5 Tips on how to Avoid Tempting Treats
We’ve all been there: at a party, at a co-worker’s birthday celebration in the break room, at restaurants, and even up and down the grocery aisles.  Tempting treats can not only sabotage weight loss/maintenance goals, they can wreak havoc on moods, hormone balance, blood sugar balance, and your immune system.  It’s really not a matter of willpower or strength vs. weakness on your part, it is a biochemical response to highly addictive (therefore, seductive!) ingredients in many sweet, salty, and overly processed but always tasty and tempting treats.  Most name-brand-mass food manufacturers use the least expensive ingredients in packaged food. They also hide sugar, fat, and additives in various forms, which may make our taste buds happy temporarily, but ultimately affect our “bottom” line and tummies in an undesirable way. These tempting treats drastically affect our blood sugar balance and body’s ability to regulate hormones, which affect our brain’s ability to function optimally, resulting in fatigue, irritability, inability to make clear decisions, and memory problems.
Here are 5 tips to consider to keep control and balance when tempting treats come your way:
1. Do not attend a social function, or grocery shop on an empty stomach.  Drink an 8 oz. glass of water, and eat a small serving of healthy protein (i.e., hard-boiled egg, 1/4 cup raw nuts, a protein shake) at least 30 minutes before you go to an event or the store. If protein isn’t handy, eat an apple or orange, or some raw veggies. Fiber and protein stave cravings, and are filling and nutrient-dense to the body, so you won’t biochemically be as crazed for sugar/salt.
2. Stay hydrated.   Many times our “hunger pains” are actually our body’s way of telling us we are thirsty, and possibly dehydrated. Water is by far the best way to hydrate. It also naturally energizes the body, and it fills us, while helping absorb good nutrients from our food and eliminate toxins from the body. If you’re at a social function, and you know that alcohol may sway you to the tempting treats, stay away from alcohol or make sure you have one full glass of water between cocktails. Club soda or sparkling water with a “splash” of fresh juice or squeezed lemon/lime can really provide satiety and a means of “clean control” at a social gathering, staving the munchies and over-drinking.  Although green tea is not hydrating, this is also a nice energizing and anti-oxidant-filled beverage to have instead of munching on unnecessary treats.
3. Have shopping boundaries.  When going to the grocery store, shop the outer perimeters (produce, meat) vs. the inner aisles and bakery section. If you have a special occasion or company to buy for that you think warrants the extra “treats”, i.e., chips/dip, cakes, cookies, etc., then have a plan before you get to the store. Budget a small amount of money and quantities of those things you’ll buy “especially for them” and then leave the aisle. Put it in a special part of your pantry that you’ll access only when providing those items for them, so they are not out in the open on a counter or platter. Make a grocery list with only one-two maximum “treats”, and stick strictly to that list. Eventually make a list with no treats so those foods are not even in the home to tempt you.
4. Fresh vs. Fad.  We eat what is available and convenient. So make fresh available! Food that is fresh, from the earth, and prepared at home, will always win over the chain restaurant dishes, fast food, and food in wrappers/cans/packages. Challenge yourself to surround your workspace and home with easy-access fresh food. Raw carrots, avocado, fruit, sliced zucchini/cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, nuts, cold chicken leftover from the night before… all in place of the 100-calorie pack pretzels, chex mix, popcorn, cookies, etc.  If you eat a cup of veggies dipped in hummus or guacamole or salsa, you’ll be more satisfied than eating a cup of corn chips, cheese puffs, or candy. The more fresh you eat vs. fad/fat, you’ll start to want that and shift your habits to healthier ones. Experiment and have fun with being creative with fresher foods–you’ll be surprised how easy and quick they can be.
5. Slow down and “think before you eat”.  Our culture is all about faster, better, and more….  Slow down when it comes to food. What this means is, don’t make your meals or snacks an after-thought—something you do “on the go”, “whatever you can grab”.  If you can make a conscious (not complicated) gameplan each day or week about the kinds of foods you will eat, and stick to the plan, you will be armed and in control. Have nuts or an apple in your purse or car, so when you’re commuting to/from activities, the drive-thru window doesn’t have to be your only option. Pack your lunch, and then set aside one day a week to eat out if that’s what you like to do, but know what you’re ordering before you get there. Think to yourself before just sub-consciously ordering a sandwich, fries, or something from the vending machine: “am I hungry, do I want this, is it going to serve me?” Stop and consider “why” you’re grabbing something. Lastly, once you are sticking to your plan and slowing down enough to “think before you eat”, chew your food slowly and deliberately. Savor every bite. When you eat slower, you won’t “need” as much food to be satisfied.

