Category Archives for Health & Wellness

4 Steps to Natural Breast Care [A Step-By-Step Guide]

By Theresa Harding          This post contains affiliate links.

For every woman, the breasts are amazing organs. They can provide nutrition for babies and enhance your beauty. They are very intimately connected with the reproductive system and continuously change during the menstrual cycle.

There are many indications of problems occurring in the breast like the appearance of lumps, swelling even in the armpits, tenderness or soreness, flattening or any change in shape, size, and texture, discomfort or burning sensation, altered appearance of the nipples or the areolar area, discharge etc.

It is very important to know how these amazing organs work and how to naturally care for them and keep them functioning properly. These preventative self- care is critical in reducing our risk of developing breast cancer.

The best Natural Breast Care for Women are:

How to Take Care of Your Breasts

Massage is one of the most effective natural methods of breast care. A gentle lymphatic massage to your breasts should be practiced regularly.  Doing this massage will help bring movement to the fluids, fatty acids, and other nutrients, as well as wastes and toxins in and out of your breast tissues.  Since movement is important for breast health, your body depends on this frequently.

Four steps need to be regularly followed to help in bringing nutrients to the breast and flushing the toxins out. These four steps serve a specific purpose.

The first step is a motion that helps in the draining of the lymphatic system, the second and fourth are to assist the venous system and the third step is to help strengthen the ligaments.

  • For step 1, use slow gentle, strokes away from the nipple. 
  • Step 2, use a kneading motion gentle massage.
  • Step 3, gently twist the breast both in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • Step 4, apply gentle pressure and compression to move the fluids.
  • To be effective, this massage technique needs to be followed for a minimum of two times-a-week for 3 to 5 minutes, or 30 seconds several times a day.

Is Daily Bra Wearing Dangerous for Breast Health?

You must always provide support to your breasts by wearing a bra of the correct size. A sports bra should be used while participating in sports. In general, violent sports should be avoided. Swimming is a good activity for the health of your breasts. 

Also, it’s important to wear your bra for shorter periods of time in the day.  Studies have shown that women interviewed experienced higher levels of breast health than women who wore bras longer periods of time in the day.  Since bras are designed to prevent movement of the breast, this disrupts the normal lymphatic flow of breast tissue and temperature of the breasts. 

Constricting the breasts for long periods of time in the day is not the healthiest environment for breast care Breasts can flourish in slightly cooler temperatures than our average 98.6 F body temperature.  Research has also suggested that it’s best to wear wireless bras and bras without foam or thick padding for healthier breasts.

Moisturizing Cream

Use of suitable moisturizing cream can help you reduce wrinkles. Many experts’ advice to avoid sudden weight variations as it leads to sagging breasts. Always opt for gradual weight loss. If you are a nursing mother, you should feed your child in proper position.

Herbal Remedies

Now, I love my herbs.  I didn’t know herbs could be so healing!  Foods we didn’t know are herbs actually are.  Some foods like, cinnamon and turmeric are herbs and can be used medicinally.  I started using herbs medicinally in 2007 and I’ve gotten some really good benefits from them.

Certain herbs have various compounds that help in maintaining breast health and can be used as essential elements of natural breast care. Gingko Biloba helps in increasing the circulation to the entire body as well as the breasts. Hence, it can help reduce heaviness and swelling in the breasts.

Also, Agnus Castus helps to balance the hormonal levels of the body and thus promote breast health as the health of the breast is directly related to the hormonal levels. The application of Evening Primrose Oil can reduce the pain in the breast to a great extent and help in maintaining breast health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

We all have a different ideal weight for our body.  Try to stay in a healthy range for YOU.  Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause when breast cancer most often occurs.

What Foods are Good for Breast Health?

Changing our diet is the first thing I did for my family when we started on our healthy living journey.  I realized that if I wanted to see effective results in our health, I needed to change our diet and make better food choices. 

I want to encourage you to consider it too if you want long lasting health for you and your family.  Since we were combating some health challenges, it was easy to make the changes.  My ultimate goal at the beginning of our healthy living journey was to help my 12-year-old son eliminate high blood pressure and lose some weight.  

A healthy diet goes a long way in the promotion of breast health and is a very important part of natural Breast Care. A well-balanced diet is a key to good life and good health. Various nutrients available in a well-balanced diet are important in maintaining the body systems functioning properly. 

Include more raw fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants.  Especially the ones that include the 3 antioxidants that are good for breast health: lutein, lycopene, and carotenoids.

