I know, it sounds a bit over-the-top magical, a name that might better be suited for a Disney character/drink that turns dreary days into ones that are filled with amber sunrises and sparkling sunsets. It's not just milk, it's "golden" milk. With a name like this, it better be good, and good for us, right?
Well, never one to resist new recipes and foods -- whether it's the butter-in-coffee trend or eating a strange-looking fruit -- I jumped on the Golden Milk bandwagon. Truth is, I actually like the name and in the end, yes, it is good for us.
It's also super easy to make. Under 10 minutes, plus no need for turning on the stove or whipping out a juicer. All that's needed is a saucepan, almond milk and some key spices.
Golden Milk Recipe
To make one serving, simply put one cup of almond milk (I used unsweetened) in a small saucepan. Heat it on a low setting while adding these other ingredients to the milk:
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon local honey
Black pepper to taste (I just used a pinch)
Ginger to taste (I opted for ground, but fresh, grated ginger will work as well)
Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut oil (of course I added this; I love coconut oil!)
Bring everything to a light boil, pour, let cool to an ideal sipping temperature (much like you'd wait before drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee).
That's all there is to it!
What's does Golden Milk Taste Like?
Well, I'm not going to lie. It has some kick, but not in that "oh crap, I accidentally put too much wasabi on my sushi" way. Personally, I don't mind spicy foods. I used to frequent a hot sauce shop years ago and came to love (obsess over?) a fire-roasted garlic habanero flavor. Dee-licious. But not to worry. This golden milk isn't anything like that sauce. The turmeric, pepper and ginger certainly give it its kick, but any spiciness is tempered by the coconut oil and the sweetness of the cinnamon and honey.
Health Benefits of Golden Milk
What I love about this milk is its many health benefits. After losing 70 pounds years ago, I'm constantly on the lookout for recipes that help me maintain a healthy weight.
However, life for me is no longer about just keeping my weight in check and obsessing about calories, but eating foods that keep my body as healthy as possible. As such, I've become more focused on spinach-infused smoothies, baked yam "potato chips," steamed broccoli with hemp seeds and spiralized zucchini "noodles" over the years.
Here's what's healthy about golden milk:
Helps Regulate Weight
Studies have shown that spices like turmeric could help prevent fat tissues from re-growing. (Now, that sounds magical, doesn't it?). It's true; a Tufts University study showed this positive effect on subjects, noting that turmeric played a role in keeping weight gain at bay.
According to the California College of Ayurveda, "Turmeric has hundreds of molecular constituents, each with a variety of biological activities. There are at least 20 molecules that are anti-biotic, 14 that are known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, 12 are anti-inflammatory and there are at least 10 different anti-oxidants."
Studies have shown that turmeric neutralizes cancer-causing substances in the body, making it a go-to spice for many people.
Keeps Neurological Conditions at Bay
Experts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that the cinnamon -- specifically its compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin -- were linked to preventing the proteins that contribute to memory-depleting diseases from developing in the brain. Alzheimer's disease in particular has been eyed in this regard; consuming more cinnamon may help delay its onset or help reverse the condition.
Drinking this milk has also been said to help purify the skin, blood and liver, improve the gastrointestinal tract and support lung health.
What's not to love about this tasty drink? I know I'll be making it often!
Opera singer Deborah Voigt may have charmed audiences with her beautiful voice, but those in charge of directing her performances felt that firing her was in everyone's best interest. Why would this successful American soprano with a voice described as having "penetrating power" and "gleaming richness" be dismissed?
Quite simply, she was fat.
At over 300 pounds, the size 26 professional was fired in 2003 by a director who felt that she didn't have the right body type for the costume he envisioned. The director imagined its star singing while wearing a tiny black dress, something he felt was necessary to convey a modern twist on "Ariadne auf Naxos." Her figure, it was determined, wasn't suitable for the costume. As such the songbird was let go in exhange for someone with a more acceptable body type.
Voigt has something to say about the firing that, while true, sadly still affects many women. In a world where large-bodied men such as Luciano Pavarotti have been embraced, rather than fired, for their loveable roundness, Voigt is at a loss. "Why is it okay for the male opera stars to be big and not the women?" she writes in her book, "Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva." In her book, which is due out on January 27 (Harper Collins), she also says that "The double standard is alive and well in the opera world when it comes to men’s and women’s bodies."(1)
While never fired for being fat, I understand her feelings.
