Foods That Boost Energy and Keep You Out Of Your Mid-day Slump

Have you ever had a really productive day until that mid-day slump kicked in and suddenly you didn’t feel like getting anything done anymore? When that feeling hits you, it can really kill your efficiency at work. So how do you beat it? Here are some yummy foods that boost you energy to keep you out of that mid-day slump.

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Toast: Add some peanut butter and a banana to your average two pieces of toast in the morning to give yourself an extra boost. To beat feeling tired mid-day, it is important to start your morning off right with a filling and nutritious breakfast. Many people don’t realize it, but it is important for woman to take in about 300 to 400 calories for breakfast and men take in around 500. Eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to ensure you’ll have energy throughout the day. If you get tired of toast, switch up your morning routine with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, or an English muffin topped with scrambled eggs and a slice of low-fat cheese.

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Hummus: Complex carbs are a great way to boost energy fast because they digest quickly. Foods like hummus, whole grain breads and cereal, fresh fruits, and vegetables are great sources for complex carbs and they will give you the boost you need to sail through that slump. Mid-morning or afternoon, reach for some veggie sticks or whole-wheat crackers dipped in some hummus and you will feel ready to power through the day.

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Cashews: Nuts like cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are not only rich in protein, but they are also a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that converts sugar into energy. If your body is running low on magnesium, you may feel more fatigued. Snack on a handful of nuts in the afternoon and it will boost your energy levels to get through that slump. Just make sure to pay attention to portion control as nuts are high in (good) fat.

turkey mean in a dish

Turkey: Contrary to popular belief that turkey can make you feel tired when eaten in large amounts, this lean meat is actually a great source of protein containing the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid that is responsible for boosting attentiveness and alertness. Meats also contain B-12, a vitamin that boosts energy levels while fighting insomnia and depression.

kinds of beans

Beans: Beans, whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of fiber that most people don’t have enough of in their diet. Fiber works by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and maintaining steady blood sugar levels and therefore steady energy. Eat these healthy foods at any point during the day to keep you feeling full and energized.

glass of water

Water: Okay so it is not exactly a food, but water is necessary for the digestion of food and it is also a way to avoid the mid-day slump. Some studies show that even mild dehydration can cause your metabolism to slow and your energy levels to drop. Staying hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for your health, bodily processes and energy.

dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate: While it is not suggested to run straight for a Snickers from the vending machine when you start feeling tired, it is safe to say a little bit of dark chocolate can actually boost your energy and your mood. How? Because it not only contains caffeine, but dark chocolate also contains theobromine—a chemical compound with a similar (although lesser) affect to caffeine.

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Brown Rice: Not only is it a source of slow releasing energy, it is packed full of B Vitamins and protein. Did I mention it can aid weight-loss by keeping you feeling fuller, longer? Brown rice is a healthy carb to include in your diet for sustained energy throughout the day.

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Spinach: I bet you aren’t surprised to see this on the list since spinach seems to be a cure-all super food these days. This leafy green is a great source of antioxidants, potassium, iron, magnesium, Vitamins B and C, and is low in calories while high in fiber. Again, this vegetable will keep you full and energized so you can concentrate on getting through that mid-day slump.

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6 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

6 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

Counting calories has been a popular diet method for many years to help people lose weight. These days, there are many apps dedicated to food journals and keeping track of your calories throughout the day. Some people plan out their workouts and meals ahead of time to make sure they’re burning more calories than they’re taking in. Others fly by the seat of their skinny jeans and plan meal by meal throughout the day, while penciling in the occasional trip to the gym. The best part of calorie counting is knowing how many calories you burned after some heart pumping workouts. However, there are a few calorie-burning myths that might have you heading back to that food journal to make some difficult adjustments. Here are 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

1. Six small meals vs. Three square meals: While most of us were raised with the notion that we should eat three square meals each day, many people now believe that it’s better to eat smaller portions more frequently in order to help keep your metabolism working. But does constantly snacking really burn more calories? A recent study found no differences in weight loss among dieters who ate three or six times a day. However, researchers did note that eating more frequently may help keep between-meal hunger pains at bay. You should settle on an eating plan that keeps you satisfied and full so you’re less likely to binge due to hunger.

