Carbs arn’t the enemy!

Low carb diets are a very popular trend that often leave people confused and misinformed about carbs. Cutting out carbs does cause weight loss, however avoiding carbs is not the answer. I’m sure some of you that have tried a low carb diet might have felt “the blues”. Low carb diets may cause people to have low energy and may affect people’s moods such as irritability.

However, I’m here to tell you that carbs are our friends! In fact, carbohydrates are our bodies preferred source of energy!

Carbs are broken down into glucose before being absorbed into the blood stream for energy. All our cells and tissues use glucose for functioning (kidneys, brain, heart, muscle etc).

Also, complex carbohydrates are nutrient dense and contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals (calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium).

Carbohydrates include: Whole grains (bread, pasta, quinoa, rice), Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, squash), Pulses (lentils, beans, chickpeas), Low fat milk, and fruit.

On the other hand, not all carbs are created equal, carbohydrates that are “simple sugars” should be limited. These include: soda, juices, cookies, candies, chips, high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, etc.

Carbohydrate requirements will vary from person to person.

 

If you would like to continue this discussion visit QaTaste

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Happy Foods

1.)            Probiotic-rich foods

In a recent Dutch study, 20 healthy volunteers received either a probiotic supplement or a placebo for four weeks. Those who received the probiotic supplement showed a significantly reduced reactivity to sad mood, which was largely due to a reduction in aggressive thoughts, and over-thinking or obsessing on negatives. The conclusion: the type and amount of bacteria in your digestive tract impacts your mood. Scientists even have a name for it: the gut-brain axis, or the communication highway between the GI tract and the brai.

In an animal a study conducted at McMaster University in Ontario, gut bacteria from mice with different personalities were swapped. Fearless mice became timid after receiving gut bacteria from anxious counterparts, and the reverse was also that the fearful rodents became more expressive and less apprehensive. The researchers also found that aggressive mice became calm when scientists changed their gut microbes by health-ing up their diets. All of this means that, for all intents and purposes, your gut bacteria can literally be mind-altering. To reap the benefits, stock up on probiotic-rich fermented foods, including kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir, or consider popping a probiotic supplement.

2.)            Fruits and veggies

In a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, nearly 300 young adults kept daily food journals for three consecutive weeks, in addition to completing psychological and mood-related ratings. Researchers found that a higher intake of produce resulted in more energy, calm, and a greater sense of happiness. They also noted that the effects were seen not only on the days more veggies and fruits were consumed, but also throughout the following day. Another study, published in the journal Social Indicators Research, which tracked 80,000 adults, found that consuming a higher amount of produce boosted mental well-being, with the magic number for happiness being seven daily servings. To use produce to elevate your mood, choose fruits and veggies first, and build each meal around them.

3.)            Dark chocolate

The antioxidants in dark chocolate can trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. That may be why one study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in people who rated themselves as highly stressed. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and irritability. Finally, dark chocolates unique natural substances trigger a sense of euphoria that’s similar in to the feeling of being in love!

4.)            Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in selenium and research has linked a deficiency of this mineral (which doubles as an antioxidant) to a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Mushrooms are also the only plant source of natural vitamin D. In a study of people with seasonal affective disorder, which affects 11 million Americans, scientists found that those who upped their vitamin D intake experienced an enhanced mood. To bolster your intake, incorporate mushrooms into omelets or quiche at breakfast, salads at lunch, and sauté, grill, or oven roast them at dinner.

5.)        Walnuts & Flax

Nuts and seeds, especially these two, are loaded with alpha-linolenic acid. In research from the Nurses’ Health Study, women who had the most ALA in their diets were less likely to be depressed. Here’s how it works: When your blood levels of ALA are low, so are you; low ALA levels fan the flames of inflammation, which has been linked to depression. What’s more, low ALA also decreases levels of the brain chemicals dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of joy, and serotonin, which inhibits anger and aggression.

6.)          Apricots

These summery treats also are packed with vitamin B6, which a 2010 study says reduces depression in people 65 and older. And that’s not all: These bright yellow beauties contain the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, higher levels of which are linked to higher moods.

7.)         Pomegranate

The juice of this seed-packed fruit lowered blood pressure, anxiety, and depression in study participants who drank a glass of it every day for 2 weeks.

