How You Should Plan Your Day According to the Human Body Clock?

Did you know that according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our body has its own energy clock? Also known as the Chinese Body Clock, it explains some of the most asked questions about our body. For instance, you may be curious to discover why your mood and energy levels fluctuate so much throughout the day? And why you sometimes tend to be less concentrated on your work than in other instances?
Without a doubt, our bodies do extraordinary things, but they are all built around cycles, controlled by the brain and defined by our sleeping and eating patterns. At different times of the day, the body has one organ which is at its energetic peak, and by knowing your energy clock well, you can help your body cope better.

The chart below illustrates the human energy body clock, showing the best times to eat, work, sleep and socialize. According to TCM, the body moves its energy concentration from one organ to another every 2 hours (as the chart indicates) with the organ opposite each time slot (12 hours ahead) being the one with the least energetic functioning during that time.

Body Clock

For a more detailed overview, this is how the Chinese Body Clock works.

First of all, our body goes through 3 main cycles every day. These cycles are as follows:

  •  Elimination Cycle (4am-12pm): This is the time during which the body is getting rid of toxins – the reason behind the bad breath and sweaty skin we wake up with in the morning. During this period, it is recommended that we eat food that is easily digestible, such as raw produce, green juice, smoothies, etc.
  • Appropriation Cycle (12pm-8pm): The body is most awake and active during this time of the day, and so is its digestion and metabolism. You may be feeling more hungry than usual during this time period. If so, it is important to eat, even if it’s not during meal times.
  • Assimilation Cycle (8pm-4am): At this time, the body is concentrating on the absorption of nutrients in order to revitalize cells and organs. It’s the perfect time for healing,rebuilding and renewing, and it’s recommended that dinner is taken right before this cycle.
    As you have seen in the Human Body Energy Clock chart above, these cycles can be broken down even further, focusing more on the activity peaks of specific body organs.
    Here’s what’s happening in every section of the clock and how you can help your body in the process.

 

  • Between 3am and 5am: While you are in a deep sleep, your body is focusing on the lungs and breathing, to make sure enough oxygen is filling your lungs, and entering your blood and nervous system. If you cough during this time, it probably means that your lungs are getting rid of toxins.
  • Between 5am and 7am: You are now in your elimination cycle, and your body is preparing thelarge intestine to eliminate toxins as soon as you wake up. If you’re up at this time, it is recommended that you drink 16+ oz of water to replace the lost liquid. At this point, opt for a brisk walk over sitting down while drinking a cup of coffee!
  • Between 7am and 9am: Now, the energy focus moves to the stomach. You are likely to rise with a good appetite, after a long period of fasting throughout the night. Wake up and eat breakfast – make sure it contains fruit and protein to fill you with the nutrients you need to face the day.
  • Between 9am and 11am: After the stomach, come the pancreas and the spleen. During this time, these organs are processing your breakfast and converting it into energy. This energy becomes the fuel your cells need for your new day ahead.
  • Between 11am and 1pm: By now, the nutrients in your breakfast are being pumped around the body by the heart, and reaching out to all your body systems and organs through the circulatory system. Now is the right time to be with people and prepare yourself for another dose of nutrients, as energy levels start to decrease.
  • Between 1pm and 3pm: The perfect time to eat lunch. After doing this, many people feel the need to take a nap to boost their energy for the rest of the day and take a break from the morning activities. Furthermore, your body is now working on the digestion of your lunch, focusing on the small intestine. This is also an ideal time for some peaceful meditation.
  • Between 3pm and 5pm: The focus now shifts to the bladder. At this time, it is recommended that you stay hydrated by drinking water or tea. It is also an excellent time to get some things done for the last time before your body prepares you for the evening.
  • Between 5pm and 7pm:
    Its time for the last main meal of the day – dinner. This shouldn’t be very big, but should be nutritious. Your body is concentrating on thekidneys now, to filter the body of any waste. It is also working on the lymphatic system to keep the body clear and in flow. Doing some physical movement would be a good idea – consider walking or stretching.
  • Between 7pm and 9pm: At this point of the day, your blood pressure is typically at its highest levels, and your body’s focus now shifts to the pericardium. The day is nearing its end, and it’s suitable to take this time to wind down and relax. One’s libido has very often reached its peak by now, so the engagement in intercourse is ideal at this time.
  • Between 9pm and 11pm: Your body is now focusing on the triple warmer and the endocrine system. At this time, you are least expected, or recommended, to eat. Preferably, one should continue to relax, while the body is working on its equilibrium and the replacements of enzymes used throughout the day. It’s also the ideal and easiest time to go to sleep.
  • Between 11pm and 1am: While you are sleeping, your body is focusing on the gallbladder. If you suffer from gallstones, then you might experience some pain during this time.
  • Between 1am and 3am: The liver is now at work. Your body is detoxifying itself by processing alcohol, chemicals, drugs, and poor diet, and eliminating the unwanted substances, cleansing your blood as a result.

Things Stressing You Out Right Now

While most stress triggers money or work are easily identifiable, many minor daily activities are unknowingly contributing to more stress in your life. Alas the daily grind of annoyances and mild anxieties will have a long term effect. The key to combating these sorts of stressors is recognizing them and not letting them bother you. Here are 9 things you can try to avoid.

1. Other stressed people
While you might actively be avoiding your own stress triggers, other people around you might unknowingly be increasing your stress levels. A 2014 German study found that participants observing others being stressed by tasks had rising levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress can also be triggered by traumas of those around us, such as people experiencing illness. You’re reminded that these things can happen close to home and you fall into a thinking pattern filled with anxiety and negativity, which stresses you out unnecessarily.


2. Multitasking

It may seem you’re being efficient but this buzz word actually decreases productivity and increases stress. In 2012 a study at the University of Irvine looked at people who dealt with emails while working, as well as people who dealt with emails at a separate time. The former were less productive in their other daily skills. Physically their heart rate also showed more variability, which indicates mental stress. Doing one thing at a time is more fruitful, and better for your health. You can do a good job, and you might be surprised to find you’ll have more time.


3. Your significant other

Even if you’re happy and are in a healthy relationship, living with someone inevitably leads to annoyances. Stress can be caused by simple things, leaving the toilet seat up, or heavier issues money or co-parenting. So how do you avoid this kind of stress? The answer is striving for balance, in spending the right amount of time together, open and honest communication, compromise, and remembering why you love your partner and then acknowledging this daily. Let your partner be a stress-release factor in your life, and not the cause of it.

4. Taking a break
While taking a break from a stressful situation to watch a movie, or meet a friend can be helpful, sometimes you’re so anxious that you’re unable to truly let go and enjoy the present. It creeps back into your mind, making you bad company, and applying further stress to your mind and body. During such moments, it is important to work on being mindful and focusing on the present. Stress and anxiety do, temporarily, go away when you’re truly absorbed in your surroundings.


5. Everyday annoyances

Small daily encounters, rude customer service or waiting in long lines, have bigger affects on your mood than you realize. You want to present yourself as composed and on top of things. Your reaction, whether you adapt and conjure a new plan, or throw a pity party and get upset, makes the difference. If you are more the latter, this can contribute to a mindset steeped in pessimism and victimization, which will eventually eat you away. You have to be realistic, acknowledging that some things are beyond your control and remind yourself that you’re doing your best.


6. Easy fixes

A lot of our coping methods to combat stress are counterproductive. You work longer hours, stop exercising, or eat more junk food. These seem easy fixes, but the truth is foregoing healthy eating and physical activity actually stresses your body out, because these actions strengthen our bodies’ ability to fight stress effectively. 

7. Tea and chocolate
There are many reports mentioning how bad coffee is, but equally guilt culprits are chocolate and tea. This two treats are often relied on for relieving stress. However, what’s not often discussed is that they have as much caffeine as our friend coffee. Caffeine is known to make stress worse by irritating digestion, causing irritability and disturbing sleep patterns.

8. Digital devices
Whether for business or pleasure, technology can wreck your sleep patterns if you use your smartphone, tablet or computer too close to bedtime. Similarly, smart phones and laptops mean we are always in touch, contributing to the work creep phenomenon. By checking email outside office hours, your work stress enters your leisure time. Emails remind you of your responsibilities and it’s really hard to put those ideas to rest, especially if they are bombarding you at all hours of the day.

9. Watching your favorite sport
All sports fans know watching your favorite team play is not a passive activity. There’s a mix of tension, excitement, frustration and elation, whether your team wins or loses. The trouble is your body can’t distinguish between good or bad stress, and watching sports can set off your sympathetic nervous system. This means adrenaline is released, and the blood flow to your heart can be reduced. In the short term this has few consequences, but repeated exposure can lead to high blood pressure and increase heart disease risk.

