Health and Wellness

By Eileen Johnson Cardiovascular disease signals inflammation that has gotten out of hand. Building a healthy heart includes quenching that fire! Pick healthy carbohydrates! Refined sugars and grains fan the flames of cardiovascular problems but deciding how to live without them and still maintain energy levels may be a challenge. Start slowly by adding nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet. Make a plan for how you will include 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day by including them at every meal and in your smoothies, salads and snacks. Use iPhone reminders or try the website to track progress. You will soon experience a feeling of energy and clear-mindedness that will help you achieve the rest of these steps! Fiber up! Strive for 25-35 grams of fiber in your diet every day. (Most of us get about 6-8 grams)  You will find 3grams in the

By Eileen Johnson I have always enjoyed a moderately active lifestyle that included lifting free weights, walking, and swimming. This was fine until about a year ago when I developed an interest in setting higher exercise goals for myself. I joined a gym where I could receive good instruction and push my endurance. I saw a physical therapist to help me understand what exercises would help me overcome some old injuries and protect my joints.   This is when I became excited to learn more about the effects of exercise on the health of the body; in particular, decreasing the risk for type 2 diabetes. I heard a talk recently given by Shane O’Connor, MS, Medical Exercise Specialist and co-founder of “Integrated Medical Fitness” in New Rochelle, New York. Here are some of the benefits he mentioned of adding exercise to your diabetes

By Eileen Johnson We are living in a time when massive paradigm shifts are creating both fear and anguish all over the globe. The heart and the heart chakra are particularly vulnerable during this time but there are simple things keep it strong and happy. Anatomy of the Spirit Caroline Myss, in her book “Anatomy of the Spirit” speaks of the strong connection between emotions and the physical body. The fourth Chakra, that includes the heart, breasts and lungs, are particularly affected by emotions such as love and hatred, resentment and bitterness, grief and anger, loneliness, forgiveness and compassion, hope and trust. She leads the reader through a healing process for this chakra that includes letting go of past wounds, understanding the power of love and forgiveness, and how to find strength in ourselves. Community Support My own parents and faith community taught me from

By Eileen Johnson As challenging as it may be to come to terms with a diagnosis of hypertension, high blood pressure can actually give us many clues as to what our body might need in order to function in a healthier manner. This can vary from person to person – What do you think your body needs? I need more fruits and vegetables! High in antioxidants protective of the heart and blood vessels, rich in fiber known for its cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties, vegetables and fruits should make up the most prominent part of each meal. Five to ten servings are recommended each day. I need more potassium. Potassium plays a vital role in balancing the mineral sodium, used by the kidneys to retain fluid in the tissues. Although the body occasionally retains fluids for good reasons during short periods when the body

By Eileen Johnson The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that sits in the front of the neck. Often called a “master gland”, the thyroid supports the function of almost every organ system in the body. It influences how the body uses the food we eat and plays a crucial role in creating energy from that food. Chronically cold hands and feet can be a red flag for an underactive thyroid. Other symptoms might include depression and fatigue, hair loss, constipation, dry skin, menstrual irregularities and infertility. Here are 7 interesting ways in which you can support thyroid function: Rebalance gut bacteria. Very surprisingly, a good share of the thyroid hormone released becomes active only in the presence of healthy gut bacteria! Healthy bacteria can be found in fermented foods like kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut. A healthy digestive wall thrives on high fiber foods

Are you shaking up your diet in the New Year? Valley Natural Foods wants to help your diet get off to the right start. However, you may be wondering why you should even consider including protein powder in your diet.  Protein powders are a great way to fuel up and provide energy pre or post workout such as when running a 5K, in addition to helping boost energy, burn fat and balance blood sugar. Protein powders can also help promote weight loss because Raw Fit, for example, has soluble and insoluble fiber from certified organic grains, seeds, legumes and fruits, which makes one feel full, satisfying hunger, suppressing one's appetite for longer periods of time. Also, if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet that lacks protein-rich foods, a plant-based protein powder mixed in smoothies, a blender bottle, or other foods may be