Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Category Archives: Women’s Health

Slim for Life: What to Eat in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s

slim4LIFE

By Nicole Yorio Jurick

For many of us, getting older and wider go hand in hand: Most adults pack on an average of 3.4 pounds every four years. “But weight gain isn’t inevitable if you arm yourself with age-specific strategies to prevent it,” says Elisa Zied, RD, the author of Younger Next Week. (Famous bodies of evidence: Christie Brinkley, Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry.) To help you stay trim, we zeroed in on the fat traps specific to each decade, then tapped the experts for the best ways to avoid them.

 

Your 20s 

Fat trap: Drinking
Blame it on the alcohol. Happy hour, boozy brunches and girls’ nights galore add up to lots of empty calories and late-night pizza.

Fat zap: ”Most of us wouldn’t drink several sodas in a row, but we’ll order multiple cocktails — even though a mojito is more caloric than a cola,” says Alice Domar, PhD, a coauthor of Live a Little! A shot of liquor has about 100 calories, a five-ounce glass of wine contains 120 and a 12-ounce beer has around 150.

Keep liquid calories low by alternating each drink with a glass of water or seltzer. Since many restaurants dole out double portions of wine, pour yourself five ounces at home (that’s about two-thirds of a cup) so you’ll know if you’ve been served extra, suggests Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And to prevent your willpower from drowning in pinot noir, “decide what you’re going to eat before you sip,” she says.

Fat trap: Eating out
Restaurant portions are huge (the average meal packs 1,495 calories), and you’re more likely to polish them off. People who dine in a group consume 18 percent more calories than they do when they’re alone, according to a study in Physiology & Behavior.

Fat zap: ”I’m going out to dinner, so I’ll have a light lunch.” Sound familiar? “Though it seems logical to save up your calories, people often end up consuming more in the end,” Domar says. Instead of showing up starving, eat a small serving of filling protein, such as a hard-boiled egg or a carton of Greek yogurt, to help tame your appetite before you head to the restaurant.

Once there, be the first at your table to order, because research shows that your dinner companions’ food selection can influence yours. An easy way to order right: “Pick an upgradedversion of something that you might make at home,” Mangieri suggests. So instead of a boring grilled-chicken salad, try the baby greens with roast chicken, walnuts and pears, for example. “This naturally helps you gravitate toward healthier options without making you feel as if you’re depriving yourself.”

Fat trap: Coupling up
No one is safe from love chub: Women who are dating gain an average of 15 pounds over five years, those who live with their guy gain 18, and newly married women gain 24, according to research from the University of North Carolina. “People in relationships subconsciously mirror each other’s food choices and eating pace,” explains Susan Albers, a psychologist and the author ofEating Mindfully. That’s dangerous, because men can generally get away with consuming more calories a day than women can.

Fat zap: If you keep picking grilled fish over burgers, chances are he’ll start doing the same. “When one person makes healthy choices, the other is likely to follow,” Albers says. Make healthy un-boring by buying exotic vegetables at the farmers’ market, experimenting with a lower-calorie version of chili or mac and cheese, or browsing cooking blogs for recipes you can make together. Then dish out your portion onto a smaller plate and intentionally slow your pace.

On date night, don’t default to dinner and a movie. Instead, try taking a new class at the gym, exploring a nearby city, or hiking in a local park together. Not only will you torch calories instead of taking them in, but you’ll also feel friskier; couples who share new activities report having better chemistry than those who stick to a routine.

 

Your 30s 

Fat trap: Baby weight
Princess Kate’s bump may have disappeared seemingly days after delivery, but nearly 60 percent of moms of 1- to 2-year-olds still haven’t lost the baby weight, according to a BabyCenter.com poll.

Fat zap: The sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn increases levels of hunger hormones as well as cravings for fat and sugar, sonew moms tend to reach for junk food. The work-around is to stock up on healthy, convenient options, like rotisserie chicken with steam-in-the-bag vegetables and microwavable brown rice.

Be sure to fit fish into your diet twice a week. New moms who struggle with the blues are more likely to retain the baby weight after one year, a Harvard study showed, and DHA — a type of omega-3 found in salmon and tuna — has been linked to having fewer symptoms of postpartum depression.

Fat trap: Stress
Gen Xers are more stressed-out than Boomers, according to a study from the American Psychological Association. “Stress spikes levels of the hormone cortisol, which is a triple threat for weight gain,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, an endocrinologist and the author of Beat Overeating Now!“Cortisol not only increases your appetite, it also slows your metabolism and prompts your body to store fat.”