Dealing with Double Standards, Psychological Weight Loss Challenges
Losing 70 pounds, as I did several years ago, offers a real-life glimpse about the ways the very overweight and very slender are judged and treated. Those before and after images? They aren't just about pictures that reveal dramatic changes in the body. Trust me, there are deeper changes - highly psychological ones - that take place as one is thrust into an "after," post-fat girl world. There aren't any (that I'm aware of, anyway) "Life after Weight Loss 101" classes that talk about the psychological changes that may come with weight loss. Nothing prepares a person for the thoughts in their head that linger long after the thrill good workouts, a nice compliment or even 15 minutes of fame.
Mine are often steeped in thoughts that yes, a double standard exists every time we turn our heads. We see commercials with women donning angel wings, but there's a big "was it or wasn't it retouched" to-do when Justin Bieber puts on his Calvins, as he recently did.
Beiber aside, the bigger issue is that we're a society that seems to be obessed with thiness and beauty, even in ways that transcend weight. Seriously, would a woman with Andy Rooney's once wirey eyebrows last longer than a commercial break on a news show today? So it goes.
Yes, I know plenty of shows, stories and social media sites exist that are focused on men's "hotness" (the popular word I'm seeing in headlines these days is "thirsty," as in "These hollywood men with beards will make any woman thisty") but still, we're wearing blinders if we think that the double standards don't predominately hone in on females in our society.
First, Gastric Bypass Surgery . . . Next, Alcohol-Fueled Experiences
For Voigt, her world changed dramatically after getting fired. It wasn't that she moped, a fat-sized woman stereotypically crying in a pint of ice-cream either. Rather, she took the money from the failed "little black dress" role and had gastric bypass surgery. She lost 100 pounds, dropped to a size 14 and unfortunately, turned to alcohol to replace her desire for food. In her book, she expresses joy at the ability to be able to cross her once-heavier legs, yet speaks of alcohol-fueled affairs with men in between her performances.(1,2)
Ultimately, she ended up in rehab where she came to terms with her past and changed her ways for the better.
Indeed, weight loss is a joyous experience, but it's often not without deeply-rooted, confusing thoughts that have the potential to lead to depression and detrimental behaviors. While I didn't indulge in the bottle, my taste for thinness became extreme. My blog, "My not-so Glamorous Story of Dieting After the Diet was Over & How I Got Back on Track," talks about this, of teetering dangerously close to a diagnosable eating disorder, one that left me hungry, moody and eventually filled with a nutritionally-deprived foggy-brain (so much so that at times I was spewing forth babbling nonsense at random times and convinced by my own self-created nonsensical thoughts).
Yes, weight loss can change you, but as Voigt learned, it's not always for the better. Becoming thinner (whether by dietary changes or weight loss surgery, or both) may come with serious challenges.
Don't Lose Yourself During Weight Loss Journey
No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, always remember that you're doing this for your health and that you're still the same you, only physically different. I highly doubt that your political stance, sense of humor or work ethic has changed, right? Sure, you may have more energy and a renewed confidence, but at the core of it all, you're still you. I lost a lot of weight and still have a penchant for 80s music, kayaking, corny puns, animal kindness and photography -- just as I did when I was shopping in the plus-size departments.
In the end, it's never about trying to beat double standards or fitting in a certain-sized black dress, but rather, to improve physical health. It's up to us to take control about our mental health, not allowing ourselves to get caught up in expectations (self-imposed or otherwise) and to be remain the beautiful person we have been all along.
Several fast food chains have jumped on the "healthy" bandwagon, which to me, is akin to tobacco companies saying they've created healthier, safer cigarettes. Of course, neither of them have stumbled upon a healthier solution; we all know in our heart of French fry-craving heart of hearts (or nicotine-needing habits, if that's your thing) that what they've created is nothing other than a marketing strategy.
Sell the latest health craze, sell patriotism, sell people who have lost weight (Jared, anyone?), show us cute puppies and mighty horses, and we're suddenly supposed to be A-Okay eating, say, veggie sliders from White Castle.
