Eat Healthier Now

image002 (1)I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Here are common sense rules that can hopefully help you sort through the myths and help you to make healthier choices.

  1. Eat like a tourist in Greece.  A plate of grilled fish and fresh vegetables and a glass of wine is as delicious in Athens, Greece as it is in any other city. A Mediterranean menu can help lower your risk for heart disease and keep you slim.
  2. If you can’t grow it, don’t eat it.  A potato comes from the ground, an egg from a hen. But where did a Pop Tart come from? Unprocessed, whole foods will give you the most benefits.  Processing takes out nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber, and even when chemists add them back, it’s not the same as what Mother Nature can do.
  3. Read the back of the box first.  The front is all advertising, flip it around for the real story and list of ingredients. The more ingredients, the more likely it has visited a few processing plants where something artificial was mixed in.
  4. The crunchier, the better. Choose snacks that offer a big, satisfying crunch when you bite into them, like apples, celery, snap peas and nuts.  Do not include chips and cheeses.  Keep your mouth busy, the more you chew, the slower you eat and the more time your body has to register fullness.
  5. You can always have more. There is no food shortage. Anything you eat after you’re full doesn’t even taste as good. And no one loves feeling stuffed.
  6. A frozen berry beats a fresh doughnut. Purchasing organic local produce is better for both the environment and your health. Frozen, canned and fresh fruit all have comparable amounts of nutrients.
  7. You can’t replace real ice cream. When you’re craving Chunky Monkey, no amount of fat-free will make up for it. Diet foods leave you feeling hungry and cheated. Splurge on one scoop of the real deal and savor it. You’ll be satisfied physically and psychologically.
  8. There’s no fruit in “fruit flavor.” Seeing flavor on a label is a sign the food was stripped of its real taste and a fabricated one swapped in.  Natural only means the additive came from a plant or an animal, which may not be as healthy as it sounds. Scientists create flavors using bacteria and call them natural.
  9. If it’s not around, you can’t eat it.  If all you have to do is walk to your kitchen, you’ll grab a bag and attack it. But if you must put on your shoes, find your keys and drive to the store. Laziness will triumph. Your waistline will win the battle of laziness.
  10. Table your meals.  As much sitting as you do, you also rarely stay put during dinner. On-the-go eaters consume more total fat, as well as more soda and fast food. The less distracted and stressed you are when you eat, the more efficiently your body absorbs nutrients. Turn off the T.V. and step away from your desk and park the car before you eat.
  11. Judge food by its cover.  When you have to hack through layers of packaging and plastic to get to your dinner, it’s likely to be unhealthy.   Research indicates that perfluorochemicals in food containers may lower fertility. Companies aren’t phasing out PFCs until 2015! So do it yourself now.
  12. Cake’sSugary carbs are bad, and they leave you unsatisfied, guilt-ridden and 10 pounds heavier. The solution is to snack on things like fruit, low-fat yogurt and honey.
  13. Don’t drink dessert.  Brimming with vitamins! Bursting with energy! Store shelves are exploding with colorful, cleverly named drinks that sound healthy but are actually just sweetened water. Don’t let the labels fool you.  If it’s not skim milk, plain H2O or regular coffee or tea, it’s a treat. For a healthier sip, try lemon or mint iced tea or sparkling water with a splash of juice.
  14. Make sure you can ID the animal.  You don’t have to hunt and skin your supper, but if your chicken has been molded into a nugget, who knows what you’re really chewing? And when you choose meat that’s been processed into sausage, strips or slices, you’re downing sodium and preservatives instead of healthy nutrients.  Stick to cuts straight from the butcher.
  15. Fuel up in the morning, not at night.  A car needs gas when it’s hitting the road, not when it’s sitting in the garage, so why do you have your biggest meal when the only energy you will burn is watching TV. Aim for a 550-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, a 450-calorie dinner and a 100-calorie snack. If you overeat at night, you’re less likely to burn off the calories.
  16. Don’t buy food where you buy tires.  In our time-crunched life, it’s tempting to grab groceries at the pump or a convenient store. But for the healthiest food at the fairest price, visit your neighborhood grocery store. Convenience stores charge more than supermarkets do.
  17. Work for your dinner.  For a healthy meal, you need to invest at least a few minutes in chopping, rinsing or grilling. The result is worth the effort.  When you prepare dishes yourself, you can see exactly which ingredients are going into it and make conscious choices about what you are eating.
  18. Your hips are not a fridge.  Once you slice and sauté your way to a fabulous feast, you don’t have to finish every bite. We’re conditioned to think that if we don’t devour everything on our plate, we are misbehaving.  If you keep munching even after you’re full, you are using your body as a storage unit. If there’s enough left over for lunch tomorrow, pack it up and put it in the fridge.
  19. Watching Top Chef isn’t cooking.  Food shows are popular but zoning out in front of the TV is making cooking a spectator sport. You don’t have to cook a seven-course meal, but you can pick up tips about combining flavors and using fresh ingredients.
  20. Give yourself a break.  If you follow these rules most of the time but occasionally crave a fast-food fix, a slice of pizza or a brownie, go for it. You can happily resume your healthy plan once you satisfy your urge.  If you want fried chicken now and then, enjoy it!

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Foods That Heal

image002I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping your body function at its best. There are hundreds of nutritious whole foods, but the dozen on this list do more than just have healthy nutrients, they also have healing properties.

Kiwi fruit:  This tiny fruit packs an amazing amount of vitamin C (double the amount found in oranges), has more fiber than apples, and beats bananas as a high potassium food. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in kiwi fruit helps protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease. Kiwi fruit’s natural blood thinning properties work without the side effects of aspirin and support vascular health by reducing the formation of spontaneous blood clots, lowering LDLcholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that kiwi fruit not only reduce oxidative stress and damage to your DNA but also helps damaged cells to repair themselves.

Kiwi fruit are often prescribed as part of a dietary regimen to battle cancer and heart disease, and in Chinese medicine they are used to accelerate the healing of wounds and sores.

How much: Aim to eat one to two kiwi fruit a day.  California grown kiwi fruit are in season from October through May, and New Zealand kiwi fruit are available between April and November.

Tips: Kiwi fruit contain enzymes that activate once you cut the fruit, causing the flesh to tenderize. So if you’re making a fruit salad, cut the kiwifruit last.
The riper the kiwi fruit, the greater the antioxidant power, so let them ripen before you dig in.

Cherries:  Cherries pack a powerful nutritional punch with a low calorie count. They’re also packed with substances that help fight inflammation and cancer. In lab studies, quercetin and ellagic acid, two compounds contained in cherries, have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors and even cause cancer cells to commit suicide, without damaging healthy cells. Cherries also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Anthocyanin, another compound in cherries, is credited with lowering the uric acid levels in your blood, reducing a common cause of gout. Researchers believe anthocyanins may also reduce your risk of colon cancer. These compounds also work like a natural form of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation and curbing pain. Regular consumption may help lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

In Chinese medicine, cherries are routinely used as a remedy for gout, arthritis, and rheumatism, as well as anemia, due to their high iron content.

How much: Eat daily and keep a bag of frozen cherries in your freezer.  Frozen cherries retain 100 percent of their nutritional value and make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal.

Tip: Buy organic, since conventionally grown cherries can be high in pesticides.

Guavas:  Guavas are a small tropical fruit that can be round, oval, or pear-shaped. They’re not all that common, so they might be hard to find, depending on where you live. Guavas contain more of the cancer fighting antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and nearly 20 percent more than tomatoes. Your body can’t process much of the lycopene in tomatoes until they’re cooked as the processing helps break down tough cell walls. However, guavas’ cell structure allows the antioxidant to be absorbed whether the fruit is raw or cooked, and the whole fruit offers the nutrition without the added sodium of processed tomato products.

Lycopene protects your healthy cells from free radicals that can cause all kinds of damage, including blocked arteries, joint degeneration, nervous system problems, and even cancer. Lycopene consumption is associated with significantly lower rates of prostate cancer. Men with prostate tumors who consumed lycopene supplements showed significant improvements, such as smaller tumors and decreased malignancy. Lycopene has also been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and research suggests that this antioxidant may also help protect against coronary heart disease.

This fruit is also packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serving for serving, guava offers more than 60 percent more potassium than a banana, which can help protect against heart disease and stroke. In fact, the nutrients found in guavas have been shown to lower LDL and boost HDL cholesterol, reduce triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.

How much: Eat fresh guavas as often as you can as they are not commonly available in most stores. Guava juices are processed and sweetened, so they don’t provide the same superior nutrition that the whole, fresh fruit does. One to two guavas a day is a good goal.

Beans:  Beans lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and insulin production, promote digestive health, and protect against cancer. If you think of fiber, protein, and antioxidants and immediately think whole grains, meats, and fruit, think again, beans offer all three in a single package.

