|July 5, 2013||Posted by Lindsey under Blood Pressure, Dieting|
Most are aware of the damaging health effects high blood pressure can cause the cardiovascular system and overall health. As we get older, the risks increase but the signs and side effects do not. High blood pressure has also been referred to as the “silent killer”, causing those who believed to have no afflictions a serious or deadly fate. However the disease is completely preventable as well as reversible, yet as many as 67 million American adults live with high blood pressure, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alarmingly, 47 percent of those with a diagnosis have not gotten their blood pressure under control.
Medications don’t seem to be the whole answer, considering their side effects have been known to cause serious pains and unpleasant experiences as well. But what you eat (and drink) also has a dramatic impact. The government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has shown to be an alternative option as prescription medication in bringing down blood pressure.
It’s believed that many don’t take remedies into their own hands because they think they have to change their diet so drastically that all they will be eating are bland, boring and no-flavor foods when actually it’s the opposite. While it is true it’s important to lower your sodium intake, that doesn’t mean giving up eating good food all together. One secret is using lemon and lime juice to add acidity and tartness (a good mimicker of sodium) or vinegar. Also, the DASH diet reccomends these 5 power foods that with their extra boost in potassium and fiber, drastically bring those numbers down and taste delcious!
Bananas: With almost 500mg of potassium, this poplar friut also contains nearly 6 grams of fiber which also keeps your digestion in check. While the high levels of potassium might not be news to you, they also are condidered a diaretic, which helps you shed water and bloated feeling.
Avocados: These green gems have almost 1000mg of potassium and are loaded with healthy fats and oils. Try using it as a substitute on sandwiches for mayo and butter or get even more creative and make a pasta sauce with it! And of course there’s always guacamole which everyone loves!
Yogurt: High in calcium (which is the property that reduces blood pressure) and healthy live cultures that aide digestion, this is one to add to your repertoire. You also get the added benefit of improving bone strength.
Dark Chocolate: Both tasty and satisfying, the cocoa powder in dark chocolate (p.s. the darker the better) contains Polyphenols, a major class of bioactive phytochemicals which possess all the heart healthy benefits which are also found in fruits and vegetables.
|June 25, 2013||Posted by Lindsey under Arthritis, Dieting, Uncategorized|
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a common problem amongst many Americans, and with hundreds of purposed medications and solutions out there, how do you know which one is the best for you? Or for that matter, how do you know the real cause of the problem itself? Sometimes it’s not the medications we put into our body that are the cure, but rather the foods we eat. Some foods are more known for causing inflammation in the body, which is the leading factor of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Neal D. Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Power Foods for the Brain, discussed this topic in a recent article published by Vegetarian Times Magazine. Dr. Barnard says a diet change is a common approach to discovering how and why your body may be triggering inflammation in the first place. There have been several studies conducted over the years which have actually discovered dairy products may cause inflammation, as well as animal products. While this might not be the case for everyone, Dr. Bernard recccomends trying it for a few weeks to see if any difference is noticed. It takes your body some time to react and notice changes when eliminating things it has been used to for a while. If symptoms still arise, there are other food items that could still be to blame. To track down these, he suggests the elimination diet. To do this correctly, Dr. Barnard recommends you limit your diet to things that haven’t caused you problems in the past while eliminating everything else. The limited items differ from physician to physician, but here are the ones on his list: Alcoholic beverages, animal products, apples, bananas, celery, chickpeas, citrus fruits, coffee (regular and caffeine-free), corn, eggplant, nuts and peanuts, onions, potatoes, soy products, sugar, tomatoes, wheat, barley and rye. Some of you may be asking, “well, what do I eat then?” If you’re unsure where to start, he says eating mainly rice, oatmeal, green vegetables, carrots, squash and not much else. Once symptoms improve, you’ll re-introduce items from the eliminated list one at a time, every two days. Then you’ll know which foods to avoid and discontinue flare ups. This can provide long lasting relief! Of course before starting this regimen, make sure to see your physician in order to receive advise and approval. It might not be suitable for everyone or might need some moderation. Photos Source: Vegetarian Time Magazine Ask the Doc: Seasonal Allergies and Healing Foods
|March 2, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Dieting, Recipes|
Staying on task during a diet is extremely tricky. I’ve always said, cheat a little – because it will help you stay successful. The more you tell yourself “No,” the more you will crave whatever it is that has been denied – especially if you’re new to the dieting game. Don’t forget about treating yourself!
