Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle Is Still The Best

The Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle has been touted as a healthy way to eat and live. I have always liked the philosophy of the Mediterranean lifestyle. It makes more sense to me than the other diets out there.

You can’t really even call it a diet. It is more of a way of eating, and it can be extended to include lifestyle choices. The Mediterranean Diet consists of eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, fish, and is rich in olive oil.

It is called the Mediterranean diet because this is how many people who live in the Mediterranean region eat. Ever since it was learned that people in that region tend to live longer and are healthier, scientists have been studying the area trying to ascertain why that is.

Scientists have come to learn that the increased lifespan is due to their lifestyle. This includes eating a heart healthy diet that avoids processed foods and reduces meat and diary consumption. It also includes being active. The people in this region tend to walk a lot and are in general more active than most of us in western societies.

What I like about the diet/ lifestyle is that is not anything set in stone. It gives you a lot of lee-way to make this lifestyle your own. You can make it suit your specific needs. It is a good guide for how to eat, but you don’t have to stick with it 100% of the time. If you eat in this style, then you can eat the junk foods that you want to. But you just have to keep it minimized to once or twice a week. The Mediterranean diet is a good guide for how to eat.

To me, it just makes sense.

Here is a link to an article that appeared on CNN about the Mediterranean Diet:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/health/mediterranean-diet-longevity/index.html

Here is a link to another article that I wrote on the Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle.

Here is another link to another article that I wrote on the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle.

 

The Green Moster

kaleFor a long time I have been hearing about how great juicing is. Juicing is supposed to be a good way to get all of your vitamins, minerals and nutrients from fruits and vegetables in an easy to drink and convenient form. I have heard about what amazing health benefits can be derived from juicing.

Juicing pulverizes the fruit and vegetables so that when you drink it, the fruit and vegetables are already partially processed and your body doesn’t have to waste precious energy on processing the food. The vitamins and minerals in the fruits and vegetables are supposed to be very bio-available and easy for the body to digest and process. So with juicing, ideally you get to take advantage of all of the vitamins and minerals and nutrients that the fruits and vegetables have to offer.

I just didn’t want to spend $500 on a juicer. So when a friend of mine told me about the green monster, I was intrigued.

This is not like the green monster at Fenway Park in Boston. This green monster is a shake that you make in the mornings (or any other time you’d like it) in a blender with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since my friend told me about it, I have been making green monsters every morning for myself and my wife. We love them. I can say enough about how good they are for you. And how good you feel after drinking one.

The green monster movement began on the healthy living website Oh She Glows. It was started by a woman named Angela who is behind the Oh She Glows website. It started out as her attempt to make a green smoothy. It took Angela a few tries to get a good recipe down. Now people all over the world wide web are getting turned onto eating/ drinking healthy smoothies/ green monsters in the morning. They are easy to make and action packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

The version that I make has in it:

-1 cup of chopped kale (you can substitute spinach)

-1 cup of blueberries (or any  other type of berries)

-1 cut up banana

-1 teaspoon of acai powder

-1 teaspoon of spirolina

-1 tablespoon of chia seeds

-1 tablespoon nut butter (any type of nut butter will do, I use almond)

-1 tablespoon of cacao powder

-1 cup of almond milk (or any other type of milk you would like)

Blend all of these ingredients together in a blender and you have a green monster, or a great tasting smoothy. As the directions say on the green monster website “drink and feel amazing”.

You really do feel amazing after drinking a green monster. The ingredients are blended up so your body doesn’t have to spend energy digesting the food and less energy processing it. You get a rush of fresh vitamins, minerals and nutrients which gives you a natural energy boost and pick me up. It is a great way to start out your day. It is like drinking a salad for breakfast. By drinking a green monster in the morning, you are making sure to get your greens in for the day. I sometimes drink 2 of these per day. They are very filling and will substitute for a meal.

Try starting your day out with a green monster. They are easy to make, all natural, and have only healthy ingredients in them. You don’t have to worry about what a manufacturer is putting into the shake mix. It is inexpensive, super healthy, natural and easy to make at home.

Eat right to set the stage for a happy, healthy, energetic and active day. It is the Pain Free Way.

Is It Safe to Eat Red Meat?

bunch of steakIt seems that every week a new study is released that concludes that red meat consumption can be bad for you. A new study was released from the Harvard School of Health that linked increased red meat intake to the onset of type 2 diabetes.

This recently released study looked at over 150,ooo people over 8 years. They found was that those who increased their red meat consumption by only half a serving per day, over a 4 year period, were more likely to develope type 2 diabetes in the following 4 years.

What does this mean? Continue reading Is It Safe to Eat Red Meat?

