Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No-Deprivation Halloween Diet Tips

Whether you’re handing out the treats or will have to deal with the pillowcases full of goodies your kids bring home (or both!) Halloween can cause quite the candy conundrum. But you and your kids don’t have to miss out on the fun to avoid turning into Augustus Gloop. Follow Gladwyne-based dietitian and family nutritionist, Emma Fogt‘s tips for a happy, healthy Halloween.

You’ll already have to deal with the loot the kids bring home, so do yourself a favor and opt for calorie-free or healthier treats. “This year, instead of handing out tons of candy, opt for more stickers, mini pumpkins, mini toys and dollar-store gifts like fake tattoos, stick on gems, crayons, pencils, erasers or sticky notes,” suggests Fogt. “Or passing out more nutritious foods such as; individually wrapped Fig Newtons, dried fruits, pretzels , baked chips or popcorn.”

“Make sure to feed the children and yourself before trick-or-treating, even if it is early,” says Fogt. “I guarantee your kids—and you— will eat less candy on a fuller stomach.”

The amount of candy kids collect in one night goes far beyond the USDA’s advice of having approximately 250 calories of discretionary calories per day. “Discretionary calories are those calories that contain added fats and sugars,” says Fogt. “It is so easy to overspend these discretionary calories on a normal day, but it’s especially difficult at Halloween time.” So, spread them out. If you really love Reese’s, figure out how many you can have in a day, enjoy them, and then opt for nutrition-packed whole foods for the rest of the day.”

“Have candy only after dinner, not as a snack or when you are hungry,” says Fogt. “If you start to eat candy on an empty stomach, you will; fill up on these non-nutritive calories.” Instead, keep fresh fruits on the table. “If you are truly hungry, an apple will sound just as good as a candy bar,” says Fogt.

Halloween Fruit Bites

Great way to have fun and get your kids to eat apples and nuts. Fruit bites is a healthy snack for kids that you can make together.

To make these little bites you can use pears or apples. Any nuts will work. We used peanuts.

1. Wash apples and pears. Dry them.
2. Quarter a pear, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter.
3. Sliver the peanuts.
4. Cut them into smaller teeth looking pieces.
5. Press the your peanuts into the pear to make teeth.

“As the parent, you are responsible not only for what and where your kids eat, but when,” says Fogt, who recommends having kids pick any two pieces of candy after dinner and stashing the rest during the day. “After some time, the ‘best’ candy is gone and you can chuck the rest. The younger your children, the more control you have over their food choices, timing of meals and when they eat.”

Leaving candy out in view is a fast-tack to a sugar fest. “Brian Wansink, a Cornell researcher and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think says that we eat more of visible foods because it causes us to think about it more, and every time you see the candy bowl you have to decide whether … you want a piece of candy or not. “Don’t get sucked into the ‘see food diet’ mentality that makes you want to eat the candy simply because you see it and not because you are hungry.”

When you experience a sweet craving it may be that you are actually hungry for real food. “Ride the crave wave for a few minutes and ask yourself if you really want candy right now or real food,” says Fogt. “Take a break and get up. Go outside or eat some fresh fruit and see if the sweet carving subsides.”

“You can also choose to get the candy out of the house,” says Fogt. “Donate the candy to a shelter or homeless facility, a food bank or a senior center that would appreciate it.”

Keeping cheap candy you don’t like in the house—if you aren’t a fan of Peppermint Patties, for instance, handing them out will be a lot easier than handing out your favorite. “But why not get a little of your own yummy, high-quality dark chocolate?” suggest Fogt. “Eating a good piece of dark chocolate slowly is rich, sweet and satisfying, and it also provides antioxidants.”
resource: blogs.phillymag.com

   Eerie eyeball snacks for Halloween

One of my favorite creepy snacks to serve at a Halloween party is Eerie Eyeballs. I originally got the recipe from Britta Blvd and it’s a pretty easy one with great impact. I love seeing people (especially kids) squirm and squeal over these chewy, gummy, and freaky little bites!

The trick to these is in the mold. My favorite mold is a simple plastic paint palette. They are cheap, easy to store, and have a perfect round shape and a smooth, slick surface. Best of all, you can find them at any store that sells craft supplies. Just make sure you’ve never used them for paint before — we want these eyeballs to be edible!
eerie eyeballs snackspaint palette
You can also use any other mold you can find that has a round shape. Some suggestions are truffle molds and round ice cube trays. Or, you can just put the mixture in a bowl and use a melon baller, but your results won’t be nearly as consistent or round.
Eerie Eyeballs
  • 3 oz box (that’s the small size) of lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add marshmallows, and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. If you are using molds, spray them very lightly with non-stick cooking spray, then pour the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. To decorate the eyes, use food coloring (liquid or paste) and a tiny (clean!) paint brush and get creative. You will need black food coloring for the pupils, but the irises can be any color you like.
eerie eyeballs
You can have a lot of fun with the painting. The eyes can be realistic and creepy, or wild and crazy (think cat eyes, bloodshot eyes, or eyelids and huge lashes!). I tend to go to parties with kids at them, and I don’t want to gross them out, so I make the eyes pretty tame. Just ordinary blue eyes is still enough to make most people shiver to see one being eaten, though!
This recipe will make a LOT of eyeballs, especially if you are using the palettes as your molds, since they are not very deep. If you don’t have a lot of molds, you might want to try to cut this recipe in half.
Here are some fun ways to display the eyeballs:
  • Arrange them on a platter in the middle of the buffet table.
  • Put one or two eyes on the edge of each plate, including serving platters and your guests’ dining plates.
  • Put one or two on top of a cupcake or use them to create a border around a cake.
  • Spear them with a swizzle stick or umbrella and use them to decorate a cocktail glass (Note that if your eyeballs are flat, you might want to put two of them back to back for this idea, to create a fuller-looking eye.) Add a drop of red food coloring on the stab wound and really gross them out!
  • Put one on your tongue and walk up to a guest at your party and stick your tongue out. This is sure to get a reaction, especially if chew the eyeball up right after they see it!
Got any favorite creepy treats that you serve at your Halloween parties? I’d love to hear about them!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

USA TODAY's Weight Loss Challenge 2011: No Excuses

If you've successfully lost weight and kept it off, we'd like to hear from you and possibly include your story in USA TODAY's 2011 Weight Loss Challenge. The theme of this year's challenge: No Excuses.
Please e-mail us with the excuse you had for not losing weight and exercising regularly and how you changed your mindset to trim down. Send a short paragraph about yourself, including your name, age, location and the keys to your success. If possible, please attach before and after photos.
Or write to:
Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY
7950 Jones Branch Dr.
McLean, VA 22124

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Biggest Loser Fitness Video Game Review