An assortment of phytochemicals found in beans has been shown to protect cells from cancerous activity by inhibiting cancer cells from reproducing, slowing tumor growth. Researchers shows women who consumed beans at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, and multiple studies have tied beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

Beans deliver a whopping amount of antioxidants, which help prevent and fight oxidative damage. In fact, the USDA’s ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity places three varieties of beans (red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans) in the top four and that’s among all food groups. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron. They also contain the amino acid tryptophan.   Foods with high amounts of tryptophan can help regulate your appetite, aid in sleep, and improve your mood. Many are also rich in folate, which plays a significant role in heart health. And depending on the type of bean you choose, you’ll also get decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and B2, and vitamin K. Soybeans are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

In Chinese medicine, various types of beans have been used to treat alcoholism, food poisoning, edema (particularly in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, laryngitis, kidney stones, rheumatism, and dozens of other conditions.

How much: Try to eat two servings of beans per week.

Tip: Adzuki and mung beans are among the most easily digested.  Pinto, kidney, navy, garbanzo, Lima, and black beans are more difficult to digest.

Watercress:  Watercress is about as close as you can get to a calorie free food. Calorie for calorie, it provides four times the calcium of 2 percent milk. Ounce for ounce, it offers as much vitamin C as an orange and more iron than spinach. It’s packed with vitamin A and has lots of vitamin K, along with multiple antioxidant carotenoids and protective phytochemicals.

The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build the immune system, and support bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues for energy. The phytochemicals in watercress battle cancer in three ways: killing cancer cells, blocking carcinogens, and protecting healthy cells from carcinogens. They’ve also been shown to help prevent lung and esophageal cancer and can help lower your risk for other cancers.

In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision, and stimulate bile production (improving digestion and settling intestinal gas). It’s used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps, and bad breath.

How much: Eat daily if you can. You can find it year round in many grocery stores and at your local farmers market.

Tips: You can cook it, but watercress is better for you when you eat it raw. Tuck it into a sandwich in place of lettuce.

Toss it with your favorite vegetables and eat it in a salad.

Use watercress as a wonderfully detoxifying ingredient in juice or smoothies.

Spinach:  Spinach protects against eye disease and vision loss, it’s good for brain function, it guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers, it protects against heart disease, stroke, and dementia. It lowers blood pressure, it’s anti-inflammatory and it’s great for bone health. Spinach has an amazing array of nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron.

A carotenoid found in spinach not only kills prostate cancer cells, it also prevents them from multiplying. Folate promotes vascular health by lowering homocysteine, an amino acid that, at high levels, raises the risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. Folate has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers and to help stop uncontrolled cell growth, one of the primary characteristics of all cancers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach protect against colon cancer in addition to fighting inflammation, making them key components of brain health, particularly in older adults.

Spinach is loaded with vitamin K (one cup of cooked spinach provides 1,111 percent of the recommended daily amount!), which builds strong bones by helping calcium adhere to your bones. Spinach is also rich in lutein, which protects against age related macular degeneration, and it may help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol buildup.

How much: Fresh spinach should be a daily staple in your diet and aim for a few ounces, raw or lightly steamed, every day.

Tips: Add a handful of fresh spinach to your next fruit smoothie. It’ll change the color but not the taste.

Conventionally grown spinach is susceptible to pesticide residue; stick to organic.

Onions:  Onions contain potent cancer-fighting enzymes, onion consumption has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate and esophageal cancers and has also been linked to reduced mortality from coronary heart disease. Research suggests that they may help protect against stomach cancer. Onions contain sulfides that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a peptide that may help prevent bone loss by inhibiting the loss of calcium and other bone minerals.

Onions have super antioxidant power. They contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine that reduces airway inflammation and helps relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Onions also boast high levels of vitamin C, which, along with the quercetin, battles cold and flu symptoms. Onions’ anti-inflammatory properties help fight the pain and swelling associated with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Onions are also extremely rich in sulfur and they have antibiotic and antiviral properties, making them excellent for people who consume a diet high in protein, fat, or sugar, as they help cleanse the arteries and impede the growth of viruses, yeasts, and other disease causing agents, which can build up in an imbalanced diet.

How much: Add a few onions to your weekly grocery list and try to eat a little bit every day. All varieties are extremely good for you, but shallots and yellow onions lead the pack in antioxidant activity. Raw onions provide the best nutrition, but they’re still great for you when they’re lightly cooked. And cooking meat at high temperatures (such as on a grill) with onions can help reduce or counteract carcinogens produced by the meat.

Tip: Onions should be stored at room temperature, but if they bother your eyes when you cut them, try refrigerating them for an hour before cutting.

Carrots:  Carrots are a great source of the potent antioxidants known as carotenoids. Diets high in carotenoids have been tied to a decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus. Conversely, diets low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and various cancers. Research suggests that just one carrot per day could reduce your risk of lung cancer by half. Carrots may also reduce your risk of kidney and ovarian cancers. In addition to fighting cancer, the nutrients in carrots inhibit cardiovascular disease, stimulate the immune system, promote colon health, and support ear and eye health.

Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C, and an incredible amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots has shown promise in inhibiting tumor growth. Carrots also contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which work together to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion, diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, earaches, deafness, skin lesions, urinary tract infections, coughs, and constipation.

How much: Eat a serving of carrots each day. Carrots are good for you whether they’re raw or lightly cooked. Cooking helps break down the tough fiber, making some of the nutrients more easily absorbed. For the best nutrition, go for whole carrots that are firm and fresh-looking. Precut baby carrots are made from whole carrots and, although they’re convenient, they tend to lose important nutrients during processing.

Tips: Remove carrot tops before storing them in the fridge, as the tops drain moisture from the roots and will cause the carrots to wilt.

Buy organic; conventionally grown carrots frequently show high pesticide residues.

Cabbage:  Cabbage is a great source of vitamins K and C. One cup supplies 91 percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin K, 50 percent of vitamin C, good amounts of fiber, and decent scores of manganese, vitamin B6, folate, and more—and it’ll only cost you about 33 calories. Calorie for calorie, cabbage offers 11 percent more vitamin C than oranges.

Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidant sulforaphanes that not only fight free radicals before they damage DNA but also stimulate enzymes that detoxify carcinogens in the body. Researchers believe this one-two approach may contribute to the apparent ability of cruciferous vegetables to reduce the risk of cancer more effectively than any other plant food group. Studies point to a strong association between diets high in cruciferous vegetables and a low incidence of lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancers.

Cabbage builds strong bones, dampens allergic reactions, reduces inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health. Cabbage is routinely juiced as a natural remedy for healing peptic ulcers due to its high glutamine content. It also provides significant cardiovascular benefit by preventing plaque formation in the blood vessels.

In Chinese medicine, cabbage is used to treat constipation, the common cold, whooping cough, depression and irritability, and stomach ulcers. When eaten and used as a poultice, as a dual treatment, cabbage is helpful for healing bedsores, varicose veins, and arthritis.

How much: The more cabbage you can include in your diet, the better.

Tips: Try raw sauerkraut. It has all the health properties of cabbage, plus some potent probiotics, which are excellent for digestive health.

Use the whole cabbage; the outer leaves contain a third more calcium than the inner leaves.

Both are nutritional stars, but red cabbages are far superior to the white variety, with about seven times more vitamin C and more than four times the polyphenols, which protect cells from oxidative stress and cancer.

Broccoli:  A single cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 200 percent of the RDA for vitamin C (again, more than oranges), nearly as much of vitamin K, and about half of the daily allowance for vitamin A, along with plentiful folate, fiber, sulfur, iron, B vitamins, and a whole host of other important nutrients. Calorie for calorie, broccoli contains about twice the amount of protein as steak and a lot more protective phytonutrients.

Broccoli’s phytochemicals fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens and accelerating their elimination from the body, in addition to inhibiting tumors caused by chemical carcinogens. Studies show evidence that these substances help prevent lung and esophageal cancers and may play a role in lowering the risk of other cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer.

Phytonutrients called indoles found in broccoli help protect against prostate, gastric, skin, breast, and cervical cancers. Some research suggests that indoles also protect the structure of DNA and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Extensive studies have linked broccoli to a 20 percent reduction in heart disease risk.

In Chinese medicine, broccoli is used to treat eye inflammation.

How much: Try to eat a little broccoli every day. Like many other vegetables, broccoli provides fantastic nutrition both in its raw form and when it’s properly cooked. Cooking reduces some of broccoli’s anticancer components, but lightly steaming it will preserve most of the nutrients. Frozen broccoli is a good substitute.

Tip: Steaming or cooking broccoli lightly releases the maximum amount of the antioxidant sulforaphane.

