Top 9 Superfoods For Looking Good, Feeling Great & Losing Weight

The Superfine 9! …nine of the most nutritionally valuable foods you can buy.

Reposted from MindBodyGreen: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9172/my-top-9-superfoods-for-looking-good-feeling-great-losing-weight.html

Here’s a great list of superfoods for losing weight, boosting immunity and increased energy…make it an “eating strategy” for life.  What makes them super? Few calories, low in sugar and salt, plus lots of soluble fiber, nutrients, and health-boosting phytochemicals. I love #3!

1. Blueberries

Blueberries
Tasty, sweet and packed with disease-fighting phytochemicals, flavonoids and soluble fiber, blueberries have the power to help prevent serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure. In sum, blueberries are miraculous! They also help tame inflammation throughout the body and can reduce “bad” cholesterol – so dig in for better health.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy Greens
What’s so amazing about the leafys is that calorie for calorie, they deliver more nutrients than just about any other food on the planet. Loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, leafy greens stock your body with the artillery needed to fight off potential killers like heart disease and cancer. Simply put: leafys benefit virtually every cell you’ve got!
My favorite leafy greens are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard, and dandelion greens because they’re nutritious AND delicious. You can toss them into virtually anything to boost nutrition, but be sure to give them a good rinse first. Raw or cooked, on their own or added to smoothies, omelets and sauces, leafys add health-sustaining doses of vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium and calcium to every meal. For an easy added boost, try greens powder in your smoothies.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate
Dairy-free chocolate, in moderation, is a delicious treat that actually does a body good. It can help elevate mood, improve blood flow and even lower blood pressure. It helps reduce inflammation and LDL “bad cholesterol,” and it’s loaded with antioxidants, which can help prevent cell damage, degenerative diseases and even cancer – all of which is good news for chocolate lovers.
Keep in mind though, chocolate’s numerous health benefits are not a license to set up camp in the candy aisle. You have to manage your “dose,” keeping yours to a modest 1 ounce serving a few times a week. To maximize chocolate’s benefits, look for high-quality, dairy-free dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa – and enjoy!

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables
Want to lower your cancer risk? Put the cruciferous on your list, namely broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and bok choy. Research suggests cruciferous veggies have the ability to inhibit the growth of some types of cancer cells and even stop others by reducing the production of free radicals.
How to stuff more of cruciferous veggies into your diet? Don’t wait ‘til dinner, start your day with them – try cruciferous veggies at breakfast with a delicious Brussles sprouts hash – and put more healthy nutrients on your plate first thing, at the start of your day.

5. Beans

Beans
Dense and delicious, beans help raise levels of the hormone leptin, which curbs appetite. They also deliver a powerful combination of B vitamins, calcium, potassium and folate. All of this good stuff will help maintain healthy brain, cell and skin function, and even helps to reduce blood pressure and stroke risk. Pretty amazing, eh? To increase your intake, trying eating beans as a filling side-dish instead of bread or potatoes. They’ll help keep you feeling fuller longer and deliver an excellent source of sugar-free energy through much of your day. (Note: avoid beans if you are on a strict Paleo diet – Mike)

6. Walnuts

Walnuts
Walnuts — you don’t need to eat a lot of them to tap into their power. Just a small handful a day will deliver a healthy dose of omega-3s, alpha-linolenic acid, melatonin, copper, manganese and the hard-to-find gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E, which helps protect your heart. Walnuts on your plate may also protect your brain and help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Not a nut fan? Then try adding chopped walnuts to cereal or fruit, or blend in 2 tablespoons of organic walnut butter to fruit smoothies. Either way, you’ll still reap the benefits of the mighty walnut. For a delicious salad that double dips on the Superfine 9, try a strawberry spinach salad topped with walnuts!

7. Avocado

Avocado
Don’t be afraid of an avocado because you think it’s fattening! The often overlooked avocado is a delicious, creamy superfood that’s simply too health-boosting to skip. The myriad of healthy fats and nutrients found in avocados – oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione among them – can help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.
Avocados also taste great and are easily integrated into any meal – or even a fruit smoothie. Add a half an avocado to smoothies for a creamy texture and a powerful nutritional boost, or enjoy an avocado half as a nutritious “side” to your morning omelet instead of potatoes or toast.
(see my other great posts for other positive mentions about Avocados…they might be the perfect food – Mike)

8. Salmon

Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is a rich source of protein, vitamin D, selenium, B2, B3, B6, B12 and those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. So exactly what can wild salmon offer you? Quite a bit, including protection from cancer, cardiovascular problems, macular degeneration, depression and cognitive decline – that’s a lot of pluses in a pretty compact package. The best salmon to buy? Wild caught, Alaskan salmon, which routinely ranks low in contaminants and high in nutrients. Wild salmon’s benefits start to kick in at about two servings a week, so there’s no need to overdo it.  (Note: see my recent posting on Salmon for some additional tips, watch-outs and environmental concerns. I love Salmon, but I might be eating less of it in the future – Mike)

9. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds
Chia seeds are tiny, nutritional dynamos – in fact, they’re the single richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids you can buy. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, protein and minerals, plus soluble and insoluble fiber to help keep your digestion moving in the right direction. What’s more, chia seeds have an unusual property – they swell to more than 5 times their weight in liquid, so adding a spoonful or two to meals will help you feel fuller faster.
How to eat ’em?  They’re virtually tasteless, so you can drop a spoonful or two into just about anything, including smoothies, sauces, soups and salads. But my favorite way to take advantage of this unusual superfood is to combine it with another superfood, i.e. chocolate, to dig into a serving of Chocolate Chia Pudding.
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About the Author

Dr. Frank Lipman is an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine. He is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, where for over 20 years his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life. Focused on sustainable wellness — instead of quick fixes — he offers patients a customized blend of Western medicine with acupuncture, nutritional counseling, vitamins and herbs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy and bodywork. In 2010 he developed Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman, a line of leading-edge supplements and health programs. He is the author of REVIVE: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again; and TOTAL RENEWAL; 7 key steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health. Visit his blog, follow him on or join his Facebook community today. Also check out Dr. Lipman’s MBG Video Course, 14-Day Detox.

