Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How to deal with diet saboteurs




Friends and family:

Don't let those closest to you unravel your weight-loss plan. Stay on course in any situation with this advice.

Often, the people you spend the most time with — your family, friends and co-workers — may create high-risk eating situations for you. This could be an intentional attempt to undermine your weight-loss effort from a jealous friend or sibling, or it could be unintentional because many people don't understand how difficult it is to eat healthy on a consistent, ongoing basis. To stay focused on your goals, you need to know how to manage negative influences in your social circles. Review these scenarios and make a plan for the next challenge a potential saboteur presents.
Scenario: Your spouse surprises you by bringing home your favorite dessert.
Your response: Stay cool. Thank your spouse for thinking of you, and then remind your loved one that you are adopting healthier eating habits and don't need any food treats right now. Ask that the dessert be put somewhere you won't see it. If you can work it into your meal plan, divide the treat into multiple portions. If this scenario happens more than once, throw away the food treats — and be sure to tell your spouse that inedible gifts, like flowers, are the appropriate surprises for you.
Scenario: Friends expect you to continue with the group's eating traditions, such as beer and appetizers after work, junk food while watching sporting events together or regular stops at your favorite ice-cream shop.
Your response: Take the lead in scheduling nonfood activities, such as a game of badminton or bocce ball. Invite your friends to your house so that you can serve some of your favorite healthy foods. Ask for their help as you lose weight, and make it clear that your decision to change eating habits is not meant as a criticism of them. Let them know that you value their friendship and that their support for your healthy lifestyle changes is very important to you.
Scenario: Your family refuses to eat the new, healthier meals you're preparing.
Your response: First, take it slow. Don't change the whole menu overnight. As you introduce new foods, remind your family how important it is for all of you to take better care of yourselves. Healthy eating is more than weight management; it can improve the energy level and quality of life for everyone. Tell your family that you're managing your weight in part for them, so you can be a healthier, happier person. Invite them to suggest some healthy foods or recipes to try.
Scenario: Your best friend surprises you with a birthday party, complete with a table of tempting treats.
Your response: Express your amazement and pleasure at the thoughtful gesture. Comment on the visual appeal of some of the foods (you're giving praise without taking a bite). Slowly sip a glass of water with a lemon slice. Then, before visiting the food table, decide what and how much you're going to eat. Keep portions small, nibble slowly and occupy yourself with something else — chatting with friends, introducing people who don't know one another or getting groups together to take photos. Finally, congratulate yourself on managing a high-risk situation! After the event is over, talk to your best friend about ways to truly support you.
Your turn! Think of how your support people can help you in your journey: Can they provide emotional support by simply letting you vent or offering encouragement? Or can they provide practical support and go for a walk with you? Talk to your friends and family and ask for their help. Then identify your most-challenging scenarios with family and friends. Think through your best responses and strategies, and store them for future use. We can all benefit from support in our weight-loss journeys.

Today's Fitness Tip
Be flexible with exercise
When you're sketching out your physical activity plan, don't forget to plan for rest. You can stay moving on rest days with walking and gentle exercise, but plan to take days off from your routine from time to time in order to prevent burnout. Also, allow yourself to take a day or two off if you're not feeling well.
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Dandelion Tea

Article from Mommypotamus
When I first heard that dandelion root is used as a coffee substitute, I immediately ruled it out as something I wanted or needed in my life. Because y’all, I. AM. NOT. breaking up with coffee. And yet, as I dug deeper into the benefits of dandelion flowers, leaves, and roots, I realized that there’s way more to dandelion tea than its use as a coffee substitute.
In Persian, dandelion is called the “small postman” because it is thought to bring good news.   It’s one of the first flowers that pops up in spring, and it stays with us all through the summer. That makes it one of the easiest plants to harvest and use – which is awesome because it has lots of uses!
This rich, creamy dandelion root tea is so delicious that I always make a double batch – one cup for me, and one to replace that cup when my littles steal it.

So, what is dandelion tea used for?

