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Not all calories are created equal.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.

They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.

Here are the 20 most weight loss friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.

salmon

1. Whole Eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

New studies show that they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks (1, 2).

What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.

They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.

One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours (3).

Another 8 week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet compared to bagels (4).

Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks so just throw that tasteless egg white option out the window!.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet.

They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.

Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5).

Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies (6).

3. Salmon

Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy.

It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.

Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients.

Fish, and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine.

This nutrient is necessary for proper function of the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally (7).

Studies show that a huge number of people in the world aren’t getting all the iodine they need (8).

Salmon is also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease (9, 10).

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of oily fish are also excellent.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling.

What’s more… these types of veggies also tend to contain decent amounts of protein.

They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables.

A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.

They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer fighting substances (11).

5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast

Meat has been unfairly demonized.

It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up.

Although processed meat is unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does NOT raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes (12, 13).

According to two big review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men, and no correlation at all in women (14, 15).

The truth is… meat is a weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein.

Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient, by far, and eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day (16, 17, 18).

Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week… just by adding protein to the diet (19, 20).

If you’re on a low carb diet, then feel free to eat fatty meats. But if you’re on a moderate- to high carbohydrate diet, then choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.

6. Boiled Potatoes

White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favor for some reason.

However… they have several properties that make them a perfect food, both for weight loss and optimal health.

They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients, a little bit of almost everything we need.

There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes alone for extended periods of time.

They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.

On a scale called the Satiety Index, that measures how fulfilling different foods are, white, boiled potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested (21).

What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.

If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits… including weight loss (22).

Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.

7. Tuna

Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food.

It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it.

Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.

If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.

8. Beans and Legumes

Some beans and legumes can be beneficial for weight loss.

This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others.

These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.

They also tend to contain some resistant starch.

The main problem is that a lot of people have problem tolerating legumes. For this reason, it is important to prepare them properly.

9. Soups

As mentioned above, meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories.

Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.

But you can also just add water to your food… by making a soup.

Some studies have shown that eating the exact same food, except made in a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories (23, 24).  We are talking about homemade soup here.  If you are purchasing your soup you MUST read the label and then you will probably need to go home and make your own

10. Cottage Cheese

Dairy products tend to be high in protein.

One of the best ones is cottage cheese… calorie for calorie, it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrate and fat.

Eating plenty of cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low amount of calories.

Dairy products are also high in calcium, which has been shown to aid in the fat burning process (25).

11. Avocados

Avocados are a unique type of fruit.

Whereas most fruit is high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats.

They are particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil.

Despite being mostly fat, they also contain a lot of water, so they aren’t as energy dense as you may think.

Avocados are perfect as additions to salad, because studies show that the fats in them can increase the nutrient uptake from the vegetables 2.6 to 15-fold (25).

They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community.

It is popular for use in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. Some people even dilute it in water and drink it.

Several studies in humans suggest that vinegar can be useful for people who are trying to lose weight.

Taking vinegar at the same time as a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (26, 27).

One study in obese individuals also showed that 15 or 30 mL of vinegar per day for 12 weeks caused weight loss of 2.6-3.7 pounds, or 1.2-1.7 kilograms (28).

Vinegar has also been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may lead to all sorts of beneficial effects on health in the long term (29, 30).

13. Nuts

Despite being high in fat, nuts are not inherently fattening.

They’re an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even cause weight loss (31, 32).

Population studies have also shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and leaner, than the people who don’t (33).

Just make sure not to go overboard, as they are still pretty high in calories. If you tend to binge and eat massive amounts of nuts, then it may be best to avoid them.

14. Some Whole Grains

Despite grains having gotten a bad rap in recent years, there are some types that are definitely healthy.

This includes some non-gluten, whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein as well.

Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.

Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health (34, 35).

Rice, both brown and white, can also contain significant amounts of resistant starch, especially if cooked and then allowed to cool afterwards (36).

Keep in mind that refined grains are a disaster, and sometimes foods that have “whole grains” on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.

