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Category Archives: Healthy Diet
23 Sep 12Posted by on
The changing of the seasons is symbolic of the cyclical nature of the heavens. In temperate climates, there are the seasonal rains that come and wash the earth during spring and autumn. The rains are a sort of announcement, a prelude, to the ensuing summer and winter seasons, respectively. It also during these times that some individuals commit themselves to seasonal cleanses and detoxes. Cleanse is short for Colon Cleansing. Detox is short for Detoxification Diet. In addition to setting the stage for enjoying a more vibrant life, cleanses and detoxes engender a higher degree of psycho-energetic sensitivity. People then can be more in tune to the seasonal vibrations.
Cleanses and Detoxes can be very beneficial to the body. They allow the body to slow down and recuperate from the abuse that results from overindulgence in nutritionally devoid foods, overindulgence in improper drinks (alcohol, soda pop, etc.), exposure to chemically laden foods, and lack of dietary fiber. “Despite all of our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent toxic substances from entering our body and affecting our well-being. Pollution, packaged foods, caffeine, smoking, drinking, and etc, over a period of time can, impair our immune function and affect our health”.
To the individual who initiates and undergoes the process, the benefits of improved digestion, greater energy and immunity, and a slimmer, more vibrant appearance can be the result. Honestly though, cleanses and detoxes are only, can only be, a part of a true effort to live a more healthy lifestyle. It has been said that many people care more about their cars than they do their bodies. Given the recent statistics concerning health in the U.S.A., that statement seems to be ‘Dead On Point’. However, it does not have to be. If they are undertaken with caution and awareness of what one’s body is ready for, cleanses and detoxes can be a part of the initiative to reverse the trend of ill-health.
Lately, attention has been focused on cleanses and detoxes as a way to lose weight. This method of weight loss is totally counterproductive to a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Cleansing and Detoxing can most certainly result in weight loss. However, because of the intense and drastic manner in which it occurs, the weight loss is usually short-lived. Remember, the reason for the cleanse is to purge the colon of catarrh and built up waste material while the detox helps in purging impurities and toxins from the body. Lifestyle is what will really enable people to maintain a ‘healthy weight’. Cleanses and Detoxes can really only be a compliment to a healthy lifestyle. They can only be a means to an end as opposed to an end unto themselves.
For me, spring and autumn are optimal times for this. It is a chance for me to cleanse my body and be in communion with the Source of All Creating/Sustaining/Dissolving (my concept of GOD). I use cleanses and detoxes to prepare for deeper meditation and other physical/spiritual practices in lieu of bringing in more of the new seasonal energies. On a personal note, I have been blessed to see 52 years of age and, as of last year’s (2011) check up, I had no polyps in my colon. I think that my observing a healthy lifestyle has helped. However, I think that my spiritual practices, to include the recent addition of cleanses and detoxes, since 2009, have enabled and will allow me to maintain much of my health, vitality and positive outlook.
We can all be healthier, if we so choose . . . .
Read more at Suite101: Health Risks of Cleansing Diets: Harmful Effects of a Detox Diet | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/health-risks-of-cleansing-diets-a99438#ixzz26eW2lqhF
14 Feb 12Posted by on
Many daily repertoires include repetitive actions. A lot of times, these actions do not even warrant consideration. For example, while we are doing ‘other things’ or perhaps even multitasking, how often do we try to slip in a ‘quick meal’? Studies have been conducted which indicate that individuals who multitask while eating are more likely to eat more than someone who is focusing on one thing. To take the time to enjoy one’s food in a more contemplative manner could extend many benefits to people beyond mere nutrition.
From the moment many people wake up in the morning, the continual stream of thoughts begin to flood their minds. For example: prepare the kids for school, make sure that I have what I need for work, get gas, get something to eat because I didn’t have time for breakfast, that so and so cut me, etc. At work: finish up last week’s project, research next week’s project, put out today’s fires, meeting A, meeting B, I’d better GRAB something AND EAT, etc. Need there even be any discussion about after work? Can we take out time to enjoy our food? To be able to set time aside for eating gives us the opportunity to gather ourselves and allows for time to stand still.
Eating is a very important life-sustaining activity. It can be a contemplative and an enjoyable experience, as well. Contemplation, not from the standpoint of meditation but from the standpoint of taking time to enjoy the tastes, the flavors, the company, the conversations . . . in short, the experience of the food. English-speaking countries (U.S. and Britain) think of eating as mainly an activity through which one sustains one’s health and vigor. Whereas in continental European nations (France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy), health is a secondary benefit; social pleasures and the joy of life dominate continental Europeans’ discussions about eating. In Italy, people say, “to eat good fish and drink good wine” with friends is the true meaning of eating well. This is the contemplative aspect of food that I write about.
Taking time, actually taking time, to enjoy could bestow other health benefits in addition to nutrition.
Studies show that it takes 20 minutes for the signal for feeling full to register in our brains. Ergo, if we eat more slowly, we will feel satiated while having consumed less food.
