Blog Summary

blog

This blogging experience has been both frustrating and a learning experience. I am really bad at keeping up with things daily, and even a few posts a week was difficult for me, but it was definitely good for me to have more frequent deadlines.

The video making was great, and I felt we had ample amount of time to learn how to properly edit. I learned your video is only as good as the audio so in the future I will be investing in a microphone to help with that. I also will save it in a higher resolution.

The writing was the best part of the experience. It helps to get used to writing in the blog form. It’s hard at first, but the more you do it the easier and more naturally it happens. I also feel that it’s a great piece to add to my “portfolio” so I will be cleaning it up and adding to it as much as I can make myself to use as a resource for myself. This I feel will be a great thing to show future employers to represent my skills in this area and hopefully be able to do for a company in the future. Thank you, Professor Zmikly!

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Fat…the good kind?

This almost seems like an oxymoron to those of us who grew up in the 90’s and early millennium. Everything in the grocery store has been labeled “low-fat” for the majority of our lives, making us believe that it’s healthier. But is it?

Absolutely not. Fats are not only good for you, but essential for you. Firstly, saturated fat: it’s the fat most commonly hated on, drug through the mud, and criticized by diet plans and “health” experts all over America. But it’s necessary! Did you know that half of the cells’ membranes in your body are made of saturated fats? So replenish your cells! Help strengthen them. And don’t get confused by trans fats, because those are the real bad guys. They destabilize the saturated fats in your cell walls and make it difficult or impossible for certain cells to accept nutrients and impossible for them to excrete toxins. Also polyunsaturated fats are vital to your body because it cannot make them on its own. Your body has to receive it from your diet. So feed it already! This leads to the next point…

goodfat

The “good kind” of fat. I do and don’t like this phrase. I do, because when you get down to it, it’s true. There is good and bad fat. But truly, if you are eating whole foods – food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances – then there is no such thing as “bad fat.” Eat real food and you will naturally get “good fat.” It really is as simple as that.

However, I will clarify which foods are high these fats.

  • Butter and meat: who knew? Both are high in saturated fats that your body needs! The idea that butter is bad for you is a myth. You can do your own research; I will not write an entire blog about butter, but trust me. Butter is OK. Just don’t go and an entire block of it, alright? It’s far more than your body needs or can even handle, despite what Paula Deen says.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Safflower oil
  • Fatty fish

These last three are all examples of polyunsaturated fats that you must make sure to eat regularly. Believe it or not, it will also help you lose weight! Don’t believe me? Read this article on the science behind it.

The Fit Busy Bee

Today I want to encourage a fellow student of Texas State that is also blogging about health (and fitness)!

fitness

She gives lots of tips and reviews on things she’s doing. She’s pretty new to the fitness and health journey so she can be a great person to follow along with and empathize with! She talks about her struggles with junk food and her new found love of the FitBit! I haven’t used it so if you have one you can go to her profile here and see what she has to say about it.

Because she discusses fitness on her blog, she also includes some fun workouts that you can try and advice on why you may not be seeing results. If it’s something that may be of interest to you, show her some love! Blogs are great for community and we should all support one another on our journeys to being a better version of ourselves.

Antioxidants

berries

“They fight cancer.”

That’s mostly all people know about antioxidants, but do you know why? How important is it to get antioxidants in your daily diet? What foods are antioxidants highest in? Well, I’ll tell you!

First, the why of antioxidants is really only important for the health curious cats like me, so if all you really want to know is that they help fight cancer, feel free to skip to the next paragraph. For those that are interested, an antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. So why is a free radical so bad? Just a few free radicals most likely won’t do so much damage, but at high levels, free radicals may cause cell damage. Your cells start malfunctioning and some experts believe that this may be a factor in some age-related health conditions. As this happens throughout your life more and more cells are damaged which can lead to an over production of cells which leads to cancer. This is why it’s important to get antioxidants in your diet every day. Antioxidants stop the cell damage soon after it starts if you have enough in your system.

How do free radicals occur in your body?
Free radicals can start when your body burns sugars for energy in the body. This is why you should keep unnatural sugars and sweeteners to a minimum. Free radicals can also occur when your body breaks down certain medicines and through pollutants in the air and from cigarette smoke. The more you keep these things out of your body, the better off you are; however, if you do consume any of these, make sure you get plenty of antioxidats in your diet that day to balance it all out.

What foods are highest in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are naturally found in vitamins such as beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamins E and C. You can take supplements of these vitamins; however, it is best to get them as nature intended via fruits and vegetables. So which foods are high in these vitamins?

