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Nutrition and wellness is tasteful

  • Exercise

    Exercise is a benefit to every part of the body--mind included.

    Exercise makes you look better, lose weight, and lowers your risk of many chronic diseases, and slows down aging.

  • Healthy children, healthy life

    "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces--just good food from fresh ingredients."
    --Julia Child

    "If we're not willing to settle for 'junk living,' we shouldn't settle for junk food."
    --Sally Edwards

  • Food is medicine

    "Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine."

    "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
    --Michael Pollen

Monday, April 9, 2018

7 Mindsets That Will Radically Improve Your Life Right Now

One of the things that I've learned -- particularly over the past couple of years -- is that your mindset is so vitally important. I found this great article on Inc., by Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead from Within.

Are you motivated to kick-start Mondays into high gear or are you hoping you can just get by with simply getting through the day? Have you told yourself a thousand times that this week you'll get to the gym...this week will be different...this week is the start of a new you! We've all been there at one time or another, but how about doing what you can to reset your mindset? It can be done....

The following are 7 Mindsets that undoubtedly will get you motivated into making the most of your Mondays and for that matter, the rest of the week.

(1) Self-trust mindset. Wow, who knew you had it in you? Yes, confidence! Trust in yourself is absolutely key and despite any setback you may have -- and believe me there will be -- trusting yourself will get you closer to a goal that you've had in mind for awhile. Even if progress is slow but steady, believe that you are headed in the right direction!

(2) Goal-setting mindset. One of the many things I've learned from wellness coaching is that setting goals is an absolute must to improving in any area whether it is in your business, improving your eating habits or even reaching out more frequently to your social circle. Start by doing one small doable action on a Monday and see if you can keep doing that one thing throughout the week like meditating for 10 minutes or walking for 30 minutes every day or drinking 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day.

(3) Patient mindset. This one is hard, but oh so worth attempting to make it part of your routine. Think of how time moves so slowly, especially when we really want something now or want to be somewhere now. Stuck in traffic? Think of creating an affirmation you tell yourself or a song that brightens your day and gets you from going down that 'negative anger-mode when is this traffic going to end' mindset. Looking for a job or waiting to hear back regarding a promotion at work? Nothing can test your patience more than counting the minutes that go by, right? What about doing something -- even a small something to get you feeling more confident like brushing up on a job skill or enrolling in a class that can pay off in oh so many ways...

(4) Courageous mindset.  Love this one! No doubt it takes courage to do anything difficult or that can test your patience. Regardless, being courageous simply means you are going to do it anyway because you know that the payoff will be worth it. Maybe it is even stretching yourself to go to a networking event by yourself or scheduling an appointment that you are less than excited about making -- you will thank yourself by following through with it!

(5) Focused mindset. Go ahead and test yourself on this one. Imagine that you will be going on vacation with your significant other and some friends in 10 days but you have so much work to complete before than? Has that ever happened to anyone? By focusing on the here and now -- not 10 days from now -- keep a calendar for the next 9 days and stick to what is on the to-do list. Think of how good it will feel to know that you've marked off everything (or most everything) off that list so you really can enjoy that well-deserved vacation!

(6) Positive mindset. Start by being good to yourself and that means keeping a positive mindset. Even if you aren't at the perfect weight that you think you should be at (this is so misleading!) or you haven't moved up on the career ladder as you think you should -- staying positive can get you one step closer to reaching your goals! Time goes on and waits for no one so like it or not keeping a negative mindset will get you nowhere fast. Positive mindset is full of possibilities.

(7) Learning mindset. Many times we can get caught up with getting stuck in our own heads because we don't understand why something didn't work out like we've wanted it to do so. Again, whether it is a dream job that we have worked so hard to get or a place we've wanted to go, if it doesn't work out perhaps there is a good reason for it. There is no point in sulking over it -- that is a time waster! Move on and prepare yourself for the next adventure....

We may not always believe that we deserve that something that has happened to us, but mindset can pave the way to positive change if we let it. Embrace, get empowered and move onward....even when we don't always want to do so. At times, keeping that positive mindset makes the everyday stuff tolerable -- and sometimes that's all you need, right?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Exercise and Healthy Eating 101

One of the many reasons why I believe it is important to bring up a popular topic -- like exercise and healthy eating -- is because there are so many variations as to what people believe is the best answer. I'm sure most people would agree (I hope so) that exercise and healthy eating are critical components for optimal health, but how good are we at finding excuses not to follow through on doing them? So many excuses -- so little time, right? You hear it all the time at work, with a bunch of friends or even within networking events -- comments like: "How do you find the time to go to the gym so often" or "How annoying that so and so is getting ready to run another marathon" or "How does he/she look so good despite how busy they are"?

Why not start out with simple inspiration that not only may be recommended by friends, family or co-workers, but even more importantly, people who know the reasons why it is so important to exercise and eat well -- like nutritionists, exercise professionals and physicians. It really is amazing how good you can feel when you really take one step at a time to creating a healthier YOU.

The following are some reasons why healthy eating can and should be enjoyed:

  • Believe me, once you really start to see how well you feel after a delicious, balanced meal instead of a quick bagel and cream cheese, or gooey donut or pepperoni pizza, your priorities will change!
  • Again, once those habits that include regular chips and Coke change to healthier ones, you can and will experience how good you feel. Who doesn't want to feel good, right?
  • By the way, life is too short not to have a favorite food like pizza or a burger, but not so frequently! How about starting with once a week, then work your way up to once or twice a month? Put it on a calendar if you need to do so!
  • No guilt! Guilt is simply no good. How cool would it be to really enjoy an indulgence without giving guilt a second thought!
  • You'll begin to see food differently. The knowledge gained in knowing that food is not just food, but more importantly fuel that provides our bodies to be strong, able and balanced is priceless! Want to have an excellent workout that pays off in feeling great? Balance your food intake...
  • Know how a stone thrown in a pond causes a ripple effect? Now think of how sticking with a habit of eating well can lead to other habits that provide your body with more energy to be adventurous and even creatively adventurous while cooking!
  • Dealing with temptation becomes easier -- believe me. Again, like the ripple effect of those good habits, you will notice more and more how good you feel after eating a balanced, portion-sized meal as opposed to eating 'all you can eat' at the buffet. Simply put, upon feeling better, temptations are easier to deal with more frequently.
Some reasons why exercise and and should be enjoyed includes some of the following: 
  • You'll start to appreciate your body more. This one is important. You may not appreciate your body now or maybe you've compared yourself to someone with a body you wished you had, right? The thing is we have the one we have! By exercising regularly, you can begin to see how strong you are and notice how well you are sleeping too.
  • The everyday things like bending, cleaning, going upstairs/downstairs, and stretching becomes easier due to your diligent exercise routine. That is a good reason to continue, wouldn't you say?
  • Your confidence grows. Ever think of someone being positive and in a bad mood? No, didn't think so. There is something to be said of how confidence grows once good habits become regular habits as opposed to being sedentary. Who really sees a positive happy person just doing nothing? There usually is a goal in mind.
  • Lastly, your overall health improves. Especially as you get older and if you are good about keeping up with your medical/dental appointments, you'll see that keeping up on a healthy routine of exercise and healthy eating pays off in the end.
To learn about more reasons to keep up with exercise and healthy eating, check out the article here!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Can You Cheat the Aging Process?

Although people may be living longer today than in previous generations, quality of life cannot be emphasized enough. But, can we cheat the aging process? Let's take a look at a few tidbits of important information to consider.

There is a term called -- super agers -- which refers to a person who is an active senior citizen and whose physiology is years beyond what their average age group is currently. As you read the article, notice the stories of such individuals like Patrick Cangley who traverses great distances on his bicycle.

What has been discovered is that the exercise that Patrick has typically done for years has become less challenging and hence he's felt the need to 'step up his game' to further improve his physical condition. In fact, a recent study from a journal called, Aging Cell, indicates that people like Patrick who are lifetime exercise enthusiasts literally cheat the aging process by circumventing physical decline. How awesome is that!

Such impressive physiological results can be noted through a super ager's muscular strength, lung function and fitness levels which also results in far superior immune systems than people even half their age! By the way, further results in cognitive function are also greatly improved as seen in a recent Swedish study which consisted of 200 women from middle age up to their nineties. It was found that those women who were physically more fit had a reduced risk of dementia by up to 90 percent.

Further, for those out there believing that genetics has played them a bad hand, it does not necessarily dictate what their quality of their life will be in the end. There is so much that one can do to live a full life by even starting with making small changes that can add up to better physical and mental health. Through the science of Epigenetics, more credence is given to the affects of the surrounding environment and how it can alter and change us -- not simply through our given DNA. In fact, so much of how well we age can be seen through a cascade of good habits that include better nutrition (like the Mediterranean diet), adequate amounts of sleep, enough exercise and even positive thinking.

By cheating the aging process, one can only benefit from living a more complete and fulfilling life, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Paradigm Shift in the Diagnosis of Diabetes, Study

As one can well imagine (or not), we are living in a complex and ever increasingly demanding society that appears to be growing exponentially in ways that need our immediate attention. While there are so many advances in technology, healthcare, agriculture and more, there is an equally alarming growth in chronic disease.

Chronic disease includes a host of diseases and conditions -- including type 2 Diabetes -- that are long-term, costly and above-all largely preventable if we properly care for ourselves. As we see the continued growth of Diabetes for instance, we see that there is more and more to learn about how to live with it and better control it once it has been diagnosed.

Now it has been found that there is a paradigm shift in the diagnosis of diabetes as conducted in the the study found by clicking the link above which illustrates the overall complexity and need to better assess the way we live our lives. It has been found in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology medical journal that there are five distinct types of diabetes that can occur as adults. How will this change the way that this disease is managed and controlled? Will this be a way to better personalize the treatment of diabetes according to the individual? Is this where the paradigm shift is happening? Still so many questions that are left to be answered.

As noted in the yet another article, "Diabetes, for example, now affects 415 million adults around the world and often brings potentially life-altering complications such as vision loss and blindness, cardiovascular disease and amputations. Unfortunately, many older adults are being put at greater risk of the complications due to barriers such as long waiting times to see a specialist, a lack of education about the management of chronic conditions, lack of access to adequate screening and treatment, and high costs."

On one hand, we are living longer, but are we living better? What will it take to have enough people take notice and take control of their health and wellbeing? While education is critically important, we also need a society that supports more effective ways of providing healthier options to kids in schools, patients in hospitals, consumers buying food in grocery stores and more. Wouldn't that make a difference?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Surround Yourself With Good Peeps

When you were growing up, do you ever recall hearing your parents say something along the lines of who you spend time with the most is who you become? There are a ton of other sayings along the same line that provide the same message. In fact, here are 30 quotes on Positive Associations to Inspire You to Surround Yourself with the Best.

The same kind of message of associating yourself with the right people has a great influence on our success and career choices as well. Two of the richest and well-respected people currently have the same thoughts on surrounding yourself with the right people and four ways to evaluate how they can add value to your life. While it is important to eat right and exercise, it is just as important to add value and build great relationships that will empower you to be your best. Start with...

(1) People That Inspire You. No doubt life is short and we should and could be doing great things with our lives simply by observing and hanging out with people we admire and respect. This builds on ways we would like to see our lives going and how we can better set goals for ourselves. It's good to have the experience of others influence us to push on and be better.

(2) Push Us Out Of Our Comfort Zone. It's really like anything we care to do for ourselves with regard to being better at work or at home -- push ourselves to be better and yes, even uncomfortable at times. Getting out of our comfort zones can and will be challenging, but imagine how great it will be to accomplish goals that perhaps you thought you couldn't do?

(3) People That Hold You Accountable. It's great to have someone like a friend or colleague hold us accountable to what we said we would do. Even having a small doable goal to start with could add more fuel to doing more challenging goals -- especially when you know that those that are important to you know what those goals are that you want to achieve.

(4) People Who Make You Feel Like You Belong. It is so helpful and beneficial to have business contacts or colleagues that value what you do and make you feel like you belong. By having a good strong network of support, we can become better by each passing day...

In short, spend time with those that make you better.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Eat Healthy For Your Type 2 Diabetes Without Giving up some Favorite Foods

This can be tricky for just about anybody, let alone someone with Type 2 Diabetes. Does this mean you need to give up eating some of your favorite foods all together? Not necessarily. Before changing your food routine though, be sure to check with your doctor and/or a Registered Dietitian first on foods to stay clear from and others that still can be part of a healthy moderation.

After all, every person is different and even a variety of people that have Type 2 Diabetes have different tastes and needs. Perhaps some naturally like to eat more fruits or vegetables or what if they prefer to not give up meat all together? These are just some things to think about and certainly consult with a professional about too. But, here are some healthy ways that could potentially work for you...

(1) Ask your doctor about getting a recommendation to a Registered Dietitian that listens to your questions and concerns. As previously mentioned, every person is different and one may have a particular taste for steak on occasion or another person may have a real sweet tooth. How can they be accommodated with a diet that doesn't leave them feeling like they are missing out! 

