Tuesday, April 29, 2014

OMEGA-3S AND ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is a painful disease and what you eat certainly cannot cure arthritis but it can make you feel better or worse! Leslie Bonci, R.D., the director of Sports Nutrition in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburg stated, "Food isn't a panacia, but some can make your joints healthier." She gives the following as her #1 food suggestion to arthritis sufferers to make their lives easier:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and/or other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Other high omega-3 foods include walnuts, soybeans, flaxseed, canola oil, and pumpkin seeds. Why these foods? Omega-3s decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation. They also inhibit enzymes that trigger inflammation." Another benefit of the fatty fish is that they help prevent swelling and soreness, according to Ms. Bonci.
If you have arthritis and you aren't currently including some of these food in your diet on a regular basis, you should start to do so. After all, what arthritis sufferer wouldn't love to feel better and perhaps be able to cut back on meds.













Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kick Start Your Metabolism with This?

When I was a kid I loved spending the night next door with my grandparents. And one of my favorite treats was breakfast the next morning. My grandmother never drank coffee or tea but had a cup of hot water every morning with breakfast. When my dad found out I was drinking a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of sugar for breakfast, he was not pleased! Imagine my surprise when recently reading a medical report that said to start your morning with a cup of hot water and lemon to rev up your metabolism for the day! If only grandma had known to add lemon! Have a sluggish metabolism? Try some hot water and lemon.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Do You Eat Bagels Regularly?

If you love your bagels and eat them often you should be aware of just what you are eating. Bagels are quick, easy, and tasty but did you know that the average bagel, whether made with refined or whole-grain flour, averages 300 calories? And how many of us eat our bagels plain? Of course we don't! We like cream cheese, butter, jelly, etc on those bagels so we pile on even more calories. The average bagel slathered with cream cheese comes in at 500 calories!

If you love bagels, I'm not suggesting you give them up. But there are ways to lower those calorie counts. Eat a mini bagel or a thin bagel. If you still want the traditional bagel, scoop out some of the insides or make sure your bagel is whole-wheat. Yes, the calorie count on the white and whole-wheat are the same but the whole-wheat has fiber. Use a sugar-free jelly, fat-free cream cheese, etc. Don't fall into a high calorie count bagel trap!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WHAT MAKES A GRAIN A WHOLE-GRAIN?

On this blog I am constantly saying to get rid of refined grains and eat whole-grains. Unless you have a special dietary problem and your doctor tells you differently, you should be eating whole-grains. So sometimes I am asked just what a whole-grain is. A grain is considered a whole-grain when it includes all three parts of the grain (refined grains are stripped of two of the parts and therefore a lot of the benefits of the grain). The three parts of the grain are:

  •  The germ - the innermost part of the grain. The germ's main role is to provide nourishment for the seed. For us it provides essential fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins and trace minerals. The germ portion of a grain is removed during refining.
  • The Bran - the "outer shell" of the grain. The Bran's main role is to protect the seed. For us it provides fiber, B vitamins, trace minerals, and phytonutrients. The bran is the other portion of the grain that is removed during refining.
  • The Endosperm - the main or biggest part of the grain. The endosperm supplies us with energy, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and protein.
You will notice that the two parts of the grain that a lot of the benefit of the grain lost in refining!

When you see the words "whole grain" or the word "whole" before the name of the grain that lets you know the food is main from all three parts of the grain.




Monday, April 21, 2014

Why Eliminate Refined Foods From Your Diet?

Most of us love refined foods but they are not good for our health or weight. Basically, refined foods are the sugary packaged foods most pantries are stocked with so why should we purge our pantries of them? Refined foods are highly processed and during that process most of the nutrients and fiber are stripped from them. When you eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc that are packed with nutrients and antioxidants you will feel better, be healthier, and be better able to control your weight!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

ADVICE FROM JENNIFER HUDSON

Jennifer Hudson is an American Idol Alumni who has made it big in the business. However, while making it big on the music scene she has managed to lose a lot of weight. She offers the following advice regarding food yens or desires. "What people need to know is that if you don't eat what you want, then you'll just continue to eat, because you're not fulfilled. If you have a hankering that you can't shake, figure out a concoction that tastes like what you're craving. Like, if you eat cashews and an apple together, it tastes exactly like a caramel apple, I promise."



Friday, April 18, 2014

HIDDEN SUGAR

How many of you grab a carton of yogurt for a quick snack or meal and think you are eating healthy and doing yourself a real favor? If you grabbed a carton of "fruit on the bottom" yogurt, think again. It is not unusual for "fruit on the bottom" yogurt to contain over 25 grams of sugar per one small carton! It is best to buy regular low-fat yogurt and add your own fresh fruit or berries.

Please note this picture is only a representative picture. All brands are basically the same!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GUACAMOLE AND SALSA FOR YOUR SKIN!

