Category Archives: healthy eating

6 Tricks to Eat Healthier – Harvard

I came across this item from Harvard Medical School’s Healthbeat. It happens to be six of the best ideas that I have written about or heard about for eating healthier and smarter.

1. Ditch whole milk
Not only does this reduce saturated fat in your diet, it also shaves off calories.
How: Switch to 1% or nonfat milk, and nonfat versions of other dairy products like yogurt and ice cream. Can’t bear to go cold turkey? Step down more slowly to 2% milk, then 1% en route to nonfat, if possible.

Most of the people I know have been drinking skimmed or soymilk for years.

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2. Harness the power of nuts (and seeds)
Almonds, cashews, filberts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios pack plenty of beneficial nutrients, including vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Although many nuts are high in fat, the fat is mainly unsaturated — a healthy choice.
How: First, put nuts on the grocery list. Nuts are high in calories, so it’s best to enjoy them in place of other snacks, not in addition to them, and to keep serving sizes small.

Amen, brother. To read further on the benefits of nuts and seeds, check out my posts:
6 Reasons You Should Eat Pumpkin Seeds Year-Round
The Super Seeds: Which is Healthier
What are the Top Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Are Chia Seeds Good for You?
Are Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) Good For You?

3. Taste food before you salt it
Break the autopilot habit of reaching for the salt shaker.
How: For two days, don’t put any salt on your food at all. A short break can help reset your taste buds. Then, leave the salt shaker in the cabinet, so it becomes a bit of an effort to reach for it. Make a ritual out of truly tasting your food before you decide if it needs tweaking.

Great idea, but the fact is that most people get overdosed on the salt that is in their processed foods. The more natural food you eat, the better off you will be.

4. Pack lunch once a week
This makes healthy food choices readily available to you at work or on an outing. And since you are controlling portion sizes, you can make sure that you’re not supersizing your meal. Plus, it saves you money.
How: Once a week, before you shop for groceries, write out a meal plan that leaves enough leftovers for one or two lunches.

I love this. I suggested it back five years ago when we first started the blog.  Here are my exact words: “I think if I were still working I would seriously consider bringing lunch from home a day or two each week to keep a handle on my intake. With a fridge and microwave where you work, you are good to go,” I wrote in the About Me Page.

5. Eat five (or more) vegetables and fruits a day
It’s a nutrient-packed way to fill your plate, and is generally low in calories.
How: First, for one week, keep track of how often you eat fruits and vegetables. One serving equals one-half cup of chopped fruit or most vegetables; for raw leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach, a serving is one cup. Once you have your baseline, try adding one fruit or vegetable serving a day.

6. Plan meals that are delightful, delicious, and healthy
In an ideal world, food delights all our senses: it looks beautiful, smells heavenly, and tastes delicious, and its textures feel and even sound satisfying. Start thinking about food as something to really savor and enjoy. How: Pencil in time to prepare and savor one or two special meals a week. Once you’ve assembled great ingredients, set a gorgeous table. Take a moment to truly take in scents, companions, and surroundings, and if you like, give thanks.
For 42 simple changes to help you exercise more, eat healthier, stress less, and live a happier, more fulfilling life, buy Simple Changes, Big Rewards from Harvard Medical School.

Tony

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How Various Foods Benefit Your Body – Infographic

I put this in the category of one picture is worth a thousand words. I like the idea of connecting various parts of the body with individual foods and showing a relationship. It is also interesting to note that there is no place for junk food on this chart. Not a lot of benefits there. It might be worth keeping in mind when you are tempted by a Ho Ho. I posted A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT a while back. It has a good explanation of how certain nutrients impact your body.

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Tony

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Super Bowl Sunday Snacking

What are you going to be snacking on during the big game?

According to The Supermarket Guru, “It’s estimated that on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will consume more than double their average daily snack amount; and the average “armchair quarterback” will consume nearly 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks alone- not counting meals. To burn that off, you’d have to run for about an hour and 45 minutes!”

Pigs in a blanket – One of the top five fan snack choices

Bing.com says the top five game day snacks are Buffalo wings, pizza, nachos, chili, and pigs in a blanket. I hope for your sake that you are not going this high calorie count empty nutritional value route.

I have written about snacking here before. There was Targeted Snacking in June and Smart Snacking in March. Click on the links for some positive ideas on snacks for the big game.

WeightWatchers suggests, “You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don’t overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on ….

“Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway).”

Tony

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Filed under calories, Exercise, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, Snacking, Weight

10 Foods to Eat at Least Once a Week – Infographic

In case you didn’t know it. Here are 10 really great foods that you should include in your diet. Luckily, they happen to taste great, too. So, we aren’t taking hardship of any kind here.

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Tony

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5 Healthy Eating Habits to Adopt This Year

If taking them all on at once seems overwhelming, try a “step-ladder” approach—focus on one change until it feels like a normal part of your daily routine, then add another, and another. Sometimes taking it slow ups the chances that behaviors will stick, so come December 2015, you’ll be celebrating a year of accomplishments.

Our Better Health

January 1, 2015    By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

Nutrition is a hot topic these days, yet many of my clients still struggle with consistently following through with “the basics,” and the stats show that missing the mark on many healthy habits is the norm. For example, the median daily intake of produce for U.S. adults is 1.1 servings of fruit and 1.6 servings of veggies, far below the minimum recommended five daily servings.

If you’re going to set just one goal for 2015, I think eating more produce should be it, but I’ve also listed four others below. I know you’ve heard them before, but they are without a doubt the most tried-and-true, impactful eating habits you can foster—both for your waistline and your health. And despite knowing them, you may not be achieving them, so they’re worth considering as you choose your resolutions.

If taking them all on…

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6 Reasons You Should Eat Bananas – Infographic

Banana

To read further on the brain check out:15 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Brain – Infographic, 5 steps to improve your brain health and my Page: Important Facts About Your Brain.

Tony

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December 7, 2014 · 6:05 am

The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet

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Our Better Health

By Kris Gunnars 

There is only a limited amount of food you can eat in a single day.

In order to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in, it makes sense to spend your “calorie budget” wisely.

The best way to do that is to simply eat the foods that carry the greatest amount and variety of nutrients.

These are the 11 most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

1. Salmon

Not all fish is created equal.

Salmon, and other fatty types of fish, contain the greatest amount of Omega-3s.

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. They’re linked to improved wellbeing and a lower risk of many serious diseases.

Although salmon is mainly prized for its beneficial composition of fatty acids, it also packs a massive amount of other nutrients.

A 100 gram piece of wild salmon contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3s…

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Nothing Fishy about Health Benefits of Plant-based Omega-3 Fatty Acid

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country,” said Fleming. “Learning what you can do to prevent heart disease is important and relevant for everybody.”

Cooking with Kathy Man

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.

A substantial amount of evidence exists supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. However, much less evidence exists to demonstrate the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

“The benefits reported for EPA and DHA are stronger because supplements of EPA and DHA were tested, and EPA and DHA was the only difference between the treatment and control groups,” said Jennifer Fleming, instructor and clinical research coordinator in nutritional sciences. “In contrast, in the ALA studies, there were diet differences beyond ALA between the treatment and control groups.”

EPA and DHA can be found in seafood and fish oil, and are often consumed in the form of dietary supplements…

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9 Self-Care Essentials To Add To Your Life

Time spent experiencing nature is extremely restorative. Visually feasting on the beauty and wonder of nature, placing our feet on the earth, our body in water, and breathing in fresh air is a great act of kindness towards out bodies and minds. If you find time outside healing and pleasurable, make time for it as often as possible.

I think that is one of my greatest joys in bike riding. I get out and experience Chicago’s Lakefront with its trees, birds, squirrels and views.

Some Fall color on the Lakefront last month with the city as a backdrop.

Some Fall color on the Lakefront last month with the city as a backdrop.

To these essentials, I would add including the sight of a body of water in your life. Check out my post on Blue Mind for more info. It’s no accident that the most expensive property has a view of the water.

Tony

Our Better Health

BY TRISH ALLAN   NOVEMBER 10, 2013 

There’s been a long-held belief that people are worthy of respect when they put others before themselves. People have often evaluated their own worth (and the degree to which they deserve value in society) by their ability to contribute and place the needs of others before themselves.

Along with this belief is the idea that self-care is self-indulgent. However, we can only sustain physical health and emotional health when self-care is a priority. (This is true for both women and men, despite some old-fashioned gender stereotypes!) When your needs are met, and self-care is a non-negotiable priority, you can come to the world as the best version of yourself; fully nourished and ready to nourish those around you.

In fact, giving yourself permission to take care of yourself is probably the best thing you can do for the people in your life. Not…

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26 Low Calorie Snacks – Infographic

As regular readers know, I am a big snacker. It was a major problem for me when I was heavy, but no more. After you finish with this wonderful list of better than two dozen low calorie snacks, check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (with apologies to Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood).

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Tony

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Health Benefits of Chicken Eggs

Eggs are also a rich supply of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These are predominantly in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which helps with the maintenance of brain function and normal vision.

I am a huge fan of eggs. I covered the shell egg futures market when I worked for Reuters and learned a great deal about them, from marketing to nutritional value. I still eat an egg almost every day.

Check out the following posts to read further on eggs:
Eating Eggs is Good for Weight Loss – WebMD,

Is it Healthy to Eat Eggs Regularly? What is the Food Value of Easter Eggs?

The Food Channel Puts Eggs in the Top 10 Breakfasts,

Eating Eggs is Good for You,

Nutrition Myths Debunked – Myth 2 – Eating Eggs raises your cholesterol levels.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Nutritional breakdown

Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of a healthy and balanced diet. Below is a list of nutrients that can be found in eggs, along with a brief summary of what they are useful for:

  • Vitamin A: maintains the skin, immune system and normal vision.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, vision and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12: aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, the immune system and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): aids energy metabolism and mental functioning.
  • Vitamin D: keeps bones and teeth healthy and aids absorption of calcium.
  • Vitamin E: keeps the reproductive system, nervous system and muscles healthy.
  • Biotin: aids energy metabolism, maintains skin, hair and the immune system.
  • Choline: aids fat metabolism and liver function.
  • Folic Acid: aids blood formation and tissue growth during pregnancy.

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Nuts and Your Health: What to Know

What’s more, researchers from Purdue University found that nuts are not linked with weight gain, despite their relatively high calorie count. An ounce of nuts has 160-200 calories, depending on the type.

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Our Better Health

By Kathleen Doheny   WebMD Health News   Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD     Sept. 10, 2014

Once viewed by some as a food too high in calories to enjoy on a regular basis, nuts are getting new respect.

Two recent studies have touted the benefits of nuts for blood sugar control. One, published in Diabetes Care, found that eating pistachio nuts daily may help people at risk of getting diabetes control their blood sugar. A second, published in PLOS One, found that tree nuts — including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and pecans, among others — may improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

These are only a couple of many recent studies that point to the health benefits of eating nuts in moderation.

WebMD asked two dietitians to dish on what else we need to know about these crunchy treats.

What are some of the top…

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The 11 healthiest foods in the world

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Our Better Health

Grown without chemicals and loaded with nutrition, these 11 foods will keep you (and the planet) healthy for life.

By Rodale News Thu, Mar 08 2012

WHOLE FOODS: Full of nutrition and easy on the planet. 

J.I. Rodale, the man who founded Rodale Publishing, launched the organic farming movement in America. A strong believer in the power of food to heal, he knew long before organic went mainstream that producing the healthiest food meant growing it in the healthiest soil — soil enriched naturally with organic matter, not synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers that can rob it of vital nutrients and minerals. In a 1947 issue of Rodale’s first magazine, Organic Gardening, J.I. Rodale outlined “The Rodale Diet,” a simple recommendation of easily accessible healthy foods, grown without the use of toxic chemicals that, if followed 20 to 30 percent of the time would “give disease a smart punch in the solar…

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Overcoming Resistance to Change: The Secret to Lasting Health

Walking is one of the best habits  you can have.

Walking is one of the best habits you can have. It burns calories and benefits the health of your brain as well.

According to neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, 95% of your life is dictated by the subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain that runs a large portion of your life on autopilot enabling you to do many tasks without thinking about them, everything from tying your shoes to driving a car.

When you do something often enough, it becomes a habit. Habits are activities you do effortlessly with minimal thought on your part. You can appreciate the power of a habit when you try to stop a bad one. It’s tough!

Our Better Health

27th August 2014      By Deane Alban  Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

What do you want to do when you retire? The most common answers to this question are to spend time with friends and family, travel, volunteer, exercise (finally!), learn new things, live abroad, and write a book. [1] But you won’t be able to do these things later if you don’t take care of your body and your brain now.

If you’re like most people, you’ve tried to change, but you find it really, really hard (as in “impossible”). You’ve made the resolutions and set the goals. When you’ve failed, you’ve tried even harder, but making change stick has still eluded you.

Let’s take a look at why the usual ways of making lifestyle changes often fail. Then I’ll give you some super-easy but counter-intuitive tips to create new, healthy habits.

Change the Usual Way Is…

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When you quit smoking, good things happen to your body

Regular readers know I am totally against smoking and myriad ways it damages the human body. If you haven’t quit yet, and these reasons aren’t enough to convince you, please check out my Page – How Bad is Smoking?

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Tony

Explosivelyfit Strength Training, LLC

When you quit smoking, good things happen to your body

  1. Your blood pressure and heart rate begin to lower after 20 minutes of no smoking.
  2. The carbon monoxide levels in your blood returns to normal after 12 hours of non-smoking.
  3. Your risk of heart attack decreases after 24 hours smoke-free.
  4. Your circulation will improve after 2 to 12 weeks of being smoke-free.
  5. One year after of no smoking, your risk of heart attack is half of what a smokers is.
  6. Your risk of a stroke, after five years, is the same as a non-smoker.
  7. Fifteen years after no smoking, the risk of you developing coronary heart disease is at the same level as a non-smoker.

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Why You Should be Eating More Strawberries – Infographic

The following was produced for National Strawberry Day, but I am a big fan of the colorful berries. Check out: How Healthy are Strawberries?and 9 Amazing Health Benefits of Strawberries for more.
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Tony

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