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carb image Thanks to Women's Health Magazine grocery shopping just got a whole lot easier. The magazine recently highlighted the best packaged foods that you can currently find in your grocery store aisles. This is the second year that they have given this complete list of “power foods” that will help anyone take the guesswork out of their next trip to the store to find healthy choices. Their team of nutritionists tested aisles' worth of items for their annual roundup of the healthiest, tastiest, and most convenient supermarket finds.

Try foods in each of these categories to create the best meals for you and your family:

Breads: Whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, pita bread, English muffin, fiber cereal, Special K cereal, pomegranate cereal, oatmeal, granola, bagel.

Meats: Organic chicken, deli meat, bacon, barbecued beef, roast beef, roast chicken, chicken strips, chicken brats, salmon, salmon burger.

Pasta: Fiber pasta, whole wheat pasta, elbow noodle, tortellini, wide noodle, Asian noodle, risotto, instant rice, flavored rice, best couscous, polenta.

Dairy: Whipped cream, Greek yogurt, fruit yogurt, organic yogurt, smoothie, string cheese, cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese, cottage cheese, farmer cheese, soy milk, skim milk, eggs, egg whites, sour cream, butter substitute.

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruit salad, organic applesauce, plum, mixed fruit, mango, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad, diced tomatoes, black soy bean, vegetable mix, Brussels sprouts, Asian vegetables, stir-fry medley.

Soup: Broccoli soup, steak and noodle soup, Italian soup, chicken gumbo, red pepper and tomato, acorn squash and mango soup.

Snacks: Natural bar, probiotic bar, peanuts, almond, rice snack chip, tortilla chip, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, grain crackers.

eating healthy 2010Frozen Meals: Chicken primavera, turkey medallions, macaroni and cheese, vegetable lasagna, pizza, black bean burger.

Condiments and Spreads: Mayonnaise, peanut butter, almond butter, jam, fruit spread, maple syrup, hummus, salsa, marinara sauce, berry dressing, organic dressing, garlic dressing, ginger dressing, mustard dressing, ketchup, light mayo.

Sweets: Chocolate cookies, peanut butter cookies, brownie, chocolate bar, marshmallows, pudding, dark chocolate, dark chocolate blueberry, ice cream sandwich, fudge bar, cookie dough ice cream, ice cream cone, ice cream.

Drinks: Orange juice, diet drink, hot tea, cold tea, breakfast drink, hunger-tamer, hot chocolate, vegetable juice, grapefruit juice, plum juice.

While not all of these food items will work for you and your family, these suggestions can lead you in the right direction the next time you are “in the market” for making healthy meals. By being a smarter and more informed shopper you can choose the best meals each and every time you visit the grocery store.

 

detoxify your diet 2 Food is much more complicated than it used to be. Compared to times past we're able to eat a greater variety of foods, we can eat foods from far-away places and even when they're not in season but as a result we also consume a lot more highly processed and chemically-laden foods. Only by eating cleaner and purer foods can we truly achieve the kind of health that we desire. Take this advice when attempting to detoxify your diet and reduce your exposure to these unwanted ingredients.

Clean Produce Well: Before eating or cooking with any fruits or vegetables be sure to wash them very well. Washing your fruits and veggies eliminates the chemicals and pathogens from your food's surface and help to eliminate any harmful ingredients.

Watch Your Animal Fat Intake: Do you know what's in your animal fats? They are loaded with synthetic hormones, antibiotics, organochlorine chemicals, and other harmful pesticides. Look for low-fat options when buying your foods and be sure to trim all of the fat off of poultry and meats when you buy them.

Avoid Cans: Cans are lined with a resin that contains bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical. While many companies are working to eliminate these chemicals in their products, in the mean time you can avoid these chemicals by choosing frozen, fresh or dried foods.

organic food imageThink Organic: According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, your pesticide exposure can be eliminated by 90 percent by avoiding the most contaminated conventionally grown produce including: peaches, apples, bell peppers, nectarines, celery, cherries, lettuce, strawberries, grapes, carrots and pears.

Choose Whole Foods: Whole foods are not processed therefore they have their own natural ingredients. Choose whole grains and look for food items that say “whole” on them,but be sure to check the labels, just to be sure.

Safer Seafood: We are exposed to a number of chemicals when we eat seafood, particular methylmercury. Do your homework when shopping for seafood and choose seafood that has the lowest chemical and heavy metal amounts. Try choosing fish that are also caught without causing harm to the oceans.

 

exercise treadmill Has your treadmill become a haven for dust and drying clothes rather than using it as the fat burning cardio machine that it was created to be? Or maybe you are consistently working out on your treadmill but are getting tired and bored with the same old routine. Why not spice things up and increase the efficacy of this exercise machine standard. Below are a few tips and an easy treadmill workout with which you could potentially burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

According to Treadmilltalk.com a common treadmill mistake involves starting out at the pace you want to maintain without warming up and without pacing yourself. Treadmill exercise like this will quickly lead to sore muscles and possibly injuries, not to mention frustration. It also means you aren't using all of your lower body muscles effectively.

There are several important elements to effective treadmill exercise. A few things to keep in mind are:

Always warm up- It is essential to stretch your muscles and warm them up slowly by walking at a speed of no more than 1.5 to 2 mph for a minute or two. Switching from the heels to the toes for thirty seconds each, then stretching out your stride for another minute will help stretch all muscles properly.

Increase your workout slowly- You should stay at one level for four weeks before moving on to the next level of difficulty. Any faster and you risk over-tasking your muscles or sustaining an injury. This is one of the most important tips for treadmill workouts to keep in mind. Burn-out is frequently the result of trying to rush to results.

Always cool down- Hopping off the treadmill after running and sitting down is an invitation for muscle cramps or worse. You need to slow down the pace and allow your muscles and heart rate to return to normal while you are moving.

Another common mistake with treadmill exercise is simply stepping on and walking or jogging at the same speed for twenty or thirty minutes. This will only succeed in making you very tired and very bored. It also isn't a very efficient workout. Try this easy treadmill workout instead.

Day One: Power walk : 30 minutes Strength train : 20 minutes

Day Two: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 10 times Cool down (walk easily) : 2 minutes

Day Three: Warm-up (walk easily) : 5 minutes Do your favorite strength-training move : 12 reps Power walk (4-6% incline) : 3 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Day Four: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 3 minutes

Day Five: Repeat Day One's Routine

Day Six: Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) : 5 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 4 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 4 minutes

Day Seven: Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week. Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

 

salmon One of the healthiest foods that you can consume is fish, more specifically, salmon. Besides being an excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, salmon is also full of high-quality proteins and low in saturated fat.

Salmon has nearly a third of the saturated fat of lean ground beef and 50 percent less saturated fat than chicken, making it one of the healthiest items that you could eat. Salmon is also low in calories. One serving contains approximately 183 calories, making it one of the lowest in calories among other fish. In addition, eating foods like salmon, which contain very little trans-fatty acids, can help to reduce the risk of many diseases, like type II diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Because salmon is chock full of protein, it contains sufficient amounts of every essential amino acid required by our bodies for growth and the upkeep of muscle tissue. These proteins also help our bodies to maintain a healthy metabolism, playing a key role in weight loss. In addition, eating salmon is one of the best ways to insure that we're getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids.

According to MSNBC.com, Omega-3's are a form of polyunsaturated fat that the body derives from food. Omega-3's (and Omega-6's) are known as essential fatty acids (EFAs) because they are essential for good health. They are essential to the development of healthy brains and other metabolically active tissues. Research shows that these fats do much more than regulate our brains: They can also lower risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. They even help fight wrinkles and may block fat-cell formation. However, the body cannot make these fatty acids on its own so it's important that Omega-3's be obtained from food.

However, once you increase the amount of fish that you eat in order to reap the benefits, it's also important to maintain healthy levels of consumption in order to avoid mercury exposure. Some types of fish are loaded with mercury and other contaminants, like PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides.

Today Show Health Correspondent, Joy Bauer on MSNBC.com says that the main reason mercury is bad for your health is that it negatively affects the brain and nervous system. Mercury poisoning can also adversely affect vision, kidney function, fertility, blood pressure regulation and heart disease.

High mercury fish to avoid: swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel (a little mackerel is fine). Tuna's not great. If you buy canned tuna, you're better off with the chunk light kind versus albacore or white. The worst for “dioxins” is farm-raised Atlantic salmon, which is also high in PCBs and pesticides.

Some of the very, very safest and best fish to eat are anchovies, herring, Atlantic mackerel, wild salmon, sardines, crab, halibut, scallops, shrimp, and tilapia.

 

fat soda pop The next time you're mulling over your beverage choice, here's a tip: avoid soda pop. The drink of choice for many, soda pop is full of sugar along with a myriad of other reasons why it should be avoided at all costs. Experts have time and time again researched soft drinks and the affects they have on our body. Here are five reasons why you should avoid soft drinks or at least limit your consumption:

Teeth damage- Soft drinks are filled with sugar and we all know the adverse affects that sugar has on our teeth. The sugar coats your teeth and wears away at your tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities.

Organ damage- Research has shown the drinking pop may be linked to chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease and other life-threatening conditions. In a study recently released by MSNBC.com, people who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of cancer. And while sugar is to blame, people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have poor health habits in general which also may lead to forms of organ damage.

Diabetes risk and obesity- Soda is filled with high-fructose corn syrup, a leading cause of obesity in any age. Drinking soda has also been linked to the development of type 2 Diabetes. The high amounts of sugar in soft drinks cause your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin, which leads to a "sugar crash." Chronic elevation and depletion of sugar and insulin can lead to diabetes and other imbalance related diseases. This is particularly disruptive to growing children which can lead to life-long health problems.

No nutritional value whatsoever- Soda again is filled with sugar and empty calories. That's about it! You get nothing nutritionally out of drinking soda.

Bone weakening- Soda contains phosphorous and caffeine and research has shown that both of these are believed to contribute to osteoporosis. Research also shows that people who are drinking soda are avoiding healthy drinks, like milk, that give bones much needed calcium.

So, the next time you are faced with a sugary soft drink dilemma, perhaps you should think twice and just grab some water or juice instead.