HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- April Recipes
- April Exercise
- The Best and Worst Juices for Your Health
- Defensive Barriers and Rationalizations
April Recipes - Click Here
April is coming in, maybe not quite like a lamb, more like an angry water buffalo!! Well, two can play that game, so we decided that if the weather wants to play with us, we'll play too! So, this month we celebrate with a crazy, off-the-wall menu that reminds us it's April Fool's Day!!!! We take your favorite comfort foods and turn them into an April Fool's trick that will have the whole family, especially the kids, racing for the dinner table!! We also serve up a luscious smoothie full of the best spring berries and fruit packed full of good-for-you nutrition!! Careful not to eat dessert first - or maybe it's more fun that way!!! LOL Enjoy this menu with your loved ones and Happy April Fool's Day!!!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
April Exercises - Click Here
Each month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
The Best and Worst Juices for Your Health
Who doesn't enjoy a tall, cool glass of juice? The color is vibrant, the taste sweet, and it's good for you, too. Not so fast, say some dietitians. Although the best kinds of juice deliver a bounty of vitamins, the worst are hardly better than liquid candy. This will help you spot the difference.
Best Choice: Vegetable Juice
Drinking your veggies is a convenient way to add powerful plant-based nutrients to your diet. The lycopene in tomato juice appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Beet juice may reduce blood pressure. Pulpy vegetable juice is also packed with fiber that can help control hunger. And all of these benefits come without a catch. Vegetable juice has far less sugar and fewer calories than the typical fruit juice, but it is high in sodium unless you choose the low salt version.
Worst Choice: Juice 'Cocktails'
Be on alert for the terms juice cocktail, juice-flavored beverage, or juice drink. Most of these products contain only small amounts of real juice. The main ingredients are usually water and some type of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Nutritionally, these drinks are similar to most soft drinks — rich in sugar and calories, but low in nutrients. Research suggests that sugary fruit drinks put kids at risk for obesity and related health problems. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends water over sugary drinks.
The 100% Fruit Juice Dilemma
What about pure fruit juice with no added sweeteners? Such an innocent-sounding drink has sparked endless debate. No one disputes the fact that real fruit juice is loaded with vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants. The problem is juice can also be naturally high in sugar and calories. A cup of pure apple juice can have as much sugar as some candy bars. That's why many experts recommend sticking to one juice serving per day.
Good Choice: Pomegranate Juice
If you're only going to drink one glass of juice each day, you want to make it a good one. So let's explore which juices offer the biggest nutritional payoff per sip. Pomegranate juice tops the list. It's high in sugar and calories, but delivers an abundant dose of antioxidants. These substances appear to protect brain function and may ward off cancer. In one study, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily reduced the recurrence of prostate cancer.
Good Choice: Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is packed with vitamin C, which is vital to a healthy immune system. There is also evidence to support a folk remedy -- drinking unsweetened cranberry juice may help reduce your risk of urinary tract infections.
Good Choice: Blueberry Juice
Substances in blueberries may help keep the brain healthy. In a small study, researchers looked at the effect of blueberry juice on memory in adults in their seventies who had age-related memory decline. Those who drank 2 1/2 cups of blueberry juice for 12 weeks had significant improvement on learning and memory tests compared to those who drank a non-juice beverage. So choose blueberry juice to boost brain health.
Good Choice: Acai Berry Juice
Researchers have only begun looking into the health benefits of acai juice, which is made from a berry found in South America. But early studies are promising. Acai pulp appears to have a higher concentration of antioxidants than cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
Good Choice: Cherry Juice
Besides delivering a wealth of antioxidants, some berry juices appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. According to one study, drinking cherry juice before and after your work-out can reduce exercise-induced muscle pain.
Good Choice: Red Grape Juice
We've all heard that red wine, in moderation, can be good for the heart. The same is true of red grape juice. Red grape juice contains potent antioxiodants -- flavanoids and resveratrol. The key is that wine and juice are made with the entire grape -- seeds, skin, and all. When you eat fresh grapes, you miss out on nutrients hiding in the seeds.
Good Choice: Prune Juice
Another viable folk remedy, prune juice has long been recommended to relieve constipation. It works because it's extremely high in fiber and contains a natural laxative called sorbitol. But the benefits of prune juice don't stop there. The juice is also packed with antioxidants, iron, and potassium.
What About Orange Juice?
It's a staple at breakfast, but does this popular juice carry its weight? The good news is orange juice is loaded with vitamin C, a star for its immune-boosting benefits. In addition, orange juice is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, nutrients that strengthen the bones. Unsweetened orange juice has fewer calories than some berry juices or grape juice. The trade-off is that it also has fewer antioxidants overall.
Kids and Juice
Most children love juice, but the American Academy of Pediatrics has set clear guidelines on how much is too much. For kids younger than 6, the AAP recommends no more than 4 to 6 ounces of pure fruit juice per day. For ages 7 to 18, the suggested amount is 8 to 12 ounces.
Water It Down
If you or your kids crave more than a single cup of juice per day, try watering it down. By mixing water or sparkling water and juice, you slash the calories in every serving. Instead of drinking one glass of pure juice, you can enjoy two or three cups of the water-juice mixture throughout the day.
Go for Whole Fruit
Dietitians say a great alternative to guzzling fruit juice is to eat the whole fruit. This provides fiber and additional nutrients from the flesh and pulp. Unlike juice, fresh berries or orange wedges also help control hunger.
Submitted by: Maria Albus
Defensive Barriers and Rationalizations
If life were as simple as a game of basketball or hockey, I might say that success depends on simply keeping an eye on the puck (or ball). What is it that allows us to take our eye off our desire for successful weight loss? We all have that wish, or hope, to lose a certain amount of weight so that we can look better or feel better about ourselves. Yet, in a flash, our minds come up with some pretty 'acceptable' rationalizations.
Look at some of the following and see if they sound familiar.
- "I deserve this; I've been good all day."
- "My life is so crazy, I only have time for fast food."
- "It's a shame to waste food."
- "It's Friday night."
- "I'm so exhausted; I can't handle cooking."
- "I paid for it, I'm eating it."
- "I need wine with dinner every night because it helps me de-stress."
- "I'll make it up tomorrow at the gym."
- "It would be rude not to eat it after she made it."
- "It's no big deal."
- "It's Saturday."
Do any of these ring true?
For starters, awareness is essential. Since our defensive barriers undermine our ability to change old habits, recognizing them is a fundamental step toward lasting success. It's impossible to do any weight loss program successfully without coming face-to-face with your defensive barriers. If they go unrecognized, they will prevent you from achieving your goals, and you may never know why you failed.
Exercise thought control. You consciously will learn to recognize a negative or unproductive thought and immediately replace it with a positive and productive one. If you're thinking, "It's Friday, I can eat what I want after a hard week," substitute that thought with a conscious statement such as: "I want to be lean, and every day when I make conscious choices, I'm getting closer to my goal. So, I'll watch my portions and not give into that 'Friday syndrome'."
Always understand that you are in control of your thinking. Develop a strong dialogue with yourself. The 'old you' will react to food situations with immediate impulse. The 'new you' will begin to think about whether or not you really need that food. You will learn to choose better portions, make healthier choices, and listen to what is important for you, and not what others determine is important for you.
Become your own cheerleader! This is your journey, and each small success empowers you.
You can do it. Keep on trying and never give up.
Written by: Dr Doug