Category: Diet

Increase Brain Power

It seems brushing one’s teeth is not only for health and hygiene reasons, it is so much more.

Brain Power

Increase Brain Power

There are also some research about the effect of chocolates to brain power.  Apparently the flavanols in cocoa can increase cognitive abilities, allowing for multitasking, i.e. ability to perform two or more tasks at a time.

 

Way With Waists

Having joined and subscribed to the British Heart Foundation, I was sent a magazine package complete with freebies of a recipe booklet and a tape measure of all things, like those used by tailors and dressmakers.

Measure for measure, photo by JMorton

Measure for measure, photo by JMorton

Measure for measure, photo by JMorton

Measure for measure, photo by JMorton

The tape measure is slightly different from the normal ones because it was colour coded.  White for normal waistline and the red to denote dangerzone towards being unhealthy.

Apparently a woman should have a maximum of 32 inches waistline, while men should have 37 inches at the most.  Any higher, would mean an increased risk to health such as  heart disease and diabetes.

Come on guys, get measuring.  If you are over the limit, time to change your routine and lifestyle.

Again remember:

Maximum waistline for women:  32 inches

Maximum waistline for men:  37 inches

1001: Diet Healthily

Fashion

Fashion

Spring is nearly hear.  Christmas is over, New Year is over.  Valentine’s Day is over so no excuse to not start a good healthy way to diet.

I have read thousands of tips on how to diet.  Some tips are so rigid that it would be hard to keep up.

Out of the many thousands of these diet tips, we will compile a list of the most effective ones, which will not scar us mentally, emotionally and maybe even physically. 😉

Let us maintain a regimen of healthy diet.  A healthy diet would mean a healthier, happier and revitalised YOU/US!

1001: Diet Healthily

Dos:

  • Pin your photograph, when you were at your ideal weight, on the fridge door.  Your photo will be an inspiration and a reminder that you are on a diet, every time you open that fridge door.
  • Eat a celery.  Munching a celery would actually make you lose weight as it contains minimal calories.
  • Limit your alcohol intakes.  Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories.
  • Eat more whole grain foods as part of your healthy lifestyle.  People who eat whole grain foods tend to have lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Start your day with a bowl of porridge or cereal with high-fibre.
  • Add barley or lentils in stews and casseroles.
  • Flavour your food with garlic and herbs rather than with salt.
  • Keep your fruit bowls well stocked and accessible, so you can just grab a fruit on two on your way out to work or school.
  • Eat more fish like salmon and sardines.  They are rich i omega-3 fats necessary for a healthy heart.
  • Use olive oil rather than butter or lard in cooking.
  • Brush your teeth after each meal, a Japanese study found that people who develop this habit keep their weight at a healthy level.
  • Use smaller plates to encourage for smaller portion of food.
  • Use children cutleries a la Liz Hurley.  smaller utensil will encourage taking time with eating and chewing.
  • Eat slowly.  Eating fast will encourage you to gobble up more calories.

Don’ts:

  • Never shop on an empty stomach.  When we are feeling peckish, we are more susceptible to all the goodies, that supermarkets have expertly located within our reach and attention.
  • Do not lick a stamp to stick it on an envelope.  Stamps contain 7 calories

Diet & Depression

What we eat can affect our moods and general health. We should, therefore, watch what we consume foodwise, drinkwise or even drugwise. Be wise.

Below is an article from NHS.uk which I think we should all know as everyone of us at one point of our lives will suffer from depression (from mild to debilitating one).

Healthy eating and depression

Feeling down or depressed can affect both your appetite and your daily routine.

Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight. Antidepressants can also affect your appetite.

If you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.

Tips for eating a healthy diet

Research into the links between diet and depression is ongoing. As yet, there is not enough evidence to say for certain that some foods help relieve symptoms of depression.

However, a healthy balanced diet is important for maintaining good general health.

“The most important thing is to eat regularly and to include the main food groups in your daily diet,” says Dr Lynn Harbottle, consultant in nutrition and dietetics at the Health and Social Services Department in Guernsey.

A diet based on starchy foods, such as rice and pasta, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and lentils, and some milk and dairy foods (and not too much fat, salt or sugar) will give you all the nutrients you need.

Find out more about the five food groups by looking at the eatwell plate. Also, read more about how to have a balanced diet.

There are many simple ways to improve your diet. However, if you’re more severely depressed and feel unable to shop or prepare food, see your GP to discuss the types of treatment and support that are available.

Eat regular meals

Have three meals every day, including breakfast. Breakfast can help give you the energy you need to face the day. Try a bowl of wholegrain cereal with some sliced banana and a glass of fruit juice for a healthy start to the day. If you feel hungry between meals, have a healthier snack such as a piece of fruit.

