• How to start your morning? Breakfast. Some of the food choices here will surprise you.
  • Lunch, one ingredient to avoid. And, another delicious meal you can sneak into your diet.
  • Dinner time? Skip this food ingredient and load up on this other one (those who did lost an average of 30 pounds in 6 months)

M. Jamal

The term “breakfast” comes from combining “break” and “fast,” and literally means to break the fast. When we sleep, there is no food intake for the 6 or so hours, and it’s only because your metabolism slows down during this period.Breakfast And Slimming

As soon as you wake up, however, your body requires fuel once more to help you get through the day’s activities.

If you skip this important meal, you’re more likely to crave snacks during midday or eat more the rest of the day.

With hunger also goes crankiness, and no one wants to associate with anyone in a foul mood so early in the morning. Poor memory has also been linked to skipping breakfast, which means that this nutrition abstinence is not advisable for adults and children alike.

But why do so many people skip this meal, if it’s so important?

Aside from their misconception that it would help them become slimmer faster, many think it’s a waste of time, and often there is a lack of readily available breakfast fare in the home.

How much breakfast should one have?

There’s an undeniably wise advice that goes: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a shopkeeper, and dinner like a pauper.”

But realistically, your aim should be to consume the same amount of calories for each of these three meals. To be more specific, the calorie breakdown should be as follows: 25% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and 30% for dinner, with about 15% for snacks during the day (best eaten in the afternoon).

A good breakfast should have some fiber and some protein.

Protein can come from lean meat, beans, soy, or eggs. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, on the other hand, provide the fiber your body needs. One example of a healthy breakfast may consist of a bowl of high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk, a hardboiled egg, and a grapefruit.

There are some people, though, who aren’t used to having breakfast or don’t feel like eating this much so early in the day.

They should either train themselves to eat less at dinner, or split breakfast into two installments – having the egg at home and perhaps eating an apple or a small bag of nuts during mid-morning.

What do studies reveal about breakfast?Slimming Breakfast

There is convincing evidence showing that people who skip breakfast tend to be more unsuccessful with their attempts to lose weight.

This is because they make up those calories – with gusto – the rest of the day.

A study done in Madrid revealed that obese people spent less time, ate smaller portions, and had less variety during breakfast than people with normal weights.

Brenda Malinauskas, an assistant professor of nutrition at East Carolina University in North Carolina, conducted a study which showed that 48% of obese women skipped breakfast, while of overweight women, 40% did the same. Surprisingly, only 27% of normal-weighted women missed this meal.

When you take a hearty breakfast, your metabolic fires for the day ahead of you are stoked.

Conversely, without breakfast, your metabolism slows down and so does your calorie-burning. Not only that – even your mental and physical performance will suffer when breakfast is habitually skipped.

M. Jamal

P.S. It’s interesting how most tend to enjoy breakfast on vacation… yet it seems like a chore to skip through when we’ve got to rush to office. I try to line up my heaviest meals (including snacks) throughout the morning, then go lighter towards the evening… how about you?

You’re planning your next meal… You’re wondering what’s better sour cream or nonfat yogurt? Cooking in broths vs. water with butter? Ever considered applesauce for baking?Better Food Choices

Well, I just stumbled on a brief report that summarizes all that into 17 tips. You can call it “Making Wise Food Choices”

It’s not a full blown guide. Yet using one of these tips that you’re currently ignoring can make a different to your eating habits. Plus, it’s also got an interesting “5-A-Day Challenge” that’s worth a look.

Check it out, you can download it here and let me know what you think.

What else?

How about a quick reference to some tasty recipes by a dietitian who’s been at it since 1984?

With recipes such as Guiltless BBQ Chicken, Skinnier Scampi and Better Than “Take Out” Noodles… you’re sure to find something that meets your taste. There’s more recipes here than I could count.

Be sure to check it out by clicking here.

M. Jamal

Here’s an interesting video by nutritionist Keri Glassman that’s worth a look

Do you skip meals… or would you rather snack? If you’re into healthy snacks… Did you notice the difference in energy levels and an improved figure?

M. Jamal

P.S. Here’s another one with some on-spot tips…

The plane lands. A look at the countless people lining up at customs tells me it’s gonn’a take a while. Next, I rush to grab my luggage and exit. I take a breath and spot a fresh juice shop.

“Ahh what could be better than some fresh juice after 8 hours atStarbuks Energy Drink! the mercy of the air hostess!”

I skim through the menu; Berry Blitz, Berry Deluxe, Mango Madness, Passion Knockout.

Sounds interesting.

I quickly request the juice with the most interesting name I could find and whisper “… with Energy Boost please”

That scenario is quickly becoming a habit every time I travel to lovely Thailand. I mean, can you really help avoid some fresh juice after a long 7 or 8 hour flight? I can’t. (Here’s a photo sample from last year’s trip)

Anyways, this place has a list of so called “Boosters” they add to fresh juice.

Things like ‘Energy Boost’, ‘Digestive Boost’, ‘Skin Tonic Boost’. I spotted Ginseng and Vitamin C among the list of ingredients that make up these Boosters.

Surprisingly, I recently came across an article that spells Starbucks plans to enter into this type of thing.

I mean, if you’re big on Starbucks, next time you order your latte you can say “Plus Energy” and they’ll mix in B-vitamins, Guarana and Ginseng into your drink. (Here’s the news article)

(Now, depending on the heat and whether Starbucks cooks these “Energy” ingredients… it could result in partial or complete loss of those vitamins. It’s like cooking an apple, eating it fresh is always better.)

Regardless… would you be tempted to have this “+ Energey” with your latte?

And… while we’re talking apples and fresh juice… how about some recipes?

Here are over 8 fresh juice recipes, see them here.

Best wishes,

M. Jamal

P.S. In case you’re interested in smoothies and juicing, here are 3 things worth checking out:

1) Clear any myths about ‘juicing’, things like: Does heat damage the juice? …Do all juicers produce oxidation? …What about juices purchased in the store? Are they “cooked”… plus… 9 tips to increase the quality of your juice. You can see all that by going here (scroll down to get to those 9 tips)

2 & 3) Two great video with an interesting perspective on juice and making it part of your daily routine. He runs over some key concepts, pay attention (especially when you consider that most shelved juices aren’t half as good as freshly made juice)

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this whole “Juicing” activity ‘-)

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Way before the introduction of Viagra, there was ginseng. It is a perennial plant from the family Araliaceae, and its roots have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.

There are actually two major types of ginseng: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng).

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis), although similar in appearance to the first two, is not considered ginseng because it has a different active ingredient.

All three, though, are “adaptogens,” or herbal products that increase the body’s resistance to anxiety, fatigue, and trauma.

The genus name Panax is derived from the Greek words “pan” and “akos”, which mean “all” and “cure”.Panax Ginseng

Indeed, ginseng has come to be thought of as a “cure-all” for various types of bodily stresses and ailments not just in Asia but in the Western world as well.

This may be an exaggeration of ginseng’s efficacy, because just like many medicinal herbs, it is recommended for the maintenance of good health rather than for the treatment of diseases.

The plant has five leaflets, with tiny greenish-white flowers growing at the base of the leaves.

Ginseng stands about 8-27 inches and is also easily identified by its glossy red berries.

Its fleshy roots should be carefully harvested, as only whole roots are acceptable in the market.

Due to its appearance and other attributes, ginseng is also known by several names: redberry, five fingers, divine root, and root of life.

This plant’s roots contain several active components, including vitamins, minerals, sugars, fatty acids, proteins, amino acids, and other substances, but the ingredient to which its therapeutic effects are attributed are its ginsenosides.

These are compounds with structures similar to steroids and thus provide ginseng’s energy-enhancing effect.

How Ginseng Is Taken

This widely used medicinal herb can be taken in various ways:

Ginseng tea

It’s easier to directly eat the leaves, but the taste is extremely unpleasant.

This is why people prefer chopping up the leaves and soaking them in hot water to make ginseng tea. Dried red ginseng placed in a teabag can also be consumed this way.

There are a lot of stores selling ready-to-use teabags, and this is a boon for consumers who do not reside in ginseng-growing countries because fresh leaves don’t last very long after harvesting.

Soup

You won’t be able to order this in ordinary Chinese restaurants, but if you have a Chinatown near you, you’ll surely encounter a restaurant that prepares this dish. It is prepared by steaming ginseng and chicken together and serving it piping hot as soup.

Tablets and creams

These are easily sourced from health food shops under various brands, dosages, and forms.

It is said that they are less effective than the leaves themselves since these preparations are already mixed with other substances, and because experiencing the taste and aroma of the ginseng leaves provided an added relaxing effect.

Energy drinks

In this form, ginseng is usually mixed with other ingredients that work together to provide energy.


Ginseng’s Medicinal Value
Chinese Medicine and women

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are the two opposing yet complementary forces said to be present in all processes and non-static objects in our universe.

It is said that our bodies should have a balance of these forces in various functions such as energy, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

The two types of ginseng create opposing effects on the body – the American variety stands for the yin, giving a cooling effect. On the other hand, Asian ginseng provides a heating effect and thus represents the yang.

Some of the health benefits that ginseng is said to provide are:

  • Protection against stress
  • Lowering of cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Strength and immune system enhancement
  • Promotion of relaxation
  • Increase in energy
  • Protection against disease (infections, heart disease, cancer)
  • Enhancement of mental and sexual performance
  • Protection against harmful effects of aging
  • Acts as an antioxidant

In ancient tribes, American ginseng was used by natives as an eyewash for the treatment of sore eyes in young children.

The root was also ground into a powder and smoked for the treatment of asthma.

It was also steeped in warm water and ingested for the treatment of body sores. Of course, its use as a tonic was popular among tribal women who desired to enhance their fertility.

In China, ginseng is a cure-all for ailments such as dyspepsia, vomiting, nervousness, and sexual impotence.

More and more benefits are discovered each year, and researchers are even combining ginseng with other herbs to come up with even more cures. In combination with ginkgo, for instance, ginseng has been found to be useful in the treatment of ADHD.

This medicinal herb is one of the most widely researched plants in traditional Chinese medicine, yet many studies still have to be undertaken before it can be unconditionally accepted in the world of professional medicine.

According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, Americans spend approximately 36 to 47 billion dollars a year on alternative therapies, proving that the need for more research is present.

A study conducted by Debra Barton and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota showed that a considerable percentage of cancer patients given different doses of ginseng in capsule form showed improvement in their fatigue symptoms, and it’s just one of several studies that need to be conducted on a larger scale for a more conclusive determination of the herb’s potential.

The Side Effects Of Ginseng:

Overdosing on ginseng is possible, as is dangerous long-term use.

An overdose may cause headaches, allergies, insomnia, nervousness, increased menstrual bleeding, and stomachaches. Long-term use may lead to menstrual abnormalities or a hypoglycemic effect in diabetic patients.

To prevent this, avoid taking ginseng with anticoagulant drugs or NSAIDs that may cause bleeding (i.e., Naprosyn, Indocin, Aleve).

To avoid hypoglycemia, always take ginseng with food.

You must also refrain from taking ginseng with products containing caffeine to prevent overstimulation.

When considering ginseng as an alternative form of treatment or simply as a tonic, remember to always consult your healthcare professional.

M. Jamal