Posts Tagged ‘ healthy ’

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

December is full of hustle, bustle, excitement and holiday cheer. But it can also be a time that is stressful for some and a time where a lot of people put their health and exercise on the backburner. Here a few tips to help you stay on track with your health and exercise goals as well as getting the most out of your holiday!

Stick to your routine! With vacations, travel and special holiday hours almost everywhere in December, it is easy to get kicked out of your normal routine. But don’t let a new city, closed gym, or a few days with the family stop you from exercising. If your holiday plans have brought you to a different city, do a little research and see what’s available to you in your new surroundings. And even though you may not be able to get to the top of notch gym you may be accustom to, every city a variety of places where you can get in a workout. Look up some local parks, pools, and bike paths. And if those options don’t pan out, you can always put on your sneakers and go for a walk or run and explore the outdoors of a new city for free.

Stop the “New Year’s Resolution” Mentality. With January 1st just a few weeks away, many of us are deciding on and preparing for our new year’s resolutions. But with this day and possibly a new lifestyle looming ahead of us, many use the holidays as an opportunity to indulge in all the lifestyle behaviors they are soon going to give up. Eating extra sweets, having another drink, or skipping another day of working out doesn’t seem like a big deal when you are planning on being very regimented and committed to your new goals come January. But instead of waiting until the clock strikes 12 to start your diet or start exercising more, start today. By making a healthy change in your life today, you avoid the risk of indulging “just this one last time” over and over again.

Moderation. The holidays bring an extra level of temptation when it comes to food and sweets. There is no need to swear off your favorite meals, drinks, and treats entirely but when you do choose to indulge make sure you do so wisely and remember the key is moderation! A healthy meal followed by a small treat will keep you full and satisfied!

Holiday Sickness and Blues. With winter’s short days, long nights and cold weather the holiday season can often bring around depression for some people. If you think you are experiencing some holiday blues, try and go outside and get some sunshine or do some exercise. These things have proven to help improve your mood. Also, if the holidays are getting you down, be sure to talk to someone you trust about it. Often just expressing what we are thinking and feeling can help lighten the load and instantly make us feel better. Winter’s months also often bring about sickness. From stuffy noses, to head colds, to sore throats. To help avoid catching any holiday bugs be sure to get enough sleep at night as well as take a multi-vitamin or some extra vitamin C. Also, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Traveling and be around lots of other people is an easy way to catch a cold!

Take Time for You. There is often a lot of pressure put on us to spend the holidays surrounded by family and loved ones. But often this can be a very stressful time of the year. Be sure to make time for yourself. Go for a long walk, take a hot bath, curl up in bed and watch a movie. Dedicate some time in your life for yourself. Taking time for yourself is an easy way to unwind from a hectic holiday schedule and an easy way to de-stress.

Warm Drinks with Health Perks

With the cold weather coming in, the thought of cold smoothies and iced coffees may give you the chills. Fortunately, there are a variety of beverages that will warm you up and provide various health benefits.

Green Tea

Tea is a common drink of choice. Besides being warm and low in calories, green tea, which is made of tea leaves, is healthy because it contains high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to absorb compounds called “free radicals” produced natural by the body and acquired through the environment. These compounds can result in cell damage so drinking green tea is a great way to reduce their occurrence in the body.

Studies have shown that drinking three cups of tea a day can decrease heart attack rate by 11 percent, and that it can also raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Other research has linked drinking green tea with lower levels of bladder, breast and colorectal cancer.

Black Tea

Like green tea, black tea was shown to block the damage of DNA associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals according to tea expert John Weisburger, PhD, of the Institute for Cancer Prevention.  Regular consumption of black tea can also lower stress levels.

However, adding sugars and cream to black tea can increase the caloric content, decreasing its health benefits.

Coffee

Many people in the work force consume at least one cup of coffee a day. Coffee also contains antioxidants that can help decrease the risk of certain cancers. Harvard University reported that caffeinated as opposed to decaffeinated coffee also has protective effects against diabetes and gallstones.

However, too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Not to mention, the added cream, sugars and flavorings drastically increase the calorie count. So although it is warming you up, in order to avoid the added calories, it is recommended that skim milk or sugar free syrups are added to add flavor and sweetness.

Apple Cider

This warm, fall drink, contains many of the benefits found in fruit drinks. However, because it is made from whole apples, it contains more sugar than tea or coffee (with no added sugars or flavors).

