Eating a diet that includes high fiber whole grains can lower the risk of numerous chronic health conditions including obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes; all excellent reasons to switch from processed (refined) grains, aka the “white” foods that have had the bran and wheat germ stripped away. Whole grains on the other hand retain all of the essential fiber and nutrients. The bottom line is that switching to whole grains like the following is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Brown rice is unrefined, low in fat and an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. In contrast to white rice, brown rice has a hearty, chewy texture and is a beneficial source of absorbable iron, including vitamins B12 which also help absorb the iron.
This whole grain food hails from the Middle East and is made of boiled, dried and cracked whole wheat kernels. Bulgur is high in fiber and also contains important vitamins and minerals including manganese, niacin, magnesium, foliate, iron and thiamine.
Steel Cut Oats
According to the American Heart Association, steel cut oats are high in phytonutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system and reduce LDL cholesterol. While the steel cut oat version may take longer to cook, it’s time well spent and delivers a satisfying heartiness and flavor that whole grain cereal lovers will appreciate.
Additional whole grains that are loaded with health benefits include wheat berries, rye, wild rice and amaranth, all worth experimenting with and easy to fit into a healthy lifestyle.
Fiber features a long list of health benefits and the majority of Americans’ diets are sadly deficient in this life giving carbohydrate. Whether your goals are improving heart health, better weight control or reducing your risk of colon cancer or type 2 diabetes, fiber is beneficial. Just by making the simple dietary change to high fiber whole grains, you’ll increase your mortality rate by at least 15% so it just makes sense to choose whole grains over nutrient drained, refined, processed foods.
If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side, you can go around it, you can dig under it, you can fly over it, you can blow it up, you can ignore it and pretend it’s not there, you can turn around an go back the way you came . . . or you can stay on the mountain and make it your own. – Vera Nazarian
We have a whole new year in front of us, one that we can fill with stress and negativity or one filled with adventures, good health, challenges to conquer, success and pure joy. I myself love the sense of unlimited possibilities, thousands of magical experiences enjoyed with friends, the new friends I’ll make and precious times spent with my incredible family.
What will you do this year? How will you amaze yourself? Please share and inspire us.
Make peace with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.
Listen to your heart. If you can’t hear what it is saying in this noisy world, MAKE TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company. Let your mind wander among the stars.
Try. Take chances. Make mistakes. Life can be messy and confusing at times, but it’s also full of surprises. The rock in your path might be a stepping stone.
Be happy. When you don’t have what you want, want what you have. MAKE DO. That’s the secret of contentment.
There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow. You have to make your own way. To know where you are going is only part of it. You need to know where you’ve been too. And if you ever get lost, don’t worry. The people you love will find you. Count on it.
Life isn’t days and years. It’s about what you do with time and all the goodness and grace that’s within you.
Make a beautiful life . . . . the kind of life you deserve.
Every time you drink hot tea, you get an enormous infusion of potent compounds thought to combat heart disease and cancer. Incredibly, just one cup of hot tea contains a lot more of these compounds, known as antioxidants, than a single serving of any vegetable or fruit!
But how about iced tea? We had to do the research because around here, iced tea is a favorite not only during the summer but year round.
First, we studied convenience iced teas like instant and bottled to find out as much as we could about their total antioxidant power and found that homemade, fridge or hot brewed, iced tea had more antioxidants because, depending on the method used to create some instant teas, antioxidants can be destroyed during the process. Bottom line – If you’re going to drink iced tea it will be worth the effort to go the homemade route – why not – it tastes better anyway and has 0 calories!
If convenience is still important to you, no worries, we were able to find some that still retained healthy antioxidant levels, some even beating concord grape juice. Most Lipton and Tazo tea products retain their antioxidant benefits.
As far as which brewing methods are better, fridge or hot brewed, both bring just about the same antioxidant levels. In addition, both green and black tea have comparable antioxidant amounts, which is in contrast to the popular belief that green tea contains more. Some studies we found indicated that green tea can be a powerful cancer fighter; while other studies indicate that black tea reduces the risk of heart disease.
The bottom line is that no matter how you like your iced tea, it is packed a healthy dose of antioxidants so load up your glass with ice, a touch of lemon, pour your tea and enjoy!
Here’s everything you need to get started enjoying ice tea as well as its health benefits. Drink up!
Click here for a great assortment of teas.
Click here for a great ice tea maker.
Click here for fun ice tea glasses.
Having confidence and a positive mental attitude about your body is a great way to stay motivated about exercising.
So, silence your inner bully and don’t be shy about strutting your stuff at the gym. Just turn on your favorite tunes and get to it.
When you feel yourself giving in to your inner critic, repeat after me “I don’t exercise because I hate my body; I exercise because I love it!”
Greek yogurt isn’t just delicious (one of my favorite treats) it’s also loaded with protein content (twice as much as regular yogurt) which makes it a tasty weight loss tool. Protein takes longer to leave your stomach so it leaves you feeling satisfied longer; even better your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does carbs just make it a point to opt for low sugar, low fat, or non-fat versions. Stir in some blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc., to load up on healthy antioxidants as well – yum!
For the most part we all look forward to the holidays; all the parties, the presents, layers of comfy clothing, a little winter snow and last but not least; the huge amounts of holiday comfort foods that we shouldn’t be eating. You know what I’m talking about – Christmas cookies, snickerdoodles, hot cocoa by the gallons, huge buffet tables filled with fattening but tasty treats; need I gone on? Maybe you have the will power to avoid all these temptations but most of us don’t.
So, yes this usually causes our diet and workout routines to be abruptly kicked to the proverbial curb as well, always leading to that darned holiday weight gain.
Don’t let the holiday season throw you off track; try some of following suggestions to keep the weight off and still enjoy the merrymaking events!
Make it a point to get moving! Plan some outdoor fun like cross country skiing, ice skating, bundle up and play in the snow or to really burn some calories try shoveling snow for a couple of hours which can burn a whopping 200 calories.
Let the Light Shine In
Less daylight can make you feel lethargic and tired which is another reason that people aren’t as active during the winter. Take advantage of the early morning light, a powerful energy booster, by leaving your curtains or blinds open or go for a walk outdoors on any sunny day that comes your way. Sunshine is also known to increase the serotonin levels of the brain which can also reduce your food cravings.
Eat Your Breakfast
Start your day off with breakfast, especially one that includes healthy protein that can keep you from over indulging at holiday get togethers later in the day. If you have time whip up a nice egg white omelet with veggie’s or salsa and low fat cheese or chop up your favorite fruit and mix it in with some nonfat yogurt; Yum!
For most of us the holidays come with their fair share of stress from those dreaded get togethers with annoying family members, to stressing out of spending to much money on gifts, to getting mad at ourselves for over eating which leads to more over eating. When it comes to keeping weight off during the holidays reducing stress is particularly important. Make it a point to notice your stress factors and do everything you can to avoid them.
Don’t Stay Snowbound
Sick and tired of being snowbound? Then opt for indoor activities like going to the mall and window shop, go to the gym if you have membership, you get the point.
Get Your Zinc
A Journal of Nutrition found that insufficient levels of zinc have been associated with a decreased metabolic rate, and reduced calorie burn. To keep your energy levels up as well as calorie and fat burn during the holidays, eat a healthy variety of food high in zinc like whole grains, nuts, and a variety of vegetables and fruit. If you don’t think you’re getting enough zinc in your diet consider taking a multi-vitamin.