Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere.
Don't waste your energy on worrying
Too many of us worry about things that we cannot change. Although worrying gives you something to focus on, there are more productive ways to spend your time. Instead of worrying about the things you cannot control, remind yourself that worrying doesn't bring change. If it is a situation that you can control, then there is no reason to worry! Find a solution and spend your energy fulfilling it. If nothing else, just talk to someone about your concerns. Getting them out in the open tends to help put your mind at ease.
Friday, September 07, 2007
I took the diet personality thing and I was pretty well evenly divided up among the 4 types. There didn't seem to be a way to save my results so I decided to paste it all into my blog and snip out the stuff from the side frames... and add to it the info on the other types that are on subsequent pages. I tend to be one way at one phase of my life, then another way, etc and bounce around. And right now, I'm actually making some improvements, like on the "Portion Distortioner" - in learning to make smaller portion choices.
The SparkPeople Diet Personality Profiler
Thank you for taking the SparkPeople Diet Personality Profiler! Your Diet Personality Type can help you make smart menu planning decisions and eating choices. Knowing more about your type can also help you avoid the diet pitfalls of the past. There are many people on our support message boards with similar types that may be able to help.
Back to MySpark Page
Rank: Diet Personality Type: Your Score:
Portion Distortioner * * * * *
Emotional Eater * * * * *
Carb and Calorie Crazed * * * * *
Fast Fueler * * *
The Portion Distortioner Personality
This person is a lifetime member of the Clean Plate Club. In fact, you may often continue to eat beyond the point where you're not even hungry anymore. A study by the American Institute for Cancer Research found that 67% of Americans eat everything on their plates regardless of size. You tend to feel deprived when eating smaller portions and, ironically, you sometimes overeat on "healthy" foods.
There is also a good chance you tend to eat out pretty often, and have noticed how restaurants and fast food joints have been up-sizing and biggie sizing your servings. Yet, even though you know portions have grown, you feel like you haven't eaten unless you are stuffed to the gills. Many of this type also use food as their sole source of weekend entertainment. It's what we call "Eat-for-tainment." Eating with friends and having fun is great, but if you are using food much more than other forms of entertainment (i.e. events that involve not sitting) it is something to be concerned about.
What can you do?
The first thing to do is get a handle on what you put on your plate. There are many small changes you can make, smart strategies that will help you eat less, eat slower and eat on purpose. It can be as easy as using smaller plates and eating more slowly. Overall, you need to be vigilant about the portions you're faced with and be wary of the Eat-for-tainment traps. Stop cleaning your plate (this is not a proper sense of accomplishment) and look into doing something with your friends other than eating and watching.
How SparkPeople Can Help
You and your body need to re-learn what proper portion sizes are because your body is used to being fed too much. SparkPeople can help because each food in our 10,000-food database is labeled with a recommended serving size and our Nutrition Resource Center includes special sections devoted to portion control. The food tracking system also shows a clear view of how your portions are leveling off. You'll know right away if you are in portion distortion mode the first time you see 50% or more of your calories coming from one meal.
Good Tips for Portion Distortioners
* Eat slower! Most Portion Distortioners eat very quickly.
* Ask for a "to-go" box at the start of the meal and keep these single serving portions in mind:
o One pat of butter or margarine = a Scrabble tile
o Small potato or medium fruit = computer mouse
o 3 ounces of protein = cassette tape
The Emotional Eater Personality
The main problem you face is eating when you're not hungry or eating to satisfy something other than hunger. "Food for your mood" can cause your diet to vary a great deal. Too much of your eating is driven by boredom, stress, or dejection - you might even find yourself in the kitchen, open cookie bag in hand, and not know why. Mindless and emotional eating for you can be caused by any number of reasons. It is likely you have more weight to lose than most or have grappled with weight most of your life.
A tendency for this personality type is to yo-yo on dieting and swing through "all-or-nothing" extremes (e.g., I've blown it already this meal so why not have dessert?) A few spoonfuls turn into a snack turns into a binge…especially around the high stress holidays.
What can you do?
A diet alone is not the best option for the Emotional Eater. Emotional Eaters can become fixated on what's good and what's bad and grow obsessed about eating. The emotional eater needs to become more conscious of when and what they eat and surround themselves with the support they need to change. You will need to develop new skills for dealing with boredom, stress and/or sadness. You need a conscious connection to your hunger.
Confidence can be the missing ingredient and starting small is key. Consider starting a streak for a predetermined period (say two weeks) and focus on regularly reaching just one goal for that period. An example would be to drink 8 cups of water each day. This success will give you the new habits and confidence to try another goal. Emotional eaters do well with friends by their sides to help coach and maintain a degree of accountability.
How SparkPeople can help
For you, weight loss is more complicated than simply counting calories and it will take some investigation to get to the root of your eating habits. The SparkPeople support message boards and expert coaching will give you the strength and insight to overcome past problems. The circle of friends and the support group at SparkPeople will help you take the pounds off quickly - and keep them off! Our food tracker and reporting system of over 10,000 foods, when used with the online journal, can expose those mindless and emotional eating times and help you develop strategies for dealing with them.
Helpful hints for emotional eaters
* Surround yourself with positive re-enforcers, like pictures and goal reminders.
* Track your eating patterns, including when and why you pick up food.
Carb & Calorie Crazed
The Carb Crazy Personality
This person has an unbalanced diet heavy on starches. You tend to eat a menu loaded with your favorites; this all too often means high fat, high carbs and high calories! Odds are also high that you're not getting the recommended amount of vegetables, fruit and fiber in your diet. In fact, less than 15% of Americans eat the recommended number of fruits and vegetable servings each day. This is more than just an unbalanced diet - it's unhealthy! When you're not carb loading or under the sweet spell of the three H's (i.e., Hostess, Hershey, and Haagen-Daz!), you probably have the salty C's crashing down on you (i.e., Chips, Cheetos, and Chex Mix). The trouble with your unbalanced diet is that your energy and blood sugar can be all over the place and induce cravings and crashes. It can make you moody, irritable and can cause some difficulty in concentration.
What can you do?
You have probably found that once you start on a path to better eating and good health it is easy to stick with. That is, until a special event - like a vacation or holiday - and its rich foods knock you off course. It's tough to get back on track, but you know you can because you have done it before. The key is making more consistent healthy choices and stop the yo-yo dieting. You need to know more about the choices you make and how to re-channel those cravings. By tracking what you eat, you can see patterns, plan ahead for danger zones, and start using some smart healthy substitutions.
How SparkPeople can help?
Eating well is about making good choices, adding some balance and taking control of what you eat. It is a simple equation: to lose weight, more calories in means more calories have to come out through activity and exercise. Our food tracker analyzes the distribution of your calories, so you get real-time feedback on how balanced or unbalanced your diet is. Too many calories from any major food source can throw up some flags and point you in the right direction for making simple changes.
Knowing is half the battle. Would you eat one less donut if you knew it meant an extra two miles on the running track to get rid of those 400 calories? SparkPeople has an extensive Nutrition Resource Center that educates you on good fitness and nutrition options and strategies. Plus you'll learn a lot with our food tracker, menu plans, and supportive online community.
Good Tips for the carb and calorie crazed
* Give your refrigerator and cupboard a complete makeover. Toss out the temptations!
* Take a list of food items heavy on proteins, fruits and vegetables to the grocery store.
* Replace fried snacks and chips with baked snacks like pretzels.
The Fast Fueler Personality
Convenience is everything - and it's a problem. You tend to be on the go a lot and have a no-nonsense but inconsistent approach to health and fitness. The rational side knows about good nutrition and how it helps you get more done. But eating right all the time is a real hassle, especially when you just want to know what tastes good! Moreover, you prefer to eat when hungry but your busy schedule makes it difficult. Relatively speaking, it is also likely you have less weight to lose compared to most.
Fast Fuelers as a general rule tend to get caught up in what they're doing and sometimes forget to eat. A skipped breakfast or lunch is a recipe for trouble, usually ending up in an evening or late night calorie load-up. Fast Fuelers do not necessarily eat a lot of fast food, but your hectic day can lead to unhealthy food because a trip home or the grocery store just isn't convenient.
What can you do?
