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it's time to make a permanent change...
it's food!!! it's what you eat!!!

lifestyle diet....


stop thinking "diet" "deprivation" "stop the denial"


start thinking "live - it" with the realization of what we need to think of food as.... "nutrition," fuel for your mind & body & make small consistent & positive lifestyle diet changes!


click here to see coping.org's weight management program!

visit more changes in lifestyle! click this !!!

visit the next level of changes to implement in your lifestyle makeover @ the new more changes in lifestyle site
covering more info that may help you with lifestyle change!


additional nutrition information just for teens!
nutritional information for babies & children is being researched for the emotional feelings network of sites: children 101
be sure to visit the new teen girlz site: angels & princesses - click here for the diet page!

slowly absorb the information....
diet & nutrition info for teens who self care!

changes needed in the teenage diet....

The best sources of the nutrients low in teenage diets are whole grain or fortified bread & cereal products, meat or meat alternates, fruits, vegetables & dairy products.

Meat consumption for the average teen is adequate, but teens need to consume more fruits, vegetables & dairy products. Only about 3 - 4% of teens ever eat any dark green vegetables.

Adolescent boys consume about 1-1/3 cups of milk daily, while girls consume less than a cup.

The trend to substitute soft drinks for milk is partly to blame for teens' low calcium & milk intakes , which put them at greater short-term risk for stress fractures & nutrient inadequacies & at greater long-term risk for osteoporosis.


Several subgroups of teens, such as those who are:

require specialized nutrition services.

11% of adolescent males & 10% of adolescent females are considered obese. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents has increased over the last 10 years & is a public health concern.

Since teenage fat intakes have been decreasing, while energy intakes have remained fairly stable, most authorities attribute the increase in obesity in part to lower levels of physical activity.

Several organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Association & the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports have made recommendations for physical activity for youth.


just too skinny

Over 40% of U.S. teens, especially females, are attempting to lose weight, often employing inappropriate & unhealthy strategies.

Many dieters aren't overweight, but are trying to conform to the thin body image portrayed in the media. However, chronic dieting is often counterproductive, leading to binge eating & little or no long-term weight loss.

Restrictive dieting may lead the most psychologically vulnerable to develop a full-blown eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

An eating disorder requires a comprehensive evaluation followed by intensive therapy with a multidisciplinary team consisting of a physician, a registered dietitian & a psychotherapist.

staying fit is attractive!

Athletics imposes additional energy & nutrient demands on the growing adolescent. Since over 50% of children & adolescents in the U.S. participate in competitive athletics either at school or in the community, health professionals may be frequently called upon to provide sound guidance for sports nutrition.

Nutrition professionals can help dispel many of the myths surrounding issues of hydration, weight loss/dieting & supplement use. The American Dietetic Association issued a timely statement providing specific guidance for dietitians who are educating coaches & teens involved in organized sports.

okay, moms & dads....
what kind of role model have you been in respect to your eating habits for your teenager to learn from? think about it.... are you obsessed with your weight in a negative way? are you an emotional eater? do you skip meals? do you take the time to eat with the entire family?
eating is an experience.... it's an opportunity for us to be "good" to ourselves... be a good role model for your teenager.... show them by what you do... the right way to think of food!

eat more fruit!

Health Tip: Develop Healthy Eating Habits

A few simple changes can make a big difference

(HealthDay News)  If you want to lose weight, feel better or simply eat healthier, adjusting your diet is the best place to start.

Try these suggestions for healthier eating, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Don't skip breakfast & make lunch your largest meal of the day.

  • Begin each meal with a low-fat starter such as salad, soup, broth or just a glass of water.

  • Replace soda or sugary drinks with natural fruit juice, skim milk or water.

  • Replace some dietary sugar with no-calorie sweeteners.

  • Reduce the amount of alcohol that you drink.

  • Stick to healthy serving sizes.

  • Include more fruits, vegetables & whole grains in every meal.

  • Eat slowly & you'll be less likely to eat more than you need.

Diana Kohnle

slowly absorb the information....

How much of each food group do I need?

Check out the chart below to find out how much teen girls need from each group.

Mix up your choices within each food group.

picture of fruits

Focus on fruits. Eat a variety of fruits: whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried, rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. Try melons such as cantaloupe, berries such as blueberries & citrus fruit such as grapefruit. Teen girls need 2 cups of fruits each day.

picture of vegetables

Vary your veggies. Eat more dark green veggies, such as broccoli, kale & other dark leafy greens; orange veggies, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin & winter squash; & beans & peas, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas & lentils. Teen girls need 2½ cups of vegetables each day.

picture of calcium-rich foods

Get your calcium-rich foods. Teen girls need 1,300 milligrams of calcium every day, which equals 130% of the DV (Daily Value) of the 1,000 milligrams that is recommended for adults. This means that teen girls need 30% more calcium than adults need. To get 1,300 milligrams each day, drink & eat a variety of foods that are high in calcium, such as fat-free or low-fat milk, fat-free yogurt, American cheese, ricotta cheese & fruit yogurt & consume the recommended amounts from the other food groups. It would take 3 cups of milk to get 1,300 mg of calcium. Learn why calcium is important to bone health.

picture of whole grains

Make half your grains whole. Of the about 6 oz.equivalents of grains teen girls need every day, at least 3 should be whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta. One ounce-equivalent is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or ¼ cup of cooked rice or pasta. Look to see that grains such as wheat, rice, oats, or corn are called "whole" in the list of ingredients. Bread that is just called "wheat" bread isn't the same as "whole wheat bread." Look for "whole wheat" to know it is the healthiest option.

picture of high-protein foods

Go lean with protein. Choose lean meats & poultry that are baked, broiled or grilled. And vary your protein choices by also eating more fish, beans, peas, nuts & seeds. Teen girls need about 5½ ozs of lean protein each day. A 2-3 oz serving of meat, poultry, or fish is equal to the size of a deck of cards.

Know the limits on fats, salt & sugars. Read the Nutrition Facts label on foods. Look for foods low in saturated fats & trans fats. Choose foods & drinks with little salt (sodium) &/or added sugars (caloric sweeteners).


The food guide calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need & the right amount of calories to keep a healthy weight. There are many ways to eat healthy every day, but they all start with getting plenty of grains, fruits & vegetables.

Different people like different foods & like to prepare the same foods in different ways. Culture, family background, religion, moral beliefs, cost & food allergies can all affect people's choices. Use the food guide (see below) as a starting point to shape your eating program.

If you like Mexican food, you might choose tortillas from the grains group & beans from the meat & beans group. If you eat an Asian meal, you might choose rice from the grains group & tofu from the meat & beans groups.

How many calories do I need?

In general, teen girls need about 2,000 calories each day. Teen girls who are really active may need more calories. These calories should be chosen from low-fat, lean foods from the major food groups from MyPyramid.

How much exercise do I need?

Teens should get at least 60 minutes of exercise that's moderate in intensity each day. For tips on how to get started, check out the fitness guide from girlshealth.gov.

Why is it called MyPyramid?

People can have different nutrition & exercise needs, so this tool helps each person figure out exactly what he or she needs to do to be healthier. How? The online, interactive MyPyramid Plan can help you choose the foods & amounts that are right for you. Just enter your age, sex & how much you exercise to find out what you need.

The tool offers help on making smart choices from every food group & finding your balance between food & physical activity.

For a simple quick tip, though, just remember that teen girls usually need around 2,000 calories each day from healthy foods. Teen girls also need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

(notice how we use the word, "need" instead of saying that you "should" have or instead of saying what you "want" - this is an effort to change how you think, how you talk - resulting in a change in how you react!")


another thing to ponder upon is realizing that how you choose your words is another example of being more "aware" of your thoughts, your beliefs & your interactions with language!

slowly absorb the information....

What Is A Healthy Diet? - By Alan LeStourgeon

What is a healthy diet? It’s not about counting calories, measuring portions or cutting carbs. You won't really find a healthy diet on the lite menu at your favorite restaurant & you certainly won't find it at the local fast food joint.

A healthy diet is all about what you eat rather than how much you eat.

If you think the latest fad diet is your panacea to health, you're in for a big surprise. Losing weight, staying healthy & getting back into shape after many years of diet neglect isn't about fads or eating in some radical new way for 6 to 12 weeks & then going back to the way you used to eat.

The best thing you can do to keep yourself healthy is to eat a healthy diet…all the time, not just when you want to lose weight. Eating healthy is a long-term lifestyle choice, something you need to do for your entire lifetime.

But what is a healthy diet? Is it what we have been lead to believe – milk for strong bones & teeth, protein in the form of lean beef or chicken & maybe a “healthy” microwave dinner if we're “on the go.”

Unfortunately this diet is what's identified as the Standard American Diet or the SAD.

And what's so wrong with the SAD?

Well, has it made us a healthier people? Are we better off as a nation because of it?

With all of the health studies, advanced health care, the war on cancer dating back to the 70’s & the most advanced technology available on the planet we have to ask ourselves why do we still need to spend $1.3 trillion a year on health care in the United States.

Why aren't we getting any healthier?

Other pertinent questions about your health beg for answers such as, why after more than 30 years since the “War On Cancer” was declared, do we still have an increasing cancer rate.

Yes, we have many more people surviving cancer but the rate at which people are getting cancer is increasing. We've come a long way in taking care of sick people, but we haven't made any progress as a nation in preventing those people from getting sick.

Why do more than 15 million people in the US have diabetes?

Why do we still have more heart problems today than we did 30 years ago?

Why is more than 50% of our population on some kind of prescription drug?

We spend more per person on medical care than any other nation in the world. Why is this happening in a country that seems to be able to solve nearly any technological problem?

Why can't we solve our medical problems?

How would life be different for us if we were to be a nation of healthy individuals?

The secret to a healthy diet & a healthy life is living food – fresh vegetables, fruit, juices & green leafy salads. The answer to a healthier you is summed up in 3 words, breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Living a healthy life & having a healthy family is all about eating a healthy diet, every day of our lives!


do we really think about food in the sense that it's fuel for our body? or... do we think of food, as how it satisfies our "sense of taste" instead of our "sense of hunger" ?

slowly absorb the information....

The Basics of Food
Think about some of the things you have eaten today, maybe cereal, bread, milk, juice, ham, cheese, an apple, potatoes... All of these foods (& pretty much any other food that you can think of) contain 7 basic components:
Your body's goal is to digest food & use it to keep your body alive. It's important to understand the basic components to know what they really do & why they're so important to your body.


balanced diet

slowly absorb the information....

Hunger: A strong desire or need for food.
So how does your body know that it is time to eat? Where does the sense of hunger come from? It's not from a rumbling stomach, people who have their stomachs removed still feel hungry.
It appears that a small brain structure called the hypothalamus is the center of hunger. If one part of the hypothalamus is damaged, a person will overeat tremendously.
If another part is damaged, a person never gets hungry. So clearly these 2 parts balance one another to produce the sense of hunger. It's still not understood how the hypothalamus senses what the body's food needs are, but this article discusses some of the research being done in this area.
So.... do we desire food, need food as fuel, or are we being fooled by some dysfunction in our brain as to what we're thinking about food? If we eat when we simply desire food, we may have developed some poor eating habits.
If we can change our thinking, to think only of food as fuel for our bodies... well, we might change the way we look as well!

what is your self esteem like? click here to learn

do we choose what we "desire to eat" or "what our body needs to eat?"

slowly absorb the information....

10 guidelines to point your way to good health....(These guidelines are intended for healthy children (ages 2 years & older) & adults of any age.)

Start with realizing & accepting a healthy weight.

Be physically active each day.

Following these first 2 guidelines will help keep you & your family healthy & fit. Healthy eating & regular physical activity enable people of all ages to work productively, enjoy life & feel their best. They also help children grow, develop & do well in school.

Let the Pyramid guide your food choices.

Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains.

Choose a variety of fruits & vegetables daily.

Keep your food safe to eat.

Following these 4 guidelines builds a base for healthy eating. Let the Food Guide Pyramid guide you so that you get the nutrients your body needs each day.

Make grains, fruits & vegetables the foundation of your meals. This forms a base for good nutrition & good health & may reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases.

Be flexible & adventurous - try new choices from these 3 groups in place of some less nutritious or higher calorie foods you usually eat.

Whatever you eat, always take steps to keep your food safe to eat.

Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat & cholesterol & moderate in total fat.

Choose beverages & foods to moderate your intake of sugars.

Choose & prepare foods with less salt.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

These 4 guidelines help you make sensible choices that promote health & reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

You can enjoy all foods as part of a healthy diet as long as you don't overdo it on fat (especially saturated fat), sugars, salt & alcohol.

Read labels to identify foods that are higher in saturated fats, sugars & salt (sodium).

By following all of these guidelines, you can promote your health & reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as:

  • heart disease
  • certain types of cancer
  • diabetes
  • stroke
  • & osteoporosis

These diseases are leading causes of death & disability among Americans.

Good diets can also reduce major risk factors for chronic disease, such as:

  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
Your food choices, lifestyle, environment &  family history all affect your well-being. If you're at higher risk for a chronic disease, it's especially important to consider making informed choices concerning your diet.

do you look within for truth? click here for truth

are you being honest with yourself in evaluating your feelings & thoughts about food? or... are you in denial?

slowly absorb the information....

read this book! get educated! get empowered!

SuperFoods Rx
14 Foods That Will Change Your Life

by Steven G. Pratt & Kathy Matthews

SuperFoods Rx is based on a simple but profound premise:

some foods are dramatically better than others for our health & longevity.

Sure, everyone knows that an apple is a better snack than potato chips, but do you know that a daily handful of walnuts or a bowl of blueberries can actually improve your well-being & longevity?

Steven Pratt, M.D., witnessed the positive results that occurred when his patients with age-related macular degeneration changed their diets to include certain powerhouse foods, those he has identified as SuperFoods.

Backed by proven research on 14 of the most nutrient-dense foods, this book puts these tools in your hands & on your plate, to give you more energy, greater protection against disease & a healthy lifestyle now & for the future.

Whether you're 63 or 23, now's the right time to start eating the SuperFoods way. By making these foods part of your regular eating habits, you can actually change the course of your biochemistry & stop the incremental changes in your body that lead to diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, obesity & Alzheimer's.

What are the 14 SuperFoods? Many may already be part of your daily meals, while some may make occasional appearances. But all are supermarket-friendly nutrition powerhouses:

Beans - Blueberries - Broccoli - Oats
Oranges - Pumpkin - Salmon - Soy - Spinach
Tea - (green or black) - Tomatoes - Turkey - Walnuts -Yogurt

SuperFoods Rx not only outlines the amazing health benefits of these 14 foods, it also includes delicious recipes, kitchen tips & shopping suggestions that will make the SuperFoods lifestyle simple & irresistible.