If you’re on a very low-carb diet then you’ll want to avoid grains, because they are high in carbohydrates. But there’s nothing wrong with eating some of the healthier grains if you can tolerate them and are not on a low-carb diet.

15. Chili Pepper

Eating chili peppers may be useful on a weight loss diet.

They contain a substance called capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies (37, 38, 39).

This substance is even sold in supplement form and is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study showed that eating 1 gram of red chili pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who didn’t regularly eat peppers (40).

However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that some sort of tolerance can build up.

16. Fruit

Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy.

Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don’t (41, 42).

Of course… correlation does not equal causation, so those studies don’t prove anything, but fruit do have properties that make them weight loss friendly.

Even though they contain sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, the fiber helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream.

The only people who may want to avoid or minimize fruit are those who are on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet, or have some sort of intolerance to fructose.

For the rest of us, fruits can be an effective (and delicious) addition to a weight loss diet.

17. Grapefruit

One fruit that deserves to be highlighted is grapefruit, because its effects on weight control have been studied directly.

In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks (43).

The grapefruit group also had reductions in insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.

So… eating half a grapefruit about a half hour before some of your daily meals may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.

18. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They do contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those grams are fiber.

This makes chia seeds a low-carb friendly food, and one of the best sources of fiber in the world (44).

Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach (45).

Although some studies have shown that chia seeds can help reduce appetite, they have not found a statistically significant effect on weight loss (46, 47).

However, given their nutrient composition, it makes sense that chia seeds could be a useful part of a weight loss diet.

19. Coconut Oil

Not all fats are created equal.

Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).

These fatty acids have been shown to boost satiety compared to other fats, as well as increase the amount of calories burned (48, 49).

There are also two studies, one in women and the other in men, showing that coconut oil led to reduced amounts of belly fat (50, 51).

Of course… coconut oil still contains calories, so adding it on top of what you’re already eating is a bad idea.

So this is not about adding coconut oil to your diet, it is about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is also worth mentioning here, because it is probably the healthiest fat on the planet.

20. Full-fat Yoghurt

Another excellent dairy food is yoghurt.

Yoghurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.

Having a healthy gut may potentially help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of obesity.

Just make sure to choose plain full-fat yoghurt… studies show that full-fat dairy, but not low-fat, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time (52).

Flavored Low-fat yoghurt is usually loaded with sugar, so it is best to avoid that stuff like the plague.  Remember when they remove fat form foods they usually replace it with sugar-yikes!

sugar 2

This is pretty startling an upsetting…right?  How can something we all LOVE to eat be more addictive than some very serious drugs?  Is anyone doing anything about this?   What are WE going to do about it?

James DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. He recently published a comprehensive review of dozens of studies in which he contends that sugar is more dangerous than salt when it comes to risk for heart disease. He says that refined sugar is similar to cocaine — a white crystal extracted from sugar cane rather than coca leaves — and that studies show it can be even more addictive than the recreational drug.

“When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine,” says DiNicolantonio “even when you get the rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to the sugar.”

DiNicolantonio is careful to differentiate between refined and intrinsic sugars; while the former have the potential to cause adverse health effects due to their concentrated nature, the latter, such as lactose in milk, “aren’t necessarily unhealthy.”

DiNicolantonio believes that the FDA could help to lessen the issue.  “The government subsidizes corn, so high fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar, and that’s why it’s so ubiquitous in our diets,” DiNicolantonio explained. “They need to start subsidizing healthy foods.

“We shouldn’t be able to eat a Snickers bar for cheaper than we can eat an apple.”

Ok so the good news is that you can still have sugar occasionally….. key word-OCCAISONALLY!  The big message here is awareness.  Read your labels… don’t eat things with added sugar that should not have added sugar or any of it’s forms.

