Table of Contents

1. The Impact of Diet and Nutrition on Recovery

2. Phenomenological Aspects

3. Nutrition Awareness

4. Mumpsimus (The Dread Disease)

5. Rebuilding Immune Systems

6. Nutrition Quiz

7. Water: The Elixir of Life

8. Bananas

9. Benefits of Apple Juice on Neurotransmitter Affecting Memory

10. Weight Management

11. Food

12. Cancer Prevention

13. The Benefits of Exercise

14. The Benefits of Exercise for Recovering Addicts

15. The Benefits of Exercise Quiz

16. Play Hard Your Way

17. Stay Motivated

18. The Importance of Physical Activity

19. Not Ready for Change? (Stage 1)

20. Thinking About Change? (Stage 2)

21. Components of Physical Activity

22. Brain Supplements for Memory

23. Is Canola Oil Hazardous to Your Health?

24. Endorphins

25. Smart Shopping

26. Smart Snacking

27. Whole Food Herbs and Medicinal Herbs and Formulas

28. Fresh Carrot, Celery, and Beet Juice

29. Eating Out

30. The Fast-Food Challenge

31. Where to Get Professional Nutritional and Beware of Unqualified Individuals

32. Five Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without Feeling Deprived

33. What Can Successful Weight Losers Teach Us About Weight Loss?

34. Body Mass Index

35. Nutrition Quiz

36. Starting a Healthy Lifestyle

37. Making Smart Choices

38. A Closer Look at Fats and Sugars

39. Quick and Easy Ways to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

40. Shopping the Smart Way

41. Make it Quick and Easy

The Impact of Diet and Nutrition on Recovery:

1. A majority of practicing drug and alcohol addicts are malnourished. In order to help people recover, it is important to understand the impact of nutrition. It is astounding to consider that only fat contains more calories per gram than alcohol; therefore, while drinking, addicts experience a sense of being full after having eaten very little or nothing. These empty calories lead to poor eating habits and malnutrition. Drug abusers experience a similar affect. Alcohol and drugs actually keep the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins. This leads to a host of health problems.

2. Restoring addicts to physical, as well as spiritual, health.A basic tenet of recovery is changing negative behaviors into positive ones. Good nutrition, relaxation, and exercise all play an important role in intrinsic and lasting change. Learning to make healthy food choices is important to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Because they have neglected their diet, addicts experience gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, an inability to digest foods properly, along with a poor appetite. As a result, they have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs, and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems, which include the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

3. Nutrition actually impacts cravings for drugs and alcohol.Every newly recovering addict struggles with craving for alcohol and drugs. Research has shown that a diet with the right types of high protein and carbohydrate-rich foods can make a big difference.Food affects mood. Along with amino acids (building blocks of protein), deficiency of nutrients like folic acid and other B-complex vitamins also have a serious and negative impact on recovery. Sugar and caffeine can contribute to mood swings, so an intake of both should be reduced during the early stages of recovery. Often, that’s hard to do, especially when 12-step meetings are saturated with it.Alcohol and drug use prevents the body from properly processing two important amino acids: tyrosine and tryptophan. They are responsible for the production of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. These compounds are neurotransmitters that are essential for emotional stability, mental clarity, and a general state of well-being. Decreased levels of these neurotransmitters negatively affect mood and behavior.Tyrosine is a precursor to the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine (chemical messengers that promotes mental acuity and alertness). It is a nonessential amino acid found in protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and tofu.Tryptophan is integral to the production of serotonin, which has a calming effect and is important for proper sleep. It is found in foods such as bananas, milk and sunflower seeds, as well as turkey meat.

Phenomenological Aspects

The cornerstones of nutritional support are formulas that strengthen metabolism, increase energy, and heighten one’s sense of well-being. Many of those who have successfully broke free of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and drug addictions have stated that within a matter of days or weeks of stopping their nutritional program, they began experiencing fatigue, irritability, depression, and insufficient energy. Simultaneously, they began getting strong cravings for their favorite substances for relief. As soon as they renewed the use of their nutritional formulas and good diet, they began feeling better and lost their cravings.There is an enormous amount of medical literature showing the relationship of low thyroid function, weak adrenals, low levels of prostaglandins and nutritional deficiencies to cravings for addictive substances. In one experiment--now pay close attention to this--healthy animals were put into cages with bowls of alcohol and bowls of water. As long as they were healthy, the animals didn’t touch the alcohol. When their glands became stressed out or when a purposely-created nutritional deficiency exited in the animals, they chose alcohol over water. As soon as their nutrients or glandular strength was restored, the animals again avoided the alcohol. These tests have been repeated again and again with the same results.In a study of patients receiving inpatient treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, half received only the regular treatment plan and half received a nutritional program as well. Six months after discharge, only 33 percent of the patients in the regular program remained sober, whereas 81 percent of the nutritionally supported group remained sober.People who have been addicts or alcoholics for a period of time usually have developed severe glandular weakness and nutritional deficiencies. It takes at least several months to regenerate their glands and build their nutritional reserves. During this time, they need strong nutritional and metabolic support. Every few hours, their bodies will experience extreme biochemical disorders as their blood sugar drops, calcium, magnesium and zinc levels go out of whack, and their endocrine glands fail to produce adequate amounts of hormones. These biological disorders can create such pressures on their mental and emotional state that they feel severe depression and fatigue and are compulsively driven to use sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and drugs for relief. Hopefully, for most of you--it won’t go past the nicotine if you smoke, or the caffeine you get with coffee in meetings.

Replacement therapy is a crucial part of this program. Stopping drug and alcohol use, coffee and sugar does not cure the disorder that causes depression, alienation, irritability, or fatigue. The answer is a nutritional formula that helps heal the disorder. It makes an enormous difference when a person trying to quit has a replacement formula that provides the nutrients his or her body lacks and gives strong metabolic support to his weakened glands and blood sugar mechanisms.One of the best features of this program is that it is simple and inexpensive enough for people to put together and follow with the help of a physician. It is important to work with a nutritionally oriented physician or a nutritionist when possible, because the possibilities of low thyroid, yeast overgrowth, and other disorders all need to be thoroughly checked.Nutrition education involves a combination of activities that focuses on increasing our knowledge of foods and behavioral patterns, influencing attitudes and beliefs, and developing personal skills and motivation to adopt healthy eating practices.A related area of recovery to emphasize is good nutrition. Addicts often fail to eat properly either because the bulk of their time is spent in getting, using, and recovering from their use or because after supporting their drug habit, they do not have the money to buy food. Additionally, many drugs temporarily suppress one’s appetite, so if the addicted person does not consciously try to eat well, he or she will tend to skip meals because of not feeling hungry. Good nutrition helps the recovering person feel better physically by rebuilding the body that’s been ravaged by addiction and lessening the experience of post-acute withdrawal symptoms.When most people think about alcoholism or drug addiction they think only of the alcohol and drug-based symptoms and forget about the sobriety-based symptoms. Yet it is the sobriety-based symptoms, especially post acute withdrawal, that make sobriety so difficult. The presence of brain dysfunction has been documented in 75-95% of the recovering alcoholics/addicts tested. Recent research indicates that the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal associated with alcohol and drug-related damage to the brain may contribute to many cases of relapse. Post-acute withdrawal means symptoms that occur after acute withdrawal.


1. Inability to think clearly

2. Memory problems

3. Emotional overreactions or numbness

4. Sleep disturbances

5. Physical coordination problems

6. Stress sensitivity

Nutrition Awareness

Practitioners working with recovering addicts have repeatedly found that these people become well--much quicker with far fewer symptoms--and stay drug free much longer when they follow principles of good nutrition. Most substance abusers need small periodic meals throughout the day with good quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats served at most meals. They often need snacks as well, especially during the early stages of recovery.Rebuilding damaged livers, tissues, nervous systems, and glands requires more protein, vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3 fatty acids than those required by healthy people. Also, since they invariably have an inability to handle simple carbohydrates properly, addicts need to avoid the simple sugars, and use fruits and fruit juices only moderately--preferably for breakfast. Ample amounts of complex carbohydrates, such as beans, grains, and potatoes are needed. Good sources of protein are fish, chicken, meat, eggs, beans, cheese, nuts, and seeds.There are two main classes of fats--saturated and unsaturated. Our bodies need a minimum amount (20 to 30 percent of calories) of both types of fats. The best sources of saturated fats are butter, dairy products, eggs, fowl, and meats. While excessive amounts of cholesterol are harmful, we need a minimal amount, as it is s main nutrient used in the building of our nerves, skin, steroid hormones, and other major body components.The unsaturated fats are mostly made of the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These also are essential to normal health. While many people in industrialized nations tend to get adequate amounts of the Omega 6 (linoleic acid) fatty acid, and some get excessive amounts which can contribute to disease, most are seriously deficient in the vital Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acid.Our bodies use the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to produce energy and heat, and to produce the essential prostaglandins, hormone-like substances which help regulate the immune system, glandular, and nervous system functioning. The Omega 6 fatty acids are the raw materials the body uses to produce gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which has been shown to have great value in treating the recovering addict-alcoholic. These are just a few of the key functions these fats play in nourishing health and preventing disease.Flax seed oil is a good source of the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is good tasting and can be poured directly onto protein dishes, vegetables, salads, grains, soups, etc. Adults need one to three teaspoons of flax seed oil daily or to eat fatty fish several times a week to receive an adequate amount of the Omega 3 fatty acid. The best sources of properly produced and packaged unrefined oils are Omega Nutrition, Arrowhead Mills/OmegaFlo, and Flora Inc.It’s easy to forget to eat or grab some fast food or a candy bar, but getting exhausted or going hungry puts stress on the body and the nervous system (HALT). Fad or starvation diets also will also wreak havoc on anyone who is serious about their health. Wholesome snacking during the day keeps blood sugar levels stable, and it’s easy to keep some nutritional treats handy. Plan balanced meals that include a source pf protein, some complex carbohydrates, lots of fresh vegetables and good quality fats.Always use fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, and meats. If you can find them, use organic produce and meats, as these are free of harmful antibiotics and pesticides. Avoid processed or canned foods, as these are missing some of the key nutritional elements.When you eat out, eat selectively, avoiding fried and junk foods. Most chicken and meats (with the exception of lamb) contain antibiotics and hormones. However, many restaurants have a fresh catch of the day, which you can order baked or broiled, along with a potato or rice, salad, and vegetables. Just a potato with rice and vegetables and salad can be sufficient for an evening meal. You can afford to skip the dessert. Most commercial desserts are made from refined sugar and flour, which for some people are very hard to digest, cause too rapid a change in blood sugar levels, and puts a lot of stress on the pancreas and liver.What follows is to be thought of as food for thought. All of this nutrition information doesn't do any good unless you apply it.


