Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's talk Bowel Awareness: What you need to know

I’ve wanted to write on this topic for a while now and often felt discouraged to do so due to the fact that this is a taboo subject. Let's face it, rarely do we talk poop and bowel movements with our friends and family. This is a very important topic that needs to be addressed. I really just want to be frank in this post and really get feedback from you all. I will not go into illnesses or disorders in this post.

My grandmother wants told me that I need to defecate every day, simply because I eat every day. Therefore, logically my body should produce waste.

Back then, I didn’t understand and I thought: ‘What?! That’s a lot of poop! 

Well, fast forward to a more years. I have researched this topic quite a bit and today I can honestly say that my grandmother was definitely right on this one.

It is really important that we pay attention to what’s coming out of our bodies, because there are so many clues in this waste that can help answer so many questions about your own health and your diet.

Call me gross or taboo, but knowing your waste, your poop is very important. 

It is important to know the basics: smell, color, shape. Don’t be so quick to flush or afraid of watching- after all, it came out of you. Don’t be shy! You need to know! :o)

I will try to minimize the discomfort that you may feel on this topic, but nonetheless, some things cannot be hidden. It’s the nature of this topic.

How often should you go the bathroom to get rid of waste? From the moment we eat, it should take 18-20 hours for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs and get rid of waste. To properly get rid of waste from your body, you need to have adequate amounts of fiber and water from your body.

If you are not getting enough of water, fiber and exercise in your diet then it may take days for you to eliminate waste, which essentially means that this food is rotting, fermenting and putrefying inside you. The average person is holding up to 20 lbs of waste in their bodies. Do you know what means? It means that we are full of sh*t! (I can’t take credit for this one. Check out Gina Yahsere, she is hilarious)

What to look for:
Shape/ Size. I pay very close attention to the size, because size matters. Small, hard tool is indicative of a diet low in fiber and high in processed foods. This is also means that your poop was difficult-to pass. Whoa! I’m sure you know what I’m taking about.

What you want to see is larger, softer stool that is easy-to-pass. No straining involved and sought of takes the shape of your colon.

Pellet size stools are a sign that you have being dehydrated and so your body tries to move waste down your digestive tract through wave-like contractions (peristalsis) causing pellets. Remember you need adequate amounts of water and fiber to help move waste through the digestive tract.

Color. Color matters and varies; but nonetheless it can be clue to so many things.
What you want to see is a brown color. Normal stool is brown due to its composition: bacteria, water, bile, bilirubin, broken-down red blood celIs and indigestible plant matter like cellulose, along with small amounts of protein and fat.

Smell. Ideally, you want the odor to almost go unnoticed. An odor that is foul and stinky is a sure sign that you need to do a detox. Poop that often forces people to ask you, ‘what did you eat?!’ is probably a sign that it times to cleanse the body from the inside.
You can refer to Dr. Oz's Poop Color Chart: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/poop-color-chart
Be sure to talk to your doctor is you think that your have abnormal stool. The only way to find out is to look and to take note of your bowel movements. Know what’s normal for you so that you don’t have to guess. 


 I hope this was helpful. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview with Wendy & Jess from FoodHeavenMadeEasy

 Interview with Wendy & Jess from FoodHeavenMadeEasy!
  1. Tell us a little about yourself: your name, where you're from, and what you do?
Jess is from Cali but lives in Brooklyn. Wendy is from the Bronx and lives in the Bronx. We both are finishing up our Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and work at Nutritionists. 

2.  I understand that you both are pursuing careers in Nutrition. What was the significant factor in causing you two to pursue a career in this field? 

We are both vegetarians and have an interest in healthy food and cooking.

3. How did you come up with the title for the series? 

We live for food and get really excited about good meals. We wanted to convey the message that healthy food can taste amazing and also be easy to cook.

4. Describe your series and what you do on there. 

Our healthy cooking series shows people how to eat healthy on a budget. Most importantly, we want to let folks know that you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook an amazingly delicious meal. Anyone can do it on any – literally. Last but not least, we want our show to be fun to watch! 

