Blog Natural Foods


From yogurt commercials with celebrities to a headline on the 5 o’clock news, probiotics have become famous.  Our bodies naturally produce probiotics and are given to us the moment we enter the world.  The normal human digestive tract contains greater than 500 different types of probiotic bacteria.  Probiotics are live microorganisms; some may call them our “good” bacteria, which have been shown to aid in overall wellness, from GI and immune health to anti-cancerous properties.   

When searching for foods high in probiotics, the dairy cooler would be the number one choice.  A few examples of foods to look for are yogurt, kefir, or soy yogurt with active live cultures. If looking for an easier route, oral supplements can help obtain the balance of “good” bacteria you are looking for.  The flipside to “good” bacteria is “bad” bacteria.  We allow “bad” bacteria to live and grow in our bodies through poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, illness, medications, and many other environmental factors.   “Bad” bacterium thrives off sugar, fats, and other highly processed foods.   Choosing to eat a clean diet, low in sugar, fat and processed foods can help maintain a healthy body balance. 

If you have ordered GenoVive’s Customized Meal Program, you may have noticed a probiotic supplement, genBiotics.  GenBiotics are ultra-probiotic capsules with enzymes to help balance digestion.  These supplements serve many purposes that include; decreasing inflammation, lessening symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing gas, preventing colon cancer, reduce antibiotic associated diarrhea, improving mineral absorption, and limiting infection.

We cannot forget that probiotics are alive and have very specific requirements to stay alive.  Taking a probiotic supplement first thing in the morning with breakfast and with an evening meal is the best practice.  When the stomach is empty the acidity level of the stomach is strong.  Choosing to take these “good” bacteria with your meal will aid their survival. 

Although we understand probiotics are necessary for a healthy balanced system, we don’t always act upon it.  Whether you choose to eat yogurt or take probiotic supplements, making a small effort can help with overall wellness.  Remember the “good” and “bad” bacteria are at war, so whoever has the largest army will dominate. 

Eat clean.  Get probiotics.  Live healthy.

With a salivating mouth and an empty stomach we scramble to choose our meat of choice.  Our choices in the grocery store are endless, ranging from natural, antibiotic-free, hormone- free, organic, and free range.  The meat isle can be extremely distracting for the majority of us, because we are usually looking for something affordable and eye appealing.  When choosing meat or poultry products, the packaging can be deceiving for the average person.  Most commercial meats have been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and dye to make the product catch the consumers eye.  As we stroll through the meat and poultry department the decision of what to choose for ourselves or even our family becomes daunting.  How do we choose the best choice and what do these marketing terms mean? 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has regulations on meat and poultry labels. 

 

  1. When choosing an animal product that says “Natural”, the product cannot contain any artificial flavor or flavorings, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient (1).  By avoiding these artificial ingredients our body can process whole foods in a much healthier manor.

 

  1. Meat and poultry products can be labeled as "no antibiotics added" if documentation is provided showing that the animals were raised without antibiotics. Similar allowable terms according to the USDA are "no antibiotics ever," "no added antibiotics" and "raised without the use of antibiotics" (1).   Antibiotic-free meat and poultry generally cost $1 more per pound than conventional products (2), but remember the health benefits you are investing in.  Studies show that the consumption of meat treated with excessive antibiotics is causing humans to become resistant to some medications making it harder to treat infection.  The fear should not be that we are ingesting antibiotics; the fear should be that the overuse of antibiotics is causing growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria leading untreatable infections. 

 

  1. Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in the raising of poultry, hogs or exotic animals not subject to USDA inspection, such as bison.   According to the USDA, beef may be labeled as "no hormones administered" if producers document that the animals were raised without hormones (1).  Research is now showing that hormone residue in the meat of "growth enhanced" animals can disrupt human hormone balance, causing developmental problems, interference with reproductive systems, early onset of puberty in girls, and can even lead to the development of breast, prostate or colon cancer (3).

 

Medicating animals to increase size and fend off disease is having a negative effect on humans and our environment.  Choosing natural, antibiotic, hormone free meat and poultry is a great way to provide adequate protein and amino acids without the risk of health complications.  GenoVive has taken a giant leap ahead of the game by providing clean, natural, antibiotic and hormone free meats within their meal program.   For more information visit: www.genovive.com.

 

Shopping tips to avoid medicated meats:

  1. Know where your meat came from.
    1. Talk to your butcher or find a local farmer.
    2. Discussed the process of getting the meat or poultry from farm to table. 
    3. Read and understand the labels.
      1. Choose meat and poultry that is clean, natural, antibiotic and hormone free.

 

 

 

 

References:

  1.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/free-range/MY01559/
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/17/dining/eating-well-shopping-for-antibiotic-free-meat.html
  3. http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/

grapes as an exampleWe come across times in our lives when we must scarf down a meal in less than 5 minutes without feeling each flavor brush our individually designed taste buds.  Stomachs are overwhelmed by the mass consumption and our bodies struggle to get the proper breakdown.  Eating large meals in a short amount of time can inhibit our ability to understand our body’s signals of hunger and fullness.  We live in a society of now…Now…NOW!  This takes away the ability for us to enjoy and taste our foods.  It’s very important for us as humans to slow down our eating.  We must take a step back and analyze the situation. This will help us out, not only through eating, but in all other aspects of life.  For instance, taking a bite every 30 seconds vs. a bite every second will enhance your ability to taste, increase your sensation of fullness, create a longer more satisfying meal time, and help slim your waistline.

Here is a helpful exercise to slow down the eating and increase mindfulness of what is being placed in your precious body.  Our digestion begins with sight and smell.  The moment we see a deep red strawberry or smell the pot roast in the crockpot our mind triggers our saliva to drip and our stomachs to growl.  Try this easy 10 step exercise to enhance your ability to eat mindfully.

  1. Take a cold grape.
  2. Look at the grape and discuss with yourself or with others what it looks like. 
  3. Venture on to reflect about where it came from; the grocery store, from a farm, a vine, a seed. 
  4. Once you have observed all aspects of the grape, even smell, place it in your mouth, but do not bite.
  5. Move the grape around and feel the textures and flavors. 
  6. Bite the grape in half and move it around to all areas of the mouth; tongue, cheek, roof, and describe the textures and flavors. Check the difference between the front, sides, and back of the tongue.  There are 5 distinct flavor differences within the tongue; salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. 
  7. Now chew the grape up completely and begin to swallow it.
  8. Follow the grape from the mouth down the esophagus and into the stomach. 
  9. Try to feel when the grape hits the stomach.
  10. When finished, think about the difference between being mindful when eating and being oblivious to taste, texture and flavor.  Is it more satisfying?

Choosing to eat mindfully will decrease over consumption of foods, increase self-awareness of hunger signals, create a more pleasurable dining experience, and help us reach our weight loss/maintenance goals.  At your next meal I challenge you to try at least one bite using this mindful eating technique.  Enjoy!

In a previous post we discussed how to read the nutrition facts portion of a nutrition label. That information is important for making sure that you are staying within your correct macronutrient balance as detailed in your DNA diet. It’s also important for measuring how many calories you are consuming throughout the day. While the nutrition facts give a nice overview of what is in a single serving of packaged food, the ingredients give you the gritty details. The list of ingredients goes in order from most abundant to least abundant. Specific amounts are not listed.

The ingredient list provides valuable information, but it’s important to realize its limitations. For example, a common ingredient listed for meat products is beef. Cows have lots of parts used for meat and are raised in a variety of different ways. So while the ingredient list may just say beef, we don’t know what part of the cow that beef came from or whether or not the cow was injected with hormones and antibiotics while it was growing. GenoVive uses only antibiotic and hormone free beef in its home delivered meals, but it would be almost impossible to find this information on your average nutrition label in the grocery store.

Ingredient lists are also infamous for including a lot of strange chemicals that most people aren’t really familiar with. Chemical compounds are found in almost all packaged foods. Just because you can’t recognize the name of a certain compound doesn’t mean it is bad for you. For example, some people may not be familiar with folic acid (an ingredient found in GenoVive’s Vegetable Minestrone), which is also known as Vitamin B9. This compound is essential for bodily functions, especially the synthesizing and repairing of DNA. If you are not familiar with a certain compound in the food you are eating, look it up. You may be pleasantly surprised or learn something new.

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All packaged food products sold in the United States are required to have a nutrition label by law, but many people do not know how to interpret the information on this label accurately. There are two main components of a nutrition label: nutrition facts and ingredients. Today’s blog will detail some of the information you will be able to discover in the nutrition facts section.

