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#1 yawn.3x

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

So I've been trying to eat as healthy as possible because i'm going back to the gym and everything, and when I was really into fitness a few years ago it was always easy, but now that i'm older I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I'm having trouble figuring out what I should eat for Dinner and sometimes lunch.

As much as I want to cook, I can't always because of work etc.. and I try to avoid frozen foods. What are some quick healthy foods that I could quickly prepare?

Breakfast is never an issue, it's mostly just Lunch and Dinner. I'll sit in the kitchen and wander around aimlessly for something to make / eat and then end up just snacking on crackers, a granola bar, some random fruit, etc.. Same thing with dinner.

#2 CanucksFanMike

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:18 PM

for lunch you can get healthy lunch meats, cheese, and bread to make a sandwich from the grocery store (i guess that technically is cooking but it only takes less than 5 mins to make).

Dinner is a tougher one because if you want a good, homemade, healthy dinner it takes time to make (things that are quick usually are not as healthy).
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#3 Krazz

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:20 PM

Invest in a crock pot.

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#4 yawn.3x

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:25 PM

for lunch you can get healthy lunch meats, cheese, and bread to make a sandwich from the grocery store (i guess that technically is cooking but it only takes less than 5 mins to make).

Dinner is a tougher one because if you want a good, homemade, healthy dinner it takes time to make (things that are quick usually are not as healthy).


Yeah that's my issue. Mostly been getting either Sushi or Subway, but I can't keep getting that forever lol. It add's up. The Lunch meats are a good idea though. might give that a shot.

#5 hockeyville88

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:43 PM

I used to have the same problem. Time was always an issue so we were eating frozen lasagnas, pizzas, chicken fingers, and so on wayy too often. At a certain point I had an aversion to all those foods.

Just a few months ago we invested in a barbeque and it has changed our life! We go down to Trader Joes in the States a lot and we get salmon burgers, turkey burgers, grain fed sausages, fresh chicken breast, etc. And of course no one does fish better than the local BC farmers so we get fresh fish and veggies and, on any given night, we'll throw whatever we have on the grill. The BBQ itself adds so much taste to the food that we no longer have to douse our meals in heavy sauces. A very light sprinkle of rosemary and lemon usually does the trick. Takes less than 30 minutes to prepare (we thaw any frozen items from the morning) and it tastes fantastic.

A friend told me to go to thrift stores and look in their books section for BBQ recipie specific books. I just got an amazing one from Value Village for only $3 and it has amazing (and very healthy) recipies that we can try.

If you're into things like that I'd definitely suggest barbeqing.
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#6 debluvscanucks

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

Crock pot is an excellent idea...throw everything in there and have a healthy dinner without much effort at all.

Also - I just got a panini maker. So great - I throw a flatbread on there with a bunch of veggies (and cheese...shh) and it's a quick/excellent meal. (I got mine with my Air Miles - a Cuisinart and I'm loving it so far).

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#7 Gino Odjick

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:58 PM

Honestly, it's all about cooking one giant meal that's versatile enough so you don't get bored of it/ you can throw in something different each time. You can always make a big pot of chili, a pan of lasagna, any casserole and store portions of it in the freezer so you don't have to thaw out the whole thing and eat the same thing all week.

But anyway, here's what I do for fresh foods. I'll use my example for salads.

Precook some chicken and put it in a tupperware container. Chop some veggies and do the same (you can even freeze them if you chop a butt-load). Buy a head of lettuce and BOOM - you can mix together a salad throughout the week whenever you want. Dress it up with a light vinaigrette, toss in a boiled egg and presto - you got yourself a salad that can fill you up and provide some protein for gym time. You can also throw in chickpeas, shredded carrot, cheese cubes, walnuts, and fruit. That covers lunch.

For dinner:

You can do a stir fry. Boiling noodles or rice doesn't take long and throwing veggies in a wok with some oil really doesn't take long. In 20 minutes you can have yourself a decent, healthy dinner. Or precook some rice and store it in the fridge. Stock the freezer with some nice cuts of different types of meat. Example: seer a cut of salmon in a pan, throw in dill/salt & pepper/lemon juice, cover for 10 minutes.. At the same time, steam some asparagus for 5 mins. Boom. Dinner.

Also, as mentioned above, thawing is key. It's a little difficult at first to plan out your meals but if you do it for a week, you'll get the hang of it and it'll become second nature and you can avoid eating the same thing over and over.

Edited by Gino Odjick, 08 August 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#8 Grapefruits

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:35 PM

I bought one of those George Foreman type grills a couple years ago and they are great! You can cook meals pretty quick and healthy.

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#9 Jai604

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:42 PM

Honestly, it's all about cooking one giant meal that's versatile enough so you don't get bored of it/ you can throw in something different each time. You can always make a big pot of chili, a pan of lasagna, any casserole and store portions of it in the freezer so you don't have to thaw out the whole thing and eat the same thing all week.

But anyway, here's what I do for fresh foods. I'll use my example for salads.

Precook some chicken and put it in a tupperware container. Chop some veggies and do the same (you can even freeze them if you chop a butt-load). Buy a head of lettuce and BOOM - you can mix together a salad throughout the week whenever you want. Dress it up with a light vinaigrette, toss in a boiled egg and presto - you got yourself a salad that can fill you up and provide some protein for gym time. You can also throw in chickpeas, shredded carrot, cheese cubes, walnuts, and fruit. That covers lunch.

For dinner:

You can do a stir fry. Boiling noodles or rice doesn't take long and throwing veggies in a wok with some oil really doesn't take long. In 20 minutes you can have yourself a decent, healthy dinner. Or precook some rice and store it in the fridge. Stock the freezer with some nice cuts of different types of meat. Example: seer a cut of salmon in a pan, throw in dill/salt & pepper/lemon juice, cover for 10 minutes.. At the same time, steam some asparagus for 5 mins. Boom. Dinner.

Also, as mentioned above, thawing is key. It's a little difficult at first to plan out your meals but if you do it for a week, you'll get the hang of it and it'll become second nature and you can avoid eating the same thing over and over.


Put cooked rice in the freezer. Trust me. Thank me later.

Rice in the fridge dries out and will not taste remotely the same when you reheat it. Frozen rice when reheated will taste and have almost the same texture.

The only time you want to put rice in the fridge is if you're going to make fried rice the next day. The secret to making great fried rice is to use old rice.


Other than that, I agree wholeheartedly with everything else. Salads are easy, and you can precook a lot of stuff and mix and match different veggie and meat combos throughout the week. Chicken salad, steak salad, Asian-inspired salads (like noodle salads etc.). Stir fries are incredibly easy and to be honest a lot of the veggies you pre-chop and put in your fridge can double as salad ingredients as well as stir-fry ingredients.

If you're going to make a stiry fry, you can also slice the meat and marinate it the night before, it'll be a lot tastier.

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#10 Hugemanskost

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:44 PM

for lunch you can get healthy lunch meats, cheese, and bread to make a sandwich from the grocery store (i guess that technically is cooking but it only takes less than 5 mins to make).

Dinner is a tougher one because if you want a good, homemade, healthy dinner it takes time to make (things that are quick usually are not as healthy).


There really are no "healthy" processed lunch meats. Avoid them due to their high nitrite and salt content.

My wife and I recently purchased a food / meat slicer from Canadian Tire for $125. We now buy large roasts - beef, pork, turkey breast - and cook and slice them on our own. YOU control what you put on them. Leave some out and freeze the rest for later. There are all sorts of rubs and pastes on the interwebs for you to try or, if you are adventurous, try your own.

Two suggestions from above, crockpots and pre-washed veggies for salads, are also awesome ideas.

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#11 key2thecup

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:46 PM

George Foreman Grill.

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#12 The Sedin's 6th Sense

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:52 PM

I have wraps often and it can be either a lunch or dinner thing. Very filling, healthy if you make it healthy, and it's easy to make. I'm vegetarian, so mines are usually always healthy to begin with.

How I make it:
First I warm the wrap in the microwave for about 10 seconds, make sure it's not cold and also make sure it's not too warm otherwise it will break apart when handling. *Have cut salad, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes...whatever you want ready to add in the wrap*. After heating the wrap a bit, I lay it down and spread some whipped cream or whatever it is on the surface if it, not all of it, just a portion of it. After that, I put my salad, cucumbers, peppers, beans and cheese at times in the wrap, and sometimes add some spices in it - very little amount when I do though. When everything's in, fold the wrap up (need a good technique), stare at your success for a brief moment, pour some milk/juice/whatever you want to drink alongside the wrap and enjoy your meal :) I put all the cut salad and everything in bowl before hand and mix it all together so it's ready and easy to put in the wrap when you want it.

