Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Healthy foods and snacks to add to your eating plan

Healthy foods and snacks

Most of us love to snack as much as we want to lose weight. However, according to recent studies, most of the food we snack on are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our daily diets.

Eating the right snacks can be healthy and stabilize our energy levels and provide more opportunity to get all the nutritional needs. If you think that sacrificing snack will help lose weight, stop this habit. Snacks help us to fuel our bodies between meals and make sure that we don’t feel ravenous at mealtimes, while also keep your fat-burning metabolism revved up.

It healthy and the correct foods will also prevent heart disease and it is important to understand what you can do to better protect your heart. Healthy eating habits and smart foods can make a huge difference. It is recommended to keep track of our calories intake, eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods, while limiting saturated fats and trans fats.

Here are a few suggestions to add to your grocery lists and snacks to help keep your weight down and ticker in shape:

Add to your grocery list

  • Salmon
  • Oats
  • Walnuts
  • Black beans
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Blueberries
  • Dark greens
  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Avocado
  • Coffee
  • Dark Chocolate

Healthy Snacks

  • Cottage cheese and avocado
  • Oatmeal and blueberries
  • Sunflower lentil spread with pita bread
  • Canned tune on rice cakes
  • Greek yogurt with raspberries and honey
  • Asparagus and hard-boiled egg
  • Grapes and walnuts
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Lentil salad with tomatoes and watercress
  • Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta
  • Edamame beans
  • Chicken pita sandwich
  • Cauliflower with white bean dip
  • Power berry smoothie
  • Milk and Apples
  • Minty iced green tea

Energy tips to boost your day and productivity

Energy and fatigue tips

Everyone has one of those days (or night) feeling all out drained of energy and no matter what you do, you cannot psych yourself up. Do you experience those days sitting at your desk feeling sleep deprived and cannot stop yawning? Most of us can always use a boost to improve our energy levels, productivity, and self-control.

Researchers found that there is a direct link between self-control and energy, also they are finite. Normally, as the day goes on, our bodies start to experience difficulty with self-control and ability to focus on work and tasks. As our energy drains during the day our self-control wears out, we begin to feel tired and it becomes more difficult to do basic tasks. Worst of all, our mood sours.

To avoid loss of energy, follow these tips and transform your body into a fatigue-fighting machine:

  • Start the day with exercise.
  • Drink some lemon juice first thing in the morning.
  • Avoid checking your email, texts messages, and social media until after breakfast.
  • Make sure to eat a real breakfast avoid those hunger feeling during the day.
  • Get up from your desk and take a walk around the block.
  • Avoid energy drinks that offer a near-instant hyperactivity boost, but they always result in a crash.
  • Confront your stress and manage your anger.
  • If you can, take a power nap for 5-10 minutes.
  • Get organized and plan your day. When you are organized you don’t have to wast energy keeping track of things.
  • Avoid this midday cocktails and alcohol at lunch.
  • Increase your water consumption. It is easy to confuse signals of hunger with thirst.
  • Increase your whole grain consumption and keep your blood sugar levels constant.
  • Don’t be afraid to have a power snack in-between meals.
  • Eat lots of berries especially blue, red, and purple.
  • If your fatigue continues it might be a good idea to check your thyroid function and have a complete blood cell count.
  • If you are a smoker…QUIT.

Text-Neck is ruining your spine and posture

Text neck syndrome

‘Text Neck’ is a world-wide health concern, affecting millions of all ages and from all walks of life. Widespread overuse of handheld mobile technology is resulting in a harmful and dangerous physical condition on the human body, which is known as Text Neck.

Are you reading this article on your smartphone? Do have neck pains? Do you suffer from headaches? Given the current global usage of smartphones and bad posture, neck pain is on the rise. Many medical doctors and chiropractors have actually coined this phenomenon “text-neck”. Text-neck is the forward head posture causing increased stress in the cervical spine (neck). The main cause being the overuse of smartphones and texting. While texting people are looking down for long periods of time. and over time, this causes the head to change angles and lean forward, thereby increasing the weight and load on the neck joints. The resulting effect is the reversal of the natural curvature in the neck.

The average weight of the human head is around a dozen pounds. As the neck bend forward and down, this weight increases. At a 45 degree, weight can increase to 49 pounds. And this all begins with your smartphone and texting. To help understand this better, try imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck for several hours a day. It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones accruing recent studies. Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

Research has shown that this can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and may even need surgery to rectify. Some doctors are even calling this an epidemic. On average, smartphone users are hunched over 2-4 hours a day. Text-neck is more profound in teenagers and in time doctors foresee many young adults needing corrective surgery and spine care. It is up to parents to warn their children of the dangerous health risk like telling children to wash their hand after using the bathroom.

Text-neck and poor posture also causes other health problems. It can also reduce lung capacity by 30 percent and is also linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

How can you remedy Text-Neck

  • Limit your mobile usage and give your neck a break.
  • There is an App for everything. You can download an app to help you correct your posture in real-time (google search for “text neck app”)
  • Take at least 5 minutes per hour break at work and give your neck a rest.
  • Look down with your eyes and avoid being your neck.
  • Do head and neck exercises by moving your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward.
  • Start doing some yoga or pilates. Or any exercise that focuses on posture.
  • To avoid future health and wellness issues, simply do a Google search for “text neck exercises” or “text neck remedies” and educate yourself about this world-wide health concern.

