Saturday, February 26, 2011

Foods That Help You Snooze

Do you have problem sleeping?? Here are some food listed by Dr. Oz to help you get a good night sleep.

Having trouble falling asleep? There is a surprising way to get more shut eye: change your diet. Learn what foods to eat before bedtime so you can stay sound asleep 'til the sun comes up.

You may not think what happens at your dinner table has much to do with your nights of tossing and turning, but there is a connection. Diets high in refined sugar can cause indigestion and trigger insulin surges that interfere with the hormones that affect sleep. The solution: low-fat and high-fiber foods

When you eat is as important as what you eat for a peaceful night. Eating late at night forces your body and brain to be digesting instead of resting. Avoid eating 3 hours before you go to bed. 

The following are simple, tasty and nutritious options to help you get the 7-8 hours of sleep that are so critical to your health.

Bananas are chockfull of potassium and magnesium, which both help to relax your muscles to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. Bananas also have the added benefit of helping to lower your blood pressure while you sleep.

Popcorn With Parmesan Cheese provides a delicious combination of carbohydrates and dairy. Dairy has tryptophan in it, which is a precursor to a sleep-inducing hormone, and the carbohydrates in the popcorn help your brain absorb tryptophan better. For simple instructions to make light, homemade popcorn, click here.

Top your salads with chia seeds; they contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. The tryptophan in chia seeds, like in turkey, raises melatonin and serotonin levels, which promotes stable sleep. With more than twice the tryptophan of turkey, you’ll need just 2 ounces of chia seeds to help you snooze.

Wheat germ sprinkled on yogurt or cereal will provide you with a boost of vitamin B6, used in sleep aids for its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety. Try 1 teaspoon of wheat germ for more restful sleep. 

A cup of valerian tea with honey before bed is a centuries old practice. The natural compounds in valerian tea have been used as a sedative and may help reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. The glucose in honey will help you relax as you are trying to fall asleep; it affects orexin, a neurotransmitter that has been linked to alertness.

Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, the sleep hormone that regulates and resets your internal clock. Drink an 8 oz. glass in the morning and 2 hours before bed for sweet dreams. To get the full benefit, drink this juice at a scheduled time every day. To read more about melatonin, click here.

A turkey burger with spinach on a whole wheat bun is the perfect meal for restful sleep. You can thank the tryptophan in turkey for that. Tryptophan not only affects melatonin, but it also creates serotonin, which helps to stabilize sleep. The iron in spinach is also known to help relieve the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome. For Dr. Oz-approved turkey recipes, click here.

Note : Iron is critical to several body functions including :
  • Creating hemoglobin in red blood cells
  • Transporting oxygen to cells
  • Regulating cell growth and development
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system
  • Promoting healthy brain function
A deficiency of this essential nutrient can put you at risk for serious conditions such as iron-deficient anemia, which causes fatigue and weakens the immune system.

 Cheese and 100% whole grain crackers are your best bedtime-snack bet. The whole grains help produce serotonin. Cheese, like other dairy products, contains tryptophan. Together, they make for a winning combination.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home Remedies Put to the Test

Here are some home remedies that are tested by Dr. Oz and might be  useful in case of emergencies.

Dr. Oz continues to put viewer home remedies to the test. See what works and what doesn't.

Often communicated by a trusted source, it's easy to believe in the healing powers of home remedies. However, it can be difficult to differentiate a successful home remedy from an old wives' tale. To clear up the confusion, Dr. Oz took some remedies YOU swear by and put them to the test!

Chopped Garlic and Honey/Turmeric Powder and Milk for Joint Pain
Method: For the first step, chop garlic and add to 1 tablespoon of honey. For the second step, add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder to a half a glass of warm milk. Swallow the honey-garlic mixture and chase it with the milk mixture.
Verdict: It works! Inflammation is a major cause of joint pain. Garlic, honey, turmeric and milk all have anti-inflammatory properties. Mixing turmeric into warm milk (instead of water) makes it easier to drink.

