What kind of food shopper are you?

When it comes to food shopping, what kind of food shopper are you? Find out below and then see what you can do to become a better shopper.


If you are a paroozer, then you shop without a purpose. You may have gone into the store to get one item but when you leave you have somehow managed to spend $100 and stocked up on more than your share of sweets and bad snacks.

What can you do?

Being prepared will be your best bet in fighting the war. Go in with a mission- by that- I mean a list, and stick to it! This will give you a good opportunity to fight temptation.

Clearance Shopper

If you are a clearance shopper you know where to look for the ‘great finds’ in the grocery store.  You’ll be the shopper at the end of the aisles, at the front of the store when you walk in, or somewhere squeezed behind the produce and the stockroom.

What can you do?

While you may think that you are getting a deal (which you probably are), you are doing a disservice to your quality intake. The 5 for $10 boxes of processed food loaded with salt, fat, and gosh knows what else, and the ‘buy one you don’t need’ get the ‘one you don’t need for free’ are examples of what you will find in your cart. The idea of smart shopping is there, but your heart is in the wrong spot. Try looking outside your box. There are a wide variety of good deals on produce, whole grains and dried beans. And these are regular items the store carries all the time, so you don’t have to be disgruntled or constricted by sales.

Impulse Food Shopper

If you are an impulsive food shopper (that’s me again) then you find crazy things in your basket, like cookies, sugar-packed drinks, and other grab-and-go items that are in pretty packaging and strategically placed in front of your eyes.

What can you do?

If you are that hard up about trying something different, you may want to challenge yourself to trying a new ingredient. You can look to see what fruit or vegetable is in season where you live or you can add a weekly new healthy food item. I found quinoa this way. It will lighten the hook save you from buyer’s remorse. If it’s hard for you to resist things when you are in the store, try leaving your cart at the end of the aisle and then get what you need. This way, you are less likely to grab more then you need. Also, never ever go to the store hungry, it just sets you up for failure.

Non-discriminative Shopper

If you are a non-discriminative shopper you are throwing whatever you feel like in your basket without regard to health consequences, weekly meal plans, or regard to items you already have.

What can you do?

Start caring. Start choosing choices that nourish your body and fit into the big picture. You should focus on lean-cuts of meat, low and non-fat dairies, and foods with as little as salt, sugar, and trans fats as possible. You should do inventory of things you have lying in the kitchen before you get to the store. Have your meal plans for the week ready to go and know what you will need. This will save you time, money and a couple of pounds in the long run.

Written by Amanda Holst

Have your cake and eat it too!


Why do we need beans in our diet?

Beans, a common substitute for meat, or a necessity in our diet?

While vegetarians have rejoiced in the protein properties that beans over meat can provide, there are other dietary profits that come from these high-fiber and anti-oxidant rich little friends. Experts agree that beans have the potential of warding off cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to an article on the WebMD website.  By increasing our bean intake, our waistlines become smaller, preventing the types of diseases that come along with being overweight. Also according to WebMD, the water and fiber content of beans make you feel full longer, and the phytochemicals makes beans high in antioxidants, debilitating free-radicals in your body.

Note if you are vegetarian or vegan: Your body gets iron in two different ways. Heme iron is iron that your body absorbs well and comes from meat, fish and poultry. Non-heme iron found in beans and fortified cereal and grain products are not absorbed well by the body. In order to get the right amounts of iron in your body, make sure you are eating foods with enough iron. Also eating foods with Vitamin C will boost the absorption of iron, so for example eating broccoli with your tofu will satisfy your body’s need. Calcium and coffee and teas decrease iron absorption in your body, so make sure you give your body time to transition to digest these before eating your iron. Source: Hallberg L. Bioavailability of dietary iron in man. Ann Rev Nutr 1981;1:123-147.

More Beans Please

Low in fat and containing no cholesterol, beans are a great source of fiber to add to your diet. If you are looking for a quick meal, try using frozen beans or canned beans.

  • Frozen beans: Frozen foods, including beans, are frozen at the peak of their ripeness, so you can be assured that you are getting the full nutritional benefits. Frozen beans such as garbanzo, navy and black-eyed beans can be added to casseroles and soups or reheated by way of steaming or microwave.
  • Canned beans: Canned beans are also convenient but may be packaged with high amounts of sodium. To lower the quantity of sodium, drain and rinse your canned beans. Chili, soups and dips can benefit from canned beans.
  • Dried beans: Dried beans are cheap, however you will have to invest time soaking them. Overnight soak is the easiest- rinsing them before cooking them for an hour or so. Look at the package, some beans you are able to ‘quick soak,’ saving you time and giving you the freshest approach.

