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Posts tagged ‘diet’

Eat like a King

A King’s Banquet
You’ve all heard about the extravagant feasts and banquets of the Medieval Era and the Renaissance Period? Right?

Let me take you back to the begining of the Renaissance period, to 16th century England.  Let’s say you’re a Noble, and you’ve been invited to the King’s Royal Banquet.  What would you expect to eat?

Their elaborate meals consisted of three, four, five, and sometimes even six courses.  In those days the lifestyles of the “Rich and Famous” meant over-indulgence of food and fun.  Hmm, I guess not much has changed today in that respect.

King Henry VIII, for instance, ate a vast variety of meats and game such as:  roasted meats, usually a pig or boar, beef, venison, lamb, goat, rabbit, poultry, also such delicacies as Swan, Peacock, and grilled Beaver Tails.  Seafood was also popular for the nobles such as: fresh and salt water fish, ranging from herring, salmon, eel, whiting, cod, trout, and crab, oysters, mussels and cockles. Only the very rich could afford fresh meat all year-round, so the abundance of meat at every meal was a status symbol in society.  

It seems that the only foods that Henry and his court didn’t consume in excess were vegetables, and fresh fruit, which were considered the food of the poor.  Vegetables made up less than 20 percent of the royal diet.  The desserts that were enjoyed were Marzipan (a mixture of almond paste and powdered sugar), pudding and spiced fruitcake to name a few.  

All this abundance of food was topped off with large quantities of wine and ale. 

Little was known in that time about nutrition, so the Noble diet lacked such things as Vitamin C and fiber.  This led to a variety of health problems which included bad teeth, skin diseases, scurvy and rickets to name a few.

Let’s fast forward to modern times, shall we? 

Are our eating habits much better than those of the Middle Ages?  We tend to either eat too much, not enough or not the right kinds of food at the right times.

Eating habits can differ drastically between cultures, families and lifestyles.  But did you know that there is a daily eating habit that is proven to be the most healthy and beneficial for all?  There are actually times when it’s best to eat like a bird, and times it is best to eat like a horse, and not gain weight or starve yourself.  Sound interesting? 

We’re not going cover specifically what you should eat in this article, just what proportions are best at what times of the day. 

Eat like a King at Breakfast

The Biggest Meal of the day should be eaten in the morning.  This is when you need energy the most, and your body will burn off the calories throughout the day.  You need some carbs and protein, and a little fat. Your body is more glucose tolerant, in the morning, after going 12 plus hours without food, so you don’t want to have sugary cereal or too much sugar in your coffee.   A healthy breakfast should include carbs to ensure fullness for longer. Whole wheat bread, white meats, eggs, low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits are excellent choices. Don’t forget fiber too, like oatmeal, yum!

Eat like a Queen  at Lunch (or a Prince)

Lunch should be a lesser portion than breakfast, but nutritionists will tell you to eat a bigger lunch than dinner. It is better for your metabolism.  Salads with lots of fresh veggies are a great choice.  For sandwiches it’s best to use whole wheat, or grain bread, and hold off on the chips or fries.  To avoid the urge for fast foods try bringing some leftovers from home.  Remember not to eat heavy foods, you don’t want to be caught snoozing on the job after lunch break! 

Eat like a Pauper at Dinner

Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day and should consist of mostly protein with some complex carbs, such as vegetables. If your used to making a big dinner for family and friends, just limit the proportions.  Eating a big dinner settles and turns to fat because usually you do less activity later in the evening.  There are some controversies on this, but my advise is not to eat less than an hour before bedtime (especially high calorie foods), or your stomach and thighs may not forgive you! 

This way of eating may seem foreign to most of us because of our hectic lifestyles.   We barely take time for breakfast in the morning, as we’re rushing off to work or school.  We rarely eat a nutritious lunch, as fast food has become the norm.  Then in the evening we make a big dinner for the family, or eat out.  

Important things to consider for a healthy diet are:

  • Portion sizes — waiting to eat could lead to consuming larger portion size
  • Quality of food — healthy choices vs. unhealthy
  • Excessive snacking — may lead to excess calories from sweets, or fast food options
  • Health concerns — consistent periods of going without food followed by large meals can negatively impact the interaction between your blood sugar and insulin and make you more vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful I didn’t live back in the days of Henry VIII, whether rich or poor, their diet and lifestyles were anything but healthy. 

