Lose Fat Keep Muscle Mass Plus a Few Food Hacks

Keeping a healthy weight is more challenging than ever for most of us these days. Technology has made it easier in today’s times to be more sedentary. The temptation of fast food and it’s mass availability has made it’s way into the average household to the point where for some, cooking is out of the norm. We are challenged more than ever to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits.

But what happens if we gain unwanted pounds and we desire to get to a healthy weight? Where do we start and how do we know what that weight is? Below is a quick way to calculate how many calories you need to intake in order to lose weight, taking into account your goal weight and level of activity.

Step 1:

(Ideal body weight meaning 5 pounds less of what you want)

Photo Credit: Rachel Ray Show, Dr. Ian Smith, “A Doctor’s Guide To How Many Calories You Should Be Eating To Lose Weight”

There is also a BMR (Basal Metabolism Rate) Formula which is more complicated but you can also use to calculate your needed calorie intake for weight loss.

  • Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
  • Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
  • (1 pound= 2.2 kilogram for conversion; 1 inch = 2.54 cm)

(above credit for calculation from: https://www.garnethealth.org/news/basal-metabolic-rate-calculator )

➡️Or push the easy button⏺️ so to speak and fill these parameters out with your personal data and let it calculate your BMR from the site below:

https://www.verywellfit.com/how-many-calories-do-i-burn-every-day-3495464 💪🏿🍉🥗🍎🐟

By the calculations for my gender, height, weight, activity level and age, I need to intake no more than about 1,650 calories in order to maintain my current weight. About 2 pounds per week is a healthy goal for most of us for weight loss.

Step 2:

The majority generally need to take in about 500 calories less in order to lose weight and about 300 or more to gain weight. This means for me that if I desire to lose weight, I need to take the above 1650-500= 1,150 calories per day. This number is just your starting point. It is up to you to fine tune it depending on how you feel and the appearance that is satisfying to you.

Step 3- Remember also these important keys:

✔️exercise at least 3-4 times a week such as brisk 40 minute walks, ✔️some form of resistance training for maintaining muscle, ✔️at least 7 hours per night of sleep ✔️and drinking your water goes a long way to help you on this journey. ✔️Intermittent fasting is very key. If you can fast for 14 hours and eat 10 hours you will receive great benefits. Make it a part of your day to day lifestyle. It’s not as hard as you think. See my previous post! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Please comment back if you have any weight loss tips or your success story. Even if it’s small progress. It’s great to share and encourage others.

I want to also share some food hacks that are essential in my household and have helped me on my journey to maintaining a healthy weight.

A few are a bit more expensive but well worth the money when you notice the results and health benefits.

  • Coconut Sugar: a great sweetener to replace white or brown sugar because it’s less likely to result in blood sugar spikes. Each serving contains a small amount of inulin, a type of soluble fiber which helps to stabilize post-meal spikes. Also rich in iron, zinc, potassium and calcium. This helps me to not crave sugar and I feel satisfied. I use it for baking and sweetening most things in small amounts.
  • Veggie & Fruit Smoothies: Juice fresh fruits and veggies such as frozen kiwi or an alternative with beetroot, carrots, celery, and apple. Keep the pulp in your smoothie!!! The latter 4 ingredients combined help with weight loss, provide vital nutrients for overall health and muscle maintenance among many other things. Also helps with satiety so lessens cravings.
  • Decreasing sodium for healthy heart, arteries and blood pressure. Increasing potassium to prevent excess fluid retention, sheds pounds, builds muscle, balances electrolytes, promotes kidney health and aids metabolic activities.

Well I really pray this will help someone on their weight loss journey and lead to better health. 🙏🏿 As always, why not SHARE IT💖 , LIKE👍🏿 , REPOST♻️ , COMMENT🗬 and YES, SUBSCRIBE by clicking Follow……Thanks so much for visiting, and please be a blessing and be blessed everyone!

Fast Your Way to Health

Fasting has been done for over 1,000s of years. Major religions and cultures have built-in fast days as a matter of fact. For example, in Judaism you have a 24 hour fast called Yom Kippur. In the Muslim Religion you have Ramadan from dawn to sunset and in Christianity Lent is practiced. It seems that all of these recognize that a cleaning out so to speak is beneficial. I have been doing intermittent fasting on almost a 12 hour schedule for at least 2 years now without even knowing initially that this is what I was doing.

If you trace the source of most diseases and illnesses, they come from some type of imbalance in the body, whether we have too much or too little of something. Fasting is becoming more utilized because of the new information being uncovered such as obesity leading to Type 2 Diabetes which is just the body’s inability to regulate insulin. It’s something that we do daily like breaking the fast each morning or some time during the day after a night of sleep, but we don’t even think about it. Growing research by a few pioneers who are or have spoken out on this topic, such as Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Eric Berg and the dearly departed Dr. Sebi (who focused on cleansing more so) have the results to back it up. Please see this video by Dr. Jason Fung that explains the concept more in-depth and the benefits of Intermittent Fasting and the stages as the fasting time is prolonged. He has other worthwhile videos as well on getting rid of diabetes.

He describes that if you can get through the 2nd day of fasting, the body begins burning fat and is feeding itself and you begin to feel like you can go on forever, however, it depends on your goal how long you do this. He speaks about the health benefits and the length of fasting according to the goal. I want to show you a few of his high-lights of the video that make it easy to understand the many benefits of intermittent fasting and fasting in general.

Credit due to Dr. Jason Fung, Video on Intermittent Fasting (Complete Guide to Fasting)

So why doesn’t just decreasing calories work???? There’s tons of experimental evidence that has shown that you will initially lose weight but then you will plateau, your weight will begin to rise again, you will have less energy and feel hungry and the method fails. The body will begin to lower your metabolism to match what calories you are taking in so that you don’t die. It’s a built in protective mechanism. The basal metabolism need for most adults is 1400 calories/day in order to keep all of the organs functioning, blood flow and just overall functioning. With intermittent fasting, our body starts to burn that stored food instead of what you eat several times per day the way the majority eat. GIVE YOUR BODY A CHANCE TO GET TO THE STORAGE AS OPPOSED TO CONTINUING TO FEED IT NEW CALORIES!!!!! This is the key. Your basal metabolism will not drop with this method but will drop if you use the method of reducing calories permanently as a method for weight loss.💡🤔 See the below summaries for more details.

Credit due to Dr. Jason Fung, Video on Intermittent Fasting (Complete Guide to Fasting)

The huge metabolic advantage of intermittent fasting is using the storage of fat. It’s about lowering the insulin with foods that don’t increase insulin and the glycemic index. Let your body digest this overstock so to speak. Also, by decreasing insulin, you begin to see how the above major diseases can be avoided and even reversed.

Dr. Fung also speaks about autophagy as one of the huge benefits of doing intermittent fasting, and not only to prevent/reverse disease and arriving at a healthy weight, but also as you lose weight, it helps to eat away at damaged cells and regenerate new healthier cells. The result: YOU WON’T SEE NEARLY AS MUCH LOSE SKIN AS YOU LOSE THE POUNDS!!!

Credit due to Dr. Jason Fung, Video on Intermittent Fasting (Complete Guide to Fasting)

Main points I would like to leave you with:

  • Remember that if your insulin level is high, you’re storing. If insulin is kept low, you’re in a burning/metabolism mode. If you’re eating carbs and eating often, you’re most definitely stimulating insulin and storage is occurring.
  • ALL CALORIES ARE NOT EQUAL!!! There are foods that do not increase the glycemic index or won’t raise your blood sugar. Many of these are a part of the paleo, keto or low-carb diet. These are ancient concepts from a Mediterranean based diet.🥑🥥🥬🧄🍒🥗🍆🐟🍄Here is a great link to begin your research on these types of foods: Foods That Won’t Raise Blood Glucose
  • Severely decreasing your calorie intake may work temporarily but intermittent-fasting has been proven to be more effective, not only for weight loss, but for the above additional health benefits. Pick the right amount of time for you….12 hours, 16-18 hours, 23 hours or more.
  • WHO SHOULDN’T FAST? As with all health information, I don’t know your individual situation or medical history, but you should always consult your health practitioner. With that being said, Dr. Fung states that nursing or pregnant women, children, those under a BMI of 20 and if malnutrition is present.
  • Eat reasonable portions of all food that you intake, drink plenty of water (15.5 cups per day for men, 11.5 cups per day for women), maintain a regular exercise schedule (The Mayo Clinic recommends: 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, or a combination of the two plus strength training for the various muscles two times per week).
  • If you are currently diabetic or pre-diabetic and seeking weight loss and need a more aggressive approach than diet, , there are many medications that can help with this as well. Please speak to your health care provider. Some of the new medications such as the SGLT-2 Inhibitors/Gliflozins such as Jardiance and Farxiga to name a few are used to lower high blood glucose levels in Type 2 Diabetes by aiding in the excretion of glucose in the urine so it’s not reabsorbed into the blood. It’s been shown to help with weight loss, lower Hemoglobin A1C (a marker for how well blood glucose is controlled), very well tolerated and low risk of hypoglycemia.

