Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Egg Trivia

Know why we have different sizes of eggs?  The answer is simple. Young hens lay small eggs. The older the chicken, the bigger the eggs.

Did you know that some pretentious restaurants want their menu to sound so fancy they list eggs as....hen eggs. And you thought they were rooster eggs?  Sometimes you pay extra for nothing more than words!


Add Club Soda to Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are loaded with sugar. Read the labels as many have sugar added and juices are concentrated natural sugar from the fruit.  Make a refreshing drink by adding calorie-free club soda to fruit juice and serve over ice. This will not only give you a sparkling beverage, it will reduce the calories in the drink.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Use Fresh or Frozen Fruits and Veggies

When possible it is better to feed your family using fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.  While facts are scarce and sometimes confusing we know there are less chemicals in fresh and frozen foods and that canned fruits and vegetables are often loaded with sodium as a preservative and with sugar. One exception may be tomato products. Tomato products often offer more protection properties after being cooked.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

BEWARE OF SALADS

As we approach a new year it is amazing the number of people who will say their goal for the new year is to lose weight.  Nothing wrong with that goal but most people will not succeed and will drop the idea as one of their goals before the first month is up. One does not have to go on some strick, complicated, do away with everything good, or fad diet to lose weight. That plan alone is a setup for failure.  Unless your doctor puts you on a specific diet for health reasons, just watching what and how you eat is all you need to do to watch the pounds drop off! One of the biggest mistakes people make without even realizing it is salads.  How many times have you heard someone say, "But I just had a salad!" Believe me, not all salads are created equal! Here is a perfect example:  You go out for lunch with your coworkers or friends. They want to go to California Pizza Kitchen.  You think that's not so bad, I'll not have pizza. So you opt for a salad.  Would you believe the CPK's Chicken Waldorf Salad comes in at a whopping 1,561 calories and 31 grams of saturated fat.  That's not healthy fats, that's just the saturated fat!  You would be better off with the meat cravers pizza! You can probably lower those numbers by choosing a different dressing, etc.  However, the point I want to make is this: You can use up a whole days worth of calories on one salad! When selecting a salad, be careful which one you choose! If you aren't sure, ask for the nutritional information on each salad before making your decision.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

TEA FOR BAD BREATH

According to a study from the University of Chicago, a cup of black or green tea may edge out gum for fighting bad breath.  Both black and green teas contain compounds that suppress bacteria in the mouth, deodorizing every exhalation.


EATING TO CURB FORGETFULNESS

It happens to all of us. You know, that moment when you walk into a room, stop, look around, then say to yourself, "What did I come in here for?"  Admit it, you know it has happened to you!  According to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, munching on celery or green peppers just might help to boost your memory! Both vegetables are high in the plant extract luteolin which may help boost memory.  Scientist found that feeding luteolin to mice helped fight aging in the brain and improved memory.  I'm not sure how much that relates to the human brain but it sure is a simple and healthy way work on improving our memory!

Friday, December 27, 2013

HOW ABOUT A BISON BURGER

Have you ever eaten or considered eating bison? If you are looking to cut back on cholesterol, fat, and calories, you may want to consider trying bison.  Bison meat has less of all three, cholesterol, fat, and calories, than even a skinless chicken breast.  But beware if you choose to go with a bison burger, for example, of the toppings you use.  Adding bacon, mayo, etc can add the cholesterol, fat, and calories right back in.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AN OCCASIONAL TREAT IS OKAY!

When you refuse yourself an occasional treat you are setting yourself up for failure.  Barry Franklin, PH.D. had the following to say when asked about his everyday good health habits: "I am a physiologist in a cardiac rehab lab and a heart patient, so I exerciese at least three times a week......and I make very healthy food choices: grilled fish, lots of fruits and vegetables. I allow myself a once-in-a-while piece of cheesecake, because an occasional treat isn't going to do damage; it's your everyday choices that make the difference." So don't feel too bad when you throw in an occasional treat!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

FRONT-LOAD YOUR CALORIES

When asked about his everyday good health habits, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, replied with the following:
"One time-tested tip I try to follow is to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.  Breakfast is often eggs, whole-wheat toast, a bowl of fruit, and oatmeal.  I try to eat slowly; it can take up to 15 minutes for the brain to recognize that your stomach is full, so this helps me avoid overeating. And when I am hungry, I have some water first and wait a bit - thirst and hunger can be easily confused by the body."
  • Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Calcium to Keep The Weight Off?

When asked what she recommends for keeping weight off and staying at a healthy weight, Dr. Sharon Phelan, professor, department of ob/gyn at the School of Medicine Health Science Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, said the following: "I milk it. I have a 12-ounce skim latte every day. I also snack on low-fat cheese sticks and treat myself to frozen yogurt at night-it's cool and calcium-packed, which is key for muscle function and bone health."


Thursday, December 19, 2013

PEPPERMINT FOR STOMACH BLAHS

Does your stomach ever rebel when you eat a spicy Mexican meal, etc? Next time your stomach gives you a hard time after a spicy meal, try eating some peppermint.  Now this needs to be something with actual peppermint in it and not just peppermint flavoring.  A study published in the journal Pain a couple of years ago says that peppermint can soothe abdominal discomfort.  A cooling agent called icilin activates a receptor in the colon that desensitizes the area. Have a cup of mint tea, etc to soothe your abdomen!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Really Should Eat Breakfast

We are all familiar with the fact that we need to eat breakfast and I like to add a healthy breakfast.  And the Cleveland Clinic gives us another reason to do so.  According to the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors, studies done at Cardiff University in Wales, show that those who eat breakfast  are less likely to suffer from colds, etc.  So this winter be sure you eat breakfast!


Monday, December 16, 2013

How Much Water Do You Need?

There is no need for overkill on hydration according to Michael Hyman, M.D., chief of urology at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California.  He says the average healthy person needs around 6 to 7 8-ounce glasses a day of water.  He went on to say, "You see some people walking around with a 2-liter bottle in their hands, but that's overkill." Are you getting your 6 to 7 glasses a day?
















Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dr. Travis Stork on Fighting Colds and Flu

When Travis Stork, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and cohost of the TV show The Doctors, was ask how he kicks colds and flu he replied, "When I get a scratchy throat, I gargle with warm salt water and eat more fruits and veggies........." He went on to say, "I also rinse my nasal passages with saline mist when I feel stuffy, once in the morning and once before bed. It's like washing away the cold virus."  Sounds like some pretty good advice for us. Ever notice how many times the experts talk about eating fruits and vegetables?


Saturday, December 14, 2013

CASHEWS

Enjoy all the cashews you like but be thankful you buy them already shelled.  Did you know cashew shells cause nasty rashes when touched? This is one nut you do not want to shell yourself!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Can You Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk with Coffee?

Another reason to enjoy your morning cup or cups of coffee is that it could cut your risk of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer according a study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. This study of around 6,000 women found that those who drank one to three cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer by 27%.  Women who drank more coffee had even better numbers.  In women who drank three to 5 cups a day, the number went up to 42%.  The study author, Jingmei Li, Ph.D. explained, "Coffee is a top source of cancer-preventing antioxidants."  So go right ahead and enjoy that morning coffee.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

GORGE ON GREENS

A group of famous doctors were asked a couple of years ago what they do to stay healthy especially during the cold and flu season.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Super Immunity, replied, "The best foods you can eat to fuel your immune response are green vegetables - they are loaded with antioxidants that keep free radicals in your body under control.  A refrigerator stocked with lettuce, kale, and broccoli is my secret weapon during flu season." Sounds like good advice we should all follow!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIABETICS - CALORIES DO COUNT!

Diabetics should keep in mind that calories do count! There is a lot more to diabetic eating than just eliminating or cutting back on sugar!  Diabetics should make it their goal to eat three meals and two healthy snacks a day. Three meals of 400 to 500 calories each and a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack of approximately 200 calories each.  If you need more calories a day, adjust the above numbers proportionally.  I will admit I don't manage this everyday but most of the time I do.  


Calorie counting apps are available.


