Fresh Harvest

Once upon a time, humans ate nothing but fresh and natural food. Phrases like "high-fructose" and "Twinkie" weren't in our vocabulary. Then, at some point in the near-past, "food enhancement" became the Big Thing. Eventually, it became difficult to find food products that weren't made in a lab.

Well...things have changed. Those days are almost over. And at the forefront of the "un-revolution" is Fresh Harvest Products™.

At Fresh Harvest Products™, we crave to connect people and nature™.
Recent Tweets @frhv_products
Posts I Like
Posts tagged "Fresh Harvest"

A good night’s sleep will ensure that you awake refreshed, looking radiant and youthful. Adequate sleep is vital to avoid puffiness around the eyes and maintain vibrant skin. Habitually cutting sleep cycles short can mean more than missing out on your beauty sleep can have a negative impact on your beauty and your overall health. In fact, inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to unwanted weight gain, cravings for fat-laden, carbohydrate-heavy foods, memory loss, a weakened immune system and even an increased risk for heart disease. 

Hormones & Sleep
While we sleep, the hormone melatonin is released, which has a positive effect on the immune system and the skin. Sleep rebuilds energy reserves and regenerates the body as our cells undergo repair. When we sleep, the body is able to turn down the negative effects of cortisol and the “bad” neurotransmitters, like epinephrine and norepinephrine that can be elevated during stress. Growth hormone (the youth hormone) is also released during sleep.

Diet & Sleep
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter vital to helping the body regulate appetite, sleep, and mood. An amino acid called Tryptophan can actually raise levels of serotonin, making it a wonderful treatment for insomnia, anxiety and depression. Enjoy salmon, halibut and turkey often. They are all excellent sources of tryptophan, as are beans and lentils. 

Exercise & Sleep
People who exercise regularly enjoy improved sleep quality. They fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often and sleep longer.

Source: Dr. Perricone

So you’ve chosen to start eating healthier. You’re eating more vegetables, you’re cutting out excessive carbohydrates and sugar, you’re even eating more yogurt, because the commercials say it’s good for you and keeps you regular. 

Congratulations! You’re doing ALMOST everything right. 

First of all, let’s address the commercial claims, primarily the one made by Activia yogurts: The Activia commercials say that eating their yogurt will help you stay regular. Did you know that they recently were ordered to pay a 21 MILLION-dollar fine for saying that? See what Bruce Horovitz of USA Today reported:

Read More

6 Surprising Benefits of Meditation
It’s not just a hippy-dippy practice anymore. A growing body of research supports the idea that we can all benefit from 15 minutes of meditation.
Think meditation is just for former Beatles and people with too much time on their hands? Think again. This underrated practice could be one of the most valuable medical devices you’re not using. Research has shown that it can help with everything from getting over a stressful day to staving off a potentially fatal heart attack. There are a lot of other reasons why you should shut out the world for 15 to 30 minutes with meditation.
Here are six of the most compelling benefits of meditation, supported by scientific research:
#1: Meditation can make you more productive. If you feel like you’re just not as sharp as you used to be, give mindfulness meditation a shot. A study in the journalEmotion found that mindfulness, a meditative practice that requires you to sit quietly for a few minutes focusing on your breathing and other specific physical sensations without letting your mind wander, was highly effective in improving people’s working memory; working memory is the short-term memory system we tap into for managing information, controlling emotions, problem solving, and complex thought. The best part? The study found that you can reap all these benefits with just 12 minutes of meditation per day.
#2: It’s good for surly teenagers. Remember your teenage years, when it felt like the entire world was against you? If you’d been meditating, you probably wouldn’t, according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In a study of high-school students’ demeanor, psychologists found that deep breathing and relaxation improved their moods—a free (no-stress!) way to cope with all the drama of teen years and those hormonal mood swings. 
#3: Meditation helps you ditch the painkillers. A 2010 study by researchers in Montreal found that a particular type of meditation called Zen actually thickens the part of the brain that regulates pain, and that thickening of the brain lowers your sensitivity to it. Zen meditation is the form favored by Buddhist monks. It’s similar to mindfulness meditation, but rather than focusing on a specific physical sensation, you focus on breathing and posture while trying to keep your mind from wandering.
#4: It’ll keep you happy.Meditation has been frequently used to help combat the nasty side effects of multiple schlerosis, which include fatigue and depression. One study in the journal Neurology had people with mild to moderate multiple schlerosis take an eight-week class on mindfulness meditation, and at the end of the study, those people saw a 30 percent reduction in depressive symptoms and lower levels of fatigue. Though that study was on a specific group of people suffering from a chronic condition, multiple studies reinforce the idea that meditation can help people with depression, in part because those people learn how to avoid focusing on negative thoughts. Researchers in Wisconsin have also found that people who meditate have more electrical activity in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex, an area associated with positive mood.
#5: Meditate, combat hot flashes. During menopause, the one feeling most women try to shut out is body awareness. After all, who wants to embrace the uncontrollable bodily changes that signify the next phase of life? However, mindfulness meditation might actually aid you in dealing with the inevitable. Various studies suggest that this type of relaxation therapy helps women handle menopause symptoms. You might feel funny when you first try meditation as a way to settle your menopausal anxiety, but it beats taking medication to try and fight off those unruly hot flashes or night sweats.
#6: Your heart loves it when you meditate. Haunted by heart problems? Your cardiovascular system benefits from any practice that reduces stress, and both Zen and Transcendental (when you let your mind go free and ‘transcend’ the present by repeating a mantra over and over again) meditation are effective stress-relievers. Zen is thought to improve certain aspects of your body’s inner workings, such as blood circulation and breathing, by helping counteract stress arousal and anxiety. And Transcendental Meditation might save your life. In a study presented at a previous American Heart Association annual meeting, transcendental meditation produced lower rates of heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent.
Source: Kathryn Clark, www.rodale.com

