diet

Why?

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I have been trying to think of a title for this blog entry and “Why?” seems to fit best.  Regarding the subject I wish to discuss, all my thoughts and questions contain “why” somewhere.

 

For example, why don’t more people read?  Why don’t more people do research?  Why do people have amazing faith in the untrustworthy yet question validity?  Why don’t more people ask MORE questions?  I think there is a lot of effort and work behind wonderment and why questions many rather avoid.

 

You are probably wondering what this blog is all about.  Why?  😉  Gotcha!

 

Hello to you, it has been awhile since I have written, all the same reasons, of course: work, school, life.  I have just been a busy girl!  Oh!  And we have a new dog!  Remember my last post, “Indecisiveness“…well, Mandy Pandy (her nickname) has been in our home since February 19th.  We formally adopted her on February 27th, but that will be another blog!  Here is a sneak peek of our new girl:

 

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Ya…made her wear a sign of shame last week.

 

Anyway, back to it.  My husband and I have been doing vast research on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), GE and GM foods (genetically engineered/modified), organics, Monsanto, politics, pharmaceuticals, etc., for many, many months now.  My husband really preaches it.  Sometimes I just want to hide my head in the sand around our family and friends because he can be quite overbearing with this subject.  However when you get an amazing testimony from someone who happened to listen…that is what this blog is about.  Why don’t more people ask questions?  Why don’t more people listen?

 

We began asking many questions after seeing Food, Inc.  The questions multiplied once we saw Genetic Roulette.  Actually, our questions tripled and our whole lifestyle and eating habits changed.  For the better.  We also learned much from the documentary King Corn.  Of the three, Genetic Roulette answers so many “why” questions and introduces the viewer to critical thinking.

 

So, my husband shared some information with an elevator vendor at a commercial building he oversees.  The guy actually listened.  He watched all three of these movies and told my husband he now “sings the no-GMO song.”  Wow!  This gentleman has started reading labels, he gave up soft drinks, he eats organic food and avoids GMO products.  In just a couple of months he has lost over 16 pounds, has been taken off of his blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and he has been spreading his testimony to his friends and family.  As well, his wife and two children have completely changed their diets.  He is now a believer!  This made my husband’s day and triggered my curiosity as to why more people won’t consider the dangers of GMO’s.

 

Have YOU seen any of these movies?  Do YOU read food labels?  How do YOU feel about GMOs? Do YOU care?  We have so many friends who could care less about this topic or their own eating habits.  Are YOU opposed to eating organic?  Why or why not?  Many dislike the fact that organic food products are higher priced than non-organic foods.  While this may be true, in the long run imagine what you will save monetarily and gain for your health by eating organics.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE consuming Cheetos and whole cans of Pringles.  I am also not okay with ingesting pesticides, are you?

 

So, I challenge you to do some homework.  I am providing a simple list below.  I guarantee you will be singing the no-GMO song too!  If you are not willing to do this homework, please allow me to ask why?  Again, I am challenging you and would love, love, love to hear back from you and for you to share your testimony.  Because you WILL have one.  Don’t just take my word on it.  Do your homework and ask “why” questions.

One month from now I want to hear from you,

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Homework

1.  Watch the movie Genetic Roulette.  If you wish to also watch Food, Inc., and King Corn, feel free to do so.

2. Start reading all of your food labels.  Avoid products that contain corn, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and soy.  Corn and soy are the top GMO crops.  Any and all corn or soy products you consume, make sure they are organic.

3.  Stop drinking soft drinks.  Period.  Not even diet.  Just give them up.  Substitute lemon water, plain water or organic teas.

4.  Shop, buy and eat ONLY organic produce and food products.  Look for that USDA stamp and organic certification.  Frequent your local farmers markets.

5.  Keep a journal on how you feel, changes you notice.  How is your energy?  Any changes in weight?  Sleeping better?  Consider getting a blood panel done, talk to your doctor about your diet change, and have that blood panel tested again after one month.  Numbers do not lie.  You will be amazed!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Guest: “Tips For Controlling Your Weight As You Age”

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I am SO GLAD today is Friday!  How about you?

A few months back (quite a few, actually!) I was pleasured to connect with Cole Mill’s writing expertise. Although I went MIA for a bit, his blog certainly did not.

So, please take a moment and enjoy his work, “Tips For Controlling Your Weight As You Age.”  It is full of great reminders and tips…especially for the elderly people my age!

Thanks Cole.  I did not forget you!

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Sweet on sweets!

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It seems there are two types of snackers: the sweet tooth-aholic or the salt/carb craver.  Choosing healthy snacks to satisfy either craving does not have to be difficult!  Many times we just need a few fresh ideas.

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It is important to remember those in between meal snacks for our metabolism and strength, especially if you are working out, walking vigorously and exercising daily.  Foods are our fuel and our friends!  Of course, the cleaner, greener and leaner the better.

In case you are fresh out of ideas, here are some simple sweet snacks that are each 50 calories or less!

1. Kellogg’s Bite Size Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini-Wheats  (I love these!)

These super-tasty sweet treats feature a satisfying crunch (it helps that whole grain wheat is the first ingredient). Six Mini-Wheats will cost you just 47 calories–and you’ll get a gram of filling fiber, too.

Nutrition facts for six Mini-Wheats: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

2. Antioxidant-Rich Fruit: Raspberries

Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, raspberries are among the Cleveland Clinic’s list of 40 best foods for heart health. Research suggests they help lower blood pressure and boost good cholesterol, plus they’ll tide you over as a delicious snack.

Nutrition facts for 3/4 cup raspberries: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

3. Light and tasty Popsicle.  You’ll get 15 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in one 50-calorie frozen pop. Pick from yummy cherry, grape, and tropical flavors.

Nutrition facts for one bar: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

4. Low-calorie ice cream treat.  Yes, even a root beer float!

Pour fizzy diet root beer over 1/4 cup of light vanilla ice cream for a treat that will take you back to your youth. Toss your glass in the freezer 10 minutes before dishing for the full frosty effect.

Nutrition facts for one root beer float: 50 calories, 2 g fat (1 g sat fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium

5. Jell-O sugar free cup with cool whip

Single-serving containers of Jell-O make calorie counting oh-so-easy! The gelatin has just 10 calories, the whipped topping adds 25.

Nutrition facts for Jell-O with Cool Whip: 35 calories, 2 g fat (2 g sat fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium

6. A fresh piece of fruit, such as a high-fiber peach.

Increasing your fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day) can significantly lower your heart disease risk, and a peach provides nearly 2 grams. For a special treat, cut one in half and grill both sides to caramelize the natural sugars.

Nutrition facts for one peach: 38 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

7. Tea with Sugar

Calorie-free white, black, red, and green teas have all been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants, which help ward off disease. Add a dash of sugar or tsp of honey to sweeten things!

Nutrition facts for a cup of tea: 0 calories, 0 g fat, mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

8. Mott’s No-Sugar-Added Healthy Harvest Applesauce

This tasty fruit-filled applesauce kicks up your vitamin C quotient: Each 50-calorie snack cup provides 25 percent of your daily needs.  As an extra bonus, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  🙂

Nutrition facts for one snack cup: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

9. Decadent Chocolate Treat!  Dove Dark Chocolate Promise

Sometimes all you need is one decadent bite of really good chocolate. Plus, the dark kind is full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts for one chocolate: 42 calories, 3 g fat (1 g sat fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium

10. Quaker Quakes Caramel Corn Rice Snacks

Pop five of these mini rice snacks in your mouth and you’ll forget you’re dieting. The sweet crunch comes without fat or cholesterol and is delightfully low in sugar, too.

Nutrition facts for five rice cakes: 43 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium

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Bonus #11:  Swiss Miss Fat-Free Hot Cocoa with Calcium

The antioxidant level in cocoa is even higher than in red wine. Plus, one mug provides as much calcium as a glass of milk. Add a cinnamon stir stick for no additional calories.

Nutrition facts for one mug: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium

Bonus #12:  Why not try Shakeology?  Truly, this is my healthiest meal of the day.  Replace one meal with Shakeology to help you lose weight, reduce cravings (I have found it increases my cravings for healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables), feel energized, and improve digestion and regularity.

I think I am going to grab some Mini-Wheats and get back to work now.

Wishing you a sweet day,

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P.S. If you are interested in checking out all the flavors of Shakeology, including Vegan, you can do that here:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/Dbluuendy?bctid=29768318001

The Ascent: Climbing that Mountain!

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I am so happy right now!  Why?  My husband has told me for the past two days how pretty I look, repeatedly has asked me what did I do different, on and on.  This morning he commented that I am “getting skinny” and he sees the difference “in my face.”  Wow.  Looking back through photographs, I see (and cringe) that I had developed a “fat face.”  More like, “wino” cheeks.  If I offend anyone by using “fat” terms here, I somewhat apologize, but it is what it is: truth.  Over the past couple years I had gained a whopping 30-plus pounds!  Put that on a 5’3″ frame, trust me it is noticeable!

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My husband is the sweetest man.  He has NEVER told me I was heavy, I was gaining weight, that I looked fat, or that I was no longer appealing to him.  Did I mention that he is also a very smart man!  We know the truth when we look in the mirror, don’t we?  We see ourselves naked after stepping out the shower and it feels awful when we can no longer fit comfortably into our clothes, or at all.  It’s not so funny after awhile when we have to graduate into “big girl” jeans and joke about it to family or friends.  We know and we want to hide.  The worst thing possible would be hearing it from others.

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My husband spoke such encouragement to me this morning by choosing the right words to cheer me on: he complimented the changes rather than remarked about my past weight.  I am so very blessed.  I will FOREVER remember the words he chose to coach me forward with my goals.

The ascent is so worth the painful steps, and the most important step is making a decision for change.  Have you considered taking that first baby step yet?  I promise you, you will never regret it or turn back.  The long-term benefits to your health far outweigh immediate gratification.

I encourage you to consider these ten steps for changes you desire.  This is where I started:

1.  Step on the scale first thing in the morning and note your weight.  Wait two weeks or try to be patient and wait until 30 days have passed to weigh yourself again.

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2.  Take your measurements (chest, both arms, waist, hips and both thighs).

3.  Use a calendar and a journal- document your weight and measurements and pick a start day (why not today?) for a 30-day goal.  (Set 30-day increment goals and watch what happens!)  *Be consistent, this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix plan.

4.  Track your calories!  Do not approximate!  Write down your meals and snacks in a journal, or rather, grab a free application for your smart phone or computer.  It really does not take much extra time and is such a very important tool.  From here you can determine calorie allowance based on your body and weight loss desires.

5.   Exercise!  Preferably, pick something you enjoy.  Try to get in 30 minutes every day.  Yes, every day.  But, listen to your body.  If you are really tired out or sore, give yourself a rest, but do try to work through muscle soreness.  If you cannot get to the gym or afford a gym membership, why not try some fitness DVD’s you can use at home?  Consider walking.  Grab a workout buddy.  Move and stretch each and every day and journal how you feel and also how you sleep.

6.  Drink your water.  Hydrate daily.

7.  Do not give up!  If you have a down day, dust off and begin again.  Never feel or be defeated.

8.  Remember the six meal rule: Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner, evening snack.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.

9. Watch your alcohol intake!  (See my story here: http://wp.me/p35YUS-wT)

10.  Allow a flex meal per week AND make time to relax!  Remember also how important sleep is to your weight loss program.

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Lastly, seriously consider joining a challenge group (http://wp.me/P35YUS-gz).  The accountability, intimacy, coaching and friendships built have been priceless tools for my success, as well as so many others I have met along my journey, and I have no doubt they would also benefit you with your goals.

In ending, I am celebrating.  Since I have been involved with a challenge group, changed my eating habits and wine consumption, added Shakeology to my diet and consistently make exercise a part of my life, I have lost over 16 pounds since the beginning of this year and I feel FABULOUS!  My RA pain levels have disappeared and I have so much energy.  I am the product of the product, thus I am sharing with you!

Climb that mountain, I dare you!

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Whining for wine

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I love wine.  I love to go wine tasting.  I love wine with any meal.  I love wine in between meals.  I love both red and white wine, and I cannot really say which I prefer most.  I do not like real sweet wine, but I love champagne and sparkling wines too.  I love just everything to do with wine, except for the extra weight I have put on as a result of this “love” and the lack of self-control to stop at only one glass.

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My husband and I have been members of many wine clubs over the years including Laetitia, Summerland and Firestone, as well as a few smaller, organic wineries.

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There is such an absolute carefree pleasure you receive in visiting a winery-we usually make it a picnic day-and then delight in receiving a subsequent wine shipment in the mail.  Our favorite wines on our porch step kindle the great memories of each winery we have visited.  We actually canceled all of our wine memberships some time back because of the growing cost.  We also finished our bottles too quickly.  More like me.  I take the blame.  My love for wine, specialty wine shipments and the fact that I work from home made it far too easy to “sip” throughout my day.  This was the beginning of my weight problem.  (Honestly, my mouth is watering as I write this, thinking back!)   Wikipedia describes a “wino” perfectly: Wino is a slang term for a person who drinks excessive amounts of wine.  I am ashamed to say this describes me.

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We also have thousands of wine corks we have collected over the years for various crafts (wine cork boards are so awesome!).  It amazes me that we literally drank every bottle matching the endless supply of corks we have!  Actually, it’s kind of scary.

Over the years I have fallen hard in love with everything to do with wine (in addition to drinking) from wine movies, history about wine, books about wine, wine Christmas decorations, wine place mats for our dining room table, a variety of wine glasses, wine towels, wine picnic sets, electric wine openers and even a wine aerator, which perfectly aerates red wine and brings out the very best taste.

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I also love to cook and can easily pair the perfect foods with the perfect wine.  Of course, cheese, crackers and chocolate go very well, another source of additional weight gain.

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I can find a million excuses not to give up wine.  I especially love to blame my French heritage.  But the fact is, I know this has become a problem for me and an obstacle preventing me from reaching my healthy goals.  In all honesty, I have grieved letting wine go.  It feels like I have let a part of me go, it has felt a bit like mourning a best friend.  But, this best friend has really been a foe.  An occasional glass is just fine, but a few glasses to a bottle?  Every day?  Sometimes more?  Not a healthy habit.  And a habit it became.

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The greatest benefit I have gained in curbing my intake of wine is my sleep quality.  One would think wine would be the perfect sleeping aid.  Not so for me.  I find I sleep deeper and wake refreshed without wine.  I am losing weight and keeping it off.  I am exercising daily and eating a balanced diet.  I hydrate more with water and green tea, not wine.  I used to reduce what I ate during the day to allow for wine calories.  This type of diet DOES NOT WORK!  I obviously do not do this anymore.

Some of my most important reasons I have reduced wine from my life, besides my desire to get my body and my life back, are:

People drinking wine or any type of alcoholic beverage in moderation tend not to be aware that alcohol creates a chemical dependency.  Our body’s chemistry gets accustomed to the effects of the drug.  Naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain are released in response to the ingestion of alcohol.

A common effect of regular alcohol use is a buildup of fat and scar tissue in the liver that ends up seriously compromising its function.

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. In small concentrations, alcohol reduces inhibition, prompting a mild euphoria, sociability or self-confidence but at the same time, it rapidly impairs attention, judgment and control.

Over time a person who consumes alcohol regularly develops metabolic tolerance: alcohol will be metabolized faster and a higher amount is needed in order to experience the same effects. This leads to alcohol dependence.

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I have chosen to go weeks without wine.  I started with the goal of no wine Monday-Thursday, allowing for the weekends.  Presently, I am just not having any.   I feel better, although I still love wine and have such fond memories associated with it.  I am choosing to govern my life, not allow a glass of wine to dictate.  When and if I do have a glass, it will be just that: one glass, preferably with a meal.  Having a glass of wine each day is actually good for our health, but no more than that.

I am wondering if anyone else struggles or loves wine as much as me?  It is all about choices isn’t it, and staying consistent.

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Eating for our brains

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Food doesn’t just feed our bodies, it also nourishes our minds. If you are living with mental illness, eating well is especially important for you, because what you eat can affect your daily life, mood and energy level.

A healthy diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk products and should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.

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Healthy eating helps me to have more energy throughout the day and makes me feel better about myself in general. When I overindulge or eat junk food, it literally weighs me down and makes me want to go to sleep.  I love food, so I adapt healthier versions of my favorite meals and, of course, I treat myself once in a while.  I also eat smaller meals throughout the day to keep from overeating.  At first, it’s difficult to go from 3 huge meals to 6 tiny ones, but now I love it.  I can sample a variety of different foods and I’m never hungry because I know my next meal is right around the corner.

~Kerry M.
Living with Mental Illness

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Warnings about sugar

According to research, diets containing high amounts of refined sugar are associated with worsening symptoms of schizophrenia and a higher rate of depression. Current research recommends that you limit your sugar consumption to around 10 percent of total energy (or calorie) intake. Other dietary options such as fish, seafood and starchy roots provide a healthier energy-gaining alternative and are associated with reducing the prevalence of depression.

Keep a food journal

Are you even eating?  The answer 95 percent of the time is no, some people suffering with mental illness were actually fooling themselves.  It’s only when individuals are asked to write down everything they eat and drink that the true story is told.  Make sure to record the time of day and emotions surrounding your food choices.  Anorexia is also a form of mental illness and some patients claim that they have “hardly eaten anything at all” (Kirkpatrick, 2010).

Healthy brain foods

Diet is inextricably linked to conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. However, what we consume also seems to have significant implications for the brain: Unhealthy diets may increase risk for psychiatric and neurologic conditions, such as depression and dementia, whereas healthy diets may be protective.

Make for Malta in Depression, Stroke, and Dementia

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A 2009 study published in Archives of General Psychiatry found that people who follow Mediterranean dietary patterns -that is, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and unsaturated fat (common in olive and other plant oils) – are up to 30% less likely to develop depression than those who typically consume meatier, dairy-heavy fare.  The olive oil-inclined also show a lower risk for ischemic stroke and are less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease, particularly when they engage in higher levels of physical activity.

Fat: The Good and the Bad

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A study conducted in Spain reported that consumption of both polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy green vegetables) and monounsaturated fatty acids (found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts) decreases the risk for depression over time. However, there were clear dose-response relationships between dietary intake of trans fats and depression risk, whereas other data support an association between trans fats and ischemic stroke risk. Trans fats are found extensively in processed foods, including many commercial chocolates. A deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids has been linked to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children.

Fish Oil to Fend Off Psychosis?

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Thanks to their high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely omega-3 fatty acids, fish can help fend off numerous diseases of the brain. A 2010 study correlated fish consumption with a lower risk for psychotic symptoms, and concurrent work suggested that fish oil may help prevent psychosis in high-risk individuals. Although data are conflicting, new research shows that the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are beneficial in depression and postpartum depression, respectively, and other research suggests that omega-3 deficiency may be a risk factor for suicide. Oily, cold-water fish, such as salmon, herring, and mackerel, have the highest omega-3 levels.

