Medifast Review

Product: Medifast

Owner: Jason Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Website: www.medifast1.com

Price: Approximately $250-$350 per month but can vary

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Is Medifast a Healthy Option for Weight Loss?

Is Medifast a healthy option for weight loss? That’s a question many people may ask. If you compare the labels on other meal replacement programs, you will quickly find that Medifast products rank pretty high.  The products are one of the healthier options out there.  Medifast has been proven to help people not only lose weight but has also helped people lower their cholesterol, lower their blood sugar, help them alleviate medications for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure and has many other health benefits.  *Note: Always consult your physician before starting any program.*

When it comes to a safe and healthy weight loss program in my personal opinion, Medifast is a great option.  I have tried many weight loss programs and Medifast is the one I always come back to for the ease of the program, the benefits that I gain and the results that I get.  

Medifast has been recommended by thousands of doctors and it is clinically proven to be a safe and effective option for those who need to make a lifestyle change – whether they need to lose weight, alleviate medications or just be healthier.

There are two interesting case studies below that are helpful to see how safe and effective Medifast is:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20222968

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=shikany+medifast


How is Medifast Different from Conventional Weight Loss Programs?

Medifast is a meal replacement program.  The meals are nutritionally dense and fortified with 24 vitamins and minerals.  Each product, whether it is a bar, shake, cereal, soup, or other meal has 100 to 170 calories and 10-12 grams of protein.  Medifast works by helping your body go into ketosis (fat-burning) which helps your body burn more fat.  After you have been on the program for a few days you begin to experience more energy, clarity and then you start to see movement on the scale and that is exciting. 

The Medifast program has several plans but the most popular one is referred to as the 5 & 1 plan.  The 5 & 1 plan consists of five Medifast meals, a healthy snack and a “lean and green.” This meal is one that you prepare yourself.  The “lean and green” consists of your choice of 5-7 ounces of lean meat and three servings of vegetables.  There is a whole array of foods to choose from.  There are a few vegetables you cannot eat while you are on the weight loss phase of the plan because they are much higher in carbohydrates but there are a whole lot more that you can eat and so many ways to prepare them.  Your goal is to lower your carbohydrate intake and eat more protein to help your body move into a mild fat-burning phase.  A benefit to this plan is that you lose the weight without sacrificing your lean muscle mass.

The Medifast program is different from conventional programs. It offers pre-packaged, low-glycemic meals that help sustain and nurture your body.  While a conventional program is good for those who need to lose weight and get heathier, any program you choose that helps you attain a healthier lifestyle is a good program.  Many conventional programs leave you with meal planning and prep where Medifast has everything prepared for you.


Who Will Benefit from Using Medifast?

Who will benefit from using Medifast?  Unhealthy people who need to lose weight, improve their health, or alleviate medications.  Busy people who need help preparing their meals.  For those of us who are super busy during the week and don’t have time to prepare several meals during the week or on the weekends for the week ahead, Medifast is a great choice.   Lazy people who don’t like to do a lot of cooking but still need to eat healthy.  Active people who need extra protein with nutritious options.  

People who are looking to just lose a few pounds in a short amount of time or those who need to lose a lot of weight would benefit and there is a plan for you.  

People who have special dietary needs can also benefit from using Medifast.  There are plans that are specific to those who have diabetes, gluten allergies, nursing, or are vegetarian.  


What are the Costs Associated with Medifast?

The benefits far outweigh the costs associated with using the program.  But if you are wondering…it costs less than $12 per day to use one of the Medifast plans. You decide which plan is right for you and calculate how many meals you will need for one month.  If you are new to the program you may not know what foods to pick or what you will like so you can choose a starter kit that provides enough meal replacements for 30 days.  Those kits have a variety of foods so that you can get a sample of the various foods. 


My Opinion of Medifast

In my opinion using the Medifast program has been one of the easiest programs I’ve been on.  I am a very busy person and it is hard for me to keep up with the meal planning and prepping of other programs.  This program is a God send for a lot of people who need to get the weight off because of their health or just want to be generally healthier.

The costs associated with the program is pretty minimal when you consider what you need to spend for each meal.  The program is so easy to use and when you start seeing the scale move and start feeling better you are all in. 

Go to www.medifast1.com
to read more about the different plans and to see the variety of foods available.  If you decide to try Medifast, let me know.  I’d love to hear from you.  

Less Common Superfoods You May Not Know About

I’ve been reading a lot more about super foods. A lot of people don’t understand what they are and the power they have toward good health. When you start to add super foods to your daily diet routine, smoothies, and juicing you may be focused on the more common super foods. These are the ones you see in the vast majority of dieting books and recipe books. There are some less common super foods you may not know about. Here are a few of them, how to add them to your diet routine, and what each one can bring to your daily health.



Turmeric

Turmeric can be used in a variety of ways to help with inflammation and to give a boost of antioxidants to the system. Turmeric can be found in powder form at most grocery stores and added to soups and stews. Another way to use it is to cook it with a small amount of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir over low heat until a paste is created. Take the paste and place it in an airtight container, putting the mixture in the refrigerator. Add ¼ teaspoon to warm milk and drink at least once a day.



Green Coffee Beans

Green coffee beans helps with fat loss and can be ideal for adding at the beginning of a workout routine or dietary change. They also work as an anti-inflammatory to help with swelling in and around the joints. This can be ideal and work as a double shot to not only drop weight, but also counteract the possible swelling that will occur from moving to a higher level of activity in the gym or during home workouts. You can use these like regular coffee or as an iced coffee drink mixed with fruits.



Green Tea

Green tea offers a variety of super food benefits, but is often overlooked as a tea for weight loss alone. The truth is, green tea can be used as a cancer fighting super food agent due to the amount of catechins found in the tea leaves. The catechins have been proven to slow the development and growth of cancer cells in the body. If you don’t like the flavor of green tea, you can add it easily to most drinks or find it already mixed in super food powders.

These are only a handful of the many uncommon super foods you may not have thought of. You can find most of these super food options at health food stores, whole food style stores, and specialty markets online. Remember, if you can’t find them in a capsule form you can purchase vegetarian capsules and fill them yourself fairly easily or just add the powders to drinks, soups, and foods.

I will share more about super foods in future posts. Come back to visit soon.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you liked about this “health-e-byte.”

To your health,

Pamela

The Top 3 Fruit and Vegetable Superfoods

There are several reasons to add superfoods to your daily eating routine, including a decrease in inflammation. You can also greatly increase certain nutrients to your diet with superfoods that contain multiple sources of vitamins, minerals, and compounds. Once you make the choice to add superfoods, you may be at a loss of what to add to really boost your new diet routine and workout routine. Here are the top six fruit and vegetable superfoods and why you should be adding them to your routine.



Tomato

Tomatoes are used as a cancer fighting agent in many superfood based recipes. They contain lycopene which helps fight heart disease and have large amounts of Vitamins A, E, and C. In fact, many superfood users resort to using tomato over oranges for their overall benefits. In fact, the combination of the vitamins is what helps fight cancer causing agents. Tomatoes can be added as a juice, a mixture in soups and sauces, or eaten directly.



Avocado

Avocado is becoming increasingly common in many restaurants and grocery stores as a daily addition to any healthy eating routine. You can find it used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, part of sushi recipes, or mixed in smoothies to give them an extra kick. The superfood benefits of avocado are the multiple oils that are found within them. They also contain Vitamin E, folate, and lutein. Avocado’s can add creamy textures to most foods and can even replace dressings if they are mixed with other components such as olive oil and herbs.



Kale

Kale is a superfood ingredient you likely see in most of the recipes on the market. It is versatile and can be added to most fruit and vegetable smoothies. It is also easy to grow in and outdoors in most climates. You can choose to eat it directly in salads, or even dehydrate kale into chips for a quick on the go snack. The iron level in kale can rival that of most steaks and other meats, making it a primary iron source for vegetarians and vegans.

