Sometimes, it's the littlest of changes that can make the biggest difference in your life and overall health. You don't have to start some fad diet or start bodybuilding to create the change you want to see. Here are a few simple swaps you can make in your everyday life to get on the way to a healthier you:
A meal replacement in place of fast food
If you're in a hurry, your first instinct may often be to run through the drive through or pop a frozen meal in the microwave. However, you'll be getting lots of calories and not many nutrients. Make it easy on yourself by whipping up a chocolate or vanilla shake. Naturade Total Soy is a protein powder low in calories and cholesterol and high in vitamins and minerals. With its amazing taste, you'll be happy you swapped your meal!
Greek yogurt in place of sour cream
If you love sour cream and put it on everything from potatoes to tacos, you may want to consider cutting your calorie count significantly by using Greek yogurt instead. Plain Greek yogurt has the same cool, creamy taste with a boost of protein and much less fat.
Brown rice in place of white rice
This simple switch can give you essential nutrients that you wouldn't be getting with white rice. It's high in fiber and may even lower cholesterol.
Oatmeal in place of sugary cereal
While childhood favorites like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Flakes may be delicious, they're coated with sugar and won't give you the energy you need for the entirety of your day. Instead, reach for the oatmeal. Don't be discouraged - this stuff can be dressed up to be just as delicious. Top it with a bit of brown sugar or honey and fresh fruit for a tasty morning meal that will fill you up right.
Cooking at home in place of eating out
When eating out, chances are you're not going to choose the light salad. You may go in thinking that, but when you see the menu packed with cheesy burgers and grease-laden hot wings, it's easy to give in. Save yourself the cash and the calories by eating in.
Chopsticks in place of a fork
It can be easy to start shoveling food into your mouth when you have a fork. But if you've ever eaten with chopsticks, eating that amount of food in each bite is a bit more difficult. It will force you to eat slower and maybe even help you realize when you're full.
Whole fruit in place of juice
By chowing down on a piece of fruit rather than juice, you'll be saving yourself lots of sugar and calories. You may also stay full for longer. According to Prevention, liquid carbohydrates aren't as filling as solids. Drinking doesn't require as much digestion, so the body doesn't register as full.
Nuts in place of chips
Before you plant yourself in front of the TV with a bag of chips, you may want to rethink your snack. Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats as well as other vitamins and minerals, while chips are often packed with sodium and unnecessary calories. Stovetop popcorn cooked with canola or olive oil (without butter and with only light amounts of salt) is another great snacking option.
Most people have a goal to shed the pounds and look slim and trim. However, some athletes who lose weight during a grueling season may be looking to pack on the pounds again through bodybuilding, while others may wish to gain weight after undergoing a medical procedure. Many associate weight gain with greasy cheeseburgers and sweet treats. While it would be great to indulge in all of those, your body wouldn't be too happy with you. There are healthy ways to gain weight and get to the number you want to see on the scale, no matter the reason behind bulking up.
For those that wish to build muscle for bodybuilding, it's important to up your calorie intake to keep up with the amount of energy your body is burning during strength training. The amount of calories you need per day can depend on training frequency, body type, gender, age intensity and goals. The bottom line is that you need to be taking in more calories than your body is burning to see results.
If you're looking to get back to a healthy weight after undergoing a medical procedure, you'll want to check with your doctor if you have any dietary restrictions. Your reason for wanting to gain weight differs from that of body builders. You'll want to eat snacks in between meals and gradually start exercising to increase muscle mass.
Seek out additional help
If you're not seeing your weight go up, bring in a little help with Naturade Weight Gain. Through just two delicious shakes per day, you may see your caloric intake rise and even see more energy in your fitness routine. Instead of being packed with sugar, this protein meal replacement is equipped with tons of carbohydrates, protein and natural enzymes. In no time, you may be on your way to your desired weight! Meal replacements are especially important when it comes to weight gain because they're designed for people looking to bulk up.
Chow down frequently
When trying to gain weight, you shouldn't go three to four hours without eating. Your body needs a continuous supply of energy to keep going, therefore, you need to fuel it to build muscle mass. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., of the Mayo Clinic suggested you add small, but healthy snacks in between meals to keep your metabolism up. Nuts, peanut butter, cheese, avocado and dried fruit should do the trick.
In order to gain weight properly, you'll want to spend time in the kitchen as well as the weight room. Lifting weight and strength training will bulk up your muscle mass. However, in order to see any significant weight gain, you'll need to increase your caloric intake to about 250 to 500 extra calories per day.
Cover various protein groups
Try aiming for at least three different protein groups. This way, your body has a wider variety of nutrients to work with throughout the day. Here are some foods that you'll want to include in your diet:
Salmon. When eaten twice a day in a regular portion size, the protein in this omega-3 rich fish can help increase your weight.
Peanut butter. Also high in protein, this soft spread is versatile and can be included on anything from bananas and bread to apples and crackers.
Whole eggs. Start off your day with this vitamin and protein-packed breakfast food to get you on the right track for weight gain.
Granola. According to Health Me Up, a bowl of this stuff can reach about 500 calories and contains nuts and oats that provide a bevy of health benefits.
Some may have heard about probiotics through various commercials on television, but many don't have an understanding of exactly what they are and how they help our bodies. Sure, they're good for us, but what role do they play?
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microscopic organisms naturally found in the gut that help the body build long-lasting immunity to a host of illnesses. Taking the form of bacteria or yeast, probiotics are believed to improve health by keeping the intestines healthy, assisting in digestion and even helping to promote a healthy immune system. One of the most common types of probiotics is lactobacillus bulgaricus, found in many yogurts and soft cheeses.
How do they work?
Digestive issues may occur when the balance of good bacteria is thrown off. Probiotics may help by improving intestinal function and maintaining the integrity of the lining of the intestines. They promote the production of antibodies, which can protect bodies from infection and help to build up a natural defense. Think of probiotics as superheroes in the body that defend against invading organisms.
What are the benefits?
A healthy immune system
Consuming probiotics in your diet may help you maintain a healthy immune system. With more probiotics in your system, it's harder for bacteria that cause illness to invade your body. Probiotics help to suppress the growth of that harmful bacteria, keeping you healthy.
Promote healthy digestion
Probiotics play a key role in promoting proper digestion and metabolism. They aid in the breakdown and absorption of food and fight off bad bacteria. Probiotics also promote regularity and help to keep an overall healthy digestive system.
How do I get them in my diet?
One of the simplest ways to up your intake of probiotics is through a supplement. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contain 30 billion colony-forming units, otherwise known as good bacteria. It may help to maintain a healthy digestive system, support your immune defenses and help to maintain a proper balance of bacteria. Studies have shown that bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, both found in this supplement, may support natural immune health.
Yogurt is also a great source of probiotics and is easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Pair your morning meal with some yogurt topped with fruit or have it as a snack in between meals and top it with some protein-packed granola. You can even use unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in recipes and meals.
Cheeses like gouda are another great source of probiotics and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Try topping your salad or soup with a bit of cheese for a boost of probiotics.
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.