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When grocery shopping don't forget that the most healthy food choices are found on the outside aisles!



Getting healthy and staying healthy is a lifestyle change. No one is saying that you have to dive into a diet or a fitness routine, but it is vitally important to incorporate these things into your every day life. These tips are simple and very effective. Keep your heart healthy and your body and mind active.

 Health Tip #1 - Sleep

Everybody needs a good nights sleep. Every person's body varies in how much sleep is necessary. That amount can also change depending upon the amount of activity each day. By ensuring that your body gets the amount of sleep that it needs each night, you are helping your body stay healthy and happy. The average sleep needed for an active adult is 6 - 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Sleep in a dark, quiet room and allow yourself enough time to get the sleep you need. Your body will tell you how much is necessary. Getting enough sleep will help your mood, your metabolism, your immunity and almost every other aspect of your health.

Health Tip #2 - Cut Out Caffeine

Caffeine is a drug. It affects your body in numerous ways and can raise your blood pressure and cause you to have trouble sleeping. By cutting back the amount of caffeine that you consume, you are allowing your body to function the way that it needs to. Of course, many people will find this a difficult step to take, so you can begin by eliminating one cup of coffee or soda each day. Then cut back even more as you get comfortable with that amount. Your goal should be to cut caffeine out of your diet completely.

Health Tip #3 - Eat Breakfast

How are you supposed to have energy and a functioning mind if you are not feeding your body? Eating breakfast is one of the most important steps to losing weight and being healthy. Skipping breakfast causes hunger pains, binge eating and irritability. Even if all you eat is a piece of toast with peanut butter on it as you run out the door, the fuel you give your body in the morning will help you function better all day long.

Health Tip #4 - Eat the Whole Grain

Switch your bread and bread products to whole grain varieties. There are tons of new varieties available in the grocery store. The whole grains are healthier for your heart, help to cut your risk of cancer and the fiber help you feel fuller. Fiber is also extremely important for keeping your body working correctly. It's an easy change to make, even if you eat out for lunch every day. Ask for wheat bread on any sandwich or sub that you eat. Buy whole wheat bread, bagels and muffins to keep at home and plan to try several varieties until you find one that tastes great for you.

Health Tip #5 - Get Moving

Exercise is important, not just for weight loss but for the healthy running of your body. Do something every day to get your body moving. This can be as simple as walking an extra block on your way to work, getting up and walking around the living room during commercials or going outside to play with your kids or dog on the weekend. Start off small and incorporate this exercise into your daily life. As your body gets used to moving more, you can add more exercise and start a real routine. The more you move your body, the more you can do.

Health Tip #6 - Sit Down to Eat

And not on the couch in front of the television. Make an effort to sit down at the table to eat your meals. This allows you to concentrate on your food. When your body tells you that you are full, listen. Instead of paying attention tot he latest episode of your favorite show on TV, pay attention to your body. By paying attention to your body, you will be able to stop overeating and enjoy your food. As you pay more attention to the tastes of your food, you will enjoy eating different foods and experimenting with healthier versions of old favorites.

Health Tip #7 - Hydrate

Drink water. Instead of grabbing a soda when you are thirsty, grab a glass of water. The calories, sugars and chemicals in sodas can do major harm to your body. Even diet soda is full of preservatives, chemicals and sugar substitutes that will pollute your body. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated, allows it to flush toxins from your system, will help boost your metabolism and help you loose weight. If you need flavoring, flavor your water yourself with a little bit of lemon or fruit juice. Commercial flavored waters are sometimes full of excess sugars and sodium that are bad for you.

Health Tip #8 - Eat Greener

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Try to eat fruits and veggies for snacks as well as at main meals. Instead of a candy bar, grab an apple. The sugars in fruits are just as full of energy, but are healthier for your body. Many Americans do not get their daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Don't just open an extra can of peas at night either, try to add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet as they are higher in vitamins and nutrients and have no preservatives added. Eat organic if you can and pay attention to the flavors. You will be amazed at the differences in taste between canned, fresh and organic products.

Health Tip #9 - Supplement Your Health

Take a multi-vitamin every day. If you can, talk to your doctor about the best vitamins for you to take. Some supplements do not dissolve in your system and do you no good, some vitamin supplements are not necessarily needed for every person and some times we can get too much of certain vitamins. A good, basic multi-vitamin would be fine to take without a doctor's approval and the boost to your health and energy should be noticeable to you right away.

