Five Gears for a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

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fromDECA Direct Magazine | November-December 2020

story from: DECA Direct Magazine | November-December 2020

Managing Stress as a Small Bus…

Hannah Smolicz | Collegiate DECA Vice President

Let’s face it: being an emerging leader is not easy! We’re supposed to get good grades, be involved in our community, excel in extracurriculars, select a college, apply for scholarships, navigate social relationships and gain job experience. Add in virtual or hybrid learning, a global pandemic and a tumultuous political environment and these things become even more difficult. So, how can we manage it all? How can we achieve a healthy lifestyle?

First, you must ask yourself a rather insane question: Who are you? While there are countless ways to answer, think in terms of the type of personality that you have. More specifically, are you more naturally introverted or extroverted?

Extroverted people usually find that after a long day of work, they recharge their energy by going out to dinner with friends and socializing. On the contrary, introverts may recharge by watching a movie on their own or cooking dinner for themselves. Of course, these personalities often overlap. Introverts do not only enjoy spending time alone and do not always work well individually. They may actually love to go out with a group of friends or work best with a team. Likewise, extroverts also need—and may even crave—alone time.

The main difference between these personality types is how they recharge. Trying to recharge in a way that doesn’t match your personality can actually increase your stress level, rather than alleviate it. So, rid yourself of the belief that being introverted means antisocial and that being extroverted means having an unlimited social battery. Everyone has a social battery, but some batteries last longer than others.

Remember that extroversion and introversion are not all-or-nothing traits; they’re actually based on a continuum. Neither personality type is ‘better’ than the other.

Are You Extroverted or Introverted?

You might be extroverted if…

1. You love to talk and socialize

2. You thrive from group interactions

3. You discuss problems openly

4. You like to try new things

5. Your ideal party is a huge event where you can meet new people

6. You feed off the hype around you

7. You’re the “life of the party” who loves having an audience

You might be introverted if…

1. You enjoy solitude and time to think

2. You have a small group of close friends

3. You are happy to listen and observe

4. You require advance notice to best prepare feedback and ideas

5. Your ideal party is a small gathering of close friends

6. You feel distracted and unfocused from too much stimulation

7. You prefer to avoid being the center of attention

Let’s learn more about the Five Gears:

Now that you understand your personality a little better, it’s time to learn about the Five Gears. Essentially, the gears are different modes, or mindsets, that humans switch between when we want to achieve a specific goal. Think of it like driving a car and shifting between different gears. It’s all about learning to shift into the right gear at the right time.

1. Recharge Mode

How do you recharge? This may include reading a book, watching your favorite show, taking the time to cook a meal, going out with friends or even exercising. Recharging refers to the way humans relax; what we enjoy doing despite being stressed. Some people like to recharge alone, while others need a social setting to feel rejuvenated. Ask yourself whether you recharge too much or too little. Some may use recharging as a way to procrastinate and avoid responsibilities, as they have a difficult time switching to other gears. Others may have a difficult time switching to this first gear because they find it hard to relax.

2. Connect Mode

In second gear, we connect with our family or friends without the interruption of work. Some may recharge by connecting with the important people in their life, but for others, this can be a completely separate gear. Regardless, all people must connect to those around them through meaningful conversations to fuel personal relationships. For instance, if someone is constantly working and does not take the time to reach out to their friends, they will begin to weaken or lose those relationships. Connecting with someone on a personal level is significant and can even help you further understand yourself. It allows us to digest and comprehend emotion, as well as feel love for our family and friends.

3. Social Mode

No matter one’s personality type, everyone needs social time. Individuals must meet new people, make new friends and spend time with their friends and family. Whether through Zoom or in person, people must interact with others on a casual level and do this in ways they personally enjoy. Be sure to pay attention to how much time you spend socializing, as extroverts may use social mode to shirk other responsibilities and procrastinate on important tasks.

4. Task Mode

Fourth gear is a time for working and multitasking. When we switch into this gear, we may be doing simple chores around the house, changing our phone plan or running errands. This mode often includes checking off items on your to-do list, even if they are simple. If one ignores those simple tasks, bills may not be paid, emails not sent and groceries never bought. Therefore, the ability to switch into this gear is actually very significant. In this mode, you can work productively on several tasks, but not necessarily have laserlike focus.

5. Focus Mode

When you enter fifth gear, you are in complete focus and thinking strategically or working without interruption. You may refer to it as being “in the zone”, usually completing a significant, complex task. Some may struggle to switch to this gear and have trouble focusing on one task for an extended period of time. So, understand how you most effectively work. Are you able to work in your home or do you need to be in another location? Do you need silence or the buzz of other people? Do you focus best in the morning or at night? By answering these questions and adjusting your environment, you will be able to switch into this gear more easily, even if the task is not particularly enjoyable.

Which gears do you find yourself spending the most time in? Each gear is important to leading a healthy lifestyle, so strive to find a balance. Be aware of what you need to spend more time on or what gears may be dominating your day. Like learning to drive a car, it takes practice and repetition. To de-stress and be genuinely happy, everyone needs to balance these modes and understand how to best take advantage of the Five Gears.

This article is based on the book 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time by Steve Cockram and Jeremie Kubicek. Discover other tools and learn more at

How to Kick-Start a New Healthy Lifestyle in 2020

Posted in Healthy lifestyle
How to Kick-Start a New Healthy Lifestyle in 2020

A complete guide to creating sustainable change and engineering a healthy lifestyle

Millions of people are about to be disappointed –– they don’t even realize it. 

Maybe you’re one of them.

Right now, around the world, people are setting new ambitious health goals and resolutions.

And yet, according to Inc Magazine, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Most of them buried in an unmarked early grave by February.

Why is that? 

How is it that despite all our best intentions and genuine desire to live healthier and be fitter, the most we can hope for is a depressing 20% success rate?

So to help you kickstart your New Year with a healthy lifestyle we are going to breakdown why most goals and resolutions fail and what to do instead. 


Why Most Health Goals and Resolutions Fail

It starts with words. 

While resolutions and goals can be helpful in some situations, they do not create the behavior change necessary for sustainable healthy lifestyles. 

This failure is grounded in the way we think about and articulate them. The way we design them with our words and thoughts. 

See, when most people decide they want to be healthier, they go one of two directions. 

  1. They pick an aspirational end-goal like:

    Lose X pounds.
    Put on Y pounds.
    Get a six-pack.
    Maybe even “run a triathlon.”


  2. They regurgitate vague platitudes like “ be healthier,” “eat better,” or “do better.”

None of these work!

Let’s start with aspirational end-goals first because these are the most common. 


Why Aspirational End-Goals Don’t Work

The biggest problem is that while there IS a concrete end goal, there’s no process to help you get there. 

