Start with 2 nutritional changes

I recently had someone ask, “What would be the MOST IMPORTANT few steps to take when looking at improving nutrition/health?”  They knew they had a journey ahead, and they felt a little overwhelmed.  So to simplify initial steps to take, I narrowed it down to two nutritional changes to make ASAP.  You’ll be amazed at how these simple changes will make big improvements in how you feel!

  • ELIMINATE REFINED SUGAR.  Just do it.  Don’t argue about it or justify why you think you need it.  You don’t!  Your body just craves it because it’s like a drug!   Use maple sugar for baking if you must.  Consider stevia or honey in your tea.  But again, these are substitutes.  Do you even need these??  How much can you do without?  Lifechanging equation:   Sugar = “poison”.

           NOTE:  Per other posts, do NOT use artificial sweeteners.  “Poison” as well!

  • INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES YOU EAT.  Okay, you don’t hagreen veggiesve to go overboard at first.  But begin to introduce an extra serving of a non-starchy vegetable to your meal.  Preferably GREEN ones at that!  After some time, introduce another serving to your meal.  The goal is that over time, you would be filling your plate with more of these delicious, lifesaving macronutrients, and less of junk.   For now, just know that “macro” means large-scale and “nutrient” means  a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.  I’ll cover macronutrients in another post.
    • NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES 
      • Amaranth or Chinese spinach
      • Artichoke
      • Artichoke hearts
      • Asparagus
      • Baby corn
      • Bamboo shoots
      • Beans (green, wax, Italian)
      • Bean sprouts
      • Beets
      • Brussels sprouts
      • Broccoli
      • Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
      • Carrots
      • Cauliflower
      • Celery
      • Chayote
      • Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
      • Cucumber
      • Daikon
      • Eggplant
      • Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
      • Hearts of palm
      • Jicama
      • Kohlrabi
      • Leeks
      • Mushrooms
      • Okra
      • Onions
      • Pea pods
      • Peppers
      • Radishes
      • Rutabaga
      • Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
      • Sprouts
      • Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
      • Sugar snap peas
      • Swiss chard
      • Tomato
      • Turnips
      • Water chestnuts
      • Yard-long beans

Bam!  That’s it for a very basic start to better nutrition.

Mwah,

Valerie

 

 

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Best calorie counter app

iphone computer paperSo I’m not as much a fan of calorie counting as I am of simply eliminating sugar, white flour products, and processed foods from my body!  And yes, this is tough.  I’m not perfect at it either, but I strive for it.  I figure if I hit the mark 85% of the time, I’m moving in the right direction!

But there are those out there who are learning to read food labels … and they are on a journey of seeing food in a whole new way and getting a grip on their health!  They might be checking out a food’s protein, sugar, vitamin, or sodium content as well as calories. Kudos to you!  And one way to become cognizant of what you’re putting into your body is to simply…track it!

In 2015, the Journal of Medical Internet Research published a study titled:  Adherence to a Smartphone Application for Weight Loss Compared to Website and Paper Diary.”

The study stated that “In recent years, research into mobile devices to facilitate dietary and physical activity self-monitoring and weight-related behavior change has grown. Mobile phones, in particular, are an intuitively appealing intervention platform given that they are ubiquitous, engaging, and portable.”  This study sought to compare the ability of participants to stay engaged with a phone app versus “two other self-monitoring interventions to allow comparison of self-monitoring on a mobile phone against other approaches.”

I bet you’re not surprised … the smartphone app won!   Over 93 percent of the app participants continued to track their weight-related behavior and calories for the duration of the entire study (six months) whereas only 55% continued in the website group and only 53 percent in the diary group.

Of all the Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.00.12 PMcalorie counter apps out there, My Fitness Pal comes in first, according to ratings by  Livescience.com.  The site states that the app has as many or more features in its free version as other fitness-tracking apps.  It compiles a pie chart with a breakdown of calories based on percentages from carbs, fats, and proteins…and can be seen on a daily or weekly basis.  And considering what we discussed above about tracking, a nice add-on is the notes section, where users can either journal about their food, or their thoughts, or their exercise that day.

The app keeps a running total of calories so users can see where they stand in relation to their goal intake throughout the day, and it also has a huge searchable nutrition database.  That means you’ll find the calorie count of almost any food you want to look up!

Finally, Livescience.com notes that the best feature of all is “the app’s  ability to download recipes directly into the app and get estimated calorie counts. The app will take the recipe ingredient list, cross-check it with its nutrition database, and give an estimate of calories per serving. (Users can check the app’s work and alter any calories or serving sizes that need tweaking.) For people who scour the Internet for recipes, this feature is invaluable.”

Nuff said, right?!  Sounds like a powerhouse of an app … put the power in YOUR palm!
Mwah,
Valerie