Best Anti-Aging Foods..

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Why bother going to spas, beauty centers and pay for a thousand bucks just to feel healthy and young when you can have all these healthy foods that can help you!

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Black Sesame Whole Grain Bread

I’ll be honest – I don’t really do breakfasts. Well, I do breakfasts, but just not breakfast food. My body functions better low carb, and so I have no issue with having last nights’ dinner as breakfast. This bread that I developed fits the bill for both dinner and breakfast. It’s a largely whole grain, allergen friendly, vegan friendly, healthy breakfast bread that I developed. 

I’m sure I’ll tinker a little more when I do this again. I am tempted to add in a little orange rind or sub orange juice for some of the water. I’m sure you could also try a bunch of different whole grains. The possibilities are endless…if you experiment, please do let me know how it works for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons of honey (or agave for vegan version)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup rice bran
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup amaranth
  • 1/3 cup millet
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch or corn starch
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds, white or black (I like how the black ones look!)
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup carbonated water (can use regular water)

Chia gel:

  • ¼ cup water with 1 T chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 250 for 5 minutes then turn off. Line a 8X4 inch bread pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine water with chia seeds. Let sit at least 30 minutes, but longer or overnight is fine. Combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix thoroughly. Combine water, honey and yeast for 5-10 minutes or until fizzy.
  3. Thoroughly mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Combine and mix vigorously for 1-2 minutes (or use your mixer on medium for about a minute).
  4. Put dough in to pan lined with parchment in the slightly-preheated oven, or put covered dough in a warm place, like on top of the drying machine. Allow to rise for 45 min to an hour, or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 (wait at least 20 min until oven is hot). Bake for 15 min, then cover with foil and bake for a total of 50-55 min.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on a drying rack, then remove bread from loaf pan and allow to cool.

Delightfully gluten free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, corn free and sugar free. Yahoo!

9 Surprising Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has really taken off as the trendy new ingredient to use in the kitchen. It’s great for stir-frying, adding to a smoothie, or using on toast as a vegan replacement for butter. Did you know that cold-pressed virgin coconut oil has many secret uses in the beauty department, too? In fact, you may want to clear out your medicine cabinet and invest in a few jars of coconut oil instead!

Sugar Scrub

If you have dry or rough skin, just mix some granulated sugar into your coconut oil to make a great scrub! The sugar scrubs away the dead skin and the coconut oil helps to retain your skin’s moisture. You can also use salt in place of the sugar in this scrub.

Night Cream

Coconut oil is a great intensive moisturizer for your face at night, especially if you have dry skin. Before you use it on your entire face, test out a small area. For some people, coconut oil is too oily for their skin and could clog their pores. If this sounds like you, try a lighter oil at night like Olive Oil.

Body Moisturizer

This is a great trick, especially in the summer and winter months when your skin needs a lot of moisture. Just put a small amount of coconut oil in your palm and rub into your body. Like any moisturizer, it’s best to do this right when you get out of the shower so the oil has time to sink into your skin before you get dressed for the day.

Conditioner

Is your hair dry and brittle by the end of summer? Massage a small amount of coconut oil into your roots and scalp before you take a shower while your hair is still dry.  Let it sit for a few minutes, and follow up with your normal hair routine in the shower.

Mouthwash

While coconut oil doesn’t necessarily freshen your breath or remove plaque build-up from your teeth, it does immensely benefit your gum health. Put about half a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth first thing in the morning and swish it around for about 10 minutes. This process, called “oil pulling,” pulls toxins out of your gums and has been known to keep your pearly whites from yellowing.

Make Up Remover

Instead of investing in an expensive make up remover, just dab some coconut oil onto a cotton swap and gently rub it on your eyelid. The oil will remove your make up and moisturize the skin around your eyes!

Body Butter

For a silky, deep moisturizing lotion, mix your coconut oil with shea butter and use it has a body moisturizer. This is really great for your feet if they are dry and chapped from summer weather. Just lather them up, throw on some socks and call it a night.

Shaving Cream

Keep a jar of coconut oil in the shower if you are looking for a shaving cream that will protect your skin while you shave. The coconut oil helps reduce razor burn and leaves your skin soft and moisturized when you are done shaving.

Secure Fly-Aways

If your hair gets frizzy in dry weather, keep a little bit of coconut oil in a travel container in your purse. Just rub a very small amount between your fingertips and smooth down fly-aways. The oil keeps your hair looking shiny and sleek!

What do you use coconut oil for? 

How to Live in the Moment and View Your Life as an Experiment

Our ability to think is what separates us from each other and sometimes from the true nature of life. When we think we know the truth, we become closed-minded and very unscientific. A true scientist has no fixed beliefs and so can experiment in the hopes of learning the truth.

Someone once said that if you want a man to do something, ask him what he thinks about it.  If you want a woman to do something, ask her how she feels about it.  I hope we’ve gotten beyond those gender stereotypes, but just to understand yourself better, I recommend that you understand the distinction between thinking and feeling.

