Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Smoking not only cuts your lifespan by affecting your internal organs, but it also ages you on the outside by causing skin damage. Tobacco smoking can give you wrinkles, create pucker lines around your mouth, stain your teeth and fingers, rob your skin of nutrients, break down youth-enhancing collagen and make your skin look grey. It makes you wonder how smoking is often marketed as glamorous and attractive.
Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, bok choy, asparagus and watercress) are a great start to any meal. The wider variety of colours you have on your plate, the more likely you are to ingest a wider range of nutrients. Steaming or frying these in coconut oil will ensure the produce maintains much of its nutrients. Having these in your diet five days a week should be the minimum to keep you ticking along.
Drink more water. Most of us don’t drink enough water every day. Water is essential for our body to function. Did you know that over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out body functions, remove waste, and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water every day through urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake. Since food intake contributes about 20% of our fluid intake, that means we need to drink about 8-10 glasses a day to stay hydrated.
It is so important to make ‘keeping healthy’ a part of our day-to-day living habits. Your health depends on what you do throughout the day, everyday. A healthy lifestyle is absolutely vital. Here is a real simple solution – slowly improve your lifestyle in a step-by-step way. If you take one new health step every two months, for example, in two to three years you will be among the healthiest ten percent of people in the Western world. And boy will you see and feel the benefits.
One simple thing you can do is, especially for close distances, choose walking over riding, driving or taking transportation. You can climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. You can pick exercises that are easy to do at home or outside that you enjoy. When you enjoy the physically activities you choose for yourself, most likely you’ll enjoy them and naturally want to do them. Exercise is about being healthy and having fun at the same time. Also, mixing up your exercises will keep them interesting.
Just for today, replace some of the carbohydrates (rice, pasta, cereal, breads) in your diet with protein (meat, beans, egg, fish, etc.) at each meal. Researchers at the University of Illinois put people on either a traditional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet or a moderate-protein diet. At the end of four months, all study participants lost the same amount of weight, but those who ate more protein lost 22 percent more fat and gained more muscle, leaving them looking fit and trim. The high-carbohydrate group was left "skinny fat."
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

While we’re all different when it comes to the amount of sleep we require to be at our best during the day, seven to nine hours a night is an accepted norm. Understand how much you need and do your best to protect this requirement by organizing your commitments accordingly. Begin your bedtime routine an hour before the time you actually need to be sleeping. If that’s turning all the lights off, brushing your teeth, getting into your pyjamas and reading a book, then give yourself the time to wind down before your head actually hits the pillow.


A good atmosphere for a healthy lifestyle includes being around other people that have the same drive to be healthy, not around those that encourage unhealthy behaviors. Also, maintaining a clean house (especially kitchen) will make you feel like you're more in control of your life and thus will help you lead a better life. Last but not least, remember that health is not a destination but a journey, so you must always be working towards a healthier body and life.
This loaded veggie bowl gets a touch of smoke from the chili-spiced sweet potatoes and roasted bell pepper and plenty of zing from fresh lime. Chili powder and lime also give toasted almonds an addictive crust; make extra and enjoy as a snack. Cotija cheese has a dry, crumbly texture—it won’t melt or disappear into the bowl. Use it to top tacos, stir into whole-grain salads, or top roasted broccoli.
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Breathe deeply on purpose. Oxygen is a vital source of life. You may know how to breathe, but are you breathing properly? Most of us don’t breathe properly — we take only shallow breaths and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. A full breath is one where your lungs are completely filled, your abdomen expands, and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders. There are many benefits of deep breathingwhich include a reduction in stress and blood pressure, strengthening of abdominal and intestinal muscles and relief of general body aches and pains. Deep breathing also helps with better blood flow, releasing toxins from the body, and aids in getting a better night’s sleep.

Make your own snacks using a mixture of fresh and baked ingredients. They don’t have to be complicated either. If you have children, get them to help make their own snacks for school. Experiment with new recipes, and replace your favourite snacks with healthy versions. Replace chips with homemade potato wedges or cut up some vegies and make a dip or salsa. Try our quick and easy avocado salsa. As you get better in the kitchen, you might like to share recipes with friends or make up your own.
Carolyn, agree completely, a plant-based Mediterranean style diet is the best diet for health. That includes some whole grains, ideally in intact form (such as farro, quinoa, and brown rice), some healthy proteins and fats (legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken), and mostly fruits and veggies. Refined grains, like white flour and sugar, and everything made from them (bread, pastas, backed goods, cereals, et cetera) are the real culprit.
Tobacco use causes atherosclerotic arterial disease (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and lack of blood flow to the lower extremities. Tobacco use causes an estimated 20%-30% of coronary heart disease in the U.S. It also further increases the risk of heart attacks among subjects with elevated cholesterol, uncontrolled hypertension, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Plant-based eating is a trend that won't go away anytime soon. A flexitarian eating style, allowing anyone and everyone to add more produce and other plant nutrients to their day, appears to be a main driver. “Options that allow people to go more plant-based without becoming totally vegan or vegetarian is a trend that is gaining more momentum,” says Patricia Bannan, RDN, who is in private practice in Los Angeles. “For example, the mushroom-and-meat blended burger has really taken off, and continues to grow across the board at the restaurant, retail, and consumer levels. This burger has an improved nutritional profile and even more of the brothy, rich, meaty umami flavor compared with a traditional burger.”

Eating two or more servings of fish a week is linked with a 30 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, studies show. Fish—especially oily kinds like salmon and tuna—are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce levels of triglycerides that can cause heart problems. Omega-3s also help lower blood pressure and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms. Which fish is best? No common fish delivers more of the omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Go for wild-caught Alaskan salmon if you can. Compared to most farmed salmon, it's generally lower in calories and pollutants and higher in omega-3s—and is better for the planet.
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