Beware of the dread dis-ease, mumpsimus. Mumpsimus is dangerous. It has caused the downfall of more than one dictator, more than one nation, and countless individuals. Mumpsimus is archetypal--it is as old as mankind.According to Webster’s Dictionary, mumpsimus is an error obstinately clung to. The word comes from the story of an old priest who, for thirty years, had conducted services using the word mumpsimus as a substitute for the correct Latin word sumpsimus. One day, when his error was finally pointed out to him, he replied, "I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus." Mumpsimus is blind adherence to a principle or a thinking pattern. It’s a mistake we continue to repeat, even after we know it’s a mistake.In other words, if you have been shown that a drug is harmful, that it can cause pain or illness, and yet continue to use that drug, then you have a case of mumpsimus.Another example of mumpsimus is the client in a nutrition group who understands the information and techniques being offered, finds the logic behind them solid, recognizes their value, and yet continues to resist. That’s the danger of mumpsimus. The afflicted client knows their old eating habits aren’t good for them, yet continues to resist learning about it.Mumpsimus is nothing to feel guilty about; justGet Over It

Rebuilding Immune Systems

The widespread lack of treatment for the body’s imbalances caused by addiction contributes to the high failure rate--70 percent in the first year--of psychologically based programs. Mood swings, depression, sleeplessness, and overall bad health (PAW symptoms), all of which responds to dietary changes, can sabotage a person’s efforts to maintain an addiction-free life.A research study looked at patients in a treatment center. One group went through typical psychologically based treatment with 12-step meetings and individual and family counseling; the other did the same but added a whole-goods diet, nutritional education, and supplements. Six months after leaving the hospital, 81 percent of those in the nutrition-driven segment were sober, compared to 18 percent of the control group.The first year is the most critical. Most who try don’t make it through the first year and the main reason is that sobriety isn’t what they had hoped it would be. The best approach is to build up the body and brain so you can withstand the stress, attend 90 meetings in 90 days, use your sponsor, and apply everything you have learned in rehab.Meetings and a better mental attitude cannot cure the physical weaknesses and nutritional deficiencies common in addicts, which include:Hypoglycemia. A proper diet provides a stead level of glucose (blood sugar) to the brain. Alcohol, on the other hand, provides a rush of glucose, followed by a severe drop that results in fatigue, anxiety, and depression. The cycle continues as the addict reaches for alcohol to feel better. Those in recovery turn to candy and coffee to give the brain an artificial boost, and the roller coaster ride continues.Allergies. Alcoholics are allergic to more substances than is the population at large. Grains, an ingredient in many alcoholic drinks, are a prime culprit. People with eating disorders often create specific foods to which they are allergic. The immunological impact of allergies manifests itself as low-level illnesses, gastrointestinal problems, and cravings.Malnutrition. Abusive substances will disrupt the brain’s mechanisms controlling eating behavior, either by suppressing appetite or sparking cravings. Alcoholics may get 60 percent of their total calories from alcohol and may rely on food high in sugar, fat, and caffeine for the rest. The combination of addiction and poor diet leaves the addict nutrient-depleted, leading to a host of problems such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, cravings, and a difficulty in concentrating. Malnutrition also leads to a weakening of the immune system, which in turn makes the body susceptible to a variety of illnesses and infections.The first step in nutritional therapy is learning which foods hurt and which can heal, something that may vary from one individual to the next. Ideally, those in recovery should visit a physician knowledgeable about nutrition and addiction, who can administer blood work and rash tests to determine their food sensitivities. This is expensive, however, so individuals can chart their own sensitivities by following rotation diets, introducing possible allergens one at a time, and keeping a food diary of their physical reactions.

Nutrition Quiz

1 Who can provide the best nutritional information?

A. Medical doctor

B. Registered nurse

C. Nutritionist

D. Calorie specialist

2. Which of the following succumbs to cirrhosis of the liver the most?

A. Those with a genetic predisposition

B. Intravenous drug users

C. Alcoholics

D. Those with food poisoning

3. What is it called when bones get weak and/or brittle?

A. Osteoporosis

B. Degenerative bone marrow

C. Enema prognosis

D. Calcium deficiency

4. How many functions does the liver have?

A. 500

B. 250

C. 10

D. 50

5. Poor nutrition weakens what the most?

A. Bone density

B. Brain function

C. Appetite

D. The immune system

6. Omega-3 fats are good fats; however, the average American does not consume enough of these beneficial fats. Which of the following a good sources of Omega-3 fats?

A. Corn oil

B. Margarine

C. Flax seed

D. Fresh fish                           

7. What is the most common affliction resulting from drug and alcohol addiction among the following?

A. Dehydration

B. Hair loss

C. Laryngitis

D. Malnutrition

8. Which of the following is the recommended serving size of dairy products for the average adult?

A. One cup of milk or yogurt, or 1½ ounces of natural cheese

B. Two ounces of processed cheese and 3 cups of milk

C. Two cups of yogurt

D. None of the above

9. Which of the following promotes a healthy immune system?

A. Vitamin B-12, magnesium & folic acid

B. Vitamin B-6, Zinc & vitamin C

C. Iron, Thiamin & vitamin A

D. Potassium, vitamin D & calcium

10. Of the following food groups, which should we eat the most of every day?

A. Bread, cereal, rice & pasta group

B. Vegetable group

C. Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs & nuts group

D. Fruit group

11. Of the following what are poor nutritional choices (tricky question)

A. Pastries

B. Beer

C. Popcorn

D. All of the above

Answers  1--C, 2--B, 3--A, 4--A, 5--D, 6--D, 7--D, 8--A, 9--B, 10--A, 11--A & B

Water: The Elixir of Life

If you desire instant energy, there is nothing, other than air, that is more important for your body than water! And, nothing is easier or faster to fit into your day than water. Just fill two clean "glass" 1-liter jugs or bottles in the morning, and place them in a convenient location or locations so that they are always within eyeshot. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink the water. Aim to complete drinking one full jug in the morning and one in the afternoon. We’ll deal with the types of water containers that are best later.Why is water so important? Well, that is a very good and simple question to answer. Water is life. You can live a long time without food. But you won’t last 10 days without water! And major damage will occur to your brain (dying cells from dehydration occurs in a few as three days), and other organs, from this fluid depletion in a far shorter time frame. You can lose 50% of your fat, your protein, and your glucose, and still survive. But the most water you can lose from your body and still be alive is 20%.The largest single component of your body is water. Nothing in the body can occur without it, and the body has no way to store water; it needs a fresh supply everyday. Digestion, assimilation, circulation, building, repair, and elimination depend on movement throughout the body, and that cannot happen without fluids! The average adult loses about 2.5 liters of water during a three-hour flight. This water loss must be replaced. You can get a portion of your water from the foods you eat and fruits and vegetables are generally on the top of the list for water content.A body is made up of 60-80% water. Living on the typical Western diet of about 10-15% water-content foods, is destined to die a slow death. A healthy diet is made up of 75-95% water.

15 Common Signs of Dehydration

* Dry mouth--the last outward sign of dehydration

* Orange of dark colored, strong smelling urine--severely dehydrated

* Constipation and internal cramps

* Cavities in teeth--a major result of a dry mouth

* Headaches and feeling stressed

* Wrinkled skin

* Daytime fatigue, lethargy, tiredness and weakness of muscles

* Foggy brain, difficulty with concentration and focus--with only a 2% drop in body water

* Mood swings, irrational behavior, and slow responses

* Weight gain--due to impaired metabolism

* Chronic hunger, especially for sweet foods and other snack items

* Allergies and asthma--from impaired lubrication, lymphatic flow, digestion & elimination

* High blood pressure/low blood pressure--due to imbalance of fluids throughout your body

* Heartburn--shortage of water in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract

* Eight to 10 glasses of water per day could ease back and joint pain for 80% of sufferers12 Key Functions of Water in Your Body

* Aids in digestion and assimilation of the food we eat

* Lubricates and cushions your joints, nasal passages, eyeballs, and intestines

* Transports oxygen, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, amino acids, glucose, enzymes, hormones, and a multitude of other substances and chemicals needed by the trillions of cells in the body

* Removes and helps to eliminate waste byproducts (including excess electrolytes and urea) of metabolism

* Balances the electrolytes--substances that are crucial to our body’s water distribution, absorption, diffusion, acid-base balance, and muscle and nerve reaction

* Creates shiny hair, clear eyes, and glowing moist skin

* Regulates and balances your body temperature through sweating* Assists in the burning of glucose and in the breakdown of fat for energy

* Regulates the flow of the lymphatic system (the body’s sewer system for detoxification)

* Reduces the risk of cystitis by clearing the bladder of bacteria

* Relieves constipation--especially if you get enough fiber from fresh whole foods

* Relieves and reduces fluid retention in ankles, feet, legs, and hands--less water intake causes the body to hold onto water

Optimal Times to Drink Water

If you have not been a water drinker until now. Do not suddenly drink a lot of water. An increase in water consumption should be slow and deliberate-add eight ounces per week until you have reached the recommended amount for your body weight. The Rules of Thumb for how to add water into your daily regimen

* First thing in the morning when you arise--eight to 10 oz. of water at room temperature

* One half hour before meals if possible, but at least 10 minutes prior

* One to two hours after meals

* One and a half to two hours before going to bed

* When the temperature is hot--an extra two glasses of water daily for every five degrees above 85 degrees F.

