Category Archives: Nutrition


Drinks That Can Ruin Your Diet

When you’re on a diet, it’s necessary to make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. However, you many not think that the Diet Soda you’re drinking or even the high sugar drinks that “look healthy” may be affecting how you lose weight and how much weight you lose. The vitamin waters that boast all of the healthy benefits but are loaded with sugars or the “skinny” latte coffee drinks that you think may not be so bad, really are bad.

Drinking any kind of soda is probably the absolute worst kind of drink you can drink when you’re trying to lose weight. There are absolutely no health benefits to drinking a soda and it does not hydrate your body by any means. In fact, it can dehydrate your body which will send your body’s response to retain water, which in return will add pounds to the scale and your clothes will not fit like they normally do.

If you’re trying to lose weight and want to be pro-active, the best kind of drink you can drink is water. Water hydrates the systems and allows the blood flow to every extremity in your body which is flooded with oxygen and begins to flush the toxins from your body. The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. This will ensure that you are actively becoming hydrated and increasing your metabolism which will result in weight loss. If you want to drink more than half of your body weight, go for it! It will benefit you even more!

You will want to make sure you’re drinking a glass of milk also. The benefits of milk offer vitamin D and can also help make you feel fuller after a meal which can help you lost weight too. Milk will help you keep your strong bones and keep you healthy.

If you choose to work out, you will want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and watch your sugar intake. Drinks like Gatorade have sodium in them, and drinks like Crystal Light may be calorie free, but contain aspartame, which has been proven to offer absolutely no health benefits.

So, if you don’t want to ruin your diet and you’re doing all of the right things by getting in plenty of exercise and eating right, you want to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to fuel your metabolism and lose that weight!


Vegetarian Blogs You Need To Follow

Whether they are green, orange, purple or some other color, fruits and vegetables are healthy, whole foods commonly found in a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians eat an abundance of delicious foods but the defining aspect is that they do not eat meat. While there are a range of vegetarian diets, one can find many blogs to help with recipes to suit an assortment of tastes.

One exciting vegetarian blog is Cookie and Kate. Kate treats readers to tidbits of her life, mostly pertaining to food, while showing readers how to make delicious vegetarian recipes. Her narrative is interesting to read and her photographs of food are top-notch. In addition, she posts the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for each recipe so that the reader can print them out easily. She features recipes for every meal of the day. Additionally, she teaches how to make foods from a variety of cultures such as a Thai Red Curry and Greek Farro Salad. If you are looking for recipes with a specific item, she has many recipes grouped by ingredient such as “12 pasta dishes,” “12 pumpkin recipes,” or “20 Game Day Favorites.” This site was started in 2010 and is added to frequently therefore, many delicious options can be found.

Naturally Ella is another vegetarian blog site. This site has an abundance of food photos and limited narrative. Still, it shows the foods being prepared and the author does tell the reader about possible variations that can be made. She focuses on healthy, seasonal foods. For example a recent fall recipe was Pumpkin Pancakes. She also focuses on recipes that use mostly pantry items. Both of these aspects make the recipes economical and thus accessible to more people. Her blog does have printable text for each recipe, assisting readers with their preparation.

Post Punk Kitchen is the blog to follow for vegans who like something a little bit different. The recipes on this blog are fun and tasty but not your everyday fare. For example, Isa, the author, recently featured Breakfast Nachos, full of tortillas, potatoes, tofu, avocado and other vegan choices. Her Green Lasagna Roll-ups are another vegan twist on a popular favorite. Like the others, this blog showcases beautiful photos and printable recipes along with a good amount of narrative to help you become super excited about the recipes.

Vegetarians, like everyone, have different food tastes and needs. While you may find other vegetarian food blogs on the internet, these three sites are a spectacular sample that will provide a huge variety of choice for every palette. Cookie and Kate, Naturally Ella, and Post Punk Kitchen teach readers a wide variety of recipes while appealing to their aesthetics with the beautiful food photography.


So What Is Whole Food Anyway?

Who isn’t into health these days? If it is information that you are seeking then check out these whole food blogs for up to the minute health food advice.

The Healthy Home Economist is a must read blog that keeps the health conscience consumer aware about trendy new health drinks and much more. Just put your request into the search box and you will be rewarded with a plethora of articles on that particular subject. Punch in raw milk and you can learn from any of the 5 articles that come up. The Healthy Home Economist is featured in several well-known venues from Dr. Mercola’s Take Control of Your Health site to the New York Times.

The Healthy Green Kitchen is another blog not to be missed. Winnie Abramson is the developer and she talks about everything from recipes to e-books Abramson has it all.

The Whole New Mom’s Healthy Living is another great blog by a mother named Adrienne. All of her recipes are sugar free and mostly grain free. She also talks about personal care items which is more in demand these days. Adrienne even goes so far as to have a special tab for health concerns such as adrenal and thyroid. This is a very comprehensive blog which has something for every health conscious person’s needs.

Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free is another blog that health enthusiasts cannot miss. It is written by Amy Green. She shares her journey from being a fat child to becoming a healthy adult. Obviously she condemns sugar and gluten for her weight issues in her younger years. Amy offers decadent desserts that are sugar and gluten free, but taste amazingly delicious. She also talks about essential oils which have become the rage as of late.

The Food Renegade has a unique feature for a whole food blog. It lists a fairly comprehensive shopping guide that allows the consumer to locate quality vendors that offer whole foods and supplements.

101 cookbooks is another interesting whole food blog. This blog features a shop where you can purchase cooking ingredients and paraphernalia that might be needed to cook with. From pans to brushes to knives this site can save you time by offering everything anyone might need for their gourmet cooking needs. Another feature of this blog are the many genres of cookbooks offered. No matter if you’re looking for a certain ethnic cuisine or a healthy way to bake this blog offers it.


FAQs About Gluten-Free Foods

There is a lot of buzz now about gluten-free foods. Many people are confused about what gluten is and why they should avoid it. Here are some frequently asked questions about gluten-free foods.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a name for proteins that are found in cereal grains. This would include barley, rye, triticale and wheat. Gluten acts like glue in foods, helping to bind them together.

• Barley is found in beer, food coloring, malt, malt vinegar and soups
• Rye is found in cereals, rye beer and rye bread like pumpernickel
• Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye and is found in bread, cereals and pasta
• Wheat is found in baked goods, breads, cereals, pasta, roux, salad dressings, sauces and soups

What is a Gluten-free Diet?

A gluten-free diet consists of avoiding any food that contains gluten. This diet is difficult to follow and constitutes a big change. Fortunately, with the interest in gluten-free diets, many stores offer an array of gluten-free products. Foods allowed on the diet include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and many dairy products.

Some grains and starchy foods that contain no gluten are: amaranth, arrowroot, beans, buckwheat groats (kasha),cassava, chia, corn, corn meal, flax, gluten-free oats, millet, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff and yucca. You can find various flours that are gluten-free such as bean, corn, nut, potato and rice flour.

What is the Rationale Behind Adoption of the Diet?

A gluten-free diet is prescribed for people who suffer from Celiac Disease. It is an autoimmune disorder where gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines. When gluten is eaten, the body overreacts and attacks the small intestine. This can damage the villi which absorb nutrients. This means the body cannot receive the nutrients well.

One percent of the general population has Celiac Disease. Some people are sensitive to gluten but do not have Celiac Disease. They have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many of them will go gluten-free or at least lower the amount of gluten in their diet.

What are the Health Benefits of Gluten-free Eating for the General Population?

Going gluten-free may reduce the chance of inflammation in other parts of the body, so if someone has issues with their joints, not eating gluten may ease their symptoms. Some people say avoiding gluten can give you more energy. There has also been reported a change in autistic children when placed on a gluten free diet.


Pros and Cons of Vegetarianism

There are pros to being a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian has the advantage of improved health, protection of the environment and animal rights. A vegetarian is someone who eats a plant based diet. Vegetarian diets work because the diet contains two essential classes of nutrients, which are minerals and organic nutrients. Minerals are elements in the periodic table, and organic nutrients are made by plants. Essential for human health, organic nutrients are synthesized by plants and micro-organisms. Human health is based on consuming photosynthesized glucose, which is a plant leaf that takes inorganic matter and transforms it into glucose first. From the glucose, essential nutrients are developed such as amino and fatty acids and vitamins such as ascorbic acids, biotin, beta-carotene and folic acid to mention a few.

Practically speaking, there are a few things that you should not eat as a vegetarian. It is important to be careful not to eat too many dairy products. It is common to substitute cheese for meat. You should try not to eat too much cheese, because too much cheese is not healthy. Excessive use of processed fake meats is problematic. While the processed fake meat is delicious, the food is processed, and processed food is not healthy.

There are cons associated with vegetarianism. A significant problem is not eating enough essential food nutrients. It is necessary to monitor what you eat to assure that you are getting enough nutrients. Vegetarians must study food nutrients and associated vitamins that are necessary for good health. Not getting enough nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Recent research has demonstrated an increase of approximately 39 percent incidents of colorectal cancer. This research conflicts with other research, and it is necessary to do more research. A possible reason for the increase in colorectal cancer is that vegetarians are not eating sufficient fruits and vegetables. They may have replace carbohydrates for meat, and carbohydrates do not supply the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Other research has demonstrated lower bone-mineral density (BMD) in vegetarians. It is suggested that vegetarians may not consume enough quantities of protein, calcium, iron and vitamin D. Another risk associated with vegetarianism is that blood tests find lower B12 in vegetarian’s blood. B12 is essential to convert food into energy, utilize iron in the blood and produce red blood cells to name problems. Blood tests also find lower lever of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health.


Eating Right and A Healthy Lifestyle

Genetic factors are out of your control and can contribute to your health, but creating a healthy lifestyle can help postpone or even eliminate predisposed risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, joint disease, heart problems and mental and emotional disorders. So what exactly does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle?

Eat Right

Diets rich in fiber nutrient whole grains, such as whole grain pasta, brown rice and oatmeal and lean proteins like lean red meat, skinless chicken and fish helps control your weight and reduces many health risks such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Compliment your healthy diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and good, unsaturated fats such as nuts and olive oil.

Engage in Physical Activity

Individuals who live an inactive lifestyle are at a greater risk of developing health problems such as increased weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Participating in moderate physical activity at least 25 hours a week can improve the value of your life and extend your lifespan. Aim for activities you enjoy.

Make Peace with Yourself

Accepting yourself is important to a happy, healthy lifestyle. Self acceptance/self esteem is the pride people feel in themselves, the value they place on themselves and how worthwhile they feel. Self acceptance is important, because it controls how you act.

Do Not Smoke

Smoking damages many organs in the body and increases the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the US, resulting in over 480,000 deaths every year. Kicking your smoking habit can improve your health.

Drink in Moderation

Keeping your alcohol consumption within moderation can also improve your health. Some long term effects of excessive drinking includes depression, cancer, cardiovascular problems, gastritis and anxiety. Women should enjoy no more than one drink a day, and men should enjoy no more than two drinks a day.

Control Stress Levels

Stress can not be completely avoided, however, learning how to deal with it properly can hinder it from having a negative effect on your life. Stress can have a number of negative effects on your health including erratic sleep habits and physical pains. To combat stress, take steps to limit unnecessary stress, practice encouraging self talk and take time to indulge in activities you enjoy. Devote a portion of each day to meditation and relaxation to help manage the stress of the day.

Whatever your fitness level, age or size, it’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. Slowly improve your health in small steps each day. As you conquer one goal, add another and another and so on. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in one year.


Eating To Heal Your Body

For all illnesses it is important to stay hydrated. Water is the best for that. Some foods help as well. Consider some common illnesses like stomach upset, cold viruses, influenza, and migraine headaches.

An upset stomach, with diarrhea and/or vomiting may cause a sense of hunger, but eating right away will worsen symptoms. When symptoms have finally stopped, then begin replenishing your body.

Besides small sips of water, drink weak tea. Add lemon and honey to help your body recover some electrolytes. The “BRATT” diet is recommended for intestinal disorders. That is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea, and Toast (without butter or jam). Clear soups help, but not cream soups. Choose chicken soup or beef broth. Ginger ale helps settle the stomach. When symptoms remain gone, go back to a regular diet.

Colds and other viruses are very common. Symptoms may be coughing and congestion. Fresh fruits, especially kiwi and pineapple help alleviate a sore throat caused by sinus drainage. Herbal teas such as those with slippery elm help the throat as well by coating it. Hot spicy foods such as salsa or horseradish reduce congestion. Milk products increase mucus production for some people. Build your immune system with fruits, vegetables and lean meats especially. Chicken soup with vegetables and garlic helps as well. Broccoli and cauliflower as well as other cabbage family are high in nutrition.

Influenza causes a high temperature and lots of perspiration. Drink cool drinks, such as watered down fruit juices to replenish the minerals you lose when sweating and to cool your body. Iced drinks may bring on the chills so avoid those. To recover eat plenty of protein foods. Lean meats and chicken, and the proteins found in beans, nuts and low fat dairy help to recover strength.

The frequency and duration of migraines seems to improve with anti-inflammatory foods. Foods rich in calcium and magnesium are also beneficial. Fruits and vegetables help fight dehydration which is a migraine trigger for some migraine headaches. If you suffer from migraines be sure to eat cherries and beets for anti-inflammatory properties, and all types of melons as well as other fruits increase hydration as well as restoring electrolytes. These foods increase hydration and provide magnesium, calcium and potassium to help your muscles in your scalp and neck relax.

Eat healthy foods to improve health when you are sick and help prevent illness when you are well.


Super Foods With Super Powers

Any parent can agree that getting their kids to eat the foods they should isn’t the easiest thing to do. As our kids grow it becomes hard to find foods that are good for them that are also delicious. These are some super foods that’ll maximize the nutrients you and your family take in each day while enjoying the taste of your food.

Avocados are probably one of the most famous super foods you can find. They are packed with vitamins. They also do not contain any cholesterol or sodium. Actually, eating avocados or avocado based products regularly can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocados are incredibly versatile. You can cook them in tons of different ways. Guacamole is just one option. There are also salads, tacos, and other endless dishes that can be made with avocados.

Blueberries are considered to be the world’s healthiest food. They have been linked to the improvement of memory. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that boost your immune system and assist with the heath of your heart. Blueberries have also been known to lower one’s risk of getting prostate and cardiovascular cancer. Like avocados, blueberries are a highly versatile food. They can be eaten raw as a snack or incorporated in cereals, yogurts, oatmeal, teas, and pancakes.

Nuts are a great and healthy food to include in any child’s diet. There are so many different kinds. Nuts are full of protein. Walnuts have been known to protect from cellular damage. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and promote weight loss. Cashews can prevent anemia and improve vision. Best of all, nuts taste great by themselves.

Eggs are a great super food because they’re easy, high in protein and low in calories. Eating eggs can help you lose weight and still receive your required amount of protein and vitamins.

Beans are a super food because they contain lots of Vitamin B and calcium. Beans are also packed with protein and very filling as part of a meal. Beans promote heart, brain, and muscle health. Best of all they are delicious and come in many types.

These are many super foods that will help promote a healthy diet and taste delicious. Other super foods can include: salmon, sweet potatoes, and spinach. These foods have great taste and great health benefits. You’ll love them and your kids will too.


Healthy Eating Is A Lifestyle

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is a good choice no matter what. There are so many benefits that healthy eating offers; your body functions better, you’re in a better mood, even your skin looks better. Plus it’s surprisingly delicious! While it may be hard to stick with it, a little patience and strength will go a long way.

Learning more about nutrition is a huge step in actually eating healthy. Once you understand what food can actually offer you, it’s more enticing to eat something healthy. You know what you’re putting into your body because you took the time to learn. That’s why eating healthy is called a lifestyle; it affects your whole life. You’ll realize that your health is worth more than anything tastes. Putting your perspectives in order will motivate you to reach for healthier options.

Eating healthy and keeping hydrated will make you feel a 100 times better. When you’re receiving the proper nutrients that your body needs, it functions better. Processed foods and refined sugars slow your body down because those foods are more difficult for your body to break down. You might get a rush of energy at first, but everything that goes up must come down and you will crash hard. If you eat smaller portions and include lots of protein and fiber, which will keep your energy up with no crash.

The downside to not eating healthy is a slew of health problems. From obesity and diabetes to heart disease and high blood pressure, you’re putting yourself at risk for all of it. Eating a diet of processed foods, high amounts of carbs and added sugars clogs up your veins and can lead to a heart attack. On the less extreme side, not eating healthy results in feeling tired or foggy, being irritable when crashing and bowel problems.

Once you make the switch to healthy eating, you will notice the difference within a few days, depending on the person. However long it takes for your body to get used to the idea of working less and getting more out of your foods. However long it takes, you will be happy. You will have the energy to play with your kids or put in a strong eight hour day without reaching for coffee or salty snacks. Put yourself first and take control of your life. Start making healthier food choices and your body will thank you.


Are Gummy Bears Healthy?

Even when choosing a healthy lifestyle and going vegan, we all have guilty pleasures. Some of us just can’t say no sometimes and choose to indulge. One seemingly harmless snack is gummy bears. What are they really made of? Are they healthy? You’re at the right place. Read on to find out.

As far as fat content goes, you’re in the clear. Gummy bears generally are fat free. This might give you the idea that even if gummy bears aren’t great for you, they’re certainly not bad for you. That’s not necessarily true. Gummy bears are made of mostly gelatin and different forms of sugar. It’s important to point out the fact that gelatin is usually made from cow or pig tendons, ligaments, bones and/or skin, which certainly makes it off-limits to vegetarians and vegans. It can be hard to say no to the sweet little fellows, but remembering the reasons why you said no to animal products will hopefully help you make your decision.

Because of the gelatin content, gummy bears actually contain a few grams of protein. They, in no way, should add to your daily protein intake if you’re a vegan, and even if you’re not vegan, eating the amount of gummy bears it would take to add up to a daily serving of protein would result in a stomach ache before you could finish.

Gummy bears may be fat free, but they do contain carbs. A good amount of calories come from the carbohydrates. There are two different types of carbs. There are simple carbs and complex carbs and there’s a big difference. Simple carbs are also known as “empty carbs,” while complex carbs are good carbs and aid in healthy digestion. The carbs found in gummy bears are of the simple carb variety. Also gummy bears can cause tooth decay as they tend to stick to teeth.

All-in-all, gummy bears have no vitamin or mineral content. This makes them more just to satisfy your sweet tooth than to add any actual nutritional value to your diet. However, since gummy bears are so loved, companies have started making varieties that are actually good for you. Some brands of gummy bears have added vitamin C. Other companies have taken it a step further and have started producing multivitamins in gummy form, although those still include gelatin. Either way in order to follow a clean and healthy vegan way-of-life, that includes saying no to gummy bears and finding better ways to satisfy your guilty pleasures.