Food and Food Health

We all have passed through a phase, or are still in one where the mind still walks the streets of dilemma as to whether the salad in the afternoon can make up for the double cheese hamburger of last night. Whatever the calories gained through the chocolate pudding can be balanced through the oatmeal in breakfast.

A few years back, there was a stigma about having the perfect thin or muscular (as one prefers), flat-stomached body. There was this misconception that slim and trim is the way to look beautiful. But fortunately, this stigma and misapprehension is slowly and somehow being eliminated from the society. Today, every type of body is beautiful, whether it is a flat-stomach or a fat belly. But that does not give any of us the right to overlook the fact about eating healthy.

Eating healthy does not mean gulping down only chunks of vegetables and salads. Eating healthy does not mean being on a "diet". Eating healthy means providing the body every kind of nutrients to function properly. And it includes the Broccoli Soup one cringes to as well as the delicious classic double crust cheese-filled pepperoni pizza, everyone craves for.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE BODY

We all love eating, mainly the junk type, but sometimes realization hits us and we tend to understand that salads and vegetables and fruits are really important part of a diet. Every type of nutrient is needed to keep the body functions in its right place. Vitamins, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, roughage and water, these are the nutrients we need almost on a daily basis. I will not waste time by telling what these are and how each of them are important because this is something we all have learnt in six-grade science subject. But I do would like to mention some of the dishes that are delicious, healthy and contain all of the above nutrients in the right amount.

THE FINGER-LICKING CLASSIC CHICKEN SALTIMBOCCA

It is a delicious chicken preparation, which is roled up with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese and drenched in a tasty white wine pan sauce. It is a mouth-watering dish with the goodness of protein (found in chicken), fats (cheese) and the palatable white wine sauce. It can easily be garnished with vegetables, providing the wholesome richness of vitamins and minerals.

THE DELICIOUS UN-CHEESY POTATO BROCOLLI SOUP

The name may seem to have no part of it seem delicious- 'un-cheesy', the dreaded 'broccoli' and 'potato', but the taste seems to be contradictory It's not-so appealing name. It is a preparation which will fill the tastebuds with an explosion of flavor and its richness makes it almost hard to resist. The dish is a mixture of health and taste.

THE OH-SO YUMMY APPLE CINNAMON BREAKFAST BARS

This is the perfect preparation for all those fuzzy kids who refuse to eat any fruits. This flavorful dish is full of protein and fiber and a favorite among the children and adults alike.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD HEALTH IN OUR LIFE

There is absolutely no need to state what importance food holds in the existence of an individual. As stated above, it does not matter if one is slim or fat, what matters is where the individual is eating healthy. Excess of nothing is good, especially not food. But we need to understand the right amount and the right kind of nutrients for our body needs, to stay healthy and to keep our loved ones healthy as well.

But I Don’t Feel Like Working Out!

Do most people actually feel like exercising? Think about it. Who do you know actually loves to work-out as often as they can? Probably not many because if most people felt that way there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic.

As I write this, even I’m putting off the inevitable. I have to work-out. I’m a Personal Trainer. Shouldn’t I be counting down the seconds until I get to hurt and sweat to the classic rock channel and my dumbbells? Nope. I have spent the last hour or so lollygagging around the couple of sites I tend to frequent, posting a few status updates and commenting “great pic” here and there while working up the motivation to get moving! I have a holiday party to attend tonight and I can promise you…the food will probably be pretty good. So how can I take my love of fabulous cuisine and my obvious Sunday morning laziness and somehow use this combo to get me up off the sofa and into the work-out room? Well I’ll tell ya….

I’ve been fat and I’ve been fit and I promise you that fit feels better! I just typed a paragraph or so about my own vulnerabilities above to let you know that I relate to your lack of desire to exercise. We aren’t that different from each other. I live in the same fast world with the same fast food and email vs. snail mail and instant gratification benefits as everyone else. The only problem with this is that permanent and healthy weight-loss and weight-management take time, perseverance and yep, hard work.

I know what happens when we put important tasks off. They either never get done or if they eventually do, there is usually a hefty late penalty. It’s no different with our bodies. To develop and keep a fit physique, consistency is the key. To stay consistent, we have to change our minds.

The truth is that the next hour or so WILL go by regardless of what I choose to do within that time. The last hour is over and I chose to sit on the computer. Now even though I really did more productive things other than post silly stuff online, the fact remains that there is still a work-out to be done. I will have calories to burn off for later. I have a metabolism to speed up for the indulgences I will partake in tonight. I can choose to sit here for the rest of the afternoon and not get my strength training session in and I probably still won’t put on any significant weight from tonight’s foods. The reason for this is that while most often I would prefer not to work-out, I do it anyway because I ALWAYS feel a sense of pride, joy and power by the end of that hour of exercise than I would feel by not doing it. I feel AMAZING when I finish an exercise session. Did it happen overnight? NO! I had to make myself continue to experience it for a good long time until I realized the power behind a regular fitness routine. The result is a faster metabolism which burns my calories for me while I do nothing at all. In real estate, they would call this cash flow from a rental property. The investing, rehabs and negotiations are done yet the pay goes on. Brilliant!

