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!

How to drink more water

The best ways to drink more water

 

Do you drink enough water? Do you even know how much water is enough? First, take your body weight and divide by two, then that is the amount of ounces you need to be drinking every day.

 

  1. Drink out of a mug – Just try it! There is something very satisfying about drinking out of a mug
  2. Set higher goals – If you need to drink 8 glasses and you set your goal for 8 but only get in 6, then you’re behind. But if you set the goal to 10 glasses and only get 8 then you are right on track
  3. Warm it up – drink it warm and add some lemon and/or cinnamon.
  4. Big bottle – using a really big water bottle will help you drink more to keep emptying the bottle
  5. Use a bottle that has measurements – this will keep you on track because you can do the simple math to get you to your goals.
  6. Keep water where you are – keeping it in your sight or around you then you will be inclined to drink more water. Even on your night table beside the bed!
  7. Use an app – there are plenty of apps that you can download to keep track of your water intake
  8. Add hair elastics to your water bottle – using the hair elastics will keep track of the amount of times you refill your bottle
  9. Time stamp your day – by certain times in the day you have to have drank a certain amount of water.
  10. Drink after every bathroom break – You will be sure to drink lots of water this way
  11. Add flavour to your water – add some frozen fruit or a splash of lemon juice to give it some flavour
  12. Dilute sugary drinks with water and ice – This way you’re still getting the taste you want but you’re increasing your water too
  13. Choose sparkling water over pop – just choose water!

 

Water is so so important so whatever you need to do, just make sure you are drinking your water!!

How to get motivated!!

How to get motivated for 2017

Alright, New Year, New Me! That is all we are hearing right now. Let’s face it, getting out and working out probably isn’t high on the priority list even if you want it to be. So how can you change that?

  1. Find a friend or someone to be your accountability partner. Use this person as much as you can, tell each other when you are going to work out and check in and make sure they worked out. Or check in to see what they are eating.
  2. Plan your workout schedule ahead of time. Make it as important as a work meeting.
  3. Get competitive! Put a challenge out there. I know you’ve got some Facebook friends that would love to be in a challenge.
  4. Write down your goals and look at that list ALL THE TIME! Leave the list where you will see it all the time – the car, the fridge, the bathroom mirror. It’s not about shaming yourself but
  5. Follow a specific program. This can be a program designed by a trainer, like me, or by going to classes.
  6. Wear a fitness tracker. You can even challenge other people with them as well.
  7. Be specific with your goals!
  8. Book a workout with a trainer.
  9. Use your alarm clock. Get your workout done first thing in the morning before you can come up with a million excuses why you shouldn’t.
  10. Consider this your “me time”. This is all about you anyways!
  11. Listen to motivating music! Something that will make you want to move.
  12. Change your workout to your mood. Figure out what gets you through what and stick with that.
  13. Plan your workouts around your favourite shows. You won’t miss your shows so as soon as they are done, hit the gym!
  14. Most importantly, make it fun! Go somewhere that makes you want to go, somewhere you feel great and welcomed.

Top 3 tips to stay on track to your goals for 2017

Here they are, my top 3 tips to staying on track to your goals for 2017

  1. CLEAN OUT THOSE CUPBOARDS!! Go now! Right now! Get rid of all that crap that is taunting you in your cupboards. Anything that you know you will want to eat in a weak moment. You don’t need that stuff anyways.
  2. MEAL PREP!! Now, this is complicated to some people.  But it doesn’t have to be. Use your crockpot, it’ll take away so much work. Another easy trick is to cook one or two extra portions every time you make a meal then you can freeze it for another day.
  3. DRINK YOUR WATER!! Try drinking it out of a mug. I don’t know why it works but it’s more satisfying to drink out of a mug. Go try it!!

 

Guest Blogger: Nutrition Bites

It is true that it takes up to 30 minutes sometimes for an adult, to feel full after eating.  We have stomach sensors as well as all those brain signals that try sending messages for us to interpret and decide on how to handle each situation – including when to eat and stop eating. This depends on what it is (food, drink, mixed), how much they ate, how quickly they ate it as well as age and personal differences like size of stomach, emotions, pain tolerance and let’s be honest – mindfulness.

