Posted by: Xmas23 | May 24, 2012

Health Benefits of Raw Foods & Juices

Looking for an easy and effective way to do something good for your body? Consider the health benefits of consuming more fresh (raw) fruits & vegetables and consider juicing.

We hear how we need to increase our intake of fruits and vegetables throughout the day.  Well, fresh juice is concentrated forms of these foods so you can get several servings of vegetables with just one glass of juice.  Read on to learn some of the science behind fresh raw foods and juices by clicking here .

Don’t know how to juice?

Click on the image below to see a quick lesson on juicing.

Janet teaches many classes on holistic health topics.  Be sure to contact her at (724) 417-6695 or via email at janet@janetmckee.com to schedule a class. Read below to see what others are saying about Janet’s holistic health and nutrition lectures and cooking classes.

Posted by: Xmas23 | February 22, 2012

Why Choose Colorful Fruits & Vegetables?

Many natural whole plant foods contain chromium, which is an essential trace mineral that many believe help to properly metabolize protein, carbs, fat and increases insulin sensitivity for balancing blood sugar. Some good sources are romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, whole grains and potatoes. Many people who are relying on processed foods as a big part of their diet are
lacking in chromium because the food processing methods remove this and other important nutrients.
Be sure to include colorful and tasty foods like blueberries into your diet. Not only are blueberries absolutely delicious, they are packed with antioxidants that had been found in a University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center research study to reduce belly fat and to help prevent diabetes. Visit my web site at http://www.janetmckee.com/books.php to see my recipe book titled “Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health” for blueberry smoothie ideas and the most amazing, perfectly healthy blueberry pie, as well as over 100 other healthy and delicious meal ideas.
And don’t just limit yourself to blueberries. Enjoy a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables as they contain flavonoids, which are antioxidant-like compounds found in fruits and veggies, chocolate (yes chocolate!) and tea. These have been found to help fight belly fat by improving your metabolic profile, according to a 14 year Real Age study. Don’t eat sugary chocolate; choose healthy chocolate treats without the added sugar as found in my recipe book, “Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health” at http://www.janetmckee.com/books.php.
This includes colorful fruits such as red grapes which are a great source of resveratrol, a natural substance found in fruits, especially the skin of red grapes. One positive human trial, documented, by Elliott, PJ; Jirousek, M (2008), showed the potential for high doses of resveratrol to significantly lower blood sugar. Also, according to a Dr. Walker, “it appears that resveratrol replicates calorie restriction by activating certain DNA repair enzymes”. Munching on a bowl of fresh red grapes will also satisfy any sweet tooth craving. Blueberries, mulberries and even dark cocoa powder are other lesser sources of resveratrol.

 

Choose whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, to fill your day with great tasting meals. By avoiding high fat zero fiber foods such as dairy and meat and the chemicals in highly processed packaged foods, you nourish your body with the nutrients you need for balanced weight. I’ve seen the statistic several times that states
that American’s spend 90% of their grocery money on processed/packaged foods. It’s no wonder that the majority of the American population is overweight.
Processed packaged foods tend to be higher in fat, calories and sodium and typically lack the fiber that is found in whole foods. Learn to read labels and be sure to avoid hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup and even other added natural sugars, and certainly avoid artificial sweeteners, colorings and preservatives. Please see my note below for natural zero calorie
sweeteners. Consume a diet rich with whole vegetables and other plants based foods which are naturally high in fiber, low in fat, and rich with all the nutrients you need for great health.
According to Donna Gates, the author of “The Body Ecology Diet”, fiber from natural whole plant foods help you to feel full and to eliminate things that your body is trying to rid itself of, especially when you start losing weight, such as toxins and excess estrogen. Dr. Neal Barnard speaks often on the livers’ ability to clean your blood of excess fat, cholesterol, hormones and
toxins. You must have fiber in your diet, which only comes from whole plant foods, in order for the work your liver is doing to be effective.
According to Marie Sarvard, MD, when you eat foods that are high in fiber (again whole plant foods); the delivery of glucose (blood sugar) into the bloodstream is slowed. “That means less insulin is released, and with lower insulin release comes lower visceral (belly) fat storage.” According to Sarvard, “in a study of more than 2900 adults, those who ate the most fiber weighed less and had lower insulin levels and slimmer waistlines, than those who ate the least”.
This is why my clients who decide to go on a whole foods vegan diet for at least 30 days, usually for the purpose of improving their health or for resolving a specific health challenge, always report back that they are thrilled about the way their weight naturally balanced and their body image improved.