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Journey to Wellness: Turning Back the Clock Part 3- Cut Out Sugar!

We are naturally always seeking how to arrest ageing and disease. How do we look and feel the way we felt in our youth? The conclusion most of us come to is that it’s no mystery; there is no easy fix. It takes stating your goals, deciding that you are going to do it and sticking to the plan (possessing the motivation to keep going). If you are new to my blog or haven’t read parts 1 & part 2 of this series, please check them out. I hope you find all three of these posts helpful.

Refined & Unnatural Sugar- We must cut it out!!!

Sugar is slowly but surely killing us. It’s been said that it’s a drug. Very addictive and deadly. If we seek ways to cut down on this drug, we will naturally be and feel more youthful and lose weight so we can look more youthful as well.

So here are my top 9 tips on weight loss, starting with cutting out sugar:

  • Number One: Lower the glycemic index. This is how fast sugar is absorbed into the cells. Some foods absorb very quickly (high glycemic index) and some slower (low glycemic index). If you’ve ever been low on energy and have eaten a piece of candy or donut mostly made of sugar, you may have noticed that the energy didn’t last long. These foods have a high glycemic index, thus are not healthy and in fact drive us to crave more sugar and be hungry. Simply not enough nutritional value to sustain us.
  • Number Two: Stay hydrated! Keep the kidneys flushing that sugar and toxins out. If you add lemons to your water is is a sure way to enhance this process and your kidneys as well as your body will thank you. It promotes a healthy pH in the body and contributes to the production of collagen in the body from the vitamin C in lemons, which in turn helps to decrease ageing.
  • Number Three: Portion Control– Oh boy……this is where I’m going to lose a lot of people. How many times have I heard in my youth, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach”? This well known phrase was often said to me or my younger family members from an elder. Some of us are guilty of trying to stretch our stomachs to the size that is needed in order to consume the amount of food that we desire. If you have a waistline bigger than 35 (women) and bigger than 40 (men), it is within your best interest to begin making changes right away. Try cutting your portion sizes of what you eat to half. Make the calories count with foods packed with nutrition. You don’t have to compromise on taste either.
Photo by Marlon Schmeiski on Pexels.com
  • Number Four: Movement is extremely important. Do not under estimate the impact of walking, house chores that cause some exertion, moderate exercise at least 3 times a week and elevating our heart rate in exercise. Find the right fit for you whether it be boxing, bicycling, walking, swimming, aerobics, dancing, yoga and so on.
  • Number Five: Control your stress levels. There are so many options on how to achieve this. Exercise in whatever form you desire is one of them, Meditation, Hobbies, Spirituality. We must let go and let the Almighty handle whatever we can not change and learn to deal with matters that we can control. Cortisol must be kept at a healthy level or it will cause high blood pressure and weight gain just to name a few.
  • Number Six: Crucial! Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per NIGHT. Notice I stated at night because we are naturally not to be up and moving at night but asleep. Our circadian rhythm dictates that we sleep at night and this is when the body resets and repairs DNA. If we get the proper amount of sleep at the proper amount of time, it promotes growth hormone. Growth hormone helps in maintaining our youth.
  • Number Seven: Use Supplements and Minerals that help with blood sugar control. There are so many options, just to name a few: chromium, magnesium, cinnamon, ACV (apple cider vinegar) and Black Seed Oil (Nigella Oil). These naturally help with metabolism and you will see tremendous results. Find one that fits your life style.
  • Number Eight: Laughter is a must. Be happy despite what is going on in your life. Did you know that laughter releases the happy neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain. According to some researchers, when we laugh and dopamine is released it serves as a reward for the brain and brings about a sense of euphoria. This causes us to become more motivated. Can you see how this would also help inadvertently to decrease stress and help to keep us on track with our goals?
  • Number Nine: Push the reset button. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. We may be suffering from depression, guilt, shame, fear, disappointment, addiction. Break those chains and push that reset button. If you’ve gone to the Heavenly Father and asked for forgiveness for anything you’ve fallen short in and to those who you may have offended, don’t hold on to those feelings……LET THEM GO!

