25th Mar 2011 No Comments »
What foods are truly heart healthy?
Forget about those little heart healthy symbols on packaged foods. The true way to a heart healthy diet is to get a rainbow on your plate. And by “taste the rainbow,” I’m not talking Skittles…
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables – and make sure you have lots of different colors. Each of the different pigments contain different phytonutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Your heart loves red fruits and vegetables such as…
tomatoes, watermelon, and pink graprefruit
These all contain the phytonutrient lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease as well as prostate, colon and rectal cancers. Cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene than raw ones, so enjoy that tomato soup or red sauce.
Help prevent cancer with Orange fruits and vegetables
Think acorn squash, apricots, carrots, cantaloupes, mangoes, persimmons, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin for example.
Orange fruits and vegetables contain alpha and beta carotene, and vitamin C, which help protect cells and keep them healthy, and are anti cancer and may prevent lung and heart disease. The folate in orange foods can help prevent birth defects.
Orange-yellow foods boost your immune system
Foods such as nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pineapples, tangerines, starfruit, and yellow grapefruit contain carotenoids and phytochemicals such as beta cryptothanixin and limonoids. They help boost the immune system and inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol, which is needed to activate cancer cell growth.
Next post, I will go into how you can eat to boost your immune system. For now, you can start eating healthier by focusing on adding more red, orange and orange-yellow foods into your daily plate.
Are you ready to make some big changes in your health and your life?
Questions? Just contact me and I’ll be happy to help!
7th Mar 2011 No Comments »
Think you know the difference between healthy eating myths and reality? You just might, though many people are walking around misinformed. It’s not their fault – so much misinformation is out there on purpose so that you’ll buy certain products and think you’re doing the right thing for your body. BUT the very thing that you’re eating that you think will help could be causing the problem.
Here are a couple of common myths:
Fat makes you fat
This is part of the low-fat myth that has Americans getting fatter than ever. We’ve been living under the assumption that cutting fat and eating more carbohydrates will make you thin. Obviously that hasn’t worked out so well since obesity rates are higher than ever for both adults and children.
Sugar and processed carbs make you fat. Many processed foods also use bad fats, the ones that harden your arteries and cause inflammation, which leads to just about every disease imaginable. And this is what we’ve been told is good for us!
Healthy fats helps manage your blood sugar levels, keeping your insulin from spiking when you eat carbohydrates. Fat provides energy, and it is essential in helping in the digestive process. For example, healthy fat with vegetables (think olive oil on salad) helps digest and assimilate the vitamins and nutrients from the plants into your system.
Cutting the healthy fats cuts out vital nutrients – and makes you feel less satisfied. Low fat products usually contain unhealthy fats and added sugar to make them taste better. You would feel more satisfied and eat less if you just ate the full-fat, whole version of the foods that you eat instead of eating processed, sugared products.
A calorie is a calorie
Clearly this isn’t true. You can watch your calories and lose weight, but you won’t have optimal energy – and your body won’t work as well if you’re eating 1200 calories of cake vs. 1200 calories of fruits and vegetables.
Calories are a simple way to measure, but they don’t tell the whole story. It’s the quality of the food that’s important – you can be malnourished and overweight because you’re not feeding your body a variety of vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates proteins and fats.
Milk does a body good
This is a marketing slogan. Low-fat milk is marketed as a health food that promotes weight loss, but it doesn’t actually help you lose weight. In a weight loss study, out of 49 clinical trials, 41 showed no effects of diary or calcium on weight, two showed an increase in body weight with a dairy regimen, and one showed a lower rate of weight gain. Only five showed weight loss – and not necessarily caused by dairy consumption.
Did you know that farmers feed pigs low-fat milk so that they can gain weight faster? And mother’s milk is a food that’s given to babies to help them grow and put on weight quickly.
What do you think it will do for you?
Another point to consider – many people have an intolerance for dairy and don’t even know it. Dairy intolerances cause indigestion and bloating, and interfere with digestive process. If you’ve noticed that you feel bloated or gassy after drinking milk or eating ice cream, I urge you to try a dairy experiment – cut the dairy out for a few weeks. See how you feel. When you’re ready, reintroduce a little bit and then see what happens. You might find that life is better without dairy.
Low-fat milk is also a processed food – i.e. it’s not whole and doesn’t have all the nutrients in it that whole milk contains. Pasteurization kills most of the healthy bacteria in raw milk, leaving behind a product that is nutritionally inferior. Finding real milk is difficult, but if you can, try it sometime and taste the difference. Then also notice how you feel after eating it. Some people can eat real milk but can’t tolerate processed, pasteurized milk.
Thanks to Joshua Margolis for inviting me on as a guest on his Mind Over Matter radio show on Talking Alternative Radio.
23rd Apr 2009 No Comments »
There are so many healthier ways to reduce your weight. It’s mostly a matter of changing your habits and your mindset, and making those changes a way of life instead of a temporary “diet.” And yet, so many people still continue to diet using commercial weight loss plans, maybe have temporary reductions, but then gain back to where they started – and then some.
And how many times have you thought of diet as torture? I see many of you have raised your hands – so I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that the Bush Administration used calorie restriction commonly employed in commercial plans such as Slim Fast and Jenny Craig. From the Huffington Post article:
In a footnote to a May 10, 2005, memorandum from the Office of Legal Council, the Bush attorney general’s office argued that restricting the caloric intake of terrorist suspects to 1000 calories a day was medically safe because people in the United States were dieting along those lines voluntarily.
“While detainees subject to dietary manipulation are obviously situated differently from individuals who voluntarily engage in commercial weight-loss programs, we note that widely available commercial weight-loss programs in the United States employ diets of 1000 kcal/day for sustain periods of weeks or longer without requiring medical supervision,” read the footnote.
29th Dec 2008 No Comments »
If you feel like you’ve had too much to eat over the holidays, it’s fine to take a break from eating. As long as you have no serious medical problems that would prohibit you from doing so, taking a day or two to cleanse your body with a fast is a healthy way to give your body a rest from processing large amounts of heavy foods, sugary treats, and strong alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
If you have truly overindulged, you may want to do a pre-cleanse before you cleanse. You can take a few days or more to eat low-fat meals – consisting of light foods such as steamed vegetables, whole cooked grains, lean proteins, and fresh fruit – and cut out alcohol and coffee. Pre-cleansing will make your cleanse that much easier because you will likely not experience the more extreme symptoms of cleansing and detoxification – headaches, flu-like symptoms, and generally feeling ill – since your body will have already started discharging toxins.
If you are interested in doing a guided cleanse, contact me for details.
diet, exercise, food, inspiration, news
14th Aug 2008 No Comments »
I’m not really into sports, but I love watching the Olympics. The stamina, dedication and nearly flawless performances of these elite athletes is astonishing. I’m inspired to work harder and take better care of myself watching their amazingly strong bodies compete in what looks like effortless competitions.
How do Olympians keep their energy up? Most of them follow regular healthy diets and get to sleep as early as they can to recharge. You can’t get into amazing shape and be able to compete at your best if you’re not taking good care of yourself. Here’s a great slideshow about the training and diet regimens of many of the top U.S. Olympians: How to get an Olympic body.
Michael Phelps’ regimen, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily the healthiest – he’s more focused on bulking up his caloric load to make sure that he has the energy to keep winning the gold metals.
Most healthy men consume about 2,000 calories a day; upping consumption to 12,000 calories a day would make any ordinary man obese. But for Phelps, he needs this staggering amount of calories just so that he can perform.
And another article about Phelps’ diet is here: Pasta and Pizza? That’s Phelps’ Gold Metal Secret?
25th Mar 2008 No Comments »
Diet is such a personal thing. Many people define themselves by what they eat. A steak and potatoes kind of guy. A crunchy granola girl. Try to change them, taking away the foods they know and love, and they become massively defensive. Because you’re not just taking away their food, you’re also taking away part of the essence of their being.
Add love into the mix, and things can get tricky. Can a vegan ever love a carnivore or vice versa?
“Sharing meals has always been an important courtship ritual and a metaphor for love. But in an age when many people define themselves by what they will eat and what they won’t, dietary differences can put a strain on a romantic relationship. The culinary camps have become so balkanized that some factions consider interdietary dating taboo.”
I remember when I started living my delicious life. I was in transition – just started dating this guy who was really into health food, and I was starting a strict regime of Ayurvedic cleansing and rebuilding. I said to him, “I don’t want to become a vegetarian!” As if that was such a bad thing.
I did go vegetarian for a while – and it felt great for that time. Then I learned so much about eating and diet – and that, for me, vegetarianism might not be the best thing, but not for the reasons that had detracted me from it when I was starting my adventure.
Changing your diet when you’re in a relationship can be difficult. You and your partner start out eating a certain way together as a couple, and life is good. And then you decide that maybe you want to eat better, get healthier, lose weight, or whatever. You’re making a change.
If your partner is supportive, great. It will still take some lifestyle adjusting, but it’s not such a big deal. You learn and figure it out. If your partner doesn’t like this new change, however, watch out. They might try to subconsciously (or worse, deliberately) sabotage you. You’ll keep trying to change but feel torn. What’s more important? The relationship or the diet?
Food has a strong subconscious link to love, said Kathryn Zerbe, a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. That is why refusing a partner’s food “can feel like rejection,” she said.
As with other differences couples face, tolerance and compromise are essential at the dinner table, marital therapists said. “If you can’t allow your partner to have latitude in what he or she eats, then maybe your problem isn’t about food,” said Susan Jaffe, a psychiatrist in Manhattan.
Quotes from I Love You, But You Love Meat found in the New York Times.
24th Jan 2008 1 Comment »
I’ve been talking recently about the importance of how you eat – what happens when you change your focus from eating to other things, and how your emotions affect your digestion. I found this article interesting and related to this discussion, so I thought I would reprint it:
How Mindset Affects Your Waistline
By Jon Benson
When it comes to being fit, you should focus on being happy first.
This may seem like putting the cart before the horse. However, new research on the brain shows us that simple meditation – for as little as five minutes – can alter brain chemistry in a way that improves both athletic and work performance and increases our own experience of happiness and well-being.
Numerous studies on why diets fail demonstrate that a happy person is more prone to follow through on a diet or exercise program than one who is merely going through the motions of life. Depression is often cited as the number one reason people give up on a diet. It makes sense to make yourself truly happy… and science shows us you can.
Give meditation a try. Just take five minutes in solitude, and focus on two simple things: Kindness and compassion. This is a great start. See if you can work your way up to 30 minutes a day. Changes in brain chemistry occur in as little as two weeks, according to Harvard University researcher Olivia Carter, Ph.D.
This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.
Meditation practice is really good for calming the mind, as long as you don’t get caught up in the fact that your mind is constantly wandering while you’re sitting there. That’s why they call it “practice.” If you can get over the fact that you will not be able to do it “perfectly,” even for five minutes, and just allow yourself to practice it, you will benefit over time. Five minutes per day in the morning and five in the evening is enough to get long-term benefits – as long as you practice every day.
22nd Jan 2008 No Comments »
Low fat, high carb. Low carb, high protein. No dairy. No grain. No meat. So much of what people focus on is what to eat.
Are we putting too much emphasis on the “what” of eating? What about the how?
I’ve been reading Marc David‘s book, “The Slow Down Diet.” He argues that, while food quality is certainly important, how we eat is equally as important.
The evidence is in studies on awareness and eating. In an experiment, test subjects consumed a mineral drink in a relaxed state. Absorption of the minerals was measured at 100%. Then they tested mineral absorption when the test subjects were distracted – listening to media – and they found that absorption was reduced to 60%.
Marc David goes on to discuss how he’s had much success with clients who want to lose weight by teaching them how to eat without distraction. In many cases, this is the only thing that his clients will change. Suddenly, excess weight starts to fall off them.
How do you eat most of your meals? In front of the television? While driving or reading the newspaper? If you need to lose weight, do you think that trying this experiment will help?
3rd Jan 2008 1 Comment »
I just saw this post about the “all you can eat diet” in the blogosphere. While I was traveling in Mexico for two weeks in December, I did go on this diet. It was delicious, and actually yes, I did lose weight.
I noticed that while there is processed food in Mexico, the restaurants that we ate at were serving dishes that contained almost only whole foods. Tortillas are made fresh daily from ground up corn – no preservatives to keep them shelf stable. Chickens run freely – they eat bugs and worms and other things that Chickens should eat. Sauces were made with lots of spices, and beans were most likely cooked with unprocessed lard. While white rice was served sometimes, we were more likely to find hot tortillas than processed grains on our plates.
I ate whenever I was hungry, but sometimes we were too busy exploring to eat – so I might have skipped a meal or two. It didn’t matter anyway, because I would make up for it at the next meal. But still, I lost weight and felt good most of the time. I really think it was because we had so few processed foods on our trip.
I do try to keep the processed foods out of my diet, but when I eat out, I don’t always know what I’m getting. A lot of times, restaurants substitute cheaper ingredients to add to the bottom line, which adds to your waistline quicker than you’d imagine.
If you really want to change your life, cut out as many processed foods as you can. See how you feel after a couple of weeks. What has changed for you?