Ace Your Health: 52 Ways To Stack Your Deck

Paperback | December 28, 2010

byTheresa Albert

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With our fast-paced lives, it is no wonder more than 50% of North Americans are overweight or obese, and there are record numbers of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. It is time to find a better way to live. Ace Your Health takes a huge topic and boils it down to simple, small shifts that you can easily integrate into your daily routine. The clever concept uses the fact that there are 52 weeks in the year and 52 cards in a deck. This book helps you "play your cards right" by making one simple play per week, and walks you through a year towards improved overall health.

Each "card" lays out a concise, accessible explanation of why you want to make this shift and what background information you need to know. Then, it follows up with a real life assignment on how to apply this new knowledge and ends with a dead easy, crazy tasty recipe. While the spades, hearts, and clubs sections focus on food and eating habits, in the diamonds section you will find advice on sleeping better, reducing stress and anxiety, stretching, and many other aspects that will help round out a new healthier (and happier) lifestyle. You will never again be gambling with your own life once you Ace Your Health.

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From the Publisher

With our fast-paced lives, it is no wonder more than 50% of North Americans are overweight or obese, and there are record numbers of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. It is time to find a better way to live. Ace Your Health takes a huge topic and boils it down to simple, small shifts that you can easily integrate into your ...

Theresa Albert is a foodie who happens to be a nutritionist and not the other way around. She loves to explore food and the culture of food and all of the trends, news, and human love/hate rituals that surround it. She also communicates through her blog at Theresa is a regular on-camera national correspondent fo...

other books by Theresa Albert

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Cook Once A Week: Eat Well Every Day

Kobo ebook|Sep 15 2010


Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.95 × 8.17 × 0.71 inPublished:December 28, 2010Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771006896

ISBN - 13:9780771006890

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ace Your Health is a Sure Thumbs Up This book is fabulous! For years I have been thinking about my health and my eating habits. I have wanted to make changes, but was never sure where to start. Ace Your Health makes starting, continuing and finishing super easy. Nothing too difficult in here. All you need is a will to try new things and a desire to change. I recommend this book! For 2011, 3 bloggers will chronicle their journey as they stack their deck with Ace Your Health -
Date published: 2011-01-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

ACE OF SPADESBREAKFAST: Where it all starts Breakfast is the most important play that you can make. I know you have heard this from your grandma on down, but if you are still not convinced, here are some things you should know. Study after study from respected researchers worldwide show that skipping breakfast is the single largest predictor of becoming overweight in adolescence, and overweight teenagers tend to become overweight adults. But this isn’t the only reason you shouldn’t skip breakfast. Having a meal within one hour of waking up keeps you from becoming sluggish in the afternoon, thus preventing the need to drink coffee late in the day − the very same coffee that will make you sleep fitfully, if at all, at night. That vicious cycle will ensure that your next day is less productive than the one before.Your body wakes up and looks for a signal of what kind of day it will have. It wants to know what kind of food it will need to digest today and it responds accordingly. Like a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer, your body wants to know, Was the hunt successful? Can I count on you for protein or will we be gathering berries all day? If we are picking berries, I am going to need a lot of insulin to digest them and to get the most out of the fuel they have to offer. If I have protein, I may not have to work as hard. Your body thinks, “As I begin, so I will go,” and behaves accordingly. When your body gets lots of carbohydrates in the morning, it responds by giving you insulin to help with digestion. Sometimes your body will overshoot and create too much insulin, and the more often it does so, the more out of whack the process becomes. Too much insulin moves the fuel (in the form of glucose) from the blood to the cells, then stores it as fat! Your body thinks you are going to need fuel (fat) later because the large amount of energy (carbohydrates) you ate first thing signalled that you’re packing it on in anticipation of a famine that is never going to come. The good news is that each day’s requirement is established anew. If you get enough protein at breakfast, along with fibre, your digestion will slow down and you will get a nice slow, gradual rise of insulin that will serve you throughout the day. Your body has now begun to trust that you have enough food to survive. This seems to be why eggs, which are a nutrient-rich and dense protein, are the best breakfast option (see Six of Clubs). Setting a balanced blood sugar level in the morning makes the rest of the ride a little smoother. We all know that blood sugar spikes (like any highs) become crashes. If you avoid the spikes, you probably won’t be “starving” by 11 a.m., and you won’t be tempted to eat that doughnut during the morning meeting. Otherwise, you can’t resist, your body won’t let you; it’s scared because it’s crashing and sugar saves. Avoiding that crash is what having a protein-rich breakfast does. Your blood sugar will be stable enough not to drive you toward fast and furious calories. This early play sets up your next strategic play: a lunch that refuels you so that you can have a sensible snack at 3 p.m., instead of throwing the entire game for Ginny’s birthday cake and some java. It’s all about giving you the tools in the morning when you have the courage to use them. Eating a proper breakfast gives you the strength to follow suit the rest of the day, naturally, with your biology co-operating. But what else, other than eggs, can you have for a breakfast that is high in protein? Here are three key foods: yogurt, hemp seeds, and white chia seeds. The last two may be new to you and I provide more explanation of these seeds in the King of Spades. Hemp seeds are almost pure protein at five grams per tablespoon and when they are combined with white chia seeds, which contain some protein and both soluble and insoluble fibre, you are set for the entire day! Yogurt is one of the few fermented foods that we eat and it is the fermented foods that lay the groundwork for a happy bowel. Remember the commercials with the Swiss guy yodelling his happiness long into his nineties because he ate yogurt? True story!  MAGIC MUESLIYou’ll understand the magic by the third day, pinky swear! Ingredients | Benefits½ cup plain, low-fat yogurt | promotes bowel health1 apple, grated* | phytonutrients1 tbsp uncooked oatmeal | lowers cholesterol1 tbsp slivered almonds | calcium and protein1 tbsp white chia seeds (see King of Spades) | high in fibre½ cup frozen blueberries | phenolics; enhance memory¼ cup hulled hemp seeds (see King of Spades) | protein; eco-friendly1 tsp ground cinnamon | lowers blood pressure1 tsp blackcurrant jam, to sweeten (optional) |urinary health * or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce Mix all the ingredients together and you will have the right amount of protein (about 10 grams), fibre, and nutrients to set you up for the day. Serve immediately or cover and keep in fridge up to 3 days.

