Guest Post: Healthy Recipes for People Who Don’t Eat Healthy

Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Diet Direct. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.

There’s a trick to eating healthy, in case you didn’t know, but it can’t be a once-in-a-while activity. I’m not talking about these fads that make you cut entire food groups out of your diet; I’m talking about a balanced diet that provides your body with all the nutrients you need, helps you to make smarter choices that are still satisfying, provides you with the proper portion size for your body and doesn’t make you feel guilty about having some extras here and there. In short, I’m talking about a healthy diet for life.

The trick to eating healthy isn’t religious adherence to a wildly restrictive diet, although some people certainly try to pull it off, and even succeed for several years at a time. You just don’t need to go to these extremes. What you should do is learn all you can about creating a diet that provides you with what you need, sans all the extras that permeate modern eating, such as an over-abundance of sugar, fat, sodium, and preservatives, just for example. And it all starts with finding a few go-to recipes that you can stick with and build off of, learning to love healthy eating along the way. Here are some ideas to get you going.

A good place to start is by modifying the unhealthy recipes you already love. Pizza, for example, can provide you with tons of options for more nutritious fare. You might want to start by making your own at home, where you can control the portion size and all of the ingredients. There are tons of easy dough recipes to be found online, including options for lower-calorie thin crust. From there you can create personal pizzas to limit the amount you eat. Then it’s just a matter of adding fresh, healthy ingredients in moderation, including sauce, cheese, meats, veggies, and even fruit. Obviously the healthiest options include low-fat cheese (in small doses) and a variety of vegetables, but so long as you’re paying attention to what you add and how much and you control the portion size, you can turn this perennial calorie-fest into a healthy meal.

Of course, you should also be willing to try new things. For example, many people who love milkshakes can easily switch to healthier fare like smoothies. And from there it’s simple enough to start working in your daily dose of roughage via a green monster recipe. You’ll start with your liquid, be it water, milk, juice (preferably natural, as in no sugar added), soy milk, or coconut water, just to name a few. Then you’ll throw in your favorite fruits (bananas, oranges, berries, etc.). From there you simply add 1-2 handfuls of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens and blend thoroughly to eradicate chunks. And you can rival the best protein bar by adding protein powder or Greek yogurt, just for example.

It’s not easy to make the switch to healthier eating habits, especially if your traditional diet consists of fast food and prepackaged items. But if you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, stave off conditions like diabetes and heart disease, or simply look and feel better, you might be looking for easy ways to incorporate healthier dietary options. And there are plenty of ways to modify the recipes you already love or substitute healthy but still satisfying foods for the high-calorie consumables that currently fill your fridge, so long as you’re willing to do a little research.

Thanks so much for the submission, Leon. It really is important to find things that aren’t just healthy, but that taste yummy too!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Don’t be afraid to load your boring salad up with lots of healthy treats, such as walnuts, feta cheese, dried cranberries and other good-for-you treats. My favorite combination is a spinach salad with feta, strawberries, almonds and a light vinaigrette dressing.

 

Guest Post: Don’t Eat Meat? Obtaining Nutrients from Other Sources

This guest post is by Jennifer Morris. She has worked as a writer for a number of health care businesses for over three years, and is well versed in health, nutrition and fitness writing. Her work includes the promotion of a healthy lifestyle mixing diet, exercise and improved knowledge of the body. This also involves the promotion of fitness regimes and natural dietary alternatives ahead of early adoption of drug treatment programs which is an important message for all ethical healthcare businesses to embrace.

To someone who likes to eat meat with their main meals, hearing you don’t eat it every day or even every week comes as a bit of a shock. Questions such as “So what do you do for protein then?” or “Aren’t you anemic?” often follow. It’s still a misconception that meat has to be included within the diet regularly to achieve the right balance of nutrients, but as anyone who avoids meat or likes to limit their intake knows, this just isn’t the case. All the components that meat provides can be sourced from other foods. Here we take a look at good alternatives to meat to supply the nutrients that it is rich in.

Protein

This is one of the easiest nutrients to find alternatives to. You don’t often find vegetarians or even vegans for that matter who are lacking in protein; mainly because we don’t need anything like as much protein as most people in the United States consume – it’s just less than 0.5g of protein per pound of body weight, so if you weigh in at 130lb, that’s only 59g of protein daily . Besides the obvious choices – fish, eggs and low fat dairy produce – there are plenty of plant-based proteins to choose from. Peas, beans and lentils make an excellent substitute in a range of dishes, from stews and curries to soups and pasta meals; they can either completely or partly replace the meat. Soya beans are a particularly good source of plant protein, as like that from animal sources they are considered complete, so contain all of the essential amino acids – these are the building blocks of proteins that the body can’t manufacture on its own. Instead of the beans, you can use tofu or soya alternatives to dairy produce; just make sure with the latter you choose a brand that is fortified with calcium and vitamins, so it matches the nutritional profile of dairy milks. Nuts and seeds are another great option, which can be added to cereal, yogurt, salads and stir fries; alternatively enjoy a small handful as a nutritious snack. Many people also don’t realize wholegrains such as oats, granary bread, wholewheat pasta and brown rice make a small, but useful contribution to our protein intake; ideally we should try to opt for these types of carbohydrate at each mealtime.

