Tag Archives: diet

Easy Steps To Get Closer To Your Health Goal…aside from diet and exercise

Healthy eating and increased physical activity play a major role in optimal wellness. And getting there can take some major effort and dedication. But when you’re not used to hitting the gym most days of the week or cutting a chunk out of your daily calories, getting to that goal can seem rather intimidating and nearly impossible. Here are some simple lifestyle changes you can easily take on to get you closer to a healthier you, no treadmill or food scale needed.

  1. Eat slowly

Chew, like really really chew your food. We’re so go-go-go throughout the day, that we tend to get to mealtime and…welp, that took 5 minutes…on with our day! Give our body some time to enjoy getting the nourishment. This will help us to not over-indulge and to better digest what we’re eating. Do something between bites, like talk or listen for a minute if with company, walk around the room, or count 20 breaths before taking the next bite.

  1. Drink more water

 

I’ve written about it before and I’ll say it again, water can really do the body a lot of good and is crucial in getting the body to its optimal stage of wellness. Check out my article on the benefits of water:

The Benefits of Water 

 

  1. Sleep

 

Sleep plays an important role in body performance throughout the day. If sleep is a difficult thing to come by for you, try some methods to help relax your body at night like meditation, chamomile tea, or lavender inscense.

 

  1. Deep breathing

 

The chaos of our day can easily and often lead us to stress, mindless eating, fatigue, bad posture, and decreased focus. By simply doing two minutes of slow, deep breathing, it helps us become more in tune with our body, bringing us awareness to how it feels inside and out. This will help us to become more inclined to continue bettering it as we go forth with our day. How often do we ignore our bodies and not realize it? Mentally counting down the tasks on our to do list throughout the day, all while having poor posture, overstuffed tummies, tight facial muscles, or what-have-you. But hey, we got all of our tasks done for the day, right!? But at what cost to our body? Take two minutes a few times a day to breathe deep and pull your focus inward. You owe yourself at least that.

 

  1. Stretch

 

Ever notice how a morning stretch before getting out of bed or stretching your neck side to side gives you that ‘okay, now I’m ready’ feeling? Get some light body stretches in throughout the day. Reach as high as you can while sitting in a chair and slowly tilt your upper body side to side. It’ll help loosen your muscles all while helping your posture and circulation.

 

  1. Fidget

 

Keep Moving! Not only does this keep the muscles active and burn some calories, but it actually helps keep our focus and energy up. While sitting, bounce your heel up and down, or back and forth between heels as if climbing stairs toes planted in the ground. Touch each fingertip to your thumb pointer finger to pinky and back. Whatever small movement it may be, keep your body moving.

 

  1. Surround yourself with motivation

 

Take a few steps to change your surroundings to health conscious ones. I noticed that when I did, I became more motivated to eat healthy and be more active. For example:

  • Change the background on your computer and your phone to a fitness motivation (it can be a picture or a quote, whatever helps motivate you)
  • ‘Friend’ others that have a healthy lifestyle on social media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat on the couch ready to indulge in a not-so-healthy snack or got home after a long day and decided not to go to the gym, just to grab my phone to check Facebook or Snapchat, and a famous fitness/yoga/nutrition icon pops up sharing a post-workout pic or healthy meal picture, and my next actions changed because of it.
  • Wear gym shoes to run your errands instead of dress flats or sandals. It may help you expend more energy in your running around, and heck, you’re already ready for a workout!

When you see ‘healthy’ surrounding you throughout the day, you’re more inclined to make your actions comparable.

 

Just these small changes can get you closer to your health goals. Try to incorporate these into your day and see how it makes a difference.

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Healthy Eating Travel Tips

Life happens, and not always in the most convenient of ways. Here are some tips to stay on track no matter where or how you’re traveling!

Airport:

  • If eating at the airport, opt for choices like salad with lean un-breaded protein or a vegetable stir fry
  • Monitor spreads, sauces, creams, etc.(ask for them on the side)
  • Cut cravings for flavor while walking past all the food court options by bringing a water bottle with cucumber, lemon, or mint sprigs
  • Low carb, low calorie protein bars work great for non-perishable snacks

Road Trip:

  • Try low sodium turkey jerky for an easy non-perishable protein option on the go
  • Prepare some pre-portioned baggies such as trail mix with nuts and dried fruit or low-fat string cheese and celery/carrot sticks
  • Protein bars work great for non-perishable snacks, or bring a cooler for deli meat, yogurt, string cheese and water bottles
  • Preplan at restaurants you’ll be dining at- most restaurants will have their nutritionals online
  • Split portions at restaurants with someone else (they’re typically double the appropriate portion size)
  • “Would you like ‘fries’ with that?”- many fast food places offer the unhealthy option instead of asking ‘Would you like a side”. This is a marketing tactic to sell what is cheapest for them and usually the most unhealthy. Instead, opt for a side salad or fruit, not fried or fatty sides