(Stay tuned for more from this extensive article and be sure to “subscribe.”)

Being happy, vibrantly healthy and full of vitality – this is the secret to a good life.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote “without health, no pleasure can be tasted by man”
Feeling alive and full of energy and experiencing the fullness that life has to offer – this is the answer to loving life, loving yourself, and loving others. I ask you today – to think about Valentines day and what love means to you in your life.
So tonight, I am going to show you some examples of foods that not only will taste fabulous, but they will encourage health, vitality and even possibly help to improve your love life!

Click here to read the rest of this article and find out the tasty & amazing health benefits that chocolate will provide for you this Valentine’s Day!

I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Get plenty of good quality sleep.
Some people diet and exercise to great extremes but still find it difficult to lose weight. They focus so much on the quality and types of food that they eat and on exercise (both of which are extremely important), but they don’t take the quality and quantity of their sleep into consideration. Sleep is such an important aspect to good health but we take it for granted in this society. By making sleep a
priority, your body and brain chemistry (including your metabolism and insulin levels) are better balanced. You start your day energized, which will prevent you from grabbing unhealthy food choices that will cause additional blood sugar and emotional swings.
Recent research links the lack of sleep to obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns from common ailments all the way to even cancer. In a U.S. News & World Report article titled “Sleeplessness in America” by Susan Brink, how the lack of sufficient sleep reduces a person’s chance for a healthy life is highlighted. When you sleep, your body has an opportunity to rejuvenate your nervous system
while it heals and repairs your body through a process of cleansing and detoxifying.

All of this is critical for maintaining a healthy and balanced weight. In an article by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo titled “Lack of Sufficient Sleep Makes You Fat”, we learn how hanging on to unwanted pounds and belly fat are related to disrupted sleep patterns. Here’s what happens:

a. Insufficient sleep decreases your serotonin and dopamine production which leads to cravings for sugary foods in a futile effort to increase these hormones.
b. A lack of sleep increases your ghrelin, which is a hormone that makes you feel hungry, and decreases your leptin, which helps you feel full and satisfied after eating. Without the proper balance of these two hormones, you will have cravings for unhealthy foods and
continued hunger, even after eating.
c. Growth hormones, which enable you to burn fat and build muscle, are diminished with a lack of sleep.
d. And finally, not achieving enough quality rest will increase your stress hormone, cortisol, which increases blood sugar and insulin and leads to belly fat. If good quality sleep eludes you, be sure to see my previous article which includes tips on how to
improve your sleep habits. Click here to read my top tips on how to improve your sleep habits.

Tune in tomorrow to read how a balanced, healthy diet can help “Balance Your Weight Naturally!”

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Posted by: Xmas23 | February 7, 2012

Balancing Your Weight Naturally (Part 1)

Early in 2011, I wrote a short blog article that included my top 5 tips for balancing your weight naturally. I am proud to be able to bring a much more detailed version of that article.
Do you feel like you’ve tried every diet on the market?  Do you feel deprived while on a diet, lose some weight, only to gain it all back plus some?  There is no reason to feel that you’ve failed.  The diets you followed set you on a path guaranteed to end in futility.  You are not alone.  New diets are appearing all the time and yet Americans are heavier than ever before.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost one third of the adults over 20 years of age are now considered to be obese.  30% of children and young adults between the ages of 6 and 19 are either overweight or closely at risk of being overweight according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 288, Number 14.

We need a better way!  A way of living that is enjoyable and easy and therefore one that you will want to stick with the rest of your life.  A lifestyle modification that focuses on what you eat rather than on how much you eat, one that does not restrict complex carbohydrates, and one that also promotes optimum health, is the way to finally achieve success at balancing your weight naturally and living the healthy and vibrant life you deserve!

Stay tuned for more information on this series of articles as this is one of the most comprehensive piece on balancing your weight naturally that I have put together!

Posted by: Xmas23 | November 17, 2011

Tricks to Indulge Healthfully Over the Holidays

The following list includes some great and simple tricks that you can use to allow you to enjoy the holidays without the typical harmful side effects:

1. Drink Water

It is amazing how when you are properly hydrated, your metabolism will run smoothly as well as your digestive system and more.  When you are thirsty, you tend to crave unhealthy foods such as sweets.  Make a point this holiday season to start each day with a glass or two of good quality filtered or spring water and be sure to drink plenty between meals and especially if you are having cravings.

2. Chew Slowly

We discussed mindful eating at length last week as way to help you enjoy your foods in a fulfilling and balanced way.  As part of that concept, taking your time to chew your food slowly and completely will enable you to truly taste your food and aid in proper digestion.  When we slow down the pace of eating, we will tend to eat less.  Eating slowly and deliberately allows your body time to properly signal you to let you know when you are full.

3. Choose Wisely as Much as Possible

If you have been following my articles or videos or attending my classes, you know that I am a huge proponent of eating as many fresh whole plant foods as possible.  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and peas etc… have everything you need to be healthy while helping you to feel full and satisfied.  Plant foods are naturally low in fat and high in fiber and rich in all the antioxidants and phytonutrients which are key for a healthy body and balanced weight.  Try to choose mostly plant foods to fill your plate and enjoy everything else in moderation or as a condiment on the side.  You will find that you will feel better and may actually find that you lose weight during the holidays!!!

4. Do Not Deprive Yourself of Tastes and Textures You Love

Completely depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats is not living in balance.  If you try to avoid all foods you crave, you may feel so out of balance that you end up over-indulging at a later time to try to compensate.  There is great joy is sharing special foods that are family traditions or holiday favorites.  The key is following point number 3 above and enjoying small amounts of other things too.

5. Do Not go to an Event Starving

It is much harder to control what or how much you eat when you are starving.  The best way to prevent this is to eat a healthy snack or small meal before you go to a party or restaurant where you know you will be tempted.  Snack on some celery and carrots and hummus or a piece a fruit, for example, before leaving home.  One of my tricks is to keep a healthy trail mix in my purse or briefcase at all times.  That way I always have a good option at my finger tips when hunger strikes and there are no healthy options around.

6. Learn to Share!

Often, when I am at a party or a restaurant and want to try a dessert or appetizer that may be a bit indulgent, I share it with whomever I am with.  When we go to out eat as a family, we often order one dessert and ask for multiple forks.  You will find that it is only the first few bites that taste good anyway.  Beyond that, you’ve had enough and you really don’t taste or even enjoy the remaining bites.  And, if you continue eating, you only find yourself feeling over stuffed and wishing you hadn’t kept eating.  Again, everything in balance is the key to a happy and healthy holiday.

Another trick is to bring a dish to share with the host/hostess and guests.  Not only is it a lovely gesture to bring something as a thank you for the invitation, it also gives you an opportunity to make one of your favorite tasty healthy dishes and have it available to eat at the party.  That way, you know there will be at least one thing that you can eat and feel good about.

7. Don’t Aim for 100% Full

The Japanese have a term called “Hara Hachi Bu” which means eating until you are 80% full.  This is one of the reasons why folks in Okinawa Japan are believed to be one of the longest and healthiest living people.  Calorie restriction has been found in studies to increase longevity.  The key to not feeling deprived while reducing calories is to eat mostly plant foods.  Again, plant foods are naturally low in fat and high in fiber.  Fat, in any form, is the highest calorie food. The fiber, that is only found in plant foods, keeps you feeling full.

8. Watch out for the Extras

It’s extras like condiments and drinks that often take a somewhat healthy meal and make it a calorie nightmare.  You may see a beautiful tray of fresh veggies but the high fat/high calorie/high cholesterol dip is what puts you over the top.  This is why in my recipe book “Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health”, I offer many wonderful dips and dressings that are completely healthy.  Some are even thick and “creamy” without the cream.  Please learn to try low fat healthier dressings and dips.  They are always just as tasty.  Also, we tend to add cheese to everything.  Learn to hold back on all the extra cheese and you will certainly save yourself from added saturated fat, cholesterol and of course calories.

Drinks are one of the biggest areas of hidden sugar and calories.  We tend to pay attention to what we eat but forget that glass after glass of soft drinks or alcohol that we are consuming is extremely high in calories.  Drink some water with lemon or lime and some green tea and save your extra calories for a small tasting of your favorite treat.  Drinks like these will also improve the health of your liver and boost your metabolism.

