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Food & Nutrition

7 Tips For Looking Younger

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Ever since Eve took that first bite of the apple, the human race has been obsessed with beauty.

The truth is we begin the aging process just as soon as we pop out of the womb. Every day of our lives our bodies slough off and regenerate new cells. The speed at which that process takes place when we are children is vastly different as we get older.

Every day you are bombarded daily with commercial messages and beauty tips that attempt to lure you into believing that the most recent miracle drug is just what you need to fight off the ravages of Mother Nature.

We are living longer as a whole. Singularly, that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your perspective.
The best route to natural beauty and healthy skin is to take care of what you have. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The truth is that your skin takes a beating from the environment every single day. Here are some of our favorite beauty tips for keeping your skin fresh and healthy:

1: Stay hydrated and do it with plenty of water! That does not mean soda, caffeine or any other type of liquid, even if it is low cal. Soda (even diet soda) has a high concentration of sodium. Sodium retains fluids. You need fluid that will hydrate and flush your body free of toxins. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses a day!

2: Protect your skin from harmful ultra violet (UV) rays. We all love the sun. We love being in it and we love having a beautiful tan. The truth is you can poison yourself with too much sunshine. UV rays cause skin cancer and if that isn’t bad enough it causes your skin to age faster than it should, contributing to unsightly wrinkles. If you must play in the sun, make certain you are using an adequate sun screen. Don’t leave home without it!

3: Keep your skin clean. Use a soft warm cloth. Skin does not require scrubbing. You will do more harm than good if you do.

4: The best cure for wrinkles is to never have them in the first place! If you are like most of us, you didn’t listen to your Mom when she tried to tell you to stay in the shade, stand up straight and stop squinting!

5: Eat healthy. Knowing how and what to eat, can make a huge difference in how you feel. Improper eating habits can cause depression, weight gain, illness and an overall lethargy.

Weight gain causes your skin to stretch. As you get older, it loses it’s elasticity and you’re left with sagging skin.
The best solution to this is to maintain a proper weight.

A rule of thumb for eating habits are…don’t eat more calories than you consume. Don’t go one single day without doing something extra and physical for at least 30 minutes per day. This can be three ten minute walks. Or 30 minutes of vigorous aerobics, or 12 minutes of weight lifting and 18 minutes of walking.

6: Don’t worry, be happy. A happy outlook appears to trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins relax the cardiovascular system and cytokines which alert the immune system to pay attention in detecting abnormalities like cancer cells. Listen carefully to yourself. If you have put yourself down since childhood, over a lifetime, negative subliminal messages can take their toll by turning you into a pessimist. Spend one week writing down the phrases you use in your “self talk.” Chances are you will find that you repeat a dozen or so phrases over and over again that reinforce that negative image. If you know about them, you can change them. Outer beauty and inner joy go hand in hand.

Here are a few quick tips for increasing joy, hope and optimism that will work no matter what your age:

Make a list of at least 50 great things that happen to you every day.

Laugh a lot. You’ll heal your body and your mind.

Discover a new challenge each month.

Try meditating for just five minutes each day.

7: Sex After 50 – Ha! How many of you jumped ahead to this section?

The importance of physical intimacy actually depends on the couple. An alarming number of men used to give up on sex after 60 and many women used to feel that their sex life ended with menopause. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Sex at middle age can actually become better and more satisfying than ever before. Maturity gives a couple more experience in lovemaking. The children are usually grown and left home. The pressures of building a career and day to day life are usually less stressful than in younger years.

Is beauty really skin deep?

The answer is yes and no. It’s a paradox, isn’t it? True beauty begins from the inside out. Don’t you wish there was some way to “wriggle your nose” and regain that soft skin you had as a child? Well, until someone comes up with the true “Fountain of Youth” we are stuck with what we have.

Just remember that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting old.

Food & Nutrition

How to Make Pesto With Any Kind of Green

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For a long time, I lived under the assumption that you could only make with basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. If you wanted the famous green sauce but didn’t have one of those ingredients, then you were just straight out of luck.

Also check out: Organic Food For A Better Environment And Health

I’ve since learned that that is very much not the case. What I love about cooking is that it isn’t scientific, like baking. If you make a cake and mismeasure or use baking soda instead of baking powder, you could end up with something inedible. But if you add an extra clove of garlic or a bundle of dandelion greens to your pesto even though the recipe didn’t necessarily call for it, it will usually still be excellent.

In fact, as long as you follow a very basic recipe template (nuts + cheese + greens + oil), a delicious pesto is completely within reach. You can truly use any variant of these ingredients. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and even peanuts are all fair game in the nut department. As far as cheese goes, it’s entirely up to your preference. Feel like using aged cheddar instead of parm? Then do it! You won’t regret it. And your greens can be anything—they don’t even have to be leafy. Peas, broccoli, and avocado all work wonders in the sauce. Once you’ve assembled these ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and any other flavoring agents you desire), all you have to do is blend everything together. It really is that simple.

Take a potentially delicious chance on your next pasta by giving one of these 13 alternative pesto recipes a shot. They’ll teach you that no matter what ingredients you have on hand, you can always make a yummy pesto sauce in seconds.

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Food & Nutrition

Bulk Up on Fiber Facts and Whole Foods

Fiber is actually not a nutrient and it doesn’t provide the body with energy or calories

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Fiber is actually not a nutrient and it doesn’t provide the body with energy or calories. It’s also not digestible or absorbable by the body, but its health benefits earn it the designation of “phytonutrient.” Fitness professionals know that the “average American” (which includes many of our clients) likely isn’t taking in enough fiber. But what is fiber? What are its benefits? How much is enough? And how can fiber help clients meet health and weight goals? That’s a lot of questions! Here are some simple answers about this complex carbohydrate.

Fiber in a Nutshell—or an Apple Skin

Fiber is what gives plants their shape and structure, and it’s found only in plant foods, not animal-based ones. The shape and structure of fiber is what gives our body, most importantly our gastrointestinal tract, the bulk that provides many benefits. To reap the many benefits of fiber such as maintaining a healthy weight, satiety, glucose control, cholesterol reduction, cancer prevention, and gut health from prebiotics, boost your intake of plants.

America: Falling Short on Fiber

In 2014, the average American intake of fiber was only 16 grams per day. The recommended intake of fiber is 25­­­–38 g per day. That’s a big disparity! Women should aim for 25 g of fiber per day, and men should target 38 g (or 21 g for women and 30 g for men daily for those over the age of 51).

Consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds will increase fiber intake. The growing trend of increased plant-based intake (as in flexitarian diets—an expansion on the practice of Meatless Mondays) will hopefully increase the intake of fiber in the American population.

Whole Foods: The Best “Package” for Fiber

In spite of its many health benefits, fiber is not a cure-all that many seek from products, but it is a healthy focus when trying to improve overall health. In fact, it is one number I recommend paying attention to on the food label. I typically recommend paying more attention to reading the more important ingredients list, eating intuitively and eating more whole foods versus the numbers. When people focus on eating whole food versus looking at numbers, they are naturally more satisfied.

Over the years as refining and processing foods has become more prevalent, fiber has become less available in prepared products. This is even more of a reason to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Take the apple-versus-applesauce-versus-apple-juice example:

  • 1 medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 g of fiber; while
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce contains 1.4 g of fiber; and
  • 4 ounces of apple juice contains 0 g fiber!

Juicing—a popular trend—actually eliminates the fiber from the vegetables and fruits because juicers extract the fiber-filled pulp. And it’s not just fruits that contain more fiber when they’re not processed: The same holds true for soybeans versus tofu. A 1/2 cup serving of soybeans contains 5 g of fiber, whereas 1/2 cup of tofu only has 1 g of fiber.

It is recommended to receive your fiber intake from whole foods over fiber supplements or fortified foods. The foods that contain fiber also contain many other nutrients that a supplement may not contain. Research also shows that a fiber supplement may not have the same power of increasing satiety or managing blood sugar and cholesterol as the whole food does. Fiber-fortified foods may also cause more gastrointestinal issues.

There is not a box, powder or cleanse that you can purchase that will do for you what eating whole food can. Save your money on products and put it into real food. It’s the most beneficial way to reap the produce’s full nutrient and phytonutrient benefits.

Two Types of Fiber, Many Rewards

There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are beneficial and provide different perks. All plant foods contain a combination of both insoluble and soluble, but some have a higher amount of one over the other. Take the apple/applesauce/juice example again: The skin of the apple is a source of insoluble fiber, and the inside flesh contains soluble. The juice contains neither. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not. Fiber’s solubility is what determines its benefits.

