Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 SUPER foods for summer!

Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering superfoods are available right now in your local supermarket.

"The effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is astounding," says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy, Food & Mood, and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.

"Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing," Somer says. "I'd say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension can all be impacted."

You don't need specific foods for specific ailments. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer. One thing they all have in common: "Every superfood is going to be a 'real' (unprocessed) food," Somer points out. "You don't find fortified potato chips in the superfood category."

#1) Blueberries -- Antioxidant Superfood
Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.

"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits," says Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have. "I tell everyone to have a serving (about 1/2 cup) every day," Dr. Kulze says. "Frozen are just as good as fresh." Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.

#2) Omega 3-Rich Fish -- Superfoods for the Heart, Joints, and Memory
"We know that the omega 3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's," Somer says. "There is some evidence to show that it reduces depression as well."

Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: Look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Aim for two-to-three servings a week. Other forms of omega 3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.

#3) Soy -- Superfood to Lower Cholesterol

A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2003) showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.

#4) Tea -- Superfood for Lowering Cholesterol and Inhibiting Cancer

"The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea," says Kulze, "but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special." A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn't. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.

And Finally, the Yummiest Superfood Yet ...#5) Dark Chocolate

New research has shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Kulze recommends that you look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content. Now that's our kind of health food!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Top 10 substitutes for a healthy holiday

   It’s a holiday weekend, and everyone is going to cookouts, barbecues, and family outings. If you don’t watch what you eat it’s easy to gain weight, even if you're out in the sun having fun. Whether you’re planning your own cookout or attending someone else’s, here are my Top 10 easy substitutions.  Proof that you can have a fantastic holiday--and still eat healthy:

1. Instead of beef burgers, choose turkey burgers

2. Instead of bratwurst or sausage, choose chicken breasts

3. Instead of beef hot dogs, choose turkey hot dogs

4. Instead of dark beer, choose light beer or…… (gasp) water!

5. Instead of Mayonnaise, choose mustard or ketchup

6. Instead of mayo based salads and dressings, choose light vinaigrette

7. Instead of frosting, choose Lite Cool Whip

8. Instead of cookies, choose fruit
9. Instead of soda, choose Crystal Light Pure Fitness

10. Instead of white pasta (for tuna salad, etc), choose wheat pasta

 Please remember, moderation is key. Even if you’re making the right choices you don’t need to eat everything in sight just because it’s there. Enjoy the variety, try a little of each, and then let your food settle after you’ve had one plate. After a few minutes you might find that you’re not even hungry any more, when the tendency is to get right back in the food line. Relax, have fun, and eat sensibly. It’s the healthy way to get the most out of your weekend, and you’ll feel much better about yourself Tuesday morning!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Benefits of H20

  1. Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the bi-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger--it’s an effective appetite suppressant, so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories. 
  2. Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration. Although there are many other factors that contribute to headache, and dehydration is the most common one.
  3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
  4. Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and concentrate better.
  5. Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. You’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises and water helps to fuel your muscles.
  6. Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand-in-hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
  7. Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll be less likely to get cramps and sprains.
  8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water and lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism, arthritis, etc. In other words, one of the benefits of drinking is improving our immune system. 
  9. Relieves Fatigue: Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. If your are properly hydrated, your vital organs won't need to work as hard to naturally cleanse itself.
  10. Good Mood: When body feels fantastic and your mood will follow suit.
  11. Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with the lining of the bladder.

**From "Natural Remedies"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 Tips to get into beach body shape in 30 days

  Okay gang, summer is almost here and soon it will be time to get into those bathing suits! Is this a source of excitement for you or a source of dread? If you think there's no time left to make a difference in your body--think again!! Here's 5 helpful tips to get yourself in the best shape possible before summer officially kicks off:

1) Reduce your SUGAR intake!
Not all sugar is created equal. It's much better to get your sugar from fruits and natural foods than processed foods, but you have to be vigilant about your sugar intake no matter what you're eating. While it's not an exact science, many health professionals recommend about 40grams of sugar per day, though the average American takes in 150-200g! Read the labels, cut down on sugar, and watch the pounds melt away!

