Top 5 Fat Loss Tips

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Men's Fitness magazine recently asked me for 3 of my best fat loss tips. Since most times the magazines just don't have enough space to run my full tips, I thought I'd give you a more detailed explanation of my secrets here (plus a few extra bonus tips that I didn't send to the magazine).

Secret #1 - Focus on burning carbohydrate, not fat, during your
fat-loss workouts.

Sounds backwards, right? But not when you look at how I structure my workouts. Remember that Turbulence Training focuses on resistance training and interval training. Both of these use carbohydrate as the main source of energy. So it's obvious the workout is designed to burn carbohydrates during the training session.

I have no interest in you trying to train in your "target heart
rate zone" for fat burning (aka - the fat burning zone). The whole idea of a fat-burning zone is an over-simplified idea of how the body works during exercise.

Leave the inefficient fat burning zone to the mis-educated
trainers in the commercial gyms (that not surprisingly, also want to sell you a heart rate monitor so you can stay in your "fat
burning heart rate zone").

If you want to get the most results in the least amount of time,
focus on burning carbohydrates, not fat.

Why do my fat loss workouts focus on burning carbohydrate rather than fat? In order to burn more calories after the workout, that's why. When you exercise with intervals and heavy resistance training, your body uses more calories in the hours after exercise than it would if you did traditional cardio and lifted lighter weights.

Alwyn Cosgrove calls this 'afterburn', and I call it 'Turbulence'.
By any name it gives you the same results - maximum
improvements in your body composition (helping you lose fat while gaining muscle).

Secret #2 - Use a range of repetitions in your strength training

In order to train more muscle fibers and burn more carbohydrates, I have clients use a range of repetitions within the same workout. My workouts now use 6, 8, and 12 reps per set in order to work the muscle the most effectively.

This will burn more carbohydrates and promote as much muscle growth as possible when you are keeping the calories low.

Secret #3 - Use the stationary cycle for interval training.

I choose the stationary bike for intervals whenever possible
because cycling against a resistance can help maintain muscle mass.

Cycling against a resistance also allows you to perform a large
amount of mechanical work, and that is a key determinant of the Turbulence in my training.

But please note: I don't use low-intensity, fast pedaling
'spinning' intervals as I'm convinced that the hard, resistance
based intervals are more effective for fat loss. My clients only
cycle against a strong resistance in their intervals.

I really like the bike, but there are many other ways to do
intervals. Use what works for you, but if you are at a plateau, try the bike.

Secret #4 - Increase meal frequency

Okay, so this isn't really a secret to anyone that has read about
fat loss. But a 2005 study from the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition showed that eating 6 times per day was associated with eating fewer calories per day, lowering cholesterol levels, and lowering post-meal insulin levels.

Combine an increased meal frequency with an increased protein and fiber intake, and you'll see your body composition improve rapidly.

If you need more nutrition help, then you'll love the new
Turbulence Training Nutrition Guide for Men & Women - written by Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D.

See below for more details...

Secret #5 - My Synergistic Turbulence Training Workouts

My Turbulence Training Fat Loss workouts are fast becoming the most effective way to burn fat, build muscle, and get lean. The synergistic strength training-interval training workouts are
efficient and effective - getting you in and out of the gym in
under an hour.

Here are some tips that you can use for an advanced training phase

- use these tips for 2 weeks then return to your normal training

a) Add 10 seconds to each interval but maintain the intensity

b) Add in some bodyweight circuits (10-20 minutes per day) done in the morning or evening (if you do your regular workout in the AM, do your bodyweight circuits after dinner; otherwise, do the bw circuits first thing in the AM, and then do your regular workout at lunch or later in the afternoon or evening)

If you are advanced, you can use squats, pushups, and bodyweight rows for your circuit.

If you are a beginner, you could use lying hip extensions, modified pushups, and stick-ups.

c) Add an extra set to each exercise in the first superset you do
in each workout.

Again, use these three tips for an advanced fat loss period of two
weeks, then return to a normal training schedule.

But always stick to the best fat loss nutrition plan possible.

If you have any other questions, just let me know.


Craig Ballantyne
Author, Turbulence Training

P.S. Big Nutrition Announcement!

The Turbulence Training Nutrition Guide for Men & Women - written by Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., is ready for you.

Here are just some of the things you'll learn from Dr. Mohr...

1) How to calculate your calorie needs (p. 6)

2) Calorie recommendations for obese individuals (p.7)

3) The 23 types of sugar (many hidden!) to avoid (p. 9)

4) The 20 whole-grain sources to fuel your fat loss program (p9)

5) Over 60 fruits and vegetables that should be added to your diet (p. 10)

6) The 16 protein sources you should select most often (p. 13)

7) Shocking trans-fat content of 18 common foods - find out which food is the deadliest in terms of fat content (p. 16)

8 ) The 9 Fat Sources you should select most often (p. 17)

9) Dr. Mohr's 12 Rules for Fat Loss (p. 18)

10) The TT Nutrition Plan for Men (p. 19)

11) The TT Nutrition Plan for Women (p. 23)

12) Bonus Supplement Report: The Truth About Fat Loss Pills (p. 27)

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

How to Lose Man Boobs

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

You don’t have to go through life with man boobs (otherwise known as male breasts). In fact, you can burn away chest fat and get rid of your man boobs forever with just three short, but intense workouts per week.

Getting rid of man boobs is as simple as getting rid of any other fat. You need to cut back on the junk, and fill up on the intensity. Turbulence Training is the fastest fat loss workout you can do at home. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership (where you’ll be too embarrassed by your man boobs to go anyway).

Listen, women love a chiseled chest, but are turned off by the site of man boobs poking through a sweatshirt. That’s why I’ve put together a fat burning program that focuses on building muscle and blasting fat with all sorts of push-ups, chest exercises, and intervals. In fact, even the Turbulence Training abdominal workouts work the chest and help convert those man boobs back into a real man’s chest in just weeks.

You can gain muscle and lose fat with short workouts. You don’t need to be training 6 days per week or spending hundreds of dollars each month on fancy (but worthless) supplements.

Soon you’ll be the guy who is first to take his shirt off at the beach. No more hiding under sweats in the middle of July, or avoiding the water because you don’t want anyone to see your man boobs.

And no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to rely on surgery. Besides, that will leave ugly scars that will leave you just as self-conscious as when you had man boobs. The only fix is a permanent lifestyle change, thanks to the 3 short workouts per week of Turbulence Training. You’ll see changes in your man boobs, love handles, and arm definition within weeks, going from male breasts to ripped abs in the process.

Turbulence Training is not like all those other aerobic, slow cardio programs you’ve tried in the past that didn’t work. And it’s not a wimpy machine circuit that just ends up being a waste of your time. Instead, Turbulence Training is a unique exercise system that you can do in the comfort of your own home, so that no one at the gym can point or stare at your chest – at least not until they are staring with respect.

The fastest way, the safest way, and the only way to get rid of man boobs is with strength training and interval training. Combine that with Dr. Chris Mohr’s sensible nutrition guidelines, and you’ll have a new body, and a new chest in just weeks.

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

7-Minute Weight Loss Circuit

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

One thing we have to lose from our workout mindsets is the idea of this "60-minute workout". Forget about spending that much time in the gym. Instead, choose better exercises that are more efficient. This will allow you to get your workout done faster, eliminating the "no time" workout excuse.

To do so, you need to eliminate irrelevant exercises. I know you want to do an exercise for shoulders, and one for arms, and one for abs, and one for this and that. But before you do, ask yourself, will these really get me to my goal, or have I just been convinced by bodybuilding magazines that I need 40 sets per workout to get results?

Now, taking those lessons, we can then create some pretty incredible bodyweight workouts as well. And these bodyweight workouts can get finished fast!

In fact, here is a 7-minute bodyweight circuit that can help you lose weight, burn calories, and blast your metabolism. You don't need machines or weights. You can do this anywhere!

Bodyweight squat (10-20 reps)
Pushup (10-20 reps) - do it on your knees if you must
Reverse Lunge (10 reps per leg)
Plank (30 second hold)
Close-grip Pushup (10-20 reps)
Side Plank (20 second hold per side)
Mountain Climber (10 reps per side)

Do this with no rest between exercises. Rest 1 minute at the end of the 7-minute circuit and repeat up to 3 times.

