How You Can Beat the Evil Food Industry

Food Babe, Vani Hari looking at food labels.

We all complain and worry about not really knowing what is in our food. We may be slowly creating cancers in our own bodies without knowing. If I asked you what you think the solution is, most of you would reply that there is nothing much to do. I would have given the same answer a few weeks ago. But all that changed after I met the woman of my dreams.

Here’s the thing; you would be dead-wrong if you believed that there is nothing you can do. The average Joe/Jane like you and I wouldn’t know where to start but the woman of my dreams does. She is the woman of my dreams because she has given me a voice to take on the food industry. Continue reading

Should there be a tax on junk food but subsidies on healthy food?

The tobacco industry claims that the purchase of cigarettes has fallen worldwide since heavy taxation and advertising restrictions have been implemented. The idea of taxing junk food in the same way as tobacco and subsidizing healthy food is a combination that could guide people to choosing healthier food (which will be cheaper after subsidizing) instead of the poisonous junk food (which today is way cheaper than healthy food but will be more expensive after taxation). In the long run, billions spent on healthcare due to the outcome of an unhealthy diet can be put to better use.

couple eating healthy food

Should the government subsidize healthy food…
photo by Ambro

Those who oppose this idea claim that the government and the food companies are two different entities. Adjusting food prices will interfere with the free market and create a false economy. In fact the term “junk food” lacks a consensus on its definition. Some perceive junk food as anything that is processed, others define junk food as food that has certain sugar content or that contains preservatives. Same goes for how people define healthy food; is being organic good enough or does diet soda also fit the category?

Youngsters eating junk food

… and tax Junk food?
photo by Ambro

Update:

Physical and mental health

Physical Fitness & Mental Health Connection for the Best You

It is a known fact that daily exercise is good for the body, but the recently discovered connection between physical and mental health might prove that exercise can be good for the mind as well.

Research has shown that exercise can help combat against mental ailments such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Likewise, exercise can help you:

  • sleep better,
  • improve your memory retention, and
  • improve your overall mood.

Although there is no set age to start becoming more physically active, it is best to engage in exercise and other physical activities as early as in your teens, according to medcarehealth.com.

After all, starting out early can help you grow and mature with a mind and a body that is ready for anything.

But, before I delve deep into the connection between mental and physical health, let’s start with a simple question:

What is health?

health lab mouseAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person who is free from disease or disability is not immediately considered healthy. Instead, you must demonstrate physical, mental, and social well-being in order to be considered truly healthy.

Great, but how are those connected?

The Canadian Mental Health Association lists 3 concrete associations that demonstrate the connection between physical and mental well-being:

  1. Poor mental health increases the risk for chronic physical conditions.
  2. Patients suffering from serious mental ailments are at a greater risk of suffering from chronic physical conditions.
  3. Finally, people suffering from chronic physical conditions might also develop mental illnesses in the future.

These associations show that there is indeed a connection between physical and mental health.

Though there might not be a proven way to prevent these chronic illnesses from developing, acknowledging the relationship between your mind and body can help you minimize potential risks.

What benefits can you reap from exercise?

exercise-ballThe primary reason why you might choose to engage in more physical activities is to trim your waistline or to lose some pounds. However, exercise can provide you with so much more.

In a study that aimed to answer the question:” how does physical health affect mental health?”, researchers discovered that elderly adults who engage in regular exercise and are physically fit tend to possess much larger hippocampi than other people in their age group.

Wait, what is hippocampi?

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for your spatial memory. Maintaining this part of your brain even in your older years gives you a great advantage.

Does mental health affect physical ability?

Meanwhile, in a study conducted by researchers at the Bangor University in Wales, it was discovered that people who engaged in mentally draining activities before performing difficult exercise tests reached exhaustion much faster than those who were mentally relaxed prior to performing the physical task.

This study shows that one of the benefits of nurturing your mental well-being can also affect your physical strength and endurance.

Can exercise combat depression?

anxietyAccording to Jane Collingwood, author of The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health, those individuals suffering from depression often have worse physical health than those who are mentally healthy.

Likewise, patients suffering from chronic physical diseases are also likely to suffer from depression.

Just a little exercise goes a long way

Exercise, even in moderation, can greatly improve both the mental well-being and physical health of those suffering from depression.

Physical activity can help encourage positive changes in your brain such as a surge of endorphin or “feel good hormones”.

Regular exercise can also help distract you from any destructive or negative thoughts and allow you to find your inner peace.

Exercise relieves anxiety

While you might think that the physical benefits that you reap from exercise are the things that make you feel good, its effect on your mind are probably the more likely reason for your happy feelings.

Exercises such as weight training can ease the suffering of people who are living with anxiety by elevating their mood and reducing their feelings of irritability.

Remember: Even moderate daily exercise can contribute to improved long-term mental health.

Reaping the benefits of exercise

Benefits of exercise

photo by zirconicusso

As previously stated, you will not need to block off your entire day just to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. You will see a difference in 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

Additionally, while it might take months before you see any significant physical changes after exercise, the mental boost that it can provide is almost instantaneous (Weir, 2011).

For this reason, it would be more beneficial if you learn to focus on how good you actually feel after your workout than to simply look for the physical rewards.

This is particularly important for patients who are suffering from stress or mild cases of depression and anxiety since focusing too much on your physical appearance would only worsen your condition.

Don’t delay another day: simple exercises to get started

One of the easiest ways to sneak some physical activities into your busy schedule is by taking a quick walk to or from your office. Exercise can enable your brain to better manage your stress levels.

The Key Takeaway: Sweating it out even from a brisk walk can help relieve you of your physical pain as well as make you feel more at peace.

Another easy way to get an energy boost is by hopping on a treadmill, jumping on a rebounder trampoline, or lifting a few weights at home or at the gym.

Regardless of your age, weight, or gender, all you really need is the motivation and determination to keep moving.

Exercise and mental health – the undeniable bond

There is a significant amount of proof that supports the connection between physical and mental health. Physically fit individuals are better able to handle stressful situations and those who are mentally healthy are able to handle more difficult physical tasks.

Therefore, it is important to nurture both your physical and mental health in order to reap all possible benefits for your mind and your body.

Want more great health information?

Visit the Rebounder Zone blog to learn more about how you can improve your mental and physical health today.

 

Sources

Breene, S. (2013). 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise
Collingwood, J. (2016). The Relationship between Mental and Physical. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Connection between Mental and Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/connection-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Grohol, J.Psy.D (2009).The Connection between Mental & Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/
N.A. (2014). 5 Ways Physical Health Impacts Mental Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://fitstar.com/5-ways-physical-health-impacts-mental-health/
N.A. (2016). Research Shows Connection between Mental Health and Physical Fitness. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.medcarehealth.com/health-problems-prevention/research-shows-connection-between-mental-health-and-physical-fitness-2/
Robinson, L., Segal, J. Ph.D., & Smith, M. M.A. (2016). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/emotional-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Vol 42, No. 11. P.48. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

How Health Experts Eat

How Health Experts Eat Healthy Without Going Broke!

Like health experts, you can eat healthy without going broke, too! A primary reason you and many others may prefer to skip healthy foods is their relatively high cost. Well, that might only be because you haven’t explored all of your options.

The Game Plan for Eating Affordable Healthy Meals

planning healthy eatingDon’t know where to start?

Start with a brilliant game plan. Prioritize inexpensive healthy eating. As the famous adage suggests, if there’s a will, there’s definitely a way.

By considering the nutritive content of food more, you can eat healthy without spending a fortune.

Since you take in the good foods (as opposed to the wasteful bunch), you’re helping your budget as well as your body.

As a publication in the British Medical Journal implies, it’s one of the “rules” that many health experts live by.

Other Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  • Choose gluten-free and organic foods since these are free of pesticide residues and harmful chemicals. For the same reason, avoid GE (or genetically engineered) foods.
  • Construct a meal plan according to your personal budget. Remember to be flexible for certain situations, but be disciplined in following it.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Bananas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, oranges, pears, plums are affordable options.
  • Eliminate junk. This includes artificial low-fat ingredients, frozen meals, canned goods, potato chips, and ready-to-eat packages from the supermarket.
  • Go with tasty and nutritious food ingredients. Try adding avocado, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, and sweet corn to your meals.
  • Plan your meals, but remember to be flexible. According to Harvard Health Publications, it’s recommended for meals to consist of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% proteins, and 25% whole grains.
  • Simplify your meals. Do your best to stay away from processed foods and fancy “health treats”.
  • Stick to water. Coffee, milk, and tea are good, too. Avoid drinks with too much sugar such as sodas and “healthy fruit juices”.

Tricks for Affordable & Healthy Grocery Shopping

affordable groceryAn effective way of dodging costly meals with unhealthy food ingredients? Consider growing your own garden.

If you own a garden with loads of edible produce, you don’t have to spend a fortune on healthy ingredients. More importantly, it reduces the number of trips to the supermarket; shopping for herbs and spices, as well as fruits and vegetables, becomes unnecessary.

Moreover, due to increasing food prices, dietary plans that could lead to malnourishment may be preferred. Remember, even if you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have to disregard your health.

Granted you’re open to different options, you can still eat healthy without spending a ton of money.

More Healthy Shopping Ideas

  • Make use of discounts and special promos. Take note of the dates of supermarkets’ sales. Usually, you can shop for relatively low-cost foods during the holidays, clearance sales, and special occasions.
  • Buy in bulk. Buy for durations of weeks and in some cases, months. Usually, foods are relatively more affordable in bigger amounts.
  • Purchase meat that is close to its expiration. Assuming that preparation and cooking are done prior to spoilage, you can take advantage of up to 50% in  savings.
  • Visit your local farmers’ market. There  you will find a variety of healthy signature products. Since the prices aren’t usually fixed, shop wisely and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Five Rules to Proper Storage of Your Healthy Food

Did you know that in the United States, up to 40% of foods end up going to waste? Consequently, millions of precious dollars go to waste.

Don’t let this be you!

It’s due to improper storage. Make sure to read expiration dates on labels. By keeping this in mind, as well as some steps on proper storage, you can eat healthy on a budget without having to unnecessarily replace your food.

Food Storage Rules

  1. Freeze fruits and vegetables (especially if you buy in bulk). When frozen, fruits and veggies remain at the peak of their freshness.
  2. Freeze poultry and raw meat; for this, allocate space in your freezer’s bottom shelf.
  3. Avoid putting anything in or with metal containers inside the fridge.
  4. Avoid storing fruits and vegetables together. Ripe fruits give off ethylene; ethylene is an organic compound that can slowly ruin fresh vegetables.
  5. Keep dried foods in glass jars. Make sure to seal the containers tightly.

The Power of Preparation: 3 Tips on Healthy & Economical Food Preparation

Success healthy foodOne clever way to eat healthy without spending a lot money is by storing food properly.

But, that’s not the end of it!

Using your creativity with available resources, you can enhance flavor, incorporate variety, and guarantee safe nutrition. It can be a time-consuming task, but for the sake of your health and your pocket, why disregard it?

Healthy Food Preparation Tips

  1. Add onions, bell peppers, and preferred natural spices when skewering meat portions.
  2. Olive or sesame oil add a distinct aroma to fried meals.
  3. Use honey as sweetener (instead of sugar).
  4. Use natural herbs for marinades; marinade an hour or so before cooking.

Is Eating Healthy Without Hurting Your Budget Possible? The Verdict!

health on a budgetSo can you eat healthy without spending a fortune? Can these meals also be delicious?

You can! Eating affordable healthy foods is only a matter of commitment. Whether you’re living on limited income or you’re trying to maintain a frugal lifestyle, cutting back on healthy meals shouldn’t be an option.

Moreover, remember to set realistic health goals. Granted that you’re willing to follow particular strategies, you can eat healthy without going broke!

 

Sources

How to Eat Healthy without Breaking the Bank. (n.d.)
Wiley, M. (2014, Jan. 4). Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank 
Smith, V. (2012, Oct. 24). Eat Healthy … Without Going Broke.
Blalock, M. (2014). Eating Healthy on A Budget: 5 Expert Tips That Make it Easy
Amen, T. (2016, Apr. 25). Eating Well without Breaking the Bank 
How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2016, Mar. 1) 
How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2011, Oct. 11) 
8 Steps to Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank. (2016, Mar. 23) 

 


Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

Why can't I lose weight?

A to Z Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

People aspire to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, if you have tried to lose weight, no doubt you have ran into plateaus and other periods where you just didn’t make progress. Is there hope?

Of course, there is!

This is an alphabetical list of reasons why you may be having trouble losing weight. Hopefully, something will spark a light bulb in your brain, and you will be able to get back on track towards your weight loss goals!

Starting the list with ‘A’, for 

Absorption Problems in Your Gut

Insulin resistance can be one of your worst enemies when you are trying to lose weight. In other words, your body is unable to use the hormone insulin properly to process your food.

The sad outcome: your body keeps fat that is already there. This condition can be prevalent if you are at risk for diabetes, known as prediabetes.

The Details: What’s Going on in your Body

  1. Food is broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is the body’s primary source of energy.
  2. When your blood flows through the pancreas, your pancreas detects the glucose and releases insulin. Insulin enables cells throughout the body to use the glucose.
  3. Your cells use insulin receptors to transform the glucose to energy quickly or store the glucose as a future source of energy.

When this process goes haywire, your cells don’t get the glucose. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood stream, and your cells are deprived of glucose.

Absorption Problems in your Gut

How Your Body Responds

Your body hangs on to energy stores, or fat, that it already has and any glucose that the cells do absorb goes into storage as yet more fat.

The Solution

There are several ways you can fight insulin resistance that causes nutrient absorption issues such as moving more, eliminating white foods (white sugars, white flour, white rice) from your diet, cutting out wheat from your diet, integrating more good grains into your diet, eating fruits and vegetables whole instead of as purees or juices, avoiding packaged foods, lowering inflammation via anti-inflammatory foods (walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, green tea, red wine, cinnamon, and turmeric), replacing fats such as lard and butter, and consulting your doctor about medicines that can help.

Binge Eating

Common when dieting, binge eating describes eating large amounts of food in short periods of time. Binging is not healthy and can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, regardless of whether you are binging on junk food or healthy food.

Here’s the kicker:

Depending on the calories, binge eating can wipe out a week’s worth of dieting.

The Solution:

Try these tips to break binge eating habits:

  1. When dieting, think adding new foods instead of restriction of unhealthy foods. These are the common phases when you diet with a restriction mindset: restriction → binge eating → guilt → restriction → binge eating → guilt. That is not healthy!
  2. Get out of the mindset that you have to be perfect with your diet.
  3. Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself on the scale. It’s normal for your body weight to fluctuate.
  4. Cheat days should not be in your nutrition vocabulary. Cheat days provide the perfect opportunity to binge.
  5. Celebrate small wins and don’t panic over small setbacks.
  6. Stay flexible with your diet.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, especially refined carbs such as sugar or grains that have  been stripped of their nutritious parts, can wreak havoc on your goals to lose weight. Eating too many refined carbs can create significant spikes in your blood sugar, which leads to cravings.

carbohydrates are so delicious

Try this: Substitute refined carbs for more complex carbs that come with their natural fiber.

Dining out Too Much

Let’s face it: we love to eat out. Just the simple idea of not having to cook some days is irresistible. But as you probably know, restaurant food is meant to taste and look great, and looking great doesn’t always correlate with being healthy, too. Those tasty sauces, salad dressings, and other delightful delicacies can reverse your weight loss progress.

dining with silverware

How you can fall out this trap at restaurants:

  1. Review the menu and decide what you want (healthy choices) before going to the restaurant.
  2. Eat before. We tend to make “in the moment” food choices when we are hungry. “In the moment” food choices usually aren’t healthy.
  3. Drink water. This will help quench your appetite
  4. If there are specific foods or ingredients you are trying to avoid, ask the waiter/waitress before ordering
  5. There is no shame in “doggy bags”. Many times servings at restaurants are more than a manageable portion, so split these up into meals for the next day.

Eating Mindfully

Make your eating time sacred. Whether you eat alone or with others, cut out the electronics, chew your food slowly, and take note of your food’s flavors, colors, smells, and textures. Continue reading

3 Food Videos to Kill Your Winter Blues

I don’t know about you but I have been suffering from flu and freezing. People I meet outside have lost their summer smiles and glow. I can’t put a smile on every one I come across but I can sure as hell try to put a smile on you today. Why? Well it’s because I love you.

Not-Pizza Hut

Do you know that your entire life you have been lied to about Pizza? You probably have never had real pizza in your entire life.

Watch these Italians react to Pizza Hut’s new menu:


Continue reading

9 Insane Facts About Your Food That Will Give You The Ultimate Shock!

9 Insane food facts

1- The most expensive coffee in the world is brewed from beans partially digested and defecated by toddy cats. How do you take your “poo”? With sugar and cream please.

2- The common bread ingredient L-cysteine is derived from human hair. Don’t believe it’s only hair from your head if you know what I mean; eeuww!

3- Chicken McNuggets contain industrial chemicals. TBHQ, a petroleum derivative, is used as a stabilizer in oil field chemicals amongst other things. TBHQ has been linked to stomach tumors. Another chemical used as an ingredient is Dimethylpolysiloxane which is a type of silicone. It is used as a filler for breast implants, and is the key ingredient in Silly Putty. Continue reading