Jump Start Your Way Back to Health with the Power of Fresh Juice

February18

The food we eat plays a major key as to how our body performs and holds fat. The majority of food we eat is processed or cooked so much that all the living enzymes inside the food are dead. I call this type of food ‘Empty Foods’. We human-beings are living organisms and we need living enzymes just for our body’s daily functioning. When we are young we have a reservoir of enzymes, this dries out over time when we don’t replenish it from the food we eat. When we don’t get enough live enzymes from our diet our pancreas kicks into action and makes them for us. This, however, is not the main function of the pancreas. Its main purpose is to produce insulin for the body. In performing this secondary function it becomes overworked and doesn’t perform as well as it should. After eating years of cooked food, the pancreas becomes overburdened and doesn’t do its functions properly. The body starts to break down and we start our downward spiral to obesity and disease. Living food repairs and restores the cells that are damaged and also builds new cells. In order to let the pancreas do its main function, you need to be getting these living enzymes from your food which can be found in fresh (uncooked) fruits and vegetables.

If the above sounds like you at all and you’re not really into eating a lot of salads and vegetables, then juicing may be a great option for you. Now, I’m not meaning the bottled or carton juices you can buy from the supermarket. Read the label you’ll see that they are full of sugar, preservatives and other substances that are hard to pronounce. These juices are also pasteurized which kills all the living enzymes.

Fresh juicing from a juice extractor machine is a super fast way of getting a concentrated hit of living enzymes. Once fruits and vegetables are juiced and directly consumed they are transformed into a powerfully healing super food in an easy-to-drink and delicious liquid form. You get all the essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and live enzymes in an extremely powerful and healthy glass that is an absolute pleasure to drink. All the healing benefits of this great tasting beverage are quickly and easily absorbed into your body and require virtually no energy to digest.

These juice recipes are some of my personal favorites and I encourage you and your family to try them. Kids love fresh Juice too.

“CAPP”isce
5 Carrots
1 Apple
2 Pears
Parsley (a small handful).

Individual Fruit & Vegetable Effect
Carrots are a great liver cleanser and are packed with Beta-Carrotene.
Apples are high in soluble fiber which soothes digestion.
Pears reduce acidity in the body.
Parsley is an excellent cleanser of the liver, kidneys and bloodstream.

Combined Synergistic Effect
This combination starts cleansing your liver, kidneys and digestive system which are the organs most affected from having an unhealthy diet. It is also great to take in the morning as a way of aiding you in going to the bathroom, as apples and pears have natural pectin inside them that help in bowel movements.

The Royal Flush
2 slices Watermelon with skin (if not organic, peel the skin)
1 Cucumber
1/2 small peeled Beet (also known as Sugar Beets or Beetroot) If you can’t find Beets, use another slice of watermelon as an alternative.
Handful of Parsley

Individual Fruit & Vegetable Effect
Watermelon and Cucumber are great diuretics and kidney cleansers.
Beets cleanse the liver and gall bladder and are good for blood circulation.
Parsley is a great diuretic and cleanser of the kidney and liver, plus it’s packed full of iron which maintains healthy blood.

Combined Synergistic Effect
Another cleanser of the liver and kidney where most of the toxins in the body are stored. This blend helps release these toxins and provides better blood circulation.

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Strive to Achieve: Good Health Has No Short Cut

January16

Let’s be completely honest here. There is just no shortcut to achieving good health. Like developing character or fattening up your bank account, it takes time. The only guarantee that we can accomplish and maintain such desirable gains is for us to continually improve ourselves and maintain a sense of discipline in every aspect of life.

Hard work, diligence, patience and discipline will lead us to achieve any goal that our hearts desire. Gaining knowledge and perhaps a mentor whom you look up to are additional ways to hasten the realization of your dreams.

If achieving good health and maintaining a healthy body weight are two of your most pressing desires, then buckle down, accept the challenge and work to achieve your goal. Do not turn to dangerous diet pills, unhealthy fad diets, liposuction or bypass surgery. These are all shortcuts to achieving your end goal and are a sure guarantee that going down this path will not help you maintain your objective, which, in this case, is good health.

Juicing for 7 days is not a fad diet. It is a way for you to flush out stored bodily toxins, give your digestive system a much-needed rest while your body repairs itself first on the inside. More importantly, taking in only 100% vegetable and fruit juices will help you jump-start your way to healthier food choices that will eventually be the lifestyle change you need.

Remember, ANY change entails a little discomfort. It could be a change in address, a change of work place or a change in career. Even diet changes, ESPECIALLY diet changes. This is certainly true because as a society, we have made our food our comfort instead of simply as fuel for our bodies.

So, it might be a tad uncomfortable when the craving for chocolate, ice cream, cheese or alcohol hits you while you’re in the middle of your juice diet. Do not worry, you can handle it! Remember, you are a strong individual. Achieving your goal of a healthy body and a healthy weight is much more important than the junk food beckoning you from the fridge. You know what? Get rid of it! Throw it out and show it who’s boss! You are taking back control of your health!

A little discipline, a little patience, a little perseverance and a lot of belief in yourself will go a long way.

You can do this! Claim 2011 as your year to achieve amazingly good health, a sound mind and a taut, slim body. Believe in yourself and truly, nothing is impossible!

World’s Most Expensive Foods

June19

expensive food

What makes the most expensive food worth its price? Did I hear you say quality, availability, and cost of production? You’re absolutely correct! Every step it took in marketing and producing these prize foods to get to you makes them the most expensive food in the world. As the common phrase goes, “You deserve the very best”. But does the price necessarily mean that the food is best for you?

 

Kobe Beef

Known as “the Caviar of Meats”, Kobe beef is a breed of Wagyu cattle in Japan. The prime beef is known for having unsaturated fat with a marble appearance that gives its rich flavor and tender texture. Like all live-stocks they end in a sad faith even though these breeds are fortunate to live the high life. They are fed a special diet of rice, beans, rice bran, and beer. They are also given daily massages in sake–rice wine–or the Japanese gin schochu, in order to knead out the fat throughout the muscle tissues and to prevent the cattle from muscle soreness which may hinder its appetite. When the cattle are to be slaughtered, it is done in a humane and painless way to keep the meat tender. A pound of Kobe beef is around $150. In restaurants, a dish would cost about $300.