6 Surprising Benefits of Meditation

It’s not just a hippy-dippy practice anymore. A growing body of research supports the idea that we can all benefit from 15 minutes of meditation.

Think meditation is just for former Beatles and people with too much time on their hands? Think again. This underrated practice could be one of the most valuable medical devices you’re not using. Research has shown that it can help with everything from getting over a stressful day to staving off a potentially fatal heart attack. There are a lot of other reasons why you should shut out the world for 15 to 30 minutes with meditation.

Here are six of the most compelling benefits of meditation, supported by scientific research:

#1: Meditation can make you more productive. If you feel like you’re just not as sharp as you used to be, give mindfulness meditation a shot. A study in the journalEmotion found that mindfulness, a meditative practice that requires you to sit quietly for a few minutes focusing on your breathing and other specific physical sensations without letting your mind wander, was highly effective in improving people’s working memory; working memory is the short-term memory system we tap into for managing information, controlling emotions, problem solving, and complex thought. The best part? The study found that you can reap all these benefits with just 12 minutes of meditation per day.

#2: It’s good for surly teenagers. Remember your teenage years, when it felt like the entire world was against you? If you’d been meditating, you probably wouldn’t, according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In a study of high-school students’ demeanor, psychologists found that deep breathing and relaxation improved their moods—a free (no-stress!) way to cope with all the drama of teen years and those hormonal mood swings. 

#3: Meditation helps you ditch the painkillers. A 2010 study by researchers in Montreal found that a particular type of meditation called Zen actually thickens the part of the brain that regulates pain, and that thickening of the brain lowers your sensitivity to it. Zen meditation is the form favored by Buddhist monks. It’s similar to mindfulness meditation, but rather than focusing on a specific physical sensation, you focus on breathing and posture while trying to keep your mind from wandering.

#4: It’ll keep you happy.Meditation has been frequently used to help combat the nasty side effects of multiple schlerosis, which include fatigue and depression. One study in the journal Neurology had people with mild to moderate multiple schlerosis take an eight-week class on mindfulness meditation, and at the end of the study, those people saw a 30 percent reduction in depressive symptoms and lower levels of fatigue. Though that study was on a specific group of people suffering from a chronic condition, multiple studies reinforce the idea that meditation can help people with depression, in part because those people learn how to avoid focusing on negative thoughts. Researchers in Wisconsin have also found that people who meditate have more electrical activity in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex, an area associated with positive mood.

#5: Meditate, combat hot flashes. During menopause, the one feeling most women try to shut out is body awareness. After all, who wants to embrace the uncontrollable bodily changes that signify the next phase of life? However, mindfulness meditation might actually aid you in dealing with the inevitable. Various studies suggest that this type of relaxation therapy helps women handle menopause symptoms. You might feel funny when you first try meditation as a way to settle your menopausal anxiety, but it beats taking medication to try and fight off those unruly hot flashes or night sweats.

#6: Your heart loves it when you meditate. Haunted by heart problems? Your cardiovascular system benefits from any practice that reduces stress, and both Zen and Transcendental (when you let your mind go free and ‘transcend’ the present by repeating a mantra over and over again) meditation are effective stress-relievers. Zen is thought to improve certain aspects of your body’s inner workings, such as blood circulation and breathing, by helping counteract stress arousal and anxiety. And Transcendental Meditation might save your life. In a study presented at a previous American Heart Association annual meeting, transcendental meditation produced lower rates of heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent.

