Category Archives: Health

Clean Eating Egg Nog

I LOVE egg nog! It’s one of my favourite Christmas Holiday treats. It’s so unbelievably delicious. The ONLY thing wrong with it is the amount of calories that are within this absolutely delicious drink. I stumbled upon this recipe online and must make it ASAP. I’ll let you know what I think of it. This Clean Eating Eggnog comes from The Gracious Pantry.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy milk (options: low-fat milk, unsweetened rice milk or hazelnut milk)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup honey (options: agave works well here too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to sprinkle on top

Directions:

  1. Let’s take a moment to talk about your options here first. If you don’t want the eggs in your eggnog, simply omit them. But you will have to reduce the milk by about half to get it to thicken properly.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes ( I used the pot I was going to cook it in and my hand blender).
  3. Pour the eggnog into a pot and warm over medium-low heat for 15 minutes to cook the egg. You want this to get hot, but you do NOT want to boil it. Towards the end, it will want to simmer. Whisk constantly to avoid it.
  4. Remove from heat and set the pot in the fridge when it’s cooled enough to do so. Chill overnight.
  5. If you made this with the exact listed ingredients (no substitutions), you will see that when it’s cold, it becomes very thick. Blend with a whisk.
  6. If you find that it’s far too thick, simply add a bit more milk until you reach the consistency you enjoy.
  7. Pour into cups and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Recipe & Picture from: The Gracious Pantry!

Read more: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-eggnog/#ixzz2n0Zsf0Uj © The Gracious Pantry. All rights reserved.

Check these people out on Twitter or Facebook: @graciouspantry on Twitter | GraciousPantry on Facebook

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-eggnog/

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Healthy Holiday Food Guide: 10 Ingredient Substitutions

Holidays can be terrible for your waistline and thighs. We overeat on those goodies and subsequently, end up packing on the pounds. It happens. What if you were to substitute healthy ingredients for the bad ones to make your recipes more guilt-free? Check out these 10 Ingredient Substitutions to improve your holiday eating.

1. Olive Oil for Butter: The benefits: OO has good benefits — has good fats and no cholesterol. Make sure you put in the correct amount when you’re baking… you may have to google it

2. Herbs, Spices & Citrus for Salt: decreased salt = lower risk for heart disease and stroke… put down the salt shaker and pick up garlic, lemon juice and spices!

3. Soda Water for Juice & Tonic: soda water contains much less calories (great especially since you’re consuming much more calories throughout the holidays)

4. Whole Wheat for White Flower: I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that white flour is terrible for you. There are absolutely no benefits. White flour spikes your blood sugar, causing you to crash shortly after. Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: If you’re a baker, try replacing half of the all-purpose flour required in a recipe with whole wheat flour. Switching out just one cup (237 grams) of white or wheat equals a boost of fiber, vitamin B-6, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc

5. Lean Ground Turkey for Ground Beef: my mom has been doing this for years. I always hear that red meat should be avoided (OH BUT I LOVE MY RED MEAT)! When you choose ground turkey, make sure it’s lean or extra lean.

6. Egg Whites for Eggs: Eggs unfortunately contain cholesterol. Since during the holidays, you’re more likely to consume large amounts of cholesterol in other things, substitute a few eggs for egg whites and help keep your heart healthier.

7. Coconut Milk, Yogurt & Tofu for Cream:

Discovery Fit & Health Recommends: Take a page out of the vegan cookbook and try coconut milk in desserts that call for heavy cream, like chocolate mousse. Swap out light cream for soy creamer. Soft tofu mixed with soy milk can be blended into sauces, as can yogurt. All are less fatty than cream, and tofu has the added benefit of a little extra protein.

8. Brown Rice for White Rice: Anything white typically doesn’t have any nutritional value. By switching to brown rice, you’re subsequently consuming more vitamins and minerals.

9. Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream: Although it’s quite tasty, it has lots of saturated fats in it. Saturated fats are not heart friendly. Greek yogurt (specifically plain yogurt, not something like key lime), tastes pretty much identical to sour cream and is a much healthier substitute. Discovery Fit & Health says that it also:  it has a ton of protein, along with potassium, zinc, calciumand vitamins

10. Vanilla, Nutmeg and Cinammon for Sugar:

Words from Discovery Fit & Health: The American Heart Association’s recommended limit for added sugars is 6 teaspoons (29.6 milliliters) a day for women, 9 (44 milliliters) for men. Sugar is linked to both obesity and diabetes, and those who are already carrying a few extra pounds or a diabetes diagnosis know what too much sweetness can do to the body.
An added bonus for cinnamon? It rev’s up the metabolism! Woot woot!

