Tag Archives: health

Five Foods to Include in Your Diet

If you’re like me, and most other people in the U.S., you’ve resolved to eat better in 2010. Who doesn’t want to be healthier? And there is no time like the present, right? Especially after eating so many goodies over the holidays.

CNN Health suggests five foods for us to work into our diets so we can be healthier in 2010.

Whole Grains
If, like me, the thought of wheat bread makes you think of cardboard, remember that you have options. You can get whole grain goodness in rye, barley and oats. Try a snack of rye crackers with low-fat cheese. Or put some barley in your soup. Oatmeal makes a warm and comforting breakfast. You’ll reduce your risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and your waist line will look slimmer.

Every vegetarian’s favorite word. But have no fear. Soy is not boring. Soy is so versatile. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in fat. Try soy burgers, soy cheese, or soy milk. Toss some edamame pods in some sea salt and eat the beans. Use silken tofu as a thickener in soups (instead of milk or cream). The possibilities are endless.

Salmon and Other Oily Fish
High in vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and the most delicious food on this list, salmon and other oily fishes can help prevent heart disease. If salmon is not to your liking, try fresh tuna or trout, two of my favorites. Mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies also fit this category.

Red Wine
Thank the maker. Red wine is good for us. And it is 10 times better for us than white wine. Taken in moderation red wine can reduce the risk of blood clots, inflammation, and therefore, heart disease. But too much alcohol can negatively outweigh the benefits. So, drink wisely.

Green Tea
Antioxidants fight cancer, increase metabolism, and help reduce belly fat. And green tea is full of them. But it needs to be brewed, not taken in the form of iced tea. And the catch is that you have to drink a lot of it for the full effect. Whatever. It tastes delicious and is a soothing treat.

Read the full article at CNN.com

Too Much Cardio?

health club: girl in a gym doing weight lifting.

We all know cardio is essential to our fitness routines. But doing too much cardio can leave your workout routine in a rut.

Cardio workouts in moderation are great for your heart and lungs and burning up excess calories. But if you really want to bust up the fat in your body, you need to add strength training to your routine. Building up muscle strength is key to burning off fat.

Balance your workouts with no more than 30 minutes of cardio and add strength training at least three times a week. Don’t forget stretching and flexibility exercises. You will see greater results.

To revamp your fitness routine, read this article from Shine.

Live a Long Life

There is an interesting article on msn.com that lists the
Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think.

The Signs:

  • Your Mom Had You Young (with her younger healthier eggs)
  • You’re a Tea Lover (fresh-brewed green or black)
  • You’d Rather Walk (walking is beneficial even if you’re overweight)
  • You Skip Soda (even diet soda is bad for you)
  • You Have Strong Legs (they hold you up better in your old age)
  • You Eat Purple Food (like blueberries and red wine, yum)
  • You Were a Healthy-Weight Teen (less risk of diabetes)
  • You Don’t Like Burgers (lay off the red meat)
  • You’ve Been a College Freshman (smart people don’t smoke)
  • You Really Like Your Friends (helps reduce stress)
  • Your Friends Are Healthy (chances are you have similar health goals)
  • You Don’t Have a Housekeeper (cleaning is exercise)
  • You’re a Flourisher (keep a positive attitude)

Read the article on msn.com for more details.

Eat Your Way to a Flat Stomach


As the weather gets warmer and we need to shed some of our protective layers of clothing, our bellies become the focal point of our wardrobes.

The following superfoods will help flatten your tummy and curb your appetite:

Spinach – a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, this dark green leafy vegetable helps build muscle and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.

Yogurt – yogurt cultures fight bacteria in your body, boost your immune system, help protect againt cancer and even fight cavities. But be sure to chose yogurt with live and active cultures, not the sugar-filled ones found in most supermarkets. Read the label and avoid any containing high-fructose corn syrup.

Tomatoes – the godsend of Italians, red tomatoes are are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which can help decrease the risk of bladder, lung, prostate, breast, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Chunk up some tomatoes, sprinkle with a little oregano and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Yum.

Carrots – most red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, which reduce the risk of cancer, and help with inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Carrots are low in calories and taste sweet and yummy. Add them to salads or crunch on a handful of baby carrots as a snack.

Blueberries – possibly one of the best berries on Earth. Full of anioxidants, rich in fiber and packed with Vitamins A and C, blueberries help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and age-related memory disorders. They’ll also give you a good cleaning out.

