Food Is Not Your Enemy

The Health Benefits of Tea
February 28, 2017, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle | Tags:

We’re deep into winter, and you may either feel like you’re going stir crazy and can’t wait until those first warm days of spring, or perhaps you’re reveling in the idea of turning inward and “hibernating.” Either way, this is the perfect time of year to soothe your spirits with a hot cup of tea.

Not only can tea help warm you from the inside out, it can also calm stress, improve your mood, and curb your need for a snack or sugar. There are also many long-term health benefits of drinking tea. Based on numerous studies, thanks to substances called polyphenols green and black tea have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. This translates into a reduction in the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease. Bone health seems to improve with greater tea consumption as well.

As for herbal teas, many have been used for thousands of years to treat illnesses and ailments. Chamomile is good for settling the stomach and the nerves, and can help treat menstrual cramps. Echinacea has been used to boost immunity and to help ward off colds. Peppermint can improve digestion and help calm headaches. Dandelion is good for liver health and detoxification. This is just a sampling of teas and their benefits—there are so many other varieties you might like to explore as well.

So brew up a cup, relax, and sip slowly. The warm breezes and flowers of spring will be here before you know it.

Instead of Counting Calories…
February 1, 2017, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Beans, Dairy, Fruits, Grains, Healthy Lifestyle, Meat, nuts, Sweets, Vegetables, Water, weight loss | Tags: ,

Counting calories is a pretty reliable way to help you lose weight, no question. But most of us hate doing it. It’s unpleasant and tedious. And because it’s no fun doing math problems every time you put food in your mouth, most of us stop doing it eventually. And then the weight comes back.

So why does the weight inevitably come back once you stop counting, despite your best intentions? The short answer: because you never learned how to eat.

Rather than focusing on meaningful changes to your diet, and moving toward healthier foods and habits, it’s likely that all you paid attention to were the numbers. And hey, if you ate a tiny dinner, there was caloric room in your day for a sleeve of Oreos! That kind of thinking doesn’t bode well for your long-term health or weight goals.

Instead, I’d recommend getting back to basics and focusing on these key principles for eating well and losing weight:

-Avoid or reduce foods that act as appetite stimulants. That would be foods with added sugar and anything made with white flour.

-Eat fiber-rich foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are deeply nutritious foods that help fill you for very few calories.

-Minimize fried stuff. Deep-fried foods such as French fries, donuts, and fried chicken and fish are among the worst foods you can eat. They just contain a ton of calories from all that oil.

-Choose snacks that are not marketed as “snacks.” Rather than chips, crackers, pretzels, and bars choose fruit, nuts, vegetables with hummus, or any other whole food. Why not even a cup of soup, or a chicken leg?

-Cook. Restaurant food is high-calorie food, and we’re often served overly large portions of it as well. You will lose weight if you start cooking more at home, no matter what you cook (unless you’re frying chicken regularly).

-Watch what you drink. Water should be your default beverage. Unsweetened tea and seltzer work too. Banish sodas, sweetened teas, sports drinks, and other garbage liquids from your diet.