Berries for Oxidative Stress

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Polyphenols, namely anthocyanins, found in berries and other darkly pigmented fruits and vegetables may slow cognitive decline through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A study in rats from 2010 showed that a diet high in strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry extract leads to a “reversal of age-related deficits in nerve function and behavior involving learning and memory.” In vitro work by the same group found that strawberry, blueberry, and acai berry extracts – albeit in very high concentrations -can induce autophagy, a means by which cells clear debris, such as proteins linked to mental decline and memory loss. Berry anthocyanins may also reduce cardiovascular disease risk by reducing oxidative stress and attenuating inflammatory gene expression.

Alcohol: Always in Moderation

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The Greeks touted “nothing in excess,” a refrain that still rings true: Low to moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with numerous potential physiologic benefits, including improved cholesterol profiles, beneficial effects on platelet and clotting function, and improved insulin sensitivity.  According to a recent meta-analysis, limited alcohol use is associated with a lower risk for overall and Alzheimer dementia, a finding supported by a 2011 study of German primary care patients.  Moderate alcohol intake may also protect against cerebrovascular disease, with wine potentially having added benefit because of its polyphenolic antioxidant components (ie, resveratrol). However, the health costs of alcohol consumption beyond low to moderate intake can quickly outweigh benefits to the brain, as heavy and long-term alcohol use can lead to alcohol abuse and dependence, impair memory function, contribute to neurodegenerative disease, and hinder psychosocial functioning.

*The US Food and Drug Administration defines “moderate alcohol consumption” as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. One drink is equivalent to 12 fluid ounces of regular beer, 5 fluid ounces of 12% alcohol wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits.

Rewed Awakening: Coffee for Depression and Stroke

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The world’s most widely used stimulant might do more than just wake us up: A 2011 meta-analysis found that consumption of 1-6 cups of coffee a day cut stroke risk by 17%.  Although it may increase blood pressure, coffee beans contain antioxidant compounds that may reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and coffee consumption has also been associated with increased insulin sensitivity and reduced concentrations of inflammatory markers.  Another 2011 study reported that women who drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day have a 15% decreased risk for depression, compared with those who drink less than 1 cup per week. A 20% decreased risk was seen in those who drank 4 cups or more. The short-term effect of coffee on mood may be due to altered serotonin and dopamine activity, whereas the mechanisms behind its potential long-term effects on mood may relate to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both factors that are thought to play a role in depressive illnesses.

Chocolate — and Still More Antioxidants

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Chocolate — the darker the better — seems to help scavenge free radicals and improve endothelial and platelet function, likely via flavanols (such as catechin), a group of plant-derived polyphenols. A 2010 cohort study published in European Heart Journal found that consumption of 6 g of chocolate daily – a standard Hershey bar weighs 43 g – was associated with a 39% lower combined risk for myocardial infarction and stroke in adults, whereas data collected from the Swedish Mammography Cohort demonstrated a 20% decreased risk for stroke in women who regularly consume chocolate. Although chocolate has been associated with a positive influence on mood, possibly mediated by the dopamine and opioid systems, an extensive review by Parker and colleagues suggests that the benefits are not sustained, with emotional “comfort” eating actually contributing to depressed mood.

What Not to Eat?

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Saturated fats and refined carbohydrates have highly detrimental effects on the immune system, oxidative stress, and neurotrophins, all factors that are known to play a role in depression. The study by Akbaraly and colleagues cited previously showed that a diet rich in high-fat dairy foods and fried, refined, and sugary foods significantly increases risk for depression. Similar findings were seen in another study from Spain, showing that intake of such foods as pizza and hamburgers increased the risk for depression over time, and in another study, women with a diet higher in processed foods were more likely to have clinical major depression or dysthymia.  Research published last year also showed for the first time that quality of adolescents’ diets was linked to mental health: healthier diets were associated with reduced mental health symptoms and unhealthy diets with increased mental health symptoms over time. Excess salt intake has been long known to increase blood pressure and stroke risk; however, recent data also correlate high salt intake, as well as diets high in trans or saturated fats, with impaired cognition.

