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Archive for February, 2014

a Chi Kung photo

Last week we talked about 3 major factors that make all of us at risk for heart disease – a diet lacking in fruits & vegetables, a sedentary lifestyle, and an excess of stress.  But you know that I’m not about the doom and gloom and scary warnings – I’m all about positive solutions! I have lots of suggestions for how to avoid these pitfalls.

Diet Tips

–       Incorporate fruits & veggies into your breakfast. Eating cereal? Throw some berries and bananas in the bowl. Love your morning eggs? Make a small side salad or some sautéed greens. Shaklee 180 smoothees are super-easy and nutritious, and delicious. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/1bLU2bA

–       Plan your meals ahead of time. Grabbing something last-minute sets us up to make a bad food choice. Plan ahead & make breakfast or lunch for the week, so when you grab-and-go, you’re grabbing something healthy.

–       Snack early before that afternoon slump.  If you always visit the vending machine at 3 PM, you probably can notice a habit of unhealthy snacking. Again, plan ahead! Mixed nuts make a great snack that’s a heck of a lot better than a candy bar – more filling and more nutritious, without any of the guilt.

–       Challenge yourself to eat an all-green lunch. Sandwiches are easy, but not always a healthy choice – all those carbs can actually cause that afternoon slump! I challenge you to make your lunches entirely GREEN this week. My favorite green lunch is a green smoothee (see the recipe at the bottom of this post!) and a side salad. A stir fry or medley of vegetables is great. Skip the bread and make a lettuce wrap for your chicken salad sandwich.

Walking Tips

–       Pump up your morning. You may not have time for a full workout every morning, but I think it’s great to just get your blood flowing. Do some squats or jumping jacks before you get in the shower. Do 5 minutes of stretching or yoga while you wait for your coffee to brew. Whatever you like to do to get your blood flowing works. It helps prepare you for the day and gives you mental clarity as an added bonus.

–       At the office, instead of calling a co-worker, get up and take a walk over to their desk.

–       Invite a friend on a 15-minute coffee break, and walk while you talk.

–       Run a quick errand in the neighborhood in the middle of the day.

–       Don’t just go to the closest deli for lunch – pick someplace that’s just a few blocks further away.

–       Skip the elevator and take the stairs.

–       Count your steps with a step counter – you can buy a pedometer or get an app for your phone. 10,000 steps a day is an awesome goal. Track your steps for an average day and see what you’re hitting. Then try to double it. Pick a number – 7,000, 12,000, whatever works – and challenge yourself to hit it. It can actually be fun to see how many steps you can rack up just running errands on a Sunday!

Stress Reduction Tips

–       Stress can take the forms of fun activities or a crazy work schedule – the point is, we’re just not letting ourselves rest enough. Remind yourself to pause. Give yourself permission to take breaks when you need them.

–       Start your day with a mantra or an affirmation. Here’s one that I like: “I relax in the stillness. I take a few deep breaths. Breathing in, I envision a perfectly healthy day of better food, more activity, and peace of mind. Nothing can disrupt the serenity I carry within me.”

–       Breathing is a really effective stress reducer. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step out of the moment and take 10 deep breaths. Fill your body with calming energy as you breathe in, and feel yourself releasing your stress as you exhale. You’ll feel much better.

–       Stretching, yoga, or chi kung are great for meditation and stress relief, as well as exercise.

–       How many of us are guilty of “stress eating”? It’s a cycle – the stress brings on the unhealthy eating, and the unhealthy food makes us less able to cope with stress physiologically.  Sugar is especially to blame. Healthy food makes your body feel better, and equips you to face stress effectively.

Shamrock Smoothee Recipe:

2 scoops Vanilla Shaklee 180

1 handful of spinach or green chard

1/4 cup pineapple

1 inch peeled fresh ginger root

12 oz cold water

Ice

Do you have other ways to add healthy foods to your diet, to add more exercise in the day-to-day, or to reduce stress? I want to hear about them! I’d love it if you shared your tips with me on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1iZDLDe

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heart-healthy

The sad fact is that today, in 2014, the typical American lifestyle puts most of us at risk for heart disease. A lot of people think that heart disease is solely genetic, but in fact 80% of heart disease is brought on by lifestyle alone. Here are the habits you need to watch out for.

  • Too much processed foods / meat / carbs / fat / sugar – there are 100 different ways to criticize the American diet, but I think they all draw the same conclusion – we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables! A diet lacking in fruits & veggies means a diet lacking in fiber and antioxidants.  Find creative ways to add those fruits & veggies to your diet – my next post is going to be full to tips on how to do that.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – we now know that spending more than 6 hours per day sitting down is dangerous to your heart health. We all work an 8 hour day, but it’s important to get up and walk around during the day to break up a fully sedentary period. Next time, I will share with you my solutions for how to avoid sitting down for long stretches of time.
  • Stress – Modern life is stressful and everyone copes with stress (some of us better than others). Too much stress in your life takes a serious toll on your heart health. What a lot of people don’t know is that “good” stress, like fun and exciting activities after a long day at work still add tension to your body.  We’ve all trained ourselves to keep our foot on the accelerator all the time. My next post will share some ways to help you ease up and let your body rest.

Over the next week, take a look at your lifestyle. Are you eating fruits and vegetables in every meal? Are you sitting down for hours and hours at a time? Are you giving your mind and body enough breaks from work and from play?

Look out for my next post next week to discuss my recommendations for how to solve these problems. Check out my website to browse products and supplements that can help you achieve heart health: http://bit.ly/unemfe

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How are you doing so far with your New Year’s resolutions? One resolution that is common is the one to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people set their weight loss goals too high, usually about 15 to 20 pounds, and become frustrated when the weight does not come off.
Based on human behavior studies, when someone wants to lose 15 to 20 pounds, it becomes a distant wish. However, short-term goals, like losing 7 pounds and being able to pull in one notch on your belt, wear one dress size smaller or your pants feel looser around your waist line, are more attainable.
Brad Lamm, the author of “Just 10 Pounds”, says short-terms are doable because having small goals creates a positive feedback loop that fuels your motivation. Therefore, just 7 pounds is a great approach to begin your weight-loss journey. Here are some examples of small changes you can begin doing:
  • Reduce portion sizes by 1/3.
  • Count calories. Your calorie intake will be based on your weight, height and activity level. Once you figure your calorie intake, become familiar with what that looks like, and don’t be too rigid with counting calories.
  • Change what you eat for breakfast, it will change how your whole day goes. Research shows that people who skips breakfast tend to eat more calories throughout the day.
  • Change your exercise habits. Here are two thoughts: Make a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day, and that can include, walking up the stairs at the office, cleaning the house, gardening, shoveling snow, etc.; and keep your body in motion throughout the day.

Once you begin to make these changes, you have become the person that made a commitment and kept it! Research also shows if you maintain this you can dramatically change the course of your health. According to a research conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the “Diabetes Prevention Program,” the group that managed their diet, did daily exercises, and changed their behaviorial habits vs. the group that just took their meds, lost 5% to 7% of their body weight and reduced their risk of diabetes by 58%. Think of the big health pay off for just making small changes.

A good program to start making those small changes is the Shaklee 180 Turnaround Program. It gives you one or two healthy meal replacements while you are learning to eat healthier and change your behavioral habits. Because the focus is on losing the right kind of weight, fat not muscle, the shakes keep you fuller longer, you have more energy, and you will begin to eat the right kind of food.
So if you are ready to make changes and get rewarded, join our “Just 7 Pounds Program” and become YOUR success story.
Live Live with Zest!
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