These top three superfoods are fairly easy to find year round at most farmer’s markets and whole food stores. You can mix them into smoothies easily and you can juice the majority of them or add them to your juices for a kick.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you liked about this “health-e-byte.”



To your health,

Pamela

Superfoods 101: The Benefits, Uses, and Sources

Superfoods are something you see listed on powders, in drinks, and in most health articles across the Internet and through magazines. You may even hear about other people at the gym or in health circles talking about them. What you may not know is what superfoods are, how they can help your weight loss or health journey as well as where to find them easily. Here are a few things that you should know before you jump feet first into the world of superfoods.

Benefits of Superfoods

You may be wondering why you should even consider superfoods and what they can offer you outside of your normal eating routine. The major benefits of superfoods are the fact that they are loaded with more than one vitamin or mineral source. For example, a superfood would have benefits of anti-inflammatory components as well as being full of various vitamins. This means if you have a busy schedule, or you need as much nutrient benefit from food with little calories, then superfoods are ideal. An example of this would be if you were eating five different fruits and vegetables as well as taking supplements to get everything you need in a day. A superfood, or a few superfoods, could replace all of these foods and supplements and give you a more concise diet plan with fewer calories.

Uses of Superfoods

Superfoods can be used for a number of issues. Some of these issues include health issues like memory issues in the late afternoon or weight loss. Other issues may be more detailed like inflammation from working out or physical illnesses. Superfoods are used to cover a wide variety of issues giving you a more concise and natural source of anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and other nutrients that you are likely getting from unhealthy sources or chemical sources. You can use them in protein shakes, bars, and snacks. You can also use them raw, in juicing, or in smoothies. The uses are numerous and only limited by your imagination and your specific supplemental needs.

Sources of Superfoods

One of the misconceptions that many people have about superfoods is that the only source is through overly expensive protein powders and shakes. This seems to be especially true for people who have a hard time finding certain fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. The truth is, there are a number of sources for your superfoods that do not require raw sources or protein powders. Most superfoods can be found in capsule forms or powder forms that can be mixed into a capsule based on your needs. You can also find infused oils, essential food grade oils, and liquid drops containing superfoods. You are not limited to high-cost powders or to foods that are not in season and hard to find.

These are the basic things you need to know before starting the use of superfoods. These are only three of them. Before you follow a misconception, consider that superfoods are readily available in most forms and can be adapted to your needs with the right research and preparation.

There are a number of books about Superfoods.  I just started reading one recently called Super Immunity.  It is a very interesting and well-written book and the author Joel Fuhrmann, MD goes into detail how superfoods can boost your immunity, help fight cancer and other ailments.

I hope you enjoyed this “health-e-byte.”  Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about this short article.

To your health!

Pamela

 

Why You Should Start a Home Vegetable Garden

Have you ever thought about growing some vegetables of your own in a garden? A lot of people are experimenting with growing their own food because they want to have some of their favorite fruits and veggies hanging around the house. With a small amount of research, you will find that growing your own vegetables isn’t as hard as it looks, and the things you need are relatively inexpensive.

Below are five good reasons why you should start a home vegetable garden:

It’s Great for Your Health

Growing your own vegetables is really great for you. Part of the reason why is that the food that you grow at home isn’t going to be treated with the chemicals that are used to control the decay cycles of the food. Your food will be fully nutritious and fresh because you’ll be likely to have to use a more balanced nutrient-rich soil or hydroponic system to get the garden growing. Those nutrients will be passed to the plants which will be able to deliver their nutrition payload with every bite.

It’s a Relaxing Activity

Have you ever spent any time gardening? Most people feel that gardening is a relaxing activity and that in itself can be great for your health because relaxation helps you to stay healthy as well. As you spend time kneeling over your plants, you can feel a sense of pride that you’ve taken the initiative to foster the process of growth that will lead to some of the tastiest plants you’ve ever had.

