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Stop Procrastinating for a Healthier You

Every day we have choices we make, whether conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the most impactful choices we make, for better or worse, are the ones in which we choose to do nothing at all.

Many health problems we deal with in our lives, whether they be from unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, start with simple procrastination,

Most of us put off the hard things or things we don’t want to do until tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes because we grow accustomed to the idea that things should be easier than they are.

Today, any progress is made by yesterday’s efforts – no matter how big or small. The way we make continuous, positive, healthy changes, comes down to creating new habits and practicing self-discipline and taking action in the moment, even when it feels challenging.

We can choose to live a healthy lifestyle or we can choose to live a sedentary one.  When we wait or make excuses to get up and move, we essentially making a choice to embrace sedentary habits that are truly destructive to our health.

Your body and mind both need to be exercised to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They both need to be worked consistently to grow, become healthier, and stronger over time. But the secret to creating a healthier lifestyle is to stop procrastinating and have a “do now” mindset.

You can accomplish many great things today, that don’t need to wait until tomorrow.  Getting started requires doing the smallest things.  Jump up and do 25 squats. Run up and down the stairs three times.  When you take positive action in these small ways you are plantings those seeds of discipline, exercise, and healthy eating that will continue to take root and blossom. What you plant today will harvest tomorrow.

Changing habits and learning to do things today that you typically put off is going to be challenging When you’re struggling to make progress, try not to overthink things..  That’s why Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is truly brilliant.  Making a deliberate decision to love yourself enough to make your health a priority can empower you in a way that builds strength and conviction you’ve never had before.

It’s not realistic to think you can change your entire lifestyle and eating habits all at once.  But if you take small but significant steps – one at a time, every day suddenly you realize you’ve become a new version of you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and decide on one thing you need to improve on. Do you have a soda habit? Tell yourself you can have one a week, then over time, cut that to every other week, then monthly, and so on.  You will find that eventually, you don’t even crave it anymore.  Do you need to move your body more? Start with moderate or light exercise. Maybe you will walk around the block this week, then next week you will walk 2 blocks. Every small positive change will add up to significant changes.

I challenge you each day to take action in the moment before you talk yourself out of it. Over time you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new you!

 

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Low Carb Chipotle Chicken Salad

We have a DELICIOUS dinner idea for you! Chiplote Chicken Salad! Low carb and packed with delicious flavor!

If you’re cutting back on carbs, this recipe will prove you don’t have to give up flavor when cutting out carbohydrates.

The ingredient that really makes this chicken salad a winner is the Chipotle in Adobo Sauce. it adds a smoky flavor to the salad that we just love. It also gives the chicken salad a little bit of a spicy kick but not too much.

Servings: 8
Author: Susanne Eagan
Ingredients
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 small onion diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 7 oz can chipotles chili in adobo sauce
1 teaspoons House Seasoning blend
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Instructions

Cook chicken breasts then shred using two forks, set aside in a medium sized bowl

In a blender or food processor mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and 1/2 to a whole can of the chipotle peppers (the amount of peppers depends on your personal taste and how spicy you want it to be) and blend until smooth.

Add the chipotle mixture to the shredded chicken and onion. Mix until well combined.

Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

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Focus on Becoming a Happier, Healthier You in 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults in the USA are obese and experience weight-related conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes, and cancer increasing annually. Obesity is such a big problem in the US that it costs the country in excess of $147 billion in medical costs every year. Luckily it is a new year which means countless of people around the USA are embarking on health and fitness regimes as part of their 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

One of the most fatal flaws of New Year’s resolutions and goal-setting in general, is that we tend to bite off more than we can chew. By not setting realistic goals we end up disappointed and demotivated and generally forget about our good intentions by the time January ends. Realistic goals that are easily achievable within a year will eventually become second-nature and will leave you feeling happier, healthier and possibly even shed some unwanted weight by the time the festive season comes around again.

Make more time for you

Most of people tend to give a little too much of themselves to others and not enough to themselves. It is very easy to stretch yourself too thin and overextend yourself. While it may have been acceptable last year, you need to make more time for yourself in 2018. You can do so by doing a solo workout or enjoying a relaxing day at the spa. By making yourself a priority you will be able to focus on your health and well-being without a struggle which, in turn, will make you feeling happier and healthier throughout the year. Take the gym class you always wanted to attend, follow an individual training plan or buy the new weight set that you have had your eye on for a while. It is important to realize that you are important and deserving of a good life.