Now you can go to sleep poor, and wake up rich for a long and healthy life.


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A Healthy Way to Eat

We could learn a lot from the way people in the Mediterranean area of the world eat, as they seem to have the least health problems overall of any country in the world.

Though there are about 16 different countries surrounding the  Mediterranean Sea, there are many similarities in diet, which include: high olive oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish, low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate wine consumption.

More than any other food ingredient, olive oil is what represents the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil has an excellent flavor and is also the most nutritious type of oil,  containing a very high level of monounsaturated fats (good fat).

Here is a diagram:

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Getting plenty of exercise daily
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats like olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Eating eggs a few times a week
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional, good for the blood)

The foods listed on the bottom of the pyramid can be consumed in greater quantities, but those higher up should be eaten more sparingly.

Researchers have found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a significant decrease in body weight, blood pressure, blood fats, and blood sugar and insulin levels.  The list goes on to  include: preventing heart and cardiovascular diseases, reducing the risk of cancer  (especially breast and colon) and diabetes, reducing Hypertension, protection from Alzheimer’s disease, and has anti-inflammatory properties, and rich in anti-oxidants.  Wow! Amazing isn’t it?

These  health benefits contribute to a longer life expectancy than that of people who follow a Western diet.

But being on a Mediterranean Diet  means not only choosing the best foods for your health, but also knowing what foods you should avoid.

Today there many artificially hydrogenated products and derivates with trans-fat that did not exist fifty or sixty years ago: especially in fast foods and junk foods (they don’t call it ” junk” for nothing!)

Try to always choose products with 0% of trans fats, which are responsible for increasing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the good one (HDL).

Notice that sweets are near the top of the pyramid, so limiting them to weekly instead of daily is best.  Sugar is dangerous not only to your weight but your over all health. (see article below)

We are creatures of habit and bad habits are hard to break.

But we can be healthier with small changes, a little at a time.  Once your body gets used to eating healthy it will not crave foods that are not good for it.

Did you know that food cravings are your body trying to tell you want it needs?  Problem is alot of junk food is designed with protein markers, but no protein, to trick the body into thinking it is getting what it needs. Sadly they are designed that way to get you to buy more product.  So we  fool our body’s into thinking that bad food is good for us, and because it doesn’t get the nutrients it needs it craves more, and the cycle continues.

Try giving your body the real deal instead like fruit when it craves sugar, or nuts when it craves potato chips, and so on.

Those little changes will do a world of good for you and your family’s health and well-being.


The Mediterranean diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and emphasizes the importance of spending quality time enjoying meals with family and friends.

As I said we can learn a lot from them.  🙂

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Inch Your Way to a More Beautiful You

As you probably know most diets don’t work and some are even dangerously unhealthy.

When you talk about loosing weight, you usually are focusing on getting thinner, right?  Like being able to comfortably fit back into your favorite pair of jeans without having to suck your tummy in and hold your breath just to zip them up.

Many people give up on diets and exercise when they don’t see a drop in their weight.   Now this may sound kind of strange but you can be thinner without actually loosing weight!

When you lose body fat, you lose inches, but not necessarily pounds. Muscle, or lean tissue takes up less space than fat so you can actually lose body fat while gaining muscle.  Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches.

Proper Mindset– A big mistake people make when dieting is that they focus on their current weight, they say things like “I’m trying to loose weight”, the last thing they said was “weight” so they keep seeing themselves right where they are at, and no change happens.  Instead say, “I’m getting thinner”, and you will.   It really works!

Also avoid saying things like “I will NOT eat that piece of delicious chocolate cake”, that is mental torture!  Just saying that makes you want to go out and satisfy that craving.  Don’t focus on what you “CAN’T” have,  picture in your mind what you “CAN” have.  Replace the images in your mind, and speak those things.  Instead say something like, “I am going to eat a delicious fruit salad”.  See the difference?

If you have a goal to develop a thinner, healthier body, forget the scale.

Instead; eat healthy, avoid junk food and sugar, exercise regularly, get good sleep, have your body fat measured periodically, and check how comfortably your clothes fit.

Whether your goal is to fit into your current clothes better, wear a smaller size, or increase your energy by becoming leaner, remember to pay more attention to your inches instead of focusing on those pounds!

Keep your goal in your mind, and don’t loose sight of it.

Picture yourself where you want to be and don’t focus on where you are.   Just like when driving a car, how can you ever make it to your destination if you keep opening the door and looking down at the ground where you are?

Inch your way to a more beautiful you.

Leave the scale behind, first be thin in your heart and in your mind.
The further you look ahead the faster you will get to your destination. 

For some great secrets to healthy weight loss check this out!

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Where you going?

How Sweet It Is

Throughout history, food has been scarce, so in order to ensure survival, humans have been conditioned to eat as much as they can whenever food is available.  Feast or Famine! overeating sweetsUnfortunately, when food is abundant and rich in calories, as it is today, the results can be detrimental to one’s overall health and wellbeing.  Now obesity has become a growing problem (no pun intended).    It has become an epidemic!

Recent statistics show that 30% of children in the US are obese, and 50% of adults. Overweight adolescents are starting to suffer problems that used to plague mainly middle-aged adults — early heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Do you ever see obesity in the Animal Kingdom? biggiraffe

Quite Obsurb isn’t it?

Or is it?

What about in domestic animals? dalmationbigkitty

What is the cause?

I’ll give you a big hint… We tend to feed our pets what we eat!    Quite sad isn’t it?

I would say this could be considered cruelty to animals!

In humans it can start from something as seemingly harmless as using sweet treats as a reward for you children. That sets them up for to reach for “comfort foods” when they feel like they need comfort throughout their lives. And will lead to being unhealthy and overweight.  Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders.

Ever heard of ADHD?

Lack of exercise and overeatingfat-childrenYou constantly see “fat free” or “low fat” labels on just about everything these days, but is it really fat that is the problem?

There are good fats that our bodies need, and there are bad fats.

But no one ever tells you that “sugar” is one of  the main culprits in weight gain, as well as a multitude of health problems.


Refined sugar gets called “white death” for a reason: it’s one of the worst things we can do for our immune system, weight, and total health.  And it is addicting.  The more you eat it the more your body will crave it.  So beware!sugar

What about artifical sweetners are they any better for you? Did you know that the discovery of sucralose  (Splenda) was by sheer accident?  A scientist was initially testing ingredients for an insecticide.   But thought he’d been instructed to “taste” not “test” the chemical compound.  What a surprise, huh?   Similarly aspartame and saccharin were found accidently.

What about Energy Drinks? Most people are already consuming too much energy, which is why there’s an obesity problem in the first place.  Think about it:  Is it a lack of incoming sugar that’s causing you to be tired—or is it that you’re consuming too much of it in the first place?  If you are not burning it off by with regular exercise, it just turns to fat.   Also the caffeine in energy drinks acts as a diuretic and promotes dehydration, the opposite of sports drinks (like Gatorade) that help in hydrating the body.

enerygy drinksEnergy drinks brag about how good they are for you because they contain so many vitamins, but have you ever noticed how much sugar is also in them?   One teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams.  In an 8.3 fl oz. can of Red Bull  there is 27 grams of sugar, so that is almost 7 teaspoons of sugar!  Try putting 7 teaspoons of sugar in your next cup of coffee, and see what it does to you.  Yuck!  There are other energy drinks and sodas that have even more sugar, not to mention the caffeine content.  Think about what this does to your body.  Check the label next time you reach for your favorite drink, you may have second thoughts.If you feel you need a boost, wouldn’t it make more sense to reach for an unsweetened beverage that contains only caffeine—like a cup of black coffee?  Too strong, add a little creamer, or just one teaspoon of sugar. Women on the average should eat no more than 100 calories of  processed sugar per day, or six teaspoons (25 grams), while most men should keep it to just 150 calories or nine teaspoons (37.5 grams).

What are the alternatives? Brown sugar is better than white, but it does have a stronger flavor that may be hard to get used to, and is actually sweeter so you’ll  want to  use less.

