Helping Women be the most Beautiful, Inside and Out

Posts tagged ‘fruit and vegetables’

Instant Gratification

Ever heard the phrase “Patience is a virtue” ?

 It used to be a common phrase when I was growing up, but is pretty much unheard of today.

Who plants their own fruit or vegetables and waits for the harvest anymore? That’s what grocery stores are for.  Though it is a wise choice to raise your own crops, if you have the land, especially with food prices constantly rising.  Not to mention the taste of your own fresh food is so much better than store bought.

Ever made your own clothes?  It is rather rewarding to choose fabric that you like and a design that is unique to your own tastes, then making it with your own hands.  Does anyone even use sewing machines anymore?  I have one, but rarely use it just for small seam repairs.  Or how about spining fiber into yarn to use for kniting?  Do people still knit or crochet today?  Maybe, but not like in my grandmothers day!

Patience was a way of life. Now we have no idea what that is.

Wonder why?

Our modern society is into instant gratification. We are used to everything being at our fingertips.

Some examples of instant gratification:

Instant tanning (who wants to spend hours in the sun?)

Digital Photos (no waiting to develop film)

Microwavable or fast food (who wants to cook full meals anymore?  who has time?)

Audio Books or Videos (no one likes to read more than a page of text)

Pain pills (to treat symptoms instead of the cause)

Remote controls (can’t even move 5 feet to switch channels anymore)

Plastic Surgery (quick results, but don’t always meet expectations)

Liposuction (quickest way to loose weight)

Winning the lottery or any gambling (the odds are against you!)

The problem with instant gratification is that it can produce longterm disappointment when immediate expectations are not fulfilled.  It tends to make us loose patience, or become unthankful for things that take time to produce.

Delayed gratification has its rewards:

Relaxing with a good novel vs. watching a condensed 2 hours movie version (allows you to use your imagination, and read at your own pace)

Home cooked meals  vs. pre-cooked, ready-made

Healthy prepared food vs. quick junk food

Picking fruit from your own tree vs.  store-bought, under ripe fruit from out-of-state or country

Improving your looks and health through better nutrition and regular exercise

Treating the cause of a health problem and eliminating it naturally and permanently

Full time education to produce a career vs. low paying job due to lack of experience

So many things in life you just can’t shortcut on.  Relationships including marriage and parenting are the most important things in life that require longterm patience, and are the most gratifying.

Life is full of rewards when we take time to enjoy each and every minute.

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PMS Relief

Some of the funny definitions for P.M.S. are:

  • Putting up with Men’s Shenanigans (g rated version)
  • Part Monster Syndrome (what I call the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome)
  • Punish Men Severely (payback time for all they’ve done all month)
  • Purchase More Shoes (shopping always makes you feel better, doesn’t it?)
  • Pass my sweatpants (for the bloated feeling)
  • Perpetual Munching Spree (sweet tooth working overtime)

Putting fun aside ladies, we know this time of the month is anything but fun!  Right?

Premenstrual Syndrome can be a very tough time for many.  Even though it is a natural part of the menstrual cycle it can be very painful, either physically or emotionally or both.  Symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even from month to month.  I can remember having severe back pain and cramping one month, then the next month extreme irritability and little to no physical pain.

Some common physical symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • breat tenderness
  • migrane headaches
  • cramping
  • acne
  • bloating
  • food cravings

Whereas the emotional symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Aniexty
  • Fuzzy headed
  • Mood swings

Without relieve we just make ourselves and those we love most miserable.

So what can we do about it?

Dietary Suggestions:

  • Decrease intake of fatty foods and red meat
  • Increase Calcium in your diet
  • Reduce the use of sugar and salt
  • Eliminate caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness
  • Increase foods that are rich in potassium, like broccoli, fish, and beans
  • Eat smaller portions and more frequently to help stabilize your blood sugar
  • Eat alot more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish
  • Avoid alcohol

These natural remedies are also commonly used to relieve PMS symptoms:

  • St. Johns wort
  • Wild yam
  • Dandelion
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin E
  • Uva ursi

Last but not least:

Exercise and relaxation are both very important in decreasing the affects of PMS

So eat healthy, get plenty of exercise and relaxation so you can stay away from those seven dwarves of PMS!

Curb Your Appetite

Want to know a great appetizer, that goes with any meal?  WATER!

I know water doesn’t sound very appetizing, but the multiple benefits greatly out way the tasteless, aroma-less drink.

Water is a precious gift of nature.

Water flushes our bodies of impurities and toxins.

Water clears up our complexion.

Water helps in the digestive process.

And so much more…

The human body is on the average about 60% water.   So water is essential to life.  A person can go days, weeks and even months without food, but cannot go more than a few days without water.  We lose water daily through sweat and urination so it needs to be replaced regularly in order for our organs to continue to work properly.

Concerning diet we are always told to be careful “what” we eat, and that we shouldn’t eat this or that.  Which is important for a healthy lifestyle.  But one thing that I’ve found very interesting is that it is not only “what” you eat, but  “how much” you eat that can be a big problem.

You’ve heard the phrase “Your eyes are bigger than you stomach”.   Meaning your cravings cause you to eat more than your stomach can handle.  This is especially true when the food “tastes sooooo good!”    Another bad habit is when we eat too fast we don’t realize when we are full, and we end up overeating.

What happens when we overeat all the time is that our stomachs stretch out of proportion.  Like what happens to a balloon when you blow it up, then release the air,  it never shrinks back to its original size.

This is the problem when people get their stomachs stapled.   They have to eat much less or else the stomach will stretch out again.

This is where “water” can help.

Water makes a great appetizer!  When you start to feel hungry, before you open the refrigerator door, try drinking two 8oz. glasses of water FIRST. You will find that water will fill you up so that you will not be tempted to over eat.

Next time you feel like a snack try drinking a glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes and see if you still feel like snacking.  Then if you’re still hungry try a light healthy snack of fruit or veggies.  If the water curbed your appetite then you may have just been thirsty and not hungry.

Staying hydrated with water should be a high priority in your over all health plan.

And if you think water is a little too bland for your taste try adding a slice of lemon to give it a little flavor.

Plus lemons help with the digestion and eliminate toxins as well!

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

Know your ABC’s

You started to learn the alphabet approximately the time you learned to walk, but how about the ABC’s of Vitamins?

Granted we all have different genetics that play a factor in our health, but there are basic nutritional needs that all people commonly have.

It is extremely importance to be in-tuned to your body’s specific needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of our bodies and necessary for our growth, vitality, and well-being.

We all know that we need at least the recommended amounts of vitamins from the food we eat, like 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, right?.   But most of us tend to be in a hurry all the time, so we grab a bite wherever and whenever we can.  Unfortunately the majority of convenient foods have little to no nutritional benefits.

Seriously, does anyone faithfully eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day?  I know I can barely squeeze in 2 to 3 decent meals a day.

The other problem we have is that when do cook we tend to over-cook the food to where the vitamins and minerals get lost before we even put the fork to our mouth.

Thus the invention of vitamin supplements! 

Notice they are food “supplements”, not food “replacements”.   I can’t emphasize enough that you should always get vitamins and minerals in the purest form from the food you eat first!   Then IF you may lack anything in your diet you can add supplements.

Specifically for “Beauty” it is important to get your “A, C & E” vitamins daily.

An important thing to know is that vitamins taken internally (from food or supplements) go to the internal organs in need first, and rightly so.  That means if your body doesn’t have enough nutrients for the whole body’s needs then  your skin, hair, and nails will be the ones to suffer most.  So what can you do to get the necessary nutrients to those areas?

Well have you ever noticed that most conditioners for your hair have added vitamins, and botanicals?  That is because your hair can absorb the nutrients it needs from the surface.  It is the same with your skin, that is why it is so important to use vitamin enriched cleansers and moisturizers.  The nutrients applied  to the skin will directly benefit those specific cells that need it.

Vitamin A (retinol, carotene)

Some of the benefits include: aids in proper function of immune system, helps treat ance, wrinkles, helps remove age spots.

Beautywise: This powerful antioxidant is essential for growth and renewal of skin cells.  When applied to the skin it boosts the production of collagen.  Best sources are:  Fish Liver Oil, carrots, eggs, and dairy.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Some of the benefits include: promotes clarity, heals wounds, burns, helps prevent common colds.

Beautywise: This vitamin builds collagen, that makes skin look healthy and youthful.  Best sources:  Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, berries, potatoes, and peppers.

Vitamin A and C together are the most important to keep your skin healthy and subtle.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Some of the benefits include: protects lungs from the environment,prevents blood clots, heals burns, and can help lower blood pressure

Beautywise: This antioxidant builds and maintains healthy skin tissue.  Best sources: Wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, soybeans, cereals, and eggs.

Did you know there is a Vitamin F?

It is Fatty Acid!

Yes there is “good fat” that your body needs, it is necessary for supple skin and soft shiny hair, and helps prevent cholestrol deposits in the arteries.

Best sources:  unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils like olive oil and avocados.  Also omega-3 fats found in  seeds (like flax seed) and nuts like peanuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds.  Carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and water are also necessary nutrients for energy, organ function, food utilization and cell growth.