Source: Kathryn Clark, www.rodale.com



Every once in a while when thinking up topics for No Meat Athlete posts, I hit on one that’s so obvious, it’s a joke that I haven’t already written it.

We’ve had protein posts before, like the primerfrom vegan R.D. Matt Ruscigno.

And I’ve written a few articles about protein myself, but the main one wasn’t a blog post; it’s a lesson in my e-course for newsletter subscribers (join here if you haven’t yet).

But have I really not written a post about where to get your protein? The question that vegetarians get asked more than any other?

Apparently, not yet. So here it is.

First, my standard answer to the question, Where do you get your protein?:

Read More

Do you feel overwhelmed by too many goals? Learn a step-by-step approach to feel motivated and achieve your objectives.

Sometimes willpower is a lot like the television remote control — hard to find just when you want it most. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, stop smoking, get to the gym regularly, win a promotion or pay off some debts, developing your sense of willpower is an important part of changing any behavior.

We all know that breaking a bad habit or establishing a new, healthy one can be difficult, but persistence pays off. Researchers at the University of Washington found that 63 percent of those who made New Year’s resolutions were still keeping their resolution two months later. It’s not going to be easy, but there are ways to increase your willpower, stay resolved and achieve your goals.

First Things First 

Don’t try to restructure your finances, win a promotion and lose weight all on the same morning. Establish one clear, specific goal and formulate a realistic strategy for achieving it. Extra willpower sometimes requires extra energy, so don’t stretch yourself too thin. Focus on one goal at a time.

Start Slow 

Momentum builds gradually, and whatever your goal, don’t expect to achieve it overnight. Real success takes time. If you are trying to kick a caffeine habit, start by replacing your morning cup of coffee with a glass of water, instead of vowing never to drink coffee again. Congratulate yourself on the small achievements that will pave the way toward a larger one. These successes help your willpower grow.

Support Network 

Bolster your willpower by tapping into a support network. Ask friends, family or colleagues for assistance and tell them exactly how they can help. If your credit card bills have skyrocketed, for instance, let friends know that you are cutting back on expenses. Suggest having a potluck dinner instead of meeting at an expensive restaurant. Find a support group or organization related to your goal and attend their meetings. You can get valuable advice, understanding and information — all of which increase commitment and willpower.

Changing Your Environment 

If possible, alter your environment to reduce temptation or encourage positive behavior. Want to get in shape? Keep an extra set of workout clothes in your office as a reminder to stop by the gym on the way home. Quitting smoking? Avoid bars or restaurants where you might be tempted to light up.

More Than Willpower 

Sometimes changing your behavior requires more than willpower. If you are struggling with an addiction or want to make a significant lifestyle change, seek the guidance and support of a professional. An expert may be able to provide intensive support and followup or prescribe medication to reduce physical symptoms. For example, without help only 5 percent of smokers can quit but that number rises to 30 percent when people seek both drug therapy and counseling.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Healthy Living Center. 

By Lauren Greenwood 

The 7 Best Fitness Apps for Your Smartphone
 I use my iPhone for almost everything now… and why not use it for tracking my exercise, diet, and staying fit in the new year, too! Here are 7 great exercise and fitness apps for your smartphone that will help you reach your goals, whether it’s just walking more each day or increasing the number of reps you do during each gym session! 1. My Fitness Pal My Fitness Pal tracks lets you keep a food diary and exercise from your smartphone or you can log into your computer. It has a HUGE food database of over 1.4 million foods to track your nutrition and calories. Did I mention it’s free? Get this app 2. Nike+ GPS The Nike+ GPS app maps your runs, tracks your progress and gives you motivation. I love that you can hear mid-run cheers every time your friends like or comment on your run status. You can also play Nike+ Tag and try to outrun your friends. Get this app 3. Couch to 5K Are you a couch potato? Use Couch to 5k to work up from zero to a 5k distance in 9 weeks! Get this app 4. Daily Body Workout Daily Body Workout provides great 10 to 30 minute daily workout routines. You can also target different area of the body like abs, arms, legs etc. Get this app 5. Pocket Yoga Another one for yoga…..the Pocket Yoga application. Great for starting out or intermediate levels. Get this app 6. JEFit JEFit system lets you modify and create a free profile and download user created routines. You can customize your own exercises and synchronize data and stats online. Get this app 7. 100 Push Ups Similar to the 200 Sit Ups App….but for Push Ups. My husband has been doing this one! He’s doing awesome. Get this app 
Source: Ashley Hackshaw, Shine for Yahoo.com

The 7 Best Fitness Apps for Your Smartphone

 
I use my iPhone for almost everything now… and why not use it for tracking my exercise, diet, and staying fit in the new year, too! Here are 7 great exercise and fitness apps for your smartphone that will help you reach your goals, whether it’s just walking more each day or increasing the number of reps you do during each gym session! 

