Monday, October 26, 2015

The Single Most Important Food To Eat For Weight Loss

Traditional thinking suggests carbohydrates are bad for you. 

But here's something that might go against everything you’ve heard: I believe carbs are the single most important thing you can eat for weight loss and overall health. 
In fact, I recommend eating a high-carbohydrate diet. But wait, you're probably saying, don’t carbohydrates contribute to insulin resistance, heart disease, and other health concerns?
Yes, some do. But the truth is more complicated than that. 
The Different Types of Carbs and How to Eat for Your Health
You see, the word carbohydrates encompasses a huge category. A hot fudge sundae and cauliflower both fall into the “carbs” category — yet they are entirely different foods. 
In fact, almost all plant foods fall into the carbohydrate category. These are what I call "slow carbs," which are low-glycemic and don’t spike your blood sugar. Eating a cornucopia of good-quality, plant-based carbohydrates provides unique benefits, including high levels of vitamins and minerals, fiber, and special plant compounds with healing properties called phytonutrients.
But unfortunately, most people don’t choose the healthy slow carbs. They eat quickly absorbed carbohydrates from sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and white flour, which the body very efficiently turns into belly fat
The important difference is in how carbohydrates affect your blood sugar. Calorie-wise, sugar is different from calories that come from protein, fat, or non-starchy carbs. Sugar scrambles all your normal appetite controls, so you consume more and more, driving your metabolism to convert it into lethal belly fat. 
But high-fiber, low-sugar carbohydrates like broccoli are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes. 
That's the key difference. Slow carbs such as broccoli heal rather than harm. 
Ideally, about 75 percent of your carbohydrate intake should come from non-starchy veggies and low-glycemic fruits. When you focus on these low-glycemic-load plant foods, your weight normalizes. You feel better without the sugar crashes. And you reduce your risk for numerous diseases. 
But I want to go beyond the are-they-bad-or-good confusion and classify carbohydrates into four simple categories, using traffic-light colors, to help you make the optimal choices: 
1. Green carbs   Eat all you want here! Slow-burning, low-glycemic vegetables — like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, and asparagus — should be the basis of your diet. Seaweed is another smart choice. 
2. Yellow carbs  Eat these moderately. These include whole grains — like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat — legumes, dark berries, stone fruit, apples, and pears. All of these are nutrient-rich.
3. Red carbs  Go easy here. These include starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables — like winter squashes, peas, potatoes, corn, and root vegetables such as beets — as well as higher-sugar fruits like grapes and melons. Portion these out and use them as treats, not dietary staples. 
4. Forbidden carbs  Skip these altogether or use them very sparingly. This category includes dried fruit, processed foods, and gluten-containing grains. 
When Might a Low-Carb Diet Be Beneficial?
“But Dr. Hyman, I did really well on a low-carb diet,” a patient will occasionally say. 
I’m not denying they can work. While nearly everyone does well with slow carbs, there are some cases in which a very low-carb diet can be beneficial. 
For people with type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, or obesity, you may need to restrict or cut out good carbs, even starchy veggies and fruit, for a period of time before returning them to your diet. The trick involves gradually introducing slow carbs. As insulin sensitivity improves, you can increase your consumption of slow carbohydrates like lentils, yams, fruit, and whole grains from time to time.

~Thanks to Dr. Mark Hyman

7 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Keep that pricey block of Parmigiano Reggiano for up to six months by bringing it to room temperature and then freezing. Already shredded? Just add a spoon of cornstarch to the bag to prevent clumping.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Toss the noodles with olive oil, then add individual servings to sandwich bags, push all of the air out, seal and freeze for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to reheat, run the bag under hot water or refrigerate overnight to thaw.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Double-bag to avoid condensation and other odors from seeping in and throw in the freezer for as long as you want.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Thanksgiving preparations, anyone? Place in plastic bags and press air out before sealing. Then freeze for up to two months.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Stockpilers, rejoice: You can totally throw that bag of Lay's in the freezer for a few months and pull out any time for crispy, snacky goodness.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


Out of their shells, you can freeze eggs, whites or yolks for up to a year. Just store in bags or in ice trays and thaw in the fridge the night before you want to use them.
7 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Freeze


~Thanks to PureWow

Friday, October 23, 2015

Start Using Eggshells In Your Garden

It’s no secret that eggs, full of protein, vitamins, and minerals (enough to grow a baby chicken from just one cell) are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.  Worldwide an average person consumes about 150 to 200 eggs annually.  That’s over a trillion eggs per year!  Now ask yourself this: “What happens to all of those eggshells?”
The shell of a chicken egg is comprised of about 96% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals which are bound together by proteins.  Common commercial methods for disposing of eggshells include use as  fertilizer or as a source of calcium in animal feed, but the average consumer typically drops them into the kitchen waste bin or down the garbage disposal.  If you are among this group, please read on to discover six creative uses for eggshells that will benefit your garden.