Sources:
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sugars-and-Carbohydrates_UCM_303296_Article.jsp
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/best-foods-you-are-not-eating?page=2
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=128
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/51/2
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/HQ00608
https://www.drgourmet.com/askdrgourmet/turkeyvbeef.shtml#.UqXze9F3u70
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/youre-cooking-healthfully-in-the-new-year
http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Best-Drinks-for-Dieters-Low-Calorie-Cocktails/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18835-theres-no-doubt-about-the-health-dangers-of-salt.html

Check out the website for more information:
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/healthy-holiday-food-guide-ingredient-substitutions1.htm

MBG’s 9 Ways to Become A Better and More Positive You

Sometimes I get a bit down on myself because I haven’t gotten my Kinesiology job yet. Then  I stop and think to myself that it’s okay. My day will come that I get my dream job. I am more particular about what I’m searching for and it is harder to find. Once I get all my credentials, I’ll go full force into “Operation Get Chantal a Kinesiology Job”. Anyways, I try not to get down in the dumps or discouraged about it (however, sometimes I definitely do). This morning I really felt like reading about how to be more positive and feel better about myself. Funny thing is, when I went onto the Mind Body Green webpage, “9 Ways to Become a Better and More Positive You” was on the front page. Things definitely happen for a reason. Below I’ve summarized the 9 things from the webpage. I’ll post the link below.

1. Say affirmations every day until they sink in and resonate within every cell of your being.
– Saying affirmations eventually fully resonate with you and make you feel better.

2. Use visualizations to get clear on what you want.
– Positive visualizations help bring positive situations to you. I once heard “you only have room for one thought at a time in your head… why not make it a positive one?”

3. Create a vision board and place it where you can see it regularly.
– Make sure you see it on a regular basis. MBG suggests that you write in BIG words: “Thank you, thank you, thank you” telling the world that you are thankful for everything it’s brought you and everything you will be receiving.

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11879/9-ways-to-become-a-better-more-positive-you.html

 

4. Practice expressing an attitude of gratitude for all that you have in your life.
– Gratitude creates a positive spin on your life

5. Listen to joyful music.
– Happy music always pumps me up and MBG agrees!

6. Read motivational books.
– MBG suggests that it makes you feel beautiful and empowered and excited about your personal growth journey

7. Put inspiring quotes around everywhere for you to see.
– By doing this, you’ll feel more inspired

8. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
– This is so true. I always try and be around positive people because their positivity rubs off on me. The same thing goes for surrounding yourself with negative people.

9. Practice meditation.
– I’m going to be honest, I don’t practice mediation. I do pray a lot and find that does the same thing for me. Both make you feel more at peace and at ease in the world.

Setting Goals for the New Year

When setting goals for the New Year or for New Years Resolutions, it’s very crucial to success to set goals in the right way. Often times people set unrealistic goals for the new year and end up being extremely disappointed and discouraged. For example, people say, “I’d like to lose 15 pounds in two weeks”. Doing something like this is extremely difficult and nearly impossible, leaving you feel defeated and burying your face in a tub of ice cream. I DO NOT want this to happen to you. I want you to set easily attainable goals so that you will increase your confidence and self-efficacy. Together, we can do this. If you need any  help with setting goals, feel free to email me or even comment on here.

Make sure your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines:

S – Specific — don’t say “to lose weight”… instead say “to lose 5 pounds” and don’t say “to be active”… instead say “I want to go to on a walk every night after dinner with my wife”

M – Measurable — can you measure it… to say my goal is to lose weight, that’s not enough. You need to put some sort of number to it. How do you know you’re losing weight? How do you know how much you have to lose? So say, to lose 5 pounds in two weeks. By having the number “5 pounds”, you can keep track of your goals and see if you’re on track to reach your goal or not.

A – Actionable — based on things a client will do — I will lose 5 pounds by exercising at least 30 minutes per day

R – Relevant — Must be important and meaningful to the client. Getting to success is motivating in itself — make sure you are doing things that are working towards your goal and not doing things like eating at McDonalds… how can you reach your goal if you are busy eating at McDonalds?

T – Timed — Put a date on it! — To just say you’re doing to lose 5 pounds by working on 30 minutes every day isn’t enough… set a date of when you want to reach this goal by. Again, make sure this is realistic. Unless you have liposuction, no one can really lose 30 pounds in one week. It’s quite difficult to do. The ideal amount of weight loss per week is 1-2 lbs/week. Keep this is in mind.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. Remember, this type of goal setting can be applied to any type of goal. I used the weight loss example because it is often on people’s New Years Resolutions. Make this year the best year to be healthy, fit and active. You can do it!

What your Body Shape Says about You

Did you know that certain body types are at risk for chronic disease more than others?

