Tag Archives: food

Protein Packed Snacks To Help You Power Through Your Day

Unfortunately, snacking has a bad rep, but there ARE healthy ways to do it! Usually, when 3 o’clock rolls around that sleepy lazy feeling comes lingering around and you get that urge for another cup of coffee, but there is a healthier way to give yourself a boost. Capture these snack ideas below and put them to the test this week:

Single-serve cottage cheese

Protein: 20 grams per 5-ounce serving
Think
Greek yogurt is the be-all-end-all for high-protein dairy snacks? Think again: A single-serving container of nonfat cottage cheese boasts 3 grams more protein than a typical serving of Greek yogurt and is just 110 calories. Plus, it gives you 125 milligrams of bone-building calcium. (Keep in mind, though, it runs high in sodium, supplying 20 to 30% of your daily quota.) 

Hardboiled egg

Protein: 6 grams per egg
Eggs used to be considered a nutritional no-no due to their high cholesterol content. Today, though, most nutritionists agree that they’re a powerhouse breakfast or snack when enjoyed in moderation. In addition to protein, the humble egg gives you a hearty dose of vitamin D and vitamin B-12 for just 77 calories apiece. Best part: they’re easy to take on the run—just remember to peel them before you go to make eating them on your commute a snap. Even better: some convenience and grocery stores sell hardboiled eggs in packages of two, so they’re a snap to snatch up when traveling.

Peanut butter pack

Protein: 8 grams per 1.15-ounce
You probably wouldn’t throw a jar of peanut butter into your handbag, but for convenience and natural portion control, you can carry individual squeeze packs of nut butters, like those from Justin’s, alongside your wallet and mobile phone. A single-serving portion of Justin’s peanut butter contains 190 calories and is made with just peanuts and palm fruit oil—no added sugars here. Smear on a banana to up the antioxidants and fiber, suggests Oppenheimer.

Mini cheeses or string cheese

Protein: 6 to 8 grams per serving
Personal packages of cheese likeMini Babybel wheels or Sargento sticks are great because they’re individually wrapped for easy toss-in-your-purse portability—and they won’t get squished, either. If you’re trying to lose weight, choose one that says “part-skim” on the label, advises New York City registered dietitian Martha McKittrick. “You can still get some satiating fat but will save calories,” she says.

Single-serve oatmeal packets or cups

Protein: About 4 grams per packet or cup
Just add hot water, stir, and you’ve got a warm bowl of protein- and fiber-packed oats in minutes for 150 to 200 calories per serving (depending on which flavor you choose). Quaker, Dr. McDougall’s,N’Joy, and other companies sell single-serving cups of oatmeal, but you could also simply carry a packet with you—you can ask for a cup at any fast-food place or coffee shop. For times you need a little something extra to fill you up, slice a banana into your oats or toss in a few almonds.


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What Your Cravings Are Really Trying To Tell You

Cravings are your body’s way of telling your body what it’s not getting enough of… Meaning that chocolate craving, is in fact a need for something else a bit healthier for your body… I know, shocking right? (And slightly disappointing) Decode your cravings below and feed your body what it truly wants:

Chocolate

Are you mad for chocolate?  This may be due to a magnesium deficiency and your body perhaps being low in antioxidants.  Nutritionists call magnesium the great ‘calmer’ as it helps relax muscles, boost the immune system, keeps blood sugar steady, and may add to our serotonin levels – all reasons why we might crave this just before our periods.  Go for the dark chocolate that is 75% or higher cocoa. This blend contains less sugar and is often way higher in antioxidants than milk chocolate or white chocolate (which you should steer clear of at all times). Nuts, seeds and pulses along with leafy green vegetables are also rich in magnesium.  If it is a hit of antioxidants you need, then go for your dark, rich-colored vegetables and fruit like beetroot, blueberries, and raspberries.

Sugary Stuff

If you are constantly seeking sugar, there could be a number of nutrients missing from your body.  An adequate amount of whole real foods especially protein and good quality fat in your diet will dampen down your sugar cravings because often the first sign of an out-of-control blood sugar level is hunger.  Chromium, the mineral which helps to control our blood sugar, is found in almost consistently in most unprocessed foods. Wholegrains like rice, quinoa, green beans, broccoli, nuts, and eggs are great sources of chromium. Foods high in sugar are low in chromium and may actually promote a chromium deficiency.

Coffee-holic?

There’s little doubt that caffeine is addictive but a sudden out of the ordinary desire to have espresso could be your body’s way of saying it requires more iron. This is quite common during a menstrual cycle. Iron brings oxygen to our cells and without it we can feel quite tired and seek coffee as a quick pick me up.  Increase your iron stores with red meat and green vegetables.  There are also a wide range of supplements on the market, but these should only be taken after a blood test.


Decode more cravings from the original source here:

http://foodmatters.tv/content/cravings-what-they-actually-mean

The Beginners Guide To ‘Clean Eating’

If you’ve already made the vow to start ‘eating clean’ or living a healthier  lifestyle, or hey, maybe your on the verge and just don’t know where to start… Take a peek at these tips below to help get your started and form healthier habits:

1. Eat “real” food.

Choose food that is in or close to its natural state, and steer clear of highly processed or refined foods. If the food comes in a package or box and contains more than one ingredient on the label, it’s a good sign that it’s processed and no longer in its natural state.

2. Buy organic.

Buying organic limits your exposure to hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and pesticides. Organic foods typically have more vitamins, minerals andnutrients, and many say that organic foods have more flavor.

So how do you increase the amount of organic foods in your diet? Start with replacing the foods that tend to have the highest levels of hormones, chemicals, or pesticides, like fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy.

Remember to look for foods that are certified organic, not foods that say “made with” or” contains organic ingredients,” as these foods may only have a small number of organic ingredients.

3. Read labels.

Choose foods with minimal ingredients. The more ingredients on the label, typically the more processed the food is. Yogurt, for example, can be a great addition to your morning smoothie bowl or homemade granola, but the wrong brand can have as much sugar as a candy bar.

Check the label for plain yogurt that doesn’t contain added sugar, color, or stabilizers on the label. Still want your yogurt to have a sweet taste? Sweeten it yourself using more natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup or—even better—add some sliced fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries.

4. Eliminate or reduce wheat.

Substitute wheat with wholesome wheat-free alternatives. Most of the wheat we consume in America is highly refined and processed. Eliminating processed wheat in your diet can help eliminate many gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and gas, etc.


 

Original Source:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24160/8-small-ways-you-can-start-eating-clean-today.html

The Pro’s and Con’s of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar With Every Meal…

Apparently it’s a thing… Apple Cider Vinegar has quite the following of people who swear by it and believe it will cure just about any problem you may have (reduce blood sugar after you consume food, and help your body absorb more nutrients from food to name a couple). If you’re not on board, maybe you should be, but I’ll let you determine that after you read what happened to  Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention Magazine, who drank it with every meal she had..

Taking ACV after a meal works much better.

The whole pre-meal thing didn’t work for me. After all, what was the point of feeling semi-nauseous and not wanting to eat before a healthy meal that you’d planned on eating? A better option, I found, was drinking it when I’d already eaten a meal but was still feeling hungry for more. Because I already had a base of food in my stomach, I avoided that queasy feeling, but the ACV definitely helped reduce my desire to polish off leftover Christmas cookies. (Follow these suggestions on how to drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss.)

ACV can help get things moving.

This was unexpected (and I’ll spare you details), but there was a definite correlation between ACV consumption and, well, let’s call it decreased transit time. I could definitely see the appeal of using this as a gentle,natural laxative when things are backed up. Who knew?

You’ll burn your esophagus unless you learn to drink ACV the right way.

Don’t take this stuff straight–it burns like fire (worse than vodka, and with no pleasant buzz). Your best bet: Mix 1 tablespoon with 8 ounces of water, and then drink it with a straw to minimize contact with your tastebuds. I found this method tolerable, although the taste was still slightly reminiscent of feet after a sweaty summer workout session.

Bottom line: While this experiment was enlightening and it did help curb cravings, I’m not making the ACV-water blend part of my daily routine. Instead, I’ll be more likely to use it periodically to quell a Krispy Kreme craving or if I’m constipated. And I’m definitely all about using it in healthy homemade dressings to get more nutrients out of all my salad veggies.

 


 

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/

The Ultimate Spice To Add To Your Diet ASAP

To live the Ultimate Life, you also must have The Ultimate Diet… this powerhouse spice can be added to various foods in your meal plan  that contains a powerful antioxidant called curcumin. No matter which diet regimen you’ve chosen to follow this new year, this spice can be included to help fight inflammation:

Nutritionist and author of Meals That Heal Inflammation, Julie Daniluk, suffered from arthritis, bursitis and colitis: all conditions rooted in painful inflammation.

But Daniluk says she was able to push her symptoms into remission thanks to a few dietary changes. Along the way, she discovered a powerhouse spice called turmeric.

Curcumin May Prevent Weight Gain

Recent research from Tufts University in Massachusetts found that curcumin suppressed the growth of fat tissue, and therefore prevented weight gain in mice. However, more research has to be done to demonstrate its effects on humans and weight loss.

It Could Also Be Related To Alzheimer’s Prevention

Another study from UCLA found that rats who ate curcumin were more resistant to the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque in their brains — an abnormality associated with Alzheimer’s in people. Elderly people in India have one of the world’s lowest rates of Alzheimer’s, according to the NCBI, and also have diets high in turmeric. But more research needs to be done to confirm a connection between curcumin and Alzheimer’s in humans.

Soothing  Your Stomach

People in India and Pakistan usually use turmeric to relieve stomach pain, and there might be something to that. There is some researchshowing that taking turmeric internally (in food, tea or juice and milk) may relieve stomach upset or dyspepsia, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Original Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/11/24/turmeric-health-benefits_n_8638724.html?utm_hp_ref=health-fitness&ir=Health+and+Fitness

Shocking Relations Between Your Food and Mood

You are what you eat…simple as that, but have you ever thought of that concept in a holistic way? Sure, food is categorized for growth, repair and energy, but it is also a main foundation for your mood as it affects your  glucose and insulin levels which affect your moods and ability to think clear.

 

Ayda Ersoy further explains how to use food for medicine when controlling your mental health and well-being. Below are a few examples provided to improve your mood and happiness:

 

Feeling Stressed and Anxious?

Eat Chocolate

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“The fat and sugar content in chocolate can actually increase both serotonin and endorphin levels. Cocoa is a rich source of dietary polyphenols. And the cacao flavonoids can help boost mood and sustain clear thinking.

So it’s no surprise you want to reach for chocolate when you’re feeling low. Just make sure you choose 75 percent dark chocolate so that you see the health benefits.”

 

Difficulty Concentrating?  Drink Coffee

Coffee is proven to increase mental awareness and clarity. Make sure you choose organic coffee, and instead of milk or cream try adding coconut oil or grass fed butter. The healthy fats in these will feed your brain too.

 

Lack of Sleep or Overeating: Eat Protein and Healthy Fats

 

Eggs, chicken, grass fed beef or wild fish and sardines are omega-3 protein sources that influence serotonin — a chemical that works as a neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining mood balance.


 

For more information from Ersoy on foods that affect your mood, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ayda-ersoy/foods-for-good-mood_b_7295100.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

How She Gave Up The Food That Slowly Kills

Can you rise to the challenge like food writer, Megan Kimble did? For one whole year, Kimble decided to steer clear of the processed food group (aka almost everything in stores now days), and provided insight of her journey through an interview done by, Kate Bratskier with The Huffington Post. Kimble documented her journey, the lessons she learned and the changes she made in her new book,  “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food“.

-What was your biggest challenge throughout the year?

Going out, for sure. There’s such a social aspect of food; so much of eating is being with friends and partaking in what others are partaking in. Forever, humans have bonded over the sharing of food. It’d be really hard to meet up with friends, where everyone would be having pizza. It was really hard to be professional and to go to work functions — you don’t want to talk about what you eat with everyone. That was definitely the hardest part.

-Did you drink any alcohol?

I drank beer and wine. I tried to drink only beers from breweries I could identify. For me, the premise for what I considered unprocessed was theoretically being able to make it at my house. I could have brewed wine or beer at home. I made mead at home. It’s basically the lowest-cost alcohol you can make on your own. Part of the bargain of this whole thing was figuring out how to not put my life on hold. I wanted to try my best to make sure the drinks weren’t processed, but also wanted to be able to connect with people.

-Did you have any slip-ups during the course of the year?

Of course. I was a single when I started the year and then wanted to start dating. I went out with this guy who sort of ordered food for us in this really macho, annoying way and then food came and I didn’t know what to do. It was a sushi roll. White rice is processed, but I decided to make an exception. I immediately regretted it, especially because later in the date I found out that the guy didn’t believe that global warming was a real thing. I write about food and the environment so that’s kind of a deal breaker. What are you gonna do? When you eat out, it’s so hard to know what’s in your food. I’d ask so many questions, but at some point you have to move on and hope for the best.

