Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Acai: The Super Fruit and A Healthy Replacement For Red Bull

Doing research for health and diet I stumbled across information related to acai. It is a berry grown in South America and in recent years has been lauded for its health benefits. Loaded with energy, antioxidants, and nutrients, this berry has supplanted blueberry as the premier fruit or vegetable.

I had started taking an acai supplement in pill form. I had even found a fairly inexpensive acai juice (Genesis Today). A buddy of mine approached me about a new business venture he had embarked on: Mona Vie.

It is a company that has a line of products based on acai and he has become an independent distributor for them. The price of their acai based fruit juice, which is really good for you and high quality, was a little steep. Though people that use their juice products really rave about them.

What really caught my eye was their energy drink: Emv. All natural, no added sugar or caffeine. No taurine. It is a healthy replacement for Red Bull. A little more expensive than Red Bull, it is worth it because it is good for you and provides a natural energy boost without the crash that you get from caffeine and sugar.

You can't buy it in stores, but you can order by the case here: Emv Distributor That link also has all the information you might want related to Mona Vie's products.

I have been using Emv for about a week and a half now. It tastes great, gives me an energy boost, and has healthful benefits that other energy drinks can't claim. It is 80% fruit juice! Give it a try.

(Note: I receive no compensation for this entry and am in no way affiliated with Mona Vie nor its distributors. I simply believe in this product and wanted to share with the readers of this blog.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Handful Of Nuts

No this is not about my family, though they'd qualify. This is about one of the most nutritious, healthful snacks one can do for their bodies. A handful of nuts a day, unlike an apple, can keep the doctor away. More and more studies are showing that nuts are nutritional and healthy. No wonder early people that subsisted on nuts and berries (another healthful food) were so healthy. Of course, they got ate by wild animals but no one can live in a perfect world.

Almonds are the main star among nuts. Luckily for me they are my favorite! Remember, we are talking about 1 oz. a day, and the health benefits are astounding. I usually pay between $6-7 for a pound of raw almonds, and that pound last for about 2 weeks. Almonds have been shown to:

  • Provide good fat (omega 3, 6 and 9)
  • Provide fiber
  • Be high in antioxidants (kill those free radicals!)
  • Suppress appetite
Almonds tend to be very filling and satisfying which leads to the last point above. Eat a handful of almonds before lunch or dinner and you will eat less.

Other nuts are proving to be very beneficial too, so if you don't like almonds, try walnuts, cashews, or even peanuts. Just remember to watch sodium (salted nuts might cause you to take in too much) and even sugar (avoid "sweetened" nuts). Try to stick to them in their raw form for maximum health benefits.

If you are like me and love nuts, especially almonds, indulge and enjoy the healthful benefits. Just make sure not to over do it!

Here is more on the subject:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/317/7169/1341
http://www.guardian.co.uk/california-almonds/introduction
http://www.nbc26.com/Global/story.asp?S=10718636

So go nuts and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Buckwheat: A Hidden Health Jewel

If you, like I, had never heard of buckwheat, you are in for a treat. (Note: If you came to this site thinking you were going to read about the Little Rascals' character of the same name, you will be disappointed.) We have an independently owned and run pancake house near work and one day last fall a coworker suggested we go there.

"They have pumpkin pancakes", he informed me.

I was in. I love pumpkin flavored everything from donuts (big no-no) to pie (also not great). The pumpkin pancakes were incredible.

The next time I visited the pancake house pumpkin season was over. Wanting to try to find something whole-grain, I ordered the buckwheat pancakes on a whim. After the first bite I thought I had made a mistake. Nothing that good could be good for you, could it?

I began to research buckwheat. I found that it was the non-grain grain. It is actually a fruit! And it has many nutritional advantages.