5 Ways to Increase Water Intake

Our body is made up of approximately 60% water. That being said, drinking water is essential to your health. Drinking enough water, you can be sure that your body functions properly. When your water consumption is less than your output, you may become dehydrated; thus, resulting to numerous health issues.

Water energizes the muscles of your body and flushes out toxins. Unfortunately, most people find it difficult to drink enough water each day. Oftentimes, people tend to consume more soda than water. If you are one of them, here are 5 ways to help you increase your water intake.

Make water accessible

Sodas contain Aspartame and unnatural sweeteners. In order to make sure that won’t get tempted, get it out of sight and make water more accessible.

If you are working on something or will be out all day, we suggest bringing along a bottle of water. This way, you’ll have a chance to drink water more often.

Sip water

Instead of gulping water at once, it is better to take a sip once in a while. Do this throughout the day. Drink your water slowly and enjoy its taste.

Add fresh fruits

For some people, drinking water all day could get a little boring. If you wish to spice it up, why not add your favorite fruit to the water? Feel free to add a slice of cucumber, lemon or orange to a glass of water. Fruit-infused water has many benefits. Plus, its taste is very refreshing. Once you’ve tried it, we guarantee that you’ll love it.

Eat water-enriched foods

Consuming water-enriched foods is one of the easiest ways of increasing your water intake. Tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon and cucumber are just some of the best examples of water-enriched foods. You can eat them raw, add them to your salad or make smoothies.

Drink water before each meal

Drinking a glass of water before each meal can provide numerous benefits. First, it prevents overeating. Second, it can reduce calorie intake. However, drinking more than one glass of water before each meal is not recommended as it may lead to serious health problems.

Reasons Why You Should Include Tomato in Your Diet

Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse that can provide you with amazing health benefits, especially if you include them in your diet. Tomatoes are loaded with Vitamins A, B1, B3 B6, C, K, phosphorus, magnesium and folate, which are all essential in maintaining good health. And to top it all off, they are naturally low in calories, sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of some of the best health benefits of tomatoes. Read on as we give you a few reasons why you should eat tomatoes every day.

Clear skin

Regular consumption of tomatoes can help you achieve a clear and perfect skin. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that makes your skin less sensitive to UV light and protects it from sun damage. You can even use it for rashes and acne. Plus, it also helps minimize large pores.

Help fight cancer

A study that was published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute revealed that consuming tomatoes on a regular basis can help combat prostate cancer.

They also help reduce the risk of other types of cancers like ovarian, colon, rectal, cervical, stomach and lung cancer. This is because tomatoes are packed with lycopene. If you wish to boost the anti-cancer benefits of tomatoes, we suggest using olive oil.

Good for your hair

Tomatoes are packed with iron and vitamins that can add shine to lifeless and damaged hair. Additionally, its acidity help balance the PH level in your hair.

If you have dandruff, simply apply fresh tomato juice on your scalp and hair after shampooing. Leave it on for about 5 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Just try not to use it too often as it can dry your hair out.

Relieve chronic pain

Tomatoes contain anti-inflammatory agents like bioflavonoids and carotenoids that are capable of alleviating chronic pain. Mind you, people who are frequently suffering from pain usually have inflammation.

Research suggests that daily intake of tomato juice can help lower the blood’s TNF alpha levels by about 34%. They are also recommended for people who are suffering from chronic health issues like cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber while yogurt is high in protein. These foods are recommended as it helps you feel full while lowering your bad cholesterol levels; thus, making them a true breakfast super food.

You have probably tried a whole bunch of toppings but if you are tired of the same old oatmeal toppings, feel free to get creative and try out some of these healthy toppings. Read on as we give you a rundown of a few tasty toppings to make your breakfast a bit more interesting.

Blueberries

Healthy Oatmeal and Yogurt Toppings You Should Try

Instead of using dried fruits, which are high in sugar, it would be best to opt for fresh fruits like mango, pineapple, banana, apple and others, but experts suggest using blueberries.

Numerous studies show that blueberries can help thwart cancer cells, improve memory and prevent heart diseases.

Cacao nibs

If you are a chocolate lover who wants to add chocolate in every food you eat, you are free to do so but make sure to use cacao nibs. These crunchy bits have a subtle dark-chocolate flavor that is perfect for your yogurt and oatmeal as they add a hefty crunch to your meal.

