Tag Archives: health

Understanding Human Anatomy To Fight Back Problems

If you look at a human anatomy study guide, you will see that the body is a complex thing. It is incredibly intricate, and works perfectly to keep you alive every single day. However, when we don’t listen to health tips, we can cause ourselves issues. Human anatomy is tricky, and we often don’t take things into consideration such as posture and diet. Back problems affect millions of people each year, and chronic pain can lead to poor concentration at work, insomnia, and general fatigue and poor mood. So what do we need to know?

Intervertebral disc: The most vulnerable component in the back

As a result of the repetitive strain, the perception has taken root in the public and even in the medical community that running is unhealthy for the joints and especially for the lower back. The prevailing assumption is that running can damage the intervertebral disc. This is the most familiar and vulnerable anatomical component in the back. 

The disc is a fibrotic ring built at its base from a gel-like material, which absorbs and disperses the loads applied to the spine. The gel is surrounded by stiff connective tissue fibers which give it a rigidity that allows movement between the vertebrae of the spine. Because the function of the intervertebral disc is to stop the shocks absorbed by the spine, if we load the disc with large and repetitive loads over time, it may be damaged and worn, which may cause its shape to change.

Any slight change in disc structure such as a ballet disc, or a more severe change such as a herniated disc, can cause mechanical pressure on nearby nerves and cause back pain. Given that about 80% of the adult population will suffer from lower back pain at some stage in their lives, we need to be clear on things. It is also known that 60% of the population over the age of 40 will be diagnosed with any intervertebral disc injury! This may include a bulging or herniated disc. Many people who do sports may suffer from back pain. However, you can do things to make a change. 

Swimming on your back?

Swimming is great because the water buoyancy greatly helps the muscles. It is why we don’t feel achy and particularly exhausted after swimming. It’s a beneficial yet gentle exercise. Swimming is a recommended physical activity for those suffering from lower back pain and is considered the safest activity, since, while swimming we are floating in the water. No shocks to your spine! Swimming on your back is recommended and can assist with lower back problems.

Exercise is vital to your health, but you must never overdo exercise either. It is all about balance, as is everything in life. Your sore back will thank you!

Approved Methods For Getting More Veggies Into Your Stomach

We all know that we should be consuming vast quantities of veggies every day. But actually finding the time to prepare and eat them is always a challenge. Sometimes, we just want to keep things simple. 

It turns out, though, that actually getting the veggies that you need is easier than you think. Most of the time, it’s just a matter of adding them to food you’re already cooking. It doesn’t have to be hard. 

Add Them To Your Omelet

If you’re an omelet fan, you’ll know that adding extra ingredients here and there can really help take it up a notch. Plain is okay, but adding ham and cheese makes it even more delicious.

If you are a big omelet eater, you might consider adding extra veggies to improve the nutrition even further. Common additions include bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, bok choy, scallions and onions. 

Add Veggies To Your Casseroles

You can also do something similar with your casseroles. Adding veggies can often make them taste even better than usual, especially if you cook in season. Try adding mushrooms, broccoli, celery, carrots, and other seasonal favorites. 

Blend Them Into A Smoothie

Vegetable smoothies don’t sound particularly appetizing until you try them. However, if you follow a decent recipe, they can turn out pretty good. For best results, follow all the advice given in the recipe, such as using plant milks and ice where required. 

Add Veggies To Your Sauces

Another place you can sneak veggies into your diet is through sauces. For instance, if you’re making marinara sauce, you don’t have to stick with plain tomato. Instead, you can add finely chopped carrots, bell peppers, onions and even leafy greens. Overall, these additions won’t change the character of the marinara sauce much, but they will improve the nutrition of the dish. 

Get Juicing

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Today, millions of people around the world swear by the virtues of juicing. Here, the idea is to extract the liquid element of veggies with a cold press juicer and consume it like a regular beverage. Except, unlike other beverages, you’re getting a whole bunch of beneficial nutrients at the same time. 

Make Your Pizza Crust Out Of Cauliflower

A decade ago, nobody had heard of the idea of making pizza crusts out of cauliflower. But today, thanks to some high-profile recipe books by famous TV chefs, it’s almost becoming mainstream. It works because when you combine cauliflower with almond meal and sometimes eggs, you wind up with something that tastes very similar to a regular crust. But it’s much lower in carbs and far higher in antioxidants than plain old white pizza flour. 

Use Veggies For Your Kebabs

Regular doner kebabs are a national favorite. But nothing is stopping you from swapping it out for regular veggies. You could cook veggies over a grill on a skewer to give them that nice flame taste. The best for this purpose are mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, onions and bell peppers. 