Kale:  Kale is highly nutritious, has powerful antioxidant properties, and is anti-inflammatory. One cup of cooked kale contains an astounding 1,328 percent of the RDA for vitamin K, 192 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, and 89 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. It’s also a good source of calcium and iron.

Kale is in the same plant family as broccoli and cabbage and it contains high levels of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, which guards against prostate, gastric, skin, and breast cancers by boosting your body’s detoxification enzymes and fighting free radicals in your body. The indoles in kale have been shown to protect against breast, cervical, and colon cancers. The vitamin K in kale promotes blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps build strong bones by anchoring calcium to the bone. It also has more antioxidant power than spinach, protecting against free-radical damage. Kale is extra rich in beta-carotene (containing seven times as much as does broccoli), lutein, and zeaxanthin (10 times the amount in broccoli). In Chinese medicine, kale is used to help ease lung congestion.

How much: The more kale you can eat, the better.

Tips: Kale’s growing season extends nearly year-round; the only time it’s out of season is summer, when plenty of other leafy greens are available.

Steam or sauté kale on its own, or add it to soups and stews. Cooking helps tenderize the leaves.

Kale is also a great addition when it’s blended in fruit smoothies or juiced with other vegetables.

Dandelion:  The pesky weed has a long history of being used as a healing herb in cultures around the globe. One cup of raw dandelion greens provides 535 percent of the RDA of vitamin K and 112 percent of the RDA for vitamin A. Dandelion greens are also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, fiber, and potassium. Among all foods, it’s one of the richest sources of vitamin A, among all green vegetables. It’s also one of the best sources of beta-carotene.

Dandelion has been used for centuries to treat hepatitis, kidney, and liver disorders such as kidney stones, jaundice, and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment for hepatitis C, anemia, and liver detoxification (poor liver function has been linked to numerous conditions, from indigestion and hepatitis to irritability and depression). As a natural diuretic, dandelion supports the entire digestive system and increases urine output, helping flush toxins and excess salt from the kidneys. The naturally occurring potassium in dandelions helps prevent the loss of potassium that can occur with pharmaceutical diuretics.

Dandelion promotes digestive health by stimulating bile production, resulting in a gentle laxative effect. Inulin, a naturally occurring soluble fiber in dandelion, further aids digestion by feeding the healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines.   It also increases calcium absorption and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, therefore being useful in treating diabetes. Both the dandelion leaves and root are used to treat heartburn and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and, in combination with vitamin C, reduces cholesterol. Dandelion is excellent for reducing edema, bloating, and water retention.  It can also help reduce high blood pressure. On top of all that, dandelion contains multiple antidiarrheal and antibacterial properties.

In Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to treat hepatitis and upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The sap from the stem and root is a topical remedy for warts.

How much: Dandelion greens are considered a specialty item in some areas and therefore can be difficult to find. They also have a pungent taste, and people tend to love or hate the flavor. If you can find fresh dandelion greens and you enjoy the taste, make them a regular part of your diet.

Tips: Use the root in soups or sauté it on its own. If the raw leaves are too bitter for you, try them lightly steamed or sautéed.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Cutting Calories

chefI hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Calories can be cruel. Sweat through a 30-minute workout and you can burn 200 calories. Take three gulps of a foamy frappuccino and you’re right back where you started. The tips below will help you find ways you can cut 100 or more calories. They’ll add up fast and you won’t miss a thing that is until your love handles are gone.

Cut 100 calories … at breakfast

  • Ditch the Pop-Tart for a slice of high-fibre toast with strawberry jam.
  • Gotta have carbs? Split a bagel with a co-worker.
  • Drink your two cups of coffee black. Or order a single espresso instead of your usual latté.
  • Swap OJ for the real deal—one fresh orange.
  • Trade a side of regular sausage for turkey.
  • Top your waffles with Reddi-wip instead of syrup (or use sugar-free).
  • Skip the whip on any Caribou Coffee 16-ounce drink.
  • Eat your granola from a 4-ounce mug, not an 8-ounce bowl.
  • Lose the Yoplait Thick & Creamy and have a Yoplait Fibre 1.
  • Order pancakes, but hold the butter.
  • Scramble together four egg whites instead of two whole eggs.
  • Substitute non-fat cream cheese for regular on your bagel.

Cut 100 calories … during dessert

  • Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
  • Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
  • Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
  • Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your night time treat jiggle than your thighs.
  • Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
  • Eat five meringue cookies instead of two chocolate chip ones.
  • Pass on the à la mode and savour that brownie au natural.
  • Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
  • Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Cut 100 calories … at lunch

  • Leave the Swiss cheese out of your sandwich.
  • Slather your bread with mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
  • Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
  • Use up to 10 pumps of ranch dressing spray instead of pouring 2 tablespoons from a bottle.
  • Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover’s variety.
  • Take your iced tea unsweetened.
  • Reach for a Snapple raspberry white tea instead of a Snapple raspberry iced tea.
  • Stuff chicken salad into a whole-wheat pita instead of between slices of multigrain bread.
  • Make your burger turkey, not beef.
  • Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
  • Go bun less—shed your hamburger roll.
  • Use south-of-the-border savvy: Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.
  • Two or more pizza slices? Blot off the grease with a napkin.

Cut 100 calories … in the kitchen

  • Substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
  • Use chicken broth (low-sodium is best) instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
  • Making homemade Mac ‘n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
  • Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sun sweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
  • When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
  • Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagne or stuffed shells.
  • Use tuna packed in water, not oil.

Cut 100 calories … at happy hour

  • Nurse a single glass of wine instead of downing two beers.
  • Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you’ll swig less per round.
  • Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
  • Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
  • Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
  • Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
  • Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
  • For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.
  • Mix your vodka with Red Bull Sugar free, not cranberry juice.

Cut 100 calories … at the drive-thru

  • Pass up a Wendy’s baked potato with sour cream and chives and chow down on value fries instead. Amazing but true.
  • Have a McDonald’s cheeseburger instead of a Quarter Pounder with cheese.
  • Downsize your drink: Trade a large fountain soda (with ice) for a medium.
  • Go for grill marks. Order a flame-broiled chicken sandwich rather than one that’s breaded (and usually fried in oil).
  • Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone at McDonald’s instead of Dairy Queen.
  • Crunch on one Taco Bell regular taco instead of a Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco. And all the hot sauce you want.
  • Slurp a cup of Panera Bread’s low-fat chicken noodle soup instead of the cream of chicken with wild rice.
  • Make your daily pick-me-up at Starbucks a skinny vanilla latté, not a regular.
  • Skip the two packets of BBQ sauce—eat your burger and fries plain.

Cut 100 calories … on your snack break

  • Drink sparkling water instead of soda.
  • Move your stash of Hershey’s Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you’ll dip in half as often.
  • Drain the heavy syrup from your can of fruit cocktail and then rinse the fruit with water before digging in.
  • Have 1/2 cup of fresh grapes instead of that little snack box of raisins.
  • Lay off the Lay’s Classic potato chips and have a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.
  • Munch on a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Kettle Korn, not Movie Theater Butter flavour.
  • Chase down the ice-cream truck for a Good Humour vanilla sandwich, not a King Cone.
  • Satisfy a crunch craving with baby carrots, not potato chips.

Cut 100 calories … when you’re not cooking

  • Request the lemon chicken with white rice, not fried.
  • Skip the crunchy noodles with your bowl of wonton soup.
  • Ask for an order of Szechuan Shrimp instead of your usual General Tso’s.
  • Choose the pasta with 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce.
  • Indulge your inner carnivore with beef stroganoff, not meat lasagne.
  • Go with the baked potato (butter only), not the mashed, as your side of choice.
  • Dip your dinner roll in marinara sauce instead of olive oil.
  • Avoid anything breaded. Flour and bread crumbs not only add calories but also absorb more cooking oil.
  • Pop 12 pieces of sashimi and 1/3 cup of edamame, not 12 pieces of spicy tuna roll.

When you eat, do you have any idea how many calories you’re consuming? Do you calculate the recommended serving size by checking the label on the nutrient information? Or do you tend to guess?

The recommended serving sizes of certain family menu items are often much smaller than you think, so it’s easy to become oblivious to the amount of food you are eating. Here are eight foods with suggested serving sizes that may surprise you.

Just one slice of cheese pizza may be a dietary liability. Each contains about 12 fat grams and approximately 300 calories—or more, depending on the amount and types of cheese, and the size of the slice. Cheese has a fair amount of saturated fat, which is unhealthy for your heart. Many people just nibble off the cheese and sauce and leave the crusts, so they feel less full which is the equivalent of eating a cheese meal.

Have a salad before you start eating the pizza. Eating a salad with light dressing before a meal may help you reduce the calories of the main part of your meal by about 10 percent. And, if you’re eating out, finish your salad before placing your pizza order. You may then find that one slice, ideally topped with vegetables, is all you need. Making pizza at home, preferably with whole-grain dough and a generous amount of oven-roasted veggies to add flavor, is the best way to keep calories and fat low and top it with a minimal amount of reduced-fat mozzarella or other cheese.

