Sweeteners in coffee

Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame – Healthy or Not?

The Popularity of Artificial Sweeteners

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener-alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

sugar and sweetenersYou will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packaged products. You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low-calorie ice cream, and diet candies. But would you expect them in fat-free salad dressings, high-fiber cereals, ketchup, or bread? When you add it all up in this product, that lunch, this snack; the quantity accumulates real fast.

Identifying Sweeteners in Your Food

sweetener ingredients supermarketIt’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by:

  • aspartame,
  • acesulfame potassium,
  • saccharin,
  • supra lose, and
  • neotame.

You should also know the names of ‘natural’ sweeteners:

  • stevia leaf extract,
  • monk fruit extract,
  • and sugar alcohols such as erythritol,
  • and xylitol.

When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients. All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which question the impact all these additives on a body’s long-term health.

So Are Sweeteners Healthy or Not?

sugar alternatives verdictDo sweeteners help you lose weight or crave sugar even more? One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake. Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?

Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet. Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. I personally had a doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, Americans ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.


Paula MaierI began Paula’s HealthyLiving.com to share my passion for staying fit, eating healthy and scheduling rest time.  As a 50 year old mother of 3, I understand that it can be difficult to make healthy meals, exercise and carve out time for you, while constantly doing this juggling act called, life!

Healthy eating and exercising on a regular basis gives me self-confidence and personal satisfaction.  I encourage my readers to eat whole foods instead of processed foods that are not as nutritious because that processing removes the nutritious elements in the food.  They do not help you achieve your body-shape or long-term health goals. When I cook my families’ food, I’m in control of the sugar, salt, and the type of oils used.

It is difficult to resist temptations of fast foods, desserts, soda pop, and skipping workouts, but by making a commitment to your ‘best health’, you can be successful! Change your view toward healthy foods as fuel for all your systems. Take control.  Educate yourself your family.

I don’t believe any ONE PERSON has all the answers.  Be open minded but critical.  Be logical, but have wild-abandon.  Know that baby steps begin before a sprint…and love yourself for trying!!!

Physical and mental health

Physical Fitness & Mental Health Connection for the Best You

It is a known fact that daily exercise is good for the body, but the recently discovered connection between physical and mental health might prove that exercise can be good for the mind as well.

Research has shown that exercise can help combat against mental ailments such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Likewise, exercise can help you:

  • sleep better,
  • improve your memory retention, and
  • improve your overall mood.

Although there is no set age to start becoming more physically active, it is best to engage in exercise and other physical activities as early as in your teens, according to medcarehealth.com.

After all, starting out early can help you grow and mature with a mind and a body that is ready for anything.

But, before I delve deep into the connection between mental and physical health, let’s start with a simple question:

What is health?

health lab mouseAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person who is free from disease or disability is not immediately considered healthy. Instead, you must demonstrate physical, mental, and social well-being in order to be considered truly healthy.

Great, but how are those connected?

The Canadian Mental Health Association lists 3 concrete associations that demonstrate the connection between physical and mental well-being:

  1. Poor mental health increases the risk for chronic physical conditions.
  2. Patients suffering from serious mental ailments are at a greater risk of suffering from chronic physical conditions.
  3. Finally, people suffering from chronic physical conditions might also develop mental illnesses in the future.

These associations show that there is indeed a connection between physical and mental health.

Though there might not be a proven way to prevent these chronic illnesses from developing, acknowledging the relationship between your mind and body can help you minimize potential risks.

What benefits can you reap from exercise?

exercise-ballThe primary reason why you might choose to engage in more physical activities is to trim your waistline or to lose some pounds. However, exercise can provide you with so much more.

In a study that aimed to answer the question:” how does physical health affect mental health?”, researchers discovered that elderly adults who engage in regular exercise and are physically fit tend to possess much larger hippocampi than other people in their age group.

Wait, what is hippocampi?

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for your spatial memory. Maintaining this part of your brain even in your older years gives you a great advantage.

Does mental health affect physical ability?

Meanwhile, in a study conducted by researchers at the Bangor University in Wales, it was discovered that people who engaged in mentally draining activities before performing difficult exercise tests reached exhaustion much faster than those who were mentally relaxed prior to performing the physical task.

