Nutrition

Are We Deficient in Essential Nutrients?

Are We Deficient in Essential Nutrients?

Submitted by: Adrian Joele

To answer this question , let’s look at some official government figures in America to see how the degraded foods that most people eat do not provide sufficient nutrients. I would imagine that similar results could be found in other developed countries, like Europe and Australia.

The Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES 1) studied 28,000 people, from age 1 to 74, in sixty-five different areas throughout the United States. HANES 1 examined people’s diets, their blood nutrient levels and any malnutrition symptoms.

It found huge dietary deficiencies by using very conservative levels as a norm.

For example: nine out of ten women had iron deficiency in their diets (less than 18 mg). One in every two women had calcium deficiency (less than 600 mg). Iron deficiency in the blood was widespread in all age, sex, race and income groups, despite the fact that white bread and cereals in America are “enriched” with iron. overall, more than 60% of these people showed at least one symptom of malnutrition, regardless off their income level.

The Ten State Nutritional Survey of 86,000 people found similar evidence. In Michigan for example, more than half the men and women tested were deficient in folic acid. In Texas and Washington one in every four men and one in every three women were deficient in vitamin A. One in three persons in Southern California was deficient in vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

These were very conservative figures of the values of the RDA’s as representing adequate nutrition. Nevertheless, about two thirds of these people were malnourished even though the number of nutrients tested for deficiency was only a fifth of the 59 nutrients essential for optimal health.

A third government study showed similar results. The Nationwide Food Consumption Survey of 15,000 households found that one household out of three ate diets deficient in calcium and vitamin B6. One in five households ate diets deficient in iron and

vitamin A.

A recent report from the USDA examined another 37,785 people.

It analyzed intakes of only 11 of the essential nutrients. Results showed that the fast majority of subjects ate less than the RDA for vitamin A and B6 and minerals, calcium, iron and magnesium.

It get worse with older people.A new study of older American by Dr. Jacob Selhub at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University, examined diet and blood levels of just three nutrients: folate, vitamin B6 and B12. They found that 60% of these seniors got insufficient folate to prevent high levels of homocysteine in their blood, a proven risk factor for heart disease. The worst finding was that 80% of subjects were getting the RDA for folate, but that level of intake was clearly insufficient to keep them healthy.

In an accompanying editorial to the study, published in the very conservative Journal of the American Medical Association, Professors Meir Stampfer and Walter Willet of Harvard University concluded: “a reasonable argument can be made for recommending….. multi-vitamins for many individuals”.

I can go on with many more studies with similar results, but I will not make it boring for you with endless examples.

The evidence we have reviewed should be sufficient to show without a doubt that average people eating the average degraded American food are seriously deficient in essential nutrients.

Many thousands of people are now aware of these problems with our food, resulting in a movement to go back to organic farming. However, it will take decades before even a quarter of American agricultural land is detoxified and then restored by years of mulching, manuring and crop rotation, to regain the nutrient-rich soils of our forefathers. Meanwhile, you have to protect yourself.

You can restore your personal nutrient levels by using the right vitamin and mineral supplements.The best way to supplement your diet with nutritional supplements is to visit this site:http://nutrobalance.net



About the Author: Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight loss when he was working for a nutritional supplement manufacturer. He wrote several articles about health and nutrition and achieved expert status with Ezine http://Articles.com Get his free report on nutrition and weight loss by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net

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Beef Recipes: 3 Dishes That Meat Lovers Will Go Crazy About

Beef Recipes: 3 Dishes That Meat Lovers Will Go Crazy About
By Adrian T. Cheng

Beef is one of the most widely used meats around the world. Like chicken and pork, it is used in millions of recipes from different cuisines. It is flexible and easy to prepare. Those that are big fans of steak or burgers would say that beef is the heaviest type of meat, the most satisfying when it comes to appetite. Compared to chicken and fish, beef contains a higher amount of iron.

Here are mouth-watering beef recipes you can try at home:

Melt-In-Your Mouth Butter Beef

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 kilograms cubed beef stew meat
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small pack dry onion soup mix

Mix together beef stew meat and butter in a slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over the beef. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, stirring once. Best served with toasted wheat bread or over cooked egg noodles.

Baked Cheesy Beef Ravioli

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram ground beef
  • 1/4 kilogram frozen cheese ravioli
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain the grease before stirring in tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Pour about 1/3 of the ground beef mixture into a 11x7-inch baking dish then top with half of the frozen cheese ravioli. Sprinkle with half of the Monterey Jack cheese followed by half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the last of the ground beef mixture. Cover with heavy duty aluminium foil and bake in a pre-heated oven (450F) for 30 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

Soy-Butter Beef Tenderloin

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 kilogram beef tenderloin roast
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter

Place the beef tenderloin roast in a shallow baking dish. Brush with butter then pour soy sauce all over the beef. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 10 minutes before turning the roast over. Continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally, until cooked through or to desired doneness. When ready, allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Best served with mashed potatoes.

If you're in the mood for a delicious, juicy meat dish, these recipes will not fail you - these are surefire winners in everyone's books!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grilling experience, reviewing various grill gadgets and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian's website where he has other interesting posts.

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The Amazing Flaxseed And Diabetes Natural Treatment Connection Revealed

The Amazing Flaxseed And Diabetes Natural Treatment Connection Revealed
By Terry Robbins

A simple seed, but so many benefits. If flaxseed is not part of your diet, you are missing out whether you have diabetes or not. For diabetics, there is an amazing connection between flaxseed and diabetes for those looking for a natural cure (type 2 diabetes) or a way to manage blood sugar levels naturally.

The many health benefits of flaxseed

Before cotton became affordable, flax (Linum usitatissimum) also known as linseed, has a fibrous stem which was woven into cloth and is still used in this way today despite the prevalence of cotton, but the oil which was produced from the flaxseed has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It wasn't until about a thousand years ago that people started eating flaxseed for health and well being. The health benefits of flaxseed include but are not limited to;

1. Cancer

Flaxseed contains the most amount of lignans when compared to other plants. The amount of lignans in flaxseed is about 7 times more than that in its closest competitor (sesame seeds) and as much as 3,200 more than peanuts.