Iron

It’s true that the iron provided by meat is the form that is easiest for the body to absorb, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make use of other forms of iron in the diet. If you eat eggs, these are another source of iron. However, if you avoid all animal produce, you can still consume your fair share of this important mineral that helps to maintain healthy red blood cells. Pulses, nuts, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables and tofu are all good natural sources, but many breakfast cereals also have iron added to them, which makes them the richest source for vegetarians and vegans. As the iron in these foods is harder for the body to take up, we can give it a helping hand in two ways. Firstly, having a source of vitamin C at each meal helps the uptake of iron; citrus fruit, berries, kiwis, tomatoes, peppers and green vegetables are great sources. The other thing we can do is to avoid drinking tea and coffee near mealtimes, as components of these otherwise stop iron being absorbed as readily.

Zinc

Although meat is the richest source of zinc, other foods that provide significant amounts are fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, pulses, nuts and oats. Zinc mightn’t be as well known as iron, but it is important for a healthy immune system, wound healing, production of new body tissues and to support fertility. A substance known as phytate which is present in pulses and wholegrains can impair zinc uptake by the body, but well soaking these foods can make the zinc more available.

Vitamin B12

If you eat any animal produce you should be able to meet your body’s requirements for this vitamin, which is needed for healthy nerves and red blood cells; research also shows it can help to protect you from heart disease. However, if you’re vegan it’s almost impossible to obtain enough from the diet naturally, but a number of foods that you might already eat have vitamin B12 added to them; these include breakfast cereals, dairy-free alternatives to milk and yeast extracts.

A word about supplements

While it should be possible to meet all your body’s needs through a diet where you restrict or avoid meat, there are a few occasions where you might require some help in the form of supplements. If appetite is poor or your body has increased protein requirements – either through illness or if you are an athlete – additional protein may be needed; Whey Protein is a good option if you include dairy produce or if you avoid these, Soya Protein supplements are available. Iron needs increase during pregnancy, but many pre-natal supplements contain iron to support you both; regular blood tests will be taken to indicate whether you need a prescription of high strength iron tablets. If you develop pernicious anemia due to inadequate vitamin B12 and this is due to your dietary intake, a supplement containing this vitamin will help. However, if a blood test reveals this is the result of your body not absorbing it properly, you will need injections of vitamin B12 every three months. You could always take a multivitamin and mineral as a safety net, but if you are conscious enough to restrict your meat intake for health reasons, you are probably already obtaining a balanced diet and therefore nutrient intake as it is.

Guest Post: “5 Cool Tips for Living Healthy”

Happy Thursday! It’s been a hectic two weeks, but I promise I won’t bore you with the details. The upside? I did start running again. I started on Tuesday with interval training and plan to do the same routine again today after work. I’ll keep you posted.

Now on to the guest post. Blogger Zara from Manchester recently contact me about writing a guest post for Cat Hair, which I happily accepted. Here are Zara’s 5 tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, which helps in leading a happy life. Taking care of your physical health will enhances your fitness levels and boosts your strength. It also can reduce your risk for mental illness. Most people think living healthy is all about diet and exercises, but healthy living is really about:

  • Shifting to a healthy lifestyle which includes healthy habits.
  • It’s all about being active and enjoying your life without any stress.
  • It’s about identifying the health risks and working on those areas.
  • It’s about taking care of overall health.
  • It’s about enhancing your fitness levels, mental health and emotions.

Five tips for healthy living
Diet: Diet plays an important role in everyone’s life. Eat healthy foods which help in building a healthy body. Avoid junk food. Eliminate soft drinks which contain high sugar levels.

  • Remember to eat three meals per day. Don’t skip your breakfast. Never eat heavy meals at night.
  • Your food should contain fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and milk products with low-fat.
  • Select healthy foods like lean meat, beans, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs which are nutrient rich foods.
  • Select the foods that have low fats, sodium, cholesterol and sugar.
  • Control your food portions. Respond to your body signals. Don’t overeat. Never force yourself to eat when you are not hungry.

Exercises: In order to live healthy, practice physical activities and exercises. This boosts your energy levels and helps in maintaining a proper body shape.

  • Regular exercises can prevent aging. It may enhance your balance, flexibility and endurance.
  • It decreases the rate of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. It may even prevent osteoporosis.
  • Regular workouts can relieve chronic pain and boost your energy levels to do daily activities.
  • It may increase your self confidence and self-esteem.
  • It helps in controlling your body weight.

Eliminate stress: Stress is a major issue faced in today’s society. Due to the increased work pressure and busy life, people are facing mental illness.

  • Practice yoga and meditation which are stress busters.
  • Spare a few minutes of your time to enjoy nature.
  • Plan for a vacation which may relieve stress.
  • Practice your favourite activity. For instance, listen to your favourite music, practice swimming etc.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol: Tobacco and alcohol can ruin one’s health and may even result in death. Eliminate these two risk factors from your life.

  • Tobacco is the major contributor for oral and lung cancers.
  • Quitting smoking is a very difficult task, as it contains an addictive substance called nicotine. Make your efforts, which may give positive results. For instance, you can choose nicotine chewing gums, nicotine skin patches and medicines like bupropion.
  • Alcohol can result in liver cancer, kidney failures and many other health issues.
  • Change your mind-set. There are different treatments for alcoholism.
  • Proper medication helps in preventing tobacco and alcohol.

Be mindful: Change your mind-set. Research says that your happiness depends on your thoughts.

  • Develop positive thinking which brings a great change in your living habits.
  • Train your brain. Expect positive outcomes, which give peace of mind.
  • Identify the benefits of positive thinking.
  • Focus on green living.
  • If you think positively you can find solutions to your problems.

About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Zara,financial guest blogger.

This guest post is contributed by Zara,financial guest blogger. At present she is focusing on ppi claims . Catch her @financeport.

Thanks again for the submission, Zara. These tips are great for helping someone get on the right track or maintaining their current lifestyle.

Guest Post: Nutrition and the Fight Against Cancer

About a week and a half ago, I received a request from Jillian McKee, a Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, about sharing some information about how beneficial eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is for someone going through the battle of cancer. Thrilled with the prospect of sharing such helpful information, I quickly agreed. Before I jump into my very first guest post, I’d like to share some information about the author.

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/bio.htm#ixzz23QcNJZQY

So without further ado…

The Effects of Nutrition When Battling Cancer

Good nutrition is essential for all cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma and breast cancer. Cancer and its treatments can adversely affect the way one eats and the way the body uses nutrients. The nutrient needs of cancer patients vary from person to person, and nutritionists, doctors and nurses can help identify the best nutritional plan. Getting the proper nutrition for cancer management includes eating a variety of foods with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Whether newly diagnosed, undergoing therapies, in remission, eating well can help patients:

-Heal and recover faster
-Maintain weight and body’s storage of nutrients
-Keep up with energy and strength
-Lower risk of infection
-Feel better
-Better tolerate treatment-related side effects

Proteins are the amino acids responsible for repairing cells, cell growth and a healthy immune system. Without the proper proteins, muscle is lost for energy the body needs. A diet without protein can cause further illnesses or a longer recovery. People with cancer require more protein. After therapies, extra protein will help tissues heal quicker and resist infection. Excellent sources of protein include fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans, soy foods and lentils.

Fats play an important role in nutrition and are a rich source of fuel for the body. The body breaks down fats and uses them to transport vitamins through the blood, insulate body tissues and store energy. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthier than trans-fats and saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be found in peanut, corn, sunflower, safflower and flaxseed oils. Trans-fats and saturated fats can increase cholesterol and should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy and give needed fuel for proper organ function and physical activity. Carbs supply fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins for the body’s cells. The best food sources for carbs are whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Good whole grains are found in barley, brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains contain fiber and help keep stools soft to eliminate waste quickly.

Water is vital; all body cells need water to function properly. Many times, cancer therapies cause vomiting or diarrhea, then leading to dehydration. When this occurs, the body’s normal function become out of balance. Typically, it is recommended to have eight glasses of water a day; however, cancer patients may require more to maintain homeostasis. Keep in mind that soups and milk count toward fluid goals.

Vitamins and minerals help the body function properly and most are found in natural foods. Vitamins and minerals can be purchased in liquid or pill form. People who eat balanced diets typically get the needed vitamins and minerals. However, it can be difficult for cancer patients undergoing treatment to eat a balanced diet due to side effects of treatment. Many doctors recommend mineral supplements or daily multivitamins in these cases.

When considering supplements, discuss your options with a doctor. Some patients take large amounts of dietary supplements to try to destroy cancer cells or boost their immune systems. These substances can be harmful in large dosages. In fact, large dosages of these substances can cause radiation treatment and chemotherapy to be less effective. If the oncologist says it is okay to take vitamins or minerals during therapy, choosing a supplement with no more than 100 percent of the daily-recommended allowance is best.

Antioxidants include vitamins E, C, A, selenium and zinc. These agents attack free radicals and prevent the free radicals from attaching to healthy cells. Good sources of antioxidants include vegetables and fruits. Cancer patients seeking to take vitamins with antioxidants are recommended to speak with their doctors because large dosages can interfere with treatment.

To stay connected to Jillian McKee:

Thank you Jillian for contacting me and for all of the hard work you do. You are an absolute inspiration.