Eat Well to Be Well

Eat WellYou might feel like you’re in a dilemma about what to eat, what to serve your family, what’s healthy, what’s not-you might even think you know the answer, but figure it’s just too difficult (or expensive). However, you also know that you have to do something for the health of your family. Well, the time is now!

The key to changing your dietary habits is, to begin with the basics. Start where you are today and take steps towards improving the food that you bring into your home. Don’t get in a panic, don’t worry about making drastic changes that you don’t want to make, don’t worry about every little thing you put in your mouth. If you do, you’ll never begin the change!

Creating a healthy life is a process. Look at what you usually eat now, what foods you like that are healthier, and what changes in your diet you’re willing to make today. We know most of us were raised on meat and potatoes – with gravy, of course – canned or frozen vegetables, biscuits perhaps, and dessert – cakes, pies, and cookies. Well, don’t blame your parents. The truth of the matter is that it was once considered a “healthy” diet. However, that was a long time ago, and for different health challenges than those we face today.

You need to take steps in the “Healthy Life” process to reach your goals. Get the blueprint right, learn what food means to your body, and your health. Changing your ways to become healthier is a lot simpler than changing your ways to accommodate sickness and dis-ease.

Everyone’s ready for health. No one is ready for dis-ease. You have to plan to get healthy and stay healthy – and you have to stick to your plan.

Recently the CDC conducted a survey of over 356,000 men and women to learn whether they were eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise. Only 1 in 7 were actually doing that, 16.6% women, and 12.4% men. No wonder our health is suffering.

If you can’t watch the documentary yet, at least watch the trailer! I know it might seem scary to put our health care system in the hands of our government, but it’s even scarier to leave it in the hands of greedy corporate giants!

U.S. health care is rated 37th in the world… just above Slovenia!

In fact, Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 225,000 Deaths Every Year.

  • 15,000 — unneeded surgery
  • 90,000 — infections in hospitals
  • 9,000 — medication errors in hospitals
  • 18,000 — other errors in hospitals
  • 109,000 — non-error, harmful reactions of drugs

Prevention is key to a long, healthy, happy life! But beyond that, living a healthy lifestyle also can improve your current health situation. It’s puzzling to me that a doctor will put a patient on some medication when counseling that same person on how to live a healthy lifestyle would do more than the meds ever could!

Why Do Natural and Organic Foods Cost More?

I have one thing to say about that. The demand is not high enough. The fewer people that insist on natural and organic foods, the more it will cost. It’s that simple. Supply and demand.

The more of us that demand quality foods, the more the price will come down. So, if you can afford it, or even if you’re willing to sacrifice somewhere else for it, do so. You’re actually helping everyone else by buying natural and organic foods!

Natural and Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Start your morning with something healthy that contains hot red pepper, cayenne, or jalapenos.

Why? These hotties contain capsaicin, which curbs your appetite throughout the day. The capsaicin actually blocks the hunger message from getting to your brain, and you eat less because you’re not as hungry.

If you eat it first thing in the morning, such as in an omelet, you’ll be less hungry all day, naturally!

And, if you’re wondering about the eggs that I mentioned above, did you know that they really aren’t a high cholesterol culprit? In a recent 6-week study, where participants ate 2 eggs every day, there was absolutely no change in total cholesterol level. And eggs are quite nutritious.

Participants in a recent study who included grapefruit to their daily diet lost about 3.5 lbs within a 12-week period. More study is required to verify the connection, but scientists feel the effect may be due to the fruit’s ability to lower insulin levels and thus help the body to process energy more efficiently.

Eat a small handful of nuts 20 or so minutes before a meal to curb your appetite. Eating good nutrition such as walnuts, almonds, and peanuts stimulate your body’s production of HGH and cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone which messages your brain you’ve had enough to eat. Slowing the emptying of your stomach will also keep you feeling full.

Does Eating Control Your Life?

There is no escaping the fact that food is essential to daily life. You need it to supply the required nutrients your body requires. You also need it to provide energy to sustain your body from one day to another. However, food can be one of your worst enemies, especially if you love to eat on a constant basis.

This article is dedicated to helping you fight your obsession with food or, at the very least, to educate you in areas that may grant you the freedom to select healthier food choices in the quantities you prefer.

Set immediate and long-term goals for yourself

If you’re overweight, you may plan to lose two pounds in the first month but may aim to lose ten pounds over three months. You would have an immediate goal to work towards – losing two pounds – while setting your long-term goal higher. This would accomplish a couple of things. It would grant you time and opportunity to develop a plan to lose your first two pounds – perhaps cutting out one unhealthy snack each day. Furthermore, after achieving your initial goal, it would increase your determination to stick with your plan to lose ten pounds.

Educate yourself!

