Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How to Eat Healthy while Traveling

The holidays are here already! A lot of people are planning to explore new places, go sightseeing, travel and soak up the vibes of Christmas and New Year festivities.

The relaxed vibes of Christmas makes it so easy to indulge in one too many snacks and Christmas treats.

And it's even worse for those traveling!

Which is why we came up with these awesome proactive tips on how to eat healthy while traveling this Christmas.

1. Eat a Hearty Breakfast
t's no news that breakfast is the most important meal for the day. For holiday  travelers, breakfast becomes even more important because of the unpredictability of holiday flights.
This means breakfast may be the only meal holiday travelers have control over. These breakfast tips are just what you need this season:
  • Load your Breakfast with Fiber - fiber has complex carbohydrates that are hard to digest. This characteristic makes  fiber rich foods the number one option for controlling hunger, and of course curbing the tendency to binge on sugary foods.
Fiber options for breakfast include: oats, maize and other grain cereal, and of course green vegetables.
  • Don't forget to Add Protein - protein rich breakfasts are just as filling as fiber rich foods. They stave off hunger and of course provide the necessary amino acids to replenish worn out cells. Mix fiber foods with wholesome protein options like meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Vegans can opt for wholesome vegan options like soy, nuts and vegetables.
2. Travel with Home Made Snacks - Home made snacks are less in salt, sugar and fat than their fast food counterparts. With the rise in sales of happy hour fast foods this festive season, home made snacks make it less likely for you to fall for the processed snacks sold in most fast foods and restaurants.

Some snack options include; granola bars, dried fruits, fruit jerky, meat jerky, roasted nuts and seeds, chips, yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit juices, cheese and salad.

3. Eat Frequent Small Portions - it's no news that a cardinal law of healthy eating is to spread out meals into 5-6 portions a day. Eating frequent small portions controls hunger, stabilizes blood glucose levels, and reduces the urge to binge on sugary and over processed foods.

To space out your meals do these:
  • The first portion is breakfast which is typically the largest portion for the day. The ideal breakfast is packed with fiber and protein for satiety, digestibility and nutrition.
  • The second portion is a light snack which ideally includes; yoghurt, nuts, fruits or vegetable salads.
  • The third portion is a carbohydrate lunch to fuel you through a busy day.
  • The fourth portion is a light snack of dairy/vegan substitutes, vegetables and fruit snacks.
  • The fifth portion is dinner with a large protein: carbohydrate ratio.
4. Plan your Meals

Planning meals ahead of time saves you money and reduces the possibility of binging on unwholesome roadside foods when you travel.

A food journal may just be what you need to cut down on those excess calories, save money and prevent food poisoning.

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is life. Everyone knows that. But how many adults drink the recommended 2-2.5 liters a day?

Water maintains the internal environment of the various body systems.

This festive season, it's pretty easy to splurge on the numerous drinks available; whisky, soda, beer, eggnog, ice cream, yogurt and forget the most important liquid.

Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated this season:
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
  • Drink a glass of water with every meal.
  • Drink generous amount of water if  you spend most times outdoors.
6.  Be Mindful of Food Allergens - as you travel far from home, be cautious of food allergens. Food allergens differ from person to person; lactose, peanuts, gluten, chocolate, eggs, the list is endless.
Simple tips like; crosschecking food items for food allergens, buying mostly organically grown foods and eating in good restaurants go a long way in preventing food allergens.

7.  Think Quality not Quantity - if you have to eat out, eat in quality restaurants known in that area for the type of food sold. If you are traveling on a budget it's quite typical to eat at restaurants that sell large meals for cheaper prices, for example most fast foods.

Don't fall for this trap. Fast food meals are loaded in sugar, salt and oil and have little nutritional value. These foods are quick to prepare, require less food ingredients with nutritional value, loaded with artificial flavors and sugar to make them tasty and therefore cost less than food with nutritional value.

8.  Eat Food while it's Hot - eat food while it's piping hot.  Hot foods contain less toxins and bacteria than cold ones. Be sure to preheat canned foods before eating.
Also remember to thoroughly heat leftovers before eating. When eating at restaurants request to have your meals heated and served piping hot.

9.  Think Fresh

A quick way to make healthy food choices is to eat foods while fresh. Fresh foods are rich in water and necessary nutrients required for your body.

Also, fresh foods aren't contaminated by bacteria, toxins and spores found in stale, spoiled and preserved foods. A quick way to eat fresh foods is to do your grocery yourself and prepare your meals yourself. 

10.  Don't be Afraid to Reject Foods you aren't Familiar with - as you  travel to new places, locals may try to persuade you to try new recipes and delicacies. Don't be afraid to turn down foods you are skeptical of their preparation, ingredients and source.

Local cuisine are always exciting to try. However be mindful of potential food toxins, allergies and other contaminants that cause food poisoning.

A  good option is to try local foods prepared at quality restaurants rather then eating them from road side vendors.

11. Hand Washing

Most people hardly think of hand washing as a practice of healthy eating. A hand washing lifestyle reduces the transmission of feco-oral toxins and bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Wash your hands before every meal. Wash hands immediately after handling animals, after using the toilet and after handling objects and artifacts displayed by locals.

So there you have it, practical tips on how to eat healthy while travelling. Which of these tips do you plan to implement this festive season? We will love to hear your answers in the comment section below. You can get more touring tips from Dylan's Tours. Happy touring!

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Your Mental Health Solution?

A lot of the time, some of the issues people have with anxiety and depression stem from our minds taking us to dark places when confronted with certain issues. According to Joyce Marter, a therapist in St. Louis Mo, “I see a number of young adults struggling to face disappointment. In general, our society does a poor job of preparing young people for the inevitable disappointments in life – even more so for those born with “bright futures.” Expectations for these individuals have always been high, whether self-imposed or inflicted by peer pressure or parents.” A lot of the time, while we can’t always change some of these events that happen to us, we can work to reframe them in a healthier way. Cognitive behavioral therapy is built on this idea, and its success is part of the reason why it is picking up steam in the psychology world.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a type of psychotherapy that is based on working with a psychologist for a set number of sessions. During these sessions, the psychologist works with the patient in order to help them determine moments when they go into negative thinking or inaccurate thinking that could help them approaching challenging situations in a new manner. In some cases, CBT is used as a versatile tool to accompany other forms of mental treatment. Here are some key examples where it can be flexed in.

•    Managing major symptoms of mental illness.
•    Avoiding a relapse of mental illness symptoms.
•    Serving as a replacement for medication for treating a mental illness.
•    Coping with stressful life situations.
•    Finding ways to manage difficult emotions.
•    Helping find better ways to communicate and handle relationship issues.
•    Dealing with loss and grief.
•    Working through trauma stemming from abuse or violence.

In addition, some people use CBT outside of the mental health realm. It’s not unheard of for people to recommend CBT for those who are dealing with chronic physical health symptoms, in order to keep mental health problems from developing as well.

So, this is the various uses of CBT, but how exactly does it work out in practice? For example, let’s say that a person struggles with anxiety and constantly feels that every time they are in a social situation, that they are somehow going to end up bungling it or embarrassing themselves. What CBT can do is give them a set of tools and questions to go over with in their head when these situations pop up. For example, where are your feelings that you would somehow embarrass yourself coming from? What’s the likelihood of these things actually happening? Your therapist will help you put together these different ideas so you are able to slowly decipher the roots of your negative feelings and be able to essentially “think them” away.

Some of the major advantages of using CBT are that it is relatively easy to incorporate into situations where traditional medication isn’t necessarily working out. In addition, compared to other therapies, you can see results relatively quickly. It’s also versatile by nature of being talk therapy. People have applied CBT principles to a variety of settings, even using apps and books to easily distribute actionable advice.

As far as disadvantages go, CBT has minimal risks, but in some cases, it may not be the best fit for more extreme circumstances. For example, the moments where your therapist teaches you about your CBT procedures requires a set of extremely structured meetings. People with extreme mental health issues or learning difficulties may not be able to use this as they are not able to deal with the necessary structure. In addition, CBT won’t necessarily address outright family or other outside issues that may impact your mental health, mainly focusing on your own reactions to those. Other than that, to borrow a cliché, CBT is often what you make of it as far as results are concerned.

Ultimately, while cognitive behavioral therapy is growing in popularity among a lot of people seeking mental health support, no one strategy is going to be completely effective every single time. The best mindset to have is to try to have tempered expectations at first, so you don’t end up dumping it immediately if you don’t see massive results right after you get started. However, if you’re not happy after prolonged use of the concept, it may not be a bad idea to talk to your therapist to see what other options are on the table. Just be ready to explain in detail what your problems are so they can give the best answers possible.

This is a guest blog entry.

Should You Get a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident?

It’s quite difficult to determine whether you need a lawyer after an injury or not. One of the reasons is the misleading misconceptions about lawsuits involving personal injury. However, there are various scenarios where it might be best to get a local personal injury lawyer.

Immediately after an accident, it’s crucial for you to contact your lawyer, especially if you find yourself in any of the following situations:

The Accident Involved Serious Injuries and Requires Hospital Admission
With a serious injury, you may have to commit to extended medical care or even life-long care. The costs involved in this type of care is high.

To add salt to injury, your insurance company may decline or avoid paying for medical care since it’s expensive. Hiring a lawyer to represent you will increase the probability of you getting your compensation as well as other medical costs in the future.

The Injuries Might Have a Long-Term Effect on Your Health
Long-term effects due to an injury include changes to your lifestyle such as the inability to go back to your day job and special changes to your car and house not to mention the loss of your primary income for the remainder of your life.

These scenarios must be incorporated by the insurance company when determining a settlement offer.

You Have Missed a Number of Days of School, Work and Other Activities

If you miss school, lose your income due to the inability to go to work or are unable to engage in other activities you’d otherwise do often are some of the side-effects you may encounter after an accident.

The law allows you to seek compensation for any financial losses you might have incurred due to the accident.

You’re Facing Pain and Suffering, Emotional Trauma or Companionship Loss

Most of the injuries lead to emotional trauma, especially in children or in accidents that led to life-changing injuries.

A number of states allow victims of various injuries to seek compensation for emotional trauma. In other states, you can get the services of a lawyer to help you determine whether you can seek compensation for pain and suffering.

Your Insurance Company Isn’t Complying with their Own Terms

A number of insurance companies have been known to use underhanded tactics when issuing medical treatments, offering compensation and paying for damages.

They tend to “forget” select terms within their own policies with the aim of shortchanging the victim. Some companies outright decline to cater for the medical expenses simply because they want to save money.

You can get help from a lawyer to push the insurance company into state law and policy compliance.

Loss of a Family Member
Under the law, you seek compensation for wrongful death if an accident claimed the life of your family member. However, you might want to speak to your lawyer to know whether you qualify for this type of compensation.

Dependent children, spouse or direct family members can qualify for wrongful death. Nevertheless, there are other situations where the parents of the children who perished in an accident died as a result of an injury can claim wrongful death.

Confusion in the Medical Records, Police Report or Accident Report

If there’s any conflicting information in the insurance reports, medical reports or police reports, then you might lose out on a significant portion of your compensation.

If you learn of any conflicting information in any of the reports, it’ll be in your best interest to speak to a lawyer to guide you through the process.

In an accident, the first course of action is to take care of the injuries by seeking medical attention as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slight fall or a car accident, your life and health come first. After your situation is stable, you can talk to your lawyer.

Some of the insurance companies will try and evade paying for your medical costs or compensation for that matter. With a lawyer on your side, you can avoid these bottlenecks.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Exercises for a Healthy Spine

It doesn’t matter if you currently have back pain or not. You should be looking at undertaking some basic exercises to keep your spine healthy for years to come. There are approximately 3.7 million Australians with spinal issues; you don’t want to be one of them.

Your spine is an essential part of your body; it supports your neck, head, shoulders and the rest of your upper body. As well as supporting your body it enables you to bend and twist easily. Doing this and offering protection for your spinal cord is a complex job; that’s why you need to take care of your spine and visit a spine surgeon if you experience any issues.

This is too important to take chances with. To help protect your spine and keep it healthy you should try doing some of these exercises:

Back Flexing

Lie on your back, bend your knees above your body and bring them into your chest. They should touch your chest as you lift your head forward. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and neck.

Chesty Knees

Again you’ll need to lie on your back. However, this time you want your legs to be stretched out with your heels on the floor. Then lift one leg and bend it at the knee. Bring it towards you until the knee touches your chest. You can use both hands to get it there.

Let your knee return to normal and then repeat with the other leg.

Chin & Chest

Stand up and slowly lower your head forward; your chin is supposed to reach your chest if possible.

You’ll feel the stretch at the back of your neck. In fact it’s great for alleviating the pain that you get in the neck after sitting all day staring at the computer.

Ear & Shoulder 

This is a great one to do while you’re at work and taking a minute break from staring at the screen.

Slowly move your head to one side; the aim is to touch your shoulder to your ear or to get as close as possible. You stop the movement as soon as you feel the stretch in your neck.


Stand up again and place your feet shoulder width apart. Now step back with your right foot only. It only needs to be a small step.

Next you can bend your left knee, moving your weight onto your right hip as you do so. You’ll then need to keep your right leg straight as you slide your hand down your right leg. You’ll feel the stretch in the outer hip.

The Press Up

This is actually a cross between the press up and the plank.

Lie on your front and place your hands flat on the floor below your shoulders. Then slowly push yourself upwards; bending at the waist. You’re aiming to get your arms straight although don’t be surprised if you can’t do this on the first attempt.

You’ll feel it pulling at the bottom of your back, don’t overdo it.

With a little exercise you can prevent or even get rid of back pain; try these today!

This is a guest blog entry.