Don't like tomatoes? Not to worry; almost all of the SuperFoods have sidekicks, or substitutions, that you can enjoy instead.

Have some lycopene-rich red watermelon or pink grapefruit instead of tomatoes. Can't bear the thought of spinach? Choose from a list of other dark leafy greens, romaine lettuce, or orange bell peppers.

In SuperFoods Rx, Dr. Pratt leads you from the 20th century world of macronutrients, proteins, fats & carbohydrates, into the 21st century world of micronutrients, phytonutrients, carotenoids & antioxidants.

You'll find:

  1.  Individual chapters dedicated to each of the 14 SuperFoods with the health benefits for each outlined & supported by Dr. Pratt's research, along w/ideas for simple ways to get more of these foods into your everyday meals.
  2. 50 original recipes featuring SuperFoods, especially developed by Chef Michel Stroot of the world-renowned Golden Door Spa.
  3. A shopping list of brand-name foods to ensure you're buying the most nutrient-dense SuperFoods available.
  4. Guidelines for formulating your daily nutrient goals & supplement recommendations.

With Dr. Pratt to guide you thru the new nutritional frontier, you'll be able to choose & enjoy the foods that are most beneficial to your health, well-being & longevity.

SuperFoods Rx. You'll feel super.

When thinking of changes in your diet, don't think of going on a "diet," instead, think of changing your lifestyle!!! Your eating habits can change more easily that was than thinking diet / denial !!!!


so what's the deal? all these underlined link words to click on? why should you?
because you need to. who said recovery & change was easy to do? it takes the extra step... but remember that extra step here is all for you.... you're the most important person here.... you... that's right.... you're reprogramming yourself to keep in mind that you're a very important person in your life.... you're learning how to take care of yourself .... finally!

Altering Fatty Acid Intake May Help Fight Prostate Cancer : In mouse study, a balanced diet reduced PSA levels

slowly absorb the information....

Chapter Excerpt: Chapter One

How Your Diet Is Killing You

The foods you eat every day, from the fast food you mindlessly consume to the best meals you savor in a top restaurant, are doing much more than making you fat or thin.

Their effects on your body are making the difference between the development of chronic disease & a vigorous extended life.

They can prevent or greatly reduce your risk of vision problems, stroke, heart disease, diabetes & a host of killers.

These aren't just vague promises; they're facts that are now supported by an impressive & irrefutable body of research.

Most respectable scientists in the world today agree that at least 30% of all cancers are directly related to nutrition.

Some would argue that the figure is as high as 70%; i.e., we know that the people who eat the most fruits & vegetables are 1/2 as likely to develop cancer as those who eat the least amount of these foods.

It's not just cancer that's nutrition related:

  • about 1/2 of all cardiovascular disease

  • a significant percentage of hypertension cases

can be traced to diet as well. In the Nurses' Health Study (an ongoing study of over 120,000 female nurses, begun in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1976), the nonsmoking women with a median daily intake of 2.7 servings of whole grains were 1/2 as likely to suffer a stroke as other women in the study.

Given this, it's particularly alarming to learn that fewer than 8% of Americans eat this much whole grains.

Indeed, most of us are eating ourselves to death:

only about 10% of Americans eat the foods that would enable them to be free of chronic disease & premature death.

Our Western diets are literally killing us. While man evolved on a plant-based diet more than 50,000 years ago,our modern diet, the one our parents ate & the one we're eating, developed only during the past 50 to 80 years. It's not serving us well.

We humans are genetically "wired" for starvation, not an overabundance of food. Our genes are set for hunter-gatherer mode & a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts & seeds & lean, wild game, not for the majority of foods & beverages found in today's supermarkets.

It's been estimated that 300,000 to 800,000 preventable deaths per year in the US are nutrition related. These include deaths from atherosclerotic disease, diabetes & certain cancers.

Here are 11 disastrous developments in nutrition that are ruining your health & the health of most everyone in modern industrialized societies:

  • Increased portion sizes.

  • Decreased energy expenditure; people just don't exercise enough.

  • Unhealthy balance of fats in the diet: an increase in saturated fat, omega-6 fatty acids & trans-fatty acids, along with a huge decrease in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • An increase in consumption of processed cereal grains.

  • An overall decrease in fruit & vegetable intake from historical standards.

  • A decrease in lean meat & fish intake.

  • A decrease in antioxidant intake & calcium intake (especially from whole foods).

  • The unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats,which is associated with a long list of chronic diseases.

  • A marked increase in refined sugar as an overall percentage of caloric intake.

  • A decrease in whole food consumption, which has led to a marked decrease in phytonutrient intake.

  • A decrease in the variety of foods eaten.

Few people, including health professionals, are aware of the significant recent decline in our overall health status. More than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic condition like:

  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • or glaucoma

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1/3 of Americans who were born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

60,000,000 Americans have more than one condition. It's getting worse every day. In 1996, estimates were made projecting the rate of chronic disease in the future.

4 years later, in 2000, the number of people with chronic ailments was 20,000,000 higher than had been anticipated.

By the year 2020, a projected 1/4 of the American population will be living with multiple chronic conditions & estimated costs for managing these conditions will reach $1.07 trillion.

The most shocking nugget of information in this dismal overview of American health is that the age of the "chronically ill" is declining.

About 1/2 of chronically ill Americans are under age 45 & stunningly, 15% of that number are children who are suffering from:

  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • developmental disabilities
  • cancer
  • & other disorders

As a doctor, I see the imperfections of the system every day. The general unspoken assumption among many people is that you can eat whatever you feel like eating & count on a pill or a surgery to take care of the fallout down the line.

For many of us, the only diet-related concern, if we have one, is weight control.

Recognizing the crisis in pediatric health care, for the first time in the spring of 2003, the American Heart Association has offered guidelines for screening kids.

They include:

  • Check a child's blood pressure at every visit after age 3.

  • Talk to kids about not smoking as early as age 9.

  • Test cholesterol levels & blood fats in kids who are overweight or at risk.

Review family history for signs of early heart disease.

What's the answer? Clearly, we need to do better if we want to live longer & avoid chronic disease ...

Choose a lifestyle that combines sensible eating with regular physical activity. To be at their best, adults need to avoid gaining weight & many need to lose weight.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk for:

  • high blood pressure
  • high blood cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • certain types of cancer
  • arthritis
  • & breathing problems

A healthy weight is key to a long, healthy life.

slowly absorb the information....

Evaluate your body weight

For adults & children, different methods are used to find out if weight is about right for height.  

If you're an adult:

  • Weigh yourself & have your height measured.

  • Find your BMI category in see the charts The higher your BMI category, the greater the risk for health problems.

  • Measure around your waist, just above your hip bones, while standing. Health risks increase as waist measurement increases, particularly if waist is greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men. Excess abdominal fat may place you at greater risk of health problems, even if your BMI is about right.
Use box 2 to find out how many other risk factors you have.

Not all adults who have a BMI in the range labeled "healthy" are at their most healthy weight.


  • some may have lots of fat & little muscle

A BMI above the healthy range is less healthy for most people unless:

  • you have lots of muscle & little fat

The further your BMI is above the healthy range, the higher your weight-related risk (see figure 1).

If your BMI is above the healthy range, you may benefit from weight loss, especially if you have other health risk factors (see box 2).

BMI's slightly below the healthy range may still be healthy unless they result from illness.

If your BMI is below the healthy range, you may have increased risk of:

  • menstrual irregularity
  • infertility 
  • osteoporosis

If you lose weight suddenly or for unknown reasons, see a health care provider.  Unexplained weight loss may be an early clue to a health problem.

Keep track of your weight & your waist measurement. Take action if either of them increases. If your BMI is greater than 25, or even if it is in the "healthy" range, at least try to avoid further weight gain.  If your waist measurement increases, you're probably gaining fat.  Eat fewer calories & become more active!

slowly absorb the information....
eat more fruit!

A Spiritual Way of Eating
By Kristina Holmes
While it may be easy to see that there's a strong connection between the food that we eat & the way our bodies function, it's perhaps more of a stretch to understand the connection between food & spirituality.
What's the relationship between what we eat & our higher self? Is spirituality affected by our food? Is it possible to create a deeper connection with ourselves thru eating certain foods?

The World’s Healthiest Foods, written by Health Valley founder George Mateljan, isn't a book about spirituality. But behind its cover is research that has huge implications for a good many things, including spirituality.
George’s book is a tremendous nutritional cookbook that reveals the 100 healthiest foods in the world, complete with how to select, store & prepare these foods. These foods are nutrient-rich, meaning they pack the most nutrients for the least number of calories.
The physical & emotional benefits of this type of diet, based on Mediterranean principles, are manifold:
  • weight loss
  • vitality
  • disease prevention 
  • even treatment

And to boot, most of the recipes in The World’s Healthiest Foods take 7 minutes or less to prepare!

So what does this have to do with spirituality?

In recent years, scientific research has proven what many people have for centuries instinctively believed to be true:

there's great interplay between our bodies, minds & spirits. What affects one, can effect change in the others. The state of one’s mind has been proven to create conditions in the body - i.e., mental stress can have a measurable affect on blood pressure.

So, too, does what we eat have significant consequences for how our bodies work. Is it a big step to realize that when our bodies & minds are functioning well & feeling good, it has a naturally positive effect on our spirits?

As any of us know after a long interruption of not doing our spiritual practice – be it yoga, meditation, hiking, surfing, sitting, or lying in bed – we tend to feel disconnected from that peaceful & joyous part that remains unaffected from life’s ups & downs.

In this same way, when we don’t eat in a way that nurtures our bodies with life-giving nutrients we feel:

  • lethargic
  • sluggish
  • anxious 
  • moody

This separates our emotional being from our physical being – creating a disconnect that inhibits the uniting of our physical, emotional & spiritual bodies.

There are a number of connections that we can make between spirituality & food:

fresh food is art out of nature
all the colors of the rainbow....

1) When we eat a “whole foods” diet emphasizing fresh vegetables & fruit, the vitality of what these plants becomes part of who we are.
This directly affects all our parts including our spiritual aspect. As nutrition experts such as Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, advocate – health isn't found in isolated nutrients & supplements, but in a wide & varied plant-based diet.
Incorporating vegetables & fruits of every color in the rainbow is an easy to ensure that we are getting all the nutrients we need. The World’s Healthiest Foods is particularly great for those of us looking for a low-calorie eating style.

2) When we eat for health, our whole being soars. When we eat for emotional reasons, eat too fast, or eat when we’re angry or sad, we tend to feel depressed. Unfortunately, emotional eating tends to repeat itself & we become trapped in poor eating habits.

weighty issues in Americans' minds...

3) With 2 out of 3 Americans either overweight or obese & health care costs higher than anywhere else on the planet, it’s plain that we have challenges to overcome in health education & care.
Hyperthyroidism, diabetes, asthma & coronary artery disease are major health problems in the U.S. & much of the cause for these diseases can be traced back to poor diets, particularly those which include significant amounts of highly processed & fatty foods.
This translates into a host of diseases which bring ongoing pain & suffering to ourselves & those we love.
While many of us would acknowledge that great emotional & spiritual growth can be achieved thru suffering, most people will not deliberately choose this route to personal growth.
What we need therefore, is clear scientific information on how to be healthy.
The World’s Healthiest Foods is an exceptional reference book, providing over 2000 independent scientific studies to support its claims. And for those of us who may not be able to afford expensive & exotic foods, rest assured that these healthy foods aren't simply the healthiest but are also the most accessible & affordable choices in America.

diversity.... tolerate it!

4) Looking at indigenous societies that still practice traditional ways of eating & comparing them to developed countries such as the U.S. & U.K., we not only see that eating habits & disease prevalence can be extremely different, but also the spiritual reverence for life.
i.e., indigenous communities in the Amazon eat a primarily plant-based diet & don't experience the “affluent” diseases we experience in the States. Many of these same communities are extraordinarily respectful of their environment
often having songs & stories about each plant & giving thanks for every animal that helps them live & thrive.
These people dance, sing & vibrate joy in a way that is quite unusual in modern societies. And is this not spirituality?

cherries... natural candy

5) As our cell phones ring, our inbox overflows with email & our neck & shoulders coil in pain, we're continuously reminded of the need to produce, rush & work, work, work.
Where's the time & the ease to enjoy life? The World’s Healthiest Foods makes one of the absolutely most essential acts in life – eating – not only healthy & enjoyable, but also easy!
The recipes are simple & delicious – helping us to feed our families well & leaving us energized with time to spare.
Nothing in this universe stands alone. Everything is connected. It's the human mind which creates divisions & separations. So while we all give our minds a big long rest to allow our truest self to shine forth, why not give that joyous dancing self a helping hand by eating healthy?
To learn more about George Mateljan & The World’s Healthiest Foods, visit http://www.whfoods.org.


Teens Pass on Fruits, Veggies

By Vivian Richardson, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)  When teens start high school, other than the desire to rebel from their parents & talk on a cell phone, they eat fewer fruits & veggies. A new study also reveals teens today are eating fewer healthy foods than teens were a few years ago.

"It's a lifetime of what you're eating that's really important," registered dietitian Nicole Larson, M.P.H., told Ivanhoe. To find out if teens are starting their lifetimes with diets meeting national recommendations, Larson & colleagues from the Univ. of Minnesota in Minneapolis surveyed more than 2,000 boys & girls in 1999 & again in 2004. The researchers asked the adolescents questions about how many servings of fruit & vegetables they ate.

As the teens moved from middle school to high school, they dropped almost one serving of fruits & vegetables from their daily diet, report researchers. Teens moving from high school to early adulthood dropped almost another serving of fruits & vegetables from their diet.

The researchers also report teens in 2004 ate almost 1 serving less of fruits & veggies than teens from the same age group who were surveyed in 1999. This indicates there are more than developmental reasons for the decreased intake of fruits & vegetables, Larson said.

Just teaching kids about the health benefits of fruits & veggies isn't good enough, Larson said. "Other studies have looked at school environments & found that, yes, when teenagers have greater access to other foods they tend to eat less fruits & vegetables," she said.

Some of her suggestions include:

Increasing availability of fruits & vegetables in schools, homes & restaurants

Making fruit & vegetable choices more appetizing to adolescents

Decreasing availability of less healthy, yet tasty, foods

Encouraging more frequent family meals

Larson explained if kids had less access to the junk food & more access to vegetables, this would "make eating healthier more of any easy choice to make."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interview with Nicole Larson, M.P.H.; American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2007;32:147-150

slowly absorb the information....