Those such foods are fresh berries, carrots, cherries, cranberries, spinach, squash, tomatoes, yams, and watermelon, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and turnips.  These foods contain the nutrients that support the breasts.

It is best to choose organic when possible, as pesticides and herbicides are known to mimic estrogen, and can remain in the body fat when consumed.

Drink Less Alcohol

Sure, there’s a positive health buzz around booze, but a meta-analysis of 53 studies showed that women who drank more than three drinks a day had 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer as did non-drinkers. Try to keep it to one serving a day or less: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Practice Breast Self-Exams

We learn this habit early on at our first Pap Smear examination, so it’s a practice we should never stop doing.  In fact, we know many women have found lumps in their breasts from their own self-examination of their breasts. 

It’s a great habit to get into to examine your breasts on a regular basis.  Get to know your breasts If there any changes in your breast tissue, you will know.

Do You Practice Regular Breast Exams? 

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A Fast Weight Loss Diet Plan

 

By Theresa Harding

Being fat is a choice. You have the control to lose weight and also the power to gain weight. If you are packing a few extra pounds, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are happy with your appearance. We only see our reflection for a few minutes each day so it’s easy to forget about the changes we want to make. You obviously know that being overweight is not only unattractive but also unhealthy – you must keep this in mind throughout the day and make it a priority to lose those extra pounds that are holding you back.
When you are serious about getting the weight off you need a fast weight loss diet plan that gets the job done.

A fast weight loss diet plan is the perfect solution to regain your beauty, health, and confidence in a brief period of time. This is going to involve four steps;

Change of Diet

First, your diet needs to be low in calories and focused on delivering high quality, nutrient dense foods to your body. You need to cut out the saturated fats, increase the vegetables and proteins and cut the calories. Remember that the key to losing weight is burning more calories than your body takes in. Make sure you pay attention to nutritional labels and are eating fewer calories than before so that your body in shedding off the pounds.

Also, cut down on the carbs. You want to lose the weight fast to keep your motivation up, and cutting carbs will give you a huge boost. This means less bread, pasta, potatoes and other carbohydrate dense foods. You don’t have to cut out all carbs – you need some to keep your body running – but cut them by at least half to help your body get rid of that extra weight so you begin to burn more fat

Change Your Exercise Routines

Exercise is the second step to a fast weight loss diet plan. You want your body to be a fat and calorie burning machine and to do this, you need to exercise at least five times a week. Remember that exercise comes in all sorts of different activities – basketball, running, weight lifting – there are lots of options out there so pick something you like.

To lose weight fast, you need to exercise at least five times a week and keep the intensity up. Once you drop the weight you can level off to about three times week if you want, but for now keep your focus and hit the gym hard!

Drink lots of Water

Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. Stop ignoring this, it works. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Drink a glass of water every hour or so. Consuming more water can make you lose weight fast. You can also start making smoothies and fruit shakes to provide a variety for your beverages. To reward yourself, you can have 1 day as your cheat day where you can eat what you want and not let your body feel deprived of the foods you have been used to eating.

Change Your Mindset

Your fast weight loss diet plan will not succeed without this last step and that is the right mindset. Results don’t come for free and they will not show up if you are not putting the needed effort in. Constantly work on keeping a positive mindset that says you will do whatever it takes to get this weight off.

When you are serious about losing the weight then follow these steps for a fast weight loss diet plan that works. The fast weight loss diet plan outlined here will make you lose weight quickly, safely and most importantly make you smile when you look in the mirror.

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WOMEN BREAST HEALTH AND BRAS

By Theresa Harding

While an estimated 90 percent of North American women wear a bra every day, have you ever wondered if they’re really necessary? And if so, does the type of bra you wear matter to your health?

The Use of Bras

Wearing a bra is said to help prevent sagging, improve posture, reduce back pain, and maintain healthy breast tissue. But according to history, bras were created for fashion, not function. Wealthy women in the 14th century primarily wore corsets to help elevate, reveal, and enhance the appearance of their breasts. And as fashion evolved, so did bra-like garments, like the push-up bra and the strapless bra.

While bras are still worn for aesthetic purposes, they’re also said to be mandatory for maintaining and supporting a healthy bosom.

What Researchers Say About It.

But some researchers suggest that wearing a bra isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, according to a study done in France (called the “marathon experiment”), the trusty brassiere could be a false necessity: It does more harm than good.

While there are non-beneficial—effects of bras, there’s still a lack of evidence that wearing a bra is guaranteed to damage your lady lumps, such as promoting breast cysts.  As long as they’re properly fitted, bras can still prevent discomfort from movement and back pain, especially in bustier women. Some women even find that wearing a bra is more comfortable than going braless.  Even if just the strapless bra is considered.

