Nutrition

Food is your body's natural defense against things such as starvation and hunger.  Not only can food taste good, but it can also do good.  That's right - food isn't just something you swallow and then digest and then eventually dispose of.  It is an active player in the complex game that is your health.  The rules are simple: eat well, feel well.  We here at Healthy Being a strong believers that a healthy diet is healthier than a diet consisting of fatty snack foods.  Here you can find a variety of recipes, healthy eating tips, and even testimonials - all with the aim of improving your health!

Healthy Eating

Picture
Canteloupe
Healthy eating starts with your head.  Confused?  Don't be - all we mean here is that your food choices affect what you eat.  Every time you eat, you have to make a choice.  Here are a few tips we'd like to share with you to help you make healthy food choices, they're what we call the five keys to healthy eating.









Five Keys To Healthy Eating

  1. Fresh Fruits & Vegetables - Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to get in your daily dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  When selecting fruits and vegetables, try to choose ones that are "in season".  Avoid fruits that are mushy or smell like they are rotting, and try to choose vegetables that look fresh and crunchy and don't have soggy spots.
  2. Avoid Pizza & Fast Food If You Can - If you're looking to lose or maintain weight, this is key.  
  3. "Healthy" Fats - Not all fat is bad!  Some scientific studies have actually concluded that certain fats are good!  Omega-3's, Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Pecans, etc.), Flax Seed Oil, Vegetable Oil, Avocados - these are some examples of healthy fats.  
  4. Whole Grains - Fiber isn't just something that makes you "go" more.  It's actually a great way to help with digestion.  Whole grains contain more fiber than more processed grains and they also signify one's step into adulthood.
  5. Go Green - Spinach, Broccoli, Lettuce, Romaine, Green Peppers, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, etc.


The Myth Of The Potato Chip

For years, the potato chip has been a staple of the American diet.  It's served with burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and many other foods.  Sometimes it's even snacked on by itself.  In recent years ,there's been growing concern that the potato chip is the cause of America's high rate of obesity.  This isn't the case, however.  For example, Lay's makes baked potato chips, and Sun Chips make whole grain potato chips.  It's not the potato chip that is causing obesity, but rather the fact that individuals may eat too many potato chips at one serving.  This plays right into our theory here at Healthy Being that if you eat a little less and are more active, your body should be healthy.  Some consider us health "nuts" (nuts are actually good for you to eat!), but we just consider ourselves beings of this world!

Recipe: Salmon ala Italia

Picture
Salmon ala Italia
This recipe was submitted by Healthy Being staff member (we don't get paid here, we do it pro bono) Julie Stetson.  


Ingredients
1-2 salmon filets
5 tbsp EVOO
1 box pasta (whole wheat or spinach)
1 bottle garlic powder
1 bottle basil leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


Directions
Start boiling water in a pot.  Put the salmon filets in a pan and begin simmering and cooking with 1-2 tbsp EVOO.  When the water is boiling, put the pasta in it.  Let it sit for 10 minutes or until it is not 'al dente'.  Check the salmon.  Sprinkle some basil and garlic powder on it.  Then, remove the pasta and strain it.  Put it in a bowl and pour 3 tbsp EVOO on it, add salt, pepper, and stir.  Place the cooked salmon on a nice plate and bring to the table.  Serve the salmon filets on top of the pasta.  Yields 1-2 servings.


Reader Question

Picture
We received this question yesterday, February 7, 2010, from a loyal reader of ours.  It's a great question, too.  We at Healthy Being know how hard it is for the individual to stay healthy - that's why we created this site!  And it is our hope that after reading this site, it will not be as hard to stay healthy.  Having said that, here are some reasons we came up with regarding why it's so hard to be healthy:









  •   You eat too much because you're stressed or because you're trying to replace your feelings with food
  •   Your family did not encourage healthy habits while you were growing up so you don't practice them now
  •   You lack self-control (but that can be fixed)

These are at least three reasons the Healthy Being team was able to come up with.  Whether or not these apply to you personally, we still encourage you to browse our site because we feel that you may find some valuable information.  Thank you for your question, keep them coming, and nourish your mind, body, and soul!


