6 Easy Ways to Add Healthy, Whole Foods to Your Diet

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6 Easy Ways to Add Healthy, Whole Foods to Your Diet

The dietary changes you’re making should not feel restrictive or overwhelming.

 

Most Americans have grown up on processed foods; I know I sure did!  If eating healthier seems like a big change for you, take it one step at a time. Pick 1 or 2 changes to make now, and once those are in place, pick 1 or 2 more.  This is the best way to make healthy changes a part of your lifestyle, and something you can easily live with, long term.  

  

Transitioning to a healthier way of eating may seem daunting so here are some tips to keep in mind:

 1.    Eat vegetables at most meals.  Think salads, side dishes, soups, or even adding veggies to your sandwich or wrap.  

 

 2.    When you have a craving for something sweet, opt for a serving of fruit to satisfy your craving.  Be sure to keep your favorite fruits in the house. 

 

 3.   When you eat meat, it’s best to choose organic, grass-fed, and hormone-free, so you get the maximum nutrients possible without the harmful pesticides residue, antibiotics, hormones, etc.

 

4.    Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy food choices that are ready to eat and go.  Snacks like nuts, seeds, Lara Bars (without added sugar) or fruit are good for ‘grab and go’. 

 

5.    Heading out for a few hours?  Grab a healthy snack or meal to take with you. Eating healthy foods on a regular basis will help you avoid unhealthy choices.  Example: Create your own trail mix (avoid ready-made trail mix as most of them have hydrogenated oils and other undesirable, processed ingredients) or bring a small cooler to keep in the car.   

 

6.    Most importantly, don’t be too rigid. Making small changes over time will make a huge difference, and it makes it easier to stick with your healthier choices.  Perfection is not the goal, so be kind to yourself and get back on track as soon as you can.    

 

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15 Ideas for Better Sleep

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15 Ideas for Better Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re certainly not alone. It’s estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation!  I know been- there done that! Some of these tips really have helped.

If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes.  It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust. 

First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed.  For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00.  This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30. 

Note: If these simple solutions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your doctor to see if they can find the root cause.  A functional medical practitioner or naturopathic doctor may be able to find a good natural solution for you.

Here is a list of 15 things you can try to help improve your sleep:

1.     Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)

2.     Don’t have chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime

3.    Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed

4.     Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime

5.     Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening

6.     Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers

7.     Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature

8.    Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)

9.     Take a soothing warm bath at night

10.  Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down

11.  Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation

12.  White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan

13. Relax and read before bed

14.  Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress

15.  Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details, so you can relax). 

 


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The Skinny on Fats

Isn’t fat bad for me?


Yes and No. You see, not all fats are created equal.

The Skinny on Fats
Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.
Many people are scared of fats, but our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.
Where to Find Healthy Fats

  • Avocados, olives, coconuts, wild salmon, and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
  • Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini.
  • Look for the highest quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

How to Use Healthy Fats When Cooking

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil.
  • When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.

Try this delicious, easy recipe for a great source of healthy fat:

Avocado Dip

Prep time: 3 minutes
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large peeled and pitted avocado
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
  • 1 diced tomato
  • a squirt of lemon or lime juice
  • a dash or two of cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper 

Directions:

  • Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
  • Add yogurt, tomato, and cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork.
  • Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
  • Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Tip: Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving.

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Natural Tips to Deal with Allergies

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases according to recent statistics.

Most individuals with allergies are not sensitive to just one substance but a host of them.

There is an endless list of allergy causing substances present in our food, drinks, the air,

and the clothes we wear to name a few examples that can trigger an allergic reaction.

Let’s address some common questions and tips to obtain allergy relief:

1.Why do we develop allergies? 

2.What causes allergies? 

3.Allergy symptoms 

4.Herbs, vitamins & supplements

Why do we develop allergies?

The exact cause of allergic reactions is still under debate.  Heredity seems to play an

important role according to some researchers and being exposed to allergens at certain times

when the body's defenses are low or weak. Allergies are the immune system's

exaggerated response to a foreign substance. Exposure to what is normally a harmless substance causes the immune system to react as if the substance is harmful. Substances

that cause allergies are called allergens.

What causes allergies?

Allergies may be caused by any of the following. (NOTE: this is just a partial list; there are

countless substances that may cause an allergic reaction. The only way for someone to know

whether they're allergic to a particular substance is to get tested.)

1.Mold 2.Animal Dander 3.Latex 4.Certain Foods (ex: Nuts, Shellfish)

5.Insect Venom   6.Medications 7.Pollen 8.Dust Mites

What are allergy symptoms?

Allergy symptoms can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe (anaphylactic). Mild reactions

include local symptoms (affecting a specific area of the body) such as a rash or hives; itchy,

watery eyes; and nasal congestion. Mild reactions do not spread to other parts of the body.

