Improve Your On-the-Road Eating Habits

Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.

Take Out

One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.

Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.

Three Courses

The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.

The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.

Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

On the Road Again

It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:

– Drink more water

Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption

– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots

– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish

– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat

– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.

– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies

– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.

– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)

If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…

Tips for Healthy, Safe Summer Cookouts

There’s something about cooking on the grill and eating outdoors that adds to the flavor of summertime gatherings. For those who prefer air conditioning, fewer ants, and opt to eat indoors, there are still food safety hazards worth regarding. When it comes to certain methods of cooking—and warm weather— our delicious food can quickly become unsafe for our health. Let’s explore how we can keep safety on our side…

Did You Scrub Behind the Ears?

Washing fresh produce is imperative, especially if it will be eaten raw. Any kind of vegetables with leaves can house a bevy of bugs or insects. Corn on the cob and its husks are notorious for boarding crawling creatures as well as bacteria.

If you are husking the corn and plan to boil it, this would be your safest option. Another plan is to scrub the husked corn and place it in foil on the grill. Some corn connoisseurs enjoy placing their ears directly on the grill; however, take care that the flames don’t come in contact with your food.

To Grill or Not to Grill?

Just as you don’t want your veggies overcooked on the barbeque, take better care not to overdo your meets. Charred bits of food create carcinogenic chemicals. Grilling may smell and taste great, but, unfortunately, when meat is cooked at over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, carcinogens are formed.

Other instances when carcinogenic compounds are formed are: 1) when the meat is cooked over a long period of time, and 2) when juices drip, making the flames hit the meat. Meat in these cases isn’t just hamburger or steaks. This includes hot dog, chicken, sausage, and even broiled fish.

The good news is that you can avoid potential illness when grilling by following some of these tips:

  • wrap the meat in foil
  • pre-cook in an oven and complete over a medium heat grill
  • use a gas barbeque so that you can control the temperature
  • avoid charring, or cut off ends or pieces that appear burned
  • flip the foods frequently
  • marinate the meat in anti-cancer, antioxidant herbs and spices (garlic, onion, turmeric, oregano, etc.)

Lettuce Eat in Peace

Lots of critters come in contact with lettuce and other leafy vegetables. This includes creatures of the human type, along with animals and bugs. Their germs easily transfer to the food whether it’s out in the field, on a truck, in the market, or even in your fridge. Thorough cleansing is a must before eating any produce, especially if it has no skin or covering.

Fruits like mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and coconuts are amongst the safest from contamination because of their thick skins. Even if your bagged lettuce or spinach claims it’s pre-washed, don’t take any chances. A University of California study showed that pre-washed spinach still contained over 85% of the bacteria on it from when it was plucked. Clean it yourself and your tummy will thank you.

When To Toss It

So, you’ve prepared some lovely food. Sometimes, there are leftovers. Here are some tips on keeping or tossing:

  • Toss anything that started out raw (especially if it sat in the sun). This would include Caesar salad or dressing, mayonnaise, butter, eggs, meats, fish, crudite. You may be tempted to refrigerate and eat later—don’t risk it.
  • Toss opened, unfinished bottles of water. You can pour it over houseplants or next to a tree.
  • Refrigerate cooked meats, but keep only for two days.
  • Refrigerate cooked rice or pasta, but keep only for one day (and this is assuming it has no dairy or raw marinade or dressing in it).

For an entire pantry of healthy food tips, check out—and while you’re at it, why not sign up for the Newsletter everyone is reading and talking about?






More Danger Linked to Eating Red Meat

Although there have already been plenty of reports encouraging the avoidance or decrease of red meat consumption, there’s one more to add to the list.  Men, in particular, who eat a considerable amount of red meat are at higher risk of developing a painful, chronic colon condition.

What We Already Know

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a variety of foods, mostly plant-based. Ideally, one’s plate would be half vegetables and fruits, a quarter whole grains and legumes, and a quarter protein. Unfortunately, many Americans are still plating up unprocessed red meats (burgers and steaks) as their protein of choice.

Choosing lean meats (poultry), fish, and beans as a protein is better overall for heart and colon health. One theory for the disturbance that red meat causes in the body is that it interferes with the gut microbiome. This negatively affects proper digestion. Other evidence points to consumption of red meat fueling low-level inflammation. Chronic inflammation, at any level, is dangerous and has been known to increase risk of cancer.

So, Now What Are They Saying?

A new study out of Boston found that men who ate over 10 servings of red meat per week were over 50% more likely to develop diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a pouch in the lining of the colon that becomes inflamed of infected. Food and bacteria get trapped in the pocket(s), which creates the perilous condition.

This inflammatory disease of the colon causes extreme pain, constipation, and nausea. Diverticulitis can result in dangerous complications such as blockages and/or tears in the colon wall. If the increase of heart disease or cancer didn’t scare you, perhaps the results of this study may.

Senior researcher Dr. Andrew Chan noted that in this study, there was no link between poultry or fish and the risk of diverticulitis. What this means is that trading out a piece of grilled chicken for a hamburger can greatly decrease a man’s risk of developing diverticulitis. The study was conducted over a 26-year period and included over 46,000 male participants.

How to Proceed

If you love a good steak or burger, you don’t need to remove it completely from your diet (unless your health practitioner has made that recommendation.) Aim to keep your servings to three or less per week. There are many delicious and nutrient-rich replacements for high protein dishes besides red meat.

A plant-based diet will keep you heart-healthiest, but chicken, turkey, and fish are completely acceptable sources of main protein on your breakfast, lunch, or dinner plate. Whichever you choose, remember to combine double its portion with vegetables and fruit. For more articles on healthy eating, check out


The Vitamin You Need But Don’t Know About

When it comes to vitamins, we read labels, blogs, and listen to advice from health experts. But there’s one necessary vitamin we are short on, and probably never even heard of. Its name is Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K1 and K2

We’ve heard of Vitamin K1 from cereals and health-oriented sources. It’s well known for its ability to assist with proper blood clotting. It can be derived naturally from green leafy vegetables, cruciferous veggies, and in smaller amounts from fish, liver, eggs, and cereal.

Most people on a Western diet do not consume enough foods containing K1. Even with supplements, most Americans are deficient in that particular vitamin.

Vitamin K2 is actually made from Vitamin K1. But because most are lacking in K1, there is no way that our bodies are creating enough K2.

Vitamin K2’s job is to carry calcium to the proper places such as your bones, joints, and teeth. When we are K2 deficient, calcium gets moved to other places like your arteries—which creates a negative affect for your heart and brain.

Why Aren’t More People Talking About This?

There have been numerous recent studies on the valuable importance of Vitamin K2. Mostly all of the findings point to adequate intake of K2 being a worthy prevention for Heart Disease.

Vascular calcification can be diminished when Vitamins K1 and K2 are in abundance as our biological functions require. One study out of Rotterdam, which analyzed almost 5,000 participants, showed that coronary heart disease mortality was reduced in those with proper amounts of Vitamin K2. And, a risk of acquiring heart disease was lessened by over 50%.

Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your brain, heart, and other areas of your body. The “hardening” is actually plaque build-up. The blood has difficulty getting where it needs to go when there are blockages. Plaque consists mostly of fat, cholesterol—and calcium.

How is that calcium getting into the bloodstream? One reason is because it’s not being transported to the places it should be going (ie. teeth and bones), due to a shortage of Vitamin K2 to lead it there properly.

Other Vitamin K1 and K2 Benefits

Diabetes risk can be decreased by as much as 51% with increase ingestion of K1. It plays a role (along with other mechanisms) in regulating glucose.

Autoimmune Diseases may be helped to be put into remission. One study presented that osteoporosis may be preventable from those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It also showed that Vitamin K2 may even help put rheumatoid arthritis into remission.

A German research group discovered that vitamin K2 provides substantial protection against prostate cancer.

Studies analyzing CT scans are looking for signs of coronary calcification reversal. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, Vitamin K2 may help decrease plaque and prevent build-up in the first place.

Getting Vitamin K2 from Food

The daily requirement for K2 can be nebulous, but many health experts recommend between 100 and 200 mcg (although the RDA requirement is significantly much lower.) No matter if you eat K2-rich foods or take a supplement, you need to take/eat it with a good fat. Vitamin K2 is fat-soluble, and you won’t fully absorb it unless it’s paired with fat.

Here are some food suggestions: Natto (a fermented Japanese food that tastes bitter), hard and soft cheeses, egg yolks, butter, chicken liver, grass-fed beef, and organic chicken breast.

Green leafy vegetables are terrific too, like spinach, kale, collard greens, etc. But you need a ton to get close to fulfilling enough Vitamin K2 in your diet.


We hear doctors telling us not to eat to eat egg yolks because they are full of cholesterol. But Vitamin K2 is found in yolks, and we need that vitamin. So is the egg yolk causing clogged arteries? Or is the lack of a natural digestive substance causing calcium build-up in the arteries and also preventing the body from maintaining its intended healthy process?

For other thought-provoking articles and tips on best health practices, see our collection at

Omega-3s May Prevent High Blood Pressure Later in Life

Most Omega-3 fatty acid studies have been focused on those who already have high blood pressure. A new study out of Switzerland, however, reveals some interesting findings from healthy participants aged 25 to 41.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Don’t be frightened by the term fatty acid. It’s a necessary element in our diet, and our body doesn’t naturally produce it. Omega-3s, in particular, have shown to improve the functioning of our blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and strengthen heart health. It can be found in foods such as: fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, beans, winter squash, tofu, and others.

Very high doses of omega-3s can lower blood pressure momentarily. But what about long-term, moderate use? Will that prevent high blood pressure in the future? That’s what the scientists were wondering…

The Study

Lead researcher, Dr. Mark Filipovic, studied results from 2,000 participants in the program. Men and women, aged 25 to 41, were divided into four groups. All of the people were considered healthy, did not have diabetes and were not obese. (Those conditions tend to impact blood pressure levels.)

Those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had the lowest systolic and lowest diastolic of all the groups. Systolic pressure is the top number of the blood pressure reading; it measures the pressure exerted against artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, measures the pressure exerted when the heart rests between beats.

How an Omega-3-rich Diet Can Benefit You

The assumption, after that particular study, is that encouraging diets rich in omega-3s could be a tool in preventing high blood pressure. Filipovic expressed that, overall, if blood pressure levels were lowered—even a small amount—it would make a big difference. Fewer people might suffer strokes and heart attacks.

An alternate study, which focused on those who already have high blood pressure, noted that adding omega-3 fatty acids into their diet reduced their levels. Even less than a gram made a difference. (That’s a handful of walnuts and a half of an avocado, or a 4-ounce piece of Alaskan salmon.)

Instead of taking more supplements, it’s best to incorporate fresh foods that promote optimum health. And when it comes to your heart, you don’t want to mess around. Click here for other helpful information on good-for-your-body foods.