Salad dressing

The typical serving size of two tablespoons blue cheese dressing—which many people might consider minuscule—contains 16 fat grams. In other words, 94 percent of the calories from this dressing are from fat.

High fat intake is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and obesity. This raises blood lipid levels, and fat can be deposited into arteries over time.

Stick with low-fat dressings. If you’re crazy about the blue cheese variety, you can combine low-fat and full-fat varieties together. You could also make your own blue cheese dressing, using a very minimal amount of the high-fat ingredients. Aim simply for flavor and not pieces of cheese.

Ice cream

The standard serving size for ice cream is half a cup. But, how many people actually get four portions out of a pint, or 16 servings out of a half-gallon container? The calories can quickly add up as a half-cup serving of chocolate ice cream contains about 150 calories. Choosing a reduced-fat ice cream doesn’t always solve the problem because the fat is reduced, the ice cream will still contain a fair amount of calories.

With ice cream, the eye is easily fooled. A study published in 2006 revealed that people who chose larger bowls served themselves one-third more ice cream. People using larger serving spoons also dished out more ice cream per serving.

To help keep portions in check, buy an ice cream scoop or a small cup that will allow you to keep its contents to half a cup. Another trick, is to fill an 8-ounce cup—a recycled yogurt container will do—halfway with ice cream, and then top it off with fresh fruit, such as low-calorie berries. Don’t use the ice cream container as your bowl.

Orange juice

Orange juice is one breakfast staple but, many people tend to consume too much because it’s perceived as a healthy drink full of vitamins and phytonutrients. While it’s high in vitamin C, a typical eight-ounce serving contains about 112 calories, which can add up over time. And a recent study noted that a typical portion of orange juice has increased by 40 percent compared to 20 years ago.

Keep your OJ intake to one cup daily, and satisfy your fruit intake the rest of the time with whole fruit, including fresh, frozen or canned. Whole fruit contains fiber, which makes for a more satisfying and filling snack.

Don’t guzzle out of the container but try pouring a small amount of juice, an ounce or two at a time, into water or sparkling water, which you can then sip slowly.

Soft drinks

The typical eight-ounce serving of soft drink contains 95 calories and 24 grams of sugar.

Fast-food establishments regularly dispense 64-ounce containers. A 32-ounce serving adds up to 96 sugar grams, which can significantly promote weight gain if consumed regularly. Increased weight gain increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and certain types of cancer.

Drink water. It’s calorie free! If you prefer your beverages flavored, add lemon juice, or a little fruit juice, such as pomegranate, to regular or sparkling water. Or try naturally flavored waters but be sure to read the label and avoid those with sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners.

If you don’t want to give up high-calorie soft drinks, buy smaller containers or if you’re at home or in your office, try pouring it into eight-ounce cups.

White rice

Go to a restaurant, and you’re likely to receive a mound of white rice that’s the equivalent of between two or three cups. People tend to eat all the white rice they’ve given, even if it’s triple the amount they should be eating. A half-cup serving of white rice contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Two cups boosts that to 60 grams.  Carbohydrates, whether eaten as fruits, vegetables, grains or table sugar, all end up in the body as glucose.  If you take in more sugar than is necessary to support bodily activities, those carbs wind up as stored fat. White rice’s lowfiber content (a result of removing the outer layers) is at least partly to blame. Food that’s missing the healthful and filling fiber tends not to satisfy.

Choose rice with veggies. Start with one cup of rice  which is about the size of a baseball and pile on either steamed, sautéed or micro waved vegetables. Experiment with flavors by adding small amounts of sauces. Gradually work your way to a half-cup portion of white rice no larger than half a baseball.

Potato chips

1-ounce bags that fit into the palm of your hand usually don’t satisfy most chip lovers. But that handful still contains 168 milligrams of sodium, which represents 11 to 14 percent of the intake of between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams for adults. When eating from a 6-ounce bag which is easy to finish off in one sitting increases your sodium total to more than 1,000 milligrams.
About 10 percent of the population is sodium sensitive, which means you can increase your blood pressure if you increase your sodium intake and high blood pressure is a risk for cardiovascular disease.

Buy unsalted chips. You can use herbs to flavor the chips, or sprinkle a minimal amount of salt on them, or use a combination of both strategies.  Also be careful because 60 percent of calories in regular chips are from fat, so it’s best to buy baked chips.

For portion control, potato chip fans can divide chips from large bags into more manageable, smaller bags. Or designate a bowl specifically for chips that, when filled to the brim, holds an appropriate number of chips.


If the burger you love to eat spills out over the bun, chances are the patty’s too big. The dietary guideline for daily total cooked protein intake for adults is between 5 to 7 ounces. Fat intake is another concern.  A 4-ounce cooked burger can contain as many as 20 grams of fat, up to half of that is saturated. Use a deck of cards to visually gauge 3 ounces of cooked meat.

Many people have either lost or never had the ability to make portion control judgments. We eat out so frequently, that we now tend to eat larger restaurant portions at home.

If you’re eating out, ask for a small patty, and request them broiled so the fat drips away. If small sizes are not possible, cut the burger into two portions as soon at it arrives at the table, and put one into a take-out container. Eating either soup or a salad before tackling your burger will help you feel satisfied with less meat.

If you’re cooking at home, choose ground beef that’s more than 80 percent lean, and add different ingredients like oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, grated carrots, or fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander to a smaller amount of meat. Visualizing half a baseball is another way to measure about 4 ounces of meat.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Eat Your Veggies

chefI hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Adding the right amount of vegetables to your diet can single-handedly fight strokes, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES.  This one simple rule is the most powerful and important way to fight aging.  But to get the maximum anti-aging protection and disease prevention, you need to not only eat the right number of servings per week, but also include variety, and lots of it.

Eating about 14 cups of vegetables per week, from a wide range of veggie groups, raises blood levels of many protective antioxidants. In addition to their well-documented ability to fight and reduce the risk of disease, antioxidants may help preserve your long-term memory and learning capabilities, even as you get older.

Numerous studies also link a higher veggie intake to a reduced risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Convinced, but still struggling to work all this produce into your real-life diet? Then the following tips will help you to simplify things with a breakdown of the five essential veggie “groups,” and a cheat sheet for quick reference, and seven days of actual meals. You’ll be fulfilling your 14-cup quota in no time.

Easy ways to sneak in veggies

  • Swap noodle soup for bean or lentil
  • Serve chicken or fish over a bed of corn or wilted greens instead of rice
  • Use salsa or marinara sauce for dipping
  • Add mashed beans or chopped mushrooms to lean ground beef or turkey
  • Trade half your pasta portion for chopped veggies

The ideal veggie schedule

Your goal is 14 cups a week!  This may seem like a lot, but it’s easier than it sounds. Researchers have divided the entire vegetable spectrum into five “groups” (yes, beans are a veggie!) and broken down your exact weekly needs.

Dark greens

You need: 2 cups per week

Spinach; broccoli; romaine; mesclun; collard, turnip and mustard greens

Payoff: Better lung health, stronger bones, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation and a healthier brain.

Orange vegetables

You need: 1 ½ cups per week

Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin

Payoff: Better vision, blood sugar control, and lung health; high in cancer-fighting carotenoids.


You need: 2½ cups per week

Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, tofu

Payoff: Lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

Starchy vegetables

You need: 2½ cups per week

White potatoes, corn, green peas

Payoff: The nutrients in this group range from vitamins A, C, B6, and folate to potassium and magnesium, and each vegetable is rich in unique antioxidants, such as cancer-fighting isoflavones in peas and blood pressure–lowering kukoamines in potatoes.


You need: 5½ cups per week

Artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, wax beans, zucchini

Payoff: This eclectic group ensures a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that protect every system in your body, including beta-carotene in bell peppers and quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory, in onions.

One week at a glance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
LUNCH 1 c Greens 1/2 c Orange Veggies 1 c Greens & 1/2 c Beans 1 c Wildcard 1 c Wildcard 1 c Wildcard 1/2 c beans
DINNER 3/4 c Starchy Veggies 1/2 c Beans 1 1/2 c Wildcard 1 c Beans 3/4 c Starchy Veggies 1 c Orange Veggies 1c Starchy Veggies & 1 c Wildcard

Eat like this!

You will soon find that eating meals that incorporate all five vegetable groups into a perfect 7-day veggie schedule is pretty easy. When making meals just choose the group and look for its category so you can make choices. Once you get the hang of it, adding more vegetables to your meals will be a breeze.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Additives To Avoid

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Including something new in your food doesn’t always add up to more, at least when it comes to your health. Many studies that test the safety of additives are based on animal trials so it is difficult to tell what they will do to your health, though many of these studies show that the additives could be harmful.

  1. Sodium Nitrate, Sodium NitriteSodium nitrate, also called sodium nitrite is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to meat products like bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef to stabilize the red color and add flavor. Sodium nitrate prevents growth of bacteria, but studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer. Under certain high-temperature cooking conditions such as grilling, it transforms into a reactive compound that has been shown to promote cancer.
  2. BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are additives that are used to preserve common household foods. Both keep fats and oils from going rancid and are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. These substances are oxidants, and anything that oxidizes or reduces a substance, changes the chemical structure. Some of them oxidize to form these compounds that react in your body and they’re just not stable.

  1. Propyl Gallate

Propyl gallate is another preservative to avoid, and is used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling and is often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. This additive is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Propyl gallate has not been proven to cause cancer, but studies done on animals have suggested that it could be linked to cancer, so it is an additive to be concerned about. It’s important to read the label, and try to buy as few foods as possible containing preservatives.

  1. Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is an amino acid used as a flavour enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food. It is commonly associated with Asian foods and flavourings. MSG can cause headaches and nausea in some people, and animal studies link it to damaging nerve cells in the brains of infant mice. You can live without it. It is a flavour enhancer, but you’d be better off putting in a few grains of salt.

  1. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Hydrogenated vegetable oil, also called partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and commonly known as Trans fat.  Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease, and make conditions perfect for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and limb loss due to vascular disease. Experts recommend you consume no more than 2 grams of Trans fat per day, an amount easily reached if you eat meat and dairy.

  1. Aspartame

Aspartame, also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is an additive found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. It also comes in individual packages used to replace sugar as a sweetener. Aspartame is a combination of two amino acids and methanol that may cause cancer or neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations

  1. Acesulfame-K

This is a relatively new artificial sweetener, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 for use in soft drinks. It is also found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. Acesulfame-K, the “K” is the chemistry symbol for potassium is considered 200 times sweeter than sugar.  Further testing is needed to conclude whether or not acesulfame-K is harmful or safe.

  1. Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6

You may have thought all dangerous artificial food colorings were banned by the FDA long ago, but there are five still on the market that are linked with cancer in animal testing. Always opt for a product without the color, if you have a choice.  I’m not saying to avoid all coloring. Many are made from natural sources. But some specific dye colors do promote tumour formation, in the right combination and conditions. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food are considered low risk but have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumours in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, though rarely used, has been linked to bladder cancer. Studies have linked the widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy to tumours of the adrenal gland and kidney.

  1. Olestra

Olestra is a synthetic fat known by the brand name Olean and found in some potato chip brands and prevents fat from getting absorbed in your digestive system. This often leads to severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. If you eat fat when taking Olestra, the fat goes right through you. Olestra also inhibits healthy vitamin absorption from fat soluble carotenoids that are found in fruits and vegetables and thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. It blocks fat absorption, but it also blocks vitamin absorption.

  1. Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is rare, but still legal in the U.S., and used as an additive to increase volume in white flour, breads, and rolls. Most bromate rapidly breaks down to harmless form, but it is known to cause cancer in animals and even small amounts in bread can create a risk to you. California requires a cancer warning on the product label if Potassium bromate is an ingredient.

  1. White Sugar

Some foods, such as fruits and carrots, naturally contain sugar, but watch out for foods with added sugars, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, even sauces and many other processed foods. Although sugar is non toxic, large amounts are unsafe for your health and promote bad nutrition.  Simple sugars shouldn’t take up more than 10 percent of the total calories you consume daily, however we you are eating way over that amount, consuming 20, 30, or 40 percent of your calories from simple sugars. Too much sugar not only leads to problems with weight control, tooth decay and blood sugar levels in diabetics, it also replaces good nutrition.  In addition to providing unnecessary calories, your body needs nutrients to metabolize sugar, so it robs your body of valuable vitamins and minerals.

  1. Sodium Chloride

A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, can certainly bring flavor to your meal. But salt is another hidden food additive that can lead to health issues. Small amounts of salt are needed by your body and are beneficial in preserving food. Excessive amounts of salt can become dangerous for your health, affecting cardiovascular function, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Tough to Digest

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Fried chicken nuggets

Anytime you take a food, dip it in batter and then deep-fry it, you turn it into something that can be a bit hard on your stomach. Fried foods are generally greasy and high in fat, both of which spell trouble for the stomach. If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, greasy foods can cause symptoms like nausea and diarrhea.. To make a healthier version, take frozen chicken nuggets (or use your own breadcrumb batter on chicken breasts) and bake them rather than frying.

To get the crunchy, salty sensation of chips without the unfortunate side effects, look for baked versions of potato chips or switch to low or no fat snacks

Spicy food

Hot peppers may give food a wonderful spicy kick, but they can also irritate the lining of your esophagus on the way down, resulting in an unpleasant heartburn like feeling after you eat.  Even if you try to cool down the heat by adding sour cream, you’re still getting all the spice and the same amount of irritation. So rather than trying to mask spice with high-fat cream, opt for milder versions if you routinely suffer side effects.


Most of the unfortunate consequences come not from simply eating chocolate, but from overeating it. One small brownie as an occasional treat probably is fine but a triple brownie a la mode probably is not. But anyone who suffers from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) can experience problems from even a small portion of chocolate. That’s because chocolate causes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing your stomach acid to come back up.

Citrus juices

These acidic drinks can irritate your esophagus, stimulating your sensory nerves to feel more inflamed. This might feel like acid reflux, but in reality is just irritation. In your stomach, however, the extra acid of the drink can cause other problems. If you haven’t eaten and you down a big glass of OJ first thing in the morning, your gut is already full of acid, so adding the extra can give you a stomachache. And if you’re drinking lemonade that’s sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, the huge influx of sugar is often a cause of diarrhea.

Mashed potatoes

Nothing seems homier than a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes. After all, that’s why it ranks near the top of the list when it comes to comfort foods. But if you happen to be one of approximately 30 to 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant, you’ll find no comfort in mashed potatoes, since most are loaded with milk or even heavy cream. If you make them at home using lactose-free whole milk for the same creaminess minus the after-effects.

Raw onion

Onions, garlic, leeks and shallots are filled with a variety of phyto nutrient compounds, some of which seem to offer healthy, heart-protective benefits, and some of which cause stomach distress.  Cooking them seems to deactivate some of the problem causing compounds. But on the chance that you’re also deactivating some of the good stuff, try using a mix of cooked and raw so that you can reap the benefits without suffering the consequences.

Ice cream

There’s no quicker way to determine if you’re lactose intolerant than to sit down with a big bowl of ice cream. The bloating, cramping and gas are clear messages that your system is trying to tell you to stay away from rich dairy products. If that’s the case, the only solution is switching to lactose-free frozen treats.  But even if you’re not lactose intolerant, eating a pint of Ice Cream in one sitting still will give you some stomach trouble. That’s because it’s essentially all fat, and fat lingers in your stomach longer than other foods before getting digested.

Broccoli and raw cabbage

These fiber-and nutrient rich vegetables are incredibly healthy, but they are also well known for causing gas buildup in your stomach. The solution is simple. Cooking them or even just blanching them slightly will deactivate the sulfur compounds that cause gas.


Beans also have a notorious reputation for causing gastric distress. The enzyme needed to break down beans is found only in our stomach bacteria. And if you don’t routinely eat beans, you might not have enough of this enzyme to comfortably digest them. The result, of course, is gas and bloating. Cooking beans in soup can help as the extra fluid will help digest the large amounts of fiber beans contain, and the extra cooking time will start breaking the beans down even before you eat them. By adding beans to your diet gradually, you will help build up the enzyme necessary to digest them without issue.

Sugar-free gum

Sorbitol, the ingredient found in many sugar-free gums, candies and diet bars and shakes, could cause an uncomfortable buildup of gas in your stomach. Check the labels before you buy to see if you can find sugar-free products that use less troublesome sugar substitutes. Most people can handle two or three grams without any problems, but a product that packs 10 or more grams will undoubtedly be tough on your digestion.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


goodforyouI hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

When the government tests for chemicals you carry around in your body, it doesn’t check for the pesticides most commonly found on fruits and vegetables sold in grocery stores. Trace amounts of agricultural chemicals or “pesticide residue” may show up on many fruits and vegetables grown with conventional farming techniques. Some of the most contaminated produce includes seasonal favourites like peaches, apples, nectarines and strawberries. Several fungicides, insecticides and herbicides used to grow those crops show up repeatedly on tests. Those pesticides are being consumed in small doses by a wide amount of the population.

Whether you accumulate in your body and whether they cause you any harm are questions that aren’t being asked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted several studies and found that dozens of industrial chemicals can be found in your body’s tissues, blood or urine. But the CDC looks for relatively few pesticides, and fewer of the pesticides most commonly found on fruits and vegetables. Just because they’re not looking for them or finding them doesn’t mean they’re not causing problems.

