Shari Duncan

General Nutrition

How to Have a Healthy Fry
Shari

by on Jun.08, 2013, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition, Recipes

Who doesn’t love to indulge in a big plate of hot, salty French fries?

French fries are among the most popular menu items eaten by millions of people in fast food chains, cafes and bistros. We cant say no to the french fry though we know they are also among the most unhealthiest foods we consume.
These days many people are trying to be more health conscious when it comes to their food choices. The good news is it easy to make a satisfying and healthier fry without sacrificing taste.

There are healthier ways to satisfy your craving like baking instead of deep frying and swapping zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant or green beans for white potatoes.

Start by slicing your veggies. Use a ziplock bag and drizzle olive oil inside . Toss in your favorite seasonings – dont be afraid to experiment with spices and herbs for a variety of favors.

Roast the seasoned veggies at a high heat 425-450 degrees for 15-25 minutes   (depending on thickness of cut) Your “fries” will come out crispy and delicious!

Here is one of my favorites:

Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchini-  Cut into thick matchstick slices

    Matchstick zucchini slices for oven fries

  • 1/2 cup wheat  flour
  • Seasoned salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups panko or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
  • Olive Oil
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with olive oil or butter flavored cooking spray.

    Coat gallon ziplock with olive oil.

    Beat eggs in a shallow bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend together flour, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese blend and seasonings.

    Working in batches, dip sliced vegetables first in eggs, then in breading to coat and place on baking sheet in single layer, without touching.

    Sprinkle with additional seasonings if desired.  Bake 15-20 minutes  or until breadcrumb coating is golden and crisp.

    Now… go ahead and indulge !  Guilt Free.

    Leave a Comment : more...

    Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs
    Shari

    by on Jul.29, 2012, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

    Don’t  be afraid to go to the dark side every now and then.

    Spicy, honey brushed chicken thighs are are seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cider vinegar.  Moist and full of flavor, this main course dish is easy to prepare either under the broiler or on the grill.

    Dinner is served:  in under 30 minutes.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

      Skinless thighs: ... can be a healthy alternative to chicken breasts.

    • 8 skinless, boneless (skinless) chicken thighs
    • Cooking spray
    • 6 tablespoons honey ( I used less)
    • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar  (I used less)

    PREPARATION:

    1. Preheat broiler.
    2. Combine first 6 spice  ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
    3. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

    There has been longstanding debates over breast versus thigh; light versus dark meat. Skinless chicken breasts are often recommended for dieters because of their high protein and low fat content.  But chicken thighs can play a role in a healthy diet with portion control and the right cooking techniques. Skinless chicken thighs are also  high in protein, are higher in zinc and iron, and tend to be moister and more flavorful than breasts. They are also less expensive.

    Chicken thighs are higher in fat and calories than chicken breasts. Overall, they contain about 40 calories more per serving than the same size serving of chicken breast.     A 3.5-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat contains almost 26 grams of protein compared to about 31 grams of protein for the same size serving of boneless, skinless breast.

    Whether you choose light or dark; breast or thigh, skinless is ALWAYS  best because it helps control calories and fat. The skin includes another 38 calories and almost 5g of additional fat, most of which is saturated.

    Leave a Comment :, , more...

    Eat MORE Protein: For Fat Loss AND Muscle Gains.
    Shari

    by on May.26, 2012, under General Nutrition, Natural Bodybuilding, Weight Loss, Whey Protein Recipes

    The human body is built and rebuilt everyday from and by proteins.

    Protein plays an important role in any fat loss program. To lose weight you must restrict the number of calories you consume. However, when you cut down on what you eat, the body starts using muscle protein as energy – so it’s important to get enough protein from your diet to cover these losses. Among other important functions, protein is essential for

    Eat protein with every meal.

    stimulating cell growth and helping to repair body tissue.  Foods rich in protein help the body build lean muscle and can be converted into glucose for energy.  Because this method of

    energy is more time consuming for the body, the body burns more calories digesting proteins, and does not convert as readily to stored fat. (As with food rich in carbohydrates and

    fats)  This is one reason why high protein, low carbohydrate diets are popular for those attempting to lose weight and build muscle. And protein does a better job of filling  you up and keeping you full longer than carbohydrates or fats.