1. My Fitness Pal 
My Fitness Pal tracks lets you keep a food diary and exercise from your smartphone or you can log into your computer. It has a HUGE food database of over 1.4 million foods to track your nutrition and calories. Did I mention it’s free? 
Get this app 

2. Nike+ GPS 
The Nike+ GPS app maps your runs, tracks your progress and gives you motivation. I love that you can hear mid-run cheers every time your friends like or comment on your run status. You can also play Nike+ Tag and try to outrun your friends. 
Get this app 

3. Couch to 5K 
Are you a couch potato? Use Couch to 5k to work up from zero to a 5k distance in 9 weeks! 
Get this app 

4. Daily Body Workout 
Daily Body Workout provides great 10 to 30 minute daily workout routines. You can also target different area of the body like abs, arms, legs etc. 
Get this app 

5. Pocket Yoga 
Another one for yoga…..the Pocket Yoga application. Great for starting out or intermediate levels. 
Get this app 

6. JEFit 
JEFit system lets you modify and create a free profile and download user created routines. You can customize your own exercises and synchronize data and stats online. 
Get this app 

7. 100 Push Ups 
Similar to the 200 Sit Ups App….but for Push Ups. My husband has been doing this one! He’s doing awesome. 
Get this app 

Source: Ashley Hackshaw, Shine for Yahoo.com

Can You Eat Late and Still Lose Weight?

Lately we’ve heard the only thing that matters to your waistline is how much you eat. But there’s a growing body of research that says when you eat really does make a difference in how much you weigh.
"Your body is more prone to burn fat at certain times of day and store fat at other times," says Satchin Panda, Ph.D., associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.
New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating — say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. So it’s smart to time your calorie intake accordingly. Read on for the science-backed rules that will help you use the clock to shed excess pounds.
To Keep Pounds Off, Don’t Eat After DarkBefore electricity and all-night diners, we humans used to spend a long stretch every night without food passing our lips. “Staying up and eating late is a very recent phenomenon in human history,” Panda notes. So our metabolisms are hardwired to expect a nightly fast, which is a key time for your body to burn fat.
Here’s how that works: During the day, your brain and muscles use some of the calories you eat for fuel, and the rest gets stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. At night, your body converts that glycogen into glucose and releases it into your bloodstream to keep your blood-sugar levels steady while you sleep. Once the stored glycogen is gone, your liver starts burning fat cells for energy. Yes, you read that right — you burn fat while you sleep.
The catch: “It takes a few hours to use up the day’s glycogen stores,” Panda says. So if you snack until midnight and sit down to your breakfast of oatmeal or eggs at 7 a.m., your body may never get the opportunity to burn any fat before you start reloading your glycogen stores again.
It doesn’t help that you’re also likely to overeat when you’re up late — indeed, night owls consume an average of 248 calories more per day than those who go to bed earlier, and most of those excess calories rack up after 8 p.m., according to a 2011 study published in the journal Obesity.
"Willpower is lower when you’re sleepy," explains study author Kelly Baron, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "So if you’re eating in the middle of the night, you’re more likely to overeat and make poor food choices."
On the other hand, Panda says, “eating only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and then not eating for at least 12 hours, should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night.”
This could have major consequences for your weight and health — and mean you can snack more and weigh less. In a study just published in Cell Metabolism, Panda’s research team found that mice that ate a high-fat diet spread out over the day and night became obese and diabetic, while mice eating the same diet but only over an eight-hour period didn’t gain any weight and remained healthy. “Fasting at night can even override most of the negative effects of an unhealthy diet,” Panda says, “including weight gain.”
Eat Your Calories At Roughly The Same Time Every DayYou’ve probably heard of circadian rhythms: the internal clock that tells you when to wake and when to hit the hay. But did you know that nearly every organ in your body has its own circadian rhythm or clock, too? For example, our digestive organs — particularly the liver — are programmed to perform most efficiently during the day, Panda explains.
The influence of these internal clocks may be one reason why shift workers — people who work (and eat) at night — have a higher body mass index (BMI), on average, than day workers, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity. “In theory, shift work should be fine because your circadian rhythms can adjust just like they do when you travel abroad,” Panda says. “The problem is that in order to be social, shift workers bounce back to a daytime schedule on weekends, so every organ clock gets disrupted.”
It takes about one day to shift our internal clocks one hour. So if you have a night job and your bedtime jumps from 8 a.m. during the week to midnight on the weekends, your internal clocks never get the opportunity to reset themselves, which can set you up for weight gain if you’re eating while your digestive organs are snoozing.
"Maintaining a regular sleep/wake schedule may be one of the most powerful ways to prevent the harmful effects of shift work," Panda says. Even if you’re not working the night shift (or up with a baby or studying for final exams), sticking to a regular sleep and meal schedule will help keep your metabolism in peak form.
Have Breakfast Within An Hour Of Waking UpResearch has found that people who eat eggs at breakfast weigh less. Other research has found that people who down a bowl of cereal at breakfast weigh less. And still other research has found that people who chase their breakfast with a slice of chocolate cake weigh less. The common denominator? You guessed it: They all ate breakfast.
When you wake up in the morning, sunlight tells your brain that the day has started. Eating breakfast — breaking your night’s fast — sends that same signal to the circadian rhythms in your body. Chowing shortly after you get up synchronizes these clocks and, as a result, delivers a powerful metabolic jumpstart, Panda says. That means you’ll more efficiently use nutrients all day.
There’s one caveat: If you eat a big dinner at 11 p.m. one night, it’s actually smart to skip the early morning meal in order to fit in a 12-hour fast. “The idea that we need to have breakfast every single day has become so ingrained in people’s minds that for late-night eaters, it means they end up eating around the clock,” Panda says. If your last meal was a plate of bar fries at midnight, push your first meal the next day to noon. (Consider it lunch if you’re returning to a regular schedule or breakfast if you expect a repeat late-night eating event.)How big should your a.m. dish be? It depends whether you’re counting calories. “Having a big breakfast can lead to feeling less deprived overall, but you have to take total calories into account,” Baron explains. A recent study from Tel Aviv University looked at women on a strict 1,400-calorie-a-day plan and found that those who had a 600-calorie breakfast high in protein and carbs that included dessert (like chocolate!) not only lost more weight on average than the ones who ate a 300-calorie low-carb breakfast, but they also had fewer cravings and were better at keeping off the weight.
However, if you’re not tallying your total daily calories — balancing a big breakfast with a smaller lunch and dinner — eating a lot first thing in the morning could cause you to take in too many calories, and subsequently put on weight.
Good advice for all: Simply include protein (like yogurt or nuts) in your morning meal. Several studies have found that higher-protein breakfasts can help you feel full and make you less likely to overeat all day — and into the night.
Source: Paige Greenfield, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.health.com