The Environmental Working Group published its latest list of fruits and vegetables most and least likely to have pesticide residues and these are not on the CDC’s list of chemicals it looks for.  Experts caution that fear of pesticide residue should not deter people from eating fruits and vegetables. The level of exposure to pesticides on food is less than 10,000 times the level needed to make animals show a noticeable response in laboratory tests.

If you look at a lot of food safety risks, pesticides are pretty low on the list of causes, in terms of risk.  Most of the more modern pesticides found as residue break down quickly so would be unlikely to show up in body studies.

The concern over pesticide residue has helped boost the organic movement, which in turn has paid dividends for the environment and farm workers. Pesticide residue has enough of an unknown that avoiding exposure is a wise choice. Choose organic varieties when possible, and when not possible, choose those varieties that tend to have less residue. Those choices are particularly important for pregnant women and children.

Buying 100% organic can be expensive, so the solution is to focus on those foods with the highest amounts of pesticides, chemicals, additives and hormones and buying organic versions whenever possible. Following is a list of foods that you should try to find organic whenever possible.


Meat contains higher levels of pesticides than any of the plant foods. Pesticides end up in the environment, then in the animal, and then in you.


The fat in dairy products is another haven for pesticides, and bovine growth hormones. These get passed on to you through commercial milk, cheese, and butter. Organic dairies do not use chemicals or growth hormones like rBGH(recombinant bovine growth hormone) or the genetically engineered growth hormone known as recombinant bovine somatotropin  rBST.


Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries that don’t regulate the use of chemicals and pesticides. Look for the Fair Trade Certified label on the coffee as it will give you some assurance that chemicals and pesticides were not used on the plants. It will also mean that fair prices were paid for the end product in support of the farm that supplied the coffee, and that the farm workers are treated fairly.


Forty-five different pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.


Scrubbing and peeling a fruit doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Organic apples taste sweeter than conventionally grown, too. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.

Sweet Bell Peppers

Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re one of the most heavily sprayed vegetables out there and may be coated with nearly 40 commonly used pesticides meant to keep them insect-free. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Green peas, broccoli, and cabbage.


Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the twenty-nine different chemicals that are used on conventional crops. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Broccoli, radishes, and onions.


On average, strawberries receive a dose of up to 500 pounds of pesticides per acre. If you buy strawberries out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that use less-than-stringent regulations for pesticide use. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Blueberries, kiwi, and pineapples.


Leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.


Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Vineyards can be sprayed with 35 different pesticides during different growth periods during the season and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s permeable thin skin. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Blueberries, kiwi, and raspberries.


America’s popular spud ranks highest for pesticide residue. It may also be tainted by fungicides added to the soil for growing. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Eggplant or cabbage.


The standard regimen of pesticides used on conventionally raised tomatoes numbers 30. Their easily punctured skins are no match for chemicals that will eventually permeate the whole tomato. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: Green peas, broccoli, and asparagus.

If the cost of buying all organics isn’t within your budget, conventionally grown foods from the list below are fruits and vegetables that have been found to retain the least amount of pesticide residue so you can save your money to buy the other more expensive organic foods.


Look for firm spears with bright green or purplish compact tips. Plan on a 1/2 pound per person and for more uniform cooking, select spears of a similar thickness. Store in the refrigerator vegetable crisper and give them a good rinse before using (even if you’re going to boil them.)


Look for avocados that are still somewhat unripe and firm to the squeeze; they’ll ripen nicely on your kitchen countertop in a couple of days. Store at room temperature. Although you’ll be using only the meat of the avocado, it’s always a good idea to rinse them before you slice them open.


There are basically 3 stages to a ripening banana. You’ll want to choose them according to how you’re going to use them. Chosen green, where the peel is pale yellow and the tips are green, their taste will be somewhat tart. These work best for frying or baking in a pie. Chosen at their next stage of ripeness where the peel is mostly all yellow, the pulp will still be firm but their starch content will have started to turn to sugar. These also work well in pies and tarts. In the last stage of ripeness, the skins will show signs of brown spots with the peel a deeper yellow color. This is when they’re sweetest and work well mashed and added to baked goods like banana bread recipes. Store at room temperature. If they’re unripe, you can place them in a brown plastic bag to ripen. Give the bananas a quick rinse and dry before you peel them.


Look for tightly bunched flower buds on the broccoli stalks that are immature. In other words, try not to buy them if their little yellow flowers have opened. Color-wise, the broccoli should be deep green and the stalks should be firm and not rubbery. Before use, wash in a cool water bath and change the water a couple of times in the process. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Look for cabbage heads whose leaves are tight and be sure the head is heavy for its type and firm. For most cabbage varieties, you’ll want to make sure their outer leaves are shiny and crisp. Savoy is the exception to this rule as it forms a looser head and the leaves grow crinkly naturally. You’ll want to avoid any with leaves that show signs of yellowing. Bok choy (not to be confused with “Chinese cabbage”) should have deep green leaves with their stems a crisp-looking white. Discard the outer leaves of a cabbage before using. You can wash and spin most cabbage leaves just like you do salad greens. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Kiwi Fruit

Here’s where your nose plays an important part when choosing fresh fruit. Sniff out kiwis that smell good. They should be plump, and yield to a squeeze like that of a ripe pear. Steer clear from those with moist areas on their surface or have any skin bruising. If unripe kiwi are all that are available, simply take them home and place them in a paper bag at room temperature with other fruits that need more time, such as bananas or pears. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Depending on the variety of melon, look for those that are bright in colors such as red, yellow, or orange. It should have a distinctive “fruity” smell. If there’s no ripe fruit aroma, steer clear. Mangoes should be slightly firm but yield to your touch somewhat as the softer the mango, usually the sweeter it is. If the mango is too soft, there’s a good chance that it will be rotten inside. Store in the refrigerator crisper.


Look for onions that are firm, have a distinctive “oniony” smell that’s not overpowering, and show no visible signs of damage or soft spots. Store in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator.


Papaya colors usually range between yellow and green. Look for those that are slightly soft and show no signs of bruising or appear shriveled. If they’re not fully ripened, you can toss them in the brown bag along with your under ripened kiwi fruit, peaches, and pears. Once they’re ripened, store in the refrigerator crisper.


Although tempting, this is one fruit that you won’t want to choose if it has a strong, sweet smell. This usually means that the pineapple is overripe and has even begun to ferment. Like all other fruits, avoid any that have soft spots or in the case of a pineapple, damage to the rind. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

Here are a few more things to think about.

1: Organic food is always better for the environment: Organics don’t contaminate soil and groundwater with pesticides and chemicals like regular farming does, but there’s a surprising downside… since organic farming is only about half as productive as conventional farming, it requires far more land to produce the same amount of food. Modern high-yield farming has saved 15 million square miles of wildlife habitat, and that if the world switched to organic farming, we’d need to cut down 10 million square miles of forest. Less-productive farming could also lead to even less food for the world’s undernourished.

2: Organics are more nutritious: Studies keep flip-flopping on this but one study found more vitamin C in organic tomatoes than in conventional ones; another found more cancer-fighting flavonoids in organic corn and strawberries. But other studies haven’t found organics to have any nutritional edge. What makes the biggest difference in nutrients is how long produce sits on the shelf. Spinach, for instance, loses about half of its folate within a week.

3: Organics taste better:  Nobody has been able to tell the difference except in one study of apples, where organics came out ahead. To get raspberries that taste raspberrier, buy produce that’s locally grown, is in season, and hasn’t been sitting on the shelf too long. Let’s face it: Nothing is at its best when it’s flown halfway around the world and waxed, then has to spend a week in the grocery store.

4: You don’t have to be careful about washing organics: All produce, whether purchased from a grocery store or your local organic farm, is susceptible to nasty bacteria, such as E. coli. Soil and runoff water that’s contaminated with E. coli-harboring animal poop can get onto produce, particularly melons, lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, and green onions, since they grow close to the ground. Your best defense is to wash everything thoroughly under running water.

5: When you buy organic you are supporting small farmers and saving the environment: General Mills owns the Cascadian Farms brand, Kraft owns Back to Nature and Boca Burger, and Kellogg’s owns Morningstar Farms, to name a few conglomerates basking in organics’ glow (and dough). And with such high demand (in the past year, the market for organic milk outstripped the supply by 10 percent), these giant companies are importing organic ingredients as cheaply as possible, often from other countries. Whole Foods sold roughly $1 billion in produce last year; only about 16 percent was locally grown. So with all the CO2 spent in transport, some organics have questionable eco-virtues.

6: Organics are better for you: Not if it’s organic chips, organic soda, or organic cookies. Cane sugar is still sugar and fried chips are still fried, no matter what kind of compost was or wasn’t heaped onto the potatoes. Sorry!

