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Inflammation

Inflammation in the body, types, causes, and treatment

Inflammation, a natural process, is a part of a defense mechanism that heals your body and fights against things that harm it. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about inflammation, including its types, causes, and treatment. So let’s get straight into it.

Definition of inflammation

Inflammation is a body’s immune system’s response to an irritant. It is a body’s way to protect itself from illness, infection, and injury. When foreign invaders or germs attack your cells and damage it, your body releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system. This response may include the increased blood flow to the affected part and the release of proteins and antibodies.

So when the foreign invader attacks the body, it launches the biological response to try to remove it. It also serves as a system initiating the eradication of agents and damaged tissues.

Types of inflammation

Acute Inflammation (short-lived): Acute inflammation is also known as a short-lived inflammation that can disappear quickly. It often resolves in a few hours, days, or maximum in a week. Acute inflammation often causes signs such as redness, swelling, heat, or pain. But mind you, these signs are not always present. Sometimes inflammation is silent, and a person may also feel tiredness or fever without having any symptoms.

Chronic Inflammation (long-lasting): Chronic Inflammation occurred inside the body without any prior-noticeable symptoms. It can also happen when there is no injury and last for several months or years. Chronic inflammation signs are usually subtler. These symptoms include rashes, fatigue, mouth sores, chest pain, abdominal pain, or fever. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. It can also happen when people are obese or under stress
This type of inflammation may result in autoimmune disorders & prolonged stress. It can also lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms

The common signs of Inflammation.

Pain
Redness
Swelling
Heat
Loss of function

Sign of long-term Inflammation

Here are the signs that medical practitioners often associate with long-term or chronic inflammation.

Insomnia
Constant Fatigue
Body pain
Depression
Anxiety
Mood disorder
Stress
Frequent infection
Gastrointestinal issues
Weight gain
Weight loss and anemia

Causes of inflammation

When a physical factor triggers an immune reaction, Inflammation happens. Inflammation does not necessarily mean that there is an infection, but infection can cause inflammation.
Bacteria and infectious agents are the most common stimuli of inflammation. It is considered that viruses raise the inflammation by getting into the body and destroying the cells whereas, the bacteria release a particular substance “endotoxins” that can initiate inflammation.

Several other things can cause inflammation, include:

Pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi
Exposure to an irritant or foreign materials your body can’t eliminate easily
The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues
Lack of nutrients or oxygen tissues required
Loss of blood flow to the area
Effects of radiation or chemical
Untreated infection or injury
Certain medication

Food Ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body

It may hard to resist chocolate bars, pastries, cakes, and other desserts. However, scientists have hypothesized that consuming a high amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup can be quite harmful that may lead to obesity and diabetes. Studies have also shown that a high intake of refined carbs, such as white bread, can also contribute to inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and stress are other possible culprits. Furthermore, processed foods, frozen breakfast products, fast foods, and other fried products that contain trans fats are known to trigger systemic inflammation. Experts also believe that an inactive lifestyle that includes a lot of sitting and an unhealthy diet may also contribute to inflammation.

Is inflammation good or bad?

Inflammation may play a vital role in healing the body, localizing and eliminating harmful factors, and removing damaged tissues, but having long term inflammation may increase the risk of various diseases and makes your body vulnerable against bacterial and germs attack resulting in a weak immune system. As the immune system doesn’t work up to the mark, in this case, an inappropriate immune response may give rise to a damaging and prolonged inflammatory response. It leads to the development of several severe diseases, including cancer, arthritis, periodontitis, and rheumatoid.

How are inflammatory Diseases diagnosed?

There is no single test that can diagnose inflammatory disease. While visiting a doctor based on symptoms, your doctor may require your medical history to start examining along with bloodwork.

How to reduce inflammation

The things you eat and drink can also play a role in Inflammation. You can reduce its level by just changing your diet. By avoiding sugar, processed foods, excessive oil, and fats, you can put yourself on track to heal.
There are foods that are proven to be useful in fighting-inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods include:

Mushroom
Avocados
Tomatoes
Green tea
Leafy green vegetables
Fruits (oranges, berries, and cherries)
Fatty fish (mackerel, tuna, and salmon)
Spices (turmeric, clove, and ginger)

You can further help reduce-inflammation by taking supplements and choosing a balanced diet.

It’s easier to start when you have a set diet plan in front of you. People often get confused about what menu they should take and how much they should eat to keep things balanced.
If you also are not sure what to eat in Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, nothing could be better than consulting a dietitian nutritionist. Cheryl is a registered dietitian nutritionist and will help you to prepare an anti-inflammatory diet by listing out and incorporating foods with beneficial effects at every meal.
So what are you waiting for? To get a Perfect and detailed diet plan to get things started, BOOK A SESSION with her now.

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Foods to Stock Up on During COVID19

You may be finding it challenging lately to purchase the right mix of healthy foods during this pandemic. I wanted to put together a list of food sources you can stock up on that are healthy and easy to incorporate into any meal plan without being perishable:

  • Canned Beans – lentils, great northern, chickpea, black beans – try to use low sodium versions and rinse with water
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • WG pasta or chickpea pasta like Banza
  • Egg noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut butter or any nut butter
  • Any nuts such as – Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachio, Pecans, Cashews
  • Soups- low sodium versions
  • Stocks – Chicken, vegetable, beef
  • Maple syrup, Honey, Agave
  • Olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil
  • Canned fish – Tuna, Salmon, Sardines
  • Canned green beans, spinach, etc- try to use low sodium versions and rinse with water
  • Salsa
  • Dried fruits – make sure they are unsweetened and sulfur dioxide-free
  • Granola

*Tip – remember you can combine brown rice with any bean to get a complete combination of proteins!

Let’s not forget that frozen foods are a great option for fresh produce as well…

  • Frozen berries or any fruits
  • Frozen vegetables – any mixture is good – Broccoli, spinach, green beans, asparagus, riced cauliflower, carrots, etc.
  • Frozen long grain rice
  • Frozen meats – Turkey burgers – I love the ones from Trader Joes!

 

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Immune Boosting Nutrient Needs During COVID19

Focusing on the immune system and proper nutrition, diet plays a vital role in building/maintaining a balanced immune system. A wide variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can have an impact on your immune system’s resiliency against infections. Make sure to include a mix of fruits and vegetables into your meal plan daily!

Single micronutrients can have many diverse effects on the body, but an excessive intake of some nutrients can also be associated with an impaired immune response. That’s why it’s important to obtain nutrients through the diet first and possibly look to supplementation to fill in the gaps where needed.

Nutrients – Vitamin C, E for immune support:
*Vitamins C and E help to protect cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals created during metabolism, toxin exposure, and pollutants.
Food sources of vitamin C include:
● Bell peppers (all colors)
● Citrus fruits (orange, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
● Tropical fruits​ ​(kiwi, pineapple, guava, mango, etc.)
● Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
● Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach)
● Cherries are a high form of whole food vitamin C

Foods sources of vitamin E include:
Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, avocados, squash, kiwifruit, trout, shrimp, olive oil, wheat germ oil, and broccoli.

Immune Nutrients Vitamin A, Zinc, B6, B12, and B9.
*Vitamin A, Zinc are important for the structural integrity of skin and mucosal cells.
*Vitamins A, B6, and B12 and folate (B9) are essential for
the composition of intestinal microbiota.

Food sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, fish (tuna), winter squashes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, and grapefruit.

Food sources of Zinc include:
● Seafood (crab, lobster oysters, etc.)
● Grass-fed beef
● Organic chicken (dark meat)
● Raw pumpkin seeds
● Yogurt
● Raw cashews
● Chickpeas

Food sources of vitamin B6, B9 & B12 include:
Green beans, whole grains, spinach, fish, bananas( B6)
Green leafy vegetables, citrus juice, legumes, tofu, tomato juice ( B9)
Milk, fish, fortified breakfast cereal, eggs, shellfish ( B12)

Immune-boosting nutrients Vitamin D3 (Calcitriol)- the active form of vitamin D helps to protect the lungs from infection by stimulating antimicrobial peptides in epithelial cells (i.e. cells lining the
respiratory tract), stimulate tight junction in the gastrointestinal tract.

Excellent sources of vitamin D include:
● wild-caught fish such as salmon
● fatty fish
● pastured eggs
● beef liver
● cod liver oil
● mushrooms

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Meal Preparation During COVID 19 – Getting Your Plant Based Foods In!

I don’t know about you guys but has mealtime been a challenge during the pandemic on ensuring you are getting all of your fruits and vegetables in? 

It has been for me since I am not able to get all my fresh fruits and vegetables due to the availability via online grocery shopping. I now purchase mostly frozen fruits and frozen vegetables to ensure I get my daily quota of plants based foods.  Below are some ideas on how to incorporate more plant-based foods during the pandemic based on the availability of fresh produce.  

 

Tip 1 – I encourage you to buy frozen fruits of all kinds such as all berries, cherries, mango, pineapples, etc and then purchase frozen riced cauliflower, frozen spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots, etc.  
 
Tip 2 – For breakfast, I used to make an omelet with many fresh vegetables in it like spinach, broccoli, kale, and onions along with w/ a side fresh berries but due to the situation, I have had to make other foods such as smoothies to get my fruits & vegetables in.  For my smoothie, I use any shelf-stable nut milk, frozen riced cauliflower (as its color and tasteless), along with any frozen fruits I am in the mood for and some gluten-free oats to help amp up the fiber content.   
 
Tip 3 – I have been utilizing more shelf-stable foods which have led to buying items like canned beans, canned vegetable soup, instant brown rice, quinoa, peanut butter, oatmeal, unsweetened nut milk (shelf-stable or canned), nuts and bananas.  Ideas on how to incorporate these foods below:
 
  • Canned beans, such as great northern with some instant brown rice served with some cooked frozen broccoli
  • Canned vegetable soup with adding in some frozen spinach and quinoa until its cooked.
  • Overnight oats by mixing GF oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk & peanut butter altogether and put into the fridge overnight.  Take out in the morning and top with cinnamon, bananas, thawed berries, and nuts of choice.  
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Nutrition as we age

Nutrition as we age

Eating to fuel our bodies is especially important as we age as it can affect how we feel but also help us to maintain healthy body weight and condition our bodies to fight off infection and reduce the risk of developing diseases.

As we age our muscle mass naturally decreases with age, which causes the metabolism to slow down. This means that you don’t need as many calories to sustain your lifestyle.  Therefore, it’s important to personalize your caloric and nutritional needs based on if you need to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Specific nutrients needed for our bodies to keep us healthy through the aging process include potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and dietary fiber.

Foods important to eat to support healthy bones as you age and protect against developing osteoporosis, and bone fractures it’s important to eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin D – food sources include fortified milk and milk products, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna and fortified cereals.

Calcium – food sources include milk and other dairy products, some forms of tofu, dark-green leafy vegetables, soybeans, canned sardines and salmon with bones, and calcium-fortified foods.

Foods important to eat to support healthy skin as you age are foods that are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanin.  Also, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega 3 fatty acids are needed as well.

Antioxidants rich foods do well when combined with vitamin C foods for collagen production.

Vitamin C – Blueberries, Spinach, Tomatoes, Red bell peppers, pomegranates

Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, broccoli

Omega 3 fatty acids – Fatty fish – salmon & sardines, walnuts

Vitamin E – Fatty Fish, avocados

 

Foods important to eat to protect heart health as you age, which will reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease can be done by eating foods that protect your body from developing these diseases with the promotion of consuming more plant-based foods.

A diet utilizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based protein, lean animal protein, and fish are good sources of nutrients from vitamin A, vitamin C and unsaturated fats which can help to lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Some examples of heart-healthy foods are: Oatmeal, legumes, salmon, nuts and seeds, strawberries, grapes, spinach, legumes, berries, olive oil, avocados

 

Other important foods to eat to support healthy aging are:

Protein – It’s important to add protein to our diet as we age because our muscle mass naturally decreases, and you want to prevent muscle wasting.  Specific foods that are good sources of protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy products, legumes, tofu, and tempeh.

Vitamin B12 – Some people over the age of 50 have trouble absorbing the vitamin B12 found naturally in foods. Therefore, you may need to take vitamin B12 supplements and or eat foods fortified with this vitamin. Foods to focus on are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy such as milk, and fortified breakfast cereals. If you are eating non-animal-based foods incorporating nutritional yeast and certain fortified non-dairy kinds of milk will be good.

Potassium – Potassium is a mineral that helps muscles contract, regulate fluid and mineral balance in body cells, and helps to maintain normal blood pressure by limiting the effect of sodium and bone loss as we age.  Many different fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy foods contain potassium. Foods high in potassium include bananas, dried apricots, lentils, and potatoes.

Magnesium – Magnesium keeps your immune system, heart and bones/bone density strong.  It’s a mineral generally found in foods containing dietary fiber, such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds. Breakfast cereals and other fortified foods often have added magnesium. Magnesium is also in tap, mineral or bottled drinking water.

Probiotics – can help with keeping you regular and strengthen the immune system.  Food sources you can get them from are fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut.  You can take supplements if fermented foods are not your thing.

Fiber – helps protect against strokes, helps you stay regular with bowel movements, and lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Consuming foods such as fruits and vegetables will help you meet your daily fiber needs.

The importance of drinking water and staying hydrated as we age…

Staying hydrated helps to maintain every system in our body to work from cells functioning, to our body’s ability to fight off infection and prevent dehydration.

Also, as we age dehydration can occur as the kidneys become less able to hold water. Individuals’ water intake varies based on one’s physical activity and exposure to heat.  If it’s warmer outside, there is an increased risk of dehydration, especially in older adults. It is good to consume ~9 cups of water a day

Lastly, general tips for a healthy, balanced diet as you age…

Promoting a more plant-based diet, along with including whole grains, lean protein is key to helping with the aging process no matter if your 40, 50 or 60+ years old.

Its recommended that incorporating more whole foods into your diet while reducing the number of processed foods consumed from our diets.  I also like to promote individuals to include more plant-based meals by making half your plate full of fruits & vegetables and whole grains.  The key to good health is consuming a variety of foods to ensure we get a wide array of nutrient-dense foods that are high in nutritionally.

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Immune Boosting Foods

Building Your Immunity During COVID-19

If you are wondering how to eat during the pandemic in order to build your immune system, then I have some tips on what types of foods you can include in your meal plan:

Immune Boosting Foods and Supplements:

Probiotic and Prebiotic Food Sources:

Probiotics are live bacteria that have health benefits, such as fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, supplements*
Prebiotics are food for the probiotics, such as beans, asparagus, garlic, onions, banana, oats, apple, flax. All whole plant foods contain prebiotics

Vitamin C Sources: Immune Boosting fruits and vegetables

Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit
Tropical fruits: kiwi, pineapple, guava, mango
Berries: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry
Bell peppers: green, yellow, orange, red
Other vegetables: cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach

Zinc Food Sources:

Legumes and Beans: lentils, chickpeas
Seeds: sesame, pumpkin, hemp, quinoa Shellfish: shrimp, oysters,
Dark Chocolate
Nuts: cashews, almonds, pine nuts
Animal protein: chicken thighs, grass-fed beef, liver, venison

Vitamin D3 Food Sources:

Wild-caught fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel
Pastured eggs [yolks]: pastured eggs contain 3- 4x higher vitamin D levels vs. non-pastured
D3 supplement*: the active form of vitamin D Mushrooms

Remember that some of these foods contain antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the body and play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy. I recommend following a Mediterranean diet, as it incorporates many of the nutrients discussed above and are great immune foods to eat.

If you are quarantined and it’s not possible to get out and purchase fresh deep-colored fruits and vegetables, then purchase frozen fruits and vegetables, and place them in the freezer, and add them into a smoothie or dish when you are ready to use them.

*Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

*Recipe for Greens and Beans –
1 can of 15oz great northern beans
1 tsp. EV olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
2 cups of spinach
Instructions- Sauté olive oil and garlic together for a few minutes, add beans and warm-up for 2 minutes and then add spinach and sauté until spinach wilts. You can eat it alone or serve it on top of Whole Grain pasta, quinoa or brown rice.

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Digestion and Your Body

Take a moment to think about your absolute favorite food. Did your mouth fill with saliva? Guess what! You just activated the amazing digestive system in your body. Your digestive system is incredible – and surprising. It takes about 1-2 days to fully process your food… and here’s how:

Things to remember: The G-I tract is made up of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. It is the tube that starts in your mouth and ends in your anus. Your GI tract contains helpful bacteria.

First, you think about food. YES- you just think about it, and your body starts working.

Then you chew and moisten your food with saliva to make it easier to process.

The saliva-mixed mushy food is called bolus. It moves from your throat to your esophagus.

In under a minute, your muscle contractions in your esophagus push the food through to your stomach which contains acid that destroys bacteria that the food may contain.

After 4 hours, that stomach acid breaks down your food further.

Your food, which is now liquid-y, it goes into the small intestine. The small intestine is a long tube.

Your small intestine converts that liquid into energy and fuel.

Different chemicals in parts of the body like the gallbladder, pancreas, and liver break down the energy into tiny particles that the blood can absorb.

After 1-2 days since chewing your food, everything that is nutritious in absorbed.

The rest is considered waste, and moved to the large intestine, which is a wide tube.

This waste is stored in the rectum, which sends a notification to your brain that something needs to be released.

Your anus can tell if your waste is liquid or solid. The external sphincter helps you keep that waste in your body until you find a safe place to release it.

Once in the bathroom, your brain tells those muscles to relax and the waste is expelled.

This system inside a healthy body works like a well-oiled machine. All the while, you are likely not even thinking about the work that your body is doing! It is like having a very trustworthy assistant.

Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or fitness program, especially if you are currently being treated for any illness or medical condition, taking prescription medication, or following a doctor recommended diet.

Take a moment to think about your absolute favorite food. Did your mouth fill with saliva? Guess what! You just activated the amazing digestive system in your body. Your digestive system is incredible – and surprising. It takes about 1-2 days to fully process your food… and here’s how:

Things to remember: The G-I tract is made up of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. It is the tube that starts in your mouth and ends in your anus. Your GI tract contains helpful bacteria.

First, you think about food. YES- you just think about it, and your body starts working.

Then you chew and moisten your food with saliva to make it easier to process.

The saliva-mixed mushy food is called bolus. It moves from your throat to your esophagus.

In under a minute, your muscle contractions in your esophagus push the food through to your stomach which contains acid that destroys bacteria that the food may contain.

After 4 hours, that stomach acid breaks down your food further.

Your food, which is now liquid-y, it goes into the small intestine. The small intestine is a long tube

Your small intestine converts that liquid into energy and fuel.

Different chemicals in parts of the body like the gallbladder, pancreas, and liver break down the energy into tiny particles that the blood can absorb.

After 1-2 days since chewing your food, everything that is nutritious in absorbed.

The rest is considered waste, and moved to the large intestine, which is a wide tube.

This waste is stored in the rectum, which sends a notification to your brain that something needs to be released.

Your anus can tell if your waste is liquid or solid. The external sphincter helps you keep that waste in your body until you find a safe place to release it.

Once in the bathroom, your brain tells those muscles to relax and the waste is expelled.

This system inside a healthy body works like a well-oiled machine. All the while, you are likely not even thinking about the work that your body is doing! It is like having a very trustworthy assistant.

Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or fitness program, especially if you are currently being treated for any illness or medical condition, taking prescription medication, or following a doctor recommended diet.

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Supplements / Vitamin Usage

Vitamins are very confusing for most. There are all these options and benefits, but more often than not, we don’t know how and when to use them. Let’s break it down:

Vitamins are grouped into 2 categories: Fat-soluble (stored in fatty tissue) and Water-soluble (must be used right away with the exception of B12).

There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs. Below, the vitamins listed in blue represent water-soluble vitamins, while the rest are fat-soluble. We’ve included the vitamins main functions as well:

Vitamin A: For healthy teeth, bones, and skin.

Vitamin C: For healthy teeth, gums. Helps with healing wounds.

Vitamin D: Aids in acquiring calcium for teeth and bones.

Vitamin E: Helps form red blood cells.

Vitamin K: Aids in injury response.

All B vitamins convert carbs to energy. They also…

Vitamin B1: For a healthy nervous system and reduction of stress.

Vitamin B2: Produces blood cells and helps the body grow.

Vitamin B3: For healthy nerves and skin.

Pantothenic acid (B5): Reduction of stress, hair loss, and heart problems.

Biotin (B7): For healthy hair, skin, nails, and metabolism.

Vitamin B6: For healthy brain function and eye health.

Vitamin B12: Essential for the brain, improved sleeping patterns, skin.

Folate (folic acid and B9): Essential during pregnancy, creates genetic material.

A good rule of thumb to obtain these daily vitamins is by eating a balanced diet and being mindful of what you are getting too much of or not enough of. Supplements can be taken to ensure balance. Seems obvious; however, it becomes complicated once you are faced with the task of determining what that diet is. To help you, we’ve listed a few foods associated with each vitamin on the following page.

Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or fitness program, especially if you are currently being treated for any illness or medical condition, taking prescription medication, or following a doctor recommended diet.