Have your cake and eat it too Tip

Beans over meat will offer the same amount of protein with the added benefit of no cholesterol. Substitute beans for meats in tacos, lasagna, stews and chili. Feel full longer by increasing your beans to 3 cups a day. The beans that have the highest feel-full longer affect is the kidney bean.


by Amanda Holst

Age Therapy: Foods that will make you look and feel younger

Before you spend hundreds of dollars at the cosmetic counters, or  enlist yourself in the Botox Brigade, try the au naturale approach to looking younger instead.


Yes wrinkles are part of the aging process- but you don’t have to give in without a fight. As the protein collagens start to break down, so do the hyaluronic acids (the connective tissue around your eyes, joints, and skin). To prolong this break, try to beef up the intake of fruits containing vitamin C. Vitamin C fights free radicals and encourages collagen to form. Strawberries, blueberries, and ones containing citrus works best at filling in wrinkles.

Mood lifters

There is nothing worse than feeling bad about anything, anytime. Happiness may be the key to life and also the key to staying younger, longer. Enhance your mood with foods that uplift the production of endorphins while at the same time help you to relax. The mood lifter avacado contains a high amount of vitamin B, while brazilian nuts contain selenium, the magic ingredient for mood enhancement. Flaxseeds are advocates for mood lifters because they contain omega- 3 fatty acids. People who have low levels of omega- 3’s are more successible to depression. Get the best benefit by grinding flaxseeds and adding them to oatmeal, baked foods, or atop your salad.

Radiant Skin

There are many factors to radiant skin. Foods that strengthen your immune system, that contain antioxidants, or reduce inflammation can all add to the radiant glow of your skin, making you look younger. Fight scaly skin with wheat germ- 2 tablespoons a day can prevent redness and uneven skin tones. If elasticity is a concern for you, try adding more kiwis to your diet- the vitamin C manufactures a collagen wall of resilience. If you have damaged skin due to sun exposure, grape seed oil can help reverse the signs.

Have your Cake and Eat it too!

Amanda Holst

5 No-Brainers to Weight Management


1) Give your body what it wants

Your cravings for sugar and salt may be what is preventing you from maintaining a healthy weight- moreover, it can be a sure-tell sign that you are experiencing deficiencies in magnesium, phosphorus, chromium or sodium, to name a few. If you consistently give your body the proper nutrition, then it won’t reach out for the quick fix. Control your cravings by eating sensible meals and keep your portions in check when you do succumb to a craving. Eat often and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up.

2)Don’t restrict yourself

We all know diets don’t work. If you’ve ever been on one you know that you eventually go back to our old ways. Instead of restricting yourself, maintain your diet by eating foods that are healthy and ones that promote a fit metabolism. Try negative calorie foods- foods that make the body burn more calories than the food itself. Asparagus, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, tomato, and watermelon are just a few good examples. Allow yourself a treat once a week. Relax. Stop fighting with yourself and start living…moderation is key!

3) Be mindful

The easiest and most effective way to maintain your weight is to be mindful! Know what is going into your body, how much of it is going in and at all times. One of the most valuable tools you can have is a food diary. Snack often and wise. A scoop, a sample, and kiddie-size should become your new portion sizes. Control what goes in your cabinets and refrigerator and be willing to put energy in preparing food yourself. Eat slower. Stop eating just before you’re full. Stop making excuses and start working smarter, not harder.

4) Ask yourself why you are eating

The battle between who you are and who you want to be may be lying just below your body’s surface. We all crack under pressure and can admit to eating under one of the following emotional eating categories: Tiredness, stress, sadness or happiness. While we may be satisfying some sort of emotional void, let’s face it: emotional eating does nothing for your weight management. Find out what your food triggers are and learn techniques to keep them at bay. Rank your hunger on a scale from 1-10 before you eat. This will assign hunger to the amount of food you should be eating. It’s time to make your feelings and your eating habits separate from each other. The next time you are trying to tame an emotional eating craving, try taking a walk or tidying up your bathroom instead.

5)Eat low-energy dense food

Believe it or not you can cut calories while still controlling your hunger. This is no magic diet, it’s a concept called low-energy dense food. By eating whole grains, lean meat, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy you are giving yourself long-term success in maintaining your weight. These foods contain a higher water content, less fat, and more fiber- all things that give you the satisfaction of being full. Start putting this idea into action. Have a bowl of soup or salad before your meal. Add vegetables to your pastas, omelets, and pizza. Remember, water-rich is the key here, not poor in fat.


