Salads have so much potential –though that’s not always a good thing. Topped with fresh vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and homemade dressing, they can make the perfect nutrient-packed meal. But when words like “buffalo,” “bacon,” and “blue” are involved, their real potential is for packing on pounds. Thankfully, you don’t need to nosh solely on plain lettuce leaves to stay slim and healthy. We asked top nutrition experts to reveal their favorite recipe for a hearty, healthy salad. Their answers were even more mouthwatering than expected. Check out all 23 expert’s meal ideas—and try not to drool!” via 23 Healthy Salads Nutrition Experts Eat Slideshow | LIVESTRONG.COM.
I’m not sure about the integrity of this list; there’s not a raw vegetable in sight! Seems to be mostly packaged foods but if that’s your thing, you can get more here: healthy snacks list | The 21 Best Organic Snacks | Rodale News.
Gotta try this recipe! Grilling BS! « Rantings of an Amateur Chef.
Visual Loop via Food Safety – How to Stop A BBQ from Going Bad.
There isn’t only one type of tea – think of the many tea brews you’ve seen in their fancy packaging at the supermarket whilst you were on your way to the soda aisle (for instance).
There are teas scented or infused with flowers like rose and jasmine; herbs like peppermint and pandan; spices like vanilla, cinnamon and ginger; and even fruit like strawberry or orange.
Brew it strong, pour into a pitcher or a bottle and let it cool inside the fridge. If you want it sweet, add some honey.” via Tastes As Good As Soda! | FinerMinds.
Lately, I’ve been rocking the iced tea at home and at restaurants. It’s a great substitute for soda and beer and you can be very creative with it, too. Try sun-brewed tea, too!
Want one reason for your beer belly? How about 100 quintillion? That’s about how many bacteria live in your gut. And scientists now believe these bacteria can have a significant impact on your weight.
Consuming high amounts of fructose (a type of sugar), artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols (another type of low-calorie sweetener) cause your gut bacteria to adapt in a way that interferes with your satiety signals and metabolism, according to a new paper in Obesity Reviews. (If you’ve noticed you’ve been feeling tired all the time and gaining weight, your metabolism may be slowing. Check out this plan to rev up your body’s fat-burning machine in 8 weeks!)
“An evolution of the gut flora to this new sweetener-rich environment has a potential to negatively impact our health,” says Amanda Payne, Ph.D., lead author of the review.” via How Soda Is Making You Fat | Men’s Health News.
Glad I stopped drinking soda awhile ago — otherwise, I’d have to quit RIGHT NOW!!!
This article got me thinking about exercise…
Some people swear by the treadmill. Others can’t wait for the warm weather and the opportunities for outdoor exercise that come with it. But while you might think it comes down to personal preference, there’s a small body of research that suggests outdoor exercise might have even more health benefits than a trip to the gym.
The most recent study polled nearly 2,000 active participants in the 2008 Scottish Health Survey and found that outdoor physical activity had a 50 percent greater positive effect on mental health than going to the gym. The researchers, from Glasgow University, found that walking, running, biking and other outdoor activities through green space lowered stress, The Telegraph reported.
It’s not the first study to suggest outdoor exercise boosts mental health, but lead researcher Richard Mitchell, Ph.D., told The Telegraph that while the results themselves aren’t surprising, the extent to which outdoor exercise beats out indoor activity is. “I wasn’t surprised by the findings that exercise in natural environments is good for your mental health, but I was surprised by just how much better it is for your mental health to exercise in a green place like a forest, than in other places like the gym,” he said. “The message to doctors, planners and policy makers is that these places need protecting and promoting.”
A 2011 study found that outdoor exercise was associated with greater decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression when compared to indoor activity. And a 2010 study found that even just five minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem, the BBC reported.
But there are other reasons to take your next sweat session outside. Click through the benefits below, then add your personal reasons for exercising outside in the comments!
You don’t see this kind of stuff on the elliptical at the Y:
Here’s part of my story; for years I blamed my fat ass on the ‘fact’ that the Y was 18 miles away and I couldn’t afford an elliptical machine. I used to be a runner until I herniated a disc in 1990 and since then, I let myself get overweight because nothing else matched the benefits I got from running. Enter an inexpensive application for my Android called Endomondo Pro. People get motivated to exercise in different ways. I need to compete against myself and I need to see that I’m making progress; Endomondo helps with both and more…
Back in March, I was 15 lbs. heavier and had a waist size that was two inches bigger. I turned to exercises that I could do anywhere at any time instead of relying on the elliptical machine far away up in Sturgeon Bay. Later, when the weather got better I added biking to power walking and thanks to Endomondo I know that since I’ve started, I’ve had 99 exercise bouts and my workout time and distance [thanks to the bike] is steadily increasing:
Endomondo challenges me by giving me details stats of my workouts like this, too:
Thanks to Endomondo, I know I’m making progress; yesterday I shattered my PR for a 10 mile bike ride by almost 5 minutes which is more than a 10% reduction in time. This, for reasons I don’t really understand because of the way I’m wired helps ME to stay motivated and looking forward to exercise every day. Thanks to Endomondo, I’ve also learned that it takes me only 3-4 minutes longer to get to work by bike than by car, so why not take the bike? I show up more alert anyway!!!