1. Fertilizer

Eggshells are a great way to add calcium to your compost.  Because shells have a very high surface area to volume ratio, they decompose very quickly.  Don’t even worry about sterilizing or grinding them up.  Just toss your shells on the pile or into the barrel and turn them under.
Alternately, you can incorporate crumbled eggshell directly into the bottoms of your planting holes in the spring.
During the winter months, distribute your shells over the plot of land where you will plant come springtime.  Once the ground warms up, you can till the shells into the soil.  If you are adverse to the idea of having eggshells on the ground all winter, you can also clean and store the shells until planting season rolls around.
While calcium is considered a secondary nutrient for plants, your garden will certainly appreciate the added minerals, especially if you grow tomatoes or peppers as these plants are the most easily affected by calcium deficiency.

2. Pest-Deterrent

If you have problems with slugs and snails in your garden, try sprinkling coarsely-crumbled eggshells around the plants where these slimy little pests like to dine.  The shells’ sharp edges deter snails and slugs by abrading the sensitive foot of any land mollusc that attempts to cross the barrier.  Most snails and slugs will quickly emigrate from your garden in search of easier pickings.

3. Seed-starter Pots

Plant Seeds In EggshellsBecause eggshells quickly biodegrade when introduced into soil in the garden, they also double as the perfect seed-starter pots.  When you open your eggs to remove the contents, try to break just a small hole at the pointier end of the shell.  Clean the inside of the eggshells (boiling water works well for this) and puncture a small drainage hole in the bottom of each empty shell.  You can then place them back into the carton, fill each shell with moist potting soil, and add your seeds.  Once the seedlings outgrow their “pots” you can transplant them shell and all directly into bigger pots or out into the garden.

4. Feed the Birds

Both before and after laying eggs, mother birds need more calcium in their diets.  Sterilize your eggshells by baking them at 250°F / 120°C for about ten minutes so the shells are dry, but not brown on the inside. Then crumble your eggshells well and place them outdoors (in a feeder or even just on the ground) during the spring and summer.  You can also mix the eggshell crumbles with birdseed, suet, or mealworms in an existing birdfeeder.  Either way, your healthy mama birds just might thank you by also dining on insect pests that may otherwise damage your garden.

5. Repel Deer

If you have deer visiting your garden as if were their own personal buffet every night, scatter some eggshells around the plants they’re munching on the most.  Deer hate the smell of albumin and tend to stay away from an area that smells like raw eggs.  Just be careful using this method as the smell may actually attract smaller vermin like rodents who like to eat eggs.

6. Aesthetic Value

Finely-ground eggshells can also be quite pretty.  If you have a large family or simply eat a lot of eggs, boil your shells to sterilize them, crumble, then drop them into a large glass jar for storage.  Once you’ve collected enough shell crumbles, sprinkle them around and in between your plants.  Not only will the eggshells help control pests and eventually add calcium back to the soil, the white color can also be a beautiful accent to your garden.  Add crumbled oyster shells for an even more interesting appearance with all of the same garden health benefits.
With these six tips under your belt, now both you and your garden can enjoy the health benefits of nature’s perfect food – the egg.
~Thanks to Sierra Bright

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Daily Words of the Buddha for October 14, 2015

(I started using the Headspace app makes meditation easy to enter)

Yogā ve jāyatī bhūri,
ayogā bhūrisaṅkhayo.
Etaṃ dvedhāpathaṃ ñatvā bhavāya vibhavāya ca,
tathāttānaṃ niveseyya yathā bhūri pavaḍḍhati.