Proper Digestion - A Necessary Ingredient for Good Health

Do you have all of these signs that indicate that your digestion of food is working properly?

* Bright eyes
* Pleasant body odor & breath
* Clear, straw-colored urine
* Normal feces without strong smell
* No discomfort after eating
* No belching of gas
* Enthusiasm for life & work
* Cheerfulness
* Abundant energy
* Strong resistance to disease
* Hunger before your next regular meal

If you don't have these signs, then there are probably things that you can do to improve your digestion. Proper digestion is very important for improving & maintaining good health & a vibrant appearance.

Here are simple actions you can take to improve your digestion:

* eat fresh, nutritious foods  (preferably fruits & vegetables, in season)
* eat moderate portions at meals (about 2 handfuls)
* chew well
* properly spice foods
* stimulate your appetite with a small amount of bitter herbs before meals.

Actions which disrupt proper digestion include:

* overeating
* improper nourishment
* eating at inappropriate times (late at night, etc.)
* eating too fast
* eating when upset
* eating poor food combinations
* inattention to act of eating  (watching TV, etc while eating)
* drinking iced drinks
* drinking excessive liquids during a meal
* drinking coffee with or after meals
* eating stale foods
* eating microwaved foods (destroys life force)
* excessive sleep
* extreme climates
* anger, rage & immoral actions

When you have good digestion, the enzymes & acids in your stomach & intestines do a thorough job of breaking down & metabolizing the foods you eat so that they can provide proper nourishment for your cells & tissues to function & replenish themselves.
This also destroys harmful bacteria, microorganisms & toxins in your digestive tract.

This information was found in the holistic computer program, Ayurveda Almanac.


Manage your weight

Our genes affect our tendency to gain weight. A tendency to gain weight is increased when food is plentiful & when we use equipment & vehicles to save time & energy. It's possible to manage your weight thru balancing the calories you eat with your physical activity choices.

To make it easier to manage your weight, make long-term changes in your eating behavior & physical activity.
To do this:
  • build a healthy base & make sensible choices

  • choose a healthful assortment of foods that includes vegetables, fruits, grains (especially whole grains), skim milk, & fish, lean meat, poultry, or bean.

  • choose foods that are low in fat & added sugars most of the time

  • eat a sensible portion size

Try to be more active throughout the day. The physical activity guideline  recommends that all adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most or preferably all days of the week. To maintain a healthy weight after weight loss, adults will likely need to do more than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily.

Over time, even a small decrease in calories eaten & a small increase in physical activity can keep you from gaining weight or help you lose weight.

The carbohydrates, fats & proteins in food supply energy, which is measured in calories. High-fat foods contain more calories than the same amount of other foods, so they can make it difficult for you to avoid excess calories.

However, low fat doesn't always mean low calorie. Sometimes extra sugars are added to low-fat muffins or desserts, i.e., they may be just as high in calories.

Your pattern of eating may be important.

  • Snacks & meals eaten away from home provide a large part of daily calories for many people.
  • Choose them wisely.
  • Try fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, or a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt for a snack.
  • When eating out, choose small portions of foods.
  • If you choose fish, poultry, or lean meat, ask that it be grilled rather than fried.
Like younger adults, overweight & obese older adults may improve their health by losing weight. The guidance of a health care provider is recommended, especially for obese children & older adults.
Since older people tend to lose muscle mass, regular physical activity is a valuable part of a weight-loss plan. Building or maintaining muscle helps keep older adults active & reduces their risk of falls and fractures. 
Staying active throughout your adult years helps maintain muscle mass & bone strength for your later years.

slowly absorb the information....

If you need to lose weight, do so gradually

If you're overweight, loss of 5 - 15% of your body weight may improve your health, ability to function & quality of life.

Aim to lose about 10% of your weight over about 6 months. This would be 20 pounds of weight loss for someone who weighs 200 pounds. Loss of 1/2 - 2 pounds per week is usually safe.

Even if you have regained weight in the past, it's worthwhile to try again.

Encourage healthy weight in children

Children need enough food for proper growth, but too many calories & too little physical activity lead to overweight. The number of overweight U.S. children has risen dramatically in recent years.

Encourage healthy weight by offering children:

  • grain products

  • vegetables & fruits

  • low-fat dairy products

  • beans

  • lean meat

  • poultry

  • fish

  • nuts

& let them see you enjoy eating the same foods. Let the child decide how much of these foods to eat.

Offer only small amounts of food high in fat or added sugars. Encourage children to take part in vigorous activities (& join them whenever possible).

Limit the time they spend in sedentary activities like watching television or playing computer or video games.

Help children to develop healthy eating habits. Make small changes.
  • i.e., serve low-fat milk rather than whole milk 
  • offer 1 cookie instead of 2

Since children still need to grow, weight loss is not recommended unless guided by a health care provider.

slowly absorb the information....

Feeding Your Inner Athlete

What should you eat before you workout? Unless you're a professional athlete, you don't have to plan your meals with a calculator. All that's needed is a sensible & varied diet comprised of the major food groups - carbohydrates for quick energy, protein to rebuild muscles  & fat for long-term energy.

Nevertheless, caloric needs vary greatly between a 100 pound runner & a 200-pound bodybuilder. Calculating the increased energy requirements needed to get you out the door can seem complicated & poor choices may lead to poor performance.

Beyond the Food Pyramid

We asked two leading sports nutritionists - Susan Kleiner, author of "Power Eating" & Carol Coughlin, author & spokesperson for the Massachusetts Dietetic Association - how they rate on the Food Pyramid as a tool in helping structure a daily fitness-friendly diet.

According to Kleiner, it has some good broad-brush concepts, but there's one change she makes specifically for athletes.

"Athletes need to think of sugars as separate & distinct from fats. The Pyramid groups them together, but they aren't metabolized in the same way by our bodies. I think of sugar as the other carbohydrate for athletes."

Coughlin agrees that the Pyramid is a good starting point - especially for someone new to good nutrition - but stresses that loose interpretation can lead to disaster. "After all, technically French fries are a vegetable."

Don't Confuse Hunger with Thirst

You're feeling a bit drowsy as you head for your afternoon aerobics class. Instead of stopping for coffee on the way, grab a bottle of water instead - you could be dehydrated. A sure-fire way to ruin a workout, dehydration can cause nausea, headache & muscle cramps during exercise.

Kleiner recommends drinking water if your goal is weight loss & sports drinks if your goal is performance. She suggests 8 to 10, 8 oz. servings of fluid a day" & that's if you're just lying on the couch!"

Fueling Up for Fitness

"Some people just don't like to eat breakfast, while others can tolerate some juice & toast. Do what feels right," says Coughlin. "If you're working out during your lunch hour, you probably have to settle for something quick. Don't worry, just try to eat better at dinner."

  • Eat light, about 1/2 hour or more before any workout-morning, mid-day, or evening - so that your body isn't diverting blood to your digestive tract to digest the meal, it's using it to help get oxygen to your muscles.

  • The best bet is a serving of carbohydrates with a bit of protein & maybe a little fat, like:
    • a bagel with peanut butter

    • cold cereal with milk

    • half a sandwich

    • a glass of juice & some pretzels

  • If you're going to exercise for a prolonged period, say an hour or more, bring along a sports drink or piece of fruit for during your run, bike ride, or other activity.

  • If you're just doing a short aerobics class or short session of weight training, what you eat matters less than what you drink; the most important thing is to get enough



5 Vitamins & Minerals Women Need

Learn how to give these knockout nutrients starring roles in your diet! by Karen Cicero

You try to choose healthful foods:

  • Ordering grilled chicken rather than a burger

But despite making such saintly food choices, you may still be falling short of getting all the vitamins & minerals you need to stay healthy & maintain everything from a strong heart to a flat stomach.

"It's harder for women to satisfy their nutrient requirements than it is for men, because we eat less but need more of certain vitamins & minerals,"

explains registered dietitian Terri Brownlee, Director of Nutrition at Duke University's Diet & Fitness Center.

Here's a straightforward guide to upping your intake of the 5 nutrients that women's diets are most likely to lack, according to government research.

Congratulations on aiming to improve your diet! Keep in mind that meaningful changes must be both realistic & specific. Instead of focusing on all the bad habits you need to break, think about a few positive adjustments that you can easily make to feel good about yourself.


Believe it or not, a slight tweak to your perspective can really make a difference. Here are my top 3 suggestions for healthful eating changes that you can make this month.

Enjoy soy. Study after study has touted the benefits of eating soy foods, from lowering cholesterol to strengthening bones & curbing menopausal malaise.

Find the stuff hard to stomach? Don't worry: I'm not talking about shoving a slab of cold, wet tofu down your gullet. These days, there are plenty of tasty & convenient soy foods in traditional grocery store aisles, ranging from cheese slices to veggie burgers.

While you're checking out the patties in the frozen foods aisle, give a bag of edamame a try. Edamame is the actual soybean; it resembles a lima bean, tastes quite good & packs a nutritional punch. Do as they do in Japanese restaurants: Steam them, add a pinch of salt & enjoy they're a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Fuel up w/fiber. Fiber plays an important role in the prevention of diseases such as heart disease, cancer & diabetes. By affecting absorption the rate at which nutrients enter the blood fiber lowers blood cholesterol & slows the utilization of carbohydrates. It fills you up & leaves you satisfied, making you less likely to overeat.

Women younger than 50 need at least 25 grams of fiber a day, but most get only half that amount. To fulfill your fiber quota, you need to consume at least 8 grams at each meal. Foods particularly high in fiber are beans (lentils, baked, pinto), whole grains (brown rice, oats, whole-wheat breads) & of course, fruits & vegetables. Not sure if a packaged food contains fiber? Consult its nutritional label.

Go fishing. Several studies have shown that, in addition to aiding weight loss possibly by suppressing a hormone called leptin that is related to obesity eating lean fish such as bass, halibut, cod & snapper can help prevent heart disease & some types of cancer. Don't like how the smell of fish lingers after you cook it? Canned tuna requires no cooking & is great for you (just be sure to buy the kind packed in water, not oil). Add it to salads or a basic red pasta sauce. Or opt for grilled or broiled fish whenever you eat out.

slowly absorb the information....

having physical health problems?
have questions about physical illnesses?
want to know about preventative medicine?
click here to visit physical you 101!


Keeping-It-Off Superfoods
9 foods that can help keep the extra weight away

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic

Are there really certain foods that can help you lose weight & keep it off?

We're not talking about any so-called miracle food that "melts the fat" (does the cabbage soup diet ring any bells?). These are foods that really can help you lose or maintain weight, either by helping you to eat less or to burn more calories - or, in some cases, maybe even helping to decrease your body fat.

Experts say there are 2 basic categories of foods that can be considered "keeping it off superfoods" because they fill your tummy without piling on the calories: fruits & vegetables; i.e., 2 whole cups of steamed broccoli packs a measly 87 calories.

Or how about 2 cups of strawberry slices? They'll add only 99 calories. Even a denser vegetable, steamed carrots, has only 140 calories per 2 cups. And 2 cups of a denser fruit, apple slices? That's only 130 calories.

If fruits & vegetables are the "keeping-it-off superfood groups," fiber may well be the "keeping-it-off supernutrient." (Incidentally, the 2 cup servings of fruits & vegetables mentioned above all contribute from 5 to 9 grams of fiber.)

Protein is another supernutrient. It's becoming more scientifically accepted that protein may help to curb appetite. But whether we need more than 0.4 grams per pound of body weight is still up for debate among many researchers.

"Eating enough protein-rich foods of low energy density [calories per portion] is a good strategy for increasing satiety, especially if you're trying to lose weight," says Barbara Rolls, PhD, a researcher at Penn State University & author of the book The Volumetrics Eating Plan.

Protein can slightly boost metabolism, Rolls says. But, she explains, eating more calories than your body needs - even in the form of protein - will promote weight gain, not loss.

Before we get to the list of "keeping it off" superfoods, let's make sure we keep things in perspective. At the end of the day, weight loss is still about burning more calories than you take in. The advantage to these foods is that they may help you do just that - if you eat them instead of some higher-calorie choices.

9 'Keeping It Off' Superfoods

1. Green Tea

Go out of your way to indulge in a tall glass of iced green tea or a mug of hot green tea when you get the chance. Here's why: In a recent study, volunteers who drank a bottle of tea (fortified with green tea extract) every day for 3 months lost more body fat than another group who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea.

Except for the different teas, their overall diets were similar. Researchers suspect that the catechins (helpful phytochemicals) in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories & mildly decrease body fat.

2. Soup (broth - or tomato-based, that is)

Calorie-containing liquids generally are less filling than solid foods, but soups are the exception, says researcher Richard Mattes from Purdue University. In Mattes' study, participants were fed 300-calorie servings of various soups before eating their lunches (they could eat as much lunch as they wanted).

Mattes found that the study participants tended to take in fewer total daily calories on days when they had the soup, suggesting that eating low-calorie soups (the broth & tomato-based ones) before meals may reduce hunger & increase feelings of fullness.

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, director of nutrition for WebMD & the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, agrees that lower-calorie soups (that is, tomato & broth-based varieties) are highly satisfying.

"If you have soup before a meal, it helps control hunger & you eat less," she says.

3. Low-Calorie Green Salads

Having a low-calorie salad - not to be confused with salads brimming with cheese, croutons, high-fat dressings & so on - as a first course can help you feel fuller & reduce the calories you eat during that meal, according to a study by Rolls.

She found that eating a small low-calorie salad tended to cut calories eaten at the meal by 7% & a larger salad by 12%. But the study found the opposite is true with high-calorie salads. These increased the calories eaten during the meal by 8% for a small salad & 17% for a larger salad.

Just how low-calorie can a green salad be? Consider that 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, 10 slices of cucumber, 1 medium tomato & 1/4 cup of grated carrot has a grand total of 67 calories (along with a hefty 5.5 grams of fiber).

4. Yogurt

Yogurt is a dairy food & several studies have found that including dairy products as part of an overall lower-calorie diet may give you a weight-loss advantage. Still, some scientists aren't convinced, pointing to other studies that show no strong effect between dairy & weight loss.

One recent study looked at a group of obese adults who ate 3, 6 oz servings of fat-free yogurt a day as part of a diet reduced by 500 calories from their normal intake. The study found that this group lost 22% more weight & 61% more body fat than another group of participants who ate the reduced-calorie diet without emphasizing calcium-rich foods.