Tea made from fresh or dried dandelion leaves is often used to strengthen digestion and as a diuretic to help the body let go of excess water. We’ll cover how to make it in an upcoming post.
In this recipe, we’ll be using the roots, which are helpful for balancing hormones and detoxification. They also have anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of taraxasterols, and are rich in minerals (iron, manganese, calcium, potassium) and nutritive compounds such as carotenes.
In traditional herbal medicine, dandelion root is used to help get things moving in cases of mild constipation. Un-roasted roots are also known to be rich in the gut-nourishing prebiotic inulin, and although roasting reduces the amount there is still a significant amount in this tea. Hot water and a little time is the best way to extract inulin, which is just another reason to love this recipe. 

Where do I get dandelion root?

You can buy dandelion root – which is very affordable – here. Or you can use roots you’ve gathered as long as they are from an area that has not been sprayed with pesticides. Here’s how to properly identify dandelions. You will need to scrub, chop and dry them out before using them, though. I typically put mine in my dehydrator at 95°F for about 12 hours, but you can also just lay them on a towel in a dry, cool area until they’re brittle.

How do you roast dandelion root?

Although you may be imagining that it’s similar to the somewhat daunting process of artisanal coffee roasting, it actually couldn’t be easier. All you do is throw some dried roots in a pan over medium-high heat and stir until they become golden brown and fragrant. Yep, that’s it.

How do you make dandelion coffee?

If you’re wanting a dandelion coffee recipe instead of a dandelion tea recipe, you’re in luck. . . they’re exactly the same thing.   For whatever reason, dandelion tea is reminiscent of regular coffee and that’s why it’s sometimes called dandelion coffee. It’s a hard connection to explain until you’ve tried it. If you’ve ever had a friend that reminds you of someone else, and yet you can’t put your finger on why, it’s basically like that. Now, on to the recipe!

 Roasted Dandelion Root Tea Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1.5 teaspoons dried dandelion root (where to buy dandelion root if you can't find it locally)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter or cream to taste (optional)
  • Optional additions - 1 cinnamon stick OR ½ teaspoon of dried ginger OR 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger. OR vanilla extract to taste (or a combination of these!)
  1. Place a medium pot over medium heat and place the dried dandelion root in the bottom. Toast the root until it becomes fragrant and golden brown, then add water and additional flavorings (if using) and bring to a boil. When the water boils, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, then strain and serve. I like to blend in a little maple syrup and a tablespoon of butter, but it's also good with cream and a bit of vanilla extract.

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Amazing Benefits of Rosemary Oil




 A half teaspoon of dried rosemary can improve cognitive function.


Rosemary oil is one of the most popular essential oils for its wide array of health benefits. It has become increasingly important and popular over the years as more of its various health benefits have become understood, including its ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain. Rosemary, also known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, is very popular in the Mediterranean region as a culinary herb. Many dishes are cooked with rosemary oil and freshly plucked rosemary leaves. Rosemary essential oil is mostly extracted from the leaves. The rosemary bush belongs to the mint family which includes basil, lavender, myrtle, and sage. Rosemary has been extensively used since ancient times for a variety of purposes. The Romans gave special importance to the rosemary plant and used it frequently in religious ceremonies. It was also used during wedding ceremonies, food preparation, cosmetic care, and medicinal herbal care. Rosemary plant and its extract were also used by the ancient, Egyptian civilization as incense. The health benefits of rosemary essential oil made it a favorite of Paracelsus, a renowned German-Swiss physician and botanist, who made significant contributions to the understanding of herbal medicine during the 16th century. Paracelsus valued rosemary oil due because of its ability to strengthen the entire body. He correctly believed that rosemary oil had the ability to heal delicate organs such as the liver, brain, and heart. Health Benefits of Rosemary Oil Today, many medicinal preparations contain rosemary oil. The various, well-researched health benefits of rosemary oil are listed below: Indigestion: Rosemary oil is often used for indigestion, relieving flatulence, stomach cramps, constipation, and bloating. Rosemary essential oil is also thought to relieve symptoms of dyspepsia and it is an appetite stimulant. Furthermore, research has shown the essential oil to be detoxifying for the liver, and it also helps to regulate the creation and release of bile, which is a key part of the digestive process. It also stimulates blood flow and improves circulation, which can benefit the absorption of nutrients from food. Rosemary leaves are often added to meat dishes because it is particularly helpful in digesting meat, particularly lamb, beef and pork. READ NEXT ARTICE

 Watch this video to learn more

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Avocado salad with ginger-miso dressing

By Mayo Clinic Staff
Four classic soy foods — tofu, soy milk, miso and soy sauce — flavor this creamy dressing. A perfect complement to the avocado in this salad, the dressing is equally delicious on sliced tomatoes or grilled salmon  


    For the dressing
  1. 1/3 cup plain silken tofu
  2. 1/3 cup low-fat plain soy milk (soya milk)
  3. 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon light miso
  6. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped green (spring) onion, including tender green top
  9. 1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 12 thin slices
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  11. 12 ounces mixed baby lettuces
  12. 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  13. 1 green (spring) onion, including tender green top, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  14. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)


To make the dressing, combine tofu, soy milk, ginger, soy sauce, miso and mustard in a blender or food processor. Process just until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro and green onion. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl, toss the avocado slices in the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lettuces, red and green onions, and cilantro and toss to mix.
Add 2/3 of the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Divide the salad among individual plates. Arrange 2 avocado slices on top of each portion in a crisscross pattern. Top each avocado cross with a dollop of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

  • Total carbohydrate 7 g
  • Dietary fiber 3 g
  • Sodium 131 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Total fat 5 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Protein 3 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Calories

Track your eating habits





learn how to track your eating habits

Food records bring awareness to eating habits and help identify weight loss roadblocks. Get one started with these suggestions.

Research suggests that one of the best ways to change unhealthy eating habits is to first keep track of them, which makes sense considering most of us underestimate what we actually eat in a day. By identifying patterns of unhealthy eating choices in the record you keep, you can begin to change them.
Create a food record that includes the following items:
  • Date and day of the week. Also note the exact time or the general time of day — such as morning, lunchtime or evening.
  • All foods you eat and drink. Be specific on the types and amounts, and include details such as added fats, sugars — like butter, honey and other sweeteners — and beverages.
  • Portion sizes. Measure or estimate the size in volume, weight or number of items.
  • Your location when you eat. Write down where you are, whether it’s in your car, at your desk or on the couch — and whether you’re eating alone or with someone else.
  • What you’re doing while you eat. Pay attention to what else you may be focused on, such as watching TV or socializing at a restaurant.
  • Your mood. How do you feel — happy, sad, stressed out?

To make your food record worthwhile, be honest and record every bite of food you eat. If you don’t record everything, you won’t have an accurate picture of your intake. For the most accurate results, try to record your food intake within 15 minutes of the time you eat. Use a daily food journal to help keep you accountable.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sodium: How to tame your salt habit

Find out how much sodium you really need, what high-sodium foods to avoid, and ways to prepare and serve foods without adding sodium.By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you're like many people, you're getting far more sodium than is recommended, and that could lead to serious health problems.
You probably aren't even aware of just how much sodium is in your diet. Consider that a single teaspoon of table salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium – more than the daily amount recommended in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
And it's not just table salt you have to worry about. Many processed and prepared foods contain sodium.
See how sodium sneaks into your diet and ways you can shake the habit.

Sodium: Essential in small amounts

Your body needs some sodium to function properly because it:
  • Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
  • Helps transmit nerve impulses
  • Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your body sodium is low, your kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine.
But if for some reason your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced.
Some people's bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. If you're sodium sensitive, you retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. If this becomes chronic, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.

Sodium: How much do you need?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day.
Keep in mind that these are upper limits, and less is usually best, especially if you're sensitive to the effects of sodium. If you aren't sure how much sodium your diet should include, talk to your doctor or dietitian.

Sodium: What are the major dietary sources?

The average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day — much more than recommended. Here are the main sources of sodium in a typical diet:
  • Processed and prepared foods. The vast majority of sodium in the typical American diet comes from foods that are processed and prepared. These foods are typically high in salt and additives that contain sodium. Processed foods include bread, pizza, cold cuts and bacon, cheese, soups, fast foods, and prepared dinners, such as pasta, meat and egg dishes.
  • Natural sources. Some foods naturally contain sodium. These include all vegetables and dairy products, meat, and shellfish. While they don't have an abundance of sodium, eating these foods does add to your overall body sodium content. For example, 1 cup (237 milliliters) of low-fat milk has about 100 mg of sodium.
  • In the kitchen and at the table. Many recipes call for salt, and many people also salt their food at the table. Condiments also may contain sodium. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has about 1,000 mg of sodium.

tips for cutting back on sodium

Virtually all Americans can benefit from reducing the sodium in their diets. Here are more ways you can cut back on sodium:
  • Eat more fresh foods. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Also, fresh meat is lower in sodium than are luncheon meat, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham. Buy fresh or frozen poultry or meat that hasn't been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Look on the label or ask your butcher.
  • Opt for low-sodium products. If you do buy processed foods, choose those that are labeled "low sodium." Better yet, buy plain whole-grain rice and pasta instead of products that have added seasonings.
  • Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You can leave out the salt in many recipes, including casseroles, soups, stews and other main dishes that you cook. Look for cookbooks that focus on lowering risks of high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Limit use of sodium-laden condiments. Soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish all contain sodium.
  • Use herbs, spices and other flavorings to season foods. Use fresh or dried herbs, spices, zest and juice from citrus fruit to jazz up your meals. Sea salt, however, isn't a good substitute. It has about the same amount of sodium as table salt.
  • Use salt substitutes wisely. Some salt substitutes or light salts contain a mixture of table salt and other compounds. To achieve that familiar salty taste, you may use too much of the substitute — and get too much sodium. Also, many salt substitutes contain potassium chloride. Although potassium can lessen some of the problems from excess sodium, too much potassium can be harmful especially if you have kidney problems or if you're taking medications for congestive heart failure or high blood pressure that cause potassium retention.

Sodium: Be a savvy shopper

Taste alone may not tell you which foods are high in sodium. For example, you may not think a bagel tastes salty, but a typical 4-inch (10-centimeter) oat-bran bagel has about 600 mg of sodium, and even a slice of whole-wheat bread contains about 100 mg of sodium.
So how can you tell which foods are high in sodium? Read food labels. The Nutrition Facts label found on most packaged and processed foods lists the amount of sodium in each serving. It also lists whether the ingredients include salt or sodium-containing compounds, such as:
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Baking soda (also called sodium bicarbonate)
  • Baking powder
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium nitrite
Try to avoid products with more than 200 mg of sodium per serving. And be sure you know how many servings are in a package — that information is also on the Nutrition Facts label.

Know the label lingo

The supermarket is full of foods labeled "reduced sodium" or "light in sodium." But don't assume that means they're low in sodium. For example, a can of chicken noodle soup that claims to have 25 percent less sodium still has a whopping 524 mg in 1 cup. It's only lower in salt compared with regular chicken noodle soup, which has more than 790 mg of sodium in a cup.
Here's a rundown on common sodium claims and what they really mean:

Best choices

  • Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
  • Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
  • Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.

What the other sodium label claims mean

  • Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
  • Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
  • Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium because some of the ingredients may be high in sodium.

Go low and take it slow

Your taste for salt is acquired, so you can learn to enjoy less. Decrease your use of salt gradually and your taste buds will adjust. Consider using salt-free seasonings to help with the transition.
After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, you probably won't miss it, and some foods may even taste too salty. Start by using no more than 1/4 teaspoon of salt daily — at the table and in cooking. Then throw away the saltshaker. As you use less salt, your preference for it diminishes, allowing you to enjoy the taste of the food itself, with heart-healthy benefits.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Improve Your Workout

Canyon Ranch has released a list of four simple tips to improve a workout routine, as recommended by their fitness professi­onals. If you offer fitness in your spa or have active clients, you may want to pass on the following.

1. Mix It Up.

If you aren’t seeing the results that you are looking for, it might be a good time to change things up. Try something new like a dance, yoga or pilate’s class. For a more intense workout, try aerial yoga or a strength and cardio combo workout.

2. Don’t Go Solo.

Working out with a partner will help you stay motivated and focused. Additionally, you can challenge yourself and a friend to a little friendly competition.

3. Tech it Up. 

Fitness apps and trackers make organizing your workouts and progress easier. It can also help you pinpoint where you might be lacking in your workouts.

4. When in Doubt, Ask for Help.

Simply stumped on why you aren’t progressing? Or, need a little guidance? Find a personal trainer. They can help you create a personalized workout routine that fits your lifestyle.
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Podcast For The Weight Plateau


This inability to lose weight is known as a weight loss plateau or stall, and it can be frustrating and discouraging.

  your weight loss progress stalled for reasons you can’t figure out, the feeling then becomes one of discouragement. you have feelings of being stuck and unmotivated. So many people hit a plateau after successful weight loss. When that happens, it can be just the excuse some need to give up and go back to the days of fast food and opting for the couch instead of the great outdoors. I know because I’ve been there


 It’s Time To Make A Change (Tip Below)

Here's Today's Tip... Boost your metabolism.
Today I want to share a “neat” little trick that can help boost your metabolism and increase your calorie burn.
Many folks who are trying to lose fat tend to think that they’re “cursed” with a slow, sluggish metabolism; on the other hand, they might think that lean individuals are just born that way—they’re “blessed” with a fast metabolism.
While it’s true that metabolism is influenced by genetics, the great news is that there are a number of factors—well within your control—that you can use to your advantage to help boost your metabolic rate. One of them is the “neat” trick that I mentioned earlier.
You see, NEAT refers to a component of metabolic rate called “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” As the name suggests, NEAT encompasses the number of calories burned during all daily movement and activities (except formal exercise).
In one study published in the journal Science, a Mayo Clinic research team led by endocrinologist Dr. James Levine examined the role of NEAT in weight management. Astonishingly, the researchers found, on average, obese folks sit for 2 ½ hours longer (each day) than lean individuals, who spend an equivalent amount of time upright (moving around) daily.
What does these mean in terms of metabolism and weight loss? According to Dr. Levine, “If obese individuals adopted the NEAT-enhanced behaviors of their lean counterparts, they might expend an additional 350 calories per day.” That’s a pound of fat in just 10 days!
Use this NEAT metabolism-boosting weapon to your advantage by including more of the following activities:
  • Standing more throughout the day (e.g., stand-up desk)
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking further away (at the store) and walking
  • Being active with kids
  • Taking your dog for a walk
  • Doing chores
  • Doing some bodyweight exercises
  • Fidgeting
To Burning Those Calories,
Change That Up

AVAILABLE NOW! Meal Plans & Recipes To Eat Great And Lose Weight! Shop now for a limited time!

 Today's Lifestyle Tip
Healthy habits do get easier
With time and regular reinforcement, your new healthy behaviors will become habits. Eventually you'll know how to identify healthy foods, how many servings a day meet your needs and what makes a single serving. You'll look forward to physical activity that's a routine part of your day. Be patient — you're on your way to maintaining a healthy weight for life.
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Polenta and vegetables



Dietitian's tip:

This creamy polenta has added flavor because of the Parmesan cheese. It's topped with lightly steamed and sauteed vegetables. Try any combination of vegetables, including leafy greens.


  1. 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal (polenta)
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  4. 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  5. 1 cup sliced onions
  6. 1 cup broccoli florets
  7. 1 cup sliced zucchini
  8. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  9. Chopped fresh oregano, basil or rosemary, to taste


Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 3-quart ovenproof dish with cooking spray.
Combine the polenta, water and garlic in the prepared dish. Bake uncovered until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the baking dish, about 40 minutes. The polenta should be moist.
While the polenta is cooking, spray a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and onions. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
In a pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and zucchini. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
When the polenta is done, top with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs, to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :1 cup polenta and 1 cup of vegetables

  • Calories 178
  • Total fat 1 g
  • Saturated fat Trace
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat Trace
  • Cholesterol 2 mg
  • Sodium 55 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 34 g
  • Dietary fiber 3 g
  • Total sugars 3 g
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Protein 6 g
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Delicious coffee smoothie

This incredibly delicious coffee smoothie is topped with toasted coconut.  It tastes like an indulgent dessert, but it’s actually loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your metabolism working at its best.  Enjoy one instead of your usual breakfast to feel full for hours.  Because of the caffeine content, I recommend having this one no later than 12:00 p.m.
Toasted Coconut Coffee Smoothie
Serves: 1
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
1 cup coffee, brewed and cooled
1 banana
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup kale
1 serving Science-Smart SuperCharged Hot Base Mix
Use a small frying pan to toast the coconut over medium heat.  Use a wooden spoon to keep it moving constantly to prevent burning.  The coconut should turn golden brown and fragrant within 1-2 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove coconut from pan.  Place all other ingredients in a blender, liquids first.  Blend until smooth.  Pour smoothie into a small saucepan and heat, but do not boil.  Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the smoothie just prior to drinking.
Calories: 327  Fat: 8 g  Protein: 23 g  Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple lettuce salad

1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 medium red apple, chopped
6 cups spring mix salad greens

Mix the apple juice, lemon juice, oil, brown sugar, mustard and apple pie spice in a large salad bowl. Add the apple and toss to coat. Add the salad greens and toss to mix just before serving.
Serves 6.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 80
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Total fat: 4 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated fat: 2 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Sodium: 20 mg
Total carbohydrate: 13 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 1 g

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The Truth about Nitrates





Are Nitrates and Nitrites in Foods Harmful?

There is a lot of confusion about Nitrates and Nitrites in the diet.
These are compounds found naturally in some foods (like vegetables) but also added to processed foods (like bacon) as a preservative.
Some people believe that they are harmful and can cause cancer.
However, the science isn’t as clear and some studies suggest that they may even be healthy.
So… what is the truth about nitrates/nitrites in the diet?
Let’s have a look…

What Are Nitrates and Nitrites?

In order to understand what nitrates and nitrites are, we need to delve into a bit of chemistry.
These are two types of compounds, consisting of a single Nitrogen atom bonded to a number of Oxygen atoms.
  • Nitrate: 1 Nitrogen, 3 Oxygens – Chemical Formula: NO3-
  • Nitrite: 1 Nitrogen, 2 Oxygens – Chemical Formula: NO2-
So… Nitr-a-tes have 3 oxygen atoms, while Nitr-i-tes have 2 oxygen atoms.
Bottom Line: Nitrates and Nitrites are compounds consisting of Nitrogen and Oxygen atoms. Nitrates can turn into Nitrites, which can then form either Nitric Oxide (good) or Nitrosamines (bad).

Nitrates and Nitrites Are Found in All Sorts of Foods… and Produced by Our Own Bodies

Nitrates and nitrites are frequently added to processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages and hot dogs.
They function as preservatives, helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
They also add a salty flavor and improve the appearance of the meat products by giving them a red or pink color.
We do know that consuming processed meats is strongly linked to an increased risk of cancer in the digestive tract, and many people believe that the nitrates/nitrites are the reason for that
However, they are also found naturally in foods like vegetables, foods that are generally perceived as healthy and linked to a reduced risk of cancer
Vegetables are actually the biggest dietary source of nitrates… by far. The amount you get from processed meat is small compared to vegetables.
Our bodies also produce nitrates in large amounts and secrete them into saliva
Nitrates and nitrites actually circulate from the digestive system, into the blood, then into saliva and then back into the digestive system. This is known as the entero-salivary circulation.
They seem to function as antimicrobials in the digestive system, helping to kill pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella. They can also turn into Nitric Oxide (NO), an important signaling molecule
Nitrates can even be found in drinking water in some areas. This can be a problem for infants under 6 months of age, which are unable to process a lot of nitrates.
This can lead to a dangerous condition called methemoglobinemia, which is why nitrate amounts in drinking water are regulated.
However, this is not a problem in adults or older children, who can process nitrates just fine.
Bottom Line: Nitrates are found in small amounts in processed meats, and in much larger amounts in healthy foods like vegetables. They are also found in drinking water and produced by our own bodies.

Dietary Nitrates/Nitrites Lower Blood Pressure and Have Major Benefits For Heart Health

if nitrite loses an oxygen atom, it turns into Nitric Oxide, an important molecule.

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a short-lived gas, which has various functions in the body
Most importantly, it is a signaling molecule. It travels through the artery wall and sends signals to the tiny muscle cells around the arteries, telling them to relax 
When these cells relax, our blood vessels dilate and blood pressure goes down.
This is actually how the well-known drug nitroglycerin works. It is a source of nitrate, which quickly turns into nitric oxide and dilates the blood vessels 
This can prevent or reverse angina, chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen due to reduced blood flow.
Dietary nitrates and nitrites can also turn into Nitric Oxide, dilate the blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Studies have shown that nitrate supplements, such as beetroots or beetroot juice, can reduce blood pressure by up to 4-10 mm/Hg over a period of a few hours. The effect may be weaker in women.
Elevated blood pressure is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease and stroke (the world’s biggest killers) so the importance of this can not be overstated.

 Bottom Line: Nitrites can be turned into Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body, a signaling molecule that makes blood vessels dilate and reduces blood pressure

Nitrates Are Being Used by Athletes to Fuel Physical Performance

Numerous studies suggest that nitrates can enhance physical performance, especially during high-intensity endurance exercise.
Beetroots (or beetroot juice) are often used for this purpose because they are very high in nitrates.
This appears to be due to nitrates increasing the efficiency of mitochondria, the parts of cells that produce energy (21).
A few studies have shown that beetroots (high in nitrates) can reduce the oxygen cost of exercise by 5.4%, increase time to exhaustion when running by 15% and improve sprinting performance by 4% (22, 23, 24).
Bottom Line: Numerous studies show that dietary nitrates/nitrites can enhance physical performance, especially during high intensity endurance exerci  Bottom Line: Nitrates and Nitrites are compounds consisting of Nitrogen and Oxygen atoms. Nitrates can turn into Nitrites, which can then form either Nitric Oxide (good) or Nitrosamines (bad).

They Are Only a Problem When They Form Nitrosamines… Which Can Happen During High Heat Cooking

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to all of this.
When nitrites are exposed to high heat, in the presence of amino acids, they can turn into compounds called nitrosamines (25).

There are many different types of nitrosamines… and most of them are potent carcinogens (26).
They are among the main carcinogens in tobacco smoke, for example.
Because most bacon, hot dogs and processed meat tend to be high in sodium nitrite and they’re high protein foods (a source of amino acids), exposing them to high heat creates the perfect conditions for nitrosamine formation (27).
It’s important to keep in mind that nitrosamines mostly form during very high heat. Even though vegetables also contain nitrates/nitrites, they are rarely exposed to such high heat.
Nitrosamines can also form during the acidic conditions in the stomach.
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Bottom Line: When nitrites and amino acids are present, carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines can form during high heat cooking.

How to Minimize Your Nitrosamine Exposure… Without Having to Give up Bacon


Nitrosamines are a well-known problem in processed meats, and manufacturers are required to limit the number of nitrites they use.
They are also required to add Vitamin C, which inhibits nitrosamine formation (28).
The processed meat eaten today contains about 80% fewer nitrates than it did a few decades ago (29).
For these reasons, today’s processed meat may not be nearly as carcinogenic as it used to be.
But just to be on the safe side, then there are some steps you can take to minimize your nitrosamine exposure even further… without having to give up bacon.
You can choose quality bacon that is truly nitrate-free, not laden with celery salt or something similar that also contains nitrates. A lot of “nitrate free” bacon can even contain more nitrates than conventional bacon (30).
The one I get is basically just salted pork belly. I buy it frozen because it doesn’t keep well without the nitrates/nitrites.
It tastes just as good, if not better than regular bacon.
Try to buy local if you can, or from a farmer’s market. If you can get your hands on it, bacon from pasture-raised pigs should be much healthier than bacon from “conventionally” raised pigs.
Another thing you can change is the way you cook your bacon. Frying it at a lower heat for longer will produce fewer nitrosamines than a higher heat for a shorter amount of time. Burnt bacon is the worst.
According to one study, cooking bacon in a microwave is the best way to minimize nitrosamine formation (31).
How to cook bacon in a microwave 

 See video below:


in Conclusion

All of this research seems to be pointing to the fact that eating overly processed foods is not only unhealthy but could possibly be a precursor for Alzheimer’s disease.  So the next time you are in a hurry and just want to grab some food and go, take some time and choose fresh food instead to take with you. It may not only make you feel better, but you could be saving your brain from the havoc of Alzheimer’s and promote the Alzheimer’s diet.


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