According to Dr. Nicole Avena of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, “pizza is the most addictive food because of the hidden sugar you’ll find in just once slice. From the tomato sauce to the dough, there’s a whole lot of sugar in a single slice — more so than a handful of Oreos.”  Yikes, pizza???  This is where we all need to take a greater interest in what we actually are eating compared to what we thought were eating.  Of course, eating at home is always a great solution to knowing what is in your food.

Yet another Cardiologist Dr. James O’Keefe told KCTV “When we eat wheat flour and sugar in processed foods, it spikes our sugar, then insulin. Those are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food.”

Fruit should taste sweet to you, OK.. ripe fruit should taste sweet to you!  If it does not, try detoxing from sugar AND artificial sweeteners to reset your palette and insulin resistance level.

When a sweet craving hits the doctors recommend going for some dark chocolate(70% or higher ) or a serving of almonds.  I would add a glass of water and a hobby or activity I enjoy doing to that equation for the best chance of success. 🙂

Sources and Resources:

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2015/02/26/study-sugar-is-eight-times-more-addictive-than-cocaine/

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/01/07/sugar-health-research

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2013/10/16/research-shows-cocaine-and-heroin-are-less-addictive-than-oreos/

http://abc13.com/health/study-sugar-is-as-addictive-as-cocaine/533979/

http://growinghumankindness.com/sugar-support/

OK so I just got back from Mexico for a lovely week or relaxation, sun surf and buffets.  I am left with the burning question:  Why do so many people STILL drink soda?

I guess there are STILL a lot of popoholics out there. It’s cold, refreshing, and fizzy. It quenches your thirst, has 23 flavors, is timeless americana, and who doesn’t LOVE to do the DEW?! What’s not to love?!

soda

Turns out… a lot of things…..and some of them can KILL you!!

1. Those dreaded “empty calories”

What does that even mean? Empty calories refers to calories consumed, but with no nutritional gain. When we eat nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, health fats, our body breaks them down and uses them as fuel. Doesn’t happen with empty calories. We put calories in, but get nothing out. No nutritional value. Got it? Good.

2. Takes place of other stuff you should be drinking

Water, milk, tea. Need I say more?

3. Diet Soda doesn’t mean no weight gain

Studies have found links between consuming sugary tasting (even if artificially sweetened) drinks might be leading you to a higher desire for sweetness overall. So you crave other sugary gunk after drinking fake sugary diet pop.

4. Nothing in pop has any reason to be in your body

What is in pop after all?  A lot of things you can’t even pronounce right?

Phosphoric Acid: Can interfere with the body’s ability to use calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis (softening of teeth & bones) Phosphoric acid also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid that naturally occurs in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients-yikes!!

Sugar: Soda manufacturers are the largest single user of refined sugar in the United States. It has been proven that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of sugar!! AH! Just in pop alone, think about how much sugar you’re consuming including the rest of your diet or if you consume a couple pops a day! Double yikes!!

Aspartame: This is the artificial sweetener (fake sugar) found in diet pop. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. Even worse, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde (isn’t that what they use to preserve dead people?? yes it is) and formic acid, which are known carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Oh dear… soft bones, too much sugar, blocked nutrients AND cancer? :/ hmm…

Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer. Caffeine also dehydrates you. It takes more water to process the caffeine in pop than there is water already in pop, so water in the body is used to process the caffeine. Not such a thirst quencher after all. Dehydrator. Not to mention that it can also act as a diuretic, making you pee more! Makes you want to drink more…. hmmm. Good way to sell more sodas!

So really the bottom line is, pop is not what we need to be drinking.   Pop is not something we NEED at all really. So if you’re a popoholic, try to cut back. Try water. Try tea. Try club soda with embellishments.  If you can’t face life without soda remember you don’t have to cut it out completely, but save it for a special treat, not an every day drink.

It’s Wild and fresh Copper River Salmon season here….yum!   Lot’s of folks are intimidated by cooking fish on the grill.  Here is the super easy low down how to season and cook your own super healthy and delicious whallop of Omega 3 healthy Salmon.  Did I say yummm?

