What Have You Got To Lose??

Herbs that can help melt fat, suppress appetite, and reduce bloating and water weight

Maintaining proper weight can be a lifelong challenge. Despite the substantial amount of money Americans pay for weight-loss gimmicks, pills, and plans, taken together they all show a dismal 5% long-term success rate.

Researchers deem obesity a chronic health condition. They say that it must be managed, like high blood pressure or diabetes. That there’s no easy cure. Being overweight puts you at higher risk for diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, stroke and cancer, and even modest weight loss will reduce these risks. Letting go of as little as 5 to 10% of your total weight may lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, and improve blood sugar balance. And you’ll live longer.

There are some genetic factors, but fundamentally, total body weight is due to diet and exercise. Nutritional supplements can also assist in controlling appetite or jump-starting metabolism.

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), called zhi shi in Chinese, and used in traditional Chinese medicine for enhancing digestion and circulation, is the source of the anti-obesity active ingredient synephrine, a chemical cousin to neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. By binding to beta-3 receptors found in adipose tissue and involved in thermogenesis and increasing metabolism, synephrine accelerates the removal of unwanted fat stores.

This extract of bitter orange provides a metabolism boost that is similar to ephedrine, but the mechanism of action is slightly different, so synephrine tends to cause less jitteriness and heart rate increase than ephedrine. One study from 2011 found that bitter orange raised metabolic rates without corresponding elevations in blood pressure and heart rates.

There have been assorted minor concerns raised about bitter orange and cardiovascular health, but a 2011 paper in Phytotherapy Research found it to be safe and to have no serious adverse effects. The usual dose is 3-30 mg of synephrine per day, as needed.

People have been using green tea for thousands of years, but only in the last few years have we begun to research the anti-obesity benefits of this ancient beverage. Over the past decade, evidence has been accumulating that demonstrates that green tea enhances weight loss, and several new scientific discoveries support it for that use. Taiwanese researchers recently studied 120 obese persons by giving them a green tea-based meal replacement. Over 12 weeks, subjects lost an average of 15 pounds and had improved cholesterol numbers. Dutch scientists concluded that the green tea catechins and caffeine act synergistically through diverse mechanisms to promote weight loss. A 2011 paper drew similar conclusions.

The usual weight-loss dosage is 300-450 mg daily of a green tea extract standardized to contain 80% total polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), although studies have used up to 1,200 mg per day, often along with caffeine from the tea.

Caralluma cactus (Caralluma fimbriata) is a succulent plant that has been used as a natural appetite suppressant in India for centuries. Like hoodia, another popular slimming cactus, caralluma (sometimes appearing on the label as “Slimaluma”) has been used by indigenous traveling hunters to suppress appetite. For centuries, people have eaten the wild desert cactus as a vegetable, in chutneys and pickles, or raw. It is believed to block the activity of several enzymes involved in the formation of fat and to modify the appetite control mechanism of the brain. One study from India showed significant decrease in body weight, body mass index, hip circumference, body fat, and food intake over 60 days. Ayurvedic experts have noted no adverse effects and no toxicity.

Some products available in the U.S. combine caralluma extract with EGCG from green tea, which seems to create a synergistic effect on appetite control and weight loss.

Herbs can be a valuable adjunct to a weight loss or maintenance plan. When you give these a try, I think you’ll like what you don’t see.

{This is for my Sis over @ Semikee} n for anyone else who can use it!

{This entire post was borrowed from a blogger, I found via Google. http://dazedreflection.blogspot.com/2012/01/712-blog-topics-you-can-write-about.html?m=1 . I hope you find this interesting and helpful. –  Ami} 

  After countless hours in front of my laptop trying to put together new post topics to keep me going through the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I realized that there are ideas everywhere; you just have to know where to look (which can be pretty time consuming). So I thought I’d save you some screen time and share 712 blog topics that you can write about and refer to when you’re suffering from a bout writers block or when your creative juices are completely drained out. 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write by Chris Brogan 50 Article/Blog Title Ideas For You by Michelle Shaeffer 93 Business Blogging Topic Ideas – Things to Blog about When You’re Out of Ideas by Mike Brown 101+ Killer Blog Post Ideas 15 List Post Ideas When You Get Writer’s Block – by Tristan Higbee for Kikolani 353+ Blog Post Ideas to Inspire You by Amy Schmittauer There you have it .. there are enough topics in there to keep you going for 1 year 11 months (if you wrote a post a day) ! Damn !! If you have any links or post ideas that you know about, please do share them in the comments so that everyone who stops by can benefit from it. 

Working for the Weekend: Invite Hummingbirds to Nest!

Good news, hummingbird lovers! JourneyNorth.org’s migration maps indicate that Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have now been spotted throughout the Southeast and as far north as Canada. If you don’t have your feeders out, May is the time!
  More than that, though, why not make this the year you invite these little charmers to build a nest in your own yard? Here’s how:

Temperatures Count: Hummingbirds can only nest where the eggs can remain at temperatures below 96 degrees. Because of this, they’ll frequently choose shady areas. They often choose broad-leaved trees where the evaporative qualities of the leaves make the temperature up to 6 degrees cooler.

Takeaway Tip: Those in higher altitudes where temperatures remain cooler can expect to see more nesting hummingbirds. Those in Florida and the Deep South – I’m sorry to say that hummingbirds generally don’t nest in our area.

Hummers Need Shelter: Hummingbird eggs are so very small that they are easily blown around by the wind. For this reason, nests must be located where they’ll be protected from gusts.

Takeaway Tip: Plant broad-leaved trees like maples and oaks to provide the habitat hummingbirds need to nest.

Spiderwebs? Yes, Spiderwebs! The tiny hummingbird nests (often no more than an inch or two wide) are often built from a base of spiderwebs. Their sticky nature allows the birds to shape the bowl that they’ll cover with seeds, pieces of bark, and other materials to camouflage the nest among the branches.

Takeaway Tip: Leave the spiderwebs in your yard! Spiders are beneficial in a garden anyway, and once they’ve abandoned a web, you can leave it up during hummingbird nesting season to help the birds out.

Downy Soft: Hummingbirds line the insides of the their nests with soft materials like moss, leaves, and cotton. The small eggs are only half an inch in diameter and need all the protection they can get. It takes hummingbirds about a week to build a nest, and they will frequently steal from other hummingbirds nearby.

Takeaway Tip: Offer soft nesting materials like cotton and dryer lint to encourage hummingbirds to nest. An easy solution is the Hummer Helper Cage filled with nesting materials.

I’m sure it goes without saying that hummingbird parents will only build where they have a steady source of food, so be sure you’re offering a garden full of hummingbird nectar plants or hummingbird feeders that are cleaned and filled regularly. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see nesters your first year – the nests are tiny and very hard to spot, but they may be there all the same. Click here to read one Birds and Blooms reader’s experience with these elusive nests if you need some encouragement.

Do you have nesting hummingbirds in your yard? Tell us about your experiences and offer tips to others in the comments section below!

Every Thursday, the Working for the Weekend segment highlights a project or job for Southeastern gardeners to tackle in the weekend ahead. Know of a project you’d like to see featured here, or a garden chore you’d like some help with? Make your suggestions in the comments section below.