Friday, May 29, 2009

Tips For Staying In Shape While Traveling

Tips for staying in shape while traveling:

If you are visiting family:

  1. Take advantage of local trails or tracts, most local high schools allow the use of their tracts.

  2. Plan a morning walk to a local farmers market ( , or to a local shop.

  3. Spend time with family and friends by going for a walk around the park or neighborhood.

  4. Help out around the house by pitching in with cleaning, gardening, mowing, etc.

Check out the city you are visiting:

  1. Visit area exercise classes close to your destination, many will let you try the class for free, you can go to the city you are visiting website for local classes.

  2. Take a guided walking tour to get your exercise and get to know the city better.

  3. Challenge your travel companion to a pedometer contest. Whoever racks up the most steps gets treated to a healthy dinner or some sort of pampering the next day.

  4. Plan your trip so that you are visiting a particular city when there is a 5K walk or run, check out for information.

If you are planning a road trip:

  1. Rent or bring your own bike, find local riding trails at

  2. Plan hikes along the way, a good way to stretch after riding long distances, check out or

  3. Look for places to swim, most hotels have a nice pool (to make sure, check out ), local YMCA's, or if you prefer the outdoors check out .

If your headed for a beach:

  1. Park your car and walk back and forth to the beach.

  2. Bring toys to play with, like Frisbees, balls, and seaside games, shovels and buckets for playing in the sand and picking up shells.

  3. Rent or bring equipment for snorkeling, kayaking, or sailing. (Many shops offer lessons)

  4. Walking or running in wet sand burns extra calories.

Enjoy your vacation, stay fit, and be safe!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Food Advertisements, Think About It!

Food advertisements, think about it!

What types of foods do you tend to see advertised the most? It seems like the most advertised foods are those with the least nutritional value and the highest calories. It's big business, literally, to promote fast food and junk food. Millions of dollars are spent each year by big companies to try to get you to pick their chips, burgers, sodas, and alcoholic beverages over another brand. These products are plentiful, easy to get, inexpensive, and made to taste good. Isn't it ironic how you seldom see advertisements for foods we should be eating, like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc. Being bombarded with powerful advertising images promoting nutritionally poor foods as best, no wonder we're reaching for the wrong foods. Before buying these products try these tips:

Be informed, get the facts: If you see an ad that makes junk food look tempting, go to your computer, check out the manufacturer's website, and check the nutritional information for that food. When you see how many calories, fat, or sodium it has, it won't look so appealing.

Stick to the perimeter at the grocery store: Most of the highly advertised, processed foods are in the inner aisles of the store. Skipping those aisles will help cut down on temptation. Make sure you have a list to shop from that contains a healthy variety. The outside aisles typically have the fresh foods and that's where you want to be.

Make healthier choices by empowering yourself: I'm sure we've all been in the situation where you need to eat and the only options around aren't the most healthy ones. If you are in this situation, where all you have to chose from is fast-food restaurants or convenience stores, you need to know which choices are better than others. Get fresh foods, like salads and sandwiches with lean meat and vegetables. Skip the dressing, mayo, and other high calorie condiments, or have them on the side so you can control them.

Question the ads: If a cheeseburger where being promoted by an overweight, out-of-shape model, instead of a lean, fit model that looks to be enjoying every bite, would you buy it? Is the food in the ad the best choice for your waistline? Do you really "have" to have it? The answer is, probably not.

Makes you stop and think, doesn't it?

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Improve Your Body Image

Improve your body image - you'll look at yourself differently!

Think of your body, what image do you get? What thoughts come to mind? Do you focus on the things you like or dislike? Most people focus on the things they don't like. If you are like so many that struggle with their weight you might find it difficult, or don't even know how, to work toward a better relationship with your own body. But you can learn to accept and appreciate yourself.

A healthy lifestyle isn't just about exercising and eating better, it's also about accepting and embracing your body and treating it well. It's about celebrating each milestone you've achieved in getting to your ideal weight, not waiting until you get to the final goal and then celebrating. If you notice your clothes are fitting loser or you have more energy, celebrate it! It's about staying motivated in order to achieve success. It's important to notice all the steps along the way, not just the final destination.