Knowing the ABC’s of health and beauty is as important as it was to learn the alphabet and how to walk!

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

Aging Gracefully

Beauty only Skin Deep?

How Sweet It Is!

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.

 

Related Articles:

A Healthy Way to Eat

How Sweet It Is

 

 

 

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.  🙂

Related Articles:

How Sweet It Is

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Secrets Made to Share

One day my girlfriend overnighted, and as good friends do, I offered to let her use my shower.  Upon showing her where the towels and toiletries were I was surprised by the reaction on her face when she looked around at all the mostly full bottles of expensive Shampoos, Conditioners, and Cosmetics collecting dust on my counter.   (I’d rather not mention any brand names for obvious reasons).  “What’s the deal?” She said in a puzzled voice. “You have all these awesome products sitting here that look like you haven’t touched in years.” 
Her second reaction to my response was even more surprising.  I explained that I, by much trial and error, had found alternate products that work better and cost less.  Then I offered her to take as many of the expensive dust collectors that she pleased.   Thinking about it for a moment with a raised brow and a fixed stare, she said “I have noticed lately that your hair has more bounce, less friz and more shine.  What’s your secret?”

Now that I had her curiosity up I said  “You really what to know?”

I don’t buy expensive beauty products anymore because they just don’t do the trick for me.   

Take just Shampoos and Conditioners for instance, I’ve bought every famous name brand there is on the market, and at first they work great but after a few uses I notice that my hair looks dull and lifeless again.  So I would put that aside and try another, that is why I ended up with a whole shelf full of partially used products.  Ever notice the ingredients on the labels of most conditioners and anti frizz products, like wax and alcohol?  (No wonder my hair was so dull and lifeless!)  Frustrated from spending so much money and not finding a single product that worked for me, I searched for alternate remedies and found them right under my own nose, and around my own house.  Not only products for my hair but my skin and more. 

I’ll let you in on My Secret.

Here are just a few of My Favorite Secret Beauty Products you can make at Home:

Hair Repair. If you have dry or damaged hair here is a great recipe to help revive your hair’s natural shine and bounce.   Mix 1/2 ripe banana, 1/2 ripe avocado, 1tps extra virgin olive oil, and 3 drops of lemon oil.  Mash the banana and avocado into a creamy texture then blend in the olive oil and lemon oil. Work the mixture into your dry hair (not wet).  Cover with a shower cap, leave on for about an hour. Then rinse it out.  You’ll need to use a comb to get all the little particles out.  Then shampoo and condition as you normally would.  

If your hair is really damaged repeat this treatment up to 3 times a week until your hair is back in shape. (This is one of my favorites, smells good enough to eat!)

Note-Avocado is rich in natural moisturizers for the skin, making it an excellent ingredient for any homemade natural skin care recipe. An avocado contains Vitamin A, C, E, potassium, iron, as well as a host of natural emollients.

 

Makeup Remover.  Instead of expensive creams, use olive oil!  Works great to remove eye makeup and it’s good for your skin too. Just store some in a small jar or medicine bottle.  It also works great as a moisturizer for dry skin, and absorbs in quickly.  I hear that Baby Oil works good too.   Just have to squeeze alot of babies to get enough oil! ( just kidding moms!)

   

 

Facial Cleanser. Here’s a quick and inexpensive facial cleanser recipe using milk and honey.  Mix 2 teaspoons of warmed honey with 2 tablespoons of whole milk.  Rinse your face and massage cleanser in for a few minutes, then rinse off and dry.  Only make enough to use right away, it doesn’t store well.  (this is so sweet!)

 

Peppermint Toothpaste.  Mix 1tbsp of baking soda and 1/4 tsp. of pepperment extract with a dash of salt, stir until it has the consistency of toothpaste.  Then brush away.  ( Notice that most store bought brands have baking soda in them, they must have figured out the secret!)

 

Other:

Baking Soda, not just for Baking. You probably already know that an open box of Baking Soda will keep your refrigerator smelling fresh. 

But did you know it works good for kitty litter boxes too?  You can also sprinkle it on your carpets to eliminate odors, just leave it on for about a half an hour, then vacuum. 

Clear a clogged drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot vinegar.  Give it several minutes to work, then add 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water. Repeat if necessary.

For more extraordinary uses of Baking Soda check this out!

Try Before You Buy Offers.  Not sure if you are going to like a product before you buy it?   We know Coctco and Sam’s have free samples of food, but what about beauty products?  Many Companies offer free trials of their products, with no obligation to purchase.  Here’s one for anti aging skin care products for example, there are many more out there. 

I’ll be adding more in the future so stay tuned.  I’d love your comments, and any secrets you’ve got to share.

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