The Importance of How You Eat

By: mike misakent

When it comes to a healthy diet we’re constantly told to watch what we eat, but what about the how? By now we know that the choices we make when we’re at the grocery store doing our weekly food shopping are important; so much so that it can be the difference between a strong immune system and constantly using those sick days at work…when you’re actually sick! It could be the difference between being able to spend your hard earned money on what you want to spend it on while enjoying life, and generously giving it to any one of the large pharmaceutical companies in return for that blood pressure, cholesterol, or antacid medication that you may be on. There’s no denying it, the “what we eat” is very important, but what about the “how”?

You can eat healthy foods and still experience some unhealthy side affects; bloating, gas, constipation, or loose stool. All of these point to one common culprit, digestion. I was once told by my kinesiologist, a man whose knowledge and experience has played a key role in my overall wellness that optimal health starts in the gut. Whether you’re trying to overcome some illness or condition, or simply just trying to maintain a healthy state, your digestive system must be doing its job and doing it right. This of course takes some cooperation from you. You make the decisions of what to eat, but if you’re experiencing any of the common irregularities mentioned above, then it’s time to pay attention to the “how” you eat.

Based on some reading I’ve been doing, how or when you eat certain foods plays a big role in whether or not it’s digested properly. The two books that come to mind are “Healing with Whole Foods” by Paul Pitchford and “Never Be Sick Again” by Raymond Francis, where both authors dedicate a section on the importance of “food combinations”. They both start by classifying foods by which the environment they require within the stomach for proper digestion, acidic or alkaline, as well what foods can (or should) be combined in order to achieve this. They go on to explain how the stomach can accommodate either environment, be it acidic for the proteins or alkaline for the starches, but not at the same time; fruits being the exception since they are meant to travel quickly through the digestive system. Both authors lay down the same foundation “vegetables with proteins ok, vegetables with starches ok, eat fruits alone”, with a few special cases noted, but differ slightly in their approach; Raymond Francis taking a more strict approach. Thankfully Paul Pitchford’s approach lays out some looser guidelines that appear to be more relevant to today’s many menu choices; “one for better digestion and one for ideal digestion”. The rules for “better digestion” states that if proteins are eaten with starches as are the case with most meals “eat the proteins first and keep the ratio of protein to starch to at least 1:2”. This means don’t make the protein portion of your meal the biggest portion, about half that of the starch (ideally whole grains of some sort), and vegetables go well with both so a generous portion should be eaten with every meal. I think it’s safe to say that most nutritionists would probably agree.

So in order to drive the point home let’s take a look at a typical restaurant meal. Based on the information above this means that if that proportionately large piece of protein (chicken/fish/beef) on your plate requires an acidic environment to properly digest, and that generous portion of starch (grains/potatoes) next to it requires an alkaline environment, neither will have the chance to digest fully or properly if eaten together. Thankfully those vegetables, that I hope are taking up much of that plate, can digest well in either environment. Add to that a piece of cake or pie typically eaten immediately following the meal, and you haven’t even given your stomach a fighting chance. Now in today’s world with all the meal options and menu varieties we have come to enjoy, the strict approach is probably not for you. With that said though you can choose to take the key points on how to properly approach a meal, and put it to use within your own diet as you see the need; as I did with mine.  

For instance despite my healthy diet I noticed that when I would eat oatmeal, I would experience some bloating and a bit of a lethargic feeling that would last until this meal was digested, and I use the word “digested” loosely. What I didn’t realize at the time is that what I was adding to the plain oatmeal was the culprit. I always liked to jazz it up with some sort of fruit, a peach, a banana, or some berries, and a handful of nuts topped off with some honey. Although it sounds like a healthy meal, the food combinations I had chosen simply were just not working for me. This is of no surprise of course, knowing what I know now.  

When examined individually, the generous portion of starch (the oatmeal and sugar from the honey), the sizable helping of fruit, and some protein (the nuts) all appear to be smart meal choices, but when combined and eaten together were nothing short of digestive trouble. Now the small amount of protein, especially considering the food source, was probably not the problem, which leaves only the fruit. It is recommended that fruit be eaten by itself since it is meant to travel through the stomach rather quickly, but when a substantial portion is eaten with other foods the digestion of this fruit is slowed down considerably allowing the fruit time to ferment. This fermentation causes gasses to be released which can lead to bloating, not to mention create an undesirable environment for proper digestion. If the meal is of a sizable portion and digestion is already compromised, a feeling of tiredness or laziness afterwards would be expected.  

