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.

9 Ways You Can Incorporate More Healthy Vegetables

vegetablesEating vegetables is important because of the vitamins and minerals that they provide plus they are low in calories. Most people don’t try to even fit more vegetables in their meals but it is really a lot easier than you might think.

Here are 9 simple tips to fit more vegetables into your meals:

1. Discover fast ways to prepare foods– prepare fresh or frozen vegetables for a quick and easy dish to add to any meal. Steam or eat raw green beans, carrots or broccoli in a bowl for a quick side dish.

2. Be ahead of the game – cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli. Pre-package them to use when time is limited. You can enjoy them in a salad, with hummus, or in a veggie wrap.

3. Choose vegetables rich in color – brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or greens such as spinach, kale or field mix. They not only taste great but are also good for you.

4. Check the freezer aisle – frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables. Try adding frozen corn, peas, green beans spinach or sugar snap peas to some of your favorite dishes or eat as a side dish.

5. Make your garden salad glow with color – brighten up your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers, shredded radishes, chopped red cabbage, sprouts, bok choy or watercress. Your salad will not only look good but taste great as well.

6. Sip on homemade soup – heat it and eat it. Try tomato, butternut squash or garden vegetable soup. Look for reduced or low sodium stock.

7. While you’re out – if dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering ask for an extra side of vegetables or side salad instead of the typical fried side dish.

8. Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables – buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best in season buys or visit your local farmer’s market.
9. Try something new – you never know what you may like if you haven’t tried it. Choose a new vegetable, add it to your recipe or look up how to fix it online.

Come back on Thursday to find 10 tips on eating more fruit.

Do you need help with nutrition? Do you want 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.

10 Tips for Being a Healthy Role Model for Children

popeyeYou are the most important influence on your child as you do many things to help them including to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many of foods, it’s easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time!

Here are 10 tips for setting a good example:

1. Show by example – eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.

2. Go food shopping together – grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices.

3. Get creative in the kitchen – cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.

4. Offer the same foods for everyone – stop being a short order cook by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.

5. Reward with attention, not food – show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras” – such as candy or cookies – as replacement foods.

6. Focus on each other at the table – talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television, take phone calls later, and try to make eating meals a stress free time.

7. Listen to your child – if your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack; even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices, ask”which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” instead of “do you want broccoli for dinner?”

8. Limit screen time – allow no more than 2 hours a day of screen time like TV and computer games. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity.

9. Encourage physical activity – make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear like bike helmets.

10. Be a good food role model – try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

Do you need help with creating a healthy lifestyle design that includes your family? If so contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about healthy food here. Catch up on my other articles 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.