Monthly Archives: November 2015

5 Health Benefits of Gratitude

November is a time when we focus on gratitude, but did you know that gratitude is more than just giving thanks? When practiced regularly, gratitude can improve your health in profound ways. So what if we extended the practice of gratitude beyond November and applied the practice to our day-to-day routine? Researchers say that this regular practice of gratitude will be rewarded with drastic improvements in health.

gratitude1

5 Health Benefits of Gratitude

  1. Decreases Stress

Gratitude can reduce stress hormones, alleviate anxiety, and help those suffer from severe stress conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder.

  1. Improves Self-Esteem

Regularly practicing gratitude can help increase self-esteem and reduce our tendency to make social comparisons. Gratitude helps you truly appreciate others’ successes, instead of becoming jealous or resentful of them.

  1. Helps You Sleep

According to a study published in 2011, writing in a gratitude journal on a regular basis (just 15 minutes before bed) may help you sleep better and longer.

  1. Improves Relationships

A study done in 2012 found that people in romantic relationships who felt appreciated by their partners were more likely to appreciate their partners in return, and therefore, stay in the relationship longer. Another study found that showing appreciation can also help you make new friends. Saying “thank you” and showing genuine appreciation makes people more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

  1. Increases Happiness

In a study done by Robert Emmons, a leading researcher on gratitude, it was determined that subjects who wrote down one thing they were thankful for everyday for three weeks experienced a 25 percent increase in happiness for the 6 months following. Gratitude also reduces feelings of depression and can help you think more positively.

How to Practice Gratitude Daily

Gratitude doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. In fact, it can be something that you quietly practice every day in small ways. Here are some ideas to get you started right now:

  • Write a thank you note to someone who has made a positive impact on your life.
  • Write down three things that you’re thankful for every day.
  • Smile at a stranger and wish them a “good day”.
  • Keep a journal of your thoughts. Write at least two to three times per week.
  • Look in the mirror and speak to yourself in a positive, appreciative manner.

Think Before You Eat – 5 More Tips for Mindful Eating

Slow down by putting your utensils down between each bite.
Slow down by putting your utensils down between each bite.

Last week, we gave you some tips on how to eat mindfully so that you could still enjoy your holiday festivities without feeling like you were negating all of the hard work you’ve done all year. Because mindful eating is such a hot topic and a great way to learn how to practice balance, we wanted to expand on that blog post and give you five more tips to get you through this holiday season.

1. Forget about Cleaning Your Plate

From a young age, we’re taught to clear everything off of our plates. We may have been told not to waste food, or that there are starving children in other parts of the world that would love a hot meal. While the sentiment behind these statements is supposed to be a positive one, they can backfire. We carry these ideas into adulthood and have a tendency to eat every bite of food on our plates, even if we’re full halfway through our meal. We’re not encouraging you to waste food, but instead of over-stuffing yourself, take leftovers home. If you can’t take leftovers with you, it’s okay to leave some food on your plate. Listen to your body and the signals that tell you you’re full – and honor those signals.

2. Opt for Smaller Plates

It may be a trick of the mind, but smaller plates can help with portion control. When we’re holding a plate, we tend to fill it, especially in a buffet-style situation. A large plate means more food than a smaller plate. When you’re at a dinner party or a restaurant where you’re filling your own plate, opt for a salad or appetizer plate. You can go back for seconds if you’re still hungry, but give yourself some time to allow your food to settle.

3. Put Utensils Down Between Bites

Today’s modern world is “go, go, go”. We tend to rush through our entire day – and eating is no different. Next time you sit down for a meal, take a breath and slow down. Put your fork down between bites and chew slowly.

4. Pay Attention

When was the last time you paid attention to the texture of the food you were eating? The crunch of almonds in your mouth, the creaminess of your salad dressing, and the coolness of a bite of avocado often go unnoticed when you’re rushing through your meal to get to the next moment. Make it a point to pay attention, not just to the flavor of your food, but to the whole experience. Eating a meal is supposed to be pleasurable. Take it all in.