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Powerful Fiber Source for Weight Loss

You all probably remember the famous “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia”.  How many of us grew those chia plants back in the day and had no idea what it was?  Well, I have just become a user of these cool little seeds.  Top 8 reasons why to incorporate Chia Seeds into your daily diet:

  • One big reason is you get a lot for doing so little.  Chia seeds are packed with so many nutrients and very few calories.  They contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3s out of the 9 grams of fat, 18% of the recommended daily allowance of Calcium (RDA), 30% of the RDA of Manganese, 27% of the RDA of Phosphorus, a generous amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3/Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B1/Thiamine and Vitamin B2.
    • In just 1 ounce, you get a power-packed 137 calories (this is just 2 tablespoons).  Since a lot of these calories are fiber and may not be used by the body, these ends up being about 101 calories per ounce.  Chia seeds are usually grown organically and considered a “whole grain” food.  They are non-GMO and also gluten free without any manipulation.
  • Chia seeds have been found to have a high amount of anti-oxidants
  • As mentioned earlier, almost all of the calories are from fiber.  Since fiber won’t raise your blood sugar level, eating chia seeds doesn’t require so much usage of insulin because only a small percentage is actual carbs.  Fiber absorbs a lot of water and eating these seeds in other foods and drinks will “fill you up” so to speak.  This may lead to you eating fewer calories, thus, it may help in weight loss.
  • Chia seeds are high in protein which helps to keep you full and suppress apetite!
  • They are high in Omega-3-Fatty acids
  • May reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
  • They contain nutrients that are healthy for bones.  This is important to me since I made a decision not to drink or give cow milk to my family.  I wanted another source of calcium and phosphorus.  These nutrients also include magnesium and protein in which Chia seeds contain a great amount.
  • These little seeds may cause improvement in Type 2 Diabetes patients due to their ability to significantly lower blood pressure and a marker for inflammation.

I hope you will give these little seeds a try, but before doing so, just consider that it is best taken in small amounts like an ounce or so mixed in with other food and drink.  Also, please consult your healthcare provider before introducing anything new.  This just keeps them in the loop and helps you to be safer!

Also check out this video that summarizes the above post. There are so many recipes making use of this small seed. Have fun exploring all the ways you can use it!

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Love My Matcha

A few months ago I began a daily detox and juicing challenge. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and scoliosis of the spine and although a pharmacist, I turn to medications as a last resort.  It has been proven that many diseases in the body are a result of inflammation of some sort.  I have heard for so long about Matcha Green Tea and the powder and it’s amazing health benefits.  The teabags are ok, but the powder is amazingly more potent.

Each morning when I awaken I take about 3 tablespoonsful of apple cider vinegar (it must have “the mother” in it) in a full cup of good quality filtered or bottled water, sometimes with half of a teaspoon of ground ginger powder, ground black pepper and a teaspoon of ground tumeric powder.  I drink all of this with the aid of a straw so as not to damage the enamel of my teeth since vinegar is very acidic.

After about 15-20 minutes I drink whatever fruits and veggies that I have prepared from juicing.  Strawberries, cucumbers, apples, carrots, beets, pomegranates and kale are great examples of wonderful fruits and veggies that can be used.  Usually, I make enough juice for a few days since I have such a hectic schedule.  This way it helps me to continue the regimen daily.  The key to this gradual detox is to allow it to happen over a period of time.  You will notice the inches slowly slip away but you will feel more energy and less inflammation in your body over time.  Also, my arthritis pain has decreased and my stomach feels less bloated for the first time in years.

There are some sources that say to drink the Matcha Green Tea at night with honey (non-refined), cinnamon, lemon and ginger before bedtime and it will help you burn calories while you sleep.  I prefer to drink my tea at the most stressful time of my day which is sometimes afternoon and sometimes at night.  Either way, I have seen some truly amazing results over the last 3 months.

It has helped a great deal in my detox process to minimize my dairy and bread intake.  I occasionally have cheese but it is truly not something that I miss eating on a regular basis.  I drink almond milk if I want a plant-based substitute for recipes.  I can feel a huge difference in how my clothes fit me.  Check out my results below!  By the way, I had a bit of a relapse in January due to a few frustrations in my life or I believe I would have arrived at these results a month earlier;  however, it is really working for me and hope it can help someone else.  If you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, high cholesterol, liver or kidney disease or some kind of another metabolic disease, it’s always best to consult your physician before making any drastic changes, however, these are just natural things…..healing from food and herbs, the best remedy given by the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth!

