Reading: Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen

Reblogged: from Just Hungry                                                                                Stumbled upon Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat, when I was browsing around Amazon some time ago. When I first read the title, I laughed. It seemed like a quite obvious attempt to cash in on the success of French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure. Also (and this applies to the French Women book too) it makes such a sweeping generalization right there in the title, which borders on the ludicrous. But I was curious about it so I decided to get it for the sake of research. The short review: it’s not as bad as I thought it would be, and may serve as a good introduction to Japanese cooking, though definitely not the best. The diet and weight loss points made in this book could be summed up in a few bullet points:

  • Don’t overeat – observe the hara hachibunme rule (eat until you are 80% full). Hara hachibunme is a common Japanese term: it appears also in a book I reviewed previously, Hungry Planet,, in the Okinawa chapter. (Okinawa has the most longevity of anyplace in the world.) Another term my mother likes to quote to me quite often is hara mo mi no uchi – your stomach is a part of your body. In other words, don’t overeat!
  • Eat a lot of fresh vegetables.
  • Eat a wide variety of foods.
  • Eat more whole grains – eat brown rice rather than polished white rice.
  • Eat fruit for dessert, or small portions if you must have cake etc.

Obviously, it is not necessary to eat Japanese food to accomplish these goals. But I do agree with the point made in this book that traditional Japanese food is inherently healthy. As you probably know if you have been reading this site, I am Japanese but have lived most of my adult life in other countries. So my everyday cooking is a mishmash of various styles. If I could afford to in terms of both time and money though, I would cook and eat Japanese style most of the time.

Traditional Japanese food centers around rice (gohan, which is also a synonym for a meal), with small portions of okazu, savory things that go well with the plain rice. A typical Japanese dinner would have, besides the rice, 1 small bowl of soup (miso or clear), 1 protein dish such as grilled fish, and 2 or 3 other mostly vegetable-based side dishes.

A popular dietary guide in Japan that has been around for decades is to try to eat 30 kinds of food items a day for nutritional well-roundedness. This may sound impossible, but in Japanese cooking it’s not that out of reach.

But then, there are the French, not to mention the Swiss

If you go to France, most women are not overweight. Many, especially in Paris, are in fact skin-and-bones slim. What may be less known is that here in Switzerland too, there aren’t many overweight people – though older women tend to look more sturdy and well-muscled. Whenever I go to the U.S., or for that matter to the U.K. too, I always get a mild shock when I see the number of very overweight people. You simply don’t see many of them here.

Swiss food is a mix of French, German, Italian and native Alpine – featuring loads of butter, cheese, bread and potatoes. Veal is the most popular meat, especially for company (chances are if you are invited to a Swiss home you’re going to get veal in some form). So why aren’t more Swiss people overweight?

The answers I think are the usual: moderation and exercise. Portions here are quite small compared to those in the U.S. The delicious pastries available at Sprüngli are barely bigger than my palm, and their handmade truffe du jour is so rich that one (and yes, they do sell them by the piece) is enough to satisfy any chocolate urge.

Swiss people also exercise a lot. Whenever we’re invited to someone’s house, invariably we go for a walk after dinner to stretch our legs and to see the neighborhood. The house I live in is on a corner, and I always see couples and families walking or biking past on the weekends. And of course a lot of people participate in winter sports as well as hiking and camping in the summer.

What’s the typical after-dinner-party activity in the U.S.? Watch TV, play video games, or just sit around and chat and snack some more?

Societal pressures

Getting back to why Japanese women aren’t overweight: I discussed this with some Japanese people and we all seem to agree that in Japan, there is a lot of societal pressure to stay slim. Young girls often starve themselves so they can be fashionable. Older women are also quite pressured to stay thin. The standard clothes size in Japan is junior size 11, which is about a size 6 in the U.S. Japan is inherently a conformist society, so it’s difficult to ‘stick’ out in any way, including being overweight.

As far as Japanese women not getting old – they do of course. Do they look younger than their Western counterparts? Often yes, but I think that all Asian women tend to look younger than European-Caucasian women. I still get carded in American bars and I’m nowhere near 21 anymore. As far as the various illnesses related to getting older, while the incidences of heart attacks and diabetes may be low, there are other problems such as a high incidence of osteoporosis amongst older women.

So to wrap up, I would recommend this book if you want once with some nice recipes (though without pictures) of some basic Japanese foods, with some diet advice along the way. But don’t buy into the premise that there is some magic aspect to Japanese food. If you overeat it, you’re still going to gain weight! The main lesson to be gleaned from it is hara hachibunme.

Find the Right Diet for You

food sources of magnesium: bran muffins, pumpk...
Image via Wikipedia

Reblogged:from Huffington Post (health living)

That’s Fit is here to help you reach your weight loss goals!We’ve developed three different meal plans in partnership with the American Dietetic Association to fit your lifestyle, goals and preferences. Whether you’re looking to drop a few extra pounds from the holiday or trying to end a long-time battle with the scale, we’ve got the right diet plan for you.
Using our simple guide below, determine which plan fits your needs best, then click to get a complete one-week meal plan with recipes, tips and more.
The Portion Control Meal Plan is right for you if …

  • Cutting back on the amount of food you eat is your biggest challenge when trying to lose weight.
  • You don’t want to be limited to certain foods.
  • You’re looking for steady, long-term weight loss.

Click here for the complete Portion Control Meal Plan
The Low-Carb Meal Plan is right for you if …

  • Avoiding breads, pasta and other refined carbs is your biggest challenge when trying to lose weight.
  • You want to see results quickly.
  • You want to increase your energy.

Click here for the complete Low-Carb Meal Plan

The Mediterranean style Meal Plan is right for you if …

Managing You’r Metabolism

What I'm Reading: Master Your Metabolism By Ji...
What I’m Reading: Master Your Metabolism By Jillian Michaels (Photo credit: puck90)

Many people like to blame their weight on their metabolism, Which is the rate at which the body burns calories. Diet and exercise will increase your metabolic rate,doing so will contribute to weight loss. But maintaining a lower weight will be an ongoing struggle because your metabolism doesn’t remain boosted without constant effort. whatever lifestyle changes you made to lose weight, you will have to continue in order to keep it off, People who are able to keep the weight off in general have to reinvent themselves. Your metabolism is built to resist rapid weight loss, which meant that if food ran out, your body could switch to survival mode by lowering metabolism. Boosting your metabolism through diet and exercise will provide quick weight-loss in the beginning, but as you lose weight your metabolism will actually begin to slow down.When you attempt to maintain or lose weight, your body is fighting back. It’s burning calories more efficiently, even more so when you exercise or do other activities like walking around.This is one of the reasons why people have great success in losing weight up to a certain point, but then suddenly stop seeing results. Their metabolism has slowed to match their new level of fitness; there is less body mass to fuel, so the metabolism doesn’t have to work as hard.Here’s a few ways you can overcome your metabolism lose weight, and keep it off.

 You need to eat even less as you lose weight because your body needs fewer calories to sustain itself. Or you could increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Either strategy can help break a fitness plateau.                                                                                                                                                              Try different types of exercise to work new muscles Strength training is known to help keep your metabolism high, because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does.

Complex carbohydrates should make up at least 50 percent of your daily diet, to  keep your body properly fueled.You can eat fewer carbohydrates and more lean protein for a few days the change could bump you off your plateau.Since it takes more calories for the body to convert protein into fuel than carbohydrates or fats.

Maintaining weight loss will be a long-term struggle.Over 75 percent of  the people struggling to lose weight will return to their previous levels of body weight within a few years. This is the result of combined metabolic, behavioral, endocrine, and autonomic nervous system changes that  favor the regain of lost weigh.This is why it is necessary to make long-term lifestyle changes to sustain weight loss.If your interested in a copy of the book  here’s a link

Body weight, Calorie, Carbohydrate, Dieting, dieting programs, Eating, Fitness, Health, Human nutrition, Loss Weight, Metabolism, Physical exercise, Top Weight loss, Weight, weight loss, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips

Exotic African Fruit Extract Melts Away Pounds,Inches

  And Weight Loss Isn’t the Best Part, Say Doctors                                                 Move Over Weight Watchers, an exotic super fruit called ‘African Mango‘ is quickly becoming

America‘ shottest new way to lose weight.

And much to the chagrin of the nation’s $40 billion-dollar diet industry, which sells outrageously expensive surgical procedures and drugs that have done little, if anything, to trim America’s ever-growing collective waistline. Indeed, interest in the use of African Mango extract (irvingia gabonensis) as a safe, effective and inexpensive weight loss alternative surged after Dr. Mehmet Oz called it, mentioning no specific brand, a “breakthrough supplement” and a “miracle in your medicine cabinet” on his Emmy Awardwinning The Dr. Oz Show, which aired on September 13, 2010.Similarly, one of the show’s leading medical contributors, Dr. Tanya Edwards, M.D., called African Mango extract, mentioning no specific brand, a “miracle pill” after it helped her lose 7 pounds in less than a month without making any changes to her diet or exercise routine.4 Click here to read her report.

Subjects Lost 3,990% More Weight — But That’s Not the Best Part

According to a recent study published in the scientific journal Lipids in Health and Disease, men and women supplementing with African Mango extract for just 28 days lost an astonishing 3,990% more weight than those taking a placebo (8.9 lbs vs. 0.22 lbs).Beyond the weight loss, the volunteers taking African Mango extract 30 minutes before meals lost a stunning average of 2.4 inches from their waistlines as well as 1.8 inches from their hips — and the reduction in pounds and inches isn’t even African Mango’s greatest benefit, according to researchers.Of more significance is the marked improvement in multiple measures of overall health, say the study’s authors. Findings show that in volunteers supplementing with the super fruit extract, their bad LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels all plummeted — suggesting that, unlike many diet pills on the market, African Mango actually improves your health while promoting safe weight loss.

       What Is African Mango, and How Does It Work?                                                  Despite the recent frenzy surrounding African Mango and its ability to cause safe weight loss, the fruit has actually been used as a diet aid for centuries in Cameroon, Africa.

The brightly colored tropical fruit is native to Cameroon’s west-coastal rainforests. African Mango, or bush mango, differs from other mango fruits in that it produces a peculiar seed, which natives of Cameroon refer to as Dikka nuts.For hundreds of years, an extract from the seeds called irvingia gabonensishas been used among Cameroon villagers for its wide-ranging medicinal benefits, which range from reducing and preventing obesity to lowering cholesterol to regulating blood sugar to treating infections.

Beware of “Watered Down” African Mango Products

With the recent publicity and fanfare surrounding African Mango, it’s no surprise that sites are popping up all over the Internet claiming to offer African Mango at bargain-basement prices.However, desperate slimmers should be aware of African Mango products that use “proprietary blends” and don’t list the specific amount of the active ingredient (irvingia) contained in each capsule. Experts warn that it’s a well-known ploy that some manufacturers sell watered down versions of products that contain insignificant amounts of the active ingredient.Also don’t be duped by products which also contain all kinds of other herbal ingredients that have not been tested scientifically, because these other ingredients can be potentially harmful.

February 28, 2012
: How To Find a Quality African Mango Product

With dozens, if not hundreds, of African Mango products being sold online, selecting one that’s worth your money can be a difficult and confusing endeavor.According to consumer and Better Business ratings, the 100% Pure African Mango product offered from Applied Nutritional Research is considered one of the most effective and trustworthy, with laboratory tests certifying the product’s potency and quality.Each serving of Pure African Mango contains 1,050 mg of Irvingia — one of the highest concentrations currently available.The website offers a 100% risk-free trial of the product, with each serving working out to be just 62 cents — less than what you’d spend on a small sugary soft drink at McDonald’s.visit 

Africa, African Mango, Cameroon, diet, Dieting, Eating, Fitness, Food, Health, Human nutrition, Irvingia, Loss Weight, Nutrition, Physical exercise, Portion Control, Top Weightloss, United States, Weight, weight loss, weight tips

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Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer

Vanilla Chai Mix: Over Ice
Vanilla Chai Mix: Over Ice (Photo credit: I Believe I Can Fry)

Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Made exclusively from natural plant-based whole foods, Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer is nutritionally complete, alkaline and easy to digest. Formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan, professional Ironman triathlete and best-selling author on performance nutrition, Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer is a synergistic collection of plant-based superfoods. Each serving of Health Optimizer is power-packed with nutrition, yet only has 240 calories! Here’s what sets Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer apart: Broad Spectrum Protein 40% of calories made up of protein from five sources, ensuring a complete, balanced amino acid profile 30% of protein is raw and alkaline for easy digestion Essential Fatty Acids 25% of calories made up of naturally occurring EFAs As much Omega-3 per serving as 6 oz of wild salmon Quality Carbohydrates 35% of calories made up of low glycemic complex carbohydrates for enduring energy Contains no sugar or artificial sweeteners Full of Fabulous Fiber 15g of fiber per serving—an amazing 60% RDI Helps balance blood sugar, reduce serum cholesterol and improve digestion/elimination Other Key Components ChlorEssence detoxifies and supports immune system MacaSure increases energy and reduces stress Mixed berry complex provides antioxidant protection Digestive enzymes and probiotics work together to improve digestion and gastrointestinal function 100% RDI of vitamins and minerals Use Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer to help: Promote optimal h.Vega has become an essential part of my diet when my fruits and vegetable intake is sometimes not as high as it would normally be. Best of all, this meal replacement is plant-based and mostly raw. incorporated into a well-balanced healthy diet, Vega is an amazing addition that will help you stay on track. If you can’t take it with water, make a smoothie. The original specifically, blended with fruit is great. You can also find  plenty of smoothie recipes at the Vega Community website. Low in fat, and any fat in this meal replacement is beneficial. Naturally filling. Great source of plant-based protein. Good source of probiotics and vitamins and minerals nonsynthetic. Maca for hormone balance and support. Easily digestible, very easy on digestion. Controls cravings well, especially when taken in the morning.I think this is a great product for someone who doesn’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet.You can also use this to maintain a healthy eating plan while trying to shed those unwanted pounds.                                                                                                                                                                                  Loss Weight, Dieting, Weight, weight loss, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips, Top Weight loss, Health, Portion Control, Food, Human nutrition, Eating, Nutrition, Fitness, Calorie, Saturated fat, Digestion, Vega, Human gastrointestinal tract, Essential fatty acid, Digestive enzyme, Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer

Crepes with Fresh Berries

Crepes (makes about 12) 1 cup flour 1 1/2 cups Smart Balance® Low Fat Milk and omega-3  Smart Balance™ Omega-3 Grade A Natural Large Eggs 1 tsp Smart Balance® Cooking Oil Smart Balance® Omega Non-Stick Cooking Spray confectioner’s sugar
Berry filling 6 oz blueberries 6 oz raspberries 12 oz strawberries, cut in quarters low-fat whipped topping

This dessert was first presented as part of our “Endless Summer Recipe” special feature.
Number of servings: 12 Nutrients Calories: 112kcal Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fatty Acid: 0 g Poly Fat: 0g Mono Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 42mg Carbohydrates: 17g Dietary Fiber: 2g Total Sugars: 7g Protein: 5g                                                                     Directions:                                                                                                                                    Combine flour, milk, eggs and oil in a blender; blend until smooth.Heat a large nonstick crepepan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brownFlip and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.To serve, spoon whipped topping into center of each crepe. Top with berries and fold each edge of crepe over filling. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, and serve warm.

Health, Food, Human nutrition, Eating, Nutrition, Cook, Home, Calorie, Special Diets, Saturated fat, Crêpe, Powdered sugar, Milk, Dessert

Cholesterol the good and the bad

High cholesterol?
High cholesterol? (Photo credit: Boy27wonder)

 Reblogged:from Smart                       The good, the bad, and the difference

Cholesterol is a wax-like substance produced by your liver and found in all parts of your body. It is also present in foods, particularly meats, highfat dairy products, egg yolks and certain fish. Your cholesterol level is measured with a simple blood test that breaks down the amount into three categories:

Low density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) builds up on artery walls and can cause cardiovascular disease. Levels under 100mg are optimal, and under 129mg is very good. • High density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol) carries LDL out of the blood and keeps it from accumulating on artery walls. Levels of 60mg or more are considered protective of heart health. • Total cholesterol is the combination of LDL, HDL, VLDL and other density lipoproteins found in the blood. Ideally this number should be under 200.To optimize your cardiovascular health, you should strive to keep your total cholesterol levels as low as possible and balance your LDL and HDL as much as possible. In addition to reducing your intake of foods high in saturated fats, you should try to eat heart-healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthier blends of fat like those blends contained in Smart Balance® Buttery Spreads.   Our unique blend of fats has been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels when eaten as part of the Smart Balance™ Food Plan.1  Regular exercise and a healthy weight also can help you take control of your cholesterol.  Please see the nutrition information of each Smart Balance® Buttery Spread for fat and saturated fat content.                                                                                                                                                Blood vessel, Calorie, Cholesterol, Dieting, dieting programs, Eating, Fat, Fitness, Food, Health, High-density lipoprotein, Human nutrition, Low-density lipoprotein, Portion control (dieting), Saturated fat, Serving size, Top Weight loss, Very low-density lipoprotein, Weight, weight loss, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips