10 Tips to Eating Whole Grains

Whole_GrainsDo you know where grains come from or what foods are considered to be whole grains? Any food that is made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or barley is a grain product. Foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereal, tortillas, and grits are some examples of these grain products. Grains are actually divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel known as the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a nutritional and healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Additionally, whole grains are an excellent source and provide nutritional value as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Our bodies absorb grains slowly and provide high-quality energy.

Here are 10 tips to eating whole grains:

1. Make simple switches – to make half your grains whole grains substitute a whole grain product for a refined grain product. For example eat 100% whole wheat bread (be mindful of the sugar content), another option is flourless breads instead of white bread or bagels or brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.

2. Whole grains can be healthy snacks – popcorn, a whole grain can be a healthy snack. Make it with a little or no added salt or butter. Also try 100% whole wheat or rye crackers.

3. Save some time – cook extra bulgur or barley when you have time. Freeze half to heat and serve later as a quick side dish.

4. Mix it up with whole grains – use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

5. Try whole wheat versions – for a change try brown rice, whole wheat pasta or gluten-free. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

6. Bake whole grain goodness – experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flourless-based recipes.

7. Be a good role model for children – set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains daily with meals or as snacks.

8. Check the label for fiber – use the nutritional facts label to check the fiber content of whole grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the daily value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

9. Know what to look for on the ingredients list – read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain ingredient first on the list. Look for whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole grain, whole oats, whole rye, or wild rice.

10. Be a smart shopper – the color of a food is not an indication that it is a whole grain food. Foods labeled as multigrain, stone ground, 100% wheat, cracked wheat, seven-grain, or bran are usually not 100% whole grain products and may not contain any whole grain.

For more information about healthy eating please visit my website here. Read more articles about nutrition here.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? If 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.

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12We try so hard to make good health choices.  It’s hard to believe that some of those choices can lead to unanticipated negative consequences.  A good example is exercising causes muscle pain.  Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur when the body needs more vitamin B12 than it receives from your diet or a condition that occurs when the body is unable to use the B12 vitamin.  B12 is a very important vitamin which comes from bacteria that lives in an animals’ stomach.  Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a dietary imbalance, which is caused by not eating foods supplemented with vitamin B12, or staying away from meat.  Not eating a healthy diet puts you in danger of a B12 deficiency.  This deficiency is a health epidemic with rates as high as 20% among certain age groups.

What does Vitamin B12 do?

B12 performs a number of functions.  It helps support a healthy brain, your DNA and nervous system.  It maintains and manufactures red blood cells.  So a long-term deficiency can cause a host of health issues, like anemia, high levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk for heart disease.  Mild B12 deficiency can also impair brain function.  It can cause permanent nerve damage.  If you’re only moderately deficient in B12, symptoms may be more subtle, allowing the deficiency to steadily chip away at your health.

Causes of B12 Deficiency

Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a bad diet.  Because B12 is derived from animals, this deficiency is common among vegetarians.  These are not the only factors that cause low B12, there are other risks involved, which include:

  • atrophic gastritis;
  • anemia;
  • removal of a portion of the small intestine;
  • alcoholism;
  • Crohn’s or celiac disease;
  • autoimmune conditions;
  • prolonged use of acid-reducing medications; and
  • Fertility problems such as miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant.

Signs of a B12 deficiency

The only way to know if you have a B12 deficiency is to consult a health professional.

Below are some symptoms to be aware of and monitor:

  • rapid breathing or heart rate;
  • dizziness or weakness;
  • pale skin;
  • chronic gastrointestinal problems;
  • a sore tongue;
  • easily bruising;
  • gums that frequently bleed, and
  • unexplained weight loss.

Please note that other conditions can produce these symptoms as well, as noted above please consult a health professional for a diagnoses of B12 deficiency.  Early treatment helps prevent permanent damage.  It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.

Most people need 2.6mcg of B12 each day.  Pregnant women require a slightly higher dose per day.  B12 is potent so try and stay clear of substances that greatly exceed the recommendation.  If you consume meat, one may try to get B12 from lean organic meats, such as chicken, lean beef, and fresh fish.  Eating these types of meats is an alternative and help you stay healthy without causing weight gain.  If you’re a vegetarian or want to avoid meat animal products, take a B12 supplement or look for foods fortified with this vitamin.  Many protein shakes and health foods contain B12.  The following chart is the amount we should digest daily.

