What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation

This is a true story about inflammation that I could literally see with my own two eyes.  It was quite interesting actually to see it up close.

My beautiful daughter who is a third-grade school teacher, was on medication to aid her with weight loss.  She had a terrible allergic reaction to the medication. Next, she broke out in hives/whelps all over her body. Just so you know, this kind of inflammation is brought on by histamine.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

She needed something to soothe her skin.  I volunteered to go to Walgreens to pick up some Aveeno lotion to help her get some relief.

Now, she hadn’t eaten dinner so she wanted something quick and easy so ramen noodles to the rescue… Or not.

I stayed with her while she ate and I kid you not, about 15 minutes after she ate those noodles, her hives turned bright red and doubled in size!

Inflammation at work

This my friend, is inflammation at work. The fact that she had hives was bad enough, but eating those glutinous noodles put her in an advanced state of misery.  The poor thing!

Now, sadly I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t tell her or advise her not to eat this particular food because she’s a grown woman. (And I’m still her mother and she’s not going to listen to me anyway.)

What’s the point of this story?
Sometimes it takes getting kicked while you’re down to understand how inflammatory foods affect you.

Gluten gets a bad rap.   However, there are quite a few other foods that cause and aggravate inflammation, illness, bone and joint conditions beyond arthritis and bring on headaches and migraines seemingly out of left field until you investigate the cause.

I know all too well how unhealthy eating habits can take their toll on a person’s quality of life. Long story short, I have lost as of today 176 lbs. Yes, I had weight loss surgery which was only the beginning of an entirely new way of life and journey to health and fitness.

Replace inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods

 

What everyone should know about inflammation - Embracing-Aging.com

Omega 3 found in fish help put out the flame in inflammation. Feel free to pin this image.

The sooner one can make the necessary food substitutions the sooner one can get on the path to feeling healthier, energetic and vibrant. I believe the most important part of eating better,  when replacing an inflammatory food with an anti-inflammatory is to make it easy. A perfect example adds olive oil to your cooking replacing vegetable oil.  Starting with small adjustments will motivate you to do more to feel better.  I wrote Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition to inform myself and others about foods containing the most nutritional value.

8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation

When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. What you eat may not only increase inflammation, it can also set you up for other chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  From Arthritis.org, here are 8 typical food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.

Sugar

It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.

 Trans Fats

In the 1990s, Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat.   Trans fats,  trigger systemic inflammation. Trans fats are in fast foods and other fried products.  Such as processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and most stick kinds of margarine. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.

Saturated Fats

Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation.  This is an indicator of heart disease and also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.  Fatty acids are in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, soy oil, peanut oil, and vegetable oil; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

 Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products (bread, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many kinds of cereal are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.

 MSG

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. This chemical can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation, and affect liver health.

 Gluten and Casein

People who have joint pain and are sensitive to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye, or casein, found in dairy products, may find relief by avoiding them. And those diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten sets off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and sometimes causes joint pain may find relief when they adopt a gluten-free diet. There may be an overlap in which some people with arthritis also have a gluten sensitivity or also have celiac disease.

Aspartame

Trying to go sugar-free? I get it. For me, sugar is far more problematic than Aspartame.  This might not be true for you.  People with diabetes depend on sugar substitutes for blood sugar maintenance.

However, Aspartame is a non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener found in more than 4,000 products worldwide. While it’s approved by the FDA, studies on its effects are mixed, and the impact on people with autoimmune disease are unknown. If you are sensitive to this chemical, your immune system may react to the “foreign substance” by attacking the chemical. This reaction will trigger an inflammatory response.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions. Furthermore, alcohol causes inflammation and should be eliminated or used in moderation.

Better food choices

Gluten is not the only offender. Especially if you’re fighting illness or dealing with arthritis or healing from an injury. Here is where the handy-dandy infographic comes in.

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I borrowed this infographic from Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND.  She is the author of What the Health. To read more you can go to her site dramyneuzil.com 

What everyone should know about inflammation - EmbracingAging.us

Infographic from What the Health

Keep track of your health and wellness

So the next time you aren’t feeling as good as you should, take a look at what you eat.  You can feel significantly better by switching out inflammatory foods for anti-inflammatory foods.

When I have a way to keep track of my food intake and exercise routines, I do so much better.  Using a habit tracker, food, and water tracker makes it clearer to me how I’m managing my health and wellness.

 You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

 

 

 

What Clean Eating Means: Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

What Clean Eating Means

So, what does it mean when someone says they are “clean eating?” Honestly, it’s different for everyone. What’s normal for one, may not be for another. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.    What’s healthy for one may be a disaster for another.  These are some diets or styles of eating that are often considered clean eating styles.

Kiwis, Lemons, and Oranges What clean eating means. EmbracingAging.us

Clean eating can include fresh fruit for quick energy  Feel free to pin this image.

Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible with some medications.

The following is a list of clean eating styles

Then there are the foods you may NOT have due to religious views, allergies, or diet restrictions

  •  sweeteners
  •  sugar
  •  pork
  •  red meat
  •  processed foods
  •  shellfish

I’m sure you get the idea. There may be a combination of diet restrictions that constitutes clean eating for different people for different reasons.  Someone with type two diabetes is going to eat very differently than someone who is not diabetic.

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications, always check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication.

About the time I turned 47, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy and gluten.   Could I say I was very strict about avoiding these foods?   Perfect, I’m not.  PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition that improves when avoiding dairy and simple carbs. (I wish I could say there was a cure but there isn’t one)  This is just a sample of how eating clean for me is probably different for you.

Fitness styles affect the type of foods you may need

Furthermore, there is so much to consider for different body types and styles of fitness that the science that goes into figuring out what each individual needs on their journey is enough to make one’s head spin.

Different types of athletes will eat different ways according to their protein, calorie and fat demands.  A bodybuilder isn’t going to eat the same way like a lean cyclist. A long-distance runner may not eat the same way as a female who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week trying to obtain an hourglass figure.

Wheat field, trees, and blue sky. EmbracingAging.us

Pay attention to how you feel after eating gluten. Headaches, joint pain, and gastric upset can be caused by gluten consumption.

Next time, if you hear the phrase “clean eating”, just know that you have to determine what’s going to work best for your body’s chemistry. You have to accommodate your body’s demands. Taking into consideration:

  1. Style of fitness
  2. Desired outcome
  3. Food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Medical conditions
  5. Medications
Wooden bowl and spoon with Kidney beans. EmbracingAging.us

Beans are a superfood and can add years to your life.

You Have to Practice Clean Eating According to Your Bodies Specific Needs.

So if I handed you a child-size shoe, and I said, “Here, this is a lovely shoe. It’s brand new in this lovely shade of blue. Wear this shoe and you’ll love it.” If you are a 6’2″ tall man with a size 11 foot, that lovely child-size shoe in blue, no matter how perfect it is, will not work for you.  Everyone has to define for themselves what clean eating means for them.

Web MD has this to say about clean eating The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. So instead of boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, choose fresh, whole ones. Think whole turkey instead of frozen turkey meatballs or raw grapes instead of gummy snacks made with fruit juice. Bonus: When you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals, you skip their loads of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.

Beverages

When it comes to drinks, I agree with what Web MD has to say:  Instead of sugar-heavy soft drinks and juices, sip low-calorie beverages, such as water and herbal tea. Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavored drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other manmade ingredients don’t have a place in a clean-eating diet. At the grocery store, read food labels and avoid items with the fake stuff.

Going Organic?

Some believe eating organic food is the best approach to clean eating.  This excerpt from Web MD says:  Organic farmers use natural pesticides and avoid man-made ones, so some people say organic produce is the best way to eat clean. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to your diet. You can also shop at your local farmer’s market to find out what kinds of pesticides the vendors use. Another tip: Pesticides usually wind up on the outsides of fruits and veggies, so you can choose non-organic foods with skins you don’t eat, like avocados, corn, and onions.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

Eating food that’s fresh, vibrant and alive can make you feel the same way.

Medical News Today states:

Some people on a clean diet may refuse to eat foods that have been treated with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, while another person may choose not to eat foods packaged in boxes or jars.

Magazines and books on clean eating often promise that a clean diet will help a person enjoy many health benefits. These can include heightened energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.

What Clean Eating Means Here are Ideas to Get You Started - EmbracingAging.com

What Clean Eating Means.  Feel free to pin this image.

However, according to an article in the British Medical Journal, many of the claims regarding clean eating are a “loose interpretation of facts.” While clean eating can help a person feel physically better, so can less-restrictive dietary approaches.

Not all additives are bad

Just because foods have additives does not mean they are unhealthful.

Some people on a clean eating diet may refuse to eat any foods that contain additives because they believe the food is not in its purest, natural state. However, there are some beneficial food additives.

Examples include vitamin D that can be added to milk to enhance bones or iron to orange juice. While these foods may not be pure in the literal sense, they can help a person achieve their daily nutritional needs.

However, some additives are not beneficial and could be described as dirty. An example is trans fats, which are added to foods to extend their shelf life. Trans fats are thought to increase a person’s cholesterol levels significantly, which can result in problems with heart health.

This is an example where making cleaner choices and avoiding trans fats can be beneficial.

If you would like to read more about the myths and facts of clean eating, visit Medical News Today.

What does clean eating mean to you?  I would love to know your thoughts on this fascinating subject.  Feel free to share this article if I was able to give you food for thought. (pun intended)

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

According to the Mayo Clinic, Insulin Resistance & Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

You should know, this post contains affiliate links.  In other words,  if you click on or purchase one of the product links, I’ll receive some compensation. Which further allows me to support my coffee addiction.

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher.

Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, and up to one-third of U.S. adults have it. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems.

Symptoms

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs or symptoms. One sign that is visible is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar is high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes — such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.

When to see a doctor

If you know you have at least one component of metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor whether you need testing for other components of the syndrome.

Causes

Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity.

It’s also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Normally, your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel.

In people with insulin resistance, cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise even as your body churns out more and more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar.

Risk factors

The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. In the United States, Hispanics— especially Hispanic women — appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Other diseases. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you’ve ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea.

Complications

Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your excess weight, you may develop insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can narrow and harden your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Prevention

Mayo Clinic’s book Healthy Heart for Life is an excellent resource for help.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life Book Cover -  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life

  See it on Amazon

A lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle may prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days
  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains
  • Limiting saturated fat and salt in your diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

If you would like to contact a professional at the Mayo Clinic, here are a few resources that can help you.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - Embracing Aging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

   Smart Carbs and Proteins

Healthy bread - Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Bread can be healthy when it’s whole grain and nutrient-dense.

7 of the Healthiest Breads you can choose

  • Sprouted whole grain
  • Sourdough
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Oat bread
  • Flax bread
  • 100% sprouted rye bread
  • Healthy gluten-free bread

Over at Healthline.com, you can find a detailed description of each one of these healthy bread options.

Also, homebaked bread using whole grains and whole mixed grains can be a healthy option over sugary store brands.  I enjoy homebaked loaves of bread with walnuts, cranberries, and dates. I like being able to control my ingredients from choosing gluten-free coconut flour and using a sugar substitute.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome- EmbracingAging.us

Healthy dried fruit and nuts in a whole grain loaf.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

One of the most dangerous places to have fat is around your chest and belly.

Harvard Medical School’s Publication Harvard Health had this bit of important documentation about the dangers of visceral fat around your internal organs:  Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 

The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly (the visceral fat) can be seen and measured, but not pinched.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting helps you lose belly fat

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.

Getting control over Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome can be jump-started by losing 25 pounds.

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do?  The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is you’re doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Cabe 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase “THE” resource.  You are the only you,  you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track., Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

An ounce of prevention is supposedly worth a pound of cure so maintaining wellness visits to the doctor are recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for best results.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

 

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook.  This is not your typical diet plan.  This guidebook helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses concerning weight loss and aging gracefully.

This is me, at 380lbs. I was putting on a happy face but I was in trouble. I had to have help in and out of the car, up and downstairs, and I could only take showers because I couldn’t fit in the bathtub.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

The hardest part of being this heavy for me was the fact that I felt like I was much much older than I was. I’m 42 years old in the picture below. But I felt like 92. Everything hurt. my joints, knees, and feet as well as my mental health.

Since the best policy is honesty, I did have weight loss surgery in 2007. However, I had been successful in the past at losing 53 pounds in the year 2000 because it was the beginning of a new era. Needing to make a fresh start, I thought it was now or never. I was doing it and I was so proud of myself. I felt better, and my mobility was better.  Never will I forget the feeling of this accomplishment. Then I hurt my right knee and my walking habit slowed down significantly. Then, I started to gain the weight back, I didn’t take care of the knee as well I should have (too many rollerskating accidents) and I lost my willpower and my momentum.