Really filling but I wouldn't recommend this as a daily food - gets boring and stale if you eat it too often, so just have this as a meal to make every 3-6 days if you want the enjoyment to last and if your open to trying what I said :P Hope this helped, good luck!

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#13 Jai604

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:54 PM

Oh, I almost forgot. Having a bunch of different sauces lying around is always helpful so you can make different stir-fries and dressings.

I always have in my fridge/pantry:

Red-wine vinegar
Rice vinegar (Japanese stuff)
Chinese black vinegar
Soy sauce (Chinese, Japanese, Mushroom)
Worcestershire sauce
Sesame oil
Honey
Mustard
Ketchup
Olive Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Miso (Shiro and Aka)
Ketchup
Sriracha hot sauce
Lemon juice
Cooking wines (Asian ones like Chinese and Japanese, as well as bottles of cheap red and cheap white)
Gochu-jjang (Korean red pepper paste)
Den-jjang (Korean miso, basically, much saltier than the Japanese kinds)
Pepper flakes (of different varieties)
Five-Spice
Star Anise


Off the top of my head. There are a whole pile of other things in my pantry but you get the idea.

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#14 yawn.3x

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:50 AM

Thank's for all the great idea's everyone. I'm gonna try the George Foreman grill. That will be pretty cool. But it's not the meat i'm having issues with making, it's the side dish. For example, if I make chicken; what kind of side should go with it? Ideally rice?

#15 Grapefruits

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:03 AM

Thank's for all the great idea's everyone. I'm gonna try the George Foreman grill. That will be pretty cool. But it's not the meat i'm having issues with making, it's the side dish. For example, if I make chicken; what kind of side should go with it? Ideally rice?


Head down to the Zellers in Willowbrook Mall for the grill. They are clearing out everything in the store and I think I saw the grill on sale in there for 20% off. I almost always go with rice, but Ill also go with green beans or asparagus from time to time. I'll also just go with some cut up raw vegetables and dip. Corn on the cob is pretty great these days as well.

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#16 Jai604

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:53 AM

Easy way to cook veggies is to cut them into long pieces, throw them on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, coarse sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Chuck em in the oven and broil them on low.

Bell peppers are awesome this way, as is zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, pretty much anything you like. Cauliflower is good this way too.

I dont' know how much you like white rice, but if you don't, a great way to make tasty rice is to cook it with chicken stock instead of water, add some herbs. A great way to make rice is to throw a few Chinese sausages on the top while the rice cooks. Trust me on that one ;).

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#17 Gunner Garrison

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:23 AM

Easy way to cook veggies is to cut them into long pieces, throw them on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, coarse sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Chuck em in the oven and broil them on low.

Bell peppers are awesome this way, as is zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, pretty much anything you like. Cauliflower is good this way too.

I dont' know how much you like white rice, but if you don't, a great way to make tasty rice is to cook it with chicken stock instead of water, add some herbs. A great way to make rice is to throw a few Chinese sausages on the top while the rice cooks. Trust me on that one ;).


This guy knows his stuff, and the thing about the old rice making the best fried rice is 100% true

We are too alike hahah

#18 DarthNinja

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:28 AM

Thank's for all the great idea's everyone. I'm gonna try the George Foreman grill. That will be pretty cool. But it's not the meat i'm having issues with making, it's the side dish. For example, if I make chicken; what kind of side should go with it? Ideally rice?


Switch everything to brown...rice, pasta, bread etc. and only cook small amounts so you don't heap pile after pile on to your plate. Remember that they are just that - side dishes! Remember that with things like pasta, sauces can be the problem.

Personally, I am a massive fan of quinoa, cooked/mixed with tomato paste and/or natural broth in the water....num num num. If possible buy it with the coating and wash it off yourself (it has a bitter coating that needs to be washed off before cooking). It also comes as pre-washed/coating removed but keep in mind that this is still a form of 'processing'. Quinoa is highly nutritious and is related closer to vegetables like spinach and beets than to other grains like rice (though it is very much 'grain like').