Moderate reactions include symptoms that spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms may

include itchiness that spreads or difficulty breathing.

A severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, is a life-threatening emergency in which the

body's response to the allergen is sudden and affects the whole body (systemic). Anaphylaxis

may begin with severe itching of the eyes or face and within minutes progresses to more serious symptoms including swelling, which could result in difficulty swallowing and breathing;

abdominal pain; cramps; vomiting; diarrhea; hives; and angioedema (hives in the throat). Mental

confusion or dizziness also may be symptoms, since anaphylaxis causes a quick drop in blood

pressure.

Tips to obtain allergy relief:

Dust often to control mites - By dusting surfaces and washing bedding often, you can control

the amount of dust mites in your home.

Vacuum often - Although cleaning can sometimes trigger allergic reactions, with dust in the

air, vacuuming once or twice a week will reduce the surface dust mites. Make sure your vacuum has an air filter to capture dust.

Reduce pet dander - If you have allergies, you should avoid pets with feathers or fur like

birds, dogs and cats. Animal saliva and dead skin, or pet dander, can cause allergic reactions.

Avoid pollen - Keep windows and doors closed. Use an air filter and clean it regularly or run

the air conditioner and change the filter often.

Avoid mold - Mold spores grow in moist areas. If you reduce the moisture in the bathroom and

kitchen, you will reduce the mold. Dehumidifiers will also help reduce mold.

Herbs, Vitamins & Supplements:

Herbs, vitamins and other supplements can help by boosting the immune system and/or provide

allergy relief.

Herbs that may help by boosting the immune system 1. Echinacea 2. Garlic

Vitamins that may help by boosting the immune system  

1) Vitamin A

2) Vitamin C - Very effective at fighting allergies. It is a powerful antioxidant. It promotes immune functions and is a natural anti-histamine.

3) Vitamin E - fights allergies. It is a potent intercellular anti-oxidant.

4) Green tea - Contains EGCG, a potent antioxidant more powerful than vitamin C & E

Other supplements (1) Bioflavonoids such as Quercetin work well with Vitamin C as an

anti-histamine to tackle allergens.

Obtaining allergy relief involves a 2 pronged attack.

1. Avoid allergy triggers such as the one's mentioned above 

2. Boost the immune system by using herbs, vitamins and supplements

If the above don't work than medications such as antihistamines, decongestants or a combination of both are available over-the-counter or by prescription to treat allergy symptoms.

Keep your immune system healthy so chances of developing disease are reduced.

PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE.

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Desserts spelled backwards is STRESSED

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Desserts spelled backwards is STRESSED

I Love PizzaT-Shirt Old Lady.jpg

Desserts spelled backwards is STRESSED.

March is in, February is out. Flowers, dining out, chocolate and delectable confectionaries are part of many celebrations this time of the year. This includes sweets and other processed foods that are less healthy and may lead to weight gain.

For many people, stress eating is a frustrating cycle and can be so hard to break. And unfortunately, it can take a hefty toll on your health!

Many people spend enormous amounts of money on gym memberships, trainers and diets but achieve minimal results. More than just a problem of metabolism and food intake, recent studies show that stress and anxiety might be among the top reasons why people have a hard time losing weight.

The good news is that when you understand what is going on with stress eating and more importantly, take effective steps to overcome stress and the urge to stress eat, you can start to break out of that vicious cycle and start feeling much better.

Hormones Play A Huge Role When It Comes To Stress and Weight!

The human body actually responds to stressful situations by releasing two hormones - adrenaline and cortisol. This “fight or flight" reaction dates back to caveman days.

Adrenaline initiates a burst of energy, which increases metabolic rates and blood flow. That's what helped give our ancestors the fuel they needed to fight off the attacker or run at the speed of light. Once the stress was over, adrenaline would subside pretty quickly, but cortisol - the “stress hormone” - would hang around for a while to help refuel the body and bring it back to balance.

 

One of the ways cortisol does this is by giving you a huge appetite that drives you to replace the carbs and fats you used up in the process of fighting or fleeing. So it makes sense that you have those intense cravings during stressful times, especially for carbohydrates, particularly, simple carbs (cookies, cakes, bread, pasta - junk, essentially).

Cortisol is an important hormone in the human body because it is used by the body for proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, immune system function and inflammatory response. But as you can see, high levels of cortisol do more harm than good. When people become stressed, the adrenal glands produce more cortisol, which release sugar in the blood, leading to additional weight gain. Sugar from refined carbs feeds the harmful bacteria in your intestinal tract, which can wreak havoc on your digestive system (i.e.: bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea.)

When you are under chronic stress, your cortisol levels are raised and remain high. This creates a buildup of abdominal fat (our primitive emergency energy supply) — and there you have it, hello muffin-top!

While modern day stresses are much different, the body’s hormonal reaction to those stresses is the same.

The following methods have been proven to be very beneficial in relaxing the mind and the body to keep stress levels under control:

  • Keep a journal
  • Exercise (especially yoga and tai chi)
  • Listen to music
  • Meditation
  • Sex
  • Massage
  • Mindful Eating
  • Getting enough zzzz’s

 

Maintaining a stress-free lifestyle and the practice of stress management techniques play a complementary role in losing weight and can lead to a healthier, happier life - and YOU! 

#stress #nomorestress #stresseating #mindfuleating #lifestyle #savourwellness

 

 

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Healthy through the Holidays

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Healthy through the Holidays

Holidays are a perfect time to enjoy and chill out with families and friends. Parties with a wide variety of mouth-watering food on display can be very tempting. You can still stay healthy and fit without worrying about the increasing waistline. Just a little bit of planning, a dash of goal setting and dose of old fashioned discipline over your self will let you enjoy the holiday season without any worries. Here are a few ways you can follow your diet and stay in great shape too!

- Holidays are a hectic time. Schedules can go haywire! Stay on track, create a list of all the parties, dinners and so on. Keep the list where you can look at it every day. This serves as a reminder to stick to your schedule.

- With so much lip smacking and gorgeous food all around, you may feel tempted to just give up on your health and fitness goals.   Schedule one day aside where you can treat yourself, but only when you have  a major event lined up. Stick to your fitness program the rest of the days. Don't  feel even one iota of guilt while satiating yourself.

- If you skip one day of exercise, don't despair. Get on with it the next day. Nothing goes to waste. One day of holiday in your fitness schedule should be a motivating factor for you to get back on your fitness regime.

- If you have planned a big dinner, you might tend to skip either a morning or afternoon meal. Avoid changing your eating pattern. Treat the big dinner party at night just like regular dinner time and eat how much you would eat normally.

- Control food portion size in holidays. Eat your favorite foods in moderation. Overindulgence will show around your waistline. 

- One always has choices, no matter where you are.
Make the best possible choice based on the alternatives available in front of you. 

- Drink 8 - 10 glasses of water daily. Drink a glass of water before dinner to control your appetite. Drink water throughout the day to maintain a steady state of hydration.

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Stretching for Fitness & Anti-Aging

In many exercise programs, most people do not perform enough stretching exercises even though stretching exercises can be performed virtually by anyone at any age. Many people do not even stretch before and after exercising. A secret unknown benefit to stretching is that it also has anti-aging benefits. 

 

Benefits of stretching exercises for muscle growth: 

 

Stretching is an important aspect of exercising and should be a part of any exercise routine and program. There are many wonderful benefits when you perform regular stretching exercises. Stretching exercises not only help you to warm up and cool down before and after your workouts, it can and will actually help your muscles to grow stronger too. Don't believe me? Then read on.

 

Stretching exercises help muscle growth because stretching lengthens your muscles and thus giving your muscle fibers a greater range of motion when lifting weights. So in effect, it recruits more muscle fibers and thus causing your muscles to grow stronger.

 

By stretching your muscles after an intensive workout will reduce muscle soreness commonly known as delayed onset muscle sore, which usually occurs a day after your workout. 

 

Performing stretching exercises before your workout or before a physically demanding sporting activity will also decrease your chances of sustaining injuries and muscle cramps which will certainly destroy the joy of your activity. 

 

When you stretch regularly, stretching exercises will help you gain agility which will make your daily chores much more pleasant and if you play sports, you will notice your agility is much better than others who do not stretch. This will put you in a more beneficial position against your opponents.

 

Anti-Aging Benefits Of Stretching Exercises:

 

If you are a baby boomer and age is catching up, this agility will make your life so much more pleasurable because you will be able to avoid stiff muscles and stiff joints unlike your peers who do not stretch. You will be more mobile, agile and suffering from less pain associated with aging and stiff body parts. These anti-aging benefits from stretching regularly are priceless. Benefits that money can never be able to buy.

 

What is more, you can stretch anytime any where as and when you like. Stretching exercises need not be limited as a pre and post workout activity. So start a stretching exercise routine soon and make it part of your everyday lifestyle. You will surely enjoy the pleasures and anti- aging benefits that a regular stretching routine can bring you.

#fitness #antiaging #healthybody #wellness #exercise #savourwellness

 

 

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"A Better You" Your 7 days program to self-improvement

Is your self-esteem, on the rocky side. Here are some helpful hints to improve, the better you in seven days.

I seem to lost count on how many times I've read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don't), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality.

There are many ways to lose your sense of self-esteem despite of how trivial it could get. But whatever happens, we should all try not to lose our own sense of self.

So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve on that should be enough for a week.

1. Know your purpose 
Are you wandering through life with little direction - hoping that you'll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight or even dead end. But there's always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself.