♦Eat Well                                                                                ♦Be Healthy                                                                       ♦Be Happy


Amanda Holst

Have your Cake and Eat it Too

Part 1 of a 2-part series: See what foods can put your man in the mood!

We’re all familiar with how food can play a role in turning us on. Guys are used to bringing us flowers and setting the mood with candlelight and music. Let’s return the favor by conjuring up something in the kitchen. See what food naturally turns on your man and why.


Oysters are synonymous with putting your man in the mood. Mostly in part due to the dopamine, a hormone that is know to increase libido, oysters are a natural aphrodisiac. High in protein and zinc, this food is sure to keep your man healthy and adding to his increased sex drive. To entice your man with oysters, try cooking them raw, smoked, baked, steamed or grilled.


The ingredient that gets your man going in this herby number is called allicin. Increasing blood flow to sexual organs couldn’t be easier. Find ways to incorporate garlic, infusing them in sauces or adding as flavoring to your dishes- you will see your payoffs in no time. If you are stuck on not wanting the taste or smell to linger, try popping garlic in pill form instead.


Eggs are high in vitamins B5 and B6. Although not directly affecting libido, eggs have the ability to fight stress and balance hormone levels, which can help your guy keep up energy when the mood calls. Want to really spice things up? Try caviar–it has the protein like eggs do, but have the added bonus of zinc- which helps to increase blood flow to all the right places.


Let’s face it: there is nothing sexy about celery. But believe it or not celery is an excellent source of food for sexual stimulation. This is because it contains androsterone, an odorless hormone released through male perspiration that can make a man appear more masculine. Best results comes from eating celery raw– so ladies get your man to start munching!


Go bonkers for bananas! Increasing libido and reversing impotence in men are due to the bromelain enzymes that reside inside. Not only are bananas a good source of potassium, they are also high in the B vitamins, such as riboflavin which increases the body’s overall energy levels. Bananas go great with fudge, so find new ways of getting creative.

Perspective by Amanda Holst

Have your cake and eat it too!

Essential Amino Acids Debunked

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of  of protein molecules. They help build protein and also aid in metabolism. The body manufactures proteins from 20 amino acids, 8 of which are essential and cannot be made from the body.  The essential acids and their functions are listed below:

Isoleucine– Helps to regulate and stabilize blood sugar and levels of energy. Also helps in the repair and healing of muscle tissue, skin, and bones. If you are deficient you may experience dizziness, depression, confusion, and symptoms resembling hypoglycemia.

Leucine-Helps to promote the healing of muscle tissue, bones, and skin when used with isoleucine and valine. Leucine is used sometimes for those recovering from surgery. Leucine helps to lower blood sugar. Deficiency in leucine may include dizziness, irritation, headache, fatigue, etc.

Lysine-helps with calcium absorption and keeps a proper nitrogen balance in adults. Helps to form antibodies that can fight cold sores and also can lower triglyceride levels in the body. Deficiency in lysine include low energy, hair loss, anemia, retarded growth, weight loss, and reproductive system complications.

Methionine– A powerful anti-oxidant and cab help prevent disorders of the hair, skin, and nails because of its source of sulfur. This amino acid helps in the breakdown of fats in the liver and arteries and is a good detoxifying agent against lead and metal in the body.

Phenylalanine– is used to promote alertness and vitality; this amino acid can raise mood, decrease paid and help in memory and learning. This amino acid is also used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. Deficiencies in phenylalanine may include depression, chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease. Other signs of deficiency include fatigue, lethargy, liver complications and slow growth.

Threonine-helps with the proper protein balance in the body and the formation of tooth enamel, elastin, and formation of collagen. It can prevent the buildup of fat in the liver and helps with metabolism.

Tryptophan-helps alleviate insomnia and reduce anxiety and depression. Can help with migraine headaches and helps the immune system function properly. Can help in controlling weight by reducing appetite.

Valine-is important for muscle metabolism and coordination, tissue repair and for the maintenance of proper nitrogen balance in the body; Muscle tissue uses this as an energy source. Can calm emotions and help in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disease.

Foods Sources of Amino Acids

We do not have all the enzymes necessary to fashion all of the amino acids in our bodies, therefore, we have to get the fulfillment through diet. The typical American diet is rich in protein and amino acids and sources from animal sources usually have the highest amount. Chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, beef, and pork are the top contenders. Those who have a vegetarian diet may find it more difficult to get all the amino acids through food but it is not impossible. Dried beans such as kidney beans, black beans, and white beans can provide the amino acids necessary. A vegetarian diet rich in soy, peas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, rice, and legumes should be adequate.