Check out these results and decide for yourself:

November 1, 2019

Bust:  36.5, Waist 33.5, Hips 41, Upper arm 11.5, Upper thigh 22.5 (inches)

November 16, 2019

Bust:  35.5, Waist 33.5, Hips 40.5, Upper arm 11.25, Upper thigh 22 (inches)

December 2019 & January 2020 Relapse😥

Bust:  36.0, Waist 33.5, Hips 41, Upper arm 11.5, Upper thigh 22.5

After adding the Matcha Tea Powder to the regimen for one month (in addition to the match tea bag that I was already using)

February 12, 2020

Bust:  35.5, Waist 32.5, Hips 39.5, Upper arm 11.0, Upper thigh 22.0

Total inches lost to date:  4 inches! 

And I only use about 1/2 teaspoonful of the Matcha Green Tea Powder daily!

I never weigh myself as a rule because it’s not as important to me as total inches lost.  Also keep in mind that you should exercise at least 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes, even if it’s just walking or incorporating it into your busy day by taking the stairs everywhere you go.

Still not convinced?  Okay, just take a look of these proven benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder:

  • Anti-oxidant effects
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Increases brain function
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Helps protect the liver and the heart

See this link for more in-depth information:  Benefits of Matcha Green Tea Powder

Also, check out this great video on how to prepare the Matcha Green Tea from the powder and for more health benefits.

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Kick HFCS to the Curb Already!

hfcs

I think a lot of us were born in the era of the HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) Boom.  If you are around my age, you were not around to see the switch.  Bleaching the nutrients out of pure sugar was enough of a detriment to our health, now, with the use of HFCS, illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, liver failure, dementia, cancer, tooth decay and more are at an all time high and rising.  On the average each American has increased their yearly intake of HFCS from 0 to over 60 pounds which mostly comes from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food.

So, while various organizations are trying to push the lie that HFCS is good for your health, follow the trail back to who benefits if corn loses its foothold as a major crop in not only the American economy, but other countries as well…..the Corn Industry.  The bottom line is that sugar is sugar no matter how you package it!!! Oh but wait….what’s worse is that HFCS can be more detrimental than sugar because no digestion of the sugars is required and they go straight to your bloodstream, elevating your blood glucose as well as producing fats such as triglycerides and cholesterol.  You develop a fatty liver, your metabolism becomes a hot mess, you crave more food, you gain weight and have a likelihood to develop one or more of the above mentioned diseases.

It is also stated by those promoting HFCS that when used in moderation, it is safe.  The biggest problem I see with this statement is that if you are consuming it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between in snacks or drinks, is this in moderation? question-622164_960_720.jpgHmmmmmmmm

About 17 years ago, I made up my mind that I was going to eat and cook as healthy as I could with the means available to me.  It was a rude awakening to go to the grocery store and come out with flour, bread (which I had to search for a brand without HFCS for 10 minutes), dried pasta, brown rice, sunflower oil, beans, butter, real cheese, fruits and vegetables, and unprocessed meat from the butcher section of the store.  I was on a mission!!!  The biggest hurdle was time.  I was and am a working mom outside of the home, but once I convinced myself that it takes a bit more time to make what you can from scratch and be healthier instead of being a consumer of numerous processed food, I felt much better about what I was feeding me and my family.

In short, do what you can to minimize your intake of HFCS:

  • Look at food labels and decide if this is a product that maybe you can do without and incorporate something healthier, or maybe just do less of a serving.
  • The fresher the better!  Buy raw or frozen fruits and veggies….whatever you can afford.  I would even go a step further and say to experiment with your own garden.  You would be surprised the number of things that I have grown in a small space and if you have children, they will be more likely to eat healthy from the experience.
  • Continue your research and spread the news to others.

Watch this informative video featuring Dr. Valerie Garrett, an expert in the field of diabetes as she explains the HFCS phenomenon.

There are a list of foods that do not contain HFCS, but please do your own review.  I came across the below sites that may be helpful.

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References:

Hidden Traps in Your Diet

What’s sabotaging your diet? 

Sometimes, it’s the small things that trap us from being successful in maintaining a healthy diet and weight.  We live in a society that shuns the natural and encourages us to cover our food or worse, alter it.  My goal is to help you to skip over the pitfalls and arrive at a healthier way of eating by implementing some of these health tips.  I have put together a list of the most popular offenders that I have seen plaguing our society and what has worked for me and my family.