Also, stir-fired vegetables, especially fibrous ones like broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower cooked with either a little olive or coconut oil as well as mixed corn and peas are a great way to add to your healthy side dishes.

And try this salad: sliced Japanese cucumbers, avocado chunks, diced or small slices of tomatoes and finely minced white onion mixed together with olive oil and lemon juice. Don't forget to add dashes of natural sea salt as well to any and all of the above - but especially the salad (sea salt is a great source for replacing electrolytes that get depleted during training).

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#19 Hugemanskost

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:44 AM

When eating, divide your 9" plate into a half and two quarters.

Your protein should be set in one of the quarters in correct serving size - about 3oz.

Your starch, rice, potato, corn, grain, pasta, should go in the other quarter.

The half should be filled with veggies with a focus on green ones.

Yum!

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#20 debluvscanucks

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

I had a GF grill but the reason I prefer the Cuisinart Panini Maker is because the plates detach for placing in the dishwasher or, at least, easier clean up. I got rid of the GF because you had to clean it intact and it could be time consuming. Sure - the non stick surface should mean you could just wipe it down but, for burgers, it could become a sticky mess.

So it's virtually the same things but the Cuisinart wins for this feature. As well, the "grill/panini" plate can be flipped over for a flat/skillet surface (to do eggs, pancakes, etc.).

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#21 Stefan

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:48 AM

3 eggs, rolled oats, 20 grain toast, orange for breakfast
protein shake with almond milk an hour or two after
granolla bar and fruit as a later snack
a sandwich with 50 grams of natural turkey breast, and plenty of veggies and cheese in it
some fruit with plain almonds an hour or two later
another sandwich with 50 grams of natural turkey breast, and plenty of veggies and cheese in it
some more fruit with vegetables as another snack an hour or two later
0% greek yogurt with plain granolla in it an hour or two later
protein shake with almond milk an hour or two later
dinner consisting of barely seasoned chicken breast with brown or wild rice and a hefty salad
a protein shake before sleep

Do something similar, try to reduce the carbs if you're able to.

dinner alternatives could be chicken quesiadilla, brown noodle pasta, chicken or prawn stir fry, chicken salad, etc. etc.
Chicken's good.
Red meat isn't so much.
Try not to do pasta too much, and of course eat some pork / beef every once in a while, but chicken should be your "go to" meat until it get's painfully dull. Oh, and of course fish. But I don't eat that. Then consult a cooking book and go insane.

Edited by Stefan, 09 August 2012 - 08:54 AM.

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#22 Squeak

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

I used to have the same problem. Time was always an issue so we were eating frozen lasagnas, pizzas, chicken fingers, and so on wayy too often. At a certain point I had an aversion to all those foods.

Just a few months ago we invested in a barbeque and it has changed our life! We go down to Trader Joes in the States a lot and we get salmon burgers, turkey burgers, grain fed sausages, fresh chicken breast, etc. And of course no one does fish better than the local BC farmers so we get fresh fish and veggies and, on any given night, we'll throw whatever we have on the grill. The BBQ itself adds so much taste to the food that we no longer have to douse our meals in heavy sauces. A very light sprinkle of rosemary and lemon usually does the trick. Takes less than 30 minutes to prepare (we thaw any frozen items from the morning) and it tastes fantastic.

A friend told me to go to thrift stores and look in their books section for BBQ recipie specific books. I just got an amazing one from Value Village for only $3 and it has amazing (and very healthy) recipies that we can try.

If you're into things like that I'd definitely suggest barbeqing.


I love Trader Joes.

Fantastic healthy food for good prices.
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#23 Offensive Threat

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

.




Don't forget to add dashes of natural sea salt as well to any and all of the above - but especially the salad (sea salt is a great source for replacing electrolytes that get depleted during training).


You need to be very careful about how much sea salt you use. Once you get beyond the amount needed to replenish the phosphorus, calcium, copper and potassium lost from exercising it can become detrimental.



From wikipedia: According to The Mayo Clinic and Australian Professor Bruce Neal, the health consequences of ingesting sea salt or regular table salt are the same, as the content of sea salt is still mainly sodium chloride.