    Any type of exercise or physical training increases the body’s need for additional protein which is why athletes and those with very active lifestyles generally consume a higher daily intake of protein. Since protein is the building blocks for new muscle tissue, it is a staple for anybody (or any body builder) wanting to pack on a little (or a lot) of mass. Training alone will not make the body grow.  And a lack of quality protein will result in a loss of muscle tissue and tone, as well as reduction in the function of your immune system, a slower recovery rate, and a lack of energy. If you fail to get enough protein on a daily basis, you’ll quickly lose strength and slow down your metabolic rate.  The body will also breakdown

    muscle and conserve protein for basic, life sustaining needs and may not perform other duties such as healing and immune function if protein intake is not sufficient.

    Protein Shakes make an excellent snack or meal replacement.

    Proteins are found in all varieties of foods; however, some forms of protein are more healthful and beneficial than others. Choose foods that are complete proteins and do not contain high saturated fats or sugars. Fish and poultry are excellent choices of high protein foods, as are foods in the legume family including: beans and lentils.  Eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt (and other dairy); as well as various nuts and seeds are also protein rich choices.  Red meats contain a great deal of protein, but take care to choose lean cuts of meat, avoiding the extra fat.

    A Whey protein shake makes for excellent snack  or a meal replacement for those trying to lose weight. Most protein powders mix easily with milk, water or juice and will quickly add 25 or more grams of protein a day. And shakes are easy to make and very portable, making it simple to get your protein on the go.   Here is a “recipe” that combines 3 of my all time favorite flavors:  Chocolate, Coffee, and Coconut!

    Coco- Mocha Protein Shake

    1 scoop chocolate whey protein

    1 tsp instant coffee granules

    ~8 oz of coconut water (or unsweetened coconut milk)

    ice (3-4 cubes)

    Blend all ingredients for 1-2 minutes in a personal blender :  AWESOME!!

    Leave a Comment :, , , , , more...

    Get to Know the Foods you Eat.
    Shari

    by on Feb.26, 2012, under General Nutrition

    The ingredient list is a quick way of judging a food product and is fairly straight forward, or is it?

    If we are what we eat, then the ingredient list on the foods we consume may just give us pause.  It would be ideal  if we could all eat fresh, farm raised local foods and produce all the time, but the reality is that most of our pantries and refrigerators are stocked with cans, jars, bottles and boxes.

    Therefore it is important to carefully read the ingredient list on any foods that are not wrapped in natures packaging.  Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance so therefore, the first 2-3 ingredients are the ones that matter most.. so the top 3 ingredients are what you are primarily eating. Ingredients at the bottom of the list may appear in only very tiny amounts.

    BUT: Be cautious because often packaging can be misleading.

    A product claiming to contain whole grains may in fact contain more sugar than whole grains. (Consider breakfast cereals). One of the most common tricks food manufacturers use is to distribute sugars among many ingredients so that sugars don’t appear in the top three. For example, a manufacturer may use a combination of sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, brown sugar, dextrose and other sugar ingredients to make sure none of them are present in large enough quantities to attain a top position on the ingredient list.

    Some foods are laced with dozens of ingredients with complicated names that sound like they belong in a chemistry lab, not on your plate.   If the ingredients list

    How well do you know the foods in your Pantry?

    contains long, chemical-sounding words that you can’t pronounce, avoid that item. Why would you want to eat them? Stick with ingredients you recognize.  Look for words like “sprouted” or “raw” to indicate higher-quality natural foods. Sprouted grains and seeds are far healthier than non-sprouted. Raw ingredients are generally healthier than processed or cooked. Whole grains are healthier than “enriched” grains.

    Don’t be fooled by the word “wheat” when it comes to flour. All flour derived from wheat can be called “wheat flour,” even if it is processed, bleached and stripped of its nutrition. Only “whole grain wheat flour” is a healthful form of wheat flour. Especially for breakfast cereals, crackers, pasta, and breads, the word “whole” should appear as the first or second ingredient, whether whole wheat, oats, rye, or another grain. One way to double-check is to look at the fiber content on the nutrition facts panel. Whole-grain foods should deliver at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and ideally even more.

