Archive for the ‘superfoods’ Category

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Coconut Beef Curry

September 4, 2014

curry

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Salmon Florentine

July 31, 2014

salmon

Ways to Boost Your Exercise Motivation

July 20, 2014

motivation

Debbe Geiger could summarize her feelings about exercise in two words. “It stinks,” she’d say.

But then her thinking changed when — after much urging from friends who wanted her to play with them — she joined a volleyball team. Now, she’s at the gym with a convert’s fervor on game nights because she doesn’t want to let her teammates down.

“There have been lots of reasons I could have missed, and I haven’t,” says Geiger of Cary, N.C.

Her experience illustrates what exercise experts have known for years: To stick with an exercise routine, you need a reason to carry on when that little voice inside says, “Sit on the couch. Have a doughnut.”

And just knowing that exercise is good for you doesn’t seem to be enough to get you moving.

 Carla Sottovia, assistant director of fitness at the Cooper Fitness Institute in Dallas, says, “You may have had a bad experience in school, or maybe you’re afraid you’ll hurt yourself. Maybe you’re even afraid to sweat.”

Intimidation is a factor also, experts say. When you’re out of shape, it takes courage to don workout duds and head for the gym.

If any of this sounds familiar, don’t give up hope. Here are fitness inspiration tips from fitness experts and exercise converts that are guaranteed to help you learn how to love moving.

 Be Realistic

First-time exercisers often set unrealistic goals that are too ambitious for beginners. Gerald Endress, fitness director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C. says, “They want to go for maximal goals, but they tend to get overwhelmed.”

So don’t start off trying to work out an hour every day. Instead, set more reasonable, achievable goals, like exercising 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week.

Keep Track of Your Progress

Remember to chart your progress, whether it’s with a high-tech online tracker or an old-school fitness journal. Seeing incremental improvements, whether it’s improved time, increased reps, or greater frequency of workouts, can boost your exercise motivation.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Another pitfall is all-or-nothing thinking, a perfectionist way of looking at life that leads to giving up when you miss a day or two or your workout doesn’t go well. Endress says if you accept that there will be some sidesteps on your fitness journey, you’ll be better prepared mentally to deal with setbacks.

Expect that you’ll get sick from time to time, and be psychologically prepared to miss a few days of exercise when that happens. Don’t let it be an excuse for giving up. “From then on, many people say, ‘I can’t exercise,'” Endress says. “But there’s always a way to exercise.”

To keep injuries from sidelining you, do your best to prevent them by warming up, cooling down, stretching properly, and not doing too much too soon.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

 We’ve all seen those toned, fatless specimens who strut through the gym in their Barbie-sized shorts and sports bras.

Don’t compare yourself to them, Endress says. Forget about them. Forgive them. But do not let them deter you from your goal.

Get Support

Enlist the help of your spouse, girlfriends, boyfriends, buddies — anyone who will encourage you to stay on track.

“The person should be in support, but not say, ‘Why can’t you? It’s so easy,'” says Sottovia. If helpful reassurance turns into criticism, gently remind your pal that you don’t need nagging.

 If you need additional help, hire a trainer, she advises.

Find the Fun In It

Sottovia and Endress both say it’s essential to find an activity you like. With an explosion in the number and types of fitness classes at most gyms, it has become easier to find something to appeal to you, from aerobics to Zumba.

If you’re not the gym type, walk around your neighborhood or try activities around the house, such as walking up and down stairs or dancing with the stars in your living room. If you’re motivated by being social, follow Geiger’s lead and join a team.

Break It Up

You can make it easier on yourself by splitting your exercise session into two or three sessions, says Endress. Research supports the idea that this can be as beneficial as one long workout, he says.

So, for example, if you don’t feel like exercising for an hour on any given day, do three sessions of 20 minutes each.

Make It Convenient

Do whatever you can to remove obstacles to exercise, and make it as convenient as possible, says Sottovia.

If you are time-pressed, for example, don’t spend 30 minutes driving to a gym. Try exercising at home to fitness DVDs instead. If you’re too tired to work out at the end of the day, set your alarm a little earlier and exercise in the morning.

Forget the Past

Don’t let previous bad experiences with exercise hinder you, Sottovia says.

So maybe you weren’t the most athletic kid in high school and were the last chosen for class games. That was years ago. Your goal now is not to win a letter jacket or make the cheerleading squad — you want to exercise to stay healthy and enjoy your life.

Reward Yourself

Treat yourself for making the effort to exercise — not with food, but with something that you enjoy, like a movie or flowers, says Endress

Try to think of indulgences that will reinforce a mind-body connection so you can savor the rewards of your hard work. Plan a short trip, or just an hour in a botanical garden. Go to a ball game. And remind yourself with each precious moment that you are enjoying this time because of all the great things you have been doing for yourself.

 

Article sourced from: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-motivation

 

What’s So Super About Superfoods?

July 15, 2014

superfoods
You may have heard of superfoods. They’re foods that naturally concentrate important nutrients and antioxidants for overall health. In fact, many health professionals emphasize the necessity of superfoods for good health. Steven Pratt, M.D. is one of them. In his book SuperFoods RX:  Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, as well as his other books, he details why he thinks superfoods are so important. 

Pratt, an ophthalmologist who specializes in ocular plastic surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, says he became convinced of the power of these basic foods when he saw the positive results of a few simple diet changes in his patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration—a leading cause of blindness.

“Whether you’re trying to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer, or cardiovascular disease, the same type of preventive dietary measures apply,” Pratt says. “The whole body is connected:  a healthy heart equals healthy eyes and healthy skin. You’ll hear about all these special diets for special health needs, but really, the same diet and the same lifestyle choices prevent the same diseases. With rare exceptions, you don’t need 20 different preventive modalities—just one really good diet.”

And that “one really good diet,” Pratt says, should be founded on superfoods, including blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, spinach, green or black tea, tomatoes, probiotic-rich yogurt and walnuts.

“For example,” says Pratt, “blueberries, broccoli and tomatoes have a large number of peer-reviewed published studies substantiating their health benefits. These foods are readily available, inexpensive and have other benefits, such as high fiber content. And they’ve been used for years, with no drawbacks, side effects or toxicity; you’re never going to see a headline that blueberries are bad for you.”

Broccoli, too, is a superfood star. It’s rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant linked with a reduced risk of a number of cancers. “The phytonutrients in broccoli help detoxify carcinogens found in the environment,” says Pratt. “They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and we know that an important factor in reducing the risk of disease is to support healthy inflammation levels.”

Likewise, Bonnie Minsky, a licensed and certified Nutrition Specialist, Public Health educator and certified menopause educator with a private practice in Northbrook, Illinois, outlines her top ten superfoods. Among the superfoods she indicates provide health benefits far beyond their recognized nutritional value are: pomegranates, cinnamon, avocados, algae, flaxseeds, turmeric and wild salmon.

And let’s not forget about coconuts. Coconuts are superfoods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and ultra-healthy, medium-chain fatty acids.

Even typical holiday foods make the superfood list—so there’s no excuse to not eat them. For example, cranberries are full of antioxidants, including vitamin C and others. Likewise, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

In short, superfoods can mean a super you!

 

Information sourced from http://www.gardenoflife.com/A-Way-of-Life/HEALTHY-LIFESTYLE/ContentPubID/662/settmid/3463.aspxsuperfoods