 5. Sit Down

In the holiday setting, especially at holiday parties and work events, there is a tendency to stand around with appetizer plates, or to grab an hors d’oeuvres as a server walks by, and quickly eat it while you continue on with your conversation. Instead, try to make it a point to put a small plate together and sit down while you eat. This forces you to pay more attention and slow down. If you want to keep your hands busy while you’re walking around mingling, ask for a soda water with a splash of fresh cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime and sip it slowly.

Mindful Eating – 5 Ways to Keep Yourself in Check this Holiday Season

Mindfulness is a majorly trending topic right now, but the practice is nothing new. The roots of mindfulness trace all the way back to Buddhism, although you don’t have to subscribe to any specific spirituality to partake in the practice. In general, mindfulness is the practice of being present. Mindful eating – also called intuitive eating – describes a way of eating in which you really pay attention to your food. You slow down, savor its flavor and texture, and really appreciate what’s on your plate and in your mouth.

holiday meal

It can be difficult to try to lose weight, or even maintain your weight, during the holiday season. Everywhere you turn there’s a temptation. It could be your favorite cookie or even a relative encouraging you to eat more when you’ve told him or her that you’ve had enough. You don’t have to resolve to completely avoid all of your favorite holiday treats – after all, your grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie may only come around once per year; but what you should do is make it a point to practice mindful eating with these tips.

1. Reflect and Scope out the Scene

It’s often the case that holiday meals are set up buffet style. You grab a plate and then start mindlessly filling that plate as you go around the serving table. By the time you get to the end of the buffet, you have a heaping plate of food and you feel inclined to finish the whole thing. Instead, take a step back and survey the food table. Walk around and see what options are available. Decide what you want to indulge in and what you can skip. Pick a few favorites, rather than deciding to try it all. Once you’ve developed a game plan, grab a plate and fill it with your choices.

2. Don’t Pick

It’s tempting to pick at all the dishes while you’re waiting for dinner, but resist the urge. A small bite here and there may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly, especially if you’re picking on cheese and crackers or bread and butter. Skip the pre-meal and wait for the official dinner.

3.Get Rid of All Electronic Distractions

Distractions like the television or your smartphone make you less aware of WHAT and how much you’re eating. Put the phone away and sit away from the television at the kitchen or dining room table. Pay attention to each bite and chew slowly.

4. Distance Yourself from the Spread

After you’ve filled your plate, go sit down at a table that’s not near the food. If there is only one table (where the food happens to be), excuse yourself after you’ve finished eating. Try not to sit around the food table chatting. When you do this, you’re more likely to keep picking, even if you’re not hungry.

5. Eat a Nourishing Breakfast

We often hear of clients who skip breakfast on days when they anticipate eating a large holiday meal. The thought process behind this is that doing so will save calories and therefore minimize weight gain. This is actually flawed thinking. Skipping breakfast generally causes you to overindulge on your next meal, taking in more calories than you normally would have. When you wake up on a holiday morning, have a healthy, filling breakfast. Try an omelet loaded with green veggies or a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal with some nuts and berries. You’ll still be able to enjoy your holiday meal, but you won’t be ravenous by the time you get to it.

What do you think? Are there any tips for mindful eating that you’d like to add? Any of these that you currently practice? Leave a comment below or start a discussion on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned for 5 more tips for mindful eating in our next blog post!

Recipe Makeover: Healthy Pumpkin Mousse

pumpkinA lot of people put their weight loss goals off for the holidays and succumb to a weight gain that they feel is “inevitable”, but don’t let that be you! Sure, it’s easy to say that you’ll get on track after the holidays; that you’ll really buckle down on January 1st; but you don’t have to go backward before you go forward. You can lose weight during the holidays! There is a way to take your favorite holiday flavors and combine them into recipes that bring you the comfort you’re seeking without taking a toll on your waistline.

