Kamis, 19 November 2009

5 Key Food Tips


Bearing in mind that every person has individual biochemical needs regarding nutrition, and what will work for one person will not necessarily work for another, here is an outline of some basics of good nutrition that will support WEIGHT LOSS, MENTAL CLARITY AND FOCUS, HIGHER ENERGY, HEART HEALTH AND BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE and a general sense of WELL-BEING. Go to it with patience to make the changes, determination to accomplish your goals, and a willingness to accept yourself at whatever stage you are at. It will all become easier with practice and as the changes are made, your biochemistry will help rather than hinder. 1/ Eat every 2 ? - 3 ? hours - this will maintain hormone regulation, especially insulin in a stable range. As fat storage and fat loss is dependent on balancing of the sugar regulating hormones, this is one of the most important things that you can do. Include protein in these meals, including breakfast. 2/ Choose food that is nutrient rich. This generally means the closer to nature it is the more nourishing it is going to be. One rule of thumb is, if you can't see what the raw materials are that make up the food, then it is lower down on the scale of nutrient rich. As an example, blueberries and short grain brown rice eaten separately will have more nourishment than a blueberry muffin.

3/ Eat high quality fats only. This can be in their food or oil based form. Avocados, almonds and coconuts are examples of high quality fat-rich foods. And look for the oils that are rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9. This is olive oil, flax, hemp, sesame, and fish oil. All oils should of quality should be in dark amber bottles as they are all, to one degree or another, volatile to oxygen, heat and light. So get rid of the margarines, vegetables oils, corn oils, or any other oil that you have in a clear plastic bottle. These are damaging your cells and thus your metabolism. Once you are eating more of the high quality, nutrient rich fats, your craving for poor quality fatty foods will lessen. 4/ Keep yourself well hydrated. It is generally recommended to drink eight glasses of purified water daily. Often the hunger that we associate with the need to eat is actually thirst. Aiming for 4 ounces of water per waking hour is a way to get in your 8 glasses without burdening your bladder. 5/ The carbs that we need are available in fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and beans. They provide the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, fiber, water and energy that our body needs. PROTEIN A good rule of thumb when considering protein portions is to eat a portion that is the approximate size of the palm of your hand. Look to : Skinless chicken and turkey breast, lean cuts of beef, buffalo and wild game, cold-water fish, seafood, eggs (boiled, poached or cooked with low heat), protein powders, fermented soy (tofu, tempeh, miso - maximum 2X per week), grains in combination with nuts, seeds or legumes (these combinations would cover your protein and starchy carb portion and/or your fat portion, depending on the combination). Avoid: Luncheon and deli meats, soy-based meat substitutes, smoked meats and fish, battered and fried. Barbecuing is not a health-favouring method of preparation, as the burning of the fat of the meat produces dangerous trans-fats, so do it in moderation if at all. Preferable: Eggs and meat from free-ranging animals and birds, as those that are commercially-raised are kept cooped up in confined quarters, are often treated inhumanely and have routine injections of antibiotics and hormones. Also, ask your fish store for types that are caught in the wild as opposed to farm-raised. They are also given hormone and dye injections. CARBOHYDRATES Carbohydrates are all made of chains of sugars. Those with smaller chains of sugars are referred to as simple carbohydrates or simple sugars. They are broken down and metabolized quickly, causing unstable insulin levels and an increase in fat storage. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are longer chains of sugars, and are broken down over a longer period of time, supplying a sustained source of energy and a more balanced release of insulin, which factors into how much fat we store. GRAINS AND LEGUMES Look to: Whole grains, such as brown basmati and wild rices, quinoa, oats, buckwheat (this is not in the wheat family), amaranth, barley, legumes, such as mung beans, aduki beans (a Japanese small red bean), lentils, garbanzo beans, black turtle beans, kidney beans, fava beans, split peas, navy beans, etc. Potatoes (in moderation and not fried), preferably stoneground and non-yeast bread (Little Stream and Shasha are excellent bakeries), sprouted wheat bread (called Manna or Essene bread). Avoid: White and brown sugar, white flour and all foods containing these: cakes, candy, cookies, muffins, pasta, soft drinks, ice cream, artificial sweeteners, etc. Preferable: Use stevia (a sweet herb, available at health food stores) as the sweetener of choice, raw honey, pure maple syrup, organic molasses and raw cane sugar can be used in moderate amounts. VEGETABLES Look to: Alfalfa or other sprouts, bell peppers, leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, beet greens, chard, dandelion), eggplant, cucumber, lettuces, tomatoes, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, celery, zucchini, onions, garlic, parsley and other fresh herbs, asparagus, green beans, carrot, jicama, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, bok choy (Chinese cabbage), snow peas, etc. Preferable: Fresh as opposed to frozen or canned, organic whenever possible, raw or lightly steamed. Try to have some raw and a variety of colours at each meal. If it makes it easier for you, cut up vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 to 3 days, so that you have a quick snack on hand. FRUIT Look to: berries, apples, grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, pears, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines. Be moderate with the following fruits, bananas, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew and dried fruits. Avoid: canned fruits, particularly those in sweetened syrup, inorganic dried fruit that contains sulphites. HIGH-QUALITY FATS Contrary to popular belief, good fats can help one lose fat rather than gain it. In addition, the essential fats, Omega 3, and 6 are crucial for healthy functioning of our hormonal system, for metabolism, circulation, tissue repair and building, antiinflammation, and for brain development and function. These fats are labeled essential because we do not manufacture them in our bodies. We must get them from the food that we consume. Look to: The seeds, butters and oils of flax, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and almond, olive oil, coconut oil, borage oil, evening primrose, butter, fatty cold water fish oils - salmon, fresh tuna, herring, anchovies, mackerel, cod and sardines (packed in their own oil), avocado Avoid: Margarine, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, essentially almost all mass-produced oils available in grocery stores that are in plastic, clear bottles. These have commonly been heat-extracted which has created the dangerous trans-fats. Mayonnaise, commercial salad dressings, high-heat cooking, fried foods, barbecuing, smoking of meats and fish, roasted and salted nuts and seeds, rancid nuts (walnuts are especially susceptible) Preferable: Daily supplementation with flax seeds and fish oil, use low-heat cooking and butter or unrefined coconut oil for cooking, buy oils that are in dark amber bottles, as they are all volatile to light, as well as oxygen and to one degree or another, heat. WATER AND OTHER BEVERAGES Aim to increase your water consumption to 8 glasses per day. This takes a concentrated effort to get used to. I have gotten into the habit of carrying a 500ml. glass bottle of water with me almost everywhere I go. If you work at a desk, keep the bottle on the desk so that you are reminded and refill it as it is emptied. I also keep one in the drink holder of the car so that I can be sipping while I drive. Once you get used to being fully hydrated, it will become routine. Drink and cook only with purified water from a reliable source. Reverse osmosis is the preferred choice. If possible, do not use tap water at all. The cities' water treatment is concerned only with the bacteria that can cause immediate ill-health. They do not treat the water with concern for long-term well-being. Unpurified well- water and spring water are also questionable, as they are exposed to rain water runoff and the spring may not be a good filter for the water. Water from country wells often includes seepage from near-by farms. Many of the water bottling companies (Culligan, Water to Go, et al.) provide high quality reverse osmosis bottled water, or RO machines can be installed in your home for a small monthly fee by a number of companies. To begin with, when you are out and in need of a drink, buy bottled water from a reliable source that is more likely to be concerned with the quality (Crystal Springs, Evian). As much as possible, avoid water from a generic or a soft drink company or that is labeled drinking water (doesn't mean much). Look to: Make water the most abundant drinking substance in your daily diet, herbal teas, green tea, seed or nut milks, herbal or grain coffees, homemade iced tea, fresh squeezed juices Avoid: Soft drinks, excessive amounts of alcohol, black teas or coffee. Preferable: If you can avoid coffee completely, do. If you do wish to drink decaffeinated coffee on a moderate basis), look for the caffeine to be extracted by a Swiss water process. This would be available at a health food store, and at coffee places like Starbucks. Just ask for it. The regular extraction is by methlylene chloride, characterized by action in the body similar to insecticides. Alcohol is an insulin instigator and hard on the liver and stomach, so minimize the intake as much as possible.

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