Category Archives: Health and Lifestyle

Cats and Good Health: How Owning a Cat Aids Your Wellbeing

Cats have between 230 and 250 bones; it has to do with how many toes the cat has, and how long the cat’s tail is. Humans have only 206 bones. Cats can smell better than humans can; they have about 19 million olfactory cells to our 5 million. Cats can even hear better than us – they can hear frequencies up to 64,000 Hertz compared to our 23,000 Hertz. Read on to learn what these advanced beings can do for humans.

Cats Protect Against Heart Attack Deaths

Cat owners have fewer fatal heart attacks, so has determined research from the Minnesota Stroke Institute. In a study in February 2015 of approximately 4500 adults, those who owned cats had a 40% lower risk of lethal heart attacks. The researcher, Adnan Qureshi, M.D., believes that cats lesson the stress in people and thereby offer protection against heart disease. The Pet Health Council, a confederation made up of 11 mostly British organizations, believes besides stress reduction, cats help lower blood pressure and aid in illness recovery. Their motto is, “a pet all day keeps the doctor away.”

Cats Shield Against Cancer

In the United States, there were nearly 66,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in 2016. It is a cancer of the immune system with symptoms of enlarged lymph nodes, weight loss and fever. Researchers at Stanford and the University of California have found among 4000 patients, those with cats (and dogs) had a 30% less likely chance of developing NHL. Experts think animals strengthen humans’ immune systems by exposure to allergens (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.)

Cats, Purring and Strong Bones

Cats’ purring may be beneficial to them as well as to humans. Cats use a vibrational frequency of 25 to 150 Hertz. They use purring to communicate, hunt, give birth or even mend their bones. Now experts from the Fauna Communications Research Institute in North Carolina (USA) are speculating that cats’ vibrational frequencies when purring, at their dominant range of 25 to 50 Hertz, helps heal, and grow denser, human bones.

More Cat Research is Needed

Cat-therapy research is in its infancy. Some people swear by cats helping them alleviate a migraine headache. Others note the immense emotional support provided by their pets. A nursing home in Rhode Island even has a resident cat that signals when an elderly patient’s time has come to pass on; the cat curls up on the patient’s bed.

Syndrome X: The Silent Killer: Dr. Gerald Reaven’s Diet Helps Insulin Resistance

Heart disease in the number one way Americans die. According to Dr. Gerald Reaven, the Stanford University doctor who discovered Syndrome X, there is a metabolic disorder that contributes to heart disease, but gets little attention.

What is Syndrome X?

Syndrome X is a metabolic disorder that is rarely diagnosed by doctors. It is a combination of problems that may cause heart attacks when your body isn’t able to regulate sugar properly. Carbs are the enemy and the cause of failure of insulin. The body becomes resistant to the insulin and stops functioning right.

Diagnosis for Syndrome X

Because it isn’t widely known, most people are not aware that they have Syndrome X. Doctors only worsen the problem with diets that don’t work to fix the insulin issue. Half of the time, it is the genes that are responsible for Syndrome X. Obesity and lifestyle choices also contribute to the metabolic disorder.

The Cure for Syndrome X

There are some basic changes people can make on their own to improve the problems associated with Syndrome X. While no medications are necessary, you can assume responsibility for your own lifestyle, get physically fit, avoid caffeine and alcohol and watch your diet.

6 Step Plan

  1. Get diagnosed
  2. Follow the Syndrome X diet
  3. Lose weight
  4. Get physically active
  5. Create healthy lifestyle habits
  6. Get medical attention

The Syndrome X Diet

The diet Dr. Reaven developed consists of 15% protein, 40% fat and 45% carbs. His book, Syndrome X, The Silent Killer, prescribes meal plans for 1200 and 1800 calories.

Unsaturated fats are not responsible for raising cholesterol, so they are safe to eat. Remember that not all fats are the same, though, and refrain from eating binge-type foods that will hinder your progress.

Syndrome X: The Silent Killer is a weight loss book that takes a very scientific approach to health and insulin control. Dr. Reavan’s research on insulin resistance and weight loss has been tested and has shown positive results in reducing cholesterol and lessening the risk of heart disease. The book is a useful tool for anyone who struggles with fad diets and still can’t lose weight.

Syndrome X: The Silent Killer is filled with very detailed daily food plans that tell you exactly what and how much to eat. It also discussed the effects of alcohol consumption and smoking cigarettes when combined with Syndrome X.

By eating few calories, including more healthy fats in your diet, loweing your cholesterol, exercising regularly and losing weight, you can control Syndrome X and prevent heart disease. Syndrome X: The Silent Killer tells you exactly how to do this.