Fat zap: Resist working lunches, because scarfing food at your desk instead of taking a break makes you more frazzled, German researchers say. And because the caffeine in coffee can signal the adrenal gland to pump out cortisol, limit yourself to two grande coffees a day instead of fueling up on it every few hours, Dr. Isaacs recommends. Or switch to Earl Grey: Tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower cortisol levels than coffee drinkers did after stressful situations, a British study found.

Eat oranges, red peppers, and sweet potatoes, which are all high in cortisol-lowering vitamin C. And dehydration increases levels of this hormone, so drink plenty of water and buy lower-sodium canned soups and bread, because the regular versions tend to be salty.

Fat trap: Crazy-busy everything
You’re climbing the corporate ladder, caring for a family and still trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. It’s no wonder healthy eating keeps dropping off your mile-long to-do list.

Fat zap: Most days you’re so slammed that by the time you realize you need food, you’re ravenous, and baby carrots or grilled chicken just won’t cut it. “Eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day can help you resist fattening temptations,” Domar says. The proof: Women who skipped meals lost almost eight pounds less than women who didn’t, according to a study in theJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

To make breakfast happen on hectic mornings, stash granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit in your car or office, Domar says. Then add a lunch reminder to your calendar. And instead of succumbing to greasy takeout dinners, prep a couple of meals over the weekend that you can eat throughout the week, like a big pot of soup or a huge stir-fry, Mangieri suggests.

 

Your 40s 

Fat trap: Kid-friendly food
Macaroni and cheese is practically a food group in your household, and pizza and cake at parties is a given.

Fat zap: ”A few bites of your child’s leftovers can add up to hundreds of extra calories over the course of a week,” Domar says. Make the kids responsible for putting their plates in the dishwasher to lessen the chances that you’ll go to town on whatever they didn’t eat.

If snacks are your downfall, stock up on ones that your kids love but you don’t, Mangieri says, like fruit snacks or frozen waffles. And when you’re at the umpteenth birthday party, eat only when you’re sitting at a table, not standing by the bouncy castle. “It makes you more mindful of what’s going into your mouth,” Albers says.

Fat trap: Perimenopause
Estrogen helps insulin metabolize blood sugar. So when your levels of the hormone naturally begin to drop as you head toward menopause, this estrogen deficiency increases your insulin resistance, “a condition that causes your body to store the food you eat as fat instead of burning it as energy,” Dr. Isaacs explains.

Fat zap: Cut refined carbohydrates from your diet. “White bread, white rice and sugar cause an insulin surge, which contributes to insulin resistance,” Dr. Isaacs says. “The majority of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which your body digests more slowly.”

Hormonal changes can also throw your thyroid out of whack, resulting in weight gain, says Lyn-Genet Recitas, a nutritionist and the author of The Plan. And low levels of vitamin B12, which about 40 percent of people have, can make this worse. Get the recommended daily 2.4 micrograms of B12 by loading up on salmon, low-fat yogurt, and eggs.

Fat trap: A slower metabolism
You can begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of up to 5 percent a decade starting now, which means you’re burning 100 fewer calories a day, Mangieri says.

Fat zap: ”Strength-train twice a week to build new muscle and preserve what you have,” Zied says. Eating protein also helps. “Just spread out your intake, because our bodies most efficiently use 20 to 30 grams at a time for muscle building,” Mangieri says.

Turn the heat up in the kitchen and down on the thermostat. Eating spicy foods and living in cooler temperatures revs up your metabolism and helps you torch more fat, recentstudies found. “Spending a couple of hours in a 63-degree home is enough to burn an extra 50 to 100 calories a day,” Dr. Isaacs says.

 

Your 50s 

Fat trap: Menopause
As your level of estrogen continues to decline, your body converts more calories into fat, which contains the hormone. The results: less muscle mass and an even slower metabolism. Studies have also linked lower estrogen levels with increased abdominal fat, aka middle-aged spread.

Fat zap: Eat more fiber. For every 10 extra grams people took in each day, they reduced their amount of visceral fat, the dangerous belly kind that can lead to heart disease and diabetes, by 3.7 percent over a five-year period, according to researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Dairy, which is a good source of calcium, protein and vitamin D, can also help reduce belly fat, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.

Fat trap: Pulling double duty
The pressure of paying for your children’s college tuition while caring for your aging parents can leave you feeling worried and worn-out.

Fat zap: Magnesium helps reduce stress by suppressing the release of cortisol, but most women don’t get the recommended 310 to 320 milligrams a day. Up your intake by eating spinach, almonds and black beans, all of which contain 50 milligrams or more per serving.