Before there was sugar, people used honey as a natural sweetner. honeyHoney is composed of two main sugars, levulose and dextrose. These sugars do not need to be broken down by the digestive process, so honey is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, giving a quick energy boost to the body. It also contains protein, vitamins and minerals, but no cholesterol.   It is natural energy – so it’s almost the perfect food.  In fact, honey kills bacteria more effectively than some antibiotics. And also helps it draw excess fluid from the blood stream, lowering blood pressure. Honey, if taken on an empty stomach with water and lemon, reduces obesity and weight.

Please note You should not feed honey to an infant under one year old. Honey is known to contain botulinum spores, and these spores can develop into bacteria that produce botulinum toxin inside your child. The reason why botolinum toxin affects infants, but not older children or adults, has to do with the immaturity of an infant’s intestinal flora. As adults, we carry a large number of beneficial bacteria in our intestines.  In adults and children over one year of age, these good bacteria out-compete and eliminate bad bacteria.

Another alternative is Agave Nectar. That is what I use.  I like it better than honey because it has a lighter flavor, and thinner texture.  But it is a bit more expensive and harder to find in the stores.

Maintaining your health and the health of your family is most important.

There is nothing wrong with having sweets once in a while, just best to limit them in your diet.   For me, I cut back from having 2 teaspoons of sugar in my tea (less caffeine than coffee) to 1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar and downsized from 4  cups a day to 1 or 2.  If I feel like something sweet I’ll have a couple of cookies instead of a candy bar.  My big splurge is I treat myself maybe once a month to a small Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.  Hmmm, how sweet it is!

Always best  to check the labels on everything you buy to see how much sugar is in them.  Also check how many servings are stated on the label, that can be deceiving, as you think a whole drink has 20 grams of sugar and find out that it says 2 servings per container, you are actually consuming 40 grams (10 teaspoons of sugar)!

If you can cut back on sugar, and maintain that disciple you will be amazed how much better you feel and look.  And you will eventually also stop craving sweets altogether.

The best rule of thumb to remember:     All Things in Moderation!

Now that is Sweet!


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Mrs. Jekyll, Mrs. Hyde?


You all know the horror story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, doesn’t it seem that it should have been about a woman, not a man?  

It starts out subtle so you barely notice the change, but those around you can see the strange transformation.  

If you are a woman in your late 40’s, and are wondering why it seems that everyone around you is acting crazy, it would be a good idea to take a look in the mirror.  Is it them or is it you?    As I look back at myself I can see what a monster I had become. 

  • Do you get overly angry or frustrated more than normal, or for no apparent reason? 
  • Do you feel depressed or feel like crying when nothing has caused it?  
  • Do you get hot flashes in the middle of the day, or wake up soaking wet in the middle of the night?  
  • Are your periods becoming irregular, either closer together or farther apart?  Or have you missed a month or more?  

If any of these apply to you then you are probably starting to experience the wonderful change of life called “menopause”.  And you thought PMS was bad!


Why didn’t my mother warn me how menopause symptoms would effect me, or even worse the affect on my loved ones?  Probably because she had a hysterectomy early on and hadn’t experienced them herself.  I just wish I would have been warned so I could have prepared for the changes both emotionally and physically that I would have to endure.  Well the good news is that I survived it, and let me tell you there is hope for you too, you are not alone!   Menopause is not a disease, it is that which occurs as a part of a woman’s normal aging process.  It is the reverse stage of puberty.

Once you understand what is happening to you then you can gain better control over it. 


The hot flashes never bothered me, it was the emotional highs and lows that were the biggest challenge.  I am so thankful my husband stuck with me during those rough 10 years.  I know I made his life miserable.  There were times I felt he was provoking me to get angry, but in reality it was my hormonal changes that magnified my emotions.  Any little comment or statement was blown out of proportion in my mind causing me to over react.  The worst part was I didn’t even realize it until later.  Can you relate to this?

Not every woman experiences bothersome levels of these effects, and even in those women who do experience strong effects, the range of effects and the degree to which they appear is very variable from person to person.  All the various possible effects are caused by an overall drop, as well as dramatic but erratic fluctuations, in the levels of estrogens and progesterone.

