The importance of detoxing your body
One of the most important things anyone can do to improve overall health
and fitness is detoxing the body. This detoxiing should ideally take place
a couple of times a year, and many people prefer to do it at the spring
and fall of every year.
No matter when you do your detoxing, however, it is important to do it the right way. Diet, exercise and avoiding stress are all essential elements of maintaining good health and optimal fitness, and it is important to take these elements into account as you create your detoxification plan.
Why should I consider detoxing?
Detoxing is particularly important in the modern world, since environmental
pollutants, toxins and other elements can quickly build up to toxic levels
and cause ill health and a variety of mental and physical consequences.
These serious consequences include such things as weakened immune system
to fatigue to feeling of depression.
Fortunately the diet needed for proper detoxing is simple and easy to follow, and it can be repeated as often as needed in order to ensure optimal health benefits.
What to eat when detoxing
We will start are detoxing discussion with a list of foods to include
when on the detoxification diet. Any combination of the foods listed below
can be used, provided that the combination provides a nutritional and
balanced daily diet.
> Fruit - it is important to eat plenty of fresh fruit when detoxing, and any type of fruit can be used, including apples, oranges and more exotic fruits. Fruit juices are fine as well, provided that they are made with 100% real fruit and contain no artificial preservatives or added sugar.
> Vegetables - as with fruit, it is important to eat plenty of vegetables while detoxing Some of the most popular vegetables for detoxing the body include onions, carrots, turnips, cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, corn, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
> Beans and lentils - any kind of beans are great for detoxing the body, including dried beans and beans canned in water. Beans canned in oil should be avoided. Some of the most popular beans for detoxing include kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas and lentils.
> Tofu and quorn - These two popular meat substitutes are excellent choices for detoxing.
> Oats - oats are great for sprinkling over fresh fruit or for use in a porridge. Oats can be sweetened and enhanced with honey or fresh fruit.
> Fresh fish - fish can be a major part of the diet while detoxing. Some of the healthiest varieties of fish include cod, salmon, mackerel, monkfish and trout.
> Live yogurt - Live yogurt is a great choice for detoxing, as it contains valuable nutrients and beneficial bacteria which help to sooth the digestive tract during the detox process.
What to avoid when detoxing
Just as there are foods that should be included in the detox diet, there
are foods that must be avoided when detoxing. These foods include:
> Red meat, chicken, turkey and other poultry
> Processed meat products, such as sausages and pate
> Milk, cream, cheese and other dairy products
> Eggs, butter and margarine
> Snacks like potato chips
> Salted nuts
> Chocolate and sweets
> Sugar, particularly refined sugar
> Jams and jellies
> Alcohol, tea, coffee and soft drinks
> Store bought salad dressings
Following this plan for detoxing several times a year is a great way to keep your overall health at its best, and to avoid the problems associated with pollution and stress. This plan for detoxing is simple, easy to follow, and can be used whenever you feel you need a lift.
|Three Nutrition Lies We Tell Ourselves|
Rachel Gurevich, our Infertility Expert at About.com suggested I make a list of lies we tell ourselves about eating -- basically how we stretch the truth about certain beneficial foods to justify our over-indulgences, even when we have the best of intentions. Here are three that I can think of:
You may notice I didn't include any of the controversial stuff about artificial sweeteners or fad diet ideas because one side's lie is always the other side's truth. Any more food lies we tell to ourselves?
|Tiny Tastes -- Helping Picky Eaters|
Parents can often help picky eaters by offering small tastes of new foods. The key is to offer the foods over and over and over until your kid gets used to it. It takes at least ten tries before most picky eaters will start to like new foods.
I already knew this, but knowing something doesn't always make it easier -- I really didn't have any new ideas for helping parents deal with their picky kids. Then a couple of months ago I found out about Tiny Tastes.
Tiny Tastes is a tasting game -- kids try teeny tiny bites of foods they don't normally like and they get stickers when they eat the foods. the pack comes with instructions, a chart and stickers. I think Tiny Tastes can help a lot of parents -- and they also have research evidence using the game -- which is something I also like.
Each kit sells for £5.99 (about $10.00), plus shipping.
|Obesity - What Was the Tipping Point?|
Right now in the US, about one-third of the population is obese. This wasn't the case 30 years ago. Sometime between then and now, we changed the way we eat. So what happened?
We know why so many people are obese. Too much food, with lots of calories, over-processed with lots of sugar and unhealthy fats. And lack of physical activity is also takes part of the blame.
But why did this happen? What was the tipping point that turned us into a bunch of chubby lemmings ready to plummet off the cliff into an abyss of obesity-related chronic disease? And more important now -- what is the tipping point that will get us back to a healthy weight?
Think about a typical day, How many people ...
... start the day with sugary cereals, maybe some frozen things that heat up in the toaster? Maybe just grab a cup of coffee or a bottle of Mountain Dew and a donut? Eeww. What a way to start the day.
... eat too much at work? Vending machines offer fattening snacks, and it is easy to eat a candy bar or snack cake with your morning coffee. What about lunch? Off to the closest fast food joint for artery-clogging burgers and fries.
... give up on dinner? It's been a long day at work and now it is time to make dinner for the family. Ugh. Maybe just stop for take-out, grab a bucket of fried chicken or order a big pizza. After dinner it is time to veg out in front of the HDTV where we are barraged with ads for snacks, sodas and more fast foods. Off to the kitchen for a bag of Doritos anyone?
What else has changed over the last thirty-something years? When I was a kid we filled the car's tank at a gas station. Now we stop for gas at a convenience store and while there, we fill our own tanks with some of the worst junk foods. It's just too easy to step inside for a donut, a slice of pizza or a giant soda for the ride.
Portion sizes have increased too. We drink soda in 20-ounce bottles instead of 12-ounce cans, restaurant portions are huge and I think a lot of people have just gotten used to eating more food at each meal.
What about physical activity? When I was kid in the 70's, we had physical education in school every day. That isn't the case anymore. Plus more kids play video and computer games in the house, instead of going outside.
Maybe we aren't as active at home either. Thirty years ago, we didn't have remote controls for our TVs so we had to get up and walk across the room to turn the dial. And we didn't have a cell phone in our pocket -- we had to run to answer the phone in the other room. But did those little bits of activity make much of a difference in our calorie burning back in the day? Maybe, if you add them up over time. Something certainly was different - it wasn't common to belong to a health club and we didn't have VCRs yet -- Buns of Steel and other exercise tapes were a long way off.
|I Love Smoothies|
I think fruit and protein smoothies are an awesome way to get good nutrition. There are so many varieties of fruit and protein smoothies that you can have a different smoothie every day and not get tired of them.
Make a simple smoothie by putting a banana, some berries, a little yogurt and milk in a blender and blend until it's smooth. Or you can dress up your smoothie with exotic fruits like mango, and add a protein boost with protein powder. If you love your chocolate, you can add cocoa powder or use chocolate flavored protein powder.
If you've never tried to make your own smoothie, start with a basic recipe and once you have the idea, you can experiment with any fruits, yogurt, protein powders, antioxidant powders and even peanut butter.
Here are some ideas and tips for delicious and healthy smoothies that I've found on About.com:
If you're really into smoothies, you might want to buy a heavy duty blender, especially if you like adding frozen fruits or ice cubs -- many standard blenders leave big pieces of ice in your smoothie.
|Mangos All Year Long|
I received a box of fresh mangos from the National Mango Board, along with a few notes on how to use mangos all year long. I like mangos, but I usually just eat them as they are or buy mango juice, so I'm looking forward to trying some of the Mango Board's ideas, especially the Mango, Pineapple And Raspberry Yogurt Snack Cup. There's a recipe for Turkey Burger and Mango Pita Melt there as well, and now I'm wondering how mango would taste with a veggie burger. Anyway, take a look at the Mango Board's lengthy list of recipes to learn more ways to enjoy mango.
Mangos are more than delicious, they're also good for you. They're full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, plus they're high in fiber. Oh, but what if you're shopping for mangos and not quite sure how to choose the perfect mango? It's easy -- give it a little squeeze. A ripe mango should be slightly soft like a ripe peach or avocado.
Mango Recipes on About.com