Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canned veggies or Fresh Veggies?

 Hello beautiful people!

In this blog post I will share with you why I prefer fresh vegetables rather than canned vegetables

I love vegetables. Some of my favorite include spinach, kale, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers.
I love my veggies, but more importantly I love them fresh NOT canned, with the exception of corn. I love sweet corn.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are many benefits to canned vegetables. For example, canned vegetables are a good substitute to fresh vegetables, especially when they aren't in season. Research has shown that  though some canned vegetables may lose some of their nutrients, they do retain some of their vitamins and minerals.

Personally, I prefer fresh vegetables rather than canned vegetables, because for me the difference is in the color and taste. The colors of fresh veggies are so much more vibrant and they are more flavorful when compared to canned vegetables. Also, I dislike the extra sodium and preservatives used in canned vegetables.

Now do I think that fresh is better than canned? No. Do I think that canned is better than fresh? No. It's just what it is and they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, according to the CDC, fruits and vegetables matter, whether they are fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. So, get those veggies in no matter what!

 Which do you prefer, Canned Or Fresh?
 Take care,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Infographic: Benefits of Coconut Oil

Hello my lovelies,

I found this very attractive infographic on coconut oil so I had to present it to you on my blog. I enjoy using coconut oil. I use it in 3 ways:

1. For my hair and as a hair moisturizer.
2. For my lips to moisturize.
3. For cooking.

How do you use coconut oil?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Treating Food Like Medicine| High Blood Pressure

Hello Lovelies!

High blood pressure is so common.
I bet you can name some with high blood pressure right now. ( I know I can)
This chart reflects blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association.
Being told that you have chronic high blood pressure does not necessarily mean that one must begin to take expensive pharmaceutical drugs.

Remember my blog post-'treating food like medicine?' Oh you do? Great. To reiterate, food has the potential to heal and nourish the human body.
I know we often sacrifice taste over health, but doing so all the time does come with its own set of problems (hence high blood pressure).

A healthy nutritious diet (preferably one that is mostly plant based), combined with regular exercise will lower a chronically high blood pressure.

Anyone with chronically high blood pressure who chooses to use food over expensive pharmaceutical drugs to aid in a lower blood pressure should consume an abundance of fruit and vegetables with every meal.
And I'm not talking about having an apple a day. That's not going to work. You can't do the same things and expect different results.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a diet low in fat and sodium or salt. Picture whole fruits that are in season. For example, cherries, melons, peaches are all in season right now (i.e. summer). Green leafy vegetables can be combined with those fruits for a highly nutritious and delicious salad. Think green smoothies and fruit and vegetable juices as part of a diet to help lower chronic high blood pressure!
High sodium feeds high blood pressure. To prevent the over consumption of salt in the diet, I personally all foods from my diet that you can get from a drive-through. When you cut out processed foods from your die to limit your salt intake, you're also eliminating excess saturated fat, trans fat, refined sugars and all the other 'junk.' 

All in all, make fruits and vegetables the foundation of your diet. Build your meals around fruits and vegetables, your body will thank you! I always look at the research and data and the research that has been done on a plant based diet when it comes to health is very compelling. Please do your own research as well.

 I hope this helps.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Reading | 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings'

Hello friends,

I'm back with another blog post!
Every summer I embark on a quest to read as many books as I can. I enjoy reading throughout the summer days, because this is the time that I have more free time. More time to immerse myself in a good story, to loathe certain characters, to love others, and to become part of another world.

I began my summer reading with 'I know why the caged birds sings' by Maya Angelou. I've never read her autobiography before (don't know why) but I'm glad I finally got the chance to do so. My favorite lines in the book is this one (on page 272):
" The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance."
 I had the wonderful opportunity to hear her speak last year, to marvel, to be inspired. Such a phenomenal woman!

What are you reading this summer? I would love to know, possibly add them to my summer reading list. :o)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zumba + Soca Music = Fun workouts!

Hello peeps! 

I am back with a new blog post under my new and improved blog name-----> Lilia's Healthbook!
Do you like the new name?