Lignans contain very powerful antioxidants which are crucial for preventing the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that in order to stabilize or "heal" themselves, "steal" particles from healthy cells but this only ends up creating more free radicals. The effects of free radicals on the body are thought to increase the risk of developing various chronic diseases and conditions including cancer.

Lignans are particularly beneficial for reducing the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen which is the female hormone can stimulate the growth of cancer but lignans in addition to antioxidant benefits also contain phyto(plant)estrogens, which mimic the action of the estrogen produced by the body but are less potent.

These chemically weaker phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors in the body and this helps to stop the effects on the body of the much stronger estrogen produced by the body which allows excessive amounts of this much stronger estrogen to be eliminated from the body which helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Studies have shown that women who consumed lignan reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by about 62 percent when compared to women who did not consume lignan.

Lignans are also beneficial for fighting against prostate cancer as has been shown in various research studies.

Other cancer fighting properties of flaxseed emanate from the polyunsaturated fats including omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber that it contains. These compounds in addition to lignans help to promote health and well-being and reduce the risk of developing various diseases including cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed also help to protect against cancer and many other chronic diseases.

2. Heart attack

Lignans not only provide antioxidant benefits but as mentioned previously are also a rich source omega-3 fatty acids of which alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the main type and ALA is able to lower the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.

3. Cholesterol

Flaxseed is also able to lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is dangerous and can lead to heart disease. Flaxseed is rich in a type of soluble fiber that is beneficial for the body which is known as mucilage. This mucilage is tied to the cholesterol lowering properties of flaxseed.

4. Kidney disease

Research has shown that the lignans and omega-3 fatty acids contained in flaxseed are able to reverse the damage to the kidneys caused by lupus which is an autoimmune disease.

5. Hot flushes

The lignans or phytoestrogens contained in flaxseed can be beneficial for women dealing with the various symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. The estrogen levels of women going through menopause usually start to decrease and instead of going through hormone therapy, phytoestrogens are a natural alternative as they can be used to replace some of this estrogen that is no longer produced by the body because estrogen can help to reduce the severity of hot flashes and phytoestrogens can help with this.

Flaxseed and diabetes

Soluble fiber galore

The connection between flaxseed and diabetes is related to the mucilage that was discussed previously which is the soluble fiber that is available in high amounts in flaxseed. This soluble fiber has been shown by various studies to be able to reduce blood sugar levels which is important to not only manage diabetes but to also cure it naturally.

Diabetes results when the body does not produce any or enough of the hormone insulin or the insulin produced becomes inefficient and/or ineffective (insulin resistance) leading to the accumulation of glucose or sugar in the blood. Insulin is supposed to remove this glucose from the blood and transfer it to the various cells in the body where it is used for fuel or energy for day to day activities.

When insulin is unable to perform its duties, this glucose accumulation in the blood can increase the risk of developing diabetes or leading to diabetes related complications (heart and kidney disease, limb amputations, diabetic coma, etc).

One aspect of managing diabetes naturally is by following a customized diabetic diet to help control the amount of glucose deposited into the blood.

This is what is so amazing about flaxseed and why it is so important for diabetes natural treatment. The soluble fiber in flaxseed helps to slow down digestion which means that the digestion of the carbs and sugars in the food that we eat and conversion of this into glucose to be deposited into the bloodstream will be slowed down which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes. This shows the importance of flaxseed for diabetes natural treatment.

If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, one of the ways of preventing you from developing type 2 diabetes is to increase your intake of this soluble fiber.

Weight loss

Another connection between flaxseed and diabetes is weight loss. Many people with diabetes especially those with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Getting your weight under control is an important aspect of natural diabetes treatment and this is another area that flaxseed can help.

In addition to soluble fiber, flaxseed also contains insoluble fiber (roughage). Both types of fiber are important for weight loss because they help you feel fuller faster and keep hunger pangs away for longer which can help you eat less and help with your weight loss goals. Overweight diabetics who are attempting to lose weight should always increase their fiber intake for the reasons discussed and flaxseed can help with this.

It is also important to remember that many people with type 2 diabetes also deal with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, heart disease, etc, and as discussed previously, flaxseed can also help with these various health issues.

The connection shown above between flaxseed and diabetes makes this amazing seed crucial and an important part of any diabetic diet.

Getting the most

1. Flaxseed oil and diabetes

Flaxseed oil is produced from the seeds and many people skip out on the seeds and reach for the oil but you may want to think again. You may want to consider passing by the oil firstly because you will not get the all important fiber and secondly because while the oil may contain some health properties, most of the lignans, protein and minerals are found in the actual seeds and not the oil. Since you need fiber as a diabetic, pass on the oil and reach for the seeds instead.

Flaxseed oil is also easily perishable and must be stored in the refrigerator once opened.

2. Must be processed

Flaxseed is available in two varieties i.e. brown flax and golden flax (also known as yellow flax) which generally have similar nutritional compositions.

While some people love to sprinkle whole flaxseed on salads or fresh baked bread, the body cannot process whole flaxseeds. They will simply pass through the body undigested which means that you will not get the full benefits of flaxseed including soluble fiber.

Flaxseed must be processed but the ground flaxseed goes rancid very quickly so store it in the fridge but do not use after 30 days or so. While you can easily find ground flaxseed in grocery stores, it is not as fresh as freshly ground flaxseeds so think about getting a cheap spice or coffee grinder or other seed grinding tool so that you can grind two tablespoons or more of whole flaxseed and have it fresh to use each day to add to smoothies, oatmeal, sprinkled on hot or cold cereal, sprinkled on salads, etc.

While ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal) does not last more than 30 days or so when stored in the refrigerator, whole flaxseed can last 6 to 12 months or 1 to 2 years if stored in the refrigerator.

Safety precautions

Flaxseed is generally safe but it does contain a minute amount of cyanide which is not enough to harm an adult but could possibly harm a fetus or infant so avoid flaxseed if you are pregnant or nursing and do not give it to children under the age of two.

The minute amount of cyanide in flaxseed should not be harmful to most people if you only consume the recommended daily amount which is 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. It is also important to remember that there are usually very small amounts of cyanide that are constantly present in human tissue which are constantly being metabolized so the cyanide in flaxseed should not really be a cause for concern. Other plants such as cruciferous vegetables also contain small amounts of cyanide.

A tablespoon of flaxseed contains about 5 to 6 milligrams of cyanide but for cyanide to be dangerous to the human body, it would have to be in amounts of at least 1,000 milligrams.

Other precautions with flaxseed relate to allergic reactions. Some people may be allergic to flaxseed and if so, stop using it or reduce the dose.

Some people may also experience bloating and flatulence when they first start consuming flaxseed. If so, start with small amounts and gradually build up.

If you have diabetes, you should be eating flaxseed because of the amazing connection between flaxseed and diabetes [http://diabetestype1and2info.com/foods-that-cure-diabetes-the-top-vegetable-that-beats-all-other-vegetables/] natural treatment. For more tips and tricks on how to cure diabetes naturally, visit [http://diabetestype1and2info.com/foods-that-cure-diabetes-the-top-vegetable-that-beats-all-other-vegetables/] and discover the number one vegetable that fights diabetes.

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Reduce Free Radicals: Antioxidants And The Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

Reduce Free Radicals: Antioxidants And The Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

Submitted by: James Zeller

Nutrition used to be something like: “eat fresh food and stay away from potato chips”… now we are told beware of ‘free radicals’ in the body. Antioxidants are supposed to be good for you, but how do we encourage one and fight the other?

“If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” -- Leon Eldred

We live in an age where we are beginning to see an awareness developing between eating habits and good health. Several buzz phrases like low carb, high protein, and Hoodia are mentioned as a means to gaining a better life while honing a better physique.

Another phrase that is repeated often is ‘’antioxidants”.

What exactly is an antioxidant and why is it important?

Everyone has what is called ‘free radicals’ that roam throughout the body. These free radicals have the potential to attack the body, primarily in the form of cancer. Antioxidants fight back. A nutrition plan that includes antioxidants can assist in staving off the potential for acute illness due to free radicals.

Drinks such as coffee and tea often have a certain amount of antioxidants, but it is fresh fruit that is especially rich in antioxidants. Fruit, of course, remains high on the list of recommended foods by the U.S.D.A., but it may surprise you to know that extra virgin olive oil as part of a balanced diet can provide as much antioxidant as a piece of fruit.

The health benefits of olive oil remain a delightful discovery for many. It’s not often something that adds significant good taste to a gourmet meal and can also be an extremely healthy choice.

A diet that is lean in saturated fats (red meat) balanced with a healthy dose of fatty acids has pointed to a number of health benefits. Most of the fatty acids that your body may need can be found in extra virgin olive oil.

The health benefits of olive oil extend to the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing the amount of HDL (good cholesterol).

Case Study

The University of Barcelona conducted a controlled study that followed 16 individuals that were advised to refrain from certain foods that contained phenols (an antioxidant designed to attack free radicals). After abstaining for four days the test group was given extra virgin olive oil to determine if this alone could increase the levels of phenol in the body.

50ml of olive oil was provided to test subjects while they refrained from things like butter, nuts, eggs and margarine. After the first day the total intake of olive oil was cut in half. One week later, blood samples indicated elevated amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and phenols. Oleic acid and monounsaturated fatty acids were also seen at higher levels - both acids are indicative of lower LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation.

Some researchers believe that the health benefits of olive oil may still be untapped, and many have indicated regular ingestion of olive oil may be one of the best kept health secrets available.

Beyond its antioxidant properties, extra virgin olive oil has provided significant data to indicate it may also lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and aid in the fight against colon cancer specifically.

Isn’t it time to discover the virtues of olive oil for yourself?

About the Author: James Zeller writes for gourmet gift related websites such as www.cruets.com . Here is a selection of balamic vinegar gifts that he found, and a creative collection of kitchen gourmet gifts.

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Nutrition For Lean Muscle Gain And Fat Loss

Nutrition For Lean Muscle Gain And Fat Loss
By Troy Van Spanje

What To Eat For Lean Muscle Gain And Fat loss

Do you wonder why you push so hard in the gym, yet you aren't seeing the muscle gains that you want? Maybe you're doing great muscle building workouts and dumping down protein shakes, but if you're not paying attention to your overall nutrition, you'll have a tough time building muscle. If your body doesn't have the fuel and nutrients there to build muscle, you're working so hard in vain.

Although no nutrition program will work perfectly for everyone, certain basic nutrition principles are universal when you're trying to achieve fat loss while building muscle. Here's a helpful look at some of the best nutrition principles that you can immediately implement into your life to begin seeing big muscle gains while losing excess fat.

Macronutrients and Their Importance

Macronutrients are an essential part of your diet. What are macronutrients? Macronutrients aren't as complicated as they sound - they're just nutrients that your body requires in large amounts. These nutrients provide energy or calories.

The three macronutrients include:

  • Proteins - Proteins provide four calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates - Carbs provide four calories per gram
  • Fats - Fats provide approximately 9 calories per gram

The body needs all three of these macronutrients, as well as water and micronutrients (which we'll talk about later) to function optimally.

Why are macronutrients important? Building muscle isn't just about counting calories. The source of your calories also matters. For example, if you're aiming for 4,000 calories a day but you get most of your calories from fats while your protein and carb intake is deficient, you'll have a tough time reaching your muscle building goals. Even if you work out all the time, unless you have the right balance of macronutrients, it's tough to reach your fitness goals.

Let's take a closer look at each macronutrient and how you can figure out the right balance of each macronutrient to optimize your muscle gains.

