December 2016

5 Best Eating Habits For 2017

Figuring and adopting the best eating habits is the basis of building a healthy life.  Many people who struggle with their health have tried everything the dieting market has to offer to no avail.  Because the changes they make are typically short term, the effects never last very long.  Real change requires augmenting one’s habits and building a whole new lifestyle.  Check out a few of the best eating habits recommended for a healthy body.  

Cut out processed foods.

If it comes in a box and takes 15 minutes to prepare, then it is probably not a healthy choice for a meal.  These types of foods are often riddled with sodium and other preservatives that can cause significant damage to the body over time.  

Instead of Hamburger Helper, cook fresh vegetables and lean meats daily for better nutrition.  Eggs, milk, and plenty of legumes contain vital nutrients for maintaining a strong, healthy body.

Eat whole grain things.

White pasta and bread are not good for the body.  They contain high levels of carbs that turn into sugar in the body when ingested.  Change to wheat noodles and whole grain breads.  Whole grains help the body to feel fuller for longer and have also been attributed to lower cholesterol levels over time. Quinoa and buckwheat will add a slew of nutrients to a soup or salad.  

Cook food in a healthy manner.

To live healthier, an individual has to change the way in which the food they eat is prepared.  Instead of using vegetable oil to cook, switch to using coconut oil.  Coconut oil is far more nutritious and heart-healthy than other cooking oils.  

Try not to “do” too much to the food.  The more things get added, the higher the chances are that the meal will not be healthy.  Avoid deep frying anything, and avoid overcooking vegetables.  Overcooking veggies until they lose their color strips them of their good attributes, making them virtually useless to the body.  

Learn to eat correct portions.

Portion control is paramount to success when seeking out a healthy lifestyle.  Cook less food so that there is not a mound of leftovers tempting you from the refrigerator.  Identify the proper portions for your body size and stick to them.  This way, a person can eat virtually anything they please as long as it is done in moderation.  Moderation is key.  

Keep a food diary.

Maintaining a proper food diary will paint a picture of one’s eating habits quickly.  A food diary will make it easier to pinpoint unhealthy eating habits and plan a proper attack.  Be disciplined, and keep detailed notes of everything that gets eaten to build an accurate portrayal of eating habits.

Fit Bit or Fake Bit – Why a Fitness Tracker Might Not Be Right For You

This is the time of year when I get super excited about food.  There are recipes in my family that only come out at Christmas or Hanukkah that have been handed down for generations.  Cakes, pies, candies and cookies, mom’s special fudge recipe, all are just waiting to tempt the palate and expand the waist.  It’s no better at work or play with all the office parties, fundraisers and potluck invitations that roll in.  My fitness tracker won’t be able to keep up with all the steps I’ll have to take to work it off.  In fact, I’m thinking of giving the thing a break until after the new year.

It’s interesting that this year there was a class action suit against makers of those fitness trackers.  Users complained that even though they were following the manufacturer’s recommendations for caloric intake and increased activity, they were gaining weight.   Still, the overwhelming majority of users say they love their trackers.   They provide real time information and positive reinforcement.  Some blame the weight gain phenomena on a “one size fits all” approach, that can’t account for the subtle differences in metabolism among the average person.

If you are concerned about the amount of food you are likely to consume this season, do yourself a favor and buy some athleisure wear, workout gear and good shoes before the new year starts so you can be ready on day one to get out there and work it off.  If you start your shopping now, you’ll find great deals on activewear, exercise equipment and all the accessories you need to gear up.  Using a site like Groupon will make the search easy.  They offer deep discounts on name brand, top quality merchandise and you can also qualify for free shipping with purchase.  You can use a Groupon to save 20% to 30% off items by Jimmy Jazz for the whole family, and up to 50% of selected footwear.

Using a fitness tracking device to keep up with the work you’re putting in at the gym may not be the best way to reach your goal, but there’s one thing for certain – you’ve got to “burn it to earn it.”

