Saturday, March 27, 2010

#Nutrition Detectives #Katz #LabelReading

I recommend families with impressionable children watch a short DVD by Dr. David Katz called “Nutrition Detectives.” It is geared towards children but speaks volumes to adults. You can find his series on YouTube. The DVD covers other healthful aspects but I summarize the basics of label reading below. 

Society has evolved from people growing their own food to purchasing convenient and emotional foods. Since many of us can’t do it like they did in the olden days, we can however, make smarter choices when we buy foods. So, use the following 5 clues to help you at your next trip to the grocery store or while out grabbing a quick bite to eat.

1). Don’t be fooled by the labels on the front of a package, but go to the nutrition facts on the back (or side).
    * They can be conflicting. For example, an off brand of juice reads “Orange Juice” on the front but the nutrition label has no oranges or orange juice concentrate listed.

2). The first ingredient listed is the biggest.
    * You’re looking for a breakfast cereal. If the first ingredient is sugar, it’s not a cereal – it is instead like eating candy for breakfast. Make the first meal of the day meaningful, full of flavor and healthy. It is what fuels you for the day ahead.

3). Avoid suspicious ingredients.
     * Anything hydrogenated, high fructose corn syrup (or its many aliases), artificial sweeteners, any dyes, etc.

4). The longer the ingredient list, the least healthy it is for you.

5). Look for whole grains and avoid imposters.
      * Fiber is our friend. Should be 2g or more if it’s truly a whole grain. (Dr. Sears says 3g.)

There is 1 class of foods that do not require any label reading: Fruits and Vegetables.  Take it back to nature and eat whole foods as often as you can throughout each and every day. 

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Subscribe here to receive my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St Patrick's Day - Green #Smoothie #recipe







Did you know that smoothies are a great way to get more of the fruits and veggies we are missing in our diets each day? I LOVE smoothies and this is a sure way to get young, picky toddlers to consume more veggies! 


On behalf of Dr. Mitra Ray, I have posted her green smoothie recipe. It is simply amazing. You can find it and many more free resources on her site.

Makes 1 Serving
3 large kale leaves, chopped
2 bananas-very ripe, frozen or fresh
1 fleshy fruit, chopped (apricot, peach, mango, etc), frozen or fresh
1/4c flax seeds
1 tsp milk thistle

Add enough filtered water to make it as liquid as you like.  Put flax and milk thistle in Vitamix. Blend until powder-like. Add one cup of water and continue blending. Add fruits and vegetables, and then slowly add additional water while blending. Blend until liquefied or until smoothie has reached desired consistency.

While you're out and about on St. Patty's Day, whether you're going to bring in / take-out the day with some green beverages of your choice, let's also do like the Irish and be kind to folks as you go throughout your day. Manners go a long way. Especially in the world we live in that has become obsessively selfish. Stand out from the norm and brighten someone's day. 

I do receive a small commission from Amazon.com if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 


Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Subscribe here to receive my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

#HFCS - Avoid and why

Over the last twelve months, I have submerged myself into not only wanting to eat better but actually doing it albeit most times it is baby steps but nonetheless I'm taking active steps.


I have the distinct pleasure of being surrounded by other parents in my community that have similar goals in mind. Some are just hoping to make nutritional changes and others are actually walking the walk. I have learned a lot about food and dead calories verses live calories and how there is really a difference in my behavior (moody, tired, etc) when I make (and eat) poor food choices. 


Live calories are foods that give you life - energy and a strong immune system, like fruits and vegetables and dead calories are foods that well... tear you down and make you feel sluggish - prepackaged and processed foods.


What is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? 


HFCS in its basic sense is a sweetener and a preservative. It is cheaper to make than using sugar and that's the main reason so many [manufacturers] are using it. The other reason is because it keeps you hungry (or thirsty) after consuming the item for which HFCS is found in. 


There are conflicting results in the research that has been conducted on HFCS. Most say it causes obesity and it contributes to diseases such as diabetes, cancers and diagnoses like A.D.H.D. and Autism. I do believe that HFCS is a contributor to the aforementioned but so is eating a poor diet overall which in many cases are processed food laden with HFCS and other unmentionables. 

Bottom line, I believe that environmental factors (how you're brought up - what your parents ate, ingredients found in our foods, lack of education about health and wellness, lack of resources to teach this ever-so-needed topic, etc) are the real reasons why we are slapped with a label from the doctor's offices. 



Whatever your diagnosis may be... you don't have to let it consume you. Many of the times, if we correct (change) our eating habits, we tend to feel better and are healthier.  


Dr. Bill Sears, pediatrician and father of 8, has published more than 30 books many of which discuss the importance of eating right. He has 3 simple categories of foods: Green (eat every day all day foods), Yellow (eat sometimes foods), and Red (don't eat). He believes and has seen in his practice that many of the diagnoses as mentioned above, especially ADHD / ADD are misdiagnoses. It is really N.D.D. (Nutrition Defecit Disorder).  


Examples of green foods are all fruits and vegetables. Examples of yellow foods are lean meats, legumes, butter, whole wheat breads and pastas, and healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil.  Examples of red foods are beverages presweetened with sugar or corn syrup (HFCS too), dyes (red, yellow, blues #s), foods with hydrogenated oils, and foods containing nitrates/nitrites (sandwich meats). 


Though the results from the research on HFCS don't lean one way or the other, one thing that's factual and can be observed from any angle is that everything you eat or drink that has HFCS has high calories and has very little to no nutritional value in it. One major culprit and the best example is soda, which is a red light food.


When shopping for food, read the labels. If it has HFCS or any of the names HFCS is known by like Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Iso Glucose, and Fuit Fructose and if anything has been hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated find a replacement. 

In my next week's post, I will share some quick tips on label reading. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to remember the main things to look for.  Your grocery shopping trips may take a little longer initially until you know which foods to avoid and which ones to replace what your family has been used to eating. You may also find that your grocery bill for one trip may be more than what you're used to spending but what you will notice over time is that at the end of the month your grocery bill expense may either remain the same or even be lower than what you budgeted for. The main reason is because when you eat healthier, you tend to not overeat and you stay satisfied longer in between meals and snacks.



Another tip to avoiding HFCS is go organic. If you don't have a Whole Foods (Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Henry's, etc) store nearby, you can shop at a Target or Amazon. They carry Archer Farms and most of these foods have the USDA Organic label on the packaging. 

I do receive a small commission from Amazon.com if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 


Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Subscribe here to receive my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

#Raw, #Vegan Foods #Recipes - Tacos with sour cream!

Resources:

Books:

Websites:


WALNUT TACO “MEAT”:

1 cup Raw Walnuts, soaked in water for at least two hours
½ cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, soaked 30 minutes (save soak water)
¼ cup Yellow Onion, finely chopped
3 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 clove Garlic, minced
¼ Sun-Dried Tomato water
½ tsp. Herbamere

Preparation:
Combine ingredients in food processor until mixed well.  (For a less moist texture, put in dehydrator for 1 hour.)

SOUR “CREAM”:

Juice of 1 Lemon
1 clove Garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Sea Salt
½ cup water (enough to make creamy)


Preparation:
Blend all ingredients in blender. (Adjust ingredients to your taste.)

I do receive a small commission from Amazon.com if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 


Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Subscribe here to receive my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Support your #farmersmarkets - Local Harvest

What's in Season? Before visiting your local grocery store chain or farmer's market, go here first "What's in Season?". Knowing what's in season is best for your health and your pocket. Picking, purchasing and eating Fruits & Veggies out of season, well the taste isn't as fresh and the cost is higher than usual. 

Getting fruits and vegetables from your local farmer's market is a good way to ensure freshness plus you'll be supporting your local farmers - it's a win-win situation! You're even encouraged to participate in a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture program in which you pay for local and sometimes (depends on the farmer) organic foods. You can find out if there is a participating farmer near you at U.S. Local Harvest. 

Last month, I had the privilege of attending a Raw Foods meetup (Vegan). These kind of foods have more flavor for your taste buds then the food you eat on a regular basis - in my opinion and I'm not a vegan! In my next post, I'll share two of the raw food recipes that I enjoyed. 

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Download my free eGuide when you subscribe to my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Introduction to my #blog: Importance of #Education

Welcome to my blog. 

I am a WAHM and am married to a kind and loving man. We have one toddler son. As noted in "Interests" under Blogger Profile, education is a huge part of my being. I thrive on learning new things. Right now in this stage of my life, I am learning about nutrition and overall wellness - body, mind, spirit and everything in between.

Prior to getting to this juncture, it took me seven years to earn my Bachelor's Degree as I was a full-time working professional. I attended UMUC in Naples, Italy and I majored in Management with a minor in Human Resources and earned Honors. I initially started my higher education at a community college in Maryland and co-founded and ran an organization designed for the Women on Campus and also succeeded at co-running a Marketing Campaign. During that year, I was selected for the “Who's Who of Junior Colleges.” In the traditional work settings throughout the last ten years, I have been awarded multiple recognition rewards on excellence and “setting the bar high.”

I am a leader by nature but I know all good leaders start at the bottom, working their way up, building bridges and maintaining meaningful relationships. Max Lucado said it best: "The first step to leadership is servanthood." I believe that wholeheartedly. I love to serve and have done so by volunteering in local communities and I have been an active member or officer of several organizations.

This brings me to the reason of starting this blog. I am educating people about eating better and living healthier. I am learning along the way about unsafe chemicals and toxins found not only in our foods, but in the products we use on our bodies and in our homes. I am not a green mom by any means but who knows... I may be headed in that direction. I want to teach you about how to identify and then remove the ingredients that contributes to rampant illnesses in our nation but first and foremost, fully understanding what is making our nation sick and building up toxicity in our bodies later forming diseases like diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure, etc.

I want to share all that I have learned with you.

Are you open?

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Download my free eGuide when you subscribe to my monthly newsletters for free.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)