Serving Size – Pay attention to this closely. This is the weight or volume of a single serving inside a package that may contain multiple servings. Some people mistake the calories and macronutrients listed as a measurement for the whole package. This is rarely the case when it comes to most products from the grocery store. Meals and snacks from GenoVive contain only one serving, making them easy to understand. The following information on a label pertains to amounts that are in only one serving.

Calories – This is a measure of energy per serving. Keeping track of these throughout the day is helpful while you’re watching your weight.

Total Fat – This section lists total fat but also has subsections for saturated fat, monounsaturated fats and trans fat, depending on what the package contains. The percentage of the daily recommended value will also be listed on the right, as it will for all these sections. While you’re on GenoVive’s all-natural meal program which is customized for your DNA, the amount of fat in your program may differ from these recommendations which are general and not based on individual needs. Each gram of fat has 9 calories.

Sodium – Many people can have serious problems with excess sodium intake and there are different schools of thought from leading health organizations about the correct sodium levels. It’s best to consult with your doctor to determine how much salt in your diet is healthy.

Total Carbohydrates  and Fiber– As with fat, carbohydrates will have subsections with dietary fiber and sugar. Your GenoVive meal program contains 20-24 grams of fiber each day. Your intake of sugar should be limited as much as possible, but is fine in moderation. Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram.

Protein – Great for maintaining and building muscle, protein is an essential macronutrient while dieting. As with the other macronutrients, the percentage of protein you need on your DNA diet will depend on your metabolic needs according to your genetic profile detailed in your GenoVive Weight Management Genetic Profile Report.

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Sugar used to be relegated to only special treats and special occasions. It was there for celebrations, for times when a certain food needed a certain kick or character beyond the ordinary. Things have changed with modern agriculture as sugar has invaded almost every aspect of food production. Look at any food label in the grocery store today and examine the ingredients. More likely than not, you will see sugar or its corn derived brother High Fructose Corn Syrup in nearly every packaged food available. The reason why this has happened is complicated and multi-faceted, but the results have been devastating to the health of a nation.

Excess sugar takes on many shapes and disguises in foods throughout the grocery store. Items like candy bars, donuts and ice cream are an obvious source of sugar that most people on diets avoid consciously because they often contain a lot of fat. Items like regular soda, fruit juice and fruit snacks also contain a lot of sugar. Their health effects may not be readily apparent to the uneducated because they are just “liquids” or because they have fruit in the name. Other sugar loaded items are even more devious. Many seemingly unsweetened items like frozen dinners, breaded chicken breasts and bread contain HFCS in order to enhance the flavor of poor quality products. It’s important to pay close attention to labels on foods in order to avoid excess sugar in a diet.

Actually finding items at the store that are low in sugar and HFCS is a challenge all in its own, which is why trying to buy food at the supermarket may not be the best option for finding healthy foods on a diet. A superior option may be to eat through a home delivered meal program like the one offered through GenoVive’s DNA diet. All-natural home meals delivered from GenoVive give you just the right amount of calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients that your body needs for staying healthy and losing weight at the same time. There’s no need to worry about your food being laced with tons of excess sugar and HFCS.

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Dessert is one of the most enjoyable parts of life when it comes to eating. During the age of mercantilism in Europe, sweet imports like chocolate and sugar from South America and the Caribbean were some of the most expensive items you could find. Explorers and merchants would traverse huge oceans and combat natives to gain access to value crops and spices to bring back to their royalty and the wealthy elite. Nowadays, any person on the street can buy an ice cream cone or hot chocolate, letting all of us partake in the pleasures of delicious desserts.

With this wide availability of high calorie treats comes a cost. Many of the most popular desserts of our day are loaded with tons of fat and calories: ice cream, milk shakes, pies and cake with frosting. These types of items are ubiquitous in parties, weddings and tons of other celebrations, making them hard to avoid for people who find themselves at these types of functions often. It may sometimes feel like these high calorie treats are the only type of dessert available.  This is simply not the truth.