Health Tip #10 - Go Meatless

Not everyone is able to make the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle. That's perfectly fine. But, try to go meatless at least once a week. The decrease in meat consumption will help you to become healthier. Lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure are great side effects to a lower meat diet. Start with one meal at a time and when you get used to that, cut meat from another meal. You can also cut back on the amount of meat served in a meal by using half of the meat called for in a recipe or by substituting beans or a soy product for part of the meat called for. By starting off gradually, the reduction in the amount of meat that you eat will be hardly noticeable to you and your family. And the health benefits are wonderful.




According to Japanese Scientific Research, full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more darker patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality; Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than green skin version.

Eating 1-2 banana/s a day increases immunity.

Please pass/share and stay healthy.

Hoax or Fact:



It is a fact that nutrient content of fruits change slightly as they ripen. As a banana ripens and turns yellow, its levels of antioxidants increases. These antioxidants in ripe bananas protect your body against cancer and heart diseases. But while overripe bananas certainly have nutritional value, they also lose some benefits. In full ripe bananas with dark spots on skin, the starch content changes to simple sugars that are easier to digest and may raise your blood glucose levels quickly, but it could be harmful for people with diabetes. Also, the micronutrients like vitamins and minerals decrease as the bananas ripen.

Tumor Necrosis Factor(TNF-α) is a cytokine, substances secreted by certain cells of the immune system that have an effect on other cells. This is indeed helpful in fighting abnormal turmor cells in body. Research done on ripening bananas has proved that the levels of TNF-α induction increased markedly with dark spots on skin before the entire banana peel turned brown. The research concluded that the activity of banana was comparable to that of Lentinan, a chemical immunostimulant that is intravenously administered as an anti-cancer agent. So, ripe banana can act as an anti-cancer agent by stimulating the production of white blood cells in the human cell line.

Both green and yellow bananas are high fiber foods rich in potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and vitamin C. They have high calorific value because of their high sugar levels. A medium sized banana provides about 105 calories. Also, bananas are very good for our Gastro-Intestinal tract and aid in digestion. Therefore, eating one or two bananas is indeed good for health. Once bananas ripen fully, store them in the refrigerator to minimize further vitamin loss. Fresh bananas with brown patches on the skin are ripe enough to eat immediately. Make sure to avoid over-ripe bananas whose skin has turned brown or split open.


Plain Yogurt

Did you know?

Almost all recipes that use Mayonnaise as one of the ingredients can be substituted with Plain Yogurt.

Especially Chicken Salad and Tuna Salad. A great low fat alternative loaded with protein!

Many people also substitute oil when baking a cake using a mix with Natural Apple Sauce. You can also use Plain Yogurt.

Plain Yogurt can be used in a variety of ways. Experiment when cooking or baking and see what you can do with Plain Yogurt!


Looking for a healthy low fat alternative for the Holidays?

Look no further!


Minutes to prepare: 5

Minutes to cook: 20

Number of servings: 24


1 box spice cake mix

1 15 oz can pure pumpkin

1 cup of water


Mix together one box of spice cake mix, 1 cup of water, and 1 can of pumpkin. It may helpt to mix the water into the mix before adding the pumpkin. Transfer to a muffin tin. Bake 18-21 minutes or as directed on the spice cake mix box.


Servings Per Recipe: 24

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 92

Total Fat: 1.5g

Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Sodium: 135.1mg

Total Carbs: 18.5g

Dietary Fiber: 0.7g

Protein: 1.2g



30 Minutes Versus 1 Hour

New research shows that 30 minutes of intense cardio is better than one full hour. The study consisted of adult men who are "healthy but heavy". The study was conducted over a three month period. The group who performed 30 minute cardio sessions lost 8lbs. while those performing a full hour of cardio sessions lost 6lbs.


FITNESS ESSENTIALS - Cut Fat with the "30-Second Rule"

We aim for efficiency and optimum time management more than ever these days, and that includes our training prgrams. Goals differ among those who work out, but if you're in a weight-loss phase, there are ways to increase your calorie burning though specific training regimens.


Do 30-Second Short Sprints Instead of Endurance Cardio.


Reduce Rest Between Sets to 30 Seconds.

Researchers discovered that you can increase calories burned by 50% during weight training by dropping your rest between sets from three minutes to 30 seconds. Another study found that your body burns 35% more calories after a workout when you train using supersets instead of traditional weightlifting sets.



