MSG - mmm...mmm...good? 

 
I have two small children and really try to do my best getting them to eat healthy, unprocessed foods. It is a battle, though and I sometimes find myself buying things that I know they will like. As I was over the stove one day I saw that one of my items I was cooking for them had MSG. I shuddered at the thought that I was knowingly feeding them MSG and began to wonder what the long term affects would be on their palette. Everything tastes better with MSG and what will they think about normal food?   
                                                                           
I am not a granola type, but am finding myself more and more concerned about the effects of MSG and other preservatives in the food my family eats.
I got really alarmed when my husband had a series of allergic reactions after eating highly processed foods. He is from Canada and a lot of their food is more natural. He then moved to the states and had allergic reactions to food about an hour after he ate. I jokingly call him my "canary", because I know if our food is high in preservatives, corn syrup and MSG because he breaks out. As soon as I started cooking from scratch, his reactions went away completely.
My best friend cut out processed foods and her monthly cycle changed from an irregular 39 days to regular 29 days.
I am a wife and mother, not an expert. I do my research, though and try to be aware of what I am eating. I always looked for the name MSG in the label, but a friend one day told me that they put it under other names that parents don’t recognize. I was shocked and thought, “Ooh, how sneaky!”
The Goldfish Crackers that my children cherish have “Yeast Extract”. No wonder they taste so good and has my child ever had anything that was not altered? I am going back to basics and am either cooking from scratch for them or have found alternatives like, “Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies”. They taste the same and are organic and not that much more in price.
I have included a table that has the most common alternate "MSG" names found in today’s labels.
MSG
Gelatin
Calcium Caseinate
Monosodium glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)
Yeast Extract
Glutamate
Autolyzed Plant Protein
Yeast food or nutrient
Glutamic Acid
Sodium Caseinate
Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract
Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)
Yeast Extract
 
MSG is a substance that we have all heard about and most of us probably avoid when we know it is obviously present. I am not promoting getting panicked about this, but getting informed and looking more closely at what is in our food. I want to know what food really tastes like and am suspicious of why they need to enhance food. If we tasted food without it, would we be impressed?
I hope this article helps and for anyone wanting more information on MSG here is a link that explains the chemical properties. http://msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm
 
Do you look at food labels and if so, what do you try to watch out for?
Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:47:00 PM

Fad Diets: Truth or Fiction? 

 

I get a lot of questions about different diet plans. Women have for years tried these from the "grapefruit diet" to the "veggie soup" diet. There is a lot of information out there and it can be confusing and unfortunately a lot of these don't do what they promise or do at first but fail you in the end. So which ones work and which ones don't? I am going to break it down for you using some of the most popular diets out there.

First of all, I would be very cautious of anything until you know that there is actual scientific evidence backing any claim. The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry and there are those out there who don't have your interest in mind, but their pocket book.

 

That being said, here is a list of the most common fad diets out there:

Acai Berry Diet The acai berry has gained extreme popularity, but does it work? Studies show that it is rich in antioxidants and increases your sense of well being overall. It has not been proven to help you lose weight and does not encourage you to change your way of eating.
Low Carb Diet The Atkins and South Beach diet are very popular diets and a lot of people have lost weight using it. Atkins has recently revamped it due to past criticism and it is now more focused on more wholesome ingredients and healthier fats. In the past it well went over the 30% recommended daily fat intake, but this newer version stays within this percentage. The verdict is still out on if the process of "ketosis" is harmful to organs long term. The lack of carbohydrates is a concern because carbohydrates are needed by the central nervous system and muscular system to function properly. Carbohydrates also add fiber to the diet which has been known to lower the risk of colon cancer.
Cabbage Soup Diet This diet is not sustainable and can lower your calories too low which can cause the body to eat muscle on not fat. It does aid in digestion, but be prepared for gas. It is not recommended.
Negative Calorie Diet  This diet is based on the belief that certain green vegetables have negative calories which "burn" calories to digest them, when really any weight loss is probably due to reduced calories.
 Low Fat Diet This diet basically requires you to eat little to no fat in your diet.

Low Fat – 20-30% of calories come from fats Very Low Fat – 0-19% of calories come from fats.

While it does cause you to cut out a lot of unhealthy foods like cake and brownies, not all fat is bad. It is important to read up on which fats you need to incorporate into your diet. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and the Mayo Clinic recommend this method.
3 Day Diet This diet is not recommended and should not be sustained more than 3 days. It often leads to "yo yo" dieting.
Zig Zagging or Calorie Cycling The cycling method is used by body builders mainly who are trying to lower their body fat or are trying to break out of a plateau. You are supposed to have one high calorie day, and one low calorie day. Your low calorie day will be initially set at 15-20% below your maintenance level. Your high calorie day will be initially set at your maintenance level. You will then “cycle” your calories on a three days down, one day up rotation. The theory behind this is your body's metabolism gets tricked by the high calorie day and does not go into starvation mode. Tricking the metabolism has not been proven. A 300-400 calorie workout could put your calories up to 40% lower which could put you into "starvation mode" Make you know exactly what your maintenance level truly is using a TDEE calculator.

 

 

 

The Low Down Is This:

 

You need to eat and SHOULD NOT go under what your body needs to survive. This can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism which = future weight gain.

Using a TDEE calculator, you can determine what your body needs to maintain your weight and lower that amount between 300-500 calories either through diet or exercise. No diet needed just an educated, proven method.

Losing weight does not have to be hard or complicated like the Diet Industry wants us to believe.

Food is our fuel and what we put in our bodies will determine how well we run and how far we can go. Do you put cheap gas in your car or let it run on empty?

You need to eat and choosing a balanced diet full of complex carbohydrates, healthy protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and limited junk food can make a huge difference with how you feel and how you look.

Balance is key. Fast weight loss is often more muscle loss than fat loss so be ready to make slow, healthy progress and make lifetime changes.

 

Monday, March 14, 2011 1:43:00 AM

Sculpted Shoulder Workout 

 

 

 

Okay ladies, it is time to get those sculpted, shoulders you have always wanted with these four easy moves.  We are using lighter weights with higher repetitions to build endurance and to tone.                                                                 

 

PIKE PUSH UP                                                          

 

Start in push-up position. Feet are shoulder width apart, pull your bellybutton towards your spine, and lift your gluteus in the air. Begin  push up. Do 2 sets of 15 reps.                                                        

SEATED SHOULDER PRESS

Sit on Stability ball or edge of chair. Feet are shoulder width apart. Pull your belly button towards your spine. Start your shoulder press careful to keep a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Bring your hands up until your dumbbells touch. Do 2-3 sets of 25 reps.

FRONT RAISES

Stand with you feet shoulder width apart. Belly button is pulled towards your spine. Start with weights at your side and carefully lift them up until your arms are parallel to the ground.  Do 2-3 sets of 25 reps.

LATERAL RAISES

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your belly button pulled into your spine. With weights in front of you, palms facing each other, bring them out to your sides, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Do 2-3 sets of 25 reps.

 

 

Sunday, March 6, 2011 11:46:00 PM
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