Category Archives: no diet

A common fruit that’s your best choice!

blueberries

Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.

There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.

Let me tell you what I learned.

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.  

Antioxidants are good.

In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz 
of Today’s Dietitian

“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of   www.dietitian.com

Blueberries are one of the fruits that have the highest levels of antioxidant.

Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.

1.  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.

2.  Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.

3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

4.  Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.

5.  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

How to Choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

  • Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.

  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

   Be creative and find ways to eat them your favorite way.

There you have it!  You need to eat blueberries everyday!

Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

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13 healthy yummy foods to eat!

What can I eat today? Yummy food is one of the blessings of my life.

I won’t live a life of deprivation!

I want to eat delicious food that’s good for me too.

Here’s my list of healthy yummy food that I’ve researched and found to be some of the best!

Nothing is too weird and everything can be found in a regular grocery store.

Lifestyle changes work because we are focusing on what we can have!

Here’s your

healthy grocery list

 

Almonds are high in protein and healthy fat. This is my go-to snack for protein. I have this with an apple. Serving-23 almonds

Apples contain lots of fiber and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Serving-1 small My favorite are Royal Gala as they are sweeter and have a great texture.

Bananas have high levels of potassium which helps blood pressure levels and they are high in fiber. A banana added to my peanut butter toast is delicious and keeps me full longer. Serving-1 small

Beans are good for your heart as they have lots of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. I’ve discovered hummus, which is made from chick peas, which are also known as garbanzo beans! I like the roasted red pepper flavor and I have it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Serving-¾ of a cup

Blueberries, the super fruit that has the most antioxidants, which help the body guard against heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Frozen blueberries are part of my yogurt parfait almost everyday either for breakfast or as a dessert. Serving-½ cup

Broccoli, consider it the number 1 cancer fighter. I like it raw with hummus, or cooked. Serving-½ cup

Greek yogurt is a great source of bone building calcium and lots of protein. It contains beneficial bacteria, which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. My favorite is the sweetened coconut flavor. When I have this with blueberries for breakfast I’m satisfied for a long time. Serving-¾ cup of low fat

Kale, another great cancer fighter. It is also full of fiber and Vitamin K and antioxidants. I like it as a salad with a sweeter poppy seed dressing. Serving-1 cup fresh or cooked

Oatmeal continues to be a healthy choice. It is high in a special fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. It is a whole grain. I make it into granola and add a small portion to other cereal or my yogurt parfait. Serving-¾ cup cooked

Quinoa is now considered the new super food. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. I’ve tried it in salads but I think I like it hot better as an alternative to rice. I add some chicken stock for flavor. Serving-1 cup cooked

Salmon remains as one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, and the brain. My husband loves salmon so we have this once a week. Usually I bake it in the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Serving-3 ounces

Spinach is chock full of nutrients, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as folate, which helps the body form red blood cells. I don’t like it cooked at all, but in a salad or on a sandwich I love it. Serving-1 cup fresh or ½ cooked

Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna salad made with low fat mayo is a great protein boost for my lunch. Serving-3 ounces fresh or canned

TODAY’S little STEP: Add these foods to your grocery list. Then just like me you can enjoy yummy food and reap the health benefits.

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!  Keep taking those little steps!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

 

Make a simple change to be healthy!

Did you blow it? Do you feel like a failure? Is getting healthy too hard with your crazy lifestyle?

There’s hope!

Start right now! Take one little step to be healthy.        Yes, just one little step.

One step seems too easy. But, when we create a really easy goal we set ourselves up for success.

When we have success we feel empowered.

Lesley Lutes, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at East Carolina University, says

healthy habits

“rather than trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fails because it’s too hard to follow”.

Dr. Lutes backs up this statement with numerous clinical studies related to weight loss plans and programs.

Today’s the day! Take one of these little steps.