I don’t have to do this but…

Fast forward to 2016, I was keeping off about 125 lbs after weight loss surgery. But my Daughter was needing some support with her efforts to lose weight. So I followed her to the gym every morning at 5:00. Lord, I thought, I don’t have to do this, but I’ll do anything for my kids. I was going home afterward and taking a nap, lol.

 

Even though I had lost 125lbs I was terribly out of shape.  Seeing the importance of exercise and good nutrition, I increased my intake of lean protein and vegetables, many from our backyard garden.   Because my Daughter was an out of town school teacher with a very long day she started going to the gym in the little town she taught 3rd grade. I had more weight I could lose so I carried on at our local gym and was able to establish some good habits and build strength. I was doing cardio, strength training, and sometimes swimming and water weights.

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do?  The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is your doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase “THE” resource.  You are the only you.  You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

Here, I’m in my Daughter’s classroom helping her get ready for another school year. To date,  I have now lost a total of about 190lbs.

The printable you Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Real Progres

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus tools to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina.

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality but I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

This Guidebook helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses concerning aging gracefully.

Maintaining wellness visits to the doctor is recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for the best results.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Creating value for you is my ultimate goal. It is my policy to over-deliver in quality and content.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but if you are, I will give you a full refund because that’s how I roll. $19.99 includes everything in the printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook.

Connect with a friend

Here’s a tip, take this journey with a friend, discuss your progress, and help each other along.

Connecting with a friend can go a long way toward meeting your goals. Make time to take a walk together and possibly make it a regular part of a weekly routine to get together every Tuesday and Thursday to walk and get a coffee. Take a minute to listen to one another to discuss what’s working and share your progress notes.

I’ve learned how important quality of life is, improve your quality of life with the printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

I wish you love and good health

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I was guilty of habitually overeating and needless to say weighing 380 lbs made me feel very old. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

Testifying to this fact, my age at the time of my weighing 380 lbs. was only 41.  I felt like 81. Needless to say, my mobility was terrible. So much so, that I had to have assistance with all kinds of regular everyday activities.  Such as taking the elevator when possible. I needed my husband’s help in and out of the car, and I was limited to taking showers because at 380 lbs.  I simply did not fit in the bathtub.

Moving on, I had a terrible attitude towards food which was waste not, want not. This is fine in other areas of life, but when it comes to eating habits, this rule can and should be thrown out the proverbial window. At the time, I had a clean my plate mentality so, when it came to eating out especially at buffet-style restaurants As is typical of most overweight Americans, I thought it necessary to get my money’s worth of food.

 

EmbracingAing.us

Naturewise CLA– Enhances Exercise, Non-stimulating, Non-GMO

Find Naturewise CLA on Amazon

 

Habitually overeating and diabetes

Habitually Overeating, sharps container, EmbracingAging.us

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I fully realize there are two types of diabetes.  Now, type 2 is the one I want to discuss in this blog post.  Just now, I literally had to sit here and contemplate the ramifications of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if someone who has type 2 diabetes isn’t careful about their food choices, as I’m sure you are well aware, the complications of this disease are deadly.

Now, on to a more positive discussion about this topic. I would like to take a minute to share how I now look at the buffet spread when I go out to eat with my family. Moreover, the choices of healthy options are fabulous and delicious.

Certainly, the buffet is the perfect opportunity to practice an eating clean mindset. (read more here) When I’m looking the situation over, just know that I don’t feel at all deprived when we go there because I’m evaluating my best options. Here are some healthy recommendations for eating at the buffet.

 

 

EmbracingAging.us

Protein is key when it comes to weight loss. Whey protein is an excellent choice.

Find Gold Standard Whey Protein on Amazon

 

First, choose these meat options: 

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Skinless Chicken
  • Skinless Turkey
  • Beans peas, and lentils as meat substitutes
  • Lean beef- round, sirloin, chuck and loin.  Avoid “prime”

 Resist battered, and fried meat like fried chicken,  fish. Pass on red meat labeled “prime” like prime rib.

 

buffet vegetables EmbracingAging.us

 

Next, choose these vegetable options:

  •  raw vegetables on the salad bar
  • beans, peas seeds, sprouts

also choose hot vegetable such as:

  • Asparagus
  • beans- like; kidney and pinto
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • onions
  • peppers
  • kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens
  • squash- butternut, yellow and zucchini

Avoid fried vegetables and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn

 

EmbracingAging.us

Healthy Portions

Find Healthy Portions on Amazon

 When you choose fresh fruit, you can’t go wrong

  • Fresh fruit on the salad bar and dessert bar
  • craisins (dried cranberries) and raisins

Avoid fruit in heavy syrup or sauces like peaches

Use visualization

Using the technique of visualization will help establish a good mindset for better eating habits. When we visit a restaurant, especially buffets I imagine vividly, walking into the restaurant and right from the start ordering water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda.  Furthermore, I’m not a fan of any soda, however, diet soda is far better than a regular soda in terms of calories. Emphasizing how this helps me, visualization really locks in my self-control and enables me to be smart about my food choices.

Next, if you will imagine taking your plate to the buffet knowing in advance that you will start with a fresh salad and of course you are wise about the dressing for your salad.  Sidebar about the salad bar, when it comes to salad dressing, my favorite hack is to put my dressing on the side and dip the tines of my fork. There’s good flavor and fewer calories are consumed.

Moving on through our visualization technique,  Imagine choosing better meat, and vegetables. Let me say,  I love this part of my meal because I eat the healthy choices that I don’t often buy at the store usually due to cost.  Such as shrimp, salmon, or asparagus.  This is the best way to take advantage of the buffet.

Outsmart the restaurant industry

Interestingly, the buffet is laid out in such a way that the cheapest foods are the most accessible.  Usually, the foods furthest away from you are the more expensive. This signifies, the further you have to walk or reach to get what you want, is what cost them the most to put on the buffet spread. So when you are strategic about your choices, you don’t maximize your “bottom line” while maximizing their bottom line.

Alright, we’re doing great.  Now I’ve deliberately left out something that many people find irresistible, bread, or rolls. This one is kind of a no-brainer. Which is to say, the more bread I eat, the more I resemble a popped can of biscuits. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Finally, be smart about dessert choices

Undeniably, the hardest part of managing willpower is finishing up our healthy meal with dessert.  Without further ado, here are some suggestions to get you through the process.

  • Look for no sugar added pies,( blueberry) and cakes (pistachio)
  • Also, look for sugarfree puddings and jellos.
  • If you’re eating out with your plus one, share a dessert and split the calories.
  • Add a coffee to fill out your dessert portion of dinner.
  • Opt for fresh fruit from the salad bar.

Blueberry pie EmbracingAging.us

Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed

Consequently, the feeling of “I’m so full I can’t move” is not a very comfortable feeling at all. Which is exactly why I lost control and found my weight at 380lbs. Furthermore, I tell a bit of my story in this post titled It’s Not a Destination, It’s a Journey.  Making better choices allows you to feel great physically and mentally.  You’ll be satisfied, without feeling stuffed to the gills.  Finally, you will have walked out of this restaurant knowing they didn’t see you coming.  More importantly, you were not manipulated by the layout of the buffet.

 

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

 

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and cheese are good sources of amino acids

 

“Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Created by:  Karen D. Wilson owner of EmbracingAging.us

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals but they also contain amino acids, which are the basic structural building blocks of proteins. Proteins make up the bulk of all your cell structure. They also act as enzymes for cellular reactions.  Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

Amino Acids  There are eight essential amino acids. The supplements can be found here on Amazon.com

  • #1 = Tryptophan which reduces anxiety and depression, helps with migraines, helps the immune system, reduces heart spasms, it is also a natural relaxant and aids in normal sleep, taken with Lysine it reduces cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • #2 = Lysine improves the formation of bone cartilage and connective tissues, it aids in the absorption of calcium, it aids in the production of enzymes, hormones and the production of antibodies that help fight diseases and illness.
  • #3 = Methionine is the supplier of sulfur which prevents problems with hair, nails, and skin. Methionine aids in the liver’s production of lecithin reduces liver fat and helps protect the kidneys. Methionine also aids in reducing bladder irritations and infections and promotes hair growth.
  • #4 = Phenylalanine keeps you awake and alert. Also, phenylalanine produces a chemical that transmits signals between the brain and the nerve cells. Phenylalanine helps to improve memory and also reduces hunger pains.

Amino Acids Continued

  • #5 = Threonine aids in digestion and intestinal tract functions; it also helps reduce liver fat.
  • #6 = Valine calms emotions and aids with mental vigor; it also aids with muscle coordination.
  • #7 and #8 work together; they are Leucine and Isoleucine, they help to produce essential biochemical components in the body, production of energy, stimulate the brain and aid with alertness.

 Non-essential amino acids.

Arginine improves immune response, promotes wound healing, aids in the regeneration of the liver, and is needed for muscle growth.    Tyrosine aids in the healthy functioning of the thyroid and pituitary glands helps to improve memory and transmits impulses to the brain.

Glycine is required during cell production to release oxygen, it also aids in the production of essential hormones in the immune system.

Serine is essential in storing glucose in the muscles and liver, also aids in the immune system and produces a fatty acid cover to protect nerve fibers.    Aspartic acid aids in the removal of ammonia from the body and protects our body from the poison until it is expressed through the urine.    Glutamic acid helps improve mental capacities, aids in healing ulcers and helps with fatigue.

More about Amino Acids

Alanine is a source of energy for the muscles, brain and nervous system. Alanine produces antibodies that help the immune system.    Cystine is an anti-oxidant and aids in the protection against pollutants, it can help slow the aging process, it is necessary for the production of the skin.   Proline is vital in the functioning of joints and helps to strengthen the heart muscle.

Taurine is necessary for the removal of free-radical waste from the body.  It is a factor that is necessary for changes that take place during aging.    Histidine is found in the blood. Histidine is used to treat several diseases such as RA, (rheumatoid arthritis) ulcers, and anemia. These are just a few of the amino acids that are essential in your diet for better health.

It is very important that you choose foods that are rich in amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals for your health.  Once again you can find them on Amazon.com.

 

More Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition contain the highest numbers of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. If you go to Google and type in superfoods, you will find several sites, all telling you about the same thing, that eating a natural diet will protect you from several diseases and illnesses.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Foods that are grown organically and in rich healthy soil, contain key nutrients. Grow your own vegetables to ensure nutrition content and reduce the need for pesticides.

Here are the ones that most people agree on, they are readily available in markets: Apples, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli,  watermelon, dry beans, spinach, kale, salmon and other oily fish, flaxseed, oats, soya, blueberries, cranberries, squash, almonds, beets, ginger, olive oil, tea, chili peppers, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, apricots, pumpkin, walnuts, yogurt, parsley, sage, rosemary, cinnamon, Brussel sprouts, lentils, pomegranates, concord grapes and brazil nuts.

True Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

True Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition are grown in rich soil.  The way food is grown will play a major part in getting the necessary ingredients to benefit your diet. It is absolutely true that you need a variety of foods that react together to improve nutrition within the body.

Here is excellent information from Web MD about healthy food combinations that make a world of difference in nutrition’s function in the body.

Eating food as close to its natural form as possible is best for improving health and preventing disease. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and legumes are great examples of foods that are rich in a combination of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and more.

Here are just a handful of examples in which different nutrients and components in food work together:

  • Pairing broccoli with tomatoes could be a match not only made in Italy but in health heaven. In a study to be published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutritionprostate tumors grew much less in rats that were fed tomatoes and broccoli than in rats who ate diets containing broccoli alone or tomatoes alone, or diets that contained cancer-fighting substances that had been isolated from tomatoes or broccoli. The take-home message: A lycopene supplement may not hurt, but the whole tomato will probably help more. And a tomato eaten with broccoli helps a lot more.
Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Broccoli and Tomatoes work together becoming Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

 

  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E; isoflavones from soybeans; and other compounds are thought to be important in slowing the oxidation of cholesterol — which is as important to reducing your risk of congestive heart by disease as lowering your blood cholesterol levels. Antioxidant protection is a complex system that includes many nutrients and phytonutrients. You need all of them for maximum effect.

“Eating a little “good fat” along with your vegetables helps your body absorb their protective phytochemicals.”

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Olive oil is a good choice for optimizing nutrient absorption

  • Three B vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B-6, and B-12) TOGETHER reduce the level of an amino acid that, in high levels, is thought to damage artery linings, leading to heart attacks and strokes.
  • Test-tube studies have shown that vitamin C and the phytoestrogen found in various fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans (including soy) work together to inhibit the oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • A recent study found that the phytochemicals quercetin (found mainly in apples, onions, and berries) and catechin (found mainly in apples, green tea, purple grapes, and grape juice) worked together to help stop platelet clumping. Platelets are a component of blood that plays an important role in forming clots. Platelets’ clumping together is one of several steps in blood clotting that can lead to a heart attack.

Dietary Factors

  • The Mediterranean-style diet is a perfect example of food synergy because it includes several healthful food patterns. (It’s rich in plant foods, whole grains, legumes, and fish; low in meat and dairy products; and contains more monounsaturated than saturated fats because of its emphasis on olives, olive oil, and walnuts.) A recent study concluded that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the prevalence of both metabolic syndrome (a condition that includes excess body fat, high blood fats, and high blood pressure) and the cardiovascular risk that goes along with it.
  • Several dietary factors — including saturated fat and, to a lesser extent, cholesterol — work to raise cholesterol in the human body. Several others, like plant sterols, soy protein, soluble fiber, and foods such as oats and nuts, help lower blood cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol levels are determined less by the intake of one particular nutrient than by your overall diet.
  • Eating a little “good fat” along with your vegetables helps your body absorb their protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.

Choose Avacado

  • Researchers measured how phytochemicals were absorbed after people ate lettuce, carrot, and spinach salad with or without 2 1/2 tablespoons of avocado. The avocado-eating group absorbed 8.3 times more alpha-carotene and 13.6 times more beta-carotene (both of which help protect against cancer and heart disease), and 4.3 times more lutein (which helps with eye health) than those who did not eat avocados. Find Avacado Oil here
Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you could choose to go with vegetables and fruits to maximize nutrient absorption.

What Researchers Have Found

  • In lab studies, Cornell University researchers found that apple extract given together with apple skin worked better to prevent the oxidation of free radicals (unstable molecules that damage cells and are believed to contribute to many diseases) than apple extract without the skin. Researchers found that catechins (a type of phytochemical found in apples). When combined with two other phytochemicals, it had an effect that was five times greater than expected.
  • Studies have indicated that oats may help protect against heart disease. Besides being one of our best sources of soluble fiber, oats contain a laundry list of other healthful compounds, including beta-glucan; a beneficial amino acid ratio; magnesium; folic acid; tocotrienols; and a phytochemical so far identified only in oats — avenanthramides. The protective effect of oats is thought to come from the collective effects of all of these components.

All these examples remind us of just how complex nutritional relationships are. In my opinion, Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created plant foods: There is magic in the packaging. This is true for most foods.

Exceptions

There are however exceptions; Wild salmon, tomatoes, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, kale, spinach, garlic, onions, blueberries, walnuts, pomegranates, depending on how and where they are grown.

Then there’s goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, sauco berries, acai berries, noni fruit, mangosteen fruit, bee pollen, royal jelly, green tea, sea vegetables, quinoa, and umeboshi plum.

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition include Sea Vegetables 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Sea Vegetables are an incredible source of nutrition

 

Sea vegetables are truly superior foods, they contain significant amounts of protein and they also contain all the minerals found in the ocean.

They offer 10 to 20 times the vitamins and minerals found in plants grown on land with just a few exceptions. Farming for the world, has in some regions, depleted our soils of the necessary nutrients that plants absorb.

Some farmers also use chemicals and pesticides on our crops.  Chemicals and pesticides are non-selective and destroy the micro bacteria and microfungi that are digested by the plants.

Sea Vegetables:  Special thanks to OneMinuteJuice.com for the excellent information they provided about Sea Vegetables.

The sea veggies are not really plants

Even though most of us actually believe this, it is not quite true. Sea Veggies are algae. There are even a few stores that brand the sea vegetables as algae, probably because people would definitely not be receptive to that. This is not just a market term that people use. The algae is actually a food filled with vitamins and minerals, and most of it can be consumed by humans. Well, the sea vegetables are actually algae, and knowing that the algae family is comprised out of thousands of different types, the sea veggies are versatile and healthy!

The first three are:

  • Arame

    – an interesting and stringy variety of the algae called arame, this is a variety of seaweed that contains a sweeter taste than all the other algae varieties. This is a seaweed that is highly consumed by Asian countries and is mostly connected to people who enjoy a long life. This is an algae-filled with Vitamin A, iron, calcium and many more minerals. Find Arame here

 

  • Dulse

    – most of the seaweed eaters are familiar with this particular algae because it is known to have a chewy substance. Also, it looks really cool. The dulse is pretty much known to help the people strengthen their bones because of its presence of calcium, magnesium, and iron, and of course, quite a decent amount of potassium as well. Find Dulse here

 

  • Hijiki

    –  The hijiki seaweed does not need any introduction whatsoever, because it is known to be quite the powerful sea vegetable. When it is used in dishes, it has a stringy look.  It tastes rather bold and interesting. Also, this seaweed is filled with nutrients, among which magnesium, calcium, Vitamin K, iron, fiber, and iodine. Find Hijiki here

The last four are:

  • Kelp

    – the kelp is an excellent source of Vitamin C. This is also a fuel for the responses of the immune system. The color of this particular seaweed varies from green to deep brown.

 

  • Kombu

    – this is a popular ingredient in plenty of Japanese dishes. All you need to do is take a small strip and put it in some water to simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes or more. It will turn into a broth filled with minerals. Use the broth to cook your veggies or grains inside it, and there it is – a healthy and excellent meal! The kombu is considered to be incredible when it comes to slowing down the aging process. Find Kelp/Kombu here

 

  • Nori

    – This is the seaweed that is used in sushi rolls. Usually, Nori comes in a baked form and has a green hue to it when it is being delivered to your table. You usually see this as a seaweed wrapped around hand rolls. If you are fond of sushi, you are probably fond of hand rolls too. Well, the good news here is that you have been getting a lot of health benefits from consuming them! The nori is filled with B vitamins, as well as healthy amino acids and fatty acids. Also, it has been said that it is anti-cancer too. You can even find the nori seaweed baked, in little chip bags, because most of the grocery stores happen to have them. Usually, they are a bit salted and taste pretty refreshing. They are perfect for a midday snack. Find Nori here

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Sushi is a delicious way to get sea vegetables into your nutrition plan

 

  • Wakame

    – this particular seaweed looks something like taffy and it is mostly found in Asian soups. It is a seaweed loaded with magnesium, which is a mineral that we usually don’t get enough of.  Find Wakame here

 More health benefits

The health benefits that come with the seaweed are literally neverending. The iodine, naturally found in the seaweed can help people who are suffering from thyroid issues.  Seaweed lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, the seaweed is quite low in calories. Even if you put a lot of it in a soup, you will not get more than 30 calories. Finally, the seaweeds are filled with lignans, which are related to a lowered rate of breast cancer in Japan. So basically, the seaweed is our friend.

