Tag Archives: food

Wellness: Why Breakfast Is Important

Why Breakfast Is Important
Don’t Skip Breakfast!

Eating a healthy breakfast every morning is very important to your overall health and wellness!  At the end of this article I have a very special, easy to make killer cereal bar recipe you are going to love!

Why Breakfast Is Important
  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that help you face the day.
  2. Breakfast helps increased concentration.  Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  3. Hunger sets in long before it’s time for lunch, but because it’s not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  4. People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
  5. Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.
Tips On Eating a Quick and Healthy Breakfast

1.  Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:

  • bread and grain (i.e.cereal, toast, muffin)
  • milk and milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
  • fruit or vegetable group (i.e bananas, apples, carrots)

2.  Pick up portable breakfast items when at the grocery store. You should buy foods like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars for those mornings when you have to eat breakfast on the go.

3.  Replace or accompany that morning cup of coffee with a glass of orange juice or milk.

4.  Make an omelette! You can shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables ahead of time.

5.  Get up 15 minutes earlier. You can fix and consume a healthy breakfast in 15 minutes or less.

6.  Plan ahead to eat breakfast. This means you should decide what you are going to eat for breakfast before the next morning. You can save time by putting out the box of cereal or cutting up some fruit the night before.

Bonus Recipe: Killa Cereal Bar
1 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Tbsp Flax Seeds
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I use Nuts N’ More, but you can use natural pb)
2 Scoops Protein Powder (I use About Time Plain Flavor)
1/2 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Nonfat Dry Milk (I use 0 fat Carnation)
6 Packets Equal or Splenda
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Water

Mix all dry ingredients separately
Mix all liquid ingredients separately
Combine all ingredients (this is a thick batter, so a sturdy mixing utensil moistened with water often is best)
Wet hands and spread batter into a 9×9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick coating
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours
Cut into 8 squares and enjoy!

Nutritional Information Per Bar
Calories: 254
Fat: 10.4g (all good fats!)
Sat Fat: 1.9g
Carbs: 27.7g
Protein: 15.5g

Wellness: A Healthy Plate

nutrition

Wellness: Benefits Of The Glycemic Index

What Is The Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods with a low GI (GI ≤ 55) release glucose into the bloodstream at a slow sustainable rate.  The scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of a healthy low GI diet is overwhelming.

Lowering the GI of your diet will help prevent and manage overweight and obesity, which are the major underlying causes of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. For people who have diabetes, low GI diets have been proven to improve blood glucose management and to reduce the risk of complications.

gi1

What Are Carbohydrates and Why Are They Important?

Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for our bodies and are mainly found in plants (fruits, vegetables, grains & legumes) or in foods made from plant sources.

Carbohydrates take two forms namely starches (such as potatoes, cereals, bread, and pasta) and sugars such as table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), and fruit sugar (fructose).  All carbohydrates are eventually broken down by the body into glucose, which is:

– A universal fuel for most organs and tissues in our bodies
– The only fuel source for our brain, red blood cells and a growing fetus, and
– The main source of energy for our muscles during strenuous exercise

Why Do You Need To Worry About Your Blood Glucose/Sugar Levels?

When digested, the starches and sugars in carbohydrates are broken down into millions of glucose molecules which are released into the bloodstream. bloodsugarWhen blood glucose levels rise, your body releases a hormone called insulin, which allows glucose to enter cells where it can be used to provide fuel for our brains, muscles and other vital organs.

Insulin also plays a key role in fat storage: when insulin levels rise, our cells are forced to burn glucose rather than fat.  Unfortunately most of the carbohydrates we eat tend to be highly processed and high GI.

They break down quickly during digestion and cause blood glucose to rise fast and high for a short time. It’s like a roller-coaster ride on your insides – you spike then crash.

Low GI carbohydrates – those that are slowly digested and absorbed – cause a much lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore, insulin levels.

This will help sustain energy levels longer, improving mental and physical performance and helping weight loss and the risk of developing lifestyle related diseases.


What Are The Benefits Of Focusing On A Low Glycemic Index Diet?

A healthy low GI diet will help you to lose body fat by:

gi2Overcoming hunger: Because low GI foods take longer to digest, they make you feel satisfied for longer and trigger natural appetite suppressors.

Fat burning: Reducing insulin levels over the course of the day which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

Maintaining your metabolic rate: a low GI diet does not result in the same steep fall in metabolic rate which is the body’s natural response to the large drop in food intake required by most quick-fix diets. You need to keep your engine revs high to lose weight and keep it off.

Below is a chart I have created listing low, middle, and high GI foods.  I adjusted some of the GI values based on data I found across multiple sites. My chart reflects only my recommendations based on my extensive internet research.

Click On The Chart To Enlarge!

GI

There are other factors you can explore such as the Insulin Index, as well as the Glycemic Load of each food.  However, it can get pretty dizzying studying all the different data.  You cannot go wrong using the Glycemic Index.  It is not a fad, it is scientific nutritional fact.  I can assure you that within a week you will find your energy stabilized, your mood improved, and your appetite under control if you eat according to the chart below.

One thing is for sure, if you follow the basic premises of the chart, you are well on your well to a healthier you!  Either way, you can once again rely upon my OCD put into use in building the chart on your behalf haha!  Used in conjunction with a sensible workout plan, and good sleep habits, I am confident that within two months your body will thank you for focusing on the Glycemic Index!

Wellness: Healthy Eating

Nutrition is the cornerstone of wellness.  Forget the dinosaur that was the Food Pyramid, this chart from Harvard has got you covered!  If you’re not eating right, everything else is out of sync.  In the coming weeks, I want to embark on populating the wellness section of our blog that I began last year.

Well, here is a wonderful chart as a reminder of what to do nutritionally. Remember, in pursuit of enlightenment, it is  my belief that components of fitness and nutrition go a long way in assisting you in your overall wellness!  Click on the picture for an even larger view.  Start this practice TODAY, your body, mind, soul will begin to thank you immediately!

My Photography: veal

Thought I’d start a new section of my blog using my newfound passion for photography. I see poetry all around me, I’d like to share my views of the world using just my Samsung phone for now–horrendous camera fyi.  Then I’m using a basic photo editor to manipulate them into apoeticlife!

Veal

Well balanced meal at the mess hall.

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