* When exercising--remember, even light exercise uses at least half a gallon of water in a day. So--Hydrate!

* Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of water daily. Example: 180 lb = 90 oz. of water

* Avoid or limit caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. These are diuretics and will dehydrate you. For every six oz. of caffeine or alcohol, you require an additional 10 to 12 oz. of water to re-hydrate

* Water must be replaced every 24 hours

About Water Containers

Plastic bottles are not the answer if you care about either your health, or the health of the environment. Instead, use glass, ceramic and stainless steel. Drinking from non-plastic containers always taste better anyway. Environmentalists are concerned about polyvinyl-chloride. PVC releases dioxins into the environment, during both the manufacturing and incineration of plastics, and is a known carcinogenic agent. Plastic is a non-renewable resource. If you elect not to use glass or ceramic, select a good quality, stainless steel, wide-mouth container (not lined with an epoxy finish), and wash it daily. For those times when nothing but plastic is an option, use only bottles marked on the bottom with the number 2, 4, or 5.


Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't! the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.PMS:! Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if yo u suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:

Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe....polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!

Benefits Of Apple Juice On Neurotransmitter Affecting Memory

For those who think that apple juice is a kid's drink, think again. Apples and apple juice may be among the best foods that can be added to the diet, according to new research that demonstrates how apple products can help boost brain function similar to medication.Animal research from the University of Massachusetts indicates that apple juice consumption may actually increase the production in the brain of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, resulting in improved memory. Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine are chemicals released from nerve cells that transmit messages to other nerve cells. Such communication between nerve cells is vital for good health, not just in the brain, but throughout the body.The role of acetylcholine in the brain is not a new area of research. Alzheimer's medication studies start with the premise that increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain can help to slow mental decline in people with Alzheimer's disease. Testing a similar hypothesis, the UML research team found that having animals consume antioxidant-rich apple juice had a comparable and beneficial effect.In this novel animal study at UML, mice, some specially bred to develop Alzheimer's-like symptoms, were fed three different diets (a standard diet, a nutrient-deficient diet, and a nutrient-deficient diet supplemented with apple components (in this case, apple juice concentrate was added to their drinking water).Among those fed the apple juice-supplemented diet, the mice showed an increased production of acetylcholine in their brains. Also, after multiple assessments of memory and learning using traditional Y maze tests, researchers found that the mice who consumed the apple juice-supplemented diets performed significantly better on the maze tests.Earlier studies by Shea's research team had strongly suggested apples must possess a unique mix of antioxidants that improve cognition and memory via inhibition of oxidation in the brain. Those results encouraged Shea to evaluate the neurotransmitter effect, as is done in the current study. Medications given to humans with Alzheimer's disease have been shown to inhibit the production of specific enyzmes (cholinesterase inhibitors) that break down acetylcholine in the brain. The end result in the animal study is similar -- there are more of these critical messengers remaining in the brain to enhance memory.The results obtained were from the animals consuming moderate amounts of apple juice --comparable to us drinking approximately two eight oz. glasses of apple juice or eating 2-3 apples a day. The findings also suggest that the apple-supplemented diet was most helpful in the framework of an overall healthy diet.Shea concludes, "The findings of the present study show that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as apples and apple juice can help reduce problems associated with memory loss."

Weight Management (Questions and Answers)

Q: I have been overweight for most of my life. Will losing weight at this point really make a difference in my disease risk?

A: Yes. With almost two thirds of Americans overweight or obese in the U.S., there is a lot of concern about the effect of excessive weight on disease risk. And the research clearly shows that obesity is not only a risk for diabetes and heart disease, but also for several types of cancers. Losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can make a difference in your disease risk. That means if you weigh 180 pounds, just losing 18 pounds can offer significant benefits and health protection.

Q: There are so many new diets out there these days. Which do you recommend

?A: Actually, we do not recommend any specific "diet," as this word implies short-term limitations on what you eat. The key to weight management is to make eating healthfully a part of your daily lifestyle, not just to restrict food intake for a couple of weeks. Check out MyPyrimid, which addresses proportion and portion size. It focuses on the transition to a plate filled with more plant-based foods and less animal protein, along with cutting down on portion sizes. There is no deprivation involved, no elimination of specific food groups or emphasis on any one food, as with many fad diets. And incorporating physical activity into your life is essential to a healthy lifestyle.Food

Q: I have heard that vegetables can protect against cancer, but I don't like them. Can I just eat fruit instead?

A: Eating a wide variety of vegetables is one of the most effective cancer risk reduction strategies. Although fruits offer protection, vegetables tend to have a larger variety of protective phytochemicals (protective plant substances). So continue to eat a variety of fruits, but try those veggies once again. Instead of preparing them the way you remember them, olive green and mushy, try them steamed lightly until crisp but tender and drizzled with an Asian sauce, stir fried in just a bit of olive oil and served over seasoned rice, or in soups, casseroles, and stews. Try a new vegetable each week, one that you have not tried in many years

.Q: Can grilled foods really cause cancer?

A: Research studies done on animals show that exposing meats to direct flame, smoke and intense heat (like when you grill or broil) can cause the formation of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Cooking methods that involve less heat, such as microwaving, baking, steaming and poaching, do not promote the formation of these substances.When you do grill, there are several strategies that can be used to cut down on carcinogen formation. Marinating can significantly protect animal proteins such as beef, chicken and fish from carcinogen formation. Flipping frequently, removing excess fat from meat before cooking, and decreasing exposure by microwaving for part of the cooking time also may be helpful. Most experts agree that plant-based foods do not form these undesirable substances. So for delicious and healthful options, try grilling vegetables, veggie burgers (Garden Burgers) and fruit slices and cut down on meat, fish and poultry.

Q: Why does the food pyramid recommend eating whole grains? Aren’t grains fattening?

A: Whole grains are recommended over refined grains because they contain more dietary fiber and nutrients. They are also digested more slowly and will keep you satisfied longer than refined grains.Grains themselves do not cause weight gain. Eating excessive amounts of just about any food will add up to more calories than is needed for the day, and you will gain weight. Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, barley and bulgur, offer loads of nutrition and protective phytochemicals, and are also satisfying.

Q: Is it necessary to buy organic fruits and vegetables?

A: Recent science indicates that the benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day far outweigh any risks associated with pesticide residues. That said, it is reasonable, if there is concern about these residues, to purchase organic produce now available in specialty stores and most supermarkets. Be aware, however, that they are more expensive than conventionally grown produce.Cancer Prevention

Q: Which vegetables are especially good to prevent cancer?

A: In general, a wide variety of vegetables and fruits offers a wide variety of phytochemicals. Each individual produce item offers its own profile of these protective substances, so include as many different ones as possible each day for a powerhouse of protection. For information on specific foods and the cancer protection they offer, check out Foods That Fight Cancer.

Q: I have a family history of colon cancer. What lifestyle factors can lower my risk?

A: Family history does not necessarily mean that you, too, will get colon cancer. Research indicates that lifestyle is a more important factor and one that can reduce the greater risk that might exist for you. Physical activity can help decrease your risk of developing colon cancer, as can eating a mostly plant-based diet with adequate dietary fiber. Limiting red meat and fat intake is important, as well. And newer research points to colon cancer being higher in individuals who eat large amounts of processed meats such as deli meats, bacon and sausage.

Q: What vitamins should I be taking to help prevent cancer?

A: There is no scientific evidence that vitamin supplements are cancer protective. It is clear that supplements cannot take the place of a mostly plant-based diet that contains a large variety of vegetables and fruits. The thousands of phytochemicals (protective plant substances) cannot be found in a simple pill. Some health organizations, however, do recommend taking a supplement that contains about 100% of the Daily Value (DV). Since nutrients work together as a team, single nutrient supplements are not recommended.

Q: What does eating salt have to do with cancer?

A: Diets containing a large amount of salted fish (such as those in Asian countries) increase the risk of stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is more unusual in the U.S. It is recommended that we decrease our intake of processed foods, since they contain the greatest source of salt found in the American diet.

Q: Do you recommend becoming a vegetarian to decrease cancer risk or prevent a recurrence?