The Role of Proteins in Muscle Building

Protein plays an important role in muscle building because the body uses proteins to construct all body tissues. Your body uses proteins to help repair muscles after a tough workout, which is why it's so important to get enough protein. It's also essential to make sure that you're eating the right kind of proteins.

All proteins are made up of amino acids. Certain amino acids can be made by the body, while others cannot. Your body doesn't need the amino acids it can make on its own. However, the amino acids that the body can't make must be taken in through your diet. The body must have all the essential amino acids in order to repair or build tissue.

Proteins are broken into two categories:

  • Incomplete Proteins - Incomplete proteins do not contain all of the essential amino acids and these proteins generally come from non-animal sources, such as nuts, veggies, and beans.
  • Complete Proteins - Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids, and they generally come from animal sources.

Recommendations for how much protein you should eat for maximum gains can vary. Some bodybuilding experts recommend two grams of protein per kilo of weight each day. However, an easier way to calculate your protein needs to make sure that approximately 30% of your calorie intake comes from protein.

What kinds of proteins should you be adding to your diet? Here's a look at some of the best muscle building protein foods, as well as some tips you can use to add them to your meal plans.

  • Whole Eggs - Whole eggs offer an excellent amount of protein and eating whole eggs makes sure that you get all the nutrition found in the egg yolks. One egg contains about 7 grams of protein and 70 calories, making it easy to add a lot of protein to your diet without adding a huge amount of calories. Here are a few ways to add whole eggs to your meals:
  • Dice eggs into salads
  • Make an omelette for breakfast
  • Boil the eggs
  • Make a meat, potatoes, and egg hash brown
  • Make your own egg protein cupcakes with egg, cheese, and diced meat.
  • Beef - Beef offers plenty of protein, iron, creatine, vitamin B12, zinc, and other essential nutrients that aid in muscle building and fat loss. Beef comes in many differ forms, including stakes and ground beef. Add it to your meals by:
  • Making hamburgers
  • Making tacos with ground beef
  • Stir fry with veggies
  • Season and eat a nice steak
  • Whey Protein Isolate - Whey protein isolate is easy to consume and usually provides more than 20 grams of protein per scoop. This type of protein is easy to take nearly anywhere with you so you get your protein when you need it. Enjoy whey protein isolate in your meals by:
  • Making whey protein shakes
  • Adding a scoop to your oatmeal
  • Take it on the go with a shaker and add liquid for a quick protein meal on the go
  • Chicken - Chicken is also a protein start, offering a low-fat way to consume protein. It also contains magnesium, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin A. You'll get 26+ grams of proteins in a 3oz chicken breast for only 142 calories. Great ways to use chicken in your meals include:
  • Top a salad with cooked strips of chicken
  • Make healthy chicken strips
  • Spice up chicken with a salsa and sour cream sauce
  • Grill chicken and glaze with a fruity glaze or BBQ sauce
  • Salmon - Salmon is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great choice for a muscle building diet. It also provides important vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin B3, and vitamin B12. Use salmon in your diet by:
  • Making salmon tacos
  • Glazing and baking the salmon
  • Grilling salmon
  • Flaking salmon and cooking with pasta in a garlic sauce
  • Add flaked salmon to a salad

Other great sources of protein include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Liver
  • Shellfish
  • Milk products
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Sardines

Carbs for Muscle Building

Many people make the mistake of cutting out carbs when they try to gain muscle, but you need those carbs to fuel the body when you're exercising. Carbs are the main source of energy for your body, and if you severely reduce your carbs, you'll also reduce your energy levels, making muscle building more difficult. Carbs are stored as glycogen in the body, and it's important to keep the glycogen levels high enough that the body never starts to use protein for energy.

It's important to eat enough carbs each day to make sure your body has plenty of calories to use for energy. This ensures that the protein you eat is left to support the growth and repair of muscles.

Carbohydrates come in two different groups:

  • Complex Carbs - Complex carbs take longer to digest and they contain more nutrient, such as important fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Since these carbs are digested more slowly, the body enjoys a more stable release of energy
  • Simple Carbs - Simple carbohydrates are carbs that are quickly digested. This often leaves you feeling hungry, which may make you start eating more than you should. Simple carbs also lead to spikes in blood sugar. It's important to limit simple carbs, such as sports drinks, sodas, white breads, pastries, etc.

About 40% of your calories should come from carbs when you're focusing on lean muscle building. Grains, beans, and vegetables offer a great source of complex carbs. Some of the best nutrient dense carbs to add to your diet include:

  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat bread, tortillas, and pastas
  • Oat bran
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Shredded wheat cereal
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Capsicum
  • Zucchini
  • String beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onions

Fats for Muscle Building and Fat Loss

You also need fats to achieve your muscle building goals. Many people make the mistake of trying to avoid fasts when they're working to build muscle. Even if your goal is fat loss and muscle gains, you still need to consume enough fat. Fats are essential to your body, and certain types of fat are essential for muscle growth, muscle recovery, joint health, brain function, and more. Don't assume that eating fat will make you fat. It's eating too many calories that can make you fat, not consuming fat.

Fats come in three main groups, including:

  • Saturated Fats - Saturated fats are fats that generally come from animal sources, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Some people think that saturated fats should be avoided, but you don't need to completely eliminate saturated fats. Consuming both saturated and unsaturated fats can help you maintain high testosterone levels, making it easier for you to gain muscle.
  • Unsaturated Fats - Unsaturated fats generally come from vegetable sources and they are known as good fats because they help to raise your levels of good cholesterol. Some unsaturated fats even have the ability to reduce your risk of heart disease. Some excellent sources of unsaturated fats include nuts, fish, and vegetable oils, such as olive oil.
  • Trans Fatty Acids - Trans fatty acids are a type of fat that you do want to avoid as much as possible. They have the ability to raise bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol levels.

How much fat should you have on a daily basis? Approximately 25-30% of your calorie intake should come from fats. However, since you're focusing your efforts on muscle building and fat loss, you do need to focus on your fat intake on healthy fats that will improve muscle growth. Great foods and oils that offer you a great source of health fats include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Brazilian nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Fatty fish
  • Peanut butter (as long as it's not high in sugar)

The Importance of Micro Nutrients

Although macronutrients are required in large quantities, you also need to take in small amounts of micronutrients to support your muscle building and fat loss efforts. What are micronutrients? Micronutrients are parts of food sources that don't offer caloric energy, yet they still perform many different physiological duties and are essential to maintaining good health.

Micronutrients include:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Important Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs

Do you know what vitamins and minerals your body needs? Here's a list of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs:

    • B Complex Vitamins
      • B1 (thiamin)
      • B2 (riboflavin)
      • B3 (niacin)
      • B5 (pantothenic acid)
      • B6 group
      • B7 (biotin)
      • B8 (ergadenylic acid)
      • B9 (folic acid)
      • B12 (cyanocobalamin)
      • Vitamin A
      • Vitamin E
      • Vitamin D
      • Vitamin K
      • Cobalt
      • Boron
      • Fluoride
      • Chromium
      • Iron
      • Copper
      • Zinc
      • Manganese
      • Iodine
      • Selenium
      • Molybdenum
      • Potassium
      • Calcium

 

Great Sources of Micronutrients

How do you make sure you get plenty of micronutrients in your diet? First, cut out the junk food, since most junk food does not contain high amounts of important micronutrients. Second, focus on eating a wide variety of healthy foods. Some great foods to add to your diet to ensure that you get plenty of micronutrients to support your muscle building efforts include:

  • Fruits - Fruits contain large amounts of important micronutrients, such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and more.
  • Veggies - Veggies offer a wide range of micronutrients, from vitamin K to vitamin C.
  • Grains - Grains are a great source of micronutrients, particularly if the whole grains include the endosperm, bran, and germ intact. Whole grains offer great micronutrients, such as selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins. For the most micronutrient intake, avoid refined grains, which remove many of the micronutrients by removing the germ and bran.
  • Dairy and Meat - Animal based products, such as dairy products and meats, are a great source of micronutrients. Eggs, poultry, and fish provide iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Dairy products offer vitamin D, potassium, and calcium.

What if you're not getting all the essential micronutrients in your diet? Micronutrients are essential for healthy bodily functions and muscle building, so if you don't think your diet is offering all the micronutrients you need, you may need to consider taking a supplement. This ensures your body has the micronutrients it needs to provide you with optimal health and performance.

Common Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you're familiar with the macro and micronutrients your body needs, you're armed with important information that will help you improve your muscle building results. However, along with nutrition dos, you also need to learn about nutrition mistakes that need to be avoided. When you want to build muscle and encourage fat loss, make sure you're not making these common nutrition mistakes.

  • Mistake #1 - Not Getting Enough Calories - Failing to eat enough calories can sabotage your muscle building results. Building muscle requires calories. In fact, you need a regular surplus of calories to make sure that your body is staying in muscle building mode. If you're having a hard time adding more calories to your diet, try eating more meals each day. Instead of three meals and a snack, try eating six meals and a couple snacks. This way you fuel your body with enough calories to ensure your body has the energy it needs to keep building muscle.
  • Mistake #2 - Not Eating Enough Real Food - Another big nutrition mistake to avoid when you're focusing on muscle building is not eating enough real food. Supplements to improve your micronutrient intake are great. Adding protein powders to your diet can help you to add more protein to your diet in an easy way. However, you need to make sure that you're eating plenty of real food. Try to focus on eating a real, whole food diet first. Then you can figure out where you need to add some supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. Remember, supplements should only be an addition to your diet - they shouldn't be replacements for your diet.
  • Mistake #3 - Failing to Be Consistent - Do you find yourself eating great, muscle-friendly meals on one day, and then the next day you have a tough time meeting your nutrition goals? Your body is going to show your inconsistencies. If you want real muscle building results, it's essential to make sure that you follow a good nutrition plan consistently. The best way to improve your consistency is to start scheduling your meals for the day and planning what you're going to eat to make sure that you get all the nutrients that you need. Sporadic eating will make it difficult to see muscle gains and fat loss. Taking the time to do some planning in advance and sticking to your plan will make it easier for you to be consistent with your muscle building diet.
  • Mistake #4 - Failing to Pay Attention to Pre and Post Workout Nutrition - Don't make the mistake of failing to pay attention to your pre and post workout nutrition. It's easy to focus on your meals throughout the day, but you need to really think about what you'll be eating right before you work out and right after you work out. If you're having a tough time seeing the muscle building results that you want, even when you're working out hard, you need to start paying attention to your nutrition right before and after you work out. Before you work out, make sure you have about 50-60 grams of complex carbs and 20-30 grams of healthy protein. Once you're done with your workout, fuel up with 40 grams of fast-acting protein and 50 grams of simple carbs, which you can get from a sports drink.

Sample Diet Layouts to Try

Now it's time to put all this information into practice by creating your own muscle building and fat loss diet. To help you begin building your own plan, here's a look at a 3-day meal plan that includes 3 main meals and 6 snacks. This plan totals 3,000 calories daily. You may need to increase your calories, depending on your muscle building needs, so this plan is only an example. It's also important to note that you should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new nutrition or exercise plan.

Day 1

Breakfast:

1 cup of cold cereal (low sugar)

� cup of low fat cottage cheese

� cup of pineapple

2 cups of milk

28 grams of protein powder

2 1/3 teaspoons of salmon, flax, or olive oil

Snack:

� cup of Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon of olive oil

2/3 cup of oatmeal

28 grams of protein powder

Snack:

2 2/3 cups of fruit juice

42 grams of protein powder of choice

Lunch:

1 2/3 cups of rice

9 0z of boneless skinless chicken breast

2 1/3 teaspoons of olive oil or other healthy oil

Dinner:

� cup of chickpeas

1 1/3 cups of brown rice

� cup of romaine lettuce

13 � ounces of Fish

2 1/3 olive oil

1/8 cup of cucumber

Snack:

1 cup of plan Greek yogurt

� cup of low fat cottage cheese

9 cashews

1 cup of raspberries

Day 2

Breakfast:

35 grams of protein powder

3 eggs

1 cup of oatmeal

2 1/3 teaspoons of healthy oil (ie. olive oil)

2 cups of milk

Snack:

� cup of Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon of olive oil (or other healthy oil)

28 grams of protein powder (or other healthy protein)

2/3 cup of oatmeal

Snack:

2 2/3 cup of fruit juice

42 grams of protein powder

Lunch:

1 1/3 cups of rice

2 1/3 teaspoons of olive oil

2 1/3 teaspoons of olive oil

9 ounces of tuna steak or salmon

Dinner:

� cup of onions

� cup of pasta

2 1/3 teaspoons of olive oil

13 ounces of ground beef

� cup of tomato sauce

Snack:

1 cup of milk

2/3 cup of oatmeal

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon of olive oil (or other healthy oil)

Day 3

Breakfast:

2 cups of milk

3 ounces of cheddar cheese

7 tablespoons of slivered almonds

28 grams of protein powder

1 � cups of bran cereal

Snack:

2 kiwis

2 � tablespoons of barley

35 grams of protein powder

1 cup of milk

Snack:

2/3 cup of oatmeal

1 ounce of sunflower seeds

28 grams of protein powder

1 cup of milk

Lunch:

� cup of chickpeas

1 cup of rice

9 ounces of tuna in water (drained)

1 1/3 teaspoons of salmon, olive or flax oil

� cup of salsa

Dinner:

� cup of cucumber

1 cup of cherry tomatoes

1 cup of rice

9 oz boneless skinless chicken

1/3 cup of applesauce

7 tablespoons of slivered almonds

1 Capsicum

1/8 head of iceberg lettuce

Snack:

9 whole almonds

� cup of Greek yogurt

1 cup of cottage cheese

2/3 cup of oatmeal

Get Weekly access to workouts and nutrition guides for just $30/month. The First month is free. http://www.troyvanspanje.com/online-training/

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3 Hearty Potato Recipes for the Big Eater

3 Hearty Potato Recipes for the Big Eater
By Adrian T. Cheng

Did you know that potatoes contain more potassium than a banana? Aside from their appetizing texture and incredible versatility, this popular crop has no cholesterol, fat and sodium and is only 110 calories - perfect for dieters and heavy eaters alike. It is also an excellent source of Vitamins B6 and C, fiber and magnesium, as well as antioxidants.

Here are 3 delicious potato recipes that will fill your big appetite:

Baked Potato Overload

What you need:

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter

Bake potatoes in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 1 hour. While potatoes are baking, cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until evenly browned. Place on a plate, crumble and set aside. When potatoes are ready, allow to cool for a few minutes then slice each lengthwise. Scoop the flesh in a large bowl, leaving the skins. Add 1/2 onions, 1/2 cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the bowl with potato flesh. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture back into potato skins then divide remaining onions and cheese to top potatoes.

Easy Potato Waffles

What you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in a bowl then add mashed potatoes, all-purpose flour, butter, salt and ground black pepper. Mix until ingredients are well-blended. Scoop 1/4 or 1/2 of the mixture into a pre-heated waffle iron (depending on its size) and close the lid. Wait 2 to 3 minutes or until waffle is golden brown.

The Hot Potato

What you need:

  • 4 boiling potatoes, boiled and sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimientos
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and carefully add flour, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir until boiling and thickened. Add cheese and jalapeno peppers and continue heating until cheese is melted. Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl and pour milk mixture over it. Top with pimiento. Pour mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish and bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 30 minutes or until potatoes are completely tender.

Ready to fill your tummy with a delicious potato dish - try these easy yet fulfilling recipes!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger who promotes healthy eating. He has written numerous posts and articles about natural herbs and spices, shared countless of delicious and healthy recipes and reviewed kitchen accessories that are affordable yet of quality. You can view Adrian's posts about going green and other nutrition tips and tricks on his page.

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What You Need to Know About Fried Chicken Recipes

What You Need to Know About Fried Chicken Recipes

Submitted by: KC Kudra

As the weather gets warmer, summer is on many of our minds, and with summer thoughts come memories of clear, warm weather and delicious homemade fried chicken. If you are a fried chicken lover who wants to recreate those old family recipes, here are some tips to help you make this classic dish the right way.

A little fat once in a while is not so bad. Whether you decide to make fried chicken the main course for Sunday dinner or take it on a picnic, it is a delicious meal that brings back old memories. There are lots of different ways to make fried chicken, but all good chicken has a few things in common. It is cooked thoroughly, has a moist, juicy interior, and is not too greasy, with a crispy fried coating that tastes great.

There are a few aspects that are vital to making any batch of southern fried chicken a success. One of them is being sure you cut the tips off the wings to the last joint. No one really eats them, and wing tips are good for chicken stock later on. If you take them off now, you do not have to worry as much about crowding the chicken in the pan.

Space in the pan is vitally important. While it is okay for them to touch, you will need to make sure that there is no crowding. That means a skillet of twelve inches in diameter or more if you want to be sure your chicken will cook correctly. Choose a heavy skillet (cast iron is traditional), that will hold heat in well.

Cooking oil is common for frying chicken, but many others swear by melted shortening instead. However, no matter which oil you use, choose one with a high smoke point and keep the temperature in an ideal range. Get your fat too hot and it will smoke. Do not get it hot enough and your chicken will take far too long to cook, along with being greasy.

Ideally, you should use one half inch to three quarters of an inch of oil in the pan - you won't be deep frying your chicken, after all This is also great for other chicken fried dishes like steak, in addition to a country fried chicken recipe. If you use too little oil, the sides will not cook right. Of course, too much will make you feel like your chicken is swimming.