 

Reasons To Take A Nutrition Class

You have been reminded since childhood to eat your fruits and vegetables and probably know the basics about what constitutes a healthy and nutritious diet.  However, you may be surprised at many of the benefits taking a nutrition class as an adult has to offer.  Almost every community college or adult education center has nutrition classes that are offered in any area of the country.  Here are a few reasons to take a nutrition class that could benefit you down the road.

Being More Informed

It is important to be well informed about the foods that you consume.  More and more studies are being conducted that show many nutritional benefits from curbing your diet to add more vegetables and fruit and consuming less meat.  Many nutrition courses focus on teaching students about the drawbacks of eating a high intake of meat and sugar.  You will also become more conscious of what you and your family are eating and you may even start reading the back of food packages for all of the nutritional facts and ingredients while you are in the aisles of your local grocery store.

Promoting A Healthier Lifestyle

If you are completely lost at how to begin to build a healthy lifestyle, enrolling in a nutrition class can be a great first step at a new life.  If you are someone who has struggled with weight their entire life and looking to be educated about food for the first time, or a recovering addict who wants diet tips to stay sober and maintain a clean lifestyle, signing up for a nutrition course can be a great way to promote a new and healthier life.

Convenience

Not only do many schools offer nutrition classes at nights or on the weekends, which is convenient for those who work the typical 9 to 5 shifts, but there are also a huge amount of nutrition courses that are offered online that you can take at your convenience.  If you are worried about cost, you can even find some free online nutrition courses too.

You Can Teach Others What You Learned

The best part about taking a nutrition class is the amount of information that you will be able to pass on to the rest of your family.  The knowledge that you have will now be able to be incorporated into grocery shopping with your kids and cooking with your partner.  You will look at food in an entirely new light.

Learning about nutrition and food in a more formal setting will set you up for a healthier lifestyle and give you knowledge that you will use on a daily basis.  There are many positive reasons to take a nutrition course that will benefit you and your family for years to come.

Tips For Losing Weight After The Holidays

The holidays tend to be a time of gluttonous indulgence.  When the plate of cookies always seems near, and there’s never a glass of wine or slice of cake you can’t resist.  Parties, social meetings, and eating out are all common themes of the holidays.  It’s no wonder that on average people tend to gain 5-10 pounds during this season.

However, indulgence is a part of the tradition of this season and it’s meant to be enjoyed once a year.  Instead of holding yourself back and not allowing yourself to enjoy the tastes and customs of the holiday season, just prepare yourself for how to lose the weight efficiently once it’s over.

Here are the most effective ways to gradually and effectively get rid of those extra pounds.

Go On a Diet

Try going on a diet that offers a safe and sustainable calorie allowance that includes a diverse and healthy menu full of enough protein and raw foods.  Some of the most popular diets for extreme weight loss include the Paleo Diet and Atkins.  These diets can promise up to a 20 lb loss in one month.

If these are too restrictive for you, you should try a simpler and perhaps easier diet by simply reducing your calorie consumption by a few hundred per day.

Walk More

Studies show that walking for only 30 minutes a day can increase your daily burn by up to 200 calories. By doing this every day you can lose a significant amount of weight over a gradual amount of time.

By walking to work or simply taking the stairs to your office floor instead of the elevator you can increase your steps by a lot.  Making this small change can not only cause your extra holiday pounds to shed but it also improves cardiovascular health.

Set Goals

Setting goals for yourself such as limiting alcohol intake, sugar, or simply making it a point to fit into a certain dress or pants by a deadline.

Photos can be extremely helpful when setting a physical goal for yourself.  By taking a before photo of how you look and taking an after photo, you can see the results you’ve achieved that you may not even necessarily realize you’ve achieved.

Seeing your goals achieved gives you a certain satisfaction that carries you through to achieve more and more in your life.

Start a Workout Program

Starting a workout program that is in a group class or at home DVD is a great way to lose weight and have a goal oriented timeline which promises serious results at the end of the program.

Try looking at the different types that might appeal to you and decide which one you might like for your regime.

