Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eating with a Purpose-Energy

There are various foods and vitamins that help build energy because there is nothing worse than feeling tired.

Cabbage, spinach, and broccoli definitely contribute to energy. They are high in vitamins B12, B6, and iron, all of which contribute to energy. As a matter of fact, deficiencies in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia. Leafy vegetable also contribute to energy.
Anything containing wheat and barley are going to contribute to energy. Most athletes eat pasta and food items high in these ingredients before competing. A caveat to these types of foods is that they should be eaten in moderation. If you consume too much, you will bulk up or gain weight.

Chicken is high in protein and contribute to energy. Liver is high in iron, which also contributes to energy. Fish such as flounder and sole are high in vitamins B12 and B6 and are great energy boosters.

Some of the high energy fruits are pineapples, bananas, and strawberries.
It is always a good idea to use vitamin supplements for energy. Vitamin C and E, Thiamin, and Vitamins B6 and B12 contribute to energy. Folate, Calcium, and Iron also help build energy.

Fruits and vegetables also contain Vitamin A (beta carotene) and C, both of which contain cartenoids and antioxidants. Cartenoids can also be found in dark leafy vegetables, carrots, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Additional sources of Vitamin C are strawberries, oranges, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes. It is always best to lightly steam your vegetables. The closer they are to being raw, the higher their nutritional value.

Recipes for building energy

This meal has very high nutritional value. I cooked this meal for the purpose of improving my energy level after surviving a severe cold. The flounder and broccoli are very high in vitamins B12 and B6. Both vitamins are great for building energy, especially for those who are anemic, like me. Flounder is low in saturated fat. Rice pilaf also has vitamin c, folate, and iron, all of which contribute to energy.

Oven-Fried Flounder

1 pound of flounder
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon of paprika
¼ teaspoon of seasoning salt
6 tablespoons of Progresso Italian-Style Crispy Bread Crumbs
2 splashes of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
2 tablespoons of minced onions
1 splash of white wine vinegar

Lay flounder on a flat surface. Coat with mayonnaise on both sides. Lightly splash white wine vinegar and Italian dressing onto fish. Combine bread crumbs, paprika, seasoning salt, and minced onions in a wide, flat bowl. Press fish into crumb mixture in order to coat both sides. Place on a non-stick baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes about four servings.

Broccoli Supreme

3 to 4 small stalks of broccoli
1 cup of Swanson chicken broth
3 tablespoons of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing
2 tablespoons of minced onions
½ cup of chopped white onion
¼ teaspoon of seasoning salt

Place broccoli in a saucepan. Stir together the chicken broth, Italian dressing, minced inions, and onions. Add to the broccoli. Pour seasoning salt into saucepan over the broccoli mixture. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Copyright©2009 by Pamela Jewell

Eating with a Purpose-Lower Blood Pressure

According to the Kaiser Permanente Health wise Handbook, doctors rate blood pressure using the following categories:
Normal is below 130 over 85
High normal is 130-139 over 85-90
High is over 140 over 90

Why all the concern about blood pressure? Well, high blood pressure can be a silent killer. Many times there aren’t any symptoms associated with high blood pressure. Unfortunately, this has resulted in unnecessary and preventable deaths.

High blood pressure, in and of itself, is not a disease. It can lead to diseases such as, heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, kidney and liver disease. Risks of these diseases become rarer in those maintaining a blood pressure below 120 over 80.

How can you prevent high blood pressure? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol consumption will increase blood pressure. People who drink alcohol should do so in moderation. Moderate alcohol use for women is one or fewer drinks per day and for men it is two or fewer drinks per day.

It is also important to maintain a healthy weight. A person who has a BMI or body mass index of 30 or higher are considered obese and should lose weight to decrease their chances of developing high blood pressure. You can have your BMI measured at most fitness and health clubs free of charge.

Physical activity and exercise can tremendously lower blood pressure. Consider exercising on a regular basis. A brisk 30 minute walk on a daily basis or three to five times a week can significantly lower blood pressure. Also, it is important to reduce your intake of salt. You can creatively substitute salt with a mixture of cayenne pepper, onion powder, sage, parsley and garlic powder. You can mix these spices together in a salt shaker. Improving your diet will also lower your blood pressure. Foods high in saturated fats, such as, milk, cheese, and meat and fried food can increase your blood pressure. Replace these foods with fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain foods.

Last, but not least, stop smoking. When you decrease your smoking, you will decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke.

If you ever have concerns about your blood pressure, you can discreetly go to any drug store or grocery store and use their machine to determine your blood pressure. I have measured my blood pressure in pharmacy and grocery stores. Also, many drug stores have convenience care clinics. They have a nurse or physician’s assistant on staff that can diagnose and prescribe medicine for $50 - $75.

List of Sources:
Donald W. Kemper, Kaiser Permanente Health wise handbook: A Self-care Guide for You and Your Family, 1997, Healthwise, Incorporated, Boise, Idaho

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing and Controlling High Blood Pressure

©2009 by Pamela Jewell

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Eating with a Purpose-Weight loss

“How to get fit, increase your metabolism, and lose weight without going crazy!”

Use these techniques to get fit whether you are preparing for a wedding, holiday, vacation, or any season.
By Pamela Jewell, M.Ed., Ed.S., Educator and Nutrition Expert
©2009 by Pamela Jewell

How about those fabulous bike rides in the park! What about grilling barbeque on the deck? Are you down for a little surfing and tanning on the beach? How about a nice hike in the mountains? Not only do we want to enjoy the warm summer and fall months that are rapidly approaching, we want to look like we are enjoying them.