This study shows that one of the benefits of nurturing your mental well-being can also affect your physical strength and endurance.

Can exercise combat depression?

anxietyAccording to Jane Collingwood, author of The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health, those individuals suffering from depression often have worse physical health than those who are mentally healthy.

Likewise, patients suffering from chronic physical diseases are also likely to suffer from depression.

Just a little exercise goes a long way

Exercise, even in moderation, can greatly improve both the mental well-being and physical health of those suffering from depression.

Physical activity can help encourage positive changes in your brain such as a surge of endorphin or “feel good hormones”.

Regular exercise can also help distract you from any destructive or negative thoughts and allow you to find your inner peace.

Exercise relieves anxiety

While you might think that the physical benefits that you reap from exercise are the things that make you feel good, its effect on your mind are probably the more likely reason for your happy feelings.

Exercises such as weight training can ease the suffering of people who are living with anxiety by elevating their mood and reducing their feelings of irritability.

Remember: Even moderate daily exercise can contribute to improved long-term mental health.

Reaping the benefits of exercise

Benefits of exercise

photo by zirconicusso

As previously stated, you will not need to block off your entire day just to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. You will see a difference in 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

Additionally, while it might take months before you see any significant physical changes after exercise, the mental boost that it can provide is almost instantaneous (Weir, 2011).

For this reason, it would be more beneficial if you learn to focus on how good you actually feel after your workout than to simply look for the physical rewards.

This is particularly important for patients who are suffering from stress or mild cases of depression and anxiety since focusing too much on your physical appearance would only worsen your condition.

Don’t delay another day: simple exercises to get started

One of the easiest ways to sneak some physical activities into your busy schedule is by taking a quick walk to or from your office. Exercise can enable your brain to better manage your stress levels.

The Key Takeaway: Sweating it out even from a brisk walk can help relieve you of your physical pain as well as make you feel more at peace.

Another easy way to get an energy boost is by hopping on a treadmill, jumping on a rebounder trampoline, or lifting a few weights at home or at the gym.

Regardless of your age, weight, or gender, all you really need is the motivation and determination to keep moving.

Exercise and mental health – the undeniable bond

There is a significant amount of proof that supports the connection between physical and mental health. Physically fit individuals are better able to handle stressful situations and those who are mentally healthy are able to handle more difficult physical tasks.

Therefore, it is important to nurture both your physical and mental health in order to reap all possible benefits for your mind and your body.

Want more great health information?

Visit the Rebounder Zone blog to learn more about how you can improve your mental and physical health today.

 

Sources

Breene, S. (2013). 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise
Collingwood, J. (2016). The Relationship between Mental and Physical. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Connection between Mental and Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/connection-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Grohol, J.Psy.D (2009).The Connection between Mental & Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/
N.A. (2014). 5 Ways Physical Health Impacts Mental Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://fitstar.com/5-ways-physical-health-impacts-mental-health/
N.A. (2016). Research Shows Connection between Mental Health and Physical Fitness. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.medcarehealth.com/health-problems-prevention/research-shows-connection-between-mental-health-and-physical-fitness-2/
Robinson, L., Segal, J. Ph.D., & Smith, M. M.A. (2016). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/emotional-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Vol 42, No. 11. P.48. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

Turkey Sorrel Soup

Seasonal Healthy Eating: Turkey Sorrel Soup.

 

turkey sorrel soup

I often hear that people say soups are not a part of healthy or clean eating. Why not? It all depends on the way you cook a soup. If you add fatty pork meat as a base, lots of simple carbs (pasta or potatoes) and processed soup flavoring, then yes, it might turn out not that healthy at all. If we talk about canned soups, then definitely, this is not a healthy addition to your diet. Otherwise, soups that are based on relatively lean meat and filled with veggies create a wonderful way to stay satisfied for longer with no harm to your waistline.

Turkey sorrel soup is an example of a simple and healthy soup. Plus, it is a seasonal meal. Sorrel gives a tart taste to it. In combination with Greek yogurt, despite the fact you eat a hot meal, sorrel gives you a feeling of refreshment. Exactly what you need in during summer time.

