What’s In Your Grocery Cart?

What’s In Your Grocery Cart?

I discovered when I decided to change my family’s diet that reading food labels can be especially tricky. Over the course of 9-10 years of consistently healthy eating habits, I’ve discovered some shortcuts that make the transition much more simple.

First and foremost (and you may have heard this before) it’s wise to shop the perimeters of your grocery store. That’s where you’ll find the fruits, veggies, fresh meat, dairy and whole grain breads. My quick forages into the middle of the store are only for items like all-natural applesauce, organic dark chocolate, marinara sauce, whole-grain flour or pasta, and frozen veggies. Alter your shopping “map” and you’ll significantly reduces the process items that end up in your cart.

Then again, we all know life isn’t always simple, and processed foods will inevitably end up on our table at one time or another. For those times, its easier to know what ingredients to AVOID in order to make the healthiest possible choices.

Here are my top three picks for ingredients to avoid in prepackaged foods. When you cut out these additives, you significantly reduce the chemicals in your daily meals.

1) Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. Natural sugars, although refined, are much more healthy than these chemically altered substances. Try raw, organic sugar crystals, local honey, 100% maple syrup, unsulphured molasses, or brown rice syrup instead. Contrary to popular belief, “diet,” “low-sugar,” or “sugar-free” groceries are usually not the best choice for a healthy lifestyle, and some studies have shown that people who consume artificial sweeteners in large quantities are more likely to be overweight.

2) Sodium nitrite/nitrate, which is in almost all processed meat products. It is a very powerful preservative which has been linked to cancer. Look for natural or kosher alternatives in your deli section. Better yet, cook a few extra whole pieces of fresh, organic meat when you’re preparing meals so you have extra to slice for a yummy sandwich or snack the next day.

3) MSG (monosodium glutamate), a chemical flavor enhancer. This is a tricky one, because many companies are now changing MSG on the label to innocent-sounding words like “yeast extract.” Check the link at the bottom of this page for more names of MSG in processed foods. MSG is even in natural products like flavored or kettle-cooked potato chips.

The best rule of thumb for healthy eating is to choose foods as close to their natural state as possible. The best wrapping is something is its own skin!

Certified Personal Trainer




For decades, osteoarthritis has been considered a part of aging. But not anymore. Recent research points out that older people don’t have to suffer from osteoarthritic pain. And, surprisingly, people much younger than 65 can develop osteoarthritis.


or degenerative joint disease, affects more than 20 million Americans and is more common in women than in men. The disease affects the cartilage – slippery tissue on the ends of bones that meet in a joint. Normally, cartilage helps bones glide over one another. In an OA patient, however, the cartilage is broken down and eventually wears away. As a result, instead of gliding, bones rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Although the majority of patients with OA are 65 and older, recent research shows that OA is not a by-product of aging. Family history of OA, being overweight, lack of exercise, and prior joint injuries are suggested as risk factors.

Symptoms include: steady or intermittent joint pain; joint stiffness after sitting, sleeping, or otherwise not moving for a long time; swelling or tenderness in the joints; and a crunching feeling or the sound of bones rubbing against each other.

One of the most common questions I am asked is how exercise affects. Exercise is one of the best forms of treatment and prevention. It strengthens the muscular support around the joints and improves and maintains joint mobility and function. In addition, exercise helps control weight and improve the mood and outlook – important factors influencing the severity of the symptoms. These are some tips on exercising with OA:
1. Low-impact or non-weight bearing activities, such as walking, stationary training, and lightweight training work best.
2. Use strengthening exercises if the key muscle groups that relate to the function of the joints are weakened by the degeneration. Examples include quadriceps strengthening and core exercises for the back.
3. If you are overweight, start exercising carefully, so as not to put too much stress on the knee and ankle joints.
4. Stair climbing, water aerobics, Theraband workouts, and similar exercises will help to keep the joints mobile without straining them.
5. Learn to read the body’s signals and know when to stop, slow down, or rest.

If OA pain is too great always consult your medical doctor or chiropractor for further instructions. Also make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating well-balanced meals, and taking supplements to control the inflammation caused by and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Supplements to consider include Glucosamine Chondroitin, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium. Good luck and stay active!

