Monthly Archives: August 2014

Healthy Ways To Cook Vegetables And Not Sacrifice Flavor

Eating vegetables can be very beneficial to you in a lot of different ways. As you include more vegetables to your diet, you get to protect yourself from certain types of cancers, heart disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.

What’s more, these food sources are packed with nutrients and vitamins that will give you an added boost of energy. On top of it all, being healthy inside can make look younger, healthier and more attractive on the outside.

Sadly, a lot of people do not like to eat these healthy and nutritious food sources. To them, eating vegetables is a chore that they need to do, in order to stay healthy and fit.

For the most part, they consider vegetables as an unfortunate yet essential part of their meal. But little do they know, vegetables can be really delightful and gratifying.

Vegetables can be cooked and prepared in a variety of ways, from boiling to roasting. Unfortunately, not all of these cooking methods can create appetizing and healthy vegetable dishes.

Luckily, though, this guide can help you learn the best techniques in cooking healthy and sumptuous vegetables.
A good sign that vegetables are properly cooked is by looking for a very bright and vibrant color. When the color is dull or dark, such as, the case with green beans or Asparagus it’s a sure sign that they are over cooked.

Without further ado, here the healthy ways to cook vegetables without sacrificing flavor:

Steaming Versus Boiling

Boiling is by far the easiest and most convenient way of preparing a vegetable dish. In this cooking method, all you need is a cooking pot filled with water. To add more flavor to the dish, you may add a small serving of salt and spices to your vegetables.

Although boiling is simpler and easier than other cooking methods, it may not be ideal for health buffs as well as those who want to savor delicious vegetables. Basically, boiling water strips some of the essential nutrients of the vegetables you are preparing. What’s more, it leeches the flavor from your vegetables.Healthy Ways To Cook Vegetables And Not Sacrificing Flavor1

Steaming, on the other hand, allows you to cook vegetables without losing their nutrients and vitamins, furthermore, it helps the vegetables retain their delectable natural flavor. If you want additional flavor from your vegetables, try sprinkling in a dash of salt, some garlic or any favorite spice.

As with boiling, steaming is fairly convenient and easy, even for someone with little to no experience in cooking. To steam vegetables, you just need a good and reliable steamer. But if you do not have a steamer, you may use a pot with a steaming basket.

Baking

There are some vegetables that can retain more antioxidants, flavor, and nutrients when baked. Peppers, eggplants, broccoli and asparagus, for instance, are healthier and more delicious when they are prepared in this method.

Roasting is a great option for Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts.

Sautéing

Sautéing, or also referred as stir-frying, is without a doubt, one of the healthiest ways to prepare a vegetable meal. In sautéing, the vegetables are cooked in a very high temperature while being stirred by the cook. Since the vegetables are cooked in a high temperature, sautéing quickly cooks your vegetables and reduces the loss of nutrients and vitamins.

As far as the taste goes, sautéing won’t compromise your vegetables’ flavors. As a matter of fact, sautéing can retain the vegetable’s natural flavors better than steaming and boiling. In addition, it blends fairly well with spices and seasonings.

But unlike other cooking methods, sautéing requires you to keep an eye on the prepared vegetables at all times, or else the vegetables will burn quickly, and lose their flavors and essential nutrients.

Microwave cooking

Microwave cooking prepares and cooks your vegetables in a very rapid and efficient manner. This, in turn, causes minimal a loss of nutrients and antioxidants in your vegetables. In addition, this cooking method does not sacrifice the flavor of your vegetables or dish.

Solid Advice On Achieving A Fit Body

Although many people want to improve their fitness level, the majority of them do not know how to start. The information in the article below offers many great tips that are simple enough to help you get started with your fitness routine. Use the fitness advice here if you desire to be healthy.

Do you not have a large amount of time you can devote to working out? Split your workout by dividing it into two separate sessions. Try cutting your total work out time into half or thirds. If you cut your work out into half, do the first session early in the day and the second half in the evening. If you break your work out into 3 sessions, do the middle session near lunch time. You can do two different types of workouts if you want, which will help to keep things fresh.
In order to avoid hitting the fitness center twice in the same day, you might try getting one workout in at the fitness center and then doing another one elsewhere.

If you want to improve your overall fitness, start counting your calories. By counting the calories you consume each day, it can help you lose weight. Your fitness program will get really productive if you limit your calorie intake to your maintenance level and increase your calorie usage by working out.

Don’t spend more than one hour lifting weights. Muscle wasting can begin in as little as an hour after starting an intense workout. Be sure to keep your weightlifting sessions to no more than one hour.

The frequency of your workouts depend on exactly what you are trying to achieve. If larger, more powerful muscles are desired, you need to strength train less frequently. However, those aiming to be lean, mean, and defined will more frequently stress the muscles in a strength training session.