Number 1:  Condiments

These include ketchup, mayonnaise, pre-packaged and store bought suaces such as BBQ sauce and Sweet and Sour sauce, salad dressings, and even those little packets of seasoning that we get for free upon ordering certain restaurant dishes.  Anything “creamy” is usually packed with calories.  Soup mixes and other all-in-one seasonings can lead to a lot of salt, MSG and other chemical ingestion and of course this can cause bloating, headaches and if used chronically, high blood pressure along with other ailments.  LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF and make your own!

Just a few examples:

Mayo- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp, Calories: 90, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g

Strawberry Jelly- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp, Calories: 50, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 13g, Protein: 0g

Ketchup- Service Size 1 packet, Calories: 20, sodium 160 mg, Fat: 0g, Carbs 5g, Sugar 4g

Healthier food may take a bit more time to prepare but use natural things to flavor like olive oil with lemon and a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic for a salad dressing and make your own sauces to control your intake of sugar, salt and preservatives.  There are many healthy recipes to choose from.  Use healthy spices and herbs such as Cumin, Tumeric, Paprika, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Thyme, Rose Mary and others to infuse flavor into your dish and add excitement to the meal.   Avacado is good to blend and combine with herbs if you want a creamy dressing or sauce.  Also lemon and lime zest with crushed garlic, a little salt, pepper and olive oil will make your taste buds dance!

Number 2:  Sugary Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages

This is self explanatory.  You can not expect to DRINK your calories and lose weight or have a healthy BMI (body mass index).  On average, U.S. youth consume 143 calories from sugary drinks and U.S. adults consume 145 calories. Start by just cutting your daily intake by half and see what a difference it makes in your progress.☕🍹

As an alternative, drink homemade lemonade and teas that you can control the sweetener you use (like honey, brown sugar or molasses and even minimize these).  Exchange your sweet wine for dry wine and minimize alcohol in general so as not to cause other metabolic problems such as liver disease.

Number 3:  HFCS & Artificial Sweeteners

It’s extremely difficult to find anything that is sweetened without high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. HFCS is a cheaper alternative for companies to use and is healthwise less desired because it makes you continue to crave carbs and sweets.  It’s like your brain not having an off switch to tell you that you’re full.  Artificial sweeteners have been linked to studies that show a high incidence of cancer with regular use. Why not juice your drinks using more veggies than fruits to minimize your sugars and make your own desserts using healthier alternatives. There are great recipes such as Chocolate Beet Cake, Carrot Cake, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and more that you can use no or less sugar than what’s called for; or skip the sweets altogether and have whole wheat crackers with cottage cheese and veggie carrot sticks for example. Fiber is filling and cottage cheese is lower in fat than other cheeses.

Some healthy dessert/snack recipes and more info:

tapin2life High Fructose Corn Syrup Review

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Red Beet Chocolate Cake

Number 4:  Use healthy oils and fats

Fast facts about fats:

  • Heart healthy fats come from plants, nuts and seeds.
  • Saturated fats may raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and also your risk for heart disease.
  • According to the American Heart Association (AHA), we need some fats in our diets to:  to make energy, assist in cell growth, protect organs, keep our bodies warm, aid in absorbing nutrients and making of hormones

Down with canola (unless you like using an oil that was originally made for lubricating ship engines…don’t believe me, research it yourself). I know that it is promoted as healthy but it is not a naturally occurring plant.  Use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil instead. It is most likely to have it’s nutrients preserved. Sunflower oil makes a good alternative but beware of “refined” on the packaging . This may mean the oil was treated with acid, or purified with an alkali, or bleached. Refined oils could also have been neutralized, filtered or deodorized.  This usually means less of the nutrients and although a cheaper product, not the best choice health wise.

Studies have also shown that trans-fats, found in processed foods like margarine raises the risk of death by 34 per cent and that butter has been shown not to be so bad after all. Of course if used in moderation the fat and calories in butter won’t mount up.

The bottom line:  What are you using the oil for? How do we keep from sabotaging our diet?

  1. If frying, extra light olive oil and sunflower oil (unrefined)
  2. For salads and making dressings (for taste):  olive oil, Unrefined sunflower oil as an alternative.  There are many other oils of course but do your homework.  These are the ones I use for everyday cooking, sauteing or making salad dressings.  This quick guide below may help.  Remember, don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy calories and fats that will increase your LDL or bad cholesterol and lead to heart disease and unwanted pounds.

guide to healthy cooking oils

Number 5:  Maximize fiber, Minimize carbs 

We need a high fiber diet to keep things flowing, if you know what I mean. Image result for happy toilet images

There are two kinds of fibers:  soluble and insoluble.  We need both.  Soluble fibers help us to lower our cholesterol and blood sugar levels and they dissolve in water.  Insoluble fibers help to keep our bowel movements regular, prevent constipation and bulk up the stool.  Fiber can help to maintain a healthy weight.  I am speaking about this because we should as much as possible choose these foods over unhealthy carbs loaded with sugars and preservatives.

This is just a short list of healthy fibers:

Soluble:  oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium

Insoluble:  whole-wheat flour, nuts, wheat bran, beans and veggies like cauliflower, green beans and potatoes

The amount of fiber you need depends on age and gender.  Women 20-25 grams per day and Men 30-38 grams per day.

Number 6:  You must drink your water!!!

Self explanatory right?  Get your 8 glass minimum in and use a water with a pH of at least 7 and no more than 8.5.  Guidelines say 6-8.5 is best but below 7 is acidic and our bodies do not thrive in an acidic environment.

Number 7:  Avoid meals after 7 p.m.

Sometimes, this can not be avoided but try your best and plan ahead.  A healthy snack is okay after 7 pm if you are still hungry but remember to keep it as healthy as possible and cut your portion size that you would normally have by about half.  Think of it as weaning yourself off of your unhealthy habits.  Little by little you will get used to it and see the benefits.

So for 2018, get started on the right path!

    • Keep a diary for about a week of what you eat AND drink, how much and how many calories, carbs, fat and fiber you have ingested or drank.  If you don’t know, take time to look it up on the internet and approximate.
    • Take a baseline measure of your chest, waistline, hips and thighs since these areas are usually problematic and measure every 1-2 weeks.  You will be amazed after minimizing these hidden calories, carbs and fats how the inches will melt away.
    • Don’t deprive yourself.  For most people this backfires and when you have a moment of frustration, you grab the Ben and Jerry’s and binge eat.  Make healthy lifestyle changes that become permanent and doable for you and your family.
    • Have a support system.  Don’t do it alone.  Get your family or spouse or friends involved and help to change their lives for the better also.
    • As always, a regular exercise routine always helps.  It doesn’t need to be strenuous.  Check out my moderate Jazz It Up Workout Vid and do it with me daily!

As always, why not SHARE IT🔗🙌, LIKE👍,  REPOST♻, COMMENT💬 especially if you try my healthy tips and they work for you, and YES, SUBSCRIBE 👏by clicking Follow?

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Oh Honey, How Sweet!

 

Since first posting this article about honey, I have used it a lot more to get through the Winter.  It has been amazing for colds, flu and allergy symptoms for my family as well as a sweetener to cut our use of refined sugar!  Hope you will incorporate it into your diet on a regular basis in order to be more healthy.

honey-823614_1920

Honey is such an amazing food.  It has some very unexpected health benefits and because it tastes so good, we don’t mind using it.  Here are just a few things that you can benefit from by using honey:

Think about it as a natural way to give yourself a boost of ENERGY.

We all have experienced that run down feeling at some point in time if we are over doing it and have not gotten enough rest.  Honey is a wonderful source of carbs and an important component of our energy source for our bodies.  If you take honey, it will give you an immediate boost in your ability to get the task at hand done and hold on until you can get something that is even more sustaining into your body.  It decreases muscle fatigue for athletes and because of its natural sugars, you can use it as you exercise.

Here is how it works….two important properties of honey are that it contains glucose, which breaks down very quickly to give us immediate energy, and fructose, which breaks down over a slower period of time to help us to sustain the energy.  Honey is also known to stabilize blood sugar more as compared to other things we use to sweeten our food.

  • Take it in the morning as an energy booster in your tea or as a cleaning tonic on an empty stomach with the juice of half a lemon, a bit of warm water and a teaspoon of honey (see recipe below).

It not only works to cleanse your body as it works as an antimicrobial and antifungal, it also helps to boost your immune system, hopefully preventing illnesses.  It has very powerful antioxidant properties that give want to be diseases a PUNCH!!!

