Posts Tagged ‘diet’


(Healthy Living) Sweet Endings

If you are like me, you and your family are probably somewhat programed to finish off your meal with a bit of something sweet. When we are used to having desserts, our body is faithful in reminding us of that fact. But sweet doesn’t have to mean a lot of sugar.

At the end of dinner, bring out a bowl of fruit salad or even just an open a can of fruit (in fruit juice, not corn syrup). This sweet ending to your meal can help curb the sugar cravings and possibly help eliminate a couple of desserts a week.


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(Healthy Living) Sugar and the Immune System

sugarIt is a fairly well known fact that sugar weakens the immune system. But did you know that it most strongly weakens your immune system for the first 4-5 hours after eating it?

Sugar is a fun treat in life and I personally cannot imagine life without a little bit of sugary goodness. However, especially during the cold and flu season, be choosy about when you consume sugar. Times when you are around a lot of people or exposed to more germs are some of the worst times to drink a soda or munch on candy. Instead, select a non-sugary drink on the airplane and encourage your kids to have more of their treats at home instead of at school.

Being mindful of your sugar consumption is a significant factor in your health; not just the amount, but also the timing.


(Healthy Living) Half Portions

Food is wonderful and eating is fun by design. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says, “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.” So whatever diet or health kick you are on, make sure that you still allow yourself to enjoy eating.

Sometimes we know that we need to make health adjustments in our life, though, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Whether it is through grease engorgement or a carrots and cauliflower diet, you don’t want food to become a curse in your life. Sometimes we simply need a reset button. Try this.

Whatever it is that you are eating, begin with a half portion. Half of the piece of chicken, half the pasta, half the hamburger, half the cereal, or half the dessert. That doesn’t mean you have to end there, it just means to start there. This has multiple advantages.

1. Having less food on your plate causes you to eat slower. This gives your body to determine whether or not it really is still hungry.

2. You are more likely to savor what you are eating.

3. It causes you to pause and evaluate before getting a second helping.

4. It gives you an opportunity to reevaluate how much food you need to become full. It is a reset button, if you will.

This strategy just helps you to be more intentional about what you eat while simultaneously reteaching you to listen to your body.

*Tip: When you are eating out, request a to-go box at the beginning of the meal. Transfer half of your meal into the box before you begin to eat. This removes the temptation to stuff yourself on restaurant’s over-sized portions, while also giving you a lunch for the next day!

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(Healthy Living) Expeller Pressed Oils

Most oils, such as canola and vegetable oils, that you find on your grocer’s selves are solvent expressed. This means that the oil was removed from the source through a combination of heat, pressure, and chemical extraction methods. However, not only does this process introduce the oil to impure additives and chemicals, but it also decreases the quality and health benefits of the oil.

Expeller pressed oils are extracted by a machine that presses the source, removing the oils, without added heat or chemicals. The yield is not as high (about 60-75%), and the machines are more expensive. This naturally translates into a higher priced product, however the benefits are certainly worth considering.

oilHere are some of the top benefits of using expeller oils:

  • no chemical residue in the oil
  • they evaporate less and are not as volatile, allowing you to use less oil
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • no trans fats
  • less likely to become damaged and rancid during the extraction process (due to exposure to heat), thus increasing the storage life of the oil
  • lower saturated fat levels
  • higher in Omega-3 fatty acids

Expeller pressed oils are the most likely to be found in a health food store or in the health food section of your grocery store. They can often be purchased at a lower price online or through local co-ops.

*Tip: Store your oils in the refrigerator to help further extend the storage life of the oils and to prevent them from becoming rancid.

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(Healthy Living) Fruit Serving

Find one spot in your day where you can routinely add a serving of fruit to your family’s diet. This might involve incorporating a serving into your cereal or yogurt at breakfast, a dessert substitution, a snack replacement, or an extra small course at dinner. Where ever you choose to add it, just remember that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Fruit adds a splash of flavor and sweetness, giving you so much room to be creative.