2. Know your values 
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. Set your goals and check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn't align with any of your top five values - you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

The number shouldn't discourage you, instead it should motivate you to do more than you can ever dreamed of.

3. Know your needs 
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met.

4. Know your passions 
You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honor the people who has inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.

5. Live from the inside out 
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us city slickers it's hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home. In my case I often just sit in a dimly lit room and play some classical music. There's sound, yes, but music does soothe the savage beast.

6. Honor your strengths 
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three - if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others.

7. Serve others 
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit - your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.

Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn't always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better.

#mindset #selflove #selfhelp #feelgood #loveyourself #selfcare #savourwellness

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Frolic with Garlic

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Frolic with Garlic

Well so it makes your breath a little stinky! Garlic positively impacts your overall health and wellbeing. Why is garlic so stinky? Garlic’s strong flavor can be attributed to the same property that makes it healthy for your body! The compound responsible for garlic's disease-fighting abilities is allicin, which can also be found (but in smaller amounts) in some white vegetables and onions.

Garlic has been used as a healing herb for thousands of years, given to slaves building pyramids in ancient Egypt, by whom the herb was considered sacred. In the Middle Ages, garlic was used to ward off diseases and plague, known everywhere for its health-bearing properties. During the 6th century BC, garlic was introduced to India by migrating peoples and began being utilized for medicinal purposes. In modern day culture, garlic is grown all over the world, and is used for both its unique and powerful taste in the cuisines around the world, as well as its health properties recognized by people worldwide. 

The allicin in garlic can only be obtained when fresh garlic is mashed or chopped and exposed to air for a few minutes. This means that the properties of garlic powder do not have the same healthy benefits as garlic that is obtained fresh. So make the trip to your grocery store and buy fresh heads (also called “bulbs”) of garlic; they will last for months on a countertop outside of your fridge. You can mince or pulverize the garlic into your next recipe, and then experience the powerful health benefits it has for you and your family.

Along with being a great flavoring in most of your favorite dishes, garlic is also a powerful therapeutic herb. The properties of allicin can help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol and is heart healthy for its ability to reduce blood clotting. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that works fantastic against combating fungal infections. Garlic has the power to stimulate your immune system through antibacterial and antiviral effects. 

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It happens to all of us at some point – the dreaded plateau!

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It happens to all of us at some point – the dreaded plateau!

 I remember thinking  “I’m NEVER going to lose this weight!’  So frustrating and discouraging! Then I took a step back and realized I needed to change my mindset and my focus.

YES, I wanted to lose the weight that I had gained, but I also wanted to be healthier and feel better. THAT was the most important thing to me. I knew a quick fix was not the answer because I didn’t just want to lose the weight; I wanted to keep it off so I didn’t have to focus on losing the weight ever again.   I knew it needed to be a lifestyle change. I wanted to look and feel healthier not just be thinner.
There are many reasons for hitting a plateau or getting off to a slower start than we’d like.  Everyone is different at the rate they lose weight and where they lose it and it’s easy to get discouraged.   The bottom line is though, if you continue to keep your new healthy habits in place, you WILL see results.  Most people get discouraged and give up way too soon before they see the results they want.  “I just can’t lose weight” or “I’ll never reach my goal weight” are some of the things we tell ourselves. Not true; we just tend to give up when it doesn’t happen within our desired time frame.

If you can change your focus to getting healthier, making better food choices and exercising smarter you will do more for yourself than obsessing over the number on the scale.   For example: if you aren’t getting enough sleep, have a high level of stress and you’re eating a fair share of processed foods, you’re going to have an uphill battle losing weight.  So, by addressing it from a ‘taking better care of yourself’ perspective, the rest tends to fall into place.

While we can’t always control the number on the scale we CAN control how we take care of ourselves. In the long run, this is much more important in order to have a healthy, happy life.

Here are 6 strategies that can help:

1.    Focus on eating the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods you can(think ‘REAL’ food here, not foods with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce).  The more healthy whole foods you eat (with plenty of protein and healthy fats), the less room you’ll have for higher calorie processed foods. When you give your body what it truly needs, you’ll have fewer cravings for empty calories and ‘junk food’, which usually leads to consuming fewer calories.

2.    Reduce stress and get enough sleep.  This is a big deal!  When you’re under stress and/or you’re not getting enough sleep, the stress hormone, cortisol is elevated and this can hinder weight loss.   Also, when you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat more (studies show people consume up to 25% more calories when they’re tired).

3.    Mix up your workouts.  Adding resistance training is key and what you need if your goals involve reshaping your body.  Avoid doing the same routine week after week. Our bodies adapt to new stresses put on it rather quickly, so by switching things up, you’ll see results quicker.  Doing cardio-only exercise is not going to work long term and can actually stall your weight loss efforts.  It’s good to switch-up your routine every 30 days or so.