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How Nutrition works in your Body

It should be easy to keep energy levels high; however, lately it feels more like a fantasy than a reality for most people. What many don’t know is that energy – the thing that makes us feel alive – is dependent on what we are putting in our bodies. You may think that the extra coffee will make you feel more alert, but that coffee is a quick fix with long term consequences that leaves you short of energy in the end. Shortness of energy makes our bodies more susceptible to stress and even disease.

We are here to guide you on how to properly maintain your energy. Energy has everything to do with metabolism, which has a lot to do with nutrition. You need to eat foods with:

Vitamins

Minerals

Antioxidants

You’ve heard the term “empty calories.” But what does that really mean? It means that the calories that you are consuming have a very low nutrient per calorie ratio. A candy bar may have 200 calories and hardly any vitamins or minerals. Half an apple + 1 tablespoon of peanut butter also has 200 calories. The vitamins and protein within that snack will make your body feel like it got what it needed, and you will be satisfied. The candy bar will just make you want another candy bar, or it will make you feel sick.

The time of day in which we feed ourselves is also important.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It starts your body off for the day by launching your metabolism.

Healthy snacking keeps that going.

A healthy dinner before 8 PM satisfies you for the night.

This may come as a surprise, but a “diet” is not great for you. It is actually truer to say “way of eating” or “fueling your body” instead of using the word “diet”. Because the word diet is often associated with restricting calories. The word “restriction” can sometimes makes someone feel limited. Think of how “fueling your body” makes you feel good! Your “way of eating”and the way you choose to “fuel your body” is something you should pay attention to, but counting calories does not help. It is why many don’t eat breakfast and then cheat on their so-called “diet” later with junk food. Pay attention and try your best to steer clear of candy, processed foods, and alcohol. If you can accomplish “fueling your body” with a nutritious,“way of eating”it will run itself without you needing to count because you will feel awake and satisfied.

Always consult your physician before beginning any nutrition or fitness program, especially if you are currently being treated for any illness or medical condition, taking prescription medication, or following a doctor recommended diet.

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Fitness, Performance, Diet, Lifestyle Balance

With all the chaos that daily life can bring, it can be difficult to remember that we need to take care of our physical well-beings in order to succeed. So many people forget how important certain foods and ingredients are. Did you know that eating an orange or apple will provide more sustainable energy than a cup of coffee? Did you know that studies have tied to a large consumption of fast food to depression? And more obviously, exercising produces endorphins which lead to happiness? We are our bodies, and we actually are what we eat. This blog is here to help streamline the clutter into a manageable plan to keep your body healthy.

It begins with your groceries. Ordering food or going to restaurants can feel easier, but one is never able to truly tell what is going into their foods (Additionally – grocery shopping saves you so much money!). The first thing you should do is create a list. This can be a list you refer to every week or you can change it up if you find cool recipes that you’d like to try.

When creating your list, keep in mind your necessary food groups and what kind of diet would work for you: Carbs, Proteins, Veggies, Fruits, Dairy and Fats/Sweets (think of amounts going from largest to smallest in that order). Think of actual meals you’d like to prepare and eat to avoid snacking. Allow yourself to have treats occasionally – frozen dark chocolate can be delicious! If you need a little extra help, there are a ton of food plans online and one is bound to work for you! Your diet should be specific to your needs. For example, if you are looking to burn fat you should incorporate more protein and veggies.

There are a lot of different beliefs in how to approach your meals but in short, eat when you are hungry but don’t overeat. If you want to eat 6-smaller meals, that is OK. If you’d prefer 3 regular meals and a snack – that is OK too! Keep your schedule in mind and plan ahead. Portion control is very important. Some of us have a hard time recognizing when we are full which is a learned skill.

Once you understand what you need in terms of food, begin to think about your fitness. Generally speaking, 30-45 minutes in the gym 3-5 days a week will do anyone good. It’s important to get a safe and productive workout. That means that you don’t overwork, but you work hard and properly. Once you figure out how to integrate that into your schedule, you can begin to target areas and alternate your workouts. Maybe you run as a warm up every day and work on arms and the next day legs. This of course depends on your individual bodies.

Within 3 days of eating clean and working out, you will find your mood elevating and your fatigue disappearing. It’s proven that living a healthy lifestyle scientifically produces more serotonin and sustainable energy. This means you will get a good night’s sleep after a happy energetic day consistently. Working out produces endorphins which give you even more energy and the ability to take on your world! And don’t forget to DRINK WATER.