Remember that not many people fit the "supermodel" standard of beauty, but that is what we see on TV and in magazines all the time. It can make you feel like you aren't measuring up, or make you feel inferior about your body image. First of all, look around you, how many people do you see in the real world that look like that, not many - right, so don't compare your body image to theirs. Each one of us has at least one good thing about us we like, let's start with that and build on how we can improve our images inside and outside. Like the song says "One Day At A Time".

Let's start this week paying particular attention to the messages we send ourselves about our body image. If they are mostly negative, replace them with more self-accepting thoughts. Take a good long look in the mirror and find the things about your body you like and say them out loud. Start thinking of your body as something special that deserves your great care and attention, your worth it!

Blessing for a Glorious Day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's Your Excuse?

What's your excuse?

Do you always seem to have an excuse not to exercise? Remember, it's your body, your health, your decision, let's hope you chose wisely! Here's some helpful tips:

  • The only time I have to exercise is early in the day and it's hard to my act together in the morning. Solution: The night before get all your workout clothes, shoes, gym bag, and a healthy snack the night before so you are ready to go in the morning.

  • The weather is bad. Solution: Pop in an exercise workout DVD, something fun and upbeat, like dance aerobics. You can also invest in some home workout equipment and some free weights (canned goods works great), or simply walk up and down the stairs for 15-20 minutes.

  • I'm too tired! Solution: Try splashing some cold water on your face or if you need a little more help try some healthy energy for a great pick-me-up that will get you focused on your workout. Chances are that once you get moving you start to feeling more motivated and energized.

  • I can't seem to lose any weight, why bother? Solution: Remember that working out isn't just about losing weight, it's about improving your health, flexibility, strength, and mood. Getting slim takes a little time and good nutrition. If you want to get great definition, try branch chain amino acids to lean out faster.

  • I get bored with my routine. Solution: The solution is simple, change it up. One day walk, run, or jog. The next day do aerobics. The next day do weight training. If don't want to exercise alone join a class or get a group of friends or co-workers together and make a social activity.

Now you have no more excuses, so lets see how great you can feel!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great new, refreshing drink, great energy!

If you love lemonaide and want more enrgy, you've got to try this great new drink, you'll love and it's full of vitamins. Great tasting, energy, and good for you, what more could you ask for?!

Lemonaide Slam

Have A Safe Happy Memorial Day!

Have a Safe, Happy Memorial Day!

I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend & say a HUGE "Thank You!" to all the men and women who have given their lives for our Freedom, please remember them this weekend.

Have fun with your family and friends, soak up some Vitamin D and remember you can still enjoy all the great food, just think about portion size.

God Bless This Great Nation & God Bless and Protect All Of You!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Magnesium And Cardiovascular Disease

Magnesium and cardiovascular disease -

Metabolism of magnesium is very important to insulin sensitivity and blood pressure regulation. The observed associations between magnesium metabolism, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase the likelihood that magnesium metabolism may influence cardiovascular disease.

There has been some observed association between higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of stroke. There is also evidence that low stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Please consult your physician if you have any concerns about whether or not you are getting enough magnesium in you diet. As you have read over the past several days magnesium is very important and beneficial to your health.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Magnesium and Diabetes

Magnesium and diabetes

Diabetes is a disease resulting in insufficient production and/or ineffective use of insulin. Insulin helps convert sugar and starches in food into energy to sustain life. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children or adolescents and results from the body's inability to make insulin, Type 2 (often referred to as adult-onset diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes and usually associated with an inability to use the insulin made by the pancreas.

Magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. It may influence the release and activity of insulin. Low blood levels of magnesium are often seen in people with type 2 diabetes. Hypomagnesemia may worsen insulin resistance, or may be a consequence of insulin resistance. Persons with insulin resistance do not use insulin effectively and require greater amounts of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The kidneys possibly lose their ability to retain magnesium during periods of severe hyperglycemia (significantly elevated blood sugars). The increased loss of magnesium in urine may result in lower blood levels of magnesium. In older adults, correcting magnesium depletion may improve insulin response and action.

There have been several clinical studies regarding the potential benefit of supplemental magnesium on helping to control type 2 diabetes. In one such study, 63 subjects with below normal serum magnesium levels received either 2.5mg of oral magnesium chloride daily or placebo. At the end of the 16 week study those who received the magnesium supplement had higher levels of magnesium and improved control of diabetes as suggested by lower hemoglobin A1C levels, than those who received a placebo.

Next, magnesium and cardiovascular disease.

Blessing for a Glorious Day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Risk From Too Much Calcium

What are the risk from too much magnesium?

Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk, but pharmacologic doses of magnesium can promote effects such as diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Risk of magnesium toxicity increases with kidney failure, when the kidney loses the ability to remove excess magnesium. Vary large doses of magnesium-containing laxatives and antacids also have been associated with magnesium toxicity. For example, a case of hypermagnesiumia after unsupervised intake of aluminum magnesia oral suspension occurred after a teen-aged girl decided to take the antacid every two hours rather than four times a day, as prescribed. three days later, she became unresponsive and demonstrated loss of deep tendon reflex. Doctors were unable to determine how much magnesium she had taken, but her blood levels were five times higher than normal. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the use of any magnesium-containing laxatives or antacids. Signs of excessive magnesium can be similar to magnesium deficiency and include changes in mental status, nausea, diarrhea, appetite loss, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, extremely low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.

It is extremely important to read labels on any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, follow the directions, and to contact your healthcare provider if you have any unusual symptoms.

Next, the effects of magnesium and diabetes (part four).

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

More on Magnesium

When can magnesium deficiency occur?

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are rarely seen in the US. There is concern that many people may not have enough body store of magnesium because dietary intake may not be high enough, Having enough stores of magnesium may be protective against disorders such as cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction.

The health status of the digestive system and the kidneys significantly influence magnesium status. Magnesium is absorbed in the intestines and then transported through the blood cells and tissues. Approx. 1/3 - 1/2 of dietary magnesium is absorbed in the body. Gastrointestinal disorders that impair absorption such as Crohn's disease can limit the body's ability to absorb magnesium. Chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea may also result in magnesium depletion.

Healthy kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium to make up for low dietary intake. Excessive loss of magnesium in the urine can be side effects of some medications and can also occur in cases of poorly-controlled diabetes and alcohol abuse.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, coronary spasms can occur, and personality changes. Severe magnesium deficiency can result in low levels of calcium in the blood (hypokalemia).

Many of these symptoms are general and can result from a variety of medical conditions other than magnesium deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate health complaints and problems so that appropriate care can be given.

Next, what happens when you get too much magnesium.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What Food Provide Magnesium?

What foods provide magnesium?

Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans & peas), nuts & seeds, and whole unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Refined grains are generally low in magnesium. When white flour is refined and processed, the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour. Tap water can be a source of magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. Water that naturally contains more minerals is described as "hard" water. "Hard" water contains more magnesium than "soft" water.

Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. Here are some food sources for magnesium:
  • Halibut, 3 ounces cooked provides 90mg magnesium
  • Almonds, 1 ounce dry roasted provides 80mg magnesium
  • Cashews, 1 ounce dry roasted provides 75mg magnesium
  • Soybeans, cooked, mature, provides 75mg magnesium
  • Spinach, frozen, cooked, provides 75mg magnesium
  • Nuts, mixed, dry roasted 1 ounce provides 65mg magnesium
  • Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits provides 55mg magnesium
  • Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/water 1 cup provides 55mg magnesium
  • Potato, baked w/skin, 1 medium provides 50mg magnesium
  • Peanuts, dry roasted 1 ounce provides 50mg magnesium
  • Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons provides 50mg magnesium
  • Wheat bran, crude, 2 tablespoons provides 45mg magnesium
  • Blackeyed peas, cooked, provides 45mg magnesium
  • Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 8 ounces provides 45mg magnesium
  • Bran flakes provides 40mg magnesium
  • Vegetarian baked beans, provides 40mg magnesium
  • Brown long grain rice, cooked provides 40mg magnesium
  • Lentils, mature seeds, cooked provides 35mg magnesium
  • Wheat germ, crude, 2 tablespoons provides 35mg magnesium
  • Chocolate milk, 1 cup provides 33mg magnesium
  • Banana, raw, 1 medium provides 30mg magnesium
  • Whole wheat bread, 1 slice provides 25mg magnesium
  • Raisins, seedless provides 25mg magnesium
  • Whole milk, 1 cup provides 24mg magnesium

The recommended Daily Value for magnesium is 400mg , check your food labels to see how much magnesium you're getting.

Next what happens when you don't get enough magnesium or if you get too much magnesium (part 3).

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Magnesium, What Is It?

Magnesium, what is it?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Aprrox. 50% of the bodies magnesium is found in bone. The other half is predominantly found inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain muscle and nerve function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. These is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys.

Next, more about magnesium, what foods have it and how much you need (parts 2 & 3).

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whole Grains - How To Identify

Whole grains - how to identify:

The dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you try to make at least half of your daily grain choices whole grains.

You can find out if the food you are eating is made of whole grains by looking at the ingredients list on the food label. The whole grain should be the first ingredient listed. The following are some examples of how whole grains could be listed:
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • millet
  • wild rice
  • popcorn*
  • quinoa
  • triticale
  • whole-grain barley
  • whole-grain corn
  • whole oats/oatmeal
  • whole rye
  • whole wheat

*Popcorn is a whole grain that can have added fat and salt. Try air-popping your popcorn to avoid these extras. When buying microwave popcorn, look for the lower-fat variety. You can also try the snack size bag to help with portion control.

Grains Galore!

Here are some explanations of less-familiar grains.

Bulgur - Bulgur wheat consists of kernels that have been teamed, dried, and crushed. It has a tender and chewy texture. It is a staple of Middle Eastern dishes.

Millet - Millet comes in several varieties and has a bland flavor that is a background to other seasonings. It is a staple in parts of Africa and Asia.

Quinoa - Quinoa is a grain that has been traditionally used in South American dishes. Its texture has been compared to that of couscous.

Triticale - Triticale is a grain that is a hybrid of wheat and rye. It comes in several varieties including whole berry, flakes, and flour.

Back tomorrow with more healthy eating tips!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Complex Carbohydrates, What Are They & How Many Do I Need?

Complex carbohydrates, what are they & how many do I need?

Starch and dietary fiber are the two types of complex carbohydrates. Starch must be broken down through digestion before the body can use it as a glucose source. Lots of foods contain starch and fiber such as breads, cereals, and vegetables:
  • Starch is in certain vegetables such as potatoes, dry beans, peas, and corn.
  • Starch is also found in breads, cereals, and grains.
  • Dietary fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods.

Dietary Fiber

You may have seen dietary fiber on the label listed as soluble fiber or insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is found in the following:

  • Oatmeal
  • Oat bran
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Most fruits (strawberries, blueberries, pears, and apples)
  • Dry beans and peas

Insoluble fiber is found in the following:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Couscous
  • Bulgur or whole grain cereals
  • Wheat bran
  • Seeds
  • Most vegetables
  • Fruits

Which type is best? Each has important health benefits so eat a variety of these foods to get enough of both. You'll also be more likely to get other nutrients that you might miss if you just chose 1 or 2 high-fiber foods.

How much dietary fiber do I need each day?

It is recommended that you get 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories that you consume each day. If you eat 2,ooo calories a day, you should try to include 28 grams of dietary fiber.

