Benefits of a food journal

Food Diary Can Keep You on Track

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just attempting to eat healthier, keeping a food journal can help you make positive changes. Writing down every snack, sip of soda, and carb that you consume will make you more accountable for what you are eating. Here are a few benefits of keeping a food diary.

Weight loss
Keeping a food diary can help reveal the unhealthy habits that are stopping you from losing weight. Writing down everything you eat will make you less likely to pick up the handful of M&M’s in the office or order the extra side of ranch for your salad. Often people forget about the little snacks that could potentially be keeping them from losing weight. Maintaining a food diary will help you say no to the extra calories that may be stunting your weight loss.

Detecting food intolerances
Food diaries can also help determine if you have a severe reaction to certain foods. In some cases, reactions to different foods can happen hours after the food has been consumed. Writing down what you eat and how you feel afterwards can help you realize what foods your body reacts negatively towards. If you feel bloated and nauseous after eating eggs, dairy, or gluten, then you may be intolerant to these foods.

Portion control
Keeping a food diary is also an excellent way to manage the portions of your food. It can be hard to control your portions when restaurants offer enormous plates, and gas stations have jumbo size cups for soda. Even cake tins and dinner plates are larger than ever. Using a food diary will keep you accountable for the size of your meals. Before starting your food diary do some research on the proper portion sizes, then base your meals off of the information you find.

Better nutrition
Keeping track of your every meal will reveal more than just calorie intake and food intolerances; it can also show whether you are eating enough of each food group. If your food diary consists of mainly carbohydrates and proteins, then you’re not getting the vitamins you need from fruits and vegetables. Keeping a food diary will allow you to analyze what foods you are not eating enough of, or which ones you’re eating too much.

Identifying triggers to unhealthy eating
It can be beneficial to jot down your location, time of day, and mood when keeping a food journal. Keeping track of these things can reveal how stress, work, or certain people affect your food choices. For example, if you reach for a candy bar each time you enter the office, then stressful environments may cause you to crave sugary foods. If you eat every meal standing up, then you’re probably rushing and eating more calories than if you sat down and took your time. Using a food diary to note certain triggers will help you get rid of the unhealthy habits.  

Now that you know some of the benefits to keeping a food journal, manage your progress easily  by using an app. There are some free apps available such as MyFitnessPal or WW (Weight Watchers).

Top 6 hunger tips

Hunger Tips

It can be hard not to overeat. You eat a healthy meal at home, think you’re doing well, then you head out (to almost any destination) and are surrounded by junk food. You get hungry, and pretty soon you’re at the local burger joint, diet forgotten.

Or maybe you stick to the “right” foods, but they’re just so good that you can’t have just one portion. We’ve all been there. That used to be me.

The following six tips can help you be healthier, enjoy meals more and curb your appetite throughout the day. 

1. ADD VINEGAR AND CINNAMON TO MEALS TO CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR

Looking to add some flavor to your food and noncaloric drinks? Forget the sugar; there are plenty of spices and flavors that will make your food both tastier and healthier. Vinegar, which has been shown to lower the glycemic index (which means you metabolize the food more slowly), adds acidic flavor to salad dressings, sauces and roasted veggies without a lot of calories.

For sweet-smelling warmth, add cinnamon to everything from coffee and smoothies to chili. Like vinegar, cinnamon slows the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestine — this keeps you full longer, and helps prevent the post-meal slump.

2. EAT WHEN YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY 

Instead of trying to resist hunger, beat it to the punch. If you eat when you’re either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you’ll eat less and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a nice bonus, too.

3. DRINK WATER, NOT LIQUID CALORIES

In addition to tiredness and brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that’s easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and sodas don’t fill you up, and their rapid digestion causes insulin spikes. So pass on the sweetened drinks and stick with sparkling or still water — you can flavor it with lemon, strawberries or cucumber if you want, but don’t pack your drinks full of calories.

Aim to drink at least three-quarters of a gallon of water a day. Also, be sure to drink a glass about 20 minutes before each meal to take the edge of your appetite.