Though I am not an expert in this field, I have experienced it myself and live to tell the tale.    There are a lot of websites out there loaded with great information, and remedies.  For me I prefer the natural treatments over pharmaceutical ones, or hormonal therapy treatments (that can cause other health issues).  Here is a site I found for a natural botanical alternative medicine that contains all natural herbal extracts developed to ease the transition and provide effective Menopause Symptoms.

What happens during menopause is that estrogen levels decline,  influencing everything from bone to heart health to even fat retention in your body.

Here are some lifestyle changes that can help correct hormone imbalance and menopause symptoms:

High-quality multivitamins and minerals are very important to improve health, increase energy and sharpen mental health.   To protect your bones you should take calcium daily, and vitamin D. 

You’ll also want to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.  Fiber from these types of foods can help control blood sugar and blood pressure levels, cholesterol, and even your appetite.

A well-balanced diet is strongly recommended – women who eat cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna (3 times a week), organic meat and poultry, whole grains, fruits and vegetables tend to live longer and have healthier lives.  Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements can help maintain your hormonal balance and also in weight loss.


Make gradual changes in your daily diet. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fats and refined sugars – foods like soda drinks, alcohol, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, candy and pizza.  These foods may give you quick energy, but they give you very few nutrients and you probably will end up having a craving for more of these foods. StepAerobics

Increasing your physical activity with exercise is important to help correct hormone imbalance symptoms.  Exercise has several benefits including reducing stress levels, helping you control your weight, improving sleep, reducing depression, reducing risk of heart attack and lowering blood pressure.

A regular daily regimen of at least 30–45 minutes of brisk bicycling or using a treadmill, stair climber or any other fitness equipment will reduce your risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes.

You’ll be amazed at how invigorating it can be to exercise. Aerobic exercises are important for women because it elevates your heart rate, giving your heart and lungs a good workout.


Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily is CRUCIAL to clear waste and toxins from your body. It also lowers your levels of histamines, which will reduce your allergy symptoms, water retention, and help prevent kidney stones and dehydration.  Water lowers concentrations of various toxins and makes their effects less critical. Water is the best inner cleanser and can  be considered one of the natural menopause remedies.

Learn as much as you can from experts. 

Take good care of your health, knowing that it is just a stage you are going through. 

Be aware of your emotional changes and perception, don’t allow yourself to become Mrs. Jekyll one minute and Mrs. Hyde another.    

Remember your loved ones are not the cause, keep your family relationships sweet, and they will help you through it.


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Eat 5 A Day To Keep Doctors Away

People Who Eat at Least 5 A Day

Are More Likely To Be

Lean, Trim and Healthy


Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Eating plenty of natural foods also makes you less likely to fill up on heavily processed foods, which tend to be high in unhealthy fat, sugar, and salt.

Eating 5 A Day is linked to lower blood pressure rates:
In one study, people with high blood pressure were given a diet that included 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. In just one month, they experienced significant blood pressure  improvements.

Some research suggests that eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables:
Could reduce the formation of cataracts, symptoms of asthma, and even the rate of birth  defects.

Studies show that each portion of fruit or vegetables you eat a day:
Lowers your risk of coronary heart disease by four percent and the risk of stroke by six percent

Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective:
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables could reduce the risk of deaths from all chronic diseases by 20%. This expert report, reviewed more than 4,500 worldwide research studies.

International scientists confirm:
That nearly one-third of all cancers could be prevented by eating more fruits and vegetables. This includes breast, colorectal and gastric cancers. Your diet is the second biggest predictor of whether or not you will develop these diseases. Only smoking is more dangerous.

People who eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop diabetes.

Studies show that each portion of fruit or vegetables you eat a day lowers your risk of coronary heart disease by 4% percent and the risk of stroke by 6%.

Get your daily dose of vitamins naturally with some of these foods:

Vitamin A: Dark green vegetables such as spinach and watercress, and yellow, orange and red fruits such as carrots, tomatoes, dried apricots, sweet potatoes and mangoes

Vitamin B: Walnuts, avocado and bananas

Vitamin C : Fruit and vegetables including berries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach and broccoli, tomatoes, peppers

Vtamin E:  Avocado, nuts and seeds, and green leafy vegetables

Adding such important nutrients to your diet is so simple, and delicious!

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 A Healthy Way to Eat

How Sweet It Is

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