10 Superfoods That Will Help You Look and Age Better

The benefits from eating healthy are endless. Here are 10 superfoods that will help you to look better and age slower!

1. Acai Fruit – This little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world. It can often be found in juice form in health food and gourmet stores.

2. Anything in the “Allium Family” – Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots can all help the liver eliminate toxins and carcinogens.

3. Barley – This can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups and stews, and as a rice substitute. Barley’s also high in fiber, helping metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates.

4. Green Foods – Green foods like wheat and barley grasses can be bought in powder, tablet or juice form, and offer greater levels of nutrients than green leafy vegetables. They also help cholesterol, blood pressure and immune response.

5. Buckwheat: Seed & Grain – Buckwheat is loaded with protein, high in amino acid, stabilizes blood sugar and reduces hypertension.

6. Beans & Lentils – You can reduce cholesterol while beefing up on antioxidants, folic acid and potassium. Try kidney, black, navy, pinto, chickpeas, soybeans, peas and lentils.

7. Hot Peppers – Both bell and chili peppers contain antioxidants, have twice the Vitamin C as citrus fruit and work as great fat burners.

8. Nuts & Seeds – You can’t go wrong with a handful of nuts a day; walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia and pistachio nuts contain Omega3 fats, which are great for your heart. Raw and unsalted are the best.

9. Sprouts – Numerous varieties of sprouts are great with any meal. They’re a great source of protein and Vitamin C. Try adding them to any dish and your immune system will get a boost.

10. Yogurt and Kefir – These cultured foods contain healthful bacteria that aid immune function, and the calcium helps burn fat. Try using them as a base for a smoothie.

What I Eat

I had a very brief, yet interesting conversation yesterday with a lady who used to be in my boot camp.

I walked in the gym and she asked me “John, do you ever eat at home?” At first I thought that she was referring to the fact that I bring my own food with me everyday. But I quickly realized that she thinks that I eat every meal at restaurants. She came to this conclusion because I’ve adopted a new habit of posting my “check ins” on facebook.

Here is my concern. This lady knows me very well. She’s been in my boot camp program. She’s come to my nutrition seminars. She even followed the nutrition principles that I recommend during an 8-week weight loss contest. Facebook is very powerful. Here’s why…

The truth is that I eat at restaurants 2-3 times each week. The rest of the time I buy, prepare and eat my own food. I eat 6-7 meals a day.  That means that I eat 4-7% of my meals at restaurants each week. But because I post what restaurants I like, the perceived reality is that I eat all of my meals out. If I did I’d be fat. But I am not fat because  93-96% of the time I eat whole, natural, self-prepared (often organic) food. 

If you don’t want to be fat, you should do the same.

Here is exactly what I had to eat yesterday

Meal 1

  • Oatmeal (plain)
  • Homemade chicken breast breakfast sausage

Meal 2

  • Ground Turkey (onion, red pepper, spinach, cumin, chili and chipotle powder)
  • Brown Rice
  • Asparagus

Meal 3

  • Red Snapper
  • Brown Rice/Curry Lentils
  • Squash

Meal 4 (Snack)

  • Orange
  • Raspberries

Meal 5

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Yams
  • Broccoli

Meal 6

  • Salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Mixed Greens
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Kidney & Garbanzo Beans
  • Grilled Chicken

Now I could annoy the crap out of you and post everything I eat as I eat it on Facebook. But this isn’t about me.  I’m here to help you with your exercise and nutrition program, and what works for me may not be the best plan for you.

To learn more about the nutrition program that I recommend (because it is flexible, adaptable and is in line with my philosophy), click this link.

P.S. You are allowed cheat days on this plan, so you can go to any restaurant to like and eat your favorite food!

P.S.S And it Fricken Works!!!!!

Here’s the link again

Fitness Tip #27 of #31 Get Your Omegas

Eating sources of fat that are high in omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to ensure that you living a healthy life. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods including walnuts, some fruits and vegetables, and coldwater fish such as herring, mackerel, sturgeon, and anchovies.

The benefits of omega-3s include reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that omega-3s can boost the immune system and help rotect us from a variety of illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease. It also plays a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body.

Omega-3 has another important health benefit, its ability to reduce the negative impact of yet another essential type of fatty acid known as omega-6s. Found in foods such as eggs, poultry, cereals, vegetable oils, baked goods, and margarine, omega-6s are also considered essential. They support skin health, lower cholesterol, and help make our blood “sticky” so it is able to clot. But when omega-6s aren’t balanced with sufficient amounts of omega-3s, problems occur. When blood is too sticky, it promotes clot formation, and this can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The latest research shows that the most promising health effects of essential fatty acids are achieved through a proper balance between omega-3s and omega-6s. The ratio to shoot for is roughly 4 parts omega-3s to 1 part omega-6s. The typical American diet has a ratio of around 20 to 1 — 20 omega-6’s to 1 omega-3 — and that spells trouble. The easiest way to achieve that balance is to focus on increasing Omega-3 intake.

