Monthly Archives: January 2017

Dieting for Health

Dieting for Health and Happiness is about living as healthy of a lifestyle are you can. You control the foods you eat instead of the Foods controlling you.

Perhaps the greatest reason to diet is for your personal health and happiness… Most of us with a weight problem understand the health risks that can result from carrying around excess weight. Sometimes those risks help us reach a turning point. When your chest starts to send you signals or you joints start to ache whenever you do a little exercise, you know it’s time for a change in your eating habits. Those eating habits might be from an addiction to certain foods, or maybe it’s a hidden emotional need. For some of us it is years of learned behavior and conditioning. As a chef, I had access to some of the best foods available in the market, but most of the time I would eat on the run, grabbing what tasted good, but was not necessarily the healthiest choice.

Dieting can become a dangerous lifestyle if your flip-flopping from one diet to the next always trying the latest and greatest “fix” to hit the market. You loose a few pounds; cheat just a little and gain back more that you lost. You switch diets to the newest one and try again. This is called Yo-Yo dieting and is very unhealthy.

The truth is, No diet is going to magically make the pounds disappear and stay gone unless you change your eating habits to reflect the healthier foods needed to control your weight. This does not mean that you must give up all those things your enjoy most to keep the lost weight off. To give these up completely could have a more detrimental effect than a positive affect in a very short time.

What most overweight people need more than any “diet” is to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into their daily life.

These adjustments can be small; every journey starts with one step. A little more physical activity, such as parking you car at the other end of the parking lot when you go to the grocery store, or walking around the block after dinner, could be all it takes to get you on the path to success. Could your significant other lose a couple of pounds, then the two of you could take up dancing, and have a “workout” while having a lot of fun. The idea is to add a little more physical activity while subtracting a little unhealthy eating, without stress.

If you have a small area where you can grow your own vegetables, a small garden can work two ways. First, you get a mini-workout when you prep the soil and plant the veggies. Second, when you harvest the fruits and vegetables, you can treat yourself to a first class taste experience. A home grown tomato, or fresh corn, picked today, has a flavor you can never find in your local grocery.

The main thing to keep in mind is that proper weight is a life long journey. We don’t wake up one morning to find that we have gained too much weight over night, and we can’t expect the pounds to disappear overnight. We need to remember, we are on this journey for ourselves. As we lose the excess weight, we will feel better about ourselves. We will find more energy, and it could very well make our senior years some of the best years of our lives. It would be a shame to reach retirement only to be too ill to enjoy it because we did not take care of ourselves when we had the option to do it.

Instead of looking for the next best diet, think about lifestyle changes. There are some good diet programs available, but they all require life style adjustments along with food intake adjustments. For them to work in the long run, you must make a change in the way you look at food and yourself.

No, you don’t need to give up Ice Cream forever, you can treat yourself to a dessert once in a while, but you will find that a cup of ice Cream is a lot healthier that a quart of Ice Cream and you won’t have that guilty feeling when you finish it. If you really want to feel good and eat the ice cream, park a half mile from the Ice Cream Shop, walk to the store, enjoy the ice cream and walk back to your car. Now, that’s a plan.

If you wish to start a diet, with guidelines and goals, there are some very good plans available, such as Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig, Nutri systems and others. Review what they offer, pick one that you like and get started. That could very well be the first step to a whole new you.

For Health & Happiness

The Zen Macrobiotic diet originated over a century ago and today enjoys a worldwide following due its principles of harmonious living with nature through a balanced whole foods diet, and an active lifestyle and respect for the environment.

Lets look at why the Zen Macrobiotic diet has such a reputation for being one of the healthiest diets in the world.

Origins of the Zen Macrobiotic diet

Dr. Ishizuka ( the originator of the Zen Macrobiotic diet ) suffered both kidney and skin disease, so to restore his health conducted extensive research which was compiled into two books-Chemical Theory of Longevity, published in 1896, and Diet For Health, published in 1898.

His great successor Yukikazu Sakurazawa integrated the theory with elements of eastern and western philosophy and gave the diet the name we know it by today.

