Archive for the ‘portion control’ Category


Ok. We all know that being obese has certain medical complications (If not check out the above diagram). According to the LAtimes on June 18, 2013 the American Medical Association has declared obesity a disease. The move by the American Medical Assn. board means that one-third of adults (78 million) and 17% of children (12 million) in the U.S. have a medical condition that requires treatment. Hmmmmm.

I really would like to hear your feedback regarding this decision. Do you think obesity should be considered a disease? I thought  obesity just meant being at least 30 pounds overweight. What will happen with health insurance rates if in fact one-third of adults and 17% of children in the U.S will need treatment?

I used to be 30 pounds overweight and so has many other people but I wouldn’t say that I had a disease. I was able to workout and eat right to lose the weight. Since this decision was made many reputable sources have removed their definition of what a disease is.



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,


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.

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

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


There can be some confusion when it comes to choosing whole wheat or whole grain and the differences between the two. Whole grain and whole wheat look very similar. Sometimes I cannot tell the difference between the two without tasting them. Whole grain has a richer taste than whole wheat does. Whole grain has a more darker texture than whole wheat does.

One of the main differences between whole wheat and whole grain is the process used to prepare the grain flour. With whole-wheat flour, the grain has gone through a refining process that has removed some of the nutritional value . However, whole-grain flour does not go through this refining process, and maintains the natural level of nutrients.

I have done some research and created a chart which distinguish both at a glance.

All in all, in my opinion Whole Grain bread wins in this battle. Some may argue, however eating any food that hasn’t gone through a refining process is always better over processed food in my eye. Also for those who want to try and minimize sugar spikes will choose whole grains over whole wheat.

Thanks for reading as always! -LJAY HEALTH 

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.- 

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

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.

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

Happy 4th of July!! If you are going to drink beer you might as well drink some gluten free beer. Kicking back with a beer isn’t that easy when your diet doesn’t include gluten. With a large number of people adopting gluten-free diets, many companies are making beer that’s free of wheat, barley, rye, and malts. Remember portion control is key to keeping it healthy!

Nutritional facts: Serving size- 1 bottle (may vary depending on brand)

  • Calories- 150
  • Total fat-0
  • Sodium-60gm
  • Total Carbohydrates-13g
  • Protein-1g
What is Gluten– Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as “dextrin”. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergy.
Some gluten free foods include:
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Fresh meats, fish etc
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Most dairy products
Happy 4th of July and thank you for reading -LJAY HEALTH

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 🙂


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 — 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

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.