Acidity & The Benefits Of An Alkaline Diet

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An acidic body is a magnet for sickness, disease and aging. Eating more alkaline foods helps balance your body's pH, feeds the cells their necessary nutritional requirements and aids in keeping the cells at a healthy oxygen level. A focus on primarily alkaline foods and drinks thus aids in preventing and combating illness and disease.

The pH in food depends on its acidity or basicity, which is usually determined by the soil where it grows. To stay healthy, you must maintain a proper pH balance in your body. Acidosis is a condition in which your body becomes too acidic. With alkalosis, on the other hand, your body is too alkaline or basic. The types of foods you eat affect your body’s pH level. Eating foods that are too acidic can have a negative impact on overall health. On the other hand, eating foods that are alkaline tends to balance your system to the proper pH level.

Side effects associated with consuming foods that are too acidic include listlessness, depression, headaches, acne, dry skin, mood swings, poor digestion, brittle nails and hair, and sensitive gums. A mild case of acidosis can increase free radicals in your body, decreasing your cellular energy. Bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment, and any state of acidosis will make you body more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.

Here’s a quick list of acidic foods that you may want to limit. These foods are considered acid-forming, and their intake should be moderated on a healthy diet:

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  1. Processed foods, such as frozen dinners, store-bought cakes and sodas
  2. Alcohol
  3. Dairy Products, such as, Milk, Ice Cream and Cheese
  4. Caffeinated drinks
  5. Processed cereals
  6. Artificial Sweeteners/Refined Sugars
  7. Wheat products
  8. Coffee 
  9. Butter
  10. Corn Syrup
  11. White and wheat flour
  12. Animal protein
  13. Salt
  14. Condiments, such as, mayo and soy sauce 

If your body has a balanced pH, then you’re privy to a host of benefits like decreased cancer risk. Find out if your diet is making you sick and tired and how alkaline foods can balance you out.

A body that is all alkaline and no acid are no better than being too acidic. This leads to allergies, hypothyroidism, fatigue and diarrhea. We should be eating about 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods at each meal. Here are some alkaline forming foods that you need to include in your diet.

  1. Garlic
  2. Unsweetened yogurt and milk
  3. Most fresh vegetables including potatoes
  4. Most fruits
  5. Herbs and spices, excluding salt, mustard, and nutmeg
  6. Beans and lentils
  7. Some whole grains, such as millet, quinoa, and amaranth
  8. Herbal teas
  9. Fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds

While it may be difficult to cut back on your favorite fatty, sugary fare, the Acid Alkaline Diet doesn't eliminate whole food groups from your diet. Rather, following the plan means making better choices for your overall pH. You can still eat acid-forming foods, but you need to pay attention to how many of them you're consuming. The pH of a food before you eat it is less important than what it turns into once it’s inside your body.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Stress and Emotional Eating

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Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make you feel better—eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Occasionally using food as a pick me up, a reward, or to celebrate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when eating is your primary emotional coping mechanism—when your first impulse is to open the refrigerator whenever you’re stressed, upset, angry, lonely, exhausted, or bored—you get stuck in an unhealthy cycle where the real feeling or problem is never addressed.

Emotional hunger can’t be filled with food. Eating may feel good in the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary calories you’ve just consumed.

No matter how powerless you feel over food and your feelings, it is possible to make a positive change. You can find healthier ways to deal with your emotions, learn to eat mindfully instead of mindlessly, regain control of your weight, and finally put a stop to emotional eating.

Below are five powerful tools for how to put an end to emotional eating for good. Following these steps takes practice and a little bravery, but if you follow them not only will you stop eating emotionally, but you'll also learn to start enjoying your food — and your life — in a whole new way.

1. Prepare for your next binge by knowing your triggers. 

Discover your triggers and strategize. If you know you eat when you’re lonely, plan to call a friend or write in your journal instead. Also, always carry food with you so that you never feel deprived. Emotional eating can be your body’s reaction to feeling deprived, so create new ways to nourish yourself. Stock your fridge with delicious, healthy foods, pack your calendar with exciting things to do, and be disciplined about setting aside time for yourself to relax.

2. Don't abandon yourself. 

Emotional eating provides a release from discomfort, providing a momentary sense of pleasure and satisfaction when you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel. Overeating has a numbing, softening effect on our unwanted sentiments, and takes our attention away from them. The key to ending this pattern is to not abandon yourself when your emotions go awry, but instead to invite them in and allow yourself to feel.

Tell yourself that it's OK to feel sad, mad, scared, tired — you name it. Welcome your negative emotions with kindness and curiosity, and ask them what they want from you. This includes those intense feelings of guilt or anger that tend to follow an emotional eating episode. Approach your feelings with kindness, and your body will begin to understand that it no longer has to overeat to protect you from your feelings. Plus, through listening to your emotions, you’ll discover what it is you truly want, and can create new strategies for deeper satisfaction.

