Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Tag Archives: healthy-living

9 Ways to Beat Bloating

By Jessica Herman

OverweightWe’ve all been there: days when you feel as bloated as the blow-up Shrek in the Macy’s parade. Okay, sometimes you know that having that third helping of your sister’s peach cobbler wasn’t the best idea. But when you’re eating right and exercising regularly but still can’t zip up your skinny jeans, what gives? One of the main causes of bloat isn’t how much you eat; it’s eating certain foods that are difficult for your stomach and intestines to digest.

1. Use Instagram
“Pull up a favorite pic of yourself on your phone, and look at it during the day,” suggests Ashley Solomon, a psychologist in Chicago. You may feel more preggo than hot chica right now, but the image reminds you how you felt in that moment. Warm fuzzies may ensue.

2. Activate Your Abs
“Rotating your core muscles helps force gas out of your intestines,” says Lindsay Hallam, a Pilates instructor at The Studio (MDR), in Marina del Rey, California. Get into side-plank position, and bring your top arm across your abdomen and under your body to twist your torso. Do 5 reps; switch sides.

3. Run an Errand
You may feel like curling up in a fetal position and avoiding all human contact until, say, the week after your period. But getting your body moving helps relieve stomach discomfort, according to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Lace up your sneaks, and walk briskly for 30 minutes.

4. Pamper Yourself
To stop obsessing over your pooch, focus elsewhere-paint your nails with some crackle polish, maybe. And from the so-crazy-it-might-work files: A recent study found people perceived a woman wearing a spicy-floral fragrance as 12 pounds thinner than when she went perfume-free or had on another scent.

5. Eat a Snack
Water-rich fruits and veggies-think grapes, cukes-will help flush out excess fluid, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, an RD in Chicago. Or try pineapple: It’s high in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food.

6. Try a DIY Massage
Sounds weird, but stay with us: Applying gentle pressure to your belly can push out gas and help get things going if your bloat is caused by constipation. Lie down on your bed, smooth a little oil on your tummy, and slowly rub with both hands counterclockwise. Nice, no?

7. Have a Drink
Water is tops, but drink it 20 minutes before or after your meal, not during. “Otherwise, you may dilute your stomach enzymes, which can disrupt digestion,” Blatner says. Skip fizzy drinks, which release carbon-dioxide gas.

8. Hang Up That Muumuu
“For a slimmer silhouette, the key is to wear something that comes in at your waist,” says Allison Firestone, a stylist in Los Angeles. Fake a flat belly with these outfit options: a flow-y dress that’s belted; an A-line skirt with a tucked-in, billowy top; or skinny jeans with a loose cami and a tailored jacket.

Here is a list of our links.

How To Change Your Relationship With The Scale

thescaleby Dr. Sara Solomon P.T., DMD

 Over the course of 20 years and a dozen or so trainers, I came to hate enforced weekly weigh-ins. I was always filled with dread before I begrudgingly set foot on the scale, knowing that my self-worth and mood for the entire week hung in the balance.

On the rare days I lost weight, I felt elated. Most of the time, though, I either gained weight or hit a plateau; and on those days, in my mind, I became a “fat failure,” even if I thought I looked amazing in the mirror. I would let the scale distort my self-perception, leading me down a dangerous path of self-loathing and depression.

In an attempt to lower my stubborn scale readings, my trainer adjusted my program on a weekly basis. Usually this meant more cardio and fewer calories. Unfortunately, these weekly changes seldom achieved their desired effect. What did result was chronic irritability, depression, disordered eating, and exercise obsession.

Fitness, something I used to adore, became something I abhorred. I believed that if only I could lose the weight, I would be happy. And I was anything but.

A Big Weight off My Shoulders 

After enduring this for a year, I finally hit rock bottom. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I did some research and implemented the following changes: I put an end to the mandatory weigh-ins, the two-hour daily cardio sessions, and the severely restricted diet that failed me for 52 solid weeks. I replaced them with my mirror; 20-minute, high-intensity home workouts; and intermittent fasting.

Guess what happened next? I lost all the weight, regained my sanity, started finding pleasure in fitness again, reestablished a healthy relationship with food, and once again became the happy Sara my family used to know and love.

Through this experience, I learned that a cookie-cutter approach does not exist. What works for one person may not work for another. But no one should become a slave to numbers on a scale. Curious as to whether I was alone in this battle, I asked some fellow fitness personalities about their relationship with the scale. 

 

Here is a list of our links.

10 Tricks That’ll Motivate You to Work Out

work-out-Groupby FitSugar

It’s true what they say: 80 percent of success is just showing up. Once you’re there – you’re there. This advice can be hard to take when, after a late night of fun, your alarm goes off before the sun is up. Propelling yourself to the gym, pool, mat, or trail can feel like a hurdle in its own right, but it’s always one worth jumping. If you’ve resolved to work out more this year and get fit for 2013, motivate yourself to keep on sweating with these tricks. 

