Tag Archives: get healthy

12 Healthy Habits

You should never be too busy to smile!!!!

1.  Smile at perfect strangers.

Don’t wait for people to smile ~ smile at them first.  Talk to someone you don’t know: straight from your heart; give them a compliment.

2.  Pretend today is going to be a great.

Do so, and it will be.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.

3.  Reflect on what’s good.

Appreciate all the good things in your life, no matter how small.  You already have some amazing things in your life, whether you realize it or not. Take time every day, throughout the day, to thank life for all that it has given you, to thank others for what they give you, to be grateful.

4.  Use personal strengths to get things done.

Everyone possesses unique personal strengths.  We all have different talents and skill sets.  The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement.  If this achievement is based exclusively on your personal ability to get the job done, the psychological rewards are priceless.

5.  Use your imagination.

How is it that we are born knowing how to enjoy life, and yet after learning all of the wonderful things we adults learn, we somehow forget how to have fun?  It’s almost like we get dumber in this regard as we get older. The solution?  Counteract the aging process with the full power of
your imagination.  You don’t have to pretend bananas are rocket ships – although that would be fun – but try to imagine something that makes you smile at least once a day.

6.  Create something.

Creation is a process like none other.  Putting to use your innovative faculties and constructing something with your own two hands will leave you with an indescribable sense of wholeness.   There really is no substitute for it.  The only caveat is that it must be related to something you actually care about.  If you are creating financial plans for clients all day and you hate it, then that’s not going to work.  But if you can find something you love, and create something related to it, it will make all the difference in your life. If you haven’t created something in a while just for the sake of creating, try it.  You will not be disappointed.

7.  Help someone else for a couple minutes.

In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.

8.  Share your lunch break with a close friend.

Get out of the office, away from your work and spend 30 to 40 minutes eating and socializing with someone you care about.

9.  Get rid of one thing a day.

We have so much clutter surrounding us at any given moment and we’ve become so accustomed to it that we no longer notice how it affects us.  If you start cleaning up some of that external clutter, a lot of internal clutter will disappear as well.

Choose one needless item each and every day and get rid of it.  It’s that simple.  It might be difficult at first, so expect some resistance.  But after some time you will begin to learn to let go of your clutter tendencies.

10.  Meditate.

Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area.  The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness.

On a general level, meditation helps you slow down, accept the moment you are in and achieve a higher sense of presence.  If you use meditation as a form of relaxation, it really doesn’t take long for you to start feeling the positive effects.

11.  Avoid negativity and negative people.

Don’t belittle yourself and don’t put up with people who try to belittle you.  You are as capable as you believe you are.  There will always be obstacles, but if you think positive thoughts and seek solutions, you can accomplish what others say is impossible.

12.  Enjoy the moment.

This moment is your life.  Enjoy it. Whatever you’re doing, regardless of the circumstances, pay attention and appreciate it.  Reading, writing, talking with a co-worker, taking a shower, walking up stairs, eating, washing dishes, sweeping, etc.  These small moments make up a huge portion of your life.  They can be enjoyed if you open your eyes and ears, and pay attention to what you’re doing.  Happiness is found with steady awareness.

Received this email recently & found it very fitting — it is from Marc & Angel (www.marcandangel.com/)

Don’t let the Holidays derail you

Do you have a weakness for the holiday cookies,  that special casserole, or that rich eggnog? The holiday season is filled with tasty obstacles that can throw your weight-loss goals for a loop.

The American Heart Association has these five tips to help you get through this holiday season without gaining weight:

  1. Be realistic. It’s no fun to be stressed out and trying to lose weight during the
    holidays. Shoot to maintain your current weight.
  2. Shop smart. Celebrate the season with festive & healthy items ~ unsalted nuts, whole grain crackers, fresh fruit & vegetable platters, low fat dips, and fat free eggnog.
  3. Keep hunger in check. Have a light snack before going to a party so you won’t be famished and overdo it.
  4. Enjoy yourself. Eat your favorite foods, but in small portions. Go easy on high-calorie
    beverages and be choosy at the buffet table—you don’t have to sample everything.
  5. Make time for exercise. It’s a great way to burn calories and lower stress. Get up a half hour early so you can fit it in. Walk a lap around the mall before gift shopping. Reconnect with family by making a holiday hike or other activity a new tradition.