If all the arguments for eating your fruits and vegetables (heart-healthy, immune-boosting, disease-fighting, vision-protecting) haven't swayed you, how about good looking? It turns out that the carotenoids in some fruits and vegetables (the yellow, orange and red pigments in their skins). "Most people think the best way to improve skin color is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective," stated Ian Stephen, Ph.D., of the University of Nottingham, lead author of the study recently published in Evolution and Human Behavior. In the study, 51 different Caucasian faces were shown to individuals who were asked to adjust the skin tone - from suntan to a carotenoid glow - and choose the one they perceived as healthiest, and therefore more attractive. "We found that, given the choice between skin color caused by suntan and skin color caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin color," noted Stephen. And although the primary study used Caucasian faces, the paper included a study showing that the "glowing" effect is also perceived as more attractive in other races. GET THE GLOW! Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables right in carotenoids, such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, guava, pink grapefruit, and such green vegetables (where carotenoids are masked by chlorophyll) as spinach, kale, Romaine, broccoli and collard greens.


vitamin d is vital


Vitamin D, often called "the sunshine vitamin," is vital for overall health and disease prevention. In addition, adequate vitamin D levels are critical for bone health, since it is used by the body to increase the intestinal absorption of calcium for proper mineralization of bone tissue. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle or misshapen, leading to rickets in children and weak bones in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. The increased fracture risk associated with osteoporosis is one of the most life threatening consequences of vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. In a 2009 review of 12 published clinical trials, scientists confirmed the positive effects of vitamin D on fractures in adults ages 65 and older who took 400 IU or more of vitamin D per day. The authors concluded that hip fracture prevention with vitamin D is dose-dependent, that is, they found the greatest prevention in those taking at least 4000 IU or more of vitamin D supplements. They concluded that higher-dose vitamin D should reduce fractures by at least 20% for people ages 65 years or older. Vitamin D deficiencies may also result in muscle pain, low energy, fatigue and reduced immunity. Recent studies suggest that symptoms of winter blues and disruptive sleep patterns may be partially related to decreases in the natural production of vitamin D in winter. Serious medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, increased risk for dementia and even early death, have been linked to reduced vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is called "the sunshine vitamin" because the body can naturally produce it when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight in midday when UVB rays are strongest. In climates such as North America where there is limited sunlight in winter, reduced sun exposure contributes to even lower levels, as do dark-pigmented skin, use of sun-blockers, disorders that limit sun absorption and conditions that impair vitamin D conversion.

People in the U.S. living above latitude 40 (from just below New York City to northern California) are at the greatest risk for wintertime vitamin D deficiency. In northern regions around the world, the sun's rays are only strong enough between May and September to allow exposed skin to make adequate vitamin D. This means that a large percentage of the population is at significant risk for vitamin D deficiency much of the year. Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and with breast, prostate and colon cancers. Vitamin D deficiency also predisposes people to hypertension, sudden cardiac death and heart failure. For these reasons and many others, vitamin D is considered an essential vitamin, and supplementation is critical for good health at all ages, but especially as we age.

Last December, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) raised the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D to 600 IU (international units) from 200 IU, a recommendation that dates back to 1997. They also raised the RDA for people over age 70 to 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Other researchers and health-care providers in the field of nutrition recommend an even greater adult daily dose of vitamin D: between 1,000 and 2,000 IU, at least from fall through spring for those with limited wintertime sun exposure.

It is important to remember that when ever possible you should consider short periods of direct sunshine as a method to increase your vitamin D stores. As little as 15 minutes of direct sunlight can easily produce or exceed the daily recommendation. A few foods naturally contain vitamin D; fish and fish oils are among the best sources. Small amounts are found in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet. The U.S. milk supply is fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D per cup.


Breakfast cereals, and some brands of orange juice, yogurt and margarine contain added vitamin D.

Supplements of vitamin D can provide the amounts generally recommended. But it is important to choose the best form of vitamin D. Supplements for both D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol) can be labeled as vitamin D. But the D3 form leads to higher levels of D, which along with calcium can support better bone health.



Portion size has been a matter of interest for ages. The average person does not have a scale on their table, nor do they use measuring devices to determine the portion. The human mind can however, use associations. Comparing portion size to everyday items is beneficial and a very effective way to control your portions.

