Nutrition, Diet And Exercise

Whether you are trying to lose weight or live an active healthy life style, nutrition and exercise are vital to your health. We have become as a whole in the western culture, a couch potato, slow moving, over weight and flaccid society. Of course there will always be that smaller percentage of people who get it right and remain fit and healthy. But those that do, make a conscious effort at it with diet and exercise. Well done if you are in that category!

Part of the problem is that because we as humans have it ingrained in us to constantly change things, we are the only creatures that invent food. No other animal or insect does this and they don’t have the diseases humans do unless we have poisoned their environment. We have so much in the way of processed food that have little nutrient value, that we pack on the pounds and become slower moving.

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In the wild, animals that eat the raw greens, grasses fruits and berries are very healthy animals. The meat-eating animals consume the healthy plant-eating animals and remain virtually disease free. Our farms on the other hand, need to mass-produce cattle and chickens so we give them hormones and phosphates and the like and we consume them. That is by the way, some experts now think younger girls are developing much earlier than they used to because of the hormones in meat and dairy products. We can however, luckily eat raw organic fruits and vegetables and we should do so on a daily basis.

Another culprit is our need to once again, change our environment. We have more machines that do things for us now and it won’t stop there. This is both good and bad. The good is a higher rate of production for the products we need, bad because we are slowing down physically. In as little as ten years ago we could go out on a Sunday morning and see someone pushing his or her lawn mower. (And I mean pushing). Now a days, you’ll see more of sit down mowers or power mowers that literally pull you along with it. Our fore fathers were much more active and they ate nutrient rich foods. And they could eat a lot of it without getting fat because of how much energy they spent from hard physical labor.

Is all lost for us in this day and age? Absolutely not!!! We are perfectly capable of reversing this trend, but it does require a) your dedication and b) follow through. This can be done no matter what your weight and activity level.

Make your first step the decision to become healthy and fit. Once you have firmly made that decision you are on your way. Now take the time to evaluate your lifestyle and really look at it. Be honest with yourself about your eating habits and activity level.

Changing your diet to eating healthy whole foods is a good way to start. It’ll not only help you lose weight and help you feel better, but it will enhance your quality of life. You’ll have more energy and life just feels better when you are healthy.

Try a recovery patch.

There are many popular diets out there. The Zone, the Blood Type Diet, Atkins, the South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers and the list goes on. They all have had their share of successes so it is hard sometimes to know what to do. I can only say, do your homework. You will find the right one that works for you and you will be more likely to stick to it.

If you want to do it on your own you can be just as successful if you know some basic rules.

1) Portion control. Cutting down to smaller portions can help tremendously. A great way to eat less food at one sitting is to drink a glass of water before you eat and then drink more water with your meal. Water takes up a lot of space in your stomach so you will feel full faster and water won’t give you any extra calories. Awesome!

2) Water, water, water. Drink lots of clean pure water. Your body needs it and more than you think. Most North Americans are in a state of semi dehydration. Water flushes out toxins, gets your bowels moving. (Did you know that the amount of pain you feel from injury or minor aches and pains are directly proportional to how dehydrated you are? An interesting tid bit)

3) Eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as you can especially dark greens. Cooked veggies lose some of their nutrients so eating a salad every day would benefit you. Most of your vitamins and minerals are going to come from fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables. And try to stick to organic on this to avoid the pesticides and chemicals.

4) Fiber. You need to keep the bowels moving and the combination of water and fiber will do the trick. The best fiber comes from fruit and whole grains. But consider this: You would need to eat 10 bran muffins to get the same amount of fiber as in a half cup of raspberries.

5) Protein. The best source of protein is from meats such as beef, chicken or turkey. But do limit the amount you eat at one time. You don’t need a 10 or 12oz piece of meat at one sitting. You can get protein from dairy and cheese but consume only small amounts because they digest too slowly. Nut is a source of protein but they are high in fat so consume small amounts.

6) Sugar, confectionary treats, soda’s, junk foods and some processed foods are your enemy. Nothing gives you weight gain and that sluggish feeling quite like this grouping. I am not saying you should never partake of them, but do so only occasionally. We do after all need our cheat days once in a while. Just make them small portions.

7) Find an exercise regimen that you like and will stick to. Pretty much any exercise program will help you lose weight if you stick with it. You will see on TV all the equipment people want to sell you but after watching for a bit you usually know what appeals to you or not. You may just want to pop in a video and exercise with that.

