Category Archives: list of healthy foods

A common fruit that’s your best choice!

blueberries

Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.

There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.

Let me tell you what I learned.

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.  

Antioxidants are good.

In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz 
of Today’s Dietitian

“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of   www.dietitian.com

Blueberries are one of the fruits that have the highest levels of antioxidant.

Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.

1.  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.

2.  Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.

3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

4.  Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.

5.  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

How to Choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

  • Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.

  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

   Be creative and find ways to eat them your favorite way.

There you have it!  You need to eat blueberries everyday!

Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

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13 healthy yummy foods to eat!

What can I eat today? Yummy food is one of the blessings of my life.

I won’t live a life of deprivation!

I want to eat delicious food that’s good for me too.

Here’s my list of healthy yummy food that I’ve researched and found to be some of the best!

Nothing is too weird and everything can be found in a regular grocery store.

Lifestyle changes work because we are focusing on what we can have!

Here’s your

healthy grocery list

 

Almonds are high in protein and healthy fat. This is my go-to snack for protein. I have this with an apple. Serving-23 almonds

Apples contain lots of fiber and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Serving-1 small My favorite are Royal Gala as they are sweeter and have a great texture.

Bananas have high levels of potassium which helps blood pressure levels and they are high in fiber. A banana added to my peanut butter toast is delicious and keeps me full longer. Serving-1 small

Beans are good for your heart as they have lots of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. I’ve discovered hummus, which is made from chick peas, which are also known as garbanzo beans! I like the roasted red pepper flavor and I have it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Serving-¾ of a cup

Blueberries, the super fruit that has the most antioxidants, which help the body guard against heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Frozen blueberries are part of my yogurt parfait almost everyday either for breakfast or as a dessert. Serving-½ cup

Broccoli, consider it the number 1 cancer fighter. I like it raw with hummus, or cooked. Serving-½ cup

Greek yogurt is a great source of bone building calcium and lots of protein. It contains beneficial bacteria, which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. My favorite is the sweetened coconut flavor. When I have this with blueberries for breakfast I’m satisfied for a long time. Serving-¾ cup of low fat

Kale, another great cancer fighter. It is also full of fiber and Vitamin K and antioxidants. I like it as a salad with a sweeter poppy seed dressing. Serving-1 cup fresh or cooked

Oatmeal continues to be a healthy choice. It is high in a special fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. It is a whole grain. I make it into granola and add a small portion to other cereal or my yogurt parfait. Serving-¾ cup cooked

Quinoa is now considered the new super food. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. I’ve tried it in salads but I think I like it hot better as an alternative to rice. I add some chicken stock for flavor. Serving-1 cup cooked

Salmon remains as one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, and the brain. My husband loves salmon so we have this once a week. Usually I bake it in the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Serving-3 ounces

Spinach is chock full of nutrients, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as folate, which helps the body form red blood cells. I don’t like it cooked at all, but in a salad or on a sandwich I love it. Serving-1 cup fresh or ½ cooked

Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna salad made with low fat mayo is a great protein boost for my lunch. Serving-3 ounces fresh or canned

TODAY’S little STEP: Add these foods to your grocery list. Then just like me you can enjoy yummy food and reap the health benefits.

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!  Keep taking those little steps!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

 

WHAT IS THE MAGIC INGREDIENT MOST OF US ARE MISSING IN OUR DIET?

Want to feel full for longer? Want to decrease belly fat and lose some weight? Want to lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels?

It’s not a magic pill…it’s fiber!

Most us don’t eat enough fiber to experience these wonderful benefits.

But after reading this post you will know just what to do.

First off you need to know that there are 2 kinds of fiber,

insoluble and soluble and you need both!

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It isn’t absorbed into the blood stream or broken down by the gut.

It is the tough matter found in fruit and vegetables, especially the skin and stalks.

It’s also found in whole grains, nuts and seeds.

popcorn-693418_1280

littlestepstohealth.com

Insoluble fiber helps promote regularity by adding bulk.

fruit-1703999_1280

littlestepstohealth.com

It helps to keep your digestive system healthy.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract.

It binds to substances like cholesterol and sugar slowing down their absorption into the blood stream.

Soluble fiber can also help you feel fuller for longer. That’s always a good thing!

One study showed that for each additional 10 grams of daily soluble fiber eaten, participants had a 4% decrease of belly fat over a five-year period.

It is found in peas, beans, oats, pears, apples and oranges.

pinto-beans-356622_1280

littlestepstohealth.com

So how much do we need? Women need 25 grams and men need 35 grams per day.

To help you decide which foods have the most fiber a great idea is to think that the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber.

There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar.

Many foods have had the fiber removed like white bread, white rice and pastries. Try not to include these foods in your daily choices.

If you are like me, foods high in fiber don’t sound very inviting I always think of prunes and bran flakes.

But I learned some delicious foods that I normally eat are high in fiber. Bonus!

bowl-full-of-healthy-fruits-picjumbo-com

littlestepstohealth.com

Here’s a delicious high fiber food list to include in our choices.

Navy beans 1 cup=19 gr.

Green peas 1 cup=14 gr.

Bran cereal 1/2 cup=10 gr.

Raspberries 1 cup=8 gr.

Blackberries 1 cup=8 gr.

Flax seeds 1 ounce=8 gr.

Squash 1cup=7 gr.

Barley 1 cup=6 gr.

Pear 1=6 gr.

Broccoli 1 cup=5 gr.

Cauliflower 1 cup=5gr.

Cabbage 1 cup=4 gr.

Apple 1=4 gr.

Oatmeal 1/2 cup=4 gr.

Orange 1=4 gr.

Popcorn 3 cups=3 gr.

Read the labels of prepackaged granola bars, breads and crackers and choose those with higher fiber.

Most of us can include some of these foods in our meals and snacks easily.

stir-fry-1231481_1280

littlestepstohealth.com

Be sure to increase your fiber foods slowly so you can give your body time to adjust.

Drinking extra water is vital to help the fiber move through your system without those embarrassing symptoms of gas and bloating.

TODAY’S little STEP: Add 5 grams of fiber over 3 to 5 days. Once your system has adjusted add 5 more. It may take 5 weeks to eventually eat 25 grams of fiber per day.

Every little step makes a difference!

Please sign up to receive my posts through email. I want to empower, equip, encourage and inspire you to keep climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being one little step at a time!

If this has encouraged you please share it on Facebook or Pinterest.

Comments from you make my day!

Not sure what happened with last week’s post.  It was on the website but I don’t think it went out as an email.  Sometimes technology and I fight.  Last week it won! Hopefully today’s will work! Praying!

Sights used as research.

http://www.health.com/nutrition/types-of-fiber

 http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/high-fiber-foods.htm

 

Veggies, find out why and how to eat more!

This super food is low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It comes individually packaged and can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s Doctor approved and recommended.

This super food is included at most dinners. Parents encourage their kids to eat it and dessert might even be used as a bribe. We often hear the child say…..

But why do I have to eat my vegetables? (in a whiny, sad child voice.) 

grumpy girl

photo credit Greg Westfall

 

Most of us need to be reminded, just like kids!

Eating more vegetables is one of the simplest changes we can make to improve our overall health.

Eating more vegetables can lower our risk of developing arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.

Vegetables fill our stomachs with nutrient rich, low calorie fuel! We also feel fuller for longer because of the high fiber content.

When we replace higher calorie foods with vegetables we are taking another little step to being healthy.

But sadly we still don’t eat them often enough. A recent report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 87 percent of adults didn’t meet the suggested vegetable recommendation. Kids are still struggling, as 93 percent didn’t meet the recommended amount.

But how much do I have to eat?

Most women between the ages of 19 – 50 require 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day.

Wow, that sounds like a lot but not when you start measuring it out and looking at it. Especially if we substitute vegetables for other high calorie, low nutrient foods.

1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables counts toward your daily total.

1 cup of raw leafy greens counts as a ½ cup toward your daily total.

1 cup of 100 % vegetable juice also counts toward your daily total.

How can I include more vegetables in my day?

Mix them into your meals and space them out. If you eat the standard 3 meals and a snack then plan on 1 cup at lunch and dinner and ½ for a snack. If you eat mini meals through out your day then include ½ cup at each one.

Find a vegetable you really like and enjoy it. I love the color, crunch and taste of raw yellow, red and orange peppers. It’s easy for me to add them to my lunch. Maybe you like baby carrots. Buy a big bag and take them to work with you.

Substitute raw veggies for crackers or chips. Serve them with hummus or low fat dip.

Buy prewashed greens and have a salad at dinner each night. Toss in peppers, cucumber, carrots, and green onions. Watch the salad dressing as it can add many calories and fat grams.

Wash, cut and prepare fresh vegetables on the weekend. Once the work is done it’s easy to add them to a fresh salad or bag some to take to work. Think about putting them on the top shelf of the fridge. Things in the drawers often get forgotten.

Sneak some grated vegetables into sauces and casseroles. No one will know.

Drink your veggies. Add spinach or kale to a fruit smoothie. Or try some low sodium vegetable juice.

Don’t forget frozen vegetables. They are picked at their peak and have the same nutrients as fresh and are often cheaper than fresh. Steam them quickly in the microwave for another delicious serving of vegetables or add them to soups or casseroles.

TODAY’S little STEP: As part of Camp #3 add one serving of vegetables to one meal or snack. Pick one of these ideas or check out the links for more ideas.

If you have found this helpful please share it with a friend.

These are some of the sites I used for my research.  Check them out they all have good information.

cookinglight.com/healthy-living/healthy-habits/how-many-fruits-vegetables-a-day

healthyeating.sfgate.com/recommended-fruit-vegetable-intake-4115.html

thekitchn.com/10-easy-ways-to-eat-more-vegetables-every-day-reader-intelligence-report-164945

 

 

WHAT CAN I EAT TODAY? 13 YUMMY HEALTHY CHOICES

 

What can I eat today? Yummy food is one of the blessings of my life.

I won’t live a life of deprivation!

I want to eat delicious food that’s good for me too.

Here’s my list of healthy yummy food that I’ve researched and found to be some of the best!

Nothing is too weird and everything can be found in a regular grocery store.

Lifestyle changes work because we are focusing on what we can have!

Here’s your:

 

healthy grocery list

Almonds are high in protein and healthy fat. This is my go-to snack for protein. I have this with an apple. Serving-23 almonds

Apples contain lots of fiber and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Serving-1 small My favorite are Royal Gala as they are sweeter and have a great texture.

Bananas have high levels of potassium which helps blood pressure levels and they are high in fiber. A banana added to my peanut butter toast is delicious and keeps me full longer. Serving-1 small

Beans are good for your heart as they have lots of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. I’ve discovered hummus, which is made from chick peas, which are also known as garbanzo beans! I like the roasted red pepper flavor and I have it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Serving-¾ of a cup

Blueberries, the super fruit that has the most antioxidants, which help the body guard against heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Frozen blueberries are part of my yogurt parfait almost everyday either for breakfast or as a dessert. Serving-½ cup

Broccoli, consider it the number 1 cancer fighter. I like it raw with hummus, or cooked. Serving-½ cup

Greek yogurt is a great source of bone building calcium and lots of protein. It contains beneficial bacteria, which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. My favorite is the sweetened coconut flavor. When I have this with blueberries for breakfast I’m satisfied for a long time. Serving-¾ cup of low fat

Kale, another great cancer fighter. It is also full of fiber and Vitamin K and antioxidants. I like it as a salad with a sweeter poppy seed dressing. Serving-1 cup fresh or cooked

Oatmeal continues to be a healthy choice. It is high in a special fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. It is a whole grain. I make it into granola and add a small portion to other cereal or my yogurt parfait. Serving-¾ cup cooked

Quinoa is now considered the new super food. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. I’ve tried it in salads but I think I like it hot better as an alternative to rice. I add some chicken stock for flavor. Serving-1 cup cooked

Salmon remains as one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, and the brain. My husband loves salmon so we have this once a week. Usually I bake it in the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Serving-3 ounces

Spinach is chock full of nutrients, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as folate, which helps the body form red blood cells. I don’t like it cooked at all, but in a salad or on a sandwich I love it. Serving-1 cup fresh or ½ cooked

Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna salad made with low fat mayo is a great protein boost for my lunch. Serving-3 ounces fresh or canned

TODAY’S little STEP: Add these foods to your grocery list. Then just like me you can enjoy yummy food and reap the health benefits.  

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!  Keep taking those little steps!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

 

 

WHICH COMMON FRUIT IS THE BEST FOR YOUR HEALTH?

blueberries

Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.

There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.

Let me tell you what I learned.

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.  http://www.exploresupplements.com/areas-of-health/immune-health/free-radicals-and-antioxidants

Antioxidants are good.

In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz
of Today’s Dietitian. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/082508p50.shtml

“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of www.dietitian.com

Blueberries are one of the fruits

that have the highest levels of antioxidant.

Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.

1.  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.

2.  Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.

3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

4.  Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.  http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-health-benefits-of-blueberries?slide=3#wxDCaf2UiLCDChID.99

5.  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

How to Choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

  • Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.

  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

   Be creative and find ways to eat them your favorite way.

There you have it girlfriend. You need to eat blueberries everyday!

Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

20 TRIED AND TRUE TIPS TO USE ON YOUR SUMMER VACATION

Do you find the summer a hard time to stay focused on getting healthy? Here are 20 tried and true tips to use this summer. Tips that really work! You’ll probably find ones you already use and that will be encouraging. Hopefully you will find some new tips that will make this summer one of your best!

I find summer difficult because there is less routine, more bbqs and summer vacations. A big part of summer vacation for my family is….. the food. When my extended family meets for a week of rustic camping we all bring our favorite treats and snacks. I bake some special treats just for that week at the lake. It seems I’m constantly going into the cabin to grab a little something. The evening campfires always involve sharing fun treats too.

IMG_0199

I thought maybe we could share some of our strategies to deal with summer vacations. So here are some ideas I’ve found very helpful. I hope they help you too!

  1. Ditch the total deprivation mode. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats. Totally depriving yourself will only make you feel sorry for yourself.

  2. Educate yourself, find out how many calories are actually in a s’more (it’s 268!). Decide if you really want to eat 3 or if 1 may satisfy your sweet tooth.

  1. Read the labels on snack bags. Find out how much the suggested portion is and how many calories it contains. Then eat the suggested portion.

  1. Don’t eat out of the bag. Always serve yourself a portion of snacks in a bowl. Mindless eating can lead you to eat way more than you need or want.

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Include some protein and fiber. You’ll feel full longer and you will have given your body some good fuel to start the day.

  1. Drink lots of ice-cold water. It will keep you hydrated. If you like pop, choose diet instead of regular. But limit yourself to one a day, as the artificial sweeteners are not healthy.

  1. Have some treats with your meal. Have your sandwich and raw veggies for lunch and then have a measured portion of some chips or cheezies. You won’t eat as much of the treat and you won’t feel deprived.

  1. Find ways to exercise everyday. Go for a long walk with a family member. Play games with your children, swim, canoe, and kayak; find fun ways to move your body everyday.

  1. When you are tempted by those treats and snacks, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Your mouth will be busy and you are less likely to eat something sweet or salty.

10.  Treat yourself to a fruit tray and some prewashed vegetables. When the work of preparing has already been done, it makes it easier for you to make good choices.

11. When eating in a restaurant skip the appetizer, as it is usually high in fat. Have a salad with the dressing on the side. Choose an entrée that has meat, fish or poultry, either potatoes or rice and vegetables. Stay away from sauces and anything deep-fried.

  1. When visiting the ice cream shop choose your favorite flavor and order the smallest cone size. You will be satisfied and eat approximately 260 calories for 1 scoop or a baby cone, of something really yummy. With each scoop the calories add up much too quickly. If you are not careful, what was to be a treat becomes a whole meals’ worth of calories!

  1. When you do overeat, relax and don’t start the negative self-talk. Accept that you overate at that one meal. Forgive yourself and get back on track.

  1. Keep your discipline; enjoy treats and snacks in moderation. I suggest you not have days when you relax all your healthy eating rules. It’s too easy to slip back into those old comfortable habits. Stay disciplined!

  1. Plan your menu when camping to include lots of summer produce. We have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables available from local farmer’s markets and in our grocery stores now.

  1. When eating at a backyard bbq choose smaller portions of pasta salads as they usually have higher fat content. Instead choose the green salad and serve the dressing on the side. Have a hamburger and don’t eat the top bun. Choose fruit for dessert. When finished eating, leave the food area and visit with friends.

  1. Before you go on vacation increase your activity level and cut back on your calories. You will have built in a little cushion for the upcoming vacation and you won’t come home with extra pounds.

  1. Eat sweet treats with a meal. You will likely eat less than if it were a snack. Your blood sugar levels will be much more even.

  1. Put the snacks and treats in the cupboard. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. We often grab a treat just because we walked by it. No mindless eating, be intentional!

  1. Relax and enjoy your vacation! Enjoy your time away from your usual routine. Enjoy your family and the opportunity to make memories. Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

TODAY’S little STEP: Enjoy the summer with your family and friends. Practice the 4 little steps of Base Camp and pick 4 tips from this list to put into practice on your vacation.

Please share a tip that you have found works for you.

Making the Most