Making the Transition From Unhealthy Foods to Healthy Foods

Most of us would like to eat healthier, but have trouble with breaking old habits and starting new ones. Maybe you’ve been eating the typical American diet for so long now, that it seems almost impossible to learn to appreciate the flavors of real food, as opposed to the highly-sugared, salty, processed food that you’re accustomed to. Or maybe, you are currently a pretty healthy eater, but would like to learn a little more to “tweak” your diet. Well, read on, and you will learn how to get the most out of your diet by making the necessary changes to make the transition from unhealthy to healthy foods.

Chemicals

First and foremost, get in the habit of reading labels. Awareness is the key. Becoming aware of the chemistry in your food is one of the first steps to become healthy, and is probably one of the most important of all. When you get into the habit of reading what you are eating, it will make a big difference. Don’t become overly obsessive, just become aware. If you cannot pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it. And chances are, if there are more than 6 ingredients, it’s probably a processed food. Your goal should be to eat whole foods that have no other ingredients but themselves. The flavor of whole foods will make such a difference that soon (with consistency) your taste buds won’t want for anything else. You will soon find that any food that has chemicals and preservatives in it will taste medicinal and fake. When shopping in any store, whether it is your local grocery store or a health food store, remember it is best to shop the perimeter (outside aisles) as much as possible. That is where you will find most of the whole foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy, and so on. The inner aisles, with the pre-packaged foods, will do the most damage to your health.

Sugar

Refined sugar is a huge health-robber, but one of the easiest to wean yourself from because there are many treats that you can buy at a health food store that are made with “legal” sugars: raw honey, barley malt, fruit juice maple syrup, Sucanat, stevia, Rapidura, raw cane juice, and agave. These sugars have not been put through a process that removes all of the nutrients. They will give you an energy boost, but not so high that you will come crashing down 20-30 minutes later with the awful feeling a “sugar crash” gives you. I know it’s hard to conceive, but if you start to eat more real-food and more earth-centered food, your cravings for sweets of any kind (even the “legal” ones) will decrease tremendously. The best way to start the weaning process is to stop buying refined sugars and sweets and bringing it into the house.

Meat

Now, everyone is not going to go for this one, and I am aware of that. But you nay-sayers please still read on, because you are bound to get something out of this section. In years past, there were very few substitutes for meat, but now you can get almost anything you want in any form or flavor that you can imagine, based on turkey, chicken, fish or soy products. These red meat/pork alternatives are so well-seasoned, at times, that you’ll be convinced that you are eating the real thing. Most of the dishes we make with ground beef are really about the seasoning or condiments. If you dress up a veggie burger with goodies like tomato, onion, lettuce (other than iceberg), pickles, ketchup, and mustard, your brain will tell you that you are eating the real thing. For other ground beef dishes like meatloaf or sloppy joe, you can add your “special sauce” and other ingredients to ground turkey or texturized vegetable protein (soy protein crumbles) and fool even your biggest meat eaters. If you are trying to wean yourself and/or your family off beef and pork products and are not ready to become completely vegan, try Shelton Farms turkey and chicken products. They are preservative-free and made from free-range poultry meat. With all of the panic surrounding mad cow disease, it’s good to know that you don’t have to sacrifice your health for flavor anymore.

Dairy

If you make the commitment to give up dairy products, you will realize how easy it is to make many of you favorite dishes with a milk substitute. You can find healthy milk alternatives that will not only taste good, but will also make you feel better because your nose won’t be stuffy, your throat won’t be phlegmy, and you digestion will be greatly improved. For a milk alternative, I usually recommend Silk Soy Milk by White Wave- this is the Cadillac of all soy milks on the market. Or, if you’re allergic to soy, I recommend Original Enriched Rice Dream by Imagined Foods. Both can be used in cooking and baking, but I recommend you use the unsweetened versions of either one. Also, Earth Balance Margarine is a good butter substitute because it has no hydrogenatated oils. As for cheese, Veggie Slices are great and they come in a variety of flavors (American, Swiss, Provolone, Monterey Jack). The same manufactuer of Veggie Slices brand makes shredded versions of the cheese, too. There are also substitutes for sour cream, cream cheese, and dairy creamer to replace half-and-half. And let’s not forget yogurt. There are soy substitutes for that as well. Going cold turkey may be hard for some, and in that case, you may need to gradually wean yourself off dairy. Gradually decrease the dairy products you use while substituting the alternative version. You will notice that there isn’t much difference, except that you will begin to feel better.

It is my hope that you have learned a lot from this issue, not only about what is written here, but about yourself and the things that you need to work on to gain better health. If it all seems overwhelming, then just start with one thing at a time. You may want to start at the top of the list, and each 2-3 weeks work your way down the list. I recommend at least 3 weeks of consistent work on each topic before moving on to the next, in order to create a habit of change. Before you know it, you will have incorporated 4 important steps into your lifestyle that can do nothing but make YOU a healthier YOU!