Think about where you are right now. Do you have any regrets over the things you didn’t do? Have you noticed any negative circumstances in your life that could have been kept small and insignificant if only you had tackled them sooner? What about any goals you would have accomplished had you acted sooner (or at all)? When you take a moment and honestly think about any of these regrets, are you convinced that if you only had the chance to make a different decision you would have done it and then you would have everything you’ve ever wanted by now? How much would you give to change the outcome of any of the scenarios I just mentioned?

It’s been 2 hours since my last paragraph. In that time, I worked-out AND prepared all the vegetables needed for my few days worth of healthy salads. I’ll be honest here. I absolutely didn’t feel like doing ANY of that. It’s time consuming and labor intensive as far as I’m concerned. Given that thought process, here’s another one which is equally true. I just finished my work-out and prepared my lean and nutrient dense post exercise replenishment not just for today, but for the next several days to come. It was labor intensive, but I FEEL AMAZING! The hard work is done and I’ll reap the benefits of 2 hours worth of work for the next few days! The technical term for this is delayed gratification. Let’s say it together. DELAYED GRATIFICATION. It’s a way of life we don’t experience much of these days and I believe it’s why our bodies suffer from malnutrition and limited physical capabilities.

You see, most of us don’t feel like doing a lot of the things we need to do and I’m no different. The only way to experience the other side of this particular coin is to just do it. Whatever it is. With exercise, the more often you muster up the strength to get it done, the more you’ll understand the rewards. Don’t get me wrong, you still may want to put it off, however, you’ll have a valid sense of what you’re missing out on if you do. You’ll get how powerful it feels to spend that hour or so doing what you’ll feel proud of rather than nothing at all, which you could easily regret much longer than a measly hour, possibly the rest of your life. This way of thinking creates pride and a healthy self-esteem. It also helps to abolish any feelings of restriction since when we take care of ourselves the majority of the time, we can enjoy our indulgences without guilt.

Well, now that I’ve done the hard work, I’m gonna relax. As I had mentioned earlier, it’s Sunday. The only day of the week that I don’t have to be something to someone. The day that’s reserved all for me. Rather than spending all of it vegging, I gave myself the best gift I could….peace of mind from good work well done. I took that hour, doubled it and now I feel free!

So what about you? What did you get from this?

Wishing you a lifetime of smart choices and self-pride!

Fast Weight Loss Diets That Shrink Belly Fat

Getting a Firm Belly

A lot of importance is placed upon tight flat stomachs. Marketing campaigns are always promoting items that will accomplish this. Although many individuals want to lose their belly fat, due to appearances, one main reason to reduce this fat is your health! However, experts are now saying that it is okay to have a little fat, as long as you are not overweight.

Belly flab and high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes have been linked to belly fat. In order to be at no health risk, men should not have a waist measuring more than 40 inches, and women must have a 35 inch waist or less.

Below are some good techniques to help you reduce dangerous abdominal fat and get a firm belly:

· Exercise More, Eat Better

Calories do not have to be burnt at a gym or workout class; this can be done when you participate in everyday activities. For example, yard work burns several hundred calories per hour. Whereas organized sports, like football, burn even more. Another great activity to burn calories is swimming. Still another way to burn calories is to engage in walking.

Your fat-burning metabolism will kick into overdrive with Cardio exercise. All you need is persistence and perseverance; the trick is to find an activity you like. If you stick to it, the pounds will melt away. It’s also imperative to alter your routine to ward off boredom, as well as to get maximum calorie burning results.

In order to get a firm belly, there are different exercises that you can implement into your schedule. The American Council on Exercise did a study to find out the best types of exercise to incorporate into any weight loss program. Their findings included supine bicycle, captain’s chair leg lifts, and vertical leg crunches. These exercises are thought to work the abs more than any other exercises. Other good exercises include twisting crunches and exercise ball crunches. These activities should be done several times a week in order to obtain a slimmer waistline. Detailed step-by-step tutorials for each exercise can be found on the internet. However, if you are an outside person and your yard needs mowed, this activity will move all those muscles in the right way. However you must engage in this activity at least 20 minutes, non- stop.

Different foods can help you get a firm belly. Foods high in protein and fiber are slenderizing, however sugary carbs increase belly fat rather quickly. You should look for a diet consisting of complex carbs, unsaturated fats, and lean protein sources; a classic example is the South Beach diet. The diet solution has a high success rate and is a natural way of losing weight.

· Reduce Stress

The reducing of stress can be accomplished at the same time that you are losing belly fat. This can be done through the implementation of yoga. Yoga has a two-fold effect on our bellies, as follows:

1. It reduces stress levels. Stress very often leads to weight gain. Stress-induced weight gain often results in belly fat. In this way, stress reduction can give you a flatter stomach and at the same time, actually lower your risk for many diseases.

2. Yoga also tones the muscles in your stomach. A yoga routine that includes supine poses and other postures will work the abdominal muscles. You might want to check out a yoga DVD or video tape, or you can also try to go through some yoga tutorials.

All in all, it takes time and effort to get that dream belly, but it sure is worth it!

Life Insurance 101, An Explanation of Various Types of Life Insurance

TERM LIFE INSURANCE – Life insurance for a set number or years. You can choose from 5 to 30 year terms. No cash value, if you die during the term you collect the death benefit. The policy dies after the selected term has ended and you receive nothing unless you have a, return of premium rider or you convert the policy to some form of permanent insurance.

RETURN OF PREMIUM TERM INSURANCE (ROP) – A term insurance policy that returns all or a portion of premiums paid at the end of the term if the death benefit has not been paid.

SIMPLIFIED TERM INSURANCE – Term insurance which uses a simple application. Underwriting is done electronically. No underwriting requirements by the applicant unless red flags arise out of the electronic underwriting process. Policy is usually issued much quicker than regular term. There is a limit of death benefit for this type of policy ($350,000 or less) depending on the insurance carrier. This type of policy is generally more expensive because of additional risk by the insurance carrier. Less underwriting =more risk.

CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE – Applied for as a stand-alone policy or as a rider to another life insurance policy. Pay immediate benefit for a covered illness even if death does not occur.

ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE – Pays benefit in event of a covered sudden accidental death. Applied for as a stand-alone policy or as a rider to another form of life insurance.

MORTGAGE PROTECTION INSURANCE OR DECREASING TERM INSURANCE – Term insurance that pays the balance of your mortgage should death occur. The amount of death benefit decreases to match the amount owed on mortgage. The insurance is set up to end at the same time your mortgage is set to end.

UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE (non variable) – Flexible premiums. Can be a permanent insurance as long as premiums are paid and policy is funded properly. Investment policy in which risk lies with insurance company.

Has a minimum guaranteed interest rate which differs by company. This policy has the ability to gain contract value. The death benefit can be set to level (death benefit stays the same throughout) or increasing (death benefit increases as contract value rises). You may obtain loans or make withdraws but you must be careful, if the policy is not funded, it will collapse.

VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE – Agent must have securities license to sell. Very similar to non-variable universal life. The difference is that the policy owner assumes investment risk. There is no guaranteed interest rate. Policy can collapse if investment does not do well and policy is not funded properly.

WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE – Simply put, you pay the premium and the policy will last your whole life. You usually have an option to borrow against the policy, amount depends on the value of the policy. This type of policy is usually much more expensive than the universal life policy.

GRADED BENEFITS WHOLE LIFE – Partial or no benefits paid until a named or tiered waiting period has passed. If you die before the waiting period has passed, you usually will receive the return of your premium payments with some sort of interest.

FINAL EXPENSE WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE – This type of whole life insurance is aimed at burial and funeral expenses and other final expenses. Usually, no medical exam required and death benefit is limited to $50,000 or less.

SINGLE PREMIUM WHOLE LIFE – This whole life policy is paid for by a single lump sum payment. In return the beneficiary receives a larger death benefit than the payment.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: You may be interested in mixing and matching different types of policies. For example; There is a need for 500k immediately. As time goes on, the kids have graduated college and are out of the house, the house is almost or totally paid off. Now the need is less. In this example you may want to purchase a 330k universal life and a 20 year 200k term. This plan will save you money and still protect your family for life.

Or, you may want to mix term, critical illness, accident, universal life, or whole life in various ways depending on your needs.

RIDERS:

Waiver of Premium Rider – pays life insurance premium if you become disabled and can’t work. There is usually a waiting period and rider usually expires at age 60 or 65.

Critical Illness Rider – Rider is explained above.

Return of Premium Rider – Rider is explained above.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider – this rider allows you to purchase an additional amount of life insurance at a later date without having to prove insurability again or take another medical exam.

Term Conversion Rider – allows you to convert a term insurance policy into a permanent policy without proving insurability again.

Accelerated Benefit Rider – this rider is only for permanent life insurance policies. This rider is usually included automatically for free. It allows you to collect a portion of your policy’s death benefit if you become terminally ill with a short life expectancy, usually one year. The portion paid out is subtracted from you policy’s death benefit.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider – This rider pays in addition to the death benefit if you die from an accident.

Child protection Rider – Usually used to pay final expenses if the unthinkable happens. Often, at a nominal cost and purchased in units of $1,000.

UNDERWRITING: requirements depend on insurance carrier, type of policy, amount of death benefit, age, build chart, gender, medical history, medications, family history, motor vehicle report, and other factors.

An application is always required, although, non-medical policies usually have a simple application.

Requirements could be: Paramed (certified medical processor or nurse comes to your place of choosing, takes you through a medical questionnaire, measures your height and weight, takes blood and urine sample, possibly EKG either resting or non-resting), Medical information from your physician or hospital, Medical exam, etc.

HEALTH CLASSES – Typical health classes would be, Preferred Best, Preferred, Select Standard, Standard, and then different nicotine classes such as, preferred nicotine, select nicotine, and standard nicotine.

It is possible to be rated less than standard depending on health and underwriting factors.

You must qualify for a health class. This is chosen by the underwriter after the underwriting process is complete. The agent can only quote you the different health classes but this can change with the underwriting process.