• GO FRESH - fresh veggies, fruits, meats
  • stay away from processed food
  • cook from scratch - I know it’s easier to grab the instant meals 
  • season with dry herbs & spices that contain zero sodium, or fresh herbs
  • rinse & drain canned vegetables/beans (reduced sodium by 9-23%)
  • choose plain “fresh frozen” if buying frozen vegetables
  • flavor with citrus instead of salt - squeeze lemon juice or zest lime, orange, or lemon 
  • use canola or olive oil
  • use homemade condiments, dressing, and sauces (they’re easier to make than you think!)
  • READ & understand labels, go for the “low” or “reduced” version


  • has zero calories
  • salt & sodium are different. Sodium is part of salt, salt is sodium (40%) and chloride (60%)
  • Sodium is said to be the unhealthy part of salt, and is associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) when chronically taken in excess amounts
  • Hypertensive? When decreasing your sodium intake, not only does it help lower blood pressure, it also enhances your body’s response to blood pressure medications
  • Healthy individuals shouldn’t exceed 2,300 milligrams daily
  • 1,500 milligrams is all you need per day (that’s about a tsp!)
  • too much salt can cause water retention, resulting in edema, bloating, weight fluctuations, stiffness or aching
  • your kidneys are responsible for cleaning out the excess salt you consume, drinking plenty of water can help flush out that excess fluid (due to increased sodium intake!) and give your kidney’s a boost
  • Avoiding salty, processed, instant foods prior and during your menstrual cycle can help lessen water retention which causes bloating 

sources:,, & of course my handy-dandy medical/healthcare background ;)


  • found in brussels sprouts, berries, beans, and broccoli
  • anti-inflammatory foods that cool the body and aid in detoxification
  • creates a “drying” sensation in the mouth as well as in the body - it gets rid of stickiness and sliminess in the body, which creates diseases
  • inhibits appetite and encourages weight loss
  • great for fostering meditative states but too much of it can cause “excessive inward focus” and the feeling of isolation
  • aka “spicy” - found in garlic, chiles, onions, ginger, cayenne, and foods that are hot on the tongue
  • heating and stimulating to the body, stokes metabolism, circulation, and digestion
  • kick-starters - helps energize the body and detoxify
  • draws fat and fluid out of the body
  • emotionally, it fires us up and makes us sassy and feel energetic
  • too much can aggravate the fiery energy that governs ambition, drive, and passion - but also anger, irritability, and hatred
  • Heat things up too much and you risk burnout
  • the most lacking flavor in the american diet
  • found in leafy greens - spinach, kale, mustard greens, coffee, and aloe vera
  • detoxifies with a particular benefit to the liver
  • Bitter is cooling, anti-inflammatory, catabolic (helps to reduce overall body fat)
  • sobering effect and creates a sense of dissatisfaction, which can be very motivating. Part of the reason why we get up and drink coffee each morning is it gives us the edge to get out there and get things done!
  • too much can lead to profound sense of dissatisfaction. It can make you feel bitter
  • warming to the body, stimulating to the appetite and anabolic (promotes tissue development)
  • found in sea & rock salts, seaweed, kelp
  • helps body retain things - calories, fluids, and information - and it motivates us to seek more from life
  • you retain fluid and gain weight
  • salty gives you confidence, a zest for life- it adds flavor to food
  • too much can cause you to be overambitious and possessive
  • Most of us get too much of this taste: 1 tsp/day is considered to be the perfect prescription. most eat around 2-3 tbsp/day
  • warming - it promotes digestion and weight gain in equal measure
  • lemons, limes, vinegar, yogurt, fermented foods
  • related to emotions like envy and greed
  • imparts satisfaction - most important taste
  • cooling and soothing
  • found in most fruits, many vegetables, nearly every grain, eggs, dairy, meat products, sugar and honey
  • choose foods that have sweetness built in, not added
  • process and sweetened with artificial or extremely concentrated sweeteners create physiological paradox- instead of being naturally cooling, they incite inflammation
  • we didn’t evolve eating foods in processed forms- “an experiment at best, a disaster at worst”
  • changes our perception of what sweet should be - if you get used to the sledgehammer of sweet taste, you become numbed to the subtle sweetness in natural foods - and in your life
  • too much promotes complacency, dullness, and inertia, along with weight gain
  • you can become literally addicted to hyper-flavored foods- whether sweet, sour, salty


Stressed? you might things done is more important than taking time for meals. eating while multitasking only aggravates stress and imbalance


if it’s cold, focus on warming food. If it’s cloudy, you may need to choose drying, diuretic (astringent) foods. 


it’s recommended you eat larger meals with ALL 6 tastes between 10a.m. and 2p.m., taking a walk and then having a short rest. A gentle walk after your meal and a 5 to 15-minute rest give the body a chance to digest. You won’t be scrounging around in 30 minutes


 it’s not just a religious tradition - it’s a physiological tradition. Sit down; close your eyes before your meal; give thanks for your food! For your BODY to taste the food, it has to know it’s going to eat

- Vegetarian Times




Another great alternative is low fat dairy. Dairy products such as cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese sticks, or yogurt are great low fat snacks. Technically, these are packaged, reduced fat foods, but because they are minimally processed and do not usually contain additives, they are still excellent options. Dairy products contain calcium to aid in bone development, and protein to help keep you full and satisfied. (source)

  • women who ate low-fat dairy products, such as nonfat yogurt and low-fat milk, three to four times a day lost 70 percent more fat than low-dairy dieters.
  • those who consumed 3 cups of fat-free milk gained less weight over the course of 2 years than those on low calcium diets.
  • So, not only do dairy products help you strengthen your bones, they can also play an essential role in burning that unwanted body fat.
  • Dairy products are our best source of calcium. They also are a good source of certain vitamins
    (riboflavin, vitamin A and vitamin D), minerals (phosphorous, potassium) and protein.
  • Low fat (or partskim) sliced, cubed, or string cheese ( 1 oz = 1 slice, 1 string tube) try brands like: Laughing Cow, alpine Lace, and Cabot’s
  • Low fat yogurt (1 cup or tube)
  • Low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you choose milk or yogurt that is not fat-free, or cheese that is not low-fat, the fat in the product counts as part of the empty calorie allowance.
  • One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
  • low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the “live” bacteria that is good for intestinal health. Turns out, it may also have an impact on the skin.
  • Studies have shown that a diet with 3 servings of low-fat milk or milk products can lower blood pressure as much as some blood-pressure-lowering drugs


  • Slim midsection in overweight adults trying lose weight
  • Lower LDL cholesterol level
  • Reduce risk of hypertension
  • Prevent childhood obesity
  • Protect against gout
  • Protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals
  • Prevent bone loss that occurs as a result of menopause or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Prevent migraine headaches
  • Reduce PMS symptoms
  • Healthy looking skin


Rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium, it’s no wonder why nuts are considered to be the best plant-source for protein.  Nuts are also high in plant sterols and fat - but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 - the good fats) which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. Because it’s high in calories and fat, moderation is key in order to play a part in a healthful diet - 1 to 2 oz a day.

7 FDA approved nuts to lower the risk of heart diseaseimage

  1. almonds - very high in minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron and are the only nut that is alkaline forming in the body. According to Ayurvedic medicine, almonds nourish the vital energy of the body.
  2. hazelnuts - very rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid and vitamin E. Hazelnuts act as a general tonic and strengthen the stomach.
  3. peanuts - rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, protein and monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats found in peanuts can help to improve blood cholesterol balance. Best avoided if weight loss is desired due to potentially “exacerbate gall bladder conditions and may reduce the metabolic rate.”
  4. pecans - Pecans contain different forms of the antioxidant vitamin E—known as tocopherols, plus numerous phenolic substances, many of them with antioxidant abilities
  5. some pine nuts
  6. pistachios - considered a tonic for the whole body in Ayurvedic medicine. They purify the blood, lubricate the intestines and can be used for constipation.
  7. walnuts - high in protein, iron and contain most omega 3 fatty acids than any common nuts. They can reduce inflammation and pain, lubricate the lungs and intestines, and nourish the brain and adrenal glands.

imageseeds can be sprinkled over cereals

sprinkled on baked goods

mixed with fresh green vegetables

consumed as desserts or snacks.

Other people find it more sumptuous to eat roasted seeds. Seed oil has shelf like and with this regard, this has to be kept in dark bottles to maintain the quality and health effects.

facts and suimagech

  • most shelled nuts ,due to their healthy fat content, will go rancid after shelling, if they are not protected some how.
  • Most nuts will last a year in refrigeration. Just store them in an air tight container
  • Peanuts aren’t nuts, they’re legumes
  • Brazil nuts and pine nuts are seeds
  • Sunflower seeds are actually fruits
  • Sunflower seeds provide the most potent combination of vitamins and minerals of any common nut or seed
  • The nuts supply Vitamin A, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin.


Another great way to curb hunger and keep you full without eating too much, but still allows you to get proper nutrition is snacking on whole grain. Complex carbs and fiber are packed into whole grain, which provides our bodies with energy that lasts. When choosing a whole grain snack or meal, the first ingredient MUST say one of the following:

  1. “whole-grain corn”
  2. "whole oats”
  3. “whole rye”
  4. “whole wheat”
  5. “wild rice”
  6. “brown rice”
  7. “bulgur”
  8. “graham flour”
  9. “oatmeal”

. Otherwise, it’s refined and enriched, meaning most of the bran and germ has been removed during the process. Keep in mind “wheat flour” and “unbleached wheat flour”, as well as “oatmeal bread/crackers” are not whole grain.

What counts as a serving?

  • a half cup of cooked brown rice, whole-grain pasta, or other cooked whole-grains
  • a cup of 100% whole-grain cold cereal
  • a slice of 100% whole-grain bread
  • a product contai ning at least 16 grams of whole-grain ingredients


Along with fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products provide disease-fighting fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron.  Whole-grains have been proven to reduce the risks of obesity, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease.  Also, fiber is great with weight loss and maintenance because a high-fiber diettends to make a meal more filling so you stay full for a longer amount of time; therefore you eat less and take in fewer calories. (source)


For simple snacking munch on dry cereal. Other options include topping off low-fat yogurt or ice cream (in moderation, of course- THE ICE CREAM, THAT IS!) with your favorite whole grain cereal. For a healthy trail mix, combine cereal with dried fruits, whole-grain pretzels and crispbreads, and for a little bit of sugar throw in some mini marshmallows.

Whole Grain cold cereals:

  • Cheerios
  • Granola or muesli
  • Grape-nuts
  • Nutri-grain
  • Raisin bran
  • shredded wheat
  • totalimage
  • wheat germ
  • wheaties
  • General mills wheat chex

Whole Grain hot cereals:

  • oatmeal
  • oat bran
  • quaker  multigrain
  • ralston high fiber
  • roman meal
  • wheatena

imageA toast to toast! Toast bread and slice into quarters for dipping into hummus, low-fat cheese dips or extra-chunky salsa. For a sweet treat, top with cinnamon/sugar, jelly, honey or applesauce. Or, use toasted whole wheat bread as a casing for vegetable and low-fat cream cheese sandwiches. Also, try topping bread with sliced apples. (source)

Great sandwich recipe:

Hummus and Feta Sandwiches on Whole grain bread

Team crackers with low-fat cheese and luncheon meats. Or, use wheat crackers as a platform for a chunky fruit and yogurt dip.

  • Back to Nature Harvest Whole Wheats
  • Nabisco Triscuit Reduced Fat
  • 34 Degrees Whole Grain Crispbread crackers
  • * just remember to follow the guidelines written above


Spread a wheat tortilla with low-fat peanut butter and a banana, drizzled with a little honey; roll up and enjoy a healthy snack. Or, make a quick quesadilla by placing slices of cheese on a tortilla, microwaving until the cheese melts and folding the tortilla in half. Watch out though - cheese is hot!



  • When you eat a variety of whole grain foods, you get the nutritional benefits of the entire grain.
  • People that include whole grain and whole wheat products in their diet each day are less likely to get
    certain chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes compared to people who don’t eat
    whole wheat foods.
  • The common products that can be easily identified as grains include -

Whole wheat flour
Whole grain barley
Brown rice/Wild rice
Wheat berries 
  • Popcorn is a whole grain. Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup
  • Pretzels are the fastest growing snack food in the United States. Most products are almost fat-free.
  • Brown rice is only available in small boxes because the bran portion is higher in fat which may cause the rice to go rancid if not used in a short period of time
  • Whole grains are also rich in natural antioxidants
  • Foods labeled '100% Whole Wheat' are made with only whole wheat flour
  • Foods that are labeled 'Multigrain' are made with several different types of whole grains, and some white flour may also be in the bread
  • whole grains are also absorbed more slowly in our bodies (compared to refined grain, like white bread and rice)
click to enlarge

click to enlarge


  • contains no cholesterol
  • healthiest substitute for any fat used in cooking. ie: butter, margarine, shortening, etc.
  • your body can easily absorb this “edible fat”
  • contains more monounsaturated fats (which lower LDL or the “bad” cholesterol in your body) than any other oils or fats. at the same time, increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
  • a tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, 14g of fat, and as mentioned previously, no cholesterol
  • Virgin olive oils also contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E (source:])
  • It also has also the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene- a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell.
  • it coats food being fried instead of it being “absorbed” like other oils
  • Can be used as a condiment. Dip for bread, salad dressing, drizzle on top of veggies, fish, poultry, meat, etc.
  • May be used in baking.
  • -The Semitic peoples particularly liked to use the oil of the olive to anoint the body during religious ceremonies, and to light their lamps (3000 b.c.)
  • Beauty benefits: The polyphenols found in the oil have also been found to slow the process of aging and help prevent degenerative diseases. When used on the hair or scalp, olive oil can be used as a deep conditioner and a dandruff controller.
  • Can also be used as body lotion where skin is prone to be dry. IE: elbows, heels, feet, knees, etc                        



  • use as a make-up remover and moisturizer since it contains linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, but which prevents water from evaporating.
  • use to rid acne and acne marks
  • remove fine lines around face and continuously apply to stretch marks to reduce visibility.
  • tighten skin by using 2 egg yolks and half a cup of olive oil
  • moisten dry skin with olive oil by rubbing in dry areas daily. (dandruff, psoriasis, elbows, winter-skin, etc)
  • mix brown sugar, honey, and olive oil to create an all-natural face scrub. great for oily skin! (like m e)
  • exfoliate by rubbing olive oil on desired area and rub coarse salt or sugar and rinse.
  • apply on hair to manage the frizz or stubborn flyaways
  • before a manicure, soak hands in water and olive oil to moisturize cuticles
  • control/clean earwax and cure earaches by moistening up a q-tip with olive oil and clean the outside ear cavity
  • use for a close shave and also as an after-shave lubricant

Lice treatment

  • treat lice. section out hair a little at a time, saturate hair with olive oil making the scalp very oily.
  • Leave it on for 30-40 minutes. Doing this prevents the lice and their eggs room to breathe.
  • Comb hair with a metal nit comb in 1-inch sections making sure there isn’t any trying to fly out.
  • After a complete comb-out, rinse with Dawn dish washing soap to cut down the grease. (FYI: DAWN soap has been known to be very effective on ticks and fleas with dogs, as well.)
  • Repeat steps for two weeks or until head is clear of lice!


  • helps remove sticky gunk
  • rub olive oil on leather goods, leave it on for 20-30 minutes, wipe of excess to condition leather
  • gently apply on diaper rash to cure rash
  •  great for oiling up squeaky doors (While WD-40 may work well, it’s also based on hydrocarbons, so any time we can use less of those we’re taking a step toward a cleaner world.)
  • it’s even safe for personal use! personal lubrication
  • it eases snoring. take a sip of olive before heading to bed to lubricate throat muscles
  • polish your furniture and metals
  •  preserve herbs (chives, sage, basil, etc. can be preserved in oil. Chop and blend herbs with enough oil to make a paste and store in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for up to six months.)