Best Apps For Healthy Eating

Eating healthy has just gotten a whole lot easier. Track your daily caloric intake, locate in-season fruits and vegetables, and get the nutritional lowdown on your favorite foods all with the tips of your fingers. Here’s a compilation of the best apps out there that will make eating healthy convenient and delicious.

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Is a Gluten-Free Diet for You?

Everyone and everywhere, from my trendy roommate to chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, seem to be buzzing about being gluten-free. Before the advent of the “gluten-free” diet craze, going gluten-free was mainly a treatment for those with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s body does not tolerate gluten and a gluten-free diet is necessary. The consumption of gluten in a person with celiac disease results in the inflammation and damage of the small intestine. Patients with celiac disease often experience symptoms such as diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain and bloating. However, in recent days, people are taking up a gluten-free diet for gluten sensitivity and for the touted health benefits. Gluten sensitivity is a distinct disorder from celiac disease. Folks who are gluten sensitive do not test positive for celiac disease and do not have damage to the lower intestine; however, they may have symptoms as severe as celiac disease and feel better once gluten is cut out of their diet. As with every other food fad, you may be wondering about the gluten-free craze and whether it is right for you. Therefore, it’s important to have the low-down on gluten-free and its recent popularity with everyone from health nuts to A–list stars.

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Welcome to Isla Vista

Isla Vista, known as IV by the locals, is a lively, beachside community located next to the University of California, Santa Barbara. It is an unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County located on the south-facing portion, between two small peninsulas. Its earliest inhabitants were the Chumash, but now the majority of residents are either UCSB or Santa Barbara City College students along with a small, working Hispanic population. Its densely packed population of around 20,000 favor houses and apartments built on the south side of Del Playa Drive (DP) because of the beautiful ocean views, however these buildings are in danger of collapse due to the quickly eroding bluffs.

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Yoga: Can it be Harmful?

A recent New York Times article on how yoga can wreck your body has stirred a fiery debate on the risks of yoga and has led avid yoga practitioners, like myself, to look deeper into the issue. The article portrayed serious injuries ranging from torn Achilles tendons to strokes, even in young and healthy yoga practitioners. A renowned yoga instructor, Glenn Black, even recommended that most people should give up yoga altogether. The truth is these types of injuries are not all that common. A study done by researchers at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons found that yoga teachers, therapists and other clinicians reported the most common injuries were to the neck, lower back, shoulders/wrists and finally the knees. This leads to the question of why the big uproar on the risks of yoga, especially when other activities, like football, routinely cause concussions and other serious injuries, yet are a staple pastime for our country?

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Fiber Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

A follow-up of the U.K. Women’s Cohort Study involving more than 35,000 women found that pre-menopausal women who ate 30 grams of fiber a day had half the risk of breast cancer compared with those who ate less than 20 grams per day. In addition, high protein consumption and low vitamin C intake were associated with increased breast cancer risk among pre-menopausal women. Researchers suspect that since estrogen levels are higher in pre-menopausal women, dietary fiber earlier in life may be more important for regulating female hormones and lowering breast cancer risk. Fiber helps the body remove excess hormones, carcinogens, and toxic compounds. Fiber is not present in animal products, but is found in virtually all plant foods: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit.

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Sugar and Your Skin

With all the holiday cookies, cakes, pies, and hot chocolate, stacking up the calories may not be your only concern. Not only can all the yummy sugary treats make your belly bulge, it can make your skin look older and more wrinkled.

When you eat sugars, or anything that turns into glucose in your body, the glucose hits your bloodstream in a process called glycation. The glucose latches onto proteins to form a new molecule called advanced glycation end products, or AGE for short.

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Combining Fitness and Fun: Fighting Childhood Obesity

In 2001, a small daycare opened in Ontario, California, which was co-owned by Krista Davis-Morelos. In 2003, Little Promises Playhouse Daycare moved to the Santa Barbara area. Krista’s facility boasts a healthy and loving environment for children with a focus on the development of a child’s individual learning program. However, what makes Little Promises a unique facility is its attention to physical fitness.

For 30 minutes every Wednesday, the children of Little Promises Playhouse Daycare take part in yoga classes, where according to Krista, they “do actual yoga poses and rally around specific animals. [For example,] we may say they are crawling under a rock and they would do downward dog [a yoga pose]. We incorporate it into an animal so that it is entertaining for them.”

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Living in a Yang Culture Achieving Balance from Tai Chi

When you picture Tai Chi , what do you see? A group of people enacting different movements gracefully in a park? Or a spiritual leader, guiding his pupils through ancient Chinese holistic practices meant to inspire balance of the body and mind? Well, either is true. In fact, Tai Chi can be practiced in many different ways and forms according to your fitness and spiritual needs. While it is important to keep in mind the basics of Tai Chi, sometimes modifying the traditional movements to fit your lifestyle can be helpful in achieving the desired state of balance.

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Lesley Hall

Lesley Hall is the Marketing Director for Moms In Motion, an organization that connects moms across the globe througha fitness, and helps women achieve their goals, ranging from triathlons to stand up paddle boarding. This August, Lesley stepped out of her comfort zone to successfully compete in her first triathlon with the Moms In Motion team. Lesley and Moms In Motion continue to inspire women to reach their goals, and support local philanthropies to further community bonds.

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Heather Bliss

Heather Bliss co-chaired the 7th Annual Santa Barbara Arthritis Walk in May, to fight this disease that affects 46 million Americans—and a disease Heather has struggled with for nearly twenty years. Twelve years ago, doctors told Heather Bliss that her arthritis would force her into a wheelchair within a decade, but Heather has fought back, and is now speaking out about arthritis and inspiring others in the fight against the disease.

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