Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness

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Fun Fact Friday

  • The downside of being shy is that people misjudge you as thinking you’re better than others just because you’re quiet.
  • 91% people skip the first slice of bread, just because it’s ugly.
  • Popcorn is by far the healthiest snack. It builds bone, muscle, tissue, aids digestion, and is good for the teeth.
  • Generally, you should never forget what a person says to you when angry because that’s when the truth finally comes out.
  • According to a study, wishing someone luck makes them do better.
  • A sleeping human brain can still understand the words being spoken around it.
  • Bottling up your emotions can lead to depression.
  • Studies have found that smiling is 69% more attractive than wearing makeup.
  • It only takes 0.2 seconds to fall in love.
  • Focusing primarily on the person you’re talking to rather than yourself and the impression you’re making lessens social anxiety.


Happy Friday  🙂


source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


8 Reasons You Have No Energy

By Brianna Steinhilber  3/10/2015

Stuck in a midday slump? Change these habits right now for an instant energy boost.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t hit snooze or experience the midafternoon slump every once in a while, but if you constantly feel like you’re dragging it may be time to take a closer look at your routine. If you don’t have a related health condition and are getting enough shuteye each night, you may be to blame for the constant fatigue. Here are 8 energy-zapping habits that you can change today.

1. You’re eating too much sugar. While the candy jar is an obvious culprit, refined carbohydrates like white bread and rice, chips, and cereal are a major source of sugar, too. This type of simple sugar is digested quickly by the body, leading to a dip in blood sugar levels that leaves you feeling fatigued. Be sure to replace refined carbs with whole grain varieties for a lasting energy boost.

2. You aren’t exercising enough. It may seem counterintuitive that exerting energy will actually increase it, but adding a workout to your daily routine will give you a short-term energy boost. Plus, regular exercise improves sleep quality, which will ultimately leave you feeling more well rested.

3.  You’re skipping breakfast. “Skipping breakfast can definitely contribute to low energy in the morning,” says Johannah Sakimura, MS and Everyday Health blogger. “It’s important to give your body good fuel to start the day after an extended period of fasting.” Without this fuel, your body is running on empty – leaving you famished by lunchtime and more likely to make unhealthy choices that will cause that midafternoon dip in blood sugar. “Try to combine healthy carbohydrates, like fruit, veggies, and whole grains, with a protein source, such as eggs, nuts, or dairy. The carbs give you an initial boost, and the protein helps sustain you until your next meal,” says Sakimura.

lack of energy

4. You’re sitting too much. Not only is sitting for prolonged periods of time harmful to your health (just one hour of sitting affects your heart!), but it’s a major energy zapper as well. Standing up and moving for even a few minutes helps get your blood circulating through your body and increases the oxygen in your blood, ultimately sending more oxygen to your brain which increases alertness. If you work a desk job, try this move more plan to keep your blood pumping.

5. You’re drinking too much caffeine. Whether it’s a can of soda or constant refills of your coffee mug, many of the beverages we reach for when we feel tired are packed with caffeine – a stimulant that will give you a quick jolt, but can also leave you crashing soon after if you ingest too much. Plus, if you’re drinking caffeinated beverages into the afternoon, they may start to have an effect on your sleep quality. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to water late-morning and replace soda with seltzer for a bubbly afternoon pick-me-up without the crash.

6. You’re dehydrated. We all know the importance of drinking enough water – and even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on your energy level, mood, and concentration. Aim for at least one glass of water per hour while sitting at your desk, and be sure to fill your bottle up even more if you’re doing strenuous activity or are outdoors in high temperatures.

7. You have poor posture. A study found that slouched walking decreased energy levels while exacerbating symptoms of depression. The good news: Simply altering body posture to a more upright position instantly boosted mood and energy, while enabling participants to more easily come up with positive thoughts. So sit up straight! Set reminders on your phone or calendar throughout the day to remind yourself to check in with your posture and straighten up.

8. You’re not snacking smart. If you’re running to the vending machine for a quick afternoon snack, your selection – most likely high in simple carbs and sugar – will take your energy levels in the wrong direction. Instead choose a snack that has a combo of protein and complex carbs for an energy boost that will last throughout the afternoon. Think trail mix, veggies and hummus, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast.