4.    Increase the time, frequency and/or intensity of your workouts.  If you’ve stopped seeing results, it’s also good to look at how often you’re working out as well as the length of your workouts and how hard you’re pushing yourself.  If you’ve been exercising 3 days a week, it’s probably time to bump it up to 4 or 5 to start seeing results again OR do longer workouts on the 3 or 4 days if appropriate.  You’ll also want to look at your intensity and evaluate if you need to bump that up a bit as well.  Are you giving it 100% or just ‘showing up’ most days?  We all have days where we aren’t 100% and that 70% effort is certainly better than no effort, but evaluate your effort level on most days.

Note: If you’re already tired and feeling run down, you would be better off getting the rest you need so you can recharge and give more effort at your next workout.

5.    Food Journaling. While I don’t focus a lot on calorie counting, it can be helpful to have an approximate calorie goal range.   If you’re stuck with your weight loss progress, this is a good time to evaluate your food intake and choices.  It’s not always that your calories need to be lower, so it can be a tricky thing to figure out.  If you’ve been eating too few calories, weight loss can stall too.  Try playing with the numbers and see what works. If you go too low, you’re going to lose muscle, which is NOT what you want since that will affect your metabolism negatively.

Some apps for tracking food that I like are ‘Lose It’ and ‘Myfitnesspal’.  The apps are handy since most of us always have our phones with us, so tracking is much more convenient.

 6.     Don’t skip meals.  This is a biggie!  My clients that go from skipping breakfast and having a very small lunch find that they start losing weight when they start eating regularly and balance their meals out during the day.  This makes perfect sense because our bodies keep track and if by late afternoon you haven’t had enough to eat, you’re going to be really hungry and make less healthy choices. This is what happens when you ‘diet’ and you feel like you’ve done great until around 3:00 then you’re starving, eat everything in sight and don’t understand why you can’t control your appetite.  Your body needs real food on a regular basis.  Eat breakfast, lunch, diner and healthy snacks when needed and don’t wait until you’re too hungry to have something to eat.

Bonus Tip: Water!  Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day. Water helps with digestion and elimination. Water intake is an important element of our overall health as well as for weight loss. Flavor your water with a sprig of mint or a squeeze of lemon-so refreshing!

Focus on the positive and how you’re making better choices and do the best you can for your health each day and you WILL see and feel changes. Be patient and just keep moving forward, one healthy choice at a time.   Slow and steady is the way to go for long term success.

There could be other underlying conditions including hormonal imbalances that can hinder weight loss, so it’s a good idea to seek a health care practitioner that deals with this, such as your physician or naturopathic doctor.

Promise yourself you are not going to give up…you are in this for the long haul and you’re worth it!   

**Always check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine**

#diet #weightloss #weightlossplateau #eathealthy #wellness #fitbody #savourwellness

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Eating on a HOT Summer Day

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Eating on a HOT Summer Day

Eating can be unappealing on the hottest of summer days, when all you want to do is stretch out like a cat in front of the fan and hide from the sun. Keeping up nutrition and hydration is important, especially on days that the heat is fierce enough to tire out your body. Here are some tips to keep cool and healthy during heat waves while enjoying the things you eat.

The key is to stay hydrated. Your body will need extra salt (Celtic or Pink Himalayan sea salt), minerals and electrolytes – these are nutrients that your body will crave in order to absorb more fluids on hot, steamy days. Try something yummy like watermelon with some Celtic sea salt sprinkled on top, or even consider something hot and spicy that makes you want to drink a whole gallon of cold, refreshing water afterwards! Keep a lot of cool and refreshing fluids on hand.

Eat small meals often. Nibble on some healthy snacks during the day before that big cookout you’ve been looking forward to all week, so that you can enjoy it without feeling sick from the heat while you’re there. Look for healthy takes on the food recipes that keep you cool like the veggie platters and fruit salads. Summertime really is a great time to get in on salads; while they might not seem quite as appealing during the winter months, these light and healthy meals are going to look fantastic on the days when heavy foods feel just too hot to bear.

How about some cool drink ideas? Skip the alcohol during the day and reach for something with more nutritious and hydrating properties. Summertime is your chance to invent awesome new takes on lemonades, smoothies and other juice drinks. Smoothies are fantastic because they can serve as both drinks and meals, especially when it’s too hot to put anything into your body but icy-cold liquids. Use frozen fruits and vegetables to really make your treat cool. Coconut water is my to go drink on a steamy day to keep you hydrated and is a great source of electrolytes too!

 

Bring healthy potluck dishes to BBQs, so that everyone can enjoy something healthy, and so you’ll know there’ll be a great option available for you when you get there. Go for options other than just hamburgers, like grilled tofu, fish and lean meat chicken. Try recipes from other cultures at your next BBQ, spicy Thai grilled tofu or the heat from an Indian-style grilled chicken might be just the food you were looking for to turn up your summer. 

