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«Gold Standard of Thin Janice Rowland & Kathleen Rowland Copyright 2012 Petals in the Gazebo Press, Kathleen Rowland Cover Art Copyright 2012 Mariya ...»

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Ancient grains are the latest trend. In with the old! Check for varieties cropping up in your supermarket. Kamut is higher in protein than wheat and can be used in breads or muffins. Packed with calcium and iron, quinoa (grain-like but officially a seed) can be substituted for rice in recipes. Quinoa’s light, crunchy texture makes it ideal for cold salads. Because quinoa is really a seed, not a carbohydrate, it’s no wonder that it’s the rage among celebrities. Millet, a good source of vitamins B and E, can be used in casseroles and veggie burgers. Filled with fiber and zinc, spelt is making a comeback in North America, even though it has been popular through the centuries in many European countries because of its nutty flavor. Spelt is a non-hybrid distant relative to present day wheat. Spelt has high water solubility, so nutrients are easily absorbed by the body, making it easy to digest. It is high in protein (significantly higher than wheat), Bcomplex vitamins, and both simple and complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are an important factor in blood clotting and stimulating the body's immune system. Besides containing superb fiber, spelt’s nutritional benefits lower the risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease and type II diabetes and decrease occurrences of migraine headaches. We’ll start seeing more spelt in cereals soon, because this old grain is getting a new image. Savvy people want to get the most out of their calories.

Recently, there’s been a bit of clamor over the thyroid nutrient. Iodine is disappearing from the food supply, triggering a wave of tiredness and brain fog. Women’s iodine intake is a staggering 50% percent lower than it was just three decades ago. Modern farming practices have led to a depletion of iodine in soil which used to end up in produce, meat, and dairy. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. explains: “When deficits occur, symptoms such as tiredness, brain fog, constipation and weight gain are common. In the 1920s the government advised iodizing salt, but a recent University of Texas study showed that 52% of the salt with the iodized label fell short of FDA requirements. It’s smart to take a multivitamin containing 150 mcg (FDA recommendation) of the iodine nutrient, but Dr. Teitelbaum reasons that “increased exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals in common foods can interfere with the body’s uptake and use of iodine.” Here are more of Dr. T’s suggestions: 1). Avoid bread (which was once a surefire source of iodine) that contains potassium bromate. In the 1970s food manufacturers replaced iodine-based ingredients with potassium bromate, a texture-enhancing additive that turns into bromine during baking. “Bromine’s chemical structure is similar to that of iodine. When cells need to pick up iodine, they can mistakenly pick up bromine instead.” Dr. T. advises us to scan the ingredients on bread for potassium bromide, bromate, or bromated flour. Also scrutinize citrus-flavored beverages that harbor bromine or vegetable oil, abbreviated BVO. 2). Enjoy cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) raw or steamed but not fully cooked. If cooked, certain compounds turn to goitrogens, which block the production of thyroid peroxidase, the enzyme responsible for iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. 3). It’s good news, says Dr. T, that ocean water is rich in iodine and becomes concentrated in fish and seaweed. Eat three servings of iodine-rich fish a week, choosing from Dr. T’s list of cod, haddock, mackerel, and sardines.

Sea salt contains iodine; if you are watching your sodium intake, sprinkle a dash of naturally salty powdered seaweed from Sea Seasonings Triple Blend Flakes, available at health food stores.

Thinking about how natural foods pack valuable nutrition, Janice has written up some reminders. For instance, she keeps plums in her college refrigerator. Plums come in a variety of colors from bluish to reddish purple. Besides the fact that a cold plum keeps us cool on a hot day, scientists have discovered amazing ingredients. Boost your health with this summer season super food. Plums make you bikini-confident. Just one plum a day is enough to shrink spider veins and flush fat, making us look good. Studies show plums’ vitamin K boosts production of thrombin, a clotting agent that helps bruises and varicose veins shrink and fade. And because plums are acidic and high in vitamin C, they can speed up digestion before fat and toxins are even absorbed, leading to a slimmer you.

Janice slices avocado on tossed salads. Avocados, she learned when taking Nutrition 101, slash anxiety. When you’re frazzled, an avocado can calm you down fast. It’s loaded with relaxing magnesium and potassium, which both ease anxiety. And its pantothenic acid, a B vitamin, revs stress-reducing hormones and even lowers your risk of depression. The high fat content in the avocado lowers cortisol, a hormone that stores abdominal fat. It will help shrink your belly!

Carrots help you breathe better. Lung function peaks in your twenties and declines from there, making it harder to take in deep, oxygen-boosting breaths. According to French research, munching on carrots shaves two years off your lungs even for smokers. Credit goes to carotenoids, antioxidants that protect lungs from both environmental irritants and age-related damage. Carrots also protect against lung cancer; Harvard Medical School researchers found that alpha carotene, the pigment that makes them orange, lowers your risk by 63%.

Cherries ease pain. Cherries relieve pain and inflammation ten times better than aspirin, say researchers at Michigan State University. The active ingredients, antioxidants called anthocyanins which also give them their red color, block specific enzymes from transmitting pain signals to the brain. This effect works best with fresh, tart cherries.

Blueberries burn fat and have also been found to boost memory, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and even cure urinary tract infections. Scientists at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas have learned a half-cup of blueberries can fend off food cravings (not the good kind) for four hours, helping you effortlessly shed 5% of your body weight in just six months. Blueberries contain chemicals that stabilize blood sugar, making you less hungry. And blueberry’s plant compounds help burn foods as fuel rather than store them as you-know-what.

Watermelon lulls you to sleep. Late summer sunsets combined with heat make summer the biggest time for insomnia, but watermelon will come to the rescue. Australian researchers have found that a cup of watermelon two hours before bedtime helped subjects fall asleep twice as fast as those who didn’t consume watermelon. Watermelon contains chemicals that speed up the production of tryptophan and serotonin, two compounds that induce sleep in the brain. Scientists at the National Institute of Health have found that eating a few slices can even prevent nighttime awakenings and extend the deepest stage of sleep by 27%.

Melons are Mother Nature’s original multivitamin. Whether you’re buying orange, green, or red, all types are chock-full of nutrients. Take watermelon. It’s a bountiful source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. Cantaloupe (45 calories per cup) is packed with C plus betacarotene–the same stuff that gives carrots their bright orange color and makes them so good for your eyes. As for honeydew, it has a heaping supply of folate, a mineral that’s essential for good reproductive health (both his and hers). Other fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and pack high nutritional value. These “wet,” filling foods help us lose weight. Broccoli, cabbage, grapefruit, lettuce, radishes, and spinach are 90% water.

Do you enjoy coleslaw? Cabbage is near the top of the National Cancer Institute’s list of cancer-fighting food because of its natural detoxifying agents. In lab studies, the compounds in cabbage actually prevented precancerous cells from growing and multiplying. Studies show that the vegetable lowers blood levels of cancerous-causing synthetic hormones in as little as five days. One cup of coleslaw (or a wedge of cabbage served another way) slashes your risk of stomach cancer by 52% and breast cancer by more than 60%.

Want a list of eDiet’s top ten power foods? Here they are, according to nutritional researchers in alphabetical order: apples, asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, fish, nuts, oranges, and tea.

Is our refrigerator at the center of our home? Contents of a Fit Fridge are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fresh fruits and veggies are a delicious way to get our RDAs. Shoot for 5 to 9 servings per day. Unlike refined “white” carbs, whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can get your protein from fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, and dairy products. There are other options out there for vegetarians and vegans—cube some tofu, put it in a veggie stir fry, and serve it over brown rice for a complete protein duo. Your car runs better on the right fuel, and so do we. With the right foods in the fridge, we have a lessened tendency to reach for a bag of chips and can of sugary soda. In our house, those items aren’t here. Neither are the quick food fixes that come prepackaged and laden with salt, sugar, saturated fat and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. In life (as in sports), the best defense is a good offense.