Here are some of the most common portion associations that can help you in keeping your diet in check:

1 Cup = Baseball

1/2 Cup = Light Bulb

1 Oz or 2 Tbsp = Golf Ball

1 Tbsp = Poker Chip

1 Slice of Bread = Cassette Tape

3 Oz Chicken or Meat = Deck of Cards

3 Oz Fish = Checkbook

1 Oz Lunch Meat = Compact Disc

3 Oz Muffin or Biscuit = Hockey Puck

1 1/2 Oz Cheese = 3 Dice

Broken down even further by food item you can use this list:

Fruits & Vegetables = Closed Fist

Pasta = Scoop of Ice Cream

Snack, Pretzels, Chips = Cupped Hand

Apple = Baseball

Potato = Computer Mouse

Bagel = Hockey Puck

Pancake = Compact Disc

Steamed Rice = Cupcake Wrapper

Ice Cream = Light Bulb

Cereal = Baseball

Cooked Pasta = Baseball

Popcorn = Baseball

Almonds = Golf Ball

Beans = Light Bulb

Pistachios = Golf Ball

Raisins and Dried Fruit = Golf Ball

Butter, Margarine, Salad Dressing = Poker Chip

Mayonnaise, Olives = Poker Chip

Cake = Deck of Cards

Pudding = Baseball

Burrito = Check Book

Soup, Chili = Baseball

Macaroni & Cheese = Baseball

Slice of Pizza = 2 Dollar Bills


Exercise is only as good as you make it. Focusing on two power-workouts a week is a whole lot better than slipshodding your way through 4 sloppy ones.

Taking the test below will help you decide if you have true staying power or if you have the tendency - lets be blunt about this - to wimp out!

Whatever your score, be ever-vigilant about wasting time and making excuses. And always stay focused on the goal.

Circle the answers below using this scoring key.

A - Extremely uncharacteristic of me.

B - Somewhat uncharacteristic of me.

C - Neither characteristic or uncharacteristic of me.

D - Somewhat characteristic of me.

E - Extremely characteristic of me.

A     B     C     D     E

5     4      3     2     1           1. I get discouraged easily.

5     4      3     2    1           2. I work no harder than I have to.

1      2     3     4     5           3. I seldom if ever let myself down.

5      4     3      2     1           4. I'm not the goal setting type.

1      2     3      4     5           5. I'm good at keeping promises, especially to myself.

5      4     3      2     1           6. I don't impose much structure on my activities.

1      2     3      4     5           7. I have a very hard-driving, aggressive personality.

To Score: Add your answers to get the total. The lower your score the more likely you are to lose motivation quickly and drop out of an exercise program. If your score is 24 or less, you better get a motivation-fix fast!


Not all fats are created equal. While all are calorie-dense and can make you gain weight, some are better for you than others. Here's a quick primer.

MONOUNSATURATED - Found mainly in vegetable and nut oils, such as olive and canola, these are often referred to as good fats. They help reduce blood cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.

POLYUNSATURATED - These contain the essential nutrient linoleic acid and are found in the fat from plants, such as safflower and corn oils. Like the monounsaturated variety, these also tend to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

HYDROGENATED - These are liquid oils that have been chemically altered to a semisolid state. Margarine and vegetable shortening are prime examples. Hydrogenated fats are thought to clog coronary arteries, which places them in the 'bad' category.

SATURATED - These fats are found in all foods that come from animal sources, including meats and dairy products. They are also in oils such as coconut and palm-kernel oil. Saturated fats pose the highest risk for heart disease and some types of cancer. They are found not only in meats and butter but also in things such as coconut, cheese and nondairy desert toppings and creamers.

Smart protein choices are essential to every diet. Use the following list in order to maintain a healthy level of protein in your diet.

White Meat Turkey - Frequently

White Meat Chicken - Frequently

Beef Rib Eye - Frequently

Pork Tenderloin - Frequently

Ham (Whole) - Frequently

Beef Flank Steak - Occasionally

Beef Tenderloin - Occasionally

Dark Meat Turkey - Occasionally

Lamb Sirloin Chops - Occasionally

Dark Meat Chicken - Occasionally

Is it Hunger or Appetite?

Scientists believe there's a 'circuit' between fat cells and the brain. When the cells are full they signal the brain, which says, 'No more, thanks.'

But humans are not automatons. There is a big difference between hunger and appetite. hunger is what goes on in your belly - the physiological need to eat. Appetite refers to what's going on in your head - the psychological desire to eat.