Some heavy metal concerns

The density of nutrients in the seaweed comes from its ability to absorb plenty of minerals, kind of like a sponge does. But this is one beneficial attribute that can lead to a seaweed danger. When it comes to seaweed, it can absorb toxins too, particularly arsenic, from the nastiness of the ocean waters. So, when looking to buy seaweed, go fully organic. To be fair, a lot of scientists have limited the intake of arsenic by the seaweeds, but you would want to stay on the safe side, just in case.

In the end, the benefits that come with sea vegetables are quite interesting. This is why adding these algae into your regular dietary plan can only add up to your health benefits. As you already know, adding seaweed in your regular dieting plan is not that difficult at all. They have an excellent taste that goes well with plenty of dishes. So, make sure you regularly enjoy your sushi, or consume the algae as a healthy afternoon snack, because you will be doing your body a favor.

Choose Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition Foods Wisely

When you purchase an apple from the store, it could be lacking some of the minerals that the soil once provided, minerals that are essential to our health. This is not true for the sea vegetables, the ocean is still productive, we have yet to destroy it and therefore it is a rich source for your health. Kelp, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, dulse, alaria, sea lettuce, Irish moss, kombu, wakame, and nori are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and all the essential amino acids.

 

Determine What’s Best for You

If you are already suffering from a disease or illness or you’re prone to certain diseases or illness, due to family history, then there are a few things you need to know. 118 degrees will cook vegetables without killing their nutritional value.

You cannot eat as much as you need, which is 8 to 10 servings a day, but there is a solution, you can juice your way to health. The food pyramid has changed which came as no surprise to me, I still have trouble with this type of system, not everyone needs the same things, and every person on this planet is different and has different nutritional requirements.

If I said there is a child’s shoe in a size 6 in this lovely shade of turquoise blue. It’s perfect, and brand new. Here, it’s for you.  Well no matter how perfect the shoe is, it’s not able to meet your adult needs.  Nutrition is the same way.  You should check in with your doctor.  Blood tests will help the evaluation of vitamins and minerals.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition Terms

Vitamins = nutrients that are necessary for your health.  A shortage or an excessive amount for extended periods can cause health problems.

Minerals = Minerals are those elements on the earth and in foods that our bodies need to develop and function normally. Those essential for health include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.

Polyphenols are phytochemicals. Polyphenols are abundant in natural plant-based food sources containing antioxidant properties. Researchers have found over 8,000 identified polyphenols.  These include tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil,  just to name a few.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition Terms continued

Carotenoids = they are in the dark coloring of the skin of fruits and vegetables (pigments), they are also anti-oxidants; there are dozens of carotenoids.

Free-radical = they disrupt living cells by attacking them, free radicals are missing an electron and they steal one from other cells, they are responsible for all diseases and illness due to their damage. Free-radicals are in air and water pollution, and in junk foods, we eat. You can not escape from them; they are a part of life. Free-radical damage accumulates with age if you do not protect yourself.

Anti-oxidants = they neutralize free-radicals by donating their extra electron; all anti-oxidants have an extra electron. Anti-oxidants protect us from free-radical damage. Anti-oxidants are scavengers; they prevent cell and tissue damage which leads to disease and illness.

Nutrients taken in combinations equals synergy.   These combinations cause the nutrients to become more powerful than when taken alone.

Dark Rich Colors

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Get the most nutrition from foods with the darkest richest colors

 

Notice that the list above states that people agree that blueberries are superior food. Not all foods have been studied, What does this mean for you? Be wise and eat fruits and vegetables that have the darkest and richest colors, in combinations, to receive maximum benefits.

Unlisted Fruits and Vegetables

Just because a fruit or vegetable may not appear on certain lists of healthy foods, do not dismiss them from your diet. Most foods grown in the ground, or harvested from the sea have nutritional value to contribute to the health and longevity of the human body.

Let’s continue our research and find the best solutions for our health.

Beans may reduce the risk of heart disease; lentils support heart health; berries of all kinds have synergistic effects and are scavengers of free-radicals; citrus fruits are all full of anti-oxidants; vegetables steamed on low heat are a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates; sea vegetables are bursting with carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and can be found in many forms, tablet or powder.

Food for Thought

Sea vegetables support your whole body; green leafy vegetables are bursting with eye health nutrients as well as supporting the heart, brain, and bones.

Nuts help reduce the risk of heart disease; oats are a prime source of complex carbohydrates and full of fiber. Cold water – wild fish, not farm-raised, contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for coronary heart health.

Wild salmon, trout and tuna all contain different amounts and should all be consumed; seeds and nuts help balance hormones and have anti-oxidant activities; soy packs a punch

Different Nutritional needs between Men and Women

There is plenty of research that shows men and women need different nutrients to support biological needs. Men need to protect themselves against prostate cancer, bladder cancer, testosterone levels, sperm counts, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Men should add five tomatoes, or five servings of tomato sauce, a week to their diet to protect them from prostate cancer.

Three oysters a day have the full day’s supply of zinc which is essential for the male reproductive system, testosterone, and sperm counts. Men are three times more likely to get bladder cancer than women. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage, when eaten five times a week, shows a reduction in this disease according to the studies.

Eating a handful of unsalted peanuts every day helps lower your bad cholesterol levels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Potassium

Potassium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Avocados, bananas, roasted acorn squash, beans, potatoes, watermelon, and other melons can help reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.

Men and primarily women need to protect themselves against gallbladder disease, breast cancer, and fight osteoporosis. Women tend to be anemic due to low iron levels, and women suffer from menopausal hot flashes.

Women with low vitamin C levels are more likely to develop gall bladder disease than those with higher levels of vitamin C. Papaya has twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is rich in lignans. Lignans are like estrogen.  Make sure to get the seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder. You put them on cereal or mix in the muffin mix.  There are no lignans in flaxseed oil; lignans have effectively slowed tumor growth in women that already have breast cancer. Find flaxseed here

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Flaxseed is also known as linseed

Vitamins

Vitamin K along with vitamin D and calcium are all important nutrients for fighting osteoporosis. Women that get enough vitamin K are 30 percent less likely to suffer fractures in their later years. Collard greens are the best source for this protection.  Although dark green leafy vegetables, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and broccoli are also good sources.

Women tend to be lower in iron than men due to menstruation and this can cause severe fatigue. To get the highest doses of iron you should try buffalo meat.  You get an easily digestible 3 milligrams of iron in a 3 oz portion of this very lean meat.