Retake control of your diet with meal planning, convenience, and more consistency. Spacing out smaller, more frequent meals will keep your energy reserves stable and avoid the highs and lows of "grab and go" meals and late night snacking. You need to structure good nutrition into your day (like other appointments) to avoid the compromising situations that cause you to skip meals or hit the drive thru. You are likely an excellent do-it-yourselfer in other areas of your life. Plan and pack ahead. Use that advantage of discipline and determination to stick to a real plan!
How SparkPeople Can Help
SparkPeople's structured meal plans match your caloric needs and take the guesswork out of healthy food choices. Our searchable 10,000-food database makes it easy to plan ahead and keep track of calorie levels, overall nutrition and your weight loss progress. Choose from our plans or mix and match your own. Our food planning, tracking and calendar tools help you control your eating habits without using up a lot of valuable time or brainpower. They bring stability to your diet, using your rational side to plan ahead and stay consistent.
Good Tips for Fast Fuelers
* Pack your lunch or have someone pack for you so it's there when you need it.
* Have and use plenty of disposable resealable containers of different sizes.
* Batch-cook food on Sunday for the rest of the week
* Make a point to have more fresh fruit and vegetables within arm's reach.
* Try cutting the intake of coffee and soda in half or substituting with green tea.
Other Diet Personality Types
Carb and Calorie Crazed
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Hmmm once upon a time a few years ago when I was in TOPS, I found online a HUGE .pdf file wih all kinds of exercises and "every day living activities" with their respective calorie counts. So - if I didn't go walking because I was "too tired", I could look up on the chart and encourage myself because I had spent 1/2 hour vacuuming (even broke out in a sweat), maybe 15 minutes here doing some other house hold chore like scrubbing the sink and toilets, or mowing the yard for 1 hour, things like that. It even included entries for sexual activity - ranging from mild to moderate to vigorous!! (that certainly caught my husband's fancy but as to what level of intensity I ever participated in, welll, let's not go there!!).
I can't find the chart now. Figures. The closest thing I see online appears to be information put into a book for sale. Eh.
However... I did find this website http://www.calorie-count.com/ and along the left side is a frame including activities - so eventually I can find out that my half hour of vacuuming was good for about 238 calories per hour
(Assuming a body weight of: 150 lbs ) which is fine, but I need to figure out the formula needed to round that up to what it would be for my current weight. I'm sure some mathematical whizbang already has that formula but I don't know. Please let me know if you know of another website (I'll keep looking for better sites too.).
I got an hour to go make it to the next Open Captioned movie showing tonight (we only get two showings of Open Captioned currently running movies every sunday. http://www.warrentheatres.com )... so I'll sign off now. I can come back and edit more on this blog thread later. Yaaaaaaay!
(5 minutes later) I thought of something else to google and I found this website:
it includes a bunch of tools to use - including Activity Calculator, where you select activity and then it lets you plug in your weight and the amount of time in hours and minutes that you did the activity, hit "calculate" and then it shows you the calories you burned.
so it claims 182 calories per .30 minutes at my weight. Liar. The other website sayd 238 per hour... oh wait, that's HOUR, so half hour was 119 calories for a 150 pound person... sooo 182 could be right. Hmm let's do it again and plug in that I did it for an hour (as if, but just to see what they say)... So I plugged in that "I weighed 150" pounds and that I vacuumed for one hour - and the answer was 238 calories. Same as that other website.
So back to my current weight... it now says that for 30 minutes, I burned 182 calories in 30 minutes.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Another interesting article!! I guess I need to break down and buy the book.
The Body Ecology Guide to the Ten Healthiest Greens
Crammed with vital nutrients for every body, greens just might be the healthiest food our planet has to offer!
Popeye wasn't just a man with muscles. He was a man with brains, too. He knew the power of leafy greens could get him out of a jam in a flash. (Okay, he was just a cartoon character... but you get the idea!)
Going Green - A Whole New Meaning
Leafy green vegetables rule the roost in the vegetable kingdom. Nothing against rutabagas or cucumbers, but leafy greens have the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. 1 That's enough to make any vegetable feel superior!
The Power of Green
Just check in with a bowl of greens and you'll find they are brimming with vital nutrients that provide a variety of health, growth and fertility benefits.
Your Liver's Favorite Color is Green
Livers love greens because they're amazing detoxifiers. If you want to cleanse your liver, eat your greens!
A Lean, Mean, Green Machine
Just to give you an idea of how important they are to include in our diets at every meal, this is a sample of what you can expect with every bite of green goodness:
* Fiber - A leader in blood sugar regulation, blood cholesterol regulation and bowel function.
* Protein - Perfect for vegetarians! Who wouldn't rather have a side of escarole than a tofu cutlet?
* Calcium - That's right, leafy greens are an excellent source of calcium. Cows will rejoice everywhere!
* Vitamin A - Better to see you with, my dear. Vitamin A is essential for vision and bone growth.
* B Vitamins - Vital for human health and nourishes the nervous system.
* Vitamin C - Powerful antioxidants to supercharge the immune system. Great for strong muscles, bones and skin, too!
* Vitamin K - Just what you're looking for to help support the healing process. Leafy greens are your best source of vitamin K1 but vitamin K2 is synthesized in your gut by microflora. So eat greens and a probiotic diet together for both forms.
* Iron - Fit for a strongman, this mineral aids in immune function, cognitive development, temperature regulation, energy metabolism and work performance.
* Chlorophyll - Scan through your notes from your third grade science class and you'll be reminded that chlorophyll is what makes leaves green. Chlorophyll provides oxygen that's necessary for the healthy bacteria in your gut to grow and flourish. Go chlorophyll!
Experts Agree, Green is the Color for All Seasons!
Much research has been done on the benefits of greens. Take a look at what has been found when greens are put to the test:
* Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that individuals who eat leafy greens had a 23% reduction in coronary heart disease.2
* Scientists found that a diet rich in leafy green vegetables actually showed a significant reduction in the chance of developing colon cancer.3
* Research shows that folate, one of the impressive B Vitamins in greens, may protect against cognitive decline in older adults .4
* Studies found that caratenoids (powerful antioxidants) in green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.5 Doesn't it make you want to have a plateful of broccoli rabe right now?
* Another study showed that women who ate the most leafy greens had half the risk of ovarian cancer compared to those who ate the least.6 Half!! Pile them on!
The Greener the Leaf, the Greater the Good
The darker the green in edible plants, the more nutrients they hold. Choose those that are lusciously deep in color and mix them with a variety of shades, textures and tastes for the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals.
Go Ahead, Eat Them - Nature Will Make More
The Body Ecology Diet recommends eating greens at every meal…yes even breakfast or at least for brunch. Starting your day with greens is an alkalizing, mineral-rich way to get your day going!
A steamy bowl of greens sautéed in coconut oil with a little garlic and Celtic sea salt is the perfect complement to a healthy lunch.
And if you're like most people, dinner isn't really dinner without a leafy green salad on your plate.
And now for what you've all been waiting for...
The Ten "Must-Have" Healthiest Greens for Every Nutritional Wardrobe
1. Collards - These fan-like greens stand out as a nutritional superstar. Their vitamin K, A, C and magnesium levels are off the charts and their folate, calcium and dietary fiber content is nothing to sneeze at. 7
Dinosaurs must have been gnawing on collard greens because they date back all the way to prehistoric times. They're one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and a close cousin to the curly-headed relative, Kale. 8
Known as a time-honored tradition in southern kitchens, collards are held in high regard as the green of choice and are at their best between January and April!
2. Kale - Flat or curly, this vegetable is considered to be one of the most highly nutritious vegetables, with super strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 9
Central and northern Europe as well as North America seem to be the breeding grounds for kale. On a quest for something bigger and better, kale is actually the result of man's artificial selection for enlargement of leaves in the wild mustard plant. 10
3. Spinach - The incredible shrinking vegetable! If you've ever prepared spinach, you know that the volume is decreased by three quarters when cooked.
But that's OK, spinach is loaded with enough vitamin C and fiber to survive the loss and make it worth every bite! While spinach is a good source of calcium it also contains oxalic acid that reduces intake of dietary calcium.
Despite a popular misconception, spinach has only slightly more iron than most other vegetables.
The mega-iron myth first began in 1870 when Dr. E. von Wolf misplaced a decimal point in his publication which led to an iron content figure that was ten times too high. Although investigated in 1937 by the Germans, the rumor remained strong for decades (thanks to a pipe-smoking sailor man).
4. Chard - Packed with nutrients, chard is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods due to its combination of traditional nutrients; phytochemicals, chlorophyll, other plant pigments and soluble fiber. 11
Folks in the US love the veiny leaves for cooking while European chefs save the stalks and toss the leaves. Slightly bitter, the fresh young leaves can be steamed, sautéed or used raw in salads. (See note at end of article about the oxalic acid in chard.)
A visual knock-out in your grocer's produce section, chard is found in green forms as well as red-ribbed such as Ruby Chard, Rhubarb Chard and the always exquisite Rainbow Chard.
5. Mustard - Also known as leaf mustard, Brassica Juncea and Indian mustard, mustard greens have a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. In fact, the brown mustard we all grew up on is made from mustard greens.
Mustard greens are particularly beneficial for women going through menopause. They're a no-nonsense vegetable that can protect against cancer and heart disease and also support bone health.
A little on the pungent side, mustard greens are typically mixed with other milder greens and are a favorite in soul food, Chinese and Japanese cuisines.12
6. Broccoli Raab - Oh, that broccoli raab is such a trickster. Despite its name, look and taste, broccoli raab has nothing to do with broccoli. It's really in the turnip family.
Loved by Italian and Chinese cooks, broccoli raab, also known as rapini, is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium. 13
A little on the bitter side with a rich, nutty flavor, broccoli raab can be an acquired taste. But once it's acquired, watch out! It can be positively addictive.
7. Dandelion Greens - Without a doubt, this leafy vegetable is one of the most nutritious foods you can pick.
Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne.
A close cousin to the sunflower, dandelions can create the perfect spring tonic with their liver cleansing properties. Also known as a good laxative and diuretic, it's French name, pissenlit (wet the bed), tells all. 14
Find a field free of pesticides and forage away for a delicious salad or stir fry. A bit on the bitter side but tasty as can be with a little olive oil and lemon.
8. Watercress - Yet another member of the cabbage family that's doing amazing things with its vitamins B6, C, magnesium and carotene.
Watercress is a fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It has a significant amount of folic acid and acts as a great digestive aid.
With a perk-you-up peppery flavor, watercress is found on a lot of salad bars these days, but is best known for the cute little sandwiches served at ladies' teas.
9. Bok Choy - Bok choy is also considered a cabbage, although you would never know it based on its long stalks and slender leaves.
High in vitamins A, C and calcium, bok choy is high in nutrients but low in calories.15 They make a beautiful presentation on any plate and are yummy in salads (but blanch and chill the bok choy first), stir-fries and soups. Bok Choy can be fermented like any other cabbage and is the main ingredient in Chinese Kim Chi.
Cultivated in China since ancient times, bok choy is a favorite for its light, sweet flavor and crisp texture. Young, baby bok choy lightly sautéed and seasoned with a few shakes of shoyu just might be the most delicious food known to man.
10. Chicory - This crunchy salad green can be divided into five groups: radicchio, sugar loaf, large leaf, cutting leaf and Belgian endive. The curly types are the most cultivated and often seen in a salad bowl.
Rich in potassium, iron, beta carotene, vitamins A and B, chicory has more calcium than even kale and collards. This is the green for anyone who is looking for more calcium in their life.
First introduced to England, Germany, Holland and France in the 13 century, the French used it primarily for medicinal purposes to "comfort the weake and feeble stomack and to help gouty limbs and sore eyes".16
11. Seaweed - What, did you think we were only covering leafy vegetables that grew on land?
Seaweed, or sea vegetables if you want them to sound more dignified, is incredibly nutritious and provides many minerals (most notably from iron), a good supply of protein and fiber as well as vitamins A, B6 and C.
Basically, sea vegetables are algae and are used in a number of processed foods as stabilizers and thickeners, not to mention a closet full of beauty products. 17
Because of the staggeringly strong nutritional value of sea veggies, Donna Gates, author of the Body Ecology Diet recommends eating them each and every day. There are a number of species, each with slightly different tastes and characteristics and are great additions to soups and salads, or sautéed with other vegetables.
Not everyone loves the taste or texture of sea vegetables, though, or has the time to create flavorful recipes. Our Body Ecology Ocean Plant Extract is a concentrated supplement that offers all of the valuable nutrients in sea vegetables without any preparation time needed.