Indeed, that's just what is happening. The fast food chain, known for their hamburger sliders, desserts on a stick and the movie, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, has recently announced the addition of veggie sliders to their menu.
Their web site attempts to lure the health-conscious, by asking the question, "Have you eaten your veggies today?" It's one part reminiscent of the first half of the 1990s McDonald's slogan, "Have you (had your break today?)," and one part causing childhood memories of my mother to surface, inquiring about my veggie intake with her one eyebrow raised, as if to imply no dessert will be had if those string beans remained on my plate. I'm already turned off. Still, it's only fair to dig deeper.
I clicked on the image and was taken to a larger picture, this time a close-up of the veggie slider. Phrases such as "grilled to perfection" and "chock full of..." rested next to the slider, along a call-out with the name, "Dr. Praeger's." Hmmmm. Just who is this Dr. Praeger and what's the relevancy to White Castle? More digging was in order.
Who was Dr. Praeger?
A bit more detective work led me to a PDF file (also on the White Castle site) that talked all about Dr. Praeger. There, it explained that "Dr. Praeger was a successful cardiothoracic surgeon in New Jersey who, with his medical partner Dr. Eric Somberg, made it their mission to introduce people to nutritious food that actually tasted great. They produce a wide range of products including veggie cakes, breaded fish items, Kid's Little, and now our tasty Veggie Slider!"(1)
More research led me to discover that Dr. Peter Praeger, who passed away from unknown causes in 2012 and had been undergoing prostate cancer treatment, was the co-chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. He was also president and chief executive of Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods, a maker of frozen natural foods ("frozen" and "natural" just don't go together if you ask me), including veggie burgers and meatless chicken (ditto), sold in supermarkets and health-food stores in the United States and overseas. Ultimately, Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods grew to become a multimillion dollar venture, providing the likes of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods with items such as sweet potato pancakes and Tex-Mex veggie burgers.(2)
Veggie slider has MORE calories than original plain slider
Interestingly, for those curious about calories, an original slider has 140 calories, while the veggie slider has MORE, coming in at 150 for a plain one and 270 if you add Ranch dressing. Additionally, an original plain burger slider has 13 total carbohydrates while a plain veggie slider comes in at 20 carbs. There are some positives, however. A plain veggie slider does have lower sodium levels and trans fat than the original burger.(3)
Still, I'm not convinced.
Trying to pull the wool over our eyes
On one hand, I applaud the effort, but on the other hand I realize that it's nothing more than a marketing strategy aimed to tug on the heartstrings of those trying to get healthier or stay that way. But there's no pulling the wool over my eyes. I've worked in the advertising and public relations industry for several years (no longer, by choice). I'm familiar with all the psychology that goes on about "creating the need," of linking popular names with new products to help the baby brand piggyback on the shoulders of the more famous one ("oh, so the product MUST be wonderful"), and of capitalizing on life goals as well as life fears. Sigh.
So you see, I'm not fooled by fast food chains that display nutrition facts from behind faux oak picture frames near the registers. Not fooled by Jared. Definitely not fooled by White Castle's veggie slider no matter how many veggie bits it contains.
Meal names that attempt to resonate with healthy lifestyles, nope, they're not going to perk up the ears of smoothie-making, fresh-food eating, elliptical-using folks like me. Besides, making my own recipes with fresh, whole foods is not only healthy, but allows me to be creative in the kitchen.
Tomato and peach salsa, anyone?
Good news for coffee lovers as well as those who want to lose (or maintain) weight (I fall in both categories): researchers have found that a chemical compound in coffee may counter the effects of obesity.
Bring out the mugs and coffee bean grinders!
"Previous studies have shown that coffee consumption may lower the risk for chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said Yongjie Ma, a postdoctoral research associate in University of Georgia's College of Pharmacy and lead author of the paper that published the findings.
What's different about this finding, then?
"Our study expands on this research by looking at the benefits associated with this specific compound, which is found in great abundance in coffee, but also in other fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries."
