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How Can Hormones Affect Your Health?

How Can Hormones Affect Your Health?

ice cream1Hormones affect your health for a very good reason. They are messengers that trigger a variety of functions throughout the body. When those messengers are balanced and functioning, everything in your body works properly. However, sometimes there are imbalances or damage to areas that create the hormones and that’s when health issue begin. Hormones play a role in everything from how much you weigh to the amount of energy you have. The right balance of hormones is necessary for both the body and the brain to operate at peak performance.

There are fifty different hormones created by the body.

While the heart, pancreas, kidneys and sexual glands make hormones, all other hormones are created by endocrine system that’s linked to the nervous system. The endocrine system includes the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal and thymus glands. The system is intricate with some glands sending hormones that stimulate other glands to create even more hormones. Their functions regulate almost everything in the body. Since they control everything from the functioning of your muscles, kidneys and brain to your skin, you can see how important the proper balance is to your health.

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in the blood.

Insulin helps determine whether your body is going to use the glucose for immediate energy or store it for later use. It keeps the blood sugar levels from skyrocketing and getting to high or dipping to low. Insulin unlocks the cells so the sugar can enter them to nourish them and give them energy. Consistently high insulin levels cause the cells to become insulin resistant. That triggers the pancreas to create even more insulin and eventually it can’t keep pace for the demand, gets worn out and the boy develops type 2 diabetes.

Stress creates hormones that make changes in your body.

You’ve probably heard of the fight or flight response. Did you realize all the changes that take place occur because of hormones? The response is started by a rush of hormones that activates the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system then triggers the release of catecholamines from the adrenal gland. These include adrenaline and noradrenaline. You’ve heard of the adrenaline rush that brings great strength, but it also increases breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. It sends blood to the brain, limbs and muscles and increases the clotting ability. Cortisol is one of the hormones released. If it’s not burned off by running or fighting, it can cause depression, mental illness, heart problems and even the accumulation of visceral fat—abdominal fat—the most dangerous to your health.

  • A vigorous workout can burn off the hormones of stress and put the body back to a healthy functioning level.
  • HGH—human growth hormone—helps build muscle tissue, but is also responsible for bone growth, body fluids and composition, heart functioning and more. It’s called the anti-aging hormone, which increases when you workout, especially using HIIT—high intensity interval training.
  • Need sleep, maybe you need serotonin. It helps you relax, but also controls memory, weight gain, mood regulation, memory and appetite.
  • Many of the problems of hormonal imbalance can be reversed with a healthy diet and program of regular exercise. Travel Trim has programs for both.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim


Fat Loss Mistakes

Fat Loss Mistakes

running 2Losing weight is hard enough. Don’t make it harder by making these fat loss mistakes. One of the worse mistakes many people make is to starve themselves or use a radical low calorie diet that has no scientific backing and isn’t healthy to use for long periods of time. Whether it’s a cabbage soup diet or one that promotes a magical lemonade mix, it’s not healthy and can actually make you gain weight.

A fad diet can actually make you gain weight.

You can’t survive on the nutrients of these fad starvation diets for long and when you do, often you’ll gain more weight than you lost. Why? It’s because your body goes into starvation mode, which slows your metabolism and makes weight loss harder and weight gain easier. Most people also eat far more for a few days than they normally would have had they not dieted.

Doing tons of cardio isn’t the route to go either.

Cardio workouts, like running distances, will also make you make it more difficult. Cardio workouts burn a lot of calories and that’s good, except the calories come from both fat tissue and lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the more calories you burn 24/7. Reducing the amount of muscle tissue via cardio/endurance workouts, can actually slow your metabolism. It’s better to have a well rounded exercise program. Strength training is best for weight loss because it builds muscle tissue as it burns fat.

Thinking you can out-exercise a bad diet.

One of the biggest mistakes I see many people make is to think they can shed weight with just exercise alone. Great bodies start in the kitchen, not the gym. Although both the gym and kitchen are important. A Big Mac, large fries and large soft drink are approximately 1330 calories. It would take about three hours of rigorous exercise to burn that many calories and working out that long isn’t a good idea.