Hotel Stay:

  • Preplan at restaurants you’ll be dining at- most restaurants will have their nutritionals online
  • Split portions at restaurant with someone else (they’re typically double the appropriate portion size)
  • Ask for a to-go container before even starting your meal and put half in the container to later refrigerate in the room
  • Make a stop at the local grocery store for healthy staples for your hotel mini fridge
  • Try to at least have breakfast in the hotel room; that way you have one healthy meal down to start your day
  • Make use of your coffee maker to heat water for Instant Oatmeal
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Sugar Coated Excuses

Sugar Coated Excuses

What’s the excuse that goes through your head when you oh so very much want that sugary sweet? Typically, it’s something along the lines of “It’s only ___ calories” “I’ll just do another __ minutes of cardio”. Let me tell you something- sweets aren’t just about the calories. I’m sure most of you can’t say that when you’re reaching for that cookie, you’re thinking “this could make my skin look worse over the next few days”. Or “this cookie is actually going to deplete my body of some of the nutrients I gave it earlier today” or “if I make this a habit, this sugar is actually going to AGE me and give me premature wrinkles” or “my immunity is going to take a slight hit simply because of this here cookie!”. Nah, it’s all about the calories in this calorie focused world. According to WedMD, a highly credible source, “Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing [sugar].” AskDrSears.com states “An overdose of sugar. Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.” “If the concentration of glucose in the blood goes beyond a certain concentration, the white blood cell’s 50-times vitamin C concentration can start to drop because of the large amount of glucose it’s pulling in as a substitute for vitamin C.” Sugar attacks the collagen and elastin in your skin as well as the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. This, in turn, leads to premature wrinkles and sagging.
I’m not saying not to eat a cookie EVER, but maybe think twice before overindulging. Your waistline won’t be the only thing to benefit from it.

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When the Stomach’s A Rumblin’

Hey there healthy hotties! So, I’m doing a nutrition support group on the side and find that the biggest struggle for most of my team is the rumblin’ tummies when trying to change our diet for the better. Here are a couple pointers for warding off the munchies:
1. Make sure you space out your meals. Try to work your eating schedule into an every-two-hours sort of thing. For example, Breakfast 8:00, Snack 10:00, Lunch 12:00… That should help keep your metabolism going as well as warding off hunger.
2. Drink lots of water. Not only will water fill you up, but it’s 0 calories too. Studies have also shown that thirst from slight dehydration can be mistaken for hunger. Chug away- it’ll only do you some good. If you’re not a water fan, try jazzin’ it up with some cucumbers or lemon or mint.
3. If you really want food, grab some veggies. Your ‘hunger’ doesn’t care whether it’s satisfied with a giant stalk of celery(fiber that fills you!) or a giant plate of brownies(fat that fluffs you!). Pick the healthier one and you won’t regret it.
4. If you’re hungry late in the evening, you can try the above things too, but often late-night snacking is due to habit, stress, boredom, or fatigue. If you are going to eat, follow #3, because any calories you consume, you won’t be working off like you would mid-day. Distract yourself- do things that will keep your mind off the fridge.

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Crank Up The Iron

Iron deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia, can result in symptoms such as fatigue, non-food cravings, impaired growth, cold intolerance, and a greater risk to infection. Many things can cause iron deficiency anemia, including pregnancy, excessive blood loss, disease, and in most cases, one’s diet. Pregnant women and children need the highest amounts of iron in their diets since they are in a state of rapid growth and development. In America, where meat is rather abundant in the diet, iron deficiency anemia only affects about nine percent of adults. Heme iron, which is found in meat, is more bioavailable to the body. Nonheme iron, found in foods such as spinach, is not absorbed by the body as easily.
Here are some ways to help give your body that extra push for absorption:
– When taking vitamins with iron, be sure to take it with meals. Beside the fact that iron can aggravate an empty stomach, food will help your body to absorb the nutrient better.
– Ditch the milk and grab the OJ at mealtime instead. Vitamin D competes with iron for absorption in the body. However, vitamin C enhances iron absorption.
– Don’t take iron pills with coffee or tea. Coffee decreases absorption by 35% and tea decreases absorption by 60%. It’s recommended to wait an hour after taking an iron supplement to consume these beverages.

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