Even more impressive: the yogurt eaters also lost 81% more stomach fat.

More needs to be learned about the mechanism responsible for this increased loss of body fat, but in the meantime, consider giving yogurt a little more respect.

At the very least, a light yogurt may help you stave off hunger due to its combination of protein & carbohydrate. 6 ounces of plain, low-fat yogurt contains approximately 9 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates (from milk, not sugar) & 311 milligrams of calcium. It's also a great vehicle for healthy additives like fruit or omega-3-rich flaxseed.

5. Beans

Beans help you feel full longer, which means they may work to curb your between-meal appetite. They also give you a big fiber & protein bang for a minimum of calories. 1/2 cup of pinto beans or kidney beans has around 8 grams fiber & 7 grams of protein, all for about 110 calories.

6. Water

Water is a keeping-it-off superfood because it's a great alternative to other, calorie-containing beverages. When you drink beverages that have calories (say, fancy coffee drinks or sodas) you're not likely to compensate by eating less food.

Mattes' research suggests that people who drink liquid carbohydrate (in the form of soda) are more likely to consume more calories than their bodies needs, compared with people who ate the same amount of solid carbohydrate (in the form of jelly beans).

Water is necessary for life & you should be drinking it throughout the day. You can get your water via unsweetened tea, flavored unsweetened mineral water, regular water with lime or lemon, or cucumber. Even brewed coffee (especially decaf) counts if consumed in moderation.

7. Light Diet Shakes

While diet shakes aren't the solution to weight loss or maintenance, research shows that they might help.

Women who had lost weight on a reduced-calorie plan that included meal-replacement beverages maintained their losses after a year by drinking at least one diet shake a day in place of a meal, according to a study done by Clinical Research laboratories (& funded by Slim Fast Foods). The study authors concluded that the one-shake-a-day strategy might be helpful for people that have difficulty changing their eating habits.

Of course, it's hard to beat the convenience factor of diet shakes. If you go for a diet shake, choose types that have more fiber & less sugar.

8. High-Fiber, Whole-Grain Cereal

We've all seen those whole-grain cereal commercials ad nauseam. But the keeping-it-off potential value of a good whole-grain breakfast cereal is worth mentioning.

Whole grains in general help boost fiber & the nutritional value of your meal, but many studies done on their relationship to weight loss have specifically involved breakfast cereals (many funded by cereal companies).

A recent Purdue University study suggested that having a portion-controlled serving of ready-to-eat cereal (with 2/3 cup skim milk plus a 100-calorie portion of fruit) as a meal replacement may promote weight loss.

Other research that looked at data on over 27,000 men over an 8 year period found that as whole grain consumption went up, weight gain over time went down.

Another study followed more than 74,000 women (aged 38-63) for a 12-year period & found that those with the greatest increase in dietary fiber gained an average of 3.3 fewer lbs. than those with the smallest increase in fiber.

One of the easiest ways to give your daily diet a whole-grain boost is to have a bowl of higher-fiber whole-grain cereal as breakfast or a snack.

9. Grapefruit

Maybe there was something to the old grapefruit diet after all: A recent study found that grapefruit may help encourage weight loss & reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Study participants who ate a grapefruit at each meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 lbs. (some in the group lost as much as 10 lbs.), while a comparison group that didn't eat grapefruit lost 1/2 lb., according to a recent pilot study by Scripps Clinic in San Diego. The researchers noticed that after the meals, the grapefruit eaters also had reduced levels of insulin & blood sugar.

The American Institute for Cancer Research notes that "there's no scientific evidence to support that grapefruit enzymes burn away fat." And according to the American Dietetic Assoc. "if you lose weight when you add grapefruit to your eating plan, it's probably because you're substituting it for another food that has more calories."

Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. One pink/red grapefruit takes a bit of time & effort to eat & it adds 3.5 grams of fiber with only 74 calories. Keep in mind that grapefruit can interfere with the effectiveness of some medications, so check with your pharmacist if you're taking medication.

SOURCES: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1/05, 11/04 & 11/03. Journal of the American Dietetic Assoc., 10/04 & 3/01. International Journal of Obesity, April 2005. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders, June 2000. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 12/02. The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan.

Barbara Rolls, PhD, author, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan & The Volumetrics Eating Plan; professor, nutritional sciences, Pennsylvania State Univ., State College, Pa. Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, director of nutrition, WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, Atlanta.


Stuck in a Nutrition Rut?

8 tips for beating healthful-food boredom.
by Evelyn Tribole, R.D.

There was a time when you woke up each morning excited about the taste of whole-grain toast & the prospect of savoring a colorful salad for lunch, when your mouth watered at the thought of fresh cantaloupe for dessert.

Alas, those days are gone. After months of adhering to a healthy lifestyle, your enthusiasm for lettuce & salmon has gone out the window. Currently, visions of pepperoni pizza & chocolate éclairs dance thru your head.

Sounds like you're stuck in a common nutrition rut. People who focus on eating healthfully often wind up eating the same "good" foods over & over again, leaving their taste buds bored & vulnerable to the allure of fast food drive-thru's & candy shops.

A large body of research has been devoted to this phenomenon, which is referred to by experts as habituation. Habituation studies have consistently shown that the more you eat of the same food, the less appealing it becomes. If you
eat chicken every night, you're going to want chicken less & less.

So what's a health-conscious person to do? Change it up. It's possible to entertain your taste buds while still getting maximum nutrition.

Here are 8 tricks for livening up your diet.

Change your oil. Are you parked in a fat-free zone? Not all fats are bad. Olive oil, e.g., can help lower cholesterol & walnut oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your heart healthy. Just a splash goes a long way in the flavor department use a tablespoon of healthful oil when you stir-fry vegetables & chicken or mix up a zesty salad dressing.

Top it off. Healthful cereal can get boring quickly if you don't dress it up. Try adding slivered almonds, dried cranberries, chopped dates or cantaloupe to your high-fiber cereal favorites for a whole new breakfast.

Spice it up. Variety may be the spice of life, but spices are what add variety to a healthful diet. Top salads, chicken & fish with fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, oregano or tarragon, or liven up a tame dish with a little zest of lemon or orange peel.

Crunch & munch. With a little creativity, you can add some enjoyable crunchy texture to healthful favorites. Make good-for-you "fried" chicken, fish sticks or onion rings: Dredge the food in flour, dip it in egg whites, roll it in crumbled corn flakes & then bake at 350 degrees F until golden & cooked thru, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Or, instead of serving regular corn tortillas with a meal, cut them into strips & scatter them evenly on a baking sheet. Spray them with nonstick vegetable spray & bake at 375 degrees F until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Toss the crunchy bits into salad or soup.

Get nutty. Nuts shouldn't be shunned; they contain healthful fats, are good sources of vitamin E & magnesium & taste darn good. A number of recent studies have also shown that nuts can help lower cholesterol & blood pressure. Add a handful to cereals, salads or even vegetable dishes (think green beans w/almonds).

Vary your veggies. Jazz up vegetables with a sprinkling of your favorite cheese or by stir-frying them in olive oil & garlic. Or skewer & grill 'em. When it comes to sandwich toppings, think outside the bread box!

Instead of lettuce & tomato, pile on

  • portobello mushrooms

  • bell-pepper strips

  • chopped olives

  • zucchini slices

Learn a new cooking technique. If you always cook the same way, rev things up with new techniques such as roasting or grilling.

Not only does roasting impart a fabulous taste, but it's also quick just a few minutes in a hot oven (400 degrees F) will do.

  • Potatoes

  • asparagus

  • corn

  • carrots

  • sweet potatoes 

  • bell peppers

all taste great roasted. For rich-flavored fish & chicken, just torch up the grill.

Branch out! Each week, try a brand-new-to-you food, such as the following:

  • edamame

  • green soybeans sold frozen that you boil for a few minutes & top with a pinch of salt

  • high-fiber buckwheat noodles, found in the international food section & cooked just like any other pasta

  • barley, a wholesome grain that lowers cholesterol & is prepared just like rice

  • meatless dishes such as veggie patties or links

slowly absorb the information....

ever tried carambola?
star fruit?

Eating Healthy, Being Healthy - By Clark

Eating constitutes one of the most important familiar & social activities. When selecting our food & planning our meals we are influenced by history, culture & environment, as well as by our particular preferences & taste.

Food is a source of gratification & pleasure that, combined with a good nutrition, has vital effects on our health & quality of life. Healthy eating habits are essential for adequate children’s growth & development, as well as for their performance at school, both intellectual & physical. They also help active adults keep in shape. But which eating habits are healthy & which ones are not?

The key is eating in a moderate way & having food that contains an adequate nutrient equilibrium. Each ingredient in our food contains has one or more of these nutrients & for that reason looking for a wide variety of ingredients in our meals contributes to giving our body what it needs.

Eating healthy isn't about eating plenty of everything. It is not gong on absurd diets, nor eliminating some kinds of food from our lives. It’s about trying to choose ingredients such as cereals, vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk & cheese & reducing red meat consumption as well as sugar & salt.

Amongst the fundamental nutrients needed for a good heath, we can find water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins & some others. Factors like age, sex, height, the amount of exercise you regularly get & the overall health status determine the amount of nutrients your body needs.

As for calories, a balanced nutrition is achieved easily by daily including ingredients on the following proportions:

• 50 to 60 % Carbohydrates
• 12 to 20 % Proteins
• 25 to 30 % Lipids (fat)

Of course, these values are just an approximation—only your doctor knows your particular needs.

In order to be able to choose our food wisely, it is helpful to know some things about the different types of ingredients.

Refined flours obtained from cereals like corn or rice & are used to make bread, cookies, pasta, etc. These are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which represent a good energy source. They also contain proteins, fiber, B-complex vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium & selenium. Besides, they contain low fat & no cholesterol.

Legumes like peas & beans contain a good deal of proteins, complex carbohydrates & fiber & don’t contain cholesterol. It’s recommended to include a good amount of these ingredients in our daily diet.

Vegetables are also a good source of fiber, provide vitamins, and they even help your body produce its own vitamin A.

Fresh fruit contain vitamins, fiber & minerals & are a good source of water & simple carbohydrates. Peaches & melons help your body produce vitamin A & citric fruits are powerful suppliers of vitamin C.

Milk is a very important component of every diet. It provides essential proteins, lipids, vitamin D, A & some of the B-complex vitamins & also minerals like calcium & phosphorus.

Fish is a great source of minerals & vitamins. Red meat is also a source of lipids, although it is less recommended than other kinds of meat because of the high cholesterol content.

It may be wise to ask your doctor about your diet. He will be able to recommend any change or nutritional supplements you may need.

Remember, eating well is living well.

slowly absorb the information....

It's All About Nutrition! - By Lindsey Porter Dip. Hom.

The body is sturdy but needs balance & gentle care to function well. A sound foundation of care is provided when having a well balanced diet, plenty of fresh water & sleep, frequent gentle physical & mental exercise and a moderate lifestyle with an effective stress management program.

To help attain this, it's now common to have nutritional supplements to cover any deficiencies in the diet, to support failing body systems or lessen disease. Unfortunately, most nutrient formulas are if little value. Why?

An efficient digestive system breaks the food down into nutrients small enough to pass into the blood stream from where it feeds the cells.

Unfortunately, not many digestive systems are efficient. Many things interfere with digestion & nutrient absorption such as:

  • the aging process
  • chemical imbalance
  • illness
  • viral contagion
  • intestinal flora 
  • enzymatic imbalances
  • parasites
  • dietary imbalances
  • drugs
  • under or over-indulgence of food, etc.

For instance, eat too much of one type of food or from one food group & you have allergies, eat when you're tired & you'll only metabolize half as well as you usually do; drink too much alcohol or contract hepatitis & the liver is damaged, have a thyroid imbalance & you over or under-metabolize food causing weight loss or gain, etc., the list & combination of events is endless.

The two main causes of poor digestion, from which no-one can escape, are stress & aging, both of which decrease the ability to digest & absorb nutrients. Very few digestive systems are efficient at 40 years of age & by 60 the digestive processes may have only 10% of their 20 year old function.

Supplements are in the same category as food, they rely on the digestive system for absorption. Large amounts of anything is hard for the digestive system to handle, it'll process as much as it can manage & the rest causes trouble somewhere or passes thru unused.

Too much of any one nutrient will cause imbalance in the system & with the internal balance of nutrients. They may even cause permanent damage.

The body functions, grows & is maintained by minerals. We need 7 macro minerals:

  • calcium
  • chlorine
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • sulfur

in large amounts & traces of some 60 micro minerals, many of which are toxic (possibly fatal) if taken in larger amounts, such as arsenic, mercury, fluorine, etc.

They must be provided in balanced amounts because an excess of one, will suppress the action of others whilst over acting themselves or just not be used.

For instance, an imbalanced excessive amount of calcium, compared with its supporting mineral levels, will suppress the action of magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc & several other minerals.

It's more important to have a well balanced supplement formulation of small amounts of nutrients for maximum efficiency than to have high potency nutrients, of which most will not be absorbed.

The 1996 Physicians' Desk Reference states that the absorption rate of tablets is 10 to 29%. The digestive system can't break the nutrients & fillers into a useful size to be metabolized.

Many minerals would need a stomach pH of 12 to be broken down, almost double that of the normal pH, which is approximately 6.

Liquid absorption rate, however, is far greater simply because the molecules are broken down into a size small enough to pass the barrier to be taken into the blood.

In other words, there's greater absorption with a simple herbal tea than a tablet. However, great losses of nutrients can occur in the preparation of liquid nutrients. Molecular-sized nutrients are fragile & risk quicker & greater break down than a tablet, unless they're carefully prepared, stored & taken when fresh.

Colloidal minerals are good, however, if formulated, they frequently don't contain all the minerals, especially the most important trace minerals.

Plants can now be cultured producing whole crops of the same plant variegar, each containing the same chemical constituents from which a repeatable healing action can be obtained. New methods have been formulated that preserve more of the plant's nutrients & delivers them more efficiently for absorption whether or not the digestive system is deficient. It's now possible to get 98% absorption of quality nutrients from a liquid herbal preparation.

Science has made great advances in understanding nutrition but not everything is known nor is the relevance understood about nutrition & its chemical interaction or their effect on the body. There's a lot left to be desired between laboratory made & natural nutrients.

Nature has had millennia to perfect its plant formulations & packs into them everything that's needed for their survival, providing the nutrients in amounts that are balanced & easy to metabolize.

Until recently, however, cultivation, harvesting & storage methods of plant material & their preparation into herbal medicine has produced variable effects with great loss of chemical constituents & an unpredictable healing action.

It makes greater sense to take Nature's herbal supplements that contain minerals of an absorbable type.

The digestive process is always working hard & when ill, it's further compromised. Liquid nutrients allows the body to concentrate on healing without the additional burden on the digestive system when it endeavours to extract what it needs from solid nutrient formulas.

They're particularly valuable to those who are weakened by disease or age. Nutrients with a high absorption rate don't produce the side effects caused by excessive amounts of unused nutrients, although people do report effects caused when the body improves its function & starts kicking back into action.

Typically the body wants to throw out toxins & may have short bouts of diarrhea, sickness, bloating. etc., however, these effects are merely a transition stage & soon pass. This stage can be accelerated by drinking more water to assist the flushing out process.

Quality produced liquid supplements prepared from ethically-farmed plant sources provide the greatest absorption of nutrients without side effects in a manner that is gentle & supportive to the body.

Lindsey Porter Dip. Hom.
©Copyright 2003 Lindsey Porter - All Rights Reserved

slowly absorb the information....

Healthy Habits for a Hectic Life - By Mary Guarino, Ph.D.

There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do. And it can feel like an added stressor when you try to integrate healthy habits into your already hectic schedule. But if you make time for nutrition & fitness, you'll find yourself with extra reserves of energy that'll lower your stress & help you get thru life's challenges.

Here are a few things you can start doing right now to make healthy habits a relatively painless part of your routine:

*Drink water throughout the day.
ou don't hear this nearly enough, water is an all-purpose wonder-substance. It's great for your skin, your digestive system, circulatory system & it aids in weight loss & cellulite reduction.

If you feel fatigued during the day, it's often because you aren't hydrated properly. Drink water throughout the day, sipping from a large bottle or glass. If you have it nearby, it's easy to remember.

If you don't like the taste of water, keep a supply of lemon so that you can add a slice to your water: it cuts any bitterness, adds a bit of vitamin C & makes it taste more festive!

*Cut back on the amount of soda & coffee you drink. Sugar & caffeine act to dehydrate you & contribute to cellulite production. They also create energy rushes followed by crashes, which are ultimately energy-depleting.

*Replace high-sugar foods with low-sugar versions. Cutting back on the amount of refined sugar you consume helps reduce calories & weight gain & also helps you avoid the energy slumps that come from sugar withdrawal.

Items high in refined sugar include:

  • most soft drinks
  • sodas
  • cereals
  • baked goods
  • candy 
  • ice cream

If you need something sweet, opt for something naturally sweet (avoid artificial sweeteners).

*Stock up on healthy, portable snacks.
hen you're grocery shopping, pick up bags of baby carrots, string cheese, nuts, fresh & dried fruit, single serving packs of apple sauce, yogurt, wholegrain crackers, peanut butter, turkey jerky, etc. Having healthy portable snacks around will help you avoid bad vending-machine, convenience store & fast-food options.

*Take the time to plan healthy meals for the week. Spend 15 minutes or so to map out your meals. Keep it simple. Then, when you shop for groceries, make your purchases with a general idea of the meals you will make during the week. This will help you avoid relying on less healthy take-out or fast food choices.

*Purchase frozen, ready-to-cook ingredients. Frozen fruits & vegetables have high vitamin & mineral content because they don't sit around losing these nutrients for long before they're preserved.

Although you'll want to keep plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables around, it's great to have frozen produce available for quick meals & smaller servings. Also, some grocery stores offer frozen boneless chicken breast & a wide variety of seafood items in re-sealable packages. These are great for quick healthy meals.

*Cook double batches of whatever you're cooking. When you prepare dinner, especially on weekends, cook extra & freeze to use for another dinner or lunch.

*Give yourself some slack.
f you're stressed out about preparing healthy meals every day, use what some experts call the "80/20" rule in your eating. If 80% of what you eat is healthy, then allow yourself to eat what you want for the remaining 20%.

*Fit in exercise whenever you can.
Experts recommend that adults exercise a minimum of 30 minutes - 3 times per week. Aim for this amount, but don't kick yourself if you can't meet this goal.

Any amount of exercise is better than none. No time to go to a gym? Build a stock of exercise tapes ' many have routines that you can complete in 20-40 minutes.

Use hand weights, do crunches, leg-lifts & lunges while watching television. Or invest in an exercise bike ' you can pedal while catching up on your reading.

Think of what would be most interesting to you & what best fits your schedule & budget.

*Take a walk break during the day.
Even 20 minutes can make a difference in your energy level, plus it gives you time to clear your head. If you walk with a friend or colleague, it also gives you time to socialize.

*Get enough sleep.
Even if you gain more time in your day by cutting back on sleep, you'll be less effective throughout the day, as your energy level & cognitive functioning will be reduced.

Insufficient sleep also makes you more susceptible to illness. By getting enough sleep, you become more efficient during the time you're awake.

Begin integrating some or all of these habits today. Make them part of your normal routine. You'll be surprised at how little time is involved & how much better you'll feel!

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Health & Nutrition - By Colin Thomson

The Health & Nutrition Industry has come about as peoples awareness of the damage they have done to their bodies over the years becomes more apparent, both physically and through scientific evidence. Whats more they want to do something about-now!!

I know, I've been there and as a Baby Boomer we, in our millions around the globe, are doing what we can to turn our health around for the better. Having read numerous articles gleaned from newspapers, magazines, advertisements, the web and from fellow ''ezinearticle'' contributors, many people are searching for a better lifestyle today.

My wife Cath and I decided to do something about it and sooner rather than later. Rather than talking about it, moaning about it, worrying about it, we chose to improve our health and our lifestyle through informed and better choices. We work from home now part time in the Health and Nutrition Industry having had our health improved with nutritional supplements and by adjusting our diets, so that we have both lost weight and feel great for it. Your health improves by first making a decision and then doing something about it.

It has been suggested that many of our ailments, sickness and diseases today, particularly in the west, can be attributed to poor nutrition in our diets. The fact that our diets are so poor due to the lifestyles we choose to live, with fast foods and rush, rush, rush, we are not allowing our bodies to rebuild itself, to repair itself properly, as it was designed to do.

I am not a scientist but I can tell you that by adding proven nutritional supplements to my diet and eating better and less, my health has improved and I have the energy to accomplish so much more in my day without the tiredness and exhaustion that were part of my life.

Obesity levels in the western world are simply staggering and if you do your own research, through various resources, you will have this confirmed in black and white.

Our bodies have been wonderfully made, by a master designer, and when we introduce a proper diet into our lifestyle, with the correct ammounts of vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly, your life can be changed dramatically. For those of you who already look after yourselves, athletes, footballers, basketballers, your lives can be improved too, your recovery rates lowered, your overall performances improved with a better diet and nutrition in your life.

If we feed our bodies properly, then it will do what it was made to do. It will repair itself, common ailments can be gone forever, as my wife can testify to you from first hand experience.

With good and proper nutritional supplements and a carefully planned and balanced diet of lean meats, fruit and vegetables, it is possible to have your health and fitness restored.

The Health and Nutrition Industry today, commonly known as the ''Wellness Industry'' is booming!!! Wherever you look, the media today, is full of health improvement tips, the internet is full of sites showing you their own products and services, advising us all that we need to improve our diets and indeed our health!!

When you decide to improve your lifestyle and your health, can I ask you to choose carefully. Look to market leaders, and there are half a dozen or so who have stood the test of time, and read about them, read testimonies about peoples health improvements, read about lifestyle improvements that have occurred both in the short and long term through the use of their products.

Don't get sucked in by all the hype and there is plenty of that, particularly on the internet. Find out about the products or the company, before you go spending your hard earned money, ensuring that you will get the results you desire. Do not just jump on the bandwagon of the latest craze that is sweeping your nation, make an informed choice of your own and enjoy the benefits to come.

Why not contact your local Network Marketer, where Home Based Distributors will have a personal interest in your health improvement and you may even want to join them and help others improve their lives also.

We all age, we all die some day, but why bring it along sooner than is necessary. Why don't you choose to do something about it today? Why don't you allow that desire inside, which is niggling away at you now, that desire to improve your health and regain that enjoyment of life, to come out.

Do yourself a favour, nobody else will. You choose. Go on, go for it and really live life to the full with your health improved, with the ones you love. It is possible. We have done it!!

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Well-balanced diet


The term "balanced" simply means that a diet adequately meets your nutritional needs while not providing any nutrients in excess. To achieve a balanced diet, you must consume a variety of foods from each of the food groups.

There are several guidelines available to help a person plan their balanced diet.

They include:

  • The Food Guide Pyramid

  • The U.S. Dietary Guidelines (RDA guidelines)

General Guidelines

  • eat at least 3 meals each day

  • don't skip breakfast

  • eat foods from each of the 4 Food Groups at every meal

The most important step to eating a balanced diet is to educate yourself about what your body needs & read the nutrition label & ingredients of all the food you eat.

New dietary guidelines set forth by the U.S. Depts. of Health & Human Services (HHS) & Agriculture (USDA), recommend fewer calories & smarter food choices.

Some of the key recommendations:

  • Follow a balanced diet that is low in saturated & trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt & alcohol, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan.

  • Balance your calorie intake with exercise.

Slowly decrease your caloric intake while increasing exercise to prevent gradual weight gain over time.

Exercise regularly & reduce sedentary activities.

  • 2 cups of fruit & 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for people following an average 2,000-calorie per day diet.

  • 3 or more ounces of whole-grain products are recommended per day.

  • 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products should be included.

  • Fewer than 10% of calories should come from saturated fatty acids. 

  • Trans fatty acids should be avoided.

  • Cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg/day.

  • Total fat intake shouldn't exceed 20-35% of calories.

Choose "good" fats  such as  fish, nuts & vegetable oils containing polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fatty acids.

Lean, low-fat, or fat-free meats, poultry, dry beans & milk or milk products are preferable.

Total fat intake can approach 35% if the majority of fats are "good" fats.

  • Stay away from added sugars. 

  • Consume less than 2,300 mg (approximately one teaspoon of salt) of sodium daily & limit salt added in food preparation.

  • Don't consume more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women, 2 per day for men.  Certain individuals should abstain from alcohol completely.

source: myexercisediet.com 

Side Effects

An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of body tissues, growth and development, brain and nervous system function, as well as problems with bone and muscle systems.


Invest in the Market: Seven edible overachievers that can help cancer-proof your life. By David Freeman, Men's Health

A whole page on brown bag lunches - for you and for the kids!

Strict Mediterranean Diet Offers Big Health Boost Researchers Say Diet Healthy, But Strict Adherence May Be Necessary

A Healthy Diet - By Nehemiah Maxwell

You'll never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. You have to make a healthy diet a habit if you want to obtain nutritional health.

I've been doing push-ups 5 days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong but it didn't happen overnight. I didn't do push-ups for a couple weeks or months & then stopped. I had to make push-ups a habit if I wanted to continuously get the results I have. Exactly the same holds true with having a healthy diet.

People jump on the "band wagon" of healthy eating when they read books or view web sites that talk about nutrition. While many of these books & web sites tell you what you should eat in-order to be healthy, they fail to teach you how to make a healthy diet a habit. Thus in a short period of time when temptations come, people fall right back into their unhealthy eating habits.

What is a Habit? According to Webster's dictionary a habit is "a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance."

Can you see that if we simply apply this principle to a healthy diet we will be on our way to vibrant health?

Bad Eating Habits:

Bad eating habits don't develop overnight. For most people these habits began forming when they were kids. Thus one reason why many adults have a hard time breaking their bad eating habits is because these habits have been a part of their lifestyle for many years.

Why Do We Eat Food?

There are 2 main reasons why we eat food. One is to supply fuel for our body. The other reason is for pleasure. Unfortunately some of the foods that give us pleasure are unhealthy.

Most people make their food selections based on what they see, smell or taste.

Look at these 3 sentences:

That pie sure looks good!

That pie sure smells good!

That pie sure taste good!

Notice that all 3 statements involve food & pleasure. However the food that's producing the pleasure (in this situation the pie) may or may not be good for you from a nutritional standpoint. That's why we need to be wise in our food selections & not simply leave it up to our sense of sight, taste or smell.

A Healthy Diet Can Be Enjoyable:

Some people think of a healthy diet as being boring & tasteless. I think that one reason they feel this way is because most of the commercial ads we see promote foods high in calories, fat or sugar & only a small percentage of food advertising is done for fruits, vegetables, grains & beans. Thus if there was more nutritional education, more & more people would find a healthy diet to be pleasurable & tasty.

How Having a Healthy Diet Changed My Life:

In 1998 my wife finally talked me into going to the doctor to get a check-up. I wasn't feeling sick but she clearly said that it was a good idea to get a yearly physical examination. Thank God I listened to her.

I've been athletic all my life. I run 18 miles a week. So when I went to the doctor I was not expecting to hear the bad news he gave me. He told me I had borderline diabetes.

Diabetes can be very dangerous if not treated. It's one of the leading cause of death in the United States. It's a disease of the pancreas that causes the body to stop producing the insulin it needs to regulate blood sugar.

My doctor told me that I didn't need to be put on medication, however he suggested I start reading some books on healthy eating. That was the beginning of my path to a healthy diet that turned my health situation around.

Today I can honestly say that I'm in excellent health. I feel great, I sleep great, people tell me that I don't look my age, I maintain a healthy weight, I don't take any type of medication, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar is normal, my cholesterol is normal, my immune system is strong & the list goes on.

I don't believe that I'm healthy because of chance. I strongly believe that one main reason that I'm healthy is because I take personal responsibility for my health.

A healthy diet is a great part of this responsibility. Our physical bodies have laws that are governed by proper nutrition. If we violate these laws by consistently eating unhealthy foods, we're going to get sick.

The Phantom Hunger of Dieters - By Roger Gould M.D.

There are 12 different types of emotional hunger, but you should know that the result is always the same, no matter the motivation: you feel truly hungry & at the moment when the craving for food grips you, you can't tell that your hunger originates in your mind, not in your belly.

Your Two Stomachs

I like to think of it this way: you eat when you aren't really hungry because you have two stomachs - one real, the other a phantom. The hunger in your belly signals you when your system has a biological requirement for food.

If that was the only signal of hunger you received, you'd be thin. It's the phantom stomach that causes the problems. The phantom stomach sends out a hunger signal when unruly emotions & unsolved personal agendas start pushing themselves into awareness. A short-circuit occurs & you feel so hungry that you're compelled to eat.

I see the power of the phantom stomach demonstrated almost daily in my work with patients. The other day, a patient who had just finished breakfast told me in the middle of a difficult session that she suddenly felt extremely hungry. As soon as we started talking about her sexual problems with her husband, her appetite kicked in & she could hardly wait to get to McDonald's. Her phantom stomach was shouting, demanding action.

Phantom Hunger vs. Biological Hunger

Phantom hunger comes on quickly & knows what it wants & it wants a lot of it. Biological hunger comes on gradually & you can satisfy it with relatively small amounts of food. Phantom hunger has such power that it drives you to go to almost any lengths to satisfy it.

I saw this fact demonstrated in Technicolor when I consulted at the Pritikin Institute in Santa Monica, California, where clients paid ten thousand dollars a month to take part in a controlled diet & exercise program.

Although the tuition for the program far exceeded the cost of attending the most expensive private university in America, I frequently found participants sneaking out for hamburgers & French fries at a corner stand. These were all highly motivated people sent to Pritikin by their doctors because of serious, life-threatening health problems, but positive motivation clearly wasn't enough to help them resist phantom hunger.

As you know, all dieting programs depend on positive motivation, ignoring the obvious: that there's such power in the emotional forces underlying the desire to binge or overeat that if you don't expose those forces & conquer them, you'll always be at their mercy - you'll always have weight problems.

How to End Phantom Hunger

If you want to stay on the lose-some-pounds-&-gain-them back cycle for a lifetime, go on a conventional diet. But if you want to stay trim for the rest of your life, you need to stop focusing on what you should eat to lose weight & instead ask why you overeat when you really aren't hungry.

Although diets can provide important nutritional information, we can see that diets don't & can't work if they don't address the real reason why you overeat.

MASTERING Food will help you to recognize the difference between emotional hunger & physical hunger & will teach you how to deal with each of the emotions that trigger your phantom hunger so that you eat only when you need to, not when distress triggers your cravings.

Nutrition Tips to Improve Fat Loss - By Rick DeToma

Incorporating these fat loss tips will improve your nutrition program. Start off slowly & add one a week, you don't have to adopt all of them at once. Before long, you’ve cleaned up your nutrition program & on your way to reaching your goal. Trendy diets, fads & the infomercial product of the month, aren't going to help you reach your weight loss goals. A well thought-out nutrition & exercise program will. 

Eat breakfast

Proven time & again, those who eat breakfast are more successful at controlling their weight than those that don't. Plus, when doing strength training exercises (& you know you should be), it's even more important to make certain you fuel those muscles after an overnight fast. The perfect time for burning fat because glycogen, blood glucose & insulin levels are all low.

Unfortunately, it may also be perfect for burning muscle, because glycogen levels are low & levels of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol are high.

If you skip breakfast & eat lunch at noon, you’re not only in a highly catabolic (muscle wasting) state, you’re also sending an unmistakable starvation signal to your body.

Eat less sugar

Start reading labels! Sugar is hidden in almost every commercial food item. A single tablespoon of ketchup gets 3 of its 4 grams of carbs from sugar. A 12 oz can of cola has a staggering 40 grams of sugar, and ALL of the carbs in a cola are sugar! Why does that matter?

Simple sugars are digested very quickly & cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. Your body then releases large amounts of insulin. Insulin quickly clears the glucose from the bloodstream leading to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia.)

Low blood sugar causes:

  • cravings
  • hunger
  • weakness
  • mood swings
  • decreased energy

These cravings for sugar result in a vicious cycle of ups & downs in blood sugar levels throughout the day. 

Eat More Often

Studies have shown that those who eat 4-6 smaller meals per day have less body fat than those eating 2-3 meals a day, even if both groups eat about the same number of calories. This is because of maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Too much insulin activates fat storage enzymes & forces fat in the bloodstream into fat cells for storage. 

High insulin levels also inhibit enzymes that promote the breakdown of existing stored body fat. You can manage your blood sugar & insulin levels by choosing fewer simple carbohydrates, more complex carbohydrates, eating fiber & having your carbohydrates with lean proteins approximately every 3 hours. 

Eat protein

Be sure to include enough protein for your level of activity (you are exercising…right?)

Protein speeds up your metabolism because your body has to work harder to digest, process & utilize it compared to fats or carbs.

The "thermic" effect of protein is one of the reasons that a higher protein diet is more effective for fat loss than a diet high in fat or carbs. Too much of any food can be stored as body fat, but protein is less likely to be converted to fat than any other nutrient. 

Eat nothing from a box

The closer your food is to nature the better off you are. Have you looked at the ingredients list in most packaged food these days? You need to be a scientist to figure out what half the ingredients are. Stick to real, wholesome foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, etc.  

Eat your vegetables

I don't mean fast food french fries. Try to get as many vegetable servings into your meals as you can. It's nearly impossible to over eat vegetables. They are full of fiber and will help keep you full between meals. They also contain loads of antioxidants. Raw is great, steamed is another good way to have them. Hold the heavy cheese sauces please!  

Eat protein & carbs together

If you want to keep your blood sugar in check, then don't eat your carbs by themselves. Strive to always have balanced meals of protein, carbs and healthy fats. You'll feel better and your muscles will thank you.  

Prepare your own food

Best for several reasons…It's cheaper than eating out, you know exactly what you are eating, and it saves time. It takes no more time to cook up 6 healthy chicken breasts than it does to cook one or two. Make things easy. Prepare them over the weekend and your lunches for the next few days are done. While you are at it, put on a pot of brown or wild rice, or bake up some sweet potatoes and you're good to go. 

Drink water

LOTS! Most people are already dehydrated. Strive to drink a gallon a day. If you drink a lot of coffee, then you need an extra 8 oz for each cup of coffee. Exercise will put more demands on your fluid levels. You need water. Drink 50-75% of your body weight in ounces of water. Add an additional 16 oz for strenuous exercise. No complaining! 

Get more exercise

Get some exercise on most days of the week, and alternate between strength training exercises and cardio training. If you are a beginner, shoot for two weight workouts a week and progress to 3 or more depending upon your goals. Get in as many cardio sessions as your schedule will allow, but aim for at least 3.  

Commit to adopting these nutrition program changes and you'll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal, whether it's ten pounds or many more. Sound nutrition and exercise will always succeed in the long run. Don't give into the temptation of fads.  

The information contained in this article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you are sedentary or over 40 please get clearance from a doctor before starting an exercise program.

Health Tip: Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Food?

Answer these questions to find out

(HealthDay News)  If your baby is about 4 months old, you may be considering feeding her some solid food. But how do you know if your baby is ready?

The Nemours Foundation offers this checklist:

  • Has she lost her tongue-thrusting reflex? This reflex - which prevents her from choking on formula - could cause her to push solid food from her mouth with her tongue.
  • Can your baby hold her head up on her own? Before eating solid food, she needs to be able to support her own head & neck.
  • Is she interested in food other than a bottle? If she is watching & reaching for your food, she's probably ready to try a few bites of her own.

It's in the news....
Could a Low-Carb Diet Slow Alzheimer's?: In mouse study, fewer carbs meant fewer brain-robbing plaques

Body's Brain Link to Hunger Identified: Finding could pave way for new, safer diet drugs, researchers say

I'm Starving...
A normal person who is eating 3 meals a day & snacking between meals gets almost all of his or her energy from the glucose that carbohydrates provide.
What happens if you stop eating, however?
e.g., what if you're lost in the woods, or you're purposefully fasting? What does your body do for energy? Your body goes thru several phases in its attempt to keep you alive in the absence of food.

The 1st line of defense against starvation is the liver. The liver stores glucose by converting it to glycogen. It holds perhaps a 12-hour supply of glucose in its glycogen. Once you finish digesting all of the carbohydrates that you last ate, the liver starts converting its stored glycogen back into glucose & releases it to maintain glucose in the blood.
Lipolysis also starts breaking down fat in the fat cells & releasing fatty acids into the bloodstream. Tissues that don't need to use glucose for energy (i.e., muscle cells) start burning the fatty acids. This reduces the glucose demand so that nerve cells get the glucose.

Once the liver runs out of glycogen, the liver converts to a process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis turns amino acids into glucose (see this article & this article for more on gluconeogenesis).

The liver then begins producing ketone bodies from fatty acids being made available in the blood by lipolysis. Brain & nerve cells convert over from being pure consumers of glucose to partial consumers of ketone bodies for energy (see this article for information on ketone body metabolism).

Some of these alternative metabolic processes are actually used on a regular basis.

e.g., Eskimos eating a traditional Eskimo diet have virtually no carbohydrates on the menu. You may have also read about several recent weight-loss programs that try to take advantage of ketone metabolism to "burn fat" (this article offers a thorough description of the "ketogenic diet" as used in medicine & this article talks about the "fad diets" that utilize the ketone effect). When you hear about these diets you'll now have a better idea of what they're about!

Eat Less, Exercise More: It's All the Same!

Ivanhoe Newswire

By Vivian Richardson, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) Any way you look at it, cutting enough extra calories means you'll lose weight. Who cares if you get rid of those extra calories by exercising or never eating them in the first place?

"To lose the fat, it doesn't matter if you include exercise or not," study author Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., told Ivanhoe. He & his colleagues at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., report their study subjects lost weight as long as the total number of calories burned was more than the calories consumed. Whether the deficit was created by eating less or exercising more didn't matter.

For this small study, researchers followed 2 groups of overweight adults for 6 months. One group was closely monitored as they ate a diet designed to reduce their calorie intake by 25%. The 2nd group also had a 25% reduction in total calories, though their deficit was created by a combination of diet & aerobic exercise.

After 6 months, both groups lost about 10% of their body weight & 24% of their fat mass. What surprised researchers, however, was fat distribution was also the same for both groups. This means the exercise group didn't look any better than the calorie-restriction group.

"You lose your weight as a function of your genetic background, regardless of having exercise or not," Dr. Ravussin said. People who are genetically heavy in the thighs, i.e., may lose the same amount of weight from their thighs whether they cut calorie intake or use aerobic exercise to burn calories.

Dr. Ravussin said he doesn't want to downplay the importance of exercise. This study didn't take into account the cardiovascular & metabolic benefits one gains from exercise.

"Physical activity has been shown to be related to increased life span & I think there is a lot of benefit from exercise aside from the loss of fat," said Dr. Ravussin. "Those benefits shouldn't be ignored & should be factored in."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click here.

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interview with Eric Ravussin, Ph.D.; Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published online Jan. 2, 2007

Food Clock Sets Mealtimes

Scientists gain insight into how your brain knows when to tell you to eat

By Randy Dotinga / HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) Like the body clock, which uses cues from the sun to tell you when to sleep, you also have a "food clock" that reminds you when to eat. And scientists now say they're gaining insight into what makes it tick.

In a new study, a team of American & Japanese researchers report that they've discovered genes in mice that play a role in helping the food clock hijack the body clock when necessary.

While it's too early to know for sure, the findings could bring scientists one step closer to adjusting the body's clocks to help obese people lose weight, said study senior author Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Med. Ctr. "I don't have any concrete idea for a medication right now, but this is the first step," he added.

Scientists have long known about the 24-hour body clock, which adjusts your sleeping cycles to day-&-night cycles. "It's the master clock & it dominates everything else under normal conditions," Yanagisawa said.

But recently, scientists have also become aware of the molecular food clock. In the new study, the researchers tried to figure out how it works by tinkering with the feeding cycles of mice.

Mice are nocturnal & normally eat at night. But the scientists adjusted their eating patterns by only making food available in a short period during daytime.

As a result, the mice switched their waking patterns after a few weeks, essentially becoming diurnal animals that are active in the daytime. The mice also showed an increase in wakefulness & food-seeking behavior right before food became available.

The researchers euthanized the mice at various times of day & analyzed their brains. They found that certain genes turned on in the mice around their scheduled mealtimes, Yanagisawa said.

Apparently, these genes overpower the ones that suggest the mice should be sleeping during the day. "The food clock is normally a dormant state. It's kind of silent," Yanagisawa said. But in the experiments, "ultimately food is more important than light. The animal suddenly starts to ignore the master clock & the food clock clicks in," he added.

According to Yanagisawa, the new study adds to existing research suggesting that an area of the brain known as the dorsomedial hypothamalic nucleus is the food clock, he said.

The next step is to figure out how "this clock is regulating our appetite & motivation to eat," he said.

In the future, scientists will need to figure out several things about the clock, said Dr. Joseph Bass, a metabolism researcher at Northwestern Univ.

Among the mysteries: how does the food clock center communicate with the rest of the brain? How do disruptions in eating cycles affect it? And how can the "circuits" be adjusted?

Ultimately, such research could help scientists better understand conditions such as obesity & diabetes, which are connected to the body's metabolism, added sleep researcher Dr. Robert Vorona, an asst. professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

The findings appear in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The basics of body clocks are explained by the National Institute of Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov ).

Women More Prone to 'Stress Eating' Than Men :But anxiety drives all to sugary, fatty foods, study finds

Pregnancy in adolescence superimposes the needs of the growing fetus on the young girl's nutritional needs for her own rapid growth.

As a consequence, teenage mothers, who are often from low income households, have a greater risk of delivering a low birth weight, or premature infant than do older mothers. Good prenatal care & nutritional counseling can help reduce these risks.

Various aspects of teen culture, lifestyle & environment influence food selection & nutritional status. An adolescent's growing independence means fewer meals with the family & more meals eaten at fast food restaurants & concession stands.

Teens receive most of their nutrition information from television & magazines. Finding out what teens already know about nutrition is an important first step in designing a program to improve eating behavior.

Teens appear to understand the basic principles of balance, variety & moderation, but hold misconceptions about fat in foods & what foods are "good" & "bad" for them. Data from recent surveys indicate that teens may increase their consumption of milk if nutrition educators emphasize the good taste of dairy foods & focus on how to make drinking milk more personally important to them.

The most effective nutrition education programs are based on behavioral learning theory & include a self-assessment component, are long-term & involve the family, school environment & the community.

Research shows that often a number of unhealthy behaviors, such as:

  • poor diet
  • smoking
  • alcohol use
  • sedentary lifestyle

with clusters of factors in the same individuals.

This argues for including nutrition education as part of a broad-based lifestyle education program. Practitioners need to carefully assess the unique status & needs of each adolescent to maintain the delicate balance between short-term developmental needs & future health.

Teen Nutrition for All the Right Reasons
Most teens are interested in nutrition because they either want to look good or improve their athletic performance. Some are concerned about health, but let's face it, most of us don't think we'll ever get sick.
That's just for old people, right? So let's get down to the important stuff that really counts.
Weight. Girls usually want to lose weight, while guys usually want to build more muscle & get taller.
The mirror (or your friends & what they think about you) may not be the best way to judge what you should weigh. Girls naturally add some fat as they mature. In fact, if a girl doesn't have at least 17% body fat, she won't have normal periods.
That may sound great, but it's not good for her body. For teens, DIET is a 4 letter word. That doesn't mean you shouldn't clean up your act & get more active & eat better, but starving yourself is bad for your brain, muscle & bones. In contrast, boys often want to become taller & stronger. Again nature doesn't always cooperate.
Boys begin their growth spurt up to 2 years later than girls. Some as late as age 14 or 15. That's really frustrating because boys don't develop their full muscle mass until a year after they hit their full height. That could be as late as age 20.
That can seem like forever, but eating a lot of junk food or drinking high protein drinks isn't going to speed up Old Mother Nature. Boys who overeat just learn bad habits that will make them fat as they get older.
Extra protein just gets used for calories & may hurt the kidneys. The real goal is a healthy weight. A healthy weight is what you weigh when you eat a variety of healthy foods & are active every day.
Too many teens are so inactive they not only become couch potatoes, but they sometimes get mistaken for the couch. If you sit more than 2 hours a day in front of the TV or computer, you're likely to be out of shape if not overweight.
The real goal is to be fit, not just thin.
So what's the solution?
Eat right & get active! This is true whether you are a star athlete or a casual walker. The only difference is the amount you eat.
First, make every drink count. This may sound boring, but soft drinks & alcohol aren't where it's at. You're building bone faster now than you ever have. The amount of bone you make now will protect you from bone loss later. You need at least 3-4 cups of skim or reduced fat milk every day.
Then drink 4 more cups of water or juice to get enough fluid for your body to function properly. Drink an extra 2 cups of water before an athletic event & another 4 ozs. every half hour while you exercise.
On hot days you'll need to drink even more. Drink too little fluid & you may end up laying on the playing field instead of playing on it.
Second, eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables a day. Fruits & vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals & fiber & are low in calories. People who eat the most vegetables & fruits stay healthy the longest. One serving is only the size of the palm of a girl's hand, or her fist if it's a piece of fruit or potato, so that really isn't much.
Third, eat more whole grains & cereals. Bread won't make you fat if you don't eat too much. Depending on your size, you need 6 - 11 servings per day. The best choices are fiber-rich whole grain breads, cereals & pasta.
Again a girl's palm is about the size of one portion. Eat enough protein but not too much. Most of us eat too much protein. That doesn't mean you should become a vegetarian, but try to eat smaller portions of meat, fish & poultry.
Fill up on those veggies & grains.
Finally, watch the junk. You know what that is. Candy, chips, fries - whatever. Make fast foods a special occasion instead of a daily event. When you eat out, go for the grilled chicken, baked potatoes, bean burritos, chili, salad, milk & orange juice.

Eat more fiber, including whole grain breads & cereals, fruits (not juice) vegetables & dried beans & peas.

What are bingeing behaviors?

Bingeing behaviors are:

What are compulsive behaviors?

Compulsive behaviors are:

  • Driven behaviors which are often influenced by subconscious desires & motives.

  • Strong, uncontrollable, hard to tame actions & behaviors which have a predictable pattern.

  • Often habits learned over one's lifetime which are difficult to break.

Are binging behaviors compulsive?

Binging behaviors are compulsive in style, intensity, habituation, history, motivation & difficulty to control & remediate.

When are bingeing & compulsive behaviors a problem?

Binging & compulsive behaviors are a problem when they:

  • Interfere with your recovery which includes trying to control consumption of a target element such as food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc.

  • Are done in secrecy or are hidden because you don't want to admit they are a problem & don't want to remediate them.

  • Are denied by you & swept under the covers.

  • Are allowed to have an all-pervasive influence in the course of the lifestyle you choose.

What is an addiction?

An addiction is:

  • A set of behaviors which has become so habitual & all-pervasive in your life that the behaviors have control over you rather than you over them.

  • A habit which is so powerful that it influences the course of your life.

  • A lifestyle choice, be it good or bad, which determines the outcome of your health & welfare.

  • A set of behaviors which have become so necessary to you that it determines the meaning & purpose for your life.

Can there be a healthy addiction or compulsion?

It's possible for you to develop healthy addictions or compulsions such as the addiction or compulsion to:

  • Eating right & eating balanced meals.

  • Maintaining your health.

  • Monitoring your lifestyle to be sure it's in balance with your recovery.

  • Reducing stress in your life.

  • Living a recovered lifestyle.

Steps you can take to stop bingeing or to control a compulsive behavior or to change a negative addiction

In order to change an unwanted behavior you must follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: You must make an honest assessment of your lifestyle & behaviors & admit to yourself what behaviors you currently practice which are:

Behaviors  Behaviors I practice
Binge Behaviors  
Compulsive Behaviors  
Healthy Addictions  
Unhealthy Addictions  
Healthy Habits  
Unhealthy Habits  

Step 2: You must be willing, on your own, to want to change the unhealthy binge, compulsive, habitual & addictive behaviors.

Unless you want to change the behaviors for your own sake rather than to please someone else, you'll lack the strength of motivation & conviction to follow thru with the decision & behaviors needed to change.

Step 3:  You must be willing to admit to yourself that to change any habit or old behavior is a difficult task & you must be willing to set realistic goals for yourself.

Step 4:  Once you identify the target behaviors to be changed, monitor yourself for the next month & keep a daily log of your behaviors. Each night put the log in your journal & answer the following questions for each occurrence of the target behaviors:

A. How often did you engage in the target (binge, compulsive, habit, addiction) behavior today? 

B. What did you do? What were the dimensions & size of the behavior? How much time was spent on the behavior? 

C. Were there other people around or were you hiding?

D. What was your emotional tone while you engaged in the behavior?

E.  Was there any significant event or cue preceding your engaging in this behavior?

F. Where do you commonly engage in this behavior?

G. How do you feel after you have completed this behavior?

Step 5: After you spend a month of daily logging in these target behaviors, look for a pattern present in the behaviors & etermine:

  • Location of behaviors, e.g., usually in home, kitchen, bar, work site, restaurant, etc.

  • Time of day, e.g., usually in morning, evening, at lunch, after work, etc.

  • Day of week, or month, e.g., on Fridays only, on pay days only, everyday, weekends only, etc.

  • Length of time engaged in behavior, e.g., usually 30 minutes or less, 6 hours or more, etc.

  • Emotional tone preceding engaging in the behavior, e.g., usually anxious, depressed, happy, stressed, etc.

  • Emotional tone after engaging in the behavior, e.g., usually guilt, remorse, fear, depression, anger, disappointment, etc.

  • Social environment where engaging in behavior, e.g., hiding, alone, with a specific person every time, in a social setting, etc.

Step 6: After you review the log & look for patterns, perform a behavior chain analysis on selected events to see if the patterns you identified in Step 5 can be further clarified or expanded upon.

Step 7: Now that your log, pattern analysis & behavior chains are completed, determine which of these next corrective actions need to be taken.

A. What needs to be restructured at home, at work & in the community to reduce the ease w/which you engage in these behaviors?

How can you make it more difficult for yourself to engage in these behaviors?

How can you block yourself from freely engaging in these behaviors?

B. What alterations need to be made in your daily, weekly & monthly schedule in order to reduce the opportunities for these target behaviors to occur?

C. What self-monitoring or social support systems do you need to establish to help control or stop thinking about engaging in these behaviors?

D. What are some rational steps you can take to alter or control the impact of the emotional cues which typically lead to these behaviors?

What thought-stopping techniques do you need to use to avoid thinking about the behaviors?

E. What do you need to do to continuously remind yourself of your humanity in attempting to change habitual ways of acting so that you aren't hard on yourself if you "fall off the wagon?"

What action plan can you set up to ensure you'll "jump back on the wagon" after every failure?

Step 8: After answering the Step 7 issues, you are now ready to develop a plan of action to extinguish the target behavior(s).

  • Set a realistic time frame.

  • Be sure you have in place a support system to help you.

  • Be sure you have ongoing review & re-evaluation steps included in your plan.

Step 9: Implement your plan of action & monitor the results.

Step 10: If still unsuccessful, go back to Step 1 & begin again

Never skip a meal; it may lead to a low blood glucose reaction...

Insomnia in a Can

Real impact of "energy drinks" may be poor grades

Granted, energy drinks look a lot cooler than a bottle of water. They have supercharged packaging & outrageous names. (Really, what sounds hipper: Poland Spring or Venom?) And they'll definitely give kids more energy. So what's the problem?

First, a growing number of energy drinks are loaded w/sugar & caffeine, plus a variety of herbs not always known to be safe.


The amount of caffeine in these drinks is equivalent to a cup of coffee & can cause insomnia & anxiety in sensitive teens. One recent study of 7th to 9th graders found that heavy caffeine users had disturbed sleep patterns (Pediatrics, Jan 2003).


"Kids like the revved-up feeling they get from these drinks, but they're not thinking about the consequences, such as poor school performance from lack of sleep," says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports nutrition at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Ctr.

"We need to educate our teens that regular food will give more sustained energy than any so-called energy drink," says Bonci. For kids performing intense activity, she advises using products such as Gatorade, Powerade, or even plain old water with a little honey.



Jittery? Peevish? Can't Sleep? What Are You Drinking?


Published: April 6, 2004

The patient was led reluctantly into my office by his girlfriend.

Over the course of the past month, she explained, Adam had become uncharacteristically nervous & snappish. He hardly slept & when he did she noticed that his muscles twitched.

Adam's own account didn't differ from his girlfriend's. He was a graduate student & he needed to study for his qualifying exams, he said, explaining his irritability.

I noticed during the consultation that Adam was sweaty & nervous & that the muscles around his eyes twitched. He had already seen his internist, who told him that his physical exam & routine lab tests were entirely normal. This is nothing more than stress, his doctor declared.

In my office, Adam's resting heart rate was 110, which is on the fast side for a fit 31-year-old man. His blood pressure was mildly elevated at 140/80, but just talking to a psychiatrist can be nerve-racking for many people.

After a review of his psychiatric history, which was entirely negative, I asked him whether he was using any recreational drugs. Aside from experimenting with marijuana as a teenager, he said he hadn't. I never stop at the first denial, so I inquired about specific drugs like cocaine & amphetamines, which are well known to cause anxiety states.

"No way," he said & I believed him.

Maybe this was just plain old-fashioned anxiety. After all, Adam was facing enormous academic pressure in a prestigious institution & he felt that his future was riding on the outcome of an exam. So I gave him some reasonable advice about dealing with stress & sent him on his way with a clean psychiatric bill of health.

Two weeks later, I got a call from Adam's girlfriend saying that he was worse than ever. When I saw him, he looked haggard & anxious & I was convinced that I had missed something important the first time around. Did he have an undiagnosed medical disease? Covert substance abuse? Exposure to an environmental toxin?

In painstaking detail, we reviewed his medical & psychiatric history, but nothing stood out. Exasperated, I asked him to tell me what he did from the moment he got out of bed until he went to sleep: activities, diet, everything. Then I got it.

After the habitual 2 cups of Starbucks coffee, Adam set to work. So far, so good. But as the academic pressure mounted, he had to work longer hours & that meant more coffee - a lot more coffee than he had ever consumed in his life. In fact, for 6 weeks, he had been drinking up to 10 cups of Starbucks coffee daily.

That's a lot of caffeine, considering that each large cup contains on average about 375 milligrams, according to a 2003 study of caffeinated coffee published in The Journal of Analytical Toxicology. With 10 cups a day, Adam was turbocharged with nearly 4 grams of caffeine.

So Adam wasn't just nervous about his academic work; he was also suffering from caffeine intoxication.

How, you might wonder, could such a ubiquitous substance be toxic? With an average of 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day, most people get 100 to 300 milligrams of caffeine. With chronic exposure, though, people become accustomed to the stimulant effects of caffeine. In contrast, a sudden increase in caffeine consumption can easily produce caffeine intoxication.

In general, more than 1.5 grams of caffeine a day can cause the typical symptoms of caffeinism:

Caffeine is far & away the most widely used stimulant in the world. It's actually a member of a class of compounds called xanthines that includes theobromine, which is abundant in chocolate & theophylline, the major xanthine in tea.

Caffeine works by blocking the calming & analgesic effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain. In moderate doses, caffeine enhances arousal & performance. At higher doses, caffeine blocks a majority of adenosine receptors & can produce anxiety & hypersensitivity to pain.

Of course Adam's response to caffeine was an extreme example. But the effects of this popular stimulant encompass a broad spectrum, from the pleasant activation of morning coffee to the extreme agitation & anxiety of caffeine intoxication.

Judging from the sheer number of consumer products spiked with caffeine, one would think we were a nation of narcoleptics, desperately trying to stay awake. From "enhanced" water to sports drinks to dietary supplements, caffeine is a common additive. And as the food & supplement industries search for new stimulants following the recent ban on ephedra, it would hardly be surprising to find caffeine use on the rise.

After all, the hectic pace of our modern life practically demands that we can switch ourselves on & off. Sure, we can stave off fatigue with caffeine, but sometimes nature pays us back richly - with anxiety & sleeplessness if we're lucky or caffeine intoxication if we indulge in excess.

8 Fun & Easy Steps Toward Healthy Eating Habits - By Connie de Veer, CPCC, MFA

These 8 steps come from my own desire to get off the diet roller coaster and get back to enjoying food --- while honoring my desire for good health and longevity. I am eager to share my discoveries with you in the hopes that you too, will enjoy food and regard it as a source of restorative, healing, life-giving energy.

1. Envision your goal – If you’re vague about where you’re heading and why you want it, you won’t get there! So, write out (or, if you hate to journal, speak it into a tape recorder, or speak it to a friend who’ll write it down for you), a beautiful, blissful, perfect, 100% satisfaction, no limits, no negative self-talk picture of what you want to achieve in your eating habits. Be as specific as possible, and use as many sensory details as you can come up with. IMPORTANT NOTE: Make this fun!! Now, you have a clear idea of what you want, and the how piece gets easier and clearer as a result. If your resolve starts to wane throughout your journey, take this out and read it again.

2. Food Association Journal - Set aside about a half an hour for this. Take inventory of all the associations you have with food. Sit down and write it all out. The good, the bad, and the ugly! Let your unconscious mind and your imagination go nuts with this one. Draw pictures even, if you want to! But get down on paper, every attitude, belief, opinion, love, and hate that shows up when you think about or have anything to do with food.

3. Values Assessment: Take a look at your Food Association Journal and from it, pull out as many things that you value, deem really important, must have, and love about food. Write them down. (Bear in mind that when coaches refer to values, we don’t mean what you think you should think is important, or what someone else thinks is valuable. Values in this context refer to those things that aren’t either “right” or “wrong.” Like emotions, they just “are.”)

4. Start – and stick with – a food journal - Create a plan for what you’re going to eat, and then write down everything you do eat, even when it deviates from the straight and narrow path. WRITE IT ALL DOWN! Awareness of a habit is MOST of the solution. And you might be surprised when you tally up whatever units you’re counting (calories, fat grams, etc.) It may be less than you think, and then you’ll be less likely to throw the towel in on your whole goal.

5. Craving Antidotes – Make a list of at least 10 antidotes you can call forth when you’re hit with a food craving. Things like:

• a detailed, written description of how great you’ll feel when you reach your goal.
• a picture (from a magazine, drawing, photo, etc.) that captures the feeling and look of what you want to achieve. (Mine is a woman, about my age and coloring, in a cool turquoise swimsuit, enjoying the beach!)
• a mantra, or affirmation that calls forth your inner strength and resources.
• activities you can choose instead of eating.

6. Get in your body. That’s right. We often disassociate from our bodies by turning our attention to analyzing, judging, planning, or otherwise medicating (with food, drugs, alcohol, and other repetitive thoughts and behaviors) in an attempt to avoid being present in the everyday struggles of life. The body is an undeniable reminder of our humanity! It’s our bodies that show the ravages of time and stress in a visible and concrete way. So crafty, adaptable animals that we are, we’ve learned to escape by “going into our heads,” so to speak. Well, now it’s time to call yourself back home to your body!

So, set aside some quiet time to be alone and undistracted. Check in with your body. Notice what it feels like to inhabit this body. Ask yourself the following questions:

• Where does my energy feel sluggish, or stuck? Be specific. Your body knows, if you give it a chance to “speak.”
• What am I hungry for (other than food --- like love, appreciation, justice, etc.)
• What food does my body want/need right now?
• How do I want to feel, in my body? Be as specific as possible. For example, “I want to feel light in my knees, and free and unencumbered in my lower abdomen.”

7. Expect obstacles and relapses now and then. I promise you, they will happen. But get the big picture - one little slip up (or even two or three...) does not mean your goal is doomed. Weight fluctuates. Period. Whether you’re trying to lose or gain, your mostly fluid body will ebb and flow. You are not a victim of your humanity! You can choose whether to stay stuck, or get back on track.

8. Take the scenic route – I don’t know about you, but for me, I wanted to change my eating habits for life, and I certainly didn’t want to spend my life feeling deprived!! So I decided to consciously choose what I call, “Pauses on the scenic route.” This means, I decided to give myself permission to deviate from my eating plan now and then. My only rules were:

Enjoy every delectable morsel!
Make it REALLY good quality and something I really love and want!
No bingeing
Get right back on the program

This also means I didn’t lose the classic 1.5 – 2 pounds a week. So what! It means that I am in control, at choice, and am not a slave to my (former!) addiction to food.

And you can be in control and at choice, too!

Weight management

Weight management means keeping your body weight at a healthy level.


Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a must when it comes to controlling your weight. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight.

An easy way to determine your own desirable body weight is to use the following formula:

  • Women: 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height plus 5 pounds for each additional inch.

  • Men: 106 pounds of body weight for the first 5 feet of height plus 6 pounds for each additional inch.

  • For a small body frame, 10% should be subtracted. For a large frame, 10% should be added.

Body fat and body mass measurements are used to determine whether a person is under- or overweight. A registered dietitian or exercise physiologist can help you calculate your body fat. The recommended amount of body fat differs for men and women.

For women:

  • Recommended amount of body fat: 20% - 21%.
  • The average American woman has approximately 22% - 25% body fat.
  • A woman with more than 30% body fat is considered obese.

For men:

  • Recommended amount: 13% - 17%
  • Adult men in the United States average 17 - 19% body fat
  • 25% or higher is considered obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a indirect measurement of your body composition. It takes into consideration both your weight and height. BMI helps determine your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes and hypertension.

To calculate your BMI, see Body Mass Index.

It is important to note that the terms "overweight" and "obese" do NOT mean the same thing. See obesity.

Weight management for people who have been overweight involves continued physical activity and monitoring of the amount of food eaten.


Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders associated with a negative alteration in body image. Anorexia nervosa is a disorder of extreme self-imposed limitations of food, resulting in dangerously rapid weight loss to the point of starvation. This disorder is most commonly found in adolescent females, but may also occur in males, children, and adults.

Bulimia is binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting and is frequently associated with anorexia nervosa. Often times there is no significant weight loss and the condition may not come to medical attention until the individual seeks help.

Excessive intentional weight loss can cause a person to be dangerously underweight. For these people, weight management involves maintaining sufficient intake of food to prevent losing the weight that has been gained.

To maintain one's weight, the following formula can be used:

  • 10 Calories per pound of desirable body weight if the person is sedentary or if they're very obese.

  • 13 Calories per pound of desirable body weight for low activity level, or after the age of 55 years.

  • 15 Calories per pound of desirable body weight for moderate activity.

  • 18 Calories per pound of desirable body weight for strenuous activity.

  • Low activity: No planned, regular physical activity; occasional weekend or weekly activity is the only type of physical activity (like golf or recreational tennis).

  • Moderate activity: Participation in physical activity like swimming, jogging, or fast walking, 30 - 60 minutes each time.

  • Strenuous activity: Participation in vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes or more at least 4 - 5 days per week.

  • Don't eat meat more than once a day. Fish & poultry are recommended above red or processed meats because they're less fattening.

  • Avoid frying food. Your food absorbs the fats from the cooking oils, increasing your dietary fat intake. It's recommended that you bake or broil food. If you do fry, use polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil.

  • Cut down on your salt intake, whether it be table salt, or flavors intensifiers that contain salt such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).

  • Including adequate fiber in your diet is very important. Fiber is found in green leafy vegetables, fruit, beans, bran flakes, nuts, root vegetables & whole grain foods.

  • Don't eat more than 4 eggs per week. Although they're a good source of protein & low in saturated fat, eggs are very high in cholesterol & should be eaten in moderation for that reason.

  • Choose fresh fruit for deserts rather than cookies, cake, or pudding.

  • Too much of anything has its drawbacks, whether it be calories, or a particular type of food. A well-balanced diet with variety is best suited to your needs.
  • Follow the recommendations of the food guide pyramid.


For weight management to be successful, following is a summary of basic guidelines:

  • Aerobic physical activity will assist in increasing muscle tissue and also in burning calories. Physical activity should be balanced with diet to maintain a desired weight.

  • Gradual changes in eating habits will help encourage a permanent lifestyle change. Counseling and behavior modification may be necessary.

  • Eat a healthy well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation.


A registered dietitian is an excellent resource for individualized weight management. The registered dietitian can provide information on classes and programs available in the community.

The Federal Trade Commission can provide consumer brochures that evaluate commercial weight management programs.

Note: 1 Calorie equals 1000 calories or 1 kcal. See diet and calories.

source: my exercisediet.com

click here to read exercise & weight loss for more information about caloric guidelines in weight loss & balanced diet

Nutrition and athletic performance


There is a connection between food consumption and athletic performance.


Perhaps only a top athlete would notice the subtle improvements in performance that dietary changes can provide. There is a large body of evidence showing a relationship between food consumption and athletic performance. A poor diet will almost certainly have a negative effect on the performance of even the most casual athlete. A good diet with adequate calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein will help provide the energy required to finish a race or simply enjoy a recreational sport or activity.

Nutrition and athletic performance


The diet recommended for an athlete differs little from the diet suggested for any healthy individual. The Food Guide Pyramid is an excellent guide. However, the amount of each food group needed will depend on the type of sport, the amount of training and the time in relation to activity or exercise. Calorie needs vary with the size, age, sex and physical activity performed by the individual so the number of servings a person requires will vary.


Complex carbohydrates are a diet staple. They are found in foods such as pasta, bagels, whole grain breads and rice. They provide energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are low in fat. Carbohydrate loading (a concerted diet/training regimen) will increase the body's energy stores of carbohydrate (called glycogen). Carbohydrate loading has been shown to improve performance in endurance-type activities lasting more than 1 hour.

The classical method of carbohydrate loading has been abandoned and replaced by a modified method which is safer and equally effective at increasing muscle glycogen. The most important factor influencing glycogen stores is to consume 50 - 60% of calories from carbohydrates on a daily basis.

Simple sugars such as soft drinks, jams and jellies, and candy provide few nutrients but a lot of calories. They may actually decrease performance when consumed directly before an athletic event as they may cause hypoglycemia.


Protein's most important functions in the body are to support growth and to repair body tissues. Many people feel athletes need a high-protein diet to support muscle growth despite the fact that researchers have repeatedly proved this false.

It is also a myth that a high-protein diet will promote muscle growth. Only strength training and exercise will promote changes in muscle. Athletes, even body builders, require only small increases over normal needs in order to support muscle growth. Athletes easily meet this increased need by simply consuming more total calories (eating more food).

Americans already eat almost twice as much protein as they need, so protein needs for muscle development are being met before strength training begins. Excess protein is used as energy and can be stored as body fat.

Amino acid supplements and excessively high intakes of protein are not recommended. They can increase calcium loss and put an added burden on the kidneys, which must remove the excess nitrogen protein provides.


Water is the most important, yet over-looked, nutrient by athletes. Water and fluids are essential to maintaining good hydration and body temperature. Sweat losses to keep the body cool can exceed several liters in a 1-hour period.

Adolescents and adults should replace any lost body weight lost during a exercise with equal amounts of fluids. A good indication that you have fully rehydrated is to check to see if your urine is clear. Cool water is the best choice.

  • Some suggestions for maintaining adequate hydration are:
    • Drink plenty of water, juice, and milk.
    • Avoid caffeine -containing beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic and promotes fluid loss.
    • Drink plenty of fluid before, during, and after exercise.
    • Offer children water frequently during sports activities. They do not respond to thirst as readily as adults.


Changing body weight to improve performance must be done safely and effectively or it may do more harm than good. Maintaining an unrealistically low body weight, rapid weight loss, and unnaturally suppressing weight gain can have negative health effects so it is important to set realistic body weight goals.

Young athletes attempting to lose weight will benefit from a consultation with a Registered Dietitian. Eating disorders and poor dietary habits may result from experimentation with diets. The Food Guide Pyramid is an excellent resource to ensure adequate food intake to meet vitamin and mineral needs while safely achieving body composition goals.

Make sure that you speak with a health care professional to discuss a diet appropriate for your sport, age, gender, and amount of training.

source: MyExerciseDiet.com

The Link Between ADHD & Nutrition

Learn how a modified diet can minimize the symptoms of a common behavioral disorder.

By Jean Weiss for MSN Health & Fitness

Your child has a hard time sitting still in class, but you loath the idea of having him take Ritalin & lose his sparkle. And yet, he does need to stop bouncing off the walls.

Increasingly, parents are looking at their child’s diet before turning to medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD.

Characterized by:

  • hyperactivity
  • impulsiveness
  • the inability to focus

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in childhood, affecting from 3 to 5 % of U.S. school-age children.  Most parents and physicians treat ADHD with medication - in fact, the use of medication tripled worldwide between 1993 & 2003, with the United States prescribing more medication for ADHD than any other country.

Yet some parents have taken a rigorous look at their child’s diet, as a substitute for or in conjunction with meds, in an effort to minimize symptoms & ultimately sidestep a dependency on drugs.

Medication produces fast results & is preferred by many physicians, parents & teachers. “It does improve behavior, it's easy, it's quick, but the problem is it doesn’t heal anything,” says clinical nutritionist Marcia Zimmerman, a former research scientist at Stanford University Medical Center & author of the book The ADD Nutrition Solution: A 30-Day Drug-Free Plan.

And moreover, when a child has been on these meds for a period of time it develops side effects & you have to use more drugs to relieve the side effects.”

A nutrition approach takes longer to show results. “With dietary supplements you can see improvement in behavior in a week or two,” says Zimmerman. “A food approach is more of a long-term thing - a 30-day plan, i.e..”

There are many ADHD-healing diets to choose from. The Feingold Method has sparked controversy because of its regimented program & recommendations that you steer clear of many foods - such as fruits - that are considered healthy by many nutritionists. 

Another option is elimination diets, in which parents take away multiple food categories & then reintroduce them one by one to see how they affect mood & behavior.

Whichever approach you choose, make sure the changes are realistic for your family & don’t create additional stress as you attempt to follow them. “There are diets out there that are incredibly strict,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association with nutrition practices in Long Island & Manhattan.

“Those diets could have credibility, but I would recommend picking some aspect of the diet - let’s say sugar - & really watching that to see if your child has a change in behavior.”

Zimmerman says it’s OK to relax & let your child enjoy the food at a birthday party, i.e., but she says it’s easier for a child to adjust to a new, restricted diet when the whole family takes part.

The backbone of a food-based approach is stabilizing blood sugar levels & feeding the brain the right types of foods at the optimal times. Protein & whole grains are high on the list & recommended by both Zimmerman & Taub-Dix. Small healthy meals throughout the day regulate energy, and convert food into the glucose the brain needs to function.

“About 50% of what a child eats goes to feed their brain,” Zimmerman says.

The brain’s only fuel is sugar - glucose, not sucrose. We have to have a steady supply of glucose for the brain. If they get too much, [the ADHD child] can’t handle it, if they don’t get enough, they can’t handle it. The theory is to supply the brain with glucose when they need it but also to supply protein. You want the messages between the brain cells to be activated at the right time.”

A health care professional can help you find the nutrient mix that’s best for your ADHD child. Both Taub-Dix & Zimmerman emphasize the importance of consulting a physician before taking a food-based approach. “Just like any illness, when your child needs medication it’s important to give medication,” says Taub-Dix.

And if a child is already taking meds, don’t pull him off without a plan. “If a child is on meds, you have to work with a doctor,” Zimmerman says.

“It's possible to reduce a child’s meds or alleviate some of the side effects & it's even possible that diet & supplements could remedy the situation. But when you're talking about medication, you want to make sure parents understand that you shouldn't just stop them.”

In Pictures: 5 Foods to Feed Your Child With ADHD

  • 5 Foods to Feed Your Child W/ADHD

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