  • Watch out for special “low fat” or diet food. It’s often not as low calorie as you think. When fat is removed, it’s replaced with extra sugar to make it palatable. Food with healthy fat at also leaves you feeling fuller longer so you’ll eat less later.
  • What you eat also makes a big difference. Don’t just focus on salads, unless they have some protein. Just like healthy fat, protein is important. Foods high in protein fill you up, reduce your appetite and increases your metabolism rate.
  • Watch what you drink, as well as what you eat. One can of soft drink can be over 100 calories and it contains no nutrients. Drink water and use that hundred calories for delicious, nutritious food.
  • If you’re not sure what to eat to lose weight, we can help. Switching to healthy eating isn’t dieting and can help you keep weight off permanently.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim


Ways To Relieve Stress

stairsWhen you feel like you’re head is an active volcano and about to blow, it’s time to take a few minutes to relieve stress. Sure, you may be busy, but by taking time immediately, you’ll get more done in less time after you do. You’ll also have fewer mistakes and be happier with your results. That’s because stress can impact your ability to see things clearly and make good decisions. You actually take longer to get tasks finished when you’re under stress. Finding a way to relieve that stress not only affects your productivity, it affects your health.

Exercise is the best way to reduce long term stress.

Whether you start your workout at the break of dawn or workout after work, you’ll get long term benefits and one of those is reducing stress. Stress triggers the fight or flight response by signaling your brain it’s time to send out hormones that prepare you for both. Those hormones and the changes they make to your body, like that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, headache and foggy brain. Exercise makes you exert yourself, just as you would if you were running or fighting. You’ll get your body back to steady state by burning off the hormones of stress.

Quit stressing out at your desk and just move!

If you’re at an impasse where your mind is cluttered with too many options and demands, it’s time to start thinking on your feet. While a program of regular exercise can help you delay that overload level, sometimes you need immediate results. Get up. Walk around your office. Run up and down a flight or two of stairs. Studies show that even if you workout regularly, if you’re sitting at a desk all day, you still need to get up and move every 50 minutes. You’ll be surprised how it clears your brain and lowers your stress level immediately.

Cut out stress building foods.

You might be surprised to find that some food actually causes more stress in your life, yet often they’re the same ones you crave when you’re under stress. Sugar, for example, causes the release cortisol, a hormone involved in many functions of the body. One of those functions is to help regulate blood sugar. Another function is to help prepare your body for stress. Eating products with extra sugar added causes a spike in blood sugar levels, so the body produces more cortisol to bring the levels back to balance. That spike results in a sudden drop, where you’re hungry for sugar again. This adds to the stress. Artificial sweeteners also increase stress, plus have other side effects. Processed and refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine all add to your stress level.

  • Your exercise program doesn’t have to be formal or involve working out, but does need to boost your heart rate to burn off the stress. For the best results, combine the formal program with an avocation you love.
  • Start eating healthier. Switch out processed foods for whole foods. There are healthy options on the menu even at fast food restaurants.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep not only causes stress, it also interferes with the hunger and satiety hormones. The body makes too much ghrelin, the body’s hunger hormone and too little leptin, the satiety hormone, which makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.
  • Learn a simple meditation method that you can do for a few minutes to help relax you. Meditation doesn’t have to involve mantras, it can be the simple act of quieting your mind.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim


How To Get Happy And Healthier Employees

How To Get Happy And Healthier Employees

employee1Are your employees calling in sick frequently or is there a lot of dissension in the office? May it’s time to work on finding ways to help improve their quality of life and help them become happy and healthier employees. Helping employees become healthier is also one way to help the become happier. The reverse is also true. Studies show that the happier and more optimistic you are, the healthier you are.

Studies show that the happier employees are, the less work time they miss and the more productive they are.

A wellness program is a good place to start. There’s a lot of research that shows employees had a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day had a greater chance of an boost in their performance by 15-percent. Eating healthy boosted performance by as much as 25-percent. The cost of health insurance is higher for those out of shape and often file more workman’s compensation claims. Those who exercise and eat healthy have 27-percent sick days. Providing a low or no cost program to help make those lifestyle changes can help.