12. Cereal Grass - We really couldn't end this list without at least mentioning healthy grasses. Known as one of the healthiest foods on earth, healthy grass is supersonic fuel for your body.
To learn more about this miracle food, check out the Body Ecology article at http://bodyecology.com/07/08/02/healthiest
Don't Go It Alone!
To get the most of out of your healthy greens, be sure to eat them with cultured foods such as raw cultured vegetables or young coconut kefir. Both pump the gut with friendly bacteria that is necessary for your body to get optimal performance out of B Vitamins and Vitamin K.
Pot Likker (or Liquor) is Quicker
A tradition all the way from Africa, pot likker is the juice from greens that have been cooked and saved at the bottom of the pot that is perfect to drink for a quick, super recharge. Don't throw those precious minerals away!
But VITALITY SuperGreen Has It ALL!
Body Ecology's VITALITY SuperGreen is a robust blend of mega-nutritious whole foods designed specifically to balance, heal and revitalize your body, with a special emphasis on nourishing your digestive tract.
Get all the vital nutrients of greens plus so much more with Vitality SuperGreen.
Learn More About Body Ecology's Vitality and Order Now!
With all the benefits greens have to offer, Vitality SuperGreen is a smart and convenient way to include green goodness in your diet any time of day.
In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals found in leafy greens, Vitality SuperGreen is an outstanding source of complete, easily assimilated protein, enzymes, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, and microflora, critical for a healthy inner ecosystem.
Our delicious formulation includes:
* Fermented Greens (kale, parsley and spinach)
* Fermented Algae
* Fermented Soy Lecithin
Clearing Up Some of the Confusion around Green Veggies and Oxalates
Some greens like parsley, spinach and chard contain a significant source of calcium and also have a high oxalate content. Because about 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate there is both concern and controversy over eating these greens.
Is their oxalate content too high for some people? And should they be cooked or not?
Repeated food chemistry studies have shown no statistically significant lowering of oxalate content when green leafy vegetables are blanched or boiled. However, some green foods like collards and kale are difficult to digest and cooking breaks down cell walls so we can absorb the nutrients.
While many researchers do not believe that dietary restriction reduces the risk of stone formation, if you have kidney or gall bladder disorders, you may want to limit the amount of oxalate foods in your diet. This would include coffee and chocolate as well.
It is interesting to note, however, that black tea thought to increase stone formation because of oxalates actually appears in more recent research to have a preventative effect. So sorry, but we probably haven't cleared the confusion at all since the science around this subject is still remains unclear.
(1) Arts & Leisure, http://weeklywire.com/ww/10_25_99/alibi_ve
(4) Science Daily, "Green Leafy Vegetables May Help Keep Brains Sharp", http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/
(5) American Institute for Cancer Research, "Foods that Fight Cancer", http://www.aicr.org/site/pageserver?pagena
(6) American Institute for Cancer Research, "Foods that Fight Cancer", http://www.aicr.org/site/pageserver?pagena
(7) The World's Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=f
(8) Collard Greens (mess o' greens) History and Recipe of Collard Greens, http://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/
(9) Dr D.G.Hessayon (2003) The Vegetable & Herb Expert, Expert Books, ISBN 0-903505-46-0
(12) Brassicajuncea, Wikipedida, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_junc
(14) Rebecca Wood - The Kitchen Dakini, Healing with Food, http://www.rwood.com/Articles/Dandelion_Gr
(17) National Geographic, The Green Guide, http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/97/seawee
* Copyright © 2007 Donna Gates; all rights reserved |
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wow, I liked this article - want to save it for reference because I need more greens and more veggies and these are good. I've had some already - the Nori used in Sushi. I always thought I should look more to the "traditional" diets of the Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese, various Asian cultures - because those cultures have been around for thousands of years and always looked healthy and slender... and here we are as Americans, not even 250 years old as a nation, and already we're about to implode from ever increasing obesity. The latest statistics are what, something like 1 in 4 is overweight, and 1 in 7 is obese? something like that - came out a few days ago. Oh and check it out - those like me with "thyroid issues" - some of these help with the thyroid naturally, no need to worry about meat based thyroid supplements that might not be as healthy for a person, especially with "mad cow disease" going around. I'd just as soon stay with a vegetarian source (of course, once the ocean becomes hopelessly contaminated, then where does that leave us?).
