Archive | Diet & Nutrition

The Scarsdale Diet Program’s Easy Protein Bread Recipe

If you have committed yourself to the Scarsdale Diet programs, you have found then that the protein bread is an important part of the diet regimen. Many who are following the Scarsdale Diet program’s method of weight loss either cannot find the protein bread in their local grocery, or are paying high prices at gourmet grocers for the bread. Here is a simple (but exceptionally good tasting) recipe for the bread.

Scarsdale Diet Program’s Protein Bread

Ingredients:

One-cup warm water

One tablespoon dry yeast

½ teaspoon salt

One-teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup soy flour

¼ cup gluten flour (gluten flour has much fewer carbohydrates than regular flour. You can substitute high gluten bread flour if you cannot find gluten flour.)

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour.

Place water in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle dry yeast into to bowl and let stand until yeast dissolves (five minutes or so). Add salt, sugar, and vinegar to bowl. Mix well.

Sift together soy and gluten flours together. Slowly add to the yeast mixture in the bowl.

Sift whole wheat flour and add it to mixture in bowl. Turn mixture slowly until dough sticks together (and not to sides of bowl). If you have a mixer or food processor that has dough hooks, these help tremendously with the mixing.

Lightly flour a board or other surface. Scoop dough into ball with floured hands and place on surface. Knead for five minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place into small bread pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Adjust dough to fit shape of pan (loaf shape). Do not try to touch dough all the way to sides of pan. Cover with slightly dampened towel and set in a warm place (free from drafts) to rise. Let rise for two to three hours until dough has at least doubled in size and reaches top of bread pan.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake bread in preheated oven for one hour or until light golden brown.

The Scarsdale diet program’s bread will be much denser than regular bread. Cut into thin slices. Keep unused portion in refrigerator.

In order to keep your Scarsdale diet program’s bread longer (or if you would like to make multiple loaves ahead of time); you can double wrap the loaves in plastic (after you slice them thinly); and store them in the freezer. Take what you want out of the freezer, as you need it while following the Scarsdale diet programs.

Toasting the bread before consumption when on the Scarsdale diet programs makes the bread more palatable and easier to eat (the dense bread can be a bit dry and chewy).

If making your own bread is not for you; you can find some low cost options at the grocery. You should look for low fat/ low carb options that are whole wheat (never white) bread. You will lose the most weight on the Scarsdale Diet program’s bread by choosing a bread that has greater than 4 grams of protein and less than 12 grams of carbohydrates.

The Scarsdale diet program’s protein bread is an integral part of the diet. In order to achieve optimum weight loss while on Scarsdale diet programs, you will need to make or purchase the protein bread. The recipe offered here is relatively easy and you will not need a lot of prior baking experience.

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Discover the Pros and Cons of Decaffeinated Green Tea

Before we start to discuss about decaffeinated green tea, we should know what this caffeine is all about.

Can we allow a small insect to bite us? No. We will defend by using our hand or leg. Can a plant allow any insect to bite? No. Though nature has not provided hand or leg to the plant, an inbuilt substance called alkaloid is provided to it. Caffeine is an alkaloid given to the plant camellia sinensis to protect itself from pests.

There are many herbs and flowers used as tea. But the green leaf from the plant camellia sinensis is considered as green tea and nothing else. Why this is very popular in spite of the fact that it has caffeine? This is because of the sheer quantum of antioxidant packed into this tea.

What is good about decaffeinated green tea? Obviously there is only one answer. The side effects of caffeine like rashes, stomach upset etc., can be avoided. There is nothing more than this.

But do not think that the taste is better than ordinary green tea. The smell is awful.

The bad news is more.

As I said, this is an alkaloid. It protected the plant like armors. Unless the armors are strong, the subjects cannot be saved. In the same way, the caffeine is embedded strong in the plant to safeguard the subjects. The important subjects are the catechin and epigallocatechin gallete (EGCG) amongst another 200 substances the tea has. Catechin and EGCG are bioflavonoid and fantastic antioxidants. When we kill one armor six subjects are also killed. This is the equation of removing caffeine and making decaffeinated green tea.

Now you understand that the decaffeinated form does not give you the required amount of antioxidants.

