Top 5 Ways To Get Your Body Summer Ready

Written By Ariel Wallace

Summer time is approaching! No more flat tires, or muffin tops allowed! We all desire that wash board abs firm bottom, or just plain old celebrity phisque. I know a lot of fad diets that will but go out the window by third day. Join the 20 day challenges on social media would be one way, but these five ways are a sure way to get the Best Results.

Waist Training: Waist Training is a quick fix, it helps you shed off inches on your waistline, sure to give you a coca cola shape that eyes can stand to bare. Celebrities like Pre Madonna make a living in perfecting the Women’s body for better looking curves and flatter tummies. You can find these at your local mall or order them online.

Water Intake: Just by drinking two small cups of water before dinner studies show that you may loose up to five pounds alone. Trading in your favorite sugary drinks for this pure nutritionist liquid is sure to keep the extra pounds off. Eight cups of water is good for your body alone. Not only your body, it cleanses and brightens your skin. If intaking water is hard for you try adding fresh fruit to your water to flavor it, or Propel flavored water will work just fine.

Joining A Gym: Find a local gym you can join. Couples workouts are the best. Nothing better than love and motivation at the same time. Doing Cardio 3x a week for 30 minutes a day will give your body toner results, long walks in the park or neighborhood, or excercising with can goods instead of dumbells, start a workout regime. Everyone loves Exercise Guru Sean T, creator of Insanity sure to get your body fit and right.

Balanced Diet: the key to a healthy lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet. Making sure your body is consuming from the basic food groups. Lean proteins, Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole grains. Subtracting carbohydrates and keeping calorie intake under control. Try a homemade smoothie with a blend of vegetables and fruits.

5 Easy- Peasy Ways to Stop Getting Sick

Written by Salina Jivani

Don’t you just hate the itchy, scratchy, painful feeling of having a sore throat? Or being clogged with congestion? No one enjoys being under the weather. And while this time of year is notorious for eliciting on onslaught of cold, flus, viruses and untamable bugs, you don’t have to make your body more vulnerable than it already is.

Creating a healthy immune system starts from the inside. By following a few simple practices, you can help yourself remain in good health and (in turn) in good spirits year round.

Eat healthy

Nutrition is key to having a well-functioning body and immune system. Pile up on fruits, veggies and also yogurt, which contains probiotics that help stave off illnesses.

If you have any dietary restrictions for religious or personal purposes (ex: limiting meat or certain foods), be sure to supplement your diet with a multivitamin that’s appropriate for your age and gender. One-a-Day and Centrum brands are great because they have multivitamins designed specifically for this purpose.

Limit the booze

Yes, we all know an occasional red wine is healthy, key word being occasional. While alcohol is expected, sometimes even unavoidable at parties and gatherings, be responsible and don’t overindulge. Doing so over time will certainly affect various organs in your body, mainly your liver, and cost you your good health.

Immunize yourself

Make sure you get your vaccinations on time. Doing this will prevent you from unnecessary hospitalizations and protect you from a whole slew of diseases that are otherwise quite unnecessary to contract—because a simple vaccination can prevent them in the first place!

Stop smoking

Remember that old high school indulgence that quickly turned into a horrid lifetime habit? Kick it! Smoking can not only damage your health, but over time, it can weaken your lungs and immune system. Studies show that puffing often can also make you more susceptible to repeated bouts of serious illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis. So if you don’t want to spend your life being bed ridden with illnesses thanks to that cig, chuck this habit to boost your longevity and health.

Get some Zs

Yes, we know it’s impossible sometimes to get a good night’s rest. Especially if you’re running a start-up or have a house full of wee ones around. But sleep is detrimental to a well-functioning immune system and it’s something we all need enough of. So try, try, try to get the recommended amount of shut eye, which for adults is 7-9 hours.

Surprised that these tips sound an awful lot like the ones you always hear for everything from looking younger to having a hot bod? You shouldn’t be. Because at the core of having a healthier you is creating a healthier you, and the steps to that building that foundation remain unchanged. So adopt them and you’ll automatically help yourself (and your body) get a clean bill of health…and maybe a hot bod to spare 😉

5 Surprising Reasons You May be Feeling Constantly Drained

Written by Salina Jivani

The birds are chirping, the sun is blazing…and you feel like you just need to snuggle under the covers another few…days. And no matter how much rest you get, it feels like it’s just not enough.

