Monthly Archives: February 2017

Heart Diseases – Prevent Early With A Whole Foods Diet

The sooner you begin reducing your risk of heart disease, the better. Remember that each risk factor that you reduce or eliminate lowers your chances of getting heart disease exponentially. Early prevention is about changing your lifestyle and habits to support a healthy circulatory system and a strong heart. Let’s start by taking a look at the role that diet plays in heart health.

The Components of a Heart Healthy Diet

What you put into your body has a direct impact on your health. While the occasional indulgence is okay, a daily diet of indulgences cause problems.

So what is considered an indulgence?

Foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt are all indulgences. The good news is that these foods are easy to identify. In general an indulgence is a processed food.

A heart healthy diet is a diet that is:

  • Low in salt
  • Low in trans fats
  • Low in saturated fats
  • Low in cholesterol
  • Low in processed sugar

In general, that means if you eat a whole foods diet, you’re on the right track. A whole food is a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible, and is free from additives or other artificial substances.

A whole food breakfast might look like an egg and a piece of fruit or a bowl of oatmeal. A processed breakfast might look like a store-bought muffin or a bowl of cereal. (Cereal made from whole grains with no added sugars may be okay.)

Why Does a Whole Foods Diet Matter?

Whole foods matter because they not only provide your body with what it needs to thrive, it also has nutrients that are proven to lower your risk of heart disease. Yes, when you eat a diet that is rich in:

  • Lean meats
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy fats from nuts and seeds

You reduce your risk of heart disease. That’s pretty great, right? Let’s take a look at the two critical components of your diet that impact your heart health, fat and sugar, and what they do for your health.


Fat and sugar impacts your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is generally reported HDL and LDL. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. High density is “good” cholesterol and LDL is “bad”. It’s easy to remember if you remember LDL is lousy. Your cholesterol may also be reported as a total of LDL and HDL.

Your risk for heart disease increases as your total amount of cholesterol increases.

  • In general, your total cholesterol goal should be less than 200 mg/dl.
  • Your HDL should be higher than 40 mg/dl for men and 50 mg/dl for women. The higher the better for this number!
  • LDL should be less than 130 mg/dl.

Cholesterol is a waxy compound that is found in the cells of your body. Your body actually needs cholesterol to make hormones and some nutrients like vitamin D. However, too much cholesterol can contribute to clogged arteries.

A diet low in cholesterol, saturated and trans fat, and simple sugars will help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk for heart disease.

High Blood Pressure

There are many reasons why your blood pressure may be high. It may be due to a hereditary condition. You may be salt sensitive, which means that too much salt can raise your blood pressure.

Dehydration can raise blood pressure as well. In many cases, blood pressure can be controlled through a healthy diet and exercise.

Many physicians recommend what’s often referred to as the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet reduces your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and alcohol.

It also increases your intake of foods that are rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Generally speaking, if your diet is rich in whole, unprocessed foods, it is both low in cholesterol and also supports a healthy blood pressure.


We’ve already discussed the incredible increase in your risk of heart disease if you have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, controlled, and in many cases it can be eliminated with a healthy diet. It requires you to avoid foods that are high in processed sugars. Again, a whole foods diet doesn’t include any added sugars.

Your diet plays a critical role in your health, including the health of your heart. Simply by cutting back on your processed foods and eating more whole foods, you’ll reduce your risk factors. If you have any of the risk factors already mentioned, it’s time to pay attention to what you eat.

Your priorities include eliminating trans fats, reducing saturated fats, and reducing or eliminating processed sugar. Switch to whole grains and eat more fruits and vegetables. You can change your life and your heart health one good habit at a time.

Speaking of good habits, next let’s take a look at exercise. Diet and exercise combined can help ensure that you have a healthy heart for as long as you live.

Hypnosis – Using A State Of Trance To Forget About Stress And Anxiety

I remember watching shows on TV when I was a kid. With Some doctor on stage hypnotizing groups of people and getting them to do whatever stupid things he suggest.

That was how the innate fear of the word “hypnosis” came about.

Before being exposed to these shows, being hypnotized was just something I associated with cartoons where the bad guys execute mind control on the good guys.

Despite the negative associations I’ve had with the word “hypnosis”, I have come to realize that hypnosis is actually nothing like the extreme and disturbing entertainment we see on talk shows where guest run around a stage clucking like chickens.