This delicious, tempting Weight Watcher’s shake recipe will give you that sweet, chocolate taste you grave – without busting your calorie chart. This recipe has simple adjustments to a milk shake recipe; like switching out ice cream for frozen yogurt or using fat-free milk instead of whole milk. These adjustments make this shake only a 4 point increase on your Weight Watcher’s diet!
- 2 cups fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
- ½ cup fat-free skim milk
- 4 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
- 1/8 tsp mint extract (optional for taste)
How to Make it:
Place the frozen yogurt, milk and optional mint extract into a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Add the 4 cookies; blend until combined. And then enjoy!
|February 17, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Diabetes, Dieting, Obesity|
Mars, Inc, Candy Supplier, Takes Small Step in the Fight Against Obesity
Chocolate is a common weakness for many Americans. We turn to it for an energy boost, to fight depression or to just indulge our senses. If consumed carefully, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet – but not many of us consume chocolate carefully. Because of a lack of portion control practiced by many people, the obesity rate in the United States hovers around 26%.
At a time where obesity trends in America are sitting in the spotlight, Mars makes a decision that will impact every person in the country: reducing the calorie count per portion. Every portion of their products will now be reduced to 250 calories or less.
Their biggest calorie culprits are the Snickers, the Mars Bar and the Twix. Each one of these candies is 280 calories or higher – and these are just the traditional sizes. Each of these has a King Size version as well that nearly doubles the calorie count.
So what’s Mars’ solution to the calorie reduction? “2toGo” packs. Essentially, they have cut the King Size Snickers in half and stuck it in the same package with a new qualifier on the package: 220 Calories per serving.
Mars should be commended for taking this small step to drive awareness to the drastically high rate of overweight Americans, but is this really going to help? Like I said before, a common problem is portion control. Putting two portions together in one package seems like a marketing band-aid for a very large wound.
It’s the right direction, but it may be too small of a step. What do you think? Has Mars made the right call or do they need to take a more drastic move?
|January 20, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Dieting, Recipes|
The holidays are behind us, along with all of the extra pounds added to our behinds. Parties can be great, but not when you are constantly being tempted by savory and fattening treats. But things can be different in 2012. Try healthy and delicious appetizers instead of heavy, fried dishes that leave you regretting every last bite.
Entertaining is fun, but finding the right healthy munchies to offer your friends and family can be a challenge. These easy-to-make Antipasto Sausage Skewers from The Food Network are the perfect recipe that will leave you and your guests feeling great! Get your protein fix and nutrients from the veggies without extra calories that leave you feeling too full.
Antipasto Sausage Skewers
Recipe courtesy Ellie Krieger for Food Network Magazine
- Cooking spray
- 12 ounces fully cooked Italian-style poultry sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; mist with cooking spray. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes.
Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.
Per serving (4 skewers): Calories 140; Fat 5 g (Sat. 2 g; Mono. 1.5 g; Poly. 1 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 970 mg; Carbohydrate 12 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 12 g
|January 10, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Dieting, Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Health|
It’s hard enough as it is to stick with a diet, let alone trying to figure out what diets will work for you! We are swimming in a sea of diet tricks and trends, but which ones actually deserve the old college try?
Here are six popular diet trends from FOX.com that may just be myths, after all.
Debunked Myth #1: Eating often helps boost your metabolism – You may have heard that eating many small meals throughout the day will help rev your metabolism. What’s important is to not over eat and to eat healthy. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is most affected by body composition and size.
Debunked Myth #2: Caffeine helps with weight loss – Along those same lines, we often hear that caffeine helps burn calories. Most people don’t drink enough caffeine for it to make a difference. And if you did, you would probably be consuming an unhealthy amount of caffeine. So, indulge in a cup or two of coffee or tea a day, and maybe your appetite will be suppressed for a bit and your energy boosted, but don’t rely on it as a weight loss tool.
Debunked Myth #3: Stay away from food at night – Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t eat a whole pizza right before bed, but eating after 8pm won’t make you fat if you’re smart about it. The problem is less about the timing and more about the fact that people tend to reach for the unhealthier snacks when they are tired.
Debunked Myth # 4: Carbs make you gain weight – Not all carbs are bad. Carbohydrates come in different forms, like fruits, veggies and whole grains, all of which are important to a healthy diet. So you don’t have to totally rule out pasta and bread, just eat it in moderation and try to consume the majority of carbs before working out.
