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Eat Healthily
Posted February 2, 2007 by newlight

 

 

 

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How to Eat Healthily over the Holidays

Eating rich meals for one or two days of the year won’t hurt you, but problems will arise if you're tempted to over-indulgence over several days, or even weeks. Follow these simple holiday eating tips, and you'll find it easier to make healthy choices.

Steps

1. Don't serve enormous portions. The danger lies not in what you eat, but in how much you eat. Having a healthy snack before you go to a party can help to take the edge off your hunger.

2. Don’t leave bowls of chocolate, candy and nuts standing on kitchen counters where it’s all too easy to dip in each time you pass. Serve nuts in the shell. Cracking them takes time, and stops you cramming them into your mouth in handfuls.

3. At a buffet table, use a small plate and fill it just once. Help yourself to less meat, more vegetables and salads, but go easy on creamy sauces and dressings.

4. Stock up with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables over the holiday season. Keep a stack of easy-peel citrus where people can help themselves. Before a meal, put a bowl of celery sticks, apple pieces or carrot curls on the table – kids and adults love to nibble on these.

5. If you’re keen not to gain over the holidays, ration yourself to one or two unhealthy foods a day. Take time choosing the treats of the day, savour the flavour - then stop.

Tips

* Do your health an even bigger favour, and get off the couch and out of the door at least once a day. A brisk 30 minute walk helps you digest efficiently, and burns off some of those extra calories.


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How to Stick to Your Diet During the Holidays

Whether you are trying to lose weight, or simply maintain your current weight, the holiday season can present a particular challenge. These simple tips will help you stick to your eating plan during the holiday party season.

Steps

1. Focus on the people, not the food. Remember that holiday parties and social functions are meant to be times to get together with friends and family. Get in the spirit of the holiday season by celebrating your personal relationships, and recognize that you're not just there for the food.

2. Make the occasional party the exception to your diet, NOT the rule. Splurging once in a while is not generally a major problem. However, not returning to your diet the next day is a mistake. Don't let one or two holiday events be the excuse for falling off the wagon till New Year's!

3. Consider volunteering to host the party yourself. There's no better way to ensure that there will be diet-friendly, healthy choices on the menu than by throwing the party yourself. If someone else is hosting the party, offer to bring food to the party so that you can be sure to prepare something that fits into your diet program. At least there will be one dish on the buffet that you can enjoy without worrying about the calorie count!

4. Prepare so you don't arrive at a holiday party on an empty stomach. Have a light, healthy snack shortly before leaving for the party. Choose protein-rich foods, such as lowfat yogurt or cottage cheese, as the protein will stick with you and help you feel full longer. Alternatively, eat a small green salad as the fiber will also fill you up. If you cannot eat something before arriving at the party, ask the host or hostess for a large glass of water as soon as you arrive. By taking the edge off your hunger, you can approach the buffet table with control and be less likely to make impulsive choices at the party.

5. Choose wisely from the foods available at holiday functions. If you look carefully, you'll find there are often acceptable healthy choices available to you. Concentrate on the cocktail shrimp, smoked salmon, and fresh fruit or vegetable platters. Go easy on the accompanying sauces and dips. Mixed nuts, particularly almonds, are good sources of protein, but be wary of candied nuts or extremely salty nut mixes.

6. Eat slowly.It takes our body about 20 minutes to realize that we are full. Also, the slower you eat, the less food you'll eat as opposed to eating fast in the same amount of time.

7. Drink responsibly. Consider sparkling mineral water or non-alcoholic drinks, such as a "virgin mary." If you decide to drink alcohol, choose white or red wine, rather than champagne or hard liquor.

8. Stay active during the holidays. Mingle, dance and do what you can to stay active (and as far away from the buffet table as possible!). Keep your metabolism up by staying active and including lots of healthy exercise during the holiday season.

Tips

* Try the 3-bite method! Take a small portion of the desired treat. Before you jump in and swallow it without a thought, take a good look at it and tell yourself, "I get three bites!" After the first bite, think, "WOW, that was great and I'm not even through!" Then take the second bite while telling yourself, "I'm only halfway through. This is delicious!" Then get ready for the third bite and think, "I'm really going to enjoy this. It's my last bite, but this food isn't leaving the planet anytime soon, so I can have three bites again next year!" Enjoy!

* Consider wearing tight clothing to your holiday parties. Keeping a belt or waistband cinched tight will help you feel fuller faster, and remind you to not stuff yourself.

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How to Go on a Raw Food Diet







A raw food diet is healthful and colorful. At first it may sound daunting, if you just picture standard salad-bar fare, but a raw diet can also be incredibly diverse and delicious. A raw food diet can help you acheive your ideal weight and improve your health.







Steps




1. The best way to start eating a raw diet is to add more raw food to your current diet. A good start would be to eat fresh fruit for breakfast.



2. Get information. Some good places to start are living foods.com or the book, Raw Family. To answer the question, "Where do you get your protein?" consider reading "The China Study." For some good web search terms, try: living foods, raw, sprouting, dehydrator, juicing, blender, vita-mix, healing, enzymes, organic, recipe.



3. Buy organic. Organic produce isn't just less toxic, it also has more vitamins and minerals. You will feel more nourished on organic produce.



4. Try to write a list of produce, herbs, nuts, and seeds from A to Z, and then start consuming them.



5. Find community. It's wonderful to share food with others. Join a local potluck. If there isn't a potluck near you, start one of your own.



6. Experiment with growing sprouts and herbs. There is nothing more delicious than fresh sunflower greens.



7. Consider composting outdoors, or starting a worm composting bin indoors. Then use the resulting soil for your growing experiments.



8. Choose time-saving devices for your kitchen, such as a food processor, juicer, blender, dehydrator, and a few good knives.



9. Consider that raw foodists can make satisfying and delicious patties, lasagna, soup, dips, crackers, and even pasta and pizza.



10. Experiment with green drinks. Chlorophyll can cure a lot of what ails you.



11. Learn how to make tasty pies, puddings, smoothies, nut milks, and frozen banana cream. Raw desserts are yummy.











Tips




* If you can't afford 100% organic, identify those foods that are the most pesticide-contaminated when conventionally grown. Buy just those foods in organic form.



* If you go out to a restaurant, come armed with a few items such as avocado, lemon, some herbs, or some natural salad dressing.



* Explore online shopping for raw foods.



* Find support. Online forums are great resources to meet fellow raw foodists, exchange recipes, and get questions answered.



* For many, being honest with the level of fresh, raw plant food that they are CURRENTLY comfortable with (say 10%) and stretching from there (say 1-2% per week) is a nice, slow transition.








Warnings




* Be honest with yourself as to whether a 100% raw approach is best for you. Some people choose 100% just to be able to stay on course. Others prefer a more flexible approach, say, 80% raw.



* If you choose to be 100% raw or vegan for a period of years, consider supplementing with vitamin B12.



* Not everyone can be healthy on this diet. Listen to your body.



* Get enough protein and healthy fats; your body needs them to function.









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How to Make Any Meal Into a Healthier One




If you are concerned about balancing healthy eating and a normal lifestyle, here are some pointers that will help you get closer to achieving that balance. This is not a weight loss program, but it can be used in tandem with any weight loss program to expedite your weight loss.








Steps






For Any Meal




1. Remind yourself before each meal that your stomach is (or should be) only the size of your fist. Granted, you can eat more than a fistful of most foods because the food is compacted as you chew it and the water and air escape from it. Just try to envision the entire plate of food in front of you in that small fist size stomach of yours and hopefully that will remind you to eat healthy.



2. Eat slowly, take the time to chew each bite and appreciate what you are eating. Listen to the signals your stomach is sending to you after each bite. If it says "I'm still hungry" eat another bite, if it says "I'm just fine" then stop eating for a while and only eat again if that signal changes back to "I'm still hungry", if it says "I'm too full" stop eating immediately.



3. Do not let yourself overeat. When you are "just fine" stop yourself from eating by getting up and clearing your plate, or if you are in a situation where you can't do that, put your napkin on the plate to serve as a reminder that you are not eating any more.







When Eating Out




1. Ordering meals that sound less unhealthy won't always guarantee that they are healthy. Salads can be just as bad as any entre if they are loaded with dressing. Instead, order what you want to eat with any unhealthy aspects either taken off or put on the side (if you can handle having them there without feeling like you need to eat them).



2. Never justify eating your entire meal because you paid for it. If you feel this way then remind yourself that the money you spent on the part of the meal that you didn't eat is just an investment in a healthier you.







When Making A Recipe




1. Substitute any unhealthy element with a healthier counterpart. Use margarine instead of butter to butter your pan. Use light sour cream instead of regular sour cream to take the spice off your Mexican food. Use avocado with salt instead of mayonnaise. Skim milk replaces whole milk, and so on and so forth.








Tips




* Ordering healthier meals at restaurants usually helps you to save money. Ordering healthier meals at fast food restaurants can often cause you to spend more money.



* Look at all the labels for the foods you purchase and try to avoid buying foods that seem to have high calorie, fat, carb, and sugar content. Remember that the typical diet is about 2000 calories per day so if you eat 2 servings of something that has 200 calories per serving, you've just consumed almost 1/4 of your daily intake.







Warnings





* Do not starve yourself



* Do not overeat



* Do not eat unless you are definitely hungry



* Do not eat more at any one meal simply because you feel that you've had a healthier day than usual. Exercising is great so long as you don't use it as an excuse to eat more



* Pay close attention to the serving size on any given food item. It is often smaller than you'd expect. For example if you plan to consume an entire bottle of iced tea and it has 2.5 servings, you need to multiply all the nutrition information by 2.5 (or 3 if you want to be really healthy) in order to see what you are really consuming.



* Always make sure you stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day.










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How to Eat Healthily on a Vegetarian Diet




Vegetarian diets are generally more challenging than diets containing meat. It takes more work to be a vegetarian, and it is important that you are careful to maintain a balanced diet. If you are vegetarian and follow some simple guidelines, you can be sure that you are on a healthy diet!









Steps




1. Eating pure unprocessed fats like whole milk, cream, and butter will not make you fat. Eat as much fat as you want- your body will tell you when to stop. It is important that you get enough fat in order to maintain optimal health.



2. Take vitamin supplements- some things like Taurine are very difficult to get enough of naturally.



3. Eat foods that contain plenty of fibre and protein; For example whole sprouted grain bread with no flour, whole beans, tofu, cheese and brown rice.



4. Eat plenty of non starchy vegetables - it is recommended to eat 5 portions of vegetables per day. Things like Kale, Chard, Cabbage, Broccoli, collard greens, dark leafy lettuce are especially good. Eat a limited amount of fruit, and avoid drinking fruit juice. Vegetable juices such as carrot and tomato are fine.



5. Avoid all simple carbohydrates. This includes white flour, sugar, soda, fruit squash etc. If you must drink squash then try diluting it with water 3:4



6. Keep sugary foods to a minimum - sugar contains lots of calories and has no nutritional value.



7. Drink plenty of water - the recommended level is 8 glasses or 1-2 litres each day.



8. Eat frequently in smaller portions











Tips




* Find some vegetarian recipes - there are many recipes available on the internet plus there is now a wide selection of vegetarian cookbooks out there.



* Avoid low fat vegetarian foods in supermarkets/stores/health food shops unless they are naturally a low fat food.



* Read the ingredients- many vegetarian and even organic foods are terrible for you



* Pay attention to how you feel- if you crave something, your body is telling you something is wrong. Don't expect your body to immediately adapt to the changes you make.








Warnings




* Beware of hidden animal products in foods - check labels. Watch out for gelatin, often found in yogurts and desserts, and carmine (or E120), sometimes found in red fruit juices. Also beware of animal fats and rennet, often found in cheese.



* Avoid hydrogenated oils and trans-fats.



* Avoid artificial flavorings, preservatives, and artificial colors.



* Avoid simple carbohydrates.



* Avoid drugs such as coffee, tea, alchohol, and marijuana, sugar, cocaine, etc.









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How to Become a Vegan
Posted January 16, 2007 by newlight

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How to Become a Vegan





For many people, being vegan is more than simply farewelling flesh products. For many vegans, a vegan lifestyle includes adopting a particular mindset that is alert to animal welfare issues, health needs, personal respect for life and concern for the environment's capacity to feed all living beings. Many vegans express a will to live naturally and to account for the ethical treatment of animals. Most omnivores think becoming a vegan is impossible and can't even begin to imagine how they might be able to survive, let alone enjoy life without typical flavors they have been used to. But with a positive attitude, a desire to make a change in a healthy direction, and some creativity, it is possible to discover a whole new world and reap a multitude of physical, mental and emotional benefits, not to mention financial savings. Have an open mind and give it a try and you may be pleasantly surprised.



















Steps




1. Know the difference between live foods and life-less products consumed as food. Remember, we are what we eat. We ingest ingredients into our bodies in order to live and should feed our bodies the best that life has to offer.



2. Do your research. Avoid making a run for the garden without first knowing how to compare natural produce and products and how you can get the most out of them. Research is to your benefit; some excellent resources are listed below.



3. Make it fun. Food preparation can be exciting and very rewarding. Be creative and choose a variety of produce and products to avoid monotony and boredom. Laugh at your mistakes and consider keeping a journal of your new found love. There are many vegan cookbooks and online recipe sites nowadays to provide you with inspiration.



4. Discover your likes and dislikes. Sampling a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, cereals, ethnic flavors, and endless brands dedicated to the wholefood experience will teach you what you can incorporate into your daily array of delicious meals. Focus your learning on specific areas, such as your favorite cultural recipes or on desserts. Recognize that the taste and experience of your food is just as important as the practicality of implementing it into your lifestyle.



5. Make time. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned chef, venturing out into a highly specialized field of food preparation can be time-consuming. And of course, investing of your best energies and mental capabilities to the daily task can enhance your enjoyment and satisfaction of re-training your taste buds to savoring new, even strange flavors.



6. Reward yourself. After learning how to cope with the extreme makeover in your kitchen, your budget, your pasttime, your health, and your appearance, make it a point to treat yourself to a new wardrobe, a vacation, or a new kitchen.



7. Share your delight. There is nothing more satisfying than being acknowledged for pleasing somebody else's tummy. Treat some family or friends to a gourmet meal that you yourself prepared with all the trimmings. Be a vegan evangelist through positive demonstration and help others discover how they too can make that transition from eating flesh to savoring fresh, whole foods.






















Tips




* Remember that being vegan does not inherently make you a better person that everyone else.



* Go to the bookstore or browse online for cookbooks or vegan food preparation guides. Learn all you can and experiment with different kinds of recipes.



* Investigate the science behind nutrition, food and health. You don't have to be a nutritionist or medical doctor to understand the background of healthful living. The knowledge helps should you find yourself or your family disgusted with the results of your experimentation. There are plenty of easy-to-read materials regarding the subject. Learning as much as you can about nutrition, food and health will only do you good. Make it fun, after all, it's about you, and it's about time.



* Ask questions from real people who are vegan or find a buddy to go along with you in your new adventure. Surf for communities online or look for a local club or group in your area. Better yet, invite a friend or family member to join you or experiment with you.



* Visit vegetarian restaurants and challenge yourself to learn their menus. If they will not share their secret recipes with you, try to imitate what you've enjoyed eating by looking for it or something similar to it in books or online.



* Don't give up! Being persistent despite your failures, disgust, or the discouragement of others is the strength of your will to succeed and live up to what you already know to be the best for you. And don't hate yourself if you happen to fall and find yourself gobbling down a cheeseburger or two. Just get up from your knees, give yourself a big smile, and tell yourself, "I'm a winner, not a loser!" Forgive yourself and tell your gut, with its loud demanding voice for more flesh, "I'm a new creature", and slam it down shut with a delicious liter of fresh juice. Then to keep it quiet, indulge yourself regularly with a sinless dessert like luscious tofu cheesecake, trimmings and all!



* Listen to your body and be easy on yourself. Don't force yourself to completely change everything at once without guidance. You need to know how to properly substitute for certain elements such as protein and fats before thinking that a head of lettuce is all you need for the rest of your life. Be smart. Be careful. Be inquisitive.



* Plant-based foods play an important role in our lives whether or not we eat animal products. Vegans need to appreciate more fully the superiority of certain ingredients and their essential contribution to the quality and longevity of life. Many vegans are conscious about responsibility and accountability towards the complexity and beauty of the human body and the respect that it deserves by treating it with proven benefits of everything good and positive, including wholefoods in their most natural form.



















Warnings




* Do not use veganism as a way of masking anorexia or other eating disorders. Learn what your body needs to be healthy, then provide yourself with that nutrition!



* If you have existing special medical conditions, always consult your physician first before embarking on a drastic change in your diet and lifestyle. Proceed with caution (or knowledge), and listen to your body.



* Be aware that most doctors receive astonishingly little instruction in nutrition during medical school. Furthermore, most doctors today received that education while veganism was largely ridiculed by mainstream Western societies. If your doctor opposes a vegan diet for apparently ideological reasons, then consult a registered dietitian, as RDs are typically trained in plant-based diets.



* In order to avoid nutritional deficiencies, set yourself up to win: stock up on vegan foods before or immediately upon deciding to go vegan.



* Take a B12 supplement regularly.



* Being a vegan does not necessarily mean one is healthier; take care to study nutrition throughly from unbiased sources before proceeding and always listen to your body.



* Be wary of too much soy; research soy side effects, as recent claims have found that it can be harmful in excess.



* Don't overdo the dessert and cake substitutes. Even if vegan, they can still render you overweight if you overindulge. Everything in moderation.



















Things You'll Need




* Transitional foods (veggie burgers, pre-made veggie burritos, or other pre-made foods); if you decide to use them.



* Vegan food, as fresh and unprocessed as possible (many vegans also advocate organic foods).



* Plenty of water to hydrate and detoxify the body.



* Patience and a willingness to continue learning.





















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