Friday, November 15, 2013

Nutrition Education- What can I do Right Now to Improve My Health?

Getting on the “clean eating” band wagon can be overwhelming and very difficult.  It’s a huge change for most people.  If you truly want to improve your Health, most people do best long term if they choose one habit at a time to work on.  If you are unsure of where to start in your journey, there are 3 simple things you can do right now to start improving your health. 1.  Drink More Water, 2. Take a Multivitamin, 3. Take a Fish Oil supplement. These are a few of the easiest changes to make, but also have a huge health return. 

Water
Did you know Water makes up approximately 70% of your total body weight? It is an essential nutrient because its absence has a detrimental effect on health & survival.  Many body functions cannot occur without water. The body will not metabolize fat stores efficiently without adequate water supply. With proper hydration, endocrine gland functions improve, fluid retention is alleviated, kidney and liver function improves, and cellular toxins are more easily eliminated.
Plain cool water is usually sufficient for hydration purposes during heat stress or daily activities.  For exercise sessions longer than 90 minutes, or physical activities in hot environments, sport beverages can be used to replenish electrolytes and supply quick energy.  Water is important before, during and after a workout.

You can add fruit, lemon or lime juice to your water to flavor it up a bit. Make sure you are getting enough water every day.  Most people don’t realize that they are dehydrated. Hunger can also be mistaken for thirst very easily. You need at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each day.  So for a 140 pound person, 140/2 = 70 oz of water every day!  Getting 2 or 3 Liters or a Gallon if you exercise a lot or work out side is even better. Carry a refillable Gallon jug or refillable water bottle and figure out how many you need to drink each day.  Make it your goal to get more water in!

Multivitamin

If you have a perfect diet then you probably don’t need to take a Multivitamin.  Most people do not have a perfect diet to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need every day.  Taking a Multivitamin can help fill in the gaps to get you those important nutrients to help support a balanced diet.  Nutrition is the foundation for Health and Development. Better Nutrition means stronger immune systems, less illness and better health. Vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy immune system, promote the conversion of food into energy, support a healthy cardiovascular system, support strong bones, promote mental clarity, maintain normal metabolic functioning, promote healthy growth and repair of tissues, help maintain normal blood pressure and help maintain water and electrolyte balance in the body. There is no substitute for a healthy, well-balanced diet; however, in today’s fast-paced lifestyles it is important to ensure the body is getting the fuel it needs.  A lot of the Multivitamins on the market have unwanted fillers and ingredients in them.  I can recommend a few, but it would also be wise to talk to your Doctor about a good Multivitamin.

Fish Oil

There are essential fatty acids that we need every day, the good kind of fats that our bodies need to function properly. There are two types, Omega-3 and Omega-6.  Both are vital for good health.  Essential Fatty Acids are essential to our health and are required for many functions in the body, including cell growth, brain development, muscle activity, immune function, joint health and many others. Although some fatty acids can be produced by our bodies, “essential” fatty acids cannot. Because of this, our bodies rely on the food we eat to receive those nutrients. Omega-6 essential fatty acids come from vegetable oils and are being consumed more often because of the amount of fried and fatty foods that are being consumed in the western diet. The ratio should be 1:1 for the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids we consume. However, because of the decline of the amount of nutrition the average person consumes, the ratio can be as high as 15:1 in some instances. Even though omega-6 essential fatty acids are crucial for our health, these disproportions and increased intake of omega-6 essential fatty acids can be linked to cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. Studies have also shown that a low intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids leads to higher risk of depression and other mental illnesses.  Omega 3 helps promote cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, support mental focus and cognitive function, support positive mood and emotional well-being, promote brain, eye, and nervous system health, support healthy immune system function, enhance appearance of skin and hair, and promote optimal fat metabolism. Fish is an excellent source of Omega 3’s, but most people do not eat enough. So, a good fish oil supplement can be smart to take to start receiving all of these benefits. Most people need 2000-4000 mg daily.  Again, I can recommend a few, but it would also be smart to talk to your Doctor about any supplements to take.




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Many ways to eat eggs!!

Every week I make some sort of easy to grab eggs.  I have eggs every day.  They are a great source of protein!! I've found a few different ways I like them so I don't get too bored.

Scrambled- Sometimes I will do a mix of  eggs and egg whites (from a carton).  The whites have less fat and more protein.  I'm not always concerned with that, the yolk is still very healthy for you. But once in a while I do one whole egg to 2 egg whites. 
Fried- love my eggs fried.  Lately I love slicing onion rings, grilling them for a minute or so in butter or coconut oil on the grill and then cracking my egg inside the onion ring.  Add a little salt and pepper and yum! It's really good! My Dad use to make a whole in a slice of bread and crack the egg in the middle and cook.  :) Now I do it with Onion rings...haha.  Weird thing is I have never liked onions.  Now I use them in recipes and I can eat them with my eggs.  The one thing I don't like is slicing them.....ughh!! Tears for days!! Anybody have a tip for that?

Egg Muffins
What you need for Egg Muffins:
10-12 eggs whisked
 Cooked sausage or bacon, 
Veggies like chopped up spinach, onions and bell peppers or even grated carrots (chop them up real small so the kids and hubby don't notice much :)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together well.  Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop into a greased muffin tin. Do not fill to the rim.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until egg is set in the middle.
(Keep in the fridge in an air tight container.  Easy portable protein for anytime of the day!)


Poached Eggs
This is my new favorite because it's super simple & fast.  I usually boil eggs and keep them in the fridge for when I need them.  But, I hate peeling them!! These Poached eggs are so much easier!!

Grease your muffin tin, crack 1 egg into each tin, can also add bacon pieces, ham or spinach leaves to each.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or less if you want the yolk a little runny.
(Store in an airtight container in the fridge and you have a grab and go protein anytime!)


What is your favorite way to cook Eggs??

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa!!


I have this almost every night since it's been getting a little chillier here.  It's Fall and lately I love anything Pumpkin, plus the Chocolate and the warmth of it....hmmmm...so comforting! I love it! I don't usually follow any sort of recipe on a lot of things I make, I usually add things in until it tastes good :) So, follow this recipe and see how it goes.  If you need to add a little extra cocoa, pumpkin spice or stevia/honey to your taste then add and taste as you go. :) Good Luck and let me know how you like it!

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

*1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or other milk), I use Silk (It is very creamy if you use coconut milk. I like a mixture of almond and coconut milk)
*1 TBS cacoa powder or unsweetened baking cocoa (If I'm really feeling like a treat I'll throw a couple "Enjoy" chips in the cup to for an extra sweet touch.) :)
*1 or 2 small scoops Kal Stevia (it comes with a tiny scoop and it will last for quite a while)
{Can also use 1 TBS honey or pure maple syrup}
       *(I like to use Kal Stevia, it doesn't give me a headache like using too much honey or syrup can, doesn't spike your blood sugar and I feel like it doesn't cause me to want more sugary things after having it like some sweeteners do, it's the safest choice when it comes to sweeteners.)
*1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla powder (I prefer the powder)
*2 shakes of Cinnamon
*2 shakes of Pumpkin Pie spice
*Dash of Salt

Put all the ingredients in your mug and lightly stir.  Your Cocoa will most likely sit on top and not mix well until its warmed but it needs to slightly be seperated. Microwave for 1 minute or until warm enough. Mix really well and Enjoy!





Saturday, November 2, 2013

Food Prep for Success!

  When Clean Eating there is not another better tip that I could give besides FOOD PREP!! Take a little time, pick one day or 2 a week that you can make a few different meal options to have during the upcoming week.  It may seem like a hassle, but I promise you it's soooo worth it! Having something already prepared and easy to grab will make a huge difference in your "Clean Eating" lifestyle through out the week.  It's only one day of work that saves you for the WHOLE WEEK!! 


Pick a couple different main meals that you want to have through the week, use them for lunches or when you need a quick dinner.  Salsa Chicken, Monster Meatloaf, Taco Soup, Roast, Grilled chicken for salads, Turkey Muffins.... just to throw out some ideas. Make a couple sides: Sweet Potato Fries or Baked Sweet Potatos, Oatmeal, Brown Rice.  Cut up some Veggies so they are easy to grab and use.  Make sure you have fruit options for that sweet tooth.  Put a nice salad mix together to throw some Grilled chicken on top of.  I also boil up eggs for the week, peel them and put them in a baggie.  Boiled eggs are easy portable Protein!! Have some raw nuts available to snack on.  You can also make up some Homemade Protein Bars or Homemade granola bars if you are feeling extra ambitious. Now you don't have to think about what you will eat all week, it's so great to have it planned out and ready to go!!  I promise you if you get in the habit of Food Prepping you will not regret it!!


Here is an older post I wrote over a year ago on Food Prep.  My meal plan is a little different now, but this may also help! Check it out!

What do you like to make when Food Prepping???



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