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Much time and research went into presenting this blog concerning eating for our mental health and wellness.  The references found were numerous; please feel free to share this information and check the validity of diet truths I have chosen to share with you.

Lastly, I wish to share a very special blog written by my brother, who has drastically changed his life and mental wellness by changing his diet.  He’s a great guy who I love with all my heart.  There is truth to this “eating for our brains” and such hope.   Please go check out his article here: http://journeytohealth.posterous.com/physical-health-nutrition-and-mental-health-a.  You can also find him on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/letsjourneytohealth?fref=pb.

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Wishing you a blessed day,

Wendy

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References

 

Kirkpatrick, K. (2010)  Food Diary.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-kirkpatrick-ms-rd-ld/how-writing-everything-do_b_780535.html

What is Shakeology all about? Healthy Results!

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Today I have had many people ask me what exactly is this Shakeology thing all about.  This just delights and excites me!  Why? Because truly I am the product of the product.  I am a natural hard-core skeptic turned devoted believer!

I think I mentioned before, I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and put too many hours into my work (required!) as a medical transcriptionist.  Additionally, I am finishing my BA degree online.  I have neglected my overall health for quite awhile and then added in too much wine (on a daily basis!), not enough exercise (or none at all for days at a time!) and just lazy, unhealthy eating habits.  When I was introduced to Shakeology I felt physically and emotionally awful, basically defeated and feeling stuck in a rut, and was willing to give it a try.  I will forever be thankful that I did!  I actually find that I worry about future provisions of all these super foods and ingredients that go into making my most important meal of the day with all the global changes happening around our planet.  Anyway…that is a whole other subject to blog about later!

Within the first week of being on Shakeology I noticed drastic changes and differences in my health and how I felt.  I knew I was not imagining this either!  The daily aching, deep and sharp pain I had in my hips was gone, for which I have had multiple cortisone shots over the years to help alleviate this pain.  My feet and my ankles were hurting so much I was reducing my walking, which I love to do with my dog.  Also, the swelling was causing me problems in my lower legs.  This too has completely been obliterated.  Lastly, my shoulders.  I have had shots in my shoulders too, and now I have absolutely no pain.  NONE!  I have had so much energy I no longer feel the need for a nap each afternoon.  I sleep deeper at night and feel refreshed and rejuvenated when I wake in the mornings.  Another wonderful benefit: because my pain is gone, I am exercising more!  I give all my thanks to Shakeology to start this chain reaction in my life.  Believe me, I have tried many, many different products for losing weight, reducing cravings and having extra energy with zero, let me say that again, ZERO results and ZERO benefits.

Because of so many incredibly positive effects Shakeology has given to my life, I want to shout to the world and inspire others.  I wish every person on this planet could be on Shakeology.  I wish it for you, too.  My hearts desire is to be an example, to inspire, to help YOU on your journey for taking care of yourself.

Here are a few results I am sharing from others from yesterday and today:

“Since I have been using Shakeology daily, my digestive issues have disappeared, my overall psyche feels so right on and I have a ton of energy.” -Lee W. (Ventura, CA)

“I will admit, I did take a break from Shakeology for reasons that I just can’t even justify, because looking back, it was not a smart choice at all!  I felt like I had no energy, was craving junk, gaining weight and was just not happy.  Now I know that this isn’t all because I stopped drinking Shakeology, but there is a trickle effect that really does boil down to that one change I made.” -Shannon W.  (Brampton, Canada)

(I am linking Shannon’s blog here: http://cangetfit.com/shakeology-rocks/)

Take a few minutes and quench your curiosity by watching the video below.  If you want more information, please send me an e-mail at: KeepChoosingConsistency@gmail.com.

However, if you just want to sample the product and be a product yourself, please go to http://myshakeology.com/Dbluuendy and look at all the flavors Shakeology comes in.  My favorite is the strawberry, but most people say the chocolate just rocks!  No matter, there is a 30-day money back guarantee and free shipping on home direct orders.  What do you have to lose?  The better question is what do you have to gain?

Thanks so much for listening to my excitement and I am really wishing you all good health!

Wendy

Super Bowl 2013- Friday Treat

Posted on Updated on

So, who is your team?  Ravens or the 49ers?

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Whether you enjoy football or not, there is a good chance you will be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this weekend.  The fun part of Super Bowl parties is all the delicious (fattening!) variety of foods and beverages.  My mouth is already watering thinking about it!

If you love spinach, artichokes, cheese and hot, here is an amazing low-calorie traditional side dish most people enjoy that you may want to bring or make for your Super Bowl party.

During your Super Bowl party, Keep Choosing Consistency in your healthy eating,

Wendy

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Bring this hot spinach and artichoke dip to your next football party, no one will know it’s light!

This is easy to prepare ahead of time, then throw it in the oven when you are ready to eat. Serve this with Pretzel Crisps or pita chips, but baked chips would also be great.  This dip is also delicious with carrot sticks!

Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup •
Calories: 73.3 • Fat: 4.4 g • Carb: 3.4 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 244.7 g
Ingredients:
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and shallots.Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.

Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Makes about 3 3/4 cups.

Today’s Recipe: Cauliflower Power!

Posted on

I just snipped some yummy vegetables from my garden.

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I have been amazed with my garden this year!  No bugs, no weeds, no mold, no problems whatsoever…just abundant growth and lots of delicious veggies for our household!

Here is a mouth-watering recipe you are sure to enjoy more than once!  Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Lemon And Orange

If childhood memories of smelly boiled broccoli have kept you from enjoying cruciferous vegetables, this cooking method may very well change your mind. Baking lightly oiled broccoli and cauliflower until crisp-tender inhibits the release of any unpleasant sulphur aromas. Tossed with sweet citrus just before serving, the vegetable mellows even more.

Ingredients

Serves:  Prep:  10min |Cook: 20min |Total: 30min
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine the broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the oil, salt, and pepper. Spread over the prepared baking sheet and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and slightly browned, 20 to 22 minutes. Return to the bowl and toss with the lemon and orange peels.

Nutritional Facts per serving

Calories: 98.3

Fat: 6.2 G

Saturated fat: 0.9 G

Cholesterol: 0 MG

Sodium:  339.9 MG

Carbohydrates:  9.3 G

Total sugars:  2.4 G

Dietary fiber:  4.7 G

Protein:  4.1 G

Dust off!

Aside Posted on Updated on

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
~Frederick Douglass

In looking back, I can see so many struggles within my struggle to finally make a firm choice to change my lifestyle habits. I personally do not believe radical changes make for lasting progress. Usually it is the baby steps which do get us there. Really absorb each healthy choice you make and journal your progress. Journaling will help remind you on the difficult days. And, there will be difficult days. I believe each person’s journey holds a different time frame of struggle until we finally break through the obstacles holding us back.

There will be days when we fall back into old habits. Do not let these define you or cause you to feel defeated in your goals. Most importantly, give yourself grace! Be especially kind to yourself. New lifestyle changes are replacing unhealthy past habits. Instead, let these fall-backs be motivators to dust yourself off and begin again. Every positive choice you make for your overall health does not go wasted. Never. It truly is amazing how neglecting ourselves becomes easier and quicker to identify once we have stepped into healthy living.

Did you have a binge meal or a few too many glasses of wine? Journal how you felt the next day. Then re-hydrate yourself with water and green tea. Get back on tract with eating those foods which are good for you.

How did you feel going a day without some exercise? May be take a nice 30 minute walk the following day to step back into your regime and journal how you felt afterwards.

Lastly, has your schedule been so insane (like mine can be!) that you have neglected to take some time to relax with your favorite book, enjoy your hobby or really share quality time with family and friends? What about some quiet time with God?

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Pencil in some time today for some relaxation and Keep Choosing Consistency,

Wendy