By keeping that invaluable inner child’s perspective as we grow up and go through life, we are assured of remaining open to all possibilities, whatever we are evaluating at any point in our lives.  Once we start to self-censor, we are lost.

One very enjoyable way to restore a sense of humility when we find ourselves getting too sure about how much we know is to spend some time with our animal companions.  Among these marvelous beings you will find The Faculty of experts on getting the absolute most out of every waking minute!  Use the passive science of observation to see how dogs interact with humans and other dogs.  You will see almost immediately the behavior of collaboration and cooperation.  “Who’s got the ball…”  “Who’s got the treat…”  “Who will scratch my neck…”

You won’t catch any of our animal friends worrying about what’s for dinner or if they look fat today! Now you can add the active part of science — experimentation.  Resolve to learn from these wise beings and try living in the moment just for today.  When you reflect on the experiment, put it in the context that almost guarantees happiness—that context is that we only ever have today.

If you want to take charge of your life and live in the moment, accept your feelings as your creation and let them guide you. You will find that living that way gives you a different sense of time as you live in your body and not your head. The grounding you get from a focus on your body should be shared with your intellectual self — balancing the whole you.  Body-Mind-Spirit…you can choose to see the Spirit as a bridge between mind and body—or the glue holding the holistic you together, honoring everything human beings can be.

Take a moment right now to lift your spirits—think about something that made you laugh out loud.  It doesn’t matter if it was something that happened a long time ago or just last week…let yourself laugh again.  Visualize a tote bag full of these special “laugh out loud” moments from your life.  See yourself always having that tote bag nearby.  Rummage around in that tote bag full of healing humor, pull something out, and bask for a moment in the glow of genuine happiness.  Your heart will thank you.

Bernie Siegel, MD is the author of many best-selling books including Love, Medicine & Miracle: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients and more recently, 101 Exercises for the Soul: Divine Workout Plan for Mind, Body and Spirit. Dr. Siegel is best known for his work on patient empowerment including the right to live powerfully and die peacefully. In May 2011, Dr. Siegel was honored by the Watkins Review of London as one of the Top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet

Why Farmed Salmon Is Healthier Than You Think

While “wild” and “farmed” conjure up profoundly different images (one of happy salmon and the other of hormone-stuffed Frankenfish), the differences between the two aren’t as troubling as one might expect — at least, not in terms of health. We took a closer look at the salmon industry so you can finally decide which is worth your cash.

Which is Better When it Comes to Health?

With a nutritional profile full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the most popular fish among health-conscious folk, and about 70 percent of our supply is raised in farms (via “aquaculture”) to meet global demand. Between 1990 and 2010, the world’s total production of farmed salmon jumped from 299,000 tons per year to 1.9 million, an increase of over 600 percent. But is more farming a step in the right direction?

Because of the food they’re fed (mostly fishmeal, a processed mix of small fish like anchovies and sardines) and how little they’re able to exercise, farmed salmon contain about 35 percent more fat than their wild caught counterparts. This means farmed salmon contain more of those terrific omega-3 fatty acids, but, unfortunately, their fat is also great at storing environmental contaminants. Although wild salmon contains more mercury, the farmed variety tends to have concentrations several times higher of chemicals that have been linked to cancer, including various pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a common environmental pollutant.

However, the amount of these substances in farmed salmon is still about sixty times lower than the level of concern for human consumption that has been established by both Health Canada and the FDA. For this reason, there’s a fairly popular belief that the benefits from the high fat content of farmed salmon outweigh the potential dangers of chemical contamination.

If toxicity is still a concern, it’s always a good idea to be prudent about where the farms themselves are located. Many experts seem to agree that salmon from Canada (particularly British Columbia) carry fewer chemicals than fish farmed in the U.S. The very safest salmon are believed to be farmed in Chile, while Scottish and Norwegian  varieties should be eaten as little as possible.

Fat content and toxicity aside, the USDA has a great online database where you can look at lists of the nutrients found in both farmed and wild Atlantic salmon. While they have roughly the same amount of protein, there’s 50 percent more potassium and nearly three times as much iron in wild salmon, while farmed is much higher in B vitamins, particularly thiamine and folate (and, of course, the omega-3 fats). As with many kinds of fish, however, pregnant and nursing women are cautioned to limit their intake of certain varieties — salmon’s inclusion on these lists is somewhat contested, so it’s best to read widely.

What About the Environment?

While it provides some health benefits, fish farming can have some seriously harmful environmental impacts. Salmon are typically bred inside of densely-populated net-cages, which float in natural bodies of water and allow for all sorts of damage to the seabed and local sea life: They’re known to leach pesticides, viruses, antibiotics, and heavy metals like zinc and copper into their surrounding waters. Farmed salmon are also known to escape from farms and interbreed with native fish, damaging local gene pools and creating infertile spawn.

However, the most serious risk involved with farming tightly-packed salmon might be the spread of sea lice. One study found that, typically, 80 percent of local salmon die from farm origin sea lice outbreaks, and incidences of 95 percent mortality are not unheard of. All of these factors contribute to farming’s negative environmental footprint: A study of farms in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada showed many cases of aquaculture reducing nearby salmon and other fish populations by more than 50 percent.

None of this to say wild salmon comes without a cost to the environment. The practice has already put a third of the planet’s wild salmon population at risk of extinction.

The solution to more sustainable aquaculture may lie in land-based closed containment farms, which eliminate many problems currently related to raising salmon. Unfortunately, they’re difficult to run at a profit, but the Canadian government and some private companies are hoping to prove otherwise — they’ll have a better idea after their first harvest in 2014.

The Takeaway

If the only consideration is health and price, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying farmed salmon, particularly if it hails from Chile or Western Canada. If the environment is more of a concern, the research seems to favor the wild variety.

In any event, it’s important to remember that while salmon is a healthy food, it’s not a unique source of any nutrients. A serving of oily fish like herring and mackerel contains just as many omega-3s as salmon. If chemicals are of concern, oily fish that are lower on the food chain, such as sardines and anchovies, tend to harbor far fewer toxins. Any issues one might have with salmon’s risks can be mitigated with a varied diet — something that’s tremendously important both for one’s health and for the environment.

12 Fitness Apps That Actually Work

Finding a fitness app that lives up to its promises of getting you a bikini bod or washboard abs in 30 days is next to impossible. It’s not surprising. Just like fitness DVDs and workout classes, the app can tell you when and how to work out, but it’s up to you to actually put in the work.

Like diets, there is no one-size-fits-all workout. An app that helped your friend lose ten pounds might not do the same for you. When it comes to workouts, app workouts included, it’s all about finding something that will motivate you to keep working toward your goal.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite fitness apps that can actually yield results. Not all of them will work for you, but you may find one in the bunch that will. 

See Me Get Fit – If you are motivated by before and after images, you will probably love this app. It allows you to take a starting photo of yourself, and then check in every few days with a new photo until you reach your goal. This is really helpful if you are more concerned with sculpting muscle rather than losing pounds. – Free

Nike Training Club –  If you need variety in your workout, this one is for you! The app features dozens of workouts, each 30 to 45 minutes long. For each strength training move, the app shows you images and even a video of a model doing the move so you can follow along correctly. It also tracks all of the minutes you log, working you toward bonuses like new workouts or smoothie recipes. – Free

Pocket Yoga – If running and weightlifting isn’t your thing, you’ll love this mini yoga workout. Do one pose or an entire series of poses – you can cater it to your needs. Each pose is demonstrated, and the app tells you how long to stay in position. – $2.99

Nike Plus – If you have gotten lost on a road run more times than you care to admit, then this app is perfect. It connects to your phone’s GPS to map your route while it tracks your mileage and pace. Expect a personal message of encouragement from world class athletes from time to time as well. – Free

7 Minute Workout– No time to work out? I bet you have 7 minutes! The app gives you a daily workout that consists of a variety of strength training moves that only takes 7 minutes to complete. It requires no equipment so it’s easy to work out before you jump in the shower in the morning or even during your lunch break. – Free

Fitbit – Fitbit is a two part deal. You buy a bracelet that connects wirelessly to the app in your phone. It will record how many steps you take, how many miles you’ve logged, how strenuous those miles were, and how many calories you burn each day. You can also link Fitbit to another app, My Fitness Pal, to track your daily food and water consumption. – Free, however bracelet will need to be purchased

Couch-to-5K – A great running app for beginners! This app walks you through a training program that will have you going from nothing to 5K in just two months. Before you know it you’ll be itching to sign up for a half marathon!  – $1.99 

Pushups 0 to 100 – For a lot of people, myself included, they need a concrete fitness goal to work toward. What better goal than 100 push-ups? This app takes 100 days to complete. On day one you do one push up, two on day two, three on day three…you get the idea. Just imagine how sculpted your arms will be on day 100!  – $1.99

FitnessClass – Like going to classes but don’t have time to get to the gym? This app complies all of the popular workout classes on iTunes into one easy app so you can choose which one you want to do. It’s great if you like to try various new workouts! – Free (classes vary in price)

Zombie’s Run – If you can only commit to a run if something is chasing you, or if you’re just an adrenaline junkie, then this app is for you. Instead of taunting the neighborhood dogs to follow you down the street, just plug your headphones into this app. After a few minutes of music, you’ll start to hear zombies coming after you. Run fast to leave them in the dust! A 5K training version is also available  – $1.99-$3.99

Obstacles XRT – Looking for an extreme boot camp type workout? XRT is like having a mini drill sergeant right in your pocket. The app delivers high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your phone giving you a maximum beneficial workout in little time. – $1.99

What are your favorite fitness apps?