How to Prepare a Week of Healthy Meals in Just an Hour

January 31st, 2011

Meal preparation is in my opinion the most significant factor in preventing people from following a healthy diet. When it’s time to eat, most people are either too hungry or too tired to invest time and effort into preparing a truly healthy and nutritious meal. With a little planning, however, this is an excuse that you should never be justified in using again.

The healthiest meals are those based on whole foods, but for many people, the time it takes to prepare this type of meal is both a problem and an inconvenience. Fortunately, even for the busiest people, meal preparation can be streamlined to the point of it being a minimal time commitment.

Think of how easy it is to pack dinner leftovers for the next day’s lunch. When lunchtime arrives, there’s no thought or effort involved. You simply grab the meal you packed, heat it up if appropriate, and eat. It couldn’t be any easier. The key to simplifying the preparation of healthy meals is very similar in concept. In short, you intentionally prepare a bunch meals in advance. The following are 3 simple steps for doing so.

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An Unjustified Knock Against Grass Fed Beef

December 2nd, 2010

Animals raised in a natural environment and on their natural diet are likely be healthier, and in turn, be a source of higher quality meat. Based on this premise, choosing meat from pasture raised animals makes a lot of sense and is supported by research that has identified a number of ways in which this type of meat is superior. However, a recent study done by researchers from Texas A&M is being used to claim the opposite, that beef from grain fed cattle is healthier than beef from pasture fed cattle.

Although there are many great reasons to choose meat from pasture raised livestock, eating conventionally produced meat is not necessarily a guarantee for poor health. Someone who primarily eats whole foods, is active, and manages stress well will still be likely to enjoy good health despite the concerns associated with conventionally produced meat. However, to insinuate in a general sense that beef from grain fed cattle is healthier than that from pasture fed beef is quite a stretch in my opinion.

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Is Your Exercise Routine Lacking Purpose?

October 6th, 2010

It’s common knowledge that regular exercise is an important part of promoting good health. However, many people shortchange themselves by following an exercise program without putting much thought into what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. This typically results in the benefits of the program being poorly aligned with the individual’s needs and goals, and in some cases, this can do more harm than good.

It goes without saying that most of us make important decisions through a process of specific and deliberate reasoning. Because exercise has a significant influence on health, and because this influence can sometimes be negative, choices relating to exercise deserve the same level of discretion. However, it’s common for people to invest their time, effort, and health into an exercise program without evaluating how appropriate it is for their needs. This greatly reduces the value they’ll gain from their effort.

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Homemade Jerky: A Nutritious and Convenient Snack

July 15th, 2010

Snacking is a convenient way to suppress appetite and obtain nutrients between meals, but most snack foods are highly processed and full of sugar. The difficulty in finding a healthy and appealing snack food is a challenge that can easily ruin an otherwise healthy diet. Because of its nutritional value, convenience, and great taste, beef jerky is an excellent snack that can help to solve this problem, but as with most foods, there are a number of factors to consider in regard to quality and health.

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Finding a Strong Source of Motivation for Healthy Living

June 3rd, 2010

It seems that many people are unable to maintain the motivation needed to make a lifelong commitment to healthy habits, especially in regard to diet and exercise. Although this is often blamed on a lack of will and dedication, there are other important factors to consider as well.

People who struggle with motivation often embrace the latest trends hoping that it will be what they need to keep them focused. However, given the large number of health related products and programs that exist, and the also large number of people who continue to struggle with motivation, it should be obvious that such an approach is unlikely to result in long term success. While it’s hard to criticize anything that encourages people to embrace healthier habits, the latest trends and technologies will rarely provide the substance needed to inspire lasting motivation.

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Update: Sugar, Feet, and Antinutrients

April 30th, 2010

What might these random topics have to do with each other? It’s been over a year since I’ve written some of the articles on this site, and since then, I’ve accumulated additional information that has inspired me to make extensive updates to several of them. Although sugar consumption, foot function, and the antinutrients commonly found in seemingly health foods such as nuts, seeds, and grains may not seem to have much in common, they’re all factors that effect many of us on a daily basis. Based on this, I think it will be worth while for you to take another look at the following updates.

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Chocolate: Indulgence or Superfood? (Part 3)

April 13th, 2010

Traditionally, chocolate has been considered to be an unhealthy indulgence for a variety of reasons. However, research has also shown that chocolate can provide a number of important health benefits. The question that remains is if these benefits outweigh chocolate’s potential to have adverse effects.

The first article in this series discussed the impressive health benefits of chocolate including its high antioxidant capacity, its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and its ability to improve circulation and even skin health. The second article described the less desirable characteristics of chocolate such as its potential to impair digestion, alter mood, and be contaminated with potentially toxic heavy metals. The intent of this final article is to consider how chocolate can fit into a truly healthy diet and to identify the factors that can make it more of a health promoting food than an indulgence.

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Chocolate: Indulgence or Superfood (Part 2)

April 5th, 2010

Although chocolate has been shown to have a variety of impressive health benefits, there are a number of concerns to consider before consuming it specifically for this reason. Contrary to what you might think, the majority of these concerns aren’t related to the unhealthy characteristics of candy and other sweets that often lead people to classify chocolate as an indulgence food.

The previous article presented the many impressive health benefits of chocolate including a remarkably high antioxidant capacity, a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, a reduced growth rate of several cancers, and even improved skin health. However, since each of these benefits can be obtained in other ways, the remaining question that needs to be answered is if chocolate should be consumed specifically to promote good health despite having some potentially harmful characteristics. The following issues provide some of the insight needed to answer this question.

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Chocolate: Indulgence or Superfood? (Part 1)

March 30th, 2010

Chocolate is the favorite food of many people but it’s often viewed as an unhealthy indulgence. Despite this, more and more evidence is suggesting that chocolate provides a number of impressive health benefits. Is this too good to be true?

Surprisingly, there’s an overwhelming amount of research and opinion existing on chocolate and its potential to alter mood, cause intense cravings, and influence health. As such, there’s a lot of important information to discuss, but too much to include in one article, so this will be the first of three. This article will discuss the beneficial aspects of chocolate, the next one will consider if and how chocolate can detract from health, and the final article will include my opinion on whether chocolate is a so called superfood or just an indulgence as is commonly thought. In this last article, I’ll also share what my three favorite chocolates are as well as some important information regarding selection.

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The Frightening Uncertainty of Genetically Modified Foods

March 18th, 2010

The genetic modification of food crops may sound like an advantageous use of modern technology, and the biotechnology industry assertively claims that it is, but there are a number of frightening concerns associated with it that aren’t being given the consideration they deserve.

When an organism is genetically modified, a gene from one organism is extracted, modified, and inserted into the DNA of another organism. Generally, the insertion of this gene is intended to provide the recipient organism with a trait that it doesn’t normally possess. For example, the gene in jellyfish that’s responsible for bioluminescence has been used to engineer pigs, mice, and rabbits that glow in the dark. A more relevant use of genetic engineering that’s already in use is the creation of food crops that can produce their own pesticides or be more resistant to other pesticides that are externally applied. The outcome of these genetic alterations can be very unpredictable, and as a result, they present many legitimate concerns relating to our health. They also threaten to disrupt the intricate balance of our ecosystem which can have significant implications as well.

Genetics is a very complex subject that we have yet to fully understand. Considering that it took billions of years for the current gene pool to evolve to be what it is today, is it really a good idea for us to be so casual about altering it?

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