Health & Wellness Wednesday 3: Mindless Eating

Brian Wansink studies how you eat. He’s a professor of consumer behavior and nutritional science at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and he’s written several books, including Mindless Eating and  Slim By Design. Essentially, he’s a proponent of controlling our immediate environment – particularly in our own homes and kitchens – to help foster healthier eating patterns. The size and color of our plates, the shape of our glasses, how our food is stored in our refrigerator and cabinets can all influence how much we eat… and he offers tips to help us to design our environment to make better choices.

An article in Lifhacker’s Vitals talks about Wansink’s approach and links to a simple checklist of ways to “help your kitchen make you slim.”

Wansink has provided this sort of “checklist” (PDF) that’ll guide you toward making your home environment more conducive to healthy eating. You’ll find tips like eating from smaller plates; placing a bowl of fresh fruit plainly visible in the kitchen; keeping junk food out of sight (and out of reach); and keeping the TV turned off while you eat. These familiar-sounding tips are based on food psychology and work by manipulating your environment to let you continue eating “mindlessly.” At the same time, you end up making better choices without needing to tap into your willpower much or at all.

We’ve got two video clips that offer more on his ideas. The first is a CNN 5 minute intro to some of his ideas on Mindless Eating. It shows some of the tests that he ran and why we are so easily tricked into overeating.

The second clip is a longer but highly entertaining 22 minute talk in which Wansink takes on two myths: that “buffets make us fat” and “we are smarter than a cereal bowl.” He talks about ways to make small structural changes to our environment to push us in the right direction, and offers tips. He talks about how our eyes often trick us about portion sizes. For example, in switching from a larger to a smaller bowl, the portion difference may seem imperceptible but the difference over a year could be as much as 17 pounds.

Self-Coach Sunday 51: Send Five Thanks A Day

One of the best ways to build powerful relationships and attract great people is to thank them. Make it a daily habit to send at least five thank-you notes. Surprisingly, this takes less time than you think, and with email or texting it can happen quickly. Keep in mind, a note is more thoughtful that a phone call because it will never catch someone at an inopportune time. Just a simple line or two of gratitude is all it takes.

Block out 15 minutes a day and spend that time writing your thank-you/acknowledgement notes. The receiver will be more likely to help you out again. Not only will this brighten their day, YOU will also feel wonderful for sharing and beginning to develop a sense of gratitude. Give and you shall receive.

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Health & Wellness Wednesday: tips to Improve your gut health

Some great tips on improving your gut health from Dr. Mark Hyman:

9 Ways to Optimize Gut Flora
The best way to grow a healthy inner garden and make your gut bugs happy begins with your diet. Here are 8 ways to build healthy gut flora starting with your next forkful:

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best ways to maintain gut health involves cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and jacking up gut-supporting fiber.
  2. Make 75 percent of your plate be vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bugs really love these high-fiber plant foods.
  3. Eat good fats and get an oil change. The good fats we mentioned earlier (like omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil) will help with decreasing inflammation, giving healthy gut bugs a chance to flourish.
  4. Supplement smartly. Beyond the numerous benefits (including reducing inflammation), studies find omega-3 fatty acids can support healthy gut flora.  You should definitely supplement with an essential fatty acids formula, if you’re not regularly eating wild-caught fatty fish.  You can find professional-quality formulas in my store. Take a good probiotic supplement. This helps reduce gut inflammation while cultivating health and the growth of good bacteria.
  5. Add more coconut. Studies demonstrate anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits from adding Medium Chain Triglyceride or MCT oils. One of my favorite fats, coconut oil and coconut butter, contains these fabulous fat-burning MCTs.
  6. Remove inflammatory fats. Cut out bad, inflammatory omega-6 rich fats like vegetable oils. Replace these with healthier oils like extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  7. Add fiber-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, and a special fiber called glucomannan provide prebiotics and feed our healthy bacteria.
  8. Add fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply.

The above recommendations are not miracle cures. They are the actions that lead to normalized gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the reduction of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or medication.

Yes, inflammatory fats will definitely damage your gut bacteria. But the right fats, including omega-3s and extra-virgin olive oil combined with a whole, real food diet can actually repair your gut and even increase good bacteria.

Self-coach Sunday 50: Give Great Gifts

Don’t miss an opportunity to give spontaneous gifts for no reason. While you are picking up supplies for your office, why not pick some up for a friend, co-worker or spouse? If you bake something, take half to a friend or neighbor who loves your cooking. If you buy a magazine subscription, order a second for someone else. Or, just send a thank gift or note to someone who helped you.

The best gifts are the ones you didn’t even know you wanted. Make the whole year feel like a holiday! Keep a bottle of bubbly chilled and ready to open.

This week, make a list of everyone in your life you would like to give a special gift to and start giving. A thoughtfully written card will do perfectly. These people will be surprised and you both will feel terrific. Lets face it, the only reason to give gifts is because you get pleasure from it.  Spread the joy.

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Health and Wellness Wednesday: Natural Antibiotics

5 Powerful Natural Antibiotics That Don’t Require A Prescription!

Hospital antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed “medicines” today. As a result, people have ruined their digestive systems and ironically, have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections in the future. Get rid of infections without the digestive destruction, with these five powerful natural antibiotics.


1. Garlic

garlic Up first is the natural antibiotic garlic! Garlic has been used medicinally by cultures around the world for thousands of years. In fact, it was used in the 1700s to ward off the plague.


Garlic possesses potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and is able to help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which also supports a strong immune system.

The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is the key component to killing and warding off harmful bacteria. Crush it to activate these compounds, and eat it raw, in a warm tea or in lightly cooked food.

2. Colloidal silver

Colloidal silver has been known as an effective antibiotic for centuries. In the early 1900s, Alfred Searle, founder of the Searle pharmaceutical company, discovered that it could kill the most deadly pathogens. Searle stated that applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishing results. The main advantage was that it was rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host.

Recent research has also stated that colloidal silver can destroy antibiotic resistant microbes like MRSA, the bird flu, and SARS.

3. Oil Of Oregano

Oil of oreganoOil of oregano takes care of pathogenic bacteria without disrupting beneficial bacteria. It is also antiviral and antifungal which makes it a powerful, natural antibiotic with a three-in-one combination that rivals pharmaceuticals while not encouraging antibiotic resistance.

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The key antimicrobial ingredient in oil of oregano is carvacrol. You should ensure that your source is at least 70 percent carvacrol content in order to be effective.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea has been used to treat a wide variety of infections for hundreds of years. Traditionally, it was used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial related illnesses.
Today, this potent herb is used mostly for colds and flu, due to its ability to destroy the most dangerous forms of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes deadly MRSA.

5. Manuka Honey

manuka honey
Perhaps the most palatable antibiotic comes in the form of manuka honey. Applied topically, it can kill a wide range of pathogens including MRSA and flesh-eating bacteria. It was also found that the treated bacteria did not build up any resistance, which would eventually render manuka honey ineffective.

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This is certainly not an exhaustive list of natural antibiotics, but a great start for an all natural pharmacy. Also, consider reishi, pau d’arco, Una de Gato, olive leaf extract, cloves, turmeric and even lemons to round out your antibiotic arsenal.

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