Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eating Healthy to be Healthy

Eating healthy will help you feel great and have lots of energy so you can enjoy life more and have a strong immune system. Many people often tend to doubt and question the importance of eating healthy because they seemed to be ok with eating unhealthy their whole lives. But eating healthy is always great for your body especially when it comes to the prevention of heart disease by maintaining good heart health. If you are serious about eating healthy, then you need to become more educated about the foods you eat and the nutrients they contain.

When it comes to eating healthy, many people tend to make poor decisions such as having some ice cream and a slice of piece on an occasion. But these bad habits tend to add up those calories while also leading to not so good health. There are ways to keep watch over what we actually put into our mouths, and with some hard work, your job of eating healthy can become much easier. Eating healthy in your home will eventually rub off on those loved ones who may be harder to convince.

Healthy eating is an opportunity to try many new and wonderful foods or different vegetables, fruits, and other grains that you would not normally eat. Research has shown that following a healthy eating plan can do two things: lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing it. Having a well balanced diet will help your kids grow up strong and healthy too. Children that sit down with their families for meals are also more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains with less likelihood of snacking on unhealthy foods.

The most obvious health threat of eating too much fast food is excessive weight gain. Eating healthy does not have to mean that you can't enjoy the food you love and simply having to eat foods that are unappealing. Eating healthy does mean to stay away from such foods as candy, cookies, pastries, and cakes. Results of many studies have shown that by eating fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy will help to reduce elevated blood pressure.

Making healthy meals is easy and can be done by using more raw foods such as salads, vegetable juices, choosing sandwiches with whole grain bread, and using low-fat products. You can easily reduce the amount of fat you eat by choosing fewer high-fat foods while cooking with less fat. Make that health choice today and your body and family will thank you for it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Example of a Perfect Meal

Good nutrition is vital to a strong and healthy mind and body. It's true what they say - you are what you eat.

This statement points out very effectively that if you feed your body with low nutritional and sugary garbage, your body has nothing to work with and you'll end up eventually feeling like garbage.

On the other hand, if you nourish your body with food that is packed with nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, whole grains and omega-3's, you'll notice a huge difference in how you look and feel...especially if you make this type of food a dietary habit.

Right now we're at a crossroad - we know we should be eating better, but there are so many restaurants available offering "bad" food and it's making the obesity rate skyrocket. Even restaurants that offer fish platters and other health-conscious meals end up not so well because of the amount of calories you ingest between the bread, large portions and dessert.

You have two options:

1. Stay away from fast rood restaurants - and when you eat out at restaurants, be strict about what you eat. Stay away from the bread and don't finish everything on your plate...bring the rest home for a meal you can eat the next day.

2. Make a meal at home yourself using ingredients you buy at the grocery store, not frozen entrees.

The focus of this article is on number two because by making your own meal, you can control exactly what goes into it. The end result is a meal that you know is nutritious and NOT packed with health-deteriorating ingredients.

Here's an example of the perfect meal you can make at home. It has everything you need for better health.

What you'll need is:

1 9-10 ounce bag of baby spinach
1 can of wild Alaskan pink salmon
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup of brown rice

Here's a breakdown of each food's health benefits:

Spinach - this green leaf is packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and fiber - and it's low in calories.

Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon - yes, canned! It tastes better than you think. The reason this is recommended is because the food is a powerhouse of good fats, protein and omega-3's and is low in calories and carbohydrates. The salmon you would normally buy is potentially high in mercury, which is bad. This Wild Alaskan form is free of mercury...and it's inexpensive.

In case you're wondering, Omega-3's are vital for healthy weight loss, brain health and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Olive Oil - full of good fat which your body does need. When you buy olive oil, make sure it's 100% authentic. Some brands are now mixing olive oil with refined oils...the end result is olive oil, but not really.

Balsamic Vinegar - vinegar reportedly controls your blood sugar level when eating which is important for overall health. Furthermore, it gives the meal more taste.

Brown Rice - whole grains are full of vitamins and fiber. Check out Uncle Ben's instant brown rice...it's pretty good and quick to make.

Making the meal is easy. You simply lay the spinach out on a platter- you can more or less use however much you want- and drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the spinach.

Let this sit for 10 minutes or so- this gives the spinach a chance to soak up the oil and vinegar. While this is sitting, cook the brown rice and open up the can of salmon.

When ready, simply spread the salmon over the spinach and put the brown rice either on the side or in a separate bowl.

And now the best part of all - ENJOY!

This meal will take you 15 minutes max to make and each bite will nourish your body from the inside out. And once you get used to eating healthy, you'll find yourself experimenting with all types of different meals.

This article shared with you one example of a perfect meal, but there are many many more!

Restaurant Dining for the Health Conscious Eater

Here's food for thought! Did you know the average restaurant meal has over 1,000 calories? That's enough to blow any healthy eating plan. Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal.

2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is a healthy eater's best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you'll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you'll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you'll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overindulge. By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank you!