Antioxidants: What Are They?

It seems like each year, there is a new health buzzword.  Antioxidants is certainly one of those - but what are antioxidants?  In short, antioxidants are things that prevent free radicals from oxidizing certain cells.  What does this mean?  

Many foods are rich in antioxidants and usually become trendy such as: pomegranates, raspberries, blueberries, acai berries, red wine, etc.

Antioxidants are major fighters of cancer.  

If you're looking to strengthen your immune system and also to display your knowledge of recent food trends, then load up on antioxidants and antioxidant-themed food and beverage items (such as POM pomegranate drink).

Fruits: Are They Actually Good For You?

In short, yes.  But here at Healthy Being, we don't like taking the short road!  That's why we park farther away from stores so that we have to walk more to get inside, or why we opt for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  It's always great to do more and be active!

So, the long answer is this:  Yes, fruits are good for you because they are filled with lots of good nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc.  So, fuel your body and feed your mind - have a fruit...or two...or three...or four!  :)

Recipe: Rice And Vegetables

Picture
A classic dish
Healthy Being contributor Mark Sanchez (not the QB of the New York Jets) submitted this healthy, simple, and delish recipe!


Ingredients
1 box of rice (preferably brown, but jasmine, basmati, white, or others will work)
1 green, red, yellow bell pepper
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 head broccoli
1 bottle garlic powder


Directions
Prepare the rice on the stove with boiling water.  While it is cooking, chop up the green, red, and yellow peppers.  Rinse the broccoli and then cook it on your microwave's "fresh vegetable" setting.  When the rice is finished, put it in a bowl.  Next add the peppers and broccoli to the rice.  It is now time to drizzle the EVOO into the mix and to add your spices of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir it so that the flavor is equally distributed.  Once this is done, you are ready to serve.  Yields 1-4 servings depending on who is eating.


Soy It Ain't So

Soy is a bean.  That's right - they were first cultivated in northeastern China more than 3,000 years ago!

Soybeans are used to make many products, such as soy milk.  Soy milk tastes pretty good and comes in a variety of flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and egg nog during the holidays.  

Soybeans contain isoflavones, which are naturally-present chemicals and essentially unique to the soybean.  Many animal studies show that isoflavones and isoflavone-rich soy protein inhibit prostate tumors, which is good for men and their testicles.

In conclusion, incorporating soy into your diet might have some health benefits.

Nutrition Profile: Kit Whitehall

Picture
Kit at last year's organic BBQ
Hey guys, I'm Kit Whitehall and have been a Healthy Being enthusiast for at least three years now.  I decided to join after I saw one of those advertisements with the little pieces of paper to tear off at the bottom with phone numbers on them at my local Trader Joe's.  It turned out I didn't really have to "join" the Healthy Being team, they do not pay their team and they are simply happy to welcome new members because it increases the size of their movement and adds more validity to it, I think.  Anyways, they asked if they could do a profile of me for their website and I said yes.  So, without further ado, here's me!  :)







Name: Kit Whitehall
Age: 46
Weight (before joining Healthy Being): 218
Weight (current): 224
Relationship Status: Married
Background: English, Irish, Scottish, and German
Favorite Healthy Food: Goat Cheese Quiche 
Favorite Workout: Daily 30-minute walks with light hand-weights
A Quirky Thing About Me Is..: I condition my hair twice in the shower :)


Reader Question

Picture
We received this question on Wednesday, February 10 from another one of our loyal readers.  It's a great question and the Healthy Being volunteer staff would like to thank you for your interest.  

