Tag Archives: healthy

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I love chia seeds! They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to raise HDL cholesterol. HDL is the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium.  I add them to pancakes and baked goods, I sprinkle over cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.  Sprinkle over salads for a slight crunch and make pudding!

The chia seed is nutrient dense and packs a punch of energy boosting power!  The reason Chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
  • Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
  • Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
  • Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
  • Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
  • Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
  • Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)

Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe:

This recipe is sugar free, but if you prefer you can sub real maple syrup or honey for Walden Farm Maple Syrup.

  • 2 cups of Organic lite coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup organic chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • Fresh chunks of pineapple
  • pinch of cinnamon powder
  • fresh berries

* add stevia to taste, if not sweet enough.

How to Make:

  1. Blend milk base with cinnamon in a blender.
  2. Stir in chia seeds with milk mixture and allow to soak for at least 2 hours.  For best plumpness, soak overnight.  I enjoy the flavor more when it’s cool.
  3. Fold in fresh pineapple chunks and top with desired amount of berries.  Add a sprig of mint if desired.

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8 Principles of A Healthy Lifestyle

Here’s a great read by Mark Occhipinti, Ph.D.

https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/8-principles-healthy-lifestyle?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email

The benefits of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle can save your life. There are so many positive reasons to change the way you eat. You will lose body fat, increase your energy, lower your risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, have more energy, have a better sex life-all true and attainable by following 8 simple principles:

Eating Whole Unprocessed Foods

1. Eating whole unprocessed foods provides an abundance of nutrients that strengthens our body’s immune system and protect us from chemicals in the environment. Reducing the risks of degenerative diseases, will save us money, now and in the long run. Just think –if you are not sick you do not need medications, frequent doctor visits, hospital stays, etc.

Fresh Foods

2. Vitamin supplements are not the answer for good health-eating good food is! Vitamins can be beneficial in certain instances, but they can never take the place of eating , fresh organic whole foods that contain not only the vitamin/mineral of the specific supplement in the bottle, but hundreds to thousands of nutrients that work together synergistically to support the human body.

Plant Foods

3. There are virtually no nutrients in animal foods that are not supplied more healthfully in plant based foods. Plant foods contain fiber for healthy colon, animal products do not. Plant foods contain dramatically more anti-oxidants than animal foods. Plant foods are either absent or very low in cholesterol and for the most part fat. Animal foods cannot make that claim. There are those who state that plant based foods contain little if any vitamin B12, versus animal foods that contain much higher levels. According to Dr. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study” states that American’s contain a 3 year supply of vitamin B12. It is very easy to add a supplement of vitamin B12 to assure yourself of maintaining healthy levels of this important vitamin.

Cancer

4. Genes alone do not determine whether or not you will develop disease-especially cancer! One in three Americans according to the American Cancer Society will develop cancer in their lifetime. According to current projections by the National Institute of Health, cancer will soon surpass heart disease as the number one killer in the United States. The “war” on cancer has it had been coined by President Richard Nixon in 1971 has for the most part been an abject failure. There is great news however-instead of trying to find a specific gene to “shut it off”, as many cancer researchers are doing today, we could just never turn it on. The research from The China Study clearly demonstrates cancer genes that are not expressed [not actually cancer cells], can remain biochemically dormant in the absence of animal proteins-specifically casein [from dairy products]. And in the case where the cancer genes have developed into cancer-the cancer can be reversed with a chance to a plant based diet.

There are several excellent books to help individuals in understanding cancer and taking ownership of the disease instead of putting their lives in the hands of oncologists –who will use the standard treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and then expensive drugs with many side-effects.

Nutrition Can Substantially Control Adverse Effects of Chemicals

5. We are all exposed to noxious chemicals-in the workplace and there is the potential to face them daily in our homes. Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of these chemicals. We may not be able to avoid exposure to chemicals that can damage the normal genes in our body turning them into cancer genes, however through a diet rich in anti-oxidants derived from a plant-based diet we can keep these damaged “cancer” genes dormant for our entire lives by eating whole foods [fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes].

Chronic Disease

6. Chronic disease does not happen over-night. Quite simply one hamburger or batch of chicken wings will not cause a heart attack. However daily doses of artery clogging animal fat over time will cause the dreaded diseases that cut short millions of Americans lives pre-maturely. In The China Study, Dr. Campbell has demonstrated that the same good plant-based nutrition that can prevent disease in its early stages [before diagnosis] can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages [after diagnosis] by switching to a plant-based diet. One of the most profound discoveries associated with a change in diet is in the area of auto-immune diseases.

Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis were and are by many in the health field to be irreversible, and that the best that can be down is slow the progression with drugs.

The evidence of a change in diet from an animal based to plant-based diet has been demonstrated by Dr. Roy Swank at John Hopkins University, Dr. Neil Bernard, at Physicians for Responsible Medicine is exciting, and gives great hope for those American’s suffering from these and other debilitating diseases.

Books

7. There is no specific magic bullet single nutrient that will cure, or prevent diseases. However, there are many books on diet or taking specific supplements without addressing over-all eating habits for sale today. Instead of seeking out a specific diet for a specific disease, switching to a plant-based diet will benefit the body and reduce all chronic disease developments across the board. The Campbell is quoted; +Quite simply, you can maximize health and reduce disease across the board with one simple diet.+

Everything is Connected

8. Good Nutrition creates good health, and everything is connected. Disease knows no barriers, the rich, poor, highly educated, famous all suffer needlessly from diseases caused by the choice made when it comes to diet. Instead of worrying about identifying a single gene among the hundreds of thousands in the human body, we could all +collectively relax, take a deep breath+ as Dr. Campbell states and realize that good health and avoidance is at the end of our fork.
It sounds so simplistic-preventing and reversing disease by changing our diet. It IS! The science is there to prove a change to a plant-based diet will change our lives. The only groups that will not be happy will be drug companies, and those industries that push animal products. We as Americans can take control of our lives and our health by simply eating a healthy whole foods plant-based diet. What do you have to lose?

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A Cup Of Tea Warms Your Heart And More!

I get up early to workout most mornings, before my kids get up.  Then my day often feels like its pace is a dead-run.  Around 4:00 PM, my energy begins to wane.  Coincidently, that’s usually the time my children complete their homework.  What I enjoy at that time, is a cup of hot tea, and to just ‘be’ for a few moments.  Decompress.  Hear about the stories of the day, and recharge my batteries.  

An added bonus is the health benefits tea provides:

  • Tea contains antioxidants. Oolong and Green tea provide this.
  • Tea may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. A study found a nearly 20% reduction in a risk of heart attack and a 35% reduced risk of stroke around people who drank1-3 cups of green tea per day. *
  • A Japanese study found that tea can decrease tooth loss due to a positive balance of pH in your mouth
  • Herbal teas are known to assist in better digestive functions. I use Dandelion tea for this purpose.
  • Iced brewed tea if enjoyed without adding sugars or sweeteners is calorie free!  I brew, then chill blends of green and Oolong tea every day instead of soda.

Sample Teas

I recently tried several varieties from Adagio.com through their sampling offerings. The Peach Oolong and fragrant and satisfying.  I love that they provide info on the levels of caffeine and the temperature and steep times for optimal enjoyment for each kind.

Tea is Good for the Heart & Reduces Cancer

American Dietetic Association Spokeswoman, Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD boldly says, “There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea. It has less caffeine than coffee, and the compounds in tea-their flavonoids- are good for the heart and reduce cancer.”  For me though, it’s not just about the tea, but the life-experience of enjoying a quiet moment with my family.

*www.today.com/series/one-small-things/top-10-health-benefits-drinking-tea

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Could Biodynamic Farming Be Better For You & Your Community?!

Just when you thought you were well versed in healthy eating terms, they throw another food label into the mix to keep things interesting!  

Biodynamic describes a sustainable farming method that looks at the farm itself as a ‘living organism’.  This means that the growing site is self-sustaining, self-contained and follows the cycles of nature, explains Elizabeth Candelario, managing director of Demeter, the global certification program for biodynamic farms and products.  She explains that biodynamics builds on the organic protocols, but then takes the measuring bar a bit further.  It guides how the farms are managed, based on the natural rhythms of each plot of land.

Another critical element to this healthy growing style is that 10% of the total acreage must be set aside for biodiversity including sustaining and improving pollination health. (Bees blog).  It considers protection of endangered species, wildlife and diverse life forms to be a priority (cleaneating.com– Jan/Feb 2017).  

The drive behind this style of farming is protection of the land, and growing more flavorful produce and fruits while protecting the environment. Caldelario explains that ” the healthier the soil, the healthier the food, the healthier the person, the healthier the planet.”

This is the seal that denotes farming this way, and you can find farmers who are certified at biodynamicfood.org.  Ask your grocer to carry their products for the better health of your family and your community.

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Sugar! Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?.pngI became more aware of the dangers of high sugar intake in American diets when I began blogging 6 years ago, and made diabetes a platform issue for my website, PaulasHealthyLiving.com. Our nation’s sugar habit is a driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the US and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s according to The New York Times (January 1, 2017).

The questions is, if it takes three weeks to change a habit, could you go four weeks without added sweeteners?

I challenged myself with this concept after a doctor asked me to remove maladextrin, a sugar substitute, to help with stomach issues I was experiencing.  It’s a daunting task, but it could help you reset your sugar taste buds.

Sugar comes with many different names:

If you begin looking at ingredient lists, you may be shocked how frequently you will see these names within the first 3-4 names on ingredients lists. The higher they are on the lists, the more there is in the product.  See the level of sugar in commonly consumed drinks and products across the nation.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for women, and 36 grams per day for men.

A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams.

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?You may find yourself reevaluating a lot of the ‘healthy’ foods you regularly consumed previously like

  • granola or packaged cereals which predominantly contain added sugars
  • processed orange juice
  • flavored yogurt
  • pizza sauce
  • sugar free snacks

One effort to assist in this challenge would be cooking, and therefore, controlling your own food.  

If you buy it from outside aisles of the grocery, instead of the inside aisles, it more likely to help you in your quest.

What you will find at the end of the experiment is the pure taste in things such as

  • honey crisp apples
  • oranges
  • sweet red peppers and
  • many other foods

I’m not an advocate of all-or-nothing diet plans, and a bit of 80% cocoa dark chocolate makes my heart sing in the afternoon sometimes, but you will realize a renewed, sensitive set of taste buds that have been dulled by processed foods.

It’s an awakening to the beauty and amazing nature of natural food items and improved health is a bonus!

Paul Maier, Contributing Editor for Indian Hill Connection Magazine

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Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame- Are There Any Healthy Sweeteners?

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener -alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

You will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packages products.  You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low calorie ice cream, and diet candies but would you expect them in fat free salad dressings, high fiber cereals, ketchup or breads? When you add it up in this product, that lunch, this snack; it turns out to accumulate.

It’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, supra lose, neotame. The names of ‘natural’ sweeteners such as Stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract and sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol.  When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients.  All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)which question the impact all these additives on a bodies’ long term health.

Do they help you lose weight or crave sugar more?  One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake.  Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?  Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet.  Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, Sucralose or saccharin. I personally had an doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, states that American ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.

Paula Maier
www.paulashealthyliving.com

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Food Related Ideas to Help You Meet Your Goals

Making healthy changes to achieve weight or fitness goals or due to health concerns can be paralyzing for many people. I encourage the people that I consult with in one-on-one counseling to look for small changes that you can make on a weekly basis. Most people do not succeed with their New Year’s resolutions, because they create unattainable goals.

Let’s come up with food-related ideas that are reachable and doable for the typical person:

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Can a FitBit Make Me Thinner? A Holiday Gift Idea!

Everyone is looking for a way to reduce their weight and be healthier. One of the hottest holiday gifts this year was the FitBit health tracker. My 13 year old son Nick received one and I have noticed him being more mindful of eating sugar and staying active. He said that “It’s made working out and exercising fun and easy.  Almost like a game, and your opponent is yourself.”

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Fill your fall with pumpkin recipes

You need a little something on this beautiful fall day 🙂 My team and I have put together a free recipe e book by guest writer-Trisha DeHall.

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Iced Coffee: How to Get Your Low Cal Fix at Home

When trying to mange your weight and health goals many people try to change the way that they eat from fried restaurant food, and processed store-bought food to manage fat, sugar and salt.  But, hot and iced coffee shop specialty drinks can cost you a pretty penny and end up being a calorie-bomb!

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