carbohydrates

Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

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Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

Magnesium is a powerful mineral occurring naturally in our body and that many people are severely lacking. This can have a pretty negative effect since it aids in the function of over 300 different enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body. The best way you can tell if you are deficient is to eat foods that are rich in magnesium or try supplementing and see how you feel. You will likely notice a difference right away. Magnesium rich foods are things like assorted nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Another great way to get your magnesium is a secret that our grandparents knew, to soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.This allows you to directly absorb it through your skin.

What are just some of the great benefits of magnesium?

It supports bone strength. Half of our magnesium is stored in our bones, so supporting those levels is hugely important for us to maintain healthy bones. Magnesium also helps the transportation of calcium, another mineral in our body that prevents the loss of bone density, especially as we age.

Prevention of type-2 diabetes. Magnesium helps with carbohydrate metabolism and directly influences insulin activity, which controls our blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that for every 100 mg of magnesium we intake, there is a 15% decrease in the direct risk of getting type-2 diabetes.

Digestive support. Magnesium plays a big role in the digestive process because it is a coenzyme in the intestines that assists in the natural production of hydrochloric acid in the gut necessary to break down the food we eat. It’s also great to naturally relieve constipation.

Supports heart health. Magnesium aids in maintaining a normal heart rhythm, strengthening our muscles, especially the heart which is one of our biggest muscles, and aids in rebuilding our blood vessels. It plays a key role in the prevention of an irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Helps with migraines, insomnia and even depression. It has even worked to cure severe psychiatric issues such as panic attacks, anxiety, and even a difficult agitative state. Magnesium not only significantly reduces the severity of all of these conditions, but also lowers their recurrence rate.

Great stress reliever. When we are hit with stress, magnesium can play a key role in relieving it immediately by relaxing the body as part of a natural hormonal response and naturally lowers blood pressure.

Premenstrual symptoms reliever. As a natural muscle relaxer, magnesium also aids in the relief of premenstrual cramps, and acts as a diuretic eliminating fluid retention that causes bloating and breast tenderness.

It’s hard to believe how much this natural mineral can do for us each day. Try adding it to your diet and see how you feel!

How Important Is Consuming Protein?

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How Important Is Consuming Protein?

Everyone knows what protein is, in general, but most people don’t have a deeper concept of just how vital it is to our body. It is so important to consume enough healthy protein in our diet and from a healthy source. Opinions vary, but it is recommended that it is healthy to consume anywhere from 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. A bodybuilder’s protein intake recommendations may be higher in order to add the desired muscle mass.

So What Are Proteins?

Proteins are the macronutrients that form the foundation of our diet. Proteins help to build new cells and regulate the metabolism. They actually help all of your cells communicate and shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin. They also have the ability to build muscle.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. It is absolutely essential that we consume these daily and in the right way. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids into a variety of sequences, each serving a unique function and feeding our bodies exactly what it needs.

We can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, but we do not have a storage pool of amino acids. We need to add to it each day in order to build the body proteins that we need. If we are missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. Consistently lacking certain amino acids means we will lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental body functions.

The Main Sources Of Daily Protein:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are complete sources of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids.
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, peas, and whole grains. However, in order to consume all of the essential amino acids, plant foods must be used to complement each other with their amino acid profiles. Beans tend to be low in one amino acid that grains have plenty of, so combining these foods forms a complete protein, like beans and rice.

Be sure and consume your daily healthy protein and remember that centering on a protein diet promotes energy, healthy muscles and even weight loss!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

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Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

In recent years fat became enemy number one and all the experts preached that a low-fat or zero fat diet was the only healthy diet. They believed this was the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol and basically would solve any and all health issues. What happened was the opposite and our population has never been so obese and riddled with health problems, including soaring numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone turned to processed foods with very little if any fat and filled with carbohydrates and fillers, to just end up putting on the weight.

As a result of these disastrous results for so many was the new focus to not only make a solid effort not to consume too much fat, but to try to consume a healthy portion of the good types of fat. Diets then emerged like the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet that are very high in fat and with a definitive protein a focus and yet everyone on these diets started losing weight like crazy. With this new way of eating, the concept of healthy fats has really taken off and all of the great health benefits that go along with it.

So, there is such a thing as a healthy fat! They are essential to our daily physical and emotional health. Fat is not the enemy and can even help you lose weight and improve your health. What gets confusing is that there are good fats and bad fats….oh and trans fats are really bad. They are the biggest cause of weight gain, clogged arteries and so much more.

So what are are some of the good fats?

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

Polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower, Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Mustard Seeds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon and Sardines
  • Fish Oil

Saturated Fats (but on a limited basis):

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork
  • Chicken (with the skin on)
  • Butter, Milk and Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Make that special effort to get your healthy fats at each meal and enjoy them guilt free! ( :

The Way To Maximize Your Metabolism

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The Way To Maximize Your Metabolism

What exactly is your metabolism? It is the process of how we burn our calories we eat and how quickly or easily we gain and lose weight. Age and genetics play a role, and there’s nothing we can do about that, but there are other ways to speed it up if you want to.

First, a key piece of advice, is to get your thyroid checked by a qualified practitioner (they are hard to find). If your thyroid is under active then boosting your metabolism will be a real challenge.

A key way to boost your metabolism is to eat breakfast! This can boost it by as much as 10%. Eating a healthy protein is the best choice for sure and this gets the digestion process going to start your metabolism burning.

Eating protein is a great way to support and boost your metabolism, by as much as 25%! It requires more energy to digest protein which burns more calories and it sustains you for longer.

Regular exercise is key, especially earlier in the day. If you can even take a brisk walk first thing in the morning this will get your motor going and burn more calories throughout the day. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so don’t forget to include some anaerobic activities in your work out routine (stretching, weight lifting and resistance exercises).

Get your fiber! Having a diet rich in fiber is very helpful. It makes you feel fuller longer which helps with weight management and keep you regular.

Try just a few of these and see what happens! These are easy changes that will have dramatic effects on your metabolism.

A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

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A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

What is the Paleo Diet? It is eating like they did during the Paleolithic Period, or that’s the idea behind it….imagining what was eaten…WAY back in the day. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. The idea is to focus on protein and vegetables that are from whole and natural sources, plus a little bit of healthy fats and very few carbs.

We all have to start somewhere and sometimes having ideas or a list really helps! On the Paleo Diet you can’t have dairy, grains, starches, wheat or legumes….but what CAN you have? It can be a challenge to make these changes, so here’s some specific ideas on what to put on your shopping list.

Healthy meats of all kinds and fish, plus fruits and veggies are a winner. Everyone knows fruit is healthy but too much is not good for you because many of them are high in sugar, which spikes your blood sugar. So what are the approved fruits and veggies, oils, nuts and seeds? Here’s some great ideas for you….

Suggestions for healthy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onions

Suggestions for healthy fruits:

  • Apple
  • Bananas (but limited)
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges

Suggestions for healthy nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Walnuts

Suggestions for healthy oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia Oil

I always love something I can print out and take to the grocery store with me. I hope this helps you follow your new lifestyle changes on the fantastic Paleo Diet!

What’s All This Talk About Glycemic Index?

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What’s All This Talk About Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index is a measurement of foods containing carbohydrates and their impact on blood sugar levels. This unique reference to foods is now becoming very popular but is actually a relatively new way of analyzing foods. It is extremely helpful to those struggling with insulin issues and weight issues.

Specific diets that focus on eating foods with a low Glycemic Index have been associated with a significant decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, chronic kidney disease, formation of gall stones, neural tube defects, formation of uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and pancreas.

Here is an interesting list of foods and their GI values. Take a look.

Foods with a low to medium Glycemic Index Value

  • Cherries – 22
  • Grapefruit – 25
  • Muesli – 43
  • Prunes – 29
  • Oat Bran -55
  • Apricots, dried – 29
  • Ice Cream – 38
  • Apple – 38
  • Whole Milk – 31
  • Sweet potato – 44
  • Minestrone soup – 39
  • Spaghetti – 38
  • Pear, fresh – 38
  • Hummus – 6
  • Capellini – 45
  • Strawberries – 40
  • Peanuts – 15
  • Orange, navel – 40
  • Sourdough bread – 53
  • Banana – 52
  • M&M peanut candies – 33
  • Quinoa – 53

Foods with a medium to high Glycemic Index Value

  • Bagel – 72
  • Pea soup – 66
  • Hamburger bun – 61
  • French Baguette – 95
  • Baked potato – 85
  • Scones – 92
  • Waffles – 76
  • Rice Krispies – 82
  • Corn Flakes – 92
  • Watermelon – 72
  • Dates – 103
  • Pumpkin – 75
  • Rice crackers – 91
  • Pretzels – 83
  • Instant rice – 87
  • Wild rice – 87

It’s a new way to focus on food, but so valuable! Taking a moment to think before you eat can add incredible health benefits. Focus on eating healthy amounts of quality protein, some healthy fat and a little bit of low glycemic carbohydrates and you will just feel better!!

Protein Power For Your Day

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Protein Power For Your Day

Hmmm…..What do I know about protein? Well, a lot, but yet maybe not enough.

We know the incredible benefits of protein. Eating whole foods and especially healthy protein is a natural thing for our bodies and part of our history through the generations of family before us. Our parents and grandparents ate protein as a staple, but we have somehow strayed from this lifestyle into the convenient processed fast food lifestyle. What a shame. What choices of food we eat makes an incredible difference in our daily life. This everyday choice affects our LIFE directly because it affects our ENERGY, the BALANCE of our body’s systems and processes, and it affects our STAMINA and even our OUTLOOK for the day.

Unfortunately, the food industry is not helping us out in this regard. Our food supply has become more watered down than ever and actually is filled with things we don’t even need or want (extra sugar, dyes, artificial ingredients, and fillers of all kind, many hidden even in the labels we are reading!). We are all super busy and we do our absolute best each day, but deep inside, we all know we could do BETTER. We don’t have to harp on that or be hard on ourselves, we just have to keep striving to eat foods that are closer to nature…whole foods, foods we prepare ourselves from scratch. Each day is a NEW day to improve our health, eat healthy protein, increase our food’s nutritional value and in the process literally gain more LIFE!!

It’s all about getting back to the basics and treating our body to exactly what it needs. It’s so easy! It’s not just convenience and buying the latest greatest processed and perfectly packaged and marketed food that we have been sold on. It’s taking that extra step feeding ourselves and our family what our body can actually utilize and build on. Educating yourself on healthy alternatives to processed foods.  A little bit of knowledge goes a long way and toward long lasting health.

We need to eat everyday anyway, why not pick something healthy that sustains you. Whatever your meal consists of, focus first on a healthy protein as the center, allow yourself some healthy fats and a few healthy carbs to fill it out, then it’s a perfect meal. Or whip up a whey protein shake. They are easy and super healthy feeding your body the protein it needs.

Show your “protein power” abilities starting today!