Eat more wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds

These foods are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Try to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.

Include some protein at every meal

Protein is essential for the growth and repair of the body. You can get it from meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, lentils and beans.

Don’t get thirsty

We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid a day to stop us getting dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can affect our mood. Symptoms of dehydration include lack of energy and feeling light-headed. Find out more about how much you should drink, including how to choose healthier drinks.

If you drink alcohol, drink within the recommended daily limits

If you’re a man, don’t regularly drink more than three-to-four units a day. If you’re a woman, don’t regularly drink more than two-to-three units a day. Use our alcohol unit calculator to find out how many units there are in different types of alcoholic drinks. Don’t drink alcohol if you’re taking antidepressants.

When you make changes to your diet, set yourself realistic and achievable goals. Lynn warns against crash or miracle diets that might not be nutritionally balanced. Instead, make moderate changes. If you want to make major changes to your diet, see your GP, who can refer you to a registered dietitian.

Further information about diet and mental wellbeing

For general advice on healthy eating, see our food and diet section.

The energy diet has information about how healthy eating can help prevent tiredness.

Many treatment options are available for depression, including talking therapies, antidepressant medication and various self-help techniques. Find out more about treatment for depression.

If you’ve been feeling low for more than two weeks, see your GP to find out about treatment choices and to get advice on which might be most suitable for you.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/healthy-diet-depression.aspx

Page last reviewed: 06/01/2014

Next review due: 06/01/2016

Fruit Portions

IMG_0639

Fruit Serving at the H20 Hotel, Manila
Photo by PH Morton

Fruits can be very expensive and I find sometimes rather bland compared to the fruits I was used to eating growing up in the Philippines.

Gwyneth Paltrow would have approved of our microbiotic diet. We ate lots of Grains and fruits, fresh from trees in the backyard or from our farm. I remember climbing trees to get fruits, it was that fresh!

Anyway, I do like to eat fruits, sadly it is not part of my everyday diet but I do try to eat fruits and vegetables during the week. Life is so hectic, everything is from a can, a jar or even from take-aways.  

I must say I do miss eating fresh fruits, that I had four large oranges in one sitting just the other day, which brought me sensitive teeth.  Not nice.

Below is advice from the National Health Service on how to have your 5 a day servings of fruits and vegetables.

 

5 A DAY fruit portions

Small-sized fresh fruit

One portion is two or more small fruit, for example two plums, two satsumas, two kiwi fruit, three apricots, six lychees, seven strawberries or 14 cherries.
Medium-sized fresh fruit

One portion is one piece of fruit, such as one apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine.
Large fresh fruit

One portion is half a grapefruit, one slice of papaya, one slice of melon (5cm slice), one large slice of pineapple or two slices of mango (5cm slices).
Dried fruit

A portion of dried fruit is around 30g. This is about one heaped tablespoon of raisins, currants or sultanas, one tablespoon of mixed fruit, two figs, three prunes or one handful of dried banana chips.
Tinned fruit in natural juice

One portion is roughly the same quantity of fruit that you would eat for a fresh portion, such as two pear or peach halves, six apricot halves or eight segments of tinned grapefruit.
5 A DAY vegetable portions

Green vegetables

Two broccoli spears or four heaped tablespoons of cooked kale, spinach, spring greens or green beans count as one portion.
Cooked vegetables

Three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn, or eight cauliflower florets count as one portion.
Salad vegetables

Three sticks of celery, a 5cm piece of cucumber, one medium tomato or seven cherry tomatoes count as one portion.
Tinned and frozen vegetables

Roughly the same quantity as you would eat for a fresh portion. For example, three heaped tablespoons of tinned or frozen carrots, peas or sweetcorn count as one portion each. Choose those canned in water, with no added salt or sugar.
Pulses and beans

Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas count as one portion each. Remember, however much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day.
Potatoes

Potatoes don’t count towards your 5 A DAY. This is the same for yams, cassava and plantain too. They are classified nutritionally as a starchy food, because when eaten as part of a meal they are usually used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, rice or pasta. Although they don’t count towards your 5 A DAY, potatoes do play an important role in your diet as a starchy food. You can learn more in 5 A DAY: what counts?
5 A DAY in juices and smoothies

One 150ml glass of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice can count as a portion. But only one glass counts, so further glasses of juice don’t count towards your total 5 A DAY portions.
A smoothie containing all the edible pulped fruit or vegetable may count as more than one 5 A DAY portion, but this depends on the quantity of fruits or vegetables or juice used, as well as how the smoothie has been made.
For example, for a single smoothie to qualify as being two portions, it must contain either:
at least 80g of one variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable and at least 150ml of a different variety of 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice, or
at least 80g of one variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable and at least 80g of another variety of whole fruit and/or vegetable
Sugars are released from fruit when it’s juiced or blended, and these sugars can cause damage to teeth. Whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.
5 A DAY and ready-made foods

Fruit and vegetables contained in shop-bought ready-made foods can also count toward your 5 A DAY.
Always read the label. Some ready-made foods contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, so only have them occasionally or in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet. You can find out more in Food labels.