Its all about balance.

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#24 Five For Fighting

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:32 AM

Wow glad this post exists! I am trying to lose 110lbs after 10 years of having a car as my office and a drive thru as my kitchen!

Love the panini maker idea deb!
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#25 DarthNinja

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 05:56 AM

You need to be very careful about how much sea salt you use. Once you get beyond the amount needed to replenish the phosphorus, calcium, copper and potassium lost from exercising it can become detrimental.


From wikipedia: According to The Mayo Clinic and Australian Professor Bruce Neal, the health consequences of ingesting sea salt or regular table salt are the same, as the content of sea salt is still mainly sodium chloride.

Its all about balance.



Well one needs to be mindful of everything they consume as well as how much, which is the whole point of the OP starting this thread I would imagine?

This is why I made sure to utilize the word 'dashes' (i.e small amounts) for the greater audience.

In reality, if one strictly consumed sea salt as a means to replenish their potassium, calcium and magnesium that was lost due to heavy perspiration, they would likely need to consume a highly unhealthy amount since these are found in small trace amounts in sea salt.

I was specifically referring to replacing sodium and chloride since these two electrolytes are, by far, lost in the highest concentrations as a result of perspiration (perhaps I should have provided greater clarity in this regard). As for potassium replenishment, coconut water is by far and wide at the top of my personal list.

Certainly balance is required with sea salt just as it would be with anything we consume. Balance also means different things for different people. An individual whose activity is limited from couch to kitchen would certainly need to be much more mindful of their sea salt intake than an individual who trains intensely several times per week. But the same would go for any nutritional intake (sugar etc.).

To the contrary, sodium is a critical component for our bodies and not consuming an adequate amount can also be detrimental (low blood-pressure, hypotremia or hyponatremia), especially for those who train and perspire a lot. If I took the Mayo Clinic's advice, I would be doing harm to my body due to how active I am personally and how much I perspire.

The Mayo Clinic advice is likely for a large audience based on the physical and dietary habits of most people in today's society and it is medical advice in this context. They also indicate that most people already get way too much salt - mostly from processed foods so to abundantly add sea salt on top of this with the assumption that it is healthy would of course be most unwise - again their medical advice is within a certain context for a massive, general audience.

I also do not necessarily agree with the statement regarding the health consequences of sea salt and processed salt being the same based on what other doctors and nutritionists have found and stated. Processed salt is about 97% sodium chloride while sea salt is about 85% sodium chloride.

By consuming refined, processed salt, one could potentially be consuming up to 12% more sodium chloride per serving. Furthermore, sea salt is typically stronger in flavour, which means less can be used.

The key point, however; is that processed salt is just that - processed; stripped of nutrients and bleached and as such our bodies have a difficult time recognizing it and metabolizing it properly. Sea salt on the other had closely resembles the composition of our own body salt and the body recognizes and metabolizes it properly.

Finding one's balance for sure is important but this is more about making health-conscious changes and the foremost advice should be to 'cut the crap' so to speak (i.e. processed, garbage foods). If someone's routine is to scarf down a fast food breakfast sandwich with hash browns, then Mr. Noodles for lunch but switches to sea salt for dinner to be 'healthier' and thereafter over-indulges in pretzels and potato chips then they are only fooling (and harming) themselves.

Edited by DarthNinja_S19Blade, 11 August 2012 - 05:57 AM.

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"Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens & the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We (Allah) parted them? And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (Qur'an 21:30)

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"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” (David Rockefeller)


#26 Offensive Threat

Offensive Threat

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:53 PM

.).

To the contrary, sodium is a critical component for our bodies and not consuming an adequate amount can also be detrimental (low blood-pressure, hypotremia or hyponatremia), especially for those who train and perspire a lot. If I took the Mayo Clinic's advice, I would be doing harm to my body due to how active I am personally and how much I perspire.



US Dept of Health states a maximum of 2500 mg sodium per day to remain healthy.Health Canada says 2300 mg per day max. In reality the average healthy person only needs 180 to 500 milligrams of sodium per day to maintain good health, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Very few people have to ever worry about not ingesting enough sodium.

You seem to have misread the Mayo clinics statement. They offered no advice.



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