Top Health and Fitness Tips You Can Use Effectively

There are many people who are looking for a source that will provide them fabulous tips for development of their body. Proper maintenance of development of a human body is one of the important tasks that will provide a peaceful and happy lifestyle. Maintaining proper health mainly depends upon the ability of the person to fulfill best dietary and fitness measures.

There should be proper balance between various kinds of diet consumed by the person. It is also essential to involve in sufficient level of exercise to maintain proper blood circulation. There are some useful health and fitness tips that will provide outstanding development of body.

The importance of diet and involving in exercise sessions will be illustrated in a fabulous manner. The information that is provided will surely be of great use for all people who are looking for best method of body development.

There should be more level of importance that should be emphasized to obtain balanced diet. The food that is being consumed should contain appropriate level of various kinds of substances such proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, essential fats and minerals. There should be proper percentage of this food maintained in the human body for effective functioning of human body.

There are various supplements that are available in the market and this will provide wonderful benefits to fulfill various nutrient requirements of human body. It will be possible to maintain proper blood pressure and correct cholesterol level with the help of healthy foods.

People are satisfied in a great manner with the help of development that is being provided with the help of balanced diet. Vitamins and calcium are important factors that play an important role in strengthening of teeth and bones in a wonderful manner. The omega 3 fatty acid that is present in fish oil is another excellent source that enriches the functionality of heart in a wonderful manner.

It is very much essential to involve in exercise regime that will provide wonderful maintenance of human body. Many people have benefited in a great way with the help of cardio sessions in gym. Cardio sessions in gym will be of great use in increasing the heart beat rate. This will provide more level of blood circulation across the body and there will be great development that will take place in the body. It is advised to involve in 3 cardio sessions per week in order to make sure you always do enough exercise.

Getting Necessary Dental Care – Knowing The Options

Anyone who is living on a fixed income is not thrilled to add another expense to their budget when it comes to the need for routine dental care. Many believe that Medicare pays for dental cleanings, extractions, fillings, dentures and more but that is not the case. Sadly, dental care wasn’t added into the original Medicare bill.

To reduce the cost of dental care, there are a few techniques one can implement along with finding affordable dental plans which are more available than ever, especially online. But before investing on one’s own affordable dental plan, they should consider if it’s a smart move. There are some select plans through Medicare that offer dental benefits and its worth looking into.

Other popular dental plans included United Health and United Concordia, but these are traditional plans and as such they have caps, and won’t cover much of the expensive needs to include cosmetic procedures, root canals, implants, and more.

Take a Vacation

For pricier procedures, many will travel out of country. There are some countries that offer cheaper dental procedures, in fact sometimes up to 75% off. Just be sure that the country in question has good reviews as far as care, and follows all rules set forth by the Joint Commission International. A fully accredited facility is sure to follow safe practices.

While an option, many prefer to get all procedures in the U.S.A and not pay to travel for them. Circumstances vary in every case.

Try Chain Dentistry

There is a steady rise in chain dentistry which offers an alternative to affordable dental plans. It is believed that this change will improve the future as far as dental care for those who have trouble obtaining necessary care. Not only do they help clients, they also employ thousands nationwide.

The only issue is what type of care one will receive, and that is variable with chains as it is with other providers. Ask if the same dentist will be seen every time, or if there will be a group of dentists. Sometimes lower costs don’t equate to the best care possible, and affordable dental plans are still sought after.

Discount Sites

The internet is full of daily deals and sites that offer discount dental procedures to those who don’t carry affordable dental plans. This is a great source for finding deals in a pinch on dental, vision and even prescriptions. However, these deals aren’t a replacement for carrying affordable dental plans, so it’s important to continue the search. Also, it’s important to do the same research as when looking for a new provider. There are plenty of sites that offer dental reviews.

Be a Practice Patient

Many have heard of saving money by having their hair done at a beauty school, and there are student dental clinics that offer the same discounts. Since they are overseen by a licensed professional one can rest easy knowing that they’ll get great care. Be sure it is an accredited dental school or dental hygienist program before making an appointment. Much like going to a dental provider on a discount, these schools aren’t dependable in an emergency but are wonderful for regular cleanings and minor procedures.

In the end, it’s utterly important to find an affordable dental plan that offers every type of coverage that one needs. Keep in mind not just regular cleanings and care, but also cosmetic dentistry and periodontics. This way, the patient can ensure that they are well taken care of at any moment. There are plenty of plans on the market today, many offered online from providers that have a huge network of dentists for one to choose from.