1001: Chocolate – The Lowdown

chocolate

 Chocolate – Good or Bad?!!!

Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power, it is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.
– Baron Justus Von Lieberg (19th century German Chemist)

………..

If I could only have two foods, I’d take some fantastic chocolate.  And some terrible chocolate.
– Sonia Rykiel
French Fashion Designer

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Fruits only angers my need for chocolate
– Jason Love

 1001: Chocolate – The Lowdown

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15 August 2012
Dark chocolate ‘may lower blood pressure’
By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News

There may be good news for people looking for an excuse to munch on a couple of squares of chocolate after a review showed the treat could reduce blood pressure.

An analysis of 20 studies showed that eating dark chocolate daily resulted in a slight reduction in blood pressure.

The Cochrane Group’s report said chemicals in cocoa, chocolate’s key ingredient, relaxed blood vessels.

However, there are healthier ways of lowering blood pressure.

The theory is that cocoa contains flavanols which produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This ‘relaxes’ blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them, lowering the blood pressure.

————————————————————————–

The 100g of chocolate that had to be consumed daily in a number of the studies would also come with 500 calories – that’s a quarter of a woman’s recommended daily intake”

Victoria Taylor
British Heart Foundation

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However, studies have thrown up mixed results. The Cochrane analysis combined previous studies to see if there was really an effect.

There was a huge range in the amount of cocoa consumed, from 3g to 105g a day, by each participant. However, the overall picture was a small reduction in blood pressure.

A systolic blood pressure under 120mmHg (millimetres of mercury) is considered normal. Cocoa resulted in a 2-3mmHg reduction in blood pressure. However, the length of the trials was only two weeks so the longer term effects are unknown.

Lead researcher Karin Ried, from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, said: “Although we don’t yet have evidence for any sustained decrease in blood pressure, the small reduction we saw over the short term might complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

High blood pressure is both common and deadly. It has been linked to 54% of strokes worldwide and 47% of cases of coronary heart disease.

However, chocolate packs plenty of fat and sugar as well as cocoa so is not the ideal way of lowering blood pressure.

Dark or milk?

There has also been a warning in the Lancet medical journal that dark chocolate may contain fewer flavanols than you might think. Dark chocolate contains a higher cocoa count than milk chocolate so should contain more flavanols, however, they can also be removed as they have a bitter taste.

Victoria Taylor, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s difficult to tell exactly what sort of quantities of flavanol-rich cocoa would be needed to observe a beneficial effect and the best way for people to obtain it.

“With most of the studies carried out over a short period of time it’s also not possible to know for sure whether the benefits could be sustained in the long term. The 100g of chocolate that had to be consumed daily in a number of the studies would also come with 500 calories – that’s a quarter of a woman’s recommended daily intake.

“Beans, apricots, blackberries and apples also contain flavanols and, while containing lower amounts than in cocoa, they won’t come with the unhealthy extras found in chocolate.”

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Did you know?

One upon a time, chocolate was used as a medicine.  In the 18th century, they used chocolate to cure stomach-ache!

….

According to survey, from sale of chocolates and canvassing people, more chocolates are eaten in winters more than any other seasons.   I supposed winter covers Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day when chocolates are a popular gift.

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U.S. chocolate manufacturers are using about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk daily to make delicious milk chocolate.

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It seems, yours truly is not the only one partial to Belgian chocolate.  Apparently Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate each year!

 

chocolate

Quality Street – Photo by JMorton

This made me laugh out loud:

A sign you’re chocoholic: You’ve actually stolen candy from a baby.
– Frist for Women magazine.

Have you?!!! 😉

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cacaoCacao beans are a natural source of magnesium, which has been found helpful in relieving premenstrual syndrome. 😉 There you go, a handful of Quality Street will sort you out.

Cocoa beans are rigorously selected. Those which are found to be imperfect are sold in the market cheaply or thrown into the compost heap.

Cacao trees are rather delicate to look after.  It is not unknown that farmers and growers lose an average of 30 per cent of their crops annually.

cocoaTree1

Blood Type Diet

Blood Type Diet

According to the gorgeous Elle McPherson, she maintains her undeniable  incredible body beautiful by following a Blood Type Diet.

Blood Type Diet tells you what to eat in relation to your blood group.

She is a Type A which means diet of fish and vegetables.

Please read more on the comments below for more information of this type of diet.