  1. Blue, purple, and red grapes
  2. Blueberries
  3. Red berries
  4. Nuts
  5. Dark green veggies (broccoli, spinach, kale, mustard greeens)
  6. Sweet potatoes and orange vegetables (carrots, butternut & acorn squash)
  7. Tea (green tea is best)
  8. Whole grains (get bread with NO flour, not even whole wheat flour. Try Ezekial 4:9)
  9. Beans (lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans)
  10. Fish

Probiotics

probiotic

Everyone knows about antibiotics and has used them at one time or another to get over an illness. But what about probiotics? It is a topic that is rising and is becoming a “must” in the health community.

So what is a probiotic? Simply put, it’s good bacteria! And hundreds of different kinds of bacteria live in your gut, but there are two that are most common that are called L. acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum. These guys are very friendly and can seriously benefit your health by counteracting bad bacteria like E. Coli.

The thing is, you need good bacteria in your body all the time, not just when your sick. People often recommend taking a probiotic along with your antibiotic when you are ill; that’s true! However, your body will benefit from a probiotic every single day because when you don’t have enough “good bacteria” in your stomach, side effects are often in the form of digestive upset, headaches, sluggishness, irritability, candidiasis , and even anxiety.

So start doing some research and find a probiotic that you can start taking daily! Global Healing Center has a great one you can find here.

Why juice?

Drink your greens!

Drink your greens!

So we have all seen photos of Blake Lively and Gweneth Paltrow walking around town holding their juices in the magazines and the ongoing trend of “juicing” or juice cleanses. Some say it can’t be good for your body to go a week or more at a time without eating food at all, and others say it is an amazing experience for your body and exceptionally healthy.

So what is the truth?

From what I have learned and experienced, it depends on the person. I personally have done juice cleanses and other “drastic” cleanses as some may say and have had great experiences. But what are the actual benefits? And why juice rather than eat or blend?

The reason behind juicing is to get a super dose of nutrients for your body to immediately absorb without having to work very hard. If you don’t like vegetables, but your body really needs vegetables, (which it does. Always.) you can juice 2 bunches of kale, 2 stalks of celery, a cucumber, and a green apple and get all of the nutrients (excluding fiber) but in the form of a light snack rather than a miserable salad eating session. It can be used as a supplement to your diet, which most people do not understand. Blending on the other hand is still great; however, if you blended all of those things, not only would it be entirely more difficult to “put down” (that just doesn’t blend up as well as a strawberry banana and milk smoothie), but it also will make you extremely full.

As far as the juice cleanses go, all I will say is don’t stress. It has worked for thousands of people and it is too intense for thousands of people. If you want to try it out, educate yourself. People have been practicing fasting for thousands of years through the four most popular religions and without all of the nutrients that you can get from juicing.

Caffeine

Caffeine

So you want to work out early in the morning but don’t have the energy?
Or you want to study just a little bit longer before you crash for the evening?Maybe you just want to have more energy throughout your day.

No matter the reason, everyone has looked to caffeine for a pick-me-up and I wanted to know how this affects the body physiologically and if it’s “healthy.” This is what I found:

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It increases the feeling of awareness and the Mayo Clinic has stated that it is safe to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.

If you don’t usually consume caffeine, it may give you the jitters. It can worsen anxiety conditions for those effected and it can give you diarrhea or make you need to urinate more frequently. Caffeine also increases acid production in your stomach so it can cause acid reflux and other irritations. If you have stomach issues caffeine can cause you to lose too much water, which can lead to dehydration.
For those that consume caffeine regularly, the risks lie more within the bounds of withdrawal when you stop. You will most likely feel drowsy for an extended period of time until your body readjusts, you could also suffer from anxiety and irritability.
Lastly, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant it is best to limit caffeine to very small portions if not completely. Caffeine travels via the bloodstream; therefore, your baby will absorb the caffeine also. It can cause your baby’s heart rate and metabolism to increase and has the potential to slow the fetal growth. This could increase the risk of miscarriage.
Overall, it seems that caffeine has more negative impacts than positive ones for your body’s many systems; however, consuming 400 milligrams or less per day (ideally not everyday) seems like a safe amount for your body to handle. As always, pay attention to the side effects and listen to your body!

Intro

heartfood

Hello!

My name is Zoë and I am passionate about health.
Health to me encompasses all forms: physical, mental, spiritual, and even social.

Health in America has been on a serious decline over the past century and this is mostly due to poor diet. Thisamazes me because it shouldn’t be something that you have to work for. The earth produces foods that give us the best nourishment possible. The sun, the moon, the earth, and water together make everything we need. Then why is diet such a struggle?

Primarily, I’d say bad habits die hard. Unfortunately most people were fed processed foods and GMO/pesticide infested foods from the time they stopped nursing. If you don’t already know the dangers of these substances or the benefits of others, this blog is for you. The basics of health are to come! Disease is hard, but health should be easy!

Shape magazine has a great article you can read for a sneak peak of future topics I’ll discuss here!