Sound familiar? If you feel like your exhaustion is borderline abnormal, your suspicions might be spot on. What does feeling fatigued indicate? Should you be concerned about a deeper health concern? Not necessarily, but maybe. Most culprits of fatigue are quick fixes but a few can indicate an underlying problem.
Here are the more sneaky, lesser known reasons you may be feeling constantly sluggish regardless of how many cappuccino shots you’re downing.
You’re dehydrated

Are you drinking enough water? Believe it or not, water is an integral to making sure your body functions at its optimal. In fact, it uses that precious H2O for everything from ensuring proper metabolic function to making sure your digestive system remains on track. And yes, not ingesting enough water could be a cause for fatigue.

But wait, don’t get too excited with that gigantic water jug just yet—being overhydrated closer to bedtime can be counterproductive and also cause you to lose sleep thanks to the multiple nighttime bathroom trips you’ll be forced to make.

You live in a mess

Remember when your parents used to nag you about keeping your room clean? Not only would heeding their demands have paid off by making you a more organized individual, but also, you’d benefit from a better night’s sleep. Studies prove that those who live in messier environments have more disturbed sleep than those who sleep in more organized surroundings. So tidy up!

It’s too hot

Ever notice you twist and turn more frequently when it’s just too hot? That’s because it’s tougher to catch some sound Zs when temperatures are uncomfortably high. Before you go to bed, make sure you set your thermostat at a decent temperature close to around 72 degrees, but not much higher. You’ll rest a lot more peacefully and wake up feeling less groggy, making for a more energized, productive day.

You have no consistent sleep schedule

Of course for most of us it’s near impossible to fall asleep at the same time every single night, but attempting to establish some consistency with your sleep schedule can help you more easily fall asleep and avoid a night of twists and turns as you attempt to grasp some shut eye.

If you have a varied work schedule or have a few nights where you’re out a little later than others, creating a sleeping schedule can be difficult, but try to strive for as much consistency as possible. Getting yourself into a sleep routine will make it that much easier for you to find sleep, which means you’ll waste less time trying to fall asleep and have better chances of starting the morning feeling well rested and refreshed.

You have an underactive thyroid

If you’re practicing healthy habits and can’t seem to pinpoint the reason for your feeling sluggish, an underactive thyroid may be your perpetrator. Other signs of an underactive thyroid include brittle nails, dry skin, unexplained weight gain, and hair loss. If you feel you might be exhibiting some of these symptoms alongside sluggishness, visit your doctor.

Practicing healthy habits will always prove rewarding for your body, so make a conscientious effort to do what’s best for it. And remember that if at any point your exhaustion seems prolonged or worse, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor right away. Here’s to hoping your 2017 is filled with good health and restful nights!

How You Could be Suffering from Anxiety and Not Even Know

Written by Salina Jivani

Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon designMy grandmother was nuts. We used to laugh at her seemingly endless and silly list of worries. Everything from having to eat lunch at precisely noon to taking a shower to something as simple as going to the bathroom would stress her out. She would share stories about her bowel movements with intense seriousness and gravity and it seemed her entire universe started and ended in the bathroom. Ironically, that’s where she ended up passing away. That’s right. On the royal throne.

Jokes aside, what we should have known was that she suffered from something called anxiety disorder, which, unfortunately, is no laughing matter.

When you think of an anxious person, you probably conjure a picture of someone whose legs are restless, forehead is beaded with sweat, hands are wringing, and possibly someone who stutters. But anxiety is actually a lot more than just that, and maybe even a little different. Affecting nearly 14 million people in the U.S. alone, anxiety disorder is one of the most common types of mental illness in the U.S., but many people don’t even know they have it.

What is anxiety, really?

Have you ever had to prepare for a huge deadline? Or present something in front of a large audience? It’s normal to sweat over these kinds of common work situations. After all, no one wants to be a failure or be perceived as a dumb-dumb.

But while the average worry-wart spends about 55 minutes sweating over such scenarios, those with anxiety spend almost five times the amount, or over 300 minutes in a single day, worrying about the same exact issue. Anxiety is when you feel an overwhelming sense of worry or experience nervous behavior or internal unrest to a degree that it affects your everyday activities.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Surprising signs of anxiety

It could be stage fright. Or perhaps you feel like all eyes are on you when you’re in a room. Suddenly you feel nervous. You can barely concentrate on your surroundings and in your mind you’re constantly berating your every action, your every word.

Anxiety is painful, yet many people who have these feelings of constant doubt, internal uncertainty and overwhelming anxiousness in seemingly simple situations don’t even realize what they’re suffering through.

And that’s because common symptoms aren’t what you might expect them to be. Common signs of anxiety include:

Chronic indigestion
Problems sleeping
Shortness of breath
Tingling or numbness in extremities like your hands and feet
Heart palpitations
Irrational fears
Panic attacks
Compulsive behaviors
The worst part about anxiety is that it affects your everyday life. You dwell on your problems and fears to the point where you can’t lead a normal life and move beyond what’s consuming your thoughts. People who have this disorder may feel like their life comes to a standstill anytime they’re faced with something that causes them this kind of extreme discomfort.

How to get cured

Anxiety disorder is a form of mental disease, so the cure for it is much like how other mental illnesses like depression are treated—with medication and psychotherapy.

Going back to the story of my grandmother, we know she was suffering through anxiety and she took regular medications for it. But the one day she ran out of her dosage or forgot to take it was hell to pay in our home. She would go nuts and drive everyone around her nuts, to the point that my father would go berserk and lash out at everyone around him. Not fun times for sure. But the bottom line is, if you decide to go the medication route, remember that every medication has its side effects and can cause dependencies. So if you don’t take your medication or happen to skip a dose, it’s likely you’ll feel a significant change within yourself.

If you’re looking for a more natural route, some specialists might recommend remedies like yoga and acupuncture.

Whatever you decide, make sure you do your research and consult with a specialist first. However, the most important thing you can do—and the most crucial step—is recognizing that anxiety disorders are a true illness and should be treated with as much care and attention as any other.

The Simple Secret To a Slimmer Waistline

Written By Salina Jivani

Slim waistWe live in a society that’s fixated on calories, from food packaging crammed with nutritional facts

where calorie takes the lead to large light-up menus at fast food restaurants where calories counts compete for space among the smorgasbord of pictures and pricing.

And it’s this fixation that’s got us all going stir crazy over every morsel of anything we put in our mouth. I’ll say I’m equally, if not more, guilty than anyone out there.

But perhaps my story’s a little different than everyone else’s. Until my late teens, I never paid any attention to food and had a naturally slender figure of 125 pounds on my 5’ 7” frame. But my lack of interest in meals cost me to lose a lot of weight and people soon started asking me if I was anorexic—which to me was a huge insult that called for immediate action.

So I went to the local Walmart, bought several bags of fun size chocolates and started stuffing face.

The weigh scale didn’t budge. So I ate more and more and more until I felt absolutely sick. But alas, I’d gained five pounds—and the compliments began. I remember the feeling of elation. Of feeling like if a little bit of weight got me this much attention, more would make me feel and look even better.

So I ate more and more and more, until I’d gained 15 pounds. By then, my unhealthy eating habits were second nature. Chocolates took the place of meals and fast food options began to be the healthiest picks of my day.

Soon, I found that where I fit comfortably into my clothes before, I was now struggling. And then came the reality check: a picture of me and my boyfriend where I actually looked heavier and bigger than him! Being that he was no small guy, I found this utterly embarrassing. Even my dad, who never commented on my weight, mentioned in passing to my mom that I’d seemed to have stacked on a bit of meat.

And there I was back at square one again, listening to people, being hurt by their opinions and wanting to ignite immediate change in my body. So I went on a diet and started counting calories. And I did for the next 10 years.

Until 2016. That’s when I decided I needed to make a lifestyle change, and not stick to a process that made me feel like I was constantly ball-and-chained.

But with this decision to put an end to my religious counting habits came consequences. It didn’t take long for my weigh scale to begin an outrageously slow ascent, fooling me into thinking it wasn’t real “weight” that I was gaining. Perhaps just water retention or that extra salt I’d ingested through that family-size bag of potato chips I’d indulged in. But I was wrong. Soon, I’d put on 10 pounds.

But this time around (after more than a decade of calorie counting) I knew that I was under NO circumstances ever going to resort to calorie counting again. I was tired of being imprisoned to my calorie counting app. I was tired of feeling like a prisoner in my own kitchen. And I was tired of not relishing food just because some stupid number limited me from enjoying it.