 

Kopi Luwak coffee

Imagine drinking coffee with a smooth almost syrupy texture and a natural earthy flavor with a hint of chocolate and caramel. I’m sure you would never have imagined this to come from the feces of an animal.

The most expensive coffee in the world is called Kopi Luwak from the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi in Indonesia and from some islands in the Philippines. Its name literally translates to coffee and Asian Palm Civet, a cat or weasel-like animal. Luwaks only pick and eat the sweetest red coffee cherries. As the cherries are digested the stomach enzymes give the beans its unique bittersweet taste. The undigested inner beans are then separated from the animals dropping and processed into the famous gourmet coffee. The reason why the coffee is prized extravagantly, from $300 to $600 a pound, is because only 500 pounds of this coffee is produced annually.

 

White Truffle

Who would ever think that fungi would be part of this list? The best quality of white truffles is known to come from the Piedmont region of northern Italy. These seasonal underground mushrooms grow near the roots of trees and are known to be very difficult to cultivate or even nearly impossible. Though the name is cute, the appearance and flavor depicts otherwise. White truffles look like dirty, lumpy potatoes and have an earthy cheese-like flavor with a distinct pungent “aroma”. Truffles are served fresh to preserve its flavor, usually just a couple of shavings over a dish. A pound of white truffles ranges from $1,000 to $2,000. In 2007, billionaire Stanley Ho made a record by paying a hefty price of $330,000 for a single truffle that weighed just over three pounds.

 

Saffron

This classic spice is primarily produced in Spain, Greece, Iran, and India. The three bright red colored stigmas of the purple Crocus Sativus Linneaus flower are individually handpicked, dried then slightly fermented to produce saffron. It takes 50,000 to 75,000 flowers, the size of a football field of cultivated crocus to make 1 pound of dried saffron, which sells for about $500 to $5,000. Luckily this “world’s most expensive spice” is sold more conveniently by the gram about $6 to $9. With just a sprinkle of a few threads this spice is known to give dishes a unique hint of aroma and taste.

 

Edible Gold Leaf

The thin fragile flakes of gold make them edible, like any other mineral supplements such as calcium and iron. But like the purpose of sprinkles over a cupcake, it doesn’t have much health benefits to the human diet nor does it enhance the flavor of the dish. Gold Leaves are what they say “over the top” decorations. Scatter gold dust on any dessert and it would instantly look like it’s made for royalty and price wise, it literally is. A pound cost about $15,000, a painful dent in your wallet. So like saffron, it is sold more conveniently by the gram. 1 gram of 23kt would cost $82 and one of the smallest quantities would be 12 pieces of 2X2 gold sheets for $30.

 

Kona Nigari Water

Off the shores of Hawaii a pipeline is sucking up water located 2,000 feet below and bottling it for export to the U.S. and Japan. The Kona Nigari is desalinated deep-sea mineral water concentrate which is believed to be free from modern pollution. Two ounce of this sells for $33.50. The demand for the most expensive water is based on health benefits, which still needs to be further studied to be proven true.

 

Bird’s Nest Soup

About 400 years ago in China, men climbed rickety bamboo poles about 1000ft from the ground to harvest just a handful of birds nest. To this day this exact same process is done to make a bowl of soup called yan wo. Chinese believe that the nest only made of the Cave Swifts Bird’s saliva contains medicinal properties. Depending on the bird’s diet, it’s saliva would create two kinds of nests: white or red.  2kg of white nest would cost $2,000 and the red nest can cost up to $10,000. A single serving of Bird’s Nest soup that contains 8oz of red nest would cost about $1,200. Good thing that the serving is enough to be divided among six people.

Unlike the Kopi Luwak coffee which is prized for its distinct flavor, the soup made of bird saliva is tasteless. It only gives the soup a thick texture (because of obvious reasons), in which other ingredients are added to give flavor.

 

Golden Tigerfish

In 2007, a large gold and red fish was caught off the shores of Zhanjiang province. This rare fish does not make much as a culinary delight, but it is prized for the belief that it brings good luck and wealth to the person eating it. Hopefully it would bring wealth because 1kg, a large portion offered to diners cost about $5,000. The whole fish is worth $75,000.

 

Almas Caviar

Almas or “diamond” caviar, is the most prized fish roe that comes only from beluga sturgeon. The albino Almas caviar are sold in 24K gold plated tins. They sell for about $9,700 for 250gm.

Sturgeons have existed and maintained its appearance for about 250 million years already and have outlived the dinosaur era. The fish caught are usually hundreds of years old. The older the fish the lighter shade of blue the roe is, and being the most valued.

This sought after delicacy made the beluga sturgeon almost reach the point extinction, causing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2005 to ban imports from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. In 2006, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), suspended all trade of caviar-producing sturgeons. In the following years, the ban was partially lifted, but it still resulted in a huge amount of caviar trade, which brought critics to voice out that little is being done to protect the remaining sturgeons.

 

Worth the Money?

So now ask yourself, are these foods really worth it? We are programmed to crave what we think is the best of the best. Always aiming to be or have something better. Bigger cars, bigger homes, anything that is or looks more expensive is better. There is nothing bad about having the high lifestyle, but do keep in mind that you may be harming other lives.

The importance of food is not convenience or entertainment… it is health. Eating food from limited sources only breaks the environment’s natural cycles. It’s bad enough that we consume a great percentage of land on harvest and live-stock for our overpopulated world. So why touch even the endangered plants, animals, or water as food?

Remember the healthiest and happiest people in the world are those who keep to the traditional whole food of their forefathers. Using simple organic foods can make a limitless variety of sumptuous dishes.

Every action contributes to a larger picture. Let’s be humble and do our part in life. I’m sure it’ll go a long way. 


5 Reasons to Reach for a Green Smoothie to Fast Track Your Health

June5

Not everyone would salivate at the idea of a green smoothie. If your one of these people then you’re missing out on a fast track ticket to great health! This gloriously green smoothie is actually a simple blend of assorted fruits with green veges added to it. If your Mama never told you to eat your greens, then you’re in for a BIG surprise. 

