What if you went to your doctor because you were not feeling very well and upon completion of a thorough examination, the doctor simply prescribes a healthy workout regimen and nutritious meal plan as your treatment? It seems as though this is going to become a more frequent occurrence for preventative healthcare. As more and more individuals realize that they are not living very healthy lifestyles which could inevitably bring about diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, they may also be realizing that some form of self treatment is not that difficult to implement. Does it really take a doctor to tell someone that they need to eat healthy foods and exercise in order to prevent sickness? Whether it does or not, that is what doctors are going to be doing as is explained in an LA Times article published on the 9th of January 2013 by Melissa Healy.
Basically, the article explains that those that are obese and/or at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes will be “prescribed” the Diabetes Prevention Program. This program simply consists of a 12 week session in which a coach teaches the individuals to lose five to seven percent of their body weight, limit fat and caloric intake, track and control portion size and overall food intake, and ensure that they are getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.
Those that participated in and adhered to the aforementioned program were able to reach weight loss goals in approximately three months and were able to maintain a healthy weight for more than a year. The results were that they mitigated their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent, as was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002.
This article also touches on how the government might implement these practices in regard to healthcare and insurance. For example, these programs for weight loss and lifestyle modification will be available to patients through their health insurance. So health insurance could essentially pay for your gym membership. The take-away from that would be that in utilizing these preventative techniques, the government will be preventing illness rather than treating it at a greater cost later on.
Nonetheless, we all need to eat healthy, nutrient rich, properly portioned meals. it is also very important that we exercise regularly. We don’t need to visit a doctor to figure that out. Visit your local gym and talk to a Personal Trainer. They can help you on your way to a much healthier lifestyle, not to mention diabetes prevention before it becomes a concern at all. There is a saying that goes like this: “If you do not make time for exercise now, you will have to make time for illness later!” Make time to live a healthy lifestyle NOW.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well maybe so, maybe not. I guess it all depends on how you use it. According to an article published in Yahoo Sports on the 27th of December 2012, titled, “The Greatest Weight Loss Myth Ever Told,” we should be skipping breakfast in order to lose weight. The article states that the “greatest myth” is that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day and that we shouldn’t go without it.
The basic premise for this type of behavior is to decrease overall caloric intake. Well okay. Theoretically speaking a decrease in overall caloric intake should create a situation that induces weight loss. This seems rather logical if you ask me. However, in the article it explains the consideration of a study taken from Nutrition Journal in 2011 that provided evidence that of test subjects, the more calories that were consumed for breakfast, meant more calories consumed for the entire day. In comparison, with a smaller breakfast with fewer calories, or eating no breakfast at all, there was overall fewer calories consumed for the entire day.
So basically what the article concludes is that those individuals that desire to lose weight could or should consider reducing the size and/or calories in their breakfast meal. Keep in mind that this is only recommended as a simple adjustment to easily lose weight. Logical, right? The less calories consumed, the less possible fat storage.
Excellent! I highly recommend NOT skipping breakfast completely. Not eating is not a healthy way to lose weight. This will make you very hungry later on and increase the probability that you will over eat later on. Then when you do in fact fill yourself, the body remembers that it doesn’t like to feel hungry and since you are in the habit of skipping meals, why not store some fat for energy later.
The best way to tackle this concern without going hungry is to break those meals into smaller portions and eat more frequently. For example instead of having only breakfast, lunch, and dinner, break those meals down to their actual serving sizes first of all. When you do this you might think that you will probably still be hungry after eating. This may be because you are used to eating larger, less frequent meals until you are full. This needs to change. You are going to now have a healthy snack in between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner. This continued consumption of much smaller portions of food with fewer calories throughout the day will keep your metabolism going because you are continually feeding your body. Therefore your body will not feel it needs to store fat because it is consuming and burning energy consistently. You can still reduce your overall caloric intake without going hungry or missing meals. To be honest with you, I am starving when I wake up. My body spent all night utilizing any nutrients from the prior day’s food consumption. The first thing on my mind when I wake up is FOOD! However, I exercise first then eat a healthy breakfast.
If you would like to know more about healthy ways to eat to lose weight, then you should look into the following article: “Eat to Boost Metabolism and All-Day Energy: Meal Planning Guide & Recipes.” This article provides an example of exactly what I described for breaking down and distributing meals for weight loss. But don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to try these methods for yourself and see what works best. I also encourage you to read the comments below the first article.
Every now and then we are busy and out-and-about. It may be that we are running errands, attending appointments, or more frequently with the holiday season, shopping for gifts for our loved ones. One major concern of mine and of a lot of people is that we get hungry while doing all of this running around. It isn’t always easy to find a quick AND healthy meal for yourself that you will not feel guilty about. With the holiday season, we already have plenty of opportunities to over eat and it is usually with foods that are typically high in saturated fats, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. So, do we really need to add to a potentially unhealthy situation by eating fast foods that are usually horrible for our bodies? I think not. That is why I am always looking for a quick and healthy way to sustain myself while I am on the go.
The other day my wife and I were out -and-about in West Los Angeles. Of course, as usual, we got rather hungry and needed to stop for some lunch. Luckily, we were able to spot a new place that sparked our interests simply because of the name. “My Fit Foods,” is the name of the place and we were really excited to see what there was to eat. The place seemed very welcoming. Immediately upon entering we were greeting by a helpful and cheerful staff member that informed us all about what My Fit Foods was about. She let us know that all the foods were already pre-portioned to recommended serving sizes so that you wouldn’t eat too much food for whatever entrée you decided to consume. The staff member informed us that there were vegetarian meals available which was definitely desirable because my wife and I try to eat mostly vegetables even though we don’t consider ourselves “vegan.” My Fit Foods also claims that their foods are “diabetic friendly, and that there are dairy, gluten, and soy free meals available as well.”
So when you go to pick your food, there are several refrigerators all lined toward the back of the store where you are free to grab the meal of your choice with different sections and labels for different tastes. So you choose your meal, and then take it to the checkout counter to make your purchase. After you make your purchase a helpful staff member will heat your meal for you. It is really quick and really easy. Then you either enjoy your food right there or take it to go.
My wife and I ordered a butternut squash soup that was spicy and tasted amazing! We also had a spicy egg plant dish with kale and a side of mashed sweet potatoes and another dish with a variety of vegetables served with quinoa. We then topped it off with a serving of apple and celery slices with almond butter. To say the least my wife and I were very pleased to find such a quick and tasty selection of food. Now I know that there are many people out there that are not vegetarian so don’t be put off by the selection of foods that my wife and I chose. Trust me; there are plenty of entrees that provide beef, chicken, fish, pork, and turkey as well. I cannot cover everything in this blog. You have to check out their menu and website at www.myfitfoods.com. I believe that they could accommodate any taste in healthy and timely manner. That is what we are looking for when we are out and about right? We want food that won’t have us feeling unhealthy or guilty and in a quick and timely manner because we are busy people.
The only disadvantages of this place, if you see them as disadvantages, are that I only saw a couple of things labeled as “organic” and I didn’t see any “Non-GMO” or “Not-treated-with-hormone/antibiotic” labels either. The microwaving to heat the meals might put some people off too. But other than these, I highly recommend trying My Fit Foods.
So far, there are three locations for My Fit Foods in southern California and a fourth one coming soon if it isn’t already open. There is one in Hermosa Beach, Torrance, The one in Santa Monica on Wilshire and Barrington (where my wife and I went), and one coming soon to West Hollywood. Stop in and try My Fit Foods for yourself. I did and I love the place. Hopefully they open more of these restaurants all over so that I can have an easier time getting healthy meals when I am on the go. [youtube=http://youtu.be/JQZATwqaRGk]
There is so much information out there about eating “Organic” I wanted to research the reasons. In my research I came across this article and instead of researching further and writing my own I decided to share exactly what I found. Let me know what you think!
Once found only in health food stores, organic food is now a regular feature at most supermarkets. And that’s created a bit of a dilemma in the produce aisle. On one hand, you have a conventionally grown apple. On the other, you have one that’s organic. Both apples are firm, shiny and red. Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Which should you choose?
Conventionally grown produce generally costs less, but is organic food safer or more nutritious? Get the facts before you shop.
Conventional vs. organic farming
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weed killers, organic farmers may conduct more sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.
Here are some key differences between conventional farming and organic farming:
Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.
Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.
Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
Use herbicides to manage weeds.
Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.
Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.
Organic or not? Check the label
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed.
Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they’re still required to follow the USDA’s standards for organic foods.
If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it’s produced and processed according to the USDA standards. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.
Products certified 95 percent or more organic display this USDA seal.
Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry the USDA seal.
Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal plus the following wording, depending on the number of organic ingredients:
100 percent organic. To use this phrase, products must be either completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
Organic. Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term.
Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say “made with organic ingredients” on the label, but may not use the seal. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t use the seal or the word “organic” on their product labels. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.
Do ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ mean the same thing?
No, “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable terms. You may see “natural” and other terms such as “all natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free” on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don’t confuse them with the term “organic.” Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.
Organic food: Is it more nutritious?
The answer isn’t yet clear. A recent study examined the past 50 years’ worth of scientific articles about the nutrient content of organic and conventional foods. The researchers concluded that organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs are comparable in their nutrient content. Research in this area is ongoing.
Organic food: Other considerations
Many factors influence the decision to choose organic food. Some people choose organic food because they prefer the taste. Yet others opt for organic because of concerns such as:
Pesticides. Conventional growers use pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. According to the USDA, organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products — both organic and non-organic — don’t exceed government safety thresholds.
Food additives. Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids (substances used during processing, but not added directly to food) and fortifying agents commonly used in non-organic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.
Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.
Are there downsides to buying organic?
One common concern with organic food is cost. Organic foods typically cost more than do their conventional counterparts. Higher prices are due, in part, to more expensive farming practices.
Because organic fruits and vegetables aren’t treated with waxes or preservatives, they may spoil faster. Also, some organic produce may look less than perfect — odd shapes, varying colors or smaller sizes. However, organic foods must meet the same quality and safety standards as those of conventional foods.
Food safety tips
Whether you go totally organic or opt to mix conventional and organic foods, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
Select a variety of foods from a variety of sources. This will give you a better mix of nutrients and reduce your likelihood of exposure to a single pesticide.
Buy fruits and vegetables in season when possible. To get the freshest produce, ask your grocer what day new produce arrives. Or check your local farmers market.
Read food labels carefully. Just because a product says it’s organic or contains organic ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthier alternative. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.
Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Washing helps remove dirt, bacteria and traces of chemicals from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing, though. You can also peel fruits and vegetables, but peeling can mean losing some fiber and nutrients.
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