8.)         Wild Salmon

Wild salmon contains Omega-3 , which is an essential fatty acid that plays an important role in brain health and contributes up to 18 percent of the brain’s weight .The body does not naturally produce Omega-3s, so the fatty acid needs to be consumed from outside sources. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, memory decline, and depression.

Studies show a correlation between consumption of fish with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and a decreased risk of depression. Whether eating fish or snacking on chia seeds, increasing your intake of omega 3 fatty acids may help combat depression. omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like wild salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, and chia seeds

(1,2,3,4) http://www.health.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-can-make-you-happier CYNTHIA SASS, April 27, 2015

(5,6, 7)https://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/foods-proven-to-boost-mood-and-happiness/slide/3 Denise Foley July 17, 2014

(8) https://greatist.com/happiness/nutrients-boost-mood MAYA DANGERFIELD 2018

How To Break A Weight loss Plateau

As you lose weight, you lose some muscle and fat. Muscle helps you burn up your daily calories. So as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, causing you to burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight.

Your slower metabolism will slow your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose weight. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you will maintain your weight. Follow these rules below to break a weight loss plateau. (1.)

  • Reassess your habits.Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven’t loosened the rules, such as snacking frequently throughout the day or less exercise. One study found that off-and-on loosening of rules contributed to plateaus.

 

  • Get started again, but don’t go to extremes. Restricting too many calories can slow down your metabolism. Also, exercising too much is not only unrealistic, but may set you up for injury – especially if the exercise is new to you.

 

  • Change your exercise routine If you haven’t been exercising, get started! Exercise is an important part of any weight loss program. If you are currently active, here are ways you can change your exercise routine.

*But always check with your doctor first before you change or increase your activity level.

  • Add variety. If walking or jogging is your main form of exercise, try alternating with swimming, cycling or a fun aerobics class – anything that will change up your routine. Varying your activities will force you to use different muscles and can jump start your metabolism.
  • Intensify your workouts. Try going a little faster on the treadmill, or use the incline feature so that you’re walking uphill.
  • Add some muscle. Try doing strength-building exercises, such as weight training. Strength training gives a metabolic boost by building more muscle, which burns more calories than fat.

 

  • Make sure you are eating enough. Some dieters actually make the mistake of eating too little. This can cause a slower metabolism. Your body requires adequate fuel in order to feel comfortable shedding body fat. Healthy, well balanced meals (and snacks) with plenty of lean protein, lots of veggies and small amounts of healthy fats will keep your metabolism up.

 

  • Vary your food choices. Just as you need to shake up your exercise routine, make sure your diet has a variety of nutrients. If you have oatmeal for breakfast every morning, try having eggs and whole-wheat toast. Salad with grilled chicken for lunch every day? How about a bean and veggie soup instead? Varying your nutrients can have an effect on how your body burns fuel.

 

 

(1.) http://www.mayoclinic.org/ Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

(2, 3, 4, 5) http://benefitoptions.az.gov/ Arizona Department of Admissions

Weight Loss Goals

  • Keep a Food Diary and write down everything that you eat. Also write down the portion sizes and the emotions you felt during each meal or snack to rule out any emotional eating.
  • Write a list of achievable and realistic weight loss goals to hang on your refrigerator. Make one goal every week. Some examples can be:

W eek 1: Limit carbonated beverages from your diet.goal

Week 2: Aim for 8 cups of non-caloric beverages a day.

Week 3: Eliminate Fried Foods/ Fast Food from your diet.

Week 4: Eat more fruits and vegetables.

  • Reach out for support from family, friends, and your bariatric team for motivation
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal. For example if your goal is to lose 50 lbs, buy yourself a new pair of shoes or get a manicure every time you lose 10 lbs. However, don’t reward yourself with food or anything that will get you off track with your weight loss goals.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself. It is okay to fall off your diet; we are all human and aren’t perfect. If you have a piece of cake one day, don’t give up on your diet, just exercise or eat less the next day.
  • Set up a schedule to weigh yourself. For instance, weight yourself once a week in the morning.scale
  • Avoid eating or snacking in front of the TV because this can lead to overeating, chew gum instead.
  • Don’t get up for seconds. Wait at least 10 minutes before deciding to eat more, often cravings will go away.
  • Instead of setting up a strict exercise regimen, take 10 minute walks scattered throughout your day.
  • Eliminate the white stuff such as white flour, rice, and pasta. Refined carbohydrates are empty calories. Instead, choose whole grains such a quinoa and brown rice because they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.bread

(4, 5) http://www.nchpad.org/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(9, 10) http://www.eatthis.com/ Eat This Not That

Meal Planning

  • Prepare food ahead of time: Chop veggies and store them in containers in the fridge. For example, cut enough carrots and cucumbers to eat for a snack and to add to a salad for dinner.
  • Invest in kitchen tools: There are many kitchen tools that make food preparation easier and save time, such as a crock-pot, george forman grill, immersion blender, juicer, and food processor. Some of these tools save you time while you do other things (crock-pot). Also these devices make it easier to make things like soups, smoothies, and healthy vegetable spreads.
  • Plan out your meals by what you already have on hand for the week: Look in the cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator for food items that can be used in a meal, then make your shopping list for foods that you will need for the rest of the week.
  • Change the way you prepare food: Grill, steam, or bake foods instead of frying. Make foods tasty with herbs and low fat seasoning in replace of salt. Cut back on added oils/fats. Use fat free/ low fat dressing, condiments, and sauces.
  • Watch Portion Sizes: Share an entree with a friend or save the other half for the doggie bag. Order an appetizer as the main dish. Eat off smaller plates and skip buffets.
  • Hug the supermarket walls: When grocery shopping, shop around the perimeter of the store. Grocery stores are designed with food aisles that lead to more nutrient dense foods. Shopping through the food aisles may temp you to buy food that you don’t need (chips, soda, candy). Produce, poultry, fish, and dairy are found around the perimeter of the store.
  • Buy fresh cut fruit/ veggies: Fruits and veggies can bought diced, julienne, or matchstick cut. Put these already prepared foods in a zip block bag for a healthy snack on the go.
  • Shop at the salad bar: If you are always on the go, shopping at the salad bar saves time in food preparation. Choose fruit, veggies, and already cut up poultry.
  • Freeze soups and sandwiches: If you do not have time to prepare a sandwich in the morning for lunch or make soup for dinner, prepare foods ahead of time and freeze leftover soups or already prepared sandwiches.
  • Use frozen vegetables or fruit: Frozen vegetables are convenient and are already chopped, which means less time to prepare them. Remember there is no difference in nutritional value between fresh and frozen. Both are equally healthy.
  • Heart Healthy Soups: Choose soups low in sodium; it makes a great quick lunch. Add a side dish of salad for dinner.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: Cut a 3 oz piece for dinner or add it to a salad or sandwich for lunch.
  • Canned/ Ready to eat foods: Canned vegetables or fruit made with 100% of its own juice, peanut butter, beans, and vegetable spreads.
  • Cook more than you need for one meal: It’s great to have leftovers that can be used for lunch or dinner the next day. Cook at least twice the amount you need and store it in the fridge to add to other meals.

 

(1.) Commonhealth.virginia.gov Common Health

(2.) dhs.state.ia.us Iowa State University CMS Admin

(3.) nhlbi.nih.gov U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

 

Healthy Holiday Tips

  • Instead of using a ladle spoon to fill up your plate, use a tablespoon so your portions will be smaller.
  • Use appetizer plates instead of a dinner plate. When eyeballing a buffet of foods to choose from at a party, pick hors d’oeuvres that contain vegetables, fruits, and protein.
  • Take smaller bites, studies have shown that people, who eat slower and chew thoroughly, trick their brain into thinking that they eat more than they actually do!
  • Instead of grazing throughout the day, think of activities to do with family such as walking around the neighborhood to look at holiday decorations, play a game, or make holiday decorations such as ornaments, a ginger bread house, or a snow globe.
  • Modify recipes with alternative ingredients such as two egg whites for one whole egg and replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk for cheese cake or cream pies. Top with fresh berries or fruit. Also, you can replace cake with a fruit salad or make individual parfaits for the family made with fresh fruit and greek yogurt.
  • Exchange fitness gifts with friends and family such as active wear, exercise equipment, or a healthy recipe book.
  • Don’t drink your calories! Aim for 8 cups of non-caloric beverages, our bodies often confuses thirst with hunger, so drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you eat a meal high in calories, take it easy for the next meal. It takes 500 calories more a day to gain 1 pound per week. Remember 3,500 calories equals 1 pound. Therefore, eat 500 calories less per day to lose a pound per week.
  • Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep. People who typically don’t get enough sleep feel fatigue throughout the day and will eat more.

(4,5) http://www.cpmc.org

(3)   http://www.eatingwell.com/