Nutritional Tips For Breastfeeding Moms

You just welcomed a healthy baby into the family, and have made the decision that you are going to breastfeed your new addition.  Many moms, even military parents, choose to breastfeed their baby because of all of the health and nutritional perks it provides to their child, but breastfeeding also requires the mom to take a look at what she is eating too.  Here are few nutritional tips for nursing moms to take into consideration when planning their daily meals.

Make Sure You Are Hydrated

Extra water intake is key if you choose to breastfeed your baby.  Breastfeeding classes and birthing courses will usually put a strong emphasis that if you want to nurse your baby for any significant amount of time that you should always take in extra water.  Hydration is important for the mom as well as the baby but it is important to not go overboard on the water if you are looking to increase your milk supply.  Irene Zoppi, a lactation consultant and education specialist, says “…increasing your fluids won’t do anything to your milk volume unless you’re removing it.”

Eat A Balanced Diet

Eating well and healthy during pregnancy did wonders for your baby, so eating clean is great for your nursing child as well.  Pack up on lots of lean proteins and fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to snack healthy too as nursing can burn around 500 extra calories a day. Not sure if you are eating a healthy diet while breastfeeding? Check out online resources like the United States Department of Agriculture, which provides lots of information on nutritional needs while breastfeeding.

Curb The Caffeine

No one is trying to take that oh so beautiful cup of coffee from the sleep deprived mom in the morning, but try to limit your caffeine consumption to just a cup or two when you are breastfeeding. Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician in Toronto, advises “There’s probably not a risk to the baby if women drink two or three cups of coffee, but there are many more reasons why a woman might want to moderate her caffeine intake.”  Studies have been inconclusive over the years about whether caffeine use can affect a baby’s behavior or sleep patterns; so use your best judgment as a mom when it comes to caffeine use while breastfeeding.

Nursing your baby is a great bonding experience for both mother and child.  Breastfeeding provides lots of nutrition to your baby, so it is important for the mom to be wise with her nutritional choices as well.  If you have any questions or concerns about the nutritional needs of your infant and/or yourself make sure to get in touch with a health care professional who can answer and address any concerns.

3 Way Cooking Relieves Stress

Cooking doesn’t have to be a task that is dreaded every night.  In fact, cooking is seen by many people as one of the most cathartic activities that you can do.  It’s all about how you go about it.

Obviously, if you don’t know what you’re doing and have to cook a 5-course meal for 15 people in a limited amount of time, it’s not going to be a very soothing experience.  

Cooking should be a gradual learning process which is enjoyed and done with intent and joy.  Your food will taste as good as the energy you put into it!

Here are some reasons why cooking can be so good for your state of mind and encourages stress relief.

It Actives The Same Part of The Brain as Meditation

When you meditate the brain goes into a very specific and unique state of consciousness. Many people report feelings of an expanded awareness, and inner peace.  

Several studies have been done over the years which have looked into the actual science behind meditation and what exactly occurs by conducting MRI scans.  The results showed that test subjects who meditated more had greater amounts of dense gray matter in their scans in the areas of the brain which are associated with emotion.

When people are focused on a task such as cooking, their awareness is centered on a single task at hand rather than in a flurry of taking in all of the information around them of the modern world.  

By cooking, you can not only achieve the task of creating a delicious meal to nourish your body, but you can also achieve a peaceful state of being by bridging the mind and body.

It Nourishes Your Body Better Than Processed or Fast Food

Eating a diet of whole foods which are prepared with intention and fresh ingredients is much more nourishing for the human body that artificially produced unnatural foods.  

Studies show that people with higher levels of sugar and certain chemicals found in processed foods have higher levels of stress, and obesity-related diseases.  

Cooking your food instead of buying it pre-packaged can have a considerably positive impact on your life.

It Brings People Together

In many cultures cooking and serving a meal to a family is the ultimate ceremonial tradition.  Eating as a group creates a sense of belonging and community.  Humans who have community are proven to be much happier people.

Conversation and a sense of belonging in a person reduces depression and isolation.  Families which eat together every night report 50% less conflict and have stronger relationships among them.

The French find eating meals with their families so important that many of them come home from work or school during their lunch breaks just to be able to eat together.