  1. Drink water as your main beverage. It’s calorie free, what your body needs and it makes your skin beautiful!

  2. Walk for 5 minutes everyday. Just set a timer and walk inside your house. If you feel good, set it for another 5 minutes.

  3. Switch to the smaller dinner plate. Your portions will automatically be smaller.

  4. Decide that your snacks will always include fruit. Add a handful of nuts for protein.

  5. Never eat directly from a bag or box of food. You will have no idea how much you ate.

  6. Have an accountability buddy, someone that you have to report to each week.

  7. Pray everyday. Jesus loves you and wants to help in your health journey.

  8. Quiet that inner critic. That voice in your head that says, “you’ll fail again, why bother starting again?” Instead repeat this statement everyday. “This little step is easy for me to do and it makes a difference. Taking care of me is important”!

  9. Be a food snob. If it’s not a 10 then it’s not worth the calories!

  10. Claim this promise from God! Memorize it! “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’.” Isaiah 41:13

Today’s the day!

One little step makes a difference.

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick one little step to incorporate into your everyday life.

Please sign up to receive my posts through email. I want to empower, equip, encourage and inspire you to keep climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being one little step at a time!

If this has encouraged you please share it on Facebook or Pinterest.

I’d love to hear what little step you chose, let me know!

Christmas pep talk!

 

Christmas it’s a wonderful time of the year and the food is amazing!

But you’ve worked too hard to blow it!

Make this your healthiest Christmas.

Be intentional! Choose only your favorite sweet or savoury treats.

Slow down and savor every bite of the treat.

If it’s not a 10, it’s not worth it!

Keep using that smaller plate for main courses, especially Christmas day.

Drink 5 cups of water a day.

Find time to exercise everyday.

Relax and enjoy the change of pace and the break from routine!

TODAY’S little STEP: Be intentional! Make the best choices!

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy Christmas. We have lots of snow here in Northern Ontario, Canada. Here’s a  few photos of the winter wonderland at our cottage.

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Healthier in one super easy step!

Looking in the fridge for something good to eat that feels like a treat?

This super food is low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It comes individually packaged and can be eaten raw or cooked.

It’s Doctor approved, recommended and it’s sweet!

It’s delicious fruit!

Fruit is an excellent source of many nutrients; potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. Eating more fruit can lower your risk of heart disease and protect you from certain cancers.

The naturally occurring sugar in fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth and the added fiber will help you feel satisfied for longer.

Eating more fruit is one of the simplest changes we can make especially if we replace higher calorie foods with fruit.

Eating more fruit is another little step we can take to be healthy and well.

But how much do I have to eat? 

Most women who are moderately active should consume 2 cups of fruit daily if you are under 30 and 1½ cups if you are over 30.

A serving of fruit varies depending on the fruit and it’s size. It is important to be aware of the portion size as the calories can add up easily.

Here are some general guidelines for portion sizes.

Apple-1 small(2 ¼ “ diameter)

Cantaloupe, pineapple and watermelon-1 cup of cut up chunks

Grapes-32

Grapefruit-1 medium

Orange, peach-1 large

Pear-1 medium

Strawberries-8 large

Blueberries, raspberries-1 cup

Dried fruit-1/2 cup

Fruit juice-1 cup

How can I include more fruit in my day?

Choose fresh fruit more often than juice. You benefit from the eating process and the fiber contained in the fruit.

Add berries or banana to your cereal at breakfast or have toast with peanut butter and banana.

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Mix fruit with Greek yogurt for a mid-morning snack.

Get creative and make fruit kabobs with strawberries, bananas, grapes and pineapple chunks. This appeals to the little kid in us as anything on a stick is considered a treat.

Decide that your snack will always include fruit. Apples and bananas are super easy to pack.

Make fruit smoothies with fresh or frozen fruit, try different fruit combinations.

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Add some peanut butter or low fat yogurt as a dip to your favorite fruit choices.

Individual portions of fruit are good to pack in lunches. Select ones that are packed in fruit juice, not syrup.

Freeze grapes and then enjoy them like candy on a hot day.

At dinner add some fruit to salads or serve a fruit tray with low fat dip as dessert. Fruit trays appeal to our eyes and most everyone can find a favorite.

Be adventurous and try a new fruit each week. Most grocery stores have a wide variety to choose from.

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Eat a variety of fruits as they all contain different nutrients and vitamins.

TODAY’S little STEP: As part of Camp #4 add a serving of fruit to one meal or snack. This will be more effective for your health if you replace a low nutrient snack with fruit.

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Simple secrets to stop mindless eating!

Ever eaten a whole bag of potato chips while watching T.V.? Ever eaten your lunch while checking Facebook and suddenly realized your food was gone? Ever walked by some dessert and grabbed one on the way by? Why do we eat mindlessly? What can we do to stop it?

Mindless eating is NOT GOOD! We are not aware of the calories we consume. We aren’t paying attention to our hunger or fullness cues. Mindless eating sabotages our healthy eating plan. Plus we miss out on the variety of textures, the taste and the joy of good food!

Why do we do it?

Brian Wansink, PhD. who directs the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab has some powerful scientific data on mindless eating. Our minds and eyes are easily fooled. We can relate to most of these reasons.

 

  • “Sights, Sounds, and Smells

Overeating can be triggered just by the alluring smell of bacon frying, or the sound of popcorn popping, or just walking past the bakery window.

  • Distracted Eating

Eating amnesia is the act of almost unconsciously putting food in your mouth without paying attention to what you’re eating. We are often paying attention to something else.

  • Food, Food Everywhere

When food is in front of you, you’ll tend to eat more of it. Dr. Wansink found that when candy was easily accessible on employees’ desks, they ate an average of nine pieces a day, but when they had to get up from their desks to reach the candy six feet away, they ate only four pieces.

  • Food that’s Fast, Convenient, and Inexpensive

Fast-food combo meal deals sound like a bargain especially if you choose to ‘super-size’ them, but they are loaded with fat, sodium, and calories.

  • Portion Distortion

Our idea of a normal portion has become skewed, in part because so many restaurants serve oversized portions. The plates are the size of the platters we use at home.

  • Giant-Size Packages

The mega-sized packages like jumbo flats of muffins or cookies encourage us to eat more because there is more food available. When you eat from a large container, you are likely to consume 25% to 50% more than you would from a smaller package.

  • Not-So-Dainty Dishware

We tend to eat more when we’re served food in larger containers. Dr. Wansink found that when students were given food in larger bowls, they served themselves 53% more and consumed 56% more than those who used smaller bowls.”

https://myheartsisters.org/2010/03/28/8-reasons-eating/

O.K. Now we know why we overeat. We need some encouragement and some strategies to become mindful eaters! 

Take a minute to think before you eat. What are you feeling? Are you stressed, rushed, bored or sad? Are you really hungry?

When you eat, just sit and eat. Sit down and face way from any distractions. Turn off your phone, computer or the T.V. and think about eating. Savor the tastes and texture of the food.

Never eat directly from a bag or box of food. You have no idea how much you ate. 

When you have a snack put it on a plate or bowl. This extra step makes snacking more inconvenient, which means you’ll do it less.

Keep the counters clear of all food but the healthy ones. A pretty fruit bowl on the cupboard encourages healthy snacking.

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A beautiful display of fruit encourages us to make healthy choices!

Limit your view of tempting foods. Put the cookies in the cupboard. Or better yet put them in the basement, so you will have to make a conscious decision to go and get them.

Fill your plate at the stove or counter. You will need to make a conscious decision to get up and get more food.

Change the fridge organization. Place fruit and vegetables on the top shelf in a separate basket, where they are easily accessed.

Here are the websites which I used for my research if you would like to read more.