You want to eat and can’t seem to resist the urge. You’ve done everything in your power and continue to lose. Don’t give up! Let’s try another tactic!

Learn about food. Learn what’s in food – what’s right for you and what isn’t. Sometimes the foods you think are no good for you are more beneficial than you realize; conversely, some foods you think are healthy don’t live up to their reputation.

Read ingredients listed on food packaging, as well as the nutrition labels. The ingredients in the greatest quantity are listed at the beginning and follow in descending order. When you see sugar, sugar, and more sugar or a high content of sodium or trans and saturated fats, attempt to limit your consumption of these products. Notice I did not say to ban them completely – unless, for health reasons, you must.

Furthermore, give yourself some credit! Have faith in yourself! Don’t deprive yourself of something you enjoy – to the point you feel miserable. Treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream with lots of strawberries on top of it or inside half a cantaloupe. Sit down and eat a package of grapes, three kiwis, three apples, or two bananas. Go for it!

Life is too short to spend most of your time worrying about the food you are ingesting. This doesn’t mean to fill yourself only with fast foods and junk; it means to give yourself a break when you need it, to enjoy moments with family members and friends without them taking pity on you or feeling guilty for enjoying the foods you think you shouldn’t enjoy.

Develop short-term and long-term plans!

If you take the time to develop a six month, twelve months, five years, and ten-year plan, you may discover that you benefit greatly from looking at the bigger picture. In addition, while making your plans which will help you succeed in life, you may realize that your focus has shifted away from food in comparison to how it used to be.

Eat only when you’re hungry and only until you feel full

For you, it may be preferable to eat smaller meals throughout the day. It increases your metabolism and fulfills your need to eat more regularly without over-indulging in food.

Munching on many healthy foods will satisfy hunger cravings and satisfy your urge to munch. However, keeping in mind that you are trying to make healthier food choices.

Distraction is key

When cravings for unhealthy foods continually strike, call upon a friend to talk to you to distract you from your cravings.

Try visiting a web site discussing poorer nations, and you may notice your desire to eat so much food may fade away.

You may also take the opportunity those cravings afford to take up a new habit such as drinking a glass of water, sucking on an ice cube, or taking a bite of food you hate. It won’t be something you look forward to, which may further eliminate your cravings knowing you will be doing something in its place that you don’t want to do.

5 Good Reasons To Eat More Raw Foods

Raw food can be interpreted as food that hasn’t been cooked in any way, fragmented, or heated over 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is believed that heating food destroys enzymes that aid in the absorption and digestion of food and is also believed to decrease the nutritional value and ‘life force’ of the food. Cooking food also produces mutated enzymes that are toxins and cause our immune system to work much harder and become weaker, making us easier prey for disease and cancer.

The cooking process will destroy the vitamins, spoil the proteins, and convert minerals from their organic state to a state whereby the body does not quickly assimilate them. Water-soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C, also get leached out of foods.

Eat and Chew As Much As You Want

vegetableCooked vegetable sand fruits are usually peeled and easy to chew. But in the process of peeling and heating, fruits and vegetables are rid of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Eating fruits and vegetables with their skin on and in raw form means more chewing.

Chewing has the advantage of mixing the digestive juices in your mouth (saliva) with the food. This lubricates the food and leaves for a decrease of pressure on the stomach and less strain on the esophagus.

By thoroughly chewing your food, you are more likely not to eat as much. By eating slower, your brain can tell you that you are full sooner, causing you to eat less. However, because you are eating mostly fruits and vegetables, go ahead and eat as much as you want, whenever you want, and you will still maintain a healthy weight. No other kind of diet can claim that!

Cellulose (fiber) and Enzymes Are Preserved

Cellulose, the structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, is an insoluble fiber that speeds up the elimination of waste, absorbs toxins, softens the stool, and improves bowel disorders. We all know we need lots of fiber in our diet in order to maintain a healthy weight and to reduce bowel disorders, forms of cancer, and other harmful diseases.

Eating a raw diet preserves naturally occurring fibers from plant foods. When exposed to high temperatures during cooking, cellulose and other plant fibers are destroyed.

As mentioned earlier, enzymes are essential proteins that are destroyed by any form of heating. Enzymes function as catalysts during chemical reactions that take place during digestion. Enzymes cease to operate at temperatures above 55 degrees C. After that; no food can be absorbed by the body. The body does produce enzymes, but the best source is fresh food, which is rich in many different kinds of natural enzymes.

Better Health and Weight Loss

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that eating a raw food diet can lower triglyceride concentrations and total cholesterol. Raw foods contain fewer trans and saturated fats than the typical western diet, and consuming less trans and saturated fats decreases the risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

Raw foods are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, and health-promoting phytochemicals. These properties also help prevent cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

Alkaline foods have been shown to balance the acidic pH of the body. The once mostly balanced pH of the body has become more acidic over time due to the consumption of processed, refined white carbohydrates, sugars, coffee, and meat. These acid-forming foods all contribute to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

They also create an inflammation response in the body, causing premature aging. Raw foods are mostly alkaline, thus helping to stabilize the pH of the body for overall better functioning, decrease risk of many diseases, improve the production of human growth hormone, and increase weight loss. All vegetables and herbs are alkalizing, and fruits are neutral. Nuts, seeds, and sprouts are also alkaline.

Better Skin and A More Youthful Appearance

Healthy, vibrant skin is yours for the taking with a diet of fresh raw foods. The reason is simple, raw foods translate to overall better health, and this improves the condition of the skin. Since raw foods contain large amounts of antioxidants, these protect the skin against free radical damage. In addition, they contribute an excellent safeguard against sunburn. Those who have implemented more raw foods into their daily lives have witnessed especially improved tone and radiant skin.

Raw foods contain a lot more moisture than cooked meals, as the cooking process removes so much essential moisture. Moisture is necessary to healthy skin.

Energize and Feel Great

One of the most profound effects of switching to a raw food diet is the energy and mental clarity it gives. People who have gone natural or mostly raw report clearer thinking, a calmer feeling mind, a complete lack of ‘mind fog,’ and an overall feeling of joy and euphoria.

Many report this state of euphoria is the most incredible high you could possibly imagine. Feelings of anger and frustration diminish and feeling of confidence and well being take over.

The Best Desktop Nutrition Software At Your Fingertips

If you’ve ever been involved in a weight loss program, the one thing you probably hated was planning healthy meals, not knowing the exact nutritional value of whole food.

If you don’t know how many calories are in certain foods, then how are you going to plan a low-calorie diet?

A nutrition application or software will help you to manage that purpose.

The best nutrition software could be argued, but we found a program by a company called “Kelpiesoft” that details every nutrient possible that can be found on a food label. If you think this product is not the best thing since sliced bread, please post a comment and share your opinion, or if you’ve found another product that you feel is the best nutrition software, please leave a suggestion.

Have you ever wondered how many calories are in a hamburger or vanilla milkshake? The fat content isn’t marked on the packaging at a fast-food restaurant, which is a contrast from cigarette packaging with mandatory warning labels and graphic pictures of damaged lungs.

The saturated fat in a double cheeseburger is much higher than a whole wheat tuna sandwich, but what about the nutritional details? If you’re concerned about what you eat and want to count calories along with how much protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and sodium in the food you eat, there’s a free software tool available that will give you all this information and more.

It’s called “Foodfile 1” that can be easily downloaded onto your desktop. It calculates all the nutritional value in every food imaginable from baby food to meats, fruits, and even snacks. Fast food is a hot topic since it’s contributed to a huge obesity problem that’s getting out of control.

A large order of fast food french fries, for example, has 539 calories & 28 grams of fat (mostly saturated) that literally sticks to arteries & organs. In our opinion, the best nutrition software should always include fast food since it’s here to stay and a hot topic. People want to know the nutritional values of their favorite fast food (that could change).

The Nutritional Information On A McDonalds Vanilla Triple Thick Shake

A Medium 21 fluid ounce cup has 733 calories, 16 grams of protein, 125 grams of carbohydrates (96 grams sugar!), and 20 grams fat (half that is saturated). This information is very useful if you’re considering a fat loss program. It would take a grueling day in the gym to work off this huge dose of fat and sugar.

Foodfile also has “food facts” like “high sugar content” or “low sodium content.” The values are also displayed on a pie chart, which is nicely color-coded. It also has a list of groups you can choose from like meats, bread & vegetables and filters between low fat, low calorie, and fat-free, for example.

If all you’re looking for is the “folic acid” content, you can sort that out before choosing the food type.

Organic Food Information

Organic Food Information

Organic is a standard developed to describe food produced according to specific guidelines. Crops that meet the organic standards are grown without resort to chemical fertilizers, sewage sludge, or conventional pesticides and herbicides.

Animals raised under the organic standard do not receive routine antibiotic treatment or growth hormones. For all these reasons, organic food benefits our environment and all of us.

Conventional food is produced on a large scale, using many different scientifically produced chemicals with harmful effects on our health and the environment around us. Plants and animals raised on a conventional farm may also be genetically modified for specific traits.

Organic food is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the market. Big box retailers, supermarkets, and local groceries alike have all begun to sports sections for organic food. In this situation, it was necessary to describe what is organic food and develop some new standards, including labeling and organic food safety.

Organic food is regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program.

Organic Food Benefits

Organic food benefits us in many ways. Organic crops have been shown to contain more vital trace elements like chromium than conventional crops. This means that it’s easier for us to get the full amount of necessary minerals from organic produce.

Organic food also allows us to enjoy tastier food, conserve our environment, and build a sense of community by purchasing our food from more local sources.

There’s no conclusive evidence that organic food is better for you than conventional food. However, proponents of organic food point to studies in which organic food tested with higher quantities of vital trace minerals and the fact that many pesticides and herbicides may be carried in produce, milk, and meat.

People who are sensitive to certain chemicals, who are at risk for disease, small children, and others, should consider switching to organic food. Of course, anyone may be able to benefit from buying organic.

Organic Food and Health Issues

To be certified organic in the United States, food must meet specific standards. These standards emphasize using renewable resources instead of ones that are quickly depleted and conserving water and soil.

Organic animal products must come from animals that have not been given routine antibiotic treatments or growth hormones, although antibiotic treatment for sick animals is permitted. Conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, and irradiation are all prohibited in certified organic food.

Also, the feed that animals raised organically receive must be from an organic source itself. This means that the field the animal feed comes from must have complied with organic food and health standards for three years or more.

Organic Food Tastes Better

Produce grown organically is generally grown in better-balanced soils and allowed to ripen fully before you receive it. It hasn’t been engineered for durability or fast fruiting, like many conventional crops. That means it tastes better. Likewise, animals raised under the organic standard must be allowed pasture and free-roaming space. This means that they’re healthier and that products from them are tastier.

Organic apples have been scientifically tested to be sweeter and to last longer in storage than their conventional cousins, and other foods follow suit.

Organic Food and the Environment

Organic food contains fewer potentially dangerous chemicals than conventional food and protects water quality. In the United States, organic food cannot be from genetically engineered stock. This means that the food you buy, which is certified organic is a known quality.

Farmers who meet organic food and health standards are required to attempt to conserve soil and water and to use renewable resources whenever possible.

Organic farming leads to less erosion, less farm runoff, and less petrochemical pollution than conventional farming styles. Organic farmers also kill fewer insects and animals during the course of food production, meaning that the food chain on an organic farm is more likely to remain intact.

Because organic farmers often use heirloom seeds, more varieties of plants and animals are being preserved. This is a big deal, as older varieties are increasingly disappearing in the face of patented seeds and genetic engineering.

Organic Food Information – Safety and Quality Facts

Of course, not everything on the organic shelf is one hundred percent certified organic. This doesn’t always mean that the food doesn’t live up to the standards – many small farms using organic methods haven’t chosen to get certified. However, you have to decide about the food that comes from these farms on a case by case basis.

Meat from a farm that uses organic methods might be from animals that are treated humanely, but not fed organic feed, for instance. Also, there’s a growing number of products on the market, which are labeled as using organic ingredients, or made with organic. It can be hard to figure out which foods are fully organic, and which are merely cashing in.

In general people who suffer from health problems related to trace amounts of commercial pesticides and other chemicals may find that these problems diminish when they start buying organic.

Imported food may contain chemicals banned in the U.S., but used elsewhere, like DDT. We still make these chemicals in this country, and export them elsewhere, even though their use is banned here.

Even EPA approved pesticides and herbicides are considered carcinogenic. Sixty percent of all weed killers, ninety percent of fungicides, and thirty percent of insecticides are considered potential causes of cancer.

It’s impossible to keep some traces of these chemicals out of the food they are used on, although it is still hotly debated as to how much is needed to cause cancer. Farmworkers are exposed to these chemicals regularly.

Poisonings from pesticide use have risen at an average of fourteen percent per year since the early seventies – to around a million every year.

Labeling Standards for Organic Food

The USDA has four labeling standards when it comes to organic food. This means that you’ll see foods on the store shelf labeled 100% organic, Organic, Made With Organic Ingredients, and foods that are less than 70% organic, and may not use the word on the main panel.

One hundred percent of organic foods are just what they say, and may carry the USDA organic seal. Foods labeled merely Organic must have 95% organic content by weight, and may also carry that seal. Foods using the words made with organic must have at least 70% organic content by weight may use that phrase on the front panel, and may list up to three specific ingredients. However, they can’t display the seal.

Food with less than 70% organic content can’t claim to be organic on the front panel but may list organic ingredients on the ingredient panel.

Choosing organic food correctly is just a matter of being informed about the regulations and reading the labels. In the case of organic food, which comes from small local farms, you may even be able to visit the farm yourself, to see where your food comes from and how it is produced.

As the organic industry grows, it becomes more important to know how to find out whether the food you’re buying is really organic, or just the product of another company hoping to cash in on the newest craze. Finding organic food information, being educated about the organic guidelines, and asking questions are all ways to make sure you get what you’re paying for.