Monday, December 9, 2013

WARNING REGARDING GARCINIA CAMBOGIA SUPPLEMENTS

I am most certainly against most "wonderful medical, weight-loss, etc general products lining the shelves in the market place today. And I believe many people are suckered into a lot of nonsense when they become avid followers of guys like Dr. Oz. Now before you explode let me explain what I mean.  I know there are a lot of good products out there but rest assured the majority of what you see in the malls, etc is a lot of hype and expense for a little of nothing.  Manufacturers are quick to make a buck off those who want to be slim, trim, beautiful, etc yet think they can eat whatever they want, never exercise, etc and reach that goal. That simply is not so. No matter how many products you buy, if you eat everything you can get your hands on - mostly fast foods, fats, sugars, etc, sit on the couch watching TV and playing video games in your spare time, and swallow a bunch of expensive pills, your health, weight, etc will not improve!

Now I have nothing against Dr. Oz. In fact, I often quote him on this blog but it is almost always an intelligent quote in context. People who hang on his every word, often miss what he is saying. He cannot usually change your life or go completely into an area during a 1 hour show that is cut way down because of commercials! He went to school for years and reads medical journals, goes to seminars, etc and you think he can tell you everything you need to know on a subject in a matter of minutes. Another problem is that humans, who are only half listening anyway, tend to hear what they want to hear and miss the rest.  That is where the title of this blog post comes in!

Americans have gone crazy buying Garcinia Cambogia because Dr. Oz claimed it to be the holy grail. Really?  Did they listen to what he really said? Doubtful!  Well now, guess who else was listening. That's right, manufacturers!  So they started packaging the stuff as fast and as cheaply as they could.  And guess what! They knew people weren't listening beyond what they wanted to hear. Whoa!

Check the package of Garcinia Cambogia that is in your house right now. Does it contain calcium? If so you might as well throw it away, flush it down the toilet, etc. Dr. Oz warned to make sure your product contains NO calcium. Why? It blocks the absorption of the HCA or hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that makes it work! Studies have shown that adding calcium to a garcinia cambogia product makes the product unusable by the body.

I continually suggest reading labels on anything that goes into your mouth. But that doesn't do a lot of good if you don't know what you are looking for!




I went to the internet and just randomly pulled up a couple of garcinia cambogia product labels. And there it is, calcium on both labels. Dr. Oz also said to buy product with 75% HCA. Note these labels both say 60% HCA. The manufacturers aren't trying to fool anyone. They know they don't have to because humans don't pay attention to the details of this type of product. They are playing you a little on the first label by saying the serving size is 1 Veggie Capsule.  That is a mind game with you because we are living in a society right now that is big on promoting vegetables so they know that will get your attention and perhaps have you choose their product over another.  Also, when you read the two labels you will see the ingredients list is the same for both. But notice the dosage. One says the serving size is 1 "Veggie" Capsule and the other says it is 2 Capsules.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

THE LINK BETWEEN FIBER AND HEART DISEASE

You really must be sure to get enough fiber in your diet for many different reasons. But are you aware of the connection between fiber in your diet and heart disease risk?  Getting more fiber in your diet is an easy way to perhaps decrease your chances of heart disease. If you don't already, start using whole-grain fiber and completely get rid of all the refined foods in your pantry.  Here is some information on the link between fiber and heart disease plus some other ways fiber in your diet is beneficial to your health:

What’s the link between fiber and heart disease risk?

Researchers reported that previous studies suggest that dietary fiber protects against heart disease by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and biomarkers of inflammation, all of which play a major role in the development of heart disease, the leading killer of Americans.
In addition, a diet that is rich in fiber has been linked to weight loss (by helping people feel full) and improved insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance can contribute to risk for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which in turn, also increases the threat of developing heart disease.
In a 2011 study of nearly 400,000 older adults, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Association of Retired People (AARP), those who ate a fiber-rich diet had the lowest death rates during the 9-year study.
The study found that men ages 50 or older who ate the most fiber had an up to 56 percent lower risk for dying from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, or infectious diseases, compared to men who ate the least fiber. In women ages 50 and up, a high-fiber diet reduced fatalities from those conditions by up to 59 percent.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

EATING TO IMPROVE YOUR CHOLESTEROL NUMBERS

Are you one of the unlucky millions, like me, who have high cholesterol? If so you might think that eating low-cholesterol foods would be the best way to improve those numbers.  But you may not be right.  Lilian Cheung, D.Sc., R.D., director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, stated the following; "Although it is important to limit the amount of cholesterol you eat, especially if you have diabetes, for most people dietary cholesterol isn't the villain it's been portrayed to be." She went on to explain that the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet - not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food.