If you are a beginner, do fewer reps and take longer rests.

It's a tough, tough bodyweight circuit, especially the combination of two exercises late in the circuit. This combo literally exhausted me to my knees...twice...before I was able to finish the circuit.You can do the circuit up to 3 times.

Another weapon in your fat loss arsenal. Now you'll know how to train efficiently and eat effectively for fat loss.

Don't wait any longer to get started! Get all of these bodyweight exercises, and more, in the Turbulence Training workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. No more annoying drives to the gym, waiting in line for machines in an uncomfortable environment, or being intimidated by the super-buff gym bunnies. Lose fat, get fit, and workout your way - at home with only a bench, a ball, and dumbbells.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Allergic To Food?

Food allergies are the most common and prevalent type
of allergy. Up to 12 million Americans suffer from
some type of food allergy.

The most common culprits are wheat, eggs, fish and shellfish,
peanuts and other tree nuts.

Children are most commonly allergic to the same foods
but with the addition to milk and other dairy

Corn and corn products also commonly cause allergic
reactions in children.

Most allergic symptoms are often only bothersome, but
they can be life threatening.

The most common symptoms are itching of the mouth,
eyes and skin, hives, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,
often but not always accompanied by stomach cramps and
wheezing, shortness of breath or trouble swallowing.

The more severe symptoms can include swelling. The
swelling tends to focus on the face area causing
swelling of the eyelids, lips, ears and tongue.

Mood swings and depression is another symptom.

The most severe symptoms can result in death. Around
200 deaths each year are reported from both the
initial allergic reaction and secondary complications.

There is currently no cure for food allergies. While
allergy shots have been developed to help with many
different types of allergies, none have been
successfully made for food allergies.

The people with the allergies usually avoid those
foods that cause the allergic reaction. Epinephrine
can relieve the symptoms, and is often carried by
people diagnosed with food allergies to be used in an

How to Fight Hair Loss in Men

Millions of people throughout the world are victims of hair loss. Of this population, about 70% are men, so that shows that men are more affected by hair loss problem than women. So if you happen to be one of the sufferers, think that you are not alone. A walk to the basketball court or a trip to your office will remind you of that fact. Your father, your friends, or your teammate could be one of them.

Although common, hair loss in men is not a matter to be ignored or joked. Many men out there, though aware that baldness in men is acceptable in the society, feel inferior or unwanted because of their being bald. Yes, baldness in men to some degree affects the males’ self-esteem and self-consciousness. This is also true, and is even intense among women, as women baldness is intolerable.

Now, if you are a man and you are currently suffering from this condition, would it be interesting to know what the basics of hair loss in men are? If you will ask me, I’d be affirmative. After all, knowing what hair loss in men is and what causes it to occur, or how to treat it is really a good move to take. It will not only help you understand what is involved in male pattern hair loss, but knowing its basics will teach you a lesson on how you can avoid or prevent extreme hair loss. That would certainly be enlightening!

So are you now ready to take the challenge? If so, then let’s get started.

Understanding the Basics

Male pattern hair loss is by far the most common form of hair loss. As the name implies, it applies greatly to men or its primary victim are men. Well, according to some surveys, male pattern hair loss affects men with close to 95% of all cases. Half of the total population of men in the whole world experiences this condition typically by the age of 50. However, there are some men who develop this type of hair loss in their teens, 20s, or 30s. Worse is that before men know it, a greater number of their hair may already be nowhere to be found.

The Appearance of Hair Loss in Men

Hair loss in men is often identified with the appearance of a receding hairline, also known as slow balding at the crown of the head. This condition is observed to be a progressive that if it is left ignored and untreated, the hair loss will continue and you will just notice in the end that much of your hair are already gone.

The appearance of hair loss in men is different from the appearance of hair loss in women. The main difference basically lies on the idea that male pattern hair loss is characterized by a noticeable receding line, as mentioned above. Typically, the hair loss in men starts from the crown an spreads through the forehead and few strands are left. This condition is what actually sets hair loss in men different from hair loss in women as in female hair loss, what occur are just spots on the head and women do not totally get bald. They just lose strands of hair, and perhaps the excessive hair loss in women can be associated with some medical operations like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

There is a tremendous variation of how hair loss appears in men. This variation may include the following:

• A lot of men in society lose hair on the center of their scalp. This is what produces a “bald spot” at the center of the head surrounded by hair.

• Some men develop thinning of hair uniformly. The thinning usually starts over the top of the scalp and this presents no discernible pattern. What it results is complete baldness, especially if not treated earlier on its stage.

• A lot of men experience a sort of recession at the front of their hairline. This usually occurs above the temples, but with hair in the middle. If you will take a closer look at this appearance, you would certainly find an “M” shape on the hairline above your temples and forehead.

• Other men experience a recession at the front of their scalp join up with this area, then forming a balding area on the head.

So that is how hair loss appears in men. Let us now proceed to what causes hair loss in men.

Understanding the Hair Loss Causes

Hair loss in men is caused by a number of factors. For some who do not completely get bald, the root of hair loss is highly associated to hereditary and hormonal imbalances. The explanation for this actually holds that when your family has a history of baldness, the tendency is that you will go bald. But, it is important to note that hereditary factor that causes hair loss in men is not only rooted from having a mother or a father who happens to be bald. The notion that men inherit baldness through their mother’s male relatives is not even true. The real score is that hair loss in men, when dealing with heredity, can originate from either side of the family, or even both. Perhaps taking a closer look at your family may give you the best hint of about how your head will turn out year after year.

In terms of hormonal factors, hair loss in men is also often linked to certain imbalances in the male hormones. According to some studies, most men have areas on their scalp that are very sensitive to the male sex hormones that circulate in their blood. It is these male sex hormones that cause hair follicles to shrink. As you may know, the hair follicles are the areas from which our hair grows, so if they get weakened, they tend to prevent hair from growing. If the follicles are affected by these male sex hormones, what happens is that they eventually become small, turning them incapable of replacing the lost hairs. Well, understand that in this stage, the follicles are not completely dead. They are alive, but are not capable of performing their task the way it used to be.

In relation to this, recent researches have found a link between male hair loss and a substance known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT. According to then, men who tend to develop male pattern hair loss have elevated levels of DHT in their balding scalp. Further studies have revealed that this DHT is what contributes to the continuous shrinking of the hair follicles in the head, leading to a decrease in the number of the noticeable strands of hair. As this is substance is present in the scalp of almost every men, scientists were driven to believe that DHT is a key factor to hair loss in men.

Acute stress can also be a contributing factor to male pattern hair loss. Yes, that’s what most of the studies have shown. As far as I know, they based this claim on some medical illnesses like high fever and to sudden weight loss, as during these conditions the systems in the body passes through a stage of weakening. The result is sudden and rapid shedding of hair. This is where a chronic disorder like lupus happens, which is certainly alarming.

Other possible cause of hair loss in men may be linked to the medications that most men consider, as well as to some illnesses. There are some, however, who lose hair due to certain improper hair cares, like using too much solution for their hair.

Evaluating Your Own Situation

So you’ve learned the basics of hair loss in men, including its causes. Now is the right time for you to consider your own situation as a preparation to the possible treatment. Note that understanding your own hair loss condition is one of the biggest moves worth taking. So if possible, try to ask yourself or consult an expert about what kind of hair loss you are currently experiencing.

Also, don’t wait too long. Remember that most of the hair loss treatments available on the market these days are most successfully applied by those who haven’t waited too long to do the right thing for their condition. Many of those who have experienced balding at some point in their lives have said that the longer you wait to stop hair loss, the harder you can prevent it from occurring, and the harder it is to treat.

It is also very important if you want to treat your hair loss as early as possible to determine the extent of loss. According to some pros, determining this factor is perhaps one of the most significant factors in identifying how well a person will respond to the hair loss treatment. So if in case you find out that you are affected by a slick balding on your scalp characterized by only a small amount of microscopic hair follicles remaining, then note that this condition is much harder to treat than having a hair loss with noticeable existing hairs that are starting to give way to MPB. This latter hair condition is said to have a better chance of reviving.

