I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream…

healthy summertime treats

Image thanks to Joelk75

You can hear him in the distance.

Jing-a-ling-a-ling…

He’s getting closer; you can see him turn the corner. You check your pockets, and yes yes yes, you have enough change for the Ice Cream man…but then you remember…

You’re on a diet. Sonovagun.

Just because you’re trying to lose weight does not mean you need to deprive yourself of certain summer time delights. Here are a few quick and easy ones…some healthy summertime treats:

Dreamier Creamsicles:

All the delicious flavor of the classic favorite, but much better for you.

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup low-fat vanilla greek yogurt
1 tsp stevia (if needed for sweetening)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together in a mixing bowl. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for about 6 hours.

Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles:

Unlike the ones from the store, these fudgsicles are only 60 calories and completely free of added sugars. Thanks to chocolatecoveredkatie.com.

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
½ cup of canned coconut milk
2 small very ripe bananas (200g)
1/16 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
stevia (to taste)

Blend all these ingredients together in a blender. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze.

Sour Patch Grapes:

All the tangy zip of candy, but they are way better for you. Thanks to Carol at puresugar.net.

Ingredients:
1 pound of green seedless Grapes, cleaned and loose
A packet of Mellon Fusion JELL-O
Water

Rinse the grapes so they’re nice and wet. Pour the JELL-O powder on to a plate. Roll a few of the grapes in the powder until they are all evenly coated. Repeat as needed. Refrigerate for an hour.

Eat ‘em at your leisure.

See? You can beat the heat and the Ice Cream man. You can find more recipes for healthy frozen treats at: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_frozen_dessert_recipes

Star Crossed: Are Celebrities Prettier Than the Rest of Us?

celebrities

picture thanks to gotsandinmypants

Getting fit is hard enough without being bombarded by the Hollywood standard of beauty. All those celebrities on the red carpet, looking their best as always… they look so good, don’t they?  If only we could be so thin and gorgeous.

It’s easy to get discouraged instead of inspired.

But what we don’t see when we look at these numbingly beautiful people are the tricks it takes to make them that way. So before you go feeling like you can never compare, consider the following…

It’s A Living

Aside from bringing characters to life and memorizing a bunch of speeches, most of what an actor’s job consists of these days is looking good. They spend hours in the gym because technically, it’s part of their vocation. Their cosmetologists and personal trainers are tools for the trade, the way a cook sees his spatula, or a customer service representative sees her computer.

Most of the rest of us spend our working hours, not in a gym, but doing tasks that we agreed to do for someone else in exchange of wages. Finding time to improve our physiques comes after a hard eight hour day. For celebrities, looking good is their hard eight hours.

Just A Glimpse

We get used to seeing these people in our houses. Sure, we see them on television, the internet, and in publications, but they are in our homes all the time, none the less. And from that familiarity, we think we know them. We get the firm impression that the way we see them is how they are, all the time. We forget they’re regular people because we don’t get to see them being regular.

Remember the last time you got your photo taken professionally? Whether it was picture day at school, or a family portrait, you probably spent a good chunk of time getting appropriately gussied up before it. And when it was over, you went back to your less glamorous routine.

All we see of those pretty people are what they want us to see. Except for scandalous paparazzi pics, we don’t see them with a bad case of bed head or a sever attack of hay fever.

Smoke, Mirrors, and Photoshop

Almost every printed image you see in this new millennium has been doctored, adjusted, or outright fabricated. It could be that the lighting or color is tweaked, or in some cases, a person has been completely made over, like a digital Frankenstein monster. Just a few years ago, the people at Dove started a campaign that showed us behind the curtain; so that we could see what the media never wanted us to see. Here’s a commercial they did:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Every bit of that model’s face had been pushed around, relit, remade into the final image. The Internet has plenty more videos of Photoshop artists making silk purses from sow’s ears.

The good news is you don’t have to win an Oscar or have your own show to be healthy and feel attractive. And remember, it’s your life, your story. It’s better and lasts longer than any magazine.

It’s Greek to Me: Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

mediterranean diets are a healthy lifestyle choice

picture thanks to Francis Jimenez Meca

There has been a lot of buzz in the last few years about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

It now looks like the hype may be true, and that there are some serious health benefits from adopting this kind of diet.

It has been associated with a reduction in cholesterol, heart disease, cardiovascular mortality, cancer, and other diseases.

One of the best things about this “diet” is that it isn’t really a diet at all — it is a way of life in which food is appreciated.