When it comes to nutrients, sorrel is rich in vitamins C (immune system), B6 , A (eyesight), and minerals, iron (energy level), magnesium and potassium (blood pressure). Sorrel is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or cramping.

Warning: sorrel contains oxalic acid. For sensitive individuals, high-oxalate diets have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.

  • Servings: ”8″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

Turkey Sorrel Soup 2TS

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey wing
  • 3-4 liter of water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice, soaked in water
  • 4 cups of chopped sorrel
  • boiled eggs and Greek yogurt for serving

 

Instructions:

  1. Rinse turkey wing under cold running water. Put it in a pot with water. Cook on medium heat. Add salt to taste.
  2. Add oil to a heated skillet. Add shredded carrot and chopped onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until golden and soft, mixing up occasionally. Set aside when ready.
  3. Check on water in the pot. You might want to collect brown foam that appears on top. In about 45-50 minutes (counting from start), add carrot and onion mixture. Then, add soaked rice. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Rinse sorrel if needed. Chop it. Add to the soup. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then, add chopped greens. Taste to see if more salt or pepper needed.
  5. Add sliced boiled egg and 1-2 Tbsp Greek yogurt, before serving.

 

Nutrition facts per portion:


 

Turkey Sorrel Soup 3TS

Calories: 117

Fat: 4 g

Carbs: 3 g

Protein: 15 g

 

Nutrition facts per portion when 1 boiled egg and 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt have been added:


 

turkey sorrel soup

Calories: 227

Fat: 12 g

Carbs: 5 g

Protein: 24 g

 

 

 


Mariya Korolishyna is an  ISSA certified fitness nutritionist. Born in Ukraine, the 36 years old is addicted to running and healthy lifestyle.

good food bad food

Food Is NOT the Enemy, Self-Bullying Is!

I want to talk to you about food. For many of you, food creates tension, confusion, love/hate, pleasure, guilt, shame, and secrecy.However, food is never the enemy.
 cooking food

Society Is to Blame

Food is neither good or bad but we as a society have assigned moral values to food. So what happens is that when you eat a food, you believe is “bad”, then you consciously and unconsciously see yourself as a bad person for eating that food.

society
Yes, there is scientific research that states that specific foods are “good” for you and other kinds of foods are “bad” for you because of their nutritional profile. However, I invite you to be a food scientist, and rather than seeing things as good or bad, to ask yourself: ‘Does this food serve me or not?’

Good Food Versus Bad Food -You Decide

healthy fruit saladThe best educator if a food is going to serve you or not is you and your body! To determine if a food serves you or not ask yourself the following questions before you eat the food (as a baseline), and right after you eat the food, two hours after you eat it, and the next morning.
  1. How are my energy levels? Low, moderate, or high?
  2. How is my mental clarity? Do I have brain fog or am I able to focus and concentrate? Is my mental clarity sharp?
  3. How is my mood: irritable, stable, or angry?  (note: Not the same as how you are feeling about eating that food because your answer will always be guilt).
  4. How is my digestive health: bloated, clear, or constipated?
  5. How did I sleep last night?
Track these questions every time you eat your “forbidden food”. You will see if there are actually negative effects on your inner health. Do not focus so much on what you think and know about the food  based on what you have learned about it from outside resources. Be a food scientist and use yourself as the subject.

People React Differently to Food

good and bad foodHow certain food affects one person may have a very different effect on another person. For example, my husband can eat granola and not have sugar hangover, whereas for me, when I have granola (in appropriate serving size), my belly starts to hurt and my head starts to spin. So if I choose to eat granola, I make it a conscious decision that I am also choosing to accept the consequences. That means I will not beat myself up for enjoying it and experiencing the negative effects on my body afterwards. I take it for what it is and move on.
You may be surprised to learn that what you thought was bad for you, may actually not have any negative impact on you. Sometimes, however, it may confirm that it does! Ultimately, this is how you can start neutralizing your food and stop seeing food as good or bad.
Food is not the enemy…bullying yourself is!
Food is just food.  You can change your story. You can change the way you respond to food, regardless of what it is.
I’d love to hear from you about how your food scientist experience is! 🙂 What did you learn?

Want to get more high-value insights about how to discover Freedom With Food, Body Love Confidence and Being Your Own Best Friend? 

Sign up and receive my FREE E-Guide “8 Ways to Cope with Stress & Manage Cravings” here

Rosalyn Fung The ZeitRosalyn Fung is a Registered Psychologist & Founder of Holistic Body Love. She is a wellness speaker, consultant, mentor, writer & blogger. Roz specializes in Holistic Nutritional Psychology in which she empowers people in their relationship with food, body image, weight, as well as digestion, fatigue, immunity and mood.

Her approach is a combination of eating psychology, positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, family systems and nutritional therapy. She’s the go-to person to help you understand how to feel normal around food, and break-free from body image and weight struggles.

Follow Rosalyn on Facebook at Rosalyn Fung Holistic Body Love-Psychologist

Twitter: @RosalynFung

Instagram: @holisticbodylove

Blog: Pausitivity 

How Health Experts Eat

How Health Experts Eat Healthy Without Going Broke!

Like health experts, you can eat healthy without going broke, too! A primary reason you and many others may prefer to skip healthy foods is their relatively high cost. Well, that might only be because you haven’t explored all of your options.

The Game Plan for Eating Affordable Healthy Meals

planning healthy eatingDon’t know where to start?

Start with a brilliant game plan. Prioritize inexpensive healthy eating. As the famous adage suggests, if there’s a will, there’s definitely a way.

By considering the nutritive content of food more, you can eat healthy without spending a fortune.

Since you take in the good foods (as opposed to the wasteful bunch), you’re helping your budget as well as your body.

As a publication in the British Medical Journal implies, it’s one of the “rules” that many health experts live by.

Other Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  • Choose gluten-free and organic foods since these are free of pesticide residues and harmful chemicals. For the same reason, avoid GE (or genetically engineered) foods.
  • Construct a meal plan according to your personal budget. Remember to be flexible for certain situations, but be disciplined in following it.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Bananas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, oranges, pears, plums are affordable options.
  • Eliminate junk. This includes artificial low-fat ingredients, frozen meals, canned goods, potato chips, and ready-to-eat packages from the supermarket.
  • Go with tasty and nutritious food ingredients. Try adding avocado, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, and sweet corn to your meals.
  • Plan your meals, but remember to be flexible. According to Harvard Health Publications, it’s recommended for meals to consist of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% proteins, and 25% whole grains.
  • Simplify your meals. Do your best to stay away from processed foods and fancy “health treats”.
  • Stick to water. Coffee, milk, and tea are good, too. Avoid drinks with too much sugar such as sodas and “healthy fruit juices”.

Tricks for Affordable & Healthy Grocery Shopping

affordable groceryAn effective way of dodging costly meals with unhealthy food ingredients? Consider growing your own garden.

If you own a garden with loads of edible produce, you don’t have to spend a fortune on healthy ingredients. More importantly, it reduces the number of trips to the supermarket; shopping for herbs and spices, as well as fruits and vegetables, becomes unnecessary.

Moreover, due to increasing food prices, dietary plans that could lead to malnourishment may be preferred. Remember, even if you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to disregard your health.

Granted you’re open to different options, you can still eat healthy without spending a ton of money.

More Healthy Shopping Ideas

  • Make use of discounts and special promos. Take note of the dates of supermarkets’ sales. Usually, you can shop for relatively low-cost foods during the holidays, clearance sales, and special occasions.
  • Buy in bulk. Buy for durations of weeks and in some cases, months. Usually, foods are relatively more affordable in bigger amounts.
  • Purchase meat that is close to its expiration. Assuming that preparation and cooking are done prior to spoilage, you can take advantage of up to 50% in  savings.
  • Visit your local farmers’ market. There  you will find a variety of healthy signature products. Since the prices aren’t usually fixed, shop wisely and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Five Rules to Proper Storage of Your Healthy Food

Did you know that in the United States, up to 40% of foods end up going to waste? Consequently, millions of precious dollars go to waste.

Don’t let this be you!

It’s due to improper storage. Make sure to read expiration dates on labels. By keeping this in mind, as well as some steps on proper storage, you can eat healthy on a budget without having to unnecessarily replace your food.

