Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real Food Means Real Fiber

Did you know that the average American does not get near the daily fiber needed for best health? Many of the foods available on store shelves are lacking fiber--the very thing that allows us to feel full and satisfied. Instead, we consume these silly packaged goods and find that we cannot stop eating them and it stands for reason: we aren't getting the fiber!
According to the website,, fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. The fiber is like a broom pushing out the unneeded "stuff" in our systems. It keeps our bodies clean on the inside. And we need, adults and children alike, about 20 grams of fiber per day.
Whole grain bread, berries, nuts, vegetables, and a variety of beans provide great sources of fiber for our bodies. Notice that none of these come in a manufactured package? (Raw nuts are best--unsalted or sweetened.) These are foods worth getting in the habit of eating.
So for starters, if you know you are consuming lots of white stuff: crackers, bread, pasta, etc. Decide now to switch to the fiber-packed whole wheat foods. You just might find your insides feeling pretty good. Really.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Garden of Nutrition

Have you ever planted a garden? If so, you have experienced the true excitement of witnessing the miraculous growth of a once tiny seedling. Our family planted peas, peppers, onions, pumpkins, watermelon, carrots, cucumbers, and garlic. And it has been quite the adventure observing the "fruit" of our labors in watering and caring for this young garden.

No matter where you live, it is a perfect time to begin learning how to grow your own food. Never has self-reliance been more of a focus than it is now with the ability to care for yourselves and loved ones in the times we now live. One of the best ways we can do this is by following the prophet's counsel: to plant a garden. Also, the revelation given to Joseph Smith to live the Word of Wisdom.

Each intricate growth of the seeds we have planted is truly a manifestation of the precision and detail and unseen benefits of the fruits and vegetables God has created for the functioning of our bodies. It may sound over the top, but can man create something as nutritionally valuable as our Heavenly Father can? I would hope you know the answer.

Our family does many things to care for our garden: we sing to the garden, water the garden, pull weeds from the garden, protect the garden (from Gentry, our 2 1/2 year old), and we pray for our garden. The boys have even cried for our garden when they thought a pumpkin plant wouldn't make it. But with prayer, it pulled through!!

Find the time where you live that is right to plant a garden, and just jump into it. I put it off so long because I now live in the desert. But obviously it can be done. And it will bring much more than just food to the table. It will bring smiles, hard work, focus, sacrifice, and nutrition.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthday Cake Redefined

This was my birthday cake this year! I didn't even think to purchase or make a traditional cake because I have decided to abandon these unhealthy traditions. Now and again is okay, I'll admit. But what an idea to make holidays enjoyable without a holiday from nutritional foods!
To recreate this lovely birthday plate, simply slice the watermelon in round cuts from large to progressively smaller sizes. Then stack, and add watermelon, blueberries, or anything colorful to compliment the watermelon. It's also a great alternative since it is the hotter season of the year! Get creative and best wishes for optimum health!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Healthy Popsicles

With Summer approaching, it's important to have something nice and cold to enjoy during the warmer months. But if you take a look at the ingredients in most frozen popsicles (and other "treats" for that matter) you may need to take a closer look at the ingredients.

High fructose corn syrup is something you should avoid like poison. In rare and occasional doses, so to speak, your body may be okay. But most foods contain this ingredient, and it is VERY unhealthy. Read what I found when I googled the details on this ingredient:

"Since HFCS's widespread introduction in the 1980's North American obesity rates have skyrocketed. Obesity has been linked to may heath issues including heart disease and many forms of cancer. When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full."

So are you never to eat a popsicle again? No! Just buy your own popsicle containers which allow you to decide what kind of popsicle you'd like to enjoy! We love 100% apple juice or berry juice! But just be sure the juice you buy really has nothing else added to it. You have to be 'label smart.' And once your kids join in the fun, buying a bag of "cancer pops, " as I like to call them will not only be less fun to your children, you just might hear them informing their friends about the healthier alternative!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That Healthy Glow

Have you ever noticed how some people glow with radiance--particularly babies? Much can be said about the reasons behind why some people's skin glows and some do not. Once again, a lot of it has do to with a person's diet.