Zen Macrobiotic Diet theory

The Macrobiotic philosophy is based on the oriental principles that everything in creation is made up of two antagonistic but complementary forces–yin (passive, silent, cold and dark) and yang (active, hot and heavy).

Consequently, they categorized all foodstuffs as ‘yin’ and ‘yang’, or combinations of them both. They believe that the ideal diet is one that can help balance these two forces in the body.

According to Mr. Ohsawa’s yin and yang guidelines for the Zen Macrobiotic diet:

o Cereals must always be every meal’s basis. The most ideal is whole, brown rice.

o Vegetables can supplement cereals, but in lesser quantities and less frequently. Eggplant and tomatoes must be avoided, as they are extremely yin.

o Fresh fish can be used occasionally. Animal and dairy products and fruits are to be used in minute amounts.

o All fluids should be taken as infrequently as possible, since they are very yin, especially tea, coffee, colas and sweetened juices. Tea made from fresh herbs, and spring water are thought to be the most balanced and acceptable beverages. Mr. Ohsawa gave a special recipe for such a tea.

Ohsawa himself defined macrobiotics as a dietetic medicine-philosophy, while his successors simply call it “a sensible way of eating”. Actually, then, there is no macrobiotic diet per se, just general principles.

General principles of the Zen Macrobiotic diet

Diets based on cereal grains with minority proportions of vegetables, legumes, and seaweeds are considered ideal.

The Zen Macrobiotic diet is predominantly, but not absolutely, vegetarian.

The Zen Macrobiotic diet makes general dietary recommendations, particularly that 40 to 60 percent of caloric intake should come from whole grains, including rice, millet, barley, wheat, oats, rye, corn and buckwheat.

Additionally to the type of food eaten, the Zen Macrobiotic Diet advises:

o Do not eat processed, sugared, dyed, canned, bottled, or other adulterated food.

o Eat no foods produced have been treated with pesticides, chemical fertilizers or preservatives.

o Eat no foods imported from a long distance.

o Eat no vegetables or fruits out of season.

o Refrain from eating extreme yin vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.

o Use no spices, chemical seasonings or processed table salt.

o Drink no coffee or black tea.

o Refrain from flesh and dairy foods except for occasional fish and game birds.

o No refined flour products, yeasted foods or foods containing baking soda.

o Chew one’s food thoroughly (at least 30 times – preferably more).

o Cook all food with a gas fire. Electricity is said to create chaotic energy patterns, and microwaves.

The Zen Macrobiotic Diet’s 5 guiding principles for healthy living are:

1. Foods are the foundation of health and happiness.

2. Sodium and potassium (as in salt) are the primary antagonistic and complementary elements in food. They most strongly determine its character-or “yin / yang” quality of each food.

3. Grain is proper and nature staple food of man.

4. Food should be unrefined, whole, and natural.

5. Food should be grown locally and eaten in season.

The Zen Macrobiotic diet has millions of devotes throughout the world due to its healthiness and the feeling of well being that followers of the diet enjoy.

Choosing the Best Diet for Health

The choice between a low fat and low carb diet has been a battle of epic proportions among health conscious individuals for decades. The medical profession has been advocating low fat for cardiovascular health in the belief that fat is bad and excessive carbs promote health. Low carb has been popular since the late Dr. Robert Atkins made a diet of bacon, cheese and meat popular in the 1970’s. Which dietary lifestyle reduces your risk for disease and assists with weight management goals?

Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diet for Weight Loss?

When weight reduction is your only goal, do you choose a low fat or low carbohydrate diet? A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that it really makes no difference. The study followed 300 obese participants split between the two dietary patterns and found that both groups lost about 7% of their body weight or roughly 15 pounds over the course of two years. The primary source of calories didn’t count with regard to the final weight loss result. The important element is to determine which diet is better for your health.

Low Fat Diet Promotes Heart Disease

The low fat diet which is regularly touted by medical professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers is dangerous to your health and is the driving force behind the rampant rise in heart disease. By substituting high carbohydrate foods which are low fat or no fat, dieters set the stage for wild swings in blood sugar and metabolic dysfunction. This ultimately leads to diabetes and heart disease as insulin becomes resistant to continually high blood sugar and the inner lining of the arteries are damaged by high blood pressure, oxidized LDL cholesterol and hormonal imbalance.