Food Storage Rules

  1. Freeze fruits and vegetables (especially if you buy in bulk). When frozen, fruits and veggies remain at the peak of their freshness.
  2. Freeze poultry and raw meat; for this, allocate space in your freezer’s bottom shelf.
  3. Avoid putting anything in or with metal containers inside the fridge.
  4. Avoid storing fruits and vegetables together. Ripe fruits give off ethylene; ethylene is an organic compound that can slowly ruin fresh vegetables.
  5. Keep dried foods in glass jars. Make sure to seal the containers tightly.

The Power of Preparation: 3 Tips on Healthy & Economical Food Preparation

Success healthy foodOne clever way to eat healthy without spending a lot money is by storing food properly.

But, that’s not the end of it!

Using your creativity with available resources, you can enhance flavor, incorporate variety, and guarantee safe nutrition. It can be a time-consuming task, but for the sake of your health and your pocket, why disregard it?

Healthy Food Preparation Tips

  1. Add onions, bell peppers, and preferred natural spices when skewering meat portions.
  2. Olive or sesame oil add a distinct aroma to fried meals.
  3. Use honey as sweetener (instead of sugar).
  4. Use natural herbs for marinades; marinade an hour or so before cooking.

Is Eating Healthy Without Hurting Your Budget Possible? The Verdict!

health on a budgetSo can you eat healthy without spending a fortune? Can these meals also be delicious?

You can! Eating affordable healthy foods is only a matter of commitment. Whether you’re living on limited income or you’re trying to maintain a frugal lifestyle, cutting back on healthy meals shouldn’t be an option.

Moreover, remember to set realistic health goals. Granted that you’re willing to follow particular strategies, you can eat healthy without going broke!

 

Sources

How to Eat Healthy without Breaking the Bank. (n.d.)
Wiley, M. (2014, Jan. 4). Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank 
Smith, V. (2012, Oct. 24). Eat Healthy … Without Going Broke.
Blalock, M. (2014). Eating Healthy on A Budget: 5 Expert Tips That Make it Easy
Amen, T. (2016, Apr. 25). Eating Well without Breaking the Bank 
How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2016, Mar. 1) 
How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2011, Oct. 11) 
8 Steps to Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2016, Mar. 23) 

 


Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

Mashed and Riced Cauliflower

I Mashed and Riced Cauliflower – This Is What Happened!

Mashing cauliflowerFinding alternative uses for vegetables keeps your taste buds guessing, and boosts your nutrition!  Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which acts as an antioxidant and helps detox your system utilizing enzymes. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to lower risk of cancer due to these beneficial sulforaphanes.

Ricing or mashing cauliflower allows you to mold the flavors you desire while still tasting like a traditional comfort food.  Tweak this recipe by adding your own preferences for spice level and ingredients.  Enjoy with beef, roast chicken, or baked halibut.

Ingredients:

-1 large head of cauliflower. Rinse, pat dry, and chop into florets, discarding the thick core.
-I rinsed can BPA free garbanzo beans (I prefer to use organically)
-1 cup low-sodium chicken stock. You can use vegetable stock if you prefer.
-olive oil cooking spray (or avocado oil cooking spray)
-8 oz brown button mushrooms, sliced
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-3 garlic cloves, rinsed
-1/4 sea salt or Kosher salt
-1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-11/2 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese (divided)
-1/2 cup chopped parsley (flat or curly- be sure to wash)
– 3 tsp olive oil (I prefer a flavored oil such as Mediterranean or basil olive oil)
*For more spice, add red pepper flakes in addition to the pepper, or sub a Chipotle olive oil instead of plain or flavored oil.  You can also add fresh thyme and reduce the parsley by that same amount

How To Cook:

Ricing Cauliflower

1. Divide cauliflower into 2-3 sections. Add chopped cauliflower into the food processor one at a time. Pulse until the pieces are the size of rice.  Transfer to a large bowl and continue process till it’s all ‘riced’.

2. In a blender, add rinsed beans and chicken stock. Process until smooth.

3. Add chosen cooking spray to a pan and heat on medium heat. Add cleaned mushrooms and onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring often, till they are lightly browned. Add chopped garlic, salt & pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated.

