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  • PAGE 8

    Cold Weather MythsPAGE 8

    Cold Weather Myths

    growing youngNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

    the art of®

    The Attitude of Gratitude PAGE 12

    The Whole Food Advantage PAGE 16

    The Importance of Job Satisfaction PAGE 24

  • 2 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 3

    Contents4 From the Editor

    31 Ask the Expert

    5 Nutritional News

    6FitnessIndoor Workouts

    12LifestyleThe Attitude of Gratitude


    Family Health22 Andropause

    24 The Importance of Job Satisfaction

    26 A Body to Love

    28 Growing Up Healthy: Creating Healthy Eating Habits Early in Life

    The Art of Growing Young® is published six times a year by Lifeplus International, PO Box 3749, Batesville, Arkansas 72503, United States. Copyright © 2014 Lifeplus International

    20Herbs & SupplementsNatural Sweeteners

    Features8 Cold Weather Myths

    16 The Whole Food Advantage

    Grape Seed Extract

  • “The passion that I see in the people who participate in the art of growing young is incredible.”

    As January fast approaches, it is fun to look back at the year just finished and take stock of all that has happened. 2014 has been another amazing year for everyone here on The Art of Growing Young team. I can honestly say that every issue we put out taught each of us something new about ourselves and our bodies. We are excited to be entering a new year and to learn even more.

    The passion that I see in the people who participate in the art of growing young is incredible. It makes me grateful to be involved in such a worthy cause. As I look back on the year, I can think of many things, people and experiences that I’m grateful for. And even just feeling that gratitude is an important part of the art of growing young for everyone.

    If you are like me, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time this year working on improving yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Now I’m going to ask you to stop and reflect on everything you have accomplished. Let yourself truly reap the wonderful benefits from all the hard work you’ve done. Taking time, whether at the end of the year or the end of the day, to reflect on your feelings, both current and past, will help you better identify your own thought patterns. The closer we come to the end of the year, the more you will see Top 10 lists in the media: Top 10 Songs, Top 10 News Stories, Top 10 Viral Videos, etc. I think we should make our own, personal Top 10 lists. The Top 10 Things, People and Experiences you are grateful for in 2014.

    Write your list on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you will see it often. Look at these 10 things that brought you joy, happiness and gratitude. What can you do in the coming year to improve your Top 10 and/or include more gratitude in your life? Feeling and embracing gratitude is like a compass pointing toward a better, happier, healthier life. So please, take the time to make your list (and as many lists as you want all year round) so you can intentionally focus on your accomplishments and your happiness in order to attract even more good things into your life in the future!


    4 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 5

    Dark chocolate If you’re looking for an excuse to eat a sweet snack, consider the health-pro-moting effects of dark chocolate. A new study has revealed that cocoa beans act as prebiotics, or food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut that are collectively referred to as probiotics. Cocoa beans and other foods that help support healthy gut flora help displace harmful bacteria, aid in digestion, reduce inflammation, promote heart health and more.

    Looking for more energy?For those of us who feel like we need an afternoon nap just to make it through the day, researchers may have found a simple solution. Eating lunch in the sunshine for 30 minutes (even next to a window exposed to direct light) can help you stay more wide awake during the afternoon. The study showed that women who sat next to a sunny window for 30 minutes scored better on tests for alertness.

    Want to live longer? Surround yourself with good friends. After analyzing data from more than 300,000 older adults gathered through more than 148 different studies, researchers stated that people who are more socially con-nected have much higher survival odds than less socially connected people. From helping each other in a crisis to cheering each other on during workouts, the benefits of having positive, like-minded friends in your life are vast.

    Stay fit Scientists have discovered yet one more reason to stay fit – avoiding dementia. Research has already shown that carry-ing excess fat around the midsection can drastically raise the risk of developing dementia. However, new research has also revealed that deep abdominal fat releases dangerous inf lammatory chemicals into your bloodstream, which can ultimately enter the brain and con-tribute to causing dementia.

    Salmon Look good and feel good with one simple food: salmon. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon contains nutrients that help protect the brain and body. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in multiple studies to have a positive impact on brain health and supple skin and joints.

    Nutritional News

  • Fitness

    6 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 7

    Indoor Workouts

    Most doctors and researchers agree that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week offers your body a huge list of benefits – from reducing the risk of physical ailments such as heart disease to helping prevent risky behaviors in children, regular physical activity can help improve every area of your life. According to the World Health Organization, exercise can also help prevent the development of hip fractures and can even act as a way of managing pain from already-developed conditions such as arthritis.

    For optimum health, staying physically active should be a year-round goal. But one benefit of exercise may be especially important during winter. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive effect on mood. If you are one of the many people who find that the dark, dreary winter months bring about feelings of sadness, depression and lethargy, it’s possible that getting more active can put a smile back on your face.

    There is no denying just how beneficial regular physical activity is, making it all the more important to continue an active lifestyle throughout winter.

    Many people utilize gyms to stay active during the winter. While gyms are a great option, if you don’t have the time to visit one or the money for a membership, there are lots of ways to stay active in your own home. Home workouts are an attractive option if you don’t want to brave winter road conditions! There are many sources of home exercise equipment available, but you don’t neces-sarily need to shell out big bucks to work out at home. You just need to get creative.

    You can rent or buy DVDs that teach virtually any form of exercise you can imagine, and they can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Simple household items such as canned goods or milk jugs can be used as beginner’s weights. A few dollars spent on a jump rope can go a long way toward improving health, and chairs are perfect for assisting you with difficult stretch-ing positions.

    If you don’t believe you can get your heart rate up in your own living room, try this quick 20-minute routine.

    Walk in place: 45 seconds Jumping jacks: 45 seconds Jog in place: 30 seconds Squats: 45 seconds Jog in place: 30 seconds Jump as high as you can: 45 seconds Jog in place: 30 seconds Squats: 45 seconds Jog in place: 30 seconds Mountain climbers: 45 seconds Sprint in place: 30 seconds Rest: 1 minute Then repeat the set two more times.

    That gives you a good 20-minute routine that is not boring and can be fun by yourself or with other members of your family.

    Whether at the gym, out in the cold or in your own home, the key to maintaining a physical fitness routine is finding an activity you actually enjoy doing. If you get bored quickly on a treadmill, you can’t expect yourself to stick with it long enough for even one good workout, let alone multiple workouts

    a week. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s good to recognize what you don’t enjoy so that you can focus on what you do enjoy.

    If you don’t like treadmills, try swimming, rowing machines, dancing, exercise bikes, indoor football leagues, weight lifting, elliptical machines, basketball or anything else you think you might enjoy. There is no one single exercise activity that will work well for everyone. That’s one of the great joys of the art of growing young – variety!

    If you are just now entering a phase in your life where you want to be more active, you may want to start slowly with indoor activities such as yoga or tai chi. These activities strengthen muscles and improve balance and flexibility in the comfort of a warm and relaxing atmosphere (either at home in your own living room or in a studio), which can be an inviting holiday from bluster-ing winter weather.

    This is also the time of year we tend to overindulge in holiday meals. A regular exercise regimen, combined with a generally healthy diet, can help you avoid gaining unwanted winter pounds.

    When days are cold and short, it is so much easier to just wrap ourselves up under a warm blanket and sit inside drinking cocoa and watching television. But with all the important health benefits – both physical and psychological – that come from exer cise, there really is no excuse great enough to warrant a sedentary lifestyle no matter what the temperature is.

    It’s the time of year again when it’s often too cold to get active outside. Here are some creative ways to stay active during winter months.

  • Feature Article

    8 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 20148

  • 9

    Cold weather does not cause colds or the flu. If you grew up hearing your parents tell you otherwise, you may immediately think to yourself, “Then why does my nose run when I go outside during fall and winter?”

    Runny noses may be one of the biggest reasons people still believe cold weather causes colds. It’s very true that both common colds and cold weather can cause your nose to run. However, these two completely unrelated causes trigger a runny nose for very different reasons.

    The reason cold weather causes your nose to run is actually quite simple. Your lungs prefer warmer air. Your body’s way of warm- ing cold winter air before it gets to your lungs is to create more mucus. The more mucus in your nose, the quicker air is warmed.

    Long ago somebody probably noticed that runny noses came from both sickness and cold weather and made the connection. Even though we now know that germs and viruses are the real culprits, that belief has stuck. And don’t forget that a typical allergic reaction can include a runny nose.

    It’s easy to see why people still believe that cold weather causes illness, because not only do we get runny noses in cold weather, but colds and the flu are also seasonal. More people experience colds and flus during the fall and winter than they do dur-ing spring and summer. Just like runny noses, there is a logical reason for this – and it doesn’t have anything to do with temperature.

    One of the reasons more people get sick during cold weather is because of the shorter days.

    There is a wide body of research showing that increased levels of vitamin D seem to help protect already-healthy individuals from contracting the flu. The body’s immune system depends on vitamin D to function properly.

    So it’s no surprise that colds and the flu spread rapidly during winter months when the sun is out less and the body is not able to produce as much vitamin D as it can during the summer.

    Along with being seasonal, the flu is also related to latitudes. Higher latitudes tend to have higher instances of the flu. This is again due to sunlight. Populations living in higher latitudes see less daylight because the days are shor ter. Long before the vitamin D connection was made, when even doctors didn’t understand bacteria and viruses, it was too easy to see higher latitudes as having colder winters and associate that with disease. Now we know better.

    Another possible reason that colds and the flu are seasonal is that when the weather is cold, we tend to stay indoors more. More people inside together and more people becoming ill due to decreased vitamin D levels mean more exposure to germs in the many indoor places people congregate.

    No matter what your parents told you growing up, cold weather alone does not cause illness. To get a cold or the flu this season, you must come in contact with rhinoviruses (common cold) or influenza virus (the flu). To limit exposure to germs and viruses this winter, practice good hygiene habits.

    For generations parents have told their children to bundle up when going outside during the winter or else they will get sick. Protecting oneself from the cold is good advice, but not because it will safeguard against illness. For children all over the world, this is one piece of parental wisdom that quite simply is not true.

    Cold Weather Myths

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  • Wash your hands frequently – especially after contact with objects that are frequently touched by other people such as shopping carts, stairway railings, bathroom faucets or communal computer keyboards. It’s impossible to know who touched the doorknob before you and whether or not that person is spreading cold germs.

    Even i f you wash your hands frequently, you should touch your eyes, nose and mouth as little as possible. On average people touch their faces 3.6 times per hour. Every touch has the potential to spread germs from your hands to your mouth, eyes or nose. Germs must enter the body before they can cause illness, and these are the prime areas for germs to get in.

    If you do become sick this winter, don’t go to work or school, and avoid running unnecessary errands. Staying home to rest will not only help you recover faster but will also help prevent your germs from spreading to your friends and coworkers. The fewer sick

    people spreading their germs at work or school, the fewer people will become sick.

    Similarly, avoid close contact with friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who is already sick.

    No matter what time of the year it is, proper hygiene habits can help a person avoid germs and illness.

    Just because your parents were wrong about cold weather causing illness doesn’t mean their advice to bundle up should be ignored. There are dangers to prolonged exposure to cold weather (hypo-ther mia, for example). Dress appropriately when heading

    outside and soak up what sun you can to help bolster your immune system so it can help protect you during cold and flu season.


    “No matter what your parents told you growing up, cold weather alone does not cause illness. To get a cold or the flu this season, you

    must come in contact with rhinoviruses (common cold) or influenza virus (the flu). To

    limit exposure to germs and viruses this winter, practice good hygiene habits.”

