Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By TARA PARKER-POPE
(This post was originally published on June 30, 2008, and recently appeared on The New York Times’s list of most-viewed stories for 2009.)
Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.
Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
How to eat: Just drink it.
Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cinnamon, tumeric and blueberries are more or less a staple in my household. The others with the exception of Swiss Chard, I use more than occasionally but not often enough.
How about you? Have any of these foods found their way into your shopping cart?
Monday, February 01, 2010
This is the final goal in the series of four weekly goals that made up the Spark Power Team Goal Success Challenge for the month of January. This week the emphasis was on trying a new kind of exercise. Coincidently, another one of my teams - By the Numbers - also had an exercise related challenge … “Dust 'em off “ in which we were required to use one piece of our exercise equipment/gadget that we have not used for a while. So, needless to say, I combined both challenges.
I have an over the door SMART GYM system that I really like but have not used in over a year (oh, how time flies) so this was a very good opportunity to get back into using it again. For those who are not familiar with this equipment/gadget … it is a complete portable home gym that uses a power band system with 8 levels of dynamic variable resistance and Omni-directional high-low pulleys that provide over 70 health club-quality exercises for total body strength and cardio workouts. This may be set up over a door or may be wall mounted. Anyways, even though this wasn’t a new “kind” of exercise I thought that it qualifies as such because I have not used it in a while plus there are some type of exercises that, even though I have done them before, I have not done them using this equipment.
I am so happy that I had decided on using the SMART GYM for this challenge because having done so I was reminded of the fact that I can have a very effective health club-like strength training program in the privacy of my own home. This equipment/gadget have allowed me to target, trim, tone and strengthen the muscles of my upper/lower body, abs and back. I was able to do certain gym exercises that I am not able to do with the free weights or free form resistance bands that I also own.
In conclusion, I am definitely going to continue using the SMART GYM for at least the next five weeks at which time it will be time for me to change my routine.
Friday, January 29, 2010
A married couple went to he hospital to have their baby delivered. Upon their arrival, the doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother’s labor pain to the father. He asked if they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it.
The doctor set the pain transfer dial to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain than the father had ever experienced before.
But as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch. The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer.
The husband was still feeling fine. The doctor checked the husband’s blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing. At this point they decided to try for 50%. The husband continued to feel quite well. Since it was obviously helping out his wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him.
The wife delivered a healthy baby with virtually no pain. She and her husband were ecstatic. When they got home, the mailman was lying dead on their porch.
Lawyers and Engineers
Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, each of the three lawyers buys a ticket while the three engineers buy only one ticket.
“How can the three of you travel on one ticket?” asks a lawyer.
“Watch and you’ll see,” answers an engineer.
Aboard the train the lawyers take their respective seats while all three engineers cram into the restroom and squeeze the door closed behind them.
When the conductor comes around collecting tickets, he knocks on the restroom door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.
The lawyers are impressed with this clever idea. One the way home from the conference, they decide to copy the engineers’ technique. At the station, they buy a single ticket for their return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers don’t buy a ticket at all!
“How in the hell are you going to pull this off?” asks a lawyer.
“Watch and you’ll see,” answers an engineer.
They board the train. The three lawyers cram into one restroom and the three engineers cram into the other restroom.
Shortly after the train departs, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and knocks on the other restroom door. “Ticket, please!”
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Come Back To Bite You! During my search for motivational articles, I came across the following short story that demonstrate the topic of this blog real well!
Building Your House
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."
The carpenter was shocked!
What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.
But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Breakfast kick-starts our metabolism and gives us energy to begin the day. Despite the healthful benefits, breakfast is the most often neglected or skipped meal. Among the reasons given for skipping this meal are lack of time to prepare something, saving the calories from this meal to help with weight loss, do not feel hungry in the morning, or simply that they just do not like breakfast foods! Whatever the reason for skipping breakfast, think on the following statement before you do. In the morning, our energy stores are depleted by as much as 80% from the night before. Without food, our body begins to conserve energy and burn fewer calories—making our metabolism take a nosedive.
Here are some suggestions of healthy breakfast ideas.
Cinnamon and Raisin Toasted Surprise
Top a slice of whole-wheat raisin toast with non/low-fat cottage cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Roll up a whole-wheat tortilla filled with scrambled egg beaters and salsa. Toss in your favorite precut veggies (try onions, peppers, spinach or mushrooms).
Stir a 1/2 cup each of plain, low-fat yogurt and orange-pineapple-banana juice with 1/3 cup of sliced banana and half a dozen fresh or frozen blueberries. Freeze overnight in a container or in a paper cup. It will be ready to go by morning. As you let it defrost, you''ll have a refreshing slushy. Or, if you use a paper cup, you can eat it like a frozen push-pop.
Spread 3 tablespoons of hummus on half a toasted whole-wheat pita.
Scoop a 1/2 cup of non- or low-fat cottage cheese into a cantaloupe or honeydew half.
Blend a 1/2 cup each of plain low-fat yogurt and orange juice with half a frozen banana and a few frozen strawberries.
Good Ol'' Faithful
Add fresh fruit or cereal (like Raisin Bran or low-fat granola) to plain low- or non-fat yogurt.
New York Style Breakfast
Toast half a whole-wheat bagel and spread non-fat ricotta on it with an ounce of lox.
Apple With Peanut Butter Toast
Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on a slice of whole-wheat bread and spread another tablespoon on an apple.
Warm a whole-wheat waffle. Top with low- or non-fat yogurt and sliced fresh fruit.
Just Like Home
Microwave a cup of oatmeal and toss 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds on top.
Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter on a slice of whole-wheat bread. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sunflower seeds if desired. Wrap around a banana.
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