Archives for posts with tag: healthy-living

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Not everyone is a morning person. No shame in that. But if early morning is the only time you have to workout, you gotta make it happen. Repetition is key to forming a new habit, so if you wake up on the first morning and don’t feel like getting up, that’s not license to go back to bed because it didn’t work. No one springs from bed at the crack of dawn, fresh as a daisy, ready to get sweaty. Yet, millions of people do it everyday. Here’s how you can be one of those people.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning, even if it is not a workout day. Adults need 6-8 hours of sleep a night, so plan accordingly. This is the best way to reset your internal clock in the least amount of time.
  • Set an alarm. That’s a no brainer. But if you are a habitual snooze button hitter, turn it on loud and put it on the other side of the room so you have to actually get up to turn it off. If you are out of bed you are less likely to crawl back in. There are also some smartphone apps that make you solve a math problem before it will turn off so can’t turn it off in a sleepy haze. Anyone that shares your bed is just going to have to deal.
  • Turn the lights on. If you are waking up before dawn, you may be tempted to keep the lighting low, but turning on the lights will wake you up faster than a cup of coffee.

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Nutrition labels are meant to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on the nutritional quality of your food. The nutrition facts labels are regulated by the government, and are unbending in their honesty. The labeling on the front, however, isn’t so strict, and can be manipulated to make you think the food is healthier than it actually is. Marketing: it’s tricky, and it works- unless you are an informed consumer. Here’s what you need to know about label buzzwords:

Fat-Free: In order to call a food item “fat free” it needs to have less than 0.5 grams of fat per labeled serving. First off, fat isn’t terrible, you need it, it just needs to be watched, so picking fat free over a full fat option isn’t automatically necessary. It’s also a huge marketing ploy. Perfect example? Candy. Skittles, Lemonheads and most non-chocolate candy emblazon FAT FREE FOOD! across the front of their labels. It’s true, they are low enough in fat to call themselves fat free, but candy is hardly a healthy food choice. There’s no fat in cement either- doesn’t mean you should eat it.

All-natural: All natural means basically nothing. Natural is a term that sounds healthy, so it’s used to make things sound more pure, rustic and whole, but in truth, it means very little. According to the USDA, food can only be labeled natural if it contains no artificial ingredients, added colors and is minimally processed. Vague, vague, vague. Don’t rest on the All-Natural label alone.

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Are you one of those people that finds themselves lamenting that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone fit in a workout?

Of course you don’t have a spare hour in the day. I don’t know a single person that finds themselves sitting for an hour, staring at the wall with nothing to do. No one does. If you want time to fit in your workout, you have to CREATE it.

You may not have a huge chunk of spare time to fill up, but you do have small bits of time that you can pull together. And for those rare few that don’t even have that, you will have to rearrange, consolidate and delegate, but you can do it.

Still skeptical? Here are some simple ways to free up time in your day. Pick the ones that pertain to your situation and create more time for workouts, leisure activities, or to just sit and relax.

Find your time suckers. Take a day or two, and write down everything you do. How much time do you devote to checking Facebook? Surfing the Internet in general? Watching TV? Cleaning the house? You don’t even need to eliminate these time sucks, some of them are necessary, but they eat up a lot of minutes every day. Simply cutting the time you devote to them each day can easily free up a lot of time.

Save errands for one day. Instead of running to the store once a day, or the bank a few times a week, save everything up for one trip, one day a week.

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Everything in moderation, right? Not quite.  

Fat in food has a negative connotation attached to it because people think that eating fat will make you fat, but in fact, fats, just like protein or carbohydrates, are essential to your diet and your body needs them to function properly. You do have to watch your intake, though. Fat is also very calorie dense, and too much fat can have detrimental effects on your body and your health.

Fats are classified into two kinds: Unsaturated, or “good” fats and saturated, or “bad” fats. You can tell the two apart because unsaturated fats are generally liquid at room temperature, like olive oil, and saturated fats tend to be solid, like butter or animal fat. Saturated fats in excess can clog arteries and raise blood pressure and cholesterol and should be kept to a minimum, but even saturated fats have room in your daily diet.

There is a third type of fat as well, that is in a league all of its own. You may have heard of it, you may not, but you will be on the look out for it from now on.

We can blame our own drive to come up with ways to make manufacturing food cheaper for the discovery of the worst thing you can possibly ingest: trans fat. What started as a well-intentioned attempt to manipulate nature to make healthy fats solid at room temperature to replace saturated fats in shelf stable foods by adding hydrogen accidentally resulted in creating something more dangerous than what it was meant to replace. They quickly discovered their mistake, but because trans fat are tasty and cheap, manufacturers continue to pump it into prepared foods like crackers, chips, cookies, breads and boxed meals.
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