You can reduce your chance of injury which walking by making sure you are in proper form. Walk with your back straight and your shoulders down. Your elbows should be at your side, making a 90 degree angle. When you are walking, the arm that is in front of your body needs to be on the opposite side of the foot that is in front. So if your left foot is in front of your body, your right arm should be as well. You heel should hit ground before the rest of your foot rolls forward.

Try exercising during all of your favorite television shows in order to help you continue to lose weight. You can use commercial breaks as opportunities to workout. In addition, when you are sitting on your couch, try performing light weight training. You will always find some amount of time to squeeze a workout in, no matter how busy you are.

You can hire a personal trainer that can help you stay motivate, that is their life! Personal trainers have a wealth of experience to draw from. A personal trainer will ensure you see results, although they are not for everyone.

Conquer the exercises you don’t like by doing them more often. It is believed that people tend not to do exercises in which they perform poorly. The best way to conquer a weak exercise is to practice it regularly.

Sit ups and crunches are not the full answer when it comes to getting ripped stomach muscles. Exercises that work your abs only strengthen muscles, not burn off belly fat. To get yourself a set of washboard abs, you must start eating better while doing resistance and cardio training.

You can maximize your workouts by controlling your breathing. While attempting crunches or sit-ups, try to breathe forcefully at the highest point of your shoulders. This forces your abs to contract and helps build them up faster.

Try counting in a reverse fashion. Instead if counting towards the number of repetitions you do, try counting backwards from how many you wish to do. It makes your workout seem easier. It is also very motivating.

Start your work outs by stretching and exercising lightly the same muscles you worked on yesterday. This is an easy way to work on muscles that are tired expending very little effort.

You should feel terrific and happy after working out rather than depleted of energy. To be effective, your workout should involve cardiovascular exercises like aerobics or running. If you have enough energy, it is a great idea to include strength training exercises for all muscle groups.

Video games have become a fun way to get in shape and stay fit. Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution are two of the many games available, to help you exercise while using your video game console.

When you are looking for athletic shoes to use during your workout, buy them at night. Your feet are at their largest size at this time of day, this will ensure that your shoes will fit comfortably when you are exercising.

Lift light weights fast to help build strength. This causes your muscles to use more force than lifting heavier weights. Select weights that amount to roughly 50% of your total ability.

To succeed at improving your level of fitness, you must start with a plan. Use all the ideas laid out here to create goals and to get started toward a fitter you. If you are not sure where to start, do not feel discouraged. This advice will point you in the right direction.

Juicing To Reduce Stress…Sounds Oxymoronic, Right?

Almost every adult and child alike has experienced bouts of stress at various points in their daily life. For most, this is taken in stride until it is no longer possible to do so, and when this happens it almost always affects the health conditions. It is important to reduce stress, as a state of stress produces high levels of cortisol – which can be responsible for a variety of health conditions. It is responsible for inhibiting insulin production and can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. When the health begins to falter, many have turned to juicing to reduce stress as a solution. However, just the simple act of juicing as an activity can cause stress. The cleaning, the preparing, the juicing and then the cleaning again!

So How Can Juicing Reduce Stress?

Apple, cherry and blueberry ingredients have been known to be good health boosting elements where the flavonoid can facilitate better lung functions and with this optimum breathing position the ideal amounts of oxygen is then able to be circulated well with the body system thus relieving any internal pressures felt when stress levels are high and this eventually helps to lower the stress levels.

Fruits like berries, apples and cherries contain antioxidants and can contribute to relaxing the arteries. Leafy greens contain calcium and magnesium which are both really great for proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. Citrus juices can help boost immunity and keep the body’s natural resistance fortified when bacterial and viral infections are present in the environment. When adrenaline levels increase, the body requires more vitamin C and since the body cannot produce vitamin c on its own, juicing can provide an abundant source of this vitamin.

But What About The Stress Of Making The Juice?

The process of washing, cutting and juicing fruits and vegetables can actually help reduce stress. For some, the act of cutting, peeling, and preparing can shift the mind away from life’s mundane activity to a state of mindfulness. It is well known that mindfulness plays a part in stress reduction.

Also, involving the family reduces the probability of rejection. Kids aren’t that easy to convince, but if they are involved in the process, it can be a heap of fun and a great learning experience.

Take the stress out of juicing and do these simple things to help make juicing enjoyable…every time.

1. Prepare in advance. It helps to prep your fruits and vegetables before you juice them because it will save time. Take the time to wash, peel and/or cut most of what you need for juicing and store in the refrigerator in a clean container that will protect fragile leafy greens.

