Quick And Easy Health Food Selections Make Cooking Fun

Homemakers put great confidence in the items that they keep on hand to prepare family meals. If they purchased those items from a health food market then they know that they are definitely healthy because all of them are organically grown. There are certain selections that make homemakers very happy and those are the items that are quick and easy to prepare.

These health food selections make preparing meals quick and easy and cooks are able to spend the extra time doing things that are fun. While some health food meals are being prepared parents might strike up a game of cards with their children, or spend some quiet time reading a book that they have wanted to read for a very long time.

Cooking organically grown health foods does not have to be a chore. It can be fun and flavorful. Some family dinners can be prepared using side dishes like a garden vegetable medley that give nutritional value and taste to any family meal. Some families might like the robust flavors that are offered by black beans and rice.

Both of these side dishes can be prepared in a matter of minutes which is a delight to everyone in the house.

Other family food dishes prepared with health food meal packages might include a hearty bean soup mix that would be perfect on a cold winter night. Families can also transport this lightweight meal to the back porch in Summer time and enjoy a family barbeque and games outside as well. All meals cooked with a health food focus can be fun, and it is just a matter of picking out the activities that you enjoy most for any meal time setting.

Some people still rely on the standard food items that are available in supermarkets. The health food choices of staples like macaroni and cheese, or rice pilaf will give a family more heath benefits in the long run over the almost bland selections that people are faced with on the supermarket shelves. Old favorites do not have to go by the wayside when preparing health foods for your family.

There are even quick and easy food preparations that fit right in on the vegetarian meal plan. Some of these quick and easy meals can be prepared for under $5 and feed a family of five a delicious meal that consists of a vegetarian chili. There are many vegetable soup blends too for an easy change of pace, and vegetarians will be able to enjoy fast preparation times and flavor in their foods at the same time.

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Kitchen Food Processor

Kitchen food processors are a vital component of home made cooking. They are one of the best kitchen appliances for doling out a multitude of new and exciting dishes. They not only process recipes which require delicate handling such as flaky pie crust, but also tackle heavy duty tasks such as slicing carrots and radishes.

Kitchen processors are also useful for mincing garlic cloves and pureeing savory soups. They are available in varying capacity depending on the daily quantity of food prepared and the frequency of use. These cooking appliances chop real quick and also prevent excess processing, giving you extra control. Kitchen processors come with easy to install attachments such as feeding tubes, blades and discs.

Basic Components and Features

Feeding tubes promote easy push of foods for quick grating, shredding or slicing. It also keeps your hands from getting in contact with the blades, preventing injuries. Feeding tubes vary in size and shape. Blades and discs are vital processor accessories which expand your food choices. They come with a wide assortment of shredding and slicing discs. Few processors also include citrus fruit juicers.

Heavy duty dough blades are also provided to process whole wheat and yeast bread dough. Most kitchen food processors come with plastic mixing lid and bowl, plastic food pusher and a metal chopping blade to push the food safely through feed tubes.

Benefits

Modern food processors are highly versatile, some of which even grind and mince meat. Others come with wider tubes so you need not pre-cut vegetables before pushing them in. Food processors have revolutionized the concept of food preparation around the world. They are manufactured in three main sizes – mini, full and compact.

Kitchen food processors are now available with plastic and metal finishes, ensuring your appliance nicely fits in the kitchen decor.

Health Food Pioneer Defines 100 Of The World’s Healthiest Foods In Just 4 Weeks They Can Energize

We’re bombarded with information telling us to eat ‘healthier.’ While most of us understand that means we shouldn’t live solely on potato chips, cheeseburgers and ice cream, many of us are hard-pressed to understand what ‘healthy food’ really is. After all, there’s so much conflicting information about food and diets and some new study is always popping up in the news telling us that we shouldn’t be eating this or drinking that. So, what if someone created a lifestyle plannot a dietthat features 100 of the world’s healthiest foods with quick and easy recipes to prepare them in a way that tastes delicious and makes you feel energized and healthier?

Someone has. George Mateljan has dedicated 10 years to researching and writing his latest book, The World’s Healthiest Foods.” Alarmed by the steady rise in obesity, he’s on a personal mission to help people eat healthier to live longer, healthier lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 66% of adult Americans are overweight, increasing their risk of heart disease, type 2 Diabetes and some cancers. Most people want to improve their health,” says Mateljan. With the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan in just 4 weeks you can energize your life. All of the information about the World’s Healthiest Foods and their health benefits are backed by scientific data. Plus, the food tastes great. If food doesn’t taste good, people won’t eat it.”

Mateljan researched cultures known for their health and longevity and compiled a list of the 100 Healthiest Foods. The health-promoting foods on my list contain the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for the least number of calories,” says Mateljan. These factors all work together to help your body function at optimum levels. He says by incorporating these foods into your diet, you’ll have a healthier heart, better memory, and physically you’ll see differences in your hair and skin. Your energy level will increase and if you’re overweight, you’ll shed some pounds too.

The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides a selection of foods to choose for each meal, along with hundreds of recipes, most of which take 7 minutes or less to prepare. The recipes are so easy you can prepare an entire meal in less than 15 minutes– a key benefit for squeezing healthy eating into today’s hectic lifestyles. Most people cook the nutrients right out of their food,” says Mateljan. They don’t realize that the way they wash, store and cook their food can result in a loss of vitamins and minerals and that overcooking can lose from 50-80% of the nutrients! My recipes are super fast and easy and designed to help food retain the maximum nutrition. Everything tastes so good you’ll forget that you’re eating healthy. You won’t feel deprived and you’ll make a positive and lasting impact on your health.”

Ten little known facts about healthy eating include:

1. Eating fresh fruit with each meal helps the digestive process
2. Soaking produce in water leaches out water soluble vitamins
3. Don’t saut with olive oil; add it to sauces and foods after they’re cooked to retain the flavor and nutrients in the oil
4. Bell peppers may have a protective effect against cataracts
5. Eating one large apple a day can lower serum cholesterol by up to 11%
6. Adding fish, shellfish, flaxseeds or walnuts to one meal each day provides anti-inflammatory protection
7. Refined sugars can lead to reduced immune system function
8. Refined grains can lead to blood sugar elevations
9. Whole foods high in fiber such as beans and legumes digest so slowly that many people eat them as natural appetite suppressants
10. Three cups of green tea daily can reduce body weight and waist circumference by 5% in three months

Paperback: 880 pages
Publisher: GMF Publishing
Book Available at: Amazon and www.whfoods.org

Endorsement:

MASTERPIECE. I have been asked to review and comment on many books over the years. None has ever impressed me more than ‘The World’s Healthiest Foods.’ The book offers the richest feast of information on healthful eating I have ever seen compiled into a single source. George Mateljan’s achievement in creating this masterful resource is nothing less than stunning. Keep this book within easy reach, and everything you need to know about eating for optimal health, and pure delight- from which foods to choose, to how they should be prepared- will be at your fingertips. If every kitchen held a copy of ‘The World’s Healthiest Foods’ and every cook referred to it often, the health benefits would be dramatic.”

-David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP
Professor and Director, Prevention Research Center
Yale University School of Medicine
Medical Contributor, ABC News
Nutrition Columnist, O, The Oprah Magazine
Health Columnist, the New York Times Syndicate

Kitchen Food Storage – Choosing the Option That’s Right for You

More than just a set of shelves for storing your food items, your kitchen pantry cabinet is also an item of furniture. Since it is going to be standing in your kitchen it will be in plain sight and needs to not only be functional but look good too. That means choosing colors that match or complement your existing decor and quality materials such as oak to ensure that your new kitchen storage does not look cheap, but blends into the look of the rest of your kitchen and house.

Consider whether your new kitchen pantry cabinet will have glass-fronted doors or whether they will be wood-faced and the food items invisible inside. You may be buying it in order to keep your kitchen clutter-free and don’t want to be able to see all those cans and pasta packets inside, in which case a closed design will be for you. On other hand, maybe you prefer to see exactly where things are before you even open your cabinet and you like the homely look of all those food stocks peeping out from your cupboard.

Another important consideration is placement – will the cabinet be placed against a wall? Or will it be placed so that it cannot rely on a wall for stability? In the latter case you may want to make sure you are getting a free-standing cabinet.

Another popular spot for pantry cabinets is in a corner, but then you will certainly want to consider a corner cabinet as a regular one may not work at all in this location, since the door will not be able to open, or you will not be able to access it properly.

There is also a type of cabinet called a ‘Lazy Suzan’, with a kind of turntable arrangement whereby you can rotate the ‘shelves’ to access what you want, though remember here that you will lose some space due to the circular shape, so there is a tradeoff.

