February 2017

Reward Yourself for Sticking to New Your Diet

Getting into the groove of a new diet and sticking to it is incredibly hard. No matter where you are on your journey, whether two days in, five days, a week, a couple of weeks, or already a month in, you should make sure to set up rewards at certain checkpoints along the way. If you want to ensure that you stick to your diet, make sure you are enjoying your quality of life in this new lifestyle.


It is important that you stick to the diet you have identified as being potentially life-altering. You need to make sure that if you have picked out a new diet that is going to help you be healthier than ever before, that nothing you choose to reward yourself with is going to set you off course. Do not reward yourself with chocolates, ice cream, or big pizzas, telling yourself it’s just a “one-time reward.” This is exactly how recovering addicts fall off of the train! Instead, make sure that you pick rewards that will not jeopardize your dieting success.


If you want to reward yourself without putting your diet at risk, choose a reward like going out to a movie or live show. Head over to ticketmaster’s Groupon Coupons page and swoop in on some of the fantastic deals available. You will love the fact that you can enjoy 2 for 1 tickets, and it will feel so special. You will love having this rare treat, and it will make you long to accomplish your next benchmark for success.


If you are heading into month two, or even just week two, make sure that you set yourself up for success by establishing solid rewards every once in awhile. You want to make sure that you are loving your new diet and the results so much that the rewards outweigh the costs. Sticking to a new diet is difficult, but you can definitely do it with the proper encouragement. Give yourself the gift of entertainment every once in awhile to take your mind off of those dishes you no longer eat, and before long, you will forget they were even once a part of your life.

Sports Equipment To Buy When Food Is the Goal

You’ll often hear that people don’t have as much moral dismissal toward hunting if the end goal is to eat what you’ve killed or captured. But then a big part of that equation becomes what kind of equipment do you need in order to do that killing and capturing. Sometimes better equipment will make the process easier, cleaner, quicker, or more humane, for instance. And the costs associated with sporting equipment in this area of interest vary widely, along with the skill required to make them work.

Five quick examples of this type of goal-oriented sports equipment include fishing rods, hunting rifles, hunting bows, animal traps, and hunting knives. Check out how each of those are roughly valued.

Fishing Rods

Many people will say there’s nothing like the taste of freshly-caught fish, especially if you catch it personally. The effort that goes into the capture, kill, and preparation of fish essentially makes it taste better, along with the fact that you know there’s no additional chemical preservation and the like. But to get those fish, you’re probably going to have to buy a good fishing rod. There are countless styles and types, depending on what kind of fishing you’re doing, so depending on your level of personal experience, either researching or asking people at stores is your best bet.

Hunting Rifles

For those of you who want fresh venison, you’ll have the option to invest in a hunting rifle. Understanding that there are licenses to obtain and seasonal rules to follow, the joy of the hunt and the possibility of fresh meat to cook and eat brings many thousands of hunters to the woods every year, and can be a great meditative or bonding experience for groups as well.

Hunting Bows

For hunters who still want venison or other fresh wild game, but who want a more natural alternative than gunpowder, you can always check out hunting bows that suit your needs. They aren’t going to be as accurate or have as much range, but the idea that your hunting weapon is people-powered is a draw for many people. After the kill, you can look up ways to prepare venison that will make your mouth water!

Animal Traps

For those with tastes that include wild rabbit, or even something like wild squirrel (tastes like chicken, right?), there are animal traps that you can buy to catch your prey. Some of these are live traps, while others are designed to kill.

Hunting Knives

And finally, the stage prior to eating this fresh meat will often involve some kind of cleaning, so purchasing a high-quality hunting knife that you can use to do cleaning and prep work is going to be necessary as well. Again, the pride that you take in the details work of this processing is going to make you appreciate the meal you get out of it more in the end.

Quality Food and Drink are Good for Your Health in More Ways That One


When people talk about healthy eating and drinking, the conversation invariably turns to quality ingredients. Quality ingredients are typically whole foods, natural meat and produce that it fresh and has not been processed. These ingredients contain many of the same wholesome properties that they did just before harvest. Since your body rebuilds its cells with the ingredients you eat, it makes sense that high quality food is good for your health.


But high quality food is good for your health in another way. Cheap, discounted food is at the root of American obesity. Many of these cheap foods are subsidized, such as those composed of corn, wheat, and other cheap carbohydrates.


It takes a lot of food to feed a country the size of the United States. The US Federal government chooses to subsidize these foods because it guarantees that nearly all people in the United States will have access to abundant calories.


However, this method does not prioritize nutrition. Cheap, processed foods may be affordable, but they are devoid of most of the nutritional properties of quality, natural foods. Quality is therefore scarcer and more expensive. But that, it turns out, is not a bad thing.


The average American has more to eat than they actually need. Hunger exists in the US, but it is the exception to the rule. More than 65% of Americans are considered obese, due in large part to the overabundance of cheap, calorie rich foods made of subsidized carbohydrates.


If you’ve grown up on these foods, it can be difficult to make the switch to more expensive foods, but the change is worth it. Not only will you be exposed to healthier ingredients, most people will be able to afford less food overall.