The Heart Disease Link to Red Meat

cutletsMany people love eating a juicy hamburger or steak. Red meat is a nutritional staple in our western diets. More information is coming out about the short and long term health effects of a diet high in red meat. A study was recently released that proved that a compound found in red meat (carnitine), causes the laying down of plaque in arteries, called atherosclerosis. This is the same compound found in some energy drinks. The more carnitine you consume, the better your gut gets at converting it to a compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). Previous research by a team of researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that TMAO promotes atherosclerosis in people. This is even more of a reason to decrease red meat consumption. This is just one reason why I recommend eating red meat no more than 1 time per week.

This is an article about the research study and the findings:

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20130407/compound-in-red-meat-energy-drinks-may-have-heart-disease-link

 

 

 

The Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle

olive oil

It is well known that the Mediterranean diet is very effective in controlling heart disease, weight and improving overall health.

The Mediterranean diet is more of a way of eating, or a lifestyle, rather than an actual diet. It focuses on eating fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Very little saturated fats and red meats are eaten in this style of eating. Continue reading The Mediterranean Diet/ Lifestyle

Eating Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Everyone knows they need to eat fruit and vegetables for a healthy, well balanced diet. Sometimes it can be hard to find fruit or vegetables that everyone in your house will eat. It can also be difficult to find the time to prepare fresh fruit or vegetables.

Chopping up fresh vegetables takes time. And if both partners of a household are working, it can be hard to find the time to properly prepare fresh vegetables.

Preparing fresh vegetables can be time consuming and difficult if you don’t know what you are doing. But if you do know what you are doing, you will be able to prepare fresh vegetable in a delicious way that doesn’t take hours to do. Continue reading Eating Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Organic versus Non-organic Foods

This is a debate that has been going on for years. Recently a review of studies was released in the Annals of Internal Medicine that reviewed hundreds of studies on organic foods. It was concluded that there are no health benefits to eating organic foods.

This counters another study that came out of England about a year ago. This study found that organic fruits and vegetables contain 12% more disease fighting minerals and nutrients than non-organic foods. Eating organic foods would be the equivalent of consuming 12% more fruits and vegetables, researchers concluded.

Some people swear by organic foods, and only shop at Whole Foods and only eat organic foods. Some people want to eat organic foods to avoid pesticides, or because organic foods may be more nutritious, or because of ethical reasons.

Some people never eat organic foods. Some people can’t afford it since it can be twice as expensive as non-organic foods. Some people don’t believe that organic foods are any better for you then non-organic foods are, and it is just a marketing ploy.

I feel that both sides have legitimate points.

I feed my family healthy foods, and I eat pretty cleanly. I am careful about what I feed my children for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We abide by the 80% rule. This means that as long as you eat healthy, or cleanly, 80% of the time, then the other 20% won’t matter as much. This doesn’t mean to binge and eat everything in sight over the weekend. We usually eat healthy during the week and watch what we eat. We will eat healthy breakfasts, pack lunches 4 out of 5 days for work and school, and eat healthy dinners throughout the week. Then during the weekend, we don’t have to watch it as much. I’ll cook the kids pancakes during the weekends. We’ll go out for hotdogs or hamburgers with French fries during the weekends. My kids would eat hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and French fries everyday of their lives if I let them. But I feel that if they eat healthy during the week then they can have treats like fried foods and other processed foods over the weekend that they can’t have during the week.

I do feed my family some organic foods. I do not shop at Whole Foods, unless it is a special occasion. I find Whole Foods too expensive. Granted their produce is great and meats and fishes are very good as well. I just feel that if you know what you are doing then you can shop at the local grocery store, get healthy foods (some organic and some non-organic) and not mortgage your house to feed your family. You just have to know which foods are okay to eat if they are non-organic, and which foods to stay away from if they are non-organic.

Here is a list of 2011’s dirty dozen.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#slide-5

They are the foods with the most amounts of pesticides on them in 2011. You can look up a list like this or a similar one very easily on the internet. These are the foods to buy organic. I also feel that you should buy organic meats and chicken. This is because the non-organic meats and chickens can be full of anti-biotics to prevent the animals from getting sick. They are also pumped full of hormones to make the animals grow as large as possible to produce as much meat as possible from the animals.

I feel that when we eat non-organic meats we can’t help but absorb some of the anti-biotics and hormones into our system. Anti-biotics in our bodies that we don’t need can destroy the weaker bacteria in our bodies, leaving only the stronger ones, and thus creating stronger and stronger and anti-biotic resistant bacteria. I also feel that having hormones in our bodies that we don’t need will only cause issues in our bodies. This extra amount of hormones has been linked to early puberty in children and other health issues.

Chicken, meats and the fruits and vegetables from the above list, I will eat only the organic versions of. Besides these foods though, I will buy, eat and feed my children the non-organic variety.

Read through this attached article and decide what works best for you.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20120904/organic-foods-not-necessarily-better