Poor Eating Habits

poor habitsDid you know that many of us are overfed but undernourished?  We eat plenty of food, but most of the food is a convenience or packaged and these types of food are stripped of nutrients.  When you are running late, do you drive through a fast food joint to grab dinner.  Or if you just got home from your son or daughter’s baseball practice, do you grab a box of hamburger helper and open a can of vegetables?  Do you starve yourself all day then gorge yourself at dinner?  Maybe you eat on the run, while standing or driving.  Bad eating habits is not just a lack of willpower.  It can be that sneaky habit you develop without realizing it.  It could be running out the door in the morning without breakfast.  Or sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of chips.  It could be that beer you drink on an empty stomach.  While this may keep you full it doesn’t provide the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.  These unhealthy eating habits affect our nutrient intake, including energy, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and fluid.

How does poor nutrition affect us?

Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduces our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.  It can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over a period time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:

  • being overweight or obese
  • tooth decay
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease and stroke
  • type-2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • some cancers
  • depression

It is estimated that healthier diets might prevent $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and the value of premature deaths associated with these conditions.  Good nutrition based on healthy eating is an essential factor that helps us to stay healthy.  If you are serious about eating healthier you need to shake it up.  Change those bad habits and start thinking differently.

Most of us are creatures of habit.  We buy the same foods and prepare the same recipes and live within our familiar routine.  The problem is we get so comfortable in our ways it is hard to give up those habits.  “Many people are skeptical about changing their diets because they have grown accustomed to eating or drinking the same foods, and there is a fear of the unknown or trying something new,” says John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Behavioral Medicine Research Center.  Even when you want to change, old habits die hard.  “Over time, habits become automatic, learned behaviors, and these are stronger than new habits you are trying to incorporate into your life,” says Foreyt.

Eating a healthier diet may be intimidating at first.  But once you start and notice the change of how you feel and how good the food taste.  Overtime your preferences will change and cravings will fade away.  Don’t feel discouraged if very thing is going along great and then you hit a rough patch and fall back into your old habits.  Just pick yourself up and start moving forward again.  It is time to shake things up and change those bad eating habits and start thinking differently.  If eating healthier seems like a big change for you, take it one step at time.  “Try to gradually incorporate new habits over time, and before you know it, you will be eating more healthfully and losing weight,” says Keri Gans, MS, RD, American Dietetic Association spokesperson and a nutritionist in private practice in New York.  Start slow and pick 1 to 2 changes to make.  Once you have accomplished those, pick 1 to 2 more.  Make it easy and something you can live with long term.   Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • be aware of your bad habits;
  • aim for two to five servings of fruit and vegetables each day ;
  • try to eat less sugary, fatty or salty foods; and if you have to only in small amounts;
  • drink fresh water instead of sugary drinks;
  • try some healthy recipes;
  • plan your meals ahead of time to shop for healthy ingredients;
  • enjoy eating healthy food with family or friends without distractions; and
  • make your snacks fruit or vegetables instead of chips.

Start slow, take your time and before you know it your lifestyle and eating habits will have changed for the better.

It is time to shake things up and take control.  For more information visit my website:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at:  Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

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Stress Management

relax Feeling like there are too many pressures and demands on you?  Are you losing sleep because you’re worrying about issues in your life?  You’re not alone, everyone experiences stress at times.  Unfortunately stress is a fact of life.  Stress can be helpful at certain times, but also at the same time to much stress can damage your health.   Here are some fun facts where stress is helpful.

  • When you feel threatened, upset or in danger the body’s defenses kick into high gear to fight for your life or freeze and not move;
  • It helps you stay focused, energetic and alert;
  • It gives you extra strength to defend yourself;
  • It helps you to rise to challenges;
  • It sharpens your concentration; and
  • It makes you happy.

Now here are some facts where stress can damage your health.

  • Cognitive Symptoms (memory problems, poor judgment, constant worrying, anxious or racing thoughts).
  • Emotional Symptoms (moodiness, irritability, agitation, depression, and isolation).
  • Physical Symptoms (aches, diarrhea, nausea, chest pain, rapid heart beat, loss of sex drive).
  • Behavioral Symptoms (eating to much or not at all, sleeping to much or not at all, procrastination, mail biting, pacing).

Common causes of stress:

  • Life changes;
  • Work or school;
  • Relationships;
  • Financial issues;
  • Family;
  • Worrying or negativity;

Situations and pressures of our daily life can cause stress.  Stress can be brought on by our exhausting work schedule, kid’s activities, family or everyday demands.  We think of stress as being negative, but it can also be positive things that cause stress such as planning a wedding, buying a house going to school, anything that puts a lot of demands on you.