Click here to read about buckwheat's nutrition: Birkett Mills Buckwheat Nutrition

So now I can go to the pancake house, order buckwheat pancakes with blueberry syrup, a side of turkey sausage, and have no guilt!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Videos: Excellent Dietary Tips

Today's entry is just a quick link to some videos on FNC iMag's Food section. These videos include some really good information and tips for eating healthy. I especially like the tips on what to buy and how to buy it. These will help you not only eat healthier, but do it affordably. Check them out at:

Click here: FNC iMag Food Videos

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eating To Lose Weight

That's right, you didn't read that wrong. Today's title is "Eating To Lose Weight". I have found that one of the best ways to lose weight is to eat. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but it is true. The thing that makes the difference is what you eat. Eating the right foods will allow you to indulge from time to time without regaining lost weight.

I think the best way to describe what I am talking about is through an illustration I once saw. It was an infomercial for a diet plan where you eat the right foods to lose weight. In the infomercial the diet guru threw a huge log on a smoldering fire. He pointed out how long it would take to burn that log because the fire was so small to begin with. Then he took another fire and stoked it with smaller twigs and branches into a roaring fire. Then put a similar size log to the first on the fire and pointed out how much faster the log would be consumed in that bigger fire.

Our metabolisms are like this. Most people have allowed their metabolisms to slow to a crawl through lack of exercise, wrong food choices, and yo-yo dieting. When we throw big food logs (high fat, high calorie) on those kinds of metabolisms weight gain is the result. But if we stoke our metabolism through exercise, eating the right foods, and doing other dietary things then our metabolisms will more quickly consume those food logs and we will gain little or no weight.

I recently went on vacation. While I tried to stick to my diet plan, and did about half of the time, I did splurge a bit and ate things I don't normally eat, in amounts I don't normally eat. However, I didn't gain the typical 5 pounds of vacation weight. The reason is that I have kicked up my metabolism to the point where I could maintain my weight through a period of poor diet.

As mentioned, their are some obvious things you can do to jump start your metabolism: exercise, adding low fat and low sugar foods to your diet, and limiting portions. But what if you are a big eater by nature? Well, I maintain you can eat to lose weight, and here are some tips on how to do that:

1) Eat breakfast. It amazes me the number of people that complain about their weight and then admit they are not breakfast eaters. Study after study has shown that eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and is important for weight maintenance or loss. A few years ago I proved this myself doing the Special K diet. I wasn't a breakfast eater, so I ate a bowl of Special K at lunch, then a normal dinner. I lost about 5 pounds in 3 weeks doing that. Then I started eating a bowl of Special K for breakfast as well. I dropped another 10 pounds in 2 weeks! To boost your metabolism eating breakfast is a must. It should be as low fat and low sugar as you can make it (not donuts!).

2) Eat a low fat, low sugar snack before bed. Do not underestimate the power of this. It is important to make sure it is low fat and low sugar. I like to have a bowl of high fiber, unsweetened cereal (Grape Nuts!), using skim milk, with a handful of dried berries (cranberries or blueberries) or raisins. This not only keeps your digestion going into the night, but it is also helpful for vitamin absorption if you take my advice and take your supplements at bedtime.

3) Drink caffeine! This is not possible for everyone, especially those that suffer from insomnia. But if you can tolerate caffeine then make sure to drink fully caffeinated coffee, tea and any other drink or substance that has caffeine. Caffeine is a natural metabolism booster. I avoided caffeine for years and as I aged I watched my metabolism slow. Once I went back to caffeine I noticed that my metabolism was much improved.

4) Eat nuts. My personal favorites are almonds. Just a handful or so a day in place of a high fat or high sugar snack and your metabolism, health, and weight will be better for it. Plus raw almonds have been proven to be effective in preventing cancer in studies. They also are high in good fats, and are suspected to suppress appetite. So make sure to have almonds on hand.

5) Exercise. I know I mentioned this before but even 15-30 minutes of walking a day can have a significant impact on your metabolism.

Doing the right things, and heeding these tips 90-95% of the time will allow you to be bad 5-10% of the time with little to no effect on your overall health and weight.
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