5. What was your inspiration in creating the series? 

We both worked together conducting cooking demos and nutrition workshops in Brooklyn and the Bronx. We noticed that there is really a void when it comes to nutrition/healthy cooking info for our communities. The show was created as a fun outlet to help folks improve their health (and prevent future illness) by showing them how easy it is to transform their diets.

6. Who (or what group) is your targeted audience and why?
Our show is for everyone who enjoys it, but we specifically target members of the African Diaspora not only in NYC but internationally. We feel like there is a void when it comes to nutrition/healthy cooking information that is available to this community. Furthermore, the rates of Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc. affect our communities at alarming rates, so we would like to use education as a tool to take charge of our health!

7. How does the series help combat non-communicable diseases and/or health disparities, whether that may be on your website or via your tv series? 

Our show is intended to address health disparities that are taking over underserved communities. Many of these communities don’t have the resources needed to make healthier eating choices. We prepare food in our show that is usually accessible, and culturally relevant for Afro-descendant communities, Latin@s included. Education is at the core of transforming behaviors, and we hope that through our show, we can teach our communities tangible ways to improve their eating lifestyle.

8. Lastly, what advice would you give to busy college students (like yourselves) who want to eat healthier, but find it difficult to incorporate healthier eating into their lifestyle?

Here are our top four college food tips:
-Cook and pre-chop for the week: It saves so much time! Cooking staple foods like rice and beans will save you lots of time in the kitchen, especially when you’re running around trying to find time to study. The great thing is that you can mix and match with the foods you have cooked so you also have variety. One day a bean salad, another day rice and beans, and another day a bean burrito. Pre-chopping will also save you lots of time. Chop up some onions, garlic, peppers, and other flavorful delights you usually add into your dishes for flavor, and store them away for the week. 

-Get yourself some good Tupperware, a lunch bag, and a water mug: For us college students, we unfortunately tend to spend more time in school than at home. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we even forget to eat. Some good storage containers and a cute lunch bag will motivate you to pack up your food so you can eat it while on the run. A water jug is also very important so that you’re getting enough fluids for your day. Eating nutritious home cooked foods will fuel your brain power and save you lots of money! 

-Eat your fruits and veggies: This is a must. They offer vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. The great thing about fruits is that you can throw them in your bag and eat them as snacks while you’re falling asleep listening to your boring professor (natural candy!). With veggies, just pack them up in Tupperware and throw it in the bag. 

-Stay away from processed junk: As a college student, it’s so easy to end up in the corner store or the fast food spot. It’s cheap, fast, and usually very accessible. As college students, we’re also under a lot of stress and can easily turn to emotional eating for release. Be more mindful of what you’re putting into your body, and create healthy alternatives for yourself (check our site for ideas!) Chances are if you can’t pronounce the ingredients of the foods you’re eating, they aren’t in the best interests of your body.

9. Is there anything else you can tell me that you didn’t get a chance to say that you think will help me and others gain a better understanding of your Nutrition series and what you hope to achieve with it? 

One last thing we wanted to mention is that we are two busy graduate students with a million things going on, and so we’re always open for taking aboard volunteers and interns who want to give us a hand and expand this movement! If interested, email us at foodheavenmadeeasy@gmail.com.

10. How can readers learn more about your series? 

You can visit our site to learn more about who we are and what we do, watch our shows, and get some of our yummy recipes @ www.foodheavenmadeeasy.com. We also post daily updates on facebook @foodheavenmadeeasy and on twitter @foodheavenshow.

 A big thank you to Wendy & Jess. Don't forget to check them out :o)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My New Love: The Green Smoothie

Hello lovely people,

I want to introduce you to my new love---the Green smoothie. What I love most about this smoothie is that it is highly nutritious--packed with fiber, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, magnesium, folate, iron, omega-3, calcium and I could go on, but I won't bore you.