So as the weight wheedled its way back up on my hips and thighs, a newfound resolve cemented itself into my brain. I wasn’t going to count calories anymore, but at the same time, I was not going to starve myself. Something about this thought sparked a realization in my mind. I’d become so focused on calories and stuffing my face during binges, I’d forgotten how to eat.

What do I mean?

Well, the secret to weight loss for a lot of us dieters is actually quite simple if we stop focusing on calorie counting. In fact, it’s as simple as…eating when we’re hungry.


Wait, don’t give up on me yet. Hang tight just a second.

I know you’ve heard it a million times, but in all reality, if you’re overweight or obese, it’s likely to do with your eating habits.

Remember when mommy used to sit you down on that dinner table and force you to eat every bite of your chicken before you were allowed to take your tush off that chair? Yeah, well, it’s likely her good intentions, no matter how noble they were, that taught you to suppress, at a young age, the hunger and fullness signals our bodies naturally emit.

And it’s a vicious habit that’s hard to beat.

In the past week, I’ve been listening—actually listening—to my tummy. Gauging it for signs of hunger, before actually taking a bite of food. And I’ll say it’s already helped me lose two pounds!

Simple tricks to determining hunger

If you’re not sure you’re eating when you’re hungry (or don’t even know what that means anymore) here are some simple :

1) Close your eyes and focus on your tummy. Does it feel empty or full?

2) If you think it’s empty, drink a glass of water and wait five minutes.

3) If you still feel a rumbling or emptiness—you’re ready to eat!

Other rules to keep in mind

Remember that just because you’re hungry doesn’t give you a free ticket to pigging out until you feel like puking! Keep reminding yourself that you’re no longer restricting calories or any types of food and that you can eat anytime you’re hungry. This really was key for me. Once I understood that restriction was off the table, it was easier to focus on my tummy and how much food I really needed to feel satiated.

If you feel you’ll go overboard, here are some things you can try:

1) Always start with a healthy meal. Don’t reach for the sweets when you hear the rumble!

2) Use a small plate and break your portions up with healthy helpings of veggies and leafy greens. Then leave enough space (about the size of your fist) for an entrée of your choice.

3) Eat slowly! Don’t engulf your food. Savor every bite.

4) Give yourself twenty minutes after you eat to determine if you need more. That’s about how long it takes for your tummy to know whether it’s full.

5) Reach for fruits first when the sweet tooth kicks in, but if that doesn’t cut it for you don’t stop yourself from enjoying dessert.

6) Remember to continue listening for signals from your tummy that say: That’s enough!

Like any new practice, this may take some time. Give yourself a week to a few weeks to get into the swing of things. Just trust in the tummy and you won’t go wrong!

Saving Your Newborn’s Cord Blood: Is it Worth the Investment ?

Written by Salina Jivani


I remember when I was pregnant for the first time and a friend of mine asked me if I was planning on saving my baby’s cord blood. My response: What’s that?

Of course as a soon-to-be mother, I felt compelled to Google and learn ounce of information I could get my hands on to make sure I was making the best choice for my baby.

For those of you who are expecting or plan to start families in the future or even if you already have children of your own and want to learn a little about this concept, here’s some good information to know. Plus, if you know the decision of whether you should save your child’s blood cord is one that looms in the near future, we’ll share important facts that will help you make an educated decision.

First, let’s start with the basics.

What is cord blood?

Quite literally, cord blood is as its name suggests—blood taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn. This blood is known for its richness in hematopoietic stem cells, which are what cells are before they become blood cells. Because of how fresh these cells are, they can be used in successfully treating certain diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia and lymphoma and repairing important body components like tissues, vessels and organs.

The beauty of blood cord is that its benefits aren’t specific to only the person whom it comes from—it can be taken from anyone and benefit anyone at any time—in infanthood or adulthood.

Why parents choose to save cord blood

Many parents choose to save their baby’s blood cord as insurance in the unfortunate event their child develops a serious disease. The thought is that if a health emergency ever occurs in their child’s future, or perhaps in that of another family member’s, the blood cord serves as a security net to help cure the disease better than any other alternative.

What other options do I have ?

You can either save your baby’s blood cord in a blood bank for your family’s use or you can choose to donate it to a public blood cord bank where it will be available for other people who may need it.

If you decide to save your child’s blood cord and store it in a prmivate bank, there is a monthly cost associated with this choice—and it comes with a hefty price tag.

On average, most private banks charge a one-time fee of between $1,500 – $2,000, plus an annual fee of $100 – $300.

The pros and cons of saving cord blood

Of course as a parent, we want to make the best possible decisions for our kids, and like with any other major decision in life, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of saving blood cord for private use so you can decide whether it’s a good option for you and your family.


· Assurance for your family’s future health in the event of specific diseases

· Can be used to benefit anyone in the family

· Can be life-saving


· Heavy price


3 Health Risks You Might Be Welcoming If You Don’t Exercise

Written By Salina Jivani


We hear it all the time—exercise! Live an active lifestyle! Thirty minutes a day will keep the fat at bay!

You know you should exercise. It’s just as common sense as knowing you should brush your teeth after every meal and shower every day. But the magic question is: are you doing it? Are you investing in your body just as seriously as you do in your career, your appearance or your home? If the answer is no, you’re probably causing a lot more harm than you realize.

Several studies and research show an inverse correlation exists between lack of exercise and your chances of having these three health risks—among others.

Heart disease

This one’s probably the most obvious of the three. But do you ever wonder how exercise affects heart disease?

Exercising improves your body’s blood circulation, also lowering the bad (or LDL) cholesterol levels, which can form fatty deposits in your arteries and clog them, and helping lower or regulate your blood pressure.

When you don’t exercise, the reverse happens. Fatty deposits quickly take residence in your arteries, your blood circulation is affected, meaning you have an increased chance of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks, and your heart, because of all these pressures and obstacles, has to work harder to do its job, putting it at heightened risk of disease or an attack.

Certain cancers

Exercise reduces the risk of cancers such as colon and breast, but people who lead sedentary lifestyles increase their chances of contracting such cancers. Certain studies have shown that adults who take exercise seriously and look to challenge their workout regimens by continuously increasing them in duration, intensity or frequency can lower risk of colon cancer by anywhere from 30 – 40%. With breast cancer, the risk decreases anywhere from 20 to 80%, and with endometrial and lung cancer, the risks decrease at a similar rate beginning at 20% and going upward to 40% for endometrial cancer.


Like many parts of the human body, joints are healthiest when they are put to work routinely—meaning when you exercise regularly. People who have made exercise a part of their daily routines are less likely to develop arthritis. And if you already have it, you may still have a shot of reversing some of its painful effects. An established exercise routine can help reduce joint aches and increase strength and flexibility while also helping fight fatigue.

Of course exercise benefits more than just your body. It helps you maintain a healthy frame of mind and fights depression. To add icing, regular exercise can help many of us maintain a fresher appearance, younger-looking skin and toned bodies well into the later part of our lives. All the more reason to spend those thirty minutes a day on your body; think of it as an investment you’ll never regret.


5 Vitamins That Make You Radiantly Beautiful

Written by Salina Jivani


Beauty is skin deep, but is that where it really starts—at the surface? We think not! Glowing skin, a thick, shiny mane and a blemish and wrinkle-free face take a lot more hard work than slathering on expensive moisturizers and shampoos. Beauty really starts from inside your body, which is why nutrition and nourishment play such a huge role in how amazing you look. And today, we’re here to spill the pills on what vitamins can help you radiate that inner glow, making you look your best and most beautiful—always.


If you’re looking for a gorgeous head of hair, strong nails and beautiful skin, this is the ultimate all-in-one action-packed beauty vitamin. Personally I can attest that this biotin, which is popularly known as the hair, skin and nail vitamin, has helped my locks grow thick at an unbelievable rate when I was suffering through thinning due to severe stress. It also amazes me how sexy and strong my nails grow every time I start taking these pills. All around, an A++ for this one!

Vitamin E

Everyone dreams of looking eternally young. And if you had to pick a single vitamin to work that magic on your face, Vitamin E would be it. Known for its ability to fight bad radicals that can destroy skin and speed up the aging process, Vitamin E also is known to improves your skin’s elasticity and helps cell regeneration. Among its other widely known attributes are its ability to fight wrinkles, acnes and scars. Not only is it great for your skin and helping you achieve that youthful look, but it’s also great for your hair and nails. Triple whammy!

