You’ve probably heard the expression, “you are what you eat,” but what exactly does that mean? Put simply, food is fuel, and the kinds of foods and drinks you consume determine the types of nutrients in your system and impact how well your mind and body are able to function according to Mental Health America.
Avoid: Sugary drinks and excessive amounts of caffeine. Sugary drinks have empty calories and damage tooth enamel. Caffeine should also be avoided in excess, as it can trigger panic attacks in people who have anxiety disorders.
Try to: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (about 2 liters) to prevent dehydration. Studies show that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes1, in addition to physical effects like thirst, decreased or dark urine, dry skin, headache, dizziness and/or constipation. Limit caffeine if you have an anxiety disorder. If you feel like you need some caffeine, try tea. Tea has lower amounts of caffeine than coffee and has lots of antioxidants-chemicals found in plants that protect body tissues and prevent cell damage.
-Eat more fruits and vegetables of any kind. Local and imported, fresh and frozen, organic and conventional are all good choices.
-Use fresh vegetables soon after purchasing to maximize nutrient content and prevent spoilage. Delicate foods like berries and greens will spoil more quickly. Produce with harder skin, such as carrots, cabbage, and apples, are more durable and last longer at home. Planning can help minimize food waste.
-Chill. Produce ripens more quickly when left at room temperature, but, once ripe, getting most types into a refrigerator (or freezer) can help preserve nutrients. A recent study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology focusing on blueberries found that phytochemical content could be largely preserved by low temperature storage (in a refrigerator or freezer). Some produce, however, such as tomatoes and bananas, are better left at room temperature, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
-Rinse (just about) everything. All produce should be rinsed with clean water before use to reduce risk of foodborne disease and remove pesticide residue. Hard produce can be scrubbed with a brush. Soap and special washes are not recommended. The only exception is pre-washed, bagged, greens, which the CDC recommends not be washed at home.
-Keep a fruit bowl. Having a bowl of fruit visible encourages more fruit intake, but can also lead to waste if the fruit spoils. Try having just a couple pieces of each type of fruit out at any one time (depending on your household size). This can help avoid over-ripening and food waste.
-Don’t forget frozen. Pre-packaged frozen vegetables and fruits are at least as nutritious as fresh, and often less expensive, and they are available year-round.
Let me hear that, get me near that Crunchy Granola Suite Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’ Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )
I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.
I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t. That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.
“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”
So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.
I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.
Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.
Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?
The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.
Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams
A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.
Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.
While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.
If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.
For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:
I am a big fan of Drs. Oz and Roizon, the authors of the YOU books, YOU on a Diet, YOU Staying Young, etc. I have read them and recommend them. I saw an ad that described them as “Serious science presented to you in a highly digestible way.” I think that is exactly right.
YOU on a Diet was the first Dr. Oz Book I ever read
On the premise that Americans find filling out their tax forms easier than following dietary info, Dr. Oz offered several simple guidelines for losing weight and reducing belly fat.
1. Don’t eat foods with added sugars or added syrups. When possible, avoid artificial sweeteners, too. They lie to your appetite control system and can lead to weight gain.
2. Choose 100% whole grains. Your guts, immune system, and heart will thank you.
3. Eat slowly so you can tell when you’re full. Then stop.
4. Eat often (4 to 6 times a day) to prevent hunger. Hunger leads to overeating, which is bad for the heart and triggers weight gain.
5. Get nine servings of fruits and veggies a day. Think of it as nine fistfuls of goodness.
6. Opt for lean protein. Good sources include chicken (no skin), fish, beans, and whole grains. Spare your heart and brain the damage that too much saturated fat causes.
7. Get a blood test to check your levels of vitamin D and B12. Take supplements if you’re deficient.
Eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life, new research from the University of Otago suggests.
Department of Psychology researcher Dr Tamlin Conner, and Dr Caroline Horwath and Bonnie White from Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition, investigated the relationship between day-to-day emotions and food consumption.
The study is published in the British Journal of Health Psychology today.
A total of 281 young adults (with a mean age of 20 years) completed an internet-based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days. Prior to this, participants completed a questionnaire giving details of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight and height. Those with a history of an eating disorder were excluded.
On each of the 21 days participants logged into their diary each evening and rated how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives. They were also asked five questions about what…
Fresh fruit is not only the top snack food consumed in America, it is also one of the fastest growing, according to new snacking research from The NPD Group, a leading global information company. NPD’s recently released Snacking in America report finds that growing concerns about health and eating right are contributors to the increasing popularity of fruit as a snack.
One of the reasons that fruit holds the top snack position is that it’s eaten throughout the day resulting in its inclusion in more snack occasions than other snack foods, according to NPD’s Snacking in America report, which examines attitudes and behaviors about snacking as well as snack selection drivers. During the two-year period ending March 2012, fresh fruit was consumed as a snack in 10 more snack occasions a year than chocolate, the next top snack food, and 25 more occasions a year than potato chips, the third…