Mindfulness.  That buzz word goes around quite often now and it seems like, based on conversations I have had with others plus my experience in it, most do not understand it.  Being mindful is just noticing what is happening.  No judgement.  No emotion.  Just paying attention to cues (from your body in this topic) and then deciding with intent.  It’s no hippy answer or yoga lifestyle you have to have.  It’s just slowing down to pay attention to anything and everything (if you can) at any given time.  In this crazy busy world, it requires practice.  That being said, you need to start small and require constant reminders just like an alarm on your phone or scheduling a meeting.

It seems silly to do these things for eating.  It is supposed to be human nature to just eat.  How did it become so difficult to do what is supposed to be natural?  We live in a Western world where things are constantly done by other people: house builders, plumbers, farmers, dentists, etc.  But this extends to our food and eating behaviours.  For example: growing up in a mixed-ethnic home, I saw fruit farming as well as having my Italian barber-dad who came from Europe when he was 13 years old.  People talk about how Europe has it right with their Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.  What are we missing here that I see still to this day – we don’t even crack our own nuts!

Ready to eat almonds in a bag.
Ready to eat almonds in a bag.

I’m not kidding.  Yes, we have even found someone to crack our own walnuts, pecans, almonds etc.  I grew up with a nutcracker (it is not a ballet at Christmas time people!) and a bowl of varied nuts, but yes, at Christmas many times.  We sat around chatting, and having to “forage” and “process” our own food with friends and family at the table.  Experts say, nuts and seeds pack a great protein and healthy fat nutrition punch (part of the Mediterranean diet), yet we need to limit our servings sizes.  Well, I can tell you how the true Europeans do it: they have to spend time to get their food, and in the meantime, chat with their kids and neighbours – what we now call “building community and social support”.  It’s very difficult to over-consume nuts when you have to constantly be cracking them open to get the goodness (yet high in calories and fat) inside.  (They are healthy but in small quantities.)

I think we should go Back to the Basics (you will constantly hear that from me), and figure out why we eat so much but are so unhealthy and truly “empty” at times in a world that hands us everything on a silver platter, or in a grab-bag to go at a store a 2 minute drive away.

Here are my tips that might help you along – choose one or all of them to try.  It might lighten the load in more ways than one.

Tips to Eat More … Mindfully

  1. Cook foods from scratch. It helps you decide what you want, plan in advance and once you realize what goes into your food – you will actively choose healthier options.  It’s hard to do that with a frozen pizza or instant microwave dinner that doesn’t give you the option of hold the olives, or add the broccoli you do actually love.  And appreciating the end result will allow you to savour it more and longer.
  2. Eat spicy foods – This goes to the principal of classic “waiting to eat” tips ex: put your fork down in between bites, or chewing 25 times each piece of food – but this is definitely something that will remind you to be mindful as the hotter the food, the more likely you are to drink tons of water (added bonus of hydrating and filling your tummy and helping digestion). So kick up the heat, and savour the flavour.  (Ex: cayenne, chili, fajita and Cajun blends, even curry or ginger can work! But hot sauces can do the trick too.)IMG_1574

  3. Size matters! Eat on smaller plates – use lunch or small dessert plates – you can’t eat as much if you have nowhere to put it… but then move on to idea #4.

    IMG_1573
    Three different sized plates and two different sizes of spoons and forks. Size matters: choose smaller to eat slower and mindfully.
  4. Go back for seconds! Take half of what you think you want, or if following step #3 – you have to choose to serve yourself more. And better yet, keep seconds on the stove so you have to get up and decide on more food.  Or food safety – package up leftovers and straight to the fridge, so then you have to wait to reheat food to have another serving.
  5. Talk without your mouth full – practice your table etiquette (great for new graduates or families with children) and slow the process so you can listen to your fullness meter. As well, talking helps encourage positive relationships and will actually decrease emotional eating for those more susceptible to eating when lonely or upset.
  6.   Eat your veggies first – the heavy fibre will send quicker signals to your brain to stop eating. They are filled with vitamins and minerals but less calories by weight than say cookies.
  7.  
     And of course, crack your own nuts! Take time to process them yourself.  You will eat less, and appreciate the work that goes into them more.  And to have another serving of a food that you have to cut or chop, or crack, means that you will have to think before you want to do the work for another, however many calories and grams of fat, even good ones.