Vitamin C

This is another one of those critical elements you’d want to mix into your pot of magical skin potion to create that beautiful skin we all crave. Like vitamin E, this vitamin helps you maintain your skin’s elasticity, fight wrinkles and produce collagen, which is also a key player in creating strong, healthy hair.


Remember the days of acne and flare ups? If only you’d known about good old zinc. Of course now that you’re older, you understand that acne and pimples are a result of oil and bacteria buildup under your skin. And that when that build up occurs, your skin’s natural reaction is to become irritated and flare up. Zinc is known to combat that inflammation process, preventing those nasty old red, angry mounds from popping up all over your pretty face.

B Complex

If you’re looking for a beauty-packed miracle pill, look no further. The B complex vitamin contains a good amount of the following B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, biotin, choline and inositol. These vitamins help you retain beauty by promoting moisture retention, preventing skin pigmentation, increasing hair strength, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and enabling the growth of healthy skin cells. Because B vitamins are water soluble, they will easily be flushed out of your system in the event you end up taking in more than your body needs.

Remember that natural sources, such as fruits and vegetables, are always the best for your body. Vitamins are meant to be a supplement to a healthy diet and nourishing your body properly will not only ensure you look your best outside, but will also promote your body’s longevity and health.

Why Bread Is More Dangerous Than it Looks (and how to choose wisely)

Written By Salina Jivani


If you’re like most people, you’ve had a love-hate relationship with carbs at some point. And who can blame you? With all the dieticians out there keen on slinging mud on our hip-clinging friends, like rice, bread, and, yes, donuts, it’s tempting to completely banish these traitors from our lives. But if your worth the grain on your bread, you know that carbs are an essential part of any well balanced diet. And let’s be real: diets that are carb-restricted are doomed for failure at some point, because practically it’s not possible or healthy to go forever without these essential (and oh so yum) foods in our lives.

The trick to eating carbs is to select the healthy ones (yes, wave good bye to bagel’s frosted and sprinkled twin)—which can be especially difficult when it comes to one of America’s most necessary staples, if storms and power outages are anything to go by—bread. And with store-bought breads containing harmful ingredients while deceptively boasting their nutritional superiority over competitors’, it’s easy to see why they have a bad rap. After all, how can you trust a food that’s constantly under so much scrutiny?

But don’t give up hope. There’s a way to make sure you’re including this can-be-healthy food into your daily diets—while benefiting from its merits. To make sure you’re buying the healthiest most natural, nutrient-dense bread, we’ve compiled some important information you should consider the next time you find yourself browsing the bakery aisle.

Ingredients to avoid


Let’s start with the no-nos. You may not give it much thought, but the bread most of us have lurking in our pantries has a ton of very bad, not so great ingredients. A quick skim of your bread packaging may reveal some of these unhealthy items:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Soybean oil, corn oil
  • Corn starch,
  • Soy lecithin
  • Preservatives
  • Food coloring
  • Any terms you cannot pronounce—these typically sound more like names of chemicals that belong in a lab than whole foods you may find in the aisle of a grocery store.

Why are these ingredients bad for you? We’re glad you asked.

Of course, manufactured sugars are an obvious. Nothing good ever comes out of them and they’re certainly not healthy for you. Plus, even fake sugars are known to cause cancers and heart disease while others that operate under a cleverly named alias, like high fructose corn syrup, can cause health risks including weight gain, diabetes, and bad cholesterol.

Genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) like soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch, and soy lecithin can be detrimental to your health because the original forms from which these oils are derived often contain pesticides that are poisonous and can prove toxic when ingested.

Preservatives, which are often present in many breads and are sometimes listed simply as “preservatives” on the ingredients panel, can lead to long-term diseases like ADHD.

Even the simpler, seemingly harmless ingredients like food coloring or artificial flavors can lead to a development of allergies or asthma.

And of course the ingredients you can pronounce are usually the ones you should steer clear of the most, because these are the ones that are lab-manufactured, just like they sound, and can pose a whole slew of health issues including, but not limited to, cancers and tumors. (Think about it—you’re expecting your body to digest lab-devised chemicals. There’s no way that can be healthy!)

What you should look for

Now that you know what to avoid, let’s talk about what you should look for. Put simply, anything that is a real ingredient and is healthy for you gets a green checkmark. Examples include whole wheat, herbs, flaxseed, rice bran, yeast, hemp seeds…you get the drift. If it sounds like a real food your mom would encourage you to eat, it’s probably safe.

Best brands on the shelves

Now that we have all the good and the bad out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff! Even though we’ve made that loaf in your pantry look as threatening as it did when the Atkins diet took the world by storm, let us reassure you that bread is and can still be a healthy carb. And the good news is, you don’t have to don an apron and cover yourself in flour from head-to-toe to avoid the adverse health effects of poorly choiced purchase—there are some great options right there on those super market shelves. That’s right, there’s hope. In fact, here are the brands that are top-rated by many trusted health advocates:

So don’t be afraid of the B word (bread, of course!). Just remember, an educated consumer is the best one

Fast food: The Death Culprit

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog


Calories have become all the rave. After McDonald’s made news on multiple occasions for its unhealthy, obesity-inducing meals, and Jared from Subway stepped out, dwarfed by his old fat jeans, claiming that “eating fresh” had helped him lose weight equivalent to that of a grown adult, it’s as though a cyclone of frenzy seized the fast food industry and calorie counts started popping up on drive through menus and nutritional fact sheets everywhere. But don’t be fooled. Although many restaurants are more calorie conscious and aim to make meals more calorie friendly, that doesn’t mean the foods they offer are any healthier for you to consume. In fact, excessive calories are just one thin layer among many others of why you should avoid fast foods like the plague.


High Sodium– If you know anything about eating healthy, you know that keeping the salt shaker at bay is a good thing. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about nine out of every 10 adults consume too much sodium, of which the AHA recommends no more than 1500 milligrams per day. Eat a single meal at a fast food restaurant of your choice and you’re likely to deplete your entire day’s worth of recommended sodium. One serving of Taco Bell’s volcano nachos (1650 milligrams) or a single serving of McDonald’s Big Breakfast with hotcakes (2260 milligrams) and you’re already over the recommended amount. Keeping that level of consumption up with even the slightest bit of regularity and you’ll make yourself infinitely more prone to fatal health concerns, including stroke, headaches, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stomach cancer, and heart failure, to name a few.



Fake ingredients- When you eat, you want to make sure you’re nourishing your body and consuming something that is healthful. After all, your body will work hard for you as long as you give it the means to do so. But many fast food restaurants don’t have the prized nutrients or vitamins your body craves. In fact, the beef used by many restaurants is not 100% real meat–nowhere even close to that percentage. According to one study, approximately 50% of beef patties are composed of water and only between 2.1%-14.8% of the entire patty is actually real. The remaining 35%-48% is composed of chemical fillers and preservatives, which basically means that on a more favorable scale, 15% of what you ingest is real, nutritional food. The remaining 85%? Fake, lab-tested chemicals. Which brings us to our next point.


Low nutrition value–  Of course if you’re not eating real food, you can’t expect your body to extract real nutrients from those foods. And if you’re like the majority of Americans who depend on fast food restaurants for at least half their meals during the week, you’re doing more harm than good by depriving your body of vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health and longevity. The ratio of calories to nutrient density in fast foods is baffling. In other words, eating a fast food meal pretty much means that all you’re feeding your body are harmful chemicals and a ton of extra calories with no true nutritional value to sweeten the deal.



Food safety-  You wouldn’t ever entertain the thought of eating silly putty for lunch, would you? Opt for chicken nuggets from most fast food restaurants, and it’s likely that you’ll be getting a good dose of dimethylpolysiloxane—the exact chemical found in putty. In fact, according to several studies, the chicken contained in nuggets are not really even meat, but made from a sticky substance created from ground carcass and processed chicken bones. Not scared? Consider this: the chicken nuggets at many restaurants contain a chemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which safeguards foods from discoloration. The downside is that while your food will appear fresh, fatal effects of TBHQ in rats include tumors and death.


So the next time you decide you’re too lazy to pack a good ol’ homemade brown-bag lunch, think about what you’re sacrificing at the cost of convenience. Although an occasional meal here and there at a local joint likely won’t harm you, it’s always a good idea to prepare home cooked meals in advance so that you’re not left tempted to turn that occasional fast food visit into a regular habit. Besides, who doesn’t want to save some money and avoid a ton of unnecessary calories?