Is Wearing a Bra Risky?

According to Lu Chen, MPH, a researcher in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, “women don’t need to remove their bras to improve breast health”.  They can continue to wear the push-up bra or the strapless bra, without worrying about causing the growth of breast cysts.  A lot of researchers have also discredited concerns floating around the press that the supportive undergarment was linked to breast cancer.

So if wearing a push-up bra, strapless bra, or even a backless bra helps you feel supported and gives you the lift and look you desire, the choice is yours: Wear a bra or don’t. Just don’t fear the thought of promoting breast cysts or any other related issues from wearing them.   Luckily, there are ways you can promote better breast health when choosing a bra.

Tips for Better Bra Health-Get Measured

Since your body naturally changes as you age, your bra size can also fluctuate. For this reason, it’s important to get measured each year—or any time your bra feels like a nuisance.

Choose the Right Bra Style for Your Cup Size

Between soft cups, sports bras, wireless, bandeaus, full cups, and push-ups, choosing a bra can be difficult. But the best bra style for you will depend mostly on your cup size.

Lingerie experts recommend bras with minimal support for a smaller bust, such as bandeaus or wireless bras. That’s because additional underwiring and padding may be uncomfortable, dig into your skin, and look bumpy under clothing. Larger busts can benefit from the extra coverage of full- cup bras, which keep breasts in place and prevent wardrobe malfunctions. The best way to find out which bra styles are right for your bust is by consulting with a bra-fitting specialist at a lingerie store.

Avoid Wearing a Bra to Bed

While some women swear that wearing a bra to bed maintains shape, it may also promote swelling, cause a build-up of fluid, and prevent natural detoxification—by restricting blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

Since there’s no proof that bedtime brassiere-wearing can save you from the droop, it’s best to err on the side of caution: Avoid the potential health risks of wearing a bra to bed.

Choose Comfort over Couture

While there’s no harm in occasionally swapping your regular intimates for seductive lingerie, it’s important to ensure that you prioritize sensibility over sexiness. Even if it’s not the sexiest-looking garment, a properly fitted, the comfortable bra can be life-changing when it comes to feeling cozy and relaxed every day.

What is your experience with Bras?  Do you see any type as risky to your health?

 

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Should You Consider a “Diet Plan” for Weight Loss or a Lifestyle Change?

By Theresa Harding
When I decided that I wanted to lose weight, I started off thinking that I needed to find weight loss solutions. After experiencing the yo-yo effect of losing weight and gaining it all back again, I learned that for me, I wanted the long-term plan and not just the rapid weight loss. I decided on the lifestyle change. In my personal experience, I studied how food affects the body and what I needed to eliminate from my diet, and that’s when I saw the progress with weight loss-long term. I also incorporated a meal planner to help me stick to my diet goals.
A diet plan consists of temporarily changing your eating habits to promote a certain outcome — commonly weight loss — before returning to your previous eating habits.

Your Diet

For example, if you have heart disease or diabetes, your doctor may instruct you to go on a special diet, with the help of a meal planner to help prevent a medical emergency. You might otherwise choose to whip it up with bacon and cheese omelettes or doughnuts and hot cocoa, but your special diet may prohibit these foods. You might cheat sometimes, but most of the time, you stick to your diet…even forever, if it staves off disease.
The same goes for weight-loss diets. If you eat more than your body burns (and let’s face it, that’s easy to do when you’ve got tasty food always available, just waiting for you to have another helping), and you could stand to lose a few pounds, you may decide to go on a weight-loss diet as your weight loss solution while you try to achieve a rapid weight loss.
People like to say diets don’t work, but they do work in some. Thousands of studies show they help people lose weight and regain health, and several studies have demonstrated that it doesn’t matter which weight loss diet you choose. Low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, they all work for many people much of the time.
On the other hand, a lifestyle change consists of adopting healthy overall habits that promote long-term weight loss solutions.

A Lifestyle Change

For many people who want to lose weight or get healthier, but don’t like the restrictions of a diet, lifestyle changes make a lot more sense. They are also good for people who can’t bear to go on another diet to achieve rapid weight weight loss, or who have bad associations with dieting, or who just can’t stick to a diet. If it’s just a lifestyle change, it may seem less threatening or restrictive.
In addition, diets focus on food intake, while lifestyle changes incorporate what you eat along with other factors that affect weight and health, such as physical activity.
So you see, the differences aren’t so obvious, but there is a difference, and here’s what it is: One or the other is likely to work better for you.

