How Not to Fall Off the Healthy Eating Wagon

12 Dec

Are you struggling to keep your resolution to eat healthy, nutritious foods? Once you’ve set a goal to maintain healthy eating habits, how do you go about actually achieving that goal?

The good news is that once you do something consistently for only a few weeks, it becomes a habit.

Here are some simple techniques to help you avoid those tempting junk foods so you can make wise and healthy decisions in your daily routine.

Strategies to Avoid Temptation:

1. Am I hungry? Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re eating out of convenience or emotion. Many times you probably aren’t as hungry as you think, so try to get involved in a different activity instead of snacking.

2. Water, water, and more water. Drink a lot of water each day. Not only is this good for your whole body (both inside and out), it can actually make you feel full. Also, oftentimes when you think you’re hungry, your body is actually thirsty, so keep yourself well hydrated.

3. Try chewing gum. Putting something in your mouth like gum or hard, sugar-free candy can help convince your brain that you’re eating!

4. Divert your energy. Instead of putting all your energy into making two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, try taking a walk or doing something that requires you to use your hands, like knitting or woodworking. It’s pretty hard to do these and eat at the same time.

5. Allow yourself snack time. Choose healthy snacks instead of chips and salsa or chocolate bars. For snack time, try eating celery, popcorn without butter, fruits, or a make-your-own trail mix with raisins, nuts, and dried fruits.

• A good hint for snacking is to have healthy snacks readily available in your home, and unhealthy snacks completely out of the house; that way, the healthy stuff is easy to grab.

How to Choose Healthy Foods:

The next time you’re off to the grocery store, use these tips to help you choose the right foods and avoid the unhealthy stuff.

1. Stay away from preservatives. You don’t need that Twinkie that can outlast any environmental disaster! When you learn to read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you’ll find that there are many snacks that are full of preservatives. You probably shouldn’t buy the food when the ingredient list contains more than a handful of items. Plus, if the expiry date isn’t until two years from now, it’s being heavily preserved.

2. Use the food pyramid. The recommended food pyramid from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gears you toward whole foods and minimal sweets. Get a copy from the FDA and make your grocery list by following their guidelines.

3. Buy lots of fresh vegetables that you can use to make up a quick and healthy stir-fry with chicken, brown rice, or even soy products. Buy easy to make salads where the lettuce and other veggies are already washed. These are easy, quick, healthy, and they taste good. The key is to choose vegetables that are dark green or orange in color.

4. Buy fresh fruits and do some research on how to tell when fruits are at their freshest and when they’re in season. Try some of those exotic fruits you’ve always looked at but never purchased. Make your own fruit drinks and smoothies for a healthy, delicious treat.

More Great Grocery Store Tips:

1. Shop in a circle. Many nutritionists will tell you to shop the perimeter of the store. Grocery stores are usually set up with their fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, fish, and breads all around the perimeter. Preservative-laced foods are in the center and at the ends of each aisle.

2. Go alone. Leave your children in good hands and go alone to the grocery store. This way you can concentrate on getting only the healthy foods you desire without being pressured into buying junk. Alternatively, if you do bring your children, be prepared to spend extra time teaching them how to spot healthy foods.

3. Make a list! This technique is a tried and true method to avoid buying foods that aren’t healthy. Stick to your list and, for fun, seek out healthy foods you haven’t tried before to tempt your taste buds.

With some determination and strategies in place, you can achieve your goal to eat healthy! By incorporating healthy changes into your diet one by one, you’re slowly creating a new habit.

Before long, you’ll be choosing healthy foods without a second thought, and those unhealthy foods you used to eat will no longer tempt you. Once you discover the benefits and better taste of fresh and healthy foods, you’ll never want to go back!

12 Super Foods That Fight Heart Disease & Boost Your Energy, Focus and Mental Sharpness

12 Dec

There are certain foods out there that have come to earn the label super food. Super foods can improve your health by lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke, while boosting your energy, focus, and mental sharpness. The best part is that you get these benefits using all natural foods, instead of items containing chemicals and drugs.

Here’s a list of 12 super foods and a description of how they’ll help your body and mind:

1. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are packed with added fiber, potassium and vitamin C. You can cook them in many ways including baked or mashed, as well as cubed in soups.

2. Blueberries. Blueberries are definitely a super fruit! They contain beneficial antioxidants as well as vitamin C and fiber. They make a healthy treat and they’re easy to eat on their own or in smoothies and baked goods.

3. Bananas. Bananas make the list because of their beneficial nutrients as well as high potassium content. They also contain a healthy dose of vitamin B6.