Also, choose foods rich in vitamin B6, which gives you extra energy by carrying oxygen to your cells during the day and helping you sleep better at night, Dr. Isaacs says. Get it from chicken, turkey, and bananas; a serving of each contains about a quarter of your recommended daily amount.

Fat trap: Depression
Your risk of depression can increase during menopause, and women who are depressed have a higher BMI and waist circumference than those who aren’t, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Fat zap: Sadness can trigger cravings for refined carbs, which cause the brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, says Vandana Sheth, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But it’s a temporary rush,” she explains. “Once your blood sugar crashes, it leads to an even lower low, setting you up for a constant cycle of cravings.” To boost your mood, space meals and snacks no more than five hours apart and make sure they contain a filling mix ofcomplex carbohydrates, like whole-grain crackers or fruit, plus lean protein.

Foods high in folate — beans and lentils are the best sources — may also help relieve depression, because the brain needs that vitamin to function. “And working up a sweat provides a rush of feel-good endorphins that can lift your spirits,” Sheth says.

7 Foods Every Woman Must Eat

foods_for_womenby Lenora Phillips

Here’s some good news: The more you munch on healthy eats, the less you need to worry about Friday night’s fat burger and fries. Who says? Harvard. Its medical school has found that women who routinely nibble nutritiously slash their risk of dying from the usual culprits, including heart disease and cancer.

To up your odds of living a long and healthy life–despite occasional blow-outs at TGIF–make sure you regularly include these 7 nutritional powerhouses in your diet. “They’re the cream of the healthy-foods crop,” says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Age-Proof Your Body.

 

1. BERRIES
Why: Ounce for ounce, berries have more protective plant antioxidants than almost any other food. “These compounds not only lower your disease risks, they help prevent memory loss,” says Somer.

 

How Much: Aim for a cup of berries–any berries, fresh or frozen–at least three times a week (berry researchers say eat a cup daily). Since berries are high in fill-you-up fiber, they may also help curb weight gain.

 

How:

Toss them in salads

Snack on them one by one, like healthy potato chips

Add them to yogurt, cereal, and smoothies

Stir them into anything you bake

 

2. LEAFY GREENS

Why: It’s almost impossible to meet your nutritional needs without eating dark leafy greens, from spinach and romaine to collard greens and chard. They’re huge sources of fiber; vitamins C and K; folic acid (a B vitamin that guards the heart and memory and fights birth defects); lutein, a vision protector; and four essential minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

 

How Much: Two servings a day, and the darker, the better.

 

How:

Add arugula to your sandwich

Layer chard into lasagna

Fold spinach into omelets

Add any green to stir-fries, pasta dishes and soup

 

3. WHOLE GRAINS
Why: They have up to 96 percent more fiber, magnesium, zinc, chromium and vitamins E and B6 than refined grains. This nutritional powerhouse helps prevent the same health problems that refined grains help cause: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and even obesity.

 

How Much: Ideally, all of the six daily grain servings you need should be whole, unrefined grains, but aim for at least three.

 

How:

Start your day with oatmeal or whole-grain cold cereal

Use 100% whole-wheat bread for toast and sandwiches

Switch to whole-wheat couscous and pasta

Opt for brown rice (instant is fine), whole-grain pretzels, even whole-wheat tortillas

 

4. NUTS
Why: They’re excellent sources of protein, magnesium, B vitamins and E–trusty fighters in the war against heart disease and cancer. Yes, nuts are high in fat calories, but their fat is the heart-healthy kind. Replace junky snacks with them and you won’t gain an ounce.

 

How Much: Up to five small fistfuls a week (roughly 1/4 cup or about 15-20 almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans).

 

How:

Sprinkle plain or toasted nuts on salads instead of croutons

Mix them into cooked cous cous and brown rice

Stir them into cereal and yogurt

Use them to garnish a stir-fry just before serving

 

5. GOLDEN VEGGIES
Why: Just one serving of fiber-filled, deep-yellow-orange vegetables supplies five times the beta carotene you need daily to lower your cancer risk, defend against colds and other infections, and protect your skin from sun damage. The potassium in these veggies also keeps your heartbeat in sync and your blood pressure down.

 

How Much: Aim for two half-cup servings a day, the equivalent of one sweet potato, 12 canned apricot halves or a cup of butternut squash or carrots.

