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I always encourage my clients to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each evening. Some tell me even after they sleep 8 hours they are still sluggish. I discovered a Duke University study I felt may actually provide some information that would be helpful to you.

The study involved changing your wake up routine as a way to increase the energy you have during the day. Afternoon vitality and energy levels can be predicted by what you do when you first get up. If your day starts rushed and frantic, the price you pay is a low energy day where you are likely to be sluggish and lethargic. Being sluggish hinders your ability to focus and reduces both motivation and creativity. Low energy can also increase your stress.

Why does rushing in the morning...

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Pesto Vegetarian Lasagna

I'm all for eating lasagna, but I don't like the super heavy ones. So my go-to version is a veggie lasagna that 's greener and fresher tasting ( this one's all about pesto!) and less fattening than the usual recipe. to make preheat oven to 350. Cook 8 whole wheat lasagna noodles according to package directions. Combine 15 ounces part skim ricotta, 1/2 cup finely chopped basil, 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano, and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts in a small bowl. coat a lasagna pan with cooking spray; spread 2 tablespoons store bought pesto across the bottom of the pan, then cover with half the noodles. Spread the herb ricotta mixture over the noodles, and top with the remaining noodles. Cover with 1/4 cup pesto and sprinkle 4 oz shredded part skim mozzarella over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling. Makes 8 servings

Catch our healthy food tweets @bettereating1

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If Flowers, Chocolates and Dinner is your idea of the best Valentine Day ever you are in trouble. Trust, Forgiveness and a Body you take care of is my suggestion for you this year. Simply enroll in our couples retreat and let the magic happen!

Dating is such a fickle affair. Early on, the most inconspicuous details can turn someone off just like that. If you find yourself wondering why you never heard back, one funny yet possible thought is -- maybe it was something you ate. So, don't make your next date a dine-n-dash by eating one of these...

  • Spaghetti Unless you're a dainty pro at wrapping those pasta strands around a fork (and so few truly are), don't order this enticing item. On a date you'll realize how much slurping actually goes on over a plate of spaghetti. If you're craving pasta, order a bite-size version like penne, rigatoni, or tortellini. So much easier to eat.

  • Raw Onions Their potent aroma permeates the room every time you exhale. Raw onions are in many salads (sometimes they're chopped up so fine you don't even notice them), and often they're an ingredient not even mentioned on the menu. Be wise and ask before ordering, otherwise your date may think twice about going in for that sweet smooch.

  • Steak Tartar Watching someone eating raw meat can be a real gross-out. Just the sound of it makes some people feel a little queasy. Unless you're trying to get rid of someone, take a pass on this uncooked beef "delicacy."

  • Chili As we all know, beans can do a wicked number on your belly. Gurgling and gas anyone? Those are the last two things we'd want to experience on a date. And don't forget about the bold blend of garlic, onions, and peppery spices that most chilis serve up. Whew!

  • Stinky Cheese On the plate or on your breath, pungent fromages like Stilton, Taleggio, Roquefort, Camembert, and even Feta can be overpowering for the senses. Safer picks include Parmesan, Monterey Jack, or Havarti.

  • Ribs The unsightly "caveman" aura of dining on ribs coupled with the all-out mess factor are reasons enough to save this meal for later dates when you two have moved into the comfort zone.

  • Truffles At an average of $1000-$2000 per POUND, you better be dating royalty if you order these on a date. Same goes for that three-pound lobster tail or caviar. These delicacies are pricey. If you don't know your date well, anyone with an ounce of class should avoid ordering them. A safe way to test the waters is to ask your date if he or she would like to split one of these dishes.

  • Tacos Has anyone ever managed to eat a taco neatly? That is, without spilling half the contents onto your plate, dripping sauce down your cheek, and getting shreds of lettuce stuck in your teeth? If you're going Mexican, try a more manageable choice like a quesadilla or go with a fork-and-knife option such as enchiladas.

  • Spinach Salad Salads seem like a safe date choice -- until you order one. Flimsy greens launch oily dressing on to your clothes. Big leaves can be hard to get in your mouth without leaving a trail of dressing on your cheek. And spinach salad is the worst of all. The gritty texture of the raw spinach leaf acts like an adhesive on your teeth. Unless you want to keep running to the bathroom to check that your smile is clean, avoid!

  • Heavy Garlic This one's obvious, but you don't always think about where it could be hiding on the menu. A lot of pasta sauces, like pesto, use tons of garlic. Many meat dishes, too. You don't want to blast your date with hard-core garlic-ridden dragon breath, so ask about heavy garlic content when you're ordering. As tasty as it is, garlic quickly becomes Eau de Garlic all over your body as it seeps into your breath and your entire body.

Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

A group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, heart attack, kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis

Am I at risk?

Risk factors of Metabolic Syndrome include:

- Lack of exercise
- Extra weight around your waist
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- High insulin levels
- Aging
- Hormonal Changes
- Family member who has syndrome (genetic)

If you have one or more symptoms you might be at risk

What should I do?

Prevention is always the best method for success and includes:

- Eating a diet low in saturated fat, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish
- Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes a day
- Weight loss (Body Mass Index of less than 25)
- Managing blood pressure and sugar
- Smoking cessation

If you have been diagnosed, Treatment is possible. The goal of treatment is to reduce your risk factors through lifestyle changes, which include:

- Reducing your weight
- Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week
- Healthy Diet
- Smoking cessation
- Doctor prescribed medicine to reduce your risk factors

Next Step?

Join Fitness Pursuits Aetna TotalHealth Program, your complete package for success in winning the war against Metabolic Syndrome. Fitness Pursuits Aetna TotalHealth Program is the best way to either Prevent or help Treat * Metabolic Syndrome. We understand you may be at war with Metabolic Syndrome. Fitness Pursuits has been winning this battle against Metabolic Syndrome for years by specializing in delivering results difficult to achieve on your own. We GUARANTEE you will pass your metabolic syndrome test or your money back! **

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Why Choosing Healthy Food at the Grocery Store Can Be Tricky?


I was at the supermarket yesterday and had to shake my head at all of the clever deceptive food labeling that’s everywhere. In every aisle, I saw tons of products claiming all sorts of things that are supposedly “healthy”, but are not in reality. This is food marketing deception at its worst. One of the things I noticed that really disturbed me was that I saw multiple examples of healthy foods in their natural state, while also noticing counterfeit overly processed versions of these original foods claiming that they were healthier than the natural version. However, in reality, all of these fake versions were actually MUCH worse for you than the original… and they still have the balls to claim that their overly processed “junkified” versions are better. The sad thing is that millions of people fall for this deceptive food marketing every day.
Here are a couple examples I noticed: Example #1: Product claiming to be “Better than peanut butter” This product is ridiculous!

I can’t believe anyone would ever believe that this processed junk is better for them than natural minimally processed peanut butter. First of all, if you buy a good natural organic peanut butter, it is usually very simply only two ingredients… peanuts and salt. And they do not add much salt so it is not a high sodium product. However, this counterfeit peanut butter which claimed it was “better than peanut butter” (trying to seem healthier than natural peanut butter based on its label claims) had a list of processed junk in it you wouldn’t believe. First of all, they strip all of the natural healthy fats out of the peanuts so that it is a “low fat” product. Alright, now you have just taken away one of the healthiest parts of the peanut butter… the appetite satisfying healthy fats that you need to control cravings and manage more stable blood sugar levels in your body. To make things worse, the healthy fats were replaced with 2 different types of sugar-based syrups as well as additional dehydrated cane juice (aka SUGAR), in addition to added refined starches (in case you didn’t get enough blood-sugar spiking refined carbs yet). This product has taken something as simple and natural as peanut butter, and turned it into what should really be called some sort of processed junk candy. Yet, they claim that it is healthier for you than peanut butter. And somehow they get away with deceiving the masses like this on their label. Do not be their fool! Example #2: Product claiming to be “better than eggs”.

I won’t get as detailed on this one because I recently went into good detail on this entire topic in another ezine issue. Basically, this product is just egg whites with a bunch of added chemical colorings, flavorings, and other nonsense, including artificially added vitamins. Again, this product has essentially ruined a good thing by removing the healthiest part… the YOLKS! And yes, the yolks ARE the healthiest part of the egg. Anybody that tells you different does not understand much about real nutrition. The important thing to look for in quality whole eggs are cage-free and organic. Most people don’t realize that almost all of the quality nutrition of an egg is found in the yolks. The majority of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and trace nutrients are found in the yolks, not the whites. Even the protein in the whites isn’t as high quality in terms of bioavailability without the amino acid profile of the yolk that complements the amino acid profile of the whites. And no, the cholesterol in eggs is not bad for you… it actually raises your good cholesterol more than bad cholesterol improving your overall profile. And the fats in whole eggs are balanced and healthy for you as well. Bottom line… whole eggs are healthier than egg whites. It’s not even a close comparison. The label claims are just another example of food marketing deception. Example #3: A product claiming to be “better than butter”. This was essentially crappy margarine which is loaded with highly processed and deadly trans fats, yet it had the nerve to claim it was “better than butter”. Don’t fall for it! Even low quality butter is better for you than any margarine on the market. One problem with butter are the pesticides and hormones frequently found within from improperly raised cows. For this reason, it’s always a good choice to go with organic butter, and if you can find grass-fed butter, then I would even say it can be healthy for you.

Grass-fed butter is higher in the natural form of beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). In fact, adding a little butter to your steamed vegetables helps your body to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in the veggies. Also, due to the content of stable saturated fats in butter, this makes butter one of the best oils to cook with. Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats such as soy, corn, safflower (and even flax) are the worst to cook with due to the highly unstable nature of their chemistry. I have a fully comprehensive article on which oils are healthiest for cooking and which are not based on their chemistry. Another point… the saturated fat in butter is NOT bad for you. We’ve already beaten a dead horse with that topic in previous articles, but again, more detailed articles about that topic are found at my site. You can find dozens more articles about all of these controversial health and fitness topics at my website and facebook fanpage below. To your good health! For a free fat loss recommendation detailing why you struggle with stubborn belly fat, complete free online assessment.

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