It is up to you to choose a diet plan, as long as it’s a healthy one, or make lifestyle changes that you know are good for you. Do what works with your personality, your work life, and your personal life, and you’ll have the best chance of sticking with it. There is no one size fits all diet plan.

Who Wins, in Your World? Diet? Lifestyle?

Most nutritionists suggest changing your lifestyle is more efficient and healthy rather than just dieting for a certain amount of time. A diet is a systematized, temporary lifestyle change whereas changing one’s lifestyle is an attempt to keep up similar habits for a prolonged period of time. When trying to choose between a diet or a full lifestyle change, do what works best for your personality, personal life, work life and/or anything that will give you the best chance of sticking to it. Even adding a meal planner may help you be more organized with your food intake. Both give you an opportunity to be healthier, feel better and help you move towards your weight loss goals.

What do you prefer for better results? Diet? Lifestyle Change?

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Multiple Food Sensitivities and Weight Gain

By Theresa Harding (Updated 5/13/19)       

One of the many challenges to my weight loss efforts was trying to figure out why I was always feeling bloated.  It seemed like, the more careful I was at selecting my snacks, the more I was feeling bloated after snacking on my favorite treat.

I always noticed that I would feel bloated after eating my favorite blue corn tortilla chips, and this caused me to increase weight in return for my indulgence.  This was my favorite snack.  I figured it’s only a snack, so why would I feel bloated only after eating a simple snack?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no additional to you if you click a link to make a purchase.


I did consider at one time, to see my doctor for food sensitivity testing, but I never did.  Then I started taking digestive enzymes to help alleviate the bloating.  For a while, I did get some relief, but I continued to eat the corn tortilla chips because I craved them all the time.

Well, after doing more research, I learned that I am now sensitive to this snack food.  So, I no longer eat blue corn tortilla chips for a snack.  I’m also happy to say that my midsection does not inflate anymore, lol!

Whether it’s low fat, low carb, low GI – most of us have tried, and failed, to lose weight at some point.  Some of the weight gain problems could be much more deep-rooted – multiple food sensitivities.  According to medical estimates, food sensitivities affect 75% of the population, having a profound impact on their health and weight.

How it Affects the Gut Lining

Multiple food sensitivities can damage the gut lining.  Damage to the gut can lead to a leaky gut, allowing food particles to be exposed to the gut’s immune system.  This then triggers a system-wide immune response, leading to inflammation all over the body and producing obesity by increasing insulin resistance.

Inflammation from any cause — infections, food sensitivity, or a high-sugar, bad-fat diet — will produce insulin resistance, leading to higher insulin levels, and an increase in weight.  Since insulin is the hormone that signals your body to store more fat — mostly around the belly.

In his article, “Wheat Disorders, Dr. O’Bryan shares information about wheat and gluten sensitivity and how it can lead to intestinal symptoms and cardiovascular disease.  You can read more about this on his website.

Symptoms of Food Sensitivities 

Food sensitivities, also referred to as food allergies or food reactions can result in digestive disturbances such as gas, belching or bloating after meals. They can also cause symptoms not related to the digestive system including headaches (including a migraine), joint pain, arthritis, hyperactivity, skin rashes, asthma, dry cough, wheezing, diarrhea, kidney damage, and elevated liver enzymes.

Food sensitivities can make you feel lethargic, sleepy, or low in energy, especially after eating. They can also be responsible for mood swings and cravings.  No one ever thinks about getting tested for food intolerances to find out the underlying cause of their weight gain.

Food Cravings

%Health and Wellness Tips%Terry Talks

Food Sensitivities Can Be Your Food Cravings

I always craved the blue corn tortilla chips all the time, even though I would feel bloated while eating them.  They were my guilty pleasure.  Unfortunately, the foods that most people crave are also the foods that they are likely to be sensitive to.

Some people feel that they are addicted to their problem foods, but it is not the food itself, it’s the endorphins—the body’s opium-like painkillers which are triggered by the problem foods—that they are addicted to.   Because of the cravings associated with food sensitivities, there is a tendency to overeat and increase weight, which is likely to be a problem.

For underweight individual’s,  some food intolerances may have the opposite effect, making it difficult for them to gain weight. Both overweight and underweight individuals often find it easier to reach and maintain their ideal weight.  This is because their intolerances are properly addressed through nutrition and lifestyle changes.

You can find out now, what foods to avoid by simply seeing your doctor for food sensitivity testing.  This might be the solution to your weight gain.

