Archive for the ‘Healthy tips’ Category


A great way to start the day – have you tried a Smoothie lately?  About 6 months ago, I started on this idea as I was tired of eating eggs every day and since I was going grain free via Paleo, decided to try something different.  Read a few blog posts by the nutritionist JJ Virgin and was inspired to give her protein shakes a try since they didn’t contain whey, but rather pea protein, chorella, and potato proteins.

Today, I had the following in my shake – 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 scoop chai protein powder, 2 tsps of Tropical Traditions Coconut Creme Concentrate mixed with 1 cup of filtered water, 1T of Inner-Eco coconut kefir, 2 tsps of almond butter,  1 scoop of Amazing Grass Berry greens, 1T ground flax seed, 2 tsps of Chia seeds,  1/2 tsp of tumeric, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1-2 cups of mixed salad greens, 1/4 avocado, 1T of coconut oil, 1/4-1/2 cup frozen organic berry mixture.  Packed with good fats, full of good calories – gives me plenty of energy and leaves me feeling full for a good 4 hours.  JJ’s protein shake has 13carbs and 5g of sugar so I’m contemplating switching out to one of Thorne’s Vegalite protein mixes which have only 1 carb and 1gram of sugar.  That will help to keep my blood sugars down.  A lot of folks use bananas in their smoothie – personally, I’d avoid that and stick with low-glycemic berries – more fiber, keeps that insulin rush from being triggered.

What’s been the result of doing these shakes and eating paleo? Well, I’ve lowered my HBA1c from a high of 7.4 down to 5.5 (HBA1c is an avg of your past 3 months blood sugars). My goal is 5.0.  And this has been done without diabetic medicines, so am feeling pretty good about this. Do you know your HBA1c?

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I did my good deed for the year yesterday. A co-worker and friend of mine about my age has floaters and occasional flashes in her eyes as I do. Yesterday she complained that she was only seeing about 20% out of one of her eyes.  She described it as something like having a piece of cardboard covering that 80%.  She planned to see an opthamologist on Thursday (2 days away). I told her to forget that and to get her tush into the hospital immediately to see a retinal specialist as I suspected her retina was detaching.  I spooked her enough that she finally called and they told her to get over there now.  A few hours later they were doing surgery on her.

Had she waited, she would have probably lost the vision in that eye.  As you get older, if you get floaters and especially flashes of light (electrical impulses from vitreous gel tugging at your retina), be aware if you get that “curtain” effect, your retina is probably detaching and you don’t have a lot of time to spare.  Some people laugh cause I devote a lot of time to understanding all of my “health issues”, but sometimes it pays off in spades. Moral of the story – know thy bod, cause nobody else is going to give a hoot.  🙂

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For the health/science nuts out there (obviously I wouldn’t be posting this, if I weren’t one. 🙂 ) , Here is an interesting software program for evaluating the amount of Omega 6’s vs Omega 3’s in many foods. As most of you know, Americans are swimming in the pro-inflammatory Omega 6’s and need to bring that ratio under control. The program takes a while to figure out, but even if you don’t use the program to set up meal plans, you can still analyze over 9000 different foods, so you can learn to pick the healthier ones for yourself. Kudos to David Mendosa at Healthcentral.com for pointing this out. Even though you may take fish oil capsules to get your Omega 3’s, you still need to lower the amount of Omega 6 in your diet, as it competes with Omega 3 and lowers its effectiveness.

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In these days of quickly fluctuating gas prices, it pays to have a handy tool to check the price at the pump before venturing out. The web site www.gaspricewatch.com does that for you. Just enter your zip code. Saved me about .12/gallon today by realizing I could fill up for $2.01/gallon vs $2.13 somewhere else.

Looking for good advice on health insurance savings and financial advice? Check out Tony Novak’s site. It’s worth signing up for his email newsletter – he offers good advice.

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Guess NYC is getting tired of seeing its citizens lining up in the emergency room because they eat crap for food. Suspect the rest of the country should get on the bandwagon.

New York City’s Health Department on Tuesday proposed a near ban on the use of artificial trans fat at restaurants, likening its health danger to that of lead paint. The proposal would limit the use of the artery-clogging fat, which is often used in fast foods, to 0.5 grams per serving. The proposal comes after a year-long city campaign to educate restaurants on the effects of such fats and encourage them to stop their use.

It doesn’t take a genius to cut back on this stuff – just read the labels when you shop and if you don’t see trans fats listed, look for “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list. If you see that, then pass on to a healthier item. Muffins, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. usually have them, but some people are trying to eliminate them now, so read the label.

If you live in the NYC area, the online grocer FreshDirect has no transfats in any of its foods, so check them out.

The FDA requires products manufactured after January 1, 2006, to list trans fat content directly beneath the “saturated fat” entry on the Nutrition Facts Panel. This listing includes both artificial and naturally occurring trans fat. Under the new guidelines, a product can claim to have zero grams of trans fat as long as it contains 0.49 grams of trans fat (or less) per serving. Thus, several servings of a given product might actually add up to a significant amount of trans fat.

The best way to avoid dietary trans fat is to read both the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredient statement and to avoid those products that contain hydrogenated oil.

trans fatAn unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.

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