Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • Omegas 3 and 6: What you really need to know

    When it comes to eating healthy, you have probably heard a lot about Essential Fatty Acids...EFAs...or Omega 3s and Omega 6s. You also probably know that there is good reason to eat these, and that they are essential, pardon the pun, to a healthy diet. What you might not know, however, is that all Omegas are not created equal.

    In truth, yes, both are important to a healthy diet. Why? Because they are fatty acids that your body can not produce on its own...as a result, you depend on the foods you eat to get them. They are good for us because they lower bad cholesterol, and support and regulate the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. Further, they help to manufacture and repair cell membranes and maintain the oil barrier of the skin. The commonly unknown fact, however, is that the ratio in which you eat these EFAs is even more important than consuming them.

    An ideal intake ratio of Omega 6s and Omega 3 fatty acids is between 1:1 and 4:1. Unfortunately,

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  • User Post: Sugar: 8 Shocking facts

    In case you haven't heard, sugar is quite the bad boy for a healthy diet. Part of the reason for this is because the more sugar you consume, the more you crave it. And while sugar is an ingredient that is definitely worth indulging in once in awhile, over indulging can cause many health problems, both in the short term and the long term.

    Why, however, has it become such a problem? In a recent teleconference that we held, expert Allison Reyna enlightened us on some very interesting factoids about the sweet white stuff and why it has become such a topic of concern in recent years:

    1. Today's Consumption: Today, an average American consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar each week. While at the end of the 19th century (1887-1890), the average American consumed only 5 lbs. per year.
    2. A Continual Rise: Over the last 20 years, sugar consumption in the U.S. has increased 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year.
    3. Hidden Culprits: Sugar consumption includes highly
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  • 6 Healthy and easy ways to overcome jetlag

    Having just traveled internationally, I was reminded of how it feels to fall victim to a mega dose of jet lag. I had full intentions of quickly adapting to my new timezone, but unfortunately, I made a fatal error in my plan to adapt. I drank not one, but TWO cappuccinos late in the day. Bad decision when trying to overcome 6 hours of a time difference!

    In the past, however, I have prided myself in adapting quickly...one day or so for a European destination. Not too shabby. This recent experience, however, has inspired me to share what HAS worked for a quick turnaround:

    1. Exercise: Staying in good shape, before and after your flight will be helpful. Continue to exercise at your destination and eat right.
    2. Stay Hydrated: When flying, you can easily become dehydrated due to the dry air on the plane. This can cause you to feel very tired. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your flight.
    3. Do as the Romans Do: Once you reach your
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  • I hate social networking

    Admittedly, I have become a product of the social-networking age. I Facebook. I Twitter. I Link-in. I You-Tube. At some point I Plaxo'd. Yet, a lot of the time, I do it because 'everyone else is doing it'...not because I'm predisposed to.

    Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with these online networks. On the upside, each has its benefits; and the idea of linking with the world is extremely provocative and maybe even romantic. On the downside, I find some aspects of this form of connecting somewhat off-putting.

    Curious if I was alone in my way of thinking, I questioned a lot of friends and colleagues on the topic. Much to my surprise (and to my delight), it turns out I'm not alone...many people take umbrage with several aspects of the social-networking phenomenon:

    1. Ridiculous Updates: 'Updating' people on a regular basis on the most insignificant and meaningless things is beyond strange. Personally, telling people what, how, and where I do things, just doesn't
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  • Madlyn Primoff: When has it become wrong to discipline your child?

    This week, a mother of two daughters, 10 and 12, was arrested for allegedly abandoning her children in the business district of Scarsdale, 3 miles away from their home. After the two daughters were bickering in the back seat, Madlyn Primoff had enough. She pulled over and told the girls to get out of the car, and proceeded to drive away. The 12 year old caught up with the mother, but the 10 year old was left alone. A successful attorney, Madlyn is now confronted with authorities and the public questioning her parenting skills.

    Growing up, I remember hearing stories of friends of my parents who were left as kids...and I mean KIDS in and around the same age as these two children...on the side of a road, miles away from their home town, with no money, so that they could 'find their way home.' These stories were described as a 'growing and learning experience.' An experience to instill 'self-confidence'. Many of these individuals turned out to be well-adjusted, happy, self-confident

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  • Do you spend enough time alone?