Nothing comes free. To remove the caffeine, you need some chemical substance. Obviously, chemical traces are bound to occur. Simply they will occupy the space created by caffeine. Honestly I do not believe that anyone can offer 100% caffeine trace free decaffeinated green tea unless they use high technology to split this substance through hydrolysis without adding any chemical substance or carbon-di-oxide. If someone tells you that using ethyl acetate to separate caffeine is a natural process because ethyl acetate is already found in tea, you should know that you are being fooled!

Taking normal green tea or green tea supplement having traces of caffeine is not at all harmful. In fact, the presence of caffeine is very important to keep the potency of EGCG to get the health benefit.

The best option is to avoid decaffeinated green tea and still get the benefits of EGCG. How is that possible? Yes, it is possible.

Buy Total Balance. This is a fantastic natural nutrition supplement that has 70 natural herbs and salts including catechin, EGCG from camellia sinensis. For a day if you have to take 300 mg of EGCG from green tea supplement, you need to take just 40 mg of EGCG per day along with other nutrition in Total Balance. Not only you get synergy out of multi-nutrition benefits, you will also avoid to a great extent the doubt that is cast on caffeine.

I am using the Total Balance and do not take decaffeinated green tea. My immune system is very good. I lead a healthy life. You should visit my website and learn more about interesting information on nutrition.

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Water Yam – What a Wonderful Unnoticed Food

Origin and Planting:

Water yam (D. Alata Linn) is one of the oldest food crops so far. It belongs to the family of Monocotyledonous plants. It originated in South-East Asia in Burma. From there it spreads to India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Eastern part of South-East Asia. It served as food for voyagers and was thereby spread to the parts of the tropics. Immigrants from India and Malaysia introduced it to Madagascar from where it was introduced into East Africa in the 16th Century. It was introduced to West African countries by the Portuguese and Spanish.

Today, water yam is the most widely distributed of all the yams, being grown in all parts of the tropics. It is the most extensively cultivated species of ya in the West Indies, the Pacific Islands and tropical Asia. It is known as ‘greater yam’ or ‘ten month’ yam. It can be found in some places in Nigeria. It is called (Ewura) in Yoruba land, it is the main staple food in Ijebu area – Western Nigeria.

Water yam is planted within the months of March – April which is the beginning of the rainy season ans also at the beginning of the dry season (October – November). Late planting yield poorly. It matures in 8 – 10 months and keeps better in storage than other species because they remain dormant for several months. It grows best at temperature between 25oC and 30oC. it requires soil that is well drained, of high fertility and high in organic matter; hence loamy soil is best. It grows in a shorter time than the white yam and possesses a fibrous root system. Most of the roots occur in the top-soil, 30cm, above the soil level.

The tubers vary considerably in shape and size, depending on the soil and how deep the ground is when planting. They may occur singly or in groups, straight or branched. This yam contains a higher proportion of water than either the white or yellow yam. Its loose or watery texture is readily noticeable when the tuber is cut or grated. The tuber may be purple, white, yellow, light brown or almost red in color when peeled. The leaves are distinctively different from others, being heart-shaped, long, broad and winged at the petiode. The stems usually have no spines and they climb round the stakes in a counter-clockwise direction.

Water yam can be eaten boiled, mashed, fried, or mixed with palm-oil or groundnut oil and steamed. Flour can also be made from it. Dishes such as ‘Isikolo’, ‘Ojojo’, Pounded yam, ‘Ikokore’, pottage and fritters can be made from it. It can also be cooked with beans. Dishes such as Queen Cakes, Biscuits and pastries can be prepared from water yam flour.

Nutritional value of water yam:

Moisture = 70%, Starch = 28%, Sugar = 0.5%, Fat = 0.1% – 0.3%, Crude protein = 1.1% – 2.8%, Crude fibre = 0.6 – 1.4%, Ash = 0.7% – 2.1%, Vitamin C (mg per 100g) = 5 – 8%, Vitamin B1 (mg per 100g) = 0.09%, Vitamin B2 (mg per 100g) = 0.03% and Vitamin A.

Five (5) Water Yam Dishes

1. Water yam queen cakes:

a. Ingredients:

(1.) 100gm water yam flour. (2.) 100gm wheat flour. (3.) 175gm margarine. (4.) 174gm sugar. (5.) 1 tablespoon baking powder. (6.) 2 eggs. (7.) 150ml milk.

b. Method:

(1.) Cream the margarine and sugar until soft, white and creamy. (2.) Add the beaten eggs and continue beating to get in the air. (3.) Sieve water yam and wheat flour and baking powder together. (4.) Add the flour and mix with cold milk to a dropping consistency. Add vanilla essence. (5.) Put in greased patty tins and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.