Make A Batch Of Veggie Burgers

The great thing about veggie burgers is that once you know the basic recipe, you can add pretty much whatever veggies you need to use up in your refrigerator. 

Veggie burgers are essentially just beans mixed with oats and a source of fat for the base in a processor. Then it’s pretty much up to you how you want to flavor them. Most people use black beans for veggie burgers because they look so similar to regular beef patties. But you can use any kind of beans that you like. Some recipes don’t even require beans at all, offering tremendous flexibility. 

Make Your Guacamole More Veggie

You can make regular guac by mashing an avocado and then adding some salt and lime juice. But if you want to take the nutrition up a notch, try adding a little red onion, garlic, and chopped tomatoes. 

Add Veggies To Your Sandwiches

Instead of ham and cheese, you can make much more delicious sandwiches with the help of veggies. One of the best are hummus sandwiches. Plus, they’re easy to make. Follow a hummus recipe, and then add little extras, like salad leaves, tomatoes, olives and parsley. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also create a little sweetness by topping the hummus off with caramelized onions. 

Use Lettuce Wraps

You don’t have to stick with regular bread for that matter. If you want a light dinner, it’s sometimes nice to just eat your food in lettuce wraps (instead of heavy tortillas or pita bread). Just create the mix, put it in a wrap, and you’re done!

How do you sneak extra veggies into YOUR diet? Leave a comment below.

How To Make Those Pesky Pandemic Aches & Pains Go Away

If you have been trying to improve your health in 2021, you might be even more tuned into the aches and pains that have come with the pandemic and having to work from home. Remote working definitely is not for everyone, and with many of us longing for the office, we just have to remember that we might only be a few months away, thanks to the vaccine roll-out. In the mean-time, here’s a run-through of how to make those pandemic aches and pains go away.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Remote Working Aches

If like many office workers you have been forced into pivoting to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and you haven’t got much space to work in, then you may be familiar with the aches it can cause. Nobody wants to be slouched up in bed all day, or sprawled across the sofa trying to send emails. But in some cases, that’s the only room you might have. 

Fortunately, yoga is the perfect activity that can help get ride of those achey legs, stiff backs, and sore bums associated with remote work. Practiced regularly, yoga can also help you with your mobility, flexibility, sleeping pattern and the reduction of stress. Why not give it a go today? There’s plenty of free classes online, and loads more videos to watch on YouTube – it could do you and your body a world of good!

“Long COVID-19” Pains

If you have had coronavirus during the pandemic, then you may be suffering from some long-term side effects. While many long-term effects remain unknown, fortunately, many that have been reported as affecting our covid-19 “long-haulers” are treatable. If you are suffering from joint pain, some ibuprofen or other similar pain relievers should do the trick. Advanced muscular pain or migraines may require stronger drugs, such as Solpadeine Plus.

Another unfortunate side effect of “long COVID-19” is a loss of smell and/or taste. While this isn’t easy to get rid of, one thing you should avoid doing with a loss of taste is forcing your food down. Just because you can’t enjoy the flavor, this doesn’t mean you need to rush through eating, as this can cause heartburn or indigestion. 

[NOTE: If you have been suffering from heartburn or indigestion as a result of “Long COVID-19,” be wary in how you treat it. The drug Zantac – sometimes known as Ranitidine – was recalled recently due to links to cancer diagnoses in some who took the drug. If you know anyone affected, you should advise them to speak with a dedicated Zantac lawsuit lawyer.]

Hopefully, these helpful tips will rid you of any aches and pains that have been brought about as a result of the pandemic. Your health has never been more important, so it is vital that you look after yourself at this difficult time.

5 Ways Health & Traveling Abroad Go Hand in Hand

* This post may contain affiliate links.

You’re going away on a long trip, which means one thing: healthy habits are taking a backseat. The thought of spending a couple months traveling the world is incredible but it’s also not great for the body, right? After all, you’ll be eating and drinking whatever you like with little to zero exercise. Put these together and it’s easy to see why your health may take a hit.

However, the truth is that travel and well-being go hand in hand as long as you can approach both from the right place and are willing to try new things. If you’re curious, here are five reasons to consider.

Less Calorific Diet

A standard American diet includes lots of carbs and refined sugars, both of which aren’t so great for the body when eaten in large quantities. But, that’s not the norm when looking at other cuisines around the world. Take Asia as an example. In the likes of Vietnam and Japan, the locals slurp down delicious soups. Or, there is Thailand where the spicy curries speed up metabolism while tasting amazing. In Brazil, the mix of rice and beans create a perfect protein without a piece of meat touching your plate.

The point is that you’ll eat like a queen without having to worry because you won’t be consuming all the empty calories we’ve gotten used to here in the States. Just remember, wherever you are, eat like a local!