9. Size Really Does Matter!!

The bigger the plate the more you’ll eat.  Try going through the buffet line with a smaller plate and in most cases, you will eat less but still feel full.  Your mind will be tricked into thinking you ate a full plate of food (because you actually did!).  If the plate is too large, the opposite will happen.  You will take more food than you need and you will feel bad leaving food on your plate, so you will eat the whole thing.  If all they have are large plates, try eating with your other hand.  A friend told me they heard about this trick and tried it.  It causes you to eat more slowly which will help you to eat less, feel full sooner, and keep you from going back for seconds.

10. Presentation Matters Too.

We discussed last week about being mindful when eating. That includes taking a moment to enjoy the aromas of the food and how visually appealing it is.  Well, when you are eating chips or cooking out of the bag directly, you are not eating mindfully!  Research done by a Dr. Wansink showed that we tend to eat double the amount when you rip open the bag and start gobbling.  Be sure to take foods out of the container or serving bowl and put a normal size portion on your plate.  You will enjoy the food more and will be happy that you did not overdo it.

For healthy recipes, including desserts, to make for the holidays and share with friends, please visit www.janetmckee.com and obtain your own copy of “Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health”.

Posted by: Xmas23 | November 10, 2011

Mindful Eating for the Holidays and Beyond

When we slow down and pay attention to the present moment and all that the moment has to offer, we are being mindful.  Typically, in this society, we tend not to be mindful.  We are always in a hurry rushing to get through our never-ending list of necessary tasks.  Or, we relive or regret things from the past and worry about the future.  It is not necessary or healthy to do either.  If you take a deep breath and recognize the GIFT that the PRESENT moment offers, you will live a calmer and healthier life.

This is true when it comes to eating too.  How many of you (myself included) rushed through a meal because you believe that you don’t have enough time?  This includes rushing to grab something and not taking the time to prepare a nice meal or hurrying to shove the food down your throat as quickly as possible as you stand by the kitchen sink or are driving in your car.  Well, this may not only cause digestive problems, this lifestyle may also lead to grabbing unhealthy “fast” foods or cause you to overeat, even when you are not truly hungry.

As the holidays approach, this can be an even greater issue, causing unnecessary weight gain or other more serious health challenges.  By being mindful when it comes to eating, and you will enjoy the holidays more and feel better come January 1.  The special tips I share in this article, on mindful eating, will help you get through the holidays in a more healthy and happy way and will teach you ways of living and eating that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

THE KEY IS BEING PRESENT:

1) Gauge Your Hunger Level
When you are mindful, you are fully present in the moment without negative judgment.  If you are mindful when eating, it helps you to pay more attention to your bodily cues so you can hear when you are truly hungry and when you are full.  You may choose to ask yourself, “How hungry am I?”  When you pause to ask this question, it slows you down enough to decide what is best for your body.  Aim to eat until you are satisfied without being stuffed.  Learn next week why this is amazing for your health and longevity.

2) Practice Attentive Eating
We are all busy and have A LOT ON OUR PLATE!  Because of this, we do not make eating a priority, and we rush to grab anything in a pinch.  If you are working or studying or watching TV, take a break and give your meal or snack your full attention.  Try to avoid multitasking and avoid eating while distracted.

  •  Pay attention and observe the quality of the food that you are eating.  Are the ingredients fresh and healthy?  Were they raised or produced with care for the environment?  If you are eating animal foods, were the animals raised in a normal healthy environment and treated humanely?  Were they fed foods that are natural for them and also of good quality?  I don’t mean to sound like a political/environmental activist here, but the care and energy that goes into the way food is produced affects the energy and nourishment of the food that goes into your body.  You will feel better both emotionally and physically when you take the time to consider these factors.  Do the best you can to provide healthy, natural foods, but by no means beat yourself up if things are not perfect.
  • Observe all of your senses.  What does the food look like?  Is it on a beautiful plate and does the food have lots of colors and appealing textures?  Take one second to smell the food and enjoy the aroma.  Take your first mindful bite.  Was it the right amount to fit into your mouth comfortably?  What does the texture feel like on your tongue and the roof of your mouth?  What does it taste like?  Can you sense the various flavors of sweet and salty, sour, bitter and astringent?  Are you enjoying the beautiful experience of truly tasting your food for possibly the first time? Eating is far more enjoyable when it is a sensory experience.