Choosing the Right Low Carb Diet for Health: Atkins?

There are primarily two different types of low carbohydrate diet. The first is the Atkins menu plan which initially limits fruits, vegetables and most carbohydrates in favor of a diet full of meat, cheese and processed foods which have been manufactured to reduce sugar and available carbs.

By limiting carbs this diet promotes rapid weight loss initially, but many people report difficulty remaining on the diet and find that weight loss stalls after losing 20 to 25 pounds. Additionally, many people include processed meats with the Atkins program which are known to increase cancer risk due the high level of preservative nitrites.

Best Diet for Weight Loss and Health: Naturally Fresh Vegetables and Greens

The second type of low carb diet centers on fresh vegetables and leafy greens, nuts, seeds, lean meats and monounsaturated fats. Research confirms that eating a low carb diet that eliminates all sugar and processed carbs is not only best for weight loss, but also promotes overall health. A low carb lifestyle prevents excess sugar from remaining in the blood after each meal and reduces levels of dangerous triglycerides that convert to fat reserves.

The low fat vs. low carb debate will likely continue as people try to make the right choice for their health and weight loss goals. Both have been shown effective in promoting weight reduction, but evidence abounds that the low fat approach is dangerous to health and should be avoided. Low carb alternatives are the best strategy but the Atkins approach may not promote health, depending on how it is followed. A diet filled with fresh vegetables in their natural form is best for optimal health and weight loss success.

Dieting For Health And Fitness

For many of us, dieting for health and fitness is one of the biggest, but most overlooked challenges we will face in our lifetime. That may sound like a pretty tall statement, think about it though. What shortens our lifespan? What consistently has made us sick, unhealthy and ended our lives early? Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and almost all forms of modern disease trace back to our dietary choices.

I realize that pill is a little hard to swallow, but it is true, none the less. I was visiting with a friend a while back and the conversation went something like this; Fred: ” That was an excellent dinner, want some dessert”? Michelle: “Maybe, it’s not good for you though”. Fred: “I know, it’ll shorten our lifespan, especially that chocolate mousse.” Michelle: “Ya, it comes off the end though, what are you having?”

The fact is, we all want to enjoy are lives, and food is a big part of it. So, what’s the trick, how do we eat to enjoy food and eat for health and fitness.

Perception and attitude are the key factors that lead us into, or away from, dieting for health and fitness. With the advent of professional advertising agencies that are very skilled at marketing “stuff ” that may or may not be in our best interest to buy. We have to be very careful to make up our own minds about what tastes good and is enjoyable.

A couple of obvious examples are fast food and fad diets of all sorts. According to the commercials for fast food, they’re selling the nectar of the gods to us. If you’re not used to fast food and their ads, it has a completely different effect on you. I quit eating fast food years ago and I don’t watch any mainstream television. I use the internet to get the “news” and I rent or buy movies if I want to watch one.

The last time I visited my sister and her family we went to a fast food place for lunch. It was kinda disgusting, the place smelled terrible and the food wasn’t edible. That might seem a little extreme to you. It’s true though. If you’re not conditioned to that poison, it’s very hard to stomach. Look at booze or tobacco products. Until you have conditioned your body to tolerate them, they will make you gag, cough and be sick. Remember the first time you tried one of those products?

Here’s my point, you can buy or make food that tastes good and is good for you, or you can make or buy food that isn’t. The choice is yours, don’t let someone convince you a poor choice is really alright because of very clever advertising gimmicks.

The fact is, there are just as many excellent tasting, very enjoyable food choices out there as there are poor choices. For reasons I don’t understand, it seems the poor choices get more advertising dollars spent on them.

You can change your perception about food to one that matches a diet for health and fitness. Challenge yourself to change your attitude to one that will make you successful in achieving your health and fitness goals.

Visualization and meditation have helped me tremendously. Take a little time daily to see yourself with the body and eating habits you desire. Post a picture that you will see often of someone with the habits and physique you are going to have. With a little determination and sustained effort you will achieve your goals quite quickly.

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