2. Gather your juicing tools the night before. If you choose to juice in the mornings, gathering the necessary tools and cleaning and organizing them will be useful. It will make the process of juicing a welcome meditation. When things are clean and organized around you, it will feel less stressful.Juicing To Reduce Stress…Sounds Oxymoronic, Right2

3. Clean your tools immediately after juicing. Many people don’t like this part. It’s the messy part, but if you make a habit of cleaning your tools immediately after using them, it will reduce the “clean up” anxiety many people feel.

4. Store your juice in containers that reduce exposure to air and light. It is very stressful to spend the money on produce, and the time to clean and make the juice only to have it lose it’s nutritional value because it wasn’t stored properly, or it wasn’t stored at all. Don’t leave juice out on the counter for too long, it will oxidize and minimize the nutritional value of the juice. Keeping juice in air tight, glass containers has worked well for many and is a great way to reuse containers – which takes some stress off the planet.

What If I Get Sick Anyway?

When the body is stressed, the immune system actually becomes depressed. Including ingredients that contain immune boosting properties can be beneficial during stressful times. Consider increasing the consumption of foods and herbal teas that contain nutrients like zinc, vitamin c, calcium and magnesium to support the body’s immunity.

Of course most people try to avoid stressful situations, but sometimes stress is just inevitable. Managing stress with various foods and juices can be very effective and can be a great way to maintain good health.

The Eight Advantages of Juicing

Maybe the time has come to invest in a juicer and though there are many opinions about the benefits of juicing, personal results vary. On one side, some medical professionals have advised adding fresh foods, and plant based high water content foods daily. Many agree, adding juices can be a healthy and beneficial habit. On the other side, some scientists have not concluded whether juicing provides direct health benefits. It is best to do independent research and find the facts independently, but definitely consult your family’s medical practitioner.

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that consuming a primarily plant based diet helps diminish symptoms related to high cholesterol, obesity and other degenerative diseases and there are many people who have included a healthy habit of juicing and have experienced some life altering results. So, it comes down to these 8 commonly experienced advantages that keep people juicing or adding juice to a daily or weekly diet.

1. Juicing makes nutrients more readily available. During the growing process, plants assimilate the nutrients before they get consumed making many of the nutrients more available for absorption in the digestive track. Try juicing fruits and vegetables that are organic and that have been washed completely.

Juicing is a great way to increase the intake of nutrients and enhance your health. In this video, Joe Cross from Reboot Your Life talks about the health benefits you can enjoy from regular juicing.

Joe calls fruits and vegetables “captured sunlight” and the energy contained in them and their power can be released by converting them into a liquid form − juice. All fruits and veggies are rich in certain properties that become even more active after juicing. For instance, apples are loaded with enzymes, antioxidants and micronutrients that becomes more potent when they are liquefied. Vegetables and fruits in liquid form are quickly absorbed by your digestive system and give a powerful boost to your body.

Joe says that the array of fruits and vegetables lined up on his countertop provide great health benefits as they are high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. These enzymes and micronutrients are perfect for healing many health problems. The other health benefits from juicing include more energy, stronger joints, better sleep and maintaining a healthy weight.

Invite health into your life by incorporating juices into your diet!

2. Juicing can be an effective way to distribute essential nutrients without putting any added stress on the digestive system from processed foods. Try replacing processed foods once a day or once a week to get the advantages of juicing.

3. Juicing is a great way to overcome any dislike for eating raw, whole fruits and vegetables. For some, combining vegetables by juicing them can make consuming them more enjoyable. Try different recipes starting with common ingredients and slowly incorporating more complex flavors or nutrition.

4. Juicing allows for menu creativity. Combining local and seasonal foods can make juices very nutritious and delicious. Visit your local farmers market or health food store to see what is in season. Mix and match ingredients and recipes to plan weekly menus around local, seasonal flavors. Try keeping seasonal veggies together when juicing, it will pack a nutritional punch.

The Eight Advantages of Juicing5. Juices made fresh and consumed immediately contain essential enzymes that processed or pasteurized juices do not. Many agree that fresh is best. It’s just not always convenient. Try to create a habit of consuming fresh juice products that keep the essential enzymes alive long enough to benefit the body’s systems.

6. Juicing at home can be more economically feasible and safer than buying juice. Pre-packaged juices go through many processes that risk oxidation and contamination and can be expensive as a daily or weekly habit. Juicing at home can be less expensive and ensures quality control, so keeping appliances and surfaces clean is essential.

7. Juicing adds versatility to a daily menu. It is normal to desire a variety of flavors and nutrients so eating the same thing each day can not only be boring, but can cause some mineral deficiencies in some people. Try a variety of recipes and ingredients that suit your nutritional needs and taste preference.

8. Juicing organic, non-gmo fruits and vegetables can contain fewer chemicals and pathogens than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Reducing the intake of additional hidden GMO’s and unknown chemicals by juicing local and organic produce can be very advantageous.