    I love to be alone. This may sound absurd, but for me, being alone is somewhat therapeutic. On one hand, you could chalk this up to the fact that I am an only child. Many only children are very comfortable being alone and are happy doing things by themselves. Or, you might think it is because I am an introvert (Although I have very extroverted moments, I am indeed an introvert at heart). Whatever the case may be, when I don't have enough time for myself, I feel drained, antsy and over stimulated. As a result, alone time becomes very important.

    It doesn't matter what I do when I am alone, as long as I get my 'me time' fix. I might shop. I might write. I might take a run. I might take a bath. I might even just veg out in front of the TV. Whatever the activity, it gives me the time I need to get away from others and to let myself recharge.

    Being alone isn't a statement about your relationships. Although I believe that relationships with others are a very important aspect to

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  • 5 Ways to keep your personal environment healthy

    Today, caring about the environment is a no-brainer. When we think about the environment, we tend to think about how we impact the planet. We tend to focus on global issues like deforestation, pollution, the shrinking ozone layer and waste management. We think about protecting the planet's species, saving the rain forests and the melting ice caps. Wow...it all can be pretty overwhelming. Our very big picture, macro perspective can cause paralysis when it comes to understanding how or even believing in our ability to have any impact.

    Whether or not you believe that it is our role to 'save the planet' and that global climate change is a reality, thinking about how your personal environment is impacting YOU is something that you should take an interest in. Our personal environments and the choices we make for ourselves has a tremendous impact on our health and on our wellbeing.

    Here are 5 things you can do to make your personal environment healthier:

    1. Keep Your Air Clean:

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  • 5 Life lessons from a Bolognese bistro

    Upon arriving in Bologna for a conference, I was determined to make every minute count: I checked into my hotel, checked my email, took a quick nap, showered and left for some sightseeing. At this point it was about 3:00pm and low and behold, it was siesta (an Italian tradition when most businesses shut down for a few hours to 'rest'). As a result, I was forced to stop my touristic whirlwind and took my own siesta in one of the few open bistros, choosing to eat dinner early so that I could take advantage of my "Perfect Storm" of jet lag, hunger and nothing to do.

    At RosaRose I ate local fare and watched the Fords, or shall I say bicycles and mopeds, go by. As a European, this time off is custom. As an American, however, this is foreign (pardon the pun). But yet, with no cellphone to answer...no laptop on which to type...no internet to distract...you somehow acclimate quite easily. So easily in fact, you quickly find yourself dreaming of this lifestyle as your own.

    Although I

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  • User Post: 6 Reasons you aren't losing weight from exercise

    We have a close family friend who has struggled with her weight for a good portion of her life. Brenda has "tried" a lot of things to slim down, but for some reason, never really has been successful. This last go-round of attempts included an exercise program. Brenda claimed that she went to the gym 3 times a week for about an hour and a half each visit and that she incorporated weights and cardio. She hates exercising and yet, she has maintained this regimen for the better part of a year. Unfortunately, much like her other attempts at losing weight, this too has not been successful.

    After asking Brenda a couple of questions to gauge what she was doing while she was at the gym, it became clear to me that Brenda was in a state of delusion...delusion about what she wasn't doing. Stories like these kill me. Why? Because people like Brenda think that the act of physically going to the gym means that there will be results. The truth is, it really isn't that simple. Just like the

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  • User Post: 10 Ways to not look old (and there is living proof!)

    Ever wonder if your healthy habits will really pay off? Ever think that a lot of what we hear from the press and media, moreover science, is just a lot of hoopla? Ever look in the mirror and wonder if you weren't healthy, if you would look any different? As we get older, we become hypersensitive to our aging process...questioning our lifestyle, our environment and even our gene pool. Which of these factors are really aging us, or if we are healthy, keeping us young? Today, my doubts were extinguished.

    Walking home, I met two women in their late 40s who are identical twins. Although they technically looked alike, one twin looked significantly older...I'd guesstimate about 10 years older. I came to find out that the older looking twin smoked. Huh. Remarkably similar genes...similar environment (they live minutes away from one another)...but very different lifestyles.

    These twins were living proof...this was as close as you could get to seeing the impact of lifestyle on the

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