4. Broccoli. Broccoli is a vegetable that contains a healthy amount of vitamin C and folic acid. If you don’t like the taste, you can use some spices, cheese, or dip to add some flavor.

5. Spinach. Spinach comes packed with many beneficial ingredients. It’s one of the best leafy green vegetables that you can eat. It contains folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, and more. Plus it’s easy to add to salads.

6. Apples. So now you know there’s truth to the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away! They contain many of the benefits of the other super food fruits, as well as a decent fiber content. They’re also a low glycemic index food. Apples can help you stay full and may help with weight loss.

7. Baked Beans. Protein, fiber and calcium are just some of the benefits of this low GI super food. Baked beans have also been known to lower the chances of bowel type cancers because of the unique way they’re digested.

8. Yogurt. Yogurt is a super healthy way of getting your dairy intake for the day. In addition to being an excellent source of calcium, yogurt has also been known to improve your bowel health overall. Yogurt can help with regulating the digestive system.

9. Salmon. Lean fish are always good alternatives for healthy meats in your diet. However, salmon is extra special because it contains Omega 3′s. Omega 3′s alone have many health benefits such as reduced risks of heart attacks as well as mental disorders such as depression.

10. Olive Oil. Olive oil is one type of oil that’s okay to add to your diet in moderation. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way. Olive oil can lower bad cholesterol levels and it also contains a healthy amount of antioxidants. Use olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar for salad dressing, instead of the creamy stuff.

11. Dark Chocolate. This is usually the shocker on the super foods list. Dark chocolate can be yummy and beneficial to your health. Dark chocolate, in small amounts each day, can lower your blood pressure and it also contains antioxidants.

12. Citrus Fruit. Many like the taste of sweet citrus fruits, which makes it quite the popular super food. You’ll still want to eat these fruits in moderation because they have a higher sugar content. However, citrus fruits also come with a high amount of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid.

There are many other foods that are earning the title of super food, but this list should get you started in the right direction. It’s always a great thing to hear when a delicious food also helps you live a happier and healthier life!

3 Keys to Creating a Healthy Mindset

12 Dec

Do you feel you could use a healthier attitude toward life? Would you like to approach things in a different way? Is a healthier lifestyle attainable?

• The stress of modern life can sometimes make it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, you can start living healthy, today, by adopting a healthy mindset.

Even if you find yourself leaning toward a pessimistic attitude, you can still achieve a healthy mindset. You just need to go about it in the right way.

How You Can Have a Healthier Mindset

Many people sit back, look at their lives, and wish they could view things in a more positive manner. Then they beat themselves up for being negative or not having the attitude and responses they wish they had. This typical response doesn’t do anybody any good.

• Instead of feeling angry with yourself for responding to life the way you normally do, think positively about your desire to have a healthier mindset.

Building a Healthy and Safe Support Network

One of the most effective paths to a healthier mindset is to find ways to deal with the stress in your life. For some people, this is as simple as writing in a journal or blog every day. Other people find that talking with friends or joining a support group is a rewarding experience.

• It’s important to give voice to your thoughts and emotions. How you do this is up to you.

Eating Healthy = Feeling Healthy

Another way to achieve a healthier mindset is to eat the right foods and get enough rest. When you feed your body healthy, nutritious foods and get the rest you need, you feel better all over. Your attitude, as well as your body, feels refreshed.

Food and rest will not change the way you respond to things if you tend to respond negatively, but it will be a great start. You don’t have to give up all junk food and your late night activities, but try swapping carrot sticks for French fries and an hour of sleep for Leno.

You’ll find that you’ll be able to acquire a healthier mindset when you take active steps to deal with your stress and treat your body with the tender loving care it deserves. Suddenly the world becomes a much more positive place when you pair these things with positive thinking.

• Positive thinking begins when you affirm the positives in your life. You can use the power of positive affirmations to reprogram your mind so you can think in a healthier and more positive way.

For example, each morning you could say, “I make positive choices for the best of my body, mind, and soul.” You can use positive affirmations in moments of weakness when you are tempted to fill up on junk food, respond negatively to something, or trade sleep for something less important.

When you create a healthy mindset by making good choices about food, rest, and positive thinking, you’ll enjoy the new ways you think, feel, and live. You’ll discover that your happier, healthier lifestyle has arrived!

The Facts about Quick Weight Loss Diets

5 Dec

Quick weight loss diets have been around since the world’s first dieter looked at their belly and thought, “I need to lose a few pounds – NOW.” Even though experience has shown that quick “fad” diets usually result in temporary weight loss, dieters are still looking for the Holy Grail: A diet that lets them lose weight fast and keep it off.

