500 Foods Contain the Yoga Mat Compound?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 10, 2014 10:56:00 AM
    bakery-bread-breakfast-166021-944158-edited
Photo by hermaion from Pexels

Going, going, gone!

You won't find azodicarbonamide (the yoga mat compound) in Nature's Own products. And Subway is phasing it out, too. But lots of manufacturers are still using the additive.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

As you may recall, the sandwich chain Subway got a lot of attention a few weeks back when it announced its plans to remove the yoga mat compound — which is used to improve dough and maintain bread texture — from its bread.

And as we reported, the kerfuffle came in response to an online petition posted by the creator of the Food Babe blog. The online petition pointed to a range of possible health concerns linked to the compound — everything from asthma to cancer.

But what is the evidence behind these claims?

Let's start with asthma and other respiratory issues. The concerns about breathing problems stem from factory workers who have been exposed to high levels of azodicarbonamide. But it turns out, outside of this occupational exposure, there's no evidence that there's any risk at all to consumers.

It's good to "remind yourself to be more skeptical," says Justin Pagano, who has written that he'd like to see more scientific inquiry and reasoning used in thesewhat's-really-in-your-food campaigns.

He says there's a "generational zeitgeist" among his fellow millennials to "take back food" from the control of large companies and demand transparency.

And he agrees that it is important to be asking questions about how the food we eat may influence our health. Even if the questions are tough to answer.

Take, for instance, the tricky business of interpreting toxicity. John Coupland, a food science professor at Penn State, has blogged about the complexities involved.

He explains that small amounts of two compounds, semicarbazide and urethane, are formed as azodicarbonamide breaks down during the baking process. And it's possible that these compounds may pose a risk.

"The real question is whether these tiny concentrations in bread are toxicologically significant," Coupland writes.

Groups such as the Environmental Working Group argue that since it's not essential and it could pose health risks, the yoga mat compound should be removed from the food supply.

"This is an unnecessary chemical that's added to bread," says EWG scientist David Andrews. And there are viable alternatives, such as ascorbic acid, which is a form of vitamin C.

But the FDA considers small amounts of azodicarbonamide to be safe. The agency long ago set an allowable level of 45 parts per million in dough.

And food scientist Kantha Shelke of Corvus Blue, who works as an independent consultant to the food industry, says this is reasonable. After all, it's the dose that makes the poison. And "45 parts per million is very, very, very small," she says.

But in an era when social media can whip up a frenzy of concern, food companies are becoming quick to respond to get ahead of bad publicity — regardless of the science.

"No [food company or chain] wants to be associated with anything that can be remotely considered harmful," Shelke says.

Which may explain why, in the wake of Subway's announcement, several more manufacturers have also decided to drop azodicarbonamide from their products.

For instance, bread maker Nature's Own noted that it has already phased out the compound from its bread products.

And intuitively, it just feels better to know that a compound used to make yoga mats is being removed from breads.

But maybe I'm just being closed-minded here.

For a different perspective, I reached out to bakery industry consultant Theresa Cogswell. She pointed out that "there are many things used in industrial uses" that cross over into food use as well.

"And the assumption that it's bad for you," she says, is just not accurate.

Take, for instance, sheet rock, or gypsum. It contains calcium sulfate, which is also used as a food additive. In fact, it's used to make tofu.

Hmmm. A vegan favorite contains the same compound that's used to make drywall. Who knew?

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on the NPR health and fitness blog: The Salt
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

The Simply Delish Weight Loss Trick

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 7, 2014 11:51:00 AM

Add a little spice to your life!

Zesty dish = slimmer waist? Adding herbs and spices to a reduced-fat meal can make it just as appetizing as the real thing, says a new study from the University of Colorado.

People ate same-sized portions of regular (650 calories), reduced-fat (395 calories), and reduced-fat with spices (including onion, oregano, and paprika) meals of meatloaf, vegetables, and pasta. The eaters then rated the dishes for likability. The results: When made with spices, the reduced-fat meatloaf and vegetables scored higher than the regular versions, suggesting that spicing up food could make up for missing fat.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you don't have to suffer through plain skinless chicken or naked nuked broccoli, says Virginia-based registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger, author of Diabetes Weight Loss. Instead, try these three spices and cook up healthy meals with big flavor.

1. Cinnamon:

Known for its blood sugar-lowering properties, cinnamon doesn’t just spruce up sweet stuff like oatmeal and rice pudding. Try it in savory dishes, too: Sprinkle the spice on baked acorn squash or roasted carrots, or add a half-teaspoon to a stew of chicken, rice, and tomatoes, Weisenberger says.

2. Chipotle pepper:

Stir ¼-teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper into bean dips, guacamole, or mashed cauliflower, suggests Rochelle Sirota, a registered dietitian in New York City.

3. Garlic:

Place four whole cloves in a vegetable steamer basket along with greens like kale, chard, broccoli rabe, or collard greens. As the greens steam, they’ll be infused with delicious garlic-y taste, says Sirota.

spices for weight loss

 

Want more helpful nutrition tips and tricks to help speed your weight loss efforts?

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, January 8 or Saturday, January 18 for a free informational seminar packed with all kinds of things you need to know to fire up your metabolism and get the body that you want now. It's your turn to ask our experts: Dr. Lucky Bennett, creator of our nationally recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program and the Director of Fitness at The Women's Club, Natalia Schifini. If you are a woman living in the Northern Virginia are you should miss this opportunity to get help figuring out what works for a woman's body and finally reaching your fitness and weight loss goals! More information...

 

 

 

 

Original article written by Jessica Girdwain
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women, fat burning, nutrition

Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 20, 2013 3:28:00 PM

Mom On-the-Go = Mom In the Know

Emily Stone knows a ton about being a busy mom with lots of challenges to maintaining her fitness and wellness routine. Since so many of our readers find themselves in the same boat with plenty of things pulling them in all different directions, we have invited her to share some personal advice with you on how she keeps herself going throughout the day and how you can boost your metabolism. Enjoy!

 

Boosting Metabolism and Energy Throughout the Day

When I get to the afternoon, sometimes I want to get the license plate of the Mack truck that ran over me. Often it’s just burnout from the day. But when I’m struggling to get myself going from the morning onward, there are a few things I like to do that help me out. These tips boost my metabolism and energy so that I’m still kicking when school’s out.

Sleep

beautiful-beauty-bed-914910-658632-edited

Did you know that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep each night do not do as well on complex mental tasks? We need more sleep. But as a mom, it’s so hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. There’s the repeated begging for an extra story or song in the evening, and the 3 a.m. nightmare. I’ve had to prioritize my life around getting enough sleep. I usually get 9-10 hours from the time the last kid goes to bed and the first one waking up. I aim to spend 8-9 of that time sleeping, and 30-60 minutes getting ready. If I can’t get quality sleep, at least I can usually get quantity sleep. And I’ve found that the more I sleep, the more active I am and the more I can accomplish during the day.

Exercise

My metabolism is slower than a tortoise. My best defense against this is to exercise. The cool part is that it stretches me out and gives me a ton of energy, too. Sometimes I sneak in a run after walking the kids to school. Otherwise, I work out at home. I can wake up 10-15 minutes early and do some interval training for a high-powered workout in hardly any time at all.

Breakfast

cottage cheese

Skipping breakfast is a terrible idea. Better to make it quick and healthy. If I plan ahead, eating before I’m out the door can be pretty easy. And no, I’m not talking about donuts and pastries. If I have five minutes to sit and eat, cottage cheese is my go-to. I get a healthy amount of fat, decent calcium, and tons of protein. If I don’t have five minutes, I love smoothies and protein shakes. I find that protein is the best source of continued energy for me throughout the day. Instead of starting the day with a coffee, I actually start my day with a whey protein shake. I personally buy my protein from Beachbody, but you can find whey protein everywhere, even at the grocery store!

Natural Energy Boost

I also try to stay away from coffee in general—too much caffeine (particularly on an empty stomach) can make me feel crazy, so I try to take other routes. Most natural supplements that are touted as alternatives to caffeine actually have caffeine in them. If I’m looking to avoid caffeine or cut it down, I load up on B vitamins and amino acids like taurine, which are both known to boost energy and metabolism. I really love the liquid B complex from GNC, you just add a few drops to a bottle of water and you’ll feel continuous energy throughout the day!

Relax

Above all, I think it’s important to periodically pull myself off the canvas and look at what I can do to feel happier. This can be as simple as getting up from my desk for a few minutes to stretch and walk around every hour. l set up some music playlists on my computer and phone that I can listen to when I’m home cleaning, out running errands or working. This makes work and chores less exhausting.

learn to relax


In my busy day, I could get exhausted and overwhelmed easily. But when I try to get enough sleep and exercise, eat well and relax, I find that I end the day happier and excited for what’s to come.

 

Article written by: Emily Stone

Ms. Stone is a full-time mom, health freak, fitness enthusiast, and wannabe chef. She is the proud momma of two girls and a loving wife. Emily is in the process of starting up her own blog, but in the mean time you can follow her at @FitMommaEm.

 

 

 

 

The opinions and advice expressed by  Ms. Stone are not necessarily that of The Women's Club or it's agents.

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women

The Benefits of Eating Raw Foods

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 5, 2013 11:47:00 AM

Eating in the Raw

No, don't worry...we're not talking about eating raw foods such as meat and fish, nor only raw foods such as celery sticks or salads. There are many healthy, vitamin-packed raw vegetables that taste better and are more nutritious in their fresh state, rather than cooked. Raw foodsraw food diet also include a wide variety of luscious fruits and crunchy, flavorful nuts and seeds.

You can even enjoy raw foods blended into juices and smoothies, or in dehydrated form as dried fruits or vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes. With proper cooking techniques, however, you can also include raw vegetables (as opposed to canned or frozen) in soups, so you can consume the nutrient-enriched water or low-sodium vegetable broth in the soup along with the vegetables. Eating raw foods in these various forms provides numerous benefits. Yummy Raw Foods Recipes

Specific Benefits of Eating Raw Foods:

  • One of the primary benefits of eating raw foods is the increased nutrients you will enjoy from not destroying them in the cooking process; nutrients include potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants.
  • Raw food is high in fiber content, and low in sugar and fat content.
  • Eating raw food contributes to weight loss and fewer problems with hypertension.
  • Health benefits, espoused by proponents of "raw foodism," include lower cholesterol, better glucose levels, leaner body build, clearer skin, and higher energy levels and stamina.
  • While not conclusive, researchers reviewed findings from 50 or more medical studies showing that eating raw foods tends to lower the risks of a variety of cancers, including bladder, esophageal, gastric, laryngeal, oral, and pharyngeal cancers.
  • Another study showed that eating raw foods lowers the risks of heart disease and diabetes, because of lowered concentrations of plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, raw food has lower acidity and fewer damaging compounds; as a result, eating raw foods may reduce inflammation and slow the effects of aging.
  • Raw foods are easier to digest and stay in the body's digestive tract for less time than cooked foods--about 24 to 36 hours, compared to an alarming 40 to 100 hours for cooked foods.
  • Eating raw foods improves mental clarity and heightens the ability to concentrate.
  • Eating raw foods leaves you feeling energized rather than tired, and promotes a more restful night's sleep.
  • Raw foods do not build up toxicity in the body, nor cause the body to react by increasing the white blood cell count, as a natural defense of the body's immune system.
  • Raw foods are tasty and appealing "as is" with no need to add unhealthy and/or artificial flavorings.
   agriculture-antioxidant-carrot-33307

Numerous healthy diet studies also identified other benefits that contrasted with certain "myths" or misunderstandings about eating raw food in controlled research groups:

  • Raw foodists rarely exhibited problems with food allergies.
  • Raw foodists revealed healthy bones, less inflammation, and no problems with osteoporosis.
  • Serum sterols attributed as factors in rheumatoid arthritis decreased in raw food diets, and relieved joint pain in subjects with arthritis.
  • Raw foods provided significantly more dietary antioxidants than cooked food, especially meats.
  • Eating raw foods alleviated symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Eating raw foods improved overall cognitive performance.
  • Eating raw foods reduced abdominal obesity and lowered blood pressure.

Summing it Up

It is always best to check with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making dietary changes. However, it is likely he or she will be happy to give you a "thumbs up" on a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods. 

 

 

 

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women

Can You Lose Weight By Eating Lunch Early?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 30, 2013 11:54:00 AM

All in the Timing?

lose weight eating lunch

There could be connection to eating lunch early and losing weight according to a recently published study. Dieters who ate early lunches tended to lose more weight than those who had their midday meal on the later side, in a new Spanish study.


The finding doesn't prove bumping up your lunch hour will help you shed those extra pounds. But it's possible eating times play a role in how the body regulates its weight, researchers said. "We should now seriously start to consider the timing of food - not just what we eat, but also when we eat," said study co-author Frank Scheer, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.


His team's research included 420 people attending nutrition clinics in southeast Spain. Along with going to regular group therapy sessions with nutrition and exercise counseling, dieters measured, weighed and recorded their food and reported on their daily physical activity.
Study participants were on a Mediterranean diet, in which about 40 percent of each day's calories are consumed at lunch. About half of people said they ate lunch before 3 p.m. and half after.


Over 20 weeks of counseling, early and late lunchers ate a similar amount of food, based on their food journals, and burned a similar amount of calories through daily activities.
However, early eaters lost an average of 22 pounds - just over 11 percent of their starting weight - and late eaters dropped 17 pounds, or nine percent of their initial weight.


What time dieters ate breakfast or dinner wasn't linked to their ultimate weight loss, according to findings published Tuesday in the International Journal of Obesity. One limitation of the study is that the researchers didn't assign people randomly to eat early or late - so it's possible there were other underlying differences between dieters with different mealtimes. Certain gene variants that have been linked to obesity were more common in late lunchers, for example.


OVERDOING IT AT DINNER?

Dr. Yunsheng Ma, a nutrition researcher from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, said people who eat later may have extra food in their stomach when they go to sleep - which could mean more of it isn't burned and ends up being stored as fat.


"One of the other aspects to this is, what we know is glucose tolerance for example - how well you can deal with sugar in your food - your body is better able to cope with that in the morning than in the evening," Scheer told Reuters Health.


How often people eat during the day and whether they bring food from home or eat out may also contribute to weight loss, added Ma, who wasn't involved in the new research.
He said any implications of late eating could be exacerbated among Americans. "The pattern of consumption of meals is very different in the U.S.," and problematic, Ma told Reuters Health.

Many people skip breakfast or lunch - then end up overdoing it on calories at dinner.
Scheer said in the U.S., where dinner is typically the biggest meal, researchers would expect people who eat later dinners to have more trouble losing weight based on his team's findings.
Regardless of exact meal times, Ma said it's important for people to spread their calories out throughout the day. "Have a good breakfast and a good lunch, and at dinner, people should eat lightly," he advised.


Article written by: By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health

 

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Top Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Starting TODAY!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 28, 2012 11:35:00 AM

GRRRRRRR...

Why is that some people can eat whatever they want, exercise as little as they want and still stay slim and trim when some just look at a piece of food and goes right to the hips, tummy, thighs or rear end? The answer, as frustrating as it may be, is that they probably have a faster metabolism. Good news though...by making simple food and exercise choices it is possible to boost and even repair a sluggish metabolism. We have put together our top five tips to help get that little calorie-burning furnace of yours humming along with out a hitch!

1. Don't skip breakfast, make sure it contains protein.

Want a sure fire way to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast!  In addition to reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, studies found that those who start the day off right may increase their metabolism by as much as 10%! What should you nosh on to be most effective? Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt and a handful of granola.

what happens when you skip breakfast


2. Build Muscle

Yup, it's a fact...as we age we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One of the best methods for combatting these unfortunate effects of father time is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass.  Research suggests that resistance training may even increase life expectancy.


3. Eat every 2-4 hours to keep blood sugar stable

Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down. Food stimulates energy metabolism needed for digestion in a process called “dietary induced 

how to stabilize blood sugar

thermogenesis.” When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate.

Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to boost your metabolism is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.


4. Cut refined carbs from your diet

If you are trying to rev up the old metabolic rate it is a good idea to avoid or strictly limit refined, processed carbohydrates (apart from an occasional treat). Refined carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, and many diet related diseases. Replace those foods with 'fat burning' foods to speed up you metabolism.

What is a refined carb?

5. Fill up on lots of veggies and clean sources of protein, like chicken or fish.

Vegetables that are high in fiber and of the non-starchy variety such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, endives, celery, tomatoes, and peppers are the best metabolism boosters. What's thier secret? They have the most fat burning properties and also have minimal impact on your insulin levels. Foods that burn fat and calories help in regulating and boosting your metabolism. 

Lean proteins such as skinless chicken breasts can also increase your metabolic rate. The digestion of protein stimulates cellular activity leading to the burning of the excess fats. Best sources? In addition to skinless chicken, try turkey breast, egg whites, fish and seafood.

pexels-photo-629093

 

 

Become a Lean, Mean Calorie Burning Machine!

As you can see there are many things that you can do each and every day to combat a sluggish metabolism and give your weight loss and fitness efforts just the boost it may be needing. From what you are putting into your mouth to what type of exercise you are doing, the lesson here is that IT ALL MATTERS! Whether you take on all five at one time or just work on doing better and better one at a time, you can't go wrong with these five ways to boost your metabolism. A leaner stronger you is just waiting inside of you and it's time to let her out!

 

Tired of not getting the desired results from your current eating/exercise plan, confused about what to eat, want to take your body to the next level or just want to live more healthfully, prevent disease, live longer, stronger years and age beautifully? Have we got the solution for you! If you are living it the local Chantilly area, you are invited to a FREE, can't miss seminar to help you learn how to properly fuel your body, fire up your metabolism, and get the most from your exercise program!

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, fat burning

4 Shockingly Unhealthy Seasonal Hot Beverages

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 30, 2012 11:24:00 AM

BRRRRRRRRRR...

As the days turn colder and winter is at its official start, the urge to warm our bodies with something rich, creamy and comforting can be strong....it's sometimes not always the best choice in the world in terms of our waistlines. 

“With flavored drinks, the problem is the sugar,” explains Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet. “At four to five pumps of syrup per drink, you can rack up anywhere from 150 to 300 extra liquid calories.” So before you unknowingly knock back a meal’s worth of calories, check out these 4 Unhealthy Seasonal Hot Beverages from Prevention Magazine, plus slimmed-down versions you can sip guilt free.

art-beverage-breakfast-162764-169138-edited

Unhealthy Hot Chocolate: Starbucks White Hot Chocolate

You’re probably not expecting a light treat when you order hot chocolate anyway, but this frothy concoction is heavier than it appears. Order a whipped cream–topped grande made with 2% milk, and you’re guzzling your way to 490 calories and 65% of your saturated fat for the day, as well as more sugar than two Snickers candy bars.

Try this instead: Starbucks Hot Chocolate. Downsize to an 8-ounce serving, ask for skim milk and no whipped cream, and indulge in a chocolate treat that comes in under 200 calories. It will stomp out your chocolate craving for less than half the calories.

Unhealthy Seasonal Drink: Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Coffee With Cream

Yes, it tastes like fall, but in this case, you’re better off eating a slice of pumpkin pie than sipping this seemingly harmless coffee. Not only does a large pumpkin coffee with cream contain a whopping 330 calories, but the pumpkin syrup in the season hot beverage also contains a toothache-causing combination of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and brown sugar.

Try this instead: Small Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Coffee. “Flavored coffees are great for saving calories,” says Lippert. For only 15 calories, you get spice-filled flavor guilt free. Add a teaspoon of sugar, and you’re still right around 30 calories.

 

Unhealthy Caramel Drink: Au Bon Pain Caramel Macchiato

Macchiatos by themselves are a light blend of espresso and steamed milk. However, with the addition of a few caramel “dots,” this drink morphs into a full-blown dessert. A medium 16-ounce drink contains 430 calories and more sugar than three of Au Bon Pain’s white chocolate chunk macadamia nut cookies.

Try this instead: Au Bon Pain Medium Nonfat Latte With Whipped Cream. Even with the extra 20 calories from the whipped cream, this seasonal hot beverage is still less guilt inducing than the macchiato.

 

Unhealthy Latte: McDonald's Nonfat Hazelnut Latte

We’ve already recommended choosing nonfat lattes over other coffee drinks, and with good reason—they’re typically right around 100 calories and contain 30% of your daily calcium. Unfortunately, this “light” latte from McDonald’s doesn’t meet the criteria. A medium nonfat hazelnut latte has a cringe-worthy 220 calories and 55 g of sugar. 

Try this instead: McDonald’s Small Cappuccino. “Cappuccinos contain less milk, so you can splurge on full-fat milk,” says Lippert. This creamy drink is just 120 calories, but it’s rich enough to taste like a treat.

 

It's Not Necessarily All Bad

Research has found that certain hot beverages including coffee may not always be detrimental to your health. It is important to remember that not everything you heard about the positive effects is true. 

Download your copy of "Coffee & Health: Fact or Fiction" from the good folks at The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.

 

 
 
Nutrition Information From: Prevention Magazine, December 2011

 

 

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Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bites? OH YEAH!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 19, 2012 11:24:00 AM

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere


As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches suddenly pumpkin is all around us. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin scented candles, pumpkin cheese cake...it's EVERYWHERE! We decided to bring you a healthy and tasty twist on a Thanksgiving day classic. While you may not be willing to pass on grandma's pumpkin pie this Turkey Day but beyond the celebration, these little balls are bites of pure heaven, filled with nutritious deliciousness. If you love pumpkin pie recipes, you are gonna LOVE these Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bites!

 

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup + more if needed organic all natural peanut butter (almond or any other nut butter is fine)Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites resized 600
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and stir until a sticky batter forms.  It should be wet enough to form into balls without falling apart.  Form into 24 bite size balls and store in the fridge until ready to eat.  

This healthy Thanksgiving recipe is easier than pie! :)


 

Bonus Tip for Healthier Eating on Thanksgiving:

Don't waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long. Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.


 

If you are "lightening up" your holiday menu we at The Women's Club would love to hear what you are making and how you're giving it a healthy twist. Drop your healthy Thanksgiving recipes into the comment box below. Women's Club blog readers LOVE it when you share!

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Fish Oil Pills Not Heart Healthy? What?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 12, 2012 11:14:00 AM

Is Fish Oil the New Snake Oil?

For years we have been told that as far as heart health, nothing could be better for you than taking a few fish oil pills as part of a healthy daily diet. Now a shocking study conducted by the American Medical Association has revealed that fish oil pills do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in spite of the fact that they have long been used as such and sometimes even prescribed by doctors as a preventative. This edition of Nutrition Advice for Women takes a look at the recent findings about fish oil supplements and examines some alternatives to popping a pill.

fish oil pills

 

Say It Ain't So...

The existing theory behind the use of fish oil pills in the diet was that they "help make the blood less ‘sticky’ and lower blood pressure by relaxing vessels, thus making heart attacks and strokes less likely." (huffingtonpost.com)  To be more specific, the findings came from over 20 studies which included more than 70,000 patients and found that taking the Omega-3 fatty acids found in these pills boasted no "significant effect on rates of heart attacks, strokes and heart-related deaths." (dailymail.com)

Study author Dr. Evangelos Rizos, of the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, said: “Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 p olyunsaturated fatty acid administration.” The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Fish oil supplements are hugely popular as a dietary supplements among Americans. Though it is hard to pin down an exact figure for sales of such products, an article in Forbes magazine noted that, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, over-the-counter fish oil supplements accounted for $739 million in sales in 2009. Meanwhile, in 2010 Americans spent nearly $4 billion on products fortified with extra omega-3s, according to the market research firm Packaged Facts.

Not Everyone Agrees

Many who have been convinced the they key to a healthy heart and longevity lies party in a bottle of the amber-colored pill find themselves very disappointed by these findings, but the not everyone in the medical field  agrees with them. Conflicting information abounds, for example a study published two years ago found a one gram a day supplement could help extend the lives of those with heart failure, and patients who have had heart attacks are alredy advised to take a pill daily. 

The relevance of the current study has been questioned by some. Dr. Carrie Ruxton, from the Health Supplements Information Service, said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their heart health benefits with a significant body of evidence.”

According to an article on abcnews.com , "Patients and doctors like the idea that it is natural and has no real side effects," said Dr. Howard Weintraub, clinical director of New York University Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. And some doctors say the findings of the new study are no reason to cut bait on fish oil pills.

"Meta-analysis (like the type used in this study), particularly when neutral, should not be used to draw a conclusion," said Melvyn Rubenfire of the University of Michigan.

So What SHOULD You Do Instead...Go Fish!

alternative to fish oil pills salmon

 

Many experts say the best way to get fish oil is just to eat fish. The American Heart Association (AMA) currently recommends that people get their dose of omega-3 fatty acids  from eating two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackeral, tuna, sardines, per week. For the fish-averse, a slightly different kind of omega-3 fatty acid can be found in flaxseed, walnuts soybeans and canola oils. In addition many cardioligists, and nutrition experts agree that regardless of its nature, no supplement is a "magic bullet" and they should never be used as a substitute for a healhty diet pattern. 

 

Still Confused?

As the debate on to fish or not to fish rages no, you may still be a little confused as to what types of fish are best to add to your diet and in what amounts in order to get the questions about fish oil supplement studyvital omega-3 fatty acids that we all need. The AMA has published Fish 101 which is a handy guide to more specific consumption recommendations. In addition, you should cosnlut your doctor before starting or stopping any supplement regimen. 


You can also drop us a note in the comments section below or submit your question privately and we would be more than happy to forward it on to our team of experts!

 

 

 

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

Buying Organic is Good for You...Except When It's Not

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 16, 2012 11:40:00 AM

Shopping Organic Doesn't Always Mean Healthy

Increasing numbers of us are waking up to the benefits of eating in more healthy ways and looking for food products that are made with our health – and the planet’s health - in mind. Organic foods stores are flourishing, as the go-to places for healthy nutrition.

organic market


If you’ve recently decided to boost your own health by eating better, it’s likely you’ve made a few exploratory trips to the local natural foods stores. You may even have purchased a few items and perhaps you were amazed at how delicious they were. Sure, it’s ‘health food,’ but those crackers were outstanding; that ice cream was to die for. You may assume that anything you purchase at the health food store is ok to consume and free of health risks. Turns out that it’s a bit more complicated than that. Since people adhere to all different kinds of diets, even health food stores offer a huge variety of products, not all of them suited to a style of consumption that’s dedicated to strictly healthy practices.


If you are serious about your nutrition for fitness, you’ll need to carefully examine all food labels, even those from trusted health food resources. Here’s why:

1.   Gluten-free foods have become the recent craze and a smart one to say the least, however, when purchasing gluten-free one must watch the sugar content. Sugar is organic, but it is never healthy in anything other than very small amounts. On average, Americans consume 30 teaspoons, (that’s 475 calories) of added sugars on a daily basis, which is more than three times what’s recommended by the American Heart Association. And according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, 16 percent of kids and adolescents’ total daily calories come from added sugars! So, keep an eye out on sugar content in the gluten-free department.  These tend to be misconstrued as “healthy” and even though one may give up gluten, they may end up adding just a bit too much sugar in the diet.

2.   Vegetarian “faux-meats” and frozen entrees may be made from nutritious ingredients, but how much fat and how many calories do they pack in? Also, be aware of your consumption of processed soy since that is essentially what you are eating. You might want to check those numbers before indulging in extra helpings. Organic or not, such products should be consumed with restraint.

20 Frozen Entrees - Nutiritonal Break Down

3.   Organic soups are another health food product to watch out for. While these are generally better than traditional, non-organic canned soup, they can still contain more than half your recommended daily allowance of sodium. It’s recommended to look for soups with less than 400 mg per serving (and to watch out because many cans actually have two servings). You can always spice up your soup with herbs to make more flavor. 

Favorite Soups of the Experts

Eating organic foods is generally good for people and for the environment. But in the midst of the craze to establish a better diet, take the time to make sure you really are buying the excellent nutrition you are looking for.

Still Confused?

We completely understand! Navigating your way through all things "organic" can be a daunting task. Sorting through nutrition advice for women in general gets even tougher when there are conflicting reports on everything from soup to nuts. We would love to help you with those burning questions! Drop us a line in the comment box or click the button below and fire away!

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here
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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, nutrition

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