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Stress Relief is Only Minutes Away


Children can sense when you are upset, stressed or anxious. Unfortunately many teens will use these weaknesses against you. By controlling your stress, you will be able to avoid contentious situations with your family.

Exercise and practice of relaxation methods are the best ways to keep chronic stress in check - or even just regular stress, but it isnÕt realistic to take a jog or a meditation break every time youÕre faced with a stressful situation, or else some of us would be on a life long marathon.

There are realistic techniques like controlled breathing exercises that can really help when your stress level begins to rise. The following exercise in breathing can be done for as little as three to five minutes at a time and is an effective way to put an end to those escalating feelings of anger, tension, and frustration.

Controlled Breathing Exercise:

  1. Sit upright in a comfortable position wherever you are.
  2. Focus on your present state and existence. Block out all other thoughts. Closing your eyes might help you focus.
  3. Focus in on your breathing. Inhale slowly through the nose, taking several seconds.
  4. Exhale through the mouth, trying to make the exhalation phase last twice as long as the inhalation.
  5. Continue this type of breathing for 3-5 minutes.

If you like, you can increase the practice to 15-20 minutes per day. With regular practice, you can train your body to relax in stressful situations using this exercise.

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Know Your Fats.


Fat in foods come in two categories the good ones and the bad ones. The strongest influence you have on your cholesterol, not to mention your waist size, is by watching which fasts you're eating and which fats you're banishing from your life. You want to avoid saturated and trans fats; a serving size should have no more than 4 grams of those two villains combined. They're the foods most associated with long term weight gain and clogging your arteries.

Essentially, bad fats are ones that are solid at room temperature: animal fat, butter, stick margarine, and lard.

Trans fat contains cross-linked hydrogen bonds, which make it stable for long periods of time at room temperature. Eating trans fat leads to abnormalities in cholesterol, decreasing your good and increasing your bad, as well as increasing inflammation and damaging your arterial cells, which makes you more prone to clotting.

By the way, trans fat was originally designed for candle wax, but the market died with the invention and popularity of electricity. The value of trans fats is that they have a long shelf life; the average food manufacturer would love to make foods with healthy fats if they could have the one year shelf life that they can get from the unhealthy fats. The good fats by contrast, are the ones that are liquid at room temperature but get thick when they get cold, like olive oil.

The Scoop on Fats:

Good Fats:

Monounsaturated Fats. They come in two forms omega-3 fatty acids it comes in fish and nut oils and is shown to improve arterial and brain function, and Omega-6 fatty acid which comes in nut oils as well. This type of fat is also been shown to reduce blood pressure and lipid levels when used in place of carbohydrates.

You can find Monounsaturated Fats in:

  • olive oil,
  • canola oil,
  • fish oils,
  • flaxseeds,
  • avocados,
  • and nuts - especially walnuts.

Try to make about 30 to 40 percent of your fats the monounsaturated kind.

Polyunsaturated Fats. These are like monounsaturated fats except that they contain more than on unsaturated bond. They may improve arterial and brain function, and will help keep up your satisfaction level.

You can find polyunsaturated fats in:

  • vegetable oils
  • and seasame oils

Make 20 to 40 percent of your fats polyunsaturated.

Bad Fats:

Trans Fat. This is the fat that contains hydrogenated vegetable oil. It's the worst kind of fat and will stunt weight-loss efforts! Trans-fatty acids are in all kinds of food-especially long shelf life items.

You will find trans fat in:

  • buttered popcorn
  • cookies
  • chips
  • and margarine - to name a few.

Just say no to this kind of fat! Avoid them like the plague.

Saturated Fats. These fats will make you gain weight and clog your arteries.

You will find Saturated Fat in:

  • meats
  • dairy products

Limit saturated fat to lean sources like lean cuts of beef and low-fat dairy products. Aim for less than 4 grams of saturated fat per serving. Less than 20 grams, or about 30 percent of your daily allotment, should be from saturated and/or trans fats combined.

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