Tickle the Roof of Your Mouth to Stop Hiccups
Method: Use a cotton ball to tickle the roof of your mouth at the point where the hard and soft palate meets.
Verdict: It works! Hiccups are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm. Tickling the roof of your mouth stimulates the vagus nerve, which interrupts that spasm.

Play the Didgeridoo to Help Snoring
Method: The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that produces a droning sound. Play this instrument, or as an alternative, blow into a wrapping paper roll before bed to help with snoring and sleep apnea.
Verdict: It works! Snoring and sleep apnea are caused by collapse of upper airways. Playing the didgeridoo strengthens those muscles and prevents them from narrowing. It uses circular breathing – storing air in your cheeks for one continuous breath. This practice can also lessen daytime sleepiness, a complication of snoring and sleep apnea.

Lemon Slices for Constipation
Method: Cut a lemon into pieces and then eat it.
Verdict: It works! Raw lemon is high in vitamin C, and in high doses, vitamin C can cause diarrhea.

Headband to Cure a Headache
Method: Pour rubbing alcohol into a bowl, wet the bandana in the alcohol and then tie it tightly around your head
Verdict: It doesn't work. Although there might be some comfort in cooling your forehead, the fumes of the alcohol can actually worsen your headache. Additionally, high levels of alcohol absorbed through the skin and may cause nausea. Instead, soak the bandana in water that's been mixed with a little bit of rosemary or lavender.

Cabbage Juice to Cure Ulcers
Method: Take raw cabbage and blend in a juice extractor to remove the pulp. Drink the juice while fresh. You can sweeten the taste by adding carrot juice.
Verdict: It works! Fresh, uncooked cabbage has been proven to heal ulcers. In a study conducted in the 1950s, over 90% of participants were completely rid of their ulcers through this method.

Olive Oil Rinse to Prevent Gingivitis
Method: Take a bit of olive oil, and swish it around in your mouth. Swallow.
Verdict: It works! Because olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fat) and antioxidants that reduce plaque buildup, it works to prevent gingivitis. It can also minimize the discomfort from other sores in your mouth. Additionally, the antioxidants in olive oil help to kill off H. pylori, the bacteria that infects stomach lining and causes ulcers.

Milk and Cabbage Gel for Back Pain
Method: Chop up 5-6 large leaves of cabbage into halves or quarters. Add them to 2 cups of milk. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat for around 20-35 minutes until it boils and starts to look and feel sticky. Spread the mixture onto your back and leave on for around 20 minutes.
Verdict: It does not work! Although the heat may help to loosen up the muscles and bring relief, there is no science behind milk or cabbage being useful for back pain.

Curry Rice Drink for an Upset Stomach
Method: Take boiled rice, add around 10 crushed curry leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds and then fry together. Then add 1 glass of water and bring to a boil. Have the drink on an empty stomach.
Verdict: It works! Rice usually helps an upset stomach. Additionally, there is also some evidence that curry leaves contain a protein that slows down digestion, and could be helpful to treat diarrhea.

Onion Wrap for Fever Aches & Pains
Method: Peel and slice an onion. Then cut the tops of panty hose and place the slices inside. Wrap around you ankle like a bracelet. Put a sock on over the onion. Wear overnight to reduce your fever.
Verdict: It might work. Onions have anti-inflammatory properties which could reduce a fever, but only when eaten. There is no evidence that this would work through the skin.

Olive Oil and Garlic for Ear Infections
Method: Heat 1 tsp olive oil. Cool oil until it's tepid. Make sure you test first. Add less than 1/3 of a pressed garlic clove - make sure you use only tiny pieces that will dissolve and not chunks. Use a clear dropper and add a couple drops into the ear canal.
Verdict: It works! Garlic has anti-bacterial properties which relieves pain and cures infection.