The Fresh Fruits and Veggies Taste Better

Have you ever had a piece of fruit from the farmers market? The consensus is that the farmers market fruits and veggies taste better than the ones from the store. That could be for a variety of reasons, not limited to what companies spray on the food, and what they used to feed the plants.

You Know Where They Came From

Recently, it’s come out that many of the plants sold may have different origins than consumers expect. Food that comes from countries that don’t have as many safety regulations could be a serious risk of becoming contaminated at some point during transport. When these foods make it into the population, outbreaks of foodborne illness can break out and spread further.

It Saves Money

Growing your own food saves money. When you can grow your own veggies, you can rest easy knowing that when you run out, there will be another plant waiting for you to pluck it for a freshly seasoned meal.

Do yourself and your family a great service and start planting some really delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables. If you have kids, get them involved with planting and taking care of the plants as they grow. They will love it.

 

If you enjoyed this “health-e-byte” please feel free to leave a comment below and tell me what you liked about it.

To Your Health!

Pamela

Microgreens: What are They?

Would you like to try an interesting new way to add nutrition to your food? If so, then you should give microgreens a try. If you are unfamiliar with microgreens, then you might be surprised to find out that they can supply you with some great benefits and taste options that can increase the enjoyment of the food you love. Microgreens are vibrant, and beautiful to look at, but there’s a lot more to them than just bright green color to discuss.

Microgreens: Tiny Plants with Big Flavor

To put it simply, microgreens are just baby plants. These little versions of plants can be amazingly flavorful in addition to providing a very different taste than you would find in the adult version of the plant. These little plants will add nice textures and colors to anything you put them with. When you get a chance, you can try some young versions of plants added to your salads and smoothies to spice up things a bit. Notable ones to try would be cilantro, sprouts, red cabbage, and green daikon radishes. Each of the families of varieties can produce a different flavor profile, so experimenting with them is a must!

Microgreens Contain Concentrations of Nutrients

A few studies of microgreens have determined that many of the species of plants contain massive concentrations of nutrients in them. This is a major reason why people have begun to look at them so closely. The lack of natural nutrition in food has people in the health communities looking for any new and exciting way to make their food more nutritious, and science appears to support their hopes, although there are some varieties of young plants that contain the same amount of nutrients as adult plants. The findings can vary depending on which species is being looked at as a potential nutrient boost.

Are Microgreens Feasible?

While it’s relatively encouraging that microgreens have some big benefits in your food, you might also need a big wallet to be able to afford them from a grocery store or market. Microgreens tend to be very expensive, so it might be a better idea for you to get a growing kit and start to grow some for yourself. They won’t require much water, and they won’t even take very long to grow. You can find various supplies for growing little plants indoors so you can keep your little greens fresh and low cost for your food.

An alternative to a growing kit is to use small planters or build a few vegetable boxes. There are plenty of how-to guides on Pinterest and YouTube on how to build vegetable boxes or even how to set up hydroponics tanks or buckets.  Whatever you choose to use to grow your microgreens, have fun and enjoy your nutritious rewards!

 

My Experiment with Growing Herbs and Veggies Indoors

A few months ago I purchased an Aero Garden kit and planted a few herbs.  They germinated quickly and grew very fast.  We’ve used some of the herbs in our dishes a few times and there’s nothing like having fresh young herbs added to your recipes.

Here are my herbs.  Within a couple of weeks, they were germinated and growing.

And then they took off!  You can grow herbs, tomatoes, and vegetables in the Aero Gardens.

Try an Aero Garden and grow your own microgreens.  You can get one really reasonable here.  I put a link to the one I have but there are other ones you may like better.  They also have the seed pods.

I hope you enjoyed this short “health-e-byte.”  Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it or if you have any questions.

To your health,

Pamela

 

How Foods Affect Your Mood

Can foods affect your mood? The simple answer is yes. Few things affect our state of mind, aka our mood, as profoundly as food. Women being propelled by some mysterious hormonal force to eat chocolate during PMS is one good example. There’s just something in that chocolate that makes them feel so good!

If you are wondering why or how foods affect your mood, keep reading. Some of these may surprise you.

Physiological Mood Swings

Aside from the emotional ties around food, such as associating it with celebration or entertainment, there is also the physiological side that affects our mood. Everyone loves a good pizza to celebrate the Superbowl or hotdogs when the World Series rolls around. Think about how those foods make you feel. You may feel energized at first but soon after, you’ll crash.  Think about eating turkey at Thanksgiving.  After you eat the turkey and stuffing you’re not good for anything else but a good nap. And we’ve all seen children throwing fits in the cereal aisle or at the checkout stand where all the sweets have been placed for impulse buying. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen such outbursts in the broccoli aisle.

Having a coca cola or a candy bar may seem like a good idea when you’re in the middle of enjoying that food or drink.  You are going to get what is referred to as a “sugar rush” but then a little while after that “high” you’re going to come crashing down and you’re mood will not be the same.

 

Moody Food Blues

People crave comfort foods almost instinctively, which are high in carbohydrates. The body immediately converts these foods to sugar in the bloodstream upon consumption. Consuming processed and refined foods which contain exorbitant amounts of sugar and artificial ingredients and practically no dietary fiber launches the eater into a blood sugar nightmare.

Even cooked starches that some consider healthy such as potatoes, rice and pasta are converted into simple sugars quickly in the body. This gives an immediate burst of false energy and a short-lived sense of well-being, followed by a nasty letdown and what some call ‘self-induced hypoglycemia.’

In order to feel better after the letdown phase, which can make people feel exhausted, cranky and unable to focus, the body compels one to simply eat more of the substance that gave it that happy rush in the first place. Now you see how people get set up for addictions. Ever tried to be in a good mood, feel jubilant about life or get lots of work done when you are in the throes of caffeine withdrawal?

The main function of most anti-depressants on the market is to enhance the uptake of that famous ‘feel-good hormone’ serotonin. When this brain chemical is low, people crave carbohydrates and comfort foods in order to get it.

 

How to Change the Moody Food Blues

There are many ways to combat the “moody food blues.” One way is to eat a raw vegan diet. Raw foods are helpful in maintaining stable moods due to the fact there are no toxins, addictive substances or artificial ingredients in living foods. Moreover, raw foods are loaded with fiber to keep the intestinal tract and colon in tip-top-shape as well as clean.

If the colon is overloaded with waste, this waste is recirculated into the bloodstream again and again. How peaceful and blissful do you think you can feel with your body’s own waste nourishing your brain? Or if you feel bloated or worse? Consumption of foods that are high in fiber and natural sugars also eliminates the wild blood sugar swings which are notorious for ultimately depleting our serotonin supplies.

On a raw food diet, your brain becomes cleansed and nourished on a cellular level, your senses sharpen and you will begin to see the sun come out in your life once again. If you don’t wish to convert to a totally vegan diet, there are others you can try.

You may decide you don’t wish to become a vegan, but you’d like to concentrate on getting more superfoods in your diet with more fruits and vegetables paired with lean proteins. Fruits and veggies can be used in smoothies or paired with yogurt to help you get more nutritious snacks to keep your blood sugar level. This will help the moods swings.

Many people are different and feel they need more protein. You can try a diet rich in proteins, vitamin A, calcium and other important nutrients your body needs. Focus on lean meats and fish prepared with a little olive oil and some fresh herbs. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables too. Getting a balanced diet can help your moods.

If you learn how to nourish the brain properly, you need not suffer from nutrient or serotonin deficiencies and consequently avoid the addictions that keep you bound to the constant highs and lows. By eating healthier, more balanced meals and nutritious snacks you can stop the moody roller coaster and have a sunnier disposition.  See also the “Tips for Cutting Out Processed Foods for more ways to help you eat healthier and improve your moods. 

 

I hope you liked this “Health-e-Byte.” Please feel free to leave a comment if you liked this article and let me know what you liked about it.

To your health!