Encourage or mandate time off.

Getting employees to take time off and have a life after work isn’t easy. Everyone is geared to a longer work day and skipping vacation time. If your culture has people chronically staying late, they definitely won’t be happy and healthy and neither will their family. Make sure each employee knows the cut off time to get their daily work finished. Let them know that they shouldn’t stay unless they’re notified if there’s a unusual emergency.

Consider job-sharing or flexible work hours.

If you want to get them to the gym, flexible work hours is the way to go. Whether it’s making it to the gym or ensuring they make it to their child’s parent days, you’ll have employees that are far more satisfied. Working from home occasionally and job-sharing can help too. It can also save the employee time commuting. Those changes can help your employee by not making them choose between a home life, while improving morale and productivity.

  • Eating lunch at their desk and sometimes dinner, definitely doesn’t lead to good health or a happy employee. Taking a full lunch break is important. It gives employees time to step away from the stress and get a healthier lunch than a bag of chips and a soft drink.
  • Have healthy snacks available. Too often offices have snack machines that carry sugary or unhealthy treats. Ask the vendor for healthier options.
  • Update your equipment. If your computer system is as slow as molasses, it can cause a lot of frustration. You’ll be amazed at how productivity increases both from the increased happiness and speed of getting a job completed.
  • A little praise and recognition from the boss goes a long way to employee happiness. Recognizing people’s accomplishments and even recognizing the people and greeting them can boost their morale and make employees more satisfied with their job.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim


Beat Your Soda Habit

Beat Your Soda Habit

sodaIf you have a soda habit, it’s time to make some changes. Not only does it contain calories you probably aren’t counting, it’s also addictive. Soft drinks contain sugar and caffeine. It acts the same way in your brain as opioids and releases dopamine, the feel good hormone. In fact, various studies show it’s as addictive as cocaine and the added caffeine in many soft drinks amplifies the problem. So you think that diet soft drinks may be your answer? You’re wrong.

Diet drinks have other problems.

A study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that soft drinks are equally bad for your health, even though they don’t contain calories. The study used seniors and compared waistline measurements and the amount of diet drinks consumed. They found that those who drank the most, had the biggest waistline. While nobody wants a larger waist, it is also quite dangerous. That’s visceral fat, the worst type of fat that’s stored around organs and causes health issues. It may be due to the artificial sweetener and how the brain identifies the sweetness.

It’s tough to kick the habit.

It may seem impossible if you’re drinking several bottles or cans a day, but it isn’t. You can start by weaning yourself off the drink a little at a time. Find a drink of choice, like unsweetened green tea or bottled water and start replacing one can of your favorite soft drink a day. After a week, if you’re drinking several cans a day, switch out the second can or bottle with water or green tea. While green tea still contains caffeine, it’s far less than coffee or colas or other high caffeine soft drinks, plus it offers other health benefits.

It may be easier to switch when you know all the hazards from your soda habit.

Let’s start with the real show stopper, soda accelerates the aging process. Your chromosomes are protected by telomeres that protect them and determine how many times they can replicate. The longer they are, the younger your biological age. If your chronological age is 42 and you have short telomeres, your biological or cellular age would be much older. Research completed at the University of California, San Francisco showed that people drank just one 8-ounce serving increased their cellular aging by 1.9 years. Drinking more servings per day escalated it. A 20-ounce serving added 4.6 years of aging. Soft drinks also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, osteoporosis and calcium deposits in the lungs, heart, eyes and blood vessels.

  • Carrying your chosen drink with you at all times can help. If water is your chosen drink, it’s far easier. It quenches your thirst better than sodas do, but if you miss the sugar or need some energy, try a piece of fruit.
  • Tracking just how many calories you ingest from soft drinks helps. You’ll be amazed at how just cutting out those calories can help you lose weight without changing anything else. Don’t switch to diet drinks or you’ll be boosting your waistline.
  • Mix your soda with water. Some people suggest you start by mixing a half and half combination and then slowly increase the amount of water. No matter what the combination, it’s a start!
  • If you aren’t ready for plain water, try jazzing it up a bit with fruit or natural flavors. Add slices of lemon or orange to your glass to make it tasty, yet still extremely low in calories.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim


Prevention Is Key

water1Most people wouldn’t neglect to change the oil in their car for years. However, those same people often fail to take action when it comes to their health until it’s almost too late. When it comes to being healthy, prevention is key. Besides getting regular check-ups, there’s a lot you can do to prevent serious conditions. Making changes in your lifestyle before poor health forces you to do it is a lot easier than waiting until your body quits running. It’s like changing the oil in your car. It’s far less expensive than the ultimate cost of not changing it and it keeps the car running better and longer.

Look at your lifestyle.

Are you eating healthy foods? Do you live an active or sedentary lifestyle? Are you overweight? Do you get adequate sleep at night? Are you drinking enough water? Do you abuse alcohol, drugs or tobacco? Is your life stressful? Do you have an active social life? How often do you smile? Are you at risk for sexually transmitted disease? All these factors and more affect your health.

Find an area where you need to make a change and do it.

You may not want to make all the changes at once, but focus on one until it becomes a habit. Drinking more water might be one of the easiest. If a Coke, Pepsi or other soft drink is your drink of choice, switch to water. It’s easy to understand how regular soft drinks can undermine your health. They’re loaded with sugar and sugar has a detrimental effect on your health, plus puts on the pounds. Did you know that diet soft drinks aren’t much better? One study showed that people who drank diet soft drinks had more visceral fat. That’s abdominal fat and the most unhealthy type.

Eating healthier and regular exercise are a top priority.

While exercise is extremely important, if you want to live longer and lose weight, what you eat should be a top priority. You simply can’t out-exercise a bad diet. If you’re not ready for a total lifestyle change, do it in steps. Start by cutting out foods with added sugar—which includes fructose, dextrose, maltose…etc. Eat more vegetables and fruit and less processed food. Boost your daily activity by taking a walk or taking the stairs. Little by little increase your activity until your ready for a program of regular exercise.

  • Are you a smoker or have other addictive habits? Get help. Studies show that giving up an addictive habit is easier when you eat healthy and workout.
  • Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep not only affects heart health and your daily performance, it can add to your waistline. It boosts the hunger hormones and stifles the hormones that leave you feeling full.
  • Smile more and be more social. Not only do studies show that people who smile more live longer, they also show that those with a satisfying social life lived longer too.
  • Make one change today to boost your health and stick with it until it becomes a habit, then add another. You’ll be amazed at the difference in a year.

 

For more information, click here:  Traveltrim.com


Improve Your Lifestyle

eat green2Despite the advancements in health care, the life expectancy in America has dropped. There are many reasons for this decline. One of which is the abuse of opioids. However, there are some factors that each person can control. While the rate of preventable deaths has dropped from smoking, the rate of preventable deaths from obesity has risen. It’s time to take charge of your future and improve your lifestyle. Even if you’re not overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits are just as lethal.

Is the food you eat healthy and safe?

Eating healthy should be a top priority. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Everyone is rushed and overburdened with too much to do and too little time to do it. Fast food and microwave meals are often the answer. If you’re a gas station food guzzler or a drive through diner, it’s hard to break the habit, but you can do it. Eating whole foods, foods closest to their natural state, is one way to bump up your nutrition and lower your caloric intake.

It all takes planning.

It’s not easy to eat healthy. Everywhere you look there are sugary temptations beckoning to your taste buds. However, it’s well worth the effort. Meal planning can take an hour of your time, but will save time and money at the store. Spend one night a week planning your meals, including snacks, create a grocery list and make meals for the week on the weekend. Make extra for future use. During the week, you have meals ready to heat and eat. Nothing goes to waste AND nothing goes to waist. Whole foods provide all the nutrition without all the added calories.

Make an effort to move.

A program of regular exercise has been proven to add years to your life and life to those years. It boosts productivity, keeps you healthier, while building endurance, strength and flexibility. If you’re out of shape and don’t know where to start, a personal trainer is a viable option to help you with a personalized program of exercise. If you’re not ready to take it to the gym, focus on increasing your daily activity. Walk to lunch. Take the stairs. Ride a bike to work or to the store.