2. Working out in cold weather burns more calories: Don’t you think the northern states would be littered with runners and walkers in the dead of winter if this were true? It’s more like half true. Because shivering from cold temperatures revs up calorie burn, you will torch more as your body works harder to heat itself up. However, this calorie-burning myth is up for debate as in hot weather you will surely sweat more while exercising. When the temperature plummets, be smart and bundle up because the miniscule bump in calorie burn isn’t worth increasing your risk of getting sick.

3. Foods with negative calories: Some foods that take more energy to digest than they contain are known as negative calorie foods. However, the calories you need for digestion won’t ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains. This calorie-burning myth is only semi true in that there are zero calorie foods, but no actual negative calorie foods. However, non-starchy, low-calorie veggies can still help you lose weight since their fiber and water content will keep you feeling full for longer.

4. Cardio on an empty stomach: This is a calorie-burning myth believed by many people and needs to be debunked. If you exercise on an empty stomach, you will actually burn more muscle than fat, and you will most likely not have the energy to really get in a good workout. Exercising on an empty stomach vs. a full one comes down to personal preference and how you feel during your fitness routine. You may burn more calories from fat if you exercise after a snack, but it ultimately doesn’t matter because if you burn more fat during a workout, your body physiologically adjusts to burn less fat post-exercise. The bottom line is that to eat or not to eat before a workout is a personal preference, but having some food in your stomach will give you energy to power through and give it your all.

5. To lose weight you have to burn 250 calories per workout: Losing weight isn’t about the set number of calories you burn, but rather the calories expedited verses the calories you take in through food. What you do over the course of a week has a greater impact than focusing on the day-to-day. This means if you’re not feeling well one day and skip a workout; it won’t make a big difference in the long run. Focusing on the calories you burn compared to the calories you eat is the best way to lose weight.

6. All calories are created equal: Don’t we wish! This calorie-burning myth would mean that 100 calories of chocolate cake is the same as 100 calories of carrots- which is clearly untrue. Your body burns nearly 50% more calories after eating a meal packed with whole foods versus an equivalent meal made of processed fare. Your health as well as your weight loss depends on the nutritional value of foods you eat, not just the amount of calories in them.

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What Does It Really Mean to Be Healthy?

what is health? What can considered a health body?

Words that are thrown around without much thought eventually begin to lose their true meaning or become less effective when over-used. “Health” is quickly becoming a vague term and although it is a trending hot topic, many people don’t really understand what it means. Of course you know that someone is unhealthy if they have a disease, injury or are incredibly overweight. But are people who are none of these things automatically considered healthy? What does it really mean to be healthy?

Healthy is a relative term and it becomes a tricky issue to identify when everyone has their own idea about it. Although it is defined as “possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality” this could have a different meaning to every individual on earth. The truth is that what you believe to be healthy is not what your best friend might think it means, as it is personal to everyone. The overall condition of how someone or something is may be its health, but there are still so many subcategories that make it almost impossible to explain.

Overall health pertains to a number of different factors including fitness levels, nutrition, body fat percentage, a positive mental state, a peaceful soul, low stress, and on and on. Although everyone has to define health in their own terms a few factors do relate to good health in everyone:

Well functioning organs

Base level of functional fitness

A diet that consists of nutritious, whole foods.

The lines become blurred when someone has good overall health, but may have certain issues that are less than ideal for example high blood pressure or poor dental health. For every person, you could examine endless aspects of health and critique them until you find them to be healthy or unhealthy.

What it comes down to is making sure that you are in overall good condition, are not practicing lifestyle habits that could shorten your life, take part in regular exercise and eat mostly nutritious and whole foods. Health is the greatest wealth in this life so you should invest your time in making sure you are both mentally and physically healthy- whatever that means to you.

