Eat your Fruits and Vegetables

Do You Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables Every Day?

image001How many of you have heard that you need 5 servings of fruits and veggies every day?  How many of you actually get your daily servings?  And even worse…what’s with all the marketing ploys trying to convince us that ketchup is actually a veggie?   Few people doubt that fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and nutrients, but does that mean that we are eating enough of them?

Consensus differs among academics regarding specific quantities, but the most up to date recommendations on this subject would advocate that an adult eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. That might sound like a lot, but when you break it down it really shouldn’t be considered all that much. In fact, it should be a minimum standard.

Here are a few ideas to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily routine.

When considering breakfast, many people will stick to that which they know. This often involves toast, cereal or even nothing more than a cup of coffee. Whether breakfast is or is not the most important meal of the day may be debatable, but there is no doubt that a good breakfast sets your body up for the day ahead. Very few people consider fruit for their breakfast, when it should be a staple. Switching a bowl of cereal full of added sugars for a banana could make a huge difference in your overall diet.

You can easily add veggies into your breakfast by chopping a variety and adding into your scrambled eggs.  When you finely chop the veggies, the flavors blend nicely and you don’t feel like you are noshing on a huge bunch of broccoli for breakfast.  Try adding peppers, onion, broccoli, and mushrooms for a tasty scramble.

paleogrubsbookLunch is a great time to load up on vegetables.  Swap the sandwich for a homemade salad to address an imbalance you may have in your diet. It is easy to get most of your daily veggies into one salad.  Use a variety of ingredients to make your salad interesting.  Nuts, seeds, hummus, avocado, and cranberries will round out a tasty salad.

Vegetables also make for ideal snacks. Ditch the packet of popcorn, the candy bar, or the fizzy drink you have to keep you going between lunch and dinner and swap it for a piece of fruit, or even a fruit and veg smoothie.

These are all small changes you can make to your diet, but these small changes can do wonders for your health, and your waistline. Fruit and vegetables should be at the core of our daily dietary intake, and yet they are all too often forgotten when a tasty carb option is available.  Ask yourself this; are you eating 5 servings of veg and 2 of fruit every day? If not, you’re probably not eating enough fruit and veggies.

 

 

Drink your Water for more Energy

woman jumping

The Dehydration Energy Drain

Suffering with low energy? Before you take up an intense new training regime or completely overhaul your diet, consider another much simpler solution: dehydration.

Dehydration can have profound impacts on your mood, your energy and your general health. When you consider that the water makes up 85% of our brain, 80% of our blood and 70% of our lean mass, it’s easy to see why this is the case. Tragically though, a whopping 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and are running at sub-par performance as a result.

How Dehydration Impacts Energy

So how precisely does dehydration affect your energy levels?

There are a great number of ways. Having a lack of water can impact on your electrolyte balance for instance, leading to aching muscles and cramps. At the same time, it can reduce the production and usage of enzymes including digestive enzymes. Headaches are also common and especially in the morning. Inflammation increases leading to joint pain. Your eyes and throat can also feel scratchy and generally you end up lethargic, grumpy and low.

If we look at the effects of acute dehydration these include:

  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Lack of sweat
  • Sluggishness

When you have ‘low level’ dehydration on a chronic basis, you simply experience all these same symptoms but to a slightly lesser extent.

How to Combat Dehydration

So what can you do to combat dehydration?

One obvious tip is to keep water around and to drink regularly. A good aim is to drink about 7 glasses of water a day but really the best guide is to listen to your body.

Another tip is to avoid things that dehydrate you. Alcohol dehydrates you for instance, as does caffeine. The reason for this is that both are diuretics, causing you to lose almost as much fluid as you gain.

Something else that can help and that many people don’t at first consider, is that we actually get the majority of our hydration from food. Eating more frequently then can help you to stay hydrated too – and especially if you pick things like oranges which are very juicy.

You may also consider using certain supplements and special foods to improve your hydration further. Some runners for instance will use chia seeds which have the ability to absorb and hold water, then release it slowly over time to keep you constantly hydrated.

Use Fun for Motivation

How To Use Fun for Self Motivation In Any Situation

It’s no mystery to us that when we experience fun, we feel uplifted and motivated to do things. No matter how you define fun, it’s a totally effective way of firing up your mood to give it your all every single day. Try to think about your work. When you don’t enjoy what you do, you will never experience that ever burning passion that would make you wake up each morning to get ready to go to the office. It’s basically just finding the little things that make puts a smile on your face each time. No matter how small it may be like the tie you wear to work, it’s helpful on your part to be happy with whatever it is that you do. Try out these helpful tips that would help you ease the stress and enlighten your mood:

Wear That Beautiful Smile!

It may seem overrated but smiling can make the difference between a whole day of being happy or feeling really heavy deep inside. Try to smile and you’ll notice a lot of difference. Smiling too is like disease (minus all the pain and agony though) as it is contagious to almost everyone around you and almost nobody is immune to it. Try it out! Maybe next time you’ll earn yourself a new friend. Have fun, be happy and don’t forget that smile!

