As promised, I provided a picture of moi this morning. I am noticing that the picture does not make my hair color look like it took a very drastic change but it is honestly hard to see the highlights/lowlights in the lighting of the camera. I adore my NEW! hair color though and even if I’m not super dark, I prefer baby steps. Remember, I’ve been “faux blond” since I was 13!! Thoughts??

beans

I’m also challenging myself to sport the no make look more often. This is me right before work this morning, ONLY mascara (it was hard for me to skip the foundation but I’m glad I did!) Again, teensy steps!! Do you wear make up every day or are you comfortable au natural?

As promised, I provided a picture of moi this morning. I am noticing that the picture does not make my hair color look like it took a very drastic change but it is honestly hard to see the highlights/lowlights in the lighting of the camera. I adore my NEW! hair color though and even if I’m not super dark, I prefer baby steps. Remember, I’ve been “faux blond” since I was 13!! Thoughts??

Okay, so I guess it’s not that much of a change but to ME it is…plus, it’s a step in the right direction!!

I’m also challenging myself to sport the no make look more often. This is me right before work this morning, ONLY mascara (it was hard for me to skip the foundation but I’m glad I did!) Again, teensy steps!! Do you wear make up every day or are you comfortable au natural?

Notice how little Boo adores me

OH and notice anything different about my blog today? How do you like the new header? Ashley from Edible Perspective has been working with me for the past month or so! THANKS! It’s good to have it up and running! What do you think!?

Although there are numerous components to healthy eating, this week I am only addressing my staple basics. Does that make sense? I realize that I could go on and on about different components to make up a healthy diet but these are the core. Anyway, I crammed beans and nuts in to one post because I just had to include one more food tomorrow!! So there are actually 6, not 5. Can you guess what number 6 is?

Beans. They may very well be nature’s perfect food and it saddens me that so many people are afraid of them! I provide bean recipe ideas and people typically turn their noses up or state affirmatively that they do not eat beans!

In my opinion, beans are a wonderful addition to salads, wraps, casseroles, quesadillas, sandwiches, and dips. They can be mashed, cooked, hot, cold, or seasoned. They provide fiber, protein, folate, potassium, antioxidants, and satiety. And they make you…….

Benefits:

Cancer: Beans contain isoflavins and protease inhibitors which have been shown to prevent healthy cells from turning cancerous and inhibiting their growth! Phytoestrogens found in beans block the overactivity of estrogen and testoterone, 2 hormones that can cause tumor growth of the breast and prostate! Interestingly enough, “studies have shown Hispanic women have half the risk of breast cancer as white women. This disparity is believed to be due to the high content of beans in their diet.” (source)

Cholesterol: “Eating a cup of cooked beans a day can lower your total cholesterol by up to 10% in 6 weeks, decreasing your heart disease risk by 20%,” according to Patti Bazel Weil R.D and diabetes nutrition educator at the University of Kentucky. ”A study conducted at the University of Kentucky has shown that only three weeks of increased bean intake (3/4 cup of navy and pinto beans) lowered the men’s cholesterol by an average of 19%. This reduces the risk of heart attack by almost 40%.” (source)

Diabetes: The soluble fiber found in beans binds to carbohydrates and slows their digestion and absorption into the bloodstream, preventing blood glucose levels from spiking, according to Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN at the American Institute for Cancer Research. Just be mindful that while beans are useful for those with diabetes, they are still carbohydrates and need to be factored in to your daily menu planning.

By just stating a few of the great benefits of beans, I hope that you feel a little more inclined to try them out!!

nuts

Nuts. The perfect snack: savory, satisfying, and just the right amount of crunch! While beans can be difficult to get people to try, nuts have the opposite effect. Put out a dish of nuts and usually it’s the center of attention. I won’t go on and on about the heart healthy benefits of nuts because I already wrote a post which provided my choice for the top 5 healthiest nuts. So read up! It’s quick I promise.

I will only say this; if you are anything like my Dad, nuts might not necessarily be working FOR you. Consuming nuts every day in astronomical quantities of 2- 4 servings in one sitting and eating varieties which are honey roasted or candy coated, kind of outweighs the benefits!! Large quantities of anything (healthy or not) with lots of salt and sugar, will more than likely increase your waistline!

With that said, my challenge for you is to try them au natural. Just try them. Yes, it might take some getting used to but you also might be pleasantly surprised. It’s kind of like skim milk…you are a little apprehensive at first but then when you finally make the switch, the fuller fat versions make you feel like you are drinking creamer.

Moral of the story? Half to a full serving of nuts a day is HEALTHY but be sure to make room for those calories AND choose them in their natural (preferably organic) state. Your body will thank you.

PS. That includes nut butters. Less is more when it comes to ingredients…remember that! “Choosy mom’s choose natural nut butters!”