Healthy Eating and Drinking

Drink Warm Lemon Water…Daily

If we were to tell you that adding one small thing to your health routine could provide you with a plethora of health benefits, would you do it? Experts say that simply drinking a warm glass of lemon water in the mornings can provide you with many positive side effects. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should incorporate this warm tart beverage into your morning diet.
1. It aids with digestion. Whether or not you have a great digestive system or one that needs a little assistance, drinking a warm glass of lemon water can ensure the inner workings of your body will be working to their fullest potential. As the acid from the lemon interacts with enzymes within your body, it causes simulation thus the secretion of your stomach’s gastric juices jump-starting the digestive process.

2. It benefits your liver. Not only does warm lemon water aide your liver in releasing its toxins but it also helps it produce more enzymes.

3. It can help reduce stress and anxiety. Lemons contain a high amount of potassium which is beneficial to your body as anxiety and stress are often found more frequently in those lacking this essential chemical.

4. It can revitalize your skin. Containing a lot of Vitamin C which is linked to the improvement of skin conditions throughout the body, drinking this warm beverage seems like a no brainer.

5. It helps protect your body throughout pregnancy. The Vitamin C consumed with your morning drink can also aide in the formation of bone tissue in your unborn baby as well as acting as an adaptogen, enabling your body to better fight off viruses and disease.

6. It helps balance your PH levels. The more alkaline in your body the better it will function properly. Studies also say that an environment that is rich in alkaline is less susceptible to succumbing to cancer.

7. It can help you stay on track to lose weight. Aiding in the suppression of hunger cravings is something called pectin fiber which lemons contain. Fewer cravings mean less of a chance for you to grab for something you shouldn’t be consuming throughout the day.

8. It can help dissolve unwanted deposits in your body. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from calcium deposits, gallstones, pancreatic stones or kidney stones, drinking lemon water is a natural way to help disintegrate them.

9. It can reduce the pain associated with gout. Gout pain is associated with the buildup of uric acid and can be extremely painful. Drinking lemon water can help dilute this acid and reduce your pain.

10. It can help regulate your blood pressure. By ingesting lemon, each day studies suggest that it can help reduce your high blood pressure by 10%. Why not give this natural remedy a try?

Although these are just some of the health benefits associated with ingesting this sour and refreshing fruit, based off of these alone, incorporating one glass of warm lemon water into your daily diet seems worth the effort. In a world where everyone automatically resorts to medications and pills, why not try a natural way to balance your body and reap the benefits?!

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Summer Fruit

As spring is nearing an end, summer months are right around the corner.  One of the best parts of summer is the delicious and fresh fruit that is in season. Eating fruit has countless benefits and below is a list of some of our favorites.

Oranges are first on our list of delectable summer fruit. Tangy, sweet and irresistible, this fruit it jam packed with vitamin C and is a great source of fiber.  They are also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin A, copper, calcium and potassium.  And if you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your water, oranges add a perfect hint of zest.

Watermelon is not only refreshing and delicious but is also low in calories! If you’re trying to stay hydrated, this is the perfect fruit to snack on because it is 90 percent water and will most certainly help quench watermelon-detox-water-54healthyour thirst.  Watermelon is also high in vitamins A, B6, and C and is full of antioxidants.  What more can you ask for?

 

Pineapple is not just your average tropical fruit as its health benefits alone are worth incorporating this summer snack into your diet.  This fruit is rich in vitamin C and manganese but also is a great natural anti-inflammatory, helping reduce inflammation of muscles and joints.  Also, pineapple is beneficial in preventing mouth, throat and breast cancer, aids in improving eye and oral health, boosts your immune system, helps heal wounds and helps protect against infections.

 

Strawberries, typically a crowd favorite, are great for your health in so many ways.  This fruit is high in anti-oxidants which help release free radicals.  Free radicals can wreak havoc in our bodies, so eat more to help release them, the better.  Since strawberries are also high in vitamin C, they are also great at helping your skin look and feel youthful.  Other benefits include fighting bad cholesterol, regulating blood pressure and aiding in weight management.

 

Grapefruit is known for its ability to help fight obesity and promote weight loss.  This low in calorie fruit can help with asthma prevention, maintaining a glowing complexion, hydration, and digestion just to name a few.

