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Nutrition and wellness is tasteful

  • Exercise

    Exercise is a benefit to every part of the body--mind included.

    Exercise makes you look better, lose weight, and lowers your risk of many chronic diseases, and slows down aging.

  • Healthy children, healthy life

    "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces--just good food from fresh ingredients."
    --Julia Child

    "If we're not willing to settle for 'junk living,' we shouldn't settle for junk food."
    --Sally Edwards

  • Food is medicine

    "Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine."

    "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
    --Michael Pollen

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Diet to Boost Your Mood and Energy Level

Here we are Monday again. The start of a fresh week for many. But, how will this week be different from any other week? Will you be more energized, will you be moodier, will you be pleasant to be around? So much of our mood and our energy is greatly influenced by not only getting enough rest, but in eating the right foods.

Here is a diet to boost your mood and your energy level.

There are some really good tips in the article and one I really need to re-visit from time to time is that drinking plenty of water (staying hydrated) helps with keeping you alert. "Some studies suggest that even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism and sap your energy"!

I don't always remember to drink the amount of water that I should, but in reading this information, it reminds me to drink up the good stuff whenever possible!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Truth About Detoxing

Doesn't it seem that you usually hear about someone going on a detox cleanse after a holiday or getting back from vacation or something along those lines? What ever happened to just trying to cut out processed foods -- not all of them are bad (like canned vegetables or canned beans), but most found on the shelf at your local grocery store aren't the best for our health. But, don't we already know this? They are just convenient foods to have around, but for many, they have replaced the 'good foods' to have more of like fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, lean meats and fish. 

In getting back to detoxing though, perhaps people are believing that they'll slim down (yes, that usually happens), but are you really "cleaning" or detoxifying the body? The human body is pretty amazing and on it's own, it does a really good job of doing just that -- detoxifying and eliminating what we don't need!

As Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D.,C.D.N., states: 
"Your body is designed with mechanisms to filter toxins out effectively," says Zeitin. "You don't need to do anything to detoxify because your body is constantly doing it for you." This is all thanks to your gastrointestinal tract and GI-related organs like your liver. "Your kidneys and liver filter what you take in and get rid of waste when you go to the bathroom," says Zeitlin. So things you eat, drink, and even inhale go through your body's own personal cleaning system, which gets rid of the unnecessary stuff so you can flush it away."

With all of that said, the best way to really take care of your body is to attempt to eat right whenever possible. Limit the processed foods, eat more fruits/veggies, drink lots of water and make an effort to make a homemade meal whenever possible. Here are 10 Healthy-Eating Rules that Almost All Nutritionists Agree on. What do you think? There may be a chance that many will not find value in eliminating the regular juice or smoothie -- and you don't have to completely -- but, why rely on the detox when our bodies are already doing the work for us?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why do some people who eat fast food not gain weight?

This question has perplexed me and I do think about it from time to time. Why is it that some people you may know (or you yourself) can eat this stuff and still remain -- well, thin? While we are in quite a dilemma with the foods we eat in this country (the SAD diet or Standard American Diet), many may think it is completely unfair to see "skinny" people get away with the foods we should be avoiding. The things to focus on though is not so much the foods that they are eating, but what is that food substance ultimately doing to their bodies? Sooner or later the truth will reveal itself.

It has been shown to us from numerous reliable sources that fast foods are full of sugars, artificial chemicals which also makes them completely devoid of any nutritional value. In fact, most of what is sold in say a Burger King or McDonald's doesn't even constitute as real food. Thus begs the question -- what is natural? The natural ingredients that are in our foods are but the least bit natural.

Lastly, perhaps we also need to look at who those fast food people are. They haven't felt the full effects of what fast food does to the body quite yet. It will take time. Maybe those folks are younger -- possibly in their 20s -- when metabolism hasn't slowed to a crawl. Fast food is like a slow poison that takes its time in breaking down every healthy cell in our bodies that is meant to keep us -- well, healthy.

As this article points out: "Being young, their bodies are better adapted to missing out. Their cells are not yet saturated with the toxins, so they can store more. Their pancreas still is pumping out tons of insulin, and is not yet worn out. Because of the higher energy levels, the sugars are used up and not stored away. Their digestive systems are still repairing itself fast, so they don't feel the damage that the bad food is doing. They don't understand that all that junk is ripping them open. But, it will catch up. Give it a little time, months or years, and this fast food habit will begin to wear thin. You can only store so many toxins. You can only pump out so much insulin before breaking".

Still not convinced? One can simply see the difference in the foods they eat. Take the challenge of eating a Big Mac, Fries and a drink or having a well-balanced turkey sandwich with fresh lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread or another delicious sandwich variation with real, natural ingredients and see how you feel even an hour after eating them. If you've got a big work project to complete or an exam to prepare for, which foods do you believe will enhance your "brain power" more? Now there is some food for thought...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The 7 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

Yes, we may know what some of the healthiest foods on the planet are, but do we eat them regularly? The following are 7 of the Healthiest Foods we can all be sure to eat.

1) Green Apples (with the skin on)
The benefits one can get from one of these apples is well...fruitful. These contain healthy fiber and polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that can be found in our diet and assist with the prevention of degenerative diseases -- like cancer and heart disease.

2) Lentils
Lentils are legumes that are quick and easy to prepare with the added benefit of plenty of long-lasting fiber that keep us feeling full. Lentils also help with disease prevention and minimize inflammation. Great recipe for lentils? How about some easy lentil soup?

3) Walnuts
Walnuts are known for their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which prove to be great for the heart! In fact, with just a few walnuts as a daily snack, blood-flow to the heart is greatly improved, which in turn works toward the prevention of heart disease.

4) Oats
Oats are loaded with fiber and also contain antioxidants called avenanthramides which help with controlling cholesterol and also reducing the risk of heart disease.

5) Watercress
You don't hear about watercress very much these days. But, this "green" has been around for thousands of years and is incredibly good for you. You hear a lot of talk about kale and its health benefits, but watercress is part of that same "good for you" family of veggies.

In fact, the famous quote from the ancient physician Hippocrates -- "Let food by thy medicine" reminds us about the benefits of watercress. Yes, the "father of medicine" used watercress to treat his patients! Additionally, watercress has the highest ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) score of 1000 for complete nutrition and health benefits.

6) Olive Oil
Olive oil is a major part of the Mediterranean Diet and is well known for its extremely healthful benefits. It has been well known that populations from the Mediterranean region have long life expectancies with lower heart disease risk, high blood pressure and stroke as opposed to other populations (namely ours).

7) Tomatoes
There is no doubt that tomatoes are full of wonderful antioxidants, with a very good amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Tomatoes also contain the mineral manganese and vitamin E. Manganese plays a large role in providing the body with such benefits as bone health, blood sugar control and a strong protector against free radical damage to our cells and tissues.

All of the foods mentioned above are fairly easy to obtain, they are delicious and they are absolutely so easy to add in a good recipe....

Thursday, August 13, 2015

So, What About Body Image? Does It Even Matter?

I felt so inclined to write a blog post about this article because it affects so many people -- particularly women -- about the perfect body image that we believe (or want) to have. The thing is there is enough pressure to work on eating a diet with all of the right food/nutritional components in the right amounts -- but, let's not add "fuel to the fire" by expecting to have a perfect physique! After all, it is in those little imperfections that we find ourselves being who we are -- human!

First and foremost, my main objective as you might see from my blog is to provide tips and sound advice as to eating healthier, serving portion-sized amounts of food, exercising and following overall wellness guidelines that include more than just food. 

This article describes a woman who is an avid, strong and fit yoga teacher, yet she still feels a bit of a body complex from time to time. Don't most or all of us? As the writer of this article so succinctly put it: 

"Still holding on to that insecure body part? Please do this: Squeeze it lovingly. Thank it for being part of the entire team of parts that make up your amazing, perfectly imperfect vessel. Tell this area that you'll no longer trash talk it or wish for it to change, but rather embrace it as it is so that you can step forward, empowered as a team. Your acceptance and strength will encourage others to drop their insecurities and pain. Make a dedication right here and now. Any time you have a wave of insecurity, stop-take a deep breath, hold that body part, and remember your dedication. Forget the story, strip away the layers of insecurity, and honor your body as the amazing temple that it is."

Now those words are priceless, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Effects of Drinking a Coke

How much are you influenced by the wise words of a stranger as opposed to the wise words of a physician, nurse or pharmacist? There more than likely is a difference in who we listen to, after all, we seek the advice from those who have experience, knowledge and expertise in an area, right?

In reading this article about what drinking a coke does to your body in a span of an hour piqued my interest -- especially since it came from a pharmacist. As you can guess, a pharmacist is a pretty wise resource to pay attention to, so hence, this article got my attention.

Here's What Happens One Hour After Drinking a Coke. A recording of what occurred within the hour of drinking a coke was recorded, to find out the results, read the article.....

Read about: The Dorito Effect

Doritos is one of those recognizable brands that most everyone knows about -- high, middle and low income and everyone in between. When it comes to a summer party or B-B-Q or the Superbowl, most party planners have several of the Doritos varieties to offer up to their guests, right? What is it about Doritos that everyone loves so much! 

In his book, The Dorito Effect by Journalist Mark Schatzker, he talks about the missing link to what adds to our obesity epidemic -- flavor. While it is true that too much salt, sugar and fat is what we crave, all of those ingredients enhance the flavors of such junk foods as Doritos making them irresistible to just about anyone. 

How is it that BIG FOOD has mastered the production of such products? How has that affected our taste for the fruits and vegetables that mother nature provides us? Could it be that to many, these particular fruits and vegetables and even meat have become bland over time due to the overconsumption of junk food that has assisted in "wrecking" our palates? 

I'm always amazed by how food also affects our behaviors. There is no doubt that food is what provides our bodies with energy to function and function well (that is the hope). But, certainly changing the behaviors that have been so embedded into our society as of late has become increasingly difficult. For the "regular joe" good and delicious food is just too expensive and delicious, good for you foods like organic fruits and vegetables, cage-free eggs and meat without antibiotics is just too much for many to hope for unfortunately. 

Another observation that this journalist brings to light is the following: 

"One thing I think brings home the importance of flavor is the genes that write our flavor sensing equipment, the nose and mouth, take up more DNA than any other bodily system -- more than your brain, more than your sex organs, more than your eyes.

From an evolutionary point of view, flavor is clearly very important. And when we experience the flavor of the food we eat, it engages more parts of the brain than any other behavior!"

Then there is the topic of how the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the labeling of foods with the "natural flavorings" mysterious identification on the package. Does anyone really even know what those natural flavorings really are? Artificial!

Lastly and importantly, Mr. Schatzker's book also describes that it is essential to get flavor back into our produce to make it palatable and delicious and worth further "eating" consideration by just about anybody. Flavor is really the Key Ingredient! "The University of Florida has bred a tomato - it's non-GMO - that has the yield of a modern tomato and the flavor of an heirloom. This, to me, is such wonderful news. It means we can produce high-quality food that's affordable and accessible." And isn't that really key?

Good food shouldn't be limited to any particular group, but should be part of everyone's lives.....

Monday, July 27, 2015

Genome Magazine: Food As Medicine

As I've been diligently reading various articles, magazines, pamphlets, books surrounding our food acting as medicine -- or not -- this article from Genome Magazine gives another fresh perspective. Yes, we already know that food can act as medicine and we already know "you are what you eat", but what if we could "eat for who we are"? 

Genome magazine uncovers more than what we already know about people and their great obsession with food and diets of all kinds, but how do our genetics come into play? Why is it that we know generally that broccoli is really good for us, but why is it that some people react negatively toward it? Now, I'm not talking about those that don't even like the taste of broccoli or those that would prefer eating anything else aside from the vegetable, but it has been found that peoples' bodies can react negatively toward a food.

Nutrigenomics is the scientific study of how our genes interact with nutrition. This can be very helpful information, especially now that we have such an overabundance of chronic diseases as well as many other unexplained diseases -- what could be better than to know how to prevent and treat disease? Additionally, nutrigenomics can help with making sense of why some people react differently to various foods that most would consider and know to be 'good for you' foods. It seems idealistic to believe that everyone will have a positive response to a certain nutrient found in a food after all. 

To learn more about how food truly can act as medicine, refer to the magazine's cover story here....