Pamela

Tips to Replacing Junk Food with Healthy Snacks

Everyone loves junk food. Some people even crave the delicious tastes of these ready-to-eat food items, which are more loved by children. However, parents should know that too much eating of junk foods by their children or themselves might lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Set a good example for your children and learn how to replace junk foods with healthier snacks.

Choosing Healthy Snacks over Junk Food

Junk food pertains to any food item that contains low or no nutritional value such as chips, candy, or candy bars. These type foods should be limited. However, today, it seems that these types of foods as snacks are consumed by lots of people of all ages, especially young children. You do not want junk foods to consume your child, so how exactly can you keep your child away from these unhealthy snacks?

As a parent, you know for a fact that junk foods won’t make your children healthy, and it could be difficult to find ways to prevent them from craving it, as they are found everywhere. In this case, what you need is an effective alternative to junk food. Junk food has given “snacking” a bad reputation. Having a snack between meals, however, is never a bad idea, if your snack choices are healthier ones.

So, if you want to give your child or yourself a healthy snack, consider the following:

Popcorn –

The fat with microwave brands may be a mere negative here. You can go for healthier versions, having 98 percent fat-free. When you choose plain popcorn, it is fine to sprinkle a bit of butter (no trans-fat). It is better than those full-fat brands in which you cannot control the added fat. Choose to purchase the popcorn kernels and invest in a great air-popper for a great snack. You can sprinkle a little cinnamon, Parmesan, garlic, or other seasonings on your popcorn to make it tasty.

Ice Cream –

Ice cream?  Did I just suggest that?  Let’s be real. Everyone knows ice cream is not a daily snack. However, sometimes you just gotta have it. There are some fine choices in ice cream land. Breyer’s Light Vanilla can be one of the best tastings. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on a small dish and enjoy!

If you have a sweet tooth and you just need a sweet snack, dark chocolate could be very delicious. Choose a small bar of dark chocolate that has a higher content of cocoa, it is filled with antioxidants and even a little fiber too.  Eat it in moderation.

Frozen Yogurt/Yogurt –

If your child does not like drinking milk, yogurt can be a great alternative source for calcium. Yogurt does not require sugar in order to taste good. Purchase plain yogurt and complement it with something, such as fruit and low-fat granola, for a healthy snack.

 

Fruit and Fruit Smoothies –

Smoothies make a great snack choice. For a sustainable, complete snack, you can produce some fruit smoothies for yourself or your child. The dairy should sustain you. Add a variety of fruit and some Greek yogurt and a smoothie will taste as good or better than other sweets and they’re healthier too.

Frozen Fruit/Popsicles Bars –

While we are on the subject of healthy fruits snacks lets add frozen fruit popsicle bars as a choice. You can make your own or choose from some healthier versions out there. There are a few excellent choices around, including the 100 percent fruit-juice selections.

Cookies –

Cookies are something that kids will enjoy. When you think cookies, you probably are thinking Oreos or Nabisco Chocolate Chip cookies. Although they sound good those are not the ones I’m talking about. Do some research and find recipes for healthier cookies. Your kids won’t know the difference. I used to make Zucchini cookies for my kids, and they loved them. You can get very creative here. If you have a child who is picky about their vegetables, well they will get them in those delicious healthy, cookies that you made from scratch.

Crackers and Cheese –

This can be another great choice for a snack when you choose a reduced-fat cheese. Reduced fat means a greater amount of protein. Crackers must be low-fat, wholegrain in order for it to be considered a healthy snack. If the cracker contains more fat usually means more trans-fat. There are some really good choices for wholegrain crackers and cheese.

Cereals –

Sometimes kids and adults just want something crunchy to munch on. Cereal can be a good choice for a healthy snack, but make sure to choose low-sugar, high-fiber cereals. There are a few multigrain choices out there like Cheerios that you can mix with some granola, coconut and dark chocolate chips or raisins for a healthy snack. You may also want a warm cereal for a snack. Oatmeal would make a great choice.

I hope these ideas give you some help in making healthy snack choices instead of grabbing the more popular junk food snacks. Get creative and get your kids to help you make some healthy snacks to share.

