Junk News XIX: ‘Healthy’ foods that can pack on the pounds

Dried fruit and nuts on a platter, traditional...

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I personally had no idea that quinoa can pack on pounds. Dried Fruit is very well-known for packing on pounds because of its sugar content. Nuts and seeds have lots of “good” fats but fat is fat and if it’s not processed by the body properly, it sits there on your gut or your butt.

Fruit smoothies are along the lines of dried fruit…just another way for a lot of sugar to get into your system (same with fruit juices) but hummus? I figured that’s one of the low-calorie ones!!

I just want to mention something about salads. Instead of adding cheese, bacon, or shrimp, try adding other kinds of greens (instead of lettuce) such as watercress, arugula, or even endives. These bitter and sweet greens can add to the flavor of the salad without having to add a meat or fat filled or too much salad dressing (the main culprit behind the increased calories of a salad).

So the ‘moral of the story’ is that moderation is key!! Almonds are super healthy for you…one of the best things you can put in your mouth. But you have enough common sense that too much of anything is no longer healthy and fat enriched foods like nuts¬† will add to your gain if you eat like 10 handfuls at once!! Don’t go crazy and feel guilty if you eat too much of one of these foods (dried fruit and almonds are my passion). Don’t be so literal in your train of thought. Enjoy your healthy junk and even more so, enjoy your healthy outlook on the junk you consume.

I missed you guys…I hope you missed me too. ūüėČ

and remember…if you’re gonna consume junk, it might as well be Healthy Junk!

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Junk News XVI: Sale of junk food to be banned in Ontario schools (with a little extra)

Sale of junk food to be banned in Ontario schools.

I won’t say that this is a good idea…but I won’t say that this is a bad idea either. Ontario has good intentions but banning junk food in the school is not going to just “solve the problem.” That doesn’t mean that banning junk off altogether is the answer either.

What does help is manifold:

  • In banning junk foods, they can sell healthier alternatives, such as fruits and nuts or snacks that cater to a healthier crowd. Children need snacks to keep them going throughout the day. Why not have a fruit/nut/water stand?
  • At the same time, schools MUST reinstate extra-curricular activities, such as gym or even playing a music instrument. We have become a continent so focused on learning and the future that we stopped looking at the present – children need a balance between learning and doing so that they can become well-rounded and successful individuals in the future.
  • At the end of the day, schools are only a part of the sum. Parents much also do what they can to educate their children. This does not mean to tell them to eat right and you do the total opposite. This is one of the times where children are going to have to learn by your example.

Junk Food (and other junk we consume) should be considered a “luxury.” Something that we can indulge in every so often, but it has to be earned. It cannot be a crutch. That doesn’t mean that they can’t have junk food at all. Children need to learn new ways of eating and appreciate health so that if they do eat a candy bar, it’s not going ot affect their overall health. They won’t overindulge and they will be able to cope with exercise and a positive and focused attitude.

In other words, it has to be a holistic and balanced approach.

two healthy junk foods

When I found this blog post, I had to put it in this post. Who better to put their money where their mouth is but me? I doesn’t make sense for me to talk about how much junk food is NOT good for you and not provide those healthier alternatives I was talking about. I’m only now learning to cook for myself (I baked an organic chicken the other day- the first time in years!) and soon I will be able to try this out and make it taste good for me. If you’re a fan of cooking and want to try this out, post a comment letting me know how it went. If you’re already a pro in the kitchen, leave any tips you can – for me and my readers.

Thanks so much for keeping up with me. No matter what happens in life, always keep a positive attitude and get rid of the junk in your life.

Always remember…if you’re gonna consume junk, it might as well be Healthy Junk! (l)

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The Healthy Junk Chronicles: Junk Fruit II

Hey everyone! :D

10/22/09 Before I start, I want to tell you that I went to Whole Foods last Friday. I went to the produce section and lo and behold! I saw MOST of all the apples listed as ORGANIC! Of course I went to look for my favorite apples, Macintosh, and they were still CONVENTIONAL. Oh well. You can’t win them all! ;)

I’m not going to sit here and act like most Americans haven’t heard the term “organic” – what it is (basically) and where it comes from (ideally). I can create a blog just explaining what this truly is but I won’t do that…what I will do is explain the difference between organic and conventional foods.

Besides the obvious – pesticides and the lack thereof – the difference between what is organic and conventional is manifold. The first difference is skin deep: conventional fruits are usually brighter and “prettier” than their organic counterparts. They’re less prone to oxidation (bruising on fruits – inside and out – is based on the presence of oxygen, especially with apples…that’s why if you cut an apple and leave it out for a minute, it will start to turn brown. It’s not that it’s getting rotten, it’s just the effect of the presence of oxygen on the open apple) and because of this will look “prettier” for a longer period of time.

If you look at most organic fruits, they won’t be as pleasing to the eye because of the effects of their travel time from the farm to the supermarket (or wherever you get your organic foods). Since they don’t have pesticides the enable them to last longer, you’ll have to eat them within a shorter period of time too.

The second problem is that to the average person, who is not familiar to the “organic” lifestyle, the taste of the fruit won’t be as pleasant either. At least, not at first. :) That’s ok…I’ll spend plenty of time (later on in these posts) to talk about that. ;) Matter of fact…I spoke about it in my Fight dis-ease! blog (just a little bit).

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