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Improve Your Eating Habits Without Drastically Changing Your Behaviour

Angela Mulholland, Staff writer      Thursday, May 21, 2015

When we choose to wolf down a bag of tortilla chips instead of an apple, it’s probably not because we don’t know the apple would have been the healthier choice. The chips were easier to grab and we didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.

So if we want to start eating better, the healthy choices have to be just as mindlessly easy to grab.

Brian Wansink, Ph.D., the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, has spent decades studying why we make the eating choices we do. He’s found the key to getting people to choose healthy foods over unhealthy ones is not about willpower or arming them with nutrition knowledge; it’s simply about making sure good foods are convenient (C), attractive (A) and normal (N).

Wansink calls it the CAN Approach. In a new paper published in Psychology & Marketing, he reviewed more than 110 studies and found that those approaches that were most effective at guiding people to healthier choices used at least one of the three keys of the CAN Approach.

In his most recent book, “Slim By Design,” Wansink argues that making a few changes to your routine and a few areas of your home will be a lot easier than trying to stick to a diet.

“People are terrible at making big changes,” Wansink told CTVNews.ca in a recent phone interview. “But we find if people are perseverant with these small changes for 25 days, they lose an average of 1.4 lbs month.”

That might not sound like a lot of weight, “but that’s more than they will lose by going on a diet,” says Wansink. And, he says, these are meant to be small, permanent behaviour changes that will encourage healthier eating over the long term.

So here are a few tweaks you can make right now at home based on Wansink’s ideas to push yourself toward healthy eating, no willpower required.


• Put fruit in a bowl on the counter: Simply putting fruit where you’ll see it will help to remind you to grab a piece before heading out the door to work or school.

• Re-arrange the fridge: True, veggies and fruit last longer in the crisper drawers, but if you can’t see them, chances are you’ll forget about them. Food and Brand Lab researchers who asked participants to re-arrange their fridges to put the healthiest stuff on the middle and top shelves found that the volunteers ate three times as many fruits and vegetables after just one week.

• Cut up fruit for your kids: Wansink’s research has found that kids don’t really like biting into big pieces of fruit: it’s too big for their mouths; they have missing teeth; the fruit gets in their braces or it’s just too messy. But cut up that fruit into cute, bite-sized pieces and fruit suddenly becomes a lot easier for kids to eat.

• Cook in big batches: If you make extra meals and freeze them in small portions, it becomes a lot easier to re-heat leftovers after a busy day than ordering pizza

• Make less-healthy snacks inconvenient: We tend to be lazy when we’re looking for snacks. So placing snack items in the back of a cupboard, out of reach — or better yet, in a faraway room like the laundry room — makes it a lot less convenient and gives us time to think about whether we’re really hungry or just bored.

• Buy portion-sized snacks: Wansink’s research has shown that snackers will eat fewer calories and still be satisfied if they eat snacks from small packages. Yes, we could always grab a second bag, but research shows we generally don’t make the effort.



• Make your meals more colourful: Colourful meals are more attractive meals, Wansink’s research has shown. He’s found that adults like to see at least three colours on their plates, while children prefer even more — six colours or more. Simple ways to add colour could involve tossing in chopped green and red peppers to rice, or making salads more colurful by adding in tomatoes, fruits, and seeds.

• Use colourful plates: One easy way to add colour to meals is through our plates. But be careful. Wansink’s lab has found that when food is the same colour as the plate, we tend not to see how big our serving is and serve ourselves about 20 per cent more than when there’s a lot of contrast between the food and the plate.

• Give food a descriptive name: Adults know that a dish described as Fresh Linguini with Creamy Alfredo sounds a lot more appealing than Pasta with White Sauce. The same holds true for kids. Wansink has found that when vegetables are given fun names such as X-Ray Vision Carrots, or Power Punch Broccoli, or Silly Dilly Green Beans, kids think of these foods as fun and will gobble them up.

• Add a garnish: You wouldn’t think that a parsley sprig would do much, but studies have shown that people rate a dish higher if it comes beautifully arranged with a garnish than if the same food is served plain. “It’s funny, isn’t it,” says Wansink, “but a garnish also makes people rate the meal as lower calorie too, which is even funnier, really.”


• Ask the kids what Batman would eat: A Food and Brand Lab study shows that when young children believe that a favorite character would choose a healthy food over a less healthy choice, they see that food is normal and choose to eat it too.

• Set an example for the kids: When kids see their parents eating a variety of healthy foods and trying new things, they will see these eating habits as normal too. Same goes for treats: when they’re at home only on special occasions, that too sets the norm for kids.