I have since used what I know about “food combinations” to adjust this meal, to ensure proper digestion and ultimately optimal health. I now eat a handful of nuts and some berries (an “acid fruit” that can be eaten with nuts and seeds) first thing in the morning, go about my morning routine, and then eat the starch portion of my breakfast (usually whole grains of some sort) a good half hour to forty-five minutes later; I’ve yet to experience the bloating or lethargy since making the switch. My body is now getting the benefit of my healthy food choices do to “how” I eat them. I try to remember Paul Pitchford’s rules for “better digestion” with every meal, and apply those for “ideal digestion” when my body is showing signs of poor digestion. So if you don’t want to have to reach for the antacids after the next time you dive into that giant burger with fries, think about these rules. It may be the smartest move you make all day.

Living with allergies can be difficult, some harder than others. Being allergic to both soy and dairy, I know this first hand. So with the hopes of educating others, I have created a very informative blog with a focus on living soy and dairy free, while maintaining a healthy diet. My belief in natural healing and natural cures is the driving force behind my desire to be as healthy as I can be...body and mind.

Eating Healthy Tasty Foods for Life

By: Suzanne VanDeGrift

Eating healthy is not dieting. It's a lifelong commitment, a way of life. There are a lot of people who say diets don't work. Actually, diets do work, over and over and over again. Many of us loose hundreds of pounds in a lifetime on various diets. We loose and we gain, frequently more than we lost. Just like being on a roller coaster, a lot of ups and downs. Maybe now is the time to get serious about your health and how you can improve it by making some lasting changes in your eating behavior.

I know it's been a while since counting calories has been the thing to do, but the fact remains that you should consume enough calories each day, but not more than you need. Calories do count. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you're going to gain weight. The calories you need to reduce or maintain your weight depends on a number of things. It depends on age, which often effects metabolism; height; weight; sex; and quite importantly, your physical activity.

Broaden your horizons when it comes to your plate. Variety really is the spice of life when it comes to food. Load your plate with fruits and vegetables and don't be afraid to try new ones. If you're not a vegetable person, make a commitment to try at least one unknown veggie a week. Find new ways to prepare the vegetables you normally eat, to add additional variety to your dishes.

Do the same with fruits. There are many, many different fruits available. Try a new one each week. And, prepare your fruits in interesting ways, not just plain. You can grill pitted fruits, such as peaches and plums for a wonderful dessert dish. You can also make delicious fruit shakes that are both healthy and satisfying. Add to your fruit and vegetable rich diet an organic iron supplement derived from yellow dock, burdock, dandelion, mullein, and nettle to keep your blood strong and nourished.

Whole grain products provide the best of the best. The three edible parts of the grain are preserved during processing, the inner germ, the middle endosperm, and the outer bran covering. There is a huge group of whole grain products to choose from that can provide the basis for healthy meals and snacks. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Some of the most popular whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgar, and millet.The benefits of a diet rich in whole grains are many. They aid in protecting you from heart disease, they've been found to reduce the risk of some cancers, aid in lowering bad cholesterol, the fiber promotes good digestive health, and help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

To further reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, add to your daily routine a plant formula that will naturally regulate cholesterol levels with ingredients of guggal gum, calamus, devil's claw, apple fiber, alfalfa, cayenne, and green tea.

Portion control is as important as what you're eating. We've become so accustomed to "big everything", we've lost sight of what a reasonable portion of food actually is. Particularly when you're eating out, make wise decisions. You don't necessarily need to have appetizer, soup/salad, entree, and dessert. Sometimes an appetizer is large enough to serve as your main course, especially if you plan on having dessert. Or, share a healthy entree with your partner and get an extra salad. Then you could even share a dessert. If you're disciplined enough, go ahead and order the whole spread, then box up half and take it home for the next night. Just make sure you're thinking about what you're eating; plan ahead and stick to your plan.

Most of us really enjoy eating. We don't have to give it up to be healthy. Sugar, fried and fatty foods should pretty much be eliminated but occasionally, in extreme moderation can help keep us on track of better eating habits without feeling deprived in social situations, when healthy options may not be available. Being happy is necessary to be healthy. If we constantly feel we're depriving ourselves, eventually it will take its toll. Limit these foods, make them count, but don't try to cut them out of your life forever. You'll be setting yourself up for failure. If you have an over active sweet tooth, include in your diet a natural formula that will help curb your craving for processed sugars. One that contains gymnema sylvestre and stevia leaf.

Don't forget to include activity every day. Once you've started with a healthy approach to eating, you'll be feeling more energized in no time. Develop a plan for daily activity that fits in with your lifestyle. It isn't necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on exercise equipment. Start off with a brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week. Play ball with the kids. Get a yoga or exercise tape from the library. Just get yourself moving. Find a partner to walk and exercise with, you'll be more likely to continue. Take it a step at a time and learn to really enjoy healthy eating.

Massage For Health And Fitness

By: Lydia Hernandez

The New Year has come and the resolutions have been made. The number one resolution is usually to get into better shape or improve your health. Keeping one or both of those resolutions would be great but we probably all agree that it's pretty hard to do. So, what if it were easier to keep those resolutions? Well, it's easier to get into shape or improve your overall health when you add massage therapy to your health and fitness regimen.

How can massage therapy help you to keep your resolutions? There are many ways but two stand out. First, massage therapy by itself can help you improve your health due to the many healthy benefits of massage including: improved circulation, greater flexibility, better sleep, feelings of wellness, and reduced muscular pain. Secondly, massage therapy can help you get into shape because the nagging soreness and pain from a new workout routine can be reduced or eliminated. When your pain levels are reduced you are more likely to want to continue your workouts. Receiving regular massage therapy can also prevent muscle soreness and minor injuries that could prevent you from keeping up with your workout schedule.

Now that you know that massage therapy can help you improve your health and fitness, you might want to know what types of massage therapy are available to you. There are many styles and techniques used in massage therapy but there are some that are available pretty much anywhere that you can integrate into your health and fitness routine. The best known massage therapy techniques are:

1. Swedish Massage - this is the most common of massage techniques in the United States and perhaps the world. Swedish massage is known for its long gliding strokes, kneading strokes, friction strokes, and percussion as well as joint movements that feel great while improving range of motion. It's most often thought of as a "spa" type of massage but it's much more than that. Swedish massage is great for improving circulation, improving range of motion of your joints, and helping you actually feel better in your own skin. Swedish massage can range from light pressure to a heavier pressure depending on your comfort.

2. Deep Tissue Massage - right behind Swedish massage, Deep Tissue Massage is one of the best known and most often requested massage techniques. This massage is used to root out chronic tension in the deeper musculature and connective tissues that contributes to pain and loss of range of motion in joints. While some practitioners use a heavier, sometimes uncomfortable, pressure in Deep Tissue Massage it should be noted that a more moderate pressure can reach deep tissues and achieve great results with little discomfort.

3. Sports Massage - just like it sounds, Sports Massage is geared toward athletes at every level from professional to the "weekend warrior" and those who strive for a higher level of fitness. Rather than a specific form of massage, Sports Massage is generally a combination of massage techniques tailored to the athlete's needs. The Sports Massage might be applied to one area to relieve pain or might be more general in nature to assure overall performance.

4. Neuromuscular Therapy - also called "NMT", Neuromuscular Therapy is a well known technique for relieving muscular pain throughout the body even "referred" pain that originates from someplace other than where it's felt. This technique uses very targeted massage techniques, positioning, and stretching to release myofascial trigger points in muscles as well as restrictions in tendons, muscular attachments, and sometimes fascia surrounding the muscle.

All of the massage techniques described here can help you keep on track with your pursuit of better health. Of course there are many more massage therapy techniques available that are relaxing, stress reducing, and that relieve chronic tension and pain. You actually don't have to know what type of massage to ask for, you just need to know what you want to achieve. Do you just want to relax? Reduce muscle soreness? Relieve pain? Improve posture? Ask your massage therapist what they recommend for your particular health and fitness needs and they'll help you keep your resolutions.

5 Tips for Planning Your Diet Meals

By: Chelle Stein

Planning your meals for your diet on your own can be a little intimidating at first. Many diets include sample meal plans that you can follow for awhile, but unless you don't mind having three weeks of exactly the same foods over and over again, learning how to plan your own diet meal plans will make sure you don't lose interest in the foods you are eating on your diet. It will also help you eat healthy for life - not just while dieting.

Here are 5 Tips to Make Diet Meal Planning Easier:

1. Understand Your Diet: There are hundreds of diets available to try. I follow a simple diet that involves only cutting out extra calories, sugar, fat, and eating balanced nutritious meals. Most diets are similar in structure, but not all are the same. Understanding how your diet works will help you identify foods to include in your diet and which foods to avoid. Most diet and weight loss programs explain the research and scientific data behind their weight loss plan - the better you understand this information, the easier it will be to make food choices on your own.

2. Schedule Meal Planning Time: Having a scheduled time in your week when you sit down for a half an hour or an hour to create a meal plan may seem like a waste of time at first - until you realize that it saves you time later down the road. Pick a day and a time that you can devote to meal planning and stick to it. Making it a part of your routine will help make meal planning easier.

3. Create a Grocery List: When you create a meal plan, it helps to also make a shopping list of the necessary groceries and supplies you will need. This can save you not only headaches and time but money if you plan accordingly for the meals you will eat throughout the week. For example, one night you could cook chicken breast, and then save any leftovers to be used the next day for lunch or revamp it for another dinner.

4. Allow for unexpected surprises: There will be days when your schedule is so hectic that you may not have time to eat the foods you originally planned. Be prepared for those types of days by having nutritious snacks available as well as the most friendly diet options you can choose at restaurants or the drive through window.

5. Keep a Note Board: Whether you decide to use a dry erase board or simply a sheet of paper with a pencil attached that you access easily, a note board is a great way to be more organized and efficient when planning your meals and grocery shopping. For example, you may notice one night while cooking that you are running low on important ingredients or you may get an idea for another meal you can try. Having a note board will let you jot down ideas quickly, as well as communicate with others living in your household. Then, when you sit down to create the meal plan, you will have a list that is easily accessible to work from.

Meal planning while on a diet doesn't have to be a chore, and you do not have to be attached to the diet meal plans your weight loss program provided in the beginning forever. Using samples and examples of diet plans can help give you ideas and following the 5 easy meal planning tips above will help you save not only time but money also.

Weight management with diet plans

By: Garry Nixon

Obesity is one of the most prevailing health problems in all parts of the world, especially in America. With gradual weight gain the lifestyle changes in a great way and the result becomes visible in your body weight. On the other hand it can also be said that unhealthy food habits and sedentary lifestyle are two reasons of weight gain. Whatever be the root cause is, the focus should be on weight management. Though there are numerous weight-loss aids available in the market now-a-days which includes the diet pills, supplements, protein bars and many more, weight management with diet plans seem to be the best and effective way.

Change your meal intake pattern:

Instead of taking four heavy meals a day, try to divide your meals into five to six small servings. After every 2 to 3 hours, when you feel hungry, have light foods and munch them well with ample time. This will certainly reduce the calorie consumption and help you lose weight. Most of the popular diet plans suggest the same in their instructions.

Include vegetables in your diet:

Including green vegetables in your diet plan helps a lot. Fresh fruits can also help you a great deal. Take cereals, beans, carrots and tomatoes in plenty. You can take carrot juice every morning at empty stomach as it is an excellent home remedy to lose fat. Fruits like apple, bananas and grapes are also helpful. Avoid foods high in calories like red meat, sweets and candies. Instead you can consume lean meat and fruit punches. Avoid beverages like soft drinks and replace them with juice and fruit salad.

Avoid junk foods:

Always try and avoid eating junk foods like pizza, burger and chips, though they are tempting. These foods contain large amount of calorie and saturated fat that is bad for the overall health.

Include herbs in your diet:

Herbs are very useful when it comes to lose weight. An Indian herb called Guggul helps in reducing cholesterol and removes deposited fat quickly. It works on the metabolism of the body and facilitates it in a great way. Its fat burning process is widely appreciated and often used for natural weight loss.

Triphala is another excellent herb that works with the principle of stomach cleansing. It is better if you take it in the morning after a brief morning walk session.

Garnicia Cambogia is an herb that prevents the formation of fat cells in the body. It converts the blood sugar into glycogen rather than converting it into fat. Hence the overall health also improves with regular usage.

The juice extracted from a plant called Aloe Vera helps a lot. It aids in the digestion process by cleaning the digestive tract that makes the metabolism in your body to function properly.

Above are few dietary changes that can help you lose weight in a great way. Make sure when you start with a diet plan, you should also continue it until you get desired result.

Fast Weight Loss Review.

By: Brian Worley

With the modern busy life-styles and the rise in the number of fast foods joints that serve meals full of saturated fats, along with the use of a lot of refined sugar in sodas and other processed low fibre foods have all contributed to the fact that there are more people than ever before who are classified as either overweight or are obese.

But despite the momentum toward weight gain, you can stop it from happening, experts say. And there are plenty of good reasons to avoid excess pounds, reasons that go beyond vanity or social acceptance.

In fact, some health experts contend that the significance of excess weight is more than cosmetic. They say that it takes a huge toll on people’s physical health.

Many turn to fast weight loss diet plans. These quick weight loss diet plans are known as fad diets because that is exactly what they are, just a fad In fashion at the time. However, when fashion is over and popularity wanes, people will realize that the diet they have depended on is not reliable at all.

Many of the quick weight loss methods, which have spread like wild fire these days, do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods, which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplement or pills, do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.

Programs that promise the greatest reward in the least amount of time and with the least amount of effort tend to get the most immediate attention from overwhelmed people who just want to get the weight off as fast as possible

A lot of people who are into losing weight with a ‘Fad Diet’ usually drop by the wayside anyway. Many get bored with not being able to enjoy those delicious treats. Or, exercise on a regular basis can become a chore.

They tend to slip back to their old eating habits and take the easy route and return to their past sedentary ways even though they may have enjoyed exercising.

There is no doubt that many people try to lose weight too quickly, with dangerous crash diets. That doesn't mean that there are no legitimate methods available for speeding up your progress on a proper weight loss program that include the correct nutritional requirements for a healthy lifestyle

But unfortunately, there are plenty of weight-loss strategies that are guaranteed to fail. This is because these quick fixes included in certain diet plans are, in reality, not efficient because they do not employ the right principle and the right attitude in losing weight.

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option, which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.

Make sure that the right discipline is practiced to promote consistency on the diet plan that you are following. This will lead eventually to a healthy life-style and a more fruitful living without the extra fat and extra pounds on the side.

Information contained in this article is not meant to replace professional advice. Always check with your physician before starting any weight loss or exercise program.

Natural Beauty Tips for You Are You as Beautiful as You Can Be?

By: Mariya Smith

The answer to that question is, “Of course you are!” However you may still want a few beauty tips that may help you feel even more beautiful than you already are. Maybe you would like a few natural beauty tips as well? Take a look below to see a few beauty tips and a bit of beauty advice that you will probably find most useful.

A bit of beauty advice first: Don’t be afraid to get a makeover if you feel your make up isn’t quite working anymore. Remember as the seasons change, as you grow older, or even as life events change, they can all affect how you look. Skin tone and colors can darken or lighten, Hair color can do the same. So stop in and get some expert advice on the right colors for you whenever you think things look a bit off.

A single beauty tip: Remember – as a general rule: less is more. That has always been true. Apply your make up with that in mind. Keep to a hair style that does not have everyone just noticing your hair. Blend and harmonize.

That beauty advice needs to be stressed again. Less is more. Interestingly, most men are not attracted to an overly done woman. He falls in love with the real you, don’t try to fake him out. Do what you can to make yourself look great, without overdoing it!

A few natural beauty tips:

• Walk tall. Keep your head up and your shoulders back. Your good posture not only allows energy to flow through your body better, but it also can help you look a bit slimmer.

• Keep your body toned with an exercise program that does not build bulky muscles.

• To prevent dark circles under your eyes, try sleeping with two or three pillows.

• Keep a positive attitude and a happy outlook. Angry or antagonistic attitudes, postures, and countenances cause your beauty to dissipate, and make the wrinkles come a whole lot sooner.

A few more beauty tips:

• Use a good facial soap – splurge on this!

• Make sure you keep your skin toned and moisturized

• If you are in a hot, dry, sunny climate, keep your sun block on!

• Use a sun block designed for the face on the face!

• Whenever you wear perfume, you must make sure that the scent works with the chemistry of your body. Not all perfumes work for all women!

When you step back and think about all the beauty tips and beauty advice there is available to you, there is always one very important message, which is to keep yourself in good health – that includes proper nutrition, rest, and attitude. It includes a rewarding exercise program is also essential to staying fit and helping to keep off unwanted pounds. These free beauty tips really help you live a long life, and not just look great!