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Health-e-Byte.” Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it.

To your health!

Pamela

 

Tips for Cutting Out Processed Foods

If you‘ve been looking at anything about health and diet in the last 30 – 40 years, then you’ve probably heard repeatedly that processed food should only be eaten in strict moderation. This is because researchers have studied the effects of these foods on the body, and their conclusions have raised a lot of concerns among health professionals. This information moves many to avoid these foods, so if you are in line with that thinking, the next few paragraphs will discuss tips for cutting out processed foods.

Where to Start

If you’re anything like most people, reading the ingredient list on many of the prepackaged bags of chips, and individually wrapped burritos and sandwiches sold in stores can be baffling. As your eyes trace the indecipherable long names of chemicals, you probably feel some sort of apprehension, and it turns out that is the right mindset. One simple piece of advice that you can always follow, is to avoid anything that is difficult to pronounce, or looks completely unfamiliar to you. That will keep you from ingesting anything with harsh preservatives. That’s not to say that it is all terrible, but that will give you somewhat of a buffer.

Choose Healthier Brands

While you are learning to create your own sauces and condiments for your food, which are healthier for you and your family, you can try some healthier versions of the sauces and condiments you normally use. They are slowly becoming more common, but you can always find them at specialty stores. Once you’re used to the idea of making your own, you’ll be able to compare your version with the ones you’ve tried.

 

Foods to Help You Make Healthier Choices:

 

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is extremely versatile. You can use it to add a coconut flavor to foods and baked goods, you can use it to lightly saute veggies and give them a beautiful, fragrant smell and taste.

Coconut oil is also great for tea, smoothies, and can be a great addition to mellow out an intense sauce.

 

Specialty Cut Veggies

Who would pass on some fun cuts of tasty vegetables? If you have a food processor or a special cutting device that can make pasta shapes out of vegetables, then you have a huge list of great foods that you can make. When you feel like you want some pasta, but veggies are a better idea, then you can get something going with these. Zucchini makes a great noodle. You can also try other vegetables cut into fries or small chunks and lightly roasted in a small amount of olive oil and your choice of seasoning.

 

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is great for all kinds of projects. You can use it to make everything from salad dressings to sweet treats. It can also be used to make savory dips or spreads for your favorite veggie sticks, multigrain crackers or a small slice of bread.

 

 

Potatoes and Squash

These great ground treasures have such a massive role in food all over the world. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways. Baked, roasted, mashed or cut into healthy chips. Regular potatoes are not as healthy as sweet potatoes but can be used in the place of other processed foods.

Squashes make a great base for soup and other innovative ideas. Spaghetti squash has become a noodle replacement in our family. Acorn squash mixed with a few other vegetables like peppers and onions sauteed with lean meat makes an excellent bowl. Butternut squash makes an excellent soup.

These are just a few things you can use instead of the highly-processed foods out there. Try experimenting and coming up with new ideas you can use to have a healthier diet.

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Health-e-Byte.”  Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it.

To your health!

Pamela

 

 

Why Are You Fat?

healthy oil

Every time you look into the mirror, you might be wondering why people out there have a nice summer body with full confidence while you are still struggling with your recent-up-sized t-shirt. You might even be wondering, are you going to be like them one day? Is there any chance for you to change? Of course, there is. However, summer body doesn’t come with ease.

Many work their butt off to attain their dream body. But, the important thing is, you are healthy from the inside out. When I say fat burn, the first thing that comes in your mind is exercise. Yes, of course, you need to exercise to have a nice summer body. But, do you know that our eating habits affect our body the most? Have you ever heard that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise? I beg to differ.

Diet can actually make up as much as 90-99% of your weight loss journey. The MAIN reason why you’re fat is because of your lifestyle! Having an unhealthy lifestyle not only slows down your metabolism but also brings you chronic diseases. With a slow metabolic system, you can even gain weight by only drinking water! This is also the reason why some people slim down at a very slow rate but gain all the weight back in one night.

