Posts Tagged ‘processed foods’

Snack Your Way to Sleep

July 3, 2013

1820900101Much has been written lately on nighttime eating. While conventional wisdom advises against p.m. snacking, new information has arisen that may shed some new light on the situation.

While eating a heavy meal and going straight to bed is not a wise idea, eating a low calorie snack before bed could be advisable. What you eat, not when you eat it, could be the key to healthy bedtime eats.

Foods high in a naturally occurring chemical called tyramine, help to regulate blood pressure, but are shown to interfere with sleep. These foods include highly processed meats, aged cheeses, and soy sauce. Fatty foods also take longer to digest, causing difficulties in sleeping.

Foods high in tryptophan, the amino acid found in turkey and often blamed for Thanksgiving sleepiness, are good choices. Foods with high mineral content, such as the magnesium found in nuts, the potassium in bananas and calcium in low fat milk or yogurt, encourage muscles to relax, and promote sleep.

The links between sleep and maintaining a healthy weight are well documented. Eating the right foods at the right times (and avoiding the wrong ones) can be a catalyst for a good night’s sleep.

Sweet dreams!!!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Don’t Make a Big Stink Out of It!

August 6, 2012

In this heat, it’s hard to smell daisy fresh all the time. I occasionally take a stealth sniff to make sure my deodorant is working, and carry baby wipes in my bag, for a quick refresher when I get to the office.

While there isn’t much we can do to keep from perspiring, there are some tips to keep us as odor free as possible.

Caffeine can trigger body odor, because it stimulates our sweat glands. When sweat mixes with bacteria, it smells bad. Conversely, drinking lots of water can dilute the perspiration and diminish the unpleasant odor.

Sage tea has antiseptic compounds that can help reduce sweating by relieving stress in the body. Sip the tea, or add it to your bath to reap the benefits.

Zinc is a mineral that regulates detoxification by controlling how your body handles waste. Foods high in zinc are oysters, pumpkin seeds, beans, yogurt and wheat germ.

You are what you eat, literally!  Strong smelling foods like garlic and curry can seep out of you pores and leave a strong “not-so-nice” smell in its wake.  Sulphurous foods, such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli can emit a gas through your skin as well.

Red meat causes stagnation in the digestive system. It putrefies in the digestive track, releasing toxins into your large intestine. All of the other “no-no’s” in a healthy diet such as refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, processed foods and white flour are also B.O. producers. Yet another reason to avoid consuming unhealthy foods.  Clean up your eating and your natural scent should improve as well.

Of course none of this replaces a good old soapy shower! Be sure to dry off completely, as the bacteria that causes body odor develops more quickly on wet skin.

While clothes may smell just fine when you take them off, as the sweat dries and then gets “re-ignited” the next time, it packs a foul punch. Trust me, those gym clothes are not ok to wear again tomorrow!

photo: Glasshouse Images

 

Fast Food Nation

May 17, 2012

We all know the obesity rate in the United States is climbing rapidly. This epidemic is attributed to over eating and under exercising, right? Well, maybe it’s more than that.

According to an article on the Co. Design website, it could be what we eat, not how much we eat that is having an adverse effect on our waistlines.

While the article acknowledges that Americans consume more calories than any other country in the world, it isn’t substantially more.

The average American consumes 3770 (!!!) calories per day and spends about 6.9% of their income on food. Currently 34% of the population is considered obese.

Just as a reference point, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound and the average salary in the U.S. is $46,326 per year. That means about  $8.75 per day is spent on food.

Comparatively, Italians eat 3660 calories per day, and spend 14.7% of their income on food. Italy’s obesity rate is 15%.

So what’s contributing to the difference?

It seems that Americans are obsessed with cheap food sources. In the 1950’s mechanized foods, such as canned, frozen, and fast foods were considered a sign of our country’s progressiveness. Cheap, processed foods became a source of pride for our nation.

Other countries held fast to their cultural traditions, and continued to enjoy their national cuisine. Using the freshest and finest ingredients to produce regional delicacies is far more costly than the pink slime consumed in our country.

Although it is clear that 3770 calories a day is way too much, especially when the average American is fairly sedentary, it appears that the quality of our food may play as great a role as the quantity we consume.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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