Here are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids

1. Salmon (plus other cold water fish)
2. Walnuts
3. Flaxseeds (oil)
4, Soybeans (organic)
5. Brussels Sprouts
6. Winter Squash

Here are some good source of Omega-6 fatty acids

1. Flax seed oil
2. Pumpkin seeds
3. Pine nuts
4. Pistachio nuts
5. Sunflower seeds (raw)
6. Olive oil
7. Olives

How to Get What You Need

The recommendation [for omega-3s] is two servings of fish each week, each serving being 3 to 4 ounces. If you really want to protect your heart you should eat a variety of  types of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) at least twice a week. But even if you don’t like fish (or choose not to eat it), you can still get what you need from other sources, particularly flaxseed. Another choice is walnuts, about an ounce, or one handful of walnuts have about 2.5 grams of omega-3s. That’s equal to about 3.5 ounces of salmon.

Besides getting more omega-3s, you can also help your heart by replacing some omega-6s from cooking oils with a third fatty acid known as omega-9 (oleonic acid). This is a monounsaturated fat found primarily in olive oil. Though it is not considered “essential” (the body can make some omega-9), by substituting it for oils rich in omega-6s, you can help restore the balance between omega-3s and omega-6s, plus gain some additional health benefits.

Here are some good sources of Omega-9 fatty acids

1. Olives
2. Avocados
3. Almonds
4. Peanuts
5. Sesame oil
6. Pecans
7. Pistachio nuts
8. Cashews
9. Hazelnuts
10. Macadamia nuts

So for this fitness tip you are going to replace omega-6 with omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. Minimize your intake of eggs, cereals, vegetable oils, baked goods, and margarine and add your favorite fats from the Omega-3 and Omega-9 lists.

Have fun with this and I’ll be right back…tomorrow!

Fitness Tip #23 of #31 Eat Healthy Fats

Did you know that eating fat won’t necessarily make you fat? In fact eating dietary fat is essential to your health. Fat is required for a large number of vital bodily processes. It is a vital nutrient our bodies need for health and daily functioning; As an energy source, it supplies essential fatty acids for growth, healthy skin, vitamin-absorption and regulation of hormone functions.

Another important role of fat is that it helps to keep you feeling full (satiated) for a longer period of time. This is super important when you are reducing calories and losing weight. By staying full longer you’ll reduce the likelihood of making a mistake and cheating before it’s time for your next meal.

Body fat is simply stored energy. Our bodies store away excess energy (calories) as fat. That stored energy can be used at a later time when food (energy/calories) is not as abundant (times of famine). This was really important to our survival as a species, because unlike today (in the US) food wasn’t always readily available! The problem that we face now is that our food supply has changed dramatically while our physiology (DNA) has hardly changed at all.

So why has fat gotten such a bad reputation?

Probably because it’s called “Fat” and most people have a goal of losing fat. So logic would suggest that if you don’t consume it, you won’t gain it. There is some truth to that since fat is more calorically dense than either Carbohydrates or protein and it doesn’t take much energy for us to store dietary fat as body fat. But I want you to be healthy and to be healthy you need to eat fat. You just need to know some basic information about fat and what the best sources of fat are for your diet.

There are  five basic types of dietary fat;

1. Monounsaturated Fat
2. Polyunsaturated Fat
3. Saturated Fat
4. Trans Fat
5. Dietary Cholesterol

In general both Mono and Polyunsaturated Fats help to lower blood cholesterol levels while Saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol increase blood cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol level is a major risk factor for heart disease which leads to heart attacks and an increased risk of stroke.

So this tip is very simple, avoid or minimize Saturated Fat, trans-fat and dietary cholesterol and replace your dietary fat intake with mono and polysaturated fats.

Here is a list of Fats to avoid (or severely restrict):

Saturated Fat
1. Milk and Dairy Fat
2. Meat (Animal Fat)
3. Coconut Oil
4. Palm Oil
5. Butter
6. Lard
7. Cheese
8. Cream
9. Ice Cream

Trans Fats
1. Vegetable Shortening
2. Crackers
3. Baked Goods
4. French Fries
5. Donuts

Dietary Cholesterol
1. Eggs (Yolk)
2. Shellfish
3. Dairy Products
4. Organ Meat

Monounsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature but start to solidify at refrigerator temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats tend to help your body get rid of newly formed cholesterol. Thus, they keep the blood cholesterol level down and reduce cholesterol deposits in artery walls. Monounsaturated fats may also help reduce blood cholesterol as long as the diet is very low in saturated fat, which it will be once you begin following my advise in this tip.

Both types of unsaturated fats may help lower your blood cholesterol level when used in place of saturated fats in your diet.

Fats That Help Lower Cholesterol

Monounsaturated fats
1. Olives
2. Olive Oil
3. Canola Oil
4. Peanut Oil
5. Avocados
Polyunsaturated fats
1. Safflower Oil
2. Sesame Oil
3. Soy (Oil)
4. Corn Oil
5. Sunflower Oil
6. Nuts and Seeds

So get the Saturated and Trans-fat items out of your house and diet, and replace them with mono and poly-unsaturated fats.
See you again tomorrow

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