Archive for July, 2012

I am often asked about the importance of supplementation, and whether it is beneficial for those trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Truthfully, I am a big believer in nutrition and healthy foods… I think it’s best to try to attain as many of our essential nutrients and minerals from foods before resorting to supplementation.  This is simply the best way to live a healthier life, rather than just add a band-aid type solution to the needs of our health.

However, I recently read the following data: According to a 2011 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of the U.S. population who used at least one dietary supplement rose from 42% in 1988–1994 to 53% in 2003–2006. Multivitamins/multiminerals were used by 40% of men and women, and use of supplemental calcium increased from 28% during 1988–1994 to 61% during 2003–2006 among women aged 60 and over .

There are a number of reasons that supplementation can be beneficial. Here are just a few:

  • When a particular vitamin/mineral is unable to be digested or absorbed through foods… a great example of this is calcium and vitamin D which are often best absorbed when supplemented in addition to nutritional absorption.  Calcium and Vitamin D are important for the bone health of all ages and genders.
  • When you have a goal to change the chemistry and mass of your body such as weight-lifting to create hyper-trophic muscles like my husband does 🙂  Supplementing your protein, amino acids etc. is perfectly okay as long as the supplements are natural, from a reputable source, and are legal.
  • If you are iron-deficient, you may need more iron than you are able to ingest- like many in my family who are mildly anemic.  If red meat is not your thing, or perhaps you are just unable to get your levels high enough, iron supplementation or the use of cast iron cookware can be especially beneficial!

Lastly, a good multi-vitamin will only help to provide your body with all your need to be your very best in the weight-room, exercise studio, and even the board-room 🙂

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The news is finally proven- it is more than just hazardous to your health to forgo the wellness virtues of proper diet and adequate exercise.  Now, researchers have proven that “having a couch potato lifestyle is a risk factor comparable to smoking or obesity.”

This is an emergency alert to all who may need a wake up call, desire some encouragement, or need some resources to create a healthier lifestyle to actually LIVE better!

The study described physical inactivity as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two.

This is not difficult to do 🙂  Here are a few “motivating” facts:

  • “Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people — do not reach present physical activity recommendation. The issue is described as a pandemic.”
  • The picture for adolescents is even more worrying, with four out of five 13- to 15-year-olds not moving enough.
  • Inactivity increases with age, is higher in women than in men, and more prevalent in high-income countries.
  • The human body needs exercise to help the bones, muscles, heart and other organs function optimally… but populations are walking, running and cycling less and less as they spend more time in cars and in front of computers.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/lazy-kill-physical-inactivity-responsible-5-millions-deaths-year-article-1.1116883

Next post will give some real-life, easy to access ways to improve your activity level right away!  For all ages, sizes and backgrounds… for now- get out there and MOVE 🙂

I know it sounds over the top.. but did you know that certain foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, can help to prevent serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension???

Many fruits are linked to decreased risk of many diseases and illnesses, here are a few very unique fruits that are worth getting to know!

  • Coconut

Coconut water is my favorite sports hydration drink.. way more than any of the commercially available sugary sports drinks.  It is sterile and an isotonic beverage, meaning it has the same electrolyte consistency of human blood.

  • Longan berries

The longan contains high levels of iron, potassium, and large amounts of vitamins A and C. I consider it a yummy cousin of the lychee!  It has a high water content and it is a great treat for someone who is a habitual snacker due it its little wrapping over each longan berry! 

  • Mangosteen

Admittedly, I know the least about this fruit than the others.  I am aware that many health enthusiasts encourage drinking Mangosteen juice for its cancer and illness preventative properties.

  • Avocado

Avocados are a very low fructose fruit and only have two grams of carbohydrates per avocado.

  • Mango

Did you know that one mango contains half of your recommended daily allowance of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as some B-Vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, beta-carotene?  It’s also a delicious, filling snack.

I would recommend to try one or more of these fruits in an effort to add more healthy options to your diet. In fact, I would suggest you try them all and see which fruit changes your life 🙂

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We all know that going to the gym and eating right can help us to become healthier in terms of appearance, but what about the things that you can’t see? I believe that the health of your well-being is just as important as a toned butt or washboard abs, so here are some tips on how to get your mind in as good a shape (maybe even better) as your body:

  1. Take care of yourself- Treat yourself like you would a best friend or a small child or a great parent. Exercise. Moving your body can help increase your self esteem and just help you feel better over all; your body is a temple, treat it as such.
  2. Take some time to do the things you love- Sometimes we are so busy with our life that we forget to to things that actually may make living just that much more enjoyable. So, my advice is to make a list of things you like to do (playing an instrument, flying kites, going fishing, baking, etc.) and doing just one thing from that list everyday.
  3. Do something that you’ve been putting off- Instead of procrastinating on that one task that we just do not want to do, do it. This way you wont have that nagging feeling that you should be doing something all the time and since you wont be putting it off till the last minute you wont have to rush things. Do the “unbearable task” bit by bit, that way it doesn’t seem so bad.
  4. Dress to impress (yourself)- Dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out and buy yourself a brand new wardrobe, you can look in to what you have and try on different combinations of outfits to see how you feel in them.
  5. Make your home a place of honor- No matter the size of your living space it is important to make it comfortable and attractive to you. Place awards or achievements that you have earned around the house to remind you of the greatness that you can achieve. If you live with someone else make a little space for yourself where you can put your things and know that they will not be disturbed, you can decorate this area any way that you would like.

“The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.” -Greg Anderson

–Katraya Wier (Marketing Analyst)

Picture from: Justfortodaymeditations.com

It’s not hard to eat healthy… Your excuses are just getting the better of you 🙂

Take the savings from throwing out the foods that I suggested in the last post, and that alone will provide you added funds to improve your eating habits.

It is simply a LIE that eating healthier is more expensive… if done correctly you can eat well, save money and never be hungry!

Next post will outline some of my never-fail tips for eating well within any budget!

For now, take a closer look at adding some of these superfoods into your everyday diet ASAP!

  • Want to reduce your butter intake?  Start cooking with the following spices: Ginger, Cayenne, Black Pepper. They make just about anything tasty, and provide metabolism producing compounds that will help you stay within your dietary goals!
  • Add Avocado to your list of foods that you eat with just about every dinner!  It is yummy in salads, delicious when stuffed into any protein.  Avocados also contain the best kind of fat (monounsaturated oleic acid) and help your body block the absorption of bad fats (cholesterol)
  • With a husband who loves classic American cheat foods, sweet potato fries are homemade at least once a week at our house!  Using my oven’s broiler to cook them… it’s easy, fast and delish too!
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a hot nutrition staple in my kitchen.  I have used ground flaxseed in my cereal and baked goods for over 5 years now.  Not only do they provide the essential “good” fats, they are a terrific source of fiber and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • I love literally ALL fruits, but blueberries are one fruit that can never get enough positive hype!  It’s anti-aging effects have encouraged my mom to eat them every morning in her breakfast regime… and the incredibly high level of antioxidants can do wonders for your immunity!

Thanks to the over consumption of naughty items such as farmed meat and dairy products, and processed meats, we have all become mis-informed about the dangers and lack of benefit of many staple foods in our fridge and pantry. Looking to spend the second half of the year getting into a healthier lifestyle?

Walk to your fridge right now… and throw out the following items:

  1. Dairy
  2. Mayo
  3. Ketchup
  4. Butter/Margarine
  5. Juice and Soda

The main tie between all of these products is their over-processing while manufactured, poor ingredients (hello sugar, high fructose corn syrup and lactose!?), and overall detriment to your healthier eating habits!

Think about this… there is absolutely NO purpose for butter/magarine/lard in any food, snack, item that is consumed.  There is no health benefit, and there are other ways to make food tasty (like herbs and seasonings!)

Think about this… soda- EVEN diet soda causes you to overeat, makes you gassy, and adds hundreds of calories to your diet without even filling you up!

Think about this… have you ever had a tummy ache after eating something with lactose or dairy?  If not, have you ever thought about why you had a tummy ache?  As many as 80-90% of people could have some level of lactose intolerance.  That’s because we are not made to consume mass quantities of poorly raised and badly fed animals.

So…. what on earth should you eat?  Stay tuned, next blog post will have tips on super-foods to add to your diet as quickly as you threw this stuff away 🙂

Questions?  Comment and ask!