  • Even if you’re working out regularly, sitting longer than 55 minutes is detrimental to your health. Take a break every hour and get up and move.
  • Find a way to reduce stress. Stress is a killer. Find ways to deal with it. Deep breathing, meditation and even exercise can help.
  • If you’re not ready to change your entire diet, start by cutting out food with added sugar. It’s tough. Sugar is addictive. Have healthy snacks, like fresh fruit or nuts, available so you aren’t tempted to grab a donut or a candy bar.
  • What you drink is just as important as what you eat. Soft drinks contain a high amount of sugar. Even diet soft drinks can affect your health. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

For more information, click here:  Traveltrim.com

 


Do You Need A Wellness Expert?

meditationYou know the feeling. You aren’t sick, yet you really don’t feel good, either. You feel stressed and basically out of sorts. If you’ve had regular check-ups and there’s nothing wrong, maybe you need a wellness expert. What does a wellness expert do? He or she helps people make lasting changes in their life that improve their health in the future. These positive changes can include everything from eating healthier and exercise to improving their mindset and reducing stress.

It’s not all about medication.

Sometimes, meditation is medication. That’s especially true for stress related illness. Food as Medicine is a new area in medical care. Exercise can boost your energy and improve your health. Taking care of yourself should be a top priority. Everyone is rushed today and often feel uncomfortable focusing on their own needs. In reality, it’s the most important thing anyone can do. If you aren’t functioning at your peak, you’ll accomplish less. People fail to realize that everything done on a daily basis has an effect on health.

A wellness expert can identify areas where change is important.

A wellness expert not only helps identify those areas, but also creates a plan to help you do it. While the focus is always on the person receiving the help, their families and employers benefit, too. Healthy employees are more productive when they’re fit. Parents that are fit have more energy for their children. Best of all, the habits developed with the help of a wellness expert transfer to those children by example.

When you use the services of a wellness expert, the help doesn’t end at a recommendation.

Wellness experts don’t just tell you to quit smoking, they help you get into a smoking cessation program and stay in touch to provide support. They don’t tell you to lose weight, they line you up with nutritional counseling and exercise programs. They help you make the changes that will affect you for years to come by locating the services and resources you need to make those changes easier and more successfully.

  • Is stress tearing you apart? There are several ways to deal with it. A wellness expert can identify many and help you find the one that fits your needs best.
  • Wellness experts are good for both employees and employers. For employers, they help reduce sick days and can lower the cost of health insurance. For employees, they provide a service that makes getting and being healthier easier.
  • Wellness experts often work with physicians to provide more information in the areas that keep you healthier, beyond just traditional medical care.
  • A wellness coach provides information on topics that relate to good health. They help educate clients in ways to live both a healthier lifestyle and a happier one.

For more information, click here:  Traveltrim.com


Super Foods That Burn Fat

Super Foods That Burn Fat

1. Tomatoes
2. Oranges
3. Oats
4. Spices
5. Sweet Potatoes
6. Apples
7. Nuts
8. Quinoa
9. Beans
10. Egg Whites
11. Grapefoot
12. Chicken Breast
13. Bananas
14. Pears
15. Pine Nuts
16. Mushrooms
17. Letils
18. Hot Peppers
19. Broccoli
20. Organic Lean Meats
21. Cantaloupe
22. Spinach
23. Green Tea
24. Cinnamon
25. Asparagus
26. Avocado
27. Peanut Butter
28. Salmon
29. Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
30. Greek Yogurt
31. Olive Oil
32. Blueberries
33. Turkey Breast
34. Flax Seeds


Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup

Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup

Print Recipe
Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup
This hearty but lean meal will be sure to satisfy everyone in your family!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine chicken broth, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low; simmer until the onion and celery begin to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir chicken into the simmering broth; cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir rice and lime juice into the broth; cook and stir just until rice is hot and grains separate, about 1 minute. Garnish with lime slices.
Recipe Notes

Tip: aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

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