Diet Tips


Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  Try to get at least five ½ cup servings each day. Eat a wide variety of foods to make sure you get all your vitamins, trace minerals, and phytonutrients. Drink 6 – 10 cups of pure water each day.  You can get by with 6 if your small and not very active but need at least 8 – 10 cups if you are larger or very active. Eat at least three meals each day.  You may want to add a snack between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, and dinner and before bed.  It is better to spread out your daily food intake for better absorption and to keep your blood sugar and metabolism at a good level. Take enough time to eat meals in a relaxed manner. Sit down to eat. Eat foods that are in season and as fresh as possible.  Frozen is the next best thing to fresh.  Try to eat foods that are grown locally when possible (farmers market). Sip small amounts of hot water (tea temperature) with meals.Try to keep a good balance of carbohydrates (40% of calories), protein (30%) and fats (30%).  One simple approach is to segment your portions on your plate.  Devote ¼ of your plate to a high protein food like meat, fish or tofu, ½ to vegetables and/or fruits and devote the remaining ¼ to starchy foods like rice, bread or potatoes.  Alternately, eliminate high starch foods and use 3/4 of your plate for vegetables and fruits (especially vegetables) No fair stacking up your favorite foods higher than the rest!!! Plan your meals and shopping on a weekly basis.


  • Eat a lot of fried foods.
  • Eat foods high in refined sugar or refined flours.
  • Consume caffeine unless you need it to stay awake while driving.
  • Eat so much that you’re uncomfortable or lethargic after a meal.
  • Eat too much protein:  a ½ gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight is optimum for most people.
  • Eat in a rushed or stress condition if it can be avoided.


  1. The most beneficial exercise for general health, blood pressure, energy, weight loss and cardiovascular health is aerobic exercise like walking, biking, hiking, swimming, slow jogging or race-walking.
  2. Anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting, tennis, basketball and sprinting is healthy in small doses but should only be used once you are in good aerobic shape and then in a ratio of three minutes aerobic to every one minute anaerobic.  Anaerobic exercise does develop strength and speed, but tends to reverse some of the physiologic benefits of aerobic exercise if done in excess.
  3. Find a type of aerobic exercise or machine (exercise bike, cross-country ski machine, step aerobic platform, etc.) that you enjoy.  If it’s not fun, most people won’t stick to it.
  4. Pick some activity that will let you set the pace.  For walking, biking or jogging pick a level course to start with so it’s easier so keep your pulse constant.
  5. Choose an activity that will allow you to use the same set of lower body muscles continuously for at least 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. It is very important to keep your pulse in the aerobic range for your age and physical condition. The only accurate way to do this is to take your pulse regularly during exercise.

Here is the way to calculate what your target pulse rate should be.

  1. 180 minus your age.
  2. Subtract 10 if you are not well, have or are recovering from a major illness or surgery or are on medication.
  3. Subtract 5 if you have not been training regularly, have the flu or a cold more than twice a year, have allergies or have had a recent injury.
  4. If you have been working out regularly and have none of the problems listed in 2 or 3, use the base formula (180-age).
  5. If you are a competitive athlete that has worked out regularly for at least two years with none of the above problems, add 5.
  6. If in doubt, go with the formula that keeps your pulse lower.  You’ll still benefit and won’t risk the problems associated with anaerobic exercise.
  7. If you are over 65 you may have to add to the formula, up to 10 beats for those in good shape.
  8. For sixteen years of age and under the formula doesn’t work, so just go with a pulse of 165 and adjust according to level of fitness

Here is how to take your pulse.

  1. Wear a watch with a second hand or a digital watch.
  2. Find the carotid pulse at your neck (where the neck and chin meet) or the radial pulse at your wrist.
  3. With your finger (not your thumb) on the pulse, wait until the second-hand gets to a number, then:
  4. Stop exercising.
  5. Count the pulse for six seconds and multiply by 10
  6. Your pulse should be no higher than the above calculation. 
  7. Tracking your heart rate/pulse is made easier with a heart monitor. Polar makes some good ones. Make sure your monitor includes a chest strap to monitor heart beat. The wrist only models are not as accurate.
  8. It is important to warm up before exercising.  You should spend at least five minutes slowly working up to your aerobic level, using the same muscles you’ll be using later.
  9. For best results, you should stay at your target pulse rate for at least 15 minutes.  If you are just starting to exercise, remember it’s better to exercise for shorter periods and progress slower than it is to exercise longer than your body is ready for.
  10. Cooling down is also important.  This is the opposite of the warm-up.  At the end of your aerobic exercise period, spend at least five minutes gradually slowing down until your pulse is in the    80 -100 beats per minute range (8 – 10 beats per six seconds).
  11. Some authorities feel that exercise should be divided evenly between warm-up, exercise at target pulse level and cool down.  I find that if you make your warm up and cool down each about 20% of the time you spend at your target pulse rate it works well.
  12. Stretching is most beneficial after exercise rather than before. Muscles will stretch easier and are less likely to be injured when they are warm and circulation has been improved through exercise.
  13. After your exercise, you should feel good. You should notice that you feel invigorated, more energetic and calmer.  If you feel exhausted and stressed, you’ve done something wrong, most likely you’ve gone too fast or too long.

With these helpful hints in mind, you’ll be well on your way to health and fitness! Good luck!


This is a recipe for tea that provides easy to absorb sources of vitamins A, C, and other factors for the immune system.  It is useful for viral infections, colds, cases of flu, etc.  When you’re sick one cup each hour is the optimal usage. If you don’t want to mix your own, it is available pre-mixed from Greatest Grains on Kimberly in Davenport.

  • Mix one part of the cut and sifted peppermint with two parts each of rosehips and lemongrass.  Use two tsp of this mixture for each cup of tea desired.  Use like regular loose tea.

Coconut Oil

  • Is easier to digest than most oils. Its medium chain fatty acids can be digested without pancreatic enzymes or being converted to triglycerides
  • Can act as a quick energy boost without triggering insulin increase
  • Helps with weight loss, especially if used to replace other fats and oils
  • Increases “thermogenesis”
  • May improve thyroid function
  • Is a good source of Lauric acid which converts to monolaurin in the body antiviral antibacterial antiparasite
  • Is a good source of Caprillic acid antifungal, helps with Candida albicans
  • Is very heat stable, won’t break down with cooking as easy as other cooking oils, butter or olive oil
  • Can be kept at room temperature without rancidity
  • May help protect from certain types of cancer, especially if used to replace other oils
  • Helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light and wrinkling
  • Helps prevent oxidative damage and “liver spots”
  • Note: it does not block ultraviolet light like sunscreen
  • Especially helpful if used as a food and as a lotion on skin
  • Studies show it increases HDL and that virgin coconut oil may decrease serum cholesterol, not increase it as previously believed.
  • Contains no dangerous trans fats
  • Suggested daily use:
    • 1 – 4 tablespoons/day
    • Use in cooking
    • Spread on bread
    • Can be used directly by the spoonful
    • Use in blender drinks or mix into yogurt
    • Rub into skin to help promote healthier skin
    • Be sure to use only virgin, non-hydrogenated coconut oil.
    • Hydrogenation of any oil makes it dangerous to your health
    • Beneficial aspects of coconut oil may be lost if it’s not virgin.
    • Virgin coconut oil tastes dramatically better than non-virgin