Tag Archives: nutrition

Superfoods for Energy

Is your day just dragging on and you can’t seem to keep your eyes open let alone accomplish some major tasks? Try changing up what you eat to boost your energy levels and help you sail through your day.

An excess of sugars or foods that are high on the glycemic index can drain your battery quickly and leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Try to stay away from “white” breads and refined grains and choose items that may be higher in fibre. Flaxseed, fish oils and lean protein are your better choices to boost your energy. Try some of these superfoods:

  • Brown Rice – it’s better for you than the white variety and will help make you feel fuller for longer.
  • Oats – they are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins E and B and high in protein. It will help keep you feeling full and aid with stress and tiredness.
  • Broccoli – has lots of cancer-fighting properties as well as being a great energy provider. It also contains lots of fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
  • Lentils – not only are they are colourful and add to a nice look to your plate, they will help keep your energy levels high.
  • Almonds – almonds are an easy and quick snack that contains vitamin E, B, magnesium and iron, all which help boost your energy.
  • Leafy Greens – iron is key to your energy levels. Not enough iron will keep you feeling fatigued. Add some romaine, spinach, or kale to your diet and increase iron, and vitamin C levels leaving you with added energy.
  • Coconut Oil – try a spoon full of oil to boost your energy. Coconut oil is quickly processed into energy.
  • Bananas – this snack can boost your energy level while taming that sweet tooth of yours. Bananas are high in vitamin B6 which helps produce energy more quickly.
  • Quinoa – contains B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. Quinoa will fill you up and energize you as well.

Keep some these foods on hand. Pack them in your lunch and when you start to feel a slump in the day, get some of these pick me up snacks. For a nearly instant energy boost that lasts, eat a healthy snack that contains protein and a complex carbohydrate. If you eat the right foods, you’ll have an energized, productive day.

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Hidden Calories

The holidays are here and enjoying the season with friends and family usually includes having a nice beverage, alcoholic or not. A lot of the time, the drink we choose has a lot of hidden calories that do not help maintain your waistline and may negate all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.Holiday celebrations can translate into additional calories from drinks that you wouldn’t normally have. Before you reach for that glass of cheer, beware, many fancy holiday drinks are loaded with calories, fat and sugar. Eggnog, Hot Chocolates, Coffees, Cocktails are some of the well liked holiday drinks that will not help you when you go to step on that scale. There are ways to still enjoy a tasty beverage, while leaving some of those additional calories behind.

Here are some of the favorite high calorie holiday drinks and what it would take a 150lb woman to burn it off.

  1. Peppermint Mocha – a 16-ounce serving has 470 calories and equal to 1 hour of intense yoga.
  2. Pumpkin Spice Latte- a 16-ounce serving contains 410 calories and equal to 40 minutes of step aerobics.
  3. Hot Buttered Rum – 418 calories and equal to a 4-mile run.
  4. Margarita – approximately 9-ounces is 408 calories and equal to 60 minutes on the rowing machine.
  5. White Russian – 355 calories and equal to 30 minutes of jumping rope.
  6. Eggnog – 1-cup serving is approximately 350 calories and equal to 35 minutes of kick boxing.
  7. Hot Chocolate – 12-ounce serving is 320 calories and equal to 60 minutes of raking leaves.


To combat these extra calories, but still enjoy a nice beverage, you just have to make a healthier choice. Here are some suggestions to not let the holiday cheer get away from us:

  • Go for the lighter options such as, Light Eggnog, Lowfat Lattes, Sparkling Cider.
  • Substitute the milk in the drink to a low fat or skim milk instead of creams and high fat milk.
  • Drink lots of water before, after and during holiday beverages. You’ll find you won’t have as many if you are hydrated with water.
  • Plan ahead. Choose a holiday beverage instead of dessert. Or drink the beverage earlier in the day so you can work off the calories.
  • Avoid the alcohol. Order the drink as a virgin and save up to 100 calories per beverage. Plus, you’ll be a safe driver over the holiday season.
  • Skip the extras. Avoid the whipped topping, chocolate sauce, sprinkles or candy cane. Even go as far ahead and ask the barista to give fewer pumps of the flavored syrup.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of what you love. Enjoy your favorite, but limit the amounts you have over the season. One delicious drink here and there isn’t going to hurt too much.
  • Continue with your exercise routine over the holidays. You’ll find the little bit extra you consume over the season, won’t have too big of an effect on the scale.


If you’re sensible over the holidays you can enjoy the festivities without increasing you calorie intake too much. Happy Holidays and stay safe.

Pom Pom for Pomegranates

The pomegranate is an ancient fruit native of Persia, Pakistan and Afghanistan that was cultivated and naturalized in Georgia, Armenia and over the entire Mediterranean region and northern India since ancient times. Pomegranates are mentioned several times in the Old Testament, and the ancient city of Granada in Spain was renamed after the fruit during the Moorish period. The pomegranate shrub was introduced to California by Spanish settlers in the early 18th Century, and is now widely cultivated in that state as well as in Arizona.

With a rich history in myth, symbolism and art, the pomegranate was even thought by some scholars to be the forbidden fruit, which tempted Eve, not apple. Because of the intense ruby color of its edible seeds, the pomegranate was an inspiration to many artists of the region.

The pomegranate is used for medical purposes in Persia, Georgia and India and has always been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet. In its long history, the pomegranate has been linked to health, fertility and rebirth.

Because pomegranate has astringent, anti-parasite properties, it’s root bark is used to treat intestinal parasites. The bark contains alkaloids that sedate intestinal parasites making them lose their grip on the intestinal walls, and therefore easier to expel.

This day and age, the pomegranate has become a super-food mainly because of its antioxidant properties. It is a symbol of good taste and good health. Research has shown that the pomegranate fruit and its juice may help with heart disease, as it reduces blood clots and contains the damage done to the arteries by cholesterol. The pomegranate also helps with other problems associated with ageing due to the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, folic acid and iron.

Pomegranate fruit extracts can block enzymes that contribute to osteoarthritis, according to study done at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. This study found that pomegranates possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and these properties have therapeutic benefits in a variety of diseases.

The pomegranate has become the most versatile produce on the plant; lending its distinct taste, beautiful color and luscious smell to all kinds of foods and skin care. Its uniqueness and flexibility makes it fun to experiment with, and because of its brilliant shade of red, crunchy texture and intense flavor, anything made with pomegranate makes a statement which is why it is becoming popular with famous chef’s, celebrities and restaurants.

Pomegranates take a good amount of time in order to get to the edible red bulbs on the inside. They can be very messy as the juice inside will dye anything it touches – counters, hands, clothes. That’s why bottled Pomegranate juice has become a popular version of enjoying this healthy fruit.

Enjoy this fun, bright, delicious fruit. It is a super-fruit with many healthy benefits. Pour yourself a tall glass or enjoy a bowl of the juicy bulbs.

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Eat Turkey but Avoid the Hangover

Holiday dinners usually mean Turkey. With the turkey dinner comes the aftermath, lying on the floor or couch, sleepy and full. However, there are many benefits of a delicious turkey dinner.The turkey is often cited as the culprit in the after dinner lethargy, but most of the time it is not the bird that makes you feel the effects of the feast. Turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep including effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan also can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep. However, for tryptophan to really take effect and make you feel sleepy, it needs to be taken on an empty stomach without other amino acids or protein. You’re likely enjoying your tryptophan filled turkey with other delicious dishes.

L-tryptophan may be found in turkey and other dietary proteins, but it’s actually a carbohydrate-rich (as opposed to protein-rich) meal that increases the level of this amino acid in the brain and leads to serotonin synthesis. Carbohydrates stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin. When this occurs, some amino acids that complete with tryptophan leave the bloodstream and enter muscle cells. This causes an increase in the relative concentration of tryptophan in the bloodstream. Serotonin is synthesized and you feel that familiar sleepy feeling.

Here are 5 reasons to indulge on the holidays and enjoy your turkey dinner:

  1. One of the main health benefits of turkey is that it supports healthy growth. This nutritious meat contains a massive 30 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Protein’s main role in the body is to build, maintain and repair the body’s cell. Without protein your body cannot produce new cells and is unable to grow and develop properly.
  2. Another health benefit of turkey is that it can boost your mood. The protein found in turkey contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan which your body can use to produce serotonin. Serotonin is an important hormone which has been shown to improve mood levels and even prevent depression.
  3. If you struggle to sleep then you may be interested in this health benefit of turkey. The tryptophan found in this meat has been shown to improve sleep cycles (especially for insomniacs).
  4. Turkey is rich in two key cancer fighting antioxidants. It contains 0.032 milligrams of selenium (over half the recommended daily allowance) and 1.32 mg of zinc (1/5 of the recommended daily allowance). Selenium has been shown to prevent colon cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer while zinc has been shown to protect against prostate cancer.
  5. Another key health benefit of turkey is that it promotes a strong immune system. The selenium in turkey helps your body produce antibodies (organisms which work as part of the immune system to fight disease and infection) while the zinc in turkey helps your body produce white blood cells (cells of the immune system which protect the body from disease and infection).

So, turkey isn’t the culprit here. It’s likely the amount of food we end up eating. It takes a great deal of energy to digest a large meal. When your stomach is full, blood is directed away from other organ systems, including your nervous system. The result is a feeling of lethargy, especially after a big meal that may be high in fats and carbohydrates. Take it slow over the holidays. Enjoy all your favorite foods, but do it in moderation. A little bit of everything. You can always have some leftovers the next day.

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