Black Beans – Beans, bean, good for your heart, the more you eat the more you…you know the rest. All beans are good for you but black beans have special brain-boosting powers. They’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function.

Walnuts – loaded with heart-healthy omega-3s, and anti-inflammatory polyphenols and muscle-building protein, walnuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. They also help curb your appetite if you eat a handful about a half hour before a meal.

Oats – packed with soluble fiber and protein, oats help lower the risk of heart disease and feed your muscles with energy. There’s a reason for the sayings “sow your oats” and “feel your oats.” Oats rock.

Try to work these eight wonderfoods into your diet every day.

While you’re at it, try to take these American staples in moderation: potatoes, white bread, white flour, refined white sugar, white rice, semolina pasta, basically most white foods. They don’t call them stick-to-your-ribs foods for nothing.

Green, red, orange, blue and black. Paint your diet with these colors and you’ll feel better and look better, too.

Source: Yahoo Health: 8 Ultimate Flat-Belly Summer Foods

10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol


Here are 10 ways to lower your cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease without taking scary drugs.

  1. Exercise – There’s no way around it. You have to move every day. Exercise fights the buildup of cholesterol in the blood and plaque on the arteries.
  2. Eat Soluble Fiber – Eating foods like beans and lentils can help remove bad cholesterol from your system.
  3. Eat fish – Fatty fish provides DHA and EPA, two fatty acids which help fight cholesterol buildup in your arteries. If you don’t like fish, you could take a fish oil supplement.
  4. Cut down on meat – Meat and the fat that comes with it is packed with cholesterol. A heavy meat diet is probably the biggest cause of heart disease in America.
  5. Cut back on dairy – Dairy products are high in saturated fat and therefore loaded with cholesterol.
  6. Use olive oil – Olive oil is one of the best oils to use in cooking and salads. It can help lower LDL, which is bad cholesterol without reducing HDL, good cholesterol.
  7. Eat broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage – These kinds of vegetables are high in fiber, which you already know is good, and loaded with indoles, which fights high cholesterol.
  8. Eat plant sterols – They can be found in foods like avocados and sunflower seeds and may reduce bad cholesterol.
  9. Spice your foods – Cinnamon, chili peppers, evening primrose, garlic and cayenne can help reduce cholesterol.
  10. Add oat bran to your diet – Oat bran and rolled oats are other ways to lower your cholesterol. Just be careful not to buy the sugar-filled instant types. Eat the real thing. Yum.

Source: beachbody.com

My Favorite Ballet Workouts

ballet dancer’s legs

Longing for a lean dancer’s body with strong, beautiful legs?

Me, too.

Here are my favorite workouts that incorporate ballet techniques.

Muscle Ballet Workout with Stephanie HermanMuscle Ballet
Starring Stephanie Herman

This is my absolute favorite ballet workout. I have it on VHS. I hope my tape never wears out.

Stephanie Herman has a very pleasant style and gives clear instructions. I have her whole line of dance-inspired workouts.

For more on Stephanie Herman, visit her Web site. You can explore her other workouts or take an in-person class.

New York City Ballet WorkoutNYC Ballet Workout:
Fifty Stretches And Exercises Anyone Can Do For A Strong, Graceful, And Sculpted Body (Paperback)

I prefer the book over the DVD because I like to work at my own pace.

I like the way they teach you to build your own workouts to suit your needs and to prepare you for other activities, such as tennis or golf.

The Ballet Workout with Melissa LoweBallet Workout
Starring Melissa Lowe

This is the first ballet workout I ever bought. It’s from the late 1980s as you can tell by the costumes.

Even though the makeup and clothes are a little outdated, the workout remains timeless. I love workouts that are full-on classic ballet, not just inspired by ballet moves.

Hot Bod FusionHot Bod Fusion:
The Ultimate Yoga, Pilates, and Ballet Workout for Sculpting Your Best Body (Paperback)

This book has sections on ballet, yoga and pilates techniques.

You can mix and match, so you don’t get bored with one workout. It doesn’t hurt that the models are gorgeous.

Balocity with Deanna McBreartyBalocity: Cardio with a Classic Twist
Starring Deanne McBrearty

This is my most recent purchase. I haven’t tried it yet. But I have watched it all the way through and I can tell I’m going to love it.

Deanna McBreary was featured in the NYC ballet workout book.
Visit her Web site for more information.