• Set new meal traditions: Make healthy foods a normal part of every meal by setting up new habits such as starting every dinner with a salad, or ending every meal with fresh fruit. Or begin weekly traditions such as Smoothie Sundays or Stir-fry Saturdays.

• Use smaller plates: The Cornell Food lab has found that people lose all perspective about portion size when they use a large plate. Not only do they help themselves to more, they believe they’ve eaten less than they have. Making a slightly smaller plate the norm is an easy way to keep your portion sizes under control.

• Ordering first when you dine out: By going first and choosing a light entree without an appetizer, you’ll set the “norm” of the meal and your dinner companies are more likely to follow suit. At buffet-style restaurants, make it a practice to sit far from the buffet. Wansink’s research has found that overweight people tend to face the buffet, watching other diners who then make it seem the norm to go back for third or fourth servings. Stay near the window and you’ll likely eat less.


9 Rules Of Smart Snacking


As a health and nutrition consultant, two big questions I’m always asked are: When should I snack? and What should I snack on? Snacking often ends up being more like erratic eating so here are some tips to help you snack smartly:

1. Snack when your hunger is real.

When there is too much time between meals, you might need a bite to hold you over. The stomach takes three to four hours to empty, so if your next meal is five hours away, eat a little. If you under-eat or wait too long, watch out for over-snacking. You don’t want a snack to turn into brunch or dinner.

2. Snack when your blood sugar is low.

How can you tell? If your meals are high in starch or sugar, you might get low blood sugar shortly after eating, a swing that can make you feel falsely hungry. If you have the condition hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), you may feel nauseous without much warning. A small bite will raise your blood sugar level. Choose a food-based snack, like an apple or a carrot. Something sugary will only keep the imbalance going.

3. Snack when you’re running out of fuel.

This is different from low blood sugar. You can feel super tired when your meal did not provide enough calories. Calories are a measure of the energy available for you to use, so under-eating can leave you flat, causing you to run on adrenaline. Many go for coffee to push through. Not recommended!

4. Avoid daylong snacking.

Grazing is not the same as snacking all day. Grazing means splitting your good-food meals into smaller servings. Daylong snacking is having several snacks in addition to regular sized meals. Neither approach is ideal, since our digestive system and blood sugar balance thrive when we fast between meals. It’s best to give your stomach time to empty before eating, so a snack is just to hold you over!

5. Don’t snack when you’re bored, sad, mad, or scared.

Think of emotional snacking as the grown-up version of a pacifier. Eating calms us down, helps distract us, or even numbs us from experiencing our emotions. But it’s not a solution. Use your self-compassion to avoid snacking in those situations. Acknowledge how you feel; it will help you use love-power instead of willpower. I call it “Positive Restraint.”

6. Snack mindfully.

Our habits can get in the way when we want to make healthy changes. They’re difficult to change because it is their nature to be automatic. Bring mindfulness to your habits by starting to notice your triggers. At 4pm., do you go to the office kitchen for a treat? The time has become a trigger and you react by seeking a snack without considering if you need it or not. Start changing the habit by drinking a glass of water or cup of tea instead.

7. My mantra is: food first!

For a healthy snack, think food first: Cutting up an apple and serving it in a bowl makes it feel more like a treat and encourages you to pause and to eat mindfully. You can use almond butter, which adds protein and good fats, on apple slices to create a more substantial snack. Other real-food options are soup, sweet potato, avocado, carrot, hummus, or for a sweetness snack; try these oatballs. Smoothies can also work as long as they are not all fruit. Try a green (or any vegetable-based) smoothie like this one with berry and beet.

8. Keep it real, even when you’re on the go.

Eating whole fruit and nuts is better than bars made from fruit and nuts, though not as convenient. Many snack bars are glorified candy bars. Read the first three to five ingredients on the label; they represent the bulk of what you’re eating. If the list starts with sugar, skip it. My favorite trail mix is dry-roasted root vegetables (carrots and sweet potato) with nuts. I love pistachios because they are so high in antioxidants.

9. Plan ahead. Don’t expect to find nutritious food and snacks on the road.

Bring healthy bites with you. Little containers and pouches will help secure them in your bag. If you were taking care of a baby, you’d bring good food, so “baby yourself” and make sure you will have a proper snack or mini-meal when you need it.