Slowing down to eat actually allows for better mastication, more chewing, of our food. As the food is more completely chewed, it is easier for the enzymatic processes to complete the breakdown portion of digestion. Our bodies can then absorb more of the nutrients in the food.
Because our lives are so hectic, we have little time to really enjoy anything. If we are more mindful about what we eat when we are eating it, we allow ourselves time to settle down and to really experience the goodness of the food.
We detract from our ability to focus as we multitask during our daily activities. Eating is something that merits our full attention to. The hectic pace of life, with it’s pressing responsibilities, causes us to unconsciously engage in activity after activity. Because of the constant ‘go, go, go’ mindset, there is no time taken to reflect on things that are truly enjoyable. Our food, the flavors, the aromas, the friends, the conversation cannot just be haphazardly rushed. In taking time and giving full attention to the food that we eat, we can enjoy it more and actually derive more than just nutrition from it.
Take some time, enjoy your food.
19 Jan 12Posted by on
Fiber is found in all plant-based foods and plays an essential role in human health. A diet rich in high fiber foods can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lower the risk of several forms of cancer, improve cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as regulate digestion. There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber pulls in water to form a gel in the digestive tract. This slows digestion, so that our stomachs and intestine don’t absorb as much of some nutrients, like starch and sugar. Consuming soluble fiber can also improve glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. Oatmeal, barley, mushrooms, and quinoa are examples of soluble fiber.
In general, if a plant food is rough with a tough skin, has a peel, pod or seeds, it is a type of insoluble fiber. Some examples of insoluble fibers are beans, grapes, green leafy vegetables, pineapple, and apples. It acts as a natural laxative that speeds the passage of foods through the stomach. It also gives bulk to stool and helps it to move quickly through the gastrointestinal tract.
High fiber diets may be useful for people who want to lose weight: it contains no calories and it slows down our rate of digestion. Fiber also makes us feel satiated sooner and for longer periods of time. We can utilize these characteristics of fiber to assist us in meeting our weight loss goals.
Getting more fiber in our diets can improve our health and quality of life. Most Americans don’t get anywhere near the amount of fiber, 25 – 38 grams per day recommended in their daily diet. This explains the increasing numbers of gastrointestinal diseases, diverticulitis, constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.
Look for the “dietary fiber” content on food labels. Good sources of fiber have at least 10% of the “percent daily value” of fiber.
TIPS TO ADDING MORE FIBER TO YOUR DIET
1. Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
2. Eat oatmeal, bran, or another whole grain cereal for breakfast.
3. Look for breads, cereals, and crackers that list a whole grain first on the label.
4. Add fiber to your diet slowly, otherwise you may feel bloated or have gas pains.
5. Drink 8 cups of water and other fluids a day to keep things moving smoothly through your intestines.
12 Jun 11Posted by on
I went on my first ever diet a couple of months ago. It was successful, I lost weight, the scale reflected that, as did my looser fitting jeans. But soon, those same jeans began to fit a little tighter again. I did not gain more than a couple of pounds initially, but soon I was back up five pounds. I panicked and went back on the diet for two days. Eventually I lost the five pounds, but I didn’t look any different. I saw myself becoming one of those people who were completely obsessed with controlling their weight. At that point I stopped playing into the numbers game. My weight has always fluctuated and always will.
Nowadays I don’t check the scale everyday. I just doesn’t matter that much anymore. The truth of the matter is, I like my body, I like the way it looks. I have intensified my workouts though in an effort to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass. I am more interested in my body fat than my body weight. I feel strong, healthy and energetic, but then again I felt that way at 152 pounds. I started following the Mediterranean diet a couple of months ago and it’s been great for me. I have always had the energy to exercise regularly, so who cares about what the scales says, I don’t.
27 Mar 11Posted by on
The primary role of a Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach is to help individuals live healthier lives over the long haul.
Exercise alone is not enough. A knowledgeable Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach can educate the client on the need for a lifelong committment to overall lifestyle change. That may seem intimidating but the changes made can be simple and, with persistance and practice, will become habitual.
The most important factor in any lifestyle-modification program is the client’s readiness to make a change. Not all people are necessarily ready to make lifestyle changes. Both exercise and healthy eating need to be incorporated into a person’s current lifestyle.
Which stage are you in?
- Precontemplation — Sedentary: Not even considering an exercise program; in denial.
- Contemplation — Sedentary, but starting to consider the importance of physical activity.
- Preparation — Physically active, but inconsistent and sporadic; yet ready to adopt and live an active lifestyle.
- Action — Regulary exercise, but have been doing so for less than 6 months.
- Maintenance — Regulary exercise for 6 months or longer.
- Relapse — Slipped off the exercise and healthy eating wagon, lapses are inevitable.
Regardless of what stage you are in, Ab-Sutra Health and Fitness Coaches can and will help you progress to the next level.
26 Mar 11Posted by on
The most effective way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit. You do this by burning more calories throughout the day than you eat. There are two ways to create this deficit, eat less or exercise more. Low calorie diets are a good way to lose weight quickly. You can create a much larger caloric deficit through dieting than you can though exercise. The challenge is that most of the time we want to lose body fat instead of muscle. If your caloric intake is too low and you diet for too long, you will eventually lose muscle as well as body fat.
