Sunday, July 30, 2006

food nutrition : A Powerful Nutrition Secret

I do not endorse fad diets. I also do not make a practice of recommending health and wellness habits that are not backed by sound scientific studies and data. However, in my constant quest to help my clients and readers achieve optimal health, I'll occasionally stumble upon an amazing diet or fitness tidbit that is so interesting and potentially beneficial that I just can't ignore it. So this week, I'm going to share with you a powerful method to enhance nutrient absorption and decrease toxin and fat levels, while decreasing heartburn, bloating, gas, and other negative reactions to food. I was skeptical at first, but after trying it for a week, I've enjoyed significantly more energy, less post-meal sluggishness, better workouts and even more clarity of thought!

The process begins with an understanding of how the body digests food. Different types of food require different types of digestive enzymes for proper food breakdown. For example, carbohydrate foods require carbohydrate enzymes, whereas protein foods require protein enzymes. While the carbohydrate enzymes will only properly function in a non-acidic, or alkaline, environment, the protein enzymes will only properly function in an acidic environment.

Therefore, it is believed that when you eat a protein food with a carbohydrate food (i.e. steak and potatoes), digestion becomes impaired, since these two compounds cannot fully digest in their competing environments. Without complete digestion, nutrient absorption is incomplete. This incompletely digested food can also sit in the gut and become fodder for bacteria, which can ferment and decompose the food, causing a build-up of toxins and gas in the digestive tract. Furthermore, as nutrient absorption decreases and digestion slows, the metabolism becomes less efficient, and fat and cholesterol become more likely to accumulate.

While such a scenario has not been proved by science, the concept of "Food Combining" may allow you to avoid this potentially fat-gaining, metabolism-slowing, immune-depressing process. If your results are similar to mine, you may find that you have better endurance and stamina, increased focus, leaps in energy, more comfortable digestion, and an improved overall feeling. By following several rules, you can achieve less hindrance to your body's natural digestive process.

Here are the basic rules (think of it as a game...that helped me). There are more details to the rationale behind the rules, but I thought I'd try not to make this too complicated.

1. Don't eat fruit, especially melons, with any other food (including vegetables). They're too acidic, and likely to sit and ferment while slowing digestion of the other foods. So use fruit as a snack, served alone.

2. Don't combine proteins with starchy carbohydrates. They interfere with each other's digestion.

3. Only drink milk by itself, because it requires a unique environment for digestion.

4. Drink only pure water before, during, and after a meal.

5. Do not add accessory fats to proteins (i.e. cooking fish and chicken in excessive butter, or serving with a creamy sauce).

6. Do not consume starch and sugar foods together, like jam on toast or honey on oatmeal.

7. Eat predominantly protein-only or carbohydrate-only meals. For example, breakfast might be an egg omelet with turkey bacon, or a fruit smoothie with a banana.

Based on these rules, food combinations to avoid would include bread or potatoes with butter, rolls or toast with bacon, cereals with cream or milk, steak, chicken or fish with potatoes, bread, or rice, rolls and hot dogs, ice, whipped cream or any cream on starchy desserts, pork with baked beans, or vinegar and oil dressing with chicken on a salad.

Sound tricky to accomplish "food combining" without some serious dietary juggling? It is! Here's what I recommend: a 90/10 approach to diet or lifestyle changes. This means that 90% of the time, you make a conscious and intense effort to implement positive changes, and 10% of the time you just let things "flow" and allow yourself to mess up or break the rules. For example, at breakfast you might have a bowl of oatmeal with a slice of whole grain toast, perhaps a raw apple in the mid-morning, a salad with avocados at lunch, and a handful of nuts in the mid-afternoon. Then, for your company potluck, you get your "10%" and load a plate with corn-on-the-cob, cabbage salad, chicken, a roll, and a brownie (whereas food combining would be just the cabbage salad and the chicken). This allows you a mental break from constantly attempting to achieve dietary perfection, and I find that most individuals who follow this rule are far less likely to completely lose control and go on a 2 week binge of sugar, alcohol, processed/packaged foods, and grease.

A final benefit to food combining may be a longer life. It has been suggested that the body has a certain amount of reserves that, if carefully conserved, will allow us to live longer and healthier lives. There have even been studies that observe a correlation between longer lifespans and lower caloric consumptions! The depletion of the body’s reserves can occur much quicker if our bodies are constantly overtaxed in the process of food digestion. Like any dietary or health practice, the concept of self-control, avoidance of giant smorgasborgs of buffet food and alcohol, and a general decrease in gluttony just seem to make good sense!

Remember, there's no "perfect diet" for everybody. If you want more dietary advice, fitness and lifestyle coaching, or help with achieving your goals, just shoot me an e-mail at, call me at 208-883-7705, or speak with the front desk about arranging a consultation with me. Whether you just want a month of online personal training to shrink your thighs, a consultation on how to run your first marathon, or tips on how to achieve healthy nutrition while you’re traveling - you can arrange anything with a personal trainer!

Ben Greenfield runs Pacific Elite Fitness at, an online portal for personal training, triathlete coaching, and free fitness and multi-sport advice. He resides in Liberty Lake, WA, where he works as director of sports performance for Champion Sports Medicine, a training and testing lab for athletes. Ben graduated from University of Idaho with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports science and exercise physiology, and is certified as a personal trainer and coach by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Ben also offers individualized personal training, multi-sport coaching, training program design for athletes, lifestyle wellness and diet advising, and corporate consulting for workplace fitness programs. To learn more, visit or e-mail Ben at

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food nutrition : San Jose Schools Change School Nutrition and Limit Junk Food

Changes for the 2006-2007 School Year at San Jose Schools

Following in the footsteps of both federal and state trends to limit junk food and provide better nutrition to students, San Jose Schools will implement new some changes starting in September 2006. These changes may appear sudden but actually is part of a long term goal for improving student nutrition. San Jose Schools have been working to improve student nutrition over the past few years. San Jose Schools have already removed fried chips and carbonated beverages from all kindergarten-eighth grade schools. A lot of the changes occurring in September are a result of new federal laws. The new policy states that for a school to receive federal funds for their school lunch program they must institute a Wellness Policy. The Wellness Policy is a nutrition program that is designed and approved by the school board. In order to better meet these guidelines the San Jose Schools have created the SHAPE committee. The SHAPE committee is made up of school food service personnel, a school board member, district employees, health care professionals, concerned parents, and community members.

The Nutrition Policy

The Nutrition Policy states that all food on a San Jose Schools campus must meet the state nutritional guidelines for fat and sugar and fat content. The biggest effect of this policy for parents is that homemade baked goods will not be allowed on campus. San Jose Schools will make more snakes available at schools that meet these guidelines and provide a list of approved store bought snakes. Fundraisers that involve the sale of food items must be planned with and agreed to by the school. The San Jose Schools will actively encourage fundraisers that are not based around food sale but instead are based around physical activity. All San Jose Schools, including high schools, will ban carbonated soft drinks this school year. Classroom parties with food will be limited to one per month.

Nutrition Guidelines for Foods Available at San Jose Schools

The San Jose School Board is planning to adopt a series of new guidelines covering the nutritional concerns of students. This is done in order to meet to the growing concerns about student health and reducing childhood obesity. The San Jose School Board believes that there was a growing disparity between the foods available at school and the health curriculum. Strict guidelines have been adopted all foods and beverages sold to students, including foods and beverages provided through the San Jose School’s food service program, student stores, vending machines, or fundraisers.

The new policy also set guidelines for the San Jose School’s staff in using food items as a reward; the staff will be encouraged to use healthy alternatives or a different non-food choice as a reward for students’ academic performance, accomplishments, or classroom behavior. There is a plan to help parents by providing healthy foods list. The guidelines per food item include: No more than 35% of total calories from fat excluding legumes, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, vegetables that have not been deep fried and cheese packaged for individual sale; No more than 10% of total calories from saturated fat; No more than 35% added sugar by weight; 175 Calories (elementary schools) and 250 Calories (middle and high schools). While an individually sold entrée may have no more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories, 400 calories total.

Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more on San Jose schools visit

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food nutrition : Diet | Nutrition | Organic Food

In the US, demand for organic food is outstripping the current supply. America’s appetite for organic food is keeping the supply low. The demand is definitely outpacing the supply. Clif Bar went to Spain for organic almonds.

Food must be grown without bug killers, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics or biotechnology to be categorized as organic. While the organic market is only 2.5 percent currently of the nations food market, the growth is expanding at a very fast pace. Each year the actual growth has been fifteen to twenty one percent. Total food sales have increased two to four percent during this period of time.

Supermarkets in the US are watching this success and rushing out to meet the demand. The Kroger Co, Safeway Inc., and Supervalu Inc., Albertson’s LLC, are selling their own organic brands. Wal-mart stated it would double its organic offerings this year.

Organic Manufacturers are looking outside of the United States for organic ingredients. Europe, Bolivia, Venezuela and South Africa are outpacing the supply grown in the United States. According to The Agriculture Department’s National Organic Program, the United States is importing far more than it exports in the organic food category.

How to fill the gap between supply and demand is a long debate within our booming organic industry. Organic food is a way to improve out food supply, the environment, and help small farmers in their business.

Organic food is a healthy way to eat. Do your due diligence to determine how you chose to eat.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Profession with a lifelong interest in Diet

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Food Nutrition: Healthy Diet Answers

Want Fries With That Mister ?

Yes, my healthy diet has at times suffered at the hands of fast food, I admit it – I am addicted to fast food – it makes me feel good, it makes us all feel good, that’s why its everywhere and thats why the fast food chains make millions.

But let’s face it, it’s not that simple to be disciplined and no one’s going to go to a restaurant with friends and tell the restaurant that they can’t eat that rice because its white rice and it’ll send my blood sugar levels sky high and release insulin into my body, can I have basmati instead ? – well, maybe just the hardcore diet enthusiasts.

So what to do about fast food nutrition – well, I am going to give you my five most important principles for choosing food generally, but also quick things to look for when you’re out in order to complement your healthy diet:

1. Find Out How The Food Was Cooked. It’s not the actual food that matters, it’s the way it was cooked. Little things like this can make a world of difference.

2. Drink Lots Of Water When you’re out, have a water bottle close by – you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.

3. If it doesn’t look natural, then it probably won’t do your diet much good Generally the more processed a food is, the more likely that it will be absorbed into your body very quickly and will not give you sustained energy. If it looks like it’s gone through a lot of processes before reaching you, then give it a miss.

4. Steer away from unhealthy fats and highly processed carbs when you eat out This is nothing new, don’t eat those fries with that burger. But I have two very good reasons for saying this. If you successfully navigate your way away from these two – you will be doing a lot for keeping bad cholesterol levels at bay and staving off accidental over-consumption of calories.

5. Go for raw There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that the food you’ve just eaten is burning calories even as you sit at the café talking with friends. It’s even confidence building to know that you have a healthy diet. The food that will do this is quite often raw and are adorned with fat burning principles because they have low energy density.

So step back from those fries, and consider that there are plenty of satisfying, tasty and healthy alternatives when snacking or dining out. Instituting these healthy diet principles will mean that your social life and weight loss goals are not an either / or situation. By Jenny Mathers

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

9 Tips to Stop Food Cravings and Help You With Your Diet

Most of us are "regular" people. We don't eat the perfect diet all the time and have our struggles with food, same as everyone else. But having an awareness of this fact and knowing a little bit about our health and food nutrition can help when it comes to making wise decisions.

Many people struggle with food "cravings." Studies tell us that it's fairly common for food cravings to happen at certain times, quite often at around bedtime. Your guard may be down, you may have had an unusually hard day, and off you go on your not-so-merry way to find that tasty treat. Fatigue and stress often combine to take their toll on the best of intentions.

When food cravings are unconstrained, what starts out as a bedtime snack quickly turns into a full blown feeding frenzy...not something most of us fully understand or appreciate. We head to kitchen and every other place where food can hide, clearing a path as we go.

Most food cravings are not about satisfying a nutritional need or imbalance. They seem to be more emotionally related, or God forbid, are caused by plain old gluttony. Exactly why we over-indulge is not completely understood, however our knowledge about this subject continues to grow.

Listed below are some thoughts and ideas about food cravings:

- If the food isn't available, you can't eat it! Empty the cookie jar and keep it that way! Keep healthy food choices on-hand.

- Recognize the feelings and emotions that lead-up to a food craving. Do you have food cravings when you’re bored, lonely, or stressed? If you can identify a trigger, you can deal with the emotion that’s making you desire a certain food. Try to deal with the triggers in the best way you can.

- Sometimes, even recognizing that a craving is about to happen doesn't seem to help. Don't beat yourself-up. There is always tomorrow. Call a friend, make good use of your support network and share your feelings with someone.

- Get enough sleep. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to crave things.

- Never give-up. When you "slip", press-in, bear-down, get a grip, do whatever is necessary to re-gain control. Try to practice restraint most of the time, but don't get legalistic and un-balanced in your weight loss approach. Think moderation and not abstinence at all times!

- Understand that self-control and discipline by themselves, won't cut it! If you depend totally on yourself for control, you will fail. Forming caring and supportive relationships is required. If you do not currently have a support network, start building one TODAY.

- Exercise. It increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

- Use moderation. Instead of stuffing yourself with every kind of food hoping that your craving will go away, eat 100 to 200 calories of your "craved" food.

- Substitute with low-fat foods and complex carbs. If you’re hungry for chocolate, eat non-fat chocolate yogurt. Try fig bars or raisins for a sweet craving.

- Never skip a meal. Eat every three to five hours. Try six smaller meals or regular meals with nutritious snacks.

- Understand that hunger craving are oftentimes stress related. Practice other ways to treat chronic stress – a walk in the park, spiritual connections, a cozy fireplace, baths...all these stimulate neurochemicals that activate regions of the brain that stimulate pleasure. Relaxation techniques may work by reducing the psychological drives on stress output, which can be the root causes of stress. Bottom line, substitute pleasurable experiences for comfort foods.

- Beware of certain medications. They can stimulate appetite. Drugs used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder can be appetite stimulants. Other drugs, both prescription and over the counter, may influence appetite as well. If you are on a medication, and troubled by food cravings, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to find an alternative that doesn't send your cravings out of control.

- Distract Yourself. What's that old expression...idle hands are the devils workshop? Get busy. Do anything other than cave-in to your desire for food, and keep doing it until the cravings subside.

- One final thought, take a look inside your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and do some general "house cleaning." Throw-out all that unhealthy stuff that is waiting to sabotage your diet, and start shopping more wisely. A little forethought and careful planning will go a long way for improving your chances of success. By Emily Clark

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Learn About Food Nutrition Facts

Food nutrition facts

Finding food nutrition facts and dietary nutrition used to be almost impossible because of the mountains of facts scattered all about in libraries and books. Lets face it most of us aren't going to cuddle up to a book on vitamins and minerals. Fortunately with the growth and popularity of the internet and the computer the fact finding process has been much simplified. Finding good food nutrition facts can now be done with the click of the mouse.

Learning about our foods and diets can be very enlightening. Things we were taught as children may in fact of reality be much different than what we were taught. Doing what we were taught years ago may today be very much out of synch with what we really should be doing.

It's sort of like the ole 'wives tales" theory. Complicating our lives further we have the great American fast food era that has practically crippled any sensibility to proper food intake.

Why should we learn more, it's pretty simple to just drive thru pick up those goodies and off we go. Most of us are exhausted at the end of the day looking for relief not more work. With perhaps a little awareness of our food situation today, perhaps not as much effort needs to be mustered up to make an impact on ourselves and family today.

And, what's wrong in getting the crew involved with some self education as a family type project. After all it's the family that presses it demands on you – so why not let them help and take a little responsibility?

Finding the facts about fast food restaurant nutrition is pretty easy as well. Along with specific foods like Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian and other types of foods is readily available. We've even seen charts of nothing but fish food nutrition. Gather up this information print it out and let others study the issue and provide a family report at dinner.

Let everyone get involved and then work together making changes that all have come to learn about and now better understand why. Have someone do a report on food label nutrition facts as well. There's a saying I remember that goes along these lines. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. With some education, patience (what's new) and the gathering of food nutrition facts we start on our new journey for optimum health. By Rolf Rasmusson