So anyway, on with this article - from the Body Ecology website:
8 Healthy Seaweeds Worth Knowing and Trying
Do you enjoy sushi? If so, then you might already be familiar with nori, which is used for sushi rolls and cones. Nori is just one of the many tasty sea vegetables that help combat mineral deficiencies!
At first some of you might think, "Yuck, seaweed?"
At Body Ecology we prefer to call them sea vegetables, but the consumption of seaweed enjoys a very long history throughout the world, and for good reason: they're delicious and incredibly healthy for you!
Sea vegetables are a staple of Japanese cuisine, and in Chinese ancient times, sea vegetables were considered a delicacy suitable for honored guests and royalty.
Although gaining more popularity in our own Western culture today, many regions and countries located near water have long used seaweeds since ancient times.
Benefits of Sea Vegetables Include:1,2
* Prevent aging and chronic disease
* Prevent cellular mutations that cause cancer
* Relieve menopausal symptoms
* Prevent birth defects
* Alkalize your blood
* Lower cholesterol
* Balance thyroid function
* Detoxify your body from heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and carcinogens.
* Have anti-inflammatory effects
* Control the growth of pathogenic viruses, candida, and pathogenic bacteria
* Fight constipation
* Lower your blood pressure and reduce tension
* Improve your heart health
* Contain powerful antioxidants
And if you are a baby boomer looking for the secrets to remaining "forever young," sea veggies should high on your list of the most anti-aging of foods. In fact, all the health problems mentioned above are common complaints aging...and sea vegetables help with all of them!
Sea vegetables are a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, and offer the broadest range of minerals of any food. There are thousands of varieties of sea vegetables, although not all of them are enjoyed as foods. They come in a variety of colors, usually green, brown, and red.
Here are some of the more popular ones that you should have no trouble finding online, in your local health food store, or any Asian market:
* Nori - Sushi anyone? This may be the one seaweed you're familiar with because of its use in sushi rolls. Even though it's usually dark green, or black in color, Nori is the Japanese term for various edible seaweed species of red algae.
It's made by shredding the sea vegetables and making them into what resembles sheets of paper. Japan, Korea, and China are the world's largest producers of nori, which grows very rapidly, and can be harvested within 45 days of its seeding.
How to Use: We like to eat toasted nori as a snack or by using it as a wrap for a range of delicious fillings like cultured vegetables, quinoa salad, or various nut patés.
* Kombu - Great for Soup. Kombu is an edible large seaweed that actually belongs to a family of brown algae. Over 90 percent of it is cultivated and harvested in Japan.
It's used extensively in Japanese cooking, particularly for dashi, which is a soup stock used to make miso soup.
How to Use: You can add strips of kombu to flavor any soup, or even to flavor your Body Ecology grain-like seeds by adding strips of kombu in the water and simmering for 30 minutes to release all the minerals.
* Wakame - Future Fat Burner? Wakame is closely related to Kombu. In addition to many mentioned benefits, recently, researchers in Japan found a compound in wakame that appears to show promise in the fight against obesity.
It is also one of the highest vegetarian sources of an Omega-3 fatty acid or your Omega # concentrate in the store, if you are ready with it) based on its nutrient to calorie ratio.
How to Use: With its pretty green color and delicate flavor, wakame is great in soups and salads.
* Hijiki - Natural Beauty Aid. This brown sea vegetable grows wild around the coasts of Japan, Korea and China and has been used abundantly for centuries.
Packed with fiber and minerals, according to Japanese folklore, hijiki is also a natural health and beauty aid. They attribute their lustrous, thick, dark hair to regular consumption of hijiki!
How to Use: Hijiki must be soaked and chopped before you cook it, and takes much longer than other sea vegetables to prepare. Just be sure to simmer it for at least 45 minutes to an hour until it's really tender. Often times we like to chop it rather finely because to a newcomer it looks a little like black worms. This sea veggie may not be the very first one you want to introduce to your pickiest eaters. Not only is it quite black (we're not used to black food in the US, and it is also a bit salty and fishy. However, it's easy to change the taste. Cook it with lots of sweet onions and carrots, plus some chopped red pepper. Then add a large dollop of whole grain mustard and wheat free, low sodium tamari (from San-J) to taste. Tamari is a fermented soy product.
