Pickin’ Chickens

A hen chicken (Gallus gallus)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve read my last post on grass-fed meat than you already will understand why pastured meat birds are no different. All pastured chickens are supplemented with grain but they are superior as they receive added nutritional value from having unlimited access to grass and bugs. Organic chickens you buy at the supermarket quite possibly have never seen a blade of grass. When you purchase organic chicken you are buying the guaranty of no antibiotics and non-genetically modified feed (although this is nearly impossible as 70-90% of all soy and corn crops are GMO). In large-scale organic farming it is impossible to produce quality pastured birds like those found on a smaller farm when you are focusing on quantity. Buying from your local farmer ensures you are supporting humane animal welfare practices, getting a nutritionally superior product, supporting your local economy and helping promote environmentally-friendly farming.

Americans don’t think about the impact that their daily choices will have on their life down the road. We need to eat to live and not live to eat. You are better off not eating meat at all if factory-raised animals are your only option. Factory farms buy 80% of all antibiotics sold in the United States to use on our meat supply. This practice of feeding literally tons of antibiotics is only producing sicker animas and antibiotic-resistant superbugs. As much as two-thirds of the grocery store supply of chicken is tainted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria who are making their way into our guts. E. Coli strains were matched from women with urinary tract infections to 71% of the grocery store chickens samplings and matched over 80% of the time with strains from factory chicken slaughterhouses. This study helps demonstrate why it is no surprise infections are getting harder to successfully treat. We must eat consciously, E. Coli O157:H7, the deadliest strain of E.Coli, has the potential to make it into our food products more consistently if we keep supporting the conventional factory farming practices in which it thrives.

Nutritionally, pastured birds have better fat profiles (high omega 3′s and CLA, lower saturated and Omega 6′s), increased vitamin and mineral densities and are able to support their own weight. If that’s not enough reason, the FDA only just recently in 2011 halted the use of arsenic in feed for factory farmed chickens. This chemical found in poisons has been used for years in poultry farming to help control parasites, promote faster chicken growth and to improve the appearance of the meat so it looks more edible. Another practice you won’t see small farmers doing is adding sodium water to ‘plump-up’ the the bird. This extra sodium additionally negates any health benefit from eating the lean protein. 

A few labeling misnomers for those still buying from grocery stores. It’s best to just ignore any product that advertises ‘all natural’. This label has little meaning in regulatory bodies and can still be put on processed foods. Pork and poultry by FDA regulations cannot use growth hormones in feed or inject them into the animals directly (only beef is approved). This seems to be a common falsehood further supported by food companies placing ‘Hormone-Free’ or ‘No-Added Hormone’ labels onto their packages (which has to be followed by the phrase ‘the FDA does not approve hormone use in these products’ if they use this label). It is just food industry marketing propaganda to make it seem like they are ‘healthy choices’.

If you are unaware of the animal welfare reasons alone that support buying from local farmers then I will just say this; whether or not you care about how a chicken, pig or cow ‘feels’ it will affect the taste of your meat. There are numerous studies on the effects of high stress and poor flavor. For the rest of us, all it takes is looking at pictures of battery-caged birds or dark, filthy, over-crowded industrial-sized chicken houses to choose.

Giant chicken

Meat birds are bred to be so large they are unable to support themselves on their own 2 legs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If buying locally raised birds is not in your budget then save your money and don’t bother to buy conventionally raised meat either. You can get high quality protein from less expensive plant sources and it will save yourself countless of dollars in possible future health bills. Every purchase you make at the supermarket drives the industry to produce more of what you just bought. Factory-farms and cheap processed foods will never go away until people stop buying their products. It is simple economics, if a business isn’t selling its not going to survive. Remember, you vote every day about where our food comes from by what you eat.

Become interested in where (and who) your food comes from. Search localharvest.org to find nearby farmers or markets. Take an active role in educating yourself on the food supply and its practices. We can’t expect change to come to things that matter when we ourselves keep doing the same things.

Click on this delicious chicken below to see how 1 local farmer raises their meat birds.

Sources:

http://livingmaxwell.com/arsenic-in-chicken

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm055436.htm

http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm257540.htm

http://www.rodale.com/e-coli-urinary-tract-infections?

http://www.rodale.com/cargill-meat-recall

http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/e-coli-ground-beef-recalls-2011/

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp

http://www.morningharvestfarm.com/ProductsPractices.html 

Don’t Be Afraid of (100% Grass-Fed) Red Meat

Eye fillet of grass-fed beef.

