Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • 3 Easy ways to get in a healthful dose of antioxidants

    Antioxidants are quite the rage these days. Everywhere you look, whether it is on food labels or on skin care products, antioxidants are advertised. Why are they so popular? It is because research has shown that antioxidants provide a wide range of benefits when it comes to your health. They help to stabilize cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They aid in the breakup of plaque in the blood vessels ultimately supporting the body's circulatory system and enhancing blood flow. They are a great source for enhanced energy levels and they improve nutrient uptake at the cellular level which leads to many health benefits including healthy aging.

    So where can you get a dose of these age-fighting compounds?

    Simple…in your food. Although many foods contain antioxidants, most types of berries are true superstars, with blueberries and acai berries being the most powerful. Luckily, berries are really yummy and easy to eat. Here are a few ways to get in your daily dose:

    1. Berries
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  • User Post: 5 Things to do at the end of the day

    Every day, as soon as I walk through the door when I get home from work, I can't wait to take off my work clothes and slip into 'something more comfortable'. As sexy as this may sound, it often means slipping into old sweats and a t-shirt, or if I know I'm in for the evening, my every day, nothing special PJs.

    It doesn't matter if the day was great or if it was difficult. It doesn't matter if I wore business casual or if I was required to wear a suit. Whatever the day, whatever the attire, taking off the 'stiff' clothes and putting on something that is more relaxed is one of the best feelings of the day. That said, there are many things we can do home to take 'a load off'. Here are some ideas:

    1. Take a Bath: Taking a bath can provide a lot of healthful benefits, in addition to relaxation. To maximize the experience, play some soft music and light some candles to set the mood. Use moisturizing bath oil to ensure that your skin stays soft and doesn't dry out.
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  • Splenda's new sham

    You may have seen the television ads for the 'new and improved' Splenda: Splenda with Fiber. Call me cynical, but this idea just seems silly. From the makers of Splenda, this seems like a great idea. They argue that the average adult needs 25 grams of fiber every day, but only gets 13. This very well may be true, but does this mean that individuals should turn to this product to rack up the fiber? I don't think so...and here's why:

    1. Big Bad Sucralose: Splenda is made with sucralose which is not so great for you. Sure, the FDA has approved it as a safe artificial sweetener (yes folks, it is manufactured in a laboratory), but believe me, the FDA has its own motives. This past September, Duke University published a study that concludes Splenda DOES, indeed, have side effects. It "contributes to obesity, destroys "good" intestinal bacteria and prevents prescription drugs from being absorbed." So, regardless of the fiber, why ingest this product?
    2. Putting Lipstick on
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  • User Post: 3 easy ways to make Super Bowl Sunday healthier

    As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, some of us are planning Big Game parties. Believe it or not, Super Bowl Sunday is the number one snacking day and possibly the second biggest food celebration day after Thanksgiving. The typical Super Bowl Party is notorious for unhealthy snacks that are high in fat, carbohydrates and salt. If you're hosting this year, why not offer your fans healthier alternatives to the traditional 'empty calorie' fiesta? Here are three easy ways to keep the flavor full, while providing your guests with a more nutritious day:

    1. Keep the Chili, Hold the Fat: Chili is a great crowd-pleaser. It can sit on your stove top all day and guests can help themselves. To make yours healthier than the traditional, opt for a bean-based vegetarian chili. Beans offer tons of protein, nutrients and fiber. If, however, your crowd will be filled with lots of meat lovers, switch out your ground red meat with 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey (Jennie- Os is a brand found in most
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  • User Post: Is your personal trainer REALLY doing his job?

    Every weekend, while downstairs in our building's fitness center, I see this one personal trainer with his client. I have seen them there every weekend for the better part of 6 months. The client is a woman who is probably in her mid to late 30s, is extremely overweight and seems to lack genuine interest in exercise. I say this because she tends to do more talking than exercising. Further, her discussions are one way conversations, consistently involving her asking her personal trainer about newly released diet pills, exercise pills, weight loss surgery, plastic surgery and the latest and greatest gossip of the most recent face lifts, liposuction, miracle diets, etc., of the stars of Hollywood. Even with my iPod at full blast, she is so loud and distracting, that it is quite difficult to tune her out.

