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Natural Weight Loss

An Apple a Day: Health Benefits of Apples

Does it Really Keep the Doctor Away?

Ah, the apple! One of the most cultivated fruits in the world, with more than 7,500 different types of apples available, the apple is likely one of the most well-known fruits on the planet. While you probably won’t find 7,500 different varieties of apples at your local grocery store, it’s a sure bet that most produce sections carry several different types of apples, from the green Granny Smith to the Red Delicious and the Golden Delicious, and many more.

Whether it’s eating an apple as a snack, apple butter, apple jelly, apple pie, applesauce, apple crisp, apple juice or any other apple concoction one can create, apples are a great source of meeting the recommended dietary fruit servings per day. Read the rest of this entry »

Experiment with Condiments for Better Health and More Flavorful Foods

Condiments Can Help You Eat a Better Tasting and Healthy Diet!

Grilling lean cuts of meat, chicken and fresh veggies is a good way to add to a healthy, lower-fat diet. Yet, even with the flavor of the charcoal or wood, plain chicken or unseasoned lean steak can be a little bland. Lean cuts of meat and chicken are missing the one thing that makes them the most flavorful: the fat! It is the lean-cut, removed fat that makes these meats healthier for your diet, but lose their flavor at the same time.

However, eating healthy or healthier doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on flavor! So what can you do to add flavor to your meal without breaking your diet or ruining your healthy eating habits? Condiments!

Condiments are those items we use to add flavor and spice to our foods. Some condiments can add flavor without adding calories or unhealthy substances to our food and other condiments should be avoided, because they can turn healthy food unhealthy, and may contribute to weight gain too.

One rule to help pick healthier condiments for cooking is to look at the consistency of the condiment. Generally speaking, healthier and leaner condiments are the thinner ones, such as soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, small amounts of worcestershire sauce (be careful, some contain extra sugar or high fructose corn syrup and both of those add calories). These thinner sauce condiments are full of flavor, most can tenderize meat too, and they contain fewer calories per flavor level than their thicker condiment counterparts.

The thicker condiment sauces such as BBQ sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, jelly or jams, syrups, mayo type salad dressing spreads, and cocktail sauces all contain more sugar or high fructose corn syrup for sweetening and therefore, more calories per flavor than the thinner condiments.

Two exceptions to the consistency of condiments showing which are good for you is mustard and wasabi sauces. Both of these condiments are thicker, but you would use very little of them for flavor, and they do not contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients. In fact, both mustard and wasabi sauce have some very unique potential health benefits!

There are some thick sauce or liquid condiments that are okay to use, but you want to check the labels to ensure you are using the healthiest versions. For example, spaghetti/tomato sauce can be an excellent condiment to season some chicken and pork dishes, even to cover meatballs and the like, but some spaghetti/pasta/tomato meat sauces have added sugar and salt that are not necessary for the flavor of the sauce. Learning to read condiment labels can help determine which ones have good ingredients for a healthy, lower fat, lower sodium, lower sugar lifestyle, without compromising flavor. The processed, pre-packaged or canned/bottled sauces might not be as healthy as learning to make your own sauces from all natural, fresh, healthy ingredients.

Of course, salt and pepper are good dry condiment choices, but sodium/salt should be limited, so why not try more natural sea salts? Sea salts are naturally lower in sodium than table salt, but are packed with much more flavor. In fact, you can buy all natural sea salt rubs for your grilling meats that are excellent condiment choices. AC CP Charlotte Kuchinksy wrote an excellent article about sea salt rubs if you’re interested in the variety of flavors available.

Garlic is also another dry condiment that may promote good health and give flavor to meats. Don’t forget using herbs for flavor too, because herbs are great condiments for flavoring food without adding a lot of calories, and some herbs have excellent health benefits as well. You can read an article I wrote about herbs that aid with digestion and promote good health by clicking here.

Other good condiments choices include herb infused olive oils, lemon and lime juice (all natural or fresh squeezed – excellent on chicken!), cilantro, jalapeno juice, onion powder, cracked pepper (red, white and black peppercorn), and so many others. Chili lime flavoring is amazing on chicken and some veggies. Don’t be afraid to explore the spice aisle at your grocery store and take a chance on a new flavor.

Learning to read labels, checking the ingredients, and trying a variety of new flavors or herb and spice condiments can help you eat a healthier but also more flavorful diet. Don’t be afraid to explore with different tastes of condiments to find those that work best for your unique tastes and nutritional needs. It’s proven that the more flavor we experience when eating, the less we need to eat to feel satiated. Food should be more than just energy for our bodies, and if we learn to truly appreciate food, make it a full sensory experience of flavor, taste, scent, appearance, texture… we awake all our senses and can choose healthier choices without comprimising flavor.

Dress to Look Thinner Hints and Tips

Pick the Right Clothing to Make You Appear Leaner

Not everyone can wear the ‘perfect’ size 6. If you are a woman who seeks to slim her appearance when she dresses, this article is just for you. There are ways, even when you are not overweight, that you can dress to show off the best assets of your appearance, but when you do have a few extra pounds you’d like to hide, these simple tips below can help you show off your best features while hiding those that aren’t your favorite.

Let’s look at how to dress to look thinner: Read the rest of this entry »

Foods that Fight Depression: Eat Your Way to Happiness

Can Food Really Make You Feel Better Emotionally?

Time and time again, we’ve seen the female lead in a romantic comedy drown her sorrows in a bucket of ice cream. There’s long been the running joke about women and chocolate improving PMS symptoms and improving mood. It’s been said the enzymes in chocolate can mimic an ‘in love’ feeling.

There are foods considered aphrodisiacs that can increase sexual arousal and desire. With all this ‘evidence,’ it seems clear people believe food can and does alter body chemistry and thus influences mood. If this is the case, it makes sense that some foods can trigger depressive moods while other foods might actually help fight depression. Read the rest of this entry »

Save Money by Grilling This Summer: Grilling Tips & Techniques

BBQing This Summer Saves Money Over Eating Out and Tastes Better!

by Michelle Devon

Down the street from my house and around the corner is a small neighborhood meat market. Every Monday, they get their fresh shipment of butcher meats in, and the first thing we do is go down and buy one of the freezer meat packs. With prices like $59.99 for over 40 pounds of different types of meats, including chicken, pepper bacon, porch chops, ribeye, T-bone, sirloin and roast, you can’t beat buying the freezer packs and tossing them in the deep freeze.

So once per week, on a Sunday afternoon when the weather is nice, we’ll fire up the grill, spend the afternoon outside while working in the yard and playing basketball and fetch and Frisbee, and cook up a week’s worth of grilling meats in one session. We’ll then package these mostly-cooked meats in foil and/or plastic and stick them in the fridge. This way, all during the week we have char-grilled meat with the flavor of outdoor and all we have to do it reheat it in a pan. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Grill Shrimp: Shrimp Grilling Techniques and Tips

Grilling Shrimp in Creative Ways Adds Flavor to Traditional BBQ Ideas!

by Michelle Devon

Seafood is one of my favorite foods ever: crab, lobster, shrimp, fish, you name it. I even like octopus! Shrimp, though, by far, is my most common seafood cuisine, because where I grew up, seafood was not common (I lived in a desert). Because of this, seafood was expensive and usually made it to us frozen. Shrimp was about the only good thing we could find, but even then it was tough and often small.

I still loved it, even so, but it did cause me to learn more creative ways to cook shrimp, and one of my favorites is to grill or BBQ the shrimp on an outdoor grill, the same outdoor grill used to cook steaks and hot dogs or burgers. Read the rest of this entry »

Grilling Fruit: Outdoor Grilling Classic with a Fruity Twist

How to Grill Fruit on an Outdoor Grill for Dessert

by Michelle Devon

If you’ve read any of my other recent articles, you’ll know I’m on a grilling kick! I love summer and good temperatures and swimming pools and most of all: outdoor cooking!

I love grilled meats, grilled vegetables and shrimp, and I adore grilled fruit! That’s right – grilled fruit!

Okay, if you’ve eaten ‘Hawaiian’ things, I’m sure you’ve had a kabob with some pineapple on it, but I bet most of you never thought about grilling other fruit. You can grill anything on the BBQ you want, but there are some fruit that work better on the grill than others. Read the rest of this entry »

Benefits for Adult Breastfeeding or Adult Nursing Relationships

Can Adults Reap Benefits to Drinking Breast Milk and Adult Nursing?

In this world, it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round, and in the past, I’ve written on some unusual relationships, including polyamorous relationships, objectum sexual relationships, and others. In this article, I want to discuss adult breastfeeding or adult nursing relationships.

I stumbled upon an article about adult breastfeeding in an adult nursing relationship and initially was quite surprised. Then, when I continued reading and thinking about it, the positive aspects of adult breastfeeding, both in and out of an adult nursing relationship, began to make sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Weight Loss: I Have No Willpower!

How to Handle Guilt Over No Willpower

There aren’t many amongst us who hasn’t said, at some point, that he or she wished they had stronger willpower–whether it be to stop smoking, drinking, or eating things that are bad for health and weight. Willpower isn’t all there is to losing weight, and in fact, fighting for willpower can actually lead to weight gain and destroy all benefits from a particular diet when willpower fails.

I’ve struggled with my weight ever since my second child was born–going from slightly underweight to overweight and everywhere in between–and I understand first hand the guilt that comes from feeling you have no willpower. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips to Stop Overeating This Holiday Season

Do You Pig Out at Christmastime?

Are you dreading the holiday? Is overeating and feeling sluggish and blah one of your typical holiday season feelings?

If you’re like me, someone who struggles with weight, tries to eat a healthy diet, or perhaps you’re also trying to maintain a weight loss that took a lot of work to get there, then the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and then New Years right after likely puts on a few pounds. Even if weight and diet aren’t issues for you, overeating during the holidays can still take its toll, in the form of lethargy, heartburn, indigestion, bloated feeling, and a host of other issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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