Last week I spoke to about sixty sixth graders at Maryetta Elementary School about my trip to South America during my Semester at Sea adventure! In this picture I was telling the kids a story about when my friends and I stayed in a riverboat on the Amazon River. We had caught a crocodile on a late night outing and our guide brought it back for us to play with. They were a great group of kids. We had fun!
Nothing forms a better picture of where you see yourself in the world better than travel. Alice Shi Kemble, another wordpress blogger, posted Five Words which inspired me to document my travels in the same way. (http://aliceshikembel.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/five-words/) Below are 5 words and 3 pictures which describe each country I visited.
NOVA SCOTIA Fish and Chips, Lighthouse, Boardwalk
IRELAND Bold Colors, Irish Accent, Galway
ENGLAND Big Ben, Tailored, Tube, Tea
BELGIUM Architecture, Two Hour Breakfast, Chocolate
FRANCE La Siene, Croissant, Street Art
GERMANY Sausage, Window Flowers, Friendly People
PORTUGAL Tile Art, Portuguese, Beach Climate
SPAIN Smells, Salsa Dancing, Flamenco, Spice
ITALY Gelato, Cinque Terra, Bella Lingua
GHANA Obamaland, Street Venders, Basket Balancing
SOUTH AFRICA Vibrant, Colorful, Safari, European Influence
ARGENTINA Theatrical, Beef, Antique, Gaucho Ranch
URUGUAY Simplistic, Slow, Warm, Beach, Spanish
BRAZIL Favela, Amazon, Rio, Collective, Humid
DOMINICA Warm, Snorkeling, Vegetation, Hot Springs
HOME Personal Space, Home, Freedom, Burgers
I received a question earlier this week asking how to satisfied hunger while cutting calories. I thought I would address the major contributors to hunger and follow up with suggestions to slow its return. I want to stress that being hungry is good because it signifies that our metabolism (energy burning system) is working. This post focuses on the role carbohydrates play in satiety.
It is a good idea to focus on carbohydrates (carbs) that are released into the bloodstream slowly. These are called complex carbs.
The DL on Carbohydrates. Carbs are the bodies quickest source of energy. The stomach breaks down complex carbs into glucose, the simplest carb. Glucose is then released into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body. More complex carbs take longer for the stomach to break down because they have to be converted or broken down into glucose. These complex carbs are introduced to the bloodstream in slower increments. This is the reason we feel immediate energy when we consume foods that are processed (highly broken down carbs) like ice cream, white bread, and candy.
Solution: Eat Slow Carbs. This is where common sense comes into play. Generally, the less processed a food, the longer it takes the stomach to break that food down. Try making the switch from white to whole grain bread. A grain of wheat is made up of a germ, an endosperm, and the bran. White bread only contains the endosperm and is lacking in fiber and other nutrients derived from the germ and bran. Below is a list of slow digesting carbohydrates:
Green Vegetables, Brown Bread (the best is whole grain), Oatmeal, Bran Cereal, All Beans and Legumes
Solution: Fill up with Fiber. Fiber does not digest but is very useful to the diet. Eating a slow carb diet and high fiber diet go hand and hand because fiber slows digestion. The average woman should eat around 25 grams of fiber/ day. The average man should consume 38 grams / day. (http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2002/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Energy-Carbohydrate-Fiber-Fat-Fatty-Acids-Cholesterol-Protein-and-Amino-Acids.aspx)
Fiber is contained in the skins of fruits and vegetables. Don’t peel your organic potatoes! Other high fiber foods are bran, vegetables, legumes, and fruits (apples and pears contain a lot of fiber.)
Solution: Portion sizes. When food is digested in large quantities and quickly it leaves the body with an energy overload–too many calories in the system. This causes the body to store the remaining energy as fat. Note that carbs are not the enemy, they are simply the poison of choice for many individuals when food is consumed in excess. Fat and protein are also stored as fat when eaten in quantities too large for the body to burn at one point in time. Consuming carbohydrates in smaller amounts can help stabilize blood sugar levels and combat fat storage.
One portion size of grains is about the size of your clenched fist. Remember, most every food contains carbs with the exception of meat.
Hope this helps,
No great athlete or beloved dignitary ever advanced his or her goals without hard work and initial sacrifices. Adopting any other philosophy when pursuing health is counter productive. Today’s society often pushes individuals to place health on layaway and to maintenance the body later. The only issue with this mentality is that we are only given one body for the entirety of our lives. Our goal for our health should be to possess the ability to live life fully and productively during the time we have.
Eating organic is one way to maintenance the body so it may replenish its system without damage. In the paragraphs and posts that follow you will find basic information about organic foods along with thrifty spending tips. Remember, once an initial change is made the task of repeating that challenged becomes increasingly simpler. The hardest part of restructuring the diet is getting started because it is the most time consuming. LET’S GET TO IT!
What is organic? I found this definition by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP):
“Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.” (USDA, http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml)
Which foods MUST be consumed organically? Meet the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. The United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration researched amounts pesticide debris within the fruits and vegetables we eat. (EWG, http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/) These foods have been ranked the from those consider dirtiest to clean. In other words, the Dirty Dozen are twelve foods we should not eat unless they have been organically grown. The Clean Fifteen are fifteen fruits and vegetables that are least disturbed by pesticides. (EWG)
Here you go:
Dirty Dozen– Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Blueberries, and Potatoes
Clean Fifteen– Onions, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Avocado, Cabbage, Sweat Peas, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruits, Watermelon, and Mushrooms
Challenge of the Week: Place a list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen in your purse or wallet. You may rather take a picture of the list with your cell phone. Begin to fill your shopping cart with items that will sustain your long term health. Small steps climb mountains.
Lot’s to come,
Sources: USDA, NOP, and EWG