Archive for November, 2010

Junk. Junk. Junk.
November 30, 2010

There is a reason why they call it junk food, because it’s junk! Learn to accept the fact that junk should be eaten only on rare occasions, if at all. Until we come to that conclusion, we will always struggle with being overweight. The effects of junk food are far too powerful, and we will only last so long on a diet until we give into our cravings. If we want to feel and look great, we cannot eat junk! At the very least start there!


“Froot Loops” photo provided by Wallpaper4me


“M&M’s” photo provided by Flickr user: Vívian Pires


“Jelly Beans” photo provided by Flickr user: zenboy


“Gum Drops” photo provided by Flickr user: Ontheway2it


*Photos modified by Stew-Art-Prints


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Straight up!
November 26, 2010

Your hard work is finally paying off, and you are enjoying the benefits of a balanced diet. In fact, it is so noticeable that it has become a hot topic with ones you know. Most likely you will encounter the following individual; after sharing how much you have lost and what your secret is, they have an immediate urge to try to assure you that they are completely fine with being overweight.

“I’m happy with myself! I really do not care how I look! I am learning to accept it, and I am okay with it now!”

Can an overweight or obese person truly be content with him or herself? What would be the loving thing to do? In the most respectful way possible, remind them of the dangerous effects of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, and an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease or a heart attack, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis (wear and tear of cartilage), the list goes on!

Everyone has the right to be overweight if they choose, but you cannot tell me it does not bother them. “I’m okay with the way I am”, is just a pleasant way of saying “I’m too lazy to change!”

Unfortunately, food addictions, sedentary lifestyle and a host of bad habits are not only self-detrimental, but they set a bad example for children. It is one thing to dig ourselves into an early grave, but let’s not cheat our children out of a long and healthy life.

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


The Slimy, Smelly, (but healthy) Fish Oil Story (via The Savvy Sister)
November 23, 2010

“When we talk about fish oil, we are really talking about the Omega 3 fatty acid in the oil– one of the essential fatty acids that your body’s systems rely on to function. It is involved in all new cell growth and it is also concentrated in the brain to improve and maintain brain health. “Essential” means our bodies don’t produce this fatty acid, and we need to get it from outside sources…” Read More

via The Savvy Sister (Sister Earth Organics)

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


When are we going to grow up?
November 16, 2010

All of us at one time or another have been on the receiving end of that comment. “When are you going to grow up?” Shocked as we may have been, there is a good chance there was a little truth behind the statement. Yes, the truth does hurt! Ironically, the same can be said about millions who struggle with their weight.

Much like a child who objects to his parent’s suggestions, even adults at times make up less than reasonable excuses.

Suggestion: “Maybe you could read up on fitness and nutrition to help you get motivated!”

Answer: “Oh, I don’t like reading!”

Suggestion: “Okay just try to increase your vegetable consumption.”

Answer: “I hate vegetables!”

Suggestion: “You could take a few minutes each day to walk.”

Answer: “Walking is too boring!”

Suggestion: “How about the gym? It can be more exciting than walking.”

Answer: “I’m too busy to go to the gym!”

Sound familiar? Just to make sure, we all know kindergarten is long gone? Playing games and eating goodies all day long is far behind us, and we just might be faced with some less than enjoyable responsibilities from time to time.

It would do us all some good to abandon the belief that our cravings should be constantly satisfied. In reality, most of us eat like kings! We are completely surrounded by whatever our taste buds desire, and have become accustomed to saying: “You deserve it!” Although what we really deserve, is healthy food to build a healthy body.

Since when has sitting on the couch and pigging out become rewarding physically and mentally? As a culture we are seriously confused as to what classifies as rewarding one self. It is time to grow up and stop making excuses, we deserve better and so does our body!

*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


They have… We have
November 12, 2010

For this week’s post, a more entertaining approach was taken; one that hopefully encourages us to think twice about what we put in our bodies. Please keep in mind that the following comparisons are made in good fun and not to be taken too seriously. Instead, think of it as a kindly reminder that our habits may have gone a little astray.

There is much to learn from other cultures that have had a healthy relationship with food for years. Europe is often a good example but no doubt there are others as well. Just how different are their habits from ours?

They have…


Whether it’s morning or afternoon, these costly machines serve non-stop espresso and espresso based drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, providing Europeans with their daily dose of caffeine.

We have…


Free refills for everyone! Coke, Pepsi, Sprite… you name it. This self-serve fountain machine supplies us caffeine and sugar to no end.

They have…


This flakey piece of heaven might be loaded with butter but a croissant is primarily all-natural goodness, a satisfying way many Europeans start their day. Other than natural sugars in the milk, there is only a small quantity of added sugar, just enough to activate the yeast.

We have…


This sinful monster wreaks havoc on your insulin levels. These eye-popping donuts send signals straight to your brain and later to your fat cells, saying “this guy wants to store some fat”; not to mention the hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and processed white flour. DO-NUT make these a habit!

They have…


Gelato is typically made with milk (some with water) which differs from cream based North American ice cream. With less sugar and up to four and a half times less fat, Gelato is the healthier version of ice cream. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised how the fruit and berry flavours hit your palate.

We have…


When young and old consumers demand more fat and sugar concentrated flavours, this ice cream delivers. A ½ cup contains 22 grams of carbs (18 from sugar), and 9 grams total fat (6 saturated). You better not even think of finishing this tub in one sitting. At least put it back in the freezer for after your next meal.

They have…


This latte is actually on the larger side of most coffees served in Italy or France, while many opt for an itsy bitsy cup of espresso. If the espresso beans are delicately roasted, ground on the spot to the perfect consistency, nicely dosed, carefully groomed, tamped with the correct amount of pressure, evenly extracted under just the right temperature (using ice-cold filtered water), then crema-laden espresso will ooze out from your portafilter rewarding you with a sweet slightly acidic espresso, to which there is no need to add any sugar or milk. How’s that for getting your caffeine fix with virtually no extra calories?

We have…


Sure, we North Americans think we have a little slice of Italy now that Starbucks has taken over. However, there is something disturbing about the fact we can’t say no when they offer to smother our coffee with a mountain of wiped cream. If you order it hot, it’s up to 20 oz’s, but if you opt for a cold drink, surprise, you can have a whopping 30 oz cardboard goblet. This is great for you moms, because when you are done with it, your kids can cut out a door and windows and play house.

They have…


Wine is the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Swish your wonderfully aged wine of choice around your tongue coating your palette. You taste a bouquet of undergrowth, cherry pit and soft spices. The mouth, graced with ripe red fruit and woody notes, features great freshness and solid tannins. It can go perfectly with duck and mushroom ravioli or thyme rack of lamb.* Wine is the lifeblood of Europeans; cut them and they will bleed grape juices.

We have…


What is the beverage of choice to accompany a typical North American meal? It would have to be a soft drink! It’s perfect for cleansing the palate after fried chicken, a greasy hamburger or deep-fried french fries. A 44 oz Super Big Gulp is everyone’s ticket to high blood sugar and lifelong diabetes. Still thirsty? No worries, ask for his big brother the Double Gulp; he will grace you with a full 64 oz insulin spike. Good to know they also offer discounted refills!

They have…


The veil has been lifted on misconceptions about healthy fats. Finally olive oil is getting the recognition it truly deserves. Should not the fact that Europeans have been using it for thousands of years been a clue that it’s not all that bad for us? If any food could be labelled as a jack-of-all-trades, it would be olive oil. Cook, bake, fry, sprinkle, or pour it on many European inspired dishes to bring out wonderful rich flavours. In their kitchens, the back of restaurants and on their terrace tables, olive oil is a staple.

We have…


That’s right; it’s stocked in our cupboards, sitting in the refrigerator door, and at close reach in many restaurants. Our own jack-of-all-trades is good old Heinz Ketchup. This can be spooned, plopped, hit out from the bottom of an old-school glass bottle, squeezed and squirted onto almost any North American food. Thank goodness they make it in travel size to-go packets, because how would one ever go without. Deep-fried food just wouldn’t taste the same without it!