2. Ojojo (Western African food):

a. Ingredients:

(1.) 100gm grated water yam. (2.) 1 small onion (finely chopped). (3.) Pepper (chopped). (4.) Salt and herbs to taste. (5.) Oil for frying.

b. Method:

(1.) Chop onion and pepper finely. (2.) Beat the grated water yam and add a little water if too thick. (3.) Add the prepared ingredients and salt. Beat together again. (4.) Fry in balls in deep fat. (5.) Drain and serve hot alone or with bread.

3. Ikokore (Nigerian food):

a. Ingredients:

(1.) 100gm water yam.

(2.) 30-50gm boned smoked fish.

(3.) 2 kitchen spoons palm oil.

(4.) Salt to taste.

(5.) Shrimps as desired.

(6) 1 tablespoon ground pepper.

(7.) 1 tablespoon onion.

(8.) 1 tablespoon tomato.

(9.) ½ teaspoon fermented melon seed.

b. Method:

(1.) Peel and grate the water yam.

(2.) Put water in the cooking pot and add prepared fish and ingredients. Allow mixture to boil for a few minutes.

(3.) Add the grated water yam to the gravy in lumps and allow to cook first before stirring.

(4.) Add the oil and salt, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.

(5.) Simmer gently.

(6.) Serve hot either on its own or with cold pap (eko) or agidi.

4. Yam chips:

a. Ingredients:

(1.) 1 small water yam. (2.) Salt to taste. (3.) Fat (oil).

b. Method:

(1.) Wash and peel yam.

(2.) Cut in half lengthwise; and slice thinly on a chopping board.

(3.) Soak in cold water.

(4.) Drain in sieve and wrap in clean cloth for about 15 – 20 minutes separating the slices to prevent them from matting.

(5.) Fry in hot fat; until evenly golden-brown.

(6.) Remove, drain and pile on a hot dish sprinkle with salt and serve.

5. Water yam pottage:

a. Ingredients:

(1.) 1 big water yam.

(2.) 2 tablespoons ground red pepper.

(3.) 3 tablespoons ground onion.

(4.) 1 tablespoon tomato puree.

(5.) Salt to taste.

(6.) 6 tablespoons palm oil or groundnut oil.

(7.) 4 tablespoons ground shrimps.

(8.) Cooked beef or 2 pieces smoked fish.

b. Method:

(1.) Peel the yam and cut into small pieces.

(2.) Rinse and put to boil.

(3.) When it is half cooked, add salt, ground ingredients, oil, meat or fish and simmer till cooked.

N.B.: If soft pottage is required, water can be added and some of the yam can be mashed; if beef or fish is not added; serve with fish or beef stew.

Also for more information on Top Secret Restaurant Recipes guide, visit http://www.recipes-tips.com/; you will be amazed when it comes to cooking and so many Restaurant Recipes Secrets that will give you courage to perform magic and wonder whenever you enter the kitchen with ease.

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The Importance of Physical Fitness

In its most general meaning, physical fitness is a general state of good physical health. Obtaining and maintaining physical fitness is a result of physical activity, proper diet and nutrition and of course proper rest for physical recovery. In its simplest terms, physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables people to perform up to their potential. Regardless of age, fitness can be described as a condition that helps individuals look, feel and do their best. Thus, physical fitness trainers, describe it as the ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with left over energy to enjoy leisure-time activities and meet emergency demands. Specifically true for senior citizens, physical fitness is the ability to endure, bear up, withstand stress and carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue.

In order for one to be considered physically fit, the heart, lungs, and muscles have to perform at a certain level for the individual to continue feeling capable of performing an activity. At the same time, since what humans do with their bodies directly affects the state of mind, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional expression.

Physical fitness is often divided into the following categories in order for people to be able examine its components or parts. Particularly, physical fitness is judged by:

1. Cardiovascular endurance: This is the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes over sustained periods of time.

2. Muscular strength & endurance: Strength deals with the ability of the muscle to exert force for a brief time period, while endurance is the ability of a muscle, or group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue to apply force against an inert object.

3. Flexibility: This denotes the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion.

4. Body composition: Considered as one of the components of fitness, composition refers to the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue, and organs) and fat mass. Actually, the optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness. Performing the right set of exercises can help people get rid off body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.

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Acai Berries and Parkinson’s Disease – Does Acai Juice Have Any Benefits?

Unfortunately, there has not been any serious study done proving that Acai berries have any direct benefits for suffers of Parkinson’s disease. There have however been enough related studies and enough people swearing to improvement, that it should be seriously looked into.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease affecting the dopamine production on the brain. Symptoms usually start out as shaking and slurred talking. It is a progressive disease that continues to get worse overtime.

There have been many people who swear to the effectiveness of Acai berries as part of their diet routine. And, some of the studies that have been done on vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients do point towards it having a positive effect.

If nothing else, as you will see, Acai juice can help with some of the symptoms. While other treatments are working on the disease. And, it can make some of the recommended lifestyle changes easier on you.

While the actual cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, there is considerable evidence that oxidative stress contributes to or worsens the condition. With oxidative stress, free radicals are running around the body causing all types of degenerative diseases.

Antioxidants are nutrients that fight free radicals and remove them from the body. There have been studies that suggest that antioxidants are effective in improving the condition. Or, they may at least delay the necessity of taking certain drugs, for up to a couple of years.

That is why many physicians are recommending high doses of vitamin C and E to their patients. These vitamins are powerful antioxidants.

Acai juice has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any natural food product. So, of course it would make a good supplement to take for this condition.

There is also a lot of evidence that omega fatty acids have a positive effect on brain function. Because Parkinson’s is a neurological disease, it stands to reason, that omega supplements would be of value.

Acai juice also happens to be very high in Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.

One of the symptoms and side effects of Parkinson’s, is constipation. So often fiber is a required part of a Parkinson’s disease suffers diet. Once again, Acai berries are an excellent source of fiber.

While studies are still in progress, evidence definitely shows that nutrition has a very large place in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. And Acai berries happen to have very high levels of the vitamins and other nutrients which have been shown to have value.

In addition, exercise is an important component of treatment, and the energy boost that Acai berries give can help make exercise easier.

Because Acai berries, in its various forms (juice, capsules, pulp, etc) are essentially a food item, there really isn’t any harm in trying them. Many people have reported some amazing results.

Always talk to your doctor before starting any new diet routine. But, if he approves, there is nothing to be lost by adding Acai berries to your diet to help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

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Trans Fat and the Effect on the Human Body

Fats, calories, obesity…all these life-threatening words seem to be ruling the life of today’s youth. The recent in addition is Trans fat. For those who are not aware, it is a kind of fat which is created when the liquid oils get solidified partial hydrogenation. These fats account for at least 30,000 premature deaths in US within a single year span. The health experts also hold the belief that reducing the intake of these Trans fats would considerably lower down the annual rates of heart attacks (by 6,300).

According to recent researches, Trans fats have been declared as “the biggest food-processing disasters in US history”. You will mostly find them in processed foods like pies, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, potato chips and so on.

The dangers of Trans fats are quite few in number:

o Hardening of arteries – Trans fats accumulate in the arteries over time and eventually when they get clogged, the person suffers from a stroke or heart attack.

o Obesity – It is yet another dangerous resultant of Trans fats. If you consume more of Trans fats, you are sure to become overweight over time, and this again leads to a series of health issues.

To avoid the dangers of Trans fats you can follow some precautionary measures:

o Make use of olive oil in cooking as much as possible.

o Make use of liquid margarine instead of hard stick one.

o When you are planning to go out for meals, make sure you avoid all kinds of junk stuffs.

o Also see it to it that you do not consume food making use of partially hydrogenated oils.

A group called ‘Ban Trans Fats’ has started a national campaign in US to create social awareness. So if you intend to live a healthy life, avoid food items with any percentage of Trans fats.

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Why Peach Juice Can Give You Diarrhea

Peaches are undoubtedly one of the most sumptuous fruits in the whole entire word. They ooze flavor and have a soft, and delicate texture that can send your taste buds wild. One amazing thing that derives from this delicious fruit is peach juice. This is one of the most popular fruit juices around, behind the obvious candidates such as apple, orange and cranberry juices. Like the fruit itself, peach juice has a wealth of nutritional benefits, that make it well worth considering when it comes to making healthy dietary choices. However, one thing small drawback that can often cause a slight amount of bother is that peach juice can cause diarrhea.