Did you know that one of the benefits of eating guacamole is that it helps to reduce the signs of skin aging? Top it with a little tomato-based salsa for wrinkle-reducing antioxidants. Now what a tasty way to be nice to your skin!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

CHICKEN WRAP OR BUFFALO WINGS?

As those of you who follow my blogs know, I do not eat chicken in any form. It is a mental thing with me that you don't want to know about! But many of my readers love chicken and I know many enjoy going to Buffalo Wild Wings. So here is a bit of info for those of you who enjoy that restaurant.  What would you think is lower in calories - a Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wrap or a platter of Buffalo Traditional Wings?

You can have 13 of the traditional wings for 1170 calories or the Buffalo Ranch Wrap for 1200 calories! Either way you go, you are almost getting a day's worth of calories at one setting! Note: the 1200 calories includes the chips and salsa.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

SAY "NO" TO SODAS

Learn to say no to soda and quench your thirst with water or unsweetened teas. In November of 2011 researchers found that sweet sodas are especially risky for women (but not good for men either). A University of Oklahoma study of 4,166 women aged 45 and older found that those who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day were nearly 4 times as likely to develop high triglycerides as those who drank one or less. These women also had larger waist sizes and were more likely to develop impaired glucose levels. Yes, you will be healthier if you drink less sodas and more water and unsweetened drinks!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

OUTSMART YOUR GENES WITH DIET

We cannot help the genes we are born with. Whether good genes or bad genes, we are stuck with the ones our parents passed on to us. I have some bad genes in my blood stream when it comes to heart disease and many of you do, too. But it is possible to overcome some of those bad genes with our diets so that is good news. This information is from two large international studies where researchers looked at heart disease rates in people with gene variations on chromosome 9 which is know to significantly increase ones odds of heart disease. As expected they found that people with the variations had more heart disease. But here is the good news - That was only true if they ate a poor diet! Those who followed healthier diets had no more heart disease than the general population. Those healthier diets involved eating several servings a day of two out of the following categories; fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and berries. Now how hard is that to do? Pretty simple, right? The research showed that the most powerful food was fresh vegetables so be sure you have them in your diet daily.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guilt-Free Snack

If you are looking for a guilt-free snack or you are having a craving for chocolate, try this for a quick snack. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of Nutella on a cinnamon graham cracker for a 115 calories snack.


Monday, April 7, 2014

POTATO CHIPS

The last two posts have discussed being a "Junk Food Addict" and potato chips fall into the category of junk food.  There are also several posts on this blog about "Couch Potato Calories" and potato chips fall into that category, too. Let's have a little post now about potato chips. We all know there are many different kinds and flavors of potato chips on the market today but for this post let's say we are just talking about the general potato chip.


  • 1-oz of potato chips has around 150 calories
  • 1-oz of potato chips has around 10 grams of fat and 3 of those are saturated (bad) fat.
  • The average potato chip is deep-fried and usually not in a healthy oil.
  • The average potato chip has too much salt.
  • If you eat just 1-ounce of potato chips a day, 3 times a week, within a year you will have consumed roughly 23,400 calories in potato chips. That translates to a 7-pound weight gain per year, just from chips. And really now, let's be honest here, are you only going to eat only 1-ounce of chips 3 times a week? Most of us eat more than that at a time.
  • In addition to weight gain, the fat, salt, carbs, etc are just not conducive to good health!
So what can you do to cut back on or totally eliminate these chips from your diet? Replace them with a healthier food!  Try rice cakes or popcorn cakes. Dry roasted edamame is also a good choice. Nuts are healthy if they are not coated in sugar, etc. But beware of the calorie count in the nuts you choose. And if you want to really go healthy, replace chips with fresh veggies such as carrot sticks, etc.





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Are You a Junk Food Addict? Part II

This is a continuation of yesterday's post regarding junk food addiction.

So you wonder how food could be like cocaine?  Think about this:

Think about these foods (and many others), stuffed crust pizza, double-fudge ice cream, French fries, over-sized pastries, etc and what makes them so enjoyable - sugar, fat, etc. These ingredients stoke the brain's reward center the way whole, fresh foods in their natural state do not.  Ashley Gearhardt, a food addiction researcher and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, has said, "These foods are engineered for you to crave and eat compulsively. Compared to, say, a piece of fruit, the sugar in jelly beans is more pure and potent, and it hits your system faster because there's no fiber and other ingredients to slow it down." Gearhardt continued by saying, "When you punch up the reward and speed (it's absorption by the body), it becomes so powerful it hijacks the (brain's) reward system.

A key driver of the reward system is the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is released in the brain when we experience something pleasurable such as food, sex, and drugs. Dopamine is a reward that makes the body want to do it again. But when the reward system gets pinged so repeatedly, it gets so overstimulated that it starts to automatically dial back the response. And thus begins the vicious cycle. When the body doesn't feel as big a reward, called tolerance, you consume greater amounts in search of the reward.

Be aware and don't allow your body to become addicted to junk food!