Thursday, November 7, 2013
Here’s a quick, warm veggie sandwich that’s great for lunch or a snack. My kids love these and they are so easy to prepare.
I’m listing the basic ingredients that I use, but get creative and make it personal. If you use cheese or vegan cheese, you could melt it on top under a broiler or in a toaster oven for a few minutes.
I always have a box of veggie burgers and sprouted grain on hand in the freezer. That makes putting together one of these yummy veggie sandwiches a snap!
Ingredients: (serves one)
- Sprouted grain, whole grain or bread of choice, toasted
- One veggie patty cooked in skillet with oil of your choice, or heat in oven.
- (Or any other fresh, seasonal organic vegetables you have on hand.)
- Dressing: 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons Olive oil. Whisk all together.
I like to moisten the toast with a little olive oil. Pour on some of the dressing, build your sandwich, add a little more dressing if you like. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve with some fresh cut veggies on the side and enjoy!
Monday, October 7, 2013
Healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones - - - through practice.
By creating and implementing healthy habits, you can begin to make and sustain major changes for the rest of your life. The good news is it’s NEVER too late to make changes, even little changes like learning to slow down and relax can add quality and years to your life. Here are 6 easy suggestions to get you going:
Simple Morning Stretch:
When you rise in the morning, take a few precious moments to slowly and gently stretch out your body. Think about cats and dogs, when they wake from slumber they move and bend and stretch. This will wake up the muscles and get blood and oxygen flowing throughout your body, better preparing you mentally and physically for the day ahead of you.
Eat a Little Less:
Use a smaller plate, a smaller fork or spoon, even chopsticks. Prepare a simple table setting and sit down to eat. Chew slowly and take little breaks by putting your utensils down for a few seconds. Enjoy your meal and of course make it healthy. A good rule of thumb is fill your plate with 3/4‘s whole grains, fresh colorful vegetables and fruits, and the rest lean protein.
Drink Plenty of Water:
It doesn’t have to be super-expensive fancy bottled water, in fact I urge you to carry a reusable water container with you to stay hydrated, save a few bucks and do the planet a favor. Add some fresh squeezed lemon or doTerra DoTERRA ESSENTIAL OILS Lemon/grapefruit/lime oil. The citrus will help rid petrochemicals in your system, cleanse and detox.
However you do it, you need to get your body moving on a regular basis. Incorporate some type of fitness into your day, whether it’s one longer session at your local gym, a class you can attend, a brisk walk on your lunch break, or a fitness dvd. Take your kids to the playground and play with them, take the dog for a long walk, call a friend and meet up for a power-walk/jog.
If you live an apartment building like me, you can go up and down 2-3 flights of stairs for 20-30 minutes for a great calorie burning cardio workout. Just MOVE...it all counts and it should become one of your top habits!
Do Something for You:
Most of us tend to do, do, do for others in our lives. We work hard, take care of the home, run errands, and do chores. Be selfish a few times a week and take a few minutes to do something you enjoy! Read a book or magazine, get a manicure or 10 minute massage, go to a movie, or call and catch up with a friend or family member. Nurturing and pampering yourself a bit is good for everyone in your life, because if your happy and feeling good, so is the rest of the gang.
This one can be difficult, yet it’s simple to do. Taking 5-10 minutes to sit/lie still, calming your body and mind is very healing and rejuvenating. Allow yourself this gift as often as you can. Find a quiet spot, turn off the gadgets, dim the lights, put on some soothing music, light a candle, use some essential oils DoTERRA ESSENTIAL OILS and let your mind and body relax. Lie or sit comfortably, close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths in and out. You deserve a moment of serenity.
Any of these suggestions above will ease you into healthier habits and when you create healthier habits, you create a healthier life.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
When I was a kid we were usually outside all day, biking, swimming, playing games, running behind the mosquito truck as it pumped chemicals into our lungs and the air. (That’s just what you did back then, who knew?) Life has changed drastically since the 60’s and 70’s. Much of America's farmland has become parking lots while fresh foods are less available and more expensive and the creation of processed foods offer cheap, quick, easy meals. Television now dominates the “quality” time families spend together. Computers and social networking can eat up to 7 hours a day!
As awesome as technology is, our children are paying heavily (yes, a pun) for these modern conveniences. Inside passive entertainment combined with high calorie, chemical laden, fast foods are contributing to an all out epidemic. Childhood obesity in America has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the past 30 years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
These children also have all the risk factors that adult obesity brings:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Higher risk of cancer
- Bone and Joint issues
They are also more likely to become obese adults with potential social and psychological problems leading to depression and low self-esteem.
Here are 6 fun ideas to get your family moving, get healthier, and create a stronger bond:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Many studies have shown that people who exercise regularly reap the benefits of lower rates of depression and a positive boost in mood and energy.
How does exercise help with depression and anxiety?
When you exercise your brain releases feel-good endorphins that ease depression. These endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body which help diminish the perception of pain and anxiety. Exercise will also reduce immune system chemicals that can deepen depression. You will raise your heart rate which increases your body temperature for a calming effect. Exercise has psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you gain confidence, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and getting in shape can help you feel better about your appearance!
What type of exercise is best?
The good news is that virtual any form of exercise can help depression and anxiety.
You don’t have to go crazy and run 10 miles everyday! Exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better. Running, lifting weights, playing sports and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can gardening, washing your car, taking a stroll and other less intense activities. Anything that gets you off the couch and moving is exercise that can help improve your mood and reduce depression. You can start slowly by taking walks around the neighborhood (go with a friend!) Gradually, work up to exercising on most days of the week. Try any of these moderate ways to get exercise:
- Low-impact aerobics
*Eat healthy whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Use healthy fats and limit sugar. Make sure to get a good night's sleep. Drink plenty of water.
*Reduce stress at home and at work. Ask for help with some of the stressful things in your life. Enlist friends or family to occasionally help take care of some of the daily chores, like housework. If your job is stressful, figure out ways to scale back some of your responsibilities.
*Stop worrying! Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
*Get social. Joining a group exercise class may be beneficial. Exercise with a friend or partner.
Other added health benefits:
- Strengthens heart muscle
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduced Body Fat
- Stronger bones
- Leaner, more toned muscles
- Increased energy
- Look fit and healthy
- Help reduce risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, and other types of diseases
- Lose weight
- Better Sex
Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Creating a steady exercise program is a win-win situation and there is no excuse to not get started today. Look and feel your best by incorporating fitness and healthier eating into your lifestyle while you keep depression and anxiety at bay.
Have a Healthy Day!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The good news is your journal isn’t going to judge you. This is a friend who is always available, listening attentively to everything you have to say, and doesn’t give you any lip.
You can achieve even greater success with your food journal if you include and embrace your emotions. By recognizing certain patterns, you are able to zero in and make specific, positive, healthy changes.
Don’t get hung up on measurements or calories. You know 2 donuts for breakfast are a no-no. (double duh!) Jot down what you eat, when you ate it, and how you felt at the time.
Whether it’s a crappy day at work, a feud with a friend or financial issues, jotting down what’s bothering you can help get it off your mind. You’ll also see the connection and role stress plays in unhealthy food choices and be able to move toward more positive, healthier decisions.
Write down your goals and create a simple plan to achieve it. Look ahead at your weekly schedule and make appointments with yourself to fit in exercise. Keep track in your journal. Note the progress you make towards your goal, and how you feel after you exercise.
Face your worst craving nightmares and write them down! Taking a peek on paper at what you’re obsessed about eating is an eye-opener. We all know it’s hard to resist cravings. Give yourself credit when you stick to your plan and dodge a bullet.
Why do it alone when you can do it with a friend? Find one or more friends on a similar path and help keep each other accountable. The camaraderie is a boost and you’ll help each other stick to the plan. Create a group on Facebook. This is an easy way to stay in touch, motivate and encourage each other. Share ideas, tips, feelings and milestones. Groups create a collective energy that will help fuel your success.
Use your journal to recognize and track your progress. After a few weeks you should be more connected to what you’re thinking and feeling and how it affects your food-making decisions. By tuning into your patterns you’ll be more aware of what’s working for you. Most importantly, love yourself. Embrace the positive changes you’re making. Give yourself props for keeping a journal and remember, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Sometimes we just want it too much. If losing weight is the most important thing to you and all you can think about...care less. Of course eating health, organic, clean foods, exercising and developing your inner life are truly important, but becoming obsessed with what you weigh, what you need to lose, what you look like, can be a dangerous thing. It’s a no brainer that you want to work towards your goals of being healthier, trimmer, fitter, happier, but usually the more we focus and obsess on something the bigger the problem becomes.
