Tag Archives: Fitness

BEVERAGES

Coffee and Tea:

In general, caffeinated coffee and tea are not healthy. In moderation (1-2 cups/day) they are just ok. Many people enjoy a good cup of coffee r tea in the morning. Choose a good Fair Trade Organic coffee and you are better off. For tea, Earl Grey ahs the most healthy properties of all the black teas.

Decaffeinated are usually no better, as the chemicals used in the decaffeinating process are as, or more, harmful then the caffeine. The Swiss Water Process of decaffeination is the cleanest. Swiss Water decaf can be purchased at most grocery stores. Herbal teas are naturally decaffeinated, and are your best choice in tea. You can customize your herbal tea purchases to various individual health needs as well; such as herbal diuretic, calming, energizing, even cleansing for specific organs. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine(unless you buy caffeine free, which is fine), and is by far the healthiest tea you can drink. It contains other healthful properties, such as anti-oxidants and metabolism enhancing ingredients! So, try to like it. We have available to us naturally flavored green tea. My personal favorite is peppermint. A nice evening/after dinner tea is naturally caffeine free Chai or Bengall Spice, with a little honey and milk it is flavorful and gives the palate the sensation of dessert!

Water Flavorings:

Mio, Nestea juice flavored crystals, Crystal Lite, flavored waters…to name a few. These ALL contain chemicals that are harmful to us; artificial sweeteners and color (dye). I recommend avoiding them. Flavor your water naturally! Some ideas are fresh mint leaves, cucumber, lemon or lime…

Emergen-C is the exception to water flavorings. It is a powder that contains vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. It comes in a variety of flavors, and is available at most grocery and drug stores, as well as the Bulk Barn. My personal favorites are the lemon-lime and the pink lemonade. The bulk barn sells them individually; an opportunity for you to try a few flavors!

My absolute favorite drink, hot or cold, day or night, is a honey/lemon/ginger drink. Organic dried ginger can be purchased in bulk at the health food store. Put about 1 tsp in a small tea ball. Add this, along with 2 tsp honey (local, unpasteurized) and no more then ¼ c lemon ( I buy organic in the health food section of the grocery store) in a large cup filled with boiled water. This drink is cleansing, calming, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and very tasty!!

Soda:

Drinking regular pop is like drinking a cup full of sugar, with added chemicals and dyes. It is without a doubt one of the worst things you can consume. Diet sodas are not much better, as they contain artificial sweeteners, as well as dyes. Really, just get off the pop! If you like a bubbly beverage, club soda is fine, as it is simply carbonated water. You can flavor it up with fresh lemon or lime slices, or even a touch of pure pressed cherry or cranberry juice and some stevia(natural sweetener). Zevia is soda pop sold at Sobeys. It is sweetened with stevia. If you find it too sweet, cut it with club soda! Tonic Water is pop, as much sugar as pepsi or sprite.

Juices:

Fruit juice is loaded with calories and fructose (sugar). Fructose is natural fruit sugar, but sugar nonetheless. Sugar, when not burned for energy, gets stored as fat; fructose gets stored the fastest. You are far better off eating whole fruit, adn avoiding fruit juice.

Vegetable juice, as long as it is low sodium, is a good choice. Each ½ cup of vegetable juice is 1 serving of vegetable. You can even buy “high fibre” juices!

Pure pressed cranberry and cherry juice are very concentrated and have no added sugar, so are quite pungent and bitter. They are useful for gout (cherry) and urinary health (cranberry) and also for adding flavor to plain or carbonated water, but they are not calorie free.

Alcohol:

One bottle of beer, one ounce of liquor, five ounces of wine, are all equivalent in calories. It is what you add to them that can make all the difference. Wine is easy, has some healthful properties, and can be diluted with carbonated water to make a spritzer (add ice and lemon too!)

Lite beer is easy, if you like beer, try to drink lite. Most of the imported beer is lite, although it is not labeled as such.

Vodka is versatile; Caesars or Mary’s are tasty and not over the top in calories. It is also good with water (carbonated or not) and lemon or lime. Any alcohol mixed with water and ice is obviously ok.

Liqueurs are OUT. High calorie, loaded with sugar.

PURE WATER, HERBAL TEA, GREEN TEA, HONEY LEMON GINGER DRINK, & SODA WATER ALL COUNT AS PART OF YOUR DAILY WATER INTAKE. ENSURE THAT YOU ARE GETTING ADEQUATE AMOUNTS. THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS CANNOT BE OVERSTATED!!

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HONEY

Use honey for all of your sweetening. Do not touch artificial sweeteners or sugar (natural or not). 1 teaspoon of honey is only 15 calories, and full of health benefits. Read on and you will be sold!

When we look at the word “raw”, we associate it with the preservation of important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Just as raw vegetables are preferable because of their nutritional content, the same is true of honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. The differences between raw and pasteurized honey are substantial. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar.

Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey’s benefits don’t stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Raw honey purchased from a local source is an excellent way of treating seasonal allergies. Local honey is preferred for treating allergies because the likelihood is great that it will contain small amounts of the specific pollens an individual may be allergic to.
Raw Honey is an effective natural remedy for a variety of conditions

For centuries, honey has been used to treat all sorts of ailments. It can be applied topically to heal wounds and rashes, or it can be taken internally to treat infections and address other health concerns. Although there are numerous remedies, the following are popular remedies for common everyday conditions.
For skin burns, rashes, and abrasions, place a honey poultice over the affected area.

Raw honey is also an effective treatment for acne. A small amount placed on blemishes and acne nightly will often clear the skin in a short period of time. Washing your face with honey will also leave you with sparkling, clean, soft skin.

Raw honey’s antibiotic properties are effective in treating colds and sore throats. Raw honey coats the throat and reduces irritation. For blocked sinuses, mix a teaspoon of honey in a pot of hot water, put a towel over your head, and just inhale the steam.

To treat allergies, take a teaspoon of raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season.

The many varieties of honey

There are many varieties of honey, some of which are used to treat specific health conditions. Manuka honey has strong anti-bacterial properties and is used to treat a variety of conditions which include colds, sore throats, indigestion, stomach ulcers, and acne.
Acacia honey cleanses the liver, promotes intestinal health, and reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract.
Buckwheat honey, a strong tasting and dark honey, has strong antioxidant properties. Unfortunately, Buckwheat Honey is very scarce, especially in the United States. An alternative would be Red Gum Honey that also has strong antioxidant properties.
Eucalyptus honey can be used to prevent colds and headaches.
Heather honey has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. This honey contains a high level of protein.
Linden honey is known for its sedative and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

WHAT/WHERE TO BUY HONEY ON PEI

Sobeys- Island Gold

Superstore- Presidents Choice Organics Unpasteurized

Island tailored Meats- Island Gold (jars and 5-10 lb pails)

Farm Gate from your friendly neighborhood/country beekeeper! Ask around…Stan Sandler/Murray River, Liquid Gold, Rustico are 2 sources on PEI

N.B. Stevia is a non toxic, zero calorie sweetener that s not bad for you, and may be used when you are eliminating sugar from your diet completely.

How to use honey (other than the obvious J )

  • Apply honey liberally on a wound to speed healing.
  • Apply honey to a rash, burn or scrape, and cover loosely.
  • A tsp taken 3 times per day can help prevent seasonal allergies.
  • A tbsp of raw honey sprinkled with cinnamon taken 3 times per day can boost the immune system and fight off a cold or sore throat.
  • A spoonful of honey can soothe a cough caused by a tickle or sore throat.
  • A couple of tablespoons of honey stirred into hot tea can lessen the symptoms of a cold or flu.
  • Honey mixed with equal parts coconut oil makes a wonderful skin conditioner.
  • Some studies say that honey can help control blood sugar fluctuations.
  • Raw honey increases the production of antioxidants in the bloodstream.
  • Recent studies proved that honey reduced overall cholesterol levels when taken daily.
  • Honey applied topically to a wound or incision moistens the skin and helps prevent or reduce scarring.

 

Recipe: Homemade Cough Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, scrubbed and thinly sliced (organic please, or buy the organic juice)
  • 6 tbsp of grated ginger root (grate from frozen on fine side of grater)
  • Honey as needed

Directions

  1. In a glass jar, layer the lemon slices and grated ginger until the jar is full.
  2. Pour honey into the jar, using the blade of a kitchen knife to move the lemon and ginger around and make room for it.
  3. Store it in the fridge for at least 2 weeks before using it.  Then, take 1-2 tsp 3 times per day, as needed, for coughs or sore throats

 

You can also stir a few tablespoons of the syrup into hot water for a homemade “Neo-Citran”-style hot drink without all the nasty chemicals. It is delicious as an evening tea; also great for digestion.

When you feel nauseous, drink this instead of sugar laden ginger ale!!

Lemon juice has valuable liver cleansing benefits, and is alkalizing for the body. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, great for digestion and alkalizing. Consider starting your day with this nutrition packed beverage. You can have your CUP of coffee or tea afterwards!

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Brussells Sprouts Chips

Surprisingly delicious…you don’t have to like Brussells Sprouts to like these! Same thing can be done with Kale, which can now be purchased ready to go (President’s Choice Organics)

 

Brussels Sprout Chips

2 cups fresh brussels sprouts leaves (outer leaves from about 2 pounds of sprouts)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive or melted coconut  oil

Sea Salt

spices of choice for additional taste (optional)

 Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash brussels sprouts and trim away the ends of the stems, and peel off the outer layer leaves.  Discard any discolored or wilted leaves.

In a large bowl, mix the leaves with olive or coconut oil.  Season with sea salt and other spices (of choice) to taste.  I used a little garlic powder and a dash of paprika.  You could add a variety of spices to change these little chips up.

Line a large (or two) baking sheets with parchment paper arranging the leaves evenly in a single layer on sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until crispy and brown around the edges.

 

Free food!!

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Dry Skin Brushing

The largest organ in the body, the skin plays a huge role in detoxification and elimination. Dry skin brushing helps to keep the pores in your skin open and thus encourages the elimination of toxins and other metabolic waste products. Dry skin brushing also improves the surface circulation of blood and lymph.

This results in a stronger immune system and an increased ability to bring much needed oxygen and other nutrients to the skin.

The overall benefits of dry skin brushing include, but are not limited to, tighter skin, improved circulation, increased cell renewal, a stronger immune system, and removal of dead skin cells.

What you need:
1 natural, non synthetic, bristle brush or loofah. It is preferable to use one with a long handle so that you can access hard to reach areas.

Method:
It is best to do your skin brushing on dry skin, before showering or bathing, so that you can then wash off any dead skin cells.

Using circular counter-clockwise strokes, begin on the soles of the feet and move up around the ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, breasts/chest and back. Then proceed to the palms of the hands, around the wrists and up the arms and shoulders. You should always be brushing toward the heart. The face and inner thighs are sensitive areas and can be avoided.

The brush should not scratch but you should feel some friction against your skin.

Wash your brush in soap and water every one to two weeks to remove any accumulated debris.

 

 

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Motivation- Anything is possible!

Whether you have given up on yourself or think you are too far gone to accomplish a healthy weight, you need to watch this video; if he can do it, you can!

For the rest of us, this video just gives us a little more motivation….a must see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbVpCc_r9Sw

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23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Watch this short and sweet video, an eye opener!!

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Self Talk for Self Sabotage

 

No One is perfect. There will always be times of moderate to extreme temptation. If we give in to this temptation, we can save the day by balancing out at other meals the extra food group we have consumed.

 

We should, however, always try to NOT give in. Here are a number of conversations we can have with ourselves to talk ourselves out of giving in:

 

1/ NOTHING, I MEAN NOTHING, tastes as good as  healthy/fit feels!!!

 

2/ NO food is going extinct!! It will be there tomorrow, next month, next year, whenever your weight loss journey is complete, it WILL be there.

 

3/ A small occasional treat is ok, IF, and only IF, you can stop at a reasonable amount. If you know that having a little sugar, or a few chips, will lead to a binge, tell yourself this, and don’t even start.

 

4/ Think about how you are going to feel AFTER you have finished eating the badness. Mentally, you feel guilty, remorseful and like a loser (but not a weight loss loser!); physically, you feel drained, bloated and possibly a little nauseous! Doesn’t seem worth it does it???

 

5/ Reading the label on the bad food you are tempted to eat can be a deterrent; chips= 1 gram of fat per chip…Imagine, 10 chips, 10 grams of fat; is it really worth it???

 

6/  Think of alternate healthy choices to satisfy your cravings.

 

Sweet craving- Source dessert yogurt, fruit (with dip even!), vanilla yogurt with 2 tbsp blue menu granola, sugar free pudding, ff/sugar free jello made with yogurt instead of water, a lifewise muffin with jam, Silver Hills toast with honey or jam, a chocolate vitamuffin (freezer, Health food section), Chai tea with stevia and milk…

 

Salty Craving- so you want chips…there are so many alternates!! Popcorn, baked nachos, baked chips, rice cakes, rice crackers, Bulk Barn has loads of baked snacks…cheesies and more…

Rice crackers, thinly sliced cheese or low fat cream cheese, and red/hot pepper jelly can go a long way to satisfy salty, sweet and crunchy cravings!

 

Crunchy craving- you likely can satisfy this (more of a physical thing) by gnawing on raw veg, with dip if you like!! By eating veg, you don’t have to worry about going over on your food groups! Try to have a good mix of green and colored, or just green as colored veg like carrots have more sugar. Choose a light dressing/dip.

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Boost Your Immunity

Cold and flu season ARE here! There a number of things we can all do to boost our immunity:

1/ Take vitamin D, no ifs, and or buts! Vitamin D3 has many benefits, the most profound being its effectiveness at boosting our immune systems. Available in drop or pill form, take a minimum of 1000 iu’s /day. Cod or halibut liver oil contain vitamin D2 and vitamin A. This is a welcome compliment to your regime, but you should still take D3 as it is more easily absorbed by your body.