    Partially hydrogenated oils are the primary source of trans fats, which have been shown to be potentially more harmful to arteries than saturated fat. Foods can call themselves “trans-fat free” even if they contain up to half a gram of trans fats per serving. Look on the ingredients list. If a food contains partially hydrogenated oils, it contains trans fats.  The American Heart Association recommends choosing vegetable oils and margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient and no more than 2 grams of  saturated fat per tablespoon, such as tub margarines, canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and olive oils.

    ………….

    Leave a Comment :, more...

    Weightlifting and Joint Pain?
    Shari

    by on Feb.04, 2012, under Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding, Strength and Agility Training, Supplementation

    Working out with weights will not cause joint pain.

    Improper technique, insufficient rest, or poor nutrition might be contributing to your grief.

    Joint pain is one of the most common problems among strength athletes.  It’s something younger lifters rarely think about when lifting and too many seasoned lifters wish they had when they are forced to stop lifting due to years of stress on joints.  Joints require mobility, stability, and motor control.  Proper weight training has been found to  improve joint health, return functionality and decrease pain. Regular exercise of the joints replenishes joint lubricants and builds cartilage.  Stronger muscles from weightlifting exercises offer more support to the joints.

    Joint pain can be a slow progression over a long period of time. Repeated injuries can lead to chronic joint pain.  If you are experiencing pain from your weight lifting routine, you are probably doing something wrong.  Chances are one or more of these factors can be attributed for your pain:

    • ü  Insufficient warm-up prior to lifting.

      What's the cause of your joint pain?

    • ü  Over training. They train too long and/or too often
    • ü  Using overly heavy weights/low reps more often than they should
    • ü  Insufficient rest/recovery time to allow joints, tendons, muscles to recuperate from intense work.
    • ü  Poor form and less than perfect technique during heavy lifts
    • ü  Inadequate vitamins and  nutrients.
    • ü  All of the Above.

    So let’s say that you are not guilty of the above 7 mistakes but still experience joint pain.  It could be bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis or the like causing aching joints.

    Briefly:

    ARTHRITIS: Osteoarthritis, by far the most common to bodybuilders and athletes is caused by wear and tera on the joints.  It is characterized by a deterioration of the cartilage at the ends of the bones. The once smooth cartilage becomes rough and causes more and more friction and pain.

    BURSITIS: Joints contain small fluid filled sacks called bursae. The bursae assist in muscle and joint movement by cushioning  the joints/bones against friction. Inflammation from various causes (See above 7 mistakes!) results in a chronic pain called bursitis.

    TENDINITIS: Tendonitis occurs when tendons around a joint become severely inflamed from overuse, micro-injury, etc.  It is probably the most common cause of pain to bodybuilders and other athletes and also the easiest to treat.  But if left untreated, as when people just try to “work through the pain”, it can lead to much more serious problems.

    Many medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or treatments like cortical steroidal injections, address only symptoms and not the cause of the problem.  In fact, research has shown just the opposite; by merely masking symptoms, they may do more harm than good in the long run .

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/phys-ed-does-ibuprofen-help-or-hurt-during-exercise/

    And the ever popular “stay off of it “ advice just does not fly with highly active  people.  The good news is that natural compounds and other dietary supplements may be helpful in supporting joints before, during and after lifting sessions.  If you are a lifter, joints require optimal nutrition to help you perform and recover.

    Supplements to Consider:

    GELATIN: A growing number of studies  now show that just 10 rams of hydrolyzed gelatin a day is effective in greatly reducing pain, improving mobility and overall bone/cartilage health.  Knox (the Jello people) have a product out called  NutraJoint.  It contains hydrolyze gelatin, calcium and vitamin C.

    • Diets rich in Vitamin C, D, and Calcium are important for optimizing joint health.

    FLAX OIL: (Omega 3 Fats.) One of flax oils many, many benefits are those to improve overall joint health.  Flax oil is high in essential Omega 3 fatty acids.   Omega-3 fatty acids, from fish, flax, etc., have been shown in scientific/medical literature to reduce chronic  inflammation of any kind.  The recommended dose is 1-3 tablespoons/day.  Boost your intake with fatty fish (tuna,salmon,etc. ) walnuts, and flax.  If you can’t get it through food, supplement with 1-3 g of EPA/DHA per day from fish oil.