 

How: Try this sweet potato quickie from Somer’s The Food & Mood Cookbook:

Cajun Sweet Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick slices and toss with olive oil, Cajun seasoning and freshly ground pepper.
3. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown and cooked through, but still slightly crunchy.

 

6. GREEK YOGURT
Why: Low- or no-fat plain yogurt is a terrific source of B vitamins, protein, calcium and –if it has active cultures–the healthy bacteria known as probiotics, which crowd out disease-causing germs.

 

How Much: Three cups a week, if this is your main dairy source.

How: Cut back on sugar and calories by choosing plain yogurt and adding fruit, especially berries, and some granola. Or be more inventive:

Mix a dash of vanilla and chopped mint into yogurt and dollop on fruit

Use yogurt instead of sour cream for dips, sauces and salad dressings

Top baked potatoes with yogurt and chives

Thicken sauces and make soups “creamy” with yogurt

 

I’m Finally Free From Fibroid Tumors – Audio Testimony

Nicole_Fibroid_Testimony

Listen to this interview/testimony between Dr Akilah and Nicole Brown

 

Today I interviewed a client of mine who was released from my care twice. The first time was due to her inability to stick to my program. The second time was due to her finally following my program completely which resulted in all four of her fibroid tumors shrinking away. This episode is unique because it display areas of my practice that many rarely hear about. There are many testimonies from women worldwide praising my services. However, most of those testimonies do not include how strict I am with the women who seek my services for fibroid tumor elimination. If I feel that a woman who is suffering from fibroids is not the right fit for my services, I will refund her money and release her from my care.

This is what I initially did to Nicole. During her follow up, I felt that she wasn’t taking my program seriously. So I refunded her money back and released her from my care. Ten months later Nicole’s fibroids grew twice as big and her condition begin to get worst. She started to rethink the things I discussed with her during her initial consultation and implemented them into her life. Afterwards, she rescheduled her follow-up consultation with me. I accepted her back with open arms and helped her achieve her health goal of living a life fibroid free.

This show is a must to all women who think that shrinking fibroids consist of just popping pills. After listening to this episode, you’ll realize that it’s much much more.

 

Are you suffering from uterine fibroids?
Has it changed your way of life?
Are you ready to get rid of them once and for all?

Click Here to Get the Healing You Deserve!!!

 

9 Steps to Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle

healthy_lifestyleBy Michelle Jones-Nelson

Think you’re leading a healthy lifestyle? Aside from occasionally veering off the path, most of us think we do a fair job of maintaining our health with good (or at least OK) eating habits and physical activity whenever we manage to fit it in. But is that enough to be considered “healthy?”

According to a recent study, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. Just 13.8% met three of the criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.

While those four habits are indisputably important for a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that more factors should be taken into consideration. What would be on your list?

Just for fun, I came up with my own personal top 10 list of healthy behaviors (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:

  1. • Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease. 
  2. • Get a good night’s rest. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our “hunger hormones” out of balance — and possibly trigger overeating. 
  3. • Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to serve as good role models, can promote more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively conversations. Being connected to family and/or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life. 
  4. • Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings. 
  5. • Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower your blood pressure. 
  6. • Get a pedometer and let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget about how many minutes of activity you need; just do everything you can to fit more steps into your day. No matter how you get it, physical activity can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem. 
  7. • Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. Whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement. 
  8. • Try yoga. The poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit. 
  9. • Last but not least, have a positive attitude. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” You must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think positively (“I think I can, I think I can?”) to succeed.


It’s All about You
Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviors may be different from mine. The most important thing to remember is that you can make a difference in your health and well-being. Take charge of your life, and be mindful of small behavior changes that can make your lifestyle a
healthier one.
 

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The 10 Most Misleading Food Labels

0ghhBy Healthy Living

1. All Natural 
In theory, the term “all natural” should convey a glowing halo of wholesome goodness, with quality ingredients sourced straight from Mother Nature. In some cases, yes, this absolutely applies (like when we’re talking about asparagus or apples). But far too often, “natural” has less than zero meaning, and the number of lawsuits against food companies proves it. The FDA has yet to define “all natural,” so companies can slap it on anything from potato chips to corn oil, even if preservatives or genetically modified ingredients were used. When in doubt, double check ingredient lists and lean toward using whole ingredients you recognize…like asparagus and apples, no labels necessary.

2. Zero Trans Fats 
You’d think zero means nothing, nil, nada, right? Think again. There’s a lovely sneaky clause that allows food companies to weasel in up to 0.5 grams of trans fat, and still market it as containing “zero” trans fats. May not sound like a lot, but serving after serving adds up. And when trans fats are clear culprits in raising “bad” cholesterol and lowering “good” cholesterol, that’s a definite problem. So re-read that nutrition label and make sure that “0” really is listed in the trans-fat line, and watch out for red flag words like “hydrogenated” in ingredient lists.