There are two basic body types to know: pear-shaped and apple shaped.

Pear Shaped: For those who are pear shaped, fat is stored on your hips, thighs and glutes. Women are more likely to have pear-shaped bodies, however, there are obviously exceptions. If you are a woman and have this type of body, you also generally have a smaller upper body, including smaller breasts.

Apple Shaped: Fat is stored in the abdominal region, making you appear more “round”. For women with this body shape, they typically have narrow hips and larger breasts. This body type is more often than not, found in men.

So you’ve determined you’re an apple or a pear… so what?

For those of you who are pear-shaped, you’re in luck. These people are at less risk of chronic diseases because the fat is more as an insulator and in a protective area.

Apple shaped individuals, on the other hand, are more at risk for developing diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, increased blood pressure, decreased insulin sensitivity and decreasing the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. Apple shaped individuals are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Ever feel a man’s ROCK HARD belly? These bellies are definitely not good for you. There is a massive amount of fat surrounding his internal organs.

Pear shaped individuals are not “off the hook” when it comes to this type of body though. It has been noted that pear-shaped individuals are more likely to develop cellulite and varicose veins.

What should I do? Start to exercise, especially if you’re apple shaped. Do some cardio, lift some weights (even just low weights and high reps), eat the right types of foods. For those women who are pear shaped, I always tell myself this when deciding whether or not to indulge in something (I am also pear-shaped) “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips”.

Take care of yourself. I always want the best for you.

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Some information from: http://www.freedieting.com/body_shape.htm

Control your Cravings with this Smoothie!

How many times do you have a huge craving and just hope that it goes away so you don’t have to consume excess calories? This smoothie will do just the trick! It’s a magic mixture of fat, fibre and protein found on Mind, Body, Green. This holiday season we’re going to be consuming loads of sugar which will guarantee have an impact on our cravings. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
•1 cup frozen blueberries
•1/2 cup fresh spinach
•2 cups coconut water
•1 tbsp chia seeds
•1 tbsp bee pollen
•1 tbsp hemp protein powder
•1 tbsp cacao
•handful of ice

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender.

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Photo from Mind, Body, Green

Find What you Like and Just Move!

I recently had a conversation with the ladies that I work with at my office about different types of activities that we like to do for exercise. It’s funny how each of us were so different. For example, one lady likes to run on the treadmill for cardio, the next one said she preferred water aerobics, another said she hated water aerobics and I mentioned how I like exercise classes but hate solely running on the treadmill. All completely different responses! What one person likes, the other hates. This got me to thinking again how it’s important to not tell someone what to do, but let them find what types of activities they like and to stick with it. There is no rule stating “Thou must run on the treadmill to gain benefits of exercise”. You just have to move! Just because you like to do something, doesn’t mean your spouse, friend, sibling etc. will like it too. I could (and have) promoted zumba until I was blue in the face, because that’s truly an exercise I love. This same exercise I love could be torturous for the uncoordinated and socially nervous individual.

What’s my point? If you’re trying to help someone become more active, DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT tell them what to do. Sure, you can make suggestions because there may be activities out there they have no idea about (i.e. intramural sports, community centre facilities, bootcamp classes at the park, snowshoeing clubs, mall walking clubs etc.).

Time and time again I have read and learned that when it comes to exercise, no one likes being told what to do. We all like to be autonomous and make our own decisions about our lives. We like being in control. If you want to hear more about the psychology behind it, check out the Self Determination Theory (created way before my time in the 70’s-80’s 😉 I wasn’t even thought of at that point). Here’s a quick example: If you’re a smoker, don’t you feel super defensive if someone tells you to quit? It’s not as simply as:
Person A: Quit Smoking.
Person B: Okay.
If that was the case, I’d be telling you all right now, “Go out and get at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity”. How many of you are up and off your bums right now? Believe it or not, if you tell someone what to do, the exact opposite will happen. They’ll think of reasons why they don’t want to do it and they won’t do it. Why? They are controlling their life by saying no. They are making the decision to not do what you just told them to do instead of complying to your request.

I may be naïve in thinking that everyone must like something in order to be active, but I feel as though it has to be true. Please, find what you like and just move. Make this newly Registered Kinesiologist happy and try different activities so you can get the benefits of exercise. There are countless of benefits exercise for health and it also helps boost your mood and look your best.

Yes it’s hard, but JUST MOVE!

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Good News for Over-Eating in the Holiday Season

Do you overeat during the holidays? I do too. There are just so many good foods that are enjoyed during this time of the year. Some of my favourite: Candy Cane ice cream, mashed potatoes with cream cheese, stuffing and short bread cookies. Apart from the food being so delicious, there is just SO MUCH of it!