Wisdom springs from meditation;
without meditation wisdom wanes.
Having known these two paths of progress and decline,
let one so conduct oneself that one's wisdom may increase.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Energy Drinks Are Still Going Strong

Initially launched as a limited summer edition, Red Bull Yellow Edition became a permanent company SKU in March.
Scanning the shelves today, it’s hard to imagine that there was once a time when energy drinks were not part of the beverage landscape. But while the energy drinks market gained traction early on in Japan and in other parts of Asia, it was only at the dawn of this century when energy drinks really began commanding the attention of the U.S. mainstream soft drinks market. Heavy promotion and expansion by the pioneering Red Bull brand during the decade that followed brought the concept of energy drinks to Western markets for the first time, initially to Europe and then to North America. Fast-forward, and today energy drinks are firmly established within the food and beverage culture.
In the late 1990s, U.S. energy products were most commonly found in the isotonic/sports drinks market. As this category grew stronger, energy drinks emerged as their own, separate standalone category, driven as much by a trendy image as consumers’ desire to boost their energy levels amidst increasingly busy lifestyles.
Current market-size estimates vary depending on the source and how one defines the category, but generally the global energy drinks market is projected to be worth approximately $10 billion annually. Energy drinks have continued to exhibit good growth rates in recent years, even against the backdrop of an overall relatively static soft drinks market.
As of this March, energy drinks accounted for 6.2% of the total U.S. soft drink launches Innova Market Insights recorded. Energy drinks are now growing at a faster rate than the global soft drinks market as a whole, where annual growth is at just under 4%. Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar are still the leaders. Most of their products are non-aseptic and primarily canned drinks.

New Moves by Market Leaders
Red Bull still leads the energy drinks market both in the U.S. and globally, but critics have questioned the brand’s relatively limited portfolio. With this in mind, Red Bull began expanding its product range in recent years with new launches such as Red Bull Total Zero in 2012, featuring no calories, sugar, or carbohydrates.
Red Bull is also using limited editions to keep consumers engaged. The company introduced Summer Edition Tropical last summer and has since renamed the product Red Bull: The Yellow Edition; in spring 2015, the company made it a permanent brand offering. The drink joined the brand’s already existing Red Bull Red (cranberry) and Red Bull Blue (blueberry). At the same time, Red Bull added Orange and Cherry Editions under the Red Bull Total Zero umbrella.
Red Bull rival Monster Energy launched a Monster Energy Zero edition in the United States in 2012. Marketed as less sweet, lighter tasting, zero-sugar, and zero-calorie, the drink is sweetened with erythritol, sucralose, and acesulfame-K. It joined other “light” versions of Monster, including Monster Energy Lo Carb and Monster Energy Absolutely Zero.
The Monster brand also moved closer to the sports drinks market in recent years, extending its range with performance lines such as Monster Rehab for refreshment, rehydration, and revitalization, and Muscle Monster Energy Shakes with protein. Monster Rehab is based on tea flavors, and Monster also has a Java Monster range of “coffee plus” drinks.

Organic Picks Up
The energy drinks market continues to explore new flavors, formats, and functions, and high levels of competition are resulting in growing segmentation. Marketers are also now focusing on additional benefits such as hydration, endurance, mental focus, immune support, and protein content, bringing the sector more in line with the general health and wellness category.
Marketers should also note ongoing activity in organic energy drinks—most notably by the number-three player in the energy drinks market, Rockstar, which launched the Rockstar Organic Island Fruits drink in 2014 featuring organic sugar and caffeine from organic green coffee beans. More specialized introductions include Mamma Chia’s Chia Vitality energy drinks with chia seeds, guayusa, and fruit juices; Natural Motive’s EnerBee with honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly; and Marquis O3 from Marquis Beverages.
Chia, meet guayusa: Mamma Chia’s Chia Energy beverage line launched last summer.
Hybrid Drinks
We are also seeing hybrid soft drinks in other beverage categories now adding an energy element. Take Celsius’s Sparkling carbonated drinks, which include cola, orange, and wild berry. The drinks are marketed not only as “negative-calorie drinks” with ingredients to “increase fat loss, boost energy, and burn more calories,” but also as delivering “lasting energy.”
Launched in June 2005, Celsius is sold as a “negative-calorie” drink with thermogenic properties.
There is also activity in caffeinated waters, both plain and flavored. Avitae, for example, extended its original line of unflavored natural caffeine waters made with purified water, caffeine from natural green coffee beans, natural flavors, and citric acid. The brand launched a range of four flavored drinks in its Caffeine + Water range early this year.

Meanwhile, Rockstar launched an horchata line in 2014 as a traditional-style, cinnamon-flavored dairy beverage. Another interesting launch last year was Sunny Delight’s SunnyD X range, which leverages the established Sunny D juice drinks brand while positioning the new products as alternative energy drinks for teens. The drink delivers energy from a combination of vitamins and carbohydrates rather than more usual ingredients like caffeine and taurine.
Each Avitae drink provides 90 mg of caffeine, roughly the same amount provided by a cup of coffee.
Market Going Strong
Increasingly busy lifestyles are boosting demand for products that give consumers either an instant boost or sustained energy. Now firmly entrenched in the mainstream, energy drinks are opening up whole new areas of opportunity as they focus on increasing their spectrum of consumers and usage occasions and offering a variety of innovative, healthier, and convenient options targeted at modern lifestyles.
~Thanks to  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

17 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Kale

This time of year, as the temperature cools, a molecular miracle is happening on farms everywhere: the kale is getting even better. Touched by the chill, kale gets sweeter as the sugars start to concentrate. And as the rest of the garden succumbs to the winter, kale stands strong. 
As kale has gained popularity, I've heard some scary comments from people who just don't know better. A woman recently told me, with a knowing smile, that we "don’t absorb any nutrients from kale.”  I've heard everything from worries that kale is harmful to human health to the misperception that it's a new food, so I thought it was time to set the record straight. 
Here are 17 things I wish everyone knew about kale:
1. A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.   #Gotkale? 
2. Kale is medicine. Modern health depends on eating more whole foods and plants, like kale. The mission of National Kale Day October 7 is to help change how we eat for the better. With your food choices affecting everything from personal health to environmental health, it's arguable that the fate of the planet depends upon us all eating more kale. 
3. Kale tops the nutrient density scale. It gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. Example? One cup of raw kale has just 33 calories yet contains 684 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin K, 134 percent of vitamin C, 206 percent of vitamin A, plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein. BAM! That’s nutrient density. 
4. But kale's secret power is its phytonutrients, those miraculous molecules in plants that are often called “antioxidants.” Kale possesses phytonutrients, which quell inflammation, improve the liver’s detox ability, and can even protect brain cells from stress. Kale talks to your DNA and tells it to sing the sweet, slow song of health and happiness. 
5. But you say you are a kale zero? Learn to be a kale hero! Check out the free Kale Hero Toolkit, which includes a kale prescription, kale experiments, recipes, and signs. It's available for download on
6. Kale is not for everyone. There are three groups of people who should avoid kale: (1) People taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin). These folks should consult with their physician prior to changing their kale consumption, as all the vitamin K in kale can interfere with that medicine. (2) People who find kale very bitter are often “super tasters.” Sometimes, cooking kale makes it tolerable; sometimes not. (3) Those who have a cruciferous vegetable allergy. It's very rare, but some people are allergic to kale and other crucifers like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. 
7. Being a kale fan doesn’t mean you have to eat a giant trough of kale salad at every meal or juice a bushel and swig it down with a smile. Being a fan means appreciating the lessons and benefits of kale and the many other healthy, whole foods that sustain us. The average American eats 2 to 3 cups of kale every year — one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Is it any wonder our collective health is a mess? 
8. Go slow, kale newbie. Start with kale chips, not a giant kale salad. Be mindful as you introduce more roughage into your diet. I regularly give kale consultations and a typical complaint is something like, “OMG, I tried kale once and then was sooooo bloated.” If kale isn’t a part of your diet, give your body time to adjust. 
9. Kale is a team player. There’s been a nutrient smackdown lately — kale vs. collards, kale vs. broccoli, etc. First, kale is tired of people trying to turn cruciferous cousins against each other. Second, kale beats most greens like spinach in terms of nutrients. But rather than worrying about which vegetable is the best ... how about if we all just focus on people enjoying more greens? 
10. Kale is not a fad. With kale salad fatigue, some foodies are whispering that kale is a fad. It's true: Kale is having a spectacular, even unprecedented run. That said, kale is an Old World food and eaten across the globe; it's a staple in Scotland, Kenya, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, and many other countries. As we all get more focused on eating for health, kale will continue to be a staple for those in the know. 
11. Kale does not cause hypothyroidism. I’ve read many reports of people with hypothyroidism attributing their illness to kale. But scientific literature does not support the claim that eating kale can lead to thyroid problems. 
There are molecules in kale called “goitergens” that can compete with iodine for uptake into the thyroid. Theoretically, a diet very low in iodine (seafood, seaweeds, iodized salt) and very high in kale (say, juicing a bushel of kale every day) could cause problems. 
Based on the current science, a more appropriate worry would be eating excess iodine in seaweed and kelp or consuming too many environmental toxins like BVO, a chemical found in flame retardants and in many generic soda brands. 
12. Organic matters but so does eating more plants. Kale is on the list of the Environmental Working Group's “Dirty Dozen," a list of foods that you should try to buy organic because they can have more pesticides. You might not have the option of buying organic kale, and that's OK. I’d vote that the health benefits of eating kale (even if it's not organic) are much better than eating no kale. 
13. The world of kale is vast and varied  keep exploring! I’ve been inspired by the many tastes and colors of the dozens of varieties of kale: lacinato, redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Vates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Sea Kale and the 6-foot-tall Walking Stick Kale. Seek out a kale you have not yet tried! 
14. Kale offers unmatched culinary versatility. Name another green that you can whip into a smoothie, toss into a salad, use to amp up your juice, sauté as a side, bake as a chip, or mix in a cocktail. #kalejito 
15. Kale is an awesome deal. A tasty bunch of 10 to 20 organic leaves costs two bucks. It's one of the few superfoods that's accessible to everyone, everywhere. 
16. Kale is really easy to grow. A group of students at the Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Humanities decided to grow kale for National Kale Day and planted some seeds. Now they have a kale patch in their courtyard. 
17. You can absorb the nutrients in raw kale. Cooking kale frees some nutrients like magnesium and decreases others, like heat-sensitive folate. But consuming kale in any form delivers fiber, protein, omega-3s, and a bevy of vitamins and minerals. I suggest mixing it up! I have myself on a steady rotation of sautéed kale, kale salads, kale chips, and kale smoothies.
~Thanks to Dr. Drew Ramsey

