Friday, December 12, 2008

School Lunches

How can we improve school lunches for our children? The article below is inspiration that it can be done. I am blown away by the lunch menu my children bring home from school and how the lunches/breakfast are advertised as being "nutritious". The studies prove that children excel in many areas when they are eating right. I know that we all want the best for our children; let's make a stand today!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/12/11/sugar.free.school/index.html

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Potato Souffle


This delicious sweet potato recipe will sure to be a favorite for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Cook and mash 3 large sweet potatoes or yams = 3 cups
Add and mix together:
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup evaporated milk


Pour mixture into a greased 9 X 13 inch pan. Mix topping mixture below and sprinkle on top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes

Variation: Use a total of 4 eggs, 4 cooked sweet potatoes, 2 T coconut flour, replace the turbinado sugar with agave and use buttermilk in place of evaporated milk.

Topping:
1 cup whole grain corn flakes (You can also use whole grain oats)
1/2 cup macaroon style coconut (non-sweetened)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T Turbinado Sugar or Sucanat

Sunday, November 9, 2008

hGH - Human Growth Hormone


We all want to look and feel our best all the time. It seems we are constantly trying to find the "magic" supplement or food that will delay the aging process within ourselves. Of course, on top of clean eating, we should be exercising, supplementing and getting plenty of good sleep to stay looking and feeling as young and healthy as possible.

When we are young, our bodies produce large amounts of what we call Human Growth Hormone or hGH. As we age, we produce less and less of this "wonder" hormone. hGH is needed to build muscle strength and size, aids in muscle recovery, repairs/rebuilds cells, is key to weight loss, helps with immunity and is needed to look and feel young. If there is a "magic" anti-aging supplement, hGH would be it!

As we get older, there are a few things we can do to keep our hGH at it's peak.

1. Get plenty of good quality sleep - our bodies produce most hGH when in a deep sleep
2. Eat Clean - Lean protein is needed to sustain/produce good hGH levels
2. Exercise - Exercise stimulates the production of hGH

Inhibitors of hGH that you will want to avoid are hyperglycemia, estrogen and interrupted sleep. Stay away from refined sugars/foods that promote hyperglycemia. Avoid hormone replacement if possible and avoid consuming too much soy as it increases estrogen production. If you have issues with getting quality sleep, depending on the problem, there are many herbal formulas that can assist in helping you get a good nights rest.

hGH supplementation is very costly so I recommend promoting the natural production within the body by taking the best possible care of yourself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Use Coconut Oil?


Excerpt from back jacket:

"If there was an oil you could use for your daily cooking needs that helped protect you from heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative conditions, improved your digestion, strengthened your immune system, and helped you lose excess weight, would you be interested? This is what coconut oil can do for you."



Within the past year, I have incorporated coconut oil into my daily cooking. I remember being told at a very young age that coconut oil was a saturated fat that should be completely avoided. I avoided it for years and realize how I've missed out on so many health benefits that come from using coconut oil.

The studies that were done to show that coconut oil and all other saturated fats were bad for one's health was because they raised serum cholesterol levels. However, these studies were done on coconut oil that had been hydrogenated in the oil refining process (hydrogenated means the food is altered from it's natural form into a trans fat). Trans fats are found in many foods and they will cause health problems.

Now that you know the truth, start using coconut oil today!


What Coconut Oil DOES NOT Do:
  • Does not increase blood cholesterol level.
  • Does not promote platelet stickiness or blood clot formation.
  • Does not contribute to atherosclerosis or heart disease.
  • Does not contribute to weight problems.

What Coconut Oil DOES Do:

  • Reduces risk of atherosclerosis and related illnesses.
  • Reduces risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions.
  • Helps prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal (including yeast) infections.
  • Supports immune system function.
  • Helps control diabetes.
  • Provides an immediate source of energy.
  • Supports healthy metabolic function.
  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Supplies important nutrients necessary for good health.
  • Supplies fewer calories than other fats.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Has a mild delicate flavor.
  • Is highly resistant to spoilage (long shelf life).
  • Is heat resistant (the healthiest oil for cooking).
  • Helps keep skin soft and smooth.
  • Helps prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin.
  • Helps protect against skin cancer and other blemishes.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
Lauric Acid (found in coconut oil) is necessary for good health says Dr. Mary Enig, a Ph.D. nutritionist/biochemist and one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils. She states, “Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."

Coconut oil is expensive but it is well worth the benefits. The least expensive place I have found to purchase coconut oil is at www.iHerb.com. On your first order, if you enter in promotional code KEN780, you'll save $5 off your total. I purchase the 32 oz. Jarrow Formulas - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for $14.37. You can't beat that price!


Description
  • A Deliciously Healthy Cooking Oil
  • Better than Butter
  • USDA Organic
  • No Hexane
  • Rich in Lauric Acid
  • Unrefined & No Trans Fats
  • A Soothing Body Oil
  • Nature's Ideal All-Purpose Cooking Oil

The Coconut Oil Myth

Coconut oil was once mistakenly considered unhealthful. The fact is, this oil is cholesterol-free and rich in the medium-chain "good fats" doctors recommend. Why is it that baby formulas often include coconut oil? Because coconut is one of the world's most nourishing super foods. Nutritionists suggest enjoying up to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil each day, so help yourself to this heavenly, creamy taste of the tropics.

Nutiva's Coconut Oil is:

Cold-Pressed & Pure White: Not refined, deodorized, or bleached! Savor its naturally rich aroma and enticing light taste.

Organic: So it's free from pesticides, GMOs, and hexane.

Versatile: Ideal as a high-heat cooking oil (up to 350°), as a nutritious substitute in baking, as a "better-than-butter" replacement on bread, vegetables or popcorn and as a luscious oil for skin care, hair care, and massage.

America Needs an Oil Change - While doctors suggest we consume a 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, the average American diet provides a ratio of 20:1 or more - contributing to heart disease, skin disorders and arterial inflammation. So avoid out-of-balance soy, corn, and canola oils with their trans fats, oxidation and GMOs. Cook with coconut oil (with only 1% Omega-6) and use olive oil (also low in Omega-6), and hemp oil (with the perfect 3:1 Omega ratio) for unheated recipes.

Not all saturated fat is bad!

Coconut oil is cholesterol-free and contains medium-chain good fats with 50%-55% Lauric Acid-a healthy nutrient that supports the metabolism.

Out Of This World Zucchini Bread

3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. *macaroon style coconut (optional)
3 eggs
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. canola oil
1 1/4 c. sucanat
1 c. turbinado sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
2 c. finely grated zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oils (you can use a total of 1 cup coconut oil rather than the 1/2 c. coconut oil and 1/2 c. canola oil, if you'd like), sugars, vanilla and zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Blend well and mix in the chopped walnuts. Bake 50 minutes or until center is done. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

Because the sucanat is dark in color the final product will be as well. The sucanat gives it a rich color and flavor that is so yummy!

Variation: If you are a chocolate lover, add some grain sweetened chocolate chips to the mix. You can find these at your local health food store.

*Macaroon style coconut is a fine shave of coconut with no added sugars. You can find it at your local health food store.

Amazing Banana Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. ripe, mashed bananas (about 3)
3/4 c. sucanat
3/4 c. turbinado sugar
1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. *macaroon style coconut (optional)
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Blend eggs, buttermilk, oils, vanilla, bananas and the sugars. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the nuts.

Pour into a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until center is done.

*Macaroon style coconut is a very thin shave of coconut with no added sugars. You can find this at your local health food store.

This is a very moist banana bread. Because the sucanat is dark in color, your bread will be dark in color as well. This is the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. I suggest to double the recipe since it will disappear fast!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups warm water
2 T. yeast
1 tsp. malted barley flour
1/2 cup honey
1 T. Salt
1/3 cup olive oil or Canola Oil
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
9-12 cups ground, whole white wheat flour


Let yeast rise in 1/4 cup warm water. Add the malted barley to the yeast mixture. In a bread mixer, add 4 cups water, yeast, honey, salt, olive oil and gluten. Mix. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let dough knead for 8-10 minutes.

Let dough rise until double in size. Once dough has risen, form into bread loaves and let rise again until double in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sugar - The Not So Sweet Side Effects...


What's wrong with eating a little sugar? Well, let's start with insulin. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar quickly rises and your pancreas immediately responds by secreting the hormone insulin. Insulin, whose job among many other things, is to quickly remove the sugar out of the blood stream by delivering it to cells where it can be used for energy. If sugar is allowed to hang out in the blood stream it does damage by attaching to red blood cells and creating sticky compounds that that clog up your system.
There are 2 major problems with this. One, most of us don't use our muscles enough that would create a demand for the energy from the sugar so it will get stored as fat or will continue lurking in the blood stream, wreaking havoc.
The second problem is our bodies were designed to respond to natural foods that contain sugar such as fruits. When we fill our system with candy, ice cream and cake, the pancreas has to shoot out more insulin to get the job done and high amounts of insulin create a whole other set of issues.
Insulin tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium, increasing blood pressure. High insulin levels have also been linked to metabolic syndrome which is a type of prediabetes that increases the risk of heart disease.
Table sugar is not the only offender with the insulin effect on the body. Refined carbs such as mashed potatoes, white rice, white bread and pasta are quickly converted to sugar in the body since your pancreas can't tell the difference.
Sugar in not non-nutritive but it is anti-nutritive. When sugar is found in whole foods such as apples, berries and even sugarcane it comes complete with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed for complete digestion. When it's found in your sugar bowl or in chemical compounds such as high fructose corn syrup, your body has to borrow from it's stores of nutrients in order to process it. That is one reason why sugar is considered an immune system depressor.
Sugar is addictive and just like any addiction, you may experience withdrawals when removing it from your diet. Do yourself a favor and kick the "not so sweet side effects" that occur from eating sugar.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Food Myths

Myth: Eating most of your calories in the evening promotes weight gain.

Fact: No matter when you eat them, you gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn off. However, mindless munching in front of the TV at night can push calorie intake over the top.


Myth: Carbohydrates (or sugars) cause weight gain.

Fact: Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain unless they contribute to excess calorie intake. The same holds true for protein and fat. Findings from the National Weight Control Registry show that people who successfully maintain weight loss tend to eat diets that are higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat, in addition to watching their total calorie intake. However, some people who eat a diet that is extremely high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat get hungry sooner, which may trigger overeating.


Myth: Yogurt is the perfect diet food. Many dieters swear by it, but some yogurt can be as fattening as ice cream. Greek yogurt has 10 percent fat.

Fact: Yogurt is good for people of all ages. Yogurt is also important for those wanting to lose weight. As a milk product, yogurt is naturally rich in calcium. Research shows that calcium helps reduce weight gain. Even small changes in the calcium levels of fat cells can change signals within the cell that control the making and burning of fat. What needs to be remembered is no one food is going to prove magic, it is a combination of effective diet and exercise plan that will really work. Avoid yogurt that contains added sugars or sweetened fruit, as these upset the delicate chemical balance that allow the cultures to thrive. Sugars also feed the growth on unwanted yeasts, so you’re better off without it!

Myth: Exercise makes you eat more. Often people shy away from doing exercise using this excuse.

Fact: However, research has shown that after 20 minutes of exercise people ate no more than those who had done nothing. The only difference was that those who had exercised thought the food tasted better.




Monday, June 9, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups sucanat
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
2 T. Milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grain sweetened chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixer, mix all wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and blend. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake for 13 minutes.

This makes a big batch of cookies. You may want to cut the recipe in half or make them all and freeze the extras.

If you are not familiar with some of the ingredients, check out your local health food store. They will carry any of the items in question.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Granola Bars

2 cups whole grain oats
1 cup whole wheat flour (whole white wheat or whole pastry flour is best)
3/4 cup sucanat
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup chopped raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients. Mix mixture well with your hands. You may need to add some water to get the mix sticking together. Spray a 9 x13 inch pan and press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 27-33 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and cut into bars.

I love this recipe! It is so yummy!

This recipe was given to me from the greatest friend anyone could ever have. I love her dearly. She's a clean eater and looks and feels better than ever! Thanks Jen!

Food Cravings!

We all experience food cravings at times in our life. When you are dieting, stressed or lacking sleep you may notice your cravings for unhealthy foods, increase.

Food cravings are a direct reflection or sign of hormonal imbalance caused by a lack of healthy nutrition.

Serotonin is our feel-good hormone. If we are overwhelmed or sad, our serotonin and or blood sugar levels are low. The brain will signal that it needs a pick-me-up. This signal will create a sugar craving or carbohydrate craving. The same goes for when you are under a lot of stress or aren't getting enough sleep. Your body will give off a signal that makes you feel like you need sugar but this is where it's important to be in tune with your body and give it what it really needs. Most of us find comfort in food and when we are not feeling like ourselves, not knowingly, we turn to food to "fix" us.

If you cut too much fat out of your diet, you make the problem worse; especially if you've been doing it for years. A low fat, high carbohydrate diet puts you at risk of being insulin resistant - meaning that your body stops responding to insulin. In return, you risk becoming overweight, tired and depressed. Your body will take all the energy you eat and store it in your cells as fat but you'll always feel unsatisfied. Your food cravings will become stronger than ever and you'll find yourself grabbing unhealthy snacks to fix your feelings of discomfort.

The more you feed into your cravings the more you'll be led into a downward spiral!

When you are in tune with your body which also involves eating a clean diet, you will not have food cravings for unhealthy foods. Instead, your body will tell you what you may be lacking and you'll crave whole, nutritious foods that will give your body the support and energy it needs to feel good.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

At work, I'm always preaching about the negative effects nitrates have on the body. A good friend of mine ran across an article and sent it my way. It talks about 12 food additives that you should avoid - nitrates being the #1 additive mentioned. Check out the link below.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I found this great site that offers supplements at such a low cost. I want everyone to check it out. Plus, if your order totals over $60, you'll receive free shipping; if not, it's only a $4 flat shipping rate. Also, on your first order, you can save an additional $5 with promotion code ken780. I highly recommend checking it out. I've never found coconut oil, fish oil or spirulina cheaper than I have on this site.

www.iherb.com

When Will You Die?

A friend from work told me about this site that estimates your date of death. Obviously, the healthier you are, the longer you'll live. Check it out!

http://deathclock.com

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hypothyroidism



Your thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located underneath your Adam's apple at the base of your neck. The thyroid produces hormones that have a huge impact on your health. It affects all aspects of your metabolism - from the rate at which you burn calories to how quickly your heart beats.

If your thyroid is working normal and releasing the correct amount of hormones, your body functions correctly. But sometimes the thyroid does not produce enough hormones which upsets the balance of chemical reactions within the body; this is referred to hypothyroidism.

1 in 5 women will develop a thyroid disorder and 13 million cases go undetected. Thyroid disorders are ten times more common in women then men but if you are a man don't think it can't happen to you.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism will depend on the severity of the hormone deficiency. Any problems you do have will develop slowly over time, becoming more severe within a number of years.

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
  • You haven't been feeling like yourself lately - If you have a significant change in your mood and energy levels that has lasted 2 months or longer, get tested.
  • You've plucked out gray hairs since before you turned 30 - This is a sign of being at higher risk for autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks your thyroid.
  • You have high blood pressure or cholesterol - If there is a shortage of hormones in the body, the heart muscle contracts more slowly and the blood vessels become stiffer which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
  • You've switched birth controls because of side effects - If the pill makes you feel bloated and exhausted it may be a red flag that lower levels of thyroid hormones circulate through your body.
  • You've had trouble getting pregnant - Low levels of thyroid hormones will create irregularity of your menstrual cycle and cause decreased fertility. It will also increase your risk of having miscarriages.
  • If you are 35 or older - A family history of thyroid problems or not, you still may want to get checked. 21% of women develop a thyroid issue some time during their life.
  • Unexplained weight gain - Your metabolism cannot perform at it's peak without the correct amounts of hormones secreted by the thyroid.
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
How To Protect Your Thyroid
  • Increase your iodine intake - Iodine is a trace mineral and is needed for thyroid hormone production. It can be found in seafood; a seaweed supplement would be an excellent choice. You'll need about 150 micro grams a day.
  • Add selenium to your diet - Selenium is a mineral also needed for thyroid hormone production and can be found in tuna, brown rice or Brazil nuts. Try to get 55 micro grams a day.
  • Go easy on soy - The isoflavones in soy can interfere with the production and use of thyroid hormones. Consume less than 50 milligrams of isoflavones a day. A cup of soy milk contains 20-35 milligrams.
  • Buy bottled water - Fluoride, found in drinking water, may hinder the thyroid function. Check to see if your water is fluoridated and if it is, switch to bottled water. Also, rinse twice after brushing your teeth to avoid consuming fluoride which is found in many toothpastes.
  • Avoid stress - Stress affects the body's production of steroids which can hinder the secretion of the thyroid-stimulating hormone. Increased anxiety can increase your chances of developing a thyroid disorder.
  • Eat plenty of fish - Omega-3 fatty acids are important in the maintenance of cell membranes, which help transport thyroid hormones throughout the body. Try to eat 3 oz of a fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines 2X's a week. A liquid fish oil supplement is great for those who do not like fish.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Importance Of Sleep

Are you not getting enough sleep? Many of us are sleep deprived and don't even know it. Not getting enough sleep is a serious problem and it will wreak havoc on your overall well being.

Why Do We Need Sleep
    • Learning & Memory - Sleep can help to solidify new information you've learned in your brain. It can also recover and organize memories.
    • Mood Enhancement - The part of your brain that controls your emotions and decision making slows down while you sleep allowing optimal performance when awake. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is especially important for a good mood during the day. Those who lack sleep can get easily frustrated and grumpy.
    • Immune System - Without adequate amounts of sleep, the immune system becomes weak, making you vulnerable to infection and disease.
    • Growth & Development - When you sleep well, your body produces human growth hormone. A drop in your natural production of HGH is a scary path to getting fat. HGH stimulates the metabolism and increases the body's ability to burn fat and increase muscle size.
We all need different amounts of sleep. Pay attention to how you feel; if you wake up feeling refreshed with out feeling tired throughout the day, you are getting enough sleep.

The amount of sleep that you need depends on many factors - your genetic make up, your daily activities, the amount of exercise you get, your age and the quality of your sleep.

Most adults, on average, need between 7-8 hours of sleep. Some may be able to function on as little as 5 and some may need closer to 10.

Sleep deprivation will be felt both physically and mentally. Listen to your body and give it the sleep it needs. Getting on a regular sleep schedule is best especially if you have problems getting a good nights rest.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups whole white wheat flour or whole pastry flour (it is not white flour so don't be fooled - you can find it in the bulk section at your health food store)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. powdered vanilla
1/2 cup whole grain oatmeal
1/2 cup macaroon style coconut (macaroon style is a thinner shave of coconut)
1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup raisins, chopped up
2/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips, slightly chopped (you can also find these in the bulk section at your local health food store)

Blend flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, coconut and oatmeal. In a separate bowl mix the sucanant, coconut oil and eggs. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until completely combined. Add the raisins and chocolate chips.

Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes. Don't over bake.

These power packed cookies are loaded with healthy goodness! They work well for an energy snack.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quinoa Dessert

1 cup quinoa (pronounced keenwah)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup milk (Coconut milk is great too!)
1/4 cup agave or honey
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups of your favorite fruit (I love a berry blend)

Add quinoa, water, salt and cinnamon to stove top on high until mixture comes to a full boil. Put the lid on and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir in the milk. Let simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes. Add honey, nuts and chopped up fruit. Mix and let simmer with the lid off for another 10 minutes.

*Unsweetened frozen fruit works well. If you use a berry blend, you do not need to cut up the fruit.

*Add fresh strawberries for a delicious summer treat!

Quinoa comes from a broadleaf plant and has fabulous nutritional value. It looks similar to tapioca when cooked and tastes wonderful!

The Chemicals We Eat


Do you ever wonder about the chemicals you eat from eating inorganic fruits and vegetables? If not, I hope you will now.

The EPA approved and registered many of the pesticides that are used today, long before the harmful and negative effects were discovered. The impact on our health from these chemicals is becoming more and more obvious. Our bodies were not meant to be fed poison.

In order to protect the crop, commercial farms use chemicals on the plants as they grow. The problem with this is the chemicals are then absorbed into the plant and no matter how well you clean the outside of the fruit or vegetable, the chemicals still remain inside.

None of us would intentionally eat harmful chemicals so now that you know the importance of organic foods it's time to make the switch!

Organic foods may cost more money up front but will end up saving you more money down the road in doctor and hospital bills.

Check out
www.organicconsumers.org/epa7.htm for more information on the harmful effects of consuming chemicals.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

9 Healthy Habits For Weight Loss

We all are probably carrying around excess weight that we would like to lose. If needed, losing 5-15% of your overall body weight can have significant health increases. If you weigh 160 pounds, 10% of your body weight would equal 16 pounds. A 2 lb loss a week is a safe rate for weight loss if you are looking to keep it off. Below are some ideas to help you lose the weight and keep it off.

  • Keep a food journal - write down everything you eat
  • Never shop when you are hungry - always use a grocery list
  • Store foods away and out of sight
  • Portion out smaller servings
  • Sit and enjoy your meals at the table - do not eat in front of the television
  • Be realistic with your weight loss goals - slow weight loss is the best
  • Get support from family and friends
  • If you mess up, quickly forgive yourself and move forward - setbacks are part of the learning process
  • Engage in regular, physical activity

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is It Clean?

I still get many people asking if certain foods are considered clean. The best way to answer that is to ask yourself, "Could I have eaten this food if I lived a few thousand years ago and was naked in a jungle with only a stick for a weapon?" If you can answer yes, you most likely will not have any discomfort from the food you eat but will be eating to prevent disease (and sometimes treat) - The fewer the bar codes the better!

As said by Tosca Reno, if you can hunt it, gather it, pluck it or fish it, it belongs on your table.


Clean Eating=Disease Prevention (It doesn't get any easier than that!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Heavenly Veggie Sandwich


2 T. Follow Your Heart Low-Fat Ranch Dressing (check your local health food store)
1 tsp. mustard
2 Slices whole wheat bread
1 hardboiled egg, sliced
2 T. sprouts, any variety
Spinach
Romain Lettuce
Tomato
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 T. red onion, sliced

Spread ranch and mustard on bread. Layer vegetables and egg as desired. Enjoy!

*I also love to add tuna fish for a protein packed meal!

Cherry Almond Chocolate Cluster by Ellie Krieger

1 cup(s) nuts, almonds, toasted in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame until fragrant, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup(s) cherries, dried tart, coarsely chopped
6 ounce(s) dark chocolate, 72% cacao, finely chopped

Preparation

In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and cherries. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Melt half the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over 1 inch of barely simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom, and set it aside for a moment. Replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while you make the clusters.

Stir the fruit/nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized clusters of the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to set for 15 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.

Serving size: 1 cluster.

Nutrient Note: Good source of fiber.

Oven Fried Chicken

cooking spray
2 1/2 cups Fiber One cereal, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 cups cereal, cornflakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large egg whites
1 cup yogurt, low-fat plain
1 tablespoon mustard, dijon-style
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breast halves, bone in, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry
4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the Fiber One and corn flake crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.

In a large bowl, the egg whites, yogurt, mustard, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture. Then, one at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cereal mixture mixture, packing the crumbs evenly onto the chicken. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. Bake until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, 45 to 50 minutes.

Serving size: 1 breast half or 2 thighs

Nutrient Notes: Excellent source of: Niacin, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Phosphorus; Good source of: Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Zinc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

CALCULATE TARGET HEART RATE ZONE


Knowing your target heart rate zone during your work out is important in maximizing your results. To perform aerobics at your best, calculate your target heart rate zone within a range between 65%-85% of your maximum heart rate.

To calculate your heart rate zone, first find your maximum heart rate by taking your age and subtracting that from 220.

Maximum heart rate.. 220 - 30 = 190 beats per minute

Then multiply the beats per minute by 65%.
190 x 65% = 123.5 beats per minute

123 beats per minute will be the minimum range of your heart rate zone during aerobics.

Now work out your maximum range by multiplying the maximum heart rate by 85%.
190 x 85% = 161.5 beats per minute

You'll now see that you have a range of 123 - 161 beats per minute in your most effective heart rate zone. Always stay within your own heart rate zone. Exercising at the lower range enables the body to take up enough oxygen so the cells can utilize stored fat. If you workout within the higher range of the zone you will burn more calories however, for most overweight people, the majority of energy used will be in the form of carbohydrates and less used up from fat storage. You can check your heart rate during a workout, but first slow down the pace a little so you can safely check and concentrate on what you are doing. Place your index and middle finger on the inner part of your wrist. Now count how many beats in 10 seconds, then multiply the number by 6. Purchasing a heart rate monitor is the safest and most effective way of checking your heart rate during exercise.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fiber - Are you getting enough?


The recommended intake of fiber is 25g per day. If you eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of whole grain products per day you are very likely meeting the fiber requirements.

Types of Fiber: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber

Both soluble and insoluble fiber is undigested. Therefore, they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact.

Soluble Fiber:

Functions Of Soluble Fiber

  • bind with fatty acids
  • prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is absorbed and released more slowly
Benefits Of Soluble Fiber
  • lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
  • regulate blood sugar (especially important for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia)
Food Sources of Soluble Fiber
  • oats/oat bran
  • dried peas/beans
  • nuts
  • barley
  • flax seed
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • psyllium husk
Insoluble Fiber:

Functions of Insoluble Fiber
  • move bulk through the intestines
  • control and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines
Benefits of Insoluble Fiber
  • promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation
  • remove toxic waste through the intestine in less time
  • help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances
Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber
  • vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
  • fruit skins
  • whole wheat products
  • wheat oat
  • corn bran
  • seeds and nuts






Sunday, April 6, 2008

Soft Drinks - "The Liquid Candy"

(Here's to you, Ty!)

You feel low; your body needs a boost. You walk over to the vending machine and buy yourself a Coke. You guzzle it down as you slowly feel your energy return. You feel better knowing that your fix will last at least a couple of hours.....

Americans drink more soft drinks than ever before! Kids are heavy consumers of soft drinks and have a huge risk of being obese, weak-boned, cavity prone and caffeine dependent. It's up to you to teach your kids the truth about drinking soft drinks.

In school, we were all taught to say "No" to drugs and the adverse effects they have on the body. I can't say I ever remember being taught to say "No" to the other drinking problem that is now the drug of choice for many children and adults.

Let's jump into the dirty and hard facts on soft drink consumption!


Effects On Your Stomach:

What we may not be aware of is that sodas contain an array of chemical acids as additives, such as acetic, fumaric, gluconic and phosphoric acids, all of them synthetically produced. That is why certain sodas work so well when used to clean car engines. For human consumption, however, the effects are much less satisfying and quite scary. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment can lead to inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining which becomes quite painful. Over the long term, it can lead to gastric lining erosion.

Effects On Your Teeth And Bones:

Normally, saliva is slightly alkaline, with a pH of about 7.4. When sodas are sipped throughout the day, as is often the case with teenagers, the phosphoric acid found in soft drinks lowers the pH of the saliva to acidic levels. (It only takes 20 minutes for the phosphoric acid to begin dissolving the tooth enamel.) In order to buffer this acidic saliva, and bring the pH level above 7 again, the body pulls calcium ions from the teeth, making you more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities.

You might as well plan on having dentures if you continue drinking soft drinks. :)

As with your teeth, the high amount of phosphoric acid found in soda pop also creates calcium loss in your bones making you susceptible for bone loss (osteoporosis), fractures and breaks.

Dehydration And Caffeine Dependence:

Caffeine, which is found in many soft drinks, is naturally a diuretic, meaning it increases the excretion of water from the body. By drinking a 12 oz. glass of pop, you will end up peeing out more liquid than you consumed from the soft drink alone. You will become dehydrated which will make you grab another drink to quench your thirst. Not only will you be emptying your body of water but you are also eliminating many trace minerals and vitamins as well, leaving you prone to many deficiencies.

Those of you who are counting your soft drink intake as part of your 8 glasses or more of water intake a day, think again! If anything, you are making it a lot harder on yourself.

Have you ever tried going without your usual can of pop on the weekend? If so, you may have experienced a splitting headache, a slight rise in blood pressure, irritability and maybe even some stomach problems. These symptoms describe the typical withdrawal process suffered by about half of regular caffeine consumers who go without their usual dose. Caffeine is a mildly, addictive stimulant. Those of you who drink caffeinated drinks on a regular basis will notice withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down or quit completely.


Weight Gain:

The empty calories of soft drinks are creating health problems especially when it comes to weight gain and obesity; your body receives absolutely no nourishment from soft drinks. Weight gain is a prime risk factor for type 2 diabetes which is becoming a huge problem for teens and adults. As people get older, excess weight also contributes to heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

Also, with the constant rise and lows in your blood sugar levels from consuming sugary drinks, your body will become very efficient at storing the " soda pop" calories as fat. Cut out the sugary drinks and watch how easy it is to lose the weight!

When consuming drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, you'll also notice you have more cravings. With the lack of balance within your body, your body is trying to tell you that it is needing something; but what? Since you are not in tune with your body, you'll most likely feed it more of something it doesn't need....creating an even bigger disaster, domino effect.

There is nothing positive I can say about soft drinks. They leave you dependent, dehydrated, weak and fat!

Guacamole


3 ripe avocados

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1 T. Cilantro
1/2 red or purple onion, minced well
1 clove of garlic passed through a garlic press
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Don't over mix.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

White Bread Vs. Whole Wheat Bread

For any kid who grew up eating the white, doughy bread, making the switch to whole wheat bread can be tough!

Bread like any other part of our diet is an acquired taste. Starting out early helps since children are naturally picky eaters but if you only feed them healthy, whole grain foods, they won't have a chance to develop a taste for white bread or other non-nutritious foods.

So, what is the difference between white and whole wheat bread...........

White bread is made with enriched flour or wheat flour (notice the lack of the word "whole"). In the process of making white flour, the bran and the germ have been removed from the whole wheat grain; the bran and the germ contain most of the nutritional value. With the bran and germ lacking from white flour, white bread is lower in fiber, zinc, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and "good fats" and oils.

To top it all off, white bread is usually fortified with vitamins and minerals once they've all been removed. When foods are fortified, your body does not process the vitamins and minerals as efficiently as it would if the food was left alone to begin with. But wait! It gets better! Once all the nutrition is removed from the flour, the flour is then bleached using potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas.

Potassium bromate is also known as potassium salt; it is an oxidizing agent and can be fatal if swallowed, harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and it may also cause kidney damage. Yikes!

Benzoyl Peroxide is another irritant that can kill animals or cause low growth rate in plants. Yikes again!

Chlorine dioxide is a pesticide and even though it breaks down very quickly, it is ranked in the USA as one of the most hazardous compounds in the environment. Triple yikes!

By the way, just because your bread may be brown in color, doesn't necessarily mean it is whole wheat bread. Look for the ingredient name "caramel" in the list of ingredients. If it is there, your bread is dyed to a nice brown color. Don't be fooled! If the first ingredient in the ingredient list does not say "whole" wheat flour or "wholemeal", your bread is most likely made up of the enriched wheat flour or wheat flour as mentioned above.

Buy a whole wheat bread that is made up of 5 ingredients or less. You don't need added preservatives, sugar and fats. Usually, the heavier the whole wheat bread, the better it is for you. This means that the bread has been processed less which ensures more nutritional value than those light and fluffy breads that are so easy to squish!

Save the white bread for the ducks!!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Nutrient Loss During Cooking, Freezing, Drying and Reheating

Nearly every food preparation process will reduce the amount of nutrients in food. Processes that expose the food to high heat, light or oxygen will create the greatest nutrient loss in your food. It is always best to keep these processes to a minimum; consuming raw foods is definitely the best way of getting the most out of your food.

Below is a general table showing the nutrient loss for common food processing methods. Actual losses will vary with the type of food, cooking time and temperatures.


Typical Maximum Nutrient Losses (as compared to raw food)
Vitamins Freeze-
Dry- Cook+Drain -Reheat
Vitamin A 5% 50% 35% 10%
Retinol Activity Equivalent 5% 50% 35% 10%
Alpha Carotene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Beta Carotene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Beta Cryptoxanthin 5% 50% 35% 10%
Lycopene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Lutein+Zeaxanthin 5% 50% 35% 10%
Vitamin C 30% 80% 75% 50%
Thiamin 5% 30% 70% 40%
Riboflavin 0% 10% 45% 5%
Niacin 0% 10% 55% 5%
Vitamin B6 0% 10% 65% 45%
Folate 5% 50% 75% 30%
Food Folate 5% 50% 75% 30%
Folic Acid 5% 50% 75% 30%
Vitamin B12 0% 0% 50% 45%

Calcium 5% 0% 25% 0%
Iron 0% 0% 40% 0%
Magnesium 0% 0% 40% 0%
Phosphorus 0% 0% 35% 0%
Potassium 10% 0% 70% 0%
Sodium 0% 0% 55% 0%
Zinc 0% 0% 25% 0%
Copper 10% 0% 45% 0%

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Use Sea Salt?

There are so many varieties of salt to choose from these days such as table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, grey salt, pink salt and more. For clean eating, sea salt is best because it contains many minerals needed by the body. Ordinary table salt is stripped of all minerals and worse off, aluminum silicate is added to give the salt a smooth texture. Sea salt resembles that of the human blood with the content of minerals and trace elements it contains; it contains approximately 80 of these - even more reason to make the switch!

Once you use sea salt, you'll find that you need to use less in your daily cooking when compared to regular table salt because of the high mineral content that brings out the strong salty flavor.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Read It Before You Eat It!


It's important to pay attention to everything you are putting into your body. With the way foods are currently processed, you need to watch out for foods that are made up of trans fats, sugars, chemicals and way too much sodium. The best way to do this is to analyze the ingredient list on any food you intend to purchase.

Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest. If the first ingredient listed is "whole wheat flour" there is more of that ingredient than anything else. Avoid foods that have fats and sugars listed at the top of the ingredient list.

Sugar can be listed under many names; fructose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, maltose etc. - remember that these names rhyme with "gross." There are other forms of sugar such as honey, molasses, corn syrup or grape juice concentrate but try limit yourself to small amounts of any sugar products.

You should always avoid foods that are processed with words such as "high fructose corn syrup," "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated". These ingredients are not natural and with time, will do damage to the body.

A good rule of thumb is if you can't pronounce ingredients in the ingredient list, it's most likely not good for you. It's always good to do your own research but many of the "hard to pronounce" ingredients are chemicals that you do not want to put into your body.

Eat Slowly!!!

Why is it important to eat slowly and stop before you are full? It can take up to a half an hour for your brain to process that your stomach is full......so give yourself some time before you go back for seconds.

Only dish yourself out healthy serving size portions and then give yourself time to really digest what you have eaten before you allow yourself to overeat. You want to feel satisfied, not full. This is the best way to prevent yourself from overeating.

Eat Clean Diet Plan

Meal 1: 2 scoops *protein powder mixed with 1 cup frozen fruit,
1 cup water and 1/2 c. ***spinach

Meal 2: 2 hardboiled *eggs, 1 serving size of any ***fruit
or ***vegetable

Meal 3: 3/4 cup whole grain ***oatmeal w/ 1/2 scoop *protein
powder, 1 serving size of any ***fruit or ***vegetable

Meal 4: 1 serving size of any whole ***fruit, 1 serving size of any
*lean protein

Meal 5: 1 serving size of any *lean protein, mixed **veggies
steamed or cooked lightly in ****olive oil w/ sea salt (any natural spices are fine)

Meal 6: 1 spoon of ****almond butter (protein as well as complex
carb.)

*Lean Protein Options
Turkey
Chicken
Salmon
Tuna
Tilapia
Cottage Cheese
Eggs
Egg Whites
Whey Protein Powder
Home Cooked Beans (Black or Pinto)
Yogurt (No sugar added)


***Complex Carbohydrates
Oatmeal
Whole Wheat, high fiber wrap
Whole Wheat/Semolina blend pasta
Vegetables
Fruit
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Bread (Try to limit your bread
intake)
Home Cooked Beans (Black or Pinto)

**** Use sparingly

Drink plenty of water! (Minimum of 8 glasses a day!)

The Importance Of Taking A Multivitamin Supplement

It's absolutely crucial that your body gets the nutrients it needs to function effectively and efficiently. The daily stress of pollution, fatty and processed food, and stress deplete your body of nutrients and it's up to you to replace these nutrients. You can do this through healthy nutrition, or even better, through healthy nutrition and proper supplementation.

For the average person, it's difficult to get the proper amount of nutrients needed from food alone. Even the healthiest of eaters might not be getting the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals. This is because it's hard to judge exactly how much nutrients you are getting from the food you are eating, not to mention certain forms of cooking actually destroys the vitamins and minerals in the food. This is why taking a multivitamin supplement is so benefiting.

The best thing you can do for your body is to eat a balanced diet and supplement it with a quality multivitamin. You'll get the nutrients your body needs from the food and then back it up with the multivitamin for a power packed effect.

There are four forms of multivitamins you can buy: capsule, tablet, soft gel, and liquid. Avoid tablets at all costs because they are the hardest for your body to breakdown and absorb. Liquid multivitamins are the easiest for your body to absorb because there's nothing for your body to breakdown, but capsules and soft gels are also good forms of multivitamins in reference to absorption rate.

So which multivitamins are good ones to buy? Generally speaking, you pay for what you get. The cheap supermarket multivitamins are inexpensive but can't compare to a quality, more expensive multi. Your best bet is to decide how much you can afford to spend and then do research on the Internet on the multivitamins that fall within your price range.

Multivitamins are probably the single most important supplement you can take. If you aren't taking one, you really should consider doing so.

Source: http://www.healthguidance.org/authors/161/Ryan-Cote

Black Bean Lime Salsa

1 c. black beans
1 tomato, diced
1 lime cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, diced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 c. coarsely chopped or torn fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
1/2 T. hemp oil
1/2 T. flaxseed oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours!

*Optional - Add diced avocado to salsa mixture when ready to serve.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fruit Smoothie Protein Shake


1 cup water
1 cup of your favorite unsweetened frozen fruit (my favorite is blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and pineapple)
1/2 cup fresh organic spinach (you won't even taste it)
1-2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender until nice and smooth. You may need to add an additional 1/2 cup of water to help the blending process.

This is so wonderful after an intense, cardio or weight training workout - excellent for muscle recovery!

10 Best Metabolism-Hyping Tips

  1. Water, water, water. Hydrate yourself with water to encourage optimal bodily function and speed up the metabolism.
  2. Eat a palm-sized serving of protein along with complex carbohydrates every 2-3 hours. That means six meals a day not three squares.
  3. Burn fat efficiently by adding essential fatty acids like flaxseed and unsaturated oils to the diet.
  4. Fiber fills you up, sustaining you for longer than foods without it. Certain foods like flaxseed, wheat germ and bran stimulate lazy bowels.
  5. Vitamins and minerals complement a clean diet, protecting against deficiencies and boosting the immune system.
  6. Don't go past the point of hunger. Skipping a meal triggers a starvation response in the metabolism, making it slow down. Eating clean foods frequently sustains a highly charged metabolic rate.
  7. Each meal should include a 4 or 5 ounce portion of lean protein from chicken, turkey, egg whites, pork tenderloin or white fish sources.
  8. Sugar is the white poison, sending the metabolism into a slow tailspin. All simple sugars - refined sugars - must be avoided to keep the metabolism burning quickly.
  9. Complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables satisfy the needs of an active body. Each meal should include generous servings.
  10. Certain foods have a high glycemic index. This means they induce a similar negative effect on metabolism to eating sugar. Rice cakes, carrots, potatoes and fruit juices have a high glycemic index and should be consumed in moderation.

~Information was obtained from The Eat-Clean Diet Book by Tosca Reno

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taco Soup - Fast & Easy

1 lb. lean ground turkey (85%-90% lean ground turkey is best)
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can corn (drained)
1 14 0z can kidney beans (drained)
1 package taco seasoning mix (check out your local health food store for a healthy taco seasoning mix)

Cook the ground turkey and drain the excess oil. In a saucepan add turkey to remaining ingredients. Add 4 cups of water to the mix and cook on med/high heat until nice and warm. Serve with home baked chips, light sour cream and a little cheese. Yummy!

*Optional variations:
Cook turkey with desired amount of onion.
Use textured vegetable protein or any other meat substitute in place of turkey.
Use low-fat plain yogurt in place of light sour cream.
Frozen corn can be used in place of canned corn.
Black or pinto beans are also a wonderful additon!
Add tofu for a creamier texture with the added benefits!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chai Frappuccino








1 c. skim or low-fat milk

6 Ice cubes

4 packets of Splenda

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of cloves

Vanilla (optional)


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until nice and frothy. A yummy, satisfying treat!

Free Radicals and Antioxidants 101

Free Radicals are present in our food, air and environment; they enter our bodies every day. Free radicals are compounds that attack cells by removing an electron in order to become atomically balanced. By removing electrons from healthy compounds, free radicals inflict damage—often known as oxidation—which is irreversible.

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and in return prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals by replacing cells with their missing electrons. Health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc. are all contributed by oxidative damage. Studies have found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (which are excellent sources of antioxidants) reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also improve your immune system and therefore lower the risk of cancer and other infections.

Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants in their own right, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid). Herbs, such as bilberry, turmeric, (curcumin), grape seed or pine bark extracts, and ginkgo can also provide powerful antioxidant protection for the body.

I like to think of antioxidants as the "Fountain of Youth" as they also help with the aging process.

Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs may be the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radical damage.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

Take your weight, divide it by 2, and that's how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily. But at the very minimum, drink at least 64 ounces per day (2 quarts).

For example:
If you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water. (10 cups)
Drink an additional 8 ounces per day for every 25 pounds you are overweight.

Did you know that your brain runs on electrical impulses? Guess how the electricity gets around? It travels through the water in your brain. So drink your water!

Did you also know that if you wait until you're thirsty before you reach for that glass of water then you're already dehydrated and the damage is done? When the body is dehydrated, it often sends out signals that are misread as hunger pangs. Mild dehydration actually slows down body metabolism, so not only will you feel tired but it may be easier to gain weight.

Signs of dehydration:
  1. Fatigue
  2. Lethargy
  3. Irritability
  4. Headache
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Flushed skin
  7. Lack of mental clarity
  8. constipation
  9. Cystitis
  10. Back pain
  11. Excess Weight
  12. High cholesterol
  13. Cellulite
  14. Water Retention