Chicken Soup Cures a Cold
Method: We've all heard that chicken soup is good for a cold, and instinctively, this makes sense...but does it really work?
Verdict: It works! Chicken soup slows immune cells down, reducing the inflammation that causes cold symptoms. The steam also helps to clear stuff airways. Try this bonafide recipe from a Dr. Oz viewer.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn
Method: Swallow a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar rather than popping antacids to soothe heartburn.
Verdict: It does not work! Apple cider vinegar works for a lot things (like killing germs, weight loss and hair health) but unfortunately, there's no evidence that supports it can help heartburn. And if it tastes bad, skip it altogether.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Anti-Aging Foods Cheat Sheet

Here's a treat on how to look younger without undergoing cosmetic surgeries. Just take a look at all the list of foods that Dr.Oz has laid out. Choose your pick!!

Consider these foods your anti-aging staples. As a rule, fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids and carotenoids, 2 powerful plant-based antioxidants, will remove the free radicals from your skin and body that cause you to age prematurely.

A well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, live longer and feel fitter. But it can also help you look younger. Forget the fountain of youth. Load up a plate at the feel-better buffet and turn back the clock on a full (and happy) stomach.

  • Cucumbers are good for the skin. The silica in the peel helps reduce wrinkles and boost collagen. Buy them unwaxed if possible.
  • Blood oranges contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that combat free radical damage and UV rays.
  • Cod contains selenium which safeguards your skin from sun damage and cancer.
  • Mango provides 96% of your daily vitamin C needs and helps prevent periodontal disease.
  • Lowfat cottage cheese is full of protein, and therefore promotes hair health (since hair is mostly protein). Just be wary of hidden sodium levels.
  • Lean beef is full of iron. Iron deficiency can cause nail beds to be thin and concave.
  • Foods of the Mediterranean: fennel, an anti-inflammatory; octopus, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, B12, iron and zinc; gigantes beans, giant lima beans rich in potassium
  • Oysters an excellent source of zinc, which aids in protein synthesis and collagen formation. 
  • Red peppers and brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C, which help build collagen and fight off free radicals.
  • Blueberries 1 serving of this superfood provides more antioxidant activity than most fruits and veggies. Antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles.
  • Sunflower seeds contain lignin phytoestrogens, which prevent collagen breakdown and boost the skin's lipid barrier.
  • Tuna contains Omega-3 fatty acids that fight UV-related cell damage and are a rich source of niacin, a deficiency of which causes skin rashes.
  • Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats and contain biotin for healthy skin.
  • Watermelon is a source of lycopene, which protects the skin from UV rays.
  • Kelp contains vitamins C and E, which protect fats in the skin's moisture barrier from free-radical damage.
  • Lentils are a good source of zinc.
  • Pumpkin seeds are pumped full of antioxidants and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Eggs are high in iron and biotin.
  • Pomegranate seeds contain juice rich in ellagic acid and punic alagin - 2 agents that fight damage from free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin.
  • Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol").
  • Black currants contain a compound called anthocyanosides, which can help improve vision. Additionally, this superfood contains 5 times the vitamin C that oranges do, making it a superb immunity booster.
  • Cranberry juice disrupts the formation of plague and thereby prevents yellowing of teeth. The flavonoids in cranberry juice also counteract the damaging effects of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Be careful that you aren't drinking a sugar-laden cranberry juice cocktail.
  • Dark chocolate will help curb your sweet tooth and is rich in flavonoids.  
  • Red wine made with the dark skin and seeds of the grapes that are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol. If you aren't a drinker, opt for grape juice or a resveratrol supplement available at your drug store for about $25.
  • Pure noni juice, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can help fight the formation of tumors – and wrinkles. Noni and noni products, like DERMAdoctor Photodynamic Therapy Noni Lotion, build collagen and are high in antioxidants and polyphenols.
  • Guava is packed with vitamin C which boosts collagen production to smooth skin. Two cups of guava per week is the perfect dose of this anti-aging powerhouse.
  • Wheat germ is rich in zinc, which plays a crucial role in the production of new skin cells. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent eczema; recent studies even indicate that wheat germ can help reduce acne. Get half a cup of wheat germ per day for your daily dose of zinc. Try sprinkling it over salads and yogurt or adding it to smoothies.
  • Romaine lettuce is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamin A, a vitamin that helps revitalize skin by increasing cell turnover and encouraging new skin cell growth. Add 6 leaves to your salad or as a side with dinner for your daily allowance of vitamin A.
  • Brazil nuts contain selenium, a powerful mineral that aids in the production of the antioxidant, glutathione which repairs cell damage and slows down the skin's aging process. Just 2 nuts a day will help you stop the aging process in its tracks.
  • Tomatoes provide lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, elevated cholesterol and cancer. Lycopene acts as natural sun block, preventing the UV damage that causes sun spots, dryness, wrinkles. Remember to cook tomatoes for the maximum anti-aging effect.
  • Sardines, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, promote hair growth and shine to keep your locks looking young.
  • Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C, which the body needs to manufacture sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is the body's "natural conditioner," and keeps hair shiny, smooth and young looking, while preventing dryness.
  • Beans, which are high in protein, promote hair growth and help thicken hair cells by making the fibers stronger.
  • Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A; this nutrient is essential to a healthy scalp and youthful-looking, shiny hair. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Refrigerator/Freezer Food Storage Chart

Another information from The Dr. Oz Show to be shared, a storage chart which i found it to be useful for my everyday use.

Note : 40 degrees Fahrenheit is equivalent to 4 degrees celcius.

Properly storing foods can help maintain their quality. Whether you’re freezing or refrigerating, one basic rule applies: When in doubt, throw it out! Use this chart from Home Food Safety to stop guessing and get the most out of your food.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Less Stress in 5 Minutes

Feeling stress ?? Here are some tips from The Dr. Oz Show to lower stress.

Whether it's work, money or family that's the cause, most of us have more stress in our lives than we'd like; it's pushing our bodies to the breaking point and we don't know how to manage stress, let along eliminate it. Dr. Oz is revealing how to lower your stress in less than 5 minutes

Commit to improving your overall mental and physical health by taking just 5 minutes a day to reduce the stress in your life. Here's Dr. Oz's 5-step plan that takes less than 5 minutes and costs next to nothing.

Step 1: Viva Vitamin C
Vitamin C allows the body to quickly clear out cortisol, a primary stress hormone that increases sugars in the bloodstream. Although helpful in a fight or flight scenario, regularly elevated levels of cortisol in your body suppress normal functioning of the digestive system, reproductive system and growth processes. Vitamin C helps to regulate cortisol and prevent blood pressure from spiking in response to stressful situations.

Grab an orange, a kiwi or try a supplement of 3,000mg for maximum benefit.

Step 2: Have a Cup of Black Tea
It seems that slowing down your day an enjoying a cup of tea would be a calming practice in itself. And when you order black tea, you'll get the calming benefits of flavonoids, which help block fight or flight divisions in the nervous system. Black tea does contain caffeine though, so limit yourself to one cup.

Step 3: Snack on Pistachios
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. They are also full of nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and help stop cell damage. During times of stress, this nutritious nut helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate. One serving is roughly 50 kernels - so crack into a few!

Step 4: Massage Your Ears
Borrowing from the ancient secrets of acupuncture, acupressure allows you to give yourself an ear massage pressure points on the lobes and outer rims of the ear, both of which help to relax all the muscles of the face and body.

Start by applying light pressure to your earlobes using your thumb and index finger. Then, rub the earlobes and move up the outer rim of the ear to the top of your ear. Apply pressure very gently and then work your way back down. You can do this for about 1-2 minutes.

Step 5: The Forehead Massage
The acupressure point you want to massage here is located between the eyebrows. It's connected to the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland responsible for the production of melatonin. Begin by placing gentle pressure right between the eyebrows, then move toward the middle of the brow. You can move back and forth or pull your fingers along your eyebrow.

All of these steps can be done in less than five minutes - but remember that the massages are free and there's no harm in performing them more than once a day.

These quick steps are vital to your health; reduced stress is directly correlated with reduced risk for heart disease.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hachiko: A Dog's Story

As usual, every time i switched on the tv i would checked the infos on every  astro channel choosing what story to watch. The movie title on HBO sounds interesting so i decided to hook up to channel 411.