Image

-Fresh and wild Salmon Filetspreviously frozen doesn’t taste as good and farmed is not only bad for the environment but is fed gmo soy and corn meal, dumped with antibiotics and fertilizers and then colored with toxic chemicals-yikes! so stick to wild if at all possible!!

A-Check for bones and remove with needle nose pliers-just grab and pull.  Don’t worry if you tear the fish a bit, it will be fine.  It is much more enjoyable to do this part before cooking.  The bones usually are in a row so just use your fingers to feel for them.  Trim off any large fatty or discolored areas.  Gently rinse filets with water and pat dry with paper towel.

B-Season with rub or marinade.  Here are my 2 favorite go tos:

Curryous Spice Rub

2 T Curry powder

1 T Chili powder

2 t ground cumin

1/2 t cayenne powder

1 t brown sugar, packed (in colorado where brown sugar dries out no matter what you try -this is great for use in rubs-grind hard chunks with a mortar and pestle)

1 t garlic powder

Sprinkle Salmon liberally with rub and let sit at room temp for a 5-10 min before grilling.  

Store extra rub in an empty spice jar or sealed baggie for next time!

Dana’s Everyday Teriyaki Sauce

-2 T soy sauce

-2 T maple syrup

-1 T grapeseed oil-(this is olive oil that retains its health properties at higher heats)

-1 T roasted sesame oil

*optional -2 cloves fresh minced garlic

Marinate Salmon filets face down in marinade for 15 min to 12 hrs before grilling.

C-Preheat your grill on high for 5 minutes.  Clean grate and turn down to med/low.  Place salmon filets skin side down on the grill grate and close the lid.  Grill for 8-12 minutes for medium depending on the thickness of your fillets.   Remove from grill.

You can remove the skin before serving by sliding the spatula between the skin and the meat-the skin should slide right off.  I also like to gently scrape off the brownish gray layer between the skin and meat.  You can also serve your filets with the skin on.  It is easy to remove bites of meat from the skin with a fork.

Serve over a bed of greens with light balsamic dressing or with steamed veggies and whole grain rice.  YUM!

I don’t even like celery but, I LOOOOOVE this salad!  AND Celery is a great source of Calcium, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C-which is COOL! Did I say mmmmmmmm?

celery-parmesan-salad     1/2 C. good olive oil

     2 t grated lemon zest

     1/4 c +1T fresh squeezed lemon juice(3 lemons)

     2 T minced shallots

     1 t celery seed

1/2 t celery salt

1/2 t anchovy paste

1 1/2 t salt

1 t pepper

5 c thinly sliced celery hearts, celery and tender leaves included-slice very thin(about 12 stalks)

4 oz chunk aged parmesan cheese

2/3 c toasted walnuts coarsely chopped

-At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 c lemon juice, shallots celery seed, anchovy paste, 1 t salt and pepper.  Let rest so flavors can meld

-Place celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the 1 T lemon juice and 1/2 t salt.  (even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me—this step makes a difference.)

-Add dressing to moisten well.  Cover add refrigerate for at least ah hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

– When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a plate or bowl, shave the parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, then sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.

I also like this salad with a bed of mixed greens underneath……mmmmm

Here are some anti-aging foods to try and include in your meals and snacks:

Colorful berries. The antioxidant anthocyanin is what gives berries their blue, red, and purple colors. To get a healthy dose of this potent antioxidant, eat plenty of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pomegranate, cherries, acai berries, and blood oranges, to name a few of the best choices. Each of these foods has a variety of other powerful antioxidants that repair and protect your skin’s cells.

Dark chocolate-This is rich in supernutrients epicatechin and catechin. When experts gave women a cocoa drink extra-rich in these things for three months their skin quality improved, showing better hydration and reduced roughness and scaling.

Red peppers & Spinach. -In Italy, researchers have shown that having 10mg of the yellow pigment lutein, which is found naturally in red peppers, can improve our skin’s elasticity. In theory, this makes it less prone to fine lines and wrinkles by giving additional antioxidant capacity to your skin and enhancing skin hydration. Aiming to have one lutein-rich food a day may help to slow down skin aging.