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let Autumn Feed Your Health

The Fall Season is in full harvest and an ideal time to make health changes along with the change in seasons. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons to detox from the sugary foods of summer and direct more time toward work and projects at home. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers autumn a season that focuses largely on the large intestines and lungs, which often get congested this time of year.  By adapting yourself to the changes of the seasons, you are more likely to maintain optimal health. It is important to gain control of both your internal climate (emotions) and external climate. Maintain a balance of inward-directed activites and outward physical activites. Get outside in nature and move your body in ways you love. A strenghtening program will build more muscles from higher protein meals. 

Nature provides the perfect foods each season to help protect our immune system for the following season. Eating seasonally allows you to eat foods that are at the peak of their ripeness as their nutritional content is higher than foods grown out-of-season and are unripe. Eating fresh, seasonal produce tastes better, contributes to local economies, is more sustainable, and helps the environment. 

Check out these delicious and healthy foods that are currently in season:

  • Pumpkin - Rich in vitamin A and both alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin and low in fat. The potassium content makes it a great addition in any recovery smoothie. The seeds are a great snack and are loaded with linoleic acid (omega 6) and oleic acid (monounsaturated fat similar to olive oil).
  • Squash - High in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. A variety of squash are in season, all with great health benefits and can be prepared in many ways.
    • Butternut, winter, acorn
  • Turnips - Packed with vitamin C, many B vitamins, and calcium. The green leafy stalks are also rich in nutrients.
  • Asian mushrooms - shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D and will help support your immune system as you prepare for the cooler months.
    • Referred to as "medicinal mushrooms"
    • Supports cardiovascular health and has anti-cancer benefits
  • Apples - The polyphenols in apples help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, thin bile and detox the intestinal villi and the gut wall. Know to protect against cancer, asthma and neurodegenerative diseases with its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Pomegranates - a superfood containing anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and folate. Pomegranate juice has anti-atherogenic properties and supports heart heath.

Fall doesn't mean you can get away with not eating your greens! These phytonutrient-packed greens are currently in season:
  • Herbs - With so many to choose from, it is not surprise there is a huge variety of health benefits offered from herbs
    • Rosemary is anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, and a digstive aid. 
    • Thyme is anti-septic, anti-microbial. 
    • Tumeric is anti-inflmatory and has anti-cancer benefits. 
    • Ginger is an anti-oxidant, imporves osteo-arthritis, anti-microbial, and boosts immune function.
  • Brussels sprouts - You may have had a distaste for these guys as a child, but they help with inflammation, high cholesterol, and are great for heart health! Be creative in incorporating them in your diet.
  • Arugula - Cardio-protective, reduces cholesterol, and supports a healthy liver.
  • Chard - A less known green with several varieties that is high in fiber, protein, and vitamin K. 

Many of these foods have gorgeous earthy tones and can easily be found at your local farmer's market. Cleansing in the fall supports the liver to transform toxic substances into harmless agents to the kidneys, through the bile into the intestines, for elimination. We also clear toxins through our skin by sweating during excercise and hot baths, steams and saunas. Remember to listen to your body and pay attention to what you eat and how these delicious seasonal foods make you feel. 

Mental detoxification is also important.  Cleansing our minds of negative thought patterns is essential for a healthy body. Eliminating potential toxic food triggers such as gluten, dairy and sugar can aid in this process.

~Thanks to Karen Malkin

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