 

These are our favorites but be sure to stop by the produce section to check out all of the fruit available this summer.  Seasonal fruit is not only more it comes at a more moderate price.  Next time you’re eyeing that ice cream or those cookies, try substituting them for some fresh fruit instead!

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Personal Transformation During Healthy Weight Week: January 18-22 (Part 2)

A few days ago we posted a blog about Mindful Eating and how to make it a part of Healthy Weight Week. When most people think about being healthy, they tend to visualize exercising. However, there are many ways to help your body to stay fit and healthy. During Healthy Weight Week we encourage people to create a sustainable and realistic healthy lifestyle through feeling good about themselves and living actively.

During this week along with exercising incorporate Mindful Eating. Below are an additional 5 suggestions to help support your health and build a sustainable relationship with food.

1. Eat Sitting Down: Before eating a single bite, sit down. Sitting as you eat causes you to pay more attention to your food as well as your food portions.
2. Portion Size Matters: Make a cup with one hand. That should be the portion size of each item on your plate. We encourage you to eat your food slow and savor it.
3. Make a Decision: Before putting a morsel in your mouth, decide what you want to eat. We all have been guilty of eating the first thing we put our hands on just to be left feeling unsatisfied. To make the correct meal choice, think of these 2 things: How will I feel as I eat it? How will I feel after I eat it?
4. Balanced Meals are Key: Your meals should consist of protein foods, vegetables/fruits, and grains/starch. Ex: grilled chicken, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.
5. Enjoy a Variety of Foods: You can become bored with food when you eat the same thing day in and day out. Therefore, during Healthy Weight Week, we suggest that you try eating a new food each day. You may discover that your food satisfaction level increases.

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Personal Transformation During Healthy Weight Week: January 18-22 (Part 1)

Over 20 years ago, Healthy Weight Week was established to help people understand that being healthy is not synonymous to the pounds on a scale. This week is about encouraging people to create a sustainable and realistic healthy lifestyle through:

Feeling Good About Themselves
Living Actively

Mindful Eating is a great start when promoting Healthy Weight Week. To be a Mindful Eater you must practice. Here are 5 tips for you to use to achieve and maintain your desired healthy weight.

  1. Slow Down: Between each bite, put your spoon or fork down and alternate eating with your non-dominant hand.
  2. Take Deep Breaths: Before eating, close your eyes and inhale and exhale. Ask yourself…
    • Are you stressed?
    • Is what you are about to eat affected by your level of stress or level of hunger?
    • Are you eating this food because you are hungry?
  3. Savor Food: Before you chew your food, move it around in your mouth first. Pay attention to the food’s temperature, texture, and tastes. After savoring your food, then chew.
  4. Crazy Hunger: Hunger can affect your mood. For 3 days, eat only when you are hungry and chart your mood level. Then, for 3 days, eat before you are hungry and chart your mood level. Most find that if you wait to eat until you are hungry, your mood is more aggressive. However, if you eat smaller meals/snacks throughout the day, your mood tends to remain at a constant pleasant level.
  5. Be Satisfied Not Full: Eating until you are full is not the route to go. You should eat small meals/snacks until you are satisfied. You will be surprised at the difference in 10 nourishing bites of food instead of 20.

As you try these 5 tips, recognize that you are taking the practical steps to participating in Healthy Weight Week, while at the same time becoming a Mindful Eater. We will post additional blogs to assist you in your journey as you listen and trust how your body responds to food.

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Yummy & Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

It’s fall and the smell of pumpkin everything is in the air. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin donuts and pumpkin pie are just a few of the delicious fall inspired treats you will see at every turn. If you yearn to enjoy the taste of fall but don’t want to ruin your healthy eating regiment, don’t stress. Below are some fantastic and creative ways to have the best of both worlds.

Transform your regular breakfast smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal with a little touch of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg or unsweetened pumpkin puree. This way you will have the added fall flavor without all of the unwanted calories. And if you feel the need for a little extra sweetness, just add some stevia into the mix.

Pumpkin can also be deliciously incorporated into a meal. On a chilly and rainy fall day, the flavorful taste of fresh pumpkin soup will surely warm your soul. It can also be used as a side dish, paired with your main course. Or, if you are craving a salty snack, baked pumpkin seeds are a perfect option.

At the end of a long week when you need that sweet reward, there some great healthy pumpkin dessert recipes out there to satisfy your craving. Skinny pumpkin mousse, dairy-free pumpkin ice cream, and clean pumpkin pie are just a few of our favorites. See below for some delicious recipes to try this season and remember, homemade is always the healthier choice!

