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6 Rules of Good Nutrition
small changes can save you hundreds of calories

Simple food swaps can save you hundreds of calories in one sitting, which can contribute to a 10, 20, or 30 pounds over the course of a year. Small changes in your daily routine can mean substantial gains in health and fitness levels with no tedious calorie counting. Here are 6 simple rules for better nutrition that are simple to abide by.

Never Skip Breakfast - This is the most important meal of the day. A recent study extrapolated the results of several studies that examined the impact of starting the day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This is what they found: People who skip breakfast are more likely to take up smoking or drinking, less likely to exercise, and more likely to follow fad diets or express concerns about body weight. People who eat breakfast get significantly more fiber, calcium, and other micronutrients than skippers do. Breakfast eaters also tended to consume less soda and French fries and more fruits, vegetables, and milk. Persons who make breakfast a habit were approximately 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese.

Snack Sensibly - There's a big difference between mindless munching and strategic snacking. Snacking sensibly means reinforcing good habits, keeping your metabolic rate high, and filling the gaps between meals with the nutrients your body craves. Rather than filling your face with Cheetos and soda consider sliced turkey breast with celery or a green leafy salad with poached salmon. Apples and cheese are one of my favorite and it doesn't raise havoc with blood sugar.

Beware of Portion Distortion - Since 1977, hamburgers have increased by 97 calories, French fries by 68 calories, and Mexican foods by 133 calories, according to analysis of the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at 63,380 individuals' drinking habits over a span of 19 years. The results show that for children ages 2 to 18, portions of sweetened beverages increased from 13.1 ounces in 1977 to 18.9 ounces in 1996.

One easy way to short-circuit this growing trend? Buy smaller bowls and cups. A recent study revealed that people will consume a third more calories when presented with a larger portion. A portion should neatly fit in the palm of your hand. Anything larger is too much.

Drink Responsibly - Forget the adage “watch what you eat,” we need to watch what we drink. Research from the University of North Carolina, Americans showed we slam down nearly 25 percent of our calories in liquid form—nearly double the rate we used to drink just 20 years ago. One study found that sweetened beverages constituted more than half (51 percent) of all beverages consumed. Persons who consumed the most sweetened beverages took in approximately 330 extra calories each day.

Keep cold, filtered water in a pitcher in the fridge. You might even want to keep some cut-up limes, oranges, or lemons and add a bit of stevia to it to replace sugary soft drinks.

Eat More Whole Foods - If it is in a can, bottle or box and is found in the inner isles of the grocery store, take a pass. Buy fresh and find it on the outside isles of the store.

According to USDA reports, most of the carbs and sodium in the American diet comes from packaged and processed foods. Naturally occurring salt accounts for only 12 percent of total intake, while 77 percent is added by food manufacturers not to mention processed sugars as well.

Set the Table - Families with more structured mealtimes exhibit healthier eating habits. Families that ate together only once or twice per week had members that were more than twice as likely to exhibit weight control issues, compared with those who ate together three or four times per week. While we can't always bring the family together we can make some positive steps in that direction. Keep and make Sunday night dinner sacred turn off the cell phones, TV and set work and studies aside. Keeping the family dining ritual just once a week gives family members the opportunity to learn what is and isn't healthy at the dinner table.

Have an excellent day.

Thom King
Steviva Brands, Inc.

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No Added Sugar Low Glycemic, Diabetic Safe Lavender Infused Lemonade

Ala Low Carb, Low Glycemic, Diabetic safe, no added sugar, made with stevia
Total Servings 6
Serving Size 1 cup
Carbs Per Serving: 8.4 g
Prep Time:<20 minutes

Skill Level: Super Easy

So, I have all this lavender growing on my deck and wondered what I should do with it. It smells wonderful which made me think it would make a great infusion for lemonade. I tried it and it turned out perfectly. The best part is that it is loaded with vitamin C and has hardly any sugar. You can drink it all day long and not gain an ounce. Let me know how you like it.

3 cups water
1/4 cup Fructevia, Steviva Blend or two tiny scoops of Stevia Extract
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
3 cups cold water
1 cup lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, bring water and Fructevia, Steviva Blend or two tiny scoops of Stevia Extract to a boil.

Remove from the heat; add lavender. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Strain, discarding lavender. Stir in cold water and lemon juice. Serve over ice.

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