Month: May 2012

A Tip “You’ve Never Heard Of”

After my previous post on not fearing fat, I smiled to myself this weekend when I came across the following article in June’s InStyle  — “3 Take-It-Off Tips You’ve Never Heard Of” with the 2nd tip being:

DON’T SKIM THE FAT – Pour some whole milk into your A.M. coffee, and slip your spoon into 2 percent Greek yogurt instead of fat-free. “The extra fat actually slows the absorption of sugar into your blood, which helps prevent it from being stored as fat,” says Slayton. “Plus, it’s more satiating.”

I guess this tip is unfortunately one that many have never heard of, but it makes sense.  The fat slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. In addition, it can help you to have a more satisfied yet thinner tummy (when combined with an overall healthy diet and exercise, of course). I’m happy to see that mainstream media is starting to spread the healthier word on this topic!

What’s the Beef?

A healthy FYI for all of you meat eaters: When buying beef, it’s best to buy grass-fed since it contains more beneficial omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), but less saturated fat and calories than grain-fed beef. If you opt for organic then the beef should also be free of antibiotics, hormones, nitrates, and other harmful additives.  Wondering what CLA is good for? CLA is believed to improve heart health, reduce cancer risk and increase lean muscle mass.

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Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in grass-fed meat and dairy, are changing the way we think about fat. More and more science is showing the benefits of certain fats and the low-fat craze isn’t as crazy as it once was, but you can definitely still see remnants of this craze left and right when you look at common misconceptions still affecting store shelves and consumer choices today.  There was a point in time when it was being portrayed as if every fat was bad for us – no egg yolks, no butter, etc . Interestingly enough, we have we seen a dramatic increase in obesity with the increase of low-fat and non-fat products.

So I have to break the news – the healthy, slender people of the world are not living on sugar-free, diet, non-fat, low-fat, reduced-fat, low-sodium processed foods. You’ll find that the healthiest and happiest among us tend to have a diet of mainly whole foods. Those flavorful, nutrient-dense, wonderful foods in their original form. Yes, whole foods not only taste better, but are far more satisfying than their processed versions. In addition, you are much less likely to overeat when you’re eating whole foods.

Think about it: You have that 50 calorie yogurt that has no fat yet it has artificial flavors, colors and 30 grams of sugar.  Does that sound healthy? Does that sound like something your body will easily know how to process? NO and NO!

We need fat because fats provide us with a concentrated source of energy. Not to mention, they are the main material for cell membranes and various hormones. Without fat in your diet it is extremely hard to feel satiated and if you don’t feel satiated then you are going to keep eating… Is anyone getting skinnier with that equation? Nope.  The low-fat craze demonized all fats and neglected to inform consumers of the fact that fat has healthy forms and fat has a good and essential place in our diets!

So if you want to consume a healthy, balanced diet, you have to include the right fats. These good fats are found in a wide range of foods like fish, meat, milk, cheese, nuts, and olives. Even butter – yes, the real deal golden bar (again, organic grass-fed is best and the yellower it is the more nutritious it is) – is actually beneficial in small amounts and when eaten with something like steamed broccoli, it helps your body absorb the broccoli’s nutrients. Also, butter is much better for you than margarine – that scary  man-made, chemically altered fat.

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So remember that not all fats are the enemy and there are many sources of healthy fat, which should be included on a daily basis in a well-balanced diet!

Oolong Tea: Field to Cup

By far one of my favorite places to consume tea is the Samovar Tea Lounge in the Yerba Buena Gardens of San Francisco.  I love that little piece of heaven so much that I even subscribe to their newsletter (I keep my subscriptions to a bare minimum).  When I received today’s, I just had to share these beautiful pictures of oolong tea being processed on the Big Island of Hawaii. As the newsletter describes, this is a “Hawaii-grown oolong with notes of caramelized raisins, and a mellow sour cherry astringency finish. Good for many delicate infusions.” Sounds interesting, right?

Tools of the Trade

Which Leaves to Pick?
Ready for Picking
Oolong in the Making
Hand Firing
Hand Rolling
Inspecting The Goods: Oolong Getting Rolled & Withered

Tasting Time

{source: SAMOVAR TEA LOUNGE}

Hope this gives you even more of an appreciation for your next cup of tea! Enjoy the weekend. ~Annie

Have 5 Minutes?

I promise that this video is worth the next 5 minutes of your time. It’s a truly incredible reminder to appreciate what we have and to never give up on a brighter tomorrow.

(Unfortunately, the words get caught off a bit so here is the link also:    Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation!)

Ultra Relaxed Breathing

The next time you’re doing some deep breathing, you can relax even more if you do the following:

  • Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, directly against the back of your upper teeth
  • Proceed to breathe in and out

Why is this more relaxing? The positioning of your tongue stimulates cross-lobe integration and relaxation in the brain.

Source: unknown

Give this a try and let me know if you notice the difference!