Healthy Choices

Making Healthy Choices

There are simple choices you can make to help you find a healthier body weight. Knowing what is in your packaged foods is a great first step. So if you must use packaged foods you can choose the less processed options by reading and understanding the products label. Beyond the food labels you can male healthier choices when going out and in your daily routines. Choosing to follow some of these tips can go far in helping you obtain a healthy body weight.

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/reading-food-labels

Reading Labels: A big part of healthy eating is understanding what is in the packaged foods you’re buying.  Understanding labels and product contents is very useful for planning a healthy menu.  Reading product labels is a simple habit to establish that can ensure you are purchasing the least processed foods containing the least amount of chemical additives possible.  If you cannot pronounce what is on the label then you should not be eating it. 

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Relying on Crash Diets: Determined to lose 10 pounds fast, you turn to a crash diet. Perhaps your plan calls for nothing but grapefruit or cabbage soup each day. You slash your daily calories to fewer than 1,000, and sure enough, the pounds melt away. But when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down. Once the diet is over, you have a body that burns calories more slowly, and you usually regain the weight.

Skipping Breakfast: Skipping breakfast seems like a simple way to cut calories, but it can make you hungry the rest of the day. This may lead to unplanned snacking at work and eating a supersized portion at lunch, making calorie counts soar. But breakfasts that are high in protein and fiber can curb hunger throughout the day. In fact, studies show people who eat breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Losing Track of Your Snacks: Maybe you count calories at every meal, but what about all those nibbles in between? There’s the bag of pretzels at your desk, the little slice of cake at a party, the taste of your son’s ice cream cone. All of this mindless munching adds up and could sabotage an otherwise well-planned diet.

Not Snacking at All: While mindless snacking can pad your waistline, thoughtful snacking may do just the opposite. People who eat several small meals and snacks a day are more likely to control hunger and lose weight. Snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich. Having a few nuts is a good, high-protein choice, and research suggests people who snack on nuts tend to be slimmer than those who don’t.

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Loading Up on Low-Fat: Low-fat products can play an important role in your diet. Just remember that low-fat isn’t the same as low-calorie, and it’s not a license to take second and third helpings. If you pile your plate with low-fat cake, you may end up eating more calories than if you had a smaller slice of regular cake. The best way to know how much fat, sugar, and calories you’re getting is to check the nutritional label.

Sipping Too Many Calories: When counting calories, many of us tend to overlook what’s in our drinks. This is a big mistake when you consider that some fancy coffees and alcoholic beverages have more than 500 calories. Even the calories in fruit juice and soda can add up quickly. What’s worse is that liquid calories don’t curb hunger. You’re not going to eat any less after a high-calorie drink.

Drinking Too Little Water: This is one of the simplest diet blunders to fix. Water is essential for burning calories. If you let yourself get dehydrated, your metabolism drags, and that means slower weight loss. Research suggests adults who drink eight or more glasses of water per day burn more calories than those who drink less. So try adding a glass of water to every meal and snack.

Ditching Dairy: Full-fat milk, cheese, and ice cream are taboo for many dieters, but ditching dairy foods may be counterproductive. Some research suggests the body burns more fat when it gets enough calcium and produces more fat when it’s calcium-deprived. Calcium supplements do not appear to yield the same benefits, so dairy may have other things going for it, too. Stick to nonfat or low-fat dairy options.

Taking the Drive-Thru Bait: The drive-thru is convenient after a hectic day, and you can always order the salad or other healthier option. But once you’re there, can you resist that milkshake or other treat? And if you allow yourself the ease of fast food once, it could become a habit. According to one long-term study, people who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds than those who had it less than once a week.

Weighing Yourself Every Day: Weighing yourself daily is a recipe for frustration and doesn’t yield useful information. It’s more important to look for a long-term trend with weekly weigh-ins. If your goal is to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, you’ll be satisfied to see those full-pound drops when you step on the scale. The result is more motivating than the confusing swings that may accompany daily weigh-ins.

Setting Unrealistic Goals: Telling yourself you’ll lose 20 pounds your first week is probably setting yourself up for failure. If you know you won’t be able to do it, you may never start your diet in the first place. If you diet and lose 5 pounds in a week, instead of celebrating, you may feel discouraged that you didn’t reach your goal.

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Drinking Ice Cold Drinks. Iced drinks reduce stomach acid temperature thus reducing the speed of the chemical reactions that breakdown food into molecules small enough to be absorbed. The higher the stomachs temperature, the faster and more efficient the chemical reactions occur. Most chemical reactions proceed at a faster rate as temperature increases. Food digestion reactions follow this general principle, but there is an upper temperature limit of about 40°C or 104°F, lower limit is about 10°C or 50°F. Ice is frozen water, which freezes at 0°C or 32°F, below the minimum for digestion. The inefficient breakdown of foods causes heartburn and indigestion, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption of nutrients, and damage to the bacterial flora of the intestines.

Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away. Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food. You’re also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that’s not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Consider whether you’re really hungry. Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it. When you’re done eating, you should feel better – not stuffed, bloated, or tired. Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably. Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Enjoy your favorite foods. Putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers ‘rebound’ overeating. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation.

Enjoy your treats away from home. When you need a treat take a walk to your local ice cream parlor or plan a family outing. By making it into an adventure, you don’t have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight. And for those times you just can’t get out? Stock the kitchen with fresh fruit, which can be every bit as delicious as any other dessert.

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Eat several mini-meals during the day. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging. Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight. Divide your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as you can early in the day – dinner should be the last time you eat.

Eat protein at every meal. Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control. Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss.  Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

Spice it up. Add spices or chilies to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won’t eat as much. When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods. Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You’ll be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes.

Order children’s portions at restaurants. When you are eating out, order a child’s pizza or a small sandwich as an easy way to trim calories and get your portions under control. Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

Eat foods in season. When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables are more flavorful, at their best, and you won’t be disappointed.

Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables. Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year. You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables.

Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress. Sooner or later, you’re going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you. Reading a few chapters in a novel, listening to music, writing in a journal, practicing meditative deep breathing, or looking at a photo album of loved ones can help you feel calm without filling your stomach.

Be physically active. Although it may seem counterintuitive, don’t use exercise either to punish yourself for eating or to “earn” the right to eat more. When you do, it sets up a negative thought pattern, which is why so many people say they hate to exercise. Instead, focus on how great you feel, how much better you sleep and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, so keep it positive and build a lifelong habit.

Your Health

Personalized Health & Wellness

Many of us are always on the look out for new and better ways to be healthy and happy. What we don’t realize is, there isn’t a new and better way. Health and wellness are so individualized that the process of obtaining it must be personalized. We all know there are common elements that create health and wellness. These elements are essential components of health and include diet, exercise and mental simulation. Each of those elements vary greatly by individual.

Our health and wellness as we age depend greatly on the choices we make when we are younger. Everything we do to our bodies as we grow up catches up with us as we grow old. Yet there are choices we can make that can reduce the damage we have done. There are many examples of people healing themselves through drastic lifestyle changes.

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Personal health and wellness depends completely on three basic factors. What we put into our mind and body controls what we get out of them. Finding balance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ intake helps the body to maintain balance or homeostasis. Using our body and mind every day ensures both will continue to work for us far into the future.

We Get Out of Our Body What We Put Into It

At the base of everything, our physical and mental function depend totally on how we nourish the body. If we are filling out gut with hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and highly processed grains and sugars (simple carbohydrates) we are missing out on essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are those necessary for healthy and balanced mental and physical function.

We see them listed all of the time on our multivitamins. What we don’t realize is that we only absorb about 10-20% of the nutrients in a multivitamin, even with food. We must get a natural combination of nutrients that are already optimized for complete absorption. These natural combinations of nutrients come from WHOLE and FRESH foods, NOT fortified and reconstituted foods.

Fresh Whole Foods

We all should know what fresh foods are. These are foods that are raw when you consume them or prepare them for cooking. They include, of course, raw meat and produce, but can also include raw oils, honey, grains, nuts and seeds. These foods have not been processed in any way so they contain a wide variety of nutrients that are easily absorbed and utilized by the body.

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We are not considering where these foods were grown or how they were fertilized or nourished. We are only comparing fresh and raw foods to processed and packaged convenience foods. There is considerable difference in the nutrient density of organic foods as compared to commercially grown or GMO crops. The difference is not always cost effective for the average family.

Raw foods are the more nutrient dense than processed foods, plain and simple. Nutrient density is determined by the amount of nutrients by weight that you obtain from the food when consuming it. Some nutrients are always lost in the cooking or packaging process. Go raw first. Then if you don’t like the taste, try it cooked. Home cooked foods are still more nutrient dense than processed and packaged convenience foods. Even home made chocolate chip cookies.

Taking the time to prepare and cook raw foods at home not only helps you to use your mind to think and do but also helps you to control your weight. This is because you know exactly what is going into your body and you are burning calories while preparing it. Learning new recipes and techniques can help stimulate your mind while nourishing your body.

Maintaining Our Mental Health

Our mental health does rely on our nutrient consumption, especially as we age. The more nutrients we consume and utilize at a younger age the healthier our brain cells will be for longer. In other words, nutrition is one large part of the fountain of mental youth.

Beyond nutrition our mental health also depends on how we use our brain throughout life. If we use our brain for more than television and social media we find it lasts longer and functions better overall. This can be anything from painting to reading, playing music to sculpting, or dancing to day dreaming. Anything you put your mind to. To invent, create and inspire is to develop new pathways and strengthen connections in the brain.

Devoting yourself to learning something new every day will ensure your brain continues to do everything you and your body need it to do.

Finding Balance

Sometimes finding balance is hard. We struggle to be ‘good’ about our choices in lifestyle and diet. ‘Good’ is a broad word and it can mean very different things for different people. To help us determine better ways to be healthy we will leave out the terms good and bad and maybe consider them as more and less. We can have more fresh, raw and unprocessed foods and less fast and convenient foods. We can drink more water and less coffee or soda. We can read more books and watch TV less. We can exercise more and sit less.

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Choosing the more side, you really do get more; more food, more water, more activity, more learning, more experiences. Making these choices are all individualized and yet they follow all of the same basic rules. Feed your body and mind more. Yes more!

Mother Jai’s Can Help

With Mother Jai’s Natural Products and your healthy lifestyle choices you can get a lot more out of your health and wellness. Aromatherapy is a great natural way to boost immune function, soothe mental stress, and heal bodily injury. Without chemical preservatives or stabilizers. Without interfering with treatments that are already working for you.