Best sources of food and for which essential amino acid listed below:

Isoleucine-cashews, almonds, garbanzo beans, lentils, eggs, fish, liver, rye, soy protein, and most seeds

Leucine-cottage cheese, sesame seeds, peanuts, dry lentils, chicken, and fish

Lysine– cheese, potatoes, fish, eggs, milk, lima beans, soy products, yeast, most proteins

Methionine– onions, yogurt, soybeans, meat, fish, eggs, liver, dairy, garlic, lentils, and seeds

Phenylalanine-sesame seeds, tahini, cheese, almonds, peanuts, soybeans, proteins

Threonine– bread, beef, soy, wheat, brown rice, liver, peanuts

Tryptophan-brown rice, soy protein, peanuts, meat, cottage cheese

Valine-mushrooms, soy protein, peanuts, meat, grains, dairy

Disclaimer: As always it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements, self-diagnosing and change in diet.


Insel, Paul; Turner, R.; and Ross, Don (2001). Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Whitney, Eleanor N., and Rolfes, Sharon R. (2002). Understanding Nutrition, 9th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group.

Reference Guide for Amino Acids http://www.realtime.net/anr/aminoacd.html

Does Deodorant Give you Breast Cancer? What to Believe on the Rumor Mill

The Rumor Mill

Using deodorants and anti-perspirants increases the chance of breast cancer–this is a rumor that started to gain momentum in the early 2000’s. Reports that came out mainly pointed out that the harmful aluminum substances, specifically the chemical that mimics the female hormone oestrogen having a possibility of being absorbed into the skin and causing breast cancer.

What’s the Research

Specific studies look at the correlation between hygiene habits and breast cancer. The studies look at the the relationship between the use of deodorants, anti-perspirants and underarm shaving.

The Journal of Toxicology report that parabens, the preservatives found in many cosmetic products, have been found in samples of tissues of women who have breast cancer. The results further show that the aluminum can interfere with the receptors of oestrogen in the breast tissue (female hormone) and mess with gene expression.     (1)

In 2003 there was a study on the frequency of underarm shaving and antiperspirant and deodorant use among breast cancer survivors finding that diagnosis took place sooner in women who used these products and shaved  more regularly.  (2)

What the Rumors don’t tell you

The studies, while clear and concise in their methods and conclusions, oftentimes elaborate on their findings without the media ever telling you the full story.

Further studies need to be done on the effects of parabens mimicking the female hormone oestrogen and the long term effects of aluminum on breast cells. How much, aborption of anti-perspirants and the length of time of use all have to all be considered as well.

Studies do not show any conclusive conclusions to the increase risk of cancer for women who use underarm deodorants or antiperspirants. Furthermore, there is no link to cancer and shaving before applying deodorants or antiperspirants. It is also noteworthy to mention that family history and environmental factors play into the factor of whether or not a woman can get breast cancer.

Make your own decision

It has been found that the majority of breast cancers occur in the part of the breast that is the closest to the armpit. This portion is called the Upper Outer Quadrant (UOQ)  In 1926, 31% of breast cancers occurred in the UOQ, in 1947-1967 this percentage increased to 43-48%. In 1994 the percentage of this type of breast cancer reached 60.7%.   (3)

The main role of perspiration in your body is to help your body cool down. It is not the main way that your body gets rid of toxins–the liver and kidneys are much more influential.

Know that deodorant or talc containing aluminum, although has not been proven to increase the risk or cause breast cancer may show up on mammograms and might give an inaccurate reading on an x-ray test. Women going in for a mammography screening should avoid putting on this products beforehand.

What the experts think

As of now the FDA does not believe that they is any concern for consumers to be concerned about the parabens found in cosmetics sold in the market (4)

The National Cancer Institute believes there needs to be more research done on parabens and the link with aluminum-based compounds found the breast tissue that lead to breast cancer or alters changes to the breast cells and DNA to cause cancer (5)

List of Parabens

– Methylparaben (E218)
– Ethylparaben (E214)
– Propylparaben (E216)
– Butylparaben
– Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Parahydroxybenzoic acid
– Parahydroxybenzoate


1) Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, et al. Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2004; 24(1):5–13.

2) McGrath KG. An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving. European Journal of Cancer 2003; 12(6):479–485.

3) Darbre, P D. “Underarm Cosmetics are a Cause of Breast Cancer.” European Journal of Cancer PreEntion 10 (2001): 389-393. 24 Jan. 2008.

4)United States. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CFSAN/Office of Cosmetics and Colors. Parabens. 20 Mar. 2006. 13 Feb. 2008 <http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-para.html>

5)United States. National Cancer Institute. U.S. National Institutes of Health. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers. 10 Feb. 2008 <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo>

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