Now you can become "The Biggest Loser" in the comforts of your own home. Shape and tone your body, either by yourself or with a friend, with this interactive fitness video game for the Wii. Choose a 4, 8 or 12 week program and The Biggest Loser fitness game will build a workout and nutrition plan for you so you can reach your fitness goals. You can take advantage of the expert advice and unique motivational styles of the amazing trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels to help guide you along with the way.
The Biggest Loser game logo
Bob Harper leading exercises on the Wii Balance Board in The Biggest Loser for Wii
Wii Balance Board support.
An example of a customized core routine from The Biggest Loser for Wii
Customizable workouts.
Playing as former TV show contestant Michelle in The Biggest Loser for Wii
Play as former contestants.
Built in calendar for tracking goal progress in The Biggest Loser
Progress tracking functionality.
Put Wii to Work for Your Health
We know what you’re thinking – "The Wii?? Isn’t that for kids and gamers?" Not anymore. The Biggest Loser is an interactive fitness program that emulates the competitive and training elements of the hit NBC show. Just like the show, your goal is to accomplish weight loss milestones through weekly training and exercise challenges. If you succeed in obtaining your weight loss goal, you’ll become the "Biggest Loser". Lose weight, win challenges and stay above the yellow line. Sign on to Your Virtual Gym
Getting started reaching your fitness goals with The Biggest Loser is as easy as grabbing your Wii Remote. If you got the Wii Balance Board, bring that along too. These will be your tools of the trade. There's no need to worry about strapping on awkward devices or using complicated exercise equipment, you’ll be up and sweating in minutes. So, how does it work? The game includes 4 tools to reach your goal:
  • Fitness Program - This is where you establish your goals, make a plan and compete for the title of The Biggest Loser. Pick a 4, 8 or 12 week program and start sweating.
  • Health and Lifestyle Tool - In this component you’ll find encouragement and tips from former Biggest Loser contestants and trainers, and some of the best recipes from the Biggest Loser cookbooks.
  • Exercise Routines - This section allows you to select from a collection of routines that match your skill level and let you focus on every part of your body. Through it you can also create your own routine that fits your schedule and focuses on your favorite exercises.
  • Challenge Events - In Challenges you’ll take the exercises you’ve learned and put them to the test in a series of fun but competitive events against some of the former contestants that you’ve seen on The Biggest Loser show. In Single Exercises, you can find your weakest exercise and conquer it or refine your technique to get the most out of your time.
Multiplayer Support
Dedicated to helping users attain their weight loss goals by all means necessary, The Biggest Loser allows for the power moral support and companionship of having a friend at your side. To that end two players can train together, pushing each other when they need to and providing healthy competition as they engage in weekly challenges to see who really is The Biggest Loser.
Wii Balance Board Integration
Although the Wii Balance Board is an optional accessory, The Biggest Loser offers numerous interactive features which fully employ the innovative, sensor-driven hardware that only Wii currently offers. Use the Wii Balance Board in over 66 of the Biggest Loser's 88 exercises, including squats, lunges and knee lifts to name a few. As you mirror your trainer’s movements Wii will monitor your movements to help you become more efficient at each exercise. Whether its cardio, upper and lower body workouts or even yoga, you’ll learn proper form and technique in no time. Wii technology, combined with The Biggest Loser comprehensive workout and diet programs, will help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle and to feeling great about yourself. And you may even have fun along the way too.
Key Game Features
  • Join The Biggest Loser Challenge - Select from a 4, 8 or 12 week program and compete with contestants from the prior seasons of The Biggest Loser.
  • Personalize your Program - Choose your challenge length and difficulty level, your personal goal, your trainer, customize routines and even pick your team color.
  • Health & Lifestyle Tips and Information - Includes healthy recipes from The Biggest Loser Cookbook, a calorie counter and healthy tips and suggestions from Bob and Jillian, chefs and contestants.
  • Train with a Friend - Two players can train together and compete in weekly challenges to see who really is The Biggest Loser.
  • A Complete Workout - Over 88 exercises, including upper and lower body, core, cardio and yoga.
  • Wii Balance Board Compatible - Use the Wii Balance Board for squats, knee lifts, lunges and much, much, more.

Product Description

Utilizes the Wii Remote, Nanchuk and Balance Board. Features 8 of your favorite former contestants from past seasons


1. The core of this game is its very comprehensive list of dozens and dozens of "Single Exercises", which are essentially old-school calisthenic exercises (i.e. exercises that don't use weights or equipment). Every exercise imaginable is included, including exercises for cardio, upper and lower body, core, and even yoga poses. Each is clearly identified by an icon and color-coded by intensity (light, moderate, challenging, hard, and intense). As you select each exercise, there's even a diagram telling you exactly what muscle groups you're working out.

During each exercise, an on-screen figure will demonstrate to you very clearly how to do it, including the correct posture, moves, and timing. The exercises typically use the Wii-mote and/or the Balance Board to passively "check" your progress in different ways. For example, when you choose the jump rope exercise, you hold the Wii-mote like a jump rope and make small circles with it. With "tire drills", you put your Wii-mote in your pocket and the system registers the vibrations as you run in place rapidly. There are a number of exercises which use the balance board such as the "plank" (where you press both hands against the balance board) and the "T-raise" (where one hand is on the balance board and the other is stretched out). Some exercises will be very familiar (jumping jacks, push ups), but even the ones that aren't familiar are very intuitive once you watch the on-screen character doing them.

You can do each of the exercises a la carte, but more likely you'll want to choose "Exercise Routines", which combine multiple single exercises into comprehensive pre-designed programs. You can also create custom routines.

You can also choose the full "Fitness Program". You enter your vital information (conveniently, you can use your Balance Board to measure your weight, both your initial weight and in your very own "weigh ins"). Then, you pick your favorite real-life Biggest Loser contestant to play as from a list of eight past contestants. You can pick whether you want Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels as "your trainer". From there, you can pick a personal goal: whether you want to simply maintain your current weight and improve your health, lose a little weight, or lose a lot of weight. You'll also pick a skill level and a program length.

Based on what you enter, the system will calculate a specific exercise regimen for you, complete with dates. If you're really committed, you can also input the number of calories you eat every day, as well as log any additional training you do outside of the program (such as walking, running or biking outside), and the program will adjust itself accordingly.

An interesting part of this title is a menu option called "Health and Lifestyle". Here, you'll find a large number of recipes straight out of The Biggest Loser Cookbooks. Under this menu option you'll also find a large number of "quick tips" from past Biggest Loser participants, including short video clips from Bob and Jillian themselves. Finally, there's an extremely useful feature called the "Calorie Counter", which calculates the daily calorie intake recommend specifically for you based on your weight, age, and goals.

The most interesting part of The Biggest Loser for Wii are what they call "Challenge Events". Here, your on-screen character will compete in a number of interesting events, the types of which you'd see on the show. As on the show, you start out competing with 7 personalities from the show, and after each round one is eliminated. You don't actually simulate the movements of the character on screen, but instead you perform "single exercises", and your character does his task only if you do the exercises precisely and timed correctly. I found this by far the most effective part of the game, because my instincts to compete far exceeded any resistance to exercise.