  • Lifestyle

    12 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 13

    Taking time to recognize and focus on the many wonderful things you have in your life may actually help boost your health. Inten-tionally reflecting on your feelings, both current and past, can help you align your thoughts into positive wavelengths, which is key to attracting more positive things, people, ideas, experiences and circumstances into your life.

    Chasing empty desires and holding grudges because of the things you don’t have or grudges against people you may not like or respect will only make you feel worse and attract negatives into your life. Don’t beat yourself up over negative thought patterns you experienced throughout the year. Acknowledge them (observe them) for what they are and then simply set the memories aside. Feel good for all your success. Reflect on happiness. Make a list of the many things you are grateful for and meditate on these.

    Have you ever intentionally stopped your life for a few minutes and truly thought about what life could be like if, instead of entering the holiday blitz by thinking about all the gifts and parties, you enter it by simply being grateful for the things you already have? It’s far too easy at this time of year to be consumed with commercial desires and overcome by the stress of too many holiday obligations.

    If you can break the cycle of blindly going through the same holiday traditions, and really take time to think about what is important in your life, you may realize that you have been focusing on the wrong

    aspects. This time of year can be much more enjoyable when you stop worrying about your wish list and start focusing on your gratitude list – how wonderful your family is, how much you enjoy your friends and the many other things in life for which you are grateful.

    This kind of thinking can make life much more pleasant because we attract into our lives the things we focus on. If we become wrapped up in stressful holiday spending, we will only attract more stress into our lives. This thinking doesn’t apply just to this time of year; it can be helpful all year round. However, because things do tend to get so hectic during these months, the holiday season is often a good time to stop and take mental stock of where our focus has been lately.

    The key to staying focused on the right things during this time of year is not to be conscious of every single thought you have, or to admonish yourself when you get caught up in the moment. It’s simply not possible to keep track of every thought you have. Instead, try to monitor your overall mood. Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel tired and stressed, you may be focusing on things that bring more stress and chaos into your life. However, if you feel happy, content and at peace, your focus is in just the right place.

    When you start monitoring your mood, you may be surprised to see just how tired and stressed out you feel. How many sick days have you taken lately? Possibly more than you realized. That’s because these negative

    emotions can have a profound effect on our physical well-being.

    On the other hand, if you are able to focus on gratitude and happiness, you may come to feel a whole new level of happiness and good health. Just as negative emotions can make us feel ill, positive emotions can help us stay healthy in mind and body.

    Better still, when you are in this frame of mind, you will attract more things, people, thoughts and experiences into your life that feed these wonderful feelings. With the correct focus and a little trial and error in how you shape your lifestyle, there is no limit to what you can attract into your life.

    If you have never tried to change your focus in this way, do not be discouraged if you don’t feel better immediately. This is quite possibly the hardest time of the year to stay in a grateful-for-what-you-have frame of mind. But with practice, it is entirely possible. Don’t give up. Like anything else in life, it gets easier with practice.

    In a short amount of time you will notice you feel better about yourself and where you are in life. This is exactly how you want to live your life. In this state of being grateful for what you have and focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you will attract even more positive people, ideas and experiences into your life.

    In November, families all around the United States will once again gather together for Thanksgiving dinner. As part of the tradition, many of these families will share with one another the things, people and circumstances they experienced in the past year that they are grateful for. It’s a tradition that should be practiced not just once a year, but ideally on a daily basis.

    The Attitude of Gratitude

  • Nutrition

    14 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 15

    Along with other important nutrients, a high-quality grape seed extract contains high concentrations of a special group of powerful health-supporting free radical scavengers called oligomeric proantho-cyanidins (OPCs). They provide an amazing benefit by protecting all the cells in our bodies against many oxidants that can foster accelerated aging and an unhealthy environment within our bodies.

    Since the 1980s, there have been hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating the benefits of naturally occurring OPCs, which are among the most beneficial constituents of grape seeds and are found in the fibrous parts of certain plants. Research has shown many times over that OPCs provide critical support in the protection against free radical attacks, supporting healthy circulation, immune function, skin and connective tissue health, healthy vision, and more. Additionally, some recent researchers have demonstrated the value of OPCs, and consequently grape seed extract, in supporting many metabolic processes throughout the whole body.

    Grape seeds may not be the most widely recognized natural source of antioxidants to some people, but they are one of the very best due to their potency and unique capabilities. Fruits and vegetables containing vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, and the fresh foods that contain them such as

    citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, have been thought for years to be the best pro-viders of antioxidants.

    It hasn’t been until relatively recently that certain grape seed extracts have been shown to provide many times the potency of most single antioxidant vitamins – many times more potent than vitamins C and E.

    Don’t let this information stop you from consuming the more traditionally known antioxidant-rich foods, as it takes a wide variety of nutritional support to provide your body with maximum protection.

    Antioxidants of all kinds help protect the body from the attack of free radicals – molecules that can harm our cells and facilitate the aging process. Among other adverse effects, these free radicals can attack our DNA, creating all kinds of problems that our body has to deal with.

    One of the most amazing characteristics of OPCs is their unique ability to rely on an internal network of individual antioxidant molecules within their own group to replenish themselves when neutralizing free radicals. In other words, OPCs do not get “used up” or oxidized as quickly in the body as most other antioxidants.

    As powerful and beneficial as they are, OPCs are not the only antioxidants found in

    grapes. Another important compound that is abundant in grape skins (and leaves) is resveratrol, which has been linked to sup-porting circulatory health and other healthy bodily processes.

    A person could consume all the nutrients found in grape seeds by eating seeded grapes and being sure to chew and swallow the seeds. But that would take a lot of grapes. Finding a high-quality grape seed extract is a much more efficient way to help ensure that your body is receiving the vital antioxi-dant support it needs to stay healthy. Years upon years of meticulous research by the late Dr. Jack Masquelier (who discovered OPCs in the 1940s) has provided modern science with a unique methodology to extract and concentrate the most valuable OPCs.