At first this sounds like a bad thing. If I order high quality wine online, I won’t be able to afford as much of it. For people who struggle with their weight, this turns out to be the best possible situation. Obesity is a side effect of eating too much bad stuff. If we focus our sights and our wallets on food of a higher quality, we’ll enjoy it more and eat less.


Nutrition is a cycle passed from the ground up through the plants and animals we eat. It takes a lot of time and energy to invest in the nutrition of the land which supports these plants and animals.


Cheap food is grown and harvested quickly, often fed with soil and feed that is relatively deprived of natural nutritive elements. High quality foods are expensive because they take more time and money to develop. Naturally fertilizing the field that feeds your livestock is more expensive than feeding them only corn, but the resulting meat will be more delicious, more nutritious, and better for the environment.


All told, it’s worth it to eat more expensive foods, especially for people who struggle with their weight. Choosing high quality food is choosing to give your body only the best ingredients from which to grow and repair itself. It’s an investment in yourself and a better allocation of your material resources.

Your Nutrition And Maintaining A Healthy Weight

A healthy weight is important to your complete well-being. People that suffer from being obese or overweight are at a higher risk for different health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. It doesn’t take much to bring your risk back down if you start eating better and working out.

While the proper weight for any given person can depend on their sex, their body type, and even their height, your waist circumference needs to be a certain size as well. This is mainly guided by your height. You should also be aware of your BMI (body mass index).

So, how do you work toward a healthier weight and a healthier body? Well, what you are putting into your body can make a huge difference. So can the physical activity you are getting on a daily basis (including walking the dog and playing with the kids).

Follow Portions And Calorie Counts

When it comes to counting calories you may hear all sorts of advice. Some people say that calories don’t matter as long as you are eating a healthy diet in general. Some live by counting calories. It is a fact that calories determine weight loss and that 3500 calories are equal to one pound, so that should be clue one that calorie counting is important if you want to be healthy and fit. That means you want to know how many calories you’re taking in and how many you’re burning with physical activity (it helps to keep a fitness and nutrition log of some sort).

Eat Fresher

If you want the calories you do eat to count for more then you can pick fresher foods to eat, like raw fruits and vegetables. Shop the outer areas of the grocery store for your healthier options. The stuff in bags and boxes, the overly processed foods, are usually stuffed full of sodium and at a loss for much of its original nutrients.

Make Your Own Meals

There are likely times when eating out is your only option, like when you’re on the road for a work trip or vacation. However, when you aren’t forced to eat out you really should make your own food at home. You can make something healthier and be more aware of all of the ingredients that are in your food. This is good for everyone, not just people with food allergies and intolerances.

Work In Workouts

Last, but not least, if you want to maintain or get to a healthy weight you need to fit in fitness to each and every day. Nutrition and fitness work together to make your body and your mind healthy. Doing one without the other is going to leave you missing something, like a healthy diet can help with weight loss but not working out means no muscle tone.

Life Tips After Binging on Holiday Foods

The holidays come and the holidays go.  But all those extra sweets and yummy treats definitely stay.  Particularly around the tummy and butt area.  After indulging for nearly 2 full months it is common to feel like your pants are fitting just a little bit tighter.

Whether you were binging on sweets, you’re more of a fan of savory indulgences, or maybe you just love it all. The result is the same.

Feeling a little out of sorts with your body and like you may not be bikini ready just yet.

Here are some of the best tips for managing your life after indulging on food during the holidays.

Wear Loose Clothing

First and foremost the plan of action is to hide any undesirable chub or flub.  The best way to do this is to wear loose clothing.  For women, it may be maxi dresses or wearing loose hooded sweatshirts with leggings.

For men, a sensible and flattering choice would be loose jeans and baggy t-shirts.  Preferably without tucking in your shirt as this can draw attention to the belly!

Whatever you do, don’t despair if you look like a tent! This is only a temporary fix.

Join a Gym

The only way that you are going to get rid of all that food you put into your body is to start burning it off.  This means hitting the gym and doing some good old-fashioned strength training and cardio.

By signing up for a gym membership you are making a financial commitment to pay monthly to go to the facility.  Therefore it is a little extra added bonus pressure which should give you some inspiration not to put off going.

The nice thing about gyms is that you can either work out on your own or take part in one of their group classes.  Most gyms usually offer everything from dance cardio, to yoga, to spinning.  Try a variety of classes and see which one works the best for you!

Start a Diet

Studies show that weight loss is 80% diet.  Therefore if you’re going to do anything for yourself, consider making it minimally diet.

There are lots of diets out there. Consider trying one that comes to you highly recommended by a friend or family member.

Instead of doing something that appears to be a “crash diet” and promises quick results, opt for something that is healthful and promises slow and consistent results in a reasonable amount of time.  Usually, the longer it takes to burn something off, the longer it will take to bring it back on.

Get a Weight Loss App

One of the best things about this modern era is that technology now makes it easier than ever to do things that were once complicated and time-consuming.

Weight loss is no exception.  There are now apps which monitor our exercise and daily calorie burn without us having to do anything.

Calorie counting sites have become increasingly popular with a database of nearly every food that you can think of.  Rather than having to add up the calories written in nutritional facts portion, you can simply type in the food you consumed and add it to your daily journal.  This is an extremely useful way to stay within your daily limit and make sure that you aren’t overdoing it.

The truth about vaping as we currently know it

Proposed new regulations on vaping are meant to clear the haze on the growing trend. But what do we really know about it? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Nothing signifies the formalization of a trend like government regulations.

Acknowledging that vaping—the use of a battery-powered device to inhale not always nicotine-free vapour—is here to stay, Canada introduced amendments to the existing Tobacco Act last November that would rename it to the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. The goal is to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of the devices, while prohibiting sale to Canadians under 18.

The hope is that regulations will also provide desperately needed quality control to a frontier industry that is estimated to grow and be worth $32 billion worldwide by 2021, said Barry Finegan, a smoking cessation expert and anesthesiologist at the University of Alberta.

Reports have surfaced about explosions and accidental nicotine poisonings with vaping. In addition, preliminary studies suggest health risks from the vapour itself, including reduced immunity, hyperactivity, reproductive issues such as lower sperm count and motility, and mental health issues like hyperactivity and agitation.

We want to respect the autonomy of individuals who want to vape, but at the same time, far more research is needed before we can support them to make truly informed choices,” said Finegan.

So what’s a vaper or would-be vaper to do in the meantime? Here’s some preliminary evidence-based advice for various scenarios that pose the question: to vape or not to vape?

“My friend says there are no side-effects as long as I vape with nicotine-free e-liquid.”

Proponents of vaping contend that quality made eliquid contain nothing but food-grade flavour enhancers, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, and then various dosages of nicotine from none to extreme amounts (36 milligrams per millilitre).

Be part of the research

Finegan’s team is looking for research subjects between the ages of 15 and 24 in hopes of better understanding attitudes toward e-cigarettes and whether vaping tends to result in actual smoking addiction.

“The quality of vaping hinges on the device you use.”

There’s some truth to this insofar as there are thousands of vaping devices on the market, many designed with electronics to allow the user to control the amount of vapour they inhale.

“There is also an entire subculture around manipulating these devices,” said Finegan. “The efficiency of them very much depends on the settings used.”

“Vaping is a safer way to smoke dope. Plus, it’s odour-free!”

Since the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes is generally odourless, the devices are popular among marijuana smokers (especially since, in theory, they increase the chemical bioavailability). However, no study has been done looking at the use of vapour devices and drugs.

“I’m better off using e-cigarettes than actually smoking.”

Until more research is conducted, the use of “better” is contentious. Yes, the government in the United Kingdom supports vaping as a smoking cessation tool, but other governments take a harder stance … perhaps with good reason.

“A recent Canadian study showed that people were more likely to quit smoking if they didn’t use e-cigarettes,” said Fadi Hammal, a public health expert at the U of A. “So is vaping less harmful than conventional smoking? Probably. Time will tell, but it is too early to promote it as a sole smoking cessation aid.”

“If that alternative works for you, you should probably give it an attempt, except you need to be careful about the source of the e-liquid and the reliability of the device.”

Where Does Alcohol Fit In Your Diet?

Anyone over the age of 21 is eventually going to have to have some hard conversations with themselves about where alcohol fits in a healthy diet. It’s such a prevalent part of the food experience, the social experience, and the celebration experience – it’s important to put it in context every once in awhile with a specific regard to nutrition, diet, and health.

Five categories to consider while you’re on this meditative path about alcohol include where the troubling result of addiction can lead you, what the benefits might be, where social value rests, how to pair alcohol with food, and what to consider while trying to gain or lose weight.

The Troubling Result

When you drink too much, or if you have a genetic disposition toward alcohol, you can fairly easily end up with an alcohol dependency. And once you’ve hit that point, it may be rehab or bust. There are lots of functional alcoholics, but they run the risk of issues with drinking and driving, and also failure of various internal organs over time.

Reading About Benefits

On the other side of that, you can read about the benefits of alcohol. A few times per year, usually around the holidays, you’ll see articles written about how a glass of wine per day has certain specific things that it does for your body that are positives. The only thing to be wary about this, though, is the fact that those suggestions and recommendations change fairly regularly when new studies come out. So take all of that with a grain of salt, and be sure to keep on the mellow side of drinking excessively or too consistently.

Understanding Social Value

The social value of drinking alcohol can be quite high. It’s very ritualized in some social circles, some cultures, and a myriad of traditions. You can opt out in some cases if you have specific health or dietary reasons behind you, but it’s not a bad idea to at least appreciate the concept of bonding during certain celebrations and occasions.

Pairing Alcohol With Food For Experience Sake

With many different types of meals, the actual flavor of various types of alcohol makes a huge difference to the overall experience. There is a fine art to pairing alcohol with meat, with certain vegetable combinations, and with a lot of specifically gourmet food. Learn those combinations, and appreciate the results on a dietary level.

For Gaining or Losing Weight

Alcohol has a lot of calories in it, and they’re all empty. People with a big beer habit have to work especially hard to get rid of those calories. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, your drinking habit may be one of the first things that you want to think about paring down.