Stop doing the workouts that you hate

Make 2018 your year and focus on what makes you happy. You are not forced to run to lose weight nor do you have to eat lettuce daily to become healthier. Find alternatives that will better suit your lifestyle and will make you happier in the long-run.  Use the new year to find something that you do love that will have the same kind of healthy effects on your body and mind as the activities that you really do not enjoy.

Add 1 low-impact workout to your exercise routine

While running and HIIT are great for your health it is important to give your knees a break as well. You don’t have to stop engaging in these workouts altogether but aim to supplement your high-impact training with some low-impact strengthening exercises such as Pilates or yoga.  Mixing things up will benefit your weight-loss endeavors greatly and will also prevent you from becoming bored with your workouts. Boredom is one of the biggest reasons people give up on their good intentions to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

While it may seem empowering to aim high with your New Year’s resolutions it is imperative to keep them realistic. You did not pick up all the excess weight in a day nor can you expect to lose it overnight. Whatever your health goals are for 2018, make sure they are doable and don’t give up at the first sign of a roadblock. Your perseverance will pay off and 2018 will become your best year yet.

Written by our contributing writer: Jane Sandwood

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New Awareness for 2018!

Goals that stick. Weight loss that stays off. A healthier you. Sometimes we fall short of our best intentions and resolutions. Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill, one food you can consume, or one exercise machine, that will create optimal health. Your daily routines are what are most important if you are striving to get healthy and stay healthy. To create a routine that serves your best health and to stay with it requires a higher level of awareness in all aspects of your life.

Here are 7 tips for a healthier you:

  1. Gratitude Awareness. Gratitude has been shown to lower stress, which prevents many other physical and mental consequences. Instead of focusing on how you wish you looked or what your body can and cannot do, express and feel gratitude for all you can do and all that you already have. We all have things about ourselves that we would like to improve.
  2. Movement Awareness.  Make a valiant effort to move more. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise daily and find new ways to move your body. Drop down in a plank when you have a minute. Take the stairs. Walk to the market. Add those up and you’ll have a day of good exercise without taking a lot of time away from other things.
  3. Food Quality Awareness. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Forget the fad diets and focus on the highest quality foods possible. High quality means nutrient dense for the calories that you eat.  include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. When you grocery shop, shop on the outside aisles. The inner aisles usually have most of the processed food, junk food, and other food your body would be happier without.
  4. Relationship Awareness. Building a community of people who can help you through life’s ups and downs is a vital step towards happiness and good health. Create and build relationships that provide encouragement and accountability to both parties. Find a new walking or workout partner. Attend a cooking class in your area for healthy cooking and meet other like-minded people with the same goals and lifestyle.
  5. Goal Awareness. General goals such as “exercise more” are not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays” is a SMART goal. Why? Because you have made a definitive goal that is measurable and doable. What SMART goals will you make?
  6. Health Care Awareness  Many medical conditions can be stopped or slowed down if detected in the early stages by getting preventative screenings and yearly doctor checkups! Ask your physician what screenings you should be getting depending on your age group.
  7. Self Talk Awareness. Health goals don’t always go as planned. If you are overweight, chances are, you didn’t gain it overnight – so don’t expect to lose it that fast. When you run into obstacles, don’t degrade yourself with negative self-talk.  Focus on all of the positive changes you have made, no matter how small they seem. Treat yourself with kindness, like you would a good friend.

I hope these tips help you live longer, live happier, and reach the goals you desire.

Have a great Skinny Life day!

New Year, New You

Are you excited for a new year and new you?

New Years resolutions don’t have to be about losing weight.|

You can also incorporate other healthy resolutions into your 2018 plans.  Researchers have found that people who deliberately balance all areas of their lives also have better health!

Of course, if losing weight is important to your health, you should incorporate weight loss goals into your 2018 plan of action. But make sure you round out your physical fitness goals with some life-balancing commitments that will make you feel more wholeness and happiness.

Here is a list of healthy resolutions for you to vow to do this year.

  • Prioritize sleep. If you have trouble sleeping seven to eight hours, look into non-drug therapies. There are fabulous mind-rebooting technologies, like NuCalm that can help train your brain for better sleep.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and high sugar fruit juices. Start reading labels and if you see the ingredient “high fructcose corn syrup” try to find an alternative product. Eat whole fruits and fruit smoothies with the entire fruit to get the benefit of the sugar balancing fibers.
  • Go on a trip. Planning a vacation increases happiness and who doesn’t want to adventure around a new city, sandy white beach, or explore a new destination? Exploring the world also can help you appreciate what you have at home!
  • Read more. Give your brain some mental exercise and escape into a good book. It’s another great way to explore the world without leaving home.
  • Give up soda and diet soda. Yes, your diet soda may have “zero calories” however, the ingredients in diet sodas can hurt your health and they don’t aid in losing weight. Opt for sparkling water with flavored stevia. Try root beer flavored stevia!
  • Practice gratitude. Find things throughout your day that you are grateful for. When you appreciate the things you have and the things around you, it will improve your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer and donate your time to people in need. Not only does it feel good to be kind and help others, it also benefits receiver by putting your own problems into perspective.
  • Forgive someone. Holding onto anger and resentment is poison to your soul. Life’s too short to live in the past. Move on. Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness.
  • Wear sunscreen. Your skin will thank you as you age.
  • Love yourself. If there is one person who is guaranteed to be in your life from your date of birth to the end . . . it is you. Learn to forgive, love, and be yourself.

I hope these resolutions will help you in 2018!

To your healthiest year yet!

Have a Skinny Life year!

Crystal

Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet

People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.

The findings also suggest that those who frequently cooked at home – six-to-seven nights a week – also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they ate out.

The study is to be presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., on November 17, and appear online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Wolfson and co-author Sara N. Bleich, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School, analyzed data from the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from more than 9,000 participants aged 20 and older.  The survey asked detailed questions about what participants ate during a 24-hour period as well as other eating behaviors such as fast food in the past 30 days. The researchers found that 8 percent of adults cooked dinner once or less a week and this group consumed, on an average day, 2,301 total calories, 84 grams of fat and 135 grams of sugar. Forty-eight percent of participants cooked dinner six to seven times a week and they consumed 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat and 119 grams of sugar on an average day. The researchers also found that those who cook at home more frequently rely less on frozen foods and are less likely to choose fast foods on the occasions when they eat out.

The research found blacks are more likely to live in households where cooking occurs less frequently than whites; and individuals who work more than 35 hours a week outside the home cook less, as well.

“Obesity is an escalating public health problem that contributes to other serious health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Wolfson. “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet. Moving forward, it’s important to educate the public about the benefits of cooking at home, identify strategies that encourage and enable more cooking at home, and help everyone, regardless of how much they cook, make healthier choices when eating out.”

Wolfson says there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to getting people to cook more. “Time and financial constraints are important barriers to healthy cooking and frequent cooking may not be feasible for everyone. But people who cook infrequently may benefit from cooking classes, menu preparation coaching or even lessons in how to navigate the grocery store or read calorie counts on menus in restaurants”

“Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?” was written by Julia A. Wolfson and Sara N. Bleich.  Funding for the study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant number 1K01HL096409).

Full article can be found here: ARTICLE

 

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Tips for Healthy and Happy Holiday Eating

Is it possible to enjoy the traditional holiday meals and still eat healthy? Most of us have embedded warm and wonderful memories associated with the delicious tastes and smells of the holidays.  It can be challenging when you’re bombarded with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and homemade rolls to stay disciplined and deliberately healthy in making your eating choices.

Denying yourself with your favorite holiday foods isn’t necessarily the best answer, but neither is finding yourself in a food coma, feeling bloated and tired. You can still enjoy yourself but the important thing is to stay mindful and appreciate the food you’re eating.  When you do decide to splurge make sure it’s worth every calorie and it’s something you’re really looking forward to. Often when we’re in the holiday social mode, we eat something that tastes so-so just because it’s there. If we really think about the choice, it may not be worth the excess calories.

Try to load up on healthy foods and fill your plate with healthiest choices. Fill your plate with fresh cooked vegetables, lean turkey, and small servings of the things you want to taste. Have a small serving of pumpkin pie and other high calorie, sugar laden dishes.

Here are some quick holiday dinner tips:

  • Watch your portion sizes. Fill your plate with fruits and veggies.
  • Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight. Now is not the best time to start a diet.
  • Eat something  healthy and filling before the holiday meal (apple, orange, something high in fiber).
  • Be mindful how many times you reload your plate. Go for extra salad and green beans if you’re still hungry.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well.
  • Drink sparkling water with flavored stevia for a sparkling, sweet beverage.
  • Focus more on the company you are enjoying than you do on the food you could be consuming (if you weren’t being mindful).
  • Focus on some funny jokes, stories, or memories you could share.
  • Stick to your exercise routine. If the gym is closed, take a walk with family and friends!

Remember, your main focus should be on family and friends. Not on how much food you can consume! Most of all the holidays should be a time for you to feel thankful and appreciative for every good thing in your life.  Reflecting on those things will create a feast of happiness for you to enjoy!

Have a healthy, Skinny Life, Holiday Season!

Crystal

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Curried Pumpkin Soup – Healthy and DELICIOUS!

When the cold water settles upon us, soup seems to comfort the soul and warm the heart.

This is one of our favorite recipes and you’ll love it too. Not only is it delicious, it’s healthy too because pumpkin is a good source of potassium and vitamin A.

Step 1:

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in ginger; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pears and cashews; cook, stirring often, until pears have softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 2:

Sprinkle in curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder; cook until fragrant and spices are beginning to toast, about 1 minute. Whisk in pumpkin and 3 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3:

Working in batches, transfer soup to a high-speed blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape; secure lid on blender and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Return soup to Dutch oven over medium-low heat; stir in 2 cups broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Stir in up to 1/2 cup additional broth, if needed, to reach desired consistency.) If desired, garnish servings with pepper and coconut yogurt.

pumpkin soup

Original Recipe and Photo found here: Health.com

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A November Favorite! Spicy Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Looking for a spicy, fun, appetizer for one of your November get-togethers?

We found this delicious recipe, tried it and LOVED it, and just had to share it with you!
Give it a try and tell us what YOU think!

Step 1:

Place garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over low heat. Cook until garlic begins to sizzle, about 30 seconds; transfer to a food processor.

Step 2:

Add chickpeas, pumpkin, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, harissa, honey, and 2 tablespoons oil to food processor. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Add additional harissa for more heat, if desired.)

Step 3:

Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to develop. To serve, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with pepitas and paprika, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Original Recipe and Image Found Here: Health.com

Your Child’s Fitness Determines Their Health Future

While it can seem that the digital age has taken over and there’s nothing we can do about it, parents play a key role in helping their children learn to integrate healthy activity into everyday life.

Did you know only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day and less than 50% of the time spent in PE, sports, and outdoor activities involves enough movement to be considered physically active? With the technology boom has come more time for children and teens spending more time on phones, computers, and other electronic devices, leaving about 1 in 3 children overweight or obese.

So what can we as parents and grandparents do to help children become more physically active?

  • Be a sport- Even if your child doesn’t seem drawn to a specific sport The more they enjoy the activity, the more likely they will continue playing it. Get the entire family involved! Not only will it increase your child’s physical activity, it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Soccer may be thumbs down but skating might get a big smile.
  • Focus on Joy- One at a time begin to find a fun activity that the child enjoys! It doesn’t have to be structured. Adventure walks where you collect fun things in a bag can keep kids happy for hours. Time your kids when they run across the lawn and back. Challenge them to beat their own time! See how many times they can throw a ball in the air and catch it. Testing themselves against their siblings or friends can create a bit of healthy competition that increases their motivation to do well.
  • Plan a time where you can exercise or engage in physical activities with your child. The more you are involved, the more your child will enjoy it.
  • Provide toys that promote physical fitness. Have toys that around that make it easy to be active; balls, jump ropes, bicycles, and other active toys.
  • Limit television. Limit both TV and computer use. No more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time per day will give your child plenty of time for physical activities.
  • Don’t push too hard. Gently find ways to increase your child’s physical activity and make it fun rather than a chore. Your attitude will reflect and make an impression on their attitude when it comes to fitness and health.
  •  Engage in a discussion with your child’s physician during a check-up. Your child’s doctor may help him or her understand why physical activity and fitness can keep them strong and healthy.

Remember to incorporate a balanced diet into your child’s new healthy lifestyle. One of the most important things we can do as parents is encourage healthy habits early in life. The time you invest in creating a happy program of healthy activity and eating now will pay dividends for a lifetime!