CGA, Inflammation and the Obesity Link
In particular, the scientists found that chlorogenic acid (CGA), which is found in coffee, significantly reduced insulin resistance and accumulation of fat in subjects that were fed a high-fat diet. It was found that CGA helped prevent weight gain, but also played a role in maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels as well as a good liver composition.
"CGA is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation," said Ma. "A lot of evidence suggests that obesity-related diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, so if we can control that, we can hopefully offset some of the negative effects of excessive weight gain."
Chronic inflammation, which is ongoing and prevents the body from healing, can lead to obesity. Such a health problem as diet-induced inflammation exists, meaning that much of the foods eaten in Western society contribute to fat and in turn, obesity. By continually eating foods that are sugar-laden, processed and refined, inflammation occurs and upsets the body's balance. Junk foods, inflammation, obesity. . . it's all related. Consider it a domino effect where one habit encourages the downfall of the next and so on. Ultimately, things spiral out of control and the process to get back on track may be tedious and slow.
Too Much is Too Much
Of course, this isn't to say that we should down coffee like it's going out of style.
The Mayo Clinic notes that for most adults, up to 400 milligrams, or about four cups, is safe for healthy adults and that excess consumption can lead to restlessness, muscle tremors and upset stomach.
Enjoy your couple of cups of coffee, but skip the sugars (especially artificial kinds) and don't overdo it.
Here's to your health!
A recent headline saying "Man eats sugar-heavy diet for 60 days, receives shocking diagnosis," caught my attention. After all, what could be "shocking" about his diagnosis? Unless the big news was that he reversed some ailment or lost 15 pounds in the process, leading to some crazy new "too much sugar is good for you" discovery, I highly doubted that the diagnosis had anything to do with achieving great health.
After all, he's said to have consumed a whopping 40 teaspoons of sugar daily. The American Heart Association's daily recommendation is six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men.
So-Called "Healthy" Foods Have Deceptive Packaging
Damon Gameau, an Australian filmmaker and TV actor decided to go on the two month long sugar binge, engaging in bad dietary habits much like Morgan Spurlock did when he ate only food from McDonald's for his film, Super Size Me.
However, rather than eat ice cream by the gallon or fill up on obvious sugar-laden items, his sugar intake involved eating foods that most people tend to associate as being healthy. His effort was to illustrate how clever packaging and wording tricks many people, leading them to consume large quantities of so-called healthy foods, when in reality, they're harming their health.
"I had no soft drink, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery," says Gameau. "All the sugars that I was eating were found in perceived healthy foods, so low-fat yogurts, and muesli bars, and cereals, and fruit juices, sports drinks ... these kind of things that often parents would give their kids thinking they're doing the right thing."
In fact, many times he ate a meal that represented what is typically found in a child's lunchbox, chowing down on jam sandwiches, juices, a bar and a variety of other snacks.
So, what was "shocking" about his diagnosis?
On Way to Obesity, Liver Failure
He was in the early stages of developing fatty liver disease, a precursor to liver failure.
Furthermore, he was well on his way of joining the obese population, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says has doubled worldwide since 1980. In the United States, it's estimated that one-third of adults are obese, which plays a significant role in a range of detrimental heath problems including development (or complications) of diabetes. In Gameau's case, doctor's found that he put on four inches of visceral fat around his waist in this short timeframe.
Furthermore, doctors also noted that his metal function was impacted, saying that it was "unstable." Indeed, he was aware that his mood had changed. He also says that he felt increasingly lethargic and that he still felt very hungry during this two-month high-sugar eating feast.
"Sugar's now in 80 percent of the processed food we're eating," he says. "If we can remove that, that's the first step towards making a change."
He hopes to generate further awareness of the sugars that lurk in foods that are typically considered healthy in his movie, That Sugar Film. It's expected to be released in Australian theaters in February 2015. As of this writing, no release date has been set for a U.S. release date.
I don't know about you, but I'm eager to watch this movie. Of course, I'm also going to remain mindful of sugar content so I can keep my good health on track!
A healthy drink that helps create smoother, hydrated skin and also helps boost weight loss? Sounds good to me!