8) I can’t say enough about sticking with your program. It takes time and you can experience losses in the beginning when it seems it is not going fast enough, but if you stick with it, you will get your reward and you will reach your goal weight and have energy to burn.

9) And finally, because some of food is deficient in nutrients from growing in poor over used soil it might be a good idea to get some good vitamin supplements to assisting in getting our daily requirements in. Getting it in food is the best but that is hard to do these days so find a qualified nutritionist to help you in selecting what’s best for you.
Good luck and good health!

What are the Nutritional Needs?

Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements, and the FDA’s involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.

But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods?

I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But what really is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions?

Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. Calorie needs, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs now is information we should all understand, at least as it applies to our individual self.

If you will visit your local doctor, library, or fitness center, there is massive amounts of information available to help educate and to help you make good health choices, no matter what the age group.

Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all it’s necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

If you were to take a cross section of the population, and check for adequate levels of the most used and fortified vitamins and minerals, you would probably find that as high as 80% or the population is lacking in a least one of the vitamins and minerals.

Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you stop to think, what if it’s calcium? A calcium deficiency brings on osteoporosis, a deteriorating of the bone. This disease alone costs millions in medical expense to the population.

Can you see how a little more cooperation and open-minded participation on the part of our medical field could result in far fewer health problems? It would also have provided the general population with a viable way to discern their nutrition, vitamin and mineral needs, accurately.

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So how do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume.

Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. In those instances, we turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals to fill the gap. This is a part of our nutritional needs, also.

Nutrition is one of the most complex areas to gain useful knowledge about, because there are so many components, and because each person has their own individual needs.

Women needs differ from those of men, and older women’s needs differ from those of a young girl. As we age, our needs constantly change; therefore continual education about nutrition is a fact of life. The nutritional needs of a cardiac patient are different than those of a healthy, middle-aged hiker.

Can you see the complexity of the situation now? What we really need is to develop a scale that determines the nutritional needs of our bodies on a cellular level, so that as we age, as our physical condition changes, or our health changes, we can recalculate our needs, based on cellular changes and content in our body.

Individuality is the key to understanding each person’s nutritional needs, and then working to educate us is the key to fulfilling those nutritional needs. Good nutrition should be the ultimate goal of every person alive.

Nine Facts About Fiber

If you’ve been looking for a way towards a high octane diet, you’ll find fiber to be exactly what you need. Even though research has shown fiber to be powerful, many people aren’t taking this nutrient seriously.

To help you fuel your health with fiber, here are 10 facts to help.

1. Fiber fights diseases. A diet high in fiber can help to prevent colon cancer and heart disease. High fiber helps the body to eliminate cholesterol by binding it in the digestive tract. For thousands of years, fiber has been used to stop constipation.

2. Fiber can actually help with overeating. All high fiber foods will take longer to chew and digest, making you feel satisfied longer 3. Most popular foods don’t have enough fiber. If you like the more popular foods, you probably need to increase your intake of fiber.

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4. Grains offer the most fiber. Dietary fiber is actually plant matter that we cannot digest. The best sources are whole grains and concentrated grain products.

5. Kids need fiber as well. Children that are older than 2 years of age should consume a daily intake of fiber. Kids are most receptive to fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and even fortified breakfast cereals.

6. More fiber needs more water. In order to keep fiber moving through your digestive tract, you’ll need to consume a lot of water. With your diet of fiber, you’ll need eight or more glasses of water every day.

7. Fiber cannot be cooked out. When you cook your fruits and vegetables, don’t worry about cooking the fiber out, as it stays. The fiber found in fruits and vegetables aren’t just in the skin or
in the peel.

8. You can get enough fiber. If you eat more than 50 grams of fiber in a day, you can get diarrhea and bloating, which can interfere with your body’s absorption of other key minerals.

9. Getting the right amount of fiber in your diet doesn’t have to be hard. Even though you may think so, getting the amount of fiber you need isn’t very hard to do. All you have to do is eat the right foods and you’ll be well on your way to a fiber rich lifestyle.

As one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fiber is something you don’t want to skip. Fiber can serve many different purposes, which were covered above. If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet – you should do something about now instead of waiting until it is too late.

