February 10th, 2010 jeniii
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women? Not only does it affect all ethnicities, but it can happen at any age. American’s have been drilled with the idea that a fast paced lifestyle is the way to live. Well, it’s not. There are many ways to fight cardiovascular disease. The average healthy American is recommended to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This is equivalent to 1 teaspoon. ONE TEASPOON! For those that are hypertensive, 1,500 mg of sodium per day is recommended.
So where does all of this extra salt come from? According to Heart Healthy Magazine, “Roughly 10 percent of the salt in our diet comes from the salt we add ourselves (the salt we season with while cooking or sprinkle at the table) and 10 percent is naturally occurring. The vast majority of salt—amounting to about 80 percent of daily intake—comes from processed foods. Salt is added to processed foods to achieve a (very salty) taste profile. In many situations adding salt is what makes cheap, un-tasty food palatable. Salt also is added for stability and preservation reasons. But the amount of salt added is clearly above and beyond what’s required for the safety and function of the food supply. The simple math leads to the conclusion that going easy with the salt shaker is hardly going to put a dent in the unhealthy amount of salt in the typical American diet. It’s also hard to trust our taste buds when salt is involved. Some foods taste quite salty because the salt is on the surface, while other sodium-saturated dishes don’t taste salty at all because other flavors and textures (namely, lots of fat and sugars) cover up the salt.”
You can add great flavor to any of your dishes without salt. Here are just a few suggestions and alternatives to your meals. Getting active is another great way to keep your heart strong. Grab some friends and head to the park. Not only is this a great way to get your heart pumping (safely and within your limits), but you can also catch up on the latest gossip, a great stress reliever! President Obama has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. February 5, 2010 was National Wear Red Day, I hope you all wore red to show your support. But wearing red to show your support is not limited to one day a year. Wear red and share your ideas and tips with everyone, everywhere.
January 3rd, 2010 jeniii
1.Start each morning with a healthy breakfast, high in fiber and nutrients. Studies have shown that what you have for breakfast influences what you eat for the rest of the day. Many people go wrong by thinking a muffin is a light and healthy breakfast. WRONG! Most muffins from the bakery contain on average 340 to 640 calories, EACH. Oh and that’s without butter. Pass! For a quick on the go breakfast have a cup of non-fat yogurt with mixed blueberries, a slice of whole wheat toast and a fresh glass of orange juice (that you juiced yourself!). If you have a little more time to spare try some of these delicious recipes to jump start your morning.
2.Get up and do something! Go for a walk and check out your neighborhood, window shop at the mall, take your dog for a jog at the park or join a gym and take advantage of their exercise classes. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you do, just get active. Get your heart pumping for at least 45 minutes each day.
3.Everyone needs time to wind down, especially after a stressful day. Find a hobby! Try learning to play a new instrument, cooking an unfamiliar dish, knitting, bird watching…etc. The possibilities are endless!
4.Laugh and smile! Laughing increases the levels of endorphins in your body making you less stressed and with a healthier immune system. Pop in a funny movie that will get you laughing in no time. Studies have shown that with just 15 minutes of laughter (even fake laughter) will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on weight. Ever heard of laughter yoga? Pretty interesting.
5.Be positive. Living your life with the, “Why me?” attitude will only weigh you down. Life is a beautiful and precious thing. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Instead of questioning yourself and your self worth, question what you can do to make it better? There is always room for improvement.
6.Cut out the toxins – smoking, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
7.Adopt a pet! I can’t think of another way to get active. Pets are wonderful and loyal companions and they will show you unconditional love 24/7. Plus, you will always have an excuse to get out of the house to take them for walk. It’s a win-win situation!
8.Avoid these 5 ingredients as much as possible.
9.Track your ticker! 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, worldwide. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and follow a heart healthy diet. Just by reducing your sodium intake and exercising everyday, you are on your way to a healthier heart.
10.Get those ZzzZzz! Try to sleep 6-8 hours every night. Everyone is busy, but your body needs time to recharge. By getting the recommended hours of sleep you will feel refreshed and energized in the morning. This will set your mood for the whole day.
March 20th, 2009 cate
To keep fit and to take part in sports, many of my family members play golf and tennis, and while I did play tennis, I absolutely hated it. This is, most likely, because I was forced to play starting at the age of eight. It was in a sense required of me, which I resented for many years. I was expected to play in tournaments and in school and university tennis teams just like my siblings, but I did not enjoy it so broke away as soon as I could, to learn music. Ah yes, there has to be a black sheep in the family. Always. Anyway, golf was never shoved down my throat like tennis, and now I have a desire to learn how to play. There’s a half golf course not far from my office so I thought I could start with lessons there during work, after work. But before I jump into that, I want to be properly equipped with the correct apparel, gear and whatever else I need before I begin. My first purchase will be golf shoes so if you too, are looking for shoes, you might want to start here:
Expect more Golf Essential Gear soon.
Related: For Golfers talking about golf: Golf Empire
February 1st, 2009 cate
More and more people are finding themselves with heart disease, and it’s no longer just about older adults. Increasingly, and alarmingly, many kids and teens are reported to be having problems related to heart disease. Here are a few heart healthy foods that everyone should add to their diets, not just for heart healthiness, but for overall health. In all cases, stick with ORGANIC ingredients. Non-organic fruit and other items tend to have chemicals such as pesticides, flavor enhancers and dangerous heavy metals. Note: Always consult your health care provider first about a different diet if you are taking medicines or undergoing any treatments for health issues, particularly heart disease.
Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fat, healthy fats. They help lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids, particularly beta carotene and lycopene, which are absolutely essential for heart health.
Berries – Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are full of anti-inflammatory ingredients, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Berries in general are important for vascular health. Be sure to only choose organic berries, as non-organic fruit tend to contain dangerous amounts of pesticides, chemicals and other toxic ingredients.
Beans Fill up on fiber with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) lentils, kidney beans and blac, beans. They have lots of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
Nuts Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are all chock full of omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Almonds are super rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts contain fiber, very important and a good source of healthy fat.”
Garlic contains allicin, which reacts with red blood cells and produces hydrogen sulphide. This relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily.
Salmon is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is known to reduce blood pressure and keep clotting to a minimum. Salmon contains an ingredient called, carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Important note: Choose wild salmon over farm raised salmon (or farm raised fish in general), which is proven to be packed with pesticides, insecticides and heavy metals.
Olive Oil is packed with monounsaturated fats. It has a tendency to lower bad LDL cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It’s best when used in salad dressings.
Oranges – Rich in Vitamin C, oranges protect arteries from free radicals, highly damaging molecules that cause our cells to oxidize. Oranges also contain folate, which processes the amino acid homocysteine in our bodies. Without folate, your risk of a heart attack is greater. Potassium in oranges play a key role in heart functions and muscle contractions. The calcium in oranges help maintain normal blood pressure, and magnesium helps your heart maintain a steady rhythm and normal blood pressure.
Spinach – helps keep your heart in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.
Flaxseeds – Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseeds can be incredibly beneficial for your heart. Add it to yogurt or cereal for a healthy start in the morning.
Oatmeal is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood is able to lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Choose coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber. Remember to add some flaxseeds and blueberries.
January 15th, 2009 cate
I’ve written several posts about this but I can’t stress enough that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and as the most important meal of the day, it should be healthy. So, why do so many people eat commercial cereals? WHY? WHY people!?? Those of you who eat those mass made cereals, do me a favor, ok? Open the cereal box and stick your nose inside at the top. Now. Take a big SNIFF. Really think about what you’re smelling. To me, it doesn’t really even smell like food. At BEST, it smells like dried dog food. Guess what? There are many common ingredients in cereal and dog food. All that aside, just think about how you’re eating something that isn’t very healthy for you. No matter how many are vitamin fortified, forget about it. They HAVE been fortified but the processing kills most of the nutrients leaving you with nearly nothing. Why do you want to eat THAT for your most important meal? Anyway, here are my suggestions.
Don’t be a lazy bastard.
Gah, you might be thinking, you don’t have to be such a biatch. Sorry. I can’t help it when it comes to important things. So many people I know ALWAYS use the excuse, “I don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare anything, so we (or my kids) eat cereals or protein bars. It’s easy, fast and…” – let me finish that line for you, “CRAPPY FOR THEM.” You can’t argue with me; it’s true. Now, get a conscience and get caring about you and your kids’ health! I just can’t believe I have to tell you this.
Make a yummy nutritious meal for breakfast.
Ok if you HAVE to use that stupid, lame excuse of not having enough time in the morning, then prepare some things the night before so you have little to prepare the next day. Here’s one example (but DO search online for a variety of ideas) Make some whole wheat or multi-grain scones the night before, then in the morning eat them with organic almond butter and some organic jam. Or simply with fruit. Make a quick side of scrambled eggs and voila. Yummy and healthy meal.
Be more organized – Plan for the whole week and vary meals.
This also relates to the previous idea, “don’t be a lazy bastard.” If you plan for the week, your breakfast life will be smooth as peanut butter. During the weekends, plan your meals for every week day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something different every single day, depending on the tastes of you and your family members, but it should vary to an extent. This is important so your bodies receive a variety of nutrients instead of the very same ones day after day. For example, if you have kids love their home-made organic muesli, allow it Tuesday and Thursday one week, then for the next week allow it Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Vary the kinds of fruit and nuts you add to the muesli. Maybe once in a while add yogurt instead of whole, raw organic milk.
Make Pancakes better.
If you and your family likes pancakes once in a while, instead of using just white flour, add more hearty and healthy flours into the mix like whole wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Also, make sure if you do use white flour, that it is non-bleached and organic. Use organic ingredients as much as possible including eggs, sugar and milk.
Offer all kinds of different spreads for toast.If there’s a die-hard, “gotta have” toast in the a.m., offer different things to spread on it: Peanut butter, coconut butter, almond butter or other kinds of nut butters, tahini, organic butters and cream cheese, organic fruit and jams. Or something completely different: pickled herring, organic cheeses, a poached egg, veggies. How ’bout some organic maple syrup?
The organic tortilla is your friend for breakfast.
I’ve been recently been liking brown rice tortillas but there are many kinds that are good for your health. Tortillas are champions in convenience and you can put all kinds of things into them. Breakfast burritos, veggies and scrambled eggs, bean and cheese, fruity wraps…you will only be limited by your imagination. And if you run out of ideas, look online for more ideas! You don’t have to be alone in this breakfast dilemma.
Let smoothies rule.
There’s nothing more healthy than throwing some fruit, plain yogurt or juice into a blender and make a refreshing, scrumptious and satisfying smoothie. Add some flax seed meal into it and you may become addicted to this excellent meal in a glass. Make sure to vary fruit and ingredients for your smoothies!
Related: Why you shouldn’t eat popular breakfast cereals, More reasons to give up Cereal, especially Corn Flakes! Healthy Organic Breakfasts