3. Sugar-Free & No Sugar Added 
Knocking sugar out of our diets is something most of us have attempted at one point or another. And yes, it’s a good idea to keep added sugar to a minimum and look to nature-made sources of sweetness. Too bad products claiming they’re sugar-free or have “no sugar added” are generally loaded with non-natural artificial sweeteners or man-made (manipulated) sugar alcohols, which can wreak havoc on a sensitive digestive system. The word “artificial” says it all. Choose the real deal when it comes to sugar or sweeteners (or treats that include them) like honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and fresh fruit juices and purees…and keep their amounts on the lighter side.

4. High-Protein
Myth: Bulking up on protein will help you get into buff shape and melt away excess fat. Fact: Too much of anything, even if it’s healthy, isn’t always good. Too many calories overall, and you can kiss that buff shape goodbye; too much protein, and your kidneys can go into overdrive. When it comes to food products touting “high-protein,” the source of protein is often from a manipulated, processed form of an ingredient, like soy protein isolate. Most of us get more than enough protein in our diets, so stick with simple sources like fish, eggs, nuts, organic tofu, beans, and quinoa.

5. High-Fiber 
Somewhat like “high-protein,” high-fiber products are often boosted with doses of processed forms of fiber. Added “functional” fibers like chicory root fiber, polydextrose, and oat fiber don’t necessarily have the same impact as naturally occurring fiber in foods, and may cause bloating and gas. Look to fruit, vegetables, seeds, beans, and whole grains for your fiber intake and you’ll hit your recommended 25-35 grams per day without thinking about it, and without the stomach upset.

6. Low-Carb
The fear and loathing of carbohydrates that has taken hold of health-minded individuals has allowed food companies to run rampant with new “low-carb” products like bagels, brownies, muffins, and more. Most of these items however, contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners and/or processed sources of fiber–which isn’t exactly health-minded. The thing with carbs isn’t to demonize them. It’s about eating them in smart quantities and from quality sources. You’ll fill up faster on less, and will be more satisfied and happier.

7. Gluten-Free
This might just be the “health claim” of the moment right now. Food items that are marketed as “gluten-free” are by law void of gluten or wheat, any ingredient that would potentially cause digestive harm to someone with Celiac disease or a severe wheat/gluten allergy. What these products aren’t free of, however, are calories, and they often contain quite a lot of them. If you don’t have a specific condition, like Celiac, going gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight. That said, lowering the amount of gluten or wheat you consume may increase your energy levels or help you feel better digestively, but keep an eye on how much gluten-free bread, cookies, cakes, and chips you eat. Just because they’re sans gluten, that doesn’t give you license to eat with abandon. Look for healthy carbohydrates that are naturally gluten-free, like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and quinoa.

8. Organic
Grabbing an “organic” item in the grocery store doesn’t mean you’ve hit a pot of calorie-free gold. Organic cheese puffs, ice cream, and chocolate-creme cookies do not a balanced diet make. Organic is defined as any item with at least 95 percent organic ingredients–no hormones, genetically modified ingredients, additives, antibiotics, or radiation. But aim to focus your “organic” attention on items that should appear in your diet frequently, like grains, fruits and vegetables, specifically those with permeable skins.

9. Fat-Free
“Free” isn’t always a bargain. Fat-free items are typically full of empty, unfulfilling calories and may leave you hungry. Surprising as it may be, we need fat (the healthy kind) in order to fill up. Fat-free products often leave eaters scrambling for other foods because they’re just not satisfied. Healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-3 fats help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk, and they delay signs of aging and mental decline, and help boost mood. Choose excellent sources like olive oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado, flaxseeds, and coconuts

10. Omega 3’s
By no means are we aiming to slam amazing-for-you heart-healthy omega-3 fats. What we are trying to call out are all the excessive claims on products with “added” omegas, from tortilla chips to eggs and yogurt. If it doesn’t come inherently from nature, it’s still unclear how our bodies will respond and metabolize it. And if you’ve got a tortilla chip rich in omega-3s thanks to whole flaxseeds, unfortunately, you’re not getting very far. Flaxseeds need to be ground in order to reap all the benefits. Look for naturally occurring omega-3 fat sources like avocado, ground flaxseed, walnuts and other nuts, and olive oil.

 

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