Cacao nibs are loaded with antioxidants, making it a true super food. Best of all, it has no sugar content so you are free to indulge on chocolate without the guilt.

Pumpkin seeds

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With its great benefits, experts recommend that everyone should consume this healthful seeds. Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds are capable of blocking the growth of cancer tumors. Pumpkin seeds are especially beneficial for prostate cancer. They are also high in Vitamin E, zinc and tryptophan.

Cinnamon

A dash of cinnamon would add a tremendous amount of flavor to your meal. Another reason why you should use this spice is because it helps lower insulin levels; thus, balancing your blood sugar level.

Yogurt is high in milk sugar. Cinnamon can offset its sugar content. Since you don’t want too much sugar in the morning, you might want to add cinnamon to your yogurt or oatmeal.

Cucumber is commonly known as “super food” as it is not only fat-free and low in calories, it is also packed with essential nutrients that is beneficial for your health.

Whether you snack on them in the afternoon, toss them in your smoothie or add them to your salad, it will surely keep you full without ruining your diet.

Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Cucumber

It helps eliminate toxins

The water content in cucumber is designed to eliminate waste products out of your body. Additionally, consuming cucumber on a regular basis is known to dissolve kidney stones.

It rehydrates the body

Cucumber is composed of 90% water. Plus, it is rich in potassium and electrolytes. If you are too busy to drink enough water, snacking on cucumber will do the trick. It can also act as a natural remedy for dehydration.

It replenishes daily vitamins

Cucumbers are packed with vitamins and essential nutrients that is enough to supply you with your daily needs. Loaded with vitamins A, B and C, cucumber is a super food that will provide you with enough energy, keep your skin radiant and boost your immune system.

It aids in weight loss and digestion

Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is ideal for people who are looking to shed some pounds. Snacking on cucumber gives your jaw a good workout, making you feel full. It is also a great source of fiber, which is great for your digestion. Daily consumption of cucumber is known to relieve constipation.

It fights cancer

Cucumber contains pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol. These three are known to reduce the risk of several types of cancer like uterine, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.

It revives the eyes

It may sound like a cliché but placing a chilled slice of cucumber over your puffy eyes can help reduce puffiness and under-eye bags. This is because of its anti inflammatory properties.

For most people, smell is not just a fragrance. Rather, it’s a memory. This is because our memory is linked directly to the emotional center of our brain. With a simple whiff, it causes a flood of warm and fuzzy memories.

Aside from its memory-inducing powers, some scents can also do wonders for our mind and body. From relieving headache to reducing stress, some scents have a way of making us feel better. Here are some of the many scents that can do amazing things for you.

Pine can alleviate stress

Scents That Can Do Wonder For Your Well-Being

Aside from bringing us joy during the holiday season, pine scent is also effective in reducing one’s anxiety and stress level.

Recent study revealed that participants who walked through pine forests reported a decrease in stress levels and depression. Researchers also found out that anxious participants felt more relaxed after indulging in the scent.

Cinnamon can boost your brain power

Scents That Can Do Wonder For Your Well-Being

This sweet-smelling spice can sharpen your mind. One study revealed that participants who took a whiff of cinnamon showed an improvement in cognitive functions like attention span, working memory and visual-motor response.

Lavender can help you sleep better

Scents That Can Do Wonder For Your Well-Being

Lavender is considered as a go-to scent when it comes to relaxation as it is capable of relaxing the mind and body in an instant. But its most sought after benefit is its ability to help people sleep better, especially those who are suffering from insomnia. So, if you are having trouble sleeping at night, you might want to try turning on this scent for a little help.

Citrus can help you feel more energized

Scents That Can Do Wonder For Your Well-Being

If you are in need of an energy booster, you might want to opt for citrus instead of reaching for a cup of coffee. Scents like orange and lemon are not only known for its high vitamin C content, it can also keep you alert and energized.

Olive oil can satisfy your appetite

You have heard the numerous benefits of using olive oil in our dishes, but the benefits don’t just stop there. Research revealed that olive oil can also help a person’s cravings just by smelling it. Here, they have also discovered that compared to other oils and fats, olive oil is more likely to make a person feel satisfied after a meal.

 

Smoothies are a refreshing way of pumping you full of nutritious fruits and vegetables. However, if done wrong, it will surely pad your waistline with fats, excess sugar and other artificial ingredients.

In an attempt to help you upgrade your favorite frozen drink, we’ll give you a list of a few smoothie-making secrets that will help you whip up the tastiest and most refreshing drink that would flood your body with nutrients minus the added fats.

Choose your liquid

Tricks for a Healthier Smoothie

If you want a low-calorie smoothie, it would be best to use tap or purified water as your liquid base. For a more flavorful smoothie, opt for fresh fruit juice, green tea or coconut water. If you want a creamy smoothie, milk shall be your best option.

Go frozen

Gather all your ingredients and freeze them all together in a plastic bag. This is beneficial as it will give your smoothie a healthy boost without the added work. Plus, it will reduce your prep time in half.

Use plenty of ice

Tricks for a Healthier Smoothie

Research shows that people who drink dense smoothies tend to feel fuller compared to those who drink thinner versions. The best way of coming up with a thicker smoothie without the added calories is by using plenty of ice.

Use healthy fats

Unsaturated fat is an important ingredient as it will help keep you full. Here, moderation is the key. Or else, you’ll be turning your frozen drink into a diet disaster. Try adding avocado or nut butter. It will not only make you fuller, it will also increase the creaminess of your smoothie.

Sweeten it the healthy way

Tricks for a Healthier Smoothie

If your smoothie does not taste good, then you won’t enjoy drinking it. Fruit juices can make your smoothie sweeter but it contains added sugar. You can achieve that sweet sensation by using a teaspoon or two of honey, a little cinnamon, cocoa powder or vanilla extract.

 

Eating habits is considered as a learned behavior. This means that training your kids to eat healthier foods early in life will help them to stick to a healthy diet through their adult years.

Today, more and more people rely on fast foods and instant meals just because it is faster and easier than cooking meals from scratch. Being busy is not enough reason to sacrifice your child’s nutrition. Teach your kids to eat healthier meals with the use of the following tips.

Ways To Get The Kids To Eat Healthier Foods

Make meal time special

Take time to savor your meals and treat each meal time as a special time to sit down and talk to each member of your family. We understand that a lot of people may find it difficult to go home in time for dinner, but it’s possible.

Be a good role model

Most parents would complain about their kids refusing to eat healthy meals, but the real problem usually lies on the parents, not the kids.

A lot of people are so accustomed in buying prepared foods or eating out that they no longer know what healthy meals are anymore. You can’t stock the pantry with chips, soda and cereals and expect the kids to eat their veggies. You have to be a good role model first and be sure to practice what you preach.

Be flexible

As much as we would like the kids to eat healthier meals, allowing them to enjoy treats like doughnuts or chips once a week won’t do any damage. Moderation is the key. You can allow the kids to eat a cookie everyday but make sure to balance it with healthy foods.

Don’t use foods as bribe, reward or punishment

There is nothing wrong with taking kids out for ice cream after their soccer game, but make sure not to use it as an incentive for playing a good game. On the other hand, don’t punish your child for not eating their food. This may result to a negative relationship between the child and food, not to mention your relationship with your child.

 

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If working out seems unappealing to you, feel free to go for the alternatives. You don’t have to train like an athlete in order to stay fit.

There are a lot of ways to get in shape and keep your body toned without going to the gym. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of a few activities that will help you burn serious calories. The best part is, you may actually enjoy these activities while shedding those excess calories.

Walking

5 Ways to Burn Calories without Working Out

 

Walking is one of the simplest activities that can help you burn calories while getting you to your desired destination. Walk to the market, the grocery store or even to work. Take every opportunity you have to walk and breathe some fresh air. In order to burn more calories, you have to pick up the pace when walking.

Biking

Biking is a great way of going around and toning your hamstrings and quads. It’s a more intense form of exercise and can help you burn more calories than walking – 204 calories in 30 minutes. Plus, you’ll get to your desired destination faster.

Dancing

Dancing is a fun activity that you can enjoy with your family or friends. Choose a good song and groove to the beat. You may not realize it, but you’ll actually be shedding around 165 calories in 30 minutes. It is indeed a fun and calorie-burning activity.

Gardening

5 Ways to Burn Calories without Working Out

If you have a green thumb, this could be the perfect activity for you. Make your yard more beautiful while burning those calories. Constant squatting and bending is great for your glutes. Most importantly, you’ll be losing a total of 136 calories in the process.

Tennis

Pick up your racquet and invite your spouse, friend or siblings to a game of tennis. During the game, you’ll be running around the court and sweating it out. Plus, constantly swinging and hitting the ball will help you achieve toned arms.