I love the green smoothie, because it is so easy to make and the ingredient choices can vary depending on what you feel like eating. Best part of this smoothie is that you don't even taste the raw spinach.

In this green smoothie, I combined:
2 cups of spinach
1 cup of mixed fruit (strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, mango)
 ½ cup of almond milk
1 avocado
a handful of soaked almonds

The end result-- pure healthy deliciousness. You can always substitute or remove certain ingredients. No need to be confined to recipes. If you liked this post, why don't you follow the blog, comment, share, and rate using the reaction buttons. If you don't like this post, still rate it  :o)

Take care,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Does Money buy Happiness?

 'Your success and happiness lie in you' 
-Helen Keller

You often hear the phrase that money doesn't buy happiness. Really? I think otherwise. Think about it. We get happy when we receive money from family members. On the other hand, we get upset when we lose money. People who can't afford basic necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter are often unhappy. Even the inability to afford wants not needs make us sad, depressed...UNHAPPY.

Now money can't and should not be the source of all your happiness and your joy in life. That's just setting up yourself for disaster. There's more to life than money. This concept plays out in daily life all the time. For instance, money didn't save Steve Jobs from death and the recession right now is a proof of this. Hundreds Millions of people have lost their homes and jobs right now, which is definitely a source of unhappiness right now, due mainly to financial loss.

Long gone are the days of bartering. This is why we receive financial compensation for the time that we put in at work. We go to school so that we can earn more money in our fields. We need money for everything, such as security and health. To be financially secure is a dream for many. Most Americans are 1-2 paychecks away from homelessness. So, please don't tell me that money doesn't buy happiness. Money provides opportunity and choice that then leads to freedom and thus happiness.

Money ($) buys opportunity/choice
Opportunity = freedom
Freedom = Happiness

What do you think? Does money buy happiness? Leave your comments below.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Skin Issues: Acne (and what you eat)

Acne...Acne...Acne...Gosh! The struggle has been long and hard. I've struggled with acne for years and now that I'm in my 20s, this acne seems to be going nowhere. It's like its stuck to me...(well on my face..I would show a picture, but I won't ;o), like glue. My struggles with acne are ridiculous and its time that I put an end to this rubbish.

I've tried creams, gels, soaps, lotions etc. etc. spending countless dollars on products that don't even work (well temporarily). So, I'm doing this video, because I understand the struggle. Everybody knows somebody who's struggled with acne...Heck, you might have it too. I know how acne can put a damper on your self-confidence. For real guys enough is enough and I am determined to have beautiful, sexy skin. I'm not saying that I will forever be acne free, but I what I am saying is that the appearance of my skin will be dramatically improved. I'm claimed it!

Through my research, I've found that acne really is an internal problem. Therefore, the creams or gels that we may be putting on our face is only addressing the symptoms of acne (redness, inflammation etc.) and NOT the root cause of the problem. This is why I have continued to have the constant annoying outbreaks that I truly hate...Yes hate.

I've found that what I put in my body, definitely shows up on my face. How? Well, a diet high in salt, simple sugars (i.e. desserts),dairy, and low in fruits and vegetables can make your skin look Yuck! Yuck as in the form of clogged pores, breakouts...ACNE.

Quality foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables (a lot of them everyday) is the answer to my skin. By consuming highly dense and nutritious foods, you are supplying your body with the nutrients, antioxidants, vital polynutrients needed to combat free radicals, detox the body, improve digestion, eliminate inflammation, build immunity and I could go on.

Slowly, I am getting rid of cow's milk and will be using strictly almond milk. I am also increasing my intake of vegetables and fruits. I've continued my fruit and vegetable smoothies, which I love and increasing my water intake. Now I'm waiting for results. In addition, I now use castor oil and jojoba oil as my skin moisturizer. I've been using those oils for about 1 year now and my skin reacts very well to them.

I hope my ACNE story/post was helpful to you. If you have any questions, ask them in the comment section of this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment and rate (use the reaction button).

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