Flouring the chicken can be done by putting your chicken into a paper bag that is strong enough to hold it and dropping it in just a few pieces at a time. Shake the bag and the chicken is well coated. This method is not messy and coats the chicken well.

You can also use the shallow dish method of coating chicken by placing flour and spices into a pie pan or other dish and rolling them. This is messier, but allows you to see what you are doing.

You will need to remember to work with the amount of chicken listed in your recipe for the best result, and to trim fat and excess skin. If you are using chicken that has been deboned or with the skin removed, cooking times are going to be a lot different. These kinds of chicken cook faster, and you will have to reduce frying time to make sure the chicken does not get dry. Whole birds and bone in chicken take longer, and you may want to use a meat thermometer to tell you when they are done.

About the Author: If you're need some new recipes ideas, you might like to check out our site. It can be hard juggling your budget to feed a family but using ingredients like chicken to make favorites like fried chicken is one way. Maybe youmight like to make something different like a chicken fried steak recipe. http://www.SouthernFriedChickenRecipe.com When it has to be Real Fried Chicken

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Pitta Bread Recipe

Pitta Bread Recipe

Submitted by: Kit Heathcock

My kids love pitta (or pita) bread, those flat round breads that open into pockets that can be stuffed with anything and eaten in your hands, the ultimate takeaway food package. I first encountered it as a container for falafel, spiced chickpea patties and salad, a trendy urban street food in London way back then.

Now I use pitta bread as a freezer standby for lunch times when I discover we've run out of bread. Just pop a round into the toaster to defrost, then spread inside with cream cheese or ripe avocado and fill with cucumber slices or diced tomato, or cooked chicken and salad, to provide an instant popular meal. Recently though the pack of six breads, that I so casually toss into the shopping trolley and then into the freezer, seem to have got ridiculously expensive for such a simple food, more than twice the price of a loaf of bread and they vanish in an instant.

I turned to my Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook, the authority on all foods Indian and Middle Eastern, to see how complicated it would be to make my own pitas. It seemed no different to making ordinary white bread, just with the extra step of rolling the rounds and cooking them individually. Her recipe also makes twelve breads, so I had visions of having six for one meal and being able to stock the freezer again for another emergency.

I should have known my family better. The resulting breads were so delicious - warm, soft and fluffy inside, without the hard leatheriness of the bought ones - that they all disappeared in a twinkling, with just one half-piece left at the end of the meal and no photographs taken to show for it. The softer consistency made them a little less resilient as pockets than the bought pita, but we did eat them straight from the oven. I think cooling and then reheating them, or baking for an extra minute, would toughen the outside just enough to hold the fillings well without losing the inner softness.

Pitta Bread Recipe

450g / 1lb white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 10g sachet (or 3 teaspoons) instant yeast or ¼ oz / 8g active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sift together the flour and salt. Combine yeast, sugar and 60ml / ¼ cup lukewarm water in a cup and leave for five minutes until it starts to froth. Mix the yeast mixture and 250 ml / 1 cup more lukewarm water into the flour and add the olive oil. Mix together to form a dough, adding another few tablespoons warm water as needed. Knead the dough on a floured surface for approx 10 minutes until it is smooth, springy and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth or put the whole bowl into a plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ - 2 hours until it has doubled in size.

Punch the air out of the dough and knead briefly, then divide the dough into twelve pieces. Roll each one out to a ¾ cm / ¼ inch thick round and put on a floured baking tray. When they're all done cover the tray and leave to rise again for another 45 minutes. I use a black plastic bin liner for my bread to rise in - you can tuck it loosely around the tray leaving an air space above the bread dough so that it doesn't stick.

Preheat your oven to its highest temperature - about 220C / 450F if it will get that hot. Put a large cast iron griddle or frying pan in the middle of your oven to heat. (If you have a gas oven put it at the bottom where it is hottest). You can also use a heavy baking sheet or cookie tray. Once the dough has risen, put one or two pitta breads onto the griddle and return to oven to cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes until they have puffed up. Bring the bread out onto a plate covered by a damp cloth to cool off. Once cool they can be frozen in bags. Reheat under the grill or in a toaster.

One of these days I'll be organised enough to make a batch especially for the freezer, so that I have my emergency bread back-up. I think I'll have to do it in secret when the kids are at school though, or the pitta bread just won't make it to the freezer!

Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock

About the Author: Kit Heathcock writes and copyedits for a number of websites from Original Orange. She contributes to a luxury travel website Just the Planet and A Flower Gallery.

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Meal of the Week 37 - Lasagna Rolls

Meal of the Week 37 - Lasagna Rolls

Meal of the Week 37 - Lasagna Rolls
By Gregory L Gomez

Meal of the Week: Turkey Lasagna Rolls w/ Salad
Leftover Meal Idea: Muffin Melts

Here's a fun way to enjoy lasagna but in a more individualized manner that will help keep calorie count low and in turn help keep you focused on healthy nutrition. Even though portion size and ingredients are a tad different than usual, that in no way sacrifices flavor or taste. If the meal is prepared as outlined below, you should have enough leftover to make some tasty muffin melts that you'll enjoy for work the next day. Those who desire a vegetarian/meat-less version simply do without the lean ground turkey and opt for an alternative of your liking.

Equipment Needed
- colander
- large pot for water/pasta
- large skillet for meat
- medium size stovetop pot
- large mixing bowl
- large oven pan
- parchment paper
- aluminum foil

Ingredients
Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 box lasagna
1 jar Marinara sauce
1 cup diced spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese (small curd)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 egg
salt and pepper

For Leftover Muffin Melts
- whole wheat English muffins

Directions

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. You will need to boil a large pot of water (with optional dashes salt) to cook the lasagna al dente for about eight minutes. When that's finished carefully remove and drain using a colander.

2. While the water is boiling if you're planning to use lean ground turkey (or any other meat) for this meal you can start cooking this next. Open the container and empty the contents into a stove top pan, add some salt and pepper to taste, and on medium heat start dicing the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until desired wellness is achieved.

3. While the meat and lasagna noodles are cooking you can carefully dice the spinach leaves into small pieces using a sharp knife until you have a cup worth. In a separate small stove top pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the 2 tablespoons minced garlic and the cup of diced spinach on low heat stir for a few minutes.

4. In a large mixing bowl add the egg, 1 cup Ricotta cheese, oregano, 3/4 cup cottage cheese, the garlic/spinach mixture, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese along with pinches of salt and pepper. Mix together well with a fork.

5. Right about now the meat and lasagna should be about done cooking. Lower meat to a simmer and add entire bottle of marinara sauce and mix well. You will have a nice, tasty meat mixture now.

6. Use a large piece of parchment paper and get ready to make the lasagna rolls. Simply lay out 1 entire noodle on the parchment paper and use a spoon to spread the cheese mixture evenly and thinly across one entire side. Then carefully roll the lasagna up from one end to the other.

7. Before you place the lasagna roll in your oven pan, spoon some of the meat sauce mixture across the bottom of the pan to give it a thin coating. Then you can place the lasagna rolls side by side but not touching. Continue to repeat this process until you finish all the lasagna rolls you plan to cook. You may have to use two separate oven-safe pans depending on how many rolls you plan to make.

8. Once all the lasagna rolls are prepared and arranged in the pan, spoon the remaining sauce over each one of the rolls. Then mix the remaining parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle on top of all the rolls.

9. Cover the pan(s) with a piece of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

10. Finally, while the lasagna is cooking you can prepare the type of salad you plan to serve with the meal. Once everything is done, serve appropriate portions and enjoy.

Leftover Meal Idea: Muffin Melts
If you are unfortunately left without any leftover lasagna rolls but still have some of the meat sauce mixture, here's a chance to make some delicious muffin melts. These taste very similar to Subway meatball sandwiches if you prepare the sauce with meat as described above. All you will need to purchase extra is some whole wheat English muffins, If you don't want to use those, or just want to use what you have on hand, you can always opt for a tortilla, pita bread, toast, or even a large piece of lettuce to use as a wrap. Simply spread the desired meat sauce mixture onto one side of the bread, sprinkle some shredded cheese and parmesan cheese on top, and cover with the other piece of bread. Wrap in a piece of aluminum foil until ready to be taken out and re-heated for a tasty lunch.

About the Author: Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, has been teaching 5th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 17 years. He created 10Quickies.com to help teachers and parents provide children in 2nd-5th grades with a fun and inspirational way to review grade level math. He also wants readers to be mindful of their health and fitness especially since it's easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can start focusing on your health starting today by using these 5 Healthy Eating Tips found here --> http://10quickies.com/article_5healthyeatingtips.html

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8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids
By Kristen Wint

If you're like me, teaching your kids as you go, imparting wisdom to them as they make their way along the road of life, how often do you sit down and really think about the essential life skills you'd like them to have? Take a few minutes to brainstorm what's most important to you and your partner when it comes to the competencies that are integral to setting your kids up for success and start focusing on them today.

8 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Kids:

1. Unconditional Love

By loving your children openly and wholeheartedly every day, you are showing them how to love themselves and others. Teaching kids to accept themselves for who they are will enable them to do the same with others. They must also be willing to forgive friends and family in order to love them unconditionally.

2. Social Awareness and Manners

Impart social and conversational skills from a young age by letting kids join in on adult gatherings from time to time. Don't make a habit of always segregating your children from the adults - they can learn a lot about etiquette, social cues and the art of conversation from watching grown-ups. These settings are also a good time to work on basic manners including the consistent use of "please," "thank you," "pardon me," as well as proper dining etiquette.

3. Respect for Others

Children learn respect from their family and it starts with family members caring for each other's physical space, thoughts, interests and needs. When kids feel that what's important to them is held in high regard by others, they will be able to emulate the same respect for their family and peers.

4. All Things Nature

Instill a lifelong love of the outdoors and of nature by spending plenty of time in the fresh air, in all kinds of weather. Let your kids climb trees at the park, plant seedlings in the garden, feed the birds in your backyard and jump in rain puddles on the street. All ages love summer camping, day hiking and picnics by the lake. When you give your kids a lot of exposure to our beautiful planet, it will make them appreciate it more and want to protect it for future generations.

5. Good Hygiene

Start early to create good hygiene habits that will stay with your kids forever - from teaching proper hand washing and teeth brushing techniques to tots, to encouraging daily bathing for sweaty teens. Make learning daily habits fun for young kids by singing, using props and giving out reward stickers. Good hygiene sets them up for good health and well-being in later life.

6. Food Preparation

Get your kids in the kitchen early, helping to select meals, prep food and cook with you. My son learned to prepare snacks with his classmates in preschool and loved it. He's been comfortable in our kitchen ever since and is not afraid to use a knife, stir a pot or get his hands dirty. Start by showing them how to make simple soups and pastas and work your way up to more complicated dishes.

7. Smart Shopping and Saving

Show your children the difference between whole foods and processed foods, how to eat in season and how to be savvy shoppers. Talk to them about brand versus non-brand, retail versus wholesale, and how to budget their money. Even young kids can save money in their piggy banks and learn how to bargain at a garage sale. Older children can open a bank account, start saving and help with shopping and errands.

8. Tidiness

With my recent goal of getting my house more organized, I've been reading "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. She highlights the fact that most of us have never been properly taught how to tidy! Start early by teaching your kids how to fold clothing neatly so they can find articles easier, and have them sort through their personal belongings to keep only things that "spark joy." A tidy room means a tidy mind, and ensures children can cut through the clutter to focus on what's important.

More Time Moms designs tools to make your busy life easier, so you can spend more time with your family. All of our bestselling titles, including the original and #1 bestselling Family Organizer and the Family Meals cookbook are designed by moms to help you manage your family schedule and are available online at http://www.moretimemoms.com. For more great parenting tips and tricks, check out our blog at http://musings.moretimemoms.com/ and join the Family Meals Challenge for free recipes, dinnertime tips and games.

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