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Prevent a second heart attack

Each year, roughly 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack… and most of them survive.

But research shows that just one year after their diagnosis, the vast majority fail to adhere to the dietary changes that could prevent a second heart attack.  After losing her father to his second heart attack and fearing that her husband would suffer the same fate after his first, Dr. Janet Bond Brill was inspired to write Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease to teach her husband and 13 million survivors how to prevent that second lethal attack and even reverse the actual disease process.

Prevent a second heart attack Q & A with Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D. R.D., LDN

Dr. Janet Bond Brill is author of Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease, a book is packed with every tool anyone could need — including daily checklists, nutrition information, a complete two-week eating plan, and dozens of mouth-watering recipes to suit every meal, taste, and budget — the delicious and foolproof program ensures that heart attack survivors and their loved ones will be satisfied, rather than deprived, as they eat their way to better heart health. 

Q: Why did you write the book Prevent a Second Heart Attack? 
 

A: I saw a need among heart attack survivors that was not being filled. Currently, more than 13 million Americans have either survived a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease. As a registered dietitian specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention, I have found that heart attack survivors simply are not following a lifestyle plan that would help them to prevent a second attack. What many of these “survivors” need to know is that a healthy lifestyle and carefully following doctor’s orders can prevent another heart attack. The problem is that many of these individuals find the “cardiac diet” too restrictive or complicated, and some receive no lifestyle counseling. What’s more, if the heart attack survivor decides to go it alone and purchase a self-help book, he or she may reach for one of the best-selling heart disease reversal books that promote a punishing, “extreme” fringe diet. Most of these books feature Spartan, vegan-style eating plans that are simply too difficult to follow and frankly are just not livable. Why should heart attack survivors be punished further with the burden of tasteless, low-fat plans when there is a better way? My book gives these people good news – –  that they can prevent new plaque buildup and even reverse or stabilize dangerous, vulnerable plaque in their coronary arteries with a delightfully palatable lifestyle strategy where they can still enjoy the good things in life.  

Q: But what exactly are the best lifestyle changes – –  alongside drugs – –  for preventing a second heart attack and even reversing heart disease? 
 
A: That is the very question this book answers. A tremendous amount of scientific research has investigated the application of various diet and exercise plans in preventing further coronary events. I have found that the bulk of the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that post-heart attack patients should be advised to eat a Mediterranean-style diet, be physically active at least thirty minutes a day, and not smoke. In fact, the famed Lyon Heart Study that tested a Cretan Mediterranean diet in cardiac patients reported a phenomenal reduction of recurrence rate of 70 percent compared to the control diet (a typical low-fat Western-style diet). Thus, the bulk of the scientific research is crystal clear: a Mediterranean style of eating combined with physical activity is the optimal lifestyle plan for preventing a second heart attack and is far superior to the low-fat vegetarian diet regimens typically prescribed to heart patients in the fat-phobic ’90s (and that continue to line bookstore shelves today). I propose that a Mediterranean-style diet, as outlined in Prevent a Second Heart Attack and backed by powerful evidence, can be even more effective than the eating plans currently recommended by many cardiologists – –  simply because it tastes good and makes life more enjoyable. Following vegan-style plans can also reverse heart disease but only if adhered to – –  an extremely difficult chore for most Americans. 
 
Q: Did you have a personal reason for writing this book? 
 
A: All the men I love have either died of heart disease or are currently living with the disease. My father had his first heart attack at age forty-five and died from his second attack several years later. He was never given any lifestyle advice that could have helped him prevent or reverse his disease. My father-in-law, Harry, had his first heart attack at forty-eight years old and had his second bypass operation two years ago at age seventy-eight. He has tried many of the low-fat vegetarian diets over the years but has found them too difficult to adhere to on a consistent basis. My husband, Sam, had his first heart attack two years ago at age fifty-one. So I wrote this book with the hope that Sam, Harry, and the 13 million other American heart attack survivors will follow the advice set forth in these pages: a livable lifestyle that will show them the way to a long, happy, and healthy life by teaching them how to prevent that second lethal attack and even reverse the actual disease process.   
 
Q: Hindsight is 20/20, but is there anything you would have suggested your husband, Sam, do to prevent his first heart attack? 
 