4.  Pour blended bean broth purée into the pan. Gently fold till it’s well mixed, cover and cook over medium for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

5. Uncover and reduce heat to low. Stir in 1/2 ounce cheese. Turn off heat and stir in parsley.  Divide portions amount plates. Drizzle with oil and remaining cheese.

Serving-1 1/2 cups cauliflower
Calories-240,  Total Fat-15g, Sodium- 180mg


I began Paula’s HealthyLiving.com to share my passion for staying fit, eating healthy and scheduling rest time.  As a 50 year old mother of 3, I understand that it can be difficult to make healthy meals, exercise and carve out time for you, while constantly doing this juggling act called, life!

Why can't I lose weight?

A to Z Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

People aspire to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, if you have tried to lose weight, no doubt you have ran into plateaus and other periods where you just didn’t make progress. Is there hope?

Of course, there is!

This is an alphabetical list of reasons why you may be having trouble losing weight. Hopefully, something will spark a light bulb in your brain, and you will be able to get back on track towards your weight loss goals!

Starting the list with ‘A’, for 

Absorption Problems in Your Gut

Insulin resistance can be one of your worst enemies when you are trying to lose weight. In other words, your body is unable to use the hormone insulin properly to process your food.

The sad outcome: your body keeps fat that is already there. This condition can be prevalent if you are at risk for diabetes, known as prediabetes.

The Details: What’s Going on in your Body

  1. Food is broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is the body’s primary source of energy.
  2. When your blood flows through the pancreas, your pancreas detects the glucose and releases insulin. Insulin enables cells throughout the body to use the glucose.
  3. Your cells use insulin receptors to transform the glucose to energy quickly or store the glucose as a future source of energy.

When this process goes haywire, your cells don’t get the glucose. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood stream, and your cells are deprived of glucose.

Absorption Problems in your Gut

How Your Body Responds

Your body hangs on to energy stores, or fat, that it already has and any glucose that the cells do absorb goes into storage as yet more fat.

The Solution

There are several ways you can fight insulin resistance that causes nutrient absorption issues such as moving more, eliminating white foods (white sugars, white flour, white rice) from your diet, cutting out wheat from your diet, integrating more good grains into your diet, eating fruits and vegetables whole instead of as purees or juices, avoiding packaged foods, lowering inflammation via anti-inflammatory foods (walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, green tea, red wine, cinnamon, and turmeric), replacing fats such as lard and butter, and consulting your doctor about medicines that can help.

Binge Eating

Common when dieting, binge eating describes eating large amounts of food in short periods of time. Binging is not healthy and can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, regardless of whether you are binging on junk food or healthy food.

Here’s the kicker:

Depending on the calories, binge eating can wipe out a week’s worth of dieting.

The Solution:

Try these tips to break binge eating habits:

  1. When dieting, think adding new foods instead of restriction of unhealthy foods. These are the common phases when you diet with a restriction mindset: restriction → binge eating → guilt → restriction → binge eating → guilt. That is not healthy!
  2. Get out of the mindset that you have to be perfect with your diet.
  3. Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself on the scale. It’s normal for your body weight to fluctuate.
  4. Cheat days should not be in your nutrition vocabulary. Cheat days provide the perfect opportunity to binge.
  5. Celebrate small wins and don’t panic over small setbacks.
  6. Stay flexible with your diet.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, especially refined carbs such as sugar or grains that have  been stripped of their nutritious parts, can wreak havoc on your goals to lose weight. Eating too many refined carbs can create significant spikes in your blood sugar, which leads to cravings.

carbohydrates are so delicious

Try this: Substitute refined carbs for more complex carbs that come with their natural fiber.