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GMOs Are a No-Go!

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GMOs Are a No-Go!

 

This past weekend the March Against Monsanto was held all over the world with millions of people protesting the use of pesticides and GMO’s in our food supplies.  I want to give you the opportunity to decide for yourself if GMO’s are something you want to include on YOUR plate. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.

So whats all this hype that GMOs, which are everywhere in food these days, are horrible for your health? Are the rumors true? What is a GMO? The full name of “GMO” is “genetically modified organism” (there are also “genetically engineered organisms”, “GEOs” which are similar in principle). This is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Genetically modified foods are meat products and plants that have had their DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria.

GMOs are not created to alleviate famine or alter foods in a positive way for consumers, but rather make production of food easier and more viable for the companies that sell it. Some studies estimate that over 75% of all processed foods sold in the U.S. contain GMO ingredients, particularly corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar, beef and dairy products. Companies are sneaky in the ways in which they get around leaving customers in the dark about these ingredients and the United States government does not require labeling of these ingredients on products, so consumption of GMOs goes largely unnoticed. 

So what’s so bad about eating these products? Not to mention the harmful effects they have on farmers and the environment, GMOs are suspected to have terrible effects on the health of consumers. In studies of animals that have eaten products containing GMOs, it was discovered that these animals experienced reproductive problems, poor immunity, accelerated aging, blood sugar imbalances and harmful effects on major organs.

One reason GMOs are so unhealthy is the amount and type of harmful pesticides that have been sprayed used on these food products. Because GMO plants are bred to be resistant to pesticides, companies are able to use pesticides with higher toxins in greater amounts without consequence. Some issues in humans that have arisen since the introduction of GMOs (although there exist no studies to prove that GMOs are truly the cause of these issues) include allergies, infertility, birth defects, digestive issues, imbalances in gut bacteria, cancers and tumors.

So how can GMOs be avoided? Buy organic, because these products do not include any GMO ingredients. Look for non-GMO product seals on the foods you choose. Avoid products with ingredients that are high in GMOs like dairy products, sugars, corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow squash. Look for shopping guides that specifically tell you what you can buy that’s GMO free on many GMO free websites.  Some of my faves are below…….

http://www.nongmoproject.org                  

http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com

Please look for my Blogs at: www.savourwellness.com

http://savourwellness.tumblr.com

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Healthy Eating for Travel

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Healthy Eating for Travel

http://www.savourwellness.com/blog

http://www.savourwellness.com/blog

 

No doubt many of you are looking forward to Memorial Day and some well-deserved summertime fun! 

Since this is the weekend that kicks off the season, I want to present you with some healthy eating suggestions while traveling.

Eating healthy when you are traveling can be tricky. Healthy choices may not be available while you are on the road, or you may not know where to find them in an unfamiliar location.

For a lot of folks, digestion can get off track when traveling. Do you know our digestive system is closely tied to our immunity? If our digestive system is functioning optimally, there is a better chance that we stay healthy too.

Here are a few convenient ways to keep your digestive system healthy:

  • Eat foods rich in probiotics: e.g. yogurt (ideally plain, to avoid added sugar), kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi; or take probiotic supplements.
  • Drink fresh juice of carrot and apple to aid colon function. You can also eat them whole.
  • Pack packets of green juice powder with you – it helps balance your blood pH and some also contains prebiotics aid the growth of probiotics.
  • Drink a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice (about 2 Tbsp) first thing in the morning – it supports liver function so particularly helpful if you have been drinking alcohol or eating greasy foods.
  • Eat high-fiber foods – e.g. order oatmeal for breakfast, and opt for whole grains in your meals.
  • Keep up your fruit and vegetable intake – e.g. start your meals with a salad, grab an apple for snack.
  • If regularity is a challenge:
    • Try prune juice or dried prune.
    • Before you leave for your trip, mix ground flaxseed with psyllium husks, store the mixture in a container and sprinkle it on your food (e.g. on your breakfast oatmeal or your yogurt snack). 
    • Take magnesium citrate and/or vitamin C supplements.

 

 

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22 Ways to Take Care of YOU!




Stress can definitely take its toll on our bodies in many ways - physically, emotionally and mentally.    


I find that when I feel like I don’t have the time to slow down, is actually when I need it the most


It’s important to take some downtime and take care of YOU.  You not only deserve it, but when you’re feeling rested and recharged, you can accomplish more and support others better


Here are 22 ways to take care of you – pick one that you can do today – and every day.  



Make it a point to do something you love every day, no matter how small.



