Tag Archives: stomach

Probiotics, Prebiotics: Fact and Fiction

yogurt probioticsThese days with so much access to information we tend to get overloaded with it. We can’t tell what’s valid information and what isn’t. There is so much confusion surrounding probiotics and prebiotics, and outrageous marketing claims of yogurt companies and other companies isn’t helping.  Here’s a basic overview of what probiotics are in comparison to prebiotics, and some information to help cut through the clutter of claims.  

The Pros of Probiotics

Probiotics are basically microorganisms that promote health.  They are primarily bacteria that offer health benefits when eaten or supplemented with.  There are many different strains of bacteria that offer an array of health benefits.  The two most common strains include:  L. acidophilus and B. bifidum,

Eating yogurt is rarely enough to obtain the many health benefits of probiotics.  Many commercially-available brands of yogurt don’t contain “live cultures.”  If you’re choosing one, be sure to choose one that says “live cultures” on the label.  The claim doesn’t guarantee that the cultures are intact, but it may increase the odds.

The Myths about Prebiotics

Prebiotics are the food that probiotics feed on to enable them to populate the intestines.  Many food products and supplements come with claims that they contain prebiotics that are necessary for probiotics to work but that isn’t the whole story.  While it is true that probiotics feed on prebiotics, they are rarely necessary and more often take up valuable “real estate” within a tiny capsule.  Carbohydrates such as sugars, starches, and fiber are technically prebiotics that feed probiotics.  They are found in all plant-based foods.


Adapted with permission from my upcoming book, The Probiotic Miracle (DaCapo).

Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Check out my new books 60 Seconds to Slim and Weekend Wonder Detox.  Follow my blog on my site ProbioticMiracle.com, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. 

How to Make Friends With the Li’l Inner Demon Voice Inside Your Head

positiveinchallengingBy Lindsey O’Connor

You know that voice that pops up during your low and vulnerable moments and makes you feel even less? The one telling you you’re not good enough, that says your thighs are too big, or your pimple looks like Mount Everest? Or that convinces you not to wear that cute, sexy top because it will show your stomach sticking out way too much in it?

Yeah, that guy. I call it the Li’l Demon.

It’s incredible how convincing and persuasive the Li’l Demon can be and how easy it is to believe it when you’re feeling a little sad, vulnerable or anxious! When something causes me stress, then BOOM! I’m all ears.

Most of the time I am fully conscious that what this voice is saying is far from the logical and rational truth. But that little demon can be deceptively comforting, because it’s my comfortable “go-to” in a stressful situation. It just peeks over my shoulder and says, “Oh, you’re feeling anxious? Let me help you.” ..NOT.

I keep getting this image in my head:

herculues Too bad he’s not some cute, cuddly, fuzzy baby slothy thing saying this to you:


Here are some ways I deal with this  little inner bully.

1. Don’t force that voice away, don’t try and push that demon out of your mind. The more you want that voice to go away and the more you try to forcefully separate it from your being, the stronger it becomes.

Don’t give it more power and energy by doing that, because that’s what it wants. I say things like,

“Oh hey li’l demon, what’s up? So you’re here today. That’s cool. Do you want some crayons and a coloring book? Cause I’m busy today doing my own thing and enjoying my life, so I don’t have time to listen to you. You can totes chill here for a while, but I choose to focus on things that make me happy and make me feel good about myself.”

Ok, so I don’t go through that extensive of a conversation all the time, but something along those lines. Just greet it, shake hands with it metaphorically, accept that it is a part of you today. But then go about your normal business and don’t feed it any more energy. If you need distractions from it, have a good book on hand. Call a friend to catch up. Go get coffee. Turn on your favorite music and dance or sing.  Get a hug from a co-worker or friend or loved one. Don’t let that li’l demon take over your day. Accept that it is there, give yourself a big hug and go about your business.

2. Send loving energy to where the voice is sending negativity. If the voice (in my case) is telling me that my stomach is huge, bloated and heavy, I accept the fact that those are the thoughts floating through my mind at this point and they shall pass. Then I close my eyes, breathe and hold my stomach and say how much I love it. I send it loving energy. I connect my belly with the rest of my body, which makes me stronger and more whole against that little demon. I focus on how it fills with air each time I breathe deeply. Be stronger than your demon and overcome its negativity with some self love and care.

I know that this guy can pop up at any moment – at work, at school, before an interview, with a significant other, when you’re all alone – so be prepared. Arm your sexy self with tricks and tools that you’re ready with whenever it rears its ugly head. In your car? Pop in your favorite CD and sing like you’ve never sung before. If you’re at work take 5 deep breaths and focus on a task to do.

Be cognizant of when this demon pops up. Is it with the same people? Certain situations? Specific times during the day? See if there is a pattern to it. If there is, you may want to try relieving yourself of those people and situations. Or find trick of how to handle them and the stress in a positive way.

So, all in all, the less attention and energy you give to that demon (aka the less you try and force it away and the less you focus on it) the smaller and smaller it will become.

Do you ever do battle with your “Li’l Demon? How do you make peace with it or get it to shut up? 

18 Amazing Facts About the Human Body (infographic)

Did you know human bone is 4 times stronger than concrete? That a sneeze can travel at 100 mph or more? If your lungs were laid out flat, they would span 1,500 miles!

Check out this amazing infographic and learn some unbelievable facts about your own body:


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