Category Archives: For our health

10 Food Myths that are hurting your kids! – brought to us by the Washington post 



Here are 10 common myths that mischaracterize vegetables — followed by facts about why these vegetables are worth a place on your child’s plate.
10 food myths that are hurting your kids

By Casey Seidenberg Wellness, January 19
A fellow mom recently asked me whether cucumbers and celery really count as green vegetables. She had heard they don’t offer much nutritional value because they are mostly water, so she figured she shouldn’t worry about encouraging her children to eat them.
Great question. But although these vegetables might not be the MVPs of the nutrition game (we’ll leave that to the dark leafy greens), they all have a place on the team.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children, depending on age and activity, should eat one to three cups of vegetables every day (and nine out of 10 American kids don’t get enough). This is a significant amount, so perhaps we shouldn’t so hastily dismiss those cucumbers.

The truth is, all vegetables count toward the CDC recommendation, as they all provide health benefits — just in different concentration.

Here are 10 common myths that mischaracterize vegetables — followed by facts about why these vegetables are worth a place on your child’s plate.
1. Cabbage: Just a cheap meal filler

Cabbage may be inexpensive, but it is not ineffective. Part of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes kale, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cabbage is high in fiber for healthy digestion and satiety, vitamin C for the immune system and the absorption of iron, vitamin K for healthy blood and circulation, and cancer-fighting compounds.

2. Carrots: Too much sugar

Yes, my daughter likes to pretend she is a bunny when she eats her carrots, but this vegetable isn’t just for pets or kids. Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A for eyesight and immunity, vitamin C for that strong immune system, and fiber. As for its natural sugar, the fiber in a carrot slows down the absorption, so there is a much smaller effect on one’s blood sugar.

3. Corn: Source of high-fructose syrup

High-fructose corn syrup has certainly damaged corn’s reputation, but the vegetable and the sweetener have little in common. All of the nutrition and healthy fiber in the corn plant has been stripped from the syrup. Corn is a high-carbohydrate vegetable, so it shouldn’t be the only one your child eats. But it provides thiamine that helps convert carbohydrates into energy, heart-healthy folate, and antioxidants to help fight disease. Much of the conventional corn in the United States grows from genetically modified seeds, so buying organic — always a good idea in the vegetable world — is especially recommended.
[In defense of corn, the world’s most important food crop]

4. Cucumbers: Nothing but water

Yes, cucumbers are 95 percent water, helping our bodies stay hydrated in hot temperatures, but they also provide antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene that help us fight cellular damage, B vitamins that support nerve health, potassium for heart health, and fiber.

5. Celery: Ditto

Celery is not just a tool to stir a bloody mary or an accompaniment for chicken wings. The vegetable provides vitamin K for blood health, folate for red blood cell production, vitamin A, fiber and yes, lots of water. Celery has been shown to lower blood pressure and the risk of cancer.

6. Garlic: Flavor but no nutrition

Known in ancient times (and in horror movies) as a tool to ward off witches and vampires, in modern times garlic is equally as powerful at keeping us healthy. This vegetable has been shown to lower blood pressure, protect the heart, fight cancer and regulate blood sugar levels and is antibacterial and antiviral, which means it is helpful during cold and flu season.

7. Onions: Ditto

Never say no to an onion, especially during allergy season. Onions are high in quercetin, an antioxidant known for being a natural antihistamine. Onions have also been shown to support heart health, and they provide vitamin C, calcium, iron, folate and fiber.

8. Iceberg lettuce: No flavor or nutrition

More than a vehicle for blue cheese dressing, iceberg lettuce can provide a significant portion of the daily requirement of vitamin K to keep our blood and bones strong and vitamin A for our eyesight and immunity. Yes, darker varieties of lettuces and greens provide more nutrition per serving, but if iceberg will get your kid to eat a salad, embrace it.
9. Parsley: Just a garnish

What a waste that this herb is most often used as a disposable garnish, because ounce per ounce, parsley has 33 times the amount of vitamin C, 16 times the amount of vitamin K, six times the amount of iron and four times the amount of calcium as lettuce. Oh, and don’t forget the folate, fiber and water.
Known in ancient times (and in horror movies) as a tool to ward off witches and vampires, in modern times garlic is equally as powerful at keeping us healthy. This vegetable has been shown to lower blood pressure, protect the heart, fight cancer and regulate blood sugar levels and is antibacterial and antiviral, which means it is helpful during cold and flu season.