Cultures that do not have ready access to refined sugar or dairy products don’t have the option of making things like ice cream or milk shakes.  In many parts of the world, fruit is considered a dessert. Fruit has the benefit of being both very sweet but also relatively low calorie. Many Americans have become desensitized to the presence of sugar in their food and therefore don’t find fruit to be very delectable, but for those of us on a DNA diet that has reduced sugar levels, fruit can be quite the treat. GenoVive’s DNA diet also offers lots of snacks and dessert like items that are both healthy and low in calories like frappes, chocolate chip cookie bars, double chocolate brownie bars and cherry cashew bars.

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The word natural is thrown all over the place when it comes to food products, but not all foods labeled as being natural are created equally.  You may have seen some of these items in the super market. The label says natural but when you look at the ingredient list you see a bunch of chemicals and additives that you know are anything but natural. So why do food companies mislead customers into thinking their foods are all-natural when they aren’t? One reason is because they can. Two is because most customers know that all-natural foods are better for them so they will more likely buy their product.

Before going ahead and showing how GenoVive’s home delivered meals are truly all natural, we’d like to describe what natural actually means.  When it comes to food, natural should mean that the ingredients should come directly from nature with as little processing as possible. Food should contain whole grains, fruits and vegetables that are grown with few if any chemicals. The meat in your food should also be all natural, meaning that the animals grown for meat should not be treated with hormones and antibiotics.

The meals in GenoVive’s DNA diet are focused on being all-natural and healthy. Carbohydrate sources come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are rich in prebiotics that help stimulate a healthy and active digestive system. Our meals made with meat come from animals that are not treated with hormones and antibiotics. The impact these kinds of natural foods have on a diet are enormous, as the body reacts to natural foods much better than it does to foods laced with hormones and chemicals. A DNA diet is not just about losing weight, but keeping your body in a healthy condition with foods it was evolved to eat straight from nature.

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We live in a rather difficult time for eating healthy. Food advertising is one of the biggest industries on the planet. Ads for unhealthy food are all over television, radio, magazines and the internet. Nearly every food company out there is trying to sell you their greasy burgers or high calories starches. The presence of this advertising can feel overwhelming at times. Every time you walk in a store, turn on the television or even drive to work, you are likely to be barraged by a constant presence of unhealthy food advertising.

Food advertising works by appealing to the very ideals and conditions that their foods will ultimately sabotage. This includes having thin models eating cheeseburgers, surfers and athletes shoveling down French fries and happy groups of friends and lovers eating high sugar candy. The advertising tries to build psychological connections between emotional pleasure and eating high calorie products. It’s no surprise why so many of us have become emotional eaters. Half the battle of combating this advertising is to know that they are doing it in the first place.

Ignoring the messaging of major food companies is a psychological battle that starts with knowledge. Knowing the kind of foods you should be eating and in what proportions will help you realize the dangers of mass marketed foods and provide you with the motivation to avoid them. Joining a home delivered meal program like the one offered through GenoVive’s DNA diet will help you stick to meals that will help you lose weight rather than navigate the minefield of commercial food products.

It’s 1 am, you can’t get back to sleep, and it’s been six hours since your last meal. Your stomach is starting to rumble. Visions of ice cream, leftover pasta and sleeves of cookies twirl through your head. It’s time for late night snacking, the seemingly unavoidable urge to get up late and mindlessly grab whatever looks good. As you shovel the food down standing next to the refrigerator, you barely realize what you’re doing in your late night mental fogginess. By morning you are hungry again, and the extra calories have been absorbed into your system forever.

Late night snacking is a frustrating experience. We sometimes wake up late in the night and find ourselves being hungry, but eating late at night doesn’t fit in with our calorie limits for the day. It would be ideal to just ignore the cravings and go back to sleep, but if that is not possible, it is best to try to limit the damage of late night snacking as much as possible.

There are a few good ways to do this.  Be sure to eat enough calories during the day.  Your GenoVive meal program may  contain between 1300 and 1900 calories per day broken into 5 smaller sized meals and snacks.  With GenoVive, you’re getting 20-24 grams of fiber each day to help keep you feeling satisfied, so you should also drink plenty of water which will help with snack cravings. The second is to have healthy low calorie snack foods available only. Good choices for this are snack able vegetables like carrots and celery along with yogurt, cottage cheese and a variety of snacks that come with your home delivered meal program through Genovive.

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Breakfast is a great opportunity to get lots of healthy and natural foods in a diet. This is because breakfast is usually eaten at home, so there are very few limitations on choices that places like convenience stores and fast food establishments have. Ingredients like eggs, yogurt and cottage cheese are high in protein and can be prepared in a variety of different ways. Fruits and whole grains are a great source for healthy carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals.

Many people say that they don't have time to prepare breakfast for themselves in the morning, and use this as an excuse to either not eat or eat something unhealthy. The reality is that most breakfasts take very little time to make. Yogurt can be prepared almost instantaneously, as can cottage cheese with fruit. Most preparations of eggs take less than five minutes and toasted a healthy piece of whole wheat bread. The breakfasts provided with the Genovive home delivered meal program are nutritious, healthy and ready to go.

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There are some foods that you can eat straight from the grocery store that provide some of the same health effects that supplements do; these foods are often known as super foods. Super foods contain high amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that allow for a healthy body and may assist you in losing weight. These items are not expensive luxury foods, but things you can find nearly every day in most supermarkets. These super foods include beans, broccoli, oranges, spinach and yogurt.

Blueberries in particular are known as an Antioxidant super food. Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, blueberries are high in potassium and vitamin C, making them a wonderful choice for people looking to add beneficial vitamins to their diet. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have.  A half a cup a day is a good amount to see positive effects, and frozen berries can be just as good as the fresh ones. Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well and follow the daily guidelines of your GenoVive Customized Meal Program. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.

There are several other groups of super foods to look out for as well. Items that are high in fiber can have wonderful effects on dieting. Fiber makes you feel full for longer and can lower blood sugar levels. You can find fiber in a variety of foods like whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables.

Omega 3’s are also something to look out for. These fatty acids can be found in cold water fish, preferably wild, like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. They can also be found fortified eggs, flax seed and walnuts. Omega 3’s are said to be good for the heart because they help lower cholesterol.  Accessibility and taste can be factors that prevent many people from getting enough fish in their diet.  That’s why GenoVive includes a high quality food sourced (from calamari) Omega3 supplement along with each monthly supply of the Customized Meal Program.

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Humans and animals have been eating fruit long before the invention of modern agriculture brought about the food culture we have today. In fact, plants evolved over millions of years to bear edible fruit so that animals would distribute their seeds when they ate it. This symbiotic relationship has great value for both animals and plants. Animals get to sustain themselves and plants get the benefit of having their seeds spread over a much wider area than they would ever be able to on their own.

Thankfully, fruits are not only delicious but healthy too. If you have a sweet tooth and you haven’t been able to think of a good solution to satisfy it, then consider adding more fruit to your diet.  Fruits are full of natural sugars, vitamins and fiber. When choosing what type of fruit to eat, it’s best to keep your individual metabolic needs in mind.  For example, if your Weight Management Genetic Profile report indicates a Carbohydrate Optimized program for you, then select fruits with a low to moderate amount of carbohydrates such as: strawberries, blueberries, apples, nectarines, papaya, peaches, cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.

Selecting new fruits to try can be fun.  Visit a farmers market and discover the various treats that local farmers are selling. You may be surprised to find out what kind of fruit is being grown right next door to you.  Incorporating local fruit into your weight loss plan is not only a great way to help you successfully lose weight, but it also helps the local community. Buying fruit you are not really familiar with will also give you lots of ideas for new dishes you can cook at home.

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Meat and dairy foods play a pivotal role in popular western diets.  Most diets consistently recommend you drink at least two glasses of milk per day and consume a good portion of red meats, which will ultimately lead to healthy bones and lean muscle mass.  Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the chemicals and hormones that reside in the food they eat.  Both beef and milk contain high levels of chemicals you definitely want to avoid.

The true and ugly fact of beef and milk production in the United States is that most large producers use harmful growth hormones to promote maximum production.  The use of these hormones has been under constant attack and surveillance from many government officials because of the harm the cause not only to the animals but also to the people who eat them.  Even with the intense scrutiny from a large and growing number of consumers and scientists, the USDA and even the FDA have given consent for the use of six different growth hormones for beef production and an additional one for milk production.

Controversy also surrounds the fact that there are no labeling requirements in the U.S. for growth hormones in food. A recent study making a strong environmental case for the controversial cattle injections, has added a new twist to the debate. The growth hormone debate is centered on four main issues: who benefits from these growth hormones; animal health and welfare; food safety and environmental concerns.

Conventional — These come without specialty designations. The cattle might have been fed corn and other grains on an industrial feedlot, even if it started out on grass. Grain is used in the place of grass as it is quicker and cheaper, and translates into a faster turnaround and higher profits. However, grains are tough on the digestive system of cows and make them vulnerable to sickness. The cows then require antibiotics. They are also routinely given growth hormones.

USDA Certified Organic – The cattle is raised on grass or grain-based feed that does not contain animal by-products. These animals are not given antibiotics (unless required by a veterinarian, and then the animal loses organic status) or growth hormones. To address animal welfare concerns, cattle are raised in conditions “which allow for exercise, freedom of movement, and reduction of stress appropriate to the species” and “access to pasture”.

Grass Fed or Pasture Finished – These cattle are raised only on grass or hay, no grain. Studies indicate that grass-fed beef contains higher levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids than conventional beef.

No Hormones/No Antibiotics — The USDA allows this label for growers who provide documentation, but they do not check up on the claims. “Hormone free” and “antibiotic free” are not USDA approved descriptions but are used to describe meat and poultry that were not given or raised with hormones or antibiotics.

The diets consumed by our ancestors were higher in whole grains and also meats, but our bodies were not designed to effectively and efficiently metabolize the substances contained in growth hormones and antibiotics.  So make the extra effort to actively seek out clean sources of lean protein from hormone free and antibiotic free meats.

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The popularity of dieting has caused a lot of food companies to jump on the diet bandwagon without actually providing healthy food. You can see this reality all over the grocery store. Labels like reduced fat, fat free and all natural appear to be healthy options for losing weight, but their appearance can be deceiving. Fat is not the only component in a diet that can cause someone to gain weight, and all natural is not a regulated term. This means that some companies can and will slap it on their labels even if the ingredients in their products are not natural.

The fat free craze of the 1990’s was a good example of this phenomenon. Companies would release snack foods with the label fat free on them, and while this was true, the snacks were loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and salt in order to boost the flavor profile. Large amount of fats in the diet are not healthy, but neither are high amounts of sugar and sodium. These choices appeared to be healthy for people looking to lose weight, but often customers would find that they would gain weight while mostly staying away from fat in these foods. They didn’t realize that processed sweeteners can have equally as disastrous effect on weight gain as fats do.

These packaged and processed foods also contain a high amount of chemicals that may be unhealthy for the body. The only way to find these chemicals is to look closely at the ingredients on the box. Companies are not required to list things like growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, artificial coloring/dyes, nitrates and sulfites anywhere but the fine print ingredient list. This can make these chemicals easy to miss. Some foods like protein bars and frozen dinners claiming to be healthy can be loaded with chemicals like these. It is important to be discerning when doing your grocery shopping by looking closely at the ingredient list of every food product you buy.

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While some unhealthy foods are disguised as products that are supposed to be healthy, very many healthy foods are under the disguise of great flavor and satisfaction. A great myth has been perpetrated in American culture that unhealthy foods taste good and healthy ones don’t. This could not be further from the truth.  In fact, healthy foods often taste much better than their unhealthy counterparts because they are loaded with things that the body craves. The key to finding great tasting healthy food is knowing where to look.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are very well known for being healthy, but many people don’t look at these foods beyond their raw, sometimes unappealing state. When they are prepared properly you may even forget that you are eating fruits and vegetables because of the wonderful flavors and textures. For example, you can get frappe drinks full of fruit that contain vitamin C, Lycopene, antioxidants and Resveratrol, the beneficial component of red wine. Vegetables can be roasted or grilled to bring out their delicious flavors and textures. They can be mixed with whole grain pastas to mimic full and hearty pasta you might get at a restaurant.

Meat and other sources of protein can be more ambiguous sources of healthy food. When it comes to meat, eating healthy means buying products that are free from antibiotics and hormones. Natural grass fed beef is the healthiest kind of beef, but it is also the most delicious. Fish is a delicious source of good fats and proteins. The omega 3 fatty acids contained within fish are said to help reduce inflammation in the body and may also be responsible lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.  Roasted or grilled fish with fresh vegetables is an immensely satisfying and delicious meal full of all the compounds and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and fit.

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Many people don’t know where to start in trying to find great tasting food to help them lose weight. Many delicious, healthy choices can be found when you know what to look for. Before discussing what specific foods are good, it's a good idea to look out for ingredients in the food we eat that may indicate an item is unhealthy or may lead to weight gain. Growth hormones and antibiotics in meat are components you may want to avoid. Preservatives such as BHA or BHT, which are used to keep fats from becoming rancid, may be carcinogenic or adversely affect metabolism for some people. (http://www.feingold.org/bht.html)

A better approach to healthy living is to focus on foods that we know are natural. Good sources of protein are essential to good health and weight maintenance. Meats that are certified hormone and antibiotic free and naturally lean with low saturated fat are excellent sources of protein. Other non-meat sources like nuts, legumes, seeds and whey protein are great sources of protein for vegetarians and those who would like to have a little less meat in their diets. Proteins are essential to maintaining the muscle mass that burns calories and keeps the weight off.

Eating healthy carbohydrates and fats are also important to maintaining weight. Keep levels of sugars like high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars and sugar alcohols low or non-existent. Find foods that have healthy carbohydrates like natural inulin from agave, natural fiber and whole grains. When eating food with fat it in, make sure to avoid items that contain trans fats or lots of saturated fats. Foods like olive oil contain healthy monounsaturated fats. Flax seed and nuts have high omega-3 fatty acids. Focusing on these types of foods and ingredients may increase a person's chances of maintaining their weight for good.

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Going natural is something that has only been around recently as a “trend” but it’s actually been around a lot longer than we have.  Using natural ingredients and methods to create natural foods we eat should be the norm not an exception. 

However, with all the introduction of “natural” and “organic” foods it can be overwhelming and may even diminish the meaning of natural.  Another thing is that these foods tend to be more expensive than the processed junk we are used to eating, and a lot of times this can turn people away.  Before you turn away from the higher price, read this information so you can understand the health benefits of eating natural foods.

 What defines natural foods?

Natural foods are defined as products that do not endure  any chemical processing, either in the growing process or in the harvesting procedure. These are products that should not contain pesticides or insecticides, fertilizers as well as other toxins.

When you see organic food that are pre-packaged, this means that each of the ingredients is also processed using organic techniques. However, you should to look for packages that include the term ‘100%’ or ‘certified’ organic in order to know that all of the ingredients are organic and natural. When a package just includes the now generic phrase of organic, it might mean that only a portion of the ingredients are processed in this method.

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If you watch T.V. or listen to the radio, we are sure you have heard of the Acai Berry, which is some kind of magical berry that aides in immense weight loss.  But, does this little berry actually work?  The berry in question is small, round, and purple that contains a pulp like substance with a seed.  It has been proven to be an extremely healthy super food and gives a boost of natural energy to the body.

The main claim made by those who consume these berries is natural weight loss.  The Acai berry may boost your body’s consumption of calories so that you end up burning more calories during normal physical activities. The end result is natural weight loss. All you have to do is follow a sensible diet and exercise plan and eating this fruit will kick in and burn those calories faster than you would otherwise be able to do.  However, remember that this berry doesn’t act as a completely solo weight loss item, you need to follow a regular exercise and diet regime to reap the benefits.  It is also important to note that the acai berry does not lead to the immense weight loss outlined in advertisements, it simply acts as a catalyst to help your metabolism work faster.

The antioxidant benefits of the Acai berry rivals another berry that you know well – the blueberry. Acai has all the right vitamin and mineral properties to have a positive effect on your health and overall well-being in general.

Here’s a list of how Acai Berry may help your body.

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Helps fight off cancer and arthritis
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Cleanses and detoxifies the body
  • Improves digestive function
  • Minimizes inflammation
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Has high levels of fiber
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Promotes healthier and younger-looking skin
  • Enhances visual acuity

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Ginger may not be the best tasting food on the market but you will be surprised by the remarkable health benefits it can offer your body.  Here are some basic health benefits of ginger:

If you have a cough with phlegm, ginger can reduce the phlegm and create a soothing effect in the lungs. It can also cure respiratory problems like sore throat, sinusitis and the common cold. For a sore throat, you just have to gargle it with honey. In treating sinusitis, ginger can reduce the congestion in the nose, letting the affected person experience comfort in breathing. It also does the same effect for a person with a cold, plus it reduces the mucous.

