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Nutrition For The Elderly

Healthy eating and nutrition for the elderly is greatly impacted by several factors, one of them being a change in body composition.  During the later years in life, the body will lose bone and muscle and gain fat because the hormones aren’t very active anymore.

There are many factors which hinder an elderly person’s health.  The information below will help you to lead a healthy life – no matter how old you may be.

Water Water in the body decreases with age, so many older folks will become dehydrated very easily.  Sometimes they won’t feel thirsty, while other times it’s too much work to pour a glass a water.  With this in mind, it’s recommended that they drink at least 1 ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

Protein At this stage in life, protein is very important. Protein is needed to support a healthy immune system and prevent the wasting of muscle.  Since energy needs are less, older folks should eat high quality protein such as eggs, lean meats, poultry, and fish.

Carbs and fiber Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the entire body.  You can find carbs in bread, cereals, pasta, and other grain products.  A diet that’s high in fiber and water will help to prevent constipation as well.

Fat Fat intake for the elderly should be limited, not eliminated.  You can limit fat by choosing lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and food preparation methods that don’t include frying. 

Iron For the elderly, iron deficiency can be seen with those who aren’t eating much.  Good sources for iron include lean red meats or breakfast cereals.

Zinc Zinc intake is normally with the elderly, and to make matters worse, it’s not absorbed very well either.  Meat, poultry, and fish should be a part of your diet to help you meet the requirements for zinc.

Calcium Calcium is one ingredient that most elderly folks simply aren’t getting enough of.  Most believe that milk upsets their stomach, and therefore they will avoid it.  They should be getting around 1,500 mg of calcium a day, and nonfat powdered milk can be used in recipes as a substitute for milk.  Other foods such as yogurt, low fat cheese, and broccoli can also help you meet the requirements for calcium.

Vitamin B12 In order to absorb the benefits of B12, the intrinsic facotr must be produced by the stomach.  Most elderly people suffer from a deficiency in B12 because they have a condition known as trophic gastritis.  This condition causes inflammation of the stomach, bacterial overgrowth, and the intrinsic factor. Without the intrinsic factor, this vitamin can be absorbed.

Each one of the above nutrients are needed to keep an aged body in good health.  Elderly individuals should try to stay active and strive for a well-balanced diet.  Even though the aged body isn’t the same as it used to be, proper care and the right nutrients can help the elderly enjoy a healthy and long life.

Atkins and Ketosis

The basic principle of the Atkins diet is that a state of ketosis will help you burn your fat stores as energy. Many people, even those who are on low carbohydrate diets, don’t quite understand ketosis and why it works.

Most diets are calorie-reduction diets. They help you lose weight, but some of the weight is from fat and some of it is from lean muscle tissue. While you may look smaller on the scale, your metabolism is actually slowing down. The more muscle you lose the slower your metabolism will be. This makes losing weight more difficult and gaining weight back even simpler.

The Atkins diet, on the other hand, is carbohydrate restrictive. It creates a state of ketosis in your body that burns only fat, and not muscle. The primary source of your energy for your body will be fat in the form of ketones. Your liver will convert fat into ketones and it cannot be converted back. It will be excreted naturally.

Ketones are actual a normally and efficient source of fuel for the human body. They are created in the liver from the fatty acids that result from the breakdown of body fat. These only appear when there is an absence of glucose and sugar. In the Atkins diet, you reduce the amount of glucose and sugar that is in the bloodstream. As a result, your body produces ketones for fuel. When your body is creating ketones it is called ketosis.

There is a common misconception that following a ketogenic diet like Atkins is dangerous. The truth is that being in ketosis is a completely naturally state. The human body creates ketones to use as fuel in the absence of glucose.

In the Atkins diet book, Dr. Atkins suggests using ketone-testing strips to determine your state of ketosis during dieting. These small plastic strips are held in the urine stream and contain a special chemically treated absorptive pad. This pad will change color if ketones are present in the urine. With the presence of ketones, the strip will change varying shades of pink to purple. There is a color scale on the label of the bottle that will help you determine your ketone levels.

Ketone strips are available in any pharmacy and can be found among the diabetic supplies. In some stores, they are kept behind the counter so you may have to ask for them. You won’t need a prescription to buy them though. Once you open a package of ketosis strips they have a shelf life of 6 months. It may be helpful to mark the opening date on the box.

