Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’
Chi Chi Chi Chia!
Chia seeds are much more than the Chia Pet that we remember from back in the day. Although flax seeds receives much of the spotlight, chia seeds provides many more benefits than flax seeds. Chia seeds come from a plant related to the mint family and is typically grown in the southwestern part of the United States and Mexico. The Mayan word for chia is strength. Which should now come as no surprise that they are recognized as being one of the most powerful superfoods around. Yes, these little seeds pack an amazing punch by being great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, proteins, greatest source of Omega-3, an loaded with antioxidants.
Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds are easily digestable providing with those EFA’s, fiber, antioxidants minerals, protein, and fiber that we need. Chia seeds have relatively no taste so it can be sprinked on foods such as salads, cereal, yogurt, smoothies.
One to four tablespoons of dry chia seeds daily will offer you these benefits:
Weight loss: Chia seeds can act as an appetite suppressant making you feel full before consuming an entire meal. This happens because when chia seeds are exposed to water, the size and weight of the seed expands.
Diabetes Control: slows the conversion rate of carbohydrates into sugar. This ensures constant and steady energy throughout the day. Is also known to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes as well.
Excellent source of fiber: Each chia seed is covered with a layer of soluble fibers that aid in its gelling action. The external of the seed consist of insoluble fiber, which is not digested in the body and so does not add to the calorie content. This fiber helps in the smooth movement of food through the digestive tract and aids in its complete digestion. The soluble fiber and gel coating aids in keeping the colon hydrated and also ensures the effortless movement of food.
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It seems it is almost stylish for people to have a long list of foods they avoid. Some act as if the more foods you avoid, the better informed you must be. This approach is savvy when it comes to packaged items that should not even be called foods, but within the list of natural foods, diversity is best. In my practice, I have observed that limited diets lead to nutrient deficiencies, weaker digestive function and emotional stress.
Beans are a great case in point. Many either intentionally avoid them or do not think to include them in their diets. This is too bad, because research has shown that beans:Slow aging Contain powerful antioxidants Lower blood pressure Prevent cancer Lower cholesterol Reduce food cravings Raise energy and help weight loss Improve the intestinal flora Kill fungus
If you are not eating beans, I’d like you to reconsider. In this blog, I’ll explore each of these claims in some detail. In the next, I’ll address some of the popular objections against beans.
Beans Can Help Slow Aging
Have you heard about red wine and the French’s longevity? It turns out that an ingredient found in wine, called resveratrol, might prevent the DNA damage that leads to aging. Some beans have resveratrol in amounts comparable to wine. Black beans and lentils are among the highest. 
Beans Are Powerful Antioxidants
Free radical damage takes its toll on your skin, immune system and brain. You may know that antioxidants from foods like blueberries, green tea, turmeric and pomegranate can help prevent this damage. Beans have as much or more antioxidants than these other foods. They also have unique antioxidants that can block enzymes, called α-glucosidase and pancreatic lipase, that lead to weight gain and diabetes. Beans highest in these antioxidants include mung and aduki beans. 
Beans Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Over eight studies have been carefully done to see if adding beans to the diet could improve blood pressure. All studies showed that bean intake significantly lowered systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure.  The types studied included pinto, navy, northern, peas and black beans.
Beans Can Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is second only to heart disease when it comes to adult death. The most common types of cancer for adults include breast, liver, colorectal, prostate and gastric. Not only do beans dramatically reduce the risk of all of these types of cancers [4, 5] but an extract of beans, called IP6, is being studied as a possible medicine to combat cancer. 
Beans Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Adding as little as one serving of beans daily can lower the dangerous LDL-C enough to decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent. 
Beans Can Help Reduce Cravings
Ever struggle with cravings for sweets or snack foods? Beans can help reduce cravings and cause you to prefer healthier foods.
In a study, 42 people had roughly four ounces of chick peas added to their daily diets for four weeks. By the end of 12 weeks, participants were spontaneously eating less food from all sources, especially snack foods made from flour products, like chips and crackers. Bowel regularity and overall digestive symptoms improved significantly for the group. 
Beans Can Help Raise Energy and Help Weight Loss
In another recent study, 35 obese men were randomly assigned to one of four diets for eight weeks, one of which was high in beans. Their weight, body composition, cholesterol levels and metabolic rate were all measured before and after the dietary change. The group on the high-bean diet saw health improvements, such as substantial fat loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a higher rate of energy production over the eight-week period. 
Beans Can Help Improve the Intestinal Flora
You likely know how good bacteria are important to good immune function, skin repair and regular digestion. These organisms help because they produce short chain fats that heal our intestinal lining and lower the risks of colorectal cancer. We get tiny amounts of short chain fats from foods like coconut and butter; however, the vast majority, like butyrate, acetate and propionate, are made by intestinal bacteria when they are given the types of fiber found in beans. One of the easiest ways to keep your good flora strong is to eat beans regularly. 
Beans Can Help Kill Fungus
Processed food, antibiotics, oral contraceptives and stress can all lead to intestinal yeast. Yeast is bad because it can weaken your immune system and create toxins that raise inflammation. Compounds found in beans have been shown to kill fungus and prevent yeast infections. 
Bonus: You likely know how important getting your 5-10 servings of veggies can be. Did you know that beans count as a vegetable? 
The next installment in this blog will discuss the paleo concerns about beans, how to eat them without getting gas and some new ways to work them into your diet. If you want to get started right away, here is a trick you haven’t heard before: Try adding ¼ – ½ cup of cooked and rinsed navy beans to your morning smoothie. I know it sounds weird, but just try it. You won’t taste them, and they make the texture rich and creamy. Beans in the morning are especially powerful to rev up your metabolism for the whole day.
(TRFW News) Apple cider vinegar has been long-touted to help lose weight and keep it off, but does this tart drink really work? Apple cider vinegar is a fermented beverage made from apples and a specific yeast culture beneficial for our gut health. It’s been recommended for everything from indigestion, to bloating, and even detox. (1) But what about weight loss? Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight? Several studies say that apple cider vinegar does, in fact, help people not only lose weight, but also helps them stop overeating. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been proven to lower body mass index by suppressing body fat accumulation.
During a twelve-week study, those who took at least 15 milliliters of apple cider vinegar a day lost more weight, had a lower BMI, and had a reduction in the inches of their waistline, compared to those who did not use apple cider vinegar. All subjects in the study were the same size, age, and height. (2) Another study also showed that apple cider vinegar lowers the glycemic index, which helped individuals eat at least 200-300 calories less per meal. (1) The study goes on to say that those who ate a higher carbohydrate meal and supplemented with apple cider vinegar before-hand ate significantly less and had a lower glycemic response as a result. (4)
Making the Best Decision for You…
So, the question many of you may have, is should you use apple cider vinegar for weight loss? Though that’s obviously a personal decision, this ancient drink does contain beneficial bacteria that may help improve digestive health and also aid in immune health. (1) It’s normally recommended to pour 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of room-temperature water and drink it before your meals, however, you could also use it as a salad dressing or perhaps dilute it with water and add lemon and stevia to silence the strong taste of the vinegar. Keep in mind that apple cider vinegar is not recommended for drinking straight, since the acidity can be abrasive to teeth enamel. Once inside the body, however, it produces an alkaline response that can reduce inflammation and possibly help remove headaches, heartburn, candida overgrowth, blood pressure issues and various stomach problems. (3,4)
Buying the Right Kind of Apple Cider Vinegar…
Be sure to buy apple cider vinegar that is raw, organic, and contains the “mother” which is the beneficial yeast culture responsible for its health benefits. (1) Most commercial apple cider vinegars sold in stores are not organic and raw unless they specifically say so. Keep this tart miracle vinegar in your cabinet as a raw food staple and see what it can do for you!
Sources for this article include:
By David Zinczenko5. In Spain . . . They eat slowly:
A well-crafted meal takes time to appreciate. After all, the quicker you swallow, the less time food has to tantalize the tiny flavor receptors on your tongue. Spaniards know this—and they know that food is meant to bring together friends and family—which is why they pioneered the notion of tapas. Tapas are small dishes meant to be consumed slowly and conscientiously. When Spaniards eat tapas, they take breaks between bites. They chew slowly and break for conversation. And as it turns out, that helps them shed flab. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island recently found that the average BMI of slow eaters is markedly lower than that of fast eaters. The reason, most likely, is that eating slowly gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full.4. In Italy . . . They value quality over quantity:
When most Americans think of food value, they think of Chinese buffets, unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden, and endless fries at Red Robin. But the Italians view things differently. An endless supply of food means nothing if said food is cheaply made and loaded with unsavory processed ingredients. Think Italians eat jarred marinara? Of course not. They crush up tomatoes and simmer them alongside herbs, garlic, and olive oil. It’s a quick recipe built on high-quality, natural ingredients. That means nothing unpronounceable and nothing prepared in a lab.3. In Greece . . . They focus on produce:
So attuned to a meat-and-potatoes diet are most Americans that we’ve allowed french fries to become the most popular “vegetable” in the country. But in Greece, a Mediterranean country, vegetables dominate—and legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats play powerful supporting roles. Now here’s why we should follow suit: Penn State researchers found that people who stick to high-produce diets eat more food, but weigh less.2. In Latin America . . . They eat seasonally and locally:
Picture a strawberry harvested in June, trucked across the country, and stored in a warehouse for eight or nine months. These are the berries in your supermarket right now. Not only are they bland and starchy, but it’s quite likely that they’re also nutritionally inferior. The USDA suggests that it’s much more likely that food grown within 100 miles will make it from vine to plate faster and retain more nutrients than its conventional counterpart. Latin America is loaded with local produce, which means plenty of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables and regional food cultures unmatched by anything in the United States. Follow their lead: Head to www.LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer’s market in your area.1. In France . . . They tune out all distractions :
Plenty of American dinners take place in front of the TV, but for the French, a meal is an event, and the television is nothing but unwelcome competition. No wonder they’re thinner: In a study published in Physiology and Behavior, subjects consumed 71 percent more mac and cheese when they ate in front of the TV. What’s more, the French are far more likely to plan their multi-course meals in advance. A Dutch study found that people who think ahead about their next meals have greater success with weight loss.
Clearly you’re interested in attaining a healthy weight — you’re reading this article, aren’t you? One motivation may be the hope that you’ll feel better about yourself once you’re carrying less baggage. But the baggage you’re toting around in your head may be what’s keeping you from moving forward. Maybe you’ve tried to lose weight before and didn’t reach your goal. Maybe you did reach your goal and then regained the pounds. Perhaps you’re worried about how your friends and family will react, or whether your age makes it too difficult to lose weight. Or maybe you just feel it’s too big a task to take on. Prepare for Change Whether you’re contemplating a weight-reduction program, preparing to go on one or ready to take action, it’s common to experience some level of fear or discomfort. “Change is uncomfortable,” says Scott Bea, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry and Psychology. “As humans, we’re motivated to avoid discomfort.” Adopting new, more healthful behaviors does, of course, mean revising many of your current habits. So first and foremost, don’t criticize yourself for being worried about those changes. You’re Worth It “Part of the difficulty in achieving a healthy weight is that people often don’t think they’re worth it,” says Jane Ehrman, MEd, CHES, a mind-body medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. As you gear yourself up to adopt healthier habits, valuing yourself is essential. “It’s hard to motivate yourself from a place of self-loathing,” Dr. Bea points out. You also need a safe environment in which to try new behaviors. “If you’re self-accepting, you’re in a better spot to make changes,” he says. Remember that it’s your behaviors that need to change — not you as a person. How do you create this warm, welcoming place for yourself? A beginning step, Dr. Bea says, is to “just practice counting what’s right about yourself.” Applaud Your Efforts Self-acceptance also means forgiving yourself when you make a misstep. We’ve all been there: We make one mistake and give up. In fact, Americans, as a whole, focus on outcomes instead of the effort, and that sort of outlook can undermine attempts at behavioral change. “Be faithful to the effort,” Dr. Bea counsels. “Outcomes will take care of themselves.” Setting reasonable goals is critical to managing the effort and keeping yourself from falling prey to self-criticism. If you develop goals that are unreachable, a surprisingly common occurrence, you set yourself up for failure. Instead, establish a series of small goals that are measurable and attainable in the short term. For instance, don’t say you’re going to lose 20 pounds by a certain date; instead, set your target as going on a walk or getting on the exercise bike for a half hour each day. Daily incentives, Dr. Bea says, are a good way to remain motivated and to feel good about yourself — for example, when you take that walk each day, put a dollar in a cookie jar for yourself. Another thing to watch out for is the power of negative thoughts. As Ehrman points out, we’re often “stuck in our heads, recalling bad memories or anticipating negative events.” In other words, don’t dwell on past attempts at weight loss or worry about ways you might not succeed now. As the saying goes, “Just do it.”
Singer Chaka Khan has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two years, crediting a new way of thinking about food and exercise for her vastly improved health. The star, known for her ’70s funk-soul hits, lost 60 pounds and was able to get her high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes under control to the point that she no longer requires medication for them.
Khan credits a strict liquid diet, and thereafter veganism, for her weight loss.
“I felt like I need to heal my body, so I would just fast and eat no meat, no dairy. I’ve never been a fan of meat, dairy and sugar. And when I developed diabetes last year I said, ‘Oh OK, I’m not going to be here long. A change is coming,” told Khan to lifestyle website Essence.com.
Once she identified that her diet and lifestyle habits needed to change, Khan took some drastic steps. “I went on a radical change of lifestyle. I was on liquids for a year, and that gave me a good jump-start. It sort of changed my whole way of thinking. You have to get the mindset first,” Khan said, reports The Detroit News.
Khan spoke with Wendy Williams about her vegan diet and said a main reason she abstains from animal products is because of her reservations about their safety. “I just don’t trust the USDA,” she said.
She also gave details about her liquid diet. “When I first started last year, for two whole months, I didn’t chew a thing. Me and my Vitamix were there, and it was my best friend. Everything I just put in the Vitamix and I drank. And I exercised.”
After her fast from solid foods, Khan used a simple rule for committing to eat vegan. “I went vegan and went off meats and all dairy and anything with eyes,” Khan said. “I’ve mostly been doing a lot of high-protein foods and a lot of vegetables and exercise.”
The 59-year-old, now almost as slim as she was at the height of her fame in the 1970s, decided to improve her well-being for several reasons. She realized that her excess weight, high blood pressure and diabetes were a lethal combination.
Khan also recognized that her busy lifestyle had no room in it for health management problems. She has permanent custody of her 11-year-old granddaughter, as the child’s parents were deemed unable to care for as a result of their drug addictions. “I have to be there for her,” she told Essense.com. Her daughter recently had a baby, and she enjoys seeing her new granddaughter as much as possible. Add that to her busy worldwide tour schedule and rolling out new albums and products and Khan’s schedule becomes jam-packed.
The “Queen of Funk” plans to release a new Chaka Khan album next year, in celebration of her 60th birthday and 40 years in the music business. A “Khana Sutra” fragrance and “Chaka-lates” chocolates are due out around Valentine’s Day.