Eye fillet of grass-fed beef. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my latest information newsletter to a local CSA I wrote about the stark differences between beef finished on corn or grain versus those only finished on pasture. A shortened version of this post below appeared in the newsletter which you can see here.

 

 

Grass-fed or pasture-raised beef (look for grass-finished or 100% grass-fed label in grocery store) is practically a different animal in comparison with conventional-raised beef. Nutritionally, grass-fed beef has more in common with elk, buffalo, or venison than a corn-fed steer. A steak of grass-finished beef is not only lower in total fat and calories (less than skinless chicken thigh) but also has 2-6 times the amount of Omega 3′s, 3-5 times the amount of CLA, low saturated fat and higher vitamin and minerals in comparison with grain-fed beef.

Data from J. Animal Sci 80(5):1202-11 @ http://www.eatwild.com

CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a healthy fat that is found most abundantly in meat and dairy. Just 0.1% of CLA out of total calories was found to be a potent inhibitor in tumor growth. Therefore just 1 serving of pasture-raised meat, dairy or cheese would give you an adequate daily amount versus 5 servings of conventional dairy and meat products. Grass-fed beef is also higher Vitamin E, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Even though feedlot cattle are supplemented with Vitamin E, grass-fed beef still has 4 times the amount of Vitamin E in comparison with their grain-fed cousins. All cattle are grazed on grass for a good part of their lives but when the steers are shipped to the feedlots and start eating corn diets (which gives them increased fat marbling) they instantly start to lose their healthy proportions of Omega 3′s. Steers are usually fattened up for 90 days or longer in the feedlots before they are slaughtered. This is just enough time to cut the Omega 3′s to only about 0.5% or less of the fat content. Grass-fed meat also has a healthy ratio of Omega 3′s to Omega 6′s. This helps reduce chronic inflammation that can lead to diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders and cancer. Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid but it is inflammatory in high amounts. A healthy ratio is typically 1 part Omega 3 to every 1-4 parts Omega 6 or 1:1-1:4. The average American consumes a ratio closer towards 1:25. Depending how long the steer was kept at the feedlot, those who eat grain-fed beef will be consuming an Omega 3 to 6 ratio of 1:11 or 1:20! Poor lipid profiles are promoted on a grain-fed beef diet and many will have high LDL’s (bad cholesterol), total dietary cholesterol and low HDL’s (good cholesterol) which leads to heart disease, which kills the most Americans per year. A recent study just came out declaring all red and processed meats should be avoided as they shave years off of your life. This is no surprise as they only studied conventionally raised beef! The nutritional content of grass-fed beef is so high quality it can be used interchangeably with skinless chicken and fish in the diets of those trying to lower their dietary cholesterol levels and improve their lipid profiles.

Some may be concerned about the taste of the grass-finished versus corn-finished beef. A rule of thumb for grass-finished beef is to cook it ‘low and slow’ as the lower fat content can cause it to overcook quickly. Studies have shown that regardless of how the steer was raised, tenderness and juiciness were indistinguishable.

If you haven’t heard of E. Coli O157:H7 then I regret to inform you that this is another antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is found most commonly in feedlot beef. It is responsible for many cases of severe food poisoning leading to hemorrhagic colitis and most deaths revolving around E.Coli. Feedlots are notoriously known for the propagation of this superbug. Even though the cattle most likely didn’t have it in their intestinal track before they arrived at the feedlot, within their time there it will eventually take over their intestinal track. This is no surprise as the steers experience high stress, close-quartered lots with thousands of others, standing in feces and eating an inflammatory diet to boot. Not only has E.Coli O157:H7 been found to survive better in a feedlot cattle feces versus a grass-fed steer’s feces, but they have a higher ability to adhere to our own intestinal epithelium as well. There is no risk of Mad Cow Disease either with grass-fed beef since pastured cattle only eat grass.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian for humane reasons, but you still are craving meat, then you should look no further than your local farmer. Most of them use small, nearby processing facilities to accomodate their needs and are more than happy to let you question them about the process and visit the facility itself if you want. Make sure to ask them how they try to keep the stress minimal to the steer when they are going through the process. Pastured steers in general have longer lives as it takes more days to finish them on top of avoiding the high stress of being in a feedlot.

The value of your money is quadrupled when you feed your family 100% grass-fed beef. Not only can you actually obtain health benefits from eating this nutritionally superior product but in addition, you are supporting your local community, eco-friendly farming practices and humane animal treatment.

Sources

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-9-10.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/31/magazine/power-steer.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

http://www.texasjbardranch.com/Grass-fedBeefProductsNutrients.pdf

http://aem.asm.org/content/75/18/5927.short

http://jas.fass.org/content/57/4/791.short

http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm#2

http://aem.asm.org/content/75/18/5927.short

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2012/03/what-reading-that-red-meat-and-die.html

Previous Post

Kathryn Mattson:

A great list on why to invest in a CSA. Most CSA’s send you a box of what is in season in their garden but now some farmer’s are allowing more freedom in your choice. My CSA, Morning Harvest Farms, is unique in that we pre-purchase $400 worth of food credit that we use however we want. Their site has a weekly order form in which we order our meat, groceries and eggs which they then deliver to our home, the farmer’s market or we can go pick up at the farm! You can check out Morning Harvest Farms at http://www.morningharvestfarm.com.

Originally posted on Agrigirl's Blog:

The good news is that the growth of Community Supported Agriculture is real. And with real growth comes real opportunity for real issues. I had the unfortunate opportunity to show a mom that her “local basket” contained items grown not only out of the state but out of the country.If they're carrots, it must be spring

View original 470 more words

ChiroKatie Featured in Local CSA Newsletter

Thanks to Paula and Eric Sims at Morning Harvest Farms for featuring me in their newsletter that gets sent out to all of their CSA customers. Next week will feature some information on grass-fed beef!

English: eggs

Image via Wikipedia

 
Better Quality Eggs

Dr. Kathryn Mattson [CSA customer]The eggs on the left are from MHf and come from free-range pastured birds. The eggs on the right are (expensive) cage-free vegetarian organic eggs from the supermarket. What a difference! The richer, golden color of MHf eggs are due to increased vitamins. An independent study compared farm-raised with conventional-raised eggs and found stark differences. Pastured chicken eggs had 2/3′s more Vitamin A, 2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids, 7 times more beta carotene, 4-6 times the Vitamin D and 3 times more Vitamin E. Higher amounts of Omega-3′s also means pastured eggs have less saturated fat (1/4) and healthier amounts of cholesterol. At $3 a dozen from MHf, I was over-paying at the supermarket for organic, cage-free eggs. The old adage, ‘You get what you pay for’ has never been more true than in the case of eggs. In addition to supporting safe and humane farming practices, spending the extra couple dollars for incredible eggs ensures you get the quality nutrients they should naturally (already) contain. Feel free to pick up a few dozen or more each time, depending on how fast you use them. High quality, fresh eggs last over a month from their pack date when stored in the fridge and are so free from E.Coli contamination that they will stay fresh for at least 2 weeks even without refrigeration. With Easter fast approaching you will find they serve a dual-purpose of naturally pre-dyed Easter eggs due their beautiful eggshell colors!

CSA Home Deliveries

Sad news – Green Acres Farmers Market doesn’t open until April 24. CSA home deliveries will contine as follows: March 22 and April 5. Wichita deliveries will cease until the market opens. Newton/Hesston deliveries will continue every other Thursday until June 2.

Next CSA Delivery
Thursday, March 22
order by noon Tue, Mar 20

Farm Hours
9 am – 6 pm M, T, W, F, Sat
closed Sun, Th

Farm Tours
Saturday, 2-4 pm
by appointment only

Farmers Markets
Tue Green Acres FM
21st & Rock, Wichita
3 – 7 pm, opens 4/24

Sat Newton FM
314 N Main, Newton
8 am – 12 pm, opens 6/2

————————————-

Dr. Kathryn Mattson [Katie] is a chiropractor at Greenleaf Chiropractor in the Delano district. She also has her Masters in Applied Clinical Nutrition and loves to talk about the benefits of ‘real’ food. Growing up on a dairy farm, Dr. Mattson loves to support local farmers. If we are to strive for health in ourselves and our communities then we need to become more dependent on them. Still not sold on why to buy pasture-raised eggs? Read more at www.chirokatie.org.

Copyright (C) 2012 Morning Harvest farm All rights reserved.

Forward this email to a friend
Update your profile

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Nothing Will Ever Prevent Childhood Obesity:Repost from Weighty Matters

Instead of reinventing the wheel about how to tackle the issues surrounding obesity I decided to reblog Dr. Freedhoff’s post. This is from one of my favorite blogs to follow and is an inspiration to ALL doctors regardless of specialty.

I know, a cheap headline to draw you in. I apologize.

What I mean to say is,

No ONE thing will ever prevent childhood obesity“,

or any obesity for that matter.

In order for any single public health intervention to have an impact on any sort of obesity, it would mean that whatever target the intervention manipulated would have to in and of itself be responsible for a large and significant percentage of the problem.

And therein lies the rub. Our struggle as a society with weight and/or healthy living has more to do with the accumulation of dozens, if not hundreds, of environmental changes where the end result is an environment where the unattended consequence of spontaneously living is weight gain. Simply put, the current pushes us there.

To read the rest of this post please visit his site at Weighty Matters.

1 Simple Step to Losing 18 lbs. Without Exercising or Changing What You Eat!

Are you a mindless eater?

“Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.”   -Dr. Brain Wansink, PhD

Want to lose weight?  Don’t change what you eat, that comes later. Change how you eat!

The one simple step to losing weight subconsciously is to change your dinnerware!

Sizes have increased since the 1970′s and most of us now eat on 12″ plates in comparison with the previous standard of 10″ plates. How much have those extra 2″ cost us? According to smallplatemovement.org, “if a typical dinner is 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to a weight loss of 18 lbs. per year for the average adult.” I can think of numerous people who would love to lose almost 20 lbs. without even trying!

Dinnerware changes from 1985 to 2005

We also use larger glasses for drinking which has led to an increase in liquid calories ingested on top of more in daily food calories. The larger the plate you serve your food on the more likely you are to fill it. The same goes for glassware. You can see from the pictures above how we could easily we can overserve ourselves without even realizing it.

If you are drinking anything besides water use a glass that only holds 8oz. so you can always visually see a standard serving size. Use bowls no bigger than 5″ and plates no bigger than 10″. Just making this one small switch will help you control your portion sizes without having to think about it. Also, no cheating and piling food on your plate. If you mindfully do this then you need to address why you feel you need to eat that much. Dinnerware with a clear distinct border helps prevent you from over-filling the sides of the plate which should be left clear. Do not fret about the cost of new dinnerware as you can always visit your local thrift store or use paper goods for cheaper alternatives. If you eat out be aware of the plates on which your food is served and try to down-size your portions accordingly.

Shopping List

8 oz. glassware or smaller

10″ plates or smaller

5″ bowls or smaller

How someone can be thin but unhealthy?  They eat regular portions.

How you eat and approach food is a large part of your body composition. You may know someone classified as ‘skinny fat’. This is someone who eats mainly processed foods and has poor body composition (their body is more fat versus muscle). These people are thin but still are at a high risk for chronic disease because of their diet and lack of exercise. This is typical of all people with unhealthy lifestyle habits regardless of size. They are skinnier in comparison with their more obese counterparts because they eat real portion sizes and only eat when they need to. They don’t starve themselves, but they don’t eat for their emotions either (or because they are bored).  Eat your regular diet and change your eating behaviors first. Then you can start to incorporate healthier choices and other lifestyle changes on your own personal path to health. Take it one step at a time. Why do you have to change behavior first? Because you can still be overweight on ‘healthy food’ due to over-eating and unaddressed eating triggers.

I also recommend you read the book, Mindless Eating-Why We Eat More Than We Think by Dr. Brian Wanskink. There are many subconscious eating behaviors that affect our waistline. His book is a great eye-opener to the multitude of choices we make every day about what and how we eat! More importantly, visit his site to take his Mindless Eating quiz and see how you score.

Take the Mindless Eater Quiz (its at the bottom of the linked page)

Sources & Further Reading

Cornell University Food & Brand Lab

Mindless Eating

The Small Plate Movement

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” -Anon

It’s a few days into the New Year which means by now a few of us have already failed on some resolutions while others are probably proud of themselves for sticking to it for a week. Whichever category you are in, and even regardless of whether or not you even made a resolution, I hope that you continue to critique and analyze your own-self for areas of improvement. Nobody is perfect but this does not mean we should not strive to be a better person in whatever form that may take. Health is not just the lack of symptoms or ailments. Health is a collection of mental, social and physical elements combined. If anyone dares to argue that our mental and social well-being does not have an effect on our body then reflect back to a time where you were stressed about something or over someone. How did you feel? Many women tend to carry their stress in their neck and upper back. It is easy to tell when patients are experiencing increased bouts of stress just by feeling how tight and taut their muscles are. They think I’m a mind-reader when I ask them to tell me about the stress that is happening in their lives after palpating their shoulders. But I digress…the point I really want to make is we have everything we need to deal with whatever comes our way. Attitude is everything and I believe it is the primary difference between success and admitting defeat. We are products of our environment but more importantly we are products of our mind. That being said, I don’t expect anyone to change their mind-set or their behaviors over night. Growth is the sum of many small changes over a period of time. If we make a point of trying to better our lives through education, personal development and healthy living habits growth will come. Self-change is difficult and there will be set-backs. If you continue to strive towards your goals then that is growth. Many of you have probably already seen this article taken from the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog but it is worth reposting. The title is ‘30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself‘ and is an excellent read. Personally for my own growth and mental improvement this year I’m starting with focusing on #2, #3, #4, #5 and #16. I’m happy with my growth in accepting #18, #22 and #30. Pick out a few that you know you are weak in and seek improvement. Congratulate yourself on any points in which you have already accomplished!

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people who stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/11/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/

What is Fitspo?

Fitspiration, or Fitspo for short, is a term used to describe something that helps inspire others to healthy eating and exercise. These websites should not be confused with ‘thinspiration’ sites. Thinspo sites are common as well but generally promote being skinny over being fit. In Fitspo blogs you should see toned and muscular figures as objects of motivation. Just because someone is skinny does not mean they are healthy (an extreme example would be an anorexic). Fitspo websites are commonly in the forms of blogs where the author posts daily recipes, inspirational stories, exercise plans or photos of fit men or women for motivation to do the same for themselves and their readers. I highly recommend you follow or start your own fitspo blog or site (such as pinterest or tumblr) to help reach any health goals you have set for yourself this year. Goals are met by taking the time to daily address them through small steps. Having your goals stare you in the face everyday will consistently provide motivation and the support needed for change. You can google ‘fitspo’ for some examples. I myself keep track of inspirational photos, quotes and recipes by pinterest and I’ve included an example of a pin from my ‘healthy living’ board. Remember, YOU are the only one standing in the way of yourself and the goals you want to reach.

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/134122895122311591/

Standing Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive.

Awhile back I talked about the benefits of standing versus sitting while at work or doing our daily activities (read the post if you have no idea what I’m talking about). While standing is far superior, many people have had to become creative to modify their current desk situation or else shell out a few hundred bucks for a new ‘standing’ desk (a link to a desk example is here). Personally, I love to thrift store shop and nothing gets me more excited than finding something that I absolutely need at a price that is outlandishly low. Nothing beats spending your money at an organization that gives back to your community such as the Salvation Army, Disabled American Veterans or a church-supported thrift store in comparison with a larger retailer. Plus, you are being a green shopper by keeping old, unwanted items out of the junkyard. Win, win, and win!

So back to the subject of my post. A few months ago I happened to stop on a whim at a church thrift store and the minute I saw this old girl I knew she was perfect for the job.

While she needs some sprucing (a few cans of spray-paint should do the trick) she is functioning well and I couldn’t be happier.  At only $10 I felt like I was stealing. According to Google this is a ‘shop’ style desk and is typically used by mechanics (I found one that retailed at over $300 from Sears). I bought an anti-fatigue mat (which cost more than the desk) that I use to stand on while I work. Some people use a stool instead to take little breaks and rest their legs. This desk has a lockable lift top which is nice for storage but I also added the basket below. This gal never made it into the office as I liked her too much at home. Happy thrift-store hunting!

Really Splenda?

Just another great example of food marketing at its best.  I plea and beg with you to ignore front of the package labeling.  If a product is screaming something at you on the front of its package most likely this product is A) not real food, B) not healthy for you in any manner and C) will push you farther away from your health or weight loss goals. Do you see broccoli or strawberries with ‘buy me because I’m super good for you’ labels?  No.  Because A) they are real food, B) they are healthy for you and C) we know that automatically we will be healthier, look and feel better if we eat more real food.

Food companies use front labels to try to draw you in with these marketing tactics in order to sway you into buying their product over another overly processed food demon because we are confused when it comes to food in boxes.  We trust the food companies to help us discern the differences between these products.  Problem is they are in the business of making a hefty profit from a very cheaply made food.  For example, let’s look at Splenda’s new products Splenda Essentials. Not only is it a no-calorie sweetener (try to put that into a food group!), BUT it also has B vitamins, fiber or antioxidants!!! WOW!!! (Note I am being very sarcastic here).

Do you really think Splenda is the answer to getting your daily fix of fiber, vitamins or antioxidants?  If you do, please do me a favor and step back a minute. Think of someone who drinks diet sodas or uses non-calorie sweeteners. Are they a perfect weight? Most likely not. Fake sugars condition our taste to want even more sweet things. Eating more sweet things means an increase in our waistlines which is exactly what we don’t want. If they are diabetic (type II) they obviously got there by eating too much sugar to begin with. Here is my plea, you want fiber? Eat whole grain bread. You want antioxidants? Eat some blueberries.  You want B-vitamins? Eat a dark, leafy green salad with a (preferably homemade) olive oil vinegar dressing.

You want real health and energy? Eat real food.

Sources:

Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/