Debunked Myth #5: Dairy is a good weight loss tool – Calcium has been said to help break down fats, but it isn’t the magic answer to weight loss. If you’re a big milk drinker, the calcium will probably be more beneficial to your bones than your waistline. Although some studies have shown that people who include dairy in their diet lose more weight than those who do not, it is still best to stick to low-fat dairy products.
Debunked Myth #6: Dieting is the best way to drop pounds – Yes, diets can help you shed weight, but the reality is that you probably won’t diet forever. If you are looking to lose weight long-term, a life style change is your best bet. Diets are only good for the time that you are doing them. For health in the long run, you have to stick with a health plan that works for you.
|January 3, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Dieting, Fitness, Happiness, Health|
Every year people around the world make New Years resolutions. Some make it to lose weight, others to quit smoking. Some want to spend more time with their families and others may want to make more of an effort to volunteer. No matter how different these resolutions, the majority has one thing in common: fizzling out.
Out of the 45% of Americans who will most likely set a New Years Resolution at the stroke of midnight, only 8% of those will definitely find success. So lets recap. One-hundred Americans go to the same New Year’s Eve party this Saturday. Forty-five of them will make a resolution. Out of those optimistic 45, maybe four will come back next year with a notch on their belt.
So what’s the secret? What are those four people doing correct that the other 41 seem to be missing? We have put together seven tricks that may help you reach your goal this coming year. Each one will bring you step closer to success – and next year, you’ll go back to that party with a smile on your face and pride in your heart – because you did not fail!
7 Tricks to Accomplishing a New Years Resolution
- Commit, don’t resolve. Resolving to lose weight or save more money is the first step, but where does it go after that? Commitment. Commitment holds a high reserve in our hearts. You commit to succeeding in your resolution, you will.
- Write down your goals. Seeing your goal in your head is the first step. Writing it down and taping it to your bathroom mirror is another. Do you want to lose weight? Tape your goal weight to your bedroom mirror. Do you want to keep your house clean more consistently? Tape reminders around your house – in the bathroom, in your kitchen, in the family room. When you see it on paper, you’ll have more accountability.
- Make your resolution realistic. Having big dreams is a great thing. Achieving big goals can often be daunting – so make your goals reachable. Maybe you want to lose 50% of your body weight this year – that’s an excellent, healthy goal. How do you start and stay motivated when you don’t find success immediately? You find intervals in your big dreams. Small goals along the way to your dream will give you a more profound since of success.
- Keep a journal of your journey. A journal can help you along the way, whether tough or easy. Everyday or once a week, sit down and write how you took one more step toward achieving your resolution. If you took a step back one week, document that too. Own your achievements and missteps – that will keep you on track even if you feel as though you failed already.
- Reward yourself! Working toward a goal should be fun as well! If you fulfill one of your interval goals – like losing 5 of those 20 pesky pounds or saving $1000 of the $5000 – go out and treat yourself to something that keeps you motivated! Buy that shirt you’ve always wanted! Pamper yourself at a day at the spa! Make your reward worth it and keep yourself motivated.
- Set an end date for your goal. When are you going to achieve this by? Saying “next year” can be realistic, but it may be too much time. Maybe you can save that money in 6 months or maybe you can lose 10 pounds in three months. Make the goal achievable with a deadline that keeps you motivated and realistic.
- Most importantly: Think Positively! Without optimistic thoughts, you will not succeed. End of story. If you think you’re going to fail – you will. So think – know – you will fulfill this resolution. With positivity and positive support people, you can achieve this goal.
|December 28, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Dieting, Health|
Just because a product claims to be homeopathic and is sold over-the-counter, doesn’t mean that it can be trusted. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are coming down hard on companies that sell weight loss products containing the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG.
These over-the-counter products promise big weight loss results in short periods of time, leading consumers to believe that they are being given a miracle drug. According to the FDA, several products containing HCG have claimed to help reboot your metabolism and help with “abnormal eating patterns” despite failing to maintain FDA approval. (As shown on USAToday.com)
As consumers, it’s our job to be well educated on any products that we are looking to use. It is important to keep in mind that there is no miracle pill, and weight loss pills can be dangerous when not taken properly. What some may not realize is that pills containing HCG are typically recommended in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, even as low as 500 calories a day. Consult your doctor before taking any weight loss supplements and know that exercise and a healthy diet are always crucial when trying to lose weight. To date, there is no scientific evidence that products containing HCG actually aid in weight loss.