0-6 months 0.4 micrograms/day
Adequate Intake (AI)
7-12 months 0.5 mcg/day

Adequate Intake (AI)

1-3 years 0.9 mcg/day
4-8 years 1.2 mcg/day
9-13 years 1.8 mcg/day
14 years and up 2.4 mcg/day
Pregnant women 2.6 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women 2.8 mcg/day

Sources

Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods.  Clams and beef liver have extremely high amounts of this vitamin. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements offers this list of foods that are high in B12.

Food Serving size Vitamin B12content
(micrograms [mcg])
% Daily Value
Clams, cooked 3 ounces 84 1,402
Beef liver, cooked 3 ounces 70.7 1,178
100% fortified cereal 3 ounces 6 100
Rainbow trout, cooked 3 ounces 5.4 90
Light tuna, canned in water 3 ounces 2.5 42
Cheeseburger and bun 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked 3 ounces 1.8 30
25% fortified cereal 1 serving 1.5 25
Top sirloin beef 3 ounces 1.4 23
Low-fat milk 1 cup 1.2 18
Low-fat fruit yogurt 8 ounces 1.1 18
Swiss cheese 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco 1 taco 0.9 15
Cured ham, roasted 3 ounces 0.6 10
Hard boiled egg 1 large 0.6 10
Chicken breast, roasted 3 ounces 0.3 5

It is also available in whey power, yeast extract spreads, some seaweed, blue green algea and Marine Plankton.  Vitamin B12 is available in pills, liquid or a shot.  These are known as cyanocobalamin, hydrocobalamin, and methylcobalamin.  The first is the most widely available and least expensive.

It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.  Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:  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 today at:  Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

The Effects of Insomnia

InsomniaDo you have trouble staying awake during the day? Are you feeling tired and just don’t have any energy? Do you struggle falling asleep or staying asleep? You aren’t the only one, many people suffer from insomnia and unfortunately it’s a route many of us have bouts with from time to time. It can also be one of the fastest routes to being miserable.

It is suggested that both wake and sleep pathways play a role in insomnia. Insomnia can occur when they don’t work well together. It might be that your sleep neurotransmitters may be signaling your brain to sleep, but your wake neurotransmitters may not be turning off. When this happens it is hard for your brain to go into sleep mode.

This may be one of the reasons you have insomnia and you can’t sleep like you want to. Here are some safe remedies that might help:

Supplements

Here are some supplements that you can experiment with. But understand they won’t work overnight. Be willing to try them for a month or longer. They have been known to help sleep quality.

  • Melatonin
  • Valerian root
  • Chamomile tea

Practice Better Sleep Habits

Try and go to bed at the same time every night and rise in the morning at the same time. Don’t watch television or read in bed. Keep your room about five degrees cooler than the rest of the house. If sleep doesn’t occur after 30 minutes, get up and try again in an hour or so. Trying a relaxing routine. Don’t eat or drink at least two hours before bed. Try not to smoke and no caffeine.

Exercise

Daily exercise can help your sleep quality. Try and exercise 30 minutes a day in the morning or earlier afternoon. Don’t exercise at night it could cause you to toss and turn all night.

Meditation

Meditation can relax the anxious of minds. Focus on something calming, like the beach, your favorite place. You can simply count how many breaths you take in a minute. Work to quiet your mind.

Try a Safe Sleep Aid

If all else fails you can try a safe sleep aid. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can make you sleepy. Anti-motion sickness drugs cause sleepiness. They aren’t a good idea so only occasional use, not nightly. They are much safer than prescription or over the counter sleep aids and won’t cause havoc with your health.

These are just some ideas that may help with you insomnia. For more information about insomnia and help designing a healthy lifestyle visit my website here and then contact me!

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.

 

 

 

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10 Ways You Can Make Better Choices About What You Eat

Fresh_cut_fruits_and_vegetablesAs women we tend to always make everything else a priority in our lives instead of taking that time to make ourselves a priority. You have to take that time for self-care as well. It is imperative that you make time to be physically active.

Here are 10 ways to be smart about your health:

1. Decide what is missing – get personalized nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level.

2. Enjoy your food but eat less – use a smaller plate at meals to help control the amount of food and calories you eat.

3. Strengthen you bones – choose foods like to help strengthen bones.

4. Make a small amount of fruit and more vegetables – Choose red, orange, or dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli along with other vegetables for meals.

5. Drink Water – sip water or prepare fresh juice with few or no calories to help maintain a healthy weight. Keep a water bottle on hand to remain hydrated throughout the day.

6. Eat whole grains more often – choose whole grains like brown rice and whole-grain pastas and quinoa. Foods with high fiber content can help gives you a feeling of fullness and also provide key nutrients.

7. Learn what is in foods – use both ingredient and nutrition fact labels to discover what various foods contain.

8. Cut back on unhealthy foods – cut calories by cutting out foods high in solid fats and added sugar. Reduce or eliminate fatty meats like ribs, bacon, and hot dogs.

9. Learn to prepare healthy foods – try out healthier recipes that use much less solid fat, salt and sugar. Eat at home more often so you can control what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked, sauté.

10. Be active whenever you can – set a goal to fit in at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of moderate physical activity per day. Being active 10 minutes at a time also adds to your weekly total. Ask friends or family to keep you company as you bike, job, walk or dance. Don’t forget to do some muscle strengthening activities twice a week.

You can read previous posts from this week here.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? If so, contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, 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.

11 Tips for Healthy Eating as a Vegetarian

vegetarianA vegetarian diet can be a healthy option for a lifestyle design but the key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie and nutritional needs. In past articles, I have touched on many different options when creating a nutritional and healthy lifestyle using the food groups but these do not always apply to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are 11 tips for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle:

1. Think about protein – your protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans and peas, nuts, and soy products (tofu, tempeh). Lacto-ovo vegetarians also get protein from eggs and dairy foods.

2. Bone up on sources of calcium – calcium is used for building bones and teeth. Some vegetarians consume dairy products which are excellent sources of calcium. Other sources of calcium for vegetarians include calcium-fortified soymilk, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard, turnip, and mustard greens and bok choy).

3. Make simple changes – many popular main dishes are or can be vegetarian such as pasta primavera, pasta with marinara or pesto sauce, veggie pizza, vegetable lasagna, tofu-vegetable stir-fry, and bean burritos.

4. Enjoy a cookout – for barbecues, try veggie or soy burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and fruit kabobs. Grilled veggies are great too!

5. Include beans and peas – because of their high nutritional content, consuming beans and peas is recommended for everyone, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Enjoy some vegetarian chili, three bean salad, or split pea soup. Make a hummus filled pita sandwich.

6. Try different vegetable versions – a variety of vegetarian products look and may taste like their non-vegetarian counterparts but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol. For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links, for dinner rather than hamburgers try bean burgers or falafel (chickpea patties).

7. Make some small changes at restaurants – most restaurants can make vegetarian modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces or non-meat items, such as tofu and beans for meat, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat.

8. Nuts make great snacks – choose unsalted nuts as a snack and use them in salads or main dishes. Add almonds, walnuts, or pecans instead of cheese or meat to a green salad.

9. Get your vitamin B12 – vitamin B12 supplements if you do not consume animal products.

10. Vegetarians should choose fortified food products – Check the nutrition facts label for vitamin B12 in fortified products.
11. Find a vegetarian pattern for you – it is important for you to do your due diligence in research to find your perfect vegetarian choices. You must think about not only all of the nutrient values that you need to have but also calorie intake level that is needed on a daily basis.

Do you need help finding your perfect vegetarian healthy lifestyle design? If so contact me today, I can help!

Read more of my nutritional articles here. Visit my website to learn about healthy choices here.

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.

More Tips on Avoid Winter Weight Gain

weight-loss-tipsIn an earlier blog, I discussed ways to avoid winter weight gain. I have a few more tips for you. Vitamin D deficiency happens because most people are not able to enjoy the sunshine which in turn affects mood and a motivation to eat healthy and exercise regularly. – as it is also, according to research, associated with obesity. Eating certain foods will also help with levels of vitamin D being maintained, such as non dairy items soy milk, rice milk, fortified margarine, salmon, herring, mackerel, and eggs.

Hot meals are a way to help manage weight, heat up a light meal that you normally enjoy in the summer so that you don’t go for something heavier. Make oatmeal instead of cold cereal, a toasted sandwich with lean meats, and a slow cooked casserole made with vegetables and lean meat (only a palm size serving of meat will do). Make a half of your plate with salad so you don’t overeat on the heavy food. Add lots of green vegetables to salads and other recipes in order to keep up with nutrients. Find foods that are high in antioxidants and add them to meals and to salads, experiment and try new and different things. Instead of lettuce in your salad use spinach and try other things such as brown rice, quinoa and couscous. Also make sure to eat locally grown sourced seasonal foods for more nutrients.

Carbohydrates are necessary to have a healthy eating plan and in cold weather most crave them. Carbs help to boost serotonin levels which do fall in the cold winter months. Instead of choosing white bread and cakes try whole grains and vegetables so that you aren’t eating bad carbs. Try eating sweet potatoes (avoid white potatoes which turns to sugar in the body and raises your glucose levels), porridge, seeded breads (try to select flourless), and, of course, oatmeal (steel cut oatmeal has more nutritional value).

Don’t forget soup. If you have soup already in containers in the freezer, you can just heat them in whenever you crave a snack. It’s better than searching for something good to eat in the cupboards. It can also help you to cut back so you do not overeat during a meal. Researchers have found that eating a bowl of soup before lunch and dinner will reduce calorie intake by 20%.

Exercise is necessary as well. If you do not wish to do utilize these suggestions, I have a variety of recent posts with alternatives. Find a way to do resistance training at home, buy a stationary bike, or think outside the box. Take up rock climbing at an indoor center, cycling classes, or take tennis lessons or indoor badminton. There are actually lots of ways to exercise without doing the same old thing and you might discover some type of new passion in trying new ways to exercise. Many of you may know this, but my favorite indoor and outdoor activity is using the “jump rope.”

Remember you have to find the passion that will drive you to stay fit and trim not only with exercise but also eating healthy. Visit health food stores and find which health foods you would enjoy the most, use them in smoothies while also eating healthy.

Visit my website for more information on nutrition, health, food and fitness by going to the health lounge. Follow my blog so that you can receive up to date posts when they come out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Remember, I am always looking for comments from you on any of these subjects; please feel free to offer your feedback.

Do you need help with creating your desired healthy lifestyle? Do you want more information about nutrition? Do you need to create a better wellness plan? If so, contact me today, I can help!

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.

5 Steps to Detox Your Body After The Winter Months

cat_DetoxificationThe winter months in certain areas can be very hard on the body. With the winter months coming to an end, it may be time to detox your body. A cleanse is a great way to do that and there is a simple one week cleanse that you can use.

Here are the 5 steps to your one week cleanse:

1. Soup – do a 2 day soup fast. Make a big batch of soup, vegetable or bean with extra cabbage and a dash of miso paste (low to sodium-free). Eat a big bowl for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a cup for snacks. It provides nutrients throughout the day and it is filling, low in calories and has plenty of fiber, fluid, protein, vitamins A, B and C as well as probiotics.

2. Clean diet – spend the other 5 days eating clean, healthy foods. Avoid dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, red meat and chicken. Eat fresh clean vegetables or whole grains, raw nuts, seeds, legumes. Have 2-3 pieces of fruit a day, as well as herbal tea and clean fresh water.

3. Exercise – try to commit to about an hour a day during this week and push yourself to the max every time. You can even break this time up into 30 minute time frames.

4. Skin – before you bath or shower use a loofah or brush and spend 10 minutes moving in a gentle upward motion. From toes to thighs, fingers to upper arms, belly to back – avoid the face. After bathing use coconut or olive oil with a couple drops of rosemary or sage to enhance circulation and detoxification.

5. Mind – you must cleanse your mind as well. Meditate, pray, use mindfulness, yoga, belly breathing, or even petting your pet for at least 30 minutes a day in order to clear your mind and declutter the stressful thoughts.
Now you are ready for summer! Detoxification of the body, mind and soul is a good way to start out the season with a clean slate. Remember you should always try to eat healthy and avoid most of those listed in step 2.

Do you need help with designing a healthy lifestyle? Want more information on nutrition, fitness, well-being or health? If so contact me today, I can help!

Click here to visit my website for more information, remember to look through all the tabs but be sure to go to the health lounge for some great information on foods, recipes, nutrition, and health. Follow my blog so that you can stay up to date with each new blog that gets posted. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Sign up for my monthly newsletter.

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.