Can You Eat Late and Still Lose Weight?

Lately we’ve heard the only thing that matters to your waistline is how much you eat. But there’s a growing body of research that says when you eat really does make a difference in how much you weigh.

"Your body is more prone to burn fat at certain times of day and store fat at other times," says Satchin Panda, Ph.D., associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.

New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating — say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. So it’s smart to time your calorie intake accordingly. Read on for the science-backed rules that will help you use the clock to shed excess pounds.

To Keep Pounds Off, Don’t Eat After Dark
Before electricity and all-night diners, we humans used to spend a long stretch every night without food passing our lips. “Staying up and eating late is a very recent phenomenon in human history,” Panda notes. So our metabolisms are hardwired to expect a nightly fast, which is a key time for your body to burn fat.

Here’s how that works: During the day, your brain and muscles use some of the calories you eat for fuel, and the rest gets stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. At night, your body converts that glycogen into glucose and releases it into your bloodstream to keep your blood-sugar levels steady while you sleep. Once the stored glycogen is gone, your liver starts burning fat cells for energy. Yes, you read that right — you burn fat while you sleep.

The catch: “It takes a few hours to use up the day’s glycogen stores,” Panda says. So if you snack until midnight and sit down to your breakfast of oatmeal or eggs at 7 a.m., your body may never get the opportunity to burn any fat before you start reloading your glycogen stores again.

It doesn’t help that you’re also likely to overeat when you’re up late — indeed, night owls consume an average of 248 calories more per day than those who go to bed earlier, and most of those excess calories rack up after 8 p.m., according to a 2011 study published in the journal Obesity.

"Willpower is lower when you’re sleepy," explains study author Kelly Baron, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "So if you’re eating in the middle of the night, you’re more likely to overeat and make poor food choices."

On the other hand, Panda says, “eating only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and then not eating for at least 12 hours, should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night.”

This could have major consequences for your weight and health — and mean you can snack more and weigh less. In a study just published in Cell Metabolism, Panda’s research team found that mice that ate a high-fat diet spread out over the day and night became obese and diabetic, while mice eating the same diet but only over an eight-hour period didn’t gain any weight and remained healthy. “Fasting at night can even override most of the negative effects of an unhealthy diet,” Panda says, “including weight gain.”