When eating becomes more enjoyable in this way, it is more fulfilling and satisfying and will help you to eat more moderate amounts of food.  We continue to stuff our mouths when we are not fully aware of the eating experience.  We don’t feel satisfied with the meal so we continue to eat in hopes that we will reach a point of satisfaction and fulfillment.  We end up just feeling stuffed and unhappy with our eating habits otherwise.

3) Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
Please try not to eat when you are upset or stressed.  Not only can stress keep you from absorbing nutrients properly, it is very hard on your digestive system and your overall health.  Please take a break and take several deep breaths to relax before trying to eat again.  Or, simply wait until later when the negative excitement of the stressful situation has passed.

Learn to pay attention to see if your thoughts are helping you to feel good or not.  If not, choose a thought that feels better.  Are you beating yourself up for being overweight and criticizing yourself for eating?  Are you telling yourself that what you are eating is going to ruin your health or cause unwanted weight gain?  Please know that there is some called “biology of belief” and the cells of your body will respond to what you are telling them.  Be kind to yourself and love yourself and your food.  As you feel better and more fulfilled emotionally from the eating experience, you will tend to eat in a more healthy and balanced way.

4) Pay Attention To Your Words
Saying things that are negative about yourselves or others can really have an impact on everyone’s self-esteem.  Please try to refrain from saying anything critical to the people you are sharing a meal with.  Keep any arguments or criticism for a later time.  This includes saying bad things about yourself to others while eating.  Are you telling your friend that you are so fat and will never fit into your jeans after eating this meal?  Give yourself and others positive encouragement about their eating habits and the foods they are choosing.

5) Appreciate Your Food and Give Thanks
Growing up, many of us said grace or gave thanks for the food in some way that was traditional for our families.  Today, it seems as if fewer and fewer people are giving thanks and feeling the appreciation for the foods we are eating and for the friends or family members with which we are sharing a meal.  Try expressing your gratitude for the abundant food that we enjoy in this country.  Appreciate all food equally, no matter how you may judge its nutritional value or taste.  Consider all of the love and care and energy that went into making that food available to you.  Think about the sun, rain and soil that nourished the produce and the farm hands that picked and package and shipped the produce to your town.  Think about all of the grocery store clerks and managers that work hard to make these foods so readily and easily available to us.  And of course, give thanks to you or anyone that took the time to prepare the beautiful meal.  You will be amazed at how wonderful you will feel emotionally when you take a few seconds to give thanks.  This naturally will help you to reduce your stress and open you up to the healthy aspects of enjoying great food.

These are the first key points for mindful eating.  When you begin to practice even just some of these suggestions, you will begin to notice how much more you are enjoying your foods, and you will begin to feel fulfilled after each meal.

Next week, I will continue this topic with wonderful and simple tricks to help you eat healthier and in a more balanced ways during the holidays.  Enjoying the variety of delicious foods that are available during this time of year is all part of living a happy and enjoyable life.  Learning ways to intelligently indulge is key.  Join me next week for some great tips you will be so glad to know.

www.janetmckee.com

Posted by: Xmas23 | November 2, 2011

Boost Your Immune System to Stay Healthy All Season

It is so important to do the right things to maintain a strong immune system.  A strong and healthy immune system means a strong and healthy body.  Not only does a healthy immune system help you avoid the standard cold and flu, which is so common this time of year, but it also protects you from more serious illnesses such as cancer.  Your immune system is continuously recognizing and adapting to constantly changing threats.  By taking care of your mind and body, your immune system will be properly equipped to do its job.

I’ve decided to give you a list of key things you should do to support your immune system.  Most of this is simply a common sense approach to taking care of ourselves, but we all need to be reminded of how important these points are for our overall health and wellbeing.  So, please consider the following key points:

  • Drink plenty of filtered or spring water.  It is so important to be properly hydrated so that your body can filter and flush toxins and bacteria etc…
  • Get plenty of rest.  When you rest, you recharge your immune system so that it can respond to any threat to your physical health.
  • Get moderate exercise for 30 – 60 minutes at least five times a week.  This is even better if you are able to get this exercise out in nature.  Exercise is important to oxygenate your blood and keep lymph moving.  Being out in nature and getting fresh air will also help you to relieve stress (see later point on stress).  Also, being outdoors will sometimes give you access to the sun to get your vitamin D (please see the next point).
  • Get the real vitamin D from the sun when possible and consider a supplement otherwise.  Vitamin D is so important for the health of your immune system.  Some say that the sun may be one of the most powerful immune system regulators available.  Vitamin D activates your natural killer cells that are a key part of your immune system to fight viral and bacterial invaders.  Research at the University of Copenhagen found that your body relies on vitamin D to be present in the blood for the immune system to work properly.  When you can’t get enough quality sun, find a good quality supplement, especially for the fall and winter months if you live in the north.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to obtain the power of their antioxidants and phyto-nutrients that nourish your immune system to keep it healthy and strong.  Your immune system must be fed these important foods to supply it with the ammunition it needs to fight illnesses and signs of aging.  Include a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies as they each have different but equally as important antioxidants and nutrients to stay healthy.
  • Avoid chemicalized processed foods with artificial ingredients and immune suppressing unhealthy fats and oils.  For healthier fats, stick with extra virgin olive oil or omega 3 fats from flax, hemp, walnuts and chia.
  • Cut back on meat, dairy, sugar and fried foods that are the source of many serious health challenges.  Instead of getting protein from foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, choose plant proteins from beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, especially hemp seeds.  Hemp helps our body build antibodies that are our first defense against infection and disease.  They also contain a healthy balance of omega fats 3, 6 and 9.
  • Include good bacteria in your diet by taking a probiotic or by eating fermented vegetables and foods, like apple cider vinegar.  By having good bacteria in your digestive tract you support a healthy and strong immune system.
  • Include certain mushrooms in your diet or consider a supplement.  Maitake and shiitake are wonderful in soups and stir fries and are medicinal in nature.  According to Dr. Weil, reishi, agaricus, and enoki can be found in supplement form and are wonderful immune boosting mushrooms.
  • Reduce stress in your life or learn ways to better handle stress.  Negative stress has been proven to suppress your immune system.  Holy Basil is a wonderful herb to have on hand or drink in tea to help calm stress.  According to Dr. Weil, arctic root or rhodiola have been used, traditionally in Eastern Europe, to reduce the harmful effects of stress on the immune system.
  • Consider taking a healthy organic whole food supplement to make sure you are getting a wide variety of critical nutrients.

 

  • Increase intake of foods high in vitamin C by eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies and consider supplementing with 1000mg per day.

 

  • Include pumpkin seeds in your diet to get the proper amount of zinc or supplement with 30mg per day.

 

  • Include Brazil nuts in your diet daily to get the proper amounts of selenium or supplement with 200mg.
  • Other possible supplements to consider, to boost your immune system, are astragalus and Echinacea.  Echinacea with goldenseal is smart to take immediately upon feeling the first signs of a cold or flu.  Contact me by writing to janet@janetmckee.com for a natural supplement that contains these two powerful herbs.
  • Include ginger and garlic in your diet for their immune boosting qualities.  Garlic has been found to be a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic food.
  • Include lots of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, bok choy, brussel sprouts and other cabbages.  Cruciferous vegetables are very potent sources of powerful phytonutrients that support a strong immune system.
  • Smile! Learn to laugh more, live more, love more, create more and believe more.  According to Norman Cousin’s book “Anatomy of an Illness,” laughter and humor enhance the human immune system.

 

Posted by: Xmas23 | October 20, 2011

Achieve Beautiful Skin with the Right Foods

I am sure you have heard that YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.  Well, what you eat affects not only your physical health and your ability to fight illness, but it also affects your skin and eyes and even your hair!  Your diet has a lot to do with not only your health and beauty from the inside, but it has a great deal to do with your outside radiant health and beauty as well.

For example, eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help to support your skin’s natural repair systems and fight free radical damage.  According to Dr. Neal Barnard, we have millions of oxygen molecules in our bodies.  They can, however, through normal living become unstable.  When they do, they are called free radicals and can harm healthy cells.  They can even attack your DNA.  Biologists believe that much of the aging process is caused by free radical damage.

Plants can be damaged by oxygen free radicals too.  But nature gave them the ability to fight back with antioxidants.  When you eat foods high in antioxidants, they enter your bloodstream and help you fight too.  The key to great health and beauty is to fill your plate with various colorful fruits and vegetables to get the benefit from a wide variety of antioxidants.

Examples of antioxidants:

  • Vitamin C, E and Selenium (according to doctors at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine), support the skin’s natural repair systems against free radical damage.  Vitamin C actually builds collage and elastin which gives skin its youthful plumpness.  Including lots of vitamin C in your diet insures a healthy body and glowing skin.
  • Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red peppers and broccoli, strawberries and blueberries. These foods are packed with other phytonutrients too, which support good health and inner and outer beauty.  Vitamin E is found in whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and in nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts.  Selenium is easily found in Brazil nuts.  I always suggest to my clients that they just eat a few Brazil nuts a day to insure that they meet their daily requirements for selenium.
  • Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant that is food for your skin.  Vitamin A is found in orange vegetables like carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes as well as green leafy vegetables.  These foods are also known for being high in beta carotene which is a powerful antioxidant.  Beta carotene helps to fight rough, scaly, winter skin and these nutrients protect against UV damage too.  Beta carotene helps to balance your skin’s PH and encourages skin cell turnover too, which can mean smoother, softer skin.
  • B vitamins are essential for skin cell health too. A deficiency in this important vitamin family can lead to itchy, dry skin and even acne.  Whole grains are a good healthy source of B Vitamins.
  • Also, the natural antioxidant, CoQ10 can nurture skin cell growth and protect the skin from free radical damage.  Some studies speculate that CoQ10 can protect the skin and prevent wrinkles and other types of damage associated with UV exposure.  Foods high in CoQ10 include spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ, whole grains, sardines and eggs.  Stick with the plant foods, though, as you will avoid saturated fat and cholesterol!

How about healthy fats?

  • Omega 3’s are also important to help preserve the skin’s moisture keeping it plumper and younger looking and decreasing the appearance of fine lines. Omega 3s also have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to calm irritated skin giving you a clearer complexion.  Foods high in omega 3 are flax, walnuts, chia seeds, wild salmon and sardines.
  • Also, the natural antioxidant, CoQ10 can nurture skin cell growth and protect the skin from free radical damage.  Some studies speculate that coq10 can protect the skin and prevent wrinkles and other types of damage associated with UV exposure.  Foods high in coq10 include spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ, whole grains, sardines and eggs.  Again, sardines and eggs have saturated fat too, so do more of the plant food suggestions.

Juicing:

  • Supplementing your diet with fresh juice will provide noticeable benefits to your appearance.  When you juice, you absorb the nutrients directly into the cells of your body giving your skin and eyes a true healthy glow.  Green juices help to alkalize and purify your blood, which naturally clears your skin and improves your health and vitality.  Vegetable juices supply minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, silicon, sulfur and zinc, all of which protect the hair and skin.

What should you include in your juice?

  1. Include carrots, because they are rich in potassium and beta carotene which helps to prevent sagging and improve complexion.
  2. Include beets, as they are good blood builder high in calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium which is believed to even help prevent bags under your eyes.
  3. Include cucumber, for it is a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and C and especially sulfur which is thought to be the beauty mineral.
  4. What about broccoli?  Broccoli is high in chromium which is thought to put the brakes on aging.
  5. And of course celery, because it is a source of potassium, sodium, sulfur and vitamins A,B, and C.  It is a natural diuretic so it can be used to discourage water retention too.

Now for the fun part: Chocolate!

  • Some great news for all of you chocolate lovers; chocolate may actually help to improve your skin!  A German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank hot cocoa had softer and smoother skin.  Cocoa is high in flavonoids which is the nutrient believed to provide these amazing benefits.
  • This DOES NOT mean you should run out and start eating Snicker’s bars to your heart content.  The problem with most chocolate treats are that they are filled with sugar and dairy, both of which will wreak havoc to your skin, your weight and all aspects of inner and outer beauty.
  • No need to worry, I have great solutions to truly healthy chocolate desserts that avoid all added sugar, fat and dairy.  Please see my past newsletters and blogs on the health benefits of chocolate and some of the desserts I demonstrated on my YouTube channel.  If that is not enough to give you great ideas, be sure to get my recipe collection book, “Fabulous Recipes for Vibrant Health” by visiting my site at www.janetmckee.com.

Thank you and have a BEAUTIFUL day!

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