Health benefits of ginger also include acting as a detoxifier in our stomach. When taken daily, ginger will burn the toxins in our gastro-intestinal tract and it will increase the secretion of digestive juices. This is a good medicine for those people having problems with digestion like bloating, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger is said to stimulate the pancreas in producing enzymes that favors digestion. It also has antibacterial property that prevents digestive problems.

Curing motion sickness and aiding in arthritis are the other health benefits of ginger. Since ginger facilitates in the movement of food in the gastro-intestinal tract, it helps in emptying the stomach quickly. It can also act as remedy to nausea.

Health benefits of ginger include being an aid for the health of the heart. It increases and improves the circulation of blood, HDL or the good cholesterol and triglycerides. Ginger helps in lowering the blood fats and stops arterial plaque or clogged in the arteries. It also reduces the LDL oxidation or the build-up of bad cholesterol.

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You might be under the impression that peanut butter is only for kids, and something that you should not consume it  too often because it might lead to additional weight gain for you.  However, peanut butter can be a  heart-healthy treat and contains a lot of protein and fiber per serving to help you get the energy you need.  The added protein also helps you feel fuller for longer.   Peanut butter also has 3 mg of vitamin E, a valuable antioxidant vitamin and 0.17 mg of vitamin B6 to boost your immunity.  It has 49 mg of magnesium which helps to build bones and its 208 mg of potassium is good for your muscles.

The advantage of including peanut butter in your diet is that it is full of heart-healthy mono unsaturated fat, and adults who eat a diet high in mono unsaturated fat have less belly fat than those who eat more carbohydrates or saturated fat.  In addition to reducing belly fat, research has shown that eating nuts and this includes peanut butter, can reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.  One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that you can lower your risk of diabetes by almost 30 % if you eat one ounce of nuts or peanut butter for five days every week.

You should be aware of sodium and sugar content when choosing your peanut butter.  Look for natural peanut butters that do not include hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup.  You can spot natural peanut butters by looking for a peanut butter with a layer of natural peanut oil at the top of the jar.  Sodium content in peanut butters can range from 40 mg to 250 mg per two tablespoon serving.  People on salt reduced diets should be aware that they do have to read labels rather than avoid this tasty treat altogether.  One reason other than health for avoiding high salt peanut butter is that salt tends to hide the taste of the peanuts.  Sugar content ranges from 1gm to 2gm in natural brands to double that in commercial brands.  It is a question of taste; if you are having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on whole wheat bread we hope!) you can save calories by using a natural brand of peanut butter.

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Whole grains are an essential part of any dietary regime and are the most important sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber you can get. A recent study of the causes, distribution and control of disease in populations suggest that whole grain foods play a strong role against various diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and even cancer. 


Middle aged women who consume more whole grain foods have been known to lose more weight than those women who consume more polished grain foods.


Seeds of wheat, rice, maize, oats, rye and barley are the most significant cereal grains. All grains have the same structure. Such massive amounts of nutrients and fitness-endorsing materials work collectively to yield a greater advantage to your healthy diet. Whole grains give you a whole package of nutrients which may not be achievable from the addition of individual nutritive elements in your diet.

Fine flavor, healthiness, simplicity and cost are usually the decisive factors behind food alternatives among most people. Even cheaper food, if properly selected, can supply as much energy as costly food. Food products that are formed from cereals have long been proven to provide an extensive selection of foods and carry out a variety of roles in supplying all your nutritional needs. Consumers today can select from a range of nutritious wholegrain options which also taste good at the same time. If you are into whole grains, taste and health will never be considered as contradictory aspects in your food preference.

In order to consume more whole grains, replace any of your dietary items with a wholegrain based product. You can have bread made of integral wheat and brown rice instead of the white bread and the white rice respectively. It is important to replace a polished product with something that comprises of the integral product which has more nutrients.

The brown rice is filled up in green peppers and tomatoes and cooked at the furnace of the essential low-porosity tubular powder. This enriches its nutritive values. Whole grains can be used in mixed fares and as whole wheat with oat flour to create muffins, pancakes, biscuits and other delicacies based on flour.

Click here to learn more about the whole grains in GenoVive's Customized Meal Program

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