Health and Wellness Blog

All About Diet, Weight Loss and Muscle Building

Chia Seeds Getting the Healthy Reputation They Deserve

Although I’ve been reading and studying about nutrition and fitness, I had never heard of people eating chia seeds until a friend saw a photo of one of my smoothies on Facebook and suggested that I add chia in the future.  It turns out that Chia Seeds are considered a Superfood and are indeed super healthy – with advantages over flax seeds and better nutritional benefits.  It also turns out my friend is the President of Chosen Foods in San Diego, which sells Chia Seeds, Avocado Oil for cooking and Nopal powder – and that I am now representing their line of health products here in the Pacific Northwest.

SONY DSCSome facts about chia seeds include (as noted on the attached photo): they have 100% more essential fatty acids than salmon, has double the antioxidants found in blueberries, has 6 times more calcium than milk, 6 times more iron than spinach, 41% of daily fiber in one serving, it is a great anti-inflamatory, and chia seeds provide natural extended energy and have long been known as “Aztec Running Food.”

Our friends who have allergies to gluten will be happy to know that Chia Seeds are gluten-free and can replace fat and increase nutrient density in virtually any recipe.  Advanced clinical trials have also been demonstrating that chia seeds may support a healthy heart, assist in protecting against chronic diseases like cancer, help to lower blood sugar and help support weight loss.


Uncover The Hidden Sources of Sugar

Did you know that the United States is the second largest consumer of refined sugar, second only to Germany. How often do you hear news stats on our obese society, and morbid metabolic issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

The biggest factor to the metabolic syndrome that we face as a society is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the body’s inability to effectively manage blood sugar through the use of insulin.


One of the biggest factors is this over consumption of refined sugars. Now, let us begin, refined sugar is not a food and it should not be consumed. It is only a manufactured poison, a darling of the packaged food industry that is addictive, cheap to incorporate in to faux food products, basically killing our society for profit.

What we want to address is the hidden sources of sugar that can promote the same dramatic effect on our health. When you think of sugar, you tend to think of the “obvious suspects”- the table sugar you use in your coffee, candy, soda and deserts. The reality is, if you eat most prepared food (snack foods, frozen TV dinners, canned soup, packaged cereals, bread, frozen waffles, crakers, tomato sauce, condiments such as ketchup and steak sauce) you are eating sugar. Once you start reading food labels, you will be amazed to see that various forms of sugar (sucrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, turbinado, maple sugar, etc.) are common ingredients in prepared food. Organic, so-called “natural” sugar or honey is no better. Some experts estimate that many people may unknowingly be eating between forty to sixty teaspoons of sugar a day in their food.

What is of major concern is the high rate of consumption of high fructose corn syrup, or fructose, a cheap, very sweet sugar which is finding its way into more and more prepared foods and even nutritional food products (often by leading nutraceutical companies

Fructose is low on the glycemic index (a misleading tool that rates the conversion to glucose) it can cause serious health problems. The major problem is that it promotes the insulin resistance mentioned above and promotes FAT STORAGE! It actually causes more damage inside your body than glucose, which is found in table sugar, though we are not recommending table sugar (combo of fructose and glucose)as an alternative.

Stay tuned for follow up articles on alternatives to sweeten up your life.

How many days has it being since I become vegetarian? I really lost count…

Ok, I admit it. I took a little meat here and there. Had another piece of fish cake. And a fish burger. The day before, I ate chicken rice. 😛 But I also resisted 6 pieces of tempting chicken nuggets. Sometimes when you are outside, it is very hard not to eat meat at food stalls and fast food joints. Like yesterday, I was staring at the McDonald’s menu. I think there is no full meal that is vegetarian. Sure you can eat the fries, the side salad, desserts ( apple pie, ice cream, apple dips ) but why no veggie burger? Burger King is no better either. Maybe you can eat the onion rings.

The only fast food joint that offer a vegetarian burger is probably MOS Burger. At least they have veggie burger ( potato patty ). Plus a few more choices of salad, big chunky chips, curry crouqette ( potato ).

