Daily Archives: July 11, 2012
30 Summer Foods For Weight Loss
Strawberries: Who can resist a bowl of juicy red berries? Pop ’em freely, because they’re the perfect summer snack: filling, light on calories and laden with nutrients from omega 3 fats to cancer-fighting polyphenols. Just half a cup of strawberries provides over 70 percent of your daily Vitamin C, plus fiber and an array of antioxidants.
Cherries: Sweet, juicy cherries contain just 87 calories per cup — and if you enjoy them three times weekly in place of heavier desserts, you could shed up to five pounds this summer alone, say researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bonus: Cherries are loaded with anthocyanins — antioxidants that University of Nebraska researchers say can help kill cancer cells and lower your liver’s production of artery-clogging cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.
Plums: “Whether eaten whole, dried or pureed into sauces, plums are low in calories and a good source of both dietary fibers and Vitamin C,” says Keller. Dried plums (also known as prunes) are the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack, and they make a rich, sweet dessert when stewed into compote. Plus, they can help suppress appetite thanks to their low glycemic load.
Squash: From pattypan to zucchini, summer squash delivers major vitamins and nutrients (including magnesium, potassium and copper), to the tune of a mere 80 calories per half cup. With its bright colors and earthy flavor, squash makes the perfect side dish to any meal. On BBQ days, toss zucchini on the grill.
Bell Peppers: “Sweet red peppers are such a good source of beta carotene, and top the charts of vegetables for that important antioxidant,” says Keller. “Green bell peppers also contain generous amounts of Vitamin C.” Peppers, like zucchini, grill up beautifully…for a rich, colorful side dish that fills you up on just a few calories.
Mangoes: Dense with antioxidants — plus protein and omega 3 fats — mangoes are a delicious, low-calorie way to bulk up meals with exotic flavor, ensuring “healthy” fare doesn’t fall into a rut. Toss on top of oatmeal or yogurt, in salads and even in stir-fries.
Parsley: This often-overlooked herb is packed with slimming potential. According to USDA researchers, each cup contains 984 micrograms of vitamin K — a nutrient that prevents fluid retention and flushes out bloat, helping women shed three pounds of excess water weight if they serve it up daily. Use parsley to add a seasonal flare to salads, and add it to dressings, mayonnaise, omelettes, rice and potato dishes, soups, burgers and other main course meals to balance and brighten their natural flavors.
Beets: “One of the real gems found in beets is the B vitamin folate,” a key nutrient for women, says Keller. “Beets help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.” Naturally sweet and agreeably buttery, beets can turn a salad into something special without adding lots of calories
Figs: “If Mother Nature had a vote for her ultimate superfruit, figs would be it,” says Dr. Paul Gross, author of Superfruits. And why not? They pack fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins for heart health into one incredibly sweet, low-cal fruit. Having been around for 6,000 years, figs might have even kept Cleopatra trim. For a snack that sticks with you, try the black mission figs — the seeds release even more nutrients and omega fats then the flesh itself.
Blackberries: The superstars of the slimming fruits, blackberries contain just 62 calories per cup, they’re packed with six grams of appetite-taming fiber, plus they’re low in sugar, fat-free and packed with berry flavor! Even better, they’re a great source of manganese — a tough-to-find mineral that helps muscle cells soak up and burn fats — all-told, helping women shed up to 14 pounds per year, if they enjoy one cup daily, say University of Maryland researchers. Bonus: Tufts University research shows that blackberries contain 220 percent more cancer-fighting antioxidants than even broccoli.
Garlic: Sneak one clove into a meal, and your hunger pangs could disappear within 10 minutes of enjoying the first few bites, according to studies at Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. “The enticing odor of garlic activates the hypothalamus — your brain’s satiety center — helping you feel genuinely full long before your tummy is uncomfortably full,” says lead researcher Alan Hirsch, M.D. Bonus: A University of South Carolina study shows that eating just one clove of garlic daily can slash your risk of stomach cancer by 30 percent. Credit goes to garlic’s allicin and quercetin — powerful antioxidants that shuts down the growth of suspicious cells in the digestive tract.
Peaches: Why pass up dessert when the “stone fruits” of summer (think peaches and nectarines) can make for a guilt-free sweet treat? Tossed on the grill, peaches and nectarines get even more flavorful as the heat caramelizes their natural sugars. Top with low-fat ice cream, and you won’t feel one bit deprived.
Pluots: These tasty fruits (which are sometimes sold under the name dinosaur eggs due to their odd coloring) are actually part plum and part apricot. And if a sweet tooth is killing your efforts to stick to a healthy diet, enjoying two of them daily could be your ticket to slim. Pluots have an intense, sweet flavor and delicate, fruity scent — and when their distinctive taste and smell reach your brain’s olfactory nerve, they can shut down sugar cravings in as little as five minutes.
Watermelon: If you’re looking for a slimming snack, watermelon can’t be beat. You’d have to eat six cups of the stuff to get the calories in just half a cup of Haagen-Daz vanilla ice cream! And watermelon’s no slouch in the beauty-boosting department, either. According to Tufts University researchers, it’s loaded with lycopene — a plant compound that acts like an internal sunblock, upping your protection against damaging UV rays by as much as 46 percent, helping to prevent collagen damage and skin sagging.
Cantaloupe: According to USDA researchers, this melon is one of the most filling fruits you can find — eating just half a cup squashes hunger pangs for two hours at a stretch. An added perk: Cantaloupe is packed with vitamin A — a nutrient that a study in Environmental Nutrition says can help block the buildup of artery-clogging plaque, cutting your risk of heart disease as much as 33 percent.
Blueberries: Blueberries improve circulation and fight free-radical damage to cells and tissues, says Keller. They’re also super low-cal. Enjoy them on top of oatmeal, in whole-grain muffins, as a garnish for BBQ meats and even pureed into hamburger patties for added moistness and flavor!
Green Beans: Add half a cup of green beans to your evening meal and you’ll feel full almost twice as quickly — and stay full for three hours straight, say Stanford University researchers. Credit green beans’ appetite-controlling blend of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and fiber. And here’s the kicker: According to Stanford studies, green beans are also high in anti-inflammatory enzymes — compounds that can help flush excess water weight out of cellulite-prone areas.
Buffalo Burgers: No need to give up red meat when you’re grilling. Bison (or buffalo) burger is naturally lean, far lower in fat and calories than beef, chicken or pork. Plus, it’s a great source of iron and omega 3 fats. Try the patties open-faced with half a bun, and hold the cheese and mayo while piling on the mustard, relish and salsa.
Cherry Tomatoes: When it comes to fat-burning potential, cherry tomatoes are off the charts. According to Yale University researchers, just adding a cup of these sweet gems to your daily diet could help you shed up to three pounds every month — without making any mega diet changes. Credit goes to the cherry tomatoes’ antioxidants — including naringenin, rutin and kaempferol — which soak liver cells and fire up their ability to burn stored fat for fuel.
Kohlrabi: Never tried it? It looks like a funky cross between a cabbage and a turnip but it actually tastes vaguely like a peeled broccoli stem (only milder and sweeter). Kohlrabi is great raw — in salads and coleslaws — plus it’s delicious grilled, roasted and stir-fried. And according to Stanford University researchers, kohlrabi is rich in choline, potassium and phosphorus — nutrients that energize your central nervous system, helping you exercise harder without running out of steam.
Sweet Corn: Few things say summer like freshly picked corn on the cob. And if you love carbs — and have a tough time fighting off the urge to nosh them nonstop — then this is the veggie for you. Each cob contains three grams of appetite-taming protein, plus 138 milligrams of phenylalanine — an amino acid that quickly soaks into brain cells, where it dampens carb cravings for up to three hours. Corn is also one of nature’s top sources of lutein and zeaxanthin — antioxidants that stall the growth of vision-robbing cataracts, say Yale researchers.
Tomatillos: They look like baby green tomatoes, but they’ve actually got a tangy, citrusy flavor that goes great with a multitude of Mexican dishes, including guacamole, salsa verde, enchiladas, soups…you name it. Tomatillos contain just 11 calories each, plus they’re a great source of appetite-suppressing minerals. Feeling frazzled? Tomatillos are also rich in withanolides — plant compounds that help calm the adrenal glands, say researchers at the Swedish Herbal Institute in York, Maine.
Bartlett Pears: They’re the most popular pear world-wide, and for good reason: Penn State studies suggest eating one each morning can help you effortlessly trim 190 calories out of your daily diet — and 12 pounds off your figure every year. The act of chewing, plus the rich, satisfying flavor of these juicy pears, soothes the hypothalamus — the region of your brain that fuels powerful hunger pangs and cravings, say Stanford University researchers.
Chilies: Jalapenos, habaneros, serranos, fresnos…these mouth-watering fruits (yes, they’re fruits!) can do a lot more than just jazz up your favorite soups and chilies. According to a British research team, their active ingredient — capsaicin — can also boost your fat-burning metabolic rate by 10 percent for up to three hours at a stretch. Another fiery fact: Canadian research shows that chilies suppress appetite, helping you feel full on 200 fewer calories per meal.
Lima Beans: To lose weight at a steady clip, you need to keep your blood sugar levels low, since your body will only dip into your fat stores if its supply of easy-to-burn sugars dries up, says Larrian Gillespie, M.D., author of You’re Not Crazy, It’s Your Hormones. And that’s where lima beans come in handy. According to Australian researchers, they’re packed with fiber and plant proteins — molecules that stall carb absorption in the intestines, plus help your muscles burn blood sugar before it can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Enjoy half a cup daily, and you could speed your weight loss by 50 percent, the study authors say.
Shallots: They’re from the same family as onions, but these milder bulbs won’t bring tears to your eyes when you slice them. Despite their mild nature, shallots are loaded with sulfur — a nutrient that helps your hard-working organs burn carbs for fuel before they can be stowed away as fat, say Stanford University researchers. Sulfur is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps kill off H. pylori — the troublesome bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, add researchers at Albany’s State University of New York.
Grapes: Scientists measure how much foods mess with your blood sugar — and your ability to lose weight — by using a scale called the glycemic index. Lower numbers are better, and that’s where grapes really shine. According to studies at Australia’s University of Sydney, these tasty little globes have a glycemic index of 43 — and that means they’re as good at keeping your blood sugar steady and helping you lose weight as bran cereals and chick peas! Got an achy back? Purple and red grapes are loaded with resveratrol — an antioxidant that relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow to damaged back tissues and speeding their healing, says Mark Stengler, N.D., author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies.
Romaine Lettuce: Fat-blasting fact: A large romaine lettuce leaf contains just one calorie — plus it’s fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free! Need more incentive? Romaine is rich in folic acid — a B vitamin that can actually reverse cervical dysplasia (a precancerous condition that can progress to cervical cancer). Folic acid soaks into the cervix and forces abnormal cells to either grow normally or die, say University of Florida researchers. Use romaine to add an impressive crunch to your sandwiches — or turn the leaves into “pockets” to hold chicken, cheese, veggies and other fillings.
Kiwis: These sweet, tart treats are now showing up in even the smallest grocery stores. And nibbling one or two of them daily could help you reach your weight loss goals a whole lot sooner. That’s because kiwis are loaded with chlorophyll — a green pigment that heals and energizes the liver, increasing this organ’s ability to burn fat for fuel, says Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of Dr. Susan Lark’s Hormone Revolution. Another perk: A study published in the journal Thorax suggests that the kiwi’s healing vitamin C and chlorophyll can help cut lung troubles — like shortness of breath and wheezing during exercise — by as much as 32 percent.
Gala Apples: They start cropping up in August, and their mild, sweet flavor, thin skin, small size and resistance to bruising makes them one of the most loved apples nationwide. Munch one before lunch and another before supper, and Brazilian researchers say you could effortlessly shed three pounds of fat in one month. The reason? Apples are nature’s number one source of pectin — a soluble fiber that blocks the absorption of dietary fats. Good news: Apples are also rich in quercetin and ellagic acid — compounds that cut your liver’s production of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol by 34 percent, say researchers at the University of California at Davis.
The 7 Super Foods Of The Bible
Trying to eat healthy? Start by opening your Bible to Deuteronomy 8:8, where the Israelites are promised “a good land…, a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.” The ancients might not have known the word “antioxidant,” but they were onto something with this list of biblical “super-foods.” Explore this gallery to find out exactly how on-target they were.
This grain, which is found in everything from bread to pasta to cakes, is healthier when it is refined as little as possible. Whole-wheat products (those that are certified 100% whole wheat) contain 30 percent of your recommended daily fiber intake, as well as high levels of manganese and magnesium. A diet rich in whole grains is also thought to increase your energy level and lower your risk of type-2 diabetes, gallstones, and other health issues.
Another whole grain, barley can be found in breads and cereals, as well as in hearty winter soups. High in fiber, barley is good for intestinal health and can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of colon cancer and type-2 diabetes if eaten regularly. Barley also contains trace amounts of copper, which have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Everyone knows that grape juice and red wine are tasty—but healthy? Grapes contain nutritional compounds called flavonoids, which are believed to reduce your risk of blood clots and protect your body from damage by the “free radicals” found in LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Rich in antioxidants, grapes may provide protection against cardiovascular disease, particularly in women.
These sweet fruits, eaten either dried or fresh, are high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure. They are also high in dietary fiber, which may help you lose weight, and they are a fruit source of calcium, which can help preserve bone density. Fig leaves, which are not typically eaten but can be made into an extract, are thought to help lower insulin levels in diabetics.
These strange-looking seed fruits are back in vogue as health-giving super-foods, particularly in juice form. The fruits are rich in antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from doing its damage, and it helps prevent blood clots by keeping blood platelets from clumping together. Pomegranates may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer and lessen the symptoms of arthritis.
Olives, and the extra-virgin oil that is made from a single pressing of the fruit, contain many of the antioxidants that are thought to protect against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol compounds. They also are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are called “the healing fats” because they lower the effects of “bad” cholesterol while raising “good” cholesterol levels. High in vitamin E, olive oil also is thought to protect against colon cancer, and it is helpful in fighting gastritis and other stomach ailments.
Raw honey, in addition to being a natural sweetener, is replete with antioxidants and is considered to be an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance. It is thought to have tumor-fighting properties, and may help prevent colon cancer. The daily consumption of a spoonful of honey is said to increase antioxidant levels in the blood, and is the healthiest sweetener for type-2 diabetics. Honey also may have wound-healing and muscle-regenerating properties.
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Our Daily Bread – Sweet Slumber
READ: Leviticus 26:1-12
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
Photographer Anne Geddes has made an art form out of taking pictures of sleeping babies. Her photos evoke smiles. Nothing is a better image of peace than a sleeping child.
But between naps and nighttime, caring for children is an exhausting and relentless responsibility. In their innocence and enthusiasm, children can get themselves into life-threatening situations in no time. After a hectic day of chasing, entertaining, protecting, feeding, dressing, guarding, guiding, and making peace between squabbling siblings, parents are eager for bedtime. After the toys are put away and the pajamas are put on, the sleepy toddler slows down, cuddles with mom or dad for a bedtime story, and finally falls asleep. Later, before putting themselves to bed, parents check on their children one more time to make sure all is peaceful in dreamland. The serene beauty of a sleeping child makes all the day’s frustrations worthwhile.
Scripture indicates that God’s ideal condition for His children is peace (Lev. 26:6), but too often in our immaturity we get into trouble and cause conflict. Like parents of young children, God desires for us to become weary of wrongdoing and to rest in the safety and contentment of His loving ways. —Julie Ackerman Link
Lord, help me not to squabble and cause friction
with others about unimportant matters.
May I instead find rest in Your love and wisdom,
and seek peace. Amen.
In His will is our peace. —Dante
Copyright © 2012, RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49555 USA
Understand His Will
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17, NKJV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen
Faith begins where the will of God is known. If you don’t understand God’s will, how can you have faith in what He wants to do in your life? Scripture says that when we understand His will, we are wise. How do you know what God’s will is? By reading and studying His Word. He tells us in scripture that His plans are for our good. He tells us that He takes pleasure in prospering His children. He tells us that His desire is for us to live in health, peace and joy.
Today and every day, take time to develop your faith by reading His Word and connecting with the Father through prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your Bible study time. He is your helper, and He desires to reveal the will of the Father to your heart. As you submit your life to Him, you will understand His will and walk in supernatural wisdom in every area of your life!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me Your Word which contains Your promises. I commit myself to You to study and learn so that I may know You and Your goodness. I invite You to work in and through me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen
© 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
You Can Pass The Test
by Joyce Meyer – posted July 11, 2012
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. — James 1:2-4
When life is filled with tests and trials, you sometimes feel like throwing in the towel. You are tempted to think God doesn’t know where you are and what you’re going through . . . or that He doesn’t care. But God permits tests in your life so He can bless you. And if you are faithful, you will see good results.
If you want to enjoy your Christian life and be used by God to help others, you must maintain a godly attitude during the time of testing. So cooperate with God and display an attitude of faith, and you will pass the test with flying colors!
From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Slimkicker Challenge + Giveaway (CLOSED)
Hello Guys & Gals,
Are you looking for a challenge?
Do you want to be rewarded?
Then listen up! This message is for you!
During this day and age everyone is making healthier choices. Whether it’s eating more fruits & veggies. Being more active. Or drinking more water. Whatever it is we are all contributing to a better well being. So why not be rewarded for all of your hard efforts. That’s where this challenge comes into play. Slimkicker.com and myself have teamed up together to provide you an opportunity to challenge yourself to the next level in healthy living. First let me give you a little background about slimkicker.com. They are a diet tracker/game program that turns your everyday diet and fitness goals into points, rewards and challenges. They solve this by taking habits like quitting soda or giving up sweets, and turning them into 7-30 day challenges. Like a regular game, the challenges start out easy, and gradually become harder, where more points are rewarded for your hard work.
So to enter the contest all you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW on a FUN & CREATIVE fitness or diet challenge you are willing to do for 7 days. Please limit suggestions to 1-2 sentences. Contest is for ONE WEEK ONLY. At the end of the contest we will pick our favorite and announce the winner who will win this cool prize. A Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker and Steamer.
So, are you up for the challenge. I AM!
To signup for Slimkicker’s great reward program and to get some tasty recipes visit them online at Slimkicker.com