Eating healthy can sometimes be difficult, especially when you only have a few minutes to eat before you have to run out the door again. Busy schedules may leave you pulling up to the fast food window for the third time in a week. While stopping for fast food may be easy, you're not doing anything for your health. Eating a balanced diet doesn't have to mean spending hours at the stove cooking a gourmet meal. There are lots of ways to stay healthy, even when you don't have a lot of time on your hands.
Prepare meals in advance
According to Reader's Digest, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know what they're having for dinner by 4 p.m. It's no wonder why people gravitate instantly toward fast frozen meals. Pick a day during the weekend to plan out the week's meals. Oftentimes, the hardest part is just deciding what to have. Go through each night of the week and write down a list of what you're going to make. Write those ingredients on your grocery list so that your kitchen will be fully stocked. If you want, you could even make some of your meals ahead of time! Put each meal in a separate Tupperware container, making it easy to grab and heat up whenever you need it.
Make the kitchen an enjoyable place to be
If your kitchen is a mess, the counter is cluttered and the fridge is empty, you're likely not going to have the motivation to get in there and cook a healthy meal. Instead, you'll probably opt for a quick frozen meal or some fast food. Try stocking up on fresh produce, pouring yourself a glass of wine, opening up the windows to let in some natural light and cleaning up any messes that may be making the space look less than desirable.
If you do go out to eat, have a plan
Many restaurants these days are health conscious and make it easy for their customers to choose a healthy menu item. Look for items on the menu with lots of protein as well as veggies and salad. These are going to give you the energy you need to keep up with that busy schedule. Stay away from tons of carbs, like sandwiches with thick bread that are paired with a boatload of French fries. You could also opt for water instead of sugary soda to cut your calorie count even further.
Make more food than you need
Don't fret if you made too much food – it's perfect for leftovers! This way, you can eat it for lunch the next day and you won't have to take the time out to make something new.
Try a protein meal
One of the quickest meals you could possibly whip up is a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy is a delicious and refreshing shake, is available in both chocolate and vanilla, and is the perfect way to fill you up fast without all of those extra calories. It contains plenty of protein, dietary fiber and low sugar!
Share the cooking responsibility
If you have to get the oven pre-heated or the chicken thawed, but you're stuck in traffic and won't be home for another half hour, simply delegate the responsibility to someone who is home. Have that person get it started for you and make cooking up a healthy dinner much easier.
During the cooler months, many people take up skiing as a fun hobby to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. However, like many other sports, there is always the risk of injury. But, the rate of skiing injuries has actually declined by about 50 percent since the 1970s, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite the decline, it's still important to stay safe on the slopes and lower your chances of injury. Here are a few ways to prevent injury and stay safe while skiing:
Check the equipment
Before you hit the slopes, you have to check that the equipment you're going to be using is safe. If you borrow it from a friend, you have to make sure the equipment fits you properly. John Monson, a spokesman for Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California, told the Los Angeles Times that wearing the wrong gear can be dangerous. If it's too big, you have less control of your body and it may be harder to maneuver the skis to get where you want to go. Because borrowing equipment from friends is not ideal, never assume that it's safe and have it examined be a ski shop technician to be sure it's ready to go.
Maintain your fitness
You need to prepare your body for the type of physical activity that skiing demands. This means being in good physical condition before stepping out on skis. Start on easy hills and gradually build your way up to more challenging slopes once your body is used to the movement and you feel comfortable. Many ski injuries happen toward the end of the day when people tend to do more than they can handle. If you're tired, it's better to stop and rest to be sure your body remains strong.
Keep your joints healthy
One of the best ways to promote joint health is with a joint supplement. Naturade FlexAid Joint Formula is a natural and safe solution is designed to help support joint comfort and mobility. Its blend of two traditional plants packed with antioxidants was shown to reduce stiffness and improve mobility amongst test subjects in as little as five days.
Like any other sport, it's important to warm up your body before doing any vigorous movement. Do some exercises to warm up your muscles so you're not so stiff when skiing. Be sure to target every part of your body, including legs, torso and arms. James Gladstone, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, suggested doing windmills with your arms, swinging your legs back and forth, and doing abdominal twists to reduce injury.
Not staying properly hydrated can affect both physical ability and endurance. Drink plenty of water before, during and after skiing.
Know general safety rules
Be sure that you know all of the general safety rules of skiing, like how to safely stop, merge and yield to other skiers. This will not only help to create a safe environment for you, but for others as well.
