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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Chronic Stress – How It Impacts Long-Term and Chronic Illnesses

stressresponseStress is inevitable in everyday life in society today. It can be caused because of a job, family, finances, emotional or unhealthy relationships. However, when stress is experienced at a higher rate it impacts your immune and digestive systems, so people who suffer from a chronic illness – such as diabetes – it can create even worse problems. Diabetes is one illness which is stressful due to the difficulty of stabilizing blood glucose levels, diet and exercise being a significant part of your daily routine.

So what do we know about stress and where it comes from? Stress is more than just an emotion or unpleasant feeling; it is a biological response to a perceived threat or challenge. Stress has been around since the beginning of time when you think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response that you may feel is because of stress. So animals have this same response – they will either fight or run when threatened; we act in the same way. The nervous system usually balances the body’s responses to daily events in order to maintain proper levels of alertness and relaxation. A little stress can be a good thing because it motivates you to improve performance (team sports or meeting a deadline); it can even enhance our memory ability. When stress becomes chronic and constant then problems will start to arise.

Back in the day of the middle ages society was different and people reacted differently to stress by either being aggressive or by fleeing but today’s society no longer allows that way of life. So not only has our stressors changed, but so has our way of dealing with them. Most people will just allow the stress to build up; this is chronic stress and can cause more negative physical consequences. It reduces ability to fight infections, increases gastrointestinal problems and heightens pain sensitivity. It raises blood pressure and impedes the breakdown of fat in the bloodstream increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke. Chronic stress also affects the brain.

The stress response is actually part of the biological system created in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands. Sensory information including stressful things is from the hypothalamus which will emit a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone, which activates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the master hormonal gland and controls the production of hormones in many different parts of the body. It sends a signal through the blood telling the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cotisol. These are the hormones that ready the body for ‘flight or fight’ and will shut down many bodily systems (immune and digestive for instance) so that the body’s energy can be used entirely for the task at hand. This may be great for a short term strategy but in chronic stress will create long term havoc on the body, damaging tissues and increasing incidence of disease and disorders. It will also cause the hippocampus (the area of the brain that shuts down the stress response after it is no longer needed) to become damaged and impair its ability to shut down the stress response.

In the long run chronic stress can start to affect more areas of the brain causing lower ability with mental functions, reasoning, logic, planning, and can breakdown the filters in which certain substances – such as toxins and large molecules – can penetrate the brain. Reducing unnecessary stress will have wide-ranging positive effects, from lowering blood pressure to promoting cardiovascular health. There are many ways to lessen the stress in your life, different things you can do from yoga and exercise to creating a healthier lifestyle.

Want more information in stress reduction visit my website by clicking here. Do you need help with your stress reduction plans? Do you need help with designing a healthy lifestyle? 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.

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!

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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.

Not So Secrets to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

avoid-winter-weight-gainThe majority of people will put on a little weight during the colder months sometimes out of boredom or because of impulse. The more organized you are with meals the less likely you will be to put on weight. The best way to be organized is to plan ahead. One way to avoid impulsive meals is to use recipes that are healthy and cook up lots of meals and freeze them.

You should cook from home at least 85-90 % of the time so that you can control what goes into your recipe. This is the one of the most beneficial ways to keep weight management easy, when you hand control over to someone else, such as a restaurant or fast food, then you don’t have the ability to eat healthy or choose what ingredients are used in your food. When cooking at home you also have the ability to cook extra so that you will have something healthy to eat at work as well. Get creative and find recipes that not only are healthy but are also different.

You can also substitute things like soup instead salad. It’s nice to have something warm during those colder months and you can fill yourself up with actual calories in order to keep hunger at bay. You can cook healthy vegetable soup and put them in containers to freeze for use with other meals or for lunches. You can add things like barley and bok choy for an added hearty taste and a quick meal. Again get creative, experiment a little by trying clear broth, lentil or vegetable. Don’t want to eat to warm up try a little herbal tea instead.

Colder weather also makes us form bad habits not just with food but also with exercise. No one wants to go out in the cold, snow or rainy weather but in order to help with weight management it is best to stay with moderate activity on a daily basis with a day off each week. It also helps to change up your workouts daily – don’t work out the same part of the body each day. There are ways to exercise at home without going out into the cold, get a yoga or workout video, get a jump rope and a place you can use it in the house, a bar for pull-ups, a workout station with a bench or a treadmill or other equipment that is similar. If you don’t mind going out in the cold but don’t want to run in, invest in a gym membership only if you’re to use it!

If you are planning on going out to a restaurant with friends or coworkers then plan ahead for the meal. Look into the restaurant’s menu and see what meals they offer and if they offer a healthy choices. If you are a meat eater, you may select grilled fish, or lean steak or broiled/boiled chicken and don’t get any potatoes, try to substitute potatoes with vegetables or brown rice. Drink water instead of diet pop or beer, it will help to fill you up. The biggest deal is to remember portion control as sometimes restaurants increase you portion sizes.

Are you in need of creating a healthier lifestyle? Do you need to find out more information about nutrition and healthy choices? Do you want more information about fitness? If so, contact me today, I can help!

Click here to visit my website and learn more information in the health lounge. Follow my blog and get caught up whenever a new one comes out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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.

12 Ways To Help Incorporate Exercise Into Your New Lifestyle Part 2

exerciseA New Year, a new you is usually what we like to think happens. You create New Year resolutions so that you lose weight, get in shape, exercise more, start a new career, or maybe buy a new home. Everyone wants to strive for something better or to be happier, what one do not count on is the fact that it is usually hard to do it alone or without a plan of some kind. That is why most of people fail when it comes to their resolutions. When it comes to being healthier, getting in shape, or losing weight – exercise is a big part of these resolutions.

No matter what your resolutions are they must be taken in small steps in order to have a lasting or permanent change because let’s face it nothing gets reinvented overnight.

Here are 6 ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle:

1. Exercise as a group – when you join others in exercising you get to spend time with friends as well as the benefits of exercise. Not only does exercise give you a way to have a good time with friends, family and colleagues but it also gives you an accountability partner.

2. Exercise will boost your well-being – exercise is not only a way to a longer life or disease prevention but it also attributes to your well-being. Exercise helps with many short-term things such as stress, energy levels, productivity, outlook, better sleep and feeling happier. Think in short-term goals more often than long-term as you will see the exercise gives you an immediate benefit.

3. The future – have you worked out in the past and just stopped and are now feeling guilty over it? Don’t! Only look to the future and what you can do about creating a clear plan for the future and then commit to it.

4. Avoid the stop, start, stop – it’s common to be “gung ho” about starting up your exercise regime and then stop and lose focus due to the craziness of life; of course, doing this only sets you up for a never ending cycle and no progress. Again this is why I speak about small steps or changes; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start out small and find your favorite exercises that make you want to exercise every day.

5. Remember why you do it – it’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture and of what your motivation was to start exercising in the first place, which is why you must remind yourself daily to keep your motivation and your focus sharp.

6. Stretch – stretching is something to help after your workouts to keep the tension in your muscles relaxed. Stretching will help to cut down on muscle injuries and sore muscles the next day plus it is a relaxing way to end a hard workout.
So be sure to take time out for you and find a way to put exercise into your life one small step at a time.

If you need help finding a plan that best suits your lifestyle or would like help in discovering the right plan for yourself, contact me I can help! Please leave me a comment as well.

If you missed the first part to this blog you can read it here. Please visit my website for more information on getting healthy at http://www.nspirehealthyliving.com.

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.