  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Take the time to prioritize your day each morning (what are the top 2 -3 things you want to get done today?). 
  3. Remember to schedule tasks/appointments, events as evenly as possible throughout the week.  
  4. Reduce time on the computer and TV
  5. Take deep breaths during the day 
  6. Eat slower
  7. Connect with family and friends
  8. Take a vacations (or ‘staycation’) 
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  10.   Make time for yourself – enjoy a hobby or activity
  11. Read a book or watch a movie
  12. Exercise
  13. Speak to yourself more kindly 
  14. Listen to music
  15. Open your windows and blinds during the day 
  16. Remember your goals and aspirations
  17. Enjoy a hot bath
  18. Meditate, pray and/or do yoga 
  19. Get a massage or facial
  20. Go on a walk 
  21. Focus on the positive 
  22. Keep a journal

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Health Coaching

What is Health Coaching?


 Health coaching provides health education and promotion in an effort to help the individual   achieve their health-related goals. Individual goals can vary from weight loss, to lowering blood pressure, diabetes management or increasing fitness levels or making any kind of lifestyle change.
The reality is that it is an investment in yourself!

Why is Health Coaching Important?

Just as the coach for a sports team motivates the players, a health coach motivates an individual working toward specific health-related goals.  
Health coaches provide advice on everything from physical activity options a person should incorporate to nutrition geared toward that person’s specific health goals.
They also serve to motivate and inspire the individual as he or she works toward their goals, and celebrate with them as they achieve smaller goals that serve as benchmarks toward the larger goal.

Contact me for more info!

Savour Wellness


 

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Wary of Wheat?

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Wary of Wheat?

Wheat today is not the same wheat our grandparents baked with many years ago. Today's wheat has been hybridized to create a dwarf wheat that increases output by ten fold on the same acre of land. This hybrid wheat protein has been dramatically altered and it has not been tested for human safety.

What is gluten?

Gluten-free is a buzz word you have surely heard or seen at your local supermarket.
It’s the protein found it wheat, barely, rye and spelt and sometimes oats.

Gluten is what gives your favorite breads and bakery goods their chewy texture.

What's the big deal?

I wondered the same thing. I grew up on a steady diet of white bread, pizza, pasta, you name it!!!

A small percentage of the population, is affected by celiac’s disease, a severe auto-immune response triggered by the consumption of gluten. Those with celiac’s disease must completely avoid gluten.

What I didn’t know was that gluten can cause a host of other health issues for the rest of us, such as eczema, asthma, abdominal cramps, bloating, skin issues, achy joints and more. By removing gluten from the diet, many people resolve a myriad of health issues and feel better.

Wonder if wheat is causing issues for you?

If you are curious, something easy you can do is remove wheat from your diet for a week and then reintroduce it. By taking this “wheat-free holiday”, you will be able to see how your body reacts to gluten when you reintroduce it to your diet. 

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Skin Health

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We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat” and your skin is no exception.

Simple Fact: Your skin is your largest organ. It is our protective covering and our first line of defense to fight illness and disease. It is also a passageway to our bloodstream. That being said, what you apply topically on your skin as well as what you eat will affect the overall health & appearance of your skin.


Let’s get started from the inside out.

A quote from one of my favorite skin docs:

“Certain foods have powerhouse ingredients that keep skin supple and smooth and help fight age-related damage”

says Nicholas Perricone, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and author of Ageless Face, Ageless Mind.

First off–we need to HYDRATE the skin. That means drinking plenty of water.
At least the recommended 6-8 glasses/day. If you are physically active, live in a warm-climate or feel thirsty you may need to up your daily intake. Also, as we age, skin tends to become dehydrated a lot quicker causing it to wrinkle, so ample hydration is key.

Eat your Super-Foods!
If it’s good for your health, it’s good for your skin too!

Some examples:

Omega 3 Fatty Acids-found in fatty fish, such as herring,sardines & salmon....Other sources of Omega 3‘s include flaxseeds & walnuts.Omega 3‘s is known to decrease inflammation, and may reduce the risk of acne and other skin problems .

Vitamin C helps produce collagen & prevents cells from damage caused by free radicals. Great sources are oranges,pineapples,tomato,strawberries & bell peppers.

Vitamin E helps limit sun damage & signs of aging. Almonds are a terrific source of Vitamin E.

Vitamin A-revitalizes skin by increasing cell production and rebuilds tissue Eggs and dark leafy greens are good choices.

Beta-Carotene needed for growth & repair of tissue. Think orange foods- carrots,sweet potato,pumpkin,cantaloupe.

Other fabulous foods to include to boost your skin health: dark leafy vegetables, avocados,mushrooms,berries & surprise--dark-chocolate:) Did you know that your skin is a “breathable” organ?

Up to 60% of what you apply topically on your skin will be absorbed into your bloodstream and children absorb even more than that!!!!