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5 Super Fruits You May Have Neglected Daily

There are hundreds of foods that come from the very ground we walk on that can give you a sense of super-human power. You tend to find these foods piled up on the outside of your grocery story isles. Super foods are packed with more good stuff than your basic multi-vitamins, they require little to no cooking, and generally have good taste. Today we would like to list 5 super fruit which you may neglected daily though they can give you mega nutrition power to let you and your family more healthy!

What is so called super fruit and why those qualified?

Before rush into the list, you may get a little interested why the market is full of this “super” , “organic” things… well, it’s not all about marketing! Super fruits typically have much more antioxidants than your average table juicy fruits, and we all know antioxidant is good for our health right?

 

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Kiwi—Kiwi has gotten its wings as a coronary heart healthful fruit, quite the helpful fruit in a small, hairy package. There is proof that it minimizes blood clotting, lowers LDL cholesterol levels and raises HDL cholesterol levels. Kiwi is a wonderful supply of vitamin C which helps create collagen to maintain your arteries elastic and to defend the arteries from free radical attacks. The only downside is those pesky little seeds that make their way between your teeth.

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Pink and Purple Grapes—I’ve heard of green and red, but never pink and purple. Resveratrol is the antioxidant found in pink and purple grapes and for that reason crimson wine. Despite the fact that the French eat loads of saturated excess fat, crimson meat, and smoke like chimneys, they also have a decreased chance of coronary heart disease in comparison to other nations. This is all because of their steady consumption of pink wine. The perks of using resveratrol include minimizing the possibility of blood clotting, thinning the blood, reducing LDL cholesterol levels, preventing destruction of blood vessels in the heart and serves to maintain blood strain at a strong variety.

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Purple Grapefruit—A study was posted in 2006 that uncovered that providing one grapefruit a day for thirty days to people with significant blood cholesterol, genuinely decreased their cholesterol ranges. In this study pink grapefruits were being identified to be a lot more effective than white grapefruit as a super fruit. Undiscovered antioxidants in the purple grapefruit are accountable for its coronary heart wholesome outcomes. The acidity in these fruits is also used for effective weight loss.

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Blueberries—Blueberries, like pomegranates, are a powerful super fruit loaded with anti-oxidants. Blueberries incorporate some resveratrol, but also contain a fairly new antioxidant called pterostilbene. Pterostilbene appears to have the very same chemo-preventative features as resveratrol. Blueberries also have excessive vitamin C levels.

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Pomegranate—Even though they might be difficult to peel and eat, pomegranates are found in a number of protein drinks, diet pills, and are recommended as a vitamin supplement. Pomegranates have an abundance of antioxidants making it fruit for the heart. Punicalagins is one of the most well-known cardio-protecting antioxidants identified in pomegranate. It can cut down on the inflammation of the arteries. Other anti-oxidants in pomegranate contain vitamin C, catechins, isoflavones, and anthocyanins, which have protective traits against coronary heart disease.

The list goes on, there are definitely more than 5 super fruits in the world, for example other types berries, tomatoes (if you never regard it as fruit lol) etc, just by a simple search you may know more on this topic!

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Best and Worst Starbucks Drinks for You

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I can’t remember the last time I didn’t start my morning with a big cup of coffee. It has been something of a ritual for me the past four or five years. In college I would brew some coffee to take with me in a travel mug to class and when I got my first job, I started brewing my coffee just as I headed out the door for a morning run to come home to the sweet aroma filling my apartment. But on days I wanted to treat myself (or didn’t have time to make my own coffee) I would swing through the Starbucks drive-thru for my favorite caramel macchiato. Since I only got one on rare occasions, I thought it wasn’t that unhealthy of a choice. Little did I know, I was drinking more sugar in my morning cup than I should probably have all day. I did a little more Starbucks research and decided which drinks should and should not be considered part of a healthy diet.

The best Starbucks drinks that won’t throw a healthy diet off track are, in general, those low in calories and sugar. A black cup of brewed coffee is one of the best choices wherever you are, even at Starbucks. With just a splash of non-fat milk and a packet or two of Splenda, you can enjoy a morning cup of coffee for under 20 calories. Starbucks also has a great selection of teas for healthy morning beverages. The Tazo brewed teas come in so many different flavors, and one of the best – in my opinion – is Vanilla Rooibos. If you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent, I would go with a Caffé Misto. It’s the perfect combination of brewed coffee and steamed milk. Non-fat milk comes in at around 70 calories for a 16 oz., and if you opt for soy milk, you’re only at 100 calories. It’s a delicious way to start your day and stay on track. If you’re in the mood for something chilled, go with a Tazo Shaken Unsweet Passion Iced Tea, it has zero calories and just the perfect hint of natural sweetness.

Starbucks has quite a menu full of delicious drinks, but some can really get you into trouble. One of the worst Starbucks drinks in particular is a whole meal in itself: the Java Chip Frappucino. A 16 ounce grande has 460 calories, 18 grams of fat and 66 grams of sugar. Not only will your jeans fit tighter, but your head might spin from the sugar rush. Another drink that I try to avoid at Starbucks is the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino. It has 420 calories and a whopping 20 grams of fat in the smallest size. Most of these blended beverages don’t even contain coffee. A hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s has less calories than some of these Starbucks drinks.

Indulging every once in a while is completely fine – and necessary – when we want to treat ourselves. I am not one to restrict my diet completely. But if coffee is your thing and Starbucks is your place, make sure you’re mindful of what you’re ordering.

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Learn How to Personalize Your Weight loss Plan… And Stick to It

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If you have vowed to start a weight loss plan, you have mastered the first step. Planning your weight loss plan and actually sticking to it takes time, patience, motivation, and determination. Often times, people start a specific plan but don’t pull through to see the end results they desire. Learning how to personalize a special plan that will work for you is essential because everyone gets through their weight loss journey differently. Just two weeks of eating healthier can be a great start, get you on the right track, and help you adhere to a set routine. This will make it a lot easier to sail through the rest of the month or months, depending on how long you make your plan.

Plan Ahead

Making a weight loss plan takes preparation and some planning ahead. Not being prepared is an easy way to get off track and sabotage your plan. Plan your meals and snacks a week in advance so that you assure yourself you will be eating healthy meals that week. When getting groceries, only buy healthy foods so that when you come back from a long day at work, you open your refrigerator to only healthy foods. If you decide you want to eat out that day, look at the restaurant’s menu in advanced to scan for the healthier dishes.

Make Rules

Making rules for yourself is a great way to personalize your weight loss plan because these are YOUR rules— nobody else’s. These guidelines will help you stay committed and serves as a guide to follow each day. Make rules such as “no candy or sugar at all” or “do 50 crunches before bed each night”. Write these rules down and hang them where you can see them clearly. Following these rules will help you form a distinct habit and eventually, you won’t even have to look at the rules to be reminded. Once the habit forms you will be more likely to automatically follow your rules.

Tip: Tell your close friends your weight loss rules so that they can help support your plan and prevent you from letting go. This can be a great help because it can be hard to stick to a plan when you are distracted with friends.

Keep a Food Diary

Keeping a food diary is a great way to track your plan and help you stick to your plan each day. Write down everything you eat and drink so that you can look back without having to remember off the top of your head. Writing things down actually helps you stay committed and reminds you what you are trying to achieve.

Motivate yourself Daily

This is an important step because throughout this process, staying motivated is what keeps you going one day after another. To keep your eye on the prize, write a list of reasons why you want to lose weight and how you will feel once you get to where you want. Reading this list every morning will remind yourself why you are putting in all of this hard work. You have reasons why you started the plan in the first place.