5 Reasons You Should Stop Eating Salmon

By   David Robinson Simon
June 18, 2014 5:37 AM EDT
I thought I like’d salmon…but I’m going to cut-back and be more cautious, now that I’ve found this article by David Simon on MindBodyGreen – Mike
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If you eat fish for the health benefits, then you likely value salmon for its omega-3s and its supposed ability to boost brain function. In that case, sorry for the bad news, but recent research shows there’s a shadowy dark side to salmon.

My book Meatonomics explores the hidden forces at play in Americans’ high levels of consumption of fish and other animal foods. Salmon is particularly troubling because research shows that our obsession with this and other fish is causing catastrophic declines in marine ecosystems.

This article explores these and other problems with salmon, giving you five reasons to drop-kick the fish the way you might a false lover.

1. Salmon’s “health benefits” are a fish story.

Studies often praise salmon’s health benefits. But that’s just because salmon is healthier than other animal-based foods, particularly red meat. However, when research compares salmon to truly healthy alternatives like plant-based protein, which has no cholesterol, the fish comes up as short as a ship’s flag at half-mast.

Nutritionist John McDougall, MD, for example, warns salmon is “half fat” and says eating it increases the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes. And the USDA says ounce for ounce, salmon contains just as much cholesterol as hamburger. But wait … what about those healthy Omega-3s everyone seems to crave?

Unfortunately, research finds fish-based Omega-3s inhibit the action of insulin, thereby increasing blood sugar levels and aggravating diabetes. Another study shows fish-derived Omega-3s greatly increase the volume of colon cancer metastasis when compared to a low-fat diet. And forget salmon if you’re worried about bone density: the fish’s highly-acidic flesh speeds calcium loss and contributes to osteoporosis and kidney stones.

2. Down on the farm, things are even worse.

Of course, we’ve been talking about wild salmon, which is far healthier than its farmed cousin. But if you eat farmed salmon, you’re really asking for trouble.

Farm-raised salmon contains unhealthy levels of contaminants like PCBs, dioxins, and other chemicals that cause cancer and developmental problems in kids.

One study of US Salmon Consumption says “young children, women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, and nursing mothers” should avoid farmed salmon if they’re “concerned with health impairments such as reduction in IQ and other cognitive and behavioral effects.” Which makes one wonder: who isn’t concerned about such things?

3. Salmon takes a walk on the not-so-wild side.

If the concept was unclear before, now you know: farmed salmon is bad news. The problem is, sticking to wild-caught salmon is easier said than done.

With armadas of commercial fishing ships scouring the oceans, largely unregulated and driven by huge government subsidies, the last few decades have seen many of the planet’s wild salmon habitats decline or collapse like tents in a storm.

As a result, producers increasingly turn to aquaculture to meet demand. Today, four out of five forkfuls of salmon eaten in the U.S. come from fish farms. With numbers like these, it’s no big surprise that a New York Times investigation found three-quarters of fish stores pawning off farmed salmon as wild-caught.

One store had the nerve to charge $29 per pound for farmed salmon falsely labeled as wild.

Could this happen to you? Is it possible it already has? Yes and yes.

Fish farmers feed red foodstuffs to salmon to turn their flesh pink, which makes it impossible for consumers without a lab or a sophisticated palate to tell the difference between wild and farmed fish. Worse, it’s not just fish distributors and retailers who deceive us — the fish do it themselves.

One alarming study found that as a result of farmed fish escaping into the wild, up to 40% of supposedly wild-caught salmon studied were actually of farmed origin.

4. Salmon for the people means less for the animals.

There’s a lot of competition for food in the wild, and when humans eat salmon, we make it harder for other species to eat. Salmon is a “keystone species” — that is, it has a disproportionately large importance on its environment compared to its abundance. In regions where predators rely on salmon for their own survival, decreases in the salmon population cause predator populations to decline.

Thus, in the Pacific Northwest, one of a number of regions where wild salmon populations are struggling because of over-fishing and other human-caused problems, the sharp drop in salmon numbers is causing populations of bears, orcas and eagles to die off.

With one-third of the world’s commercial fishing grounds already in a state of collapse, and the rest headed there by mid-century, one person’s whimsical enjoyment of an occasional salmon steak can literally mean the difference between life and death for another animal.

5. Farming only makes overfishing worse.

Some urge fish farming as the solution to the problems of overfishing, but aquaculture only aggravates things. Salmon are predators who must eat other fish to survive, and it takes up to five pounds of prey fish like anchovies and herrings to produce one pound of salmon. As fish farmers around the world scoop up prey fish to feed their farmed animals, this lopsided math is damaging prey fish stocks everywhere.

One sobering report finds that aquaculture’s insatiable demand for prey fish is responsible for declining populations of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, tuna, bass, salmon, albatross, penguins, and other species.

“We have caught all the big fish and now we are going after their food,” said Margot Stiles, the report’s lead author. The result, said Stiles, is “widespread malnutrition” in the oceans.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It can be hard to drop a food you’ve loved for years, but sometimes you’ve got to read the writing on the seawall.

People don’t need salmon or any other fish to survive. In fact, by avoiding fish and other animal foods, millions of vegans around the world lead uber-healthy lives with negligible levels of cancer, diabetes and heart disease compared to the rest of the population.

Looking for Omega 3’s? Try cholesterol-free plant sources like flax, hemp, soy and walnuts.

Of course, fish get all their Omega-3’s from aquatic vegetation like seaweed, which is another great source of these beneficial fatty acids. With a little willpower, you can dump salmon.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Paleo 30-Day Plan & Tips


I found another great Paleo resource and kick-start for those of you who favor the Paleo diet and want to get serious about getting fit and lean.  During my introduction to Crossfit last year, I learned about the Paleo diet, and incorporated it’s best principles into my regular diet plan…I got off grains, dairy, sugar, and processed foods, and added more protein, vegetables, berries and healthy fats.  Paleo is great, even partially. Remember to eat a lot of protein! Here’s the post…use what you can. The section on vegetable oils is especially beneficial. I included the references at the bottom -Mike

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This Paleo challenge is for people who want to lose weight, gain muscle, have: less joint inflammation, better digestion, better blood glucose control, a healthier heart, nicer skin, a better attitude, and fewer medications. Do you like popping pills every day just to get through life? We didn’t think so. We challenge you to change your diet for the next 30 days of your life. The 1st ever Paleo Plan 30-Day Paleo Challenge starts right now.

Here’s what’s going to happen this month.

What NOT To Eat

1. STOP EATING GRAINS. That means flour, even white flour (especially white flour, actually), so conventional bread, pasta, cookies, cake, bagels, muffins, tortillas, and any other white fluffy thing you love. Grains mean rice, corn (including tortillas, chips, corn flour, etc.), quinoa (yes, it’s a grain), amaranth, buckwheat, wild rice, spelt, rye, sorghum, oats, and even gluten free oats. No more grains, even if they’re gluten free grains. Okey dokey? Here’s a blog post on why. The ebook also explains it in much more depth. Basically, though, if you were to only do one thing different for your health, in my opinion it would be to cut out all grains. I’ve seen everything from weight loss, to psoriasis clearing up when you get those buggers out of your diet. They’re inflammatory and difficult to digest. Give it a try.

2. STOP EATING DAIRY. That means milk, cheese, butter, ghee, yogurt (yes, even your most favorite Greek yogurt sugar bomb), kefir, whey protein powders, cottage cheese, sour cream, and check all the ingredients of everything you eat for those words. Even if it’s raw dairy, this month you’re going to stop eating it. Just to see what happens. You can do it – I promise. Here’s a blog post on why.

3. STOP EATING BEANS. That means soy in any form (again, check your ingredients of ALL the foods you eat), lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, peanuts (sub out your beloved peanut butter with almond butter if you must), white beans, garbanzo beans, you get the gist of this. Here’s a blog post on why. By the way, snap peas and green beans are fine in moderation.

4. STOP EATING HIGH OMEGA-6 VEGETABLE OILS. Vegetable oils aren’t really made from vegetables, which is why we’re still really confused over here about how they came upon that name. What they ARE usually made from are soy, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, safflower, and sesame. These oils are inflammatory and are debatably one of the major causes of heart disease. Stop eating all oils this month, except for tallow (here’s how to make it), lard, bacon drippings, coconut oil, red palm oil, and olive oil (on your salads). In that order of preference. Buy the ebook or read this and this to find out why saturated fat and (gasp!) cholesterol are not bad for you. You’ve been duped for the last 60 years into eating vegetable oils that don’t come from actual vegetables, which are causing inflammation of all kinds. We didn’t evolve eating those highly volatile oils. We evolved eating animal fats mostly. Just try it out this month and see what happens. Oh, and definitely stay away from anything that says “hydrogenated”.

5. STOP CONSUMING SUGAR. By sugar, I don’t mean fruit. In fact, you’re encouraged to eat fruit on this diet in moderation. Paleo isn’t Atkins. I mean “sugar”, “fructose”, “high fructose corn syrup”, “corn sugar”, “corn syrup”, “malt syrup”, or anything else with “syrup” in it for that matter. Check the ingredients on everything you consume. Stop drinking juice; it’s just sugar that looks pretty. Raw honey is ok in moderation, but moderation does not mean every day. That’s the only sweetener you’ll be eating in these 30 days and it will be in approximately 1 recipe if you follow the meal plan. Refined sugar makes you fat, lethargic, and grumpy. Period. End of story. It’s gonna hurt to take it out of your diet, and you will have cravings for it. Muster some self control and make it happen this time. We’ll give you some tips throughout (and in the ebook) for combatting cravings. Just know that the longer you eat this way, the fewer sugar cravings you’ll have.

6. STOP CONSUMING CAFFEINE Oh, boy. Please don’t close this page. Just hear me out. Caffeine is a stimulant drug. DRUG. It stimulates adrenaline and cortisol to be released every single time you take a sip or a bite. That can make you not only anxious, sleep poorly, and feel fatigued throughout the day, but it can also severely affect your immune system, your reproductive system, and …dun dun dun… cause belly fat. If you eat right you won’t need caffeine. We just want to find out the effect caffeine is really having on your energy levels, your sleep, your athletic performance, and your overall health, and the only way to find that out is to stop consuming it. It’s gonna be rough for some of you, but you can do it. Caffeine is in coffee, decaf coffee, black tea, green tea, white tea, mate, energy drinks, chocolate, espresso, and anything that contains any of the above. Read your ingredients, conjure some self control, and get some herbal tea (chamomile, rose hips, etc.) to quell your craving for something hot. Here’s a blog post to explain this further.