Implement these tips to help with parties and other special occasions throughout the year too. If you do overindulge, don’t dwell on it ~ get back to your exercise and eating plan the next day.

Meal Planning made easy!


Planning meals for the week can save time & money. It can also save calories, seeing as most last-minute dinners usually involve take-out, delivery, or fast food. Meal planning can sound intimidating, but taking it one step at a time – and one meal at a time – can make it easier to fit into your normal routine.

How to start meal planning:

  • Spend 15-30 minutes on Sunday making a list.  Go through your cabinets and see what you have on hand already.
  • Start with the nights you already know your plans. Dinner with friends on Tuesday? Cross it off. Late meeting on Thursday? Crock pot meal.
  • Fill in the gaps. Start with favorite healthy recipes you know will be easy to throw together. Mix it up with a variety of chicken, vegetarian, or fish dishes.
  • Stay flexible and keep it simple. Plans may change, but a few eggs and vegetables (even frozen) can be whipped up into a quick dinner omelet.

Set Yourself up for Success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Tips – 
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.

  • Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing animal fats with vegetables fats (such as switching butter for olive oil) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed
    foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
  • Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar and salt in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
  • Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

When should I eat?

WHEN you should eat?  Eating every 2-3 hours while awake will help boost your metabolism and keep it revved throughout the day. You should always try to have your last meal about 2 hours before bedtime.

Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jump start your metabolism, while eating small, healthy meals (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up. I always drink my healthy superfoods shake for breakfast – have for over 5 years – and it’s been a lifesaver! At night, try avoiding food. Try to eat dinner earlier and fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning.

Studies suggest that eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day may help to regulate weight.

Why should I have a healthy diet?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of well being.

Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with red and processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders.

Eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your fat and sugar intake, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your Life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a
healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

Slow Cooker Banana Nut Oatmeal


Steel cut oats cook overnight with bananas, walnuts and spices to create a healthy, make-ahead breakfast that will be waiting for you in the morning.

Serves: 4
Ingredients
1 cup steel cut oats
1 ripe banana – mashed
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups skim milk (or almond milk)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
banana slices, walnuts or brown sugar – optional garnish

Directions
Place all ingredients in slow cooker and stir until well combined.
Cook overnight on Low for 8 hours.
In the morning, stir oatmeal with a fork to loosen the steel cut oats and make sure everything is fully incorporated.
Serve warm with banana slices, chopped walnuts or a pinch of brown sugar if you wish.

Notes – For easier clean-up and to avoid the slight “crusty” residue inside the slow cooker, place all ingredients in a glass bowl that fits into the slow cooker then add enough water to
fill the lower half of the slow cooker. over and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Sugar & Salt ~ what it does to your body

As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. It all adds up to a lot of empty calories since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food.

Sodium is another ingredient that is frequently added to food to improve taste, even though your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day (about half a teaspoon of table salt). Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction. It may also worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder.

TIPS –
• Slowly reduce the sugar and salt in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.

• Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar and sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit. Prepare more meals at home and use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.

• Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium. Some offer lower-sodium choices or you can ask for your meal to be made without salt. Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.

• Eat healthier snacks. Buy unsalted nuts and add a little of your own salt until your taste buds are accustomed to eating them salt-free. Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

• Check labels and choose reduced-sodium and low-sugar products.

• Use herbs and spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne or black pepper to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.

• Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.

Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients
1 large egg
1 pound 92-93% lean ground turkey1
2/3 cup (40g) Panko2
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (22g) grated parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large onion sweet onion, sliced
two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
chopped fresh basil for serving, optional

Directions
Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground turkey, Panko, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix everything up just so the ingredients are combined – avoid over mixing. Roll into desired size balls.

Coat a large skillet with remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Lightly brown the meatballs (only 6-8 meatballs at a time) for about 1 minute on each side.

Make ahead tip/freezing: Prepare meatballs through the browning stage; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze up to 2 months.

Moderation

Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

For most of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.

TIPS –
• Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

• Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.

• Take your time. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.

• Eat with others whenever possible. As well as the emotional benefits, this allows you to model healthy eating habits for your kids. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.