When people set goals to slim down, they often embark into the world of dieting. However, for many this is an unknown territory. There are hundreds of diets out there and jumping into one without doing the proper research may not be doing you any favors. In order to lose weight and reach your goals, it's important to first understand the do's and don'ts of dieting.
Don't skip meals
Although it may seem like common sense that eating less helps you to lose weight, it doesn't work that way. Your body needs fuel in order to burn off calories. Not eating enough can lead to a decreased metabolism and depleted energy levels. This means your body will hold onto fat to use as energy. If you do want to cut back on the amount of calories you're consuming, consider a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy, available in both chocolate and vanilla, is high in protein and low in calories to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Don't be afraid to indulge
If you don't give in to that sweet tooth every once in awhile, you're going to end up overeating later. It's okay to have that piece of cake or cookie, as long as you only indulge in moderation. This will satisfy you enough to stay on track with your goals and maintain a healthy diet.
Don't cut out carbohydrates
The myth behind carbs is that they turn into sugars and are then stored as fat. However, it's not the carbohydrates that are making you gain weight, it's the extra calories. Consuming too much of any food can have the same effect. Instead, consume your carbs in moderation. According to Real Simple, dieters recommended two or three ounces of uncooked noodles per person per day.
Don't forget about fats
Fats tend to have a negative connotation surrounding them. However, not all fats are bad. Polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, seeds and fatty fish can stop you from feeling hungry. Monounsaturated fats also help to lower cholesterol and increase heart health. Avocados and peanut butter are packed with these good fats.
Do include protein
Protein is essential for building muscle mass, reducing cravings and keeping you full longer. Turkey, fish cheese, beans, eggs and yogurt are all great sources of protein. Adding a bit of Pea Protein powder is another easy way to get your daily intake of protein.
Do have some snacks in between meals
Eating in moderation in between meals can help boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. Even just 250 to 400 calories may aid in weight loss. Great foods to snack on when you're hungry are yogurt, whole grain toast with almond butter, soup, steamed veggies or oily fish.
Do add some heat to your diet
Incorporating a little spice into your diet may have positive effects regarding your metabolism. According to FitDay, spicy foods may provide a temporary rise in metabolism, which may help to suppress appetite.
Do set realistic goals
Give yourself ample time to reach your goals of slimming down. You're not going to achieve celebrity looks overnight. Take each little accomplishment during the day as a win, even if it's turning down a cheeseburger in place of a salad.
According to the American Heart Association, individuals must adhere to these seven factors in order to keep a healthy heart: be physically active, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, have healthy cholesterol levels, keep a healthy blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels and steer clear of smoking. Adhering to these factors may help you to maintain better overall health and keep your heart in good shape.
Take care of your teeth
Many don't immediately associate clean teeth with a healthy heart. However, there may be a link between heart health and less than optimal tooth health. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, one out of every two adults aged 30 and over has poor tooth health, which is associated with decreased cardiovascular health. To keep clean teeth and gums, floss and brush regularly and make sure that you're scheduling dentist appointments at least twice a year for regular check-ups.
Enjoy dark chocolate in moderation
Snacking on this sweet treat may actually have cardiovascular benefits. One square of dark chocolate a day may be good for your blood pressure and promote a healthy heart. Just be sure to indulge in moderation and stick to chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao.
Manage your stress
Stress is often unavoidable in everyday life, but it can be managed. Find an activity that relaxes you, whether it's taking a hot shower, being with family and friends, or watching TV. Stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors like drinking, smoking and overeating, all of which have a negative impact on the heart.
Catch enough z's
Getting an adequate amount of sleep can have positive effects on your health. Lack of sleep raises levels of a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to inflammation and causes plaques to break apart and travel to the heart. Getting enough sleep may also help to lower cholesterol by lowering LDL levels. For a better night's sleep, try limiting your food and beverage intake before bed. When you eat, your metabolism increases slightly, which can increase your energy levels and make it a bit harder to fall asleep. It may also help to create an environment that prepares you for sleep. Elements like relaxing music, soft lighting and comfortable bedding may make all the difference.
Exercise produces a wide array of health benefits, with a stronger heart being just one of them. Try to incorporate at least thirty minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Finding something that is enjoyable to you will make make physical activity more pleasant, so stick to exercises that you enjoy.
Everyone could always use a little more energy during the day, especially when the day is busy and life priorities demand attention. We know that sleep is hard to come by and there is only so much that coffee can do. But the good news is, you don't have to go through your day simply completing the motions. Here are a few ways you can find some more energy throughout the day and increase your productivity:
Combine coffee and naps
Short, 20-minute naps are often needed during the day to help refuel your body and keep you feeling refreshed. When you do take that nap, however, you may want to think about combining it with a cup of coffee. According to LifeHack, these two elements together can have a big impact on productivity. Coffee enters the bloodstream about twenty minutes after you drink it. So if you take a short nap, you'll feel ready to go upon waking up.
Drink lots of water
Water has been shown to enhance performance for even the most demanding endurance activities. Instead of downing sugary drinks like juice and soda, fill up on some good old H2O. You may tend to reach for the water more often if you make it fun to drink. Add some lemon, lime or frozen fruit to your water to keep it cool, add antioxidants and boost flavor.
Grab a lemon
Sniffing a lemon may actually revitalize your senses and leave you feeling more energized. The citrus scent from fruits like oranges, lemons and limes can stimulate alertness and wake you up. It doesn't hurt to incorporate them into your diet as well!
Eat the right foods
Unfortunately, greasy burgers and sweet snacks aren't going to provide you with the natural energy you need to take on the day. You will often feel sluggish and tired. Choose foods high in nutrients, like vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Other great foods that are going to give you a powerful boost include brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, salmon, yogurt and eggs. Eating the right foods is important especially in the morning so you can start the day off with energy. Try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and honey for a delicious kick to begin the morning.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Getting enough sleep to stay energized during the day seems like common sense. However, it's important to not overdo it. Sleeping too much can actually deplete your energy levels and make it harder to fall asleep later that night. Go to bed around the same time each night to get your body on a regular sleep schedule. The proper amount of sleep may also keep your immune system healthy.
Wear bright colors
Your mood and energy level can actually be affected by what you're wearing. According to Marie Claire, wearing darker colors promotes a more somber mood, while bright and fun colors can project a cheery mood onto others, which can give you an equally peppy energy level.
We often take our digestive system for granted. This vital part of our bodies is a core element of the way we function. What we put into our bodies determines what we get out of them. Our digestive system is largely responsible for our energy, performance, mood and overall wellness. With all of the always-tempting sweet treats and sugary drinks clouding our ability to choose healthy foods, it can be easy to forget that our digestive system can't tolerate just anything.
The digestive system is where vitamins, nutrients and minerals are absorbed into the body – factors like poor diet choices, illness, lack of sleep and stress that can lead to an imbalance in the bodily system. According to Francisco J. Marrero, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, highly processed foods can contribute significantly to maldigestion and irritable bowels. It's important that we take care of our digestive health and ensure that our bodies live up to their full potential. Here are a few small changes you can make throughout the day to take care of yourself:
Stress plays a large role in the health of your digestive tract. Although stress is a part of daily life, there are ways to keep it under control. Find what relaxes you, whether it's a bath, time with family and friends, or watching TV. Another easy way to manage your stress is to take a daily supplement like Symbiotics TryptoZen. This safe and natural supplement may help to manage stress and promote relaxation. By lowering your stress levels, you may be on your way to improved immune health as well.
Cut back on processed foods
Go through your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and take a look at what you have in there. Is most of it processed foods? You may want to consider replacing those with foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. The next time you go to the grocery store, read the labels wisely. Look for natural ingredients that you can buy on your own rather than preservatives like BHT, guar gum or artificial flavors.
Have some apple cider vinegar
Having just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal when paired with meat or protein can aid in digestion. Apple cider vinegar is rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes critical to digestion. Try mixing this into a drink or adding it to a salad dressing for extra flavor.
Chew your food
This may seem like an obvious tip, but when you're especially hungry, it's not hard to inhale your meal without actually chewing thoroughly. The chewing process is important and can aid in digestion. According to Active.com, properly chewing your food creates a greater surface area for digestion of other macronutrients. In order to slow yourself down when eating, try putting your fork down in between bites to prevent mindless overeating.
Naturade Probiotics 30B CFU is designed to improve digestion and may even aid in the absorption of nutrients. When nutrients are absorbed properly, you may experience a boost in metabolism and energy levels. Probiotics work to add good bacteria back into you system to keep your body healthy.