A: Looking back, I would say I underestimated the power of three risk factors to promote a heart attack: severe emotional duress, family history, and a low HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Fearful that he would follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps (his grandfather died of a heart attack at age thirty-five), Sam underwent an invasive medical test (an angiogram) at age forty-five to reassure him that he was free of his family scourge. The results came back negative for any trace of cardiovascular disease. His blood values were excellent except for a low HDL value of 32 (under 40 mg/dL is considered a risk factor). He didn’t smoke, had normal blood pressure, and was not overweight. He continued under the care of his cardiologist – –  and had passed his exercise stress tests with flying colors. Then came the economic tsunami that hit the Florida real estate market (my husband is a general contractor) . . . combined with the stress of his father’s second bypass operation . . . and he had a heart attack on July 31, 2009 – –  and thankfully survived with minor heart muscle damage. So obviously, looking back, he should have been taking much more aggressive preventive measures given his family history – –  such as medications, HDL-boosting lifestyle measures, and practicing more stress management techniques. 
 
Q: Is heart disease really reversible? 
 
A: Yes. Studies published in leading medical journals have shown that following a lifestyle similar to the one outlined in my book – –  and combined with physician-prescribed medications – –  can stabilize and even reverse vulnerable plaque. 
 
Q: Can I eat red meat? 
 
A: The Prevent a Second Heart Attack plan consists of removing the plaque- building foods (red meat, cream, butter, eggs, and cheese) that cause blood vessel damage and replacing them with delicious anti-inflammatory foods that facilitate the body’s natural healing processes to reverse existing heart disease and restore quality of life. To combat the confusion issue, the Prevent a Second Heart Attack Plan offers powerful lifesaving advice, translating the complex clinical findings into a simple, easy-to-follow set of guidelines, “The Eight Dietary Commandments”: (1) no more butter and cream, to be replaced by extra virgin olive oil; (2) no day without greens and other vegetables; (3) no day without figs or other fruit; (4 & 5) no meat (beef, lamb, pork), and replaced by fish and legumes; (6) no day without walnuts and flaxseeds; (7) no day without whole grains and cereals; (8) and moderate alcohol consumption, mainly in the form of red wine, recommended at dinner. (Plus a bonus food – –  deep, dark, sinfully rich chocolate!) 
 
Q: What is the best exercise for my heart? 
 
A: The scientific consensus is that walking is the best exercise prescription for fighting off heart disease. How much, how often, and how fast (plus a discussion of the latest scientific research on exercise for heart disease) is detailed in the chapter on exercise. The best medicine for healing the arteries and reversing heart disease is moderate exercise, and the best exercise for you is the one you will do on a daily basis!  
 
Q: What makes your plan so different and easier to follow than some of the other heart disease reversal plans on the market? 

A: Many of the best-selling plans advise avoiding fish; any and all kinds of oil; avocado; nuts; seeds, and chocolate–delightfully tasty foods–all advocated in my plan. 
 
Q: Can I really begin to heal my arteries in just 8 weeks? 

A: Clinical research has shown a significant reduction in the rate of secondary events in post-heart attack subjects switching to a Mediterranean-style diet–in as little as 6 weeks. 
 
Q: What about protein–where do I get my protein from? 
 
A: The Prevent a Second heart Attack plan urges you to become a “vegaquarium.” By getting your protein from the earth and the sea, you will also be fueling your body with numerous additional nutrients that fortify your daily heart disease defense system–artery healing components not found in a Western-style diet high in animal protein. 
 
Q: Can I drink coffee and tea? 

 
A: The Prevent a Second heart Attack plan is a plant-based diet. Both coffee and tea are made from plants–and plants contain plaque-fighting phytonutrients. So yes, you can have coffee and tea. 
 
Q: What about supplements? 
 
A: Not all supplements are created equally when it comes to treating and reversing plaque buildup. Three stand out among the crowd and should be in every heart attack survivor’s medicine chest: Niacin; Vitamin D3; Fish oil. 

Author bio

Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN,  author of Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease,is a diet, nutrition, and fitness expert who has appeared on national television.  She is the author of Cholesterol Down: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol In 4 Weeks Without Prescription Drugs, and specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention.  Dr. Brill lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.