It made me laugh this morning to know that at least one other person I know is using Endomondo well. David Kanigan writes about his challenges with Mr. Endomondo over at his blog:
3 miles out. Mr. Endomondo tells me I’m 8 seconds ahead of yesterday’s pace. (OK, momentum is now shifting. I fumble around to find AC-DC on a playlist. No more shuffling or fumbling around. AC-DC is going to bring me home the last 2.5 miles.)
4 miles out. Mr. Endomondo tells me that I’m 45 seconds ahead. (AC-DCs Back in Black comes on.
‘Cause I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
(Well) I’m back in black
Yes, I’m back in black
5 miles out. Mr. Endomondo tells me that I’m 65 seconds ahead. (I think I’ve broken Endomondo’s spirit. He didn’t seem to have the same confident tone with this time check. Teach you to go messing with me)
David, I’m going to suggest you either use Pandora or Spotify to get a more upbeat workout playlist! Oh, and I use the female voice so she’s Ms. Endomondo to me… :-D
Sometime today, I’ll take my 100th trip with Endomondo. Those trips — and the behaviors that surround them — have changed my life for good and for Good…
btw, thanks to David Kanigan for the walk video, too…
Summer is upon us (unless you’re in parts of the world where it’s summer all year long – hurrah!), and we’re not just looking forward to the sun, the pool parties, the festivals, the backyard barbeques and cold beers at the beach – we’re also excited that some power foods are in season. Yup, we’re hip like that.
Like the anticipation of a new TV show season, these guys only grace the headlining shelves at supermarkets a few times a year, so we’ve selected four nutritious and flavorful foods that should be the star of your next culinary venture.” via 4 Seasonal Super Foods & 4 Easy Summer Recipes | FinerMinds.
Holy Kaw! via When are fruits and veggies in season?.
- The 15 Fruits And Veggies Least Contaminated By Pesticides (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eating veggies may help smokers quit (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Why Fruit and Veggies Aren’t Obesity Cure-Alls (freakonomics.com)
- To quit smoking, try eating more veggies and fruits (eurekalert.org)
- Save on Fruits and Veggies at Ethnic Markets (simplystated.realsimple.com)
“Eating is really one of your indoor sports. You play three times a day, and it’s well worth while to make the game as pleasant as possible.” via Dorothy Draper.
Curated from Mary Ann Esposito @ Healthy Living on HuffingtonPost.com who writes:
It is going to be a long, hot summer if the weather forecasters are right, and that means who wants to cook over a hot stove and heat up the kitchen when the grill will do very nicely, thank you.
Grill preferences and their cooking techniques vary a lot. I am partial to a gas grill because even though it may not impart that true smoky flavor that a charcoal grill produces, it does do a respectable job without the hassle of starting a charcoal fire. Call me lazy.
I use the grill a lot; I have even baked cookies on it! Vegetables are my forte, though, and I have learned through trial and error which vegetables take kindly to grilling and which do not.
I define vegetables that are hard to grill as those that slip through the grill grate or those that are too soft with a juicy texture. They would include asparagus and tomatoes. I define the best veggies for the grill as those that stay put on the grill grate, need minimal fussing — just a light olive oil spray — and whose flavor is enhanced by grilling.
The vegetables listed below are ideal for the grill.
1) Eggplant: Slices char nicely without burning because the flesh is dense and the slices stay nicely on the grill top whether they are sliced in thick rounds or lengthwise slices. Do not peel before grilling.
2) Zucchini: The dense flesh of young zucchini without a lot of seeds are perfect for the grill. It is best to cut them in lengthwise slices to avoid them falling through the grate
3) Red Peppers: A serious vegetable for the grill; char the skin until blackened all over; when cool remove the skin and enjoy the sweet and lush smoky taste with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt.
4) Leeks: Remove the deep green leaf tops and discard them; trim off the roots and cut the bulb in half lengthwise right through the core. Brush with olive oil.
5) Sweet Potato: The trick here is to microwave the potato first; let cool, peel them; cut into thick planks before grilling
6) Fennel: Remove the feathery leave tops and save for soup. Cut the bulb into wedges right through the core. Grilling makes this vegetable taste super sweet.
7) Bok Choy: Place small heads of baby bok choy on a large sheet of oiled aluminum foil; sprinkle with coarse salt and a grinding of black pepper. Close the foil and place on the grill. Cook total of 4 minutes, turning the foil over once.
8) Corn: Forget about wetting the husks and wrapping the whole thing in foil; strip off the husks; place corn directly on the grill and brush with your favorite barbeque or pesto sauce, oil or butter. Keep it light so there is no flare up. You can always slather on more butter or sauce at the table.
9) Radicchio: Cut heads into thick wedges right through the core; grill as for #7 bok choy. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Delicious!
10) Portobello mushrooms: Often called “the poor man’s steak,” Portobello are meaty and take to just about any seasoning. One bit of advice though: before placing them on the grill, scrape out those black gills on the underside of the cap. They do nothing for the flavor.” via Mary Ann Esposito: Ten Best Veggies for the Grill”
“We’ve been told yogurt is good for us. And in times past, most cultures have traditions of fermented food, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and a tasty tea-based drink I’ve been fermenting at home, called kombucha. All these foods are jam-packed with living yeast and bacteria species that go down your gullet to comingle with the one hundred trillion (yes, trillion) bacteria already living there.
90% of the cells in your body are the bacteria who live on and within you. Most of them live in your colon. The species of bacteria in your colon could determine how thin or fat you are, or maybe how vulnerable you are to stress. The commensal beasties are difficult to study as they don’t live outside the human gut and can’t be cultured in a lab. There’s a lot to learn.
So fermented food had an obvious advantage in that it kept longer in the days before refrigerators, but did it have another advantage perpetuating it’s existence in so many cultures in human history? Are the probiotics helpful in keeping the beasties in our gut happy and healthy? I’ve discussed this issue a bit in a previous post, but last year a new paper came out that is also interesting:
Probiotics function mechanistically as delivery vehicles for neuroactive compounds: Microbial endocrinology in the design and use of probiotics.” Get more here: Groovy Probiotics | Psychology Today.
Good stuff! Lately, my wife has been introducing us to probiotics and it’s definitely worth looking into…
I’ve shared information about CAFO’s here before. As a resident of rural Wisconsin in a county with 17 CAFO’s, I’m concerned about the impact of these mega-manure operations on my land and water…
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 1 billion tons of animal waste is produced annually by livestock operations, much of it from CAFOs. These facilities commonly rely on open lagoons or large piles to store the huge volumes of waste generated there, later to be crop-applied. This waste is essentially untreated and often used at levels that far exceed the fertilization needs of crops. This results in excess runoff and leaching into local rivers, streams and bays, damaging water quality and fish, birds, and other life.
“The waste generated by CAFOs contains a range of pollutants, including excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Even more alarming, this manure can carry pathogens like bacteria and viruses, antibiotics, copper, and arsenic.” Karen Steuer, Director, Reforming Industrial Animal Agriculture
And there have been plenty of reports of these issues affecting people, too. In 2004, 29 states identified livestock-feeding operations as a source of water pollution. According to the EPA, drinking water sources for an estimated 40 percent of Americans have suffered some level of pathogen contamination associated with CAFOs.
The waste generated by CAFOs contains a range of pollutants, including excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Even more alarming, this manure can carry pathogens like bacteria and viruses, antibiotics, copper, and arsenic.
All this can result in a multitude of problems for people, plants, and animals alike. For example:
A massive manure spill at a Lewis County, N.Y., dairy farm in 2005 contaminated 20 miles of the Black River and killed 375,000 fish.
At a national wildlife refuge near a large hog operation in Nebraska, wildlife experts concluded in 2004 that wastewater with high concentrations of phosphorous, ammonia, nitrogen, and harmful pathogens had created an environment conducive to algal blooms and possible outbreaks of avian botulism and avian cholera.
Over the last three years, toxic algal blooms have plagued Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio. These are caused by excess nutrients, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources notes that the “manure generated by approximately 300 confined animal operations and applied to nearby crop fields is a major component of the nutrient load to the watershed.”
The Clean Water Act is the principal law for controlling pollution of rivers, lakes, and wetlands in the United States. The law has a mixed record overall, but an especially poor one when it comes to regulating pollution from animal agriculture, particularly concentrated animal feeding operations. While the EPA and state agencies have implemented various regulations to control nutrient pollution, significant gaps remain.
In my next blog, I will provide more detail on the specific links between CAFOs and water pollution across the country.” Get more here: Bigger Isn’t Better – Pew Environment Group.
You can track the issue here and via Google Alerts and Google Reader if you’re interested in knowing more…
- Factory Farms Produce 100 Times More Waste than U.S. Population (naturalsociety.com)
- First-Ever Court Victory Holds CAFO Accountable for Water Pollution (ecocentricblog.org)
- CAFOs and draglining: Some accepted agricultural practices should be questioned (thewmeacblog.org)
- Environmental inspections drop in Walker’s first year (jsonline.com)
- Georgia’s poultry CAFOs extreme case in cruelty, eco-hazards; but alternatives abound (radyananda.wordpress.com)