As a conclusion (geeze that sounds like a grade 3 “hamburger” paragraph – it should be a sandwich maybe instead for healthy marketing purposes), I do not say in this crazy time to not buy a fruit tray already cut up for you.  It’s still healthy, absolutely.  And you might reach for chips instead if you don’t have something healthy and readily available and in your face when you open the fridge.  Definitely buy the fruit and veggie trays if that is the case.  And if you have ready to eat “junk” in the house combined with minimal impulse control, this might not work either if that is your default.

Yet, if you want to get away from the costly pre-prepared and processed foods that help us to eat mindlessly (and way more than we usually need!), try some of the tips above to really choose what you feed your body (and soul).  Now, let’s get nuts and get crackin’!

 

Let’s get nuts and get crackin’: Tips to eat more mindfully but less in “weight”

20 snacks that will help curb your hunger!

So you are SO hungry, you want a snack, but what will you have?? Here are 20 snacks to help curb your hunger!

  1. Yogurt – this is the perfect snack any time of the day
  2. Oranges – perfect on the go snack
  3. Oatmeal – slow burning carb to keep you full longer
  4. Watermelon – Awesome on a hot summer day
  5. Protein bars – easy, quick snack for when you’re in a hurry
  6. Apricots – an apricot only have 17 calories! (whaaaaat??)
  7. Pretzels – they are low in fat
  8. Carrots – well, who doesn’t like carrots?
  9. Almonds – they are a great source of B vitamins
  10. Bananas – easy, no mess snack
  11. Grapes – we all know what grapes make 😉
  12. Edamame – it’s a great source of protein
  13. Hummus – contains about 20 essential amino acids
  14. Cottage cheese – by weight it is 10% protein
  15. Apples – you have so many options with apples!
  16. String cheese – you get about 25% of your daily value of calcium
  17. Kale Chips – come on, it is kale!
  18. Fruit smoothies – you can get 50% your daily vitamins in one of these bad boys!
  19. Popcorn – Great night time snack
  20. Sunflower Seeds – They are 20% protein by weight

5 Common Metabolism Problems & Their Solutions

5 Common Metabolism Problems & Their Solutions

1. You don’t strength train — Even at a normal weight, when you lack muscle, your resting metabolic rate will be lower than you’d like. If you want to burn more calories, even when at rest, you need to keep muscle on your body.

SOLUTION: Start adding strength training to your workout routine!Valuable-Sleep

2. You’re not getting enough sleep — If you are not getting enough rest your resting metabolic rate will actually slow down to conserve energy, therefor burning LESS calories.

SOLUTION: Aim for 7-9 hours a night

3. You’re eating foods that are killing your metabolism — Things like artificial sweeteners, fruit juice and canola oil are classified as toxins by your body. So they slow down your metabolism and can cause other health issues.

SOLUTION: Eat unprocessed, whole foods

Blue Weights, Green Apple, and Tape Measure

4. You’re not working out hard enough — When you work out harder, it takes the body longer to recover, which makes your metabolism work harder.

SOLUTION: Start adding HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts into your routine.Mature older people lifting weights

5. You’re getting older — Your metabolism is naturally going to slow as you age.

SOLUTION: Keep active!!

Top 10 Fitness Facts!

Top 10 Fitness factsbrainPower

 

  1. Exercise boosts brain power — and who doesn’t want that? It helps clear your thoughts, and get you out of brain fog.
  2. Movement melts stress away — we could all use a good stress reliever. Take a thirty minute walk, choose the stairs at work or go for a swim, it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated – just move!
  3. Exercise gives you energy — you would think you would be more tired after exercising, but it is the opposite. You will get a boost of energy when you are done and you will be ready to start your day.
  4. It is easy to make time for fitness — you have to make the time, book it into your schedule like any other appointment that you can’t miss. Just change how you do things, bike to work, take the stairs or go for family walks after dinner.
  5. Fitness can build relationships — you never know who you will meet. The person beside you in a class or on the next treadmill could be a lawyer or another mom also dealing with a temperamental toddler, in the gym they are all real people fighting the same battle — living a healthy lifestyle.running heart
  6. Exercise helps ward off disease — When you exercise you are keeping every part of you healthy. When your body is healthy and working properly, there is little chance for sickness or disease. 
  7. Fitness keeps your vital organs healthy — well they are vital, so we need to keep them healthy. Cardio can be boring, but it what keeps your lungs and heart healthy. We need to get thirty minutes of exercise every day – minimum!
  8. Exercise let’s you eat more — now let’s not get crazy! But, you will be more hungry as you burn more calories so go ahead and have some more to eat.
  9. Exercise boosts performance — Yes in more than one way 😉 It helps you perform everything better, mentally, physically and everything in between.
  10. Weight loss — this should never be the number one reason for fitness and exercise! But it can be a nice side effect.