The second problem is that even if you do hit your goal, most likely you won’t retain the long term benefit. You might lose the pounds… but more often than not, you’ll gain it all back plus a little extra a few months later. 

You might get the six-pack, but then it fades as your motivation wanes after achieving it. 

And other times, the goal itself is too much. It’s like being at the foot of a giant mountain and the ascent is so intimidating that you give up right after you start. 

As much as you’d like to gain 15 pounds of muscle, the pain of going to the gym four times per week is stronger than the desire. 

So you give up. And your goals fail. 

Ultimately, these each have a solution. But before we get there, let’s talk about the other kinds of goals. 


Why Vague Goals Don’t Work

While goals like “work out more” or “eat healthier” imply a lifestyle –– which is good –– again, there’s nothing to help you get there. 

How will you know when you finally arrive at “healthier”? And how will you get there?

You can argue that a deep-fried vegetable dipped in cheese fondue is healthier than fried spam. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

We need to approach our goals from a different angle. An angle sourced in human psychology.

We need to look at these from the perspective of behavior change because behaviors are what make up our lifestyle. 


5 Steps to Harness the Power of Habits 

In reality, a healthy lifestyle isn’t a “goal.” It’s a way of living. It’s a bunch of small things you do automatically because that is how you live on the day-to-day.

In other words, it’s a habit. 

And fortunately, habits have rules. They have processes built on the principles of human psychology. 

Building healthy habits is how you transform ineffective goals and resolutions into sustainable lifestyles. 

Here are 5 basic principles to consider when creating any new habit. So let’s dive into it:

  1. Process goals
  2. Time and location
  3. Habit triggers
  4. Leverage social pressure
  5. Reward


The Magic of Process-Oriented Goals

So instead of focusing on losing X pounds, focus on doing the activities that will lead to you losing weight.

“Go to the gym 3x per week,” for example, is more effective than lose 15 pounds. 

Or instead of “get a six-pack”, make the goal to do 100 sit-ups per day. 

You focus on the process that will get you what you want, not the end goal. 

If you want to eat better, focus on buying organic food or going carb-free 5 days per week. Or even make one meal from a paleo cookbook every day. 

This change of wording grinds your goal into daily, measurable tasks. You know if you are on track because you show up at the gym 3x per week, or because you did the sit-ups. 

It takes the goal out of the black-and-white binary success-or-fail thinking and gets you thinking in terms of growth processes. It focuses your energy on doing the work instead of attaining some end state. 

While this shift in focus is subtle, it is compelling. 


The Power of Time and Location Specificity

The next step is to define when and where you will engage in your new lifestyle habits. 

Defining these two elements takes you to a new level of specificity and clarity that has psychological ramifications. You’re no longer “fitting it in” you’re planning for it.

It’s a lot like visualization. Planning when and where you will do it engages your mind, it creates a mental image of you actually doing the task, which makes it far more likely you will follow through. 

For example, “I will go directly to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work.”

Or “I will do 100 situps in my living room before taking my morning shower.”

This gives you clear instructions and expectations. You can measure your success day by day, week by week. And over time, that becomes a habit –– lifestyle. 


Create Habit Triggers

Another way to integrate healthy habits into your life is to pair them with other things you already do. 

You probably brush your teeth every morning (hopefully). You probably also take a shower most mornings, eat meals, go to work, and then come home from work. 

These are repeated moments in your day you can schedule reminders for your new habit.

So if you decide that you want to do three sets of 15 pushups, you could do them right after you brush your teeth, or before your shower, or right when you come home from work. 

Over time, these habits become paired together, like Pavlov’s dog with the bell. In behavioral psychology, this is known as a trigger or cue. Doing the first activity then triggers the second. 

After a while, this becomes automatic. You don’t have to use willpower. It just happens. 


Leverage Social Pressure

Another way to hack a healthy lifestyle to achieve your health goals is to put yourself around people already doing what you want to do. 

We are social creatures and unconsciously seek to match our behavior to the people around us. 

New research [1,2] shows that just by having overweight friends, you become more likely to gain weight and become overweight yourself. 

But this isn’t limited to weight gain. We humans are social creatures and we calibrate ourselves to the people around us. 

This phenomenon impacts every area of our lives, from finances to clothing styles. 

And it is a principle you can use to your advantage to help reinforce healthy habits. 

So if you want to run more, you could join a running club. Just being around more runners will make you want to run more. It will keep you motivated. 

If you want to compete in a triathlon, hang out with triathletes. Get a training partner or join a group. 

The social pressure will help you persevere when your willpower falters. 


The Fun Part: Reward Yourself

If you’ve ever trained a dog, you know that rewarding good behavior is essential to the process.

The act of giving a treat reinforces the behavior you want the dog to adopt.

Humans aren’t so different. By rewarding yourself immediately after you complete your new habit, you stimulate your “pleasure and reward” pathway. 

You build up positive neurological associations that say “you should do that again!”

It could be as simple as a piece of dark chocolate or a delicious smoothie. 

You could even watch something enjoyable on YouTube or listen to a song you love. As long as it’s something you personally enjoy, it will do the trick. The critical part is to do it as close to the activity as possible to stimulate the connection.


Engineering Your Healthy Lifestyle

Health is not a one-time goal. It is a lifetime pursuit. 

And the only way you will create health that lasts throughout your long and wonderful life is to start changing the way you set goals and resolutions and start creating long-term habits. 

These 5 principles here are just a starting point. They are to get you over the hump of internal resistance and forgetfulness so you can create sustainable changes that make a real difference in your health for the long term.

Over time, your new healthy habits become part of who you are, of how you are, of the way you live.

They will become a lifestyle. 




Sensible Lifestyle Solutions | GettingHealthy

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Getting Healthy Staying Healthy


Good health is actively and decisively performing in a manner that promotes strength, improved nourishment, and reduced stress, to enable a calmative affect on the body and mind.

Getting fit and healthy prescribes the conditions of being in possession of the energy and motivation required to achieve the things you most want in life without the distractions or trauma of illness.

When you are fortunate enough to achieve good health, you are able to enjoy the good things in life without feeling guilt or shame because you are content and secure in your ability to moderate your mental and physical behaviours.

Getting fit and healthy is best described as the state of being free of any addictions and compulsions! Most individuals recognise that the term good health is better described by separating it into two categories, that being physical health and mental health.

Physical Health
The term physical health is referring to a good quality of body health which is in good condition because of regular physical exercise, high-quality nutritional intake, and satisfactory rest and recuperation. Generally, when a group of human beings experience enhanced standards of living, nutrition, healthcare, or quality of life, their height and weight usually increase.

In fact, when most individuals are asked for a definition of health, they usually always speak of physical health. Physical health is basically relatable to anything concerning our body at a physical level. Physical health has been the foundation for numerous dynamic living campaigns and the countless nutritional trends that have swept the developed world. Now days, individuals are exposed to copious amounts of physical health data that it is difficult to decide what is relevant and what is not.

Another term often used for describing physical health is physical wellbeing. The term physical wellbeing is defined as something an individual can achieve by combining and increasing all health related components of their lifestyle. The term fitness reflects an individual’s cardio respiratory stamina, muscular strength, body flexibility and composition. Other contributors to physical wellbeing incorporate correct nutrition, weight management, refraining from drug and alcohol abuse, conscientious sexual behaviour, general hygiene, and sufficient sleep.

Physical Health can be further divided into two more categories:

Mental Health
Mental health refers to an individual’s cognitive and emotional well being. An individual that benefits from good mental health usually does not have a mental disorder. According to world health organisation, mental health is a condition of well being in which the individual understands his or her own capabilities, can cope with the typical stresses of life, can work effectively and rewardingly, and is a valuable contribution to his or her community.

Regardless of the many definitions concerning mental health, its evaluation is still very subjective. Individuals have always found it much easier to give explanation as to what mental illness is, rather than explaining mental health. Most individuals will agree to the statement that mental health refers to the absence of mental illness. But this definition is unsatisfactory for many individuals doubting their mental health. There is argument that if you select twenty individuals who do not suffer from any noticeable mental disorder or illness that could be identified by a psychiatrist, some of those selected individuals will be mentally healthier than others.

Many individuals also agree that mental health incorporates the ability to bounce back from adversity, the ability to adjust and be flexible, the ability to attain balance and moderation, the ability to feel safe and secure, the ability to just basically enjoy life by making the best of what you have.

Mental health can be further clarified or simplified by stating that:

health, nutrition, exercise, diet, detox, herbal, weight loss, vitamins, probiotics

‘Good Health In Your Early Years Is Essential To Attaining Quality Of Life In Your Later Years’

Effective Weight Loss »    Getting In Shape »

Preventing Stress Through a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

“Lifestyle” refers to personal behaviors and habits such as
exercise, eating habits, cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug
use, safety, and stress management. Experts say that a person’s
lifestyle helps him or her resist the negative effects of stress
and prevents stress from becoming a problem. You may want to
follow the Lifestyle Guidelines listed below to maintain your
health and prevent stress:

  • Avoid
    cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is the single most important
    preventable cause of illness and early death. The effects
    of smoking can be reversed.
  • Exercise
    regularly. Regular exercise helps people of all ages look
    and feel better. Different kinds of exercise provide specific
    health benefits.
  • Eat
    sensibly. A nutritious diet is essential for maintaining
    good health and proper weight.
  • If
    you drink, drink only in moderation. Alcohol is frequently
    used to reduce stress because it has a relaxing effect.
    Regular, heavy use of alcohol leads to disease. Drinking
    and driving often leads to fatal or crippling accidents.
  • Use
    care in taking drugs. Although drugs may provide temporary
    relief from stress symptoms, they may not solve ongoing
    problems and tensions. Excessive or continued use of either
    prescription or illegal drugs may cause physical and mental
  • Be
    safety-conscious. Living safely at home, work, and on the
    road prevents accidents and injuries.
  • Learn
    to manage stress. Stress is a normal part of living. Three
    major steps to keep daily stress from becoming a problem:
    take time to relax, talk with a friend, and learn to keep
    a positive outlook.

Have you ever noticed that, while one person sees a situation
as a problem, another views it as a challenge? Research shows
that adults who are optimistic maintain higher levels of mental
and physical health than those who are more negative. There
seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy at work: When a person
sees a stressor as a problem or crisis it is likely to become
a crisis because he or she feels unable to cope. But when a
person sees an event as something that can be managed, he or
she is likely to act quickly to solve a problem before it exhausts
her or his energy. In other words, how people perceive the situation
influences how they react.

It is
not clear what enables some people to “see a glass half full”
while others “see it half empty.” Outlook may be affected
by the person’s sense of autonomy and control–feeling independent
and in control of daily life. People who feel in control are
more likely to believe they can handle a situation and are
able to prevent it from becoming stressful. People who look
at a situation as something that can be handled are confident
that it will be resolved and takes steps to confront or solve
the problem; this may prevent the situation from becoming

it is important to maintain autonomy and control, it may also
be important to recognize when situations cannot be controlled.
This avoids increased frustration and tension. When a solution
is out of reach, the most effective coping strategy may be
to change your outlook by “letting go,” rather than by forcing
a solution. Relaxation exercises help in releasing tension.

option is to reframe the situation, that is, to look at it
in a different, more positive light. This technique often
helps a person to accept and to feel better about the situation.

To reframe
a situation means to look at what is happening with a different,
more positive attitude. When individuals and families keep
a positive outlook they can stand up to stress more easily.
Some examples of how you can reframe certain situations appear
in Table 1. Add your own examples at the end of the list.

Table 1. Reframing
stubborn determined
stingy thrifty
bossy a leader
loud uninhibited
shy quiet
picky attends to details
won’t follow rules creative/innovative
talks too much outgoing

are times when reframing doesn’t fit the situation. There
are also times when it seems almost impossible to feel positive.
You may not be able to change the situation or even to look
at in a positive light, but it may be helpful to take walks
outdoors and to try to appreciate the enjoyable aspects of
life. Sometimes taking stock of personal and family strengths
and assets helps us to appreciate the positive.

  • Make
    a list of the things you enjoy about your life.
  • With
    your family, discuss the things you enjoy about being together,
    and the things you like about each other.
  • Talk
    about the things you and your family are looking forward
    to in the future–events, activities, celebrations. Explore
    ways you can continue to show your appreciation for your
    individual and family strengths.

Relaxation exercises are effective techniques for reducing stress.
These exercises help you to feel less tense and more relaxed.
The result is a greater sense of physical and emotional well-being.
A brief relaxation activity requires 60 to 90 seconds, so it
can be done easily and quickly on the job, in the car, or in
a few minutes of free time at home.

1. Assume a passive and comfortable position. Although sitting
may be most conducive to relaxation, you can do these exercises
while standing, riding in a car, lying down, or as you prepare
for an anticipated stressful event.
2. Practice one or more of the following activities several
times each day. This will help keep you calm, and will reduce
tension when it occurs.