I came across a smoothie recipe called the "Spa Skin Cleanse" on SimpleGreenSmoothies.com that seemed too good to pass up. With ingredients like pineapple and coconut water, how could I not give it a try? It's tropical (hey, enough already with pumpkin-inspired everything, right?), filled with healthy fats and tons of vitamins that do wonders for skin and overall health, including weight loss.
How to Make the Healthy Skin & Weight Loss Smoothie
Ingredients (serves 2)
First blend the spinach and coconut water until the mixture is smooth.
Add pineapple and avocado to mixture, blend again.
Talk about easy : )
Smoothies are not only great for people on the go, but they're a great way to be sure to get the daily dose of fruits and veggies. Plus, for those not wild about certain foods like spinach, adding items like the ones in this smoothie mask the flavor while still allowing your body to get in on the healthy goodness.
Here's what's in it for you:
Pineapple, while high in sugar (the key though, is that it's natural, and much better than added sugars like ones found in additives or packets of artificial sweeteners), is low in calories. Just one slice has about 40 calories.(1) However, most of us know that losing weight isn't about just counting calories, but rather eating the right foods to help with the process.
Since the fruit is rich in fiber and water -- two key ingredients for those seeking weight loss -- it's a great food for those who crave a sweet treat that's incredibly filling. (1)
When it comes to coconut water, it's touted as being healthier than many popular sports drinks that have been found to contain artificial color-enhancing dyes.(2) Instead, coconut water is fat-free, low-calorie option that's also brimming with potassium, which is needed to replenish the electrolytes that are typically lost during exercise. Often referred to as a "fluid of life," eight ounces of it has approximately 15 times more potassium than most sports drinks and more potassium than one banana.(2)
As for skin, naturopathic doctor Bruce Fife, N.D., explains that it's a good source of cytokinins which are plant hormones that have may have an anti-aging effect on cells.(3) Drinking coconut water, he says, can help repair skin from the inside out and keep skin from sagging and becoming misshapen.(3)
I recently celebrated a big birthday and try to do all I can to keep in shape, and that includes paying attention to the shape of my skin. Sipping on this smoothie not only tastes wonderful, but helps my skin look softer. Win-win!
Spinach is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods, making it ideal for weight loss rather than foods that are low in calories but void of the ability to deliver proper amounts of vitamins and minerals to the body.(4) Not only is spinach low in calories (one cup has just 40 calories), but it's rich in vitamins K and A, folate, manganese, calcium and fiber, and has also been shown to reduce skin cancer.(4)
Last but certainly not least, the avocado (one of my favorites) is filled with healthy fats. Its fats are responsible for keeping the skin's top layer soft, and according to experts at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, they play a role in protecting the skin against sun damage and inflammation.(5)
Furthermore, they contain antioxidants that help boost production of collagen and also have the ability to fight free radicals that can wreak havoc on skin's elasticity.(5)
What are you waiting for? This tropical smoothie is filled with healthy foods that keep weight loss (or maintenance) goals in check while keeping skin glowing.
Go for it!
The other day, I went out to see how the garden was doing and discovered not one or two, but over a dozen ripe tomatoes staring back at me! While we've been getting a few here and there, I was surprised to see so many, so suddenly. Needless to say, I was in tomato heaven, itching to whip up a homemade tomato sauce recipe.
The fact that this was my first time making homemade tomato sauce was exciting, as I'm all about making use of the foods I have at home to make complete meals. The more I become aware of the hidden ingredients, additives and colorings that exist in so many store-bought foods, the more keen I am on making foods, as naturally as possible, at home. I did this recently with a raw banana and nut butter oat bar, as well as a homemade strawberry rhubarb jam.
Now, it's all about tomatoes, which I've been known to bite into like an apple. Delicious!
The Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe
Health Benefits of the Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the phytonutrient responsible for their deep red hue.(1) Time and again, numerous studies have pointed specifically to tomatoes' lycopene and other phytonutrients as being a key factor that leads to the death of cancerous cells, keeping certain cancers like lung, prostate and breast at bay.(1)
As for baby bella mushrooms, there have been findings demonstrating that they, along with the likes of button varieties and oyster mushrooms, play a role in staving off the growth of breast cancer cells.(2) Additionally, these mushrooms contain minerals that help with the development of connective tissue, prevent inflammation in blood vessels, and can even keep blood sugar levels steady.(2)
Garlic is another health food superstar; its active substance, allicin, works to relax blood vessels and break down blood activity in a way that lowers cholesterol levels and platelet aggregation.(3)
What's not to love about this tasty recipe? It's wonderful knowing that the tomatoes came fresh from the garden, weird-shaped ones and all, and ended up being part of a healthy, homemade sauce.