To fins out how much calories you need each day, visit and enter your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level in the My Pyramid Plan tool. Then refer to the Easy Fiber Estimator to find out how many grams you need.

At first, you may find it hard to eat all the fiber grams you need each day. Just take it slow and try to choose higher-fiber foods more often. Over time, you will gradually be eating more fiber!

Jumpstart you dietary fiber intake with these tips:

  • Choose whole fruits more often than fruit juice. Fresh, frozen, or canned all count!
  • Try to eat 2 vegetables with your evening meal.
  • Keep a bowl of veggies already washed and prepared in your refrigerator, such as carrots, cucumbers, or celery.
  • Make a meal around dried beans or peas/legumes instead of meat. Check ( for some new ideas.
  • Choose whole grain foods more frequently. A good guide is to make at least 1/2 of your grain choices be whole grains.
  • Start your day with a whole grain breakfast cereal low in added sugar and top with fruit for even more fiber.

Next up will be whole grains.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First Type Of Carbohydrate - Simple Carbohydrate

Simple Carbohydrates:

Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Simple carbohydrates also includes sugars that are added to foods during processing. The difference is that generally foods with added sugars have fewer nutrients than foods with naturally-occurring sugars.

How to avoid added sugars:

One way is to read ingredient lists on food labels. Look for these ingredients as added sugars:
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

When you see any of these ingredients you know the food has added sugars. Typically, the closer to the top of the list, the more of that sugar is in the food.

Tips for avoiding added sugars include:

  • Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened sodas.
  • Choose 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit juice rather than a fruit drink.
  • Have a piece of fruit for dessert and skip desserts with added sugar.
  • Choose breakfast cereals that contain no or less added sugars

More on carbs and how many you should have in your diet next.

Blessings for a Glorious day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers, past, present, and future!!! Enjoy the day with those who love you most!!!

Have a Blessed and Glorious Mothers Day!

Make Sure To Tell Them!

Sorry for being gone the last couple of days, family tragedy struck. Just pray for those who are hurting and let them know you care!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Are Carbohydrates?

What are carbohydrates?

Your body uses carbohydrates (carbs) to make glucose which is the fuel that gives us energy and helps keep everything going.

Your body can use glucose immediately or store it in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

Your can find carbs in the following:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Breads, cereals, and other grains
  • Milk and milk products
  • Foods containing added sugars (cakes, cookies, and sugar-sweetened beverages).

Healthier food higher in carbs include ones that provide dietary fiber and whole grains as well as those without sugar added.

Foods higher in carbs such as sodas and candies also contain added sugars add a lot of calories but little nutritional value.

More on the types of carbs next.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Time-Saving Tips For Preparing Healthy Meals

Time-saving tips for preparing healthy meals

For most people, losing weight and keeping it off involves a long-term commitment. It means changing unhealthy eating habits that may have been formed early in life and developing a new relationship with food. Since food is essential to life, you can't just banish it as you might do with other troublesome substances. Instead, you must embrace it, learn about it and develop ways of dealing with it that enable you to monitor your weight for the rest of our lives.

The hallmarks of a well-planned weight loss plan are variety, balance, and moderation. It is not necessary to give up all of your favorite foods. In fact, the foods in your weight-loss plan should be satisfying and enjoyable and should fit your lifestyle. If they don't you are not likely to stick with the plan for long. The key is to make every calorie count!

One way to make sure that you eat delicious foods and enjoy every tasty calorie is to prepare your own meals. Cooking your own food allows you to control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in every dish. If you are a good cook already, you can mean new ways to "slenderize" your favorite recipes. If you are not accustomed to cooking your won food, or if you believe you don't have the necessary skills to prepare healthy homemade meals, why not take this opportunity to learn. Look at it as a new adventure and an excellent way to learn about food rather than as a daunting challenge.

American supermarkets are filled with high quality foods that enable the home cook to prepare a virtually endless variety of dishes. As an added bonus and timesaver, many items are cleaned and packaged for immediate use. In today's kitchen, washing and chopping vegetables, grating cheese, and peeling potatoes are choices rather than requirements.

Besides taking advantage of the time-saving choices offered in stores, the busy home cook who is developing a new relationship with food might benefit from some of the other time-saving tips that are listed below.

  • Make sure have the correct tool for the job. A really good chef's knife and chopping board, for example, make short work of any necessary dicing and chopping job.
  • Learn the ease of stir-frying which is a quick and healthy way to get vegetables on the table in minutes.
  • Do main grocery shopping once a week, and shop from a list.
  • Wash fresh herbs when you get home from shopping. Wrap in damp paper towel and store in a sealable plastic bag so they are always ready to use when you need them.
  • Devote on afternoon or evening a week to preparing dishes that can be heated and served another day.
  • Make double batches of casseroles and soups. Serve one and freeze the other for later use.
  • When cooking rice, prepare large batches and freeze in 1-2 cup portions in freezer bags. Use later for soups, casseroles, stir-fried dishes, etc.
  • Learn to prepare food in a slow cooker. Food cooks while you are busy doing other things.
  • Keep a well-stocked pantry, frig, and freezer. Preparing healthy, great tasting meals is much easier if you have basic ingredients on hand.

One thing I almost forgot, never go the grocery store when you are hungry, it tends to lead to unhealthy impulse purchases.

Let's get cooking!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Want To Cook Healthy Meals? Here Are Some Things to Have In Your Pantry, Frig, & Freezer!

Do you want to cook healthier meals? Here's some things to keep in your pantry, frig, and freezer!

Herbs, Spices & Flavorings
  • Fine salt and coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Curry paste
  • Dried herbs: bay leaves, sage, thyme leaves, oregano, basil leaves
  • Spices: coriander seeds, ground cinnamon, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, ground ginger
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Lemons, limes and/oranges

Oils, Vinegars & Condiments

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic and red-or white-wine vinegar
  • Reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Olives
  • Capers
  • Pimentos
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ketchup

Grains & Canned Goods

  • Assorted whole-wheat pastas
  • Brown rice
  • Quick-cook barley
  • Whole-wheat couscous
  • Corn tortillas
  • Plain dry breadcrumbs
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth, beef broth and/or vegetable broth
  • Beans (cannellini, black, red kidney, great northern, etc.)
  • Clam juice
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Reduced-fat cream of chicken and cream or mushroom soup
  • Evaporated skim milk

Nuts & Seeds

  • A variety of walnuts, pecans, almonds, and/or pine nuts
  • Sesame seeds

Refrigerator Staples

  • Low-fat milk
  • Low-fat plain yogurt
  • Reduced-fat sour cream
  • Reduced-fat cream cheese
  • Butter (preferably unsalted) and/or margarine
  • Eggs (large) and/or egg substitute
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Dry white wine (may substitute nonalcoholic wine)

Freezer Staples

  • Frequently used frozen vegetables, e.g., spinach, peas, peppers
  • Frozen berries (blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries)
  • Low-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

Here's to healthier eating habits!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Is Bottled Water Healthier And Safer Than Tap Water?

Is bottled water more healthy and safer than tap water?
Essentially the same standards exist for tap water and bottled water, although tap water is generally more rigorously regulated than bottled water. Over 1/3 of bottled water comes from tap water. "Purified" water may come from the tap and may be bottled as such or further filtered or distilled. Spring water must be obtained from free-flowing springs and obtained at the source of the spring. Bottled water is a convenience that fits lifestyle and meets our needs. Bottle water must meet the same standards as tap water, but is not necessarily "cleaner or greener". Bottled water is water intended for human consumption that is sealed in bottles or containers with no added ingredients except a safe suitable antimicrobial (usually ozone gas). The ozone gas improves the taste over chlorinated water. Most bottles water does not contain fluoride, while municipal tap water contains fluoride in many communities. Clean drinking water has been a major factor in the water we consume. In general, most bottles water that is tested is of good quality. Unfortunately, the marketing message from the bottled water industry is that bottled water is "good" as opposed to the "bad" stuff that comes out of the tap. This is not accurate. One other the primary differences between tap water and bottled water is the taste associated with chlorine, which is added to tap water, while ozone, which is volatile, is used in bottled water and does not impart a taste.