There are a couple minor annoyances. If your balance board power goes out, the game is completely hung up until you turn it back on. The controllers are passive, meaning that instead of actively tracking your movements accurately, it'll just check whether you come close to making the on-screen movements. Sometimes the controllers will not register properly, and in many cases, you're on the "honor system" as to how closely you follow the on-screen examples (even if you get a little sloppy in your form or don't do the exercise properly, Bob or Jillian may continue to shout out praise and encouragement). One thing to keep in mind is that you need a LOT of room to move around. And I admit I was a little disappointed that most of the activities didn't take advantage of the unique capabilities of the Wii and its controllers in the same innovative ways that Wii Fit Plus does--at the end of the day it's really not much more than a glorified exercise video.

But still the bottom line is, they have an impressive number of fundamental exercises to work out all different areas of your body. When I choose "intense" level in particular, it really does make my heart pound and gives me a great workout that rivaled any kind of workout I'd get at the gym, for a fraction of the price. And fans of the TV show will appreciate the details like the voice talent, the familiar settings, Bob and Jillian's coaching, and the recipes and tips.

Bottom line, if you're looking for something along the lines of a more traditional exercise video, or you're a die-hard fan of the show, you won't be disappointed. If you're looking for something that's a game first and exercise second, try something else like Wii Fit Plus or Dance Dance Revolution.

2. Positives -
1) If you like the show it's fun to play along with the trainers.
2) You get to choose the length of time you want your "challenge" to last
3) There is a menu where you can choose if you want to do the program (a guided series of exercises, a calendar, a weight graph, diet suggestions, a weekly challenge and weigh in) or you can choose individual types of exercises. (Yoga, upper body, full body, lower body)
4) There is a place where you can kind-of make up your own series of exercises. Although I like this, it is also a negative because once you pick out a series of exercises and start your "routine" there is a lot of dead time between the different ones you picked; time where your just standing there waiting for it to load the next one you pick.
5) You can choose to use your fit board or not.
6) I really like the weekly weigh in and challenges.
7) It has a nice calendar feature so you can change your scheduled training.

Negatives - I'm disappointed because they could have done a much better job, some of this stuff is really obvious and it seems like they were kind of lazy with the game. The game is not very personalized, at all.
1) On the game you do not have a personal character, or even a mini, instead you pick a former biggest loser contestant.., and there is not very many to pick from. You don't even get to use your own name.
2) One of my biggest complaints.., there are a lot of floor exercises where you are looking at the ground and the trainer changes exercises on the screen, with no warning.., no count down or anything, so you're constantly trying to look up.., it interrupts the exercise as you have to change positions just to see what he is doing.
3) It often tells you to put the remote "in your pocket". a) Most of my work out clothes don't have pockets. b) When it's in your pocket it doesn't read your movements very well and just tonight I lost in a "challenge" because the wii was not reading my movements while I worked my butt off.
4) Last week I lost 2 lb.s.., it put me below the yellow line and my player looked all disappointed. I thought "hey, 2 lb.s at home is good.," but that was not a big deal.. but then.., At this week's challenge I gained 2 lb.s (what can I say, it was Thanksgiving week).., so my contestant should have looked all disappointed and it should have showed negative weight loss. But instead it showed my player "Michelle" as having an 8 lb loss and my contestant was the 1st place player.
5) Overall the game is not personal enough, it often feels like your watching a workout video and not like your playing a game.
6) When you are in a routine it has a little clock thing that spins as you continue the individual exercise so you know how long you've got left for that exercise (that's good)., but it doesn't have any sort of timer so you know how far along you've progressed in that training routine. Am I half way done? Only 25%? Who knows. It's annoying.
7) The graphics are boring, boring, boring. You are in the gym or by the pool. (Unless something more happens at a different level, but I've been doing this for a few weeks and the graphics are boing).
8) The exercises are very repetitive.., I was so surprised there is no step routine, no crunches.., a lot of basics that could have been added. You get tired of doing the same things.., plank on knees, plank, jumping jacks, boxing, low step.., boring. The program mixes up the different exercises but it's just the same ones in different sequences.
9) Where's the good music? Just the same boring background tune over and over..,
10) Bob and/or Jillian say the same few phrases over and over.., again.., boring!

Honestly, The Wii fit has way more interesting stuff to do and look at.

I've been doing it for a few weeks and I am glad I bought it because I do it almost daily.., but mostly because I love the show and it's fun to play along on this version. However, they were really lazy with this game and it could have been done much better. I am already getting tired of it and I've been playing on my Wii fit to warm up and on the days there is no "scheduled training" The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because it's fun to play with the game. I think after my current 4 week challeng is over I'm going to only log on for the weekly challenges and weigh ins. I'm very disappointed at what they did with this.., they've done a few other training games with Jillian that I know of and I'm sure they got enough feedback to make a better game.., this game feels rushed or like they were very lazy with it.

See more reviews on Amazon.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogens

You may have heard of a new buzz word in the weight loss community which is getting a lot of attention – obesogens. What are obesogens and how can we prevent ourselves from being exposed to these nasty chemicals which are causing us to be fat?

It can be quite discouraging when you are training your ass off and eating right and yet still seem to not affect any weight loss from your trouble spots.

Therefore in this article we’ll dive into 4 of the most common obesogens and expose their sources so we can stay far away and start to see better results from our healthy diets.

Definition of Obesogens
Without getting into the crazy details of obesogens, think of them as harmful chemical compounds which disrupt our hormonal balanace and negatively affect the way we store fat.

The main way these compounds really mess around with our fat storage is by disrupting our energy balance by disrupting the natural function of our endocrine system (which is responsible for metabolism).
The 4 Obesogens discussed in this article are BPA’s, PFOA’s, PVC’s and Phthalates…ok so where are these chemicals found?

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #1
You may remember me mentioning BPA’s and their harmful effects in my article “What is BPA?“, but let’s look at a quick summary.

BPA’s around mostly found in plastic containers and the shiny lining you see in most cans. The problem with these chemicals is that they have direct exposure with the foods and drinks we consume so over time you can only imagine how much of them get stuck in our digestive tract and wreak havoc.

Look for containers which have the number 7 recycling code on the bottom which indicates that they are BPA free, and remember to never heat any kind of plastic in microwaves as this is when they seep out into our food the most.

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #2
You are probably wondering what the heck PFOA’s are? Well they are a synthetic compound which has been found to be toxic and cancer causing in animals. The ridiculous thing is that corporations have kept research on these chemicals from being exposed to the public and have therefore deemed them as being insignificant to humans. Seriously?

Were are PFOA’s found? They have been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, microwave popcorn bags and unfortunately the water we drink and the air we breathe. Pretty scary stuff if you ask me and only public awareness can ever bring any light to this matter.

There are class action lawsuits against corporations who use PFOA’s such as DuPont since their chemical plant leaked PFOA’s to the surrounding community and the people have complained of major health problems.

PFOA’s are also related to the chemical we find in non-stick cookware known as PTFE’s. There are numerous long term studies being conducted on the harm these chemicals cause to our endocrine and hormone system and I’m sure you know what the results are going to show.

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #3
PVC’s are found in heavy duty plastics including plastic wrap that you buy your meat in. Luckily PVC’s aren’t found in the plastic wrap we buy in the grocery store but the durable ones used for wrapping meat are unfortunately found to have been identified as  an endocrine disruptor as well as possible carcinogens.
The solution? Try and get your meat wrapped in paper that meat deli’s often use.

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogen #4
If you use products like Febreeze or air freshners then you have definitely come across the chemical Phthalate. The problem with these guys is that we breathe them in and since they contain volatile organic compounds they are of major concern with anyone who has breathing problems or is prone to headaches/migraines and sinus infections.

That in itself should be enough reason to stay away but scientists are now warning that the level of accumulation that we are now seeing in humans is much higher than previously thought of and there is new concern of their accumulation affecting our hormones and possessing a threat as carcinogens.
One other issue is that they are usually disguised in the labeling of packages since they are listed as “fragrance”. Instead of these artificial chemical sensory overloads try essential oil candles and diffusers

Weight Loss Tips: Obesogens

It’s already a good challenge trying to manage healthy eating and training on a daily basis but to have these chemicals accumulate and cause us further distress with our weight loss efforts can definitely create a lot of frustration.

Hopefully with the knowledge of this information we can influence corporations through our buying power and we can prevent long term health complications for us and our families.
resource: http://weightlossandtraining.com/weight-loss-tips-obesogens?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_c

Thursday, September 9, 2010

15 Things We Thought Were Healthy ....But We Thought Wrong

With the science of nutrition, medicine, and psychology rapidly unveiling new information our bodies almost daily, it’s hard to keep track on what is considered healthy.  Here are fifteen things that were once celebrated as healthy, but are now decidedly unhealthy.


It may sound bizarre, but this taboo hallucinogen was once heralded as the answer to several mental and emotional maladies.  During the 1950s and early 60s, several academic studies misleadingly stated that LSD had the potential to cure alcoholism, criminal behavior, and schizophrenia.  Despite the initial promising results, later empirical studies couldn’t confirm any mental health benefits from tripping.

Contrarily, several generations of teens and twenty-somethings have gone blind from staring at the sun, gone into paralysis from believing they had become glasses of orange juice, and most terrifying of all, found the band Phish to be listenable.


When tap water, bottled water, Smart Water, and Fiji Water are not enough, we turn to Vitamin Water.  With all the colors of the food-coloring rainbow, Vitamin Water offers consumers a refreshing escape from mundane hydration choices.  The malnourished masses finally have easy access to their essential daily vitamins in one awesome tasting cocktail.  Even 50 Cent, the preeminent hip hop artist of our generation, has credited his incredible physique to Vitamin Water (Steroid Water was the under-bidder for 50’s endorsement).

Alas, it appears it was all too good to be true. Like Gatorade before it, Vitamin Water derives its sweet flavor from 33 grams of sugar per bottle.  And sugar is, like, bad.  A fridge full of the stuff will sooner get you a killer case of type II diabetes then a rap star’s chiseled torso.


What was once considered a bizarre delicacy of the wealthy and pretentious, sushi has become wildly popular among the huddled masses in recent years.  It tastes great, and it’s healthy, because what could be healthier than a piece of raw fish cut up by an artiste with a culturally accurate hat standing behind a bar?

Think twice before you order that sushi dinner for two:  a lot of those fashionable rolls will give your gut a roll or two of its own.  Many of them are coated with mayonnaise, and all of them are served on heaping piles of white rice.  Your body metabolizes white rice in such a way that it causes blood sugar to spike, increasing insulin levels and therefore your appetite.


After all that’s been written about the evils of soda pop, thank God we can always turn back to our old favorite fruit juice to carry us through the day. A tall glass of Tropicana with your breakfast, a Mott’s Apple Juice with your lunch, and top it off with a Welch’s Grape Juice as your before dinner cocktail. Juice comes from fruit, and fruit is, like, healthy. When you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, go ahead and indulge in an Odwalla or Naked juice with your lunch: each bottle has 4 bananas, 7 apples, 12 pine apples, and an entire grove of oranges.

This may come as a complete shock to a generation weaned on juice boxes, but fruit juice is just another culprit similar to Vitamin Water. Most fruit juices are high in sugar (grape juice has 40 grams a serving) and contain no fiber. In an age where Americans get 25% of their calories from liquids, fruit juice is indeed the barbarian at the gates of obesity.


There was a time not too long ago when the ideal American’s breakfast would consist of a big, heaping bowl of cereal and several glasses of juice.  We’ve covered the juice, but the health benefits in popular breakfast cereals are vastly outweighed by the added sugar contained in most of them.  For example, the venerated Raisin Bran has more sugar per serving than the maligned Lucky Charms.  While breakfast remains the most important meal of the day, it can all be ruined by loading up on the simple carbohydrates and sugar found in most breakfast cereals.  Without a proper dose of protein, those carbs will make you crash quickly and you may find yourself asleep at the wheel, careening off of a bridge.  If you’re going to eat cereal, make sure it’s a Kashi type cereal, loaded with whole grains, twigs, dirt, and other gifts of nature. 


Jamba Juice, Starbuck’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and now even McDonald’s have gotten rich off the perception that anything related to fruit is great for your health.  A typical smoothie at Jamba juice has over 500 calories and, despite the impressive sounding “Free Shot” (promising things like, “Immunity,”) they are also loaded with added sugar.  Not only are these smoothies the caloric equivalent of an entire milkshake at Friendly’s, but they are by and large overpriced and may make the unsuspecting consumer poor — and nothing is worse for your health (or appearance) than being poor.


For most of the 20th century, doctors encouraged people to get out and enjoy the sun, which gave their skin a healthy glow.  By the end of the 1970s, tanned skin had been adopted as the standard of beauty in the US, and those of us who sunburn easily were left with the choice of looking like a well cooked lobster or a pale, anemic rat creature not unlike the cave-dwelling Smiegel from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

With the dramatic increase in sunbathing over the last generation, skin cancer rates have gone up accordingly. It turns out that the roasty, toasty tan that countless strive for is a sign of skin damage, and repeated intense exposure to the sun cumulatively increases your risk of developing skin cancer in its deadliest form: melanoma.


Get more sleep! The more, the better.  Sleep experts have been advising us for years to get the coveted eight to 10 hours a night of restful sleep.  Lay off the venti quad lattes after lunch and get thee to sleep before The Daily Show airs; don’t open your eyes again until it’s at least the fourth hour of The Today Show.  If you’re incapable of devoting at least 40% of your life to lying in a dark room snoring, fear not, for there is huge pharmaceutical industry devoted to keeping you knocked out as long as you need to be.  Just make sure you keep your car keys and Oreo supply are padlocked after you choke down a fistful of Ambien; it’s been known to cause frequent episodes of sleep driving/eating.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom above, there is such a thing as too much sleep, according to a UCSD study. Men and women who routinely sleep eight or more hours a night have a higher mortality rate than people who sleep between 6 and 7 hours nightly.  Be careful next time you hit the snooze button for the tenth time in one morning: not only will you be endangering your already precarious employment situation, but you could be snoozing yourself into an early grave. 


Cleopatra bathed in it.  Super celebrities/athletes ranging from Mark McGwire to Gisele have endorsed it in delightful print ads in magazines and billboards.  Old adages urge us not to cry over the spilling of it.  Why should we?  Milk is plentiful, widely available, and a huge industry in the United States.  If the generous advertisements are to believed, we need to drink milk frequently and daily in order to get our fill of calcium and vitamin D.  And if you’re not sucking down a tall frosty glass of milk at dinner, chances are that you or someone you know is enjoying a dairy product, such as butter or cheese.

Dairy cows are frequently shot up with Bovine Growth Hormone, which can be toxic when exposed to humans.  Pasteurization and homogenization removes essential components of cow’s milk, rendering the human incapable of processing the much vaunted vitamin D in it. So, next time you meet someone who is lactose intolerant, instead of ostracizing them, try to have a civil conversation.  Chances are their bodies are ahead of the curve when it comes to the milk conspiracy.


It’s the bubonic plague of the 21st century: obesity is killing Americans by the drive-thru bound carload, and everyone from Michelle Obama on down is trying to help figure out the secret to keep us from eating ourselves to death.  One notion has been held in high esteem for the past forty years:
- The more we exercise, the better our chances are of remaining/becoming thin. And, consequently:
- The thinner you are the more likely you are to stay alive long enough to die of Alzheimer’s.
Every January, legions of overweight Americans journey to the nearest Planet Fitness to put in their thirty daily minutes of cardio while staring blankly at a muted television. Despite the propagation of health clubs and jogging paths across the nation, people continue to blimp out at an alarming rate.  A recent TIME article suggests that people are more likely to gorge themselves on a 1000 calorie Chipotle burrito after putting in their daily exercise allotment, setting them back even worse.  The thirty minutes of strenuous exercise achieved on the elliptical machine three times a week is liable to make people fatter in the long run. 


If you are predisposed to suicidal thoughts, oversleeping, over/under eating, self-harm, crying jags, hysteria, bedwetting or night-terrors then you might want to skip this very depressing section.  Ever since Prozac was released in 1987, SSRI medications have been heralded as a potential panacea for the depressed, anxious and otherwise psychotic individuals.  As long as you take this 20 mg chemical solution daily for the rest of your life, you can sufficiently alter your brain chemistry enough to believe your life actually has meaning.
Except, they don’t they don’t work for most of the people who take them. A study released late last year showed that they were no more effective at treating depression than a sugar pill (sugar is bad; see above entries) for people suffering from mild to moderate depression.  People suffering from severe depression (you know, shit-your-pants-and-don’t-care depression) showed some moderate improvement.  


Snowballing in popularity over the last fifteen years, fermented tea that contains billions of tiny organisms is all the rage in the health nut circuit.  Despite that fact that there is no scientific basis for the claims that Kombucha fights disease thanks to the yeast like substance within, Kombucha has come under fire recently from regulatory agencies because of its alcohol content. Some bottles reportedly have an alcohol content great than .5 percent, which would put it in the same legal territory as beer and wine.  While this may appear innocuous to the casual observer, any recovering alcoholic/addict knows that the slightest pinch of alcohol can send them back off the wagon.  Be careful the next time you throw down your seven dollars for a bottle of this bottle of carbonated yeast droppings; the next thing you pick up may be a crack pipe.  


Foreskins have been reviled since the dawn of time in the Middle East, where the tribes of Abraham were quick to eliminate them from all their sons.  Despite this continuous assault for thousands of years, by all accounts men are still being born with one. In the United States, 85% of males had theirs removed as infants.

For years, it was thought necessary for promoting penal hygiene, but the medical establishment has determined there is no compelling reason for circumcision. A circumcised penis becomes calloused from its constant contact with clothing, dramatically reducing stimulation during sexual activity.  Next time you go to half-mast in the middle of intercourse, blame your parents and not your long-suffering girl/boyfriend.  


Various miracle weight-loss drugs have come and gone, including amphetamines (not to be confused with methamphetamine, which by all accounts will help you lose weight through the innovative “Meth Mouth Diet”).   Most recently, the all-natural substance Ephedrine was the weight loss pill-craze of the early 2000s, when manufacturers like Stacker 2 and Xenadrine valiantly helped people shed unwanted pounds with seemingly minimal side effects.  Unfortunately, a few people who couldn’t enjoy their ephedrine responsibly ended up ruining the fun for the rest of us: in 2003 a 23 year old MLB pitcher died of a heart attack in spring training after using ephedrine.  That incident came on the heels of several prom-bound teenage girls suddenly suffering from strokes.  By 2004, the whole sudden-death side effect of ephedrine was enough to get it banned by the FDA.  Killjoys. 


After fat was successfully identified as the one dietary problem facing civilization forty or so years ago, Big Food benevolently supplied us with ample choices of “reduced fat,” “low fat,” and “fat free” incarnations of our favorite (but fatty) snack foods.  So, be sure to make the “smart choice” next time you are at the supermarket be sure to grab Baked Lays, Reduced Fat Cheez-Its, and –what the hell — Twizzlers are a “fat-free food”; load up on some family sized bags.  Sleep easy knowing that the good folks at Lays and Nabisco have made things safe again.

Sadly, there is a new menace in our midst and it’s name is “high fructose corn syrup.”   Most of the reduced fat-free snack foods we thought we could safely enjoy have just gotten an extra dose of corn syrup to help make up for the lost flavor.  Surely a corporate chemist will discover a way to safely gorge on nutritionally deficient carbs, but until then, stay wary.
resource; http://www.popcrunch.com/15-things-we-thought-were-healthy-but-arent/

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fried Beer?

Who wants to get drunk and fried simultaneously? Or have you already done that? I predict fried water will be next. And then fried Kool Aid for the children-folks.

Inventor Mark Zable said it took him three years to come up with a method to fry beer, but he has finally succeeded. The result of his effort is a ravioli-like squares of pretzel dough that are filled with beer and fried. “Nobody has been able to fry a liquid before. It tastes like you took a bite of hot pretzel dough and then took a drink of beer,” Zable says. Fried Coke does exist, but it is really a solid dough that’s Coke-flavored.

The deep-fried beer will officially be unveiled at an upcoming fried-food competition in Texas. Five of the squares will sell for $5.00. The Texas Alcoholic commission ruled that you must be over the age of 21 to taste it.

Aside from the fact that it sounds pretty gross (the beer is hot), it’s also sure to be super high in calories. Not only is beer high in carbs and calories from alcohol, the fact that it’s deep-fried means that it’s soaked in fatty oil.

We recommend that you steer clear of this calorie-laden curiosity.
resource: http://www.yumyucky.com/2010/09/diet-disaster-fried-beer.html

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Women are Experencing Hair Loss

Hair loss is a problem that affects both men and women , it can also occur at any age even in children. Hair loss can definitely affect your self-esteem and can cause a major downfall on your social life. This is notable especially on women who find their hair as their crowning glory and taking that way from them can really hurt their feelings.

Today, a lot more women are experiencing hair loss and for some unfortunate individuals, occurring at an early age. The reason for this increasing incidence of hair loss in women is that a lot of women nowadays are taking over mens roles and in doing so, these roles contribute to a lot of stress. Women who have children experience more of this stress when they to do their motherly duties when they get home from work.

Now depending on the role a woman has, like if it’s more of a physical work, this could lead to an increase in testosterone levels leading to “female pattern hair loss”. This is due to the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Increasing levels of DHT means an increase in hair loss.

Another type is the more stressful type of role like a manager or president of a company. Now there is a stress related hair loss called telogen effluvium. Due to stressful events, most of the hair converts to the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. The telogen phase is the hair growth stage where old hair is expelled to be replaced with a new hair and enter the growth stage (anagen phase) but with telogen effluvium, all hair remains in the telogen phase hence the massive hair loss.

It is good to see that a lot of women are now doing men roles and in some cases women perform better. Unfortunately, hair loss is a true threat, and more women are now experiencing hair loss. The best way to fight the effects of DHT and telogen effluvium is to use Nisim Biofactors. Nisim Biofactors consist of a shampoo, conditioner and stimulating extract. The shampoo and conditioner are rich with nutrients and vitamins the hair needs to prevent hair loss. The stimulating extract is an herbal based anti-DHT solution that fights the effects of DHT on your scalp. What’s great about this tripack is that it’s made of natural and herbal ingredients, so it’s safe to use daily.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

8 Germiest Public Places

get rid of germs

Tip Numero one: Wash your hands regularly
Washing your hands whenever you come in contact with someone else or anything like taps or doorknobs can really cut down on the number of germs you pick up.

Tip Numero two: Keep your hands to yourself
Seriously, do NOT touch people if you don’t have to ESPECIALLY if you know they are sick with the flu or a cold, or if their kids are. Minimizing contact is huge in terms of keeping bacteria and viruses away from your insides.

Germ, Virus and Bacteria Killing Solutions
By simply using Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash when you wash your hands you can stay a heck of a lot healthier. Of course you cannot always have a sink handy which can seriously hamper your ability to wash your hands so you may want to invest in a small bottle of Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer. You can keep it in the car or even keep it on your person, it’s even cheap too.

If you are like me and really don’t want to touch faucet taps more than you have to, then get yourself one of those neat new touchless soap dispensers for your home. You’ll never have to lay your fingers on a faucet again, just hold your hand under it and the sensor will tell it to squirt and taa daa, soap! The Simplehuman Sensor Soap Pump is the one that not only does it pump out the soap automatically, it times you! Yes, it times you, then you know when the recommended 20 second hand washing time is done.

You don’t have to be a germaphobe to know that germs, viruses and bacterial can be dangerous, even deadly. By using the above mentioned products and following the tips you can stay healthier and so can the rest of your family.

Worried about you or your kids picking up diseases at school, restrooms or the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places.

Touch a germ-infected surface, then rub your nose or mouth, and the next thing you know, microbes are dancing the mambo in your body.

With cold and flus and run-of-the-mill bugs crawling about public places year round, germaphobes have plenty to worry about.

No wonder. Unfortunately, going anywhere people congregate can boost your chances of getting sick, says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., author of The Secret Life of Germs (Atria) and director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University's Langone Medical Center.

That’s because disease-carrying bacteria and viruses live practically everywhere — shopping malls, grocery stores, playgrounds, petting zoos, restaurants. They can survive up to two hours on shopping carts, escalator handrails, even doorknobs before they find their next victim.

“We encounter about 60,000 types of germs every year, but if you’re healthy, there’s no need to fear going out in public,” Tierno says: Only 1%-2% are potentially dangerous to people with normal immunity. Plus, the body has an incredible ability to fight off germs. Special cells called neutrophils and lymphocytes (white blood cells) attack any microscopic invader.

You can also give your defense system a boost by taking steps to prevent infection. Read on for the top 8 germiest public places and ways to stay healthy:

1. Grocery store
Germiest items: Shopping cart handles and seat buckets

Watch out! Shopping cart handles are a breeding ground for infectious viruses and gut-wrenching bacteria.

“Customers may sneeze, wipe their noses, then touch the cart handles,” says Lola Stamm, M.S., Ph.D., a microbiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

They’re also contaminated by children’s dirty hands. And by leaky meat packages that you toss into your cart. Poultry and beef can contain bacterial bombs such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli, which cause severe diarrhea, intestinal swelling, nausea and vomiting, she says.

“If meat packages leak onto the conveyor belt, it could contaminate the food on the conveyor as well as your hands,” Stamm says.

About 70%-80% of the shopping carts tested nationwide had E. coli, says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a University of Arizona microbiologist who spends a lot of time studying germs in public places.

Cart kid seats are E. coli hot spots “because they hold raw food and [diaper-wearing] kids,” he says. “And nobody disinfects.”

Be careful, too, around those enticing displays of fruits and veggies.

Sprinklers used to keep produce moist may contain Legionnella, Stamm says. The bacterium can cause “a deadly respiratory tract infection, particularly in older people and others with underlying health problems.”

Germ-free fix: Use disinfecting wipes on handlebars and seats - many stores now offer these at the entrance. And be sure to wash veggies and fruits before eating them.

2. Children’s playgrounds
Germiest items: The swings, jungle gym and other equipment

Playgrounds are germ minefields. Kids touch everything they see and often put them in their mouths.

The largest threat is from fecal bacteria from bird poop on playground equipment and diaper-wearing tots, Gerba says.

Another kid-friendly hot zone: petting zoos and exhibits with animals infected with E. coli, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Germ-free fix: Wash hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer after returning from playground, using the bathroom and changing diapers. (Rub hands together for 20 seconds under clean running water, the CDC advises.)

3. Public restrooms
Germiest item: Sink

Most women worry about public toilets. Well, you can sit a little easier now: The porcelain throne is not the biggest restroom offender.

It’s the sink.

Bacteria swarm on the sink tap or faucet handles, Gerba says, because we touch them right after using the toilet.

Also, “the sink tap is a wet, moist environment,” so bacteria can survive there longer, he says.

Watch out for soap dispensers, too, because they’re handled by many filthy hands, Stamm says.

Airplane bathrooms are especially germy because they’re small and used by lots of people, says Gerba, who found E. coli on faucets and door handles in the dozens of samples from airborne restrooms.

In fact, an airplane’s faucet may be a greater threat than those in other public restrooms because the water is timed, so fliers have to touch them frequently to wash their hands properly, he says.

So what’s the cleanest part of a bathroom?

The toilet: About 48% of American women use covers or toilet paper to cover the seat, Gerba says.

Germ-free fix: Avoid touching moist surfaces and wash hands thoroughly after touching sink faucets and soap dispensers. And use a paper towel to turn the water off.

4. Offices
Germiest items: Telephones and desks

In a study of 113 work surfaces in offices in five of the nation’s big cities, Gerba found more than 25,000 bacteria hitching a ride on telephones. Desks and computer keyboards followed close behind.

In fact, your desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat, Gerba says. Why?

People don’t disinfect surfaces in offices, he says.

Another danger zone: Inside desk drawers, where workers stash food.

“Germs find plenty to snack on,” he says, like moldy fruit and opened bags of chips or crackers.

When it comes to germs, women are not the fairer sex. Bacterial levels in women’s offices were nearly three times higher than in men’s.

“Women seemed to have more stuff in their offices, from makeup bags to pictures of family and purses on their desks,” Gerba says.

Germ-free fix: Once a day, wipe down your desk, phone and keyboard with anti-bacterial wipes or cleaners.

5. Restaurants
Germiest items: Table surface, high chairs

No, contaminated food isn’t the biggest threat at restaurants — it’s the rag used to wipe the table “clean."

When busboys wipe down a table or chairs, their dirty rags may be spreading a small film of E. coli, he says.

They should put disinfectant on the rag after each use, but Gerba’s studies show that the same cloth was used on more than a dozen tables before it was disinfected.

High chairs harbor fecal bacteria too, because they hold diaper-wearing tots.

Germ-free fix: Carry sanitary wipes to swipe the tabletop and high chair when you’re seated.

6. Libraries
Germiest items: Countertops and surfaces

Libraries appear to be tidy, sterile places, but they crawl with as many germs as a fast-food restaurant.

Why so filthy? Lots of people shuffle through and peruse books, log on to computers and touch countertops, Gerba says.

Germ-free fix: Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after thumbing through books or touching countertops.

7. Cruise ships
Germiest item: Handrails

Cruise ships are like floating cities, packed with thousands of people in a small space. That also makes them infection incubators.

From 2001-2005, gastrointestinal illness on ships increased 25.6%, according to a CDC study: The culprit? Norovirus.

Some of the largest outbreaks occurred in 2002-2006, when new strains of norovirus emerged,” says Capt. Jaret Ames, chief of the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

Noroviruses, which cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, are resistant to routine cleaning procedures and they’re easily transmitted in places people congregate, such as dining rooms, drinking fountains and shared restrooms.

Trouble is, they’re hard to avoid on a cruise ship.

“As soon as you step out of the cabin you’re in public area,” Ames points out.

Handrails pose the biggest infection risk because they’re among the first surfaces passengers touch when they board ship, Ames says. The viruses are most often brought on board by embarking passengers and crew.

A recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that the cleanliness of a cruise ship's public restrooms may predict subsequent norovirus outbreaks. Researchers found that only 37% of 273 randomly selected public restrooms on cruise ships were cleaned daily. One researcher noted that there was a substantial risk for washed hands to become contaminated when the passenger exits the restroom, as only 35% of restroom exit knobs or pulls were cleaned daily.

Germ-free fix: Wash hands frequently throughout the day and before touching your mouth or face, especially when smoking and eating.

8. Malls
Germiest item: Escalator handles

How often do you hang onto the escalator handrails while catching a ride at a shopping mall or airport?

Hands off: They’re teeming with germs, according to a study published in a 2005 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research. Scientists took samples from dozens of escalator handrails across the country and found 19% showed high bacterial contamination.

“The sheer volume of people who touch escalator handles makes it a bacteria hot spot,” Gerba says.

Germ-free fix: Don’t touch them. But if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward.
resource:   http://www.lifescript.com/Health/Everyday-Care/Environment/Germiest_Public_Places_Top_8_to_

Friday, August 20, 2010

WARNING: Egg Recall

Thu Aug 19, 7:14 pm ET
egg carton
(Photo: FDA)
A massive egg recall by Write County Egg has sickened hundreds of people, and affected 13 retail brands that the egg factory packages. The culprit: Salmonella on egg shells.

The egg brands affected by the recall include: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, and Kemps.
Eggs are packed in 6- 12- or 18-egg cartons with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, and 1946.

Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.
Consumers should not eat the eggs and should return recalled eggs to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

Bacterial contamination on modern industrial-scale chicken farms (factories, really) is a growing problem. Cramped conditions are breeding grounds for disease. Widespread use of antibiotics is creating drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

One antidote to the problem is to choose locally sourced eggs from farms that allow their chickens to run free. Though be aware that the label "free range" doesn't mean what you might think.

Salmonella poisoning symptoms
Within 6-to-72 hours of eating an egg, you may experience lower abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting, fever, chills, malaise, nausea or headache. Symptoms may persist for as long as a week. While most people recover without treatment, some patients require hospitalization.
resource: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ygreen/20100819/sc_ygreen/massiveeggrecallhowtocheckyourcartonforrecalledeggs

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Most Powerful Food Combinations

By: Adam Baer

Who came up with the idea that we are supposed to drink orange juice at breakfast? And why, if oatmeal is so good for us, do we eat that only in the morning as well? Apologies to the Palinites, but nutritionists are starting to realize that you and I like our oatmeal and OJ before we start the day because we evolved to like it that way—because enjoying the two together is healthier than eating each of them alone.
Epidemiologist David R. Jacobs, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota calls it food synergy, and he, along with many other nutritionists, believes it might explain why Italians drizzle cold-pressed olive oil over tomatoes and why the Japanese pair raw fish with soybeans. "The complexity of food combinations is fascinating because it's tested in a way we can't test drugs: by evolution," says Jacobs. And, he adds, "it's tested in the most complex of systems: life."
What's more fascinating, however, is that the evolution between eater and eaten might answer the long-held question about why humans live longer, healthier lives on traditional diets. As researchers work to unravel the complexities of the interactions of the foods we eat, try these combinations, the most powerful food synergies currently known to science.

Tomatoes & Avocadoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a pigment-rich antioxidant known as a carotenoid, which reduces cancer risk and cardiovascular disease. Fats make carotenoids more bioavailable, a fact that makes a strong case for adding tomatoes to your guacamole.
"This also has a Mediterranean cultural tie-in," says registered dietitian Susan Bowerman of California Polytechnic State University. "The lycopene in tomato products such as pasta sauce is better absorbed when some fat (e.g., olive oil) is present than if the sauce were made fat free." This may also explain why we love olive oil drizzled over fresh tomatoes.
And when it comes to salads, don't choose low-fat dressings. A recent Ohio State University study showed that salads eaten with full-fat dressings help with the absorption of another carotenoid called lutein, which is found in green leafy vegetables and has been shown to benefit vision. If you don't like heavy salad dressing, sprinkle walnuts, pistachios, or grated cheese over your greens.

Oatmeal & Orange Juice

A study from the Antioxidants Research Lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that drinking vitamin C-rich orange juice while eating a bowl of real oatmeal (read: not processed) cleans your arteries and prevents heart attacks with two times as much efficacy than if you were to ingest either breakfast staple alone. The reason? The organic compounds in both foods, called phenols, stabilize your LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or so-called "bad" cholesterol) when consumed together.

Broccoli & Tomatoes

New research shows that this combo prevents prostate cancer, but no one is sure why.
In a recent Cancer Research study, John W. Erdman Jr., Ph.D., of the University of Illinois, proved that the combination shrunk prostate-cancer tumors in rats and that nothing but the extreme measure of castration could actually be a more effective alternative treatment. (What more motivation do you need to embrace this one-two punch?)

"We know that tomato powder lowers the growth of tumors," says Erdman. "We know that broccoli does too. And we know they're better together. But it's going to take years to find out why."

Blueberries & Grapes

"Eating a variety of fruit together provides more health benefits than eating one fruit alone," says Bowerman. "Studies have shown that the antioxidant effects of consuming a combination of fruits are more than additive but synergistic."

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition by Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D., from Cornell University's department of food science, looked at the antioxidant capacity of various fruits individually (apples, oranges, blueberries, grapes) versus the same amount of a mixture of fruits, and found that the mix had a greater antioxidant response. According to the study, this effect explains why "no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables."

The author also recommends eating five to 10 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to reduce disease risks, as opposed to relying on expensive dietary supplements for these compounds. "There are a huge number of compounds yet to be identified," adds Jacobs.

Apples & Chocolate

 Apples, particularly Red Delicious, are known to be high in an anti-inflammatory flavonoid called quercetin, especially in their skins. (Note: It's important to buy organic because pesticides concentrate in the skins of conventionally grown apples.) By itself, quercetin has been shown to reduce the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and prostate and lung cancers.

Chocolate, grapes, red wine, and tea, on the other hand, contain the flavonoid catechin, an antioxidant that reduces the risks for atherosclerosis and cancer. Together, according to a study done by Barry Halliwell, Ph.D., a leading food science professor at the National University of Singapore, catechins and quercetin loosen clumpy blood platelets, improving cardiovascular health and providing anticoagulant activity. Quercetin is also found in buckwheat, onions, and raspberries.

Susan Kraus, a clinical dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, recommends the following combinations: sangria with cut-up apples; green tea with buckwheat pancakes and raspberries; and kasha (roasted buckwheat, made in a pilaf) cooked with onions.

Lemon & Kale

"Vitamin C helps make plant-based iron more absorbable," says nutritionist Stacy Kennedy of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It actually converts much of the plant-based iron into a form that's similar to what's found in fish and red meats. (Iron carries oxygen to red blood cells, staving off muscle fatigue.)

Kennedy suggests getting your vitamin C from citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, and getting plant-based iron from leeks, beet greens, kale, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and fortified cereals.

So whether you're sautéing dark greens or making a salad, be sure to include a squeeze of citrus. You'll increase your immunity and muscle strength with more punch than by eating these foods separately.

Soy & Salmon

It's true that soy has been shown in studies to lower sperm counts, but that's mainly in processed forms such as soy cheese, soy milk, and the unpronounceable forms listed on the labels of your favorite artery-clogging processed foods. This means that eating unprocessed forms of soy, such as edamame and tofu, is perfectly fine in moderation.

That's good news because, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., former director of the diet and cancer branch of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and now an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, an isoflavone in soy called genistein inhibits enzymes in the colon and prostate, raising the amount of vitamin D bioavailability in those tissues. "The higher vitamin D levels may offer protection against cancer," says Messina. "There is emerging research suggesting that vitamin D reduces cancer risk, and many people don't get enough of the vitamin. You do make it in your skin, but most people don't make enough."
Fish such as salmon and tuna are high in vitamin D, so take a cue from the Asian diet and eat fish with a side of edamame.

Peanuts & Whole Wheat

According to Diane Birt, P.D., a professor at Iowa State University and a food synergy expert, the specific amino acids absent in wheat are actually present in peanuts. You need, and very rarely receive in one meal, the complete chain of amino acids (the best form of protein) to build and maintain muscle, especially as you get older. In short, while this combo exhibits only what Birt calls a "loose definition" of food synergy, it gives good evidence that a peanut-butter sandwich isn't junk food if it's prepared with whole-wheat bread (not white) and eaten in moderation (once a day).

So enjoy a peanut-butter sandwich right after a workout instead of drinking a terrible gym-rat shake. Just make sure the peanut butter doesn't have added sugar, chemical ingredients you can't pronounce, or cartoon characters on the label.

Red Meat & Rosemary

Grilling over an open flame produces nasty carcinogens, but if you get a little more experimental with your spices, you can temper the cancer-causing effects of the charred flesh.

The herb rosemary, which mixes well with all kinds of grilled foods and contains the antioxidants rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid, was recently shown in a Kansas State University study to lower the amount of the cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (or HCAs) that appear in the charred meat when you grill at temperatures of 375°F to 400°F. Why? It's thought that the herb's antioxidants literally soak up the meat's dangerous free radicals.

Turmeric & Black Pepper

A tangy yellow South Asian spice used in curry dishes, turmeric has long been studied for its anticancer properties, anti-inflammatory effects, and tumor-fighting activities known in nutrition-speak as anti-angiogenesis. The active agent in the spice is a plant chemical, or polyphenol, called curcumin.
One of the problems with using turmeric to improve your health, according to Kennedy, is its low bioavailability when eaten on its own. But there's a solution, and it's probably in your pantry.
"Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin's bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper's hot property called piperine," says Kennedy. "This is one reason it's thought that curry has both turmeric (curcumin) and black pepper combined." Translation: You'll get the benefits of turmeric if you pepper up your curries.

Garlic & Fish

Most seafood lovers don't realize there's a synergy of nutrients inside a piece of fish: Minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, iodine, and selenium work as cofactors to make the best use of the natural anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-reducing fish oils EPA and DHA.

What's more, cooking your fish with garlic lowers your total cholesterol better than eating those fillets or cloves alone. A study at University of Guelph, in Ontario, found that garlic keeps down the small increase in LDL cholesterol that might result from fish-oil supplements.

Eggs & Cantaloupe

The most popular (and an awfully complete form of) breakfast protein works even better for you when you eat it with the good carbohydrates in your morning cantaloupe.

According to Kennedy, a very basic food synergy is the concept of eating protein with foods that contain beneficial carbohydrates, which we need for energy. Protein, Kennedy reminds us, slows the absorption of glucose, or sugar, from carbohydrates.
"This synergy helps by minimizing insulin and blood-sugar spikes, which are followed by a crash, zapping energy. High insulin levels are connected with inflammation, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. By slowing the absorption of glucose, your body can better read the cues that you are full. This helps prevent everything from overeating to indigestion."
So cut as many bad carbs (i.e., anything white, starchy, and sugary) as you want. But when you eat healthful carbs (whole grains, fruit, vegetables), don't eat them on their own.

Almonds & Yogurt

We already know that good fats help increase lycopene absorption. But did you know that many essential vitamins are activated and absorbed best when eaten with fat?

Vitamins that are considered fat-soluble include A, D, and E. Carrots, broccoli, and peas are all loaded with vitamin A and should be paired with a healthy fat such as the kind found in olive oil. Vitamin D—rich products include fish, milk, yogurt, and orange juice.

So toss some almonds into your yogurt, eat full-fat dairy foods, and pair your morning OJ with a slice of bacon. To get the most vitamin E with fat-soluble foods, try baked sweet-potato slices or spinach salad topped with olive oil.

Ever wonder what was going on inside your food? Take a look at MRI shots of fruits and vegetables

by healthystealthy