Sometimes it's tough to keep weight loss and fitness goals on track. Whether it's due to hitting a plateau or just giving in to those Oreo's that have been staring at you for days, slipping up is not uncommon. We're human!
It's when we keep giving in to those potato chips and new Ben & Jerry concoctions (I admit that I'm fighting very hard to not buy their Hazed & Confused flavor, a fusion of hazelnut and chocolate chip ice creams with a Nutella-esque core) that the pounds stay on. Sigh.
Thank goodness, then, for healthy indulgences like the raw banana-honey granola bar recipe I found in Better Nutrition magazine. It's easy-to-make, brimming with tasty ingredients, and is the perfect way to satisfy cravings without the insane calories and unhealthy additives.
How to Make the Raw Banana & Nut Butter Oat Bar
Mix banana, oats, nut butter, honey, pollen, vanilla, and cinnamon in bowl and stir into stiff dough ball. Blending in a food processor works too. But hey, every opportunity to exercise and work those biceps is a good one right? All that mixing by hand must be helping, I imagine : )
Coat a 9-inch square pan with coconut oil, and oil your hands as well. Press dough evenly into bottom of pan. Cover, and place in freezer for 24 hours, which allows the flavors to mix and the texture to be chewy, not crumbly.
Cut into 3-inch squares, then cut each square in half for a total of 18 bars. Store bars in tightly sealed container in freezer, and consume within 2 weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Health Benefits of the Raw Banana & Nut Butter Oat Bar
Of course bananas taste great, but they're also linked to improved athletic performance because their combination of vitamins and minerals helps to reduce muscle cramps.(1)
The fact that ripe ones are used in this recipe is also beneficial; banana skins that have developed the telltale signs of ripeness such as brown spots are an indication that it actually has more antioxidants than a ripe one.(2) This is due to the fact as a banana ripens, chlorophyll begins to break down and turn into antioxidants.(2) Gotta love antioxidants for their ability to boost overall health and fight the free radicals that can increase disease risk and cell damage.(2)
As for nut butters, because they're made from nuts which are known to fight weight gain and boost metabolism (yes, contrary to popular thought, it's true), they're a far superior choice over traditional, spiffy-named brands often found in the PB&J aisle.(3)
When it comes to oats, they also play a role in helping with weight loss goals or weight loss maintenance, as they're rich in fiber which produces feelings of fullness.(4) In other words, no need for that Hazed and Confused!
As if this isn't good enough, it's great knowing that this is all raw. No secret ingredients, no unpronounceable additives or items disguised to sound healthy when they, in fact, are not...just pure goodness from made right in your own kitchen!
While food shopping at Hannaford the other day, I decided to grab an issue of fresh, the grocery store's publication. It's filled with all kinds of healthy eating tips, articles and recipes. Gracing the cover was the eye-catching simplicity of summery fruit slushies and headlines urging me to check out tons of scrumptious recipes.
Did I ever.
Their carrot-ginger-peach juice caught my attention and I got to it. In no time at all, I was enjoying the delicious orange drink, a sure way to fight cancers and improve overall health. Not to mention it consists only of natural foods, so you don't have to worry about throwing your weight loss (or maintenance) goals off track with added sugars and unhealthy extras.
It's the perfect health pick-me-up that also tastes great: it has a subtle sweetness with a hint of ginger and lemon kick.
Making this juice is simple, thanks to the fact that it only includes a few, common ingredients. No need to go on a mad search to several different stores to find what's needed; they're probably already right in the kitchen!
Slice the carrots, peaches, bell pepper, apple, ginger, and lemon.
Health Benefits of the Carrot-Ginger-Peach Juice
Carrots are brimming with phytonutrient and traditional antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which work together to deliver whole body benefits.(1) According to one of my favorite sites, The World's Healthiest Foods, "The synergistic effect of carrot antioxidants is a great example of a whole food and its uniqueness as a source of nourishment."(1) And we all know that antioxidants play a huge role in fighting off those nasty free radicals that can accumulate in the body and throw it out of whack.
Consumption of them does wonders to boost heart health, fight cancers (especially colon and lower digestive tract), improve vision and provide overall protection.(1) Not bad, right?
Ginger, which has been my latest kitchen must-have, has a long list of health benefits. It's heralded as a great way to fight cancers such as colorectal and ovarian, ease menstrual cramps, maintain bone health, keep colds at bay, help with detoxification, and *wink wink* aid in boosting sexual activity due to its ability to increase blood-flow.(2)
One large peach has about 68 calories, making it a sweet treat that's perfect for those keeping an eye on their weight.(3) Furthermore, they too, are rich in antioxidants that combat inflammation and fight cancers. Their antioxidants even help slow the aging process. What a great bonus! Peaches are also filled with minerals that are necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system, red blood cells and bones.(3)
Drink up happiness and health today!
Sources for this article include:
©Copyright 2011-2014, Jennifer Lilley, FlabbyRoad.com, Flabby Road and Flabby Road: Moving on & Leaving the Elastic Waistbands Behind. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Lilley and Flabby Road with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Even though it's been quite a while since I've hurried through my high school halls and navigated my way around college campuses, one thing that sticks with me is my desire to learn. I love the History channel, Animal Planet, Morgan Freeman's "Through the Wormhole," and am known to frequent sites such as Iflscience.com and ScienceDaily.com, all of which provide tons of interesting "did you know" factoids and up-to-date studies.
However, sometimes I want more detail than what a one-hour show or scanning of the internet can provide. Of course, my particular interests involve health and wellness...and the occasional heartwarming or hilarious animal video, but I digress. I can't get enough information about physical and mental health!
A while ago, a friend turned me on to Coursera.org, a web site that offers free...yes, FREE (who doesn't like that?!) courses from prestigious educational institutions ranging from Princeton University to the University of Copenhagen. Better yet, upon completion of a course, participants are sent an official certificate from the institution. While a person doesn't earn credits for any courses, the information gained from them is undeniably beneficial.
Here's a few health-related ones that I think are worth exploring. They're great in that they can be coordinated to work with your own schedule; the flexibility of the online world is amazing, isn't it?
These health-related courses are right around the corner, so consider signing up for them sooner than later. Remember, they're completely free, no strings attached.
I'm considering the September 15 course on nutrition. I'm super excited to immerse myself in the world of food label reading and all things nutrition. What about you?
FREE Online Health Courses Worth Exploring
1. Diabetes - a Global Challenge
September 2, 2014 - November 5, 2014
5 weeks of study
3-5 hours of work / week
It's estimated that obesity will affect as much as 1.1 billion people worldwide by 2030.(1) Excess weight not only jeopardizes many aspects of health from increased blood pressure to putting unnecessary strain on the heart, but it's also linked to Type 2 diabetes.(1)
This course is best suited for those who already possess an understanding of diabetes and/or life sciences, however it's not a prerequisite. The sessions include coverage of topics such as genetics and diabetes, physical activity and its influence on insulin resistance and diabetes, and stem cell based therapy.
2. Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights
September 15, 2014 - November 9, 2014
8 weeks of study
2-4 hours of work / week
An introductory-level nutrition course that teaches a range of topics from understanding labels (thank goodness, because this one makes me nuts) to supplements and even food allergies are discussed.
3. Gut Check: Exploring your Microbiome
University of Colorado, Boulder
October 6, 2014 - November 14, 2014
6 weeks of study
3-5 hours of work / week
Much as we spend time trying to keep our gut in check with all kinds of over-the-counter liquids and tablets, we may be doing more help than harm. Our collective efforts to get rid of what is meant to naturally exist in the body can negatively impact health. I'm a huge fan of not popping a pill at the drop of a hat and instead, turning to healthy foods that can keep the body functioning optimally.
This course aims to shed more light on the human gut and its microbes, explaining the important role they play in nutrition, health and even behavior. Who knew?
Go for it! Have fun and happy learning!
Sources for this article include:
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.