Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I've Moved!

Not my house, not my business...MY BLOG!

Here's where you can find me now:
The Simple Life of the SuperMom

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Improve Your Memory by Exercising Your Brain

Everyone knows that the key to a healthy body is diet and exercise. Many people obsessively work out every day to keep in tip top shape. So, if we’re so concerned with exercising our bodies, why do we often neglect to exercise our minds? Our brains are just like our muscles: use it or lose it. If we don’t do daily activities to help keep our brain in top order, we lose important skills; particularly the skill of remembering. So if you want to remember your mother’s phone number, your grocery list, or where you left your keys; start exercising your brain.

So, how exactly do you exercise your brain? There’s no brain gym you can get a membership to with “memory classes,” but there are things you can do on your own. Here are some things you can try to keep your neurons limber.

Open a newspaper
Sure, reading the paper might expand your knowledge, but if you really want to get your brain in shape, turn to the crossword puzzle. You can also try solving other puzzles that require using your language skills. These help you remember things by making you regularly access simple memories (i.e. certain words)

Try the latest puzzle craze
Go to a book store, go online, or look in the paper; you’re likely to find Sudoku puzzles. These are number puzzles that are becoming increasingly popular. They help exercise your brain’s deductive reasoning skills. Plus, they’re fun and incredibly addictive.

Learn something new
You’ve probably heard people say that learning something new pushes old information out of your brain. This is not only wrong, it’s just plain silly. The capacity of your brain is only determined by how much you want to put in it. Try learning a new skill or how to play a musical instrument. Learning a skill and continue to use it will keep your memory accessing skills limber.

Books, games and services
While there aren’t actually gyms you can go to, there are ways to get exercises specifically designed to improve memory. You can find these in book stores, online, and even in video game stores.

While it’s great to exercise your brain cells, don’t skip out on your trips to the gym. Keeping your body in good physical shape will help keep your brain healthy too. While cardio is the best work out to keep you healthy, you can still keep your memory if you can’t perform a strenuous workout. Even a simple walk for an hour a day can help prevent or slow memory loss. So get up and go as much as you can to keep your brain going.

Most people don’t worry about memory loss until they start to notice it slipping away, but the best time to start is while your mind is still sharp. You may not be able to bring your memory back, but you can keep it from fading. Regularly working your mind has even been shown to ward off Alzheimer’s. So if you want to keep your mind sharp, be sure to eat right, get enough rest, and exercise regularly.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Skin Cancer: What to Look For

There are several forms of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and the worst form of skin cancer known as Malignant Melanoma. Let’s discuss what to look for, symptoms, and when you should contact your doctor.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is a common form of skin cancer usually caused by over-exposure to the sun. This type of skin cancer grows slowly, rarely spreads, and is seldom life-threatening. While it may vary in appearance, it is usually characterized by a small, flat module which gradually may turn into an open sore with raised edges. It appears frequently on the face, usually around the eyes, near the nose or on the nose, as well as on other sun-exposed areas including the back, chest, arms, and legs. For proper diagnosis and treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma, see your doctor.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is also a common form of skin cancer which is rarely life-threatening. It starts as a small, firm, painless lump or patch, and resembles a wart or an open sore. It is also associated with over-exposure to the sun and can occur anywhere on the body. It is most common on the back of the hands or on the lips. If you have a lump on your skin that does not heal within three weeks, check with your doctor.

Malignant Melanoma
This is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It is sometimes associated with exposure to the sun, but can occur anywhere on the body including parts of the body not exposed to the sun. It most often appears on the face, upper chest or legs, and usually grows from existing moles. Malignant moles may bleed and can resemble sores that do not heal. If you think you have a melanoma, contact your doctor immediately.

Identifying skin cancers can be difficult. However, there are ways in which you can determine if you have any of the above three skin cancers.

Cancerous moles are often asymmetrical, that is, one half of the mole looks different from the other half. The outline of a cancerous mole can be uneven or have poor defined edges and may change over time. Melanomas can be very dark in color and contain shades of tan, brown, white, red, or blue. Moles that grow larger than a half inch across may be a sign of malignant melanomas, although smaller moles can also indicate malignancy as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Green Tea for Weightloss

Green tea has been used for centuries and still remains one of the most popular teas in China and contains powerful antioxidants which may help fight against heart disease, cancers and other diseases. More recently studies have shown that green tea is also beneficial to weight loss.

One of the most recent studies which appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed people who drank a bottle of green tea extract everyday for three months lost more body fat than the participants who drank regular tea.

It is thought the chemical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea raises the metabolism while also releasing the hormone noradrenaline which is an appetite suppressant.

The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also indicated the consumption of catechins in green tea lead to both reduced body fat and LDL cholesterol levels.

Now that you know the many benefits of green tea, just how do you need to drink to lose weight?

Based on the recent research you would need to consume at least 4 cups of green tea daily to see any results. There are now also green tea supplements on the market which provide higher concentrated doses of green tea in a capsule form. The quality of the supplements will vary so it’s best to do your research.

But you don’t really need to take supplements to receive all the benefits of green tea. Try replacing your daily cups of coffee or regular tea with green tea. It’s also a good drink in between meals which may help satisfy your hunger pangs while providing your body with a good dose of antioxidants.

There are so many benefits to drinking green tea that weight loss is really just the icing on the cake. This is one great way to stay healthy while shedding a few excess pounds.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Spinach & Tomato Ravioli

1 cup tomatoes -- peeled, seeded,diced
1 small onion -- oven roasted
1 cup mushrooms -- minced
2 teaspoons garlic -- minced
1/2 pound spinach leaves -- blanched, chopped
1/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese
3/4 cup tofu -- mashed
2 Tablespoons fresh basil -- minced
Ground black pepper
salt -- to taste
48 eggless ravioli dumplings

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in large pot. Cook over medium heat until mushroom liquid evaporates and mixture becomes a bit dry. Do not over cook. Once complete, set aside to cool. Once cooled combine with spinach, cottage cheese, basil and tofu. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a single layer of ravioli dumplings on a cutting board and moisten edges with water using a pastry brush. Add one Tablespoon of spinach mixture to the middle of each skin. Top with a second ravioli dumpling and press edges together to seal. Place ravioli in boiling water for 3 minutes and cook for 3-4 minutes, until raviolis are firm, not soft.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Find Out How Sleep Can Keep You Looking Younger

Every company today seems to be marketing a new product that can make you look and feel younger. You can find them all over billboards, magazines, T.V. and the internet. So why are there so many products claiming take ten years off? Simple, most people are willing to spend lots of time and money searching for the proverbial fountain of youth. If you’re one of these people, then I have a great secret to share with you. Instead of spending late nights buying creams and pills; put you wallet or pocketbook away and go to bed. If you want to look and feel younger, look no further than a good night’s rest.

Who looks younger...a healthy person, or a sick person? Chances are you answered “the healthy person.” Being sick can make you look old and haggard. Well, one big side effect of sleep deprivation is that it can severely compromise your immune system, making you get sick more often. Sleeping keeps you healthy and looking great.

Even if you don’t catch colds or other illnesses a lot, if you’re not getting enough sleep your body isn’t as healthy as it could be. Stage 4, or deep sleep, helps restore and renew the cells of our bodily organs. This helps them function properly and lets the body work as efficiently as possible. If our organs don’t work properly, it can take a toll on our physical appearance. That means you don’t look as good as you could. Plus, even if you’re not sick, you probably won’t feel as healthy as you might if you had enough sleep.

So you already now know that deep restorative sleep helps renew organ tissue and keep them in peak condition, but do you know what your body’s largest organ is? If you said skin, you’re absolutely right. And what’s the most important factor in determining how young or old you look? Your skin! Proper sleep will allow old, dead skin cells to be replaced with beautiful, fresh, new skin cells quickly and efficiently. This will leave you and your skin looking younger.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a bad mood, depressed, or just not feeling good about life, you don’t look as good? It’s not just your perception; how you feel affects facial expressions body posture, and other factors that determine how we look. When you’re well rested, you feel younger; and when you feel younger you look younger.

So how much sleep is enough to keep you looking and feeling younger? Well, that depends on you. Generally it’s recommended that adults get 8 hours of sleep; however, there are people who can function just fine on less. Others need at least 9 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. If you feel tired and sluggish in the morning, or require an alarm clock to get up (yes, I’m serious); you’re not getting enough sleep. If you get as much sleep as your body will allow and still feel sluggish in the morning, you may have a serious sleep disorder and should see a doctor.

So if you want to look younger and feel better, head to bed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ground Oat Body Scrub

2 Tablespoons rolled oats ground
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons aloe vera
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put rolled oats in blender and blend into a very fine powder. Place oats in small mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Once mixed, add aloe vera and stir into a paste being sure there are no lumps. Dampen the skin you will be applying paste to and massage paste onto skin. Rinse with warm water. Double the recipe to use over entire body.