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.

Part II Expected benefits from New Year Health resolutions

Welcome back, friends! So as promised this is part II of what benefits to expect if you have invested in New Year Health resolutions.

Welcome back, friends! So as promised this is part II of what benefits to expect if you have invested in New Year Health resolutions.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  1. Increased bone density-You may have heard this at some point. Exercise helps to increase bone density. What’s the big deal about this? Well, as we get older we age. Just as a home, a car, or a stamping machine parts begin to wear out. We can prolong its operation though through good maintenance. When it comes to our bodies, the same is true. A study conducted in 2000 showed there was a slight increase in bone mineral density in subjects that engaged in High-intensity routines.  The bones, in particular, can lose bone density as time passes. This loss can be combated against though through good maintenance. A well-balanced eating plan and exercise are key. Studies have shown that with resistance training specifically bone density was increased. The graph shows the relationship between age and bone mass. As one ages, the bone mass changes also. Physical fitness routines help the body respond positively, meaning muscles grow, oxygen is circulated, and bones are strengthened.

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2.  Develops goal setting-If you feel you are one that has a hard time accomplishing anything, having a workout and eating plan is a sure way to get started. Meal and workout plans are offered by a variety of companies who can customize them for the individual. Getting help here is crucial if you are serious about changing your position and reaching your goal. Once these tools are offered all one has to do is accept the change mentally. All else will fall into place. Goal reached!

3.  Expand socially-If you have a fear of being around crowds and others, having a gym membership can start you on the path of being socially mature. Accepting a gym membership is an important part of any workout plan. Unless you workout at home having a gym membership is the way to go. You can immediately meet others who are enduring the same challenges. The similarities of others fitness journey can be a sure fire way to gain friends.

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4.  Increases strength and flexibility-Are you feeling weak in areas or not as flexible as you once were? Fitness routines can definitely help you achieve this goal. Stretching regularly reinforces flexibility. Adding weights to any workout plan helps. The trick here is that one does not have to start out with a lot of weight. Generally one tends to overdo it and quickly becomes discouraged trying to lift too much weight. Always start off with a low manageable weight that encourages proper form. As your body responds( muscle definition, fat loss, increased strength, flexible joints, mental endurance, energized cardio) you will automatically adjust the resistance to meet the challenge.

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5.   Increases confidence-So your confidence is low. You’ve gained more weight than expected. Your annual checkup revealed a few health issues directly related to behaviors that put one at risk. This is an all too common scenario which can be changed by one’s attitude. When one accepts a plan to change the condition of their health, meal and fitness plans follow. Over time with discipline, mental and physical results become visible. One becomes mentally energized with an awareness to choosing better foods that are nutritionally packed. One’s physical appearance changes. Through disciplined workouts, the body is looking leaner from the loss of fat and building of muscle. This combination mentally motivates the individual and builds confidence. Ultimately replacing doubt and shyness present before the transformation.

So, investing in your health for 2018 is promising! Never let doubt hinder you from at least trying. You will never know how far you can travel if you never go out. My hope is that these words of encouragement serve you well.

Much love my friends and stay encouraged.

Credits: courtesy of Giphy

https://mnepilepsy.org/patient-information/bone-health-and-epilepsy-are-your-bones-brittle/

 

 

Investing in New Year Health Resolutions? Expect Benefits!

Hello friend!

The New Year is here and if you are like many it is a good time to kinda reset and reevaluate life.

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Many have decided to travel more, some have decided to engage in more social activities, and others have decided to better their health. Whatever the personal attention-getter it is always good to reevaluate to make things better. Even companies do it year to year so that in the end there is a better product or service. Thank goodness!

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Bettering one’s health always ranks high when it comes to reevaluating yearly goals. The graph above highlights the increase in obesity rates since the 1960s and the concern. Today, when it comes to nutrition the typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake or limits when it comes to calories from added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.

When relating to exercise research shows that some states report adults exercising 3 or more times a week for at least 30 minutes while other states lag behind.  A National average for adults exercising was 51.6%.

With stats like these, it is easy to see why many today have a concern for their health. There is also no shortage of companies that promote eating, exercise, and diet plans.

The point is that eating well and having a routine fitness plan can yield great physical and mental benefits. Following, I have compiled a list of benefits one is to expect after accepting an eating and fitness plan. There are so many that I will have to post in two parts. The following statement should be personally vocalized.

So, this year because I have decided to exercise more and eat better I will see:

  1. Boost Energy-Have you ever met that person that seems to always be tired and unmotivated. After questioning, are they active or more of a couch potato? Chances are they are the later. Physical activity increases blood flow, raises heart rate levels and metabolism.  This will easily combat any sluggishness.

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  1. Builds Perseverance-This is a definite mental boost for someone who may struggle with giving up on things. Workout plans are generally personalized. One thing that is common amongst all levels is the attitude to persevere. No matter what age or level of fitness one must learn to persevere and overcome in order to reach their fitness goal.
  2. Lose Weight-This is generally accepted and widely known but just in case you did not get the memo here is a simple explanation. Imagine filling a car up with gas. It takes 10 gallons(37.8 liters). This is what it takes to run it. Let’s say you try to pump 15 gallons(56.8 liters). It will not take it because the tank is full. The excess will not be used. In the same sense, our bodies function at a base amount of calories. Consuming them will maintain the bodies functions. When more calories are consumed than what is normal, those calories unlike the gas that cannot be received in a car will be received by the body. Once received the body will more than likely store as excess fat. If nothing is done to alter this routine the excess calories will build and build and build. Yikes-weight gain! Knowing the foods and their calorie content help to defend against unwanted calories. Taking in fewer calories or burning them up(exercising) will help maintain. So important to become familiar with this aspect of nutrition.
  3. Reduces Heart Disease-Today, this is a familiar banner. It encompasses any disease of the blood vessels that affect the heart, veins, brain, valves, or extremities. According to the World Health Organization, this is the number one cause of death globally. Routine exercising and healthy eating help to minimize the risk.
  4. Calorie Control-Knowing the number of calories one consumes is extremely important. Too many can cause excess weight issues. Getting help in developing a plan to target foods that provide good calories and minimizing the excess will be a sure fire way to having control over weight concerns.

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So, to wrap up part 1 of Reevaluating the New Year fitness plan a few things to take away. First, remember to educate yourself. There is plenty of information today-health professional, doctor, internet, YouTube, friends, and the library. Second, stay encouraged! We generally tend to have a goal set and expect change overnight. Hmmm? Not so and unrealistic through simple workout routines. Remember our situation did not happen overnight, it took time. So be patient! Thirdly, connect with others who are experiencing a fitness change too. This can be an invaluable source of encouragement if you begin doubting.

Stay encouraged and stay tuned for part II…Investing in New Year Resolutions.

Credits: Giphy, Google images,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Available at: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 2013. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/167645/vermont-no-frequent-exercise-produce-consumption.aspx

Disclaimer: Not a professional but a motivational health friend. Always seek professional advisement when making health decisions.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Stress?

Holiday Stress!

Yes, don’t stress during this Holiday season. This is not the time to feel inadequate because you did not get a gift for everyone. 

Holiday Stress?

Yes, don’t stress during this Holiday season. This is not the time to feel inadequate because you did not get a gift for everyone.

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Although this is a time of remembering to not be selfish one does not have to feel guilty of not getting something for everyone.

If you have the means then do so, but if you are like many, do what you are led to do. Give to those who are friends, family, and to that special person you do not know. Give a card or simply say how much that person means to you.

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Sometimes our heart to give can be bigger than the means to do so. If so, do not fret! Stay within your means and know that it is the motivation that counts.

The season is a time to reflect and bring into remembrance what was done by The Almighty. The SON Jesus was born into the world and provided a means for all to follow. A SPIRIT of giving and sacrifice. In the same sense the giving of life and sacrifice is what man is given an opportunity to do. Doing so on a daily basis plants seeds that are more memorable and everlasting.

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Just a reminder friends to enjoy the season and not set yourself up for financial regret when the season ends.

Much love to ya! Stay tuned to the next post.

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Photo credits: Giphy