The first step to optimum health is making food choices that serve our unique bodies. Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can be used to create energy that makes us look and feel great!
So, if you feel like you are choosing the foods that will do this for you. If you are listening to my mantra and incorporating those foods into your lifestyle. Lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Don’t forget your healthy fats found in fish and the occasional piece of grass-fed organic beef. Yet you still are not losing weight and feel BLAH! Why is that?
To understand why you are consuming the right foods but still don’t have very much energy, let’s follow what happens after your food is consumed.
I can’t believe that my youngest monster is starting his senior year tomorrow. If you have been following me, you are familiar with my son, Joshua, who we discovered is lactose intolerant while he was still in elementary school. Having a child with a food intolerance always makes social events interesting. You never know where a food that your child might not tolerate is lurking and the school lunches, despite drastic jumps in awareness and interest in our child’s health, are not always the best choices for our individual children. The truth of the matter is that we all just want our children to be happy, healthy and safe!
I am lucky to know Barbara Haimowitz. Barbara is a retired transitional kindergarten teacher. Because of her experience working in various schools, Barbara has insider information on exactly what gets eaten during school lunches and what many of the challenges are.
While you can eat out and still stay healthy, it costs a small fortune to eat at those places that cater to organic fruits and vegetables and pasture-raised animals. So, unless you are well off financially and want you and your family to get and stay healthy, you really do need to spend some time in the kitchen. And most of us may enjoy cooking, or not, but we do not want to spend all day in the kitchen.
To that end, I have some tools in my kitchen that definitely make my life easier.
One of my favorites is the Amco Houseworks lemon juicer. You just cut a lemon in half, put half cut side up in the well and squeeze the top part down.
Why do I like it so much?
- It’s bright yellow color makes it easy to locate in my kitchen drawer.
- As described above, it is very easy to use.
- The holes in the bottom of the squeezer allow the juice to flow out but not the seeds.
- It is easy to wash and can even go on the top rack of the dishwasher.
I prefer fresh lemon juice in my recipes. This little, inexpensive kitchen tool provides the juice quickly and efficiently with little clean up to follow and no seeds.
Where to get one?
I bought mine in the grocery store for $9.99. They are also available on Amazon.
Let me know what you think!
Salt caves and rooms are yet another example of old meeting new in the world of health, wellness and general relaxation.
What is a salt room?
A salt room, or cave, is a room that is decorated with salt, usually Himalayan salt, to create a relaxing and soothing environment. It may be simulated to feel like a cave with dim lights, “boulders” of salt along the edges and even granular salt on the floor. Or it may be more like sitting in your living room perhaps with one or more walls made with salt bricks. Perhaps there will be a mural that depicts a beach scene or a picture of a Buddha statue.
A few days ago, I wrote about a mistake I made with an ingredient in a new recipe I was trying. The recipe was Beet and Beef Burgers from Clean Eating. Now, really I’ve been eating a fairly large variety of vegetables for a long time: pretty much since I outgrew the typical kid fare that many kids raised in the U.S. consume. I am even proud to say that my older son, who is a picky eater even at 19, can identify many vegetables that the average school child cannot. I remember watching an episode with Jaime Oliver with my son. Jaime was in a kindergarten classroom, holding up a tomato and the kids were looking stumped when he asked them what it was!
The FDA released a memo recently making the public aware that beauty products may be contaminated with mercury. You can see it here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm294849.htm
Why is this a big deal?
Heavy metals are natural in our environment but when they build up in our bodies they become toxic and inflammatory. Mercury can cause agrophobia, panic attacks, and seizures. On the less extreme side, mercury toxicity can cause those annoying, little signs of “just getting older.” Things such as headaches, fatigue, achy and swollen joints, difficulty losing weight and more.
Depending on your diet, with a few nutritional tweaks and added supplements, those symptoms of “just getting older” can be a thing of the past. My grandmother was young and spry well into her 80’s!
Don’t eat mercury (or other heavy metals!)
I tell anyone who asks, “a recipe is just a guideline.” There is no reason to follow a recipe exactly. Frequently, I will leave an ingredient out or trade something but I almost always try the recipe as it is written before I start playing with it.
I had been looking at a recipe for “Beet and Beef Burgers” in Clean Eating magazine
I just found out that my husband has low vitamin D. He is an Aquatics Director at a private health club in New England and spends the greater part of his summer being outside maintaining a pool and running camps.
How did this happen?
Despite what the food industry would have you believe, vitamin D is produced in our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight. In New England, we can only make vitamin D from this exposure from May until October because the sun has to be strong enough to allow us to absorb it’s rays.
Do I need supplements?
If I eat a healthy diet, why do I need supplements?
That is an excellent question and one that I hear on a regular basis.
To answer that question, let’s first take a look at a USDA survey from 2003* that showed:
- 37 % of Americans do not get enough vitamin C
- 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin E
- 75% don’t get enough zinc
- 40% don’t get enough iron
In addition, over 2/3rd of Americans are deficient in magnesium and many more have insufficient levels. **
Why is that?
Healthy Restaurant Eating Guide
Even the healthiest sounding dishes at a restaurant can be loaded with sodium, refined sugars and processed foods. In addition, most restaurants are not preparing food with your health in mind but with getting the most bang for the buck. They are not using oils such as coconut or olive oil but are cooking with canola oil and other less expensive oils that not only cause inflammation that leads to various dis-ease states but also may carry contaminants of foods that you are trying to avoid either because of food allergies or food sensitivities.
The first rule of thumb to eating healthy is to prepare your food at home. With some education, this can be easy and fun!
However, there are those times when preparing your own food is just not an option. Here are some tips to help you navigate restaurant eating: