Tag Archives: tips

How to make nutrient rich choices everyday!

I want to reward myself with something to eat or drink. I know I told you not to reward yourself with food but it still tempting, isn’t it?

It’s a hot summer day and I’m hot and tired from my day of running errands. I want a rich cold sweet coffee drink from Starbucks!

I stand in line for a few minutes trying to make up my mind. I decide on an Iced White Chocolate Mocha, my mouth starts to water just thinking about it.

The line is really long so I have some time to think. I notice the price…3.75!!! Just for a drink!

 

starbucks-2584182_1920

 

I leave the line. I’m not sure I want to spend that much money on a drink.

Maybe I should buy a snack instead. I like to chew my calories not drink them.

Then some words come to mind…”Today’s little step is to always make fruit part of your snack.” Hmm seems like good advice!

I notice a chopped fruit salad. It looks so colorful, sweet and juicy.

It’s also about the same price as the drink.

 

fruit-2305192_1920

 

I pay for the fruit salad and walk by the Starbucks line up.

This time I reward myself with nutrient rich food!

But I must confess that I don’t always make the best choice!

The Iced White Chocolate Mocha would have been empty calories. That drink contains little or no essential vitamins or minerals. It provides very little value to my body. The only nutrient worth noting is the 2 % milk; it’s 25 % of the daily amount of calcium.

It has 330 calories and 15 grams of fat!

Yikes!

Those extra calories would have gone straight into extra fat on my body!

 

The fruit salad on the other hand is nutrient rich. The fruit salad is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories.

Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.

The fruit salad has only 109 calories and 0 grams of fat!

There is 5.2 grams of fibre so that will help me feel full longer and it also means a lot of chewing too!

The fruit salad has lots of Vitamin A and C .

Let’s do a quick review….

Nutrient rich foods provide more nutrients than calories.

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Fat-free milk

  • Whole-grain products

Empty calorie foods contain more calories than nutrients.

  • Chips

  • Cookies

  • Pastries

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

    Not sure about you, but when I read that list of empty calorie foods…they all sound yummy.  Those are my temptations.

Make nutrient rich choices most of the time and your body will benefit!

Let’s make sure we have nutrient foods readily available in our homes.

When we buy a snack let’s make it a good one!

littlestepstohealth.com

Remember our core verse, “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

TODAY’S little STEP: Choose nutrient rich foods most often and limit empty calories.

If you have found this helpful please share it!

 

Advertisements

10 tips to sneak exercise into everyday!

Exercise seems hard to add to our already crazy lives.  But when we add incidental exercise into our day it makes a difference.

Incidental exercise is the exercise we get during daily activities. Activities like taking the stairs, walking the dog and doing housework.

Every little change we make to be more active helps us be healthier.

If you move during every commercial break while watching 2 hours of TV you can burn 270 calories a day. That’s one sneaky way to add incidental exercise into our lives.

On those crazy busy days you can still add in little steps!

 

dr. quote

Here are some ideas

  • Use waiting times. While cooking dinner do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

  • Phone calls. When talking on your phone pace around your home or office. Remember just 10 minutes makes a difference.

  • Wear a pedometer everyday. Keep track of a regular day and then make a goal to add 2000-3000 steps a day. check out pedometer resources here.

  • Take the stairs. Whenever possible take the stairs, up or down, instead of the elevator.

  • Park further away. Park at the far end of the parking lot and take your packages to the car yourself.

  • Stand more. Standing burns more calories than sitting! Stand more often than you sit.

  • Walk briskly. Don’t dawdle, walk at a quick pace, like you are late!

  • Get outside. Mow the lawn, garden, sweep the walk or wash the car by hand. These activities engage your core muscles.

  • Go get it yourself. If you need something from the basement or upstairs, get it yourself.

  • Store it downstairs. Purposely put frequently used items in the basement. Then you will have to take the stairs.

  • Walk at children’s sporting events. Pace the sidelines during soccer, climb the stairs during swimming or walk during half time breaks.

Most of these incidental exercise tips are ones I use. They have become part of my healthy lifestyle.

My kids still tease me that I find the farthest corner of the parking lot for my parking spot.

My family has gotten used to me walking on the spot during tv or movie watching, as long as I don’t block their view.

I purposely keep frequently used items in the basement so that I have to take the stairs more often.

I am convinced that these little lifestyle changes have helped me to keep the weight off.

 

Remember our core Bible verse, “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

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick 3 tips to incorporate incidental exercise into your daily life. Every little step does make a difference.

Sites used as research.  Check them out for additional ideas.

easy ways to boost incidental exercise

lazy girl fitness

fitness the easy way

small changes that take off big pounds

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.