There are actually foods you can eat that help to lower your cholesterol level naturally.  Here are 7 of them:

  • Oats. Studies have shown that eating 3 servings a day of the fiber found in oats may reduce total blood cholesterol.  It also lowers by 5% to 7% the "bad" LDL cholesterol that is known to clog arteries. "Soluble fiber binds to fatty substances in the intestines and carries them out as waste, lowering cholesterol," says Cheung.
  • Wild Salmon. "An excellent way to get omega-3 fats, an important type of polyunsaturated fat that can improve blood cholesterol levels, is by eating fatty fish.  That includes wild salmon and sardines, two or three times a week,"Cheung says.
  • Walnuts. Every time you eat walnuts or walnut oil, your HDL, or good cholesterol, gets a power boost and is better able to remove excess cholesterol from your body.  This information is from a June 2013 joint study between Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State.
  • Legumes. Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are some of the most fiber-rich foods you can eat.  A half cup of black beans equals 8 grams of soluble fiber! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 21 grams of fiber daily for women and 30 grams daily for men. Studies have shown that a diet high in cholesterol-lowering foods, including legumes, led to an average drop of 8 mg/dL in LDL cholesterol.
  • Olive Oil. "The types of fat in the diet determine to a large extent the amount of total HDL and LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream," explains Cheung.  According to Harvard School of Public Health, replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, can boost levels of good cholesterol and lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
  • Avocado. Research in 2010 by the Canadian Medical Association suggests that the monounsaturated fats in avocados can help lower triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels. This can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Kale. Steamed leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, and cabbage, deliver insoluble fiber, and kale is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Kale in particular delivers a super dose of vitamins K, A, and C.

Information for this article contributed by my healthcare company UnitedHealthcare.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HIGH-RISK MEDS FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Did you know there are certain medications that are high-risk for geriatric patients?  You can check out the list at www.americangeriatrics.org/ You will find a list of such medications and possible alternatives.  Always check with your doctor before dropping or changing medications.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WHAT CAUSES BREAST CANCER?

What causes breast cancer? If I could answer that question with accuracy I would be a wealthy woman! Unfortunately I nor anyone else can give you a good answer to that question. I recently read an article in a medical publication that said, "Many factors can increase the chances of developing breast cancer.  Some include a family history of breast cancer, excessive alcohol use, and being overweight or obese...."

I am writing this post today because of my personal experience.  As of this week, I am a 26-year-survivor of breast cancer.  I am telling you this to let you know early detection is key to survival and it is important to do self-exams, have recommended mammograms, and contact your doctor with any questions or suspicions.  I am sharing this with you to let you know I was only 40-years-old and I did not have any of the reasons listed above.  No one in my family had ever had breast cancer at that time, I had never drank alcohol (or smoked), and I was and always had been slender. So I was surprised to have breast cancer and to be facing a bilateral mastectomy.  I want others to be aware and check themselves regularly. I also want people to know that with early detection, breast cancer does not have to be fatal.  Chances of survival are good.

Here are some things to look for to protect yourself:

  • The most common symptom is a new lump or mass of tissue in the breast (I had a problem with fibroid tumors).  If you feel a new lump, contact your doctor right away.  Do not wait around to see if it will go away.
  • Unusual swelling of any part of the breast.
  • Skin irritation of the breast with no noticeable reason.
  • Pain in the breast or nipple.
  • Nipple turning inward.
  • Nipple discharge (excluding breast milk)
Any of these symptoms should be reported to the doctor right away.  Don't put off contacting your doctor. Breast cancer does not disappear and the sooner it is treated, the better your chances of survival.

Breast cancer usually occurs in women because of the female hormones but men can also have breast cancer.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Make Realistic Promises

Doctors suggest that we should avoid using the word 'never' when referring to dieting or other health habits.  As we close out this year and start to think about the new year so many people start promising they will never do this or that again or they won't do it in the new year.  As an example, people often say they will never eat dessert again when trying to diet or lose weight.  But that is not realistic.  One might be able to keep that promise for a few weeks then they start to eat all the dessert than can get their hands on.  Doctors say we should allow for little indulgences from time to time and that we should avoid the word 'never'.  Never  is just not realistic according to Dr. Yael Varnado, a preventative health specialist in NYC.  He suggests that instead of 'never' you promise to limit how often you eat something or choose a healthier type.  In the dessert example for instance, you can choose a healthier dessert such as fresh fruit or berries rather than a slice of pie or cake.  Don't set yourself up for failure.  Make changes that are realistic so you won't disappoint yourself.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

DON'T EAT TOO FAST

Slow down and enjoy your meal.  In our fast paced society we often find ourselves rushing through our meals and that is not a good thing.  In addition to not really tasting the food, having it sitting in your digestive system half chewed, etc, eating slower not only allows you to taste and enjoy your food it also helps you to eat less and feel fuller!  How simple is that?  You want to eat less?  Slow down and enjoy what you are eating!  In a study at the Center for Mindful Eating it was found that people who took 30 minutes to eat a bowl of ice cream (yes, despite some melting), their bodies produced more fullness hormones than when they ate it in 5 minutes. Would you believe your taste buds fatigue just like the rest of your body.  As your taste buds fatigue flavors diminish so you find it easier to stop eating!


Friday, November 29, 2013

DO YOU HAVE AN ANTIBACTERIAL ADDICTION?

Many experts say that while the word antibacterial on your soaps and cleaning products may make you feel reassured, you can overdo it!  Many antibacterial soaps, laundry detergents, dish detergents, and cleaning products contain triclosan.  Triclosan is a substance that can kill or slow the growth of many bacteria, including e. coli, strep, and staph but there may be drawbacks to using it on an everyday basis, according to Dr. Rebecca Sutton, an environmental chemist.  She has said that animal studies suggest it may affect the thyroid and sex hormones and it has been found in urine and in breast milk.  There is also research that suggests it may contribute to antibiotic resistance. Dr. Sutton as well as many other doctors and scientists suggest cleaning with plain old soap and water.

Note: This picture has nothing to do with name brand and is used only to make a point here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Keeping Your Kitchen Sanitary

Yesterday's post was about germophobes and how we should not become obsessed about germs.  However, it is important to remember a couple of areas in your kitchen that must be kept wiped down and cleaned after using.  Here is some important information:

  • Your refrigerator handle should be on your priority list.  It is especially important to remember that after handling raw chicken you may touch the handle of your refrigerator and then return to get lettuce or salad makings.  Hands should be washed between these two tasks and refrigerator handles wiped down.
  • Your kitchen sink faucet handles.  Basically the same applies as it does above.  When handling poultry especially, you may touch your faucet handles then touch them again to wash lettuce or other produce that will be eaten raw.

Monday, November 25, 2013

GERMOPHOBES

Are you one of those people who just knows everything you touch is going to make you sick?  Well relax! According to Abigail Salyers, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the University of Illinois in Urbana, under normal circumstances there is no reason to treat doorknobs and sinks as if they were coated in swine  flu virus.  She said, "Germs are ubiquitous, but fewer than 1% of them cause disease, and many actually keep us healthy." She went on to say, "Not only are most bugs benign, but it typically takes thousands, or even millions, of the bad ones to make you sick."

Viruses survive longer on hard surfaces so concentrate your cleaning efforts on those surfaces.

Note: Dr. Salyers said, "Under normal circumstances." When someone has a communicable illness, more stringent efforts apply.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

CALORIES AND CARBS FOR BREADS, GRAINS, CEREALS

Here is a useful (especially for diabetics) chart I came across the other day in a diabetes brochure at the VA. Hopefully some of you will find it useful.  And yes, I know the calories and carbs are basically the same in a slice of white or wheat bread.  Notice that doesn't say whole-wheat bread.  But the difference (again, especially important for diabetics) is in the way the body absorbs nutritionally deficient white bread vs wheat bread.
Click on the chart to enlarge for easier reading.

Note: 15 carbs = 1 carb serving

Friday, November 22, 2013

MORE PLANT FOODS MAY HELP PREVENT CANCER

Studies have shown that eating mostly foods that come from plants may help prevent cancer growth.  Foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are known to help prevent cancer growth.  Make sure your meals are at least 2/3s vegetables and/or whole grains such as brown rice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

ORANGES TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL

Did you know that oranges may help to lower blood cholesterol? They contain terpenes that reduce serum cholesterol levels and they are high in LDL-lowering fiber. What a tasty way to improve your cholesterol numbers!




