Tag Archives: nutrition

7 Power Foods That Improve Your Appearance

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A lot of us struggle with excessive consumption of foods that harm our appearance and good looks. One of the contributing factors to outbreaks of acne and skin blemishes is having lots of oily and processed foods in our diet. Thankfully, there are natural antidotes that can get the body clean and back in shape. It is important if there is an outbreak of skin problems that we lower consumption of the damaging food. Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Best for Our Bodies

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It was this year that we got serious about our diets- how much sugar we were consuming, how much we were dining out, how many miles we were running. In little ways, we edged out the processed foods and replaced it for real food and it wasn’t very long before momentary relapses produced interesting results. A cupcake before was barely a speed bump but now it could bring on a headache within several minutes. When there was a routine schedule for eating, it could get messy to deviate from it. It was then that our team started to notice that our bodies really did have something to say! We just hadn’t noticed before because the airwaves were so noisy with all the things coming and going: stress, processed foods, children, spouses, dates, vacations, the list goes on and on.

So today our intent is to listen to our bodies and find what works best. Not every meal plan, exercise regimen or relaxation technique will work for you. Your job is to listen and notice.
Ready to listen too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: More Water

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We’re continuing with nutritional goals this week by drinking more water. How much is enough? You probably grew up hearing that 8 cups is the official goal, but is that still the case? The truth is it depends on things like our age, gender, and activity level. You can decide what is right for you here. Once  you know, join in on this intent to drink more water.

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Cut Down on the Sugar

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Setting food goals is an important step for us in getting balanced nutritionally. This is why we decided to get a jump on one of the toughest aspects of eating- curbing the sugar.
It’s in everything at this point and there is so much to learn about sugar alternatives, processed sugars, even natural sugars like honey. In the meantime, our intent is to cut down on the sugar. 
You too? Here are three resources to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Time to Mealplan

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The end of the year is upon us and where are you with the goals you made in January? The ones where you promised to eat better? The one about getting back into the gym? Maybe the one about taking more time for yourself? Even if you’re just getting started, the truth is it’s not too late. We’re right there with you on taking baby steps on this journey. We’re going to start with an intent to mealplan.

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

7 Easy Ways to Avoid Your Sugar Cravings

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(The following is adapted from the new book Cravings Boss: The REAL Reason You Crave Food and a 5-Step Plan to Take Back Control by Natalia Levey , CHC, CNC)   

Sugar is found in almost every processed food on the market today. It is used as a flavor enhancer more often than any other seasoning, including salt. I can almost guarantee that if you grab an inexpensive processed food from your local grocer, it will be loaded with sugar. Manufacturers are well aware of sugar’s addictive quality  People who are caught in this addictive loop usually drink several sugary sodas per day or consume large quantities of candy, processed sweets or packaged, ready-to-eat goodies. If you recognize yourself in these words, you’re not alone.

Did you know the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar per year? One hundred and fifty two pounds. POUNDS! A baby giraffe weighs that much! That’s approximately twenty- two teaspoons per day and it only takes about two cans of soda to reach this daily maximum.

Here are 7 surefire strategies to get your sugar cravings controlled… Continue reading

Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy Your Doctor May Not Tell You

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By Betty Murray

You’ve decided to take the plunge into parenthood but you are unsure of what measures you can take with your nutrition and lifestyle to make sure your baby is healthy.  Often would be parent’s are not given clear directions on proper nutrition before and during conception because, even today, nutrition is often an elective in medical school so your doctor may not be well versed in nutrition. Here are 10 things you can do to ensure you give your baby the best chance to be healthy?  Continue reading

Wheat No More

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Nutritionists first suggested avoiding foods with gluten when it started to become known that they were harmful to people with Celiac disease. Indeed, medical researchers discovered that when glutens are ingested, this serious autoimmune disorder, affecting the small intestine, causes the body to mount an immune response that can trigger such side effects as unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression or anxiety and migraines, to name a few.

From that dietary acorn a giant oak of abstinence has grown. For some, it’s due to the fact that non-Celiac disease sufferers have milder but still unpleasant reactions to glutens. Call them gluten-sensitive, if you will. However, a greater and greater number of people also don’t eat anything containing gluten and it has nothing to do with a medical condition. They claim that by avoiding this latest “don’t-eat-du jour,” pain, skin rashes, acne, anxiety and depression, are said to magically disappear. And in their place is increased weight loss and energy, even happiness. Continue reading

Better Than Before: The Highs and Lows of Cholesterol

cholesterol“I’ll have the steak,” my husband with the three coronary artery stents announced to the waiter. “A fillet mignon, medium rare,” he added, with a look of self-satisfaction on his face. He was obviously proud of himself because he didn’t order what he really wanted—the marbled prime rib.

“While you’re at it, dear, why don’t you have cheesecake for dessert,” I suggested, “just in case you have any arteries left unclogged.”

I should say, however, that The Lawyer — dietary deviations aside — is in very good shape for a man his age and is extremely aware of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t always mean he makes the wisest menu choices when it comes to his heart. Indeed, out of my sight and left to his own devices he may just grab a hamburger — or horrors! — that deadly croissant-doughnut hybrid known as “cronut!”

He, of course, swears that a genetic predisposition—and my constant nagging—are the primary culprits for his coronary clogs. Therefore, I must remind him (always, of course, in calm, constructive tones), that while genetics may load the gun, lifestyle still pulls the trigger.

The reason I worry about what he eats, is cholesterol, a big component of all those unhealthy foods he likes to eat, and a known factor in heart disease. And while my husband’s cholesterol isn’t particularly high, every journal article I read seems to say that it should be lower!  It seems, too, as if practically everyone I know, the Lawyer included, is on a statin of some sort or another – 25% of all Americans over age 45, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But do statins lower all cholesterol? How do you keep the HDL (high density lipoproteins — think “happy” ones) level high while lowering the LDL (low density, think “lousy”).  So my intent for this column is to help readers have a cholesterol ratio that is Better Than Before.

To advise, I turn to an expert, Ed Dannemiller, a specialist pharmacist, in the Cardiovascular Therapeutic Resource Center at Express Scripts and a recent guest on my new show for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Talk.  I started by asking just how bad is bad cholesterol.

Turns out it is very bad. “High cholesterol levels are the major controllable risk factors that contribute to hardening and narrowing of the arteries,” he says. “This is known as Atherosclerosis and it is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes. And as blood cholesterol levels rise, so does the risk of coronary heart disease, which is the Number one killer in America. “

But not all cholesterol is bad, and Dannemiller adds, it is important to understand the differences between the two types. High levels of HDL’s actually protect against heart attack and stroke, while low levels increase their risk. Too much of the “lousy” one circulating in the blood form thick hard deposits called plaque that narrows the arteries and makes them less flexible. Plaque that suddenly ruptures forms clots can result in and heart attacks and strokes because of the arterial blockage.

I have always been a firm believer in lifestyle modifications and Dannemiller agrees that for most people, those can help attain a healthy cholesterol balance.“LDL cholesterol is especially affected by diet,” he stresses. “Eat a heart healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in salt, fat, and cholesterol.”

He points to a Florida State University research study that found that eating an apple a day can reduce LDL cholesterol an average of 23%. “Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that blocks cholesterol absorption and prevents the body from storing it. Other LDL-lowering foods include oats, barley, beans, unsalted nuts and seeds, eggplant, okra, and fatty fish such as wild salmon.”

The main culprits for high cholesterol, he says, are fat. Hmm. What do you suppose they fry Cronuts in to  make them so tasty?  The Lawyer would obviously like to think it’s first-press, extra virgin olive oil! “Avoid saturated fat,” Danemiller cautions. “This includes fats from red, processed and organ meats, dairy products, and some plant products like coconut and palm oils.”

Processing liquid vegetable oil to make a solid fat creates the dreaded trans fats found in stick margarine, vegetable shortening, and some cookies, crackers, cakes, fried foods, breads and snack foods like chips, candy, and microwave popcorn, he explains. “Read your labels closely: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the ‘good ones!”

Danemiller has a few other tips:

• Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking

• Broil rather than pan fry meats

• Prepare stews and soups a day ahead of time and refrigerate. Skim off the hardened fat from the top.

• Choose white meat chicken, lower cholesterol organic eggs and low-fat cheeses, milk, and yogurts.

• Lose some weight. As little as 5 to 10% of body weight can significantly reduce LDL levels.

And here’s the one The Lawyer particularly dreads — exercise. “Exercising is essential,” Dannemiller insists. “Just thirty minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, five days a week, or 25 minutes of the more vigorous jogging or running three times a week, can help your body to produce more HDL’s.”

Sometimes, though, lifestyle modifications just aren’t enough, and genetics may have a lot to do with it. “Cholesterol comes from two sources,” Damemiller continues. “The body itself makes about 75% of blood cholesterol, and the rest comes from food ingested. That means that some people are more prone to high cholesterol levels based on genetics. For them, medication treatment can be essential. Drugs like niacin are effective in raising HDL levels, but the workhorses in the medication class are the statin drugs which can decrease cholesterol by 30% to 40% or more, decreasing heart attack and stroke risk by 45% to 60%.”

Statins have some side-effects, including muscle pain. But Danemiller contends that statin drugs are so effective that it is worth working through these issues. “A lower dose of the same medication, a switch to another drug in the class, or changing the frequency of administration can help. If the statin drug is stopped, the muscle pains should subside within two weeks. If it persists after that, it may be caused by unrelated activities like other medical conditions such as arthritis, or possibly even low vitamin D levels or too much exercise.”

But didn’t I read somewhere that statins have been linked to memory loss?

“Studies found no evidence of this. In fact, long-term statin use can have a protective effect on memory and cognition.” Dannemiller says.

Also in the news last year, were reports that statin drugs increased the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, I challenged.

“While data suggests some statins may increase the risk of diabetes this risk is outweighed by the cardiovascular benefits for most patients.”

Lifestyle modifications and statin medication, if needed, are important elements to achieve optimal cholesterol levels. Just watch out for those Prime Rib and Cheesecake combos.

 

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