Monday, September 24, 2012

Good Foods For Low Body Fat, Vibrant Health, and Longevity

Part Five of the Seven-Part Series:  Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It.
The Problem:
At any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent are women. Yet, only five percent of dieters will keep the weight off. In fact, most will actually regain their lost weight, plus more. With all the money being spent on diets and diet products, Americans aren't losing weight. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, overweight and obesity has reached epidemic levels. One of the main reasons dieters fail at their "get fit" attempts and remain a statistic is because they choose "fad diets" as opposed to a balanced, healthy diet. In fact the weight-loss industry makes its billions because "millions succumb to 'quick-fix' claims, seeking a (non-existent) effortless weight-loss method.
Diet Defined:
After a "fad diet" fails, most dieters give up, claiming, "diets don't work".   It seems to me that the word "diet" is the target of criticism and creates a lot of confusion. Is diet a bad four-letter word? If you eat food (or liquids), you're on a diet. Diet is defined as "food or drink regularly consumed," or "a controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons, or to control a medical condition." The real issue is whether you on a proper diet, for your body to either lose weight (fat), or maintain a healthy and acceptable body weight.
Diets that Don't Work:  
Instead of saying, "diets don't work", we should specify which diets don't work. Unhealthy diets don't work. Restrictive and unbalanced diets don't work. Starvation diets don't work. Fake food diets don't work. Diet pills don't work. Massive supplement intake diets don't work. Fad (lose weight fast) diets don't work. We should confront the real issue; most diet programs and products offer quick-fix solutions and are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. As a fitness expert for over 27 years, I've seen diets come and go (and some recycled) and have witnessed first-hand, the damage done by "trend diets." No sensible diet will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good. In fact, you don't have to starve, deprive yourself, settle for fake food, lose your sanity and health, or take pills to lose weight and get into great shape! I know that getting and staying healthy and fit involves a lifestyle of the "proper diet and exercise regimen."
The Solution:
First and foremost, don't fall victim to "quick-fix" diets and make certain your diet is proper (appropriate and sound)! Unless there is a specific medical condition that should eliminate certain foods, you should be leery of any diet program that lacks sufficient amount of calories, restricts one of the key nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), and even restricts certain wholesome foods like carrots, potatoes and bananas.
The good news is there is finally a rise in sound (proper) diet programs that will help you lose weight and gain health. There are now widely accepted, well-researched nutritional principles found in most well respected, leading diet programs, ones that do not offer quick-fix solutions that are found in so-called "fad diets".
Most fitness experts, nutritionists, diet gurus, and well-informed doctors agree that we should consume clean and wholesome foods and liquids to attain (and maintain) low body fat and vibrant health. We should eliminate junk food, fast food, fried food, and highly processed food. The real debate begins over how many calories we should consume each day and the nutrient ratio. The other debate exists over whether it is better to be a vegetarian or vegan - or not! Most also agree that fat loss is where it's at, not just weight loss, that real and lasting weight-loss results don't happen over night, and getting fit is best accomplished when you include exercise. According the Web MD, "proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen." The key to low body fat, vibrant health, and longevity is a lifestyle of the PROPER DIET and exercise!
Proper Diet:
The proper diet includes the following factors: Liquid Consumption, Quantity and Distribution of Calories (daily caloric intake: under eating and over eating; daily nutrient ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat; and  meal size: portion control), and Quality and Purity of Calories. 
I would like to specifically address Quality and Purity of Calories. Calories are our friend, however, the wrong kind of calories will do harm (make women fat and sick-the opposite of fit and healthy)! Calories that are not wholesome and do not promote mental, spiritual, and physical well-being include:
  • Fat calories
  • Unhealthy calories
  • Dirty calories
  • Impure calories
  • Old and dead calories
  • Non-kosher calories
In summary quality and purity of calories include:
  • Clean and pure foods-natural, fresh, organic, and kosher
  • Lean, healthy, fibrous, and alive foods
  • Foods made by God (nature) for human consumption
  • Carefully chosen man-made or man- manipulated foods

Good Foods:  Unless you are a nutritionist, food expert, or well-informed fitness professional making good food choices can be a confusing subject. Even experts sometimes disagree on what to eat. There are obvious choices of what not to eat, namely most packaged, processed, and man-made foods-especially the ones full of preservatives and additives. However, some packaged and man-made foods may be good to eat, and some may even be a smart diet cheat. As you do your own research on packaged and man-made foods you can add more of them to your diet. Just remember that when you consume more man- made foods, you are increasing your odds of making mistakes in your food choices.
Pure and wholesome foods (God/nature-made foods) will always be a staple in any diet, whether you want to lose fat, improve health, gain lean body mass, increase your fitness level, become an athlete, or even just maintain your current weight and health condition.
Good Food Choices Short List
Since I have been in the fitness industry for over 27 years, I am always asked, "what do you eat?" and/or "what should I eat?' Here is a VERY short list, but I am sure it will be helpful.
Here is a good rule to follow: "In choosing foods-now and later-use the Golden Food Rule: "If God (nature) made it, it is safe. If it is man-made, then it must be examined thoroughly." Quote from MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book
  • Fresh-water fish (with fins and scales; like salmon, halibut, trout, and tuna)  
  • Organic free-range and grass-fed animal meats (beef, poultry, turkey) - (skinless, white meat from poultry)
  • Kosher meats (if you eat meat you should only eat it once a month or less and trim the fat-good choices are filet mignon, flank and top sirloin))
  • Eggs from organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed hens (use egg whites and only a few whole eggs each week)
  • Carefully chosen meat products (like Boars Head deli meat -- fresh and white meat)  
  • Organic low- to no-fat dairy - (eat or drink minimal amounts)  
  • Fresh and organic legumes
  • Raw and unsalted nuts and seeds (dry roasted on occasion)
  • Plant protein products-clean and pure (like nut butter, hummus, soy butter, and more)
  • Organic whole grains; like barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, couscous, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, and others
  • Grain products-sprouted, stone ground (baked, never fried); like bread, cereal, rice cakes, mochi, corn tortillas, etc. 
  • Organic fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh and untainted herbs and spices
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil and other unrefined vegetable oils
  • Limited amounts of all-natural spreads, sauces, sweeteners, salad dressings, and dips.
  • All natural gluten-free, low-sugar and low-fat smart diet cheats; like are fudgsicles, popsicles puddings and yogurts. Dark chocolate (low sugar of course)! Barbara's Fig Bars, Mrs. May's Naturals Pumpkin Crunch, and Lundberg Wasabi Rice Chips.  
  • Don't forget to consume plenty of water each day and the proper amounts of other liquids. Liquid consumption is another topic altogether! 
I am the creator and author of the fat-loss diet book just for women, MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book . I am the the mother of two awesome daughters, an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer, and I've been in the fitness industry since 1980. I am also a retired bodybuilder and fitness competitor wining titles such as Ms. Fitness San Diego 1993, Ms. Fitness USA finalist 1990, Ms. San Luis Obispo 1989, along with promotional appearances for Thane Fitness Co., KESQ TV-3 Midday Show, Joe Weider's Muscle and Fitness, and an American Gladiators contestant in 1990. I strive to help women (and young girls) lose weight the safe, healthy and life-long way!

Monday, September 17, 2012

With Alternative Health and Lifestyle Events

If there's one thing we've probably all realized, it's that people want to be updated about "feel-good" news that matters. It's time to stop having to scour the Internet to find good news from across the globe which is buried under all of the negative media and tabloids. We all deserve the right to know about all the good and great things that are happening right now. Even when we sleep, eat, work or play, we need to know. Just look how far away from you, your cell phone is right now.
And all this "feel good" news is creating a movement in the alternative arena, which can eventually connect us and bridge the gaps between who the world tells us we are and who we really are and who we can be. All people are created equal and all people share the same body forms when we are born. It's the power we give society that pushes us to overestimate or underestimate our lifestyle options and accept less than "feel good' as options. That's the moment we begin to focus, only on what is expected of us and fail to realize what we become is always a choice. It also sets in motion a point of view that says our life is predetermined by the environment in which we live. That is where it stops feeling good, right? Can you feel it?
In order to break this kind of lifestyle orientation and learn how to find that spark that set us apart from anybody else, but is necessary and complementary to all, we need to ask ourselves a series of questions. "What will it take to be... ?", then answer only by expression. That is, don't answer it, stay in the question. Another question we need to ask is, "What's right about what we are doing, experiencing, or being that maybe the world or even we have not realized?" Question like this lead us to an area of lifestyle that involves alternatives, specifically Alternative Health and Lifestyle.
And where can we find a better place for leading a fulfilling lifestyle, than from what come from the inside to express who we truly are and feels so, so good? Alternative lifestyles that keep us in the question give us a chance to learn what it's like to experience the "feel-good" within us that will generate more abundance of what we want in our life. Abundance is not just by material possessions, it is authored by strong familial relationships, fitness, health, connectivity and most importantly freedom from within. Is this causing a huge tilt or what?
In the alternative arena where new and extraordinary experiences are the norm, at first, people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done. After it's announced, it's done, they may still resist some and then begin to hope it can be done. Finally they see it is done. And when it is done, all the world wonders why it was not done years, earlier.
This, sadly is the nature of expectation. What is expected is based on what was and not based on the question; what else is possible? So how can we really start shifting what we get into what we want - more feel good news? We can simply begin to participate in activities that regularly result in stories of good and great news for us all.
Here's a start.  It lists many of the Alternative Health and Lifestyle Events in the Central Florida, area. Now just think, what if others in different areas would just do the same. Plagiarism? Copy-Cat? This is perhaps the best way to create a movement that results in more "feel good news" regularly. Do you think we will wonder one day and ask "why it was not done years, earlier?."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Health and Harmony of Its Dimensions

Being healthy is a basic requirement in order to fully appreciate the good things around us and be inspired to work for the realization of our dreams and goals. It is a fundamental necessity to earn a living in order to survive. When you are not healthy, your routine activities are disrupted. Medical news show that discomforts caused by annoying bodily disturbances or by nagging problems result in persistent unhappy moods that may drain your capacity to cope and adjust.
But then, how do you know you are healthy? Perhaps you may consider yourself healthy but are considered unhealthy by another. You may have your own idea of what characterizes a healthy person. It is indeed better if everyone has a common basis for determining when a person is truly healthy. What then are the qualities that one must have in order to be considered healthy?
To determine the status of your health, you should look into the six dimensions of your life which is the physical, mental, emotional, social, vocational and spiritual dimension. These six dimensions will give ideas to ascertain the level of health. Medical journals say that all these are expected to interact in conformity with each other. Any disorder involving one dimension may affect other dimensions.
Physical health involves the different systems of the body. All the body mechanisms are expected to operate harmoniously to be considered fit in meeting the demands of daily activities. Each system should monitor the functioning of the organs to make the necessary adjustment in order to maintain balance. For example, when you are suffering from loose bowel movement, the other organs that release water such as the sweat gland and the kidneys will be called upon to conserve water to prevent dehydration.
Mental and emotional health can be seen as your way of looking at your ability to perform your task and face problems in an appropriate manner. It is also the capacity to make and apply good decisions and at the same time feel good inside. If you possess mental and emotional health, you are optimistic in life and are appreciative of the things around you. You can also accept disappointments with courage and composure. Social health includes your ability to get along with others and create a relaxed atmosphere by being sensitive and responsive to the needs of others.
Vocational health applies to your behavior and attitude in carrying out the duties and obligations of your chosen career. As an adult, you should consider your attitude in doing your responsibilities as a worker in preparation towards gaining financial independence in the future. Spiritual health is also another important dimension. Any disturbance in the operation of the other dimensions may still be handled as long as spiritual health is maintained.
All these dimensions overlap and interact with one another. Therefore, to be in the best of health and experience fulfillment in life, you should see to it that all these dimensions work cooperatively to attain balance. Be alert with the latest health news and what you can do to maintain optimum health. To achieve this, you have to accept the responsibility of looking after your own health to live longer and at the same time experience satisfaction and happiness.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Most Important Thing You Can Add to Your Diet for Optimal Health

I've heard different advice as what is the best thing to do right now to change your diet. Eat less carbs, eat less fat, eat less...
This is all great advice, but there is one single piece of advice that transcends all of these tips--and that is to have one fresh vegetable juice a day.
There is no better way to get whole nutrients, get more energy and feel fantastic than to drink at least one vegetable juice a day.
Good news for the busy person, is that you will find juicers at most local health food stores, so you'll never have to clean the machine and prepare them yourself!
When you juice a vegetable you separate the enzymes, vitamins and minerals from the fiber. This gives you a concentrated mix that will put you bounds ahead in your health and fitness.
Juicing can be better than other types of supplementation because the nutrients are still fresh and none of them are damaged because of heat, cold, exposure or any other factor that can deplete their potency.
The effects of adding fresh fruit and vegetable juices to your diet can be seen in days. Many people I have worked with tell me their skin and blemishes clear up, scratches and injuries heal faster and overall energy levels rise dramatically.
If you've never had a fresh vegetable juice--and I don't mean any of the juices that you see in the grocery stores in the bottles--I want you to go to the local health store and see if they make them. Most of them do have juicers on the premises. Ask for something simple and try it. You'll be amazed at how good it tastes!
If you've already juiced before either wipe the dust of your old machine or go out and buy a new one. A juicer can run anywhere from $80.00-$4000.00, but to start don't spend a bunch of money. A centrifugal juicer is fine to start. This type of juicer will juice any hard vegetable and some leafy vegetables. There are other types--press, screw and wheatgrass--but this is the best way to start. Click here for juicer reviews.
Start with pleasant tasting vegetables and fruits. Carrots, beets, apples, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes and grapes are the best to start. Mix them together or just have them alone. Once you start to enjoy fresh juice then you can explore other combinations and vegetables. If you're anything like me, you probably experiment a bit with different flavors and ingredients not knowing what to expect!
If you are struggling to find different ingredients... beets, kale, spinach or cabbage are just a few to try in your next mixture.
Try putting garlic in your juice to boost your immune system, ginger to aid in digestion or cilantro to give it an added fresh flavor for the summer!
Be sure to buy produce that is organically grown. These fruits and vegetables are loaded with more nutrients and have none of the pesticides you'll find in non-organic foods.