Common Food Intolerances and Food Sensitivities

These are the top foods to which people are sensitive. Some of the common food sensitivities are;

  • GMO, genetically modified Organism, foods.
  • Gluten (in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats).
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts).
  • Nightshades are a family of vegetables that include potatoes (except sweet potatoes and yams), tomatoes, peppers (green, red, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili, and pimentos), eggplant, tobacco, spices (from peppers like cayenne, chili, red pepper, curry mixes, paprika)
  • Citrus
  • Yeast (baker’s, brewer’s yeast, and fermented products like vinegar)

Common Reasons for Food Sensitivities and Food Intolerances

There are also common reasons why most people suffer from multiple food intolerances. The reasons are related to too much of one food, Leaky gut syndrome, Deficiency of Probiotics, over-worked immune system, and Genetics.

If you are overweight and can’t seem to lose that last ten pounds, multiple food sensitivities are likely part of the problem. They are the cause of inflammation, which is the underlying cause of weight gain. You can lose a significant amount of weight just by eliminating foods from your diet which you are sensitive.

It is also recommended to short-term, eliminate dairy and gluten because, both dairy (milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt) and gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye, some oats, spelled, triticale, and kamut) are linked to insulin resistance and, therefore, weight gainTemporarily cutting them out of your diet, allows the inflamed gut to heal.  This one move may be the single most important thing you can do to lose weight.

Have you tried the food elimination process to identify what foods you’re sensitive to?  Please share.

If you think you have food sensitivities, you can take my free Diet Makeover Course.  It’s a step-by-step guide to help you eliminate unhealthy, processed foods from your diet and start adding clean foods to your diet for proper nutrition. 
It’s what I did to normalize my husband’s high cholesterol, eliminate my son’s severe eczema, and normalize high blood pressure for my 12-year-old son. 
Learn More: Free Diet Makeover Course 

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The Trend in Weight Loss Today – Why Many Are Successful Today

%Health and Wellness Tips%Terry TalksBy Theresa Harding
My Weight Loss Goal

This year I made the commitment to lose weight and tone.  I didn’t want to commit to a weight loss program or any diet plans for weight loss because I didn’t feel it was necessary.  I did, however, focus on eating foods that promoted weight loss, like green tea for weight loss.  I didn’t need to lose a large amount of weight, but it was over 10 pounds that I was targeting.  So, I created my own plan and workout routine.  Right in my bedroom.  I kept it simple and customized to meet my needs and schedule.

My Results

From January to July I lost 14 pounds.  I was happy to see that the loss of 14 pounds really made a difference in the appearance of my body, and how my clothes fit.  I learned during this weight loss journey that no diet plans for weight loss, or special program or Gym membership was needed if I stayed committed to my own personal, customized exercise plan.  I did continue to drink the green tea for weight loss, along with eating other foods that helped me get results fast.  I invested the time and effort into myself without the pressure of meeting someone else’s expectations.  And it worked!  In this, I learned that, if I can do it, so can you!

Weight Loss Today

Weight loss has become a major and obsessive factor today.  So many people are following diet plans for weight loss and celebrity trends to drop dress sizes.  Their hope is to fit into the clothing ranges of such fashion icons as Kate Moss.   Losing weight needs to be done correctly otherwise you could be risking your health and developing serious problems long term and short term.

The Process of Weight Loss

The secret art of losing weight is by having a definitive plan. You decide that you want to lose 10 pounds in two weeks. You make a commitment to yourself and you get a journal and write it down. Then the next step in the process is to start an exercise regimen. A good start is weighing you, recording the weight, and then setting weekly targets of 2-3lbs or monthly targets of 8-12lbs.  Some of the steps successful people take to Lose Weight are:

  1. This is no secret, but drinking lots of water really do help you lose weight. Drinking water increases your body’s ability to burn fat and increases metabolism.
  2. Light Exercise – You really don’t have to run a marathon, or jog 5 miles every day to experience the benefits of exercise. Doing light weight bearing or bodyweight exercises for just a few minutes 3 days per week does wonders.
  3. Here is the kicker on how to successfully lose weight – with food! No, I don’t mean lettuce leaves and rice cakes. A diet plan for weight loss includes eating foods that burn fat! Green tea for weight loss is one to consider, as the green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG which is known to help you lose weight.  You’ll find this in abundance in the green tea extracts.  You can find that here.   You can eat foods that you normally eat, you just need to know when and how often to eat them. Tricking your body by “calorie switching” is the little-known secret to losing weight.

Now you have a plan and you are ready to start on your weight loss plan and you have a greater chance of success because you have planned and made a commitment.

 

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