The focus is not on restriction (thank goodness), but rather on making good choices.

Ultimately the bottom line is to eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible. The other main components of this diet are:

      •  Get lots of exercise
      •  Eat mostly plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes)
      •  Use olive oil rather than butter or margarine
      •  Use herbs and spices rather than salt as flavoring
      •  Limit the amount of red meat consumed (only a few times a month)
      •  Eat more fish and poultry
      •  Drink red wine (in moderation).

You can follow this link to the Mediterranean diet food pyramid:
http://mediterraneandietinfo.com/Mediterranean-Food-Pyramid.htm

It is important to note that a big piece of this diet is the social aspect. Rather just focusing on what is being eaten, there is great emphasis on leisurely dining and the experience of enjoying the meal. There is also a great awareness of the importance of getting regular physical activity.

Don't "Should" On Yourself

Image thanks to SweetOnVeg

Have you ever heard the expression “don’t should on yourself?’

It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of making the point that we often spend too much of our thought process on what we “should” do, or all of the things that we “shouldn’t” do.

The thing is, putting things into this mind frame is restrictive, and inevitably leads to feelings of failure or guilt. Whether it relates to your diet or any other part of your life should is a demotivating word, and not the way to get you where you want to go.

Should-ing generally comes in two forms. It is either doing things simply because that is what you think others expect of you, or it is focusing on past “mistakes” or failures (I should have…).

Sometimes a little shift of the mind can be the very best thing to help you to actually achieve your goals, or just to be less hard on yourself.

How can you break the pattern of should? Here are a few ideas…

Try to replace your “I shoulds” with “I want” or “I will.” This immediately changes your frame of mind and puts the power back into the moment. “I will make a healthy dinner tonight” is much more powerful statement that “I should eat more healthy.”

Stop and evaluate your list of shoulds. Are these things that you want to do, or feel pressured by others to do? If some of your shoulds are truly things that would make you happy, change them on a list to “I will,” and then let the rest go.

Don’t let the expectations of others (or what you think they expect) rule your life. Obviously we all have obligations that are important, but we are ultimately you are the only one who can decide what’s best for you.

Let go of the past. It is all too easy to keep going over and over the things we should have done (or should have done differently). But here’s the thing…none of us can change the past. The best thing that you can do is to let go of those old should haves and start looking forward.

Avoid should-ing on others. If you are going to work on not making yourself feel guilty about your choices, try extending the favor to others by not burdening them with what you think they “should” be doing.

Finally, realize that your words have power. All of them. Start to really listen to yourself. How much could you gain if you stop criticizing yourself?

Oolong Tea, Which is the Best? – Okuma's Wu-Long Tea, Of Course!

The Best Oolong Tea? Why Okuma's of course.

Picture thanks to Dasein Design

Which is the best Oolong tea?

Research shows …

All this is pretty amazing … and as you can imagine … news of this tea has been making headlines over the past year.

That means you have to be VERY careful which company you get your tea from … because … some companies don’t produce a legitimate, 100% pure and potent tea.

That’s why most people are BIG fans of one particular brand of Oolong (known as Wu-Long from a trusted company called Okuma) to help boost metabolism, burn calories and get a flood of health benefits …

What are the different types of Oolong tea?

Oolong tea is from the traditional Chinese plant known as Camellia sinensis. The tea is produced through an ancient process of letting the tea wither under the sun and oxidizie before curling. Most varieties of this tea are distinguished by how they are cultivated. These different cultivators are separated into regions and as with most things, some are good and some are GREAT.

Here is the detailed Wiki article on the tea specifics.

Why choose Oolong tea from Okuma?

You may have heard the name before, since they’ve been mentioned by Bill Phillips of ‘Body For Life’ fame and even on the ‘Rachael Ray’ TV show, but one of the other reasons is that this brand of Wu-Long tea comes from Anxi County in the Fujian Province of China…

…Anxi is known as the Tea Capital of China because they grow some of the highest quality tea in the world, and this particular place is also famous for its specific variety of Wu-Long Tea!

Like fine wine, oolong teas are not all the same.

Okuma works with the best tea masters for sourcing and quality control to discover where the tea is grown and which crop cycle provides the maximum benefits.

You see, the tea market has grown substantially over the years.

It’s not just the variety of teas available but the quality levels vary greatly from brand to brand.