It was a beautiful story of a relationship between a professor and a faithful dog named Hachi. It was a story on loyalty,a moving story which shed my tears. It was a true story. I googled and found the story behind the american adaptation of the Japanese movie Hachikō Monogatari from this link.

The movie Hachiko A Dog' Story is based on a true story that took in first half of the 20th century in Japan. To  learn more checkout  Wikipedia:

In 1924, Hachiko was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life Hachiko saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno didn't return on the usual train one evening. The professor had suffered a stroke at the university that day. He died and never returned to the train station where his friend was waiting.

Hachiko was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. After time, Hachiko apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. Each day, Hachiko waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he didn't see his friend among the commuters at the station.

The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachiko and Professor Ueno together each day. Realizing that Hachiko waited in vigil for his dead master, their hearts were touched. They brought Hachiko treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

This continued for 10 years, with Hachiko appearing only in the evening time, precisely when the train was due at the station.

The people of Japan was so touched by this heartfelt example of a dog's devotion for his owner that a statue a bronze statue in Hachiko's likeness was erected at Shibuya Station:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three Cancer Preventing Secrets

Another article to help reduce the risk for cancer from the The Dr. Oz Show. Cancer is a deadly disease which causes the cells to grow in an abnormal manner and beyond control. Thus, let us make a head start of prevention rather than curing later.

In the midst of an ever-expanding list of risk factors, cancer-proofing your life can seem like an impossible endeavor. But with these secrets from experts on the front-lines of cancer research, you can start to reduce your risk in just a few simple steps.

The following are 3 secrets to help you reduce your cancer risk:

Secret #1: Eat Hard Cheeses
Studies have shown that people who eat 2 slices of hard cheese a day have an overall decreased risk of developing cancers. These cheeses contain menaquinone, a special form of vitamin K, known as vitamin K2, that inhibits cancer growth. Hard cheeses are typically made with bacteria that ferment and vitamin K2 is a byproduct of that process. If you are concerned about introducing cheese into your diet for health reasons, don’t worry too much; vitamin K2 actually protects the heart against hardening of the arteries. Try eating cheeses rich in vitamin K2 like gouda, Jarlsberg and edam. 

Secret #2: Exercise Regularly
Maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising regularly can significantly decrease your cancer risks. To reap the full benefits, you should be engaging in vigorous exercise for 45 to 60 minutes, 5 days a week. However, if such a rigorous routine is unrealistic for you, there are benefits to moderate exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise during which you reach an elevated heart rate 3 days a week.

Secret #3: Stop Grilling Meats
Research has found that grilling and pan-frying meats – red meat, pork, poultry and fish – causes the muscle to break down and creates cancer-causing chemicals as a byproduct of the process. These chemicals are highly concentrated in the blackened, charred areas of grilled meats.

Limit your grilling and pan-frying, and try steaming, broiling and sautéing your meats instead. If you have to grill, it’s better to grill fruits or vegetables. You can minimize your exposure to cancerous chemicals by marinating or precooking meat before tossing it on the grill.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Brain Foods That Fight Alzheimer's

Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases  and Alzheimer's disease (AD), is one form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. Do you know that Alzheimer's disease can strike a person as early as 45. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.