Table of Contents


A BREAKFAST: Where it all starts
K HEALTH FOOD STORES: The four things you need
Q CAFFEINE: Coffee, tea–or energetic me?
J FOOD COURTS: Courting a nourishing lunch
10 DINING OUT: Restaurant survival plays
9 GROCERY SHOPPING: The grocery store wizard
8 THE FREEZER SECTION: Must-haves for your freezer
7 HOW TO STOCK YOUR SHELVES: The pantry raid
6 BEANS: Toot sweet
5 READING LABELS: The secret’s on, not in, the box
4 CONTAGIOUS BEHAVIOUR: How you really do get by with a little help from your friends
3 VEGGIES AND FRUIT: The anatomy of a salad
2 FAST FOOD: Drive through, please

A EXERCISE: At the crossroads
Q SLEEP: You are only as good as last night’s Zzzz’s
J FISH: Go Fish
10 RED MEAT: Have your steak and eat it too!
9 CHEESE: A condiment, not a meal
8 FAT: Big fat confusion
7 SALT: Salty dog
6 SOUP: Soup(er) trooper
5 SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS: Can’t live with them; life sucks without them
4 ALCOHOL: Drinking buddy or arch rival?
3 TEA: It’s the royal beverage for a reason
2 BALANCING YOUR LIFE: You are both passenger and conductor on this train

A TELOMERES AND TELOMERASE: Father Time of the future
K VITAMIN D: D’ Whole Story
Q FIBRE: The royal flush
J SUPER FRUITS: Nature’s little superheroes
10 A GRAIN OF TRUTH: The “good” carbs
8 SUGAR AND SWEETENERS: The sweet things in life
7 PROTEIN: Play your protein according to Hoyle
6 EGGS: The protein source of champions
5 CHICKEN: Your “go to” game
4 CHOCOLATE: Your best black suit
3 SPICES AND HERBS: Ancient wisdom meets New Age Science
2 PROPER BREATHING: Learning how to clear the air

A VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS: Pill power or expensive pee?
K DOLLARS AND SENSE: What’s the cost of all this health?
Q STRETCH: Never stretch the truth
J STRESS: Breathing down the neck of this killer
10 THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER: Nothing like a good chuckle
9 SWEAT: Maybe we should sweat the small stuff?
8 H2O: Eight glasses a day? Really?
7 HEALTHY HEARING: If a bird sings in the city, does anyone hear it?
6 SNACKS VS. TREATS: It’s okay to go nuts over snacks
5 FAMILY HOLIDAY EATS: Top of the list: guilt-free meals
4 DESSERT: Mother, may I?
3 THE PLANET: What’s that got to do with my health?
2 BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN: Pay it forward