How to avoid excessive calories over the holiday season

Healthy holiday meals

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we all know that most of us will be letting our guard down and increasing our consumption of food and drink. According to the Calorie Control Council in the USA, the average American consumes as much as 4500 calories on their Thanksgiving holiday. This is equivalent to about seven Burger King Whopper burgers.

Even for those of us who exercise on a regular basis and follow a healthy fitness and nutrition regimen, this kind of overeating might seem harmless. However, when you factor in all the leftovers, alcohol consumption and other holidays ahead, that waistline might increase quicker than you think.

For those us that have practically have no fitness regime or do the minimum amount, here are a few tips to help maintain that waistline and avoid the tight-pants syndrome.

Make sure you get enough sleep – This might seem a little weird but make sure you get between seven and eight hours sleep per night. Studies have shown that sleep helps to maintain our hormone levels and control our hunger and fullness. Deprived sleep increases the chance of overeating, increased craving for carb-rich food, and late night snacks.

Never arrive at a meal hungry – If you have been invited out for Christmas dinner, make sure that you do not arrive on an empty stomach. It is best to have a light meal earlier in the day and include protein and healthy fat to avoid that hunger feeling and avoid overindulging. IF by chance you do arrive on an empty stomach, head straight to the veggie platter and salad bar to curb that hungry feeling. Avoid dressing and dips, or limit the quantities.

Keep those vegetables simple – If you are cooking a meal, try avoid using those candied or butter-laden vegetables. Rather prepare roasted cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli and green beans without all the butter and excessive oils.

Watch your alcohol and liquid calories – Avoid all those sugary beverages and excessive alcohol consumption. Not only will this reduce your calorie count but also avoid drinking and driving. Sugary drinks and alcohol does not help to avoid that hungry feeling but may actually exacerbate hunger. Most of the time that hungry feeling is your body telling you that you need to drink water. It is recommended to drink about eight glasses of water a day.

You are not feeding an army – If you are the host, remember that you will not be judged on the success of your meal by the amount of leftovers. Make single meal dishes and give them to your guests to the home. Not only will this help you but it will also help your guests and void them having to cook a meal the next day.

Reduce your plate size and follow the 50/25/25 rule – The biggest culprit of weight gain over the holiday season is due to the huge portions we eat and excessive alcohol consumption. However, even if you do increase your food quantity and portions, you can still choose smarter to reduce calories. It is recommended to divide your plate in half, dedication 50% to fruits and vegetables, 25% for protein, and the remaining 25% for grains. This way you can cut back on the bigger culprits to holiday weight gain.

Focus on the social gathering – It is a given that meals are a large part of the holiday season, but enjoying the time with family and friends can be nice distraction from overeating. Avoid temptations and keep a safe distance from those chips and dips.

Avoid the holiday stress and emotions – Holiday and family gathering can be very stressful for some and overeating can be an easy way out. Avoid spending time with those stress induced people. Perhaps offer to help the host to prepare food or the table. Family reunions can be fertile ground for uncomfortable topic, so be prepared with conversation points, preferably with some added humor to change the subject. Not only will this help you but other around you.

Exercise, exercise, exercise – For those of us that follow a minimum fitness program, it is a good idea to plan on making one of your new year resolutions to start some sort of fitness program and eating plan. If possible, instead of driving to your host for a meal, rather take a walk.


Healthy meals and snacks to eat at work

Healthy workplace snack food

Many people try to maintain a healthy diet at work but fail because they do not know how to eat healthy at work. It is a known fact that it is more difficult to stay committed to a healthy diet plan at work because your colleagues invite you to eat with them, and there are always delicious unhealthy food around the workplace.

Keep in mind that the food we eat at work will not only have an impact on your health but also affects your productivity, too. A food plan that includes high fat, high sugar meals and snacks will increase the chances of you feeling sleepy and have low energy overall. High fat food take longer to digest, while candy and sweets cause our blood sugar to spike then crash, not to mention the possibility of an upset stomach.

Since we spend most of our day and life at work, we will always be tempted to eat unhealthy food. The problem is that most of us make bad eating decisions while at work. Bad eating habits at work are usually because of boredom and stress which leads to snacking on sweets and chips. Bad eating at work can also be cause by the limited choices we have in the workplace and too many temptations around the office.

Here are a few tips to help you eat healthy at work:

  • Eat a good healthy breakfast at home.
  • Reduce your coffee intake at work.
  • Drink more water.
  • Distribute your meals and eat a half a portion at lunch and then remainder a few hour later.
  • Eat a healthy lunch or bring your own lunch to work.
  • Bring your own healthy snacks to work.

Luckily, there are plenty of quick, easy, and inexpensive healthy snack options. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Almonds
  • Low-fat popcorn
  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Black tea
  • Dry cereal
  • Protein bar
  • Rice cakes
  • Pretzels
  • Grapes
  • Frozen banana
  • Cottage cheese
  • Nuts
  • Wasabi peas
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Vegetables and humus
  • Tomato juice
  • Low-fat yoghurt