Make Every Day A Challenging Game

Challenge yourself to the things that you do. Be that person who always seems to be optimistic no matter how huge the odds may be. Add a little spice to your day by achieving more than what you did yesterday. A little healthy challenge goes a long way and it can also improve your daily working pattern. Pushing yourself just a little bit each time makes you a better player than the others. Try challenging someone else to do something with you to keep you both accountable and motivated.  Everyone likes a little challenge to light a fire under them to get things done!

Motivation starts in your mindset…try these tricks to shift your motivation instantly.

“The Secret” to weightloss

Are you struggling with staying on a nutritional or weight loss program?  I have all kinds of great information to help people lose weight and get healthy but the real key to a successful program and staying with it is all in your mind.  If you mind isn’t in the right place then it doesn’t really matter what program you try to follow.  Here is a great video that can help shift your mindset for weight loss success and reach your health goals!

Eating Paleo

There are so many diets out there and it can be very hard to choose which one is best for you.  Not every diet works for everyone because we are all unique.  One diet that gets great reviews and I tend to recommend is the Paleo diet.

The reason I recommend this way of life eating is because it eliminates the foods that can create inflammation in the body, disease, and weight gain…grains, sugar, dairy, and legumes.  Try this way of eating for at least 60 days and see how you feel!

To get a great start in the Paleo lifestyle, I found a great recipe book.  The key to any program is that you actually enjoy the foods you are eating!  This book will give you great ideas on how to make your meals yummy so you will stick to the plan.  Check it out!  Just click on the picture.

paleogrubsbook2

Know your Why

What is the key to real weight loss? Well it isn’t the diet you go on. There are many diets out there…many of them good and some of them not so good but they real key to weight loss is having a clear “why” you want to lose weight and attain better health. It is your “why” that is going to bring you through those times when you are tempted to indulge.
Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your “why”

  • Write down your “why” and carry it with you.  Make this a clear statement with a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.  For example:  my “why” for staying on a healthy path is so that I can be a great example for my daughter and my clients.  I am not perfect with my diet 100% of the time and there are times when I can struggle due to stress or temptation just like the rest of you but if I have that clear vision in my head then…for the most part…I make the healthy choices.
  • Create a tool that helps you to keep your vision clear.  For example:  do a vision board or make a powerpoint movie with visions of what you want your life to look like.  I use a necklace that is an angel that contains a beautiful amethyst stone that reminds me of my daughter.  Maybe it is special trinket that you keep in your pocket that you can hold if you need inspiration.  Write on sticky notes and post them everywhere you can…on the mirror, on your computer, on your nightstand so you see it before you go to sleep.  There are many ways of keeping your vision…just find one that works for you.  The more specific you can make your vision, the easier it is to stick to the plan.
  • Finally, Go to sleep every night with your ideal image in your head.  Use visualization to see every detail of your life as if you have reached your goals.  What would your life look like, feel like, smell and taste like…the more details you can incorporate, the more your subconscious will know how to create for you.  Remember that what you feed your mind…you can create.

Check out this program on how Self-Hypnosis can help you reach your goals and create the life you desire.  Just click on the image to hear a short audio.

It’s Watermelon Season!

There is nothing like a juicy peach, a handful of ripe cherries, or a sweet watermelon on a hot summer afternoon.

Watermelon is one of my all time favorites.  It reminds me of childhood memories of running through the sprinklers at my grandparent’s backyard and taking a break to eat a piece of watermelon.  Not only is a perfect sweet treat for a summer picnic…it has many health benefits.

  • Watermelon is very hydrating.  It contains about 90% water with minimal calories.
  • Good source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin A, and B5
  • Best source of Lycopene which gives it it’s rich red color.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Source of citrulline which is a plant compound that is converted to arginine in the body.  Arginine is an amino acid that helps in the production of nitric oxide which is a gas molecule that causes the tiny muscles around the blood vessels to relax…meaning it can possibly help lower blood pressure.

If you are on a low glycemic index diet then eat watermelon in moderation.  It is mostly water and simple sugars.  The glycemic index (meaning the rate the sugars enter the blood stream is between 72-80 which is on the higher end.  Also if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and are on the low FODMAP (shortchain carbohydrates that some people have a problem digesting) then you will want to avoid eating watermelon.

All others…enjoy some watermelon this summer!  watermelon

10 Benefits of Massage

meditationMassage isn’t just a luxury.  Massage has some great health benefits.

Here are the top 10 benefits of massage.

  1. Pain management
  2. Relieves headaches
  3. Increases circulation (especially good for people with diabetes)
  4. Reduces inflammation
  5. Decreases stress (can also help with weight loss due to reducing stress hormones!)
  6. Reduces high blood pressure
  7. Reduces muscle tension
  8. Improves sleep
  9. Helps fibromyalgia pain
  10. Reduces anxiety

So how often should you get a massage?  Once a month is a great maintenance but if you have any chronic problems then every other week or every week is optimal.  Just get on a regular schedule and see how you feel!