So, there are the 8 basic advantages of juicing. It’s not only a way to increase the daily nutritional intake of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it’s also a way to save a little money, and add variety without GMO’s and pesticides.

9 Amazing Benefits of Optimum Nutrition

It does not matter who you are, where you come from, or how you live, nutrition plays a key role in everyone’s life. The benefits of eating right are overwhelming; a diet change can alter someone’s entire life.

Many people ask the question, “What benefits can I expect if I start eating healthy?” Well, the list of the positive side effects of eating right is very long. The top ten benefits you can expect from proper nutrition are listed below, so read on to see what you have to gain.

Follow the Food Groups!

Before you see how healthy eating can benefit you; it is important to know what optimum nutrition looks like and why our body reacts in such a positive way to eating right. The truth of the matter is we need a variety of different foods in our diet; each one plays a special role and provides specific nutrients.

Examples of important nutrients:

Protein
Calcium
Vitamins and Minerals
Fiber9 Amazing Benefits of Optimum Nutrition2

USDA Recommended Daily Servings:

Meat Group: 2 to 3 servings (includes, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts)
Fruit Group: 2 to 4 servings
Bread and Cereal Group*: 6 to 11 servings (includes, pasta and rice)
Dairy Group: 2 to 3 servings
Vegetable Group: 3 to 5 servings

*Please note that the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group is best in the form of whole grains, as white starches are not the best choices for good health. Whole grains are good for heart health and healthy weight management as well, as opposed to the white varieties that tend to pack on the pounds.

Each one of these food groups plays a crucial role in the way your body works, same as fuel and oil for your car, it is a sensitive machine that needs all of the right components to keep running efficiently!

It’s also important to watch calorie intake and stay within the appropriate limits for your body and activity level to ensure good weight management.

The Benefits Of Proper Nutrition

1. Strong bones come from eating a diet rich in calcium: Foods rich in calcium come from the dairy group, and also from green vegetables, such as, spinach. If you are going to be getting your calcium from dairy products look for something with extra Vitamin D as it will help your body take in the calcium easier.

9 Amazing Benefits of Optimum Nutrition5Calcium is also an essential nutrient to prevent Osteoporosis in women as they age, that is caused by weak bones that turn brittle. Make sure to choose low fat and nonfat dairy products, such as, cheese, milk and yogurt to maintain good heart health.

2. Weight control: As long as you are eating properly with a diet rich in lean proteins, low in fat and high in vegetables and staying active you will continue to maintain a healthy body weight.

3. Heart health: If you are concerned with heart health, as all of us should be, the optimum nutrition to that end is a diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit and low in unhealthy fats. When your heart is healthy you can avoid heart disease, high cholesterol and premature death, the fact that heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in the United States makes it one of the most important reasons to eat right.

4. Healthier immune system: When you are eating right you are increasing your high-density lipoprotein, or as it is more commonly known as, good cholesterol. This helps boost the body’s immune system. Also, regular intake of all essential vitamins and minerals goes a long way to preventing various ailments, such as, the common cold.9 Amazing Benefits of Optimum Nutrition3

5. Cancer prevention: There are many triggers for cancer; many of them can be associated with an unhealthy diet. Antioxidant rich foods play a significant role in preventing various cancers. Vitamin C that is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables, including, oranges, grapefruit, bell peppers, and broccoli facilitate the prevention of the growth of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. Additionally, berries, sweet potatoes and other antioxidant rich foods help with cancer prevention as well.

Also, foods rich in Vitamin E, such as, peanuts, almonds and various seeds have been shown through various research data to reduce the risk of stomach, colon, lung, liver, and various other cancer diseases.

6. Good nutrition improves the mood: The truth is that by eating healthy your brain is getting all of the nutrition it needs and your body is satisfied, and this improves your overall mood. Hunger is a major mood killer. Also, eating empty calorie foods, such as, cookies on the other hand, may give you a sugar rush, but when you crash you take your mood with you. Chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain and that greatly improves mood.

7. Brain health: Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body and should be cared for at all times. If you eat properly, you will be fighting off the chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. There are also brain healthy foods, like, walnuts and salmon that can help to maintain optimal memory levels. Dark chocolate provides powerful antioxidant properties, and caffeine that promotes concentration and focus.

9 Amazing Benefits of Optimum Nutrition48. Good nutrition is good for digestion: Maintaining digestive health is another great benefit of eating a healthy diet. A diet rich in fiber helps with whole grains, and green leafy vegetables being your best sources along with drinking plenty of water each day will ensure that you will not experience the typical issues that can occur with the digestive tract.

9. Increased energy levels: When you eat right, your body is getting the fuel it needs to function properly. This means that all of your organs are working properly, and when everything is working properly, you just feel better and have more energy. Imagine how you feel after you eat a donut versus a salad, there is a noticeable difference when the food is nutritious versus empty sugar.