A: It is not necessary to become a strict vegetarian. However, eating a mostly plant-based diet is the most cancer protective strategy to help prevent cancer and/or a recurrence, based on the most recent science. To get started with a plant-based diet, try covering 2/3 or more of your plate with plant-based foods, and 1/3 or less with animal protein.Q: Is it OK for a breast cancer survivor to eat soy products?A: There is currently a lack of convincing evidence that soy products are especially protective or harmful for breast cancer survivors. If you enjoy soy products, it’s reasonable to eat tofu, soy burgers, soy nuts, soy milk, soy flour and other soy-based foods in moderation. That might mean a serving or two per day or a few servings per week. However, if you do not like soy products, you can simply eat a mostly plant-based diet, get regular exercise, and maintain a healthy weight for the most important protection against recurrence, based on the current research.

The Benefits of Exercise

Exercise, like all things in recovery, should be taken in moderation. In order for an exercise program to work, it needs to be consistent and frequent. Exercise at least four times a week for at least an hour per session, OR, exercise every day for at least a half hour per session


* Increases your metabolic rate so that calories are burned more efficiently even when we are at rest.

* Burns fat stores and builds up muscle tissue. Muscle cells are metabolically active and burn calories, whereas fat cells are inert.

* Increases free fatty acids, which better enable the body to process and utilize dietary fats.

* Decreases total serum cholesterol and increased levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), the "good fats" associated with lover risk of heart disease.

* Lowers blood pressure.

* Increases the levels of mood-elevating neurochemicals--such as the endorphins, so that we feel better mentally as well as physically.

Aerobic exercises are those that cause the body to use large amounts of oxygen (and burn calories) and prompt the heart and pulse rate to ruse through steady, constant movement. Aerobic exercises tend to involve the large muscle groups, such as those of the legs and arms.They include:

Walking & Jogging




Step training

Cross country skiing

Other active sports such as tennis or volleyball

Anaerobic exercises develop muscular strength and flexibility and do not necessarily increase the pulse or heart rate. Anaerobic exercises include weight training and calisthenics.

Getting an exercise program started:

1. Choose an activity you like

2. Choose your location

3. Start slow

4. Use appropriate attire

5. Listen to your body’s cues

6. Stick with it

The Benefits of Exercise for Recovering Addicts

The Brain/Body Connection--A 7-year-old child sits in a classroom. After a while the child begins to fidget. Soon the child is out of his seat. The teacher reprimands the child and asks him to sit down. The child sits down but soon begins to fidget again. Soon he is up and out of his seat again. The teacher's frustration is readily apparent. "Sit in your seat," the teacher exclaims. The child obliges, but as if a switch has been turned on, he soon finds another way to expend his energy. Annoyed, the teacher says, "Why can't you sit still." The student replies, "I don't know, I just can't." His neurological switch has been turned on and he must get the body moving to get it turned off. Soon the child is sent to a secluded area for a time-out. If the child continues to misbehave then his behavior problems may be referred to a Committee on Special Education. Parents may eventually seek the advice of a psychologist to determine why their child cannot sit still. The child may eventually be identified with some type of psychological disorder and prescribed medication to attain the desired behavioral outcomes needed to function in a classroom. The medication works to calm the brain and then calm the child. The medication, in effect, turns off this neurological switch. This scenario is played out many times throughout the population of American children. Millions of American children are given medication to get them to behave and sit still. Latest estimates from the Center for Disease Control estimate 7 percent of American school-age children are taking some type of behavior medication. Medication is meeting a neurological need for these children, but new research is finding that the long-term effects of medications on the brain can be as serious as some of the illegal drugs we campaign against in drug prevention programs. Is there a relationship between the child’s inability to sit still and their vulnerability to use drugs? If the child is not diagnosed and treated, will the child seek self-medicating behavior as they grow into adulthood? Drugs although not equitable, may actually be easier to obtain and use as a way to satisfy the child's instinctive need. The downside of this scenario is found in the fact that we never really answer the million-dollar question. Why can't Johnny sit still? The answer is rather simple. He cannot sit still because a healthy and growing brain needs to have the body in motion. When the body begins to move, the heart begins to pump. The heart is responsible for pumping nutrient-rich blood throughout the brain. In order for our brains to grow, adequate volumes of blood must be pumped throughout our neurological structures, feeding cells so that our neurological connections can increase in density. With our children leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, children instinctively look for ways to get active. The sad reality is our common practice of assigning time-outs to children may actually contribute to the child's deteriorating behavior. In reality we should be assigning these active children to more time out--out on the playground, that is.


Wendt, Michael S. (2002). Treating Addictions in Special Populations: Research Confronts Reality. In Acalogic, Inc. Retrieved from

An addict’s environment and behavioral patterns have been the main focus areas for treatment for a long time. The internal chemistry and physiological needs of the brain need to be recognized as equal partners in the treatment of addiction. Cardio-based exercise can regulate neurological chemistry and impact the repair and growth of receptor sites in the brain. We often talk about the tools were gathering for staying sober. Exercise is one of those tools.What nutrition/exercise tools have you gathered for your recovery tool box?

* Incremental change

* Parking, not the closest, but the farthest away from the store entrance

* Thought stopping

* Avoiding sweets

* Eliminating fried food

* An exercise program

The impact of intense exercise on brain growth and development will be most noticeable over time. Much like cardiovascular conditioning and muscle development, the impact is cumulative. The brain relies on blood flow for adequate development, and the heart is the mechanism that pumps volumes of blood throughout the brain. The positive and negative changes in blood supply to the brain have a cumulative effect on neurological growth. This is especially true if we look at the potential for growth over a number of years. This is much like the damage to receptors from drug use. The cumulative effect over time may jeopardize the brain’s ability to function with efficiency. Much like the persistent use of drugs can have a negative impact on the brain, the persistent immersion in exercise will be a substantial contributor to the growth of brain cells over time.

Recovering from Addiction with Exercise

Can exercise serve as an effective treatment for the recovery of drug addiction? Considering recent research that shows how exercise changes behavior, brain chemistry and brain growth, exercise should certainly be considered as a treatment option. Its dual approach can be effective in correcting a less than desirable concentration of chemicals along with reversing the loss of receptor sites in the brain.Evidence supports the negative role that depression, anxiety, stress and other debilitating moods play in recovery. If exercise can improve the subject’s mood then its use in conjunction with other strategies is valuable. Helping individuals reduce the impact of depression alone may be significant enough to integrate exercise as a serious component of both recovery and prevention programs.Without an appropriate introduction to exercise by way of a structured program, people may remain in an exercise deficit. As a result, they may continue to exist in a state of "exercise abstinence" both during and after recovery. They simply have not been taught to use exercise as a tool that will enable them to meet the neurological needs of the brain. Recovery participants may not know how exercise facilitates neurological growth and repair.

The Benefits of Exercise Quiz

1. According to the Surgeon General, a successful workout program involves 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise:

A. Preferably every day

B. Three to four days a week

C. One day per week

2. Which of the following is considered moderate-intensity

A. Power weight lifting

B. Running

C. Jogging

3. Which exercise is the best for beginners:

A. Circuit training

B. Tackle football

C. Fast walking

4. Exercise can be a part of an effective treatment for the recovery of drug addiction:

A. True

B. False

5. Which one of the following is an aerobic exercise?

A. Calisthenics

B. Weight lifting

C. Swimming

6. Which is an anaerobic exercise?.

A. Weight lifting

B. Step training

7. For what reason/s can exercise be of benefit to recovering addicts

A. Reduces stress

B. Increases energy

C. Improves brain chemistry

D. All of the above

Answers: 1-A, 2-C, 3-C, 4-A, 5-C, 6-A, 7-D

Play Hard Your Way

The benefits of physical activity include:

* Increases fitness levels and keeps the heart and lungs healthy.

* Builds and maintains healthy bones.

* Helps control weight to decrease the risk of many diseases.

* Boosts energy and promotes sound sleep.

* Helps you feel good about yourself and happier in general.

* Family jumping rope How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?

* Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity, above usual activity, most days.

* About 60 minutes a day may be needed to prevent weight gain.

* Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably every day of the week. Make it Easy and Fun to be Active

* Schedule activities all family members can enjoy 2-3 times a month such as family bike rides and hikes. Let children plan a physical activity like going bowling or to the skating rink

.* Play with the kids - tumble in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.

* Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.

* Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less.

* Take the whole family on a tour of a local museum, zoo or historic site. At Home

* Push the baby in a stroller on a walk around the neighborhood.

* Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching the kids play.

* Walk the dog - don’t just watch the dog walk.

* Cleaning the house or washing the car.

* Involve the whole family in household chores, cleaning, vacuuming, and yard work.

* Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike when watching television. Use exercise videos or DVDs or follow along with an exercise program on TV

.* Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden.

* Reduce screen time with TV, computers and video games and increase active time. At Work

* Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way.

* Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.

* Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.

* Take the stairs when possible instead of the elevator.

* Join the office softball or bowling team. At Play

* Walk, jog, roller-blade, or cycle.

* Swim or do water aerobics.

* Play basketball, softball, or soccer.

* Take a class in dance, yoga, martial arts or kick-boxing.

* Golf (pull cart or carry clubs).* Canoe, row, or kayak.

* Play racket ball, tennis, or squash.

* Take a nature walk or hike.

* These activities are not necessarily at the moderate intensity level of physical activity.Stay Motivated Here are some of the most common reasons people give for not being active, and some helpful suggestions on how to overcome them:

* Time: Make time for exercise by walking, jogging or swimming during your lunch hour. Take fitness breaks instead of coffee breaks. Do activities like jumping rope, calisthenics, riding a stationary bike or other home gym equipment while the kids are busy playing, at school or sleeping. Break up your activities in 10 minute slots to get your 30 minutes a day! Ten minutes in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon gives you 30 minutes.

* Friends and Family: Explain your interest in leading a healthier life to your friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts. Invite them to join you in your activities and plan social activities involving physical activities.