  • Honey has been said to help fight cancer.  See below references for more on this.
  • One of my favorite uses:  a natural cure for treating wounds due to its antiseptic properties.  Next time you or your little ones have an OWIE, try a bit of honey on it.  It also is known to work to help heal minor burns.  There is a brand that has been shown to be good for this in the link below called UMF Manuka.
  • If you have a sore throat or cough, try a drink of honey with warm water and lemon as mentioned above.
  • Got insomnia, try honey and warm milk before turning in.  This is an old remedy that has been proven to work by many grandmothers.  You can even use the honey in tea such as chamomile.  My favorite is green tea and honey.  It seems to have such a soothing effect.
  • Honey and vinegar have been reported by many to decrease their pain from arthritis and work as a home detox.
  • Honey and lemon are said to be good for weight loss

Overall, you can’t beat a food that has so many HUGE benefits and tastes so SWEET!

So next time you are low on energy, instead of reaching for that candy bar or granola bar, give honey a try.

Check out this recipe below:

Honey and lemonlemon-91537_1280

Mix one tsp of raw honey with the juice of about 2 tsp of lime or lemon in a glass of warm water.  Make sure not to use boiling water and definitely not tap water.  Try to use distilled or at least a good quality bottled water such as FUJI.  The pH of Fuji bottled water is reported to have a pH slightly above 8 which is healthier for us.  Use this drink in the mornings before eating anything. It is effective in detoxing the body and as a digestive aid after a particularly oily meal.  This along with exercise and a healthy diet will hopefully help you to shed the pounds naturally and make it a part of your lifestyle change.

References:

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-lemon.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php#the_possible_health_benefits_of_honey

http://www.medicaldaily.com/liquid-gold-7-health-benefits-honey-could-heal-your-whole-body-325932

Now, why not share this article with someone you love!!!  Click below & drop some knowledgeimages!

Oh Honey, How Sweet!

honey-article

Honey is such an amazing food.  It has some very unexpected health benefits and because it tastes so good, we don’t mind using it.  Here are just a few things that you can benefit from by using honey:

Think about it as a natural way to give yourself a boost of ENERGY.

We all have experienced that run down feeling at some point in time if we are over doing it and have not gotten enough rest.  Honey is a wonderful source of carbs and an important component of our energy source for our bodies.  If you take honey, it will give you an immediate boost in your ability to get the task at hand done and hold on until you can get something that is even more sustaining into your body.  It decreases muscle fatigue for athletes and because of its natural sugars, you can use it as you exercise.

Here is how it works….two important properties of honey are that it contains glucose, which breaks down very quickly to give us immediate energy, and fructose, which breaks down over a slower period of time to help us to sustain the energy.  Honey is also known to stabilize blood sugar more as compared to other things we use to sweeten our food.

  • Take it in the morning as an energy booster in your tea or as a cleaning tonic on an empty stomach with the juice of half a lemon, a bit of warm water and a teaspoon of honey (see recipe below).

It not only works to cleanse your body as it works as an antimicrobial and antifungal, it also helps to boost your immune system, hopefully preventing illnesses.  It has very powerful antioxidant properties that give want to be diseases a PUNCH!!!

  • Honey has been said to help fight cancer.  See below references for more on this.
  • One of my favorite uses:  a natural cure for treating wounds due to its antiseptic properties.  Next time you or your little ones have an OWIE, try a bit of honey on it.  It also is known to work to help heal minor burns.  There is a brand that has been shown to be good for this in the link below called UMF Manuka.
  • If you have a sore throat or cough, try a drink of honey with warm water and lemon as mentioned above.
  • Got insomnia, try honey and warm milk before turning in.  This is an old remedy that has been proven to work by many grandmothers.  You can even use the honey in tea such as chamomile.  My favorite is green tea and honey.  It seems to have such a soothing effect.
  • Honey and vinegar have been reported by many to decrease their pain from arthritis and work as a home detox.
  • Honey and lemon are said to be good for weight loss

Overall, you can’t beat a food that has so many HUGE benefits and tastes so SWEET!

So next time you are low on energy, instead of reaching for that candy bar or granola bar, give honey a try.

Check out this recipe below:

Honey and lemon

Mix one tsp of raw honey with the juice of about 2 tsp of lime or lemon in a glass of warm water.  Make sure not to use boiling water and definitely not tap water.  Try to use distilled or at least a good quality bottled water such as FUJI.  The pH of Fuji bottled water is reported to have a pH slightly above 8 which is healthier for us.  Use this drink in the mornings before eating anything. It is effective in detoxing the body and as a digestive aid after a particularly oily meal.  This along with exercise and a healthy diet will hopefully help you to shed the pounds naturally and make it a part of your lifestyle change.

References:

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-lemon.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php#the_possible_health_benefits_of_honey

http://www.medicaldaily.com/liquid-gold-7-health-benefits-honey-could-heal-your-whole-body-325932