    There are some plant-based sources of nutrition that simply don’t make sense to consume in their whole, natural state. For example, grape seeds, which are rich in vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, phenolic procyanidins and other important nutrients, are relatively small in size and provide little flavor. Fortunately, modern science has created grape seed extracts, which concentrate the potent nutritional value of whole grape seeds in a form that is easy to consume.

    Grape Seed Extract

  • Feature Article

    THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 201416

  • 17

    Science, technology, community, economics, morals, agribusiness, nutritional scientists – these are just a few of the many forces shaping the way we purchase, prepare and consume food. These forces don’t always work toward healthier foods.

    Over the past few generations a lot has changed in the way we get our food, and some of the changes are so big that our bodies can’t keep up. You don’t have to look that far back in time to see an era when nearly everything people ate was homemade from ingredients bought fresh from local stores and farm stands. If you look back just a little far ther you realize that everything people ate was homemade from ingredients farmed or hunted locally by the consumers themselves.

    As civilizations grew and technologies advanced, the need to keep food fresh while it traveled over increasingly long distances drove the innovation of various preserving methods. These evolutions in food process-ing and storage created a vast market of edible things that are nothing like what our grandparents ate, let alone our ancestors.

    If a food isn’t bought fresh (and sometimes even when it is) there is a good chance the “food” you are eating is full of chemicals and synthetic substances used to make it taste and look as good as it can for as long as possible. These packaged foods often lack the nutrients your body needs for

    optimum health and, even worse, contain high levels of fats, sugars and salt.

    A quick look at the nutrition label on many of today’s convenience foods will quickly reveal just how unnatural many of the foods we eat are. With this knowledge, more and more people are leaving premade and prepackaged foods on the store shelves; instead, they are picking out whole, natural ingredients and going back to the nearly lost arts of cooking and meal preparation.

    Whole foods are foods in their natural state that have not been processed or refined. Because there are no synthetic or other unnatural processing techniques involved, many whole foods have short shelf lives. Examples of whole foods are organically grown fruits and vegetables, unrefined whole grains, and non-homogenized milk.

    Identifying whole foods is easy. Just look for an ingredients list. If there is more than one ingredient listed, the food is probably not considered whole. Have you ever seen an apple with an ingredients list? What about a piece of salmon? If there are ingredients in the list that are hard to pronounce and unrecognizable as food, then it is almost certainly not whole.

    With their sometimes shorter shelf lives and higher costs, is there a benefit to eating whole foods? Absolutely. Whole foods tend to be healthier in that they contain more

    nutrients in their natural forms that can work together for optimal healthy results.

    Advanced as it already is, nutritional science is still in its infancy. It has barely been a hundred years since the first vitamin was discovered, and just 30 years ago nutrition scientists thought bioflavonoids and caro-tenoids were nutritionally irrelevant coloring agents. Even today, when compared with the complexity of billions of years of plant and animal evolution, our seemingly sop-histicated biochemistry science is still quite young and naive.

    The reason whole foods are important is because our technology is not yet able to duplicate nature’s nutrition, though we can supplement it, so long as the supplements take into consideration the way various nutrients work together. We can process foods to make them more stable (such as freeze-drying a whole fruit or vegetable into a powdered form), but we still need to develop ways that concentrate all the nutrients, while keeping them in the form and proportions they were originally in when they were whole foods. Our bodies are quite simply not used to consuming foods in processed forms. For thousands of years we have gained nutrition from whole foods. Our bodies are adapted to the way nutrients interact with one another.

    Not only do whole foods provide vitamins, minerals and a multitude of phytonutrients

    Foods that are available in different locations around the world are rapidly changing, both in selection and quantity. When you shop at the grocery store, you are probably not purchasing many of the same foods that your parents did. And, when your parents shopped at the grocery store, they were probably not purchasing many of the same foods as their parents.

    The Whole Food Advantage

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  • 19

    in the amounts, forms and variety that our bodies are used to, but they also tend to take longer to digest. Your digestive system breaks down and absorbs carbohydrates, proteins and fats more slowly when they are consumed in a whole form from a natural food. Processed foods tend to be digested much more rapidly. This is particularly important for carbohydrates, as a slow release of sugars results in a much milder insulin response. The result is more stable blood sugar than you get from eating refined carbohydrates (such as products made from white flour and white sugar). More stable blood sugar can translate into less hunger, healthier weight and better moods. Lower insulin levels translate into less cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

    Getting the most out of whole foods means eating natural, unrefined food instead of processed versions – fresh oranges instead of orange juice, whole grain flours instead of refined flour, homemade meals instead of eating out or warming up factory-made meals, and a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    The overall advantage of whole foods is that they are often healthier choices than the easily available processed foods that comprise much of the Western diet. Whole foods tend to contain fewer man-made chemicals and provide a wide spectrum of synergistic vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients – something processed foods often fail to do. And surely there are health-supporting natural ingredients in them that have not even been identified yet.

    Processed foods may also contain trans fats – chemically manipulated fats that should be avoided at all costs. If an ingredient list contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (a major source of trans fats), find an alternative product. Unlike natural fats, which are an important part of a healthy diet when consumed

    in amounts that correspond to your activity level, trans fats have no redeeming nutritional quality and are directly toxic to the cardiovascular system.

    The chemical manipulations that create trans fats are done to make a product with a higher melting point and longer shelf life. In theory this would be something consumers would want. How-ever, the process also makes them a great deal more deleterious than natural fats.

    Refined grains are also common ingredients in non-whole, processed foods that have been manipulated to last longer at the

    cost of nutritional value. These grains, found in white breads and many cereals, have lost their most nutritious par ts – the fatty acid-containing germ and fiber-rich hull. A product made with refined grains will also have a much higher glycemic index, which means it will rapidly release sugar into the bloodstream, which results in higher insulin levels. Long-term use of these foods leads to insulin resi-stance, which is the precursor to diabetes. Instead of a long-lasting source of energy that can help

    keep you powered throughout the day, you receive a quick burst of energy followed by a crash in energy and mental performance. Even flours that have been enriched with some of the nutrients they lost are not nearly as good for your body as whole grains. And most grains have been modified over the years for high yield and longer shelf life, and contain “unbalanced” gluten, which many people have difficulties with.