To evaluate your own hair loss situation it is much advisable to talk to an expert whom you think can greatly help you. You can consult a dermatologist or a hair surgeon to help you determine the kind of hair loss situation you are suffering from.

Well, asking for an expert’s help is not a hard thing to do. These people are available throughout the world. You can find them through referrals, or by asking your friends and relatives about someone they know who can help you fight hair loss. You can also go online and surf the net. Yes, you heard me right. Today, the Internet is highly considered as one of the most important sources for finding everything you wanted to know. So, if you are really serious with battling with hair loss, then there’s no reason for you not consider these suggestions. After all, several sites are out there to help you locate the best doctor for you.

Evaluating the Possible Treatments

To evaluate the possible and available treatments for hair loss is like taking a brilliant step to knowing how you can treat the problem. Well, as you may know, there are a lot of possible ways to fight or prevent hair loss from happening. These ways, however, may require time and daily effort. So for those who are serious with treating their conditions, it is best to note and understand everything that will be said here as knowing the ways of preventing hair loss will eventually give you a better perspective and a better look.

Consider the following treatments:

Growth Stimulators

The growth stimulators, generally, are used in preventing hair loss for the fact that they are capable of working on a symptomatic level to stimulate growth of hair, although artificially. These agents are capable of performing such acts without actually dealing with hair loss at the root of the problem. Note that it is because of this function that growth stimulators are deemed ineffective. But the truth of the matter is, these agents are actually a very successful and powerful way of reversing the balding process, although cosmetically.

The available products in the market today that can be considered as growth stimulators are Rogaine, Tricomin, Folligen, Nano Shampoo, Proxiphen, Prox-N, and Retin-A.


Anti-androgens are but another powerful fighter of hair loss in men. The use of this treatment stems from the belief that anti-androgens work to stop the DHT from binding to the androgen receptor. The androgens, according to studies, come in about ¾ of the way down to the actual process leading to hair loss, and as they come to the rescue, they tend to show off one of the last interactions before certain damages to the hair follicles occur, then restoring the then weakened follicles.

Here are a few of the most well-known and most marketed anti-androgens that could help your fight hair loss in men:

• Revivogen
• Spironolactone
• Nizoral 1% and 2% (Ketoconazole)
• Proxiphen
• Crinagen

Dihydrotestosterone or DHT Inhibitors

The dihydrotestosterone or DHT inhibitors, as the name implies, functions to inhibit the fastening of 5-Alpha Reductase and Testosterone. This combination is what actually keeps the DHT levels to stay close to normal. Once maintained normal, the DHT inhibitors work to help keep the hair growth as well as loss regulation as its normal state. With this condition and function, it’s no wonder that DHT inhibitors are used by bald men to deal and treat the root of their hair loss dilemma.

The most well-known DHT Inhibitors include the Propecia; Crinagen and Revivogen, which are best also as anti-androgens; Dutasteride; Xandrox; and Progesterone Creams.

Anti-Inflammatory Treatments

The name bears it. Anti-inflammatory treatments work to treat inflammation mainly in the balding scalp. It also works to reduce the level of itching that could possible felt upon losing hair. Aside from that, anti-inflammatory solutions can be of great use to control redness, as well as flaking in the scalp which is commonly caused by the immune response following the hair loss. Note that if conditions like redness, flaking, itching and inflammation not controlled as early as possible, they can make hair loss in men worse.

The anti-inflammatory hair loss treatments that are potent enough to do such function include the well-known Nizoral, T-Gel, Folligen, Betadine, Proxiphen-N, Proxiphen, and Tricomen.

Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD)

Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) treatments are marketing throughout the world these days to prevent excessive hair loss in men. Claims have it that these treatments work by way of gripping and controlling the immune response the in body which may occur as a result of the excessive DHT in the hair follicle. The Super Oxide, which is released once a foreign body is sensed by the cells, is then considered as an alien body that is potent enough to help the body fight and defend against the invading cells, foreign tissues and viruses. However, this Super Oxide is reduced by SODs, which may in turn help lessen the body’s desire to turn down the hair follicle. It is with this function actually that the SODs are considered as effective enough to fight hair loss in men. It is important to know though that SOD treatments are a kind of a hybrid treatment for the reason that they carry within them a number of anti-inflammatory and growth stimulation properties.

Now, if you want to know what the most commonly noted and marketed SODs today, then note that there are actually four main products on the market marked as SODs. These include the Tricomen, Proxiphen, Proxiphen-N, and Folligen.

Note that all of the above mentioned hair loss treatments for men are now marketed throughout the world. So it’s no wonder that you can find even in your neighborhood drug store or grocery stores. But, before you decide on particular treatment, be sure to know and understand your situation first and if possible try to review the real causes of hair loss mentioned earlier in this article. If you fully understand what causes your hair loss, then decide only on the right treatment for you. Again, the best thing that you can do to prevent mistakes is to consult your doctor. It’s not a big hassle after all.

Sculpt Your Buns & Thighs With Windsor Pilates on Video

Even if you have never seen a video on Windsor Pilates, you must be aware of the popularity of Pilates today as a method of getting and staying fit. The catchy jingle from a popular television commercial about calcium therapy says it all with, "Stand straight, stand out!"

Windsor Pilates has created an excited buzz on most of the fitness experts and fitness junkies nowadays. The trend of Pilates has gripped this country and most of Europe, with no sign of waning popularity in the future. If a person is interested in exploring this trend, he or she only has to go as far as the nearest video store and pick up a DVD on Windsor Pilates that can show that Pilates can be applicable to everyone, young and old alike, physically fit or out of shape, too.

There are many good Windsor Pilates videos on the market today. Choosing the most effective can be difficult, but with a little guidance, the novice should be able to find a challenging workout. Most of the videos have a specific focus. For example, one of the most challenging, rated by amateurs and experts alike is the Windsor Pilates video on Windsor Pilates Buns & Thighs Sculpting. This particular Pilates video was designed specifically for those who wanted to target gluteal, hamstring and quadricep muscles for shaping and toning in their workout. In fact, most experienced Pilates practitioners who have used this video consider it to be particularly time effective for a Windsor Pilates video. It is always a good idea to get feedback from others who have "been there, done that," before committing to an expense in time and money.

The Windsor Pilates Buns & Thighs Sculpting video was designed by none other than Mari Windsor, one of the acclaimed Pilates instructors who developed the new and innovative Windsor method of Pilates instruction. The Windsor Pilates Buns & Thighs Sculpting video in conducted by Mari Windsor herself doing the instruction. She doesn't waste a minute of time in this video while she instructs the viewer in Buns & Thighs training. Under Mari Windsor's capable hands, the video contains a purposeful, body-conscience, and well-taught lesson for the novice or the expert in Pilates. This video uses the proven method of Buns & Thigh sculpting using core conditioning as its basis. These workouts are specially designed to target and tone every Buns & Thighs muscle, with help from the smaller muscle groups surrounding them.

The Windsor Pilates Buns & Thighs Sculpting video has something for everyone, every beginner to intermediate exerciser to the regular, hard-core exercise junkie. You just work at your ability level by imitating the movements on the video to the best of your ability until you gradually work to a higher level. But even if you are a novice to Pilates, you can choose to do a lighter version in the video. If you are used to strenuous exercises and many Buns & Thigh weight training a few times a week, then you are ready for the more strenuous version of workouts the Windsor Pilates Buns & Thigh Sculpting has to offer. If your a Pilates junkie, go ahead and select the complex and challenging exercises offered and I guarantee you that you will see results in your Buns & Thighs after a few workouts.

The participant watching the video can also choose either high or low impacts if joint or back health is a problem. If your joints can handle the strain, you can choose the version on the video that has jumps, skips, or hops. It's all up to you.

Getting Started With Pilates

Pilates was founded around 70 years ago as a series of 500 movements designed to build up the core muscle groups of the abdominals, shoulders, back, and pelvis, while improving flexibility in the practitioner at the same time. The Pilates method usually produces longer, leaner muscles rather than the shorter, bulky muscles that traditional weight training produces. Pilates also use the method of holding certain positions for a number of breaths rather than the repetitions of other exercise methods. Because you are holding poses, you are required to balance, which also brings smaller muscle groups into play, making the workout very effective in overall toning.