Slimming down is good, but slimming down healthily is the key point here. We want you to look into your health first instead of focusing on all the crazy diet plans and exercise regimes.

Fat Facts

So, what exactly is fat? Fat is made up of building blocks called fatty acids and these are classified as saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated depending on their chemical structure. Fat is essential to human life, we all need fat in our diets. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is a key to losing weight and preventing health problems.

However, not all fat is the same. Our body requires small amounts of ‘good fat’ to function and help prevent disease. However, most of the ‘modern’ food contains a lot more fat than the body needs. Too much fat, especially too much of the wrong type of fat could be detrimental to your health causing serious health problems such as higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, obesity, which in turn leads to a greater risk of heart disease.

So, it is significant to know what types of fat should you be cutting back on.

 

Good Fats VS Bad Fats

We are constantly being told that “fats are bad”, and many will spend lots of time and money to completely rid their diet of fat. The truth is, we need fats. Fats help in nerve transmission, nutrient absorption, maintaining cell membrane integrity, etc. Simply said, fat is actually necessary for you to lose weight. However, when consumed in excess amounts, it can increase your risk for a number of health threats. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats in your diet.

1. Good Fats

Good fat is sometimes called unsaturated fat. The types of potentially helpful dietary fats are mostly unsaturated. Unsaturated fat comes in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

 

2. Monounsaturated Fats

This is a type of fat is found in a variety of food and oils. You can get it from:

Nuts – walnuts and pistachios including almonds, peanuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts

Oils – avocado, canola, and olive oils

The most well-documented benefit of consuming monounsaturated fats is the potential for keeping your heart healthy. It improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that these fatty acids may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type-2 diabetes.

Not just that, studies have also found that switching to monounsaturated fat from diets rich with trans fats and polyunsaturated fats results in significant weight loss. Yes, both consume the same amount of fats in their diet, but end up with different results!

The key here is the type of fats you’re consuming on a daily basis.

 

3. Polyunsaturated Fats

There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6. These are also known as essential fatty acids. Our body can’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, so we need to get them from food.

Omega- 3 – is a type of polyunsaturated fat you get from foods such as:

Legumes

Soy food

Tuna, salmon, and mackerel

Green leafy vegetables

Walnuts, other nuts, and flaxseed

Babies can also get omega-3 from breastmilk. It promotes brain health during pregnancy and early life. Omega-3 helps a baby’s brain and eye development in the womb and during the first six months of life. It has a great impact on children’s learning and behavior. As for adults, omega-3 can be good for rheumatoid arthritis, pain relief, morning stiffness, and inflammation. It can also protect adults from heart disease.

Omega-6 – is a type of polyunsaturated fat you get from foods such as:

Sunflower oil

Evening primrose oil

Peanut oil

Canola oil

Cereals

Omega 6 plays an important role in cell growth and is thus essential for brain and muscle development. The omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) is for this very reason added to most infant formulas. Both brain development and muscle development are critical for infants.

The growth benefits of omega 6 also explain the great interest that bodybuilders and top athletes have in omega 6 consumption. Omega-6, particularly gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), is linked to increased bone density and reduced bone loss and it helps to promote hair growth and supports skin health. Omega-6 has an anti-inflammatory effect on our skin, soothing irritated skin.

 

salmon

Bad Fats

There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fats: Saturated fat and Trans fat

Saturated fats are fats you get from foods such as:

Animal products such as meat fat

Full-fat dairy products such as butter and cream

Palm and coconut oil in processed food such as biscuits and chips

Saturated fats have no known health benefits. A high intake of disadvantageous saturated and trans fats can lead to elevated low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fats may also contribute to obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Trans fats are sometimes used in the following:

Commercially-made cakes and biscuits

Takeaway foods

Energy bars

Ready-made meals

Snack food like chips

Trans fats can increase harmful low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol while decreasing good high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. In turn, this can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it has been associated with the development of type-2 diabetes.

 

I hope you found this information to be helpful.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you liked about it.

 

To your health!

Pamela