No no.

Hypnosis is more like a deeply focused state of mind that makes a person more acutely aware and receptive to suggestions.

In the world of psychology and psychiatric treatment, nothing is more misunderstood by the general public than the application of hypnosis.

It has nothing to do with:

  • Losing control of your mind
  • Losing control of your body
  • Sleep walking
  • Or a state of unconsciousness

For starters, it is almost impossible for a patient to be hypnotized unless he wants to be hypnotized. This also means that if you truly want to reap the benefits of this type of therapy, you need to have an open mind and flush that skepticism down the drain.

And you can often find sessions being attended by:

  • Celebrities
  • Athletes
  • Politicians
  • Business people
  • Students
  • etc

So why not you?

Hypnosis is not new to you

It might freak you out to suggest that you have been in a hypnotic state at some point in life.

The chances are that you have experienced some degree of being in a state of trance before.

Think about the time when you were driving home from work. Something about that million-dollar report is bugging you which coaxes your mind to wonder off. Before you know it, you are already reversing into the garage. And you had just a vivid memory of the journey on the road!

Or there might be times when you were strolling home after alighting from the subway. Then a group chat between your closest friends started and you happily engage in the group conversation. Before you know it, you realized that you are reaching for the keys to the front door to your apartment. You didn’t even know how you go there without consciously navigating the route home!

How about a simpler example?

Remember a time when you were so focused on the TV or at work that you frankly did not hear someone call your name out loud repeatedly?

Yup. You have been there. I have been there. And I’m willing to bet the everyone has been there.

These are instances where you got into a trance, albeit at a much lesser level of intensity. Now, it’s just about harnessing that mind power within you to help yourself manage stress and anxiety.

Inducing a trance

Being in a hypnotic trance means that you get into a different mental state of mind. Don’t worry, you are not going to drive yourself crazy.

You remain conscious. Just that your focus become laser-like, resulting in your being more receptive to the good advice that someone (including yourself) is giving.

When you are a newbie to all these, it’s recommended that you start with a light trance before moving on to a deeper one.

Light trance

  1. Find a quiet place where you are certain you will be undisturbed
  2. Focus on an object across the room without having the strain your eyes
  3. As your attention goes to that object, intermittently start telling yourself that your eyelids are getting heavier and that they will close
  4. You will soon notice that your eyelids are indeed getting heavier
  5. Don’t fight the sensation and allow yourself to be taken away
  6. When your eyes are shut, take in a deep breath and hold it in there for a little longer than usual
  7. Slowly exhale while telling yourself silently to relax and be calm

Deeper trance

Only attempt this after you get very comfortable with a light trance. When you get competent with that, a deeper trance can be achieved by following the below steps right after you get into a light trance.

  1. Take a deep breath and hold it for longer than usual
  2. Imagine that you are on a descending hot-air balloon that is slowly on it’s descent
  3. As you descent, start telling yourself silently that you are getting into deeper relaxation
  4. Continue taking deep breaths and start counting down each breath from 10 to 1
  5. When you get down to 1, imagine getting off the balloon and getting into another one on it’s descent
  6. Repeat getting on another balloon until you get into a deeply relaxed state

What next?

By now, you should already be in a state of trance and feeling awfully relaxed.

At this point, you can either choose to remain in this pleasurable calm state, or get out.

When getting out, a lot of people open their eyes abruptly as if jumping out of bed. And not exactly good for the body and, in this case, state of mind.

The best way is to slowly step out of the trance just like how you had slowly entered it.

Simply count backwards from 10 to 1 and tell yourself that when you open your eyes, you would be awake and feeling totally rejuvenated.

In closing, here are some final tips when you embark on your journey to self-hypnosis.

  • Give yourself time to practice. And give yourself time to get into a trance.
  • Don’t ridicule yourself for trying  it out. Take is seriously.
  • Breathing skills can make a big difference to how effective it is.
  • Combine it with meditation to attain an even higher level.
  • If you like the results you are getting, consider seeing a real certified hypnotherapist.

The world is filled with patients who cannot say enough good things about hypnotherapy. And a lot of them are once the most skeptical about it. So give it a try and you might actually find it an essential indulgence in life.