Here's another simple recipe:
Sauté onions and carrots in unrefined coconut oil, add hijiki, cover with filtered water, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. You can even add small chunks of butternut squash to create a delicious stew. When chilled, this makes a delicious topping for salads, or filling for nori wraps!
* Dulse - Easy Snack. Dulse is grown on the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and has been an important source of fiber in Iceland for centuries. It's also common in Northern Ireland, and in Canada. In Iceland, the tradition is to eat it with butter, although it's delicious in soups, and as a salad topping too.
How to Use: You can eat dulse right out of the package as a quick snack that's packed with protein and iron. Carry it with you and eat it when you need some energy or brain food. You can also purchase packages of dulse flakes and sprinkle it on salads and on the four Body Ecology grain-like seeds: millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
By the way, most people mispronounce dulse. It rhymes with pulse.
* Arame - The Sweet One. Arame is also a brown algae that is very popular in Japanese cuisine, and is known for it mild, almost sweet flavor. It's usually found in finely shredded strands that have a crispy texture.
If you're not used to eating seaweeds, arame can be a good place to start because of its's mild, almost sweet flavor.
How to Use: Soak arame until it softens. After that you can chop it and toss it into a salad without even cooking it. If you want to serve it as a delicious hot dish, it's great with sautéed sweet onions and carrots. (English peas are tasty with arame as well). This arame, onion, carrot dish can be chilled and added to a leafy green salad. We also love to serve it hot as a topping for your Body Ecology grain-like seeds.
* Agar - Perfect for Sweet Desserts! Agar is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. As you know, digestive heath is our specialty at Body Ecology, so we love recipes based around agar. It lubricates your digestive tract, and has mild laxative properties.
How to Use: Agar is mostly used in sweet puddings and aspics and it's easy to work with. The Body Ecology Diet book has recipes for several savory dishes that use agar, like vanilla pudding, sweet carrot gelatin salad, and jellied butternut squash.
NOTE that this autum Body Ecology will be introducing a wonderful new non-caloric sweetener that has been used in Japan for over ten years. The Japanese Ministry of Health has not only approved it for diabetes and obesity, they actually recommend it. It also has GRAS approval here in the US. Body Ecology will be introducing it with some delicious recipes that use agar. So stay tuned to our newsletter for the launch of this incredible product!
Want the health benefits of seaweeds without having to prepare them? Ocean Plant Extract with Laminaria Japonica is perfect for you! It's rich in minerals that help support your thyroid, cleanse toxins, and ward off disease.
Learn More About Ocean Plant Extract & Order Now!
* Laminaria Japonica - Miracle Cleanser! If you prefer an easy, convenient way to include all the benefits of sea vegetables into your diet, try the Body Ecology Ocean Plant Extract.
Ocean Plant Extract is made from Laminaria Japonica, which is a common species of kelp that inhabits very cold waters in the northern hemisphere and temperate ones in the southern hemisphere. Laminaria Japonica nourishes your thyroid function balancing and has cardiovascular benefits. But in particular, it is known for its ability to detoxify your body from heavy metals and free radicals.
Sea Vegetables - Nature's Precious Gift
Hopefully we've convinced you to try these underappreciated, amazing gifts that the oceans have to offer us. Sea vegetables are a must if you are trying to restore your vitality and health, improve thyroid function or overcome mineral deficiencies created by years of eating unhealthy, toxin-laden, processed foods.
Sea veggies are the oldest vegetables on our planet. They are the least untouched or altered by man. They are a must if you truly want to alkalize your body, nourish you thyroid and adrenals and even slow down aging.
Sea vegetables are a Body Ecology staple that we hope you'll enjoy every day as part of your commitment to healthy living!
The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Sea Vegetables
2 "Under the Sea: Superior Nutrition From the Ocean's Depths", Schoenhals, Kim. From Better Nutrition, May 2004
4 Brown Seaweed Contains Promising Fat Fighter, Weight Reducer
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