7. Onions: Ditto

Never say no to an onion, especially during allergy season. Onions are high in quercetin, an antioxidant known for being a natural antihistamine. Onions have also been shown to support heart health, and they provide vitamin C, calcium, iron, folate and fiber.
8. Iceberg lettuce: No flavor or nutrition

More than a vehicle for blue cheese dressing, iceberg lettuce can provide a significant portion of the daily requirement of vitamin K to keep our blood and bones strong and vitamin A for our eyesight and immunity. Yes, darker varieties of lettuces and greens provide more nutrition per serving, but if iceberg will get your kid to eat a salad, embrace it.
9. Parsley: Just a garnish

What a waste that this herb is most often used as a disposable garnish, because ounce per ounce, parsley has 33 times the amount of vitamin C, 16 times the amount of vitamin K, six times the amount of iron and four times the amount of calcium as lettuce. Oh, and don’t forget the folate, fiber and water.

10. Potatoes: Fattening

Potatoes have a bad reputation as either a french fry or a nutritionless white carb, when in fact they provide twice as much potassium as a banana, vitamin B6 for nerves and mood, vitamin C and fiber. Potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means they can affect blood sugar, but that alone shouldn’t convict the vegetable. A person with blood sugar issues, diabetes or weight problems might want to limit their potato intake, but the rest of us should enjoy them in moderation to reap their vitamin and mineral benefits. But watch out for those fries — you’ll also be getting unhealthful fats.

“You Gotta Read This” 
Full story here about the 10 myth foods

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The 9 Highest-Calorie Meals at chain restaurants – brought to us by Health News & Views 


Are you ready for this?! 

  
Health News & Views 9 highest calorie meals at Restaurant Chains

You Gotta See This !!

Teach your kids to cook – choices 


Happy Monday good foodie friends,

Just a short blog post to start off your week the right way. The title could easily read teach your kids to cook and re-teach yourselves to prepare real food that feeds the body and the mind. 

Processed processed processed hits us everyday for so many reasons. 

We are to busy, we didn’t have time, it’s really good, it was less money

Whatever the reasons are we always have to remember that everyday we have to fuel our bodies and minds why not do it with food that feeds the body rather than damages the body? 

I mean really tell me you don’t sometimes put more energy into whether to use premium gas or synthetic oil for your car so that it runs better! Is as much thought going into what you nourish yourself with? 

I don’t mean to preach but rather want to remind us all that as long as the burgers, fries and shakes are the exception and not the rule all should be good but don’t forget the rule should be to eat real food that feels good health for a long time.

   
 
Simply make it a weekly habit to plan your meals, visit a farmers market or a great corner market where you can buy the rights ingredients. Most cities and Vancouver Metro area is no exception is peppered with great farmers markets all year long as well as some great artisan farmers and producers of great quality choices. 

Get to know where your food comes from and I promise you the flavors will set a new level of expectations for you and your family!

When we cook with our kids it plants the seed of good habits and then we all realize that we have the confidence and ability to cook. Have fun and make things your own… Try different things and new spices or herbs to kick up dishes! 

We also have some great

Farm to Table” style restaurants that excel in local ingredient offerings prepared in healthy ways. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that your aren’t eating tasty delectable meals. 

   
   
Real flavor comes from fresh ingredients, spices and herbs. 

The dessert above is fresh pears with parmigiana cheese and 25 year balsamic and delectable isn’t a strong enough word for how good it was. 

   
   
Don’t get me wrong and please know that I am totally just reminding you all to try and think more about what you eat and where your food comes from… Balance is the spice of life and fun should be had but treat the body as well as you do your car- “garbage in=garbage out”.

Have a great rest of the week and do get out and enjoy! Just choose what you want after thinking about it! 

Finally a little humor! I don’t want to be a downer just a nudge in the right direction. 

   
 

Yes, Organic Can Cost More. Here Are 10 Reasons Why It’s Worth It


Is buying organic worth the money?
Thank you Huff post for sharing this with us!
What if you knew the government and certain businesses were messing with your brain? Well, they are. As Ellen Ruppel Shell writes in her book Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, governments and some big businesses know that most people get the same buzz from a good discount as they get from gambling. But as with gambling, the “house” always wins.