Review – the G-Free Diet: A Review of Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s Book on Gluten-Free Living

Gluten intolerance, or sensitivity, is an easily misdiagnosed condition affecting millions of people. Celiac disease is perhaps, even at it’s high rate of misdiagnosis, the most clear answer someone can get to their health problems. There are many more shades of gray, where a patient is not diagnosed with celiac disease, but does improve when embarking on a gluten free diet. The same ‘treatment’ given to celiac patients. These people are assumed to have gluten intolerance, but do not have full-blown celiac disease.

G-Free Diet: The Book

Elizabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of the view, has celiac disease. After a decade of trying to figure out what was wrong with her, she finally got the correct diagnosis, and has now written a book called “the G-free Diet, a Gluten-Free Survival Guide”.

Although the book shows Elizabeth has done a good deal of research before sitting down to write it, the meat of the book focuses on the social aspects of avoiding glutenous foods. Going gluten-free is challenging, without a doubt, but the predominant focus of the book is navigating social settings while it would have been nice to have more of a focus on the foods celiacs can safely eat.

The G-free diet starts off with a clear overview of what celiac disease is, the benefits of going gluten-free (even for non-celiacs), and a comprehensive list of ‘forbidden (i.e. gluten-containing) foods’. This is the part of the book that is actually most useful and worthy of a highlighter. Make a point of copying the list of foods to avoid (and the ones that are gluten-free!) to take with you on your next shopping trip. Gluten goes far beyond bread, and the items you might never imagine contain gluten actually do. It might be a shocker to see so many of your staple-items are not gluten-free.

G-Free Diet Benefits

One of the things Elizabeth Hasselbeck focuses on in this book is bringing the gluten-free diet to the mainstream public. If people would massively get into the G-free movement, it would mean a major restructuring of the food industry, seeing that so many (processed) foods contain gluten. This would actually not be such a bad thing, considering our modern western diets are overloaded with gluten. Hasselbeck did not just target celiac patients with this book, but also the millions of people with undiagnosed gastrointestinal problems who are looking for a possible solution. She clearly markets the book’s message as beneficial to pretty much anyone, and the benefits of going gluten-free include:


  • Increased energy
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Weight loss
  • Relief from IBS (which might be undiagnosed celiac or gluten sensitivity, according to Hasselbeck)
  • Benefits to behavioral problems in children with ADHD

Hasselbeck does a good job of convincing you that limiting gluten intake is worth a shot if you have any sort of gastrointestinal problems that can’t seem to be diagnosed properly. It might mean you have a gluten intolerance, which seems to be an issue on the rise in the developed world. Nonetheless, the book could have used a tone-down of her personal journey with celiac disease. The tips on navigating the social scene with a gluten-free diet are not extremely creative and do not move much further from the standard “bring your own food” and “eat before going to social events”. Although there may not be any other creative ways of dealing with it, there is no need to use most of the book to state the obvious. She would have been better off suggesting more foods that are gluten-free. But who knows, perhaps this means Hasselbeck’s next move will be a gluten-free cookbook.

5 Natural Ways To Suppress Your Appetite

Many people will have a difficult time trying to lose weight and get into shape. There are many roadblocks ahead, but most people find it incredibly difficult to keep their appetite under control. Instead, they’ll find themselves getting hungry too often and this will cause them to eat far too much. With that being said, it is absolutely pertinent to find ways to suppress your appetite, if you sincerely want to achieve your weight loss goals.

Within this comprehensive guide, you will find five natural ways to suppress your appetite, so you can lose weight easier.

Have Oatmeal At Breakfast

Most people believe that skipping breakfast is a good choice for losing weight. This is definitely not true. In fact, you should never skip breakfast, because it’ll only create more problems in the future. At the same time, it is pertinent to choose the right breakfast foods. Oatmeal is a good option. When looking at the glycemic index, you will find that oatmeal is at the bottom of the chart. This food also contains a lot of fiber. This combination ensures that oatmeal will be able to keep you fuller for a longer period of time. Be sure to stay away from maple syrup and brown sugar! These additives will cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop. In return, this will make you hungry very quickly.

Eat More Grapefruit

Grapefruit is another good choice. It has been shown that eating grapefruit with each meal can be very helpful for losing weight quicker and easier. It is believed that grapefruit is capable of lowering your insulin levels after each meal. And of course, this will help the user stave off their hunger for a longer period of time.

Consume More Fibrous Fruits And Vegetables

Bulking up on your fiber and water intake is a great idea. This combination will help you feel like you’re fuller for a lengthier period of time. The good news is that many vegetable and fruits contain a substantial amount of both. When assembling your meals, it is a good idea to add plenty of fruits and vegetables. Apples are a great choice. They can help you keep your appetite at bay for a longer period of time. Also, be sure to eat plenty of potatoes and leafy greens.

Eat Dark Chocolate

When attempting to lose weight, you will often believe that chocolate is off limits. This is generally true, but some chocolate can actually be very helpful. In fact, dark chocolate has proven to be a good way to keep the appetite at bay. Choose a dark chocolate that contains at least seventy percent cacao and it’ll suppress your hunger to a noticeable degree.

Try The Secret Fat Burner

There are numerous supplements on the market, but some are better than others. The Secret Fat Burner is completely natural and it has proven time and again to be effective for suppressing the appetite. This supplement is safe and effective. If you are sick of feeling hungry every few hours, it is definitely time to get this supplement a chance!

Gathering Banting Diet Food

Gathering Banting Diet Food

The Gather section deals with how to “forage” in the modern world. Most people can’t just go out and gather nuts, berries, and seeds like Cavemen used to do. We’ve got grocery stores, farmer markets, restaurants, and online businesses to meet our food supply needs. I’m going to keep things short and simple. There are two types of gathering that you must master in order to be successful at this whole Banting diet thing.

1. Gather ingredients for everyday Banting diet meals/snacking

When it comes to meat and produce, there are varying levels of nutrient density and cleanliness depending on where the food comes from and how it is processed. This order more or less goes like this from top to bottom:

  1. Harvest or Hunt Banting diet food for yourself.
  2. Straight from a farmer, either at the farm or at a farmers market
  3. From the supermarket, but only grass-fed/wild caught/free pastured/organic etc.
  4. From the supermarket with no regard to origin or quality

Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. There are three factors that you will have to prioritize when considering where to get your food: price, convenience, and health value. Options A and B are obviously the healthiest options when choosing Banting diet foods, but not always the most convenient. Growing your own garden and hunting your own meat can be very economical, but at the expense of time and effort. Option C offers good health value and convenience, but can be expensive. Option D usually offers the best price, but the worst nutrition. All I can recommend is that you get the best food you can with what you have to work with for your Banting diet journey. Since I cover Hunting and Harvesting in their own sections, I’m going to focus on options C and D, since that is where the majority of people get their food from anyways.

2. Learn how to order meals when at Banting restaurants.

South African’s love to eat out! Statistics have even shown that more people eat out on a regular basis than prepare meals at home these days. My wife and I enjoy eating out as well, usually one or two times a week. When we first started the Banting diet, we had to go through a learning curve on how to order at restaurants, something you too will encounter if you haven’t already. Don’t worry, this uncertainty will pass as your confidence increases. The first rule of thumb is to avoid fast food restaurants if you can. I realize sometimes you just can’t, and I’ll cover what to do in cases like this below. But let’s just say you’ve managed to find your way to a decent looking restaurant. There is a good chance this place will be serving something with bread , potatoes, rice, or beans, either as part of the entree or as a side. Tell your waiter that you are diabetic, gluten intolerant, or both, and ask what options they have. Normally they can recommend a dish with a nice protein and cooked veggies, or they will let you know that you can substitute veggies for french fries or a baked potato. Voila! Sometimes, you get a waiter that is not very knowledgeable and it takes a bit more work to get a Banting Diet friendly meal. In this case, ask questions like “can you use lettuce wraps instead of buns” or “can I get fruit instead of hashbrowns or steamed veggies instead of fries.”  You know what is Banting Friendly and what is not, so stick to your guns and don’t be afraid to ask questions or even invent your own dishes.

FYI, that little “I’m diabetic or gluten intolerant” trick works wonders. You can use it anywhere and avoid having to explain that you’re a Banting die hard and don’t want to eat crap. People are more sympathetic when you use those terms. Lucky for us Banting Restaurants are becoming more and more frequent in South Africa so you might not have to make any excuse at all.

Other Banting diet tips:

you might consider saying you have a peanut or soy allergy if you suspect they might use these oils for cooking.

What about fast food places? You have three options here:

  1. Fast! Remember, intermittent fasting is a useful tool in your Banting diet arsenal. If you are stuck someplace where you can only find fast food, consider this as an option
  2. Make it a cheat meal. Remember also, that you have the flexibility of the 80/20 rule. If you really want that hamburger or slice of pizza, go for it!
  3. Get creative, or go the ‘salad’ option. Most fast food restaurants are responding to government and public pressure to offer “healthy” options. You can get salads with grilled chicken at McDonald’s or forgo the footlong bun at Subway to make it a salad. You’re likely to consume a lot of sodium from packaged dressing or the meat, but it’s a heck of a lot better than a big mac.