    WATER: Drink more water.  Water helps to lubricate the joints.  Aim for ½ – 1 oz per pound of body weight per day. Or at least aim to drink 5-6 20 oz bottles of water per day.

    FIBER: Focus on high fiber foods, and whole grains with at least 3g of fiber per serving.  Fiber controls blood glucose and therefore helps to control inflammation.

    GLUCOSAMINE/CHONDROITIN SULFATE: Researchers  have found both effective for promoting joint health . Found in the body naturally, glucosamine is a form of amino sugar believed to play a role in cartilage formation and repair. Chondroitin sulfate, on the other hand, is a large protein molecule or proteoglycan that gives cartilage elasticity. Numerous studies have shown that regular use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate offers pain relief similar to that offered by anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, but minus the gastrointestinal upset that may accompany long-term use of these medications. A daily dose of 1,200 mg has been shown to reduce joint pain.

    It is never too early to take good care of your joints so that you are able to work out longer and more importantly remain pain free. Always begin your workout with range-of-motion exercises or an aerobic warm-up .  Lift with perfect form.  Ice your joints following exercise to reduce pain and swelling.

    Joint pain should not go untreated. Don’t try to self diagnose.  Be sure to get an opinion from a trusted sports doctor first to determine exactly what your problem is.

    Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , more...

    Good Morning Power Muffins – With Blueberries, Oats, Flax and Pecans
    Shari

    by on Jan.29, 2012, under General Nutrition, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Whey Protein Recipes

    Good for you food with wholesome ingredients in  30 minutes.

    These muffins use fresh, simple ingredients and pack a huge nutritional punch.   They are high in protein,  and contain a hearty blend of grains, fiber and healthy fats (from flax and nuts). Bake ahead for a terrific on-the-go  weekday breakfast or anytime healthy snack that provides lasting energy and satisfies.  Now you’re baking!

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease muffin tins with non-stick spray (or coconut oil).   In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients:

    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup oats
    • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder,

      Power Packed with fresh, hearty ingredients that satisfy.

    • 4 Tbsp Ground FlaxSeed
    • ½ cup chopped Pecans (or walnuts)
    • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
    • 1Tbsp baking powder
    • ½ tbsp baking soda
    • 4-5 packets of Truvia, or ~1-2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend

    In separate bowl combine wet ingredients:

    • 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
    • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or diced up fresh apple)
    • 1 Tbsp Flax seed oil
    • ~ ½ – ¾ cup of Almond or Coconut milk (or lowfat milk)
    • Honey (to taste)

    Combine wet with dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.  Fold in 1-1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and spoon into muffin tins.

    Bake for 15-19 minutes or until center is cooked (toothpick comes out clean).  12 muffins.

    Leave a Comment :, , , , , , more...

    WANTED: Healthy Food Fast.
    Shari

    by on Jan.15, 2012, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Healthy Snacks, Weight Loss

    Healthy eating doesn’t really take any more time than unhealthy eating; it just requires a little more foresight.

    Everybody has a story about when or why they gained weight, or why they have no time to eat right. When you’re constantly on the go, it can be hard to find time to eat, let alone eat healthy. So you turn to quick-fix foods that are high in fat, sugar, sodium, or calories, and low in essential nutrients.  But eating is what gives us the energy to do everything on our to-do list.  And when we are busy and “forget” to eat, or hurriedly rush into the nearest convenience store or hit up a vending machine for chips and a coke, we are not fueling bodies.  So how do you find balance?

    The solution isn’t to find more time, but to work with the schedule you do have. Instead of  waiting in the fast food drive in line,  use this time to visit the grocery store, and pick up prepared salads, sandwiches, and meats, pre-washed and cut fruits and vegetables, canned soups, low-calorie and low-fat frozen meals, yogurt, string cheese, and cereals.

    To lose weight, and keep it off  you must eliminate foods that aren’t healthy and eat foods that are good for your body. There is a strong correlation between how and what we eat and being well.  People hold on to the illusion that there is no time to cook, no time to shop, and no healthy options for “fast food” meals.  But just because there is no time to always sit down and eat, does not mean you have to eat poorly. What it boils down to is being prepared and carrying healthy snacks with you.

    Healthy Fast Food...or is it Healthy Food Fast?

    Here are some healthy tips to try:

    • Cook a bigger batch of food on the weekends, and refrigerate or freeze for weekday lunches or dinners.
    • Set an alarm for mealtimes. Even if you’re buried in work, don’t skip meals; designate a time to eat.
    • Try not to do anything else while eating. Mindless consumption prevents the enjoyment of food. When that happens, people tend to eat more and eat unhealthy alternatives.
    • Put fresh or dried fruit where you can see it to remind yourself of your goal to eat healthy. Bananas, grapes, and apples make handy and nutritious snack items.
    • If at a restaurant, turn down the supersize option, and choose baked and broiled instead of fried.
    • Order the lunch portion at dinnertime, and hold off on fatty condiments.
    • Keep handy snacks around, such as fruits, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, trail mix, yogurt, cottage cheese, carrot or celery sticks, low sugar cereals,  and wraps

    Eggs are by far the fastest cooking protein you can get. Scrambling 2-3 eggs takes about 2 minutes. Sauté some spinach with a little garlic, or add some diced ham and cheese, and you have a healthy homemade meal in less than 10 minutes. This works for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Hard boil eggs take about 10 minutes. Boil extra, peel and place in Ziplocs and carry

    Protein Smoothies...Quick, Versatile and Portable Meal in a Minute

    with you for a quick protein snack or for breakfast on the run the next day.

    Fresh fruit protein smoothies are also quick, nutritious and satisfying. They are so versatile… almost anything goes. And they travel well. 1 scoop of  Whey adds approximately 25-30grms of muscle building protein for satiability.  I recommend buying one of the many personal blenders on the market like the Ninja or Magic Bullet.  Mix and go, in under 2 minutes.

    Planning healthy meals and snacks ahead of time is especially crucial for people with junk food cravings.  If you must have junk food, give the healthier alternatives, such as baked chips, dried fruit, or sugar-free Popsicles a try. Look for low-calorie, low-sugar, and low-fat options.

    In place of chips, try light popcorn, whole grain crackers, carrot sticks, red peppers, and rice cakes.

    For the sweet tooth, sugar-free pudding, sugar-free Jell-O, fruit bars, baked apple, fresh fruits, and dried fruits are options.

    If you put your mind to it, you can come up with your own ideas for eating well with little cooking. It’s just a matter of wanting to find solutions.

    Leave a Comment :, , , , more...

    ORANGE: It’s So Much More than a Pretty Color
    Shari

    by on Jan.14, 2012, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition

    Eat more Orange if you want to Live Longer… and I don’t mean Cheese Puffs.

    Have you ever noticed that people with poor diets, eat foods that are mostly beige in color?  Breads, pasta, french fries…   If you are trying to improve your diet, adding color is where it’s at. Orange pigment in foods, for one, provides a significant nutritional kick and should be incorporated daily into your meal plans.  Some of the healthiest  foods to be found are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and other squash, mango, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe and oranges/tangerines.

    These foods are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain

    Add ORANGE Everyday for Optimal HEALTH.

    healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists consistently report that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and improve immune system function. Recent studies have also shown that people who have large quantities of the antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood (found chiefly in pumpkins and carrots) have a 61% lower risk of disease-related death. And carotenoid consumption protects against the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Citrus fruits like oranges are not rich in carotenoids; however they are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

    Sweet potatoes are one of the best orange foods.  They contain huge amounts of beta-carotene, manganese, copper, fiber, B-6, potassium, iron…. that’s a lot of nutritional power packed into a small potato case!

    Adding more orange to your diet is easy.  The produce department carries a variety of orange foods year round.  Fruits like pumpkin are not just for Halloween. Like the sweet potato, pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can get and is inexpensive and convenient in its canned form. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin is simple to incorporate into recipes, like muffins, pancakes, and breads.

    Incorporating orange fruits and vegetables everyday is not difficult to do and will improve your overall health while keeping illness and disease at bay.

    EASY ORANGE ADD-INS:

    ü  Sliced orange peppers to a sandwich or wrap

    ü  Baby carrots to a salad

    ü  Apricots with mixed nuts for a healthy snack mix.

    ü  Fresh Orange, Peach, and/or Mango, Vanilla protein and almond/soy milk for a delicious “Orange Dream” Smoothie.

    ü  Thinly slice or dice sweet potatoes, lightly toss in olive oil, and roast in 375 oven for a simple side dish.

    Cut up cantaloupe, mix with cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast, or snack.


    On your next trip to the grocery, be sure to fill you cart with plenty of color; and don’t neglect the ORANGE.

    Leave a Comment :, , , , , more...

    Feed your Metabolism with Food.
    Shari

    by on Jan.01, 2012, under General Nutrition, Motivation, Weight Loss

    All Calories are not created equal.

    Contrary to what you may have been told, the body does not burn and store 500 calories of fruit and veggies the way it does 500 calories of refined, processed or fatty foods. Some foods take more work to eat–and therefore burn more calories while you’re digesting them.  Just the act of chewing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! On the contrary, many other foods lack certain nutrients and minerals that have been proven to stimulate the metabolism.  The higher your metabolism level, the faster you will lose weight, provided you eat healthy food and pursue an active lifestyle.

    Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down.

    When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate. Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.

    Nutritional Superstars that Burn Calories

    There are proven nutritional superstars that can fuel your metabolic fire and help you to burn more calories as you kick your diet into high gear. These foods/beverages act similar to the way a thermogenic or a cardio session in how they affect the body. They can ramp up your metabolism, and in essence, assist you in burning fat.   When you wake up in the morning it is especially important to “break the fast” (and a sleepy metabolism) by eating breakfast. When you eat breakfast you start burning calories earlier, thereby burning more total calories through the day. And keep your metabolism pumping all day long, by eating several small meals through the day.  You will tend to eat less at one sitting, which puts less burden on your digestive system and lets it work more efficiently.

    So what are you waiting for?   Let’s get your metabolism moving!

    Food does some amazing things for our bodies, including fight disease.  Try adding some of these metabolism friendly foods to your diet each day:

    1. Oatmeal If you’re looking to jumpstart your metabolism, start your morning off with a bowl of oatmeal. This super food is rich in fat soluble fiber, which requires a lot of calories to break down. Eating oatmeal can also help decrease your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

    2. Grapefruit Studies indicate that eating grapefruit can reduce insulin levels. Lower insulin levels after meals can help your body process food more quickly and efficiently. This means that you burn more calories and store less fat.

    3. Hot Peppers Adding some spice to your food can speed up your weight loss. Hot peppers, like jalapenos, contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gives these veggies their heat and causes a spike in your metabolism. This chemical also keeps the calorie burn going hours after you’ve finished your meal.

    4. Lean Proteins The protein found in chicken, turkey and other lean meats takes a great deal of energy to break down. Therefore, your body burns a lot of calories during the digestive process. Protein is also an essential ingredient in building lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.

    5. Salmon and Tuna High levels of the hormone leptin have been linked to slower metabolisms and weight gain. A good way to lower leptin levels is to increase your intake of fish. The oil found in fish like salmon and tuna has been shown to cut leptin levels and help your body process foods more effectively.

    Burn more calories with Green Tea

    6. Low-fat Yogurt Low-fat yogurt is one of the best foods to eat if you’re trying to lose weight and boost your metabolism. Yogurt is full of calcium and protein. It gives you the energy your body needs to keep going all day and helps you build lean muscle mass. Yogurt can also help regulate your digestive tract.

    7. Green Tea The caffeine found in green tea accelerates your heart rate and speeds up your metabolism. The tea also contains a chemical, known as EGCG, that stimulates the nervous system and helps you to burn calories at a faster rate.

    8. Broccoli Broccoli is rich in both calcium and vitamin C. These two vitamins work together to help you burn calories faster and more effectively. Calcium activates your metabolism, while vitamin C helps you absorb more calcium.

    9. Almonds Almonds may be high in calories, but they are also jam packed with essential fatty acids which are great metabolism boosters. And the healthy fat in almonds has been proven to help in lowering cholesterol.

    10.  Apples,Pears, Berries:  These fruits are low calorie, high fiber, and rich in vitamins and antioxidants.  Your body must burn calories to break down. Since they help you stay full for longer, you‘ll eat less.  And they are naturally sweet!

    Spices can fire up your metabolism too!

    In addition to some of the suggestions listed, certain spices such as chiles, cinnamon, curry and ginger fire up your central nervous system and can boost your metabolism by as much as 12%.

    Metabolism-Slowing Pitfalls

    Just as there are natural ways to boost your metabolism, there are also natural ways you slow  your metabolism — Here are a few:

    • Skipping meals–always eat breakfast!
    • Sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
    • Eating empty calorie foods–exchange them for low carb, low-fat, high nutrition foods.
    • Choosing processed foods–exchange them for whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

    And don’t overlook the power of water!

    Researchers in Germany found that subjects increased their metabolic rates (the rate at which calories are burned) by up to 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that banishes bloat as it flushes out sodium and toxins. Drinking enough water will also help keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger. It is necessary to drink water at frequent intervals, because it is water that helps in digestion of food. So drink up! Make sure that you are starting your day with a big big glass of water and drink all day long.  It’s hard to get too much water.

    1 Comment :, , , , , , more...

    Fresh Start Solutions: A Healthy New You for the New Year
    Shari

    by on Dec.26, 2011, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Motivation, Weight Loss

    Quick fixes don’t exist for long-term health. Slow and steady wins this race.

    We are creatures of habit. To make health-conscious changes, the changes have to fit in with our habits.

    Have you ever changed, or tried to change, the way you eat? While you may want to change your diet, it can feel too hard and time-consuming. And when you are busy with work, family…life, there is just no time for added complication, right?  But, it’s the New Year and you are making a promise to start (and stay) on a strict diet to lose weight, but are you just setting yourself up for more frustration and failure…again?

    Shifting to healthier eating habits can seem complex.   Nutritionists tell you, “Eat more vegetables; reduce your saturated fat; watch the sugar; buy organic; avoid trans fats; get enough calcium; eat low carb; high protein…”   On and on it goes.

    Little wonder most people put off changing their diet…or opt for trendy rapid weight loss plans.

    You already know that commitment is crucial for success; so you consider one of the popular commercial diet programs that promise quick and easy results. This craving for instant gratification is why people gravitate to fad diets. Unfortunately, (and statistically); these plans don’t let you MAINTAIN weight loss.  Once you “go off” the diet, and return to old ways, the bad habits return along with weight gain and associated health issues.

    But no need to feel discouraged.  Small, incremental changes are the key to success. Health altering changes simply involve re-education to meal options that promote consistency while keeping your body filled with nutrition.    It is more a mind-shift and a behavior change, not a diet.  Learn to change the behavior you are used to and focus on building habits of living that improve your life.

    Shift your attitude to viewing food as a fuel to sustain life and not something that controls your quality of life. We all have different body compositions, likes and dislikes, and finding success in making healthy lifestyle changes is a process that will take a little time and experimentation. Start with small steps and before you know it, the small changes add up to become part of a healthy new lifestyle.  For example, when you wake up tomorrow instead of skipping breakfast, eat a small meal consisting of healthy carbs, protein and a little fat. Do this for a week. Once this works for you with little effort, it will be time to make another small change.

    Eat Real Food (and less of it)

    No matter what diet you follow, make sure most of it comes from food without bar codes. Whole foods, with minimal processing and preservatives are best. Concentrate most of your shopping time around the perimeter of your grocery store.  Chances are the fresh produce, whole grain breads, meat and seafood departments, and dairy cases are around the perimeter of the store. Then dip into the isles for staples, like oatmeal and olive oil.  And you don’t need nearly as many calories as you think you do. Most women will lose weight (or maintain it) on 1,250-1,600 calories and most men between 1,500-2,000. Cutting calories by about one-third is also one of the best strategies for living longer.

    Suggestions for the New Year / and a Healthier New You:

    • eat more fruit and vegetables
    • have a better awareness of your eating patterns and how to make your diet work for you
    • try some different foods and increase the variety in your diet
    • be on the way to controlling hunger and the portions you eat
    • work out some strategies for eating well when you’re busy

    Follow these eight rules of eating, and you’ll more easily manage your weight and improve your nutrition From YOU: The Owners Manual by RealAge experts Micael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD.

    http://www.realage.com/food/8-ways-to-improve-nutrition

    Leave a Comment :, , , , more...

    Looking for something?

    Use the form below to search the site:

    Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

    Visit our friends!

    A few highly recommended friends...