Are You Too Acidic?

I’ve gradually cleaned up my diet over the past few years and also transitioned to more raw fruits and vegetables in my meals. However, I still suffer from mild headaches, sinus issues, and eye irritation. I recently stumbled across an article on the benefits of an alkaline diet and discovered I have many symptoms associated with being too acidic. That being said, I did some research and to my dismay, coffee is top on the list to cut out. I love coffee and look forward to it every morning to jump-start my day. Needless to say, cutting out my java is going to be a major challenge. Next on the list was chocolate. I love having a piece of dark cholate after dinner; of course two of my favorite things would have to be on the list.

Check out this picture below that details acidic symptoms:

13220571_1050368758370503_1856385546492775769_o

“You will know if you are too acidic if you get sick often, get urinary tract infections, suffer from headaches, and have bad breath and body odor (when you do not use antiperspirant). Acidosis is the medical term for a blood alkalinity of less than 7.35. A normal reading is called homeostasis. It is not considered a disease; although in and of itself it is recognized as an indicator of disease. Your blood feeds your organs and tissues; so if your blood is acidic, your organs will suffer and your body will have to compensate for this imbalance somehow. We need to do all we can to keep our blood alkalinity high. The way to do this is to dramatically increase our intake of alkaline-rich elements like fresh, clean air; fresh, clean water; raw vegetables (particularly their juices); and sunlight, while drastically reducing our intake of and exposure to acid-forming substances: pollution, cigarettes, hard alcohol, white flour, white sugar, red meat, and coffee. By tipping the scales in the direction of alkalinity through alkaline diet and removal of acid waste through cleansing, and acidic body can become an alkaline one.― Natalia Rose

A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity.
Going on a more alkaline diet means I will need to also cut out meat and dairy. Although I’ve reduced my meat consumption, I love yogurt and cottage cheese. Therefore, it’s going to be a challenge to find optional protein sources. This picture shows some examples of acidic and alkaline foods.
564743_613435045416404_5301745785065677402_n

I’ve decided to experiment with an alkaline diet for the month of August. I’ll keep you updated on my meals and results.

Advertisements

When Vegan Becomes Unhealthy

carrot-kale-walnuts-tomatoes.jpg

The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasing popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to improve their health, avoid contaminants in meat, and  their compassion for animals.

Many people begin by reducing their meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into their daily meals. Further research and experimentation into a meatless lifestyle can quite often lead to the transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

pexels-photo-776314.jpeg

There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.

pexels-photo-248337.jpeg

Vegans on the other hand eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more planning than before.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.

notes-macbook-study-conference.jpg

Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.

SOME ALARMING CONCERNS FOR KIDS:

The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.

pexels-photo-207653.jpeg

Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reporta that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency. Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in haematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients.  Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to  use supplements.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diets.

pexels-photo-433635.jpeg

Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butters, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check ups with complete blood work ups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

Learn A Yoga Arm Balance

The true miracle lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honor the uniqueness, and freedom of each sentient being to sing the song of their heart.” 
― Amit RayMeditation: Insights and Inspirations

14650756_10211263251400837_2818208651114053535_n

 

 

I love yoga arm balances.  They build all over strength; specifically in the upper body and core.  This is eight angle pose.  If you would like to try it; check out the video below:

 

 

 

Homemade Larabars

I love Larabars! Guess what? You can make them yourselves and here is an easy recipe from Daily Burn with only 3 ingredients! How cool is that??

food-nature-autumn-nuts.jpg

3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars
Store-bought bars are great for convenience, but homemade versions are always healthier, tastier and more budget conscious. This recipe is packed with nuts and dried fruit for a healthy balance of fiber and protein. Change up the flavor by adding cinnamon, vanilla extract or cacao powder. Add texture by mixing in some cacao nibs or chia seeds! Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn

3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars Recipe

Serves: 8

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
3/4 cup other dried fruit (such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, figs or more dates)
Pinch of sea salt

Preparation

  1. Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until they form large crumbs. Then, with the motor running, add the dates and other dried fruit to the food processor.
  2. Process until you have a mixture that sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
  3. Pour the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Form the mixture into an 8-inch square and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cutting into bars.
  4. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks or in the freezer for a few months.