For animals, at least in the laboratory, hunger is the key issue. 'Mice, when you give them a cafeteria diet where they can pick and choose, will gorge for a while on one type of thing and then go back to eating a balanced diet over the period of a week,' says Douglas L. Coleman, a biochemist and senior staff scientist emeritus at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

But people eat for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. We eat when we're bored. We eat when we're depressed or under stress. Ore we eat for the same reason people conquer a mountain: because it's there.

Appetite can also be driven by cravings - overpowering, not-to-be-denied yearnings for a special, usually high-fat, food, says Marcia Levin Pelchat, Ph.D., a food cravings expert at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

While hunger and appetite roar full throttle for most of our lives, cravings appear to diminish. 'One thing people can look forward to is that as they get older, they get fewer cravings and can resist them better,' Dr. Pelchat says.


There is often debate about whether or not to eat several vegetables raw, boiled, steamed or microwaved.

Cooking vegetables greatly reduces antioxidant levels in many vegetables. Your best bet is to always go raw. However; if you enjoy warm or hot vegetables, here is a basic understanding of 6 major vegetables and what is acceptable, and what is best for each.


Boil - Okay

Steam - Best

Microwave - Okay

Raw - Best


Boil - Best

Steam - Good

Microwave - Okay

Raw - Best


Boil - Okay

Steam - Good

Microwave - Best

Raw - Best


Boil - Best

Steam - Good

Microwave - Good

Raw - Good


Boil - Okay

Steam - Best

Microwave - Best

Raw - Best


Boil - Best

Steam - Good

Microwave - Best

Raw - Best


Tips on Switchin' in the Kitchen!

Know Beans - Rather than stuffing yourself with red meat five days a week, make a move to a healthier source of protein. 3/4 cup of Lima Beans for example, has 7 grams of protein. The same amount of peas has more protein than an egg - with virtually no fat. While you can use beans as a stand alone dish, they can also be combined with traditional favorites. Instead of using ground beef in lasagna, for example, try substituting cooked, and mashed garbanzo beans (chick-peas) or pintos.

Swear Off The Oils - While cake and pancake recipes typically call for lots of butter or oil, you can usually substitute non-fat sour cream in equal portions without substantially altering the texture or flavor of the food.

Hit The Sauce - Who says white sauces have to clog your arteries? In place of a cream based sauce, toss some low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese into the food processor and thin it with skim milk. Then stir in sauteed onions, garlic and basil.

Dress With Less - When you're making salad dressing, toss out a third of the oil and substitute with water. That taste and texture will barely change and you'll be saving yourself 33% pure fat.

Try It On The Side - Making a switch in presentation styles can shave off fat. Instead of sopping down salads with fatty dressings, serve the dressing in a small container on the side of the plate. Dip your fork into the dressing and then pick up a fork full of salad. You use so little dressing, but you get a taste in every bite.

Use Your Noodle - Egg noodles are delicious. They're also loaded with fat! Switch to spaghetti instead. You probably won't notice the difference. You'll save one gram of fat and 16 calories per cup.

Catch A Lean Tuna - Fish belongs in water right? So, why buy tuna packed in oil? You'll save six grams of fat and 70 calories per 3 ounce can.


Calcium is a great way to reduce dietary fats from being absorbed into the body. It is a great weapon for weight loss.

You should attempt to take in 1,000 mg of Calcium per day.

The following foods are a great source of Calcium and should be added to your diet.

Canned Baked Beans

1 Cup - 86 mg Calcium

Canned Salmon

3 oz - 181 mg Calcium


1 Cup (cooked) - 245 mg Calcium


1 Large - 74 mg Calcium


1 oz - 75 mg Calcium


1 Cup (cooked) - 94 mg Calcium

Black-Eyed Peas

1 Cup (cooked) - 211 mg Calcium

Collard Greens

1 Cup (cooked) - 357 mg Calcium

Canned Sardines

3 oz - 325 mg Calcium



Spicy condiments such as hot peppers, horseradish and chili powder serve double duty in the fight against fat. They fill you up more quickly and speed up your metabolic rate. So, if you're looking for something quick and easy to spice up that drab grilled chicken breast, forget the salt and try this: Stir a small amount of chili powder, cumin, chopped cucumber and green onions into non-fat sour cream or plain yogurt. Ole! An instant Mexican topping.