I read an article from the New York Times called the Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise (You will see the link for it at the bottom of my blog). This article examines a study published by researchers in Bath England that looked at exercise when you’re over-consuming calories. Here are some key points from the article:

– Participants in the study were told to reduce their physical activity and over consume food for one week (Physical activity was reduced from ~10,000 steps per day to ~4,000)
– Half of the participants were told to exercise for only 45 minutes once per day, moderate intensity and the other half was told to remain sedentary for the whole week

Results:
– Non-Exercise Group: decline in blood sugar control (bad thing), fat cells developed a malicious streak (having a big impact on metabolism)
– Exercise Group: Not similarly afflicted, blood sugar control remained robust and fat cells did not drastically change
– Quote from the article: “Exercise seemed to completely cancel out many of the changes induced by overfeeding and reduced activity,” said Dylan Thompson, a professor of health sciences at the University of Bath and senior author of the study. And where it did not countermand the impacts, he continued, it “softened” them, leaving the exercise group “better off than the nonexercise group,” despite engaging in equivalently insalubrious behavior.
– Quote: “if you are facing a period of overconsumption and inactivity” — also known as the holidays — “a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes, at least in the short term,” Dr. Thompson said. Of course, his study involved young, fit men and a relatively prolonged period of exercise. But the findings likely apply, he said, to other groups, like older adults and women, and perhaps to lesser amounts of training. That’s a possibility worth embracing as the pie servings accumulate.

BOTTOM LINE:

This holiday season, spend approximately 45 min each day being active and you will greatly reduce your chances of packing on the pounds. Get up, move around, but still enjoy your holiday goodies.

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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/the-power-of-a-daily-bout-of-exercise/?_r=1&

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking is extremely powerful. Many times it’s so hard to think positively in situations because it seems so gosh darn difficult to. You feel like your worlds about to fall apart or you feel like it’s unchangeable. Over the past few months, I have really tried to form my thoughts and my words to focus on it being more positive. I am trying to frame my mindset and re-word things to make them better. For example, if I feel like I am getting sick, I used to think “Oh no! I don’t want to get sick! I can’t get sick!”. Instead, I will tell myself “I am happy and healthy” repeatedly throughout the day. I feel that by saying things in the more positive way, I am more likely to remain healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I still take my Vitamin C, Echinacea and Oil of Oregano but I continuously think positively. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it gets easier with time.

Why not think positively? I once heard a quote that said something like (I suck at quotes so don’t quote my quote), “Your brain has room for only one thought at a time. Why not make it a positive one”? So true. Why not? If you had a choice, wouldn’t you much rather think the positive way versus the negative way? Why not choose to see the good in situations, instead of strictly the bad. What do good things do? They make you happy, cause you to calm down and actually think clearly and reduce your heart rate. Thinking negatively will cause you to increase your heart rate, cause you to more likely think irrational thoughts and just make you feel worse about yourself. It’s a lot less likely that good things will come out of thinking negatively versus thinking positively.

From this point on, think positively. Why the hek not? There’s really no good reason to not think positively. Situations — both positive and negative — shape us to who we are today.

Think positively — I dare ya!

The Awesomeness of Grapefruit

I have to admit, I have never been a fan of grapefruit, and I still am not 100% in love with the aftertaste, but I have been having grapefruits more regularly now. Why? There are so many benefits! Here are the benefits of grapefruit based on Tone It Up’s website:

  • Curbs your appetite, creating a full feeling in your tummy!
  • Stimulates the liver to activate fat burning enzymes, that break down fatty acids in the body.
  • Contains a flavonoid called naringin that helps with your insulin levels. It’s the reason for the bitter taste, but we add a littte stevia. Grapefruit is amazing as a weight loss food because it’s low glycemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. Naringin also helps with insulin sensitivity. The hormone insulin is released when your blood sugar spikes, causing you to crash, store the calories as fat and be hungrier sooner. Grapefruit actually lowers insulin levels which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady so the calories are used as energy instead.
  • Naringin also promotes lean muscle growth in an anabolic state (after those workouts when your body is repairing!)
  • Contains cancer-fighting compounds like liminoids and lycopene
  • Packed with over 200mg of vitamin C & has other vitamins such as A, B complex (for hair skin & nails), E & K.
  • Contains calcium, folic acid (eat up prenatal mamas!), phosphorus & potassium
  • Has an alkaline reaction after digestion ~ helping you stay balanced!
  • Contains bioflavonoids that have been found to lower excess estrogen levels and helps to stop breast cancer from spreading.
  • Curbs that sweet tooth!
  • Assists in digestion
  • Helps with detoxing the liver.. after a fun night out with the girls!

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