For every big-win story, there are thousands more who’ve lost. This discount technique comes into play in our food as well, as no government subsidies or handouts are given to organic farmers, putting the cost of paying for pricey certifications, inspections and high insurance plans solely on them. This is why the things you buy the most — such as milk and eggs — are dirt-cheap compared to their organic counterparts. Zap! That good deal just gave you a buzz that encourages you to resist organic.

So, allow me to attempt to rewire your brain a bit — or perhaps free it — with 10 reasons that organic is worth it!

1. Organic farmers get no government subsidies or handouts. Whether you are liberal or conservative, that’s a good thing. Although, it does mean that your tax dollars are paying for all that cheap food.
2. You will automatically become an environmentalist without having to make a donation or show up for a protest. Here’s a short list of things organic farmers help keep totally out of our soil, water, air and bodies: toxic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, sewage sludge, antibiotics and growth hormones. All of these are known to cause grave physical damage in people as well as bees, bats, frogs, and fish.
3. You will be healthier. You can pay more now or pay later (in health care costs). Agricultural chemicals are known to cause diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies, asthma, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, ADHD and perhaps even autism. And we’ve only scratched the surface in understanding what damage these toxins are doing to our health.
4. You can feel good about your contribution to a better world. It’s kind of like making a charitable donation, but instead of it filtering through a middleman, your money directly helps an entire chain of good people, families, and the environment they affect. Your health, too.
5. You are supporting families and businesses that are making the world better. I have seen this with my own eyes over and over again. Farm families that thought they would lose their farms because of the fluctuations of commodity milk prices switch to organic and not only save their farms, but also find that they are all healthier and happier as a result. And the companies that help them transition, like Organic Valley, are truly wonderful companies that do great things for their farmers, their customers, their employees, and the whole community.
6. You will be helping to prevent climate change. Seriously! Organic soil holds much more carbon, uses much less fossil fuel resources — which aren’t just used in tractors but are in the toxic chemicals that are made from fossil fuels used in nonorganic farming practices — and sustains habitats for all the creatures that help keep our planet healthy.
7. You will be helping to prevent droughts and floods. Research at the Rodale Institute and many other institutions have shown that organic soil is much more absorbent than chemically farmed soil. That means it holds more water during droughts and floods. Plants grown organically also have a much bigger and more resilient root system, so they can last longer in extreme weather.
8. You will be doing your part to leave the world a better place than you found it. Really, what is the price of that? And all you have to do is go food shopping and eat yummy stuff and perhaps buy organic cotton clothing for your body and home (cotton is one of the most toxic crops on the planet).
9. Karma Points: When you pay more for good things, other people can afford to pay you more. This is where the true economic brain rewiring happens. It might not seem like a direct link from one thing to another, but as Ellen Ruppell Shell shows in her book, everything is connected economically. Our obsession with cheap stuff actually shrinks all of our economies and pocketbooks and makes it much harder for employers to increase wages and spending. Try it. 10. You’ll see it works. And at the very least, you will eat better in the process.
And lastly, it just tastes better. You are getting better-quality food that nine times out of 10 does taste better. Just ask my kids. Here’s what my seven-year-old said when she was eating a salad out at a restaurant in Manhattan: “This doesn’t taste good — it doesn’t taste organic; organic is better!”

click here for the official Huffington Post article

You Gotta Read This’s!

Are we what we eat? Cure ailments with food (proper foods that is)?


Happy healthy Monday good foodie friends…
For our health an inspiring story.
“You are what you eat” is a common thing that we have been told for years.

An inspiring story of a doctor that chose to try this path and claims that the results were life changing in a healthy way.
worth a thought.
A quote from Dr. Terry Wahls, MD. Story

“In 2003 Terry Wahls, M.D., was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and soon became dependent upon a tilt-recline wheelchair. After developing and using the Wahls Protocol, she is now able to walk through the hospital and commute to work by bicycle. She now uses intensive directed nutrition in her primary care and traumatic brain injury clinics. Dr. Wahls is the lead scientist in a clinical trial testing her protocol in others with progressive MS.
In this inspiring presentation you’ll discover:
– The foods she ate on a daily basis to cure her terminal illness (MS)
– What specific foods improve brian health and eye health
– The importance of Omega 3 fatty acids and wild fish and animal products
– Why we’re deficient in iodine and why we need more sea vegetables in our diets”

a link to the article

Have a healthy week!

Cartems Donuterie – an impressive blog Post I came across


Happy Wednesday good foodie friends,

I came across this blog post about Cartems and thought I would share! “Everybody loves a doughnut….or two”
A great perspective from young minds.

click here for the Cartems posting

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You Gotta Read This

Blog from the Bog- Cranberry Bog that is.


As Fall days fast approach I was excited to get an invite to the “Bog”
at 3rd generation Hopcott Farms.
Hoppcot’s is a 3rd generation farm becoming well known for its local meats raised on its own land touting antibiotic and hormone free local offerings.
The Hopcott family started as a dairy farm in approx 1934 and in 1957 the dairy herd was sold to help Fred Hopcott realize his dream of raising beef cattle. Over the years the farm has changed with the times and as all good farmers with vision are pushed to evolve to survive.
Overtime Bob Hopcott saw the writing on the wall as he saw many local packers disappear he realized that he would have to continue to diversify. In 1996 Bob Hopcott heard that Ocean Spray Cranberries was looking for acres to plant Bob singed up and converted approx 70 acres of corn fields into cranberry bogs.

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We were lucky enough to meet Bob along with Geraldine Austin from BC Cranberries and some of the great team from Hopcott Farms responsible for this magic little berry.

Cranberry facts

*Approx eighty growers located in the fertile lower Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island produce over 750,000 barrels (1 barrel = 100 lbs) of cranberries annually, accounting for up to approx. 12% of cranberry production in North America.

*It takes approx 3-5 years for a cranberry Dwarf shrub or vine to start bearing fruit.

*There are basically two ways to harvest a cranberry – Wet-picked or dry picked.

*A natural predator to the cranberry- a tip worm which can destroy a harvest

Known health facts related to Cranberries

The majority of physicians and other health professionals believe there is a clear association between a diet high in fruits and vegetables and a low risk of chronic disease. Phytonutrients (naturally derived plant compounds), particularly antioxidants, are increasingly being shown to help optimize human health.

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections to the urinary tract wall. The anti-adhesion properties of cranberry may also inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers.

Recent scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
this is a great link to WH Foods that keys in on further health benefits to this magic little berry

A small group of us were lucky enough to dawn the “waders” and go into the bog to gain a better understanding of the wet-picked harvest. The wet-picked or harvested cranberry is generally destined to head to the Ocean spray juice or Craisins plants for processing after the “washing/cleaning” process is completed locally.

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The cranberries are wet-picked or harvested by first flooding the field (which was a bit of a challenge to farmers this year due to our great weather) and then once the berry has floated to the surface (they are basically a hollow berry, so easily want to rise to the top) they are collected with these large booms and brought to one end of the field where they can be pulled out by a conveyor that brings the berry out of the field and into trucks.

From what I gathered the largest % of cranberries are wet-picked and a small % are dry picked and can usually be found at your markets and veggie stands for a limited time generally for you to use in baking or homemade cranberry sauces. The greater % of cranberries are destined for Ocean spray to convert into delicious cranberry juices or the ever popular Craisin.
This crop has to be a labor of love as though the cranberry is a fairly hearty fruit, it is subject to a few natural predators that can destroy a crop if not tended to.

The best part of my experience was getting to meet the farmer, the face, personality and passion behind our foods. This experience helps educate us about where our foods come from, as well as learning what the passion is behind what we so conveniently just find in the grocery store.

Eat local, buy local, support local is easier today than ever if you take the time to embrace it. It is a healthier way to eat and it is a more economical way for us to support local producers.
Let’s be honest, we don’t have access to everything locally as some of our favourite fresh foods and fruits just aren’t grown locally or are seasonal. Does this mean that we can’t do everything we can to eat fresh, eat better, eat locally? I don’t think so.

This was a great experience and not my last. I do intend to start a series of postings (as time allows) focusing on local products from our local farms / orchards / wineries as well as their specific growing and processing practices.

Hopcott Farms gets a thumbs up from me on their promise to grow, produce and process in the most responsible practices within their ability.
Thank you to Bob Hopcott and Geraldine from Bc cranberry for your hospitality and the excellent education through this great experience.

Tried my hand at fresh Cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving using fresh cranberries from Hopcott’s farm! 

Recipe: 

1 pound of fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup water

1 3/4 cup sugar (use raw or cane) 

The zest & juice from one orange

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of allspice 

1 cinnamon stick 

Method: 

Put the cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on med high to a boil & the reduce to a simmer, add in the spices and cinnamon stick and simmer for approx 5-7 mins more.  

Add in the orange juice and rind in the last min and stir in.

Pull out the cinnamon stick and then refrigerate 

Yields approx 2 cups of the most delicious Cranberry sauce! Happy Thanksgiving  and Merry Christmas! 

Buy Local/ Eat Local/ Support Local

You Gotta Try This!

click here for a link to Hopcott Farms

click here to access the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission

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Buy Local, Eat Local – Save On Foods


Hi great foodie friends…..

I just had to write a quick blog post on what I think is one of the best new marketing directions that Save on Foods has launched Talk about Local.

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The first day that I walked into Save on Foods and saw the signs and better yet the products featured throughout the store I was encouraged that Save on is listening to their customers and has their finger on the pulse of changing trends…….

Have you noticed how many wonderful farmers markets are around now? The fact is there is nearly 10+ farmers markets within the greater metro Vancouver area showcasing local producers fresh and fantastic products every weekend. How wonderful is it to find a connection to understanding where your foods and products actually come from? Even better how wonderful is it to actually meet the farmer, chocolatier, baker or artists that is bringing the products to you?!

Now that Save on Foods has brought this concept to their stores you can count on a similar experience and definitely access to many of these same local products while you do your daily or weekly shopping……

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Great local / award winning hand crafted chocolate! From Wild Sweets – tasting actually served by award winning Chocolatier Dominique and Cindy Duby!
The local producers have been great in explaining their process, product and educating us as to our choices!

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Herb’s Crushed Garlic…. The aroma pulled me to this tasting ….wow!

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Fantastic pork (organic too!) from a great local farming family Gelderman Farms

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Whistler Chocolates….yum

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Local spice producer Ricks Rubs……

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Local sweets……

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Local crackers…….

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Local breads……..

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Local cereals…….

There are far more products than I can put into one posting but I wanted to make sure that you all knew that the options and availability of local products is expanding in multiple locations of Save on Foods…. This has to be good news for all of us!
Support our local industry, producers, farmers and grocers….. It is important to us, our economy and our health! Know where your food and products come from, celebrate our local options….. Eat fresh wholesome things……

Buy local, eat local, support local

Thank you Save on Foods for embracing this trend!

You Gotta Try This!

Foods To Help Improve Your Mood?!


Happy Tuesday Good foodie friends….
Every so often I like to share some healthy facts and find that the research is very interesting let alone educating. Sometimes we all need a reminder of some healthy facts to help us “reset” or work towards more healthy eating habits.
This list shows just a handful of healthy options that can help put you in a better mood while being healthier at the same time.

Did you know that some foods can actually help improve your mood. Here are some great foods that can help you feel both healthy and happy!

1.Salmon
This fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids which is important for brain health and can help lift your mood as well as improve your memory. Also salmon is rich in the vitamin B12 which research shows may help in production of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for good mood.

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2.Turkey
Turkey contains the two amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine. These can help make important neurotransmitters that help control your mood including serotonin, dopamine, and and norepinephrine.

3.Chocolate
It may not be a coincidence if you tend to reach for chocolate when you are feeling blue! The combination of mood-elevating chemicals found in chocolate, such caffeine, theobromine, tyrosine, and tryptophan, reallly can help make you happier! I know it helps me! Trust me when I say that this doesn’t refer to a corner store chocolate bar, try to eat dark chocolate with a higher pure cocoa % for best results.

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4.Walnuts
Walnuts, along with most other nuts and seeds, are a good source of magnesium which influences production of serotonin. A lack of magnesium may cause depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia so it’s important that we get enough. It also effects overall energy levels.

5.Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the mineral selenium. In recent years, people have been consuming less selenium, but eating just three Brazil nuts a day can provide your recommended daily amount (RDA).

Studies have shown increased depression, irritability, anxiety and tiredness in people with low selenium levels – so by just eating a few Brazil nuts a couple of times a week might help to improve your mood.

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6.Sardines
Sardines
Studies have shown that people who are deficient in omega 3 may be more susceptible to depression and low mood. The omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, make up a large percentage of our brain tissue.

‘About 60 per cent of the dry weight of the brain is fat, with about 30 per cent of that in the form of omega 3,’ says Dr Eva Cyhlarova, head of research at the Mental Health Foundation. Eating a diet high in omega 3 will also keep your brain healthy and improve mood by keeping brain cells flexible, so the brain’s messaging chemicals – neurotransmitters – can work more effectively.

7.Oats
Oats are an effective mood booster. This is because they have a low glycaemic index (GI), as they slowly release energy into our bloodstream rather than by a quick rush that soon dips. This helps to keep your blood sugar and mood stable. The mineral selenium in oats can also help mood by regulating the function of the thyroid gland.

8.Lentils
Lentils are a fantastic kitchen staple. They’re a complex carbohydrate, so like bananas, they have the added benefit of helping to increase the brains production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. This results in a calmer, happier state of mind with less anxiety.

Stabilising your blood sugar level is important to maintain a stable mood. They are also high in folate – deficiencies in folate have been linked to depression and mania. Lentils can also boost your iron levels – which will give you energy and therefore put you in a better mood.

9.. Spinach
Certain deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to depression – serotonin production can actually be hindered by low B vitamin levels. Important B vitamins to look out for include folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Eating leafy green vegetables – such as spinach or broccoli, for example – will help keep your levels up.

10.Eggs
Egg yolks are one of only a few food sources of vitamin D. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, but during the winter months a lack of sunshine (especially in the Northwest) can lead to a vitamin D deficiency and mood related disorders such as seasonal affective disorder and depression. Eggs are also rich in B-vitamins which can help the way the neurotransmitters of the brain send signals, which helps govern mood. If you can try to use Organic or Farm eggs…

What I am sharing is based on research by nutritionists and doctors and found from a few sources that I have come to trust. I by no means am a nutritionist or a doctor so the information I share is simply to help inform my readers.

I hope you enjoy and feel better!

Is Eating Fruit only for breakfast healthy? – think again, brought to us from Krista Sheehan, DEMAND MEDIA


Is Eating Fruit for Breakfast Healthy?
by Krista Sheehan , Demand Media (thank you Krista and Demand Media for this informative article)

Fruit should have a prominent place at your morning meal. but……

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If your breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and a banana, you’re missing the mark. The importance of the morning meal can be found in the word itself — it “breaks the fast” and replenishes your body with energy and nutrients after a long night’s sleep. Understanding the components of a healthy breakfast is crucial for building a better breakfast — and while fruit is a healthy choice, it shouldn’t be the only food that fills your empty stomach.
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Share Breakfast Tips, Recipes, And Ideas At The Breakfast Table Page.

A Better Breakfast
To build a balanced breakfast, MayoClinic.com recommends filling your plate with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and some healthy fat. Complex carbohydrates come from whole-grain breads and cereals, which also deliver a healthy dose of fiber. To fill up on protein, choose low-fat dairy products, like skim milk and low-fat yogurt and cheese. Protein can also come from lean meats, eggs and peanut butter. Fruits and vegetables should finish the meal, as they’re excellent sources of minerals, vitamins and fiber.

Fruit’s Benefits
Fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals, which help keep the body functioning at its optimal level. The sweet treats are also filled with fiber, which helps promote normal digestive patterns and contributes to lower cholesterol levels. When choosing fruit, select fresh or unsweetened frozen varieties when possible. Although canned fruits will suffice in a pinch, they tend to be a bit higher in sugar and sodium. Some fruit juices are also filled with sugar and sodium, so always check the nutrition label before gulping a glass.

Quick and Easy Ideas
A healthy breakfast is possible even if you’re running out the door in the morning. Top a whole-wheat pancake or waffle with peanut butter and bananas for an easy treat to enjoy on your morning commute. Or, stuff a whole-wheat pita pocket with egg whites, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and feta cheese. If you eat breakfast at the office, choose plain oatmeal topped with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit. A fruit smoothie is another great idea, as it only takes a few minutes to blend before you’re out the door. Combine low-fat yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, a handful of spinach and a splash of skim milk. Either toss a spoonful of wheat germ into the mix or pair the smoothie with whole-wheat toast to round out the meal.

If You Have More Time
If you have a bit more time to get ready in the morning, spend a few extra minutes preparing your morning meal. Use a whole-wheat tortilla to make a morning pizza topped with salsa, diced veggies, black beans and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Diced veggies can also be mixed into scrambled eggs or egg white omelets, while spinach leaves and cucumber slices can be tucked into a breakfast sandwich.

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You Gotta Try This!