Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beating the Summer Heat

It's summer. And, in some parts of the northern hemisphere its in full swing. Today, I am sitting in humid air that feels like 40 degrees C.  What are some strategies to beat the heat - au natural?

1. Drink plenty of fluids.
Get back into carrying a water bottle around with you. Drink, drink, drink. Fill the fridge with a pitcher of water, portable drinks, filled water bottles.

2. Freeze Treats
Place some treats in the freezer so you can enjoy a cold, healthy snack and avoid the less healthy alternatives like freezies and ice cream. Cut up watermelon, grapes and blueberries and freeze them. Delicious. Use all natural, pure juice to make popsicles. Make flavoured ice cubes to splash up your water.

3. Dress Right
Wear broad rimmed hats. Loose fitting cotton clothing. Wear sandals.

4. Enjoy it!
Pull out the lawn chairs, go for a stroll down by the water...and enjoy summer (in these Canadian parts it doesn't last very long).

My Confession - I don't do well in heat. I get headaches and can be cranky. That's because I don't drink enough and tend to forget to eat when I'm hot. Don't be like me...beat the heat.

Where does the time go?

To all my blog followers. Let me take a moment to apologize for going MIA on you. I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off (sorry, that's not a pretty image), trying to sell and buy a new home. Its amazing how life gets in the way sometimes :)  And, suddenly the time has past and you realize your blog has been sitting still. I'm back...and here we go...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Probiotic Yogurt

So, what's the deal with probiotic yogurt? Is it worth it? When the media had a hay-day with the debate about the validity of health claims made by some probiotic yogurt companies many people starting to think that probiotic yogurt wasn't worth it. But, it is! Probiotics are so helpful to your body. They help you better digest food, help nutrients get into your body, improve the health of your intestines (less bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea), support your immune system, reduce cholesterol re-uptake, reduce your toxin load...and more).  And, you don't get them anywhere else (unless you like to eat kefir, and other fermented foods often). Since you don't get probiotics in your diet anymore, your intestines are worse off as E. coli and other bad bugs get to live, flourish and spit out toxins. Not a pretty picture.

Probiotics are important and yogurt is a source. But, is there enough in there? Firstly, know that all yogurt has probiotics in it. Yes, even your standard organic plain yogurt contains probiotics. And, yogurt is such a healthy food choice. Please, don't stop eating yogurt! It contains protein (which most women do not get enough of), calcium and more! But, don't choose the yogurts with all the extras (sugar, flavouring, stabilizers) - yuck!  Now, if you want to use probiotics for a therapeutic effect (say, IBS or common cold prevention) there probably isn't enough probiotics in yogurt. My guess is you'll need about 300 cups of yogurt a day to get the amount of probiotics you'd find in a high quality, high potency probiotic supplement. On the other hand, the amount of probiotics in yogurt is still useful! It can help prevent bad bugs in check, improve some occassional constipation and the like. Plus, all the nutrients in yogurt (not to mention its great taste)!

My Confession? I use both! I take a probiotic supplement daily (one with lots of different strains and tons of CFUs) and I eat my yogurt too! As for my toddler, we mix in a probiotic powder into her yogurt to help keep her immune system in top shape for all the nasty bugs she encounters at school.  Oh, and please note that I'm the author of "Probiotic Rescue" (Wiley 2008)... I'm a probiotic geek.