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By freetobemetoo Posted in Health

Modified Palm Oil :Good or Bad?

Keeping Ahead of the Food Industry’s Devious Ploys.

So, again I was stuck at the supermarket for 2 “friggin” hours reading labels. Does this sound like you? I noticed that I wasn’t seeing “hydrogenated” anymore…anywhere! Instead, I was seeing a lot of ” modified palm oil or modified palm kernel oil. What was this new word? Was it bad for my family? Just the word “modified” kind of scared me. Changing something into something else that is desired sound like tampering with nature. So, I started inquiring around the store. No one seemed to know what it meant. So, I thought I would investigate and put it out there to inform any one who was interested.

Palm oil is the second-most consumed oil in the world and it is quickly replacing the partially hydrogenated fats (or trans fats) in many of your favorite treats. But there’s a dark side to palm oil. Read on to discover what you need to know about this controversial oil.

Palm oil, derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis spp.), is abundant and inexpensive. It is also odourless, tasteless, and solid at room temperature, which makes it ideal for use in packaged foods, margarines, and shortening.Palm oil is trans fat- and cholesterol-free, making it an ideal replacement for those pesky partially hydrogenated oils.

Good Oil, Bad Fat

In its purest form, palm oil is a source of valuable nutrients, including beta carotene, vitamins E and K, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. However, this form is rarely used, says Patricia Chuey, registered dietitian and manager of nutrition affairs for the Overwaite a Food Group.

Instead, food manufacturers use modified palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and no more nutritious than the partially hydrogenated oils it is replacing, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found a link between the consumption of palm oil and an increased risk of heart attack.

Current recommendations to reduce saturated fat intake have led to listing palm oil among the foods to avoid, says Dr. Jennie Weisenburger, a naturopathic doctor at the Bellevue Natural Health Clinic in West Vancouver. “There are different schools of thought when it comes to saturated fats and the health benefits and the health risks associated with consuming them,” she says. At issue is palmitic acid (the main saturated fat in palm oil); some studies have linked it to high cholesterol and heart disease and some have not, Weisenburger explains.

Palm Oil and the Environment

It’s not just the saturated fat in palm oil that is raising concerns. Palm oil is grown predominantly in Malaysia and Indonesia, where palm oil plantations contribute to the destruction of Southeast Asian rain forests, says a CSPI report released in 2005. Rather than using abandoned agricultural land, which is costly to rehabilitate, palm oil producers clear rain forests and peat swamp forests to create plantations. The soil and water from these lands are polluted by pesticides used on the plantations and the release of effluents into the environment. According to the CSPI report, they are also endangering the lives of the Sumatran tiger, orangutans, elephants, and rhinoceros.

The American Palm Oil Council (APOC) calls the CSPI’s report “highly inaccurate,” accuses them of “excessive exaggeration,” and suggests the study’s authors have never been to Malaysia to study the oil palm industry. Strict laws are in place in Malaysia to ensure the protection of the environment and its wildlife, says the APOC. They point to the Malaysian Palm Oil Industry’s involvement in the Round-table for Sustainable Palm Oil, an initiative focusing on the development and maintenance of responsible, sustainable palm oil plantations, as evidence of their commitment to the environment.

Finding Balance

Though some palm oil producers likely shirk their responsibilities, others take every step necessary to protect the environment and its wildlife. Palm oil and the issues that surround it serve as a good reminder of the importance of being mindful of the impact of our food sources on the earth.

There is no question that palm oil, in its purest form, contains valuable nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. But, as always, be cautious of consuming too many processed foods. Look for organic expeller-pressed palm oil that is minimally processed. Avoid palm kernel oil, which is less healthy because the oil is extracted from the pit with a hydrocarbon solvent.

Healthy living means not only making choices that are wise for our species but also making choices that keep the Earth and the rest of its inhabitants safe.

Easy Ways to Limit the Palm Oil in Your Diet

  • Get your dietary fats from polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseeds, nuts, nut butters, liquid egg products), and monounsaturated fat (avocados and vegetable oils such as canola, olive, and soybean oils).
  • Limit your consumption of processed foods.
  • Bake homemade cookies and treats instead of buying commercially prepared treats.
  • Daily calories from fat should represent only 20 to 35 percent of total calories (about 45 to 75 g per day for women and about 60 to 105 g per day for men), recommends the Canadian Heart and Stroke Association.

