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I have recently realized when I talk about health and wellness, I only focus on nutrition and physical activities. It is not only important to focus on those, but it is equally important to focus on spiritual, emotional, social and occupational health for overall wellness. Spiritual is your core beliefs and values; emotional is how you feel about yourself and life; social is your family and friends-who you surround yourself with; and occupational is finding meaning in your work. I noticed I have not been paying attention to the last four when it came to me. Time to make some changes! Is there an area you have been neglecting?
I have received a couple of emails asking about how to stay motivated to work out when it’s cold outside so I thought I would write a quick blog on it. I know the winter is pretty much over in most parts of Arizona, but for others like us in Washington, we are still facing cold winter days. With cool temperatures and grey skies, it is so easy to stay in bed or curled up on the couch. This is when it is really important to remember your goals, your reasons for wanting to exercise. Try imagining yourself achieving that goal. Having someone else to help motivate you is always great, but for long-term motivation, it needs to come from within. My 3 favorite basic questions you should always answer when setting goals are the same three to remember when you want to curl up under your warm comforter or blanket:
With the new year, weight loss and healthy eating have a tendency to be a normal resolution for a great deal of people. However, with so many diets out there and everyone telling you their diet is the best, where do you start, which one is the best? Well, U.S. News came out with their 4th annual list of best diets. Their report reviews 32 of the most popular diets and broke it down into 8 Best categories: overall, weight-loss, diabetes, heart-healthy, commercial, healthy eating, easiest to follow and best plant-based.
So after reviewing several of the top diets, I noticed the one thing they all have in common: it’s really about basic overall healthy eating. The difference among them is just about how they will fit into your lifestyle. So if you haven’t started on that New Years resolution or need a new one that may be better for you, check out U.S. News Best Diet lists: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet
After the weather we have had this past week, it is safe to say the long rainy season is officially upon us. I have noticed, in the short time I have been here, this weather does not deter most Washingtonians from getting out. Which I love, because of those who forge on, helps motivate me to do the same as well. For others, this has become an excuse to hibernate in their home. Don’t do it! Fight it! Adjust to the weather otherwise, it will be counterproductive to your goals and it will get the best of you. If you need, make adjustments to your physical activities to accommodate the weather and look for motivation where ever you can get it. In addition, rally your support system to help keep you motivated. Yes, I do practice what I preach. This Arizonian had to buy wet weather gear to accommodate the rain and my motivation? A black lab who drags me out for a walk every day, rain or shine! And of course, I am still addicted to being around green trees and have no patience to wait 8 months to hike through them again!
No sugar added. Fat-free. Reduced fat. Multi-grain. Vegan baked goods. Gluten-free. Granola. Smoothies. Frozen yogurt. Sound familiar? When trying to be healthier, do you often reach for the items with these words? Over indulged thinking they were good for you? Well, I did until I learned the hidden agenda behinds these words.
· Fat-free or reduce fat means more sugar to make up for the loss of flavor from the fat.
· No sugar added, doesn’t mean there isn’t any sugar in it. Also, some products will up
the fat content to make up for decrease flavor.
· Vegan and gluten-free baked goods does not mean low-carb nor low in fat.
· Granola, high in calories so healthy only in small portions.
· Frozen yogurt and smoothies (which I love) are loaded with sugars. So buy
occasionally or look for the lower sugar / higher protein varieties when it comes to the
smoothies. Save these as treats, not daily snacks.
· Multi-grain can be healthy, it just depends on what the main ingredient is. Make sure
the first ingredient is whole grains. Some bread items will be marked as multi-grain
but the first ingredient listed is refined flour(bleached or unbleached enriched wheat
flour). If so, keep away.
With the increase demand for healthier products, companies will utilize these words to help meet this demand and increase their sales. However, if you are trying to eat healthy, use caution while grocery shopping and look at the labels. I know at first, it will take a little more effort, but after awhile, it will become second nature to you and shopping will become a breeze. Furthermore, if you splurge occasionally on smoothies, frozen yogurt or granola, have no guilt; we all need to treat ourselves once in a while.
With today’s busy schedules and limited time to make proper meals, it can be a struggle to be healthy. Though true, I hear this too often as an excuse to avoid making any habit changes. Making habit changes are hard, but not impossible. So with your busy schedule and goal of eating healthier, what are some things you can do to counteract this chaos? One thing I found to be effective is to have a prep day. Set aside time at the beginning of your week and prep meals and snacks for the rest of the week. Make it easy for you to just grab and go (or at least, minimize your cooking and/or prep time) and still be healthy. For me, my biggest items are my salads. I love having salads for lunch; however, not being a morning person, if I have to think about what healthy item to take for lunch and then prep it, it doesn’t happen. So prepping them on Sunday saves me during the weekdays and also shaves off time in the mornings so I may use it to get a little more sleep.
I would like to hear from you now, what would be some food items for you to prep to help you save time? Or have you found other ways to help you eat healthier with your busy schedule?
I have been wanting to post a blog on a healthy and easy recipe, however all the recipes I know come from others. So what would be better than have a guest writer who has formal training and years of experience in the kitchen creating her own recipes. Today's writer is Erika Kudelka, a great friend of 10+ years and a great cook...
When I think of quick, easy, and healthy in the summer (when it reaches oven-temperatures in Phoenix), I think of cold soup. Anything that does not require me to use the oven or the stove (and is not simply a salad) is a recipe that I have to try. This recipe does not require the stove (except to cook the shrimp), it’s quick, and it has healthy fats. And if worse comes to worse, and you don’t like it, it makes a kick-ass facial.
Avocado-Cucumber Soup with Shrimp
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
2 avocados, peeled and diced
½ c greek yogurt (0% fat)
3 T line juice
1 jalapeno, minced
¼ c sliced scallions
2 T cilantro, minced
pinch garlic powder
12 shrimp, cooked
In a blender, puree ½ cucumber, 1 avocado, yogurt, lime, jalapeno, scallions, 1 T of the cilantro, garlic powder, ½ c ice water, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper until smooth. Chill until serving. When serving, season to taste and top each serving with extra cucumber, avocado and shrimp – equally portioned out.
Yield = 4 servings
People who focus on what they can not do while trying to achieve a goal, increases the possibility of failing. Thinking positive about what you can do greatly increases the chances of completing that goal. Here are a few tips when working on a goal:
1. Think positive to increase the possibility of achieving your goal.
2. If you don't succeed immediately, find a different way to go after your goal. Too many people give up at the first sign of failure.
3. Stay Calm. Desperation and worries cloud the path to the real solution.
4. Attitude of others will rub off onto you. So if you want to be positive, surround yourself with others who are as well.
5. Write down your goals and inspirational quotes where you will be able to see them daily. Visionally seeing them helps reinforce them.
6. And finally... just smile. Smiling helps increase positive moods.
Inherited from the Buddhist traditions, mindfulness plays an important role in creating and maintaining your overall health. It is used to create enlightenment and in the world of psychology, to alleviate an array of mental issues. But what exactly is mindfulness?
According to www.psychologytoday.com :
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your
thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life
pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”
In my own basic terms, it means awareness. Awareness/mindfulness is important to help achieve your goals and overcome your obstacles. Some awareness can be easily obtained, while others may take the help of someone from the outside looking in.
Above, is enjoying a beautiful hike on the West Fork Trail in Sedona, AZ.