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  1. Want to wake up without hitting snooze? Feel full of energy all day long without caffeine? These are just some of the amazing benefits of a healthy diet. I know, the information out there on this topic is overwhelming, and you probably don't know where to begin. So Where Do you Start? *Hint* Check Your Grocery List! Get started with your shopping cart. This may seem like a routine task to many, but the hour a week you spend in the grocery store will DRAMATICALLY alter how you feel each day. I’m going to break down 5 essential foods that you should be buying each week to ensure your diet has you feeling like a SUPERSTAR (think Molly Shannon from Saturday Night Live)! 1. Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries. Berries are full of antioxidants and high in potassium and Vitamin C. They are essential for lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer as well as being anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the root cause of all major chronic diseases so think of berries as your guardian angel against these illnesses that affect 75% of Americans. 2. Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Trout Like berries, fish is going to help reduce your risk of many illnesses including heart disease and may also aid in psychological issues such a memory loss and depression. The key nutrients in fish are the Omega 3’s which can also be purchased as a supplement in most grocery stores if you don’t like the taste of seafood. Sorry, no excuses for missing this one! 3. Vegetables – Kale, Spinach, Broccoli You were hoping this wasn’t going to be on the list…but here it is! Vegetables are going to add fiber to your diet which will aid in the protection against many common problems like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Vegetables are also low in calories so they can help fill you up while you maintain a low caloric intake each day. 4. Whole Grains – Whole Grain Rice, Whole Grain Cereal Whole grains contain all the antioxidant benefits of fruits and vegetables but on a MUCH larger scale. Everyone can find whole grain foods they enjoy whether it’s Kashi cereal, Quaker Oats flavored oatmeal or whole grain peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (mouthwatering)! Add these into your diet today. 5. Nuts – Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews Even though nuts are high in fat, studies have shown that combined with a healthy diet, they help accelerate weight loss and reduce waist size. This is due to the healthy fats and high amount of protein that your body needs to function effectively. No, this is not an excuse to head out to the nearest bar to start eating peanuts because you don’t feel like shopping! To start eating healthy, the key is to focus when you’re at the store. Always shop around the perimeter of the store where the essential foods like fruit, vegetables and proteins are - before going down the aisles of sugary temptation. You should always consult with a personal trainer or nutritionist to make sure your diet lines up with your specific goals. Whether you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle or want a specific body shape, consulting with experts is a great way to ensure you’re making the most of your meals. Article prescribed by: Lex Ronin Lex Ronin is a certified personal trainer who offers nutrition consulting, marathon training and group classes such as yoga, meditation, and self defence at Ronin Fitness.
  2. Here is an easy set of suggestions and tips to follow for living a longer, healthier life WATER Adequate water can actually reverse atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up). It seems that water can actually flush the arteries of plaque. It also expands blood vessels and makes arteries more elastic, which is essential for healthy hearts. Most importantly, I believe, is that adequate hydration raises the metabolism and allows for stored fat to be burned more efficiently as well as slowing heart rate, reducing blood pressures and reducing fluid retention. ** Drink enough water to make your urine clear and colorless all day. Limit coffee, tea and pop to three cups a day. BREAKFAST Breakfast should include at least four grams of fibre, which in turn reduces cholesterol and fat in the blood. Every 10 gr. of cereal fibre reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes by 30 per cent! It also reduces cancer and diabetes risk. Good sources of fibre are cereals, dried beans and lentiles. He also suggests adding nuts and seeds to breakfast cereal and to have a whole piece of fruit as well. Whole wheat toast, a bagel or a bran muff is NOT a good source of fibre. It's important that one eats breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. It reduces the risk of cancers by preventing absorption of carcinogens and also reduces cholesterol by preventing its absorption. He suggests that breakfast should be the heaviest, while lunch should be a little less, and supper even less than that. He informed me that the body adjusts and hunger won't be an issue at the end of the day. So, in other words, our bodies become more efficient and burn, burn, burn those calories when we eat a good breakfast. VEGETABLES Choose at least two different vegetables at lunch AND at supper. Eat a minimum of one cup of vegetables at each meal then eat the rest of your meal. Rice, potato and corn are starches and are NOT counted as vegetables. MEAT Eat a maximum of four ounces of meat, pork, chicken or fish a day. WALKING Walk for 25 minutes every night after supper. The benefits of walking after supper compared to walking before supper are many. It can lower your blood sugar by 50 per cent, but best of all when one exercises as described above, your body is burning calories the whole time you sleep. Most North American (95 per cent) eat little through the day relative to their large meals and evening snacks. This raises the blood sugar really high before sleeping. Higher bedtime sugars directly create extra weight and extra cholesterol and lower anti-oxidants which help prevent cancer. Walking for 25 minutes after supper raises your metabolism, releases growth hormones which suppress appetite for late night snacks and act as a natural fat burner overnight. He says one can change diet overnight, but allow an average of 3-5 weeks for these changes, as listed above, to impact your metabolism. REGULAR WEIGH INS He suggests that if one follows the above, they don't need to weigh in weekly. It has been found, that the stress of weigh-ins create a chemical in our brains which actually retains the fat and thus we reach those dreaded plateaus. He asked me how many stories I had heard about people who only had five or 10 lbs. to lose, but just couldn't do it. According to him, weigh-ins become so stressful that they create these fat-holding chemicals. Now THAT was an interesting thing for me to hear! He suggests instead, that we take monthly body measurements as a true picture of how we are doing. Poor Nutrition and Associated Health Problems These suggestions are based on certain statistics - People with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol/heart disease, bowel problems, and those who are overweight, generally have five things in common! Five Commonalities Small or no breakfast with adequate fiber. Inadequate water consumption. Inadequate activity after supper. Inadequate daily fiber intake. Inadequate daily vegetable intake. This article was submitted by our BCB Community member, Diamond (Thank You!)
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