Thursday, May 23, 2013

who should you listen to?

Ok so I am going to talk about what is the most important topic in todays world of nutrition (in my opinion). I am going to write about the rule of what not to eat and what to eat. After countless conversations with people who are vegan, vegatarian, people who are on the Paleo diet, and the Atkin's diet along with people who just want to learn how to eat right the question and answer always is DON'T EAT THIS!?!?!?

Let's look at it from a health nuts percpective, and by health nut I mean someone who in their own sense believes they are educating themselves, eating right and staying healthy in their own way. My vegan and Vegatarian friends for instance who in many cases have a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet when they learn to combine proper foods try to convince me not to eat meat. The negatives of eating meat are there don't get me wrong. For starters due to the acid by products of digesting meat has been correlated to Osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and in the Nurse's Health Study II eating a meal with red meat a day was linked to breast cancer. So scientificly there is some truth to meat being unhealthy. My Paleo friends and Atkin's friends mention cutting grains because our bodies may not beable to digest wheat or grains, these products are high in carbohydrates and calories and because sugar is an addictive cancer causing product. These also can be seen as true statements. I have even heard some people say cutting out fruit from a diet should be done because fruits are high in sugar and low in certain nutrients. To top it off there is a diet specifically telling you what you can eat with what. The combination diet (aka the don't combine diet) is a diet telling you, you can't eat fruit with other foods, proteins with carbs or fats, but you should eat carbs with fats, and protein with your healthy greens, and I guess you can have carbs with lightly startchy veggies.

Let's look at it from a client's perspective. The number one question I have recieved is should I cut out soy from my diet? The negatives of soy are mainly thanks to Monsanto and those who chemically and hormonally alter the products. Soy is such a processed object that in the end all you have left is probably the fat in the soy that has lost all it's nutrients. That is also a arguing factor against the product. Soy is "high" in fat and cholestorol. Another question is about corn, potatoes, and the low nutrient dense carbohydrates. The arguments are different for each product. For instance corn is another product drenched in monsanto hormones and chemicals, Potatoes are low in nutrients and high in starch, peas are high in calories and carbohydrates, pasta also high in calories and carbohydrates. A huge fear of course with many people are oils, nuts, and anything high in fat. I had someone ask me if they should stop eating Salmon and other fish because of the fat content. The cons of eating fish are two main cons. The first con is the obvious which is that in many fish there is a large fat content which can lead to weight gain. The second con is the amount of mercury in fish.

There are so many negatives to eating foods but the truth is that to all these foods I have mentioned but  there are probably also just as many positives to adding these foods into your diet. Adding meat to your diet may prevent a vitamin B-12 deficiency. B-12 is only found in meat and that includes most sources of meat going from lean turkey meat to a delicious rack of lamb. Speaking of lamb did you know the meat and the fat content of lamb is considered one of the highest sources of iron and considered one of the best ways your body can absorb iron.  Grains and startches also have positives to them Grains consists of carbohydrates which is actually also a positive. Sugars that are created in the body coming from carbohydrates are considered the second source of energy after the immediate use of simple sugars that you are hopefully  getting from your fruits. Grains also consists of protien. Quinoa for instance is considered the nearest grain to 100 on the absorbtion scale. Another grain, Amaranth is a great source of Magnesium and Phosphorus. As for fruit if you have a great balance of all types of fruit you can get just nearly every micronutrient. Take one of my favorites, The avocado (yes it is a fruit). A medium avocado can be about 320 calories (give or take) and consist of 975 mg of Potassium. Considering all the salt Americans get in their diet a great amount of potassium is necessary to balance the two out.

I would like to answer the questions asked by friends and clients. 173 grams of a baked potatoe can consist can have about 27% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. It also consists of Vitamin B6, Tryptophan, Potassium and other nutrients. So having a small baked potatoe every once in a while may actually benefit you. Side tip there are other root vegetables to consider and other types of potatoes that have different vitamins like a sweet potatoe containing beta-carotene or a turnipVitamin K. Mix up the type of root veggies. Here is a great recipe brought to you by foodnetwork.com:

Ingredients
8 to 12 slender carrots, peeled and trimmed
8 to 12 baby turnips, peeled
6 to 8 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and halved, each 1/2 cut into quarters
1 or 2 large beets, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 or 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 celery root, trimmed and halved, halves cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.

Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgang-puck/roasted-root-vegetable-medley-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Pastas aren't exactly the easiest one to fight for considering the fact that pasta is my addiction but I can fight for it. Pastas are one of the top choices for runners and high fitness athletes for an energy boost like most grains. If you get multti-grain, whole grain, all natural, or other types of pastas made from natural non-white and less refined you can find many nutrients. A big seller today is spelt pasta which is haig in protein mangenese and phosphorus. Did you know that most pastas made by natural grains can consist of 6 grams of protein? Ya pastas and many grains consist of a good source of protein and fiber together. Now corn is known for being minimalistic in nutrients. Let me reassure you that even though it may not have the protein count of peas or other grains it still has some important nutrients, like Vitamin B3, Fiber and Vitamin C. If you get organic there will be a minimal amount of chemicals which will lead to beetter absoption of those nutrients. 
As for the fats in your diet like nuts and oils, please please please learn to add those to your diet. Nuts are a great source of long lasting energy, protein and nutrients. Each nut has it's own unique plus to it. walnuts are high in Omega-3 fats and Manganese to help the heart, cashews have Copper and also Mangenese, and almonds have also Mangenese, along with Vitamin E and Magnesium. Nuts as well contain Vitamins and Proteins and healthy fats. As for oils not only do most of them contain healthy fats and nutrients they are also a great weigh to mostion the skin, hair and body as well as cleanse the body. Make your own trail mix with nuts and grains add a little bit of maple and vanilla and you will have a delicious snack. 
The last food I will talk about is soy because of it's controversal appearance in the world today. Soy used to be considered one of the best if not the best vegetarian source of protein and should still be looked at in that way. Soybeans as I said took the negative route thanks to GMOs (genetically Modified Organisms), which means hormones and chemicals are added to the seed to modify the food so they are larger, last longer or grow in abundance but the truth is that it can cause the plant to lose it's nutrients and is contected to cancer. Today you will find organic and the best way to go is straight to the source. by organic soybeans, also known as Edamame. A cup is 130 calories and a great source of protein and energy. Another reason to have organic Edamame is for the women who have a lack of hormones themselves. Edamame naturally creates estrogene in the body. other choices aside from overly processed tofu is less processed soy products like tempe which can be a good option over meat. 

What does this all mean. Simply put it means what I fight for in the world of diets and nutrition. This means DROP THE DIET RULES!!! learn to listen to your body and eat the foods your body, your taste buds and your culture teaches your body. It's like in Millionairre Matchmaker where one of the guys would meditate before eating. He did this on a date which may be over the top but the whole point was to clear the mind and focus on what he was eating. If you read you mind and stomach telling you, you need meat don't be afraid to go for some chicken, or lean beef. If you feel as though you are in need of some quick sugar grab an apple or a banana and to keep your energy going for a run eat a delicious serving of pasta with a bolognese sauces with shaved almonds on top. and don't forget to grab a small bag of nuts for a snack at work. Now a days you can get those 100 calorie snack pack of nuts which is such a great way not to go overboard with eating nuts cause believe me I know if you have a big batch of nuts you can easily get through them quickly. If you want to be a vegetarian, vegan, or have a diet like the paleo diet or atkins diet or even the south beach diet do so. Putting yourself on a diet, using it as a guide like is a great way to keep control in your diet. It is also your way of keeping healthy and will give you pride in doing so. I do ask you though don't make assumptions that you have the same body as others or the same socie-economic abilities as others. I have a different diet here than I do in the states because here it is easier to go the route of a Meditarranean diet with veggies and oils but my body best source of absorbable proteins comes from meats so I have a serving of chicken, eggs, or red meat. red meat is something I eat about once a week so my iron levels stay balanced although if you want to be vegan or vegatarian kale, spinach and other dark green leafy veggies are decent sources of iron. how about economics in all of this. The truth is it can be more expensive to be on a Meditarranean diet because the protein is in nuts and fishes which can be expensive or being a vegan can be expensive because you rely on nuts tempe and other possibly costly products and some people due to costs see it difficult to buy organic so in that case they go for the typical cheaper grocery store brand. Although in the long run it can be more costly some people just don't have the money right at that time to buy all organic. 


Your diet should be your diet, it should change for what you crave, what is close buy and sold locally if possible and what you can afford. Educate yourself, go see a nutritionist or dietition (like myself) and make your own choices in what you eat and STOP listening to every fad there is. On a regular basis someone comes out with a crazy theory just to get their name out there and to be known. What they do say can be very true but it is only part of the truth.  So again Stop listening to everything and have your own diet plan. My don'ts for your diet: Don't eat chemicals you are unfamiliar and can cause harm and don't stress out about what not to eat and enjoy what you want to eat 

Till Next Time
Nicoly!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Celebrating the Mothers in my life.

   Mother's day, a day for every mother out there! Mother's day is a day to celebrate the day your mother became a mother, whether that was when she had you, your older brother or sister or even when she fell in love with the puppy or kitten at the shelter. Living in Israel for some time now I realize many things about Motherhood in myself and in my mother.

Withen myself it is something I would want in a different light than which society may look at. I want children through adoption so badly. Right now I can wait but in the future when I can give what my mother has given me, I would love to be able to give what my mother has given me. One of my greatest fears has been to have children in the future and to be honest to have the relationship that I had with my mother in the past that we had and the fear of being that mother on the news that is in handcuffs saying "I just snapped." with the headlines being "Mother Chokes Child to Death." I also fear the simple things like what I would do when my child is sick, will I love one over the other if I have more than on kid? Some of these questions may sound ridiculous and to be honest they are but lets face it there are some crazy mothers out there that shouldn't have children and honestly you never really know if you will become that type of mother until a doctor or adoption agent hands you your first child, the first responsibility that you hopefully won't want ot hand off to someone else, your first true love aside from your significant other. For me I know my emotions can lead to some crazy things like me running from a hike, crying because my brother has left to college, screaming at the T.V. because the Chargers once again blew the playoffs, a dent in the wall because I had a fight with my parents, or even myself physically and emotionally hurting those in my life and myself. Just the other day I found myself talking to my mother in an impatiently abusive tone. 

Recently, although I have had my fears of my emotions I realized that even if sometimes I do let them get the best of me I have also grown a whole lot to the sense where I can realize that after screaming at my mom or cracking my phone that I have to come down before actually getting to that point of no return (luckily my phone still works). This basically means I just have to give myself a little more time before I can say let's do it, let's find a child I can love. This will probably be when I have a steady income and a career I love along with not living with the Parents and calming down.
Now away from myself since I am not a mother just yet let's get to the real reason I am gonna celebrate mother's day. On April 11th 1987 my big brother was born and my mother became a mother. For 1 year and 10 months she spoiled him to the point of know return with a heavenly toy room, gifts from every person around and love from the be3st parents out there.  About 1 year and 10 monthsl ater I stole the lime light for a little bit. From the looks of it Danny didn't mind and from the memories of playing hockey together, role playing with WWF (now WWE) characters, and breaking a few vases it actually seems like he enjoyed having me around. This just made my mother a more stressed out mother but still a great mother who couldn't even consider grounding us when a hockey puck or soccer ball flew at the new vases she just bought. 4 years and 10 months (give or take) later we were all shocked when for a third time she had to learn how to be a mother. Hear is what I have learned from my mom and from others: with each child you need to become a different mother. It's one of the reasons considering many children is just ridiculous to me. I would have to change myself for a few kids at a time; I don't know how people do it. My mother had no idea what she was in for just like every other mother. With Danny she got a class clown who got kicked out of spanish class and somehow got a teacher to pin him up to the wall (That's a story I will leave for father's day). I was the social outcast, physically abusive child who would never leave home and Adam was and is the kid who..... well he was actually a pretty easy kid except for the fact that he ended up being in a class with only girls because the other boy had to many issues to continue at the school. Adam was and is the baby of the family we all tried to take care of him and it made him the easy one although he may cause trouble now considering we will probably never know if something happens to him since his definition of keeping in contact with the family is calling someone after a month just to say hi and bye.

With all of that my mother spent the last 26 years learning how to be a mother and I am almost certain that until (as much as I don't want to think about it) the day when we have to take care of her (and again don't want to think about she will always be learning how to be a mother. What makes her a great mother isn't that she allowed us to party, got angry when we did something wrong or tried being there for all our school events. What makes her a great mother is that with every mistake and even every success she learned something new. Our relationship is the perfect example of this. I have written a few blogs talking about the relationship we have and after years of struggling and even today still having some small moments we are becoming friends as well as having a healthy mother daughter relationship. This past year has been a huge step forward to that and I couldn't be any happier about it. 
    
Parents always say the greatest gift they can get is seeing their children happy. I finally understand that. I have been spoiled my entire life, I have been given everything I have asked for and the greatest gift I have recieved wasn't an education, the spice girls doll, a trip to Disneyland or a car. No none of that compares to the gift I recieved this year. I was able to view my mother be in her element, be in her home happy as can be. As a child coming to Israel with her I never really payed attention much to the fact so I never really saw the joy she had. This year, we went to coffee together at CafeNeto, Cafe Shaked, and other coffee shops where she loved being with her friends. While here in Israel together we went shopping at shuks, malls and at friends stores for numerous items to bring back home and to enjoy here, we went to Sataf and Abu Gosh and we took a couple trips together and it truly is the most amazing gift to be with my mother when she is her most happiest. Don't get me wrong she is also happy in the states with her family but this is a different joy that you don't see often. You may see this kind of joy in a child who has walked into the magical world of Disneyland for the first time, Maybe when someone has just been proposed to by their significant other, When a mother has her mother meets her child for the first time (whether in a hospital at home or at an agency) and in a few other places but it is a rare image, an artistic moment in life. It It's like watching the scene in the Lion King when Simba is introduced to the world, Seeing the view of Salt Lake City from the Rock living Room up in the mountains, seeing the ocean for the first time or like watching your favorite team (the Chargers) finally win the superbowl, nothing but beauty in the eyes of the beholder. That is why it has been the greatest gift I have recieved. Of course this means I gotta give something in return. Something in Return may not mean something materialistic although I do intend on coming home with a few things stashed in my luggage. I can promise I will stay happy, love you even when we are screaming at eachother, and always try to be a better daughter. Lastly when I get back I am making breakfast. I don't know what exactly but I do know it will involve eggs. 
  
Speaking of something in return, mothers day is truly about celebrating all mothers. this year living with my aunt and uncle, my aunt has been more like a mother to me. No joke, she even treats me like her child by having me do laundry, dishes, running a few errands and also by giving me a sort of allowance, making sure I  don't get to sick and in many other ways. Don't get me wrong I am one who has been lucky enough to have so many mother figures in my life and I wish them all a happy Mother's day, but my aunt had a friend help me get my prescription, taken me to try to get my Visa straightened out and has cooked many meals for me as I stay in what was known as Itay's room (my cousin), then my ICNIC's room, and now my room for the time being. So I wish her a VERY VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! And thank her with all my heart. 

In four more days we all should be doing something special for the mothers' in our lives. Whether that be by cooking a meal, taking them shopping, bring them a gift, sending them on vacation or in any unique way make sure you let the mothers in your life know they were great mothers. I guess this blog is my way of doing that. 

Happy Mother's Day to my mother figures out there especially Doda Eti (my aunt) and Happy Mother's day to my partner in crime this year, My ICNIC! I love you oh so very much.