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/121610p30.shtml

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-tips-for-mindful-eating-just-in-time-for-the-holidays-201511248698

http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/discoveries/beating-your-mindless-eating-habits

TODAY’S little STEP: Become a mindful eater. Pick at least 1 strategy to incorporate into your everyday life. Remember every little step makes a difference!

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What she did to triumph and get healthy!

My friend lost 141 pounds and went from a size 24 to 14-16! Cecile, was a faithful member of the support group I led. She also attended Weight Watchers in the summer months. Her health journey has taken over 7 years. Cecile is still on her journey up the Mountain of Health and Well Being.

Cecile has had great success and I’m really excited to interview her.

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  1. When did you realize you needed to make some changes?  I realized I wasn’t taking good care of myself and I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I used to say to myself, “what’s the use? I’m doomed to be fat.”

  2. What do you think led to your weight gain? I never thought I would gain weight. It just happened over the years. Like a lot of women I ate for emotional reasons.

  3. What was your light bulb moment when you decided to lose weight? When I walked my back and hips really hurt. My Mom, (who was very loving and helpful during my life) had Alzheimer’s Disease and needed to be in a wheelchair and I didn’t ever want to be in a wheelchair. I wanted to be able to walk and take care of myself.

  4. Were you part of a support and accountability group? Yes, I had prayed and asked God for a Christian weight loss group. When Dixie invited me to join the group I was very happy. How did it help you? It was good because we exercised together and we studied the Bible, and other good books. We shared our needs and supported each other. When I left the meeting I felt good and ready to keep working.

  5. What were the most important changes you made to be healthier? I have a small plate that I use to help me with my portions.  I am getting better at saying, “no thank you” when dessert is served. I don’t feel bad about saying no.I exercise everyday.If I am hungry in the early evening I eat carrots and celery sticks.I don’t eat anything after 8 o’clock at night; I shut the kitchen light off!I had high cholesterol and so I changed the food I ate and lowered my cholesterol.I realize that God’s grace has brought me to the place I am at today!

  6. What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss? Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? All of them! I eat a lot less food. I like to eat 6 small meals a day. I take snacks with me in the car so I’m not tempted to eat fast food. When I choose food I think about whether it is good for me and my husband teases me because I’m always reading the labels. I exercise everyday. I also changed my thinking- now I have a positive outlook on life. I’m very thankful. There is lots to live for! God helps me everyday to appreciate my life.

  7. What keeps you motivated when you get discouraged or have a slip up? I pick myself up, talk to somebody and I often exercise. I also read my Bible and God encourages me. I have a friend that says, “keep looking up!” I read Dixie’s blog and it encourages me to keep taking little steps.

  8. Are there any foods you outright avoid and do not have in your house? I don’t have any hot chocolate, or ice cream and no chocolate bars!

  9. When it comes to eating well what are your top recommendations?  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Eat mostly fish and chicken. Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day.

  10. What is your favourite form of exercise? I like to do exercise DVDs, I have a treadmill, and in the summer I like to walk outside. I like to try new things. This winter I went cross country skiing and skating. I signed up for a Zumba class and I loved it!

  11. Do you include weight training? Yes I use 3 and 5 pound weights and a resistance band. Why? I know that tones my body and helps me lose inches.

  12. What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey? Admitting that I needed to change and get healthy.

  13. How important has your family’s support been? My husband, son and daughter are proud of the healthy changes I have made.  I just attended a family reunion and every one commented on the changes I have made. They were happy for me. It encouraged them that they could make some changes to be healthy too.

  14. Do you have a favourite verse?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13

Thanks Cecile for sharing some of your health journey. If you were to give some last advice to anyone who is struggling to get healthy what would you say? You are at a very important place in your life. Keep taking little steps. God will never give up on you!

No matter how slow the weight loss is don’t give up! You are worth it. You are special in God’s eyes!

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I hope Cecile’s story encourages you my friend!

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