Individual Food Plan and Exercise

I did a personal food plan and exercise program that combined all of the individual actions that worked from each of the best weight loss plans I had used over the decades. I shopped at a health food store, so I ate no white flour or white sugar (both of which are chemically processed and create food cravings!). I ate protein, vegetables, and a minimum of whole grain breads at each meal. And I power walked 4.15 miles every day.

I have always been overweight, I have spent a lifetime searching for the best weight loss plan for me. I have done–starting in my pre-adolescent years–yogurt and granola, skim milk and banana, cabbage soup, Weight Watchers (three times), Jenny Craig, Dr. Atkins, The Zone, the Hilton Head, the Suzanne Somers, and numerous other plans. I went with low fat, low-carb, went with the body-type diet, and onto the grey sheet of the 12-step program, Overeater’s Anonymous.Continue reading: Individual Food Plan and Exercise

Reduce Childhood Obesity Through Food, Fitness and Fun

The ever growing problem of childhood obesity is challenging community based and commercial organizations. The health care industry is very concerned about this “epidemic” because the cost of care for these children continues to rise, and will continue to increase as these children grow into adulthood. Across Canada, 1 in 4 children are considered overweight or obese according to the Ontario Medical Association. What can be done?

Family cycling together – staying fit and having fun!There are a variety of factors that contribute to obesity in children. These include genetic, environmental, behavioural and social issues. It’s not just a matter of over eating or under exercising or a lack of willpower and self control. However, if the problem is going to be addressed, it does come down to personal and family commitment to making a change.

So, what can you do if you have a child struggling with their weight? The approach I would recommend comes down to food, fitness and fun for the whole family. This could be a significant lifestyle shift but if you’re concerned about your child’s health, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Here are some tips.

  • Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast.
  • Work on incorporating more home made meals into your diet instead of eating out or using heavily processed foods for major meals.
  • Try to include foods from at least 3 of the four main food groups in each meal. Plan meals and snacks so you’re choosing a variety of nutritious, tasty foods.
  • Limit the serving sizes of snacks and limit snacks to 1 or 2 per day. Choose things like fresh fruit and yogurt or cheese, a muffin or cereal with milk.
  • Allow your child to enjoy their favourite foods in moderation.

Of course, exercise and overall activity level is equally important as how many calories your child consumes. We all know we should be more active for our general health and well being. Here are some activity suggestions.

  • Encourage your child to aim for at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity 5 days a week.
  • For family activities, choose a variety your family will enjoy.
  • Choose activities that can be done from home like walking, cycling, hiking and playing games outdoors.
  • Limit screen time (television, video games and computer time) to less than 2 hours per day.
  • If your child has a television in their bedroom, remove it. A research study showed children with a TV in their room watched close to 5 hours more programming than those without.
  • Exercise with your child and set a good example for them. Community or in home exercise programs are an ideal solution.

As you can see, dealing with childhood obesity requires a lifestyle change for the family. You can not expect your child to do everything on their own. Your role as a parent is to support your child’s change to a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately it will benefit your entire family for years to come.

Coffee for Health Benefits

Talking about coffee, a lot of people who still think that coffee is bad for health. Actually it’s not entirely true. Coffee, provided that consumed wisely, it is actually beneficial to health. Whatever, not just coffee, if consumed in excess is definitely not good.

Benefits of Coffee
consumption of several cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the formation of kidney stones, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver damage (cirrhosis), heart disease and prevent cognitive decline in brain power.Continue reading: Coffee for Health Benefits

Expel Odor Onion in Hand

Garlic is one of the spices used to add flavor in savory dishes. However, savory flavor of garlic can leave the dreadful smell in the mouth if it is too much to eat it. In addition to the mouth, the smell of garlic will also stick in hand if you cut it with bare hands.

If not cleaned properly, the smell of garlic will stick long in the hand or your breath. To remove the smell of garlic, the follow way:

1. Garlic breath odor
Garlic odor on your breath can smell relieved by drinking milk, eating raw parsley or celery. Fatty drinks and foods that contain lots of water will help remove the smell of volatile compounds (volatile compounds) contained in garlic.

2. Hands smell onions
To remove the smell of garlic from your hands, rub hands garlicky smell with lemon slices, salt, or baking soda. In addition, you can also remove the smell of garlic using a variety of objects made of stainless steel, such as your kitchen faucet. Molecules are considered potent block of steel substance that can produce odors at hand. After being rubbed with a metal object, rinse your hands with water until clean.

Knowing Healthy And Safe Pets Foods

Currently you can find many different brands, all shapes and sizes of pet foods. Theoretically if you want healthy and balanced diet for your pets needs, you can give high quality foods for your pets. To be able to choose a healthy and safe foods, here is the following things that you have to know that your pets can be fed twice a day. It is better than with just one meal a day on the nutrition which they consume.

As we know that food labels do not include the sources that they use to obtain that required percentages of protein. A Guaranteed Analysis state that all pet foods having the percentage of fat, fiber, protein and moisture in the foods. For the healthy and safe foods, we have to know the quality of the percentages of fat, fiber, protein and etc. Foods industry which is manufacturers pet foods must follow the rule of healthy and safe foods like an adult dog food must have 18%protein and an adult cat food must have 26%protein.

Usually words like choice ingredients and premium are used in all pet foods. The reality is that the premium in foods advertising does not mean that that food has premium ingredients. Premium does not describe the quality of the foods. That is just a marketing term or sales term. Look for the foods ingredients without chemical preservatives like BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin. Try to search the foods with APHIS certification.

Basically a combination of many different discarded left over from the human food industry is the common food ingredient. Anything from cow heads, intestines and stomachs can be components of “meat and bone meal”. This means that foods ingredients is a mix of highly inferior and potentially dangerous left-overs from the human food industry. So before any foods are bought, please examine the list of ingredients. Beside that, you have to check the grains ingredient on the cats or dogs foods. If it is included, it is better for you choose the others.

Friendly bacteria is also needed in the healthy and safe foods for pets. Just try for looking scientific words like Lactobacillus Acidophilus or Bifidobacterium Thermophilum at the fine print on the foods labels. It is useful for the pets immune system.

You can notice in the pet foods lists that the minerals are included. You are looking for minerals that read “copper proteinate or “chelated copper. Chelated or proteinated minerals are part of the best foods. If you want your pet healthy, your pets need vitamins and mineral. Each pet is different, so each pet needs a different vitamin supplement. Two main groups of vitamins are Natural and synthetic. Food sources contain the natural vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are produced in labs to mirror their natural counterparts. Other nutrients are included in natural pet vitamin supplements and can provide additional benefits Amino Acids Supplements Information.

The Best Coffees in the World

When considering the best coffees in the world, I went to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) for research. They are the organization that sets the quality standards for specialty coffee, which the public calls “gourmet” coffee. All specialty coffees use arabica beans. The other category of is the robusta bean, which is of inferior taste quality to arabica. Within these categories, there are several varieties of bean. Arabica beans are grown at a higher altitude than robusta.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and is graded in a similar manner as wine. This event is called a “cupping” and has a set of strict standards. Winning a cupping is very prestigious and has a direct effect on the prices a coffee grower can get for his crop.

History of these “cupping” winners has shown that three areas of the world produce the most winners. Interestingly, these regions have a very similar latitude when looking at the world map. The three regions are Ethiopia, Sumatra and Panama.

Ethiopian/Kenyan Coffee (Africa)

Ethiopian coffee is aromatic, highly flavorful, and also known to be some of the best coffees in the world. It is also the origin of all coffee. The Ethiopian people have a legend that says that a goat herder discovered Ethiopian coffee around 850 AD. This legend claims that the goat herder noticed that his sheep were very excited and nearly dancing after eating red berries from a tree. The legend of the founder goes on to say that the herder sampled the red berries for himself and took some of the berries home to his wife who insisted that he take them to the monks. The monks supposedly threw the berries into a fire and noticed the delicious smell that the berries produced. The monks are said to have removed the berries from the fire and boiled the berries in water to create the beverage that we now know as Ethiopian coffee.

Whether this legend is true, or in fact just a legend is forever a mystery. Regardless, Ethiopian coffee has been used for religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are still held today and if a guest is invited to participate in the ceremony, it is well known to be a very beautiful experience.

Locally, Ethiopian coffee is served with either sugar, or in some parts of Ethiopia, salt. Milk or any type of creamer is never used in traditionally brewing. The process of making the coffee varies by region. In some regions it is dry processed and in some other regions it is washed. The Ethiopian coffee found in stores today is dry processed.

The process is often grueling and coupled with with importing adds to the reason of why Ethiopian coffee can be expensive.

When consumers purchase Ethiopian coffee to be brewed at home, it is wise to consider fair trade Ethiopian coffee. The obvious reason to consider fair trade is so that the producers of this wonderful product can reap the benefits of their hard work. Ethiopian coffee has a rich, bold, and exciting history and a taste that has been favored by many people for a long time.

Sumatran Coffee (Indonesia)

Sumatran coffee comes from the island in Indonesia called Sumatra. The taste of Sumatran coffee is spicy, herbal, and very distinct. It is considered to be one of the best coffees in the world and was first introduced by the Dutch around 1699 when the Dutch wanted to keep up with the demand of coffee to Europe. The Dutch traders knew the difference between Sumatran coffee beans and other coffee beans by the appearance, which are irregularly shaped and bright green.

Sumatran coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and has a low acidity which makes it highly favored among other types of coffee. The beans are usually grown in full sunlight and with no chemicals. A highly popular type of Sumatran coffee, yet thoroughly disgusting in many peoples opinion, is the kopi luwak Sumatran coffee. The kopi luwak coffee is coffee beans that have been eaten by the small animal known as a luwak. After the luwak digests and excretes the coffee beans, local villagers collect the excreted beans and roast them. These excreted and roasted beans are said to cost about $300 a pound. Of course, not all of Sumatran coffee comes from the excrement of the luwak. There are many other varieties of Sumatran coffee as well.

Most of the Sumatran coffee beans are processed using the wet and dry processing method. This processing method is another reason why Sumatran coffee is so popular. Most other types of coffee beans are processed by using either a wet method or a dry method, hardly ever both.

When purchasing Sumatran coffee for use at home, a person should try to purchase fair trade Sumatran coffee. Fair trade beans can be found at various online retailers and also at gourmet coffee retailers. This insures that the growers benefit from all of the hard work that they put into growing this delicious coffee.

Candle Making Additives

There are eight distinct candle making additives used in the candle making process. Some makers choose not to use them at all while others take advantage of what each type of additive has to offer to their candle making process. Candle wax additives are inexpensive and work well if you are educated in how to use them and why to use each kind.Continue reading: Candle Making Additives

Crockpot Cooking Safety Tips

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

Health Foods With Harmful Ingredients

Sometimes we all probably feel like we are walking through a nutrition mine field. What one person or organization calls healthy is deemed unhealthy or even deadly by another. So what is a person to do when faced with the idea of trying to improve food choices in order to achieve a healthy fit body?

Luckily there are a few things that we are absolutely certain of and these things are the focus of this article. There are a lot of everyday, common foods and food storage items that most people don’t give a second thought, but that in actuality could seriously affect their overall health and quality of life.

This first unhealthy substance isn’t actually a food, but it is something we commonly store foods in. Even health food stores sometimes place their “healthy” food in containers made of this cancer-linked substance. In June 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report saying that styrene has a high probability of causing cancer. Now, given the fact that I’ve been in the fitness industry for quite some time, this is not news to me, but perhaps it is to you. Styrene is everywhere and it’s a challenge to avoid it. Here are some very common products containing this potentially cancer-causing substance.

  1. Styrofoam cups and plates
  2. To-go boxes from restaurants
  3. Foam packing material
  4. Industrial emissions
  5. Second-hand cigarette smoke
  6. Floor waxes
  7. Paints and varnishes

Fortunately for us wisdom is power in this case. There are very simple alternatives to styrene these days and glass food and liquid containers are your best bet for ensuring the things you put in your body are not contaminated with unwanted and in some cases, deadly ingredients.

A second potentially harmful issue surrounds farm raised salmon (tilapia also). When we think of salmon we think of a beautiful vibrant fish leaping over small water falls in order to spawn, you know, just like we see on the Discovery Channel. Well, this isn’t the reality for farm raised salmon. Instead envision tiny ponds densely packed with fish that have never felt a day of freedom. If this doesn’t make you feel uneasy, the rest of the story will. Farm raised salmon are malnourished due to the fact that they are fed cheap sources of food in order to keep costs at a minimum.

Feathers are a staple in the farm raised salmon’s diet because it’s a cheap source of protein. Because they are so poorly fed, their skin is a drab shade of gray. Since this wouldn’t sell very well, these farm raised salmon are injected with the colorant Canthaxanthin in order to produce that healthy-looking pink color. Farmed salmon contain much higher levels of Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins that do their wild-caught cousins. Research has shown that even a small amount of these compounds may cause irreparable brain development damage in children. Moreover, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that ingesting more than a single serving of farm-raised salmon in a given week may cause a person to exceed the maximum intake level for these substances according to the World Health Organization. So many people eat salmon in an effort to be healthy and get those essential fatty acids found in this fish’s oil. Unfortunately they are being deceived because not only do these fishes have lower quality oils than their wild-caught cousins, but they also have tissues (meat) fed with potentially harmful substances.