Ballet Class for Beginners with David HowardBallet Class: For Beginners

This is not designed as a workout. This is an actual beginner’s ballet class led by ballet master David Howard.

Such a treasure.

What are your favorite workouts?

Cold Weather Defense Kit

Puritan’s Pride Vitamins

Fight off the winter sniffles and blahs.

My favorite place to buy vitamins and supplements is Puritan’s Pride.
The prices are amazingly low and the quality is very good.

Here are recommendations for fighting the winter yuks.

Cold Weather Defense Kit – only $7.99 !!!

The latest kit from Puritan’s Pride is one you’ll want with you all year long. The Cold Weather Defense Kit contains vitamin, mineral and herbal support, to keep you feeling your best every day. Featuring both the leading vitamin and the leading herb for immune health, our Cold Weather Defense Kit is a bundle of wellness…anytime of year!

Kit contains:

Vitamin C – 500 mg with Rose Hips tablets
As one of the best antioxidants available for heart health, Vitamin C is also the leading vitamin for immune support.**

Chelated Zinc lozenges
Chelated Zinc lozenges dissolve in your mouth to promote the health of the immune system.**

Echinacea 400 mg capsules
Echinacea naturally contains beneficial polysaccharides and phytosterols, and is the #1 herb for promoting the body’s natural defense system.**

Time Release Complete One® tablets
Just one tablet a day provides you with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, and contributes to overall well-being.**

**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

CHILDRED OF THE High Fructose CORN Syrup


High fructose corn syrup is evil.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup for a while now.

After trying to find a loaf of wheat bread that does not contain the stuff, I’ve been on a HFCS rampage.

Even loaves of bread that claim they are healthy, like multigrain and kosher brands, are made with the cheap, dangerous crap.

Bread doesn’t need HFCS or even sugar. There was a time when honey wheat was made with, I know this radical: HONEY.

Well, anyway, everything I wanted to say about high fructose corn syrup can be found at this post at Fallenmonk. He also provides links to research the topic.

Next time you are at the supermarket, look at the labels. You’ll be shocked at how high fructose corn syrup is in everything we eat.

7 Healthy Foods For Women


Harvard researchers have released a list of seven healthy foods they say every woman should eat.

Berries – fiber-rich and full of protective plant antioxidants, you should eat a cup of berries three times a week. Toss them in salads, add them to yogurt, or eat them by themselves.

Salmon – a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat, and also full of Vitamins B12 and D. Bake, broil or poach and add to salads and pastas. Tuna is also a good source.

Dark Leafy Greens – Spinach, Chard, Romaine, Collard Greens are all a great source for fiber, Vitamins C and K, Folic Acid, Lutein, Magnesium, Iron and Potassium. Besides salads, add some to a sandwich, or add to pasta dishes and soups.

Whole Grains – Yeah, I like the white bread I grew up with better too, but whole grains offer up to 96 percent more fiber, magnesium, zinc, chromium and vitamins E and B6 than refined grains. Look for whole grain, multi-grain cereals, breads and pastas without high-fructose corn syrup.

Nuts – Full of protein, magnesium, Vitamins B and E and heart-healthy fat. Not all fat is bad. Eat as a snack or add to salads, cereals, yogurts and stir-fry dishes.

Golden Veggies – yellow and orange veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots provide large amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Try a baked sweet potato as a side dish or enjoy a few carrot sticks instead of potato chips with your lunchtime sandwich.

Yogurt – full of calcium, protein and B vitamins. Look for low-fat or no-fat plain yogurt and add your own berries and nuts instead of buying the sugar-filled blended versions. You can also use plain yogurt to make salad dressings and thicken sauces.

What Is Quinoa?

QuinoaQuinoa is popping up everywhere. But what is it and how do you pronounce it?

It’s a high-protein, gluten-free ancient grain cultivated in Peru, Chile and Bolivia and it’s pronounced KEEN-Wah.

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and is also rich in calcium, iron, Vitamin E and has an almost perfect balance of the eight essential amino acids.

Technically, quinoa is not really a grain, but the seeds of the Goosefoot plant. But it is used as a grain to make breads and soups or can be cooked like rice and used as a side dish to a meal.

Substitute quinoa is a dish that you would normally use rice or barley. It has a pleasant light nutty taste and feels good on the tooth.

Quinoa can be found in most natural food stores in the U.S. and Canada.