Why do fruit juices cause diarrhea?

Peach juice is not alone in causing what is a notoriously frustrating condition, in fact many fruit juices if drank in larger quantities can change the dynamics of your stools. The reason for this is due to something that fruit juices contain, the culprit’s name being sorbitol.

So what is sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a sugar that the body cannot digest. If you are drinking a lot of peach juice, or even other fruit juices such as apple and prune juice, your body will react by trying to dilute the sugar. This is endeavored by using water from the bloodstream and sending it to the intestine. This extra water is therefore responsible for changing the constitution of the stools, making them looser.

This is the same for people of all ages, however with babies the problem may be more troublesome as their bodies are so small. May this be a warning to anyone who feeds their infants a lot of fruit juice, the consequences could be messy!

Peach juice nutritional benefits

It you are an adult who likes to drink peach juice, don’t let this put you off, as this is really only likely to occur if you drink excessive amounts. I am not trying to put you off drinking fruit juices, quite to the contrary as they are loaded with the nutrients that your body needs. They are a much better alternative to other soft drinks such as fizzy pop.

Just to be clear here I will highlight some of the peach juice benefits that are well worth taking note of.

* Peach juice is loaded with vitamin C, in fact from a regular 500 g serving of peach juice you can get over a fifth of the total vitamin C needed in an entire day.

* You get a very healthy amount of dietary fiber from peach juice, from a 500 g serving you can obtain around 14% of the total fiber your diet requires in a day.

* You can get just over 10% of the total vitamin A needed in a day with a 500 g cup of peach juice.

One drawback – Calories

Calories are one thing that we all look out for in our diet, and due to the sugar that is found in peach juice, it is something that is not exactly low in them. There are approximately 330 calories in a 500 g serving of peach juice. This is quite a lot considering if you were to go for the fruit on it’s own, you would be eating considerably less. In a medium sized peach weighing around 100 g there are just 38 calories.

In comparison to other fruits, and more so to the majority of foods we all include in our diets, the calories found in peaches are hardly anything to worry even the most avid calorie counter.

There is always an alternative of course, and that could be to dilute the juice with water. Of course it is not going to reduce the calories in the peach juice, but making a 500 g serving one part water and one part peach is going to halve the calories in that serving.

More information

So there you have it, drinking a lot of fruit juices can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea due to the sorbitol that they contain. One thing to bear in mind is that it is actually from the fruit itself, not some sort of added ingredient when making a fruit juice. However, due to the concentrate of the fruit that goes into making the juice, it is more likely to cause you problems than just by eating a portion of the fruit itself.

Eating the fruit itself is not only going to reduce the chances of an upset stomach, but is also going to ensure you take on less calories. So perhaps a peach and a glass of water could be less problematic than a nice refreshing glass of peach juice. The decision is yours and down to how your body reacts to the juice, and also how concerned you are as to peach calories, or those found in the juice.

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These Three Most Important Food Groups Are Key to Eating Healthy

The best most desirable diet for superior health should be made up primarily of three basic whole food groups. These foods are adaptable for everyone and will supply adequate amounts of all the nutrients required for the maintenance of optimum health, including high-quality proteins in sufficient amounts. It is important to eat healthy and create your daily menu from foods of these three key food groups that are indigenous to your area and grown locally (on organic farms whenever possible). Make sure that your diet is composed of a variety of fresh whole foods from these three food groups.

#1. Grains, Legumes, Beans, Seeds, and Nuts – This is the most important and potent health-building food group of all. The good nutrition of these foods is unsurpassed because they contain the secret of life itself – the germ! The germ is the reproductive power and spark of life in all seeds, and it is essential to life, health, and reproductive ability. This food group contains all of the essential nutrients for human growth and maintenance of health. Even though all grains and seeds are beneficial, it is best to predominantly eat those that your ancestors ate and those that are grown locally.

Contrary to what you may have heard, buckwheat, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts all contain complete proteins, which are comparable in biological quality value to animal proteins. This food group is also the best natural source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, which are necessary to maintain health. The vitamin content (especially vitamin E and the B-complex vitamins) of this food group is unsurpassed. Grains, nuts, and seeds are also a treasure chest of minerals and trace elements. Minerals also help balance the body chemistry, especially regarding alkalinity and acidity. This group also contains pacifarins, which increase the body’s natural resistance to physical ailments. And finally, whole grains, legumes, beans, and seeds provide the body with necessary fiber and roughage content. This is critical to avoiding all kinds of colon and intestinal tract problems that currently plague our nation as a result of refined and processed foods.

The best grains to eat are buckwheat, oats, millet, and brown rice. Most other grains are beneficial, but be careful with wheat because it is one of the most common allergens today. These grains can be eaten daily in the form of cereal, porridge, breads, pancakes, soups, etc. or sprouted. Cooking grains or sprouting them actually helps release the vital minerals by breaking down the mineral-phytin bond so that minerals can be assimilated in the intestinal tract. The best seeds are flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Beware of sunflower seeds because they are extremely vulnerable to rancidity. The best nuts are almonds and hazelnuts. Do NOT buy roasted nuts and seeds because the high heat makes them carcinogenic. Always and only eat fresh raw nuts and seeds, including raw almond butter and raw peanut butter.

#2. Vegetables – This is the next most important food group to incorporate into your daily diet. Vegetables are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Most green leafy vegetables also contain the highest quality complete proteins. Some vegetables, such as green beans, squash, yams, and potatoes, should be steamed or baked. However, most vegetables should be eaten RAW in the form of a daily salad. A few exceptions would be spinach and chard, which contain too much toxic oxalic acid, and asparagus. Cabbage-family vegetables should be either cooked or prepared in lactic-acid-fermented form. Garlic and onions are powerful health-promoting vegetables and should be part of your diet. Other excellent vegetables are Jerusalem artichokes, horse radish, black radish, celery root, and parsley. Be sure to also include root vegetables in your diet such as carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, and yams. Potatoes are extremely nutritious and are best baked or steamed. Keep in mind that potatoes must be kept in dark storage because a highly toxic chemical, solanine, develops when they are exposed to light. Also, be sure to remove the “eyes” (sprouts) of the potato before cooking.

#3. Fruits – Fruits are a powerful source of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, as well as easily digestible fruit sugars. In addition, they are an excellent cleansing food for breakfast, and they can be eaten between meals, but not with meals. It is best to eat fruits RAW, fresh, and in season, because they lose their vitamin content quickly. It is also beneficial to eat sun-dried fruits, but they must be not sulfured and preferably organically grown. Avoid all dried fruits with sulfur preservatives. The best sun-dried fruits to eat are raisins, figs, apricots, and currants. Now, two cautions about eating fruit: eat fruit in moderation and eat fruit on an empty stomach, by itself. Eating too much fruit will put too much sugar into your blood stream, and eating fruit with other foods will cause them to putrefy in your system and lead to poor digestion.

Daily Quote: “There is a great deal of truth in the saying that man becomes what he eats. Healthy foods = healthy body. Unhealthy foods = unhealthy body.” – Gandhi

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How to Gain Weight After Radiation Therapy – 9 Tips

Cancer therapy can be an extremely physical and emotional time for the patient. In patients with cancer of the head and neck for instance, the immune system is often not functioning properly. The immune system does not destroy cancer cells. Causes of the failure of the immune system include severe malnutrition. To exacerbate the problem, radiation can severely effect the taste buds and saliva glands. The loss of appetite, difficulties in swallowing, no taste buds and the inability to dissolve food will result in a tremendous amount of weight loss.

To gain weight after radiation therapy it takes patience and focus. Some cancer patients have gone days without a meal because they simply did not think to eat. No hunger pains or cravings for food means the brain doesn’t doesn’t let us know to do so. It has to be a conscious thought to sit down and eat a meal.

There are a number of things to do and eat that can help the patient to gain weight. Some are obvious but need to be mentioned none the less.

1. It is important to eat and maintain good nutrition despite changes in taste. Prepare foods that appeal to you. Try and focus on foods from the food pyramid to help with a well balance diet.

2. Use a powdered or liquid diet supplement. Available on the market also include weight gain supplements in a gel tab form, with all the nutrition needed, enhance appetite and slow down metabolism to better absorb nutrition and calories. Even if you’re not very hungry, it’s important to keep your protein and calorie intake high. A weight gain supplement in gel tab form might be the answer. Doctors have found that patients who eat well can better deal with having cancer and with the side effects of treatment.

3. Eat five or six small meals during the day rather than three large ones. Eat when you are hungry, even if it is not mealtime. Moisten food with gravies and sauces to make eating easier. Try changing the consistency of foods by adding fluids and using sauces and gravies to make them softer.

4. Change your diet and try new recipes. If you enjoy people around while eating, try to have meals with family or friends. It may be helpful to have the radio or television on while you eat. Use low lighting, soft music, brightly colored table settings, or whatever helps you feel good while eating.

5. Keep easy meals in the freezer to use when you feel hungry. If other people offer to cook for you, let them. Don’t be afraid about telling them what you can eat. Keep healthy snacks for nibbling if you get the urge.

6. If you live alone, you might want to look into “Meals on Wheels” to bring food to you. Ask your doctor or local social service agencies about “Meals on Wheels.” This service is available in most cities and towns.

7. Add butter or margarine to your meals. Mix canned cream soups with milk or half-and-half instead of water. Drinking milkshakes between meals may help keep caloric intake high. Add cream sauce or melted cheese to your vegetables. Some people find they can drink large amounts of liquids even when they don’t feel like eating solid foods. If this is the case, take advantage of each glassful by making drinks enriched with powdered milk, yogurt or honey. A weight gain supplement in gel tab form may be a lot easier to manage. It can also help in making you hungry so you want to eat.

8. If the foods you like no longer taste good, try new foods and use different methods of food preparation.

9. Avoid spices and coarse foods such as raw vegetables, dry crackers or nuts. Remember that acidic foods and liquids can cause mouth and throat irritation. As you start to heal from the radiation you may be able to slowly add these types of foods to your diet.

In conclusion, be patient and focused on the task at hand. It is a task. Weigh yourself often to keep track of your progress. If you are doing what is suggested and you still are not gaining weight, ask your physician or dietitian for help.

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The Power of Resistance Training in Older Adults

The number of men and women over the age of 65 represents approximately 12.5% of the US population. This growing segment of the population faces multiple age related changes in body composition that can lead to reduced quality of life and ultimately severe injury. As the body ages muscular power, strength, mass, and endurance all decrease. While these changes are taking place the resting metabolic rate decreases, body fat levels increase, and bone mineral density decreases.

These changes can cause deterioration to the extent that daily functionality is impaired or impossible. In these cases taking part in everyday activities increases the risk injuries to the hips, spine, and or wrists. At this point the individual is caught in a vicious cycle, injury is extremely possible with movement, but without movement further deterioration will occur. Reaching this level can be avoided by maintaining a proper level of fitness and nutrition throughout life.

While the potential health risks associated with resistance training for the older adult, OK so you are not an Olympian, will need to be evaluated the rewards of resistance training are nearly endless. Resistance training has been shown to provide older persons significant improvements in muscular strength, power, mass, and endurance while reducing body fat levels. Possibly more importantly bone mineral density has been shown to increase in response to a properly designed resistance training program; the bones adaptation is a multifaceted reaction that requires proper hormonal and nutrition balance for maximum results.

Your life is based around a few basic movements, these movements when put together one after another or used at the same time result in the complex movements necessary for everyday life. An evaluation of your squat, bend and twist your body core, lunge, and walking gait will reveal a great amount of information that a fitness and wellness professional can use to compile a proper training program.

It is my opinion that the average training program for an aging adult should include elements of strength, endurance, and balance training. This combination will provide proper stimulation of the neuromuscular system resulting in the maximum quality of life gains. For the severely deteriorated a program may simply start with basic movement strength exercises, while for the silver Olympian a program may start with advanced balance and strength exercises.

Either level of participant should be able to get great results in or out of a gym, for those of you who do not want to go to a gym there are plenty of fitness tools and toys to provide you an excellent workout at your home, these include a multitude of bands, balls, strings, and balance toys. Proper training should be obtained from a fitness professional before using any of these toys.

Although you may reluctant to start a resistance training program one should realize that the potential benefits of resistance training include improvements to musculoskeletal health that cannot be obtained through other forms of exercise. Regular participation in a properly guided and designed resistance exercise program will reduce the risk of injury while improving self image and confidence. Get out today, find a proper fitness professional, start your resistance training program, you will not regret it!

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