Practicing a healthy diet is more than counting calories – it’s about choosing the foods that will most fully benefit your body and mind. These brain foods have the power to build your brain up and prevent cognitive decline and the onset of crippling conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and omega-3s are big health buzzwords that have one thing in common – they do great things for your body and nourish your brain. Giving your brain the nutrients it needs is essential to longevity. Keep this list of foods handy and make sure to refuel your brain often. It will thank you later.
  • Lentils (kacang dhal) provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose, a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber content of lentils is a key component in keeping your brain in optimal shape. The fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells. 
  • Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have been found to keep the arteries of the brain clear of plaque. They nourish the brain by helping communication between brain cells. Sprinkle some into your yogurts, cereals and salads, or munch on them alone.
  • Brazil nuts are an excellent source of healthy, or monounsaturated, fats. They are also high in magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to the transmission of signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Almonds, walnuts and cashews are also excellent brain foods. Eat a fistful of brazil nuts or mixed nuts a day.
  • Coffee can protect the brain. One study found that coffee can help keep the blood-brain barrier intact; this barrier acts as a coating, and protects the brain from unwanted materials and damaging elements, like harmful cholesterol. Another study showed that coffee may also improve short-term memory. Coffee is high in antioxidants; Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. Drinking one or two cups a day is healthy, just remember to use modest amounts of milk and sugar. 

Article is  taken from The Dr. Oz Show

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stain First Aid Chart

If you go to the link below you can print  a better and clearer chart. Hope you find it useful.
Checklists & Charts: Stain Removal Basic                     NOTE: This chart is for washable items only.
from Martha Stewart Living

The diluted-soap solutions called for above is made with 1 tablespoon of fragrance- and dye-free liquid soap (containing sodium laurel sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate) and 9.5 ounces of water. Pour it into a tiny spray bottle. Do not use the enzyme detergent, called for below, on protein fibers, such as silk, wool, cashmere or angora. Always wash fabric after using a dry solvent (such as mineral spirits or acetone), and do not use acetone on acetate.,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sugar Detox Challenge

 Anybody up to the challenge??Here are some guidelines for us to reduce consumption of sugar and embrace a healthy life.

There’s some sour news about the sweet stuff. Excess consumption of sugar can lead to an increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other serious health conditions. Take this challenge to reduce the amount of sugar you consume – you’ll feel healthier, and if you stick with it, you may just extend your life.


There’s no sugarcoating the facts. Excess sugar consumption puts your body in danger of many potentially fatal conditions.




Know Your Risk

Learn the top 4 reasons why sugar should get the boot from your diet.

1. High Blood Pressure - Normal nitric oxide levels keep blood vessels healthy and open. Too much sugar in your diet decreases nitric oxide levels, causing blood vessels to become narrow, which causes high blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiac disease.

2. High Cholesterol - People who consume too much sugar are more likely to have lower levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, higher levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and higher levels of triglycerides, or blood fats. This clogs up arteries and blood vessels, leading to heart disease.

3. Liver Disease - A diet high in sugar is believed to exacerbate fatty liver disease. Too much sugar spikes insulin and drives fat into the liver cells, which causes inflammation and scarring, eventually causing the liver to become cirrhotic.

4. Insulin Resistance - When sugar enters the body, insulin opens the door to allow sugar into the cells. However, when there are continuous sugar spikes, insulin becomes less effective. Sugar can’t get into the cells and become “stuck” in the body, producing toxic effects that lead to obesity and the threat of diabetes.


The average American consumes 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners each year. Sugar substitutes are added to nearly 6,000 products sold in the US, including baby foods, frozen dinners and even yogurts.


Carefully Consider the Alternatives

Examine the health risks linked to artificial sweeteners. They’re not always the healthier option.
  • Sucralose (includes Splenda brand) – It is 500 times sweeter than sucrose, stored in body fats, and does not affect blood sugar levels. Its use is too new to know the long-term effects, but it appears the most promising and is the best one for cooking.
  • Aspartame (includes Equal, Nutrasweet brands) – Several studies have found it has adverse health effects. This sweetener stays in your body longest, and it cannot be heated – or it turns into formaldehyde.
  • Saccharin (includes Sweet’N Low brand) – Long-term data suggest it may be one of the safest sweeteners, even if some of the data is not positive.


Hunt down hidden sugars hiding in your cabinets and pantry. Throw away foods containing high amounts of added sugars, everything from tomato sauces to ketchup and peanut butter. Be especially wary of low-fat items as they often contain more sugar to make them taste better.


Eliminate Hidden Sugars

When purging your kitchen, be on the look out for these names:
  • Fructose
  • Maltose
  • Sorbitol
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Syrups
  • Xylotol
  • Sugars ending in "ol" or "ose"


The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That equals about a 100 calories worth of sugar. Unfortunately, it’s less than the sugar in one candy bar or can of soda. This doesn’t include all the natural sources of sugar from fruits, some vegetables and even some whole grains. Many Americans consume close to a whopping 22 teaspoons a day.


Cut Your Consumption

Instead of buying and consuming processed foods that include sugar, try buying healthier and whole-food alternatives with low or no added sugar. You can add up to one 1 teaspoon of sugar to these foods. This puts you in control of the amount of sugar you’re consuming.


Soda is loaded with caffeine and high-fructose corn syrup, and it's making Americans sick. In addition to contributing to weight gain, soda increases your risk of diabetes, bone weakening and tooth decay.

Cut Out the Soda (Soft drinks)

Whatever amount of soda you are currently drinking, cut it in half. If you drink 6 sodas a day, decide which 3 are the most important to you and eliminate the other 3. Next week, cut it in half again. Continue on like this until you have eliminated soda from your diet.


Using fresh spices and herbs can trick taste buds into thinking you’re eating something sinfully sweet.


Trick Your Taste Buds

Try adding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla or allspice to your coffee, cereals and baked goods.
In addition, some of these natural alternative sweeteners may also do the trick.
  • Honey - Unlike white table sugar, honey is a complex food. One teaspoon contains 25 other compounds including proteins, amino acids and trace minerals.
  • Agave - A distilled sweetener derived from the blue agave cactus, agave has a low glycemic index.
  • Stevia - A low-calorie sweetener that comes from a plant native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so a little goes a long way.


Though eating as few simple sugars as possible is the goal, if you do eat them, there is a right and wrong way to do so. Never eat high-sugar foods by themselves.


Keep Your Sugar Under Control

When not eaten with other substances like fat or protein, sugar consumption can cause blood sugar spikes. Pair sugars with nuts or some olive oil and bread first. This slows your stomach from emptying and will keep sugar levels stable.

from the Dr. Oz Show challenges


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Korean Drama - Thank You

Two days i have not been blogging due to a Korean Drama ( Thank You ) addiction. I accidentally tuned in to TV3 and saw  this heartbreaking scene where this single mother was harassed by her neighbours and was forced to move out from her home, why?? her daughter has AIDS. Then there was this cute chubby little girl singing Beautiful World to her guardian angel no.1 which really touched my heart.  I'm not a great fan of serial drama  coz i don't like to wait for its ending where you have to follow day in and day out and once  a while you'll bound to miss one or two episodes. What frustrated me most,  is missing the final, the finale, the end of the story. It will drive me crazy for  not knowing the ending.

I've searched high and low on the web for this particular drama , found one but  with no subtitles and the other site, waiting forever for it to to be downloaded until i found an entry in  sweet of l!fe where she cited this link  maaduu BETA where you can watch Korean Drama for free.

Between the sobbing and crying i had to pause for a few hours  coz i had guest coming over and had to juggle with the housework and finally, yesterday i managed to watch the final episode and  that was during  the midnight. That is why  I have to refrain myself  from the very beginning not to start watching this drama series and reading novels b'coz when i start i just cannot put it off. This is my weakness for not having the patience to read a chapter a day or  watch an episode a day. Shame on me.

For the benefits of those  who has no idea what the drama is all about here's a synopsis that i copied from
Dr. Min Ki Seo went to Blue Island to fulfill his deceased girlfriend’s last wish to find the single mother and her little girl who was infected by HIV and to apologize to them on her behalf as she had unknowingly given the girl tainted blood when she was being treated at the hospital. Lee Young Shin, the single mom, was having a hard time caring for her grandfather who has Alzeimer’s and keeping her daughter’s HIV condition a secret while teaching her how to live with it. Min Ki Seo was an arrogant person who looked down on people and in meeting Lee Young Shin who accepted her fate and tried to make the best of it despite all odds, he slowly changed for the better and became a warm and caring person.

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