More Active

Going to the gym four times a week doesn’t make you active. It means you like working out, yet your lifestyle may not be very busy other than your exercise regime. Do you sit in front of the TV a lot and do nothing? Do you spend a lot of time sitting on a chair behind a desk staring at a screen? If the answers are yes, you’re living a fairly sedentary life.

Traveling is the solution because there is no time to sit back and relax. From the early morning to the late evening, there is plenty to see and do. Not only will you constantly be on the move, but the likelihood is you’ll be doing a TON of walking. Let’s not forget about the amenities either. In hotels, guests have access to the gym and it’s complimentary. As well as excellent machines, there is a laid back atmosphere as there aren’t hundreds of people vying for the same equipment. 

Plenty Of Z’s

In a nutshell, sleep is the solution to health. When you get plenty of rest, the body gets to recover from the day before and plan for the day ahead. As well as a boost to your metabolism, there are mental health impacts too. For example, tiredness could prevent you from working out or lead you to swap out a healthy meal for an unhealthy one.

Although it’s tempting to think sleep is easy to come by at home, it’s not always the case. Sure, the bed is comfy and it might not be as noisy in your bedroom, yet you’re still on the clock. Maintaining a regular lifestyle means you need to get up to eat breakfast and get off to work on time. Traveling is all about what you want to do and when, so if you fancy a sleep in, it’s not a problem. There’s no reason to lie in bed until the early afternoon, but an extra hour may be the difference between feeling tired and refreshed.

Healthcare Options

America is infamous for its privatized healthcare system. Without insurance, it’s often difficult to get the treatment you need. So what happens if you’re abroad and your health takes a turn for the worse? Our neighbors around the world don’t share the same values about turning away folks without coverage–and many times treatment is free. Yep, it’s the case even if you’re visiting the country on a tourist visa. In the UK, the NHS will help anyone who needs urgent care so there’s no reason to worry.

Also, there are surgeries which are performed abroad that aren’t as common or accessible here. Cosmetic surgery is widely available across the globe for half the price, and it’s not a hatchet job. (Any nose surgery video will put your mind at ease.) Mental health-wise, there are many great services out there these days, like BetterHelp and TalkSpace, that allow you to meet with a therapist remotely.

The Drinking Culture

Okay, you’re on vacation. It’s not surprising that you’ll want to spend time drinking, partying, and meeting new people. This doesn’t mean travel and health can’t still co-exist. You want to be able to enjoy yourself…and maybe throw a few shapes on the dance floor. However, the way many folks approach alcohol consumption in America just won’t cut it elsewhere. 

We tend not to have a beverage all week and then let loose at the weekend. Like, really let loose. Go ahead and forget this culture of binge drinking as soon as you board the plane. The good news is that other countries drink alcohol differently. Share a few beers at the pub with your new friends. Have a glass of wine with your dinner. Don’t limit yourself to the weekend and you probably won’t end up in an all out binge-fest. Enjoy a drink each evening (that you want to) and really take your time to enjoy it. You’ll take pleasure in the atmosphere and the process way more than the drink itself. And you won’t wake up with a headache!

How do you stay healthy while traveling? What hacks have helped you in the past?

P.S. Is packing in a 19 liter backpack possible for winter travel?

Book Your Health Check Ups (a gentle nudge!)

The majority of us lead busy lives and it can be difficult to keep up with ever-growing schedules. We have jobs to commute to. We have social engagements to attend. Most days, we have plenty of places to be and plenty of people to see.

So, it’s really not all that surprising that many of us will put off basic health checks in favor of other things on our to-do lists. Sure, these health checks might not be all that interesting and, often, you’ll find you go simply to be told that everything is A-okay and you can be on your merry way. But these check ups are important. If you are suffering from any problems you’re unaware of, they can help to identify the issues sooner rather than later, allowing you to get the treatment you need before it becomes painful, dangerous or particularly expensive. So consider this a gentle nudge from your friendly, neighborhood blogger! Here are a few check ups you should schedule right now (GO DO IT!) — 

Eye Tests

The first appointment I would encourage you to book is an eye test. Now, there really is no excuse to miss this kind of test. It doesn’t involve any pain or particular discomfort. Often, if issues are detected, you don’t have to undergo any painful or uncomfortable treatment. All you have to do is go along to the test, have your eyes checked out from front to back and then undergo some simple visual tests to ensure your sight hasn’t deteriorated or worsened. What’s more? This test only needs to be scheduled once every two years. Everyone will be able to find half an hour free once every two years, no matter how busy you may be! Find a good optometrist and arrange an appointment. You don’t want to face issues such as glaucoma, cataracts or a displaced retina untreated. Your eye test could even help to identify illnesses like diabetes if there are early warning signs. 