3. Take a 15-minute walk.

When the urge to eat out of stress, boredom, sadness, or another emotion hits, head outside and go for a walk or run. Exercise releases endorphins that can stimulate relaxation, and the fresh air is also a natural stress reducer. Walking for just 15 minutes can curb cravings for sugary snacks, according to one Austrian study.

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4. Don't skip meals.

Good nutrition is incredibly important for stress management—just consider the fact that people who consume inadequate amounts of magnesium (which is most of us) may experience increased sugar cravings. But it's hard to get all the nutrients you need if you skip meals. Skipping meals causes dips in blood sugar that can lead to cravings and make stress eating that much more likely to occur. 

If your schedule is unavoidably hectic, make a bunch of pre-portioned healthy snacks that can sub for a larger sit-down meal—think almonds and raisins, plain yogurt, fresh fruit, individually portioned 1-ounce cheeses and whole grain crackers—and have them at the ready so they're as convenient for you to eat as chips, pretzels, candies, cake, and doughnuts.

5. Reduce stress

Being on a diet is stressful.  If you are the type of person who succumbs to pressure and emotionally overeats, you’ll need to de-stress. Try some relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or even just chilling by the pool. Watch a funny movie; laughter really is the best medicine. Stress triggers junk food cravings and releases the hormone cortisol, which stores fat in your body! Aim to stay happy and relaxed.

Unhealthy overeating can stem from emotions that don’t serve you. The good news is you are in control of your emotions. Determine your emotional triggers, look out for those triggers and take charge over your mind and body. Achieving mastery over your emotions is a learned skill; with practice, you will get better and better at it. That will then show up in the way you feel and the way you look. 


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A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Health Benefits Of CBD Oil by Titus Unlimited

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CBD is one of many compounds known as cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis and the cannabis sativa plant (Hemp). Oils that contain concentrations of CBD are known as CBD oils. The concentration and uses of different oils vary. Even though CBD oil comes from Hemp, CBD is an isolated compound that doesn’t create a “high” effect or any form of intoxication — that’s caused by another cannabinoid, known as THC. 

Since CBD oil is Hemp derived, there’s some controversy and confusion around products containing it, but there’s growing awareness around the many possible health benefits of CBD oil. Here’s what you need to know about some of the potential medical uses of CBD and where the research stands:

 

Anxiety Relief

CBD may be able to help you manage anxiety. Researchers think it may change the way your brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a chemical linked to mental health and happiness. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages and help your cells respond to different stimuli. 

One study found that a 600mg dose of CBD helped people with social anxiety give a speech. Other early studies have shown that CBD helps to relieve anxiety by:

  •   reducing stress
  •   decreasing physiological effects of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate
  •    improving symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  •   inducing sleep in cases of insomnia

Relieves Pain and Inflammation

 Among common CBD benefits, natural pain relief tops the list for many. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. Researchers found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing analgesic tolerance. Researchers suggest that CBD and other non-psychoactive components of Hemp may be the non-addictive answer to chronic pain.

Cancer Treatment

Some studies have investigated the role CBD plays in preventing cancer cell growth, but research is still in its early stages. Research says that CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cells reproduce. CBD may be able to reduce cellular reproduction ability in tumors. 

Anti-acne

The effects of CBD on receptors in the immune system may help reduce overall inflammation in the body. In turn, CBD oil may offer benefits for acne management. A human study found that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin. Over production of sebum, however, can lead to acne.

CBD Beauty Products

Studies have shown that the cannabinoids, like Hemp CBD, are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging; topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is an amazing, non-comedogenic moisturizer for dry and irritated skin.

CBD is extracted from Hemp plants as either an oil or powder. These can be mixed into creams or gels. They can be put into capsules and taken orally, or rubbed on your skin. How CBD should be used depends largely on what it’s being used for.   Depending on the ailment and symptoms, a different cannabidiol dosage is needed. Also, each body reacts differently to CBD: Some people are extremely sensitive and need very little while, in rare cases, some don’t feel effects even with powerful doses. Each person is unique, and you’ll need to find your own sweet spot. As with any new treatment, talk to your doctor before using CBD.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

The Benefits Of A Diet High In Fruit and Vegetables

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Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and some cancers, due to both being loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  They are also low in calories, making them a great choice for your waistline.  Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.  None have cholesterol.  The fruit skins are rich in dietary fiber, which is a major contributing factor in proper digestion and the excretion process of your body, while simultaneously keeping you safe from problems like gastritis and constipation. 

However, in some cases, the skin is thick, like in lemons, bananas, melons, and oranges, and cannot be consumed by humans.  In those cases, the edible part of the flesh within the skin has plenty of fiber as well.  The fiber content in fruit not only has an amazing laxative effect but also makes you feel full by adding bulk nutrition to the diet.  Fibrous fruits also benefit conditions like heart diseases by reducing hyperlipidemia and hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity.  Owing to this fibrous composition, fruits also have anti-carcinogenic properties and are known to prevent colon cancer and fight bowel irregularity disorders.