    There are many nutritional rewards to be had when returning to a whole food diet like that of our great-grandparents. The more people adopt such a diet, the easier it will be to find healthy, whole foods on supermarket shelves.


    “A quick look at the nutrition label on many of today’s convenience foods will quickly reveal just how unnatural many of

    the foods we eat are.”

  • Herbs & Supplements

    20 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 21

    We are so surrounded by sugary drinks and snacks, desserts and treats that we are constantly encouraged to consume refined sugars. However, cutting down on your sugar consumption can be as much about careful nutritional label reading as willpower. Since sugar is so calorie-rich and nutrient-poor, curbing your intake is one small step that can have big results. Not all sugars are equal. We tend to think of sugar as something that should be avoided at all costs, but some sugars are actually good for you. Galactose is a sugar that is found in milk (lactose is glucose and galactose bound together) that has been referred to as brain sugar because it aids in vital information and control processes in the human body – and galactose does not stimulate any insulin response. Ribose is a sugar with a history of beneficial uses (although it’s not very sweet). Trehalose, which is becoming popular with diabetics, tastes closer to the refined sugar we are familiar with than many other healthy sugars but has a very low effect on blood glucose levels, as it releases glucose very slowly.

    These three sugars are healthier than table sugar, but they are far less popular and not as easily found at the store or used in the home. Here are a few tips and tricks to help reduce your family’s unhealthy sugar intake when an otherwise-healthy recipe calls for sugar or for when a “sweet tooth” acts up.

    Sugar cravings tend to hit when we’re bored, stressed or tired. These also happen to be times when we want a quick solution, such as a candy bar or a caffeinated, sugar-packed soda. To help prevent yourself from reaching for the junk drawer, plan ahead by keeping a supply of sweet fruits nearby. Strawberries, blueberries, peaches, figs, raisins, dates, mango, raspberries – there are countless fruits available that can help

    curb a sweet tooth. These fruits are sweet because they contain natural sugars that are far less damaging to your body than the white, refined granules (or worse, high-fructose corn syrup) used in junk foods. One of the most important advantages of eating whole fruits rather than their juices is that the whole fruit contains fiber, which helps slow down the uptake of sugar from your digestive tract. Although dried fruits will release their sugars faster than fresh fruits, berries carry the lowest glycemic index in the fruit kingdom.

    At the end of a meal, instead of serving up a slice of cake or plate of cookies, try combining a dairy product such as cottage cheese or yogurt with your family’s favorite fruits and berries. The result is a sweet and creamy dessert everyone at the table is sure to love.

    For those of us who enjoy baking but want to cut down on the amount of refined sugar we use, honey, yacon syrup and stevia are great alternatives. But you need to be careful about how much honey you use.

    Cooks have been using honey as a sweetener for far longer than they have been using granulated sugar. Honey is digested more slowly than is table sugar (sucrose), which creates a steadier source of blood sugar and therefore energy. Honey also contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients – sugar has none of these.

    Agave nectar is popular as a natural sweetener, but it is mostly fructose, which is already all too prevalent due to the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup by the processed food industry.

    Yacon syrup is derived from a South American root and has been shown in clinical studies to actually stimulate weight loss and provide

    nourishment to the healthy intestinal bacteria. It is fairly new to the developed countries markets and takes some experimenting to incorporate it into recipes – however, there is a great deal of information about it on the Internet.

    Finally, there is stevia, one of the sweetest natural sugar alternatives on the market. Stevia is actually good overall choice as it is noncaloric. It is an extract of a natural herb, and a high-intensity natural sweetener that has been used in South American indigenous medicine to help diabetics. It would be wise to get used to it, as it has health benefits as well.

    The steviasides extracted from the stevia plant are approximately 300 times sweeter than sugar when extracted, making it the sweetest alternative. Since it has no calories, it also has a negligible glycemic index rating, which means it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. This helps control cravings, maintain energy and avoid lulls in energy after a meal. Stevia’s very low glycemic index rating also makes it a good option for diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels closely.

    Western diets tend to be filled with refined sugars that offer little or no nutritional value beyond the energy they provide; consume vital vitamins and minerals in their meta-bolism; and often raise insulin levels, which leads to fat storage, which creates insulin resistance – the start of a “vicious cycle.” Limiting your intake of sugar-filled pro-cessed foods, enjoying the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables, and experimenting in the kitchen with sugar alternatives will help prevent that cycle.

    From cookies and cakes to juices and sauces, Western culinary cultures depend largely on refined sugar to sweeten just about everything in the kitchen. And that doesn’t even take into account the sugar-packed premade foods so common today in most grocery and convenience stores (as well as vending machines).

    Natural Sweeteners

  • Family Health

    22 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 23

    Andropause, or male menopause, isn’t as well-known as female menopause, but it is a very real, natural par t of male aging. Compared with menopause, andropause is only now beginning to be studied and understood in the medical world. Because it is not as widely understood as meno-pause, this male version of age-related changes remains relatively unrecognized.

    Andropause is a normal, natural process that the human male body goes through as it ages. It is associated with changes in cer tain hormones. Menopause is char-acterized by decreasing levels of estrogen. Andropause is characterized by decreasing levels of male sex hormones (androgens) – most notably testosterone.

    Even as the body of evidence on andropause continues to grow within the medical community, it remains relatively unknown among men – even men whose bodies are suffering from low testosterone. Men are unlikely to be diagnosed and treated for andropause in part because men are far less likely than women to visit their doctor when feeling less vibrant, especially when dealing with a reduction in sexual desire and function.

    In many modern societies, men still cling to outdated ideas of machismo and stoicism. These men take great pride in their mascu-linity and avoid circumstances that threaten their manly image. Many of the symptoms associated with andropause – decreased libido, loss of energy, depression, even

    erectile dysfunction – are viewed as an embarrassing threat to manhood. Con-sequently, men often ignore these kinds of changes rather than seek help.

    These men who link their self-worth to being strong and virile can have an especially difficult time dealing with a decreased libido. Because they don’t want to visit a doctor for help, men may withdraw from the problem quietly, which can ultimately lead to depres-sion and relationship problems.

    Thankfully, andropause does not need to be viewed as an embarrassing condition. Andropause is simply a natural stage of a man’s life and much more common than many people realize. Better still, help is available. In the most severe cases, testo-sterone replacement therapy can often help some of the feelings associated with andropause.

    Yet one more reason andropause may go unnoticed is that it generally sets in much more gradually than menopause. Starting around age 30, testosterone levels in men begin to decrease by about 10 percent per decade. Typically, the signs of andropause manifest themselves between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the Canadian Society for the Study of the Aging Male, 30 percent of men in their 50s have levels of testosterone low enough to put them at risk for symptoms of andropause. Because testosterone levels continue to decrease as men age, that number increases for men in their 60s and beyond.

    Some less visible characterist ics of andropause such as irritability, anxiety and moodiness may even go completely unnoticed by a man who is not in touch with his emotions until his partner points out that he is acting differently.

    Fur thermore, because the ef fects of andropause can vary so widely from per-son to person, it can easily be overlooked. Andropause can be difficult to understand because of the time in life it often sets in. It may be misinterpreted simply as a “midlife crisis.” Unfortunately, changing jobs, buy-ing a new sports car, having an affair or responding in other stereotypical ways to midlife crises will do nothing to replace the loss of testosterone or rebalance the endo- crine system, which is centrally involved in andropause.

    The many factors preventing andropause from being recognized, combined with a general lack of awareness, make it even more important for men to be aware of it and feel open to discussing it as they age. It is important for men to stay aware because without proper attention it can lead to heart disease or weakened bones, which can lead to debilitating fractures. Aside from preventing these kinds of things, dealing openly with andropause is a good way to help men feel better about themselves as they age.

    When you hear a list of words such as hot flashes, decreased libido, not sleeping and reduced energy, the first thing that probably comes to mind is menopause. While these are all symptoms of the changes that happen to women as they grow past their reproductive years, men can experience the exact same symptoms as they age as well.


  • Family Health

    24 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 25

    The Importance of Job Satisfaction

    The meta-analysis (a study of many studies), which focused on the relationship between job satisfaction and health, underscores the need to take a holistic approach to health. Every part of a person’s life can affect the other parts; a bad day at the office can affect your home life. According to some studies, too much of the wrong kind of stress at work can lead to increased chances of illness.

    A large number of men in the workforce feel that they are working dead-end jobs and would like to find new, more fulfilling ones. Surveys in both Europe and the U.S. show that less than half of today’s workers are satisfied with their current jobs.

    Knowing that job satisfaction levels can affect health, these surveys may also point out that a large number of these men are not as healthy as they could be.

    Work-related stress and lack of satisfaction at work can lead to difficult relationships, sleeping issues and heart disease and can affect virtually every aspect of a person’s health. Dealing with tight deadlines, late work nights and unsympathetic management can contribute to sustained levels of stress. While the right kind of stress in reasonable amounts can be a good force in a person’s life (such as dealing with many parts of a creative project that are challenging but satisfying), too much stress of the wrong kind (such as impossible deadlines or always being blamed by management for things outside of a worker’s control) can cause negative health effects.

    Hormones released during times of stress, such as adrenaline and cortisol, fueled the “fight or flight” reactions our ancestors relied on for survival in the wild. But these hormones can be damaging to the body if their release is not associated with physical exertion – as is often the case in modern workweek stress.

    As a job becomes less satisfying, stress levels rise. Problems at work can begin spilling into other areas of life. Home life, friendships and personal health can all be affected. When this starts to happen, it’s time to look at your work situation and make some much-needed changes.

    Bosses should take note of these findings as well. For instance, many other studies have shown that happier employees take fewer sick days. Sometimes simply shifting your focus may be all that it takes to be more satisfied with your work environment. Avoiding water-cooler gossip, focusing on successes and learning to leave work at the office instead of taking it home every night can have a big impact on stress levels.

    Stop having negative thoughts, and focus on the positive aspects of your work life. Focusing on the aspects of your work that you don’t enjoy will ultimately align your overall thought patterns to negative ways of thinking. If you don’t enjoy your work, but you’re fond of your coworkers, try shifting your focus to building relationships at the office. Focus on what you like about your work, not what you don’t like about it.

    Think about the contribution you are making to your workplace, your family or even society in general. If you have trouble with upper management but enjoy your co-workers, try to view your job as a way of supporting your coworkers.

    What we focus on tends to dictate the types of things we attract into our life and surround ourselves with. Often, just changing our focus is enough to make an old, stressful job feel like a new, exciting one.

    If changing the way you view your job is not enough, you may owe it to your health to find a new career that gives you more joy and satisfaction. Focusing on the positive is important when looking for a new job as well. Taking time to make a list of what is important to you in life will help shape your job search.

    Ask yourself some important questions. What kinds of work tasks or activities do you enjoy doing? What gives you satisfaction in life? Would you be happier with a job you didn’t enjoy that paid a lot of money or with a job that leaves you feeling satisfied at the end of the day? There is no right or wrong answer to these kinds of questions, as long as you know what satisfies you at work and you make your decisions with attentive focus.

    A study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine found that job satisfaction level is an important factor influencing the health of workers.

  • Family Health

    THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 201426

  • 27

    People who are just beginning to learn the art of growing young always want to know what their ideal weight should be. And there are plenty of magazines, websites and fad diets promising to show both men and women how they can have a body just like their favorite model, actress or athlete. However, because everyone is different, chances are your perfect body weight isn’t the same as anyone else’s.

    One of the many problems with the diet industry’s war on fat is that it has reinforced an unhealthy belief that being as skinny as possible means being as healthy as possible. In reality, being underweight can cause just as many health concerns as being overweight.

    Contrary to popular belief, at least one study has actually shown that having a few extra pounds can help contribute to a longer life for some individuals. A meta-data research project by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, found that individuals who were slightly overweight (according to generally accepted weight tables) were less likely to develop cancer and heart disease. Even more surprising, they learned that these same people were less likely to die from several other conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, infections and chronic respiratory disease.

    It cannot be stressed enough that the results of this study do not endorse a lifestyle that leaves a woman overweight or obese. Obesity has been concretely linked to a host of maladies such as higher rate of death due to kidney disease, hear t disease and diabetes. However, it underscores the idea that obsessing about weight can be

    detrimental to your overall health as well. Instead of worrying about what the scale is going to show, focus on staying positive about your weight, think about it being in a healthy range even if you desire to lose a little. But regardless, remain active.

    Being overly concerned about your weight, especially if you are only slightly overweight, can cause stress, which can stimulate even more serious health problems. It’s important to keep a positive focus on your health and not get caught up in unrealistic stereotypes.

    Women are constantly bombarded with images of ultrathin models in magazines, on television and in the movies. It’s quite possible that learning to love ourselves for who and what we are, along with making the correct, healthy lifestyle changes as we learn, will be among the most important things we can do for ourselves – especially during a holiday season filled with cookies, candies and other sweet treats.

    There is nothing wrong with enjoying the great tastes of most of the holiday treats. The key is to limit them to a reasonable amount and a reasonable time limit. But don’t let a little indulgence spoil your holidays. Just keep within you the positive feelings that they are a well-appreciated treat for now, just for now. Don’t let a little holiday indulgence get you into a negative mode. Be smart… observe them but don’t let them become a habit.

    Loving your body requires letting go of those unrealistic stereotypes and recognizing you are beautiful already. This is much easier said than done for many women. It’s not easy to change your thinking so quickly, but there are ways to help foster a positive body image that will pay off in all areas of your life.

    Some women find that keeping a Top 10 list of things they like about themselves can be a very helpful way to counteract the constant messaging about weight loss in the media. The list doesn’t even have to include physical aspects. Be sure to look at it often.

    Body image is an intensely personal issue that women struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely struggle. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive-focused women. Spending time with people who make you feel good will help you learn how to like yourself just as you are.

    It also helps you learn how to view yourself as a whole person. When you look in the mirror, don’t just look at the parts of your body that you may not like. Instead of getting distracted by looking at parts of you that you don’t think are perfect, remind yourself to look at your inner beauty. That is really you… that is what people see, and that is a wonderful thing. Always remember that you are unique and you are beautiful. Think about all the nice people you like – friends, family or whomever. Think about how you see them. You love them for who and what they are. They don’t have to have perfect bodies for you to love and appreciate them. Just realize that they have the same kinds of feelings about you.

    Turning your focus from weight loss to healthy living is not something you can easily do overnight. Give yourself grace during the process and understand that you are working toward a healthier, happier life. And you are not the only one. Millions of others are just like you. Let that knowledge steer your thoughts in a positive direction that further brings more positive experiences, thoughts and people into your life.

    From week to week, day to day and even hour to hour, it’s natural for a woman’s body weight to fluctuate. That’s one reason hitting, and maintaining, weight goals can be frustrating. With this in mind, and because body image can greatly affect your whole health, give yourself a break this holiday season and try to not fret too much about putting on weight over the winter holiday season.

    A Body to Love

  • Family Health

    28 THE ART OF GROWING YOUNG November/December 2014

  • 29

    Learning how to maintain a healthy diet is a very important par t of growing up. Many parents know all too well how difficult it can be to get their children to eat healthy foods. It’s so much easier when you serve nutrition-rich meals that are tasty – ones that your children look forward to eating. But that takes commitment on the part of parents.

    A healthy diet is a major key to maintaining a healthy life. Having healthy eating habits in place can help prevent overeating at holiday parties and overindulging on festive treats. It’s never too early (or too late) to start learning about nutrition, but it’s especially vital for a growing child. Learning about nutrition and healthy eating habits at a young age will help your children learn to make wise choices when you’re not around.

    One of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage healthy eating habits in your children is to be a good role model and eat healthy yourself. Whether you realize it or not, your children are constantly observing and mimicking your behavior – the good and the bad. Kids who grow up in families that sit down together for a healthy dinner every night are much more likely to retain that tradition in their own families when they grow up. On the other hand, kids who grow up eating micro wave dinners in the front of the television are much more likely to keep that habit when they grow up. Which habit would you prefer your child develop?

    Don’t forget to role-model portion control. Pay attention to the amount of food you put on your plate and theirs. It’s also important to promote a positive self-image by keeping your own weight complaints and diet frustr-ations to yourself. Be a positive role model in all areas of food health by eating slowly,

    chewing well and engaging the family is meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Family meals should be a regular pra-ctice reinforcing support and comfort for all members of the family. Children will enjoy the structure and predictability (even if they don’t realize it) and parents get a chance to actually sit down and spend quality time with their children. Turn off the TV, limit other distractions and truly enjoy one another.

    Children, especially young ones, are able to eat only the foods you keep at home as this is their sole food supply. If you stock your refrigerator and pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy snack options, your children will learn from a young age how to eat a healthy diet. By the time they are old enough to pay for their junk foods, they will already prefer the taste (and resulting feeling) of healthy food options.

    When your children start going to school, be sure to stock a wide variety of healthy foods for them to snack on when they get home in the afternoon. Peanut butter (without added sugar), celery, cheese, mixed nuts, apples, pears and other fruits, hard-boiled eggs, carrot sticks and yogurt are just a few healthy options for your kids to choose from.

    Variety should extend into meals too. Even if your child swears he or she could eat the same meal every day and be happy, serving a variety of foods will provide a wider spectrum of nutritional support and will foster advent-urous eating – which can lead to wonderful and exciting meals later in life.

    Make your house a sugar-free drink zone. Don’t buy sugar-laden drinks such as soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and many of the manufactured, overly processed fruit juices.

    Instead, serve water or milk. Fruit juices can be used as a healthier treat on occasion, especially diluted with sparkling water – it is always healthier to eat the whole fruit than to drink just the juice. For people of all ages, water, milk (for those who are not dairy sensitive) and herbal teas are the best refreshment options.

    Getting the kids involved with meal preparation is a great way to get them excited about what you’re eating. Talk to them about choices and about how to plan a balanced meal. See if they will help you shop for ingredients and read labels, using the myriad of choices at the grocery store to help train them to select wholesome foods. Offer children age-appropriate duties to help you prepare the meal, and don’t forget to praise them for a job well done. School lunches can also be fertile training ground for healthy choices. If you can get your children to think about what they eat for lunch, you might be able to help them make positive food decisions. At the store, shop together for healthy lunch foods and encourage your child to try new (healthy) foods.

    Food choices and eating habits should be a natural, stress-free process. Try not to fall into the habit of bargaining or bribing children to eat healthfully without conflict. Many parents find it helpful to give their children some control of meal options, but limit the foods from which they can choose. For example, let your child pick which green vegetable to go with dinner.

    Leading by example is one of the most ef fective ways to help ensure your child grows up to be a healthy, adventurous eater. The more firmly in place healthy eating habits are, the easier it is to avoid over-indulging on all the snacks they will encounter this holiday season.

    Are you aware of how much your children’s eating habits change during the holidays? From cookies and candies to hot chocolate and eggnog, foods we traditionally eat during the holiday season are seldom super-healthy. Creating healthy habits early in life most of the year helps people of all ages survive the holiday temptations. Nevertheless your children face the same kinds of temptations you do. Total abstinence from all those holiday treats is not the answer.

    Growing Up Healthy: Creating Healthy Eating Habits Early in Life

  • JOINT FORMULANutritional support for joints◊

    Only available in Italy.

    Not available in Italy.

    Not available in Italy.

    ◊These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a diversified diet.

    We all like to keep fit – but fitness is about more than just muscles. Our joints do all the hard work in carrying us around, so it’s important to look after them as part of our well-being. Joint Formula is designed to help support your joints for an active lifestyle and is a precise combination of minerals shown to support normal joints.◊

    © 2014 Lifeplus International

  • 31

    Does stress affect my physical health?Study after study has shown that too much mental/emotional stress can be physically damaging to your body. In fact, research shows that our feelings (positive versus negative) can have a major impact on our overall health. Some statistics estimate that up to 90 percent of all doctor visits are due to stress-related illnesses. Reducing and managing stress are definitely important aspects in protecting your health. Exercise, eating right and making sure you get a good night’s sleep are three easy ways to help combat stress – and practices such as progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback training or meditation help reduce the negative consequences of stress on body and mind. Of course, trying to avoid situations where you may experience more stress is worthwhile, though not always possible.

    Should I cut all fat out of my diet?Unfortunately fats and oils have gotten a bad reputation over the past few decades. It may be true that in large amounts some types of fat can be bad for your health, such as man-made trans fats. But most fats are not just okay to consume; they are an essential part of your diet. Fats and oils have multiple benefits for your body. They aid in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, and provide energy. Of course, omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as herring, sardines and salmon, are among the healthiest fats. Modern fad diets have caused many people to cut all fats out of their diets. But even in strict vegan diets, the fat content is still about 10%, though many people find such a diet difficult to live on long term. Several other “high fat” foods such as avocado, many seeds and nuts, many meats (pasture-raised or wild), olive oil, fish oils, butter, cream and others are now known to be very supportive of health. This makes sense when you consider the high percentage of fat in all the membranes of our body cells and even more so the high fat content of our nervous system and our brain cells. However, unless you have a high level of daily physical activity that will burn all the saturated fats you consume, it’s a good idea to limit your consumption of the long-chain saturated fats found in dairy and meat. If the saturated fats are not used for energy, they can end up in cell membranes, where they reduce membrane flexibility.

    Ask the Expert

    How can I get more vitamin D during the winter?Vitamin D levels tend to decrease during the winter because our bodies rely on the sun’s ultraviolet rays to produce the essential nutrient within our bodies. When the sun is out less (and its ultraviolet rays are weaker), we are exposed to less vitamin D-producing light from the sun. Getting enough vitamin D is especially hard considering that many doctors are recommending upwards of 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day for certain age groups. Fatty fish such as herring, sardines and salmon are some of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, as are mushrooms, eggs and beef liver. Cereals, milk, soymilk and orange juice are some good choices of foods commonly fortified with vitamin D. Unfortunately no dietary source comes close to providing the amounts obtained by exposure to sunlight in the spring, summer and early fall in temperate climates, or the amount available in some nutritional supplements. The best way to ensure that your body is receiving enough vitamin D is to make an effort to spend more time outdoors during midday – peak sun hours – and take a vitamin D supplement. If you take large amounts (more than 4,000 IU per day) it’s a good idea to have the level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in your blood measured several times a year, aiming for a level above 40 ng/ml but below 80 ng/ml. And, of course, do the best you can in winter months to expose as much of your body as you can to the sun – there is increasing evidence that the human body has physiologic responses to sunlight that go beyond the production of vitamin D, including setting the circadian rhythm (the “body clock”).

  • 6497

    Proanthenols® 100Support your body in protecting itself from oxidative stress!◊

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    This synergistic formula also includes Vitamin C, which is shown to contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative damage.◊

    Only available in Italy.

    Not available in Italy.

    Not available in Italy.

    © 2014 Lifeplus International

    ◊These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a diversified diet.