  • Deep
    Exhale slowly, and tell all your muscles
    to relax. Say as you exhale, “I feel tension and energy
    flowing out of my body”. Repeat the above exercise five
    or six times and you’ll become more relaxed.
  • Whole
    body tension:
    Tense every muscle in your body, stay
    with that tension, and hold it as long as you can without
    feeling any pain. Slowly release the tension and very gradually
    feel it leave your body. Repeat three times. Notice how
    your feelings change.
  • Shoulder
    shrugs and head rolls:
    Try to raise your shoulders up
    to your ears. Hold for the count of four, then drop your
    shoulders back to normal position. Rotate your head and
    neck. Vary this by rotating your shoulders up and down,
    and head and neck around–first one way, then the other,
    then both at the same time.
  • Imagine
    air as a cloud:
    Open your imagination and focus on your
    breathing. As your breathing becomes calm and regular, imagine
    that the air comes to you as a cloud–it fills you and goes
    out. Notice that your breathing becomes regular as you relax.

relaxation exercises work better for some people than others.
Practice whatever exercises seem to fit you best. (These exercises
were adapted from Stress and How to Live With It. Cheryl
Tevis, Ed Meredith Corp. 1982.)

Publication #: HE-2090

This document, Fact Sheet
was published 11/91, Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
For more information, contact your county Cooperative Extension
Service office.

2. Suzanna Smith, Assistant
Professor, Human Development, Home Economics Department;
and Joe Pergola, Multi-County Family Life and Child Development
Specialist, Hillsborough County Extension Office, respectively,
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.

11 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

​​​​​Did you know that only about 1 in 4 children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day?

Participation in all types of physical activity drops dramatically as a child’s age and grade in school increase. It’s important that physical activity be a regular part of family life. Here is some information to help you keep your children healthy and active.

The benefits of physical activity

Being physically active means moving enough to breathe heavily, be short of breath, feel warm, and sweat. Exercise is vital to the health and well-being of children. Physical activity helps build and maintains healthy bones, muscles, and joints, for example. It can help keep a healthy body mass index and reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease later in life. It can help children fall asleep quickly and sleep well. 

Beyond benefits to the body, physical activity also boosts a child’s mental and behavioral health. It increases a child’s enthusiasm and optimism and boosts self-esteem, school performance, attention and behavior. It also reduces anxiety, tension and depression. It can also fosters teamwork and friendship when it’s part of an organized sport.

​11 ways to get started

Parents can play a key role in helping their child become more physically active. Some suggestions:

  1. ​Talk with your child’s doctor. Your child’s doctor can help your child understand why physical activity is important. Your child’s doctor can also help you and your child identify sports or
    activities that may be best for your child.

  2. Emphasize fun. Help your child find a sport that she enjoys. The more she enjoys the activity, the more likely she will be to continue it. Get the entire family involved. It is a great way to spend time together.

  3. Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate. For example, a 7- or 8-year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 3-mile run, but soccer, bicycle riding, and swimming are all well great activities for kids this age.

  4. Plan ahead. Make sure your child has a convenient time and place to exercise.

  5. Provide a safe environment. Make sure your child’s equipment and where they practice or play is safe. Make sure your child’s clothing is comfortable and appropriate for the activity.

  6. Provide active toys. Young children especially need easy access to balls, jump ropes, and other active toys.

  7. Be a role model. Children who regularly see their parents enjoying sports and physical activity are more likely to do so themselves.

  8. Play with your children. Help them learn a new sport or another physical activity. Or just have fun together by going for a walk, hike, or bike ride.

  9. Set limits. Limit screen time, including time spent on TV, videos, computers, and video games​, each day. Use the free time for more physical activities.

  10. Make time for exercise. Some children are so overscheduled with
    homework, music lessons, and other planned activities that they do not have time for

  11. Do not overdo activity. Exercise and physical activity should not hurt. If it becomes painful, your child should slow down or try a less vigorous activity. As with any activity, it is important not to overdo it. If exercise starts to interfere with school or other activities, talk with your child’s doctor.​

Getting the entire family moving

Studies have found that lifestyles learned in childhood are much likelier to stay with a person into adulthood. If sports and physical activities are a family priority, they will provide children and parents with a strong foundation for a lifetime of health. 


Exercise along with a
balanced diet provides the foundation for a healthy, active life. One of the most important things parents can do is encourage healthy habits in their children early in life. It is not too late to start. Ask your child’s doctor about tools for healthy living today.

More information

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors: The Importance of Individual an… : Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

The importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors to cardiovascular health promotion, risk reduction, as well as disease prevention and management is well established. Health behaviors, including patterns of dietary intake, physical activity and inactivity, as well as smoking and alcohol consumption, have been universally emphasized and embraced as a central component of evidence-based guidelines for children, adolescents, and adults from diverse populations. In 2011, the revised guidelines for children and adolescents were published and disseminated in an array of venues.1 Healthy lifestyle behaviors and therapeutic lifestyle change were emphasized and reaffirmed as central to cardiovascular health promotion and risk reduction, respectively. Within the pediatric community of healthcare providers, however, concern continues to be expressed regarding the adequacy of dissemination and uptake as well as use in clinical practice. In a thoughtful review and analysis of the pediatric guidelines, Zachariah and de Ferranti2 comment on both strengths and limitations of the evidence-based recommendations. With the use of an age-appropriate integrated approach, recommendations argue persuasively for the development and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors from early life through adolescence for all children and youth, with the goal of preventing the development of risk factors (ie, dyslipidemias, obesity, hypertension) in the first place.1 Referred to as primordial prevention,3 this is clearly a population-based approach to healthy lifestyle behaviors. However, the guidelines are relatively quiet on advocating for primordial prevention policies focused on creating optimal defaults, environments that enable healthy choices and behaviors for all individuals across the life course.1,2 In addition, in the summary document that is more widely available to healthcare providers than the full report, minimal attention is devoted to sociodemographic and cultural factors known to influence healthy lifestyle behaviors.1,2

More recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, reaffirmed the importance of lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk in adults.4 As 1 of the 4 prevention guidelines released (simultaneously) in late 2013, the AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk focused solely on healthy lifestyle behaviors.4 With primary care providers identified as the target audience, recommendations in these evidence-based guidelines focus on healthy patterns of dietary intake and physical activity . Detailed elsewhere,4,5 emphasis is placed on achieving a healthy dietary pattern by following plans such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-type diet, the United States Department of Agriculture food pattern, or the AHA diet.4 Individuals are encouraged to adapt this dietary pattern to appropriate energy requirements, personal and cultural food preferences, as well as nutrition therapy for other medical conditions (including diabetes). The recommended dietary pattern also includes limiting sodium consumption to less than 2400 mg/d; the desirable daily intake suggested is 1500 mg/d.4 Focused on improving the lipid profile and blood pressure, physical activity recommendations encourage adults to engage in aerobic physical activity of moderate/vigorous intensity for 40 minutes per session, 3 to 4 times per week.4