Imagine products you've been using for years actually contain harmful

ingredients and could damage your health...... If so, your first instinct would be
to find a healthier alternative - pronto!

Heightened awareness and potential dangers have caused consumers to take a
closer look at what they put on their skin and demand safer alternatives.

Many cosmetic companies do NOT list their ingredients aka toxic chemicals because they are not required to do so.

Several of these toxic chemicals are linked to a host of problems including : allergies, skin rashes,cancer,headaches,fertility & reproductive issues,birth defects,hormone inhibitors and more.

Some toxic chemicals that should be avoided:

Parabens-often found in deodorants & moisturizers... a hormone inhibitor & believed to accelerate tumor growth

Artificial fragrance & color-may trigger allergies,asthma .. some colors contain lead & harmful dyes

Toulene-found in nail polish, hair-color products-some fragrances. linked to kidney & liver damage, may affect fetal growth

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate /Sodium Laureth Sulfate-a foaming agent found in shampoos,body/facial washes. Dries out the skin & linked to eczema,hair-loss,rashes,dry,scaly skin.

Formaldehyde-used as a preservative. Formaldehyde is known by several different names & should be avoided at all costs. Side effects are numerous.
PEG’s - this is anti-freeze-use it for your car-not your skin! Is used in numerous skin & personal care products.

Paraffin/Mineral Oil/Petrolatum- clogs pores = toxic build-up Phthalates-found in plastics. It is a known hormone-disruptor. Triclosan-used in anti-bacterial products. It is a pesticide & harmful to the environment. suspected carcinogenic

Sunscreens-just google some of those ingredients! Possible damage to DNA and many are known carcinogens

Of course, there are more–but–you get the point–if it is a toxin, it doesn’t belong on your SKIN

See my fave Non-Toxic Cosmetics & Personal Items here: http://avaandersonnontoxic.com/lindacelauro

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The Magic of Vitamin D

Many health experts consider the benefits of vitamin D to be one of the most important health discoveries in the last century!!! How amazing is that?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Vitamin D is SUNSHINE:)

The Basics:

Vitamin D is found in 2 forms. Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is made by plants. 

You can find it in foods that have been fortified such as juices, milk or cereals-not really the best source. However, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) the most complete form of Vitamin D is made when the skin is exposed to sun.

We’ve been somewhat “brain-washed” by the media to think all sun exposure is bad-NOT TRUE! Only 15 minutes of direct sunlight on unprotected skin is usually enough to get in your daily dose. Nature is your best bet. Include foods in your diet that contain vitamin D like fish--think: Wild Salmon, cod liver oil, milk, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, most of us cannot get enough Vitamin D through food sources or sun exposure :(:(

It is estimated up to 2/3 of the population is Vitamin D deficient & needs to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Keep in mind it is a fat-soluble vitamin & should be taken with a meal for the best absorption possible.

So what are some of the benefits?

  • Bone Health-Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium
  • Essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous Increases bone density & helps decrease fractures
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Enhances the Immune System-lowering the incidence of colds or flu Lowers incidence of cancer - rheumatoid arthritis
  • Controls hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Aids in Heart/Cardiovascular Health preventing premature death Reduces Inflammation
  • Prevention against Diabetes & autoimmune diseases/multiple sclerosis
  • Eases muscle aches & fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Improves serotonin levels-thus aids in controlling depression

Helps control appetite and even improve fat-loss efforts!!

As you can see, Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for good health & the list of benefits just keeps on GROWING...................

How do I know if I am getting enough?

Have a blood test called 25(OH). It is the ONLY blood test out there that measures the amount of Vitamin D to determine if you are getting enough or not. This test is especially important if you have family history of cancer or autoimmune disease. 

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Detoxification

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Billions of pounds of chemical pollutants are released into the environment over the course of a year.

It can enter our body through our skin,the air we breathe and the food we eat!

To make matters worse, many of us are now eating diets that are convenience oriented, processed and just plain lacking in nutrition. 

How can we possibly fuel our bodies natural detoxification process?
(DETOXIFICATION refers to our bodies natural ability to remove toxins.)

Now think about this over the course of a LIFETIME. :( Actually, we can help our body reduce the effects of toxicity which include:

  • AVOID additives,preservatives,unhealthy fats. Ditch the processed stuff!
  • DRINK WATER!!! 6-8 glasses everyday! Your body is up to 75% water, so quality & quantity count!
  • EAT fresh fruit,vegetables and grains (preferably organic)
  • READ LABELS–If you don't understand it, don't eat it--Enough said!
  • Ease up on animal fats–Go organic or at least try the leanest cuts *Eat safe fish......this website has some great info: http:// www.ewg.org/safefishlist
  • EAT-IN more often-you can control what goes into your food & save $ at the same time!
  • Use an Air-Purifier & change air conditioning filters often 

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