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Spice Dip: http://www.natashalh.com/greek-yogurt-pumpkin-pie-spice-fruit-dip/

Clean Eating Pumpkin Smoothie : http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-pumpkin-smoothie/

Pumpkin Soup : http://www.recipetineats.com/classic-pumpkin-soup/

Pumpkin Seeds: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13839/spiced-pumpkin-seeds/

Skinny Pumpkin Mousse : http://simple-nourished-living.com/2011/11/skinny-healthy-pumpkin-dessert-recipes/

Dairy-free Pumpkin Ice Cream : http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-pumpkin-ice-cream/#_a5y_p=2396727

Clean Pumpkin Pie : http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-pumpkin-pie/

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Keeping Football Sunday Traditions While Staying Healthy!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

2 lbs. Lean Ground Turkey
1 Medium Onion
2 Jalapenos
1 Red Pepper
1 Can Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
2 Cups Corn (frozen or canned)
2 Cloves Crushed or Minced Garlic
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
1 Packet of Chili Seasoning
2 TBS Chili Powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Pepper
1 Container Light Sour Cream
1 8oz Bag of Low-Fat Shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese
Nacho Chips or Crackers (optional)

Brown ground turkey in a large pan on medium heat. Once the meat is browned, drain and place in the crock-pot. Finely chop onion, red pepper, garlic and jalapenos (Note – the spiciness of your chili depends on how many or how few jalapeno seeds are added in the mix. If you are sensitive to hot foods, then remove all of the seeds from the peppers). Add all three ingredients into the crockpot. Next, add in black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chili packet, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir all ingredients together well and set on low for approximately 4-6 hours or once vegetables are tender. Add in more chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese and chips as desired.

Submitted by Aubrey Bettinazzi

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15 Rules to Staying Healthy

1. Drink lots of water.
*Drinking eight 8oz glasses of water a day will help your body metabolize fat, rid itself of waste, and keep you from feeling false hunger pains.

2. Never go more than 3 days without exercising.

*Setting a standard for yourself will help keep you on track and in a routine.

3. No carbohydrates after 2pm.
*Eating carbs early in the day will give you a needed boost of energy and allow time for you to burn them off throughout the day.

4. Always choose natural foods.

*Processed foods are unfamiliar to your body making it more difficult for you to metabolize them efficiently.

5. Change up your workouts to challenge yourself.
*Your body will become acclimated to a repetitive workout routine. The best way to see results is to keep your body guessing by switching it up. Try incorporating HIIT as well.

6. Incorporate strength training with weights into some of your workouts.
*Did you know that strength training builds muscles and that leads to burning more calories? The more muscle your body has to maintain the more calories you will burn.

7. Avoid artificial sweeteners.

*Anything artificial that you’re putting into your body is probably not the healthiest choice. Although removing/avoiding artificial sweeteners is currently only a theory, these sweeteners are thought to maybe even cause weight gain.

8. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume and avoid mixed drinks filled with sugar.

*Not only will your beloved cocktail add calories to your diet but it will actually slow down your metabolism in order to enable your body to process the alcohol. Not to mention after having a few, eating an entire pizza doesn’t seem so taboo.

9. Try new healthy recipes.

*Grilled chicken and veggies are great but if that’s all you ever eat, chances are you will get bored and fall off the wagon. Add some variety and spice to your meals and truly enjoy your food!

10. Set goals for yourself so that you are always working to achieve something.

*Make sure to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish…fitness goal or healthy eating goal or both. Also, don’t forget to celebrate the goals you have achieved!

11. Plan outings with friends around physical activities rather than dinner or drinks.

*Take temptation out of the equation and suggest spending time with your friends participating in a fun activity like paint balling, kayaking, mini golf or even a bike ride.

12. Meal prep is essential.

*Although initially it may seem like a lot of work, preparing your meals ahead of time will ensure that you are making good decisions and sticking to your healthy lifestyle.

13. Eat before a party or gathering so that you are less tempted to make bad choices.

*By attending an event already full, the only thing you will gain is an advantage. Even though your favorite dip may be in front of you, your judgment won’t be clouded by hunger therefore you are more likely to say no.

14. Keep healthy snacks on hand at home and at work.

*For those desperate times when you are starving and need to eat something immediately, these already prepared healthy snacks will be your lifesavers.

15. Be patient and stay positive.
*Although sometimes easier said than done, try and be patient because results won’t happen overnight. Embrace the journey and always try to maintain a positive attitude. Negativity will only bring you down and allow you to make excuses for yourself. As long as you are putting in the work, the results will follow.

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Strong is the New Skinny

When it comes to appearance many of us idealize the slim and beautifully airbrushed models and celebrities we see online, in magazines, movies and television. As an average woman however, it is hard to stay positive and be confident in ourselves when at every turn “perfection” is flashing in front of our eyes. It is nearly impossible not to compare ourselves to these images even though we know they may always be unattainable. Thankfully, as fitness trends are changing, it seems as if more women are focusing on being healthy and strong versus skinny.

A common misconception that many women have is if they lift weights, especially heavier weights, they will get “bulky” or start to look more masculine. The good news is this is incorrect and can be proved wrong scientifically. First, muscle burns fat and so the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. Second, as women our body compositions are very different than that of men. So unless your goal is to become a female body builder you will not just haphazardly achieve that type of physique.

There are so many benefits to being strong and healthy and our Top 3 are:

  1. Gaining confidence as you watch your body transform.
  2. Becoming more capable of physical tasks in the real world.
  3. Cultivating a new and healthy lifestyle that you can be passionate about.

Modern fitness focuses more on interval training for shorter periods of time, utilizing weights while doing cardio and muscle confusion. Efficiency and intensity is what we recommend. So… stay positive and put in the work and you will have nothing to lose but inches and self-doubt!

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Kale The Other Protein

fresh oranges with tape, healthy diet

Defying the aging process may be impossible but according to studies you may be able to slow it down by simply eating the right foods. Scientists believe that consistently eating fresh foods that are rich in antioxidants will not only delay the aging process but will also provide you with countless health benefits. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body that can be very harmful and facilitate disease.    Kale, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Cancer, Protein, diet, nutrition, fruits, vegetables, antioxidants, fresh foods, antioxidants, fitness, health, exercise

Many fresh foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide you with antioxidants. At the very top of our list is Kale, and it’s one of the healthiest and most nutritious greens. Although kale wasn’t always so popular, more recently it has become a staple in a healthy diet regiment for many.

Kale is high in protein and extremely high in vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Manganese. Also, the little fat that it does contain Omega-3 fatty acid, which is the kind you want to consume. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C containing even more than a whole orange. It can also aid in lowering cholesterol, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to studies, kale has also been associated with containing compounds that have protective effects against fighting cancer. Although many dietary fads come and go, kale should become a permanent part of your health regiment.

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Fueling Your Body

Fueling your body is one of the most important things you do each day. Although some people are more sensitive to certain foods than others, in general we are all affected by what we consume. As for those of us who are trying to eat clean and shed some pounds, keep in mind that your diet is anywhere between 70-90% responsible for weight-loss. Here are some helpful tips on how to maintain a healthy diet and to avoid temptation.

First, make sure you are drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is extremely important for your body to function properly. At times our body confuses hunger with the sensation of thirst so before you eat anything, drink some water first to see if the feeling dissipates. Also, try and keep a bottle of water on hand at all times whether it be reusable or bottled. If you have access to a kitchen at work make sure you are monitoring how much you consume throughout the day and if you are particular about how your water tastes try a Bobble, a reusable filtered water bottle.

Next, eating small meals throughout the day is essential for keeping your metabolism going. Planning your healthy meals ahead of time is the key to success. It is also very important to make sure you have healthy snacks available so when you grab something it’s not coming from the vendingHealth, fitness, Picky Bars, Nutritional, drinking water machine. Try and keep them around 200 calories or less and the
healthier the better. Picky Bars, for example, work as an ideal quick snack for those of us on the go. They are gluten, soy and dairy free, 200 calories each and are made with 100% all natural ingredients.

Lastly, listen to your body. When making a lifestyle change to become a healthier you, there most likely will be a period of time for trial and error. Certain people may be able to function with less sugar or carbohydrates in their diet than others. If you are feeling light headed and lethargic then you may want to incorporate an extra piece of fruit into your meal plan. Or, if you are finding yourself craving more protein for example, pay attention, it may be your body asking for what it needs. Remember, balance is the ultimate goal and everything in moderation.

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