While there is no miraculous instant weight loss trick, you can take steps to speed things along without resorting to a quick weight loss diet. Here’s how:

Rev Your Metabolism with the Right Foods

Yo-Yo dieting can harm your metabolism and reduce by up to %30

Are you eating too many calories? The problem might be that you’re eating too few. Years of yo-yo dieting can slow down your metabolism by 30%. To get it back on track, you’ll need to eat enough calories to fuel your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

You can find detailed BMR calculators online. They will tell you how many calories you need to get through a day. If you exercise or have a physically demanding job, you will need more. Try to get most of your calories from lean protein, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Don’t let an initial weight gain scare you off; your body needs time to repair itself. Once you’ve spent a few weeks or months eating an appropriate number of calories, your metabolism will speed up and the pounds will fall away.

You can easily lose a pound a week by sticking to a balanced diet, or two pounds a week if you add exercise.

Don’t Forget the Exercise

Most quick weight loss diets don’t include any form of physical exercise. They encourage you to lose weight rapidly by eating very little. While that can lead to a quick initial weight loss, the weight will come back when you start to eat normally again. Plus, quick weight loss diets don’t provide the same health benefits as a balanced diet and exercise.

Experts agree that the best exercise routines include cardio and strength training. If you have a lot of stress in your life, you should also consider yoga for stretching and relaxation. Three to five hours of cardio exercise plus one or two hours of strength training are enough to make significant changes in your body shape and fitness level.

Exercise provides all kinds of health benefits. It will improve your mood, help you sleep soundly, make you stronger and leaner, and improve your balance. It also protects your heart and wards off metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. These are perks that quick weight loss diets cannot offer.

Forget Starvation Diets

We’ve all heard the tales of celebrities who drank nothing but lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper to quickly slim down for a role. What we don’t hear about is the aftermath: Those same celebrities regained all the weight as soon as they ended their quick weight loss diets.

Don’t put your body through the stress of quick weight loss diets. At best, you’ll end up tired, hungry, grouchy, dehydrated, and heavier than before. At worst, you could seriously damage your metabolism, making it impossible to lose weight even when you eat very few calories.

To maintain a healthy weight, your body needs to be healthy. Feed it right, move it often, and give it the hydration it needs to perform at its peak.

Want to learn another surefire way to boost metabolism?  Believe it or not, my buddy Kyle Leon just posted a new metabolism trick that can’t even be stopped by “bad genetics”…and he SHOWS you proof.  See for yourself:

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How to Lose Fat Fast… and NOT Gain it Back

3 Dec
We all have busy schedules. It’s not wonder we can’t find the time to commit to long-term fat loss

Everyone is looking for a shortcut or an easy way to lose weight. What’s the matter, are we too lazy to make a commitment to get rid of the flab and be healthy? Maybe it’s not so much laziness, but more that we are looking for something that fits into our busy schedules.

Weight loss and dieting are not our favorite social activities, but it may be necessary for a lot of us to use better judgment on what passes over our lips.

When it comes to weight loss, sometimes the simplest ways are the easy ways.

Most diets and weight loss programs require some type of counting; calories, carbohydrates, portions, fiber, amino acids and the like.

It may be that one of the best programs is a non-diet discovered, authored and promoted by Jon Gabriel, “The Gabriel Method.”

Jon was a morbidly obese financial guy in NYC until he discovered that his problems were mostly in his head.

Over the next two years, Jon lost more than 200 pounds and has kept if off by following a few simple rules.

Even more amazing is that the doctors who have examined Jon can find no evidence of his former obesity. His body is defined and his skin is taut with no stretch marks.

Jon’s success was achieved by reprogramming his mind to want to be thin. He removed the mental barriers that told his metabolism to store everything as fat because “fat is
safe.”

There is a strong advocacy for a “paleolithic diet” among medical professionals. The contention is that our caveman ancestors did not have modern diseases because of how they ate. A pre-agricultural diet is what they promote.

The avoidance of refined grains, starches and sugars is the basis of caveman dieting. Meals are high in protein, natural vegetables (both raw and lightly cooked), fruits and nuts are considered paleolithic or the caveman style of eating.

Two doctors in Colorado, Michael and Mary Eades, MDs, wrote in “Protein Power Life Plan,” how they have been able to regulate and diminish types of diabetes by having patients practice a paleolithic diet regimen.

The long and short of it is that in order to lose weight and to keep it off, we have to make lifestyle changes.

We have to reprogram our minds to believe we have to be thin to be safe (think of a caveman running for a tree to win a race with a cave bear or lion).

We have to avoid processed foods, refined grains and sugars. Our meals should be “caveman style” with lots of protein from both meats and vegetables. We should get a lot of fiber and fruits.

Portion control is another aspect of weight control. We should begin with smaller servings and stop eating when we are satisfied, not gorging until we are full (and overfed).

We should avoid “empty calories” in the form of alcoholic beverages, sugary soft drinks and artificial sweeteners. We should snack on vegetables, nuts or seeds.

Our diets should include foods that supply Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids: Salmon, Tuna, Avocados and the like. We should cook with healthy oils like canola and olive oils.

Meditation, picturing ourselves in the body we want to have, should be engaged in several times per day. This reinforces our food regimen and helps program our subconscious.

Stay tuned for more fitness advice.

In the meanwhile,

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5 Quick Surefire Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food

1 Dec
Yes, you can stop craving these

Are you a junk food junkie? Maybe you’ve never met a dessert you didn’t love, or maybe you prefer salty potato chips and fries. Either way, if you overindulge, you’re loading your body with calories while depriving it of real nutrition.

Junk food is fine in moderation and on special occasions, but what about those cravings that hit you at the most inconvenient times – or, worse, the cravings that just never seem to go away at all?

Improbable as it seems, they can be tamed. Here are five proven strategies for ending junk food cravings.

Tip 1: Control blood sugar spikes and crashes.

When we stuff ourselves with highly refined carbohydrates, which most junk food tends to be, our blood sugar rapidly climbs. Then, because our bodies process these carbs so quickly, we experience a blood sugar crash.

Low blood sugar increases hunger, urging us to go out and do it all over again.

To avoid this cycle, eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. Never skip meals; recent studies have shown that dieters are more likely to binge on junk food if they haven’t eaten in several hours.

To really knock out cravings, combine a healthy fat with some protein and complex carbohydrates, like a tablespoon of peanut butter on whole grain bread. It will be more nutritious and more satisfying than the junk food your body is asking for.

Tip 2: Avoid artificial sweeteners and MSG.

When we eat sweet-tasting foods, our bodies produce insulin, whether those sweet-tasting foods actually contain sugar or a sugar substitute.

These findings were reported in the British Medical Journal in 2004, along with the result of eating foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners: deprived of the real sugar it was anticipating, the body experiences stronger sugar cravings at the next meal.

MSG (mono sodium glutamate) is a flavor-enhancer found in many prepared foods in grocery stores and at restaurants.

MSG has also been linked to incessant food cravings, including the infamous ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’: you eat the food, then feel hungry an hour later.

(It should be noted that many Chinese restaurants now offer MSG-free foods.) Other foods, such as grated parmesan cheese and pre-made soups, contain MSG.

It’s almost impossible to cut artificial flavor enhancers out of your diet completely, but you can take steps to reduce the amount you consume.

Eat natural foods you prepare yourself. Don’t consume too many diet sodas. Instead, hydrate with water or decaffeinated tea.

If you crave something sweet, go ahead and have real sugar in moderation. If you give your body a little of what it wants, it’s less likely to demand more at the next meal.

Tip 3: Learn to identify emotional eating triggers.

Emotional eating is a real problem for millions of people. Some people use food as a way to find a sense of fulfillment. Others use it to soothe themselves when they are in pain. This can lead to frequent strong cravings for “comfort food”.

Kaiser Permanente just concluded a study on effective treatments for binge eating disorder. They found that food journals are a key element.

By recording what they ate and why, binge eaters were able to identify the events and thought patterns that led to overeating.

These findings can be seen in the April issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Tip 4: Cheat (but only a little.)

If you find yourself demoralized by a craving that won’t go away, give yourself permission to indulge a little. In the long-run, it’s better to have that half-cup of ice cream than to keep denying yourself and obsessing over it.

Simply adjust your plan to include a little more exercise that day, or take away extra calories from another meal to compensate.

Tip 5: Have a medical exam.

Constant cravings can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as diabetes. A quick and inexpensive fasting blood sugar test will let you know if your blood glucose level falls within the normal range.

Diabetes is highly manageable when caught early, so be sure to have a screening if you have diabetic relatives, or if you experience increased hunger, thirst, or urination.

Junk food cravings can be significantly reduced by addressing the underlying health issues that sometimes cause them.

P.S. here is a bonus tip for you – always a a healthy and TASTY alternative to snack on so you don’t give in to junk food cravings.

==> Get healthy, lean, yummy  and quick recipes in Metabolic Cooking.