Archive for August, 2012
Cavemen are no longer prevalent in this country, but their eating habits have not died out. Does that surprise you? The idea may be surprising, but if you hear the theory behind it, you might be surprised at how much sense it makes. Cavemen dominated the world for a really long time. What they ate defined what was healthy for humans to eat in general. In comparison, the current western diet has been around for less than a century and new diseases are popping up continuously. There could perhaps be a link there!
This is called the Paleolithic diet or, in short, Paleo diet. Although, it is healthier on this diet to eat whole foods, some ready-made foods are also ok to eat. For example, paleo breakfast foods are eaten as a popular snack and at breakfast. Paleo jerky is also something you can make yourself or buy from a store. This is a wonderful snack that you can treat as a quick fix when you suddenly feel hungry while you’re out of the house.
What are the foods that you can eat with the paleo diet? You can eat nuts and dried fruits as well as fresh fruits, although berries are encouraged over other types of fruit. Meat with lots and lots of vegetables is also recommended. Even some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes as yam are allowed, although preferably not in huge portions. Surprisingly, chocolates are allowed. But they should be classified as dark chocolate, with over 80% cocoa content. Basically wholesome foods with minimal processing is considered healthier. This is precisely the reason why sugar and highly processed foods aren’t the healthiest food for you.
This diet has caught on in recent years as more and more people are looking for more nutritious alternatives to our unhealthy diet. In some ways, the paleo diet is a form of the low carb diet. If you go into your local grocery store, you’ll probably find that many breakfast food low in carbs claim to be both low carb and paleo The paleo diet takes us back to our ancestral roots. The eating habits of the cavemen and women in the past are supposed to be emulated by us. This does not mean you have to catch your own food and proceed to eat it fresh and raw! It’s really just another explanation for why fresh wholesome ingredients are healthier for you.
It’s obviously great if you make your own foods with fresh ingredients daily, but for most of us, that’s simply not possible. Aside from the responsibility of preparing our kids and bringing them to school, we do have to go to work every day. You could probably prepare something over the weekend. What should you eat, then, during weekdays? As I wrote above, there is luckily ready made food for you to buy in the supermarkets now. These foods contain no preservatives, no food coloring, and no random chemicals. They also contain no grains and no sugar. Usually their carbohydrate content is also fairly low. This makes it easier for you to enjoy healthy and great-tasting food without going through all the trouble of preparing them. These premade foods tend to be pricey, though, because not a lot of people know about them yet. As more and more people realize the health risks of eating too much donuts, pasta, soda and other fast food fare, you can expect an increase in the demand for these types of healthy foods. When that happens their prices will most likely be more reasonable.
We all want to be healthy, but we can only be so good. It is a Herculean task, to say the least, to avoid those sweet cakes and sugar cookies when we are so tired and famished. During those times, I fervently wish there were more low carb snacks like these as alternatives to those brownies and yummy treats. Then my hunger and temptation would cause me to stray from my diet so much. It’s all very well to tell someone that they should just make sure they never get into that situation by always eating throughout the day and carrying food around with them, but it’s simply unrealistic to expect that to happen!
It’s not as simple as described to carry snacks around throughout the day as a quick fix when you feel hungry. You can hardly expect food that you’ve prepared for dinner or lunch to easily fit a small pouch or a pocket. Plus there is that awkwardness of having to carry a spoon and fork around with you. Low carb dieters practically have their pick of low carb blogs with recipes they can try, but to turn them into low carb snacks is a different matter altogether.
It is preferable for snacks to be ready to eat, filling and does not require much except carrying around. Of course they should also be tasty. No one would want to eat a bad tasting snack no matter how healthy or easy to carry it is! That explains the scarcity or shortage of low carb snacks. All those criteria have to be met, and it really isn’t easy to do that.
So what low carb snacks are there? Yes, low carb snacks exist. There are vegetables, for one. Some places even sell ready to eat celery sticks. They are quite easy to be lugging around. You can pop one into your mouth whenever you want. There isn’t a lot of satisfaction to be had, though, since it is not really very filling. I find myself wanting something else after eating celery sticks.
What are our other options then? Nuts are common low carb snacks. Having low carb content, these nuts are healthy snacks. There are many flavors you can choose from and they also come in mixed packages. Some packets have dried fruits mixed in too. Just as these dried fruits and nuts gained popularity, so did the number of varieties being sold now in the market. Brazil nuts and cashews and other exotic nuts and dried fruits can now be enjoyed as well. As manufacturers attempt to meet this renewed interest in nuts, they have tried to make them taste better. It’s just too bad that some of them go about it by adding more sugar and making them unhealthy as a result. Be careful when buying nuts. The ingredients should not include sugar.
55 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.There are no guarantees, but for those who work the program with consistency and dedication, The Biggest Loser: The Workout–Weight Loss Yoga‘s promise that “pound-shedding results” can be achieved in six to eight weeks is no idle claim. Led by instructor Bob Harper, this 55-minute regimen offers three separate yoga workouts, sandwiched between 5-minute warm-up and cool-down sections; a menu option gives users the opportunity to practice the workouts in any order or quantity. The first and longest of the trio is a vinyasa series (a vinyasa is a connected sequence of yoga asanas) focusing on core strength via a variety of lunges, stretches, downward- and upward-facing dog, standing poses (triangle, warrior one and two, extended right angle), plank, and more; the second focuses on abs work and backbends; and the third is a more standard gym-type workout that can be done with or without hand weights. Make no mistake about it: much of this work is quite rigorous, and even experienced yogis and yoginis can expect to be challenged. But Harper’s instruction is friendly and encouraging, with frequent reminders about the importance of the breath (“as long as you’re breathing, you’re perfect”), variations provided for those not yet up to speed, and opportunities to rest. Perhaps best of all, instead of gorgeous bodies in designer outfits doing perfect poses, we’re watching mortals who are not all buff, flexible, and strong (some can’t even touch their toes) and whose form is at times less than perfect. These folks don’t make yoga look easy, because it’s not. But anyone with a serious yoga practice–and this is a good place to start–knows that its benefits are both profound and, if you stick with it, permanent. –Sam Graham