Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category


I have always liked the taste of tea especially green tea, but recently I have become a little obsessed with it ūüôā The other day I bought green tea and chai tea and kept it at work. Instead of drinking coffee constantly throughout the day I have decided to make some good ole tea instead. Dont get me wrong, I will still have my cup of coffee once a day and the rest of the day its tea for me.

The first recorded drinking of tea is in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating back to the 10th century BC. So people have been drinking tea for decades. Teas can be used for natural health remedies, herbal, and pleasure. The role of tea is well established in normalizing blood pressure, lipid depressing activity, prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing the blood-glucose activity.

The vanilla chai tea in the picture is really good especially when I mix it with soy creamer, kind of taste like a Chai tea latter. The green tea comes in different flavors such as mango and pomegranate. I usually just use water and the tea bags when making my tea.

Since I have been drinking tea I can really feel my body responding to it. I can tell that my muscle recovery is quicker and I am more alert and aware throughout the day, my skin complexion and tone are also improving too! More and more people are drinking tea which can help make for a healthier body.

Making  my tea

  1. 1 tea bag for every 8 ounces
  2. Warm or hot water
  3. Splash of natural honey (alternative if need sweetner)

Benefits of tea:

1.¬†Tea contains antioxidants. Tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2.¬†Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea. An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep¬†—¬†switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear.

4.¬†Tea protects your bones.¬†It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors.

5.¬†Tea increases your immune defenses.¬†Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. .

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects.

8.¬†Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that¬†didn’t¬†contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement.

9.¬†Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10.¬†Tea increases your metabolism. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea.

Some other good teas to try:

  • Pear green tea
  • English breakfast tea
  • Chamomile (helps with sleep)
  • Lemon tea
  • Raspberry tea
  • Cinnamon apple tea

The next time you are at the grocery store stop by the tea aisle and grab a box ! You will be happy that you did in the long run… -LJAY HEALTH


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I recently read in article on USA Today website regarding salt and figured I would post some comments about the article. Salt is not only table salt but it is Sodium found in almost every food especially frozen foods, chips and fast foods. Very important that you look on the nutrition label and keep track of the sodium amount. Sodium increases water retention in the body so you weight more, increases blood pressure levels, may lead to kidney failure and clogs the blood arteries.

Most recently, a study published in the journal Stroke made headlines confirming a direct link between sodium intake and increased stroke risk. The Institute of Medicine estimates that 100,000 deaths a year could be prevented with population-wide sodium reductions. And while the U.S. Dietary Guideline’s sodium cap is 2,300 milligrams, the American Heart Association has lowered its recommendation to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. That’s less than one teaspoon of salt. But most of us are getting at least double that ‚ÄĒ a whopping average of over 3,400 mg. daily.

  • An estimate of over 100,000 deaths per year could be prevented just but a reduction of sodium. This is a powerful statement and eye opening that this amount is as high as it is. The recommended amount for sodium intake is about 1,500 mg a day. However on average people are consuming 3,400 over twice the recommended amount.

Things to do to lower your sodium intake according to the USA Today article:

1. Focus on fresh
Up to 75% of the sodium we eat comes from prepared and processed foods, so simply cooking at home from fresh, minimally processed ingredients will give you a big head start. For example, pre-cooked seasoned chicken breast can have more than 500 mg. sodium in 3 ounces. If you buy it fresh and season and cook it yourself, even if you use some salt, it will likely have half the sodium.

2. Boost flavor healthfully
Instead of leaning on salt for flavor, amp up healthy seasonings such as citrus and citrus zest, fresh and dried herbs, ground spices, chile peppers, vinegars, onion, garlic, and ginger.

3. Buy low-sodium
When you do use products in cans or jars, buy the low-sodium or no-salt-added versions. You can always add other seasoning and even add a touch of salt if necessary, but this way you are in control of how much.

4. Add salt sparingly and reduce incrementally
Don’t think “all or nothing.” A little salt can go a long way in terms of boosting flavor and there’s no need to eliminate it completely. Cut back a step at a time so your taste buds can adapt, starting with three-fourths of the salt you might typically use, then reduce to half over time.

Foods with high sodium levels according to WebMD:

  • Frozen dinners= 787 mgs per dinner
  • Cereals= 250 mgs of sodium per cup
  • Vegetable juices= 479 mgs of sodium per cup
  • Canned vegetables=730 mgs per can
  • Packed deli meat=363 mgs
  • Soy Sauce= 1,024 mgs
Most of these foods almost reach our recommended daily intake of 1,500 mgs of sodium a day. There are such as fast foods burgers and fries which exceeds our daily intake in one serving.

Things that you can do to start limiting your salt intake:

  • Don’t go cold turkey and cut all the sodium out at one time. However, make smalls strides to cutting it. Every day try to reduce your sodium intake by 3-5 mg.
  • Use garlic salt or sea salt as a substitute.
  • Avoid eating frozen foods and eat fresh foods instead.
  • Drink more water to help flush the sodium out of your body. Drinking water helps to flush the sodium out of your kidneys when filtered.

Lets spread the word today and help reduce the illness and death toll by educating friends, family, coworkers on some of the health benefits of reducing sodium intake.

Thank you for reading as always!! -LJayHealth



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I have always been a fan of hummus but didn’t really know what to put it on. I was trying different things but I though about what would be the healthiest so I was testing out veggies and the best veggie in my opinion that taste great with hummus is Celery. Celery is a great vegetable for fiber, vitamin A and C. Celery is also low in calories.

Some other vegetables that taste great with hummus as tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and carrots. Try them out today and become one step closer to living a healthier lifestyle!


Spinach

Spinach is considered a miracle food in most cultures, and we all know of the¬†famous¬†cartoon character “popeye” who always made sure he had his spinach for the day to maintain strong muscles and bones. I usually eat 2 cups of¬†spinach¬†everyday when I make a salad and when I make a green smoothie. You should start too! See below some great benefits of eating Spinach! ¬†Here are a load of great benefits of spinanch and the positive effects that it has on your overall health.

  • Good Eyesight:¬†Spinach is a rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthene, all of which are beneficial for eyesight. Beta carotene is supplied to the eyes by cooked¬†spinach. It can prevent one from¬†vitamin Adeficiency disease, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes.
  • Age-related Macula Degeneration (AMD):¬†AMD or Retinitis pigmentosa is responsible for causing blindness. It is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthene which form central part of the retina. According to research conducted by¬†Oak Ridge National Laboratory, consumption of¬†spinach¬†can result in regaining of the two pigments and preventing AMD effectively.
  • Blood Pressure:¬†Spinach has high content of¬†potassium¬†and low content of¬†sodium. This composition ofminerals¬†is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as¬†potassium¬†lowers and¬†sodium¬†raises the blood pressure. Folate present in¬†spinach¬†contributes in reducing hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, maintaining proper blood flow.
  • Strengthens Muscles:¬†A component of¬†spinach, factor C0-Q10 which is an anti-oxidant, plays important role in strengthening muscles especially heart muscle which continuously pumps blood to all parts of the body. As per the¬†Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart diseases.
  • Cataract:¬†Lutein and zeaxanthin present in¬†spinach¬†act as strong antioxidants thus preventing the eyes from harsh effects of UV rays that lead to cataract.
  • Atherosclerosis and Heart Attack:¬†Atherosclerosis is caused due to hardening of arteries. A pigment named lutein found in¬†spinach¬†has been shown to reduce the occurrence atherosclerosis, heart attack as well as stroke. This is due to the fact that¬†spinach¬†proteins tend to reduce the cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels.
  • Neurological Benefits:¬†Several components of¬†spinach¬†like¬†potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. According to¬†Neurology, folate which reduces due to occurrence ofAlzheimer‘s disease can be revived by¬†spinach.
  • Bone Mineralization:¬†Spinach is a good source of Viatmin K, which functions in retaining¬†calcium¬†in the bone matrix thereby leading to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other¬†minerals¬†like¬†manganese,¬†copper,magnesium,¬†zinc¬†and¬†phosphorus¬†also help in building up of strong bones. This in turn can prevent an individual from osteoporosis of bones.
  • Anti-Ulcerative:¬†It has been found that¬†spinach¬†and some other vegetables have the ability to protect the mucous membrane of stomach thereby decreasing the occurrence of gastric ulcers.
  • Anti-Cancerous Property:¬†Spinach made up of various important constituents has been found to be promising in various kinds of¬†cancer. These include bladder, prostate, liver and lung¬†cancer. Different constituents in¬†spinach¬†like folate, tocopherol, chlorophyllin act via different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
  • Skin Protection:¬†Different phytonutrients and pigments have been shown to protect the skin from harmful rays of sun including the UV rays. These not only protect but also repair the damaged genes to some extent thereby preventing skin¬†cancer¬†in long run.
  • Foetus Development:¬†Folate found in¬†spinach¬†is needed by the growing foetus for proper development of new nervous system. Defects like cleft palate or spina bifida may occur due to deficiency of folate. Vitamin A offered by¬†spinach¬†is advised to be consumed in more quantities by the mother. Vitamin A is required in lung development of foetus as well as during¬†breast feeding.
  • Protein Rich for Infant‚Äôs Proper Growth:¬†‚ÄėPopeye‚Äô, the sailor man is known for his obsession for¬†spinach. The cartoon was deliberately shown to eat¬†spinach¬†and get strong. Infants are advised to be fed with spinach which is a rich in protein, vitamins¬†minerals¬†and phytonutrients. These will result in proportionate development in there growing stage

Tips to eating your Spinach:

  • Wash it- Very important to wash your¬†spinach¬†before eating it to wash away any unsafe minerals or bacteria. Even if the bag says “Washed” still wash your¬†Spinach¬†to be safe.
  • Mix in a salad to enhance taste.
  • Mix in a green smoothie
  • If you decide to cook your¬†spinach, be sure not to overcook due to take the risk of reliving the vegetable of important nutrients
  • Add spinach to a sandwich, sub, or wrap.

And most importantly ENJOY and SHARE!!!!

 


The secret to losing weight:

-Cut the junk foods
-Intake fewer calories
-Reduce Sugar Intake
-Reduce Sodium Consumption
-Cut back on on complex carbohydrates
-Drink plenty of water (eight 8 ounces a day)
-Engage in physical activity at least 30 minutes a day
-Remove the stress from your life

Although this may seem like alot but it is actually very simple. Foods that are low in calories, sugars, and sodium are idea for daily food intake. Foods such as fruits, green vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains ,nuts and seeds tends to put your metabolism into full blast. When we remove extra sugar from our food intake our blood sugar levels stay normal and allows the liver to conduct its primary job (burning fat). When loosing weight it is also important to watch out for the sodium intake. A surplus in sodium stores in our body as water weight. The average amount of sodium that we should intake daily is no more the 1500mg. Foods that are high in sodium are sodas, fried foods, added salt, and frozen dinners. Be sure to check the nutrition labels for sodium amounts when grocery shopping, you may be surprised how fast the sodium amount rises quick throughout the day.

A major way of removing the access fat cells is cutting back on the complex carbohydrates. White breads, white rice, pasta, and flavored cereals.(Remember if its white, its not right). Instead it is ok to result to whole wheat products instead; wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice,and whole grain cereals. When we intake complex carbohydrates it is then digested into our bodies as sugar and then the excess is stored into fat cells.

Engaging in physical activity at least 30 minutes a day allows the body to burns the fat cells away. Exercising also promotes perspiration which helps to unclog our skin pours for healthier skin, opens our blood vessels for increase blood flow, and helps to unclog blocked arteries which can lead to health issues.

Regular exercise has been proven to help:

Reduce stress
Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
Boost self-esteem
Improve sleep

Throwing out the junk foods:

A friend of mine was so concerned that she was not eating as healthy as she could be; so she invited me into her kitchen to examine some of the foods she had stored in her pantry and refrigerator. During my analysis I threw out the whole milk, white bread, butter, sodas, the container of sugar, cookies, candy, potato chips and frozen dinners. She was somewhat upset that these foods were being thrown away due to the money she had spent on them but it was time for her to realize those foods were affecting her health tremendously. We then took a trip to the local grocery and replaced the foods with more healthier selections such as fat free milk, wheat thin crackers, water, diet soda, wheat bread and so on. This was a major change for her but she knew that it would be better for her health which was most important. A week later she called me and told me that she was down 4 pounds!! All she did was change the way she was ate, and going from a unhealthy eating situation to a more nutritional way of eating.

My advice to you:

Just as my friend dropped 4 pounds in only one week by changing her food selection you too can do the same. Get motivated today to throw out the junk the same way I did for my friend. If you feel that wasting money isn’t necessary, offer the foods to a family member or a friend. It is time to take control of your weight and most importantly your HEALTH.


I love Starbucks coffee, I go at least 3x a week and sometimes 4x a week. People always ask me how do I stay in shape with drinking so much Starbucks coffee and always going there. The truth is; it is easy to keep in shape with drinking Starbucks coffee but only if you drink the right thing.  I keep it simple when ordering coffee, regular black coffee with soymilk and 1 splenda packet. Taste amazing. This is so much better for you than drinking a iced latte or frappucino.

If you drink at Starbucks and you want to keep it healthy here are some good tips:

  • Never add whip cream (if your coffee comes with whip cream ask them not to add it)
  • Save your self calories by avoiding the Venti cup size, go with the tall or grande cup size instead
  • If you need¬†sweetener, use splenda instead of pure sugar.
  • Substitute regular milk for soymilk (If you¬†don’t¬†like soymilk ¬†simply choose no fat milk for you coffee)
  • Stay away from the danishes and sweet snacks at the counter
  • When ordering, always ask for you preferred coffee to be “light”. Choosing “light” will¬†substitute¬†the whole milk for low fat milk, removes the whip cream, and it¬†doesn’t¬†add sugar.

If you can follow these tips you too can stay in shape and still enjoy the great taste of Starbucks coffee.


 

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I have no appetite what so ever and my first instinct is not to eat anything before starting my day. But this is a¬†definitely¬†a MUST NOT DO. Our bodies need fuel for energy first thing in the morning to help us have a productive and energized day. Although I have no appetite the first thing I do is have a 16 ounce glass of cold water to get my metabolism going, then I will have a small protein shake or protein bar, or nuts before my workout. ¬†Breakfast stands for Break-the-Fast, and the fast is us going through 6-8 hours of sleeping with no food, or water intake giving our bodies the proper nutrients. When I started to eat breakfast regularly I noticed that I had a ton of energy throughout the day, and I¬†wasn’t¬†as hungry for lunch and dinner which helped to control my portion size for those meals. I also noticed that when I went to gym I had so much energy to get my workout done and made me feel great.

Any breakfast may be better than no breakfast, there are foods you may want to avoid because they’re high in sugars,¬†sodium, saturated fats and calories. Cut back on sugary cereals, high-calorie pastries, and meats like bacon and sausage that are high in¬†saturated fat¬†and sodium. Foods to avoid: Bagels, donuts, pastries, pancakes, and FAST FOOD.Breakfast should include protein and plenty of fiber; the combination will help satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time. The protein can come from low-fat meat, eggs, nuts or dairy products. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and¬†whole grains. A healthy¬†breakfast¬†doesn’t need to be extravagant or take a long time to prepare. Try something simple like a hard boiled egg, whole grain toast and 100% fruit juice. ¬†Food to consume: Eggs (any style), protein smoothie, protein bar, fruit, oatmeal minus the sugar instead add fruit to your oatmeal, and low fat, low calories yogurt.

Eating breakfast may be good for losing weight. People who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Some experts believe eating breakfast keeps your¬†metabolism¬†running because skipping meals causes the body to kick into ‘starvation’ mode. This really isn’t the case, however, because it takes three or for days of not eating for the body to start gearing down.

Skipping breakfast is a common strategy for people who are trying to lose weight, but it’s usually not a successful one. Your body (or maybe your brain) expects to be refueled a few times each day, so when you skip meals you may feel so hungry that when lunch time comes, you over-eat or maybe you choose foods that are not the healthiest choices.

Intaking an early morning snack increases the metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories) and kick starts your body into gear, telling it what to expect the rest of the day. If breakfast isn’t had, your body doesn’t process your next meal as quickly and tries to hold onto those nutrients. Since it didn’t get any morning fuel, it tries to hold onto the afternoon meal as long as possible ‚ÄĒ instead of burning it right away.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. To teens, especially teenage girls, skipping breakfast may seem like a perfectly logical way to cut down on calories and lose weight. It’s important for moms to educate their kids about the importance of the morning meal and the role it plays in maintaining good health and preventing obesity.¬†http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/most-important-meal

My Breakfast Smoothie Recipes

Almond Protein Smoothie

10 Almonds

8 ounces of soymilk  (chocolate, vanilla, plain), skim milk, or almond milk

1 cup of ice cubes

1 scoop of protein powder of your choice

Blend for 30 seconds

Banana Fruit Smoothie

1 small banana

2 tablespoon of raisins

1/2 cup of sliced strawberries

1 scoop of protein powder of you choice

8 ounces of soymilk, skim milk, almond milk