We are all different and “too much” stress differs from person to person.  Your ability to handle stress depends on many factors, your health, exercise, attitude and outlook, ability to deal with emotions.  Because of the widespread damage stress can cause to your overall health, it’s important to know how much you can handle.  Some people are able to roll with the punches, while others crumble on far smaller frustrations.  Some people seem to thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.

To manage your stress you have to start identifying the source of stress in your life.  Sometimes that is not as easy as it sounds.  Your true sources of stress aren’t always that obvious and easy to overlook.  You may think that your stress is caused by your job deadlines when in reality it might be caused by your procrastination to meet the deadline.

Smoking, drinking, overeating, pills, procrastinating, withdrawing from people, physical violence, constantly doing things to keep you busy are temporary coping mechanisms that temporarily reduce stress but cause more damage than good.

If these are your methods for coping with stress you are just contributing to your health and emotions.  It’s time to make a change and find healthier options.  There are many ways to manage stress, but they all require change.  Until you accept responsibility for the role you are creating your stress level will remain outside your control.  You can either change the situation or change your reaction.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies.  Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.  Try positive self-talk every day.  You can do this while in the car, at your desk, or before you go to bed.  Need some help try these positive statements:

  • “I’ve got this.”
  • “I can get help if I need it.”
  • “We can work it out.”
  • “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
  • “Things could be worse.”
  • “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
  • “Someday I’ll laugh about this.”
  • “I can deal with this situation.”

Remember positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that is causing you stress.  When stress makes you feel bad, try doing something that gives you pleasure, even if it is only for a short period of time.  Joy is a natural way to fight off stress.  Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if it is only for a short period of time.

For more information about how to handle stress visit my website here.  For more information visit my website:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at:  Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

Are You A Professional Woman Trying to Balance Work-Life?

Super WomanAs women we want to have a wonderful career while building our wonderful family, right? You have probably heard that all will be fine as long as you keep your personal life and your work life in balance. The question is; what does that mean? Basically it means that you are setting yourself up for failure since balance implies a state of equilibrium and nothing in life is ever really balanced. When trying to find the right combination of work-life balance you become exhausted and walk around being eaten alive by the guilt of not knowing how to obtain that balance. You find yourself feeling like you are letting everyone down – your family and your career.

It’s time to put a stop to those feelings and start learning a better way of finding “balance” between your personal and professional life. To do this efficiently you must first create a family plan and then reconcile against your business plan. The family plan should include the goals and responsibilities of the marriage and family and then the business plan should have the same – the point of reconciling is to make sure that the family plan and/or the business plan complement each other and doesn’t create a competition between the two. However, some professional women may even find balancing extremely difficult and their marriages may suffer as a result.

A family plan can possibly serve as a map and compass for your career, it should have the time that is needed to spend with family for things such as date night, family time and the like. When creating your business plan it should have long-term goals as an individual, as a couple/family, and for the company/professional. Everything should be viewed as a whole and not in isolation of each other, this will be helpful so that things fall into place or is synced up with each other. It also helps to discuss these plans with significant others or family members who you will rely on for help and want to make time for.

You may need to set up boundaries between your personal and professional life in order to keep your plan on task. Sometimes that means schedule your time when you check your work emails at home so that it doesn’t interfere with your dinner or that alone/family time that you have carefully set up in your plan. While at home you should stay fully and emotionally present with your family and at work you should do the same. With the demands of our careers, it can be difficult not to bring work home say to meet an upcoming deadline and to complete a task that was overlooked during your time in the office. As such, if you are trying to balance work-life, then it is best not to bring work into this sacred space called home. In fact, separating the two is vital in order to maintain work-life balance. Being present with your significant other is as equally important.

I am the queen of multi-tasking, as probably many of us are. This was probably inherited from a very early age and some habits such as this can use a little adjusting. You have to know when it is time to step away from your professional life and live in those small precious moments that will mean so much to you tomorrow as a memory. You must learn how to balance your personal/work life in order to really find true success in both.

Do you need help with formatting a plan in both your personal and professional life? Could you use a lifestyle design change?

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, fitness, well-being, and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

23 Ways To Be More Fit While Sitting At Work Part 4

postureYou know that exercise is important but you work long hours sitting at a desk and just don’t have the time or energy to workout afterwards. You know that this is really an excuse and not a good one. Exercise itself means to be “in active operations” or “physical activity” and our bodies were not made to sit for prolonged periods of time. It just isn’t good for you. It creates back pain, headaches, listlessness, and can weaken your body’s muscles when they are being active.

I have been posting 23 ways of exercising while at work the first one was about cardio and was posted on Friday, the second on strength building posted on Monday, the third on stretching posted on Tuesday and I hope that if any of you know of ones that I may have missed you will leave me a comment so that I can add them. Give me your thoughts, suggestions and yes, workouts, if you have them while sitting at a desk 8-12 hours a day.