Why we need to drink water!

 Will drinking more water really help you be healthier?

Let me share what I found. Oh, but first go get a glass of water and drink it while you’re reading this.

1.Why should you drink water?

  • It improves your mood! Mild dehydration can negatively affect your mood and your ability to think.

    When you’re feeling cranky, have a glass of water!

  • It relieves fatigue! Wow! That’s reason enough for you to drink more water. When your body is dehydrated, feeling tired is one of the first signs.

  • It helps headaches! At the first sign of a headache drink some water. It won’t take away the stress in your life but it may ward off a headache. Headaches are often caused by dehydration.

  • It helps in digestion and boosts your metabolism!  Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. That means water helps your body burn calories! It also aids with digestion so your system works well. I won’t go into details – you can read between the lines.

  • It aids weight loss! When you substitute water for other high calorie beverages you are reducing your calories. Even healthy orange juice has 112 calories. Eat an orange for 45 calories instead.  When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.

  • It flushes out toxins! Drinking water helps your body to get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.  It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stone formation. Prevention of kidney stones and the pain associated with them is another really good reason to drink more water.

  •  10-health-benefits-of-drinking-water.html

2.How much water should you drink?

Fluid is lost in sweat, urine, digestive processes, breathing, and through the skin. This fluid needs to be replaced every day.

There is no perfect formula for how many cups of water each person should drink. Research suggests the amount of fluid you need is based on your weight, your activity level and the climate you live in. Generally 8 to 10 cups of fluid each day is recommended.

That sounds like a huge amount of water to drink. But about 20% of it comes from the food we eat. Many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water by weight.  The other 80% comes from the beverages we drink.  Milk and juice, and tea and coffee can contribute to the 80%, as they are composed of mostly water.

Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, caffeine free, inexpensive and readily available. nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

3.When should you drink it?

When you are feeling thirsty your body is sending a message that it needs fluid. Don’t ignore your thirst. Rehydrate with water.

The timing of when you drink water can contribute to weight loss. One study found that drinking water half an hour before meals is effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories (28, 29).  In another study, people who drank 2 cups of water before meals lost 44% more weight, than the control group that didn’t drink water before the meal. (30).

It appears that drinking water before your meal will help to fill up your stomach. You will eat less food. It takes less food for you to feel full. This will eventually lead to weight loss.

Drink water it's your body's BFF!

TODAY’S little STEP: Gradually increase your water consumption. With the goal of 1 glass before each meal and with each snack. Substitute water for higher calorie beverages whenever you can.

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

 

Strategies for summer struggles!

 I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

 

IMG_0286

When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

sunny-ice-cream-picjumbo-com

One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “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.

TODAY’S little STEP: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  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.

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

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

 

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.

img_0624

img_0632

img_0634

 

 

10 Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating

Tis the season for eating!

Everywhere I go there will be tempting goodies. Then I’ll add some holiday stress and I’ll have the perfect combination for overeating.  My favorite foods – turkey, stuffing, gravy, pie, cookies, rich desserts and chocolates will be within my reach.

But this year is going to be different!

I have strategies to share!

10 Healthy tips to beat the holiday food frenzy.

1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.

2. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Get your 20 minutes of exercise everyday. Break it up into two 10-minute sessions. On a day when you overeat, add extra minutes.

3. Eat until you are satisfied, only the turkey needs to feel stuffed! Savor your favorite holiday treats. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.

4. No mindless eating from the bowl of party snacks. Serve yourself on a small appetizer plate and physically move away from the food.

5. Leave a calorie allowance for dessert. If you love dessert and hate to miss out then make a point to cut back on the hors d’oeuvres or skip the bread. Or avoid the pasta and have mostly salad and veggies.

6. Put desserts on a small plate, or even better, on a napkin. It’s a simple trick: You can’t fit as much on a napkin, so you won’t eat as much. No trips back for seconds!

7. Just say ‘NO’! Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food. Don’t let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want.

8. Trim back on the trimmings. To shave calories, go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped cream. These additions don’t add much to the meal, but can add plenty to your waistline.

9. Wear snug clothes. When you wear snug-fitting clothes chances are you’ll feel full faster. No elastic waist pants for us girlfriends!

10. Be a food snob. If it’s not a 10 then it’s not worth the calories! Scan the choices for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes.

healthy eating tips

holiday eating

Here’s my healthy self-talk statement for the Holiday Season

holiday healthy self-talk

TODAY’S little STEP:  Incorporate these strategies and enjoy the Christmas season!  Celebrate the birth of our Saviour and King!

This is a repost from last year.  Good stuff is worth rereading!

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends!

I love hearing from you, your comments make my day!