Losing weight means starting your day off right. When you're presented with sugary morning snacks and the always tempting snooze button, shedding those pounds can pose as quite the challenge. But you don't have to be a morning person to start the day off right and get yourself one step closer to getting trim. With the right approach, you can make your mornings the best part of your day.
Start with exercise
Once that alarm goes off in the morning, your immediate reaction is likely to hit the snooze button. However, getting out of bed and exercising straight away in the AM may give you more benefits than you realize. Working out gives your metabolism a kick and keeps it elevated for hours. By exercising in the morning, you'll be burning more calories all day long. Aside from an elevated metabolism, you may start to notice that you have more energy in the morning after breaking a sweat. It sure beats splashing water on your face.
But here's the question everyone asks themselves: "How am I supposed to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning to exercise?" Women's Health magazine suggested resisting that urge to go back to sleep by sitting up and touching your toes. This simple action of bending your head down helps to bring blood to your brain and wake you up.
Have a healthy breakfast
When you have a busy schedule, breakfast often takes a backseat to almost everything. We've heard that it's the most important meal of the day, but often we don't think about what that really means. Just like exercise, breakfast helps to boost your metabolism. It also helps you make better choices regarding your diet throughout the day. By filling up on a good breakfast, you'll be less tempted to overindulge later on. However, you must eat the right breakfast in order to stay full and keep your energy up. Start your morning off with some fiber and protein. This could be a scrambled egg on whole grain toast or Greek yogurt topped off with honey and fruit for added antioxidants. With a healthy breakfast, you'll end the sugar spikes and inevitable moments of sugary weakness later on in the day.
Another great option for breakfast would be a protein shake. Naturade Total Soy can help you lose weight and feel great throughout the day. This tasty meal replacement shake, available in both chocolate and vanilla, is perfect for those with an especially busy morning routine. Whip one of these up in the a.m. for a quick, convenient and nutritious meal to start your day off right with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Sip on some green tea
If you normally have sugary juices in the morning or nothing at all, incorporate a cup of green tea into your morning routine. According to Fitbie, those who regularly drink green tea tend to have smaller waists and lower body fat. The antioxidants and caffeine in green tea may have an effect on how fast fat is broken down.
Being pregnant, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to keeping both your body and the baby healthy. Along with prenatal vitamins, regular exercise, adequate sleep and maintaining a balanced diet, ensuring that you eat the right amount of protein is vitally important. Among all of the nutritional advice being tossed your way, it can be easy to forget about protein and its role in developing your child.
Vital to growth
Not only does protein help you to grow, it is essential for the growth of your baby as well. According to What To Expect, at 37 weeks, your baby's brain is in need of materials that are going to help it grow and develop. Protein is what's going to build the brain and help it grow to be healthy and fully functional. Should you not get the recommended amount of protein in your diet, the baby will begin to break down its own tissues in order to get building blocks, preventing the both of you from staying healthy.
Natural Baby Pros said that a woman's blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy. Protein is what helps to produce the right amount of blood cells and aids the body in producing iron – a vital nutrient needed during pregnancy that helps you maintain a healthy immune system. Women often need more iron than usual when they're with child because they're eating for two.
How much protein do I need?
What To Expect suggested you consume three servings of protein (about 75 grams) everyday to help eliminate problems during the pregnancy. It's important to make a habit out of incorporating protein into your everyday diet. By eating the right foods, this can be made easy.
How do I get protein?
We all know that lean meats, poultry and fish are excellent sources of protein. However, Dr. Tom Brewer, creator of the Brewer Blue Ribbon Baby Diet, recommended getting this much protein by building your day around four cups of milk and two eggs. Not only are these ingredients versatile, but they're often inexpensive and will provide you with at least 32 grams of protein each day. And don't think eggs can only be scrambled. There are plenty of other ways to get this protein-packed staple into your diet. Try making a breakfast sandwich, French toast, stir-fry or some egg frittatas. Another easy way to up your protein intake is by consuming a protein meal.
One source of protein that many pregnant women rely on is fish because it's heart healthy, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of DHA, which feeds your baby's brain. However, it's important to keep a good eye on what type of fish you're eating. According to What To Expect, some fish contain high levels of mercury, an unfriendly toxin. Play it safe by avoiding fish from contaminated waters such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, fresh tuna, sea bass, tilefish, mahimahi, grouper and amberjack. On the other hand, fish like salmon, halibut, trout, cod and perch are safe options. You should also look to limit your fish intake to about 12 ounces per week.
While regular exercise is vital to maintaining a healthy waistline, what you put into your body can make all the difference. You don’t want to slow yourself down with calorie-packed foods and greasy snacks. By consuming the right items, you may notice a change in your waistline and even feel more energy throughout the day. Fuel your body before, during and after workouts for better overall health. Check out these foods to surround your workout regimen with vitamins, nutrients and protein:
Before your workout…
Coming into a workout, your body needs the energy to last through physical activity in order to get the most effective workout possible. Sports nutritionist Barbara Lewin told Shape Magazine that calories enable you to work out at your best. You really need the calories in order to perform well, especially if you’re planning on an especially intense workout session.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a workout is with a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy is an easy on-the-go snack and contains just the right amount of protein to promote muscle growth and stay energized. Available in chocolate and vanilla, this tasty shake is high in protein and low in calories, making it easy to achieve your weight goals.
Another option for a quick snack before breaking a sweat would be oatmeal. According to U.S. News & World Report, it settles well and provides lasting energy. You can also opt to add in some fruit for added taste and antioxidants.
Greek yogurt is another great way to consume a substantial amount of protein, and this snack will fill you up without weighing you down later. It’s easy on the stomach and provides you with a kick of energy. If you’re especially hungry and require a full meal, Shape Magazine recommended waiting three to four hours between eating and hitting the gym. Working out on a full stomach will only lead to cramps, discomfort and a less effective workout.
During your workout…
We all know that staying hydrated during a workout is vital. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the workout that we forget to reach for the water. Eating Well suggested drinking flavored water while working out because it may make it easier to stay hydrated than plain water does. However, beware of flavored drink brands containing loads of sugar, as that can add to the calorie load and slow you down. Instead, try adding frozen fruit to your water for added flavor, antioxidants and electrolytes that will keep your drink cool.
After your workout…
A workout isn’t finished without a proper snack to finish it off. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, consuming both carbs and protein are best immediately following exercise. Your body will use those calories for repair and recovery rather than fat storage. A glass of chocolate milk will help to replenish the energy stored in your muscles and promote muscle recovery. You could also opt for a banana and peanut butter for a similar effect.
Protein is essential in a diet due to its ability to repair and maintain the body. According to MedlinePlus, protein is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs and glands. Everyone needs protein to help repair body cells and make new ones. It's also integral to growth and development throughout childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. Many, however, have made the life choice to live by a vegetarian diet. Although this means one of the most protein-packed foods, meat, is out of the picture, it doesn't mean there aren't other delicious and viable options to choose from.
How much protein do vegetarians require?
Many people are under the assumption that we need mass amounts of protein in our diets. While it is essential for our bodies, we do not require large quantities of protein. According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, only one calorie out of every ten needs to come from protein. The amount that you require is largely based on height, weight, age, physical activity level and body type. Look to your general health to determine if your body needs more protein or not. Make sure your hair and nails are growing properly, your wounds are healing well and you recover fairly quickly from routine illness.
Protein-packed foods for a vegetarian diet
Vegetarians can meet their protein needs simply by including the right foods into their diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group created a sample menu to demonstrate how easy incorporating protein really is. For breakfast, they recommended oatmeal, soy milk and a bagel. For lunch, two slices of whole wheat bread and some vegetarian baked beans. A snack could include crackers and peanut butter, and for dinner, try brown rice, broccoli and tofu.
When you're getting a wide variety of foods, you'll be getting all the amino acids you may need to keep your body strong and promote cell repair. Here are a few other foods that provide a good dose of protein:
The nuts with the highest source of protein include peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews and pine nuts. They are also packed with heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. While these work well as a snack, they can also be easily incorporated into meals. You can add your favorite nuts to a salad, sandwich, wrap or even baked goods.
Pea protein powder
A protein booster, like Naturade Pea Protein, is a fast, easy and delicious way to get a dose of essential protein. Pea protein is a natural plant-based protein that is derived from yellow peas and is soluble, easy to digest and tastes great! Available in both chocolate and vanilla, this tasty shake is all-natural and contains no animal by-products, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It's an excellent source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans.
Whole grain carbohydrates are very high in protein and are essential for the growth of muscle. Quinoa is a protein-packed South American grain that has come into style in recent years as more and more individuals adopt veggie-based lifestyles. Quinoa can be cooked together with honey, berries and nuts for a healthy and balanced breakfast.