We’ve known that fruits have immense nutritional value, but obviously, the type and quantity of nutrients vary between types.  As the composition changes with each fruit, the health benefits also change with them.  The beneficial powers of some common fruits are discussed below.

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Mangos contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that assure your optimum health. Similar to papayas, they contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties.  Mangos are rich in fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles, and symptoms of a spastic colon.  Yet another helpful effect of mangos is their high potassium content.

It is well known any fruit rich in vitamin C will strengthen and support our immune system.  Vitamin C works with other micro nutrients that provide good and regular nourishment for the body.  Micro nutrient deficiencies of vitamins A, B6, C, and E have been found to alter immune responses in animals and are thought to have a similar effect on the human immune response.  Grapefruit is a popular diet staple among those looking to lose weight.  A high metabolism can continue to burn fat in the body even when it is resting. 

Apples are a good example of a complete healthy fruit.  It helps in digestion, strengthens bones, provides relief from asthma, lowers blood cholesterol, prevents cancer and helps in reducing weight.

Another beneficial fruit is the pear, which is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, B2, E, copper, and potassium.  Pears are an excellent source of pectin and fiber that effectively lowers cholesterol levels.  It is mostly prescribed for infants, as it is believed to be a hypoallergenic fruit that is completely safe for young children to ingest.

Grapes are also a common fruit that can be easily included in your regular diet.  Grapes alleviate indigestion, constipation, fatigue, kidney disorders and eye problems.  It is rich in several vitamins and also possesses minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium. 

Berries such as blueberries, cherries, and blackberries prevent cancer and keep your heart protected.  If you include cherries or cherry juice in your diet, you can eliminate the associated pain from arthritis, gout and joint inflammation.  Berries have the capability of curing arthritis naturally.  Blueberries with high silicon content, aid in the functioning of the pancreas and is good for diabetic conditions.  Blackberries can naturally control diarrhea and form new blood cells, but excessive intake can also have an adverse reaction resulting in promoting constipation.  If you mix blackberries with cherries or prune juice, it will prevent the possibility of constipation.  High sodium and potassium content in gooseberries and huckleberries protect the liver and intestinal tract.

Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important.  Veggies are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off disease.  Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people. 

Here are some unique ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet.

1. MAKE VEGGIE - BASED SOUPS.

Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once.  You can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and adding spices.  Adding even a small amount of extra vegetables, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

2. BLEND WITH SMOOTHIES.

Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack.  Typically, they are made by combining fruit with ice, milk or water in a blender.  However, you can also add vegetables to smoothies without compromising the flavor.  Adding spinach and kale to smoothies is an easy way to get more nutrients. 

3. COOK A VEGGIE OMELET.

Omelets are a great dish to incorporate into your diet.  Any type of veggies taste great in omelets. Spinach, onions and tomatoes are common additions. 

4. TRY A LETTUCE WRAP OR A VEGGIE BUN.

Using lettuce as a wrap or certain veggies as buns in place of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more veggies.  Lettuce wraps can be a part of several types of dishes, and are often used to make low-carb sandwiches and bun-less burgers.  Many types of veggies, such as Portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes and sliced eggplant make excellent buns.  Replacing flour-based products with veggies is a great way to reduce your carb intake, will consuming lots of nutrients.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

 

 

Stress and the Effects It Has On Your Body

Everyone feels stress from time to time, but many of us are unaware of the fact that many commonly-experienced imbalances in health may actually be our body’s way of responding to physical and mental stress, such as, work, family, finances and to serious life events such as, the death of a loved one can trigger stress.

Recent studies have indicated that the human body’s reaction to stress could be one of the main causes of many life-threatening diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the effects of chronic, prolonged stress on one’s overall health…

 

1. DEPRESSION

People undergoing chronic life stress may find themselves slipping into a depressed mood more and more often. A situational crisis can result in the development of a serious mood disorder. Anxiety, sleep deprivation and poor coping habits such as drug or alcohol use can contribute to feelings of depression. 

Major depressive disorder occurs when depression is unrelenting and lasts for an extended period of time (several months). It often includes symptoms of sleep disturbance, appetite and weight changes, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, fatigue, apathy, guilt, difficulty concentrating, difficulty completing activities of daily living or working, and suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

 

2. ANXIETY

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People who are exposed to unremitting stress on a continuous basis may develop anxiety or panic attacks. The release of stress hormones results in body systems being placed in high alert mode. Ready to fight for your life or flee from danger.  Your heart and breathing rate increases, as do your energy levels and alertness. In situations of chronic stress your stress response never rests, resulting in exaggerated responses to seemingly minor stressors (anxiety). 

Sometimes all it takes is the mere thought of your situation to bring on anxiety or a full-blown panic attack. When anxiety becomes out of control and affects your ability to function on a day-to-day level, it’s time to seek medical help. 

 

3. WEIGHT GAIN OR LOSS/METABOLISM

Stress and weight problems often go hand in hand. That’s because feeling stressed, anxious and depressed can cause “stress eating”, the search for relief in food and that often means “comfort” or unhealthy foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories. 

Thus a vicious cycle has begun.  Conversely, they may also become so depressed that they stop eating and lose large amounts of weight. Either excessive weight gain or loss can further negatively impact your health.

Additionally, stress can have a detrimental effect on metabolism. Specifically, it can cause our bodies to store more fat, only exacerbating feelings of anxiety. Staying active can help the problem by keeping you occupied, burning calories and restoring confidence.

There are many other effects that stress has on the body, such as, but not limited to... Skin irritation, migraines, tense muscles, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, missed menstrual cycle, fertility problems, high blood sugar and pressure, etc... 

Stress is a part of life, and you can't always avoid it. But you can try to avoid situations that can cause it, and you can control how you respond to it. The first step is knowing your own coping strategies. Try tracking your stress to record stressful events, your response to them, and how you coped.

 

After you know what is causing your stress, try making some changes in your life that will help you avoid stressful situations. Here are a few ideas:

 

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MANAGE YOUR TIME

Time management is a way to find the time for more of the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Managing your time can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.

 

LOOK AT YOUR LIFESTYLE

The choices you make about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it.

 

FIND A BALANCE

Find a balance between your personal, work, and family needs. This isn't easy. Start by looking at how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don't need to do at all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays.

 

ADOPT HEALTHY HABITS

Eat a healthy diet, limit how much alcohol you drink, and don't smoke. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Therefore using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is not ultimately helpful.

Below are some helpful tips that will help manage and reduce your stress levels. 

 

EXERCISE

Even moderate exercise, such as taking a daily walk, can reduce stress.

 

GET MORE SLEEP

Rather than relying on medication, your aim should be to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep.  Make sure that your bedroom is comfortable and has no reminders of the things that cause you stress. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that worry you. You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine.

 

TALK TO SOMEONE

Just talking to someone about how you feel can be helpful. Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it.

Stress can cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.

 

MEDITATE

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A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.

 

LEARN TO AVOID PROCRASTINATION

Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.

Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, meaning you're scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality.

Get in the habit of making a to-do list that's organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.

Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks (multi-tasking) can be stressful itself.

Learning to manage stress means building coping skills that allow you to take everyday challenges in stride. It's about keeping problems in perspective instead of ignoring them, and learning what to work on and what to let go of.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

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Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than regular refined sugar. The sweeteners are widely used in processed foods, including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jams and jellies, dairy products, and scores of other foods and beverages.
 
The best way to sweeten food and drinks? Fresh or frozen fruit. Fruit is a sweetener without any empty calories. Other natural sweeteners, such as raw honey, maple syrup, agave nectar and raw sugar are great options as well. Try sticking to natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners, so you can avoid a variety of health issues.
 
Here are some of the most popular (and dangerous) artificial sweeteners on the market today. They can severely harm your health. First, it’s important to be able to recognize artificial sweeteners on the labels of pre-packaged and processed foods. Check all ingredient labels carefully for the following.

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Alitame
  • Cyclamate
  • Dulcin
  • Equal
  • Glucin
  • Kaltame
  • Mogrosides
  • Neotame
  • NutraSweet
  • Nutrinova
  • Phenlalanine
  • Saccharin
  • Splenda
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucralose
  • Twinsweet
  • Sweet ‘N Low
  • Xylitol

People are often surprised at how often-dangerous artificial sweeteners are included in prepared foods, medications and beverages. Here are a few surprising examples of where to check for the dangerous sweeteners mentioned above:

  • Toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Children’s chewable vitamins
  • Cough syrup and liquid medicines
  • Chewing gum
  • No-calorie waters and drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Salad dressings
  • Frozen yogurt and other frozen deserts
  • Candies
  • Baked goods
  • Yogurt
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Processed snack foods
  • “Lite” or diet fruit juices and beverages
  • Prepared meats
  • Nicotine gum

 
Here are few reasons why you should avoid artificial sweeteners:

1. They Trick Your Gut
The sweet taste sends a signal to your gut that something high calorie is on its way, so your gut anticipates foods that do, in fact, have a high calorie count. But when those don't arrive, your gut doesn't utilize the foods efficiently, and that causes a cascading effect that interferes with your body's hunger signals.
 
2. They Mess With Your Hormones
When you taste sweet foods, even if they have zero calories, your body still releases insulin as if you'd eaten sugar. Insulin leads to blood sugar spikes, which increase cravings.
 
3. They Make You Overeat
High fat, high sugar foods taste both sweet and dense, signaling to your brain that they're high calories. But artificially sweetened foods often have a thinner consistency and texture than sugar-sweetened foods and thus, aren't as satisfying.
 
4. Cancer
According to the research, regular use of these artificial sweeteners can result in blood or brain cancer. This is considered one of the biggest risks of these sweeteners, so their consumption should be as limited as possible.
 
5. Persistent Headaches
The consumption of fake sugar in foods and drinks can also lead to persistent headaches, which in some serious conditions can get worse and turn into migraines.
 
6. Birth Defects Or Infertility
Studies show that the use of these harmful sweeteners has also led to infertility or birth defects in men. They contain such ingredients, which slow down the male reproductive system.
 
7. Alzheimer’s Disease
Experts have proven that excessive use of artificial sweeteners can also result in Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, people who use ample amounts of artificial sweeteners can suffer from memory loss.
 
The goal of artificial sweeteners is to match the taste of sugar without imparting calories was said to have the best intentions in mind. Unfortunately, the unforeseen health risks attached to artificial sweeteners outweigh any reasons you may have for consuming them, so start to kick this bad habit by trading in your artificial sweeteners for all natural sweeteners.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

The Truth About Soy

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Soy is a legume that is grown and highly chemically processed, even the “organic” versions. Virtually all soybeans grown today are genetically modified. Many countries outside the US won’t accept US-grown soy because of carcinogenic chemicals used as herbicides and their genetically modified status. Research has shown that the phytoestrogens in soy may play a role in breast cancer, so females should avoid it. Raw soy flour is also known to cause pancreatic cancer in rats. Soy is called soya outside the US.

Soy is used to make many different foods. Soybeans can be eaten whole, with the immature types being called edamame. Soybeans must be cooked, as they are poisonous when raw. Soy is used in tofu, soymilk and various dairy and meat substitutes. It is also used in fermented foods like miso, natto and tempeh, which are commonly consumed in some Asian countries.

What remains of the soybean after the fat has been extracted is called soybean meal, which is about 50% protein. The majority of soybean meal is used to feed livestock, but it can also go through further processing to produce isolated soy protein. 

Because it's cheap and has certain functional properties, soybean oil and soy protein have found their way into all sorts of processed foods, so most people in the U.S. are consuming significant amounts of soy without even knowing about it. Soy protein is also the major ingredient in soy-based infant formulas.

Improper balance of testosterone to estrogen in men can lead to a lower libido, fat accumulation around the waist and loss of energy, stamina and virility and even man boobs (gynecomastia).

Unfortunately, many Americans who are committed to healthy lifestyles have been mislead and manipulated into believing that unfermented and processed soy products like soymilk, soy cheese, soy burgers, and soy ice cream are healthy foods.

Soy Dangers Summarized

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  • High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting, and long, slow cooking, but only with long fermentation. High-phytate diets have caused growth problems in children. 
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth. 
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women. 
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent anti-thyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease. 
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12. 
  • Soy foods increase the body's requirement for Vitamin D. Toxic synthetic Vitamin D2 is added to soy milk. 
  • Fragile proteins are over-denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein. 
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. 
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods to mask soy's unpleasant taste. 
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys. 

What Soy Products Are Good for You?

The only soy with health benefits is organic soy that has been properly fermented, and these are the only soy products I ever recommend consuming. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and "anti-nutrient" levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system.

The primary fermented soy products I recommend are:

  • Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor. 
  • Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup). 
  • Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. 
  • Soy sauce, which is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; be wary because many varieties on the market today are made artificially using a chemical process. 

So should you give up soy for good? Not necessarily. Eating some soy can be a healthy way to cut back on meat while still making sure you’re eating enough protein. But too much of a good thing has the potential to take its toll on your hormones and your health.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Which Supplements Do You Really Need?

Dietary supplements include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, powders, and liquids. The trick is knowing which supplements can actually help you stay healthy—and which are likely doing nothing at all. 

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Some supplements can help assure that you get enough of the vital substances the body needs to function; others may help reduce the risk of disease. But supplements should not replace complete meals which are necessary for a healthful diet – so, be sure you eat a variety of foods as well.

Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful – even life-threatening – consequences.

  • Combining supplements
  • Using supplements with medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter)
  • Substituting supplements for prescription medicines
  • Taking too much of some supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or iron

We are all unique individuals and biochemically different, the answer to which supplements should you take is not so black and white. I do believe that everyone should be taking supplements of some sort, but the best supplement regimen for you may be different than what’s best for your mother, father, sister or brother. That being said, here are a few essential supplements that I recommend for everyone to take.

Vitamin D

Known as the sunshine vitamin, since you can get it from its rays—aids your body in absorbing calcium. It also helps reduce inflammation, improve mood, and boost immune function. Many people are lacking in Vitamin D. In particular, those in the northern part of the U.S. don’t get enough sunlight for their bodies to produce enough vitamin D naturally.

Probiotics

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We now know that nearly 80% of your immune system is located in your gut and up to 95% of your serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood) is produced in your gut. This means that if the balance of bacteria in your gut is thrown off, it can lead to a whole host of problems, including autoimmunity, depression, anxiety, and leaky gut to name a few. Taking a probiotic every day can help keep your microbiome in balance, which promotes a healthy GI tract, relieves digestive discomfort, promotes a normal bowel pattern, and supports overall wellness.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most widely used single vitamin. It's known as an antioxidant, and is often recommended as a remedy for the common cold. There is even research to suggest that it may have cancer preventing properties due to its ability to aid the body in fighting off malicious cells.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are vital to good health. They support your body’s ability to prevent chronic diseases and help protect it against inflammation. They also promote a stronger immune system; cardiovascular, joint and vision health; strengthen skin, hair, and nails; and enhance nutrient absorption, metabolic function as well as attention, mood and memory skills. In short, fish oil is seriously good stuff, but as with Vitamin D, you can’t make your own omega-3 fatty acids, so you’ve got to get it from outside sources. Fatty fish and fish oil supplements are your best sources.

Multivitamin

We have a huge need for protective, health-supporting nutrients to help us combat the daily issues of living in a polluted world. Think of a multivitamin as a little insurance policy to help protect your body against the vitamin and mineral shortfalls that can occur even in diets that are rich in healthy foods. By gifting your body with a multivitamin, you’ll also be optimizing cellular function, which helps make all your systems work consistently at their peak, instead of sputtering through the day. 


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Workout Supplement That Actually Works

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The fitness world is full of a lot of gimmicks and promises because working out is hard work, and if there’s one thing human history has shown us, it’s that humans love a good shortcut. The truth is, there’s no real replacement for hard work. When it comes to fitness, “hard work” means getting into the gym, lifting weights, laying down miles, not eating trash, and making the effort to cut fat and make gains.

Whether your goal is to increase strength, decrease body fat or improve overall performance, adding supplements to your daily regimen can give you that extra edge. But with thousands of products on the market, choosing the ones that are right for you can be overwhelming. Below is a list of workout supplements that actually work...

1. Creatine

Creatine is a natural substance our body uses to produce energy. The body turns creatine into phosphocreatine, which is stored in the muscles.  Creatine supplementation works by increasing its availability in the muscle. This helps to maintain energy during high-intensity exercise such as lifting weights, circuit workouts and interval runs. Increasing the availability of phosphocreatine may also help speed up recovery between sets.

Long-term creatine supplementation appears to enhance the quality of resistance training, generally leading to 5-15% greater gains in strength and performance.

2. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)

BCAAs are awesome because they don’t just help you during your workout, but also after. In fact, they work best in the post-workout stages. BCAAs are a mix of three vital amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine – that are essential to muscle repair and recovery. Their whole job is to help your muscles recover faster after a hard workout, which means you spend less days off from being sore and feeling beat to shit, and more time in the gym putting up the heavy stuff.  Aside from helping muscles repair themselves, these amino acids also help provide much-needed energy in the gym, but also curb the production of certain hormones that actually work against your body’s attempts to build muscles – most notably, cortisol.

3. Fish Oil

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Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, key players in the muscle recovery process. Intense resistance training can cause microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, leading to muscle damage and inflammation. While some inflammation is desirable, too much can delay recovery.  

Research suggests omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce muscle soreness after exercise and speed up the recovery process, getting you ready for your next session with the weights.

4. Glutamine

Glutamine is another amino acid that’s produced naturally by the body, and can be drawn out of muscles during intensely stressful situations. Workouts are stressful. On the whole, glutamine helps maintain muscle mass. So, if your glutamine levels are depleting during a stressful workout, and glutamine is essential to muscle mass, it’s absolutely vital that you get as much glutamine back into you’re your body as possible following a workout. 

The more glutamine you get back in your body, and the faster you get it there, the more muscle you keep on.

5. Whey Protein Powder

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When you’re looking for a good protein powder, look to make sure it’s whey protein. Whey protein is one of the most tried and true supplements because it contains a higher level of Leucine (remember that amino acid from the BCAAs?), which you now know is directly responsible for muscle protein synthesis (AKA growth).

As a base line, look for something that’s lower in calories, has very few ingredients, and is high in whey protein (anything in the 25 gram+ range per serving), and you won’t go wrong. Stay away from protein with sugar and all the other added nonsense. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that protein shakes are supplemental to your daily intake. Your primary source of protein should come from actual food.

6. Carbohydrates 

If you are trying to cut fat and lose weight, cutting back on your carbs is normal. But if you’re trying to pack on muscle and keep burning fat long after the workout is over, you should be ingesting simple carbohydrates twice a day: once as soon as you wake up, and once right after a workout.

Once your workout is over, your body’s glycogen and glucose levels are completely trashed. Once that happens, your body secretes cortisol, and begins eating away at all that valuable muscle you just spent time and energy making. Ingesting simple carbs (sugars) helps raise your body’s glucose level, prevents cortisol from being secreted, and helps save that muscle tissue you’re working so hard to pack on.

Carbohydrates in the form of supplements help cut out all the extra crap that you’d normally get from ingesting it in food. You could eat a bunch of simple carbs in different foods, but having a supplement helps regulate your carb intake perfectly, giving you everything you need to keep that muscle where it belongs.

7. Zinc

Zinc is one of the most common minerals that many athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weightlifters are missing in their diet, so they're missing out on a host of muscle benefits. For example, zinc increases muscle strength and performance, is involved with protein synthesis -- which also helps with muscle size and strength -- and can help maintain or increase testosterone levels for even further muscle development. When combined with a workout routine, this essential mineral may be the missing step to your muscle-gaining goals.

Zinc also helps enzymes such as carbonic anhydrase and carboxypeptidase, which remove carbon dioxide your body produce through normal metabolic processes. Zinc also helps maintain healthy levels of testosterone, especially in men.

8. Magnesium 

Magnesium is an essential building block for hundreds of chemical processes in the body. Your muscles’ ability to contract and relax is highly dependent on how much magnesium your body is getting.

Other things affected by magnesium include:

·      Nerve function

·      Cardiac activity

·      Blood pressure regulation

·      Hormonal interactions

·      Bone health

·      Synthesis of proteins, fats and nucleic acids

The list goes on. The bottom line is that magnesium is the multi-tasking mineral your body needs and is probably not getting enough of.  Perhaps the most high-profile process that magnesium is used for is metabolizing nutrients and turning them into energy. Magnesium activates enzymes, which help produce something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). 

Why is ATP important? ATP plays a crucial role in the metabolic process. When your body breaks down ATP, your muscles use the energy that is released. The more you exercise and the harder you exercise, the faster your body burns up the energy released from breaking down ATP. 

If you’re not getting enough magnesium, it can result in low energy levels and problems with muscle function. Supplements make it much easier to get the necessary nutrients to build muscle and can even give you an advantage and enhance your training when taken right and combined with a good diet.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Proper Portions

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Selecting the right foods also means choosing portions that are proper serving sizes. The terms "portion" and "serving" are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing.  A "portion" is the amount of food you choose to eat for meals or snacks (like a plateful of pasta or a handful of raisins). In comparison, a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat (like 1 cup of milk or 1 ounce of bread). Servings are listed on a food's nutrition facts label too. 

Portion sizes matter because they help people manage their weight. Understanding what an appropriate portion is may help you to make sure you are eating about the right amount. It can be challenging to eat an appropriate amount in particular instances, for instance at restaurants and at parties. In these cases, having an idea of what a proper portion of particular foods looks like may help you to ensure that you eat the right amount for you. 

In America, things are done differently. If you grew up in American culture, it may seem normal to you but in most countries and cultures we are the anomaly. We can learn a lot from different cultures and their relationship with food. Other countries consume much smaller portions, while here in America, we suffer from obesity (leading cause of death), due to the larger portions we consume on a daily basis. Here in America, fruits and vegetables are more expensive, while processed foods are affordable, so the average American will go the affordable route, which isn’t the healthiest and can contribute to overeating and health issues. 

When choosing your portions, try to make it as close as possible to these recommended serving sizes.  

Grains: Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.

  • Bread: 1 ounce (1 small slice, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 bun), or about the size of an index card
  • Cooked Grains: 1/2 cup cooked oats, rice or pasta, or about the size of a billiard ball
  • Dry cereal: 1/2 cup flakes, puffed rice or shredded wheat, or about the size of a billiard ball

Fruits and Vegetables: Aim for 5-9 total servings each day. Choose fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible.

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  • Raw fruit: 1/2 cup raw, canned or frozen fruit, or about the size of billiard ball
  • Dried fruit: 1/4 cup raisins, prunes or apricots, or about the size of an egg
  • Juice: 6 oz 100% fruit or vegetable juice, or about the size of a hockey puck
  • Raw vegetables: 1 cup leafy greens, baby carrots or about the size of a baseball
  • Cooked vegetables: 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, potatoes, or about the size of a billiard ball

Meat and Beans: Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats and plant proteins whenever possible.

  • Meat: 2-3 oz cooked beef, poultry, fish, or about the size of a deck of cards
  • Beans: 1/2 cup cooked beans, split peas or legumes, or about the size of a billiard ball
  • Nuts & Seeds: 2 tbsp nuts, seeds or nut butters, or about the size of a ping pong ball

Fats & Oils: Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy fats whenever possible.

  • Fat & Oil: 1 tsp butter, margarine or oil, or about the size of one die

Calcium: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible.

Here are some ways to cut portions:

1. START WITH A GLASS OF WATER.

Adequate water intake is essential for all your body's functions, and the more you drink, the easier it is to cut back on calories (without going hungry) and lose weight. 

2. EATING ON A SCHEDULE.

Eating meals and snacks at the same time each day can make it easier to eat healthy portions. Enjoying food at regularly spaced times helps ensure your body always has the fuel it needs. That way, you’ll never feel famished, which can push you to overindulge. 

