femmed.com
Shop manMED
Ship to

Stress and Weight Gain

Stress and Weight Gain

Posted | 0 comments

If you are trying to slim down for summer, and despite eating healthy and exercising you aren’t getting the results you want, then it is time to consider other factors that can affect your body weight, such as stress. In this two-part blog I discuss how stress contributes to weight gain and what you can do about it. Stress has become a powerful and disabling force that each and every one of us has to deal with every day. How we manage our stress is critical. Without the proper coping mechanisms and lifestyle approaches, stress can take a serious toll on our health. It is well established that chronic stress can contribute to heart disease, mental health issues, insomnia, certain cancers, digestive disorders, weakened immune function accelerated aging, and yes, even weight gain. We may think we are coping okay with stress because we deal with it all the time and we may not even be aware of how stressed out we are. To check your stress level, take a few minutes to complete the eye-opening Stress Index Survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association There are several ways in which stress can contribute to weight gain. Stress can trigger cravings for comfort foods such as cookies and other sweets. These foods are high in calories and since they break down into sugar quickly, they cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This triggers hunger, cravings for more sweets, and insulin spikes. Perpetually high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance (and type 2 diabetes) and it can also impact your waistline. Insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage−particularly around the midsection. It becomes a vicious cycle because as we gain belly fat, those deep fat cells produce hormones that trigger inflammation and insulin resistance, risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Another part of the stress-weight gain picture involves cortisol, the stress hormone. During stress, the production of cortisol increases to help the body mobilize energy. And in doing so, fat gets moved from storage deposits and relocated into fat cells deep in the abdomen. As the body is using up energy stores, appetite increases, so you continually feel hungry. To make matters worse, researchers believe that cortisol directly influences food consumption by binding to receptors in the brain (specifically, the hypothalamus) that stimulate cravings for foods high in fat and sugar. Cortisol also indirectly influences appetite by regulating other chemicals that are released during stress, such as CRH (corticotrophin releasing hormone), leptin, and neuropeptide Y (NPY). High levels of NPY and CRH, and reduced levels of leptin, have been shown to stimulate appetite. Lastly, levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), testosterone, and growth hormone are reduced in response to stress. These hormones are involved in regulating muscle mass and metabolism, so when levels go down, it is bad news for your waistline as it leads to muscle...

Read More

Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays

Posted | 0 comments

In our Thursday “Ask A Health Expert” post on our Facebook page, one of our readers wrote: I like the idea behind Meatless Mondays but I hate fish. Are there options that won’t leave me starving? Our nutrition expert Amy responded: If going meatless, focus on fat sources and alternative protein. Let’s talk fat today: cook your vegetables in a generous portion of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil; drizzle olive oil over salad and top with nuts, seeds, avocado and olives. Fat is a satisfying (and necessary) source of nutrition to help fill you up!   Eggs are also a great option: packing both a fatty and protein punch. Plus eggs are a rich source of B vitamins, biotin, folic acid and choline. I call them, nature’s multivitamin! So what is Meatless Monday, anyway? It is a movement to simply go one day a week without meat. The reasons proponents list vary, but here are the high notes: For your physical health: It may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and even some cancers. For your financial health: Let’s face it: a good steak can run you $30 at the butcher. A good serving of eggs? About a buck. Additionally, the costs to our healthcare system from people suffering from the physical problems above can be factored into the financial savings. For your planet’s health: There’s no denying it: raising a living being takes exponentially more space, water, and resources than raising a plant. So whether your reason for trying Meatless Mondays is one of the above, or another reason entirely, how do you go about crafting a great meatless meal? Substitute Mushrooms. These fungi are surprisingly filling! Grill a portobello mushroom cap on the barbecue as a great substitute for a hamburger. You can put it in a bun with the usual condiments, or you can cut it up in a salad with grilled zucchini, grilled yellow summer squash, grilled red peppers, and grilled onions. Add some health fats in the form of a homemade olive-oil-and-lemon salad dressing, and you’re sure to be satisfied. Substitute Beans. Not the canned kind swimming in sugar and tomatoes! Experiment with soy beans, lentils, kidney beans or navy beans. It’s easy to find a filling Mexican Soup recipe, or even easier to pick up a bag of edamame at the grocery store. Steam them for 4 minutes, sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt, and enjoy! Filling and delicious. Experiment with grains and noodles. Quinoa and buckwheat soba noodles are two that are very flavour-friendly and easy to find in most grocery stores. Like most things in life, attitude is everything. If you look at this as a great way to get some zen time in in the kitchen while rediscovering your secret knack for great flavour combinations and beautiful plate presentations, Meatless Mondays can turn into your...

Read More

Weight Loss Vitamins For Women: Taking Charge Of Your Health

Weight Loss Vitamins For Women: Taking Charge Of Your Health

Posted | 0 comments

Obesity is a dangerous health risk. Too much weight can put a very serious strain on a woman’s cardiovascular system. This can result in hypertension and high blood pressure, both of which may be very difficult to control. Moreover, there is the very real risk of Type 2 diabetes. People with serious weight problems need avoid weight loss found through skipping a meal. Healthy weight loss does require attention to nutrition, and weight loss vitamins for women can help. The B group of vitamins contains excellent weight loss vitamins for women. These vitamins are especially good for metabolism, and either alone or combined with other vitamins and minerals may help increase weight loss. When it comes to the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates, vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) does the job extremely well. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is especially good at metabolizing fatty acids. Vitamin B-12(cyanocobalamin) not only breaks down fatty substances, but also produces energy. The vitamin B group packs a sizable punch move when it comes to dissolving fat, and also produces the energy needed to sustain weight loss. That’s an important feature of many weight loss vitamins for women: energy production. When you cut back on food intake you begin to experience fatigue. Vitamin C can help since it works to convert fat into energy for the body. Another fatigue fighter can be found in vitamin D. What’s great about vitamin D is it is readily available through the sun’s rays. When a person goes out for their morning walk they not only get their exercise; but also the vitamins to help in weight loss. Vitamin D and Calcium also regulate insulin and help to reduce fat storage in the body. What are the best food sources for these vitamins? Dairy products salad greens whole grain bread and fresh vegetables are all excellent sources of the vitamins needed to lose weight. If a daily diet has vitamin deficiencies, vitamin supplements should be considered. Those who are trying to lose considerable amounts of fat need to appreciate that any weight loss vitamins for women are not magic pills. Vitamins alone can’t produce sustainable weight loss. In addition, weight loss of ten pounds or more cannot be done in in a few days. It takes time to achieve sustainable weight loss. Any weight management program needs to include a combination of a healthy diet, vitamins, and exercise. Vitamins can play an important role in your weight loss program. As part of a weight reduction program, vitamins can assist in maintaining good health and helping the body increase metabolism. A Matter of Your Health Losing weight isn’t just about looking good: there are times when it is a matter of life and death. This happens when an individual is so overweight that the pounds burden the heart and cardiovascular system. Diabetes is also a problem that can be...

Read More

Is Coconut Oil the Newest Fad or is There Something To It?

Is Coconut Oil the Newest Fad or is There Something To It?

Posted | 0 comments

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that coconut oil is the new ‘must-have’ product in your home. It boasts an array of benefits which span from the bathroom to the kitchen, and it seems almost too good to be true. People have been asking me whether it’s just a fad, but it looks like coconut oil is definitely here to stay! The truth is coconut oil has been used for thousands of years in other cultures. It is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medical system of India, as well as in many other traditional health practices. We’re a couple of millennia late to the party, but it’s better late than never! Here are some of the reasons why you should invite coconut oil into your life: It’s Great for Cooking!  It’s a terrific substitute for butter or margarine because it is solid at room temperature. Because of its high smoking temperature, it’s great for baking, stir frying and roasting (unlike olive oil). Unlike butter, it is ideal for vegans. It is extremely stable and resistant to oxidation, which lends itself to a shelf life of up to 2 years! Coconut is classified as a seed or a fruit so people with tree nut allergies generally do not have to worry about allergic responses. It Keeps You Gorgeous! Dry skin from the winter?  No problem! Coconut oil works wonders as a moisturizer, and can prevent dryness and flaking of skin. It is a great anti-wrinkle cream because of its antioxidant properties. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines. It can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.  This is why it is often the first ingredient in soaps, creams, and lotions. You can use it as massage oil, lip balm, and even to treat diaper rash! It can be used as a hair mask, as it has healing and nourishing properties for dry and damaged hair. It can be heavy, so if your hair is on the thinner side just massage it lightly into the ends, and don’t forget to wash it out! It is an amazing eye make-up remover. It Helps Keep You Healthy! It can help improve digestion and digestive problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties which can fight various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid.  This is considered a healthy choice as studies show that lauric acid can raise your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. Through this...

Read More

Surviving Wedding Season

Surviving Wedding Season

Posted | 0 comments

It’s spring time, and we all know what that means, wedding season! That’s right. It’s time to inventory your party dresses and revamp your shoe collection. You’re on the wedding circuit this summer! The ceremony will be beautiful and the reception venue amazing, the only question is, how are you going to survive the dinner? Here are a few strategies we found helpful when faced with the dilemma of eating healthy while still having fun at a wedding. Control yourself during cocktail hour. There will a bounty of cater waiters tempting you with cocktail shrimp and mini quiches. Resist. Keep in mind there will be a full dinner service later in the night. Have a buffet table strategy. If you’re faced with eating from the buffet table know your portion sizes. Keep them small and be picky about what you select. Use the salad plate instead of the dinner plate if it helps. It’s a wedding, so it’s important to enjoy yourself, but you don’t want to go off the rails with your diet. If you’re tempted to have seconds wait 20 minutes (the length of time it takes your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full) and have a glass of water and relax.  You might find the desire for that second helping disappears. Don’t forget that dessert is on its way. Cheers to the happy couple. If you’re going to drink alcohol at the wedding, that’s fine. Who doesn’t love a nice glass of wine, but you need to be smart about how much you drink. The calories in wine, beer and mixed drinks can really add up. If you find you’re the kind of person who needs to be holding a drink the entire time, try rotating a glass of alcohol with a glass of water or soda.  Avoidance.  This is going to be key to keeping your wedding meal fat free. Stay away from cream sauces and soups, starchy foods and anything that has been deep fried. If you’re a soda-holic opt for the diet version and skip the croutons on your salad. Every little bit helps. Partners in Crime.  These days dessert is a serious statement at weddings. Many couples offer more than just the standard wedding cake. Find a dessert buddy and share your portions. That way you can try a little of everything while not gorging on sugary sweets. You’ll both walk away satisfied and guilt free. Next day detox. If you did throw your diet rules out the window, be smart about what you eat the next day. Keep it as healthy and clean as possible. Drink plenty of water, take a multivitamin and eat whole wheat’s, veggies and fruits. Try to get a work out in or if that’s not possible take an extra-long walk. Now go and enjoy yourself on your friend big day! Allison Todd After completing...

Read More

Keeping it Smooth

Keeping it Smooth

Posted | 0 comments

We all lead busy lives and including enough fruits and veggies into our diet can be a struggle.  Canada’s Food Guide recommends that women between the ages of 19-50 should be eating seven to eight servings a day. To give you an idea of what that looks like on your dinner plate, you would have to eat 21 spears of asparagus or up to 140 grapes. That’s a lot of food to fit into your daily routine! So instead of eating them, we revved up the juicer/blender and made these three delicious juices. They can accompany any meal or function as a tasty snack on the go. They all contain three to four servings of fruits or veggies (that’s almost half the daily recommendation) and are loaded with the vitamins you need to stay healthy. We suggest you try a few different recipes and keep a pitcher of your favourites on hand. Here are the three we liked the best. Spinach-Cucumber-Celery Juice  (4 servings of vegetables) 2 cups packed spinach 1 cucumber 1 celery stalk Spinach is loaded with vitamin K, which helps fights atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), lowers blood pressure and works to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, which works to protect the mucous membranes found in the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. Celery  is a healthy source of vitamin A, dietary fibre and  is also mildly anti-inflammatory. Cucumbers are 95% water which makes them a great source for hydration. They’re also an excellent source of silica, which helps promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. Cucumbers are rich in vitamin A, K and potassium. Citrus Style Immune Booster  (4-5 servings of fruits) 1 14 oz grapefruit, peeled and cut into chunks 2 medium oranges, peeled and cut into chunks 3 kiwis, peeled and cut into chunks Grapefruits contains lycopene, which may have an effect in the prevention of certain cancers, although further research is needed. They are also a good source of dietary fibre and vitamin A and C. Oranges, as we all know, are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they are also a good source of thiamin and potassium, and a very good source of dietary fiber. Kiwis are also loaded with vitamin C, which is essential to the formation and repair of tissue, particularly cartilage, blood vessels, tendons and skin. One cup of sliced kiwifruit provides 5g of fiber. Eating fiber will help fill you up, keep your digestive system running and work to lower cholesterol. Super Berry Anti-Oxidant Fighter  (3-4 serving of fruit) 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen) 2 cups peeled and chopped mango ¼ cup water Blend together and add additional water to thin. Fruits like blueberries contain antioxidants, which may help prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Strawberries are...

Read More
Page 1 of 3123