Believe me, I know it's not easy finding that healthy balance of wanting and desiring something, versus becoming a stalker of your own obsessions.
If you want something too desperately, a relationship, a dream job, squeezing into your favorite jeans, or the winning lottery ticket you might find that this desperation can actually keep the very thing you want, the very thing you desire, out of reach.
A little of my story:
I had about 50 pounds to lose after each one of my 3 pregnancies. It was overwhelming, taking care of a newborn, a toddler, a home, a dog, and then getting back into the working world. I knew I wanted to lose the weight and I wanted to lose it NOW, but I also was aware that it took me 9 months to gain that weight, and to take it off properly I had to be patient. I developed my plan, started exercising, then relaxed and let it happen. Yes, I was focused, but I had no choice but to live each day in the moment. I didn’t have time to get crazy obsessed. Don’t get me wrong, I kept my eye on the prize, but I didn’t beat myself up or throw in the towel if I wasn’t losing the weight as quickly as I would have liked. And guess what? It happened! I was steadily dropping the extra pounds, eating better, feeling better and living my life.
One of the best ways to care less about something, is to care more about something else. Find a new interest or hobby (or resurrect an old one.) Go out and try something different, put yourself in a new circumstance, get the focus off of your body.
Also, when you’re busy with something you enjoy, you’re less likely to be worrying about what you should and shouldn’t be eating.
Take a class, pottery, writing, belly dancing, etc. Go to a local production of a play, a museum, get together with friends and go for a hike. Get out of your head and gain some knowledge on a new subject. I love people who have many interests - they're inspiring to be around, and that’s because what they have to offer comes from within.
Shift your focus, take a deep breath and care less about what you should look like- work realistically and patiently at eating better, greener, healthier foods, drinking plenty of water, stay away from sugar and processed foods and get moving. Let it happen, be in the moment and it will all fall into place.
Monday, September 2, 2013
If your life is anything like mine, you're crazy busy. Stress and anxiety have a way of paralyzing us. Sometimes taking a few moments to enjoy your day, doing something for YOU can actually help you be more productive in the long run. So go ahead, take a little time for you. Here are 10 simple and free ways you can make more out of your day and show yourself (and others) a little love.
- Spend a few moments of quiet gratitude in the morning before you plug into your day
- Turn off the gadgets and curl up with a good book
- Smile at the lady down the street that always has a frown
- Do something physical
- Look up and absorb the brilliant colors in the sky
- Lie on the ground, close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you
- Eat clean and drink plenty of herbal teas and water
- Call someone you’ve been meaning to see and make that date to get together
- Write a love note to yourself or your partner
- Light a candle and pamper yourself while you relax in a long hot bath
There is only one today. Make the most of it and take care of you.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
MAKE IT HAPPEN
This is one of my simple, go to workouts. That's not to say it isn't intense, but it's very doable and you don't need a gym or any special equipment. I've designed it to be quick, effective and target all the major muscle groups with an added core-blaster. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, drink plenty of water, take time to warm-up and stretch, take breaks if you need them and stop if you're experiencing any pain or dizziness.
Warm-up/Stretch for about 5 minutes (jog in place, walk, skip rope, etc.)
Complete a MINIMUM of 30 minutes cardio activity. (Biking, jogging, kick-boxing, power-walking, etc.) Put in one minute cardio interval "bursts"---this is how you up the intensity and push yourself harder. Do this every 4-5 minutes to really burn some serious calories and get your heart rate up.
500 Crunches ---- Yes, this sounds daunting but if you break it up into sections of 100 at a time it'll go by in a flash. Change 'em up---traditional, full sit-ups, leg drops, etc.
6 Yinyasas ---- Do this six times in a row, great for upper body, core and your mind!
a) begin in down dog b) flow through to plank c) lower to chatarunga d) flow through to up dog e) return to down dog. Make sure you inhale and exhale through the moves, and don't rush it!
30 Triceps Dips
30 Alternating Lunges
Take a break, stretch, drink some more water. I'd love to know how you feel after your workout today, what was the hardest part? The best part? Your feedback is important to me! Thanks for taking the time to check out my site.
Healthy Best, Laura McDonald