As a West Indian, I love soca music. I love dancing to soca music. I love listening to soca music.
I came across Shani McGraham's youtube channel. (btw I love YT). She combines my love for exercise and soca/reggae music effortlessly in well-choreographed Zumba steps.

My favorite Zumba workout from her channel is 'Bend Over' by Machel Montano

Before my workout I dance to 1 or 2 of her Zumba videos to warm up.

I enjoy physical activity and when physical activity is combined with awesome workout music makes exercising that much more enjoyable. 

Here are some of the many the benefits of consistent physical activity and exercise
  • Decreases stress levels by changing one's mood due to the release of endorphins
  • Allows you to sleep better at night
  • As you sweat, you rid the body of toxins
  • Burns extra calories
  • Maintains body shape
  • Tones and firms
  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Support the transport of oxygen throughout the body
  • Helps with mental focus and clarity etc. etc. etc.
Why do you exercise?

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Friday, June 8, 2012

*My* thoughts on Bloomberg's proposed plan to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz.

Hello lovelies,

I'm back with another blog post!

These are my thoughts on NYC Mayor Bloomberg's proposed plan to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. in restaurants.


As individuals we recognize the huge benefits of investing in health. Healthy people are more productive, energetic, and happier. For example, the health of children and their learning is reciprocally related. The World Medical Association states, that when we live longer, healthier lives, we have more time to do our jobs, play with our children, and watch our grandchildren grow up. 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to combat obesity has proposed to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz in restaurants, movie theaters, concession stands, and food carts (basically any establishment regulated by the health department). The idea is that someone would drink less soda and sugary drinks if they can only purchase those smaller than 16 oz. I think we as a people eat what we see. We eat certain foods, because they are readily available and easy to get. Soda and other sugary drinks are affordable and plentiful. They are everywhere and addictive; let’s face it, sugar can be a drug.

As a health educator, I can tell you through research and my studies, in communities where people suffer the most ill health, there tends to be an abundance of fast food restaurants that sell processed foods, junk foods etc. People who live in those neighborhoods tend to gravitate to those foods more so than healthier food, because they are more affordable and again plentiful. 

I personally think that if the plan is passed, people would be less likely to buy two 16 oz drinks, thus reducing their intake of sugar and would most likely just get one drink. If drinks larger than 16 oz don’t exist, guess what people won’t buy it. I personally think the ban is a good idea. Rates of obesity and non-communicable disease (stroke, diabetes, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, cancers) are skyrocketing. There is an epidemic of people being overweight, border line obese in this country. The western way of eating highly processed foods is extremely problematic to our health. 

I think the ban on sugary drinks higher than 16 oz would curb rates of illness and death, and disease (I am not naive to think that this whole obesity problem would be solved). I don't see the ban as 'punishing anyone. The proposed ban is only making those drinks less visible. It would force people to make a conscious decision of how much sugary drinks that they intake.

Do I think that the mayor is telling people how to live and what to drink? No. If the ban is passed, people would still have the choice to drink as much soda and other sugary drinks as they want. I think that not having sugary drinks larger than 16 oz will lead to more individuals drinking less sugary drinks, less sugar. Long term, I think this ban will improve the health of New Yorkers and individuals in general. Also, this is just one way of improving the health of this country and decreasing illness/disease. It is NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.

With this said, the mayor has a lot of 'fighting' to do, because this is not a well liked plan.

 Click on the link to listen to the mayor talk more on the proposed ban

 What are your thoughts on the proposed ban?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Berry-Coconut smoothie

Hello guys,

Usually, I don't have smoothies for breakfast, but over the past few weeks, I must say that smoothies for breakfast has now become a staple in my diet. 

You will love this Berry-infused coconut smoothie. It is easy to make and all you need are just a few ingredients:
Strawberries,blueberries, bananas, kale, honey and coconut milk.
 Put all ingredients in a blender......................................Blend and Serve!

You can add ice to make sure that your smoothie is chilled or you can use frozen fruit (which is what I did). Enjoy this berry-coconut deliciousness.

Don't forget to use the reaction buttons, follow this blog for more smoothie updates and leave a comment if you like/dislike  :o)

Take care,