Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling - Part One

Traveling can make eating and living healthy challenging. What options do travelers have for choosing healthy foods while abroad? There are some great ways to still eat healthy foods and minimize your exposure to processed foods full of toxins while you are away from home:
  • If you are traveling by plane and you know you won't be afforded a substantial meal while in the air for several or more hours, you can pack certain types of foods in a cold-pack in your carry-on. Choose foods like pasture-raised eggs that you boil in advance, peel, and place in a plastic bag. Raw cheese, raw nuts, and certain organic fruits such as pears, grapes, apples, and even dried fruits are fine to consume sometimes as long as they are organic and do not contain chemicals like sulfur or preservatives. Bananas are not a good choice unless you eat them within an hour or so because they tend to soften quickly in containers and can make a big mess in your carry-on.
  • If you eat them soon, you can also carry fresh organic vegetables in plastic bags in your cold pack. Broccoli, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and even spring greens can be good choices. If you bring greens of any kind, try to place them away from direct placement against your cold-pack or ice pack of choice. Extremely cold exposure can cause greens to blacken and become slimy.
  • Good-quality organic, pasture-raised jerky is also a good choice. You can find beef, fish, and turkey in jerky varieties now in most health food stores.
  • Good-quality water is harder to come by since airlines do not permit bringing water from home. You will likely have to purchase bottled water in the terminal after you check your luggage and go through security. When you reach your destination, look for good-quality filtered water at a local health food store.
If you must eat food on the plane, avoid anything sugary or processed. While this may be difficult since airlines don't tend to provide much of anything in the way of healthy foods, saying no will benefit you in the end. You will be less tired and less short-tempered because you have provided your body with healthy food to keep going while traveling. In the airport, choose salads, cooked vegetables, and proteins as much as possible. You likely won't be lucky enough to find organic in the air terminal, but these are your best bets for health.

While traveling, always take probiotics, fiber, and digestive enzymes. These substances will help minimize gastro-intestinal distress and digestive issues. Also be certain to bring your regular supplements such as vitamins, essential fatty acids, and any other important tablets you take for health.

Please check back tomorrow for part two of our eating healthy while traveling series.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vacation Time!

Agriculture Society's writer is going on vacation for two weeks to a third-world location. Posts will not be regular during this time, but will be produced as permitted. Meanwhile, please peruse our current stock of articles contained on this gadget as well as our mother site, Agriculture Society (.com). AS Tip of the Day will resume as normal before the end of June. Thank you for your continued support!

Continue to Eat Healthy with Rising Prices

Here are some tips to keep your diet as healthy as possible in an unstable economy:
  • Grow as much of your own food as possible
  • Pay attention to specials and sales, but do not compromise on quality. In the long run, quality is better for health than lower prices
  • Go in on CSA shares with friends and neighbors
  • Use coupons whenever possible
  • Make up food in advance and freeze (soups, stews, casseroles)
  • Take turns making meals with friends, neighbors, and relatives
  • Always make a list before you shop
  • Do not go to the grocery store hungry. You will end up purchasing items you don't need or won't be able to consume before spoiling
  • If purchasing organic foods is difficult or not possible due to costs, look for local foods and always wash everything thoroughly (such as produce) before eating
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods. Stick with whole, raw, and natural foods for optimal health and maximization of your dollar

Friday, June 6, 2008

Safe Personal Care Products

Do you use a lot of personal care products? Personal care products include skin creams, moisturizers, sunblock, makeup, lip balms, shampoos, conditioners, body scrubs, shaving creams, and other related store-bought items. If you use a lot of these products, you should consider reducing the amount used as well as becoming a conscious label-reader of ingredients. What you are putting on your body, in all likelihood, could be harmful to you and the environment - unless what you are using falls under a very small percentage of truly safe products and are used sparingly. Here are some reputable and safe choices for personal care:
In general, any substance that you have to put on your body should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Even the most safe product lines do contain some hazardous substances, and at least half of the containers these products are sold in are plastic, which leaches into the product itself and is also toxic to the body as well as the environment. When possible, purchase products contained in some other type of container such as glass or metal. If you do need to use a personal care product of some type, the above referenced products are your best bets.

Good alternatives to using personal care products - as well as ideas on saving money - are as follows:
  • Wash your hair less. Use a natural shampoo. Less washing will cause less oil to build up, and therefore, less washing. For information on methods to cut down on hair washing and using natural oils, herbs, and vinegar, visit this Apple Cider Benefits.
  • Using toothpaste can be hazardous to your health. Peroxide and baking soda are good alternatives. Read this article for more information
  • Don't use conditioner, or use less conditioner. Conditioners cause oil to build up in the hair, and using no conditioner or less conditioner will require less frequent washing of hair.
  • Instead of using moisturizers or lotions, consider natural oils. A good alternative is a home-made body scrub. A body scrub can be used in the shower or bath, is an exfoliating agent and a moisturizer as the scrub contains sugar and some type of natural oil.
  • Instead of using sunblock, wear long-sleeves, pants, skirts, hats, and headwraps such as scarves or bandanas. Wear safe UVA, UVB, and UVC-blocking eyewear when outdoors. Limit your time outdoors with skin and eyes exposed to direct sunlight to less than one hour daily. Most people need about 20 - 30 minutes of direct exposure to sun for optimal health daily.

For any body care issues, also consider your diet. What you eat greatly affects your skin, hair, eyes, fingernails, etc. Receiving enough essential fatty acids, minerals, hydration (water intake), and other basic nutritional requirements is of the utmost importance in maintaining these systems in the body. Make certain each day you are drinking plenty of filtered water, eating raw nuts, eating plenty of organic and naturally-sourced vegetables and fruits, eating healthy proteins such as organic, grass-fed meats, poultry, selected wild-caught fish and seafood, whole, raw dairy, and minimal grain and grain products (which can seriously upset the delicate essential fatty acid ratio in the body with too many Omega 6s and 9s). Avoid processed foods and junk items containing chemicals, sugar, and other sweetner substances.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What is Inulin?

Fiber is essential in the human diet for health. It cleans out the intestinal tract of problematic substances and toxins that can cause disease. Inulins are a great source of fiber, and are produced by a large variety of plants. These naturally-occurring polysaccahrides are used by some plants as a method to store energy. Polysaccahrides are most commonly found in roots or rhizomes. In other words, these plants do not fall in the starchy or simple carbohydrate category. This nutritional substance can be used to replace sugar, flour, or fat. As such inulins are a soluble fiber, and because it promotes friendly intestinal flora or bacteria, also a prebiotic - a substance which helps to eliminate unwanted toxins from the gut.

Good natural sources of inulin can be found in leeks, bananas, asparagus, onions, garlic, chicory root. You can also purchase inulin as a dietary supplement.

Reasons to make sure your diet includes a regular intake of inulin are as follows:
  • Reduces risk of cancer because it aids the intestinal tract by helping to grow beneficial bacteria Eliminates common digestive problems such as IBS and
  • Is soothing to digestive tract and can be beneficial to both diarrhea and constipation
  • Can help Diabetics take control of their disease more effectively because inulin does not raise blood sugar levels'
  • Supports bone health and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis
For more information about inulin, visit Body Ecology.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lifestyle Matters

Do you live a healthy lifestyle? Do you eat enough vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, avoid processed carbohydrates with grains, exercise regularly, take whole-food, organic supplements, get adequate sleep, and engage in stress-reducing activities? If not, your health could be in jeopardy.

"We all know that living a healthy lifestyle, eating well, being physically active and not smoking
reduces the risk of physical problems and improves overall physical health," said Kevin Stein, director of Quality of Life Research at the American Cancer Society's Behavioral Research Center and lead author of the Clinical Oncology study. "Here we have additional evidence that it not only reduces disease burden but also improves emotional health and quality of life and, moreover, the effect appears to be cumulative. The more you comply, the better your quality of life."

Making changes now can prevent problems in the future. Don't wait until you start to notice something is wrong. It is not what you do once in awhile that provides quality of life, but what you do on a daily basis. When you make a commitment to changing your lifestyle to a healthy one permanently, you provide yourself the best insurance you need for a healthy life. How you live really can mean the difference between developing degenerative health issues and a lifetime of sickness versus superior well-being and health.