Be healthy without cutting everything out of your diet: 10 traveler’s tips to being healthy Comments Off on Be healthy without cutting everything out of your diet: 10 traveler’s tips to being healthy 18635

Lately, diet trends have been to cut out entire food groups deeming some too unhealthy to incorporate into your diet at all. You only need to travel to prove that eliminating food groups from your diet is unnecessary. The proof is in hundreds and thousands of years of food habits and traditions that exist in countries around the world. Traveling is a great way to assess lifestyle and eating habits around the world and develop a Rolodex of eating habits that can be incorporated into your day-to-day life. While it might not be possible to adapt every great lifestyle habit, like taking a famous Spanish siesta after lunch, into your day-to-day life, there is a lot to learn about diet from other countries. Since developing this arsenal of alternative eating habits takes some time, I’ve compiled a list of some that I’ve picked up from years of traveling and living abroad that I incorporate into my daily diet.

1. Balance & portion control

Stop cutting foods out of your diet and start learning to balance your diet and eat the appropriate quantity of food. You don’t have to stop eating carbs, meat, or gluten to maintain a healthy diet or even lose weight. Maintaining balance and portion control are the keys to eating what you want and being healthy. Italians eat pasta every single day, at least once per day, and as a population, Italians are usually named one of the most healthy in the world. Carbs are not the problem, but taking into account the portion you are consuming and what else you’re eating during the day is important. Ensure that you are also eating meat or fish, fruits, and vegetables, not simply carbs.

2. Big lunch and small dinner

Turn lunch and dinner upside-down. In most of North America, the largest meal of the day is in the evening, and lunch tends to be quick and small. In many other countries, I’ve visited the largest meal of the day is in the afternoon – not at night. After eating a large lunch, there is time to work off the energy throughout the day and leaves you needing a much smaller meal for dinner. I became accustomed to eating like this a few years ago after working in Spain and I and felt more energetic and happy – not to mention I lost weight quickly. I’ve managed to maintain this style of eating for a few years now and the weight has stayed off too.

3. Salad at the end of the meal

In Italy, they eat salad at the end of the meal, not the beginning. Eat leafy greens with nothing more than olive oil and vinegar or lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper, to help aid digestion after the meal.

4. Olive oil

Speaking of Italians, they have been named the most healthy country in the world by the Bloomberg Global Health Index due in part to the population’s high intake of olive oil. Raw olive oil drizzled over vegetables, bread, arugula, fish, and beans are some great ways to consume more olive oil.

5. Fruit

Eat fruit every day. This one can be difficult if you live somewhere where the fruit is less than interesting or not of very high quality. Living in Colombia I discovered my roommates always had a collection of fresh fruits like papaya, guanábana, and passion fruit and each morning they made fresh juice in a simple blender and, well, with almost every meal. In Italy and France, eating whatever fruit is in season after lunch or dinner is custom. I’ve once heard it’s best to eat fruit for breakfast but really as long as it is incorporated into your diet, it works.

6. Switch to unsalted butter

The first time I lived in Europe, I discovered that it is typically difficult to find salted butter. It is not very common for people to use. In fact, I had a really difficult time finding it in Portugal and Germany. You don’t have to cut out butter, but switch to unsalted, I promise you won’t miss salted butter, it’s so easy to add salt to your food and it will reduce your salt intake exponentially.

7. Bulgur

Living in Turkey, I discovered what is commonly called Bulgur Rice. It is not rice at all but cracked wheat, and incredibly healthy for you. Usually, it is really cheap, and it is quick and simple to cook. It is high in fiber and protein, rich in minerals, and low in fat and delicious when cooked with spices.

8. Eat fish

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where there is good, inexpensive fish, eat fish at least once a week. Japan is the number one consumer of fish in the world and came out on top of the list of the World Health Organization (WHO) list of countries where people live to full health longest.

9. Eat cheese at the end of the meal

People have a preconceived notion that cheese is not good for you. I spent about three-and-a-half-years working in a cheese bar learning about its health benefits when quality cheese is consumed in moderation. Easier said than done, right? A trick I learned from living in France is to eat cheese at the end of the meal. This will ensure that you are full enough that you don’t eat the whole round of cheese in one sitting. In France and Italy, they eat cheese every day and are much healthier than North Americans on a whole.

10. Eat slow

Meals should be enjoyed and savored, never rushed. Eating slowly will allow your mind to catch up with your body in deciding if your full or not. Eating quickly leads to overeating. Just about every European culture makes time for each meal to be enjoyed. In Japan, it is typical to stop eating when they are starting to feel full and take a 10 minute break to determine if they are still hungry. So slow down, and enjoy your food, it’s not just healthy but great way to find relaxation in the day.

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Getting your kids to read this summer Comments Off on Getting your kids to read this summer 64688

Summer means different things for different people. For twenty-year-old’s, it’s the time to work and party; for parents, it’s the time to hold neighborhood events and start saving up, and for kids, it’s the time to kick back and finally have some fun. School’s out! 😃 It’s that one time of the year when they can go to the beach and hang out with all their friends without worrying about some project or homework. For them, the entire summer is all about having fun, and as a parent, it’s your sacred duty to balance fun with continuing education. You might even be able to replace “fun” with something more rewarding – like reading!

Knowledge attained outside the classroom tends to stick around longer

You don’t want to be the “uncool” parent that forces your kid to do something school-related during the summer, but you don’t really have that much of choice, here’s why. The lessons that really stick with you long after you finish school are the ones that you learned when you didn’t really have to.

The knowledge that is acquired without some form of ultimatum or consequence always leaves a lasting impression. It also introduces you to a new side of knowledge that is not purely scholarly.

