At first glance, crafting and exercise would seem to have little in common. One involves moving your body to improve health and fitness, the other moving your hands to create with paper, needles, paint or yarn.
Yet both activities have important, complementary effects on mood and cognitive function.
Well, October has ended, and I don’t know about you, but I am a little “pinked out” these days. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and of course it’s wonderful that organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for breast cancer research over the years. I hope that cancer research eventually finds a cure for this awful disease, and I fully support getting out and racing for a cure and even buying a pink umbrella or Cuisinart if you’re in need of a new one.
But the cynical side of me — and the side that’s a mom of a young daughter — is a bit irked that the commercialization of breast cancer has overshadowed any talk of prevention, specifically the lifestyle choices we can make to help protect us from the disease.
It’s confirmed. Dairy products and sugar cause acne.
As our sugar and dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years, so has the number of people with acne. We now have more than 17 million acne sufferers, costing our health care system $1 billion a year, and 80-90 percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees. The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most but what we put in our mouth.
Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead, dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects.
Once upon a glorious pre-perimenopausal time, my cycles were more reliable than NASA and the Mayans for marking the passage of time. My body responded to exercise, diet and a good night’s sleep as intended — by performing well and looking good. Heck, my body responded to wine, chocolate and a restless night’s sleep by performing well and looking good!
We’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.
As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.
“Eating soy will kill you!” Scan the media reports and surf the Internet, and you’re bound to come across scary claims that would lead you to believe this is true. Some you may have heard:
• Soy will give you breast cancer.
• Soy formula is dangerous to babies.
• Genetically modified soy foods may modify you.
• Soy foods block your thyroid function.
• Soy prevents the absorption of minerals and interferes with digestion.
• Tofu causes Alzheimer’s Disease.
Despite the common observation that obesity runs in families, genetic research shows that the habits you inherit from your family are more important than the genes you inherit. Obesity genes account for only 5 percent of all weight problems. So, we have to wonder, what causes the other 95 percent of weight problems?
I consider myself a very “healthy” person. I eat well and walk and stretch every day. I challenge my balance to make sure I still can. I look both ways before crossing the street. But even with this preventative mindset, I still manage to end up wounded every month like clockwork. Don’t worry. It’s nothing my body isn’t designed to handle. And it is a wound borne by half of the people on the planet at about the same frequency.
Are your hormones out of balance? Does your life feel like a song played badly out of tune? If so, the problem may have to do with imbalances in your hormones, which are wreaking havoc on your body and mind.
Today I want to focus on the most common — and therefore the most problematic — of hormonal problems in Americans today: too much insulin.
I learned something interesting today, something that I’m pretty sure that a lot of people aren’t aware of. You know that package of “hormone-free” chicken that you make a point of buying? Well, that claim to fame is one that any chicken or poultry product could make, because poultry by law cannot be given hormones. Packages that make the hormone-free claim are required to also have a statement on their packaging saying that federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones, although this statement might be easily overlooked if it’s in fine print. Pork, too, cannot be raised with hormones.