(2) What about 'tweaking' your current recipes that you've been making over the years before you became a diabetic? Once again, ask your current health professional if there are ways to make healthier substitutions without leaving you all together 'hungry'.

(3) Practice moderation. This is a big one and very important. Many times once a person fully comprehends that they will need to make serious lifestyle changes, depression can hit. But, in consulting a helpful and wise health professional, many foods can be limited rather than completely eliminated. Here are some ideas: 
  • "decide how much you will eat beforehand and stick to that goal
  • put the portion on a small bowl or plate, rather than eating from a package
  • omit or remove high-calorie garnishes, such as whipped cream 
  • split a serving with a friend or other dining companion
  • consciously savor each bite, instead of mindlessly munching".
(4) Lastly, it's important to note that in order to keep your diabetes in check and prevent further complications, having good control of blood glucose levels is key. Hence, having some guidance from a registered dietitian can be extremely helpful, especially when it comes to making healthy and practical adjustments to one's diet. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

6 Secrets To A Long Life...Blue Zones style....

I found an inspiring article that adds further depth to last week's Blue Zones video post. The 6 Secrets (found below) -- which really are no secret -- are ways to improve our health and make the most of our lives as we age.

Some of the key 'ingredients' mentioned in the article include such things as focusing on the way we approach life on the day to day. Are we stressed? Are we healthy? There need not be some amazing cleanse or diet either, simply a better way of living.

The idea behind the Blue Zones began sometime in the 1940s when a Greek war veteran was provided with some unsavory news about his health. He was given a very grim prognosis and so he decided to live out his remaining days with family and friends in Ikaria, Greece where he can spend what time he had left of his life. As time went on, believe it or not, he actually became healthier. You can read about his story here. By the way, Ikaria, Greece is one of the five Blue Zones identified by Dan Buettner, the National Geographic Fellow and best selling author some years ago. So, how can these Zones be duplicated across the globe? It will take perseverance, effort and a willingness of many to start making sensible changes, but it can be done. Check out the following 6 Secrets....

(1) Eat mostly plants. We've all heard of inflammation in the body and how chronic inflammation leads to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, right? The anti-inflammatory effects that are provided by those plants can improve how good we feel and how productive we become. By eating seasonal, colorful and organic (as much as possible) our immunity becomes stronger and better able to fight off colds and flus. Minimizing our intake of meat becomes a benefit to us as well, although not completely off the table. (Try to look into good meat sources and portion-control as well).

(2) Find your 'Ikigai' (purpose).
The Japanese word refers to our purpose. Many times we may put our purpose on the back-burner because we have so many other things to do, right? But, what about doing something nice for yourself and something you've been meaning to do to make you feel better -- like reading a good book, meditating, writing in a journal or doing some 'random act of kindness'.

(3) Be social.
It is all about staying in touch! Frequent visits to family and friends and remembering to pick up the phone to call that friend that you haven't heard from in 'ages' because life has been too crazy busy is the best way to stay social. No doubt, you will feel better that you did and it could even put a smile on your face!

(4) Get outdoors.
There is something so rejuvenating about being outdoors, going for a hike or visiting friends at a little cafe by the water. Want to boost metabolism and fight inflammation? Try getting outdoors whenever possible -- even if it is to take a quick 15 minute walk.

(5) Resist the urge to overeat.
While this could be easier said than done, especially if it a meal you've looked forward to for a long time, take your time and really chew your food. In order to create the most pleasure in eating something delicious, stretch the enjoyment by taking your time instead of gulping it down because you are in a hurry. If possible, have the glass of vino and sip it while you speak to your friends or family. By making an effort to listen to your body, it will naturally tell you when you are getting full.

(6) Keep moving.
No, you don't necessarily have to go to the gym every day and work out for a minimum of an hour. Who has the time for that? The best thing is to continue moving and making an effort to walk as much as possible, squat, do sit-ups, dance, jog, run, weights or anything mobile for that matter. The point is to keep from being sedentary as much as possible. We typically make time for the things that are important to us. Guaranteed that by starting out slow and steady with daily movement, it will become addictive in a good way and you'll want to do more!

Friday, February 9, 2018

So, What are the Blue Zones?

I was recently asked what the Blue Zones. So, I'm attaching the link below with an explanation by the founder Dan Buettner of National Geographic. Worth a look...

Here Are the Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life