The Skinny

What You Do Today Will Affect Your Future

How often do you think about the future? What would you see if you looked into a crystal ball and saw yourself 10 or maybe 20 years older?? Would you like what you see? Your crystal ball could provide some valuable insight regarding quality of life in later years. Perhaps you can control your destiny much more than you think.

pexels-photo-220429.jpeg

Would your crystal ball show someone vibrant and active; enjoying life to the fullest?

woman-girl-freedom-happy-39853.jpeg

or would you see someone sick, overweight, and living on the sidelines?

pexels-photo-320442.jpeg

I love the quote ” We are our choices.” The daily decisions we make regarding our health have a way of sneaking up on us. Before you know it; you are 15 to 20 lbs heavier, pre-diabetic and have high blood pressure. You wake up one morning wondering what happened and where did all the time go?

pexels-photo-748780.jpeg

Center For Science In The Public Interest reports

Unhealthy eating habits and inactivity affect quality of life and cause disabilities

Few recognize that unhealthy diet is a leading cause of disability. Yet unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are leading causes of loss of independence:

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and amputations. Roughly 73,000 people have lower-limb amputations each year due to diabetes.8
  • Bone injuries due to osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hips, spine, and wrist. Even just a slight fracture in these areas can result in loss of independence. Twenty percent of seniors who break their hip die within just one year. Those who survive often require long-term (nursing home) care.
  • Heart attack or stroke can result in difficulty with everyday activities—such as walking, bathing, or getting into or out of bed—or cognitive impairment.

But it’s not too late. You have the opportunity to change your future. All it takes is the decision to start making better choices today.

Although hereditary factors can play a part in some diseases, you have more control of your health than you might think. Your body is an amazing machine designed to heal, but continual unhealthy food choices and inactivity can lead to permanent damage. There comes a point where your body gives in and stops fighting.

Once this occurs there is often damage that can’t be reversed. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, and even coma. Heart disease and hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Your choices could leave you dependent on others for your care.

But the good news is you can change your future. You have the the choice everyday to make better decisions regarding your health.

Don’t wake up one day and regret the opportunities you had to create a healthy lifestyle and live a better quality of life. Read the rest of my article here:

Read my article for tips on how to maximize your health as you age

FOLLOW THESE FIVE STEPS TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN AS YOU AGE:

  • Monitor your weight- Although it’s important not to obsess over the scales and weighing yourself daily, you do need to check your weight periodically. Gaining just a few pounds each year can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make a point to weigh yourself once a week and log your results. If you notice a slight gain of a couple of pounds, then simply increase your activity and cut back on portion sizes. Tracking your weight weekly will help you avoid unwanted pounds that can creep up over the years.
  • Clean up your diet- As you get older you may find yourself more relaxed about your appearance and the pressure of maintaining a certain image. Retirement often brings a more relaxed lifestyle without the pressures of a career and children. This is a wonderful time to explore life, travel, and experiment with delightful new restaurants and foods you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and to limit your food splurges to one meal a week.
  • Remain active– Staying active is a key factor in maintaining an optimum weight as you age. Many people become more sedentary after retirement when they no longer have the pressures and activities of a daily job. It’s important to remain active so you can enjoy a good quality of life as you age. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular exercise or join a gym and become involved in group fitness classes. Many gyms offer programs specifically for seniors and offer discounts for memberships. You may want to consider trying aqua aerobics or a senior yoga class. It’s important to find an activity you enjoy and can adhere to on a consistent basis.
  • Avoid processed foods- Processed foods are typically high in calories and contain chemicals and toxins that can lead to weight gain. If you frequently eat out, try to select grilled lean meat without sauces. Select a salad, baked potato, or steamed vegetables as a side dish. Try to cook and eat most of your meals at home. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible and experiment with healthy new recipes you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Do resistance training- Weight training is vital as you get older. Studies show that muscle mass declines with age. Muscle mass peaks around the mid-twenties; starts to decline in our thirties, and picks up speed as we age. Weight training helps you maintain a healthy metabolism and helps combat the loss of muscle tone as you get older. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week can play a major role in maintaining your strength and muscle tone. Therefore, if you are already strength training, you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to pick up a set of weights and get started.

Take control of your health starting today! Begin by making better choices so that the future (what you see in your crystal ball ) is someone happy, healthy, and full of life.

pexels-photo-315843.jpeg

Check out these wise words from Ben Franklin:

I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.”

Fat Burning Circuit Workout

Ok, are you ready for a challenge? Try this killer fat burning circuit for a full body workout that will work all the major muscle groups. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with very little rest in between exercises. Complete entire circuit 2-3 x and let me know how you like the workout. Ready to get your sweat on? Let’s go!

Circuit One: Perform Each Exercise 45 seconds

physiotherapy-weight-training-dumbbell-exercise-balls-39671.jpeg

Side to Side Pushups

Burpee Bicep Curl Press

Crab Walk

Jump Lunges

Circuit Two: Perform Each Exercise 45 seconds

exercise-weight-woman-sport.jpg

DB Squat Press

Reverse Lunge With Side Raise

Burpee Pushup Row

Skater

Circuit Three: Perform Each Exercise 45 Seconds

pexels-photo-416778.jpeg

Mountain Climber

Plank Jack

Push up Side Plank

Bicycle Crunch

Once you’re done. It’s time to stretch. Try my Yoga Vinyasa Flow Sequence

pexels-photo-694133.jpeg

5 Tips To Break The Chains Of Emotional Eating

pexels-photo-139681.jpeg

If you are like most people, you struggle daily with food choices. What should you eat? Should you eat at home or grab fast food after work? You want to eat healthy but it’s a lot of work, right? Anyway, it’s the weekend and you’ve had a rough week. Surely, you deserve a little pizza, right?. You can always start your diet on Monday.

food-man-person-eating.jpg

Believe it or not, fast food is enticing in many ways. Not only is it addicting, but every time you eat it -you are reinforced by the fact that it’s quick, easy, and tasty. You begin to forget how much better real food is, and before you know it, you’re eating out several times a week. Of course you vow every Monday to get back on your plan, but the start date get pushed back every week.

Our food choices are often tied to our emotions. If you’ve had a stressful day, it’s easy to rationalize going to the drive thru for a burger and fries. You deserve it right? Perhaps, you’ve been dieting all week and you step on the scale and you’ve gained weight. How could that possibly happen when you met all your goals for the week? Maybe you had a rough day at work and just too tired to cook or even decide what to make for dinner. Surely those are good reasons to drown your sorrows with pizza, beer, and chocolate chip ice cream.

pexels-photo-280453.jpeg

The key to controlling your eating habits is to become mindful of your food choices. Try these five tips to help break the chains of emotional eating:

  1. Plan your meals for the week and make sure you shop for groceries at the beginning of the week. If you plan to succeed, it will make it a lot easier to stick with your food plan. Having healthy meals planned and the right foods in your refrigerator is half the battle when changing eating habits. Making meals at home is a great time for families to connect and experiment with different recipes. This can make meal time something to look forward to rather than becoming stressed out and dreading meal time.
  2. Before eating- check in with yourself and determine your level of hunger. When did you last eat? How much have you eaten today. Are you really hungry? Are you tired, dehydrated, stressed? Have you had enough water? All of these factors can play a role in your food choices and how much you eat. This can be one of the first steps in learning to separate emotions from food and eating.
  3. Never eat standing up- Sitting down when eating helps to bring more awareness to your meals and gives you the opportunity to become more mindful of your choices. When you eat standing up, you tend to graze – and have no idea how much food you’ve actually eaten.
  4. Always put your food in a plate and take a moment before eating to assess your choices. Are they healthy? Is it a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat? What about your portion sizes? Is this a meal you will feel good about eating, or is it boxed processed foods that will leave you feeling tired and lethargic?
  5. Chew each bite slowly, think about the taste and texture of the food. Taking time to actually chew your food and slowing down your meals helps you to become more aware of signals that you are full. This can help you eat less and  learn proper portion sizes.

pexels-photo-179912.jpeg

Try to begin to incorporate these tips into your current schedule to help you become more mindful of your food choices. Learn to understand if you are really hungry or are your cravings tied to your mood or a certain event. For more tips on learning to become mindful when eating, read my article Mindful Eating- 10 Simple Ways To Celebrate Your Meals

I’m Offended With The Word “Anti-aging”

20170923_170828_HDR.jpg

Why is everyone so afraid of aging? People associate aging with fading  looks,  poor health, and losing their value in society.  It seems anyone over the age of thirty-five feels pressure to get a face lift, botox, implants, tummy tuck, etc..  Simply as a means of competing in today’s world.  Ads on TV and social media promote “anti-aging” creams and facial treatments guaranteed to erase the signs of aging.  Anti- aging is big business!

Is it such  a tragedy to get older?

I hear seniors talk of feeling ‘invisible’ as they get older;  and that their voices are not seen or heard after they hit a certain age.

from in her article The Invisible Years from Psychology Today reports:

And then it happened to me. I realized that when I walk down the street, younger people simply don’t see me. Not a glance, not a smile, none of the customary, friendly gestures we’re used to here in neighborly San Francisco. It was as if I actually disappeared from the sight of people much younger than I.

Why people are increasingly treated as if they’re invisible as they age (more prevalent it seems, for women) is curious, though perhaps not surprising. We live in a youth-fixated culture where people are afraid to age and to be vulnerable to growing older; where ideals about attractiveness are oriented around those with young, healthy bodies. Even the role models of middle age women, such as Mary-Louise Parker, the star of Weeds, are over 40, but whose physiques are more similar to women decades younger.

But who can blame them? Women like Ms. Parker embody a quality of attractiveness that we all admire. Though older men are typically held in higher esteem than older women, as a society we tend to value those of either gender who are youthful. This is most obvious in the beauty and fashion industry, and even more so when entertainment media-gossipabout Britney Spears usurps news stories about Meryl Streep. We long to identify with beautiful people so we may imagine the young, attractive individuals we wish we were.

Yet, why is it that we can’t seem to both admire the young and youthful in appearance while simultaneously appreciating the special qualities possessed by the older individuals of our society? With aging, our looks may diminish, but being older also offers the incredible opportunity to make better choices, to learn from our mistakes, and to pass on our knowledge of life, perhaps even bits of wisdom, to the younger generation.

What’s wrong with aging gracefully and celebrating each glorious year of life?  Why not eliminate the word “anti-aging” and celebrate each passing year?

Let’s Change Society’s View On Aging:

Let’s start to see the beauty in fine lines, wrinkles, grey hair and what it represents. What if we were taught to see aging as a celebration of the confidence, wisdom, and life experience we gain with each passing year?

Read my article for some fabulous tips on how to change your attitude about aging.

Age Gracefully With These Five Tips

 

How about if we learn to be proud of laugh lines, wrinkles, and gray hair and quit trying to cover them up.  See the beauty- it’s there if you look for it….

pexels-photo-413735.jpeg

At age 57 I love the freedom and confidence I’ve gained over the years.

20170902_182927_HDR.jpg

I feel strong, healthy and much more content with my looks than I was in my thirties and forties.  I look forward to the future and the freedom to seek new opportunities and growth as I look forward to travel, blogging, and crossing items off my bucket list.

Aww words to live by…..

I LOVE THIS QUOTE- by Donna Lynn Hope

“I’m not opposed to aging – even though society is kinder on men than women when it comes to getting old. How can I look at aging as the enemy? It happens whether I like it or not and no one is set apart from growing old; it comes to us all. Youth passes from everyone, so why deny it? I’m proud of my age. I’m proud that I’ve survived this planet for as long as I have, and should I end up withered, wrinkled and with a lifetime of great wisdom, I’ll trade the few years of youth for the sophistication of a great mind…for however long it lasts.”
― Donna Lynn Hope

Feel Better, Lose Weight By Ditching These Five Food Items

Do you have a couple of glasses of wine with your meals or snack on sweets during the day? Alcohol and frequent snacking can add up to a substantial amount of calories and easily pack on pounds. Many people follow low fat diets that include foods like pasta and whole wheat bread. However, high carbohydrate meals that include rice, bread, and pasta, can increase insulin levels, stimulate your appetite, and leave you feeling tired and lethargic.

How would you like to lose weight and increase your energy level without the stress of counting calories or embarking on another fad diet? Consider this thirty day challenge. Try eliminating the following five food items for thirty days. This is an inexpensive and simple method to help you shed some pounds without unhealthy diets or counting calories.

Keep a journal for thirty days to monitor your beginning weight, your daily food intake, and note your energy and mood after each meal. A food journal can help increase awareness regarding your nutrition and how your body reacts to certain foods. Swapping these high carbohydrate foods for healthier alternatives can make a significant difference in energy levels and weight loss.

The plan is simple. Eliminate bread, rice, pasta, sugar, and alcohol for thirty days. Plan to shop for alternatives for foods on the list that you currently consume on a daily basis. Make sure to drink plenty of fresh water during the day and eliminate artificial sugar. Always check with your physician before starting this or any other diet or nutrition program.

1. Bread– Eliminate bread for thirty days. Try Ezekiel wraps on sandwiches and burgers for a healthier, gluten free alternative.

2. Pasta– Many people eat large portions of pasta with their meals which can add up to 300 or more calories per serving. Experiment with recipes such as spaghetti squash for a healthier alternative. Typically the pulp is shredded with a fork after the squash is cooked and all you have to do top it with a healthy spaghetti sauce.

3. Rice– Try quinoa as an alternative to rice. Quinoa has protein which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Choose organic if possible and check the nutrition label for appropriate portion sizes.

4. Sugar– Sugar may be a challenge to eliminate for thirty days. Sugar is hidden in many junk foods and restaurant menu items. Check the ingredient list on the nutrition label for sugar content when you buy groceries. Make a commitment to avoid all junk and processed foods for thirty days. Choose fruit as an alternative for sweet cravings and eat fresh vegetables for your meals and snacks.

5. Alcohol– Alcohol is high in calories and easily stored as fat. Eliminate all alcohol for thirty days. Try water with fresh fruit slices as an alternative to cocktails. If you drink alcohol to unwind after a stressful day, try yoga or meditation to relax and for more restful sleep.

Challenge Tips:

Shop at the beginning of the week for healthy alternatives for bread, pasta, rice, sugar and alcohol. Make sure you check nutrition labels for sugar in food items you purchase during the thirty days. Try to eliminate processed foods and stick with fresh fruits, lean meat and vegetables. Keep a food journal to log your beginning weight and to make notes on energy levels and mood each day. Drink plenty of fresh water each day and add fruit slices for added flavor. Weigh yourself and evaluate how you feel at the end of the thirty days. Make notes of positive changes in your energy levels, mood and weight

 

 

 

 

Red Wine Burns Fat And Lowers Blood Pressure?

For some reason the headline Red Wine Burns Fat And Lowers Blood Pressure, Plus 5 Other Health Benefits For Winos caught my eye. I recently started drinking red wine with my evening meals and must say I’m really enjoying the experience. Something about adding wine to a meal makes it a special occasion25162_386180887117_1556317_n.

I’ve always preferred eating my calories rather than drinking them; I really enjoy food. I mean why waste calories on drinks, right? Wine averages around 100-200 calories per glass.  Needless to say, I normally have water with my meals.

Once I started reading more about the benefits of red wine, I decided to experiment and have an occasional glass with my evening meals. Could this cause weight gain? Would I end up enjoying it a little too much?

I’ve found that I actually slow down and enjoy my meals much more when I have a glass of wine with dinner and I don’t eat as much food. I also find myself planning and looking forward to my evening meals. I’m not sure about the claims of fat burning or lower blood pressure but I’m fine with eating less and looking forward to  experimenting more with wine.

So by now you’ve realized I’m by no means a wine expert but I’m starting to learn some of the basics in regards to a good glass of wine.

Let’s start with the benefits of wine:

RE: Per Samantha Olson – www.medicaldaily.com

5 Buzz-Worthy Benefits Of Red Wine:

  1. Memory Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease: The powerful antioxidant resveratrol protects against cell damage and prevents age-related mental decline.
  2. Mimics Gym Time: Resveratrol is also responsible for heart-healthy benefits, including improved physical performance and muscle strength. It also mimics cardiovascular enhancements similar to exercise. But the benefits are limited, so don’t always trade in your cardio for cabernet.
  3. Cancer Treatment: Researchers aren’t exactly sure how, but another active antioxidant in red wine known as quercetin works against cancer cells, according to the American Cancer Society. It helps to induce natural cell death in certain types of cancers, most often colon cancer.
  4. Promotes Long Life: Red wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or vodka drinkers, according to a 29-year-long study. Resveratrol is the polyphenol that could be responsible for its longevity benefits. But researchers think any diet rich in polyphenols, which are known to protect against the development of chronic diseases — they’re found amply in red wine — could be why.
  5. Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease and Stroke: Red wine tannins, which are what make red wine the color red, contain procyanidins — known for protecting against heart disease. Resveratrol also helps to remove chemicals responsible for causing blood clots, which is the primary cause of coronary disease. A daily dose of red wine cuts blood clot-related stroke rates by 50 percent.

Also, could wine really help with fat loss?  Researchers found that:

when they studied normal weight women for more than a decade, they found that those who drank one to two glasses of red wine a day were 30 percent less likely to be overweight than the nondrinkers. The weight loss connection? It’s how your body digests the wine, Jana Klauer, a New York City physician specializing in nutrition and metabolism, told Cosmopolitan magazine.

“Women make smaller amounts of the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol than men do, so to digest a drink, they have to keep producing it, which requires the body to burn energy,” explained Dr. Klauer.

Alcohol also boosts calorie-burning because of a process called thermogenesis, says Lu Wang, MD, PhD, the lead study author and member of the division of preventive medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Your body temperature raises when you sip wine, so your body burns more calories.

RE: http://www.examiner.com/article/drink-wine-to-boost-fat-burning-weight-loss-and-health-says-new-research

So how do you select a good quality wine?
Here is a great article on how to select a good wine and what foods to pair it with such as Pinot Noirs with roast chicken or turkey and Cabernets with pasta.

Finding The Right Red Wine

winepic

And wine of course can really vary in price, so here are some wines to try that Food & Wine list as the best $15 and under red wine