Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake
We are in that tempting season. The lure of the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbuck’s is calling. Did you know, however, that there is a healthier, nutrient-packed alternative that has the same yummy kick without all the calories, sugars, and additives?
At Living Well, we pack a punch in our Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake– perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. Please check out the the comparison of these two beverages, and remember, liquid is absorbed faster into the bloodstream–so taking in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients will make your body smarter and stronger than tons of sugar, artificial additives, caffeine and fat.
Solutions 4 Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake: 
water, ice, 2 scoops of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate), dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and 1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin
Calories: 187
Protein: 21 g
Carbohydrate: 21 g
Sugar: 3 g
Fiber: 10 g
Fat: 3 g (1 g saturated)
Sodium: 80 g
Full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, probiotic, and digestive enzymes. lactose-free, organic, gluten-free
Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Grande with non-fat milk, whipped cream
Calories: 330
Protein: 14g (coming strictly from non-organic lactose-containing cow milk)
Carbohydrates: 52 g
Sugar: 50 g (this is 2.5 days worth of recommended sugar intake–as much as a soda.)
Fiber: 0 g
Fat: 7 g (4.4 saturated)
Caffeine: 150 mg

Tips for a Heart-Healthy HalloweenHalloween is a fun day, when children get to dress as their favorite superhero, Disney princess or any creepy character. Of course, Halloween is also the sweetest time of the year when children can collect and eat as much candy as they want.

Yes, it’s just one day per year, but with the increasing rate of obesity and cavities, health experts see this candy-filled holiday as a nightmare. But don’t worry; your spooky soiree can be both fun and healthy with a few simple tips.

Eat before trick-or-treating

Instead of making sweet treats and candy off-limits, it would be a good idea to serve your family with a healthy dinner first. Then, bring out the sweet treats once they have finished their food. If your kids are full, then they won’t be tempted to eat too much candy afterwards.

Remember balance

If your child eats well all year long, then you don’t have to worry with letting them eat candies on this day. It’s what kids eat every day that has the most impact on their health and nutrition. Of course, moderation is the key.

To limit their intake of sweets, prepare healthy snacks like sweet potato fries or fruits.

Stay active

Don’t focus too much on the food. To get the kids moving, plan some fun activities and games like a relay race or costume parade. Instead of driving the kids, encourage them to walk from the house.

Practice portion control

Before all the fun begins, it is important to talk to your kids about when and how much candy they are allowed to eat. You can also provide smaller portions. Instead of full-sized treats, give them smaller cookies and brownies, miniature muffins and cupcakes.

Serve them with bite-size treats instead of leaving everything on the table. This way, you can control the amount of sweets each child consumes.

 

Health Benefits of Eating Organic Foods

As more consumers are becoming aware of the numerous health benefits linked with consuming organic foods, the organic food industry has consistently seen a tremendous increase in sales. Today, 78% of American families are now choosing to buy organic foods than the conventional ones.

Here are some facts about the health value of organic foods.

Reduced pesticide exposure

Most consumers choose organic produce since they want to reduce their exposure to pesticides and unnatural chemicals, which are often used in commercial produce.

Organic milk virtually contains no pesticide since they feed on organic pastures that haven’t been treated with fertilizers or pesticides. This means, it is pushed away from every form of chemicals.

According to a study, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a huge percentage of pesticide exposure comes from dietary intake. This has been shown to contribute to ADHD, autism, deficiencies in neurodevelopment and other neurological impairments in developing children.

Freshness

Since organic foods tend to have shorter shelf life, we are forced to eat them at once; thereby, leaving at its healthiest best. And since it’s fresh, it also tastes better than produce that has been frozen, shipped and transported across long distances.

Antioxidant capacity

According to studies, antioxidants tend to have more of an impact when they come from organic foods. They contain 50% more antioxidants, which can cut down certain diseases like heart disease, cancer and cognitive malfunction.

Environmental safety

Chemical fertilizers are often used in the production of non-organic vegetables. Since no chemicals are used in organic farming, there is very minimal, if any, soil, water and air pollution.

By supporting organic foods, you are contributing in making this world a safer and healthier place to live in for the future generations.

High nutrition

Due to the conditions in which they are produced, organic foods contain substances that can boost cardiovascular protection; thus, bringing you to a state of a healthier heart. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help boost the immune system and improve blood flow.

 

 

 

Unhealthy Foods You Should Avoid Like the Plague

With so much discussion of healthy foods, we sometimes tend to overlook the foods that are worst for us.

Most of us crave for crunchy fried dishes that cause rising blood pressure, bulging waistlines and all sorts of health problems. Despite these consequences, most people find it extremely difficult to resist these foods since they taste really good.

Here are some of the foods you should avoid like the plague. Do your best to banish these foods from your diet and make better choices.

Soda and sugary foods

Regular consumption of foods that contain added sugar can lead to weight gain, and soda is considered as the number one offender. According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, soda is a major contributor to the overweight and obesity epidemic.

Forgoing soda will save you 124-190 calories a day. So now, it’s time to make the switch to good old-fashioned water.

Energy bars

Just because they come in tiny packages that say they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, that does not necessarily mean that they’re good for you. Most of them are nothing but glorified candy bars that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other sweeteners.

Stick margarine

Stick margarines are loaded with trans fat. At 100 calories per tablespoon, this is definitely going to pack on the pounds.

Chips

The more flavoring the chips has, the more artificial ingredients and MSG you can expect from it.

An ounce of potato chips contains 10 grams of fat and 152 calories. Consuming 3 ounces of chips a week for a year will result to an added weight of about 7 pounds. And it doesn’t even constitute to a full and satisfying snack for most of us.

French fries

They are fatty, salty and addictive. And it’s almost impossible to stop at just a few. Dipping it in ketchup makes it even more unhealthy.

If you normally pick out fast food once a week, giving up on your normal order of medium fries will save you 350 calories.

Turning a New LeafIt’s a season of change, of transformation. As I watch leaves change color almost before my eyes, and the sun shift from burning bright and high in the sky, to a bit lower and dimmer, I feel a sense of renewal and hope. Autumn has been one of my favorite seasons ever since we left Texas and moved to Colorado Labor Day weekend 18 years ago. Although Dallas had some gorgeous mild, nice days during fall months, it was not comparable to the crisp, clean and cool air, along with the radiant colors of a Colorado fall.  Maybe it’s the richness of the warm oranges, reds and golds, or the comfort of the smells of cinnamon, pumpkin and spice, that wraps me up in a reassuring hug. I always gain a sense of motivation, energy and zest– to try something new– to transform myself in a sense, at this turning season.

This fall, what will be your “new leaf”?  Our cells in our body regenerate constantly, getting a “fresh start”. Are you resistant to change even though you know there is an area of your life begging for renewal or growth? How can you transform, this changing season, in preparation for shorter and colder days? Maybe it’s time for your body to “burst” with new colors, storing energy for the coming holiday hustle-bustle.

Consider the following simple (some more challenging than others) ways to experience transformation and rejuvenation in your life. I would love to hear how your journey of change comes along… Meanwhile, enjoy that crunch of leaves beneath your feet, that crisp brilliant sky, and embrace a new path to a healthier and renewed you!

5 Ways to Embrace Change, Transformation and Renewal:Living Well Nutrition Fall Tips

* Consider a cleanse
 Your liver and digestive tract work very hard each day to break down nutrients for use in your body. If you haven’t given your body a break, and feel weighted down, fatigued, foggy…chances are you need a clean-up! Ask us about our 10 and 20 day rejuvenation programs that healthfully detox the liver and support healthy metabolism.

Cleansing from poor eating habits is key; but you can also “cleanse” or “detox” from negative energy, people, the newscast, loud music, bad habits, graphic or violent TV, TV altogether, etc.

* Walk a new path
Is your exercise routine stale and boring? Maybe it’s time to try a new path of activity. If you’re an avid runner, take a day off for yoga. If you do yoga 4 days a week but no cardio, get a walking group together and pick a time each week for an hour long hike. Try something new and fresh to move your body in a different way. Maybe it’s time to try that intro Pure Barre class you’ve been putting off? 

* De-Clutter Your Environment
Tidying up and reorganizing your living or work space can not only be detoxifying and productive–it can be empowering! Choose a morning to simply clean out some kitchen cupboards, or a closet full of old clothes. Maybe it’s time for a thorough garage sweep? Just cleaning out your inbox on your desk (or in your email!) can be very therapeutic. After you’ve de-cluttered, donate your used items to a good cause or friend.

 * Choose something new
When we’ve been in a rut of the same rat-race: carpools, paying bills, watching the same TV shows, hanging around the same people all the time, we can become “stuck” without realizing it. Challenge yourself to dive into an interest you’ve put on the back burner–it doesn’t have to be a huge expensive hobby, but just picking up an online class, or one day at painting, or reading a new book, can really rejuvenate your brain and health.

 * Commit to a new beginning
How we spend the first few minutes of each day can set the mood and energy for the rest of the hours. Consider a new prayer, meditation, or mantra before your feet hit the ground. 60 seconds in gratitude, counting your blessings, and then another 60 seconds setting an intention for the day could be a wonderful way to be more centered, focused, and less stressed before you’re up and out the door. Also trying to avoid technology (news programs, emails, texting, social media) first thing in the morning can be extremely transforming. Instead, get ready in silence, or with music you enjoy; and of course, a nutrient-dense breakfast! The more “rushed” and “loud” we are first thing sets a tone for a chaotic day.

4 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your DietEating healthy is a goal for many of us. Unfortunately, a lot of people give up on this goal without even trying.

For most people, approaching a lifestyle change can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, small steps always make a big difference. Take small steps and start making small changes in your diet today. Here are some tips to get you started.

Prepare your own food

Lack of time is one of the most common excuses for eating a poor, unhealthy diet.

Regardless of the quality of fast food chain or restaurant, eating out means consuming more calories than the food you would prepare from your own kitchen.

Plan ahead and take some time to prepare your own food. This way, you’ll be forced to eat healthy and feed your family with heart-healthy meals.

Stop consuming non-organic coffee

For billions of people all around the world, caffeine is responsible for a jolt of energy that starts the day. But the problem with caffeine is that it becomes addictive. Instead of the usual 1 cup, you’ll eventually need 3 to 4 cups of coffee just to wake you up in the morning.

We understand that breaking the morning caffeine habit could be extremely difficult, but try to slowly wean yourself off any caffeinated products. Once you go back to a caffeine-free lifestyle, you’ll notice that your body composition will improve and your energy levels will become more stable.

No sugary beverages

Sugary beverages like sodas, smoothies and fruit juices have been proven to cause numerous health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. Resist the urge of reaching for a can of soda and make your own flavored water instead. Add some fruit slices and fresh herbs to your water and enjoy a refreshing drink without the added sugar.

Keep hydrated

Studies revealed that roughly 90% of people are dehydrated. This affects your health, immunity, energy and vitality.

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Keep a bottle of water handy and sip from it often.