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Eating out on Naked Fitness

It’s normal to want to get out of the kitchen occasionally and let someone else do the cooking.

But what about sticking to the plan? Will dining out strike a fatal blow to your resolve? Not necessarily. Most restaurants cater to health-conscious diners, it’s not that difficult to find low-fat cuisine while dining out. Eating out is easy on the Naked Fitness nutrition plan.

Eating out on the Naked Fitness nutrition plan

According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat out 4.1 times a week. And many of those meals are eaten at fast food restaurants, where food is typically high in fat and sodium. But dining out doesn’t have to spell dieting disaster. One of the many advantages of the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan is its adaptability to any eating-out situation. These days, healthy foods are served practically everywhere.

You don’t have to be a recluse while on the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan. You’re free to go out to restaurants, even fast-food places, to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your friends, family, or business associates. Nor should you pass up invitations to parties or other social events just because you’re on a healthy eating program. What follows are some practical guidelines for making healthy choices at any type of restaurant, as well as for enjoying parties and other events.

Restaurants for breakfast

  • Order scrambled eggs. Request that the eggs be cooked without added oil.
  • Fresh fruits are excellent choices to round out your breakfast.

Asian restaurants

  • Select entrees made with lean proteins (such as chicken and fish) and vegetables. Some good suggestions are Moo Goo Gai Pan, Szechwan Shrimp or Chicken, and sushi.
  • Request that the sauce be served on the side or forgo it altogether.
  • Asian restaurants serve generous helpings. Consider ordering one entree and splitting it with a friend, unless you want to take the leftovers home. 
  • Enjoy sushi and sashimi.

Italian restaurants

  • For an appetizer, try vegetable antipasto (if available), with dressing on the side.
  • Look for entrees such as grilled chicken and fish, as well as Italian dishes that are marked as low in fat. 
  • Avoid entrees prepared in cream sauce or Alfredo sauce. 
  • Ask the waiter to leave the rolls and breadsticks in the kitchen. 
  • When ordering a dinner salad, request dressing on the side. 
  • Opt for steamed vegetables as your side dish rather than pasta. Make sure the vegetables are steamed.

Mexican restaurants

  • Grilled chicken, shrimp, or lean meat entrees are good choices.
  • For extra veggies, request pico de gallo (a mixture of chopped tomatoes, green peppers, and onions). 
  • Mexican rice or black bean soup are nice accompaniments to a Mexican meal. So are refried beans, but check first to see whether they are prepared in lard, or baked or boiled, and seasoned. If they aren’t refried in lard, enjoy them. 
  • A dinner salad with nonfat salad dressing is a healthy meal-starter.

Steakhouse

  • Order grilled lean meat, chicken, salmon, or other fish (prepared with- out oil).
  • For a side dish, select a steamed vegetable such as broccoli. 
  • At the salad bar, stick to fresh vegetables. Many salad bars serve fresh fruit too, which makes for a great dessert. 

Homestyle or Cafeteria Restaurant

  • Request grilled or lemon chicken, turkey breast without the gravy, or white fish prepared without sauce or oil.
  • Select steamed vegetables (no sauce or butter), salad with nonfat dressing, or a vegetable medley prepared without butter or margarine.
  • Look away when passing by the dessert line.

Fast-Food restaurants

  • Most fast-food establishments have salads on their menus; grilled chicken salads are your best bets. Order reduced-fat salad dressing with your salad. If there’s a salad bar, stick to fresh vegetables and fat-free salad dressing.
  • At fast-food restaurants that serve fish, order baked fish, steamed vegetables, and a salad.

Parties

  • Eat a meal before you go to the party to fend off hunger pangs and cravings.
  • Snack on fresh vegetables and fruit (but pass up the dip).
  • If you’re going to dinner with a group of friends and are concerned that you’ll overeat, eat some natural high-fiber foods (like raw vegetables or fruit) before you go.  You’ll be less likely to pig out later.
  • Offer to bring a couple of your own dishes (low-fat, of course) to the gathering.
  • Instead of a cocktail, drink a diet soda or carbonated water with a twist of lemon or lime.

It may not seem like fun to limit yourself to certain foods when eating out. But the ability to make healthy choices at restaurants is one more positive step toward getting a beautifully naked body. You’ll feel better, and your body will love you for it.