Babies do have softer skin because they are young, but they also have not been subjected to years of bad habit eating or lack of exercise. Our faces undoubtedly reflect the way that we care for ourselves. And what we eat and put into our bodies DOES make a difference.

For me, I notice that my face is more blemished when I am not taking my vitamins regularly, or consuming enough fruits and vegetables. God created the foods that will keep us healthy and looking beautiful, which we all are. We need to remember the more wholesome foods available to us and consume them more.

Besides eating good foods, we need to keep active, our minds and our bodies. We need proper sleep and rest, as well as meditation to quiet our minds and reflect on things of importance, especially those things we can improve on and motivate spiritually.

"After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies." ~Cynthia Ozick, born 1931

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just Say "No" To Junk

It may be easier said than done, but it may be easier to do than you think! The concept that I just don't understand is why many say how hard it is to eat healthy, but then bring into their home many unhealthy foods. We plan to buy what we eat, don't we?

At first, it may be tough to resist putting the foods we know aren't healthy into our shopping carts, but making that simple decision will eliminate the choices later in whether we eat a healthy dinner/snack or not! The key really is down to what you put into your cart.

Below are just a few friendly tips for healthier alternatives you might want to replace as you shop at the grocery store. They are as follows:

Instead of: Buy:
1. Chips/Hydro Crackers ----- Popcorn Kernals ("Pop" at home!)
2. Soda or Sugar-Filled Juices -----------2. 100% Juices or Lemons/Limes to add to your water
3. Mayonaise -------------------------3. Avocado (This works great for sandwiches!)
4. Cookies or Candy ------------4. Organic Cookies or Soy Ice Cream (Yummy and guilt-free!)
5. White Products -------------------5. Whole Wheat spaghetti, rice, bread, crackers, etc.
6. Milk/Cheese -------------------------6. Soy or Rice Milks/ Block of Parmesan (Far Less fat)
7. Sugary Cereals -------------------7. Oatmeal, Organic Cereals


Challenge yourself, and discover how good it feels to put natural more wholesome foods primarily into your diet. Then when you have that fast food meal or occasional cookie, you know it's okay--because the unhealthy food is a rarity. Best of luck!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cut the Fat--Cut the Guilt!

You know, I have been trying to think of ways to improve my diet. I don't eat a lot of fast food, but I consume more of it than I'd like to. Chances are good that you experience, like many of us, the guilt that accompanies a "fast food meal."

Not only is the food high in fats and/or sugars, the portion sizes are ridiculously huge! A person typically eats more than twice the amount of food in calories than they actually need in a meal. And this doesn't include dessert! Here are a few tips that I've been trying to implement to feel healthier and increase my energy... (And they have been helping me tremendously!)

  • Avoid eating out as much as possible. Eat before going out, and bring a bag of nuts, healthy granola bar, or even an apple to tie you over when you get hungry on the run!
  • Watch the cheese! Our culture puts cheese on everything. Pretty soon we'll see it as an ice cream flavor. Ugh, I hope not! Cheese is high in fat, and a portion size is only the size of your pinky. Sorry to say. . .
  • Eat an extra healthy breakfast. I have really been enjoying raw oats with blueberries or strawberries. And if you like soy milk, this is a great alternative to milk, which some do not tolerate. When I eat a great breakfast like this, I want to make more healthy choices throughout the day.
  • Get rid of that sweet tooth! I love chocolate, but the more days I go without it, the less I crave it. This goes for whatever your addiction may be: ice cream, cookies, cake, soda. I just dare you to conquer your craving. It can be so exciting to know you are in control--and not that silly, lifeless portion of food!

Hopefully, you will find that these simple changes, and sometimes not-so-simple changes can make you feel worlds better from day to day. I have found for myself that I feel cleaner inside, and my stomach is definitely flatter. Regular exercise is a great addition to cutting back on those hidden fats. So get focused, and remember that you are in charge of your own body. Make changes now--and rid yourself of the awful guilt that bad food choices can bring.