Try making grocery lists by typing them into the computer, using time-saving headings such as produce, frozen foods, canned goods, breads and cereals. When you’re ready to go shopping, hit the print button, and off you go with your list. At the store, read labels. Some peanut butters contain partially hydrogenated oils and diglycerides. Look for brands that say natural and contain only peanuts and (a little) salt. For other canned, bottled and packaged foods, if you don’t recognize an ingredient or know where it comes from, don’t buy it. Think of unknown ingredients as foreign objects your parents warned you not to swallow.

Do you ever wonder what Europeans think about us in health terms? According to a study by Dutch and British scientists, who compared Americans and Europeans, we (Americans) are not considered lazy. In fact, we are admired for how we work out. But Europeans think we eat too much. Unless we can push ourselves away from the table, losing weight is nearly impossible even with exercise.

Biochemist Paul A. Stitt writes that Americans eat more hydrogenated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and butter fat than any other group on the planet. While consuming more sugar and artificial sweeteners, Americans also experience more episodes of acute hunger; many Americans eat eleven times a day. Therefore, they grab something sweet to give them instant energy. Stitt’s studies revealed that Americans also consume less fiber and less omega-3, an essential fatty acid, than any other nation. And Americans do less physical work per day. We ride more and walk less than other people. “Could it be this combination that is fattening up Americans?” he asks.

Scientists have recently discovered that fat consumed by most people is deposited on their bodies without being metabolized. If one’s favorite fat is from dairy products, one’s body is loaded with butter fat. If it’s beef fat, one’s body is loaded with tallow. If it’s margarine or shortening (same thing), one’s body is loaded down with hydrogenated fats. The main problem with these fats, Paul Stitt believes, is that the human body has almost lost its ability to burn them.

Unless one is starving and nearly all glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is burned up, the human body won’t burn these types of fat. Most Americans don’t like feeling starved for hours while their body is burning stored saturated fat. Therefore, they grab something sweet to give them instant energy. In America, nearly all sweet foods are fabricated with high levels of saturated fats. With a little rise in energy, people repeat this cycle of eating sweets when hungry. Fat is deposited on hips and waists at a hefty rate.

This doesn’t apply to you! You’re getting your body back. Should you want a sleek black dress, you will wear one well. Not only will you turn heads, you’ll feel attractive; choosing the right foods starts us on a sensuous path. There’s a lighthearted sensation that takes place in our brains when we’re in tune with what we want.

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Having a goal to eat healthfully and lose weight is all well and good. But unless it’s personalized, even the best dietary plan is destined to fail. Don’t expect too much of yourself.

You will lose weight if you control calories. To keep it real, take a look at your life and figure out what will and won’t work for you. Are you too busy to cook dinner on week nights? Set aside a few hours each weekend to shop and prepare meals that you can enjoy throughout the week. If you cook a turkey breast, you can slice, package, and use it many ways. Whip up a few of your favorite healthful recipes on weekends and freeze them to enjoy during your busy workweek. Spend a lot of time on the road? Devise calorie-saving strategies that are simple and flexible, such as going online before leaving home to case out the healthy restaurant scene at your destination. For salads, ask to have dressing served on the side. Ask that the restaurant not serve you bread. If you have a mini-fridge, you can save half of your dinner for lunch the next day.

Sometimes when people are trying hard to lose weight, they get stuck on rerun meals. We wouldn’t want to watch the same TV episode week after week. Yet when people embark on a weight-loss journey, many end up eating the same “safe” low-calorie foods such as yogurt for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and grilled chicken breast and vegetables for dinner every night. Not only do carbon-copy meals lead to food cravings, bingeing, and weight gain, but too little variety can deprive you of valuable phytochemicals and nutrients. Over time, the boredom of few foods is not satisfying. There is one exception, and that is breakfast. We need to be able to put together a balanced, hassle-free meal with our eyes closed. Still, without a lot of thought, we can mix and match a few high-fiber cereals with more fruit variety and a dollop of yogurt. But definitely change what you eat at lunch and dinner. Consider changing where you eat as well. If the weather is nice, eating outside is enjoyable.

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