Depending how you came across this post, you can either submit your own comparisons by way of the “Leave a Response” link at the top of this post or “Submit a Comment” below. Come up with an amusing comparison of your own, and I just might add it to this post.

Help put our unhealthy stereotypes behind us. Eat better starting now!

*Quote provided by SAQ

1. “Espresso Machine” photo provided by Rancilio

2. “Fountain Machine” photo provided by Lancer

3. “Croissant” photo provided by Flickr user: alicehou

4. “Donut” photo provided by Flickr user: simon seljeflot

5. “Gelato” photo provided by Flickr user: su-lin

6. “Rolo Ice Cream” photo provided by Nestlé Canada

7. “Latte” photo provided by Flickr user: Kyle Johnson

8. “Starbucks” photo provided by Cake & Carrots

9. “Wine” photo provided by TripAdvisor

10. “Big Gulp” photo provided by Flickr user: Katrina Lou Samsin

11. “Olive Oil” photo provided by Health

12. “Heinz Ketchup” photo provided by Global Package Gallery


Grab your nuts… and go! (via The Savvy Sister)
November 11, 2010

“Nuts are seeds that are covered in a hard shell. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy fats. They are tasty and are great “on-the-go”. If you are cutting down on your animal sourced foods, nuts are a great way to ensure that you get enough of these nutrients.

Here is a rundown of the top varieties, their calorie content and what makes them special. I could go on and on about the health benefits of nuts, but these are the highlights…” Read More

via The Savvy Sister (Sister Earth Organics)

*Photo provided by The Savvy Sister (Sister Earth Organics)


HOT OFF THE Freshly PRESSed! Who’s your blog daddy now?
November 3, 2010

(The two-day rise and fall of a blogger who was promoted to Freshly Pressed)

Dear Readers,

Prior to last week, I did not have the luxury of addressing my audience as readers; family and close friends hardly count as readers (sorry mom). However, since being Freshly Pressed, things are a little different now. Strangers from all parts of the world are tuning in to read my posts. How is that for pressure?

Before recounting the few short days of “living it up” on the home page of WordPress, there will be a few brief apologies: First, for being off topic. Those of you tuning in to get a slice of the ugly truth about fitness and nutrition, you will have to wait until next week. Second, for the use of first person as I will not be straying away from the word “I”, which one blogger called me out for over usage.

As a night worker, my day begins in the afternoon. My routine rarely varies: check the cell phone for texts to see what time to meet my gym buddy, then check the emails along with the usually depressingly low hit count on my blog (while secretly wondering why nobody loves me). It was just like any other afternoon; I sat down at the dinning room table, flipped open the Mac and strategically placed my cappuccino far enough to the side to avoid accidental spills.

The next few minutes were quite surreal and somewhat emotional. Mouth wide open, speechless, I just stared at the screen. My brain could not make sense of what my eyes were seeing; a large blue bar towering up the page, rising high enough to almost eliminate all other traffic recorded on previous days. My eyes were then immediately drawn to the little red circle beside my comments tab, notifying me of many pending comments.

I quickly realized that there could be only one plausible explanation for this drastic spike in traffic. Sure enough, right there on the WordPress home page was a clipping of my blog post under Freshly Pressed. It was reconfirmed when I checked my Gmail account and found an email from Erica Johnson Editorial Producer at WordPress, telling me my blog post had been promoted.

What a fun wave to ride while it lasted! Exactly what a down in the mouth blogger needed. Although the traffic wave quickly subsided, a much smaller but steady stream of traffic continues to trickle in; happily, there will always be proof that I was Freshly Pressed, thanks to the hundreds of comments and screen shot that proves it.

I am very grateful to everyone for your generous comments, many took the time to leave well thought out remarks. I plan to reply personally to every comment, so please be patient. Others offered helpful constructive criticism, as brought out earlier, which no doubt has revealed a few of my writing weaknesses. Thank you WordPress, for such a well-designed platform for bloggers to state their opinions and network with other bloggers. Finally yet most importantly, thank you Erica Johnson Editorial Producer for stumbling upon my post.

Please stay tuned for more posts… practical ways to be happy, healthy and fit.

Signed Stewy

*Photos provided by WordPress


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