HEALTHIER SANDWICHES

If you are fond of sandwiches or eat more than you would like out of necessity, there are many ways to make sandwiches healthier.  Here are a few healthy ideas for your sandwiches:

  • Start with a whole-grain bread.  Never use plain white bread as it is an overly processed unhealthy food.
  • Make the main ingredient a healthy protein.  Use a lean meat, fish, or other protein not a fatty, unhealthy meat.
  • If using cheese, choose a low-fat cheese.  Cheese is a good source of calcium, just be sure to use a low-fat variety.
  • Add fresh fruit to your sandwich.  Thin slices of apple or pear are good options.
  • Definitely add some dark leafy greens.  Fresh spinach is a great option.
  • Beware of the mayo or other fat and/or sugar loaded sauces.  Try mustard or hummus.  Thin slices of avocado are also a good idea.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cherry Juice for Sleep

If you have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping soundly you might want to try some cherry juice.  Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your internal clock.  Try drinking 8-oz of cherry juice mixed with seltzer water before bedtime.

This is not an endorsement of this brand.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MINTY-SCENTED LOTION FOR WEIGHT LOSS?

Would you believe that minty scents and flavors could help with weight loss?  Researchers at West Virginia University found that the scent of mint is an appetite suppressant. In their research they found that those who chewed mint-flavored gum or used minty-scented lotions when they had an urge to snack throughout the day, consumed 3,000 less calories per week. That is a weight loss of about a pound per week!

This is not an endorsement of this brand.

Monday, November 18, 2013

EAT BREAKFAST EVERYDAY




Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast everyday are much more likely to keep extra weight off and also that breakfast is a must for a diabetic to keep their blood sugar at a healthy level.  Be sure, however, that you make that a healthy breakfast! Skip the donuts, sweet rolls, sugary cereals, etc. Have some oatmeal with fresh fruit, an omelet, whole-grain toast or English muffin, or a whole-grain cereal with a sugar substitute instead of sugar.

JUICE DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON?

Since I am a diabetic, I don't drink fruit juice.  It is more important for me to eat the whole fruit.  But if diabetes is not a concern for you, it is suggested you drink juices that are high in vitamin C during cold and flu season.  Vitamin C is important in helping the immune system function well.  Studies show that people who regularly get vitamin C in their diets have shorter colds with milder symptoms*.  Juices suggested by doctors include orange, grapefruit, and papaya.


*Note this says, "Who regularly get vitamin C in their diets".  This is not a recommendation for taking vitamin C tablets, etc.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How To Speed Up Your Metabolism

Does your metabolism need a boost?  The fix could be really simple.  Are you drinking enough water? When the body doesn't have enough water, the metabolism slows down.



Another easy fix is to add some chili peppers to your diet.  The compound that makes peppers hot, Capsaicin, can boost metabolism by more than 20%.


Here is another good tip - eat some lean protein at every meal. The body uses 7 times as much energy to digest protein as it does to digest fats and carbohydrates.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

WHITE FOODS

When asked, "What's the one unhealthy food that I shouldn't eat?", the doctor replied, "Anything white that is not a fruit or a vegetable. It's a sign that the food has been processed down to a very simple carbohydrate that probably doesn't have many nutrients."

White bread is a perfect example!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

COCONUT OIL TO BOOST BRAIN POWER

In the past, on this blog, I have discussed various reasons for using coconut oil and here is a good one. Cook with coconut oil to boost your brain power!  Coconut oil has a type of fat that is immediately shuttled to your blood for your brain to use as fuel, according to Dr. Oz the medical guru so many of you follow.  As previously discussed here it is also believed that coconut oil slows down and/or helps to prevent Alzheimer's Disease.  Be good to your brain and give it some coconut oil often.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Substituting Olive Oil for Butter (from the California Olive Ranch

Cooking with our California Olive Oil

Our versatile extra virgin olive oil is perfect for cooking, frying, sautéing, poaching, dressing and baking. It is a heart-healthy fat, high in polyphenols. Browse our recipe section to find ideas for today’s meal!
Olive Oil Cake - Fig Orange

Baking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Baking with olive oil is rapidly gaining in popularity in the U.S. You can substitute olive oil for butter in any of your recipes by using the handy conversion table. Be sure to check out our dessert recipes for inspiring ideas on baking with olive oil and our chefs tips from Alice Medrich, noted cookbook author who has created many baking recipes using extra virgin olive oil.