  • Channel that glorious post-workout feeling. Whenever you feel the instinct to skip a sweat session, imagine how accomplished and energized you feel after just 30 minutes or an hour of exercise. Just get there already.
  • Make a date with a friend or fitness trainer. If you set a time to meet someone, you’ll feel obligated to go, even when your mind and body are telling you otherwise. If you’re looking to get your sweat on outside of the gym, here are some of our favorite ideas for fitness dates, from rock climbing to ice skating.
  • Create a healthy post-workout routine and make time for it, too. Reward yourself after a workout by scheduling extra moments to relax in the steam room, blow out your hair to perfection, or get a hot coffee or a protein-rich smoothie.
  • This is the simplest, and possibly hardest, piece of advice to follow: schedule your workout early in the morning before the day’s distractions detour you from lofty intentions.
  • Carry a motivational token or photo with you. Beyoncé keeps a painting of an Oscar at the gym, so she’s literally running toward her next goal. Instead of commissioning a masterpiece, snap a shot of the dress you want to wear on your next date, a beautiful beach you hope to visit this year, or even yourself at your best, and make it the wallpaper on your phone. When you feel like caving, look at it.
  • Instead of going home to watch your favorite show on the couch, suit up and watch it on the treadmill. If your gym doesn’t have TVs on each machine, load up your iPod or iPhone.
  • Try something new. Sign up for an exercise class you’ve never taken before, take a hike to a vista point, ride your bike to a new trail, or work out at a different time of day.
  • Throw on your favorite workout wear and some lip gloss. Kelly Osbourne admits to dolling up so she feels positive and pretty when she sees her reflection working out.
  • Avoid taking a physical dip by fueling your body with a healthy pre-workout snack. You’ll have something to burn and a boost of protein to keep your eye on the prize.
  • Give yourself a gold star. Plot out a reward system and treat yourself when you hit your goal of workouts per week, weight loss, or the finish line. Wouldn’t a massage or a pedicure feel great after all your hard work?

 

Here is a list of our links.

The Ingredient in Your Drink that Could Be Making You Overeat

yuckySODAby Lexi Petronis,

We know that sugary beverages pack a lot of calories into their sweet little containers (they’ve taken a lot of heat in the obesity debate). But now the results of a new study are showing that they may also trick our brains into thinking that we’re hungry!

Actually, it’s the fructose in sugar-sweetened drinks that researchers say affect the brain region that regulates appetite. The researchers–who point out that the study does not show that fructose causes obesity–say that participants who drank a cherry-flavored drink with fructose in it experienced a spike in their hypothalamus. The participants who drank the same beverage made with glucose didn’t have the spike.

The conclusion: high-fructose corn syrup and other forms of fructose might actually help lead us to overeat more than glucose does. (Plain table sugar contains both glucose and fructose.) Which means, say the experts, that it’s generally a good idea to cook your own food at home and limit processed foods and drinks that have fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever have them–just keep how often (and how much) you have them in check!

Do you try to avoid fructose? What about sugary drinks in general?

Here is a list of our links.

What’s Your Fitness Motivation?

motivation4ExerciseBy Mindy Walker 

Find out how to tap into your inner workout drive (yes, you do have one!) with our customized get-up-and-go plan.

1. You’ve been exercising… 
A. Only since your sister-in-law was diagnosed with heart disease — at 40. That’s way too close to your age! 
B. Regularly, since you tried your gym’s popular boot camp class. 
C. Like crazy before swimsuit season, intermittently the rest of the year. 
D. Forever. Exercise has always been a part of your life. 

2. Which situation most closely describes your ideal workout? 
A. A session on the elliptical or treadmill, during which you monitor your heart rate, miles covered, and calories burned. 
B. Playing soccer on a Saturday morning or walking with a friend. 
C. Alone in your living room, doing a body-sculpting DVD. 
D. Kickboxing class, to release stress and tension. 

3. Warming up for your routine, you… 
A. Sneak a peek at the Pilates class at the gym. You’ve heard that core-strengthening can help your back. 
B. Chat with your running buddy. 
C. Picture yourself with toned arms. You resolve to do free weights later. 
D. Take deep breaths. You like to turn off the noise in your head before exercising. 

4. You would describe your workout clothes as… 
A. Fairly new. You’ve just made the commitment to exercise regularly. 
B. A wide collection of tees from the charity 5Ks and 10Ks you’ve done. 
C. Mostly comfy stuff for solo workouts, with a few flattering pieces. 
D. A full wardrobe — running gear, yoga pants, capris, technical tanks, you name it. 

5. What do you love most about exercise? 
A. Getting it done, because your doctor advised a daily regimen to improve your health. 
B. The good-natured banter with others sweating it out in a gym class. 
C. The way your skinny jeans fit. Look, no muffin top! 
D. The intense rush you get from huffing and puffing. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Results 


Mostly A’s
 

Motivation button: Your health 
This is one of the most powerful reasons for starting an exercise program, according to a study of pregnant women by Western University in Ontario. But here’s the catch: You have to want to work out, and not just do it because your doctor tells you to. “If exercise isn’t something you’re choosing freely, your motivation may not last,” says Marcus Kilpatrick, PhD, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of South Florida. 

Your stick-to-it plan
 

Improve your aim. Chances are, you need to lose weight to boost your health. But instead of setting a goal of “I will drop 20 pounds,” make it “I will exercise four times a week,” which will put you on the path to wellness by lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure and making you stronger and more relaxed, says Kendrin Sonneville, RD, a nutritionist in Boston. 

Schedule it.
 You plan to take a bike ride after work three times this week. Great, but you need to be even more concrete about it, says Anca Gaston, PhD, an exercise psychologist at Western University. Write out a weekly schedule listing what each exercise session will consist of, when and where it will happen, for how long and with whom. “Lack of time is a big exercise barrier,” Gaston says. “It takes practice to find periods during your week when you can exercise; writing it down can make it more automatic for you.” 

Get pumped. If you want to enjoy working out more, be your own coach, says JoAnn Dahlkoetter, PhD, a sports psychologist and the author of Your Performing Edge. A good coach wouldn’t let you trash talk yourself, so trade negative thinking such as I’m so slow, what’s the use? for Every step is making my heart more powerful, my lungs clearer, and my bones stronger. 

Mostly B’s
Motivation button: Making friends
 

You get an energy boost from the connection you have with other people in your Zumba class. “In our studies, when sedentary people participate in a group-based exercise program, they typically stick with it longer than they do with exercising alone,” says Timothy Church, MD, PhD, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The downside is, if your exercise buddies drop out, you may lose interest too. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Get sporty.
 Join a team. People who take part in sports have more fun and may be more likely to keep it up than those who do solo workouts, according to research in the Journal of American College Health

Join the club. To get the camara­derie you crave, check out local running, hiking, and biking clubs. Besides the socializing, you’ll probably bump up your performance a notch as you start comparing your speed and distance with other those of other members. 

Use your social network. Friends are the best cheerleaders, so tweet, text, or e-mail your latest mileage achievements to your pals. When they zap back their congrats, you’ll get a blast of inspiration and be psyched to keep going. 

Mostly C’s
Motivation button: Your swimsuit
 

Call it superficial, but the pursuit of a sleek physique will get you to the gym. After health, appearance is the most common reason women say they exercise, according to a University of Kentucky survey. Just be aware that your focus on the endgame, rather than on enjoying the process, can cost you. When beach season is over, you may lose interest in putting in the work it takes to stay slim. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Ease up a little.
 “People who want to look their best for a specific event, like a reunion, may be willing to exercise harder and diet because they think it will help them more quickly achieve their goals,” Kilpatrick says. “But we’ve found that for many people, continuous high-intensity exercise can actually discourage them from continuing to do it.” It’s more effective to go for a jog several times a week if sprinting like crazy for 15 minutes today is going to make you bail on your workout tomorrow. 


Strength-train.
 For the best results, add a body-sculpting class, Pilates, or any type of resistance work to your regimen. “When you overdo cardio, your body starts to burn muscle instead of fat,” says Greg Joujon-Roche, a personal trainer and the founder of Holistic Fitness in Los Angeles. Strength training tones muscle and trims flab. 


Picture perfect.
 Successful athletes envision themselves acing that serve, crossing the finish line, or scoring a goal. “When you visualize an achievement, you’re doing a mental workout that is creating neuromuscular connections between your brain and muscles,” Dahlkoetter says. This technique helps you appreciate how amazing your body is. Yes, it’s cool to be a healthy size 6, but it’s even cooler that the muscles that make you a 6 can move so beautifully. 

Mostly D’s
Motivation button: The mental rush you get
 

You use exercise to beat stress, alleviate frustration, and boost feel-good endorphins. You’re one of the lucky ones: Intrinsic motivation — drive that comes from within — is more likely to lead to long-term behavioral change, Gaston says. The only trouble is, you may be so in love with how exercise makes you feel mentally that you ignore what it’s doing to you physically, putting you at risk for injury. 

Your stick-to-it plan
Take a time-out.
 Be sure to schedule at least one day off a week to let your body rest. And make sure you alternate activities — running one day, Pilates the next — so you stay strong from head to toe. 

Try new things. Even the most ardent exercisers can get bored by the monotony of Mondays, bike; Wednesdays, run; Fridays, yoga. So branch out. Take lessons to learn a new sport, like tennis. Or try adventurous activities like rock climbing or kayaking. 

Recover from a bump. Whether it’s a killer work deadline or your honeymoon, getting back on the exercise wagon after a hiatus can be tricky. Pick it up again without obsessing about your performance. Instead of overthinking how your backstroke is going to look, just do it and focus on how good it feels.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,070 other followers