Reward Yourself for Achievements

Rewarding yourself as you meet mini goals is a way of reminding yourself that your weight loss plan is worth it and that you can do it. Determine which mini goals you want to reward yourself for and figure out how you want to reward yourself for those goals. Buying a small treat for yourself, whether it’s the pair of shoes you’ve wanted or just an afternoon outing is a great way to reward yourself.

Accept Mistakes

Sticking to your plan 100% perfectly without any mistakes is unrealistic. Don’t expect to be perfect. If you fall off plan—which you will once or twice—don’t think it is the end of the world and that you should give up. If you allow room for a couple of mistakes, you will be amazed at how easy it is to get back on track. This step, for many people, seems to be  the biggest hurdle. Don’t be that hard on yourself— you are human after all.

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Changes To Make In Your Diet to Boost Your Metabolism

some kickass ways to boost your metabolism system

Your metabolism is used to burn calories and fat, and is faster in some people than others. You can change your diet and eating habits to increase your metabolic rate, which is the rate your body burns these calories. Very few people have a fast and perfectly functioning metabolism, so there are a few changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to help it run quickly and smoothly.

Always start the day with breakfast because you will be less likely to binge eat later. Eating a well balanced morning meal of proteins, complex carbohydrates and calcium will get your body and metabolism moving and keep you fuller longer.

Drink coffee. The caffeine in coffee stimulates your body including your heart and central nervous system to keep you awake and keep your body functioning and burning calories. Caffeine has been known to jump-start metabolism and give you energy to power through your day.

Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism. If you eat small, healthy snacks throughout the day, you will help keep your blood sugar levels steady adn your metabolism running smoothly. Eating more frequently will keep you metabolism going throughout the day because food provides your body with the fuel it needs to function properly and burn calories.

Hydration is essential to your metabolism and body functioning. Our bodies are 80% water, so as long as you are hydrated your body will not feel the need to hang onto the food in your stomach. One major change you can make to your diet to boost metabolism is to drink as much water throughout the day as possible. Staying hydrated is essential to all bodily functions including metabolism. Even better, drink ice water because your metabolism will have to kick into high gear to warm that water up to be body temperature, burning twice as many calories.

Another diet staple important for boosting metabolism is the nutrient omega-3. Eating fish like tuna and salmon that contain omega-3 fatty acids and oils can help increase leptin production which great for your metabolism. Leptin is a hormone that controls your appetite, so eating fish with a meal will help you stay fuller longer.

Many vitamins and nutrients you put in your body affect your metabolism and how your body works. Protein and vitamin B help maintain a healthy metabolism and help keep you full as well. For these vitamins, aim to include foods like nuts, seeds, beef, and chicken in your diet.

Calcium is another important nutrient that works to release hormones that help your body store fat in a health way and speed up your metabolism. Snack on calcium-rich foods like low fat cottage cheese or yogurt to get your daily dosage. To ensure you are getting all the calcium you need, eat Vitamin C that will help your body absorb the calcium fully helping your metabolism.

Green tea has polyphenols that help to increase your metabolic rate. Specifically, it has EGCG that will noticeably increase your metabolism keeping you and your body awake. Green tea is one of the best beverages for your body, but it takes a routine for it to become effective. Drink four to five cups of hot green tea a day to see a difference in your alertness, digestion and metabolism.

Spicy foods have also been known to kick-start your metabolism. Spicy peppers like jalapenos and habanero peppers set your mouth on fire, and your metabolism. The burning sensation revs up your metabolism and you will still be burning calories from the heat a full half hour after you stop eating them. So sprinkle your food with a little heat whether it is dried pepper sprinkles, or jalapenos in your salad or pasta because it will add some flavor and give your body a good kick.

Eating a healthy, well rounded diet that consists of these foods will keep your body and metabolism going at a high and healthy rate. With the right balance of healthy eating and exercise, you’ll notice a difference in your mental and physical health, so do yourself some good and eat well!

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