Pumpkins are good for your health

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:

  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Pantothenic acid

Pumpkins are good for your health

The alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are potent antioxidants found in pumpkin and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids, meaning the body converts them to vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and ensures proper immune function. The beta-carotene in pumpkin may also reverse skin damage caused by the sun and act as an anti-inflammatory. Alpha-carotene is thought to slow the aging process and also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and prevent tumor growth.
Dr. Lori Todd

Herbs and Your Health

Herbs and Health

Aloe Vera

Traditionally, aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative. Today, in addition to traditional uses, people take aloe orally to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, sunburns, and psoriasis.

Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema (a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, or scaly because of allergies or other irritation).  It has been used for other conditions involving inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Evening primrose oil is used for conditions affecting women’s health, such as breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  Other conditions for which evening primrose oil is used include cancer and diabetes.

Ginger is used in Oriental medicine to treat stomach aches, nausea, and diarrhea.  Many digestive, anti-nausea, and cold and flu dietary supplements sold in the United States contain ginger extract as an ingredient.  Ginger is used to alleviate post-surgery nausea as well as nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, and pregnancy.  Ginger has been used for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint and muscle pain.

Garlic’s most common uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  Garlic is also used to prevent certain types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers.  Some of the most popular traditional uses of garlic have been for colds, flu and other infections, earaches, vaginal yeast infections, and high blood pressure. Modern research has focused on four main areas: heart disease, cancer, infectious disease, and antioxidant effects.  Garlic reduces cholesterol levels and raises the level of healthy high-density lipoproteins.  Garlic also appears to lower blood pressure directly.

Green Tea
Green tea and green tea extracts, have been used to prevent and treat a variety of cancers, including breast, stomach, and skin cancers.  Green tea has also been used for improving mental alertness, aiding in weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting skin from sun damage.

Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has been used for a variety of health conditions, including nausea, indigestion, and cold symptoms.  Peppermint oil is also used for headaches, muscle and nerve pain, and stomach and bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Energy Yoga, T’ai Chi and WorldLegacy

Energy Yoga, T’ai Chi and WorldLegacy

I began practicing energy yoga and T’ai Chi three years ago to heal my body.  After many years as an athlete and later in life, being more sedentary in my professional life, I was experiencing hip, knee and foot issues from running and working out.  I needed to find something that would improve my flexibility, strength and heal the aches and pains.

By chance, I found a Dahn Yoga center near my office and walked in.  It was different than most yoga centers in that it is a Korean based form.  The word dahn in Korean means energy.  I began one-on-one sessions with the center master and noticed after three months, a significant improvement in my body’s condition.  I also discovered a form of T’ai Chi called Dahn Mu Do, which translates to “the way of limitless energy or power”.  I began to focus on Dahn Mu Do fully for my training and my healing.  I loved it so much that I became a Dahn Master and now teach energy yoga and healing T’ai Chi to others.  I am now on my way to living my dream and fulfilling my life’s purpose.

I discovered that this practice and the WorldLegacy programs are so in tune with each other.  I discovered that I can push through my limitations and connect with my authentic true self simply by choosing to do so. I found a way to put into daily practice, the learning experiences from the http://www.worldlegacyhealthyliving.com/energy-yoga-tai-chi-world-legacy-870 programs.  The WorldLegacy  enabled me to be open to this training and to what has now become my way of living.

Thank you WorldLegacy.
WorldLegacy Graduate of NC 88 Leadership Program

Healthy Living: Harnessing Stress

Stress has become a fact of life, and for some, the daily norm. Although occasional stress can help improve our focus and performance, living with chronic stress can backfire by causing anxiety, depression, and serious health problems. Understanding who we are, knowing our major struggles, putting them into perspective, and taking action can help us deal with stress. The following strategies can also improve stress tolerance and help lessen the effects of stress on our health.

1. Think Positively: “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into positive”, said Hans Selye, author of groundbreaking work in stress theory. If having a difficult time try cognitive-behavioral therapy or biofeedback.
2. Get Out and Enjoy Nature: Studies show interacting with nature lessens the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduces attention deficits, decreases aggression, and enhances spiritual well being.
3. Smell the Roses: Aromatherapy, smelling essential plant oils, is recognized worldwide as a complementary therapy for stress related issues. Orange or lavender scents, in particular, have been proven to enhance relaxation and reduce anxiety.
4. Relax with a Cup of Tea: Research shows that drinking tea for 6 weeks helps lower post stress cortisol levels and and increase relaxation.
5. Laugh It Off: Self explanatory!
6. Build a Support System: Quality relationships are key to health and happiness.
7. Relaxing Power of Music: Music, especially classical, has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety and improve overall mood even in serious chronic disease sufferers.
8. Calm Your Mind: Techniques include meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, practicing non-judgemental awareness, and guided imagery.
9. Warmth of Human Touch: Virginia Satir, a famous American psychotherapist, once said people need 4 hugs a day to help prevent depression, 8 for psychological stability, and 12 for growth. Need something more then try a good massage therapy session.
10. Give Exercise a Shot: My personal favorite! Research shows many types of physical exericse can decrease stress and anxiety. Try weightlifting, running, walking, sporting games, tai chi, or yoga.

No matter what stress-relief methods you choose, make it a habit to use them – especially if you feel too stressed out to do it. As someone once said, the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

WorldLegacy and Being Responsible

How I have used the WorldLegacy trainings to support my health

Using what I have learned through the WorldLegacy Basic, Advanced, Leadership, Staffing and Senioring has made a drastic impact on my health and how I view my health.  Because of the trainings at WorldLegacy I see the importance of being responsible for what my health looks like.  I also am getting that each moment is a new moment and that I can choose whatever I want in this moment no matter what I accomplished or didn’t accomplish yesterday or last week.

WorldLegacy and Being Responsible. I am learning to live in the present instead of being controlled by the thoughts, actions, and feelings of my past.  In the past when I would set an exercise or other health goal and not reach it, I’d give up.  I’d beat myself up mentally, make myself wrong, and wait (sometimes months) before setting another one.  Now, I am learning to acknowledge the broken commitment to myself, I recommit and set a new goal, ready to take action.

I’ve also learned from the trainings how important it is to stay connected to my picture of a healthy life.  When I am connected to that vision and picture of health, I am inspired to keep going, to get up when I fall down, but more importantly when I am connected to my picture of a healthy world I inspire the people around me to be healthy!

One very specific example of how I have used the trainings to support health is through the newest WorldLegacy training called Vision in Action (VIA).  I made a commitment to enroll at least 25 people to play a Little Healthy Competition related to their health.  The goal was for me to use the game to be more consistent with certain healthy habits and bring my awareness to this domain everyday for 8 weeks.  We have over 60 people playing our game with us, players scoring lots of health points for drinking water, taking their vitamins, getting preventative medical care, educating themselves on health, and supporting other around them to live healthy lifestyles.  I have been inspired by the players about what is possible in our families, workplaces, communities and in the world when we our health is a part of our life, not something separate we do.  NONE of this would have been possible without VIA and the coaching I have received through  this program.  I can’t wait to report back on all our final results!

Sarah Taylor
Leadership Graduate NC 110

WorldLegacy Trainings Supported Clearing Colitis

WorldLegacy Trainings Supported Clearing Colitis

Shortly after my father died almost 8 years ago, I started to experience massive digestive and stomach issues, sometimes they were very debilitating to the point where I couldn’t stand or walk. At one point, I had to go the hospital it was so intense. After months of pain and suffering, a doctor told me that I had ulcerative colitis (a colon disease) and that it was incurable, but with 9 pills a day for the rest of my life, I can minimize its impact on me. I wasn’t so happy given I hate medication, and I hate being sick in any way. So, I started taking the pills, and the issue maintained somewhat, and I got used to living with pain and discomfort on a regular basis. This was in 2003.

