Wellness Articles & Blog
Creative Ideas and Tips for Abundant Living
For some, Halloween triggers the beginning of the holiday season and the start of the slippery slope for healthy eating.
What’s a couple of snack size candy bars? Truth be told, even those fun-size candy bars, can add up. Sugar and empty calories can lead to adding a few pounds here and there, especially if you don’t up your exercise regimen and eat healthy the rest of the day.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little candy around Halloween, if you limit your consumption. It does mean, even during the holidays _ and maybe more so _ you should not abandon the healthy eating and exercise habits you’ve been trying to adhere to the rest of the year.
Remember the key is to enjoy time with friends and family during the holidays. Don’t pile more guilt or stress on yourself.
So how do you stay on track? Try these tips and don’t let the hard work you’ve put in the rest of the year slip away during the holidays.
1. Before leaving for a party, ensure you have some protein in your body. This can be any kind of animal or vegetable protein or even an energy “protein” drink. That way you won’t be hungry and arrive at the party ravenous with low and imbalanced blood sugar.
2. Plan a workout for the day of the party and the day after. This will help prepare the metabolic system to use those extra calories. It’s best to work out a couple of hours before the party.
3. Drink two (2) eight-to-ten ounce glasses of water before making any food choices. If you can add lemon to the water that’s even a better option to stimulate digestive enzymes.
4. At the party, choose vegetables or foods higher in protein. Try to keep to a minimum simple starch foods like chips, crackers, breads, beer and cookies.
5. Eat veggies first, protein second and simple starches as a last resort. You will feel more satisfied if you eat the veggies and protein as your first options and you’ll even tend to eat less.
6. Chew your foods slowly, so you can begin to realize fullness. Fifteen to twenty chews per bite would be ideal.
7. If you don’t usually mix all kinds of food categories, you may find overeating will lead to bloating and then fatigue the next day as the digestive system works overtime. The best course of action, of course, is to avoid the overeating. But if you do overeat, chewable enzymes will assist in digestion and may prevent that bloated feeling.
8. Skip dairy whenever possible.
9. Drink green tea. It will decrease fat absorption and increase fat burning cells.
10. If you choose to drink alcohol, red wine is a better option. Red wine has wonderful antioxidant properties. It also contains resveratrol, which has excellent effects on the metabolism of insulin.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy friends and family. It is a wonderful time of year to be thankful for health and to spend time with those who bring you great happiness and love.
Be well and have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
Dr. Holly Donahue is a licensed, board-certified doctor of naturopathic medicine. She is the founder of Simple Health, offering online wellness programs and counseling at www.simplehealthnh.com
A healthy, happy, life begins with lifestyle. This is typically understood to include diet, exercise, hydration, and stress reduction. In fact, studies have proven that adequate sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for our health and well-being and may help reduce our waistline.
The body has two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. These two small glands are responsible for producing a multitude of hormones. When it comes to sleep, we concentrate on the hormone cortisol. Cortisol, which helps regulate metabolism and supports the body in times of stress, is produced in the outer part of the adrenal gland known as the adrenal cortex
Vacations are all about recharging your batteries. Take time for yourself and you’ll reap a wide array of benefits. Studies show people who take vacations have increased productivity, stronger morale in the workplace, greater satisfaction at work and are more likely to stay at their job.
Still not convinced? One study published by the American Medical Association found men who took frequent annual vacations were 32 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who skipped their vacations.
Sleep Hygiene is a phrase discussed frequently when searching for relief of sleep disorders. The term is used to describe the habits and environment conducive to a good night sleep.
Good sleep hygiene habits include the time we go to bed, the tasks we perform before going to bed, the temperature of the room and the environment in the bedroom.
Relaxation for Better Sleep
Relaxation plays a vital role in the quality of sleep we can attain. That may sound like an oxymoron; isn’t sleeping relaxing?
When we were young we wanted no part of it, as we get older, we can’t seem to get enough of it. That delightful respite at the end of the day; a time for our bodies and minds to lay quiet and recharge, replenish and rejuvenate!
The Cost of Food Doesn’t Need to Break the Bank!
How many times have you heard, “Eating healthy is expensive”? Consider the cost of being sick. The best way to reduce the cost of health care is to remain healthy. The investment you make in your health by nourishing you body with healthy nutrient dense, whole food is an investment in your future self. Eating well, exercise and positive attitude is the recipe for longevity. Eating whole foods gets a bad rap for being expensive. Here are some tips to help with the cost of healthy eating.