So, you are interested. How do you get started? One likely place to look for help might be the public library, which could contain books or DVDs on Pilates. You need to see for yourself what Pilates looks like when its being practiced. You can learn a lot about the technique by seeing it in a DVD, book, or visiting a Pilates class.

Here's an excellent guide for getting started with your own Pilates practice that you can do in the privacy of your home. It's an instant download, so you won't have to wait.

This is an instant video download from Amazon, Pilates Workout Makeover Your Abs, Butt, and Thighs Fast. You can view this in the privacy of your home as well.

If you think that this method might appeal to you, then you are ready to move to the next step, which would be to visit your doctor for a checkup to see if you are physically fit enough to add Pilates into your exercise routine.

If your doctor agrees that you can add Pilates to your exercise routine, then join a beginning class and begin to build a relationship with a qualified Pilates instructor. This person will tailor a Pilates program especially for you, only adding exercises when you need them, with your particular exercise needs in mind. If you enjoy the beginning classes, you might want to visit an advanced class, with the ultimate goal being to eventually work your way to the class.

But, what if your schedule does not allow for outside classes? The beauty of the Pilates method is that, once learned, most of the exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home and in a matter of minutes a day. People nowadays need an exercise program that is flexible enough to move into a tight schedule and Pilates can fit into the tightest schedule, whenever the practitioner choose to do it.

Eventually, if you become adept at the floor Pilates exercises, you may want to add exercises to your routine using some of the available Pilates equipment, such as a Pilates exercise ball, mat, circles, and resistance bands or others. But for right now, learning to perfect the floor Pilates exercises is enough of a challenge. Later on, if you become a Pilates enthusiast, you can research the most strenuous Pilates workout, which is called Windsor Pilates, which will burn the most calories and cause the most weight loss. This method, however, uses more complicated machinery, so itÕs best to save it for later.

Whatever type of Pilates you choose to put into your exercise routine, the most important thing is to get started. if you follow the principals of the Pilates method, you should be on the road to getting and staying fit for life.

Losing Weight the Healthy Way

Almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese in 1999. Obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels by the year 2020.

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:

1. heart disease
2. stroke
3. diabetes
4. cancer
5. arthritis
6. hypertension

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplement or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:

1. Do not starve your self.

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday.

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).

2. Start your day right.

Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.

3. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent over-eating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.

4. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.

5. Drink lots of water.

Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.

6. Avoid too much sugar.

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich-foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.

7. Watch your fat intake.

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which are good for the heart.

8. Exercise.

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activites and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Building a Strong Core With Pilates

A vital part of the fitness package these days is core strength and flexibility. But, what is core strength and how do we get it?

In the past five years, there has been a growing interested in learning techniques in resistance or weight training, aimed at stabilizing and strengthening the core. It turns out that a strong core is more important than we ever realized.

The muscles of the core are those of the pelvis, spine, shoulders, and abdominals. There is not a human movement that is done that does not involve the muscles of the core, which stabilize the spine and move the body throughout its various tasks. If these muscles are weak, each movement becomes more laborious, causing the posture to degrade and an increased restriction of the muscles.

The core muscles are the catalyst that transfers energy from large muscle groups to smaller ones in the body. Pilates trains the body by mimicking the twisting and turning that occur with everyday chores and movements. If you properly train your core muscles, you can reduce the risk of injury while increasing strength along these same muscles for when you need them during the day.

In addition to strengthening the core muscles, Pilates helps to develop the platform for the actions of the arm, shoulders, and leg muscles. Pilates is an effective way to stabilize the core by developing core strength.

The core muscle themselves are made up of the muscles of the trunk and pelvis, the deep abdominal muscles that protect the spine, the oblique abdominals that run alongside the abdomen, the erector muscle, located in the lower back, and the muscles of the hips and pelvis. Just because you have a "six-pack," it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a strong or stable core. Some of the most important muscles to good core development actually lie just beneath the six-pack. These muscles, with the erector muscles, help you to maintain your balance and have good posture throughout your active day.

The first and most important aim of core strengthening with Pilates is in its performance of exercises that mimic everyday movements, but that isolate specific muscle groups while balancing and strengthening the core. The Pilates exercise program emphasizes using diagonal, rotating movements that promote balance and strength. Equipment such as balance beams, wobble boards, foam rollers, and fit balls are used while sitting or standing, but balancing all the while. The very best core exercises in the program involve moving while balancing one one leg, or shifting from one leg to the other, while performing the exercises.

However, Pilates is not the only way of strengthening the core muscles of the trunk, back, or pelvis. Using a variety of core exercises will better target the area. Some of the best ones are, of course, Pilates, sit ups or crunches, fitness ball exercises, and resistance exercises which use the dead lift, squat, and lunges. Another great type of exercise to strengthen the core uses the medicine ball, throwing overhead to a partner, or using a side pass, and other various exercises. Any of the balancing exercises using a wobble board, balance beam, or foam roller are also good for developing the muscles of the core. If you have access to any of this equipment, you can add these exercises to your Pilates routine and condition your core faster.

Trainers and enthusiasts alike have made Pilates core training part of their weekly exercise routines. Many experts in the field have said that you should not go through an entire week without some sort of core training, whether Pilates or something else.

Necessary Vitamins and Their Sources

Vitamin A
Liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, collard greens, cantaloupe, eggs, mangos and peas

Vitamin B6
Fortified cereals, bananas, baked potatoes, watermelon, chick peas and chicken breast

Vitamin B12
Red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy foods

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits, raspberries, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes


Dairy products, fortified juices, fortified butters and fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli, okra, sweet potatoes, lentils, tofu, Chinese cabbage, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Milk, fortified cereals, eggs and fatty fish (salmon, catfish and mackerel)

Vitamin E

Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach and fortified cereal

Folic Acid

Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pasta, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds


Red meat and poultry, legumes, vegetables, some grains and fortified cereals

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Eggs, meats, fish, peanuts, whole grains, bread products, fortified cereals and milk


Beans, poultry, red meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, yogurt, fortified cereal and protein bars

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Whole grains, dairy products, red meat, pork, poultry, fish, fortified cereals and eggs

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Whole grains, pork, fortified cereals, wheat germ and eggs


Red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, grains, oysters, dairy products and fortified cereals

Healthy Calories Vs. Unhealthy Calories During Pregnancy

It is important to note at this time that no two calories are created equal. There are 300 calories in a protein bar and a banana smoothie, and there are 300 calories in the average piece of cheesecake. Guess which one is going to be better for your baby?

The difficult part of counting calories when you’re pregnant is that you need to maintain a careful balance on several levels. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you’re eating enough to give your baby what it needs. Secondly, you want to make sure that the calories you are eating are “good” calories, calories coming from foods that are going to provide your baby with nutritional benefit as well.

On the flip side, you do not want to consume too many calories. If you do you will gain too much weight, potentially putting you at risk for early labor, pre-eclamsia, diabetes and heart problems. You also do not want to restrict your food intake too much. Pregnancy can lead to some pretty intense cravings, and ignoring these cravings can lead women to do some crazy things.

Unless you have one of the weight problems mentioned above you are probably better off considering your calorie intake guidelines to be just that-guidelines. It’s not going to hurt you to go over every once in a while and indulge in a piece of cheesecake or a chocolate chip cookie. Just don’t do it too often or too excessively. (Binging and eating a half a gallon of chocolate ice cream once isn’t going to hurt you, although it might make you sick, but doing it every day could be a problem.)

Try not to count your “junky” calories as part of your daily necessary intake. This will help you to continue eating the required number of “good” calories in a day, making sure that your baby is getting the nutrition that it needs. (That half gallon of ice cream is going to account for about half of your daily caloric intake, which means that half of the calories that your baby needs to grow today just went down the drain.) It is also going to help keep you from doing it too often, since consistently eating five to six hundred calories over your recommended daily intake is going to lead to excessive weight gain. The first time you step on the doctor’s scale and see you’ve gained ten pounds in a month the urge to binge flies out the window!

Junk food aside, not all “good” calories are created equal either. Here are some basic guidelines for choosing calories that are going to meet your caloric needs, your nutritional needs and your basic food desires. You have doubtlessly at some point in your life gone on a diet that has required you to limit yourself to certain types of foods. The Adkins diet, for example, severely limits your carbohydrates, while the Sonoma Diet cuts your dairy in half. What happened when you gave this diet a try? Unless you are extremely creative (or have an incredible amount of self control) you probably stuck to this diet for a short while, then tossed it to the wayside.

The trick to eating healthy when you are pregnant is the same as eating healthy when you’re not. You have to recognize what foods are best for your body and attempt to focus on them rather than their more tempting and less healthy counterparts. When you are choosing the foods you will eat when you are pregnant, consider the following:

Is it whole? Whole foods are those that are as close to their natural form as possible rather than being processed. Fresh fruits and vegetables rather than canned, whole grain breads rather than refined white and real cheese fall into this category. Whole foods are especially good for pregnant women because the fiber and water contained in them makes them easier to digest. This not only helps keep you from being even more tired than you already are because your body is struggling to digest your food, it also helps you to decrease your chances of suffering from constipation.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Fruits and veggies, particularly when fresh and/or leafy and green, are a valuable component of any pregnancy diet because most necessary vitamins can be found in them. Look below for a quick recap of necessary vitamins and the foods that provide them.

Is it a good carbohydrate or a bad carbohydrate? You cannot eliminate carbohydrates from your diet entirely when you are pregnant. They provide both you and your baby with the energy that you both need to grow and be healthy. What you can do is make sure that the carbohydrates you eat are good for you. There are two primary classes of carbohydrate, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are made of small sugar molecules that your body quickly absorbs. Examples of this are cakes, white breads, cookies, candies and pastas. These are the carbohydrates that you want to avoid because they will give you a quick sugar rush then leave you feeling tired and cranky-like the little toes digging into your ribs all night long weren’t enough to do that!

The second type of carbohydrate is a complex carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrates include fiber and starches, such as whole grains and potatoes. These carbohydrates take a little longer to digest, leaving you feeling fuller, longer and giving you energy that lasts more than an hour or two. Of course, even among the good carbohydrates there are some that are going to be better for you than others. If you are having trouble eating due to morning sickness and suffering from exhaustion due to hormonal swings this is important to know!

In order to get the most punch from the foods you eat you should focus on eating those that provide you with more energy, longer. That way when you can’t eat as much as you did your baby isn’t going to suffer. Sweet potatoes and real whole grain and whole wheat products are your best choices, as well as fruits such as grapes and bananas. Bear in mind that just because a package says “whole wheat”, “whole grain” or “multigrain” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is.

Yes, this is false advertising (sort of) but it’s important to know. A food is only required to have a very small amount of whole grain in order to claim the title legitimately. It’s not that there aren’t whole grains in it, it’s that it’s not all whole grain. There are usually plenty of processed and refined ingredients included as well.

Are you eating the right kinds of protein? Like carbohydrates there are good proteins and there are so-so proteins. When you’re looking for proteins that will give you the most bang for your buck you should focus on lean meats, eggs, beef and beans. The less processed it is, the better it is for you. Does that mean you can’t eat those chicken nuggets? Certainly not. After all, when the sweet and sour sauce calls…It does mean that you shouldn’t allow processed meats to become the dominant protein source in your diet.

Is it organic? Organic foods are usually more expensive but are more healthy than their counterparts. Organic foods, as defined by the Healthy Children Project, are those that are grown without “pesticides or synthetic (or sewage-based) fertilizers for plant materials and hormones and antibiotics for animals, does not allow genetic engineering or the use of radiation, and emphasizes the utilization of renewable resources as well as the conservation of land and water.”

If your budget won’t stretch to include an all-organic diet (unfortunately, some of those products came with a pretty hefty shipping fee) attempt to focus on the foods listed by the government as the best to be bought organically. These foods are those most likely to be contaminated or high in pesticides and include apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, raspberries, spinach and strawberries.

If you are concerned about the foods you are eating (and not buying organically) peas, pineapples, papayas, onions, mangos, kiwi, sweet corn, cauliflower, broccoli, bananas, avocados and asparagus have been judged the least likely to be contaminated or contain high amounts of pesticides.

What kind of fat is it? Your body needs certain types of fat, but trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on the ingredients list) is difficult for your body to deal with and provides you with no nutritional value. Saturated fats are less healthy than unsaturated, are found in animal products such as butter and are best enjoyed in limited quantities.

Caloric Intake During Pregnancy

The first thing you must understand is that pregnancy is not the time to be counting calories. If you are on a diet that involves severely restricting your caloric intake get off it. Right now. For the next nine months you have permission to not suffer for beauty. Not only is restricting calories not going to result in weight loss (you’re going to gain some as the baby grows whether you like it or not) it could potentially harm your baby.

Not getting enough calories during pregnancy can lead to the baby not having what it needs to develop properly. Low birth weight is a common complication, as is poor fetal development. The baby may have any number of deficiency-associated birth defects. In short, it is vitally important that when you are pregnant you get enough to eat. You can burn it all off after the baby is born, although to be honest if you have time to worry about your weight you will be handling new motherhood much better than most!

The first thing you want to do is calculate your pre-pregnancy Recommended Daily Caloric Intake. If you are a health buff or have been living on a terminal diet you may already know this number. If you do not you can visit one of the following sites to figure it out, or consult with your physician. (this site will also provide practical advice about estimating caloric intake for the rest of your pregnancy, although it doesn’t take into account weight gain or loss.)

For the first three months of your pregnancy you actually do not need to consume any extra calories. Your pre-pregnancy calorie consumption will be perfectly adequate for your baby’s growth and development as long as you are not dieting. If you are dieting, stop! This is the number of calories (roughly) that you want to eat in a day.

As you go into your second and third trimester you should increase your daily caloric intake by 300 calories. This will help to compensate for the increasing rate of your baby’s growth. If your pre-pregnancy caloric intake was 1800 calories you should consume 2100 calories a day. If it was 1400 calories you should consume 1700 calories, and so on and so forth. Again, this is not the time to try and lose weight. Do not omit these extra calories in favor of allowing your body to burn them instead. This is not healthy for you or your baby, and if you are breastfeeding you will quickly work these calories back off.

The number of calories you need during pregnancy is going to vary if you were not a healthy weight when you became pregnant. Women who were obese may be told to consume fewer calories to prevent excessive weight gain, which would place extra strain on the heart and lungs and increase the likelihood of blood pressure related problems during pregnancy. In this case this is a fine time to diet, as long as you are following your doctor’s advice. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby is going to be.

On the flip side of that coin, if you were underweight at the beginning of your pregnancy or have not gained what the doctor considers to be an adequate amount of weight since becoming pregnant you may be told to increase your caloric intake by more than 300. The baby needs to be able to take enough calories away from your body to grow, and if you don’t have any to spare either because you aren’t eating enough or your body is burning everything that you eat they are going to suffer.

Relief for Common Pregnancy Discomforts

Being pregnant is no piece of cake! From the first spells of nausea before you even realize that you are pregnant to the swollen ankles of the third trimester, there are plenty of uncomfortable symptoms that go along with pregnancy. While it is impossible to get rid of them all, there are a few tricks to making these pregnancy discomforts easier to manage. We´ll take a look at a few of the most common ones right here in this article.

Morning sickness is one of the first and most prevalent complaints that women have in pregnancy. While a very few do not suffer from nausea, the majority have at least three months of it and some go right through the nine months feeling ill.

Pregnancy-induced nausea can be quelled to some extent by sipping ginger ale and having soda crackers on hand to eat right before getting out of bed. An empty stomach seems to cause more nausea, so if you get some crackers into you before you start moving around, sometimes the nausea will go down. Many women find that they can’t even get up without vomiting, though. You can talk to your doctor about other nausea solutions.

Once your pregnancy gets far enough along that your center of gravity has shifted, aches and pains tend to set in. Most of these are caused by stretching ligaments and muscles in order to accommodate the growing baby inside, but some are just the baby pressing on nerves, particularly if you have shooting pains down the backs of your legs. Having a midwife gently encourage the baby to move a bit can make your pregnancy much more comfortable.

Other pregnancy pains caused by the baby’s position can be remedied by changing your own position. Doing the downward facing dog yoga position is ideal for shifting the baby into a more comfy position. You can also just get on all fours for a few minutes each day to get the baby to move around a bit and hopefully relieve some of the pregnancy pain you are experiencing.

Backaches are another thing entirely, caused by carrying all that weight out front! The best way to treat this pregnancy problem is to get your partner to give you a very firm back massage. Support yourself against a wall or bend over a desk and let him really get the heels of his hands into the sore spots. You might need to repeat this each day until the baby is born. Proper posture can help prevent this common pregnancy pain.

Swollen feet are a major problem during the third trimester of pregnancy. Excess fluid builds up in the feet making them puff up painfully. Sometimes this swelling goes all the way up to the knees. If you notice that your face and hands are also retaining fluid, this could be a sign of problems in your pregnancy and you should see a doctor. Feet however, are a very common pregnancy complaint and can be helped by laying with your feet propped up higher than your head, or sit with them in a cool tub of water.

The most common pregnancy complaints usually have a solution. You don’t need to suffer more than necessary, so if you don’t find the solution to your problem here, go ahead and ask your doctor or midwife for help.

Recommended Prenatal Vitamins

Even those women who pay attention to the nutritional needs of their body will want to consider the extra requirements necessary before and during pregnancy. Many obstetricians and health professionals will prescribe prenatal vitamins for their patients at an early visit, or even at a prenatal visit. There are many different formulas for prenatal vitamins, both prescribed and over-the-counter types, with prescribed formulas generally superior to those purchased over-the-counter.

If you decide to select your own prenatal vitamins formula there are certain standards which you should look for in the product you purchase.

VITAMIN A- The beta-carotene form is the safest version of this supplement. This is a vitamin where more is NOT better. Do not take more than 4-5,000 IU of Vitamin A daily. Amounts of 10,000 or more have been shown to have toxicity.

VITAMIN D – Vitamin D is another supplement where too much is toxic. Keep your daily intake at 400 IU or less.

FOLIC ACID – The B vitamin may be one of the more important supplements for fetal development. Any formula should contain 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid.

CALCIUM – A supplement that contains 2-300 mg calcium is just a start toward reaching the recommended 1200 mg daily. However, anything beyond 250 mg of calcium (or 25 mg of magnesium) should not be taken at the same time as supplemental iron since both calcium and magnesium interfere with the absorption of the iron. A two hour gap in time between taking the iron supplement and the calcium/magnesium supplement will allow for maximum assimilation.

VITAMIN C – Most formulas contain at least 70 mg of this essential vitamin. There are no known side effects from taking a higher dose.

THIAMINE, RIBOFLAVIN, PYRIDOXINE, NIACINAMIDE, AND VITAMIN B-12 – Most formulas contain two to three times the recommended daily allowance of these prenatal vitamins and there are no known toxicity levels.

VITAMIN E – 10 mg of Vitamin is the minimum amount which should appear in the supplement formula. Most formulas contain at least two to three times the RDA. Vitamin E has no known toxicity level.

ZINC and IRON – You should be getting at least 15 mg of zinc and 30 mg elemental iron. In addition, a supplement that contains zinc needs additional copper. Both copper and zinc are needed to assist in the assimilation of iron. Zinc is also required when the calcium supplement reaches 1200 mg or more.

Although trace minerals are important in nutritional health, few if any prenatal vitamins formulas contain any of the trace minerals. Making sure that prenatal supplement formulas are balanced to each other and contain all the essential nutrients for mother and infant health is a difficult task. You are aided in your attempt though, with the availability of a wide variety of healthy food choices. That is the importance of eating healthfully and using the vitamin and mineral supplements as extra nutritional coverage.

These prenatal vitamins are sometimes available in liquid form for those who have difficulty swallowing a capsule, but you should be aware that much of the vitamins taken in liquid form will be lost in the digestive process. One other point to remember is to be sure to take the supplements with food or drink. Some of the vitamins taken on an empty stomach can cause unpleasant aftertaste and the assimilation rate is much higher when it is taken with food or drink.

Natural Depression Treatments

Depression is a problem that affects millions of people worldwide and can range from being fairly mild to completely devastating. While there are a variety of drugs available to help control the symptoms of this disease, they often have nasty side effects and can be hard to tolerate for many sufferers. On top of this, antidepressants often carry a stigma with them, causing users to suffer harassment and possibly lose potential jobs.

To avoid the problems associated with poor mental health and the side effects of traditional medicine, many depression sufferers decide to go the natural route. They look for alternative treatments to use in place of regular pills.

Natural depression treatments have several advantages to them. One is that they tend to be cheaper than the average antidepressant. Also, they are available without a prescription, which means instead of having to see your doctor for a refill, you can simply head to the nearest natural supplement or health store to get what you need, depending on the treatment you have chosen.

One of the most renowned natural antidepressant is St. John’s Wort. This herb has been used for centuries to treat mild to severe depression, ranking in studies on the same level as Prozac. It comes in capsules, tablets or in a tea. The tea is probably the weakest of the three choices, but it is easy enough to replace your morning Earl Grey with a cup of depression treatment! The downside to this natural treatment is that it can affect your oral birth control and several women have found that the Pill is no longer effective when taking this herb.

Ginseng and Ginkgo are two other herbs that have been proven to relieve depression symptoms, particularly in the elderly. They can be used separately, but are best together. The herbs come in capsule or tablet form as well and are pleasant smelling as well as fast working. They may not be quite as effective as St. John’s Wort, so this natural therapy is better used for mild depression.

Other natural remedies for depression include an amino acid called 5-HTP, which helps your body produce more serotonin, the happy hormone. Since most antidepressants help boost serotonin levels (low levels have been linked to depression), it makes sense that 5-HTP would work just as well. This treatment is effective, but made more so by combining it with St. John’s Wort.

Depression has also been linked in some cases to a Vitamin B deficiency, so this is another natural treatment. When a deficiency is indeed the cause of the depression, then taking a supplement and increasing intake of foods that contain the missing nutrient should help clear up the problem. It is a good idea to check with your doctor on this one first since this may or may not be your particular problem.

Antidepressants are often considered to be a last resort and many people who suffer from depression would much rather take a natural supplement than admit to friends and family that they are suffering from a mental illness. Natural treatments have become more and more popular over the years as people become more familiar with their options and realize that the side effects associated with typical antidepressant medications do not need to be tolerated in every case.

Get Your Kids to Exercise

Today’s children tend to be grossly overweight in many areas. While steps are being made to prevent this epidemic from continuing, the real battle is on the home front. If you can give your kids healthy, low-fat meals and get them to exercise, you shouldn’t have any problems with overweight youngsters. The big problem is how to get them moving.

Kids love to play and if you can have them play active games, they will automatically exercise! There is no need to force pushups and squats on your children, they don’t need to follow a typical adult workout routine (although many kids enjoy dancing along with exercise dance videos). Just being outside, running around the back yard is perfect for them.

If you don’t have a good yard to play in, you can make a point of taking the kids to a nearby park or playground. The toys on a playground are built for exercise and your kids will automatically start climbing and running and sliding when they have the opportunity. However, even in the absence of cool playground equipment, there are a few ways to encourage exercise and active movement.

Balls are the perfect prop for getting kids to exercise. They can throw it, kick it, and bounce it, whatever they wish. And you need no other equipment. Kids can easily make up their own games or set up goals, marked by rocks or jackets and play their very own version of soccer. Smaller children will simply enjoy running after the ball as it rolls away!

If there are hills near where you live, introduce your children to the joys of rolling down a hill. You remember the game, you lay flat at the top of a hill and then start to roll down it. At first, you need to push yourself over, but if the hill is steep enough, you just pick up speed and tumble over and over down the hill. It is wonderful fun, but the exercise part comes when the kids have to climb back up the hill again to try again.

If you have three or more children together, organize a game of tag. This gets everyone running around and laughing and is a great hit among younger kids. There are other versions of tag as well, including freeze tag and TV tag. See if your children can’t come up with more ideas.

A dog offers endless possibilities for adding exercise to your daily routine. While you shouldn’t get a puppy for that reason alone, it is certainly a big help. The whole family can participate in walking the dog around the block, plus children will enjoy playing and rolling around on the floor with their new pet, all great forms of exercise.

Kids these days don’t get enough exercise and the best way to motivate them to move is to set a good example. If you are constantly on the move, walking and exercising from the time the kids are small, you shouldn’t have a problem. The trouble begins when kids are allowed to sit on the couch and watch TV all day!

Nutrition Tips for Vegetarians

Whether you became a vegetarian for moral and ethical reasons or simply for health, there are certain things you need to know about nutrition. Vegetarians are far more susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies because of the restrictions they put on their diets and it is very important that you understand how to replace what you have removed from your diet, if you wish to remain healthy.

The most obvious mineral that is often lacking in the vegetarian diet is iron. Anyone who knows anything about nutrition can tell you that taking meat out of your diet, red meat in particular, is the perfect way to end up with anemia. What they might not realize, however, is how many other foods contain iron.

For example, eating a good quantity of broccoli and beans will also provide the vegetarian with the iron that he or she needs in order to avoid problems. Also, eating whole-grain products such as bread and cereals is an excellent way to boost nutrition and iron in your diet. If you make sure that you take in Vitamin C at the same time, your body will actually absorb more iron than without the Vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 is often lacking in a vegetarian diet as well. To maintain good nutrition, you need to include this vital vitamin in your food. It is found naturally in dairy products and eggs, which many vegetarians also remove from their diet. So if you are not lacto-ovo, you should consider having plenty of soy products and possibly a supplement.

Calcium is another common nutrition deficiency found in vegetarians who do not eat dairy products or eggs. Although it is a bit more difficult to find in other sources, you can supplement your intake by adding tofu and green leafy vegetables to your diet. Also, fortified soy milk contains a good quantity of calcium.

Protein is one of the most obvious nutritional concerns of vegetarians. However, it is also one of the easier things to replace in this type of diet. Soy contains protein and there are plenty of imitation meat products on the market. Textured vegetable protein contains a healthy amount of protein as does whole-grain. However, with whole grains, such as brown bread, you need a complementary food like peanut butter or another legume in order to create a complete protein.

Vegetarians really need to watch their nutrition and make sure that they are eating a very balanced diet. If you tend to eat only miso soup with noodles, you are pushing towards a major body breakdown. While vegetarianism is supposedly more healthy for you, if you don’t know how to replace the missing nutrition in your food, you will actually be more unhealthy!

To avoid this, it is important to study up on basic nutrition and cook healthy meals with portions from each nutrition group. This is even more important when we are looking at the diet of vegetarian children who are still growing and need a fully rounded diet.

Balance Point for Men and Balance Point for Women provide the best nutritional balance in a bottle.

Secrets to Post-Partum Weight Loss

Having a baby is a wonderful event, but many a mother wonders if her body will ever return to normal after having changed so drastically during the pregnancy. The truth is, no. Your body will always be slightly different, perhaps the hips are wider, the breasts saggier, it all depends on the person. However, there is no need to continue carrying around baby pounds for years after the birth! A healthy weight loss is possible for every mother with a bit of patience and time and the right techniques.

The body has natural methods of weight loss and one of these is breastfeeding. If you can manage to breastfeed even for the first three months, you will experience far faster weight loss than if you bottle feed right from the start. The baby is taking nutrients that your body has stored up in the form of fat cells, thus depleting the fat cells and returning your body to its original shape . . . more or less. Also, breastfeeding stimulates uterine contractions and the uterus will shrink back to its pre-baby size much faster, which helps with that extra tummy bulge.

Getting a good night’s sleep might seem impossible during those first few nights, but if you can manage to nap with the baby and try to stay well rested, you will be able to lose weight faster as well. This might mean leaving some of the housework for later or asking for help, but it is very important that you have enough sleep so your body can recuperate and get back to its regular metabolism faster.

Eating a healthy diet is important not only for you, but also for the baby. Instead of splurging on fast food and sweets just because you are too tired to cook, look for healthy alternatives. Frozen vegetables only take a few minutes to microwave and a chicken breast or two sprinkled with parmesan cheese doesn’t take much time to cook up, even if you are dead on your feet. This all helps move you in the direction of post-partum weight loss.

Showing off your new infant is the perfect excuse to get some exercise and promote weight loss. Get out with the baby in a front carrier or sling and go for a walk every day. Invent errands if you like, the point is to get out of the house and to enjoy taking a little exercise with your child. The walking will help return your body to its pre-baby state faster as well.

There are also special weight loss exercise classes and yoga classes meant for moms with babies. These involve everything from going for a jog in the park to doing stretches and lifting your baby on your legs. These classes are a great way to get in shape while bonding with your newborn and are usually not very expensive.

A complete weight loss is not going to happen overnight. You do need to take your time to recover, and give your body the nutrients and rest it needs. Then the weight loss will happen almost on its own!

If you continue to have trouble in your weight loss efforts, this product is a very good all-around weight loss supplement:

When taken in combination with a healthy lifestyle, Lipitrex can help to reduce risk factors for disease while supporting your overall weight loss goals.

Get Rid of Acne - Herbal Acne Remedies

One of the more powerful forms of acne remedies is herbal. For people who are averse to taking strong acne drugs this is a very good option. The only problem with herbal remedies is that they are very slow acting and the results can take up to a month to become visible.

Even so, herbal acne home cures are a good side effort to whatever other treatments being used. The reason why herbal acne remedies take time is that these remedies depend on the body's capacity to metabolize fats and carbohydrates. Herbal remedies cure acne by encouraging the elimination of acne through the lymphatic system.

There is a class of herbs called "alternative herbs". These herbs are basically used for the purpose of cleansing body tissues. They are herbs that help the body with the detoxification process. However, they do not remove the toxins from the body through normal elimination pathways like lungs, kidneys, or colon.

While they are not so popular in western culture, herbal acne remedies have a long history of successfully treating acne problems and they are so harmless that you should at least give them one try. Moreover, since most herbal acne remedies work inside the body they do not interfere with conventional topical (applied externally) acne medications.

Alternative herbs are very mild acting so there is no discomfort in their use. However, since they are mild by nature they take a longer time and consistent use to show results. Despite this, the fact remains the results are better and longer lasting. What is more, these herbs usually have a beneficial affect on the rest of the body. They can even be used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions.

Some of the alternative herbs include burdock, cleavers, red clover, figwort, poke root, Echinacea, and blue flag.

Like most herbal remedies these herbal acne cures are also best when a combination of herbs is used. One frequently used and very popular combination is Echinacea, burdock, blue flag, and yellow dock. Just mix and prepare an infusion using hot water. Drink a cup about three times daily. If you wish to improve the flavor then please do no add sugar, instead, use honey.

A second combination is dandelion, sarsaparilla, and burdock. Mix them up when they are dry herbs. Prepare an infusion as before and have 3 cups a day.

A third decent combination for acne is lavender, yarrow, and elder flowers.

Besides these, herbal acne remedies are available for topical use.

Take the oil from a tea tree and apply it to the acne-affected area. This oil can be a bit strong so if you have sensitive skin just dilute it with water. Fresh cabbage juice makes another great topical herbal cure for acne. This is also a better choice for people with sensitive who cannot stand tea tree oil.

Calendula and chamomile can be used to make a very effective anti-inflammatory skin wash. Just prepare an infusion with these two as before but instead of drinking it let it cool. Store it in the fridge. When required, dab it onto affected areas.

Minerals like potassium phosphate and magnesium phosphate are also good for the skin. Zinc aids in the prevention of scarring.

Vitamin C helps in healing acne lesions as well as acting as an anti-oxidant.

These are but a few cases of how herbal acne remedies can be of help.

There do exist some preformulated treatments. My favorite, Actimine provides the nutrients needed by your body to regulate the occurrence of acne, eliminating the potential scarring and embarrassment which often result from chronic breakouts.

Natural Skin Remedies

Organic skin care refers to the use of natural skin care products or therapies. The ingredients of these natural products are grown organically in places that are rich in nutrients, unlike similar products that are purely manufactured using synthetic processes and ingredients.

Organic skin care makes use of several different types of plants, extracts, herbs, flowers, and natural oils.

Organic skin care products are merely an extension of natural skin care therapies.

Organic skin care products are non-toxic and full of essential nutrients for the skin extracted from natural sources. These products nourish the skin and rejuvenate it gently. Some of the problems they can cure are dark circles, wrinkles, and pimples. The overall effect of organic skin care products is younger and healthier looking skin.

There are different organic skin care products available for the face and for other parts of the body. Since the structure of skin is different depending on the part body it is important to choose the appropriate product.

Apart from rejuvenating the skin, organic skin care products also have a soothing and healing effect on the body. Some of the ingredients are quite rich in soothing essences that have a calming effect. Organic skin care products can make you feel fresh in addition to nourishing your skin.

Newer products do not merely rely on plants and flowers. Some of them have already started using the special qualities of herbs and herbal extracts. Aloe vera, lavender, jojoba, olive oil, and rosemary extract are now regular ingredients in many organic skin care products.

Nourishment of the skin takes place through cleansing, moisturizing, and toning. Regular use of organic skin care products will ensure that your skin has no blemishes, pimples, or allergies. These products also keep the skin soft and supple. Healthy skin will produce fewer wrinkles because of its firmness.


Ayurvedic cures are based on ancient formulae that have been written down in the ancient Ayurvedic traditions. The success of an Ayurvedic cure depends on the quality of its ingredients.

Looking to plants for healing powers is an old idea and was embraced by the early physicians in ancient India. Ayurveda is an alternative herbal medicine therapy from India that believes heavy metals are therapeutic. The FDA considers heavy metals very dangerous for consumption and that is why Ayurvedic medicines are sold as supplements rather than medicines in America. Ayurveda is one of the oldest of traditional medicine that first established the routine of proper diagnosis and herbal cures for several diseases.

Natural Herbal Nutrition Supplements

People who opt for natural supplements or a whole food diet usually also wish to include whole food vitamins. Natural herb based supplements are usually lacking in certain vitamins that are only found in the animal kingdom so including a vitamin supplement is a wise decision. There are many companies making these vitamin supplements. One reason to prefer whole good vitamins is that they are not manufactured in a factory; they are as close to the natural form as it is possible for a packed product to be.

When you go shopping for whole food vitamins, pay close attention and make sure you do not purchase products that have preservatives or additives. Some people might also prefer their supplements in liquid form. In case a healthcare professional recommends you take supplements then it is your duty to make certain that the product you purchase is 100% natural and contains no synthetic chemicals. It is common for whole food products to contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. You are not likely to find a whole food product that contains just one specific vitamin or mineral.

Eating whole foods and taking natural whole food vitamins is a good idea because they help to maintain healthy cells. Due to environmental pollution there are too many free radicals floating about that can easily cause cellular damage. Whole foods in all shapes can help repair that damage. Another healthy option is to include as many raw diets as you possibly can. Nowadays, thanks to pesticides, preservatives, chemical treatments, and other processes that are inflicted on foodstuff to make them healthier typically kill off a considerable proportion of important vitamins and nutrients. When you finally get these to your kitchen, the raw food is already deficient in nourishment. Cooking only makes matters worse by washing away even more vitamins and minerals. Eating a raw diet ensures that you get the maximum out of your food. A raw diet will make you feel healthier.

The New Trend?

Despite the increase in popularity that alternative medicine and herbal therapy are enjoying since the late 20th century there are opponents to the belief that these alternatives are better than conventional medicines. The growing number of adherents to the alternative therapies and herbal remedies nicely balances this out. These people have made the choice to lead a completely drug free life. According to them, even the legally manufactured and sold products by pharmaceutical companies are unhealthy because of their synthetic chemical base.

This trend is getting more widespread because nowadays there are more and more celebrities and rich public figures who are adopting the drug free lifestyle. These prominent examples prefer the use of alternative remedies for even simple problems like headaches, pains, and cramps. They steadfastly refuse the use of conventional medications and would not casually take an Advil or Aspirin because of their firm belief in the inherent health benefits that come from a drug free lifestyle.

Since herbal cures and remedies have been around for several millennia, it should not be surprising that the list of ailments they can cure and the number of cures they offer is exhaustive. There are wide arrays of symptoms, diseases, mental problems, and some physical deformities (acne), or embarrassing conditions like bad breath that can be effectively cured or greatly improved through the use of herbal remedies.

And, after all, why not? Don't you ever wonder where prescription drugs and medications come from? Everything has to have its roots in nature. There are no alien supplied medications. Every drug available on the market today once used natural substances. This changed when chemical synthesis in a factory led to rapid drug production. This was good because more people could be treated quickly and it made some pharmaceutical companies very rich.
It turned out to be bad because those same pharmaceutical companies now refuse to acknowledge their roots in nature or to try and give some respectability to their parent science. Also, note that the same product when it is in a natural state requires less processing by the body as compared to its manufactured equivalent. Natural products also tend to leave behind fewer toxins in the body and are therefore better than artificial products.

A little bit of skepticism is only natural when it comes to abandoning a lifetime of faith and dependence in pharmaceutical drugs. What should be considered is the ever-increasing number of people who are adopting the herbal and natural way of life and actually benefiting from its outcome. The fact that there are some bad companies out there putting out unreliable natural and herbal products only increases the skepticism.

The marketplace is so bad today that on an average for every good product that are at leas two or three competing and thoroughly useless products. The good guys are being drowned out by the bad guys who only want to make a quick buck in a high selling market.

In such a situation, the responsibility rests with you to properly research the product and the company that is manufacturing it. Look for testimonials and reviews published on third party, neutral web sites. What sort of approvals does the product have? Are the ingredients checked for purity? What is the natural source for ingredients? What are the manufacturing standards that are being followed? How long has the company been in this business? These are all legitimate questions and usually you should be able to call up the company on a provided telephone number to have all your queries answered.

It does not matter what is the reason for your decision to take herbal supplements. It could be that you simply want an improvement in general health or you might be trying to combat some symptom that indicates the deficiency of some essential nutrient missing from your diet. What does matter is that you remember that when you go shopping for the supplement of your choice. An incorrectly chosen herbal supplement will plunge you into the group of people who think that all this "natural" business is so much humbug. A well chosen supplement on the other hand just might make you a convert and have you spreading the "natural" gospel to everyone you meet for the rest of your life.

Are Their Any Side Effects To Natural Cures?

A scientific study has found that, though for the most part herbal supplements seem harmless, some of the more popular products pose a very special risk. This particular supplement interacts with and reduces the effectiveness of the drug saquinavir. The only thing to do for the moment is to avoid taking herbal supplements if you are being treated with saquinavir.

Herbal supplements are meant to boost our immune system, provide more ready energy, and improve general health. Though scientists say that research that is more extensive is required to determine which herbal supplements can have an adverse effect on our body, or, can interact with other medications and reduce their effectiveness, they remain united in their stand that several of the so-called harmless supplements can prove very harmful.
Some of the more popular herbal supplements are chondroitin, ephedra, Echinacea, and glucosamine.

Chondroitin is typically used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. One side effect of chondroitin can be bleeding complications. This is more like when used in combination with a regular prescription drug that causes blood thinning.

Ephedra used to be a big favorite among people looking for a fat loss supplement. Ephedra promotes weight loss, provides energy boosts, and can also be used to treat respiratory tract problems like asthma and bronchitis. Recently, the FDA banned Ephedra because of dangerous side effects like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, false increase in metabolism, all which could lead to a cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, stroke, and might even be fatal in some cases.

Echinacea helps in the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. It also helps in curing chronic wounds, ulcers, and arthritis. On the other hand it can cause immunosuppression that will cause the body to lose its self-healing capacity so wounds will not heal on their own. Immunosuppression also reduces the effectiveness of the immune system making infection easier.

Glucosamine is very often administered along with chondroitin. It contains chemicals that mimic the function of insulin and can cause the body to misbehave when this artificial insulin enters the blood stream. It can be especially bad for diabetics.

Other herbals supplements suspected of adverse side effects include gingko biloba, goldenseal, milk thistle, ginseng, kava, and garlic. It is highly advisable to seek the consultation of your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal or otherwise. More than informing you about potential health risks the doctor can give valuable advice about food, nutrition, and supplements.