Important to note in this context is the identification of gaps in the evidence and future research needs focused on how lifestyle impacts cardiovascular risk reduction. The writing group identified strategies for effective implementation as a key area for future research with emphasis on how providers, health systems, public health agencies, local and federal government, community organizations, as well as other stakeholders may help patients adopt and sustain these healthy lifestyle behavior patterns.4 In addition, the need for better understanding of the racial, social, and socioeconomic factors that influence these key lifestyle behaviors was emphasized.4

On the basis of a rigorous review and synthesis of the available evidence, the integrated pediatric guidelines1 and the AHA/ACC guidelines on lifestyle management4 emphasize the importance of healthy behavior patterns for optimal cardiovascular health across the life course. Intended for implementation by healthcare providers, both guidelines represent an individual clinical approach. Complementary to and synergistic with this approach, a growing body of evidence clearly indicates that population-based approaches that include and encompass policy and environmental change are central and essential to enable the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors.6,7 To that end, with the use of a life course framework, the AHA has developed and disseminated several documents focused on population-based approaches designed to improve healthy lifestyle behaviors.8,9 More recently, the AHA issued a call to action focused on better population health through behavior change.10 Reflecting the need for both individual clinical- and population-level strategies to achieve sustained patterns of healthy behaviors, the community of healthcare providers is strongly encouraged to (1) intervene directly and as members of an interprofessional healthcare team to help individual patients adopt healthy lifestyles as well as (2) advocate for healthcare system and policy improvements to address the behavior change needs of the entire population effectively.10

As cardiovascular nurses functioning in a variety of practice, teaching, research, policy, and advocacy roles, we have numerous opportunities to promote the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviors. On an individual/clinical level, we are encouraged to capture the “teachable moment” as well as integrate patient and family lifestyle counseling in every patient encounter. Across healthcare and community settings including schools, work sites, and faith-based organizations, we are encouraged to operationalize the recommendations for healthy lifestyle behaviors1,4 in our individual lifestyle choices and role modeling as well as in our education, practice, and research initiatives . Importantly, on a population level, we must be advocates for the health of the public by assuming leadership roles in promoting healthcare system and multilevel policy changes necessary for universal adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors across the life course.


1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents : the report of the expert panel. Published 2011. Accessed February 13, 2014.
2. Zachariah JP, de Ferranti SD. NHLBI integrated pediatric guidelines: battle for a future free of cardiovascular disease. Future Cardiol. 2013; 9( 1): 13–22. doi:10.2217/fca.12.72.
3. Weintraub WS, Daniels SR, Burke LE, et al. Value of primordial and primary prevention for cardiovascular disease: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011; 124: 967–990. doi:10.1161/CIR.0b013e3182285a81.
4. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014; 63( 25): 2960–2984.
5. Himmelfarb CR, Commodore-Mensah Y, Hayman LL. New cardiovascular prevention guidelines offer a new approach and effective strategies. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2014; 29( 2): 102–104.
6. Koh HK, Blakey CR, Roper AY. Healthy people 2020: a report card on the health of the nation. JAMA. 2014; 311( 24): 2475–2476. Supplemental content at
7. Fisher EB, Fitzgibbon ML, Glasgow RE, et al. Behavior matters. Am J Prev Med. 2011; 40( 5): e15–e30. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2010.12.031.
8. Mozaffarian D, Afshin A, Benowitz NL, et al. Population approaches to improve diet, physical activity, and smoking habits: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012; 126( 12): 1514–1563.
9. Pearson TA, Palaniappan LP, Artinian NT, et al. American Heart Association guide for improving cardiovascular health at the community level, 2013 update: a scientific statement for public health practitioners, healthcare providers, and health policy makers. Circulation. 2013; 127: 1730–1753. doi:10.1161/CIR.0b013e31828f8a94.
10. Spring B, Ockene JK, Gidding SS, et al. Better population health through behavior change in adults: a call to action. Circulation. 2013; 128: 2169–2176. doi:10.1161/01.cir.0000435173.25936.e1.

15 Small Changes That Lead to Big Weight Loss, Per Health Experts

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

If your goal is to lose weight and exercise more, forget the deprivation diet and marathon workouts. Research shows that taking small steps—not giant leaps—is the best way to get lasting results.

Research shows that people who adopt smaller, positive changes to their lifestyle, such as drinking more water or walking five more minutes each day, lose more weight and keep it off.

“When you focus on just a couple of small changes at a time, you begin to ingrain some healthy habits that last for a lifetime, rather than trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fails because it’s too hard to follow,” says Lesley Lutes, PhD, a professor of psychology who specializes in obesity prevention at the University of British Columbia.

To help you move more, eat less, and look and feel better, we rounded up the best weight-loss tips from health experts.

1. Keep a food journal

Mindlessly munching on a bag of chips could result in easily polishing off the whole thing. But writing down all the meals and snacks you’ve eaten can help you practice better portion control. It will also help you figure out how you can make smarter food choices. For example, if you’re hankering for a bag of potato chips around 3 p.m. at the office every day, keep a bag of cashews by your desk so you’re not making a trip to the vending machine.

Journaling can also serve as a reality check on your other eating habits, says Lutes. Do you skip meals? Eat the same meals during the week as on the weekend? Binge eat when you’re feeling stressed? “Knowing your routine helps you figure out what changes are right for you,” she adds.

2. Find every opportunity to move more

yoga classes

yulkapopkovaGetty Images

And we’re not just talking about going for a walk during your lunch break. Get moving during your favorite TV shows. Do jumping jacks, run in place, go up and down some stairs, start dancing—anything that gets your heart rate up so you feel somewhat breathless, says Geralyn Coopersmith, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and chief content officer for Flywheel Sports. Do it for each 2-minute commercial break while you’re watching your favorite TV show, and you’ll burn an extra 270 calories a day—which can translate to a 28-pound weight loss in a year.

3. Limit packaged, processed foods

Packaged foods tend to be high in sodium, fat, and sugar, so you want to try to limit them as much as possible from your diet. Pick your top five processed foods, whether it be cookies, crackers, chips, or candy, and gradually downshift. “If you’re eating six of these foods a week, try to go down to five,” Lutes advises. Each week, drop another food until you’re at no more than one or two. At the same time, replace them with healthier snacks, like baby carrots with hummus, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, or natural peanut butter with an apple.

4. Go on more walks throughout the day

Americans use their cars for two-thirds of all trips that are less than one mile and 89 percent of all trips that are one to two miles, yet each additional hour you spend driving is associated with a six percent increase in obesity. Burn calories instead of gas by following this rule: If your errands are less than one mile away, walk to do them at a brisk pace. Or, park your car, where you can run several errands within a mile, instead of moving your car each time.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, adults should get at least 150 minutes—2 hours and 30 minutes—to 300 minutes—5 hours—a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes—1 hour and 15 minutes—to 150 minutes—2 hours and 30 minutes—a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

6. Incorporate strength training into your routine

Basic bodyweight exercises, like squats and push-ups, are a simple way to build more metabolism-revving muscle in minutes at home without picking up a single weight. “Your muscles don’t know the difference between working against your body’s own resistance and on a fancy piece of equipment,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at Quincy College. “The one rule to follow is that each exercise should fatigue your muscles within 60 to 90 seconds,” he says. For extra burn, you can add an resistance band to basic moves.

Try this mini-workout: Do 10 reps each of knee push-ups, squats, crunches, lunges, and chair dips. Then gradually increase the number of reps it takes for your muscles to feel fully fatigued.

7. Use the stairs whenever possible

Have a choice between riding and climbing? Adding two to three minutes of stair climbing per day—covering about three to five floors—can burn enough calories to eliminate the average American’s annual weight gain of one to two pounds a year. Walking up a flight of stairs can also help strengthen your glutes and quads, so there are some strength training benefits as well.

8. Use a fitness tracker

Today’s fitness trackers allow you to take more control over your health by providing you with important data about your eating, sleep, and workout habits. Consider purchasing a fitness tracker to help you monitor not just how many steps you’re taking each day, but how many calories you’re burning, how much sleep you’re getting, what your resting heart rate is, and what your eating habits are like. It’ll also help you stay on track with sticking to the goal of getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week.

9. Prepare your own lunch

Rice, stewed vegetables, egg, teriyaki chicken - healthy balanced lunch box on a dark background, top view. Home food for office concept

OksanaKiianGetty Images

You’ll save thousands of calories—not to mention hundreds of dollars—over the course of a year if you pack your lunch more often. For example, a pre-made chicken Caesar wrap from a chain restaurant has 610 calories—40 percent of which come from fat. It also has 1,440 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half the recommended daily amount.

Make your own with sandwich at home with chicken breast on whole-wheat bread with light mayo, tomatoes, and Romaine lettuce. This will help you cut calories and sodium. “When you make and eat your own food, you not only control the quality and portion sizes but also reduce the amount of sugar, salt, and fat that you’re consuming, which can be significantly higher in restaurant fare,” says Ashley Koff, RD, a registered dietitian based in Washington, D.C.

10. Enjoy dessert

It might sound contradictory to treat yourself to dessert when you’re trying to lose weight, but the truth is, depriving yourself of treats can lead to overeating. Instead, portion out one serving of your favorite treat. Take a minute to smell it, look at it, and savor each bite. Chew slowly, moving it around your mouth and focusing on the texture and taste. As you do this, ask yourself whether you want another bite or if you feel satisfied. Tuning into your body will help you eat more mindfully and feel more satisfied.

“When you take the time to slow down and be more mindful of what something really tastes like, you’ll feel more satisfied,” says Lutes. “Many people will find that they’re content after just a couple of bites and are better able to stop eating when they’re satisfied,” she explains.

11. Sip wisely

Skip fruit juice, which tends to be loaded with sugar, and enjoy a healthy smoothie instead. Smoothies are a much healthier choice than fruit juices because they keep the fiber from fruits and vegetables intact, making them more filling and nutritious. But not all smoothies are created equally. It’s important to prepare a smoothie that has a good balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. That means not loading it up with just fruit. Get muscle-building protein from protein powders, low-fat milk or unsweetened nut milk, Greek yogurt, or oatmeal. Add volume and extra fiber from dark, leafy greens, frozen cauliflower and other veggies. Top your smoothie with chopped nuts for a boost of healthy fats.

To promote satiety, eat your smoothie in a bowl with a spoon, rather than slurping it down with a straw. “When you chew a food, you generate more saliva, which in turn carries a message to the brain that your gut needs to get ready for digestion,” explains Koff. “Drinking doesn’t require such digestion, so the body doesn’t register that it’s full as quickly.”

12. Stay hydrated

Side view of young woman drinking from water bottle

The Good BrigadeGetty Images

Sometimes you confuse thirst for hunger, which can cause you to eat more food than you actually need. So it’s important to stay hydrated and drink sips of water throughout the day. Water is also key to better digestion and a revved-up metabolism. You’ve probably heard the golden rule that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, but the amount of water each person should drink varies greatly. People who are very active, take certain medications, or have a viral illness need to drink more water. The best way to make sure you’re properly hydrated is to drink water whenever you feel thirsty and to take sips of water before, during, and after a workout. You can also stay hydrated by eating more water-rich fruits and vegetables.

13. Team up with a workout buddy

Exercising with a friend helps you stay accountable and able to stick with your workout. Nobody wants to leave a pal stranded on a street corner at 6 a.m., but your workouts don’t always have to be done face-to-face. If you subscribe to a weight-loss app, join the community boards and challenges, where you can find people with similar goals and share your progress.

14. Lighten up your coffee order

A regular cup of coffee with a dash of milk and even a little sugar has hundreds of fewer calories than the blended drinks, which are practically dessert in a cup. You can easily lighten up your coffee order without sacrificing taste by opting for low-fat milk or an unsweetened nut milk, adding just a touch of honey for sweetness, and a dash of cinnamon for flavor.

15. Get enough sleep

Make a point to go to bed earlier, and you’ll notice a difference in your energy levels and mood. Research shows that just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost immediate weight gain. That’s because when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not able to make healthier choices throughout the day. When you’re tired, you tend to compensate with fatty and sugary foods. You also want to take a close look at your nighttime habits. Is dinner your biggest meal of the day? Are you having too many midnight snacks? These habits could be messing with your weight-loss efforts.

Stay updated on the latest science-backed health, fitness, and nutrition news by signing up for the newsletter here. For added fun, follow us on Instagram.

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Barra Best answers our 20 Questions on Health & Lifestyle

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

1. Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I usually have three alarms set so that I don’t sleep in, especially when I have to be in work for 5am –­ yes, we really do start that early!

It’s a fairly easy start in the summer when it’s nice and bright outside, but it’s harder in the winter when you have to defrost the car windscreen before heading off.

It’s a great job though and presenting the weather live on BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster is a joy,­ especially when I get to deliver good heatwave news, as rare as that might be.

When I’m not working, I try to get out and about in the morning, whether it’s for breakfast or a day trip out of the city with friends or family.

2. What might you eat in a typical working day for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

I’m not really a routine type of person when it comes to daily meals.­ I tend to graze as I go along, with dinner probably being my main meal of the day.

Like everyone, my food varies. Sometimes it’s porridge for breakfast, sometimes it’s the good old Ulster Fry. Sandwiches are my usual when it comes to lunch, but sometimes I go for my favourite –­ chicken wings! They’re a weakness.

As for evening meals, I try to get my timing correct and visit my parents when they’re cooking dinner – that way I don’t have to!

3. Is nutrition important to you?

To a certain degree I try to watch what I eat. My diet tends to mostly consists of chicken and fish, the likes of mackerel and salmon. That said, you can’t beat a good steak from time to time.

I fail at times when it comes to fruit and veg, but I’ve gotten better with that recently having bought a blender to make healthier shakes.

4. Are you a calorie counter?

No. I don’t have enough time or patience to keep an eye on calories. I tend to eat what I like, but with everything in moderation.

5. Best meal ever?

That’s a difficult one. I love a good Indian meal from time to time but a Sunday roast always does it for me, especially with a Yorkshire pudding ­– something I fell in love with when I lived in England for university.

Although, that said, I’m not a big fan of the traditional Christmas dinner.

6. Do you have a guilty pleasure, food-wise?

Dessert. For me, no meal is complete without a dessert (my main weakness). My all-time favourite brings me back to the days of school dinners –­ coconut jam sponge and custard. You just can’t beat it!

I also make a wicked banoffee pie – totally calorific, but you have to treat yourself sometimes. I always choose a dessert over a starter when I’m at a restaurant.

7. Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

No, although when I was training at the gym last year I did try to curb my intake of sweet and sugary foods. It went fairly well, being able to supply cravings with healthier food,­ and I still try to stick to that today.

8. Do you take health supplements?

Yes, I would take vitamin supplements as a drink every morning. The odd time I’ll buy some cod liver oil capsules also.

9. Tee-total or tipple?

I like everything in moderation but I do like craft beers/ales. My dad and I are part of a beer club so we get to try the various crafts from around the world.

10. Fruit or fry-up?

It really depends on my mood. I usually blend fruit with porridge oats and milk in the morning, but sometimes I just can’t resist the lure of the smell of bacon from a fry.

11. Stairs or lift?

I have set myself a rule with this one. If the lift is there I take it, if it’s not I walk ­– no waiting around for the lift.

And I definitely would never take the lift just to go up one floor.

12. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I don’t have a daily exercise regime but I do try to get out for a run around the park three times a week (weather permitting of course).

The Waterworks in north Belfast is my favourite place to run at the minute, ­it has great views and there’s plenty of room to run.

I recently re-joined the gym after hurting my shoulder last year, so I’m hoping to get back to a more set regime.

13. On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are – and how fit would you like to be?

I would say ­at the minute­ that I’m sitting around a ‘six’, but that’s something I’m going to change.

My park runs are getting longer and with the gym being thrown into the mix, I aim to up that number fairly soon.

14. Best tip for everyday fitness?

Switch off the TV ­– it works for me. Even just a 30 minute run or exercise helps, and you feel good afterwards.

15. Do you have a memory from school sport / PE days you would rather forget?

Soccer. I hated it. I was never good at it and we seemed to have to play it every week.

I loved gym days with climbing frames, trampolines and rope climbing.

16. Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

Yes,­ it usually happens when I’m having an unhealthy takeaway, like pizza.

17. Best health advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Do whatever exercise suits you best – don’t try to follow the pattern of others.

18. Who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

Any of the Olympic athletes – who wouldn’t want to be that fit?

19. What time do you get to bed normally and do you think you get enough sleep?

I’m a night owl.­ I’m rarely asleep before midnight and that sometimes means I don’t get enough sleep.

20. Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

Yes, I think so. That’s why I usually try to fit a lot into my week ­ whether it’s work, travel, or socialising with friends and family.

Lifestyle Magazine

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

This is YOUR year to succeed! Sign up for this FREE life-changing 5-night event at The new host of TV’s Lifestyle Magazine, Roy Ice, will share the 5 secret keys to launching your dream life. You’ll hear from celebrities, professional athletes, and experts who have used these secrets to live a life beyond limits. Register now, while you can still catch it. (Event begins April 9!) See MoreSee Less

Lose Weight YOUR Way
(Well, Kind Of…)

1. Decrease high glycemic food consumption

Depriving yourself of your favorite foods will drive you crazy. Rewarding yourself with your favorite foods strengthens your will power and commitment to eat well most of the time.

Some people can eat just a bite or two of their favorite sweet or salty treat to get their “fix.” But if you know you’re not a one-Oreo-type of person, it’s probably best to avoid this strategy.

2. Don’t starve yourself – eat nutritious foods most of the time when hungry

Fasting works for many people because it reduces how many calories they eat during the day. However, one thing you can do is to enjoy nutritious meals. Mind your portions and only eat until comfortably full to practice responsible calorie restriction.

3. Reach for healthy snacks

A handful of Almonds and an apple make a great choice. You’ll feel better too.

4. Maintain muscle mass

Food is just one part of the equation.
Exercise is the other.

Add weight-bearing exercises to your fitness routine.

Create a healthy lifestyle you can live with:

* Eat well most of the time
* Move more
* Get enough rest
* Reduce stress
* Drink plenty of water
* Eat only when you’re truly hungry and only until full
* Know what you’re eating and why
* Enjoy your meals! If you don’t like what you’re eating, you won’t stick with it
* Reach for healthy snacks most of the time like nuts, fruit or crispy vegetables
* Don’t be a slave to dieting

We only get one shot at this thing called “life.” We should enjoy it, not dread it. So take care of your body by fueling your life with food and activities that bring you joy. See MoreSee Less

5 Time-Thieves Stealing Your Productivity & Life

Time equals life.
We only have so much of it.

It’s one thing to relax and enjoy life, it’s another to let little interruptions pillage our productivity and steal precious minutes of our life. We need to guard our time by dealing with these five common time thieves.

1) Social Media/Emails/Texts

There isn’t anything inherently “bad” about social media, email and texts/messages.
But do they serve you?
Or do you serve them?
Are they helpful?
Or are they a distraction?

According to a UC Irvine study, it takes an average of 23:15 to get back on task!

Taking :30 to check a FB post steals 25:00 of your life!

2) Over-Planning & Preparing

We can be busy planning or we can get busy living but over-planning and preparing are forms of procrastination, perfectionism or unclear thinking.

Will your plan be perfect?
Will life go exactly as planned?

But you’ll have a plan that keeps you focused on what matters most to you, and you’ll be living your life instead of planning to live your life.

3) Multitasking wastes time and results in average outcomes at best.

