Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category


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Which picture do you think most people are fueling their bodies with? The left or right? 

How do you like the images above? Pretty cool right….Well Yes and No. We all have heard of the term “You are what you eat” and it is a really true statement. The two pictures above really puts this saying into perspective. It took me a while to realize that the kinds of food that I ate either had a negative or positive effect on my health and physical performance. I’m not perfect, there are sometimes I will eat junk food when hanging out with close friends or if I am celebrating an occasion but I am sure to get back on track the next day.

Foods that are whole and natural are full of vitamins and nutrients that supply our bodies with energy and the fuel it needs for maximum performance, weight loss, and healthy blood sugar levels. Foods that are processed such as fast food, potato chips, cookies, and sodas does just the opposite. The body is not designed to digest processed, junk and fake foods and when it does most of all of it is stored as fat. Yes, this food can be worked off but you would probably have to triple or even quadruple your workout times just to burn off the calories. Is it really worth it?

Ultimately, it is ok to have cheat food from time to time but we should not make it apart of our daily eating routine. Some people like myself have it bad. Once I start eating bad its kind of tough to turn it off therefore I don’t do it much. On another note, some people can have one slice of pie and be perfectly fine after that. Fast food nutrition should make up a very minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a wide range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Benefits of healthy eating

  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
  • Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.

Negative Effects on junk food

Junk food is often high in sugar, salt, white flour, and fat, particularly saturated fat. It is often heavily processed and prepackaged, making it easy to prepare and consume. A few examples of foods often considered to be junk food include fast food, sweets such as ice cream, candy, donuts, and prepackaged treats, soda, and potato chips, among many others. Most people have no trouble identifying junk food; it is when they want to stop eating junk food that the trouble starts.

The first effect of eating junk food is its impact on energy levels. Many people skip breakfast or other meals throughout the day, choosing instead to grab a quick snack or a soft drink. The junk food causes energy levels to spike, which people like, but then energy levels will quickly plummet, sending one back into the kitchen for another quick snack. In addition, junk food can cause moodiness, and make it difficult to get enough sleep at night, so energy levels are never restored to normal.

So I encourage you today to start thinking about the foods that you eat and how they will benefit your health and your physical performance before you eat it. If you are about to eat a piece a cake, think of all the nutritional benefits that it has…… which is probably zero unless it is a Paleo cake :). If it doesn’t have any benefits then you may want to choose a better alternative.

Thanks for reading as always,

-LJay


It’s been 3 years since the blog was created! Woah does time fly by. We all had some great discussions on previous blog post over the past years and I want to make this year even better. I am asking for your feedback on topics that you would like to read about in the future. If you have any other recommendations that can improve the blog, I want to hear those too. :) I really appreciate all of my readers and want to make your experience on the site as interesting as possible. 

Leave a comment and use the poll below.


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It’s always interesting to see the studies done on processed foods and how they compare to natural whole foods. In the photo above the watermelon aged as time went by representing that it is a natural food from the earth. On the flip side, the burger and fries did not age as time went by and as a matter of fact it looked exactly the same 180 days later.

When we eat processed foods like burger, fries, vending machine foods, cookies, chips, soda etc our bodies have a hard time processing the food as energy therefore stores the food as fat and toxins in the body.

Foods that are natural, whole and from nature like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats are better absorbed by the body and used as fuel for energy.

Why not look good from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Incorporating more natural food in the diet helps improve skin tone, eye sight, improve chronic diseases, and helps with sleep patterns.

I use to have bad skin before eating more natural foods and would be so focused on buying skin care products and going to see the dermatologist to apply chemicals to my skin. Nothing would really work, I saw a little improvement but didn’t get the results I wanted. When I started eating foods like spinach, broccoli, carrots, nuts, berries and fruits and drinking water I started to notice that my skin tone improved drastically. Blemishes were gone, oily skin reduced, and pimples didn’t appear anymore.

What kind of improvements have you noticed while eating whole foods?

Remember eat to live and not live to eat. Correct the issues starting from the inside out and make this a great year to improve your health!

Thanks for reading as always,

LJay Health


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On behalf of LJAY HEALTH, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks so much for following and reading my blog. I am thankful to have all of you as a great support system and fitness family! Enjoy your feast, workouts, family etc!

Share with us, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?


With Halloween just around the corner the stores are stocking up with Pumpkins for you to buy. Instead of carving the pumpkin for Halloween decoration it is also beneficial to eat it as well. Pumpkins are high in fiber, low in calories and fat and a good source of vitamins. Below are the many health benefits of eating pumpkin and pumpkin seed!

Benefits of Eating Pumpkin

Pumpkins Keep Eyesight Sharp

A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Pumpkins Aid Weight Loss
Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.
Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Your Heart
Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol
Pumpkins May Reduce Cancer Risk
Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Pumpkins Protect The Skin
The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free, Health magazine reported.
Pumpkins Can Help After A Hard Workout
Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature’s energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422.A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

Additional Benefits 

Prevents Kidney Stones – Have 5 to 10 grams of pumpkin seeds every day. This stimulates the kidneys and prevents the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Depression – Pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness. Having pumpkin as a part of your daily diet can keep your spirits high and prevent depression.

Diuretics Pumpkins are natural diuretics. These help in flushing out the toxins and unwanted waste material from the body, leaving you refreshed and healthy.

Promotes Prostate Health

For you men over 50 helping carve pumpkins this Halloween, be sure to save those seeds.  Pumpkin seeds help promote a healthy prostate and minimize the issues such as urination problems due to an enlarged prostate.  Prostate problems are most common in men over fifty.

Better Bones

Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and are a great natural resource for this much needed nutrition.  Low levels of zinc are one of the links to osteoporosis.

Arthritis Relief

In a recent study pumpkin seeds showed the same anti-inflammatory benefits as the non-steroid drug indomethacin.  The good news on these results is that the pumpkin seeds did not have the same negative effect of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the lining of joints like the anti-inflammatory drug.


 

New York just passed into legislation to ban the purchase of more than 16 ounces of soda at one time. This means that restaurants, movie theaters, street vendors and other establishments are not allowed to sell more than a medium sized drink. As this is great news to help take control of the major obesity issue that America is facing, what will stop buyers from simply going back to the venue and purchasing another beverage?? Will this hurt businesses financially due to restricting their sells on product? How will locals of New York city feel about this?

What are your thoughts on this legislation? We have freedom speech but no freedom to purchase now. And still we can walk into a store and buy as much as alcohol and beer as we want…..

Whole heartily I understand the reasoning for this ban however there are other ways to take control and help people to eat and live healthier. Peer groups, more education boards, community outreach, mandates on beverage suppliers to remove certain chemicals and syrups.

And why New York city? This is major tourism city that people visit and when they do they want to have fun and enjoy themselves and not be restricted on the size of the drink they can order?

Mayor Bloomberg in a interview with Dr. Gupta stated “this is a personal issue for me”. However, to me smoking and tobacco is a much bigger issue than drinking a large soda. Lets fry this big fish first and then work our way down.

 


I was doing some research and came across an article on McDonalds and thought to myself “When was the last time I ate there”? Thankfully I could not remember the last time I ate fast food at all. It seems like everywhere you go there is a McDonalds restaurant on the corner. Now they are in hospitals, colleges, airports, and even churches.

I remember watching a documentary Super Size Me and it was very interesting but sad of all the negative health effects that Morgan Spurlock developed just by eating fast food all those times, not to mention all the weight he gained as well. He put his health on the line just to educate and demonstrate how our bodies react to these foods. If you haven’t seen the documentary I highly recommend it.

Fast food costs are inexpensive and tastes very good, but the negative effects on physical health last much longer. With the high-calorie meals come more fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar — and therefore fewer vitamins, minerals and other nutrients — than in healthier foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that these eating habits create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity alone can severely limit lifestyles and shorten life spans.

Fast food can be the biggest contributer to obesity. Fast foods are loaded with fat and calories. Ordering without limits may have negative effects on your health and weight. Hamburgers with multiple  patties, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise may exceed the 65mg fat limit recommended by the USDA for the whole day.

Many drive-through foods and drinks have high sugar content, including milkshakes, 62g of sugar, and colas, 44g, in 16-oz. servings as per the USDA. Fast foods contain high amounts of cholesterol and salt, two nutrients that contribute to cardiovascular health problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a direct link between sodium intake and negative effects on blood pressure, and note that Americans consume most of their sodium in processed and restaurant foods.

What have fast food companies done to make things better?

Fast food companies are developing healthier options to meet the desires of healthier consumer needs.. Many fast food chains now offer healthy options including low-fat, low calorie foods; fresh foods; bottled water; and salads made with fruits and vegetables. Some stand-outs in fast food nutrition include low-fat salads and sandwiches and grilled chicken.

Other healthier options have been added to many fast food menus. Low-fat yogurt, fruit cups and wheat buns can replace some of the higher fat and lower fiber meal options. However, these healthy choices have the ability to take a wrong turn when mixed with unhealthy selections, such as fried chicken and high-fat dressing on the salads, cookies, candies or high-sugar granola mixed into the yogurt or whipped toppings on the fruit. Stick with the food in its most natural form to get the highest nutritional benefit from it.

Thanks for reading LJAY HEALTH

References
USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sodium Fact Sheet
USDA: Nutrient Database
AHA: Eating Fast Food
Office of the Surgeon General: Overweight Consequences

 


Hi everyone! Monday, July 23, 2012 starts the first day of LJAY HEALTH 30 days of eating no refined sugar challenge.  The challenge will end on Friday, August 24, 2012. If you are looking to see increased fitness results or just an improvement of overall health you should join the challenge. This challenge will also test your mental strength as well!

If you are on Facebook, follow and Like my Facebook page to stay up to date on live post daily.- facebook.com/ljayhealth 

You can also find the Facebook link on the left side of this screen and click the Like button. The Facebook page will consist of other people who are also doing the challenge. Share ideas, stay motivated, share results all on the page!!

Things to know about Refined Sugar

Refined sugars consist of foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, table sugar, foods with high fructose corn syrup (donuts. chocolate, certain cereals, vending machine snacks etc.

Eliminating sugar from your diet stabilizes your blood sugar levels. When you eat foods that contain sugar, your pancreas releases insulin to help redistribute the sugar in your blood to your cells for energy. Your body stores excess sugar in your muscles and liver, according to LiveStrong.com.

Depending on your body’s response, consuming sugar may cause spikes in your blood sugar or glucose levels. When you eliminate sugary foods, you reduce these peaks, stabilizing your blood sugar. Eliminating sugar also reduces food cravings caused by drops in blood glucose, ridding yourself of the up-and-down pattern of your blood sugar levels.

The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar—specifically high fructose corn syrup. Just take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 300 years:

In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. (very, very low compared to today) 
In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!

Sugar is loaded into your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and hidden in almost all processed foods—from bologna to pretzels to Worcestershire sauce to cheese spread.

Here is a very interesting articles posted by MenHealth identifying 20 Most Sugar-Packed Foods.

http://eatthis.menshealth.com/content/20-most-sugar-packed-foods-america?article=5&page=1

Join LJAY HEALTH in this challenge and help spread the word about this challenge. I am very excited about this challenge! 

Post 30 Day No Refined Sugar Challenge


 

Completed 20 Handstand Pushups today on the road to my 25 Handstand pushup challenge. Getting close!

Who else is with me?

Congratulations to Muddy J @ muddyj.com for completing the 25 Handstand Pushup challenge today!! Great way to do work!

 

 


Maintaining a healthy lifestyles can sometimes be frustrating due to all the different directives from doctors, healthy experts and family members and friends. I came up with 7 quick healthy tips that you can focus on to help improve and maintain your overall health and well being. Always remember that portion control is everything, too much of even healthy food can be a negative impact on your health.
  1. Eat a balanced, Healthy Breakfast. Typically breakfast should include protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. Studies show that people who eat a regular breakfast maintain their weight and have a lower risk of diabetes. Try and avoid breakfast bars as many of them have too much sugar, too many calories and little protein. Try to include boiled eggs, make a protein shake mixed with protein, milk of your choice, and fruit, or some cut up fruit to take with you if you are rushing in the morning. Drink a cold glass of water as soon as your wake up to hydrate your body from the water loss through perspiration while sleeping. Have a handful of nuts including almonds, cashews, walnuts.
  2. Boost Cardiovascular Health with Physical Activity. Only 30 minutes of physical activity a day can improve cardiovascular health, reduce LDL cholesterol and help normalize weight. Some ways to increase your daily activity could be to park furthest away from your work building, or store. Use a bike for transportation, jump rope whenever possible. I keep a jumprope in my car at all times :) Take the stairs instead of the elevator if it’s a short flight. 
  3. Get at least six to eight hours of sleep. Avoid caffeine before bed. Close your eyes and do deep breathing exercising for 10 minutes. In yoga we practice breathing exercises all the time and it helps me to renew my mind and calms me down. Breathe in your nose and out your mouth, take deep breathes frequently especially when working out. Turn your phone on vibrate to avoid being disturbed while you are sleeping. If you have a hard time sleeping take a few caps of Melatonin (a natural sleep aid) before bed.
  4. Eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetable a day. Veggies and fruits are high in fiber and contain a large amount of antioxidants. These foods help protect you from heart disease, cancer and many other illnesses. I cant remember the last time I was sick or had to use my health insurance :) I eat fresh produce, organic when possible.
  5. Lift weights. Lifting weights helps increase bone density and lower body fat which increases metabolism and lower heart disease risk. If you are new to lifting weights, get a personal trainer to show the ropes or buy fitness magazines for different routines. Practice air squats, lunges, pushups and pullups. I have posted some videos on my youtube account with some of the routines. Youtube account name=ljayhealth :) Stair climbing, jogging, running and other workouts requires your body to work against gravity also boosting strength and endurance.
  6. Stay Hydrated.  You all have heard or know you are supposed to get in at least eight glasses of water per day. However if your exercising you should have more than this. Staying hydrated keeps you mentally focused and help maintain blood pressure, improves physical performance. During work days I keep a jug of water with me and drink it constantly throughout the day. When I workout I sip of water frequently. Try and avoid drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and increases the body needs for water. Foods high in water like fruits and vegggies count towards  your daily water intake!!! If you are not a fan of water, adding lemons to enhance the water taste may help you increase your water intake.
  7. Wash your hands. I previously posted a article on germs and their negative effects. Germs are everywhere and they are surrounding you right now. Washing your hands frequently helps to prevent you from becoming sick from bacteria and flu like symptoms. Wash your hands after leaving the restroom, pumping gas, opening and closing doors and typing on your computer. Avoid from touching your face, rubbing your eyes and licking your fingers. Use hand sanitizer while in the gym, and wipe down the equipment after your are done working out.  According to HandHygiene, during a 16 hour period we touch our face at least 250 times per day, 7500 times a month, and 90,000 times a year.

Following these tips daily will help prepare you and get you on the road for living a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for reading as always. -LJAY HEALTH :)