* Energy: Schedule exercise for times in the day or week when you feel energetic. Convince yourself that by being more active, you will have more energy, and then try it!

* Motivation: Plan ahead. Make active time part of your daily or weekly routine and write it on your calendar! Invite a close friend or family member to join you in the activity. Sharing the experience with someone will make it more enjoyable and you can keep each other motivated.

* Injury: Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury. Choose activities involving minimum risk like walking or swimming.

* Skill: Select activities that are easy and fun, such as walking, climbing stairs or jogging. Engage in the activity with friends who are at the same skill level as you are. Find a friend who is willing to teach you new skills or take a class to develop new ones. If you are interested, try something new like skating, or softball.

* Resources: Select activities that are easy to do anywhere, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or aerobics. Your community parks and recreation programs offer low cost programs for the whole family.

* Travel: Put a jump rope in your suitcase and jump rope. Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels. Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities. Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more. The Importance of Physical Activity Regular physical activity can improve health and reduce the risk of premature death in the following ways:

* It reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease and the risk of dying from it.

* It reduces the risk of stroke* It reduces the risk of having a second heart attack in people who have already had one

* It lowers both blood cholesterol and triglycerides and increases high-density lipoproteins (HDL, otherwise known as the good cholesterol)

* It lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure* It helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have it

* It lowers the risk of developing non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus

* It reduces the risk of developing colon cancer

* It helps people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight

* It reduces feelings of depression and anxiety

* It promotes psychological well-being and reduces feelings of stress

* It helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints

* It helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling or becoming excessively


Can a lack of physical activity hurt your health? Evidence shows that those who are not physically active are definitely not helping their health, and may likely be hurting it. The closer we look at the health risks associated with a lack of physical activity, the more convincing it is that those who are not yet regularly physically active should become so.

The Pros of Wanting to Do This:

* Maintain a healthy weight

* Feel better in mind, body, and spirit

* Live longer by reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes

* Look your best

* Feel less tired and have more energy to get things done

* Set a good example for your family

* Sleep more soundly

* Improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures

* Reduce feelings of tension, stress, anxiety, and/or depression

* Become stronger

* Shed extra pounds and abdominal fat

* Discover enjoyable new activities

* Have fun

How many other reasons are there for wanting to be more active?

Not Ready for Change (Stage 1) The cons of not wanting to do this (some of these might sound ridiculous but people will often go to any lengths to justify their thinking):

* Don’t know how to find time in the day for physical activity

* Are you busy and stressed, and don’t want to take on another challenge

* Want to spend your free time with your family and fear that a physical activity routine will interfere

* Find physical activity boring

* Think that you need to spend money on special equipment or health clubs to become more active

* Have some lingering doubts about becoming more active

* Don’t like to sweat and don’t want to shower afterward

* Don’t know how to exercise

* Are concerned about how you look while exercising or wearing exercise clothing

* Don’t want to check with a doctor to begin an activity program

* Have aches and pains that keep you from physical activity

* Are too old to start or learn how

* Don’t know anyone else who can join you

* Had a bad experience with sports or exercise in the past

What other barriers can be added to the list? Now that we’ve identified the pros and cons, determine where you stand. Which benefits interest you the most? Which of the cons do you identify with? Often when we see what items are most important, we will begin to shift our view about physical activity and decide that finding easy ways to add physical activity into our lives is exactly what we want to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Do you see those barriers as something you want to explore, or are you satisfied in remaining inactive? If you have no desire to learn more about it or you get upset when people mention it, you’re not ready to consider easy ways to have more energy throughout the day. However, if you are open to learning more, you will find that working with the barriers you identifies will help release you from your defenses.

Thinking About Change (Stage 2) Maybe you’re waiting for the magic moment to start making some changes. Why not start now? Think back: do you remember a time when you were physically active and felt great? If not, it’s still probably obvious to you that exercise makes us feel better. Physical activity does not have to follow the old and incorrect maxim of "no pain, no gain." Physical activity can be fun. Can you imagine taking a 15-minute walk on a beautiful day? Playing touch football with your kids in the back yard?

Components of Physical Activity

What is cardiorespiratory endurance (or cardiorespiratory fitness)?

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity. To improve your cardiorespiratory endurance, try activities that keep your heart rate elevated at a safe level for a sustained length of time such as walking, swimming, or bicycling. The activity you choose does not have to be strenuous to improve your cardiorespiratory endurance. Start slowly with an activity you enjoy, and gradually work up to more intense pace.What is muscular strength?Muscular strength is the ability of the muscle to exert force during an activity. The key to making your muscles stronger is working them against resistance, whether that be from weights or gravity. If you want to gain muscle strength, try exercises such as lifting weights or rapidly taking the stairs.What is muscular endurance?Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue. To improve your muscle endurance, try cardiorespiratory activities such as fast walking, jogging, bicycling, or dancing

What is body composition?

Body composition refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body. A person’s total body weight (what you see on the bathroom scale) may not change over time. But the bathroom scale does not assess how much of that body weight is fat and how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments. Body composition is important to consider for health and managing your weight.

What is flexibility?

Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life. If you want to improve your flexibility, try activities that lengthen the muscles such as swimming or a basic stretching program.Taken from the web site ( of the Department of Health and Human Services and (CDC): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Brain Supplements for Memory


Endorphins are endogenous opioid biochemical compounds. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a sense of well-being. In other words, they work as "natural pain killers." Using opiate drugs increases the effects of the endorphins.

Scientists debate whether specific activities release measurable levels of endorphins. Much of the current data comes from animal models which may not be relevant to humans. The studies that do involve humans often measure endorphin levels, which do not necessarily correlate with levels in the CNS. Other studies use an opiate antagonist, usually naloxone (remember this word), to indirectly measure the release of endorphins by observing the changes that occur when any endorphin activity that might be present is blocked.What is a Placebo? The placebo effect has been linked to endorphins. In one study, a volunteer received pain by a compression cuff on his arm. In the first trial, no drug was administered and the patient showed signs of pain including facial grimaces, increased blood pressure, and sweating. During the next trial, the physician informed the volunteer that he would be injected with morphine and that he would feel no pain. The morphine was injected, the pain compression repeated, and this time the volunteer showed and reported no pain. The morphine and compression test was repeated several times. Then, the volunteer was unknowingly injected with a placebo, but still reported no sign of pain (the placebo worked). In a last test, the patients' 'morphine' was actually an injection of naloxone, an opiate antagonist. Even though the volunteer believed the shot was morphine and expected relief, the endorphins' effect was blocked by the naloxone injection and the volunteer displayed the same signs of pain as the first unmedicated trial.Back in the fifties, there was a drug with the brand name of Naline--its chemical name, naloxone. The Naline test was used by parole officers to detect narcotic use among his parolees. If the parolee was under the influence of heroin, after administering a Naline test he would go into immediate withdrawal symptoms. This process, of course, was before they had the more sophisticated chemical tests we have now.

Another widely publicized effect of endorphin production is the "runner's high," which is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. This also corresponds with the time that muscles use up their stored glycogen and begin functioning with only oxygen. Workouts that are most likely to produce endorphins include running, swimming, cross-country skiing, long distance rowing, bicycling, aerobics, or playing a sport such as basketball, soccer, or football.Clinical researchers report that inserting acupuncture needles into specific body points triggers the production of endorphins. In another study, higher levels of endorphins were found in cerebrospinal fluid after patients underwent acupuncture. In addition, naloxone appeared to block acupuncture's pain-relieving effects.The good feeling one gets from eating chocolate, smiling, laughing, sunbathing, being massaged, meditating, singing, listening to one's favorite music, or having an orgasm is partially attributed to the release of endorphins.

Smart Shopping Suggestions for People in Recovery

Shopping List

* Produce - Why is frozen produce is a healthier choice? Because freezing locks in nutrients. Also, produce is always frozen before food coloring and preservatives are added.

* Meat and Deli Counter - Most of the fat in chicken is in the skin, and the breading in fried chicken is loaded with carbs. Also, white meat is a healthier choice over red meat because red meat increases the risk of colon cancer, and is a risk factor for inflammatory arthritis.

* Bread and Cereal - What are the nutritional differences between white and wheat bread? Whole wheat breads usually have more vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, chromium, and manganese, and 100% whole wheat/whole grain breads have more fiber than white bread or other breads made with wheat flour. There are similar differences between corn flakes and whole grain cereals.

* Dairy Products - Why are some dairy products more nutritious than others? By choosing 1 or 2% milk over whole milk for less fat, and choosing Egg Beaters over eggs for lower cholesterol, and choosing low fat cheese for less fat.

* Frozen Treats - The reasons are also obvious for choosing low fat or ‘No Sugar Added’ ice cream over regular ice cream, and low sugar Popsicles over regular Popsicles.

* Canned Foods - Whereas the nutritional advantage between beans and low sodium beans are obvious, 100% pure fruit juice extracted from fresh fruit is more nutritious than, say, processed fruit juices and fruit drinks, whether canned or otherwise.

* Packaged Products - Compare the similarities of brown rice over white rice to wheat bread over white bread. And there is a natural advantage of oatmeal cookies over cookies laden with chocolate chips.

* Fat, Oil and Dressing - The more offensive saturated fats are found in meat, dairy products, and coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils; however, the less offensive monounsaturated fats are found in olive, peanut, and canola oils. Also, make a selection between vinegar and oil (one the latter kinds, of course, except for Canola), low fat or low sugar salad dressing.

Addicts whose addictions include alcohol are more sensitive to carbohydrates than fat because barley and cereal grains are converted to fermentable sugar. We resist fat better than sugar.

Smart Snaking Suggestions for People in Recovery

Good nutrition is a vital part of the repair occurring in the bodies of those in recovery. Food provides nutrients necessary to meet this need. Having three nutritious meals a day may not be enough. Snacks can play an important role to help the person in recovery meet their nutritional needs, as well as limit mood swings. It’s nutritionally sound to snack between meals, but they should be nutritious snacks.

Choose more often:

Fresh fruit

Canned fruit packed in its own juice

Raw vegetables with low-fat dressing or salsa or vinegar and oil

Popcorn (preferably air popped)


Cheese and crackers

Low fat puddings

Cottage cheese and fruit

Low fat yogurt

Raisins and other dried fruit

100% fruit juice

Choose less often:

Canned fruit in heavy syrup

Potato chips

Corn chips

Ice Cream (unless it’s no sugar added)




Cake & donuts

Fruit drinks and punch

Brownies & pastries

Whole Food Herbs and Medicinal Herbs and Formulas

Many research studies have shown that most diets are deficient in minerals, enzymes, vitamins, and other key nutrients, and that this is a major cause of health problems. One way to correct these deficiencies, or just to increase overall health and performance, is to include whole food concentrates in the daily diet.No synthetically produced formula of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc., has been made that will sustain human or animal life. Because science once thought that vitamins and minerals were completely separated from their whole food complex es before the body absorbed them, these manufactured chemicals were believed to be as valuable as the nutrition in foods. Research has shown that this is not the case.A scientific study involving several laboratories and done over a period of two decades has revealed some information that invalidated some existing beliefs regarding nutrient absorption and utilization in humans. The results of the study stunned the scientific community. Contrary to existing dogma that the intestine breaks down food nutrients to their isolated free-form molecular level, the evidence showed that the intestine breaks down food nutrients to the peptide complex level. This means food is broken down in the human body only to a level in which it is still molecularly bound to protein complexes and most likely carbohydrate, lipid, and bioflavonoid complexes as well. It is then absorbed into the bloodstream in complex peptide forms, identified by the appropriate cells, and utilized.The research highlights critical differences between how food-extract nutrients and synthetic nutrients affect the body. Synthetic vitamins, which have little in common with nutrients found in foods and are in many cases entirely different chemical structures, can be useless to people with severely depleted liver function and those with an inability to absorb nutrients. For people with such damage, like addicts, large does of synthetic vitamins can actually be toxic and can cause severe damage to the body. A good reason in itself to get a physical. You really should find out whether or not you have any organ damage. Food-grown minerals and food-complexed vitamins are highly assimilable by the body because they are grown on whole, living foods which "absorb" the vitamin or mineral. These vitamin and mineral complexes are identical to those found in food. They are assimilable and up to 1000 times more potent than synthetics.

Studies have show that food-grown minerals and food-complexed vitamins exhibit far less toxicity than their synthetic counterparts, and are far better absorbed and retained than any others available.Fresh Carrot, Celery, and Beet Juice Fresh carrot, celery, and beet juices are some of the best foods to heal the liver and build up the blood. These juices are full of highly assimilable vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and are excellent cleansers as well as builders of health. These juices also improve adrenal and immune system function. Because of the high carbohydrate content, people with severe hypoglycemia and/or yeast overgrowth need to avoid them until they are stronger.Recommended use is eight to 12 ounces daily, preferably from organically-raised, pesticide-free vegetables. A good proportion is 60 percent carrot, 30 percent celery and 10 percent beet. A little parsley can also be added. Beet juice is a powerful liver cleanser and can cause a reaction in some people; therefore, it should be used carefully. It is very important to drink plenty of water and to dilute the juice 50 percent with water for those with blood sugar malfunction.

Eating Out

Some restaurants offer foods lower in cholesterol, fat, sodium, and higher in fiber. All restaurants offer low calorie sweeteners in the blue, yellow or pink packets, and diet drinks. Many offer reduced-calorie salad dressings, low-fat or fat-free milk, and salt substitutes. It's easy to find salads, fish, vegetables, baked or broiled food, and whole-grain breads.Many restaurants have menu items that are "heart healthy." Ask for calorie and fat information on menu items. If you ask, chefs will often make low-fat entrees using low-cholesterol eggs (such as egg beaters) or lean cuts of meat. You can also ask for: skinless chicken, no butter on a particular dish, broiled instead of fried, and your sauces to be served on the side. There are also some restaurants that let you order smaller portions at lower prices.Table Tips:Not everyone has the same meal plan or the same nutrition goals. For some, cutting calories is most important. Others may need to limit fat and salt, and eat more foods high in fiber. If you eat out a lot, find ways to follow your meal plan as much as possible. Pick a restaurant with a variety of choices to increase your chances of finding the foods you want. When you eat out, order only what you need and want. Know how to make changes in your meal plan in case the restaurant doesn't have just what you want.

Here's some suggestions on how to order:

* If you don't know what's in a dish or don't know the serving size, ask.

* Try to eat the same portion as you would at home. If the serving size is larger, share some with your dining partner, or put the extra food in a container to go.

* Eat slowly.

* Ask for fish or meat broiled with no extra butter.

* Order your baked potato plain, then top it with a teaspoon of margarine or low-calorie sour cream, and/or vegetables from the salad bar.

* If you are on a low-salt meal plan, ask that no salt be added to your food.

* Ask for sauces, gravy, and salad dressings "on the side." Try dipping your fork tines in the salad dressing, then spear a piece of lettuce. Or add a teaspoon of dressing at a time to your salad. You'll use less this way.

* Order foods that are not breaded or fried because they add fat. (Tell them about my cutting out fried foods), If the food comes breaded, peel off the outer coating. (Tell them about how I do KFC).

* Read the menu creatively. Order a fruit cup for an appetizer or the breakfast melon for dessert. Instead of a dinner entree, combine a salad with a low-fat appetizer. Tell them about my newest dinner option with fruit.

* Ask for substitutions. Instead of French fries, request a double order of a vegetable. If you can't get a substitute, just ask that the high-fat food be left off your plate.

* Ask for low-calorie items, such as salad dressings, even if they're not on the menu. Vinegar and a dash of oil or a squeeze of lemon are a better choice than high-fat dressings.

* Limit alcohol, which adds calories but no nutrition to your meal.

Some restaurants will better meet your special needs if you phone ahead. When you make the reservation, ask if your food can be prepared with vegetable oil, low-fat margarine, little salt, no extra sauce or butter, and broiled instead of fried. Or ask to see a copy of the menu in advance so that you know which items would work well with your meal plan.If you like the healthy choices on a restaurant's menu, let the manager know. If you want more low-calorie, low-cholesterol choices, say so. Restaurants, like any business, offer what their customers want. They only know what you want if you tell them.

The Fast-Food Challenge Keep the ground rules of good nutrition in mind. Eat a variety of foods in moderate amounts, and limit the amount of fat you eat. What you order is the key. It's easy to eat an entire day's worth of fat, salt, and calories in just one fast-food meal. But it's also possible to make wise choices and eat a fairly healthy meal.

* Know that an average fast-food meal can run as high as 1000 calories or more.

* Know the nutritional value of the foods you order. Although there are some good choices, most fast-food items are high in fat and calories.

* If you're having fast-food for one meal, let your other meals that day contain healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables.

* Think about how your food will be cooked. Chicken and fish can be good choices - but not if they are breaded and deep fried.If breakfast is your fast-food meal, choose a plain bagel, toast, or English muffin. Other muffins may be loaded with sugar and fat. Add fruit juice or low-fat or fat-free milk. Order cold cereal with fat-free milk, pancakes without butter, or plain scrambled eggs. Limit bacon and sausage because they are high in fat.The fast food we eat may stick around a lot longer than we'd like. It may linger in our bodies as excess blood fats and extra pounds.

* Watch out for words like jumbo, giant, deluxe, biggie-sized, or super-sized. Larger portions mean more calories. They also mean more fat, cholesterol and salt. Order a regular or junior-sized sandwich instead.

* Choose grilled or broiled sandwiches with meats such as lean roast beef, turkey or chicken breast, or lean ham. Order items plain, without toppings, rich sauces, or mayonnaise. Add flavor with mustard, and crunch with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

* Skip the croissant or biscuit. Eat your sandwich on a bun, bread, or English muffin and save calories and fat.

* Stay away from double burgers or "super" hot dogs with cheese, chili, or sauces. Cheese carries an extra 100 calories per ounce, as well as added fat and sodium.* Go for the salad bar, but watch out for high-fat toppings like dressings, bacon bits, cheeses, and croutons. Even too much low-calorie dressing can add up. Check the calories on the packet. Also limit salad bar items that are dressed with a lot of mayo, such as potato or macaroni salad. Fill your salad with things like carrots, peppers, onion, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.

* Order bean burritos, soft tacos, fajitas, and other non-fried items when eating Mexican fast foods. Choose chicken over beef. Limit refried beans. Or ask if they have beans that aren't refried. Pile on extra lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. Go easy on cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Watch out for deep-fried taco salad shells - a taco salad can have more than 1,000 calories!

* Pizza can be a good fast food choice. Go for thin crust pizza with vegetable toppings. Limit to 1-2 slices. Meat and extra cheese add calories, fat and sodium

.* End your meal with sugar-free, fat-free frozen yogurt or a small cone of fat-free yogurt. Better still, bring a piece of fresh fruit from home. Ices, sorbets, and sherbets have less fat and fewer calories than ice cream. But they are chock full of sugar.

* Be alert for traps. Fat-free muffins for breakfast may have plenty of sugar. Skinless fried chicken can have almost as much fat as the regular kind. Chinese food may seem like a healthy choice, but many dishes are deep fried or high in fat and sodium, especially in the sauces.

Eating out can be one of life's great pleasures. Make the right choices, ask for what you need, and balance your meals out with healthy meals at home. You can enjoy yourself and take good care of your health at the same time.

Where to Get Professional Nutrition Advice

If you have a question about nutrition, the most convenient source of information may be your physician, a local dietitian or home economist, or a local college or university nutrition department.If your doctor is interested in nutrition, he or she may be a good place to start. The principles of nutrition are those of human biochemistry and physiology, courses required in every medical school. Although many medical schools do not teach a separate required course in nutrition, this does not mean that the subject is ignored. Many medical educators prefer that nutrition be included in other courses at the point where it is most relevant. In addition, most medical schools offer an elective course in nutrition.Medical training, of course, does not end on graduation day. The medical profession advocates lifelong education, and physicians can further their knowledge of nutrition by reading medical journals, discussing cases with colleagues, and attending courses. If your doctor is unable or unwilling to provide what you need, you can be referred to someone who will -- usually a registered dietitian.Beware of Unqualified Individuals Because the titles "nutritionist" and "nutrition consultant" are unregulated in most states, they have been adopted by many individuals who lack recognized credentials and are unqualified. In addition, a small percentage of licensed practitioners are engaged in unscientific nutrition practices. The best way to avoid bad nutrition advice is to identify and avoid those who give it.

I recommend steering clear of:

* Anyone who says that everyone needs vitamin supplements to be sure they get enough. Most people can get all the vitamins they need by eating sensibly.

* Anyone who suggests that most diseases are caused by faulty nutrition. Although some diseases are diet-related, most are not.

* Anyone who suggests that large doses of vitamins are effective against a large number of diseases and conditions. That is simply untrue.

* Anyone who suggests hair analysis as a basis for determining the body's nutritional state or for recommending vitamins and minerals. Hair analysis is not reliable for this purpose.

* Anyone who claims that a wide variety of symptoms and diseases are caused by "hidden food allergies"

* Anyone who uses a computer-scored "nutrient deficiency test" as the basis for prescribing vitamins. There are valid ways that computers can be used for dietary analysis. But those used for recommending vitamins are programmed to recommend them for everyone.

* Any practitioner -- licensed or not -- who sells vitamins in his or her office. Scientific nutritionists do not sell vitamins. Unscientific practitioners often do -- usually at a considerable profit."The Doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition"

5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight, without feeling deprived.

Is losing weight one of your life goals? Following a fad diet, or being overly restrictive, will not help you achieve your long-term weight goals. Instead, taking simple yet sensible steps may help you lose weight without feeling deprived.

1. Don't drink CaloriesSweetened beverages such as pop, juice drinks, coffee drinks and tea may satisfy your thirst, but give you lots of empty calories. What's worse is that, unlike eating solid food, drinking liquid calories doesn't make you feel full so you won't eat less food afterwards. Simply cutting a can of pop a day can help you lose 15 pounds in a year! Diet or zero-calorie pop offers no nutritional values either - it's just water added with artificial sweeteners and caffeine. Drink water instead. Carrying a bottle of water with you will encourage you to sip it instead of reaching for sweetened beverages.

2. Snack SensiblyInstead of regarding snacks as a treat in order to lose weight, regard them as a filler. Plan your snacks to fill the nutritional gap other meals may miss. For instance, if you do not eat enough calcium-rich foods at your three big meals, have a low-fat yogurt as snacks. If you do not eat enough whole grains, have a small whole-wheat sandwich. The key in your fight to lose weight is to plan your snacks ahead instead of letting your vending machine limit your choices. Good snack options include low-fat dairy, fruit, nuts, light popcorn and baked goods made with whole grains. In addition, don't snack just because everyone else in your office is or when you have nothing to do in front of the TV; snack only when you are hungry.

3. Fill your plate with VegetablesVegetables, especially the bright colored and dark green leafy ones, are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and will help you lose weight. They are also high in fiber and, therefore, very filling. In addition, they are low in calories - good to help lose weight and trim your waistline. When you fill your stomach with veggies, you will less likely feel the urge to binge on meats and other desserts later on.

4. Eat BreakfastPeople often skip breakfast. Some skip it because they are often too rushed in the morning and have little time to prepare. Some people skip it as a measure to maintain or lose weight. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast regularly actually are more easily able to control their weight than those who skip breakfast. Often, skipping a meal results in an increased total caloric intake than if we just ate more frequently throughout the course of the day.

5. Stop when you are full

Do you continue to pour gasoline in your car even though it is full? If not, why do so to your own body? Our body is capable of sending satiety signals, so stop eating when you are full. Don't overeat for the sake of finishing the plate. If you feel guilty about wasting foods, simply doggie-bag it and save it for later. What can the successful weight losers teach us about weight loss?

The purpose of the National Weight Control Registry is to collect valuable information about the behaviors of those who have been able to maintain their weight loss over the long term. The NWCR is a database of more than 4,800 adults who report being successful at maintaining a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for a minimum of one year. Annual surveys are sent out to members to collect information about how they remain successful at preserving their weight loss. Here is some of the information collected from these registry members . . .

Methods Used to Lose Weight

1. Most individuals used both diet (low calorie and fat intake) and physical activity to achieve and maintain their successful weight loss.

2. 55% of participants used a formal program or professional assistance to help with weight loss, while 45% lost weight on their own.

3. The majority of individuals report limiting the types of foods they would eat (avoiding fatty foods such as those that are fried, battered, or have fats added).

4. Almost half of the participants indicated that they limited the quantity of food eaten (reducing their portions), but did not deprive themselves of specific foods.

5. Approximately half of those surveyed indicated that they counted calories when losing weight (keeping track of what they ate)

More Methods Used to Lose Weight

1. The majority of members report continuing to limit the types of foods eaten, as they did when they were losing weight. They mostly follow a low calorie and low fat intake.

2. Eating regular meals is reported to be a key to weight loss maintenance - and most participants indicate that they would eat breakfast daily.

3. In order to keep track of their weight regularly and notice small "slips" (and weight regains), most members weigh themselves at least once a week, sometimes up to once a day.

4. Most of those surveyed indicate being physically active for approximately one hour every day (or the equivalent of walking 4 miles/day).

5. Success in maintaining weight loss over the long term (one to two years) was achieved by NWCR participants who were most consistent with physical activity and planning of dietary intake (low calorie and low fat diet) throughout weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

6. The longer someone is able to maintain a weight loss (example: if they were able to preserve the weight loss for two to five years) the greater the chance of keeping the weight off.

7. The variety of foods eaten is limited in order to control the calorie intake of foods. The most variety of foods eaten by the NWCR participants surveyed was from nutrient-dense food groups such as grains, fruits and vegetables.

There is a growing trend toward being overweight or obese. Overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 25, and having a BMI of more than 30 is identified as being obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 66% of U.S. adults are overweight, and 32% of U.S. adults are obese, with the incidence of being overweight and obese among children being greater than ever! Given these statistics, it is not surprising that Americans spend more than $33 billion dollars a year on weight loss products and services, while at least one quarter of the population is working on weight loss regimens for themselves.

The National Weight Control Registry. Written by Elizabeth Daeninck, MS, RD

Body Mass Index--Guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), use the following definitions:

* A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered underweight.

* A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy.

* A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.

* A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Because BMI does not show the difference between fat and muscle, it does not always accurately predict when weight could lead to health problems. For example, someone with a lot of muscle (such as a body builder) may have a BMI in the unhealthy range, but still be healthy and have little risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack.

BMI also may not accurately reflect body fatness in people who are very short (under 5 feet) and in older people, who tend to lose muscle mass as they age. But for most people, BMI is a reliable way to tell if your weight is putting your health at risk.Waist Measurement Also a Key Indicator:Excess weight, as measured by BMI, is not the only risk to your health. So is the location of fat on your body. If you carry fat mainly around your waist, you are more likely to develop health problems than if you carry fat mainly in your hips and thighs. This is true even if your BMI falls within the normal range.To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above your hip bone. Be sure that the tape is snug, but does not compress your skin, and is parallel to the floor. Relax, exhale, and measure your waist.Women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches may have a higher disease risk than people with smaller waist measurements because of where their fat lies. Body Mass Index is a calculation that takes into consideration both a person's body weight and height to determine whether they are underweight, overweight, or at a healthy weight. It can be calculated in inches and pounds (in the United States), or meters and kilograms (in countries that use the metric system).

Nutrition Quiz                         

1. Which of the following four practices helps to maintain long-term weight loss?

a. Use weight as a sole measure of health

b. Eat a calorie-restricted that creates weight loss

c. Eat quality foods with a healthy proportion of vegetables and whole grains

d. Eat diet and lite foods with diet colas

2. Which of the following statements is true in regards to getting enough "fuel" for exercise bouts and athletics?

a. To avoid dehydration, drink a sports drink instead of water

b. For maximum performance, eat a diet high in protein

c. Eating for any type of exercise is bad

d. Eat snacks and meals around workouts and athletic events to get the most benefit, but make sure you have time to adequately to digest the food

3. High-protein diets, low fat diets are very popular. Which statement regarding this type of eating behavior is false?

a. The diet can cause loss of muscle mass

b. The diet can cause kidney overload

c. The diet provides nutritional balanced.

d. The diet stresses amount of protein over food quality

4. Folic Acid is important to a pregnant woman and women of childbearing years. Folic Acid is considered a part of which vitamin category?

a. A

b. Organic compounds

c. C

d. B5.

5. Omega-3 fats are good fats, however, the average American does not consume enough of these beneficial fats. Which of the following are good sources of Omega-3 fats?

a. Corn oil

b. Margarine

c. Flax seed

d. Fresh fish

6. Which of the following is the recommended serving size of dairy products for the average adult?

a. 1 cup of milk or yogurt, or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese

b. 2 ounces of processed cheese and 3 cups of milk

c. 2 cups of yogurt

d. None of the above

7. Which of the following is the recommended serving size of protein?

a. ½ cups of cooked dried beans

b. 1 egg

c. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

d. 2 to 3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry or fish

8. Which of the following is the recommended serving size of vegetables?

a. 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables or ½ cup other vegetables either cooked or raw

b. ½ cup vegetable juice

c. 1 large salad with fat free dressing

d. A bowl of broccoli with cheese sauce

9. The average American woman, of childbearing years, requires how many micrograms of folic acid in her diet?

a. 500 micrograms.

b. 1,000 micrograms

c. 400 micrograms

d. Folic acid isn’t important

10. Good sources of folic acid are:

a. Oranges

b. Beans

c. Green leafy vegetables

d. A multivitamin

Answers: 1--C, 2--D, 3--C, 4--D, 5--C,D, 6--A, 7--A,B,C,D (all are great sources of protein--a serving about the size of a deck of cards), 8--A,B, 9--C, 10--A,B,C,D

Starting a Healthy Lifestyle

Getting Ready: Now that you have decided to improve your eating and physical activity habits, here are a few tips to ensure you are ready to start:

* Let your doctor know you plan to make positive changes in your eating and physical activity habits. Your doctor may have advice specific for you and any medical conditions you may have.

* Tell a close friend or family member you will be starting the Eat Smart. Play Hard™ Healthy Lifestyle. Invite them to join you-it will help you stay on track!

Tracking Progress:Studies show that people do better when they keep track of their progress. Use the Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Tracking Card to keep track of all the foods and drinks you consume in a day as well as all the different types of physical activity you’ve engaged in. You’ll be surprised at how it helps you stay motivated!

The Power of Planning:

One of the biggest secrets to healthy lifestyle success is to plan ahead. With these simple tips you’ll save time and cut down on the meal preparation stress in your daily life.

* Keep meals simple! Foods that keep your family healthy can be fast and easy to prepare. See the Make it Quick and Easy section for great recipes and menus. Unless it’s a special occasion, keep cooking simple and involve kids or other family members.

* Cook several main dishes when you have more time-like on weekends. Make soups, stews, or casseroles to freeze for the next week. Cook extra food as "plan-overs" for later use.

* Do some tasks ahead. Washing and trimming vegetables, cooking noodles for a pasta salad or lean ground meat for tacos a few hours, or the day before, can save you lots of time during busy weekday evenings.

* Plan activities for all family members to enjoy 2-3 times a month. For example, go on a family bike ride, plant a family garden, or pack a picnic meal to eat at the park and afterward go on a family hike.

* Plan (with your kids) fun activities for the whole family. Make a regular date to walk with friends and neighbors or join a community activity group, like aerobics, softball or body toning.

* Set realistic healthy eating and physical activity goals and write them down on the Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Tracking Card.                  

Making Smart Choices

How Much do I Need to Eat? The amount of food from each food group that each person needs to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle is dependent on their age, sex, and physical activity level. One size doesn’t fit all. For an example of a good guide for a 2000 calorie diet, refer to a MyPyramid chart, which can be found online .The pyramid emphasizes foods from the five major food groups. Food in one group can’t replace those in another. No one food group is more important than another--for good health, you need them all.At the top of the 1992 Food Guide Pyramid is Fats, Oils, and Sweets. This isn’t included in the new MyPyramid because it isn’t one of the five major food groups. These are foods such as salad dressings and oils, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies, and sweet desserts. These foods provide calories and little else nutritionally. Most people should use them sparingly.What counts as a cup or an ounce?

A Closer Look at Fat and Sugars

Added Sugars--Most of the added sugars in the typical American diet don’t come from the five food groups, such as oft drinks, candy, mans, jellies, syrups, and table sugar we add to foods like coffee or cereal. Added sugars in the food groups come from foods such as ice cream, sweetened yogurt, chocolate milk, canned or frozen fruit with heavy syrup, and sweetened bakery products like cakes and cookies.


How much fat you can have depends on your calorie needs, which can be individualized online at the USDA site where you can do an interactive check on MyPyramid. Are some types of fat worse than others? Yes. Eating too much saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. The dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, or about one third of total fat intake. All fats in foods are mixtures of three types of fatty acids--saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.Saturated fats are found in largest amounts in fats from meat and dairy products and in some vegetable fats such as coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils. Monounsaturated fats are found mainly in olive, peanut, and canola oils. Polyunsaturated fats are found mainly in safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, and cottenseed oils and some fish.


Cholesterol and fat are not the same thing. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance present in all animal foods--meat, poultry, fish, milk and milk products, and egg yolks. Both the lean and fat of meat and the meat and skin of poultry contain cholesterol. In milk products, cholesterol is mostly in the fat, so lower fat products contain less cholesterol. Egg yolks and organ meats, like liver, are high in cholesterol. Plant foods do not contain it. Dietary cholesterol, as well as saturated fat, raises blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. Some health authorities recommend that dietary cholesterol be limited to an average of 300 mg or less per day. It’s not necessary to eliminate all foods that are high in cholesterol. You can have three to four egg yolks a week, counting those used as ingredients in custards and baked products.What about sugars?Choosing a diet low in fat is a concern for everyone; choosing one low in sugars is also important for people who have low calorie needs. Sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, honey, and molasses; these supply calories and little else nutritionally.Added sugars are in foods like candy and soft drinks, as well as jams, jellies, and sugars you add at the table. Some added sugars are also in foods from the food groups, such as fruit canned in heavy syrup and chocolate milk.

Quick and Easy Ways to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

No time for breakfast?

* Grab an apple, an orange or any other fruit as you head out the door.

* Pack baby carrots, nuts, or dried fruit for a snack.

* Take whole wheat crackers, lean meats and low-fat milk along with you.

* Try taking leftovers and eating on the way.

* Munch on veggies, pretzels, or popcorn. At a fast food restaurant?

* Try a grilled chicken sandwich and a side salad

* Split an order of fries.* Leave off the mayonnaise, sauce and spreads when ordering a sandwich.

* Share a rich dessert with a friend. Want to cut fat in meals?

* Use a cooking spray instead of oil to sauté foods.

* Trim visible fat from meat and remove skin from poultry, too.

* Instead of cheese and heavy salad dressings, add fiber-rich beans and peas to your salad meals. Canned chick peas or other beans are a delicious addition to a salad. Need to get moving?

* Work off a big lunch by taking a bike ride or a walk with your kids after work.

* Instead of socializing with friends by watching videos or dining, plan to go walking, biking or dancing.

* Aim for the farthest parking spot, not the closest, so you can get in extra walking.

* Walk the sidelines or stroll around the field instead of lounging in the stands while the kids play soccer or softball.

* Run up and down the stairs with each load of laundry, get up and change the channel, and walk to your co-worker’s office instead of calling.

* Join a step aerobics, kick-boxing or body toning class. Check your local park district, recreation center, or health club to find the best option for your budget and skill level. Shopping the Smart Way

* Always use a shopping list. Planning your menus in advance will make it easy to create the list.

* Try to shop when you are not hungry. This will help you avoid unplanned purchases.

* Compare national brand's sale price with store brands. Both are often on sale at the same time.

* Compare the cost of convenience foods with the same foods made from scratch.

* Oftentimes, convenience foods cost more than similar foods prepared at home.

* Take the time to compare fresh, frozen, and canned foods to see which is cheapest.

* Buy foods you like when they are on sale and in season.

* Buy products when they are on sale for later use.

* Stock your kitchen with time savers that are packed with nutrients! Look for fat-free, low-fat, so sugar added, and low-sodium items and get foods that you can make and serve in a hurry such as:

* Canned or frozen fruit* Canned or frozen vegetables and beans

* Canned or frozen meat, poultry, and fish

* Canned soups or stews

* Whole-grain bread or crackers

* Enriched or whole grain pasta

* Enriched or brown rice

* Cheese

* Yogurt

* Prepare enough for another meal so you have leftovers.

* Make a big bowl of salad for dinner and take the leftovers for lunch the next day.                   

* Make it Quick and EasyBelow are a variety of quick and easy recipes you can use with the Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Healthy Lifestyle. Try them to save time and add interest to your meals.Salads:

* Southwestern Salad

* Tuna Pasta Salad

* Macaroni SaladEntrée:

* Turkey Stir Fry

* Beef Pot Roast

* Baked Spicy Fish

* Chicken and Vegetables

* Baked Chicken Nuggets

* Pizza Meat Loaf

* Baked Cod with Cheese

* Baked Meatballs

* Funtastic French Toast

* Soups:

* Potato SoupSide Dishes:

* Vegetarian Baked Beans

* Scalloped Potatoes

* Baked Crispy Potatoes

* Ranch Beans

* Chickpea Dip

* Chili Bean DipDeserts:

* Peach Apple Crisp* Rice Pudding* Oatmeal Cookies​