2/ Omega 3 from fish oil; another must!  It’s anti-inflammatory component benefits us in compounding ways. Take 1000-3000 mgs daily. (Higher end for anyone with arthritis or other inflammatory dis-ease) I like Iceland Purity or Nutra-Sea. With fish oil, you get what you pay for, so don’t look for the cheapest one!

3/ Vitamin C. This water soluable vitamin will flush out what is not needed. We lose most vitamin c in the preparation of our food, and during the colder  months do not have access to fresh, organic produce. Take 1000 mgs/day, with bio-flavanoids (quercitin, rosehip, rutin…). Anyone with kidney issues should avoid this vitamin supplement.

4/ Take a good pro-biotic. We cannot get enough from yogurt to make a real differnece. This supplement is especially beneficial for those with sinus issues. If you do suffer from sinus issues and/or allergies, you should not live without a nedi pot!!

5/ Eat whole, unprocessed food, drink pure clean water, get adequate exercise, and make smiling, laughing and loving a regular part of every day!

Always check with your MD or pharmacist to be sure there will be no contra-indications with other meds you are  on.

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Fun Fat Facts…and a little Motivation!

There is as much fat in one doughnut as there is in 12 angel food cakes!

 If you choose to eat one measly apple turnover you’ll be choosing 17 grams of fat, the equivalent of eating 17 cups of spaghetti!

Reducing caloric intake too unrealistically low targets means that you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly and stay healthy. What’s more, if you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode; it slows your metabolism and tries to hoard any fuel that comes along, with fat being the prime candidate because it lasts the longest in famine. The only thing you do lose on dangerously restrictive diets is your health and self esteem!

Ugghhhh! Cellulite!  Those unsightly dimples! If you’re thinking of using creams, pills or injections to “spot reduce” where fat and cellulite live, think again. You can’t spot reduce fat, no matter where it is. Getting rid of cellulite involves the same process as getting rid of cellulite anywhere on the body; cutting back on the bad fat you consume and getting regular exercise if you are able. You can’t eliminate fat from a certain part of your body by exercising that part alone. Your body doesn’t selectively draw energy from fat stores in the parts being exercised. It draws on fat from all areas. So don’t waste your time and money on miracle pills, potions, creams, or schemes to fight cellulite!, are full of calories, fats and sugar. You’d have to oink out on 200 pretzel twists To consume the 20 grams of fat found in one hot dog!

If you chose to eat 1/2of a cup of French vanilla ice cream, you are choosing 18 grams of fat, the equivalent of eating 450 caramel rice cakes!!!!

You would have to eat 23 whole wheat pitas to consume the 16 grams of fat found in ½ cup of French Onion chip dip!

If you chose to eat 1 ounce of Colby cheese you’ll be choosing a whopping 9 grams of fat, the equivalent of eating 30 bowls of Corn Flakes with skim milk.

Maid Marians for breakfast…think again! A typical breakfast of 2 fried eggs, 1 sausage, hash browns, 2 toast with butter….56 grams of fat! go for a veggie or western omelette, and butter your toast yourself (if you WANT toast). Make sure those homefries are not deep fried!

Granola, granola bars, trail mixes, even though they’re often called “health foods” or all natural  are far form it. The average granola bar ( hold the chocolate chips) derives 52% of its calories from fat.

You may sometimes ask yourself “Why should I bother with low fat food? Nothing comes close to the taste of a nice juicy cheese burger and fries anyway.” Actually, you’ve got it all wrong. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels. Making smart food choices will help change your body for the better. If you change the way you look and feel, chances are the overall quality of your life will improve as a result. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s hard to feel good about the world around you. Poor nutrition can contribute to a poor self image, which affects your mood, and this may in turn affect your personal relationships, your job and your health. So think twice about that greasy burger….your family, friends and co-workers may end up thanking you!

Contrary to popular opinion, the concept of “healthy eating” is not about dietng. Simply put, it’s about changing the way you think about food- permanently!

Healthy eating means choosing to eat less fat more often, enjoying more of the sensible nutritious foods that will help build a leaner, stronger you- foods like grains, potatoes, rice, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits. The healthy eating school of thought suggests learning to love the foods that contribute to your overall well being and that help you to look and feel great. With a little practice, you’ll find that sensible eating decisions become second nature.

 

 

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Thanks and kudos to Alison at LifeWise, for helping me lose the extra weight I had gained in my mid 50s.   Prior to meeting with Alison, I had tried different programs but nothing worked.  She made it simple, teaching me to track my daily protein, starch, dairy, fruit and veggie intake.  This has now become second nature to me and my weight is once again within my own control.  As well, the information and recipes I received were to the point and easy to execute.  I highly recommend her program to anyone who wants to feel comfortable in their own skin again.

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