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.