Eat Your Calories At Roughly The Same Time Every Day
You’ve probably heard of circadian rhythms: the internal clock that tells you when to wake and when to hit the hay. But did you know that nearly every organ in your body has its own circadian rhythm or clock, too? For example, our digestive organs — particularly the liver — are programmed to perform most efficiently during the day, Panda explains.

The influence of these internal clocks may be one reason why shift workers — people who work (and eat) at night — have a higher body mass index (BMI), on average, than day workers, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity. “In theory, shift work should be fine because your circadian rhythms can adjust just like they do when you travel abroad,” Panda says. “The problem is that in order to be social, shift workers bounce back to a daytime schedule on weekends, so every organ clock gets disrupted.”

It takes about one day to shift our internal clocks one hour. So if you have a night job and your bedtime jumps from 8 a.m. during the week to midnight on the weekends, your internal clocks never get the opportunity to reset themselves, which can set you up for weight gain if you’re eating while your digestive organs are snoozing.

"Maintaining a regular sleep/wake schedule may be one of the most powerful ways to prevent the harmful effects of shift work," Panda says. Even if you’re not working the night shift (or up with a baby or studying for final exams), sticking to a regular sleep and meal schedule will help keep your metabolism in peak form.

Have Breakfast Within An Hour Of Waking Up
Research has found that people who eat eggs at breakfast weigh less. Other research has found that people who down a bowl of cereal at breakfast weigh less. And still other research has found that people who chase their breakfast with a slice of chocolate cake weigh less. The common denominator? You guessed it: They all ate breakfast.

When you wake up in the morning, sunlight tells your brain that the day has started. Eating breakfast — breaking your night’s fast — sends that same signal to the circadian rhythms in your body. Chowing shortly after you get up synchronizes these clocks and, as a result, delivers a powerful metabolic jumpstart, Panda says. That means you’ll more efficiently use nutrients all day.

There’s one caveat: If you eat a big dinner at 11 p.m. one night, it’s actually smart to skip the early morning meal in order to fit in a 12-hour fast. “The idea that we need to have breakfast every single day has become so ingrained in people’s minds that for late-night eaters, it means they end up eating around the clock,” Panda says. If your last meal was a plate of bar fries at midnight, push your first meal the next day to noon. (Consider it lunch if you’re returning to a regular schedule or breakfast if you expect a repeat late-night eating event.)
How big should your a.m. dish be? It depends whether you’re counting calories. “Having a big breakfast can lead to feeling less deprived overall, but you have to take total calories into account,” Baron explains. A recent study from Tel Aviv University looked at women on a strict 1,400-calorie-a-day plan and found that those who had a 600-calorie breakfast high in protein and carbs that included dessert (like chocolate!) not only lost more weight on average than the ones who ate a 300-calorie low-carb breakfast, but they also had fewer cravings and were better at keeping off the weight.

However, if you’re not tallying your total daily calories — balancing a big breakfast with a smaller lunch and dinner — eating a lot first thing in the morning could cause you to take in too many calories, and subsequently put on weight.

Good advice for all: Simply include protein (like yogurt or nuts) in your morning meal. Several studies have found that higher-protein breakfasts can help you feel full and make you less likely to overeat all day — and into the night.

Source: Paige Greenfield, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.health.com

Walking (and Running) on a Treadmill

The treadmill is a place where walking and running go to die. At the highest levels of performance, athletes spend the majority of their time fine-tuning every facet of how they run. Most of us ignore this completely. We all ask the same questions: Can I run for an hour at 6.5 mph, can I run 10 miles, can I run a 5k in less than 20 minutes? These aren’t the right questions. As evidenced by the minimalist/barefoot movement, some runners are looking at their form rather than time and distance. But the change doesn’t have to be extreme; fixing your form doesn’t require a sea change that takes months or years – try eight days.

The workout is simple: Every day, you will start walking at 1.3 mph and run at an increasing speed with the goal of running as fast as possible with an effortless stride. That’s it. And bring your iPad and fire up YouTube – you are walking, after all. Watch the great runners, Lolo JonesUsain BoltMichael Johnson. See how laid-back they are. When Bolt is running full speed, he’s more relaxed than your walk.

Read More

The Alkalizing Powerfood

Lemons are acidic to the taste, but are alkaline-forming in the body. In fact they are one of the most alkaline-forming foods; this makes them great for balancing a highly acidic condition in the body.

Lemons are a favorite all over the world and an essential food in kitchens everywhere.

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” –Alfred E. Newman

16 Health Benefits of Lemons:

Read More

1. Use small plates

Research clearly shows that people who choose smaller plates and utensils eat less without even noticing it. The difference can be as substantial as 50% fewer calories consumed, yet everyone reports the same level of fullness and satisfaction. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray.

2. Eat slowly and mindfully

People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal. BBQs are a perfect opportunity to pace yourself as you mix and mingle with friends and family. The more you’re chatting, the less you’re eating.

3. Eat healthiest foods first

If you are eating slowly and off small plates, you may as well fill up on the healthiest stuff first. Salads are a great place to start because watery vegetables slow digestion and have very few calories. Try to choose something with oil and protein as well, because these will help you feel full sooner.

4. Skip the chips, crackers and bread

Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction, loads of calories and dangerous insulin spikes. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff.

You don’t have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking. If you’re feeling bored, grab a Frisbee instead.

5. Keep dessert small

The difference between a large slice of cake and a smaller slice of cake can literally be hundreds of calories. And to reiterate, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the most dangerous foods. You don’t have to pass on dessert completely, but keep your portion sizes in check for this course.

6. Think before you drink

There is a place for alcohol in a healthy lifestyle, but making smart choices can be the difference between losing or gaining weight (not to mention your self-control). One sugary margarita can have 600-800 calories. That means 3 margaritas is more food than you should be consuming in an entire day. Is that really worth it? Stick with wine or beer, drink plenty of water and remember to pace yourself.

Small tricks can save you hundreds and potentially thousands of wasted calories that you will never notice or miss. Why sacrifice a good time when you can just upgrade your health style?

Source: www.summertomato.com  

With the publication this month of “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness,” by the vegan distance runner Scott Jurek, vegan diets have become a wildly popular topic on running-related Web sites. But is going totally meatless and, as in Mr. Jurek’s case, dairy-free advisable for other serious athletes, or for the rest of us who just want to be healthy and fit?

To find out, I talked with three experts about why, and whether, those of us who are active should consider giving up meat or more. None of the experts are themselves vegan, though two are vegetarian: David C. Nieman, a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University, who’s run 58 marathons or ultramarathons and has studied runners at extreme events; and D. Enette Larson-Meyer, an associate professor of human nutrition at the University of Wyoming, as well as a longtime competitive athlete and author of “Vegetarian Sports Nutrition.” A third expert, Nancy Clark, who describes herself as “two-thirds vegetarian” — she doesn’t have meat at breakfast or lunch, but does at dinner — is a sports nutrition expert in Massachusetts and the author of “Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners.”

Q.

Will a vegan diet make someone a better athlete?

A.

Nancy Clark: I was just at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual meeting in San Francisco, and there was a presentation about vegetarian athletes that basically concluded that there’s not enough research to know how vegetarian — let alone vegan — diets affect athletes. But anecdotally, people do fine. It’s possible that some vegan athletes are low on creatine, a nutrient that you get only from meat and that can help during short bouts of intense exercise, like sprinting, though supplementation isn’t necessary. My feeling is that hard training trumps everything. Diet, if it’s healthy, isn’t going to make that much difference.

Q.

Is it hard for someone who’s training vigorously to get enough protein on a vegan diet?

A.

David Nieman: The foods that vegans like Scott Jurek avoid, like dairy products and eggs, are the easy ways to get protein in a plant-based diet, obviously. But you still have grains, nuts, soy. Eat enough of that and you’ll be fine. The one issue is vitamin B12, which is found only in meat; B12 is important for endurance athletes, since it affects red blood cell production. But many cereals and soy milks are fortified with B12 now, or you can take supplements.

Nancy Clark: You do have to be diligent about protein intake if you’re vegan. I have clients, especially women, who say, ‘Oh, I put a few chickpeas in my salad.’ But that’s not going to do it. Women need about 60 to 90 grams of protein a day, and athletes are on the high end of that. That means you have to eat cupfuls of chickpeas. And you can’t eat a quarter of that cake of tofu. You need to eat the whole thing. It’s not that there aren’t good sources of vegan protein. But it’s not as bioavailable as meat. So you need to have more.

Q.

Is it true that you can combine plant proteins throughout the day to create complete proteins? You don’t have to eat them all at the same meal?

A.

D. Enette Larson-Meyer: Years ago, studies in rats showed that if they were fed only one source of protein, like corn, all day, they did not get sufficient amounts of essential amino acids. From that, the idea grew that you had to combine proteins at the same meal. But since then, other studies have found that if you get multiple sources of protein throughout the day, that’s fine. Have rice at breakfast and beans at lunch or dinner.

Q.

Is it hard for someone who’s training vigorously to get enough calories on a vegan diet?

A.

