Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy

A packet of potato chips, a firm chocolate cake, a can of coke -you’re in front of the TV watching the last match of the season– a humdinger at that—and you know what will happen—everything will vanish and you’ll pile on a humongous number of calories and feel guilty after that. Unfortunately, this is not just a ‘one off occasion’ —salty snacks and sugary snacks are too tempting to sideline.

But, you need to draw the line somewhere, sometime and think of how bad these’ good, tasty items’ are for the heart and you. Eating healthy helps keep you in shape, firms up those limbs of yours, does away with that tire and paunch and leaves you feeling good about yourself and everything around you.

You need to eat healthy to stay healthy and that perhaps is the hardest thing to do, but gradually you’ll learn to appreciate it better and wonder how you indulged in such unhealthy food. You need to make good food choices and make those calories count.

When you shop for food at groceries, avoid aisles that are too tempting—make a list beforehand and just follow that—and at the end of it, allow yourself to choose something a snack or sugary treat that you love to eat. It’s a treat for yourself for having stuck to the calorie conscious grocery list.

Stock up on fruits and vegetables and make yourself a nice fruit salad with some yogurt as dressing. Try to get 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and you’ll feel fit and light. Include whole grains in your diet and snack on whole wheat bread or cereal with raisins and fruits to top. Try and limit processed meat and go in for lean protein.

Keep nuts and seeds at handy places for you to snack on. They’re rich in protein, have healthy fat and keep hunger at bay. Take your beverages sans sugar and get the goodness of real coffee and tea. Do the same with juices and you’ll get to know what tomato or carrot juice actually tastes like.

Cookies and cakes are full of empty calories, so try avoiding those. If it does get too difficult, have just one cookie or a slice of cake every four or five days to satisfy your inner cravings. You’re allowed to cheat once in a way, so long as you get back on track immediately and work those empty calories off.

Drink water and stay hydrated and exercise at least 4-5 times a week. Just 45 minutes of brisk walking every day is enough to keep you at the top of where you want to be.

Keep your conscience clean. Worries and stresses have a huge impact on health, so make sure that you are eating and living in a way that makes you feel good about the impact you are having on our planet! Shop with companies that commit to lowering carbon emissions, for example.

Fill your plate with color—different colored fruits and vegetables, just a little carbs to energize the engines, a little protein and you have a plateful of good health. It’s not impossible, but a little hard maybe.

Once you get used to it, you’ll not trade good health for anything in the world, be it a lip-licking pastry or a salty treat.

Vegetarianism- the Green Power?

Although the word ‘vegetarian’ made its way into the lexicons only in the 1800s, the concept of vegetarianism dates as far back as 570BC – 495 BC when the famous mathematician Pythagoras advocated a meatless diet, often referred to as the “Pythagorean diet”. Plato, the philosopher waxed eloquent and described a vegetarian diet as one that was ‘divinely ordained’.

Of course, the naysayers and aye-sayers are at loggerheads with one group denouncing meat as it harms health, wastes resources and causes pollution while the other defends its consumption on the grounds that it is ‘healthful and humane’ and producing vegetables caused equal environmental problems.

Be that as it may, people are veering towards vegetarianism for many reasons: personal health benefits, economic concerns, religious and ethical reasons, compassion for animals and so on and so forth. Studies do indicate that one cannot totally ignore or even sideline the benefits of vegetarianism.

A very good reason to adopt a vegetarian diet is that it’s known to prevent and in some cases even reverse heart disease and drastically reduce the risk of cancer. This is because a low- fat vegetarian diet means less of saturated fats, no buildup of cholesterol and thus goes a long way in halting coronary heart artery diseases in its tracks. The fiber and anti-oxidants present in such a diet also contribute towards that. On an average, it has been found that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than their ‘meat-eating compatriots’.

Although a vegetarian diet cannot prevent diabetes, it can help people manage and control their blood sugar levels better. Research also indicates that the incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer in women may be less as such a diet could have protective benefits.

It’s a given that ‘good nutrition generates more usable energy,’ and a balanced vegetarian diet is so high in complex carbs that the body gets plenty of fuel and hence plenty of energy. The animal fat that clogs arteries depriving muscles and cells of vital oxygen and slows down body metabolism is absent—hence you don’t feel lazy and sluggish. Your overall mood is elevated and you feel upbeat.

And for those who are striving to get rid of that ‘unsightly cellulite’, vegetarianism affords an easy way to shed those pounds. Moreover you won’t be involved in food-borne illness outbreaks, typically associated with meat, fish, seafood and more. Eating a lot of vegetables means more fiber and hence keeps constipation at bay. A low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, soy and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables apparently makes you live longer.

Genuine concerns have been voiced about vegetarians not getting enough protein, nutrients and vitamins, but if you ensure that your lunch and dinner plates are as varied and colorful as you can make them, then you get enough of everything.

Today, even restaurants offer vegetarian selections—healthful salads, great tasting sandwiches and entrées and remarkable menu options that are lip-smacking. Being a vegetarian gives you many unforgettable delights—so don’t lose out on them.

Listen to Mom and eat up your veggies, get those fruits, nuts and whole-grains in and opt for a more nutritious life-style. What are you waiting for—acquire the ‘Green Power.’

Could Protein Help You Lose Weight?

How much protein do you eat daily? Is it 50 grams, 100 grams, or 150 grams? If your goal is to lose weight, double up on protein! This nutrient increases metabolic rate, causing your body to burn more calories at rest. It also fuels your muscles, boosts energy levels, and improves body composition. The more active you are, the more protein you need in your diet.

Double Up On Protein to Lose Weight

High-protein diets have been around for decades. From athletes and bodybuilders to regular dieters, everyone is praising the benefits of protein. Compared to fats and carbs, this nutrient requires up to 25 percent more energy to digest. This means that your metabolism increases for hours after you eat a high-protein meal.

Research also indicates that protein boasts appetite-suppressing effects and can help control hunger. If you work out regularly, it can lead to greater gains and faster recovery. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. A high-protein diet may improve your muscle-to-fat ratio, regulate hunger hormones, and boost several satiety hormones. By adding more protein to your meals, you’ll eat less and stay full longer.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Protein

The health benefits of protein go beyond weight loss. This nutrient supports muscle growth and repair, promotes cardiovascular health, and reduces muscle breakdown. If you’re a strict diet, protein can help you maintain muscle and shed fat. Recent studies have found that whey protein can help prevent colon and prostate cancer.

People who follow high-protein diets have a lower risk of depression, anxiety, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. They also feel more energetic and report increased physical performance. For best results, have at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Make sure your diet includes chicken, turkey, lean beef, egg whites, lentils, fish and other high-protein foods.