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All Wrapped Up

Are you all wrapped up in the latest food fad? The latest craze is the wrap--everything is wrapped in tortillas, tacos, pitas and pastry shells. But how healthful are these new sandwiches? Wraps can provide a quick meal, but often provide the calories of two. Wraps can have from four hundred to fifteen hundred calories, depending on the size and the filling--so before you jump on the bandwagon, check out the wrap.

Ask how large the wrap is--many are more than one pound in weight--enough for two meals. Check out the fillings: have they been sautéed, which increase calories, and what is the dressing or marinade? Wraps can also provide a whopping amount of sodium, some as high as thirty five hundred milligrams--more than the recommended daily intake.

Make your own wrap to control calories, fat, sodium and size. Load wraps with fresh veggies, a moderate amount of lean meat and use sauces or dressings sparingly. If you're eating out, ask a few questions before you wrap up your order. Get the wrap the way you want. And if all else fails, split one with a friend or have lunch for two days.




Get Dirty - Take A Hike

Walking is one of the best exercises there is for your body. It doesn't stress your joints as much as running does, but still gets your body working hard enough for it to benefit from the exercise. Hiking is walking, but is is also more than just walking.

You can go for a walk just about anywhere, and walking is good for you, but don't really constitutes hiking. Hiking gives walking a different feel or flavor. Hiking also generally means walking for longer distances, but this is not absolutely true.

Many hikes are for only part of day. A very short hike could be less than a mile on a nature trail by a campground. On the other hand a hike can be a very long walk. Some people hike for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Plus, hiking is usually free.

If you can walk, hiking is easy. Really! It's not really that much different than taking a walk anywhere else except that the surfaces you are walking on may be more uneven than the paved or flat surfaces you usually find in a city. In addition to walking you need to be prepared for whatever the weather conditions are when you go for a hike, and you need to be able to find your way back home again.

If hiking is really new to you, a walk in a park is probably a good way to get started. Find a park that has some unpaved walking paths or just some open areas where you can get a feel for walking on unpaved surfaces. Start with short hikes at first. That way if your muscles or your feet aren't used to hiking or if you find you are not properly dressed for the weather you won't suffer unnecessarily.

Start out hiking with others. It is also a good idea at least at first to go with other people who have already been hiking and know what to expect and can help you out when you don't know what to do. Check with local hiking clubs, municipal parks and recreation departments, outdoor supply stores to see if they have some organized hikes scheduled.

Choose footwear that is designed to make your feet comfortable while walking not footwear whose sole purpose is to look good and get attention. Some people prefer hiking boots, but you do not need boots to go hiking especially if you are just going hiking for a few hours or a day. A good pair of walking shoes is quite adequate in most areas.

Wear clothes that feel comfortable while you are walking. Generally this means loose fitting clothes. You don't want clothes that will bind with every step you take. At the other extreme you don't want your clothes so loose that they get in your way and trip you up or catch on things as you walk by. Your clothing should also be chosen to help your body maintain a comfortable temperature while hiking - not too hot and not too cold.

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What is Rolfing?

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, the original practitioner of this type of soft tissue manipulation and healing body work, claims that "As in all matter organized into biological units, there is a pattern, an order, in human bodies... Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body's energy field."

In other words, a human being is more than a collection of parts. A pattern, an order, exists in human bodies, which when disrupted affects our basic well-being. Rolfing enhances the body's pattern of organization. It balances the body in gravity and enables subjects to function at successively higher levels of efficiency and ease.

Rolfing is a system of body restructuring and movement education. By releasing the body's segments - legs, torso, arms, etc. - from life-long patterns of tension and bracing, the body is able to realign and become balanced. Of all the forces affecting the human body, gravity is among the most powerful. According to the practice of Rolfing, gravity misalignment can cause chronic strain, lowered vitality and impaired biological and psychological functioning.

After Rolfing the body expends less of its vital energies against gravity because it is better-balanced. This biological energy-efficiency is often experienced as a higher level of alertness and vitality. Movement becomes easier and overall personal functioning tends to improve. People of all ages come to Rolfing for help with neck pain, back problems, impaired mobility and other difficulties which originate with internal strains. Others seek to improve their appearance, to improve athletic performance, and to enhance personal growth toward a fuller realization of their potential.

Rolfing results in a feeling of fitness and wholeness. People who have been Rolfed stand and move with more surety and grace than before.



Helping Your Kid Cope

We often find ourselves saying, "Oh, to be a kid again," but we have most likely forgotten how hard it can be to be a child. Doing well in school, learning how to manage social situations, meeting parents' expectations, and dealing with siblings every single day, not to mention the drama and tension of the world beyond our immediate family, are enough to send a kid over the edge. Or at least cause some tense moments in your household.

You can help your child deal with these stresses through several relaxation techniques featured here.

  1. Laughter is one of the best ways to release stress and feel good. The chemicals released in the body through laughter reduce pain and tension. So, there is probably no substitute for finding ways to have fun and to laugh with our children.
  2. Controlled, conscious breathing has the benefit of relaxing muscles and reducing stress.
    - Help your child learn to take conscious, deep breaths to relax. Show him how to inhale deeply (preferably through the nose, but through the mouth is fine) and slowly exhale through the mouth.
    - Help guide your child to visualize that with each breath she takes in, her body becomes filled slowly with a soothing color, aroma, sound, light, warmth, or other pleasant, comfortable feeling.

    - Teach your child to isolate different body parts and relax them with each slow breath she exhales. For example, while lying on the floor, instruct her to tighten or squeeze her toes on the left foot, then relax with a deep breath. Now tighten her left knee and upper leg . . . then relax and breathe. Proceed in this fashion to the right side of the lower body, to the abdomen and upper body, each arm, hand/fingers, chest, neck, jaws, and face.
  3. Imagery is helpful in developing focus and concentration; calming; coping with stress/anxiety; and increasing positive study skills, social skills, and creative expression.
    - Teach your child to visualize herself in situations where she is achieving and being successful. Once she's had practice with guided visualization, encourage her to use the techniques of deep breathing and visualizing herself doing what she wants to do.
  4. Music can be very helpful for relaxation, as a previsualization activity, to soothe away worries and distractions, and bring a sense of inner peace.
    Music also stimulates the brain in other ways besides relaxation. Many people find that they are better able to focus and are more productive and motivated when listening to the radio or some of their favorite music. Your children can realize the same benefits.

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always see your licensed health care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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