The above is an excerpt from the book Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body by Andrea Metcalf. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2010 Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body.

Author bio

Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body,  has been teaching fitness, training clients, and coaching on subjects of nutrition and health for the past 27 years.  Her inspiring and approachable personality has helped build her reputation as a nationally known fitness expert.  Andrea is a regular contributor of MORE, Self, and Women’s World,among other magazines, and a regular blogger on Oprah.com. She frequently appears on Today, Good Morning America Health, NBC5 in Chicago, and the nationally syndicated Better TV.

Andrea holds a BS in Exercise Science and has grown her career by creating unique programs of her own including Paws-ilates, Sil-ilites, and Live-ilates, featured on Oprah.com.  Over the years, Andrea has written numerous articles on health and fitness.  She is a national fitness presenter, motivational speaker, and has a series of fitness DVDs.

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Waste not, want not

There is no more appropriate time than now to think about how and why we cook.

Food is a way of connecting with the people who surround us. Through it, we communicate emotions like love, compassion and understanding, and there is no better opportunity to communicate with our children than at the table. It’s where we can discuss our values of life that are important to us as individuals, as a family and as a part of the world we live in.

“Waste Not, Want Not” and make it delicious!

By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

As overconsumption and greed have come to haunt us, now is a time for reflection. We should be looking back at the generations before us to understand their approach to the table. Growing food, shepherding animals, foraging for the gifts of nature is all part of respecting food. Nothing needs to be wasted. Bread can be recycled and used in soups, casseroles, lasagnas and desserts. Water is carefully conserved as in the pasta recipe I share below where the same water in which vegetables are cooked is used to cook the pasta that follows, and then that is saved for soups or for making risotto.

When one respects the food we prepare, it also leads to a more sensible and balanced intake of proteins, legumes and vegetables.

So “waste not, want not” and make it delicious!

Excerpt from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

Fresh Cavatelli with Cauliflower
Maccarun ch’I Hiucc

Serves 6

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and I regret that many people don’t sufficiently appreciate its unique flavor and nutritional value. This is not the case in Molise, where it is cooked often and creatively, as exemplified by the following two simple vegetarian pasta dishes. The first recipe, maccarun ch’i hiucc, is zesty with garlic and peperoncino.

You will need

  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
  • 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut in small florets
  • 1 batch (1 1/2pounds) Fresh Cavatelli (preceding recipe), or 1 pound dried pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino (or half pecorino and half Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for a milder flavor)

Recommended equipment: A large pasta pot; a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 12 inch diameter or larger

How it is done

Fill the large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet, set over medium-high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic. Let the garlic start to sizzle, then toss in the peperoncino and parsley; stir and cook for a minute. Ladle in a cup of the pasta cooking water, stir well, and adjust the heat to keep the liquid in the skillet simmering and reducing gradually while you cook the cauliflower and pasta.

With the pasta water at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower florets, and cook them for about 3 minutes, until barely tender. Drop in the cavatelli, stir, and return the water quickly to a boil. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is fully tender and the pasta is al dente (if you are using dried pasta, it will, of course, take longer).

Lift out the florets and cavatelli with a spider or strainer, drain briefly, and spill them into the skillet. Toss well, to coat all the pasta and vegetable pieces with the garlicky dressing, then turn off the heat, sprinkle over the skillet the grated cheese, and toss again. Heap the cauliflower and cavatelli in warm bowls, and serve immediately.

Chocolate bread parfait
Pane di Cioccolato al Cucchiaio

Serves 6

This recalls for me the chocolate-and-bread sandwiches that sometimes were my lunch, and always a special treat. And it is another inventive way surplus is used in Umbrian cuisine, with leftover country bread serving as the foundation of an elegant layered dessert. Though it is soaked with chocolate and espresso sauce and buried in whipped cream, the bread doesn’t disintegrate, and provides a pleasing textural contrast in every heavenly spoonful.

You will need

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2cup freshly brewed espresso
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Recommended equipment: A large rimmed tray or baking sheet, such as a half-sheet pan (12 by 18 inches); a spouted measuring cup, 1 pint or larger; 6 parfait glasses or wineglasses, preferably balloon-shaped

How it is done

  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl set in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir until completely smooth. Keep it warm, over the water, off the heat.
  2. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch-thick slices, and lay them flat in one layer, close together, on the tray or baking sheet.
  3. Pour the warm espresso into a spouted measuring cup, stir in the rum and sugar until sugar dissolves, then stir in half the melted chocolate. Pour the sauce all over the bread slices, then flip them over and turn them on the tray, to make sure all the surfaces are coated. Let the bread absorb the sauce for a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form, by hand or with an electric mixer.
  5. To assemble the parfaits: Break the bread into 1-inch pieces. Use half the pieces to make the bottom parfait layer in the six serving glasses, dropping an equal amount of chocolatey bread into each. Scrape up some of the unabsorbed chocolate sauce that remains on the baking sheet, and drizzle a bit over the bread layers. Next, drop a layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using up half the cream. Top the cream layer with toasted almonds, using half the nuts.
  6. Repeat the layering sequence: drop more soaked bread into each glass, drizzle over it the chocolate sauce from the tray and the remaining melted chocolate. Dollop another layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using it all up, and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top of each parfait. This dessert is best when served immediately while the melted chocolate is still warm and runny.

© 2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, authors of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes


Author bio

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her website.

Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Lidia’s daughter and coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, received her Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art history from Oxford University. Since 1996 she has led food/wine/art tours of Italy. She lives with her husband and children on Long Island.

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Ash diets

There is an alcaline ash diet and an acidic ash diet.

Maintaining a healthy body is important. It is linked to longevity and happiness. The foods that you eat have a role to play in this process.

It may not seem like it, but the internal workings of our bodies are quite delicate. Each cell has to do its job to keep the machinery working like it should.

Alkaline ash diet

Consider the alkaline ash diet to keep your body in balance.

What is pH?

The body tries to maintain a state of balance called homeostasis. Part of this includes maintaining a normal, neutral pH factor. PH determines whether something is acidic, alkaline (base) or buffered. The scale runs from one to thirteen, with seven representing the middle or buffered state.

Acidic pHs are on the lower range, less than seven. Alkaline pHs are on the higher end, above seven. For optimum functioning, the body seeks to return to a level that is in the middle. The fluid in the body that runs over and through every cell and organ is the biological matrix.

When it is neutral, it is not reacting with other chemicals leading to dysfunction. It has been theorized that a body that is too acidic can lead to problems such as cancers, gastrointestinal issues, decreased immunity and a lack of overall well-being.

Going basic

The body can’t maintain its neutral pH without help. Part of the equation is the foods that we eat. Sometimes, the foods that we choose don’t seem like a big deal but they can dramatically change the make-up of our inner life.

When foods are broken down in the body and digested, they leave behind a residue called “ash.” That “ash” determines what type of effect those foods have on the body, whether alkaline or acidic. To return your body from acidic to a more neutral pH balance, more alkaline ash needs to be added to your body through your food.

Experts suggest that a diet that ensures a proper balance in the body needs to contain both alkaline and acidic foods. About 20 percent of the diet can be acidic while about 70 to 80 percent is alkaline foods.

So what are these foods and where can you get them? They are foods that we already eat except that we don’t always eat them in the proper proportions for optimum health. Here is an example of acidic foods: meats, dairy, saturated fats, alcohol and sweets.

Sweets or processed sugary foods are best eaten in moderation anyway. Alcohol is also best in moderation. Saturated fats are a contributor to high cholesterol and not the good kind either.

What about the alkaline side? Usually these are the foods that are healthier for you in the first place. Think of green leafy vegetables, most fruits, healthy oils (olive, flax seed), onions, honey, syrup and herbal tea. Eating more of them tips the balance inside towards alkaline and a cleaner, detoxified body.

Are you looking to change how you feel inside and out? Try an alkaline ash diet.

Acid ash diet

The acid ash diet is one way that people can keep their inner workings running full steam ahead.

PH

PH refers to the acid or alkaline level in the body. Think of an Alka-Seltzer. Its job is to neutralize the acid in your stomach. They work wonders when you get an upset stomach. Too much acid is churning up and a base (or alkaline substance) is what you need to neutralize that acid.

Well, the internal environment of your body loves to maintain a neutral state. It’s called homeostasis. But, sometimes, the foods that we eat can swing the pH level to the acidic or the alkaline side. To counteract that and the effects within the body (high blood pressure and the threat of illnesses like cancer) that same food can be used.

Acidic Ash

Foods are made up of all sorts of smaller substances: vitamins, minerals, chemical compounds and so on. It is some of this residue, or “ash,” that is left behind when the body digests food. That residue determines the pH of your body’s fluid matrix. Too many of one kind of food is not usually healthy.

Experts have talked about the benefit of an alkaline ash diet to help eliminate some illnesses and to also increase immunity and energy levels. So, why would you need an acidic ash diet?

Have you ever had a stone inside your body, maybe a kidney or a gallstone? They are calcified deposits that become lodged in an organ. Stones can also contain other minerals like phosphorus or magnesium. When they move, they can cause intense pain and damage.

Acidic ash diets may be just what the doctor ordered for people who have experienced stones in the past or who are susceptible to stones. Increasing your acidic intake means knowing the right types of foods to eat to lower the alkaline levels in your body.

Here are a few of the foods that you can eat: meats, dairy, yeast, grains, chocolate, sugar and some fruits. Remember to add to your diet in moderation. Too many acidic foods can lead to a condition called acidosis, where there is a lower than normal alkaline presence in the blood – which is not healthy. At each meal, add a bit of extra protein in the form of meat to increase your acidic load. If you aren’t keen on meat, you can add dairy products or another of the food items from the list above.

Food plays an even more important part in how your body runs than even you may have realized before. An acidic ash diet may be prescribed for those who have certain health problems (stones).

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Bread maker reviews

So you have finally decided to take the plunge and get a bread maker. After all of the poking and prodding from friends, as well as the added health benefits to having fresh bread, you are trying to pick out the perfect bread maker for you.

Let’s take a look at four of the top bread makers on the market and even if you don’t pick one of these, you will have a head start on what to look for in a bread machine manufacturer.

Zojirushi BBCCX20

The ultimate in bread machines, the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is definitely at the top of the leader board. This machine has settings for numerous types of breads as well as a memory function for 3 customizable settings. These custom controls allow you to set up a cycle for a certain type of bread, combine the ingredients and push one button.

The Zojirushi BBCCX20 also has a large viewing window so you can see exactly what is going on inside and with the double blade kneading action; no ingredients go unmixed or stuck to the sides of the machine. This machine can even be used to make jams, cakes and even meatloaf or lasagna. With a customer satisfaction of more than 6 to 1, this is a great machine to have in your house.

Panasonic SD-YD250

Panasonic has been in the electronics world for a number of years and has perfected the art of digital control. The Panasonic SD-YD250 boasts a two and a half pound loaf maximum and having the ability to make just about any bread you can think of doesn’t hurt either.

A 13 hour timer allows you to head to work, drop the kids off at soccer practice and by the time you get home, your bread is just finishing the cooling process. Weighing in at 18 pounds, this surprisingly big machine runs so quietly that it almost isn’t noticed until a single beep, declaring your bread is done.

Because Panasonic knows how to make quality electronics, the SD-YD250 is extremely simple to clean. With the non-stick pan, the bread slides right out easily, leaving behind very few crumbs or residue.

Sunbeam 5891

We all know the Sunbeam name from the isles of our grocery store. A long time best selling bread; why not trust their ability to create a bread maker? Apparently Sunbeam hit the nail on the head with their model 5891. With a large digital readout and three different crust shades, this two-pound loaf capacity machine is extremely simple to use.

The only concern with this machine is not the machine itself, but the recipe booklet that comes with it. According to some negative reviews, the recipes call for too much yeast, but the problem was corrected when the recipe was adjusted. All in all it’s great machine for a decent price.

Cuisinart CBK200

The king of the kitchen, Cuisinart, finally has a bread maker that can stand up to the other manufacturers. Of course, Cuisinart doesn’t do anything if they can’t put ingenuity into it and the CBK200 is no different. This machine allows for over 100 different variations of bread making and with different audible tones at different points in the cycles, you know exactly when to add fruits and nuts, or when to remove the paddles.

The Cuisinart CBK200 also boasts convection cooking, which allows for an even baking all the way around the loaf. One downfall, suggested by customers, is the thin aluminum pan, which can scratch and dent easily if abused and does not always allow for proper heat conduction. Another issue customer’s address is the learning curve to operating the machine. With an automatic bread maker, it should just be a push and go type function.

Conclusion

Hopefully this helps to narrow down your search for the perfect bread maker. While these four machines may not make your list, the manufacturers are definitely at the top of their game when it comes to making bread. Go out and pick up a machine today; your sore arms will thank you.

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Cold weather and body fat

Do you get fatter in the cold weather?

It’s a good question right now, and the answer is yes! Here is why and what you can do to prevent this.

Does cold weather make you store body fat?

First there’s the psychological explanation: in warm climates, people are wearing less clothes and enjoying the outdoors and people want to look good when they’re exposing more flesh! In the cold, you’re covered up, so there’s less self-consciousness and no public accountability. Therefore, most people tend to stay on a diet more diligently and train harder when summer rolls around.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been studied at length by psychologists. Often more than just the “winter blues” but an actual type of depression, SAD occurs during the short days and long nights of winter and fall, when there’s less sunlight and colder temperatures. Symptoms include depression, cravings for specific foods, loss of energy, hopelessness and oversleeping. Obviously, these types of symptoms can contribute to weight gain.

Because of their tendency for fall and winter weight gain, many people have suspected that cold temperatures influence weight gain on a metabolic level, not just eating more. Exposure to cold temperatures can cause a shivering thermogenesis which means there’s an increase in metabolism to produce more heat (heat production = calories burned).

However, if you just got the bright idea of turning off the heat in your house, or going for a swim in the cold surf every day to “burn more fat”, I wouldn’t recommend it. Deliberate exposure to the cold, either cold air or cold water doesn’t pan out into real world fat loss results, even though there are actually “fat loss gurus” who recommend it.

Here’s why:

If your body uses some energy for shivering or heat production, it can compensate later for that energy loss by increasing your appetite. Not only that, research at the hyper baric environmental adaptation program at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland reported that, “The combination of exercise and cold exposure does NOT act to enhance metabolism of fats . . . Cold-induced vasoconstriction of peripheral adipose tissue may account, in part, for the decrease in lipid mobilization.”

It’s just not practical to freeze your butt off in an attempt to speed up your metabolism a tiny little bit, so your fat loss scheme wouldn’t last long if you tried.

A great example of how cold temperatures affect energy balance is in the case of swimming. For years, people thought swimming actually made you fat. There were all kinds of theories, like, “it makes you retain a layer of fat for insulation, like seals.” Actually, the most recent research shows that swimming is a perfectly good fat burning exercise, except for one thing: Swimming, especially in cold water, increases appetite dramatically.

The seasons affect your activity levels too. Pedometer research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise uncovered a huge difference in the number of steps taken between the summer and winter:

7616 steps per day in summer
6293 steps per day in fall
5304 steps per day in winter
5850 steps in spring

Most people blame winter weight gain on the food, but it’s not just the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebration feasts, it’s less winter activity that also contributes to the holiday pounds.

You have to keep up your training and nutrition program in the winter, or else.

Although studies have found that seasonal weight gain is usually very small, it’s the type of slow weight creep that goes unnoticed. Over a period of 10, 15 or 20 years, it’s enough to accumulate into overweight or obesity.

Thus many men and women wake up one morning at age 40 or 45, look in the mirror and ask themselves, “How did I get so heavy?” Answer: just a pound or two a year, after each winter season, left unchecked.

To stay lean all year round, you have to remain alert about increases in your appetite and decreases in your activity. This is a YEAR-ROUND LIFESTYLE! Stay active, stay diligent about nutrition, stay accountable, and if you start to experience weight gain, nip it in the bud — fast!

© 2010 Tom Venuto, author of The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight


Author Bio

Tom Venuto is a fat-loss expert, nutrition researcher, and natural, steroid-free bodybuilder. Since 1989, Venuto has been involved in virtually every aspect of the fitness and weight-loss industry — as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, motivation coach, fitness model, health club manager, and bestselling author of the popular e-book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, as well as other digital programs such as MP3 teleseminars and weight-loss membership websites. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.