7. STOP EATING FACTORY FARMED MEAT, EGGS, AND SEAFOOD. This one is last because I know that some of you aren’t in a position financially or geographically to stop this. But consider that the vitamins, fatty acids, and overall quality of pasture-raised/grass-fed animals is much better for you. Not to mention the animal. Go to U.S. Wellness Meats, www.eatwild.com, and other naturally raised meat vendors online if you don’t have a good source of it in your home town. Consider buying a half-cow or pig like I did. It’s way cheaper in the longrun. Here’s more info on that.

What TO Eat

Alright, so what do you eat if everything you’ve ever known to eat is now off the table? The following is what you eat – preferably organic, pasture raised, grass-fed, etc.:

 

-Meat
-Seafood
-Eggs
-Veggies
-Fruits
-Some Nuts and Seeds

And here’s a page that explains it in more detail.

What To Do

1. SLEEP 8 HOURS A NIGHT. At least. Sleep allows your body to recuperate and detoxify. It allows you to heal and have energy. It reduces stress and cortisol levels, which as we learned, can help you lose weight. As long as you’re focusing on your health right now, turn off the lights at a decent time, board up your windows to make it dark, unplug all those little red flashy lights in your room, and put some earplugs in. Sleep deep.

 

2. DRINK AT LEAST 2 LITERS OF WATER A DAY. By water, I mean fresh, filtered water. Get a filtration system in your home. Stay away from plastic unless you want to be fat, infertile, and sick. Here’s a blog post on that by Chris Kresser. Two liters is a pretty random number, and to be honest we all need different amounts of water. Just drink more than you’re used to drinking. Carry a metal bottle around with you all day and sip on it. Put some lemon juice in it or tea bags to make it more palatable if you’re not used to just plain water. Water will help the detoxification period run its course more quickly, and it will make you feel more awake.

3. MOVE THAT BODY! Whatever you need to do to start moving more, do it. I don’t care if that means you go on a walk with your dog every day, join a CrossFit box, start doing sprints up and down your stairs once a day, play basketball with your kids, start horseback riding, take a dance class, ride your bike to work/school, or buy a Sports Journal to give you ideas for at home exercises. Just move. It’s good for you.

Resources for Implementation

We have a couple of products and resources that might help you implement the diet.

 

1. The Quickstart Guide and Paleo Challenge eBook will help you implement this diet and lifestyle change step by step, and it includes meal plans for 6 weeks in case you choose to keep going after the month is over (we hope you do). The meal plans include weekly menus, grocery lists, and recipes that are totally Paleo. The book explains the diet in plain and simple terms, answers common questions, and helps you troubleshoot if necessary.

2. The meal planning subscription service provides you with weekly downloads of menus and grocery lists that are linked to the recipes on our website. The meal plans use leftovers for lunch almost every day, which saves money and time.

3. Private Paleo Coaching with yours truly. I can help if you need special attention, if you’ve been trying to eat Paleo but just can’t make it stick, or even if you’ve been eating strictly Paleo and are still not seeing the results you want.

4. The Paleo Plan Forums are a place where the Paleo community can support each other. There is a forum called “Paleo Challenge” here, and we highly encourage you to introduce yourself there and ask any questions you might have.

5. The Paleo Plan blog. Search the blog for info when you have questions about things like: how much fruit you should eat, how much protein is too much, what the detoxification period will feel like, and what you should do to modify the diet if you’re an athlete. All of that info is in the ebook, too.

Motivation

We’re devoted to seeing you succeed in this change. We’re going to try to keep you motivated this month by doing contests every few days, giving you opportunities to win awesome prizes from people and companies like U.S. Wellness Meats, Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo, Tanka Bar, Paleo People, Applegate Farms, and others (we’re not getting paid by any of them for this, by the way). Whether you’re doing a challenge with your CrossFit gym already, with your friends on your own, or with us, tune in to this blog for motivation, information, encouragement, and prizes throughout the month.

 

Other good ideas…

 

1. Take “before” pictures with the intention of taking “after” pictures. Get in your bathing suit or a bra and underwear and take some photos from the front, the back and the side. Don’t suck your tummy in!

2. Get some bloodwork done. Ask your doc to do a comprehensive wellness panel on you. That’s the fasting blood work you do every year. If you already have something from the past 6 months, don’t worry about it – you can use that to compare with your “after” blood work. Just make an appointment with your doc to have your lipids, glucose, CBC, and all that other good stuff.

3. Do a diet log. There’s one in the ebook with a point system attached to it (negative points if you cheat, positive points for working out, etc.). Here’s another one for you, too (pdf). Start filling it out to see how you feel before and after you eat NOW, and how you feel before and after you eat in 30 days.

4. Weigh yourself. If you’re legitimately overweight, the scale will likely tell you if what you’re doing is working. For people who don’t have much fat to lose, you may stay the same weight or even gain because you’re going to gain muscle. Weigh yourself weekly.

5. Take some measurements. Waist (at your bellybutton for consistency), hips, thighs, biceps, chest, etc. Write it down. Or go get your body fat percentage measured at a health club, CrossFit gym or somewhere else in town.

6. Do a “before” workout. Even if it’s just how many pushups you can do in one minute without resting, or how fast you can run a mile, or how many burpees you can do in a minute. Do something so you can measure your progress in a month. Even if you don’t start working out consistently this month, you’ll likely see improvements in your performance if you stick to the diet.

 

 

7 Foods That Kill Belly Fat

Hi. I found another great post from Drew the Juiceman (Juicing with Drew & FitLife.tv), that was written By Marina Daniell.

Certain types of foods cause fat around the belly, and it’s these that we want to avoid… sodas, white flour, fried foods, alcohol and sugar (you can read about those horrible foods in my other posts, especially the one on sugar at http://wp.me/p3aozB-66   -Mike)

But there are other foods that actually kill belly fat, and these are the ones we’re going to focus on.

Here are 7 foods that will help flatten your belly: 

1. Avocados

These bad boys are loaded with nutrients that are essential to killing belly fat. The creamy fruit is loaded with protein and fiber, and is also packed with monounsaturated fats (the good fats)! And it’s the monounsaturated fats that have been shown to reduce your body’s feeling of hunger. Add an organic avocado to your next meal (salad, pasta, guacamole) and start killing belly fat immediately.

2. Eggs

Let’s start by saying eggs aren’t bad for you. Eggs used to have a bad name because they contain cholesterol. But we now know that the cholesterol we eat has very little impact on how much cholesterol is in our blood. Instead, eggs are loaded with fat-burning protein (keeping you fuller for longer) and are high in vitamins B6, B12, A, D, E, and K, folate, choline, lutein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. But be sure to choose eggs from free-range chickens as they contain more healthy nutrients.  (Dr Oz says yolks are OK because they contain the vitamins good for the brain…I love eggs. See my post at: http://wp.me/p3aozB-6p   -Mike)

3. Green Tea

Not technically a food, but it’s so good we just had to add it in here. Research by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition believe that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat. Green tea will also help regulate your glucose levels by slowing the rise of blood sugar after a meal (helping to prevent an insulin spike), which means less unnecessary fat storage.

4. Berries 

No matter how they are consumed – fresh, frozen, dried, freeze-dried or powdered – berries are nutritional powerhouses. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and acai berries are all loaded with fiber, which helps to slow sugar absorption. They’re also loaded with nutrients that give your body the power to fight off cravings.  (watch out for berries with added sugar! -Mike)

5. Dark Chocolate

No, it’s not a typo! Dark chocolate is in fact jammed with vital antioxidants and contains the natural stimulants theobromine and caffeine that help your body burn fat. Just like avocados, dark chocolate contains a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which helps your body kill those unnecessary hunger cravings. For this reason, dark chocolate is considered a low glycemic food, meaning it won’t cause giant spikes in your blood sugar levels. It also contains (surprisingly in high doses) iron, magnesium, copper and potassium – all essential vitamins and minerals that support your health. But there’s a catch, regular chocolate won’t do the trick, you must choose the 78% or higher cocoa levels for optimum results.

6. Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is bursting with omega-3 essential fatty acids, which deliver a wide range of health benefits including helping your body burn fat. This fish is low in saturated fat and calories but high in protein, making it a superfood for blasting away excess belly fat. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised salmon, as the farmed variety will have been fed antibiotics and other chemicals. Factory-farmed salmon for example, are fed color-enhancing chemicals to be more appealing to consumers because their natural flesh is a muddy grey color (as opposed to the flesh of wild salmon, which is naturally pink due the food they eat in the wild).

7. Beans

If you were stuck on an island and could only pick one food, it would have to be beans. Beans offer a rich and varied array of substances that are vital for human health; B vitamins, potassium, calcium and folate to name but a few. And if your goal is weight loss, hands-down beans are your best bet. When your diet is based on protein and fiber you’re more likely to stay fuller for longer. So a bean-centered diet means chances are good that you’ll shed belly fat fast eating this way. And yes, beans can be gassy, but washing your beans well and soaking them overnight will get rid of this problem. So don’t let the ‘explosive’ nature of beans frighten you away from one of the best sources of lean protein around.  (If you are on a strict paleo diet, beans are off the menu -Mike)

Original article can be found at: http://fitlife.tv/7-surprising-foods-that-kill-belly-fat/

About the Author

Marina Daniell is the founder of staple life, an inspiring blog for women about simple living (doing less, so you can live more). A dedicated Bikram Yogi, lover of fashion, beauty and food. When she isn’t in the hot yoga room she can be found whipping up beauty products with items from her fridge, running on Bondi beach or cooking three course meals for her family. You can follow Marina on Facebook , Twitter and Google+ or check out her blog www.staplelife.com

Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated http://www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury.

It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

10 reasons to love eggs!

eggs-in-cartons

I love to eat eggs, and I’m convinced they might be the perfect food (along with avocados). I even learned something new about “egg nutrition history” in #4). Eggs play a significant role in mind and body energy, weight management, muscle strength, brain function, eye health and more! Read on…and read the Fooducate article for more information.

Here are ten reasons eggs should be a part of your daily diet
(reposted from Fooducate: http://blog.fooducate.com/2014/03/20/10-reasons-to-love-eggs/)

1. Eggs are real food – They come unprocessed, in their original packaging, and let *you* decide how to prepare and eat them. Pair them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and small amounts of heart healthy oil, as part of an overall healthy diet.

2. Nutrient-dense – Eggs have an awesome protein to calorie ratio. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids, all for just 70 calories.

3. Vegetarians rejoice – Eggs are reliable and affordable source of protein for you.

4. Lower in Cholesterol – According to nutrition data from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, eggs are lower in cholesterol than nutritionists originally calculated. Over 30 years of research have concluded that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

5. Great for breakfast – Eggs contain no sugars or carbohydrates, unlike many other breakfast options.

6. Vitamin D, naturally – Eggs are one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D, an important nutrient many Americans lack in their diet.

7. Eggs-cellent vision – Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in eggs that may help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness. While eggs contain small amounts of these two nutrients, research shows that the lutein and zeaxanthin from eggs may be more bioavailable (or better utilized by the body) than from other sources with higher content, including supplements.

8. Choline – One egg contains about 125 milligrams of choline, making it an excellent source of this essential nutrient required for life’s most basic functions, such as normal cell activity, liver function and transporting nutrients throughout the body.

9. Fast and easy – An egg meal or snack is quick and easy. Simply beat an egg in a small bowl or coffee mug, place on high heat in the microwave for 60 seconds and add it to a toasted whole-grain English muffin. Top with low-fat cheese and a slice of tomato for a balanced meal. It takes less than two minutes to prepare!

10. Eggs make cents – Eggs are very affordable compared to other high-quality protein foods. At just $0.15 each, eggs are the least expensive source of high-quality protein per serving.

Visit IncredibleEgg.org for egg recipes, tips, nutrition information and more.

Tap Here to  learn more about the egg industry and improvements in its environmental footprint.

——

Sources: Posted on http://blog.fooducate.com/   
March 20, 2014 by 

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

UCSF logoHere’s a great video presentation on the bad affects of sugar, shared by my good friend Charles.

It’s on YouTube, and produced by the University of California TV channel, University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. http://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM

And if you liked the presentation, get the book by Robert Lustig on Amazon:

The bitter truth about sugar

The bitter truth about sugar

Fat Chance: The bitter truth about sugar
by Robert Lustig, on 03/01/2013

http://amzn.com/B00BW9879O

Even Mike from “Six Pack Shortcuts” on YouTube mentions that he’s reading the book and incorporating its message into his life routine.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNJJ039pZlM

…and while viewing YouTube, I discovered another good one on Probiotics and bad bacteria, related to refined sugar consumption. It’s got some good info (with a little marketing and sales hype thrown in), but there’s some good facts about how aspartame got a bogus FDA approval, how it contributed to heart disease, and how a bacteria called “candida” is causing an epidemic health concern in America. http://keybiotics.com/video_toon_soc.php

8 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

I discovered this great article by DR. MARK SMITH
…and it reinforces everything the doctors, trainers and nutritionists have been saying all along, and the information I have been sharing on this blog! Enjoy!
Posted: JUNE 28, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
 
1. You’re doing too much cardio. 
 
You aren’t guaranteed a slim waistline just because you spend an hour on the treadmill every day. In fact, long cardio sessions can actually work against you. That’s because your body basically sees exercise as stress, and stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which breaks down energy stores for immediate use. Over the short term, this reaction is healthy and natural, but prolonged increases in cortisol eventually lead to insulin resistance, a decrease in bone density, loss of lean muscle mass, and weight gain.
 
2. You’re eating too much fruit. 
Many dieters turn to fruit as a sweet, low-calorie snack, but the sugar in fruit (like all carbohydrates) gets broken down into glucose in the small intestine. The presence of glucose in the bloodstream causes the pancreas to release insulin, and insulin stores excess glucose as fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, fruit intake should be limited to those with a combination of low carbohydrate content and high amounts of antioxidants like berries and pitted fruits.
 
3. You’re skimping on calories. 
Some calorie counters assume that if restricting calories will help them lose weight, then restricting a lot of calories will help them lose more weight, more quickly. Unfortunately, the body views severe calorie restriction as starvation and will eventually turn against you, fighting to keep the calories you do eat for dear life.
 
4. You’re not getting enough fat. 
 
When it comes to nutrition, we have to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fat. Unhealthy fats are the trans fats, omega 6 fats, and processed fats that are used to manufacture processed foods. Healthy fats, on the other hand (fats from fish, nuts, coconut, animal meats, eggs, avocados, olives, etc.), are a necessary part of healthy cellular function. Contrary to what you might think, healthy fats do not translate into added pounds. The consumption of healthy fats instead of sugar actually gives us energy, keeps us satiated longer, and prompts the body to burn stored fat for fuel.
 
5. You’re stressed out. 
 
Any type of stress (physical, emotional, chemical) causes the body to enter into a state of protection, also known as “fight or flight.” This results in altered hormone levels as the body shuts down all processes not immediately required for survival. Part of the stress response, as stated above, is the release of cortisol. Again, this is perfectly healthy unless stress is chronic, in which case the result is increased fat storage around the belly.
 
 6. You’re overloading on carbs. 
 
The typical American diet consists of large amounts of processed carbohydrates that wreak havoc on blood sugar and insulin levels. Over time, fat cells become insulin resistant which makes it nearly impossible for the body to burn fat no matter how much you exercise or how few calories you consume.
 
 7. You’re not getting enough sleep. 
Lack of sleep is an often overlooked source of health challenges. That’s because our sleep patterns have a big impact on our hormone levels. This study showed that poor sleeping habits cause us to gain weight, and this one showed that the biggest spike in fat burning hormones occurred during deep sleep.
 
 8. You’re eating too many diet foods. 
Most diet foods (and all processed foods for that matter), contain some form of MSG, which is also known as yeast extract, glutamic acid, and hydrolyzed protein, among others. This chemical has been used in obesity research to induce obesity in rats. It causes a spike in insulin levels, in both animals and humans, which causes the body to store fat. Other chemicals in diet foods can sabotage your weight loss efforts too, like artificial sugars, trans fats, and natural flavors.
In the end, the best way to lose weight is to get healthy. You cannot sidestep nature. This means eating real food, moving your body regularly, getting adequate amounts of sleep, and finding ways to manage stress.

Reposted from MindBodyGreen, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/
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Dr. Mark is a chiropractor, wellness expert, nutritional counselor, and co-owner of the Good Living Warehouse, dedicated to educating people about the most efficient ways to lose weight, get healthy, and raise healthy kids. He currently divides his time between his wellness practice and researching the most relevant scientific data regarding nutrition, fitness, and stress. You can read more of his articles here and join his growing Facebook community.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Oils?

Great article from Julie Montagu on oils…olive, coconut, avocado. Find out why you shouldn’t cook with olive oil!

Oil can be a big problem to dieters and it is something that I recommend all of my clients try to use less off if they are trying to lose those last 5 – 10 pounds. The harsh reality is that cooking oils are highly processed using manufacturing methods that are highly destructive to oil molecules.

According to Udo Erasmus, author of the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, oils are typically pressed or solvent extracted from seeds and nuts, using a process where they are de-gummed, refined, bleached, and deodorized. The thing about this process that many people don’t realize is that valuable ‘minor ingredients’ including antioxidants, phytosterols, chlorophyll, flavor molecules, color molecules, lecithin, and other oil-soluble beneficial molecules are removed too.

how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_oils_theflexifoodieWhat we just discussed applies to the cooking oils you may purchase in a store, or find in packaged food, or consume in French fries from…

View original post 453 more words

Stress and Weight Gain

Hi. There’s a great resource I follow by Dennis Heenan, called FatBurningNation.com

Recently, he posted some information regarding “stress and weight gain.”  I’m a firm believer that stress can lead to weight gain (and block weight loss), because it raises insulin levels in the body.  Steve Hochman at FitBody Boot Camp, constantly reminds us that insulin causes fat retention. So, in addition to eliminating bad carbs, high-glycemic foods, cut out the stress…if you can.

Read more from Dennis at: http://fatburningnation.com/stress-and-weight-gain/

And check out Dennis’ great workouts while you are there! He’s got lots of great information, links and workout advice that you can use. If you get on his mailing list, you’ll get even more information and inspiration. 

Agave Nectar is Bad for You

I was doing a little research on Raw Coconut Nectar for my new Bee Pollen energy boost smoothie , and I found this great post on Agave Nectar. I wasn’t sure why Kimberly Synder of Glow Bio did not like Agave Nectar in her smoothie recipes, but I do now. It’s just high-fructose corn syrup, only worse! Here’s the a re-post of what I found on the Raw Vegan Living site (http://rawveganliving.blogspot.com/2013/01/agave-nectar-vs-coconut-nectar-secret.html). (And I even learned something good about “date syrup”.)

Read a comparison of Agave v Coconut nectar: the secret truth

You probably heard about agave nectar, right? It’s mostly used by all these raw vegans as a “natural” sweetness to foods. But did you know that agave nectar isn’t what it seems to be? There’s a dirty little dark side secret behind “raw agave nectar” that most of you don’t know. Let me explain to you the dangers of agave nectar and why your favourite sweetness isn’t safe and not really healthy. Let’s also compare agave with coconut nectar. I will discuss both in this article.

WHAT IS AGAVE NECTAR:

Agave is a succulent plant with rosettes of narrow spiny leaves with tall flower spikes. It almost looks similar to Aloe Vera and a cactus. The sweetener is made from the juice of the agave. The agave plant grows in the deserts of Mexico. Some people prefer the taste of agave over honey. The agave nectar (aka syrup) is heated up into a sugar. They claim the nectar to be “raw” when labeling tricking people into thinking it’s an all natural, healthy, raw sweetener.

AGAVE NECTAR DANGERS:

Agave Nectar is a scam for a few reasons. It isn’t what they claim it to be because it isn’t really, truly raw. Agave nectar is highly processed and contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup! The agave is hydrolyzed at temperatures up to 140 F. for 36 hours, which making the end product containing 95% fructose. High fructose content (which is found in agave) can cause obesity, damage to the liver, diabetes, high glycemic (but wait, they “claim” to be low in glycemic….. Hmmm), and high in blood pressure (they also claim to be low in blood pressure, too. Lies). Pretty much the same dangers and health risks of high fructose corn syrup! Agave nectar is actually the same, but worse! So therefore, agave nectar (raw, organic) is NOT HEALTHY. If you don’t believe me, you should really start researching and educating yourself about the truth of agave nectar. Then you’ll realize, I’m not lying. Believe or not, all this is real, true facts, folks.

WHAT IS COCONUT NECTAR:

Coconut nectar comes from the coconut tree. The process is a bit similar to maple syrup. The only difference is that maple syrup is highly processed . The coconut tree is tapped and produces a nutrient rich “sap” that exudes from the coconut blossom. The sap is an abundant source of minerals, 17 amino acids, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and a neutral pH. The sap is not processed, which is the number one reason it is better than most of these raw sweeteners. The best brand of coconut nectar is Coconut Secret.

WHAT IS COCONUT SUGAR: coconut crystals

COCONUT NECTAR HEALTH BENEFITS:

Coconut nectar is not only delicious, it’s super healthy for you, too. It’s 100% organic, enzymatically alive meaning it’s 100% raw, vegan, fat-free, low glycemic, guilt free, non-GMO, and gluten free. This nectar is great for those who are diabetic. Coconut nectar is truly delicious, pure, and 100% true in facts such as raw, organic and low glycemic. It adds a great addition to cereals, pancakes, waffles, French toast, raw desserts, teas, and anything else you’d like to sweeten up. This coconut nectar is epic and will not cause you health problems in the future. The nectar doesn’t have that coconutty taste. Learn more about Coconut Secret.

AGAVE NECTAR VS. COCONUT NECTAR:
AGAVE NECTAR:
• It is similar to high fructose corn syrup, but worse because agave is high in fructose
• can cause obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disorder, and heart disease
• highly processed
• not really raw
• high in glycemic (contains half of the glycemic index in sugar)
• high blood pressure
• a scam
• does bad to your body
• bad for diabetics
• can cause mineral deficiency
• weakens the bones
• may cause hair and teeth loss
• and no true good benefits really =(

Agave, you sound deadly and scary. But it IS the TRUTH, people.

Maple syrup is not either. It can lead to obesity and other risky health risks! Just Google “the dangers of maple syrup” and you’ll find lots of info about Mr. Maple Syrup.

COCONUT NECTAR & COCONUT SUGAR:
• BEATS any other nectar and sweetener out there like agave, maple, yacon, stevia and of course all cheap sugars (besides coconut sugar… that’s not cheap sugar, anyways).
• it is more nutritious than agave! (HAH take that agave)
• 100% raw – enzymatically alive
• 100% organic
• vegan
• fat-free
• guilt-free
• non-gmo
• gluten-free
• low glycemic (contains 10% fructose)
• neutral pH
• will not cause obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or liver disorder
• this is the TRUTH!
• does great to your body
• not highly processed
• it’s a full pack epic nectar- containing 17 amino acids
• contains enough sweetness that will satisfy that craving sweet tooth! (plus, it doesn’t have that coconutty flavor)
• high in vitamins & minerals
• coconut sugar contains healing properties; lowers high glucose, prevents the risk of cancer, great for those who are diabetic & over-weight, etc!
• an A+ for the coconut sugar: you don’t feel sick, tired, hyper {no sugar rush! Hmm… that’s rare after you eat sugar – not with coconut sugar!} and any other side effects you would get when you eat sugar!
• It’s the BEST!!
• and 100% TRUE!! =)
~ basically, all the wonderful health benefits that coconuts contain – the coconut sugar and the nectar contains it, as well. Of course, why wouldn’t it? They are both coming from coconuts.

Wow. Doesn’t that sound 100% RAWSOME?! I think it does:)

BOTTOM LINE:
So which one sweetener/nectar will you choose: agave or coconut? I recommend using coconut nectar, due to all the great health benefits it has. Yes, I too was shocked at how agave nectar isn’t really healthy. I most certainly do not recommend incorporating agave nectar in your diet. Coconut nectar is the truth… however – coconut nectar isn’t the BEST raw sweetener to use, because it’s refined.

If you want the best, I’d suggest using date syrup. It’s so easy to make; it’s the healthiest of ALL sweeteners.

When I heard almost all these raw and vegans use agave, I was excited to try and use it for the first time. But then I started researching and educating myself on agave and learned so much on how unhealthy it is. Just because labeling says, “low in glycemic”, “low in blood pressure”, etc., they aren’t telling the truth. Just do your own research and see for yourself. Then hopefully, you’ll be amazed too.

Don’t be fooled about agave nectar. It is NOT natural, nor healthy. If I were you, I would go with coconut nectar all the way! Well, I sure hope you learned something new in this article. Spread the word if you can. Agave is a big fat NO NO!

My Thoughts & Feelings:
After reading this post, some people will still leave and believe that agave is healthy. It really irks me when people say that “agave nectar is healthy”, even though they read this post. I’ve heard some say that it saddens them that ‘agave is poison’. Some may not like or appreciate this post because I really expose agave badly! This is TRUE research facts. If the truth saddens you, then you can’t seem to handle the truth! Another thing that irks me is when people know that agave is bad and unhealthy, but yet they give people the option to choose their sweetener such as agave and maple syrup. Okay, I understand that it’s great to give people the option to choose their sweeteners, but why would you give them the option to choose a bad, unhealthy, poisoning sweetener?! It’s like giving people the option to choose sugar (which is horribly bad) and agave (which is identical to high fructose corn syrup! yeah, you tell me that’s not poisoning.) Basically, it’s like giving people the option to choose their poisoning sweetener of choice! Often times I ask them, “if you know agave is bad, why do you recommend it to others”? They reply, “I like to give people the option to choose what they want and prefer.”

If you had to choose between agave over coconut nectar, choose coconut nectar. If you had to choose between white and/or brown sugar over coconut sugar, choose coconut sugar, as it’s way healthier. But to be honest (the bottom line is), I don’t recommend coconut sugar and I don’t recommend coconut nectar, as it’s both refined sugars. The best sugars are dried fruits, such as dates.

The part I don’t understand is, why give people the option to choose something that’s bad, when you have other better alternatives. When it comes to recommending things to others, don’t recommend them something that’s poison and unhealthy; if people want to choose the poison, unhealthy option, that’s on them. At least you didn’t recommend it to them. This topic is really, really deep. I am not exaggerating when I say agave is poison and all. It’s true! People love their agave and maple syrup so much, it’s hard for them to let it go and heard for them to believe their favorite sweetener is causing so many bad health issues. Oh, and another thing I hear them say is, “eat it in moderation, you’ll be fine”! Like seriously?! No! Not even in moderation; it’s NOT GOOD FOR YOU!! It’s like saying, “I know sugar isn’t good for me, but it’s okay to eat to eat it in moderation.” “Oh, I know this drug is bad for me (smoking, etc.) but it’s okay if I do it in moderation.” See my point… I hope. Go do yourselves a favor – do your own research before you go talking about agave and any topic.

Do Your Own Research! Don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself on Google. Maybe then you’ll believe – See more at: http://rawveganliving.blogspot.com/2013/01/agave-nectar-vs-coconut-nectar-secret.html#sthash.yXDH2AO0.dpuf

Source: http://rawveganliving.blogspot.com/2013/01/agave-nectar-vs-coconut-nectar-secret.html

Raw Vegan Living (great info for vegan “foodists”): http://rawveganliving.blogspot.com/