3. DON’T SUPER- SIZE IT.

Enormous portions in restaurants can skew our impression of how much food we really need. When you’re served a super-sized portion, don’t feel like you need to eat all of it. Split the meal with someone else. Or immediately ask for a take-home box so you can pack up part of the meal and just eat what’s left on your plate. 

4. USE PORTION CONTROL DISHWARE.

Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held 8 ounces of soup actually holds 16, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.

Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there. There will be more food at the next meal or snack. Stay positive, and focus on eating well and being active.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!

Alternative Medicine & Preventive Healthcare

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Alternative medicine is a term that describes medical treatments that are used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies. Some people also refer to it as “integrative,” or “complementary” medicine. Alternative medicine may include special diets, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, and magnet therapy. For example, a special diet may be used instead of anticancer drugs as a treatment for cancer. In the Australian context, this is stated to include acupuncture; aromatherapy; chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; meditation and relaxation therapies; naturopathy; osteopathy; reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine; and the use of vitamin supplements.
 
Health care professionals themselves are even becoming more and more open to alternative medicine and the benefits it can have for the body. Alternative medicine focuses on healing pain and disease by balancing out other aspects of your life. In today’s day and age we are recognizing more and more about the affects that our bodies are having with what we put inside of them. There are many advantages to using alternative medicine over the typical mainstream prescriptions and medicines.

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Advantage #1: It treats the Actual Cause. One of the best advantages that alternative medicine offers is that it heals the body and is designed to actually treat the cause of the pain or disease that has occurred. By understanding and treating the disease, Chiropractors and other alternative medicine professionals are able to work at the root of the problem. Mainstream medicine, on the other hand, tends to treat the symptom that the disease or pain is causing, not actually treating the cause.
 
Advantage #2: It is an improvement of the Quality of Life. When we use prescription drugs we generally see an improvement in pain, but once the drug goes out of our system the pain returns. When using alternative medicine, there is a drastic improvement in the quality of life a person has.
 
Advantage #3: It does not have bad side effects. When using mainstream medicine you might be able to get rid of your headache, but the side effects might include nausea, hallucinations and risk of stroke in the process. Almost all-mainstream medicine has some type of warning about the bad side effects that come from taking it, where natural remedies don’t.

Advantage #4: Cost. Alternative medicine therapies can be less expensive than conventional medical treatments. Although some alternative therapies are not cheap, many herbal remedies and other natural treatments still cost less than prescription medications and treatments. Acupuncture and chiropractic sessions can cost significantly less than conventional pain therapy treatments.

Advantage #5: Mental Health. Alternative medicine can be beneficial to a person’s overall well being, as the approach focuses on healing the mind, body and spirit. Treatment methods such as massage therapy, biofeedback, meditation and visual imagery help a person to relax and reduce stress. Art and music therapies are used to relieve symptoms of depression and schizophrenia by stimulating the natural release of endorphins and opiates in the body, in addition to helping individuals let go of deeply repressed emotions.
Learning about and practicing preventive healthcare, i.e. maintaining your body and good health throughout your entire lifetime, is properly the best method to prevent disease from happening in the first place. Preventive health care must be planned and executed ahead of time, even when illness is absent. You must build healthy habits even when it’s not convenient. You must believe that maintaining a health lifestyle is important enough to make a few sacrifices. Eating right, getting exercise and avoiding destructive substances like tobacco, alcohol and excessive amounts of sugar and salt are crucial, as is getting enough sleep each night. Healthy habits are an “automatic” defense against most illnesses and can provide us a long, healthy life.
 
Another aspect of preventive healthcare is finding and treating disease as soon as possible. Some sort of illness hits everyone eventually, but many, many diseases – when caught early – can be nipped in the bud and full health returned quickly. So it is important to become educated about illness and their symptoms, and what it takes to maintain good health overall. Moreover, it is also important to visit your doctor on a regular schedule – at least annually or possibly more often as you get older – in order to stay healthy and catch any disease early. If detected soon enough, a full cure is much more likely. It is also much more unlikely that most disease will become serious enough to negatively affect your lifestyle with debilitating symptoms or even loss of life.
 
It is clear that preventive health care is important. To start your own “good health” practices, there are four things you can do immediately without any medical knowledge:
 
* Don't smoke or use other tobacco products; Drink only in moderation (and red wine in the most acceptable use of alcohol)
 
* Eat a proper, balanced diet to get the correct amount of nutrients and calories daily
 
* Exercise at least three days per week; Aerobic exercise will build muscle and endurance
 
* See your doctor regularly for check-ups
 
Take the time to learn more; educate yourself. Most importantly, start working on your healthy habits today. A habit is something you do without thinking about it, and building good habits doesn’t take that long. I guarantee that you will thank yourself later by being healthier, having more energy and enjoying life to its fullest.


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MEET JEAN TITUS

A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!