When I say the word “tofu”, you probably don’t picture a creamy, decadent dessert, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, it’s delicious. And you can have it prepared in just a few minutes.

Each serving of this pumpkin pie mousse has only 148 calories and 3.4 grams of fat (most of which are unsaturated). It also contains 3.5 grams of fiber, 7.1 grams of protein, 191 milligrams of potassium, and 300 percent of the vitamin A you need for the ENTIRE day! The best part is no one will even know it’s healthy – unless you give them the recipe when they ask for it.

Pumpkin Pie Mousse

Serves 4

What You Need:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 15 ounces silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

What to Do:

Put all ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Scoop into serving bowls and refrigerate until ready to serve.

That’s it! If you want, you can top it with crushed nuts, lite whipped cream, shaved coconut, or some dark chocolate shavings. Did you try it? Let us know what you think!

Is Weight Loss the Answer for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)?

Right now, it’s estimated that 2.7 to 6.1 million people have atrial fibrillation, or AFib, a type of irregular heartbeat. When someone has AFib, the beating of the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, is irregular and the blood doesn’t pass from the upper chambers of the heart to the lower chambers of the heart (called the ventricles) as well as it should.

EKG

Many people with AFib don’t even realize they have it because they have no symptoms. Other people experience heart palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Even in those without any symptoms, AFib increases the risk of stroke by 4 to 5 times – and more than 750,000 hospitalizations occur each year because of the condition.

Current treatment for AFib includes medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes – usually a combination of all three. One procedure used to treat AFib is called cardiac ablation. During this procedure, catheters are inserted through a vein in the groin and threaded to the heart. These catheters are used to scar small areas in the heart that may be responsible for the abnormal heart rhythms.

The problem with cardiac ablation is that 30 percent of people typically need a repeat procedure to keep a normal heart rhythm. Researchers have been trying to find a way to make this procedure more effective – and new, promising research may have just given them an answer.

New research shows there may be an answer. According to two recent studies, overweight patients who are treated for atrial fibrillation are less likely to need a second procedure if they lose the weight and keep it off. This is GREAT news because it puts a large portion of the power back into your hands.

We know that maintaining a healthy weight is so important, but studies like this show us just how important it is. It’s not just about body image (although we know that looking good makes you FEEL good too), it’s about your health.

We also know that it can be difficult to lose weight, especially when you don’t know where to start or who to turn to. At Valley Medical, we’ve created an environment of support that we are extremely proud of. We have a dedicated staff that is here to help you each and every step of the way. We offer a monthly special to make it easy for you to start on your path to wellness.

Contact us today to find out more!

Product of the Month! Go Bean Green Coffee Supplement

November is here, which means it’s the unofficial start of the holiday season. The next 2 to 3 months are certainly going to be a test of your willpower and strength, but we know that you can handle it!

This month, our monthly special product was chosen specifically to help keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

In November, when you purchase our monthly special, which includes all of this:

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
MetaBlast Supplements
Craveaway Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale

You will receive a bottle of Go Bean green coffee supplement absolutely free.

With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed above for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200) – and we’ll throw in the Go Bean for FREE!

go bean

Go Bean

What is Go Bean?

Go Bean is the ONLY green coffee product made with USDA certified organic pure green coffee beans. Each 500 milligram capsule contains 60 milligrams of caffeine and 185 milligrams of chlorogenic acid — a powerful phytochemical. Together, this combination of ingredients (which is the exact amount recommended by Dr. Oz) slows down the conversion of excess sugar into fat, increases energy, boosts weight loss, and helps you recover from fatigue more quickly*.

Read more about Go Bean or purchase the supplement now!

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this special offer and signing up for our monthly special, drop in or call us at either one of our locations to find out more!

Phoenix: 602-374-3374
Tempe: 480-968-5673

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not meant to diagnose‚ treat or cure any disease or medical condition.