Sodium, Hiding in Plain Sight

By Jane E. Brody, Originally posted on New York Times, April 1, 2013

Centuries ago, salt was more valuable than gold, but today the condiment has fallen out of favor. Now we know that its main component, sodium, can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

A new report, prepared by experts from three leading universities, projects that a small, steady reduction of sodium in the American diet could save up to half a million lives over the next decade. And a more rapid reduction could save even more lives — as many as 850,000.

The Finns have already proved this projection. As described last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, since the early 1970s, when Finland launched a national campaign to reduce salt intake, daily consumption has dropped by 3,000 milligrams a day in men and women, with a corresponding decline in death rates from stroke and coronary heart disease of 75 to 80 percent.

In the last decade or so, many food producers have introduced low-sodium or reduced-sodium versions of popular products, including soups, vegetables, fish, sauces, cereals, nuts, dips and even chips. But Americans still consume far too much sodium — a third more, on average, than the amount recommended for an otherwise healthy person and more than twice the amount recommended for people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or kidney disease.

Sodium is an essential dietary element, but a mere 200 milligrams a day is all one needs for good health. The average American, however, takes in 3,300 milligrams daily, primarily from salt added to foods prepared commercially and in restaurants.

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The ‘Good Morning’ Yoga sequence


Endless Stomach Lead to Constant Snacking? Try these foods to help you feel and stay full!

Back and forth between the kitchen and elsewhere; it is a ritual I find myself repeating and loathing.  I try to eat pretty healthy, but I knew something wasn’t right with my constant snacking. Leading an active lifestyle requires you to eat a lot of food so you have a healthy amount of energy to burn, but it can take a turn for the worst if you are eating the wrong foods. Here are some foods you can add to your diet so you can feel and stay full and avoid the hindering of constant snacking!

  • Eggs! And what a great way to start the day so you feel full, energized and ready to take on the day
  • Vinegar and cinnamon are two flavors to spice up your meals. Both will help you regulate your blood sugar, allowing you to feel full. Cinnamon vinaigrette, anybody? (We may need to experiment a little more before we try that on our salads!)
  • Surf and turf- hold the turf. Research shows that fish eaters stayed fuller longer than meat eaters and saved more calories.
  • Power up with protein. Beans and nuts, topping our health food charts once again will help you feel fuller.
  • Oats for president!… I mean suppressant. Oats contain a filling fiber complex which helps release a hunger suppressing hormone. If you had eggs for breakfast, how about oats for dessert?


The Quantified Self and Corporate Wellness

By Kym White, First Posted on Edelman

The quantified self movement is alive and well and gaining momentum. Increasingly, we are digitizing ourselves – counting, measuring and tracking everything from how many steps we take to the calories we consume to our glucose, heart and breathing rates.

Where does corporate wellness fit in this brave new world?

While consumers are increasingly empowering themselves given new apps and gadgets, corporate wellness leaders are seizing an opportunity to steer employees toward better choices.

At this fall’s first-ever WIRED Health Conference, Sue Siegel, CEO of GE’s*Healthymagination, spoke of GE’s internal “Health Ahead” program, born out of the reality that GE’s healthcare costs were increasing while there was no demonstrable improvement in employee health. Noting that GE is an employer as well as a payer, given that they are self-insured with over 300,000 employees, she spoke of the wide variety of tools that helped employees to generate data and make decisions about their health. Saying, “It is hard to find a brownie now at GE,“ Siegel underscored what we at Edelman have been evangelizing for some time – health and behavior change are highly social endeavors.

At the same conference, Jennifer Kurkoski and Brian Welle, researchers from Google embedded in the People Operations department (Google’s name for HR), noted that, “Google is not a conventional company – and [they] don’t expect to become one” while they spoke of the ongoing research they do with (not on) their employees. Relaying the importance of delivering the right information at the right time, Kurkoski shared that, “Choice provides the opportunity to nudge.”

They spoke of Google employees choosing smaller plates in their 24 Google-operated dining choices 50 percent more often when they understood that smaller plates make a difference with portion control. “Meatless Mondays” were apparently not a success, given that they took choice away from employees. On the other hand, moving candy from clear plastic bins to opaque containers that were less conveniently located, requiring Googlers to make a more deliberate choice while still retaining their right to have unlimited candy, was a success. Candy consumption dropped dramatically as a result, leading many conference participants to question whether Google might be able run its own observational studies on a large employee population and publish their results.

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The “No Weights, No Problem!” Workout.

By Adam Bornstein, First Posted on Men’s Health

Stay on-plan for your fitness goals—even when your gym’s far away

Sometimes, life doesn’t allow you to have access to a gym or even a good set of weights—when you’re on vacation, perhaps, or serving 20 in solitary. But you can use nature’s best barbell—your own body. In fact, many athletes use their own body weight for hard-core workouts because it provides more than enough resistance when you’re doing body-weight exercises. This circuit works all of your muscles, and you never have to lift a weight—except your own.