Home Remedies To Control Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is one of the leading concerns among health professionals today as more and more individuals fall prey to this life-long and dangerous disease. Diabetes is caused when the blood sugar levels rise to an excess and a resistance to insulin results. Once this happens, the diabetic individual can no longer control their blood sugar levels, and they can rise and fall with serious consequences. Yet whether you are diabetic or know someone diabetic or not, it is important to implement measures to control blood sugar levels and to stop the spread of the diabetes in its tracks.

1. Consume More Dairy Products dairy
The protein and fat in dairy products helps improve blood sugar levels, and if the products are low in fat, it has been shown that they can also decreased the chances for developing insulin resistance.

2. Choose the Right Kind of Bread
Avoid white flour based products at all costs! These simple carbohydrates are full of sugar that spike up your blood sugar. Instead, you should consume whole wheat or rye products that are high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates which control blood sugar levels and keep you full longer.

3. Maximize the Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral known to help prevent the onset of Type II diabetes and should be consumed as much as possible. It is best to consume natural sources of magnesium such as spinach, fish, nuts, leafy greens and avocados. All of these foods have been proved to lower the risk of diabetes and can even aid in weightless.

4. Cardamom is great!
Cardamom originates in the ginger family of spices and comes from Asia as well as South America. The spice is known to regulate Type II diabetes and can be sprinkled on coffee, tea, yogurt and even cereal. The spice is known to help decrease blood glucose levels by eighteen to thirty percent.

5. Buckwheatsoba
Buckwheat is an excellent source of fiber that you may never have heard of. It also does wonders for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Buckwheat comes in the form of soba noodles, which are a delicious substitute for rice or pasta as well as in a number of powders that can be added to baked goods or even on top of a slice of (whole wheat) bread.

6. Drink in Moderation
Alcohol contains huge amounts of sugar, and anyone trying to watch out for their blood sugar should definitely moderate the amount of alcohol they consume. It is best to occasionally drink wine with dinner, and not after dinner when the same glass of wine could alter insulin levels in the blood.

7. Watch Fat Intake
It is important to watch the amount of saturated fats entering the body because these can seriously increase the chances of contracting diabetes. Saturated fats are usually in fried and junk foods as they are cooked in unhealthy oils.

8. Exercise Daily
Getting in exercise each day is critical to maintaining normal blood sugar levels, even if it’s a brisk walk in the park.

9. Laughing
Yes, this is really one of the tips that will prevent your chances for diabetes. It was found that those who laugh have lower blood sugar levels than those who don’t laugh enough (this means you should keep reading our jokes!).
laughing

10. Eat Grapefruit
Grapefruit has been proved to aid in weight loss as it affects the glucose metabolism, keeping insulin levels steady.

11. Do Resistance Training
Building muscle mass is important for burning more glucose out of your system and training once to twice a week could significantly aid in preventing the occurrence of diabetes.

12. Drink Decaf, Not Regularcoffee
Decaffeinated coffee slows down the rate at which the intestines absorb sugars and speeds up the absorption of sugar by the muscles.

13. Eat Smaller Meals
It is best to have a small meal every half hour and then another small meal (or a second half of the regular size meal) later on. In the same vein, it is also important to eat regularly so that insulin levels don’t spike.

14. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can affect blood sugar and insulin levels so it is important to get enough sleep each night. It is also essential to stop snoring because according to some studies, those who snore are more likely to develop diabetes (because snoring is often tied to being overweight).

15. Learn Relaxation
Listen to soothing music or read an interesting book, whatever you need to do to relax. Meditation and yoga can also help if they are done properly and on a regular basis.

10 Unexpected Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt is a great food for us as it helps with digestion, gives us a good energetic feeling and tastes wonderful. But not many people know that it has many other benefits you may not know quite yet. After reading all of this I’m sure you’ll start acting like me, and do your best to eat one cup of yogurt every day or two.

Protects your teeth:
The lactic acid in yogurt has a positive and protecting effect on your gums and teeth. It can help keep your teeth healthy and pretty and overcome the damages done by other foods and drinks, most commonly – coffee. It’s important to note that although containing sugar, yogurt has no harmful effect on the enamel of your teeth.

Reduces allergy symptoms:
Those of us with seasonal allergies know how hard it can be to do anything when the symptoms start to appear, but a cup of yogurt might be an easy fix to this problem. The probiotics found in yogurt may decrease your body’s reaction to pollen and other allergens, minimizing your allergic reaction.

Great pre or post workout snack:
Yogurt is rich on carbohydrates that can either help re-fuel you through out your workout, or replace the energy lost after you are done. The potassium and sodium found in it can also help replace those electrolytes you sweat out and keeps you feeling fresh even after a hard workout.

Fights the common cold:
The common cold will always be there, not much you can do about it. But there’s still hope preventing it in time. Research proved that yogurt can strengthen your immune system, making your T-cells stronger and more active. They are more prone to beat the sickness out of you before it drags on too long.

Prevents yeast infections:
If you are given a prescription for antibiotics, you might want to consider yogurt to protect yourself. Using antibiotics usually raises the chances of yeast infections and the yogurt’s active cultures can help balance pH levels and prevent this uncomfortable problem.

Reduces the risk of high blood pressure:
A recent study, conducted over the course of 15 years, revealed that 30% of volunteers that took at least 2% of their daily calorie intake from yogurt, were less likely to develop high blood pressure. That’s only from 2%.

Helps prevent osteoporosis:
All milk and dairy products are in general a great source of calcium, and help build healthy bones. Look for yogurts with added vitamin D for an greater help in keeping your bones strong and healthy.

A great source of energy:
Aside from the energy provided by the carbohydrates in yogurt, it also contains B vitamins which are just what your body needs when you feel like you could use a little pick-me-up.

Builds muscle:
Yogurt contains all of the essential amino acids necessary to build muscle and other tissues in the body. It is a complete protein, which means it is also a welcome addition to our diet as they support all the necessary biological functions of the human body.

Helps you lose weight:
As stated in the last point, Yogurt helps build muscle and this means that it helps burn fat. The high amounts of protein will also help you stay fuller for longer periods of time while reducing your need for snacks and unhealthy foods

11 Habits That Will Help You Live to 100 years‏

One of the biggest factors that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you live. Not convinced? A study published in 2009 in the British Medical Journal of 20,000 British folks shows that you can cut your risk of having a stroke in half by doing the following things: being active for 30 minutes a day, eating five daily servings of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding cigarettes and excess alcohol.

While those are some of the obvious steps you can take to age well, researchers have discovered that centenarians tend to share certain traits in how they eat, move about, and deal with stress—the sorts of things we can emulate to improve our own aging process. Of course, getting to age 100 is enormously more likely if your parents did. Still, Thomas Perls, who studies the century-plus set at Boston University School of Medicine, believes that assuming you’ve sidestepped genes for truly fatal diseases like Huntington’s, “there’s nothing stopping you from living independently well into your 90s.” Heck, if your parents and grandparents were heavy smokers, they might have died prematurely without ever reaching their true potential lifespan, so go ahead and shoot for those triple digits. Follow these 12 habits and check out Perls’  lifetime risk calculator to see how long you can expect to live.

 1. Don’t Retire

“Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement,” says Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The Chianti region of Italy, which has a high percentage of centenarians, has a different take on leisure time. “After people retire from their jobs, they spend most of the day working on their little farm, cultivating grapes or vegetables,” he says. “They’re never really inactive.” Farming isn’t for you? Volunteer as a docent at your local art museum or join the Experience Corps, a program offered in 19 cities that places senior volunteers in urban public elementary schools for about 15 hours a week.

2. Floss Every Day

That may help keep your arteries healthy. A 2008 New York University study showed that daily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. Other research has shown that those who have high amounts of bacteria in their mouth are more likely to have thickening in their arteries, another sign of heart disease. “I really do think people should floss twice a day to get the biggest life expectancy benefits,” says Perls.

 3. Move Around

 “Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists,” says Jay Olshansky, a professor of medicine and aging researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s like the oil and lube job for your car. You don’t have to do it, but your car will definitely run better.” Study after study has documented the benefits of exercise to improve your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones. “And the benefits kick in immediately after your first workout,” Olshansky adds. Don’t worry if you’re not a gym rat. Those who see the biggest payoffs are the ones who go from doing nothing to simply walking around the neighborhood or local mall for about 30 minutes a day. Building muscle with resistance training is also ideal, but yoga classes can give you similar strength-training effects if you’re not into weight lifting.

 4. Eat a Fiber-Rich Cereal for Breakfast

 Getting a serving of whole-grains, especially in the morning, appears to help older folks maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, according to a recent study conducted by Ferrucci and his colleagues. “Those who do this have a lower incidence of diabetes, a known accelerator of aging,” he says.

 5. Get at Least Six Hours of Sleep Each Night

 Instead of skimping on sleep to add more hours to your day, get more to add years to your life. “Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells,” says Ferrucci. “We’ve calculated that the minimum amount of sleep that older people need to get those healing REM phases is about six hours.” Those who reach the century mark make sleep a top priority.

6. Consume Whole Foods, Not Supplements

Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients—selenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E—age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that taking pills with these nutrients provides those anti-aging benefits. “There are more than 200 different carotenoids and 200 different flavonoids in a single tomato,” points out Ferrucci, “and these chemicals can all have complex interactions that foster health beyond the single nutrients we know about like lycopene or vitamin C.” Avoid nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar) and go for all those colorful fruits and vegetables and dark whole-grain breads and cereals with their host of hidden nutrients.

7. Be Less Neurotic

It may work for Woody Allen, who infuses his worries with a healthy dose of humor, but the rest of us neurotics may want to find a new way to deal with stress. “We have a new study coming out that shows that centenarians tend not to internalize things or dwell on their troubles,” says Perls. “They are great at rolling with the punches.” If this inborn trait is hard to overcome, find better ways to manage when you’re stressed: Yoga, exercise, meditation, tai chi, or just deep breathing for a few moments are all good. Ruminating, eating chips in front of the TV, binge drinking? Bad, very bad.

8. Live Like a Seventh Day Adventist

Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic tenets of the religion is that it’s important to cherish the body that’s on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They’re also very focused on family and community.

 9. Be a Creature of Habit

Centenarians tend to live by strict routines, says Olshansky, eating the same kind of diet and doing the same kinds of activities their whole lives. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is another good habit to keep your body in the steady equilibrium that can be easily disrupted as you get on in years. “Your physiology becomes frailer when you get older,” explains Ferrucci, “and it’s harder for your body to bounce back if you, say, miss a few hours of sleep one night or drink too much alcohol.” This can weaken immune defenses, leaving you more susceptible to circulating flu viruses or bacterial infections.

 10. Stay Connected

Having regular social contacts with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death, something that’s particularly prevalent in elderly widows and widowers. Some psychologists even think that one of the biggest benefits elderly folks get from exercise the strong social interactions that come from walking with a buddy or taking a group exercise class. Having a daily connection with a close friend or family member gives older folks the added benefit of having someone watch their back. “They’ll tell you if they think your memory is going or if you seem more withdrawn,” says Perls, “and they might push you to see a doctor before you recognize that you need to see one yourself.”

11. Be Conscientious

The strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness that is, being prudent, persistent, and well organized, according to The Longevity Project, coauthored by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin. The book describes a study that followed 1,500 children for eight decades, collecting exhaustive details about their personal histories, health, activities, beliefs, attitudes, and families. The children who were prudent and dependable lived the longest, Friedman says, likely because conscientious types are more inclined to follow doctors’ orders, take the right medicines at the right doses, and undergo routine checkups. They’re also likelier to report happier marriages and more satisfying work lives than their less conscientious peers.

The Law of Focus and Attention‏

Wherever we focus our attention is where our thoughts are directed with most frequency and interest. Thus energy is produced in this direction, whether positive and beneficial energy or negative and harmful energy.

If we have a complicated mind, which thinks too much about certain things unnecessarily, our attention may be led towards the obstacles, problems, upsets and the things we worry about from a critical and negative viewpoint. By paying more attention to difficulties and problems, we feed these types of thoughts with our attention, so that we end up attracting these situations towards us. Finally, the problems and obstacles absorb us due to the amount of energy we have invested in them, turning what was perhaps a molehill (something very small) into a mountain.

The situation does not necessarily change immediately on changing our attitude. With this inner change, however, we will have more energy, clarity and determination to face up to and change the situation. When we focus on seeking solutions to problems and difficulties with a positive and enthusiastic attitude, we attract positive energy towards us, and this helps us transform mountains into molehills.

If our attention is focused on people’s defects and weaknesses, we transmit energy to these aspects and strengthen these weaknesses in the other person and in ourselves. If, on the other hand, our attention is directed at the positive aspects of others, we reinforce these qualities and virtues and help this person express them, which is also beneficial to us.

Our personality is made up of a series of values, beliefs and habits. If we wish to transfer our energy to new and positive aspects of ourselves, we must choose the personality traits that we want to emerge from us, focusing our time and energy on them and, in this way, this virtue, value or quality will manifest itself in our life.