Researchers say it decreases productivity by as much as 40%.

4) Catching the News

Do we really need news 24/7? Just because something is being reported doesn’t make it news.

5) Chores and Errands

Do errands when there’s less traffic and when the stores won’t be crowded.

Do chores during off time – not during work hours or when you’ve scheduled something important to you. Schedule a block of time on a day or two for cleaning and decluttering.

Time = life.
Every day, every person on the planet gets:
86,400 seconds
1,440 minutes
24 hours

When it’s gone…
It’s gone.

Protect yourself against time thieves that have been stealing precious hours of life from you every day.

Live YOUR life! See MoreSee Less

For your free copy of “How to Beat Diabetes”


Enter Free Offer Code: DIABVL-M-F-401 See MoreSee Less

Dr. Paulette Higgins is joined by patient Listen Shaw who shares his story on how he reversed his type 2 diabetes following the principles taught at the All Dunamis Lifestyle Centre in Canada.

Watch “Lifestyle Magazine: Overturning Diabetes” Now: See MoreSee Less

4 Easy Ways To Sneak More Fruit & Veggies Into Your Diet

Eating more fruits and vegetables reduces our risk of certain diseases such as cancer and extends longevity by years.

By eating healthier foods, we reduce the consumption of junk foods, processed foods and preservatives.

It’s so easy to plug into the power of fruit and vegetables!

Here’s the good news: It doesn’t take having to eat a lot of fruit or vegetables to be healthy.

According to the CDC, every day, we need:

* 1½-2 cups fruit
* 2-3 cups Vegetables


2 cups of leafy greens = 1 cup of vegetables
½ cup dried fruit = 1 cup fruits
1 big fruit (apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, cucumbers, tomatoes) = 1 cup fruit
6 – 8 pieces of smaller fruit (strawberries, blackberries) = 1 cup fruit

1) Plan and Prepare
Have things washed, drained, chopped and cut up. It’ll be easier to add chopped spinach to your omelet or sneak fruit into your yogurt or cereal.

Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. They still retain their nutritional value and their delicious flavor. They’re already prepared and ready to go and are available year-round.

2) Add Salad
Salads go with just about anything.
Low in calories (if you go easy on the dressing) and they fill you up. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that keep your metabolism going longer while boosting concentration and energy levels.

3) Soup, please
A nutritious option for satiating hunger while providing an easy way for you to get your daily supply of fruits and vegetables.

4) Strategic Desserts
Reach for fruit.
Substituting fruit for dessert reduces calorie consumption, boosts mental focus and stabilizes energy levels versus sugary desserts and snacks that crash your energy.

Make a fruit salad or a smoothie.
Keep an apple or banana with you – nature’s fast food.

Manage your weight, reduce the risk of disease, be mentally sharp, have more energy: See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Lifestyle Magazine

Happy 70th Birthday Faith For Today!
Thank you Shawn Boonstra, Speaker-Director for Voice of Prophecy!
See MoreSee Less

Maintain muscle mass

Food is just one part of the equation.

Exercise is the other.

Although most people are familiar with treadmills, bikes and jogging, let’s not forget about lifting weights to maintain lean muscle.

Maintaining and adding muscle keeps the metabolism fired up.

As we age, we lose muscle mass, slowing metabolism.

So remember to add weight-bearing exercises to your fitness routine. It doesn’t have to be anything major either unless you’re training for a competition. See MoreSee Less

A donut or bag of chips once in a while won’t force you to send your favorite pants to Goodwill as long as you’re reaching for healthy snacks most of the time.

A handful of almonds and an apple make a great choice.
You’ll feel better, too. See MoreSee Less

Embracing a healthy lifestyle for 2021 Video

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Transcript for Embracing a healthy lifestyle for 2021

Now to embrace ago healthy lifestyle in the new year with three days until 2021, Kelly leveck is joining us with tips from her new book “Body love: A journal.” Good morning to you. It’s great to have you. Good morning. O great to be here. Thanks for having me. Of course, of course. So you work with clients all the time and helping them get to the best versions of themselves. And setting their wellness goals. What do you suggest? How do you suggest that people start out this process? Utely. Well, it C really tempting to create a laundry list of resolutions. But when I work with clients, I help them come in on a few strategic goals. I call this the hit list. It’s an attainable list of one to three goals that can create momentum. When we achieve a goal, we release dopamine in the brain and it increase Tess likelihood that we’re going to continue that behavior again and again. And the same goes for food journalling. Food journalling is something that can create food anxiety and make us actually be more restrictive with food, but if we have a healthy checklist nourishing foods, we can create positivity. And, again, create that momentum to get started on the right foot every single day. Now, a lot of people have lost some of that momentum during the pandemic, during all of this time in quarantine. But you say it takes just 12 weeks to get back into the right how do we do that? Where do we begin? Again, it’s about resisting the urge to jump all in and do double days and work out every single day. Instead, when I work, what I encourage my clients to do is create anchor appointments. And this is a nonnegotiable weekly appointment. It’s building an appointment in with yourself. That might be a Saturday morning yoga class at 8:00 a through zoom that you don’t get. If the goal is a healthy lifestyle over the year, it’s not about going all in in January and letting those goals Peter out in February. It’s about creating that lasting healthy lifestyle over the whole year. So commit to those weekly anchor appointments and really start to create that moment Okay. Kelly, how do you keep my encouragement up? How do you keep going? A lot of people set these lofty goals for 2021 and they don’t meet them. Then they get disappointed. How do you keep those folks encouraged? It’s all about positivity tracking. At the end of eachday, you write three specific things you’re aiming for. What will end up happening is you’re going to start to see the simple joys of life start to create positivity and keep your momentum going. So wehave a viewer question from Jackie in new Jersey. Let’s take a listen. Hey, Kelly. Since working from home, I find it difficult to make healthy what are some tips to getack on track? First O all, I want to say that you’re not alone. I’m working with so many clients right now and the pandemic has really changed all of our working behaviors. We’re working 50 feet from our pantry which makes it difficult. Our office is in our bedroom. So first of all, give yourself a bit of a break.and then create momentum. What I have my clients do is eat the fab four.this is a light structure lifestyle that I created. It regulates hungernes and balances blood sugar. Instead of thinking dontd eat food, focus on putting it fab four on your plate every single meal. That’s protein, fats, fiber and there are so many ways to do that. And I can give you a few examples if you like. Maybe a fab four smoothie. So this has some protein, avocado, fiber, some leafy greens. Maybe that might look like a salmon salad, so healthy protein in the simon, healthy fat in the oh meg bat threes, some dressing and veggies. Really talk about what you’re not eating. Kelly, forgive us. We are out of time, but the fab four, we will remember that. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.