Substituting Olive Oil for Butter

  • Butter
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup
  • 1/3 cup
  • ½ cup
  • 2/3 cup
  • ¾ cup
  • 1 cup
  • Oil
  • ¾ teaspoon
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons
  • 3 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
  • ¾ cup
Conversion table courtesy of Carol Firenze, The Passionate Olive

Deep Frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Deep Frying with Olive Oil
“There is a popular misconception that extra virgin olive oil cannot be heated to the temperatures needed to deep fry. Certainly 450 degrees F is too hot for extra-virgin olive oil. But at 380 degrees, maybe a bit higher, the oil will not smoke, which indicates a breakdown of its components. (Thermometers for deep frying are widely available if you’re not sure how to gauge the temperature.) The smoke point depends on the initial free fatty acid content of the fat. Refined oils that have been stripped of their fatty acids are what most people use for deep frying. But extra virgin olive oil has a very low fatty acid component, making it eminently suitable.” Fran Gage, author of “The New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009)

Proper Storing of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is important to store your oil with care to ensure maximum freshness. Olive oil should always be stored in a dark container, in a cool, dark place away from light and heat. Be sure to use your olive oil within the 'best before' date on the bottle. Do not store in the refrigerator as it will become cloudy.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOU OR NOT?

Let me start by saying I am not a medical professional! However, I have spent many hours studying health journals, etc to improve my own health after being diagnosed with many various illnesses.  I only post factual information here that is gleaned from the above mentioned research, if I post something that is only my opinion it will be stated as such.  Having said all that, I am going to post something that you may find controversial.

A year ago I read that a recent study (then) found that people who took calcium in pill form were 25% more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn't.  If you are taking calcium supplements, discuss that with your doctor and follow his/her advice.

It is recommended in most cases that one has 1,000 mg of calcium a day or 1,200 mg if you are over 50. Here are some tips to help you get that calcium without taking a supplement.
  • The body can't absorb large amounts of calcium at once.  That means your calcium consumption is best spread throughout the day in smaller increments rather than a large dose tablet at once.
  • Aim for one calcium-rich food per meal/snack - ideas include 1 cup skim milk in the morning, 1/2 cup almonds as a snack, low-fat yogurt with lunch, 1 cup broccoli at dinner, a glass of milk rather than coffee with dessert.  These are just ideas, base your consumption on your own tastes and circumstances.
  • When buying juices and bread, opt for the calcium-fortified products. Read the nutritional panel to get the amount of calcium per serving.  As you know, I always encourage you to read the nutritional panel on all food products.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

GREEN TEA FOR ENERGY

Many of you follow Dr. Oz faithfully.  I do not but I do notice when he mentions things I have found to be true.  One of those things is drinking green tea for energy.  Dr. Oz is quoted as saying, "I drink green tea," when asked what he does for an energy boost.  He went on to say, "It has lots of energizing phenols but a quarter of the caffeine of coffee, so I won't get jittery.  Avoid sodas and energy drinks, which give you a quick sugar rush but then you crash."


Friday, November 8, 2013

CRAVINGS DAY

I recently read an article about a lady who had lost over 100 pounds.  She said her best tip to others is this; pick a "cravings" day!  Her chosen day is Saturday.  If she is craving something on the other six days she tells herself to hold off until Saturday.  She said if she still wants in then, she eats it.  But she has found that most times the craving has passed and she doesn't eat it at all.  Might be worth trying!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CARBS TO LIFT YOUR MOOD

If you are feeling down and need a little mood booster, have a few carbs.  Don't go overboard or eat carbs loaded with sugar, we are talking about only 30 grams of carbs.  That is all it takes to give a boost to your serotonin levels.  Try 4 cups air-popped popcorn, 1/2 cup oatmeal, or half a whole-grain English muffin with just a tablespoon of jam and/or peanut butter.  Carbs have gotten a bad rap.  Eat good carbs and don't overdo it!