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !


goodforyouThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Just because food labels claim it’s good for you doesn’t mean it is.

Lets take a look at what food manufactures would like you to believe and why there is no logic to their thought process.  They claim that Fat-free foods are healthy. Now Skittles are fat-free, so therefore, Skittles are healthy. Does this Make sense? Of course not!  We started with a false premise. The term “fat-free” should be your warning signal for “high-sugar” which makes what you are eating the opposite of healthy.

Making healthy choices isn’t as simple as knowing that beans are packed with fiber, or that fruits are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. After all, manufacturers often add ingredients, such as sugar, that can instantly turn a good snack bad. Many of the products that you think are good for you are anything but and you should try to avoid.

The good News: Yogurt and fruit are two of the healthiest foods.

The bad News: Corn syrup is not. But that’s exactly what’s used to make these products super sweet. For example, a cup of Colombo blueberry yogurt contains 36 grams of sugar, only about half of which is found naturally in the yogurt and fruit. The rest comes in the form of “added” sugar.

Try to choose: Dannon Light and others, which have up to 90 percent less sugar than regular yogurt.

Baked Beans

The good News: Beans are packed with fiber, which helps keep you full and slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.

The bad News:  Baked Beans are typically covered in a sauce made with brown and white sugars. And because the fiber is located inside the bean, it doesn’t have a chance to interfere with the speed at which the sugary glaze is digested. A 1-cup serving of baked beans contains 24 grams of sugar or about the same amount as 8 ounces of regular pop.

Try to choose: Red kidney beans, packed in water. You get the nutritional benefits but without the extra sugar. They don’t even need to be heated: Just open the can, rinse thoroughly, and serve. Add some hot sauce to spice things up for extra flavor.

California Roll

The good News: The seaweed it’s wrapped in contains essential nutrients, such as iodine, selenium, calcium, and omega-3 fats.

The bad News:  It’s basically a Japanese sugar cube. That’s because its two other major components are white rice and imitation crab, both of which are packed with fast-digesting carbohydrates and almost no protein.

Try to choose: Real sushi made with tuna or salmon. These varieties have fewer bad carbohydrates, while providing a hefty helping of high-quality protein and try to skip the rice.

Granola Bars

The good News: Granola is made with whole oats, and is high in fiber.

The bad News:  The oats are basically glued together with ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and barley malt.  All of which quickly raise blood sugar.

Try to choose: Grab a low-sugar meal replacement bar that contains no more than 5 grams of carbohydrates and at least 15 grams of protein.

Pasta Salad

The good News: Most pasta-salad recipes include a variety of fresh vegetables.

The downside:  The main ingredient is white-flour pasta, a close relative of white bread.

Try to choose: Egg salad has no impact on blood sugar, and a University of Connecticut review reports that there is no connection between egg consumption and heart disease, however try to limit your yolk consumption.

English Muffins

The good News: One English muffin has half as many calories as two slices of bread. So it’s better for a breakfast sandwich.

The bad News:  Most English muffins not only raise blood sugar significantly but also contain very little fiber, protein, and vitamins. A great example of empty calories.

Try to choose: One hundred percent whole-wheat English muffins and are made from sprouted grains, which contain no flour and are packed with nutrients.


The good News: They’re so small and contribute very few calories to your overall meal.

The bad News:  Most croutons are made with the same refined flour that’s used in white bread, a food with a higher glycemic index than sugar.

Try to choose: Sliced roasted almonds. They’re crunchy, sugar-free, and high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats found in olive oil.

Fat-Free Salad Dressing

The good News: Cutting out the fat reduces the calories that a dressing contains.

The bad News:  Sugar is added to provide flavor. But more important is that the removal of the fat reduces your body’s ability to absorb many of the vitamins found in a salad’s vegetables. Researchers discovered that people who ate a salad dressing that contained fat absorbed 15 times more beta-carotene than when they downed a salad topped with fat-free dressing.

Try to choose: Choose a full-fat dressing that’s made with either olive oil or canola oil and has less than 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Fruit Cocktail

The good News: The main ingredient is fruit.

The bad News:  If you don’t read the label closely, you may choose a brand that’s packed in heavy syrup. For instance, a 1/2-cup serving of syrupy fruit cocktail contains 23 grams of added sugar.

Try to choose: Look for fruit cocktail canned in “100 percent juice,” not syrup.

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

The good News: Even the reduced-fat versions pack a substantial quantity of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

The bad News:  Many commercial brands are sweetened with “icing sugar”.  The same finely ground sugar used to decorate cupcakes. In fact one tablespoon may contain half a teaspoon of the sweet stuff. Reduced-fat versions are the worst of all, because they contain less healthy fat and even more icing sugar.

Try to choose: An all-natural, full-fat peanut butter that contains no added sugar.


The good News: One ounce has just 110 calories.

The bad News: These twisted low-fat snacks have one of the highest glycemic indexes of any food. In fact, they rank above ice cream and jellybeans in their ability to raise your blood sugar.

Try to choose: Cheese crisps, which are baked pieces of cheese, that crunch like chips.

Corn Oil

The good News: It contains omega-6 fatty acids, unsaturated fats that don’t raise cholesterol.

The bad News: Corn oil has 60 times more omega-6s than omega-3s, the type of healthy fats found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseed. A high intake of omega-6 fats relative to omega-3 fats increases inflammation, which boosts your risk of cancer, arthritis, and obesity.

Try to choose: Olive or canola oils, which have a far better ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Food Mistakes

chefThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

It was easier back in the days of the caveman, when we were hunters and the only thing on the table was what we could hunt and gather. NO highly refined, processed and man-made foods.  The menu was primitive, but at least there weren’t any experts hovering over us telling us to eat this and to not eat that.  We can get food 24/7 and along with this convenience comes the almost nonstop nutritional advice, much of which is constantly changing as new research findings come along or scientists change their minds. What’s good for us today may kill us tomorrow!!  And what was supposed to kill us today may save our life tomorrow. You try to keep up with the latest and make the smartest choices but are they as healthy as you think? Here’s are some tips on how to make the very best of your good intentions.

You eat multigrain bread or cereal

Foods labeled 7-grain or multigrain may seem like the healthiest choices, especially with new findings showing that a diet rich in whole grains protects against certain diseases like heart disease and cancer. We don’t know all the reasons behind the benefits, but we do know that intact grains are rich in fiber and nutrients, including vitamin E, B vitamins, and magnesium most of which are stripped away when grains are refined into flour.

Unfortunately, many foods are only posing as rich in whole grains.  You need to take a closer look at the labels and you may find there’s not a single whole grain in them. The reason labels can claim that products contain grains even if they’re highly processed and stripped of most of their nutrients and all of their fiber is …White flour is made from grain!!

TO DO:  Learn the lingo of food claims. Bread that’s 100% whole grain means just that it contains no refined flour. Cereal that’s made with whole grain may have a little or a lot. Crackers labeled multigrain may not have whole grains at all.  To be sure you’re getting the grains you want, check the label. Whole grains should be the first or second ingredient listed. Finding whole grain products is easier now that manufacturers supplying at least 16 g of whole grains per serving, what’s considered an excellent source are stamping their packaging with the Whole Grains Council’s logo.

You buy bottled water laced with vitamins

It’s a measure of how health conscious we’ve become that water is now being sold fortified with nutrients and even medicinal herbs.  The label of one leading brand, for example, reports that it supplies half the daily requirement for some nutrients. But to get that amount, you have to drink the whole bottle, which contains 125 calories. And for that you get just 6 of the 40-plus essential nutrients provided by most supplements. An entire bottle, supplies no more vitamin C than you’d get from eating two strawberries.

TO DO:  “Save your money.” Drink plain, refreshing, calorie-free water when you’re thirsty and take a multivitamin daily to make sure you get balanced levels of the essential vitamins and minerals.

You choose veggie chips over potato chips

Dozens of munchies are made from carrots, spinach, kale, and even exotic tropical vegetables. But scrutinize their ingredients and you’ll find that vegetable coloring is all most of them have in common with produce. The ingredient labels reveal that vegetables are at the bottom of the list (that means they contribute less, by weight, than ingredients at the top of the list, like oil). Many of these seemingly healthful snacks are still loaded with calories.  A 4-ounce bag of Carrot Chips contains 600 calories just as much as Classic potato chips.

TO DO:  When you must have chips, look for brands with vegetables at the top of the ingredient list.  A tip off to a snack’s healthfulness is its fiber content. One ounce may contain 3 g of fiber, which is not bad for a snack food, but in the calorie department they are about 140 calories per ounce, which makes them almost the same as regular chips. If you’re counting calories, baked potato chips at 110 calories per serving are a better choice. An even healthier snack would be a handful of nuts, loaded with fiber, healthy oils, and vitamins and minerals; they’ll even satisfy your urge to nibble. And if you want an even healthier snack, choose carrot sticks, celery, radishes, or sweet peppers chilled in the refrigerator.

You choose snacks that are made with ”real” fruit

The packaging has pictures of luscious fruit, and the labels claim that there is real fruit inside but don’t count these snacks as one of the four to five daily servings the new dietary guidelines recommend.  Current law doesn’t require labels to specify how much fruit is in the product, so manufacturers can brag on packaging that food is made with real fruit if it contains only small amounts of fruit juice.

Concentrated white grape juice or pear juice may sound healthy, but all that really means is fruit sugars and water.  Few of these snacks provide any fiber and some contain small amounts of hydrogenated fats (the bad stuff).   They also have as many calories as candy does.

TO DO:  Treat these snacks as candy and eat them sparingly. Satisfy your sweet tooth with real fruit instead or a pack of raisins or other type of dried fruit.

You buy low-sodium products to cut down on salt

All of us could do with less salt, which has been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure yet we consume almost twice the daily-recommended amounts. Processed foods represent one of the biggest sources of hidden sodium, so it’s great news that low-sodium alternatives are starting to be made available. The problem is many still contain more salt than the 140 mg most of us should get in a single serving and just 1 tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce has 600 mg.

TO DO:  Be wary of products labeled less sodium. The law requires that the sodium level be only 25% less than the original product. But if that product happens to be very high in salt to begin with like many soups and broths you may still be getting too much sodium.  Be a label sleuth and check to see if sodium levels are around 140-mg. or less per serving.

You drink fat-free milk to bone up on nutrients

Smart move. But if you buy milk in glass or translucent containers, you may not be getting all the nutrients you should be. Although calcium in milk is relatively stable, vitamins A, B2, C, D, and E and amino acids all break down gradually when milk is exposed to light. Milk is especially susceptible because the riboflavin (vitamin B2) it contains acts as a photo sensitizer. Light also oxidizes fat and diminishes the flavor of milk.

TO DO:  Buy milk in opaque containers, which eliminate as much light exposure as possible.  A container that blocks light will maintain vitamin A, riboflavin, and other nutrients in milk for about 10 days.

You toast your health with a glass of wine or beer

Studies have found that moderate drinkers have about one-third lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t drink.  But excessive drinking has also been proven to send blood pressure climbing. New evidence shows that even light to moderate drinking on an empty stomach can contribute to high blood pressure risk and the risk of hypertension was almost 50% higher in people who drank alcoholic beverages without food than in those who drank only with a meal.

TO DO:  Enjoy an alcohol drink over dinner.  Consuming alcohol with a meal slows the rise of alcohol in your blood and speeds its elimination from your body. Drinking small amounts of alcohol is known to help prevent the formation of small blood clots that might clog arteries and cause a heart attack and which form most often after a big meal. Alcoholic beverages enjoyed with a meal are usually sipped, not chugged, which means you’re less likely to become inebriated. The risks of regular overindulgence include weight gain, depression, and liver and kidney problems.

You grab a granola bar for a quick breakfast

If you eat a morning meal you are slimmer and have lower cholesterol levels and better memory recall than those who don’t. But many of those seemingly healthy breakfast bars so great for eating on the run are basically candy bars in disguise.  Even though they may contain granola or fruit, some bars are full of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats to keep them soft and sweet. The rush of sugar will leave you feeling drained and hungry by midmorning.

TO DO: Choose a bar with less than 11 g of sugar, no partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), and has at least 3 g of fiber, which slows digestion and provides sustained energy. You can always bake your favorite oatmeal-raisin-cookie recipe with half the sugar and half the oil, and pop them into individual plastic bags or hard-boil a half-dozen eggs and grab one each morning along with some fruit and an English muffin for a portable breakfast.

You have an after-dinner mint instead of dessert

The cooling taste of mint may sound like just the thing after a heavy meal, but it could spell trouble. Mints are high on the list of foods that can cause heartburn.   Other culprits: caffeine-containing food and beverages, such as chocolate, soda, and coffee.

TO DO:  Skip the mints and have a piece of fruit instead. If you’re prone to heartburn, drink a tall glass of water after meals to flush out your esophagus. And then take a stroll. Walking keeps you upright and uses gravity to keep acids from splashing up. Getting into the habit of walking after a meal could help you keep the pounds off and lower your risk of heartburn.

You save restaurant leftovers to reheat later

If you stop for a movie after your meal, your health may be in jeopardy. Your food needs to be in your fridge or freezer within 2 hours (1 hour if it’s over 90° F outside) or you’re risking food poisoning. Another concern is micro waving leftovers in take-home food bags, and containers, and even on some paper plates may leach dangerous chemicals into your food when heated.

TO DO:  When re heating your food, place it in microwave-safe containers, preferably glass or ceramic. And make sure you reheat those leftovers to at least 165F to kill off any nasty bugs and bring soups and gravies to a boil.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Trans Fat

fat_girlsThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

There are four kinds of fats: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are the good fats. It is generally accepted that consumption of saturated fat should be kept low, especially for adults. Trans fat (which means trans fatty acids) is the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat.

Partial hydrogenation is an industrial process used to make good oil, such as soybean oil, into perfectly bad oil. The process is used to make oil more solid; provide longer shelf life in baked products; provide longer fry-life for cooking oils, and provide a certain kind of texture. The big problem is that partially hydrogenated oil is laden with trans fat.

It is the trans fat created by the partially hydrogenation of vegetable oils that you should try to eliminate completely from your diet. Don’t be too concerned with the kind of naturally occurring trans fat found in small amounts in pomegranates, cabbage, peas, or the type found in the meat and milk of cows, sheep and goats.

Partially hydrogenated oils are commonly found in processed foods like commercial baked products such as cookies, cakes and crackers, and even in bread. They are also used as cooking oils (called “liquid shortening”) for frying in restaurants.

Health effects

One of the reasons that partially hydrogenated oils are used is to increase the product’s shelf life, but they decrease your shelf life.

Trans fats cause significant and serious lowering of HDL (good) cholesterol and a significant and serious increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol; make your arteries more rigid; cause major clogging of arteries; cause insulin resistance; cause or contribute to type 2 diabetes; and cause or contribute to other serious health problems.

The ability of your blood vessels to dilate (that is to enlarge or expand) was 29 percent lower in people who ate a high trans fat diet compared to those on a saturated fat diet. Vessel function is known to be impaired in patients with cardiovascular disease. Blood levels of HDL (good) cholesterol were 21 percent lower in the high trans fat diet group compared to those in the saturated fat group.

Keeping your HDL cholesterol high may help to reduce the risk of clot-related stroke in elderly men.
LDL (bad) cholesterol: The main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries.
HDL (good) cholesterol: Carries cholesterol from your blood back to your liver, which processes the cholesterol for elimination from your body. HDL makes it less likely that excess cholesterol in your blood will be deposited in your coronary arteries. (HDL levels, to be considered “normal,” should be at least 35 – 40 mg/DL.)

Blood vessels: There are three types of blood vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. Your arteries carry blood away from your heart. Your capillaries connect your arteries to veins. Your veins carry your blood back to your heart.

By most conservative estimate, replacing partially hydrogenated fat in your diet with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils would prevent approximately 30,000 premature coronary deaths per year, and evidence suggests this number is closer to 100,000 premature deaths annually.

30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths each year means between 82 and 274 each day!
Daily intake of trans fat should be less than 2 grams, perhaps less than 1 gram.
How much trans fat is in the products that we eat?
In a recent survey of takeout foods, they were randomly selected and analyzed for their trans fat content.

  • Five small chicken nuggets contained nearly 4 grams of trans fat.
  • An apple Danish contained about 2.7 grams of trans fat.
  • Two vegetable spring rolls contained about 1.7 grams of trans fat.
  • One fillet of battered fish contained about 1.2 grams of trans fat — and that’s not including the trans fat in the French fries.
  • In two slices of pizza about 1 gram of trans fat.
  • One large order of French fries contains 6 grams.
  • A baked apple pie contains 4.5 grams.

How much trans fat do you consume in a day? If you are extremely selective about what you eat, you can consume virtually no trans Fats. However some are consuming in excess of 20 grams of trans fat per day. How much are you consuming?
So what’s better Margarine or Butter?


  • Both have the same amount of calories.
  • Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams for margarine.
  • Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter.
  • Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
  • Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added!
  • Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
  • Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.


  • Very high in trans fatty acids.
  • Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol)
  • Lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol).
  • Increases the risk of cancers by up to five fold…
  • Lowers quality of breast milk…
  • Decreases immune response…
  • Decreases insulin response.

Margarine is just ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC!!!!

This fact alone should be enough to have you avoid margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance)

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !