How To Return the UNWANTED Gift of Holiday Weight Gain

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Did you receive a package of unwanted weight this holiday season? Find out how to return it.

Returning the gift of holiday weight gain can be a true challenge for most women. This is why it’s important to try to avoid getting a holiday weight package in the first place! There’s no benefit to approaching the New Year with a lot of extra weight that you have to lug around all year.

However, if you do gain a little weight, it’s a good idea to know and understand the measures that you can take to eliminate those extra pounds before they become a problem.

You can learn all about returning the gift of holiday weight gain in the tips below:

Get Moving

One of the best ways that you can maintain your current weight through the holidays, or shed those extra pounds from your holiday blessing, is to exercise! You should strive to get at least four hours of exercise weekly. This may sound like a lot, but there are many exciting physical activities that will enable you to lose those unwanted pounds.

  • You can take a walk around the block to savor one last look at those Christmas decorations, go swimming in an indoor heated pool, or warm up in an aerobics or dance class.
  • Go up and down the stairs a few times. When you’re done, your heart will surely be pumping!
  • Learn some basic yoga moves and start or end your day with some deep stretching and relaxation.

Make Healthy Food Choices

During the holidays, fresh fruit assortments are a big hit and make eating healthy much easier. A good goal would be to eat five servings of fruits every day. When you snack on fruit, you’ll avoid the urge to sink your teeth into that hot apple pie and those other tempting desserts that tend to line tables and countertops when the holidays roll around.

In addition to fruits assortments, vegetable trays are a great, healthy choice as well.

  • With fresh fruits and vegetables, not only will you be able to eat plenty of foods that taste great, but you’ll also get your daily dose of essential nutrients and vitamins that assist in the many functions of the body.
  • It would be unreasonable to expect you to avoid all of the delightful foods that tempt you during the holidays. In fact, you shouldn’t deprive yourself at all! The key is to enjoy these sweet desserts in moderation.
  • Fill up on the healthy fruits and vegetables first and then ask for a small serving of pie. You’ll get a sweet taste without the desire to devour the entire pie.
  • Try to limit yourself to just one treat a day. Setting limits will allow you to enjoy all those seasonal foods that you love without causing holiday weight gain.
  • Share your cookies and treats with those at your office, church, or homeless shelter. If the sweets tempt you too much at home, share them with others.

Party Etiquette

Prepare yourself for social gatherings, family dinners, and festive holiday parties. The foods and beverages that you find at these parties are generally loaded with fat and other unhealthy ingredients.

  • Eat a healthy meal before going to holiday parties. If you’re not hungry, you’ll indulge in fewer unhealthy foods that can add pounds.
  • Focus on enjoying the company rather than on the food. Engaging in conversation will allow you to forget (momentarily!) about the food buffet.

During the holidays we all want to indulge in traditional holiday treats. Being conscious of portion control will help you avoid gaining a significant amount of weight this holiday season.

Returning the gift of holiday weight gain is much easier when it does not involve too many pounds. Using these tips will keep the weight gain to a minimum and help you to shed those few extra pounds very early in the new year.

Please Share Your Thoughts

In the comments below, share with us:
1. Did you gain any weight this holiday season?
2. Do you have a plan on how you’re going to lose it?

When You Eat On The Run, Choose These Healthy Fast Food Options!

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Fast food can be healthy if you make smart choices. There are healthy fast food options you can benefit from.

Sometimes when you’re out and about, you just need a meal fast. But you don’t have to resign to the fact that you’ll just have to eat unhealthy because you’ve chosen a fast food joint.

There are healthy alternatives mixed in among all the fattening choices. Your best bet is to learn what makes each item unhealthy and choose one of the healthy items. It’ll also help if you study the menus of some of your favorite fast food restaurants. You’ll most likely be able to look up their nutrition facts online.

Here’s a list of some things to look for:

  1. Grilled Meats. Grilled meats are a much healthier way of cooking rather than deep fried, breaded meats. If the fast food place you’re visiting has the option of choosing crispy or fried chicken versus a grilled patty, choose the grilled one.
  1. Skip the Cheese. While eating some cheese is okay once in awhile, you should avoid it when it comes to keeping fast food calories down. Order the hamburger instead of the cheeseburger.
  1. Healthier Sides. Some fast food places will offer alternatives to a side of fries. You should inquire about this because you may be able to opt for some healthy fruit or salad instead.
  1. Don’t Super Size. While it’s tempting to grab some extra food for just a few pennies more, it’ll bump up your portion size far more than you should be eating in one sitting.
  1. Diet Soda. Some women will laugh at the person who orders the big greasy meal and then orders a diet soda, as if it’ll make a difference. Well it does make a difference, but you need to avoid the big greasy meal in the first place!

Healthy Meals At Popular Restaurants

Here’s a list of some healthy choices you can make at some of the most popular fast food restaurants:

  1. Taco Bell. Taco Bell has come out with a “Fresco Style” menu that allows you to choose popular menu items in a lower calorie style. A menu item ordered fresco style will come back with a special healthier salsa and it’ll also lack cheese.
  1. McDonalds has made recent strides toward a healthy menu also. They now offer an extended list of premium salads. However, it’s still easy to get fooled into thinking something is healthy when it really isn’t. Make sure you use a low fat dressing on your salad and opt for the grilled chicken. If you grab the ranch and crispy chicken, you may as well be ordering a Big Mac!
  1. Subway. This sandwich shop is one of the most popular healthy and delicious fast food choices. It’s truly easy to choose a sandwich that’ll be good for you when they have a full menu of items that contain only 6 grams of fat or less. But make sure to avoid the creamy, full-fat dressings.
  1. Wendy’s. If you order a value meal you can definitely opt out of the fries. You can substitute for a baked potato, mandarin oranges, and more.
  1. Burger King. Like the rest of the popular fast food chains, Burger King has followed suit and made changes. You can opt for healthier alternatives like salads, chicken and fish.
  1. Chipotle is a Mexican restaurant that is gaining popularity. They have come under scrutiny for offering oversized portions. To combat the portion size, you can simply cut your meal down in half and save the rest for later. It’s also best to order your meal as a bowl instead of a burrito, because the tortilla shell alone can really pack on the calories.

For all other restaurants, you can make an educated decision about the healthy items from the menu. If you’re unsure, ask an employee about their healthy options.

Please Share Your Thoughts

In the comments below, share with us:
1. Where do you get healthy fast food?
2. What healthy item have you ordered before?

How does Stress Affect Health And Wellbeing? Here are 7 Ways!

Whether you realize it or not, ongoing strain and tension affects your health!

How does stress affect health and wellbeing?

Well, have you ever noticed when you are under pressure your physical health seems to suffer as well?

This is not all in your head, mental and emotional anxiety can and does cause physical problems.

This is especially true for us as women. Our intricate system seems to be extremely sensitive to the ravages of ongoing tension.

Knowing how stress affects your overall health is critical since some female health risks of ongoing stress are serious and long-term.

So exactly how does stress affect health and what are physical symptoms of stress?

7 Common Signs Of Stress

1. Headaches

Strain and tension is often the primary cause of headaches in women.

We often get headaches whenever we are faced with tension or exasperating situations on the job or at home.

It would be great if we could all quit our jobs and never have to worry about money, our family or our health.

Unfortunately, that is not an option for the overwhelming majority of women.

What you can do however, is simply try to adjust your thinking and your attitude toward the taxing situation.

Making that small change could make a big difference in minimizing the effect of stress on your health.

2.Premature Aging

You may not realize it but ongoing strain and tension can also lead to premature aging.

How old you say you are and how old your body thinks you are two different things.

The adverse connection between stress and aging should be reason enough for you to take immediate steps to get your tension levels under control.

3.Elevated Blood Pressure.

Strain and tension makes the heart beat faster and harder.

This then causes the blood pressure to rise and can result in that painful pounding behind your temples.

Don’t confuse this unhealthy elevated heart rate caused by the “fight and flight” to the healthy elevated heart rate that comes from exercise.

There is a HUGE difference between the two.

The elevated heart rate caused by prolonged stress is an unnatural forcing of the heart to work too hard and for too long and can do serious harm to your health.

How does stress affect health? There are still several more ways.

4.Heart Attacks, Heart Disease, & Chest Pain Symptoms.

Another harmful result of the unnatural raising of the heart rate triggered by irksome situations, is that often the heart and the cardiovascular system can be damaged.

This long-term damage can weaken the heart, blood vessels, and other parts of the cardiovascular system.

Obviously, this can then make you more susceptible to heart attacks, heart disease, and the like.

A serious health risk indeed!

5. Suppressed Immune System

Ongoing, persistent, and prolonged tension releases cortical.

So how does stress affect health and the immune system?

This harmful hormone damages the body’s ability to fight off diseases and illnesses.

When you’re your immune system is compromised, you are at risk getting sick easily.

Allergies and rashes can also develop as these are often a symptom of impaired immune response.

6. Insomnia & Sleep Disorders.

One way that strain and anxiety affects health is by severely disturbing your sleep.

How does stress affect health in this way?

Think about it. Thoughts of your taxing situation can often plague you even more at night when things are quiet and you have less distractions.

Ironically, this is precisely the time that your body and mind need to be relaxed and calm in order to get to sleep!

And even if you are able to fall asleep initially, its all too common to wake up in the middle of the night with sudden thoughts of your maddening situation.

This also disturbs your rest and may keep you tossing and turning for the rest of the night.

Sleep deprivation symptoms will become evident within days and if continued long-term can lead to serious health problem.

The effect of sleep problems and insomnia on your health should never be taken lightly.

7. Other Physical Effects Of Burnout.

How does stress affect health and wellbeing in other areas?

There are many other ways that stress can affect your health as a woman, such as :

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Teeth grinding, leading to many dental problems
  • Muscle twitches and tics
  • Indigestion, irritable colon and bowels
  • Irregular or lack of menstruation
  • Infertility problems or problem when trying to conceive
  • Fainting, dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating; “fuzzy” thinking
  • Lack of energy

This list is by no means complete.

There are many more physical and problems associated with stress that doctors have not yet pinpointed.

The bottom line is this: strain and tension is very damaging to your health!

Obviously a minor amount of pressure might not do much damage, but its medically proven that prolonged and intense strain and anxiety can cause irreparable harm to many vital systems in the body.

Especially to the sensitive reproductive systems in a woman’s body.

Make sure you have clear answers about what are the symptoms of stress and then take decisive action to keep stress in check.

Add These 12 Super Foods For Stress to your Diet!

In my ongoing fight against stress I have discovered certain foods that have deserve the label super food. Super foods for stress can improve your health by making you more stress-resilient, lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke, while boosting your immune system. energy, focus, and mental sharpness. The best part is that you get these benefits using all natural foods, instead of items containing chemicals and drugs.

Here’s my list  of 12 super foods for stress and a description of how they help my body and mind:

1. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are packed with added fiber, potassium and vitamin C. I cook them in many ways including baked, boiled or mashed, as well as cubed in soups.

2. Blueberries. Blueberries are definitely a super fruit! They contain beneficial antioxidants as well as vitamin C and fiber. They make a healthy treat and they’re easy to eat on their own or in smoothies and baked goods.  I love adding blueberries to my oats for a powerful breakfast in the mornings.

3. Bananas. Bananas make  my list because of their beneficial nutrients as well as high potassium content. They also contain a healthy dose of vitamin B6.  I grab a banana to eat as a mid morning of mid afternoon snack.  Its delicious and gives me a burst of energy.  Calms hunger pangs too!

4. Broccoli. Broccoli is a vegetable that contains a healthy amount of vitamin C and folic acid. If you don’t like the taste, you can use some spices, cheese, or dip to add some flavor.  I did not like the taste as a teenager and would drown my broccoli in cheese.  But now I am older and wiser, and I love broccoli, lightly steamed, with nothing added!

5. Spinach. Spinach comes packed with many beneficial ingredients. It’s one of the best leafy green vegetables that you can eat. It contains folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, and more. Plus it’s easy to add to salads.  I use spinach in my breakfast smoothies as well!  And best of all, I grow my own spinach at home…its an easy veggie to grow in your backyard garden.

6. Apples. So now you know there’s truth to the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away! They contain many of the benefits of the other super food fruits, as well as a decent fiber content. They’re also a low glycemic index food. Apples can help you stay full and may help with weight loss.  Apples are my second choice for grab and go healthy snacks ( second to bananas).  I also add apple to my juicing, which I often do during the week as well.  Great stuff.

7. Baked Beans. Protein, fiber and calcium are just some of the benefits of this low GI super food. Baked beans have also been known to lower the chances of bowel type cancers because of the unique way they’re digested. 

8. Yogurt. Yogurt is a super healthy way of getting your dairy intake for the day. In addition to being an excellent source of calcium, yogurt has also been known to improve your bowel health overall. Yogurt can help with regulating the digestive system.  Great snack too!

9. Salmon. Lean fish are always good alternatives for healthy meats in your diet. However, salmon is extra special because it contains Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s alone have many health benefits such as reduced risks of heart attacks as well as mental disorders such as depression.  This is basically the only fish I eat.  It’s simply delicious and with all its stress-busting features I am always motivated to add it to my monthly meal planning list

10. Olive Oil. Olive oil is one type of oil that’s okay to add to your diet in moderation. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way. Olive oil can lower bad cholesterol levels and it also contains a healthy amount of antioxidants. Use olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar for salad dressing, instead of the creamy stuff. 

11. Dark Chocolate. This is usually the shocker on the super foods list. Dark chocolate can be yummy and beneficial to your health. Dark chocolate, in small amounts each day, can lower your blood pressure and it also contains antioxidants.  This is how I indulge with NO guilt!  Dark chocolate ( taken in small amounts) is actually GOOD me for!

12. Citrus Fruit. Many like the taste of sweet citrus fruits, which makes it quite the popular super food. You’ll still want to eat these fruits in moderation because they have a higher sugar content. However, citrus fruits also come with a high amount of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid.  My favorite citrus fruit is tangerine!  But I often add oranges or grapefruits to my juicing concoctions.  :-)

There are many other foods that rightfully deserve the title of super food, but this list should get you started in the right direction. It’s always a great thing to hear when a delicious food also helps you live a happier, more stress-resilient, and healthier life!

Now its YOUR turn!

In the comments below, tell me:

1. Which other food would you add to this list as a super food?
2. How many of these super foods do you eat each week?

If you would love to learn more about how you can manage stress, join our Stress Management Club now. It’s FREE!

Do You Need Vitamin B-12 For Energy?

Vitamins can help your health in many ways and some can provide that boost of energy you need to accomplish more during the day when you need it.

Vitamin B-12 is a good supplemental choice for those who are suffering from an excessive loss of energy, memory problems and mood changes. Many women lack Vitamin B-12 no matter how well they plan their diet.

Long-term, taking Vitamin B-12 for energy can help you renew red blood cells and help convert the food you eat into energy that can boost your metabolism. Your health care provider can perform a simple blood test to see if you’re lacking in Vitamin B-12 and determine how much you need to take to make a difference in your energy level.

There are many reasons why you may need to take certain vitamins to boost your energy level. One is if you’re taking certain medications that might zap your Vitamin B-12 levels. My sister is currently undergoing cancer treatments and her doctor prescribed B-12 vitamins.

To determine the types of supplemental vitamins you should be taking for energy, you should consult with your health care professional. Going through menopause, stressful experiences, athletic endeavors and a number of other lifestyle issues might make a difference in which vitamin you should be taking to restore the energy levels you once had. Take steps today to get the vitamins you need to be healthy!

My Top 7 Energy Boosting Foods!

The top complaint of those attempting to balance work and personal life in this fast-paced, stressful world in which we live is not having enough energy to do it all. Energy doesn’t come in the form of a magic pill that you can take and immediately escape your feeling of fatigue.

The main way you can get that energy and maintain it is by eating the right foods several times per day.

Here are the top 7 energy boosting foods that I eat to boost my energy immediately!  These foods are are good for your body:

  1. Bananas – Adding more fruits to your diet can provide lasting benefits. One of the most important fruits you can add to boost energy are bananas – a powerhouse of potassium and electrolytes that help stimulate the nerves and muscles.
  2. Almonds – These little nuts are chock full of monounsaturated fats that can help your mental clarity and provide Omega-3 oils, essential to combat fatigue and low energy levels.
  3. Oats – Eating oatmeal for breakfast can set you up to have energy throughout the day. Oats provide B vitamins that can turn carbohydrates into energy and give you the fiber you need for nutritional value.
  4. Lentils (Beans) – A source of fiber, beans also provide B-vitamins, calcium, carbohydrates and protein and can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  5. Whole Grains – Whole grain products contain complex carbohydrates, which can increase your energy levels. If you combine the whole grain food (such as bread) with a high-protein food such as peanut butter, you’ll sustain the energy boost for a longer period of time.
  6. Water – Without the benefit of water you won’t be able to absorb the nutrients you do receive from healthy foods. Lack of water intake could cause fatigue because of dehydration.
  7. Salmon – This type of fish can decrease your risk of heart disease by providing you with the Omega 3 acids that you need to be alert and maintain a constant energy level.

Instead of eating three large meals a day, I focus on eating energy-rich foods several times a day, which helps me pace my energy boosts to accomplish everything I need to do and get a good rest at night. This strategy helps me reduce stress as well as cope with the daily challenges of modern living!

Best One Day Body Detox for Busy Women!

You want to detox your body, but your work or travel schedule just doesn’t give you 7 or 10 uninterrupted days to follow the usual process. Well some effort at detox is better than nothing, so you can try one of the best one day body detox plans for busy women.

The overall effect of a one day detox cleanse isn’t as great as that of longer detox programs, so you want to repeat the one-day detox at least every three months.

During the best one day body detox, you’re basically on a juice only fast. You have to use fresh vegetables in the juicer to get the highest quality nutrients. If the juice comes in a can, don’t bother. 

There’s not enough nutrient value left to matter. If you don’t have a juicer, go to a health food store or natural food restaurant and purchase fresh juice the evening before the juice detox. Dedicate a weekend day when you can relax and reduce stress during the detox.

Start the day with gentle stretches and a glass of juice. Take a relaxing bath or shower and dress in loose, comfortable clothes. If you want to, spend the day in your pajamas. But if you decide to get dressed, you might also schedule a massage during the mid-day. You can drive directly to the massage therapist and directly home. Don’t make any stops, run errands or shop. This is your day to detox and relax. The to-do list can wait.

At home, surround yourself with calming music, not loud television shows. And don’t even log on the computer to check your email. Tell everyone who regularly calls on your cell that you’ll be unavailable on the detox day. Leave a phone message saying you won’t return calls until the next day. Make this your day – isn’t your health worth 24 hours?

Set out some candles or place an aromatic scent that you enjoy in the room near you. Chamomile or lavender are scents known to promote relaxation. But if you enjoy vanilla or rose or some other scent, then choose that one. This all sounds great if you have a quiet home – but what if your house is filled with children, pets and neighbors all weekend? Here’s where additional planning is in order.

You can take a day off of work and do the detox at home while the children are at school and your spouse is at work. You may have to send the pets to a willing neighbor for the day if they’re going to interrupt your plans. Or check into a spa that offers detox treatments and call it your well deserved vacation day. If that’s too expensive for your budget, find a bargain priced but comfortable hotel in town and check in. Bring all of your detox supplies, including juices and water. Make sure your hotel room has a mini refrigerator and you’re all set. You can even go for a swim in the hotel pool or sit outside on the lounge chairs.

Today is YOUR Day to detox & de-stress! Enjoy it!

Best Way to Boost Your Metabolism Naturally!

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just wanting to maintain your sleek physique, finding the best way to boost your metabolism naturally is always a good idea. 

There are several ways to give your metabolism an extra push – including exercising early in the day – but eating can also be a factor in its elevation.

When you discover the best way to boost your metabolism naturally, the result is that your body burns calories at a higher rate.  So if your metabolism is high, it’s burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym.  A sluggish metabolism can cause you to gain weight, because you’re consuming more than your body is burning.

The first thing you need to do is add breakfast to your daily meal planner.  Although many people don’t like eating breakfast, it gives your body the rev up it needs to launch your metabolism.  A 250-calorie snack is all it takes to boost your metabolism in the morning.

Another way to increase your metabolism is to add spices to your food.  According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold – and all you have to ingest is a mere ¼ to 1 tsp per day! Imagine that!

While you’re planning your meals, you may want to add kiwi fruit to your diet.  Kiwis pack a lot of vitamin C, but if you add 500 mg of it to your day, you burn up to 39% more fat when you’re exercising.  Don’t get too much C, though, because once you get to the 2,000 mg mark, you start experiencing adverse effects like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Another metabolism boosting measure is to watch what you drink.  Adding ice to a drink makes your body work harder because it has to heat it up in your stomach, which increases your metabolism.  Also, ingesting a caffeine drink like coffee or tea can raise your heart rate and increase your metabolism. 

Where you’re eating can be just as important as what you’re eating.  When you’re having breakfast in the morning, try positioning yourself near a window so that you can soak up some sun.  The bright light boosts your metabolism and also helps you increase bone and muscle strength.

You can also add a daily multivitamin to help your body burn more calories.  When you add 120 mcg daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat. 

If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, you may also try dividing your meals up into smaller portions that you eat more often throughout the day.  Every time you eat, it helps your metabolism rise, so as strange as it may sound, eating frequently can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

6 Natural Energy Boosters That Work for Women Who Feel Lethargic

Did you know that you can get practical help for the constant drain on your energy levels? And it doesn’t involve taking a pill or drinking an energy drink.

Here are 6 natural energy boosters that work to boost your energy so that you can become enthused about life again:

  1. Eat Breakfast. It may sound simplistic, but eating a good and balanced breakfast is a key to living an energetic and healthy lifestyle. Begin every day with a good, high fiber breakfast and you’ll notice the difference.
  2. Magnesium. Aside from eating a healthy and balanced diet, you may feel lethargic if your magnesium level is low. Magnesium turns glucose into energy, so eat foods that give you that magnesium boost.
  3. Power Nap. Our overloaded and overwhelming lifestyles can sometimes leave our brains numb and our energy drained. Taking a power nap isn’t laziness – it’s freeing your mind so you can be more creative and productive.
  4. Power Foods. Keep power foods on hand for quick boosts of energy. Peanut butter, nuts such as hazelnuts or almonds, apples and other foods that can deliver the power you need.
  5. Hydration. Don’t leave water out of the energy equation. Unless you’re drinking plenty of water during the day, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can cause severe slumps in energy levels.
  6. Brisk Walk. Getting up from the couch or your desk and taking a brisk walk around the block can revitalize your energy and renew your thinking powers. This brief respite from work or whatever you’re working on can get your blood flowing and you’ll end up accomplishing more.

Women everywhere are juggling an almost inhuman workload at work, home and in their personal lives. The results are chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, stress, and depression. As women, when we feel down, we tend to try and boost our energy and mood by eating foods rich in carbohydrates and sugar. It’s time to make a change!

The vicious circle you find yourself in can eventually harm your health and other aspects of your life lives such as relationships. Here’s a novel idea: Start putting yourself first so that you can be the best you can be for others in your life!!

Take time for yourself, eat a healthy diet and add some exercise to each and every day. That’s the secret to living a more balanced, happier life!

Healthy Eating Video Clips: Eat Healthy, Live Healthy!

One important way for us to live more balanced lives is to eat healthy foods. Nothing could be better than fresh fruits and vegetables and organic meat sources.

Foods high in Omega-3 such as salmon works really great in relieving stress. Don’t forget to include lean beef and tuna in your diet as sources of Vitamin B as well./

Healthy eating video clips help to drive the point home.  Check out this one:

 

In the comments below, tell me:

1. What foods make you feel better when you are stressed out?
2. Are your stress-foods from healthy food sources?

If you would love to learn more about how you can manage stress, join our Stress Management Club now. It’s FREE!