2) Drink more H20!
This is a no brainer. Drinking more water gives you more energy, makes you less hungry, makes your skin look younger and healthier, keeps your organs functioning properly and adds no calories to your daily diet--and that's just a few benefits! Try drink 64 ounces a day--just get a 16 oz bottle and drink 4 of them. You'll feel better immediately and in 30 days you will notice a major difference in yourself.

3) Start keeping track of your calories
One of the best things you can do for yourself to keep your weight in check is to track your calories. It depends on the size, gender, and body makeup of the individual, but women should be getting roughly 2000 calories per day and men about 2500 (again, this is a ballpark figure). One pound of fat is 3500 calories, so every time you eat a surplus of 3500 calories you will gain a pound of fat. Here's an example: if you're a woman who needs a daily caloric intake of 2000, but you are eating 2500 per day, you are getting a 500 calorie surplus per day. After one week at that rate (7 days x 500 calories=3500 calories) you will put on one pound of fat. That's 52 pounds a year! Yikes! See why it's important to know how many calories you're getting?
   Here's the good news: you could still eat 2500 calories per day and not gain weight if you increase your exercise. In other words, you have to burn as many calories as you eat. Personally, I think the best method for incinerating body fat is the double barrel approach--eat less calories and burn more at the same time!! This is the fast road to fat loss.
   If you'd like a free online calorie journal go to This might sound tedious at first, but after one week it gets pretty easy to track. First of all, we eat roughly the same things every week, and once you know what the calorie content is of each (bread, milk, veggies, meat, fruits, cereal, etc) it will become second nature to you. Give it a try!!

4) Plan your meals
How often do you eat on the go? Is it really necessary, or could you pack your meals the night before? Using the calorie counter above, plan your meals beforehand so you can choose how many calories you get at each meal. It will save you time, money, and pounds in the long run--I promise you.

5) Increase your activity
There's really only 2 ways to lose weight: eat less calories or burn more calories (or BOTH, my favorite). If you're keeping an eye on how many calories you are taking in, the next step is to increase the amount of calories that you're burning, and the only way to do that is to "move more than you usually do!" If you don't usually get much exercise (what's wrong with you?! haha) and you find yourself sitting at a desk, make sure you go for a walk each day, even if it's for 10 or 20 minutes. Once that becomes a habit, you can gradually increase the time and intensity. If you exercise regularly, make sure you switch up your routine and do something that challenges you more. If you're not sweating you're not exercising--and if you are sweating, sweat more!!! Get out of your comfort zone, take it up a notch, and accomplish something you've never done before! In 30 days you will be thanking yourself, and you're going to look super hot in that bathing suit!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meghan's Happy Diet

Regular snacks
Eat every 3-4 hours to keep your body satisfied and blood sugar stable.
Less white stuff
Sugar and white flour can lead to an energy and mood crash. Every meal  
should have whole grain carbs, protein and a little healthy fat.
Do not deprive
When you feel like "I can't eat that", it's like an awful, unending  
Food variety
Say no to the same salad everyday for lunch. Our bodies don't want us  
mono-eating! There are lots of great foods out there to choose from!
Happy eating!!!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My 10 Fitness Tips for the New Year!!

1.Set realistic goals, if your goals are achievable you will work towards it with more commitment.
2.Do not follow fad diets; they are unhealthy and not recommended at all. Fad diets are generally considered the easiest way to lose weight but one forgets the harm that it can cause to one’s body in the long run.
3.Keep track of what you are eating and eat everything in moderation. It’s the season of celebration and every other day you will have parties to attend. Keep a control on what you eat and drink.
4.Dedicate 20 minutes of your day to a productive work-out plan and make sure you stick to it. It will not only give you the energy to go on but will also keep you fresh throughout the day.
5.Make sure you drink lots of water through the day. You need to keep yourself hydrated through the day; late nights and alcohol will be less harmful then.
6.Add lots of fruits and veggies to your diet, apart from your body and mind, it will also keep your skin looking healthy and fresh.
7.Snack on one healthy fruit daily, this is something which we have been taught a long time back and it still helps.
8.The aim is to not to be skinny, but healthy. You don’t want to end up looking like a stick; make sure you eat right and exercise to achieve that glowing look.
9. Be persistent, don’t stop the first time you meet an obstacle. Consistency is KEY!
Stay focused and soon you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The 10 Commandments of Holiday Weight Loss

I- Thou shalt step on the scale once a week. It will tell you if you are on or off your plan. Basic rule: same scale, same time, same day of the week. I like the Monday morning weigh-in because it allows you to start each week in possession of the facts. If you see you've gained, use that as motivation to try harder in the coming days.

II- Thou shalt not skip thy workouts. Exercise burns calories and helps you control your weight — but only if you work out on a regular basis. During stressful holiday times, it's tempting to abandon your routine, but in truth, this is the worst time of year to skimp. Do whatever is necessary to stick to it. (What do you mean you don't have a routine? Well then, try this easy workout.)

III- Honor thy need for sweets. Go ahead, have a goody. Just keep it small. Take a few bites of the pie or tart filling and skip the high-calorie crust. Nibble on two or three Christmas cookies or relish a small bowl of berries and a tiny piece of chocolate. Savor your treat by eating slowly, and the taste will go a long way.

IV- Thou shalt never say, "I blew it at lunch, so I may as well pig out at dinner." All right, you had a celebratory lunch with a few friends. You drank some wine, visited the bread basket and shared a dessert. All told, you've taken in an extra 500 to 600 calories. And if you follow through with a no-holds-barred dinner, you turn that 500- to 600-calorie infraction into a huge 1,500- to 1,600-calorie debacle — which is a 1,000-calorie difference. Forgive yourself for the slip and go back to your plan of moderate, healthy eating.

V- Thou shalt prepare thyself for partying by taking the edge off thy hunger. Before leaving the house, eat a small amount of lean protein — such as yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey, chicken, salmon, or water-packed tuna. This way, you won't be seduced by all those incredibly rich, caloric hors d'oeuvres. When you get to the party, stick with the fresh shrimp, crudités, or chicken saté and steer well clear of the dipping sauce. (For the record, skipping any kind of sauce will generally save you hundreds, if not thousands, of calories.)

VI- Thou shalt go easy at the buffet table. Go up and survey the spread first. Fill up on a plate of fresh fruits or vegetables, then choose tiny tastes of your favorite foods. Try not to chat too close to the buffet, so you're not tempted to consume absentmindedly.

VII- Thou shalt keep thy body properly hydrated. Salty holiday foods, pressurized airplane cabins, and forced-air heat dry you out. Skip the soda and juice (which are loaded with calories) and go for good old H2O.

VIII- Thou shalt make sensible substitutions in thy favorite holiday dishes. Bake plain sweet potatoes and forgo the butter. Substitute skim milk for whole, half-and-half for heavy cream in soups and bisques, and nonfat sour cream for dips. Try low-fat broth instead of fat-based mixtures for basting meats. Use chopped vegetables (onions, celery, carrots, fennel) instead of butter or sausage to moisten stuffing; cook it outside the bird.

IX- Thou shalt always include a steamed vegetable at holiday meals. Even if it is just for you (though I'll bet many of your guests will have some, too), steam a big head of broccoli or cauliflower. Green beans are great, too, as are baby carrots, which fill you up.

X- Thou shalt not hoard leftovers. Keep the meat, the baked sweet potatoes, the veggies and the salad. Send the high-calorie goodies home with guests or give them to a homeless shelter.