The bottom line is …

Every time you drink a cup of Okuma’s Wu-Long Tea, you can be 100% confident that you’re getting high-quality Wu-Long Tea, with no fillers, additives, or preservatives.

In fact, well over 675,000 customers have experienced Wu-Long Tea from Okuma with results that almost defy belief …

That includes celebrities like the contributing editor of the #1 New York Times Best Seller “Body-for-LIFE” David Kennedy who says …

“The research supporting Okuma’s Wu-Long is extensive and impressive. Myself, I’ve noticed amazing results from using Okuma’s Wu-Long.

It’s the only fat burner I believe in and use. Accept no imitations … there is a difference!”

Finding Your Motivation

Image thanks to TRF_Mr_Hyde

What would it take to make a major change in your life? Motivation?

It would be great to wake up with oodles of motivation, but motivation doesn’t necessarily happen overnight.

While change happens all the time, you can’t just depend on some outside source to give you the desired result, and you can’t go about making a difference with a half-hearted effort. For example, just buying a slimming tea will not help you lose weight if it sits in your cupboard, never seeing daylight. You need to drink it! It’s a little thing, but, oh the difference it makes…

So, what would it take to make a major change, like losing some weight?

A bunch of little changes…they all add up. A little motivation can go a long way…

Short Term Goals

Let’s say you want to lose some weight. It would be great if you could just pluck it off of your problem areas and set it outside by the recycling. But in reality, the time frame to lose that weight in a healthy way will take some time and some change. Go about it too quickly, and there are repercussions. Inside of you are organs that don’t need the stress, and outside is skin that needs a slower pace to snap into place. And keeping yourself on track for that length of time is… ambitious, but really hard for most people.

Instead of thinking in months, think in weeks. Losing around two pounds in seven days is reasonable, achievable, and a goal with results you can see. And when that week is over, another one will start.

Reward Yourself

While a job well done should be its own reward, it’s always better when there’s a prize at the end, right? At the end of your week, reward yourself for hitting your goal. Make sure your incentive reflects what you worked for. It could be a new outfit, which you’d need after losing weight. It should not be a hot-fudge sundae.

Keep It Simple

There are so many tips for losing weight everywhere all around you. Trying to take it all in is overwhelming. But the good news is, you don’t have to. Instead of trying to rewrite everything you do, change a couple little habits. Work with wheel you have instead of trying to reinvent it. Once you have a new habit down, then you can change another one.

And don’t give up! One false step doesn’t mean failure. It’s a way to learn, and grow, and know better.

For 50 more ways to stay motivated follow this link:
http://ten-pounds-down.fitsugar.com/50-Ways-Stay-Motivated-Weight-Loss-13289463

Beat the Heat: Summer Weight Loss Tips

Image thanks to Klearchos Kapoutsis

Summer will soon be upon us in the U.S.

It is the season of sunshine, long days, and outdoor activities.

It is also the season when we stop hiding beneath our cold weather clothes and face the reality of shorts and swimsuits.

But fear not, there are many great ways to stay healthy and to lose weight during the summer months.

Here are 5 summer weight loss tips…

Stay hydrated:

Drinking water is more important than ever when it gets hot outside.  Activity during the hot days can result in increased loss of water, sodium, and other nutrients. Take a bottle of water with you when you leave the house and make sure to keep drinking it throughout the day

Bonus: drinking plenty of water helps you to feel satiated and can fight hunger pangs.

Eat fruits and veggies:

I absolutely love spring and summer because of the sudden abundance of all of the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. They are chock full of antioxidants, high in fiber, and low in calories. They are also easy to pack and carry for workday snacks or picnics in the park.

Take advantage of the long days:

Extra daylight means extra hours to get outside and be active. This can mean a traditional workout, or it can be a whole variety of other activities. It is the perfect time of year for an after dinner bike ride, a warm evening walk, or just tossing a ball around in the park. Even spending some quality time in the yard (mowing and gardening) can get your heart pumping and boost your calorie burning.

Drink wisely:

One possible pitfall of this social season is that you may be attending more barbecues or hanging out for cocktails on the patio. There is no need to let these activities derail your diet; just choose your drinks wisely. The best tip is to avoid all of those fancy frozen drinks that can be packed with calories. Opt for drinks that are mixed with soda water and add in lots of citrus. Or just get one good glass of wine and savor it.

Take a trip to the farmers’ market:

What can combine all of the best parts of summer into one? A trip to your local farmers’ market. Get out into the sunshine with your family or friends and stroll through the market to find the freshest produce around. Most farmers’ markets will also have local baked goods, snacks, salsas, and other delectable treats.

Want more? Check out this link for 6 foods to keep you slim this summer:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-best-summer-foods-for-weight-loss

Caffeine Levels in Wu-Long's Oolong Tea

Caffeine Levels in Tea?

Caffeine Levels in Tea?

Caffeine Levels In Tea Concerning You?

Many of our customers are curious about the levels of caffeine in our Oolong Tea.  We completely understand the questions. Too much caffeine in your diet has been linked to all sorts of health problems.

One of the misconceptions we hear about frequently is that our Wu-Long Oolong Tea contains lots of caffeine and this is what makes our tea a great natural fat burning tea.

This is not true at all.

You should be very happy to learn that we have independent scientific research on our tea that shows the caffeine levels in Wu-Long Oolong Tea bags to contain about 1/3 the caffeine of a cup of coffee.

Amazing isn’t it?

And the caffeine levels in Wu-Long Tea Capsules, an extremely potent form of the tea for those on the go, have only about 1/2 the caffeine of a cup of coffee.

This study was performed by Covance Laboratories, one of the world’s premier independent scientific labs. Here is what they found.

Okuma’s Wu-Long Oolong Tea contains 31.6 mg/Serving Size of caffeine. (Okuma-Tea-Bag-Caffeine-Analysis-10212011)

Okuma’s Wu-Long Oolong Tea Capsules contains 51.1 mg/Serving Size of caffeine. (Okuma-Tea-Capsules-Caffeine-Analysis-10212011)

According to the Mayo Clinic the average cup of coffee contains 95-200 mgs/serving.

You can see that many of the fears and misconceptions around caffeine and our tea are simply not true.

You can enjoy the delicious flavor of our Oolong tea and be confident that the metabolism boosting effects are not from caffeine.

We hope this helps clear up some of the untrue hype about our tea.

Have questions? Please post them below and we will answer them as best we can.

Slimming Tea – What's All The Buzz About?

Wu-Long Slimming Tea

Slimming Tea In The News

There has been a lot of buzz about slimming tea lately and endorsements from all over the health industry, from CBS News to Dr. Oz.

So, what is all the buzz about?

The Chinese have long credited Oolong tea with providing a variety of health benefits, and one of these is weight loss. Many of these benefits have now been examined and studied by medical and health professionals with encouraging results.

Wu-Long Slimming Tea is naturally packed with powerful little antioxidants known as catechins and polyphenols. These antioxidants work in the body to neutralize free radicals, increase thermogenesis (fat oxidation), and to naturally boost metabolism.

What does this mean for you?

It means that drinking Wu-Long Slimming Tea may not only support good health…it can also help you to lose weight.

But what exactly is Wu-Long Tea?

Wu-Long is common name for oolong tea. Oolong is one of the three most common classes of tea derived from the plant Camellia sinesis. It is from this one plant that we get black, green, and oolong tea (and all variations in between).

The differences in the variety of tea stems from how they are processed after picking. Green tea is unfermented, while black tea is made from fully fermented leaves. Wu-Long tea falls in between green tea and black tea and is partially fermented.

Does it really work?

A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that drinking regular amounts of oolong tea not only increases metabolic rate, but also increased fat oxidation in its subjects. This study showed a 12% increase in fat oxidation over a 24-hour period after drinking the tea, and an overall significant increase in energy expenditure (EE).

Another study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine in 2009 reflected these results when inducing a diet of oolong tea on overweight and obese subjects. They found that Oolong tea could decrease body fat content and reduce body weight through improving metabolism and that it might help to prevent obesity. In fact, they found that a total of 70% of the severely obese subjects showed a decrease of more than 1 kg in body weight, including 22% who lost more than 3 kg.

Two cups a day to a new you?

Okuma’s Premium Wu-Long Slimming Tea is a 100% all-natural way to support your overall health, and the perfect compliment to any diet or exercise program.

Have you tried it?

Love it?

Have a question?

Post your comments below.

Order Oolong Tea Today!

Newton's Laws of Exercise

how to properly exercise - training the right way

picture thanks to ideafit

There are people in this world who love exercise.

I know, it’s crazy but it’s true.

They spend money and time on devices and programs that once would be more associated with torture than the improvement of one’s health. They delight in sweat and something called “runner’s high.” They sign up for marathons, and I don’t mean the ones on Bravo featuring a day of Real Housewives shows. Madness.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary.