventative type of medicine, first and foremost. The ancient Chinese actually developed different techniques to prevent illness and maintain health, that differ from those used to treat a disease.  In the “NEI JING”- the main classic of Chinese Medicine – it is said that a good doctor will get rid of the symptoms and relieve the patient’s suffering. A great doctor will treat the root of the illness and prevent its recurrence. A real master, however, will identify the illness (by pulse diagnosis) before it manifests in the physical body and prevent it from occurring at all. Also consider, in this system the doctor only is paid as long as the patient stays healthy. When someone is sick or suffers from disease, the treatment is free! In our era where healthcare is so costly, think of how wonderful it would be if this was still the way we operated. So my advice to you is to take an active role in your health.  Live right. Eat right. Sleep right. Find the kind of physical activity that fits who you are and allows you to experience joy. And yes, you can use Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to make sure you stay happy and healthy. Don’t wait for something to get broken. Trust me, it’s much cheaper and more pleasant if you don’t.   Yours In Health, Yuval Blum...

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