Upcoming, tips for healthy foods to stock in cabinets, frig, and freezers.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Folic Acid, Part of The B-Complex, Find Out More!

What is folic acid? How much do I need? Where can to get it?

The terms folic acid and folate refer to an essential water-soluble B-complex vitamin. Humans cannot produce this vitamin in the and body and derive it from foods or nutritional supplements. Folic acid is the most stable form of the vitamin found in nutritional supplements and fortified food. Folic acid is important for heart health, nervous and immune system health and for healthy cell growth. For example, folic acid deficiency increases the risk of spina bifida.

Various forms of folic acid bind to enzyme proteins and these enzyme-bound forms (coenyzmes) are essential for the activity of may important functions in cells. One such example is the way in which folic acid functions in the formation of biochemicals important in brain and nervous system health. Folic acid is critical for the production and maintenance of new cells, the utilization and metabolism of dietary amino acids (proteins), the normal production of red blood cells and the production of core building blocks of nucleic acids, DNA, which constitutes genes, and RNA, and the production of body cells constitutes (glycine, choline) important in mood. performance and nerve cell function. Its role in rapid cell division and growth emphasizes its importance during pregnancy and child growth.

Folic acid is required to utilize L-methionine, and essential amino acid in the body, and convert it into and activated form, which modifies fats, hormones, DNA, proteins, etc., thereby protecting cells and maintaining cell functions. Folic acid is required for the reconversion of homocysteine, a metabolite of L-methionine, into L-methionine. Higher levels of L-homocysteine have undesirable effects on heart health.

Common sources of dietary folate include fortified cereals, baked goods, leafy vegetables, cooked spinach, asparagus, broccoli, okra, avocado, fruits, lentils, beans, peas, yeast, mushrooms, organ meats (beef liver, kidney), tomato and citrus fruit juices. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for olic acid for adults is 400 mcg. Supplemental folic acid is recommended not to exceed 1,000 mcg per day. Supplements containing folic acid generally also include vitamin B-12.

I think we've covered most of the B vitamins, you'll have see where we go next!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Continuing With The Vitamin B Theme, Biotin, Get The Facts!

What is biotin? How much do I need? Where can I find it?
Biotin, is a member of the water-soluble B-complex family of vitamins, and is an essential nutrient in human nutrition. Biotin is well known for its beneficial effects for hair, skin, and nails. Humans lack the ability to synthesize biotin and derive this vitamin from food or dietary supplementation. Biotin is essential for enzyme proteins that play vital roles in the metabolism of all major nutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) in the body. One such biotin-requiring enzyme is crucial for the functioning of the nervous system. Biotin is critical for the synthesis of fatty acids, amino acids and sugars, elimination of byproducts arising from the metabolism of proteins and amino acids (particularly essential amino acids), cholesterol and other fats.

Biotin plays a crucial role in converting energy sources such as carbohydrates and amino acids into critical substances, which drive energy yielding processes in body cells. Biotin serves a particular function in enabling body cells to utilize sugars (glucose) as the major source of energy. Biotin inadequacy in the body is known to result in impaired utilization of sugars. In some instances, biotin supplementation has been found to help maintain healthy blood sugar and fat levels. Since biotin interacts with proteins associated with the genetic material (DNA) in cells, it has a potential to influence gene expression and, therefore, enhanced body cell metabolism and the maintenance of healthy cells.

Even though biotin is distributed in a variety of foods, its levels are generally lower that those of other B vitamins. Rich sources of biotin include egg yolk, liver, crude wheat bran and yeast. Soybeans, nuts, and cereals are also good sources of biotin. The suggested Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for biotin is 30 mg.

One more B-complex related topic tomorrow night then on something new!

Blessings for a Glorious Day!