Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Tag Archives: healthy eating

7 Foods that Do the Weight-Loss Work for You

By EatingWell Magazine

Do you want to lose weight for good in the new year? Try increasing your daily fiber intake in the form of nutrient-rich high-fiber foods. Why fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 1/2 pounds of weight lost.

Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams.

Here are 7 fiber-rich foods that help do the weight-loss work for you.

1. Apples: A medium apple (3-inch diameter) contains 4 grams of fiber; a large apple (3 1/4-inch diameter) has 5. Apples also offer a bit of vitamin C and potassium.

2. Green Beans: One cup boasts 4 grams of fiber, plus a healthy dose (30% daily value) or skin-helping vitamin C.

3. Sweet Potatoes: A medium-size baked sweet potato (2 inches wide, 5 inches long…a little larger than your computer mouse), skin included, offers 5 grams of fiber-for just 103 calories. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse: providing 438% daily value of eye-healthy vitamin A (eat these foods to help you see more clearly), 37% daily value of vitamin C, plus some potassium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

4. Raspberries: Raspberries are a great source of fiber-some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber. Raspberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

5. Strawberries: One cup of strawberries has a respectable 3 grams of fiber and more than a full day’s recommended dose of vitamin C-an antioxidant that helps keep skin healthy.

6. Chickpeas: Just 3/4 cup of chickpeas has a whopping 8 grams of fiber! You also get a good amount of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which play a role in forming healthy new cells.

7. Pumpkin: A cup of cooked pumpkin contains 3 grams of fiber. You also get vitamin A (245% daily value), vitamins C, E and potassium.

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5 Foods to Prevent Winter Ailments

Winter presents a number of fitness obstacles. Shorter, darker days and icy roads can freeze training in its tracks, while a storm of season-specific health problems–including cold fingers and toes, stiff, achy joints, and even seasonal depression–can leave you wanting to skip your workout altogether. Luckily, making certain foods and drinks a regular part of your diet can help you avoid common winter problems, says David Grotto, R.D., author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. So before a winter woe sidelines you, try these consumable prescriptions for staying healthy all season long.

COLD HANDS AND FEET
FOOD FIX
 The amino acid arginine helps expand blood vessels and encourages blood flow, Grotto says. Arginine is found in protein-rich foods, including hormone-free poultry,  fish, as well as cashews, almonds, and peanuts, plus cereal grains, such as oats and barley. Tea, wine, cocoa, and dark chocolate can also help: They’re rich in catechins, tannins, and other bioflavonoid compounds that help improve circulation.

STIFF, ACHY JOINTS
FOOD FIX Anti-inflammatory omega-3s, found in abundance in such fatty fish as salmon, help reduce joint inflammation and even soothe exercise-induced muscle soreness. Omega-3s are so effective that in one study nearly 60 percent of neck-and back-pain patients taking fish-oil supplements were able to stop using NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen. Barbara Lewin, R.D., a sports nutritionist, recommends also reducing intake of omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn oil and red meat), as they can actually promote inflammation.


SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
FOOD FIX
 Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., coauthor of The Serotonin Power Diet, explains that eating small doses of carbs (about 25 to 30 grams, or 120 calories’ worth) will help your brain produce serotonin. Consume the carbs without other foods (make sure your snack has no more than two or three grams of protein, which prevents serotonin production) and on a nearly empty stomach. Doing so will banish that SAD feeling within 20 minutes. Try an English muffin or half a bagel with jam, natural granola, pretzels, or even a a bowl or oatmeall.


THE COMMON COLD
FOOD FIX
 Vegetable soup: Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that a bowl of chunky vegetable  soup has anti-inflammatory effects that ease symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infections. The warm broth soothes throats, carrots provide beta-carotene (which is linked with immunity), and onions and garlic have antibacterial properties. Boost your stay-healthy odds with a daily cup of organic yogurt or kefir. A study published in 2008 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that long-distance runners who consumed the probiotic lactobacillus (found in yogurt and kefir) had shorter and less-severe bouts of respiratory illness than those who took a placebo.

DRY SKIN
FOOD FIX Research shows that essential fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and olive oil can help skin cells stay hydrated. In fact, a study published in 2009 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who took flaxseed-or borage-oil supplements for three months had a significant increase in skin moisture and a reduction in roughness. Grotto also encourages people to get plenty of ACES–his acronym for vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. “They’re all antioxidants that help heal our skin from the inside out.”

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13 Foods that Fight Pain

While many foods taste great, they are also powerful healers in a vibrant multicolor disguise. The best healing remedies also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty common side effects that most drugs cause.

1. Cherries
Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation. Only two tablespoons of the concentrated juice need to be taken daily for effective results. Sweet cherries have also been found to be effective.

2. Blackberries 3. Raspberries 4. Blueberries and 5. Strawberries
Dr. Nair later found the same anti-pain compound in berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

6. Celery and Celery Seeds
James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action. Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

7. Ginger
Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body and has been widely used in India to treat pain and inflammation. A study by Indian researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. If you’re taking medications, check with your health practitioner for possible herb-drug interactions.

8. Turmeric
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the yellow spice commonly used in Indian curries. In research it has been shown to be a more effective anti-inflammatory than steroid medications when dealing with acute inflammation. Its main therapeutic ingredient is curcumin. Research shows that curcumin suppresses pain through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects). Choose a standardized extract with 1500 mg of curcumin content per day.

9. Salmon 10. Mackerel and 11. Herring
Many fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring also contain these valuable oils. Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that decrease inflammation and pain. According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil is an anti-inflammatory agent. Fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines, compounds known to destroy joints. Many other studies also demonstrate that eating moderate amounts of fish or taking fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly for arthritis sufferers.

12. Flax Seeds and Flax Oil
Freshly-ground flax seeds and cold-pressed flax oil, contain plentiful amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3s. Do not cook with flax oil otherwise it will have the opposite effect-irritating the body’s tissues and causing pain.

13. Raw Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Raw walnuts and walnut oil also contain the same powerful Omega-3 fatty acids that fight pain and inflammation in the body.

When it comes to pain, food really is the best medicine.

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The Consequences of Eating too Fast and How to Correct it

By Jade

Eating too fast is a serious issue and has detrimental consequences to your digestive system! When you don’t take the time to fully swallow each bite before taking the next bite, that’s when you know you may be eating to fast! If you are a fast eater, you probably aren’t even aware that you are taking 4-5 fork fulls of food in the time it takes a normal paced eater to take one.

The whole digestion process starts in your mouth in the chewing phase. It is really important to actually chew! We should be chewing at least 20-25 times per forkful.

The following digestive problems occur when we eat too fast:

  • We delay the feeling of fullness when we eat too fast. Therefore we tend to overeat.
  • It is harder for our digestive system to function properly, resulting in poor digestion, including indigestion and heartburn.
  • It increases the chances for experiencing indigestion and heartburn.
  • Causes the gut to contract, sending you to the restroom almost immediately after eating, a sign of poor digestion, since it means you are not breaking down the foods enough to absorb the necessary nutrients.
  • Weak digestion leads to a weak immune system, which leaves you susceptible to illnesses.

Improve your digestive health simply by eating slooowwweeeerrrrr.

Eating is supposed to be a mindful event. Fast eaters miss not only the nutrition in their food, but also the leisure of taking the time out to relax and improve their wellbeing. Perhaps not coincidentally, fast eaters are often guilty eaters, who feel that food is at fault for making them fat, and that they need to quickly sneak their meals because they are doing something wrong. Ironically, it may be the speed at which they eat it which is actually at fault!

Enjoy your food slowly and stay healthier. Here’s how:

  • Stop and take a deep breath before eating a meal. Be mindful and remind yourself to pay attention to your breathing and the pace at which you eat.
  • Eat at a table, away from the TV or computer (which tend to contribute to overeating.)
  • Eat in a quiet, relaxing environment and never eat when you are upset or after (or during!) an argument.
  • Make sure you chew and swallow your food before putting the next bite in your mouth. Set your fork down between each bite to train yourself.
  • Make sure you are actually tasting the food. Try to notice how the taste changes during the eating process. What is the aftertaste? How is the initial taste? Focus.
  • Take smaller bites. Try to count to 30 while chewing.
  • Try to figure out why you speed eat and / or overeat. For example, many fast eaters grew up competing with a sibling for food. Eat it now, or it’s gone later. Many carry this with them into adulthood.

Some Benefits of eating slower:

  • You will begin to enjoy and favor healthier, whole foods as most commercial and processed foods are engineered in such a way to only taste appealing in the first few bites.
  • All the stomach aches and things that “didn’t agree” with you may disappear.
  • A trimmer waistline.
  • Stronger body from better absorbed nutrients

Eating slower is a simple, healthy habit that can be easily learned, improving health and disease prevention factors tenfold. If you are recovering from life as a fast eater or could use a little help in your digestion, Probiotics are a very valuable supplement for your digestive aid.


For those suffering the consequences of fast eating, some healing can be brought on by blending your food with a high powered blender such as the Vita-Mix. This type of blender allows you to receive ALL of the nutrients from your food whether you chew or not! due to the fact you can make a smoothie out of ALL of the parts of the vegetable. This type of blender does not separate out all the “good” stuff like a juicer does.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

by Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.

Finding a healthy, affordable diet is definitely a challenge given the rapidly rising cost of groceries. It used to be that buying fresh, unprocessed foods would save you money, but that no longer is the case. According to Tufts University, the rise in cost of more nutritious food is beating the rate of inflation.

A recent study by The University of Washington concluded that lower-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are far more expensive than sweets and snack foods, calorie for calorie. Sadly, this means that when people are watching their food budget, they may opt for higher-calorie, less-nutritious foods as a way to get by. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Try these strategies for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Be prepared when shopping

Go over the grocery store’s weekly ad from the newspaper (or view online) as you prepare a meal plan and a detailed shopping list for the week. And remember, going shopping while hungry is sure to cost you an extra few dollars and calories.

2. Evaluate the food’s purpose

Before purchasing a food, consider where it is going to fit into your diet. Will this food be part of a meal, or a healthy snack? If the answer is “I’m not sure,” then leave it on the shelf. Only buy foods that clearly fit into your (or your family’s) meal plan, avoiding all “filler.”

3. When your store is running a sale on lean protein, buy extra

Take advantage of the sale by buying a few pounds of chicken breasts or fish. Then, at home, divide the protein into individual serving sizes and freeze it for up to three months.

4. Choose seasonal vegetables and fruits

Look for the cheapest fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle — which are most likely “in season” and best tasting. While it is tempting to buy berries in the winter or apples in the summer, you will pay a premium and likely not get a great-tasting product. When you see a good price on a particular fruit or vegetable, consider buying extra and freezing it. For example, fresh berries and broccoli will freeze quite well and last for months.

5. Don’t be afraid of frozen fruits and vegetables

Frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh, and will not spoil. They are also often less expensive, pound for pound, than fresh produce. I actually find that frozen spinach and broccoli are easier to prepare and tastier than fresh!

6. Avoid buying beverages

Drinks, especially those loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, are not only unhealthy empty calories, but are also a drain on your wallet. Yes, even that expensive fruit juice should be omitted from your cart in favor of healthier and less expensive fresh fruit. Can’t skip the juice for the kids? Buy frozen concentrated juice and only serve once a day. If you want an alternative to water, look for the store brand of fruit-flavored, calorie-free seltzer water, or make your own herbal iced tea.

7. Take advantage of dry-goods groceries

Bulk dry goods such as beans, grains and oats are quite inexpensive while being super nutrient-dense. Opting for these unprocessed, bulk foods will save you a lot of money when compared to processed oatmeal packets or rice mixes. While you’re at it, see if you can buy your cereal in bulk packages or at the very least, choose the store brands.

8. Avoid buying single-serving food items

Purchasing foods in single-serving quantities, such as chips, cookies, yogurt or cereal, will cost you at least 50 percent more. Instead, buy foods in larger quantities and then divide up the food contents into plastic bags or reusable containers.

9. Cut the commercial snack foods

As a mom, I know first hand how expensive brand-name (and cartoon-character) snack food can be. Explain to your family that these types of foods are not only unhealthy but are also pricey. Choose healthier, tasty snacks, such as air-popped popcorn (buy bulk corn kernels, not the microwave bags) and dried fruit.

10. Make your own nutritious soups, chilis and stews

Most of these recipes are chock full of healthy yet inexpensive ingredients, that will feed you and your family for many meals. You can even double your typical recipe and freeze half of it in individual containers for future last-minute meals. This is much cheaper and healthier than commercially prepared frozen dinners.

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