Environmental Stress Relief…

 Environmental stress ladyChronic stress is damaging to every part of our body. Few of us may be aware that even if we are having a stress free period, our environment may be disrupting our calm state of mind. Our brain is hardwired to detect stress in other people. This goes back to prehistoric times when our flight response was necessary for survival. We are extremely sensitive to anothers heavy stressed out breathing which can release a number of unnecessary hormones. In our world filled with so much technology, stress can even be transferred via e-mail, texting and social media inEnvironmental dog general. If the message is curt it will be absorbed by us at an unconscious level. On the other hand if we are extremely stressed, holding or even petting an animal can lower blood pressure. Most animals have an extremely calm energy field which can easily be transferred to a person just by mere closeness. Studies have shown a strong interaction between the two energies resulting in a  lowering of the heart rate for the individual.


Healthy Weight Loss Tip #20…

Ordering in a Restaurant…                       
Restaurant orderingOrdering a meal in a restaurant can be a difficult task especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet. Some menus are laden with so many choices, some of which can be quite unhealthy. Staying on track can be even more difficult if you are dining with a group. An easy way around this is to scan the menu, pick out those items that you feel are the most nutritious and be the first to order when the waiter arrives. Being last to order after having listened to everyone’s choices can become a tremendous distraction especially if you are hungry. You may find yourself swayed into ordering a meal or items that you would have avoided in the first place.


Farro is considered an ancient grain. “Ancient Grain” is a term used by the Whole Grain FarroCouncil to indicate that a particular grain has remained largely intact from the time of our ancestors. I am referring to a time period of as much as thousands of years, as opposed to grains that have been modified or cross-bred. It is also known as emmer wheat which has been passed down to us from the Eqyptians and later given the name farro by the Italians who cultivated it and also used it as a daily staple. It continues to be used in Italy for risotto dishes because of its ability to remain firm and keep an al dente quality. This is not the case for most other countries where it wasFarro Egyptians replaced with durum wheat. High fiber content make it a complex carbohydrate that breaks down and supplies energy very slowly. Farro, like most ancient grains, also has a good supply of protein. If you feel you may have a sensitivity to our present day wheat, it may be worth trying Farro. It is also lower in gluten, although not suitable for people with Celiac disease. Try substituting it for brown rice dishes whether it be cold salads or stuffed peppers.

“Sugar in the Morning, Sugar in the Evening, Sugar at Supper Time”…

Sugar tv dinnersThat particular song, with the above title, was released in the early 50’s. It was at that time the food industry began their big push on processed foods. Women were entering the work force. TV dinners, packaged cookies, frozen breakfast meats were all introduced to make life easier. Since at that time, mostly women prepared meals, the purpose of these products were to relieve the stress of having to provide healthy eating for the family. To make all these foods more palatable and have a longer shelf life they were loaded with bad fat, salt and especially sugar. We now know that cutting back on the amount of sugar we consume will eventually lead to weight loss and in turn prevent many diseases. When it comes to losing weight most people assume you must cut out carbohydrates. Do we need to cut sugar or carbohydrates? Is there a distinction? Is it necessary to cut out all carbohydrates?Sugar grains It helps to understand what exactly is classified as a carbohydrate before a generalization like that can be made. Do all carbohydrates turn to sugar? Are all forms of sugars the same? Every carbohydrate must be broken down into a simple sugar before it can be absorbed and used by the body. So what foods are classified as carbohydrates? A simplified way to look at this is basically every thing that grows in the ground is a carbohydrate. Whole grains take longer to break down as opposed to grains that are more Sugar rootrefined. When a grain is refined the bran and germ are removed and all that is left is the starchy endosperm which quickly turns to sugar. However this does not mean that these different forms do not have a purpose. Whole grains give a more sustained energy and keep blood sugar levels at an even keel throughout the day. Refined grains such as white rice and pasta give a quick surge of energy. They usher glucose into the body at a quicker pace, which has its benefits after a strenuous workout when the body needs it immediately. Nuts, seeds andSugar leafy avocados are all basically carbohydrates but they also contain good amounts of healthy fats. The fat present in these foods gives a feeling of fullness. Fats also aid in helping the body absorb minerals and vitamins. Beans and legumes are carbohydrates but have a nice amount of protein which makes them a source of energy while also providing a vegetarian source of protein. Any vegetable that grows underground (root vegetables) has a higher sugar content than any vegetable grown above ground (leafy greens). Leafy greens have some protein, are very Sugar dairylow in carbohydrates but high in vitamins and minerals and are extremely important for blood purification. Both root and leafy vegetables contain soluble and insoluble fiber which keep everything moving throughout the body at a healthy rate while pulling anything toxic out of the system. It is usually more beneficial to combine one from each category since they have the ability to enhance flavor in the other and also create a better balance in sugar distribution. Some fruits can beSugar packaged extremely high in sugar. However unlike fruit juice which is pure sugar, the fiber in fruit can slow down the absorption of the sugar content. Dairy products are another source of sugar. All dairy contain lactose a form of milk sugar. But here again the fat and protein content make these products more balanced. Since 75% of carbohydrate consumption is used for brain function, 25% for muscle movement and red blood cell production it is important to recognize carbohydrates as a necessary macronutrient. It is also important to re-evaluate the type of carbohydrates you are consuming and when to use them for your benefit. If you decide that excessive consumption of carbohydrates could be the cause of retaining unwanted weight, try to first eliminate all heavily processed, packaged foods. Then take stock in the amount of protein and healthy fats you are consuming to see if you are eating a balanced diet.


Fitness Tip…Learn your Clock

 sand timerWe are all biologically different. The way or what we choose to eat is not the same for everyone.  It stands to reason that the time slot where we feel the most energy is also individually unique.  Some trainers suggest training in the morning around 10:00 is the best time. Others suggest late afternoon when the body has gained momentum. The truth of the matter is that we all get our strongest surges of energy at totally different times. Track when your body feels the strongest and most energized and see if that can coincide with the activity you love. It may occur at a time when you are at your job and may not be convenient, so make full use of that period on the days that you are not working. Becoming aware of your inner clock can produce the most benefits.


Mango Gazpacho…

– 2 cups diced mango
– 2 cups orange juice mango gazpacho
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 seedless cucumbers diced
– 1 small red bell pepper diced
– 1 small onion diced
– 2 garlic cloves minced
– 1 small jalapeno pepper diced
– 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
–  2 tablespoons chopped parsley
– Salt and pepper to taste

– In a food processor mix mango, orange juice and olive oil
– Place in a large bowl, mix in all other ingredients and refrigerate.

Great for outdoor parties…
Taken from 2004 USA Weekend by columnist Pam Anderson

Fitness Tip – Add don’t Subtract…

Try ridding yourself of the notion that in order to lose unwanted weight it is necessary to subtract fruits and vegetablesmore and more foods from your menu. Instead, go in the opposite direction. Add and replace your present foods with a more nutritious version. Add more healthy fats. Include more foods that have an abundance of fiber. You may find that you are actually consuming more food while your weight is being reduced.

Linen Flax…

Linen is made from flax, another traditional fiber crop which needs few chemical fertilizersLinen dress and less pesticides than cotton. Less chemicals and pesticides protect our waterways. It is biodegradable and can be grown in cold climates as well as off season. Because it is recyclable it can later be made into paper and used as insulation in the auto industry. Besides being extremely strong the older it gets the more comfortable and cooler in warm climates it becomes.

Collard Greens, Raisins and Orange Juice…

collard greensIngredients:
– 1 Large bunch of collard greens
– 1 large onion
– 1 box mushroom sliced
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 1//2 cup raisins
– 1 cup orange juice
– Olive oil
– Fresh parsley


– Remove all stems from greens and slice leaves in thin ribbons 1/4 inch wide and wash
– Saute onion in olive oil until light brown
– Drain greens
– add to onions with mushrooms, vegetable stock, parsley-cover and cook for 15 minutes medium flame.
– Add raisins and orange juice- cook for another 10 minutes.

Hip and Healthy in Humidity…

outdoor kidsSummertime is short and the perfect time to spend outdoors. Should we wait and put off starting a healthy way of eating until September? Or should we simply work our menu to include all that we love by upping the quality of what we eat? Potato, pasta and rice salads are usually filled with mayonnaise. Why not substitute olive oil and one of the many interesting vinegars available now on the market. My personal favorite is pear infused white balsamic vinegar. Not only will this choice avoid the risk of food spoiling in the heat, you will Outdoor quinoagive yourself a healthy dose of Omega 3 from olive oil and feed the probiotics in your intestines with the vinegar. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes and at the same time receive the benefit of a shot of vitamin A as well as beta-carotene. Try using whole grain pasta, brown rice and quinoa instead of their white counterparts. Check out one of the many organic frankfurters available now without food coloring or preservatives. Use a good quality organic beef or turkey for your burgers. “Organic outdoor ice teaPrairie” is just one of the many new companies working towards eliminating food dyes and preservatives. Try mixing tuna or salmon salads with avocados, a little mustard and some dried cranberries. Boil a big pot of tea add fresh lemons, limes, oranges, fresh mint and sweeten with Stevia (taken from sunflower leaves) or Xylitol ( derived from wood pulp) and chill. However, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the instant versions which are usually filled with artificial flavors, sugar and colorings. Buying seltzer water and adding these sweeteners can also fill the need for a sweet drink instead of a cola. Cut up fresh fruit especially melons if you are invited to a friend’s outdoor melonsbarbecue or gathering and would like to bring something. Sweet mangos and watermelons can be as sweet as some sorbets and as satisfying. Of course, just because food is made with healthy and nutritious ingredients does not mean that it is always low calorie. Pace yourself. Moderation and mindfulness are still something to strive towards. And the ultimate key to any healthy meal is P&P=PLANNING AND PREPARATION!