Nutrition: The Building Blocks Of Your Health

The saying, “You are what you eat” is more than a mere catch phrase or cliché. The reality is that what we become physically is significantly influenced by what we put into our bodies. Proper nutrition is getting what you need, the right amount of macronutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates and safe fats, plus micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. By supplying our body each day with the elements of which it’s composed, we can attain optimum health – provided that due attention is also given to our mind and spirit.

Every part of our body is fed and develops from the food we eat, food being nature’s original remedy to activate our natural healing energies. Food fads may come and go, but the importance of a well-rounded diet and nurturing your body through healthful food never goes out of style. We can see this for ourselves; those who are more youthful and have abundant energy in most cases follow more wholesome diets, exercise regularly and follow a healthier lifestyle. People who are health-minded look it! They take responsibility for their lives and their choices, and it usually pays off with bright, clear eyes, glowing skin and full, healthy hair.

Conversely, those people who consume junk (processed/lifeless) foods and live unhealthy, sedentary lives are the ones who usually suffer from various health problems and are prone to premature aging. Of course there are people who are dealt a genetic royal flush. They can break all the rules in the book and nothing seems to affect the condition of their health, their energy or their appearance. Since life isn’t fair, most of us are not part of that blessed minority.

We’re all human, and what we don’t understand we tend to criticize or ridicule. Most of us are like that, aren’t we? I know I was leery and maybe even judgmental when I first heard about eliminating meat from my diet, cutting out junk food and eating plenty of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. However, implementing these changes made a dramatic and very positive difference in my life and my health.

The body in many respects is like a delicate and precision-made automobile and responds to expert care and treatment. If we neglect our car (or our body), not furnishing it with what it needs, the various systems will malfunction. There are exact and precise laws and principles that govern and operate both vehicles. If we supply them both with the basic indispensable fuels and the proper care and maintenance, we can be confident they will perform smoothly and safely as they were originally designed. The automobile was constructed with a built-in warning system: the dashboard, with its gauges to warn us if the engine is overheating or signal us if the battery is low. The same is true of the body. The eyes alert us if something is wrong; the pupils dilate and dark circles appear. If our temperature rises, it’s nature’s notification of trouble.

Hair also is a measuring stick of our general state of health. For example, when an animal is sick, its fur loses shine and luster and, in some cases, even falls out. Our hair, if analyzed properly, will reveal where we are nutritionally deficient, and those deficiencies manifest themselves in the overall condition and appearance of the hair. Adele Davis, one of the earlier proponents of health, wrote, “Even a partial lack of almost any nutrient causes hair to fall out. To rectify such a condition the diet must be completely adequate.”

In the natural food classic You Are What You Eat, Victor Lindlahr – one of the world’s foremost hair and skin authorities – explains, “The far-reaching importance of your daily menus becomes apparent when you stop to consider that what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is converted into your hair, eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, fingernails and the many, many other tissues of which your body is composed.”

My philosophy is very simple: Good health is the foundation of authentic beauty. Today’s focus on cosmetics and cosmetic surgery totally misses the point. Health and beauty are inseparable, intimately related to the balance of the body’s internal and external well being. We can’t control the genetic hand we are dealt – but we can make the wise and life-affirming choices that will bring us to the highest levels of health, good looks and longevity that are within our reach.

Prevent Your Dog Health Problems

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, 58.3% of all American households have at least one pet. There are more than 60 million pet dogs in America and the average pet dog visits its veterinarian almost twice as many times as the average dog. Pet owners are now spending more than ever before on their companions with four legs (approximately US $19 billion annually in 2006 nearly doubled from US $11.1 billion in 1996).

In the past, dietary recommendations for dogs were largely drawn from nutritional management of diseases common to the aging process. Research, however, has shown that special nutrition can proactively prevent health problems common in dogs, such as the following:

* Obesity

* Loss of Muscle Mass

* Inappropriate Elimination Behavior

* Changes in Interactions

* Changes in Activity Patterns

* Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain

* Changes in Food and Water Consumption

* Changes in Grooming

* Signs of Stress

* Bad Breath or Odor

Despite continued advances in canine healthcare, behavior problems are still the most common reason for dog euthanasia. While diseases pose a threat to your dog, misunderstanding its behavior can be just as dangerous. Research shows negative behavior (like destroying furniture and unexplained aggression) is the primary reason that dogs are euthanized. Often these behaviors are associated with curable illnesses.
Patches of hair loss or a greasy or matted appearance can signal underlying diseases. A decrease in grooming behavior is associated with fear, anxiety, obesity, or illnesses. An increase in grooming may be a sign of a skin problem. Your dog can be stressed despite having an “easy” life because the social organization of dogs is different from that of people. Changes in the family, such as adding a new pet, should be done gradually. A stressed dog may spend more time awake and scanning its environment, withdraw from society, and exhibit signs of depression like fluctuating appetite.