But, it is a great source of vitamin C. Depending on the blend of apples used, the vitamin and sugar level can vary.

Hot Chocolate

And finally, a nice warm cup of hot chocolate can still provide nutrients and serve as that tasty sweet drink you are looking for.

To reduce the calories make it at home and use skim milk and your own chocolate syrup. Hot chocolate purchased in stores is more likely to have less healthy syrups and heavier milk.

The milk is a great source of iron while the chocolate contains antioxidants that when consumed in moderation, can have healthful benefits.

So next time you pick up your morning drink on your way to work, remember these healthy, warm, alternatives. But to keep them healthy, avoid adding flavors and sweeteners or make it at home.

By: Erica Gomer

Daily Motivation

Daily Motivation

Healthy Fall Snack

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing. But with fall comes a lot of yummy temptations. Halloween candy, pumpkin lattes, pies, cakes and who can forget a Thanksgiving feast made for a king? Making the healthy choice in the fall can be a little more difficult but it doesn’t have to be bland or flavorless.

Craving the crisp crunch of a chip? Needing something sweet in your life? These apple chips will be the perfect and healthy way to satisfy you while keeping the scale from skyrocketing.

Apple Chips

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 apples – granny smith, gala, any firm apple will do
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degree.
2. Slice the apples into thin rounds.


3. Place apple slices on a baking sheet being sure not to overlap them.


4. Bake for 1.5-2 hours or until crisp. (Actual baking time varies by oven)
5. Once the apples are crisp, remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste.


7. Enjoy!

Recipe and photos from: http://umaskitchenexperiments.blogspot.com/2011/09/apple-chips.html

Increasing Your Metabolism

Unfortunately we all can’t have the metabolism of a 16 year old teenage boy and as we age our metabolism slowly declines. Metabolism is not only based off of your age but also your height, weight, gender, body composition and genetics which can all play a role in how fast your body burns calories. However what many people don’t realize is simple alterations and additions to an individual’s diet can help boost your metabolism.

The number one thing to remember is skipping meals and/or fasting will not help you lose weight it will actually increase your likely hood of gaining weight. This is because long periods of not eating will slow your metabolism and cause the body to go into starvation mode. And therefore lead to the body storing fat as its main source of energy.

Some tips to keep in mind whether you want to up your metabolism or even lose weight is to eat 4 to 6 small meals a day or try to eat something light and healthy every 3-4 hours. Food is not the only thing your body needs to keep your metabolism running. Hydrating your body with plenty of water also plays an important role. Finally it is essential to stay active by exercising because not only will it help you keep a healthy figure, it will also help to increase your metabolism to burn off those pesky calories that we all share a love/hate relationship with.

Below are some foods that may help in firing up your metabolism. Try incorporating them more frequently into your diet to increase your metabolism.

  • Green tea
  • Flax seed
  • Hot peppers or cayenne pepper
  • Garlic
  • Foods containing vitamin C (i.e. oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes)
  • Berries
  • Fish
  • Lean protein
  • Broccoli

By: Heather Coffman

Simple Substitution for Healthy Eating!

Many people carry on with their day to day lives not
worrying about every little thing that enters their mouth. However what
individuals do not realize is that if they replace certain foods that are
common in a person’s everyday diet with a healthy alternative, then they can
cut back on the calories they consume each day as well as eat something that
can be beneficial to their health.

Below is a list of healthy
alternatives to foods commonly eaten on a daily basis:

EAT THIS                                                                                             NOT THAT

 

Dark chocolate (contains antioxidants                                  Milk Chocolate
chocolate that fight free radicals)

 

Whole wheat or whole grain bread (since whole                White Bread
wheat or whole grain bread is unprocessed unlikethat
of white bread, it actually takes more energy to digest it)

 

Vinegar dressing                                                                    Creamy Salad dressing

Sparkling water (by adding a few drops                                 Soda
of lemon or limejuice, you can create a flavorful
and healthier alternative to soda)

Herbs and Spices                                                                     Salt

Whole milk                                                                                Reduced fat milk or Organic milk

Cookie                                                                                          Piece of fruit

Beer                                                                                           Glass of red wine

Cream based chip dips                                                          Salsa

Brown rice                                                                                 White rice

Frozen-yogurt                                                                          Ice cream

Hand full of almonds                                                            Hand full of m&ms                            

Source:
helbreds.info

Written
by: Heather Coffman