I have never been one to acknowledge or accept the idea of dieting. The true meaning of dieting is counting and managing your calories for a specific amount of time in order to reach a target weight goal. This concerns me because it is temporary. What happens when you resume your normal eating habits? You gain weight!

I believe in making a complete paradigm in the way we think about food. You can do this by establishing good eating habits. Why not start a habit of consuming 500-600 calories for breakfast instead of 1,500? If you replace muffins, bagels, pancakes, sausage, grits and bacon with fruit, turkey bacon, cottage cheese, grain cereal, or yogurt, you will probably find yourself 10 pounds lighter on breakfast alone. Do the same for lunch and dinner and lose an additional 10-20 pounds. Instead of ordering French fries at a fast food restaurant, replace them with a side salad. It is also a good idea to trade in hamburgers for grilled chicken sandwiches. Wait until you add exercise into the equation.

Exercise for thirty minutes per day, four to five times a week and watch additional pounds drop. Of course, this takes determination and discipline. Yet, habits are habits. Once you get used to a routine of eating certain foods, it becomes second nature. Weight management not only helps you look better, but helps you feel better. You will begin to notice an increase in energy and an improvement in health.

It is important to monitor the amount of cholesterol you consume. Diets high in cholesterol can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Be sure to get a cholesterol screening on a regular basis. Eat fish at least twice a week, preferably those with darker flesh, such as, salmon, herring mackerel, and lake trout. They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood cholesterol.

It is also important to eat foods that will not contribute to high blood pressure. Limit your alcohol intake to less than two drinks per day, limit your salt intake, and reduce the saturated fat in your diet. Saturated fat can be found in animal products like milk, cheese, and meat. Let go of the cigarettes or tobacco products! Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Try nonfat yogurt, salsa, or nonfat sour cream instead of sour cream or butter on baked potatoes. Try substituting fresh vegetables and tomatoes sauce for creamy sauces, when eating pasta. Substitute basic breads and cereal grains for bagels, muffins, and croissants.

A diet high in fruits and vegetables will help you ward off cancer and other diseases because of the cancer-fighting agents contained in them. They contain a lot of fiber and a diet high in fiber decreases your risk of developing colon cancer and other types of cancer. Fruits and vegetables also contain Vitamin A (beta carotene) and C, both of which contain cartenoids and antioxidants. Cartenoids can also be found in dark leafy vegetables, carrots, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Additional sources of Vitamin C are strawberries, oranges, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes. It is always best to lightly steam your vegetables. The closer they are to being raw, the higher their nutritional value.

People have asked me how exercise can give you energy. It seems as though it takes your energy away because you utilize so much energy when you exercise. This is the farthest thing from the truth. The more you exercise and lose weight, the more energy you get and keep because you are carrying less weight, which takes less energy. The more you exercise, the more you are able to exercise.

After you get your weight to a manageable level, monitor or keep a close eye on it. Weigh yourself everyday. That way, you can take measures or do things to nip sudden weight gain. If you find yourself five or ten pounds heavier than your target weight, you should cut back immediately. It becomes a problem when we wait until we are 30, 60, or 100 pounds overweight. It can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when your weight gain has become too extreme.

It is a good idea to make a list of different ways to incorporate walking into your daily life. If you live near a metro transit station, drive there, park your car and ride the train and walk to work. If you are a new mother, get a stroller that will enable you to burn calories while you are walking your baby. Why not take the stairs, instead of the elevator? You would be surprised at how many calories you can burn by gardening, swimming, skating, hiking, and dancing. Believe it or not, you can have fun while losing weight.

Exercise, along with a positive attitude, and a healthy diet will help you to manage your weight and improve your health. Exercise does not have to be rigorous to be valuable. You will probably do yourself a disservice by exercising too hard. Take it easy. Just gradually build up your resistance to a manageable level. Always remember that if you can not talk and walk at the same time, then you are walking too fast.

If you have any of the following health problems, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
*Heart trouble
*Dizziness or faintness
*Chest pains
*High blood pressure

How to prepare food for a good diet and low calories:
*Eat Fish at least twice a week, preferable baked, broiled, or grilled. Reduce serving size to 2-3 ounces.
*To reduce fat, use lean poultry and fish, as well as, lean cuts of meat such as top and bottom round and tenderloin. Avoid second servings. Feel free to replace some meats with beans or grains.
*Eat at least three to five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit like kiwi, figs, apples, raspberries, and blueberries are high in fiber and nutrition. Vegetables such as, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, chili peppers, red bell peppers, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes have high nutritional value and are great anti-oxidants (contain cancer-fighting agents).
*Eat whole-grain, whole-wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, and cereals daily
*Eat cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils regularly
*Eat popcorn with no added oil, salt, or butter.
*Drink skim milk or 1% milk
*You should drink at least 24 ounces of water per day, especially since you will be exercising.
*Limit the oil you use for cooking
*Steam your vegetables or sauté using wine or a half teaspoon of oil
*Use herbs and spices for seasoning, instead of sauces and butter
*Salads should be eaten with fat-free dressing or a combination of red wine vinegar and oil
*Drink a glass of water in the morning when you wake
*Limit your consumption of lean, red meat to no more than four times per month

Following these tips can help improve overall health. It doesn’t matter if it is ten, twenty, forty, or seventy pounds, just get started! Weight loss should be slow and steady, while focusing on cutting calories and increasing exercise. It is important to refrain from overexerting yourself. Weight loss takes time. Be patient, persistent, and persevere so that you can start seeing results.
©2009 by Pamela Jewell