In October of 2004, I came and did the WorldLegacy trainings on the recommendation of my business partner. While I was at WorldLegacy, I was in the midst of the worst bout of issues I had experienced since the onset of the disease, however, something miraculous happened. As I started to actually open up (I was a bit resistant to going to the WorldLegacy workshops at first, but went because I trusted my business partner), and I started to allow myself to see things from different perspectives, the pain, discomfort, and issues cleared up, and when I was in the WorldLegacy Advanced Course, I was so into the training, I actually forgot to take most of medication over the course of the five days, and I felt like a million dollars. I decided that I was going to just stop taking the medications, and see what happened.

Six years later, haven’t had a pill since October of 2004. I have no issues, no pain, no suffering, no discomfort whatsoever. Since my new found openness to different ideas and possibilities, I did something I never would have done before, I looked up colitis in a book about how mind and health are connected. The book says that colitis is caused mentally by our fear of letting something go that is already gone. My issues started 2 weeks after my father died. One of my biggest moments because of the trainings was truly allowing myself to grieve over the loss of my father and actually let go of him.  Add it all up, and it makes perfect sense to me why I had a health issue, and why I stopped having a health issue. WorldLegacy supported clearing colitis.

Jeffrey Buck
Leadership Graduate

Healthy Wonderspice – Turmeric

Turmeric is a delicious spice frequently used in Indian and other asian cuisines. It lends a beautiful and distinct earthy yellow color to food (careful- it can stain clothes and plastic cookware). You can spice up many dishes that can use an earthy, peppery flavor by adding a tablespoon or two of turmeric, or just try to find dishes to make that traditionally contain turmeric.

So what’s the big deal about turmeric? Summarizing from WHFoods page on Turmeric, it has been shown or believed to be effective for:

  • anti-inflammatory- comparable to cortisone and ibuprofen
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like Crohn’s and ulcerative collitis
  • rheumatoid
  • cystic fibrosis
  • cancer prevention
  • inhibiting growth and metastases of existing cancer
  • colon cancer prevention (with the help of onions)
  • active prostate cancer (with the help of cauliflower)
  • reduced risk of childhood leukemia
  • improved liver function
  • atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
  • diabetic heart disease
  • lowering cholesterol
  • prevention of Alzheimer’s disease

Look at that list! It reads like the boogeymen of modern medicine! Amazingly, turmeric does all of this without toxic side-effects. It’s food. All you need to do is regularly add this inexpensive spice to your cooking.

Warning: People taking Coumadin (Warfarin) should avoid turmeric because it may interact with this drug possibly causing issues with bleeding or coagulation. Sadly, there are a lot of healthy foods must be careful of eating while on Coumadin- it’s a tricky drug to take safely. Add turmeric to that list.

The best place to buy turmeric is in Asian grocery stores. It is cheaper there, an available in large quantity packaging.
Maximize the health benefits of turmeric by combining it in your food with black pepper. The main chemical component of turmeric thought to cause all of these health benefits is “curcumin”. Unfortunately, by itself its bioavailability is poor because it gets rapidly broken down in the intestine and liver. However, a substance found in black pepper called “piperine” has been shown in humans to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%! Black pepper and turmeric taste great together, so  I automatically add some black pepper in when we are cooking with turmeric.

To your health!
Jon-Erik Lido, L.Ac.
Balanced Being Acupuncture

Abundance and Prosperity WorldLegacy

Dance, Health, Passion, WorldLegacy

My healthy living experience today comes from “The Abundance and Prosperity” seminar I attended at the WorldLegacy in which I offered to DANCE at the end of the program. I was very nervous because I have not danced in more than 10 years! Frank my spouse does not dance so it seems NATURAL to have abandoned my PASSION!

Anyhow as a result of all these experiences and not to mention that every time one comes to WorldLegacy, the first thing we do is DANCE!

I am now a ZUMBA dance instructor! I am also a certified nutrition consultant and holistic health practitioner. I have lost about 3 sizes and take ballroom dance lessons 3 times a week.

Kirsten Tan, RDMS,RVT-HHP offers advice in wellness, fitness and nutrition to manage medically related issues such as obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Kirsten is a graduate of WorldLegacy’s NC90 Leadership Program.

Pin It on Pinterest