Cauliflower-a formidable weight-loss agent

Cauliflower, that formidable weight-loss agent is a must to include in any meal plan. Have you tried?

How are you, friends? Hope you are doing good. I am well!

As a recap, for the last couple of post, I have presented information about my journey. My health and fitness journey.

Here, you will see that I’ve shared a few nuggets on why I changed my eating habits and adopted a structured physical fitness plan. If you search for my blog entitled “So why the change” I go into some depth as to why. Check it out here!

Cauliflower pronounced Cau·li·flow·er is a vegetable that is a member of the cruciferous family that includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, and host of others. It is white in color and develops as a combination of compacted florets(curd) as compared to broccoli.

 

Nutritionally, cauliflower comes as a surprise boasting a serious stat sheet. Normally, it is accepted that color in any fruit or vegetable signifies that item as being a definite producer in the fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Cauliflower is the exception.

Its stat sheet shows it to be high in Vitamin C, K, and Manganese. It is a serious producer of Folate and fiber too while being high in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

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What makes Cauliflower different from its close sister broccoli is the fact that it contains sulfur-based compounds called Glucosinolates. There are a few and more in-depth study of them is ongoing. So far, these compounds are being regarded as formidable agents in the supporting good health.

Here’s what it brings to the game:

  1. Regulates Blood Cholesterol-Studies show that cauliflower helps to regulate cholesterol levels by binding cholesterol bile acids to pass into the intestines. Processed foods lack many of the essential properties that help to activate this.
  2. Improves digestionStudies show that sulforaphane found in the glucosinolates within cauliflower helps to remove the harmful bacteria within the stomach walls. This ultimately leads to improved digestion within the digestion tract. In addition, the fiber assists with more bulkier and softer stools as compared to watery or hard ones.
  3. Anti-cancer agent-In short, the Sulforaphane compounds released from the consumption of Cauliflower release additional compounds that assist with the binding away of cancer-causing agents. The properties help to control the harmful free radicals associated with degenerative diseases.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory helper-Cauliflower has Omega 3 fatty acids and a healthy amount of Vitamin C which help to inhibit an enzyme responsible for inflammation. It also has a few powerful anti-oxidants to boast. Cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and quercetin are just a few to name that help to keep inflammation at bay. This ultimately leads to better circulation of blood and air passages.
  5. Aids in weight loss-Cauliflower is low in calories, low in sugar and high in fiber which makes for a nice combination to help one feel full. Definitely, need to add in any weight loss plan.

So what are the ways to consume Cauliflower:

  1. Sprinkled in and over salads
  2. Minced and stir-fried lightly-add in a dish of your choice.
  3. Pulverized in a Smoothie.
  4. Minced or quartered in a soup of your choice. The vegetable is my favorite.
  5. Add on a vegetable tray
  6. Hummus Dip
  7. Casseroles-all varieties

So there you have it! If you have not included this vegetable into your meal plan shame on you. This is definitely a go-to vegetable. Unless under doctors orders you have other instructions.

I know, I know! Its white, dry looking and admittedly not that appealing. I had to get over that too. It’s not that bad, though. Lol.

This is how I look at it. When I went through my change, of course, I had to change the way I thought. I had to reprogram the way I perceived eating ALL foods. So, I had to refocus on the nutritional benefits as opposed to the appearance. The taste buds could be manipulated. Haha!

Now, I will try almost anything.

If you fall into this, try your hand at expanding your food sources. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Cauliflower is a great addition to any meal plan. It is loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help with everything from encouraging proper digestion in the gut area to encouraging good vascular circulation. Today, with the foods being processed and losing much of the anti-inflammatory properties, including Cauliflower into your meal plan is definitely a plus.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! Next, we’ll look into how asparagus stacks up on the meal squad.

Did you miss last posts notes on how Arugula may help in maintaining strong bones?

Credits: Google Images, Associated links.

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Arugula-the other green leaves​

Arugula, the other green leaf is packed with beneficial nutrients. Include in your next spring mix salad.

Hello Friends! How are you? Hope all is well.

As promised, let’s continue on with sharing a few of the healthy foods I have adopted into my health and wellness plan.

If you need to catch up just do a search for “Why the Change” and you will quickly find my motivation for launching on this path of renewed health and wellness.

Staying consistent with the fruit and nutrient-packed vegetables that I now include on a regular basis, I introduce Arugula. pronounced [uh-roo-guh-luh].

Arugula is a green leafy vegetable that is apart of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables. It is in the family of vegetables that is likened to broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard.

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It is a vegetable loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins include Vitamin A, K, and C. The minerals include Folate acid, potassium, Manganese, Iron, and Calcium.

Here is the breakdown nutritionally:

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So what health benefits do you receive from eating Arugula?

  1. Weight Loss-since it is nutrient packed with minerals, vitamins and very low in calories, Arugula will meet ones nutritional and satiation needs. No need of feeling like your missing out on meeting those nutritional goals.
  2. Improves eyesight-Arugula being a good source of carotenoids, may help in improving eyesight. Carotenoids have been accepted as being agents for improving eyesight. Arugula is loaded with them. It is considered to be a positive agent against macular degeneration, an age-related condition involving the deterioration of parts of the eye.images-13
  3. Boost Immune system-Vitamin C is abundant in Arugula. It is linked to helping fight against the free radicals within the body. This can lead to helping support your immune system.
  4. Encourages heart health-Vegetables that are high in low calories and anti-inflammatory properties tend to be very good agents for protecting the heart. The anti-inflammatory properties encourage proper circulatory flow and consistent heart rhythms.
  5. Promotes Bone Health-In short, Arugula is a great source of vitamin K which is essential to maintaining strong bones. In some circles, it is a close second to Calcium.

Here are a few ideas on consuming Arugula

  1. In salads mixed with other types of greens.
  2. Used in soups to give it a healthy kick.
  3. Sprinkled atop Sandwiches to boost nutrition count.
  4. Spotted on (vegan style)pizzas. Yes, you have to try it.
  5. Pulverized in fruit and vegetable smoothies.
  6. Added as an edible side piece to vegetable dip trays.

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I have tried it in all meal prep situations. My favorite is on sandwiches. I usually add a bit of herbs to give it a kick too. If you have included Arugula in your meal plan, excellent! It is a great addition. If you have not, then the opportunity is here. I would recommend it.

I definitely believe we are what we eat. If we consume high calorie, high fat, low fiber, empty calorie food the body will respond over time lethargically. On the contrast, if low fat, high fiber, nutrient dense foods are consumed the body will respond over time with vibrancy.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading and connecting.

Courtesy: Google photos and associated links.

What’s the benefit?

What are in the foods we eat and how they benefit the body. 

Hello friends. How are things? I hope all is well.

Got to thinking about writing a series on certain foods we eat and how they benefit the body.

Since I have changed the way and what I consume now, I thought I would share those thoughts with you all.

Why I changed? Well, I shared a bit of it in a previous post entitled “So Why the Change”. Here I kinda talk a bit about how I was feeling and the struggles I endured. I share the decision to make an about face with my whole eating and fitness plan. Yay! Glad I did! I feel absolutely great.

In this post, and the ones to come I want to share a few of the foods I consume as well as a progress report on my fitness journey.

So, here we go!

First, I changed a few of the foods I consume. I included more vegetables. In either a salad, blender or cooked way. One of those is the addition of cucumbers. Let’s see what this fella has to offer.

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The Cucumber:

  1. Provides a good amount of water and soluble fiber-Water is always good to include in any diet. It helps with lubrication and flow of any waste or receiving nutrients. The fiber is a plus too. Fiber helps to remove waste from the body(intestines and gut). Kinda like a scrubber. Lol.
  2. Low in calories-A cucumber with the peel offers about 45 calories and is high vitamins and minerals.
  3. Good source of anti-oxidants-Cucumbers offer properties known to be associated with being an excellent source of antioxidants. Without going to chemically deep, in a nutshell, these are properties that help to fight against those molecular forces that encourage breakdown(oxidation), whatever that may be. In the sense of health, these forces(free radicals) are studied and believed to be associated with a few diseases today.
  4. Aid in weight loss-Due to the low-calorie content cucumbers can be a nice way to manage one’s weight. It is always a nice addition to any salad.
  5. Maintain Blood sugar-because of it low caloric value and high vitamin/mineral content cucumbers are believed to help in lowering blood sugar levels.
  6. Reduce swelling/inflammation-Cucumbers have the properties in them that help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

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Although not a complete list, I have highlighted a few benefits to including cucumbers into your diet.

They are always great to have in salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.  My favorite is in salads. I eat them with skin or no skin and in the pickled variety too.

Try them if you have not. And if not your favorite, that’s cool, there are a variety of other vegetables to choose from with similar properties.

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Glad you read. Stayed tuned for the next vegetable. Arugula.

Credits to Google images and associated links.

Stress? Fight or Flight Part II

Did you know that outside of relationships there are quite a few reasons to be stressed?

Hi everyone! Glad you stayed tuned.

Well, let’s get to it. For a recap, we discovered stress to be associated with that fight or fight feeling that one gets in a situation that seems unanswerable. Stress can also affect any and everyone.

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Did you know that outside of relationships there are quite a few reasons to be stressed? In fact, according to the American Psychology Association, a study from 2007 to 2010 revealed money, work, the economy, and family responsibilities to be leading causes of stress.

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Respondents point out that the pressures of responsibility in the workplace contribute to increased stress to meet deadlines. What’s interesting is in 2007 74% were affected as compared to a 5 to 6 percent drop over the next couple of years. Curiosity led me to find out that during the 2007 year in the U.S. there was a major housing bubble event. The stress connected with not having a home could be overwhelming.

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Respondents also claimed earning money as the second reason stress is prevalent. Perhaps this is because of a combination of contributing factors stemming from either overindulgent personal desires or overall economics.

What are the symptoms of stress? As there are many causes of stress, there are quite a few symptoms that one may exhibit.

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A lack of interest could be noticed in a person who customarily is involved. On the other hand, lack of appetite could be an obvious one. Especially when you know the person is quite fond of eating. Some individuals may experience common symptoms of having a headache or exhibiting fatigue. The attached survey highlights a few others of what percentage respondents experienced from the years 2007-2010.

So what are the long-term effects of stress if not managed? Well, the effects range from behavioral and physical.

Behavioral effects could range from one being depressed to serious anxiety attacks.

Stress if not managed properly could affect eating habits that lead to obesity. In some, sexual performance problems could be evident. Other extended issues might be related to skin, hair, intestinal, and menstrual.

So what can be done to help manage stress? Well, let’s see.

  • Support from loved ones-those close by(friends too) can be pillars in the time of stress offering mental, physical, and monetary support
  • Regular exercise-physical exercises can be a great way to take your focus off of stressful circumstance. Physical activity causes you to redirect your energies to whatever the task is at hand; Basketball, Pool, swimming, running, resistance training, or yoga.
  • Meditation-spending time just relaxing(quiet time) and mentally redirecting energies is a great way to reset your mind.
  • Listening to Music-Music is an ultimate mood changer. Music melodies have a way of soothing or energizing the mind. This can be an enjoyable way to be mentally massaged.
  • Reading-reading is a sure fire way to redirect your focus. In order to understand what you’re reading your mind has to be in the game.

So, there you go. Not a complete list but hopefully a decent informational teaser regarding stress.

Stress is definitely real and no laughing matter. With more expected out of an individual today in practically the same amount of hours in the day, one can feel overwhelmed. Stats show that situations have affected everyone across the globe, so adopting stress managing techniques will be a must.

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Recapping, we found out that stress is that Fight or Flight feeling one gets when in a pressure type situation. Stress can affect anyone. It does not matter regarding gender, age, nationality, or status in life. We discussed some of the symptoms related to being stressful and the potential causes. It was revealed that stress, if not managed, can affect one mentally and have physical effects. Finally, incorporating stress management tools will help to relieve or even eradicate the impact of stress in one’s life.

Glad you were able to tune in. Thanks for reading. With every post, I learn a little bit more and love sharing to encourage. Hope you were enlightened.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Happy Valentines Day 2018

Hey fellas! Its Valentine’s day! Of course, I say this jokingly, hoping you have that special lady to share this time.

Hey fellas! Its Valentine’s day! Of course, I say this jokingly, hoping you have that special lady to share this time.

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I write this with the intention of motivating, encouraging or even reminding guys everywhere of the opportunity to show your lady that she is special. There is even a chance you can score points if you have been in the doghouse or on the edge of being in the game.

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Let me first note that Valentine’s Day should not be the only day we make a move to express love to a lady. It should be a day as all other days if we are sincere and have shown affection occasionally. This means everyday love should be expressed in a way that she ultimately knows that she is loved.  Whether you periodically send flowers or post sticky love notes she should always know she is the center of your love. Even if there was not a Valentine’s Day. Sadly, Valentine’s Day is just that. A reminder to show some form of affection to that special person.

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So to help us out guys, I have put together a reminder checklist to guide us away from the dreadful dog house.

Remember to periodically express occasionally before Valentine’s Day:

  • Show affection daily; maybe a passionate hug, kiss on the ear, or sensual touch.
  • Listen intently to her.
  • Periodically take her out to dinner; not just on Valentine’s Day.
  • Make her laugh; tell those corny jokes!
  • Comment positively on her features.
  • Occasionally take her out; anywhere. Concert, play, park
  • Send freaky text from time to time
  • Play games with her; card, video, or game board style
  • Go away on a romantic vacation somewhere.
  • Send flowers periodically.
  • Pay for her to be pampered; hair done, manicure, pedicure.
  • Mail an affectionate card.
  • Rub her feet from time to time.
  • Make her bath water.
  • Surprise her with a makeup kit

Then when Valentines Day does arrive do

  • Any of the above

 

This will result in her knowing she is loved on a daily basis as opposed to thinking it takes a special day. Of course, I have only noted a few points to keep the romance brewing, so if there are others certainly include and share in the comments section.

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So, if you are that guy who expresses affection quite frequently, good for you. If you are a guy who does not, then I offer these pointers as a way to turn it around. Much Love to you all.

Happy Valentines 2018 everyone! Hope your day goes as expected.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Stress! That Fight or Flight Feeling

All is well here but as usual, I’ve been thinking. Thinking about stress and how it impacts one’s life.

Hi friends! Hope all is well. Missed a week or two of posts. But I’m back at it! Thanks for posting in.

All is well here but as usual, I’ve been thinking. Thinking about stress and how it impacts one’s life.

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I, like many, have had to deal with stress at some point. Whether personal or business stress can affect anyone. Just recently a business related issue concerning an employee invited stress into my environment where there was a chance for me to be affected but with proper stress normalizing measures I did not allow it to fester. In this case, its effect was minimized pretty quickly.

Are you under pressure?Fight or Flight?

There are many folks who encounter stress at some point and have had to endure for a much longer time. This is why I decided to share a bit about what it is and how it can affect one physically and mentally. In the next few post I will share what stress is, who is affected by stress, when can stress surface, what are the contributors to stress, what are the long-term side effects of stress, and how does stress affect one. Afterwards,  I will present options that may help overcome stress.

Let me first start off and say that I am not a doctor of any sorts but a living example on a journey sharing my story.

First, what is stress? Well, it is kinda the feeling you get when your heart races, your blood pressure elevates, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tighten. This feeling is commonly referred to as the “Fight or Flight” and you may or may not encounter this depending on your level of stress endurance. This fight or fight feeling varies from one person to another.

For the one person missing a paycheck may cause them to panic while for another it is viewed as just another aspect of that particular work environment.  In another instance, adding another project with a deadline can possibly invite panic to the one employee but for the other employee, it can be viewed as just another opportunity to tackle a challenge. Stress can also, undoubtedly affect anyone.

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Stress has affected children, teens, adults, men, women, young and older persons. Its effect can surface in various ways in all too. For instance, someone who normally is outgoing could begin to be a bit reserved. This can happen across race, gender, or age.

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The graphs show that stress appears to affect all age groups and gender. In some way, that fight or flight feeling impacts the mind and does not discriminate. In another instance, one who generally handles seemingly small situations could suddenly begin to be bothered and moody.

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Trends show that stress is a very real problem that even touches down to the core of the family affecting children. In this case, children like adults are affected in varying ways that can result in the child being reserved, quiet, non-playful, sad, or even frustrated.

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In this post, I have sorta laid the basis for what stress is, what the symptoms of stress are, and who is affected by stress. In the next post, I will focus on what the causes of stress are, the mental and physical impact of stress and what the long-term effects on an individual that does not overcome.

Stay tuned friends!

 

What’s In your tool bag?

So what’s in your tool bag. You know, just as a mechanic…

Hello friends! Glad to have you back.

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So what’s in your tool bag. You know, just as a mechanic has a variety of tools in his tool bag to handle the jobs of working on a vehicle. Each tool is designed for a specific purpose and function. Sometimes the tools are used in the same time frame in order to tackle a specific job. Other times only one tool is used.

So, I ask again, what’s in your tool bag that helps you manage to navigate through life’s hurdles. Listed below are a few life tools that I believe are a must for anyone who needs to endure and overcome.

It is important to note that these tools can be used for any aspect of life where challenges may be encountered. Just as a mechanic can use his tools on just about any make and model vehicle, life’s tools can be too.

So shall we look into this tool bag? Let’s see what we have here.

  1. Laughter-Accepting laughter in your life will make a world of difference. Life can bring serious challenges sometimes that can take a physical toll on an individual. In this case, there needs to be an outlet. Some use drugs. Others use alcohol. A few try laughter. Laughter can offer great benefits. Studies show that when one laughs there are endorphins released that help one feel good and ultimately shift your focus off of whats stressful. The act of laughter helps one to keep their focus off of the circumstance and on the enjoyment of what makes him laugh. Who knew? Besides this, laughter is free and doesn’t cost anything. The only investment is the willingness of the individual to physically relax and mentally open up to receiving.  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/06/healthandwellbeing4 
  2. Faith-Faith is kinda like the milk added to a recipe for a cake. It helps to blend all the ingredients. You need faith in just about anything that is done. It is so interwoven that some things we handle in life are just accepted and not seen as faith in action. For example, it is assumed that after going to sleep one will wake up the next day. Do you just expect to wake? If you are in good health you may not think of this much, but if sickly the thought of not waking may enter frequently. What about venturing out to start a business. Does one just go for it? Or is one apprehensive? Either way, faith is still there. For the one, it is great for the other not so great. The point here is that at the core one must believe in order to give, get, or advance. What’s your choice?
  3. Doubt-The opposite of faith is doubt or unbelief. Unlike just giving up and accepting doubt wholeheartedly, there is healthy doubt. Let’s say you want to make a significant purchase that directly affects your household and has the potential to affect the cash flow. The purchase at first, may appear daunting and lead to doubt but when diligence is spent investigating every option a way may be seen that was not seen before. This is healthy doubt in action. Some may call it caution. In the end, pointed and diligent time is spent leading to an informed decision instead of a guess.
  4. Love-Love is essential in any toolbox of life. Love can be likened to that go-to tool which is always used. When there is a tough job this tool will always be used at some point. In life, love will face and deal with many of the selfish vibes encountered. Love helps a mother endure the entanglements of drugs she witnesses her child caught in. Love also causes that person to speak up and offer constructive words of encouragement when a friend is observed making decisions that will ultimately lead them to destroy themselves. If there is a definite go-to tool Love is that tool.
  5. Peace-Peace has to definitely be apart of the tool bag. Just imagine going to a library where there is a constant noise. One would find it difficult to concentrate and study on the topic at hand. Peace is that tool which helps to bring a bit of sanity to a situation. Embracing this characteristic will allow for all issues to be addressed without any noise. Professional teams address the issue of noise. Team members are trained to perform with one goal in mind; that of performing to reach the ultimate goal. So, if a team member introduces issues other than what the goal of the team is, it is addressed. That could mean being released from the team or just a sit-down talk. The issue can be looked at as noise detrimental to the entire team reaching their goal. Atmospherically, noise also can be likened to a calm sunny day versus a blustery cloudy day. There are just some things you can do on a sunny day that you would think twice about on a blustery cloudy day. Accepting peace as part of ones nature will most assuredly offer level thought to any situation.

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This is most definitely not a complete list. Just as there are many mechanics there are a variety of persons. Each having their own set of tools. This is ok. Use what works to get that car, truck, furnace, air condition, or boat, fixed.

Much Love to you my friends! See ya next post.