5 Foods A Woman Should NEVER Eat
In a world where the list is king, doesnít it make sense to know what not to eat in addition to what you should eat?
Thatís how I look at it and you know how much I love me a good list!
The foods you should never eat are deserving of their own list too, doncha think? But Iíve done one better on this particular list. While Iíve named the culprit in disturbing your peace (health and weight), Iíve also named the hero in restoring your well-being (begin applause now).
Letís get right to business then and get rolling with this list. If you stick with me, youíll know how to dodge these negative nutritional bullets and make better choices at the grocery store and when dining out.
Culprit #1: Deep-Fried Anything
Sorry, but if you order deep fried, make deep fried or even use the words deep fried, you might as well look for a cardiologist at the same time. Deep frying is positively the worst possible choice for having anything prepared. And donít let the words, ďlightly friedĒ fool you either, as in tempura! Itís all wickedness!
Hero #1: Sauteed for Flavor
This cooking technique uses minimal oil (preferably olive oil) and gives your food the flavor and complexity youíre looking for. I sautť my green beans after steaming them in olive oil (not virgin, thatís too fine an oil for heat), a lot of fresh garlic, a little sea salt and a liberal grinding of fresh pepper. Unbelievable taste with very little fat and no bad fat, either.
Culprit #2: White Bread
Thud. Did you hear that? Thatís the sound of white bread landing in your gullet. Itís squishy, gooey and gluey and itís adhering to the sides of your intestines, do you feel it? Blech. Considering the negative nutrition associated with denatured flour, why would anyone make that choice in this enlightened century? Lose the white bread already!
Hero #2: Sprouted Wheat Bread
Okay, check this out. When you sprout grain, then make it into bread, not only is a lot easier on your digestion, itís packed full of nutrients traditional bread doesnít have! Consider this nugget: your body looks at sprouted grain as veggies, not starch! Thatís good news if your thighs sprout inches just by eating a sandwich with two pieces of bread!
Culprit #3: Shortening and/or Margarine
Solidified fats get that way through a process called hydrogenation, which in turn, makes a multitude of sins called trans fats. Yes, weíve all heard how bad trans fats are, right? Well, not only does margarine lower your HDL (good cholesterol) it also raises the bad (LDL). Ixnay all the way on margarine (and itís evil twin shorteningÖwhich is essentially unflavored margarine).
Hero #3: Butter
Hallelujah and pass the butter already! Butter, though a definite saturated fat, will raise your good cholesterol unlike margarine. Just use it very moderately. Try Better Butter: half unsalted butter and half extra virgin olive oil whipped together and kept in the fridge in a covered dish. Just like soft spread margarine only 300 times better!
Culprit #4: White Rice
Oh. My. Gosh. Are you really still eating white rice? This depiction of a grain is full of nothingness. The fiber is missing, the B vitamins are virtually unheard of and the glycemic load will take you one step closer to Type 2 Diabetes, if thatís your go-to carb! Dismiss this!
Hero #4: Brown Rice
With three times the amount of fiber, more B vitamins as well as other nutrients, the carb load on brown rice is much easier on your body and a smaller amount will satiate, too. Whatís not to love about that, especially if youíre trying to lose a few pounds?
Culprit #5: White Sugar
To quote Gomer Pyle, ďSurprise, surprise, surprise.Ē I bet you knew sugar would be on the list, didnít you? How can it not. Did you know that consuming white sugar will actually stun your white blood cells from doing their important health preserving work? Yes, sugar impacts your immune system! It doesnít just eat your teeth and add to your belly fat, it disrupts immune function. Repent from your sugar eating ways and return to the healthy fold!
Hero #5: Dark Chocolate and Fruit
You thought I was going to list alternative or artificial sweeteners, didnít you? Studies have shown that people who consume diet drinks tend to gain weight doing so. Why is this? The hypothesis is you canít fool your body like you think ó if it tastes sweet, your body may still react to it and gain weight.
Stinks, doesnít it? But we need to LOSE our sweet teeth, people! Thatís the problem, not finding the golden panacea that tastes just like sugar. If you want something sweet, have some fruit and an ounce of very dark chocolate (FULL of phytonutrients, yay!) Once you get over your addiction to sugar, this decadent treat (a bowl of fresh raspberries with melted dark chocolate drizzled over the top) will knock you flat. Youíll happily say NO to donuts!
Thatís it for now, yíall! Stay tunedÖ there is always more to come!
December 7, 2009
20 Ways To Better Health & Happiness
Health is more than just eating well. It's about enjoying, or learning how to Savor Your Life.
Here are 20 surefire ways to improve your health and happiness. And the good news is... they're FREE!
1. Give generously of yourself and your resources.
2. View everything and everyone you meet with gratitude.
3. Live each day happily without focusing on your problems.
4. Hum or sing a happy song every day (people will wonder what you're up to).
5. Foster a sense of humor.
6. Treat yourself to regular daily quiet timeóstudy, pray, meditate (my favorite); recharge yourself.
7. Include exercise as part of your daily life. Experiment with an exercise style that works for you. Try yoga, Pilates, martial arts, walking, running, bicycling, rollerblading, swimming, dancing, weight lifting, or competitive sports.
8. To increase your circulation, scrub your entire body with a hot damp washcloth morning and/or night.
9. Avoid wearing synthetic or woolen clothing directly on the skin. As much as possible, wear 100% cotton clothing, especially for undergarments.
10. Avoid excessive jewelry on your fingers, wrists and neck; fewer rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and piercings allow your natural energy flow to circulate more freely.
11. Avoid chemically perfumed cosmetics. For care of the teeth, use natural toothpastes.
12. Keep your home in good order, including kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living rooms. You are your home.
13. If possible, include large green plants in every room of your home and office to freshen and enrich the oxygen content of the air.
14. Minimize television watching, or at least keep a good distance away from the television.
15. Avoid cooking with electricity, especially microwave ovens. Convert to gas when practical.
16. Avoid water with chlorine and fluoride. Use spring water or a good quality water filter.
17. Chew your food well, 30 seconds per mouthful or more, until it becomes liquid.
18. Offer thanks before and after meals.
19. Do your best to be on good terms with people, especially your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers. Communicate with them regularly, either in person or via telephone or email.
20. Most of all, create a positive attitude and wonderful environment around you and enjoy the process of becoming healthier and happier every step of the way!
November 30, 2009
The Flexitarian Diet
Are you ready to lose weight, be healthier, prevent disease AND add years to your life?
Then you're ready for The Flexitarian Diet (McGraw-Hill).
Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner didn't cook up the term "flexitarian" -- it'a a cute combo word that means flexible vegetarian -- but she did write the recipe-packed book being rolled out by major publisher McGraw-Hill in early October.
"The scoop is you donít have to give up your carnivorous cravings," Dawn tells Diet.com. "You simply ingest few extra vegetarian meals here and there.
"The idea is you choose a flexible vegetarian way to live. It's not necessary to go cold turkey on meat; instead you start beefing up vegetarian recipes."
Dawn says there have been hundreds of studies that link vegetarian or semi-vegetarian eating to preventing or lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments.
"One study found you can boost your life by more than three years by eating more fruit and veggies -- and less meat!" Dawn says.
"People who eat plant-based diets weigh naturally 15% less than carnivorous counterparts!
"It's facts like these that ring a bell with a lot of people who are sick and tired of dieting."
During her candid interview with Diet.com, Dawn confessed the issue of flexitarianism is personal.
"I was a closet meat eater -- a vegetarian whoíd sneak meat," she says. "I wanted the health benefits of a veggie diet but i didn't want to give up meat. This is hands down the best thing you can do while still participating in 'meaningful meat events' like barbecues, Cubs games and Thanksgiving!"
Yes, the Chicago resident openly digs into a hot dog or two while watching her beloved Cubs play ball.
"I grew up in typical Midwestern home where there was always meat on table," she says.
"Becoming a total vegan was something out of line and out of touch with who I am!"
Instead, Dawn began working more fruit and veggies into her diet -- and she began suggesting that to clients as well. Five years later, Dawn has a hot new book about to hit the bookstores. In it, you'll find a little science and a lot of recipes -- 100 mouthwatering treats to be exact.
"Follow my plan and in 6 to 12 months you'll find yourself lighter, more energetic and way more healthy," she says.
"If you make the needed lifestyle changes you'll see big changes in your blood work. Your cholesterol level will be on the right track because you'll be eating far fewer saturated facts.
"The book is 60-percent recipes for a reason. At the end of day clients want you to tell them what to eat.
"When they have a meal plan to follow and recipes to cook, they do better."
Dawn's favorite meals include:
Lunch: A Southwestern veggie burger with guacamole. It's under 400 calories and very satisfying, she says.
Breakfast: Her patients really her green apple and sun butter toast which is whole grain toast with sunflower seed butter and sliced green apple. It's crunchy and filling.
Her personal favorite is Swiss muesli which is uncooked whole grain oats. You take the old-fashioned rolled oats and soak them in skim milk, soy milk or unsweetened almond milk. You add chopped apple and nuts like almonds. For extra sweetness, drizzle with honey.
Dinner: Cilantro and peanut stir fry. Substitute chicken or beef id you desire.
"I have a very important equation for followers of the Flexitarian Diet: switch out 1/4 cup of beans for every ounce of meat," she notes.
Tips like that allow you to tweak your own food favorites.
Snack: Pizza popcorn. Dawn admits being a big fan of popcorn. It's natural and whole grain. For her recipe, you simply sprinkle the popped corn with oregano and a little bit of Parmesan cheese.
"After reading about the flexitarian diet in 2003 I finally felt like I fit in," she says. "I no longer had to call myself a vegetarian while eating meat in my closetÖ I am a flexitarian!"
In addition to the health and well-being benefits, you can save money by following this plan.
"Meat is a costly item," Dawn says. "My plan allows you to decrease how much meat you eat. You will definitely save money.
"Also, most ingredients can be found in a traditional grocery store rather than a pricey specialty store."
You'll also be leaving a lighter carbon footprint by choosing more non-meat meals. It's less taxing than meat on the whole ecosystem.
Dawn says Greece, Spain and many Asian cultures follow a flexitarian lifestyle.
A Few Final Words
By being flexibly vegetarian -- adopting more plant foods and new edibles in your diet, while slightly reducing your meat intake and getting to better know your local produce aisle or farmer's market -- you'll be hooked into better health.
Your immune system will get multiple boosts and ward off diseases like cancer and diabetes. You'll stretch out your life expectancy and out-supplement your vitamins.
Then there's the added benefit of weight loss.
Dozens of nutrition studies have scientifically proven that people who eat a vegetarian diet weight on average 15 percent less than non-vegetarians due to a lower intake of fat and calories, and more fiber.
Follow the Flexitarian Diet and you can expect to see a 20-pound average weight loss in six to 12 weeks -- and you'll maintain it for life.
Now that's something we find very easy to swallow!
About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian and a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. She is the nutrition editor for LifeTime TV's website, MyLifetime.com, hosts the "Healthy Eating" segment on Chicago's "Fox News in the Morning" and teaches cooking classes at The Chopping Block Cooking School.
September 22, 2008