Insoluble fiber is cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Although insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, it does retain water and helps waste and toxins to move through our system more rapidly. Increasing plant intake usually allows us to feel better and have more energy as it helps the body naturally detoxify. Let your intestines, kidney, liver, and spleen work!

Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as cauliflower, green beans, and the skin of fruits. It helps with colon and breast cancer prevention, regularity and constipation prevention and diverticulosis. The indigestible parts of the plants are also prebiotics for our gut health to feed the probiotics.

Soluble fiber like glucan, psyllium, gum and pectin become gummy substances when water is added—for example, when chia seeds are put in liquid to make chia pudding. This gummy quality allows it to bind to cholesterol, helping the body excrete it. This is also how soluble fiber helps slow the rate at which blood glucose rises—it slows the absorption of the glucose into the bloodstream.

Foods such as oats, beans, apples, carrots and flax are sources of soluble fiber, and they help to promote satiety, a healthy weight, cholesterol reduction and blood glucose control.

Encouraging Clients to Boost Fiber Intake

Many people begin an exercise program for weight loss, then find that they have increased hunger. This is due to increased energy expenditure. One way to help keep hunger in check is increasing fiber intake. Not only does fiber contain zero calories, but the foods that are high fiber are also lower in calories and fat than many other foods.

Caution not to go overboard as there is too much of a good thing. Too much fiber may cause constipation and decrease nutrient absorption. Increase fiber intake gradually and also increase water intake to prevent constipation.

Tip: Fiber is not recommended right before a workout as it may increase gastrointestinal upset. Focus on adequate fiber intake in the meals and snacks post exercise or training.

Easy Ways to Fiber Up

A great place to start with increasing fiber intake is by using the plate method, which includes filling half your plate with vegetables and fruit at each meal. The plate method is a more realistic way to track portions for a healthy weight than measuring cups or counting calories. Another method is to aim for the recommended 5 servings (or more) of vegetables and fruits per day. Tips to add more fiber:

  • Choose whole grains with 3–5 g fiber per serving. Look for whole grain breads, brown rice and oats, and consume the whole intact grain versus milled.
  • Enjoy a vegetable or fruit serving with each meal or snack.
  • Add beans to soups, stews, pastas, omelets, salads and casseroles.
  • Have oatmeal versus dry cereal at breakfast, and toss in some whole fruit chunks or berries.
  • For sandwiches, add bulk (no pun intended) with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, peppers and other garden favorites. If you’re not a vegetable eater, getting them on your sandwich makes them easier to consume.
  • Prefer a grain at snack time? Try popcorn versus crackers.

A Quick Guide to Fiber Counts

Here’s a reference that will give you and your clients a good idea of how much fiber is in some popular foods.

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Food & Nutrition

Organic Food For A Better Environment And Health

Organic food is produced by farmers to emphasize renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water

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You must have heard about organic food, haven’t you? What do you know about it? Imagine if your spinach, broccoli, carrots, celery, apples, oranges, pears, and other fruits and vegetables on your table do not contain chemical substances. A healthier body will be yours ever.

Also: Why Am I Gaining Weight When I Eat Healthily?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic food is produced by farmers to emphasize renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. This food is produced and processed without using any synthetic ingredients or chemical substances which can disrupt the balance of nature.

Do you know what that means? Yes, organic food production is better for our environment.
Meanwhile, organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products are produced by not using growth hormones and antibiotics. Wow, that’s supposed to be healthy and safe for your body. Consuming organic food is indeed an investment to a healthier life in the future. Making it a daily menu for the family is a healthful idea as well.

What is the standard of organic food?
The USDA has established a set of national standard that “organic” labeled food must meet. One of them is the farm condition, whether it follows the rules necessary to meet the USDA organic standards. For instance, there must be no prohibited substance for 3 years on land. Certification to the companies that process or handle the organic food before it reaches local supermarkets or restaurants is also required.

How to tell if certain food is organic? See a label on the food package or watch for signs in the supermarket. Costly, yet healthy. Unfortunately, you may find that organic food is rather more expensive from non-organic one. One of the reasons is organic food needs more farmers to handle the production as they weed, for example carrots and onions, by hand.

So it’s clear than consuming organic food is not simply about eating. Again, it is a future asset. Not only is it beneficial for our environment but also for our health, our family’s health.

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