Anemia is commonly associated with specific diseases in dogs like chronic renal failure. A hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) is produced by the kidneys and stimulates the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells to replace old and worn ones in circulation. In diseases such as chronic renal failure, EPO levels may be decreased and anemia may develop as a result. Typical signs associated with anemia are decreased activity and poor appetite.

Parasites exist internally and externally in dogs. Intestinal parasitism exists in all ages of dogs with the greatest frequency in puppies. Types and incidence of parasitism varies with geographic regions. Additionally, age and immune status are significant factors influencing gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism. Most parasites are diagnosed by a microscopic fecal examination using various chemicals to help concentrate the population of parasite eggs. Some parasites are visible to the naked eye although they are not consistently shed into the feces.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the most common cause of chronic vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, is a disease in which diet may have an important role. The intestinal wall becomes thickened by inflammatory cells, and the microscopic and gross surface folds of the intestinal lining are flattened, leading to a great loss of surface area. As the surface area is reduced, the ability of the dog to digest and absorb nutrients is reduced, leading to weight loss in the face of normal or increased appetite. The stools often become looser and in some cases, more odorous.

Western medicine relies on aggressive prescription drugs and surgery to deal with many problems related to canine health. Unfortunately, these methods often result in unwanted and even dangerous side effects.
Ayurveda, the science of life, prevention and longevity, is the oldest and most holistic and comprehensive medical system available. Its fundamentals can be found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas – the ancient Indian books of wisdom written over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda uses the inherent principles of nature to help maintain good health in dogs by keeping the canine body, mind, and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.

India Herbs has a seasoned group of Ayurvedic doctors specialized in Vajikarana, one of the eight major specialties of Ayurveda. Vajikarana prescribes the therapeutic use of various herbal and tonic preparations geared towards rejuvenating your dog.

India Herbs’ Vajikarana scientists combine a proprietary herbal formula based on centuries old wisdom
with advice on diet and exercise to help your dog attain optimal health, appearance, and longevity through safe and natural means.

Results: The precise combination of ingredients in AyurDog along with a mind-body focus precisely addresses your dog’s health concerns

Driving Weight Loss & Long-Term Health – Precision Fueling is the Key

Weight loss is a complex business that is actually simpler than advertised…when we learn a few simple rules. Living at a healthy weight and achieving optimal health should include exercise. It does not require a specific piece of exercise equipment, only your body and determination. However, weight control and optimal health cannot be achieved with pills, shots, or the latest fad diets. Real, long-term health will always include balanced nutrition and healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Fueling our bodies has changed tremendously over the past few decades, mostly because of our time constraints and demands for convenience. People are not like gas tanks! For instance, our bodies do not tell us to stop when we have consumed 375 calories. The size of portions we choose and the nutrients of our food influence how much we eat.

It is not difficult to understand that we consume more food at a buffet-style table. This obviously does not cater to weight control, let alone weight loss. Numerous studies have shown that it is not only the amount of food placed in front of us that determines our consumption. The company we eat with, the foods we consume, environmental factors such as light and temperature, and even the size of plate we use can determine how much we eat. The human stomach is approximately the size of a closed fist…when empty. It can be filled with approximately 3 pints of food, which would be about the size of a football! How many of us would want a football stuffed into our stomachs a couple of times each day?

Janet Polivy, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada, who studies the connections between food and feeling stated: “Eating is much less determined by biology than by psychology. The size of the portions you eat and whom you eat them with have a direct effect on your intake. Eat with friends or coworkers, and chances are you will model the amount you eat based on their plates. As long as you have a big eater in the room, our research suggests people then feel free to eat a little less than whoever sets the pace.”

Our food culture has changed due to our need for convenience. Americas’ waist line has changed just as quickly as our food culture. The convenient food that we consume are much higher in fats and sugars, which are far less filling than natural foods that usually require some preparation. These foods are proven to also excite the mind and produce faster consumption. When we fill the stomach too quickly, our bodies do not have time to recognize messages from the hormones that help regulate appetite, such as insulin, leptin, cortisol, and ghrelin. Beside the fact that our foods are less filling today, it takes our bodies about 20 minutes for food to be digested enough that glucose gets into the bloodstream and the hormones start working.

What do we need to change? And, how do we get it done?
– Include foods with adequate amounts of protein, fiber, and water that create improved satiety (fullness).
– Consume complex carbohydrates (lower glycemic) such as whole grain, fruits, and vegetables.
– Avoid simple, refined sugar products.
– Eat slowly to allow your body to recognize actual fullness, and avoid overeating.

We can restore health to America. The obesity rate more than doubled from 15% to 34% between 1980 and 2008! It will take a conscious decision and determination to restore health, but we must do it to avoid bankrupting our nation as the result of healthcare alone. (Diabetes costs $174 Billion per/year – more than AIDS and all cancers combined!)