13 Shortcuts to Meet Your 5-a-Day Quota


Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Eating for Health

Eating for Health

We all know we should be eating our fruits and vegetables. You’ve probably heard the recommendations for meeting a 5-a-day quota, or seen the USDA’s recommendation to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggiesduring each meal. And you probably already know that eating fruits and vegetables provides a number of important health benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic diseases and heart disease and helping you manage your weight. Eating a diet filled with veggies and fruits might also protect against certain cancers and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. With all of those benefits, you’d think the entire human population would be chowing down on bok choy and snacking on spinach. But not everyone has a built-in love for the produce department. If you struggle to fit in your fruits and vegetables, read on for some tips and tricks to make eating a healthier diet easier than ever!

Tips for Increasing Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake 1. Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal. If half a plate of fruits and vegetables seems like an overwhelming goal for you right now, start by simply adding one fruit or veggie to each meal. You can eat them as a side—think a cup of green beans with dinner or a banana with breakfast—or simply start adding them to foods you already eat. Fruit is a cinch to add to oatmeal, yogurt and cereal in the morning. Add onions and peppers to meat dishes, or pile a few of your favorite vegetables onto your sandwich. Once you start working them in, you’ll welcome the new additions!

2. Snack smart. Instead of hitting the vending machine for an afternoon pick-me-up, start snacking on fruits and vegetables. Cut veggies and hummus or sliced fruit with yogurt dip will satisfy you more than a candy bar will.

3. Drink up. While you should limit the number of calories you get from beverages, if you have trouble fitting fruits and vegetables into your busy life, work them into a drink that you can take on the go. Try out smoothie recipes until you find a few you love and work them into your rotation as a breakfast or afternoon snack option. You can easily get several fruit and vegetable servings in a yummy beverage. If you simply want juice, look for 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice for it to count as a serving, but limit yourself to no more than one serving of fruit or vegetable juice per day, as the calories are concentrated and juice removes some of the other benefits of produce (such as fiber).

4. Slurp some soup! Soups and stews can be a nutritious, filling way to get lots of vegetables into a meal. Soup is an easy way to increase the variety of veggies you eat, too, as it can make some of your least favorite options more palatable. If you don’t make your own, make sure you know the healthy soup options at the grocery store.

5. Be ready at all times. Have cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge ready for munching at all times. Whether you buy the pre-cut options in the produce department or take the time to cut and bag it yourself, you’re more likely to eat it if it’s readily and easily available. Have hummus, low-fat ranch or fruit dip on hand, too, if it’ll encourage you to eat up.

6. Keep them in sight, in mind. Just like you keep sweets out of sight to discourage incessant snacking, keeping fruits and veggies in sight will help you think of them as an option for eating. Stock a fruit bowl at work each week and keep a bowl on the kitchen counter at home so you’ll be more likely to eat it when you’re hungry.

7. Bar hop. Next time you’re blanking on a quick, easy place to grab lunch, head to the salad bar at a local grocery store. With an endless variety of vegetables, cut fruit and soups, it’s an easy way to make sure you get a meal rich in nutrients and fiber.

8. Start smart. Make it a habit to order a salad or vegetable-based soup when you’re out at restaurants. These fiber-rich starters may keep you from overeating when your meal comes, in addition to helping you add more vegetables into your day.

9. Bag it up. It may be more expensive to buy pre-chopped lettuce mixes, but they make whipping up a salads a breeze. Throw a few into your shopping cart so you can take salads to work for lunch or have dinner salads ready throughout the week. Just make sure your salad toppings are healthy ones!

10. Use the freezer. If you buy produce in bulk only to have it rot in your refrigerator before you get to it, start using your freezer more frequently (and check here for produce storage tips!). Have a stock of frozen fruits and veggies on hand at all times so you’ll always have them ready for smoothies and easy dinner sides.

11. Chop them up. If you have a hard time crunching into big vegetables, try slicing and dicing them into a more manageable size. Shred carrots and zucchini or finely dice onions, pepper and spinach to hide in pasta sauces, hamburger patties, omelets and casseroles.

12. Pack portable produce. If you’re a snacker who gets hungry when you’re out running errands or on the way home from work in the early evening, carry easy-to-eat fruit and vegetable items for snacking. Spinach and kiwi may not be convenient on the go, but baby carrots, chopped broccoli and celery sticks are great for munching anywhere, as are no-muss, no-fuss bananas, apples and grapes. Dried fruits like raisins and prunes are easy to have on hand for a quick snack, too.

13. Find the ones you love. While you should aim for a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, don’t hesitate to stick to the handful you love if you can only stomach a few. It won’t do you any good to buy the spinach you know you hate if it’s just going to sit in your crisper until it turns into goo. Buy your favorite fruits and vegetables and eat up, while allowing yourself to experiment with new options every now and then. You never know–you might find a new favorite! The USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have calculators on their sites to help you calculate how many fruit and vegetable servings you should aim for each day. Everyone’s caloric and dietary needs are different and depend on age and activity level, so see what’s recommended for you and make that your new goal!  Sources USDA’s MyPlate. ”Add More Vegetables to Your Day,” accessed November 2011.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ”Nutrition for Everyone,” accessed November 2011.

How to Get More Essential Vitamin D this Fall/Winter.

While  we would love to hop a plane to a sunshine-kissed, warm-sand, tropical Island beach …  most of us need to make the best of the winter in which we live and work, and hopefully play. Here are a few suggestions to help avoid the winter blues.

1. Get light and sun every day.  Expose yourself to daylight early in the morning to keep your body’s internal clock on track. It could be as simple as dragging yourself out from under those cozy covers to open the shades, or sitting by a window with your tea or coffee.

2. Spend time outdoors. Even though wintery grey skies, especially in the Northwest, can seem sun-less, you are still receiving some filtered sun and light to help you feel better and elevate your mood. Fresh air is a fantastic elixir. Even if an effort of heroic proportions to take that first step out the door when it’s raining, you’ll always feel better afterwards – and you’ll feel so cozy returning home. Hats, gloves, scarves keep you extra warm and are fun to wear.
Light Boxes can also help give you mood-lifting rays with faux sun. Be sure to get one that filters out UV rays.

3. Head for the hills! In the Northwest we are gifted with mountains and beaches within a few hours drive. The mountain ranges unto themselves are exquisite to drive through, and once there, you will be amazed at how time in the snow or on the beach will elevate your mood and make you sparkle with energy.

4. Work it out. Exercise is always key in improving mood and maintaining a healthy body, but in winter it’s especially important to get up and move 3-5 times a week.
It may not be your cup of tea to run in the rain or cold but there are tons of other activities: Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Barre, aerobics, dance classes, walking a high school track or out on our beloved Wildwood trails.

5. Put down the bread. When the temperature drops, our bodies tend to crave carbohydrates to give us that warm and full feeling. Temper your cravings and experiment with foods and tastes and recipes that you haven’t tried before. Use spices to heat up the cuisine. And of coarse, there is always dark chocolate:-)

6. Take your vitamins. Sunlight does a lot of work to keep our bodies balanced and working right. Plus, your body is no doubt missing all those fresh fruits and veggies you ate all summer. Taking a quality multi-vitamin can help supplement the nutrients you may be missing.

Perhaps the most important  supplement in winter is Vitamin D—this all-star vitamin helps keep your bones strong and keeps your morale sunshiny.

7. Set the scene. Warming up your spaces can help you enjoy the cold weather from the comfort of your home. Color it up with bright tropical hues, pull out the extra rugs, pillows, blankets – and when is the last time you cozied up to a hot water bottle?

8. Get social. If you’re feeling the winter blues, your friends are likely going through the same thing. Being engaged in conversation with good friends or in an activity or cause that you like is a fantastic distraction and energizer, and you’ll feel better knowing you aren’t alone in the winter gray days.

By freetobemetoo Posted in Health

90 Day Weight Loss Challenge:

Why Should I???

So, last Saturday morning I went LIVE on 88.1 FM Radio!!!  Why you ask? Well, for starters I recently had surgery and stopped breathing quite a few times on the operating table which has brought me to be hooked up to a stupid oxygen machine ( named Gus, after the killed off Drug Cartel guy in the AMC series, “Breaking Bad”- don’t ask). I was suppose to be on this thing 2 years ago when I was diagnose with sleep apnea but thought I didn’t need it. Well…guess what? If there was ever a scare to lose this weight, this is the biggie!

I don’t know how much any of you know about sleep apnea but extra weight plays a huge factor with this. After watching my show “Breaking Bad” on a Sunday night and with everyone asleep and having the tv to myself my mind started wandering to the fridge. This is my down fall. Somehow I make the association with down time and sweet alone time with some good o’l comfort food. chillin time! So, what do I do? Put TV on pause and motor through the fridge. A few days later when I had to be weighed at my doctor’s office my jaw dropped! Surely I couldn’t weigh this much! Something was wrong with their weigh scale..surely!

Fast forward I am now on a 90 day challenge where I plan on losing 30 pounds for my health and well being. I am so tired of feeling tired and even though I worked out 3 x week before my surgery, I still couldn’t get rid of my back fat, bra bulge, big thighs and tummy…aaahhhhgggggg.!!!

So now I am putting myself out there. I am invited back to do another radio interview in 3 months and update the station with my progress until then. I will try and keep on top of this with blogging on here as well so stay tuned as I will post another picture in 30 days from now as well as blog about how the program is going for me.  To see my picture that was taken at the radio station under their Pink Floyd poster go to    Wish me Luck Guys!!!!

Tequila Critical Care

Sleep Apnea