More Tips and Tricks to Create A Healthy Kitchen
A healthy kitchen should use whole foods whenever possible. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is the less processing the better. Though some of the suggestions may not be as convenient as prepared items, the work will lend a new or renewed appreciation of what goes into building a meal from scratch, and will likely save you money.
- Canola oil or vegetable oil -------------------> coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed
Canola comes from a plant that was bred by Canadian scientists in order to create oil that would come from a more homegrown source. The Canola plant goes through a tremendous amount of processing to become oil. Canola as well as other vegetables must go through a very unnatural process to become oil. When choosing oils look for products that are created through pressing to create oils. As a general rule of thumb, choosing the most “whole” products; those that require the least amount of processing will be the healthiest for you.
5 Healthy Kitchen Swaps
Now that we understand what whole foods are, how can we incorporate whole foods into our healthy kitchen? We can start by swapping out some of our current kitchen staples for a more whole food option.
Healthy Kitchen = Whole Foods
We have talked about our healthy kitchen in terms of what is should look like and feel like. We have an understanding now of the environment in which we cook as well as the attitude we hold about the food we eat is an essential ingredient in creating a healthy kitchen. Now we move forward to what types of foods belong in a healthy kitchen.
We begin our discussion with a lesson in what are whole foods? Whole foods are foods that are intact and in their natural state. They have not been broken down or processed and mixed with other ingredients of fillers. By eating foods in their whole state, you receive the most nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. An example of a whole food would be an apple vs. apple juice, or a baked potato vs. mashed potatoes.
A diet high in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and type II diabetes.
Whole foods are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that protect cells against damage. When whole foods such as grains are refined, the part of the grain that contains the greatest nutrient value is removed. Further processing breaks down the grain and then ads artificial enrichments back into the product. The end result ends up being less nutritious than what you started with.
Another consideration with processed food is the chemicals are added during the enrichment process; along with chemicals, salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats may be added. Too much salt in your diet can lead to increased blood pressure, while extra fat and sugar add extra calories which lead to weight gain.
By eating whole foods you can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes. The natural fiber found in whole foods will fill you up without added calories. When your body receives the proper nutrition from the food you eat, you will be left feeling satisfied and less hungry.
Whole foods also translate into whole meats; for example skinless chicken breast is a whole food, chicken nuggets are not. Whenever possible, it is best to select foods that are organically grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. The same is true for meat selection.
Stay tuned for tips and advice on how to incorporate whole foods into your healthy kitchen!
Health & Healing the Simple Way!
Healthy Attitude = Healthy Kitchen
The media is full of “diets” that claim to help us lose weight, have clearer skin, slow the aging process, promote proper digestion, and decrease our risk of cancer. What if I were to tell you that if we concentrate on supplying our bodies with nutrient rich foods and giving the body what it needs to thrive, we would achieve all the aforementioned goals and so much more?
flu·id (ˈflo͞oid/ )
- 1. a substance that has no fixed shape and yields easily to external pressure
- 1. able to flow easily.
Staying “fluid”; to yield easily to external pressure and capable of flowing easily. This does not mean that there won’t be strong weather or high seas to contend with. Staying fluid means that in times of turbulence, we can successfully ride out the storm if we can find a way to go with the flow. By remaining pliable and malleable we are less likely to break. When the world of deadlines and commitments narrows our focus, it becomes important to stop for a moment and remember to stay fluid.
Staying fluid could mean keeping an open mind; broaden possibilities by being willing to think outside the box. If a plan doesn’t work out exactly as we had hoped, it does not mean that it is a failure. It may mean that there is more work to do, or there may be aspects of the original plan that we need to let go of.
Being willing to let go is also part of being fluid. When we hold onto ideas and methods so tightly that we aren’t willing to look at another option that may work, we become stagnant. Develop a practice of taking stock of thoughts and habits. If a method or behavior no longer serves a higher good, let it go.
Water will always find a way, regardless of blocks we put in front of it. Provisions must be made to release pressure so the dam won’t break. Rivers will wage new paths and waves will reach shore. Measures to contain the force of water are futile; we must allow for natural ebb and flow; and so it goes with our everyday lives. Practice fluidity!
As we learn to live in the present moment we become more acceptant of changes as they come. This allows confidence to take on new challenges, knowing that we have the option to alter our direction or change course entirely. With this knowledge, we automatically “stay fluid!”
Health & Healing the Simple Way!