-What was the first thing you ate when your year was up?

A Sonoran hot dog and a Diet Coke. The Diet Coke tasted terrible after a year without soda. It tasted like straight chemicals. Actually, I’ve totally kicked the soda habit — it just doesn’t taste good to me anymore. I used to eat more snack foods, like packaged cookies, chips and stuff like that. Now that snack food genre stuff doesn’t make me feel good or keep me full. That was a nice sort of side effect of the year — a lot of these processed foods are still kind of invisible to me and my cravings.


 

Read more from the interview at the original source at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/24/quit-processed-food-megan-kimble-a-year-without_n_7648276.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living&ir=Healthy+Living

 

Move On From Your Paleo Diet, Your Genes Will Thank You

If you’ve never heard of the Paleo diet, then you must be living under a rock in the middle of no where. This diet has ruled as king of the mountain for anyone looking to improve their dietary habits to become a High Performing person. However, the paleo diet leaves out a key factor: the microbiome.

Say what?

 

It’s Your Bacteria’s Genes That Matter

The microbiome is the community of trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive tract and elsewhere throughout your body. Collectively weighing about three pounds — the same weight as our brain — these bacteria outnumber our human cells by a factor of about 9 to 1. I jokingly tell my patients that I might look like a human, but I am really just “bacteria in a suit.” Each of us is literally more bacteria than human.

Not only do our bacteria outnumber us, their genes outnumber our genes — by a factor of 150 to 1. In many ways, their genes have more of an influence over our day-to-day life than our own genes do.

When your microbiome is balanced, you have a terrific ally that keeps your body healthy, promoting good digestion, clear thinking, balanced mood, and glowing overall health. When your microbiome goes out of balance, however, you risk such symptoms as brain fog, depression, anxiety, bad skin and insomnia — and, down the road, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Now, what does this have to do with Paleo? Well, the Paleo view is that human genes evolve with glacial slowness, and that humans haven’t yet caught up to the dietary changes brought on by the invention of agriculture. 

You Are What Your Bacteria Eat

A breakthrough study from Harvard’s Peter J. Turnbaugh and Duke’s Lawrence David reveals some of the ways in which our diet shapes our microbiome — and thereby affects our ability to digest various types of food. In 2011, the researchers fed volunteers two very different diets. One group was given a high-protein diet consisting of bacon and eggs, spareribs, brisket, salami, cheese, and pork rinds. The other was fed a very high-fiber diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans. Bacterial analysis of fecal samples collected before, during, and after the experiment showed that what each group ate had a huge — and almost immediate — effect on their gut bacteria. 

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Lo and behold, each group began to develop the very type of bacteria that would most help them digest the particular types of food they had just eaten. In just 24 hours, meat eaters saw an increase in bacteria that are resistant to bile acids (bile acids are a byproduct of the breakdown of meat). If you’re a meat-eater, you need those bacteria — so the microbiome responded. The vegetarian group had far fewer bile-resistant bacteria, because, given their diet, they didn’t need them. The microbiome was responding to them, too. Even the long-term vegetarian who agreed to eat meat for this study saw a rapid microbial shift.

The microbiome’s dynamic ability to respond to our diet is why our bodies can adapt to so many different ways of eating — regardless of how long it might take for our genes themselves to change. Our genes aren’t what matter — our microbiome’s genes are the key. We don’t have to move at the millennial pace of genetic evolution. We come equipped with a mechanism that is exquisitely responsive to a number of different types of foods, which is why humans all over the world can survive on a remarkably wide range of diets.

We Can Eat Almost Anything — But Should We?

The Paleo diet varies depending on which expert you listen to, but they all agree on one thing: We humans can’t digest grain. They say that our genes just haven’t evolved enough to metabolize it properly, and that therefore grain is responsible for all sorts of serious disorders.

Not only is that bad genetics, it’s bad nutrition. Numerous studies have shown that whole grains have protective effects against heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. We’re beginning to see that at least some of these protective effects come from the way that the fiber in grains nourishes the microbiome.

That’s why I tell my patients that they can enjoy quite a bit of flexibility in their diets — as long as they support their microbiome. You don’t want to eat too much meat — the 55 percent of daily calories that some Paleo experts recommend — because studies have shown that much meat is detrimental to the microbiome. Nor do you want to consume a typical Western diet — refined flour, sugar, unhealthy fats, additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners — because those ingredients also feed exactly the wrong kind of bacteria.

 


 

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