Reading is right for you regardless of what it is that you decide to read – obviously you will have to control your kids’ intake in your spare time. Reading strengthens the mind, and continual learning increases the speed at which you assimilate and process information. Just imagine the kind of impact a fantastic reading speed could have on your kid educational future. You could be adequately preparing them for a future in academia.

Exposure

The reward of “ruining” their obsessively fun summer will be some exposure to other subjects and topics that are unfamiliar to them. Recreational reading could be very instrumental in building up their overall personality. Plus, proper exposure ensures that they have enough information to make smarter and more informed decisions at a tender age.

It can teach them to research and ask questions

Summer reading could form the basis of a voracious reading habit that could beautifully complement their curiosity. It’s not every kid that thinks about something strange that eventually go on to investigate, summer reading could introduce them to the concept of research.

How to get your kids to read during the summer

It’s easy to talk about getting your kids to read during the summer, getting them to do it another issue entirely.

Kids can be especially stubborn or pigheaded when you are trying to force them to do what they simply have no interest in. The only way to have them do what you want the right way is to either introduce a reward system or trick them that it’s all their idea. Local library’s often offer summer reading lists per age group.

Reward system

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to do anything you want? Wait patiently, there is always something they’ll want, and you can use that to get what you want – in this case, it’s a healthy reading habit.

When they come to you with a ridiculous demand, you can propose a fair trade that will engage their mind and keep it focused on a book that you’ll recommend. You can even choose to deliver the reward after the completion of several books, that way, you are getting the most out of your deal.

You can also choose to limit or restrict play time, and the completion of a certain number of pages could be the requirement they must fulfill before they are allowed to play again.

Making them think it’s their idea

In my experience, people are always more motivated to complete a project that they believe to be totally theirs. When it’s your plan, you just tend to pay more attention to it, it’s like you want to prove something to yourself and others around you. Adults think this way, and so do kids. They can be pretty devoted to completing a book they just accidentally stumbled upon or saw you flip through.

Sometimes you don’t have to be so obvious or aggressive, you could give a rousing speech about reading and hand them a book that you know that they’ll enjoy and leave the rest to them.

The summertime doesn’t have to all about vacations and parties, it could also be an opportunity for your kid to develop a reasonably analytical mind.

Is your partner complaining about your snoring? You might have a problem. Comments Off on Is your partner complaining about your snoring? You might have a problem. 55088

Your partner might not have the heart to tell you, but your snoring sucks. They might tell you that it’s slight and cute and they don’t mind, but they are just trying not to hurt your feelings. I, on the other hand, have no such obligation. In truth, snoring isn’t as annoying and unbearable as I make it out to be. It might actually be “cute” but something has to be done about it nonetheless. It might be a sign of something more serious than just a mildly distasteful sleeping habit. So, is your snoring far more serious than you think, or am I just being hard?

Having sleep apnea isn’t necessarily a bad thing (ok technically it is). But it doesn’t always have to be life or death. You could see a doctor and try to get things sorted out before it’s too late. After all, sleep apnea deprives your entire body and brain of some much-needed oxygen.

An individual is said to have sleep apnea when they don’t get enough oxygen during sleep because their brain isn’t sending signals fast enough to the rest of the body. It doesn’t know to breathe in during sleep; or it could be caused when the muscles of the throat are relaxed which causes the pathways to narrow, so the body doesn’t get enough oxygen during sleep. There are three major types of apnea and although their causes vary, they pretty much cause similar problems down the road.

I’m not typing this long list of diseases to scare you, but they are some of the possible conditions that might result from prolonged sleep apnea.

Some of the diseases that can arise from sleep apnea are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Liver problems
  • Sleep-deprived partners

Although the diseases on this list are scary and often life-threatening, they rarely happen in most cases. Like with most life-threatening diseases out there, early identification is what it’s all about.

Here are a few ways of identifying sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Short moments when you stop breathing completely
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Short attention span while awake

Note: Sleep apnea isn’t quite identical across the spectrum. Some people don’t even snore loudly at night. I know that this might sound confusing but things aren’t always as simple as they seem. You have to watch out for some of the other symptoms if you think that you might have sleep apnea. Your best bet is to just get yourself checked out whenever you can.

Now then, how exactly can we help ourselves when we find out that we have sleep apnea?

Although there are some home remedies and radical dietary alternatives, the safest solution is going with modern medicine. In-person sleep studies, surgeries, and even medications are all options that might be available to you. With that said, here are a few things easy ways to help with your sleep apnea.

Keep your weight under check

Although this symptom is particularly restricted to obstructive sleep apnea, it’s a great idea to adopt it nonetheless. It’ll look after you long after the sleep apnea has passed and it does come with some added physical advantages. It is well known that obesity has a lot of unsightly consequences, but what most people don’t know is that it can also be the cause of sleep apnea. Obesity blocks some of the essential pathways such as the nasal passages and this often results in sleep apnea.

Change your sleep position

It has been noted that certain sleeping postures actually help with your sleep apnea. Something as simple as sleeping on your side can greatly impact the overall frequency of your snores and gasps. Sleeping on your side makes it less likely for your tongue to obstruct your airway. Although not everyone is immediately relieved by this simple home remedy, it’s still quite memorable all things considered.

Quit smoking

In case you might not know, smoking can kill you eventually. They don’t only break down the cells in your lungs, they also increase inflammation and fluid retention in the throat which can cause sleep apnea.

Sleep regularly

I understand that gasping for breath in the middle of the night can be problematic but adequate sleep goes a long way in improving the quality of your sleep and your life span altogether.

Your partner’s sporadic sleep pattern might not be a result of his or her strange sleeping habits. It might be something more serious than that and you should always watch him or her when they are asleep. That is when you will really know if they are at risk.

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