Sunday, April 18, 2010

Food 101: Top 10 “Must Haves” for an Anti-Aging Diet (Part I)

Things sort of go in cycles, don’t they?

I've been posting a lot about the spiritual aspects of life. And in that time, I've noticed that I have neglected the "body" side of The Universal Soul.

Now that the weather is warming and SPRING is in the air, it's a time for so many people to rejuvenate themselves, their routines, and even their New Year's Resolutions. Personally, I am challenging myself to step up my workouts and recommit to my yoga routines because—to be frank with you all—I’ve been doing the minimum.

A while back I started to put together a “Food 101” study for you. Today, I came across it… and spruced it up! And now, I'd like to share it with you all as we dive into SPRING! I hope this user-friendly guide is practical, informative, and inspiring. Simply, I hope this two-part series will give you the lowdown on the path to a healthy, anti-aging diet.

I was sure to base this list off research and my personal experiences. Since I dramatically overhauled my diet a bit more than a year ago, I’ve seen a huge difference in so many ways. My skin is clearer and looks younger than before. My hair is healthier and shines more. I’ve lost weight and have kept it off easily with my current (still in need of improvement) exercise routine. I have more energy, and most importantly, I am healthier and feeling better than I ever did before.

So I was thinking… Why not share that journey with you?

I am no one special, but with this realistic approach, I was able to get results that any woman could feel great about. Each month I added something good to my diet while removing something that was bad. I kept thinking, “I have to start small for this to stick.”

At first, it was hard to give up so many yummy treats, quick meals, and greasy snacks. And I’m not going to lie; they taste amazing. And like all of you, I love comfort food (particularly chips and dip or ice cream before bed). But once I started to see and feel the results, it was easier for me to continue down the road to ultimate health…

It’s a road I am still traveling down now. And like everybody, I have my ups and downs, and I have my good weeks and bad weeks… There aren’t any quick fixes or cure-alls like many drug, food, and exercise companies want you to believe. Ultimate health is really about hard work, dedication, and a long journey toward lifestyle changes.



TOP 10 “Must Haves” (#1-5)

1. Berries and Citrus-

a. What’s great about it? Berries and citrus aren’t only great-tasting and refreshing; they’re rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. That alone should inspire you to eat or juice your fruits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which fights free radicals. Free radicals cause aging and disease. Just remember the darker the berry, the bigger the punch, when it comes to antioxidants.
b. How do I do it? To get a lot of berries into my diet, I started putting them in pancakes and on a low fat dollop of ice cream. I also mix them with nuts for a snack or dessert.


2. Nuts-
a. What’s great about it? Walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews… they’re all good for you. Eating nuts fills you up which helps weight control, and a high intake of nuts dramatically cuts down on heart disease. According to Women’s Fitness, nuts help “your digestive and immune systems, improve your skin, and help control or prevent cancer.”
b. How do I do it? I upped my nut intake by putting them in my salads and on my dollop of low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt (along with berries of course) I also use them as a way to stay away from the vending machines, which are dangerous to a healthy diet. I just keep a pack of pecans in my desk at work at all times; they’re my favorite. Every time I get a bit hungry, I snack on them without any guilt.


3. Green Tea-
a. What’s great about it? According to Wellsphere, “Green tea is famous for being a strong antioxidant that exonerates toxic substances from the body.” It’s also been known to improve mental acuity, improve heart health, regulate blood sugar, and improve digestion. What’s it secret? It’s loaded with antioxidants.
b. How do I do it? It’s easy to have a glass of green tea every day, especially if you make it your special routine. I crave a glass as soon as I get home from work. I take my vitamins with it, and it helps me relax. Use green tea to replace your sugary drinks.


4. Fish-
a. What’s great about it? Seafood is essential to healthy living, not to mention, it fights the aging process with its omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume fish twice weekly. Be sure the seafood you are eating had scales. Seafood without scales, such as crustaceans, doesn’t have the essential nutrients and aren’t protected from mercury absorption. And of course, “wild” fish is highly preferred over farmed fish.
b. How do I do it? To get more fish in my life, I said goodbye to chicken. The only meat I eat is chicken, turkey, and seafood. Typically I would order meals with chicken or eat chicken at home. Know I’ve replaced my “meat” portion of my meal with wild salmon or whatever fresh wild fish my hubby picks up from the store.


5. Yogurt-
a. What’s great about it? According to WebMD, yogurt “has all the benefits of dairy foods, plus probiotics that help add healthy bacteria to the intestines.” It is recommended by many doctors that you eat a yogurt that has active cultures each day. Typically, one package of yogurt will be enough to fulfill you three daily dairy servings.
b. How do I do it? This is the ideal snack, breakfast, or dessert replacement. Yogurt is so versatile. Just pick how you’ll replace one aspect of your diet every day, and let yogurt be it’s substitute. With all the flavors and packaging out there, you’re sure to find the kind that works for you. I love vanilla and coffee low fat Yoplait yogurts for dessert or my afternoon snack. Drop so berries and nuts in a vanilla yogurt for an impromptu parfait.

*If possible, it is essential to buy local, organic, natural foods.

In Part II, I’ll share the second half of “Must Haves” for an anti-aging diet.

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Recipes that promise to be DELICIOUSLY tasty and healthy:
Dessert-- Citrus-Berry Parfait from Women’s Health:
http://womenshealth.coverleaf.com/womenshealth/201004?pg=80#pg80
Snack/Breakfast-- Emeril's Whole Lotta Nuts Granola: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Breakfast/recipe?id=7281615
Dinner-- Paula Deen’s Pecan Coated Fish with Remoulade Sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pecan-coated-fish-with-remoulade-sauce-recipe/index.html
Lunch/Salad--Mixed Greens with Berries and Honey-Glazed Hazelnuts: http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/mixed-greens-berries-honey-glazed-hazelnuts-recipe-5216

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/anti-aging-diet
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet/anti-aging-diet-tips
http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/food-labels.html
http://www.time-to-run.com/nutrition/worstfoods.htm
http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/4-most-harmful-ingredients-in-packaged-foods/article14901.html
http://www.womenfitness.net/anti_aging_food.htm
http://www.talbottteas.com/green_black_rooibos_tea_health_benefits.html

1 comment:

  1. One scientific way to boost mental acuity is taking supplement that is composed of berries. Berries are rich in phytonutrients that help improve neuroal and cognitive brain function.

    ReplyDelete

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