Nancy Clark: It’s not hard at all. My favorite weight gain or weight maintenance advice is to drink juice. Grape juice, pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice. They have plenty of calories, and if you pick the right juice, especially pomegranate or tart cherry juice, it looks as if they can help with recovery. Tart cherry juice was a very popular topic at the recent American College of Sports Medicine meeting. It’s a potent beverage, in terms of speeding recovery. And it’s vegan.

Q.

Will vegan or even vegetarian diets help you to lose weight?

A.

David Nieman: Short answer: No. Vegetarians tend to weigh 6 to 10 pounds less than meat eaters. But that’s probably due to self-selection bias. Many vegetarians are more health conscious to start with. You can overeat on a plant-based diet. There are obese vegetarians. Junk food can be vegetarian. You still have to make healthy food choices, whatever your diet.

Q.

Because of Scott Jurek’s book and others, there’s some sense out there that athletes should become vegans. Do you agree?

A.

David Nieman: I know Scott. He’s been a subject in some of our studies at the Western States 100. He’s a great guy — opinionated, sure, but he’s been very successful as a racer, so he can have opinions. But runners always think they have inside information on nutrition. They don’t. It’s my duty as a scientist to separate out the hype from what’s been validated.

What we know is that when it comes to endurance performance, it’s all about the fuel, primarily carbohydrates, and you can get sufficient carbohydrates whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater — unless you follow a really goofy diet, which some people do. It’s possible to eat a lousy vegetarian diet, just as you as can eat a lousy meat-based diet.

Q.

So is there any compelling reason for those of us who are active but not necessarily running ultramarathons to decide to become vegan?

A.

D. Enette Larson-Meyer: In general, vegetarians are healthier, with less risk for heart disease and obesity, although there are obese vegetarians. Many people tell me after they start a vegetarian diet that they feel better, but then again, many of them — and I believe this was the case with Scott Jurek — were eating a pretty poor diet before, so of course they feel better. They could have switched to a healthier meat-based diet and they would probably have felt better.

I like to tell people that if we got most Americans to eat one less serving of meat every day, there would be far greater impact from that, in terms of improving overall public health and the health of the planet, than convincing a tiny group of endurance athletes to go full vegan.

Source: Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times

Cutting-edge research from Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that the type of diet you eat may affect your metabolism, a finding that has important implications for weight maintenance. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week, the study looked at three popular diets (low-carb, low-glycemic, and low-fat) to see which combination of fat, carbs, and protein was the best for people trying to maintain a previous weight loss.

Low-glycemic carbs like beans, lentils, and non-starchy vegetables take a long time for the body to absorb and appear to be more effective at satisfying hunger.

Because decreases in metabolism can contribute to weight regain, the researchers aimed to see which eating plan worked best with the body’s internal mechanisms to rev up dieters’ calorie burn and help them keep the weight off.

The low-glycemic diet emerged as the top-performing plan, giving people a significant metabolic boost without causing undesirable side effects. Participants burned approximately 125 more calories per day while following the low-glycemic plan compared to when eating a low-fat diet. While the low-carb diet had an even better effect on metabolism than the low-glycemic plan, the low-carb diet also produced the highest levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and CRP (a marker of inflammation). These factors may raise the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

The low-glycemic diet offered a happy medium. It helped stabilize blood sugar and metabolism, and also had a beneficial impact on inflammation, stress hormones, and other heart-health markers.

A low-glycemic diet focuses on choosing the right types of carbohydrates that keep us feeling fuller for longer.  High-glycemic carbs like white bread, white rice, potatoes and sugary baked goods are digested quickly and cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar, leaving the body hungry and less satisfied.  On the other hand, lower-glycemic carbs like beans, lentils, and non-starchy vegetables take a long time for the body to absorb and appear to be more effective at satisfying hunger, leading you to eat less and potentially lose weight. A low-glycemic diet includes moderate amounts of fiber-rich beans, lentils, non-starchy vegetables, fruit and whole grains, as well as lean proteins (fish, skinless poultry, whole soy) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, vegetables oils).

A typical breakfast for the participants adhering to the low-glycemic index diet consisted of a scrambled egg, whole grain cereal, 1% milk, grapefruit sections, and sunflower seeds.  A sample lunch includes a mixed salad with olive oil vinaigrette, chili with beans, orange slices and yogurt, while dinner might feature fish, green beans, a mixed salad and a small portion of pasta with olive oil. Snacks included fresh fruit and string cheese.

A low-glycemic diet is a smart, healthy, manageable way to lose weight and keep it off for the long-term. If you’re looking to give this plan a try, be sure to take advantage of this handy low-glycemic shopping list created by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital.