Overcome Your Basic Desire for Sweet Foods

July 12, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

Why do we need to sweeten everything we eat? Is it because nothing in its natural state tastes good? Or, have we been programmed to think sweetness is the only taste that is truly satisfying because sugar has been increasingly added to most packaged foods? It is interesting that if you stop eating sugar laden foods you will acquire a more refined palate and when you eat something sweetened your tolerance will be diminished. Sweetened foods will seem to be too sweet.

In order to overcome your basic desire for sweet foods you must read all labels to avoid the hidden sugars in everything from potato chips to breaded fish. An effective way to begin weaning yourself from sugar is to experiment with healthy sugar substitutes such as xlitol, agave nectar or stevia. These sweeteners have a much lower glycemic index. This means they do not convert as rapidly as simple sugars.

We need to ask ourselves if the food we are eating is naturally sweet and if not, is it truly any good for us if the only way it is palatable is by adding sugar. We should also ask ourselves if the food we are eating is whole or have parts of it been removed during processing. It is always optimum to consume foods in their whole state so that we have all of the nutrients nature provided to digest and utilize the nutrients it contains. This is the way we have evolved over the last many thousands of years we have been on this planet. It has only been maybe 100 years that mankind has had access to the commodity of sugar at very cheap prices. It has only been during this time that so many of the maladies we currently experience have begun to manifest themselves. This is not accidental. A majority of our current health issues experienced today are a direct result of an over consumption of refined sugar and white flour.

If you are tempted to eat a food which is not whole, ask yourself if you are eating to nourish your body and quench hunger or are you just satisfying a psychological need for a particular taste sensation - notably the taste of sweetness. In order to stay healthy and vital in our current environment a discriminating knowledge of what we put in our bodies is crucial.

The Body has Only Two Places it Can Store Excess Sugar: the Liver, as glycogen, or as fat.
Yes, that’s right. The unused sugar is stored as fat and the hormone that does this is insulin, and the pancreas always releases insulin when one eats carbohydrates/sugar. Therefore, if you are not very physically active when you eat refined carbohydrates, you will store any excess as fat. Additionally, the consumption of refined carbohydrates, by definition, means you are not obtaining adequate minerals to maintain normal cellular functions especially those associated with sugar metabolism and management.

Related article: The Only Weight Loss Tips You’ll Ever Need

The Only Weight Loss Tips You’ll Ever Need

July 11, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under General Interest, Holistic Nutrition

There will always be some new fad diet out… some Mother-of-All-Weight-Loss-Plans… some “secret ingredient” found in some fruit you’ve never heard of before. If you’ve tried one or more of the latest diet plans and the only thing you ended up losing was your “will power,” then the following weight loss tips will work for you as they have for me — and countless others. You will be able to lose weight without having to count calories, or join some expensive gym, or become a paid member of some website.

I should back up a bit and mention what inspired me to give this a try. A few months ago, I had a CA125 test done. The results came in high; a high probability that I had (have) ovarian cancer. And there you have it – my “inspiration.”   The “C” word.  I was scheduled for surgery in April. LONG story short, I ended up getting into an argument with my Oncologist during the pre-op exams and ended up leaving his office. Of course, my OB/GYN called me later that day and after explaining to him what had transpired, we agreed that I could postpone the surgery until June. It’s now July and I have not (yet) had the surgery, for reasons that have nothing to do with this article, and a lot to do with my sucky health insurance plan.

At any rate, it was at that point when I decided to make what was a HUGE change in my lifestyle and eating habits, with the thought in mind of preparing my body for surgery and recovery. Losing weight was not my top priority, but I’m not complaining that pounds immediately started coming off, and at a healthy rate of 2-3 a week. The only weeks I have not lost, but not gained, are the 3 weeks that I had a “meat and potato loving” house guest. Prior to that, I had not eaten meat or potatoes in 6 weeks, along with other dietary changes.

There have been other very noticeable health improvements as well, such as: the pain in my leg is gone (at times, it would feel as if my leg was on fire!); I can now go up/down the stairs without having to favor that one leg; the dark circles under my eyes are all but gone; and my digestive tract is no longer on vacation. And, oh by the way, the edema problem I’ve had for at least 8 years in my legs, ankles and feet is now a thing of the past! Yes…I was a train wreck. But poor health is bound to happen when you spend your entire life eating processed foods, and drinking a lot of Pepsi every day.

The Best 2 Weight Loss Tips:

  1. Change your perspective. Stop thinking about “dieting” and start thinking about how to avoid paying out thousands of dollars in medical expenses each year by preventing diseases that are preventable. Instead of thinking “I want to lose weight,” think, “I want to be as healthy as possible.” In my opinion, it’s pointless trying to convince your brain that you want to “lose” something when you’ve programmed it from day one not to lose. After all, who wants to lose at anything!
  2. Don’t wander around the grocery store.  You won’t be tempted to buy what you usually buy, or buy out of habit.  Plus, you can save time and energy when grocery shopping!  Follow these health-conscious shopping tips:
  • If there’s a food label on it, don’t buy it.
  • If it’s white (i.e. bread, pasta, flour, etc.), put it down.
  • If it contains sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup – which is in just about EVERYTHING), ignore it.

Other helpful tips:

I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of “Eat For Health (2 book set),” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  This 2-book set was given to me as a gift.  I wish I had this precise information years ago.  The step-by-step outlined plan is set up in 3 phases. Considering my health condition at the time, I jumped right into Phase 2. That’s not something I suggest for everyone. You’ll know whether or not you can, or want to, start on Phase 2 after you read the book.

The main problem I had with Dr. Fuhrman’s plan is that it was impossible for me to eat that much food! Not to mention, I’ve never in my entire life eaten this many greens! And we’re talking POUNDS of the stuff!! This gives whole new meaning to “It ain’t easy going green.” One thing for sure, you will absolutely not be hungry all day. I had to find some alternative to eating truckloads of greens in order to get in the daily requirements.

Enter “Amazing Grass” Green Super Food. Catchy product name, yes? The first one I tried was the Berry Flavor, which I found to be a bit too sweet.  This may sound strange coming from a life-long Pepsi addict, however, the  less sugar you eat the less you crave it.  Aside from the sweetness, the flavor didn’t always mix well with other fresh fruits that I was adding to it…though it was very good mixed with fresh pineapple. Now I’m using the unflavored blend, which mixes well with just about every fruit I add to my smoothie.

So.  There you have it.  One very simple, yet highly effective, way to improve your health and help to prevent diseases.  If nothing else, at least give up refined sugar.  The sugar alone can do a great deal of damage to your body!

Best of health to you, and yours…

Terri

Related Article: Overcome Your Basic Desire for Sweet Foods

Are Organic Foods Healthier for You?

May 26, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

What makes a food product “organic?” Organic foods must meet certain standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, such as being produced without the use of hormones, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or fertilizers created with sewer waste or ingredients that aren’t natural.  This alone makes organic foods healthier for you; they have not been contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals during the processing of that item. However, while the USDA certifies organic foods, they don’t claim that these products are safer or more nutritious.

Animal products that are labeled as organic must come from animals that are only feed organic feed, without antibiotics or growth hormones. These animals must also be able to freely roam around outdoors,  rather than be constantly stuck in cages or pens.

One thing you may have noticed about organic foods is that they tend to cost more than conventionally grown foods.  The main reason for the higher prices is that regular food products that are not considered to be organic, are subsidized by the government, making them less expensive to produce and bring to market.  If the government subsidized organically grown foods, very likely the price would be about the same as conventionally grown food. In addition to not being subsidized, without all the commercial pesticides, farmers run a greater risk of losing part, or even all, of their crop.  Then there’s the matter of  not being able to use every acre to grow “cash crops” that bring the highest prices. Organic farmers use crop rotation to keep their soil healthy. So instead of planting crops on every acre every year, they rotate fields and plant “cover crops” that are plowed to improve the soil’s nutrients for the long term.

Organic Food Labeling

Some food products are labeled “100% Organic,” and some are just labeled as being “organic” (meaning they’re at least 95% organic).  Food products that are “made with organic ingredients” contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. The organic seal can’t be used on packages that read “made with organic ingredients.”

You may see other terms on food labels, such as “all-natural,” “free-range” (you’ll see this on egg cartons) or “hormone-free.”  Don’t confuse terms like “all natural” with the term “organic.” Only those foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.

Green Tea May Protect Against Glaucoma

May 20, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

Green tea contains healthful substances that can penetrate eye tissues, raising the possibility that the tea may protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea — renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties — do penetrate into tissues of the eye. Their new report, the first documenting how the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, raises the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases. It appears in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Chi Pui Pang and colleagues point out that so-called green tea “catechins” have been among a number of antioxidants thought capable of protecting the eye. Those include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Until now, however, nobody knew if the catechins in green tea actually passed from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye.

Pang and his colleagues resolved that uncertainty in experiments with laboratory rats that drank green tea. Analysis of eye tissues showed beyond a doubt that eye structures absorbed significant amounts of individual catechins. The retina, for example, absorbed the highest levels of gallocatechin, while the aqueous humor tended to absorb epigallocatechin. The effects of green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress in the eye lasted for up to 20 hours. “Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress,” the report concludes.

FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/jf9032602

How to Brew Green Tea

Research suggests that brewing green tea a certain way can increase the antioxidant content.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE:
This pages focuses on brewing loose leaf green tea.

Why Brown Rice is Heart-Healthy

May 17, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under General Interest, Holistic Nutrition

Researchers report that brown rice is better than white rice when it comes to protecting you from high blood pressure and artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The two kinds of rice that may reduce the risk of heart disease by interfering with a protein (angiotensin II) linked to these health conditions are brown and half-milled rice.

“Our research suggests that there is a potential ingredient in rice that may be a good starting point for looking into preventive medicine for cardiovascular diseases,” said researcher Satoru Eguchi, an associate professor of physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

When brown rice is converted to white rice the heart-healthy layer of rice is stripped away.  However, this vital layer can be preserved in half-milled (Haigamai) and incompletely milled (Kinmemai) rice, which are popular in Japan.

The study is slated to be released at the Experimental Biology annual conference, April 24-28, in Anaheim, Calif.

Health Benefits of Spirulina

July 31, 2009 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

Spirulina is one of hundreds of algae species and is commonly known as blue green algae. It’s a rich source of nutrients, containing up to 70% protein, B-complex vitamins, phycocyanin, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and numerous minerals. In fact, spirulina contains more beta-carotene than carrots. Considered one of nature’s most perfect foods, it has been used since ancient times as a source of nutrients and has been said to possess a variety of medical uses, including as an antioxidant, antiviral, antineoplastic, weight loss aid, and lipid-lowering agent. Read more

Holistic Nutrition

May 4, 2009 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

The following guidelines are the basis of holistic nutrition. Compare your present eating regimen with the guidelines presented, and do your best to make any changes that seem natural and easy.

1. Eat 70% whole, complete, unrefined and unadulterated foods (fruit, vegetables and salads) per day. These should be fresh, as close to organic as possible, and pesticide-free.

2. Do not eat proteins and starches at the same meal.  Eat proteins at lunch, with non-starchy vegetables.  Eat starches at dinner, with non-starchy vegetables.  Meats – When possible, eat organically raised meats, and no more than three (3) times per week. Give preference to fish, poultry, veal, lamb, beef and pork, in that order. This method of eating is referred to as proper food combining and will help the body by diverting precious healing energy from the digestive process to the processes of detoxification and healing. Healing occurs when the body is also properly nourished. By eating this way, a full day’s eating will only require about fifteen percent (15%) of the day’s allotment of energy, leaving eighty-five percent (85%) for natural detoxification and healing. Energy is required for all of these processes. Read more