Today is a way to bring it all in and finish out this series.

Here are the last of them:

1. Do some invisible exercises – women can do kegels by tightening, holding and loosening their pelvic floor muscles. This helps to keep those muscles tight and prevents leakage.

2. Butt clenches – this can be done by tightening your buttocks, holding and relax. Do this 15 times.

3. Ab clenches – tighten tummy muscles and holding then relax. Do this 15 times.

Using every muscle in your body actively helps to keep it healthy. Here are some other helpful tips:

1. Walk during your lunch breaks – if you’re bored take a camera and get some great shots of the scenery. If you buy a pedometer it will count how many steps that you walk each day, the goal is trying to get to 10,000 steps a day.

2. Join a gym – if there is a gym near your office go there during your lunch breaks, if you are lucky enough to have a fitness room at your place of work, use it!

3. Don’t email – if you are emailing someone who sits in the next office or even down the hall – don’t. Get up and walk the distance.

4. Vending machines – walking to a vending machine doesn’t count as your activity; remember to climb a few stairs or walk during your break to get rid of those calories from the vending machine.

Create reminders on your phone, computer, calendars, a sticky note or an email. Don’t feel embarrassed about trying to find time for fitness while at work, if anything have others around you do these workouts with you. Find a walker buddy or a breaktime buddy that will do the same exercises as you or go to the gym with you.

If you missed the beginning parts of the series on cardio, strength building, and stretching please click the links. Again please leave a comment if there are any exercises that you may do or can be done at work for cardio and strength building in a minute or two.

Are you looking for a way to have a better plan for your lifestyle design? I can help, so contact me today.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

23 Ways To Be More Fit While Sitting At Work Part 3

stretchingYou know that exercise is important but you work long hours sitting at a desk and just don’t have the time or energy to workout afterwards. You know that this is really an excuse and not a good one. Exercise itself means to be “in active operations” or “physical activity” and our bodies were not made to sit for prolonged periods of time. It just isn’t good for you. It creates back pain, headaches, listlessness, and can weaken your body’s muscles when they are being active.

My previous two posts introduced short bursts of cardio and strength building that can be done while at work. Today I will bring you some exercises that involve stretching while sitting at your desk. These are for everyone no matter what because stretching is important. There are ways to work out while at work to help find 30 minutes at least 5 days a week for some moderate activity.

I am posting 23 ways of exercising while at work the first one was about cardio and was posted on Friday and the second on strength building was posted on Monday and I hope that if any of you know of ones that I may have missed you will leave me a comment so that I can add them. Give me your thoughts, suggestions and yes, workouts, if you have them while sitting at a desk 8-12 hours a day.

Here are the first few of them that involve stretching:

1. Reach for the stars – sit tall in your chair and stretch both arms over your head while reaching for the stars, after 10 seconds extend the right hand higher and then the left.

2. Head loll – let your head loll over so that your ear touches your shoulder then gently use your hand to press your head lower. Hold it for 10 seconds and then switch sides.

3. Yoga – this yoga posture will help to relieve tension. While sitting facing forward turn your head to one side while turning your torso to the opposite side, hold a few seconds and repeat. Do this 15 times and switch sides.

4. Sit up straight – try to touch your shoulder blades together and hold it a few seconds then relax.

5. Put your feet up – push your chair away from your desk so that you can put the heel of one foot up, sit up straight, bend forward until you feel the gentle stretch in the back of your leg, flex your foot for a few seconds then point it, bend a little farther again and flex your foot again and hold for 10 seconds, switch legs and repeat steps.

Come back on Wednesday for the last part of the series and if you missed the first part on cardio or the second part on strength building please click the links. Again please leave a comment if there are any exercises that you may do or can be done at work for cardio and strength building in a minute or two.

Are you looking for a way to have a better plan for your lifestyle design? I can help, so contact me today.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

23 Ways To Be More Fit While Sitting At Work Part 2

strengthYou know that exercise is important but you work long hours sitting at a desk and just don’t have the time or energy to workout afterwards. You know that this is really an excuse and not a good one. Exercise itself means to be “in active operations” or “physical activity” and our bodies were not made to sit for prolonged periods of time. It just isn’t good for you. It creates back pain, headaches, listlessness, and can weaken your body’s muscles when they are being active.

My previous post was all about those short bursts of cardio that can be done while at work. Today I will bring you some exercises that involve strength building while sitting at your desk. These are for those who either don’t have a way to get away from your desk or if you aren’t able to go somewhere else and do some cardio work. There are ways to work out while at work to help find 30 minutes at least 5 days a week for some moderate activity.

I am posting 23 ways of exercising while at work the first one about cardio was posted on Friday and I hope that if any of you know of ones that I may have missed you will leave me a comment so that I can add them. Give me your thoughts, suggestions and yes, workouts, if you have them while sitting at a desk 8-12 hours a day.

Here are the first few of them that involve strength building:

1. One legged squats – if you are waiting for a page to load on your computer or for the printer or fax to print out your documents take the time to do some one legged squats by holding on to the wall or table for support.

2. Kick backwards – at your desk stand with one leg straight and kick backwards with your other leg.

3. Leg lifts – while sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat and extend it straight out and hold it for a few seconds then lower your foot and hold it for a few seconds above the floor. Alternate between legs and do each leg 15 times.

4. Lifts – if you want to strengthen your shoulders and chest place both hands on your chair and lift yourself off the chair then lower yourself down but not all the way down and hold it for a few seconds. Do this 15 times.

5. Push and pull – to strengthen your biceps and help your back place your hands on your desk and while hanging on push your chair back until you are looking at the floor between your arms. Slowly pull yourself back. Do this 15 times.

6. Pushups – no I don’t mean get on the floor and do pushups but you can do them against your desk or a wall. If your desk isn’t sturdy enough to support your weight then make sure to use a solid wall. While standing, put your hands on the desk, walk backwards and then do push-ups against it. Do this 15 times.

Come back on Tuesday for the next part dealing with some stretching exercises that can be done at your desk and if you missed the first part on cardio please read it here. Again please leave a comment if there are any exercises that you may do or can be done at work for cardio and strength building in a minute or two.

Are you looking for a way to have a better plan for your lifestyle design? I can help, so contact me today.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

23 Ways To Be More Fit While Sitting At Work Part 1

stairsYou know that exercise is important but you work long hours sitting at a desk and just don’t have the time or energy to workout afterwards. You know that this is really an excuse and not a good one. Exercise itself means to be “in active operations” or “physical activity” and our bodies were not made to sit for prolonged periods of time. It just isn’t good for you. It creates back pain, headaches, listlessness, and can weaken your body’s muscles when they are being active.

Clearly bursts of cardio while at the office may seem difficult and unheard of but there are ways to accomplish and if you can get a 60 second burst of a higher heart rate or a 10 minute burst then all the better. Maybe you aren’t able to do a burst of cardio, that’s okay too because there are stretching activities and muscle strengthening that can be done while sitting at your desk. There are ways to work out while at work to help find 30 minutes at least 5 days a week for some moderate activity.

I will be posting 23 ways of exercising while at work over the next few days and I hope that if any of you know of ones that I may have missed you will leave me a comment so that I can add them. Give me your thoughts, suggestions and yes, workouts, if you have them while sitting at a desk 8-12 hours a day.

Here are the first few of them that involve cardio:

1. Jumping jacks – doing a minute worth of jumping jacks can really get your heart rate up and you can do it at work – by your desk, in your office, in a conference room, or in the bathroom. If you are a novice and just starting out you can actually just raise one arm while tapping the toe of the opposite leg out to the side keeping one foot planted on the floor and then alternate.

2. Run in place – doing a minute worth of running in place will get your heart rate up and again can be done in the same places mentioned in the first one. If you are a novice and just starting out then march in place – remember you have to keep your knees up to make a difference.

3. Jumping rope – you don’t have to bring the rope to work just pretend you have one. Do this for a minute to get your heart rate going and hop on alternate feet or both at once depending on how you would jump rope. If you are a novice and just starting out use the arm motion of turning the rope while alternately tapping your toes in front of you.

4. Jump rope and running in place while seated – if you aren’t able to get up actually from your desk then pump your arms over your head for 30 seconds and rapidly tap your feet on the floor (this is like a football drill) for 30 seconds and repeat this 3-5 times.

5. Shadow box – if you are able to go into a separate room like a conference room or a vacant office (or your own if it is private enough for you) or even the bathroom shadow boxing for a minute or two will definitely get your heart rate up. If you are a novice and just starting out walk around the room as fast as you can for a minute or two.

6. Walk-lunges – do some walk-lunges down the hall, in a conference room, your office, or a vacant office for at least a minute.

7. The stairs – if there isn’t a conference room or a room that you feel comfortable in doing these small exercises then just take the stairs. If you can do two at a time all the better to get your heart rate up. This should be done 5-7 times a day for a minute or two at least.

Come back on Monday for the next part dealing with some strength building exercises that can be done at your desk. Again please leave a comment if there are any exercises that you may do or can be done at work for cardio in a minute or two.

Are you looking for a way to have a better plan for your lifestyle design? I can help, so contact me today.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.