Quick Tips on How To Stay Healthy

Lately, many of my clients have been asking about the importance of sleep, water, healthy foods and exercise so I thought it would be useful to write a post today about How To Stay Healthy in our hectic, busy lives…


“Will I really see results if I stop drinking soda and switch to seltzer? “…”What’s so bad about my 5 1/2 hours of sleep each night?”…”But I love fast food and Starbucks moca-frappachinos with whip cream”…”I don’t have time to work out and I’m bored with my step class”…

Well, look no further than right here because the answer is Yes, you will see a difference if you change your lifestyle by increasing your exercise, sleep, water consumption and nutrient-dense foods.  So, what are you waiting for? Read on for some of my tips on how you can stay healthy all year round. And feel free to send me your questions or comments about your lifestyle and changes you would like to make–I’d love to hear from you.

Sleep

pillows

Getting a good night’s rest is essential to our health.  When we sleep, our body recharges and builds up our immune system as well as fights depression and anxiety.  We should strive for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to feel energized and alert throughout our day.  Getting enough shut-eye can also keep your body from storing fat.  Studies show that those who log less than 6 hours of sleep are more likely to gain weight than those who get 7 to 8 hours.  Furthermore, sleep deprivation causes your body to produce more cortisol (the stress hormone), which is closely linked to belly fat.  Aside from the increase in cortisol,  not logging enough hours in bed increases cravings for starches and sweets.  Yikes!  To reap more time in the sack, turn off your computer, television and lights 30 minutes before you tuck in.  Also, try to relax in your bedroom with light reading and soft music to relax your body and mind.  Even turning in10 minutes earlier for a week can have profound effects…give it a try and see how you feel.  Personally when I get an extra 10 minutes of sleep, my next day is pure bliss.

Eating Healthy

food

Healthy eating is another major component of good health.  We’ve all heard ‘You ARE what you EAT’ and I couldn’t have said it any better.  If you fill your belly with junk, processed foods, fast food and ‘fake foods’ such as high fructose corn syrup and chemical-laden ‘diet’ sweeteners— you will feel and look awful.  However, if you feed your body with the proper fuel and nutrition, you will feel amazing and have glowing skin.  Keeping your blood sugar at a steady level throughout the day will keep you feeling energized; try to have something to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar steady.  If you go too long without eating, your body will signal starvation mode and reach for the candy bars and soda in the vending machine.  I enjoy 5 to 6 mini-meals each day with an additional snack or two, as well.  Keeping your diet full of fresh, wholesome foods that are as close to the source as possible is key to achieving a healthy body.   So, opt for nutritious fare such as whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean proteins and heart-healthy fats such as nuts and avocado in a variety of mini-meals throughout your day–I assure you, making the switch to wholesome, nutrient-dense foods will have a profound effect on your health and appearance.  A healthy diet will make you look better, feel better and give you the sustainable energy you need to power through your day.

Drinking Water

    water

As we all know, water makes up a large percentage of our bodies, therefore we must be sure to replenish our storage of  pure fluids.  Many people do not drink enough water, leading to constipation, hunger, headaches, fatigue and dehydration.  It’s recommended that we drink at least 8 glasses of water each and every day, but don’t freak out…this doesn’t have to be: You + Plain Water = Boring…get creative and incorporate water-rich fruits and vegetables, tea, seltzer and smoothies into your day to bump up your water consumption.  Just be sure to watch your sugar and sodium levels; don’t reach for fancy Starbucks frappes, processed sodas or energy drinks, which are chock full of empty calories, sugar, sodium and countless other scary additives.  Yuck!

Furthermore, if you are exercising be sure to hydrate before, during and after your workout.  By logging onto www.bottledwater.org you can click on the hydration calculator and discover how much water you need based on the your workout and body weight.  Keeping yourself well hydrated with the right fluids will keep your skin beaming and youthful!

Exercising

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And I’m not just talking about the gym.  Believe me, I am not a gym-person; I tend to get incredibly bored and find myself mindlessly doing ‘nothing’ on the elliptical machine.  So, how do I stay active? It’s easy; I engage in activities that I enjoy such as walking the city.  I walk everywhere…grocery shopping, errands, to and from work, etc.  I also take long walks in the peaceful and quiet hours of the early morning before breakfast or late evening after dinner.  Whether it’s walking, practicing yoga, hitting tennis balls or playing a game of soccer, as long as your heart is pumping and you’re feeling those good ‘endorphins’ flowing…you’re all set.

Many of my clients find it difficult to find time to exercise, therefore I suggest incorporating small bits of activity throught the day such as taking the stairs, walking around the office, taking a leisurely lunchtime stroll, walking the dog or playing frisbee in the yard.  Any exercise is better than none so keep moving and have fun–take a dancing class, sign up for pilates or take a spinning class.  Depending on your personality, fitness type and level – you can search numerous activities and enjoy yourself while breaking a sweat.

Product Review: Dave’s Killer Bread

A big thank you to the folks over at Dave’s Killer Bread for sending me a delicious loaf of KILLER bread.

bread

I have been eager to tell each of you about the delicious breads over at Dave’s Killer Bread.

Dave offers a vast array of delicious and healthy breads:

  • 21 Whole Grains Bread
  • Powderseed Bread
  • Good Seed Bread
  • Blues Bread
  • Good Seed Flourless Sprouted Wheat
  • Good Seed Spelt Bread
  • Peace Bomb Mini-Baguette
  • Cracked Wheat Bread
  • Nuts and Grains Bread
  • Rockin’ Rye Bread

Dave is busy working on numerous new products that are currently under development:

  • Organic Cinnamon Rolls
  • Sprouted Grain Cookies
  • Whole Grain White Bread
  • Omega Sprouted Wheat bread
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Robust Raisin
  • Blues Buns
  • Surviva Complete Protein Bread
  • Good Seed Love Bombs

My clients and I were lucky enough to sample Dave’s delicious breads; we were amazed by the fresh, chewy texture and nutritional content of each slice! This was by far the best bread I have ever tasted and my clients agreed 100%.   Last week, my clients and I sampled Dave’s bread and had a great time making sandwiches, baked croutons, meatballs and vegetarian bean burgers.  There are countless ways to enjoy Dave’s Killer Bread in your recipes; simply sub Dave’s bread for your bread crumbs, processed croutons and unhealthy breads void of fiber, loaded with additives and artificial flavors.

You haven’t tasted a REAL bread until you have a slice of Dave’s.  You’ll be saying goodbye to your store bought ‘fake fiber’ and ‘fake whole grain’ breads once you bite into Dave’s loaf.  As I have mentioned before, we must be cautious when shopping for whole grain breads-just because the package advertises ‘Whole Grains’ does not necessarily mean that the product contains the entire bran, germ and endosperm in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.  Each part of the whole grain kernel contains many essential vitamins and nutrients from fiber to antixoidants, minerals, and protein found in the endosperm and germ.  We must be sure to carefully study the ingredients on each label–but no worries here, Dave’s got you covered with his all-star ingredients.

If you are in the market for a new bread or just ready to break out of your Wonder Bread routine, take a look at Dave’s website and order yourself a loaf or two of his unique bread creations.

As you can see from the above bread variety as well as the new products in development, Dave has created a KILLER Whole Grain business.  Each of Dave’s delicious breads is made from whole grain, which as we all know is far healthier than products made with refined grains.

Moreover, Dave’s breads contain no animal products, therefore every tasty loaf is vegan.    No artificial flavors, no preservatives, no corn syrup, no high fructose corn syrup! Now, that’s hard to beat!  Each loaf is sweetened with organic molasses, natural fruit juices and organic cane juice.

Thank you again to the kind folks over at Dave’s Killer Bread for sending me samples of their whole grain breads.  I know my clients are going to be ordering Dave’s bread for their childrens lunch sandwiches–it seems we’ve finally found a healthy fiber-ful bread that has a liking to the kids taste buds!  Now there’s a way to put whole grains into your families meals.

Another School Year…Rid The Lunch Box of Refined Sugars

As September rolls on, another school year begins and many parents prepare to send of their children back to school…sadly, we all know the constant struggle with keeping healthy meals and snacks at home and in the lunch box, therefore I have listed a few tips to help keep you and your loved ones away from those scary, hidden refined sugars.

school

As the weather begins to cool off in the Fall season, we start to transition into a lifestyle change where our physical activities and responsibilities become more focused on getting organized and rushing from one school event to another after school activity.  This transition can lead to disordered eating habits and cravings for stressed out parents, teens and children.  When the times get tough…what do we do? Yep, you guessed it–we reach for sweets.

We all love sweet treats.  Sugar is what most people look for to give them a boost of energy.  To put it in it’s simplest terms, let’s define the ‘good sugar’, shall we?  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that occurs naturally in foods such as beans, veggies, fruits and grains.  These unprocessed sugars contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins.

On the other hand are the processed sugars.  Our bodies must deplete its own store of enzymes and minerals to absorb table sugar properly, which creates a deficiency.  These processed sugars quickly enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on our blood sugar level-first pumping it sky high causing nervous tension and hyperactivity, then crashing extremely low causing depression, exhaustion and fatigue.

Many people do not realize the emotional roller-coaster ride that comes along with downing all that sweet white stuff.  However, we must remember that sugar is not the whole problem.  The problem is the addictive cycle that we have created by eating processed sugar, feeling the rush, then crashing and taking in more sugar to start the crazy cycle again.  Now, if we are eating a balanced, healthy diet that includes veggies and whole grains, we will not need that ‘fake’ energy boost from processed sugar.

Today, many school and office cafeterias are a huge concern; we are bombarded with more processed foods such as Pop Tarts, sugary cereals, candy bars, sodas, donuts, pizza, fries, etc.  These foods are readily available in schools from Kindergarten through College/Grad School and even in many office cafeterias.

When Americans need a mid-afternoon snack, they look for a soda or a candy bar to give them that boost of energy because these foods are readily available.  The main concern here is that these easily accessible foods do not supply us with the sustainable energy or nutrients our bodies and brains need.

Processed foods are high in simple sugars and quite low in minerals.  Over consumption of these refined sweets and added sugars found in vending machine snacks has led to an explosion of Type 2 Diabetes, childhood obesity and hypoglycemia.  Because of the poor state of our children’s health, scientists predict that they are the first generation in American history to live a shorter lifespan than their parents.  Quite a disturbing fact, isn’t it?

When people eat processed, sugar-laden foods such as a Pop Tart for breakfast, pizza for lunch, a candy bar and a soda for a mid-afternoon snack and a burger with fries for dinner, they will suffer from malnutrition.  Studies have shown that when we eat a diet rich in whole foods, we experience less brain fog, miss fewer days of school/work, have higher school test scores and are good problem solvers because we are getting the nutrients to fuel our brains.

Nutrition and food can be confusing, however, you can start by slowly transitioning your eating to incorporating more veggies, fruits and whole grains into your meals.  Eating natural foods may taste bland when people are accustomed to artificial flavors, however, by simply adding herbs, spices and healthy condiments you can jazz up any dish.  Be sure to take a look at my Condiment Page.

Get your kids and husband involved in the food shopping experience by having them select whole foods for their lunches and snacks.  Take a family trip to the farmers market and purchase a new fruit, grain or vegetable each week.

With each meal, add a few greens or introduce a new fruit to their dessert plate.  It takes most people, both kids and adults, 3 times of trying a new food before they truly begin to enjoy it.

We all form our habits at a young age, therefore if we want to see a healthier future, we must start today by incorporating a healthy lifestyle and eating style in our daily lives.