In regard to feeding your soul, one way to do that is through activities that put your mind at ease.  These can vary from person to person and can include yoga, meditation, sewing, pickup basketball, or even playing an instrument like the harp.  Feeding your soul also involves your diet.  That is, it is still important to practice the healthy eating habits we encourage here.  Good soul foods are not what you think of as "soul food" such as mac 'n cheese, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes.  Rather, the soul food we encourage here is almost the opposite of that.  We'd encourage lentils, grilled free-range chicken, and a baked potato with olive oil and chopped organic chives.  

If you are taking care of your body by participating in relaxing activities and by consuming healthy foods, you should in turn be nourishing - or feeding - your soul.  Namaste.

With regard to citing Healthy Being as a source, we are happy to allow that and if you're using MLA citation standards it should look something like this on your bibliography:

Semmes, Pat*. "Healthy Being." 2010. 10 Feb. 2010. <http://healthybeing.weebly.com>

*Pat Semmes is our web designer and she works pro bono.  She also teaches a Saturday afternoon web design class for older adults.  If you're interested email psemmes53@hotmail.com.


Valentine's Day Tips

Picture
Gene Lurman's Valentine's Soup
Valentines Day is coming up which means one thing: lots of sweets.  And while we at Healthy Being don't partake in sweets and usually restrict them from our diets unless they are organic dark chocolate, we understand the fact that many Americans eat lots of sweets - particularly on Valentines Day.  We have a few tips to help you curb your cravings while still enjoying the holiday.

First, it's best to limit the amount of sweets that you eat.  If you eat too many, your caloric intake will increase exponentially and as a result you may gain some weight in the "trouble areas".  

Second, if you eat any sweets, go for organic dark chocolates.  Though these don't taste good at all, they will be better for you in the long run.  Dark chocolate is sometimes shown to have health benefits and organic foods are typically thought of as healthier.  So if you combine the two - dark chocolate and organic - it should be a healthy combination, according to some people.

Third, enjoy nature's candy.  And by this, we mean eat fruit.  Fruit is sweet.  So instead of getting candy or chocolate for Valentine's Day, get a sweet apple (Granny Smith, Braeburn, etc.) or a batch of cherries.  Strawberries are another good choice, and can be used seductively as well.

Fourth, avoid sweets.  Try not to have any candy hearts, chocolates, or other sweets during this time.  Eating them often indicates a lack of self control; try to restrict the foods you enjoy eating so that you can demonstrate your strong will power and dedication to living a happier, healthier life.

Fifth, make Gene Lurman's famous Valentine's Soup.  It basically consists of low sodium chicken broth, lots of salt, paprika, basil, and then fresh garden veggies such as cucumbers, celery, potatoes, carrots, and sometimes tomatoes.  Throw some spinach noodles into the mix and you've got yourself a love stew.  This is best when served warm and you can enjoy it with a small shot of wheat grass.  

There are five tips to having a healthier (and happier!) Valentine's Day.  Remember - the habits you formed while growing up probably were not the healthiest and it's best to rethink them and change your whole life to a healthier way of living and you will ultimately be happier!


Reader Question

Picture

















Hi Mark, and thank you for your question.  We are happy that you feel comfortable enough to share your thoughts and feelings with the Healthy Being volunteer staff.  If we're not honest with ourselves, we can't be honest with others.

As for your question, it is true that sexual health is a component of health in general, which is why many doctors encourage the practice of safe sex.  We at Healthy Being, however, do not go to conventional "doctors".  Rather, we tend to see specialists who work in fields like homeopathy and practice holistic methods of healing.  One of our team members actually did an "internship" with a medicine man in Peru for one summer (it was winter in the northern hemisphere).  But even in our realm of medicine, sexual health cannot be ignored.  Though our team is having difficulty coming up with possible advice for you considering most of us are past our bodies' natural primes, we feel comfortable referring you to a "doctor" named Sim Saoli.  He doesn't have an email and can't be reached by phone, but if you get a chance to visit Lima someday, you can find him at the coordinates 12°0'S and 77°0'W.  in a small grass hut.


Four Foods That Burn Fat

Picture
  1. Raspberries
  2. Black Beans
  3. Coffee
  4. Yogurt


Lycopene: Tomatoes' Superpower (Maybe)

Picture
Tomatoes
Lycopene is a phytochemical found in tomatoes.  Preliminary research has shown an inverse correlation between the consumption of tomatoes and cancer risk - particularly prostate cancer - but these studies are deemed insufficient by the FDA.

If you are, however, interested in reducing the risk of cancer in your peni area then consuming tomatoes and getting a dose of lycopene might help.


Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto With Mango Herb Salsa

Picture
Butternut Squash Risotto, by Starr Middle
This is a great summer dish submitted to us by Healthy Being group member (but not unpaid staff member) Starr Middle from the Puget Sound.


Ingredients
1 butternut squash
1 box of jasmine rice
2 tbsp EVOO
1 mango
1 bottle of bay leaves
1 shaker salt
1 shaker pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 bag frozen diced onions
1 tsp sugar


Directions
Put the squash in a puree machine and grate until it is a puree.  Start to cook the rice in the water.  While the rice is cooking, heat up the onions and pour them into a bowl with the chopped tomatoes.  Pour one tbsp EVOO into this bowl, shake some salt and pepper in, and put some bay leaves in.  Stir it while you also pour in some chopped pieces of mango.  Add one tsp sugar.  Your salsa is complete.  Now, once the rice is done add the butternut squash puree to it and throw it in the microwave just to guarantee it is hot.  Stir it up so it looks orange and like a risotto and add EVOO to it.  Now serve this on a plate with a scoop of the mango herb salsa on the side.  You've now made a refreshing twist on a summertime treat!  Serves 1-2 people at a time.


Endorphins

We know what you're thinking: Should a piece on endorphins go on the fitness or nutrition page?  Well, the Healthy Being Team voted and by a margin of 5 votes it was decided that a piece on endorphins should go on the nutrition page.

What are endorphins aside from endogenous opioid polypeptides compounds?  Truth is, no one really knows.  We do know, however, that they are produced by the pituitary gland and by the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy foods, and orgasms (Wikipedia).  Since many Healthy Being members have taken an oath of celibacy in order to honor their bodies, we do not like to include "orgasms" as a cause of endorphin secretion.  Rather, we consider the "good" feeling that results from an orgasm to be an unnatural drug or feeling that distracts us from the world around us.

Have you ever heard of Runner's High?  That is not a marathon runner who smokes cannabis, rather it is probably a runner who is experiencing endorphin secretion.  Before passing out due to dehydration at last year's Tacoma Quarter Marathon, Healthy Being's own Jon Renny claimed that he briefly experienced Runner's High around mile three.  Fortunately, he recovered fully from fainting and now makes sure to consume a proper amount of water or liquid before racing.  He hopes to get back up and running again once his foot fully heals from bunion surgery.  

In conclusion, are endorphins good?  Of course!  It means you are exercising!  It means your body is being worked.  The only thing that we not condone with regard to alleged endorphin secretion is intercourse resulting in orgasms.  These, many of us at Healthy Being believe, are false sensations that take us away from the realm within which we dwell as organisms.  

Milk And Hormones: The Truth

Picture
A standard black and white cow
All cows are created equal.  At least that's what we believe here at Healthy Being.  Intrinsic to that belief is the notion that no cows should be given hormones because it will affect the milk in a negative way.  Just as we at Healthy Being protest other sorts of food-related things like GMO's, methods of chicken farming, slaughterhouses, and using pesticides on produce, we also protest giving cows hormones.  

Scientifically it's been almost proven to cause some adverse effects on human, not the least of whom are children and babies.  We believe that our children should only eat and drink organically.  No kid should ever want to drink from that creamy whole milk bottle at the local normal grocery store.  Instead, the kid should want to drink from the Stonyfield Farm or Horizon or other natural and pure milk source at a more clean grocery store such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or Central Market if you live in or around Austin, TX.

So please, join us in the movement to stop injecting our cows with hormones.  Because as we like to say here at our Healthy Being headquarters, cows have souls and breathe the air of the world within which all life dwells.

Note: Join us on the third Saturday of every month at Maggie Stahlworth's house to discuss current milk ethics.


Nutrition Profile: Aldous Smythe

Picture
Aldous Smythe at this year's produce convention
Hello, I am Aldous Smythe and have been with the Healthy Being team for four years.  Before joining them, I was very into health but did not have a group with which I could share my positive energy.  I take a lot of criticism, because people tell me often that I look thin like a scarecrow or like an old corpse.  Little do they know that I am healthy and that they are the fat lards who will waste away eventually.  If they want to be healthy like me, they just have to eat all raw food that is delicious.  Here is my profile.
















Name: Aldous Smythe
Age: 47
Weight (before joining Healthy Being): 146
Weight (After): 145.5
Relationship Status: Married
Background: English
Favorite Healthy Food: Broccoli from my garden
Favorite Workout: Run
A Quirky Thing About Me Is...: I don't eat chocolate


The Corn Regime

When people think of America and its industries, they think of cars, Barbie, Hollywood, and sex.  But when you dig a little deeper and look a little closer, you will see something else:  Corn.

That's right.  The American Government is in cahoots with corn farmers.  The U.S. Government subsidizes corn farms and uses corn in pretty much every product.  This is especially dangerous when it comes to foods.  Alongside MSG, another huge food problem in America is high fructose corn syrup, of HFCS.  This can be found in many soft drinks and processed foods.  The government has created a scheme for forcing the American people to consume this "poison" and won't admit it.  In what we at Healthy Being call "Corn-Gate" (like Watergate), the government has a conspiracy to produce corn and make the American people eat it by creating the food pyramid and recommending so many starches.  

Sound crazy?  Healthy Being member Ersan Ilyanova wrote a letter to his local congressman concerning this conspiracy and never heard back.  Do you think that the congressman was afraid that citizens were catching on and thus did not respond?  That seems like the only logical conclusion.  Since then, Ilyanova has organized more than three local rallies that drew up to 12 people each time to protest the government.  

In short, please don't fall prey to the predator that is the U.S. Government.  Do your research and do what you can locally to stop the corn regime in America.

Title Text.


Nuts For Health

Picture
Almond butter (L.) and almonds (R.)
What are we, nuts?!?  No, we are not nuts.  Nuts are actually a very healthy fatty food.  Nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and others all offer specific health benefits.
 
The catch?  Don't eat too many nuts.  When eating nuts, consider about a handful to be just right! 

Try nuts in a salad, or in your yogurt, or in a peanut curry Thai sauce, or in peanut butter, or even eat them on their own! 


Recipe: California Turkey Wrap

Picture
California Turkey Wrap
This is a crisp, light, refreshing lunch for the spring or summer.

Ingredients
1 Whole Wheat, Spinach, Or Sun-dried Tomato Wrap
4 oz. Organic Turkey Breast
Organic Sprouts
Sliced Organic Tomatoes
Organic California Avocados
1 oz. Organic Mozzarella Cheese

Directions
Place the wrap flat on a plate or sheet.  Then lay a bed of sprouts, tomatoes, and sliced avocado.  Next, lay down the slivers of organic turkey breast.  Then put the Mozzarella cheese on top.  To wrap, grab opposite ends, bend in, and then fold wrap until tight.  Slice diagonally down the middle of the wrap and put toothpicks in it so that it doesn't unwrap.  You've now made a California tradition.  Serve with tomato juice or fresh-squeezed organic orange juice.  Eat with others and have a conversation!


The Low-Down On Low-Carb

Picture
Atkins Diet foods
The Atkins Diet's popularity ebbs and flows.  Recently (2010), it is reemerging as a popular diet.  The diet stresses limiting carbs and allows its followers to eat as much protein and fat and other shit as they want, just as long as they don't eat carbs.  Is this a healthy diet?  We asked Dr. Sam Cloussus, alternatively-accredited physician/medicine man.






Q: Is the Atkins Diet healthy?

A: Not really.

Q: Why not?

A: It isn't very well-balanced.  People need carbs.

Q: But what if people could eat carbs on it?  Would it be healthy then?

A:  Maybe, but it wouldn't be the Atkins Diet.

We at Healthy Being would like to thank Dr. Sam Cloussus for participating in this research article with us; and we wish him the best of luck as he sets out to open his own free clinic in Brazil this summer.  He's learning Portuguese using the Rosetta Stone software.

What's our verdict here at HB?  Atkins Diet = bad news.


Trend Watch: Acai Berries

Picture
A superfood?
Every year, a new food is deemed to be the magic bullet for all health problems.  In the past, it's been the pomegranate.  Semi-recently (i.e., 2008-2010) it's been the acai berry.  Many products, such as Dannon yogurts and Odwalla drinks, contain acai berries.  But what are acai berries and what are their health benefits?  According to WebMD.com, acai berries are related to blueberries and contain many antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals - harmful byproducts produced by the body.  However, acai berries do not necessarily do more than their relatives: blueberries and cranberries.  

So what's the HB verdict?  Well, we contacted our resident unaccredited holistic practitioner Harvey Weintraub.  He raved about acai berries, citing numerous health benefits.  

"Acai berries could be, in my opinion, the fountain of youth, so to speak," said Weintraub.  

How does Weintraub recommend to consume acai berries?

"It's always best to eat them raw and directly from South America.  I tend to eat two cups of acai berries a day - one in the morning when I wake up naturally at 5:30 a.m., and one immediately after my meditation at sunset.  I usually make a smoothie in the morning with the one cup of acai berries, organic unsweetened soy milk, one banana, and a scoop of flax seeds.  For my evening acai dosage, I've usually already prepared homemade granola bars.  I make these by using a homemade wooden dish.  Into the hand-crafted oak dish I put one cup of acai berries, crushed natural raw almonds, one teaspoon of cinnamon, some crushed dates, and another scoop of flax.  I bake this in my stone oven until the bars are cooked fully.  I've thought about selling these products, but I don't yet know how to get a patent.  Plus, patents are really part of the corporate world, and I think that the corporate world is really an illusion to natural and spiritual reality.  That's why I don't have a formal college education."

So, eat your two cups of acai berries each day and you might still be alive to read this in 200 years!


Odwalla: The Truth Behind The Tyranny

Picture
Corporate logo
Now, as many of you know, we here at Healthy Being enjoy foods that are good for you.  We feel that it is best if the food you consume is natural, raw, and homegrown in your own backyard or communal garden.  That said, we know that it is sometimes difficult to do this and we all must slip every now and again into the wrongful habit of buying food from stores.

Though some companies and their products are clearly bad (e.g., Kraft, Nabisco), others are not so obvious.  Take Odwalla, for example.  Odwalla hails itself as a healthy company.  Their slogan - nourishing the body whole - seems good at first glance.  Also, if you take a look at their products' packages and containers, you will see that they boast "no GMO's" - or genetically modified organisms. 

All good, right?  Wrong.  At the end of the day, Odwalla Inc. is just another big corporation seeking the big bucks.  The company is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, CA.  If you dig a little deeper and scroll further down on their Wikipedia page, you discover that in 1996 a fatal E. Coli outbreak forced the company to recall its products and caused a 90% reduction in sales.  Not so tasty now, huh?

The point here is that the proof is in the profit, so to speak.  Be wary of companies pretending to be looking out for "your own good".  At the end of the day, their food is probably not raw, natural, or organic; it has probably been put together in a factory with lots of metal and workers and machines and it's modern and we at Healthy Being avoid too much modern machinery.  Odwalla Inc. is a corporate monster and if you want some of the smoothies they sell, make them yourselves by crushing fruit, nuts, and milk together.