Greens are essentially nature’s most potent ingredient offered to heal our body.

Green smoothies are delicious, nutritious and by far the fastest and easiest way to jumpstart yourself to a whole new healthy revitalized YOU!

 

1) Fresh Food

Problem:

We usually don’t consume the amount of greens we need on a daily basis. Normally, we cook or make them into salads. Heat kills a large amount of live nutrients so the more greens are cooked, the more nutritional value it has as a cardboard! The same way goes for the pasteurized 100% fruit juices seen on your store shelf and most green supplements which are both prepared in high temperature. Green supplements can give some added nutrients if you can’t cover the variety of greens, but it’s not enough to replace the real thing. Salad is a healthier option, but dark greens are not so palatable. Tendency is we cover it with oils and creamy dressing, but there is just so much you eat before you get tired of the flavors. Some only eat the sweet greens such as Romanian lettuce which contain fewer nutrients then the dark greens. The less delicious the taste the more vital nutrients it contains.

Solution:

Green smoothies. Blending your favorite fruits can easily cover the taste of quite a large amount of greens. The smooth texture is also a given benefit because it helps the body to absorb it quickly without exerting extra energy to digest it.

 

2) Virgin Source of Protein and Nutrients

This power health drink can pass off as a meal on its own. Depending on your imagination with fruits and greens it can cover the A to Z of minerals and vitamins. You may ask “Don’t you need meat for protein?” Let me ask you, “Do powerful mammals like Oxen, Horses, Elephants and Gorillas eat meat to develop its muscles?” Green veges give us all the essential amino acids that our body turns into protein, just like any other animal. Meat is an overdose of second hand protein packed with high acids and animal toxins. Eating too much meat makes you fat easily and can lead to various liver and kidney diseases.

 

3) Alkalinity

As said earlier eating meat contaminates the body with acids. High acids deteriorates our blood cells, drain’s the body of energy, and pretty much is the route cause of our sicknesses. Greens and fruits are the strongest food sources of alkalinity and neutralize the acids in the blood. To give you an idea of how much alkaline food we should have each meal is around 80% alkaline based.    

 

4) Antioxidants

Ever wonder why no matter how much you diet and exercise, you can’t seem to remove those extra folds? It’s because your body protects itself from excess toxins by wrapping fatty cells around it. Besides gaining weight, severe amount of toxins can lead to top silent killers such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. Let prevent ourselves from being part of these statistics!

Antioxidants in green smoothies such as Carotenoids - Lycopene, Lutein, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E and C, selenium, anthocyanins and many more are like magnets that collect toxins in our body and brings them down to our human sewage, the digestive tracks, where the fiber of the green sweeps it clean out of our system.

Being green helps you loose weight, boost the immune system, keep bones and muscles stronger, aid digestion, and have better mental clarity and high energy levels.

           

5) Increased Sex Drive

Reducing junk food and replacing it with healthy alternatives removes preservatives, refined salt and sugar, and other chemical downers that lower your sex drive. So far studies on this have shown that the majority of people that have replaced at leat one of their meals a day with one of me green smoothie recipes have said that their libido has dramatically increased. A healthy body connectively results to stronger cardiac and reproductive systems plus better regulations of hormones.  A healthier body, better moods, added confidence and great stamina in the sack is what you can expect from green smoothies.

 

Jumpstart to Health

Adding a green smoothie to your diet is an easy way to jumpstart your health. Take that step and replace one coffee (or beer or wine) for something this natural and you’ll find your body slowly craving for more. You’ll eventually unfold to healthier habits instead and spare yourself those forced guilt techniques. Share it with your family and friends. Live a refreshing green life! Cheers!  

 

Recipes

Here are some easy recipes to get you started. Click the links and enjoy!!!

Spango Tango

Peachy Green

Tropical Green Smoothie

Blue & Green Hit the Scene

Grape Cooler Smoothie


 

Countries with the Healthiest Diets

April27

Healthiest Countries

Understanding what is healthy to eat seems to be a maze of obstacles in our modern world of processed and enriched food. You have to check the nutritional value of every product you buy at the grocery store, know how to prepare them, even be cautious on what is the “in” food. There is a tug-o-war on what food is good for you and what is not. Such as carbs–one day they are proclaimed unhealthy then the next day you hear news that it’s a necessity for your body.

I say let’s stop this food mumble jumble and go back to the basics. Let’s look back at the diets of our ancestors when obesity, cancer, and heart problems were not considered as a “trend”. The traditional dishes of our ancestors were based from whole foods prepared in simple healthy ways. If we return to the old practices of eating, we’ll be feeding our body the dosage of nutrients and minerals which can drastically help lead a healthier life.

To support that information, the countries with the reputation to have the healthiest diets are those who still strongly put into practice the diets of their forefathers.

Basis of Judging Healthiest Countries in the World

Since we are generally talking about the traditional diets of different cultures, it only gives justice to acknowledge that there is no ultimate health freak country.

Like the assortment of flavors in our spice cabinets, each spice gives its own unique flavor to a dish. As for the traditional diets of these nations, each has their own unique practice that promotes good health.

The countries listed below show their most distinctive techniques that make eating such a delightful way to lead a good life.

Japan

I have always been awed by how the Japanese would infuse their strong culture in every aspect of their life. Their need for continuous improvement known as kaizen, their ingenuity on everything, and their culinary signature of fresh dishes!

In a 2008 research, Japan was reputed to be the country to hold one of the highest life expectancies for women reaching the age of 85.59, and men to the age of 78.73. Japan is also acknowledged to have low adult obesity rates of only 3% in the industrialized world.

Although the country is also well-known to have one of the highest stress levels in work and school, and as we all know stress is the root of most diseases and sickness, their low cholesterol diet rich in fish, rice, seaweed, stews and other steamed food has worked its purpose to balance their health.

Japanese from the Okinawa region, created a unique practice called “hara hachi bu,” meaning “eight parts out of 10″. With this practice, Okinawans stop eating when they are 80 percent full. A perfect practice to prevent over eating because it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to realize that you are full.

The most classic and famous traditional Japanese dish would be the Miso soup. This soothing soup has kept it’s simplicity over many years and is still a grand favorite among Japanese today. See the recipe.

Mediterranean Countries

Countries along the Mediterranean Sea have a strong fusion of culinary dishes. They take pride of their ancestor’s cuisines and practices. Countries such as France, Italy and Greece share the secrets to great food and great health. Their food is so uniquely healthy that it has created a title of its own, the obvious “Mediterranean Diet”.

The principle aspect of the Mediterranean Diet includes high consumption of olive oil, legumes, cereals and whole wheat bread, fruits and uncooked vegetables. They moderately eat dairy products which consist mostly of cheese and yogurt. With meat, they eat more fish than other meat products. And the signature touch to their diet is drinking wine moderately.

This diet is jam-packed with real food that your body deserves. Fish contains Omega3 Fatty acids which are unsaturated fats that promote overall heart health. Mediterranean people love salads. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll - nature’s healing power, which works as a strong anti-oxidant.  Olives give an excellent source of vitamin E and iron which also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. The fact that they use olive oil as the base for cooking already makes a large impact on the health benefits of their dishes.

Also a characteristic generally shared by these countries is that doing the groceries is a fun adventurous task, a great routine to get your body moving. It is a lifestyle for them to go to several specialty shops and pick out whole fresh food, instead of going to a one stop shop to buy fast food, canned or pre-packed foods.

The French, Italians, Spanish, Greeks (and also Japan) savor leisurely dining; they give heavy emphasis to dine as a social event. They eat small portions at a time with long meals. The time given helps in digestions and also prevents overeating.

The French also like to accompany their meals with a glass of wine. Moderate consumption of wine is proven to increase HDL or good cholesterol and prevent heart related sicknesses.

Because of this traditional practice, France was recorded to be the country with the lowest heart disease! Amen to Win

Parsley Tabbouleh is a popular example of the fresh dishes that can be found in the Mediterranean Diet.  This mouth watering salad is very refreshing, perfect to be served in those hot summer days with friends. See the recipe.

A research conducted by Men’s Health states that Portugal ranked the top spot while Spain ranked as runner up to be the countries with highest nutrition in their diets. Although Portugal is not located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, their diets have been greatly influenced by their neighboring countries. Portuguese food ranked top because besides adopting one of the healthiest diets in the world, the countries strategic location gives access to Atlantic Ocean. Portuguese eat around one serving of fish a day, keeping the Omega 3 part of their everyday diet.

Iceland has a similar diet to Portugal. Their diet heavily consists of fish and locally grown produce which is the reason for the Icelanders long life expectancy. Choosing locally grown food has more nutrition then imported products. Imports have heavier contents on pesticides and preservatives.

What can we learn from this?

Here are some practices that we can adapt from these countries:

The Fresher, The Better

I firmly believe this golden rule of eating. Indulge yourself in a variety of fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables available in any market. Skip the canned mushrooms and baby corn and go to the chilled section of whole foods. Doing this can help a great deal in removing processed food in your diet. Fresh food provides more fiber, fewer calories, saturated fats, trans fats, salt, sugar, and harmful preservatives.

Eat Colorful Food

Put as much color in your meal as possible, this will help you cover the different food groups we need, also it will encourage you to add a variety of vegetables and try new fruits. It is recommended by the USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) to eat between five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day for proper diet and nutrition. Focus on brown colored food rather than white, such as brown rice, brown sugar, whole wheat bread, and cereals.  Whole wheat products add fiber to our diets. Fiber is what I call the natural cleansing sponge that helps absorb then remove toxins and waste that build up in our digestive system.

Leisure Dining and Eating in Portions

Dine with companions to make every meal a time to spend with friends and family. It makes eating all the more healthier and fun. Especially since you can have someone to share dessert with instead of giving in the temptation to finish everything to yourself! Appreciate your food; as you dine, smell the food and take the time to savor the flavors as you chew. Chewing your food well helps a great deal for your stomach to digest food faster. Proper chewing is making your food into a rich soft mush before swallowing. For meat, try chewing it 20 times or more.

Another way to enjoy your meals is to eat portions at a time. Serving several courses – salad course, then fruits, entrée, and ending with dessert or coffee is better then putting all your food in one plate. It not only helps prevent grazing over food, setting courses lets you isolate the different flavors. Another thing, eating fresh food first aids in digestion. Ideally it would be more effective if you put time between each course to be served – make more room for digestion and quality time for conversations.

Make a small buffet table. Having a separate table to place your meals is a very helpful technique, since you can’t divide all meals into courses. A buffet table weather it is breakfast, lunch, snacks, gives you more time for you to get the food and eat than having the food served in front of you or at arms length.

Shifting your life into a more healthy solution does start with what you eat. It’s as simple as going back to the basics, when food is prepared with fresh whole ingredients and eating was a form or art and a social event, like the lifestyle of our ancestors. So let’s bring back our traditions.

Miraculous Honey: The Nectar of Life

April12

Simple and Sweet


Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
– Victor Hugo


The very thought of honey says it all. Reading the word “honey” brings back anyone’s sweet memories of the taste and fragrance of this clear gold liquid. Knowing more about this nature’s gift will only make you love honey more.


Nature’s Gift

Nature created this one way of making the healthiest sweetener ever known. It truly is very unique. There is a beautiful and quiet icky realization of looking on how honey is created. Beautiful because honey is the produce of flower nectars, the not so pretty fact is that honey is the result of honeybee’s regurgitation of flower nectar. But this predigested sugar is the reason why it is a one of a kind sweetener. Nature does have its humor.

A simplified story of the process is honey bees only pick the flowers with the highest concentration of honey. They suck out the flower nectar which is stored specifically in their honey stomach, which mixes in with the bee’s stomach enzymes. The bees deposit the nectar in the honey combs and flutter their wings to help the excess water of the nectar to evaporate. When the nectar is less then 17 percent water the bees seal it with a wax. This is also a sign that the nectar is now pure delicious honey.


Money For My Honey

There are as many kinds of honey as much as there are flowers! Honey differs in color and taste, depending on the blossoms visited by the honey bees. The honey color would range from colorless to a dark amber shade and the darker the color the sweeter and stronger the flavor is.

If you look at a honey jar, it should state there the predominant flower source. If the source is uncertain it would be generally labeled as “wildflower”. Remember, as said earlier honey bee’s would move from different flowers in search for the most sugar concentrated nectar.