4. EAT SLOWLY

When you swallow food, there’s a sizable delay before you feel any satiation from it. This delay is usually between 10–30 minutes. Because of this delay, we tend to eat more food than we really need. And the faster we eat, the more we tend to consume, particularly later on in a meal.

The solution: Chew each bite 10 times. Following this simple rule will cause you to eat more slowly, allowing your mind to catch up to your stomach. You’ll also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savor it.

5. HAVE A SMALL, FLAVORLESS SNACK BETWEEN MEALS

This trick was discovered by the late Seth Roberts: What he did was consume a shot of olive oil or a glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar (an exception to the rule on sugared beverages above) between meals. A handful of unsalted almonds is a quirky and easy way to do this tip. Doing this once a day dramatically reduces appetite — this can be particularly true if you have a lot of weight to lose.

The reason this works: It apparently regulates ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavor-calorie associations. For this to work, the snack must be bland, and you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.

6. TRY THE “FRONT DOOR SNACK TECHNIQUE”

Knowing that your willpower is reduced when you’re hungry, and there’s more tempting junk food outside the home than in it, you should fill up on healthy food before leaving home. Keep a healthy snack, such as jerky, almonds or kale chips, right next to your front door, and eat some before you leave home. This will cause healthy food to “crowd out” unhealthy food in your diet, and make it much easier to pass on the junk food.

Top tips to Getting Motivated to Workout

Getting Motivated to Workout

For many, the hardest part of working out is just getting to the gym.

Often, after a long day of work (plus a long commute), the only thing you feel like doing is relaxing. And if you have a busy family, you might have all kinds of obligations that keep you busy until you go to sleep.

So how do you find the motivation to exercise when it’s hard enough just to get started? Luckily, there are simple methods to start working out consistently, build new habits and overcome almost any obstacle in your journey.

MAKE SMALLER COMMITMENTS

Many people struggle to exercise because they choose massive, overwhelming goals. It’s nice to have big ambitions, but when you throw too much at yourself at once, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, start with smaller goals to build momentum and confidence, and then give each one 100% effort. For example, instead of trying to eat healthfully 100% of the time (which can be tough if you’re just starting), start with just 80%.

Other great bite-sized goals include:

Running at a certain pace
Losing your first 5 pounds
Lifting a certain weight
Cooking a certain number of meals per week at home

REWARD YOURSELF

You already know smaller goals are better than trying to move hypothetical mountains. Once you actually achieve those goals, it’s important to reward yourself for your hard work.

Treat yourself to a day-trip to your favorite getaway, cool new workout clothes or tickets to your favorite show. Just make sure your reward doesn’t undo the health improvements you just made (That means limiting the ice cream reward after each tough workout!).

Rewards make fitness more fun, positive and motivating. Plus, the right incentive might be all you need to achieve incredible things.

FOCUS ON THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION

Fitness is a long journey with many ups and downs, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an Olympic athlete. When you’re only focused on your goal, you’ll struggle. That’s because you might get frustrated if all your hard work and sacrifice still doesn’t help you achieve your desired results, which hurts your motivation and confidence.

Instead, turn your focus to the journey. Lean into the moments and efforts that lead to the goal: making sure you exercise enough each week, eat the right number of healthy meals, get the appropriate amount of sleep, etc.

When you concentrate on each step, your chances of reaching your destination are much higher.

FIND A FITNESS FRIEND 

Having a trusted friend join you in your fitness journey can make a huge difference in your success. Get them involved by going to the gym together or messaging each other when you’re about to work out. You can even keep each other accountable and give each other a kick in the backside when needed.

If you can’t find a partner, try joining workout classes, bootcamp groups or running meetups to find new friends who share your goals.

SCHEDULE IT

It only takes a few seconds to add your workout to your calendar, but doing so goes a long way toward helping you build habits and stay consistent. When you put exercise into your calendar (no matter how short or long), you prioritize the workout in your day and it creates a mini-commitment to get it done. As a result, you have to schedule your appointments around your workouts — instead of the opposite — so you never run out of time by day’s end. This takes a lot of the obstacles out of exercise, which makes it easier to get it done.

CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE

What you say carries more weight than you think. For example, do you ever say things (or hear other people say things) like:

I can’t do it.
I’m just no good at this.
It’s too hard.
I’ll never reach my goals.
Unfortunately, these phrases can limit your results and become self-fulfilling statements. Start being very careful and intentional with what you say (and think!), and try using more positive and empowering statements like:

I can do it.
I commit to becoming good at fitness.
It’s getting easier and easier every time.
I will reach my goals.
Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your results.

PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE

It’s normal to feel tired and unmotivated after a long day of work; it will be even harder when you have to drive home from work, find your workout clothes, find your workout shoes, get dressed in those workout clothes, grab water or a snack and then finally drive to the gym.

Instead, take the friction out of exercise. Have your gym bag with all your essentials packed and ready to go, and bring it with you to work so you don’t need to make an extra trip. If you want to jog before work, have your running shoes, clothes and nutrition laid out by your bed so you can do it first thing in the morning.

This goes a long way toward making life easier and helps keep your motivation levels high.

Tips to stick to your New Years resolutions

Tips to stick to your New Years resolutions

The holidays are barely over, and here you are thinking about letting that resolution sli-i-i-i-i-de. Don’t give up hope. Here’s some advice to keep you on track for a healthier, happier year.

First off, good for you for wanting to start the new year on the right foot. Whether you want to lose weight, exercise more or eat better, setting the intention to do so is the first step.

The next step? Making it stick. Unfortunately, the “doing it” part is almost always harder than the “wanting to do it” part. You can take comfort in knowing that 80 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions are already off track by the first week of February.

So, how can you join those successful 20 percenters?

Get specific.

Do you want to lose some vague amount of weight? Or do you want to lose 10 or 20 pounds? Without a clear goal in mind, you’ll never be able to achieve it.

Take baby steps.

If your resolution is a lofty one — say, hitting the gym five days a week when you’ve been a couch potato for the past 12 months — you may be setting yourself up for failure, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). A better and more achievable goal is to start small by aiming to work out twice a week in January, building up to three times a week in February and so on.

Rose Taroyan, MD, assistant professor of clinical family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a primary care physician at Keck Medicine of USC, suggests doing 30 minutes of daily activity and gradually working your way up. Dr. Taroyan says you can split these up into three 10-minute activities, such as walking the dog or doing yard work, as well as tying exercise to rewards, such as watching TV while on the treadmill.

In addition, she says, “Eating healthy is all about setting a dietary pattern to follow which becomes part of daily regimen. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables; limit sweets, sugar and saturated fats; cook at home; and eat smaller portions.”

Focus on one thing at a time.

Let’s say you made a bunch of resolutions: You want to eat better, exercise three times a week and stop biting your nails. There’s a good chance they will prove to be too much to handle all at once.

While some resolutions go hand-in-hand, such as eating better and losing weight, trying to fix every habit at the same time can prove impossible, says the APA. It’s better to pick your one main goal for now. You can always stop biting your nails in June.

Enlist friends and family.

You don’t need to make a major Facebook announcement that you’re determined to lose 20 pounds this year, but you should let a few trusted friends and close family members know that you’re serious about your goal — and ask for support. Perhaps your neighbour is game for morning walks once or twice a week, and your spouse can promise not to bring cookies or cake home from the store.

Ask for support.

If, even with your friends and family on board, you’re still finding it challenging to stay on track, consider joining a group of like-minded people (such as Weight Watchers or a weight-loss group at a hospital). It can be helpful to share your struggles and successes with like-minded people.

Cut yourself some slack.

If you didn’t make it to the gym twice this week or you gave into your craving for that brownie, don’t beat yourself up. You’re only human, and no one is perfect. Instead, remind yourself that you’ll do better at your next meal or make it back to the gym tomorrow. The important thing is not to let one slip-up derail your entire year. You’ve got this!

Source: Forbes.com

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

A favourite around the dinner table at the holidays is Cranberry Sauce. Making your own sauce is really easy, and you can do it a few days ahead. Plus, this one uses only three ingredients

Nutrition: per serving
Kcal 56
Fat 0g
Carbs 15g
Sugars 15g
Fibre 0g
Protein 0g
Salt 0.01g

Ingredients

100g light muscovado sugar
100ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
250g pack fresh or frozen cranberry

Method

Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 mins if using frozen cranberries or 8-10 mins if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week. On the day, bring to room temperature before serving.

Top 10 Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol is very often not the cause of that extra pound or two you gained over the holidays or after a few parties. The fact that alcohol relaxes you, lowering your inhibitions means that unless your dancing on the table you’re probably scoffing all the high fat, high sodium nibbles on the table. You conveniently forget all the cheese sticks and sausage rolls you ate and blame the alcohol. Stick with the list below and I’m afraid you’ll have to face the truth. You’re a binge nibbler after a few tipples.

Top Ten Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

•       Sparkling wine is surprisingly low in calories, containing a mere 105 calories for a 140 ml glass.
•       White wine averages 91 calories per 140 ml glass. Sweeter wines will average an extra 20 calories. Pour your white wine into a long glass and top with soda water, adding volume to your drink without adding calories. Alternatively pop a couple of ice cubes into your wine glass.
•       Red wine comes in at 98 calories for every 140 ml glass.
•       Vodka comes in on average at 55 calories per 25 ml. Add plenty of ice, 50 ml of lime cordial and top with soda water for a long drink. A total of 61 calories a pop. Yippee! bring on the vodka…
•       Gin is also 55 calories per 25 ml. Add lots of ice, a slice of lime and 100 ml of Schweppes’s tonic. This delightful tipple will rob a mere 92 calories from your daily allowance.
•       A 25 ml of whiskey topped with soda water has to be the lowest of all, hitting home at only 55 calories. Ye hay!
•       A 25 ml of whiskey and 120 ml of ginger ale will set you back 95 calories.
•       A martini averages 200 calories per glass, if you don’t eat the olive. I say eat the olive. There’s a lot of alcohol in that olive. To hell with the extra 8 calories.
•       A better choice would be a bloody mary with a celery stick! A bloody mary will cost you about 120 calories. Tomato juice is also full of vitamin C, which helps prevent a hangover the next morning. And celery is a zero calorie food. Three good reasons to drink bloody mary’s.
•       A Tom Collins runs alongside the bloody mary at a 120 calories per glass.

Some good tips stop all that nibbling: have a healthy dinner before the party and drink lots of water between drinks. Remember to drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive! Happy celebrating! 

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas

Have you tried roasted chickpeas? We found this recipe and HAD to share it with you.

 

Ingredients
  • 2 14-15oz cans of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can also use coconut oil)
Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave or honey
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Remove any loose skins off of the beans but don’t worry about taking them all off. Just remove the ones that are super loose.
  2. On a paper towel or towel, evenly spread your beans and let dry. I dried mine for about 1/2 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with either foil or parchment paper.
  5. Evenly spread your dried beans on cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 40-60 minutes. It will all depend on your oven. Check after 40 minutes and if they are crunchy, they are done. If they are too moist, then cook a little longer but watch so they don’t burn.
  7. After baking, quickly transfer to a bowl and mix with the 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil.
  8. Then spread the seasonings of whatever flavor you are using and mix well.
  9. With the agave or honey-cinnamon flavor, after coating you can put the beans back into the oven for 5 minutes or so to caramelize them.
  10. With the ranch recipe, mix 2-3 teaspoons of the whole mix into your baked chickpeas and refrigerate the rest for other recipes.
  11. Yummy!

 

For other flavours click here

Why you should eat broccoli

Why you should eat broccoli

 

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for few calories.

 

Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

 

 

  • Fighting cancer – Eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer. Studies have suggested that sulforaphane, the sulfur-containing compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite, is also what gives them their cancer-fighting power

 

  • Look youngerVitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system for the skin. Vitamin A and vitamin E are also crucial for healthy looking skin, both of which broccoli provides.
  • Improved digestion and natural detoxEating foods with a natural fiber like broccoli can prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract, and lower the risk of colon cancer. Adequate fiber promotes regularity, which is crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool
  • Improving bone healthPoor vitamin K intake is linked with a higher risk of bone fracture. Just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 92 micrograms of vitamin K, well over 100 percent of your daily need. Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin K improves bone health by improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.

Broccoli also contributes to your daily need for calcium, providing 43 milligrams in one cup.

These cute little trees are super healthy and you can eat them in so many different recipes or just on its own!

Bone Broth – Why You Should Drink It

Bone Broth – Why You Should Drink It

 

It may sound a bit strange to drink bone broth but once you start to understand the benefits you will want to drink it every day.

 

When you boil bones they release powerful nutrients like collagen, calcium, gelatin, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Consuming the nutrients helps boost health.

Now for the magical list of benefits:

  • heals a leaky gut
  • fights colds and flus
  • reduces inflammation
  • reduces joint pain
  • promotes strong bones
  • calms mind
  • improves sleep, memory and cognition
  • improves libido
  • helps PMS
  • helps with indigestion
  • helps with bloating
  • helps with brittle hair and nails
  • great detox
  • helps with muscle cramps
  • improves immune system
  • speeds up metabolism
  • helps digestion
  • it makes your skin glow
  • full of important minerals

And it is extremely economically friendly!

 

What are you waiting for? Go have some.

 

Get out our blog with the recipe to make your own Bone Broth!

 

5 Benefits of TRX Training

5 Benefits of TRX Training

 

TRX training, also called suspension training sometimes, has become incredibly popular over the last few years among small studio gyms and even large chain gyms. This kind of training is popular for a reason: it works. Here are 5 benefits to TRX training to show you why you should definitely look into this kind of training.

 

Anyone Can Do It

This kind of training, while it mean seem complicated, actually works for beginners to elite level athletes. By changing your body position slightly you can increase or decrease intensity meaning that even if you’re just getting into fitness you can take these classes.

 

It’s Versatile

This kind of training uses two bands hooked together by an anchor, which is usually on the ceiling. Why does this make it versatile? Well, it means this kind of training can be set up pretty much anywhere, in any gym for a small or large size training group. It doesn’t have a lot of equipment required so you can basically set it up anywhere you work out and have a complete, full body workout without a lot of set up.

 

Cardio and Strength Benefits

When it comes to designing a workout routine many people feel like they have to focus on just cardio, or strength – they can’t have both. Well, with TRX you can. These workouts will increase both your cardiovascular endurance and your muscle strength. When working out, by increase the speed in which you complete the exercises you can increase the effort needed by your heart and lungs which helps with endurance levels.

 

Low Impact

Whether you are recovering from a previous injury or you are just a fan of low impact workouts, TRX is definitely low impact. It’s designed to be focused on suspension which means that the impact to your joints is minimal, and therefore won’t be put under as much stress when compared to other workouts.

 

Always Something Different

For many people going to the gym can seem to be tedious, which means they won’t continue going because they don’t enjoy it. Running on a treadmill might become boring very quickly, and some beginners may feel intimidated by trying out the weight room for the first time by themselves. TRX gives the benefits of both kinds of workouts and it will feel a lot less intimidating for beginners. What’s more is that you can easily change up the workout to keep it interesting, and you’ll stay engaged when you aren’t always doing the same thing.

 

TRX, or suspension training, is a great introductory workout for anyone looking to lose weight or add some fitness into their life. Further it’s flexible and can accommodate limitations and injuries to help you get the most out of your workout. With both strength and cardio benefits this unique way of training will carry you through all levels of training: as you increase you abilities and level of fitness you can change up the routine and increase the level of difficulty. Overall, TRX training is a fantastic way to add some fitness into your life, and the benefits will combine the best of all difference kinds of workouts.