Dining out Too Much

Let’s face it: we love to eat out. Just the simple idea of not having to cook some days is irresistible. But as you probably know, restaurant food is meant to taste and look great, and looking great doesn’t always correlate with being healthy, too. Those tasty sauces, salad dressings, and other delightful delicacies can reverse your weight loss progress.

dining with silverware

How you can fall out this trap at restaurants:

  1. Review the menu and decide what you want (healthy choices) before going to the restaurant.
  2. Eat before. We tend to make “in the moment” food choices when we are hungry. “In the moment” food choices usually aren’t healthy.
  3. Drink water. This will help quench your appetite
  4. If there are specific foods or ingredients you are trying to avoid, ask the waiter/waitress before ordering
  5. There is no shame in “doggy bags”. Many times servings at restaurants are more than a manageable portion, so split these up into meals for the next day.

Eating Mindfully

Make your eating time sacred. Whether you eat alone or with others, cut out the electronics, chew your food slowly, and take note of your food’s flavors, colors, smells, and textures. Continue reading

Lower my cholesterol

5 Proven Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential substance needed for proper body function but when levels get too high, cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks. Alarmingly, more than 17% of the adult U.S. population have dangerously high cholesterol. Some medications can reduce cholesterol levels, but there are also natural ways to help achieve the same goal.

Here are five proven ways to naturally decrease cholesterol:

1- Make Fiber Your Friend

Fiber-rich foods such as oats and barley can help lower cholesterol levels. When ingested, they form a gel in the gut which fixes itself to cholesterol-rich bile acids. This pairing prevents the body from absorbing bad acids.

2- Be Choosey About Protein

Opting for leaner meats and protein-rich plant foods can decrease cholesterol in the body. Fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna (Omega-3-Rich Fish Chart) are great menu items and contain omega-3 fats. Another fine option is consuming  plants which contain protein, including legumes, beans, seeds or nuts.

Equally important is the decrease or removal of red meat from the diet. Red meat has an abundance of saturated fats, which have negative health impacts.

3- Make Small Changes

Ingredients added to food in preparation and presentation can affect cholesterol values. Opt out of using margarine and other processed fats in favor of olive oil in food prep.

Add some spice to a meal to help lower the levels. Garlic, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and coriander all help while also adding some major flavor to each bite. Researchers at Penn State University discovered that adding spices to high fat and oil content dishes actually lowers absorption of these dangerous substances. So spice things up to lower triglycerides.

4- Make Lifestyle Changes

Lowering cholesterol isn’t just about watching what’s ingested and digested: One’s lifestyle can also impact cholesterol levels.

Smoking lowers the body’s “good” cholesterol while also injuring blood vessel linings and raising the risk of blood clots. The good news is that studies have shown that good cholesterol levels can rebound soon after a person stops smoking.

A good dose of laughter also helps. Laughing actually increases good cholesterol which counterbalances the bad stuff. Watching a funny movie, looking at silly cat videos online, and going to a stand-up comedy show are all forms of good medicine.

Learning to take time out and to relax can assist in keeping cholesterol in check. When you’re tense, stress hormones are issued out into the body and destroy other cells. This causes the body to respond by manufacturing large amounts of cholesterol to try to repair the damage. This, in turn, creates a glut of cholesterol in the system. After learning to use relaxation and meditation, your body will rely less on cholesterol for help.

5- Lose Weight

If a person is carrying extra pounds, losing the excess weight can help with cholesterol control. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition detailed 70 studies that have linked weight reduction to significant decreases in cholesterol.

We can’t and don’t want to eliminate cholesterol entirely from our lives and bodies — it is essential for proper body function. The key is to keep it in healthy forms and amounts.

For a person hoping to achieve and maintain this, many approaches can be tried. Medications are available but so are ample natural options for decreasing cholesterol.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

relationship with food

A New Take On Body Positivity: Body Image & Food Psychologist Goes on a “Diet”

What?! Roz is going on a diet!? Huh!?

Ok, ok, for those of you who know my work, you know that as a Psychologist, I successfully help people break free from dieting and body image struggles. So why am I hiring someone to “diet” me?

In a previous blog post I wrote called “Can I Still Be on a Diet AND A Journey of Self-Love?“, I talk about a trend I’ve been noticing with my clients and in social media regarding body positivity, which is that when people are in the process of learning to love themselves, they tend to go through a ‘rebellion’ stage from the ‘dieting mentality’. I call this the Pendulum Effect, where dieting, mentality, is based on fear of fat and self-loathing. Then as people break away from dieting mentality, they swing to the other side of the pendulum, which I coined ‘Rebellion Mentality’. Here they tend to indulge in foods that they were not allowed to eat while in ‘Dieting Mentality’. However, they are in the process of self-love so it’s coming from a place of learning to love oneself and breaking food rules. This is a very necessary, healthy, and normal part of learning to love yourself – to break all these food rules that ran their life for years.

I am inspired by people and I love inspiring people. So although I do not believe I need to transform my body as I love it unconditionally, I believe I have the RIGHT to transform my body. As a project to demonstrate and inspire others, I want to show people how to transform their bodies (whether that’s fat loss, muscle gain, or body composition change) with their relationship with food in the background and self-love in the foreground. In dieting mentality, it’s all about being obsessed with food and fear of gaining weight. The missing ingredient is Self-Love.

I have hired Nadine Dumas, who is a health, fitness & nutritional coach, as well as an international fitness model and long time friend to “diet” me. She shares similar values and approach as I do when it comes to  our relationship with food and body. She is all about inside health (balanced hormones, mood, energy, etc.) and has a very balanced approach to food. She has a strong work ethic, a big heart, and is very inspirational in all that she’s accomplished. She is an awesome coach to work with!

BLASTING THE DIET INDUSTRY WITH A MASSIVE DOSE OF “SELF-LOVE”

Now I should clarify, I am not using “Diet” in the same traditional sense that most people know it to be (i.e., rigid, restrictive and from a place of fear of fat, self-loathing, and body shame/hate), rather I’m actually seeing this as a “Nutritional Plan” that will help me meet my body transformation goals. I am of healthy weight and body composition, however, I’d like to challenge my body more with new fitness and health goals (i.e., gain overall strength and power and yes, physically that means I will change my body composition so that I have more lean muscle mass). I want to learn more about my body along the way as I think our bodies are so amazing and fascinating!

I will be counting on Nadine’s expertise in the nutritional, hormonal, physical and physiological areas. I will also use my own expertise in positive psychology, nutritional psychology, and neuroscience to help me transform my body with a massive dose of Self-Love. Continue reading

drink water

The #1 Reason Why You’re Not Losing Weight? You’re Not Drinking Enough Water!

 

thirsty man

Okay, there is nothing sexy about this. All I drink is water. I’ll have a diet Coke if I go out to eat on the weekends to make me feel like I’m not really dieting. But other than that, it’s all water. Now, I’m one of those girls who like to order fruit smoothies with her dinner and drink a tall glass of apple juice with my breakfast. But while dieting, I realized that I was drinking lots of my calories. And trust me, I’d rather apply my calories to something more filling and fun like yogurt, granola or a chocolate rice cake. So I had to cut out the fun drinks. But, guess what?  When I drink water, I lose weight. If I eat right, exercise but don’t drink lots of water, the weight comes off much slower. So that should be motivation enough as to why you should get your drink on.

I try to get in six to eight 16-ounce bottles a day. My goal is to drink a gallon of water daily. However, if I hit 5-6 six bottles in a day, I’m cool with that.  I know it can be tough to get in all that water each day. That’s why I’m sharing 3 tips and tricks that I use to get them in.

Tip #1 – Work Out

run with water bottle
I find that I drink way more water on the days that I work out. I can go through two 16-ounce bottles of water during my workout. I’ll have a bottle with my breakfast and then I’ll force another bottle down right before I hit the showers. That’s four bottles of water – a half gallon of water – all before 10:00am! I’ll down two bottles with lunch and two more with my dinner. There you have it, a gallon of water in a day.

Tip #2 – Put Your Water in a Visible Place

water bottle
One thing that helps is that when I get up in the morning, I’ll immediately put eight bottles of water out on the counter. I do this for two reasons. The first reason I do this is so I can see the water. Just seeing it is a constant reminder to drink my water. The second reason I do this is because I lose track of how many bottles I’ve consumed throughout the day. During the day, I am running after my kids, doing laundry and working on the computer. It’s easy for me to forget how many bottles of water I have already drank. Just a quick look at the counter and I know how many more bottles I need to drink to reach my goal of a gallon a day. Continue reading