Hopefully you have picked up some ideas that will help you choose the pantry cabinet that’s right for you and your food reserves will soon be hidden safely away in your new kitchen storage!

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.

Eat wisely, be happy, and live long!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

Food Safety Tips for Your Next Barbecue

We often talk about the health of foods in terms of their nutrient content and how their nutrients and phytochemicals can prevent diseases and help manage your weight. But you might often forget about the importance of food safety as necessary precautions that should be taken to keep you in good health.

This summer, as you host your weekend barbecues, keep in mind that even some of the healthiest foods could cause you and your guests illness if proper food safety isn’t followed, especially when working with raw meat and fresh produce.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind so you, your family and your friends can best enjoy the healthy foods you love:

At the Store:

• When you’re food shopping, pick up refrigerated foods right before checking out.

• When placing meats in your cart, separate raw meat and poultry from other foods.

• Place every package of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags to prevent the juices from contaminating other foods.

• Drive directly home from the store to ensure that the foods aren’t kept from refrigeration for too long. If the trip home will involve several stops, bring a cooler with ice to help keep the meats and refrigerated items cold.

At Home:

• Place all meats in the refrigerator immediately.

• Freeze meat and poultry that won’t be used within 1 or 2 days. Freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.

• Completely thaw all meats before they go on the grill to ensure thorough and even cooking.

• Practice safe thawing methods in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Never thaw frozen meat or poultry by letting it sit out on the counter top.

• Microwave foods only if they will immediately be placed on the grill.

When Marinating Meats for the Barbecue:

- Make sure you marinate meats in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

- Poultry and cubed or stewed meat can be marinated for up to 2 days.

- Beef, veal, pork, and lamb cuts may be marinated for up to 5 days.

- If saving marinade for later use, reserve a portion of the marinade before placing raw meat in it to prevent cross contamination from raw to cooked foods.

- If the marinade comes in contact with raw meat with intentions of being used on cooked foods as a sauce, bring the marinade to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Transporting the Food:

• When carrying food to another location, make sure to keep it cold to minimize any bacterial growth.

• Use an insulated cooler with ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40° or lower.

• Pack food straight from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.

• Pack perishables and non-perishables in separate coolers.

• Avoid opening the lid of the cooler too often, and keep it out of direct sunlight to keep the

temperature constant.

Cleanliness at the Grill:

• Be sure to have plenty of clean platters and utensils.

• Use separate platters and utensils for raw and cooked meats and poultry.

• If away from home, pack wet towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

During Cooking:

• NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.

• Meat and poultry often brown very fast on the outside, and can be an inaccurate indicator of whether it is safe to eat. Use a food thermometer to be absolutely sure.

• Safe minimum temperatures:

Beef, veal, lamb cuts: 145°F (medium rare); 160°F (medium)
Hamburgers made from ground beef: 160°F
Pork: 160°F
Poultry: 165°F
Reheating:
• When reheating fully cooked meats, grill to 165°F or until steaming hot.

Keeping Hot Food Hot:

• After foods are completely cooked, keep them hot until served, at 140°F or warmer. You can do this by keeping already grilled foods on the side of the grill to prevent them from overcooking. In the home, they can be kept in a 200°F oven, in a chafing dish, slow cooker, or warming tray.

Leftover Safety:

• Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers to evenly cool the food.

• Discard all food left out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if in hot weather).

This may seem like a lot of rules to follow just to prepare for a family barbecue, but I promise it is worth taking the time to keep you and your family from getting foodborne illness. Make it easier for yourself by keeping all of the temperatures pinned somewhere visible in your kitchen, either on the fridge or on a bulletin board. In no time, all of these food safety tips will become a habit for you in the kitchen!

Bonnie R. Giller is a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor who helps chronic dieters break free of the pain of dieting and get the healthy body they love. She has multiple degrees in clinical nutrition, a certification as a certified diabetes educator and she works with people who are struggling with dieting or health conditions like diabetes take back control so they can get a healthy body and live their lives symptom free.

Safety Tips to Prevent Food Borne Illness This Summer

As picnic and grilling season is upon us much of our focus is on enjoying warmer weather and outdoor dining. But now is also a good time to refresh our memories on food handling safety and illness prevention from food borne disease. We can take two approaches to protect our health from food illness: kitchen cleanliness and proper food storage and food preparation.

Kitchen Cleanliness: even in a spotless kitchen cross-contamination can occur. Good housekeeping practice means immediately washing anything that comes in contact with raw meat using a cleaning rag that is dedicated exclusively to clean-up of instruments and surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat or poultry. Some restaurants use pink dish rags for work in areas where raw meat is handled and white cloths in areas where cooked food is handled. It is wise to confine the handling of raw meat to as small of area as possible, such as the sink, and wipe down thoroughly after meat preparation.

A dilute mixture of warm water and chlorine bleach is an effective disinfectant for sterilizing surfaces where raw meat has been handled. For convenience keep on hand disinfecting wipes by Lysol or Clorox that kill 99% of bacteria. Use the wipes to clean counters and tools and then discard to avoid spreading bacteria and contamination from the cloth to other surfaces. I keep a spray bottle with 1/3-part chlorine to 2/3-parts water at hand to spray surfaces and wipe dry with paper toweling. Allow the chlorine mixture to set on the surface a few minutes before wiping clean and discarding the paper toweling.

Food Handling: Safe food handling begins at the time of purchase. In the best case meat or poultry will be used shortly after purchase, but if not should be stored between 28F and 32F in the meat compartment of the refrigerator. If the meat will not be used within two days it should be wrapped in a non-permeable plastic and stored in the freezer until use, but no longer than 6 to 12 months. Meat should only be thawed in the refrigerator, never at room temperature where bacteria, yeast, molds or viruses could develop.

E. coli is the best known of food borne bacteria and can live in meat and vegetables. In fact, any food can be contaminated with it: undercooked hamburger and roast beef, unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized cider processed from unwashed apples which fell on soil contaminated by the manure of sick cows, vegetables grown in soils fertilized with cow manure. There is no way a farmer, however careful and conscientious, can know which cow is contaminated and which is not. So it is up to the cook to prepare the foods they serve properly in accordance with safe food handling guidelines.

The US Department of Agriculture has prepared a list of Fahrenheit temperatures to which meat, poultry and eggs should be cooked in order to kill food borne bacteria. Temperatures should be measured with a clean instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the meat. Reference the table below:

Fresh ground beef, veal, lamb, pork: 160F

Beef, veal, lamb: roasts, steaks, chops: 145F (medium rare); 160F (medium); 170F (well done)

Fresh pork: roasts, steaks, chops: 160F (medium); 170F (well done)

Ham: cook before eating: 160F

Ham: fully cooked, to reheat: 140F

Poultry: Ground chicken, turkey: 165F

Poultry: whole chicken, turkey: 180F

Poultry: breasts, roasts: 170F

Poultry: thighs & wings: cook until juices run clear

Stuffing: (cooked alone or in bird): 165F

Egg dishes, casseroles: 160F

Leftovers: 165F

For more information contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.

Fruits and Vegetables: Raw foods, such as produce, should be washed thoroughly under cool running water in an area free from contamination from raw meat preparation. Separate utensils and cutting boards should be used for produce and meat to avoid cross contamination.

Vegetables are best stored chilled to slow deterioration. Chilling of fruits and vegetables causes all metabolic activities, including respiration, to slow down. Most fruits and vegetables are best stored at refrigerator temperatures and in conditions where oxygen is limited. Store vegetables in the crisper compartment of the refrigerator, unwashed, until the time of use.

Kaye Bailey 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Kaye Bailey is an internationally recognized writer, speaker and weight loss surgery advocate. She is the author of the highly successful weight loss surgery back to basics plan: 5 Day Pouch Test and the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner’s Manual. Her follow-up book, Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test, was published in December 2009. It provides guidance for long-term weight and health management with all bariatric surgical procedures. Ms. Bailey is known for her powerful “you can do this” manner and her belief in the power of personal responsibility. She is the founder of LivingAfterWLS, LLC parent company to the LivingAfterWLS.com and 5daypouchtest.com websites. Supporting both websites is the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood, an online compassion-driven community for weight loss surgery, gastric bypass and gastric banding patients.

Choice Of Cookware, Choose Health!

Daily tableware is related to health, everyone must pay special attention, especially with the improvement of people’s living, dietary quality improved significantly, but the fat class food intake too much, some is not a healthy diet is still the dominant factor affecting people’s health level. As in recent years the concept of health advocacy, health kitchen is gaining popularity. Quiet, don’t look down upon the healthy kitchen, every day with your diet is closely related to. Choose healthy cookware, inadvertently, help develop healthier eating habits.

Limit oiler:
Your home kitchen still uses ordinary bottles containing edible oil? So inadvertently you home everyday oil consumption will exceed the standard. Experts recommend that adults per person per day, no more than 25 grams of fat intake. Restricted oil bottle is based on the scientific content on the bottles were limited design, the bottle body marked a striking scale line. Restricted oil bottle general calibration standard is 525 grams. 525 grams are experts recommend family of three week standard oil. Every week filled up oiler, a week of his himself family to eat how many oil also can know the score. Limit oiler generally use the imported special material, after special design, to ensure that products practical, good and durable.

Oil and soup separator:
How to do if soup do too much oil and tastes too tired? Many times, we will use the small spoon to a little bit left out the thick layer of oil, this method is not only slow and can not be completely separated oil and soup. Oil and soup separator is a good helper. The use of polycarbonate materials made of the 1500 ml “oil and soup separator”, it’s body is a transparent cup, the cup is provided with a grid layer, pour the cooked soup, and soon will be able to see a clear oil floating on the soup in the upper, tilt kettle body can easily filter out oil soup poured out. Want to drink the light soup only poured into the soup and pour out again.

Electronic kitchen scale:
Diet is accurate to every 1 grams, watch TV in the food program to teach you to do fine foods, especially western pastry, sometimes materials will be accurate to a few grams, and our own operation usually because without required tools and only according to their own estimation, material is not put much be put less, of course, made out of taste can’t reach to the show description. Want to let their cooking skills better, make chef level, undoubtedly small kitchen electronic scales can be a great help. Electronic kitchen scales have two types of flat and with liquid, weighing accuracy can reach 1 gram. And the electronic scale and can be accumulated, peeled function. If it is bowl of soup, the soup has multiple easily said. Using electronic scale can achieve accurate measurement a day to eat how much fruit, flour.

Manual juicer:
Direct tend to eat fruit can eat a few on the stomach without capacity, so female friend love will fruit into juice to drink, all kinds of fruits are mixed together in electric juicer, switch on it, press the button can get it.

The Keys To Good Health

Water and anti-oxidants could be called the keys to good health. Your skin texture is the best indicator of your body’s health and water-content. If your skin’s texture is dry, cracked and has many fine lines, it is obvious that your water intake is not sufficient. Common symptoms of dehydration are: thirst, loss of skin elasticity, dryness, decreased urine production, irritability, restlessness and fatigue. Fatigue can actually lead to nervous disorders, weight gain and over time, having negative effects on your over all general health.

Water affects and is needed for all functions of the body – this includes the skin and internal organs. Water is vital to the look, texture, function and health of all organs but we can see the need on the skin. Without water, nothing would be energized. Our DNA would be damaged, our immune system would not work properly, toxins would build up in our body, and all of our cells would dry up, leaving us dehydrated. It is essential that our body receive an adequate amount of water each day. Water is an important part of the hydro-lipidic layer on top of the skin that acts like a barrier against internal water loss. It also protects the skin from elements that try to harm our body daily, like bacteria, pollutants, and UV radiation.

The visible signs on the skin help us know we are over due in water needs. Our skin will become dry, irritated, sensitive, blotchy, tight, cracked and dull if we do not drink enough water. Keeping the cells lubricated and hydrated starts with keeping water ccontent of the skin high. This is needed for the skin cells an cells in all organs to be plump, nourished, and to the skin, young-looking. Water also helps maintain a clear complexion. Indigestion, constipation, or any other type of metabolic problem causes blemishes on the skin, also acne breakouts, lines, irritation, eczema and other skin problems. When we drink enough water, the skin acts like our third kidney, filtering out impurities, removing them from the body leaving our skin clear and healthy. Moisture is also needed for the skin to keep collagen and elastin fibers supple. Without water, these fibers become stiff and hard, making skin loses its flexibility and pliability. This allows other aging symptoms to appear as well. Skin may also appear tight, puffy and blotchy, with an almost balloon look. Without enough water the body holds water to survive.

It is evident that the best way to have normal, functioning cells is to drink an adequate amount of water. We can get water into our system in two ways: first drink pure, clean, natural water. The chlorine content needs to be filtered out of tap water. Second eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The foods with high water-content are also high in beneficial nutrients and antioxidants: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, watercress, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupes, carrots, grapefruit, oranges and their juice, peaches, spinach, watermelon, apples, blueberries, yogurt, tofu, kiwis, avocados, plums, soy milk, cooked whole grains, beans and soups.

How much water should you consume each day? Our bodies lose up to three quarts of water a day because of digestion, assimilation and elimination. The body does not store excess water, so drinking six to eight glasses of water per day will replenish what is lost. This amount may vary based on your weight, health condition, activity level, etc. An easy way to calculate your personal daily need is to drink half of your body’s weight in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need about 75 ounces of water a day, that is up to nine, eight ounce glasses a day. Keep in mind, beverages containing caffeine have an adverse affect on the body. Caffeine will cause you to lose more water through urine. Caffeinated beverages do include water, but they also include other ingredients that negate water’s cleansing effect and may cause other health issues in addition to dehydration.

Next to water in importance to your health and appearance, be sure to add foods to your diet that are packed with antioxidants to help keep you healthier and feeling younger. We’ve all heard broccoli, tomatoes, and green tea are “super foods” to be included in our diet, but what about apples, artichokes, nuts, and a slew of other antioxidant-rich foods? They help stabilize free radicals (molecular compounds linked with diseases such as cancer), I recommend eating foods high in antioxidants everyday.

Antioxidant-packed foods to keep in mind while you shop: Apples: Red Delicious in particular. Berries: Especially blueberries, but also cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Artichokes: Artichokes are one of the highest vegetables for antioxidants. Oregano: Make it easy to reach in the kitchen, so you’ll use it for soups, pizzas, etc. Nuts: Pecans! Use them in baking your favorite holiday recipes this season. Beans: Small red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. Plums and Prunes: They make good snacks! Cherries: Fresh, frozen, sweet of sour but not in syrup or maraschino. Nature has provided what we need to stay healthy and looking great. Choose foods and beverages from nature.

Food Poisoning – Protect Your Family

Food poisoning is a serious health risk. Even though US food supplies continue to be one of the world’s best regulated and safest, every year 76 million Americans suffer illnesses from the food they eat. The federal Centers for Disease Control, which monitors episodes of food borne illness, also reports that 300,000 people a year require hospitalization for food borne illness, and each year, 5,000 Americans die from food borne illness. Preventing death and illness is a significant challenge for federal and state public health departments.

Food safety is also an area where your individual actions can significantly reduce the risk to your family. Safe food handling and storage procedures can lower your chances of viral and bacterial contamination. The following safety tips carry the endorsement of the US Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and public health groups.

It starts at the store. Buy your food only from stores and vendors that you are sure practice good sanitation. If you have questions about a vendor’s or store’s sanitation practices, don’t hesitate to ask. Food handlers and sellers who are responsible care as much as you do about food safety, and will be glad to discuss their practices.

Looks count. If food looks discolored or old, or if its packaging is cracked, or a can is bulging cans don’t buy it. Any of these signs can indicate bacterial contamination.

Keep it cold. Refrigerate dairy products, fish, meat and poultry and fruits and vegetables as soon as you can. Refrigeration greatly slows the growth of dangerous viruses and bacteria which cause illness.

Keep them separate. Be sure to store raw and cooked food separately. Store both in covered containers.

Keep it short. Cooked food or meat shouldn’t stay in the refrigerator for more than three days.

Not too full. Don’t let your refrigerator get too full. Chilled air needs to be able to circulate around everything in the refrigerator, so that it can cool it efficiently.

Clean hands. It’s the most basic rule of food handling: Always wash your hands before you handle food. Be sure that everyone else working in your kitchen washes, too. Most food borne illnesses in homes are transmitted by unwashed hands.

Wash when you switch. When you are handling several different kinds of uncooked food in your own kitchen, such as shellfish, poultry, uncooked meat, or vegetables, wash your hands in hot soapy water before you move from one food to another.

Keep your tools safe. Wash trays, cooking utensils, cutting surfaces, pots, pans, and anything else that touches food as carefully as your wash your hands.

When in doubt, throw it out. Any food that smells bad, or “off” is suspect. Don’t eat it.

If you’re uneasy about a food you’ve bought, don’t eat it. Throw it out. Go back to where you bought it, and tell them about the problem, so that they can check into it. You can also report your concern to your local city department responsible for food safety. Your report may enable others in the community to be protected from the same problem. Following these simple procedures will give you greater peace of mind, and keep you and those you love much safer.