Ketone strips will let you know if you are progressing correctly on the Atkins diet. If you are following the Induction plan to the letter and aren’t seeing purple, don’t worry. Some people never show trace amounts of ketones or they may show just above the minimum line. As long as you are losing weight and inches then you are successfully using ketones. Also, if you’ve just exercised a few hours before using the strips, you may not see purple.

Some dieters may mistakenly believe that a dark purple result on the testing strips means that they are losing weight faster. Actually, the darkest purple color is a sign of dehydration. It means that your urine is too concentrated and you need to drink water.

Ketones come from fat in the bloodstream, whether it is fat that you eat or fat that you burn. So if you eat a meal heavy in fat and then immediately use a testing strip, then you’ll see a dark purple result. Use the strips as a guide, but don’t get hung up on the color.

Reaching a state of ketosis is key to success on the Atkins diet and it as simple as eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. Make sure to follow the eating plan correctly and use the ketone testing strips as needed.

Cooking Cajun Food

Cooking in the heart of Cajun country is an art form. There really is very little science to this particular form of cooking that includes a lot more than mere lagniappe from the pantry or the spice cabinet. Cajun cooking is something that has often been imitated around the country and around the world but can very rarely be accurately duplicated.

One of the fascinating things about Cajun cooking is the fact that there are very few exact recipes. Most, if not all authentic Cajun cooking is done to taste rather than measurements. Even more amazing is that from day-to-day one person can make the same dish over and over and it is quite likely to taste a little bit different each and every time it is made. The major reason for this is that in addition to being an art form in and of itself, Cajun food is often made even more delicious or mysterious simply by the mood of the one doing the cooking.

I’m sure that many of you have watched as Emeril Lagasse makes some special concoction and exclaims “Bam!” there is a good bit of that when it comes to Cajun cooking. Something that goes far beyond the ingredients in the recipe and somewhere into the heart and the soul of the cook in question. There is a reason that many southern cooked dishes are referred to as soul food and you should not for one second forget that New Orleans is in the heart of the Deep South.

The most difficult thing, perhaps when it comes to preparing good Cajun dishes outside of the New Orleans region is finding the right ingredients. It is nearly impossible to find the fresh seasonings and spices that are essential to most Cajun cuisine outside the heart of the old south. Not only that, but fresh crawfish and andouille sausage are a little difficult to come by during the heart of a Michigan winter.

If you are determined to learn to make Cajun food of your own, you must first find the ingredients. Specialty food shops or those that will special order might be your best bet. There are some grocers that will carry a limited stock of Cajun seasonings on their international food aisles. Keep in mind that these sources are extremely limited. Once you have the ingredients, it’s time to let a little jazz blare from your speakers in order to set the mood. Most of the best Cajun dishes require a substantial amount of time for simmering and this should be considered. Cajun food is not to be rushed-much like the citizens of the Big Easy. The food will be ready in time and as the one cooking the food you must learn to accept that about Cajun food. It has a way of letting you know when it is ready that is almost mythical until you’ve experienced it for yourself.

Cooking Cajun food will try your patience, try your talents, and in some cases zap your energy, as it tends to be an emotional process for many. On the other end however, Cajun food is some of the richest and most delicious food on the planet. Mastering the ability to cook this wonderful food will make you a slave to its flavor for many years to come.

Cooking for Crowds Shouldn’t be a Frightening Proposition

Most people balk at the idea of cooking for large crowds of people. With images of huge stockpots boiling over and becoming chained to a hot stove and oven for countless hours on end, it’s no wonder that so many people avoid the idea of cooking food for large crowds with more tenacity than they avoid being last in the dinner line.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be the frightening proposition that so many make it out to be. When it comes to cooking for a large crowd, the planning phase is the most important. You absolutely must plan your meals when feeding a large group of people. This goes far beyond the notion of spaghetti or fried chicken as the meals you are planning. You need to know how many servings you will need. While obviously you never know how hungry people will be or who will eat how much when it comes to cooking for a large crowd it is a good idea to always plan for a few extra mouths in case some need a little more than you may think (you might want to double servings for teen and college aged men that will be dining).

You need to know at least a general number of servings to prepare and adjust your recipe in order to accommodate those needs. Some people find it much simpler if they can double or triple recipes rather than scaling them to specific serving sizes. If this works best for you then by all means incorporate this practice when cooking for crowds. One thing you must be aware of is that you will need to include in order to create the meal you are planning.

Having the proper ingredients and the proper amounts of ingredients is more important in bulk recipes than is often necessary in smaller recipes as there is less leeway when it comes to creating the proper consistency. You should keep this in mind when making purchases for your cooking for a large crowd event.

Some people find the best route to take when it comes to cooking for crowds is to keep everything as close to their normal cooking routine as possible. This would mean that instead of cooking one really huge pan of lasagna for a triple sized crowd, they would instead cook three normal sized pans of lasagna. This accomplishes two things really and is something you may wish to keep in mind despite the extra time spent in the kitchen.

First of all, if something goes, wrong only one-third of the meal is in shambles rather than the entire dinner. Second, you have a greater possibility of finding consistency issues before the baking begins if you are using measurements and cooking containers that you are familiar with and comfortable using. It is always best to discover errors and omissions sooner rather than later when it comes to cooking as very few ingredients can be properly added after the fact.

While cooking for crowds may send some into dizzying spells with heart palpitations it helps if you take a few deep breaths, sit down, plan your menu, plan your meals, make a list of your ingredients, and cook in a manner that is comfortable for you. If you would rather get it all over with in one fell swoop, then by all means do just that. If you are more comfortable making multiple dishes of family favorites then that is probably going to be the best course of action in order to meet your large crowd cooking needs.

Most importantly you should remember when cooking for crowds is that you might have just earned yourself a well-deserved night off afterwards. Cooking for crowds is time-consuming and should be approached when well rested (if that is even possible) for the best results. There is something that is actually very satisfying about knowing that you have fed a crowd and fed them well.

Popular Backyard Activities for the Whole Family

When summer arrives, the use of a backyard increases. This is due to the fact that most individuals do not like staying inside when the weather is so beautiful.  If you are one of those individuals, it is likely that you and your family will be spending a fairly large amount of time outside.  To make your time memorable and enjoyable, you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with popular backyard activities, especially those that are designed with the whole family in mind.

One activity that everyone enjoys is eating. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you may want to consider having your next meal outside.  If you have a barbecue grill, you and your family may enjoy having tasty food that was prepared on the grill. If you do not have a grill, but are interested in purchasing one, you have a number of options.  A large number of retail stores, both on and offline, carry a fairly large selection of barbecue grills. Charcoal grills are a cheap way to cook; many can sell for as low as twenty or thirty dollars.

In addition to having a backyard barbecue, your family may also enjoy a backyard picnic.  Backyard picnics are often easier to prepare than most barbeque meals.  If you wish, you could easily prepare all of your food inside.  Popular picnic foods may include, but should not be limited to, sandwiches, subs, coleslaw, salads, crackers, cookies, and pretzels. If the weather is warm, you may also want to make sure that you include extra water. Water, especially during hot weather, is important for hydration. 

While eating outdoors is a great way to spend time in your backyard, it will only take a few hours.  If you are interested in spending the whole day in your backyard, you will want to find other backyard activities. One of those activities is likely to include swimming.  Swimming is a favorite summer pastime, for individuals of all ages. The only downside to swimming is that you must have a swimming pool. If you do not have a swimming pool and cannot afford to purchase one, do not worry. There are literally an unlimited number of other backyard activities that your whole family could enjoy, even without a pool. 

Other popular backyard activities involve the playing of sports games or water games. Water games, like many other backyard games, are ideal for individuals of all ages. To cool off or just participate in a family fun activity, you can purchase a water sprinkler, water balloons, or water guns. Many of these items can be purchased for an affordable price at most, on and offline, retailers. 

If sports are more your family’s style, you may want to examine purchasing a volleyball net or a basketball hoop. While a basketball hoop or a volleyball net may be an expensive purchase, it is likely that you and your children will enjoy them on more than one occasion.  If you are concerned with the cost of a basketball hoop, volleyball net, or other sports equipment, you can purchase cheaper alternatives.  Other popular sports games, which do not require the purchase of expensive equipment, may include kickball or softball. 

Spending the day in your backyard is a great to not only have fun, but to spend quality time with your family.  A backyard campout may be the perfect end to the perfect day.  Camping is enjoyed by many.  Backyard camping is great, especially if you have small children.  Not only may they enjoy the new experience, but you will also be close to you home if something goes wrong.  For a reasonable price, if you don’t already have one, you should be able to purchase a tent and other camping supplies. 

As you can see, there are a large number of backyard activities that your whole family may be able to enjoy. In fact, the above mentioned activities are just a few of the many that are available. For additional activities, you may want to ask the rest of your family for suggestions. It is possible that they may alert you to a fun backyard activity that you never even heard of before.