Kale– Just one 80g portion of kale gives 17mg of lutein!  Some find it hard to enjoy eating kale.  Try this recipe for Baked Kale Chips, it’s a real winner-even with the kids!

Tomatoes- These are bursting with their own special red pigment, lycopene. When people were given 40mg of tomato paste daily, which provides 16mg of lycopene – skin showed a definite reduction in redness triggered by the sun’s UV rays.

Carrots-Contain orange pigment beta carotene, which scientists believe can help to protect against sun damage. The supernutrient is also found in mangoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.

Wild salmon- All wild oily fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies give us omega-3 oils. These essential fats may be especially helpful for anyone who suffers from dry, red and itchy skin due to conditions such as psoriasis. Fish is also a great source of collagen-producing protein.

Prawns- These give us copper, needed to make melanin – the natural dark pigment that helps to protect us against sun damage. It is also needed for collagen and for elastin which allows our skin to stretch and ping back into place without leaving any lines.

Fuji pears — or Asian pears – were used by Chinese courtesans to get rid of dark circles under the eyes,” says Dr. Mao. Fuji pears are chock full of vitamin C and copper, which can help protect the delicate skin around the eye from free radical damage. Dr. Mao suggests adding a tablespoon of honey to a peeled, cored pear and then steaming for 15 minutes. Not only is it a delicious dessert, but the copper in the pear contains superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that helps mop up free radicals that enter the body via air pollution, says Dr. Mao.

Jicama is a crisp root vegetable that can help fight crow’s feet by boosting collagen and fighting wrinkles. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C. Try it either raw or cooked.

Garlic. Allium is an antioxidant that packs a punch. Garlic, onions, and scallions are loaded with this free-radical fighter that is good for your skin and your immune system. Black garlic helps to repair age-damaged skin. Uniquely colored due to its fermentation process, black garlic contains double the antioxidants as regular garlic and can be eaten raw. It strengthens and restores skin cells damaged by the aging process. Use it in place of regular garlic in most recipes.

Sunflower Seed Butter works to unclog your arteries. It’s rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids including one that lowers your cholesterol. Try it instead of peanut butter.

Broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Quercetin is another powerful antioxidant that is found in broccoli, along with other foods including cranberries, onions, and apples. It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent as well, fighting the No. 2 cause of aging. Broccoli sprouts have 30 times more isothiocyanates (yet another antioxidant) than regular broccoli.

Shakeology– The convenience of a meal  replacement shake cannot be beat!  I am much less concerned about getting my servings of veggies in since Shakeology packs such a whallop of potent super-foods, anti-oxidants and essential nutrients.  Even eating the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables every day won’t give you this much nutrition.   

In a 90 day study participants who replaced one meal a day with Shakeology reduced oxidative stress, a risk factor for degenerative diseases, by as much as 90%.  Oxidative stress is also what makes you look and feel old. Click on the link above to read more about this all natural, ultra premium nutritional shake.

Turns out that exercise can get deep in your body, even into your DNA.  Researchers have found that people who exercise have younger DNA–by up to 9 years.  That is an incredible benefit.  So exercising may do more than help prevent illness, it may actually make you younger.

Thanks to modern research we now know one of the best ways to look younger is through exercise and that strenuous workouts are one of the most effective strategies.

That doesn’t mean you have to be super-fit to reap the benefits.  It just means you need to find your fitness level and exert yourself accordingly.  So, for example, complete beginners can go from walking to power-walking and intermediates from power-walking to  walk/run intervals. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

WHAT IS STRENUOUS?
To gauge the intensity of your workout, you can use the Talk Test.

This is a scale of one to ten for describing how hard you’re working – one being extremely easy and ten extremely hard.

If you’re doing a moderate workout, this would translate to a level five on the scale – at this point you should be able to easily hold a conversation as you exercise.

If you’re breathing hard and it’s harder to hold a conversation, you’re working out at a harder pace of around level eight to nine. This is the level you are aiming for to achieve strenuous exercise.

DO THIS: Three times a week, using the cardio of your choice – such as walking, running or cycling – complete the following workout: After a five to ten-minute warm-up, speed up until you are at around level eight to nine on the Talk Test and hold that for 30 seconds. Recover at an easy pace for one minute. Repeat for a total of five to eight intervals.

CELL REJUVENATION

Telomeres, the biological clocks of cells, get shorter as people age, yet research on 50-year-old marathon runners, recently published in the journal Circulation, showed that the middle-aged runners had telomeres that were as long as 20-year-olds.

And in a long-term study involving 913 pairs of twins, Danish scientists found the twins who looked younger than their true age had longer telomeres.

DO THIS: Using your cardio choice (try running, walking, swimming, skipping or cycling), warm up for eight minutes. Speed up to a comfortably hard pace (around level seven to eight on the Talk Test) and hold for ten to 15 minutes. Recover at an easy pace for five minutes. Repeat once or twice. Do this four times a week.

MUSCLE REJUVENATION

Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School Of Medicine looked at how exercise affects ageing in muscles and bones. The results, published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, demonstrated that endurance exercise unlocks the stem cells in muscles, helping to prevent muscle deterioration and make you look younger. 

DO THIS: Five days a week, do 30 to 45 minutes of easy to moderate-intensity cardio (use the cross trainer, hike, bike or swim – anything that keeps you going for at least 30 minutes). Mix up your routine – swim one day, run the next – to train different muscles and beat boredom.

SKIN REJUVENATION

Strenuous exercise makes your heart work harder, pumping more blood throughout your body to all of its various arteries, veins and capillaries, including those just underneath the skin. 

Clare Muir, head of training and education at the International Institute For Anti-Ageing, says this increase in your body’s circulation can improve the look of skin, as well as boosting detoxification and skin cell renewal.

DO THIS: Circuit-training every other day. This is an exercise technique that utilizes a series of moves in swift succession, with no rest in between.

For example: Push-ups into squats, followed by jumping jacks. This allows your workouts to strengthen while burning fat at the same time.

The best way to engage in strenuous exercise is under the watchful eye of a professional trainer.  A trainer can design and modify your workouts to suit your needs and limitations.  The first thing people always say is” I can’t afford a trainer”.  So the question is….. can you afford to be sick?  Would you rather spend your money on prescriptions with side effects?  Is it cheaper and easier to have a stroke?  Spend time in the hospital?

 

This is my favorite answer for what to do with left over steak.  Saturday night we had guests over for games and grilled flank steak.  I did an asian bbq marinade for the steak and grilled it rare to med. rare.  Sunday night we had left over steak so I made this super simple and easy steak salad…..mmmmmm!!

I served this with avocado slices, not very thai but, lovely with the spicy flavors and some left over mango salsa on the side.  Did I say mmmmmm?

Thai Spicy Beef Salad

serves 2


Lettuce-I like a mix of baby greens and hearts of romaine-washed, dried and torn or cut into bite size pieces
8-10 mint leaves torn or chopped
2 TBLS chopped cilantro
lemon grass-2 TBLS slices from jar(Thai Kitchen) or  1 stalk minced(only the tender bottom ⅔)
1 sm. red onion finely sliced into rings
lean beef, grilled or roasted rare, sliced into thin bite size pieces-about 1-1½’ long by ½” wide
optional- chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers
Dressing
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red chili sauce  or finely chopped serrano chilies, seeded
1 TBLS fish sauce
2 TBLS fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp agave nectar, raw sugar or stevia
-mix together, set aside
Arrange salad on plates or in bowls and drizzle dressing over the top to taste.  Enjoy!

I frequently discuss soy and urge you to stay away from it.  So…I decided  to post for you some very compelling information that supports why I feel the way I do.

This is based on many articles though I must reference Dr. Joseph Mercola, award winning author and “wellness game changer” and  Dr. Kaayla Daniel author of “The Whole Soy Story”

The Case Against Soy

Dow Chemical and DuPont, the same corporations that brought misery and death to millions around the world through Agent Orange, are now the driving forces behind the promotion of soy as a food for humans. They are financing anti-meat and anti-milk campaigns aimed largely at those concerned about animal welfare and the environment, trying to convince them that imitations such as “soymilk” are not only healthier than the real thing, but better for the earth too.

There is no evidence that consuming soy products can improve health, reduce environmental degradation or slow global warming. In fact, the evidence suggests quite the opposite.

If you were to carefully review the thousands of studies published on soy, I strongly believe you too would reach the conclusion that any possible benefits of consuming soy are FAR outweighed by the well documented risks.

 

Now, I’m not against all forms of soy. Properly fermented products like natto and tempeh have been consumed for centuries and do not wreak havoc in your body like unfermented soy products do. For example, the enzyme nattokinase—derived from natto–is a safer, more powerful option than aspirin to dissolve blood clots, and has been used safely for more than two decades.
Unfortunately, many Americans still believe that unfermented and processed soy products like soy milk, soy cheese, soy burgers and soy ice cream are good for them.

What’s So Wrong With Soy?

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities–protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.

Says Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story,

“Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.”

Dr. Daniel also points out the findings of numerous studies reviewed by her and other colleagues — that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, and in fact raises homocysteine levels in many people, which has been found to increase your risk of stroke, birth defects, and yes: heart disease.

Other common health problems linked to a high-soy diet include:

  • Thyroid problems, including weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss, and loss of libido
  • Premature puberty and other developmental problems in babies, children and adolescents

Most soy, perhaps about 80 percent or more, is also genetically modified, which adds its own batch of health concerns.

Despite these findings, many people still want to believe the hype, thinking that these studies must somehow be wrong. But the content of soy itself should be a clue. For example, non-fermented soy products contain:

  • Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen
  • Phytates, which block your body’s uptake of minerals
  • Enzyme Inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion
  • Hemaggluttin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen take-up and growth
  • High amounts of omega-6 fat, which is pro-inflammatory

You’re Consuming Soy Whether You’re Buying “Soy Products” or Not

Even if you know better than to gulp down large amounts of soy milk, slabs of tofu, and other soy snacks, you are still consuming soy if you’re eating processed food, in the form of soybean oil and lecithin. So depending on your dietary habits, your (unfermented) soy consumption could really add up.

In fact, Dr. Joseph Hibbeln at the National Institutes of Health told CNN.com he estimates that soybeans, usually in the form of oil, account for 10 percent of the average person’s total calories in the United States! When you consider that 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food goes toward processed food, this amount of “accidental” soy intake is not surprising.

Which Soy Foods Should be Avoided … and How do You Avoid Them?

Because soy is so pervasive in the U.S. food supply, avoiding it is not an easy task.

The best way to completely avoid soy in the food supply is to buy whole foods and prepare them yourself. This may also be your only option if you’ve developed a soy allergy and need to eliminate soy from your diet entirely.

If you still prefer to buy readymade and packaged products, for whatever reason, Dr. Daniel offers a free Special Report, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “boullion,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”

Which Soy Foods DO Have Health Benefits?

The few types of soy that ARE healthy are all fermented varieties. After a long fermentation process, the phytic acid and antinutrient levels of the soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties — such as the creation of natural probiotics — become available to your digestive system.

The fermentation process also greatly reduces the levels of dangerous isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen in their chemical structure, and can interfere with the action of your own estrogen production.

So if you want to eat soy that is actually good for you, following are all healthy options:

  1. Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. It’s loaded with nattokinase, a very powerful blood thinner. Natto is actually a food I eat regularly, as it is the highest source of vitamin K2 on the planet and has a very powerful beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis. It can usually be found in any Asian grocery store.
  2. Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
  3. Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).
  4. Soy sauce: traditionally, soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes, however be wary because many varieties on the market are made artificially using a chemical process.

 

85 Percent of Consumers Believe the Lies About Soy

The rise of soy as a health food is in large part due to highly successful marketing to otherwise health conscious Americans who set the trend. According to the survey Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition 2008 (by the United Soybean Board), 85 percent of consumers now perceive soy products as healthy.

The survey also found that consumers:

  • rank soybean oil among the top three healthy oils, with 70 percent recognizing soy oil as a healthy oil, and
  • depend on soybean oil, commonly sold as vegetable oil, as one of their two most frequent cooking oils

This is a tragic case of shrewd marketing of misinformation and outright lies taking root among the masses, which will likely take some time to undo.

Ever since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim for soy foods in 1999 (which said diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease), soy sales have skyrocketed. In the years between 2000 and 2007, food manufacturers in the U.S. introduced over 2,700 new foods with soy as an ingredient, including 161 new products introduced in 2007 alone.

This has resulted in a booming multi-billion dollar business. From 1992 to 2007, soy food sales increased from a paltry $300 million to nearly $4 billion, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America.

However, the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education foundation, submitted a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January of this year, asking them to retract its heart-health claim from soy in light of the inconsistent and contradictory evidence showing benefits, and its many proven health risks.

More on Soy

The studies below regarding the effects of soy on health are eye-opening, particularly the review by the American Heart Association — which no longer supports the health claims about soy endorsed by the U.S. government.

Overall risks and benefits of soy assessed

Latest review by American Heart Association

Soy inhibits iron absorption

Poor iron bioavailability

Poor calcium bioavailability

Calcium and zinc absorbed better from milk than from soy — even without phytates

Soy provides no benefits with respect to heart disease risk

Soy causes bladder cancer

Soy isoflavones during pregnancy increase breast cancer risk in female offspring

High levels of cadmium in soy formula

Soy linked to peanut allergy and increased risk for asthma

Whole milk vs. soy beverage — asthma risk

Persistent sexual arousal syndrome associated with increased soy intake

Genistein: Does it prevent or promote breast cancer?

Thai Lettuce Wraps

mmm……. had this for dinner last night.  So flavorful, juicy, spicy, healthy and delicious!

So I had a bunch of fresh squeezed lime juice in my fridge which shortened my prep time significantly.  It stayed fresh a long time in a glass jar in the fridge.  I will do that again–make a bunch of lime juice. …and  then I may do a Martha Stewart and get some ice trays for fresh lime and lemon juice cubes for easy use and storage.

If you’re not familiar with Thai ingredients I suggest you change that.  You can buy them at Whole foods, Sunflower, Natural Grocer and Kings.  The essentials are:  fish sauce, red chili sauce, lemon grass, soy sauce, limes & fresh lime juice

mmmmm!  Makes my little mouth water just thinking about it

Serves 4

⅓ c fresh lime juice(about 5 limes)

3 T fresh lemon juice(about 1 large lemon)

2 T fish sauce

2 T honey

3 T grapeseed or canola oil

½ c red onion, diced

3 sm. shallots, thinly sliced

2-3 med size carrots, diced

¼ cup sliced lemon grass from a jar-thai kitchen makes it-can’t live without it!  if not then use 1 pc lemon grass(4 inches long), minced (about ¼ cup)

1 thai or serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced-I use red chili sauce from a jar ½ t -1 t depending on how hot you like things

1 lb. Ground turkey-lean or 99%fat free is best

Salt and fresh ground pepper

½ c chopped fresh mint

1 head butter or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried

+ In a bowl, whisk lime juice, lemon juice, honey and fish sauce-set aside

-In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, shallots, carrots, lemongrass and chili.  Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 min.

-Add turkey, and cook stirring frequently, until meat and veggies are cooked through, about 5 min

-Add the dressing to the pan and cook for 2 min..  Remove from heat.  Add mint and season with salt and pepper.

-Spoon Turkey onto lettuce leaves.  Eat all wrapped up and running out all over the place 🙂