40 easy self care tips!

We are all so busy, you have to pack the kids lunches, get them to school, take them to their activities, then your work schedule and deadlines, then your spouse has their own schedule. Then you have family functions to add into the schedule, birthday parties oh and somewhere in there someone has to cook dinner. When do you find time to take care of you? Do you even know what you enjoy anymore? I find myself asking that a lot, what do I enjoy? I spend so much time changing diapers and chasing my toddler, is that what I enjoy? Well, of course I do, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But there is something about sitting in a piping hot bath in peace and quiet… AAAAHHHH!! That is nice.

 

As moms, we tend to run ourselves dry making sure everyone else is taken care of. STOP DOING THAT!!! You need to stop doing it right now! If you can’t take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of anyone else? Make sure you take time everyday for some self care, it doesn’t have to take a long time. Here is a list of some suggestions, some of these are my most favourite part of my day.

 

  1. Drink a HOT coffee — even if you have to wake up early
  2. Eat a HOT meal!
  3. Take a bath — ALONE!
  4. Go for a walk
  5. Try meditation
  6. Do a yoga class
  7. Go shopping — you don’t even have to buy anything
  8. Relax and listen to music — your kind of music, no more Frozen soundtrack!
  9. Call a friend — actually call them, hear their voice, hear them laugh!
  10. Write a list of everything you are grateful for — keep it somewhere safe and look at it every time you need a pick me up
  11. Say NO!
  12. Get more sleep
  13. Get some sunlight
  14. Ask for help — You don’t have to do this alone
  15. Use your slow cooker — save yourself some time
  16. Remember to breathe — big deep breaths
  17. Put down your phone!!
  18. Eat nutritious, healthy food
  19. Delegate tasks you don’t necessarily need to do — the kids can help with laundry, hire a cleaning service, get a babysitter
  20. Wear clothes that make you feel good
  21. Go to the spa
  22. Do your hair and make up — if that makes you feel better!
  23. Get a massage
  24. Colour in a colouring book
  25. Take a nap
  26. Play with your pet
  27. Read a book — not just a children’s story
  28. Drink more water
  29. Dance — like noone is watching
  30. Tell others what they mean to you
  31. Avoid processed foods
  32. Throw away things you don’t need
  33. Immerse yourself in motivational quotes — this always makes me feel good
  34. Swim — just float!
  35. Just sit
  36. Eat a treat — something you really enjoy
  37. Look through photos that make you happy
  38. Rub your temples
  39. Change your bedding
  40. SMILE!!

14 Best Post-Workout Foods!

So now you have completed your workout and you are hungry! Now before you reach for a quick, junky snack, let’s make a good decision. Here is a list of the best post-workout foods.

chocolate-milk-glass-chocolate-milk-diet

  1. Chocolate milk – Oh Ya! I said it. It is packed with protein and carbs and tastes so delicious! 
  2. Egg omelette – Eggs contain the fastest absorbing form of protein. Plus they are quick and easy to make.
  3. Tuna – A quick, budget friendly way to get your protein.
  4. Cottage cheese – Packed with protein and fat, and low in calories.
  5. Greek Yogurt – High in protein and great for on the go.
  6. Hummus and pita – Again, great for on the go, you can do the ahead of time. It slowly releases to provide long term energy.peanut-butter-apples1
  7. Steel cut oats – Perfect for any time of the day *add a scoop of protein powder for extra protein
  8. Protein pancakes – well come on, who doesn’t love pancakes?!
  9. Apples and peanut butter – MMM so good and full of great nutrients for recovery. 
  10. Fruit smoothie – these can be prepared ahead of time too. Plus add some protein powder for extra protein.
  11. Salmon – It is one of the leanest meats.
  12. Dried fruits and nuts – This is something you could leave in your car or purse. Quick, easy on the go option.
  13. Sweet potato -Not only does it taste great, but it is sweet potatoeasy to make, you can cook it in the microwave. 
  14. Good old Whey protein powder – Here is a true quick and easy post workout food. Sometimes when I am feeling like I want a treat I mix it with chocolate milk. mmmm.