In later life, women tend to suffer from the dreaded hot flashes. A half-cup of tofu contains 30 mg of isoflavones. These are plant chemicals that have a structure that is similar to estrogen. This may offer some relief from hot flashes.

 

Juicing

For men and women alike, make sure to add superior foods to your diet.  Such as; sea vegetables, mangosteen fruit juice, Goji berry juice, or other berry juices.

Mangosteen Fruit

The Mangosteen fruit is native to South East Asia, it has been studied for 20 years by independent labs and doctors for its medicinal uses; it contains 25,000 anti-oxidants, the highest number ever found in one food source, it contains amino acids as well as a vast majority of vitamins and minerals.

The Mangosteen fruit is native to South East Asia, it has been studied for 20 years by independent labs and doctors for its medicinal uses; it contains 25,000 anti-oxidants, the highest number ever found in one food source, it contains amino acids as well as a vast majority of vitamins and minerals.

They are native to Turkey; they are high in vitamin C, iron, calcium and protein. Goldenberries are native to Colombia and Peru, Sauco berries are native to South America, Umeboshi Plum is native to Japan, Noni fruit is native to Polynesia. The Acai berry has 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries, all eight essential amino acids, and trace minerals. The list goes on, but what you eat is up to you, your health is in your hands. Find Mangosteen powder here

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Mangosteen is an excellent way to get Superior Food for Optimal Nutrition

Thanks to Nutritionandyou.com they had this lovely bit of information about mangosteen fruit.

Health Benefits of Mangosteen

  • Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is one of the popular tropical fruits. It comprises of an impressive list of essential nutrients required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
  • It is moderately low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber (100 g provides about 13% of RDA).
  • Mangosteen is a good source of vitamin-C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-
  • C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance to combat viral flu and help scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • Fresh fruit is a mild source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Further, it also contains a splendid amount of minerals like copper, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

A Doctor can help

Consult with your doctor.  Get some blood tests to help you see where the holes in your nutrition are for important vitamins and minerals. Everyone is different and other people’s nutritional requirements may be different than yours. Continue to read and listen to the information. Ultimately, make an informed decision for yourself.

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Let your Doctor know about your nutritional adjustments and get the all-clear for food and drug interactions.

 

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I would like to give credit where credit is due and say a big thank you to Dr.Axe for this information on fermented vegetables.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition include fermented foods

 Top 10 Fermented Foods for Health

Food ferments as it steeps allowing sugars and carbs to interact with bacteria, yeast, and microbes. This changes the chemical structure of the food. Choosing fermented foods such as milk and vegetables is a great way to preserve them.  Also, fermentation makes nutrients more absorbable.

1. Kefir

A fermented milk product, (made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk) tastes like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir benefits include providing high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes, and probiotics.

2. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made of black tea and sugar (from various sources like cane sugar, fruit or honey). It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that is responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. Do fermented foods like kombucha contain alcohol? Kombucha has trace amounts of alcohol but too little to cause intoxication or even to be noticeable. Other fermented foods, such as yogurt or fermented veggies, typically do not have any alcohol. Find Kombucha here.

3. Sauerkraut 

Sauerkraut is one of the oldest traditional foods, with very long roots in German, Russian and Chinese cuisine. For example, Sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German.  Although the Germans weren’t actually the first to make sauerkraut (it’s believed the Chinese were). Made from fermented green or red cabbage, sauerkraut is high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins. It’s also a great source of iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese, and magnesium.

Store-bought sauerkraut isn’t all fermented.  Especially the canned/processed kind. Fermented sauerkraut is refrigerated.

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Fermented sauerkraut is refrigerated, stored in glass jars, and labeled fermented.

4. Pickles

Fermented pickles contain a remarkable amount of vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and gut-friendly probiotic bacteria a.k.a. probiotics. Cucumbers pickled with vinegar makes the pickles taste sour. However, this doesn’t lead to natural fermentation. Cucumbers ferment with salt and water to make pickles.

When choosing a jar of pickles, look for “lactic acid fermented pickles”. Made by a manufacturer that uses organic products and brine. Then refrigerates the pickles, and states that the pickles have been fermented. If you can find a farmers market, you’ll get some of the best probiotics for your health.

Top 10 continued – Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

5. Miso

Miso is created by fermenting soybeans, barley or brown rice with koji, a type of fungus. It’s a traditional Japanese ingredient in recipes including miso soup. Find miso here.

6. Tempeh

Create tempeh by combining soybeans with a tempeh starter (which is a mix of live mold). When it sits for a day or two, it becomes a dense, cake-like product that contains both probiotics and a hefty dose of protein too. Tempeh is similar to tofu but not as spongy and more “grainy.” Get your make at home kit here.

7. Natto

Natto is a popular food in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans. Here’s a fun fact, the Japanese eat Natto for breakfast occasionally. and commonly combined with soy sauce, karashi mustard, and Japanese bunching onion. After fermentation, it develops a strong smell, deep flavor and sticky, slimy texture that not everyone who is new to natto appreciates.

8. Kimchi

Japanese cooks add Kimchi to Korean recipes like rice bowls, ramen or bibimbap.  Make Kimchi with fermented cabbage, plus spices like ginger, garlic and pepper, and other seasonings. 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Kimchi, A fermented Korean food

 

Fermented dairy

 9. Raw Cheese

Goat milk, sheep milk, and A2 cows soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophilous, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. In order to find real fermented/aged cheeses, look for cheese that has NOT been pasteurized. The label should indicate that the cheese is raw and has been aged for six months or more.

10. Yogurt

You might ask, “Is yogurt the same as fermented milk?” The answer is, yes. Yogurt and kefir are unique dairy products. They are highly available and one of the top probiotic foods that many people eat regularly. Probiotic yogurt is now the most consumed fermented dairy product in the United States and many other industrialized nations too.

I recommend when buying yogurt to look for three things. First, that it comes from goat or sheep milk if you have trouble digesting cow’s milk; second, it’s made from animals that are fed grass; and third, that it’s organic.

What about other foods like vinegar?

Is apple cider vinegar a fermented food? Is balsamic vinegar a fermented food? What about bread?

Apple cider vinegar that is raw and contains “the mother” is fermented and contains some probiotics. Find it here.  It also contains certain types of acids like acetic acid. These support the function of probiotics and prebiotics in your gut. However, most kinds of vinegar available in the supermarket do not contain probiotics.

You can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a drink twice a day. Before breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in your meal, and then start consuming more fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi or drinking kvass to really boost probiotic levels.

Sourdough bread contains no probiotics. Fermentation helps make nutrients found in the grains more available for absorption and reduces antinutrient content that may make digestion difficult.

Words of wisdom

Being healthy is a journey.  We have to make choices each and every single day. What we will eat?  What we will do in the way of exercise?

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Healthy living is a Journey. Living our best lives happens one day at a time.

 

Foods can be either healthy and medicinal or unhealthy and poisonous. Make healthy swaps to feel better and more energetic. Such as:

  • A baked potato is good, but a baked sweet potato is better.
  • Sour cream is good, but Greek yogurt is better.
  • Spaghetti is good, but spaghetti squash is so much better!

Substitutions like these are easy to make and easy on your wallet.  Furthermore, nutrition that satisfies me, reduces my cravings.

 

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications.  You should check with your doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication or introducing new food into your diet.

That’s all for today friends.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post “Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition” with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

 Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.  Americans love their convenient lifestyle. For example, driving to the corner market for milk and eggs, tossing a healthy frozen entree into the microwave for lunch, or hiring the local teenager to mow the yard and finally, drive through coffee. We are used to having so much at our convenience that it’s just expected. In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle equals longevity.

The top four regions in the world where people live to be 100 or older are

  • Okinawa 800 miles south of Tokyo,
  • Sardinia in the highlands of Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica on the peninsula
  •  Loma Linda, California most notably the Seventh-day Adventist.

By longevity, I mean a life worth living. Where folks age in a way that allows them to keep their independence.  The kind of independence everyone hopes for when and if we make it into our 90s.  For example:

  • staying in your own home
  • living without the need for glasses, canes, or hearing aids
  • able to cook your own meals
  • able to enjoy great-grandchildren

To learn some of the amazing secrets of healthy longevity and what it takes to live a life where you can have both quality and quantity of years. Read on, while I share interesting facts of this lifestyle that promotes longevity.

What These Amazing Places Have in Common

They Move Naturally

First, their way of life is their way of exercise.  They do not set out to formally perform an exercise regime.  In other words,  When the men of Sardinia, Italy need firewood, (Sardinia has the largest population of men who live to be 100 years old.) they do not break out a chainsaw and cut down a tree.  They break out a hatchet and cut firewood old school style. Next, they ride bikes at the age of 102! Also in Sardinia, housing is built vertically so they are regularly taking the stairs. These folks definately live a lifestyle that promotes longevity.

man resting from biking in the park EmbracingAging.us

Maintaining good health allows for quality living in our 70s, 80s,  and beyond.

Should one of the women in Okinawa decide that they like to bake a cake, they don’t run to the cupboard and break out a blender, they mix the batter by hand. Should the family decide to put in a garden and most do, they don’t go out and buy or rent a tiller, they use their sweat equity.  This is one of several ways that physical exercise is built into their daily living routines.  This lifestyle promotes longevity and is something I admire and aspire to do more of every day.

Family and Society

In each one of these 4 places, community and respect for the elderly are a priority.  Here in the U.S. at any local coffee shop or bar, you might see a poster of the latest famous model or musician ranging in age from 25 -30.  However, in Sardinia, you’re more likely to see posters of the oldest centenarians. Also, family dwellings consist of children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. You should know, these family arrangements benefit the oldest and the youngest of the home the most.

Grandmother and granddaughter EmbracingAging.us

Grandmother enjoys holding newborn granddaughter

Centenarians know that their tribe is very important. My favorite is the Okinawan tradition of the Moai. When you are born, your moai is already established.  These are the people you will travel with throughout life.  If your house burns down, they’ve got your back.  Should you need someone to watch your children for you because you are in the hospital for a week, they are there for you.  It is an unwavering loyalty practiced by all members of the moai.

Plant-based Diet

Costa Rica has available very hard water higher in calcium.  According to scientists, this seems to explain why they have fewer bone breaks and hip injuries.

All of the regions mentioned above practice home gardening. Furthermore, gardening is a fundamental way of life and a perfect way to get plenty of physical exercises.

Personally, when I started blogging and this notion is really ironic, I began to think that I might not have time this year to put in a garden.  I’m seeing the error of my ways.  I will be gardening this year AND I will not use a tiller or other power tools to manage it.  Gardening by hand gives us the gift of good healthy food not exposed to gas fumes from tillers, weedeaters or mowers.

The garden is an opportunity for me to teach my family about the importance of nutrition, and how it benefits us physically.  If you’ve ever established a garden, then you know it’s also a great workout.  Interestingly, they do not seek to eat foods that aren’t in season. To them, this is simply common sense. They simply do not eat tomatoes in December.

Spiritual Connection

In and around Loma Linda California, the Seventh Day Adventists are on the longevity list. Most notably, they practice a vegan diet, free of meat, milk, and eggs.  Meals consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and tofu fixed in a variety of ways. Seventh-Day Adventists take their diet from the first book in the bible, Genisis.

Most importantly, the 24 hour period from Friday evening to Saturday evening is considered holy. Time spent during this period is with church and family.  They also take nature walks together inside this 24-hour window as part of their time to reflect, pray and spend time with other like-minded friends and family.  They count on this time each week knowing that it sustains them and refreshes them for the upcoming week.

Ikigai (eekeeguy) Okinawan for Reason for Living

Volunteer, contribute, give, donate word sign Embracingaging.us

Volunteer, Contribute and Give

All of the Centenarians will advise those of us in pursuit of longevity will tell us that having a purpose for living and greeting the sun each morning is essential to happiness. Consequently, It makes getting up every day worthwhile and fulfilling. Consider volunteering at your local food bank, caring for other members of your family, or foster stray animals until you can find them loving homes, these are the kinds of things that bring “joy de vive” to your heart. At the end of the day, you can feel good about giving back something of yourself to your community. This giving is receiving goodness from and for your heart and soul.

 

What’s the takeaway lesson here? Using Sardinia, Greece as the poster child for what to do and what not to do:

Lifestyle promotes longevity recommendations:

  • Plant a garden for the food and the exercise.
  • Walk or ride a bike as much as you can
  • Avoid donut shops and burger joints so you won’t need a gym (there aren’t any donut shops burger joints or gyms in Sardinia)
  • Develop grit, don’t let a convenient lifestyle make you soft.
  • The number one top of the list longevity food to eat more of every day is beans. All kinds of beans are game.

Blue Zones

Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones,  has traveled to all these places and researched in great detail the who, how and why of longevity. Also in his book, he goes more in depth on how the less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity as well as the best foods you can eat for a long life.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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