From time to time, we highlight the best articles, blogs, news, videos and interesting Web tidbits to help you live fit, live healthy, live green and live happy. Here are our latest finds, just in time for Spring! From wild new workout hybrids to sweet-smelling charities, we’re sure you’ll find something to pique your interest.
Are millions of us born with a genetic defect that makes us produce too much stomach acid? Do we just have a major evolutionary design flaw that requires us to take powerful acid-blocking drugs to prevent heartburn and reflux?
I believe that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.”
At least 10 percent of Americans have episodes of heartburn every day, and 44 percent have symptoms at least once a month. Overall, reflux and heartburn (also known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease) affect a whopping 25 to 35 percent of the U.S. population! As a result, acid-blocking medications are the third-top-selling type of drug in America today. Two other drugs to treat reflux, Nexium and Prevacid, are among the world’s best-selling drugs and account for approximately $5.1 and $3.4 billion in sales annually.
Every winter, I yearn for a vacation. Surprisingly, ice and snow, the post-holiday blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder are not the chief motivators. What drives me is the chance to stop routines, habits and patterns — even the healthy ones: the dietary habits I’ll resume, the exercise routines I worked hard to put into place. Ever since I took my first meditation retreat over the week between Christmas and New Year’s, vacation has meant more to me than just fun and sun. It has meant permission: permission to relax, to reconnect inner body and outer body, and, most of all, to stop talking.
I was recently around a parent who was teaching their child discipline. When the child would become disruptive and disobedient, the parent would say, “Do you want a time out?” If the child continued, the parent would say, “All right, if you keep this up, you will take a time out.” The child continued and the parent said, “Okay, that’s it! Time out!” They then made the child sit in a place that they were not allowed to get out of until the parent gave permission. Of course, the child was upset even though they were clearly testing the boundaries.
With today’s hectic schedules, it seems like there is just no time for anything besides the day-to-day hustle. This can make taking time to make healthy choices seem like a luxury.
What’s your typical day like? For many people, it’s up in the morning and off to work with no time for breakfast, or up in the morning, drive through the closest fast food joint and haul butt to work. And that’s just breakfast. The rest of the day will likely include snacking at your desk and lunch at some place that, while close to work, may or may not have healthy options.
I know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:
If it’s late morning or mid-afternoon where you are, chances are that you’ve already had at least one fleeting thought about dinner tonight. You may be picturing a juicy steak, a tender pork roast or a golden, baked chicken. I doubt that many of you dream about a steaming plate of stink beetles, leeches or cave spiders.
The Path to Love
Our materialistic worldview has reduced love to a haphazard flow of hormones coupled to psychological fantasies. The spiritual truth is very different. Once the walls fall down, we discover that our real problem is that there is too much love around us, not too little. Love is eternal and unbounded; it is only we who take tiny sips from its infinite ocean.
Anyone who’s ever endured spending an hour or two with kids after they’ve been trick-or-treating or collecting candy at a birthday party probably doesn’t need a medical study to tell them that there is a link between kids’ diet and behavior.
When you see the world in yourself, there are no more outward obstacles to happiness. The inner and outer worlds are mirrors of each other. They change according to your level of consciousness. If you are vibrating at the level of fear, your inner world of thoughts and emotions and your outer world of events and relationships will reflect that. Similarly, if your consciousness vibrates at the level of love, then love will be present in both your inner and outer worlds. A flow of happiness and abundance will manifest when you have reached the deepest level of yourself.
– Deepak Chopra, The Happiness Prescription (Harmony Books, 2009)