The problem I see is “normal” weight individuals try to stay on a low-calorie diet for too long and eventually their metabolism slows down. A drastic reduction in calories will cause your body to go into starvation mode. Once your body is in starvation mode, the metabolism will slow down and your body will start trying to hold on to every calorie. Fat loss slows down and eventually stops. This is why, after extended low-calorie dieting, you can eat very little food and still not lose weight.
After you finish your low-calorie diet and go back to eating normally, you will probably quickly gain all the weight you loss because your metabolism has gotten much slower from being in starvation mode.
How fast your body goes into starvation mode depends on how overweight you are. The more overweight you are the longer you can stay on a low-calorie diet and continue to lose at least two pounds a week without ever going into starvation mode. If you are really overweight you can go on a low-calorie diet of 1,200 calories a day, for instance and lose about five pounds a week for up to three months before your body ever goes into starvation mode. People who are really overweight have lots of stored body fat they can burn off to help them survive during a period where they are eating very little.
If you are only slightly overweight, you may lose weight very quickly, but after that your metabolism will probably slow down and go into starvation mode and you are not going to lose weight at the same rate anymore. More than likely you will hit a weight loss plateau and stop losing weight. Your body will begin to store fat instead of burn it for energy.
The best way to lose weight is to decrease your calories a little and increase your physical activity a lot.
I am 5’6, and 145 pounds. This month I went on my very first diet after weighing in at 152.5 pounds. That was the highest I had ever been and wanted to shed a few pounds of fat.
I decided on a low-calorie, low-fat diet, which I maintained for exactly 19 days. My goal was to lose 7.5 pounds in one month. After day 17 I hit my goal and thought, ‘wow, that was easy, why not go for 10 pounds?’ Days 18 and 19 I started gaining weight, even though I was consuming 1,400-1,500 calories per day and expending approximately 2,500 calories per week through exercise. My body started going into starvation mode and I knew it was time to end the diet.
I accomplished my goal, I feel healthy and my clothes fit better. Now I will slowly begin to increase my calories. I need no more than 2,100 calories a day to maintain my new weight. If I consume 2,100 immediately I will gain back every pound I lost, and then some. I will gradually increase my daily caloric intake by 100-200 and continue to monitor my weight. I will keep up the exercise, of course. The maintenance phase can be just as challenging as the weight loss phase.
Best of luck to you all.
26 Mar 11Posted by on
The Mediterranean Diet is more than a diet, it is a way of life. Instead of focusing on what you cannot have, it focuses on what you can have — the very best, freshest, healthiest foods.
Research supports the health boosting qualities of the Mediterranean diet. This way of life can significantly decrease body weight, blood pressure, blood fats, blood sugar and insulin levels – health benefits that contribute to a longer life expectancy than that of people who follow a Western diet.
Basic ingredients of the mediterranean diet
Fresh, healthy food
The staples of the Mediterranean diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood, yogurt, olive oil, and small amounts of wine.
found in olive oil, nuts, avocados and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout; and fat from plant sources, like flaxseed and chia seeds.
Whole grain foods like bread, pasta, millet, quinoa, brown rice, and couscous are a key part of the Mediterranean diet. In their natural state, grains are full of cancer and heart disease-fighting fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Whole grains provide energy and calories with little fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Found in abundance in the Mediterranean diet, omega-3 fatty acids are bursting with health benefits. Fatty acids have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart attacks, blood clots, hypertension, and strokes; and may prevent certain forms of cancer and lower the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
More vegetables, less meat
A diet higher in plant foods and lower in animal products has been linked to decreased incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. The traditional Mediterranean diet is practically vegetarian, with lots of fish and very little meat. As for vegetables, Mediterranean people feast on tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, capers, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, white beans, lentils, and chick peas.
Many Mediterranean people drink a glass or two of wine each night with dinner. But portions are small, generally about three ounces. When taken in small amounts, wine has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, likely due to the presence of antioxidants like transresveratrol and oligomeric proanthocyanidin, which keep blood circulation healthy and prevent blood clots from forming.
The Mediterranean people use olive oil in almost everything they eat, including pastas, breads, vegetables, salads, and fish. It is the principal fat in the Mediterranean diet, instead of butter or margarine. Olive oil may reduce inflammation, which could prevent heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, as well as certain cancers.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on small portions of high-quality food. Healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, are staples of the Mediterranean diet and keep you feeling fuller longer.
Fruit for dessert
For Mediterranean people, fresh fruit is the typical daily dessert. Taking advantage of fruit’s natural sweetness has double benefits. First, what you gain: the fiber and nutrients in fruits like apples, grapes, and oranges. What you lose: the added sugar, calories, chemicals, and unhealthy fats in sweet, processed desserts.
In addition to eating healthy meals, the Mediterranean people spend a great deal of time walking. When you can, include exercise, laughter, and spending time with loved ones in your day.