Dental Check Ups

A second check up you need to fit in is a dental check up. These will need to be attended a little more regularly than eye tests. Most dentists will recommend that you see them at least once a year, but preferably once every six months. During your check up, the dentist will survey the health of your gums, identify any issues such as decay with your teeth and recommend treatments as necessary. This could include fillings, root canals, a tooth crown or anything else you may need. Before leaving, you can request a scale and polish, which will leave your teeth shining and clean!

Hearing Tests

A less common check up, but one that many people need nonetheless, is a hearing test. You only need to book one of these in if you take note of any changes in your ability to hear. During a hearing test, an audiologist will be able to diagnose any problems and suggest equipment such as hearing aids to help if you happen to need them!

Of course, there are other health checks you may need. But these are the basics and should get the ball rolling in the right direction for you! Now, go schedule some appointments. 

P.S. How do vacations benefit your health?

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? My mom is coming to visit on Friday!!! We’ll be showing her around our new town and hanging out in the backyard. Ah, Summer! Hope you have a great one, and here are some internet gems for your mid-week pleasure…

The difference between being broke and being poor.

How our body’s circadian clocks affect our health beyond sleep.

I was pretty crushed by the passing of Anthony Bourdain this past week. Here are a couple articles related –

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony  Bourdain and the power of telling the truth.

Plus, this piece Bourdain wrote about his father in 2012 is worth revisiting.

Can’t stop watching these “Vocal Coach Reacts…” videos.

I recently got one of these minimalist wallets and I would highly recommend!

Why are Russians so good at ballet?

On time management – “People will come to you with their problems and imply that you’re the only one who can solve them. This is almost never true.

Check out Serena Williams’ new fashion line.

Love a funky pair of yoga pants.

This community activist pushes the food justice movement beyond raised beds, food pantries, new supermarkets, and white leadership.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Empowerment Walking and 8 Tips for Settling Into a New Home.

Current Podcast Subscription List

Last night, as I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, I did what I always do during chores these days. Popped in my earbuds and played a podcast. Do you do this? Ever since starting this ritual, I find myself looking forward to doing the dishes. *gasp* It’s almost like the doldrums of domesticity masquerading as pleasant self-care. Highly recommend!

Anyways! Here’s my current line-up, in case you’re curious:

And I just started Britney’s Instagram and Embedded (after finishing Dirty John).

What’s on YOUR subscription list? There are so many good podcasts out right now, I might have to start doing more daily chores! 😉 

P.S. I asked 9 friends, “What’s your favorite podcast?” and here’s what they had to say.

mid-week round-up

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!! Did you BBQ? Pop fireworks? Sing patriotic songs while you packed for upcoming travel?! *raises hand for that last one* I’m on my way to Kentucky today! I’ll be hanging out with my Mom for the next couple days and I can’t wait. (I have an embarrassingly long list of food you can only get in Lexington that I want to consume during my short visit.) Hope everyone’s day is peachy and here are a few links for your amusement…

Central Americans, scared of what’s happening in the U.S., stay put.

The U.S. already has a high quality, universal childcare program — in the military.

The problem with writing about Florida.

9 fun activities that also happen to be exercise.

Related: Ballin’ on a Budget — Ditch the Gym Membership

Monthly art projects sent to your door!

35 cheap recipes that will help you stick to your budget.

Related: How to Eat on a Shoestring Budget

Um, a 40 of ROSÉ? Yes, please!

Make the bread, buy the butter.

Ghostwriting for social media stars is the secret new Millennial It-career.

Long absent from discussions about employment, the retail workforce is taking matters into their own hands.

How to think about Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show.

Q&A: WTF is gut health? 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions and TV Recommendation: Westworld.

mid-week round-up

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What’s new with y’all on this lovely Wednesday evening? Personally, I’m pretty excited that my dinner is cooking away in a crock-pot (#setit #forgetit) and that there are old seasons of Hell’s Kitchen on Hulu. If you’re in the mood, here are some links for you to EXPLORE!

Obamacare repeal threatens health benefit to Black Lung survivors.

So you want to be an ally? Check out Safety Pin Box.

Audiences of the final Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shows are being treated to this quintessential circus song (which has been missing from the bands repertoire for years).

Related: 50 circus animals need new homes! 

This lamp would make a cool, dramatic statement in a living room. I love the marble base!

Who killed Julian Pierce?

Quiz: What’s your email patronus?

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world.

Abducted at birth and found 18 years later.

The scam that fooled Arthur Conan Doyle.

How a grad student found spyware that could control anybody’s iPhone from anywhere in the world.

Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face.

Now this is an idea I FULLY endorse!

P.S. A few posts from yours truly — A Book Wish-List and Strike a (Power) Pose!