As far as the yoga practice is concerned, I do not feel any difference. But I feel more sleepy… I am guessing is the intake of more carbohydrates like bread, noodles and rice. Anyway, figuring out what to eat for lunch is really a big headache. But I am currently in the vegetable miso soup phase. Really yummy and filling and it’s not heavy. No oil used! Miso is a soybean based paste that originates from Japan. It is often used in Japanese cooking and it is good for the body!

Here is my Hearty Veggie Miso Soup recipe :
Hearty Veggie Miso Soup

miso ( large grain types… which is not too salty plus it gives the soup a nice body )
a quarter of tofu – this is the protein in the meal
some mushrooms – I use straw mushrooms but you can use any type you want
vegetarian meat – you need to get this from the shops, I got the “mutton” balls
half a carrot – cut into thin slices ( to cook through fast )
a few leaves of cabbage – chopped into strips ( gives the soup a sweetness… )
spring onions – chopped
Optional – pieces of crackers

Boil water in the sauce pan. Dissolve the miso ( taste the saltiness to make sure you do not add too much miso ) in the boiling water. Add the carrots. Cook until carrot softens. Then add in the cabbage. Also cook until the cabbage softens. Then add in the rest of the ingredients like tofu, mushrooms and vegetarian meat. Put to full boil.

Serve in a bowl with the spring onions sprinkled on top.

Goes great with a piece of buttered toast too…

But I do find that it is getting easier. It was much like 6 years ago when I gone off pork. Since then I have not taken pork consciously and have not missed it at all… ( ok I lied… I do miss bacon… but it is a good loss… helped me shaved off a whopping 5 kg ). I was talking to a yoga friend who made a suggestion that made sense to me – allow one or two meals a week to take meat.

What do you think?

The Truth About Fiber

In a world where every fad diet and magazine article has a different opinion on what you should and should not be eating, one doctor is here to tell you the truth about fiber and weight loss.

Joseph J. Colella, a bariatric surgeon that has performed over 4,000 weight-loss surgeries, somewhat challenges the conventional idea that a high-fiber diet is the key to successful weight management. Far from being an easy solution for weight loss, Colella characterizes a high fiber diet as “helpful …with some caveats.”

What are those caveats, you may ask? Colella cautions those looking to slim down against getting “lost in a sea of endless suggestions” about dietary guidelines, which may advocate anything from a low fat diet to a no carb diet.

From Colella’s perspective, the most successful long-term weight loss strategy is to adopt a simple high-protein, low-sugar regimen.

This is where his issue with fiber comes in – often people get wrapped up in the idea of a high fiber diet, and make it their mission to consume more fiber at any cost. That is, they eat the fiber-rich oatmeal, but then they’ll drown it in brown sugar, milk, and honey, which increases the sugar content and negates the beneficial effects of the fiber.

Similarly, many fiber-rich granola bars can contain as much as nine grams of fiber per serving while also packing in upwards of 20 grams of sugar.

Colella does advocate fiber-ful foods, however, like naturally sweet fresh fruits and vegetables that can pass through the digestive tract with minimal sugar molecule absorption, thus giving you the fibrous benefits without an influx of sugar.

Avocados, lentils, and beans also provide healthy doses of fiber, among other nutritional benefits.


Source: Shine.Yahoo

When Diets Go Wrong – BBC Documentary


Actress Mikyla Dodd has dealt with her own demons by losing 11 stone, so she knows a thing or two about diets.

Mikyla takes a tour through a whole range of dieting disasters as she discovers the dangers of diet pills; talks to those whose diets gave them saggy skin and smelly sweat; and meets those whose extreme dieting put them under the knife, brought on seizures and made their life an addictive hell.


How Does Walking Promote Weight Loss?

In humans there is a fine balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Energy intake is in the form of food and energy expenditure is in the form of the basal metabolic rate and physical activity. The difference between energy intake and energy expenditure is the net energy balance. If intake exceeds expenditure then a net positive energy balance occurs. Energy expenditure depends on a number of factors. This includes the starting body weight, the basal metabolic rate and physical activity. With regard to physical activity there are several key variables including the frequency, intensity, duration and type of activity done.

Let us examine energy consumption. One honey glazed doughnut, which has approximately three hundred  calories. The energy intake from the consumed doughnut is equal to the energy consumed by moderate walking for thirty to sixty minutes at three miles per hour. If you walks for an hour at three miles per hour, you will expend approximately three hundred calories, the same has what was contained in the consumed doughnut. Walking daily for one hour at approximately three miles per hour, this type of activity would lead to weight loss. This assumes that you does not consume any extra calories and has a net negative energy expenditure. If this continues for a period of two to four months body weight is reduced. The initial weight loss is the result of a negative net energy balance. The negative energy balance is because energy expenditure exceeds energy intake. After the initial weight loss, you should continue to do the same type of exercise that is one hour of moderate walking daily.

Most people are often frustrated and surprised that the weight is not continuing to decrease despite regular walking. This happens when you reached a plateau. The reason behind the weight-loss plateau is that with decreased body weight, the basal metabolic rate also decreases. When the basal metabolic rate decreases there is a decrease in totaled energy expenditure.

If you quit your daily walking exercise the weight is gained again at a quicker pace. The weight is regained, as a result of a positive energy balance being created. Energy expenditure is now less since the physical activity has been stopped. By keeping the same intensity and duration of walking without making any changes in the diet. The will enter a weight maintenance phase. This is characterized by gaining a small amount of weight. The weight maintenance is the result of an energy balance being established within the body where energy intake essentially equals energy expenditure. If there is no change in energy balance, they will not be any further change in weight. What must be done to end of the weight-loss plateau? Several options exist to maintain the negative net energy balance these involve either decreasing energy intake or increasing energy expenditure. Options include restricting calories further or increasing the frequency or the intensity or the duration of the exercise.

In summary, weight loss plateaus are expected and can only and with continued exercise and a net negative energy balance. Stopping exercise or increasing calories will lead to weight gain. If you continues to exercise to maintain a net negative energy balance, weight loss will be promoted

Exercise and Losing Weight

Let me share with you the exercise myth. And I get asked all the time by people: Do I have to exercise? And my answer is,”No you don’t have to.” Now the question is what do you want? Do you want to exercise?

First things first, movement is great for us. And I would suggest if you are someone that has an issue with exercise, is that you never use that word. If I said to you, “Let’s go off and exercise for half an hour,” you might recoil but if I said, “Hey, do you fancy going for a walk around the block for a few minutes,” you might be, “Yeah, I can do that.” So be really aware of labeling something as exercise if that puts you off. Of course, there are massive benefits to exercise, and actually when it comes to weight loss, it is intense short bursts that get you much further ahead than slow steady. When it comes to weight loss, you really don’t want to be doing any slow steady exercise for over an hour. And there is a reason for that, and that is because you have a hormone in the body called cortisol, and when you’re exercising for a long period of time, those levels increase, and the cortisol actually is a lot of the reason why you have all of that extra fat around your middle. There a lot of research is coming out that shows the huge health benefits of short intense bursts of exercise.

The other thing I would say to you is that exercise has an additional benefit in that it is more effective than antidepressant medication at lifting your mood. When you are feeling good and your mood is elevated, you are not thinking about raiding the fridge. So there is a real benefit there. People who exercise regularly usually feel better in themselves, and they usually have lower weight. It is not rocket science. But the other thing to do is to let yourself off the hook and start slowly.

I got a friend, she is lovely, she parks as far away from the supermarket as she can in the big parking lot. Then that is her walk. It can be really little things that make a lot of difference. You don’t need to start big. It is starting small. Because if you start small, then that is something that can stay in your lifestyle. When you go all out, and start going to the gym five times a week, the problem with that is, it is really easy for something to interrupt that. Because it is not actually a part of your lifestyle. You can get an injury, or work could get busier, or you could get a bug, and suddenly before you know it, you haven’t been for three months.

Start small. Short intense bursts are ideal. And I am talking only like 20 seconds, nothing major. There is a lot of information on the internet about something called the high intensity exercise. There is a lot of information there about that linking that to massive health benefits. No, you don’t need to exercise. You don’t need to do anything you don’t want to. It is a question of what would you like to do?

Wanna Lose Weight? Try This Simple Tips

If you are trying to lose weight you need to learn what kind of food you have to eat and what kind of exercises to do in order to lose weight naturally and safely.

1. Make up Your Mind. This is very important. If you make half-hearted efforts to lose weight, you are never really going to succeed. So develop a strong determination, that is what you want and you will do anything it takes to achieve your goal.

2.Stop eating all simple carbs. such as flour, sugar, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and most grains. These foods cause blood sugar to spike and the pancreas to release insulin to turn all that excess sugar into fat. This is very important for losing weight.

3.Increase your water intake. Eliminate soda, sweet teas, highly sugared coffee drinks, processed fruit juices and alcohol. Instead, drink water. It can help flush toxins from your system. Several studies recommend that women consume 2.8 quarts of water and men consume 3.9 quarts every day.

4.Increase your fiber intake. Fiber helps you to cut your food cravings and act as natural appetite suppressant. Also most of the fiber rich foods are low on the fat content. Try to eat at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Fruits that are high in fiber include apples, bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits, prunes, pears and tangerines. Switch to whole grain or whole wheat bread. White bread is low in fiber. Switch to a high fiber cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. Some cereals that are high in fiber include Raisin Bran, Cracklin’ Oat Bran, Grape-Nuts, All-Bran and Fiber One. Make sure to include peas, beans and legumes in your diet. Foods that will help you add these to your meal plan include: lentil soup, bean burritos, chili with beans, split pea soup, 3-bean salsa, and refried beans. Switch from regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, and from white rice to brown rice. Choose high fiber snacks, such as popcorn or whole grain crackers, instead of candy bars or other high-fat, sugary foods.

5.Increase Your Metabolism – Eat 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours daily. It has been scientifically proven that by eating frequently, you will raise your body’s natural metabolism. That means your body will burn more fat naturally. And You become a fat burning machine all day long.

6.Eliminate processed foods. Such as burgers and Pizza, cakes, pastas, and get more good carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice and jacket potatoes to ensure that your blood sugar levels are kept even and you have plenty of energy.

7.Don’t eat at nights. At nights the body prepares itself for sleep and it naturally begins to slow down. So you are more likely to gain weight when you eat at nights because your metabolic rate slows down and you are no longer active so you don’t burn many calories. So avoid eating food after 9 pm.

8.Exercise Everyday. Do aerobic exercise four to five days a week Several studies show that aerobic activities cause your metabolism to stay at an elevated level for a period of time after you have finished exercising.

9.Running. running Every day is best, but try to run at least 3-4 times a week. If you are lacking motivation, join a running group or ask your friend.

10.Bicycling. Get out and ride a bike, but remember to pedal fast. Riding your bike around the track, or on a dirt track in your neighborhood, can burn as much as 500 to 1,000 calories an hour.

11.Squats. Do about 2-3 sets of 20-30 repetitions. These are important because they target the buttocks and leg muscles. These are the largest muscles in our bodies.

12.Jumping rope. can be a fun exercise and extremely efficient in not only helping you to lose weight, but to give you coordination, build your leg muscles, and help your cardiovascular system. 13 and finaly .Stay Motivated. And Measure Body Fat. Every 2 weeks using a fat caliper Shoot pictures of yourself every 2 weeks: front, back & side. The side pictures will show the most change.

And If you are seriously looking for a fast and natural weight loss solution, then I recommend to read my previous post and subscribe to this blog.

Power Juicing : A Healthy Way to lose Weight

English: Yellow and green Bell peppers, North ...

English: Yellow and green Bell peppers, North End market, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I took this photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems like a match made in heaven: juicing and weight loss. Medical doctors, nutritionists, and fitness experts all agree. The fastest route between your current weight and the shedding of those extra pounds is through a field of fruits and vegetables. They will help you to lose weight healthily and fast.

But try as you might, an afternoon snack of baby carrots, green bell peppers, and an apple doesn’t grab you as much as your favorite candy bar. That’s exactly where juicing comes in to save your diet. You can receive plenty of fruits and vegetables and the all important nutrients they hold, as a freshly juiced drink. It has the advantage of keeping you feeling full, and (get this!) reducing your craving for that candy bar.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a research study dealing revealing that a low metabolic rate was intimately linked to a low consumption of nutrients. Not only that, both of these were associated with a larger waistline. Now, let’s take this one step further. A larger waistline, in time, is a biomarker for an increased risk of developing heart disease. The good news is that all fruits and vegetables trump processed, packaged foods when it comes to weight loss.

Think you might want to take the plunge of juicing to lose weight? Here’s one recipe that can kick-start your diet.  This juice will work wonders at helping you lose those unwanted pounds. And you’ll enjoy every drop of it, too! What an awesome combination!

5 carrots
1 apple
½ cucumber
½ beet
1 stalk of celery

Place the produce in your juicer. Juice and Enjoy. If you think this juice needs a bit of a zing, add fresh ginger to taste! Juicing offers you the chance to lose weight and the opportunity to restore a host of other health disorders. Once you start, you’ll be amazed where this fantastic practice can lead!

Losing Weight Safely And Naturally

We’ve all seen the weight loss commercials selling solutions such as exercise equipment, exercise DVDs, weight loss meal plans with monthly fees, weight loss pills and fitness club memberships. The great news is, you don’t really need to spend a fortune to shed weight. By simply making changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can achieve your weight loss goals. Here are some simple tips;

Supercharge Your Metabolism
First of all, you have to eat more. Doesn’t make sense right? I know, but actually eating 6 meals a day will put your metabolism on overdrive. Each time you eat, you actually stimulate your metabolism. You will burn your excess fat when you supercharge your metabolism.

Weight Training
Start lifting weights if you’re not already including weight training in your weight loss program. Lifting weights will help you build muscle, which in turn will raise your resting metabolism. You can burn an extra 100 calories a day just by gaining 5 pounds of muscle.

For women, You do not have to worry about bulking up, since you don’t have the same level of testosterone as your male counterparts.

Cut Your Sugar Intake
Get rid of sodas. Many of us get a lot of sugar from the sodas, sweet tea, sweetened coffee, and other sugary drinks we consume. It is best to give up these drinks completely. Clean out your pantry. If you can’t easily find sugary foods, you will be less likely to eat them, right?

Reach for fruits
Fruits can sometimes help us conquer a sugar craving. Choosing a fruit over a candy bar may not be easy, but in the long run you will feel better for doing it. Check the labels. Things don’t have to taste sweet to have these extra calories lurking. Reading the ingredients can often help you find things like high fructose corn syrup or other hidden sugars before you bring it into your home.

Avoid These 3 Foods
1. Make processed foods your greatest enemy. Processed foods are the foods that you find in the middle of your local supermarket. Most of them are canned or pre-packaged. This is usually a great option for people who do not have the time to cook, which is why they sell so well. However, there are many chemicals that have been used to preserve them. These chemicals comes with their own side effects. It’s healthier and safer to eat natural and perishable foods that are available at the grocery store or farmer’s market.

2. Avoid fried foods. This includes fries and many of the fatty foods that you find in your favorite fast food restaurants.

3. Avoid caffeinated drinks including coffee, dark tea, and popular power drinks. It is best if you can drink pure plain water. Caffeinated drinks tamper with your metabolism, which interferes with burning your excess fat.