The most popular honey comes from clover and alfalfa, the end product is a mildly sweet and light colored. Buckwheat and orange blossom have a stronger taste and darker shade of color.

Sidr Honey from Hadramaut Mountain in the Southwestern Arabian Peninsula is said to be the single most expensive honey in the world. Selling for about $200/kg, it proclaims to contain 18 times more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants then any other honey. That and the fact that the bees only pollinate in the Sidr tree, and the honey is harvested only twice a year in the mountains which name means “court of death”!


Honey, I Love You

Honey is the most natural and healthiest sweetener of all time. It is ageless in terms of use. It has been known to cure, heal, and nourish mankind since 2100 B.C. At present it is even discovered to help prevent the modern sickness of cancer.

Raw honey contains phytonutrients and propolis. Complicated as these words may sound, they’re quite simple. “Phyto” means plants, so plant nutrients. The phytonutrients found in honey are known to prevent cancer. Propolis also known as “bee glue”, is a mixture honey bees collect from flower saps and other botanical sources to seal areas in the honey comb. Propolis gives honey its added characteristics to be:

a)      Antimicrobial: contains powerful antibiotic and antifungal properties. Honey is known to give wound healing benefits when applied topically. First, it is composed of moisture loving sugar like glucose and fructose, which dries out wounds preventing fungi and bacteria to grow. Secondly, raw honey has glucose oxidase which produces hydrogen peroxide when combined with water, a mild antiseptic to kill more germs.

b)      An emollient: effective in healing burns. A study in India proved that honey-treated first degree burns were found to heal earlier with reduced residual scars and depigmentation than those treated with conventional methods.

c)      Anti-tumor growth agent: helps inhibits the growth of tumors or cancer cells. Research shows that propolis present in honey helps fight colon cancer.

d)     An immunomodulator: helps the immune system. Honey increases polyphenolic antioxidants. Polyphenols are chemical substances found in plants that help flushes out free radicals. Antioxidants play a big role in keeping the immune system strong. In return it offers our body optimum strength against disease.

e)      An orthodontic aid: propolis found in raw honey actively protects against tooth decay and other oral diseases because of its antimicrobial properties.


Healthy Sweets for the Blood

Honey may help improve blood sugar control. Remember that honey is made up of mainly fructose and glucose, the two sugars helps the liver maintain the needed glycogen to supply the brain with sufficient fuel when you are sleeping or exercising. If you’re body lacks glycogen your body releases stress hormones to transform muscle protein into glucose. If this is done repeatedly it may lead to several sicknesses such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Natural honey can also increase “good cholesterol”, lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and is better for people with diabetic 2 than any other sugar products or artificial sweeteners!

Like all sweeteners, honey is made up of sugars and does not have a potent amount of nutrients. It serves best as an antioxidant. Depending on the blossom source, the honey may contain traces of vitamin B2, B3, B6 and C, iron and manganese, potassium and zinc.


Honey Pot

Pure honey does not expire, because no bacteria can live in it. Its positive reputation coverage still goes on! But to maintain its desired flavor and texture, store in an airtight container (glass jar is highly recommended – will explain later) in a dry place at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Do not put honey in the refrigerator! It may absorb moisture. Over time small clouds may occur in the honey, this is natural crystallization. This does not mean it is expired, in fact it indicates that the honey is pure. To remove the crystals, just place the opened glass jar (Aha! This is the reason) of honey in a small pot of hot water, about 110°F, stir honey until all crystals are diluted. Seal the jar only when the honey is completely cooled to room temperature.

Don’t Get Stung By The Bee

Reputable as honey is, it has a few safety precautions. As you can picture that honey is a mixture of various flower nectar, pollens, saps gathered by bees. Consumers who are highly allergic to any of these should consult their doctor before taking honey. Modernism also has a role in contaminating flowering plants with pesticides, acids and toxic minerals which may blend when honey bees pollinate. The most important safety precaution is that children under 1 year of age should not be given any products that contain honey. Honey may contain Clostridium Botulinum spores that may infect the premature intestinal tracks of infants which may lead to paralytic diseases. Digestive systems of older children and adults can destroy these spores.

Live Life, Travel Hard, & Eat Well

February16

Knowing Food

It’s a simple fact in life that good nutrition means good health.

A healthy diet will give your body the right amount of energy, enough raw materials and what I like to call “Vital-mins” – vital vitamins and minerals, which you need to stay healthy. Good nutrition will also provide phytonutrients and antioxidants that will help keep you feeling and looking great, and prevent diseases. A bad diet isn’t pretty both inside and outside your body.

If it is so “simple” then why is it becoming such a difficult task? Perhaps, as being human we are emotional. So emotional that even are eating habits have changed. We don’t put much thought in the food we eat these days. We eat just anything because our stomach is rumbling, we’re extremely happy or tragically sad, it’s simply delicious, or also because of our thinking habits that say “I don’t have time so this will do!” We eat because we need to fuel. Just like how we fuel our car every morning. But unlike cars our body is a growing system. Not an engine that you can replace its parts once it gets rusty and old. All we can do with our body is to take care of it.

Good nutrition and good health is non-negotiable. Whether you’re off to an out of town business meeting, visiting your in-laws, taking a week-long vacation, or in the usual morning rush, your health should never be a compromise. When you travel actively you lose more calories than you usually do, and unhealthy eating fails to supply you with the sufficient energy you need. Would you really want to meet your in-laws while you’re cranky and tired?


Quick Tips

Planning, Planning, AND Planning

There is no such thing as “not enough time” only “ill-managed time”. Time is the great equilibrium, everyone is given exactly the same amount of time in a day–it is how we manage it that makes a difference.

Since it’s a very basic instinct to plan when you are traveling, add a couple of minutes to know your destination. Know your accommodations. Find out if you will have a kitchen with a refrigerator. A refrigerator is a valuable investment since it’ll solve the dilemma with fresh foods. Know your destination places. Search if there are groceries nearby. Know the route you will take. If the trip is long and there are no places to stop over and enjoy good food, prepare snacks for the trip before you leave the house. Another fun way you can take advantage of your trip is to search the internet for good, healthy restaurants to eat going and getting to your destination. It’s all in the planning.

The Minimalist

Think “simply delicious”, simple preparation for great meals. When preparing a meal choose healthy ingredients that need minimal equipment. Such as vegetables that cook fast such as carrots, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms. For these veggies you can blanche them by dipping them in hot water and they’re ready to be served!

Groceries, nowadays, just keep getting more interesting. There are more “hassle free” products such as ready-washed and sliced beans or ready-prepped vegetables. It takes no time at all to sum it up together. The best I would say are the ready to eat organic salads that are cleverly packed with utensils and delicious dressing! They are usually kept in good packaging that keep the veggies fresh and crisp for a little longer than usual. In choosing fruits, get those that do not require a knife or a spoon to eat them. Some fuss-free fruits are oranges, bananas, apples and seedless grapes. Let’s avoid sticky fingers with fruits like mango or papaya.

The Traveling Kitchen

Another great trick on eating healthy while traveling is bringing just the right handy dandy kitchen gadgets.  A veggie rinse in a small bottle is great especially if you can’t get hold of any organic goodies. If you need to bring knives it would be best to invest on a really good multi-function pocket knife. It’s more bag-friendly than bringing a full scale kitchen knife along with you and safer to store away if you are traveling with kids. Plus, keep in mind that it’s for easy-to-prepare food, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be heavy duty. Another travel buddy is a good water bottle, a drink container that has a tight seal and can hold both hot and cold beverages. A great way to store food and keep it fresh is to use re-sealable plastic bags. They will be your best friend on the go.

Food on the GO

Snacking is one of the delights in traveling. So instead of going on unhealthy things that once you pop you can’t stop eating. Why not try something equally enticing but good for you?

In-Flight Snacks

Have you ever heard of the best snack to help jet lag? They are dried cherries. According to nutritionist Dr. Russel Reiter, “Tart cherries contain melatonin, which is then absorbed into the blood stream influencing your biological clock”. Studies showed strong evidence that taking melatonin on the day of travel and continued for several days reduce the number of days needed to form normal sleep patterns, lessens the time it takes to fall asleep, improves alertness, and reduces daytime fatigue. Not only that but melatonin is known to prevent memory loss and delay the aging process. Cherries are also good for the heart and helps lower body fat, inflammation and cholesterol. Much better than the ultra salty peanut snacks served on the flight!

You can have fun with your bags of cherries and mix some pistachios and almonds. It gives added fiber, plus it gives that needed crunch in a snack.

Hit the Road, Jack

Traveling by car calls for all the fun snacks that rev up your senses, but snacking on all the wrong food can make you feel uncomfortably sluggish and tired. This can just ruin your travel experience, or worse–can get you in danger if you’re the one holding the wheel.

Staying alert and satisfying those rumbling moments on road can be easily be solved with some great whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or a bag of assorted nuts. These high protein snacks help you maintain your blood sugar levels to keep you awake and also helps your brain create neurochemicals that are responsible to keep you alert, says Dr. Judith Wurtman, author of The Serotonin Power Diet. Nuts are also a good source of magnesium, the mineral that helps fight stress. When the body is under stress it releases hormones that can deplete your body’s supply of magnesium, reducing your stress-coping abilities and increasing the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Your goodie bag should contain at least these assortment of nuts: Almonds – according to Men’s Health, 1 ounce of almonds provides 50 percent of your daily value of vitamin E, 8 percent of your calcium (more than any other nut), and 10 percent of magnesium; Walnuts – contain Omega-3 essential fatty acids contributes to a healthier heart; Brazilian Nuts - high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant; Pecans - excellent source of over 19 vitamins!

Travel Goodies for Kids

Traveling by car does give you a lot of advantages too, especially if you have kids. You can load up a small ice pack and create snacks such as fresh-cut veggies and whole grain peanut butter sandwiches. Also make sure you bring plenty of water for the trip, important in keeping hydrated and if it spills it won’t stain the upholstery like sodas or milk chocolate!

Preparing healthy travel goodies for your young ones doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Unleash your creativity and think that dried fruits are nature’s candy. Dried fruits are the greatest alternative solution to the sweet tooth! Instead of giving gummy candies, why not make some happy trail mix by combining whole-grain toasted oat cereal with a handful of chopped walnuts and a generous amount of assorted dried berries? If there is that certain salt craving, you can give whole-wheat pretzels instead of chips. Make fun rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins or pack in fun mini pizzas, the sky’s the limit. Also, let your kids help out in preparing these snacks. Make the fun traveling experience start in your home kitchen!

Do remember that groceries have lots of ready-made nutritious snacks–products that claim “all natural” or “pure” doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re healthy. For example sodas can be labeled to make of “all natural” ingredients, in which, after all, sugar is a natural ingredient. Granola bars are also not the healthiest snacks. It contains a great deal of transfat, a type of unsaturated fat that when consumed in large amounts can lead to several heart related diseases. To be sure on what you buy always check the Nutrition Facts labeled on the package.

Eating Out

Traveling and exploring food in inseparable, so you wouldn’t want to pack up and bring around your house fridge wherever you go. Explore the food and try new healthy dishes or, better yet–pick up ideas on great cuisine as you go along.

When ordering in a restaurant, ask questions. Especially if the menu is not familiar to you, a good restaurant should be more than willing to give you a vivid explanation of each dish. But if you come in as a hungry monster go ahead and ask for suggestions by telling them what kind of food you are looking for and what you would like to avoid. Do order food that is prepared in a healthier method which is baked or steamed instead of fried. A must in ordering is soup and salad as your entrée. It’s a healthy start and the soup helps you feel full without taking in so much hard to digest food. Avoid ordering too much at once—even if you’re starving. If you want something along the way you can always make additional orders. It would also give you an idea on how large each serving is. Most restaurants serve huge portions, so go ahead and share your meals with the rest of your travel buddies. Sharing takes away the temptation of overeating, spares the extra calories, saves money and eliminates leftovers that can be a hassle since they can’t be properly stored when you’re on the road.  For dessert, go ahead a treat yourself, but once again, order just enough and share!

In a worst-case scenario, you may find yourself in the midst of fast food chains. Don’t despair… you can still try to eat healthy or at least healthier. Seek out deli-style fast food chains where you can order a sandwich on whole wheat bread, replace deep fried chicken with grilled chicken sandwiches, and skip extra calories by skipping the mayo. Drink juice instead of sodas. There are also a lot of fast food chains that have salad in their menu, so go ahead and indulge in that.

Relax Those Nerves

After a long day of travel, it’s time to sit back and relax. Calm those muscles with herb teas such as chamomile with honey. It’s aromatic and will help you drift off to a good night’s sleep. But if you’re having trouble sleeping in a not-familiar place there are some great bedtime snacks. Some experts say that carbohydrate-rich snacks increase the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. A small bowl of low-fat milk and cereal, toast, or a small muffin, can do the trick.

Beating the Morning Rush

Don’t add breakfast to the top of your “to-do” list in the morning because it very well may be the first thing you may drop when you’re rushing. Whether you’re at home or on the road, prepare the night before. Throw in a bag of sliced bananas in the freezer, the following morning blend it up with your favorite fruits or even some oatmeal, pour it in a tumbler and you’re ready to go with an instant, deliciously filling smoothie.

If you want a hot breakfast, eliminate the things that are time-consuming. Prepare the ingredients and utensils ahead of time so that you don’t end up having a one-man search party for them in the morning. Some ingredients can even be sliced and put in the fridge the night before. Come morning, take them out, mix them with the eggs, and voila—an omelette in just half the time!


Remember no matter where you are or the time you have, your health is not a compromise.

Enjoy traveling and eat and live a healthy life!


Hydration the Right Way

February10

Water

As you read this article, look around you. Do you have a glass of water within reach? Did you have a taste of that nice clear drink within the last hour? Do you drink more water than any other drink? If your answer is yes, Bravo! You are doing a great deed to your health. In a hot humid day, the body can start showing mild dehydration in 15 minutes. So don’t try covering up that excuse of “just having dry lips”.


They say we are what we eat. It’s a bad habit that we eat less of whats good for us and more of what we want because “it tastes better”. Nowadays, people dont watch what they eat. We tend to choose fast food rather than home-cooked and nutritious meals because it saves us time and lets us get on with our fast-paced lives. At the same time, we also neglect to drink the sufficient amount of water needed for the body. Instead, we choose to drink coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks. Sure it feels like you’re instantly quenching your thirst, but these drinks do not count as rehydration because they contain caffeine which is a diuretic and makes the body rid itself of water.


Here are a few more questions for you: Do you find yourself wanting to have a drink every 10 minutes or so? Are you easily tired? Do you often feel dizzy or lightheaded? Do you have problems with your appetite? Do you often experience head rushes? If your answer to most of these questions is yes, then do yourself a favor and drink more water!


Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving your body is greater than the amount of water you take in. This leads to a change in the vital balance of chemical substances in your body, especially sodium and potassium. It is hard to recognize dehydration sometimes because we often mistake it for hunger. Thirst is not an early sign of dehydration because by the time you feel thirsty, you might already be dehydrated. Some signs of dehydration include:


  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Irritability
  • Less urine or darker urine


The recommended consumption of water daily is about 8 glasses or about 2 liters. But it may vary depending on body type and need. The human body is about 60% water and needs constant replenishment of electrolytes in order to sustain a particular level of performance and to replace water that is lost. You need water to survive. It helps sustain the bodys many vital chemical processes for it to function properly. Moreover, water also helps expel waste and toxins present in the system. So, the less water, the more buildup of toxins, the greater chances of sickness.


Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue!


Some people admit to not drinking water regularly, but they do eat a lot of fruits and vegetables instead. Thats not so bad because a variety of fruits and vegetables has high water content and can be a good way of rehydrating. There are three main foods that will help you to stay hydrated if you are not a big drinker. The first is fresh fruits–juicy ones like cucumbers, watermelons, grapes, apples and strawberries.  Second is fresh vegetable–green ones are the best choice. Last are soups with minimal salts–broth or water-based soups.


Fruits such as watermelons and cucumbers help increase urination and the flushing out of toxins. Cucumbers are also rich in sulfur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys to help remove uric acid. Watercress and artichokes also have high water content. The great thing about fruits is that they always make scrumptious smoothies. For hydrating vegetables there are asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, eggplant, and zucchini. They can be used in salads, soups, and stews.


Studies show that eating fruits and vegetables with high water content not only helps in rehydration but also in weight loss. The water helps flush out excess sodium or salts, which leads to bloating because your body retains water to dilute these salts.


In their natural state, fruits and vegetables have high water and fiber content and are low in calories. Eating more fruits and vegetables give you a feeling of fullness faster while at the same time giving you more nutrients and less calories.


Drink Up!


Though eating fruits and vegetables is a very effective way to rehydrate, there is no excuse to drinking less water. Water is vital to your health. It costs less and has no calories! So eat healthy, drink plenty, and live happier!



Dining Out… Staying Healthy: 10 Tips to Eating Out Without Sabotaging Your Diet

February2

Dining Out

With the array of restaurants available to us these days, dining out has become the norm rather than the exception. Gone are the days when going out to a restaurant was a unique event saved for special occasions with family or friends. Hectic lifestyles and busy schedules often make dining out a necessity, and for many it may mean eating out several times per week and for more than one meal in a day. The trouble is that it can very quickly put a stop to your healthy eating plan or weight loss program. The good news is that these days it is a lot easier to eat out healthfully than it has ever been. Here are 10 tips to help keep you stay on the right track to better health and a slimmer you.

  1. Plan ahead of time. Try and pick a restaurant that has more options of healthy food. Avoid buffets. They often do have some healthy food options, however loading your plate and overeating can be an issue.
  2. Take charge and choose wisely.. Ask your server… How is this dish prepared? Does it contain butter? Cream? Sauce? How big is it? What else is in this salad? Dressing? Croutons? High-fat cheese? Bacon? Ask that food be prepared without added salt, MSG or salt-containing ingredients. Order off the menu. Many chefs will prepare poached or steamed fish or vegetables rather than fried. Stay away from deep fried.
  3. Skip or limit bread, chips, or whatever is in the basket while you await your meal, at the very least skip the butter. If it’s too tempting, ask the server to remove it from the table. Out of sight, out of mind.
  4. Request salad dressings and sauces “on the side.” They often contain more calories than the food they are flavoring. The salad dressing of choice would be a light one or even better vinaigrette, again, served on the side. Limit condiments, such as mustard, ketchup, pickles and sauces with salt & sugar-filled ingredients.
  5. Avoid dishes with cream, mayonnaise, sour cream, butter and go easy on the cheese.
  6. Exchange the french fries for a side salad.
  7. Trim visible fat off meat and poultry. Even very lean meat and poultry still contain fat. Peel the skin off chicken.
  8. Ask that your dish be prepared with olive oil, rather than butter or fat.
  9. Remember that you don’t have to clean your plate. Keep portions small. Put half the meal in a takeout container before you even start eating. Don’t gulp your meal down, Digestion starts in the mouth. Chew well.
  10. Wait a while before ordering your dessert to let your main meal settle. If you really must order dessert, choose fresh fruit or fruit sorbet rather than sugar laden desserts. If you really can’t resist, consider splitting it and share with a friend.

7 Easy Steps… to go from Belly Fat to Belly Flat

January9

belly-flat

It must have been written in the ‘Manly Man’s Manual to Manliness’ that having a flat stomach was an essential when it referred to ‘The Perfect Man’. Well if this has always evaded you, then you may well be doing a few things that stop you from ever getting there. Here’s 7 easy steps that will help you deflate that spare tire around your mid-section and transform you into the beach-ready-body you’ve always wanted.

Step 1 EAT LIGHT AT NIGHT

Change the habit of eating a big meal at night into eating a light meal that is easy to digest. Changing this could be one of the most influential things you do to help you lose your big belly. Eating a big meal before you go to bed bogs down your digestive system, so instead of your body resting when it is sleeping, it works overtime trying to breakdown and digest food. A steak can take 12 to 16 hours to pass through your digestive system… hmmmm and you wonder why you wake up tired in the morning. Eat light at night and you’ll bounce out of bed in the mornings with a lot more energy. Plus, when you are sleeping your body will breakdown a lot of dormant fatty tissue and help expel toxicity within your system.


Step 2 CUT OUT THE WHITE STUFF

Reduce or, if you can, eliminate white bread, pasta and rice. I know these are staple foods in most countries… but from a nutritional standpoint they really give your body zero nourishment. Try my 30-day challenge of halving, or if you can, stop eating these foods completely for a period of 30 days and you’ll be amazed at the results.


Step 3 REPLACE COOKED FOOD WITH RAW FOOD

Cooking depletes and kills the living enzymes in food. Food that is cooked or processed is devoid of life. We are a living organism and our bodies works so much better and so much more efficiently when we give it food that is raw, natural and uncooked. When we eat food that is raw and alive, it transfers its energy into us; Living Foods give our living body more energy, more nourishment and more LIFE.


Step 4 THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK

Cut down your on intake of sugar-laden drinks, switch to something less loaded with calories, or even consider giving them up for a while, if not completely.

Due to the amount of brainwashing we receive through advertising, when we need to quench our thirst our minds automatically think of reaching for a soft drink or soda. These beverages are laden with so much sugar that it gives you a sugar high, which your body will prioritize to breakdown and use this quick burning fuel, instead of burning fat. The sugar not used up for fuel is converted to fat and stored in your body. Now, just because it says it’s a ‘Diet Soda’ or ‘Soda Light’, don’t fall for it… a lot of these companies try to give you the illusion that you’ll lose weight by drinking their beverage. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know a lady who put on over fifty pounds in one-and-a-half years from drinking 2 liters of a diet cola / cola lite every day.

Also lay off the beer, they don’t call it a beer belly for nothing. Choose your beverage wisely. If you’re thirsty, choose water or an even healthier alternative - freshly extracted juice from a juice machine… it tastes good, it quenches your thirst and it’s extremely nourishing.

Tip: If you’re a coffee drinker change to green tea for a month and see the difference. .


Step 5 LOWER YOUR FAT INTAKE

The standard diet contains food with a tremendous amount of fat in it. Bad Fat! The worst culprit is from a really fat animal… the PIG. Pork dishes come in various forms from easy-to-cook dishes like bacon in everyday meals to grand presentations like roasted pig, but if you eat it regularly enough, you will unfortunately soon start resembling one. Eating this fat, makes you fat, plus combine it with a sweet tooth and you have a recipe for not just a big belly, but also heart disease, diabetes and even more degenerative diseases. I know this can be a tough one, especially at celebrations, but believe me, if you want lose the belly, then this is one fat you should do without. Oink Oink!!!


Step 6 GET MOVIN’

You may think sit ups are the key to losing your belly fat, however you would be wrong. Situps will strengthen your abdominal muscles but will not reduce belly fat alone. The key to getting rid of your fat is to burn more calories than you take in. Combining all of the above tips, together with cardio training and core strengthening exercises does exactly that.

If you want to get rid of your belly then you’ve got to get the heart rate up with some form of aerobic exercise. Get moving! Get up off that sofa and go for a walk, a run, take a swim, a bike ride, or shoot some hoops. Find something you like to do, do it and keep doing it.

Now, if you want that firm toned midsection, then you must exercise and strengthen all your core muscles, not just your abs. Abdominal exercises are great, but it is also important to exercise your biggest muscles in your body your legs and back, this also helps to burn more calories than exercising just your abs. It also helps improve your posture helping you to naturally keep your stomach in.

Try and exercise a minimum of 20 minutes 3 times a week.


Step 7 WRITE IT DOWN…

Now that I’ve revealed to you the first 6 steps to achieving a flat belly, this last step is probably one of the most important as it will help drive you to the road to success and get you through those hard, tempting times when you may want to give up. Everything starts with a dream. Write down your goal and a time frame of when of you want to achieve it by. Commit. Visualize and Believe.

In addition, it is important to track your success. Always mark down your weight and measurements before, during and after you finish your desired goal and time frame. Taking note of this throughout the program will help motivate and energize you along the way.

And remember, along the way if you do get off track, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just make sure you get back in control, and back on the track. You can do it!


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