    The reason I am bringing this up, however, isn't so much to discuss the client, but rather to discuss the personal trainer. Having been a group fitness instructor and personal

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  • User Post: 5 Foods to avoid on a date (if you don't want to feel bloated, gassy, and....blah)

    As a married woman, I have become somewhat accustomed to the fact that my digestive tract and my husband's digestive tract have their moments of 'not so perfect' etiquette. It is, after all, human to pass gas. And, as a result, I've become perfectly accepting of those less than lady-like or gentlemanly-like moments on a whole.

    That said, whether you are married or single, going on a date should be special. You want to look your best and feel your best. You may have a favorite outfit you like to wear. You may like to exercise that day to ensure you look a little extra 'buff'. You may even head to your nail or hair salon for a little extra primping. But what about your insides? How do you get them prepared for a special, romantic evening? It isn't as easy, is it? For instance, if I eat certain things, I can end up feeling like a sausage: stuffed...gassy...bloated. This doesn't always manifest itself in the best of ways and can quickly become an uncomfortable and awkward situation,

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  • User Post: Are you predisposed to stick to a fitness program?

    Whether or not you exercise, you may have a predisposition to adhering to a program more than others. Although there aren't a lot of scientific studies out there on this topic, AFAA, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, has developed four distinct categories of the population, each with its own behavioral characteristics. Their view is that certain populations require different motivators to facilitate exercise adherence within group fitness classes.

    Although AFAA specifically applies these categories to group fitness participants, some of the principles can be applied to the adherence of any exercise regimen. Having an idea as to which of these four categories you fall into, may actually provide you with insights that will help you increase your chances of adhering to any fitness program. The four categories are described in detail below.:

    Type A: Type A people are most likely to exercise every day. They will sometimes exercise for 1 to 2 hours at a time or

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  • Thank you!!!!

    This is just a quick note to say Thank You to the Shine Community, Editors and Users for naming me "Woman of the Year". What a wonderful surprise. I hope all of you have a fantastic New Year...and one that is healthy, happy and balanced!

    Keep checking for my blogs (if you like them!)...there will be lots more in 2009!

    With lots of smiles,
    Brett

  • User Post: Stevia: Finally, the FDA approves the sweet little herb

    In the middle of December, the FDA FINALLY approved Rebiana, the best part of the stevia plant, as a safe and natural sweetener. HOORAY. As most of you know, I'm a HUGE fan of stevia, as it is a natural herb that provides a potent sweet taste without any calories or any chemical crap that you will find in artificial sweeteners. That said, Stevia tends to be extremely potent, has a bit of an aftertaste and has a consistency that is a bit like confection sugar, making it difficult to use. Truvia and PureVia, two new sweetners that have recently come to the market, are formulated to be more like sugar.

    Truvia and PureVia are made with rebiana, the most tasty part of the stevia leaf, and Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, naturally found in some fruits that is 60-70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, which means that it is unlikely to cause gastric side effects. PureVia also has

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  • Is a healthy diet just common sense?

    Having been entrenched in wellness for the better part of fifteen years, it is hard for me to be unaware of my health and my habits which impact my health. For instance, I can't imagine life without exercise. I can't imagine eating unhealthy on a regular basis. I can't imagine being sedentary. And, I can't imagine living life being generally unhealthy. To some of you, this may sound crazy, while others may understand it and feel the same way. The fact is, my healthy lifestyle is just that...my lifestyle. It isn't a diet.

    It isn't an extreme exercise philosophy. It is just a way of life. That said, there are times that I take my lifestyle for granted. I forget how difficult it is for so many people who struggle with being healthy. Some of these individuals try every fad diet to lose weight and may even resort to pills and miracle drugs that are marketed as a quick 'fix' solution. Personally, I never quite get it.

    Don't get me wrong. I understand how some individuals

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