Natural Vitamin Supplements

Science has proved repeatedly that synthetic products are not as well tolerated as natural vitamins supplements. Unlike the ones extracted from various herbs, pharmaceutical compounds sold under the name of mineral and vitamin supplements require a high effort on the part of the body for adequate and healthy processing. Moreover, the assimilation rate of synthetic compounds is a lot lower than that of natural vitamin supplements, which is why the latter are usually favored when it comes to diet support. Presently, it is beyond any doubt that the best source of vitamins and minerals is Mother Nature, and this “nature-oriented” trend is gaining prominence.

Natural vitamin supplements do not overload the body and immediately pass into the blood flow, once they are identified as easy to process. Many people have actually taken the habit of administrating the natural vitamin supplements during meals because of the widespread belief that they will be better absorbed. As a matter of fact, natural vitamin supplements do not depend on specific times of the day in order to have an optimum action, they can be taken with or without food, any time you like. The general recommendation is that you administrate the supplement in the morning, so as to benefit from the boost of energy throughout the entire work day.

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Plenty of herbs, fruits and vegetables lie at the basis of the manufacturing process of natural vitamin supplements. Lemons, limes and kiwis for instance provide a great source of vitamin C, but little do people know that the wild rose extract is even richer in vitamin C. Hence, don’t be surprised to read the name of such a herb on the natural vitamin supplements you are taking. Over the last decade, there has also been an upsurge in the interest shown towards the great benefits of certain seaweed and algae for human health.

Natural vitamin supplements that include high concentrations of spirulina, chlorella and other green-blue algae are totally positive in the action they have on the body. Unlike any other vitamin and mineral supplement, they have absolutely no side effects, allowing long-term or indefinite administration. Actually, in certain parts of the world, such seaweeds are part of the regular diet of native African tribes that prepare them in bread-like food items. All in all, the popularity of such natural miraculous remedies can definitely mean one thing: people are every day more preoccupied with the return to natural vitamin supplements.

Is Organic Worth It?

When you head to the grocery store, shopping for products like eggs, meat, fish, milk, and produce can be very tricky. Signs are posted everywhere labeling food as natural, organic, and a number of other things—but what’s the difference, really? Learning what specific names mean can help you decide if you should shell out extra money on a product, whether the nutrition value is better or if it is simply a marketing ploy.

Natural is a term associated with a number of fruit and vegetable product. Typically, this is simple a marketing ploy to convince you to buy the product. After all, all fruits and vegetables are natural, right? Unless it’s a new kind of food that has been developed and processed, the product is natural. Probably what you’re really looking for is organic. Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There are two main benefits to organic foods. Firstly, you are helping the environment as chemicals are not being introduced into nature. Secondly, you are avoiding ingesting chemicals and are therefore benefitting by using a healthier food. However, organic products are usually more expensive while nutrition is the same (I mean a good apple is a good apple). If you’re on a budget, skip over organic fruits and vegetables that you can peel, like oranges and bananas. After all, once you’ve discarded the peel, you’ve also discarded the chemicals. Instead, opt for organic items like apples, where you eat the peel. No matter what you buy, however, make sure that you rinse off the food when you get home.

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Another tricky label you will see is “no hormones.” This is usually in regards to milk or meat products and is false, since all animals naturally produce hormones. Hormones are what helps an animal (even a human) regulate body organs, have young, and otherwise function. All meat products have hormones. What the labels really mean is that no hormones were unnaturally given to the animal, which is sometimes done to increase milk production. Regardless of hormones, however, the milk and meat is safe for a person and not a violation of an animal’s rights.

Lastly, a label on eggs and meat can indicate if the animal was caged or penned. This does not make a difference in the quality or nutritional value of the meat, but is simply a matter of animal rights. These products may be a bit more expensive, but if you want to make human decisions, that is the way to go. Reading the label and making healthy choices can sometimes be difficult, but learning how to do so can help you make the best choices for you diet.

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From the #1 online health destination comes this updated pocket guide to nutrition and weight loss. Now more reader-friendly than ever, the book features separate sections on regular foods, store brands, and restaurant/fast foods each with thousands of entries that include calorie counts, fat content, and other nutritional values @ Wordery

Discover Your Nutritional Style

Your Seasonal Plan to a Happy, Healthy and Delicious Life. Holli Thompson is a health and nutrition coach, a certified natural health practitioner and a nutritional stylist. She works with women who struggle with hormonal changes, aging issues, energy and weight issues. She enables them to live their life with purpose and to achieve ageless beauty, vitality and health, from the inside out @ Wordery

Raw Nutrition

Explains how food addictions are industry inspired and emotionally created. How you can overcome these food addictions and how, by following a raw vegan diet, most people lose at least 10 pounds a month eating all they want @ Wordery

Making Fish and Seafood Part of a Healthy Diet

Maximizing protein content while minimizing fat and calories is a goal of many people who are trying to lose weight, gain fitness or just enjoy a healthier diet. There are few foods that combine low fat, low calories and high protein the way fish and seafood do.

In addition, the protective oils in many cold water fish are being studied for their possible role in preventing heart disease and lowering levels of cholesterol in the bloods.

In addition, fish dishes are delicious, easy to prepare and often inexpensive. Many people have avoided buying more fish because they were unsure of how to cook and prepare it. While fish dishes can sometimes be a challenge, there are many recipes, both online and in cookbooks, that make it easier than ever to prepare fresh fish for yourself and your family.

Many nutritionists recommend that everyone eat fish at least twice a week. Substituting low fat, low calorie fish dishes for more calorie dense, fatty meats is a great way to lower the amount of total fat in your diet, and this can boost your level of fitness or help you lose weight.

The amount of protein in fresh and frozen fish and seafood is very high, certainly comparable to higher fat sources like beef, pork and lamb. And fish is generally thought to be a healthier choice, since all that protein comes with less fat and fewer calories. Everyone knows about the importance of protein in the diet, for both children and adults. Protein is a vital building block of muscle, and it plays a role in repairing muscle damage, growing strong nails and hair and other important bodily functions.

While protein is found mainly in animal based foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products, there are plant based sources of protein as well. These non animal sources of protein include peanut butter, lentils, peas and nuts. The downside to many protein laden plant based foods, however is their high content.

This is yet another feature that makes fish so appealing as a source of protein. Fish contains just as much protein as many of these higher fat, higher calorie sources. Eating fish provides – shall we say – a greater protein bang for the buck than many other sources.

You may have heard that salmon contains a lot of fat, and it is true that salmon does contain more fat than many other fish. Compared to high fat meats like sausage and bacon, however, salmon is still a relatively low fat source of protein. Like other fatty foods, however, it is important for those watching their fat intake to limit their consumption of salmon.

One advantage fish has over other types of meats is the type of fat it contains. Most meats contain saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature. Unlike cattle, pigs and other land animals, the fat in fish is of the polyunsaturated variety. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, and they are healthier fats for the people who consume them.

Saturated fats are thought to play a greater role in heart disease, stroke and hardening of the arteries. That is why healthy cooking typically involves the use of polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil and olive oil, instead of saturated fats such as beef lard and butter.

Many people worry about the level of pollution in general, and mercury contamination in particular, in fish. While it is true that polluted waters are of some concern when it comes to fish, seafood products are actually quite safe to eat.

In addition, many types of fish, like salmon and sardines, are farm raised, and their diet and environment is strictly controlled. It is recommended, however, that fishermen and fisherwomen limit the amount of their catch that is eaten if they live near a polluted river or stream. The local fishing and hunting authority usually issues guidelines for eating fish in areas where pollution is a problem.

Losing Weight – The Facts

We all want to lose a few pounds and look great, especially through those summer months but the average person does not succeed in keeping those pounds off, if they lose the weight at all. The reason for this is that many people follow the latest “celebrity” diets which are good for quick weight loss but are not good for your health or for keeping the weight off.

It is scientifically proven that if you follow a diet where you lose to much weight to quickly then you are starving your body of certain nutrients it needs, when you start moving towards eating a normal diet your body will automatically store these nutrients within the body in case this should happen again.

If you want to lose weight there are some golden rules you need to follow:

* Eat 3 meals a day
* Eat less
* Eat healthy
* Eat from all the food groups (Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat)
* Exercise

What we want to achieve is to still eat 3 meals a day, just in smaller quantites and with healthier food. Within the 3 meals we still need all the different food groups for our body to function correctly so we still need our protein, carbohydrates and our fats. Another important factor for losing weight is exercise, I don’t mean running a marathon, but if you can spare 20 or 30 minutes a day for a walk or a light jog you will certainly feel the benefits.

If you want to lose the weight quickly then it will only last short term, if you set your goals and take your time losing the weight correctly then you will see the benefits for a long time to come. Losig weight is not just about physical looks, it’s about mental well being and your future health.