Skiing Wall Squat

Repetitions: 5
Rest: 30 Seconds
Sets: 2
Lean against a wall, with your feet 18 to 24 inches away from it and shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds. Bend deeper and hold. Repeat until you’ve hit five different positions; go as low as you can.

Donkey Kick

Repetitions: 15 each leg
Rest: 30 Seconds
Sets: 2
Get down on your hands and knees and kick your right leg back and up as high as you can. Finish by arching your back and pulling your knee to your chest. Repeat on the other side.

Boot Slappers

Repetitions: 8
Rest: 30 Seconds
Sets: 2
Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width, squat down, slap the sides of your ankles, then stand back up. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Shadow Boxing

Repetitions: 50 Punches
Rest: 1 Minute
Sets: 2
Throw punches while bobbing on your feet like a boxer: 10 right jabs, 10 left hooks, 10 right hooks, 10 left uppercuts, 10 right uppercuts.

Diamond Pushup

Repetitions: 10-12
Rest: 30 Seconds
Sets: 2
Get into traditional pushup position, but place your hands directly under your chest with your index fingers and thumbs spread and touching; that’s the diamond. Keep your back flat throughout the movement. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches your hands. Pause, then push your body back up to the starting position.

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Master This Yoga Pose for the Sake of your Tummy before Thanksgiving

By Karen Borsari, First Posted on Shape, November 12, 2012

Now is the perfect time to master twisted triangle pose. This standing stretch massages digestive organs, alleviating tummy troubles (including constipation) that may result from overeating—something that, admittedly, is more apt to happen this time of year.

Pin the image to your Pinterest boards and use the tips below to perfect the pose and give your metabolism a boost, aid digestion, and detox your body before next week’s day of indulgence. Then keep it up to increase flexibility in the hips, shoulders, chest, and hamstrings; improve balance; and alleviate back pain.



















How to Stay Motivated in the Longest Stretch of your Health Kick

Kick starting a health kick can be tough, but is the beginning the hardest part? Once the initial spark of getting healthy has worn out and your new running shoes have already been tested, sometimes it is hard to stay motivated. You’re not quite excited about beginning anymore and your not close enough to the finish line to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some tips to get you through the darkest part of the tunnel- the middle stretch.

Thumbing through magazines and skimming the internet for quotes, pictures and inspiration can get anyone’s engine fired up. The problem is, the pictures all look good and it may have you thinking about a workout, but your still sitting in front of the computer. Time to get up! Print motivational quotes out and hang them on your wall so you see them all the time, not just when you are consuming your day with web surfing (which is not an actual sport). What about changing the background of your phone to an inspiring image? We know you enjoy looking at your puppy or a picture of your hubby, but with as much as we are on our phones, maybe we can get the idea of working out to stick after seeing it all day.

You know what is motivating? Happiness. You know what makes us feel happy? Endorphins. You should want to workout to get sweaty, get in shape and get feeling better! Exercise can help relieve stress and get you feeling good about yourself! You can control your happiness by just squeezing in a work out, and who doesn’t want to be happy? Want to know what else can keep you from feeling like a nut? Coconuts! They contain medium triglycerides that promote good moods. Other healthy foods that will keep you happy include eggs, honey, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Your mind, body and soul should be great motivation to stay healthy.

Your ex, that dress or success. Motivation comes in many forms, pick what gets you going! At the end of the day it is about you and your health, but hey, thinking about that goal you want to reach or swim suit season coming up is going to keep you going! Make short term goals that are attainable and fun every Monday. Cut out adding extra salt. Work out 4 times this week. Stretch when you wake up. Drink 8 glasses of water everyday. When things appear to be a ‘game’ it gets people going, and that is just what you need to make it through the long stretch! Or how about getting in shape to ‘woo’ your family members for the holidays? Whether you want to make Mom proud, shed pounds in spite of your wretched past relationship or hey, maybe make a little money for getting healthy, pick your motivation! Imagine if you put money down at the beginning of your health adventure, then a couple months later you made money for getting healthier? Money is always motivation, and it can go towards those new jeans you’ve been eyeing.

There is no light coming in from the beginning of the tunnel, and the light from the end is just a bit too far to see. You have to find what makes you tick, what gets you moving in order to finish this thing off! Here is another tip- it takes 30 days to make something a habit. Say you’ve been working out 4 days a week, well if you miss a day you’ll start feeling the guilt. When it feels like a routine it is harder to get out of so try making your healthy habits part of every day life! Find things that work for you that can keep you motivated. Remember, to always eat healthy, drink your water, and get a good night’s rest; if you feel good, you’re going to want to keep going!

Health onward!


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