No Picture
Health Articles

Can’t Stand the Farm Stand: Tips for Grown-Ups Who Hate Veggies

“Eat your spinach and then you can leave the table,” Mom insisted. But sitting at a dining room table for eternity still sounded better than consuming that mushy, bland green pile in front of you.

Many people remember having an aversion to vegetables as a child – broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts. And while most of us grew out of it, some adults never learned to appreciate garden-fresh foods. And knowing what we do about the health benefits of vegetables, a distaste for them can be a real problem.

It’s hard for most of us to believe, but some grown-ups can’t even get excited about fruit – sweet, juicy fruit – not an apple nor a strawberry or a mango ever crosses their lips.

So how does this aversion to fresh produce happen for adults? Some people argue it was the era in which they grew up, and the methods of “convenience cooking” in which their mothers engaged. Eating healthfully-prepared vegetables simply wasn’t something they experienced at home. In her memoir Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large, author Kim Brittingham recounts the dinners her mother made when she was growing up in the American suburbs of the 1970s and 80s, often lacking in vegetable matter completely. “Like frozen corn dogs with tater tots. Hot dogs with canned chili-and-beans spooned on top and then, oddly enough, separate canned baked beans served on the side. Spaghetti and meatballs.”When vegetables were served at the dinner table, they were frequently canned vegetables, “heavily salted, sopping soft and slightly metallic-tasting,” writes Brittingham. Many parents from past decades knew only one way to prepare veggies: to cook the hell out of them. Overcooked vegetables are not only lacking in nutrients, but they just don’t taste that good.

The distaste some have for fresh produce has also been blamed on the high sugar content in today’s packaged foods, and the easy availability of sugary junk foods. Not just kids, but adults accustomed to such super-sweet foods often find natural, unsweetened foods comparably bland — even the sweetest seasonal fruits. Such was the case for Brittingham, who wrote in Read My Hips, “I told my mother (apples) were tasteless, and she argued that they were sweet and that I liked sweet things. But to my over-sugared tongue — coated with many seasons’ worth of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and oily cheap chocolate wrapped in foil and molded like bunnies and Santas and little footballs; a tongue painted thick with creamy white filling, melted fudgsicle juice, the dust of hundreds of Chips Ahoy — all fruit tasted like tap water.”

So what can you do if you’re a grown-up who never outgrew her aversion to fresh fruits and vegetables, but you sincerely want to cultivate healthy eating habits?

You might try recreating for yourself Kim Brittingham’s breakthrough as related in Read My Hips. A culinary friend introduced Brittingham to acorn squash, which she described as “something sweet — the perfect buffer between a lifelong diet of candy bars, snack cakes and ice cream and this new world of fresh produce. It turned out to be just the right thing to lure me a little bit closer to the veggie wagon.” Brittingham also enjoyed a sense of creativity, ownership and mastery in learning how to wash, slice and steam the vegetable herself.

Brittingham offers these tips for getting friendlier with fresh produce:

Find a “gateway” vegetable that tastes similar to a food you already like. Grilled mushrooms, for instance, can have a meaty, rich texture. Carrots are sweet and crispy. Oranges, refreshing and clean.

If you have a sweet tooth, experiment with sweet vegetables first, like varieties of squash. Your taste buds might be more receptive towards these foods than to veggies that are more subtle, bland, bitter or sharp.

Explore ways to flavor fruits and vegetables creatively. Once you’ve come to love certain produce with sauces and other toppings, you might feel more courageous about eating them bare or nearly-bare.

If you’re timid about raw vegetables, try buying a steamer instead. Steamers are simple to use – just fill the reservoir with water, throw your veggies into the steamer bowl, and turn the unit on. Steaming is one way to have your veggies cooked without boiling all the nutrients out of them.

If fresh fruit isn’t quite sweet enough for your sweet tooth, buy a food dehydrator and experiment with drying fruits. When dehydrated, the natural sugars in fruits are concentrated, and the resulting dried fruit is much sweeter and more candy-like than the raw fruit. For extreme sugar addicts trying to turn onto fruit, Brittingham recommends drying strawberries and watermelon soaked in lime juice.

If the green of veggies turns you off, remember that veggies come in other colors, too. Cozy up to red bell peppers, yellow zucchini or carrots instead.

If you’re eating more fruits and veggies as a way to lose weight, think again. Eating food from an obligatory stance often causes a rebound effect, akin to that child sitting at the dining room table, arms crossed in defiance. Choose fresh produce that you like. As Brittingham writes in Read My Hips, “I eat more fruits and vegetables now than I ever did as a child, and it’s not in the least bit motivated by a desire to lose weight. I eat some fruits and vegetables because they taste delicious. Often I choose them over junk food I find equally delicious, because I like the way I feel after I eat them. My insides feel cleaner. And I try to eat organic as much as possible.”

In short, we have all had some scary childhood veggie memories. But with a little persistence and experimentation, you can overcome the dining room traumas of yesteryear and live (healthier) once again.…

No Picture
Health Department

5 Quick Tips to Losing Pounds and Loving Life Through Raw and Natural Foods

Throughout life we come across many diets and healthy food eating habits that make you shed a few pounds. The unfortunate fact is that all of these diets depends on you staying on the diets your whole life which leads to malnutrition. I am mainly referring to various detox and exercise diets. In this article, I will give you a few tips on how to stay healthy, while improving your life longevity as well as making you feel better throughout your day. The importance to living a healthy and fulfilled life is achieved by learning the tricks of the trade about raw and natural foods.
Tip #1: Building your list of items
This diet consists of creating a healthy eating lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle consists of eating up to 80% healthy food, while leaving the 20% freedom of eating whatever you choose (i.e. eating a piece of chocolate cake). The 80% healthy food consists of a combination of superfoods, fruits, vegatables, algeas, and herbs. One more crucial item that n bring all of these foods together is buying a great juicer. **
Tip #2: Buying a Juicer
There are 3 types of juicers; Centrifugal, Cold-Press, and Manual.
Cold-Press juicers are the top of the line juicers when it comes to providing the most effective nutrition and juice yields per vegetable/fruit. The downside to Cold-Press juicers are that they run about $400+
Centrifugal juicers are less expensive than Cold-Press, but destroy many of the nutrients in the vegetables and fruit because of the excess heat and pressure. A good centrifugal juicer is around $100+
If all else fails, you can get a Manual juicer. These juicers take a ton of work to use and are not worth the trouble. They are less than $100, but take quite a while and physical labor to just get one glass of juice. On the upside, they do preserve the nutrients just as the cold-press juicers do.
Tip #3: Always shop organic
Many of the mainstream supermarkets claim to be organic, but I don’t trust any of these companies. Shop at your local farmers market, natural foods store, or organic food markets. If all else fails, before you go shopping at a mainstream market, ask the store owner where they get their food and if they know what pesticides go into their food. If they say they have no clue, its not worth it to you to risk your health with the “organic” food that they claim they carry. **
Tip #4: Love to cook organic not only with your family, but your friends too!
It may seem like a challenge to cook all these fruits and vegetables you have laying around the house. There are numerous ways to learn recipes and strategies to improve your cooking style with these natural and raw ingredients. **
Tip #5: Enjoy life
If you follow these simple tips, I guarantee that you will not only enjoy life more, but you will be filled with more energy, as well as lose some pounds of toxins along the way.…

No Picture
General Articles

Insomnia Causes, Chronic Insomnia

Insomnia Causes, Chronic Insomnia

Most people at some time experience sleepless nights or insomnia. It is thought that ten percent of the population experience chronic insomnia and about fifty percent are effected to some degree. Insomnia is not a disease, but a symptom of something else. The definition of insomnia is “habitual sleeplessness, not being able to stay asleep or not being able to fall asleep or both”. Insomnia can be contributed to the amount of sleep one gets and also the quality of sleep a person gets. People tend to have a large range in the amount of sleep they need, that is why insomnia is not defined by the amount of sleep a person gets. Most people know when they are suffering from insomnia based on how they feel the next day. The medical community will diagnose insomnia based on how long the problem has been occurring. Not all medical professionals agree on the symptoms of insomnia, but general guidelines are listed below.

Transient Insomnia – Insomnia that last a week or less.

Short Term Insomnia – Insomnia that last between one and three weeks.

Chronic Insomnia – Insomnia that last more then three weeks.

Some Basic statistics about age groups are effected by insomnia. Insomnia tends to effect more women then men in adults. As people age insomnia tends to increase. Insomnia is most common in lower income levels, people with mental health problems and alcoholics. Stress is considered the major cause or trigger for insomnia. It is important to do something about transient and short term insomnia so it does not develop into chronic insomnia.

What can cause insomnia?Insomnia can be caused by a wide range of things. Typically they can be categorized into the groups psychiatric, medical or situational factors. Some of the common causes of short term and transient insomnia include – work schedule changes, irritating noise, jet lag, stress, sleeping room temperature, medical problems, drug withdraws, altitude.

Chronic insomnia is usually related to a medical condition or psychiatric condition. Some psychiatric things that cause insomnia are stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Doctors use the symptom of insomnia in diagnoses of mental illness and depression. This does not mean that if you suffer from insomnia that you suffer from depression or a mental illness.

There are also several physical conditions that can cause insomnia. These include – disorder in the circadian rhythm, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, heart condition, angina, acid reflux, asthma, sleep apnea, parkinson’s or alzheimer’s disease and brain trauma. People who fall into the following categories are considered high risk for insomnia – travelers, people who change shifts often, senior adults, pregnant women, students and women experiencing menopause. There are also several different types of medication related to insomnia, these include – cold and asthma medication, high blood pressure medication along with medication used to treat anxiety and depression. Some other causes of insomnia can include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol (will cause poor quality of sleep) and a bed partner who is disruptive.

Some common symptoms of insomnia include – not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, problems concentrating when awake, problem remembering things, poor coordination, bad moods, trouble staying awake while driving. When people have these symptoms they sometimes make their insomnia worse by treating them with excessive amounts of caffeine, energy drinks and stimulants.…